J.K. Rowling has an odd habit of retroactively inserting diversity into her novels (at least that’s the impression of late). She recently announced that ‘at least one’ Jewish student attended Hogwarts, and everyone seems to have forgotten the vital presence of Azriel Carter in the sixth book of the series. This is not simply a case of making shit up years later to cover for whitewashing, and as proof I’ve attached below an extract from the sixth book: Harry Potter and the Half-Jewish Prince.**
Chapter 14 – ‘Diversify’ isn’t a spell, Harry.
It was a windy Autumn day, and Harry, Ron and Hermione were cuddled by the fire in the Gryffindor common room. Ron had already given up on his essay about the 24th Goblin rebellion, but had written ‘What the hell are they bitching about now?’ in angry letters at the top of his parchment. Hermione had scolded him for his lack of empathy; Harry was staring into the fire and hoping not to get dragged into another domestic.
‘Harry’ said Hermione, and he looked over. ‘Azriel was telling me today about a seminar he’s running tomorrow evening about religious diversity at Hogwarts. I think we should go’.
Hermione was of course referring to Azriel Carter, the Jewish boy from the sixth year dorm who had definitely been at the school since Harry and Ron started. They had shared so many late night laughs with him.
‘Um… are we allowed to go?’ Harry asked.
Harry had always preferred supporting minorities that came with a comforting Caucasian veneer, like werewolves or giants. Hermione’s proposal to join a BAME society seminar on religious inclusivity was daunting even for a Gryffindor. He’d once walked into the women’s prayer room on the 3rd floor by accident and that had been awkward enough – Parvati Patil hadn’t spoken to him for weeks.
‘Azriel’ called Ron, as usual taking the blunt approach and shouting across the common room, ‘can we come to your Jew conference?’
Azriel looked affronted and Hermione was mortified. ‘It’s not really a Jew conference, Ron, it’s a discussion about the varied faiths exhibited at Hogwarts’ replied Azriel, who was sadly familiar with the racial insensitivity of his dorm companions.
‘I’m so sorry Azriel, Ron was just wondering if we could come along and learn a thing or two?’ said Hermione, tiptoeing over the landmines of political incorrectness Ron had long since abandoned in the field.
‘Anyone is welcome, of course’ said Azriel, diplomatically.
The day came and Harry, Ron and Hermione made their way to the designated classroom on the fourth floor. The room was lively and brightly decorated with mini-exhibitions of culture and faith. They collected a programme from the entrance and walked around awkwardly.
Talks and Presentations:
6.15 – Parvati Patil, Islam
6.30 – Padma Patil, Hinduism
6.45 – Azriel Carter, Judaism
7.30 – Romilda Vane, Scientology
7.45 – Luna Lovegood, Hipanthism
The Patil sisters patiently explained how their parent’s forbidden love had led them to flee from India, and they had each taken after a different parent when it came to their faith. Romilda gave a passionate speech on her recent conversion to scientology, though Harry was alarmed at how much of the religion revolved around pictures of his face.
Though Luna’s presentation on Hipanthism appeared to be improvised on the spot and a loosely disguised advertisement for The Quibbler, her musings on nargle homosexuality were undeniably fascinating. It was the only taste of sex education Hogwarts had ever witnessed. If only Professor McGonagall had showed them all ‘wombus desertus’ in class, perhaps Lavender Brown wouldn’t have repeated 5th year.
‘I don’t know Hermione’, said Harry, face in his hands, ‘I can’t help feeling we should go back to the old way of doing things where no one revealed their ethnicity, sexuality or religion until 10 years after graduation. It was a lot simpler’.
‘Well I think it’s very typical of you to say that, as a white man’ Hermione retorted, twirling her braids around her fingers.
‘Alright, you’re white as well Hermione’ said Harry, offended.
‘Do you think so? Huh. We’ll see’ she smirked.
**This is all completely fabricated and the characters, whom I dearly love, belong to J.K. Rowling. Duh.