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Who is Mrs. Figg?
Mrs. Figg is the "mad old lady" to whose house Harry
goes once a year on Dudley's birthday. Harry
hates it there. Her house smells like cabbage and Mrs. Figg always
makes him look at pictures of every cat she ever owned.
(PS2 ff.) For
more information, see Arabella Figg.
Prior to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, JKR stated that
Mrs Figg is the same person as the Arabella Figg mentioned as being
part of the "old crowd" (GF36)
and that we would learn more about her in book 5 (BP). Many fans had
already made that connection at that point. So how did fans figure
out that Mrs. Figg and Arabella Figg were one and the same? Here are
some of the clues that support that idea from the first four books,
clues which fans discussed for several years before Rowling made it
It is stated several times that Harry
is protected when he's at the Dursleys' house.
Is part of that protection a few faithful magic folk who have
spent the last ten or eleven years living as Muggles near
Privet Drive in order
to watch over Harry? Mrs. Figg lives just
two streets away.
When Harry is locked in his cupboard
for his longest punishment
ever, he comes out to discover that Dudley had "knocked down old
Mrs. Figg as she crossed Privet Drive on her crutches." But Mrs.
Figg lives two streets away. What was she doing on Privet Drive on
crutches, with a broken leg? Checking on
Harry? After all, he'd just
vanished for weeks and she was bound to start wondering where he'd
been. But the Dursleys tried to hide Harry
from the world, didn't they? So would she expect to see
Harry outside? Yep, because he spent
as much time as he could outside of the house to avoid Dudley and
his gang. She would expect to be able to see
Harry every single day,
since the mean boys came over every day.
- How did she break her leg? What battles with evil took place outside
of Harry's sight, maybe just a few streets
away? She supposedly fell
over one of her cats and subsequently wasn't as fond of them as she
used to be. Did one of them turn out to be an enemy?
- Speaking of the cats, were they perhaps acting as spies for her?
Okay, there isn't much evidence of that, except maybe for the fact
that he looks out of the window and as far as
Harry can see through
the darkness, there isn't a living creature in sight, "not even a
Is that unusual? Would he often see cats skulking about
Privet Drive at night, so often that when he doesn't see one, it
strikes him as slightly unusual?
- Arthur Weasley borrows a magic tent for them from Perkins, an "old
warlock" who works with him at the Ministry. To Harry's surprise,
it's furnished in exactly the same sort of style as Mrs. Figg's house;
it even smelled strongly of cats. Is this style sort of the standard
pseudo-Muggle style used for any imitation Muggle dwelling? And therefore,
was Mrs. Figg's house also a wizard imitation of a Muggle house?
- Lastly, think about Harry's sudden escape from Privet Drive after "blowing
up" Aunt Marge. He ends up, according to PA, several streets away,
on Magnolia Crescent. Remember that Mrs. Figg lives two streets away.
Could it be that he ended up at the edge of his "safe zone"? Sirius
was there, watching him...had Sirius been stopped at the edge coming
in? And it was a few seconds later that the Knight Bus appeared out
of nowhere, supposedly because Harry held up his wand. Okay, he did,
that's true, but the Knight Bus is supposed to stop for you if you
hold up you wand intentionally for that purpose. Harry did no such
thing. His wand was up completely by accident. So who really called
the Knight Bus for Harry? Was it Mrs. Figg or perhaps another witch
or wizard who lived along the perimeter?