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Crookshanks, Ordinary Cat… Or Is He?

crookshanksWe first meet Crookshanks in the third installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in the magical pet shop, the Magical Menageri. Crookshanks is a most fascinating creature. He appears to be a large ginger cat with a squashed flat face and bottle-brush tail. He belongs to Hermione. Crookshanks is part Kneazle, which accounts for his unusual intelligence and his ability to identify suspicious characters, most notablyPeter Pettigrew when disguised as Scabbers, Ron’s pet rat. But he also recognizes and disapproves of cheating, judging by the way he stared at Ron and Harry when they were making up answers on their Divination homework. But he can also be a normal cat, one to chase gnomes in the yard, or simply play with a ball of string. Because of the cat’s attitude toward his pet rat, Ron disliked Crookshanks intensely when Hermione ought him. However, once the cat’s true nature and intentions became clear (and when Scabbers’ did as well), Ron accepted Crookshanks and even held up Pigwidgeon (Pig for short), his new owl, up to the cat for approval. JK Rowling says this about how she thought of Crookshanks:

” When I was working in London in the late 1980s I used to eat my lunch in a nearby square on sunny days and a large, fluffy ginger cat that looked as though it had run face-first into a wall used to prowl around the sunbathers there; I assume it lived in a nearby house. I didn’t ever get close enough to give myself an asthma attack, but I became distantly fond of this cat, which prowled among the humans around it looking disdainful and refusing to be stroked. When I decided to give Hermione an unusually intelligent cat I gave him the appearance of this haughty animal, with the slightly unfair addition of bandy legs.”

Poor Crookshanks, he still gets picked on in the movies and in the books my non other, Ronald Weasley.  But you will never find a more intelligent pet than our dear old Crookshanks.  You can find more information on Kneazles in JK Rowling’s rendition of Newt Sacamanadar’s Fantastic beasts and Where to Find Them on Amazon.com.

The Deathly Hallows

As promised, these are the Deathly Hallows: The Resurrection Stone, The Cloak of Invisibility and The Elder Wand. The deathly-hallows-symbol-harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-564456_1422_1545Deathly Hallows were first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in a novel that Dumbledore wills to Hermione called The Tales of Beetle the Bard. The story, The Three Peverell Brothers, is inside of it containing information on the three Deathly Hallows. In the wizarding world, the tale is told by many parents as a bedtime story, a myth, however… it’s real. According to The Tale of the Three Brothers the Peverell found Death. Death gave them one choice of anything they wanted; the first brother a wand that could not be defeated, the second a way to bring back someone from the dead, and the third a cloak that made the wearer invisible (to escape Death himself). The symbol to the right is a combination of all three hallows into one. The Triangle symbolizes the cloak, the circle, the stone and the line, the Elder Wand.

The Elder Wand
The Elder Wand, known throughout history as the “Deathstick” and the “Wand of Destiny”, is an extremely powerful wand made of elder wood with a core of Thestral tail hair (an animal only visible by those who have seen death). Supposedly, it is the most powerful wand in existence, and when used by its true master, he or she cannot be defeated in a duel (however, in Deathly Hallows Dumbledore dueled with Grindelwald and conquered the wand, despite the fact it is supposed to be unbeatable, giving a good estimate of how magically powerful Dumbledore is). The wand choses the wizard as the Elder Wand will only work properly when in the hands of it’s true master. The wand will only fully work for the new user if they directly Disarm, Stun or kill the previous user. Since Dumbledore was the wands’ true master, after the defeat of Grindelwald, he was able to posses it. Draco later became the next owner of the wand due to the fact he successfully “disarmed” Dumbledore in the 6th book. Then in chapter 23: Malfoy Manor, Harry manages to disarm Draco and escape, that is when Harry became the true owner of the Elder Wand. When Voldemort tried to use the wand against Harry, it recognized it’s master and didn’t work properly for him. Harry then defeats Voldemort, he repaires his old Phoenix feather wand and buries the Elder Wand with Dumbledore once again.

