* Originally posted on 6/7/2012
Bully: A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
Bullying: Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
Prank: A practical joke or mischievous act.
Prankster: A person fond of playing pranks.
A lot of characters are up for debate right now, so I thought I'd do some analsys of my own! Now, this essay does a good job of reminding us that there is a very flawed system at Hogwarts, there is no real protection for anyone at Hogwarts. Overall, Hogwarts is a "every person for themselves" type of place; it doesn't matter if you are a student or a teacher.
That said, I put the official definitions for bullying and pranks above. We have mentioned a lot of characters, but the ones the essay and the replies seem to be focusing on are the Weasleys, so they are the ones I'm going to focus on. In this post I will be looking at Ginny.
Ginny: Silver said that she thought Ginny is a bully. This is interesting to me since, personally, I have never really thought about Ginny as a bully. Silver brought up Ginny's encounters with Smith, and those seem to be the most we see Ginny on the offensive. I'm going to look at the summaries of the incidents that are on the Harry Potter Wikia.
Smith pestered Ginny Weasley for details about what had happened during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, irritating her to the point of using a Bat-Bogey Hex against him.
Among his offending statements was a claim that Ron Weasley's friendship with Harry Potter, the team captain, helped get him onto the Gryffindor Quidditch team. When both Ginny and Ron proved themselves very capable players, Smith began making disparaging remarks about the other new Gryffindor team members instead. Smith was again on the bad end of Ginny's temper; after the match, she dive-bombed the podium where Smith was calling the match, and slammed into him. Ginny made an excuse by saying that she forgot to brake.
In the first situation, Smith is the instigator. He is pestering Ginny, and Pester means to "trouble or annoy (someone) with frequent or persistent requests", so to pester someone, they must have had to tell you to leave them alone and go away. Smith is not weaker than Ginny (they were both in the DA) and she was not doing it to intimidate him - she was doing it because she couldn't get him to go away. Therefore, according to the official definition, this is not a case of bullying. In the second situation, Smith is once again the instigator. Ginny knocks Smith over after he has repeatedly insulted her, her brother, and their friends. Again, this is not a case of bullying if we go by the official definition. Does that mean Ginny was right to lose her temper and escalate things to a physical level? No. But it's not bullying.