


Time Lines
"We haven't won since Charlie left..."
by Steve Vander Ark
"How old are Bill and Charlie?" someone
asked Jo. Very simple question. Her response to that simple question was
just as simple. Charlie is two years older than Percy, and Bill is two
years older than Charlie. Simple. So what's the big deal?
Unfortunately, this answer just doesn't
work. The most obvious problem is that if Charlie were two years older
than Percy, he would have been in his seventh year when Harry came to Hogwarts.
Ron, during that first ride aboard the Hogwarts Express, tells Harry that
Charlie has already left. Even if Ron hadn't said that, we would have know
if Charlie were still at Hogwarts with Harry because he would have been
at the station with the rest of the family. Since he was a Prefect, we
would have seen him heading off to the Prefect's carriage along with Percy.
And we certainly would have seen him play Seeker instead of Harry. No,
Charlie just can't be only two years older than Percy.
Well, just a moment. There are a
couple of ways that he still could be. It's perfectly possible for Charlie
to be two years apart in birth but three years apart at school. That all
depends on when their birthdays fall. We know that Percy was born on August
22, which unfortunately makes him one of the youngest in his class. The
fact that he didn't learn Apparition until the summer after he left Hogwarts
reinforces the idea that he's on the younger end of his class. In order
for this scenario to work, however, he would have to be one of the oldest.
So while this is still possible, it is highly unlikely given the facts
that we have that Charlie is two years older but three school years apart
from Percy.
The other possible scenario actually
has some canon support. Charlie might have spent his last year studying
abroad, getting first hand experience. Ron says that "Charlie's in Romania
studying dragons..." (PS6) which could certainly be interpreted as meaning
that he's still finishing up his schooling. There are a couple of snags
to that theory, however. First of all, if Charlie were still a student,
Ron wouldn't say "Bill and Charlie have already left..." He would have
said "Bill's left and Charlie is finishing up with a year in Romania."
The term "left" is roughly the equivelent of the term "graduated" in the
US. Also, if Charlie were taking a study year abroad, certainly this unusual
fact would have been mentioned at some point. Wood, who was looking back
on a dismal previous season, would have complained about not having his
star Seeker available, certainly. Instead, he, like everyone else, talks
about Charlie as if he's part of the fairly distant past, right along with
the fond memories of the last Gryffindor winning of the Quidditch Cup,
seven years before.
And that brings up the most difficult
details of all: that last Gryffindor win. We know when it was. If we examine
the various quotes in the books which talk about it, perhaps we can also
determine where Charlie fits into the tale.
The entire history of the Quidditch
and House Cups for the past decade is a bit hard to sort out. Here are
the facts we have to work with:
"I tell you, we're going to win that Quidditch cup
for sure this year," said Fred. "We haven't won
since Charlie left, but this year's team is going to be brilliant."
[Fred said this when he heard
that Harry would play Seeker, in book one, so the last year they won was
Charlie's last year. Alternative interpretations are possible but not very
likely]
If they won their next match, against Hufflepuff,
they would overtake Slytherin in the house championship for
the first time in seven years...As the match drew nearer, however, Harry
became more and more nervous, whatever he told Ron and Hermione. The rest
of the team wasn't too calm, either. The idea of overtaking Slytherin in
the house championship was wonderful, no one had done it for seven years,
but would they be allowed to, with such a biased referee? (PS)
[this certainly sounds like "house
championship" refers to the Quidditch cup, although since the Quidditch
Cup cummulative score apparently gets added into House Points, defeating
Slytherin in Quidditch would help them win the House Cup as well]
"[T]he Great Hall was already full. It was decked out in
the Slytherin colors of green and silver to celebrate
Slytherin's winning the house cup for the seventh year in a row. A huge
banner showing the Slytherin serpent covered the wall behind the High Table.
(PS)
[so Slytherin have won both the Quidditch Cup and
the House Cup for seven years straight at this point...although
in a few moments, Gryffindor will turn out to be the winner of
the House Cup instead]
"Gryffindor hasn't won for seven years now"
Oliver Wood, at the beginning of the 19931994 school year
[off by one year, but perhaps
he's taking the cancellation of last year into account]
"'Seriously,' said Professor McGonagall,
and she was actually smiling. 'I daresay you'll need to get the feel of
it before Saturday's match, won't you? And Potter  do try and win,
won't you? Or we'll be out of the running for the eighth year in a row,
as Professor Snape was kind enough to remind me only last night ...'"
[this is from book three, so
it's the '94 Cup they're hoping to win after seven previous losses  but
is Snape including the missed year in this?]
Gryffindor hadn't won the Quidditch Cup since the
legendary Charlie Weasley (Ron's second oldest brother) had
been seeker (PA)
[Although this can be interpreted differently, it seems
most likely that this means that the last time Gryffindor
won the cup was the last time Charlie was on the team]
Gryffindor House, meanwhile, largely
thanks to their spectacular performance in the Quidditch Cup, had won the
House championship for the third year running (PA).
[This time the phrase "House
championship" refers to the House cup; winning the Quidditch Cup obviously
adds points to the House Cup championship]
So we can work back. If 94 was the 8th year
since Gryffindor won, then 93 is the 7th, 92 is the 6th, 91 is the 5th,
90 is the 4th, 89 is the 3rd, 88 is the 2nd, and 87 is the 1st year since
their win. Gryffindor apparently won the Cup in 86 and hasn't won it since.
Therefore, Charlie Weasley was the Gryffindor Seeker in the 19851986 school
year.
But what year was he at the time?
If we go with the World Book Day interview, we need to push Charlie's last
year to 1990, so he would have only been in his 3rd year. If, however,
we use these book references, we would put Charlie most likely in his 7th
year, Gryffindor losing their hold on the Cup when he left.
This chart pulls together all of
this information as well as can be done. Some facts contradict others and
Jo's comment in the WBD interview contradicts every reference in the books.
Where does Charlie fit on this chart? All we can say for sure is that Charlie
played in the 19831984 school year and that he had to be in at least his
second year. From several of the references we can also say with a fair
amount of confidence that the last Gryffindor Quidditch Cup win was Charlie's
last year at Hogwarts.
school year 
Cup winners
(Quidditch/House) 
Gryffindor team notes 
other teams and players 
Where's Charlie? 
19831984 
/?
("The idea of overtaking Slytherin
in the house championship was wonderful, no one had done it for seven years..."
This is seven years before that statement was made. Charlie HAD to have
been on the team this year, since "Gryffindor hadn't won the Quidditch
Cup since the legendary Charlie Weasley...had been seeker.") 


