Let's get one thing straight: I love Harry Potter. You love Harry Potter. Everyone loves Harry Potter. It was just announced that we're finally getting an eighth Harry Potter book, and we're all losing our freakin' minds. It is a very, very good time to be a Harry Potter fan. With that in mind, can we also all acknowledge one thing?
We all agree that parts of Harry Potter are really, really weird, right?
Considering the series takes place in a world inhabited by wizards, giants, and unicorns, obviously parts of it are going to be a little unbelievable. But I'm not talking weird as in, "That centaur is now teaching Divination classes" weird. I'm talking, "That guy has another guy's face attached to his head" weird. I can handle a lot of strange when it comes to these books, but there are certain scenes that even give me pause.
By no means are the five scenes below the only strange parts of the Harry Potter series. I haven't even acknowledged Filch's fascination with chaining students to walls, Hermione drugging Crabbe and Goyle and then turning herself into a cat, or the time everyone turned into Harry. But the scenes below are still pretty weird, even for a book that takes place in a magical boarding school
1. The Ghostly Peeping Tom of Hogwarts
"Have you been spying on him, too?" said Harry indignantly. "What d'you do, sneak up here in the evenings to watch the Prefects take baths?""Sometimes," said Myrtle, rather slyly, "but I've never come out to speak to anyone before."
I know I've already talked about this scene, but seriously guys. Myrtle spends her days sobbing in a girl's toilet and her nights watching teenagers take baths from inside the drain. This is weird. And less you think that this is just some sort of weird obsession with Harry, Myrtle is quick to inform us that she's spent a fair amount of time watching Cedric Diggory soap himself up too. Though I'm not sure I can really blame her for that one.
2. Gilderoy Lockhart's Valentine's Day Dwarves
Lockhart clapped his hands and through the doors to the entrance hall marched a dozen surly-looking dwarfs. Not just any dwarfs, however. Lockhart had them all wearing golden wings and carrying harps.
OK, someone explain to me WTF is happening here. Because from my understanding, there are a ton of scantily dressed dwarves in wings running around Hogwarts, tackling students, and reciting terrible Valentine's Day poems to them. Who let this happen? Didn't someone other than Gilderoy Lockhart have to OK this? Dumbledore, how drunk were you that you were like, "Yes, this sounds like a great and not at all disruptive idea. 10 points to Gilderoy Lockhart!"
3. Snape In A Dress
"When the Boggart bursts out of this wardrobe, Neville, and sees you, it will assume the form of Professor Snape," said Lupin. "And you will raise your wand — thus — and cry 'Riddikuluds' — and concentrate hard on your grandmother's clothes. If all goes well, Professor Boggart Snape will be forced into that vulture-topped hat, that green dress, that big red handbag."
Let's take a moment to process this. Neville Longbottom, quite understandably, is terrified of Professor Snape. When teaching him how to confront his Boggart, Professor Lupin decides that the best way to erase Neville's fear of Snape is to... dress him up like Neville's grandmother, crazy hat and dress and all. Why would you jump to that decision, Lupin? I can honestly say that I would never even consider making my greatest nightmare dress in drag to get rid of my fear of it. What's next, telling Harry to put Voldemort in McGonagall's tartan dressing gown?
4. The Baby Death Eater
It was shrinking very fast , growing balder and balder, the black hair and stubble retracting into his skull, his cheeks smooth, his skull round and covered with a peachlike fuzz ... A baby's head now sat grotesquely on top of the thick, muscled neck of the Death Eater as he struggled to get up again.
A lot of strange stuff went down in the Department of Mysteries, but nothing weirder than the unfortunate fate of the Death Eater with the baby head. After getting knocked into a bell jar that contained pure time, the Death Eater ended up with a head that couldn't stop going through the aging process, turning from his normal face to that of a wailing infant. Just picture a big, bad wizard who's out to kill you from the neck down and a bawling baby from the neck up. Creepy.
5. Voldemort's First Appearance
Harry would have screamed, but he couldn't make a sound. Where there should have been a back to Quirrell's head, there was a face, the most terrible face Harry had ever seen. It was chalk white with glaring red eyes and slits for nostrils, like a snake.
Throughout the series, Voldemort takes a lot of forms. He's a memory, a gross thing that looks like a fetus, and finally a man without a nose. But there is nothing weirder than our very first introduction to him: as a face on the back of a guy's head, masked by a giant purple turban. Picture that: Your professor unwraps his giant turban and you find the face of your archenemy just hanging out on the back of his head. I give up. You've out-weirded yourself on this one, J.K. Rowling.
Images: WiffleGif (5), Warner Brothers