Headscratchers: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Please check JK's FAQs before asking a question that may have already been answered.
open/close all folders
Dumbledore ignoring Harry
- When asked by Harry why he ignored him the entire year, he explains that if he treats Harry as a familiar person, Voldemort might try to exploit that. However, he's not treating him like he treats the other students. He will speak to them if asked a direct question. In the movie, Harry practically shouts "Professor Dumbledore!". Normally, Dumbledore would stop, and at least give him 5 seconds.
- If Dumbledore had spent too much time with Harry, Voldemort might have used their connection to spy on Dumbledore and break into their intelligence. Dumbledore instead tried to have Snape teach Harry Occlumency. Had Harry learned it successfully, there's a chance Dumbledore might have stopped being so cautious. Either way, in the end it seems Dumbledore realized that he caused Harry more pain by leaving him alone, so...
Gee, why would I have cast the Patronus charm if I didn't need it?
- When pressed on the issue of his Patronus charm during the hearing at the Ministry, when nobody believed Harry about the Dementors, why didn't he ask, "Well, why else would I cast one of those charms?"
- He did. Fudge and company would have decided that he did it for the attention or something and that he was obviously spoiled enough to think he could get away with it. Not that Harry would have thought of that...
- The Patronus Charm is also used to send messages to other wizards. I don't think Harry knew that yet, but he would've had a hard time PROVING that he didn't know that, and he definitely had motivation to send messages to people during this time (remember at the beginning of this book, Harry was spending all of his time griping that no one was contacting him?). Also, if a dementor wasn't around, it would be very easy to summon a happy thought and cast this spell, and it's very impressive in appearance. It's probably the perfect "showing off" spell, and since Harry has earned a reputation as being a show-off attention-seeker... well...
- Which is something that bugs me to no end. Originally, the Patronus Charm was described as "very complex magic", which even fully qualified wizards could not necessarily do, and yet, at some point in the books, every wizard and his dog is suddenly pulling off a Patronus as a messenger bird with consummate ease.
- Actually, using a Patronus charm to send messages isn't that common; it's just common around the people that Harry knows. Sending messages with Patronuses was a technique invented by Dumbledore, and he had to specifically teach all the members of the Order of the Phoenix how to do it, and those are the only people that know how to send messages with Patronuses, or even that it is possible to do so. I'm pretty sure I found that out from a JKR interview. As far as the complexity of Patronuses go, the only people that we are shown making corporeal Patronuses are Order Members/Teachers (who are, as was pointed out in book seven, "very good at magic") and the students who were taught how to do it by Harry. Of course, there are a lot of people like that, all of whom are very close to Harry, which is why we see so many Patronuses over the course of the books.
- It doesn't matter who the teacher is though, the fact that so many of the DA could make Patronus charms, so easily too, is something that bugs me. That, and it's not the fact that Patronus charms are used to send messages that bugs so much, it is the fact that apparently lots of people can conjure them up in the first place to send said messages. It simply goes against the fact stated that Patronuses are very difficult to produce. Plus I'm not convinced a message could be sent by a non-corporeal form Patronus, as that is just a whispy cloud of silver gas; it seems likely you need a fully formed one, which again is supposed to be very difficult to do.
- It is highly possible, and supported by Harry's comments to the DA about making Patronuses, that making a corporeal Patronus, while still taking a bit of skill, is much much easier to do when not being faced by Dementors, and it's being able to conjure one while being affected by them that is the truly challenging part.
- It's not only "highly possible," it's explicitly stated. And w/r/t the supposed near-impossibility of making a Patronus — all that's ever really said is that few people are capable of it, which doesn't necessarily mean they couldn't learn to do it if they tried, just that they haven't learned. After all, how many Dementors did people expect to run into in their lives until random searches for Sirius started happening/until Voldemort took over Azkaban? I figure that what makes it impressive is that it's an Awesome but Impractical-unless-you're-Harry-and-his-friends skill that takes a lot of study and practice and understanding of what's required of you mentally — like Legilimency and Occlumency, or becoming an Animagus — not that you have to be blessed with special talent to even have a chance at it. If you met a bunch of teenage drama geeks who had gotten together and put on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for no reason, you'd be impressed and slightly disturbed, but you wouldn't marvel at how such a thing was possible. You'd just conclude that they put a lot of time and effort in.
- The book outright states that "even many fully qualified wizards" can not perform the Patronus charm. Which is why it is super impressive that Harry manages it. To have a large bunch of school kids do it with relative ease is bad writing. To later have it as such an ubiquitous act performed by many wizards of varying talent levels, smacks of a soft retcon of its skill requirements.
- Yes. My point is that saying "even many fully qualified wizards" can't do it doesn't mean they never could, it just means they can't. I can't knit a sock, but I could learn. Most wizards can't make a Patronus. It's a special skill. But it's a learnable skill. They could learn if they tried, and the Order and the D.A. all had good reasons to learn.
- Given how the pre-Second War Ministry relies on dementors for its prison guards, fugitive-trackers, executioners and thugs in general, it's entirely possible that it doesn't want most of the population to be able to summon up a Patronus, for the same reason that few real-world governments like for the average civilian to have access to firearms that can punch through police body armor. Fudge's administration wasn't all that trusting of the citizens it governed, what with fanatics like Crouch Sr. and Umbridge having too much say in how things were done: if there's one non-Unforgivable spell they'd have an unstated, vested interest in keeping on the "You Don't Need To Learn This One" list, it's Expecto Patronum.
- Come now. It is quite clear that the "even fully qualified wizards" line is implying that it is such a complex charm that even talented wizards can't do it because it is so difficult. That is why it is so impressive that Harry pulls it off. Attempting to frame it as "oh, it just means they have to learn it" is downplaying the whole thing simply to allow bad writing in a future book.
- Easier than all that to explain: most of the people seen using it are children, and of those, the only ones pointed out to make a corporeal form weren't younger than sixteen or fifteen, and when they were in book five, they were having the time of their lives, screwing with Umbridge. Even Hermione was made giddy by it. And then in book seven, how the DA were able to use it then? They were elated at having seen Harry, so they could make much happier thoughts then. And the Order members could probably be able to think of one another, and Dumbledore, and the bonds that held them together, to make one. Also, since Patronuses, as seen in the books, seem to be fueled Crowning Moments of Heartwarming, and all of the students were on the side of Harry and Dumbledore, they could just think of those two and how heroic they are. That time Harry saved the Stone from Voldemort, or saved the school from the Basilisk, or when Dumbledore was protecting his students, or how Harry had honored Cedric's wish of being brought from the graveyard despite the dangers involved, or any heartwarming thing Dumbledore had ever done for the world would work pretty nicely.
- Also, there aren't any Dementors around when the kids are making their Patronuses, that's what makes it hard. Harry thinks about how much easier it is when you're in a nice warm classroom with your mates than when you're facing your worst fears. And even then, just being corporeal isn't necessarily enough. Ron and Hermione’s corporeal Patronuses aren’t enough in the final battle in book 7; it takes Harry’s to drive the Dementors back.
- I think you have to look at The entire "even fully qualified wizards" thing does seem to sum up a line of thinking that's surprisingly common in the wizarding world: Wizards, especially adult ones, do seem to be a little too quick to dismiss something as "impossible" or "too difficult" to do, when in reality it is perfectly achievable if you have the right mindset and are willing to put in the needed amount of work. Just think how people keep saying that it's impossible to sneak into Hogwarts, no matter how many times actual events in the books show otherwise. Casting a Patronus, especially a corporeal one at thirteen is an amazing achievement — but as the members of the DA show, it's perfectly possible to learn it with the right motivation and hard work.
- The Patronus charm is one of the biggest, shiniest spells in the wizarding arsenal. There's very little that looks quite as cool. The International Statute of Secrecy was probably written specifically for spells like that.
- I'm pretty sure that Harry did use that defense, and when he had, one of the wizards there had came up with the counter-argument that Harry only thought of that lie because as the only witness there was a Muggle, and they had believed that Harry knew that Muggles couldn't see Dementors, that their only "witness" couldn't even testify whether there was a real threat or not. At that point, the Dementor excuse would have looked like a pretty lame cop-out, if it weren't for the surprise witness of the Squib Mrs. Figg.
- The Fridge Logic that bugged me was that Dudley already knew about magic. Harry wasn't breaking the Secrecy statute, just the Underage decree. All they would've had to do to get half the charges dropped was question who Harry had been living with the past fourteen years. The Underage thing would've probably been a lot easier to tackle with that.
- But anyone could've been looking out the window. And a Patronus lasts for a while after its initial creation, too. Presumably, it kept chasing the Dementors offscreen until it faded away or whatever happens to Patronuses when their creator no longer needs them.
- Actually, I'm pretty sure they were in an alley, and people don't usually have windows overlooking narrow alleys. And in the film, they were in a subway.
- Regardless of whether they were in an alley when they were attacked (and Harry and Dudley seemed to be under an overpass of some kind in the film, not a subway, which would be enclosed), that isn't the part that they're in trouble for. The Dementors attack them in a place where they are vulnerable and where others might not notice they're in trouble, but obviously for the Patronus to be effective, it has to chase them away. Since the Dementors actually leave the alley with the Patronus's efforts, the Patronus also must have left the alley, into an area in which it could have been spotted by Muggles.
- Harry was also underage at the time and using his magic outside of school, which is a separate offense. Therefore, he is in trouble regardless of Dudley's knowledge of magic.
- Plus, they couldn't care less if Dudley knew about magic or not. They were just stringing on as many offenses as they could. They wanted Harry convicted of whatever they could, so they resorted to the letter of the law rather than the spirit.
- It bugs me that the detection of underage magic is so inconsistent in the books. Dobby uses magic in Harry's house, and Harry gets blamed for it. That makes sense, because we are told that pureblood children don't get punished for underage magic because their houses have adult wizards. That means that the detection of magic is based on the location of the child and the other inhabitants of the house's ability with magic; otherwise, they would know that the magic performed in the house wasn't done by Harry specifically. But in the case of the Dementors, Harry's magic is detected while he's outside of the house, so there must be some kind of a spell on HIM that tells the Ministry he's using magic. The fact that they DON'T detect the magic from the Dementors as being Harry as well mean that all of the sudden, the way they're finding out about underage magic is different. It feels like she just conveniently changed it so that Harry would have the conflict with the government and their refusal to acknowledge the Dementors, which would be hard to overlook if they were monitoring magic they way they were in book 2.
- Most fans like to Take a Third Option and suggest that both are active, but normally a student wouldn't get as much attention as Harry Potter.
- A decent alternate explanation might be that Fudge said they had no other registered wizards where Harry lived, so if they detect any magic at all, they automatically assume it's Harry's fault.
- My take is is that it's the wizarding world's version of invisible privilege. Sure, the intention is that all underage wizards are restricted from using magic from outside of a school environment, but it winds up affecting Muggle-borns (and Harry) more than anyone else. The Twins are clearly able to get away with magic experiments on the sly, and I doubt that Malfoy's parents ever stopped him from using magic.
- This is all covered in book 7, it's called The Trace. The Ministry can detect any magic done in the vicinity of an underage wizard, hence Harry getting blamed for Dobby's magic. And yes, it is covered that if the kid is living with other wizards, it's pretty much just up to the adults there to keep them following the rules, it's only kids that have no other known wizards in their house that really get noticed. And as to them not detecting the Dementors, The Trace only seems to pick up actively cast spells, not any magic of any kind.
- All of that aside, it's explicitly stated that Harry is the only wizard living in Little Whinging. When Mrs. Figg said she was a resident of LW near Harry's house, she had to specify that she was a Squib and thus didn't actually show up in the registry as a witch even though she had knowledge of the magical world and wasn't exactly a Muggle. Madam Bones also says 'that situation has always been closely monitored given past events', hinting, I suspect, that since the Hover Charm incident in book two, they've been paying special attention to magic use in Harry's area.
- You guys are also forgetting one important fact: Who set the Dementors on Harry in the first place? Umbridge. Now, if she could pull strings to have Harry attacked, what's to say she didn't change a few things with however they keep track of The Trace? I'm almost positive she manipulated things to look even worse for Harry behind the scenes.
- Exactly. She must have been trying a Xanatos Gambit in which Harry would either have his soul sucked out for trying to obey the law and not defending himself, or defend himself but break the law in the process (allowing the Ministry to have his wand snapped.) Either way, Harry would be too dead/disgraced to be a menace to the Ministry any longer.
- Is it ever stated why Umbridge sent the Dementors after Harry, other than her being a complete bitch? Was she already in place as the next DADA teacher and didn't want to deal with Harry's rebelliousness? If so, having a 15 year old's soul sucked out or wand snapped seems like a lot of trouble and easy to figure out if someone on the counsel, like Madame Bones investigated a bit.
- Well, Harry — together with Dumbledore — was "telling dangerous lies" and generally being a potential nuisance to her Ministry. Having him done away with while he was in the Muggle world would be a great convenience and mean less of a headache for the Ministry.
- 'Can't' doesn't mean 'it takes a special skill', just that it's something most people haven't learn to do. Most anyone can put together a computer, it's actually fairly easy to do. Just because it doesn't really take any special ability, it doesn't mean anyone CAN do it instinctively. It's actually something you still have LEARN to do, and by extension, have a REASON to do so. Most wizards aren't actively involved in day-to-day fights against Dark Magic, just as most people don't have lives that revolve around building computers, hence learning to do it is not high on their list of priorities. It's not that hard to understand, unless you are being willfully stubborn.
- Minor issue, but it seems odd that Harry never tries to get Dobby to fess up for the cake levitation charm. He'll only have one official warning then for then (blown up his aunt in book three which he is pretty much guilty as charged for).
- He's technically not even guilty of underaged magic for that, either. He did that without a spell and without using his wand, aka, it's the 'accidental magic' that underaged kids sometimes do, and that is specifically not illegal. (Because they can't control it.)
- Well he does tell Fudge twice that it's Dobby who's responsible and Dumbledore backs him up saying that Dobby works at Hogwarts and can be called for questioning. Fudge simply doesn't want to listen.
That Liar's Not Lying
- In OOTP, why didn't Harry attempt to prove he wasn't lying about Cedric's death? He could have smuggled some Veritaserum into class, he could have recorded his memories in the Pensieve, and there's even a straight-up mind probe spell introduced in the same book. Sure, it's risky and illegal, but that never stopped him before; at the very least, he could have had basically all the students on his side within a week.
- He did: That's what the interview with Rita Skeeter was all about. Once that was published, the entire student body (bar the Slytherins) was back on his side. And as Slughorn proved, even Pensieve memories can't be trusted 100 percent: there's no guarantee the memories are 100% accurate.
- Even if he did use Veritaserum, that could actually make things worse, because they might use that as proof that he was insane, because he believed his lies, and have him put in St. Mungo's. Think about it; if people are not sure whether you're a liar or insane, it's better that you don't eliminate "liar".
- This. It's pretty evident that Veritaserum can only compel truth as you know it, not absolute truth. Remember, Barty Crouch Jr. directly stated under Veritaserum that Voldemort was back, and Fudge still refused to believe him, claiming that he was obviously delusional. If Harry had been questioned under Veritaserum, Fudge would simply have said that Harry was delusional and should be put away for his own protection — rather this than face the terrible possibility that Voldemort is back.
- Word of God says that Veritaserum cannot be used in court for evidence because it's not reliable enough for legal proceedings. Its effects can be resisted if the victim is properly prepared for it.
- And there's no reason as to why Harry can't let the Ministry decide on what method they use to get the truth out of him? Because we all know Harry was telling the truth, he has nothing to lose by letting the Ministry choose their own means - particularly means that possibly most students couldn't lie their way through or resist. Heck, he could have even let the Ministry choose when and where to do this, without telling him, so that way they'd have the added advantage of getting Harry when his guard is down, minimizing any chance to try to prepare an immunity. And we are talking about an entire group of fully grown wizards, some of them considerably powerful (like the Aurors), so you'll have a hard time finding a reason to get me to believe how none of them could think of a plausible method to get the truth out of a fifteen-year old boy who has yet to finish school.
- Fudge didn't want to have proof that Voldemort was back. He was too scared of dealing with that, hence his plugging his ears and going "La la la, Harry's lying and Voldemort's not back!" Hence also the massive discrediting and the hearing. Why would Fudge willingly try to shift for evidence to shatter his comfort zone, even if Harry offered the Ministry their choice of interrogation (I also don't blame Harry for not considering such methods - considering how unethical the Ministry gets later, imagine what would happen if they were left to poke around in his head with no guarantees of safety. I certainly wouldn't want to be mind raped by a group of powerful people who consider me to be a lying Attention Whore). Plus, as has been proven, there really is no ultimate way to tell the truth. Veritaserum, the Imperius Curse, memories, Legilimacy, all of those things have been proven to be blockable or resistible.
- Whew, that must've been a big bull. Ok, let's get down to shoveling. "Fudge didn't want..." - he was not the supreme ruler of all Britain. The majority of the Wizengamot aquited Harry's innocence. Are you telling me none of them was interested in knowing the truth? "even if Harry offered" - that's the point. He didn't offer, he didn't dare them when he could've. It's one thing to call a boy who cries "Wolf!" a liar and another one - to step back when he offers to prove it. If you refuse that, you practically admit that you're afraid of the result. "Considering how unethical the Ministry gets later" - so the Scarhead took into consideration the circumstances that were yet to happen? Wow, the boy must've been slacking at Divination - he was a friggin seer! "With no guarantees of safety" - suggest to do it in the presence of people he trusts (DD, MG, Weasleys, Moody, you name it). "...have been proven to be blockable or resistible" - right. A fifteen year old boy is gonna, what was that, "seal his own throat or transfigure the serum before it touches his lips" (seriously, did this woman even read her own stories?), and nobody is gonna notice. Are you kidding me? "Fudge would have said that Harry was delusional..." - so you mean to tell me that there is no way to establish clarity of mind in that wretched Verse? "Crouch Jr. directly stated under Veritaserum...Fudge still refused to believe him" - nope, Fudge was only told that Crouch testified, and he fed the kid to a Dementor before the testimony could be repeated. Thus he could claim that DD'd lied about the whole thing.
- Direct quote from Fudge on the matter: "Crouch may have believed himself to be acting upon You-Know-Who’s orders — but to take the word of a lunatic like that, Dumbledore..." At this point he's not claiming Dumbledore is lying; he's saying that Crouch was insane and that his word couldn't be trusted. When Dumbledore says that Harry saw Voldemort return, Fudge then accuses Harry of being mentally unstable and untrustworthy (the articles in the Daily Prophet being convenient "proof"). So yes, I think I do mean to tell you that there is no way — at least no quick and easy way — to establish clarity of mind in that wretched 'verse. If there had been an easy and foolproof way to declare Harry completely sane, why on earth wouldn't Dumbledore have suggested it then?
- Indeed, why*cough*lousywriting*cough*wouldn't he? The direct quote doesn't change the fact that Crouch Jr. was dead by that moment. It's easy to write off the words of a dead man as lies or insanity, but not so much with a living one.
