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14 January 2008 @ 06:49 pm
A weekend essay  

I sat down yesterday and decided I wanted to write about Charlie in Romania, maybe his first year or so studying dragons.  He was writing a letter home to Ron with brotherly advice about starting Hogwarts when I realised I didn’t know whether Ron would be starting Hogwarts that year or not.  Research never hurt – much, most of the time - so I tried to work out Charlie’s age, what years he was at Hogwarts for and when the rest of the Weasleys were at Hogwarts in relation to him.


It was harder than I thought it would be.  I ended up writing a short essay to myself trying to explain it, with help from the Harry Potter Lexicon.  This is the result. 

Using the Harry Potter Lexicon – on the ‘Interim Years 1981-1990’ timeline Charlie is said to start Hogwarts in 1983 and Bill in 1982, but on ‘The First Rise of Voldemort: 1970-1989’ timeline Bill once again starts Hogwarts in 1982, but Charlie starts in 1984. 


The dates of birth for the Weasley children are as follows:


Bill – 29th November 1970

Charlie – 12th December 1972

Percy – 22nd August 1976

Fred and George – 1st April 1978

Ron – 1st March 1980

Ginny – 11th August 1981


Bill becomes 11 years old in November 1981 and starts Hogwarts in September 1982, Percy turns 11 in August 1986 and starts Hogwarts in September 1987 and the twins turn 11 in April 1989 and start Hogwarts in September 1989, so at the time Charlie would start Hogwarts it seems that first year students have to be at least 11 years old by the time the school opens in September.  Charlie becomes 11 in December 1982 so he should start Hogwarts in 1984, which means he would finish school in July 1991 just before Ron arrives at Hogwarts.


Then there is the problem of Quidditch – quotes from the books state that Gryffindor "hasn't won since Charlie left" (Philosopher’s Stone) and in another place that Slytherin won the Cup seven years in a row, which would mean that Slytherin won every year that Charlie could have been on the team. 


Unless the idea is that they at least had a chance of winning when Charlie was on the team, or that they won matches even if they didn’t win the cup.  Yet if Charlie starts in 1984, and therefore graduates in July 1991 as Harry starts in September 1991, they haven’t been without Charlie for long and the references made about him seem to be a little too ‘distant’ for that.


There is also some debate over whether or not Charlie was captain in his seventh year.  From what we can gather Oliver Wood becomes captain that year (Wood’s fourth year, Fred and George’s second year), which would account for the twins having heard Wood’s speech before.  Perhaps as Charlie was a prefect and had his mind set on being a Dragon Keeper (concentrating on his NEWTS) he decided it would have been too much work to be a captain as well. 


Alternatively (or additionally) in Charlie’s seventh year the rest of the team are relatively young: Wood (fourth year), Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet, Fred and George (all second years) and an unknown third Chaser (who is either a seventh year or a poor player since he/she isn’t on the team in the following year), as Katie Bell does not become old enough to be on the team until the following year.  The year Harry comes to school (1991) McGonagall says that the Gryffindor team were “flattened” the year before.  This might have been because they were inexperienced, and Charlie might have wanted Wood to become Captain for that year whilst Charlie would still be around for advice so that he wouldn’t be leaving a relatively inexperienced team with an inexperienced Captain.


In an effort to reconcile the various facts and dates that we know, I assume that Charlie Weasley started Hogwarts in 1984 and left in July 1991, that he was the Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch Team from 1985-1991 and Captain for his sixth, and possibly fifth, year and the reason I would give for the team’s poor performance even though they have Charlie and Wood who could both ‘play for England’ is their inexperience, perhaps with too many changes in the line up over those seven years of Slytherin winning the cup.


(Of course, there might just have been an incident with a timeturner, the quidditch pitch and a glorious period in Charlie’s life where he redid the same year over and over, winning the Quidditch Cup every time.  You never know.)


I was supposed to be writing an essay or two this weekend, but this was not on the list.  Go figure

feeling: weirdweird