Becoming Harry Potter: Impervious to Imperio #MNBHP
I asked you whether you want me to do that again,” said Voldemort softly. “Answer me! Imperio!”
And Harry felt, for the third time in his life, the sensation that his mind had been wiped of all thought….Ah, it was bliss, not to think, it was as though he were floating, dreaming…just answer no…say no…just answer no….
I will not, said a stronger voice, in the back of his head, I won’t answer….
Just answer no….
I won’t do it, I won’t say it….
Just answer no….
In his first lesson on the Unforgivable Curses, Mad-Eye Moody (Crouch Jr.) tells the class that, “it takes real strength of character, and not everyone’s got it,” to be impervious to the Imperious Curse. Clearly, Harry has very strong character because he was impervious to Voldemort’s Imperious Curse.
So, how do we, those of us who want to be a bit more like this boy wizard we so admire, develop the strength of character to become impervious? I think we can find the answer, or at least part of the answer, in the words of our favorite Headmaster (movie canon):
Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”
It is my belief that one of the marks of strong character is doing what is right despite it not being easy. Harry is defined by this character trait. He goes through the trapdoor in SS/PS to save the Philosopher’s Stone even though it would have been easier to mind his own business. He jumps into the depths of the castle to rescue Ginny Weasley from Slytherin’s monster in CoS though it would have been easier to allow Ron to save her. He saves Peter Pettigrew, his enemy, from death because he knows his parents wouldn’t want their friends to become murderers. And so on. Just about every time (except in the cases of school work and sneaking off to Hogsmeade) Harry chooses to do what is right over what is easy. Not for his benefit. Each time he risks his own death or loss. Rather, he sacrifices his best interest for the sake of others. In short, it is his ability to love even his enemies when it would be easier to show indifference that makes Harry’s character strong enough to resist obeying Voldemort.
The Imperius Curses wielded in our world are less wandwork than things like peer pressure, lies such as the Pureblood myth marketed as truth, believing everything we hear or read as true, etc. But, how do we fight off these Muggle-made Imperius Curses? Chose to do what is right (loving people is a good place to start) instead of what is easy over and over again—as Harry did—and we will develop character strong enough to resist the most powerful Imperius Curses. In the words of Moody-Crouch, “They’ll have trouble controlling you!”
Next Week: Becoming Albus Dumbledore: Judge of Beards