Professor Mom’s Unified Theory of Everything

I am totally swamped in end-of-school dealings and fear I will be until June. The good news is that the older man my wife has been cooking for has succeeded in lowering his Prostate Specific Antigen numbers from 86 to 11 in a month and down to .42 in another month. Now that he is feeling better, I hope when school is out to be able to post at HogPro almost daily. As it is, I’ll be here on the weekends, work and family allowing.

Until the weekend, though, when I will share my thoughts on the theory that Severus Snape is the Green Lion or Alchemical Vitriol (the catalyst of the Great Work?), I do have something to keep you thinking along challenging lines. Professor Mum (sometimes ‘Mom’), whose essay on the House of Black in Who Killed Albus Dumbledore? is the talk of Fandom and driving the sales of that book, is attempting a grand synthesis of Red Hen, Swythyv, Alchemy, and her own cogent musings, to create her own Unified Theory of Everything. Chapter One is up and it’s a WOW.

See you this weekend!

John, loving the idea of a Slytherin/Gryffindor androgyn being the “Green Lion”


  1. david3565 says

    Reading Professor Mum’s central thesis, I have a few thoughts about the story.

    1. The conflict of Dumbledore and LV is the microcosm, representing the macrocosm the larger political and moral conflicts of the Wizarding world, which is symbolic of the universal struggle between good and evil.

    2. The moral symbolism of the conflict lays the groundwork for the literary alchemical process of the story, symbolic of the themes of sin and redemption and pointing toward a picture of Christ.

    3. The story begins as the conflict of DD, LV, *and* Harry, who is DD’s natural successor. In books four, five, and six, we see increasing mention of DD’s advancing age and its effects. We see increasingly that he has worked many years to lay down a plan with Harry at its center. I think that DD, knowing as much as he knows, realized that he probably wouldn’t see the end of a second wizarding war if LV returned.

    Though the events surrounding the prophecy may have provided a possible vanquisher to LV, Harry has become so much more. In intellect and skill, he has demonstrated he is a match for the best of wizards, but in character he is not only LV’s antithesis, he is his superior. In this light, Harry is a natural successor to DD as the “greatest wizard of the age.” Just as DD was something of a champion in the first wizarding war, Harry is even more so in the second one.

  2. Minty Fresh says

    Hi everyone.

    As an avid fan of Red Hen, I was pleased to find HP and Professor Mom. The work on all of these sites is excellent and a great way to get my PotterFix before the book comes out.

    I am becoming incresingly frustrated though by the books and by Rowling in particular. She has given us so many threads that she cannot possibly tie them all up and worse than that, there are just some basic mistakes that seem to stir up the Potter Nation when there is no need.

    An example of this is from OotP, when a recent victim of Dudley’s is identified as Mark Evans, which of course, is Lily’s maiden name. Immediately, there were theories of a long lost cousin or brother of Harry’s who would undoubtedly play a key role in future books. Rowling had to shoot this one down and chalked it up to a mistake. Okay, people make mistakes. However, in an enviroment where everything is being studied and siezed upon as a clue, this becomes more and more a glaring oversight. Whats more, it tends to call other things into question.

    My next example is her handling of the Avada Kedavra curse. Up until the Tower in HBP, every time we had seen the curse, it’s victim slumps to the ground, their life having been taken from them. When Snape uses it, Dumbledore takes to the air like he’s shot out of a cannon and falls to the ground (taking him off the page, which again adds to fuel to the fire). Naturally, fans notice this and immediately begin to believe that Dumbledore is not dead. Again, Rowling comes out and states that he is in fact, worm food. Well, then why stir everyone up in the first place?! If you had just had your curse do to DD what it had done to everyone else, then there is much less to argue about. Inconsistencies tend to appear more like bad writing as they add up . .

    There are a lot of other contradictions, some of which may be unavoidable. For instance, the curtain of secrecy that keeps wizarding society hidden from Muggles. There are countless measures taken to keep Muggles clueless and yet, how many pureblood families are left? Very few by all accounts, maybe 10%. Which means that 90% of wizards are of mixed parentage, right? Well, then doesn’t it stand to reason that there are rather a LOT of Muggles who know all about wizards and witches, etc? What is done about them? Just because the Prime Minister is scared of being thought a fool for believing in magic doesn’t mean that everyone else is. How has the wizarding world escaped being on the front page of the tabloids?

