Canon proof for D/G! JKRís hidden da Vinci code! Draco as the HBP! Yep, itís all here, and more, in this essay. I decided (with some nudging from Mynuet) that it was now or never, for publishing this thing. Read it, and make of it what you will.
Categories: Essays Characters:
Jul 05, 2005 Updated:
Jul 22, 2005
1. Single by Anise
2. Single by Anise
3. Third by Anise
A/N: This thing is a hideous horrible ungodly mess. I cleaned it up enough so that human beings could actually even READ it, at Mynuet’s nudging, but this is as cleaned up as it’s going to get. I actually wrote this about a year ago and… just never got around to revising it (squirmy squirm.) Anyway, here it is. Make of it what you will. There are some notes at the end about how much I actually BELIEVE all of this by now, and be sure that you DO read to the end… that’s where the arguments for canon D/G are. And the da Vinci thing. ;) Ferrets, Purebloods, and Lies: The True Identity of the HBP.
At first, all we really had was the title, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Also, whoever or whatever the HBP might be, JKR informed us that he wasn’t Harry, and wasn’t Voldemort. For a while, that was it. After speculation had already begun to run rampant, a few more tantalizing tidbits were added to JKR’s official website. They all tended to clarify who the HBP wasn’t rather than who he was, and in some cases, such as her musings about the links between CoS and HBP, the waters were made even murkier.
Now, it’s been said that South American piranhas go into a feeding frenzy when somebody throws a strip of chuck steak into the fish tank at the zoo. But for my money, nothing, and I mean nothing, beats watching HP fangirls (and some fanboys) after we’ve been tossed a scrap or two of actual real-live reliable info about what’s coming in Book 6. So, from the midst of the madness, I bring you my attempt at objectivity on this whole thing. Of course, there’s a vital question that has to be answered first.
Is this argument is even worth having? Can we figure out who the HBP is, or is likely to be? Can we make suppositions about possibilities for the plot of the sixth book? Or is it all a waste of time?
This particular question does have to be laid to rest at the outset, because otherwise there’s little point in wading through the sea of theories that awaits. And I do think the answer can be logically proven—proven, in fact, with a greater certainty than we can prove anything else right now. JKR’s responses to her fans have consistently indicated that she fully approves of our sleuthing into plot points and possibilities of character development (even if some of it, at times, may horrify her slightly.) This has become extremely obvious in recent months, between her new website that constantly teases us with tidbits of new information, and her point-blank hints about the connection between Harry and Voldemort at the August Edinburgh reading—not so much their actual content, but the fact that she encouraged fans to piece together clues from canon for themselves. Most instructive, however, are two arguments that raged especially hot at one time—the ones that concerned Mark Evans, and Tom Riddle.
A popular theory shortly after the HBP title was released was that the HBP was actually Tom Riddle, which, of course, was really an argument about whether or not Tom Riddle and Voldemort were separate entities. Another was that Mark Evans, a character mentioned in passing as one of Dudley Dursley’s victims, was the HBP. We’ll never know if these types of arguments among fans were the reason why JKR then revealed the final bits of information (or final for now, at least.) But one of the things revealed was that she flatly stated Voldemort and Tom were most certainly the same person, so Tom Riddle obviously was not the HBP—and this point reveals a lot about how I think the nature of the argument surrounding the HBP’s identity should go. The central question we start out with, of course, is whether it makes any sense to dissect the bits of information we have and comb canon for clues to the rest. Is it just a waste of time? Is it impossible to figure out anything this way? After all, she’s already told us that there isn’t a glaringly obvious clue in CoS to the HBP’s identity, as some people previously thought.
**(quote) Now, this quote will be dissected in much greater detail later. But at this point, the idea that we all should have been able to see that TR and V were the same person is significant. Because if all the books were carefully combed for clues, the answer really was obvious. Otherwise, it was not.
Mark Evans was a background character, and as such, certainly wasn’t going to turn out to be the HBP. Now, the mark Evans issue wasn’t the same as the Voldemort one; there really wasn’t any way we could have figured out that Mark was never meant to be important, since JKR has certainly introduced characters that turned out to be vital later on in just such a throwaway fashion. The important thing here is the way the Mark Evans thing was treated. It wasn’t done dismissively at all; there was a very elaborate explanation involved when JKR revealed that Mark Evans wasn’t a significant character after all. It clearly reveals that JKR knows how much time we spend analyzing every little thing, and that she acknowledges our interest is both important and appropriate. But there’s something even more subtle than that. Mark Evans did not have one scrap of information available about him beyond the fact that he did have the same last name as Harry’s mother. And I think that that, in itself, makes it very unlikely that he was going to be the HBP, and take on a role that at the very least has to carry some importance, and at the most might even be crucial.
So for these reasons, even though all we have is a very sketchy set of facts, speculation is very worthwhile. The prince’s identity remains a total mystery, as well as what both parts of the equation (half-blood and prince) really mean. But all good HP fans love a mystery, and there has been—and can yet be—much piecing together of facts, clues, hints, characters, and canon events to formulate various conclusions. Both the Tom Riddle/Voldemort AND the Mark Evans incidents show that while our speculations may not always come true, it is appropriate to make them.
I believe that there are five types of information JKR gives in interviews:
1.) Not-very-important facts that are often really trivia.
Hermione's middle name being Jane, for example. Or the exact ages of all the Weasleys. (That CAN'T have been important, since a lot of readers have figured out that it can't be right! So the number of students attending Hogwarts is something that also falls under this category, I think. With the number of teachers there, how CAN it be 1000 students? And in any case it's background information rather than a plot point.)
2.) Important facts.
The rarest category. The HBP not being Harry or Voldemort goes here, as does the truth about Mark Evans (and that might also go in 1.)
3.) Facts that might or might NOT be important.
The cut scene between Draco and Theodore Nott, for example. I think that's VERY!! important; some people don't. Or the cut background of Dean Thomas. I think it's interesting, but not a plot point. Others disagree, which is why we all keep raving on over at the "Who Is the HBP?" thread.
4.) Semi-autobiographical information.
The story about the idea coming to her originally on a train is a good example, as is the written-in-a-coffeehouse info.
5.) Musings about the plot, characters, possible future storyline, etc.
The problem, I think, is that this kind of info is often mistaken for 2.) or 3.) I have to say (ducks thrown rocks) that some authors are very good at talking about their writing, and some are not, and JKR falls into the latter category. Steven King does this kind of thing very well; she does not. Not everybody is cut out to do it. But her functional inarticulateness on this level (I'm sorry to say, I think it's true) means that her interviews can come off as just plain confusing if you really try to analyze them. There's so much more depth in her work than there seems to be when she speaks about the writing. If you only heard what JKR has actually said about her books, they don't sound like they would be all that interesting, or anything much above the run-of-the-mill teenage book.
So here’s my contribution, written with a critical eye, an ear to the ground, and a shoulder decidedly to the grindstone. The result of all this work is that a most logical candidate for the HBP does indeed emerge, one that is supported by more evidence and arguments than any other. No other candidate is linked to the idea of the HBP by so many clues in all of canon, interviews, and film. No other candidate lies at the center of such a web of evidence. Since we’re at such an early stage of information available about Book 6, the argument that this character is, indeed, the HBP may have convinced me, but it can’t be conclusive for anyone else. However, the evidence leads inescapably to the conclusion that this character will almost certainly be intimately involved with the struggle either for or against the HBP, and logically must take on a much greater role in Book 6.
(drum roll, please…)
It’s Draco Malfoy.
Now, depending on what your personal fan preferences may be, this supposition may cause you to stiffen your spine in denial, or start to skip about in jubilation. But it’s important to remember that the argument has absolutely nothing to do with fanon!Draco, he of the sexy sneers and leather pants. It is an argument that stems entirely from canon. And since this idea is perhaps the last one we’ve all been led to expect to date, it requires a very, very long essay to explain it. Hold on tight, and keep your hands inside the moving vehicle at all times, as we explore…
First, we’ll look at the pieces of evidence that really do link Draco to the concept of the HBP, and, in so doing, shoot down the “conventional wisdom” arguments against the idea of his having such a significant role in Book 6 in the first place. Lastly, we’ll explore the possible plots and endgames for the entire series that logically stem from the ideas presented here—and we’ll see astonishing evidence for the unlikely Draco ship that will be inevitable in canon.
Now, there are a number of arguments brought up against not only the idea that Draco is or could be the HBP, but the idea that he will have a much more significant role in future books. A lot of these arguments have been kicking around for awhile now, and certainly didn’t begin with the revelations about Book 6-to-come. In fact, they tend to have taken on a life of their own. Draco apologistas find themselves arguing from a permanent position of disadvantage—not as to whether he’ll ever be “redeemed” or not, which is the point around which the discussions used to revolve, but whether he’ll ever fulfill the significance he was seemingly set up for in SS/PS. The problem with these arguments is that they only take the obvious into account, and there is much more going on in the HP series than the obvious. A truly careful analysis of canon reveals that a much larger role for Draco is not only possible, but inevitable.
Let’s look at how Draco’s character has evolved (or not evolved) to date. In SS/PS, Draco’s importance is set in stone from the very beginning as Harry’s adversary. Here’s why this is significant.The HP books are extremely traditionally written as far as structure goes. They are not experimental or avant-garde novels. In fact, most of their aspects tend to follow the structure of both the traditional British boarding-school novel and the traditional British mystery novel, and few species of writing are as hidebound as these. (In fact, I would argue that an important part of JKR’s appeal is that she mixes a profoundly traditional structure with anarchic themes.) Not following up on the importance of a character who’s been set up as a primary adversary just isn’t going to happen in a book series of this type. So the biggest argument against the future importance of Draco must be dealt with here—the idea that JKR just doesn’t plan to do anything important with him. And it’s debunkable. Chibimono: Do you have any future plans in particular for Draco Malfoy?
JK Rowling replies -> I've got plans for all my characters. Actually, this is a really good place to answer a question about Draco and Hermione, which a certain Ms. Radcliffe is desperate to have answered. Will they end up together in book six/seven? NO! The trouble is, of course, that girls fancy Tom Felton, but Draco is NOT Tom Felton!
This, to me, is a very significant answer (although I’m not at all sure that JKR really understands the appeal of Draco!) In the same interview, she answered quite a lot of trivial questions, such as the middle names of several characters. She also put several rumors to rest, such as the one about D/Hr, and Narcissa being related to Lily and/or Petunia. But by way of contrast, what she does NOT do here is to say either yes or no. Nor does she say anything even slightly along the lines of “Draco is never going to have any character depth. He’s nothing more than a spoiled brat.” **(C.S. Lewis analogy.) We may be “getting too fond of Draco” as far as she’s concerned, but there’s no evidence in her statements that his future unimportance is the reason why.
When a question is insignificant, JKR answers it. She’s done it enough times by now so that we can pretty much take it as a rule. If the answer is or might be important, on the other hand, she has a habit of being coy, of dancing around the reply. You can’t get much coyer than “I’ve got plans for all my characters.” Then too, the last of her comments, I think, pretty much puts the kibosh on fluffyromance!canonDraco. However, the plot is shaping up into an important interaction of a very different character indeed, as we will soon see. Part Two: Secrets of the Chamber
JKR states that, in relation to the seven books, "Key things happen in book two. No one knows how important those things are... yet. There's a lot in there. And I know how difficult it was to get it all in there without drawing too much attention to the clues."
The above quote is really important in terms of understanding her later comment about the relationship between book 2 and book 6. There’s more to be gleaned than just the identity of the HBP. It’s not as if the secret answer to the question of WHO it is, is in CoS in code or something, and if we’re smart enough we’ll figure it out. It’s subtler than that.
CoS was actually Draco’s book, as a careful analysis will show. In fact, I would argue that the entire reason why we have a strange sort of empathy for Draco isn’t Tom Felton, as so many seem to think. It’s the kind of characterization that really began in CoS. Felton amplified this feeling because he’s a good film actor, and that’s what film actors do. Their job is to interpret the character in a way that transmits emotions to the audience in a deeply felt and personal way. Felton does it in a number of ways, and one of them is his physical presence. But that means that it’s infinitely more than a matter of looking good with a vicious bleach job. He mainlines the emotional Draco into the collective jugular of the audience.
