Becoming Harry Potter: Slytherin’s heir #MNBHP
Harry—Harry—a boy in my class has been saying you’re—”
But Colin was so small he couldn’t fight against the tide of people bearing him toward the Great Hall; they heard him squeak, “See you, Harry!” and he was gone.
“What’s a boy in his class saying about you?” Hermione wondered.
“That I’m Slytherin’s heir, I expect,” said Harry, his stomach dropping another inch or so as he suddenly remembered the way Justin Finch-Fletchley had run away from him at lunchtime.
“People here’ll believe anything,” said Ron in disgust.
Labels. At one point or another we have all either given one to someone or received one. Some labels can be good and encouraging: youngest Seeker in a century, the Chosen-One, the Boy-Who-Lived, etc. Others are not so good and very discouraging: attention seeker, lousy boyfriend, Mudblood, etc.
Dealing with labels is part of becoming more like Harry. Labels like “Slytherin’s heir” made him wonder if he was more Slytherin than Gryffindor. He doubted his identity momentarily, but instead of giving in and becoming more Slytherin, Harry remained true to himself and revealed himself to be a true Gryffindor when he pulled the Sword out of the hat.
That is one bad label that Harry didn’t let make him bad, but what about the good labels like “youngest Seeker in a century?” This encouraged Harry, but in the hands of someone like Draco with less “moral fiber” an encouragement of this caliber could have gone to his head and caused him to strut around—even more than usual. Imagine if Draco was told he was the Chosen-One. He’d look like the victim of an Engorgement Charm.
When facing labels the key is not to let them go to our head—good or bad. Stay true to who you are, who you want to be. If a label gives you encouragement, use that as fuel to do more good but not to strut. If a label hurts, don’t let that pain change you into the kind of person who inflicts pain on others; and definitely don’t let a label cause you to quit being something you want to be. Remain steady. Remain the you, you want to be no matter what others say you are.
What are labels you have faced? Share your answer with us using #MNBHP.
Next Week: Becoming Ron Weasley: Bibliophobe