Felix Felicis: Understanding Severus’ Innocence


by Brianna Leigh Woell Among the wild speculations about Harry being a Horcrux, Dumbledore rising from the ashes like his beloved Fawkes, and Ron and Hermione’s blossoming relationship, one subject above all occupies the minds of HBP readers: Severus Snape. Is he really the murderous traitor his actions make him out to be, or is he, as the new Minister of Magic would put it, “Dumbledore’’s man through and through”? There are two basic camps on this one: people who take Snape’’s actions in HBP at face value and say “hey, he killed Dumbledore, he must be evil,” and those who read deeper, trying to find some hope to cling to in the belief that Severus Snape isn’t such a bad dude after all. I’’m of the latter variety, and while I recognize that a lot of people have already made very coherent arguments in Snape’’s favor, I’’m going to try and add another. Namely, that Snape’’s innocence can be proven by the use of Felix Felicis. But first, a brief overview of the many reasons I think Snape is innocent. The scene of the murder, picture it clearly: Dumbledore is weak, dying perhaps, and needs Professor Snape to cure ... Read More »

Madam Puddifoot’s: My Reflections on H/Hr Shipping…and Something New


by Michael Riley I personally agree with Emerson that the Harry/Hermione shippers were (and still are!) delusional to believe that their pair would end up together after all the “anvil-sized” hints that indicated otherwise. But I also believe that it’s perfectly normal and understandable that many young people would do so anyway. To demonstrate my point, here’s a mildly funny (but true) story resulting from the translation of the books into Thai language. While “Cho Chang” translates correctly, “Crookshanks” became “crook-chain” since Thai words almost never end with a hard consonant sound such as “k.” While I spelled it out phonetically in English, the two names are so similar when written in the Thai alphabet that my wife was positive that this must be a super-secret clue that predicted things to come. Well, you can imagine some of my wife’s theories. They all involved Cho as the “animagus Crookshanks.” My favorite theory of hers was that Crookshanks kept sneaking into Ron’s dormitory in POA not to kill Scabbers, but to get closer to Harry! She had many other theories, too. So many in fact, that she had mapped out in her mind exactly how and why Cho would end up ... Read More »

In the Nature of House-Elves


by Manishika Hermione, in her crusade for elvish rights, has failed to see the basic truth behind the wizarding world’’s largely unseen servants: they are not human. They do not share wizardkind’’s basic self-motivation for personal gain. Much like how greed is a driving force in the actions of humans, duty is a driving force in the actions of house-elves. They are content to work behind the scenes, leaving the squabbling and the politics of human life to their benefactors, their masters. They use their magical powers for seemingly mundane tasks, and as such, they manage, quite successfully, to extract themselves from the dangerous world around them. As a species, house-elves seem to have an overwhelming feeling of duty and a need for loyalty. Dobby had been free from the Malfoys for two years when Harry next caught up to him, but he still felt shocked at calling them bad wizards, and in fact felt compelled to punish himself. Winky still felt concern for Mr. Crouch even after he so cruelly dismissed her. Even Kreacher considers Sirius a “blood-traitor” on behalf of his late master and mistress, although Kreacher is less of a pure-blood wizard than a Squib. Why this ... Read More »

The Burrow: Magic Moste Evile


An original editorial by John de la Cour Horcruxes and how Lord Voldemort Survived A Horcrux is a word used for an object in which a person has concealed part of their soul. By committing the act of murder, the killer’s soul is ripped apart, and the wizard intent upon creating a Horcrux would use the damage to his advantage by encasing the torn portion using an unknown spell. One way to put this is that a Horcrux is a spiritual anchor securing one’s soul to the living world, so that if the body is killed, the soul does not pass on to the afterlife or imprint itself onto the world as a ghost but merely remains as its damaged self, ready to seek a new body to exist within. Although there have already been mathematical attempts to determine the fraction of soul remaining within the now-living body of Voldemort, I do not believe the tear of the soul is exactly in half. There is no specific mention of this in The Half-Blood Prince, only that the soul is torn, or split in two, but no specific ratio is given, leaving us free to speculate whether the current Voldemort retains ... Read More »