CoS was the last book where Draco played a pivotal role (until OotP, as we shall soon see.) There are many curious aspects of his role in Book 2 that have never been adequately analyzed. So we do have to try to understand what the link might be between CoS and HBP, and JKR’s comments on that subject bear careful analysis, themselves.
At the very least, the clues about the plot of Book 6 in CoS are at least as important as the clues in any other book, and almost certainly more so, simply because JKR has stated pretty clearly that there are more of them there. At the most, the plot line about the HBP may have disappeared every bit as fully from CoS as she thinks it has, and as she’s repeatedly told us it has. But the problem is that when a storyline is removed, you have generally, as an author, left behind the space where it used to be... And there still may be clues to be gleaned.
The first thing that actually makes me lean towards the Draco theory more than before is the fact that the Draco/Theodore Nott conversation was written for, and cut from, CoS.
I seriously wonder if JKR planned to reveal that Draco wasn't pureblood in CoS. However, she realized that it was much too soon to do it, and information that we otherwise would have gotten about the Malfoys-- *including the Draco/Nott conversation*-- was cut.
At the start of CoS, Harry thinks of Draco as his “arch-enemy.” The inciting incident of CoS, the one thing that sets the entire plot in motion, is Dobby actually coming to warn Harry about a devious plan hatched by the Malfoys, specifically Lucius. Why DID Draco stay at school for Christmas in CoS?? It’s never explained. This could be another very important point.
In CoS, it’s as if Draco is always just one step removed from being intricately involved with the plot. But it’s a small step.
Most importantly of all, a link of four was set up in CoS: Draco, Harry, Ginny, and Tom. I believe that we’ll be seeing this again. In CoS, there were four people who in some way played the role of the Heir of Slytherin. Harry, Draco, Tom (who, of course, actually was) and Ginny. Her name has not been mentioned in this context, but she was the one—the ONLY one-- who actually performed the tasks that opened the CoS. If we didn’t know for a fact the HBP gender has to be male, Ginny might very well be the best guess for HBP. Well, we already know it can’t be Harry, and the most logical thing is that it can’t be Tom, either. So we’re left with the two most obvious candidates related to CoS being Draco and Ginny. It can’t be Ginny. But Ginny can be involved. The Draco/Harry/Ginny triangle set up in two separate situations: at beginning, and at Valentine’s Day, when Draco almost gets diary. In both cases, Voldemort/Riddle is involved. The Draco/Harry/Ginny/Tom link will be explored further at the end of the essay, when we analyze the amazing possibility that we could see D/G in canon.
I think that we begin to really see the links between Draco and Snape in a serious way in CoS, and that they will be very important later on. Remember the scene in CoS with Dueling club when Snape “looks at Harry shrewdly?” We never do find out exactly why this happens, but here’s something to think about. If Snape was Lucius Malfoy’s confidant in OotP, he obviously had to be something to Lucius and to all the Malfoys three years earlier. We don’t know exactly how Snape’s undercoverness works, but we can guess that much. So how much did Snape know in CoS? How deep in was he? Did he know anything about what happened to Ginny? Did he know about Harry’s suspicion of Draco? Did he think that Harry might be the Heir of Slytherin? Did he even know the truth all along?? Does it have anything to do with the fact that Draco didn’t go home for Christmas that year? That’s a very strange fact, since so few students did it. And it’s never explained. There is a tremendous amount of mystery surrounding Snape and the Malfoys. There’s also an interesting theory that Dumbledore told Snape to find out if Harry was a Parselmouth, and that Snape chose that way to do it. But that, too, goes to the HBP being Draco; it presages and foreshadows it.
I think that in CoS we also begin to see the theme of twinning between Draco and Tom Riddle. There are parallels drawn constantly between Draco and Tom. Thomas is the Greek form of the Aramaic name Te'oma which meant "twin". Suggesting twinlike or doppelganger possibilities for Tom Riddle. Thomas also the name of the doubting disciple, and doubting is a form of bad faith—possible link to Malfoys?
And there is a very curious fact about CoS and OotP that nobody, to the best of my knowledge, has picked up yet. Only two characters are EVER described as having a “hungry” appearance when they look at Harry, or of staring at him “hungrily.” Tom Riddle in CoS, and Draco in OotP, in Umbridge’s office. AND… in the CoS, Tom tells Harry, “You’re dead, Potter.” Look at pg. 851 of OotP… Draco says “You’re dead, Potter.” The only two times this phrase is used, and the only two characters that use it.
In fact, twins are all over the entire HP series. There are two sets of actual twins—Parvati and Padma, and Fred and George. Neville and Harry twin each other. Draco and Harry twin each other; sometimes Draco and Ron twin each other, too. Yet Draco and Tom Riddle/Voldemort are twinning more clearly than any other pair to date.
We also start to see the links between Draco and Ginny in CoS, and it’s not just the fact that in CoS, we know that they have the most contact they will have until OotP. In CoS, sexual maturity is linked with death, between the mandrakes, and curiously, both Ginny and Hermione not being in danger of death until near the end of the book, right around the age of sexual maturation for both of them. Harry goes to rescue Ginny in the CoS, reached by pipes, and Ron can’t go. This has been analyzed from here to eternity as presaging H/G. BUT… and it’s a big but… remember that Draco almost got to go. He actually had the diary in his hands at one point, until Harry got it back. If Harry hadn’t gotten it back, Draco very likely would have gotten to go into the CoS. And when Harry got there, what did he find? Tom Riddle, Draco’s mirror.
And we know that Tom Riddle put a little of his soul, himself, and his secrets into Ginny. "Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul back into her ..."
- Tom Riddle on his possession of Ginny [CoS-17].
This happened to Harry too, obviously, if we think about how Voldemort put some of his powers into him when he gave the baby Harry the scar. Yet this is also something that Draco would probably desperately want to happen, and with this argument, we’re right back to the theme of choices, not abilities, being the most important thing throughout the HP series.
Next, we have to look at the royalty clues that have appeared throughout the series. We’ll also touch on the issue of Ron the prophet, and on the possibility that Draco may not as pureblooded as he appears to be.
What does the reference to a prince even mean? Well, it seems very unlikely that it refers to a literal royal family of the wizarding world, the wizard Windsors, if you will. After five full years of living as a wizard, it’s extremely hard to believe that Harry wouldn’t have heard of such a thing by now. It could be an honorary title of some kind, or a nickname. But the most logical thing seems to be to look for any instances where one specific character is linked to princes, or royalty of any kind. And there is only one character who consistently has been.
In OotP, during the Welcoming feast, we see the famous reference to Draco Malfoy “holding court at the Slytherin table.” In CoS, the identity of the “Heir of Slytherin” is one of the central questions. We eventually find out that it’s Tom Riddle, but for much of the book the entire Trio is convinced that it’s actually Draco. What if this is a clue to the HBP status that Draco attains later on? “Heir” is, in many senses, simply a synonym for “prince.”
In the climactic conversational scene in OotP, Dumbledore makes a big point of noting that Harry has NOT been raised like “a pampered little prince.” Once again, royalty is mentioned. So, who HAS been? Draco, who is often thought of as Harry’s mirror image, what Harry might have become if raised under similar circumstances. And let’s not forget Sirius’s statement in OotP that his mother thought that being a Black made a person practically royalty!
Now let’s look at how the theme of royalty might relate to some other things about Draco. If we really want to start analyzing names, dragons have always been linked with royalty in Asian countries. To play devil’s advocate, though, we certainly haven’t had any references to Asian magic in any of HP books. But there’s one very important thing that we HAVE had.
There’s an astonishingly direct link between Draco and royalty, and I have never seen anyone pick up on it. I’m sure none of us have any trouble recalling the occasion when the fake Professor Moody oh-so-memorably transfigured Draco into a white ferret in GoF. The coloring of the albino ferret is a pretty fair match for Draco’s pale skin and white-blond hair, but other than that, the question has to arise: why a ferret? Wouldn’t some other albino animal have done just as well? What is it about a ferret in particular that should have been linked to Draco Malfoy in any way, and what might its significance be? This is where a very curious—and perhaps crucial—piece of information comes into play. The ferret-- and above all white ferrets—were strongly associated with both nobility and royalty in British history. White ferrets were particularly favored in the Middle Ages, and ownership was restricted to those earning at least 40 shillings a year (a rather large sum then). A ferret appears in a Leonardo da Vinci portrait of the lady-in-waiting to a prince who became a duke’s mistress, “Lady With an Ermine.” (We’ll come back to da Vinci’s work when we talk about D/G foreshadowing, too.) The "Ermine portrait of Queen Elizabeth the First" shows her with her pet ferret, who has been decorated with painted-on heraldic ermine spots. (Take a look at this picture.
) JKR is a highly educated person, and used to be a teacher. I’d be willing to bet that she knows about the ferret-royalty link.
Then, too, let’s look at the meaning of “Weasley is our King.” I highly doubt that it refers to any of the Weasleys. We know for a fact that Arthur Weasley isn’t going to be MoM in Book 6, which would seem to be the most logical meaning of the phrase. It might refer to Arthur Weasley becoming MoM in Book 7. Yet the significant thing here may very well not be the subject of the song, but the author. After all, Ron Weasley never calls himself a king. Harry dreams that he sees Ron and Hermione wearing crowns, but Hermione is a Muggle-born, not a half-blood, and anyway she’d be a princess—and Harry is not known for his prophetic abilities.
But a very popular idea in fanon is that Ron may have the gift of prophecy. If this is true, well, he predicts in CoS that Draco is the Heir (also that the book is dangerous and Harry shouldn’t touch it, that Tom Riddle killed Myrtle, and that Harry ought to get rid of the diary once he has it. He’s reluctant to go into the Forbidden Forest, and sure enough, they’re almost killed by spiders.)
Here are a few more examples, gotten from God-knows-what list off FA about a year ago:
1.) "So we've just got to try on the hat!" Ron whispered to Harry. "I'll kill Fred, he was going on about wresting a troll." - Ron on what was required of the Sorting [SS-7].
Ron and Harry then battle a troll in [SS-10].
2.) "I dunno, I've just got a bad feeling about it --" - Ron advising Harry not to see the Mirror of Erised again [SS-12].
Dumbledore then catches Harry in front of the mirror in [SS-12].
3.) "There's a blob a bit like a bowler hat," he said. "Maybe you're going to work for the Ministry of Magic. ..." He turned the teacup the other way up. "But this way it looks more like an acorn. ... What's that? He scanned his copy of Unfogging the Future. "'A windfall, unexpected gold.' Excellent, you can lend me some ... and there's a thing here," he turned the cup again, "that looks like an animal ... yeah, if that was its head ... it looks like a hippo ... no, a sheep ..." - Ron to Harry in Divination [PoA-6].
Harry rescues a hippo[griff] in [PoA-21].
And a man in a bowler hat (Fudge) delivers gold to Harry for winning the Triwizard tournament and Harry gives the winnings not to Ron, but to Fred and George, who in turn buy Ron new dress robes in [GoF-36].
4.) "What would it have been for you?" said Ron, sniggering. "A piece of homework that only got nine out of ten?" - Ron makes fun of Hermione's boggart [PoA-7].
"P -- P -- Professor McGonagall!" Hermione gasped, pointing into the trunk. "Sh -- she said I'd failed everything!" - Hermione upon ending her DADA test in [PoA-16].
6.) "Why don't you get stabbed in the back by someone you thought was a friend?" - Ron to Harry, making up their Divination homework [GoF-14].
Ron abandons Harry after his name comes out of the Goblet of Fire in [GoF-17].
7.) "And on Wednesday, I think I'll come off worse in a fight." - Ron making up his Divination homework [GoF-14].
Harry nails Ron in the forehead with a 'Potter Stinks' badge in [GoF-19].
8.) "No -- I'm alone -- but I'm different -- I look older -- and I'm head boy!" ... "I am -- I'm wearing the badge like Bill used to -- and I'm holding the house cup and the Quidditch cup -- I'm Quidditch captain, too!" - Ron in front of the Mirror of Erised [SS-12].
Partially unresolved? Ron holds up the Quidditch cup as he's carried up to the castle in [OotP-30].
