Book Six and the DADA Teacher
by Marc Meunier
The previous five books use the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to introduce new characters central to the plot of each story: Quirrel, Lockhart, Lupin, Moody, and Umbridge, respectively. So will Book Six also feature a new character, central to the plot of Book Six, as the new DADA teacher?
First I must challenge the possibility of a new DADA teacher altogether. In terms of the overall story that the seven books tell, the first four books each had their own stories. Book Five served as means to connect the previous four stories while setting up the last two books. I quite liked the fifth book, but its overall purpose remains the same. In these five books the position of DADA has merely been a plot device to introduce the central plot arc of the story. Some may argue that Lupin was not the main focus of PoA. But I argue that having Lupin as the DADA teacher allowed for the creation of Harry’s relationship with Sirius, thus making him central to the story. But more importantly, having Lupin as the DADA teacher allowed for much-needed growth in Harry’s magical ability.
Now since the previous five books act as the setting for the sixth and seventh books, J.K. Rowling is free from using the clichéd “New Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher to further the plot” writing device. Plus, there are so many interesting characters in the story at this point that developing a new one would seem out of place amongst the strongly developed characters that already exist in the Harry Potter Universe. So now let us assume we have already been introduced to the character taking over the DADA position and examine clues to whom it may be.
1.) Severus Snape
Snape has wanted the position for years. One may conclude that he finally gets the position of DADA. The reason these rumors persist, I think, is that the fans think it might be fun to for Harry to showcase his ability against Snape and sort of serve as a method for Harry to finally overcome Snape, as Harry truly excels in DADA. As fun as this sounds, J.K Rowling has something far grander in store for the Harry-Snape relationship. I have this lurking feeling that she plans for the story to come full circle and have Harry save Snape from Voldemort or something along those lines. Plus this would also leave Snape’s position of Potions unoccupied. I also have a feeling that Harry will have to use something of Snape’s potions lessons in Book Six or Seven that might end up saving himself or someone he loves.
So if not Snape, who is next on our list?
2.) Nymphadora Tonks
Tonks is an Auror. In fact, Tonks is the only Auror to be accepted into the Ministry of Magic in the past several years. That certainly qualifies her to helm the position of DADA. J.K Rowling also claimed that Tonks would be “hanging around” in future books. This seems kind of like her usual understatements when someone actually catches onto some clue in her Harry Potter universe. However, the biggest reason I can see that Tonks will not be the new DADA teacher is that Harry has already surpassed Tonks in his magical ability. Harry fared far better than Tonks against the Death Eaters in the end of OotP. Harry would have a great deal to learn from Tonks, however, especially how to control his emotions and keep things fun. But I think Tonks is lacking in overall ability and age to be a teacher at Hogwarts. But, here is a strange rumor of where Tonks may be headed: the Minister of Magic. The only reason I say this is because Britain was the first country to have a female leader of the country. No not the queen, I’m talking about Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister. Editor’s Note: Isabel Peron of Argentina actually became president five years before Margaret Thatcher. Fudge will not continue his position of Minister of Magic, and Rowling may want a woman as the new Minister. If so, it would probably be Amelia Bones, as she has the respect needed to run the Ministry. Tonks will probably continue her work for the Order as a sidekick.
Our next candidate is none other than…
3.) Cornelius Fudge
Fudge will no longer be the Minister of Magic in Book Six. He is also most likely the Death Eater referred to by Voldemort at the end of GoF as the one who left his ranks for good and will be killed. Fudge will need protection, and like many of the professors at Hogwarts, Dumbledore may allow Fudge sanctuary within the walls of Hogwarts. In spite of all of Fudge’s faults, to become the MoM would require a high level of wizarding skill. In fact, I think Fudge is the most likely candidate for the position of DADA.
There is one other that comes to mind. One who seems more like a necessity for the position…
In Book Six we should expect none other than Albus Dumbledore to helm the position of Defense Against The Dark Arts.
Now I know some people believe that Dumbledore is too busy to take the position of DADA just like he is too busy with the Order for the position of Minister of Magic. These people are absolutely right, with respects to the position but only concerning the position of Minister of Magic. The most important thing to the Order is to make sure Harry learns defense against the dark arts. After all, this is Harry’s story.
At the end of OotP we saw Dumbledore, as well as Voldemort, do things with their wands that seem impossible even in the world of magic. For instance, with one flick of his wand, Dumbledore was able to bring the statues to life, summon Fawkes and shield Voldemort’s attack. The most advanced piece of magic that Harry can manage at this point would be his weak Cruciatus curse or his Patronus. Harry will need to get his magic skills in order before he can challenge Voldemort. Harry himself was able to take on several Death Eaters and stood far better than all of the Aurors. So the only one who can teach Harry what he needs to know is Dumbledore.
As an aside, we should also expect Harry to learn a new spell from this. As speculated on MuggleNet and many other fan sites, Harry seems to be embodied with the power of love, “a power which the Dark Lord knows not.” Emotions, as a form of power, are only as good as they are expressed. Example: Bellatrix explained to Harry how he must actually mean his Cruciatus curse for it to cause pain, and the Avada Kedavra curse is the full embodiment of hatred or darkness. Here is where people underplay the power that exists within Harry. People assume that Harry will either kill Voldemort by using the Avada Kedavra curse, or somehow with the power of love. The latter will be the case, but not by Harry somehow embodying that power within Voldemort. Harry’s power instead will be embodied in a spell. One that is equal but quite opposite to the Avada Kedavra curse. This will be the central theme to book six. The room in the Department of Mysteries that contains the power so great and so terrible, the room that is always locked, probably does contain the power of love. Yet the room remains locked because no one can understand this power, nor harness it. Book Six will focus on Harry being able to understand this power, which will allow him to enter the room and obtain the spell he needs to defeat Voldemort. This is also why Sirius Black had to die. Before OotP was released, J.K Rowling told us that a character would die. Their death was very hard to write but was absolutely essential to the story. After reading OotP, I saw no essential reason for Sirius’ death. Before reading OotP, I speculated Dumbledore would die because I thought Harry’s protection from Voldemort must be removed before they face one another. But the reason Sirius had to die is so that Harry can fully understand love. In Book Six we will see Luna Lovegood help Harry to understand and accept this power, and through this he will gain his full understanding of Love.