- Why not, if said living man is already starting to get an (admittedly undeserved) reputation as a mentally disturbed attention-seeker? Especially if there's no reliable way to establish that he is of sound mind, and it suits you damn well to cling to the hope that he's delusional? Fudge is doing the equivalent of sticking his fingers in his ears and going "LALALALA I can't hear you," and we already know that there are several higher-ups in the Ministry of Magic who are former Death Eaters, and to whom Fudge's willful blindness is very convenient indeed, and they'll of course be on his side and thus take it upon themselves to make it more difficult for anyone genuinely interested in finding out the truth.
- Because Fudge is not the supreme ruler of magical Britain. He's not even in the majority. Remember, Harry was aquited by a considerable margin of votes, and since the whole trial was a complete joke, it can only mean that many of the ministery higher-ups sympathised with Harry and at least entertained the possibility that he's telling the truth.
- The jury are the members of the Wizengamot, not necessarily Ministry higher-ups. I mean, yes, they might be, but as Dumbledore was Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot (though he's been removed from that post at the time) and definitely not working for the Ministry, there's nothing to say that you need to be a higher-ranking employee of the Ministry in order to be on the Wizengamot, so there's nothing to directly state that "many" of the Ministry high-ups sympathized with Harry. And no, Fudge is not a dictator, but he is the Minister, and with the backing of several powerful and wealthy people. Openly going against him would not be a wise career move (and indeed, Sirius directly states that people like Tonks and Arthur will "lose their jobs if they started to shoot their mouths off"), and without actual proof that Voldemort is back, it would be easier just to go along with it. It's the "what's right vs. what's easy" thing all over again.
- Ok, maybe not Ministery officials precisely, but definitely influential and powerful figures. One of them, Amelia Bones, was the Head of the law enforecement! That's a person directly responsible for dealing with situatuations like Voldemort. And she supported Harry. And then just... forgot all about it? Others would hardly be much lower - that just couldn't happen in a medieval society like the HP world. Only big cheese got to be jury there. As for the threat to the careers, sure, I can see how it can be an issue for a rookie like Tonks or a petty drone like Arthur, but we're talking about the powerhorses here. And again, the majority of them openly showed bias in favor of Harry and DD. Now that I think of it, how did Fudge even push DD's removal through, if the majority of people involved are opposed to him?
- Why didn't Harry attempt to prove he wasn't lying about Cedric's death? Simple. He's fifteen years old, and frankly, not the smartest fifteen year old alive. He's not a good strategist. He can think on his feet and come up with plans on the fly, but rational, thought-out planning? Not his strong suit. Add to it that he's gone through the trauma of seeing someone he knew die, and knowing he was indirectly responsible for the death (Cedric wouldn't have been there to die if Harry hadn't suggested they both take the cup), and that he's told Dumbledore what happened and for several weeks believes that Dumbledore will make people listen. So what happens when he finds out this isn't the case? Harry's reaction isn't to set out to prove he's right, it's to get angry that people don't believe him. He starts shouting. He gets sarcastic. He all but outright demands that people believe him because it's the truth, dammit. You might cry Idiot Ball at this, but knowing the teenagers I do, I find it to be a very realistic reaction.
- Yes, he's an idiot, that much is clear. But you'd think that one of the many adults that are supposed to be on his side would bother to explain to him what the state of affair is and what should and should not be done about it. Explain in advance that is.
- What exactly should they be explaining, that they aren't explaining? As far as they knew, Harry already knew the state of affair, which is that the Ministry's official stanze was that he was a delusional liar. He had been getting the Daily Prophet at the Dursleys, and if he had read through that properly he would have found out soon enough... nobody knew that he was only glancing at the important headlines and skipping the actual content of the paper. When they first meet him at Grimmauld place, Hermione and the Weasley kids are surprised that Harry doesn't know how he's being presented to the Wizarding World, and they immediately tell him what the situation is. Later on, the adults of the Order do mention that very issue, and how the Ministry is cracking down on Harry and undermining people who might be sympathetic to Harry. Admittedly, they don't tell Harry how to react, but it seems that none of them had expected that his main mode of operation that year would be teenage angst and hissy fits — things he'd been pretty good at avoiding until now.
- It was indeed very stupid from Harry to start shouting and insult people when they did not believe him. He actually gave them more proof that he is an attention whore. How would people react when Harry would have reacted this way: "I know I can't prove that Voldemort is back. I wish I was wrong, but I know what I witnessed. You do not have to believe me. If I am wrong, than we can all live happily ever after. But, what if I am actually right?"
If you want a job done right, you've gotta do it yourself...
- In Order of the Phoenix, why didn't Voldemort just come to get the prophecy himself? It would have taken a few seconds: apparate in, grab the prophecy, apparate out. If he did it at night, he wouldn't even have to worry about being seen because the Ministry hasn't ever heard of nighttime security guards. But noooooooooooo, he just had to trick Harry into coming and getting it. Of course, dozens of Death Eaters (including prison escapees) don't look suspicious at all. Nope, nothing at all suspicious about a massive battle in the Ministry of Magic itself.
- Wasn't it stated that a prophecy could only be retrieved by whoever it was made about? Meaning that Harry (and only Harry) could pick it up from the shelf?
- Doesn't work - the prophecy's card had "S. some initial T. to A.P.W.B.D, Dark Lord and (?) Harry Potter" on it. Both the Dark Lord and Harry were named on it, ergo, either could pick it up. The stated explanation is that people are much less likely to notice a few kids than they are to notice the evil Dark Wizard who they all think is still dead.
- Did "Dark Lord" even count as being named? Since it appears to be the title card and not the actual prophecy that matters. If he was called Dark Lord or Voldemort instead of Tom Marvolo Riddle (or Tom Riddle instead of Voldemort, if he'd Become The Mask), it probably shouldn't count as having been named. So it was only Harry anyway, despite the prophecy not actually naming him, and being nearly as much about Neville.
- For that matter, Voldemort is more conclusively named in the prophecy than Harry! There were two potential "Chosen Ones," remember?
- The "Some Initial" is likely "P.", since Sybil Patricia Trelawney (according to Word of God on her name) told the prophecy to Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, regarding the Dark Lord and Harry Potter. Harry is mentioned by name, and there's only one Dark Lord associated with him.
- Well, yeah, but there's only one actual Chosen One. The moment Harry got his scar, his mark of being Voldemort's equal, that was it - Neville was out of the running. As for whether "Dark Lord" counts as being named, it always seemed to me that, while the fact that Voldemort went to Hogwarts was common knowledge, the fact that Voldemort was Tom Riddle was... well, not exactly a secret, but not exactly common knowledge either. It was a big surprise to everyone except Dumbledore when Tom was revealed to be Voldemort in CoS. And while Dumbledore might have told the Ministry, he might also have decided not to say anything - the Ministry doesn't exactly have a great track record for believing Dumbledore about things Voldemort-related, so the idea that Voldemort, champion of the purebloods, was actually a half-blood orphan would probably be dismissed as ridiculous (and you can see their point - the idea of a half-blood leading the purebloods to victory over his fellow half-bloods and Muggle-borns is kind of illogical, not to mention self-destructive; after all how would the purebloods react if, after they'd won, it came out that their leader was technically on the other team), and we do have precedent for Dumbledore keeping important info close to his chest. And the Ministry's not going to put Voldemort on the orb because that would mean actually writing the word Voldemort out - something that 99% of wizards are too scared to do.
- A more clear and concise explanation: Two Choosable Ones, one Chosen One.
- Pretty sure Harry already asked that, and I'm pretty sure Bellatrix already told him that Voldemort didn't want to risk exposing himself too early, since Fudge did Voldemort the courtesy of ignoring and covering up his return.
- But doesn't that completely defeat the purpose if he's just going to send his Death Eaters in anyway right after Harry grabs it? It wasn't the presence of the Death Eaters that drew attention, it was the fact that a good chunk of that section of the Ministry got destroyed in the ensuing fight. If he'd just quietly snuck in himself, grabbed the prophecy, and snuck back out again, the theft likely would have gone completely unnoticed.
- I could be wrong, but I thought Voldemort assumed only Harry would show up. Hardly a battle if it's one 15 year-old kid against a small group of Death Eaters. The battle happened because Luna, Neville, Hermione, Ginny and Ron all decided to come with.
- As discussed elsewhere, Voldemort is clutching a particularly large Idiot Ball if he actually bases his entire plan on Harry showing up alone. Given the bait being used to lure Harry there (an Order of the Phoenix member allegedly being tortured to death by Voldemort personally), he should have no rational expectation for Harry not to show up accompanied by all the reinforcements Harry could possibly find, possibly including Dumbledore himself. And indeed the entire Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore do show up, as soon as the news of what's going on actually reaches them (however unaccountably slowly that news traveled).
- Voldemort is a Dark Lord. He doesn't do menial tasks like this. He's got bitches for that.
- The absence of nighttime security guards was noted as odd by the characters; the manpower probably came in handy to get them out of the way. And Voldemort can be forgiven for thinking that those numbers would intimidate six teenagers (or three, by his intelligence) into handing over the prophecy. The Death Eaters, moreover, concealed their faces; Fudge policy would find some way to explain it, but there's really no getting around the seven-foot-tall skeletal figure. Don't suppose he could Polyjuice, either (only one-eighth human, after all), or he would Polyjuice Bathilda instead of resorting to Inferi.
- So he couldn't just kill any guards that saw him in the space of a few seconds that it would have taken him to get the prophecy?
- What's the betting the Ministry has wards that record each and every person entering the Ministry? Lucius and other Ministry employees arrive early, taking out guards and unlocking doors. Prison escapees and other criminals arrive later, join up with them. Looking at the wards, it looks like a raiding party led by Sirius Black attacked the ministry, nothing more. Obviously, Voldemort couldn't resist an entrance towards the end, mostly because the plan was already pretty screwed (One of the Death Eaters was going to talk eventually).
- No, they really don't have wards for that sort of thing. What really gets me mad is that even if they did, the Death Eaters could've just smashed the prophecy and written it down for Voldemort. And, sure, one of the Death Eaters might have talked eventually, but no one would have believed them anyway. So why the grand entrance? And for that matter, why the secrecy? Why can't Voldemort just walk in the Ministry front door and start killing people? He's immortal, so what are they going to do?
- The issue wasn't really Voldemort dying, it was him being discovered. As Bellatrix points out, the Ministry is happily ignoring Harry and Dumbledore while going after Sirius, leaving Voldemort free to sneak around and regain power. If he's seen, there goes that card.
- "Him being discovered" is not an issue if you consider Polyjuice Potion. The Death Eaters had already captured Bode, a guy who works in the Department of Mysteries, so what's to stop Voldemort from Polyjuicing himself into Bode, casually going to work, and getting the prophecy?
- At the time they captured him, they used the Imperious curse on him to get the prophecy (causing him to be hurt and hospitalized). They didn't know what the protections on the prophecies were. It's not until Voldemort frees his followers from Azkhaban that he understands exactly how to do it, and at that point he thinks it'll be easier to hit two birds with one stone by tricking Harry into getting it and being captured.
- As Voldemort's physical form at the beginning of the series indicates, his form of immortality does not actually render him immune to death, it just renders death a recoverable condition. It's still moderately inconvenient. It took quite a few years worth of scheming and evil to get his body back the last time he lost it. It'd really suck to spend another ten years wandering around Romania just because a security guard got off a lucky shot.
- Why not just prepare a few batches of that potion that revives him and then storm the Ministry? The people there are mostly cowards, so most would probably surrender or flee. Only a few would even try to fight, and he could easily out-duel them.
- And fleeing witnesses aren't a problem how? At any rate, the resurrection ritual is considerably more formal than that.
- The resurrection ritual is not all that complicated; the potion only needs three ingredients. And as for fleeing witnesses, they're no more of a problem than it was when Voldemort's return was made public in the newspaper. In case you don't know, despite that, he was winning the war in the sixth book.
- Right, three ingredients: bone from his father: easy, but rather limited; blood from his enemy: a little bit harder, unless you have a "blood donation" scheme to fool him; and flesh from the servant: one time or another, no one likes to lose his body parts, even if it's to revive his master. Not to mention most powerful and/or dark potions have those bizarre and arbitrary constraints, like leaving the ingredients brewing for a month before adding the rest of them. Oh, and you're not considering the "primordial liquid" inside the cauldron.
- Word of God says there's more steps to the resurrection spell then what we saw in the book, just like there's more steps to making a Horcrux than just going up to someone and killing them. It's just that they were apparently too horrible to include because they freaked out Rowling's editor. I'm guessing it has something to do with how Voldemort got into his ugly baby form...
- The Horcruxes don't get used up, they anchor the main part of the soul on this side of the veil. The resurrection ceremony didn't "unmake" a Horcrux. It created a new body and ensouled it with the fragment of soul that had been hanging around as Vapormort for the past thirteen years. "All" the Horcruxes did was make sure that that piece of soul was still around to put into the new body.
- In any case, Voldemort had bigger fish to fry than casually dropping by the Ministry. It didn't suit his plan for complete take-over; he wasn't ready yet. There were other pieces to put together during that time, plus the way I see it, he thought that this was a simple enough task for Malfoy and Bellatrix to handle. When he finally did show up, he made it pretty clear that he was furious that he was there in the first place. He didn't expect it to be Battle at the Ministry!; It was supposed to be easy recon. Mostly the fault lies with Bellatrix for being so crazy.
- Also, Voldemort, despite being technically immortal, probably can't afford to do too many resurrection spells. One of the necessary ingredients is "bone of the father", and he seems to have used most of it up when he got re-bodied.
- Because Harry would have ended up there anyway. Considering the track record of the past few years and the fact Harry was dreaming about the room, chances are if Voldemort went there, Harry would have known and shown up with better protection. Voldemort decided just to simplify things and send someone to take it from Harry. Better to have it on your own terms then have to worry about the Big Damn Heroes showing up a few minutes off schedule.
- Another possibility is that there is some record somewhere as to who picked up the prophecy in the first place. We know that there are protections against the wrong person trying to acquire a prophecy; perhaps there's a system set up so that you know when the right person did. If so, Harry picking it up meant that anybody looking into it would see his name and chalk it up to his desperate need to be the center of attention. Voldemort going in and claiming it would say The Dark Lord on whatever list records such things and would be indisputable proof that he was back.
- This seems the sanest bet, especially since the 'Only the people named can pick it up rule' doesn't appear to be some inherent mystical aspect of the prophecy, considering they didn't even know who was named on it at first. And if it's just some spell on the shelves or a curse on the prophesy or something, it's even possible that Voldemort couldn't pick it up safely...there's following procedure and there's insanely following procedure, and there's no reason to actually allow the Dark Lord to pick it up, even if the rules say he's supposed to be included on the list of permitted people. (Which would neatly explain why it didn't use his real name, to keep him off the list.) Even if they did actually allow him, he might still suspect they didn't, or, heck, that some specific extra spell was on it to lock down the entire place if he picked it up.
- Exactly why would Voldemort need to worry about the list showing he was there? Apart from (possibly) Dumbledore, he was the most skilled wizard alive at that point, surely he could just change the records?
- Because Voldy was considerably more circumspect (or cowardly) in his second rise than his first. Even when he's actually taken over (in Deathly Hallows), he does so behind a proxy. Considering that he was defeated by a baby Harry last time around, it makes sense to avoid confronting Harry if he can do so.
- Assume that only two people can pick up the prophecy, Voldemort and Harry. Assume that Harry can prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he did not pick up the prophecy. The prophecy is gone. Who took it? Voldemort. Ergo, it's in Voldemort's best interests to make Harry do it.
- One: You can't Apparate into the Ministry of Magic. Two: The plan was to have Harry and friends break into the Ministry, grab the prophecy, take the prophecy from Harry and friends, leave, and frame Harry for the whole thing. So that's why he didn't just show up. So his return would still be unnoticed until he was at his seat of power.
- Harry was only dreaming about the door because Voldemort was, and Voldemort didn't realize the connection that they had quite yet, so that couldn't have been part of his plan. Voldemort spent all year trying to get the prophecy, so it's not like he was too busy or important to do it. Why couldn't Voldemort just have his Death Eaters go in (just like they did in the book) and clear the way, but instead of luring Harry there, he showed up himself (and apparently could apparate and disapparate there, as that's probably how he showed up and definitely how he left) to grab the prophecy. How to hide his theft? Smash the shelf that the prophecy was on. For good measure, smash several other shelves as well. None of the other propehcies are talking about him, so why would he care about the damage? This way, it wouldn't be obvious that his prophecy was the one that was targeted, and in the book, several shelves of prophecies were smashed with no ill effect, so it could have been easily done.
- Whoever said you can't Apparate into the Ministry of Magic? Mr. Weasley said he normally Apparated to work, and in The Deathly Hallows, Ministry workers were whining about having to be flushed to work instead of Apparating like normal.
- You can Apparate into the lobby of the MoM, and that might have been what the Order did instead of taking a flue. Possibly employees can even Apparate to and from their offices, although clearly there's security restrictions for visitors. Regardless of the rules, I'm certain that random people can't Apparate into the Department of Mysteries! Letting people pop in and out of your top secret labs would be a pretty stupid idea. (As would letting people just walk off the elevator into it, but the Death Eaters probably left any security disabled. But there's no reason to disable the Apparation wards for teenagers who can't do that anyway.)
- Honestly, I can't figure it either. You'd think that if a fifteen foot mutant python of death could sneak on down to the DOM and bite Arthur Weasley without anyone seeing it come or go, Voldemort himself would have no trouble sneaking in even if he was wearing a clown suit and playing the tuba. (Or, more seriously, using polyjuice potion and disguised as somebody whose presence would be unremarkable.)
- I also think the reason was that the Prophecy ball didn't refer to Voldemort by name (or even his alias). It just said: "The Dark Lord". Sure, he thought it was about him, but the wards on the ball might have thought otherwise, and there was no safe way to tell. So he didn't want to risk as long as there was an alternative.
- I don't think that's accurate, actually. Remembering that Harry's middle name was not included on his prophecy, look at it this way: Say a prophecy is made about James Potter, Harry's father, and James' middle name, like Harry's, is not on the prophecy label. Later on, Harry has a son who he names... James Potter. By your logic, Harry's son would be able to take the prophecy because his name is technically on it even though the prophecy was made for his grandfather of the same name. What name is used does not matter; it's the intent, and the intent of the title of The Dark Lord is referring to Voldemort, so he would be able to take the prophecy. If Harry Potter has a grandson also named Harry Potter, that grandson wouldn't be able to take Harry's prophecy because grandson!Harry is not the Harry intended.
- Everyone seems to be assuming there's some sort of built-in magical rule on the prophesies, but considering the listed names are 'wrong' (Tom Riddle's name is not 'Dark Lord', and the other was a question mark to start with and someone decided it was Harry), and considering someone put it on the shelf to start with, it's just as likely that's a individual curse cast on all prophesies with explicitly listed exclusions. So possibly someone said 'For once, let's not follow the stupid rules, and not exclude Voldemort from the curse, because screw him, he killed a friend of mine.'. And even if they didn't, if the person who did the cursing was a stickler for the rules, Voldemort doesn't know that for sure. Heck, perhaps you have you have to identify people by their actual names, and no one even knew his.
