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Dumbelore, Bellatrix and other ramblings

First of all a couple of bulletpointy things:

  1.  
  1. In light of Deathly Hallows, I think there can be a case made for Spinner's End being the BEST. CHAPTER. EVER. Best chapter ever of the first six books, that is. Deathly Hallows is a whole new category of love.

  2. "I do love knitting patterns" and "a flamboyant purple suit". Honestly, in hindsight: how is it such a shock that this guy is gay? I mean, I was surprised but honestly, it's been there. We just never saw it cause he was, you know, a very old man, but...  it's been there. The really, really funny part is how incredibly much Movie!Dumbledore ruins that.

  3. In light of that, *ahem*
    charlotte.frey: MINERVA
      IS
     charlotte.frey: DD'S
     charlotte.frey: FAGHAG!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1:33 AM chilla: ONE TRUE FAGHAG

    before you judge us me, please, please look at the time of this conversation. Plus, this makes the twelve-year-old girl inside me that fails at math and ships Minerva/Albus pretty happy. Actually, that might be the first ship I shipped -well, apart from R/Hr, obviously. Wow. Hi.

  4. You're still with me? After that? Awesome. Here's why the DD/GG thing makes me so happy, and why it kind of peeves me that it wasn't in the book. I know, it's not important and yes, it is a kid's story, and most of the little kids I know would react similarly to stmargaret's son, if not a lot more immature (and yes, I have been stalking all of you on the Quill. Deal with it.), but, here's my but. I have said this before- the Dumbledore story felt tacked on. I was reading it, and a part of me, the part that wasn't riveted, was going "Why do I even care?". And it just makes so much more sense now. Why Dumbledore would be so adamant that Voldemort can't love, why he would trust Snape so absolutely, why he would be this sure about the Elder Wand and how it works- all of it. It just makes the book seem a lot more rounded. And that's why I love it, and that's why I wish it had been in there- not, you know, made a big deal out of, because that would be weird and I agree that the last thing on Harry's mind at King's Cross would be Dumbledore's sexuality, but still... I kind of love DH even more now.

  5. As to the question of interview-canon vs. bookcanon, all I really have to say is this: I have a... selective take on what I regard as canon and what I don't, in terms of interviews. Such as: Dumbledore being gay is completely canon to me, because the minute I read I was like "... OF COURSE he is. How the hell did I miss that?" (Purple Suits. Earmuffs. KNITTING PATTERNS for crying out loud. It's been there.) Another really good example of that is Bellatrix killing Tonks. That could have been in DH -in fact I think it was just edited out, cause of depressiveness overkill- and it made sense for it to be the way it was with canon the way it's lined up- Bellatrix's relationship with Andromeda, the passage in "The Dark Lord Ascending" etc.

    But then are things that are just one big WTF to me, and I, um, choose to ignore those. Like Luna marrying Rolf-whatever-his-name-is when Luna/Dean was ALL. OVER. DEATHLY HALLOWS. So, I still think Luna/Dean is what happened, and Rolf-whatever-his-name-is can just go play with Devil's Snare. And honestly, who's to stop me from doing that? Yeah, I write fanfiction- if I can tell a convincing story about Luna and Dean that doesn't contradict books 1-7, then why the hell not? And plenty of fanfiction is neither convincing nor adherent to books 1-7, and people still enjoy it.

    But generally, I wish people would stop asking her the freaking "What happens to..." questions and start asking questions about, well, substance. I've said it before- my favorite part of the Dumbledore revelation was Rowling comparing it to Bellatrix's feelings for Voldemort. Stuff like that is FASCINATING to me because every time it happens, it allows me to go back and see the books under a new and different light. And that's what's truly fascinating, because I don't know about you guys, but I would be much, much more interested in WHY Narcissa of all people got to play the part she did in DH and WHY Harry's lasts thought before Death were of Ginny and not Ron and Hermione or his parents, and what she's trying to tell us when, 19 years later, Percy is still a pompus prat, and so on and so on. Maybe it's because I write myself, but the writing process, the choices involved in who to kill and how to relay bits of information- that's something much, much more interesting to me as a reader and as fan than the names of all of Arthur and Molly's grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I can totally understand that JKR has all this information, and I love that she's willing to share it, but I do think the answers she would give on more thoughtful questions would be much, much more insightful and gratifying.
Enough Listyness, and off to some real rambling!
caboca did a "most tragic ship" poll on her LJ (link) (<-chilla, see how I embedded the link? nada copy paste involved! *cowers*)  which you should all vote in, and then we talked about it for like, several hours, which was awesome, but the point is that it got me thinking about Bellatrix even more. Which is decidedly unpleasant.

