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Gryffindor House vs. Delta House

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by Convalleria Gladiolus It is no wonder why the famed Harry Potter books have become a global phenomenon. The adventures of the boy wizard and his friends have captured the hearts of millions of readers. I have been a Potter addict for nearly six years and every time I re-read the books I am just astounded by the creativity and intensity of the plotline, the eccentric characters, and, most of all, the setting. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is not only an entertaining place to read about, but, to myself and countless others, it is a place of escape and refuge from the Muggle world of school which can be dull and difficult, both academically and socially. Harry Potter is a very unique portrayal of the scholastic universe, very different from portrayals of school such as “Boy Meets World” or “Saved by the Bell.” Alas, beneath the uniqueness of the books the depiction is almost the same — just ingeniously hidden by J.K. Rowling’’s incredible talents. Almost all of the shows and movies out there set in school are pretty much the same, and they all basically have the same plotlines. But with Harry, the “schoolish drama” is not the main focus of the ... Read More »

The Underground Lake #19: The Official Reader’s Guide to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Part 1

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by Brandon Today is two-for-one day, and to make up for my horrible disregard for all things Underground Lake, I stand before you now with another editorial, this one not the fluff of the last one. The reason I posted the last one is that we are almost 90 days away from the release of HBP. We’ve seen the cover. We know the page count. We know three chapter titles. We’re still guessin’ ’bout that darn lion man (sorry to burst your bubble guys, but I think it is either the new DADA or more likely Ron after a bad transfiguration lesson – remember that in sixth year, we start animal transfigurations). But I digress. Everyone seems so on edge and tense about the imminent release of HBP, so I thought we all needed a quick breather from the searing debates. Contrary to popular opinion, I’m not the complete dork I seem to be. I’m only about 80% dork, thank you very much. But again, I digress. Now we are in more serious territory. As I write this, the release of HBP is 91 days away. Now I know that we are all busy re-reading One through Five; we’re trying to ... Read More »

Quick Thinking or Plan B?

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by Janie My theory explores the idea that both Lily and Dumbledore knew of Lily’s impending sacrifice before Voldemort ever arrived at Godric’s Hollow. Furthermore, Dumbledore used this knowledge to ensure that Lily’s blood protection would last long after her death and Voldemort’s downfall. J.K. Rowling recently said on her site that the letter Dumbledore left with Harry was not the first letter he wrote to Petunia. It’s odd that Dumbledore would be communicating with Petunia and she with him just as casual correspondence. If he was communicating with a Muggle who hated magic and everything about it, and she was returning his letters, then there had to be a very important reason. We’re told in Philosopher’s Stone/ Sorcerer’s Stone that Petunia pretended she didn’t have a sister. Clearly there was a rift in Lily and Petunia’s relationship. Dumbledore is not one to interfere in the interpersonal relationships of others. He never forces Harry and Malfoy to work out their differences, nor does he coerce Harry and Snape into harmony. Therefore, he wouldn’t try to mend the broken fence of the Evans sisters’ relationships. Thus, his motive in contacting Petunia is not as a mediator, but something else. Dumbledore seems to understand ... Read More »

The Underground Lake #18: Harry and His Women

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by Brandon Long time, no speak, everyone. I promised you all I would try to stay up-to-date, but that is proving more difficult than I imagined. In either case, I seem to actually have free time, so I thought I would give you guys two for the price of one. But first: old business. I must say I was very pleased with the response to my last entry regarding the final confrontation and the veil. However, the most frequent comment I got was about my position on Fawkes. I asserted that Dumbledore had to know the location of the Chamber of Secrets in order to send Fawkes there. I cited the fact that Fawkes flew into the CoS without using the same entrance that Harry used. I was bombarded by a hailstorm of emails alerting me to the fact that Fawkes “seems” to have the ability to teleport and, in doing so, leave a solitary feather behind. To that I say, connect the events and you see something different. It is confirmed in Book Two that when Fawkes appears in the chamber, he “appears” out of nowhere from Harry’s point of view. When he disappears in OotP (which was the most common piece ... Read More »