Charlie (at least 2, more likely
7 and captain) 
19841985 
/NOT 



19851986 
/ 



19861987 
/ 



19871988 
/ 



19881989 
/ 
Wood? (2) 

The youngest Charlie can be and
still match the facts in the book would place him in his seventh year here.
It's not clear why, with a Seeker who could have played for England, Gryffindor
lost the Quidditch and House cups every single year. 
1989 1990 
/ 
Wood (3) 


19901991 
/ 
Wood captain (4)
Angelina (2)
Alicia (2)
Fred (2)
George (2)
This was a bad team. In the fall
of 1991, McGonagall says: "Heaven knows, we need a better team than last
year. Flattened in that last match by Slytherin, I couldn't look Severus
Snape in the face for weeks...." 

Now we're getting close to the years
which match what Rowling said in the EBF interview. If we say that Charlie
was two years in age but three school years above Percy, Charlie would
have been in his seventh year this year. Since we know the team was lousy,
it seems likely that Charlie wasn't part of it. 
19911992 (SS) 
/
Slytherin's last year of winning
the Quidditch Cup. This would have been their seventh year in the row of
winning the House Cup. They lost it when Dumbledore added a large number
of points to Gryffindor after Harry's defeat of Quirrell. 
Wood captain (5)
Angelina (3)
Alicia (3)
Fred (3)
George (3)
Harry (1)
Katie (2)
"We should have won the Quidditch
cup [this] year. We're easily the best team. But unfortunately  owing
to circumstances beyond our control  " Oliver Wood, refering to the fact
that Harry was in the hospital wing and they played the last match of the
9192 scool year a player short 
Marcus Flint (6)
Terrence Higgs (7?)
Adrian Pucey
Derrick
Bole 
If JKR is correct in the
WBD interview,
Charlie was in his seventh year here, when Harry was in his first. But
Ron said on the Hogwarts Express that Charlie has already left, so this
really doesn't make sense. He's in Romania studying dragons, which might
indicate that he's finishing school there. But that still doesn't work
with the fact that Charlie was on the Quidditch team in 198384.

