This one’s for Hagrid

Re-reading Harry Potter and once again being wholly entranced in the world, that world, that J.K Rowling so expertly weaved and made real, because it is real my friend, it is real, being back there has reminded me just how much I would like to write and write well.

I could do all the reading in the world but the reality remains that if I do not make time to write it shall all come to nothing.
I am finally ready to commit to a writing goal. Yes, the day has come. (The day came and since then I have already dropped the ball severally. Easier said than done.)

I have just finished reading the 6th book of the series, Dumbledore is dead and again the scene where he is being buried made me cry. Real painful tears, as though I was in physical pain.

How funny, I have read these books before, I know what will happen, but words never lose their magic, do they? I was still sobbing along with Harry and Ron and Hermoine and Ginny and Hagrid(I could/should have used commas but I did not want to). Feeling all their pain. Feeling the weight that has been left upon Harry, as he comes to the realisation that he is no longer a child, can no longer hope to be shielded from the Dark Lord by anyone. Not his parents, not his God Father, not his Headmaster, the greatest wizard that ever lived, the only one the Dark Lord ever feared, and also his friend, Albus Dumbledore.

What an epic character Dumbledore is! He is funny, wise and very down to earth. There is somewhat of a tie for my favourite character of the series, Dumbledore is among those currently holding that spot.

Dumbledore is very revered in the magical world by everyone. He has been severally asked to become Minister of Magic but humbly turns it down to remain at Hogwarts as a teacher. At some point he is literally the first confidant of the Minister of Magic, Fudge. Of course, that is, until Fudge tries to discredit him in an attempt to not have to deal with the reality that Lord Voldemort is back.

If you have read the books, I am sure you know all this. I am just getting at the fact that, when Dumbledore was being stripped of all his titles and honorary positions and powers, no longer Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards or Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, he said that as long as they did not take him off the chocolate frog cards, he did not care.
The chocolate frog cards!!!!
sobs What a man! What a wizard! Because in reality, all material things we accrue in this world are nought. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Okay, my Dumbledore rant is over. He is actually not to be the focus of this here little piece. I am sure PotterHeads all over the world gush over Dumbledore and just how much he represents. Always seeing good in people and believing the best of them even when everyone else thought otherwise… sigh
Forgive me. I am forgetting myself again.

Another character clambering for the position of my favourite in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is none other than Rubeus Hagrid, the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • Hagrid is not afraid to have a good cry when he needs to.

Hagrid bawls his eyes out at Dumbledore’s funeral! I do not think anyone else cried more that he did. He probably left a whole paddle of water where he had been sitting at the service, drenched Grawp, his half brother, while at it as well. Just to mention a few other instances where Hagrid cries his eyes out to prove this is not a one off, how about when BuckBeak the Hippogriff was about to be executed(and in that one time-line where he was actually executed) by Ministry officials? In true valiant Hagrid nature, he was not afraid to let his heart bleed and he wept up a storm!
There’s also the time when Aragog, his pet Aractomantula – some sort of gigantic spider – and friend died.

Death aside, he’s a guy for happy tears as well! At Bill and Fleur’s wedding, his sobs are audible to all from all the way in the back.

  • Hagrid is very passionate about his interest, dangerous and rare creatures

Such an oxymoron that he should have a penchant for such horribly dangerous creatures, even by wizarding standards, and still be such a sensitive soul!

Among the creatures we get to know because of Hagrid are Fluffy the gigantic 3 headed dog, Buckbeak the Hippogriff, Aragog the Aractomantula and finally Nobert – who we later find out is actually Norberta – the Norwegian Ridgeback, a fire-spitting dragon that Hagrid tried to raise in his wooden house. Ha ha!

These creatures are dangerous, you would be lucky to walk away from encounters with them, yet to Hagrid, Fluffy is just a dog that needs a little music to soothe him and he instantly falls asleep. Aragog is the little creature Hagrid literally fed and cared for from birth and by the time of Aragog’s death he was the size of a small elephant! Hagrid even went to great lengths to get Aragog a wife and then the two spawned a whole colony in the forbidden forest.

Perhaps Dumbledore rubbed off on Hagrid. Whereas Dumbledore always sought out the best in people, even those that seemed to not have an ounce of goodness or honour in them, Hagrid sees the best in these dangerous magical creatures.

One thing is for sure, the flora and fauna of the Forbidden Forest would be wanting without Hagrid’s efforts!

  • Hagrid is loyal

A character after mine own heart in this respect!

He is loyal to Dumbledore who vouched to let him stay on at Hogwarts after his expulsion, who defended him when parents called for his resignation from the school upon finding out he is part giant, who was the only person that humoured Hagrid’s efforts at trying to ‘tame’ his half brother Grawp – a full giant – and in the end Grawp really came through, huh? Case-in-point, the Battle of Hogwarts. Hagrid would have broken anyone’s neck in an instant if they tried to insult Dumbledore in his presence. In turn, Dumbledore trusted Hagrid with errands of great gravity, like transporting the one year old Harry Potter from Godric’s Hollow to Privet Drive right after Harry’s parents had been killed and retrieving the Philosopher’s Stone from Gringotts – the wizarding bank.

He is loyal to Harry, because Harry’s parents were wonderful people and were good to him but more importantly, because Harry is his friend. How many times did Harry sneak out of the castle after hours to go visit Hagrid? I daresay Hagrid even gave him his first shot of Firewhiskey!

He is also loyal to his parentage. When confessing his attraction to Madame Maxime and he says he has never met another half-giant, Madame Maxime becomes very hostile and scandalized that he should suggest such a thing, that she is part giant. It is ingrained in her that to be a giant(ess) is undesirable so she immediately gives her well rehearsed response to inquiries about her eleven feet tall frame, that she simply has big bones.
This puts Hagrid off, he would rather lose her than live in denial of his family and what he is.

Finally, Hagrid is a very well placed and useful character from a literal perspective. Ms. Rowling often uses his clumsy nature to push the plot forward. Hagrid is very susceptible to letting things slip, things that he should not let slip. In the first book, when the three protagonists are trying to figure out what is hidden at Hogwarts, Hagrid let’s slip that it is none of their business, that it is between Dumbledore and Nicholas Flamel, and just like that, he has given them the one clue that they can use to discover the rest. Of course his slip ups often also do more harm than good, like when he lets Professor Quirell – and inadvertently the Dark Lord – know how to get past Fluffy, the 3 headed dog. Either way, he hastens the development of the story.

Not the sharpest tool in the shed but he possesses many admirable qualities that I would opt for any day over wit.

I really enjoyed writing this, perhaps I shall start contributing to Harry Potter fan sites.

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