So it’s Mother’s Day, by now you’re probably drowning your amazing mother in kisses, feeding her the breakfast you cooked or helping her find a vase for the flowers you got her. You know, the essentials. On all days, but especially on Mother’s Day, we shower our moms with much needed love and appreciation. However, unfortunately not everyone has an amazing mom in their life, so Mother’s Day can be tricky for them. Whether it be a crappy mother figure, a substitute maternal figure that’s amazing or an absent mom altogether; it’s a broad spectrum.
So what better way to understand these complex roles than looking at Harry Potter. The ‘boy who lived’ wouldn’t have lived had it not been for some strong women in his corner. So, we’ll be examining his substitute maternal figures (yes that includes Aunt Petunia too). Let’s see the impact these women had on him and the mark (these jokes write themselves) they left on him.
AUNT PETUNIA (No I’m not kidding)
Now don’t choke on your butterbeer, hear me out first. I’m aware this may seem like a risky choice for some; honoring Petunia and not Lily on Mother’s Day? However, I solemnly swear that I’m up to good only (for now); hate her or pity her, Aunt Petunia left a major mark on Harry’s life. Despite her reluctance, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, she stepped up when no one could. Mrs. Dursley took Harry in, put a roof over his head (even though I’ve had closets bigger than Harry’s room) and became his resistant surrogate mother. Was she the best? Definitely not. She had a clear favoritism with her son Dudley, talked badly about Harry’s deceased mother, was cold and often emotionally distant. However, she provided Harry with glimpses of his deceased parents; plus it’s his unjust upbringing that made Harry kinder, more humble, and more tolerant towards others who were different. I’m not saying we should thank Petunia for being mean, but had Harry grown up with his famous parents and their riches, he probably would’ve been more Draco’s or Dudley’s speed.
MRS. MOLLY WEASLEY
This had to be a no brainer! Molly Weasley has shown time and time again why she’s truly the G.O.A.T of maternal figures in the Harry Potter series. Unlike Petunia, who dragged her feet to be a maternal figure to Harry, Mrs. Weasley seamlessly fit into that role. As soon as Harry befriended Ron, he became the eighth Weasley, and I doubt any of them minded. When we first see Molly, we see her helping Harry; in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone she teaches Harry how to get onto platform 9 and 3/4. What makes that instance, and Molly, so special, is that she helped when she didn’t have to; she stepped in when no one wanted to. The Dursleys left Harry to fend for himself at the train station and the death of his parents left a void of parental warmth. Mrs. Weasley showed Harry the warmth Lily couldn’t and Petunia wouldn’t. Harry spent holidays with the Weasleys and he even saved Mr. Weasley’s life. Molly showed Harry what’s a mother’s love feels like; for that we’ll always wear our Weasley jumpers.
Although this post was meant to celebrate Harry’s substitute mother figures, I couldn’t let Mother’s Day pass without a nod to the woman whose love saved Harry. If it wasn’t for Lily’s love and bravery Lord Voldemort would’ve killed Harry that faithful day. So Happy Mother’s Day, to the mom that literally started it all!
Fans of Harry Potter constantly rave about Dumbledore’s wisdom, Harry’s bravery, or Snape’s cunning (as they should). However, let’s not forget the women who had a hand in creating the boy who lived. Aunt Petunia who took him in, Mrs. Weasley who showed unlimited kindness, or his actual Mom who saved his life. My mom brought home the VHS of the first Harry Potter movie, introducing me to the magic of Hogwarts; and for that I’m eternally grateful. So let’s raise our wands (and have a piece of Weasley fudge!) for all the Moms out there! Thanks Mom!