Abendroth Blutjager's Guide to Harry Potter

Monday, June 26, 2006


1] What makes Mrs. Figg's house smell like cabbage?

2] Harry was just thinking to himself, so how did the snake know to start communicating with Harry before Harry even started to talk to it? I mean, before Harry says word one to the snake, it's already winking at him and giving him "looks". How can a snake make a face that conveys any meaning plainly? Is the snake "reading" Harry's mind before Harry starts to talk to it?

3] Where is Sirius's flying motorcycle now? Where/how did Sirius get that motorcycle?

4] How did Harry end up with a pair of glasses when the Dursleys are so stingy regarding him? Yes, we see they have neglected to have them fixed, and I wonder if they aren't the ones who even bought them for him....

5] Is there more than meets the eye about the spiders that inhabit #4 Privet Drive?

6] The usual question: what's with Harry's green eyes that look just like his mom's?

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Harry doesn't recall much of what happened that horrible night.

So far, all he remembers is a green flash of light.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


There are about ten years between the events of "The Boy Who Lived" and "The Vanishing Glass", so what on earth has happened during these missing years?

Well, we know that Harry has been using accidental magic to get himself out of a few binds.

Here we learn about three major incidents that happened sometime before Dudley's 11th birthday:

1] Petunia chops Harry's hair off (except his bangs), and Harry goes to bed dreading how he'll be treated at school the next day. He wakes up the next morning to find that his hair has grown back to it's usual length and messy style. It seems that Harry had been inadvertently returning his hair to its usual length and style after every visit to the barber, but these instances were in no way as obvious as a whole head of hair growing back overnight.

2] Petunia tries to pass Dudley's old sweater (a hideous brown thing with orange puffballs) on to Harry, and Harry makes it shrink so small he couldn't possibly wear it.

3] Dudley and his pals chase Harry to pummel him (as usual) on the school grounds, and Harry jumps (levitates himself) onto the chimney of the school kitchens.

What other magic has Harry used before the incident with the glass at the reptile house (besides the events listed above)?


Again, some of these will undoubtedly prove fruitless. However, we might as well consider all of them....

  1. brass no. 4 -- four has already been mentioned in NUMBERS AND NUMEROLOGY. However, is there anything to the fact the house number is made of brass? Brass house numbers are common...they are shiny...they are a poor replacement for gold....
  2. the flying motorcycle -- gets mentioned twice in this chapter. Harry keeps dreaming about it, and Vernon is livid that Harry would suggest a motorcycle could fly...even in dreams. Not only are we seeing just how Vernon despises imagination, we're also getting really early doses of GW's Rule #1. Sirius's flying motorcycle will be important again in Book 7. I'm quite willing to bet on it. Actually, I wonder if it originally belonged to Regulus....
  3. socks -- will be mentioned quite often throughout the septology. They tie in nicely with the running bits about knitting, patterns, and spinning. Socks seem to represent comfort and freedom.
  4. spiders -- are everywhere! Harry gets used to them quite early because he sleeps in a cupboard that must be quite full of them. We'll be seeing lots more of them later.
  5. the cupboard under the stairs -- is where Harry slept for several years. I wonder at what age they placed him in there....
  6. Harry's round glasses (held together with Scotch tape) -- Did the Dursleys actually buy him glasses? Is the shape of them important? Is there something special about these glasses?
  7. Harry's bright green eyes -- are very important. Actually, it's not so much simply that they are green, but we find out later they are "Lily's eyes".... It could be that it's all he has physically inheritted from Lily...the only thing people would notice about him that would remind them of Lily. However, there could be much more to it than that.
  8. Dudley's racing bike -- Dudley immediately uses it to knock Mrs. Figg off her crutches.
  9. Dudley's computer -- I just wish Harry could have had a go on it....
  10. Dudley's second TV -- Dudley had destroyed the first one when a favorite show got cancelled.
  11. Dudley's video camera -- which Dudley quickly breaks. Wonder if Harry can fix it....
  12. Dudley's remote control airplane -- also gets destroyed rather quickly.
  13. Dudley's 16 computer games -- any particular reason for 16?
  14. Dudley's VCR -- man Dudley's spoiled rotten....
  15. Dudley's gold wristwatch -- ditto. hmm...something that's actually gold, or at least we think it's gold...could be fake.
  16. Mrs. Figg's cats -- well, we know she breeds cat-kneazle hybrids, and some of them become useful later.
  17. chocolate ice cream vs. cheap lemon ice pop -- I just think it's interesting because of all the later references to chocolate and lemon (chocolate given out after dementor attacks, Dumbledore's sherbert lemons/lemon drops).
  18. knickerbocker glory -- it's a decadent mix of ice cream, whipped cream, and fruit (especially strawberries). It's particularly amusing when we find out later that Dudley's Smeltings uniform includes knickerbockers. Dudley's getting increasingly too big for his, if you know what I mean. Perhaps if he'd stay away from the knickerbocker glory.... Oh, yeah, and there is a mix of petunia varieties also called "knickerbocker glory"....
  19. strong, sweet tea -- tea is another "comfort" used throughout the series.
  20. large brandy -- let's face it, there's a lot of boozing in the series. Alcohol is often imbibed as a calmative by various characters. We'll also see people using alcohol to get what they want from others.
  21. the vanishing glass -- itself. Well, we know that Harry has released some uncontrolled magic, but it's very effective. At this point Harry still has no idea what's going on.
  22. Dudley's old sweater/jumper -- is hideous! It's only of interest because of what Harry does to it, and I'll get to that in the next post....