by Robbie Fischer Pop quiz (multiple guess): Why is Robbie writing this week’s column for Andrew and Robert? Didn’t you know, Robbie and Robert are the same dude? Andrew and Robert were called away to Vegas to fill in for Penn and Teller, when Teller lost his voice. To stall while Andrew and Robert read Half-Blood Prince 11 times. Because Robbie thought a little hate mail would brighten the monotony of getting 54 messages a day saying, “You have to review the complete works of Fern McGillicuddy for the Book Trolley!” Why didn’t they ask YOU to write a column for them, too? Because, unlike Robbie, you don’t accept every writing assignment you are offered. Because they know Robbie isn’t as funny as they are, so they’ll still look good after it’s over with. Because you weren’t speaking to them after the time they put you-know-what in your shampoo bottle. Because Robbie is the only person they know who hasn’t put their e-mail address on his anti-spam “black list.” Why doesn’t he drop the quiz thing and get to the point of this week’s column? Because he’s still deciding what the point is going to be. What, are you still reading this? ... Read More »

The Threefold Connection


by Jennifer For me, one of the most surprising things about the end of Half-Blood Prince had to do with the connections which Rowling chose to draw between Severus Snape and Tom Riddle. Harry learns that both Snape and Riddle were born to witch mothers and Muggle fathers. He assumes that “The Half-Blood Prince” is an impressive name that Snape gave himself, just like “Lord Voldemort” is an impressive title that Riddle made up, that they were both ashamed of their parentage, and that they both tried to make themselves feared by using Dark magic. We can also surmise that both were clever and talented at deception. More obviously, both were Slytherins, and if Snape’s murder of Dumbledore was as bad as it appears on the surface, then he is nearly as despicable as Voldemort himself. There are also certain similarities in the ways in which Harry views them. Harry taking advice from the old Potions textbook is at least somewhat similar to Harry learning from Riddle’s journal inChamber of Secrets. Harry has similar feelings about both Snape and Riddle at this point in the game. JKR said that Harry-Snape is just as personal now as Harry-Voldemort. Clearly, there is an attempt ... Read More »

Wands and Words: What are the Dark Arts?


by Sephia Editor’s Note: This editorial was written before HBP was releasedThere are quite a few conflicts in the Harry Potter books, dealing with everything from personal animosity to political rivalry, and of course, lurking at the back, good vs. evil. This is one of the main conflicts, in that the protagonist, Harry, is what usually represents “good.” JKR has certainly changed things around a bit, since Harry, at times, is certainly not an angel. He takes every available opportunity to torment Dudley, and his own rotten childhood is not an excuse. Harry deliberately goads Dudley in OotP, enjoying his quivering fear of magic. Yet, despite the qualities not being firmly fixed as “good” Harry vs. “evil” Voldemort, or “evil” whoever the main antagonist is (Snape, Draco Malfoy, Umbridge, etc), we have “normal” Harry. Despite this deviation from the norm, however, we do have a battle of good vs. evil, a battle with the Order of the Phoenix, Harry, and others on the good side versus Voldemort and his Death Eaters on the other side. And while there are certainly shades of gray in this arrangement, the evil is quite clearly defined. Or is it? What is the one bad ... Read More »

A Key in the Kitchens


by LadyTory We, as readers, fans, mad-cap theorists, obsessives and devotees, have been given a clue to the possibilities of Book 7 in the form of three initials: R.A.B. While none of can be certain what Regulus Black’s middle name was, we have several clues to point us to the note in the locket being from him. (As well as a recently posted essay here on MuggleNet). The fact that a character we have only heard of once before in OotP was mentioned three times in idle conversation in HBP seems rather telling. Canon states that Regulus tried to leave the Death Eaters and was killed because of his attempt at desertion. According to Lupin’’s memory that, Regulus only survived three days after said defection (HBP, pg. 106, American edition). Sirius states that his brother was murdered either by Voldemort or on Voldemort’’s orders (OotP, pg. 112, American edition). Of course, Sirius cannot think of anything that Regulus could have done to have been important enough to be killed by Voldemort himself. But we, as readers, know differently now. Voldemort states in the graveyard scene in GoF that his Death Eaters ““knew the steps [he] took, long ago, to guard [himself] against ... Read More »

