Abendroth Blutjager's Guide to Harry Potter

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Missing 24hrs!! Maybe....

Dumbledore tells Harry that Snape is the one to go to when you need help regarding the Dark Arts, like if you have been injured by a curse....

Dumbledore goes to Snape sometime during the summer between Harry's 5th and 6th years. He's injured while destroying the ring horcrux, and he goes to Snape (still at Hogwarts, possibly about to leave for Spinner's End) for help.

When Katie Bell is injured by the opal necklace, a cursed object, McGonagall has Filch take the necklace to Snape for inspection.

What if this is a clue about the missing 24hrs after the attack on the Potters?

Imagine this senario:

  • Voldemort attacks the Potters. James dies from an AK, Lily makes her choice and dies by AK, and the AK cast at Harry backfires. Other things happen, too, like the house falling to ruins.
  • Someone is there to witness the attack and quickly informs Dumbledore.

  • Dumbledore sends Hagrid to get Harry out of the house and tells him to take Harry to Snape for inspection. (We're definitely dealing with a dark curse here.)

  • Hagrid shows up at Godric's Hollow, meets up with Sirius and borrows the bike, then takes Harry away from the crime scene before the Muggles show up .

  • This brings Harry out of Godric's Hollow (wherever it is) and takes him to...well, Spinner's End, perhaps? The clues about Spinner's End suggest either Wales or the environs around Manchester... However, Snape tells Bellatrix he was at Hogwarts, and since it was the middle of term at school, it makes sense for Snape to be at Hogwarts, not Spinner's End...unless Dumbledore asked Snape to leave the castle and go to Spinner's End (or elsewhere) to help him....

  • Snape observes Harry for several hours and possibly performs some tests (like a healer or doctor would), then he contacts Dumbledore to say that, except for a nasty cut on his forehead, Harry seems healthy and can be placed with his relatives. (I'm assuming here that Snape has at least some idea of Dumbledore's plans to place Harry with his aunt... and might know about the blood magic Dumbledore uses to seal Harry's protection at #4 Privet Drive.) Alternate senario: Harry's injuries are more severe than a cut on the forehead, and Snape stops the spread of something, much like he later does for Dumbledore and Katie Bell....

  • Hagrid then takes Harry from wherever Snape was to Surrey. Like Moody in OotP, Hagrid might take a winding route, trying to throw off the enemy....

Freaky idea, but plausible. Nowhere in canon does it say Hagrid went directly from Godric's Hollow to Privet Drive in Surrey.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Life Debts and how to contract them

I love the editorials and the discussion threads for Life Debts. I don't agree with everything, but it has made me rethink how Life Debts are made.

I've heard too many people claim everyone owes a life debt to Harry because he's inadvertently saved so many lives. Thank goodness Jo stated that not all instances of saving a life qualify for creating life debts.

There are two major camps on the Life Debt issue. (The people who think Life Debts are being contracted left and right don't count.)

One camp argues that a Life Debt is contracted when the saved person feels obligated. This would place Snape in the category of owing James a Life Debt, regardless of James's motives. It explains why Crouch Jr., having fallen ill at Azkaban and removed by Crouch Sr., could later kill his own father: he felt no sense of obligation in his demented mind. It doesn't quite explain why Wormtail owes Harry, though, since Wormtail keeps saying "thank you", but he might not mean it - he seems to mean it at the time, but he's being desperate - Wormatil might not be truly grateful or feel indebted, but he owes a Life Debt anyway. True, Wormtail avoided eye contact with Harry in the graveyard, but he avoids eye contact with others, too. People who avoid eye contact cannot be trusted. Wormtail will probably fulfill his Life Debt, but not because he wants to.

The other camp claims a Life Debt is contracted when the threat is immediate, the savior is presented with a clear choice, and the savior chooses to save the other person, regardless of motives, and the person wants saving. This lumps Snape in the "doesn't owe James" category, since James wasn't explicitly asked to choose, and Snape didn't ask James to save him. It clouds the issue for Crouch Jr., since the choice seems to have been his mother's, who died shortly after the switch, not Crouch Sr.'s - this makes the Crouch issue moot, and Crouch Jr. was "free" to kill his own dad. However, it reaffirms that Wormtail owes Harry, since Remus and Sirius left the choice up to Harry whether Wormtail got to live, and Wormtail was pleading for his life, even begging Ron to save him.

I want to emphasize that Dumbledore places so much emphasis on choice. It's how Lily protected Harry (though her self-sacrifice created something quite different from a Life Debt); it's how Harry saved Wormtail. Sure James made a decision to stop Snape from going any further toward the shack, but no one presented James with a clear choice to make. Also, Snape thinks he would have died, but was he really in immediate peril? Could he not have backed out of the tunnel in time and escaped possible death himself? There were four possibilities: get killed, get injured/maimed, get bitten and become a werewolf, escape unscathed.