19921993 (CS) 
tournament cancelled
none/ 
Wood captain (6)
Angelina (4)
Alicia (4)
Fred (4)
George (4)
Harry (2)
Katie (3)

Flint (7)
Malfoy (2)
Derrick (5 or 6)
Bole (5 or 6) 
Romania 
19931994 (PA) 
/ 
Wood captain (7)
Angelina (5)
Alicia (5)
Fred (5)
George (5)
Harry (3)
Katie (4)
"Gryffindor hasn't won for seven
years now" Oliver Wood, at the beginning of the year [off by one year,
but apparently he's taking the cancellation of last year into account] 
Flint (7 again)
Malfoy (3)
Derrick (6 or 7)
Bole (6 or 7)
Cedric Diggory (6)
Cho Chang (4)

Romania 
19941995 (GF) 
Quidditch cancelled
none/?
At the Leaving Feast, the usual
decorations of the color of the winning house were replaced by black to
pay respects to Cedric. 
(Wood joins Puddlemere United's
Reserve Team) 

Romania 
19951996 (OP) 
/? 
Angelina captain (7)
Ginny (4)
Ron (5)
Alicia (7)
Fred banned after 1 game (7)
George banned after 1 game (7)
Harry banned after 1 game (5)
Katie (6)
Andrew Kirke (at least 2)
Jack Sloper (at least 2)

Warrington (7)
Miles Bletchley (at least 6)
Adrian Pucey (at least 6)
Malfoy (5)
Crabbe (5)
Goyle (5)
Cho Chang (6)

Romania 
19961997 (HBP) 
?/? 
Possible team:
Ginny (5)
Ron (6)
Katie (7)
Andrew Kirke (at least 3)
Jack Sloper (at least 3)
Harry (6)
missing: one more Chaser

Possible team:
Malfoy (6)
Crabbe (6)
Goyle (6)
Cho Chang (7) 
? 
Look at the following chart a little more closely
and you might be a bit surprised. Most of the Gryffindor players
were actually very young when Harry came on board.
Oliver Wood was only a fifth year when he became captain, and
the rest of his team is even younger. Here's a chart showing the team
in Harry's first year. Yes, Katie wss only 12 years old in that year...
just a kid.
When Harry Joins the Team...
Player 
Year 
Age 
Experience 
Oliver Wood 
5th 
15 at the start of the year, unknown
when he turned 16 
3 years (he was captain last year
too, which means he almost certainly must have played one more year besides) 
Angelina Johnson 
3rd 
14 years old (born in October) 
1 year (started in her 2nd year) 
Alicia Spinnet 
3rd 
1314 years old 
1 year "only a reserve" (started
in her 2nd year) 
Fred Weasley 
3rd 
13 until spring (born April 1) 
1 year (started in his 2nd year) 
George Weasley 
3rd 
13 until spring (born April 1) 
1 year (started in his 2nd year) 
Katie Bell 
2nd 
1213 years old 
this has to be her first year 
Conclusion:
When JKR wrote book one, she intended Charlie to have left seven years
before, which was the last time that Gryffindor won the two Cups. Every
quote from the books points that way. Subsequent books reinforce this.
However, the WBD chat suggests that she doesn't really think of Bill and
Charlie as being all that much older than Percy, Fred, George, Ron, and
Ginny. She acknowledges a weakness for maths, and this is a clear example
of exactly that. What JKR intended and what she wrote are two different
things.
So how old are Bill and Charlie?
According to the books, Charlie left Hogwarts in June of 1984, seven years
before Ron came. We'll go with Jo's statement that there are two years
between Charlie and Bill, since we have nothing in the books to contradict
that. Here's the timeline of the Weasley children, then, according to
the books:

Bill

Charlie

Percy

Fred & George

Ron

Ginny

1963

b.






1964







1965


b.





1966







1967







1968







1969







1970







1971







1972







1973







1974

1






1975

2






1976

3

1

b. Aug22




1977

4

2





1978

5

3


b. Apr1



1979

6

4





1980

7

5



b. Mar1


1981

June  leaves

6




b. Aug15

1982


7





1983


June  leaves





1984







1985







1986







1987



1




1988



2




1989



3

1



1990



4

2



1991



5

3

1


1992



6

4

2

1

1993



7

5

3

2

1994



June  leaves

6

4

3

1995




7

5

4

1996




May  leave

6

5

1997





7

6

1998





June  leaves

7

1999






June  leaves

