The Underground Lake #18: Harry and His Women

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 of evidence used to refute me), he disappears from Harry’s point of view. The whole feather bit happens much later. The feather is the warning that Umbridge is coming. It is my contention that Dumbledore and Fawkes are connected. Before Dumbledore finishes his sentence, Fawkes knows what to do. I believe that Fawkes can fly really, really fast and since he is a bird of fire, that’s where you get your smoke. My main reason for thinking that Fawkes doesn’t teleport is that Dumbledore didn’t say so in Book Two. In his office, Dumbledore gives us a rundown of what Phoenixes qualities or attributes: 1) they can carry immense loads; 2) they produce tears with healing powers; 3) they are reborn from their own ashes; and 4) they make very faithful pets. To me, the ability to teleport, especially INSIDE HOGWARTS, is something I think Dumbledore, or more importantly J.K. Rowling, would have told us and made plainly clear because it’s a pretty frickin’ important power. But just to play devil’s advocate, even if he can teleport inside of the chamber, why didn’t Dumbledore send him down there ages ago with instructions to find a way in and let him know. They could have discovered the chamber long before Tom Riddle’s diary surfaced and saved a lot of trouble. It just goes to prove my point that Dumbledore not only knew where the Chamber was, but also that it was a secret best kept guarded so that no faculty members (Snape for instance, or Quirrell) would go snooping around down there. Not to mention, he would then have to know a basilisk was down there, so you obviously don’t want any kids poking around in case the info leaks out. So there’s my two cents, and on to new business…

I thought I would take a departure from my usual rants about the diabolical inner workings of Harry Potter, and focus instead on another issue. I would say that probably 25% of all the emails I receive somehow slip in the question: who do you think is getting together? This question, known as shipping, permeates throughout the Harry Potter fandom. Frankly, I could care less who ends up with whom. But these questions continue to come to me, and I do have opinions on the matter, so I thought I would go ahead and put it all down here so that people will stop asking me. I submit for your entertainment and consideration: HARRY AND HIS WOMEN!

HARRY POTTER AND THE ATTACK OF THE TEEN SHOWS
Hi. My name is Brandon Ford, and I am a teen show watcher. It began innocently enough. The spring of my seventh grade year, a fledgling network called the WB had only two television shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 7th Heaven (talk about apples and oranges). I loved me some Buffy. During the commercials for Buffy during this particular time, I was bombarded with previews for some new show called Dawson’s Creek. It was getting pretty annoying to tell the truth. Every five minutes, I saw some girl climb out a boy’s window, some other guy make out with a woman much older than him and a breathtaking blonde exit a cab. Over and over, I saw this same commercial. The premiere day arrived. I let it pass. The next day at school (and mind you, this is a predominately BLACK school) all the girls, and I mean ALL the girls were talking about was Dawson’s Creek. A horrible thing happened overnight. The day before Dawson’s Creek, boys and girls in middle school coexisted in harmony. AfterDawson’s Creek, the house was divided. The girls WOULD NOT TALK TO YOU unless it was about Dawson’s Creek. Either because the WB sensed this seismic shift in prepubescent relations or they simply had absolutely no other shows to air, the WB repeated the show three times that week. All the guys caught on and began to watch the show. Then we could talk to the girls. A few weeks later a new show would premiere – called South Park – and most of the guys inexorably flocked to that show.

Years have passed since then, and I have stuck through it all. From the glory days of pre-haircut Felicity and the very delightful and killed before its time Jack and Jill, to the new generation of teen show led by its general, The O.C., flanked by its WB soldiers:One Tree HillEverwood, and Smallville, as well as the quite brilliant and extremely underrated Jack and Bobby (in my opinion, the best acted show on television). I say all this to say that I can smell fictional teen romance brewing miles away. It is for that reason that I feel I am qualified to speculate on who I think will and will not hook up. Before I get there, since this is gonna be a fun entry, I thought I’d throw in one or two little tidbits about dating life at Hogwarts. At this point, to all the parents who allow their young children to read my column (and there are many more than I realized), this is the point where you put them to bed and enjoy a little chuckle. You can wake them up to read the section following this one.

