Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
How we cite our quotes:
Life at the Burrow was as different as possible from life on Privet Drive. The Dursleys liked everything neat and ordered; the Weasleys' house burst with the strange and unexpected. Harry got a shock the first time he looked in the mirror over the kitchen mantelpiece and it shouted, "Tuck your shirt in, scruffy!" The ghoul in the attic howled and dropped pipes whenever he felt things were getting too quiet, and small explosions from Fed and George's bedroom were considered perfectly normal. What Harry found most unusual about life at Ron's, however, wasn't the talking mirror or the clanking ghoul: It was the fact that everybody there seemed to like him. (4.1)
Harry's uncle and aunt think he's a freak. They've always treated him like an outcast because he can use magic. Now, though, he's found this new, magical home where he feels comfortable for the first time in his life. We have to say, this switch from the Dursleys to the Weasleys gives us hope. Even if you feel isolated or left out of the house where you grew up, you can always find new family to accept your quirks. The message of this chapter seems to be, isolation doesn't have to last, even if it is awful while it is happening.
"You were seen," [Professor Snape] hissed, showing them the headline: FLYING FORD ANGLIA MYSTIFIES MUGGLES. He began to read aloud: "Two Muggles in London, convinced they saw an old car flying over the Post Office tower...at noon in Norfolk, Mrs. Hetty Bayliss, while hanging out her washing...Mr. Angus Fleet, of Peebles, reported to police...Six or seven Muggles in all. I believe your father works in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office?" he said, looking up at Ron and smiling still more nastily. (5.135)
Professor Snape hates Harry's guts, so he is obviously pleased at this chance to threaten Harry with expulsion for almost exposing the wizarding world with his flying car. At the same time, Professor Snape is pointing out a real danger: Wizards are doing their best to keep themselves secret from us. Some Muggles did see Harry and Ron's flying car. So they did break wizarding law. What do you think of the wizarding policy of keeping themselves a secret from Muggles? What do you think would happen if wizards suddenly announced themselves to our world? What would happen to wizards? What might happen to Muggles?
"He did it, he did it!" Filch spat, his pouchy face purpling. "You saw what he wrote on the wall! He found – in my office – he knows I'm a – I'm a —" Filch's face worked horribly. "He knows I'm a Squib!" he finished.
"I never touched Mrs. Norris!" Harry said loudly, uncomfortably aware of everyone looking at him, including all the Lockharts on the walls. "And I don't even know what a Squib is." (9.27-28)
Argus Filch is a pretty warped individual, since he seems to get positive pleasure from punishing Hogwarts students. On the other hand, he seems desperately isolated. His only friend is Mrs. Norris, his cat, and he genuinely appears to feel that he's being persecuted because he is a Squib. We can't imagine what it would be like to be a non-magical person totally aware of the magical world – how awful, to know about magic but not to be able to do it! If you were a Squib, would you choose to keep working around wizards and witches? Would you join the Muggle world?