The world of Harry Potter brings magic, but it is still intricately human. When a boy loses his parents at a very young age, and is given to his uncle and aunt to be taken care of, the one thing anyone would expect that he would still have a family, that he’d get the love and attention he couldn’t get from his parents. But it doesn’t happen. Harry is ill treated by the Dursleys, pushed around by his cousin, his magical heritage tried to suppress, lied to and what not. Perhaps the first sense of family that Harry gets is when he meets and befriends the Weasleys. The Weasley family are pure-bloods, boisterous and fun and yet each with their own quirkiness and such. The family itself is quite large, with the parents, sons Bill Weasley, Charlie Weasley, Percy Weasley, twins Fred and George Weasley, Ron Weasley and the only daughter Ginny Weasley. To talk of the impact each had on Harry’s life would be lengthy, so I’m choosing to talk of the two parents only.
Molly Weasley is the matriarch of the family. She’s kind, gentle and a very loving mother. She’s the one who helps Harry to get on to Platform Nine and Three Quarters in the first book. However, she’s not a soft mother by any stretch of the imagination. When crossed, she almost seems like a saber toothed tiger. Indeed, when Ron, Fred and George take the Ford Anglia to rescue Harry, her worry turns into anger as soon as they get back, and she walks across the courtyard scattering chickens. And when Ron steals the Anglia to get himself and Harry to Hogwarts, she sends him a Howler. Her motherly instincts are so strong, and this makes a difference to Harry’s life, I think. My favorite scene with her is when she battles Bellatrix Lestrange in the last book after Ginny is targeted. The movie doesn’t do it justice.
Arthur Weasley is the patriarch of the family. He’s almost the complete opposite to the character of his wife, which makes the couple a perfect fit. He’s as loving and caring of his children as Molly is, but in a more relaxed, fun manner. He loves Muggles, and thinks they are fascinating and collects plugs and eklektic (electric) gadgets. He is also fiercely protective of his children when they are in danger. He wisely says Ginny to not trust anything if she can’t see where it keeps its brain. He worries for Harry when Sirius Black is said to be after Harry’s life, and is somewhat indulgent to the idea of Harry being in the Order of the Phoenix, but not completely. My favorite scene with him is when Kingsley tries to stop him from seeing George before verifying that it’s him. The paternal instinct and anxiety that explodes into his voice is brilliant, and again, something that the movie did not do justice to.
Molly and Arthur bring to Harry’s life what Harry was missing at the Dursleys. They love him, care for him and treat him like their own son. They are prepared to fight on his side, even knowing that that might bring them into danger. They give him shelter, allow the Weasley family mail to be checked before being delivered, accept the various security measures that are given to them even though it’s an inconvenience etc. Molly, whose character is more prominent in the book, sends him gifts every year on his birthday, something the Dursleys would not do. They are as involved in Harry’s life as the Dursleys are away from it. This sense of family, I believe, gives Harry more hope and courage in the battles he faces.
(© 27th April 2016)