9.) "Eat slugs, Malfoy," said Ron angrily. - Ron sticking up for Harry after Malfoy insults him [CoS-6].
Ron casts a spell and his wand backfires, making him vomit slugs in [CoS-7].
10.) "Maybe he murdered Myrtle; that would've done everyone a favor. ..." - Ron on why T. M. Riddle got a special services award [CoS-13].
Harry learns that Myrtle was killed by the basilisk that Riddle (Voldemort) set loose from the Chamber in [CoS-16/17].
11.) "I'd light mine too, but you know -- it'd probably blow up or something. ..." - Ron about his wand when going into the Forbidden Forest in search of Aragog [CoS-15].
Lockhart tries to Obliviate Harry down in the Chamber of Secrets with Ron's wand and it explodes [CoS-16].
12.) "Harry -- this is a Pocket Sneakoscope. If there's someone untrustworthy around, it's supposed to light up and spin. Bill says it's rubbish sold for wizard tourists and isn't reliable, because it kept lighting up at dinner last night. But he didn't realize Fred and George had put beetles in his soup." - Ron's letter to Harry [PoA-1].
Scabbers was with them in [PoA-1].
13.) "Next Monday," he said as he scribbled, "I am likely to develop a cough, owing to the unlucky conjunction of Mars and Jupiter." - Ron making up his Divination homework [GoF-14].
Ron gave a loud false cough, which sounded oddly like "Lockhart!" - in [GoF-15].
14.) "You seem to be drowning twice," said Hermione - talking about Ron's Divination homework [GoF-14].
Partially unresolved? Ron is placed under water for the second task in [GoF-26].
15.) "Percy would never throw any of his family to the dementors," said Hermione severely. ... "I don't know," said Ron. "If he thought we were standing in the way of his career ... Percy's really ambitious, you know. ..." - Ron about Percy [GoF-27].
Percy helps put Harry on trial in [OotP-8], tries to get Ron to move away from Harry in [OotP-14], and takes notes when Dumbledore is accused of creating an army in [OotP-27].
16.) "Well, I had one that I was playing Quidditch the other night," said Ron, screwing up his face in an effort to remember. - Ron discussing his dreams in Divination [OotP-12].
Ron makes the Gryffindor Quidditch team in [OotP-13].
In CoS, at the end of Chapter 6:"Rubbish," said Hermione. "You've read his books--look at all those amazing things he's done--"
"He says he's done," Ron muttered.
And it turned out Lockhart was lying, and just saying he'd done all those things.
So we have a lot of proof that Ron may actually have prophetic abilities. He predicted that Draco was the Heir of Slytherin. We know that he wasn’t, because Tom Riddle was. But “heir” is frequently used as a synonym for “prince.” What if that’s what Ron was actually predicting? And then there’s this to think about. The theme of choice has always been tremendously important in all of the books. In CoS, the Heir wasn’t chosen. He was the Heir because of his blood kinship to Slytherin. But the overwhelming theme has always been choice. So who would be the Heir, if he could choose, if it was only a matter of choice? Draco.
So how is this even possible? Isn’t Draco a pureblood? Hasn’t that been the most significant aspect of his character in canon to date? Well, Sirius tells Harry that Arthur and Molly Weasley and all three Black sisters are his cousins, and that Draco is his first cousin, once removed, as is Nymphadora Tonks. Phineas Nigellus, the former headmaster of Hogwart’s, is his great-great-grandfather. In fact, he makes a point of saying that “the pure-blood families are all interrelated.” Even in the case of the Lestranges, a pureblood family that doesn’t get a great deal of information devoted to it, we know that Rodolphus Lestrange (Bellatrix’s husband) has a brother, Rastaban. Neville’s parents and grandmother play prominent roles. We learn that Mollly’s maiden name is Prewett. Alastor Moody tells Harry that the brothers Fabian and Gideon Prewett fought like heroes as part of the original Order of the Phoenix, and that it took five Death Eaters to kill them. (OP9) Arthur has two brothers. Every pureblood family has details devoted to it… all except the Malfoys.
There's one other very significant thing that JKR emphasizes over and over as a major theme in OotP, and I think it has slipped under the radar to date. The families that have positively been identified as being pureblood also get plenty of space devoted to their internal ties; we see how they're all interrelated. JKR makes a special point of having Sirius mention that they're all cousins, and showing how that's true with the family tapestry. Neville's parents and grandmother are mentioned and are important characters. List of aunts, uncles, etc. Even Lestrange is given a younger brother, Rastaban. But this isn't true of the Malfoy branch. They appear to be quite tacked on to this extremely intricate wizarding pureblood family tree. We haven't heard one thing about how Lucius Malfoy is related to anyone ELSE who is pureblooded. We haven't heard that he's somebody's cousin, or somebody else's uncle. I think it's because he isn't pureblood at all, and thus, neither is Draco.
We don't know any details at all about the Malfoys. We certainly never saw the Malfoy
family tree, only the Black tree. What if the Malfoys aren't purebloods after all? What if that's only the story they put around??
From page 707 of OotP, American edition... Meanwhile Draco Malfoy had found a different way to induce panic. "Of course, it's not what you know," he was heard to tell Crabbe and Goyle loudly outside Potions a few days before the exams were to start, "it's who you know. Now, Father's been friendly with the head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority for years-- old Griselda Marchbanks-- we've had her round for dinner and everything..."
"Do you think that's true?" Hermione whispered to Harry and Ron, looking frightened.
"Nothing we can do about it if it is," said Ron gloomily.
"I don't think it's true," said Neville quietly from behind them. "Because Griselda Marchbanks is a friend of my gran's, and she's never mentioned the Malfoys."
Why is this significant? Because it's a solid piece of evidence that the Malfoys are not what they appear to be, and could be a clue that this is true in other ways. (And the person mentioned as being friendly with Marchbanks, a claim that turns out to be false, is Lucius, not Narcissa; the Malfoy, not the Black.)
The interesting detail about Draco is that he’s set up as the sort of person who should succeed, but vis a vis Harry, he never does. His successes are always against other people. For example, he’s one of the two Slytherin prefects in OotP, but in that capacity he is not in direct competition with Harry, since Ron, not Harry, is the male Gryffindor prefect. It’s strongly hinted in the Borgin & Burkes scene in CoS that he does well in his studies (and the fact that he’s made a prefect in his fifth year would seem to bear that out.) But the person that Lucius mentions as beating him out is Hermione, not Harry. On the other hand, look at what happens once Harry and Draco are in the same orbit. Harry beats Draco at every single Gryffindor/Slytherin Quidditch game every played. Draco’s family is rich, but Harry has his own fortune. Draco is used to being the center of attention, butu Harry outstages him at every turn. Draco attempts in PS/SS to get Harry in trouble for sneaking Norbert out of Hogwarts, and ends up getting detention himself. Draco wants to help the Heir of Slytherin in CoS, but Harry defeats the Heir. Draco tries to get Buckbeak executed in GoF, but Harry saves the hippogriff. Draco tries to rule the school in OotP, but Harry wrests control away from him and is instrumental in destroying Draco’s champion, Dolores Umbridge.
To make a less obvious point, I think that Draco has often compared his family life favorably with Harry’s in all the books to date. Draco has two parents, after all, and Harry does not. But by the end of OotP, Draco has lost even that, and from his point of view it’s entirely Harry’s fault. Every time he competes with Harry, Draco loses; sometimes through his own doing, sometimes not. -- list what happened in OotP by the climactic H/D scene, including the fact that the Slytherins were being led by Draco all through the book. But by the end, he’s left with only Crabbe and Goyle, and then even THEY are taken away by McGonagall.
So we have to ask ourselves, in what way has Draco not failed? What is the one thing that he has always been able to count on through the entire HP series, the thing he has that Harry does not? The only answer is that Draco is a pureblood, and he clings to this fact with an intensity that amounts to monomania. Harry, with his Muggle mother, is not.
But it’s already been set up that every time Draco battles with Harry, he has to lose. A very great number of things changed for Harry in OotP, but this fact remained a lodestone in a shifting world. Whether at Quidditch, in the competition for the House Cup, or in a struggle for supremacy at school, Draco must always lose out to Harry. And there’s only one way in which he hasn’t. He is the pureblood, and Harry is not. So the internal logic of the story would go very well with Draco finding out he’s not a pureblood at all.
So what will happen with Draco in HBP? None of us knows until July 16th, of course, but I believe he’s going to be important, no matter what form that importance takes. We know for a fact that we will see a lot of Narcissa because JKR's said so, and she's more than hinted that we'll see a lot of Snape, too. I don't see how you can haul in Narcissa without Draco being involved, and Snape was definitely associated with Draco in OotP. At the end of OotP, of course, Draco vows revenge on Harry, plots and plans to get back on him on the train, and then fails, which has GOT to make him even more determined to get that revenge eventually. A dish best eaten cold, you know... Harry is seriously underestimating Draco by the end of the book, and that's exactly the trait that got him in trouble all through OotP.
So Draco is set up to be extremely important, and for his choices to be important. Will this importance be good or bad?
It’s important to note that up to this point, Draco really hasn’t become either evil or good. Examined apart from Harry’s prejudiced view of him, it’s actually rather amazing to what degree Draco has remained a fairly neutral character in a moral sense. It is almost as if JKR is showing us that he has not yet made that all-important choice. There are several important pieces of information from OotP which bear this out.
The first is that whatever everyone thinks about Professor Umbridge, she does represent the force of law versus anarchy at Hogwarts. She is not working for Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters, and it really cannot be said that Draco has allied himself with evil by supporting her regime. In fact, at the end of the book, Dolores Umbridge is anything but a force for evil. No matter how unpleasant and unfair she may be, the curious fact remains that if she had succeeded in keeping all the students at her office, Harry would never have gone to the Department of Mysteries, and a number of tragic events would not have occurred, Sirius’s death among them. This is where Draco’s alliances most clearly lie in OotP; we never see or hear of any connection or relationship between him and the forces of real evil. He is a bully, he is unpleasant, he is petty, he takes away points unfairly… but he does not lure Sirius out of his place of safety, he does not cast Unforgivable curses, and he does not chase Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville, and Ginny around the Department of Mysteries while threatening them with death. His biggest sin is that he doesn’t like Harry, as he flatly states. **(quote)
But why should he? Harry turned down Draco’s original overtures of friendship, treats him with anger, coldness, and suspicion, beats him at every turn, and formed an organization that works against everything Draco has allied himself with at school. Draco has said some fairly awful things (re: Hermione in CoS, Cedric in GoF.) But in the fifth book, we learn conclusively that it was all empty talk. He can’t have ever actually seen death, because he cannot see thestrals. Draco taunts Neville about his parents, but we learn that his words were not deliberately or knowingly malicious, because he doesn’t know that Neville’s parents really are in St. Mungo’s.
A really fascinating idea is that Draco makes that choice, and that choice is to become the HBP, who is allied with Voldemort. I’m not sure if I believe this or not, but it’s something to think about.
For instance, we have this quote:Fenny: Will Lord Voldemort get more 'screentime' in the upcoming books?
JK Rowling replies -> You will see him again, but like most evil dictators, he prefers his henchmen to do his dirty work.
We also know from the same chat that we’ll find out more about Voldemort’s birth in the next book. We know from JKR’s most recent comments that the connection between Harry and Voldemort will be extremely important in Book 6, but what this essay explores is how Draco might be inextricably linked.
That brings us to another point, and another reason why this plot line would have been saved until now. Tom Riddle was 16 in CoS; both Harry and Draco will be 16 in HBP. It seems to be, for JKR, an age of decision. This will be, IMHO, the major theme for Book 6—choice-- because Book 7 is going to have to deal more with the consequences of those choices. Draco has not chosen, but in Book 6, he will have to.
JKR’s has said that we should pay more attention to why Voldemort didn’t die when he tried to kill Harry, and why Dumbledore didn’t try to kill V at the end of Book 5. I think that these deal with the link between Harry and Voldemort, but they also reinforce the idea that Voldemort could be the one who chooses the HBP, and chooses him for a specific reason.