Madam Puddifoot’s: Harry Potter and the World of Shipping

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by Bella Strigg Harry Potter has a very, very large fan base, and each of those fans has different theories, hopes, and dreads about the upcoming books. And a surprising amount of those theories and hopes are about so-called “ships.” Let’s start with what ships are. Ship is short for relationship. A person can choose to promote one or more ships, usually in fanfiction. Some popular ones include HarryGinny, HarryHermione, RonHermione, Draco (Malfoy is always called Draco, never Malfoy) anyone, and Harry pretty much everyone. If the books went according to the fanfiction, Harry would have kissed (and more) every Weasley, Hermione, Malfoy (both senior and junior), Parvati, Padma, Lavender, Dean, Seamus, and Sirius. I could go on and on. So by now you have the idea of the preposterousness of many of the ships. But what makes a ship attractive? First of all, it can’t be a perfect fit — there has to be some trouble that can happen to the couple. Jealousy, family intervention, and pure- vs. full-blood prejudice are all very popular ones (can you match the ships with the troubles?). Second, it has to in some way make sense. Parvati and Sirius Black, for example, don’t make ... Read More »

Regulus Black is Not the Half-Blood Prince

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by T.L. Bodine He may, however, still be an incredibly important part of the story, and play a role that absolutely nobody expected. If you’ll humor what sounds like an outlandish theory for just a moment, I might be able to explain away a few mysteries or at least give you something to chew on. Ready for this? I don’t think Regulus Black is dead. I was browsing the Name Origins section here at MuggleNet, and came across the name meaning for Regulus Black. Now, I knew about Sirius’ name and its astronomical connotations — one of my favorite books as a kid was Diana Wynn Jones’s Dogsbody which is all about the Dogstar, and my knowing about that story actually led me to know Sirius was an Animagus before it was revealed in the story (it also fixed firmly in my mind the idea that Sirius’ eyes are bright, livid green, despite their actually being grey, so take that with a grain of salt). So my interest was initially piqued when I read about Regulus being named for a star also, only in a different constellation — it seemed like an interesting pattern to naming your kids. So I pulled down OotP, and ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #47: Some Thirsty Work

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by Robbie Fischer, concepts Contributed By: Raluca, Jon, and Lighthouse Junkie As Merlin’s story continues, he and “poor little rich wizard” Rigel are trapped together in a Gringotts vault, waiting for the next task the goblins have in store for them… “’I should have known you would take his side,’ Rigel said, pacing the circumference of the vault, whilst I squatted in the middle upon an upturned bucket. ‘You’re just as self-righteous as he is. Well let me tell you–’ “’No, let me tell you,’ I shouted. I stood up and kicked the bucket for emphasis.” “And then?” Endora urged. “What did you tell him?” “Nothing,” said Merlin. “I just stood there and stared at where the bucket had bounced off the wall. “’Kneazle got your tongue?’ Rigel sneered. He had stopped pacing and was standing with his back to where the bucket had hit the wall, as far out of my reach as the small vault allowed. ‘Perhaps you don’t have anything to tell me, because for once, you realize the bankruptcy of the whole system. Wizards pandering to Muggles! Mudbloods running all our sacred traditions into the ground! Halfbreeds and Muggle-loving old buffoons…are you listening to me?’ “’No,’ ... Read More »

The Phoenix Files #6: James Potter

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By Christopher Stephen Hello everybody! I want to apologize for the past week’s hiatus. I know you were all dying to read this File, and I was dying to write it. Unfortunately, a number of unforeseen circumstances and a series of unfortunate events prevented it from being posted. I will do my best to ensure TPF will stay on schedule from here on. Please excuse my excessive rambling on this File, as it has been a crazy week. Off the bat, I want to introduce you to a totally NEW column. It’s called The Phoenix Files!!! That’s right, TPF you’ve all come to know and love is changing – but only for the better, I assure you. Allow me to explain: The column is called “The Phoenix Files.” I wanted a place where I could share my ideas with everyone about certain characters, taking them on one at a time. I’m going to continue to do that, so no worries. Every two weeks, true to current form, I’m going to put out a totally new, never-before-seen File on one of the HP characters. Note that this means I will still be writing an editorial every two weeks about a new ... Read More »