The more I think about it, the more I think Snape didn't really owe James a Life Debt, he simply felt indebted anyway. This makes me ponder Dumbledore's trust in Snape. Snape thinks people who wear their hearts on their sleeves are weak, but he makes no comment about having feelings. (Snape doesn't say feelings=weakness, he says brooding=weakness.) If Snape never owed James a Life Debt yet feels so indebted that he will protect and save Harry, then I should think all of Snape's feelings run deep. He sure carries a grudge and can feel deep hatred, but then again he can also feel deep pain, perhaps deep regret/remorse, perhaps even deep love....

When asked whether Snape had ever been loved, Jo said "yes" and that it makes him more culpable than Voldemort, in some ways. Voldemort doesn't feel guilty/culpable for his actions, the only things he seems to regret are the opportunities he didn't take full advantage of. Snape is very different - he feels guilt. Someone loves/loved Snape. Snape knows love. Snape is more culpable only because he can feel guilty.

By Dumbledore giving us these very different explainations for Snape's "getting even" and Wormtail's Life Debt, he's not only making a differentiation between debt and no debt, he's giving Harry a clue about a hidden facet of Snape's true personality.

But I'm supposed to be talking about Life Debts, right? Yeah. So, I think this is the run-down:

  • Snape never owed James a binding Life Debt, yet he feels indebted anyway. He is compelled, not by a magical contract but by the pursuit of "piece of mind", to step in whenever possible to save and protect Harry.

  • Crouch Jr. probably didn't really owe his father a Life Debt. He might have owed one to his mother (it was ultimately her choice to switch places), but his mother died at Azkaban - she didn't really give her life to save his, she was dying anyway - and Crouch Jr. probably wouldn't have been able to save her life, even if he had tried...or cared.

  • Wormtail clearly owes Harry a Life Debt. I doubt he will pay it willingly, but pay he shall.

  • Harry does not owe Snape any Life Debt...yet. However, Dumbledore suggests going to Snape if Harry needs healing from dark magic. This is a perfect set-up to have Snape help Harry in Book 7.

  • Dumbledore might owe Snape a Life Debt, but we will need to see what happened when Dumbledore came to Snape for help after the ring incident. I think, since Dumbledore is so polite, that Dumbledore would have asked Snape for help. This would give Snape clear options, and we know Snape did help. There might be a real Life Debt here.

I'm not aware of any other situations where there might be a Life Debt, but I'll keep looking.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Hufflepuff's Cup

I was reading some google group posts about HP issues, and I saw a list of questions. One of them in particular caught my attention: Where is Hufflepuff's cup if we should be able to figure out the horcruxes by reading books 1 through 6?

I have an idea! Couldn't it be placed among all the plaques and trophy cups in the trophy room at Hogwarts? Would anyone pay particular attention to this cup if it was placed there? Could a horcrux be "stored" at Hogwarts without Dumbledore quickly detecting it?

When would Tom/Voldemort have placed the cup there if that's where it is? When he went to Hogwarts for his job interview?

Could someone else have later placed the cup there on Voldemort's behalf? Snape? We know that Lucius had Voldemort's diary. We think Voldemort hid the locket himself (Dumbledore detected Voldemort's magic signatures). Who planted the ring at the Gaunt house...probably Voldemort, but maybe not. Might Voldemort entrust Snape with protecting the cup without explaining why it was so valuable to him? All Voldemort would have to say is that it once belonged to a founder, and that it should be protected as an historical artifact. Snape might have thought the best place for it was the trophy case....

And if I'm totally wrong, where else could it be?

What about the horcrux Voldemort had planned to make with Harry's death back in 1981? Which artifact was Voldemort going to use? Who found it at Godric's Hollow after the attack, or was it even found?

There are two major possibilities here: either the item is still in the ruins of the Potter house or someone found it and took it away. We know Sirius went there and we know Hagrid went there. We also know that Fudge and some other ministry folk showed up. There's also the mysterious person who must have been at the Potter house the night of the attack...Harry? Snape? Wormtail? So many possibilities. We know it wasn't handed over to Dumbledore, otherwise Dumbledore would have mentioned this to Harry after showing him the memory about the cup and locket. However, it doesn't rule out the possibility that it somehow ended up in the Hogwarts trophy case.

Hagrid doesn't mention anything about Sirius taking items from the crime scene, so that pretty much (but not quite) rules out Sirius. What about #12 Grimmauld...or the place Sirius bought with inherittance...or the Black family vault?

Hagrid probably would have either overlooked it or would have taken it to Dumbledore.

Fudge and his employees would have taken it back to the MoM if they thought it was of any significance...or might have kept it for personal, greedy reasons.

