Madam Puddifoot’s: Ronald’s Final Push


by Mrs Mac My being an old chook and all, I still remember my teenage years. The uncertainty, normal body parts growing, and of course members of the opposite sex. The shipping withinHarry Potter is cute to me and if I remember my shipping correctly, I am a member of the HMS Heron with a side of chocolate. (Apologies if I got it wrong. I am a Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione shipper.) The romantic development between Ron and Hermione throughout the books never ceases to bring a huge smile to my face: Ron with all his over-protectiveness and Hermione protesting too much are but a few of the many tell-tale signs to someone of my years. People, please! I know the books are more about shipping wars but that does not stop us from dissecting the relationships between the characters in the book. This being a story about growing up, personal relationships and interaction between people of the opposite sex are a normal component of that growing-up process. We all want the best for these characters we love so much, and that includes a mate worthy of our favourite loved one. To me, Ron and Hermione are a perfect match: Ron being ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #103: From the Weasley-Wheeze Press


by Robbie Fischer Contest winners: Celairiel, stwonks, voldymortus, TWZRD, _houdini and charlottexgf A house-elf wearing a blue linen place-mat, kilt-fashion, crept into the library carrying a large package wrapped in brown paper and string. “This was just delivered, master,” said the house-elf, straining to lift the package onto the library table. Harvey took the package and severed the strings with a wave of his wand. “You may retire for the night, Dinty,” he said. “I will be up all night, and if I need anything I’ll get it myself.” “Master is too kind,” said Dinty, backing out of the library. Under the brown wrapping paper was a heavy book, bound in mooncalf skin, with the title embossed in gold: HOW TO DO IT BACKWARDS. The book smelled new, and the title page stated that the book was a Weasley-Wheeze Press Limited Edition. Harvey turned the page and found himself looking at an advertisement: “Weasley & Weasley present: THE ULTIMATE T.P. KIT! Disguised as a travel kit filled with plastic wrap and hygiene necessities, a simple activation spell is all it needs to redecorate your victim’s home or office. Adapts to the structure targeted for maximum annoyance…” Harvey snorted in disgust ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #102: The Drains


by Robbie Fischer   Contest winners: _houdini, myndon, jatibbal and floribunda A 9-foot cargo van veered to a halt, with one tire on the pavement in front of a tall residential hotel. The van had the words “Warehouse on Wheels: Home Removals Made a ‘Wiz’! For daily rates, pop your head in the Floo and ask for Manny” painted on it in Muggleblind colors. The hotel had an awning with the words “The Drains” painted on it for all to see. Under the awning stood a doorman, who quickly tucked the employment page of The Daily Prophet inside his waistcoat, and a charcoal pencil under his cap. He held the door open and stood at attention as Harvey, Spanky, Joe, and Merlin piled out of the front left door of the van, followed (impossibly, one would think) by Tip, all three clown wizards, Anatoly, and the burly, illustrated wizard who had come along with Anatoly. The doorman managed not to look surprised by the van’s front-seat passenger complement. “Well, here is my humble abode,” Harvey said, waving his hands modestly at the huge building. “This little thing?” said Joe, who today was disguised as Quasimodo. Due to the angle of ... Read More »

In Defense of Slytherin: A Different Kind of Courage


by Desdemona Black There are, as Dumbledore wisely tells us at the end of SS, many kinds of courage. Gryffindor courage is often flashy and laudably heroic –— it’’s the kind of courage that gets noticed, that wins people awards, the kind of courage that the crowd applauds. But I would argue that Gryffindor doesn’’t have a monopoly on courage and that other kinds of courage can be found elsewhere; specifically (for the purposes of this editorial) in Slytherin House. Gryffindor and Slytherin were best friends [““For were there such friends anywhere / As Slytherin and Gryffindor?”” (OotP, U.S. hardcover, pg. 204)] and I see their relationship as that of two brothers, who despite their differences and eventual estrangement, at heart valued many of the same things. Both men, along with Rowena Ravenclaw, only wanted certain kinds of students. And while Slytherin preferred students of a certain birth, preference based on other traits, inherited or learned like intelligence, or deeds of bravery seems hardly more fair. I think Helga Hufflepuff, who wanted to ““teach the lot, / and treat them just the same”” (OotP, U.S. hardcover, pg. 205) is the only Hogwarts founder completely without guilt (but that is a ... Read More »