In the course of reading HP, especially the lengthier volumes, the mind tends to wander. And strange ideas pop into my head (honestly, I think I have mild ADD). The first came when reading Book Two. I have to preface this by saying that all my friends tell me that my mind is always in the gutter. In CoS, when Ginny has a little freak-out, Percy explains that it was because, “she caught me…” Well, the first time I read that, I about wet myself laughing as I was reminded of my favorite Seinfeld episode. I thought to myself, you mean Percy was not “Master of his Domain”? Of course, JKR covers it later by saying that she caught him making out with Penelope Clearwater, but this led me down another road: of all the Weasley boys, PERCY is getting the most action. Stuck up, pompous, full of himself, aspirations of magical world domination Percy Ignatius Weasley is getting more action than all of his brothers (that we know of; we can’t speak for Bill or Charlie). Then I got to thinking about some of the little “sexual” things JKR puts in the books. The fact that girls can go into the boys dorm but not vice-versa is very telling. And ladies, just so you know, if a guy doesn’t really care about you, he’ll ask to go to your place because then he’ll have an excuse to leave. If he invites you to his, he cares because it means you don’t have to leave until you want to. Remember that. Sorry guys, but it had to come out sometime, and I’m trying to make a point. That is some of the subtlety of JKR – little touches like that. So if Harry, Ron, Seamus and Neville go up to their room and see a sock tied to the door, Ron, you’d better watch out because that means Ginny is in there with Dean! HA!

It was this Percy situation that made me think of teenage sex. According to the gallup polls, more than 40% of teenagers under the age of 18 say they have engaged in sexual activity. That got me thinking: how would things like that work in Hogwarts? I mean they may be witches and wizards, but they are still warm-blooded teenagers with hormones. If there is one thing I know about teenagers is that if they are given time, location, and opportunity, they can and WILL find a way to do what teenagers in love (or lust) want to do. Now based on their class schedules and activities, not to mention the constant looming threat of death that seems to have filled the school over the past few years, students’ time is kept pretty well occupied. Poor Harry in Book Five – even if he hadn’t insulted Cho (and I know it was mostly her miscommunication), he still couldn’t have pursued a relationship with her, purely due to a lack of time. Harry was so busy he didn’t have time to *get* busy. But then I thought, suppose he had those three things: time, location, and opportunity. Could he pursue a relationship?

For the hormone-driven Hogwarts student, there is an answer: become a prefect. Prefects have it made in the relationship department. I hit on this when I read GoF and Harry went to the Prefects’ bathroom. That is a very cozy spot for a romantic evening for two. If The Real World has taught us anything, it is that the Jacuzzi is the best place in the world for teenage angst.

But what do our non-prefects do? If you are in the DA, then you know the perfect date place: the room of requirement! So you can’t wait for another Hogsmeade weekend (sucks that there’s only three), go to the room of requirement and concentrate on the perfect place for a date. Open the door to be serenaded by a violinist and reenact the best scene from Lady and the Tramp as you eat spaghetti and whisper sweet nothings in her ear. Then, if the evening takes that turn, the table and musician disappear to be replaced by the most glorious and romantic of sleeping surfaces surrounded by all manner of scented oils and prophylactics.

That brings me to another matter: magical protection. Many months ago, a girl emailed me and asked if I thought witches used sanitary products. I chastised her for asking such a dumb question. That, and as a guy, I know less than nothing about sanitary products. But I should apologize to this young girl because there are many things I wonder about the magical community that are just as trivial. For example, are they still susceptible to Muggle ailments? Witches and wizards do copulate with Muggles. Is it therefore impossible to assume that a wizard couldn’t possibly become infected with a disease like AIDS? For that matter, can wizards get cancer or any other varieties of Muggle diseases? I ask this because JKR has invented a world unto itself but every once in a while, certain things intersect – like Mr. Weasley getting stitches – and it failing miserably. I think it would be very responsible for Madame Pomfrey to sit down with the students at a certain age and have “health class.”

Well, enough of that little two-page aside. Parents, once you have stopped laughing at the sheer absurdity of the last bit, you may bring your children back and they may finish reading the article from here on.

LET’S PLAY A LITTLE GAME CALLED “WHO’S DATING WHO?”