Purple Fire, Empty Lips
- At the end of OOTP, it is mentioned that the curse that Dolohov had used on Hermione was less effective because he couldn't talk, but isn't that kind of the whole point of non-verbal spells?
- Maybe Dolohov is poor at non-verbal spells?
- I would say the spell is weaker because he's not trying to do a non-verbal spell, he's trying to do it verbally with no voice. Non-verbal spells are done in the mind. There's no indication that non-verbal spells are weaker than verbal ones. When Harry threw Snape across the room during a lesson with a Shield Charm, the strength of Protego is clearly because Harry is really angry. Other characters have used "Protego" verbally before and it's never had an effect like that, so it's not stronger because it's said out loud. There are plenty of examples of non-verbal spells being incredibly strong when used properly.
- Spells seem to have different rules and operations depending on the spell. This particular curse might've been more powerful if Dolohov had spoken it.
- Makes sense. The next book does imply that levicorpus can only be cast non-verbally.
Doom & Gloom
- So, you have to have observed death, horrible, horrible death, to see the Thestrals? So, why couldn't Harry see them from the first year? Cedric died to Avada Kedabra, as did Harry's mom... Is his mother's death not horrible enough?
- It's not a "Horrible death" that one has to see, but a death in general. I presume it means one has to see death, and have the understanding of what they saw in order for them to see Thestrals. Thus the reasoning why he can't see them in year one. He couldn't understand what he saw as a 1 year old, let alone remember it.
- Harry didn't actually see his mum killed, he only heard it. Otherwise, he would've recalled the sight of her death when confronted by dementors, not just the sound of it. Word of God holds that he was lying in his crib at the far corner of the nursery, and didn't see her confronting Voldemort in the doorway.
- That makes the flashback scenes in Deathly Hallows Part II quite problematic...
- Not necessarily. Most 1 year-olds can sit themselves up unassisted, so there's no reason why Harry wouldn't try to sit up as long as he wasn't properly tucked in.
- Also, first-years don't travel by Thestrals anyway....
- Yes, but thestrals pull the carriages that the older students ride from the Hogwarts Express to the castle.
- I can't remember where I read this (in a fanfic I think), but someone suggested that whether you can see Thestrals or not has to do with innocence. According to this fanfic (and yes I am aware that something said in a fanfic isn't canon, but it's a good explanation with nothing in canon to refute it - that I know of) there's a certain type of innocence that you don't lose until you see someone die, after which you can see Thestrals. When Voldemort killed Harry's parents, he was too young to understand what was going on, so remained innocent. When Wormtail killed Cedric, Harry was old enough to understand, so lost his innocence.
- This is something that's bugged me - what about animals? In a truly biological sense, humans generally will be more affected by watching one of their own die, as opposed to another animal. But this isn't always the case; for example, in the film Waltz with Bashir, one actual line from a psychiatrist described a man who had finally taken in the horrors of the war he was fighting when he saw horses dying in droves from illness and starvation. Or what if you were watching a beloved pet parrot die (as parrots can live for decades)? What exactly is the level of pain one has to feel after seeing death to see Thetrals? Because I would bet on most of the students having seen a bug get smooshed before.
- And what if Antimony saw a bug get smooshed (and somehow had avoided all the death she witnessed in the hospital while interning for the psychopomps and training to be a medium)? She doesn't consider squishing bugs to be murder, and thus would likely not count as having "processed" it, but Ketrak shows up anyway, so might that count? Crossover Cosmology is interesting to think about, but unlikely to ever result in definitive answers.
- I have thought about the animals/Thestrals many, many times, especially since my Undergraduate Dissertation was on animality in the Harry Potter books. I always wondered whether seeing an animal die would have the same effect. My guess is that it would, but it would depend upon the circumstances. The same way that I think it's possible that a person see another person dying and not be very moved by it... But the really interesting question for me is: can other animals see Thestrals? Which ones? And when? Can only magical animals see Thestrals (and the same thing can be asked regarding Muggles/wizards)? Do magical animals (or animals in general) also need to see someone (or some animal) die in order to see Thestrals? If an animal (magical or not) can always see Thestrals, does that mean they have a deeper and more rooted understanding of death than humans? Or if they have to see death like us, does that mean that death is a puzzling mystery to animals as it is to us? What are the crazy ethical consequences of this to the magical world???
- Animals' deaths probably don't count. According to the marginal notes in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Ron once had a pet puffskein that died when Fred used it for bludger practice. Ron presumably witnessed this first-hand — else, the twins would've surely covered for one another about what happened to his pet, and he wouldn't have known why it died — yet Ron couldn't see the thestrals. As for animals' seeing thestrals, they probably don't fully comprehend death enough to ever penetrate their invisibility, as it would negate the protective function of this power if any predator that's made a previous kill could see them.
- Thinking about Thestrals... Why didn't Quirrell's death allow Harry to see them?
- He had his eyes closed, and was probably unconscious by the time Quirrell actually died in the books.
- What I want to know is why Harry didn't see the Thestrals at the end of his fourth year, but could see them at the start of his fifth. He'd seen Cedric die by then, and didn't see anyone die between end of fourth year and start of fifth, so what changed?
- This was explained in an interview actually, and the fanfic is basing itself partially on the interview. It's explained that when Harry sees Cedric die, he loses his "innocence", but doesn't have time for it to sink in yet as he's still in shock. Thus after the summer, after it settles on him, when he comes back, he understandably freaks when he sees the Thestrals.
- Rowling said that she didn't want to add the thestrals at that point because they would disrupt the flow of the narrative, tacking on a new subplot (just what are those skeletal horse things?) into the denouement of the fourth book that wouldn't be resolved until the fifth book. So she made up some bullshit about Harry needing to "process" Cedric's death before he could see the thestrals.
- Read that as Rowling didn't think of the idea of thestrals pulling the carts until book five.
- ...and you'd be completely wrong. She said explicitly in an interview that she knew what was pulling the carriages (Thestrals) from the beginning.
- Well, it is not exactly as though Rowling does not have an incentive to lie on this topic (along with any other claim to have "thought of it from the beginning"), though just because she has an incentive does not mean she is lying. So, it comes down to a case of whether you choose to believe her, and there is a reason to not believe. Without evidence one way or the other, it cannot be definitively stated whether or not she knew about the thestrals from the beginning or not.
- Besides, whether or not you think she lied, bringing up the thestrals at the end of the 4th book would have disrupted the ending quite badly. She would have had to devote at least a couple paragraphs (maybe even a page or two) to the fact that the thestrals are suddenly visible, which would have been pretty jarring compared to all the other stuff that was happening, leaving readers going "...What?" Either she gets people claiming she BSed stuff on her own creatures, or she would have gotten complaints about throwing something into the last few pages that, at the time, would have seemed contradictory to how the carriages were at the beginning of the book. Also, "Harry was too in shock" makes a fair bit of sense anyway, and even if it doesn't, it's also semi-plausible that he might have been just barely able to see them but just didn't care (again, because of being in shock).
- Seems pretty straightforward to me... To see Thestrals, you must not only have watched someone die, but also realize what it is you're seeing. Hence, even if Harry had directly seen Voldemort kill his mother at the age of one, it wouldn't have made him see the Thestrals because he wouldn't have comprehended what it was he saw. (By comparison, Neville and Luna can see the Thestrals because they watched family members die when they were old enough to understand what was going on.) And as is stated in the first book, Harry never actually sees Quirrell die — he blacks out while Quirrell is still struggling, and when he wakes up to see Dumbledore, he doesn't know that Quirrell is dead before Dumbledore tells him. By contrast, when Cedric dies, Harry knows exactly what is going on, and so this event is what makes him able to see the Thestrals. However, the process isn't immediate; maybe because the first shock of the death kinda numbs you, and it's only when you actually have processed what happened that the Thestrals become visible. (That, and Rowling didn't want to include a brand new plot point at the end of book four.)
- Could have been interesting to see if Harry had gradually started to see the Thestrals as he processed Cedric's death. Maybe they'd gradually fade in; for some time when one walked close to him he'd think he saw something moving, but nothing's there... or is it? And then maybe he'd start catching short glimpses of them, until finally he was able to see them all the time. Buuuut, since he wasn't anywhere near a Thestral while the processing was going on, we'll never know how it might have happened.
- Going off the "loss of innocence" mentioned above, liken it to films and TV. With Quirrell's death, he was the villain so Harry had no reason to be sad about that. Look at how many kids' films kill off the villain and that's ok. But remember the first time someone was Killed Off for Real in something you saw? You had to comprehend that a good person was killed, would not be able to come back and would not be around any more. Harry probably didn't have time to fully process Cedric's death while school was still on because he'd be surrounded by his friends and able to take his mind off it somewhat. Then he goes home for the summer and the reality sinks in. He has nowhere to hide so he has to comprehend that Cedric was legit murdered and can't be saved. Perhaps there's also overlap with the Five Stages of Grief too? You can only see the Thestrals once you've gotten to Acceptance.
It's a VEIL. How bad can it be?
- Why the hell doesn't anybody stick their head past the damn curtains? I don't have the book on me, so I don't recall if Harry maybe tried and was held back, but I do remember a whole lot of Harry assuming Sirius is straightforwardly dead and trying every possible thing to contact him, when all I could think of is what's behind the damn curtain? I was going crazy with curiosity, and no one in story seemed to care. I'd have a hard time not sticking my head into a mysterious magic curtain to nowhere just if it was there, let alone having a surrogate father fall into it.
- I'm not sticking my head into a magic curtain which causes people to disappear when they pass through it. The head might not come out. I like me head.
- That room is the "death chamber," and the veil is referred to as the barrier between life and death. Presumably, whatever living thing goes through the veil is not coming back, including the cells in your head. Besides, Harry would have probably been eager to stick his head in the veil had he not been held back.
- Don't know if this is canon or just something made up by fanfic writers, but more than one fanfic I've read has had the Death Chamber be an execution chamber, with the Veil the wizard version of the guillotine. So it was probably a good thing nobody put their heads through the Veil (or any part of their body).
- It's a common theory among fans that that's the purpose of the Veil (or was at one point). After all, what are you going to do with a veil that only causes people to die? Use it as a means of punishment for criminals so you don't have to go casting unforgivables.
- I thought that it was an execution chamber when I first read the book, but considering it is inside the Department of Mysteries I have my doubts now. As for what to do with such a veil, Nick mentions that wizards in the department of mysteries are supposed to be researching the secrets of death.
- I think the execution chamber makes a good deal of sense. Remember, while it's in the Department of Mysteries, it's also in the basement on the same floor as the criminal courtrooms.
- I personally think it used to be a execution chamber, but it was changed once they made an agreement with the dementors to house criminals in Azkaban. Now it merely is used to study death, whereas before it was used for both. Since before Sirius, no one had ever broken out of Azkaban, and most sentences are life in Azkaban (which I'm sure is a lot worse than an instant death), it makes a lot of sense that the room isn't used anymore for executions.
- That, and (this might have a bearing on it, or it might not) the death penalty is illegal under European law.
- Considering that the wizarding world is 200 or more years behind the times, I think that referencing anything that has to do with current laws as at all relevant to what wizards do or think is just plain silly.
- I just though that if you touch it it'll pull you in or something.
- Word of God has stated that the veil was used for research, not executions.
- The wizards don't follow Muggle law. If it existed, the Dementor's Kiss would be banned under EU law too, but they still order it used on Sirius.
- Ok I live in the UK and I'm pretty sure that destroying someones soul isn't covered under EU law otherwise I could probably arrest my ex-girlfriend. But on topic I always thought the veil was supposed to be the literal 'veil' people talk about when talking about death i.e. from the John Taylor quote "While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil." in which case it probably was't created by the ministry it's more likely a thing that has always been there and the ministry was built around it and seves as a sort of connection to the afterlife
- ...And how are the people studying this veil — with a ten-foot pole? I mean, sticking one's head in a veil is one thing, but wrenching it open and watching from a safe distance is another.
- I'm not sure I'd even feel good about the 10-foot pole option. Forcibly wrenching open the veil between the here and the hereafter seems like a recipe for a "Divide By Zero" event if I ever heard one. ("Existence has performed an illegal operation and must be shut down.")
- Perhaps they just finished constructing the veil as a means to study death? Though whether it's been there since the dawn of time or was put up yesterday, why it isn't covered in a dozen warnings, caution signs and general safety charms is anyone's guess.
- Well, it's kept deep within the Department of Mysteries, an area that's pretty difficult to access without authorization. Anyone who makes it all the way to the Death Chamber would presumably be an Unspeakable and would already know how dangerous the Veil is. And if they weren't supposed to be there and managed to fall through it, well that's what they get for being somewhere they shouldn't have been.
- Indeed. I mean how many people did we see get access to it? Only a bunch of kids. And a bunch of terrorrists. And a bunch of vigilantes. One of whom got killed by it. And we've seen that it draws people to it, compels them to open it and presumably get sucked into it. Meaning that "deep within the Do M" doesn't mean squat.
- Probably they have an advanced equivalent of Extensible Ears available to study the Veil, or perhaps there are ghosts in the Do Mysteries who are willing to risk peeking in to see what they're missing.
- What I wonder is, why didn't Harry even think about the Veil at all in book 6. He spends all this time being frustrated by the mirror, but doesn't consider researching the veil, or going back. Even if JKR had given some reason not to pursue it further, it would have made a lot more sense for him to at least give it some thought in Half Blood Prince.
- Why not just have a D-Class do it?
- Hermione and Harry come from muggle families, sort of, so why didn't they to, I dunno, put a video camera through it and see what happens? If it comes back, they've got footage about the other side, if not they know to stay the feck away as anything that goes through ain't comin' back.
- Would that work, though? The books mention repeatedly that muggle technology doesn't work at Hogwarts, but it's never made clear whether or not muggle tech would work at the Ministry. Given how the Department of Mysteries is a pretty important part of the Ministry, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for them to think that a video camera wouldn't work there.
- Also, when were Harry and Hermione supposed to do this? They didn't have a video camera handy when breaking in to 'rescue' Sirius, and even if they did, that wasn't their priority at the time. A few of them (including Harry) were behaving so weirdly around the archway that the best decision did seem to be to get the hell away. After Sirius dies, there is no real opportunity to try this, and even if there was, Harry's coming to terms with Sirius' death by that point. Obsessing over what's behind the veil is clearly going to be unhealthy. On a shorter note, he and Hermione have been wizards for a good few years now, and grown accustomed to magical solutions, it wouldn't be that surprising that it doesn't occur to them (especially Harry, with his upbringing).
Inquisitors vs. Prefects - FIGHT!
- I get confused by the quote where someone says "Members of the Inquisitorial Squad can deduct points," and the reply is "He can't, that would undermine the prefect system." This implies to me that prefects can't deduct points (which would be silly seeing as, if it was me at least, I'd take all the points off all the other houses). But then in the 2nd book, Percy takes points off Ron for being in the girls' toilet.
- It undermines the prefect system because prefects (as far as I know) are limited to two upper-classmen from each house, who are chosen by their professors and the school head. The Inquisitorial Squad, on the other hand, is a much larger group, that is made up entirely of Slytherin members, who are basically given free reign so long as they remain loyal to Umbridge.
- Rowling suggests that Ron was just wrong, and he hasn't been much of a prefect thus far if he hasn't been deducting points. More likely, the Inquisitorial Squad can deduct points at their own discretion, while the Prefects are limited to point deduction based on the school's rules.
- How can Rowling suggest Ron was wrong when it isn't him who makes the quote? It's the Ernie bloke from Hufflepuff.
- Then she suggested Ernie was wrong. I don't know.
- Either way, how can Rowling suggest that a character got it wrong, just to cover a plot hole? She's writing the books, she should be able to get these details right in the first place.
- Do you understand what you're saying? A character can make a statement that is inaccurate other wise everything everyone said would always be right. Rowling never implied the statement was a mistake or a plot hole she said it was an inaccuracy the character thought which wasn't true.
- I'll reply with this: if you think that that a character says something means it is automatically true and no character is ever mistaken about anything, I wish you good luck in life because someone this naive will need all the help they can get.
- Alternately, perhaps prefects are limited to point deduction from their own house. Or maybe they can take points from anyone, but it's subject to review by the staff.
- Or maybe when this person says that the Inquisitorial Squad being able to take away points would undermine the Prefect system, they mean that working hard, being a model student, and having the honour and responsibility of being a Prefect would seem a little less special when another group of people get the exact same powers for none of the work?
- 'Undermine' doesn't necessarily mean 'overpower'. I think it's true that it would undermine the Prefect system, because the Prefects can take points (and JKR saying that Ron didn't really know what he was doing was in reference to another scene with Ron where he SAYS 'prefects can't take points', which they can), but if the IS can also take points, they can just undo Prefect punishments. Say a Prefect takes points from another student for setting off firecrackers or something; logically, the IS could just take the same number of points (or more) from the other three houses so that the point reduction doesn't influence their standing in the House Cup. Logically, if the two groups of students were working together to monitor and discipline the student body, neither would undermine the other, but in this situation, there's a huge area for abuse of power since the IS doesn't choose its members based on their previous outstanding performance in the school, which probably usually acts as a safeguard as far as the character of the students goes. A student who is known to cheat, bully, or be aggressive with other students probably wouldn't be made a prefect, but they could and were made members of the IS.
- Of note: Until Fred, George, and Harry were banned from the Quidditch team, no named IS member (since they were all, with possibly one non-Gryffindor exception, Slytherins) would have wanted to do that, since it would make the House Cup competition lean more in favor of Gryffindor.
- We have no evidence at all that Prefects have the ability to take points away (as far as I can remember). The only possible evidence is that Percy says 'five points from Gryffindor', but he is clearly flustered and not thinking straight, so it might just a reflex for him to say something like that. We never get any indication that the points were actually deducted.
- Word Of God says that Prefects can deduct points.
- I got the impression that Prefects can deduct points from anyone who is not a Prefect, but the IS can deduct from anyone.
- They can also deduct points for any reason. I seem to recall that after Draco pointed out that he was part of the IS, he took points from Harry because he doesn't like him.
- Dunno why I think it, but I think Prefects can only deduct points from their own house.
- I have to agree with that, basically. I think prefects are supposed to maintain their own house, and while Prefect might 'take away points' from other houses, these deductions really go through the Head of House, or maybe the Prefects, for that other house. So it's less 'punishment' and more 'I'm going to formally tell the people who can punish you.'. So Malfoy can't use his Prefect powers to attack students in other Houses because the other House will simply say 'No, that's not a good enough reason to punish, punishment canceled.'. (It seems possible that Heads of Houses can do these even for teacher punishments, although for some reason McGonagall never does.) What Umbridge did, on the other hand, is set up a system where students can make point deductions without involving the House of the student at all, or in fact involving any adult authority except Umbridge's. (And she simply doesn't care.)
- That (prefects deducting only from their own House, maybe with power to recommend deductions from others) would have been the right way to resolve it, but Rowling apparently didn't think of it.
- Of course, the real question here is how the heck Draco became a Prefect in the first place, unless Slytherin Prefects are supposed to be 'more influential' instead of 'most responsible leaders', or all the other fifth-year Slytherins would be even more abusive. (Ron might not be the best choice for Prefect either, but at least all he does is joke about punishing people he doesn't like, he doesn't actually ever do it. And he imagines doing it for an actual violation of rules.)