Spinner’s End: The Mysteries of Ancient Egypt


by Lady Lupin From the very beginning of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling has set up a connection to Egypt, and that connection has been occasionally reinforced in subtle ways throughout the books. We first hear of Egyptian wizards and magic from Ron, who tells us about his older brother, Bill, and his work as a curse breaker for Gringott’s Bank, in Egypt. We revisit the wizard world connection to Egypt again through the Weasleys, when they travel to see Bill after Arthur wins the Ministry drawing. We see a photograph of the family together in front of the Great Pyramid, and we hear a bit more about Egyptian magic. Ron’s letter to Harry tells us that Bill gave them a guided tour of all of the tombs, and that Harry “wouldn’t believe the curses those old Egyptian wizards put on them” (9, PoA). He says that Ginny wasn’t even allowed near the last one, and that they were full of skeletons of Muggles who had suffered terrible consequences for their curiosity and/or greed. Fred and George casually mention trying to shut Percy up in a pyramid. From this, we can assume that the ancient Egyptian wizards were quite fierce and ... Read More »

Did Snape Really Have a Life-Debt to James?


by Carol Grizzard (Shewoman) (All citations are from the U.S. hardback editions except for Chamber and Prisoner, which are from the U.S. paperbacks.) At the end of Philosopher’’s/Sorcerer’’s Stone, Dumbledore explains to Harry why Snape protected him that year. Harry points out that he’’s been told Snape hated James and Dumbledore confirms it, adding, “And then your father did something Snape could never forgive.”“What?” “He saved his life.” “What?” “Yes…” said Dumbledore dreamily. “Funny, the way people’’s minds work, isn’’t it? Professor Snape couldn’’t bear being in your father’’s debt…I do believe he worked so hard to protect you this year because he felt that would make him and your father even. Then he could go back to hating your father’’s memory in peace.” Harry tried to understand this but it made his head pound, so he stopped. -pg. 300, “The Man With Two Faces” We are introduced to the formal concept of life-debts in Prisoner of Azkaban. This is another end-of-the-year conversation between Dumbledore and Harry. Harry is despondent because Peter got away and Sirius wasn’’t publicly vindicated. “But — I stopped Sirius and Professor Lupin from killing Pettigrew! That makes it my fault if Voldemort comes back!”“It does not,” said Dumbledore quietly. “…The ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #101: Eulogy for a Dark Wizard


by Robbie Fischer, concept contributed by: Kat All of us at Vold-Mart are devastated by the tragic loss of our Co-founder, Chief Operational Witch (or Wizard) and Sorcerer (or Sorceress) of Opportunity Development, Leslie Marion McInermaphrodite — affectionately known to many as Uncle or Auntie Leslie. Driven by a disturbingly pure spirit of entrepreneurship, ruthless to the last, uncompromising in his or her love of blood purity and commitment to offering the tools of Dark wizardry at unbeatably low prices, Uncle or Auntie Leslie more than any other individual was responsible for the early success of Vold-Mart. For these contributions, he or she was awarded the Order of the Green Serpent by the Dark Lord soon after his return. Leslie was also active in a variety of volunteer organizations, including (but not limited to) the Exterminate the Hungry Foundation, the Society for the Promotion of Cruelty to Magical Creatures, Spellbondage International, Fiends Helping Fiends, the Acid Rainbow Coaltion, the Down With People Exchange Programs for Overprivileged Brats, Cannibals for Understanding, Siblings of the Parents of Obnoxious Offspring in Favor of Underage Drunken Broom Flying, the Fund for the Furtherance of Government Corruption and the World Domination Stamp Club. As busy ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #98: Essence of Merlin


by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: Shadow Phoenix Tip shivered. He wasn’t sure whether this was a result of the cold draft that blew through the cracks in the wall, or of the billywig withdrawal. Huddled in the dim light that came through a small, grimy window high in the wall, he looked around. It wasn’t just that his room in the top floor of the Hog’s Head was small enough to be a broom cupboard; it actually was a broom cupboard. The landlord had fitted it out with a fireplace, to accommodate desperate wizards such as Tip. Apart from a dozen old, forgotten brooms, there was barely space to lie down on the rush-strewn floor. It was the lowest Tip had fallen in his life, even counting the day his solo tour broke up over creative differences. Curse those billywigs! Ed and Ned had said it would happen. Why had he never listened to them? Tip scraped together a few of the dried rushes and assorted shavings and rubbish that he found in the corners of the room. It helped that the mouseholes were all blocked with bits of shredded paper, as if even the vermin wanted to avoid the ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #100: What’s What