The first thing you have to accept about Bella, as with almost every other character JKR shoves down our throats, is that she comes in shades of gray and shades of evil. The woman is twisted, dark, sadistic, and horrible. That scene in Ootp, where she hunts down Harry doing that baby's voice, "Did you looooove him, little baby Potter"- that's pure, psychotic evil.  But she's also passionate, loyal and somehow so incredibly tragic- because she's always, always left wanting from Voldemort, and she's got this hunger than can't EVER be stilled. I love how JKR does this- on the hand she makes it obvious that love is Teh Powah The Dark Lord Knows Not and the answer to everything, but on the other hand -and there always, always is an other hand, and that's what makes me so incredibly happy- the love that she shows us here, the painful, obsessive, destructive force of love.

 I do think her story is one of the most tragic in HP canon, ironically enough- or the way I see her, anyway. I think she's someone who was bursting to come to her own, and because she's such a powerful witch she would have wanted something to *do* with all that power and potential. And then she finds it in Voldemort, and he teaches her, and honestly, it's so telling how she was trying to torture his whereabouts out of the Longbottoms. I'm not excusing what she did, or justifying, and I'm not saying there wasn't a very, very large sadistic element of pleasure there; but I do also think that it was a complete act of desperation. Similar, actually, to what McGonagall thought Sirius was doing when Pettigrew blew up all those Muggles. It's a Black family thing, I think- dedicating yourself to something and acting on your darkest instincts.

I always feel a little stupid going back analyzing/explaining my own writing, but I'm going to do it anyway, because the reason why I have been thinking so much about Bellatrix is because I've been writing her for Family History, and had a little dare going on with myself- "Can you write Bellatrix First Person POV and get away with it?".  I'm not sure I did- I think once you're in someone's head you do paint them in a much more sympathetic light, I think, especially me. I have a tendency to find, if not redeeming at least human qualities in everyone, and I can't just write Bellatrix as a crucio!ing monster, even though that's exactly what she is. It doesn't make sense to me, and I think it goes against canon- not what's stated in canon as much as the general feel of canon- the shades of gray thing. What I take away from HP at the end of the day is this feeling of "in our darkest hour we're all just shades of gray". Snape, Dumbledore, Ron walking away and coming back, Harry being a brat and saving the world, Cissy and Lucius, of course... variations on a theme.

Anyway, here's what I came up with. This is the very end of the chapter/vignette, which begins with a much younger Bellatrix learning Crucio from Voldemort. Then there's a leap in time (otherwise known as me deciding this wasn't disturbing enough yet) to the Longbottom's being tortured. "She" in this context is Alice Longbottom, Bellatrix is of course the "narrator".

HE… IS…NOT… DEAD!”

She’s laughing now, openly laughing at me and I can tell she’s trying to aggravate me, trying to distract so she can attempt to recover her wand. “Well then, where is he? Defeated by a baby boy, a half-blood, no less? Unable to come and help you, is he? Not as powerful as you thought?”

I can’t hear a moment more of this, cannot hear this filthy bloodtraitor, this scum, shout my worst fears up at me. “CRUCIO!” I bellow, and the pain spelled out in her face is my pain, and her horror is mine, and with every gasping breath she takes the fire inside me seems to burn a little bit more, and all I want is to burn, to have it done with. “CRUCIO!” I bellow again and again, and her sobs are dying and her body is going limp, but I’m still here, and the pain is getting worse, not getting better, or maybe it's the other way around, and I yell the spell out, again and again and again, but it’s no good, and even when they catch us, when they take my wand and cart us to Azkaban, I’m still burning, and maybe I will be for the rest of my life.