The Burrow: Dumbledore’s Riddle, Round One

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Editor’s note: These editorials offer punchlines for the joke, “A troll, a hag and a leprechaun all go into a bar…” An original editorial by Various Authors The Easy Way Out A troll, a hag and a leprechaun all go into a bar and the barman says: “What is this, a joke?” -Submitted by Ella K. and Urzapw2001 Well, Obviously A troll, a hag, and a leprechaun walk into a bar. The troll ducks, the hag ducks, but the leprechaun falls flat on his face. Why? because you can’t walk through a bar! -Submitted by Alyssa A troll, a hag and a leprechaun all walk into a bar…you’d have thought one of them would have seen it! -Submitted by Marcus Aurelius A troll, a hag, and a leprechaun walk into a bar. The troll says “ow,” the hag is knocked unconcious and the leprechaun skips under untouched. -Submitted by Lida Almost there… A troll, a hag and a leprechaun walk into a bar. The leprechaun was laughing, so the troll says to the leprechaun: “I guess you got lucky again, huh?” The leprechaun says, “No, I just looked at her!” -Submitted by James …Finally! A troll, a hag and a ... Read More »

The Phoenix Files: Minerva McGonagall Libran

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An Original Essay by Vanessa Victoria Kilmer (goldennib) According to www.jkrowling.com, Minerva McGonagall’s birthday is October 4th. This makes her a Libra, and because my birthday is October 2nd, I’d like to see if Professor McGonagall is a true Libran. The symbol of Libra are the scales. The Libra scales represent the need for the balance of opposites and the scales of justice. I believe Minerva McGonagall demonstrates both of these qualities. She embodies many opposites within her personality. She is an academic who clearly values learning and education (she gives a great deal of homework and seems to be an excellent teacher) and yet she is an avid sports enthusiast (Quidditch is very important to her). She believes everyone should follow the rules (she gives detention easily to people who arbitrarily break the rules) but has no problem circumventing them when it seems prudent (she was able to get a Time Turner for Hermione). She is usually severe and proper but has been known to shed a tear and giggle. She pulls her hair back into a tight bun, but she carries a lace hanky. She is always on the job but got tipsy at the Christmas party. All ... Read More »

Fate of the Weasley Twins

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by Heather Tweed Don’’t you think it’’s a bit funny that Fred and George Weasley are never seen apart? Harry has NEVER encountered one of our favourite twins without the other being there. Effectively, they are one character. Even their mother does not distinguish between the two of them –– the Boggart in OotP changes from dead Mr. Weasley to dead twins to dead Percy to dead Harry –– not dead Mr. Weasley, dead Fred, dead George, dead Percy, and dead Harry. I thought this was odd because most sets of identical twins in fiction have different personalities, such as those in Jacqueline Wilson’’s Double Act and Francine Pascal’’s Sweet Valley High. My own experiences of real life identical twins are that they often do have similar personalities but they also have their own friends and their own interests. Fred and George seem to be extensions of each other’s’ personalities. The reason I’’m putting this theory forward is that I realise it might be typical of JK Rowling to kill one of the Weasley twins –– but not the other. Even this possibility is frightening, I know, but it is the sort of thing she does. Say Fred died, the effect on George ... Read More »

The U-Bend #19: Public Service Announcement: CoS Forums Pledge Break

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by Andrew Lee and Robert Lanto “Of course, it was only in the wizarding world that he had money; you couldn’t use Galleons, Sickles and Knuts in Muggle shops.” – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Hello, you may know us as Andrew and Robert, the two wildly successful (and popular) authors of the U-Bend. But we’re not here to share our zany antics. Rather, we have to bring a most urgent matter to your attention. Every day millions of Harry Potter fans around the world use message boards to post their ideas. There is perhaps no larger forum than the Chamber of Secret Forums located here on Mugglenet. However, the ever increasing traffic has finally pushed the forums’ servers to the limit and an upgrade is needed. We need your help. Please donate (what you can) to help pay for the server upgrade. Every day hundreds of people post, read and navigate their way through the thousands of entries on the CoS forums. Without this desperately needed upgrade, navigating the forums will become difficult to downright impossible. Without the server upgrade navigating the forums could end up like this: User Johnny Q. finish typing his reply. User Johnny Q. clicks ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #46: More Unfinished Business

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by Robbie Fischer, concepts Contributed By: Vanessa, Jon, Kevin, and HPWestHam13 “Now that one has to use the loo,” Sadie grumbled, scouring the bowl of her pipe with a stream of white flames from her wand-tip. “Just as he was about to tell us what James Potter said when he saw Spanky tied up on the ground and Lupin and Black standing over him with their wands drawn.” “He probably just turned around and went back up to the house to get another cigar,” Merlin speculated. “Don’t be stupid,” snapped Endora. “He was a wizard, wasn’t he?” “Yes, very likely he said a charm to get another cigar from the house,” Joe Albuquerque said, conjuring a cigar of his own out of nowhere. “It wouldn’t do to leave anyone out of the festivities, when his firstborn had just come into the world.” “I expected to hear,” said Endora, “that in another moment, a squad of Death Eaters appeared and started blasting away with their wands.” “That wouldn’t shock me,” Sadie snorted. “And I wouldn’t be surprised,” said Harvey drily, “if Spanky’s next adventure had something to do with finding his fiancee, Ilona, who no longer seemed to be in jeopardy ... Read More »

A Simple Solution: Polyjuice Potion and Tonks

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by Whitney On a recent rereading of Order of the Phoenix, I could not help but notice that Tonks holds a distinctive position in the Order: her abilities as a Metamorphmagus are uniquely suited for espionage, allowing her to blend in with any crowd and serve virtually any purpose the Order could require. A polyjuice potion containing the hair of Nymphadora Tonks would, theoretically, give any member of the Order this advantage as well. Why have they ignored this opportunity? Given the little we know about Polyjuice Potions, one of four things could result from using Tonks’’s hair (or toenails): 1. The drinker gains the full abilities of a Metamorphmagus while under the influence of the potion. This seems unlikely, but it would be highly useful.2. The drinker assumes the shape that Tonks was in at the time the hair was taken. This seems the most plausible to me because a cutting of hair would capture a “moment” of a person’’s appearance, therefore the Polyjuice Potion would reflect that. 3. The drinker’’s appearance mirrors that of Tonks, and every time she changes her appearance while the drinker is assuming her shape they change to reflect her, rather like the principle behind ... Read More »

Not Your Typical Love Story

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by Karen Hayes For some reason, many die-hard Harry Potter fans are waiting until Book 6 or 7 for the great love story of the series to appear. There’’s no need to wait. Harry Potter is already a beautiful love story. I’’m not talking about “girl meets boy” love (which we all obsess endlessly over). I’’m not even talking about parent and child love (which is one of the big love plots). I’’m talking about the real love story in Harry Potter, the one that is at the heart of all the books. A great love story about the boundless love three friends have for each other (and no I’’m not talking about some sordid love triangle or ménage a trios). Regardless of whom you romantically link with whom, the bond between the members of the trio is one of the strongest forces in the series. They’’ve been to hell and back more than once and are more than willing to go back again. They’’re willing to sacrifice everything, even their very lives for each other. This is a very real, very powerful love. Since the little incident with the troll when Harry, Ron, and Hermione first became friends, the trio has had to deal with more ... Read More »

Overcoming Death: A Basic Approach

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by Sylvia The topic of Voldemort’s immortality has been discussed, and discussed to no end, but I’ve never read an explanation that satisfies me entirely. Therefore, I’ve decided to tackle this problem using a basic approach. Generally, when you have a problem and you want to overcome it, you try to find the cause of the problem and to act against the cause so as to eliminate the problem. It’s logical enough, isn’t it? Let’s apply this method to Voldemort’s search for immortality. Becoming Immortal: A Step-By-Step Method 1. Identify the problem. I am a wizard. I am mortal. I want to be immortal. 2. Identify the cause of the problem. I know there are some people who are in a state nearing death, but who are not dead in the strictest sense of the term, namely people who have received the Dementor’s Kiss; their bodies still function but they have no conscience of the world they’re living in. On the other hand, I know that when one is hit by the Avada Kedavra curse, one dies, period. Clearly, the Dementor’s Kiss, which I know affects the soul of its victim, and the Killing Curse don’t affect the same part of an individual. From ... Read More »

DoM: Are We Missing Something?

