Literally! Throughout Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, Cho Chang and Ginny Weasley have been juxtaposed—both in the air of the Quidditch field and on the ground—as Harry’s possible love interests:
“Yeah,” said Ron slowly, savoring the words, “we won. Did you see the look on Chang’s face when Ginny got the Snitch right out from under her nose?” (OotP, chap. 31, p. 704)
Boy, did Ginny ever get “the Snitch right out from under” Cho’s nose! As we see yet again, when “Ginny play[s] Seeker against Cho” in Half-Blood Prince and Gryffindor beats Ravenclaw 450 points to 140, the other Snitch that Ginny was “Seeking” enters the Gryffindor Common Room and stumbles upon the big celebration of the Quidditch win:
“Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her.” (HBP, chap. 24, pp. 532-33)
Halloween marks the occasion of the death of Nearly Headless Nick (a.k.a. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington), which was caused by having been “hit forty-five times in the neck with a blunt axe” (CoS p. 123).
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We find out in Chapter 12 of Chamber of Secrets that October 31, 1992 is Nick’s five hundredth deathday. Hoping that Harry will attest to Nick’s being impressively frightening so that he might be allowed to join the Headless Hunt, Nick invites Harry and his friends to his Deathday Party. Ron skeptically asks a good question: “Why would anyone want to celebrate the day they died?” And Hermione characteristically looks forward to what she can learn from the experience: “A deathday party? . . . I bet there aren’t many living people who can say they’ve been to one of those—it’ll be fascinating!” (CoS p. 130).
With Hermione’s inquisitive spirit, let’s have a go at wrestling with Ron’s question. Is there something more going on here than a chillingly gothic setting for the horrors to be unleashed by the re-opening of the Chamber of Secrets?
The third essay in the Imagining Better: Philosophical Issues in Harry Potter collection, is “buy viagra in uk href=”http://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/341/rp_341_3.pdf”>Harry Potter and Humanity: Choices, Love, and Death,” by Shawn Klein, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rockford College, PA. (He’s also a co-editor of Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts.)
After discussing the central role played by choice, which is best captured in Dumbledore’s famous quotation that it is “our choices . . . that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” (CoS p. 333), Prof. Klein explores how Harry’s humanity is best shown in his recognition of his mortality. Harry’s acceptance of his mortality enables him to love and to be a whole person; having a limited life span allows one to realize just how precious and valuable life is. On the other hand, it is Voldemort’s rejection of mortality that undermines his ability to love–either others or himself.
(Coming soon: A guest post by Prof. Joel Hunter on his essay about the Mirror of Erised and existentialism.)
Advanced Potions / Sixth Year N.E.W.T. Potions class
buy viagrastyle=”font-size: medium”>Professor Horace Slughorn
Lesson 1- Draught of Living Death – Preparation and brewing.
I– Using your herbology text book, One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore, read, become familiar with, and pay special attention to the cautionary remarks for the following herbs:
Herb # 124 – Asphodel
Herb # 722 – Sopophorus Bean
Herb # 836 – Valerian Root
Herb # 874 – Wormwood
II– Read the instructions for brewing the potion The Draught of Living Death in Advanced Potion-Making by Libatius Borage beginning on page 10.
III Ponder these questions for class discussion:
1– Under what circumstances would it be acceptable or unacceptable to give this potion to someone?
2– What are the rights of the person who is given a dose of this potion?
3– What are the responsibilities of the person who makes this potion in order for another to use it?
4– What are the responsibilities of the person who gives a dose to someone?
5– Consider the following, unsubstantiated, times the Draught of Living Death was used & the results.
Juliet Capulet used this potion, brewed by Friar Laurence, in order to convince her family she was dead. The plan was to run off with her new husband, Romeo Montague. Alas, the plan backfired. Romeo received news of his brides death before a messenger arrived to inform him of the plan. Romeo raced to Juliet’s tomb and committed suicide. When Juliet awoke from the potion, she found her husband dead. Juliet was so grief struck she killed herself using the same knife Romeo had used to end his own life. Friar Laurence was never punished for the parts he played in this tragic story
Almost everyone has them, whether in your wallet or safely tucked away at home. I’m referring to pictures. We take them, treasure them, show them, longingly look at them, tell the stories behind them—and yet are more often than not dissatisfied with them. Why don’t we ever look like our pictures (especially our driver’s license photo, which could often be mistaken for a mug shot)? How come when we go to put a picture of our favorite person in a special frame, it’s not easy to select the one that looks like the person, I mean really looks like him. And none of them ever quite does….
Last Wednesday, I found out my paternal grandfather passed away at the age of 88 at 7:30 that morning. My memories of him are sparse and fuzzy — tied to some history before my parents split. I have an odd affliction with memory; nothing serious mind you, just a strange dividing line between what I recall quite clearly after the age of 12 and what seems a starkly vague early childhood. I don’t know if there is a true condition for such a thing, but there it is. At this point, I’m not sure how I feel about my grandfather’s death. My family is not especially close, neither on my mother’s side nor my father’s side. I have aunts and uncles, from both parents, I’ve met only once — most of them, in fact. My mother’s parents passed long before I was born. And I was 11 or so the last time I was around my father’s parents. I’m 29 now.
Perhaps saying something about my character, I couldn’t make it to the funeral. I only had a very short notice and I couldn’t arrange for coverage of my classes or make it to Northern Indiana in time. I did send flowers to my grandmother, and my father thanked me for always “coming through” in times of need — what’s harder for me to swallow was his sincerity. Continue reading