- I might be wrong, but the Head of House picks the perfects. Snape is shown to favor Draco, he probably made him perfect just because.
Taking the "Defense" out of Defense Against The Dark Arts - For No Freaking Good Reason!!!
- What a huge Strawman Umbridge is just bugs me — not because of strawmen in and of themselves, but it's self defeating on the part of the Ministry of Magic. The minister believes Voldemort is dead and can't accept that he is alive. Fair enough. But why would he want to shortchange a generation of students of Defense Against the Dark Arts? Even if Voldemort is indeed dead, there's bound to be another dark wizard to turn up — maybe not as dark, but Aurors exist for a reason. Did he want a generation of crappy Aurors? Also, Harry, Ron, and Hermione can't think of anybody but Voldemort that would attack them. You'd think that after shouting his name, which wasn't working until nearly halfway through the book, they'd make the argument of another dark wizard arising in the future.
- A number of veterans from the old war state that when Voldemort was first in power, it was a horrific time. Now, having gotten past that, no-one wants to believe that they have to go through it all over again — so much that Fudge will refuse to believe the evidence of his return unless it's literally staring at him in the face.
- As for the Aurors, they have special training after Hogwarts as well, right? Assuming a students passes the necessary O.W.Ls and N.E.W.Ts under the new "Minstry Approved" curriculum, they can then undergo proper practical training when they apply for Aurors.
- For a real life example - Look at the reaction to the rise of Fascism in the build up to the second world war... many people in power had gone through the horrors of the 'war to end all wars' less than twenty years ago and were willing to do anything to avoid another war... including sticking their metaphorical fingers in their ears and chanting 'la la la la, can't hear you Czechoslovakia, la la la la'
- It's outright stated in the book. Fudge (and by extension Umbridge) doesn't want Hogwarts training young students in DADA because he thinks Dumbledore is going to use the kids as a private army to attempt a coup.
- Fridge Brilliance — Dark Wizards have to be trained somewhere. Maybe Umbridge (and by extension the Ministry) were trying to make sure that no wizard was skilled enough to become a powerful threat.
- I wonder — was Rowling deliberately trying to invoke a reference to the gun control debate, or did she simply miss all the implications? Because, yes, 'if we don't let anyone learn how to use magic to fight then we won't have to fight any Dark wizards' is about the same type of reasoning as 'if we make it illegal for anyone to have weapons, then we'll be safer from criminals having weapons'. Since the latter has any number of politicians in the real world who will strongly advocate for it, its thus entirely believable that the former wil have people in the Ministry of Magic advocating for it.
- In regards to why Harry, Ron, and Hermione never thought to say another evil wizard, it's the case that they picked up the Idiot Ball. Despite that there's still Death Eaters out there that do cause trouble even when their alleged leader is "dead", there are break outs of deranged dark wizards from Azakaban, that two years ago Sirius Black was all over the wizarding news as a dangerous threat (yes, I know he's not bad, but the rest of the wizarding world isn't gifted with breaking the Fourth Wall), and there's just the random horrible wizard that loves to torture or kill others, the Idiot Ball stops the three of them from ever thinking of this.
- Forget Sirius. Barty Crouch Jr. killed a student four mouths ago. AT HOGWARTS. (According to what the Ministry says happened, at least.) Why would students in Hogwarts need to learn to protect themselves, indeed?
- Umbridge's response is easy to predict - The curriculum is approved by the Ministry and will teach you everything you need to know to fight off Dark Wizards. Until then, the adults will take care of it. *smug smirk*
- You cannot admit that the curriculum is bereft of practical training and the next second promise that it will teach the students to fight, not even Umbridge could pull it. Rejecting Harry's, let's be honest, unfounded announcement of V's return is one thing, but that's straight-ass Double Think. And the Ministry has already proven itself powerless to either recapture Black or keep him away from Harry, and that is also something Umbridge cannot deny.
The Orb of Prophecy - a literal Idiot Ball?
- If Dumbledore had a copy of the Prophecy in the Pensieve, then why didn't they just destroy the glass orb Prophecy in the Dept. of Mysteries rather than keep guard over it so that Voldemort couldn't get it? Even if Dumbledore hadn't had a copy, wouldn't it have been better to extract it (using Harry) and then destroy it? Why keep it in existence, recorded in a form accessible by Voldemort?
- Who said Voldemort/the Death Eaters knew the origins of the prophecy (Sybill, saw it; Dumbledore, heard her do it)? Besides, let the No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup trope be ignored at least once. Also, only Sybill, Harry, and Voldemort could get the orb, being directly involved in it. (Though this suggests another thing - when the orbs are broken, their prophecies are "released" and heard. Why don't the Death Eaters just use some way to throw the "Dark Lord" one on the floor to hear it?)
- I don't think that's what they meant. Dumbledore knew what the prophecy said. Voldemort obviously wasn't going to be finding out from Dumbledore about it. Why did Dumbledore and the Order go through so much effort to keep the prophecy safe from Voldemort instead of just destroying the orb so they could be sure he'd never get it?
- Easy. So long as he's distracted with that goal in mind, the Order has time to build up its forces and try and convince the Ministry that Voldemort is back person by person. Also, with Voldemort hiding to keep up the illusion that he's not back, he's not openly recruiting or attacking his adversaries.
- Um, how will Voldemort know the prophecy is destroyed? Especially if you fake up another prophecy orb and leave it for him to find? Heck, prime opportunity for disinformation!
- You only get one try at that. If someone happens to sneeze halfway through, then you're buggered.
- Forget breaking it - we saw that the prophecies are just normal objects placed on normal shelves. When Harry and the others destroyed the shelves, many prophecies fell to the floor and broke. Possibly this would set off more alarms but, considering how long it takes the Ministry to arrive in Phoenix, why don't they just literally remove the shelf, tip it to one side, and catch all the prophecies in someone's cloak? Or destroy it but have someone hold their cloak underneath to catch all the bits as they fall? If you need to get something glass off a shelf which you can't touch and don't want to destroy, then there have got to be better ways than inviting your enemy into the situation to help you. In fact, there's got to be a way to put them on the shelf in the first place - Harry/Voldy/Trelawney weren't invited into the Department of Mysteries for that, presumably - ask your captured Unspeakable how they put them up there, Voldy!
- I'd always assumed that by those mentioned in the prophecy can touch it, it meant that the person who spoke and heard it are included, meaning Dumbledore could have touched it as well. If that's not the case, then perhaps it automatically appears in the Department of Mysteries and they have some sort of spell set up to record prophecies from seers.
- Levitate them onto a previously-enchanted shelf. Once Harry removed the prophecy, anyone could touch it, so there's nothing inherent to the prophecy itself that stops just anyone touching it.
- ...So why doesn't Malfoy levitate it down from the shelf? Or use the Accio charm? And for that matter, why did he stop Bellatrix from Summoning it after Harry took it down? I mean, I know he didn't want anything to happen to it, but... how does Summoning it harm it, exactly? Wouldn't it just soar into her hand?
- It's assumed that the prophecy can't be removed except by the owner, so levitating it probably wouldn't work. Besides, Harry was gripping it really hard once he realized the Death Eaters were there. Also, summoning a prophecy without being specific in the hall of prophecies is a bad idea.
- Weren't a couple of prophecies knocked off the shelf by accident and smashed? That would seem to indicate that it's not physically impossible to remove a prophecy from a shelf without being the subject of it. They could have levitated one end of the shelf and caught it as it rolled off.
- It's still debatable if the curse that comes from touching a prophecy that doesn't involve you would transfer when you caught it. It's also possible the Department of Mysteries has the prophecies specifically spelled against summoning, levitation, and all sorts of other charms.
- Presumably while Voldemort was preoccupied with the Prophecy, he wasn't focused on his other plans of hunting down and killing people. After the Prophecy is destroyed, he drops all pretenses and goes all out on the Wizarding World. Thus, Dumbledore not destroying it and perhaps getting arrested (keep in mind at this point he was considered a nut job) for destroying property or having someone else destroy it was keeping it there as a distraction.
- For that matter, if you're going to keep prophecies that need to be kept safe, especially when you're setting them up in a hall stacked on top of each other, why glass spheres? Why not a Plexiglas cube, or an iron tube, or something?
- Or better yet. CHARM them unbreakable.
"Need to Know" Nuttiness
- Why the DEUCE did Dumbledore keep the prophecy secret from Harry? It has to be the most loudly telegraphed "twist" in the history of fantasy. When he found out, why didn't Harry protest with something like, ".... Sirius died for THIS? 'You are destined to kill Voldemort someday...' Don't you think I figured that out when I learned he tried to kill me as a baby? Cause where I come from, that's the first symptom of being prophesied to kill the Evil Overlord. You kept us all in a dither about something that anyone past the age of FIVE could have guessed!"
- Well... the prophecy wasn't exactly "you're going to kill Voldemort." It was more "you're going to kill Voldemort OR Voldemort is going to kill you". That makes a bit of a difference. Also, Harry doesn't know that he's the main character of a fantasy series.
- That makes it even worse! Considering Voldemort and Harry have gone toe-to-toe three times at this point, it's not like "You two are going to fight. One of you is going to lose" is a big shocker to anyone. The fact that the prophecy doesn't even specify who's going to win just makes it that much stupider. Obviously one of them is going to kill the other! That's like getting a prophecy saying "You might eat cereal tomorrow... or you might not."
- The uncertainty of the prophecy is part of Harry's incentive. Yes, he wanted revenge enough to try and kill Voldemort, but like everyone else, he has had moments when he was afraid and unsure of what he was doing and where he was going. If he heard outright from the prophecy that he was going to kill Voldemort, he might have gotten complacent and not tried hard enough (or, as Dumbledore put it, "set too much store by the prophecy"). The fact, however, that no one knows who will win, made him strive even harder for the victory because he always knew he could die. (And please don't be rude.)
- I took it to mean that *only* Harry could kill Voldemort and *only* Voldemort could kill Harry. This makes it important because Harry can no longer expect, hope, or pray that anyone else will finish the job for him.
- The point of telling the prophecy wasn't to inform Harry that he had to kill Voldemort (it was made clear that prophecies didn't have to be fulfilled), it was to explain to Harry why Voldemort wasn't going to stop trying to kill him - Voldy was Genre Blind enough to not simply try to ignore fate and leave him alone. It was also made pretty clear that someone else could kill either Harry or Voldemort, but Harry also said that he wanted to be the one to kill Voldemort — not for the prophecy, but to avenge all the wrongs done.
- See, when I read it, I thought the significance of the prophecy was "You're going to kill him AND he's going to kill you." and that it was a bit of a paradox. The characters would be thinking, "How can I get at him without leaving myself open to attack?" and "What does that mean? Do we 'Avada Kedavra' each other at the same time?" Furthermore, I always thought Voldemort's solution was, "Okay, Harry did kill me when he was a baby, but thanks to my Horcruxes, I'm back. Now I'm free to kill him!" But the real solution in book seven was that Voldy kills Harry, (destroying the Horcrux), but because Harry sacrificed himself, he came back, then Harry kills Voldemort. Was I way off base in all this?
- It's all very confusing, and there's no general consensus on who's right or wrong about how the Prophecy was executed. Keep in mind that Voldemort never knew the whole prophecy and only knew the first two lines lines about when the one with the power to defeat him was to be born, and never never knew about the line dealing with killing each other (or the power the Dark Lord knows not). I don't think Harry was ever concerned about dying himself, but he was worried about killing Voldemort and whether he could do it or not.
- Dumbledore said he kept it a secret because he cared too much about Harry. Also, Harry did have a fit about it. He thought that if Dumbledore had explained it all to him, that this stuff wouldn't have happened. And he'd be partly right in that logic, of course. Also, a side note here, but it's said that the Prophecy doesn't control Harry's actions, it's pretty much like a prediction of the most likely outcome. Voldemort killing Harry's parents would, in turn, make Harry want to kill Voldemort. Then, when Voldy takes Harry's blood, he makes it so only they can kill each other.
- So why didn't Dumbledore say "Harry, in the Department of Mysteries, there is something Voldemort wants. He may send you images through your scar to try and get you to get it so he can get from you" so Harry knows to be careful about the visions he gets?
- Or "Harry, Voldemort is very hacked at you that you've managed to escape him twice already. He'll try extra hard now to rectify that and will use all kinds of tricks to lure you away from safety. He may even send images through your scar. So PLEASE, if you have some vision, even a most vivid one, do not act rashly, go to the nearest Order member."
- Harry would probably do that anyway - and did! It's just that the only Order member left in Hogwarts was Snape, who Harry simply doesn't trust. If Dumbledore, McGonagall or Hagrid were still at Hogwarts Harry could easily have gone to them.
- A better question is why did Dumbledore feel the need to keep the prophecy secret from Voldemort. I don't see how Voldemort would have benefited at all from knowing Harry's his equal, he already knows Harry was strong because he was unable to kill Harry.
- It all depends on how Voldemort interprets the prophecy. He could read the prophecy and come to the conclusion that as long as Harry lives, then he can't die.
- Except, he couldn't, since the prophecy said 'neither can live while the other survives'.
- As long as V is chasing the prophecy he is distracted from taking over the world. Smart, actually.
Now, be good little sheep...
- In the fifth movie, Umbridge says, "There will be no need to talk." Hermione mutters, "No need to think is more like it". Umbridge was clearly not out of earshot. Why would she let a comment like that slide — unless she agreed with it?
- She did agree with it. She wanted them to stick to a standardized method of teaching rather than the students ever actually thinking for themselves.
- Just a nitpick - "standardized methods of teaching" don't need to be bad or anti-student-thinking. It's just that this one in particular was, since it was conforming to the Ministry's agenda.
- Personal experience- sure, standardized teaching looks good on paper and keeps things in a neat little box, but it's also incredibly stifling. It doesn't take into account different learning styles and interests. Every teacher I had who cared about their students beyond "do this assignment and pass this test" hated standardized curriculum because it teaches students to pass tests, not actually learn and comprehend.
- "Standardised methods of teaching", if taken to their extreme, are bad. Because taken that far they cripple the students' ability to learn properly rather than just memorise garbage and pretend, and they hinder their ability to think for themselves which gives the world a bunch of retarded good-for-nothings instead of competent people. It's tantamount to treating someone who is poisoned by shooting them a few times and then arguing that the poison will not deteriorate their condition any further so "clearly" it is the best treatment they could have gotten. Heck, any halfway-decent teacher in real life reacts if they see that their students don't get the material, which stops it from being "standardised", and even then there are people who argue that the level of education methods is slipping because the teachers do not concentrate on their students enough.
- Why would Umbridge want to prevent students from identifying themselves as potential troublemakers? There would be plenty of time for censorship and brutality later... when she's in charge.
We're about to be exposed! Let's just stand around like idiots!
- Movie # 5: why, as Umbridge is tearing down the wall that is hiding the Room of Requirement, didn't the DA members do something reasonable like in the book and RUN LIKE FORREST GUMP? As frightening as being discovered is, they wouldn't simply stand still there, and such a room wouldn't have a single exit!
- If the movie!room is anything like the book's, then it takes time and concentration to make a door materialize. By the time they had created a back door, Umbridge would already be in.
HORRIBLE BURNING COAL FACE.
- During "Order of the Phoenix," Sirius justifies popping his head in the fire by saying, "This was the only way I could come up with of answering Harry's letter without resorting to a code... and codes are breakable." So... has nobody in Harry Potter's world ever heard of a one-time pad? Sure, Harry and Ron would be too dim to know about it; and Sirius, while considered smart in school, is probably too into magic to research Muggle methods of secret communications. But what about Hermione? She's exactly the kind of Muggle-born nerd who should be familiar with the idea. With all the adventures the trio keeps getting into, she ought to realize that they might need secure communications in the future and start research on cryptographical techniques that don't require a computer during her vacations.
- Those are people who have issues with the telephone. And to Hermione's defense, she seems a lot more knowledgeable about Magic then anything else. Besides, the vast majority of peoples, nerds included, don't even KNOW what a One-Time pad is.
- ...Yeah, what is a one-time pad, anyway? Odds are, even J. K. Rowling doesn't know what it is; if she doesn't know, then neither does Hermione.
- Read the link. It's an encryption algorithm which uses a randomly generated key of the same length as the plaintext. As long as you can follow it perfectly (which usually boils down to making sure the key is truly random, never re-using it, and making sure it never falls into enemy hands), the code has been mathematically proven to be unbreakable. You are right that Rowling is unlikely to have ever heard of it; she has admitted that she is bad at math. But is there an in-universe explanation for why Hermione hasn't stumbled across it?
- Why would she? She never seemed interested in the Muggle world; she even spent most of her summers with the Weasleys instead of her own family. If she did think they needed a secure communication system, then she would've just gone to magic.
- Specialis Revelio.
- How would she have gotten the one-time pad to Sirius securely? There were times in Harry Potter where it could've come in handy, but how is this one of them? Also, maybe Arithmancy includes a spell to "reverse the last calculation that was performed on this paper," which would break the unbreakable code.
- If she had thought ahead, and she should have, then she could have left it in Number Twelve when she was there during the summer in case Sirius, or anyone else from the Order, needed to contact her or the other members of the trio secretly. Of course, she would have to teach someone how to use the pad (it's easy; just shift each letter of the message by the number indicated on the pad and destroy each page after use); but Sirius is the perfect candidate, since he is always in the house (and thus able to encode messages for other people at headquarters if necessary), and he has lots of free time. If she thought about it before the previous year, then she could have also given the pad and instructions to Sirius during their face-to-face meeting in "Goblet of Fire" — indeed, considering they are corresponding with the most wanted wizard in Britain at the time, this would have been a sensible precaution. And if she had given pads to Harry and Ron and instructed them in their use, then Harry could have given one to Sirius when he talked to him in the fireplace before the first task and told him how it works. Now, if for some reason she figured it out after she came back to Hogwarts but before this particular message from Sirius, then she still could have given it to him, along with an explanation of usage, when he once again used the common room's fireplace for communications. It wouldn't have done much to secure THAT conversation, but it would have safeguarded future ones (particularly avoiding the one where Umbridge almost caught Sirius by the hair). Now, it is true that perhaps one-time pads are breakable by magic, but Sirius's wording about codes being breakable doesn't suggest that to me. If codes were routinely broken by normal spells, then he wouldn't have bothered to mention them as a possible security tool; his usage suggests that codes do protect messages, but can be broken by sufficiently determined/skilled cryptanalysis, and that he came into the fire because he wanted to have complete message protection. But cryptanalysys is useless against a perfectly executed one-time pad (hell, even if they mess up in the execution, then it would likely be strong enough to withstand whatever inexperienced code breaking Umbridge or the Ministry can throw at it).
- You apparently didn't think it was funny or at all clever, then, when Hermione (or Harry) would suggest an obvious idea that Ron (or Harry) was passing over in favor of a complex magical bypass (only, in this case, replace "complex" with "illegal")?
- You can't use computers and such at Hogwarts; Hermione explains this in Goblet of Fire when they are suggesting Rita uses a walky-talky, she explains equipment like that gets all messed up because there is 'too much magic' at Hogwarts and it distorts the equipment. That probably also goes for mobile phones.
