Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Olivia Kingston, Jun 16, 2011.
Slytherins pick their fights.
Wait, this Merlin bit is not a joke? Dammit. It's definitely not a good start with a new canon content.
Harry’s first Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher is a clever young wizard who took a ‘Grand Tour’ around the world before taking up his teaching post at Hogwarts. When Harry first meets Quirrell, he has adopted a turban for everyday wear. His nerves, expressed most obviously in his stammer, are so pronounced that it is rumoured the turban is stuffed full of garlic, to ward off vampires.
I saw Quirrell as a gifted but delicate boy, who would probably have been teased for his timidity and nerves during his school life. Feeling inadequate and wishing to prove himself, he developed an (initially theoretical) interest in the Dark Arts. Like many people who feel themselves to be insignificant, even laughable, Quirrell had a latent desire to make the world sit up and notice him.
Quirrell set out deliberately to find whatever remained of the Dark wizard, partly out of curiosity, partly out of that unacknowledged desire for importance. At the very least, Quirrell fantasised that he could be the man who tracked Voldemort down, but at best, might learn skills from Voldemort that would ensure he was never laughed at again.
Though Hagrid was correct in saying that Quirrell had a ‘brilliant mind,’ the Hogwarts teacher was both naive and arrogant in thinking that he would be able to control an encounter with Voldemort, even in the Dark wizard's weakened state. When Voldemort realised that the young man had a position at Hogwarts, he took immediate possession of Quirrell, who was incapable of resisting.
While Quirrell did not lose his soul, he became completely subjugated by Voldemort, who caused a frightful mutation of Quirrell's body: now Voldemort looked out of the back of Quirrell's head and directed his movements, even forcing him to attempt murder. Quirrell tried to put up feeble resistance on occasion, but Voldemort was far too strong for him.
Quirrell is, in effect, turned into a temporary Horcrux by Voldemort. He is greatly depleted by the physical strain of fighting the far stronger, evil soul inside him. Quirrell’s body manifests burns and blisters during his fight with Harry due to the protective power Harry's mother left in his skin when she died for him. When the body Voldemort and Quirrell are sharing is horribly burned by contact with Harry, the former flees just in time to save himself, leaving the damaged and enfeebled Quirrell to collapse and die.
Minerva McGonagall was the first child, and only daughter, of a Scottish Presbyterian minister and a Hogwarts-educated witch. She grew up in the Highlands of Scotland in the early twentieth century, and only gradually became aware that there was something strange, both about her own abilities, and her parents’ marriage.
Minerva’s father, the Reverend Robert McGonagall, had become captivated by the high-spirited Isobel Ross, who lived in the same village. Like his neighbours, Robert believed that Isobel attended a select ladies’ boarding school in England. In fact, when Isobel vanished from her home for months at a time, it was to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that she went.
Aware that her parents (a witch and wizard) would frown on a connection with the serious young Muggle, Isobel kept their burgeoning relationship a secret. By the time she was eighteen, she had fallen in love with Robert. Unfortunately, she had not found the courage to tell him what she was.
The couple eloped, to the fury of both sets of parents. Now estranged from her family, Isobel could not bring herself to mar the bliss of the honeymoon by telling her smitten new husband that she had graduated top of her class in Charms at Hogwarts, nor that she had been Captain of the school Quidditch team. Isobel and Robert moved into a manse (minister’s house) on the outskirts of Caithness, where the beautiful Isobel proved surprisingly adept at making the most of the minister’s tiny salary.
The birth of the young couple’s first child, Minerva, proved both a joy and a crisis. Missing her family, and the magical community she had given up for love, Isobel insisted on naming her newborn daughter after her own grandmother, an immensely talented witch. The outlandish name raised eyebrows in the community in which she lived, and the Reverend Robert McGonagall found it difficult to explain his wife’s choice to his parishioners. Furthermore, he was alarmed by his wife’s moodiness. Friends assured him that women were often emotional after the birth of a baby, and that Isobel would soon be herself again.
Isobel, however, became more and more withdrawn, often secluding herself with Minerva for days at a time. Isobel later told her daughter that she had displayed small, but unmistakable, signs of magic from her earliest hours. Toys that had been left on upper shelves were found in her cot. The family cat appeared to do her bidding before she could talk. Her father’s bagpipes were occasionally heard to play themselves from distant rooms, a phenomenon that made the infant Minerva chuckle.
