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Academic Royalty and the Book 6 Plot

Academic Royalty and the Book 6 Plot

by Lady Alchymia

There is a real life ‘Prince’ who was mentioned by name in Book 1 and Book 5, and a few of his Dark Arts special interests were prominently featured in Book 2 and Book 4. Who is he? None other than Paracelsus –– the Prince of the Potions Makers!

PART 1 Academic Royalty

The first part of this editorial examines the clues dropped in canon for identifying a kind of royalty in the Hogwarts world. It looks generically at what the ‘Prince’ might be a prince of in Book 6.

HP Role Models

One of the HP wizarding role models is a real life alchemist, the self-titled ‘Monarch of all the Arts’ (meaning Medicine, Philosophy, Science), Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), better known to history and to HP readers as ‘Paracelsus’.

Paracelsus’’ real life hobbies included potions, possession, basilisks, homunculi (creepy artificial ‘babies’), necromancy, cloning from ‘flesh, blood, and bone’, and the separation of body, soul, and spirit. Among other things, Paracelsus called himself ‘Paracelsus the Great, Prince of Spagyrists’ (potion makers).

Paracelsus

If you Google on Paracelsus you’ll find nobility amongst his darker eccentricities. A Swiss physician and alchemist, he was undoubtedly very clever, but he also had an enormous ego and an explosive temper, which led him to being repeatedly exiled, and he wandered all over Europe, seeking out knowledge in decidedly low places.

Paracelsus has had two direct mentions in HP, first as a Frog Card on the train in Book 1 (in the same passage that Harry reads about Nicolas Flamel), then more recently in OotP, at the start of Harry’’s darkest year yet. And since Peeves is fond of dropping a bust of him on students’’ heads as they pass by, I figure Jo just might be trying to get us to notice him too! Here’s the reference in OotP:

““I would not go that way if I were you,”” said Nearly Headless Nick, drifting disconcertingly through a wall just ahead of Harry as he walked down the passage. “”Peeves is planning an amusing joke on the next person to pass the bust of Paracelsus halfway down the corridor.””““Does it involve Paracelsus falling on top of the person’s head?”” asked Harry.

“”Funnily enough, it does,”” said Nearly Headless Nick in a bored voice. “”Subtlety has never been Peeves’ strong point. I’m off to try and find the Bloody Baron … he might be able to put a stop to it … see you, Harry.””

““Yeah, bye,”” said Harry and instead of turning right, he turned left, taking a longer but safer route up to the Owlery. 
(Ch14, ‘Percy and Padfoot’, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

The message is clear. Don’’t go that way, Harry! In your search for knowledge and wisdom (symbolised by the owls) choose the slower, safer path of humility, diligence and patience. And as Dumbledore would say, choose what is right over what is easy.

Did I mention huge ego? Paracelsus wasn’’t shy about declaring how scathingly brilliant he was. He declared himself Paracelsus the Great, Prince of Philosophy, Medicine, Spagyrists (potion makers).

Paracelsus wasn’’t his original name, it was a name he fashioned for himself to sound impressive. He had no respect for ancient wisdom (or anyone who disagreed with him really) and one day he decided that people should call him ‘Paracelsus’, which means ‘Superior to Celsius’. Celsius was a famous and well-respected ancient Roman physician, so it was kind of like forcing people to call you ‘Super-Einstein’ (or Lord Voldemort!).

All Jo Rowling gives us as a frog card clue is that Paracelsus is secretive, so here are some words from Paracelsus as he introduces himself to the readers of his book, THE BOOK CONCERNING THE TINCTURE OF THE PHILOSOPHERS (the Philosopher’s Stone), (which can be read in full here). I have added notes in square brackets:

PARACELSUSPhilosopher of the Monarchia, Prince of Spagyrists [Potions], Chief Astronomer, Surpassing Physician, and Trismegistus of Mechanical Arcana [artificial life].

From the middle of this age the Monarchy of all the Arts [ie, world leadership of Alchemy, Philosophy and Science etc] has been at length derived and conferred on me, Theophrastus Paracelsus, Prince of Philosophy and of Medicine. For this purpose I have been chosen by God to extinguish and blot out all the phantasies of elaborate and false works, of delusive and presumptuous words, be they the words of Aristotle, Galen, Avicenna, Mesva, or the dogmas of any among their followers.