Madam Puddifoot’s: Lay Off, Would You


by Samantha For the past eight years I have been reading, exploring, and theorizing about the Harry Potter series. I’ve been a die-hard MuggleNetter — albeit on the anonymous side — keeping up with the Potterverse in every aspect. Like so many others I was at the nearest Barnes & Noble on July 15 for the midnight release of Half-Blood Prince, after the long wait of almost two years. As my number was called (“Eleven!”) to buy my book, I jumped and fan-girl-squeed with the best of them. I ran as fast as I could to my awaiting car and proceeded to stay up until the afternoon of the next day until I had finished. While so many questions I would have liked to have answered were not addressed inPrince and will hopefully be covered in book 7 (I, for one, particularly look forward to finding out about Lily Evans Potter!), I respect the book in its entirety. The genius who is J.K. Rowling has done it again. She’s enthralled us with superb imagery to boost another decade of fan art, captivated us with thrilling tales of the wizarding world to inspire another 500,000 fan fics, and given us more to relate to as ... Read More »



by Vicki Howard As many will attest, a large percentage of HP fans are adults. But it is the kids who are the lucky benefactors of so many wonderful HP playthings. Adult fans have gravitated in droves to various web sites looking to satisfy their need to “play.” We deserve even more, don’’t we? Don’’t adult fans deserve a day away from the trappings of parenthood, professions, etc? A place where they can relax, spend time with other adults of similar interests and just play? The creative members of the “Real Discussions of all the Books” thread usually spend their time hashing out the latest theories, but recently one idea sparked a whirlwind of suggestions. Numerous posts offered various activities that could be included in an adult “play place”: an HP theme park. Wouldn’’t that be somewhere you’d like to visit, too? Well, just look into our Pensieve, we’ll take you there… “Hoggywarts: Where Adults Can Be Kids Again!” (alternate name: Hoggyworld) A. Platform 9 and 3/4 The entrance to this extraordinary HP theme park would be, of course, a gateway labeled ““9 3/4.” But before enjoying the park itself, our guests would be directed to first visit four very ... Read More »

The Phoenix Files #13: The Half-Blood Prince


By Christopher Stephen Okay, so as everyone who is reading this had better know, the Half-Blood Prince was none other than Severus Snape!! I had heard a few people guess this (including one in my Common Room discussion during Spellbound!), but the vast majority of people had ruled out Snape mentally from the picture. But, of course, that is not all we see of Snape in Book Six. He’s not JUST the Half-Blood Prince. He served four or five major purposes in HBP: 1. Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa (Chapter Two). 2. ASSISTING Dumbledore with ring’s after-effects (Prior to Chapter Three). 3. KILLING Dumbledore (Chapter Twenty-Seven, I think). 4. Saving Draco and escaping Hogwarts without any Death Eaters. 5. Being “found out” by Harry as the spy who told Voldemort about the prophecy. 1. Most of you, I am sure, are aware that I attended the Spellbound! party in Mt. Prospect, IL on Friday. After receiving my copy of HBP just after midnight, I vowed I would read two chapters prior to turning in for the night (I was extremely tired, having driven 400 miles that day and volunteering most of the evening). As we all know, it is in the ... Read More »

On Snape’s Evilness


by Nathan Coblentz So far I haven’t seen anyone argue for Snape being a traitor. I’m a bit taken aback to be in somewhat of a minority on this, as it seems blatantly obvious, both from the events ofHalf-Blood Prince and snippets from recent JKR interviews. This is my attempt to refute all you Snape loyalists out there. I know you want to believe he’s still good, but I honestly can’t see it. This is my interpretation of the events: Spinner’s End I believe Snape can be taken for face value here. Some have mentioned his slight hesitation at the third part of the Unbreakable Vow where Narcissa ups the ante. I don’t see this as evidence of him not knowing what he was getting himself into. I see it as a point of no return for him. I believe Narcissa’s questions to Snape echo our own, and was Rowling’s way of making it obvious that Snape is NOT on Dumbledore’s side. The Argument Harry concludes that Dumbledore must have been angry at Snape for his lack of thoroughness in his investigation of Slytherin after the accidents. In other words, their agreement was not that Snape would kill Dumbledore — it ... Read More »

