If you've reached this page, you've read the Half-Blood Prince, right? If you haven't, I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to ask you to leave. You're welcome to come back only after you've read the book--I'd hate to ruin anything for you, anything at all.
So, I'm still on this Harry Potter thing. We've been listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks at work, and on Wednesday, we finished The Prisoner of Azkaban. Certain events in this book got me thinking about Crookshanks, Hermione's eerily intelligent cat--remember him?
Well, he's just too smart to be a regular cat, and Rowling's too clever to let anything like that slide. Examples: Crookshanks indentifies Pettigrew immediately--the first time we meet Crookshanks is in the Diagon Alley pet shop, when he attacks Scabbers for the first (and definately not the last) time (p. 59); he steals the Gryffindor passwords off Neville's bedside table and takes them back to Sirius (p. 364); he pushes the knot on the whomping willow to freeze the tree (p. 336). Sirius admits to being able to communicate with Crookshanks, and says that Crookshanks recognized right away that Sirius was no ordinary dog, but did not immediately trust him (p. 364).
Interesting, too, is the fierce loyalty that Crookshanks displays toward Sirius--when Harry, Ron and Hermione tussle with Sirius in the Shrieking Shack, Crookshanks attacks Harry to prevent him from reaching his wand (p. 341), and later, when Harry corners Sirius and threatens to kill him, Crookshanks jumps onto Sirius's chest, settles himself "directly above Sirius' heart" and doesn't budge when Sirius tries to shove him off (p. 342).
If Crookshanks is an Animagus, Sirius doesn't know that (or who) he is--Sirius allows that Crookshanks is "the most intelligent of his kind" he's ever met, but makes no sign that he thinks Crookshanks to be anything more than a clever cat (p. 364).
Bet you a six-pack that Crookshanks is Regulus Black.
Why Regulus Black? You remember the note left in the false locket, signed "R.A.B."? After I finished Half-Blood Prince, I started sifting through my Harry Potter memory, hunting for characters with those initials, and the only one I came across that might work was Regulus Black, Sirius' Death-Eater brother--and when I looked him up, my suspicions seemed, not only possible, but downright likely. Check out p. 111-112, in The Order of the Phoenix: Sirius says, 'I hated the whole lot of them: my parents with their pure-blood mania, convinced that to be a Black made you practically royal...my idiot brother, soft enough to believe them...that's him.'
Sirius jabbed a finger at the very bottom of the tree, at the name REGULUS BLACK. A date of death (some fifteen years previously) followed the date of birth.
Farther down the page, Harry asks, 'Was he killed by an Auror?'...
'Oh no,' said Sirius. 'No, he was murdered by Voldemort. Or on Voldemort's orders, more likely, I doubt Regulus was ever important enough to be killed by Voldemort personally. From what I found out after he died, he got in so far, then panicked about what he was being asked to do and tried to back out.'
Think about it--the fierce, protective loyalty that Crookshanks shows Sirius is a bit, ah, brotherly, yes? And Regulus, who was supposedly killed fifteen years prior by Voldemort (or his minions), couldn't very well reveal himself to Sirius, could he, when Sirius thought him to be a Death Eater and referred to him, in Book 5, as an idiot...One can only assume that there was a bit of bad blood between Sirius, a member of the Order, and his brother, the Death Eater, right?
And it's pretty apparent that Sirius doesn't have much in the way of information regarding Regulus' death. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Regulus reappears in Book 7, in some form. And yes, Rowling's already done the "unregistered Animagus" bit, but honestly, what's one more? If anyone could pull it off, she could.
If "R.A.B" of the false Horcrux is in fact Regulus Black, then his words "I will be dead by the time you read this, but I want you to know that it is I who discovered your secret" (Half-Blood Prince) certainly lead one to believe that he had a rather bold change of heart regarding Lord Voldemort, and that he was doing a bit of work for the other team, though apparently without the other team's knowledge.
I don't think Regulus is the idiot Sirius claims he is, and I don't think Rowling's done with him or Crookshanks.
(At this point, I must make an amendment. Apparently, Crookshanks is part-kneazle, which accounts for all the odd behavior I've been trying to attribute to Regulus Black. Maybe Regulus is just dead, and Crookshanks is just a cat. Only Book 7 will tell, I suppose.)
Here is a wonderfully revealing theory about Dumbledore & Snape. When I first read the book, I didn't take it like this, but my husband did--and I have to say, he made a believer.
(...and this is just so wrong.)