Three-Year Summer

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Synonyms: Hiatus
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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 Fanfiction

Notable fanfics that were published during this period include:

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, and many fans believed it would be a character who had already been introduced. Building on the theory described above, Arabella Figg was a popular candidate. Another popular candidate was Fleur Delacour, which was derived from a line near the end of the fourth book in which she says that she will remain in Britain for a while to improve her English. Instead, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher was a new character named Dolores Umbridge, and Fleur got a job at Gringotts.
  • 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.[1] 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.
  • It was overwhelmingly assumed that Ginny's name was short for Virginia. Shortly after the release of the fifth book, Rowling would mention on her website that it was actually short for Ginevra, and this would later be confirmed in the seventh book. Moreover, Ginny's canon personality was still a bit vague at the time, so fanfic writers would often use her as a Blank Slate character.
  • Despite Goblet portraying the Yule Ball as being connected to the Triwizard Tournament, many fanfics portrayed it as an annual event at Hogwarts. While this trope has never disappeared completely, it was at its peak before the release of subsequent books in which the Yule Ball did not recur.
  • Although Goblet ended with Fudge refusing to accept that Voldemort had returned, few fans expected that the Ministry would actively suppress that news, let alone that that would drive most of the plot of Phoenix.