The U-Bend #14: A Random Barrage of Answers

by Andrew Lee and Robert Lanto

“It was addressed to you by mistake. I have burned it.”
-Vernon Dursley (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)

That’s right we’re back after a prolonged absence. It wasn’t our fault but three separate computer crashes really got in the way of getting this column to you. Okay, onto business now. Our editors and masters at MuggleNet have asked us for a couple of sedate U-Bend articles (so we don’t scare away all the advertisers). Seeing as how we’ve been around for a while (thank you to all our readers), we thought it would be a good idea to answer some your questions that have been towering over us on our desks before the pile falls over and kills somebody. OH, but don’t think of this as a mailbag column (after all we’re sure that’ll be another MuggleNet column someday), we’ll only answer questions when they really pile up (or when we don’t have a clue what to write about).

I have a question. Myrtle is generally known to hang out in the U-bend. In the American paperback GoF page 461, it’s stated she frequented the S-bend. What’s your take on this? 
-Elissa Fanzo

We’re aware of the mistake in GoF that references that Moaning Myrtle lives in the s-bend of the toilet. Now the short response is that J.K. Rowling’s editor screwed up and kept s-bend in the draft or something like that. As for the long and complicated response (which contains possibilities not actual facts), we all know that Moaning Myrtle clogs/floods the toilet when she is sad (which makes up 95% of her day). So sometime between the end of CoS and the bathroom meeting in GoF, Myrtle should have clogged/flooded the toilet again and again. However, on one occasion Filch was forced to replace the U-bend pipe with a S-bend pipe. Thus, changing Myrtle’s toilet home forever *cough*. That, or after some fifty years of living in the same toilet pipe and seeing that the market was right, she decided to move.

So why did we choose U-Bend instead of S-Bend. Well, each article we write has one twist, much like how the letter U has one curve. There you have it, the secret behind our column title (that and The Quibbler was taken already).

I liked your latest article (Imaginary News) but I wasn’t sure if it was true or not. You said that it was true, and then you said “BeLIEve us.” You had the “lie” capitalized, so I wasn’t sure if or if not it truly was a lie. 

Trust us, when we emphasized LIE, the information was not true. If it ever turns out to be true, society is doomed. That and Daniel Radcliffe is getting a lot more kissing action than any of us ever imagined.

It seems to me that lots of HP fans, especially those that write editorials, are under the impression that everyone in Hufflepuff House is stupid, useless, fat, unattractive, and otherwise the dregs of the crop. In their eyes, if you’re not good enough for one of the other houses, we’ll stuff you in Hufflepuff with the rest of the losers. They completely ignore the loyalty and work ethic described by the Sorting Hat, as they completely ignore such admirable charactes as Justin Finch-Fletchley and Cedric Diggory (by the way, it was the line in the opening edition of the U-bend that said that Cedric was the man that made me think to bring this thought to you). Hufflepuff may not be my favorite house – I’m much too nerdy, a total Ravenclaw – but I feel that they are unjustly treated and that the good name of Hufflepuff needs help getting un-besmirched. 

Okay, now it’s time to bring up (well a little) why Cedric Diggory was the man. The Hufflepuff house was always looked down upon simply because it seemed to be for anyone who isn’t brave, smart, or ‘cunning’ (ie. evil). So basically, it’s for the ‘average’ wizard. Cedric now broke the mold; he was the only person to beat Harry at Quidditch. Alright, there was the dementor attack, but look at it this way, Harry’s Nimbus 2000 should be considered the greatest broomstick outside of the 2001s owned by the Slytherin team. This means that Cedric’s own broom is outclassed by Harry’s. For Cedric to keep pace with Harry is quite a feat. Even Cho Chang only managed to prevent Harry from reaching top speed by constantly swerving in front of him. So, Cedric was capable of keeping up with Harry with his outdated broom model to catch the snitch winning the match.

Not only that, but Cedric’s modesty shows through when he was willing to give a rematch because of the broom falling incident. If Cedric was mean, he would say he won fair and square, although he didn’t. Cedric was nice enough to ask for a rematch, and was also willing to admit (in GoF) that he won by a technicality. His good sportsmanship plays through to the whole Triwizard Tournament where he is willing to let Harry win the cup and (assuming it wasn’t a portkey) the glory. Cedric shows that being a Hufflepuff doesn’t mean a life of mediocrity, but that being a Hufflepuff takes a lot of character to stand the image the house has. If they can stand that image, then a Hufflepuff can move on to greatness.

Can you talk about the often misunderstood (fanfiction) Lupin/Sirius Relationship? 