Monday, June 19, 2006


There just isn't much for "The Vanishing Glass", as far as numbers go....

  • Almost 10 years have passed between chapters one and two;
  • There's that brass no. 4 on the Dursleys' house;
  • Dudley counts 36 presents, 2 less than last year -- it's 3 x 12 and also reduces to 9;
  • Dudley really has 37 presents;
  • Petunia says she'll buy Dudley 2 more presents, giving him a total of 39 -- that's 3 x 13, reducing to 12 and ultimately reducing to 3;
  • Dudley received 16 computer games -- that reduces to 7.
  • Dudley's second TV.


Finally! I'm adding posts for Chapter 2 of PS/SS!

  • Arabella -- (We now know that Mrs. Figg's full name is Arabella Doreen Figg, so I'll go ahead and define her full name, not just "Figg".) From Latin orabilis meaning "yeilding to pray" or "invokable" suggesting a saint that could be invoked.
  • Doreen -- From Dora, from Greek doron meaning "gift". Might also be derived from Dora <--Dorothy (or Dorothea, "gift of god") <-- Devorgilla/Diorbhvail meaning "true testimony". A variant is Dorean, coming from Doireann, "daughter of Finn" or "daughter of the white/fair". Finn MacCumaill was a hero in Irish myth...known for wisdom and fairness.
  • Figg -- apparently this just refers to someone who lived near figs or sold figs. It's from Old French figue, from Latin ficus. Some say the fig tree was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, instead of the apple. Ancient Hebrews viwed the fig tree as a symbol of peace and plenty. The fig tree has devoloped the symbolic meaning of divination, fertility, and love. Figwort is an herb, having the symbolic meaning of health and protection. So, what does all this say about Mrs. Figg? Well, she does seem to be a person Harry can rely on...can ask for help. She also gave important testimony at his trial after the dementor attack. The last name seems to have less to do with her importance to the plot than her given names, but maybe it's just to strengthen her role as a protector.
  • Tibbles -- One of Mrs. Figg's "cats". It's a variant of Tibbals, from the midieval names Tebald and Tibalt, from Theobald, apparently meaning "bold race" or "bold people". Is this the cat called Mistigri in the French translation? Mistigri is a version of poker (the card game) in which the joker is used. Here the joker is called mistigri or mistigris, which actually means "pussycat". Tigri means "tiger", so mistigri would possibly be diminutive, like "little tiger", and the cat might be striped like a tiger... a tabby cat. There also is a fuscia-colored variety of rose called Mistigri, but I'm not sure if this references a cat or a joker....
  • Snowy -- In the French translation, Snowy is called Patounet, which could be a portmanteau of "pas tous net" meaning "not very clear" or "not very distinct", so perhaps it's "fuzzy", like the white and black flecks we call "snow" on the TV when we flip to a station without a signal.... However, Patounet is a common nickname in French-speaking parts of the world and appears to be a pet name for Patrick. It's even the name of a store that sells swimwear in France... maybe because of a famous swimwear designer named Jean Patou. A type of dog, the Great Pyrenees, is also called Patou. Patou is from pastou, derived from the Old French pastre, meaning "Shepherd". These are mostly snow-white colored dogs (they have a bit of black fur on the neck) that live with the sheep herd and treat them as family. They often act as scouts as the herd moves around to graze. Perhaps JKR is saying Snowy is particularly good as a protector and scout, which works well with the fact Mrs. Figg raises cat/kneazle hybrids.
