Gryffindor Tower #22: HBP: Hare Brained Predictions

by Dan

Before I begin, I ask you all to read my last column, which can be found here. It fits in nicely with my assumptions about HBP, and therefore may answer questions you would otherwise email to me. Also, many of you may have seen the chapters of HBP listed on certain websites. While many assume that this may be real, you need to look no further than the first chapter. The title of it refers to something that would happen in the present, and, as we all know, Jo has stated on numerous occasions that the beginning of book six is thirteen years in the making…therefore it is wholly unbelievable that this chapter listing is correct.

Hello again! I want to apologize for what appeared to be the sudden death of GT, but I can assure you that from now on there will be no more sabbaticals.

This week’s topic will be my predictions for the next book. I am going to refrain from some of the smaller theories, like the new Quidditch captain, couples, etc., and focus on two really big ideas. So, without any more waiting for me to bore you all again, here goes.

Severus Snape: what’s up with him? Snape has appeared throughout the entire series as a heavily-hated antagonist to Harry, and yet, he is one of Dumbledore’s most trusted aides. Well, then, I believe that there are a few questions to be asked of Snape.

First off, why hasn’t Snape ever been given the DADA position? During the Royal Albert Hall interview after the OotP release, Jo said that Dumbledore believed that the position would bring out “the worst in Snape”. What, exactly, does that mean? Is there an extent to which Dumbledore trusts Snape? We know that he admits Snape was at fault for not continuing Harry’s Occlumency lessons. We know that Snape demonstrates overt animosity to Harry, even though he is part of an organization that is, in essence, trying to protect Harry as much as the rest of the world. What, then, did Snape do to earn such trust?

I believe a few things. First, Snape is, without question, a greasy-haired jerk. I would be very much surprised if, at the end of Book 7, Snape said to Harry, “Sorry, sport, but I had to treat ya like dirt, ya know, to put everyone off my tail”. Secondly, I do think that Snape, although he wouldn’t overtly, would possibly cause some serious problems within the Order. Harry was a whiner in Book 5, no doubt, and Sirius’s death was somewhat his fault, but there is no question that Snape was somewhat unreliable. Had he shown Harry that he even remotely cared, anywhere throughout the book, about Harry or the Order (in a substantial way, that is), then Harry might have realized that Snape would, indeed, alert the Order to his warning at the end of OotP.

However, I think that Harry’s attitude towards Snape will have to be amended, at least partially, in Book 6. If the treatment of Snape by Sirius and James in the Pensieve was more than just a one-time deal, then it is more than understandable that Snape dislikes Harry, especially since Harry is an exceptionally uncanny image of his father. Maybe Harry can atone for his father’s shortcomings.

The next topic is one that I have gotten many emails on, a certain “McClaggan” and the role of the Half-Blood Prince. Many have speculated that this character will in fact be either the HBP or the character that has been described behind the mysterious door on JKRowling.com. During an interview, Jo commented that she found the name McClaggan and liked it – umm, do you really think that she’d just pick a random name for the HBP? I’m gonna say: noooooooooooooooo.

Next up, Felix Felicis, one of the chapters of HBP. Time for me to put my history degree to good use. Felix and Felicitas (from which the word Felicis can arguably be derived) are Latin words that mean, basically, luck or good fortune. Now, here’s something quite interesting: Felix was the nickname of a man named – get this – Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix, which meant Lucius Cornelius Sulla “the fortunate”. Sulla was elected Praetor Urbanus in early Rome, which was basically a military leader function. He marched on Rome and overthrew the ruler. He was made dictator. During his reign of terror, he had numerous political enemies killed.

What does this mean for us? Well, there’s two ways to go with this. If Jo was just using the name to signify a lucky character, then I believe that the description posted on her website behind the mysterious door was referring to this character, who could possibly be the new DADA teacher. However..

What if Felix Felicis is the next Minister of Magic? We’ve all seen the headline on the Quibbler: “Fudge Forced to Flee! Minister of Magic Chased from Office!” I believe that Felix is a leader of a movement against Fudge. Let’s face it, a lot of people are probably really unhappy with Fudge’s constant denial of Voldemort’s return, a coup d’état, or even a full-blown revolution, would not be all that surprising. In turbulent times throughout history, especially when a land was under threat of a powerful enemy, coups or revolutions have been welcome with open arms, even if the ensuing terror of a dictatorship is the result. The wizarding world may feel that a drastic change of power is needed, and usually people in roles like Sulla’s are exceptional at garnering public approval. Many of you may not know that Hitler was an almost rock star-like figure, and his propaganda machines made him into a legendary figure in 1930s Germany. Nazi rallies were like huge parties, even teenage boys and girls cheered for the Führer like, well, like girls who see Dan Radcliffe or Tom Felton in person for the first time (by the way, if any of you email me saying any HP actor is hotter than those two, I will see to it that your computer begins shooting CD-ROMs at you, I just picked them because they were the first two that popped in my head).

So, Felicis takes over control of the wizarding world, and some soon begin disagreeing with him. Well, who, for instance? The whole Order, for starters, as well as many in the public. Can this lead to a rivalry between Dumbledore and Felicis, much like the Dumbledore-Fudge conflict? I think so.

Eventually, like all similar situations, this particular dictator will be overthrown, and a new Minister will be placed. Who, do you ask? If I had to put money on it, I’d say Arthur Weasley. Now, before any of you say, “Jo said he won’t be Minister of Magic!”, I ask you to reread that part of her website. The question clearly states, “Will Arthur Weasley be the new Minister of Magic?” It does not ask whether he will ever be Minister. I firmly believe that, before the end of HBP, Arthur will become the new Minister of Magic.

I want to take a moment to welcome back the Pensieve, another MuggleNet editorial.

May your swords stay sharp!

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