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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]
More Harry Potter

It's been fascinating - Order of the Phoenix has caused, as it should have done, a sharp divide in the fanfiction. New information presented in new ways would do that. We now perceive Black as the "white sheep" of his family - although I want to see more about Sirius and Draco having been cousins. About Tonks and Draco being cousins (not that he'd acknowledge a halfblood.) Snape has long been perceived as a scion of a family as old and wealthy as the Malfoys - now that's Sirius' status, and his is more problematical. We've also started seeing James in a new light, and while it's not exactly flattering, it's a lot more real. And we've met Lily. *Finally*. We're also seeing Neville in a new light, and it *is* flattering. And, I haven't read many stories focussing on Ginny yet, but I'll bet she's being seen differently, too.

Plus, of course, we now have no idea what the curriculum will be like for any of the students in the next two years - except it won't be the way it is now.

And I personally am convinced Remus and Sirius were lovers, and that's going to be in future fanfic of mine. Got one fermenting now...

On the other hand - reading stories written pre OotP can be interesting, with all the various theories on how people are related to each other, and the ways Harry deals with Cedric's death, and, well. Perfect James and cowardly Neville, and the different ideas about OWLs and even the little romances. Sometimes it's okay, and sometimes it slams me against a brick wall.


I'm only just getting my feet wet in HP fandom-- I was deliberately avoiding it before a plot reached out and grabbed me by the throat-- so could you please tell me why it assumed Snape was from a wealthy family? An old wizarding family I could see, but why a wealthy one?

I've always pictured him as the wizarding equivalent of the classic Greasy Haired Science Geek (potions = chemistry), and that type rarely comes from wealthy families, in my experience.

As near as I can figure, because he's the Head of Slytherin, and aren't all Slytherins from wealthy pureblood families?

They probably would be if the Hat wasn't ignoring (parts of) Salazar Slytherin's intentions, something that I've been puzzling over recently. If we can believe the Sorting Hat in OotP, I doubt Salazar would have been happy to have Tom Riddle with his Muggle father in Slytherin, yet there he was.

An ambitious Muggle born could probably fit quite well in either Ravenclaw or Gryffindor - look at Percy. He's a pureblood, and highly ambitious, so he could have gone to Slytherin, but he's a Weasley, and Weasleys all go to Gryffindor.

I think the Sorting Hat takes all sorts of things under consideration - skills, family background and *desire* - Hermione would have fit in perfectly in Ravenclaw, but she wanted Gryffindor. Harry would have done well in Slytherin, but he refused it. He refused it before he was even offered it. Malfoy is very bright and probably would have been just fine in Ravenclaw, but Malfoys are all Slytherins. Blacks are also all Slytherins, but Sirius rebelled. Rebellion takes courage, so of course he was in Gryffindor. And didn't we all think that Neville should have been in Hufflepuff?

To answer your earlier comment, though - wealth shouldn't be a factor. One can be pure and ambitious and poor.

I'm still confused about Riddle and Harry and Slytherin. It doesn't make any sense to me, either.

I'm hoping we find out.

I sort of get the Hat's reasoning in the current situation/set-up for Hogwarts, what I'm unsure/curious about is when and why the Hat decided to use different criteria, like those in the first two songs, than those of the founders he retells in the OotP song, even though the founders created it to sort based on their wishes. Originally it seems it was cunning, ambitious wizards into Slytherin, but *only* if they were pureblood too, with rather more emphasis on the pureblood part than anything else, the most intelligent into Ravenclaw, the bravest into Gryffindor, and the rest into Hufflepuff, because it seems that the Hufflepuff founder thought the whole sorting was a flawed concept to begin with and you should just take all and treat them equally, a concept the Hat seems very sympathetic to also, when it puts the emphasis on the unity of the Houses, which he is nonetheless forced to split by sorting. Now it seems that the Hat tries to divide them more or less equally in number based on many criteria (which you mention) and "mudbloods" are found in all houses if fewer in Slytherin, probably because it's harder for them to fit in there and their other Slytherin qualities have to be really overwhelming.

I have always felt that when the hat said that Harry had a thirst to prove himself, this was part of what it was taking into consideration when considering putting Harry in Slytherin, because that can mean he is ambitious.

Tom was in Slytherin, and he wasn't pureblood, but he desperately wanted to be pureblood, wanted to be powerfull and he didn't share the knowlege, if Ballatrix's reaction to the news at the end of OotP is anything to judge by. They may have only assumed it because of his talent and ambition and he never corrected them.

I have noticed that a lot of fans seem to assume that Snape is pureblood because he is the head of Slytherin, and because he was talented, and seem also to assume that alomst all wizarding families are wealthy, the Weasleys being again, the exception to the rulle. Maybe the assumption comes from the idea that the wizarding families don't spend as much of their income on things as Muggles because they make a lot of their own medicines, foods, or neccessities, because of the philosopher's stone behind alchemy, or rather, waht alchemists used to say was the point of alchemy, and because if you are going to go into a fantasy world about magic and conjuring chairs out of nowhere, why stop short of having piles and piles of gold in Gringottsd for every pureblood? Especially since being pureblood seems to equate with being at the very least, gentry in the magical world. The average fan doesn't seem to know that there is a such thing as poor nobitity.

Another thing about the money is that in history, few things have influenced people to do unbelievably cruel things as money, especially nobles. Money, power, sex, and immortality/stopping the aging process. http://vampires.monstrous.com/famous_vampires.htm for a few good examples. Voldemort is definitely searching for immortality, and since the HP books started out being children's lit, they can't very well discuss Snape's sex habits. But money and power played prominant roles in at least two of these and sex factored hugely in two. Immortality or stopping time is part of driving force behnd at least one. That Bathory chick makes me think of Bellatrix a lot.

Mama, I adore your choice of words where you called Sirius the white sheep of the family for quite a few reasons. I love it.

Ah, thank you everyone, that explains it nicely.

I assume Snape is pureblood because of the way he treats Hermione and the other Muggle-born, not because he's in Slytherin. Also, he seems less aware of the Muggle world than, say, the Weasleys. I get the impression that his contact with non-wizards is minimal-to-none, which to me implies a pureblood family with a history of not mixing in any sense with the Muggles.