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Photo of Narcissa From Half Blood Prince August 28, 2008

Posted by Me in Images, Narcissa Malfoy.
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Narcissa Malfoy

This is the first movie image I’ve seen of Narcissa.   I have to say that this isn’t what I imagined her to look like at all.

First of all, what’s up with her hair?   In the books, she’s all blond, like her husband and son.    This black on top, blond on the bottom and sides is decidedly creepy looking.    Narcissa is supposed to look classy and refined, not creepy.   Creepy is for Bellatrix, not Narcissa.

Secondly, her outfit looks bulky and awkward — it actually looks as if it’s made out of double-knit polyester.  I imagine Narcissa wearing all-natural fabrics that are elegant and flowing, not something that makes her look like a social climbing muggle real estate agent.

Third, she looks too old to be Narcissa.  The appearance of the underside of her chin makes the actress look about ten years older than her actual 41 years.  I wasn’t thrilled with the choice of actress to begin with, and this picture isn’t making me change my opinion.  I certainly hope that her acting will outshine the fact that she’s not a good visual match for Narcissa.

But this is only a side view and not a clear one at that.  Hopefully, more images will become public before the movie is released next year that will look better.    I do wish they’d have made her all-blond like she was in the books, however.

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Lucius in Muggle Clothes August 20, 2008

Posted by Me in Hermione's Choice, Images, Lucius Malfoy.
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Here’s Lucius in the muggle clothes he wore to visit the Grangers. Kind of odd to see him dressed like a muggle, but no less sexy!

Limited Perspective August 12, 2008

Posted by Me in Lucius Malfoy.
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On one of the message boards I frequent, I recently found the following comment made in reference to Lucius Malfoy:

Lucius Malfoy is the worst kind of scumbag, one who hides behind an aristocratic background and money. He also has no qualms about murdering children. Definitely not the kind of guy I find admirable.

I did not respond to this post, because I suspected that as absolute as this poster’s opinions were, he’d not have listened to anything I had to say.  I imagine to this poster, people, fictional or real, can only be “good” or “bad”, with no allowance for anything in between.

But, as is true with people in real life, it’s not that simple.  Almost no one is all good or all bad; most of us are a mixture of both good and bad traits, though people can and do tend to lean to one side or another.

In the Harry Potter universe, JK Rowling considered anyone who was capable of love to be redeemable.  And this clearly includes Lucius, who displayed his love for his wife and son on more than one occasion.  And at the end, he is redeemed, and is not sentenced to Azkaban.

While Lucius could accurately described as a coward in some, but not all, ways, I believe that he was largely a product of his upbringing.  As far as being the “worst kind of scumbag” goes, I can think of at least four people in the Potter universe who are more deserving of the title: Voldemort himself, Bellatrix, Fenrir Greyback, and Delores Umbridge.  Your mileage may vary, of course, but I think most people would agree with me on this.

So far as “having no qualms about murdering children” goes,  we have to remember that the books were told from Harry’s point of view and this is what Harry believed of him.  In none of the seven books do we ever see Lucius actually murdering any child.  in the fifth book, he is guilty of threatening to do so, but this doesn’t mean he would have actually carried it through.   It’s quite possible he believed that threats would be sufficient to carry out his motives and secondly, he had to keep up the image of the gung-ho Death Eater in front of Bellatrix, lest she report to Voldemort that he was going soft.

As far as giving Ginny Weasley the diary in the second book goes, JK Rowling tells us in the sixth book that Dumbledore believed that Lucius didn’t know that the diary was a horcrux, thus had no idea how dangerous it was.   Rather, his aim was to embarrass Arthur Weasley by palming it off on Ginny, and had no idea it could kill her.

Thus, I find the original comment to be shortsighted at best.

