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Author Topic: Florean Fortescue  (Read 1500 times)

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April 15, 2014, 10:22:43 AM

Evreka

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In POA, chapter 4, we see Florean Fortescue taking a keen interest in Harry Potter, offering him free sundaes every 30 min, if he sits at his parlour doing homework. He also helps out quite a lot with info on medieval witch burnings which is a topic for a History of Magic essay. All in all he comes across as a very sympathic man, doesn't he?

Later we learn that he likely has a former Headmaster at Hogwarts in his ancestry and he is kidnapped by the Death Eaters in DH.

So I've wondered for some time if  he had connections to either Dumbledore or the Ministry, and was asked to look after Harry these weeks in POA?  :crabbegoyle: What do you think?

Also, there is an old transcript of an interview Jo did for PotterCast in 2008, which says this on Fortescue:

Quote from:  Linked transcript
MA: ... What happened to Florean Fortescue?

JKR: He was killed.

JN: Aw.

JKR: Yeah, I know. (MA: Ice cream man!) I didn’t want that to happen. Bizarrely, my best friend, after I named Florean Fortescue, she went and met, and is soon to marry, a guy called Florean, which is very bizarre because it’s not a very common (SU: No.) name, is it? (JN laughs) Because of him, I was very attached to Florean Fortescue. But, yeah, he died. He died.

MA: Why? He was an ice cream man. What happened?

JKR: The Scottish Book (SU: Yeah.) will reveal, (ma laughs) there was more to that then subsequently made it into the books. It was one of those little subplots that had to be sacrificed because it was not really leading anywhere, but I did have a subplot planned for Florean, (SU: Wow.) and it was to do with the Elder Wand, so I will definitely put that into the Encyclopedia.
As far as I know his info has not yet popped up at Pottermore? However, it does give food for thoughts...

Do you think his taking care of Harry in POA, has anything to do with being a friend of Albus? How do you think he fits into the Elder Wand puzzle? Was he thought to have owned it for a while? Let's speculate freely!

---
Although this began as a thought for Chapter 4 in POA, I realised the full scope could not go there, as it is mainly about far later events.

ETA: I hate unmatched parenthesis...
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 04:43:08 AM by Evreka »


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April 15, 2014, 03:44:16 PM
Reply #1

HealerOne

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Wow! What a neat topic! i surely was not aware of that interesting exchange in a JKR interview.  I would not doubt that 'the ice cream man' was looking out for Harry during that time, just as Tom, the barman, was. I would imagine that any wizzard would be proud and happy to look out for Harry, in that Harry was such a famous person in the WW.

What fascinated me about Florean was his knowledge of history and witch burning. If I could speculate a background history for this guy - I would say that he used to be a professor of Wizarding history but became tired of the grind of teaching and instead opened an ice cream shop in Diagon Alley! I would also put in his background that his family had been victimized by a witch burning or two in the past. I can't wait until we find out more of Florean's background!

I loved that he taught Harry and at the same time he provided him with free sweet treats! It makes you wonder that Florean is worried that Harry is  looking too thin for his age. A summer at home with the Durselys may have again made Harry look very thin.
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April 16, 2014, 01:26:14 AM
Reply #2

paint it Black

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Initially I had thought that Florean Fortescue (that is a great name, by the way) was simply one of many Diagon Alley shopkeepers who was asked by Fudge/The Ministry to keep an eye on Harry during his week of freedom before his third year of school.  He did suspiciously know a lot about witch burnings, though :hmm:....  I like HealerOne's suggestion that he used to be a history professor.  Perhaps he enjoyed history and enjoyed children, but didn't enjoy having to control misbehaving children who always groaned about having to do homework.  No child is going to be groaning about getting ice cream, so maybe he wanted a life where he could make children happy.  :yay:

As to the link to the elder wand ... that's trickier.  Maybe part of his historical expertise was on the history of wandlore, and so he had some information on the Elder Wand that the Death Eaters found very valuable, which is why they kidnapped him...?

Cuppa is discussing Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.  Please join us!
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April 16, 2014, 04:36:08 AM
Reply #3

Evreka

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The way I see it there is a problem with the History teacher idea. While we don't know Florean's exect age (I don't think?), I doubt he is ancient. And Professor Binns, who have taught lots of students at Hogwarts as a ghost was a very old man indeed, when he rose for a class and left his body behind him. In other words, I can't see Florean having taught History of Magic ever. And where else wouls he have been a teacher?  :crabbegoyle:

Now, that said, he might of course be exceptionally interested in History, and he might have worked as a historian before becoming the ice cream man?  :hmm:

Knowing that Jo sometimes use inspiration from reality; is there a Fortescue anywhere in English History? (If I remember correctly there is a Fudge, who at some part of English past was in a position to act, but failed to do so? The memory is very foggy, but I do remember someone at my very first HP community, who predicted Fudge's general attitude in OOP based on what the historical figure had done (or failed to do). Does it ring any bells for our UK residents or others? )

Another possibility might be that he was a known believer/searcher/Questers of the Deathly Hallows - remember that Xeno said at one point that the Deathly Hallows sign was a way to let fellow Questers know of each other. What if that's why he was taken together with Ollivander?