I have a treasure hidden in a certain city called Weinden, belonging to Forum Julii, at an inn, – a treasure which neither you, [Pope] Leo of Rome, nor you, [Emperor] Charles the German, could purchase with all your substance [gold]. Although the signed star has been applied to the arcanum of your names, it is known to none but the sons of the divine Spagyric Art [potion making]. So then, you wormy and lousy Sophist[ie, my critics], since you deem the monarch of arcana [ie, me, Lord of all secret mysteries!] a mere ignorant, fatuous, and prodigal quack …

Paracelsus goes on at length to say how grateful everyone will be to hear what he has to say – how his way is by far the best, how he will never be proven wrong, yada yada yada … Paracelsus wasn’’t shy about declaring that everyone else was rubbish, and that he was by far superior! Serious delusions of grandeur …– chosen by God to blot out other people’’s work!

Hmmm, gosh there are a lot of mentions of Monarchy and Prince LoL.

Academic Royalty – What is a Prince?

In the time of Alchemists like Nicholas Flamel (born 1330) and Paracelsus (born 1493), the word ‘prince’ simply meant dominion, whether it be academic, social, or economic. All secular rulers (both male and female), and clergy too, could refer to themselves as princes when corresponding with each other. It was even a diplomatic nicety, especially if you outranked someone and you were trying to be chummy, eg, ‘we princes need to stick together’.

Elizabeth I certainly referred to herself as a prince. In a letter to another ruler she would be quite comfortable writing, “now I want to ask you, as one renaissance prince to another …“. Elizabeth was proud to call herself a maid (a virgin) but she would never have referred to herself as a princess once she was crowned Queen – she was a ruler!

Senior Catholic clergy still call themselves Princes of the Roman Catholic Church (the Pope is the Prince of Rome). Then you have the title of prince used to acknowledge someone being a world expert (ie, that they have dominion in some art or science), eg, Prince of the Healing Arts, Prince of Philosophy etc. Or it could be a popular title: Prince of Thieves, Prince of Paupers, Prince of the People, Prince of Darkness, Queen of Hearts etc.

Jo Rowling’’s Half-Blood Prince could be anyone of course, a student, a teacher, a politician, an elf, a centaur, anyone at all. It could even be an ordinary royal prince! It’’s just worth noting that in a Wizarding World, with titles like Supreme Mugwump and Chief Warlock, the title of Prince need not be limited to modern Muggle notions of royalty or gender.

But what function could a Prince have in a HP adventure? A prince isn’’t a Stone to be protected, or a damsel to be saved, or a prisoner to be freed, or a cup to be won … what then is the Quest for Year 6?

The Seven Quests for Virtue

Each of the seven books uses a convenient plot device to highlight the development of one of the seven classical Christian virtues in young Harry Potter.

Book 1 – Largesse (Harry denies greed by not wanting the Philosopher’’s Stone for himself)

Book 2 – Chastity/Chivalry (Harry defeats Voldemort’’s lust for Ginny’’s soul through loyalty to the Weasley family and to Dumbledore)

Book 3 – Kindness/Mercy (Harry experiences the full impact of his parents’’ deaths and yet finds it within himself to spare their betrayer, Peter Pettigrew)

Book 4 – Abstinence (After a year of struggling to be a worthy and competitive champion, Harry denies the heady temptation of taking the TriWizard Championship glory for himself alone)

Book 5 – Humility (Harry realises the errors of his misplaced pride, such as insisting that he was right and Hermione was wrong about Voldemort’’s vision being a trap)

Book 6 – Diligence (Harry will knuckle down and learn as much as he can, thus defeating sloth and melancholy)

Book 7 – Patience (Harry will come of age and struggle against his wrathful desire to immediately go after Voldemort –– instead he will end up choosing to listen to people and think before he acts)

Book 6 – The Quest for Academic Excellence through Diligence

Paracelsus is a real life academic ‘prince’, so I think we need to at least consider that academic ‘royalty’ is one of the options for a story set in an Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Paracelsus’’ titles include Prince of Medicine, Prince of Philosophy, and Prince of Spagyrists.

