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Mystery of the Veil

By: Devina (The Charmed One)

To be sure, like any other story worth telling in a series, the Harry Potter saga (if I may call it that; I've only used that word with Star Wars before) has it's share of mysteries that are just waiting to be solved or revealed when the author sees fit.

Till this date, fans of Harry Potter want to know what the veil behind which Sirius fell to his death means. The mystery is not solved, but not for want of trying. Many fans all over the world have come up with various theories and explanations for the reason the veil exists. It's high time I came up with a theory, don't you think?

Let's start with what everyone knows: we first encountered the veil in the fifth book, in one of the many cavernous rooms in the Department of Mysteries, during the climax, wherein Harry Potter and his friends battled with Voldemort and his minions. Two people, namely Harry and Luna Lovegood, our very own dotty character, could hear whispering voices emanating from the veil. We also know that the veil, whatever it is, is being investigated and studied by the members of the Department of Mysteries. It was also 'behind the veil' that Sirius Black, the prisoner of Azkaban, Padfoot, godfather to a hero, met his death.

The first thing we can start this editorial with is the worldwide accepted definition of a 'veil'. Using Dictionary.com the definitions of 'veil' that I have inserted here, and have something to do with this topic, are: 1. A piece of light fabric hung to separate or conceal what is behind it; a curtain. 2. Something that conceals, separates, or screens like a curtain: a veil of secrecy. The first definition we get here pretty much describes the literal aspect of the veil. It was a light fabric hung over an arch, which did separate one side from the other. The second obviously deals with what could be the purpose of the veil, that is, the veil was truly meant to conceal something, or separate something wholly magical from people who chanced upon it.

I now quote various passages from the book that caught my attention:

"…the archway was hung with a tattered black curtain or veil which, despite the complete stillness of the cold surrounding air, was fluttering very slightly as though it had just been touched"

"He had the strangest feeling that there was someone standing right behind the veil on the other side of the archway…but there was nobody there"

 "…he felt a very strong inclination to climb up on the dais and walk through it"

"There were faint whispering, murmuring noises coming from the other side of the veil"

"…he fell through the ancient doorway and disappeared behind the veil, which fluttered for a moment as though in a high wind, and then fell back into place"

Archways usually connect places, and if this is the case here, then the veil is a doorway, so to speak, but where to? If we look at the italicized excerpts above, there is the slightest hint that the veil leads to another magical place. In the first, the veil is fluttering slightly in spite of the still atmosphere. Harry's gut feeling about someone standing on the other side can be explained as a pure case of nerves, but I think not. Harry has learnt to trust his gut feeling over the years; there is simply no reason for him to start ignoring it now. And then, both he and Luna hearing the 'whispering, murmuring noises' cannot be a coincidence. Note that she also could see the Thestrals along with Harry. Then the last excerpt refers to Sirius's fall behind the veil. Now, I've read all the references to the veil and the archway, and it's not very high, nor is the other side of the veil inaccessible. If we were ever to enter the fictional Department of Mysteries to look at the archway, we would be able to see it from a 360 degree standpoint. There's nothing left to see (except perhaps what isn't there, if you get what I mean). So how then, after Sirius fell, did the body disappear? How did the other adult wizards and witches know that he had died? Why did no one even bother to look for the body had he met his death?

Perhaps because they knew what the veil's purpose was. True, the Department of Mysteries had it in one of their rooms, but only for investigation? Could it have been there for safekeeping? So that it may not fall into the wrong hands? Voldemort possibly wasn't interested in any of the objects there, because all he wanted was his full power and the death of Harry to consolidate his position. He relied on himself during his reign to rule. These objects were studied in grave secrecy and the members of the Order could have known what some of them did.

Not that this means we should get our hopes up for the return of Sirius. If I'm not mistaken (which I think I am most definitely not!), the Egyptians used to place false doors in their tombs that were meant to be used as a gateway of sorts for the dead to pass from this world to the spiritual one. The veil could also possible be some sort of passage from this world to the next. Even if this were not true, I am confident that the veil does lead somewhere else. It is possible that if Sirius were not dead when he passed from this side to wherever the veil leads (because I am CONVINCED it goes somewhere!), who knows what might have happened to him after he got there?

It is quite possible to have a portal of sorts existing through the veil. We have seen the use of Portkeys, Apparition…so many other things… If that can happen, why can't we see the existence of a portal, a gateway if you will?

It was hard, as we know, for J.K. Rowling to kill off one of her favourite characters. Even though she's reiterated that Sirius is well and truly dead, there must exist some way for him to "return", if not be truly alive. And the existence of the 'veil' could verily make that happen in the future! Let's just hope something of the sort is true…and the veil is one day lifted to reveal the mysteries within.

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