Abendroth Blutjager's Guide to Harry Potter

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Unfogging the Future Plotline, revamp part 1

The future is proving much too foggy for me to parse it out into chapters.

So, let's start over. I'm leaving my first post on this subject up, but only for posterity's sake. It might be worth a laugh....

Here, in no particular timeline order, are my predictions (and statements of already-known bits). A few of my predictions have changed, but not much:

  • Harry returns to #4 Privet Drive for his shortest stay ever. I think it will be no more than a week, perhaps only a day or two. Though Ron and Hermione say that they will accompany Harry to visit his aunt and uncle, I think they will not go to #4 Privet Drive with him.
  • Dudley has been trying to figure out how his parents have damaged him. Sadly, Dudley will never fully recover from his horrible upbringing.
  • There is more to Petunia than we have seen so far. No, Petunia is not a witch or a Squib. She will not be using any magic. Petunia confides in Harry more info she had previously held back about her involvement in the wizarding world. This should include some specifics about correspondence between herself and Dumbledore. I think Harry will (because he's obsessing over it) mention that Dumbledore was killed by Severus Snape. Petunia will admit she knows who he is, and it will become clear to Harry, finally, that "that aweful boy" Petunia overheard talking about dementors to Lily was in fact Severus Snape, when they were kids, not James Potter.
  • Harry gets escorted to the Burrow by members of the Order (as stated on one of the book covers). The Order might have to fight off Death Eaters during the trip (suggested by the same book cover).
  • Harry spends his birthday at the Burrow. It being his 17th birthday, the haul of presents will be quite good. Watch out for Hagrid's gift; it should prove to be particularly important -- I think it will be the flying motorcycle Sirius let him keep when he tried to return it.
  • Harry will receive something from Dumbledore, either as a birthday gift planned way in advance or through Dumbledore's will. I'm holding out for Harry to receive the Pensieve, the golden pocketwatch, and perhaps even some silver instrument Dumbledore used to keep in his office (like the one that emitted smoke in the shape of two entwined snakes). It would be most useful if he received the Pensieve, so that Harry can learn to use it... also so that Harry can examine some of his own memories. The golden pocketwatch would also be a good item for Harry to receive, since the Weasley men tend to receive a golden watch on their 17th birthday. Plus, that pocket watch could be really useful.
  • Bill and Fleur will get married in August. The wedding will be quite eventful. There are too many possibilities here; Fred and George could play a big prank, Dobby (or someone else) could crash the wedding or the reception, Percy might reunite with the family, Scrimgeour might show up to confront Harry....