Pottermore Quill

by Robbie Fischer Back in TMQ #50, we reviewed the plot lines of the “first season” of The Magic Quill. That time has come again – though perhaps belatedly. So let us pick up where No. 50 left off, and take a nostalgic look at “What’s What” in TMQ Nos. 51 to 100… 51. “Tricycle Treadmarks” – We find out what happened to Mr. Weasley’s Anglia and Sirius Black’s motorcycle. 52. “Smart Food” – Miles O’Roughage invents a food that always tastes like what you want to eat…but it has a gruesome side effect. 53. “Locating Ilona, Part One” – Spanky witnesses the birth of Harry Potter…just as the Death Eaters have Godric’s Hollow surrounded. 54. “Locating Ilona, Part Two” – In the middle of a Death Eater siege on Godric’s Hollow, Spanky finds his missing fiancee. 55. “The Cloak of Visibility” – Sadie questions Spanky’s loyalty to the storytelling circle…and Merlin and Rigel find a flicker of hope in the darkest Pit of Gringotts. 56. “The Breath-Ants” – Merlin and Rigel try the first of seven tunnels out of the Pit – and find nothing but a swarm of life-stealing bugs. 57. “The Boatman and the Dragon” – Rigel decides to give up and die, but Merlin ... Read More »

The Underground Lake #37: Where in the World is Wormtail?


by Brandon I’m back, folks. What is there to say in this case but, “sorry for my absence”? However, know that in my little hiatus I have crafted several entertaining entries that should keep you talking for a bit. So let’s not cry over spilled milk and get at it, shall we? I believe the title explains it all. Therefore I submit for your entertainment and consideration: WHERE IN THE WORLD IS WORMTAIL? WELL, NOT QUITE… In preparation for the hopefully landmark upcoming entry, “Underground Lake #40 – UNDERGROUND THEORY” (I’ll let you all pontificate on that for a bit), I revisited all my entries from Season One of the Underground Lake. I found an interesting piece woven throughout the whole thing: “in Book Six, we will discover what precisely Wormtail has been up to.” Well, not quite, it seems. If you will recall, I had previously stated that it seemed odd to me in Book Five that Wormtail – after exploding onto the scene in Book Three and subsequently taking a spectacular (and still not paid off) role in Book Four – should be completely absent in Book Five. Now at this point, if you have not already, I must ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #99: Who’s Who

by Robbie Fischer Now that “Season Two” of the Magic Quill is in the can (or rather, the Archive), it behooves us to take stock of where our cast of characters has been, and what they have done. The quiz at the end is for you to enjoy and discuss on the Forums; answers will be revealed next week. HARVEY is more or less the host of the group of storytellers that has been meeting in the back parlor of the Hog’s Head for over two years now. There is a purpose behind this loose collection of narratives. Harvey wants to draw on the unique skills and background of each of the people in this hand-picked group. His plan: to break into Gringotts Wizarding Bank to steal something very special from the Vault of Yves the Leper. So far, Harvey’s storyline is still pretty thin, though he has appeared regularly since TMQ #7. You can pick up his thread especially in Nos. 60, 87, 97, and 98. SPANKY, who first appeared as a mysterious cloaked wizard with a hood-shadowed face, had a big knife and an equally big air of menace. Eventually he turned out to be an agent of the Rogue Magic Bureau who, for ... Read More »

Spinner’s End: Two for One


by Lady Lupin The owls are flying. If I had a fireplace, I am certain that the letters would be soaring down the chimney, even as I write. My inbox is flooded and most of you have the same question: Who are the two people who are going to die and who got a reprieve? I feel obliged to answer, of course, being that the eminent MuggleNet has entrusted me with a column. That said, I also think it my duty to remind you all that I am not JK Rowling. Neither am I a Legilimens, a Seer or a Centaur. Any and all thoughts that I share with you are simply my conjecture – no more informed or intelligent than your own. Let us take a look at the cast, the circumstances, and what we know of our venerated author, and see if we can make some sensible guesses. However, we must accept up front that they can only be guesses. For those of you who read my editorials and yet do not know of what I speak, I offer a brief update. At her recent interview with UK afternoon talk show hosts Richard and Judy, JKR made the following statements: JK: The last, the ... Read More »