Harry and Voldemort are tied, in some mysterious way we don’t yet understand. But if that is the case, the question is if Voldemort knows. Because of what he tried to do at the end of Book 5, I would argue that he does know, even if he does not understand. And it makes sense that Voldemort would try to lessen the power Harry might wield. A way to do this might be for Voldemort to have an heir to his power, a “prince,” that he chooses completely of his own will, because Harry was not that. It goes, too, with the idea of twinning, and nobody could be fit this role better than the character who has already been set up as Harry’s potential twin, his dark doppelganger—Draco Malfoy.
Now, how might Ginny fit into all of this?
Harry and Ginny are set up to interact with each other in an extremely significant way, and we saw much more of this in OotP. This may or may not mean traditional shipping to come (dear God, I hope not. And considering the way things went in OotP, I really don't think so. But there will, I think, be a lot more H/G interaction to come.) The interesting thing is that in canon, H/G has inevitably meant D/G. The more Harry interacts with Ginny in any given book, the more Draco does, too. CoS is a perfect example. PoA and GoF had no D/G interaction, but they really had no H/G, either. OotP had the most meaningful H/G interaction to date, and it was the one where Ginny directly confronted Draco for the second time, far more forcefully than she did in the Borgin and Burkes scene in CoS. Ginny herself finds it meaningful enough to refer to it several times.
Also, we have JKR’s statement on the subject: Field: Do you plan for GInny to take on a major character role in the next two books?
JK Rowling replies -> Well, now that Ginny has stopped being mute in Harry's presence I think you can see that she is a fairly forceful personality (and she always has been, remember Ron saying that she 'never shuts up' in Chamber of Secrets)?
Earlier, when analyzing CoS, I argued that a four-cornered thematic structure was set up between Harry, Ginny, Tom, and Draco. I’ve also argued in this essay that Draco and Harry have been twinned in some ways, and Tom and Draco absolutely have. At some point, I think that the issues raised in CoS are going to have to be dealt with as far as Ginny is concerned. There is a great deal of unfinished business between Tom Riddle and Ginny. And since Draco has been associated with Tom, there is a very strong possibility that Draco and Ginny have a lot of canon interaction in their future. What will its nature be?
Well, we really don’t know. I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for rainbows and flowers and fluffy bunnies. The fact that she hexed him in OotP may be the best foreshadowing of their coming relationship. Yet we really don’t know. We can’t be sure of what might happen between Draco and Ginny, for good or ill.
And if you want a truly inspired (or insane) piece of D/G ship foreshadowing… as promised… da Vinci painted “Lady With an Ermine,” as previously noted. He also painted a portrait of Ginevra de' Benci. Remember that only twelve of his paintings survive. Of those twelve, one is of a Ginevra, and one is of a ferret. A WHITE ferret! As educated as JKR is, she certainly has a passing acquaintance with his work, at the absolute least. Could this be her own personal da Vinci code for us to find??
However, leaving all speculation aside, I do think there’s a reason why D/G is a lot more structurally sound than any other fanon Draco ship, including Draco/Pansy, which frankly does not have a lot going for it after OotP (when they weren’t even together on Valentine’s Day!). The things we build in fanon need to have a canon foundation. They need to be based on paths that JKR could choose to walk in canon, even though she may never decide to. And I think this essay deals with a lot of the reasons why D/G has this foundation.
Draco and Ginny absolutely do have a canon connection, and they have had it ever since the first moment they met. When Draco told Harry that he had himself a girlfriend, he saw what Harry himself didn’t see on that day. Since then, I think that Ginny has moved on in canon, but at that time, Draco correctly saw that she had attached herself to Harry. In fact, NOBODY else saw it then. Draco hated Ginny—or told himself that he hated her—but he saw her.
Three of the group of four that formed the backbone of the book were in that scene, and the fourth showed up a few minutes later—Draco, Ginny, Harry, and, in the diary, Tom Riddle. The structure of those four is going to show up again in HBP, and in a way, I believe we even see it on the American cover. Harry stands at the top, and Ginny on the bottom. Between them, below the cauldron, is the skull and snake of the Dark Mark, which I believe (in this context) represents Tom Riddle/Voldemort and Draco. Not only that, but on the full adult cover of the British edition of HBP, we see two wrestling arms. We don’t know whose they are, but IMHO neither one of them looks decrepit enough to be Voldemort’s, or old enough to be Dumbledore’s. I think that one is Harry’s, and one is either Tom Riddle’s or Draco’s.
So, y’all, this has been Anise’s Ungodly Mess of a Draco/HBP Essay. Looking at it a year after I originally wrote it, I think the part that’s held up the best is the argument that Draco will be important in HBP, and his choices will be important. He is not going to fade away, or get thrown into a ditch while Harry, Ron, and Hermione step over him on their way to kill Voldemort. There are just too many reasons why his character has to be resolved. I think he’ll have more interaction with Ginny. I honestly believe that we might see D/G, although I’m not holding out hope for shippy D/G.
If he’s actually going to turn out to be the HBP… well, I admit, he’s really a dark horse. In all sober reflection, probably not. But you never know. And if he DOES, then I get to open a 1-900 psychic hotline.
There were some other arguments in the rough draft that just didn’t make it in here, including the one that Lucius Malfoy was going to be the next MoM, and a long analysis of the similarities between Draco and Barty Crouch, Jr. Oh, and also the long, long argument that Stonehenge might turn up in HBP, because we know that Malfoy Manor is located in Wiltshire (and that’s where it actually is.) But, you know what? If any of these turn out to be supported in HBP, I’ll write about them then.
And thanks for being a reader!
Thanks to all the wonderful reviewers of Part One!
Especially Sue Bridehead, kannichtfranz, Christina,
Sheila, Anonymous, nucking_futs (I'm Realanise on
LJ!), aznblubeary, Bethie, Molly, bittelitten, Tryphe,
Pahi, Cap, Alexandra Malfoy, Eldarwen, Erised, Sarah,
Dracoluva, zjk, aka Sailor Mars, tintertyonk, Mynuet,
Corvidae, and Cancertopia.
Yep, it's Chapter Two of the Draco/HBP essay. Partly
because I wanted to reply to some insightful things
people said, partly because I remembered some things I
wanted to say too late for the first chapter, and
partly, well... just because. ;) We're going to put
rumors to rest, clarify information, talk some more
about why Draco will be important, and outline some
possible plotlines. And then we'll look at more D/G
Let's start by debunking some rumors that have been
It has absolutely NOT been stated by JKR that Draco
ISN'T the HBP. Obviously, she hasn't said that he IS,
but she hasn't come right out and said that he isn't.
One thing she HAS said, though-- to play devil's
advocate-- is that Theodore Nott is just as
pureblooded as Draco is. Now, what does THAT mean?
Interesting choice of words... possibly. After all,
JKR didn't say "Theodore Nott is pureblooded, too."
Nor does she refer to him as "Theodore Nott, another
pureblood..." No, she defines his purebloodedness in
terms of Draco's. I do think there's a reason for
that. It may very well turn out to be that JKR is
hinting at a big difference in the ultimate choices of
the two boys, or foreshadowing that they will end up
leading different factions at Hogwarts. Yet we don't
actually know how pureblooded Nott is, now do we? We
certainly know that everybody who's ever been in
Slytherin is not a pureblood. So I think the
statement she made will turn out to be important, and
it *might* be a clever way of telling us that neither
of them are purebloods.
Then there's that famous paragraph of description JKR
released from HBP:
He) looked rather like an old lion. There were streaks
> of grey in his mane of tawny hair and his bushy
> eyebrows; he had keen yellowish eyes behind a pair
> wire-rimmed spectacles and a certain rangy, loping
> grace even though he walked with a slight limp.
JKR has not-- NOT-- said that this is a description of
the HBP. Never, in any way, shape, or form. We don't
know who it is-- yet. I'm not really sure how this
rumor got to be so rampant, but it has confused a lot
of people simply because you do see it so much. But it
is 100% a fanon rumor. Of course, that doesn't
guarantee that it ISN'T a description of the HBP. But
if I had to guess, I would say that it's probably a
description of the new DADA teacher. In fact, I would
even say that the most likely person it fits is
The part where Draco has his hands on the journal in
CoS goes by very quickly. If you're not looking,
you'll miss it. It's right after Harry gets the unwanted Valentine.
Harry would have given all the gold in Gringotts to evaporate on the spot. Trying valiantly to laugh along with everyone else, he got up, his feet numb from the weight of the dwarf, as Percy Weasley did his best to disperse the crowd, some of whom were crying with mirth.
"Off you go, off you go, the bell rang five minutes ago, off to class, now," he said, shooing some of the younger students away. "And you, Malfoy-"
Harry, glancing over, saw Malfoy stoop and snatch up something. Leering, he showed it to Crabbe and Goyle, and Harry realized that he'd got Riddle's diary. "Give that back," said Harry quietly.
"Wonder what Potter's written in this?" said Malfoy, who obviously hadn't noticed the year on the cover and thought he had Harry's own diary. A hush fell over the onlookers. Ginny was staring from the diary to Harry, looking terrified.
"Hand it over, Malfoy," said Percy sternly.
"When I've had a look," said Malfoy, waving the diary tauntingly at Harry.
Percy said, "As a school prefect -" but Harry had lost his temper. He pulled out his wand and shouted, "Expelliarmus!" and just as Snape had disarmed Lockhart, so Malfoy found the diary shooting out of his hand into the air. Ron, grinning broadly, caught it.
I've always thought it's strange that more readers
didn't notice this scene, but it's treated like a
throwaway. Whether it's important or not, only time
Believe me, I thought long and hard about that
tapestry scene in OotP where Sirius shows Harry the
intricate family background of the Blacks. According
to the tapestry, Draco is indeed a pureblood. There's
only one problem. It's the family tapestry of the
Blacks, not the Malfoys. Harry is the one who tells
Sirius, "You're related to the Malfoys." Kind of an
odd choice of words, when what the scene mainly proves
is that Sirius is related to the Blacks, and I think
it misdirects us into believing we know more about the
Malfoy line than we do. We know all about the
interrelationships of the Blacks. We don't know
anything at all about the Malfoys except that they're
supposed to be purebloods. We haven't found out
anything more about them, though. It's certainly canon
that they SAY they are; they never STOP saying it. But
we don't see the proof, as we do for the Blacks. I
could think of a lot of reasons why the Blacks
swallowed the story that they were, primarily that the
family was clearly in rather desperate financial
straits at the time, and may not have investigated as
carefully as they should have before Narcissa's
marriage. The Malfoys may very well turn out to be
exactly what they appear to be... and they may not.
Now, that's all I'm going to say about that! ;)
Remember the story in the Daily Prophet that quoted
Lucius Malfoy(OotP)? That's where it says that Malfoy
Manor is in Wiltshire. Once again, it goes by very
Now, on to the Thoroughly Demented (and Mostly Dark)
At this point, I honestly and truthfully don't know
how likely it is that Draco will turn out to be the
HBP. If he *isn't* the HBP, I won't throw a big hissy
fit, jump up and down, burn the books, or live on top
of a pillar for 20 years like St. Simon the Stylite,
who retreated from the world. ;)
I WILL be shocked if Draco and his choices aren't
important in HBP. This is for all the reasons laid out
in the first essay, plus three more pieces of
information we didn't have when the essay was
First of all, JKR gave us the title of two chapters
from HBP. Out of all the chapters in the book, we do
have only those two titles-- and I believe that they
both relate to Draco.
The first one, of course, is pretty obvious. "Draco's
Detour" is, well, going to be about a detour that
Draco takes. One thing worth pointing out is the
difference between this and a chapter title that was
released early from HBP, "Percy and Padfoot." A lot of
people were rather disappointed when they actually
read the chapter, simply because they'd thought it
would involved Percy and Sirius actually interacting
in some way. But the chapter didn't promise that. It
simply meant that both these characters would be in
the chapter, and they were.
"Draco's Detour," on the other hand, pretty
unequivocally means "The detour that belongs to
Draco." "Draco and the Detour" might mean anything,
but that's not what we have.