Who better then, to inspire themes of academic excellence in young Harry than a new teacher who is a world-renowned expert? This then, is the function of the Prince figure – to inspire academic excellence in sixteen-year-old Harry Potter.

Harry has certainly worked hard over the years, but distractions have continually interfered with him really throwing himself into his schoolwork. The desire to perform is there, as we saw when Harry was very anxious that his friends not discover him getting a ‘D’ on his homework. And he knows that he needs to pick up his grades if he wants to become an Auror. Professor Minerva McGonagall is certainly of a mind to see that Harry works on stretching his academic muscles this year!

Of the seven classical virtues, Harry has yet to master Diligence and Patience. I think that Year 6 will focus on Diligence, and that Year 7, the year Harry comes of age and can leave school if he so chooses, will be his year of mastering Patience.

Jo Rowling’’s Options –– The Prince of What?

Okay, so let’s say that the HBP does have an academic flavour –… which subject would it be?

The field of excellence could be in any of the Hogwarts strains of Magic, including DADA, but I’m i’nclined towards the straight link with Paracelsus as the Prince of Spagyrists (Potion Makers).

I think it’s likely that the HBP will be a new Potions Professor, with Snape having finally been granted the DADA position he has coveted for so long (seriously, who else wants it?). Snape will just be beside himself with glee at the prospect of all those illegal curses he can legitimately hurl at the kids now that they are in Year 6 (he may even crack a smile!). And you can just bet that Harry will be picked on as Snape’s favourite guinea pig for particularly vicious hexes.

But why Potions? Ah, well, not only was Paracelsus a self proclaimed ‘Prince of Potions’, there’’s that new Book 6 cover showing a textbook entitled Advanced Potions by Libavius Borage which is a bit of a giveaway LoL. Not to mention that the seven defences of the Philosopher’s Stone foreshadow challenges in future books and the sixth defence is Potions.

‘Libavius Borage’ basically means clarity and courage. Andreas Libavius was a 16th century Alchemist who famously wrote the first western chemistry textbook, which was revolutionary for its clarity about a subject previously shrouded in secrecy and mysticism. Borage is a herb traditionally used to instill courage, and is partnered with the poison Hellebore to clear the fog from a black and melancholy mind. NB, I have an editorial on this elsewhere –– email me if you want the link.

Right, so if we were to get a new ‘Prince of Potions’ in HP&THBP, will he (or she) be a good guy or a bad guy?

Could go either way, really. Just being a world-renowned Potions Master doesn’’t make you either good or evil, but I’’d say we’re well overdue for a little Light Wizardry.

PART 2 – Book 6 Plot

The second part of this editorial is highly speculative, with guesses and analyses of specific plot devices that might be seen in the next book. It’’s presumptuous to think you might see real spoilers below, but if you are worried about such speculation, then this is the place to stop reading.

Identity and Personality Traits of the Prince

An academic prince could certainly be female, but for simplicity’’s sake I’’ll refer to the prince as a he. Perhaps the HBP is in some way related to the mysterious ‘Felix Felicis’ chapter reference on Rowling’’s site? As a name it basically means doubly happy and lucky! Of course, the two words might not be a person’’s name at all – maybe it’s a particularly emphatic Cheering Charm?

Purely for convenience, I’’ll label our new teacher ‘Professor X’. So, if we do have a Professor X as the HBP, I suspect he may appear to be good – very good in fact, but there’’ll be some dark secret (of course there will lol). More on Professor X later.

The first obvious contender for an existing character as the ‘Prince of Potions’ (after the notable Alchemist Albus Dumbledore) is Severus Snape himself. Snape is a person who covets recognition and respect above all else (remember his fury and disappointment in PoA when he was denied the Order of Merlin when Sirius Black escaped?).

