Harry Potter

My friend is going back over the series now and had some thoughts about Snape and some other items we discussed. Snape’s apparent animosity to Harry can be explained by Dumbly-dore telling him to intentionally distance himself from Harry so as to give the “dark side” no reason to further suspect Snape. Later explanations to children notwithstanding the sickness of the wizard society, and its members, can be explained as stagnancy resulting from a society of long-lived members only recently removed (150 years?) from Wizard Council rule. environmental pressures (muggles) are causing the wizarding world to diminish. how many giants are left in Britain, did you say? the reason dark wizards are often returned to society with no or light punishment is that, if light totally triumphed over ”dark”, the way voldemort envisioned his triumph, the world would be as surely destroyed. Some balance must be maintained and neither side must ever gain an overwhelming advantage over the other. Perhaps only a few wizards are aware of this fact. The reason life isn”t as cherished in the wizarding world is that death isn”t always death, permanent injury isn”t often permanent and it has always been thus. It doesn”t help that the fertile imaginations of children, combined with training, often allows for more powerful incantations. In history, children often make the best warriors (in the muggle world, as well) mumbling diminishment, also, a driving reason for the move towards accepting muggle-born wizards and anyone (at Hogwarts) that can do magic. As well as the Monsters are People too, movement. Harry was left at the dursleys, not only for his protection, or to be raised away from his celebrity status, but because he would not raised with the same prejudices as wizard-born. Even Ron had those prejudices. continues mumbling

This is not a narrowly limited speculation, nor a grand theory, but rather a place where I want to record ahead of the release of THE BOOK some notions that I have about it. One of my biggest reasons for doing this owes to my remorse at not doing so before book 6. Before book 6 – I predicted that Snape would be the DADA teacher (yay, one right!) that he would be killed by the end of book 6 (wrong) that Dumbledore would teach DADA in book 7 and would be killed (can I get a partially correct?). Two out three isn’t bad but you still wouldn’t catch me pressing my luck by playing texas holdem online. Besides, I had no notion whatsoever about Horcruxes and missed numerous other details. This was when I was merely obsessed. After the release (and multiple readings of) book 6, I moved into the more intense fanatically obsessed phase.

So here let me commend for your consideration several notions that I have turned over in my mind enough to believe they are beyond the realm of possibilities, they are my forecasts (but not yet rising to the level of religious convictions). Where I’m right, I’ll be happy to say so. Where I’m wrong, I’ll be equally happy to admit it. I reserve the right to claim I’m correct until publication. =)

On Dumbledore teaching DADA – believe it or not, I still hold to the notion that Dumbledore will be Harry’s teacher. If you’ve read my other post here, predicting that Harry will be the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, you will wonder how I can square these two statements, especially since I accept the premise that Dumbledore is indeed dead. Well, here goes. First, let’s go back to the beginning (you thought I’d let the cat right out of the bag didn’t you, sorry, I want to relish this). The things I’ve read about JKR lead me to believe the entire epic is a classically constructed story – and she has hinted much about her own use of well used themes to organize her work. If that is the case, then we should expect to find some of the most important bits right up front, and more throughout book 1.

At this moment, I focus on something Professor Dumbledore said to Professor McGonnegal as he prepares to deliver Harry to the Dursleys – “I would trust Hagrid with my life.” I pin this prediction on that statement because by the time I had reread book 6 and then returned to book one, it struck me that this could mean one of two things – that Hagrid was in possession of Dumbledore’s Horcrux, or was in possession of Dumbledore’s history, his magical life story. It would be easy to dismiss the first of these possibilities out of hand, since Dumbledore is too “noble” to do certain magic. On the other hand, much is made among PC (Potter Cogniscenti, hehehe) of Dumbledore’s defeat of the Dark Wizard Grindenwald. Many PC believe the story of this battle will be revelaed in book 7, a reasonable supposition. It might also be reasonable to believe that a powerful dark wizard was attempting to make his own horcrux, and that with all the preparations made, that after an epic battle retulting in the death of this dark wizard (I go so far as to suppose that he was the Dark Lord previous to Voldemort) that Dumbledore might have taken the opportunity to make a horcrux of his own. This would make his statements about the “mutilating the soul” all the more poignant and might explain why he, himself could not defeat Voldemort. Continuing on this train of thought, it is imaginable to me that Hagrid, loyal to Dumbeldore, was with him when he defeated Grndenwald and is himself the horcrux. How interesting would that be considering his statement about how unwise it would be to make a horcrux of a living thing. However, after constructing and imagining these notions, I reject them, trusting that, as JKR says, Dumbledore is not going to pull a Gandalf, that he is indeed too noble to perform dark magic, and believing that Harry must take out the Dark Lord on his own.

If that is NOT the sense in which Dumbledore has entrusted his life to Hagrid then in what other sense could he mean it – and in a way that is important to us readers. What if he has entrusted to Hagrid his life story? Not only does this seem reasonable, but we have been repeatedly shown a mechanism which makes this possibility seem not only likely, but a contination of a pattern we’ve already seen – the pensieve. If Hagrid was Dumbledore’s companion in the defeat of Grndenwald, then his memories could show Harry how he prepared to overcome a dark lord. All this entrusted in Hagrid’s head. Other possibilities are also suggested – the memories of some of his DADA students stored in Hagrids vault at Gringotts, Dumbeldores own memories entrusted to Hagrid. How specifically it is set up, I’m not sure, but I think this is the likely method by which Harry will receive instruction from Dumbledore on DADA (see my predictions before book 6 above – hmmm maybe I’m just trying to save face on an earlier prediction?). Possessing this learning, this knowledge, I now conect back to Harry as the DADA instructor. What he learns from Dumbledore, he will teach the other students. As an aside, I think it a reasonable possibility that we will see “special, available only to Hogwarts Professors” magic come into play – Harry will gain access to elements of the “bastion of ancient magic.” As for Harry’s statement that he isn’t coming back to Hogwarts – I say Hogwash (hahaha, I had to say that). JKR will give him an out (I imagine many possibilities) and as with the other 7 books, the lions share of the action will happen at Hogwarts, with other bits at the Weasleys, the Dursleys, the Ministry of Magic, St Mungos, Grimauld Place and elsewhere. I could go on and on, as a matter of fact, I already have gone on and on, I’ve said the important bit, let’s move on to the next thing.

Myrtle. Moaning Myrtle. Poor pathetic Myrtle. Notice how she has glasses (in the movies very similar to Harry’s), and dark hair. I think she is going to turn out to be related to Harry on his mother’s sided. Where does this come from, you ask? Attend to the names of his aunt and mother – Lily and Petunia – flowers. As is Myrtle. His great aunt or great great aunt I suspect – which will let us make sense out of the lack of surprose when Lily’s and Petunia’s parents are delighted – “we have a witch in the family.” Will she prove useful to Harry – wanting revenge for the one responsible for her death – not very I’m inclined to think, but neither will she be entirely trivial – more or less in keeping with her roles in books 2 and 4.

What else has the Horcrux Citizen got for you?? Ron – the seer(!?). Ron (and Professor Trelawney) have a knack of making accurate predicitons of the future. Ron’s vision in the mirror of Erised will combine with Dumbledore’s statement about the mirror as a roadmap. “The happiest man in the world would see himself exactly as he is.” Thus Ron will be Head Boy, Quidditch Captain, and will win (with his team) the Quidditch Cup. He will be the “happiest man in the world.” Just before his death.

We all (us PCs) regard the deaths of Harry, Ron and Hermione as possibilities, ones we don’t want to happen but which might. I believe JK mapped this for us in book 1 – making Ron Harry’s best friend, showing us the mirror, and most importantly prefiguring the final confrontation with the Dark Lord in the climactic finale of the first book. Recall the tasks (when I count them will I find 7 – hmm, how did I predict that?) 1) An Enchanted Creature; 2) A magical plant; 3) Charmed objects; 4) the Transfigured Chess Game; 5) the Dark Arts used to control the troll; 6) Potions in a logic problem; 7)the actual confrontation with the Dark Lord. Recall that when the Fab 3 win in chess, Ron (the knight – oh so many symbols in Ron as a knight, Hermione as a castle and Harry as a bishop) is “taken” by the opposing queen. If the ever so popular “McGonnegal is a Death Eater” theory is correct (possible but I’m counting on it not being the case – then the “queen” who will kill Ron in the fourth stage of the final confrontation will be McGonnegal – if it isn’t her, then we have had Belatix Lestrange set up for ages as the queen of the dark lord’s forces and it is Lestrange I am counting on to kill Ron. However, she will be defeated just at this stage, and the love and sorrow that wll up in Harry will propel him through the next set of impossible hurdles and to defeating Lord Voldemort. Hermione, in this scenario, will be able to continue with Harry until the 6th task, from which he alone will continue on to face the Dark Lord in the final confrontation.