Ruminations on Filch, Charles Dickens and Book 7


by AlanM Many observers have commented on the similarities between J.K. Rowling and Charles Dickens. Certainly, the resemblance between the eager worldwide anticipation for each edition of Harry Potter and the similar expectation that awaited Dickens’’ work 150 years ago (huge crowds used to gather on the New York docks when the ship from London carrying the next monthly edition was due to arrive) is most noticeable. While watching the recent BBC dramatization of Dickens’’ Bleak House, I was struck first of all by the remarkable parallels between a character in that novel, Krook, and the caretaker of Hogwarts, Argus Filch. On further reflection, it occurred to me that this linkage could possibly have great significance for Harry in Book 7. The major points of comparison between the two characters are as follows: Their surnames. Krook is obviously a play on “crook,” and it is most unlikely that JKR, who is known to take special care with her characters’ names (as did Dickens), would use as a surname the word “filch,” which means to steal, by happenstance. While neither character could be called a thief, both have a cavalier attitude to the property of others. Both Krook and Filch are loners with a ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #97: Bashmace and Ripsnarl


by Robbie Fischer Inspired by contest winners: voldymortus, jatibbal and Cady When Rigel came out of the tunnel into the main lobby of Gringotts, his heart lifted…right into his throat. So many times in the past, he had been close – but not this close – to escaping from Gringotts, only to find himself back where he started again. As his heart hammered, and as he saw dozens of surly and suspicious goblins all around him, he knew the last few steps toward the great golden doors would be the longest walk of his life. The thought of being captured now was so bitterly cruel that he tasted it in his mouth, and winced. “Oi,” barked a nearby goblin, who clutched a battered clipboard in his claws. “Who are you, and what are you doing here?” Rigel’s heart plummeted. He felt like his blood had turned into icewater. He opened his mouth to answer the goblin, but only a squeak came out. Luckily, Joe Albuquerque was at his side. Joe growled, “Didn’t they tell you? We’re to be transferred from the armory squad to record-keeping….” “What are your names?” the bouncer-goblin demanded. “I’m Bashmace and this is Ripsnarl,” Joe said ... Read More »

Traveling with Thestrals: Harry’s Key to Finding Godric’s Hollow


by Mommcgonagall In my opinion, magical transportation, as devised by J.K. Rowling, is brilliant. As rabid Harry Potter fans around the world await the appearance of Book 7 and try to tie up all the loose ends with endless speculation, I have been combing my copies of the series, looking for possible ways that Harry will be able to find Godric’s Hollow. At the end of HBP, Harry tells Ron and Hermione that he is planning to return to Godric’s Hollow — but how to get there? As far as we know, only a few select people (most of them now deceased) know where Godric’s Hollow is. Let’s check the list of those in the know: Dumbledore (deceased, though his portrait has not yet awoken); Wormtail (living on borrowed time); Sirius (gone, with small chance that Harry will ever be able to communicate with him); Lily and James (deceased, with no instruction to G.H. from the GoF graveyard scene); Hagrid (how did he get there in the first place to retrieve baby Harry?); Voldemort (no chance of him telling Harry how to get there); and possibly several unidentified MoM officials (except perhaps Fudge — still alive but hardly an ally). By the end of ... Read More »

Parseltongue: More Common Than We Thought?


by Sarah Merritt Among the MuggleNet editorials, Harry’s ability to talk to snakes seems like a much mentioned but rarely discussed subject. I have a feeling it will be an important talent before the series ends. Since I started writing this, I have investigated Parseltongue on Project Leglimensia, where there is a whole thread on this very subject. It seems I’m not the only person thinking along these lines. I first started thinking about this on a reread of HBP. Something caught my attention about the memory of the Gaunts in the Penseive. This is why. Throughout the series, much has been made about the rarity of this particular talent. In CoS, Ron is surprised to find out that Harry is a Parselmouth, yet Harry assumes everyone can do it. We are also told that Voldemort was a Parselmouth, as was Salazar Slytherin (hence the basilisk). Also, Tom Riddle mentions that they are probably the only two Parselmouths to attend Hogwarts since Salazar Slytherin. If this is the case, then where did the rest of Slytherin’s heirs go to school? Was Slytherin’s split with Gryffindor so significant that he sent the rest of the family to Durmstrang? In HBP we ... Read More »