Well, one thing that kind of shoots down that theory is that Snape is a pureblood, but even so, the ‘Half-Blood’ in the title of Book 6 might feasibly be related to a person defending the rights of half-bloods (even if not a half-blood himself). Or even a pure-blood who becomes a half-blood by being bitten by a Werewolf or Vampire. Could Snape get bitten by a Vampire, get recognised as a world expert in Potions, and turn out to be our HBP? Could Severus Snape be Harry’s Year 6 challenge in him diligently trying to overcome his dislike for the man and try really hard to do well in Potions?

Anything’’s possible, but what about DADA? Surely the major HBP plot will revolve around something important happening with the new DADA professor? Maybe, maybe not. We know from previous books that Year 6 will bring three particular school related opportunities for Harry:

  1. In DADA, Year 6 students start learning illegal curses.
  2. In Transfiguration, Year 6 students start learning about human transfiguration.
  3. Year 6 and 7 students have access to the Restricted Section of the Library.

There seems to be ample opportunity for things to be heating up in several subjects at once in Year 6. But if there is to be such a heavy Year 6 emphasis on Potions that the adult book cover actually depicts a potions textbook, then surely DADA will be taking a somewhat secondary focus.

I do think that DADA will be important for some juicy confrontations during Year 6, but that the significant plot and new character focus relating to the ‘Prince’ will be Potions related, which means that Snape needs to shift aside. (Well, that’’s the theory anyway lol) And, if Snape shifts aside, then it may not be necessary for Harry to get an Outstanding to get into NEWT level Potions.

Dumbledore as a Half-Blood Prince

Might Albus Dumbledore step into the Potions teaching vacancy?

I actually rather like the idea of Dumbledore being a HBP, it works on all sorts of levels relating to the sixth stage in the creation of lapis and the Alchemical quest for enlightenment. The Sixth Stage is the Albedo, The Whitening, and, thematically, I expect Albus (the white in Latin) to be hugely significant in Harry’’s life in Year 6, just as Sirius Black was in the Fifth Stage, The Blackening (Nigredo), and how Rubeus Hagrid will be big in the Seventh Stage, The Reddening (Rubedo).

Poor old Nicolas Flamel is now dead, so could the new Potions Professor be his academic heir? Of course, the title of ‘Prince of the Potion Makers’ might fall to his partner, Albus Dumbledore, but although I think Dumbledore will have a much heavier presence in Book 6, does he really need another title for his Chocolate Frog Card?

Actually, yes, but then again, why not dabble with some other theories?

For me, Albus Dumbledore is the hidden HBP in Book 6. More some other day on his alchemical correlations in the philosophical process, ‘Death of the King –– Birth of the Prince’. For Book 6, I think someone else will come into the picture to create wider political challenges and opportunities for young Harry. I think that the nominal HBP will be a new Prince of Potions –– if for no better reason than to make it straightforward for readers to comprehend.

A New Potions Professor

Which brings us to a new Hogwarts Potions Professor for Year 6. So, what dark secret might the new Professor have?

Well, firstly, he will presumably be a half-blood. But how will that be important? There are plenty of half-bloods floating around. What role could a world-renowned and respected half-blood play in the HP septology?

Ah, well we have only to look back to our last half-blood teacher, Remus Lupin.

‘Remus’ –– The First of the Half-Blood Princes

Remus Lupin’’s role (among other things) was to be a very good teacher who was discriminated against because he was a ‘half-breed’, as Umbridge would say. Umbridge (wretched woman) created legislation to stop Lupin from being able to earn a living. A grave political injustice certainly. And something that the political themes in the septology will most likely see resolved as part of the unification of the Wizarding race with other Magical Creatures on a more equal footing by the end of the series.

Now ‘Remus’ is the name of one of a famous set of twins – the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Nothing new there, certainly. Rowling has ruled out a Remus being a biological twin, but I suspect that in the HBP we may see Remus’ literary or mythic twin.

Romulus and Remus were princes of royal blood through their mother, whose father was the King of Alba Longa. And although the twins were equal to start with, Romulus definitely got the better luck of the two brothers. Romulus went on to become the first King of Rome and score all the riches and glory … whilst Remus, well, let’s just say that fate was not so kind to him.

