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Harry Potter is the thirteen-year-old protagonist and hero. He is famous within the wizard community for having warded off a curse from Voldemort, the most powerful dark wizard. Although this event occurred when Harry was only an infant, Harry managed to reverse the curse and take away Voldemort's power. Hary was left with a small lightening-shaped scar as a remnant of the encounter. Because Harry lived through a curse that no other wizard could survive, he is celebrated internationally. Harry does not remember these events, and because was orphaned by Voldemort's attack, he lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin. These relatives do not tolerate any mention of magic in the house.

Because Harry was famous before he even knew he was a wizard, much of his personality is shaped by his desire to live up to his fame. He steers clear of special treatment, flattery, and praise. He strives to live a normal wizard's life, and to a great extent he does. He has close friendships, enemies, dilemmas, and triumphs just like any other twelve-year-old boy. But Harry is distinct because of his courage and loyalty. Although Harry risks his life to fight the forces endangering Hogwarts, he always succeeds through a mix of skill and help from his friends. Harry comes face to face with Sirius Black because he entered the Whomping Willow in attempt to rescue his best friend Ron. His intentions are noble, and although he is not the most powerful or skilled wizard, Harry finds himself surpassing more experienced wizards simply because he is brave, quick, and resourceful. Harry is not a typical or mythological hero, but he lives up to his fame by bravely entering situations with the inborn faith that someone-either himself or someone he has befriended-will get him through the situation alive.