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I lied. One more spam. HP pets. - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
I lied. One more spam. HP pets.
I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I guess the loss of my roommate's ferret really has me thinking about pets, so...

One thing I really love about HP is the large presence of pets in the characters' lives. It's something that's often not touched on, and it just seems like such a realistic touch. I also think it says a lot about how the kids will be later on as parents (and perhaps adult behavior could be extrapolated back to how they might have treated their pets when they were kids).

So, my thoughts on the pets.

Hermione/Crookshanks: Hermione comes off as an indulgent parent of a gifted child (probably modeled by her own parents!). I especially love, "Clever Crookshanks, did you catch that all by yourself?" And the fact that she thinks he's just the most beautiful cat in all the world when he may be one of the few objectively ugly felines going. She'll be a proper Yuppie parent someday. :)

Ron/Scabbers and Ron/Pigwidgeon: Ron is Molly in training. Like Molly with the twins (especially), Ron is frequently fed up and frustrated with his pets, but G-d help anyone else who tries to hurt them. He complains about Scabbers being useless and Pig being not very bright, but he was miserable when Scabbers was sick, affectionate to a fault with him, and very attentive to his needs. Despite Pig's diminuitive nature and, er, flightiness, Ron was visibly delighted to get him, and has learned his various habits.

Harry/Hedwig: Harry actually strikes me as the best "parent" of the three, despite his occasional snaps at Hedwig (about which he always feels guilty). He takes pride in her abilities--he loves noticing and pointing out to readers what a very good post owl she is, something that I find weirdly endearing about him. He worries about her being bored when Uncle Vernon locks her cage, and he feeds her part of his own short rations when the Dursleys lock him in. It's not a cooing relationship like Hermione has with Crookshanks, but it's mutually supportive and largely equal and free will... until Hedwig is injured. At that point, responsible!Dad Harry takes over, worrying madly, getting her to help, feeling guilty about putting her in a situation that got her hurt, and so on.

Neville/Trevor: This is a sweet relationship. Hagrid tells Harry that toads are out of fashion, that he wouldn't send him off to Hogwarts with a toad. But here's Neville, devoted to his pet toad, searching for him on the train. He's terrified when Snape threatens to poison Trevor (something for which I don't forgive Snape--threatening someone's pets is just beyond low), and through five years (erm, anyone, life span of an average non-magical toad?) has constantly taken care of him... even if he's a little dotty about it and sometimes loses him.

Ginny/Pigwidgeon: (She seems, at least at home, to share him with Ron; at the very least, she's doting Aunt Ginny.) Ginny looks at Pig and sees the best, giving him what she thinks is a sweet name because what she sees in the poor, inept little thing is that he's, well, sweet. I think she needs her own pet before we can really judge.

Dumbledore/Fawkes: I don't know if you could really call Fawkes a pet so much as a companion, and since he's undoubtedly older than Dumbledore, the parental relationship might go in the other direction! :)

Going the other direction:

Sirius: I could see Sirius having a pet he could rough-house with and play with as well as protect and take care of, though I'm sure his mother wouldn't allow a filthy animal into the house. In a story, I gave him a puppy that he technically had to give to Hagrid, though no one doubts to whom Fizzing Whizbee really belongs.

Remus: No pet. He'd look enviously at everyone else's and wish he could have one, and play with everyone else's when he could, but he'd tell himself that he probably shouldn't, despite there being no objective reason for it. Obviously, from his classes, he has an interest in magical creatures. Maybe at one point or another, he took them in to study. But he doesn't keep them himself, precisely. (What happens to the grindylow? Does the class kill it, or do they set it free in the lake?) He's not ready at this point.

Tonks: Fun but attentive Mum. She'd definitely want a pet she could play with, but probably not rough-house. She seems a cat person, but not a purebred cat sort--more a big clumsy cat who purrs really loudly. She would talk to the cat. A lot. A cat she raised would listen patiently and tangle itself up in her feet on a regular basis.

