I have an idead for a fic, but I need to know how one becomes a ghost. Nick says it is sort of like choice - "Wizards can leave an imprint of themselves upon the earth, to walk palely where their living selves once trod, but very few wizards choose that path." I was wondering, is this a unconcious descision, or do you sign some form, or, when you die, does some sort of god like person come down and ask you "hey, wanna be a ghost?" None of these seem very likely, so I was wondering what anyone else thought on the matter as it is an essential part to my fic.
Well in reality, the theory is if you died a sad or violent death, it may be likely you might come back as a ghost.
Edit - or if you left something unresolved or had an unresolved life.
I think it is a consious choice you make after death, much like
Harry choosing to return in "King's Cross"
Hope I helped.
I assume that you enter into some sort of Limbo (Like Harry at the King's Cross) and choose to move on or go back to earth. (I assume also that something about Voldemort using Harry's blood is what allowed him to return to earth not as a ghost...)
"Wizards can leave an imprint of themselves upon the earth, to walk palely where their living selves once trod... I was afraid of death. I chose to remain behind. Sometimes I wonder whether I oughtn't have... well that's neither here nor there... in fact Iím neither here nor there." (OoP 38)
Nearly Headless Nick says this and I really love theis quote because it describes ghosts very well. From what I gather ghosts are people who were very much afraid of death and did not want to depart the world of the living even when their body died, so they became ghosts. This is why Sirius Black or Dumbledore will not become ghosts, they were not afraid to die.
A very interesting question is HOW does one become a ghost because every ghost tells it differently. Judging by the quote above Nearly Headless Nick CHOSE to stay in this world; therefore made some conscious decision. On the other hand professor Binns is described as simply leaving his body behind when he died, in his case itís almost as though he did notice he was dead and no one bothered to point it out. Itís even more curious with Moaning Myrtle who in describing her death simply said that her body became light and that she floated away and then came back. Thereís obviously no conscious decision on her part perhaps with her it was a mixture of fear and desire for revenge.
I think that with ghosts every case is a bit different, fear of death is a definite factor but there might be other things like vengeance or simple forgetfulness.
Hope that helpedÖ
Thanks Amber and L_edge! I think I have a clear idea of what I am going to do for my fic. Mods, lock and Grave this thread if you feel the need, although this has been really helpful for me, and possibly could be equally helpful for others to, but anyways. Thanks for all your help!