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More thoughts on the JKR website update - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
More thoughts on the JKR website update
I've had plenty of scattered thoughts on the latest update; may as well gather them up someplace.

So Godric's Hollow is a village. I was hoping it was the old Potter home, but then again, that may mean that there's an old Potter home still standing somewhere for Harry. And it means that Godric's Hollow isn't entirely destroyed, so hopefully, we'll get to visit. It can't be an all-wizarding village (since we're told Hogsmeade is the only one), yet I'm willing to bet that it's named after Godric Gryffindor. A lot of Muggles who have no idea who their village is named for? A haven built for people on the run from dark wizards, maybe, Muggles as well as magical folk? (Doesn't seem to have worked as much of a haven...) I'm curious now about Godric's Hollow.

I was glad to get the information about wand wood--makes a handy thing to consult if I'm making a quick wand for someone. I'd like to know more about the magical cores now. What are their properties, and do they lend themselves to different strengths? We know that Ollivander thinks Veela hair makes a tempermental wand, so there must be some properties of the original substance involved. Unicorn, dragon, and phoenix... all magical creatures, of course. Generally, unicorns are associated with purity and beauty, dragons with fierceness, and phoenixes with resurrection. Not sure what to make of it substance-wise, since the one definite use we've seen of unicorns has been in a resurrecting kind of mode, while the phoenix seems to be more involved in fierce fighting (as well as healing).

So, Harry leaves the Dursleys for a pleasant reason this time. strangemuses suggested that it might a wedding; risti countered in the comments with the idea of a birthday celebration. It could also be something as simple as an invitation somewhere, or a chance to go visit with Lupin and find out more about his parents (er, that would be Harry's parents, not Lupin's), or special summer Quidditch practice to make up for last year. For myself, I'm hoping for a wedding, either Bill/Fleur or Remus/Tonks (the latter being a longshot, but a girl can hope), just because it would give us a chance to see one. A birthday party, after all, is a birthday party. A wedding might have some neat wizarding component to it that we haven't seen before. And there would be a use for those dress robes Harry had the twins buy for Ron, which we were reminded of in OotP, just in case we forgot. There'd be a chance for a lot of people to interact. And of course, for drama, you couldn't beat Death Eaters crashing a wedding.

On the demise of the Neville/Luna ship--well, as a devoted genficcer, I'm always glad to hear of a decidedly refused romantic pairing between two characters who will, in fact, interact. (Unless, of course, it's my ship. That's a whole different kettle of fish, naturally. ;) ) Yay for friendship and working together. I love both Neville and Luna, actually--she's weirdly cool and he's... well, Neville. You just have to love him. But they really don't need to pair up.

In her answer about whether or not the Order communicates using Chocolate Frog cards, JKR says, "The Order communicates in a way that requires nothing but a wand. You saw the Order’s method of communication in use even before you knew about the existence of the Order; it was employed by an Order member."

Much speculation has been floating around about this, a lot of it plausible. The most common speculation is that the spell is the one Dumbledore used to summon Hagrid in GoF--sending what appears to be a cloudy white bird (a Phoenix patronus?) toward Hagrid's hut. Hagrid appears a moment later.

This is plausible and quite likely, but I have some reservations about it.

First, the Order was concerned about too much owl post in the neighborhood of Grimmauld Place making it suspicious. Owls, at least, are part of the natural world... wouldn't it be even more suspicious if smoky white animal shapes were coming and going all the time? If they're Patroni (Patronuses? I'm blanking on which plural she uses), it's possible that Muggles can't see them, as they can't see Dementors and whatnot, but even so, a bunch of them floating around London wouldn't go unnoticed for very long.