  • Umbridge still works for the Ministry, and JKR will have more fun with the character. How this is going to play out... the fog is too thick. Now that Dumbledore is gone and McGonagall has taken over as Headmistress of Hogwarts, Scrimgeour will set Umbridge upon the school once more -- this part is doubtful. Since she's failed to control Hogwarts once already, and she's afraid of centaurs (Firenze teaches Divination there, along side Trelawney), I think any assignment she has regarding Hogwarts would be from a distance. I'd like to see Fred and George play a prank on her, or for Harry to prank her using WWW products. Umbridge is quite afraid of centaurs now. At the end of OotP, Ron starts having fun with Umbridge by making horse hoof sounds with his mouth. At Dumbledore's funeral Umbridge moves far away from Firenze, and she's probably one of the people who scream when the centaurs shoot arrows as their show of respect for Dumbledore. She's also quite wary of Hagrid and Grawp... well, with half-breeds and non-humans in general. I think Umbridge's increased fear of half-breeds and creatures (particularly horse-like animals) will lead to her further humiliation and downfall.
  • Harry will travel to Godric's Hollow while Ron and Hermione return to Hogwarts. He'll use the flying motorcycle to get there.
  • The Dursleys (mainly Vernon) will demand to see the house Harry has inheritted. A trip to #12 Gimmauld Place is not want Harry wants, but he goes anyway. This must happen quite early in the book, perhaps within the first few chapters. Hilarity ensues as the Muggles try to enter and check out the house, enchanted as it is.
  • At #12 Grimmauld Place, Harry will notice Regulus Black's name on the Black family tapestry. Regulus will be R.A.B. Harry will look for the locket there but not find it. He'll call on Kreacher, who must obey, and demand to know what Kreacher did with the locket. Kreacher will look in his "nest" and find it is missing. Harry will recall Mundungus's theft of Black family heirlooms and search for him. Mundungus will admit he sold the locket to none other than the bartender of The Hog's Head, Aberforth Dumbledore.
  • Aberforth Dumbledore has a long memory (Albus says this in OotP). Harry will go to The Hog's Head and speak with Aberforth, in an attempt to retrieve the locket Mundungus stole. Aberforth will give Harry some memories (in vials) or will simply recount stories -- about the previous war with Voldemort (1970's), about Albus's life (including his battle with Grindlewald), about Severus Snape (eavesdropping on the prophesy, etc.), and other topics of interest.
  • Bezoars are rare (Slughorn says this in HBP). Therefore, bezoars are probably a bit expensive... and lucrative. Aberforth has a reason for his odd association with goats. I think he's been charming goats to produce bezoars faster or in higher quantities than they normally would. Considering his dealings with Mundungus even after he banned him from the bar, it's not too far a stretch to suggest that Aberforth and "Dung" were in the bezoar business together. Aberforth raised charmed goats, and Dung sold the bezoars. Aberforth got called in for his charmed goats, and Albus helped his brother's case. This is probably when Aberforth banned Dung from the bar... after the legal issues. It didn't keep Aberforth and Dung from doing some sort of business transactions outside of the bar.
  • Madam Irma Pince will turn out to be somehow related to Severus Snape. I'm not ready to predict exactly how they are related, but Irma is probably either his older sister or his mother. We're not sure Severus even has a sibling, so I'm leaning more towards mother. I'll give some of my reasoning here:

    1. Irma's physical appearance is described in similar terms as for Eileen... and Severus.

    2. If there is any truth to the Irma Pince anagrams of "I'm a Prince" or "I am Prince", then it would make more sense for her to be Eileen (née Prince) than for her to be a sister (née Snape) of Severus.

    3. Eileen Prince was a Gobstones champion in her schooldays, and that is considered a bit nerdy (wizard chess is cool), even by Hermione's standards. Becoming a librarian would be perfect for Eileen.

    4. It would be humorous for Severus (who scribbled mercilessly in his textbooks) to have a mother who detests such behavior.

    5. If Severus's switch to Dumbledore's side is sincere (and I think it is), and Dumbledore publicly proclaims Severus's denouncement of the Death Eaters (which he does more than once, including during Karkaroff's trial), then Dumbledore would offer Severus the same thing he offered Draco: protecting him and his family from Voldemort. Remember, Voldemort doesn't just kill his enemy, he kills off the entire family of his enemy... and the enemy's friends... you get the idea. Anyway, Hogwarts would be a safe place to keep Severus's family members.
  • A secret passageway on the fourth floor of Hogwarts was blocked off sometime after Severus and the Mauraders left Hogwarts but before Harry started attending the school. This blocked passageway will turn out to be connected to Severus Snape. As an extention to the above part (Snape's relatives in hiding idea) I believe the blocked passage's location, relative to the library, means it's a particularly good place for Dumbledore and Snape to hide Snape's relatives. It would also be a good place for Snape to hide. This also leads to my next prediction....
  • Harry will find out that Snape snuck back into Hogwarts (through tunnels, probably) and impersonated Irma Pince by dressing up in the same outfit Mundungus uses to enter The Hog's Head. If Irma is really Eileen or some other relative of Severus, then she would probably let him hide at the school and impersonate her. Severus attended Dumbledore's funeral by wearing the veil. Filch (apparently a really good friend of Severus's, possibly attracted to Irma) may or may not know about the switch.
  • Severus's memory of his parents fighting might turn out to be evidence that his parents got divorced. Since JKR likes to "kill" off Muggle relatives, Tobias might have died of natural causes. Either way, I think Tobias is out of the picture and doesn't need protection from Voldemort. Plotwise, it would be more interesting if Tobias found out Eileen was a witch (when Severus was a small boy) and left her, much like Riddle Sr. left Merope. It would give us (and Harry) more insight into the choices Severus has made. Harry has paralleled young Voldemort and Severus Snape -- witch mother, Muggle father, wizarding child who chooses to associate with the wizarding side of the family. I think this will be the big difference: Voldemort kills his father and his paternal grandparents; Severus does not kill his father or other relatives... and means them no harm. It dawns on Harry that Severus couldn't possibly stoop to such cruelty, even though his childhood was miserable... and despite his otherwise cruel behavior.
  • Severus's Killing Curse is not what killed Dumbledore. Or I should say, Severus used a combination of a failing Avada Kedavra (said out loud), Wingardium Leviosa (or some other levitation charm, nvbl), and a nvbl Banishing spell. It's the only way to achieve the effects Harry saw on the tower. If you are hit with a lethal Killing Curse you just colapse in a heap right where you stand (like poor Cedric). However, Dumbledore was lifted into the air and sent over the ramparts. The Killing Curse alone cannot do this.
  • On a similar topic, Dumbledore did not beg for his life, he begged for death. He wasn't affraid of death. Besides, he knew about the Unbreakable Vow Severus took for Narcissa and would not want Severus to die.
  • On the same topic, Dumbledore owed Severus a Life Debt ever since Severus stopped the curse (from the ring horcrux) from spreading up Dumbledore's arm. This would be during the summer before Harry's 6th year at Hogwarts. Though Dumbledore didn't fear death he probably didn't want to die having not fulfilled his Life Debt to Severus. Spiritually it would be even worse than that for Dumbledore -- to actually cause or allow the death of the person you owe a Life Debt to.... Seriously bad Karma, there. Dumbledore reminded Snape that he (like Harry) had promised to do whatever Dumbledore said. So, again, Dumbledore is asking for death, not for his life to be spared.

I'll continue this later. Make sure to check here from time to time and see if I have updated anything... changed my predictions, etc.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Theory about Pince and Snape (and Filch)

Remember back in OOtP when Mundungus turned out to be the "hag" in the women's black robes and the long black veil? I always expected that to come back into the plot somehow....

I think Irma Pince should be rearranged into "I am Prince" instead of "I'm a Prince".

Harry notices Irma Pince hanging around Filch in HBP. In previous books we never see them together. We have, however seen Snape and Filch hanging around and talking to each other many times, confiding in each other. No, I'm not trying to ship Snape/Filch...that would be disgusting... come on, Filch with anyone is a sick idea :)

I think Snape snuck back into the castle through a tunnel passage and is impersonating Irma Pince. He's got the same veiled outfit that Mundungus wore at the Hog's Head, and who knows where Pince is right now.

Notice that when we see Filch and Pince we don't hear their conversation. The trio assume love is in the air, but why?

If Snape were taking Polyjuice potion (when "Pince" is seen, sans veil, with Filch) then we would know something's up as soon as the trio (probably Hermione, since she's in the library all the time) notices the voice is not quite right for the librarian.

At the funeral, when we can't really see Pince under the thick veil, they just assume it is her. It might be that Snape couldn't take Polyjuice Potion this time (either no time to brew it or couldn't get more hair from Pince), so he borrowed the veiled outfit from Mundungus, who might not yet have known what Snape is now accused of, namely killing Albus Dumbledore.... Besides, Mundungus is a shady character and might not care what Snape used it for....

Of course, it really could be Pince with Filch the first time, and Snape impersonating her only later at the funeral.

This would mean that Snape attended Dumbledore's funeral....

