Students use a magical telescope during the Astronomy section of the O.W.L. exams.The book has Harry looking for Orion in June at midnight (It's behind the sun in June, so you can't see it even if you wanted to), and also looking for Venus (which being the next planet near the sun is always close to the sun in the sky and therefore never visible at midnight). The students use a magical telescope which when pointed at the ground can see through anything blocking to the stars (the sun excluded) that would be there.
The Veil of Death...
- Is the Gleaming-bale, the curtains of Hell!
- Was originally an enchanted shower curtain that went horribly-horribly wrong.
Umbridge is part HagIs Umbridge of Hag heritage - she seems to dislike children and is even violent towards but maybe would shirk from actully eating one though so she may be half or less Hag and this would also explain her hatred of "half-breeds" as she is one herself and keeping it quiet from Fudge and Co.
- This...makes a disturbing amount of sense. Besides her general hatred of children and "half-breeds", it'd explain why she was empowered by one of the Horcruxes, rather than weakened (unless Hags aren't Always Chaotic Evil here), and why she seemed so profoundly ugly and intolerable.
The Department of Mysteries Level has another name.What's right after the Atrium (eight-rium)? The Mezzanine! (I work security in a building with a mezzanine. I read OOP on shift when it came out and I pass the sign saying "mezzanine" a few times a night and often think this.)
The desk guard at the MoM was dead.Harry notes that no one is manning the desk, but that's all. If they would have looked behind and under the desk they would have seen a body there.
Umbridge was raped by centaurs.Actually pretty plausible: in the Order of the Phoenix Dolores Umbridge is carried off into the woods by centaurs after she insults them. Centaurs are associated with rape in a lot of Greek mythology, to the point where almost every single myth of them involves it. Hermione was probably aware of this, being the Badass Bookworm, but still let her get carried away with no attempt to stop them. When she comes back, we get this lovely bit:
- Since she had returned to the castle she had not, as far as any of them knew, uttered a single word. Nobody really knew what was wrong with her either. Her usually neat mousy hair was very untidy and there were bits of twig and leaf in it, but otherwise she seemed to be quite unscathed.“Madam Pomfrey says she’s just in shock,” whispered Hermione.“Sulking, more like,” said Ginny.“Yeah, she shows signs of life if you do this,” said Ron, and with his tongue he made soft clip-clopping noises. Umbridge sat bolt upright, looking wildly around.“Anything wrong, Professor?” called Madam Pomfrey, poking her head around her office door.“No… no…” said Umbridge, sinking back into her pillows, “no, I must have been dreaming…”
- To be honest it seemed more likely (to me, at least) that they just dragged her around through the forest. If she had been raped, I doubt she would have simply been sent to the Hospital Wing, even if no one liked her they wouldn't have been so cruel as to ignore what happened to her. Also, I highly doubt anyone would let a horde of magical rapists near a school. Even if they didn't touch children there are still female staff who would be a target. When I first read about the Centaurs (in Philosopher's Stone) they seemed more like Chiron, the Centaur who trained Greek heroes. Chiron (according to the books and myths I've read) differed from the other Centaurs in that he was more intelligent and refined. I saw this in their constant reference to astronomy and divination, which made them appear less like the brutish centaurs who carried away brides.
- Why would muggle mythology have any bearing on the behaviour of actual magical creatures?
Mark Evans is Harry's (and by extension Dudley's) fairly-distant cousin.Though Word of God says he is an unimportant nobody, maybe Mark Evans and Lily Evans are connected, just so distantly no family member knows. Dudley beat up a cousin of his, and didn't know it. Maybe Petunia (also nee Evans) did know, and chewed Dudley out after Harry had left.
The Love chamber is the Ministry of Love.We need a 1984 crossover fanfic.