The Resurrection Stone
The Resurrection Stone allows the holder to see and communicate with the dead. According to the fairy tale concerning the origin of the Deathly Hallows, using the Resurrection Stone drove its original owner, Cadmus Peverell, to commit suicide after seeing his deceased fiancée but being unable to truly be with her. By the time the stone was seen in Marvolo Gaunt’s (Voldemort’s grandfather) possession, it had been set into a ring. The ring bore the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, which Gaunt believed to be the Peverell coat of arms. Both Dumbledore and Grindelwald desired the stone, but for different reasons. While Dumbledore wanted it to communicate with his dead family, Grindelwald intended to use it to create an army of Inferi, undead. Voldemort turned the ring into a Horcrux, not knowing its magical nature.

The Cloak of Invisibility
According to the legend, the Cloak of Invisibility has the power to shield the wearer from being seen by Death. It is a true invisibility cloak in the sense of being able to completely shield the wearer from sight, and cannot be worn out by time or spells. Other typical invisibility cloaks described in the books, which are sometimes woven from the hair of a beast, can become opaque with age and are vulnerable to being penetrated by various spells. In Deathly Hallows, it is revealed that Harry’s cloak is in fact the Cloak of Invisibility: one of the Deathly Hallows. It originally belonged to Ignotus Peverell. After his death, the cloak was passed down from father to son, through Peverell’s descendants to James Potter, and eventually to Harry. At the end of Book 7, Dumbledore explains to Harry that the Cloak’s true magic is that it can shield and protect others as well as its owner, as demonstrated by Harry and his friends on various adventures under the cloak throughout the series. At the conclusion of the seventh book in the series, Harry decides that the Invisibility Cloak will be the only Hallow that he will keep, and intends to pass it on to his descendants.

Huh… It’s Called a What?

halfbloodp1Some of you are not “in tune with your inner Harry Potter knowledge” yet, but I’m here to help. I have noticed that I’ve been using some terms that you might not be aware of like the Elder Wand, Horcrux’s, Voldemort (character fyi), “Expelliarmus,” ect. Well, I’m going to explain what a Horcrux is, how it’s formed and what you do to destroy one in case you come across one. (… you can at least laugh a little…).

A Horcrux: What is it? It is a magical object that is created to become immortal. Since Voldemort was afraid of Death, he wanted to find a way to become immortal, and this was the solution. Rowling described a Horcrux as a “receptacle in which a dark wizard has hidden a part of his soul for the purposes of attaining immortality.” With part of a wizard’s soul stored, the wizard becomes immortal so long as the Horcrux remains intact and unharmed. For this reason, Horcruxes are typically hidden in a safe location. Even if the wizard’s body is destroyed, a portion of his soul will remain preserved within the Horcrux thus living for eternity. However, the destruction of the creator’s body leaves the wizard or witch in a state of half-life, without corporeal form. Voldemort is the only wizard explicitly mentioned as having created a Horcrux (though others are known to have done so), and is the only wizard known to have created more than one, seven to be exact.

How is it formed? A creation of a Horcrux requires one to commit a murder, which, as “the supreme act of evil, (…) rips the soul apart.” A Horcrux can be made from any normal object, including living organisms (like Harry). Destroying a Horcrux will destroy the fragment of soul contained within it, ending its protection and returning the creator to a state of mortality. If a wizard/witch has created more than one Horcrux, he will remain immortal until all are destroyed. Once destroyed, the wizard or witch will die normally if mortally wounded.

How are they destroyed? Horcruxes are extremely difficult to destroy. They cannot be destroyed by conventional means such as smashing, breaking, or burning. In order to be destroyed, a Horcrux must suffer damage so severe that repair through magical means would be impossible. The object that Ron, Harry and Hermione (and Dumbledore) used to kill the Horcruxes was the Sword of Gryffindor (which has Basilisk venom on the blade) and basilisks’ fangs. The venom of a basilisk is fatal, one drop on your skin and you would die within 10 minutes or less, so this method was quite effective. Once irreparably damaged, the fragment of soul within a Horcrux is destroyed and the host made weaker, easier to destroy in the end.

Voldemort made 7 Horcrux’s. Why do you ask? For one, he wanted to live forever and since 7 is the most powerful horcruxnumber, he split his soul into 7 objects and organisms. The Horcrux’s were Tom Riddle’s diary,Marvolo Gaunts ring (also the Resurrection Stone), Salazar Slytherin’s locket, Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, Rowena Ravenclaw’s Diadem, Voldemorts pet snake Nagini anf of course Harry Potter. Six out of the 7 were made on purpose. When Voldemort heard about the prophecy, “born as the 7th month dies, born to those who have thrice defied him… has power the Dark Lord does not” he gets nervous and journey’s to destroy Harry and to make his last horcrux from him, but the plan backfired and he accidentally made Harry a Horcrux.