Second, this doesn't strike me as a quick means of communicating over distances greater than the size of Hogwarts, or a reliable one for actually, well, communicating. The bird Dumbledore Conjures is moving quickly, but not so quickly that Harry can't tell what it is. And what does it do when it gets there? Does it speak and tell Hagrid what Dumbledore needs? Or is it just a summons to get back to Dumbledore? If it's the latter, it could certainly be useful, but still isn't what I'd call communication--the passing back and forth of information. Could Hagrid have sent it back with his own message, even presuming it could talk to relay Dumbledore's orders? Would there be a way to ask it questions or inform Dumbledore of a problem on his end ("Sorry, Headmaster, love to come help you, but just now I'm surrounded by Death Eaters trying to keep me away...")? It seems to me that for a method of communication to be "more reliable than Dolores Umbridge's fire," it would have to be a two-way sort of thing, with the capacity for immediate interaction between the two parties, so that it's possible to clarify questions and respond to circumstances. The bird doesn't seem to have that capability--Dumbledore sent it and then went back to the business at hand, simply expecting Hagrid to show up, rather than expecting an answer of any sort.

Well, I guess it's really just those two things. And it probably is the bird; I have history of overthinking these things.

I feel a bit...: curious curious
Soundtrack: Beatles

19 comments or Leave a comment
scribbling_elf From: scribbling_elf Date: December 13th, 2004 11:26 am (UTC) (Link)

In honor of the demise of Neville/Luna, a drabble

“I’m sorry, Luna. I just can’t keep going on this way.”

“I know, Neville,” she gasped, her wide silvery eyes filling with unshed tears. “We can’t keep meeting like this.”

“I’m so relieved you feel the same way. I dreaded telling you—I never wanted to hurt you.”

“Of course you didn’t.” She sighed heavily and squared her shoulders, looking at him bravely. “It’s painful, but it simply has to be done. I couldn’t bear to love you any longer if it’s not what our creator wants. We must put the greater good above our own humble feelings and baser desires.”

“So many times, I thought you were the only one like me, that it was the just two of alone in this world. I thought we must be destined to be together.”

“I know. No one understands me like you do, Neville. No one…”

“I know. Can I…can I hold you one last time?”

She nodded, and held oh-so-still, as he took her in his arms and gave her one last kiss before they parted forever. As she left the room, she looked back at him crouched so humbly and miserable in the room. A single tear ran down her cheek as she thought of what have been...if their love had not been thwarted by the zealous ways of the world.
chocolatepot From: chocolatepot Date: December 13th, 2004 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was a bit annoyed about the sending messages thing being already mentioned--I wanted my quill thing to be true (one person writes with the quill, while another one writes the message out)!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2004 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a good idea. I always assumed the new method of communication she said (pre-book) that she would introduce was the portraits, so I figured that's what was meant. Hmmm.
melyanna From: melyanna Date: December 13th, 2004 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just wondering — is it possible that the happy occasion is, in fact, a visit to Godric's Hollow? I'd think Harry would be happy to visit, and it does kind of fit with a used-to-be-the-first-chapter-of-the-series theme.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2004 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Could be (though I'm not sure that Harry's reason for leaving is the same as the scene that she's been thinking about from the start; it could be something quite different).
From: moralpoison Date: December 13th, 2004 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Was I alone in thinking it was amusing that she used the term "shipper"? *giggle*

I also hope he visits Godric's Hollow. That would be a happy reason to leave =)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2004 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Was I alone in thinking it was amusing that she used the term "shipper"? *giggle*

Nope. <3 JK.

I'm not sure that visiting Godric's Hollow is what I'd class as a "pleasant reason"--I mean, it would be for us, but for Harry, it's basically visiting the place where his parents died.
prettyveela From: prettyveela Date: December 13th, 2004 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
*sneaks in post*

*waves Neville/Hermione banner*

*sneaks out* :D
beaustylo From: beaustylo Date: December 13th, 2004 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually the silvery thing Dumbledore shot towards Hagrid's hut was described as being LIKE a bird, not taking the form of an actual bird. I got the impression that the bird comment was more directed at the way it flew rather than its shape. Personally, I think the silver mist is streams of thought, just like with the Pensieve.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: December 13th, 2004 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps the Muggle residents of Godric's Hollow believe it to be named after St. Godric, or... well, I'm sure there were other options, including that they DO know who their town was named after, but don't know or no longer believe he was a wizard.