Wormtail doesn't seem to know about the horcruxes (though you think he'd know by now) so he could have left it in the ruins or placed it just about anywhere...at Hogwarts...even at The Burrow.

If Snape found it he'd probably figure out it's somehow important and connected to Voldemort in some way. He could have taken it to Hogwarts or even to Spinner's End. I'd like to think he'd take it to Dumbledore, but I'm a bit on the fence about Snape's loyalty. He might ultimately be loyal only to himself.... If he found it, he obviously didn't take it to Dumbledore.

And then there is the whole idea of Harry not just viewing a memory but actually travelling back in time to witness the attack first-hand. If this is the case, then he will have found one of the objects originally intended to be a horcrux -- an object that is not a horcrux.

Best case senario: Snape or Timetravel!Harry finds the Hufflepuff cup at Godric's Hollow. It's not a horcrux because Voldemort didn't get to use it. Either man sneaks the cup into Hogwarts and places it in the trophy case.

Worst case senario: Harry witnesses the attack (either through time travel or pensieve), sees the item (might be something other than the cup), sees someone take it, and now wants to track down the item. I say "wants" only because he doesn't need to track down an artifact that isn't a horcrux.

Harry doesn't realize it yet, but his trip to Godric's Hollow, either in the present or in the past, will either gain him one item or give him major clues as to where it is. Horcrux or no horcrux, it's one item Harry will be able to cross off his list....

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Monday, November 06, 2006

A Theory to Destroy... and Rebuild...and Destroy again

From time to time I still find people who think (and pull various bits of canon to support the idea) that Snape is a vampire.

Here's what JKR had to say about it in her Mugglenet/TLC interview:
JKR: (cut) It's when people get really off the wall - it's when people devote hours of their time to proving that Snape is a vampire that I feel it's time to step in, because there's really nothing in the canon that supports that.

ES: It's when you look for those things -

JKR: Yeah, it's after the 15th rereading when you have spots in front of your eyes that you start seeing clues about Snape being the Lord of Darkness. So, there are things I shut down just because I think, well, don't waste your time, there's better stuff to be debating, and even if it's wrong, it will probably lead you somewhere interesting. That's my rough theory anyway.

I also thought those Snape-as-vampire supporters were as ridiculous as the Harry/Hermione shippers.

Now, I'm not changing my overall views on the vampire issue. This would be pointless, considering the citation above. However, there's an added complexity to the issue of vampires in the Potterverse now -- JKR's latest Wizard of the Month.

Lorcan d'Eath is part vampire?

We previously learned in the series that vampires are Muggles... at least that's what Hogwarts students are taught. In GoF they are classified as "non-wizard part-humans". In HPB we meet Sanguini, an apparently Italian vampire that provides some comic relief. Perhaps Jo wanted to show us what a Potterverse vampire looks like and how it behaves. Sanguini seems almost mindless, definitely a bit one-track-minded. It's interesting that Sanguini is particularly focused on females. His behavior, though subtle, suggests that he might lust after more than just blood....

So this brings up an interesting question. How do you end up with a wizarding person who is part vampire? Well, if vampires are all Muggle, then the wizarding part-vampire must not be a "pure-blood". This means vampires in the Potterverse mate and the progeny can retain some vestige of vampirism, like pale skin... or a neck fetish.

We also have other Potterverse vampires, like (from HP-Lexicon):

Bludd, Blodwyn Vampire from the "Valleys" (1923 - ?) Known as the "Vampire from the Valleys." Famous for singing to his victims in a sonorous bass baritone, before biting their necks.

Now back to Snape. He's half-blood. He's often described as bat-like. He's pale and has greasy black hair. His eyes are like dark tunnels. He has a commanding voice, even when he speaks just above a whisper. We also have him (in HBP) using a countercurse that sounds like singing. Oddly enough it's used to stop bleeding, but still.... Any chance he's part vampire?

We know little about Tobias Snape. Hermione's interpretation of an old article in the Daily Prophet leads her to think Tobias is/was a Muggle. Since we know Eileen Prince is/was a witch and that Severus is the "Half-Blood Prince", we can assume Tobias is/was Muggle.

Here's the catch. Despite being Muggle, Tobias holds/held some sway over Eileen... enough so that she would cower before him. She seems powerless against him. Where is her magic? Had she become like Merope and lost access to her magical powers due to depression or repression? Had she sworn never to use magic against a Muggle, especially her husband?

Was Tobias not simply a Muggle but also a vampire? If so, this would add to the duplicitous wording of "Half-Blood Prince", making Severus not only of half-wizarding heritage but also half-vampire.

