Watching `the Harry Potter movies on television last week reminded me of two things: 1) that ABC Family has far too many commercials, mostly for their own shows, and 2) that friendship is what makes Rowling’s characters endure.
There are plenty of other traits that suggest Harry Potter will remain a classic. The books are clever and playful, and the movies by and large capture that spirit. They also have plenty to say about the universal struggle of good versus evil, told in a way that makes the evil both understandable and painfully close to home.
But to me, these things are icing. What really makes the cake is the family of friends that come together to meet the challenge—and not just for the sake of the quest to defeat the Dark Lord. The characters unite first and foremost not as colleagues, but as friends. They act bravely and selflessly on each other’s behalf, often offering up their lives to save one another.
Fantasy? Well, yes, if you’re talking about flying cars and walloping willows. But not if you’re talking about that level of committed friendship. Just because people usually don’t act that way toward each other doesn’t mean that they never do, or that such all-encompassing friendship is any less beautiful when it happens.
As children, we learn how to make friends. As we grow older, we learn the give and take necessary to keep them. When we finally reach adulthood, however, many of us lose sight of how important friendship is, busy as we are with establishing our place in this world and accumulating the necessary trophies to prove that establishment.
But friendship is a precious gift, a love that we need and that no other relationship can satisfy. Even Jesus needed friends. According to John’s gospel, the primary reason he offered up his life was for his friends.
Recently, I discovered that my MBTI personality profile aligns with Ron Weasley. Fitting, I suppose, given my red hair and freckles. But I hope we share the more meaningful traits—loyalty, determination, love—that make Ron one of Harry Potter’s closest companions.
So today, I’m trying to remember to be a Weasley, at least in the most important aspects. I’m remembering the friends who have stood beside me, hoping I can be such a friend to others, and trusting that those relationships matter more than anything I might achieve or accrue.