Guardian Devils


by Linda Fisher After reading countless editorials on MuggleNet, I fully realize the depth to which all six Harry Potter books have been mined. For a long time now I have been marvelling (a bit jealously) at the clever and creative analyses by scores of readers far more perceptive than myself. Imagine my joy when – through a sudden flash of inspiration – I formulated a theory of my very own. Eager to begin my blindingly brilliant editorial, I almost neglected the all-important first step for anyone with a new theory. Screeching to a halt and holding my breath, I googled it. The search results all but screamed at me, “been there, done that.” No matter. I have another theory. I am not googling this one, so my apologies go out to all who have made these observations before me. There has been much speculation about Voldemort’’s Horcruxes – what they are and where they might be hidden. I believe we’re missing an important question: With whom did Voldemort entrust his carefully concealed pieces of soul? I believe the Dark Lord personally hid only one of his Horcruxes –– the ring –– and delegated the protection of those remaining to ... Read More »

The Mystery of the Stupefied Death Eater


by Emma C.  “Somebody Stupefied a Death Eater on top of the tower after Dumbledore died…” HBP, UK hardcover, page 604 This is what Rufus Scrimgeour tells Harry at the end of Book 6 when trying to extract information from him about the events of that terrible night, insinuating that he knows that Harry too was up on that tower. After rereading the sequence of events for that night I noticed that the actual spell Harry used on the Brutal Faced Death Eater was not in fact Stupefy (which renders its target unconscious), but Petrificus Totalus, the full body bind. This spell was used twice on Harry in HBP: first by Malfoy on the train, and second by Dumbledore on the tower. It renders its target fully conscious, but unable to move a muscle. It seemed unusual that the Ministry of Magic employees would be unable to differentiate between the two curses, but what if the Death Eater they found on the tower was not the person that Harry cursed? The behavior of the Brutal Faced Death Eater, I believe, was rather unusual. He would not let any of the other Death Eaters go near Dumbledore, even blasting Greyback out of the way when ... Read More »

Telling Stories


by Tom Morey I am not personally acquainted with anyone who has never told a lie. When asked to write on the subject “My First Lie, and How I Got Out of It”, Mark Twain wrote: If you had asked about my first truth it would have been easier for me and kinder of you, for I remember that fairly well. I remember it as if it were last week. The family think it was week before, but that is flattery and probably has a selfish project back of it…. He goes on to make the point that children begin lying as soon as they realize that crying gets them the same attention whether or not the cause for crying is there or not; lying begins well before we know how to speak. I bring up the subject of lying for several reasons: The words “fiction” and “lie” are synonyms (much like “telling stories” and “lying” are in the vernacular). It can reasonably be assumed – we will call this “Theory 1a” – that the person who is an accomplished creator of fiction has all the skills necessary to be an enormously talented liar. We may also postulate –– let’s ... Read More »

The Keys to His Soul


by Maya Excuse me if I sound like a bad imitation of Arthur Weasley rambling on about the wonders of some perfectly ordinary Muggle device, but I have to say it: Keys are awesome. They’’re so simple, but they help you every day. You feel safe leaving your valuables in your home because you can lock them in while you’’re away and use a key to get them back later. Granted, you may have a home security system — but even then it’’s not as if you leave your door unlocked. Use of a key is still your primary defense. Since you’’re the only one with a key that works in your lock, it’’s reasonable to assume you’re the only one who can get back in the easy way. In the cave, Dumbledore explained that “in case he ever wanted to visit or remove his Horcrux” “Voldemort would have left “obstacles ahead that only he would be able to penetrate”” (HBP, pp. 563-564, U.S. hardback). That got me thinking — what if Voldemort used a key to protect the locket Horcrux? Not a key like your house key, mind you, just something operating under the same principle. If Voldemort was the ... Read More »