Also, what if Fortescue was researching the Elder Wand and while following its bloody trail through history, picked up a lot of other historical facts along the way, including witch burnings during the Medieval Era? Maybe Wendelin the Weird owned the "Deathstick"?  :hmm: Or it came in somewhere else in Medieval history?

What do you guys think?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 04:38:29 AM by Evreka »
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April 16, 2014, 09:33:28 PM
Reply #4

BillieMac

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Just to keep this post on topic-
My best teachers never worked at a school in their lives. Florian Fortescue seems to be an example of those people who do a better job of imparting knowledge than those who get paid to do it, such as Binns.

Knowing that Jo sometimes use inspiration from reality;... (If I remember correctly there is a Fudge, who at some part of English past was in a position to act, but failed to do so? The memory is very foggy, but I do remember someone at my very first HP community, who predicted Fudge's general attitude in OOP based on what the historical figure had done (or failed to do). Does it ring any bells for our UK residents or others? )

I don't know of any historical Fudge, (it would make a good research project,) but in English slang, "fudge" is also a verb, meaning "to make a mess of (a situation)". "Fudged" is the past tense, and we know how Cornelius Fudge "fudged" up the whole Voldemort situation.

JKR was alluding to Neville Chamberlain, who was Prime Minister during Hitler's rise, and would have led Britain to immediate surrender if the people hadn't had the good sense to ditch him in favour of Churchill.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 09:43:32 PM by BillieMac »
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April 17, 2014, 12:12:22 AM
Reply #5

roonwit

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Another possibility might be that he was a known believer/searcher/Questers of the Deathly Hallows - remember that Xeno said at one point that the Deathly Hallows sign was a way to let fellow Questers know of each other. What if that's why he was taken together with Ollivander?

Also, what if Fortescue was researching the Elder Wand and while following its bloody trail through history, picked up a lot of other historical facts along the way, including witch burnings during the Medieval Era? Maybe Wendelin the Weird owned the "Deathstick"?  :hmm: Or it came in somewhere else in Medieval history?
As Dumbledore says in a footnote in Beedle
Quote
No witch has ever claimed to own the Elder Wand. Make of that what you will.
Perhaps Florian helped Dumbledore traced the history of the Elder Wand but I think it would more likely because Florian had an interest in history rather than the Elder Wand.
However, I think it more likely that Florian was just known to be on Dumbledore's side, perhaps standing up against Voldemort at some point, and was eliminated as some Order members were.

I don't know of any historical Fudge, (it would make a good research project,) but in English slang, "fudge" is also a verb, meaning "to make a mess of (a situation)". "Fudged" is the past tense, and we know how Cornelius Fudge "fudged" up the whole Voldemort situation.
My dictionary defines Fudge as
Quote
Fit together or make up (thing) in makeshift or dishonest way; fake; deal with incompetently.
To me it has more of an implication of not doing things properly and hiding the deficiencies.
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April 17, 2014, 04:35:41 AM
Reply #6

Evreka

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Also, what if Fortescue was researching the Elder Wand and while following its bloody trail through history, picked up a lot of other historical facts along the way, including witch burnings during the Medieval Era? Maybe Wendelin the Weird owned the "Deathstick"?  :hmm:
As Dumbledore says in a footnote in Beedle
Quote
No witch has ever claimed to own the Elder Wand. Make of that what you will.
Allowing myself to be biased, what I tend to make of it is that the women have had more sense than to boast about it. :) It's not as challenging a remark as it probably sound, it's just that I think men often are more prone to boast about the fastest car, being the strongest, ready to compete over strength. Women are as competitive, I'm sure, but - in my experience - often in other fields. So boasting about owning a dangerous wand that might make you a target to all the world's hot-heads might not be what a witch would be as likely to do?

On the other hand one might argue that they, consequently, would be less inclined to acquire it. :) Still I don't think that this quote, rule out that witches might have owned it. Nor that anyone who dedicated their lives on studying its trail through history, might not discover such female owners. (Whether Fortescue studied this or not.)


Perhaps Florian helped Dumbledore traced the history of the Elder Wand but I think it would more likely because Florian had an interest in history rather than the Elder Wand.
Well, this could just as easily be true, I just wonder why someone with a great interest - and knowledge - in history is an ice cream man? Or maybe history isn't any easier a career choice in the wizarding world than in reality.  :hmm: So you have to do something else to support yourself? Could also be, I guess.