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Unfogging the Future Plotline, part one

Please take note: though I'm leaving this post up until further notice, I am in the middle of revamping my predictions posts. I will no longer try to break them up into chapters or even a specific timeline. It's just too difficult to do, since "Deathly Hallows" will probably be over 30 chapters, and I can't possibly guess what will happen in a particular chapter. Also, I might not follow the same pattern for the pictures I use in these posts. Anyway, here's the orginal post:
As July 21st approaches I realize I must make my "Deathly Hallows" predictions if I want to get them out there before it's too late. So, here's how I think the plot might play out in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I very much doubt that the book will follow the same timeline as mine, but I hope the plotline is pretty close. At least this is sort of how I'd like to see it play out.... I'm sure JKR's work will still blow me away and humble me greatly!

Oh, and quick note -- Each of my "prediction" posts will feature a picture of somewhere Harry might travel to during his quest. The artwork shown in this post is "The Coliseum", by Silvana Brunotti (born Jan. 23, 1932). The website I found it at (http://www.silvanabrunotti.it/pictures_of_rome.htm) has the following caption for this painting:
I think it's the best example I can find to support GrandPre's use of the orange sky in her US edition cover art....

Anyway, back to the plotline. I'm making up these chapter titles (and chapter breaks), and I don't expect them to match JKR's at all. My chapter titles suck, I'm just trying to break this down into reasonable segments, so I'm taking some major creative licence here.
Chapter One (The Hunt is On): Harry has been escorted back to #4 Privet Drive, for his shortest stay ever, by members of the Order. The weather is miserable.
Dudley still doesn't understand how his parents have abused him, though he's bound to have a tantrum if he doesn't get more birthday presents than he received last year.

Though he's looking forward to Bill and Fleur's wedding, Harry can't get Severus Snape's apparently heartless murder of Dumbledore out of his head. He also thinks of Draco's inability to complete the task he was given; Harry wonders if Draco could change sides. He might even start to feel sorry for the Malfoys, though not very sorry -- they brought this mess upon themselves.

Harry's anxious to start searching for the horcruxes. He knows he will have to ditch the Order somehow. But first, there is a wedding to attend (he received the wedding invitation), and he has mixed feelings about being around Ginny, whom he recently broke up with (his attempt to protect her). He also plans on travelling to Godric's Hollow and visiting his parents' graves, but this will have to wait. He needs his own transportation....
Meanwhile Vernon can only think about Harry's inherited money and real estate. He asks Harry where the house is and wants to know how much money Harry has in the bank. Harry doesn't know how much money he has (and he probably wouldn't tell Vernon how much even if he did know), but he verifies to Vernon that did indeed inherit #12 Grimmauld Place, in London. Vernon wants to see this house, but Harry doesn't want to visit the place. If the Dursleys want to see #12 Grimmauld Place they'll have to go there without him. On second thought, this could be worth a laugh.... How will the house's enchantments respond to Vernon trying to enter and tour the house? The Dursleys and Harry go to #12 Grimmauld Place. There are diffuiculties getting the group of Muggles into the house, due to the enchantments put in place by Mr. Black. The painting of Mrs. Black curses and rants about Muggles and Mudbloods; her portrait can't stand the fact that Harry has inherited the house and property. Hilarity ensues as the Dursleys display fear and hatred of every magical thing they see. Petunia is shocked by all the dirt and grime (despite all the cleaning done roughly two years ago).
Harry looks at the family tapestry and notices the name of Regulus Black. What was it Lupin and Sirius said about Sirius's younger brother Regulus? Joined the Death Eaters quite young, got in so deep, couldn't deal with it, tried to leave, got killed for treachery. Regulus A. Black was the R.A.B. who found out about the horcruxes and stole the locket! So, now Harry tries to think back to all the things Sirius tried to throw away when the Order moved in. He vaguely remembers a large locket no one could open, but he doesn't recall an engraving with emeralds, nor does he have any idea where it is now. There is not enough time to make a thorough search of the house right now, so it will have to be resumed later.
They return to #4 Privet Drive, Vernon furious, Dudley frightened, and Petunia disgusted, yet pensive. Harry is glad, now, that he went back to the house he had so wanted to avoid. He has some very interesting news to share with Ron and Hermione.
Chapter Two (Petunia's Revelation): As Harry's 17th birthday approaches Petunia is wrought with worry. Up until the point at which Petunia and Dumbledore disagreed on when Harry would be considered an adult, Petunia didn't seem to care about Harry. But once Petunia realized Harry would be moving out of #4 Privet Drive by the time he turned 17, she's been rethinking things. Maybe she actually feels bad about how they treated Harry all these years, or maybe she just worries what will happen to Vernon, Dudley, and herself after Harry leaves. Either way, she will divulge important information about events of the past, though Harry might not immediately realize their significance. I expect Severus Snape's name to come up in this discussion. Harry will find out that Petunia was not talking about James when she said "that aweful boy"; she was talking about Severus Snape. Revelation one: Lily and Severus knew each other and socialized outside of school.