Harry Potter and the Red Herring Horcruxes


by Cady McKinnon Today, our journey starts in a compartment aboard the Speculation Express. We will be traversing across the Thickets of Wildest Guesswork, finally arriving in Illumination City. The goal with this journey is to unearth as much information about Voldemort’’s Horcruxes as possible. When carefully traversed, we will undoubtedly discover overlooked clues, lending themselves to the probability there are fewer Horcruxes than we have been lead to believe. A word of warning: We will be climbing across multiple book 6 spoilers on this trek. If you have not read the series up to and including Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I know two things: 1) You’’ve been living under a rock. 2) Since the train is pulling away from the station, you should depart quickly, while you can still jump onto the platform. The Speculation Express: A Review of Horcruxes Ahhh, rolling green meadows and bright blue skies; this part of the country is lovely, isn’t it? Incidentally, the parentheticals throughout this editorial work like Portkeys. They will take you instantly to a reference listing the exact page of the exact book from which the information is derived. By clicking your back button, you’ll instantly return to the ... Read More »

Spinner’s End: The Psyche of Severus


by Lady Lupin Since this column is called Spinner’s End, and I have welcomed “all things Severus” to our discussions, I have decided it is time to take another look at the inscrutable Potions-cum-DADA Master. The comments in the Chamber of Secrets forums that The Snape Question has generated are quite fascinating. Like everyone else, I have tried to work out what is driving this most intriguing of Potterverse characters and what might explain his actions and attitudes throughout the series. Scott Andrew Walker’s recent and excellent editorial, Dumbledore’s Iron-Clad Reason gave me a bit of a shock, as I had already put an enormous amount of work into this article, and I thought for a moment that he had beat me to the punch. However, while our ideas overlap and use much of the same evidence, I have a slightly different theory to posit. What follows is a compilation of many of my own theories and several others that I have heard bandied about, but don’t know exactly where they started. I have tried to weave theories together to see if I could arrive at a lifeline for Severus Snape – a history of events, attitudes and desires that would make the disparate pieces ... Read More »

The Two-Way Mirror #30: Parlor Tricks


by Daniela At the risk of pulling a Mark Evans, or of wasting your time with speculations about a minor character, I am going to share with you a connection I just made while rereading the fifth book. (I have been rereading Harry Potter again. Old habits die hard. I finished my dissertation, defended it, graduated this spring, and I have a job for next year. So I deserve a nice big dessert for the summer.) So speaking of… I think we are all big fans enough to know who Florean Fortescue is, even if we’ve heard of him only twice maybe in the books, but I’ll remind you anyway: he’s the guy who owns the Ice Cream Parlor in Diagon Alley. And we know he disappeared around the same time as Ollivander: “‘Dragged off, by the look of his place.’ ‘Why?’ […] ‘Who knows? He must’ve upset them somehow. He was a good man, Florean.'” (106, HBP) As I was rereading Chapter 27 in OotP, “The Centaur and the Sneak,” my eyes fell on a name, and my breath stopped: “‘Blatant corruption!’ roared the portrait of the corpulent, red-nosed wizard on the wall behind Dumbledore’s desk. ‘The Ministry did not ... Read More »

The Underground Lake #36: Cryptic Characters, Part 4: Checkmate


by Brandon In an all-too-busy world, the editorialist-on-the-go must juggle. But my readers are loyal, and they are patient. No old business obviously; therefore, I submit for you entertainment and consideration: CHECKMATE!! PAWN TO QUEEN’S KNIGHT FOUR I don’t know chess that well, so that section heading should be quite nonsensical. And nonsensical is a trait of our final subject. Those astute Harry Potter fanatics should have been able to deduce quite quickly who this entry concerns. If you are unsure, here’s a hint: His name starts with an “R” and ends with an “on Weasley.” That’s right – I saved the best for last. There have been many things said about Mr. Potter’s best friend and partner in crime. Ron Weasley, if I am correct, will be one of the most crucial factors in the final confrontation. FIRST FORESHADOWING If, like me, you are a fan of foreshadowing, you’ll have recognized the oft cited symbolism at the conclusion of Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone. In it, there is a life-sized chess tournament in which our friend Ron takes the lead and, through daring strategery (not to be confused with “strategy,” which has no place in Harry Potter), propels the young Harry forward to victory by sacrificing ... Read More »