    I’ve been accused of nitpicking by friends who enjoy the books, but I don’t really care. I am both excited and scared of the final books. I’m excited to know how everything happens, but i’m terrified it won’t make sense and thus, lessen the experience for me, and lots of other people. This is her last chance to show us the world of Harry Potter, a magical creation that Ms. Rowling should be immensly proud of. Not every author can say they’ve changed the world, but I truly believe she has.

  3. I have to cop to not having read Professor Mum’s chapter yet, IE before commenting here (currently I was simply taking a break from doing some research before heading into a big writing session on close to 60 pages worth of papers that are due within the next 1-2 weeks and have to be up to a certain level of snuff for PhD work standards, and so will admittedly consciously abstain from commenting on particulars of it until I actuall read it. But I will toss out a quick thought or two on “unified theories of everything” in general, and some of it may, I think, touch on some of what has been said in the 2 comments thus far.

    In general I tend to be a little wary of designations of “unified theories of everything” as running the risks of the proverbial procrustean bed. Like I said I haven’t , it is just that that is the first thing that pops into my head when I hear the term. Part of it is due to my current necessity of terminological rigor at the level I have to operate in graduate school right now, but part of it is also due to hermeneutical (interpretation from the reader-side) concerns I have been developing and working on in my studies.

    I tend to prefer more precise terms that limit themselves to a particular area such as structure – as in a “macro-structure” (which is what I would term my chiastic reading of the series as a whole, which, as I have said, might or might not be as tenable as a macro-structure one the corpus is complete), or to being specific about looking at a place where different such elements relate to, rub against (which can be a positive thing, in a lot of literay theory now tension between such elements can be itself a positive element in the meaning of texts … indeed that is pretty much very much at the heart, I think, of Derrida’s differance and Roland Barthes’ post-structuralism) or compliment each other in different dimensions etc (such as, for you , John, the imagery and the structure are two different textual elements, but Christ symbolism and literary alchemy structure compliment each other).

    Anway, my only real two comments at this point, with the present comments already here, are both in response to Minty Fresh’s.

    The first is simply a detail note … and I put it first because it is shortest and because I would not want to risk losing the reader along the way of my second note delving into literary theory of people like Barthes and Derrida. The detail is how ubiquetously the Avada Kedavra curse results in the simple “drop” death. I would argue from at least one other intsance where it did not result in crumpling, when Wormtail kills Cedric in the graveyard with it. There Cedric, like Dumbledore, is spread eagle. If we look at the casters we might have a clue. Voldy’s voice is always high and cold, he kills with the iciness that he is and the victim slumps. Wormtail and Snape are lesser wizards and obviously a bit more keyed up and emotional than Voldy is probably even capable of at this point – he is pure hatred, unmingled with any natural human emotions that might even conceivably be redeemed into healthy emotions … Wormtail “screeches the words to the night” (I always loved that line) and Snape’s Face is full of hellish anguish. I have always thought that a bit of the person and their emotional/psychic disposition went into all spells … so Wormtail is a bit keyed up and wired and anxious etc, and Ced is knocked back spread eagle … Snape, however far below Voldy he is in skill, is way above Wormtail in skill, and in his state it makes sense that his AK would not only throw DD back into the wall, but blast him into the air (look at it this way, if, in magic, the wand channels a certain psychic energy of a magically gifted person, WT may be as keyed up but he is nowhere near as skillful at SS at channeling that, although he has his moments, like a street full of muggles in one explosion).
    AS for the DD is not dead theories, I do agree with John and others that there was something else going on there that will be significant in DD’s plans, that there was a certain amount of staging going on in how DD died, staging to paint snape out bad for Voldy’s benefit (but then that solidly places me, admittedly and gladly for now, in the good Snape camp and I may be proven wrong in July)

    The next note is that in the exitentialist and postmodern genres that Rowling might be drawing on, textual tensions, which arise from textual incongruities, is an accepted and positive trait. For me recently it has been a postmodern, post-critical approach to the macro-structure of the book of Jeremiah (although I hesitate saying that here, not knowin the stance of the general readership on such matters … but this is where we are on such things and I bring it up trying to be respectful of the variety of beliefs and opinions that are often based in very deep faith and love, as are mine, and trying just to be in dialogue and here simply describe the issue as it relates to the present discussion), that in the final form, or the “canonical shape” as it is called, of the book there is a macrostructure discernable with its own point, but that there are also “rough edges” that tug against it and that those very tuggings are signposts for the reading and believing community to listen to, that the tension itself contributes positively, in its own unique way, to the theological meaning in the book.

