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Through the pensieve

A couple weeks ago, my six-year-old said his favorite Harry Potter character was Snape:

Dad: Who’s your favorite Harry Potter character?
D: Snape!
Dad: Why?
D: Because he was protecting Harry.

Yesterday he watched Snape’s apparent betrayal of Dumbledore. “But he protected Harry!” shouted Li’l D. “He protected Harry!”

“There are lots of different ways of protecting people, sweetheart,” I told him. “Keep watching.”

After I wrapped up work, I joined him on the couch for The Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Li’l D took it in with great and silent concern as his dad–home just in time to also partake–and I wiped tears from our eyes through the sequence of memories derived from Snape’s tears.

I suspect Li’l D will be mulling this over for a while. For my part, I am glad to remember reading the first book back in law school … and to think with great joy how much lovelier this story is now, shared with the little one I didn’t then know would ever come to be.

Did I say “little one“? I mean “little ones.” Littler J also enjoyed the final show, if in a less contemplative way!

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Categories: Books, Family, Movies, Parenting Tags: , , ,
  1. November 24, 2015 at 6:35 am

    That’s sweet. I’ve never been much of a Snape fan, but it’s always interesting to see things through the eyes of little ones ❤

    • November 24, 2015 at 6:50 am

      I wasn’t a fan of any one character over another until revisiting the story with D. I loved how everyone fit together. Now, now I still appreciate the ensemble, but I have a definite fondness for Snape.

      • November 24, 2015 at 2:24 pm

        It’s amazing how small things (and small bubbas!) can change your perspective on things 🙂

  2. November 24, 2015 at 9:30 am

    I read the series aloud to my oldest when he was younger. Even though he could have easily read them himself as he advanced in age, it was our special time. And now I have those wonderful memories forever.

    • November 25, 2015 at 4:23 am

      We’re only about a chapter into the second book, but I’m enjoying every moment snuggled up together on the couch reading it!

      At first, we’d meant to show each movie as he finished the book, but he was so excited after finishing the first movie that the original plan fell by the wayside. But hey, this time now we’ll have a different set of questions as we read through the books! And we’ll keep making those reading memories, which I hope will linger with him as my memories of reading with my mom linger with me three decades later.

  3. November 24, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Strange timing. I started listening to the Harry Potter series in my car (and while working out) a few weeks ago; I’m now about 1/3 of the way through “Goblet of Fire”. There are a number of characters I love in the series; Snape, while interesting when viewed at the end, isn’t my favorite character. I can see why he would be people’s favorite, thought. I relate heavily (for whatever reason) to Lupin; it just about killed me the way the series ended for him and Tonks.

    • November 25, 2015 at 4:28 am

      Anthony could have written that last sentence. Trying to explain that bit to D as the movie played was … gah. But the movie played on, and his questions took him different places.

      I felt neutral about Snape reading through the series originally. Seeing him through D’s eyes softened that a little, as have some of my own experiences since. There’ve been many instances where I’ve appeared to be cold and distant, and done/said things that feel unfriendly. The good motivation for those things–not to mention the fact that there truly are many different ways to protect people, not all of which have to do with smiling and saying a perky “yes, yes, yes!” all the time–was irrelevant. So, for me, seeing a character who seems so outwardly hostile but whose almost every move was done to protect … well, that makes me profoundly grateful. The fact it’s in such a popular, beloved series helps me believe some kids will meet their own Snape-like characters in the future, and more quickly see the soft heart beneath the hard exterior.

  4. November 24, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Husband started reading Harry Potter to our boys (they are on the second book now). We have not introduced the movies yet but I imagine it will be awesome. It is such fun to share great literature with kids and watch them enjoy and process it. Looks like your Littler J is going in close to read the closed captioning, perhaps? 😉

    • November 25, 2015 at 4:30 am

      We’re on the second book, too! We meant to watch each movie right after we finished the applicable book, but … well, that plan fell by the wayside!

      The J thing just had me so tickled! He spent twenty minutes waving his magic wand at the TV and barking “magical” commands! I wish I’d thought to record it sooner, because it was even more entertaining than the movie at times, if a bit distracting. Ahem.

      • November 25, 2015 at 5:56 am

        On a completely unrelated note – I love that you used the expression “fell by the wayside”. I use that, among many other, expressions that Husband finds to be quirky.

  5. November 24, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I love Harry Potter. So much.

    • November 25, 2015 at 4:31 am

      I really enjoyed Harry Potter pre-D, but I’ve come to love the series so much since! Starting the third movie made me a little nostalgic. I watched that in a small theater in Japan shortly after moving overseas; thanks to Harry Potter, Japan felt a little closer to home. 🙂

  6. November 24, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I don’t like Harry Potter at all, but I need to try to force myself to sit down and watch the movies with Little Man. I don’t want him missing out on the fun stuff while his mama’s over here swinging her sting sword around. That might be my gameplan for his Christmas break: watch the Harry Potters.

    • November 25, 2015 at 4:33 am

      The good news is that there’s plenty other entertaining stuff out there! He’ll not be deprived if he misses out on that.

      I’ve been thinking of picking up my favorite childhood series , The Dark is Rising, for D. That might be better for a year or two down the road, though!

  7. November 25, 2015 at 7:45 am

    That was me, Deb, all through the later books. We listened to them on CD on long car rides – Jim Dale did all the voices and is a genuine genius – and I told my girls, “Snape is a good guy – you just wait!” I reveled in my vindication at the same time I cried when he died.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • December 3, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Yes! I’d somehow forgotten his dying, wrapping everything up–in my mind–so that he celebrated with Harry after all was said and done. Being reminded that was a fiction within a fiction made me sad, but also grateful Harry saw at all. Aaaaah. Getting a little misty-eyed just thinking about it all.

      I hope your Thanksgiving was happy!

  8. November 25, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Wow it sounds great! A HP marathon with your kids. I can’t wait to have kids so I can read to them and watch the movie with them too!

  9. November 26, 2015 at 7:01 am

    My sons were all adults when Harry Potter came out, they loved them anyway and gifted me with the series. I grew to love them. Now with grandchildren, we have great fun reading and talking with them about the books and the characters.

  10. November 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    I am a huge Potterhead. The books comfort me — because Harry gets to see the folks he loves from time to time. And nobody seems uncomfortable talking about folks who have died. It’s as if everybody dies and that’s normal!.

    Jacob was 7 when we read the first book. I was glad that, as the books got darker, he had to grow up another year before we could read them!

    So envious that you get to read them with your kids!

  1. January 14, 2016 at 10:08 am
  2. January 14, 2016 at 10:51 am

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