Madam Puddifoot’s: Newer than New


by Theresa After reading Why I Became a Harry/Luna Shipper by Jenna, a whole new ship burst its way into my little Harry Potter world. Admittedly, like most reasonable shippers, I am a subscriber to the conventional — and, yes, highly more likely — H/G ship. Though I do think those two will most likely end up together… a little alternative theory never hurt anyone. For instance, have you ever (outside of the realm of fan fic, that is) given any consideration to a Ginny/Luna ship? Now, before you all jump back from your screens in shock, thinking I have gone off the deep end in hopes of a nice swim with the Giant Squid — let me back up my case. Ginny and Luna connected well right from the start. Ginny not only understands Luna, but is also able to appreciate her eccentricities the way most others simply cannot. Ginny and Luna are both bright, open-minded people who care nothing for mainstream thought. The duo’s trials and tribulations — the DA, the Ministry raid, the breach of Hogwarts, and Dumbledore’s death — have brought them closer together; and, after all, people often form relationships in the wake of tragedy. “We’ve got to get ... Read More »

Is the Fidelius Charm Fool Proof?


by hulagal The Fidelius Charm — such an innocuous little name for a spell that changed the course of Harry Potter’s life. In chapter ten of PoA it is described as thus: …[a]n immensely complex spell involving the magical concealment of a secret inside a single, living soul. The information is hidden inside the chosen person, or Secret-Keeper, and is henceforth impossible to find — unless, of course, the Secret-Keeper chooses to divulge it. Notice my emphasis on the phrase “single, living soul.” Do we know of any instances when a soul is not single — or, in other words, in one piece? Horcruxes, right! By now I think we all know what Horcruxes are and how they are made. What we can infer, though we cannot directly quote, is that a wizard does not have to make a Horcrux when he/she kills. In fact, to even make just one Horcrux is very difficult. What is implied, then, is that when a wizard kills his soul is still split — even if the wizard is incapable of making a Horcrux. We are told by Fudge in PoA that Sirius blasted a street full of Muggles to smithereens. We know now that ... Read More »

Modern Magic, Gift or Curse?


by Robbie Fischer Once upon a time, magic was a gift. Wizards and witches could do things that Muggles could only dream of. So many things were possible to magical folk that their secret had to be protected — otherwise they would have no peace, either from Muggles who wanted them to solve all their problems, or from the conniving malice of the envious and fearful. Now, in my opinion, this is no longer the reason the existence of magic needs to be kept secret. The sad fact is that, in the last century, Muggle technology has overtaken magic in almost every area of life. Things are now possible in Muggle transportation, communication, medicine, warfare, and even cooking and cleaning, that equal or surpass the achievements of magic. But wizards and witches cannot enjoy many of these Muggle improvements. The magical field that surrounds their places of work, play, and family life, interfere with the processes that make Muggle equipment work. Certainly simple, mechanical inventions, like all-manual cameras, have been adapted to wizardly use. But most conveniences of the modern Muggle world are lost on wizards and witches. While the Muggle world has been swiftly changing, the magical world has ... Read More »

Your Mother Needn’t Have Died


by Stephanie Davies aka Harryzhorcrux Why, oh why? “Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!” “Stand aside, you silly girl…stand aside, now…” “Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead–“ Numbing swirling white mist was filling Harry’s brain…What was he doing? Why was he flying? He needed to help her…she was going to die…she was going to be murdered– “Not Harry! Please…have mercy…have mercy…” A shrill voice was laughing, the woman was screaming, and Harry knew no more. -POA, pg. 134   “Not Harry! Not Harry! Please — I’’ll do anything–“ “Stand aside — stand aside, girl–“ -pg. 177   ES: This is one of my burning questions since the third book — why did Voldemort offer Lily so many chances to live? Would he actually have let her live? JKR: Mmhm. ES: Why? JKR: [silence] Can’t tell you… This question has plagued many of our minds for a long, long time. It’’s also led us to a lot of speculation about what we are going to find out about Lily in the final book. We know something significant about her will be revealed, as well as Lily and James’’ professions. As subjective as our information on Lily is, we do know that Lily ... Read More »

