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The Teens' Speech


On Christmas Day this year, teenage Britain delivered its own message to the nation. Find out more

Will the real Harry Potter please stand up

The story of Harry Potter is actually the story of countless numbers of young children who struggle to make something of their lives in the face of overwhelming odds.

For the first ten years of his life, Harry Potter, an orphaned boy, suffered domestic abuse at the hands of an uncaring adoptive family. He is nothing. In fact, most of the time, he is locked under the stairs.

His latent magical abilities are a metaphor for the potential all children possess - regardless of their upbringing. The potential to be something more. His magic is his voice (X-Factor), his boxing skills (Rocky), his specialness.

In spite of his difficult upbringing, he's taken to a place - Hogwarts School - where his potential is given the opportunity to develop and flourish. Hogwart's is effectively an outreach centre where other abused and alienated children have the chance to develop into something - regardless of their upbringing or privilege.

Now, as the Harry Potter film franchise draws to a close, the co-stars are beginning to consider their own futures and wonder whether they'll fulfill their potential - and how.

For some, the future is something to embrace without reservation, for others, excitement about what's next is tempered by the ennui of leaving something behind. But, the desire to meet the challenges of the future remains irresistible.

Bonnie Wright, 18, played Ginny Weasley since the first film in 2001and has just begun a degree course in film and TV in London.

"Although it has been massive," she says, "personally I think a greater project is out there. That's what makes me keep working, knowing that there's this project out there that I'm yet to do."

The age of consent

Meet Rosalie. She's a sixteen year old actress and is featured in the latest Barnardo's advertising campaign. She's also got involved in The Teens' Speech. If you are aged between 13-19 and have something to say about relationships then visit our our YouTube channel or MySpace page and tell us what's on your mind.