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Inspirational Reads

Ten Bold Predictions: Number One

July 19, 2007

Well, here it is. The final one, just hours before the last book hits the shelves. I thought before I got into it, I'd do a quick recap of the ten predictions up to now.

10) R.A.B = Regulus Arcturus Black

9) Dumbledore isn't dead

8) Snape is a good guy

7a) Umbridge gets pwned

7b) Neville gets revenge

7c) Zacharias Smith has the Cup Horcrux

7d) Kreacher has the Locket Horcrux

7e) Fudge is a Death Eater

7f) Percy Weasley dies

7g) Hogwarts is closed

7h) MacGonagal is the new Head Mistress when it reopens

7i) Hogwarts gets a new House called Dumbledore

6) Snape's Patronus is a Lily

5) Harry is the last Horcrux

4) Harry got the reprieve

3) Voldemort wasn't alone at the Potters

2) Snape dies

So, a lot of these, especially fairly low in the count, are pretty obvious. I really doubt that R.A.B. is Susan Bones' mysterious aunt that we've never seen, as some people have argued. The higher ones are more controversial, I guess, but none moreso than number one. I've espoused this theory/prediction since the latter pages of Half-Blood Prince, where I saw that R.A.B. was still running around getting his hands dirty in the wizarding world. I've been told that I'm "fucking brilliant" for coming up with this one and also I've been told I'm a "fucking idiot" for this. Of course, the ones who call me "fucking idiot" have also been 14 year olds, probably with acne and underdeveloped genitalia, and no chance ever of seeing a real breast (Barbie dolls with paint jobs do NOT count).

Anyway. Bear with. This is a really long post.

Prediction Number One: Rufus Scrimgeour is Regulus Black!!!

Huh? What? You're a loony! How the hell is that possible?

First of all, isn't Regulus dead? Not so fast, my friend. Remember one of the great rules of fantasy literature: No body, no death. You have to actually see the body to confirm that the character is truly dead. The only thing we've heard about Regulus is that he was "taken care of" by some Death Eaters and that he wasn't important enough for Voldemort to take care of himself. No certain, certified death. Only hearsay.

How then can Regulus hide out all these years as Scrimgeour? Easy: Regulus is a metamorphmagus. And for years now, he's been posing as Rufus Scrimgeour to keep Voldemort thinking that he's been dead. Now, before you jump to any more conclusions about my sanity, read the (very convincing, I might add) evidence that I will lay forth to illustrate why I think this is so.

First of all, neither character appears in a book without the other around. Regulus and Rufus both were first mentioned in Order of the Phoenix. Sirius talked about his brother's run-ins with the Death Eaters, and Tonks and Kingsley talked about Scrimgeour being the head of the Aurors at the Ministry of Magic. Then, in Half-Blood Prince, we meet Scrimgeour for the first time at the very beginning of the book. The chapter had NO point other than bringing Scrimgeour to the forefront. At the end of the book, we see that Regulus (R.A.B.) has been sniffing around Voldemort's plans and looking to foil them.

Next, let's look at the characters themselves. All we know about Regulus is that he is a pureblood, used to run with the Death Eaters, but fell out of sorts with them. I've illustrated in prediction three (where Voldemort was not alone) that Regulus was most likely disgusted with the whole attacking an infant and/or formation of horcruxes. However, the biggest clue about Regulus is to look at his name. It seems all of the Blacks name their children after stars (or in the case of Andromeda, galaxies/constellations). We had Sirius (the brightest star in Canis Major, and often called "the Dog Star") who turned into a big, black dog. We have Bellatrix (star in Orion's shoulder) who is a warrior woman. And we have Regulus, which is the brightest star in the constellation Leo. You would expect that Regulus might be an animagus, then, who can turn himself into a lion, but as we haven't seen any lions (save for Gryffindor's banners) in the books, we have to look at another source.

Enter Rufus Scrimgeour, who has been referred to as having strong, leonine features. Every time he pops up, he is described as having a large mane of hair and very lion-like in his appearance. His movements are even rangy and loping, like a lion's. Coincidence? Never.

The next thing that connects the two is found in Half-Blood Prince, as well. Horace Slughorn, the potions master in HBP, runs a thing he refers to as "the Slug Club" in which excellent students were gathered around him and they would meet and have tea and chat each other up. I imagine it's something like joining an alumni association, without all the drunken football watching (at least that's the sort of alumni associations I'm used to). While they were on the Express back to Hogwart's, Slughorn had a little meeting of the new Slug Club, and he referred to some past members, including both Rufus Scrimgeour and Regulus Black.