While still puzzling over Aunt Petunia's words (particularly the odd friendship between his mom and Snape), Harry awaits Order members to pick him up and take him away to the Burrow, where he will celebrate his birthday and attend a wedding.

Chapter Three (For Whom the Wedding Bells Toll): The Order has arrived again and delivered Harry to the Burrow, where the Weasleys, Hermione, and Fleur are all happy to see him, as usual. However, there is much talk about the latest deaths and disappearances throughout wizarding Britain (maybe also about things happening abroad).

Harry's 17th birthday (July 31, 1997) is cause for much celebration in the Burrow, and Harry receives some cool gifts. Amongst all the presents will be something very useful for his cause (probably from Hagrid). It would be perfect timing if Hagrid sends Sirius's old flying motorcycle to Harry at this time. Dumbledore will have planned for his 17th birthday way in advance, and there will be something from him, as well -- either the golden pocketwatch, the Pensieve, or some silver instrument Harry once saw in the office when Dumbledore was Headmaster.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione will discuss things they can do together, before Ron and Hermione return to school (Hogwarts manages to continue, somehow, and letters arrive for Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny). Molly tries to persuade Harry to return to Hogwarts, but in the end Harry will have his way and not return, at least not as a student.

Just like when Harry first got the Invisibility Cloak and had to try it that night, Harry has to try out his flying motorcycle. With the flying motorcycle (and some form of navigation), Harry sets off (at night) on a trip to Godric's Hollow to visit the gravesites... alone. Ron and Hermione stay behind to cover up his absence. He returns to the Burrow the next day, filling Ron and Hermione in on what he saw. He hasn't found the ruins of the house, only the graves. He tells them what was carved on the headstones. There are more questions than answers.

The wedding day arrives for Bill (scarred by Fenrir's attack but dressed in groom's robes) and Fleur (radiant in her bridal gown/robes and a borrowed golden tiara). Ginny and Gabrielle are dressed in pale gold (so the outfit won't clash with Ginny's hair). Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the rest are wearing their best dress robes for the occasion. The wedding has some sweet moments, but the weather is cold and foul. The overall feeling is one of worried anticipation. It feels a lot like it did the last time Voldemort was powerful -- people on both sides getting married in a rush. Tonks and Lupin consider getting hitched. Ron and Hermione exchange glances, also thinking about tying the knot. Thankfully, there's some comic relief, due to the antics of Fred and George.

After the wedding (or perhaps crashing the reception) Dobby arrives to warn Harry about something. Kreacher is up to no good; though he can't disobey a direct order, he has found a way to sabotage Harry's cause. Harry is reminded of how Kreacher managed to turn one of Sirius's commands into a loophole and then he vaguely remembers once telling Kreacher (soon after he had inheritted him) to "get out of it". Kreacher has found another loophole.

Bad news arrives: repressed by the wizarding world, in general, and hopeful that they can gain in status, the goblins have joined Voldemort's side. Gringotts has been effectively shut down, the security so high that no one can get to their gold unless they are Death Eaters or other Voldemort supporters.