So, hopefully that helps just a little bit. My next entry will be about the Deathly Hallows, the items in which Voldemort was after, especially The Elder Wand.

The Epilogue Debate

Hello again my friends! I was sitting at work with nothing to do, so how JK Rowling all started the Harry Potter series with a napkin and a black-ball-point pen, I’m writing to you from a Target photo box. Amusing isn’t it? Last week, I was getting information for my blog and I came my favorite fan fiction website harrypotterfanfiction.com. I was reading a story about “The Golden Trio’s” (plus Ginny) children and that got me to thinking about the epilogue at the end of the series.

(Spoiler Warning)
The epilogue takes place 19 years later, after Voldemort is defeated by Harry. It features Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione and their children Albus, Lily, James (Harry and Ginny’s) and Rose and Hugo (Ron and Hermione’s). It also has a tiny glimpse of Draco and his son Scorpius. The scene is on Platform 9 3/4 where The Golden Trio are seeing their children off to Hogwarts.
Many of my friends are Harry Potter fans, we’ve been with JK Rowling since the beginning back in 1998 when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published; and most of my friends are not a fan of the epilogue… but I, however, am. In the Harry Potter series, Harry is constantly getting into trouble (not the Fred and George version of trouble though). He has a hard life losing his parents, living with the Dursley’s, fighting off Dementors and trolls… just trying to stay alive long enough to kill the Dark Lord, Voldemort. But the one thing that gets him through all those trials is the love that he shares with his friends.

Some say that the epilogue was too boring, but I say “Why not?” Harry’s had a hard first 17 years of his life, I think he deserves a boring adulthood without killing any evil Lords out there. He was forced to grow up very fast, and he now gets a chance to “be a kid” with his own children and to become a father that his father was (or never was) and would be to them. Harry will forever be the “Boy Who Lived”, but he can choose how he lives his life. Being “boring” is what he needs, wouldn’t you want the same thing?

You can find more information on the books here at harrypotterfanzone.com.

(Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter… that belongs only to JK Rowling.)

The Flaw in the Plan


“So it all comes down to this, doesn’t it?” whispered Harry. “Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does… I am the true master of the Elder Wand.” -Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the chapter “The Flaw in the Plan” is the chapter when Harry “comes back to life” and finally fulfills the prophecy and vanquishes the Dark Lord Voldemort. I find this to be one of my favorite chapters, not only does it have Mrs. Molly Weasley, mother to the 7 (now 6) Weasley children, but she saves Ginny, Hermione and Luna from Bellatrix Lestrange, evil Voldi supporter with, and I quote, “Not my daughter you bitch!” Now, when I read that, I said “Uh-oh…” a lot of parents aren’t going to be happy about that line in the book, but in context, it fits the scene considering the Weasley’s lost their son and brother Fred in a dual and the thought of losing another child would be even more unbearable. And lets just face it, this line is the “awesomest” line in the entire book.

The other thing about this chapter is the “chat” (for seven pages mind you), that Voldemort and Harry have in the middle of the battle. Harry goes to explain that since he sacrificed himself to save everyone else, the Horcrux inside of him was defeated, and he also survived because the love of his mother. It’s a simple solution on how Voldemort is thwarted by his inability to understand love, which we see constantly in the series.  Since Voldemort doesn’t know the meaning of love or have any feelings towards that verb, he is vanquished (with the help of the Elder Wand and Harry’s famous “Expelliarmus” spell). Harry’s loved by his friends, Ginny, the family The Weasley’s, so with all their strength he was able to kill Voldemort and finally stop the ongoing battle. This is why I love these books to much, it wasn’t all “magic” it was love, friendship and family (just to name a few) that helped him.

For more Harry Potter news  check out Veritaserum.com for more details.  (Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, that’s JK’s.)

JK’s New Fanfiction

After months of anticipation, JK rowling’s “no so prequel” is finally here. The 800-word story features James Potter, Sirius Black and two police men (notice it’s not ‘please-men’ how Arthur Weasley says it) named Sargent Fisher and Sargent Anderson, was finally released to the public. The short story was written for a writer’s group and dyslexia charity auction that many British authors were a part of. JK rowling’s story fetched a remarkable $48,900, or $61.13 per word.