‘Romulus’ – The Second of the Half-Blood Princes

Now, in PoA there were a lot of twinned events involving Vampires and Werewolves. A new Potions Professor could provide a counterpoint to Remus Lupin’’s lycanthropy as revealed in Book 3.

Vampires? Really? Just bear with me for a bit.

Unlike Werewolves, the rights of Vampires are actually protected in the Wizarding World. This, according to Percy Weasley is quite a source of vexation for Rita Skeeter, and we know that Dolores Umbridge does not look kindly on ‘part humans’ either.

If you’’re looking for a political agenda for Year 6, then you need look no further than the disgraced Umbridge working behind the scenes (and with renewed hatred) to depose ‘half-breeds’ from positions of power and influence in the Wizarding World, further fracturing and dividing the Wizarding World.

Rowling’’s mythology for her brand of Vampires is not yet well defined. We do, however, get a slim clue courtesy of Percy Weasley when he complains of Rita Skeeter trying to get the Ministry to chase them down. Percy points out that there are strict guidelines about the treatment of ‘Non-Wizard Part-Humans’, and this sounds a lot like ‘Half-Blood’ to me. And, as a Vampire, the new Professor is also automatically a ‘half-breed’ on a similar footing as the half-blood, Remus Lupin.

Vampires might also possibly be wizards (Remus was a wizard and he got bitten after all). If, however, the Vampire isn’’t a wizard, then he wouldn’’t really be able to teach DADA but he could still teach Potions. Snape made a point of telling his students that there would be no need for silly wand waving in his class.

Severus Snape – The Bridge Between Book 3 and 6

The bridge between Book 3 and Book 6 could be Severus Snape, since he coveted the DADA position in Book 3 and now he finally gets his dream job in Book 6. But as Dumbledore tells Harry, people have a knack for wanting the wrong things, and I suspect that Snape will find that the talented Harry Potter will manage to spoil his fun when he tries to show off and torture his students with all those illegal curses.

Snape’’s bat imagery and the Vampire/Werewolf essays in PoA provide the link for the switch in focus from DADA to Potions between Books 3 and 6. There’’s also just a bit of gorgeous irony in having the Half-Blood Prince be a creature so full of blood. And I’’m sure that Dean Thomas at least would like him!

If it plays out this way, then we still get an ethically challenged DADA Professor (not a huge Snape fan!), but we also get to have Harry potentially learning all sorts of very important details about Advanced Potions from someone who actually is trying to help him (like Lupin did in year 3). Naturally, as good as he is at his job, poor old Professor X will still have his own poignant demons (including Umbridge) that stop him from being the one to save the day (that’s Harry’ job!).

Princely Werewolves and Vampires

The twins ‘Romulus and Remus’ had a royal lineage, and, in Vampire mythology, Vampires also have royal connections …

Dracula (Vlad the Impaler) was, in real life, a 15th century Prince of Wallachia (a Romanian principality). Interestingly, his father, Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon (an Order created by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund to protect the Hungarian royal family).

So … coming back to the twin angle, a basic plot could be:

Book 3: DADA Professor = Nice, intelligent guy with a dark secret (Werewolf) who is persecuted politically, and is loyal to Dumbledore and goes on to rejoin the revived Order of the Phoenix.

Book 6: Potions Professor = Nice, intelligent guy with a dark secret (Vampire) who is protected politically. Dumbledore presumably trusts him – he wouldn’’t intentionally hire a known Voldemort supporter. And perhaps Professor X even goes on to become a member of the Order of the Phoenix as well, thus bringing Vampires in as allies for the good guys.

Common enemy: Dolores Umbridge.

All well and good, but not much new angst there … Time for the plot to get a little bit more interesting!

The Political Plot of Book 6

Voldemort says that Dementors (soul eaters) are his natural allies, and he’s sending envoys to the Giants, but he’’s never mentioned Vampires. He may wish to solicit their support as well, but they seem a quiet, contented, lollipop sucking lot and Voldemort is (or will be) surrounded by people who passionately hate half-breeds and half-bloods and mudbloods.