The shrunken school – as I noted – it seems reasonable to think that many students (and perhaps teachers) will forego returning to Hogwarts. I suggest we will see all of Dumbledore’s Army (the one’s who haven’t graduated) and a certain portion of the Gryffendors, Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws will be back and only a very few Slytherins, and those, mostly the proper proportion of the few first years who brave the newly dangerous environment and are sorted into the Potion Master’s house (yes I think Slughorn will be back, too (he may be my fallback for DADA – that isn’t equivocating is it?).

There are so many other things I could lay down, but the one I want to establish here, before I go on the elaborate in the next post, is the realization of an epic series of what amount to textbooks of neo-pagan (here I use the phrase overly broadly, including both recent and revived spiritual practices) thinking and learning. I divide these, in my own mind, to information conveyed n dates and festivals, colors and elements, the divinatin – especially the tarot/card reading. I will elaborate especially on the (as I preceive it) realtion of certain Tarot cards to the construciton of the series in the next post, let me just call attention o these items. The storyline is centered around dates important in the neo-pagan calendar. They start near Mid Summer and most prominently feature something “a couple of weeks into the term” (autumnal equinox), Halloween (samheim), Christmas (Yule – winter equinox), the cold of mid winter, Eater (Ostara – vernal equinox), and they climax near the Summer Solstice. Even more striking, to me anyway, is the reflection of a theme in neo-pagan discussion – the quesiton of pure blod. Today, the strega, some native/aboriginal peoples and others, reserve teachings and “secrets” to themselves – even to particular bloodlines. What seemed at first to be the recycling of the venerable theme in British literature – contrasting “virtuous commoners” with aristocrats who hold position (and wealth, power, prestigbe) by right of birth and blood – could equally apply to current debate among neo-pagans.

Since this touches on the overall organization of the series, I’ll add a note on my perception of its organizaiton. If I’m extremely lucky, prehaps these thoughts will come to the attention of someone who actually “knows” how JK planned the organization of the series and they can smash my theory to bits or confirm parts of it. They relate to the thought I’ve given to neo-pagan themes mentioned above (I should note that the understanding of the elements, Tarot cards, numerology, color associations, and so on predate the emergence of the term neo-pagan and the movements, such as wicca that are associated with it. Indeed the associations of the four elements, cardinal directions, meanings in cards, and so on are more ancient even than the traditions neo pagans follow). I’m even boning up my photoshop skills so I can make a picture to illustrate what I am about to convey in my very wordy way.

First – elements. In an earlier post I’ve already described elements, houses and color associations. To recap:
element house color tarot suit prime elemental association (tarot suit meaning)
Fire Gryffendor Red/Gold Swords Power
Water Slytherin Green/Silver Cups Love
Earth Hufflepuff Black/Yellow Coins (pentacles) Fortune/Wealth
Air Ravenclaw Blue/brown Wands(clubs/sticks) Wisdom

I hope I already mentioned that the characters are often associated with their own archetypes, the founders of the four houses – and not necessarily with the one into which they are sorted. For instance Lily and more especially Harry are often linked to the color green – their archetype is Slytherin – they are strong in potions (kind of watery – eh?), and Hermione’s strength is Wisdom so very Ravenclaw of her.

The volumes are arranged in a sort of symetry as follows:
Volume:prime element
1: Fire
2: Water
3: Air
4: Earth
5: Air
6: Water
7: (predicted) Fire
Moreover, in books 1 and especially 4, all the elements really come together. I expect this will be the case in book 7 as well.