The other chapter title is "Spinner's End." Now, at
this point, nobody knows what or where Spinner's End
might be. However, one common opinion is that it's a
place name. JKR already told us that Harry will spend
the least amount of time yet at his aunt and uncle's
house, so a lot of people are wondering if Spinner's
End is the name of the new headquarters of the OotP,
where Harry ends up in this second chapter. For a
variety of reasons, the Order may not want to or be
able to stay in Twelve Grimmauld Place.
One theory is that as the next male heir from the
Black family, Draco inherits Twelve Grimmauld Place,
and that a provision in wizarding law causes even a
place hidden by a Secret-Keeper to become
transferable. If THAT'S the case, then we're obviously
going to have to hear about why and how the Order is
in a new location, and Draco would be the reason.
So in that case, BOTH of the only two chapter titles
that have been released would relate to Draco. And we
already know for a fact that one does.
Then there's the fact that JKR released Draco's
birthday. Now, the really interesting thing about this
is that before the revelation, out of all the
birthdays she's told us about, every single one has
been of a character who's been placed firmly on the
"good" side (yes, even Snape the Snarky.) The first
exception-- the only exception-- is now Draco. And as
for the dubious theory that JKR is only throwing the
Tom Felton fangirls a bone, sorry, y'all.... but I
think that's just plain silly. She's never done that
before; she's gone out of her way to do the opposite
at every conceivable oppportunity.
Lastly, we now have a clue that might hint at MAJOR
importance for Snape in HBP. We now have the two
British book covers, and the American book cover. The
adult British cover is a closeup of a Potions
textbook. Now, nobody can be 100% sure, but a pretty
logical conclusion seems to me to be that Harry is
going to be in Advanced Potions in his sixth year.
Taught by Snape, of course! And as noted in the first
chapter of the essay, Snape and Draco have always been
tied in all the books. More importance for Snape is a
pretty powerful argument, all by itself, for greater
importance for Draco.
Actually, there's a popular theory that *Snape* will
turn out to be the HBP. I think it's a whole lot more
likely than most of the HBP theories out there (I hope
the rumor that JKR said it's not Hagrid turns out to
be true, don't you??) The biggest thing against it is
that the idea of a "prince" seems to imply someone in
Harry's age group. But there's no way to be sure that
would be true. Remember, too, that canon Snape *is*
quite a bit younger than the impression we get from
the movies, as are all the Marauders. The casting
department made a deliberate decision to cast actors
who were at least ten years older than the canon
characters. (And it's a good thing they did-- an actor
who was really 33-34 years old would have looked very
weird playing Remus across from Dan Radcliffe in PoA.
He definitely wouldn't have looked like someone from
Harry's parents' generation.) Nevertheless, canon
Snape is a lot younger than Alan Rickman. So that's a
possiblity to consider seriously. Although quite
honestly I don't know how in the world it might impact
the plot if Snape WAS the HBP, I do think that this,
too, would lead to increased importance for Draco.
All right. So Draco's going to be important. But
whether he's the HBP or not, what might this
importance actually lead to in terms of plot? What
might happen in HBP?
Warning: we're now headed into the realms of wild and
weird speculation. Hold tight...
When asked if Arthur Weasley will be the new MoM, JKR
I think it's very significant that she phrases the
reply in that way. It does seem to imply that not only
will the new MoM not be Arthur, it won't be anyone
good from Harry's point of view, or Dumbledore's point
of view. So that would rule out Amelia Bones, too.
We obviously don't know who the new MoM will be. But
there's a fascinating theory that history itself can
give us a clue. St. Cornelius (251-53) was succeeded
by St. Lucius I (253-54) in the papacy of the Roman
I didn't come up with this theory, I guarantee.
However, I did check it out, because there are a lot
of weird theories out there. (Ever hear the one about
Ron and the yellow rat and Bilius the general... it
was so confusing that I don't even remember how it
went. Anyway, it turned out to be fake.)But, take a
look at this:
So the rumor in this case turns out to be true. And
the best part is that it's more than just a
coincidence of names. Cornelius was banished, which
could refer to what might happen to the disgraced
Cornelius Fudge. St. Lucius was sent into exile, but
allowed to return after a short time. Could this refer
to Lucius Malfoy getting out of Azkaban quickly? A
really interesting detail is that St. Lucius always
had to be followed around by two priests and two
deacons "to bear witness to his virtuous life." The
author of the entry about the pope describes this as
"incredible," and to tell the truth, it sounds to me
more like someone was following St. Lucius to make
sure he didn't do something he wasn't supposed to.
Which sounds like something that could happen to
Lucius Malfoy. Eventually, St. Lucius was murdered,
but many people did not acclaim him as a martyr. And let's not forget that St. Lucius was a Roman. A lot of people have thought that Lucius Malfoy's name refers to Lucifer, but it could just as easily refer to the fact that Lucius was a very, very common Roman name.
Oh, but it gets EVEN BETTER. Y'all aren't going to believe this... In OotP, Albus Dumbledore was clearly set up as a rival power to Cornelius Fudge. Some people in the wizarding community supported one, and some supported the other. Well, guess what. St. Cornelius had EXACTLY the same kind of thing happen!!! His rival was the "antipope" Novitian, who was (according to the Catholic church at the time, anyway) a heretic. However, a considerable number of people did support Novitian as the true leader of the church, against Cornelius. Novitian's heresy was rather complicated, but the most important thing about it was that he believed in severe treatment for those who had been apostates and now wanted back in the church... just as Dumbledore didn't believe that a lot of wizards who said they acted under the Imperius curse should be allowed back in. Wow! This is WEIRD. Here's more about Novitian:
In this capacity, Lucius Malfoy would have a lot of
power, and would be able to do things he was perhaps
constrained from doing before. Some of these things
might involve dark magic (we know from CoS that the
Malfoys have a lot of Dark items in their house.) (And remember, too, that from the point of view of the Novitian heretics, what the orthodox church was doing was, well, pretty much dark magic.)
Then, too, there's the matter of the discovery. A
really important thing to notice is that the HBP
storyline does not necessarily relate to a discovery
Harry made IN the Chamber, but a discovery he made at
some point in the book. A very big difference. If we
knew the discovery had to have happened in the CoS,
the Godric Gryffindor-as-HBP theory might carry a lot
more weight. But that's not what JKR tells us.
Under this theory, she might mean Harry's discovery
Lucius Malfoy was the one who slipped the diary into
Ginny's cauldron. Well, Lucius got the diary back at
the end of CoS, of course. So here's a theory... what
if he was able to raise the shade of Tom Riddle
through dark magic, using his power as MoM to feel
safe in doing it? If Riddle really does choose Draco
as his HBP, that's when he would do it.
And, as promised, here's how Ginny fits in.
Lucius Malfoy tried to use her for the purposes of
Dark magic before. In fact, that's the entire plot of
CoS-- a dangling plotline that remains unresolved up
to now. If he really does dabble in dark magic again,
and if he tries to call up Tom Riddle again, he would
have every reason in the world to try to get at Ginny
again. But how would Lucius have the opportunity? The
answer is that he wouldn't have to. Draco goes to the
same school as Ginny and has every opportunity to make
her kidnapping or luring out of Hogwarts possible.
We don't know exactly how this would work, but the
really fascinating fact is that we've seen this
plotline before. In GoF, Barty Crouch-as-Moody was at
Hogwarts for that exact, specific reason (triggering
the "kidnapping" of Harry.) And when JKR uses a theme
once, she has a habit of using it again (as, indeed,
she did with Polyjuice potion in CoS and GoF.)In a
way, we could even say that this plotline was used in
OotP, since the dreams of the DoM were "sent" to Harry
to lure him out of Hogwarts. So we definitely know
that it's possible to get people out of Hogwarts
Would Draco do it, and why? Well, aside from anything
else, look at the end of the last canon we have to
date. Draco has actually got to be out for revenge
against two people by the end of OotP: Harry, and
Ginny. Ginny defeated and humiliated him in front of a
lot of people with the Bat-Bogey hex, and from the
comments she makes in OoTP we know that she sees the
incident as being very important (it’s her
justification for why she should get to go to the
DoM!) So it’s pretty meaningful D/G interaction. And
there are really only two places where we’ve seen
Draco and Ginny interact meaningfully in canon: in
CoS, and in OotP. Their OotP interaction is basically
a setup for whatever happens next between them,
because it is completely unfinished and leaves Draco
itching to correct the balance of power between them.
So it’s got to be resolved in HBP. If the issue of the
CoS also has to be resolved in HBP-- as I've argued--
that would help to explain some of the seemingly
conflicting things JKR has said about whether there’s
a link between CoS and HBP.So, again... there's your
D/G. Not real fluffy, though.
To end this thing, on a happier note, Creamtea has an
incredibly elegant theory about Draco in HBP. She made
me promise not to tell anybody about it before the
book came out, though. It's such a beautiful theory...
so well constructed... I'm in awe of it... still, my
lips are sealed until the third chapter of this essay.
Yep, there's going to be another chapter as
Kannichtfranz suggested, but it won't come out until
after HBP. It'll deal with how well any of these
predictions actually held up!
I will say, though, that Creamtea also believes in
Draco's importance in HBP, and she has some
fascinating theories as to how that might play out.
Although I have to say that she's more optimistic
about Draco's choices than I am.
Another happy note! (I guess.) Whatever happens
between Draco and Ginny and no matter how dark it is,
I personally don’t feel that romantic H/G will happen.
There is just too much going against it in too many
different directions. And I don't think that way
because H/G interferes with my OTP, since I firmly
believe that although the seeds of romantic D/G lie in
canon, it can only walk a dark path there.
So anyway, there I was on the CS H/G thread on FA, and
someone asked this question:
What chapters do you think will contain something that
will continue to sink H/G?
And here was my reply... and the reason for the rating
on this entire chapter of the essay.
Flight From the Ministry
Harry ran down the corridor towards the Room of
Requirement, praying he would make it in time, knowing
that it was his last chance. Since Lucius Malfoy had
become the new Minister of Magic, security trolls
roamed the halls of Hogwarts, and tapioca custard had
replaced all other puddings at dinner. Life had become
rather difficult. He flung open the door,
breathlessly. Unfortunately, he hadn't bothered to
check whether anyone was there.
A large four-poster bed took up almost every inch of
available space, although there seemed to still be
some left for bottles of massage oil, bowls of
chocolate mousse, and several dubious products that
Mr. Ollivander kept quite decidedly behind the counter
of his shop. Harry's horrified eyes took in the fact
that Draco Malfoy and Ginny Weasley were in the
four-poster bed. It's impossible to describe what they
were doing without going over a PG-13 rating, but
Chapters 10-99 of the Kama Sutra, deluxe wizarding
edition, were definitely involved.
"Eep," said Harry, at a convenient break in the
"Oh dear," said Ginny.
"Can't you read, Potter?" snarled Draco. "There's an
"Occupied" sign on the door."
"Ginny," said Harry hopelessly. "I always thought you
were so sweet and innocent."
"Er, well, not anymore," said Ginny, blushing
"Out, out, Scarhead!" said Draco. "We have this room
for five more hours!"
"No, no," said Ginny. "I think we'd better tell him
"I suppose you're right," said Draco, lighting a clove
Harry began to cough. "I'm allergic."
"Good," Draco smirked.
"How did this all begin?" Harry asked Ginny in a
"Well, remember the time I disappeared at the
Halloween feast and wasn't seen for three days?" said
Ginny. “And then I turned up, and couldn’t walk
straight until the following Monday? Remember how
Hermione was convinced I was smoking Mandrake weed,
because I couldn’t stop smiling all through November?”
Harry put his hands over his ears. "That's enough! I
don't want to know any more."
"Don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way
out," yawned Draco, putting out his cigarette and
turning back to Ginny.
Harry trudged disconsolately towards the door. He
couldn't say, on reflection, that he was terribly
disappointed. More than anything else, he was reminded
of the time his aunt had given him a Hershey's Kiss
for his tenth birthday in a burst of generosity, and
Dudley had stolen it. He'd always vaguely thought that
Ginny would be there when he finally decided he would
get around to her, rather like a half-opened can of
tuna fish left in the back of the refrigerator.
But he turned back just before leaving the room,
although when he saw what Malfoy and Ginny were
already back to doing, he rather wished he hadn't.