  • Tufty -- the adjective form of tuft. The French translation of Tufty became Mignonette, a woody herb that has dense, yet delicate-looking flower heads that smell quite spicy... possibly references to lace or coarse-ground pepper. These names suggest dense fur with a speckled pattern. This cat might also be a bit diminutive in size and affectionate. The relations to tuft and lace add Tufty/Mignonette to the running bits about knitting, knots, spinning, and patterns. www.reference.com says a variety of mignonette is used for yellow dye, and another variety's essential oils are used for perfumes.
  • Mr. Paws -- I wonder if this is a case of homonyms. Paws --> pause? Or is this a suggestion that Mr. Paws is clumsy (paw being an informal term for a large and clumsy hand)? Is it a reference to pawing something... attacking...treating something rudely, clumsily or with too much familiarity? Paw can also mean "mischievous". It's also a variant of pa, meaning "father". We also have the phrase "cat's paw"... a type of knot... a nebula in Scorpius...a pawn, puppet, or tool...and an instrument of torture. I think the French translation calls this cat Pompon, which would be what we often call a pompom, like the kind used by cheerleaders. This would make him a fluffy ball of fur. Perhaps he looks harmless but is a force to be reckoned with... or vise versa.
  • Marge/Marjorie -- Vernon's sister. It's ultimately from Hebrew margaron meaning "pearl".
  • Yvonne -- Petunia's friend. Feminine form of Yves, meaning "yew"!
  • Piers -- Dudley's best friend. From Peter meaning "stone" or "rock". A common variant is Pierce. Also, we can look at pier, which is basically a support or reinforcement structure, like a buttress or span of wall between windows...or a place to dock a boat.
  • Polkiss -- Polk comes from Gaelic poll, meaning "pool"or "pit". Kiss, as a surname, comes from Hungarian kis meaning "small", as in small stature. Remember that Piers Polkiss is a small kid who probably just holds victims for Dudley to beat up....
  • Majorca -- The largest island of the Balearic Islands. It's biggest industry is tourism.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fun with Anagrams: (The) Half-Blood Prince

Here I go again.... I thought this one would be interesting because of the whole "Lord Voldemort" idea. Hermione, Ron, and Harry seem to have this hangup that Snape wants to equate himself with royalty, just like Voldemort apparently does.

First, here are several for H-A-L-F-B-L-O-O-D-P-R-I-N-C-E:

  • PRO BLED ON A FILCH: well, he might have bled on Filch a bit after getting bit by Fluffy....
  • FLOP A RICH BLONDE: what he's doing/will do to Narcissa?
  • HE'LL CON A FOP BIRD: hey, don't call Fawkes a fop bird!
  • A BOLD LICHEN PROF.: some people might say he's a bit of a lichen
  • A NOBLE CHILD, PROF.: yes, Professor, Harry is a "noble" child, but apparently not as noble as Dumbledore, or is Dumbledore really that noble?
  • PROD A NOBLE FILCH: what's noble about Filch? how are you prodding him, Snape?
  • FIB, HELP CON A LORD: sweet!!
  • HE'LL DO CABIN PROF.: no, Snape, you better leave Hagrid alone!
  • DAB OLE FLINCH PRO: I saw your hand flinch during the Unbreakable Vow scene....
  • BAD OLE FLINCH PRO: ditto above....
  • BAD PROF., HELL ICON: oh, I hope not!
  • BLAND HEROIC FLOP: oh, I don't think he's bland....

And here are some oddities for T-H-E-H-A-L-F-B-L-O-O-D-P-R-I-N-C-E:

  • FRENCH HILLTOP ABODE: So, is that where you are going to hide now? (hehe)
  • LETCH FONDLER PHOBIA: er...sounds like a personal problem....
  • BELCHED FILTH ON A PRO: a pro what?
  • LO! A THIN PROF. BELCHED: it would be funny if he got hit with a jinx that made him cough up slugs like Ron did....