Chapters 4 and beyond in subsequent posts....

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Horus vs. Seth

In early Egyptian myth, Seth (Set, Setekh, Sut, Sutekh, Suty) was a popular and beneficial deity, but by the Third Intermediate Period Seth was portrayed as evil. In the Nineteenth Dynasty he saw a revival, but he has been type-cast as the villian by the Greek, Roman, and Christian theologists.

Seth used to battle Horus the Elder in the good old days. It was meant to be a never-ending battle because Seth and Horus the Elder were equals. When Seth was villianized a myth was created to destroy him (and end the struggle between good and evil, with good winning). Seth's wife disguised herself as Isis and slept with Osiris, leading to the birth of Anubis. Instead of punishing his own wife, Seth held a grudge against Osiris and killed him. Isis somehow conceived a child with Osiris's dead and dismembered corpse.... Enter Horus the Younger (representing both the royal heir and the newborn sun), who took the place of Horace the Elder in battle with Seth. This Horus, trained in magic by Thoth, was more-than-a-match for Seth, as powerful as he was. This myth is often used as a metaphor for the reunification of Upper and Lower Egypt (Seth = Upper, Horus = Lower). (http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/set.html)

I've noticed many parallels between the story of Harry vs. Voldemort and Horus the Younger vs. Seth:

  • Seth kills Osiris (but not Isis); Voldemort kills James (and kills Lily only after giving her the chance to live).

  • Horus the Younger battles Seth to avenge his father's death and is victorious; Harry will battle Voldemort to avenge his parents' deaths...and he should be victorious.

  • Thoth protects Horus and prepares him for battle; Dumbledore does much the same for Harry. The parallels between Thoth and Dumbledore are too numerous to even list here....

  • Seth is sometimes described as albino with red eyes (but he has hair, not bald); Voldemort is white skinned and red-eyed.

  • When Horus is in battle, he takes the form of a winged disk, which looks almost exactly like a golden snitch.... Seth (the villian) is associated with water animals, like snakes, crocodiles, and hippos. The Egyptians feared all of these animals, so they were thought of as "dark" creatures. When Seth gathers his army to wage war he has many of these animals with him, and Seth himself takes the form of either a crock or a hippo when he fights. Of course, Voldemort has gone through many transformations and has gained some snake-like features... plus he has Nagini by his side. I don't know about crocks or hippos, but Voldemort has giants, dementors, and inferi. Harry won't magically transform into a snitch, but he will have to play "hard to get" and should use youth and speed to his advantage, making him act like a snitch even though he won't look like one.

There are also some parallels between Horus the Elder and Harry. Horus the Elder also represented the sun (and the moon). One eye was the sun, one eye the moon, and images called the "Eye of Horus" were thought to be powerful protection amulets. Horus is god of the rising and setting sun.

Horus the Elder was blinded, leading him to kill the wrong person (someone on his side) during battle. He didn't realize the mistake until his sight had been restored. I suspect that Harry will have issues with his sight (perhaps he will lose his glasses in battle, or maybe this is just a matter of his perception) then his sight will be restored (or his perceptions will change), just to find out that he has killed, injured, or placed in mortal danger someone who was on his side all along. The best candidate for this loyal person who suffers from Harry's "blindness" is Snape.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Anfiteatrum Flavium

I know I've considered the possiblity that the US edition of "Deathly Hallows" shows Voldemort and Harry at the ruins of the Potter house, possibly moved into the "Love Room" of a demolished Ministry of Magic. However, il Colosseo in Rome, or Anfiteatrum Flavium, is a perfect site for the final battle between Harry and Voldemort.

The wooden beams that once belonged to an upper level of the building have collapsed, and bronze clamps have been removed from between the stones. There are tunnels and vaulted arcades under the seating area.
It has become a Christain shrine... a deathly hallow all its own!