Isobel was torn between pride and fear. She knew that she must confess the truth to Robert before he witnessed something that would alarm him. At last, in response to Robert’s patient questioning, Isobel burst into tears, retrieved her wand from the locked box under her bed and showed him what she was.
Although Minerva was too young to remember that night, its aftermath left her with a bitter understanding of the complications of growing up with magic in a Muggle world. Although Robert McGonagall loved his wife no less upon discovering that she was a witch, he was profoundly shocked by her revelation, and by the fact that she had kept such a secret from him for so long. What was more, he, who prided himself on being an upright and honest man, was now drawn into a life of secrecy that was quite foreign to his nature. Isobel explained, through her sobs, that she (and their daughter) were bound by the International Statute of Secrecy, and that they must conceal the truth about themselves, or face the fury of the Ministry of Magic. Robert also quailed at the thought of how the locals - in the main, an austere, straight-laced and conventional breed - would feel about having a witch as their Minister’s wife.
Love endured, but trust had been broken between her parents, and Minerva, a clever and observant child, saw this with sadness. Two more children, both sons, were born to the McGonagalls, and both, in due course, revealed magical ability. Minerva helped her mother explain to Malcolm and Robert Junior that they must not flaunt their magic, and aided her mother in concealing from their father the accidents and embarrassments their magic sometimes caused.
Minerva was very close to her Muggle father, whom in temperament she resembled more than her mother. She saw with pain how much he struggled with the family’s strange situation. She sensed, too, how much of a strain it was for her mother to fit in with the all-Muggle village, and how much she missed the freedom of being with her kind, and of exercising her considerable talents. Minerva never forgot how much her mother cried, when the letter of admittance into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry arrived on Minerva’s eleventh birthday; she knew that Isobel was sobbing, not only out of pride, but also out of envy.
As is often the case where the young witch or wizard comes from a family who has struggled with its magical identity, Hogwarts was, for Minerva McGonagall, a place of joyful release and freedom.
Minerva drew unusual attention to herself on her very first evening, when she was revealed to be a Hatstall. After five and a half minutes, the Sorting Hat, which had been vacillating between the houses of Ravenclaw and Gryffindor, placed Minerva in the latter. (In later years, this circumstance was a subject of gentle humour between Minerva and her colleague Filius Flitwick, over whom the Sorting Hat suffered the same confusion, but reached the opposite conclusion. The two Heads of house were amused to think that they might, but for those crucial moments in their youths, have exchanged positions).
Minerva was quickly recognised as the most outstanding student of her year, with a particular talent for Transfiguration. As she progressed through the school, she demonstrated that she had inherited both her mother’s talents and her father’s cast-iron moral sense. Minerva’s school career overlapped by two years with that of Pomona Sprout, later Head of Hufflepuff House, and the two women enjoyed an excellent relationship both then, and in later years.
By the end of her education at Hogwarts, Minerva McGonagall had achieved an impressive record: top grades in O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s, Prefect, Head Girl, and winner of the Transfiguration Today Most Promising Newcomer award. Under the guidance of her inspirational Transfiguration teacher, Albus Dumbledore, she had managed to become an Animagus; her animal form, with its distinctive markings (tabby cat, square spectacles markings around eyes) were duly logged in the Ministry of Magic’s Animagus Registry. Minerva was also, like her mother, a gifted Quidditch player, although a nasty fall in her final year (a foul during the Gryffindor versus Slytherin game which would decide the Cup winner) left her with concussion, several broken ribs and a lifelong desire to see Slytherin crushed on the Quidditch pitch. Though she gave up Quidditch on leaving Hogwarts, the innately competitive Professor McGonagall later took a keen interest in the fortunes of her house team, and retained a keen eye for Quidditch talent.
Upon graduation from Hogwarts, Minerva returned to the manse to enjoy one last summer with her family before setting out for London, where she had been offered a position at the Ministry of Magic (Department of Magical Law Enforcement). These months were to prove some of the most difficult of Minerva’s life, for it was then, aged only eighteen, that she proved herself truly her mother’s daughter, by falling head-over-heels in love with a Muggle boy.
It was the first and only time in Minerva McGonagall’s life that she might have been said to lose her head. Dougal McGregor was the handsome, clever and funny son of a local farmer. Though less beautiful than Isobel, Minerva was clever and witty. Dougal and Minerva shared a sense of humour, argued fiercely, and suspected mysterious depths in each other. Before either of them knew it, Dougal was on one knee in a ploughed field, proposing, and Minerva was accepting him.