Rising from the Ashes: The Importance of the Phoenix


by A. Abraham (aka Gryffinpuff) Peter Humphreys for BBC Newsround: Who did Fawkes previously belong to and will he play a vital role in the next book?JK Rowling: I am not going to answer about the role in the next books, which probably gives you a big clue, and he has never been owned by anyone but Dumbledore. You will notice that when Harry goes back in the Pensieve in this book, Fawkes is never there, and no, I am sorry, not in this book, I take that back. When Harry has previously seen the study with a different headmaster he saw it with Dippet and Fawkes was not there then. Fawkes is Dumbledore’s possession, not a Hogwarts possession. -July 18, 2005, Post-HBP Children’s Press Conference With this statement, Rowling managed to squash an entire well-formulated editorial I had completely planned out. At first I was despondent, but slowly a new idea started to grow, a revelation of sorts. In my original editorial formation, Fawkes had belonged to Gryffindor himself, and was a key player in the lives of great wizards throughout the ages. But as my new epiphany began to take shape, the idea of anyone other than Dumbledore owning Fawkes ... Read More »

The Liberating Power of Harry’s Blood


by Donna G. Ramos (aka The Black Adder) Ever since Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter fans have tried to explain why there was a “fleeting gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore’’s eyes” when the old wizard was told Voldemort had used Harry’s blood in his process of re-birth (GoF, Chapter 36, pg. 696, U.S. paperback). Fans now suspect there is something significant about Harry’’s blood. The idea was re-confirmed in Half-Blood Prince when Dumbledore rebuffs Harry’’s offer to give a blood offering in order to open the magical portal in the cave, saying, “”But your blood is worth more than mine”” (HBP, Chapter 26, pg. 560, U.S. hardback). Why? Why is Harry’’s blood of greater worth? Much of the speculation has focused on what effect Harry’’s blood might have physically or spiritually upon Voldemort himself, now that it flows through the Dark Lord’’s veins. My theory, however, is not on what Harry’’s blood might do to Voldemort, but rather, what power or ability might Harry now have, in sharing blood with the most powerful Dark wizard in history. I came upon this idea a bit indirectly, and admittedly with a leap of logic or two. Sometime back before HBP, I was wondering how it might ... Read More »

The Underground Lake #35: Cryptic Characters, Part 3: Slug Repellant


by Brandon No folks, I’m not dead, and I haven’t forgotten you. I have been deep in an unscheduled re-read of Book Six. You see, when I decided to undertake my “Cryptic Characters” series, I knew I wanted the third entry to concern a new character. However, I didn’t realize that my skim-through of Book Six would turn into a full-blown re-read! I hope you will forgive and indulge me. Horace Slughorn: a most enigmatic character. The non-Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions teacher (admit it – you were so faked out the first time you read it). A man of mystery. A man of secrets. Who is he working for? What is his agenda? I attempt to answer these questions and more. I submit for your entertainment and consideration: SLUG REPELLANT! Slughorn – An Analysis… though not definitive Okay, I have to say that I used to read the famous MuggleNet Editorials religiously. Then I became a columnist and, out of professional courtesy and fear that I would be accused of plagiarism as many people have similar HP related ideas, I stopped reading other editorials (though I do peep over at Maline’s North Tower just to make sure we don’t have a repeat ... Read More »

Dumbledore’s Ironclad Reason


by Scott Andrew Walker After reading the greatly renewed discussion on Snape brought about by the essay Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Antagonist, written by the lovely and talented (and not to mention, my wife) Melissa Walker, I have decided to share my own musings on the ex-Hogwarts professor everyone loves to hate. Generally speaking, most people fall into one of two camps regarding Snape. There is the “Snape is evil/on Voldemort’’s side” crowd who will never forgive Snape for all the torment he’s put Harry through over the years — plus that little Avada Kedavra thing he did to Dumbledore, sending him to his death. (Yes, I know there are those of you out there who believe Dumbledore is alive, but for the purposes of this essay, I’’m going to take HBP at face value and leave those arguments for the discussion boards.) Then there is the “Snape is good/on Dumbledore’’s side” crowd, who believe Snape is ultimately on the right side because Dumbledore trusted him, or because of some quote from JKR about “redemptive qualities,” or some other mumbo-jumbo… 😉 Well, I fall into neither of these two camps. Like Melissa and BJ Texan, who wrote the essay Machiavelli’’s Half-Blood Prince, I believe Snape ... Read More »