Alright, as people may or may not be aware there are people who write Harry Potter stories (often refered to as fanfiction). Now these stories range from a variety of topics and ideas. Now, in one of these sets of fanfiction, writers believe that Lupin and Sirius have more of the type of a relationship that makes some members of the American Republican party shudder. Now, we could go into detail about the exact nature of this relationship, but due to Mugglenet’s policy of PG-13, it’d be hard not tripping on the censor’s toes. Let’s just leave it that some fanfiction authors think they were having a gay old time.

Now the reason it is misunderstood is that people either see it or they don’t. We don’t have a strong opinion either way on this matter. You can’t force someone to believe this, unless J.K. Rowling comes out and tells us. So we’ll leave it at this, whatever Sirius (when he was alive) and Lupin did on their free time is their business, and as long as it didn’t interfere with the operations against Voldemort there was no harm done.

The reason I am writing is to tell you that it is your DUTY to say something about the whacked out voting system… 

As everyone probably knows, there have been problems with the MuggleNet poll about who should direct the OoTP movie. First, it was going fine until Peter Jackson got a boost from his fans and then Chris Colombus (who didn’t discover America) suddenly shot up again. Then of course Ralph Nader got an unfair number of votes so we can say that this poll was seriously tampered with. So instead of calling Jimmy Carter or the UN Vote Monitoring agency, we propose a simple alternative: rotating directors. Peter Jackson should direct the first 15 minutes, then Cauron, then Columbus, then Lucas and so on until everyone has had a fair chance to direct. Divisive polls do nothing but take away from the quality of the film, instead by having everyone cooperate, we get to see the best of everyone. That or just let WB pick whoever they want…

What happened to Dobby during Umbridge’s regime as Headmistress at Hogwarts? She doesn’t strike me as the type to support house-elf liberation, and I don’t think she’d appreciate a house-elf on the payroll. Thoughts? 

Now Umbridge’s short tenure as Headmistress at Hogwarts meant strict rules and enforcement. Now there are three ways this probably could have gone. The first would be easiest (and given her view on wizarding society): to fire Dobby. No pay, no free elf to worry about and no problem. The second would be to keep Dobby but refuse to pay. After all, Umbridge is in charge and she can decide what Hogwarts pays. The third option (and most unlikely) is to keep Dobby and pay him, but given that Umbridge even looked down on the centaurs (even as Bane and friends hauled her away), we’re not placing any bets on this one.

And now time for correction corner for The Raid on Azkaban:

You forgot about under water, the use of gillyweed would seem to be a very covert method. Maybe the magical world also has a way to move through the soil as though it was water.
-Jack Blanton

Oh yeah… that thing. Here’s a just delivered message back, to correct this mistake:

To: Department of Magical Law Enforcement
Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes
Minister of Magic’s Office

From: Chief Investigator and Head of Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Flora

RE: RE: Loss of Azkaban Prison

We here at the Depart for the Regulation and Control of Magical Flora are angered of the so-called Junior Ministerial Assistant’s latest memo. If he had actually bothered to ask one of our representatives, gillyweed is a perfectly safe and sensible way to enable the Aurors the chance to launch an attack against Azkaban Prison. While not readily available, we can, at a moment’s notice, allow for the import of large quantities of the herb. Please, inform the Junior Ministerial Assistant before he suggests something crazier like tunneling our way in.

From your friends in the Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Flora.

You and your column belong in the u-bend for the trash you come up with!
-Many, many, many angry complainers

Okay, we admit it. Some of our work was a little lacking in the beginning and perhaps a little different than what you’re used to (Evil Harry and You). Surprisingly, we received more complaints about ‘Evil Harry’ than the ‘Shrunken Head’, indicating to us that A) people really do hate that shrunken head, or B) we will never try anything that far off again. So, we admit that ‘Evil Harry’ was a little extreme in presentation but we were hoping that people would read it, understand that the situation we present is so extreme that we weren’t serious (the idea that Harry may do bad things is what we were trying to get across), and get a cheap chuckle out of it (while still being educated by the possibility of an ‘evil’ Harry). Also, nowhere did we say that any of the ‘quotes’ used in Evil Harry were from OotP (or any other official source), they were all made up. Some people understood that it was joke and laughed with us, others, well let’s say that we’re glad our virus checkers are up to date. But, if anyone was confused by the contents of ‘Evil Harry’, we apologize. To prevent further confusion, if we do anything else (from an extreme point of view), we will post a disclaimer warning you in advance. So, put away those pitchforks and stop mail bombing us. But, if you really don’t like this (or any other of our columns), no one is forcing you to read them. However, if you feel Harry rocks (and for most people they realize it’s all in good fun), then please keep coming back.

Well, as you can see we’re getting some good ideas. It’s just that not all of them can take up an entire article, but keep them coming! You never know when we’ll answer yours. After all…

You guys rock!
-The rest