She went home, intending to tell her parents of her engagement, yet found herself unable to do so. All that night she lay awake, thinking about her future. Dougal did not know what she, Minerva, truly was, any more than her father had known the truth about Isobel before they had married. Minerva had witnessed at close quarters the kind of marriage she might have if she wed Dougal. It would be the end of all her ambitions; it would mean a wand locked away, and children taught to lie, perhaps even to their own father. She did not fool herself that Dougal McGregor would accompany her to London, while she went to work every day at the Ministry. He was looking forward to inheriting his father’s farm.
Early next morning, Minerva slipped from her parents’ house and went to tell Dougal that she had changed her mind, and could not marry him. Mindful of the fact that if she broke the International Statute of Secrecy she would lose the job at the Ministry for which she was giving him up, she could give him no good reason for her change of heart. She left him devastated, and set out for London three days later.
Though undoubtedly her feelings for the Ministry of Magic were coloured by the fact that she had recently suffered an emotional crisis, Minerva McGonagall did not much enjoy her new home and workplace. Some of her co-workers had an engrained anti-Muggle bias which, given her adoration of her Muggle father, and her continuing love for Dougal McGregor, she deplored. Though a most efficient and gifted employee, and fond of her much older boss, Elphinstone Urquart, Minerva was unhappy in London, and found that she missed Scotland. Finally, after two years at the Ministry, she was offered a prestigious promotion, yet found herself turning it down. She sent an owl to Hogwarts, asking whether she might be considered for a teaching post. The owl returned within hours, offering her a job in the Transfiguration department, under Head of Department, Albus Dumbledore.
Friendship with Albus Dumbledore
The school greeted Minerva McGonagall’s return with delight. Minerva threw herself into her work, proving herself a strict but inspirational teacher. If she kept letters from Dougal McGregor locked in a box under her bed, this was (she told herself firmly) better than keeping her wand locked there. Nevertheless, it was a shock to learn from the oblivious Isobel (in the middle of a chatty letter of local news) that Dougal had married the daughter of another farmer.
Albus Dumbledore discovered Minerva in tears in her classroom late that evening, and she confessed the whole story to him. Albus Dumbledore offered both comfort and wisdom, and told Minerva some of his own family history, previously unknown to her. The confidences exchanged that night between two intensely private and reserved characters were to form the basis of a lasting mutual esteem and friendship.
Through all her early years at Hogwarts, Minerva McGonagall remained on terms of friendship with her old boss at the Ministry, Elphinstone Urquart. He came to visit her while on holiday to Scotland, and to her great surprise and embarrassment, proposed marriage in Madam Puddifoot’s teashop. Still in love with Dougal McGregor, Minerva turned him down.
Elphinstone, however, had never ceased to love her, nor to propose every now and then, even though she continued to refuse him. The death of Dougal McGregor, however, although traumatic, seemed to free Minerva. Shortly after Voldemort’s first defeat, Elphinstone, now white-haired, proposed again during a summertime stroll around the lake in the Hogwarts grounds. This time Minerva accepted. Elphinstone, now retired, was beside himself with joy, and purchased a small cottage in Hogsmeade for the pair of them, whence Minerva could travel easily to work every day.
Known to successive generations of students as ‘Professor McGonagall,’ Minerva - always something of a feminist - announced that she would be keeping her own name upon marriage. Traditionalists sniffed - why was Minerva refusing to accept a pure-blood name, and keeping that of her Muggle father?
The marriage (cut tragically short, though it was destined to be) was a very happy one. Though they had no children of their own, Minerva’s nieces and nephews (children of her brothers Malcolm and Robert) were frequent visitors to their home. This was a period of great fulfillment for Minerva.
The accidental death of Elphinstone from a Venomous Tentacula bite, three years into their marriage, was an enormous sorrow to all who knew the couple. Minerva could not bear to remain alone in their cottage, but packed her things after Elphinstone’s funeral and returned to her sparse stone-floored bedroom in Hogwarts Castle, accessible through a concealed door in the wall of her first-floor study. Always a very brave and private person, she poured all her energies into her work, and few people - excepting perhaps Albus Dumbledore - ever realised how much she suffered.