- You don't need any electronics to use a one-time pad. Paper pads, while a bit laborious, work just fine.
- It's just as one of the above Tropers said. If JKR doesn't know of the one-time pad, then Hermione won't. As smart as she is, her knowledge is limited to how much the author knows (same for any character in the novels). However, alternatively, there was that mirror that Sirius gave Harry, which Harry only ever opened after the man died. Honestly, you'd think he'd bother to ask about it when he got the gift, or at least inspect when he got to school. It would have saved him a lot of trouble, as he could have instantly communicated to Sirius.
- Clear case of Fan Myopia! In this case, said fan seems to be a crypto-nerd. (No, not in the sense of "secret nerd". I mean "nerd who is especially into cryptography"!) And Hermione, although very smart and, well, nerdy, is just not a CRYPTO-nerd. Though perhaps there exists a wizard-version of cryptography.
- For one, we are forgetting the very, VERY real possibility that somebody out there has created a spell capable of automatically decoding codes. Secondly, even if that isn't the case, as any intelligence veteran worth his salt will tell you, mathematicians lean WAY too heavily on the reliability of a one-time pad. Proving something is "Mathematically impossible to break" means jack all, because they are only crunching numbers rather than talking about the actual strategies one uses against codes. One of which is to take a look at the code itself and try to gauge what stands for what. A number or letter repeated frequently enough is probably a vowel ('E', 'A', 'I', or less commonly 'O' or 'U') or a "frequent consonant" ('R','M', 'N', etc). If you know the language the codemaker is supposed to be communicating in, you can match up their alphabet and crank out several reasonable guesses about what an individual word is and go from there. Couple with the fact that the Western Alphabet is pretty limited in and of itself (and the English one is even more limited than usual), and it is entirely possible to break these "Unbreakable" codes even without the pad. Heck, that is EXACTLY what the Western Allies did when intercepting several German, Soviet, Spanish, and Portuguese codes in WWI and WWII, because they knew that they had an inborn belief in the impossibility of a security breach without the pads, and exactly what the Germans did with the Soviets later in the war. These things are not failsafe even using Muggle methods in the real world, and in a setting that involves magical spells that reveal hidden secrets, it's entirely understandable that Sirius would be paranoid about responding in written form.
- The way one time pads work is that the key changes for every character. So the same letter repeated multiple times in the encoded message won't refer to the same unencoded letter. For example, an "A" will sometimes be a "C" but sometimes be a "F". Without the key, you can construct literally any message of that length. Other criticisms (ie magical methods) are still valid though.
- Yes, you can literally construct any message of that length. Which is exactly what you do several times over; then you leaf through them and see which one "fits." Horribly, *horribly* time consuming but it works. I'm guessing the Death Eaters would lack the technology and the manpower to do something like that at the time though, which still leaves the question of magic.
- Um, no. Harry's message is about 75 words long, so let's say 400 characters. The number of possible messages of that length is 27 to the 400th power. You could not leaf through them in the lifetime of the universe.
- Because although Hermione is smart, she's not omniscient. In essence, she's not the right type of nerd - she's a magic nerd; what she appears to know about the Muggle world in canon is roughly what one would expect an intelligent almost-12-year-old to know. I'm honestly not sure that she necessarily knows advanced Muggle things like relativistic physics or exactly how computers work.
- Specialis Revelio. Come on, these people CASUALLY animate hundreds of statues with an incantation and are implied to have caused World War II. You think they'll be stumped by a Muggle code?
- Because Hermione isn't Bat-Man and unless Sirius had a blurb about being a crypto-nerd in his past, it would have been out of no where and rather tedious to read.
- ^^Exactly! It seems that people are forever overestimating Hermione. She may be very clever, but that doesn't mean she knows EVERYTHING. Especially not about the muggle world, which she hasn't properly lived in for seven years by the final book. Also not being born in the wizarding world does mean that there will be a lot of things about that she doesn't understand.
Harry Potter and the Definition of "Requirement"
- Does the Room of Requirement give you what you need or what you want? For example, if Harry were suicidal, would he find a psychiatrist or a selection of nooses and pistols?
- It depends what you mean by need. If Harry wants to take his life, he needs something to do it with. When the Weasley twins first discovered the room, it became a broom closet because they needed to hide from Filch. However, if the room gives people what's best for them, then it shouldn't have become anything at all so Filch would catch them and they would be forced to face up to whatever they did wrong. At the same time, it allowed Draco to work in secret on his plan to kill Dumbledore, to the point where it would refuse to let Harry in, so I don't think it's capable of making allegiances. So I think it gives the user what they want.
- I'm not sure the twins getting a detention and losing house points is necessarily what is best for them if they're running from Filch, and it certainly hasn't done anything to change their behavior all those other times they've actually gotten caught.
- The part with Malfoy bugged me. Granted, I only thought of it when I saw the movie, and don't remember the book version, but Malfoy wanted the secret room, so he got it. Harry wanted to see what shenanigans Malfoy was up to, so he got a brick wall. Is it just first come, first served? In that case, what would happen if one person wanted a room filled with kittens while another person stood beside them and simultaneously wanted the other person to not get a room full of kittens?
- It's been speculated that he wanted a room that no one could find out what he was up to. And him being active in the room gave precedence over Harry wanting to find out what Draco was up to (due to Draco wanting the opposite). This was why when Harry wanted a place to hide the book, even though Draco might have been in there, he was allowed in, because he also wanted a room that no one could find what he was up to.
- In the book, I thought the reason that Draco could get into the D.A. HQ is that they left it running. The room hadn't disappeared yet, and he just walked in.
- Depends on how Harry wanted to resolve the situation. If he was depressed, but wanted to feel better, it might be able to conjure a therapist of some kind (though we haven't seen it create a sentient being out of thin air before). If Harry truly wanted to commit suicide, then yeah, it'd give him something to do it with. May be grim, but as the other guy said, it gave Malfoy the place to plot to kill Dumbledore.
- The room might not necessarily conjure the therapist out of thin air. He might just, you know, steal him away from home for a little while, a la The Replacements. Which poses the question, are there magic therapists? If not, then the kidnapped one would be thoroughly freaked out, methinks.
- No, they probably just have super-dee special magic drugs to correct brain chemistry and then leave the depressed witch or wizard to work through their other issues on their own. Which may partially explain why, exactly, the magical community makes up such a small percentage of the human population at large.
- The original question gave me the image of a Magitek psychologist that looks like an NS-2 model robot. Or possibly H.E.L.P.eR.
- Given that the Longbottoms are still hopelessly insane nearly two decades after they were tortured, I'd say that no, there are no wizarding therapists.
- Or they're hopelessly insane. As in, nobody can get through to them, either because they're so blocked off or because there's not really anything left of them but confusion.
- Exactly, there are plenty of irretrievably insane people IRL and also plenty of therapists IRL too; therapy doesn't solve everything. Magical damage, such as what would be inflicted by using the Cruciatus Curse, would most likely be completely out of the capabilities of therapists to cure. Now, as to why there isn't a spell to cure that kind of insanity, however......
- For that, we turn to our good friends Giles and Tara: "...the human mind is very delicate. Too much can go wrong." "I've heard stories about people trying healing spells... if we did something, it could make things a lot worse."
- When Harry and company use the room to hold the DA meetings, Harry thinks about what he wants the room to give him, and the room provides. So if he walked in front of the wall three times while thinking "I need a place where I can commit suicide... a place where nobody will bother me, a place with all the appropriate tools..." then yeah, that is what he would get, because that is what he would need in order to do what he wanted to do.
- The Room can't conjure food, and I'm guessing sentient human beings are one of those things, along with food and money, that can't be permanently conjured, so no therapist. My theory, though, is that the Room is designed to do what's best for Hogwarts. When a psycho bureaucrat takes over, the school gives the students what they need to resist. When a student needs a place to hide something or secretly work on something (that was what Malfoy asked for, not "A room where I can continue my plan to kill Dumbledore"), the Room helps the student with no regard for what happens next (it doesn't ask questions, so to speak). If a student asked for a gun or a knife without adding what purpose they planned to use it for, it might comply, but the Room's specific function is to turn into a room that serves the seeker's needs. What kind of room is best for someone who's suicidal to achieve their goal? If a student specifically requested a room to help them commit suicide, I'm going to assume causing or contributing to the death of a student would violate the Room's directive to serve Hogwarts, and it would not comply.
- If it doesn't allow a student to kill oneself, why would it allow a student to hide stuff illegally? Illegally hiding stuff is blatantly against the school rules. The room simply has no guide on what is right and what is wrong, it simply conforms to what the person wants. If they need a bathroom, they get a bathroom. If they need a place to meet for DA meetings, then it gives them that. If they need a room to kill themselves in, then they'd get one of those.
- It doesn't have to be hidden illegally. What if, say, someone had a diary and people kept stealing it and reading it aloud? They'd need a place to hide it so that stops happening, and the Room of Requirements would be the perfect place for it. Or what if it was somebody's birthday or Christmas and someone needed a place to put the gifts that they were planning on giving? Just because the power to hide things can so easily be misused doesn't mean that there are plenty of perfectly innocuous reasons to use it.
- I'd like to think the room has a way to bend the desire to the overall best outcome, depending on how it's phrased. However, if it's phrased like "Give me a sword so I can kill myself", there's nothing it can do. Which begs the question of what would happen to the dead body in the room. Would it keep the room active (if they asked for privacy) or would it disappear into Hammerspace that the objects are stored in?
- One of the theories about how the 'Room of Lost Things' got so large is that is where all the 'real' objects left in any incarnation of the room are whenever they aren't needed. I.e., that room is hammerspace. Which raises some Nightmare Fuel about what you'd find if you kept searching...is there an entire section of corpses?
- Suicide can easily be committed by pointing a wand at yourself and saying "Avada Kedavra."
- Or "Reducto," or "Diffindo," or anything, really.
- I'm having the hilariously morbid image of, should a student request suicide, the door simply opening onto the outside wall of the castle.
- In response to the Draco question, I always assumed that the Room obeyed Harry's request to show him what Draco summoned. Draco was smart enough to make the Room become invisible to passers-by - Harry could have entered by walking through the wall, King's Cross style.
- Except that when prof. Trelawney requested a place to hide her liquor (BTW, why would she feel the need to, does Hogwarts conduct booze raids?), she crashes in on him just fine.
- Trelawney needed it because she was already viewed as a loony as she was. The sherry bottles probably wouldn't help her poor reputation.
- I doubt that's what happened - I'm sure Harry beat his hands against the wall in frustration at least once. Also, the King's Cross analogy is faulty. The wall IS there, it just teleports you to Platform 9 3/4 if you go at it right (And I would say Trelawney is hiding the sherry bottles because it wouldn't look too good if Umbridge found out.)
- Lolwut? She's doing it during the sixth year, Umbridge is already gone.
- No, it didn't. The reason for why the Room couldn't let Harry in was because Harry didn't know what was in there, and thus couldn't make the proper request for it to open itself to him per requirement. Trelawney got in because she inadvertently asked for the same thing Malfoy had asked for (a place to hide her possessions, the same room that also appeared to Tom Riddle when he requested a place to hide Rawenclaw's diadem). Harry got blocked out initially because he could only make roundabout requests to access the room (I want to see the same room Malfoy entered) rather than directly ask for the same thing Malfoy had requested (I want a place where I can hide my possessions). When Harry does ask for a place to hide something (the Half-Blood Prince's potion book) he is in fact able to access the same room Malfoy had used, though he doesn't realise it.
Traces of Doubt
- Why is it that in the fifth movie, Harry gets into trouble for casting a Patronus, but a couple of nights later, the Order let him fly on a broomstick through Muggle London? They fly a few metres away from a cruise ship, for crying out loud!
- Half Blood Prince explains that the Ministry can only monitor if and where spells are cast and not who cast them (which is why Harry is blamed for the Hover Charm in the second book - he is the only wizard in the area, and thus magic activity there would be attributed to him). A broomstick has already been enchanted, so unless someone got pictures or something, there is no way for the Ministry to know he did it.
- Plus, in the book, Moody used a Disillusion Charm on him, essentially turning him invisible so no Muggle would have seen him.
- In the book, Moody went out of his way to take them over rural areas and through cloud formations to avoid being spotted. The other characters complain about it. The movie scene is just Rule of Cool.
- In Quidditch Through the Ages, it is mentioned that brooms are routinely charmed so that, in flight, to Muggles they look like flying geese. I don't know about the UK, but in the Washington, DC area, Canada geese are so common that one's only concern is to not step in goose droppings.
- "Muggles? They don't see nothin', do they?"
At this rate, they might as well just start using "Flipendo"!
- Movie complaint: Stupefy is meant to knock people unconscious, not backwards. WTH?
- No offense, but you could at least explain what "Flipendo" is to people who have no idea. For the record, it's a spell used in the video games that has never, to my knowledge, been confirmed as canon; however, it's very effective and shouldn't just be dismissed as a crappy spell.
- Just like Expelliarmus is supposed to disarm someone, not send Lockhart flying backwards. It's theorized that if a certain spell is overpowered, it can send the target flying.
- And Avada Kadavera is only meant to make the victim crumple to the ground dead. Launching people is not in the spell description.
- But the point of Stupefy is to knock people out. It looks okay if you knock someone out and throw them backwards, but they just changed the spell's purpose entirely instead of enhancing it as they did with Expelliarmus.
- Also, for the record, there have been occasions of Expelliarmus knocking people backward if used strongly enough.
- Two words. Adaptation Decay.
- On the movie-related spells, here's another one that gets people's goat: in the final action sequences, many of them- Harry and the DAs included — are using non-verbal spells. Most of them didn't have a clue how to do those yet (save perhaps Hermione). They were fun to watch, though.
- I always thought that it was thanks to the same part of the Musical World Hypothesis that turns people into deaf-mutes with low-level telepathy every time a Hard Work Montage happens.
- What about the fact that people are shown using "Levicorpus"? There are three problems with that. 1) Harry and the others had no idea the spell even existed until a year later 2) Levicorpus is a nonverbal spell only, yet the kids are using it verbally 3) Levicorpus is defined as hanging someone up by their leg as if it were caught in a hook, while the movie shows them floating as if they were laying on air. It just feels so wrong when the moviemakers screw up the spells like this.
Mysterious mind connections are mysterious...
- In the Deathly Hallows, although Harry finally manages to use Occlumency properly and block out Voldemort's visions, he still clearly realizes what's happening to him. In the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore tries to get Harry to learn Occlumency so as not to be tempted by Voldemort's trick. But even if he had grasped this technique, he still would have known what was going on. Without anybody actually telling him what could possibly happen (and considering that the first time Harry had such a powerful vision, it saved Mr. Weasley's life), and given his current state of annoyance with Dumbledore (and especially Snape) — He probably would have chosen to succumb to the attack anyway, and the whole plan would have been moot. The only excuse I can give Dumbledore is that he couldn't have known what it felt like to have such a connection (it was quite the anomaly), and that his efforts were a desperate resort. Still, though...
- Dumbledore wanted Harry to learn Occlumency so Voldemort wouldn't be able to trick him with false visions. Dumbledore's hope was that Harry would be able to sense when Voldemort was trying to penetrate his mind and block that. Harry would be expecting Voldemort to be trying to take information out rather than putting false information in and in theory would try to block that. Of course why Dumbledore chose not to tell Harry that Voldemort could use a false vision to manipulate him is all up in the air.
Poor Communication Kills, But No Communication Outright Brutalizes
- Why the heck did Harry not use that mirror, which Sirius gave him specifically for contacting him when he needed him, ever?
- Harry didn't know what Sirius gave him and thus decides to never open the package. He was handed the package as he was heading back to Hogwarts and Sirius only tells him not to open it there as "Molly wouldn't approve". His reasoning at the time was that it was a method of communication that would either get Sirius in trouble for using, like the last time he tried to communicate via the Floo network, or encourage him to leave the house and thus get caught by the Ministry. He didn't realize exactly how it worked and thus buried it at the bottom of his trunk and forgot about it. In fact, he practically vows not to use it almost immediately. If Sirius had explained how to use it then rather than leaving a note, we might have had a whole different year. You can check US page 523 for yourself.
- I don't know if this is in all UK or Commonwealth versions; but I'm from Canada, and I have the scene on page 462 of my version, in case people without the US version wanted to check it out. Basically, Harry decides not to use it after Sirius says it's a way to communicate / let him know that the Occlumency lessons are going bad. Harry didn't want to be the one responsible for Sirius leaving the house again.
- I got the feeling that Harry never got the hang of Occlumency. It was just that in Deathly Hallows, Voldemort became increasingly agitated and thus forgot to monitor the mental link between himself and Harry (it was established that the reason Harry began to get the Department of Mysteries images was because Voldemort was manipulating the link).
- The problem here is that Harry talks to Sirius in Umbridge's fire to discuss what he saw in the Pensieve AFTER receiving the mirror. Why did Sirius not ask Harry why he was using the fire and not the mirror then?
- He got it just as he was leaving for Hogwarts, had put it away, and by the time he needed to contact Sirius, five months had passed. Can you honestly tell me you would have remembered it?
- Given how Sirius has spent the whole time brooding (not to mention the implications that he's been drinking) and is bordering on obsessed with Harry, he should have remembered he gave him the mirror.
- Sirius is in favor of rule-breaking in general, and Harry was using Umbridge's own fireplace, behind her back, to contact him. Sirius probably thought that that was so cool, he wasn't inclined to question or complain about it.
- The problem with this is that Sirius had used the fireplace in the Griffindor Common room to talk to Harry twice before that. And not once did he bother to mention the mirror. Heck, the second time he wrote a letter to Harry telling him to meet him at the fireplace. Why didn't he use the same letter to remind him about the mirror instead is beyond me.
- The Order has a secret means to communicate with each other, which everyone assumes to be Patronuses, but that's completely absurd, as a Patronus showing up in the middle of Snape's class is bound to be noticed, or worse, while he's talking to Voldemort. What if a mirror system is the Order's secret means of communication, and Sirius just stole one and gave it to Harry? And the second Harry uses it, everyone would figure that out (We don't actually know how they work, perhaps it's broadcast to all mirrors), so Sirius really does only want it used for emergencies. Convoluted, yes, but it makes sense of both the 'Glowing talking animals' means of secret communications concept, and why the mirror is not used...because Harry isn't actually supposed to have one. And it explains why no one's apparently ever seen Snape's Patronous.
- Uhhh, the mirror is NOT a secret communication method by the Order, Sirius explicitly said in his note that when he and James were in school, they'd use the mirrors to talk to each other during detention. It's a personal item of his and it makes no sense at all as to why he never told or reminded Harry about it.
- Nor does it make any sense how he'd have James's mirror in the first place. That's very very hard to explain. Even if Sirius somehow had custody of the mirror at James's death, there's no way he'd still have it, or even still have his own! The only old stuff of Sirius is the stuff at Grimmauld Place, and he got kicked out of there before he finished Hogwarts, so the mirrors couldn't be there. However, the text doesn't say it's the same set. The text just says that Sirius and James used to use 'them' to talk in detention, and it could just as easily mean 'two way mirrors in general' instead of that specific pair of them.