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Future Lies in the Past, part six: Backpacking Through the Past

This will mostly discuss question # 1 of my time-travel theory.

Here's that question again:
1] Does he "travel" alone or does he take trusted friends with him, and does he travel light or take as many handy items as he can carry on his person?

I won't be able to say anything regarding whom he might take back in time with him (though Ron's nifty new watch and his decreasing helpfulness throughout the books suggests that it could be Ron's time to shine and come through for Harry in a big way), but I have some ideas of what Harry might take with him when he travels, and it won't be all that much.

a] wand (duh),
b] that Advanced Potions book Snape would like to get back. It could help deal with whatever is in that basin in the cave....,
c] two-way mirror, to contact Regulus A. Black,
d] perhaps the Pocket Sneakoscope (it wasn't faulty, it detected Peter Pettigrew),
e] Ron's watch or maybe Dumbledore's watch (if he gets hold of it somehow, like from Dumbledore's will?),
f] some galleons from his vault,
g] something he might find in his vault (or Black family vault) when he's preparing to travel....

I'll have to update here as I think of other items he might take.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Fun with Anagrams: Severus Snape

Ok, so I'm on this anagram stint.

We all know "Tom Marvolo Riddle" is an anagram for "I am Lord Voldemort", but what other anagrams can we find in the series that might actually shed light on something?

Damn all you people out there who have mentioned that an anagram for Irma Pince (the librarian) is "I'm a Prince"! Now, I'm not sold on the idea that Madame Pince is related to Severus Snape, but this gets me to thinking about other people's names, as well as potion and spell names.... So here's my first installment about anagrams.

S-E-V-E-R-U-S-S-N-A-P-E...gives lots of meaningless anagrams, including “Persues Evans” (misspells “pursues”) and “Perseus Evans” (that’s not his real name!). However, I did find these gems:

  • "Seen versus Pa" -- like Harry saw in the pensieve, "Snape's Worst Memory". Variants on this are "Sure seen Pa vs." and “Sure seen vs. Pa”.
  • "Pa seen vs. Ruse" – Here Snape is the ruse. A ruse is a “deceptive device”. So, what’s the ruse about Snape? Taken into context with the reference to seeing “Pa” vs. the ruse, it could be another “Snape’s Worst Memory” situation…Snape seems to be innocent, like Lily asked James what Snape had done to him, but what if that’s the ruse…what if Snape had been horrible to James, and we just haven’t seen the things he’s done. Or what if Snape is just a general ruse? That would be like the variant “Pa seen vs. User”
  • "Spun as severe" -- as if JKR has spun - put a spin on - how we see Snape.
  • "As Supervenes" -- I had to look up "supervene", just to make sure I was getting the right idea here. http://www.dictionary.com/ has this definition:
    Main Entry: su·per·vene. Pronunciation: "sü-p&r-'vEn. Function: intransitive verb. Inflected Forms: -vened; -ven·ing: to take place after or later in the course of something else as an additional and usually unforeseeable development with intervening or countering effect.
    As if this could have something to do with Snape saving Dumbledore's life after the incident with Marvolo's ring...and then later killing Dumbledore after the incident with the potion in the cave. "As Supervenes" suggests Snape is as he is portrayed the second time around. This would bode very unwell for people like me who are in the "Snape's not evil" camp. We could rearrange this again to get "Ass Supervene".
  • "Severe ass pun" -- Haha. The only ones I saw were Ron mentioning "Uranus".
  • "Spear evens us" -- er...muggle fighting would make Snape and Harry even? Yeah, okay that's a bit too out there for me....
  • "Senses a 'rev-up'" -- this could only refer to the running bit about time. A variation is
  • "Sees a spun rev". As we go from one book in the series to the next, the narator mentions how time seems to be speeding up. This is very interesting in conjunction with my theory that Harry goes back further in time. Perhaps to get back to the present in a timely manner, Harry turns the time-turner (or whatever he uses to time travel this time) forward to speed up time. Perhaps Snape realizes something about time is amiss....
  • "See? Spun versa" -- Again, this suggests JKR has lead the reader to believe Snape's against Harry. Then, in Book 7, we'll find out he's on Harry's side after all.
  • "Ares? Venus? S.E.P." -- Ok, so this mixes Greek and Roman names for gods and goddesses, but I still find this one funny. Basically, it would mean “Matters of war and love are not my problem.” S.E.P. stands for “someone else’s problem”. This would be a good one for those who think Snape’s just on his own side.
  • “Evans ruse? S.E.P.” -- Ugh. I wanted a ruse having to do with Evans, but what on earth could this mean, coming from Snape? Yuck, I’ll just toss this in the bin, along with “Perseus Evans” and “Persues Evans”….
  • “Aver suspense” – Aver is defined:
    Aver:1. assert confidently: to assert something confidently. 2. allege: to state or allege that something is true
    So, would this mean to “allege that suspense is true”? Er…whatever.
  • Vera suspense” -- which literally means “faith suspense”. This is interesting considering Malfoy was a name JKR came up with, basically meaning "Bad Faith". We know the Malfoys have "bad faith", and here we have an anagram showing that Snape's faith really is unknown.
  • Suspense rave” – this would suggest all of us hung-up on Snape’s loyalties are nutters…
  • Suave serpens” – Oh! Oh! We immediately see the connection to serpent or snake. However, there is more to it than that. Look at what http://www.dictionary.com/ says:
    Ser·pens ( P ) Pronunciation
    (sûr p nz, -p nz )n. A constellation in the equatorial region of the northern sky, made up of two parts, Serpens Cauda, the “tail,” and Serpens Caput, the “head,” both near Hercules and Ophiuchus.
    Not only does is connect Snape to stars and constellations, but also to Ouroboros:
    Main Entry: ouroboros. Part of Speech: noun. Definition: a circular symbol of a snake or dragon devouring its tail, standing for infinity or wholeness; also written uroboros or Ouroboros. Etymology: 1940 Greek.
    So, what can se say about this? It makes me think about “Spinner’s End”. Though he’s not a particularly charming man, he does seem to take on a sophistication, a bit of grace and charm to coax info (or trust) out of Narcissa and Bellatrix. However this encounter seems to seal his fate. This could be the “spinner’s end” as he devours himself, leading to the end of his relatively comfortable life at Hogwarts…. However, since Serpens is not the same snake as Ouroboros, we should take Serpens and Ophiuchus into consideration:
    Æsculapius was an immortal man who had been schooled by the centaur Chiron in the arts of botany and medicine. So he was knowledgeable of the various herbs and plants and a student of nature. One day, it is said, he was in the house of a friend when he killed a snake. He watched in astonishment when another snake slithered into the room with a particular herb in its mouth and with it restored the slain reptile to life. Recognizing the plant, Æsculapius soon had learned to use its mystical powers to heal the sick and resurrect the dead. It is from this history and from the ability of a snake to cast off its skin and assume a new revitalization that serpents have become symbols for healing. The staff of Æsculapius, with a snake coiling about the rod, is well known in today's medicine. Unfortunately, this symbol is often confused with the caduceus of Mercury, which is a doubly-winged wand entwined by two snakes. Truly, however, the symbol of Mercury is the symbol of essengers.Æsculapius, the first doctor, sailed on the famous voyage of the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece. Following the journey, he continued to heal the sick and to advance the practice of medicine. On the death of Orion, he was about to attempt to restore the life of this great hero when Pluto, lord of the underworld, intervened. Pluto reasoned that his realm would decline if Æsculapius were allowed to revive the dead. He appealed to his brother Jupiter to agree that death should be the ultimate end of mortal man, not to be trifled with even by the most skilled of physicians. Jupiter, king of the gods, struck Æsculapius with a thunderbolt and ended his life on Earth. But in tribute to the accomplishments and skill of the great physician, Jupiter placed him among the stars, where today he is known as Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. (http://www.eastbayastro.org/articles/lore/ophiuchus.htm)

This constellation is centered over the (prime?) meridian in July.
Okay, so...staying with the "Suave Serpens" anagram, what would this say about Snape? Serpens was the smart snake who revived the snake Ophiuchus had killed. So, if Snape is that snake with medicinal knowledge (he's a Potions Master for a reason) whom did he save, and to whom did he impart his knowledge?