McGonagall teaching at the same time as Dumbledore seems to point towards the idea that Hogwarts does indeed have 1000 students like JKR said, and the books just focus very heavily on "Harry's world" - his friends and teachers.
Which I suppose isn't too incompatible with canon, though the extreme way in which everything not related to Harry is excluded is odd. For example, JKR always said that there were 2 more girls in Gryffindor in Harry's year that she never got around to introducing because she felt it was too late. And you have characters like Cormac who just appeared in book 6. You'd think a character like him would have been mentioned before. But JKR excluding everyone not immediately relevant to the plot makes sense of it.
This, of course, completely ignores the fact that Quirrel had been the Muggle Studies Professor prior to his Voldemort-finding sabbatical, since it's implied by the "grand tour" part that he found Voldemort right after Hogwarts.
Two things about the McG crap above:
(1) It's trite and absurd, especially given that Minerva and/or her mother could just Apparate anywhere in the fucking country, and not have to "lock away her wand" at all. That Minerva didn't (a) tell this Dougal the truth, (b) marry him anyway if she loved him, and (c) keep her Ministry job and, y'know, fucking Apparate there like any non-dumbass magical person, is the height of stupidity.
(2) The entire later-years marriage seems not only nothing more than contrived romance-novel shit, but also to have been included for the sole purpose of heading off speculation about Minerva realizing post-Dougal that she's a lesbian, especially after the mention of the "excellent relationship" between Minerva and Sprout.
And yeah, that whole Merlin-was-a-Slytherin is retardedly ignorant of any and all legends of Merlin.
Dursley stuff, if anyone cares about them.
Harry's aunt and uncle met at work. Petunia Evans, forever embittered by the fact that her parents seemed to value her witch sister more than they valued her, left Cokeworth forever to pursue a typing course in London. This led to an office job, where she met the extremely unmagical, opinionated and materialistic Vernon Dursley. Large and neckless, this junior executive seemed a model of manliness to young Petunia. He not only returned her romantic interest, but was deliciously normal. He had a perfectly correct car, and wanted to do completely ordinary things, and by the time he had taken her on a series of dull dates, during which he talked mainly about himself and his predictable ideas on the world, Petunia was dreaming of the moment when he would place a ring on her finger.
When, in due course, Vernon Dursley proposed marriage, very correctly, on one knee in his mother's sitting room, Petunia accepted at once. The one fly in her delicious ointment was the fear of what her new fiancé would make of her sister, who was now in her final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Vernon was apt to despise even people who wore brown shoes with black suits; what he would make of a young woman who spent most of her time wearing long robes and casting spells, Petunia could hardly bear to think.
She confessed the truth during a tear-stained date, in Vernon's dark car as they sat overlooking the chip shop where Vernon had just bought them a post-cinema snack. Vernon, as Petunia had expected, was deeply shocked; however, he told Petunia solemnly that he would never hold it against her that she had a freak for a sister, and Petunia threw herself upon him in such violent gratitude that he dropped his battered sausage.
The first meeting between Lily, her boyfriend James Potter, and the engaged couple, went badly, and the relationship nose-dived from there. James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it. Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom. Vernon supposed out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. James explained about Gringotts, and the fortune his parents had saved there, in solid gold. Vernon could not tell whether he was being made fun of or not, and grew angry. The evening ended with Vernon and Petunia storming out of the restaurant, while Lily burst into tears and James (a little ashamed of himself) promised to make things up with Vernon at the earliest opportunity.
This never happened. Petunia did not want Lily as a bridesmaid, because she was tired of being overshadowed; Lily was hurt. Vernon refused to speak to James at the reception, but described him, within James' earshot, as 'some kind of amateur magician'. Once married, Petunia grew ever more like Vernon. She loved their neat square house at number four, Privet Drive. She was secure, now, from objects that behaved strangely, from teapots that suddenly piped tunes as she passed, or long conversations about things she did not understand, with names like 'Quidditch' and 'Transfiguration'. She and Vernon chose not to attend Lily and James' wedding. The very last piece of correspondence she received from Lily and James was the announcement of Harry's birth, and after one contemptuous look, Petunia threw it in the bin.