- Another possibility as to why Harry should only use them in emergencies and why Sirius wasn't supposed to give that out...maybe they bypass Fidelius and other security charms, like a vanishing cabinet does. Perhaps if you can see a location in real time, you can apparate or Portkey or something there regardless of Fidelius.
- The "location" would not fit in that mirror.
- If someone doesn't answer your phone calls, it's less awkward to just start sending them emails than to get into a potentially embarrassing and painful discussion about why they're not answering your phone calls.
- I assume that 12 years of depression followed by drowning your sorrows would diminish Sirius' reasoning ability.
More emergency communication
- I think the bigger question is, why is it only Sirius who is concerned about providing Harry with means of emergency communication? They all know that the kid is targeted by the enemy and that he regularly gets in danger, yet no one ever thought that it'd be a good idea if he'd be able to get in touch with them should the need arise? Why the hell would Molly "not approve"?!
- Because, let's face it, Molly is a borderline Smother. She doesn't approve of Harry and Sirius's relationship anyway and wants to make sure Harry is away from his influence. I don't see Molly approving the mirror either. Though why Sirius didn't tell Harry exactly what it was there and then is Idiot Ball on his part.
- "Hey, guys (and Molly, and Tonks), I think we should provide Harry with some mean of emergency communication, just in case he runs into another trouble, like it tends to happen with him with alarming regularity. Like one of our walkie-talkie mirrors." Done. What was Molly going to say to that? Demand that Sirius is banned from using? That's too obvious and petty. For bonus subtlety he could've had Arthur or Remus as an "idependent" party suggest it.
Oh, sure, everyone forgets the girl!
- Mrs. Weasley, on Ron being a prefect: "That's everyone in the family!" Gred and Forge: "So what are we, next-door neighbors?" So what is Ginny, the Madwoman in the Attic?
- In slight defense, the "so far" could have been implied, but then she did ignore Gred and Forge. I never was a fan of how Mrs. Weasley could be so narrow-minded sometimes.
- Everyone in the family who has been old enough to become a prefect. (Excluding F&G)
They're using wandless magic ALREADY?!?
- Harry is able to use his wand without holding it when he casts "Lumos!" in chapter 1. But this ability never reappears in the series, nor is any explanation given.
- And of course fanfics have made all sorts of explanations. Truly it could be as simple as accidental magic, or it could be as complicated as the ability to do some wandless magic (or even more complicated: Remote Casting). Harry never seems to go back and think about how that worked, and thus we tend to forget about it.
- It's established rather clearly that the link between the wand and the wizard is spiritual, and nothing says that the physical contact is obligatory. Wizards usually hold their wands while casting because they need to point it at the object of casting or to make some magical gestures with it, neither of which a simple non-directional spell like Lumos apparently requires.
- Remote casting is shown in book 1: Quirrel snaps his fingers to cast a non-verbal Incarcerous, but was probably holding his wand in his other hand.
- Also, that specific Lumos spell never gets mentioned, even while he's having the book thrown at him for underaged magic. This raises the question if Lumos is really a 'spell' at all, or just some sort of wand feature. There are lights that turn on and off via a magical tap (Which also doesn't count as underaged magic), perhaps wands just have an owner-controlled voice-activated light instead, as you can't exactly tap your wand with your wand.
- Alternately, it's a very trivial charm that doesn't even activate the Trace, and thus it's not unreasonable that even someone without any training could do it wandlessly, but not anything else.
- It could also be an example of the instinctual magic that Tom Riddle and Harry Potter are both shown as being able to tap unknowingly. Alternately, wands may be specifically enchanted to react to a nearby Lumos incantation for just such situations - it'd make the wand harder for a wizard to lose on a dark night in the woods, for instance.
- Arthur addresses something like this in the seventh book. He says that in tight situations, wizards can perform magic spontaneously. Harry was in a very desperate situation and that could have been enough to get enough magic to light his wand.
- Lumos and Accio Wand are important for finding or retrieving the wand. These aren't wandless magic, just spells that the wand can perform without the wizard physically touching the wands.
- Fun bit of information: the ability to cast a spell with a wand without physically holding it is a unique property of wands with a phoenix feather core. So it's not wandless nor remote casting, just phoenix feather wands having their own mojo.
Why Don't Ya Just Hex Him... Wait, that's what you're trying to do?!?
- The whole plot point with Voldemort's desire for the prophecy as a mean (or guideline?) to kill Potter is rendered completely senseless, when Voldemort tries to AK Potter in the atrium, even though the prophecy-ball is destroyed. So, if Voldemort's convinced that AK would work on Potter (otherwise, why'd he use it), then why bother with the prophecy at all and not kill Potter right after he enters the Ministry, or at least have the DE ambush and capture him?
- Just gotta say, when I read the part about Voldy trying to AK Harry in the Atrium, I thought of Voldemort shooting at the kid with an AK-47. Needless to say, I got a good chuckle out of it.
- Him showing up in the Ministry wasn't the brightest of ideas in the first place. If he's trying to keep the fact that he's back a secret, and he shows up at the Ministry, why didn't he do this before and simply grab the prophecy himself? The whole plan wasn't well thought out by Voldemort all around, and that's his character flaw in not thinking of everything the way he should have. When he got there, regardless of reason, he was enraged that they'd destroyed the prophecy, and in his madness assumed that since he had Harry's blood and he almost killed him last year, this year shouldn't be any different and he could kill him just as easily. Which is technically true at that time.
- Yeah, except that he looked surprisingly calm and cool-headed in that moment and not enraged at all. And luring Potter to the Ministry and away from the protection of Hogwarts was a great idea, all the less plausible that V didn't think of positioning Death Eaters right at the entrance and ambushing the kids.
- The plan was pretty much shot down at that point. Voldie hadn't reckoned on Harry showing up with friends, and actually fighting his Death Eaters, let alone summoning the Order of the Phoenix. At that point, he was resorting to damage control.
- Voldemort — the single most fearsome dark wizard alive — sent Harry Potter an invitation to a massacre and was actually surprised that Harry came with reinforcements? Voldemort, whom the Order has been searching for frantically all year, deliberately transmitted his exact location to one of his worst enemies and didn't expect the Order of the Phoenix to show up? What, did they make him swallow the Idiot Ball? Honestly, you talk about Idiot Plot, this is it, right here.
- Nope. V planned to make Harry curious enough to tootle along to the Ministry alone to get the prophecy as he thought Harry already knew of its existence and wanted to hear the whole thing. When he didn't, V lured him with Sirius. V's D Es (yay for acronyms!) would have creamed Harry and co.but for the arrival of the Order, and here's the point you are missing: Voldemort had no way of knowing the Order would be there - Harry had very little time, after all - because the only reason they were was Harry's message to Snape who V thought was on his side! V showing up at the Ministry was damage control and DD himself calls it foolish thus why V didn't do it in the first place. Yet another apparent Plot Hole solved with the wonders of logic!
- Errrr, no. Harry was sent an image of an Order of the Phoenix member being tortured to death by Voldemort, and Voldemort is still surprised at the idea that Harry might bring reinforcements? Look, Harry's not a genius but give him some credit. If he's rolling out to do a hostage rescue against Voldemort himself, Harry's going to bring anyone and anything he can possibly find. Expecting Harry to voluntarily show up alone is insane... and given that Voldemort's entire plot is based on Harry finding a way to travel from Hogwarts to London unaided, and does not specify an exact arrival time (or for that matter, an exact departure time) for Harry, Voldemort has no way of knowing if Harry makes any stops on the way. Which of course Harry doesn't because this sequence isn't just an Idiot Ball but an Idiot Plot; Voldemort makes a titanically stupid plan that comes as close to working as it did only because Harry passes up a titanically obvious option. ('Seeing as how this flight took hours anyway, what's say we take ten more minutes and detour to Grimmauld Place first while we're overflying London?')
- Although now we've got to wonder how Snape managed to get away with it. If V bothers to even slightly reconstruct what happened, he knows that Harry couldn't have ordered the reinforcements, especially as they arrived so late. So...how does V think DD figured out what was going on? Either Snape betrayed V, or Snape isn't as trusted by DD as Snape claims, because there's apparently a member of the Order at Hogwarts that Snape doesn't know about who noticed Harry was missing. (I hope Snape suggested it was Umbridge, who, after all, helped escort Harry out of the castle earlier that night. Mwhahaha.)
- It's been established that the Order has been patroling the Dept. of Mysteries at night, so its likely that another member bit the dust that night when the D Es showed up. Snape, being their 'inside man' to the Order, could have said something like, "Oh, Lupin was going to take over the watch at midnight, and when he showed up and saw all Hell breaking loose, he sent up the Bat Signal."
- Nope, doesn't work. If there was such a patroling member, Snape would've been expected to know about him and relay that knowledge to V, who would've planned accordingly.
- Well, V already knows they're patrolling there, thanks to his snake attack. Presumable that person was taken out off-screen. And Snape could claim that maybe they patrolled in pairs sometimes and the Death Eaters missed one. But the problem is, if an Order member had sent the alert, reinforcement would have been there earlier, way before Harry got there. (Presumably, the Death Eaters were in control of the situation there before the first vision was even sent.) That can't be used to explain them showing up later. There's really no explanation besides the actual one of Snape sending them, and it seems odd V never pieces that together.
Abusing the Room of Requirement for Fun and Profit!
- The Room of Requirement, Harry. Everything you could ever want is in that room. All you have to do is simply wish for it. When I first read it, I thought "Hey! What if he could wish his parents back to life with that room? All he'd have to do is say 'I wish to speak to James and Lily Potter' and bing bang boom! There they are!"
- Magic can't bring people back from the dead. This has been stated and restated over the course of the series. Voldemort came back because he was only ''mostly'' dead. The Resurrection Stone only brought back their spirits, and even then, only temporarily. But no amount of magic can bring back someone who's really dead, and I don't think they make any secret of this.
- Also, as someone said upthread, it's a pretty safe bet that human beings are one of the unstated exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration — i.e., you can't conjure someone under any circumstances, it's a law of magical nature.
- Given that in the seventh book, someone praises Neville for "having a knack" for using the room, I guess there has to be a certain kind of mental effort. I imagine it to be a bit like that Literal Genie trope.
- Or if you wanted something to keep you awake at night, the Room might go the literal route if you asked for your dead relatives back. Or should I say, what's left of them...
- What if you really need a place where you can apparate out of Hogwarts? You'd probably blow Hogwart's mind.
- In that case you'd be able to apparate out of the room itself but not into anywhere in the grounds. And if someone was still inside then outsiders would be able to apparate to inside the room. Or if the person just wanted to get out, it'd create a passageway like it did to the Hog's Head.
So, what's the point in almost choosing someone, again?
- What was the point in having Neville be The Almost Chosen One? Conservation of Detail, and it doesn't go anywhere in the next couple books. Neville becomes more badass, but that has nothing to do with the prophecy. The prophecy didn't say "...and this person will kill the Dark Lord. The person that fits most, but not all the criteria will stop being a loser, and start kicking ass."
- I believe the reason for Neville being the Almost Chosen One was because it gave Voldemort the option to choose who he wanted as his equal. If there was only one person the prophecy could have qualified, then it wouldn't have mattered what blood type Harry was, but instead it shows that Voldemort doesn't care for blood supremacy as much as he claims. Plus, it has the added bonus of giving Harry (and the readers) the "what if?" line of thought.
- Prophecies are vague and misleading. Neville was The Almost Chosen One because the prophecy didn't give sufficient enough information to narrow it down to the one person it was actually about. Technically, it didn't name Voldemort either, but there was only one Dark Lord at the time, so that wasn't hard to guess. It's very rare for a prophecy to be precise and unambiguous in their wording; they're tricky that way.
- It can be even worse if you make the prophecy in question even vaguer by considering that there are other calendars, so "as the seventh month dies" might not even be July. If interpreted incorrectly (and judging by how little of the prophecy Snape heard), it's actually impressive that Voldemort jumped to the conclusion that Harry or Neville must be the child mentioned.
- "It's very rare for a prophecy to be precise and unambiguous in their wording; they're tricky that way." In fiction, that's because it would be very boring to have the exact details of how everything is gonna happen ahead of time. In real life, it's because concrete and detailed claims are falsifiable.
- I can't remember what book it was (if it was even in the book, my memory is really faulty on this), but didn't Dumbledore himself tell Harry that it was all basically Voldemort who made the choice on who became the chosen one, and he chose HARRY as the one most similar to him — The half-blood, whereas Neville is a pure-blood. Voldemort interpreted what parts he did know of the prophecy and considered Harry as his equal.
- I think you need to go look at the wording of the prophecy again..since Harry was NOT his eqaul until Voldmort killed his parents (and failed to kill Harry.)
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the [Dark Lord will mark him as his equal], but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ..."
Oh and what other month could be the 7th month of the 12 months of the year—July, both Harry and Neville's parents were part of the oringal Order of the Phoenix so "born to those who thrice defied him", the only difference is Harry's a half-blood (like the Snape, Voldmort, and I think Dumbledore) and Neville's a Pure-blood (but like Ron doesn't care)
- That was actually when he was explaining to Harry everything about the prophecy and why everything was set into motion, after the climax at the Ministry when they were back at Hogwarts. That statement in and of itself makes Voldemort's choosing Harry make more sense than if he had chosen Neville. Page 842 of the US version.
- Dumbledore explains how it explains the nature of prophecy and how Voldemort made Harry the Chosen One: there are no further special magic powers granted to Harry, it was all V's doing. By A King Harry's parents, he made Harry his sworn enemy. By accidentally sticking a bit of his soul to Harry, he gave him the mind-link and Parseltongue. Harry doesn't magically have to kill V at all, it's just the only thing that can happen purely because of Voldemort.
Oh deer... that's an unusual Patronus...
- So the most reliable method of communication used by the Order is Patronuses, and when Snape found out that Harry had seen a vision of Sirius being tortured by Voldemort in the Department of Mysteries, Snape went to confirm its truth. That would mean Sirius had seen Snape's Patronus, and most probably, the rest of the Order too. So why is nobody concerned about the fact that Snape's Patronus is a doe? Even if they hadn't seen Lily's Patronus, they must be curious as to why it's so unlike Snape's character (it's implied that one's Patronus is decided by one's character, if not by the bonds they share, e.g. Harry's Patronus is a stag, his father's animagus form), or Harry's Patronus's counterpart.
- Yes, the most reliable method is Patronuses, but that doesn't mean he used one. Snape knew Umbridge was suitably distracted, and he could have easily used Floo Powder to contact them, as it would have been faster. We don't know for sure how he contacted them but the fact remains that Sirius would have been more worried about Harry then possibly concerned with what Snape's Patronus looks like.
- Uh, one thing I'd like to point out here: Sirius isn't a total idiot. I'm sure he at least suspected that Snape was in love with Lily; he probably figured it out while they were in school, and he viewed Snape as a pathetic enough loser to never get over her. If Sirius ever saw Snape's Patronus and realized that holy crap, Lily had the same one!, he wouldn't have been surprised. (Though I'd have to agree with the above post; I believe JKR once said that Snape never used his Patronus to communicate with anyone but Dumbledore.)
- Snape did not contact Sirius using his Patronus: Jenny: How did snape keep his patronus secret from the rest of the order? J.K. Rowling: He was careful not to use the talking Patronus means of communication with them. This was not difficult, as his particular job within the Order, i.e., as spy, meant that sending a Patronus to any of them might have given away his true allegiance. Dumbledore does say that the Order 'has more reliable means of communication than Umbridge's fireplace', which leads one to believe he meant Patronus, but it can't be. It IS possible, though, that this was just a case where Rowling hadn't yet decided everything. We know she had planned Snape's position in the story and his love of Lily from the beginning, but the specifics of Snape's patronus matching hers may have been something decided later. Snape's Patronus could have been something else originally and served the same purposes in the final book, when she decided it was more poetic for her to match his Patronus to Lily's. So, they must have another method of communication by default, since we know Snape didn't send his Patronus. This is probably for the best, anyway, because if it's true that Lily's Patronus was a doe, it would have probably been a horrible experience for Sirius to suddenly be faced with the Patronus of one of his best friends who's been dead for so many years. Not to mention the mental trauma of hearing Snape's voice come out of it.
- Not to mention that Patronuses (Patroni?) are, quite possibly, the absolute worse form of secret communication imaginable. Yes, they can't be forged (Well, unless you happen to find someone with an identical Patronus and have them take Polyjuice to change their voice.), but it's a giant glowing message that finds you wherever you are and repeated the message loudly in front of whoever you happen to be near. Holy crap, is that the exact opposite of what a secret organization should use or what? It's the same as using a Howlers as a form of secret communication. Everyone reads 'We have our own ways of communicating' in one book, and see a unique method of communication in the next book, and assumes that must be what they're talking about...but no. Just no.
- My personal fanon is that the Order actually uses mirrors, which is why Sirius wasn't supposed to give Harry one. That's an Order mirror he's carrying around, a security breach if Death Eaters get a hold of it. (Sirius does say that he and James used them to communicate in detention, but he might just mean those sort of mirrors in general, not that one specifically.)
Ka... me... ha... me.......................................
- So, according to the movie, wizards can have DBZ power battles, which look stunningly similar to "Priori Incantatem" from the previous movie. Now, it's been a while since I read the book, but did that ACTUALLY happen?
- Rule of cool. In the book it can only happen when two wands share the same core. So, we've only seen Harry and Voldemort do that.
- Possible extra justification in hindsight for Dumbledore being able to do it with Voldemort. He does possess the Elder Wand, which is explicitly more powerful and more magical. But really I do think the movie producers were pushing it with this one.
- Or maybe the twin cores version is different i.e. with the twin cores it's the only thing that can happen and if someone wins, all that happens is that the loser's wand shows what it's done. With a run-of-the-mill Beam-O-War, the loser just gets hit.
- It's just Steve Kloves being hit with a confundus before he wrote that. A battle between wizards is supposed to be precise or semi-precise casting and either evasion or defensive responses, and what we got instead was people waving fancy sticks as if they were trying to hit a piñata and get candy. To be honest, most of what could be called "wizards fighting" in the later movies just makes me groan becuase "fuck, so many openings, did those people never fucking fight anything ever?"
- Also a movie gripe, but, instead of letting Voldemort pierce Harry with thousands of glass shards, Dumbledore decides it's much safer to have Harry be assaulted by multiple thousands of grains of glass/sand... and this is better? Has Dumbledore never heard of erosion?
- Well, yes, getting hit by a huge pile of sand is better than getting hit by a smaller series of glass blades. The sandblasting would hurt more, but the glass pieces would make him dead more.
- I gripe about it every time I see that part, because it's not sand, it's powdered glass. And Harry rolled in it. Poor mister Potter's face and hands should just be raw, bloody flesh now.
- No it wouldn't. You must never have handled powdered glass — it certainly doesn't tear your skin up if you rub it between your fingers. And sand isn't really anything different than coarse glass powder anyway.
- And if you powder glass fine enough...it goes back into being sand.
- If you ever use a glass bead machine (a form of metal finishing that blasts metals with grains of glass at high speed, often using a glovebox), you will undoubtedly get some on you and discover that it is easy to touch without cutting yourself. Hell, even getting hit by a few beads will sting something awful but won't cut you. The glass in the movie wasn't moving nearly fast enough to cause severe cuts.
