The Pensieve #4: Left Hanging

By Joshua Smith

I’ve gotten a lot of emails recently concerning the “great and terrible power” hidden inside the Department of Mysteries. Many of you seem to think that it is a heart that resides there. I disagree with this, but I think you are on the right track. A heart is not a force, maybe think the force we are talking about here is love. But I wonder if this maybe has anything to do with vaunted “Green Flame Torch” we’ve heard about. A torch that supposedly dispatches evil and rewards good. It makes a lot of sense, but we will have to see. [Emerson’s Note: If JKR hadn’t already said that title was just made up by fans, it would be a good theory.] Either way, this force in the DoM is going to have relevance later in the series, maybe Harry uses it to defeat Voldemort? Who knows, but I think the force in the DoM is indeed love.

While I was re-reading OoTP, I had to ask myself…. Where on earth is Wormtail? He’s hardly ever seen or heard from, apart from Snape’s Pensieve. Where is he? What is he doing? He is conspicuously missing during the battle with the Death Eaters in the Ministry of Magic. I’m fairly sure he’s up to something sinister, only I’m not sure what. I’m sure we will find out later in the series, but I’m a little nervous about what it might entail. (Possibly the death of another character, oh no!)

There is still a lot to learn about the Evans sisters. We were expecting a lot of new information about Lily, but we didn’t get it. We learned nothing about any about the significance of her eyes (possible connections to death eaters, Voldemort, ect.) but that has to be coming, it just has to be. Quick side note: It should be interesting to see how Lily falls in love with James, who acted like a royal jerk in Snape’s memory. And as for Petunia, where do I begin? We knew we were going to learn something about the Dursleys, and we did learn that Petunia knew what she was doing when she took in Harry. But I was left to ponder just how much she knows about the wizarding world. Is she a squib? It was obvious she knew something of the magical world she detests, as she knew about the dementors, and seemed to have a grasp on how awful it was that Voldemort had returned. Keep your eye on her.

Harry sees Thestrals for the first time this year, which makes you wonder…why didn’t he see them before? Didn’t he see his parents die? I’m fairly sure we will never see a live Lily and James Potter during the series, but the fact that Harry is just now seeing Thestrals makes me suspicious about how exactly Lily and James died. It’s obvious Voldemort killed them, as they came out of Voldy’s wand when Harry and the Dark Lord battled in book 4. Maybe I’m way off here, and Harry’s parents died exactly the way we thought, and Harry just didn’t see it with his eyes. But maybe not. [Emerson’s Note: Another good theory, but in the Q&A chat at Albert Hall, JKR said that you can’t see them until the death “sinks in,” and implied that it was a teeny mistake on her part, but she wanted to work it into the story. So perhaps we’re overanalyzing.]

If you think back to CoS, we are introduced to the Polyjuice Potion. At the time we think we are being introduced to it so that Harry and Ron can goad Malfoy into telling them who is opening the chamber. However, it is being introduced to us so that we recognize it in book 4, when Barty Crouch uses it to dupe everyone into thinking he’s Moody. The same thing happens in book five with Nymphadora (I love that name!) Tonks. We learn she is a metamorphmagus. This is not brought to our attention so that we know she can change her hair color at will. Learning from the past, it seems there will be another metamorphmagus, or an existing character is one, that plays an important part in the series. It should be interesting to see how that plays out.

Harry has a lot of bombshells dropped on him in OoTP. With Sirius’s death, and the knowledge that he, and only he, can defeat Voldemort, it’s safe to say Harry has a lot on his shoulders. How will he cope with this? His life is already stressful enough. Much like Aragorn in LotR, I think you may see Harry not want to accept his fate. He may not want to have to be the one that fights Voldemort. But eventually he’ll accept it, he has to.

Aaaah, the relationships in OotP. We were promised raging hormones, and we got them. (Emerson: Did we?) Harry and Cho didn’t really have a “relationship” relationship, but they did have a little fling. There weren’t too many more developments in the Ron-Hermione situation, however, I think they might actually be secretly dating (not much evidence for this, just a feeling.) You could make a case that Luna Lovegood likes either Harry or Ron. There is evidence both ways, leaning more towards Ron. Ginny seems to be dating now, and I’m not ready to rule out a relationship between her and Harry. There are clearly tons of romantic possibilities lying ahead in future books.

Those are most of the questions I was left pondering after reading book 5. I’m not sure what my next column is going to be about, so if you have any ideas, feel free to email me with your suggestions. I’m sure with your help I’ll come up with something interesting. See you in a week!