    I do not know how much Rowling is trying to work that sort of thing in in-text or whther it is “deconstruction” more simply in perspicuous on the page deconstructions of meta-narratives like the fountain … I definitely think that she knows this stuff, but I’m not sure how far I think she is taking it in the works. And some of that goes into things like simple scar-crux vs scar-o-scope and completely scripted performances by SS and DD to cover up that they actually have already pretty much won the war. I tend to think her differance (incongruity between “being” and “textual meaning”) is not quite so drastic as the scar-o-scope theory but I could be proven wrong in July.

  4. I glanced at the beginning of the essay on a break from writing and I can’t buy the thesis – I know I’m going to sound like Oliver Stone here, but I can’t buy the “single villian theory” from a post-modern writer.

    I switched from “Voldemort as sole primary villian” after reading Kim Decina’s and Joselle Vanderhooft’s piece on clinical psyhcology types in HP at Lumos last year, which I disagreed with at first but then two things came to me:

    1. Anti-Social Personality disorder (when I put up on another lady from the Lumos conference who categorized Voldy as malignant narcicist over on MM, Travis Prinzi commented that he was actually trying to work on a piece on Voldy as ASPD and in retrospect I think he was way ahead of the game on it), like all personality disorders, is more deeply seated and begins earlier in life and takes much longer to work out even when identified and postively worked on … earlier in life than say the age of 11, when Dumbledore specifically points out to Harry, in HBP, that by 11 Tom was ALREADY displaying some very ASPD characteristics, as in they had had time to become well entrenched in him, which would indicate a beginning at an earlier age.

    Not to mention that Rowling has refered to Voldy in interview as a “psycho-path.” Now it is possible that she is simply using the slang present usage as a “really evil and messed up guy” but it is, I think, more likely, given the high presence of characteristics of other clinical psychology categories (disthymic depression, clinical depression episode, narcicissm) that Decina and Vanderhooft and others have shown, that she is using it in the technical sense, as the outdated term for what is now refered to as “socio-path,” even if she may (or may not) be using the older term because not as many people will recognize it as the specific clinical pyschology category and trying not to pin the works down so tightly, not allude to concretely 1 dimension of the character, even if it may be the primary dimension, because of people’s tendency to reduce the character to only that dimension.

    2. There has been too much criticism in the books of the Ministry bureucrat types like Fudge, Scrimgeour and Umbridge, the last of who gave Harry his second non-disappearing scar, which he brandishes against the second in that list in ” a very frosty Christmas” in HBP. And Dumbledore’s criticism of the fountain and of the allegance with dementors. I can see how the ministry might not be “consciously” evil but their corner cutting on ethics and their little political games have given key timing footholds to Voldy, and I can’t see them coming out simply, univocally, as one among the many of the good and innocent who Harry saves from the evil guy. nd if Red Hen is right (in a place I agree with her) that the dementors played a role in Voldy becoming who he is, and that in the ministry’s alliance, they had a great advantage for doing so, I think the story becomes about the monsters we create, or are derrelict in our duty (pre-occupied with our own little games of self-inportance) to the extent that we witlessly allow ourselves to be greatly utilized in the creation of such monsers… of course it is also about how to get beyond our monsters – Love. (so where does the “morality” occur that keeps this technically a “morality tale” in the tradition of Gawain and the Green Knight and all? in the hoi polloi, the weaseley’s the potters, the grangers … Prof Mom is right in that, just not right about them having to fight only one primary enemy … remember that Gawain went to battle with the Green Knight in the first place standing up for the besotted court of Arthur that the Gawain poet is criticizing, and I hope he smacked them upside the head heartily when he got back from the knight’s chapel)

    In short, the ultimate PoMo message, as you say “PoMo on its head,” is that, for one, the enemy is … “us” (cf the gospel on removing your own log before the spec of “the other”) but that, fortunately, “we” are an enemy that can be overcome, for “our” own good.