Even though Petunia was raised alongside a witch, she is remarkably ignorant about magic. She and Vernon share a confused idea that they will somehow be able to squash the magic out of Harry, and in an attempt to throw off the letters that arrive from Hogwarts on Harry's eleventh birthday, she and Vernon fall back on the old superstition that witches cannot cross water. As she had frequently seen Lily jump streams and run across stepping stones in their childhood, she ought not to have been surprised when Hagrid had no difficulty making his way over the stormy sea to the hut on the rock.
This part had me dying:
The original forty students
wo of my most prized possessions are a pair of small notebooks, which contain my very first scribblings about Harry Potter. Much of what is written in them was never used in the series, although it is startling to come across the odd line of dialogue that subsequently made it, verbatim, to publication.
In one of the books is a list of forty names of students in Harry's year (including Harry, Ron and Hermione), all allocated houses, with small symbols beside each name depicting each boy or girl's parentage.
While I imagined that there would be considerably more than forty students in each year at Hogwarts, I thought that it would be useful to know a proportion of Harry's classmates, and to have names at my fingertips when action was taking place around the school.
As the stories evolved, I changed the parentage of some of the original forty. While some never appeared in the books at all, I always knew that they were there; some had surgery to their names after their first creation; a few emerged from the background to have their own secondary stories (Ernie Macmillan, Hannah Abbott, Justin Finch-Fletchley), and one, Neville Longbottom, developed into a very important character. It is very strange to look at the list in this tiny notebook now, slightly water-stained by some forgotten mishap, and covered in light pencil scribblings (undoubtedly the work of my then infant daughter, Jessica), and to think that while I was writing these names, and refining them, and sorting them into houses, I had no clue where they were going to go (or where they were going to take me).
Here, then, are the original forty:
Granger, Hermione - inserted in pencil, see crossed-out entry, below
Longbottom, Neville - inserted in ink, see crossed out entry, below
MacDougal, Isobel [original name Katrina crossed out]
Malfoy, Draco - inserted in ink, see crossed-out entry, below
Moon, Lily [first intimation of Luna Lovegood, this name was never used, but gave me an idea for a fey, dreamy girl. She was named before I decided on Harry's mother's name.]
[Puckle, Hermione - crossed out, name changed and reinserted, above]
[Puff, Neville - crossed out, name changed and reinserted, above]
[Quirrel, crossed out, subsequently used for teacher]
[Sidebottom, Neville crossed out]
Smith, Sally [Georgina crossed out]
[Spungen, changed to Spinks, Draco, all crossed out, re-inserted above]
by J.K. Rowling
Slytherin Welcome Message
Congratulations! I’m Prefect Gemma Farley, and I’m delighted to welcome you to SLYTHERIN HOUSE. Our emblem is the serpent, the wisest of creatures; our house colours are emerald green and silver, and our common room lies behind a concealed entrance down in the dungeons. As you’ll see, its windows look out into the depths of the Hogwarts lake. We often see the giant squid swooshing by – and sometimes more interesting creatures. We like to feel that our hangout has the aura of a mysterious, underwater shipwreck.
Now, there are a few things you should know about Slytherin – and a few you should forget.
Firstly, let’s dispel a few myths. You might have heard rumours about Slytherin house – that we’re all into the Dark Arts, and will only talk to you if your great-grandfather was a famous wizard, and rubbish like that. Well, you don’t want to believe everything you hear from competing houses. I’m not denying that we’ve produced our share of Dark wizards, but so have the other three houses – they just don’t like admitting it. And yes, we have traditionally tended to take students who come from long lines of witches and wizards, but nowadays you’ll find plenty of people in Slytherin house who have at least one Muggle parent.
Here’s a little-known fact that the other three houses don’t bring up much: Merlin was a Slytherin. Yes, Merlin himself, the most famous wizard in history! He learned all he knew in this very house! Do you want to follow in the footsteps of Merlin? Or would you rather sit at the old desk of that illustrious ex-Hufflepuff, Eglantine Puffett, inventor of the Self-Soaping Dishcloth?
I didn’t think so.
But that’s enough about what we’re not. Let’s talk about what we are, which is the coolest and edgiest house in this school. We play to win, because we care about the honour and traditions of Slytherin.
We also get respect from our fellow students. Yes, some of that respect might be tinged with fear, because of our Dark reputation, but you know what? It can be fun, having a reputation for walking on the wild side. Chuck out a few hints that you’ve got access to a whole library of curses, and see whether anyone feels like nicking your pencil case.
But we’re not bad people. We’re like our emblem, the snake: sleek, powerful, and frequently misunderstood.