Dumbledore has this tendency to hire and/or surround himself with people who are at some social disadvantage. Several examples:

  • Sibyll Trelawney his regarded as a fraud, even though Dumbledore knows she isn't. She's also in danger because she made the prophesy regarding Voldemort and Harry.
  • Hagrid is a half-giant who was framed for the murder of (Moaning) Myrtle.
  • Mrs. Figg is a Squib, caught between wizarding and Muggle worlds.
  • Mr. Filch is a Squib, too, and also a generally un-likeable person.
  • Firenze is a Centaur that has abandoned (or been kicked out of) Centaur society.
  • Remus Lupin is a werewolf, and werewolves have trouble finding employment because of ministry-enforced restrictions and general wariness throughout wizarding society.
  • Aberforth Dumbledore is of questionable magical status and might be illiterate. His lack of housekeeping and personal hygiene, as well as a possible goat fetish, keep him on the outskirts of society, in general.

There are probably more examples, but I think I've made my point.

What if one of the reasons Severus has worked at Hogwarts all these years has to do with his heritage? Was Dumbledore also protecting him from society, in case someone figured out his father was a Vampire? Seems vampires are viewed almost as negatively as werewolves.... This would at least help explain the oft-mentioned fact that Lupin's first assignment after Snape's werewolf essay was an essay on vampires when Lupin's lesson plan wouldn't have called for a lesson on vampires so soon....

So, how about "Half-Prince of Darkness"? What do you think about this idea?


NO! Here's why:

If Snape were half vampire:

  • Snape would look more vampiric. If Lorcan d'Eath's pic in the Wizard of the Month section is at all true to his actual appearance (and he's just described as "part" vampire, not "half"), then Snape should have stronger vampiric features.
  • Snape would act more vampiric; we'd get little clues that Snape is attracted to blood, or that he seems to focus on people's necks...or that he's easily distracted by the sight of blood. Instead, we see him have no apparent attraction to blood. When Draco is gushing the stuff Snape goes right into healer mode. Sure, he's under an Unbreakable Vow, but I should think that even in such a case JKR would drop hints when there is so much blood around.
  • Snape would probably have some sex appeal. No, I'm not talking about fanon Snape here. Loads of people like to romanticize Snape, make him look somewhat attractive, mysteriously alluring. Even I'm guilty of that at times, but canon Snape is "an ugly git." Meanwhile, Sanguini (full-vampire) is preoccupied with the schoolgirls, and Lorcan is considered a "heartthrob singer"; Lorcan seems quite popular with the witches....
  • Even the inept Daily Prophet would have mentioned Tobias as a vampire, since the actions and appearance of Sanguini suggest it's pretty easy to spot a vampire.... Besides, they'd love to expose someone as a half-breed or a monster, even if it weren't true.

JKR is quite right to completely squash the idea. Contemplating it any further is a waste of time.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Change to Blog Scope

I realize that making several entries per chapter for 6 books is no longer a realistic endeavor...at least not before Book 7 is released.

That said, I will continue to post some chapter-specific entries.

Instead of trying to define everything (and largely rehash info found on popular HP fan sites) I will focus on the info I find that differs from or adds to the common definitions.

I will probably also continue to spend lots of blog space on various theories, including time travel and Severus Snape's positive role.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Mystery of the Invisibility Cloak

While looking for Halloween updates to www.jkrowling.com and comparing what I found to what www.Mugglenet.com found, I saw that I had missed the Miscellaneous entry about Spell Definitions, so I went back to the JKR site to view the missed info...then I found something I think Mugglenet might have missed: NAQ

This is something many readers have pondered, including myself. Apparently no one has ever asked Jo about James's Invisibility Cloak, specifically why Dumbledore has it....

I have a theory. Actually, it's part of my "Harry will time-travel back to the night the Potters were attacked (or ever farther back in time than that)" theory. I think it's possible that Harry goes to the Potters' house in Godric's Hollow some time before the attack, takes the cloak, and sends it to Dumbledore. Given the circumstances, Dumbledore might mistake Harry (whom he so far had only seen as a baby) for James. I feel that if this is the case, Harry would have sent the cloak by Owl and simply signed the note as "James Potter". Harry's handwriting might also just happen to look similar to his father's.... What else the note might have said is beyond me...perhaps instructions to give the cloak to Harry once he enters Hogwarts.
This would suggest (to Dumbledore) that James expected an attack (despite the Fidelius Charm) and also that James thought Harry would survive to later receive the cloak.
Though James could have Seer abilities, it's a bit unlikely. Therefore, I think it will be Harry impersonating his own father - either by speaking with Dumbledore but not letting him see Harry clearly or by forging a note.
Another possibility: Dumbledore knows it's actually Harry who gives him the cloak, and he just lies about it. We like to think that Dumbledore is truthful, but when Harry and Hermione return from saving Buckbeak and Sirius, Dumbledore plays innocent, like he had nothing to do with it.

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