    CF post-Hedieggarian conflict on whether the “dasmann-selbst,” the “they self,” is a good or bad thing and the heavy focus on societal constructs … how do we create societal constructs that oppress? (note: we can never get away from social constructs, the dasmann, and they can play a very beatiful role in our lives, but the higher the leap the harder the ground, the more beautiful they can be, the uglier they are when perverted … a dog cannot love for the same reason it cannot sin … it can kill a human out of instintual matters, but that is nowhere near as ugly as the murder of one human by another). do we all get together and plan in some well constructed and executed conspiracy? In truth I don’t think anybody plans it that thoroughly (if you want a REALLY depressing movie to watch on the subject, watch the movie “Cube” … I don’t recommend it for all though – disclaimer: it is “R” and could be placed under the category of horror, but really horror in its original role of social critique, but it is physically gorey in places and definitely psychologically gritty throughout), except maybe somebody as maniacal as Voldy plans things out, a full blow socio-path …

    but I do think that in the real world there are some people with some very deep pockets and some very large stock portfolios and just the right public presence, who are more what I would call subconciously VERY “cunning” [cf Genesis 3 on the serpent for what I mean by cunning] and know how to introduce just the right little things here and there, and basically let fallen human nature, despair and addictive behavior do the rest in the task of enlarging their bank rolls, and along the way alot of human beings are turned into oppressed “others” … in a way what they encourage is us treating even ourselves as “the other,” bifurcating ourselves [the evil flip side of the hypostatic union] in becoming narcissistically our own drug (Mrs Malfoy) and becoming basically the pimp, the john and the prostitute all rolled into one. We allow ourselves to oppress ourselves for the the money and the toys and the image, and to oppress each other (I’ll let you use me for this end of you let me use you for that one) and the “others.”

    I’ll get off my soapbox now. I’m not saying I think the WW is hopeless, but I do think there is more going on in the series than a “single villian theory” accounts for.

  5. I just remembered the short witty encapsulation of the PoMoing the PoMos message I was going to throw in on that last one and completely forgot. In the words of Walt Kelly’s inimitable Pogo (and in memory of my father, + March 27, 2006 at 5:45 pm, whose numerous battered copies of Kelly’s Pogo cartoons I used to look through as a boy):

    “we have seen the enemy and he is us”

  6. richardtenor says

    I’ve got a hunch that the different behavior of the AK curse at the end of HBP is in fact a clue that something else is in fact going on, just not that DD is still among the living.

  7. Ok, I’m going to go out on a limb pretty far here, encouraged to do so by the time of semester that it is and that I just turned in a 33 page paper full of Hebrew verbs and citations of a variety of sources and am right now working on a 15 pager on the interpretation of Genesis 1 using Heideggarian language and concepts, and the imaginative muse and the specualtive muse and the research muse have all been doing a little dance together between my ears recently.

    This is not a plot prediction limb I am going out on here, it is an interpretation limb. I am sure I probably said this in some form or another over on Muggle Matters but probably not in as concise a form and not with advantage of the background work that I have done this semester in postmodern philosophy/philology/semiotics/theology etc

    I think it bears some here on the discussion we have been having on the AK curse and sort of gives some grounding to my argument for the “psychic investment/channeling” nature of spells/wand magic.

    On the AK curse, here is my theory:
    As I said in a previous comment here, I think some of the person’s psyche is invested in the magic, psychic energy of a magically gifted person . In other comments on this site I have argued for a certain elasticity and clinginess in the (in that instance I cited Heidegger and Husserl as part of the German philosophical background to the French existentialist and PoMo movement that Rowling is drawing on somewhat). The name of the particular limb I am going out on here is called “The AK: lethal personal invasion.” I believe that in a spell as poweful as the AK the psyche actually stretches out through the conduit of the wand and kills the victim by a radically violent psychic invasion of the person (maybe that is why a direct AK is unstoppable, the only way to stop it would be to know that and kill the invader upon entry, not only to be willing to kill but to have the power and presence of mind to focus that will and energy precisely on the point of invasion … well the only way other than radical self-giving love, the complete opposite of the fascistly selfish invasion of an AK, protecting the victim)