EriseD and a dna DesirE, or, Ronald Weasley and the Tandem Jungian Bicycle


by AMS Ronald Weasley — paragon of passion? Come on. Get real. Pur-lease–…About the only times we see Ron’’s passions are when he’’s a) trying to impress veela by doing something stupid, or b) trying to beat up normal girls in a couple of verbal fights, right? OK, he defends Hermione by cursing himself with slugs, and he tries to impress Moody/Crouch Jr. with ideas about catching potential Dark wizards, too. And there’’s also the painful memory of the short Won-Won/Lav-Lav gag-gag me-me ship. What’’s my point? Ron has his own Hero’’s Journey to fulfill, even whilst the Famous Harry Potter travels through the Hogwarts standard seven years (hence tandem). In fact, Ron has gone nearly as far as Harry in his own story, but in a different way, and taking his own time to get there. I believe his journey, by the way, is written in Ron’’s inky DNA. Test me and see. Since the HP series is a many-layered thing, please go with it; my aim is to point out Ron’’s path, not figure out the intricacies of JKR’’s plot-setting. Ron Tells His Passions — The Hero’’s Birth Harry’’s birth is infamous, now with the disclosure of Order of the Phoenix. But his ... Read More »

Snape is Evil


by Tracie Rubeck I am a frequent reader of MuggleNet’’s editorials and columns. I’m often amused by the exhaustive probing of the books, especially when in support of theories as creative as they are dubious. While often in disagreement, I’ve never felt prompted to respond because I respect the love of the books (and characters) that prompts such close analysis. However, the recent attempts to cling to Snape’s innocence have upset me so profoundly that I feel obliged to reply. In short, and I say this with no intent of hyperbole, I think the need to prove Snape’s innocence insults the ethos of the books and the various characters, including Dumbledore, who have died within its pages. As evidence, I have two points. Murder is Not Noble Dumbledore mentions that to commit murder is to destroy one’s own soul. We have ample evidence within canon that this is a basic, if not the basic, understanding of the difference between which choices are “good” and which are “evil.” Those who are evil disregard this cost. For example, another testament of Harry’s ability to love is that he is as frightened by the prospect of committing murder as he is by the prospect of ... Read More »

The Underground Lake #27: The Eulogy


by Brandon The dictionary defines a “eulogy” as “a piece of writing that praises someone or something highly.” This is therefore my eulogy for Book Six, now completed on paper and done in my heart, mind and hands. All I can say is J.K. Rowling has done it again. She had me at Chapter One and didn’t let me go until the most powerful ending in Harry Potter history. I wore black yesterday to honor a man whom I have grown to respect and admire (though he is in fact a fictional character). A man whose power and wisdom is far beyond us all. A man whose death was cold and calculated yet sacrificial and selfless. A man named Albus Dumbledore. But before I get begin my tribute to the man, the myth and the legend, I first wish to share my thoughts on the book as well as address my previous predictions as to what I thought was going to happen. I submit for your entertainment and consideration: THE EULOGY. WARNING!!! IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THE BOOK, DO NOT READ THIS EDITORIAL!EDITORIAL O.W.L.s In my last, I said that my predictions for Book Six would make or break me as an ... Read More »

Dumbledore’s Man Through and Through


by Dan McAllister I’’m sure we can all agree that the actions of Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince are very surprising. I believe that Snape’’s behavior throughout the book (including the murder of Dumbledore!) makes sense only if Snape is a good guy, not a bad guy. Please hear me out before you completely dismiss this theory. Let’’s examine selected scenes from HBP in which Snape appears or is mentioned. I will show you how each scene supports my theory that Snape is Dumbledore’’s man. Spinner’’s End (Chapter 2) Assume for a moment that you are Severus Snape and that you are loyal to Dumbledore. Your mission for the Order of the Phoenix is to spy on Voldemort by pretending to be a faithful Death Eater. Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange have just shown up at your door, and Narcissa wants you to swear an Unbreakable Vow to protect Draco and to kill Dumbledore if Draco cannot complete this task. How can you refuse without showing your true loyalty, especially with Bellatrix Lestrange questioning your loyalty to Voldemort? You can’’t. I contend that, whether good or evil, Severus Snape had no choice but to make the Unbreakable Vow because the ... Read More »