Not only was the colosseum used for gladitorial games, likely executions of Christian martyrs, and mock battles, but the arena was later (during Medieval times) turned into a cemetary. A church order once occupied the building, later another eligious order moved in. Sections were once converted into housing and workshops. The site is part of a yearly "Way of the Cross" procession lead by the Pope. The procession ends at the colosseum, where Stations of the Cross have been erected, each Good Friday.

From 1993 to 2000 it was under major restoration, so there wouldn't be many tourists hanging around (at least not inside the coloseum) during 1997 or 1998, the general time frame for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Though it could originally hold about 50,000 spectators, and that was once increased to roughly 80,000, the colosseum can now only support a few hundred people, in temporary seating.

Recently, the coloseum has become a symbol of the campaign against capital punishment. Since 2000 (after the HP series timeline ends), the night-time illumination has been changed from white to gold whenever someone sentenced to death has been released or their sentence lessened. Should we consider this a possibility that Harry and Voldemort will both survive, somehow... a reprieve from the death sentence? A release from the prophesy?

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Speak not the number....

I have (so far) found two references to 666 in the HP series. JKR isn't obvious about it, and she doesn't have to be....

But before I get to the examples, I want to state that 666 is a symbol of the ultimate apostasy -- it's the point at which one abandons their beliefs or their cause and takes up the opposing beliefs or cause. Without getting too deep into discussions about Satan, let's just think of 666 as the ultimate in human imperfection. It's the number for the physical world. We could say it's symbolic of all the foibles of mankind.

The first I found is in PS/SS, when Hermione reads about Nicholas Flamel to find out he is 665 years old... as of the previous year. That means in 1991 Nicholas Flamel is to turn 666. Dumbledore says he had a discussion with Flamel and that they decided it would be best to destroy the stone. Perhaps Dumbledore pointed out to Nicholas just how old he would be when his next birthday rolled around? I don't know how long it took for the Flamels to get their affairs in order (how much elixir they had remaining), but Nicholas Flamel probably died at the age of 666....

The second time I noticed a 666 reference it was much more subtle, in HBP. Harry is making Draught of Living Death in an attempt to win the vial of Felix Felicis, and using the HBP's potion notes, he's adding a clockwise stir after every 7th counterclockwise turn. He does this 7 back, 1 forward stirring technique three consecutive times before Slughorn tells the class to stop working. 7-1 = 6, 7-1 = 6, 7-1 = 6. That's a hidden 666.

In the first case, Flamel does the right thing and either destroys the stone or allows Dumbledore to destroy it. This was a difficult decision on the part of the Flamels, particularly Nicholas, since he made the stone. Dumbledore talks about Flamel as a friend and alchemy partner who might have made poor decisions in the past (choosing things that he didn't need, like immortality and material wealth). Here 666 seems to be symbolic of covetousness and greed, even the desire to prolong life beyond a natural lifespan. However, Nicholas finally realized the truth of it and conceeded to Dumbledore. I wish we could have heard Dumbledore's and Nicholas Flamel's "discussion".

Much the same could be said of the second senario: Harry wants the Felix Felicis (a dubious potion in itself) and will do whatever it takes to get it. Hermione considers it cheating and is concerned about the book, in general. We have to question whether the number is good or bad. For one thing, counterclockwise is generally considered "sinister" (both literally and figuratively), and clockwise is good, even "lucky". So adding a "lucky" stir after 7 sinister ones...this is good, right? And Harry uses the Felix Felicis as a means to a good end, right?
On a side note: If Harry had continued the Prince's directions to make the Draught of Living Death there would be this string of 6's. Are these potions instructions actually a "dark" way of making the draught? Would it be the same potion, or would it have "dark" properties and perhaps act more like a poison? Don't know, but it's something to consider, since Severus studied the Dark Arts so intently....

It's odd that two instances of the number 666 should lead to such positive outcomes. Flamel gives up the stone, giving in to old age and death. Harry uses the Felix Felicis to help his noble cause (regardless of tactics). Of course, we're brought back to what Dumbledore says... that it's the choices one makes, not their abilities. It also gives us insight into why Dumbledore gives people second (or more) chances to choose the "right" path. The temptations can be quite, well...tempting.
It looks as though, in the Potterverse, the number 666 is neither evil nor good, but just a symbol of human weakness.

