Penelope "Penny" Clearwater (born c. 1976) was a Ravenclaw student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1987 to 1994. In her later school years, she was a Prefect and Percy Weasley's girlfriend. She was described as having long, curly hair. During the 1993-1994 school year, while in her seventh year at Hogwarts she was appointed Head Girl and Percy Weasley Head Boy.
Penelope was born in c. 1976 in Great Britain or Ireland. She probably either came from a complete muggle family or had both magical and muggle heritage.
Penelope Clearwater arrived at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1987 and upon her arrival was Sorted into the House of Ravenclaw. A smart and bright student, Penelope was made a Prefect in her fifth year at Hogwarts, along with her boyfriend Percy Weasley who belonged to Gryffindor house.
Penelope Clearwater was first seen, although unidentified by Harry and Ron at Christmas, 1992. Harry and Ron who disguised themselves as Crabbe and Goyle, asked her for directions while they were wandering around looking for the Slytherin common room. Shortly after she rebuffed them, they ran into Percy, who threatened them for roaming around the corridors at night.
During the 1992–1993 school year, there was great upset among the student body, as the Chamber of Secrets had been opened, unleashing a "monster" that was hunting down Muggle-born students. Hermione Granger deduced that it was a basilisk and ran into Penelope as she rushed to inform her friends. The two girls used Penelope's mirror to navigate the school hallways, but they looked the basilisk in the eye through the reflection of the mirror, petrifying them both. Penelope was eventually revived with a draught prepared from Mandrake roots, along with Hermione and the other victims.
Penelope appeared to be a serious Quidditch fan, having appreciated Harry Potter's new broomstick, a Firebolt, greatly, and betting ten galleons on the outcome of the Ravenclaw vs Gryffindor match with Percy.
Life after Hogwarts
Nothing much is heard of Penelope after her education at Hogwarts, but in 1997 Penelope's name was used as a cover for Hermione Granger when a group of snatchers caught her, Harry and Ron during their search for Horcruxes, it is quite probable that Hermione using Penelope's name saved her life.
Little is known about Penelope's later life, but she did not end up marrying her Hogwarts boyfriend, as Percy eventually marries a woman named Audrey and had two children with her.
When seeing her petrified, Harry Potter described Penelope as having long, curly hair.
Penelope began dating Percy Weasley in her fifth year, Percy and Penelope's relationship was a secret and neither told their families. They would meet in deserted classrooms to kiss, but were caught once by Percy's sister, Ginny. Percy was distraught when Penelope was petrified in 1993, and immensely relieved when she was cured by Professor Sprout's Mandrake potion. The secret came out when Ginny revealed the truth to her brothers, asking them not to tease Percy over the fact, which they did anyway.
With the secret out, Percy and Penelope appeared in public together, and he kept a photo of her. During his stay at the Leaky Cauldron before the start of his seventh year, he accused Ron of dripping tea on it. He met her on platform 9¾, showing off his Head Boy badge, and, later in the year, wagered ten Galleons on the outcome of the Gryffindor vs Ravenclaw match, despite not actually having ten galleons. He playfully remarked to her about sabotaging Harry's Firebolt when she asked if she could touch it.
- In The Odyssey, Penelope was the wife of Odysseus. While he was away fighting the Trojan Wars, she was pursued by many suitors; to hold them off, Penelope told them she would choose one when she finished weaving a shroud, but unravelled her work every night to prevent this from occurring. The poetic sense of the name is a faithful, clever, woman, particularly a wife. It is derived from the Greek words pene, "web", and ōps, meaning "eye" or "face", although it is questionable; the name can also mean "weaver" or "duck".
- The name is also possibly derived from the Greek name "penelops" for a kind of duck that was said to have rescued and nurtured Penelope when she was exposed to die as an infant.
- Clearwater is a descriptive place name that suggests her ancestors lived near a body of water (which could be why her name may mean "duck").
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Penelope is not a victim of the basilisk, and only appears when she and Percy Weasley, are walking from the Great Hall during the first day of term, and are met and greeted by Nearly Headless Nick, and later, in the crowd during the Duelling Club. She is also present at the End-of-Term Feast. She is played by Gemma Padley.
- Early printings of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets make Penelope a fifth year student, making her a year below Percy. Later printings revise this to make her a sixth year.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Mentioned only) (Mentioned as secret girlfriend)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Mentioned only) (GBA version only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
Notes and references
- ↑ World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling
- ↑ There is some confusion over Penelope Clearwater's blood status. In Chamber of Secrets, Penelope was petrified along with Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Hermione Granger, Nearly-Headless Nick, and Mrs Norris. The petrifications were described as a series of "four attacks on Muggle-borns" in chapter 14 and Ginny Weasley (possessed by Tom Riddle's memory) was described as having "set the Serpent of Slytherin on four Mudbloods, and the Squib's cat" in Chapter 17. However, it is possible that the fourth Muggle-born in addition to Colin, Hermione, and Justin (who are all definitively identified as Muggle-borns at some point) was Nearly-Headless Nick, and that Penelope was simply petrified because she was with Hermione when she encountered the basilisk. In Deathly Hallows, Hermione posed as Penelope when under interrogation by Snatchers, and claimed to be half-blood. Although, Hermione may have only lied about Penelope's blood status because mentioning she's Muggle-born would have possibly made things worse.
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 12 (The Polyjuice Potion)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban