Home Again: Harry Potter

Was anybody else waiting for me to do Harry Potter? Because I was (but I kept forgetting, like with Avatar), but better late than never. Besides I feel this is the perfect time to bring ol’ Harry up because he doesn’t really return home, does he?

Unlike Alice from my Home Again: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland post, or Chihiro from my Home Again: Spirited Away post, Harry’s two worlds are never quite the same after he defeats Voldemort.

In the beginning of book seven, like we see in the seventh movie, the Dursleys move. They move because Voldemort knows where the live. Had they stayed, they may have become collateral damage due to a war they aren’t even involved in, but their nephew is.

Hermione Granger does the same with her parents, obliviating all their memories of her until the war is over.

Harry fights Voldemort. He wins. He repairs his wand with the elder wand and reburies it with Dumbledore. He thinks only of going back to Griffindor Tower after that. We know Hogwarts was always Harry’s true home, but even it is changed by the war. Not all Griffindors will make it back to the tower, the hallways won’t look the same, and not all professors will be back to resume classes.

Harry isn’t just The Boy Who Lived anymore, he’s the wizarding world’s and (unbeknownst to them) muggle world’s savior. Only Harry could have defeated Voldemort, no one else. Calling him a savior, a seventeen-year-old boy, isn’t dramatic. It’s the truth.

So, the question is, does Harry ever actually return home? We know he’s different, just as Alice and Chihiro were when they returned, but he isn’t the only one who’s been changed. Greater worlds have been altered. Two completely different destinies awaited them and Harry managed to bring about the more positive one.

I believe the answer to the question is both a yes and a no.

Harry returns to Hogwarts/Griffindor Tower. He’s always viewed that place as home. But it’s not the same as before. Things are different. And that’s just in the wizarding world, where we know he has a home. What of the Dursleys? I don’t see Harry moving in with them. I see that relationship as forever changed, and we know from Pottermore that Dudley was really the only one to keep a relationship with Harry, however minor, after the war. And mostly as an adult, if I’m remembering correctly. Does that mean the muggle world is closed off to him? The home, he didn’t really see as a home, gone for good? If he didn’t see it as home, was it home in the first place? To that, I would say no. The old cliché goes, “Home is where the heart is.” and we know Harry’s heart was never with the Dursleys, and by extension, in the muggle world.

Hogwarts is Harry’s home, to which he returns after hunting horcruxes, freeing dragons, and chasing patronuses. After losing friends, and unknown allies. And like our dear Mr. Potter, here, Hogwarts is forever changed by what happened that day. It is the same, and yet it is different, as is Harry. The two will share that bond for ages, I’m sure. Both knowing one is changed because of the other. The battle didn’t have to take place at Hogwarts, and yet it did. Harry didn’t have to be the chosen one, and yet he was. There is something different about a place changing as much as the individual. It is both comforting, and sad.

 

Thank you for reading,

-M

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