“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” Thus begins what many consider to be one of the greatest fantasy fiction series in recent years. And while this is not a sentence we ever thought we'd be writing, the world could do with more people like the Dursleys.
For those who are uncertain as to where this article is going, we refer to the Harry Potter series. And the sentence above is the rather mundane beginning to the magical books. The Dursleys are Harry's non-magical (or Muggle) relatives who are fearful of and disdain all things mystical.
Now, the series penned by Rowling more than 15 years ago may have shaped and influenced many people in many countries around the world, but for some, things might have progressed a little too far. A lengthy post that a Twitter user seems to have sourced from Reddit has recently worried many on the internet.
In it, the author of the post is seeking ideas from the Harry Potter community on Reddit to help perpetrate the belief that their daughter is a witch. As this point we feel compelled to mention that the parents don't think their daughter is a really witch, but rather, they have convinced their child that she's magical.
The falsehood has been supported with elaborate stories and even genealogical claims that connect the characters of the Harry Potter series to their family. According to the parents, she had processed social and current issues such as racism, climate change and even the novel coronavirus outbreak in this manner.
As the post says: "Since our daughter was 5 and my wife and I first started reading her the Harry Potter books we have told her that she is a witch and that the Wizarding World is real. She is almost 8 and as her questions have gotten deeper, we've kept building the illusion with more details about our family genealogy and its connection to book characters, stories about times we used magic (and the life and moral lessons we learned about it)."
Now, if you're wondering whether this is the most healthy way to deal with a child's penchant for magic and their easy belief in the unnatural, well, you're not alone. The idea of a parent "adding magic" in a very literal sense to someone's childhood has unnerved many on social media platforms. Incidentally, the child believes that "she needs to study hard to be accepted to Hogwarts".
The parents however are not too worried. As we mentioned earlier, their post was written with the intention of seeking more "sophisticated and creative ideas" to keep the bizarre deception going. And, apparently, they're not too concerned with how the child might feel about it in the future.
"Before other parents judge or lecture: We know it's gas-lighting and that eventually she'll have be disappointed and have trust issues with us when she learns the truth," the clarify.
"We've asked serious questions of her teachers and they think it's more awesome and creative than damaging. (At the very worst case, my take is that it's analogous to children being raised to believe that traditional religious stories are true and that when the truth hits it will teach her to ask critical questions and not accept everything she hears or reads at face value.)" the post adds.