If I had a lot of feelings in the previous chapter, I have way (waaaaay) more in this one. First off, we meet a lot of essential characters, mostly centering around my favorite wizarding family, the Weasleys.
And I so love this little nugget of wisdom from Mrs. Weasley.
Not to worry,” she said. “All you have to do is walk straight at the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Don’t stop and don’t be scared you’ll crash into it, that’s very important. Best do it at a bit of a run if you’re nervous.
So very reassuring. Thanks Mrs. Weasley! /s
Here are my notes:
- Harry going through the platform is literally him leaving his world to enter a new one. But it’s more than a literal transition. Him going through the platform is Harry leaving behind a life where he has nothing of his own – from friends and barely a semblance of family to money and hardly any food or material possessions – for a new world where he actually has funds and where he will meet people that will stay in his life forever.
- I love that Ron and Harry’s friendship was built on mutual curiosity. It is so exceptionally natural. It kind of made me miss being a kid and meeting some other kid, and honestly thinking they’re awesome. That’s exactly how those two felt about each other. It helps that they were getting to know each other over delicious treats and snacks looking at the beautiful scenery en route to Hogwarts.
- Hermione. Fucking. Granger. Sorry for swearing; I just can’t help myself. I strongly stand by the following statement: Harry Potter would not have achieved anything without Hermione’s help through it all. She’s da real MVP.
- It makes me so happy re-reading this chapter and seeing Ron, Harry, and Hermione as 11-year-olds. Although it’s mostly playful banter, these early interactions present their insecurities and fears about entering this new chapter in their lives: starting their wizarding education. Harry confesses that he’s anxious that he’ll be the worst in his class, what with having zero knowledge about how magic works, and will be unable to live up to his name. Ron struggles with self-esteem. Being from a large family, he admits that he most likely won’t impress his parents or anyone else with whatever he does or accomplishes, since his brothers have done it all before him. Hermione, despite being a “know-it-all,” is insecure because she is Muggle-born and hopes that all of her knowledge and studying will be good enough; her snobbery is her defense mechanism. These three protagonists all have diverse backgrounds yet have the same, very real fears manifesting in different ways.
- We see Draco Malfoy in this chapter once again. I wonder what would have happened if the Malfoys met Harry at King’s Cross instead of the Weasleys? What if Harry had sat in Draco’s compartment instead of Ron’s? If the Malfoys met Harry at the barrier, I don’t believe they would have offered to help him like what Mrs. Weasley did. They would have just thought Harry was non-magical at all, not one of their kind, so not worthy of their time. Remember that they are big on the pure blood mania. They would have just sneered at him and went on.
The next chapter will take us to the castle! Get hyped!