Spinner’s End: Who’s Keeping Secrets


by Lady Lupin Dumbledore left much unsaid. So many questions to which he alone possessed the answers have remained unexplained thus far in the series, and now one wonders how they will ever be resolved. I am not speaking here of the tasks that Harry must accomplish. I refer to the information that we, the reader, know is important, but which Harry either does not know to be significant or hasn’t figured out how to find. We have pondered what the answers to these questions could be. However, one must first ask, where will Harry go to find the answers? How will he learn what to ask of whom? Harry alludes to this when he reflects at the end of HBP that there was so much that he never asked his Headmaster. I wonder also which of Dumbledore’s many mysteries will turn out to be pertinent to Harry and which ones will not. What are some of the secrets that Dumbledore guarded with such care? There are many things that we don’t know about Albus Dumbledore and his goings on. Which of these might be pertinent to Harry’s adventure? Following is a partial list of “things we don’t know about Dumbledore.” Also ... Read More »

R.A.B. — The Next Metamorphmagus We will Meet


by John G. Three excellent recently published editorials have made a lot of great points about R.A.B. and the Death Eaters. These are Dark Mark: Access Granted, Regulus and the Cave, the Locket and the Note, and The Living Dead: Why Regulus Black Faked His Death, and I highly recommend them all to anyone who hasn’t read them. One proposes that no accomplice would have been needed for R.A.B. to pass through the green potion in the cave, because it would have been passable to anyone possessing the Dark Mark. Another outlines all of the possible scenarios under which R.A.B. could have come to know of the locket’s whereabouts, and how he/she could have stolen it. The final one, also the most recent, declares that Regulus Black faked his death with the Draught of Living Death. I am of the full opinion that R.A.B. is Regulus Black, and will make that assumption for the rest of this editorial. I have also been of the full opinion that he faked his death for some time now. However, the last part of the puzzle struck me like a bolt of lightning when rereading HBP recently, and although others before me have disagreed, I must assert ... Read More »

Why Lily’s Wand had to be Good for Charms


by Nadezhda I was listening, yet again, to episode 26 of MuggleCast when something occured to me. The hosts were discussing Peter Pettigrew and his role as a Secret-Keeper. Let’s first refresh our memories with what was said then: ANDREW. Now, why did Dumbledore let him become Secret-Keeper? I mean, in a way, you think, “Okay well, it’s because he’s always hanging around them,” but, around James, but could that be the full reason why?ERIC. Is it…is it in my memory that, uhhh, maybe, ummm…is it just in my head that maybe Dumbledore thought that it might have been Pettigrew that was sneaking information to the Potters and he still let them make him Secret-Keeper anyway? LAURA. I don’t think he had anyone specific in mind. I know Dumbledore offered to be the Potters’ Secret-Keeper. ERIC. Yeah, I know that, too, but see what happened was, ummm… LAURA. I think they knew that one of their friends was betraying them. ERIC. Yeah, and so I think, even though Dumbledore has always been characterized as, you know, valuing choice and all this other stuff. Even though he sat by as they made Peter the Secret-Keeper, I think he probably should have objected to ... Read More »

Madam Puddifoot’s: Discovering a New and Scary Magic — or Building a Reliable Feminist Narrative?

Ron and Hermione

by Bat Bogey As faithful readers come to the middle of the blockbuster Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling has continued to tease us with wonderful morsels of drama. Rowling’s work is especially provocative when it deals with that ultimate bewitchment: romantic attraction. HBP, GoF, and OotP have introduced peripheral narratives about budding adolescent romance — with all its requisite sexual tension. These narratives engender hours of speculation for ardent Potter fans, not to mention some rather hot debates among “shippers” (shipping, of course, is the promotion of theoretical romances between Harry Potter characters). These narratives have this effect on readers because, as everything else in the Potter universe, there is more to them than meets the eye. So far, the central romantic possibility is the one crackling between Harry?s sidekicks, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Certainly, Harry’s romance with Ginny is significant; most readers who take part in shipping, though, appear to be rooting for a true flame between Hermione and Ron. Why? Because Rowling wants it that way. From the early chapters of GoF, Rowling introduces the tension between her three protagonists as a literary convention — amorous conflicts are among the meatiest kind, after all — and ... Read More »