Voldemort didn’t really need to suck up to political factions during the First War because his numbers massively outnumbered the good guys. It might turn out that the Dark Lord has a little more difficulty than he expects in getting the Vampires to support him. The Vampire community is already protected by strict guidelines and/or legislation and they may not be willing to risk their necks to support a side whose members openly despise them. Classic case of ‘”What’’s in it for us?”’

So, Voldemort’’s dilemma …– how to coerce the Vampires into joining his Dark Side (or at least force them to stay neutral)?

Well — Voldemort may have certain special contacts amongst the Vampire community (Quirrell certainly met a few in his travels). Voldemort might hatch a plot with one of his contacts to put the Vampire Community’’s protected status at risk so that they’’ll need his protection. Classic Mafia tactics. But why would a rogue Vampire agree to betray his own kind? *cough Wormtail cough*

Could the rogue Vampire be the one that Hagrid had a slight disagreement with in a ‘pub in Minsk’ during the summer before Harry’’s Year 5? Personally, I rather like the idea of there being a good and honourable Vampire who becomes the HBP, and then also having a rogue Vampire who separately does a dastardly deal with the Dark Lord’’s forces.

Fudge and Umbridge –– Desperate and Dangerous

Now, to make it more interesting, Cornelius Fudge and Dolores Umbridge are bound to be loose cannons in the background in HBP. Perhaps Narcissa Malfoy might solicit the support of Fudge through blackmail (since he was probably up to his neck in bribes), and she might attract Umbridge with the lure of overturning legislation that protects Vampires. Of course, overturning that legislation would actually be in Voldemort’’s best interests because then the Vampires will feel more vulnerable and Voldemort would be able to promise protection under his new regime.

The plot thickens…

So, Voldemort might exploit Umbridge and/or Fudge (whether they realise it or not) to put in place an evil plot (does he have any other kind?) to cause normally mild Wizarding Folk to get very passionately upset about Vampires.

Hmmm, so how do you make normally manageable (if scary) dark creatures suddenly beyond the pale?

Unfortunately, the one thing that unifies people more than anything else is fear. And the greatest fear that people have in common is the fear of their children being endangered.

If Dumbledore hires a Vampire to teach at Hogwarts, then parents would get a little worried, but Vampires are protected, and Dumbledore is riding on a high of renewed confidence in light of the revelation that he’d been telling the truth all along about Lord Voldemort’’s return. The parents will be a little nervous, but they’’ll trust Dumbledore – for now.

Back to that evil plot of Lord Voldemort …

Voldemort’’s Evil Plan –– The Specifics

Ever wondered why it was necessary to include a ‘Buckbeak’ plot line in Book 3? Why it was necessary for Draco Malfoy to be nearly killed (according to the Daily Prophet), and that there be hearings and an executioner brought into the HP story? An executioner with a head-chopping axe no less! Wouldn’’t a Killing Curse have been a more humane way to put down an animal? Perhaps, but Vampires probably can’t be killed with a Killing Curse (if they are already technically dead), but head chopping will succeed in killing most things (except a Hydra perhaps lol).

The Buckbeak legal precedent is just to warm us up for the main event, the trial and threatened execution of the Vampire Prince of Potions.

So, how do you turn people against Vampires?

Dead easy, frame the HBP! Kill a child and make it look like a Vampire killing. The Wizarding community will be in an absolute uproar, and ready to throw the Prince of Potions to the Whomping Willow on the spot. Support will be polarised and passionate, it will be a case that nearly rips asunder the very fabric of Wizarding Society (well, maybe lol).

But the valiant Albus Dumbledore stands firm — there is no proof!

Voldemort’’s supporters lobby for the protective legislation to be repealed, and they’’re gaining support! There are hearings, trials, threats of execution. …

Enter Harry and Hermione; the dynamic duo who ‘saved the innocent’ in Book 3. They (and Ron too) will work to defend the innocent again in Book 6 – the much maligned HBP. We might even see a last gasp show of support from Percy Weasley, who, just in the nick of time, makes amends for his woeful conduct in the past by providing a vital legal clue useful for saving the neck of the Vampire defendant.

