I recently started reading the Harry Potter series to my kids. They’re ten and eleven. They’re home—every hour of every day, for who knows how long, on account of the pandemic. And they’re anxious. I am, too. If ever there was a time to plow through eight fantasy novels and escape into a world of witchcraft and wizardry, it’s now.
We’ve almost reached the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, so we’re past “The Mirror of Erised,” my favorite chapter. This is the section in which Harry, fleeing Snape and Filch, slips into an unused classroom and discovers an enormous mirror—a most unusual mirror. In it, Harry doesn’t see himself reflected; rather, he sees people he eventually recognizes as relatives, the family he never knew—in particular, the parents who left him orphaned: “They just looked at him, smiling.” Harry, understandably, “stared hungrily back at them” and felt “a powerful kind of ache…half joy, half terrible sadness.” [Read more…] about The Mirror of Erised