(I looked up St. Godric and was amused because of the Sorting Hat to learn that he is apparently credited with the oldest surviving example of lyric poetry. Although Gryffindor would've had to predate him for the "thousand years or more ago" line.)
idleleaves From: idleleaves Date: December 13th, 2004 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay for friendship and working together.

Definite yay. Genfic is sorely underrated in this fandom. Actually, it's underrated in a lot of fandoms. There's something to be said for relationships that don't extend beyond the realm of friendship, because they can be just as nuanced and captivating as romantic (and/or sexual) relationships.
alyndra From: alyndra Date: December 13th, 2004 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Personally, I'm betting Harry will spend at least part of the summer at the Burrow, based on the pattern we've seen so far: even-numbered books, Harry is at the Burrow; odd-numbered ones, he's not. Also Aunt Marge is due for another appearance, as she seems to visit about every three years.

This may seem like a long shot, but I have faith in it after correctly predicting (pre-OotP, but unfortunately not in writing) that Harry would neither see Aunt Marge again nor get to the Burrow in book five.

Interesting thoughts about the Order communications. *goes off to ponder*
empressov From: empressov Date: December 13th, 2004 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here via Snitch...

As an aside on Godric's Hollow being named after Godric Gryffindor, this interview here has the following excerpt:

Fan chatter: And I’m going to ask one other question which you’ll say isn’t clever at all. The significance of the place where Harry and his parents lived, the first name--
JKR: --Godric Gryffindor. Very good, you’re a bit good you are, aren’t you?
Fan chatter: Thank you.
JKR: I’m impressed. My editor didn’t notice, I said to her haven’t you noticed any connection between where Harry’s parents were born, not born, where they lived, and one of the Hogwarts houses and she’s sitting there going erm... I’m not being rude about Emma she’s a brilliant editor, the best I’ve ever [had]. But no she didn’t pick that up either. You’re a bit good you are.

So I'd say it's definitely a yes on being one and the same Godric.

And on the topic of the Order's sooper special communication being the bird spell, I totally agree and think it's, though most likely what she was talking about, it would appear to be a very obvious, vulnerable and slow means of communication. Not when there are such things as those two-way mirrors Sirius gave Harry.
puchuupoet From: puchuupoet Date: December 13th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
What about the mirror Sirius gives Harry? Or, since it wasn't actually used, it doesn't count?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2004 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
She said it was something with a wand that we saw used before we knew there was an Order.
From: stellahobbit Date: December 14th, 2004 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Remus/Tonks (the latter being a longshot, but a girl can hope)

I've seen some weird and wonderful pairings in the HP fandom, and the majority of them don't have even the slightest bit of backing in canon. Is there something in the books that I've missed regarding the possibility of Remus and Tonks as a couple, or is it just wishful thinking?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 14th, 2004 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Mostly just that they were seen together frequently (and not together, infrequently), sharing tasks, eating breakfast together, etc. They seemed to have a high level of comfort, and there was definitely a deliberately drawn connection between the two--generally when they're together, they're standing beside one another. Also, they are introduced to Harry in parallel scenes (it's dark and Harry is frightened, then a strange voice speaks, and then there is light). So obviously, there's supposed to be some connection. Romance is wishful thinking.
mrs_who From: mrs_who Date: December 14th, 2004 04:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course the little Whos and I have discussed this at length, and they surmise the method works with the sender shooting a "thought" out of his wand which does look phoenix-like (because it's, well, the Order of the Phoenix) and the receiver receives a scroll with the message written down. (Combining Dumbledore's message to Hagrid in GoF and Molly's message to Sirius/kids in OotP, I think.)

It's a thought. :-)
s8219 From: s8219 Date: December 16th, 2004 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)
sailing in from a link... somewhere... ::waves:: Hello.

I was majorly surprised to hear the 'wand' thing, because up until that point I had assumed they used the portraits which seem to be stationed everywhere.

I'm extremely curious now and am almost itching to go and re-read the books just to see if I can't find anything at all pointing in this direction.
19 comments or Leave a comment