The case for Regulus Black being a metamorphmagus is also found within the story, especially in Order of the Phoenix. In OOP, we first meet Nymphadora Tonks (an excellent first name, by the way), who is a cousin to the Blacks (this is where we learn that lots of the pure-blooded families are inter-related thanks to the family tree tapestry hanging on the wall in Sirius' house). It's been illustrated that certain powers run through bloodlines in the magical world; a few times Harry has been likened to his mother or his father in ability and technique. We also learn that a metamorphmagus isn't made, it's born. So, if powers run in families and we already know that Tonks is a metamorphmagus and a cousin to the Blacks, then it stands to reason that there's a chace that metamorphmagus genes are being carried in Sirius and Regulus.

I also remember reading an interview with J.K. Rowling sometime after OOP saying that (to paraphrase) "the metamorphmagi still have a role to play. We haven't seen the end of them with Tonks." Also, having Regulus be an unregistered animagus would be old hat; we've already seen that with not only Sirius but also with Rita Skeeter. Likewise, we've already seen the abuse of polyjuice with Mad-Eye Moody/Young Barty Crouch and with Crabbe and Goyle in Half-Blood Prince. The only logical way to hide out as someone else is to simply pretend to be them through another magical method, which would leave metamorphmagic.

We could dig a little deeper, especially on the Regulus front (the star, in this case). Regulus is a dual star, and being the brightest star in the constellation Leo--a zodiac constellation, by the way--it has been used in astrology for years. The rising of Regulus told the astromancers that war was imminent and that great leaders of men were due to die. (I'm not sure if astromancer is, in fact, a kind of wizard or if I made that up for my purposes in the Hundred Kings Saga or not...sorry).

One of the final--and biggest--pieces of evidence is the actions that take place in Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince by Scrimgeour. He has been elevated to the Minister of Magic postion after Fudge, well, fudged it. And as a former head of the Aurors, Scrimgeour is busy tossing baddies into Azkaban. Or is he? The two main people who get arrested are Mundungus and Stan Shunpike. Mundungus we can perhaps understand as he's got a bit of a shady past. However, why Stan? He's just some pock-faced kid with a squeaky voice who rides around on the Knight Bus (think of the teenager from the Simpsons), and certainly no threat. However, the thing these two have in common is that they both have been seen around 12 Grimmauld Place, which is the location of the Black House.

The problem is, the Black House is under a protective spell, and Dumbledore holds the secret. Without Dumbledore telling you what it is, you can't get in, even if you live there. So, in an effort to weasel out the location of the Secret-Keeper or the Password, Scrimgeour has arrested these two, questioned them, and tossed them into Azkaban for not cooperating. The big question is, why does Scrimgeour want in there so badly? The obvious answer is that he is after the locket, which he knows is in there, because he put it there. Plus, a fellow does like to retun home and sleep in his own bed from time to time.

So, if Scrimgeour is not who he claims to be, then why did Regulus pick him to impersonate? We need to go back to the Slug Club for the answer. Slughorn brags about how he was fond of Regulus and how he was a good student, so I imagine that when Regulus bolts from Godric's Hollow the night the Potters were murdered, he goes to one of his old professors, whom he knows he can trust. He pops in to Slughorn's place, but Slughorn doesn't want anything to do with the Death Eaters he knows will be chasing Regulus (and here begins Slughorn's tendancy to move around from time to time, avoiding Death Eaters like the plague). Instead, he sends Regulus off to someone who can better help, again, another former student and well-known Auror, Rufus Scrimgeour (the real one).

Only problem is, the Death Eaters follow. Regulus gets to Scrimgeour, shows he's been sent by Slughorn, and explains the whole story to him. Scrimgeour agrees to help, but they are beset by the Death Eaters. A battle ensues, and Scrimgeour is killed while Regulus is heavily wounded. Seeing that they're both down, the Death Eaters leave them both for dead. Unfortunately for them, Regulus survives and nurses himself back to health (though his wound is manifested in Scrimgeour's walk, who moves about with a noticeable limp). Knowing that his name is connected with the Death Eaters, he very well can't tell anyone that Scrimgeour is dead, so he buries the body and uses his super secret power to assume Scrimgeour's form. He then returns to the Ministry of Magic as a powerful Auror, knowing full well that Voldemort is in the Horcrux-making game. Being an Auror and having access to the Ministry's files, Regulus-cum-Scrimgeour can now begin to hunt down the horcruxes and dispose of them.

Which is how he got ahold of the locket. However, he wrote his real initials, knowing that, if he were to put in Scrimgeour's, Voldemort would hunt him down. With Regulus "dead", Voldemort would not think to look at Scrimgeour as anything other than a powerful Auror (and later Minister of Magic).

How will Harry figure all of this out? Probably there will be many clues left in Godric's Hollow (which is where the book opens), but the thing that will reveal Regulus' true identity will be the mirror that Sirius gave to Harry as a means of speaking to him. The only problem is, the mirror is cracked (Harry broke it in a fit of rage at the end of OOP), but being cracked, it will show two images...I do not think I need to explain further.

And there you have it. My final prediction. Now, let's all sit back, relax, and read like fucking mad at 12:01 Saturday morning and see how many I got right. As Brock Samson says, "Let's do this!"