    I will offer one more piece of textual support here from Harry Potter before going into what I have been delving into recently in my class in Contemporary philosophy and theology (which I will do as a way of trying to say, this type of thinking and imagery and theme is in some of the stuff she is drawing on, like Barthes, Lyotard and Derrida, so it may be part of how she is consciously modeling her “pottervers” psychi-physics – it also might not be 🙂 ). Anyway, that piece of textual support (I just erased the word “evidence” because my thoughts here are not really at the level of an “argument argued from evidence” even though I am making a case for it) is the high level of invasion imagery we have seen in the books. Voldy especially has a liking for it, both animals and humans, as Red Hen and (I think) Swythiv have noted. He also, in the form of his diary-crux, sort of invaded Ginny in COS, meaning entered her person and was controling her. And then you have Harry and Ron sort of “riding the thin line” of it in certain instances in which they take some more “underhanded methods” to accomplish their ends, like “invading” the Slytherin common room as Crabbe and Goyle. Harry also definitely, even if by accident, invades Snape’s person in the form of viewing his worst memory without invitation. In fact the whole thing of legilimency and occlumency is based on mental invasion (maybe Harry’s poor performance at occlumency lessons is due to his power of the ability to love… I’m not saying he was being loving of Snape LOL, but just that maybe the “ability to love” entails a certain openness that makes occlumency difficult … in other words I am saying it is the ability to love that his mother gave him that makes it this way, not that he always uses that ability, let alone maximizes it). The vanishing cabinet tactic in HBP has a very “Trojan Horse” invasion tactic feel to it as well.

    Some of this next may be heady, but I will allow it to be blamed on John for his naming of his Lumos paper presentation “Disney Does Derrida” (just kidding … mostly – it did open up the door for discussing Derrida, and anybody familiar with Derrida knows that discussing even a little bit can make your brain pass out from dizzyness from the mental acrobatics required to understand him … to quote Scrimgeour on Jr Muggle Minister Herbert Chorley in “The Other Minister” in HBP[which I remember so clearly because of the number of times I have listened to HBP on CD and the great performance of the line by Jim Dale] – “it’s clearly addled his brains.” ). I was taught that the difference between deconstructionism and correspondance theory of truth is the direction the spiral takes. You and I stand on either side of “the object” and toss comments back and forth playing off each other in conversation. The correspondance theory says that even if we never get definitively to the object (the Rabbi’s like RASHI has this same idea about the trees in the middle of the garden, that the term “in the midst” was not an exact term, as in “precisely in the middle – able to be pinned down definitively” – but rather a circumspect term having a certain quality of mystery to it, in the old sense of the word, religious mystery), the correspondance theory says that even if we may never be able to do that, we do it closer in to the thing in our volley of dialogue. The way I was taught origally on deconstruction, though, was that Derrida said our volley of dialogue always takes us further and further our and apart: you say one thing and that brings to mind a term I think clarifies it some, which the correspondance theory would say does clarify it some, and so I throw that term out to you, and the correspondance theory says it helps you get closer to what I am saying about the object and you toss back what it makes you think and it gets me close … and we keep getting closer to being talking about the same thing and agreeing on what the thing is we are talking about, even if we disagree in what we are saying about it. Deconstruction, I was told, says the spiral goes the other direction: we keep getting further and further out till we’re hardly even talking (discourse has deconstructed itself)

    From my reading of Derrida now, I think that what he is saying is that the object is only ever an excuse or a weapon, we never actually get to an object because that is impossible. Instead what happens is that, instead of moving further out in our own direction when we receive each others tossed terms, the real action is not in what we do with the other’s term when we get it, but in tossing our own term … when we toss our own term our point is to invade the other. We keep going “further out” but not in the direction of our own side of the circle, rather in the direction of the other’s side, which means tha from their point of view we invade the further and furthe and from our point of view they invade us further and further.

    I was talking about this with my good friend and neighbor who is also first year in my program and has a lot better background in postmoder semiotics etc, and in me trying to work out a Christian interaction with Derrida my friend said that is how he understands Derrida as well, and my first attempt wound up being pretty “neo-scholastic” (which in my friend’s and my world/thinking is not a good thing, we see the “neo-scholastics” as being a world apart and far below the thought of St Thomas Aquinas and St Bonaventure), I said maybe God intersects the projectiles from a vertical dimension that intersects the horizontal, and makes the lingual projectiles not harmful, but the conclusion that we came to (as I said) is that this is not the best way to think of it. The way to think of it is that Christ is in the other person and in us, the projectiles are really thrown at him as the ultimate other, God, but in human form of frailty inside our human correspondant … the violent linguistic projectiles remain violent and hurtful projectiles, not “muted” exteriorly, but they are received by Christ in the other and transformed through forgiveness and love. It is not just “God as the ruler above” that answers the problem, by some preventive measure, but Christ the loving and suffering servant within the other transforming even the way we invade each other into the possibility of community, of family.

    In short I think that that is what Rowling is doing: using invasion imagery that colors the nature of something like the AK, and offering forgiving love and self-sacrifice as the antidote (ala Gorpolot’s third law … I love it: I just used a quote from an American scholar, on certain idiomatic compound terms having a “whole that is more than the sum of its parts,” such as “heavens and earth” meaning the whole of the orderly universe, precisely as ordered and not chaotic – and that American scholar was quoting a Jewish scholar from the lat 19th and early twentieth century and the Jewish scholar was using chemistry as an example … in other words alchemy). That is why I think Snape really can be a jerk to Harry, even if we can’t deny Harry has at least a little bit of it coming sometimes. The real alchemy that is going to go on is not both of them suddenly realizing that the other was not anything like what they thought they were, but realizing that they are even more like that than they thought, with one exception, and that is that they can make progress to being a better person, then the real alchemy will be both being able to forgive each other.

  8. Arabella Figg says

    thanks for sharing this. I agree, Professor Mom’s essay is a wow. I’m limiting my input to the Tom Riddle issue and his treatment by Dumbledore upon their first meeting. I hope my thoughts have some value.

    First, it’s readily apparent to the psychologically-attuned reader that Riddle is a sociopath who never had the proper bonding experience. Nurture and environment play a huge role in forming a child. About 15 years ago I spoke with a Christian psychologist who treats children; she told me there was a kind of deadline for children, beyond which they could never bond in any kind of healthy way and were pretty much doomed. My heart felt so heavy in hearing this, because I’m a strong believer in redemption. But we only need to look into the history of Charles Manson and other heinous sociopaths to see this sad truth.

    Back to Riddle. Tom was physically cared for in the orphanage, but never loved. As he matured, he became a fearsome, and then evil child. I feel Prof. Mom and Dumbledore nail him—a person with contempt for human connection, an extreme narcissist seeing all others as merely expendable tools in his grandiose plans. He’s spent decades angrily mutilating his soul in the attempt to distance himself from his own self-hatred.

    By the time DD met him, Riddle was already using his wizarding proclivities in acts of bullying, crime and evil, over which he was completely indifferent. DD, being an expert Legilmens, saw a lot more in Tom, I believe, than is revealed in his memory shown to Harry. The TR/DD meeting was almost a showdown in the sense that DD needed to exert authority over a willful, bad, uncontrollable child with dangerous powers. Tom needed to learn there were others more powerful, astute and able, so that he might have a realistic sense of his place in the order of things and some hope of redemption at Hogwarts.

    Alas, at that meeting, his greediness for more power and its harnessing must have been quite alarming to DD. Thus DD’s little display. Tender nurturing wasn’t needed for this 11-year old terror, authority was. I’ve read quite a bit about DD not seeming like himself in HBP at the Dursleys and elsewhere, and in his impatience with Harry. But DD is, as Jesus was, more than a “kind, benevolent being who knows nothing of discipline, character, or tough love” (Mark Galli, Jesus Mean and Wild).

    The difference between Tom and his doppelganger Harry, was that Harry was protected by love. I believe this also protected him from Tom’s sociopathic tendencies, was why he responded to relationship and heart-health at Hogwarts and how he has remained pure in heart. Tom, in contrast, unprotected by such love, moved further along the secretive “sociopathway” in his quest for power during his Hogwarts years, which included opening the Chamber, murder and creating Horcruxes. Such a person is to be both pitied and contained.

    Perhaps DD may have felt he failed with Tom. But, sadly, there was little to work with. And DD is a realist, the person most so in the books.

    At the end of HBP, Harry feels the first stirrings of pity for Draco. Perhaps when that pity extends to Tom Riddle, he will be able to win the day (contain him) through love’s power and thus truly have become DD’s man “through and through.”

    Oops, got a cat hair in my eye,

  9. Arabella Figg says

    I should add anothe point to my comment above.

    Harry was with his loving parents for 15 months. Thus he recieved proper, loving bonding, unlike Tom Riddle. Although Harry didn’t remember his parents, except for some fleeting impressions of his mother, it still would have set him out on a better path in life.

    Nonetheless, while Tom was merely one of a herd of children cared for but unlikely loved, Harry was directly abused and tormented at the Durseleys’ hands and actively hated for 10 years. So who had the advantage in their beginnings? Interesting question.

    Oh, no, a kitty is teething on my favorite wooden spoon,

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