Also, he wondered how on earth Malfoy had got so
flexible. It couldn't be only the exercise a
Seeker got, because Harry himself knew that he
couldn't have wrapped his left leg around his head
half so well.
"Does this mean you're not going to Hogsmeade with me
on the next weekend, Ginny?" he asked plaintively.
A leather thong thrown at his head was the only
As he began plodding down the hall, trying to find
somewhere else to hide from the homicidal security
troll that had been chasing him, he heard Malfoy's
muffled voice coming from behind the closed door.
"Hey! That was my favorite thong! I thought you loved
seeing me in that one."
"I do," purred Ginny. "But I love ripping it off with
my teeth even more. "
That was about when Harry decided that he'd just let
the troll catch him.
That's all, y'all! Be sure to catch the third chapter
after the release of HBP. :)
As you can see, this is Part 3, and it deals only with the issues of love potions, H/G, Draco, Snape, and Voldy's evil plots. Sigh. I've knocked myself out trying to remove every vestige of shippy shippiness from this, and I've suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune over it anyway. If y'all think I'm nuts after you've read this, just tell me. I can take it! Anyway, this is only a small part of all my thoughts about both Draco and D/G in HBP (and in fact I've removed a lot of D/G arguments that could easily be made here. Not that that kept anyone from telling me that I needed a nice long rest in St. Mungo's, and-- well, anyway.) Parts 4 and 5 will deal with how well the predictions in Parts 1 and 2 panned out, as well as analyzing Draco's role in HBP and making predictions for Book 7 (and yes, that's when I'll let all the D/G speculation run wild!) In the meantime...
Come one, come all, for we have some tales to spin. Insane theories!
Stunning predictions! Shocking evidence! Yep, it's all here, and
more, in the short version of the upcoming Chapter 3 to my Draco/HBP
Essay of Doom A Go-Go. Welcome!
This won’t contain a number of theories that will make it into the longer versions, most notably all the theories about Draco’s role and Snape’s role in HBP. It’s for the purpose of discussing the Harry/Ginny relationship in HBP. However, this isn’t going to be done for the usual reasons of sheer shippiness. We’re going to avoid “I love Harry and Ginny together, and they got together in HBP, ha ha ha, and it doesn’t matter that they broke up, because they’ll get back together, and the strength of their twu wuv will defeat Voldemort.” And we’re also going to avoid “I hate Harry and Ginny together, and they broke up in HBP, ha ha ha, so it doesn’t matter that they dated in the first place, because now the ship is sunk.” Both of these approaches detract from the unraveling of the central mystery of HBP’s Harrry/Ginny- why it happened in the way that it did, why it ended in the way that it did, and what it meant to the plot. I believe that this thesis also predicts the plot of Book 7, but we probably won’t get to this intriguing subject until the full essay comes out.
In brief, the central thesis of this essay is that Harry initiated his relationship with Ginny for two reasons. To begin with, he was physically attracted to her by his sixth year. HBP canon makes it clear that she’s a very pretty girl by then, and he’s a sixteen-year-old boy. However, there is another reason, and it’s much more important than the first. Without it, the relationship would not have happened. Quite simply, Harry was dosed with a love potion. However, it was very unlikely to have been given to him by either Ginny or Hermione. In fact, we’ll likely never know which person or persons literally gave Harry the potion in most instances, and it isn’t important (we’ll examine the two big exceptions to that rule, too.) Because once all of the evidence is added up, we clearly see that the hand behind it belonged to…
And there is also considerable evidence to suggest that at a later date, Draco’s job was taken over by Severus Snape here as well.
This is a theory that at first may sound extreme, and as such, it requires a lot of proof. This essay provides that proof. We’ll be taken step by step through all the evidence that supports my argument, and the amount of canon evidence from all six books is startling. We’ll examine the nature of the Harry/Ginny relationship itself—how it began, how it progressed, and how it ended. Second, we’ll look at the surrounding evidence, the context of the rest of the book that supports the central thesis. Third, we’ll look at the considerable foreshadowing in previous books, although this is almost entirely introduced in the context of the other points. Fourth, we’ll examine the specific evidence that links both Draco and Snape to the thesis. And lastly, we’ll see how all of this adds up to plotline predictions for Book 7.
Now, only one of these pieces of evidence would probably not be very convincing by itself. And maybe neither would two, or three, or four, or even five. But as we’ll see, there are many more than that. And, in fact, what’s far more important is that these pieces fit together and work together like a rope, not like a chain which falls apart if only one link is broken. Each piece of evidence in this case, like the strands of a woven rope, will bind the argument together even further—until it irrevocably binds Draco and Snape, and only Draco and Snape, to the love potion used to dose Harry Potter.(1)
(1) And a tip o’ the nib to true-crime author and former Santa Monica DA Vincent Bugliosi, for the rope analogy.
To begin with, we have to talk about the nature of the H/G relationship itself, and here we’re especially going to discuss how it began. Of course, we have a problem right from the get-go. I think I already know what you’re thinking right now, because it’s the same kind of thing I thought. Your preconceptions about H/G are taking center stage in your head—that’s exactly what they did for me!
And yet the paradox of talking effectively about H/G in HBP is that it has to mean putting one’s own Harry and Ginny shipping preferences on hold, whatever they may be. A pre-established love or hatred for this ship is only going to get in the way. So I’m going to ask you, the reader, to do what I did. However you felt about Harry and Ginny getting together before you read HBP, please try to forget it. It’s hard—believe me, I know! But we have to do it. I’m going to keep my personal feelings out of it, and all I ask is that you try to do the same, because they’re just going to get in the way. In terms of the central love potion thesis, ship preferences just aren’t important. What is important is the evidence, and there’s plenty of it to show that in HBP’s H/G, a great deal of extremely suspicious things are going on. JKR portrayed the H/G relationship in exactly the way she had planned for some very specific reasons. We’re going to spend a lot of time on this, because it’s important.
First of all, what kind of foreshadowing do we have for H/G within the book itself? The one incident that’s sure to spring to everyone’s mind is when Harry smells Amortensia in Professor Slugworth’s class. Now first of all, let’s remember the thesis of this essay: Harry had two reasons to date Ginny. He was attracted to her before I’ve theorized that he got a love potion. He smells, well, things that attract him: treacle tart, a broomstick handle, and something flowery that he associates clearly with Ginny a little later. Physical attraction is foreshadowed; no doubt about it. However, we will return to the interesting subject of Amortensia a little later, when we can put it in its proper context—because there’s a great deal more to be said about it.
Let’s fast-forward to the first time when Harry feels his overwhelming interest in Ginny, several months later. The best thing to do here is to simply go inside Harry’s head and look at his thoughts as they were literally laid out on the page. His very first impression is that he’s been inwardly invaded by a monster, something “large and scaly.” The very first words that spring to his mind are “sudden madness.” And he is feeling entirely physical sensations. Harry doesn’t imagine talking to Ginny or relating to her in any other way, but about getting her alone in a corridor. And in his private thoughts, I think it’s pretty clearly indicated that he goes considerably beyond anything that can get into PG-rated canon.
And, perhaps most importantly of all, Harry knows just how sudden these sensations really are; he has a long interior monologue on just that subject later that night. He thinks about how he’s spent time around Ginny like “brother and sister,” and only brother and sister, for years. Harry himself is taken considerably aback by these feelings. It’s as if he is the one recapping all the anti-H/G arguments in his head. We don’t even need to think of them, because he does it for us. And it’s precisely because he knows that these feelings aren’t coming from his past dealings with Ginny. In fact, the phrase he uses for them, and the phrase that leaps to mind right away, is a very revealing one: “newborn monster.” Harry knows very well that these sensations came out of nowhere, and he personifies them as a monster, which is maybe the most interesting point of all. Having a monster crouching in your chest is pretty much generally seen as a negative thing, and I have to say that I think deep down Harry is probably reminded of the feelings he had when he was first hit with the Imperius curse in GoF. (This is a very important point, btw, and we’ll return to it later.)
And it’s only after most of these thoughts have already occurred to him that he then turns to the idea that Ron won’t like it, and that it might create a huge problem in their friendship. This is really worth remembering, because everything else we’ve talked about, and that goes through Harry’s head, is present before the Ron angle ever even occurs to him—the idea that’s he’s been invaded by a monster, that the monster is brand new, and that he knows just how little foundation these feelings actually have. In terms of page space, the Ron-related reasons take up very little of it, compared to the rest. This is going to become important a bit later. Because when we try to figure out just why Harry didn’t act on his attraction to Ginny for a long time, the idea that Ron was the main reason just doesn’t hold water, no matter what Harry tells himself. Not only did Harry see in the train scene at the end of OOtP that Ron was, if anything, pushing him towards Ginny, but Ron’s feelings were very far indeed from being the first things which occurred to him when he thought about reasons to not date Ginny. And as for worrying about Dean’s feelings, we see for ourselves that the subject of Dean literally doesn’t ever occur to Harry until late spring.
Now let’s look briefly at the nature of their relationship. We’ll go into more detail on many points later. But it’s important to say something here. When it comes to Ginny, all that Harry ever thinks about (and it’s especially marked after he’s attracted to her but before he dates her) are physical sensations and physical attraction. And that’s it. I think we all know what he was thinking WITH when it came to Ginny, and it wasn't his brain. The relationship itself never seems to involve these two actually talking or relating to each other. Like Ron and Lavender’s fling, it seems to consist almost entirely of snogging. And we do have a clue that JKR means for us to think that meaningful conversation is important, because at Slugworth’s Christmas party, Hermione so pointedly says (about McClaggan) “Cormac hasn’t asked me one single question about myself.” She told us in the Mugglenet interview that she understood perfectly just how shallow Ron and Lavender’s completely physical relationship was. Also Ron and Hermione are attracted to each other all year. But JKR doesn’t permit these two to begin dating until they have moved beyond the stage of unacknowledged attraction and constant fighting. Pure attraction, on its own, is just not enough, and this is a point that is driven home even more by the Bill/Fleur relationship. Fleur only becomes acceptable to Mrs. Weasley once she proves that there’s more than just physical attraction between her and Bill.
But Harry does not become interested in Ginny for her personality, her conversation (we almost never see them actually talking to each other once they begin dating,) or her dreams and aspirations. In late spring, some very brief and cursory references to this entire sphere of a relationship are rushed through, but they could hardly feel more tacked on than they do—and there is the inescapable fact that none of this ever occurs to him before. (And when he thinks about her returning his interest, he only thinks about her admitting that she’s “deeply attracted” to him.) We never hear about her classes, or her studying, or her ideas, or her thoughts. Harry is only interested in the fact that she’s taking her O.W.L.’s because this cuts into her time with him. It’s not that we would expect 800 pages of his interest in her beyond the physical, but we don’t even get a sentence until the very brief mentions near the end of the year.
These mentions are the closest thing that we have to a genuine Harry/Ginny connection in the book, as brief and rushed as they are. But I think that they’re much better fuel for the argument that Harry and Ginny will develop something a lot more genuine in Book 7, if that’s an argument we decide we want to make. The other issues in HBP still remain too massively unresolved.
Interestingly, in the long scene in Dumbledore’s office a few weeks before Harry and Ginny finally do begin to date, Dumbledore talks a lot about the “power of love” that Harry has, and that will help him defeat him Voldemort. And he says nothing about love between two people on a personal level. In what is perhaps a foreshadowing of the end of the H/G relationship, Harry forgets all about Ginny when he has the chance to question Katie about the necklace incident shortly after this. And I don’t think it’s the least bit accidental that we’re reminded of what happened to Katie here; this will be explored in more detail when we talk about Snape’s role.
So let’s posit a hypothetical situation. Let’s say that ALL WE HAD was the information directly related to H/G. We didn’t have the vast amount of supporting evidence within canon itself for the thesis; none of this was in HBP. If that was the case, THEN we’d still have enormous problems with buying the H/G relationship as what it might seem to be on the surface, and the reasons above (as well as the additional analysis of the relationship, which we’ll see a bit later) would be why. In fact, if all we did was to add the new information from JKR’s most recent interview with the two fans, which is up on Mugglenet, what she said on the subject of H/G was fascinating. Let’s have a look:
ES: We thought it was clearer than ever that Harry and Ginny are an item and Ron and Hermione — although we think you made it painfully obvious in the first five books —
JKR: [points to herself and whispers] So do I!