So … Which Child Might Die in HP&THBP

If a student is going to be killed in a dark plot, who will it be? Well, at least one student death in HP&THBP is likely to be Katie Bell, and she will die by blood loss. Katie’s death was foreshadowed in OotP with three specific incidents:

  1. Harry jokes that Oliver Wood died in a Puddlemere United training session and Angelina (the new Captain) is channelling him.
  2. Katie nearly bleeds to death on the Quidditch pitch during a training session;
  3. Katie is marked (for death) by Peeves when he blackened her with ink twice in the Dumbledore’’s Army chapter of OotP –– something that Angelina Johnson ‘narrowly dodged’.

From these three clues we have a Quidditch Captain dying in a training session, and that it won’’t be Angelina (because she dodges the ink) –… ergo, I’’m thinking Katie. She may be named Quidditch Captain at the start of Book 6, then be killed on the Quidditch Pitch, possibly after a late training session, and then her spirit may be felt by the next Captain (whoever that might be) either emotionally or literally (in some ghost/astral experience).

Katie’’s death by blood loss (if indeed she dies) may or may not have anything to do with the new Vampire Professor, in fact he may be perfectly innocent but of course everyone will suspect him anyway (as part of a plot to frame him perhaps). Umbridge and/or Voldemort might have even arranged for it to look like a Vampire killed Katie in order to drive a wedge of hatred between normal Wizarding Folk and the Vampires.

Umbridge’’s agenda would be to force the legislation protecting Vampires to be repealed because she just passionately and obsessively hates half-breeds. Voldemort’’s agenda, on the other hand, would be to tilt the otherwise impartial Vampires firmly into the Dark Side camp.

The Half-Blood Prince –– Good guy / Bad guy?

Still could go either way. The HBP could be an innocent victim, or he might be a traitor (a la Barty Crouch jnr). Either way, Harry and his friends will most likely manage to foil Voldemort’’s plan.

The trio will manage to prove that the HBP was framed, and so the Vampires will retain/recover their hard earned protective legislation – and all thanks to Harry Potter, not Lord Voldemort. Perhaps Harry’’s vigorous defence of the HBP might earn him the gratitude and respect of the Vampires (thus foiling both Umbridge and Voldemort). In the future, the Vampires may even side with the good guys due to that valiant young Potter boy who believed so strongly in the innocence of one of their kind.

Now we don’t know much about Vampires in the HP world, but if some are good and some are bad, then maybe such a kindness shown by Harry to the HBP might pay off big time in actually convincing the Vampire community to actively side with the good guys against Voldemort in Book 7?

Then again, a twist could be that the HBP (or a hidden rogue Vampire) did actually kill the child, and the trio falls victim to a double-blind and then the Vampire(s) unleash a fatal blow and manage to kill the very trusting Albus Dumbledore.

I’’d hate to see Dumbledore die, and I don’’t think it’s necessary, but if he does, then he is likely to die either in an act of self-sacrifice, or, poignantly, by someone he thought he could trust –– and capping it off by forgiving his Judas in an act of Christian piety even as he drowns (call it a bit of whimsy, but I think the Second Task in GoF foreshadows the method of Dumbledore’s death).

Then Minerva McGonagall becomes Headmistress (Athena/Minerva in Alchemy is the ‘Queen of the Alchemical Castle’) and Snape might become Deputy Head, thus creating a lion/snake leadership pair going into Year 7.

Personally I prefer a HBP who is a completely good guy, but, sadly, the evil angle could be a tad juicier plot-wise. So, by the end of Book 6 we might have a twisted case of mistaken identity that mirrors rather than twins what happened in Book 3.

Book 3: Nice Werewolf who is loyal to Dumbledore.
Book 6: Evil Vampire who betrays and kills Dumbledore.

Recap – Canon clues to keep in mind …

  1. Paracelsus, a historical ‘Prince of Potion Makers’, is a clue provided by Rowling as to the nature of the ‘prince’ in the title of HP Book 6.
  2. The Sixth Task in the Quest for the Stone in Book 1 is related to Potions.
  3. The HP&THBP adult book cover depicts a potions textbook.
  4. Book 3 has many references twinning Vampires and Werewolves.
  5. Umbridge forced through legislation to discriminate against Werewolves. She hates all half-breeds with a passion.
  6. According to Percy Weasley, Vampires are classified under: Guidelines for the Treatment of Non-Wizard Part-Humans, thus making them ‘Half-Bloods’ of a kind.

