Penelope "Penny" Clearwater (born c. 1976 or 1977) was a witch and Ravenclaw student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1980s to 1995. In her later school years, she was a Prefect, and eventually started dating Percy Weasley, a Gryffindor student and a fellow Prefect. After she finished her education at Hogwarts, Penelope and Percy never married. Percy married another woman named Audrey Weasley, instead.
In the summer of 1992, Percy Weasley wrote many letters to her and met up with her in secret throughout the next school year. At Christmas 1992, Penelope was asked for directions by Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, who disguised themselves as Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle, while they were wandering around looking for the Slytherin common room. She did not trust them and told them that being in Ravenclaw, she could not help them.
In the same year, the Chamber of Secrets had been opened, unleashing a "monster" that was hunting down Muggle-born students. Hermione Granger deduced that it was a basilisk and ran into Penelope as she rushed to inform her friends.
Penelope and Hermione made good use of Penelope's mirror to navigate the school hallways, but they looked the basilisk in the eye through the reflection of the mirror, petrifying them both. Percy was known to be very upset with Penelope's unfortunate petrification. Penelope was eventually revived with a draught prepared from Mandrake roots, along with Hermione and the other victims.
By the summer of 1993, Penelope was still dating Percy who had a picture of her at home. When someone spilt tea on it, Percy was upset and blamed Ron, who said Penelope hid her face because she had a blotchy nose.
Penelope appeared to be a serious Quidditch fan, having appreciated Harry Potter's new broomstick, a Firebolt, greatly, and betting ten galleons on the outcome of the Ravenclaw vs Gryffindor match with Percy. When she wanted to hold the broomstick, Percy heartily told her not to sabotage them by doing so.
When Ravenclaw later lost, Percy congratulated Harry and then went to find Penelope to receive the ten galleons she owed him. Penelope later listened to Percy, the only one to do so, when he explained he would make lots of proposals about the Magical Law Enforcement when he could.
Sadly, she did not end up marrying her Hogwarts boyfriend, as Percy eventually married a woman named Audrey and had two children with her.
Penelope was described as having long, curly hair.
- Wand: Penelope owned a wand, which was of an unknown length, wand wood and core. She presumably purchased it from Ollivanders in Diagon Alley, before starting her first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1987.
- Mirror: Penelope owned an ornate hand mirror, which was useful for looking around corners. When she encountered the Serpent of Slytherin in 1993, the Basilisk's deadly gaze was reflected by the mirror's glass and only resulted in her and Hermione Granger being petrified, saving both their lives.
- Prefect badge: Having been a Ravenclaw Prefect whilst at Hogwarts, Penelope owned a Ravenclaw Prefect badge, which she would have worn during her official Prefect duties.
In the summer of 1992, Percy and Penelope wrote many letters to each other. She began dating Percy Weasley in her fifth year, but they kept it secret. They would meet in deserted classrooms to kiss, but were caught once by Percy's sister, Ginny.
Percy was distraught when Penelope was petrified in 1993, and immensely relieved when she was cured by the Mandrake Restorative Draught. The secret came out when Ginny revealed the truth to her brothers, asking them not to tease Percy over the fact, which they did anyway.
With the secret out, Percy and Penelope appeared in public together, and he kept a photo of her. During his stay at the Leaky Cauldron before the start of his seventh year, he accused Ron of dripping tea on it.
Percy was excited to see her on Platform 9¾, wanting to show her the Head Boy badge he was given and, later in the year, wagered ten Galleons on the outcome of the Gryffindor vs Ravenclaw match, despite not actually having ten galleons. He playfully remarked to her about sabotaging Harry's Firebolt when she asked if she could touch it. He was unafraid of asking Penelope for the ten galleons she later owed him, while she would be the only who cared to listen to him while he ranted at a later date.
For unknown reasons, Percy and Penelope did not stay together, and Percy ended up marrying Audrey Weasley.
- In The Odyssey, Penelope was the wife of Odysseus. While he was away fighting the Trojan Wars, she was pursued by many suitors; to hold them off, Penelope told them she would choose one when she finished weaving a shroud, but unravelled her work every night to prevent this from occurring. The poetic sense of the name is a faithful, clever, woman, particularly a wife. It is derived from the Greek words pene, "web", and ōps, meaning "eye" or "face", although it is questionable; the name can also mean "weaver" or "duck".
- The name is also possibly derived from the Greek name "penelops" for a kind of duck that was said to have rescued and nurtured Penelope when she was exposed to die as an infant.
- Clearwater is a descriptive place name that suggests her ancestors lived near a body of water (which could be why her name may mean "duck").
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Penelope is not a victim of the basilisk, and only appears when she and Percy Weasley are walking from the Great Hall during the first day of term, and are met and greeted by Nearly Headless Nick, and later, in the crowd during the Duelling Club. She is also present at the End-of-Term Feast. She is played by Gemma Padley.
- Early printings of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets make Penelope a fifth year student, making her a year below Percy. Later printings revise this to make her a sixth year.
- Despite Penelope graduated from Hogwarts in 1994, she is depicted as a Hogwarts student in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, which is set from 1995 onwards. This was probably done simply for aesthetic reasons.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Mentioned only) (Mentioned as secret girlfriend)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Mentioned only) (GBA version only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- There is some confusion over Penelope Clearwater's blood status. In Chamber of Secrets, Penelope was petrified along with Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Hermione Granger, Nearly-Headless Nick, and Mrs Norris. The petrifications were described as a series of "four attacks on Muggle-borns" in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge) and Ginny Weasley (possessed by Tom Riddle's memory) was described as having "set the Serpent of Slytherin on four Mudbloods, and the Squib's cat" in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin). However, it is possible that the fourth Muggle-born in addition to Colin, Hermione, and Justin (who are all definitively identified as Muggle-borns at some point) was Nearly-Headless Nick, and that Penelope was simply petrified because she was with Hermione when she encountered the basilisk. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor), Hermione posed as Penelope when under interrogation by Snatchers, and claimed to be half-blood. Although, Hermione may have only lied about Penelope's blood status because mentioning she's Muggle-born would have possibly made things worse.
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 13 (Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 12 (The Polyjuice Potion)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18 (Dobby's Reward)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 5 (The Dementor)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 22 (Owl Post Again)