Arabella & Argus: Coincidental Cat-Lovers or the Same Person?
One of the things that I never thought possible about the Harry Potter series, is that two characters could actually be the same person. Of course, after reading Goblet of Fire, I realized how easy this actually was. There are lots of clues that tell us that certain characters are hiding things, but I think I may have figured out a huge septology clue.
We all know about Argus Filch. He is the school caretaker; a kind of janitor who also seconds for a snitch. He seems to despise students and goes out of his way to make the lives of students miserable. We do not really know much about him, except that he likes to torture people, get them into trouble, he gets mad at Peeves, and he has a pet cat named Mrs. Norris (kind of odd, right?). We also suspect that he might be a squib because of his suspicious nature when Harry discovered the Kwikspell manual in his office. I really think that Filch is hiding something. And what is it with his obsession with Mrs. Norris? I am sure that all of you that have pets may seem a little sympathetic, but this cat is a little odd. I wonder what kinds of clues she may hide, but we will get back to her in a minute.
This brings us to our other cat-lover, Arabella Figg. We do not know much about her, except that she used to baby-sit Harry while the Dursleys were out, her house smelled like cabbage, and they used to sit around looking at pictures of cats all day. This surely seemed innocent enough when you read it the first time, but after Order of the Phoenix, this is very suspicious.
So what if they are the same person? First of all, they have the same initials (AF). So what, big deal. Everything in Rowlings world is done for a reason. We know that Mrs. Figg is a squib. We can assume that Filch also is one. Can squibs still change bodies with the Polyjuice Potion? Possibly, but we do not really know. I personally think that one can, as long as a wizard is the one concocting it. Also, Mrs. Figgs house smells like rotten cabbage, exactly as the Polyjuice Potion does. It is safe to assume, I think, that someone at Mrs. Figgs house is experimenting with the potion, even if it is not her (we will come back to this in a minute). And well, they both like cats
a LOT. Their seeming obsession with cats is very unusual (even for the wizarding world) and could mean something very important.
We know from Mrs. Figgs own comments that the cats that live with her act like spies. It was a cat who alarmed her of Mundungus Fletchers disappearance when he was supposed to be keeping an eye on Harry. We can assume that Dumbledore stationed Mrs. Figg near Harry in order to keep an eye on him (although he never really liked going over there).
One question that we need to have answers is how squibs live. Since they are born to wizards and witches, one can assume that squibs would have a hard time living with them without being able to do magic. However, if they were raised by witches and wizards, living as a muggle would be difficult as well (eckeltricity?). This is where the tent from Goblet of Fire becomes a semi-significant clue.
One fan of the Quibbler wrote in and told me that perhaps the tent that the Weasleys borrowed for the Quidditch World Cup may be a sort of template that the wizarding world uses to help blend into the muggle world. More simply, the tent reminds Harry of Figgs house (they look exactly the same). Since they are so similar, Mrs. Figgs house may actually be a creation of the wizarding world to blend in. This would definitely fit for the squib problem because they would not know how to live as a muggle or a wizard. Thus, the tent/Figgs house mystery would be solved, but ends up not being too significant, unless we see the same layout in a different form.
Now that the tent tangent has been explained, back to the theory at hand. We really only hear about Figg during Harrys summer holidays from school, and we only hear about Filch during the school year. This is not significant, but could be if we knew that Figg went on holiday during the school year as well. As far as we know, she does not, and has never taken a leave from her home on Wisteria Walk. She did break her leg once, but there is no real connection to Filch on this one.
So what exactly is the deal with the fascination of the cats? We know (as mentioned earlier) that the cats act as spies. Mrs. Norris acts as a second set of eyes to Filch around Hogwarts and Mr. Tibbles was the cat who alerted Figg about Dung. Cats cannot talk (even in the wizarding world, unless they are animagus), but what if there was some different sort of communication? Perhaps when squibs die, they become cats. This would explain the obsession with cats by both squibs here, as well as start an argument for the way that they communicate. Maybe this is how squibs are able to keep their ties with the wizarding world. If this theory were true, then Crookshanks and an animagus like McGonagall would be called into question.
No matter what, there are things that we know. First of all, Argus Filchs name means a thousand eyes which completely fits for his job of being able to maintain the school and be the disciplinarian. But if we look at Arabella Figgs name, a fig leaf is used to conceal certain (ahem) male body parts in ancient Greece. If we were to take this name clue figuratively, we could assume that Figg is not who she seems to be and that she is hiding something (that would explain the Polyjuice Potion smell). If we would take it literally, then perhaps Figg is hiding a particular male body part as well (supporting my theory).
Some fans have written in to say that they think Figg may actually be Mrs. Norris. While there is no evidence to disprove this, I think there is much more evidence pointing to the theory stated above. I have said it a million times, and I will continue to: Rowling does not do things for no reason and everything points to something else. Why would Rowling make these two characters have the same initials? Why would she have them both have an obsession for cats? Why would she have them both keeping all eyes on Harry? Why would she have them both be squibs? Perhaps squibs are more perceptive to muggles since they have no magical powers. I believe that there is a big connection between Filch and Figg, and if they are not the same person, all signs point to the fact that they are related or linked in some way.
That is about all I have for this one, although it ended up being about squibs as well as the link between Figg and Filch. If you find more evidence of these two being linked, please follow the feedback form and email me. The next edition of the Quibbler is more a personal note than an actual theory: "Why read the Quibbler?"