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A Few Questions About Harry Potter

Questions! Questions That Need Answering

Listen, there may be no more devoted fan than I to the Harry Potter continuum. As testimony, accept my Halloween costume (Luna Lovegood), my trips to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Harry Potter: the Exhibition, my attendance at last fall’s Quidditch Cup, the intricate Marauder’s Map framed on my wall, the official Ravenclaw robes and casual wear in my closet and a pret-a-porter knowledge of the Trio and their various goings-on. But over the years, after several readings and viewings, I’ve collected a veritable treasure trove of questions regarding our heroes at Hogwarts. Now, before the last film arrives, it is time to share that trove with you lucky few.

  • Let’s start with the question of the size of the Hogwarts classes. Are they very large? Or are they very small? We see in Sorcerer’s Stone the incoming freshman class looks to be fairly robust in numbers as it comes up from the boats. The Sorting Ceremony for new students, too, lasts a long time, at least a few hours. However, everyone seems to know each other by book two, indicating a much cozier campus. And, we later see that the dorms for Gryffindor boys hold no more than five to a room. Granting that this may simply be the freshman subset of Gryffindor boys, are we then to believe that there are only five of them in Harry’s class? And, say, 5 girls? Making 40 total students in each Hogwarts grade, and around 280-300 in the whole school? Considering the size of the Great Hall, this seems impossibly low.
  • Hey, where are the girls’ dorms?
  • What’s Hermione’s wand made of? She’s the only one we never find out about.
  • Is the Sorting Hat politically biased? Why is it subject to outside influence? Also, why did it allow Tom Riddle into Slytherin if only pure-bloods are allowed in?
  • How did Hufflepuff become known as the short-bus house? The books are neutral on the badger house occupants — but it’s a conclusion fans seem to have come to all on their own. Groundswell!
  • More of a head-shaking: Why’d they change that part in the book where Ron actually was the knight in the life-size game of wizard chess? Harry was such an amazingly cold dick when Ron got walloped.
  • I can’t be the only one who was disappointed for Slytherin when Dumbledore gave out those bush-league ten points to Neville at the end of Sorcerer’s Stone, right? Slytherin actually worked for those points and those bonus points were clear favoritism! Not cool, Albus.
  • Speaking of Slytherin, either that house is a rank mess or it’s not, so let’s pick one, J.K.R. You’re telling me a house that churns out murderers for a thousand years of existence is regarded by headmaster after headmaster with no more than a “LOL, hope you don’t get placed in Slytherin!”? Seems like that house would have been abolished and formed its own school by this point, non?
  • Damn, why were James and Lily Potter so rich? What were their occupations?
  • Isn’t there any kind of spell to fix eyesight, Harry?
  • In Chamber of Secrets, why is the ancient basilisk chamber founded by Salazar Slytherin a thousand years ago accessed via a modern sink?
  • Lockhart says he transformed a werewolf back into a man using a complex spell. He didn’t, obviously, but all his stories are stolen from real wizards. So, is there a cure for lycanthropy? (Sidebar: why is Kenneth Branagh so great? Call me!)
  • J.K.R., why you gotta go and introduce time travel, huh? Because now I just get mad thinking of everybody Harry could have saved just by turning back time a little bit during the War. Save Buckbeak, check. Save Lupin/Tonks, nope. I see, I see.
  • If the whole point of Goblet of Fire was to get Harry to the Triwizard Cup, which was a Portkey, why didn’t Barty Crouch just turn anything into a Portkey? Seriously. Harry’s pillow would have been fine.
  • Why did Rowling decide, out of all characters, that Dumbledore was gay? She had two extremely devoted to each other male characters in a relationship for decades and Dumbledores gay? With very little textual support? Why do you hate Sirius and Lupin’s obvious love, Joanne?
  • Who’s got Xenophilius Lovegood’s number? I think we’d be good together!
  • Why isn’t Veritaserum used more frequently?
  • Why aren’t there better tests to discern who is using Polyjuice Potion and who has been Imperius’d after centuries of magicking?
  • Why isn’t there a portrait of Dolores Umbridge in the headmaster’s office? I thought all headmasters get one.
  • Hey, was Dolores Umbridge raped by centaurs? Yikes.
  • LOL @ Ron knowing Parseltongue suddenly, Ron doesn’t know anything
  • Why wasn’t Draco Malfoy arrested after the war? He was kind of a shit regardless of any redemptions?
  • Why wasn’t Harry Potter arrested after the war? He performed a few Unforgivable Curses.
  • Why does everyone in novels name their kids after everyone else they used to know? I bet Luna didn’t. Luna’s the best.
  • God, why is it ending why isn’t she writing any more of them why aren’t there more movies WHY.

Natasha Simons is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn who has been dreaming about Harry Potter all week. She blogs here.

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