The 5.75 by 8.25 inch index card story is about James, Sirius and Sirius’ flying motorbike, getting in trouble with the Muggle police for speeding. Since James and Sirius are not one’s for the rules, they use their magic (they’re now legal in the wizarding world) to escape. They confound the policemen and drive away.

What I found most interesting about this story, and JK Rowling, is that it’s like she was writing her own “fan fiction.” When she was writing the story, she stated the words flowed out her brain onto the paper with “ease, it was scary.” It’s a short amusing about James and Sirius in their prime-mischievous days. However, since it was hand written my JK Rowling herself, it was hard to read. JK’s handwriting is really unique and “cool” looking, but very difficult to decipher. But all in all, it’s a funny little excerpt into JK Rowling’s mind, and to further enjoy he fun characters of James and Sirius. Who knows, maybe she’ll write another one?

Here’s the link to read the story. Click here.

(disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, that belongs to JK Rowling.)

It’s a Birthday!

Double birthday to our favorite Harry Potter pranksters, Fred and George Weasley!  Fred and George Weasley (played by James and Oliver Phelps) areb9 possibly two of the most beloved characters in the world of Harry Potter. Have you ever met a person who did not appreciate the notorious Fred ‘n George? Their sharp wits and clever remarks could crack a smile even on Mr. Crouch’s face.  So far in the series, J.K. Rowlings has given us limited information about this pair of mischief makers. The Harry Potter community has had to develop their own speculations, discussions, and theories on the Weasley twins.

There has always been much speculation about which is the eldest twin. Many people believe that George is the elder. As Kate griffith said, “I always thought George was oldest. Mainly because it’s Fred who never shuts up.” In canon, Fred does seem to be the more exuberant of the pair, if only marginally. George seems slightly more mature. So the theory here is that ‘with age comes wisdom’, or that since George seems more rational he must be older, if only by a few minutes.

However, there are those who believe Fred to be the elder of the two twins. According to Circex, “Fred is older…First-born twins are often the ‘dominant’ twin, the leader, the one who comes up with most of the ideas. This doesn’t mean that the younger twin can’t be more dominant or outgoing, just that usually the older twin is the one that is more…obvious? They generally do more to attract attention…The older twin gets first billing; they’re usually the dominant twin in a same-sex twinship (esp. identicals)”. Just as the ‘George-is-older’ supporters use the fact that Fred is slightly more out-going to prove their point, so do the ‘Fred-is-older’ fans.

Fred and George love to cause trouble, no questions asked. In all the scenes the twins are in, most of them include either a practical joke, advise on practical jokes, or some form of witty banter. The twins are considered as possibly the best jokesters Hogwarts has even seen, their only competition being the Marauders. However, some potter fans say, “Sure, others have blown things up, but did they create a whole career out of it?”. That is true. The Marauders had a whole slew of jokes and pranks up their sleeves, but they didn’t decide to start a business based on them. To Fred and George, jokes and laughs are life.

potterwatchheadWe learned at the beginning of Goblet of Fire Fred and George’s ambitious goal is to become entrepreneurs and start their own joke shop, “Weasley’s Wizarding Wheeze.” However, funds for this project are short, especially after the boys’ disastrous bet with Ludo Bagman. Fred and George bet thirty-seven Galleons, fifteen Sickles, and three Knuts, plus five extra Galleons for the rubber chicken wand. And there’s also Potterwatch.  Potterwatch was introduced to us in the 7th book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  It’s a radio show on the Wizarding Wireless network with Fred and George’s best friend Lee Jordan as the host with special guests Kingsley Shacklebolt, Remus Lupin, and of course Fred and George Weasley.

My favorite quote of Fred’s is this: “So, people let’s try and calm fown a bit.  Things are bad enough without inventing stuff as well.  For instance this new idea that You-Know-Who can kill with a single glance from his eyes.  That’s a basalisk, listeners.  One simple test: Check whether the thing that’s glaring at you had got legs.  If it has, it’s safe to look into it’s eyes, although if it really is You-Know-Who, that’s still likely to be that last thing you ever do.”

With so many theories running around about the twins, we can only hope that JK Rowlings will tell us more about the dynamic duo in the future books. However, for now all Fred and George fans seem to agree on one thing: “They both have their strengths and weaknesses that contribute to the team that is “The Weasley Twins.'”