Slythering Snape


by Mr. and Mrs.  When this idea first hit me, I thought that I surely must be wrong; yet, when I analyzed it further, it seemed so very clever that I can believe that JKR could have created this scenario. My theory is that Snape is also Nagini. In none of the books is Snape mentioned with Nagini; Snape is also absent from several critical points in the series, events on both sides to which Snape claims to have loyalty. The purpose of this editorial is to prove, using quotes from GoF, HBP, and interviews with J.K. Rowling, that this seemingly incredible theory is at the very least a possibility. Nagini in GoF My favorite quote from all of the Harry Potter series is this: “…the story had been picked over so many times, and had been embroidered in so many places, that nobody was quite sure what the truth was anymore” (GoF, chapter one). This is just how I feel about the “Nagini is female” statements. Nagini, when introduced in GoF, is not once referred to as “she,” only as “it” or “the snake.” It seems that one of the main reasons people think Nagini is female is because, in this ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #96: Britannin


by Robbie Fischer Inspired by contest winners: jatibbal, Shiri and _houdini “Yves the Leper,” Endora said knowledgeably, lecturing Spanky and the party of goblins that were gathered in Vault 1,066, “was not only the greatest potionier since the Norman Conquest, but also a giant among apothecaries and herbalists. In fact, much of the English lore in those disciplines descends from him. Yet some of Yves’ most powerful discoveries are all but forgotten today, surviving only as vague legends or rumors – and perhaps, in the contents of this vault. It is possible that this vault contains, or until the break-in did contain, some potion or potion ingredient that exists no where else in the world today.” “What would it be worth?” said an oily goblin at the front of the class. Endora suppressed a sigh of disgust and replied, “We can hardly know until we learn what is – or was – here.” “What’s here is not your concern,” snapped another goblin. “We only want to know what’s gone.” “I can’t very well find that out without studying what’s still here,” said an irritated Endora. “I may have a great nose, but it can only smell what is here to ... Read More »

The Changing Face of Courage


by Darrell Fuller As HBP has made evident, the dementors have been steadily increasing their numbers since their mass revolt from Azkaban, their reproduction casting a cold, eerie mist upon the world. Despite these troubling events, however, no one in HBP is ever shown actually fighting a dementor, not even Harry, whose last brush with the creatures was when he defended his cousin from them early on in book 5. Eventually by series’ end it will become necessary to counter this increasing threat, and the only known way of confronting a dementor is, of course, the Patronus Charm, which was given an interesting spin in HBP, namely in regards to Nymphadora Tonks. [Lupin] had transformed. The enormous, bearlike dog bounded forward. -PoA, pg. 381, U.S. hardback [Tonks] waved her wand; an immense silvery four-legged creature erupted from it and streaked off into the darkness… “I was interested to see your new Patronus … I think you were better off with the old one,” said Snape, the malice in his voice unmistakable. “The new one looks weak.” As Snape swung the lantern about, Harry saw, fleetingly, a look of shock and anger on Tonks’s face. -HBP, pp. 159-160, U.S. hardback It ... Read More »

The U-Bend #42: Should There Be a Wizarding A-Bomb?


by Andrew Lee and Robert Lanto “Fooled the Dark Lord, the greatest wizard, the most accomplished Legilimens the world has ever seen?” -Severus Snape (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) Evil Lord Voldemort has plans, namely to kill Harry. Otherwise, taking over the wizarding world is top on his list. Now we’ve seen the first hints of how this takeover will occur. Alliances with anti-ministry forces, bribery, extortion and use of the forbidden spells. While it may strike fear in the hearts of his enemies, for us we felt there could be more. After all there has to be something that causes everyone to fear Voldemort (besides thinking they’re number two on his hit-list). A weapon or spell of mass destruction perhaps? In many great stories there lies an ultimate weapon, waiting to be useful. The One Ring to rule all rings, a nuclear bomb to nuke all nuclear bombs or some computer-generated super squid monster that eats ships and kills non-named crew members. All these weapons are the villain’s ultimate tool. After all, the only way to fear the villain is to fear their evil power. And nothing backs up their power more than a super-laser in their backyard. ... Read More »