In addition to the elemental association, I see cards from the major arcana of the tarot associated with the volumes – these would be the ones matching the volume number (cards 1-7) and the ones matching Harry’s age (11-17) and I sense that JKR hazs given us characters to associate with each of these cards. The cards 11-17 seem to be very strongly correlated with the overall theme of each book. Since the elaboration of this theory is the entire oint of the next post, I will, for now, let this sit as it is and just give a brief note on the card and an overly brief description of its meaning:

1: The Magician – Skill, Magic
2: The High Priestess: Wisdom, Learning
3: The Empress: Feminine Progress, Action
4: The Emperor: Accomplishment, Leadership
5: The Hierophant: Mercy, Humility, Kindness
6: The Lovers: Love, Beauty
7: The Chariot: Turmoil, Vengeance, Trouble and Adversity

11: Strength: Strength, Courage
12: The Hanged Man: Life in Suspension
13: Death: Transformation, Unexpected Change
14: Temperance: Moderation, Compromise, Patience
15: The Devil: Ravage, Bondage, Malevolence
16: The Lighning Struck Tower: Sudden, complete change, Calamity
17: The Star: Hope, Bright Prospects

Well, there you have it, the Horcrux Citizen – just for the record.

As an aside, today I was in New York City for a work trip (you will not find it hard to beleive that I am NOT a professional literary critic). However interesting Harry Potter is, and it really is interesting, entertaining, even educational – there is no magic on earth quite like the magic of cities like New York, London, Paris, Tokyo – let’s just stop here and assume I also mean the world’s other great cities. The world’s brightest people, its best thinkers, most skilled managers, greatest artists (let’s stop here and imjagine all the other greats) are drawn to these cities, there to erect great new edifices, to build new companies, to lauch new causes – as if “by magic.” There is no magic in the books to equal the magic of the Rocky Mountains, of Lake Superior, of the Austrian Alps, of Hokkaido’s volcanos. There nature and creative energy fill every niche with things so amazing as to be barely imaginable. I only mention places I know from personal experience. As Dumbldore would say, “it doesn’t do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” So get out there and see the real magic of the world.

As for the elaboration of the abbreviated theories here presented, as Gilderoy Lockhart would say “see my collected works.” =)

The Horcrux Citizen begs to inform that work has been very busy and in spite of running into several interesting tidbits he hasn’t made time to relay the information.

Here is the first of that relaying. Heather on mysapce pointed out this interesting article on Unplottable suggesting McGonnagal might be a DeathEater.

 The theory is long and well written. It suggests that McGonnagal is a sort of anti-Snape. Where he “acts bad but is in fact good” she acts like she is on the right team when she really isn’t.

 I don’t think it is going that way, but resist the impulse to write off any possibility. I put it in the range of 10:1-20:1. It would certainly be up to JKs standards to surprise us that way, after all this time. I think the moment in the books that seals it for me is during the astrology owl in book 5 when she wades into a hail of stunners (some coming from people we know to be Death Eaters) to help Hagrid. It is an interesting read.

Who will be the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor in book 7? It is one of the most popular questions in book 7 speculation, right up there with is Snape good, is Dumbledore really dead, and will Harry ever hook up with Hermione. With regard to the DADA professor, I say:


1) The foreshadowing throughout the series suggests it. Some examples: in book 3, when Harry is in Lupin’s office talking to DD after Lupin has left it goes on about: Harry takes the chair Lupin has just left. In book 6 in the pensieve we hear of voldemort being denied the professorship because he is too young, and we see Dumbledore denying him the job (because he knows what LV has become). For the storyline, nothing will make LV angrier than Harry being singled out as being so gifted that he can fill the job at his young age.

2) He has to come back to school. He has said he won’t come back and something extraordinary will have to happen to get him back. The request that he teach DADA would be extraordinary.

3) He already taught DADA in book 5. Some Hogwarts parents will already have learned this, and others will be told by the ones who know who will give testimonials like: He was the best teacher, he taught Neville how to do a shield charm and Neville made it through the fight at the Ministry. Parents and others will be saying, in this new dangerous environment, our children need to learn from the only one who has proven he can fight against LV. Add to that their desire that he be there to protect Hogwarts in the absense of DD.