For instance, we Slytherins look after our own – which is more than you can say for Ravenclaw. Apart from being the biggest bunch of swots you ever met, Ravenclaws are famous for clambering over each other to get good marks, whereas we Slytherins are brothers. The corridors of Hogwarts can throw up surprises for the unwary, and you’ll be glad you’ve got the Serpents on your side as you move around the school. As far as we’re concerned, once you’ve become a snake, you’re one of ours – one of the elite.
Because you know what Salazar Slytherin looked for in his chosen students? The seeds of greatness. You’ve been chosen by this house because you’ve got the potential to be great, in the true sense of the word. All right, you might see a couple of people hanging around the common room whom you might not think are destined for anything special. Well, keep that to yourself. If the Sorting Hat put them in here, there’s something great about them, and don’t you forget it.
And talking of people who aren’t destined for greatness, I haven’t mentioned the Gryffindors. Now, a lot of people say that Slytherins and Gryffindors represent two sides of the same coin. Personally, I think Gryffindors are nothing more than wannabe Slytherins. Mind you, some people say that Salazar Slytherin and Godric Gryffindor prized the same kinds of students, so perhaps we are more similar than we like to think. But that doesn’t mean that we cosy up with Gryffindors. They like beating us only slightly less than we like beating them.
A few more things you might need to know: our house ghost is the Bloody Baron. If you get on the right side of him he’ll sometimes agree to frighten people for you. Just don’t ask him how he got bloodstained; he doesn’t like it.
The password to the common room changes every fortnight. Keep an eye on the noticeboard. Never bring anyone from another house into our common room or tell them our password. No outsider has entered it for more than seven centuries.
Well, I think that’s all for now. I’m sure you’ll like our dormitories. We sleep in ancient four-posters with green silk hangings, and bedspreads embroidered with silver thread. Medieval tapestries depicting the adventures of famous Slytherins cover the walls, and silver lanterns hang from the ceilings. You’ll sleep well; it’s very soothing, listening to the lake water lapping against the windows at night.
There's more than just the exclusion of all the others students to consider though. Most of the other details don't seem to fit with a thousand students either. There's never any mention of multiple teachers for a single department, which is especially clear with Defense Against the Dark Arts, Divination and Care of Magical Creatures. This shows at the Teacher's Table in the Great Hall as well. Another point would be the lack of more boys in Harry's dorm. And I'm sure there's more.
At best, there might have been a thousand students before the war, but that would give the First War a much higher body count.
I think this is just one of those things Rowling might want to be true, but doesn't actually show in her writing. It would be a little odd if she's really trying to shoehorn it in like this, although it's possible all new teachers without any experience normally need to go through some sort of apprenticeship stage. That still wouldn't explain the title "Department Head" though. Untill we know more, I'll just go with the idea that something changed at Hogwarts throughout the years.
I wanna, wanna, wanna ... fucking welcome mails, when do they come? :|
None of this even makes sense given what she has written in the books. I could see leaving students out if Harry just didn't care about the rest of them, but it appears there is now a Department of Transfiguration with the implication that there are multiple teachers in each department at Hogwarts. So maybe Harry just ignores the teachers who don't teach him as well. Am I understanding this correctly?
I should have guessed the moment that I read the word hatstall that this whole site would be a mountain of fail.
If you think about it, a good number of the students that we know for sure exist and are in Harry's year are only mentioned once. Further, every book new students who we've never met before are introduced.
I don't think not having been mentioned is a good reason for saying there aren't more students in Harry's year. It makes sense that people wouldn't be mentioned, if they weren't directly involved with the plot, because the story is very focused around not just Harry, but Harry's particular adventures. Harry could be interacting with some students regularly - in fact, it's almost certain that he interacts with unnamed characters regularly - and we'd never know about it, because it's never relevant. He certainly didn't seem surprised by the existence of Cormac in 6th year. Presumably he had known of Carmac's existence before, and maybe even interacted with him. It just didn't enter the story.
The same applies for Professors. Until the 7th book, we never saw or heard of the name of the Muggle Studies Professor that Voldemort killed. Yet surely she sat at the High Table at meals. Surely Harry knew of her existence. But she was never mentioned. Why? Because she didn't have a role to play in the plot. It's not impossible that there are further teachers in similar states.