Malfoy Manor August 6, 2008

Posted by Me in Hermione's Choice, Images.
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I’ve been searching the net for a good picture of what I imagine Malfoy Manor to look like. The picture I found, ironically, is of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, which is the largest private home in the United States. It was built in 1895 by the Vanderbilt family, who no longer inhabit the mansion and it has now been turned into a museum, with an attached winery.

I was privileged to tour the Biltmore House during the 1989 Christmas season — I live only two hours from it — and let me assure you that the interior is also quite fit for a Malfoy.

My Wand August 1, 2008

Posted by Me in Images, Lucius Malfoy.
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Recently, I treated myself to a new wand, which I had custom made from the seller. It is a combination wand of elm, with a purpleheart handle. As some readers may not know, Lucius’ wand was made of elm, with a dragon heartstring core. (Interestingly enough, Hermione’s wand also has a dragon heartstring core).

But back to my wand. The elm, more specifically Wych Elm, is from Great Britain, and Purpleheart is from South America. My wand is fifteen inches long (the lengths mentioned for most of the wands in Harry Potter are really too short for adult witches and wizards), and has a diameter of 13/16″.

I knew I wanted elm and I could have gotten it in all elm, but I decided to include another type of wood with it, considering that I’m not Lucius, after all. I wanted something that would remind me of him, but would have elements to it to make it all my own. The wandmaker offered a wide variety of wood choices, and I did a good bit of research into the magical properties of wood, then considered how the choice I made would combine with elm, before making my choice. After I chose purpleheart to go with the elm, the seller included this description of them as a combination:

Positive and creative, Purpleheart is valuable in eliminating negative energy. Like the phoenix, Elm is associated with death and rebirth. Thought on one hand to be protection from witches, Wych Elm’s powerful positive energy only benefits those with good intentions.

Other sources on the net gave some interesting descriptions of the magical properties of each wood. The elm descriptions that seem particularly apt for Lucius, I’ve bolded:

Elm

Elm is considered a Border Tree that marks the boundaries betwen this world and others, and, because of the blight that affects it, is associated with death and rebirth. Elm can protect against danger from unknown directions and shadow the user against discovery.

Like Alder, Elm is thought to be the tree of old Family and family tradition. Elm is often associated with Mother and Earth Goddesses, but it would be completely wrong to say that it represents ‘a female spirit’. The main aspect of Elm symbolism is strength; and in that quality it leaves behind even the most powerful trees, such as Oak, Alder or Yew. (Yew, of course, was Voldemort’s wand, and Lucius having elm indicates the strength he had to leave Voldemort behind).

Elm strength is dark and heavy; it feeds on primary instincts rather than conscious decision. This tree is quite inert and rigid, and its power is not rash; but when Elm gets ready, its strike will completely smash an enemy. Despite such prominent warrior qualities, Elm is not always good in battle. The matter is that this tree has much too passion for ‘classic war activity’ and in its anger may become totally unmanageable. It personifies a mad berserker, blinded by his rage of blood, who kills everyone on his way, even if it makes no sense. Due to this ‘blindness’ Elm, though strong and active, is usually not a leader, but a follower (and a very devoted follower!).

As appears from the above, Elm is not ‘an easy’ tree. Nevertheless, it should not be seen as completely ‘evil’, and no other tree should either. Some of Elm spiritual qualities are very valuable. For example, few trees can do better than Elm in defending interests of family or close group. It stands to the last, and will continues to fight even in hopeless situation. Elm loyalty is unquestionable; and it will despise everyone, who shows a sight of weakness or hesitation.

Elm is good for any magic workings, which are involving strength; and it also has the ability to add stability and grounding to a spell. Elm does well in dark practices, especially in spells that can bring irreversible material damage. It is known to dull the senses and cause depression or darkness, and is often used in dealing with shadows.

Keywords: strength, stability, grounding, foundation, rigid structure, darkness, pressure, blind rage, devotion, loyalty to family, dark passion, fighting to the last.