4) Because I believe DD anticipated the possibility of his death, I think he will have prepared an instruction for McGonnagal or someone indicating tht it needs to be done. The downside to this part of the theory is – why wouldn’t this have already come out in the end of book 6. If he left a note, we should have already heard about it, but maybe I’ll be right on this one too.

5) My farthest out, crazy speculation is that I think we will see some magic at Hogwarts you have to be a teacher to enter into – something that will have been denied LV, but which Harry will be able to take advantage of, because of this “credential”

6) because the job is cursed (no one can stay more than a year)
and Harry is the one who can break the curse.

OK more than 2 cents, that was probably a nickels worth.

I’ve had my own thoughts about Snape and Lily but I think Duckula on myspace goes farthest in explaining the Snape/Lily connection. I posted this:

We saw, in the pensieve Lily and Snape in their 5th year. Harry hears from Sirius and Lupin that Lily and James didn’t get together till their 7th year, although James already had a crush on her. I bet that the two best potions students – Snape and Lily were friends in their 6th year and Snape fell in love with her, and his abiding hatred of James is due, more than anything else, to his secret love of Lily.

and Duckula went much further (and it is better thought out too) with this:

I TOTALLY think Snape had a crush on Lily secretly, and that Snape considered her a good friend. I think he often confided in her and talked to her, and she had a way of helping his low self-esteem and making him feel better about himself. We know she was very kind and had a way of making somebody see somebody’s inner beauty, even if they didn’t see it themselves. He really admired her and appreciated her. This is what makes “Snape’s Worst Memory” so important- Snape was used to being bullied by James and Sirius, so why would this particular day be his worst memory? But notice that Lily suddenly came into play, and also that Snape had never once mentioned Harry’s mother! It wasn’t so much that Snape was humiliated in front of Lily nearly as much as the single important fact that he blatently insulted and degraded her- his stubborn Slytherin pride, which had just flared up, maybe even against his will. And notice how she reacted, angry, shocked even. Snape knew that he just had lost the best friend he ever had, and he always hated himself for that… and he also blamed it on James, which would explain why he hates Harry so much. When he looks at him, he sees the woman he lost- both in friendship and in death- and James, who he feels forced him to blurt out such a horrible thing to her, thus causing her to turn away from him, AND who married Lily… who stole him away from her like everything else, his ultimate victory over Snape, and thus deprived him of any chance he would have of redeeming himself in her eyes.I think it was when Snape found out that the two were engaged (I think they got engaged while in their 7th year, probably towards the end, so it was MAJOR talk around the school, seeing as how they were both popular), and it was that which ultimately inspired Snape to turn over to the Dark Side. He know he had a shitty home-life, a shitty school-life (save for Lily), and so this was the straw that just broke the camel’s back. With Lily out of his life, he felt had nothing else to live for, nothing to lose… so he joined the Dark Lord mainly to gain a feeling of belonging, a feeling of acceptance, which would become the other second biggest mistake of his life… because it was on his information as well as Peter’s) that caused the Potters to die. He not only blamed Lily’s death on himself, but on James (because, like I said, it was ultimately his anger and hatred for James taking Lily away from him that caused him to turn to Voldemort, which he ultimately took out on Harry. AND FURTHERMORE, I think another HUGE reason he hates Harry so much is because he knew that Lily could have died if it hadn’t of been for Harry. (I think Snape had a direct role, somehow, in the fact that Voldemort was willing to spare her). Snape probably thought “It should have been her who lived, why couldn’t it have been you who died? She could have lived if it hadn’t have been for you!”But why wasn’t Snape’s worst memory the moment he found out that James are Lily were getting married, or more significantly, when he found oit that Lily was dead? Because that fateful day by the lake was how it all started. It was the day when Lily lost every bit of respect she ever had for Snape. If it hadn’t have been for Snape (and James), he and Lily would never have had a falling-out. They might have had a chance together, seriously, and it might have been them who got married, and Voldemort would never have came hunting her.