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by Nemorosa Knopp JK Rowling has told us that we are getting too clever for her own good. The truth is that we are finally catching up with her clues, hints, and red herrings. We are starting to understand her writing style, and this is resulting in us analyzing every aspect of the HP books, from arithmancy to bacon. In many cases we are definitely overanalyzing, such as in the Mark Evans incident. Yet there is one thing I don’’t think anyone has written anything about: The Department of Mysteries. I know that I would not be the first to speculate on what is behind the locked door (love, the power of suicide, wisdom, whatever you can think of). Based on personal views on the matter, people have written several scenarios where your power of choice saves the day. This is where I think we are going off the tracks. The thing is, I don’’t think that exactly what is going to happen at the climax in Book 7 is predictable. I think, however, that based on JKR’s hints we can get a basic idea on things like ships, themes, and so fourth. Back to the DoM. There are so ... Read More »

The Meaning of ‘Prince’

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by Kenton McDonald So far, I have been content to read the editorials posted. I’ve enjoyed them for the most part, and (unlike some books written under LOTR pseudonyms) they have not contradicted JKR’s personal statements. Unfortunately, some have, on occasion, shown an ignorance of the historical and literal definitions of certain words, in this case, “prince.” What a Prince Is A prince is the ruler of a principality, like a king rules a kingdom, a duke a duchy, an earl an earldom. A prince is of age to rule his lands, just as a king must be old enough to rule, maintain and protect his. A prince may or may not be subject to a king. Historically, political states began first as individual cities, then counties, countries, etc. As larger groups of people claimed to be of the same “state,” race, civilization, they encompassed the smaller states and became larger states. Cities grouped themselves into counties, counties into countries, etc. If a principality is part of a kingdom, then the prince is subject to his king. If the principality is independant, then he is not. A prince is male. Sounds obvious, but ancient titles are gender specific, unlike the politically ... Read More »

Harry’s New Pet

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by Pooty P.  I spent some time hunting around on the site, and I haven’t seen too much discussion on this topic. In one of JKR’s interviews, someone asked her if Harry could have a pet dragon, and she replied: “He might get a different pet at some point but I’m saying no more at this moment.” (JK Rowling, Raincoast Books Interview, March 2001) Could this mean that Harry might actually lose Hedwig at some point? What an awful thought, and one that never occurred to me with all the speculation about upcoming deaths. I never thought about it, but it’s a whole other level of loss for Harry that he hasn’t yet experienced. And yet “a different pet” is not the same thing as “a new pet,” so perhaps he may end up having two pets to care for in the future. It’s an interesting thought, but things could get rather touchy. As I recall, Hedwig is very possessive of Harry and not a little territorial. Although, to be fair, Hedwig isn’t intolerant of all birds, just flashy, tropical “foreigners” and annoying, hyperactive owls like Pigwidgeon. No, I’m actually thinking of one pet Harry might end up with that Hedwig ... Read More »

Centaur Extremists

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by Cooper Pennypacker There are many creatures that wizards have never felt comfortable with, but one group I have not seen much discussion about is the centaurs. The centaurs, like giants and other undesirables, are shoved aside and looked down upon in the wizarding world. Although they are not enslaved like house-elves, they are treated almost as badly. The centaurs are practically ignored by most of the wizarding community, and as Dumbledore says in OotP, “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike…” Centaurs in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by Newt Scamander are described as very intelligent individuals very experienced in healing, divination and astronomy. Wizards like Umbridge are afraid of centaurs because they cannot be classified in any group that wizards have created. In many respects centaurs could be considered very much like humans, but then they have many customs that are very different from both muggles and wizards. Centaurs speak and can be considered responsible for their own actions because they have a conception of right and wrong that beasts do not have. When Harry and Hermione meet the centaurs with Hagrid in the Forbidden Forest in OotP, the centaur’s leader Magorian says, “the ... Read More »