Then she talks a bit more about R/Hr and H/Hr, and then she says:
JKR: I will say, that yes, I personally feel - well it's going to be clear once people have read book six. I mean, that’s it. It’s done, isn’t it? We know. Yes, we do now know that it's Ron and Hermione. I do feel that I have dropped heavy –
Then the conversation turns completely to final confirmation of R/Hr (and a lot of rather uncharitable and unattractive bashing of H/Hr shippers on the part of the two fans, frankly.) (The full text of the interview is at: http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/extras/aa-jointerview2.html) But did you notice what really happened here?
JKR confirmed that Ron and Hermione were an item, and although it’s difficult to really tell what she meant from the way the interviewer phrased the question, she probably did mean to say that Harry and Ginny were an item in HBP, as well. But this point isn’t in doubt. Harry and Ginny certainly did date for a period of time in HBP, and there’s no way to deny that. No, the fascinating thing here is the JKR then had the opportunity to talk about H/G in the same way that she was talking about R/Hr, and she didn’t take it. She said that R/Hr was “done” and that we “do now know”; she did not say that about H/G. In fact, JKR never said that H/G was coming back, or that it was dead. Nor did she say that what Harry and Ginny shared was genuine love, or that it wasn’t. Nor did she analyze H/G, or talk about how it was foreshadowed (as she did do with R/Hr,) or talk about why she put it in the books. In fact, she very carefully said nothing more at all about the entire subject of H/G. Instead, she very deftly turned the conversation away to R/Hr.
This reminded me a lot of the famous comment she made in the long-ago interview when she sank D/Hr. The question had started out being about Draco, but after making one brief comment about him, she turned it to sinking D/Hr, which of course is what got everyone’s attention. I theorized months ago (and it’s in Part 2 of the essay, which was posted last month) that JKR did this in order to get everyone’s attention off Draco and wondering where he was going to end up, and I think we can all see pretty clearly that I was right. (It’s important to savor these moments when you’re right! You never know when they’re coming again! ;) When it came to Draco, JKR wanted to keep her surprises, and IMHO the same is true of the truth about H/G. If she was going to confirm its ongoing presence or absence in Book 7 once and for all, this would have been the place to do it. Because this is exactly what she DOES do with R/Hr and H/Hr. But she chooses not to. She chooses to keep it a mystery, which in the past has always meant that an important plot point is involved.
Anyway, though, we DO have this avalanche of other information in HBP. Because of that, the H/G information has to be seen through a different lens—and this is on top of the problems presented in the information itself. There’s just too much of this information and its message is too relentlessly consistent.
So although we’re going to see much more about the specifics of the H/G relationship when we evaluate how Draco and Snape might have been involved, let’s move on to the second point for now.
In JKR’s universe, important plot points don’t come out the blue. They’re foreshadowed, which was clearer in HBP than it’s ever been before. And if you see this over and over and over again in canon, it’s important. So what do we see again and again and again?
First of all, JKR makes a point of showing us that Hermione and Ginny know about love potions in the scene in the twins’ shop in Diagon Alley. We’re shown a constant theme of people being dosed with potions, not only love potions (although we certainly do see that) but also potions like Felix Felicas. Remember the Amortensia scene? Well, this is where we come back to it.
There’s an enormous clue here that I think most people are missing. We are specifically told that the potion makes each person smell what he or she is most ATTRACTED to. So Harry smells NOT what he likes, not what he loves, not what he respects, not what he admires, not what he thinks about… but what pulls at him at a purely sensual level. As if this weren’t enough, we then have Professor Slugworth’s explanation that this potion doesn’t produce genuine love, and the curious statement he makes about the power of “obsessive love.”
We’re very pointedly shown the scene where we see exactly why and how one person might dose another (when Harry pretends to give Ron the Felix Felicas.) THEN we see an extremely long scene where Harry and Hermione discuss love potions in the library, and Hermione actually, specifically warns Harry that he needs to watch out for being dosed with one. We’re shown how scared Harry is that he’s going to be dosed with a love potion. THEN we’re shown how Tom Riddle’s mother used a love spell on the Muggle Tom. THEN we’re shown how Ron actually behaves when he takes a potion that was meant for Harry. A lot of space is devoted to the subject of love potions. But most intriguingly of all is the fact that we see a relentless theme of other types of spells and hexes being used on people without their knowledge or consent. We’re shown how Ron is poisoned in Professor Slugworth’s office. Harry uses a variety of these kinds of spells from the Half-Blood Prince’s Potions book throughout all of HBP: Levicorpus, Muffliato, Sectumsempra, and even the toenail curse he contemplates using on Peeves. Harry even uses a potion against Professor Slugworth when he finally gets the true memory, in a way—because he deliberately gets him drunk enough to spill the truth. Draco uses Imperius on Katie and Madam Rosmierta, and tries to use Cruciatus against Harry in the bathroom scene. It can be dangerous to make too much of symbolism in JKR's work, but recurring themes are quite another story. And this theme literally couldn't have been driven home more strongly than it was.
But if so, who did it? Four basic possibilities: no-one, Ginny, Hermione… and most intriguingly of all, a duo: Draco and Snape.
First, of course, there’s the distinct possibility that nobody dosed Harry at all, and that the relentlessly constant themes of love potions and spells being used on other people without their knowledge were meant only as a metaphor for different relationships, most importantly, H/G. This possibility can’t be dismissed. After all, Harry did feel some kind of physical attraction to Ginny, whatever level it was on, before I believe he was being given the love potion. It could be pointed to further by the fact that Harry never actually gave Felix Felicas to Ron. The belief that he did was enough to improve Ron’s performance, enough to give him the “lucky day” he needed. When Ron and Lavender had their brief fling, there’s no reason to think that Ron had been given a love potion. Harry’s feelings for Ginny during the relationship were based entirely on physical passion, and I believe we’re clearly shown that Harry himself knows this and allows himself to be carried along for a while. But Harry is a sixteen-year-old boy, and we’re pretty clearly told that by HBP, Ginny is a very pretty girl. Purely hormone-based interest flares up very quickly, and seemingly out of nowhere. Was a love potion even necessary?
The most intriguing clue, in a way, is the way that Harry himself thinks about this sudden attraction to Ginny. He’s not just surprised. He’s shocked. He’s unsettled. He thinks about reasons not to start dating her in terms of how Ron would feel, yes, but we already know that that was far from the first thought which occurred to him. In fact, the way that Harry reacts to this sudden, unexpected attraction towards Ginny is, once again, eerily reminiscent of his feelings when he was first put under the Imperius curse in GoF. I think that the love potion theory is the only truly logical explanation for Harry’s feelings on this matter— and also for the fact that he decides to, and is able to, resist acting on his attraction towards Ginny for several months. The most damning piece of foreshadowing against the idea that no love potion was involved has got to be the long scene between Harry and Hermione regarding the entire topic of love potions, when Hermione actually warns Harry that he might be dosed.
Later on, in fact, we find out that Romilda Vane did try to dose him, and that love potion went astray, and affected Ron. In that scene, the way that Ron (temporarily) feels about Romilda is worth looking at carefully, because it’s really a parody of the way that Harry feels about Ginny. Ron thinks only of Romilda’s physical appearance, her glossy black hair and big dark eyes, and is only interested in being physically near her. He doesn’t spare a thought for who she is as a person. In fact, we could say the same thing about his relationship with Lavender. She isn’t Ginny, and he isn’t Harry, but nonetheless Ron’s feelings were entirely based on physical attraction that turned out to be pretty short-lived.
Some people have felt that the most likely culprit is Ginny. No doubt about it, she’s been associated with love potions more than once in the HP series. You could even say that this plotline was set up back at the beginning of GoF when Hermione and Ginny were getting giggly with Mrs. Weasley over the subject of love potions. But ultimately it’s an idea that doesn’t ring true, and the idea that Hermione was responsible doesn’t hold up very well either. It’s true that she proved in HBP to be not above using hexes on other people, but ultimately Hermione is too likely to follow rules. It’s just too difficult to imagine her giving a love potion to Harry for any length of time, especially knowing how much he loathed the idea.
So now we come to the most intriguing possibility, and the person with the most to gain: Draco Malfoy. We’re going to trace out how and why he could and would have dosed Harry very carefully.
To begin with, I think what we need to do more than anything else in HBP when it comes to H/G is to take Harry at his word. When he breaks off the relationship with Ginny, his fears for her safety because she’s his girlfriend are absolutely valid. Nothing could make more sense than to strike at him through her, since Voldemort already knows plenty about his “saving people thing.” He knows that Harry already took great risks to save Ginny in CoS. How better to hold power over him than to make sure that he is enthralled with Ginny by means of a love potion? There are other possibilities for who gave Draco the order to dose Harry, and we’ll get to those in the later section about theories for Book 7, but for the purposes of this argument, they’re not important. What is important is that aside from following orders, Draco certainly had the motive to do this as well.
Draco swore revenge on Harry at the end of OotP, which in the reality of the Potterverse happened only a couple of months before. In fact, he swore precise, detailed, vicious revenge. There’s something a bit strange about believing that leaving Harry with a broken nose is really going to be the end of Draco’s revenge, especially since he couldn’t have done this on the train unless he’d happened to find Harry in his compartment, as by chance he did. Making Harry vulnerable in this way would, of course, be perfect revenge. And then we have to deal with the fact that he did NOT even try an obvious, above-board way of getting back at Ginny for the incredibly humiliating Bat-Bogey hex. Whether we choose to get shippy D/G content out of this is, of course, up to us, but I believe that the love potion plot the thing to concentrate on here.
Let’s look in detail at the scene that shows us Blaise Zabini, Pansy Parkinson, Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle on the train. Blaise’s purpose in this scene is very interesting. I believe that Blaise clearly serves as a surrogate; both Draco and Pansy talk “through” him. He was in Slughorn’s compartment; they were not, so they use him to find out about what went on there. Draco tries to use him to find out about Ginny, and I think he might have asked quite a bit more if Pansy hadn’t been in the train compartment. Pansy wants to find out what Draco really thinks about Ginny, but we can see that she doesn’t quite dare to come out and ask him. Instead, she says that a lot of boys like her, and watches Draco very carefully for his reaction. But Draco, with at least equal care, doesn’t react. Pressing onwards, Pansy tries to get Blaise’s reaction as a gauge, and Blaise is the one who says he wouldn’t touch a filthy little blood traitor like her no matter what she looked like. Draco still doesn’t say anything. However, Pansy seems satisfied—for the moment. That’s when we finally are told that Draco “sank back down to Pansy’s lap.” This is such an odd choice of words, and it always felt sort of incomplete to me. Why would someone “sink” back down, and what do we usually think of that word implying? The answer is that we sink back with relief. Why would Draco be relieved? Because he’s gotten through the ordeal of Pansy’s questions about Ginny. But why would it be an ordeal?
It’s very hard to avoid the conclusion that if Draco really couldn’t have cared less about Ginny, he would have answered Pansy’s questions carelessly, which is what Blaise did. The extreme care that Draco took points, in itself, so something more going on. We aren’t ever told in HBP exactly what this is, of course, but the most important thing about this scene is that Draco seems to be hiding a great deal when it comes to what he thinks about Ginny. We don’t know exactly how intelligent Pansy is, but we do know later on that she made it to Draco’s DADA N.E.W.T. class. Certainly, she seems to have a certain shrewdness. I think that the subject of Ginny has come up before between them, or otherwise, her reaction makes no sense. She wants to know exactly what’s going on, and although Draco likes to show off for her, he’s not about to tell her.
We know now that he’s capable of keeping this kind of secret. One of the biggest treats of HBP was FINALLY having smart!Draco theories confirmed. I’ve always believed that Draco was very intelligent and capable of being very subtle, and now we know. He reached NEWT prep class level in Potions and DADA at the very least (and maybe some other classes that Harry didn’t get into!) He carried through an extremely complex plan all year, keeping the entire thing to himself. So we know that if he’s thinking something about Ginny and doesn’t want the other Slytherins to know it, he’s more than clever enough to keep that secret. At this time, I believe that all he knows is that part of what he’ll have to do during this year is to dose Harry with a love potion that will bind him and Ginny Weasley. I don’t believe he knows everything yet, because he’s trying to find out why Ginny in particular is so important. This will be very important when we examine plotlines for Book 7.
