Hi, I'm doing some research right now in regards to fans imagining of harry potter. you were the first blog i found to suggest the idea that harry could be Indian. Do you have any specific headcanons in regards to this? Or what it means to you to have him be Indian? It's okay if you're not comfortable answering. Thanks.
This is a really great idea! I hope your research goes well.
Well I began to imagine Harry as being half Indian because Harry as a character reminds me of my brother (who like me is half Indian). I always saw him as looking sort of like Dan in terms of skin colour and hair colour.
It was only through Tumblr that I really started to look more deeply into it. A lot of people had Harry as mixed race in their minds and seeing all that art and those ideas allowed me to explore my own thoughts on it.
Reading the books again (I read them at least once a year), I realised how meaningful it was that the Dursleys had never liked or approved of James Potter. They seemed to see Lily as having lowered herself by marrying him. To me, as a child of an Indian father and English mother, I KNOW that reaction very well. Sometimes it’s not said, but it’s implied and it gets to you. People called James lazy and basically hinted that he wasn’t good enough for Lily (Snape and Petunia mostly) which is a sure sign he was brown, because as far as I can see James was a good man who adored his wife and son. A lot of people will unfortunately always go out of their way to try and make brown men look bad. Not to mention that Snape’s superiority complex was so deep that I find it hard to believe that it just came from the fact James was cruel to him at school. I honestly believe it was partly because Snape held racist beliefs (at least when he was younger). He never could take it that Lily had chosen James over him.
The stuff about Harry’s dark, messy hair seemed to fit too, because in our family we all have dark hair that curls. My brother’s hair curls if it grows long enough, and my dad has really thick dark hair as well.
Then there’s how the Dursleys used to try and hide Harry’s appearance from the neighbours, which implied he looked noticeably different to his family. I always got the impression the Durselys and their neighbours were UKIP sort of people. You know, the sort who wouldn’t say they were racist but would be suspicious if they saw a brown person in a shop.
I know the reason the Dursleys don’t tell Harry about James is because of the magic, but I also like to think that part of the reason was that they wanted to bring him up like a ‘nice English boy’ and keep him from his father’s culture. Everything about them screams trying desperately to make Harry ‘normal’ and to them ‘normal’ would probably mean trying to erase his links to his heritage. He might have found power and solace in that, and they wouldn’t have wanted that.
There’s also the fact that before James was murdered, he was making sparks of light fly from his wand to make baby Harry laugh. In 1981 (the year of the murders) Diwali would have fallen on October 27th, which is only 3 days before Halloween, when James was making the sparks. I personally feel this could have been to do with Diwali, since it is the festival of lights.
Last (that I can think of right now) is how Harry’s eyes always stand out to people. They are obviously striking, and I think him being brown skinned and dark haired and having his mother’s green eyes would make that more prominent. My brother has green-ish eyes (inherited from our mother), despite the fact most of our Indian family (me included) all have dark brown. It’s definitely noticeable and something you might comment on.
Thanks for the question by the way! These aren’t all my original headcanons, but I can’t really source them because they’ve come about through reading the ideas of lots of people and forming my own ideas for Harry through them.