Elm can bring purification and cleansing. It is excellent for re-energising the tired mind and balancing the drained or over-emotional heart. It gives the desire to move on and alleviates feelings of failure, despondency and inadequacy. (Helpful to Lucius as he starts his live over in a post-Voldemort world).

One of the tallest ancient forest trees, graceful in its chalice shape, Elm is sacred to the Great Goddess in her form as Wise Grandmother. She is the Qabbalist’s Briah, manifest in the planet Saturn. Elm is also called “Elven” for its connection to the Elves and Faerie mounds, and so to burial mounds, and to death as the doorway eternal life. In recent times, as many ancient Elms have been killed off by Dutch Elm disease, the tree has come to symbolize and embody the struggle of Nature against humanity’s destruction of the old forests through short-sightedness or the transportation of diseases from other parts of the world. Elm’s spirit is majestic and expansive, rooted and wise. Well-suited to magick of Earth and invocation of the Goddess, healing, fertility, gardening, rebirth, destiny, wisdom., passage from one life (or phase of life) to another, metamorphosis, endurance. (Lucius is a survivor)

Elm: Symbolizes the dark side of the psyche.

Elm
Feminine energy. Often referred to as the home of the fairies. It is known to for its ability to ward away lightning. Associated with the Great Goddess in crone stage. Relative to the elements of both Earth and Air.
Magical Properties: Use of the Elm wands is strong in magic used concerning endurance, fertility, horticulture, passage thru death and phases of life, rebirth, and invocation of the Goddess. Elm adds stability, grounding, and focus to spell working.

Elm (Ulmus varieties) can be used in any magic to do with love, whether romantic or any other kind. (There are three types of Elm native to Britain, Common or English Elm (Ulmus procera), Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra) and the Smooth-Leafed or Cornish Elm (Ulmus carpinifolia) For magical purposes they can be used interchangeably)

ELM (English) –
Ruling planet – Saturn
Seasons – Summer, Autumn
Abilities – Purification. Love. Light. Wisdom.
Element – Earth
The elm is the tree most closely linked with the Elves. It is also a doorway between birth and another life. When contemplating Elm you may find that you are reflecting on your passage from one life to another. (This makes elm continue to be appropriate for Lucius as he moves on from being a Death Eater to rejoining the Light side).

Elm: Known for adding stability and grounding to a spell.

Elm: Hexes and Destructive Spells. The wood is very resistant to splintering.

Purpleheart

Purpleheart denotes a will of steel, hidden behind a delicate facade, like Cinderella, or Joan Collins- or Prince Andrew. Willpower lightened with elegance, grace under pressure- an excellent wand for a prince, princess, or diplomat.

Purpleheart: Symbolizes royalty, compassion, and generosity.

Purpleheart: Hexes and Illusions. Has a rich purple colour.
Wood Origin:Central and South America
Gender Association:Feminine
Planetary Association:Venus and Mercury
Elemental Association:Spirit, Air

A spiritual wood, purpleheart is excellent for use in divination magic. It also enhances energy dealing with creativity and knowledge. One of the best woods when dealing with spiritual healing and health issues, purpleheart would be especially useful in eradicating the negative energies that create strife in the home.

Purple heart is great for divination magic and enhancement of creative energry. Superior wood for dealing with spiritual healing and health issues.

Purpleheart is another exotic tropical hardwood that is readily available in milled stock. It is a wood with very long coarse fibers and so difficult to carve without splitting. This bespeaks the wood’s sensitivity and flexibility. It is of a medium density and heaviness and can be finished to a lustrous smoothness which captures its remarkable purplish-red color. Like Ebony, Purpleheart is not a wood that has attached to it any Celtic lore, or Elvish lore that I am aware of. However, from my own work with this wood I have come to the conclusion that it is very well-suited for work with the heart chakra. This means that it is good for emotional as well as physical healing, for opening up the seat of compassion and generosity, and for any work involving the blood. Its color gives it attunement to the violet and ultraviolet frequencies of magick, which are those centered on control, especially over other magick.