So in the beginning—although probably not in the end, and we’ll examine the evidence for that point once we get to Snape- Draco was the one who got the potion to Harry. First, let’s look at the tremendous amount of foreshadowing for this.
Draco is the very first person in the school who we know figured out that Ginny was obsessed with Harry, and it happened at the very beginning of his second year. The very first scene where he and Ginny ever meet in front of Borgin and Burkes, when Ginny defends Harry, shows that Draco figures out what is going on immediately. In the infamous Valentine scene in CoS, we see that he is the only one who catches on to what Ginny is doing. These scenes are just inexplicable otherwise; why in the world would it be hammered home so much that Draco Malfoy, of all people, knows that Ginny is interested in Harry? Why did he see what nobody else saw? Why did he know before anyone else, even Hermione? The answer is that the events of both HBP and Book 7 were foreshadowed.
How did Draco get the potion, especially if he wasn’t willing to tell Snape what he was doing at the time when he was giving it to Harry? We certainly know that there was no major problem with getting love potions through Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes; we’re flatly informed of that point through Hermione when she warns Harry about love potions. If Draco got it that way, he most likely got it through someone else, since I think he would have thought it too risky to get under his own name. But there’s an even more likely idea. Draco is at pre-N.E.W.T. level in potions, and it’s always been his best subject. Harry figures out that he stole Polyjuice potion from the classroom, so I think he also stole ingredients for a love potion he could mix himself. I think Draco also would have wanted to do this in order to get better results (or, at least, in his mind, better than anything he’d get from the Weasleys.) Don’t forget that when Professor Slughorn went to so much trouble to explain the Amortensia potion to the class, Draco was there too.
As to precisely how the potion got to Harry, we know from the rest of the evidence in the book that Draco had no need to do it personally (although as we will see, he may have done so at least once.) We already know that HBP’s Draco has been putting people under the Imperius curse all year in order to get them to do things, so it would be no problem for him at all. We ‘re given an additional clue during the scene at Slughorn’s party, when Harry sees Draco dragged in by the ear by Filch. Harry pays a great deal of attention to the exact details of Draco’s appearance at this moment, and there’s a very curious thing going on here. When Draco first comes into the room, he’s described as looking angry. A minute later, though—after Draco has had time to look around the room, and to see who’s there—he’s described as having exactly the same expression as Filch, and Filch, in Harry’s words, looks “disappointed.” Why the change from anger to disappointment? I think we need to examine the distinct possibility that Draco told the simple truth when he said he was trying to get into Slughorn’s party. But he didn’t say why, of course, and the reason was that he wanted to see if Ginny Weasley was there with Harry, and if the love potion was working. It’s interesting, too, that Harry drinks from a goblet in this scene, and that it’s after Draco arrives. Harry doesn’t seem terribly affected by it if he does drink it in this case- but remember, again, how amazingly accomplished he is at throwing off the effects of the Imperius curse. However, Draco might very well have had problems with getting the potion to Harry regularly, and we’ll see why this is important once we examine Snape’s role.
But there does come a time when he’s more strongly affected. It’s before he finally succumbs to Ginny’s charms, which makes it easy to miss. And in a way, it’s the most suggestive incident in the entire book as relates to H/G.
Over Christmas, Fred jokes that Lavender must have gotten into an accident and had brain damage to be so interested in Ron. Ron, of course, doesn’t appreciate this idea very much. Readers are generally going to pass this off as a joke, but we have a very curious thing happen to Harry a few months later. He’s the one who gets a concussion during the disastrous Quidditch match with Hufflepuff. Prior to this, he hasn’t thought of Ginny in quite a while. But directly afterwards, he begins to be obsessed with thoughts about Ginny again, complete with descriptions of the “monster” and the “creature” lurking in his chest whenever he thinks about her.
The scene with Ron and Hermione in the corridor when they’re let out of the hospital is very interesting in this regard. Harry questions Hermione in an attempt to find out if Ginny and Dean have really broken up. Now, if all that Harry really cared about was Ron’s reaction, then why does he persistently keep questioning Hermione in front of Ron, past the point where Harry knows very well he’s lost all subtlety about the subject? Why not wait, and ask her later? After all, HBP’s Harry is sharper and more perceptive in every other area than he’s ever been before the books. But here, the “creature” and “monster” is driving him onward, even as something in him still holds him back from showing his attraction to Ginny herself.
In the Muggle world, a concussion that results in unconsciousness always leaves the victim a lot more sensitive to the effects of most drugs. Dosages almost always have to be adjusted downwards, because it just takes less to affect the patient in the same way. In other words, the person is more vulnerable, and their defenses are down. And I believe that’s what we’re seeing here with Harry and the love potion.
But it takes quite a long time for the potion to actually, fully work, and I think that something major changes to cause this to happen. Snape, not Draco, begins making the potion and dosing Harry with it. What about Snape, though? Why drag him into the love potion project?
The first thing I think we have to deal with is the fascinating—and unresolved-- issue of Occlumency, which formed such a large part of OotP, and is referred to in both HBP and JKR’s Mugglenet interview. We know that Snape was reporting back to Lucius Malfoy during OotP’s Occlumency lessons. He found out Harry’s weaknesses; we’re even specifically told that Harry remembers Snape seeing his memory with Cho under the mistletoe. Under this theory, Snape realized that for whatever reason, Draco wasn’t succeeding at dosing Harry. Clearly, Harry and Ginny weren’t together. Snape decides that he has to take over. If Voldemort is behind the plot, Draco’s failure at this would be very bad—not quite as bad as his ultimate failure to kill Dumbledore, of course, but still pretty bad. When Snape promised Narcissa to help Draco, to look out for him, and to fulfill his task if necessary, I don’t believe that he was only talking about killing Dumbledore. He was also talking about everything Voldemort wanted done that would support this task. If Voldemort wanted to see Harry made vulnerable, and given a weakness that could be used against him later, what better way to do this than to see to it that Harry got dosed with love potion for Ginny Weasley? Voldemort heard the Prophecy, and knows that Harry is supposed to have “a power that the Dark Lord knows not.” Voldemort may not understand love on any personal level, but he certainly can understand that love can be a weakness, and to think of making Harry vulnerable through his attachment to one other person he’s already rescued before.
So let’s look at what happens right before the scene on page 533 where Harry finally kisses Ginny after the Quidditch match: Harry serves detention with Snape in the dungeons. But this fact is only the beginning of the fascinating puzzle of this seemingly insignificant scene. When this detention was set up (pg. 528) we see clear intimations that Snape was using Occlumency against Harry. “The cold, black eyes were boring once more into Harry’s; he tried not to look into them. Close your mind… close your mind… But he had never learned to do it properly.” The misdirection in this scene is that we think Snape is reading Harry’s mind about his lie that the Potions book is a new one. But there’s no reason why this should be the only thing Snape is picking up. If Snape was reading Harry’s mind in order to also get at his feelings about Ginny, he now knows for sure that Harry has been able to resist Draco’s attempts at giving him a love potion. And this has to be done in order to make Harry vulnerable.
So how might Harry have actually gotten the love potion this time? We are given some very interesting clues in this direction. It happens after Snape burst in upon Harry just after he had hit Draco with Sectumsempra. What literally happens in this scene is that Snape saves Draco’s life. So when we add on the fact that Draco himself has already begun to change by this time, it becomes quite believable that he would finally let down his guard enough to confess to Snape what he is doing, and ask for help. And since Snape is a Potions Master and the one who, of course, actually is the Half-Blood Prince, he is the best person to help with anything involving a potion.
Snape already has Harry’s detention prepared when Harry gets there—a chair and table cleared, and boxes with records in them already set out. This is interesting, because it means that Snape doesn’t have to touch anything that Harry is going to touch. We already know (from the fact that Ron was dosed with love potion put into candy earlier) that there might be different delivery systems for love potion, or different methods of causing someone to be affected by it. We also know that Snape is certainly smart enough to concoct a love potion whose effects are subtle enough to avoid arousing anyone’s suspicions. I believe that the love potion in this case wasn’t a potion at all, but was applied to the records and was transmitted to Harry through his skin when he touched them. And these are old records, referring to things and people from the Marauder’s generation, so nobody else is at all likely to have any reason to touch them again. Above all, we need to remember the foreshadowing of the Katie Bell incident. We were very carefully told that Katie was affected by touching the necklace with her hands. Even better, we know that Harry will have detention with Snape every Saturday for the whole foreseeable future, and we also know the curious detail that Snape will want Harry to do the same thing for the entire time—sorting out these records.
Also, we’ve already seen a lot of foreshadowing in other books for the idea of Snape dosing Harry. In GoF, we see Snape threaten Harry with Veritaserum dosing, and Harry wonders if he should “take a leaf from Moody’s book” and start drinking only from a flask of his own. In OotP, in the scene in Umbridge’s office, Snape says something very interesting: “If I want nonsense shouted at me, Potter, I shall give you a Babbling Beverage.” And Snape’s forte is, of course, potions. He’s the one who brews Veritaserum for Dolores Umbridge in OotP, which she did indeed use to dose Harry. If Harry hadn’t avoided drinking it, he certainly would have been affected by it. Umbridge also demanded that Snape make more Veritaserum in the final office scene in OotP, which would then be used to does Harry. Harry’s been afraid of being dosed with a potion by Snape well before HBP, and that is when it finally happens.
Then let’s look at what we are told about the nature of the H/G content at the end of Chapter 24, one day after this scene with Snape and, most importantly, the very first time that Harry sees Ginny after it. Ginny has a “hard, blazing look on her face” as she throws her arms around him. But we know by the end of the book that she’s still obsessed with Harry then. We also know that Hermione has almost certainly told her about Harry’s interest. So the important thing is how Harry behaves. We are told that “without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching [including Ron!], Harry kissed her.” Two paragraphs later, we’re told that the “creature in his chest [is] roaring in triumph.” Then, we’re told that “if they have time,” they’ll discuss the match, so I think we can guess what they’re going to be doing on their walk. But looked at objectively, very little of this is a remotely cute or fluffy description of Harry finally giving in to his feelings for Ginny. He defined his feelings for her as a “monster clawing in his chest” when he first had them, and he defines them in the same way and using the same image when they overwhelm him at last. It’s as if some part of him knows that something is not right here, and that his feelings are not normal—but at this point, he can no longer bring himself to care.
If this solution was the correct one, it would explain why the effect wears off at the precise time that it does. Harry breaks up with Ginny only after both Draco and Snape are gone from Hogwarts, and when Snape is no longer giving him detention every week, and he isn’t touching the records anymore. It’s one of the very few times he’s with her and feels attraction for her in HBP without thinking of “monsters” or “creatures” either clawing at his chest, roaring to get out, or temporarily being silenced because he has physical contact with her. And when he does this, he knows that he can’t continue to put her at risk. So he ends his relationship with Ginny. Now, we can love H/G, and say that now they’re in a perfect position to get back together later, since they’ve already had a relationship that had physical attraction, at least, however it may have been begun. Or we can dislike H/G, and say that since their relationship was never really based on anything but physical attraction, it’s sunk for good by now. But what I believe we can’t do is to dismiss the possibilities I’ve laid out in this essay.
Circumstantial evidence is all we have here; only eyewitness accounts are considered direct evidence, and we don’t get those in HBP when it comes to love potion possiblities. But wizards have a pretty unfair advantage in a court of law. They can use Pensieves; we have to rely on eyewitness accounts and faulty human memories. And we know from seeing Slughorn’s modified memory just how unreliable they can be. So let’s go back to Vincent Bugliosi’s analogy that he used in so many crime courtrooms—namely, that circumstantial evidence is a rope built of many strands that bind a perpetrator to justice. We’ve seen that rope woven here, and I believe it’s a strong one—strong enough to hold for another two years, until we all find out the truth about Book 7. There are a lot of predictions that follow from the conclusions here, and they’ll be explored in the expansion of this essay.
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