However, I think it more likely that Florian was just known to be on Dumbledore's side, perhaps standing up against Voldemort at some point, and was eliminated as some Order members were.
I would have said the same until I came across that interview transcript. I read it as though he was kidnapped and murdered on grounds that doesn't show in the books, but are quite different from this. Just my opinion. :)


I don't know of any historical Fudge, (it would make a good research project,) but in English slang, "fudge" is also a verb, meaning "to make a mess of (a situation)". "Fudged" is the past tense, and we know how Cornelius Fudge "fudged" up the whole Voldemort situation.
My dictionary defines Fudge as
Quote
Fit together or make up (thing) in makeshift or dishonest way; fake; deal with incompetently.
To me it has more of an implication of not doing things properly and hiding the deficiencies.
:thumbup: Thanks to both of you. My old memory is over ten years old and I might well have mixed the reason why Fudge's decisions were correctly guessed ahead of time with some other character's. I had no idea Fudge was a verb, and so had this kind of meaning - I thought it was (just) a candy/sweets!
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April 17, 2014, 06:25:20 PM
Reply #7

HealerOne

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Some more fun things about Florean from HP Wiki:

"Etymology

    Fortescue's name may have been inspired by Sir Adrian Fortescue, a courtier at the court of King Henry VIII, who was condemned for treason without a trial for hostility to Henry VIII's church policies. He was beheaded at the Tower of London in 1539.
   
    His name also may have been inspired by Hugh Fortescue, 2nd Earl Fortescue, a statue of whom resides outside Exeter castle. As Rowling went to university in this city she might have likely come across it. The castle is the site of the last three trials and executions of suspected witchcraft in England, potentially explaining Florean's expert knowledge of such issues. "

Also - Known family members:
"Dexter Fortescue - former Headmaster of Hogwarts "

Dexter Forrescue's portrait was the one who waved his ear trumpet when Harry came back to the Headmaster's office after the demise of Voldemort. He seemed to be quite fond of Harry and on another occasion after the Battle in the Ministry, while Harry waited for DD's return, tell Harry that DD holds him in 'high esteem'. 

I do hope that we eventually find out more about Florean's link with the Elder Wand.
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April 17, 2014, 07:43:44 PM
Reply #8

Evreka

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Wow, HealerOne! That info was really interesting!  :thumbup:

His name also may have been inspired by Hugh Fortescue, 2nd Earl Fortescue, a statue of whom resides outside Exeter castle. As Rowling went to university in this city she might have likely come across it. The castle is the site of the last three trials and executions of suspected witchcraft in England, potentially explaining Florean's expert knowledge of such issues. "
This was especially interesting, I think! If he came from this place and his family had lived there for generations they might have become experts on the witchcraft hunts, and perhaps also kept a record of how often they targeted Muggles versus witches.

Let's not forget that the trio comes upon a tent with three American witches from the Salem institute on the campsite for QWC in GOF. Jo is known to pick up real world references to witchcraft and sorcery, and give it a minor spot. Therefore the possible Exeter connection makes sense. :)



Also - Known family members:
"Dexter Fortescue - former Headmaster of Hogwarts "

Dexter Forrescue's portrait was the one who waved his ear trumpet when Harry came back to the Headmaster's office after the demise of Voldemort. He seemed to be quite fond of Harry and on another occasion after the Battle in the Ministry, while Harry waited for DD's return, tell Harry that DD holds him in 'high esteem'. 
Maybe the Portrait is very happy to serve Albus and thinks that his opinions are valuable and makes a lot of sense. So if Albus holds Harry in high esteem, so will he. I guess it is also possible that he also hangs in Florean's home and that an exchange of opinions on Harry have taken place there, too....  :hmm: 
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December 14, 2014, 01:49:43 PM
Reply #9

Evreka

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In POA, chapter 4, we see Florean Fortescue taking a keen interest in Harry Potter, offering him free sundaes every 30 min, if he sits at his parlour doing homework. He also helps out quite a lot with info on medieval witch burnings which is a topic for a History of Magic essay. All in all he comes across as a very sympathic man, doesn't he?

Later we learn that he likely has a former Headmaster at Hogwarts in his ancestry and he is kidnapped by the Death Eaters in DH.

Quote from:  Linked transcript
MA: ... What happened to Florean Fortescue?

...
JKR: The Scottish Book (SU: Yeah.) will reveal, (ma laughs) there was more to that then subsequently made it into the books. It was one of those little subplots that had to be sacrificed because it was not really leading anywhere, but I did have a subplot planned for Florean, (SU: Wow.) and it was to do with the Elder Wand, so I will definitely put that into the Encyclopedia.
As far as I know his info has not yet popped up at Pottermore? ...
Now it has....

It's not long, but it's interesting and might be worth a trip to Pottermore.  :)
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