One of the main reasons the preceding was so long was because I needed filler because you all know what I’m going to say. It has been painfully obvious since Book Four that Ron and Hermione are going to end up together. If you doubt this, look at “The Yule Ball” in GoF and tell me that Ron and Hermione will not end up together. No guy and girl can argue with each other that much and not have an underlying sexual tension. They are Seth and Summer. They are Joey and Pacey. They are two people who like to believe they have nothing in common and therefore cannot stand each other, when in reality the reason they are so dissimilar is that they have to complete each other. Where Hermione is brilliant and studious, Ron counters by being fun-loving and down to earth. Hermione gets on her high horse, and Ron is there to ground her in reality. Hermione is full of outward confidence and cocksure, while Ron is quietly neurotic and insecure. These two people are incomplete and need each other to be whole. It’s classic storytelling. It’s Han and Leia (opposites) not Luke and Leia (the same – and yes, I know they are related). It’s Aragorn and Arwen (opposites – human and elf), not Aragorn and Eowyn (because she is basically the female version of Aragorn, and no man wants to date himself).

As for Harry, you all know that I believe he will die so he’s not ending up with anyone. However, even if he doesn’t die, I see him alone (97% sure). However, we know Harry sees some action in the next two books. To my mind, he will be with both of the following two people: Luna or Ginny.

Luna has the whole quirky, girl next-door thing going on. She’s the girl you never notice, and when you do, she knocks you off your feet. The only flaw I see in choosing Luna is that she is SO WEIRD. I can see Harry making out with Luna, but I cannot see Harry sitting down and having an intelligent conversation with her. We’re talking lovers and friends territory here. Can you honestly see Harry and Luna sitting down to tea having a functional conversation? She’s too weird.

But I have a bad fortune for Luna. I think Luna will die in Book Six. I believe that Harry will begin a relationship with Luna only to watch her die before he really gets to know her intimately. To me, the Luna character arc isn’t strong enough to last until the end of the series. In the way that Cedric Diggory debuted in Book Three as the honorable would-be rival to Harry only to die in Book Four, I feel Luna is merely strutting and fretting her short hour upon the stage just like him. I believe she will, however, steer Harry more towards the fantastical aspects of the world. I feel some of her crazy theories may yet come to light, especially the ones she makes at the end of OotP when discussing her mother and looking for all the things people take from her. It is that which will bring the two together. Remember, Harry has a, as Hermione put it, “saving people thing.” This translates to his relationships as well. After Cho, Harry is going to gravitate to a woman who NEEDS him. Cho didn’t need Harry. She needed someone to talk to who understood what she was going through. To me, if Harry and Cho had had a good conversation about it, they would have realized that they were better off friends because to Cho, Harry could never be more than a substitute Cedric. As for Luna, I think he will be drawn to her and see that inner beauty, but because Harry cares about her, she will be made to suffer.

That leaves Ginny. After Luna dies, I feel what everyone has been waiting for will finally happen. Ginny had a crush on Harry. Crushes fade for the simple reason that you never actually get to know your crush and eventually a more realistic option turns your head. Ginny “moved on” because she realized that though she knew Harry, she didn’t “know” Harry. She felt that Harry only saw her as “Ron’s little sister.” After her bravery with the DA as well as in the MoM, Harry now sees her as Ginny Weasley. Not to mention, Harry is a stubborn, strong-willed guy. He needs a woman who will challenge him and put him in his place. Harry’s “saving people thing” stems from his own personal desire to be saved. Harry cannot know true love until he lets down his defenses and allows a woman to save him. Harry is the reluctant hero, but it is his job. The true hero goes home to a woman who doesn’t need to be saved, but can “save” him from himself. In OotP, Ginny stood up to Harry. Where Ron and Hermione took his yelling and abuse, Ginny was defiant and helpful and quite brilliant in her diversionary tactics. I see Harry and Ginny happening in Book Seven. If they should both survive, I don’t believe completely in happy endings. I believe that the two could have a child, but I cannot see Harry married doing the family thing. He’s a loner. He’s Bruce Wayne. I think he can have a love of his life in Ginny but circumstances beyond his control will force them apart.

So that’s my take on the whole thing. Until next time, remember that THE WHEELS ARE IN MOTION!

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