- Maybe so, but this is one of these Don't Try This at Home things. Also remember that a lot depends on whether the glass is eroded or not, and inhaling a load of fresh glass dust is a bad, BAD idea. On another note, yes, sand can be very sharp, like the sand they use on construction sites.
We need to get our priorities straight...
- Why was it so important to keep the full prophecy away from Voldemort? The "one must die at the hands of the other" bit might have made Voldemort redouble his efforts to kill Harry, but the "power the Dark Lord knows not" bit might have made him more cautious. Keeping Voldemort occupied trying to get the prophecy tied up some of his resources, but protecting the prophecy tied up some of the resources of the Order.
- It was a necessary distraction. While he's distracted with it and why Harry can beat him, he's not attacking and advancing his other plans as much as he could. Dumbledore is worried Voldemort could figure something out that he doesn't want him to, or rather assume something he shouldn't. For example, Voldemort figured out from only two lines that it had to refer to Neville or Harry ignoring the possibility that the prophecy could be referring to a different calender or dark lord. If he got a hold of the entire prophecy he could possibly interpret the line "the power he knows not" to mean that Harry has some way to locate his Horcruxes, and as a precaution place more enchantments on them, move them, or hold onto them closer. It's better to leave your opponent in the dark than let him have information that could lead him to being that much harder to defeat.
- If they wanted to ensure Voldemort never got his hands on the Prophecy, the simplest and surest method would simply be to walk in, smash the prophecy globe, and leave a transfigured lava lamp in its place. (And yes, they could do that; the protections keep anybody not named in the prophecy from picking it up, but Harry and Bellatrix both smash prophecies willy-nilly by accident when fighting in the DOM. Smashing one on purpose should be even easier.) After all, its not like Dumbledore needs the prophecy; he's already got his own copy safe in his pensieve!
- The theory about delaying Voldemort seems fitting. After all, if he's spending all his time trying to break into the Ministry to get the prophecy, he isn't devoting his full attention to raising an army etc. Delaying him for as long as possible seems like the plan. Alternately they don't know they can just go in and smash the prophecy - it's something that would admittedly be hard to test without getting caught. It's only when the Death Eaters are chasing Harry and co. that they smash them. There could even be enchantments to catch anyone who smashes a prophecy - that the Death Eaters obviously removed.
- In the hospital wing at the end of the book, Umbridge apparently hasn't said a word since the encounter with the centaurs, but two paragraphs later, she speaks perfectly normally and no-one seems to care.
- They were hiding their disappointment.
Harry Potter is officially a moron
- This is not so much about a fridge logic, but about how Harry behaved in general. So Harry has a vision of the person who is the next best thing to his dad being tortured somewhere in a omnious part of the MoM. First, he breaches into the office belonging to the The Umbridge, he gets information from a questionable source, and nearly forgets that Snape is part of the Order because he hates him. If Harry for a second would have dropped his Idiot Ball, he would notice, that the vision he saw could be wrong, that he could let Snape take care of this, assume that Kreacher's information could have been wrong too, and above all, THAT HE SHOULD NOT ENDANGER HIS CLOSEST FRIENDS IN AN RESCUE ATTEMPT AT THE HEART OF THE MINISTRY AGAINST DEATH EATERS. I mean, seriously, half of the plot only works with puberty making Harry stupid, and the other half is Dumbledore not spilling the beans, which is a problem in itself. I mean, Dumbledore could have just said, "Stay the Hell away from the Ministry under all circumstances!" Instead, he keeps his distance from Harry and locks him out of the loop.
- Dumbledore was trying to minimize direct contact with or instruction to Harry, to keep Voldemort from having the incentive to possess him. Harry, as Hermione mentions, has a "saving-people thing" and isn't always rational. Yes, both characters screwed up, but there were reasons for what they did and they got called on it.
- What bugs me most about the whole thing is that after they get rid of Umbridge, why didn't Harry just go back to Snape? I mean, I know he thought Snape wasn't taking him seriously, but he could've thought of making him see sense if that were the case.
- That actually makes the most sense about the situation to me. Harry tried to go to McGonagall in book 1 about the Philosopher's Stone, but wasn't taken seriously by his Head of House. Ever since then, only Dumbledore has really accepted anything he's said. Why would the teacher who's hated him since he came to the school take him seriously?
- Oh idk, maybe because he, Harry, was right some months earlier. Just a guess.
- Harry and Snape are on the same side, but they don't like each other personally at all (not counting Snape's residual love and loyalty to Lily as liking Harry). If Harry has any option but Snape, he's going to take it. In hindsight, a stupid decision, but easy enough to see why he made it.
- It made a lot of sense to me, too. Everyone forgets that at least once in EVERY book so far, there have been both MAJOR and minor points made that Adults Are Useless. And everyone seems to forget that Harry's abusive upbringing is a major sticking point with everything. Up until now, he's had to do everything HIMSELF. He's already broken down and used his last resort for help, and it APPEARED that no help was given. In my mind, I can clearly see this as a "screw you all, I'll do it myself", especially seeing as how that's literally what's been happening in all the previous books. Book 1, McGonagall didn't believe him, and the Trio went on their own. Book 2, Lockhart was absolutely USELESS and in fact would have got them all killed... my point made?
- I myself always thought it made sense why Harry would believe his vision of Sirius to be real. Think about it — just a few months ago, he had a nearly identical experience in seeing Mr. Weasley get bitten by an enormous snake. That sentence in itself sounds so absurd, the only reason Harry's claims were taken seriously was that Dumbledore and the Order happened to know of Mr. Weasley's current position. Every other one of Harry's visions that followed proved to be real, too. Harry says it himself: "Why d'you think they want me to stop seeing these things? Because they're real, Hermione!" Harry had also spent an entire semester being told by almost everybody that he was a liar, that he was mad, that what was happening to him was bullcrap. These facts alone would be plenty sufficient in fueling Harry's likelihood of believing that Sirius was really in danger. This all, of course, isn't to say that what Harry did wasn't extremely foolhardy and rash. But it does make his decision that much more understandable and less of a "Screw reason, my friend's in trouble".
- Exactly. You can't call someone an idiot for not acting on information they didn't have. In this case, the information that its actually possible to fake a vision like that. If Dumbledore had simply had anyone in the Order actually mention this possibility to Harry, Harry would almost certainly not have fallen for Voldemort's deception. This is a good chunk of what Dumbledore meant when he confessed at the end of book 5 'You know, if I'd actually just told you ANYTHING about what was going on, I could have avoided this whole mess.' And looked at in this light, Harry actually deserves mad props for going as far as he did to try and double-check on Sirius' whereabouts, instead of just immediately leaping on a thestral and heading south.
- TO BE FAIR (lulz), let's examine the situation: on my personal reread, I was actually shocked at how rude and insulting Harry was toward his friends in his blatant attempt to PREVENT' them from going to the Ministry with him. Obviously Harry didn't want to endanger them — especially Neville, Ginny, and Luna. Unlike Ron and Hermione, they haven't been in the dangerous and injury-inducing situations with Harry that give him faith in the trio's abilities — but they are determined. Luna even offers the one way to get to the Ministry that they end up using, because Harry, Hermione, and Ron don't manage to think of anything else plausible to use (Thestrals). So, Harry DOES try to keep them from being in danger, but they are determined to help him. Also, after a year in the DA, they might not have a natural gift with DADA, but they know Harry's most highly regarded defense spells. And Harry does try pretty hard to keep them from getting involved. After how he spoke to them, the fact that they ended up going can ONLY be attributed to their determination to go, because he was dickish enough that they wouldn't have ended up there for any other reason.
- "Harry's eyes met with Ron's. He knew Ron was thinking exactly what he was: If he could have chosen any members of the DA in addition to himself, Ron, and Hermione to join him... he would not have picked Ginny, Neville, or Luna." Seriously Harry, seriously?
- There are multiple ways to interpret this. He could be saying that there were better members such as those older and more experienced than those three would be who he'd pick. Another would be that he wouldn't want to put them in harm's way. Lastly, he probably doesn't believe they're all that good in a real firefight, as besides Ron and Hermione, he's never seen anyone hold their own under pressure.
- To be fair, Neville has a tendency to fail at magic (i.e. his family thought he was a Squib for the longest time), Luna has a tendancy to wander off towards shiny things, and Ginny...possibly a flare-up of Big Brother Instinct directed at her, as he does consider the Weasley's to be like family to him.
- When is all said and done the two members of the DA who stand heads over the rest are the Weasley Twins - they are confident, physically able, have a good grasp of magic and are creative. In a battle situation they would destroy any benefits Neville (who had only minutely taken steps toward that level in badass we see in book 7) and Loony Lovegood might bring to the party. The likes of Lee Jordan and Katie Bell would also be excellent fall backs for similar reasons.
- I think you all underestimate the power of hate. Harry and snape cannot be simpy said to be two person who happen to not like each other, no, they are two persons who actively hate and despise each other. In a situation of extreme stress where you have trouble thinnking rationnally and prone to take decisions based on instinct and emotions, there is almost no way that harry would have ever thought of snape (someone whom he hates almost more than even voldemort) as the one guy that can save sirius(the person that he loves the most).
Phoenix May Cry
- When Arthur Weasley is bitten by Nagini, he is sent to St. Mungo's and Fawkes is sent off to tell Mrs. Weasley. Instead of using Fawkes as a glorified owl, wouldn't it have made more sense to send him to Arthur directly? It was proven in book 2 that Fawkes can cure poisonous snake bites, so wouldn't that have saved the Weasleys, not to mention St. Mungo's healers, a lot of trouble?
- This always bugged me as well. My only guess is that Voldemort knows a way to counter phoenix tears and Dumbledore knew about that. Although that still doesn't make sense, as you'd think a basilisk would have more potent venom than any other snake.
- I always figured the problem was only partly the poison from the snake bite, the antidote for which St. Mungo's probably has in droves, and also being bitten by a huge snake. This now concerns me; would St. Mungo's, the best wizarding hospital, have a wing solely devoted to forcing Phoenixes to cry to cure poisons? Considering what we've seen of the Wizarding World and their concern for anything that isn't straight up human, I'm gonna go with yes.
- From what can be gathered, Phoenixes aren't all that common and catching one and forcing it to cry sounds incredibly stupid. Not only can they flame travel out of Hogwarts, but they can lift great weights and sing to startle their enemies. Now, having Phoenix tears in bottles from willing donations, like apparently Fawkes did to Ollivander, is much more likely.
- Aren't you missing the point here? The question is not about the prospects of Phoenix utilization in medicine - it's about one particular Phoenix curing, or rather not curing, one particular man.
- Maybe Voldemort learned from the Basilisk and learned to counter it? Or maybe being a Horcrux gives you special powers?
- Maybe they knew Arthur was going to be found anyway, and the Weasleys were having to play down links to Dumbledore due to Ministry persecution (it is said much earlier in the book that friends of Dumbledore were having a hard time of it). Having Dumbledore's phoenix would not only show a massive connection to Dumbledore, but also cast a lot of doubt onto his reasons for being there in the first place, and could have got him fired or thrown into Azkaban (cf Sturgis Podmore).
- Fawkes could have healed Arthur on the spot and they could have sent him home to rest without raising an alarm. Nobody would ever know he had been there.
- Phoenix tears are only shown to be a cure to Basilisk venom in the story, though they also mention that they work on other types of poison as well. There's no evidence that it's a cure-all for every type of poison, though, and Dumbledore would have tried phoenix tears if they would have been effective.
- The Basilisk is the King of Snakes. It would be ridiculous if the tears could cure its venom but not that of lesser snakes. And no "if it was a good idea, DD would've thought of it" is not a valid excuse - there still must be a reason why he didn't.
- That's just it, though. If phoenix tears could cure any type of snake venom, there's no reason Dumbledore wouldn't think of it; it wouldn't be consistent with his character to overlook something so glaringly obvious. Ridiculous or not, it seems to be the case that Basilisk venom is a different type of poison than Nagini's venom; in Real Life, an antivenin for one type of snake isn't necessarily effective against another one, regardless of potency.
- Yes, there is such a reason, and it's the same reason as for the half of entries on these pages - it is bad writing. When a seemingly wise character makes an atypicaly stupid blunder, they aren't ought to have an excuse for it - it maybe just the author's blunder. Note, that as concerns DD, it's anything but the only example. As for the cas in point, ok, I wasn't entirely just when I said that the tears HAD to cure this particular venom. The bad writing part is that nobody cares to even suggest it, in particular Harry, who experienced the awesome healing powers firsthand.
- No amount of Phoenix tears will replenish that amount of blood. Besides, can YOU cry on cue? Fawkes was really messed up when Harry was injured - "OMIGOD VOLDEMORT'S COMING BACK MY ONLY HOPE IS HARRY AND A MOTHERLOVING BASILISK IS TRYING TO EAT ME!!!" But this time it's just, "Ouch, that's gotta hurt." Besides, how do you explain a guy just screaming blue murder suddenly apparently unharmed but chalk-white and unconscious from blood loss? Plus, Fawkes is one of only two tame Phoenixes ever (the other, Sparky, is a Quidditch team mascot, and how likely is it that a Quidditch team sends their Phoenix round to heal injured Order members?) so the Ministry would put two and two together, assume DD has spies at the Ministry and arrest him. Nice Job Breaking it, Logic!
- Also, on the subject of the Harry Potter books being such bad writing: let's see you write a better story, right now, in front of everyone!
- They didn't say that the books were badly written, they just said it was bad writing/aka Plot Hole that nobody thought to suggest Fawkes' tears could cure Mr. Weasley. Seeming as Fawkes' tears have been proven to cure Acumantula venom and Basilisk venom, two powerful toxins that don't seem to have other cures, there is no reason why it could not cure a venom that doesn't seem to be anywhere near as fatal. Short answer: the author wanted to make an excuse for Harry to end up at Saint Mungo's and learn about Neville's parents.
- Phoenix's tears are very powerful healing items that's all. They are not a miracle thing that can cure everything. Obviously, there HAS to be some curses, venoms or magic wounds that it cannot cures. Nagini was the closest being to voldemort, and it makes a lot of sense that he managed to create a venom that cannot be destroyed that easily by a simple remede which voldemort knows firsthand that Dumbledore have in his possession.THAT would be very inconsistent with voldemort's characterisation.
- ...Except that a) he didn't know about Fawkes (the diary Horcrux knew, and it's been shown that Voldemort did not get the memories from that diary) b) Nagini's venom was eventually cured in an ordinary wizard hospital, which suggests it's nowhere near as fatal as Basilisk venom, and c) it is entirely within Voldemort's character to have made such a mistake. This is the guy who hid his Horcruxes in shiny, easily-recognized objects in places connected to his past, instead of doing the smart thing and dropping them in the Marinas Trench or something.
- Was I the only one who thought the poison wasn't the issue? I figured they got the antidote to him on time, the probably was the gapping wounds, which couldn't seem to stay close, and subsequent blood loss. It's possible they tried Phoenix tears only it didn't work on more than the poison. But by the time Harry and other's see Arthur, the poison doesn't seem to be an issue anymore.
- I think what happened first was that they needed Everard from the painting to check that Arthur really was there after Harry said he had the dream. Everard couldn't travel past a certain point (no paintings to travel through) so he had to yell to get guards to check if Arthur was there. They didn't know if Arthur was there at all. Everard just tells them he heard noises, on the off-chance that Arthur would be there. At that point, using Fawkes's tears might have linked him to Dumbledore. In fact, all the faffing around that happened in the wee hours of the morning could have been the Order trying to do damage control - and come up with a back-up plan since they couldn't use Fawkes. And presumably if Arthur's condition was worse, they might have used him. But the healers had him saved within a couple of hours so there was no need.
- It could also be that Fawkes can only be summoned by a person demonstrating extreme loyalty to Dumbledore. We know Arthur's loyal to him, but he hadn't done anything particularly summon-worthy at the moment (Fawkes only went to Harry when he said that Dumbledore was not truly gone from the school, for example), so Fawkes wouldn't have gone to him on his own.
I HATE YOU! I! HATE! YOU!
- I never got how this thing about Dumbledore looking at Harry's eyes would anger Voldemort... could someone plase explain it?
- Voldemort had figured out the link between his mind and Harry's, so he could sometimes see through Harry's eyes. When Voldy sees Dumbledore through Harry's eyes, it infuriated him and Harry felt that rage.
Reason behind the connection
- But this brings up yet another question... If Voldemort figured out that there was a connection with him and Harry's minds, then how did he not know that the reason for this is because Harry is an accidental Horcrux ? Voldemort's powers of analysis seem to be sharp enough that he deduced what he heard of the prophecy. I don't see how he could not have deduced that.
- How many times in history has a human Horcrux been made? With the world not having enough knowledge of the matter, Voldemort could not have known right off the bat that that was the reason. Maybe he just believed he was that good at Legilimency, or that the result of the night in Godric's Hollow was a special mental connection, nothing more.
- Exactly. Voldemort doesn't have a mental link to his other Horcruxes.
- Except for Nagini.
- Also, Word of God is that Horcrux prep needs more than just murder. And Voldemort didn't even fragment his soul with murder in this case, he fragmented it with his own killing curse. So part of Voldemort's soul ended up in Harry, but Harry is not, technically, a 'Horcrux', as the soul fragment ended up in him without going through the 'proper' Horcrux method, and without any prep. (Rather like if part of a pie slides out of the pie pan and and falls on the floor, it's is not technically a 'piece of pie'.) It's behaving different because it is different. V would have no reason to even suspect that was possible, as it had never before happened in history.
- Just a small point: Voldemort had just fragmented his soul with murder: James's and Lily's. The rebounding Killing Curse was just the thing that made those fragmented pieces "take flight (from death)". Pun sorta intended.
More "Needs to Know" Nuttiness
- As far as I can remember, before the "Nagini bites Arthur" incident, Dumbledore suspected that there might be a mental connection between Harry and Voldemort, which is the reason why Harry was kept in the dark during the summer, and why Dumbledore avoided Harry. So why not tell Harry about the suspicion, so he'll know why things are happening? Because it would upset Harry? Would "Voldemort might have a mental connection to me" really have upset Harry more than "everyone is keeping me in the dark and my mentor is shunning me"? The only other reason to not tell Harry would be that they didn't want Voldemort to find out that they suspected a mental connection, but keeping that secret would only be useful if they intended to use the mental connection to feed false information to Voldemort.
- As Dumbledore admitted himself at the end, he screwed up everything because he thought Harry was too young to learn the truth.
- Actually, it makes sense to conceal some things to Harry. We learn the full truth only in book 7, and it's obvious that Dumbledore couldn't tell it all. So Dumbledore has no idea how to tell Harry just the part of the truth he needs to know to act as needed.
- "When you escaped V, you humiliated him in front of his cronies. He will try to rectify it. He can read minds and project illusions, and since you two are connected, he might do it to you remotely. You need to learn mind protection." Done.
- Additionally is it really a good idea to tell a 15-year-old that the most evil dark wizard of all time can read his mind at any time? Especially before they have all the facts.
- Beats keeping him clueless and vulnerable. After all, will not warning him of the danger make his mind any safer?