Here's what I was going for.

  • I did very consciously mirror the "He is not dead" line of Harry's from OotP, because, you know, foreshadowing and parralels are awesome, and really that was where I was going with this chapter- to paint Bellatrix as, well, human. According to Dumbledore's definition of being human, in any case- "the pain you are feeling right now shows that you are still human". And there it is again, the brilliance that these two characters are so totally different, and yet... not.

  • The crazyness is there, but I do think fifteen years in Azkaban when you're not an Animagus will leave their mark. I think the Bella we see in canon was, truly "as mad as her master" (although I don't like that phrase particularly because of all the things that Voldemort is, crazy isn't really the one that comes to mind), and I'm not saying- well. What they do to people in Azkaban is torture. It's torture, and the first thing they teach you in criminal law classer here is that there are crimes for which their can be no repayment, and that a state, a society, does not have the right to be vengeful, and a society, a Winzengamot, in my opinion cannot send people off to be tortured for the rest of their lives. It's torture and it's wrong, and I'm wary to say that Bellatrix didn't deserve it for what she did, because she probably did, but... there are crimes that have no repaying. There are crimes so heinous that they just stand there in all their heinousness, but a society can't say that a lifetime of constantly reliving the most painful moments of your life, over and over and over again is worth the same as not recognizing your own son. It doesn't work that way.

    Thank God I don't post on the Quill anymore. That last part would probably entice a lot of wank.
AND CRAP, now I've gone off on a tangent about to torture and completely lost my train of thought.

Which concludes my ramblings, but I'm sure all of you will have plenty to say on the subject. Right?


i had choir today, and we sang this awesome arrangement of "Can you feel the love tonight?", and WOW- I only ever knew the Disney lyrics, not the proper ones, and they're just... so... beautiful. Honestly. I was completely floored.

Shut up.

HEY, I actually have another thing that's been bugging me. At one point in probably either HBP or OotP Hermione says to, I think it must be to Harry, "Oh stop acting all misunderstood" and it is FUNNY and I was wondering if any of you knew which scene that was.

All of that should have given you plenty to think about, so feel free to give me your two knuts in the comments.

love
char

Comments

*huggles her stalker*

I love how you think about things. I think the torture scenario is fascinating, given what is going on today in our world - in our name, sometimes.

Pain is a universal and I think you're wise to include Bellatrix's own pain as one of the reasons for her effectiveness as a torturer. That *is* humanity - just the dark side of it.

*more hugs*

As a fluff writer, I'm drawn to the lyrics of "Can you feel the love tonight?" rather than Bellatrix's character - but then that's just me. :)
I've been meaning to comment on this for ages... lol. Yeah, ok... I'm a bit of a stalker, but I'm nice I promise.. plus JKR said I was cool (I really need to learn to stop mentioning it, but somehow I cannot stop myself).

Um, ramblings of a crazy person aside... I love love love your Bella commentary and completely agree! And I gotta say I agree about the Dementors being torture. Can Bellatrix repay society for her crime? I don't think so. Is it right that she be tortured for the rest of hers? No. But I'm not sure she can be rehabilitated either... it's lose-lose and completely tragic. I just love the way her life mirrors Dumbledore's, if Ariana hadn't died and if he continued on the path with Grindelwald.

And I totally love McG!Fag Hag :D... a friend of mine and I totally had a similar conversation. x))
oh! And the original reason I was here and completely forgot to ask... Did you get a big lion yet? I noticed you asked on the post, and I haven't gotten one yet... Just seeing if maybe I missed it somehow.

Bella and Voldy.

My my...I found an icon that was hilarious, and by reading this, I believe you would've loved it as well. I have it on my myspace where I collect HP Icons...http://www.myspace.com/hpxiconxluv

I think that Luna/Dean would've been perfect for each other.

Bella is one of my favorite characters, and I believe my favorite line from DH was when Albus said..."She likes to play with her food before eating it." I found that hilarious. Yes, I do love the villians.