With regards to lack of boys in Harry's dorm, consider this: if there were a lot more students in Harry's year, it would be unlikely that they were all put into the same room. Having 5 people in the same room is already quite unusual for boarding schools. Normally it's 2 at the most.
Note - before people get the wrong idea - that I'm not saying that there are 1000 students at Hogwarts. I'm just saying that:
A) It's not completely incompatible with canon that there are 1000 students.
B) It works with word of God. Rowling gave the 1000 students figure a number of years ago, in the above student list she says that the students named aren't meant to be the whole year, and in McGonagall's story she talks about there being multiple teachers for one teaching post.
C) 1000 students at Hogwarts goes some way towards explaining why there is a wizarding economy at all, as well as the World Cup Stadium. Although even with 1000 students, that stadium is still oddly large.
There might be some disagreement over A (understatement). However, it's important to note the very minimal nature of "not completely incompatible". All this states is that there is nothing that explicitly denies it. There are certain aspects of canon that would be made odd through there being 1000 students and more teachers, certainly. But odd isn't impossible. And the oddness that 1000 students brings to the table is no more odd than the oddness of the wizarding economy given the 280 students figure. Given that the wizarding world is odd either way, it seems that using oddness as an objection doesn't do much, as it doesn't make the situation any worse than it was already.
For most of the odd things, explanations can be given. Some - even many - of these explanations are not satisfying. But, again, lack of satisfaction is not the same as being in direct violation of canon.
The most crucial explanatory strategy is to simply note the ad hoc nature of additions to the Potter universe. Rowling added characters, magical abilities and artefacts throughout the books that we had never heard of before. In many cases Harry was aware of these things, even though the reader was not. We only get a tiny glimpse into Harry's world. Take the start of DH. Harry suddenly starts using a load of spells that we had no indication he knew. He certainly wasn't using them at the end of HBP.
The fact that JKR adds these things without forewarning means that we are forced to assume that there is a lot that Harry knows that the reader doesn't. Sometimes this includes fairly significant things. By this, the absence of extra characters, or the fact that they're never referred to or interacted with doesn't say much for their existence or not. Especially when they are not relevant for the plot.
The other crucial explanatory strategy is to note that the narrative style is focused entirely on Harry's perception of the world. It is clouded with his opinions and biases. Uses of the definite article when the indefinite article is more objectively correct can be explained using this. Harry might think of "the dorm room" rather than "a dorm room". This reflects the fact that, for Harry, his dorm room is the dorm room. It doesn't exclude there being others.
As mentioned above, these explanatory strategies are not fully satisfying. But they are sufficient hand-waves to make 1000 students not impossible by canon. And let's face it, 280 students is not satisfying either.
TL;DR With a lot of explanation and hand-waving, 1000 students is possible. Whether you think the gains that 1000 students makes to the Potterverse outweighs having to do all those handwaves is another matter. But there is a way to explain it.
I'm still rolling at Hermione's original name... Hermione Puckle!
It is possible that before the first war, there was a need for a Transfiguration department.
That would certainly be a damn good reason why everyone is so afraid to even mention Voldemort's name.
These new tidbits may not exactly be supported by the books, but I am eager to see how this information will be used in fanfiction.
I'm more impressed by Draco Spinks
And who can forget Queenie Greengrass?
I'm half-expecting to see a parody fic soon like 'Queenie, the Ice Queen' or something just as stupid.
I was originally inclined toward the "wildly variable class size" hypothesis. I once tried to consider how it might work, and ended up with Harry's year being nearly the smallest of all the classes in Hogwarts at that time, on the grounds that the "first war"-related fear peaked then.
The older years would have been incrementally larger the further away you moved from Harry's year. The class that's two years younger than Harry's (the first post-Voldemort class, if I understand it right) would've seen a huge boost, a la the post-WWII baby boom taken to extremes.
But then Rowling said something in an interview that seemed to confirm the smaller number, so I gave up that idea. Still, if she decides to contradict the interview in Pottermore, this should get the priority, IMO - interviews are nearly the lowest form of "word of God" in this universe.
Just got the Welcome email. I'm reading about Vernon and Petunia right now. I have to say, the illustrations are pretty. Rowling's writing in the V/P moment isn't too shabby either.
Now, towards the Sorting hat... I actually want Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, especially Hufflepuff. A description of the dorms would be interesting.
P.S. I got my Magic Quill only moments away from Rehio, so maybe the accounts are activated depending on which day you registered.
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