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One Big Reconciled House of Black - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
One Big Reconciled House of Black

We’re all familiar with the fandom theory of One Big Happy Weasley Family (OBHWF): the idea that the resolution of the series will be a world in which all the surviving victors are connected by blood or marriage to the Weasleys. Hermione married to Ron, Harry married to Ginny, Arthur as the beaming paterfamilias of the Wizarding world, it’s an attractive image (and no one deserves it better than Arthur. One of the very few times that I have been actually angered by a Potterfan writing on matters Potterian, as opposed to drivel about, say, world events, was when some young American follower of the cult of success – and mind you, I’m extremely pro-American, revering Ronald Reagan as much as I do Lady Thatcher, and supporting George W. Bush whole-heartedly – some damned puppy of the sort who gives Yanks a bad name ranted on about how, by eschewing material success, and condemning his family to genteel poverty, Arthur Weasley was a more abusive father than Lucius Malfoy and worse than Vernon Dursley. The man’s a civil servant who has stayed honest, and eschewed unlawful gains, for God’s sake; his poverty is as honourable as that of a country vicar with a meagre living).

I propose a variation on this OBHWF theme. (All the pureblood families are, after all, related.) What family in the Wizarding world is the most central to the story itself? What family clearly ranks the Malfoys in precedence (though not, apparently, the Potters, as James’s parents had no difficulty taking Sirius in at the age of sixteen years and keeping him, presumably in the teeth of his parents’s displeasure)? What family can already boast of being connected by blood, marriage, adoption, or like relationships to most of the main characters? What family, finally, reflects in itself the great dispute that has left their world divided into two armed, internecine camps?

My fellow fen, I give you, the One Big Reconciled House of Black.

Molly and Arthur are both related to the Blacks. Lupin may have been, er, quite close to Sirius, and is now involved with Nymphadora Tonks, daughter of Andromeda, née Black. James and Sirius were ‘brothers by election’, and, clearly, cousins of a sort (all the pureblood families are); Harry may be Molly’s and Arthur’s surrogate son, but he is much more materially Sirius’s heir, and the other, natural heir-male of the House of Black is, of course, Draco Malfoy, whose fate is clearly intertwined with Harry’s and with the precise course the war shall take. Regulus seems to have been more honourable than expected, siding in the end with the cause Sirius and Andromeda espoused; Narcissa may be more on the side of light than has appeared; Bellatrix is clearly Dark, like so many Blacks. The House of Black is torn, divided, it is the greater Wizarding world in parvo, and it must find its resolution and reconciliation in the outcome of war, just as the wider society that it is so central to, must do. The Weasleys, and Molly’s family, the Prewetts, are connexions of the House of Black as well, and have their own divisions. Even if the series ends in a cloyingly teenaged romance in which Ginny gets her Boy Hero and Hermione nobbles Ron at last, it is still part of the extended House of Black that is at issue, the Weasley branch of the House of Black, quite as much as the House of Black is implicated in the Lupin-Tonks complication.

The House of Black has produced a Hogwarts Headmaster who, however gracelessly, sides with Dumbledore (at least Phineas Nigellus’s portrait seems to do); Bellatrix the Dark and the romantic renegade Andromeda; Sirius the putative traitor and Death Eater who was later cleared and Regulus the defector from the Dark who, before he died, struck Tom Riddle a sorer blow than anyone else save Harry has done; Tonks; the equivocal Narcissa (who, we wonder, really did allow Dobby to sneak away – as he thought – and warn Harry in second year?); and a Draco Malfoy now suddenly poised either to fall into Darkness or make a leap to the Light, if indeed he has not already sealed his choice by not killing Dumbledore atop the tower. It is the very symbol of the riven Wizarding world caught up in a civil war, and everyone who matters is connected to it. Surely the resolution of that conflict will centre in its way upon resolving the long internecine war within the House of Black.

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10 comments or Leave a comment
magic_at_mungos From: magic_at_mungos Date: October 22nd, 2005 11:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I would much prefer that to OBHWF if only because my personal dislike of R/Hr and H/G. The Black family seems to have produced many more characters whether you love them or loathe them. They may be all a wee bit touched in the head due to the inbreeding but at least it makes life bloody interesting :D
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 22nd, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Isn't That A Chinese Curse?

'May you live in "interesting" times'?

I quite like the Weasleys, and think them fanonically underestimated. But there's no question that the Blacks are truly fascinating.

And of course, my proposed alternate of One Big Reconciled House of Black has NOTHING to do with my H/D shipping. Nothing at all. Move along, there's nothing to see here. Pay no mind to the man behind the curtain.
magic_at_mungos From: magic_at_mungos Date: October 22nd, 2005 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Isn't That A Chinese Curse?

It is indeed a Chinese curse. I could try and say that I was making some sort of subtle parallel but I would be lying through my teeth.

My non-shipping of H/D doesn't affect how I quite like TMAANHOB. They're brillant to play with in fic. The Weasleys are not disliked but I prefere Bill and Charlie out of the lot of them.
dolorous_ett From: dolorous_ett Date: October 22nd, 2005 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

*hijacks topic* - Chinese curses

Can you give me a source for "May you live in interesting times"? The reason I ask is that I've heard many western writers use this, always attributing it to the Chinese - but never heard it or anything ressembling it from the mouth or pen of a Chinese person. I would really like to know this.

dolorous_ett From: dolorous_ett Date: October 22nd, 2005 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: *hijacks topic* - Chinese curses

Thank you very much! I didn't mean to make you facepalm, and I hope your nose sustained no lasting damage as a result.

This comes as a relief - I've been wrong with this sort of thing before - I told people for years that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" was a western fabrication - actually they really do say that.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 22nd, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)


What I deserve, I suppose, for trusting a psychologist or a Kennedy.
magic_at_mungos From: magic_at_mungos Date: October 22nd, 2005 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: *hijacks topic* - Chinese curses

It's no more than I deserve for believing one of these 2everyone knows" useless pieces of information.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 22nd, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes. I do like the OBHWF because H/G and R/Hr are cute (even if/because possibly dysfunctional/problematic later on) But I do want OBRHOB. I'm going to be totally unpc and say that I liked Draco from Book 1 because he was an aristocratic little snot. as a Yank who is an Anglophile (in the read Austen and Bronte and Sayers and bad romance books) Draco embodies my fascination inherited position and privilege that Harry - an unwitting exile til the age of 11 doesn't cater too. So I liked Draco even if he was being shown as just a schoolyard bully. Then OotP came along and I squeed with joy. Sirius, one of my favorite canon characters, was a rebel to his pureblood background and related to Narcissa, Draco, Bella, Andromeda, Tonks, etc. What richness! With HBP things only got better. So now I can only hope that the Blacks do not completely die off in some strange way of democratizing the wizarding world. (How perfect is it that wonderful Snape is the Half-Blood Prince and that he and Sirius hate each other probably just as much for class issues as everything else.)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: November 25th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thanks. Here's hoping.

And yes, the class hatred issues with Snape alone would fill another seven books, quite perceptive, that.

Thanks for your kindness in stopping and commenting. Do stay, please.
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