Potter Portaits #1: Harry Potter (and Hedwig)
Here's little Harry Potter and his magical owl, Hedwig.

I tried to make Hedwig as much as close to my memories of the owls on the Memory game tiles my family had in the 70s. I kind of love him. There's a little Mary Blair influence in there too.

Harry Potter is "The Boy Who Lived!" Kind of a weird nickname to walk around with all the time. What if someone came up to you and said, "hey, you're the boy who lived!" I'd be like, "hey, you're alive too!" Of course, I know they mean that he survived an attack from the evil Lord Voldemort (which, translated from the Latin means "Volvo of Death"), but it's still a weird nickname. I'm sure Harry loves being called something that reminds him of his parents' grisly murder ten times a day.

Like Luke Skywalker, baby Harry was hidden in exactly the first place his enemies might go looking for him: with his only relatives. I understand there were enchantments placed on the joint that kept him safe from magical attack, but couldn't the death eaters have just hired a Muggle thug to shoot him in the face? They're too good for that?

Not only is the Dursley house an obvious hiding spot, it's a terrible place to live. Here's this kid that's survived his parent's brutal death and is seen as an icon of hope an sacrifice by his people and they dump him with the people who will treat him only slightly better than his worst enemies would. These are parents that got kicked out of a Roald Dahl book for being too nasty. His bedroom is a tiny cupboard under the stairs and his possessions are few. I guess that's why when he eventually learns that he's loaded with gold in a goblin bank, he never chooses to share any of his mountains of wealth with the poor Weasley family that spends the majority of their time trying to protect his rich behind.

Also depicted here is Harry's pet snow owl Hedwig. People in the wizarding world use owls to deliver their mail. Oddly, they live among us in secret, but have never caught on to a faster method of delivering information to people far away than strapping a piece of paper to a bird. They can fly and teleport and make items appear out of nowhere, but have nothing approaching e-mail and cell phones. You can't use a wand and a cell phone? Do your magical vibrations interfere with the signal? Not only do cell phones receive calls and messages instantly, you don't have to clean up their poop either. Look into it, wizards.

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2010 Brodie H. Brockie