Has anyone found other references to 666?

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Friday, April 13, 2007

The Hallows of Britain Revisited

From rereading HBP I have found a reference to a hamper. Slughorn tells Harry how Ambrosius Flume sends him a hamper of sweets every year on old Sluggo's birthday. In the HP epic, the hamper itself doesn't have an endless supply of Slughorn's favorite treats, but since He gets a new one every year, it's pretty much an everlasting supply.

Prakhar, who read my previous post on this subject, reminded me of the knife Harry received from Sirius. I'm not sure how this ties in to feeding the masses, but it could prove a good representation of 'Kyllell Llawfrodedd Farchog'. Good catch, Prakhar!

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Friday, April 06, 2007

The Symbolism of Left and Right

What is meant by Harry using his left hand to catch something (we can't see) and his right hand pushing down?

Could this be a clue that Harry has turned Voldemort's Dark Arts against him?

I'm not sure if the right hand is actually making contact with the rock, but if so Harry could be trying to gain leverage and climb through the rubble.

By the way, what is this rubble, and where are they?

One idea I've had is that they are in the so far unseen locked room of the Department of Mysteries, the often-called Love Room. So, what would the rubble be?

After the ministry found the site of the attack on the Potters, what did they do with the crime scene? Maybe they relocated the ruins of the entire house to this "Love Room"... so that the DoM workers could study Lily's greatest act of love....

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Harry's scar remains

Looks like even during the final battle with Voldemort, Harry is still sporting the rune-shaped scar. It's depicted quite subtly by Marie GrandPré, but it's there. As Dumbledore said, Harry'll have that scar for the rest of his life.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

The covers reveal some clues

On the US cover, it looks like Harry is wearing the Slytherin locket, and that he's placed a medicine pouch over it to keep it concealed. I have a hunch that Harry will reveal to Voldemort (during the "final battle") that he has destroyed all the horcruxes. Either that, or Voldemort will destroy the locket himself, not realizing what it is because it's covered up.... The locket itself, once "disarmed" of it's "soul bit" might act as a protection amulet...one that actually works. Voldemort seems either repulsed or frightened by what he's watching, and he also looks like he is moving to keep Harry from whatever he's trying to catch. Very reminicent of the first cover showing Harry's pursuit of a golden snitch. Wonder what he's reaching for this time. It would be lovely to think that Fawkes is bringing him something, like in CoS, but not the hat. Maybe the sword is the object we cannot see? Maybe it's a wand he's reaching for?

On the UK children's cover, though Hermione and Ron are worried by whatever they see (whatever is guarding the treasure... dragon, perhaps?) Dobby (or perhaps Kreacher merely following direct orders) is on Harry's back with sword raised... to protect Harry. This is all so Harry can grab something that has caught his eyes. If you follow his stare and see what's reflected in his glasses, it appears to be the gold goblet that is sitting right behind the silver helmet with the dragon motif on it. It looks like he's trying to grab at this goblet. Could it be Hufflepuff's cup? Possibly. We can't see if it has a badger on it, since most of it is hidden from our view. This reminds me very strongly of Harry in the first TWT task, when he's trying to get the golden egg from the dragon's nest. This, and Hagrid's comment about the dragons-guarding-high-secuirty-vaults-at-Gringotts rumor, leads me to think they could be dealing with a dragon here. Which breed, who knows? But a dragon could also explain what look like burn marks on the faces and arms....
On the UK adult cover we have what can only be Slytherin's locket. Since the adult covers are more specific to the book title, I strongly believe the Deathly Hallows are founder heirlooms, even if they are not all horcruxes now. This would include the sword (not horcrux), the cup (apparently a horcrux), the locket (definitely a horcrux), and... maybe the wand that used to sit in Ollivander's shop window. Swords, Cups, Pentacles, Wands.... Sounds right to me. :)

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