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Florean Fortescue

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Florean Fortescue
Florean Fortescue
Biographical information
Died

1996

Blood status

pure-blood or half-blood

Physical information
Species

Human

Gender

Male

Family information
Family members

Dexter Fortescue (ancestor)[1]

Affiliation
Occupation

Owner of Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour

Loyalty

Fortescue family

Harry Potter: "Florean used to give me free ice creams. What's happened to him?"
Bill Weasley: "Dragged off, by the look of his place."
Ron Weasley: "Why?"
Bill Weasley: "Who knows? He must've upset them somehow. He was a good man, Florean."
Harry Potter and Ron Weasley asking Bill about Florean's disappearance[src]

Florean Fortescue (d. 1996) was the owner of Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley. He was an expert on the subject of medieval witch-burnings.[2] In the summer of 1996 he was kidnapped[3] and later killed by Death Eaters.[4]

Biography

1993

During the summer of 1993, when Harry Potter stayed at the Leaky Cauldron for a couple of weeks, Florean gave Harry free ice cream sundaes every half hour and helped him complete his History of Magic homework on the medieval witch-burnings which may mean that he did well in his History of Magic classes.[2]

Kidnapping and murder

In 1996, Florean was forcibly dragged away by Death Eaters, leaving his ice cream parlour a mess.[3] Voldemort had sought information on the Elder Wand and the lost diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw, information that had been passed down through the generations of the Fortescue family and was thus owned by Florean[1]. He was later murdered by Voldemort when he refused to reveal what he knew; Florean was neither the first nor the last who was killed by the Dark Lord because he knew too much (or too little).[1] The reason for his kidnapping did not become public knowledge; Bill Weasley speculated that he might have done something to provoke the anger of the Death Eaters.[3]

Behind the scenes

"He is not the first wizard whom Voldemort murdered because he knew too much (or too little), but he is the only one I feel guilty about, because it was all my fault."
—J.K. Rowling, on Pottermore
  • Florean was related to former Hogwarts Headmaster Dexter Fortescue.
  • J. K. Rowling has revealed that she originally intended to include in the books a subplot involving the Elder Wand that would explain the circumstances of Florean's disappearance, but that she decided to cut it, as she felt it was "not really leading anywhere."
  • She promised to include more information on Florean's death in the Encyclopedia she planned to write in the future, though the encyclopaedia was never published; rather, Pottermore provided this information. Additionally, she stated that she did not want Florean to die, as she became rather attached to his character after her closest friend married a man with the same first name.
  • Florean was killed regarding information about ancient magic.[4]

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.
  • Based on the December 2014 information provided about Florean Fortescue on Pottermore, his last name is more likely to have been influenced by John Fortescue, who wrote for the instruction of Prince Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales, in the time of the War of the Roses (15th century). Prince Edward died in battle at the age of 17. We know now, through Rowling's new writings found on Pottermore, that Florean Fortescue was intended to be the one to instruct Harry about various points of wizarding history (i.e.: the elder wand & the Ravenclaw diadem). Rowling calls him "historically minded."

Appearances

Notes and references


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