James: Not enough info. Maybe something like Ron--not always nice to his pets, but fiercely protective of them.
12 comments or Leave a comment
mafdet From: mafdet Date: May 5th, 2004 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the prominence of pets in the HP books, too. Of course, I would have a cat. ;)

And I agree with you about Snape's threat to poison Trevor. I always thought that was one of the most unforgivable things Snape ever did. What did a toad ever do to Snape? I hate people who are cruel to animals.

Speaking of Snape, I surmise that if he were to have a pet at all, he'd have a cat. I think he'd hate to have a dog making demands on him, whereas a cat would have enough independence to leave him alone. (By the way, MY cats do NOT "leave me alone." They are total attention sponges.)

Lavender and Parvati: They would have elegant and expensive owls, or purebred cats like Persians.

I'll have to surmise on some of the other characters. I bet Voldiepants HATES cats because they do not obey.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2004 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
(By the way, MY cats do NOT "leave me alone." They are total attention sponges.)

Yeah, mine too. He's back in New Mexico with the maternal unit, and any time we're on the phone, he jumps up and tries to get her attention. When I come home to visit, Lord help anyone who interrupts a good ear-scratching. Looks can kill when they come from a black cat, you know. But it's on his terms. If he doesn't feel like being tended to, off he goes.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2004 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll have to surmise on some of the other characters. I bet Voldiepants HATES cats because they do not obey.

True. Although Voldiepants has a working relationship with his pet, of course. (A notably consumptive one, in which he actually drinks her venom.) He's vaguely affectionate with Nagini, though heaven knows what she actually eats, since he keeps not feeding her Harry or Peter.
h311ybean From: h311ybean Date: May 5th, 2004 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

I liked this entry a lot :) And being the unabashed shipper that I am, I can just imagine Ron and Hermione's differing "parenting styles" making their family life very interesting!

PS I think Remus will set the grindylow free in the lake. Or get Dumbledore to find a good mer-home for it.
shellebelle93 From: shellebelle93 Date: May 6th, 2004 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, Sirius has Buckbeak. Kept him in his mother's room, I believe. :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2004 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh. That's kind of where I got the idea that she wouldn't let him have pets as a kid. :) Ultimate revenge.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: May 6th, 2004 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Back! Back, I say!

Do you have any idea how many plot bunnies have hatched from this innocent looking post!!!!

Kizmet, who expected to get laundry done today
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 6th, 2004 07:49 am (UTC) (Link)

from Sreya

I agree totally on James, sounds a lot like my AU James, where he's not not home the night of Voldemort's attack, and only Lily dies, leaving James to raise The Boy Who Lived. He's intensely bitter, nearly consumed by it, and his relationship with Harry is certainly rocky, but God help anyone who lays a finger on his boy!

Snape, I think, would have some kind of a pet that lives in a cage most of the time, like a salamander. He'd want to make sure he knew where his pet was, have it completely within his control, not wandering around causing who-knows-what kind of trouble that Snape would have to answer for!
wm_law2003 From: wm_law2003 Date: May 6th, 2004 08:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Verrrry interesting. I love it when people point out how similar Ron and his Mum are. Cracks me up.

I am shocked, shocked I say!, that you didn't say that Tonks seems like a wolf person ;)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2004 08:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, you can't really keep one for a pet per se... :D
calico321 From: calico321 Date: May 6th, 2004 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just want to say I loved this post! :D
mafdet From: mafdet Date: May 6th, 2004 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
In regard to Tonks being a cat person, I see her as someone who would rescue a cat or kitten rather than get a purebred. And once she's out of Hogwarts, she might add a puppy - mutt, of course, to the menagerie. (And then there's the werewolf but Remus isn't really a "pet" lol).

I devoutly hope Draco doesn't have a pet as I don't think he would care for it properly.
12 comments or Leave a comment