I've got some comments on Harry Potter coming soon, but I'm a little short on time this morning, so I'll leave you with these thoughts by G.K. Chesterton, to sort of set the stage for commenting on Mr. Potter:
Fairy tales do not give the children the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give a child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.
And similarly, but more concisely:
Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.