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The three-year summer was a fertile period in the Harry Potter fandom between the publishing of the fourth and fifth books of the series, The Goblet of Fire (8 July 2000) and the The Order of the Phoenix (21 June 2003). The first four novels had been published at a rate of one per year from 1997 to 2000, so the three-year wait was unusually long and inspired many frustrated fans to turn to online fan activities such as fanfiction to quell their anticipation.
Notable fanfics that were published during this period include:
- The Draco Trilogy by Cassandra Claire (Harry/Hermione)
- Irresistible Poison by Rhysenn (Harry/Draco)
- Underwater Light by Maya (Harry/Draco)
- The Mirror of Maybe by Midnight Blue (Harry/Snape)
- Transfigurations by Resonant (Harry/Draco)
- After the End by Arabella & Zsenya (Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione)
- Many Remus/Sirius stories, often making use of the Lie Low at Lupin's trope.
- A Bittersweet Potion Series by Alchemia Dent and Bugland (Harry/Snape)
Tropes, Fanon, & Theories
- It was announced in October of 2000 that the next book would be called Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, so the title of the fifth book was known for most of the three years. Although fans could not know for sure what the title meant, it was widely expected that "the Order of the Phoenix" would refer to the "old crowd" that Dumbledore spoke of at the end of Goblet. There was occasional speculation that the title might have a different meaning, but the "old crowd" theory remained the most popular and was confirmed with the release of the fifth book.
- Many fans had noticed that Dumbledore listed someone named Arabella Figg as a member of the "old crowd." This prompted speculation that she might be the same person as the "Mrs. Figg" mentioned in the first book, and Rowling confirmed this in a 2001 interview. Fans assumed this meant the character was a witch. Fanfiction would often take liberties with her canonical age, sometimes explaining her elderly appearance as a magical disguise, and portray her attending Hogwarts with the Marauders. When the fifth book finally came out, it was revealed that she was actually a Squib.
- Rowling announced early on that the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher would be female. Many fans believed it would be a character that had already been introduced, with Arabella Figg and Fleur Delacour being the most popular candidates. Instead, it was a new character named Dolores Umbridge.
- It was believed that the next book would contain a major death, with Colin Creevey, Ginny Weasley, and Rubeus Hagrid being the characters most frequently speculated to die. There was indeed a major death in the fifth book, but it was Sirius Black.
- Despite the fifth book not being released yet, there were already rumors about the sixth book. The most notable rumor was that it would be called Harry Potter and the Green Flame Torch, and that the eponymous item could heal good and kill evil. This title was circulating before even the release of Goblet, appearing on The Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club as early as a February 23, 2000 update. The rumor persisted past the release of Phoenix, basically up until it was announced in 2004 that the sixth book would actually be titled Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.