Look. I know many of you are upset after the Daily Prophet published that photo of me sitting next to Lord Voldemort at the Quidditch World Cup. I can’t tell you the number of owls I’ve received from angry fans over the past few days telling me to go boil myself in frogspawn, or calling me a kneazle-faced flobberworm. And believe me, I get it. I, of all people, know that Lord Voldemort’s beliefs go against pretty much everything I stand for.

But that said, there’s still absolutely no reason why I, Harry Potter, can’t be friends with Lord Voldemort.

Sure, Voldemort murdered my parents, and yes, he and the Death Eaters have been responsible for the deaths of many of my closest friends, including my godfather Sirius Black, but guess what? I’m friends with a lot of people who have tried to kill me over the years, and just because they want to see me dead doesn’t mean we can’t get along. Remember the mountain troll that tried to club me to death back when I was a first year at Hogwarts? He and I grab brunch at least once a month. Or the Selkies at the bottom of the Great Lake? We all go for a swim together every other Sunday. And Aragog the Acromantula from the Forbidden Forest? I’m Godfather to at least three hundred of his offspring. The fact that someone thinks you shouldn’t exist isn’t a good enough reason to turn your back on a potential friendship. If that were true, would Lucius Malfoy and I be able to gossip over butterbeers every Thursday night in Hogsmeade? I think not.

I admit, Lord Voldemort doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to muggle rights, and some at the Ministry of Magic think he should be tried for crimes against the wizarding community, but at the end of the day, I still respect Lord Voldemort as a wizard, and when I see him, I'm still going to be nice to him. Because witches and wizards should be kind to one another, no matter how many wars they’ve single-handedly started.

When did we, as a wizarding world, become so divided that we can’t hang out with witches and wizards that have opposing views about the merits of wizard blood purity? It seems like ever since Grindelwald’s rise to power decades ago, this partisan divide has grown wider and wider, and it’s only gotten worse with the most recent comeback of the Death Eaters, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to be nasty to one another.

Hogwarts founding fathers Salazar Slytherin and Godric Gryffindor would be rolling in their graves if they could see the way Death Eaters and non-Death Eaters are fighting to the death over things like whether or not we should have dominion over all of muggle-kind. When did we forget that, at the end of the day, we all have much more in common than we do different? Take Lord Voldemort and I for example. We’re both wizards, we can both talk to snakes, and we both find Severus Snape kind of annoying. These are the kinds of things we should be focusing on, not the fact that Lord Voldemort fundamentally disapproves of my existence as a half-blooded wizard.

My point is, whether you’re a Death Eater or a member of Dumbledore’s Army, whether you read the Daily Prophet or the Quibbler, whether you’ve split your soul into seven horcruxes or think splitting your soul into seven pieces is a little too goth for your taste, at the end of the day, we’re all just witches and wizards, and isn’t that what matters?