More Vamp Personality Options

Maybe he’’s only a half-Vampire?

Now, depending on your definition of half-blood, it could include creatures that are half-human half-Vampire in some way (like Fleur is one quarter Veela). A Professor ‘Felix Felicis’ might be ironically named – he might actually be very unlucky to be caught in a no-mans land between humans and Vampires where nobody wants him. So he struggles to become the best Potions Master he can be and always tries to look on the bright side of life (okay, now I’’ve got that song stuck in my head!). And even though he earns the illustrious title of Prince of Spagyrists, he’s still not welcome at dinner parties. I can just picture him as a little eleven-year-old sitting under the shade of the Quidditch grandstands, all alone and sucking on his blood lollipops. Have to say I’’m growing fond of him already!

Or then again, maybe he’’s just a totally evil rotter?

Maybe the new Potions Professor is a thoroughly openly evil git – Umbridge with a cauldron! So we might have a snobby academic who is proud to be a Vampire (though starting to get really sick of lettuce LoL). I’’m not so keen on that idea –– mainly because it retreads ground unnecessarily, and doesn’’t necessarily inspire Harry towards Academic Diligence in Book 6 (he already had Umbridge and Snape to tell him how worthless he was).

That Shred of Lettuce …

By the way, I was only half joking with the lettuce thing. I think that the connection between lettuce and Vampires (via Gilderoy Lockhart’’s tall tale of reducing a Vampire to only being able to each lettuce) just has to come up again, and if nothing else it links at least one Vampire out there in the Magical World with harmless lettuce munching Flobberworms. And how do you kill a Flobberworm? Overfeed it lettuce. If I’’m not being obvious enough, what I’’m getting at is that Rowling is trying to get us to see that there are circumstances where a Vampire could be a mild and harmless enough creature. Perhaps living off blood-replenishing potion and/or lettuce?

What about Remus Lupin?

Ah, well, sadly (because I’’m rather fond of Remus Lupin), the historical Remus was slain in a power struggle for the new Kingdom of Rome. Opinion is divided as to whether Romulus killed Remus personally, or whether his death was at the hands of an angry mob (possibly even against the wishes of Romulus), but die Remus did, and Romulus reigned alone as the first King of Rome.

So …– will Remus Lupin die during or after a HP year that features the appearance of his literary twin? I really really hope not.

On the bright side though, Remus and Romulus worked happily enough side by side for a good while before Remus died, so our Lupin might still get to stick around until the end of Book 7.

But where does Rowling’’s hint about a clue in the Chamber of Secrets fit into the HP&THBP plot?

So far in this editorial I’’ve talked about clues dropped in Books 1, 3, and 5. Where does Book 2 come in? Or Book 4 for that matter?

Ah, well, you see the special clues in CoS aren’’t necessarily related to the Prince adventure plotline. Each of the individual HP books has a specific quest, then, overarching these individual ripping yarns are threads relating to the septology as a whole, with each of the books providing one or more major septology clues about the nature of the relationship between The One and The Dark Lord.

The big thing we learn in CoS (well one of the big things that doesn’t seem to have attracted much notice anyway) is part of the reason why Voldemort did not die in Godric’’s Hollow.

Knowing the answer to this question doesn’’t really give anything away for the Prince plotline, but it is rather interesting in terms of the equivalency of young Riddle and young Potter. More on this another day …

A Final Word

A lot of the things in this editorial are so specific that it’’s extremely unlikely that the predictions will actually come true. Having said that though, I think that the major themes may prove on the money, even if the specifics turn out to be seriously out-there plot bunnies.

I think that the major quest for the year will be academic growth for our boy, and that politics and backstabbing will feature heavily in the plot.

Okay time to start spreading that salt around LoL.

You may contact this author at Lady_Alchymia at Bigpond dot com

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