The U-Bend #28: By Reading This, You’re Not Reading the Half-Blood Prince


by Andrew Lee and Robert Lanto “I’ve read that too, I’ve read the whole book.” -Hermione Granger (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)   Okay so we’re reading Half-Blood Prince at this moment (and you should be too). We figure it’ll take us a bit of time to read through the entire book (and the juicy parts over and over) so instead of giving you weeks of nothing we’re going to print a series of special columns. This week we’ll address some more burning questions that have arrived in our inboxes. Hail to the Weasley Baby! This link is the/an original theory about how Dumbledore is Ron from the future. -Sent in by Caitlin, Laura, Saral Kaushik, Louis, Juliane, Zubz, Austin and many more! A huge thank you to all our readers who submitted (or posted) the link to the Dumbledore is Ron from the future theory. Ah! Shark Boy! Just to needle a point, y’all said, “For point 3 (the swimming one) Harry was still the first person to reach the “captives.” Even being a “fish” wouldn’t mean a thing if he couldn’t actually get a good swimming rhythm to be fast enough to get there first. After all, half-shark boy ... Read More »

The U-Bend #27: One Year Older, Not That Much Wiser


by Andrew Lee and Robert Lanto, with special guest writer Abraham Lincoln Welcome to our new column on Mugglenet: The U-Bend!” –The U-Bend #1 — Introducing The Players Four score and twelve months ago MuggleNet’s Editors brought forth on this webpage, a new column, conceived (possibly in a lapse of judgment) as entertainment, and dedicated to the proposition that “Editorials about HP books, movies and theories” are not created equal. Now we are engaged in the one year anniversary, testing whether any column, or any editorial so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. One year later, we have met that challenge. Today, we have come to dedicate a portion of our work, to the fans, who without their support that this column might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this editorial. For all the MuggleNet editors and staffers, past and present, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what ... Read More »

Gryffindor Tower #24: The Light at the End of the Tunnel


by Dan First and foremost, let me say, HEAVY SPOILER WARNING! SUPER-HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD, EVERY DETAIL OF HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE ABOUT TO BE DISCUSSED, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! That being said, how many people are as thoroughly depressed as I? Dumbledore… poor Dumbledore… killed by his most faithful servant… well, you can all imagine… Snape does seem to be the biggest traitor ever… and for that, he’s going to pay… Yes, Voldemort is going to want to kill Snape. Now I realize that most of you have worked this out, but for others who seem to be in the dark, let me assure you: by raising his wand at Albus Dumbledore and killing him atop the Astronomy Tower, he has finally declared his unequivocal support for the Order of the Phoenix and has stood firmly against Voldemort. How, you ask? By killing his true master, an act that will have silenced every Death Eater murmuring mistrust against the former Hogwarts potions master. Dumbledore’s pleas to Snape, “Severus…please…” (pg. 595, US ed) were not begging Snape to spare him, but to finish him, in the hopes that Snape can remain in a most important position, able to, when most needed, ... Read More »

The Mystery of R. A. B.


by Kirstie E.R. I was devastated by Dumbledore’s death. I personally did not believe any of the rumors that were going around that Dumbledore would be the one to die in Book Six. I thought it would be too early for him to die, but alas, it seems I was wrong, and Harry is now going to face the most challenging year of his life. With Dumbledore’s death, Harry has been given plenty of problems to solve on his own, including a new mystery that will be key to his future: who is R. A. B.? There is not much to go on, but we already see by the end of HBP that Harry is working on finding out who took the real Horcrux. The only clues we have for this mysterious character are in the note he left us (609, HBP):   “To the Dark Lord I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can. I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, ... Read More »