Really? Now Hermione's got the Idiot Ball too?
- "He could not believe he had been so stupid [...]. There was still a member of the Order of the Phoenix at Hogwarts - Snape." I can believe Harry was so stupid. What I can't believe is that Hermione didn't think about this.
- She had a hard enough time trying to convince Harry that it wasn't likely that Sirius was caught, much less convincing him to go to Snape when she knows Harry will just blow up at her for mentioning it.
- But she could have gone to Snape herself. Mind you, that would make the title of the book Hermione Granger and the Emotional Minefield...
- To be fair to Hermione, the Umbridge-office plan was supposed to be a quick-and-dirty attempt to reassure Harry that Sirius was safe. I don't think she understood just how insane and dangerous Umbridge was until the torture and confessions of attempted murder came out. And then, the next time she could suggest a plan, they were deep in the Forbidden Forest, with a bunch of pissed-off Slytherins in Umbridge's office keeping them from returning, and an easy way to get to London by flying.
- Although then she picks up the idiot ball again by not having them fly to Grimmauld Place, which is basically the same distance, and having them look for reinforcements there before flueing to the Ministry of Magic.
Bye Bye Butt
- Moody's comment about how sticking a wand in your back pocket could cause you to lose your buttocks. So where else do you keep your wand, if apparently it's prone to catching fire or blowing up?
- Your front pocket? Fanon likes to fill this by having wand holsters. Other than that, either in long sleeves as part of the robes wizards usually wear or in the robe pockets.
- A wand in the front pocket at the level of the belt?
- The real question is if wands work when in skin contact in places other than your hand. If they do, wizards should keep them that way, via arm holsters or whatever. Obviously you can't cast some spells, but you could apparate or cast a shield charm or a patronus or lumos or anything else that doesn't require a specific gesture. (This seems like the sort of thing real Moody would have taught, but either fake Moody didn't or the narrator just didn't recount it.)
- And if you don't have a holster, you could, for example, keep it behind your ear, angled upward. That way it's not pointed anyone and yet is in skin contact. This raises an interesting Alternative Character Interpretation about Luna Lovegood...
Just attacked by Dementors? Grow some backbone, twerp.
- Harry brings Dudley home after saving him from the dementors. At no point does he tell Vernon or Petunia "Get him some chocolate, he'll feel better."
- Stress of the moment. And besides, they were all yelling at him for trying to save Dudley's life. I'd be a little too sour to really remember about that if that happened to me.
- And besides, I thought it was just wizarding chocolate that had that effect. I don't see the makers of Mars bars building in a 'Dementor-revivor' to their products. The Dursleys are hardly the type to have magical chocolate around.
- I thought it was just chocolate's chemical properties.
- I thought it was because chocolate makes you happy and staves off despair.
- Eh, he was out of danger and had just had an antagonistic confrontation with Harry. Harry may care enough about his cousin to not want him to get his soul sucked out, but I don't think he would care that much about a little mental torment that he will get over eventually.
- It's Dudley. His parents would end up giving him lots of chocolate whether Harry suggested it or not.
- Not after they spent the whole previous year dieting, they wouldn't. They may not have had any chocolate in the house, and for all Harry knew, the dementors might be lurking nearby, ready to jump anyone who left the house to buy some. So even if he'd had a moment to think of it, it wouldn't have helped much.
- Come off it. You try making the Dursleys believe Harry when he talks about a mundane solution to a not-so-mundane problem.
- What I want to know if why the Dementors affected Dudley as strongly as they did. Harry himself wonders "what horrible things pampered, spoiled Dudley would be forced to relive." Dudley's been spoiled all his life, does he really have any bad memories?
- IIRC the Dementors twisted around all his "good" memories for the purpose of showing him what a petty, spoiled SOB he was, rather than summoning up any "bad" memories.
- Oo, I like that one. Puts a whole new spin on Dudley being nice to Harry during the 6th and 7th book.
- Well, there's the day he had to start sharing everything with some penniless orphaned relative; the day that he and his best friend were chased by a giant carnivorous constrictor; the week when his father went mad and insisted that the whole family leave everything behind and go driving randomly around Britain, culminating in that incident in the fishing shack where a dangerous giant put a curse on him; the night when he learned that wizards were entirely capable of sneaking into the house via a flying car as he slept - and barring the windows wouldn't stop them; the day that he learned the fireplace can't be trusted either - which was also the day that his tongue grew to eight feet length and his mother tried to yank it out...
- That was only in the movies. But in the books, Dudley and his family well Asleep in the book when Ron and his twin brothers, George and Fred were in the house/outside Harry's bedroom. Its only the owl which woke Vernon up. Oh and ever since Summer before Harry first year of Hogwarts, that fireplace was blocked up.
- Add here the day his aunt was turned into a balloon and he learned that wizards can and will erase your memories at a whim. It's amusing, actually, how it doesn't even begin to dawn on Harry, that he is the fuel for his cousin's nightmares. Our compassionate hero, ladies and gentlemen. A pity, really. It might've lead to some interesting realisations about the reasons for his mistreatment and abuse. Technically all Dudley learned was wizards can't be trusted.
- Well, given that Harry has been mistreated by his guardians and Dudley, there's no logical reason for him to feel guilty about using magic in self-defense. Also, I'm not sure where you got the idea that Harry lacks empathy, since the books made it clear that it was what made him stand out against Voldemort.
- I'm not saying he should've been feeling guilty. I'm saying he doesn't even begin to recognise at all how much anguish and harm he and his world are bringing his guardians, and how utterly terrified they are of everything magical and that they have good reasons for that. The idea that Scarhead lacks empathy I got from these and numerous other episodes where he fails to compehend the feelings and motives of people around him.
- Well, Harry is not a seer and not always in the mood to understand the feelings of everyone around him. To be empathic doesn't mean "know exactly what's the matter with everybody, everytime". And about him not understanding the Dursley's feelings, that because they have never acted as reasonable, adult people. They have mistreated him during 10 years, never have tried to talk to him as a person. They only blame him for everything going wrong and refuse to listen to him when he tries to explain something. Remember, they punished him for do magic, never explaining anything about it or why that bothered them so much. So, even if their fears are legitimate, it's very difficult for Harry put himself in their shoes, because he is busy dealing with their abuse and general assholery.
The Ministry of Magic really needs some safety procedures...
- No OSHA Compliance: If going through the Veil meant instant death, shouldn't they have at least put a velvet rope around it? Or some kind of sign that implicated mortal danger?
- This one makes sense, as the only people that should be in the Department Of Mysteries would be trained personnel, the Unspeakables themselves, or someone being led by them. That room itself wouldn't have any reason for visitors, unlike the prophecy room. It's akin to putting up a rope around a bottomless pit in a top secret facility; anyone that knows about it should know of the danger.
- Even people who know about a danger can trip. OP's right; there should be a rail or something around it.
- The veil was on a dais. It's not like it's just sitting there in the room, you have to walk upwards a bit to get to it.
Ooh, I've been hit! Hey, I'll just walk through this shiny veil thing!
- In the book, Bellatrix hits Sirius with a non-lethal spell (Fan Fic writers love to play with this one), which causes Sirius to lose his balance and stumble back through the Veil. Fair enough. But in the movie, she audibly uses the Killing Curse, and it's a green beam of magic that hits him. Rather than causing instant death, as was shown by every other time it had been used, Movie!Sirius looks shocked for a few seconds, turns to look at Harry, and then slowly walks backwards through the Veil. WHAT???
- Again, massive Adaptation Decay. It makes sense in the book, but much less in the film, unless due to his close proximity to the Veil, it wasn't actually him moving and reacting, but his soul moving and reacting.
- Have you ruled the possibility that he, oh I don't know, stumbled and Fell?
- Um, no. Did you read the original question? The point is that in the film he is hit directly with the Killing Curse, AKA, the thing which causes everybody else to die instantly. In the book he stumbles and falls because of the force of an unnamed spell, however in the movie he's hit clearly with "Avada Kedavra" yet seems to survive for a few seconds before floating, not falling, back into the veil. Anyway, my interpretation is he's already dead as soon as the curse hits him but since he's standing on the border between the life and death (the veil) you see him "leaving the world of the living".
- If I remember the film correctly, the Veil reaches out like a living thing, pulls Sirius in, and absorbs him. So maybe the director was trying to hint at its true nature as a portal to the land of the dead or a representation of it in our world. Besides all that, the slowness comes from the entire scene going into super-slow-motion for about fifteen seconds until Bellatrix runs off.
- My personal guess is that the director was trying not to give a damn about the accuracy but to instead get a movie that would be watchable. And he'd succeeded. And now people who mostly just watched the movies but had time to think have their minds boggled.
- It's also worth noting that the killing curse wasn't used when they originally shot the scene. The battle was heavily edited down and it's pretty obvious that Bellatrix's "Avada Kedavra" was dubbed in. Perhaps people were confused as to why Sirius had died like that and they just used the killing curse to make sure they understood it.
- Ok, the movie. In the book, it's one of Cho's friends who rats them out, telling Umbridge and her cronies exactly how to get into the Room of Requirement. Understandably, Harry's a little hacked and gets angry at her, while Cho defends her, part of what breaks up their relationship. But in the movie, Cho is captured and given verisaterum and forced to show them... where it is for some reason (despite the fact that earlier, Filch, Malfoy and the other Slytherins were not only shown to know where it is, but actually saw Luna and other students enter, another It Just Bugs Me, honestly). Now, despite the fact that this was completely beyond her control, Harry decided to hate her. What. She didn't rat them out, she was forced to and had absolutely no control over the situation, and Harry blames it all on her? What the hell Harry?!
- Adaption Decay. It can be said again and again, but the fact of the matter is they have to fit it in time wise. Changing the person that gives the secret up seems to be a questionable change, but then they don't have to cast another actress for Cho's friend, build up her character, or show her at all during the movie. If you want to get down to it, you can fault Harry for thinking she could have done anything about it.
- I do, I do fault Harry for it, the problem is, he has no reason to act like such a jerk about it. He's seen its effects on an adult Death Eater, so he knows how powerful the stuff is, and he suddenly expects a teenager to fare any better?
- I guess if you stretch the reasoning, you can see the possibility that he thought that she shouldn't have drunk anything Umbridge offered, but it's not really clear how she got Veritaserum in her system at all, nor does he giver her the chance to explain.
- But why would he assume that she drank anything willingly? They all know how bad Umbridge is. The fact that he doesn't let her explain just makes things worse.
- Well, Cho was waiting next to the door when the other DA students had to write blood-lines. So we have to assume she is a traitor (Draco is happy to brutalize her, but he's Draco, he will be brutal rather than letting her follow willingly). So, we have two hypotheses: she betrayed the DA, but was given veritaserum anyway because Umbrige doesn't trust spontaneous confession. The other possibility is Umbrige not giving lines to Cho specifically to make her look like a traitor and Harry buying it. I still believe the former.
- But why would she betray them? Any possible reason given?
- If I remember, the movie played Cho's confession as out of the blue, more like Umbridge was using it to tear the group apart. Only later, when Umbridge catches the group in her office does Snape explain that the last of the truth serum was used on Cho. Harry hadn't given Cho time to explain earlier, and despite the revelation, he wasn't in the best mindset to think of apologizing to Cho later.
- He saw her being manhandled by Malfoy, that doesn't exactly scream "traitor", that screams "forced against her will"... although it probably would seem like she had been threatened into telling them... even though they knew where it was (Seriously? What was with that part... other than Adaption Decay). He still should have apologised at some point.
- Adaptation Decay, that is all. It was downright idiotic for the movie to change it to Cho and Harry's falling out being due to Cho selling out the DA when she was forced to by truth potion, and Harry knew this later on, but never bothered to reconcile. The movie should have just left it as Cho sold the DA out on her own accord, if they felt they didn't have a sufficient enough time to play out Harry and Cho's falling out as in the book.
- Actually, it's mentioned offhand IIRC. Umbridge was threatening Cho's parents' jobs. I think Hermione mentions it at one point. (This is another thing they take from Marietta's character when them composite Cho and Marietta together for the Movie.)
- The thing about this scene that bugged me was that I didn't feel that the movie gave enough attention to the fact that it was Cho who was the one who told Umbridge. I'm bad at recognizing people just based on their face, so that could definitely be part of it. But from my view, Umbridge and the IS finally got into the room, gave everyone lines, and then Harry acted like a total prick towards Cho. It wasn't until I hit rewind then pause that I saw that Cho was in the group.
- Harry was perfectly fine with Hermione causing Marietta to be disfigured for life and didn't want to listen to whatever reasons she may have had. He may have just had it out for Cho for not being able to somehow "resist" Umbridge's interrogation. It looks like a strategic move by Umbridge to make Cho look like a traitor by not giving her lines - spread distrust amongst the group. They wonder if they can trust each other and stop them from reforming the DA? Cho does try to explain herself to him as they're coming out of detention but he won't listen. Let's face it, Harry isn't exactly the humble type. It's not completely out of character for him to simply ignore Cho after finding out Umbridge used Veritaserum on her. Although they seem to get along fine in the last film so perhaps they did patch things up offscreen but decided to be Just Friends instead?
Where is the competence? Surely Voldemort's top flunkies can do better than THAT!
- For that matter, in Order of the Phoenix, the Death Eaters were beaten back for a while by children when they had a clear numerical advantage. They wouldn't last ten seconds when they were outnumbered and faced by thousands of adults who were all trained more in magic than the children.
- Well... the children were trained by Harry for most of a year in techniques he had found effective against Voldemort. Harry is pretty much the definition of a Messianic Archetype, and, for once, the training period is actually of a fairly reasonable length. Are most of the Death Eaters really all that trained in combat? They seem more like terrorists, dependent on catching people unprepared in the middle of the night more than a group that goes around training all the time, at least until Deathly Hallows, anyway...
- Further, well... you kinda answered your own question. They were facing children. Not to mention the Hand Wave of the Luck potion, giving them an advantage on top of some pretty serious training, but really. We are talking about a bunch of people who have made names for themselves by striking terror in the hearts of others through terror tactics squaring off against a cadre of children. Do you really think they took them seriously in the slightest?
- The Death Eaters didn't just mop the floor with the kids because they wanted the prophecy Harry was holding. The Death Eater who got too trigger happy and ruined Voldemort's chance to hear the prophecy would be lucky to get off with a painless death. They were deliberately holding back.
- Also, 'beaten back' is only in the movie. In the book, it was more 'the children managed to successfully run away and hide. For about ten minutes. At which point Bellatrix and her squadmates caught up to them and proceeded to thrash them all, leaving Harry in a very uncomfortable hostage situation resolved only by the Big Damn Heroes entrance of the Order'.
- Like the one above me said, it's just the movie that portrayed them as so incompetent. The children only managed to last that long because they run and used surprise, and because the death eaters had to take care of the fact that harry could break the prophecy at any moment when it was their top priority. Even with all those disavantadges, the hide and seek games didn't last very long and they were completely and utterly defeated. It's actually a miracle and thanks to snape's quick reaction in alerting the order that harry&co managed to survive. The death eaters are actually quite competent, they are at the very least able to fight on equal terms with aurors, and they even managed to take the ministery through infiltration in the last book in less than two years.
- I believe most of the group save Lucius (who has probably only fought in formal duels and was not well-trained) had spent the last decade in AZKABAN. They probably weren't back to their 100% best yet.
Just speak up already, Ginny!
- Did it bother anyone else that Ginny, during the days that Harry thought he was in danger of being possessed, didn't just knock on the door and say "Hey. I've been possesed, and can tell you what it feels like. Give me a shout if you want to talk."? I mean, YES, Harry is acting like a pill, YES, he shouldn't have forgotten, YES, she's not his mother, but for God's sake, the kid saved her life and the life of her father, and now he thinks he's being possessed. Furthermore, it's been two and a half pretty traumatic years since then, and Ginny has spoken to him for all of what, six minutes in those years? Letting him wallow until Hermione shows up seems like unnecessarily cruel; you can berate the kid for insensitivity after you've made sure he's okay.
- Ok, I just skimmed the book (US pages 491 onward) and Ginny did attempt to talk to him, but Harry, being Harry, bottled up his emotions, thought about it that night, and avoided everyone until Hermione came by the next day and forced him to explain what was bothering him.
Too wimpy to commit torture?
- How the hell was Harry not able to cast a proper Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix after she just killed his only remaining family member, but he had no problem doing it when a random Death Eater just spat on McGonnagall? Do you mean to tell me he didn't "mean it" the first time, but seeing a mere insult launched him into Unstoppable Rage?
- Two possibilities. Bellatrix may have a higher pain tolerance and bluffed to Harry about how much it hurt, or Harry's righteous anger against her wasn't enough to make it effective, so when he used it in Deathly Hallows, he used a different sort of anger (knowing he has to mean it) and made it much more effective.
- Bellatrix tells Harry as much after he zaps her. "Righteous anger won't do it, you have to mean it" (or something similar to that).
- It's about proportionate retribution. Bellatrix killed Sirius, so Harry wanted her dead, not in pain. Carrow had been tormenting children for the whole year and was about to frame them up to Voldemort, but, as far as Harry was aware, didn't kill anybody, thus Harry hated him enough to wish to hurt, but not enough to wish to kill.
- Harry was in rage-mode when he Crucio'd Bellatrix, but he was cold and cruel when he did the same to Carrow. Only in the latter situation is he really concentrating on, "I want this person to suffer."
- He didn't perform a true, full-on Crucio either time. The first time he wasn't old enough to have the magic oomph to normally do more than stun; rage let him send Bellatrix flying. The second time, as a stronger wizard with a more cynical and hating nature, he was again able to send an enemy flying into a bookcase in pain ("... won't hurt me FOR LONG) rather than just drop them to the ground in agony, which would make him evil rather than good but kinda angry.
- Maybe Harry was still overwhelmed with shock of seeing Sirius die?
- One possible theory is that Crucio, as one of the Unforgivable Curses, requires someone filled with so much hatred/evil that they want their target to suffer immensely, and for as long as possible, instead of the sweet release that is death.
- This. Also, it's possible that the Cruciatus Curse requires malice, not righteous anger. Cruciatus Curse might only work for someone who wants suffering for its own sake. In other words, maybe only a sociopath can perform it. Have we ever seen a non-sociopathic wizard or witch performing it successfully?
Giving out love in all the wrong places
- Isn't the relationship between Harry and Sirius written as being much stronger from Harry's point of view than it would be in Real Life? Of course Harry should care a lot for Sirius, but in the books, he seems to consider him a surrogate father, despite the fact that he has actually spent very little time with him (regardless of the reasons for this). I know Sirius is his godfather, but that shouldn't count for that much, should it? I also think it's rather insulting of Harry to hero-worship Sirius as a mentor and father figure in this way, when Arthur and Molly have treated him like a son to them throughout the entire series. I haven't got the book handy to check, but in the film, he hugs Molly awkwardly when he arrives at Grimmauld Place, and then brushes past her to enthusiastically greet Sirius, a man he met on precisely one occasion previously.
- What bothers me is why Harry isn't nearly as close with Remus as with Sirius and doesn't seem to have been as interested in keeping in touch with him as with Sirius. Sure, Sirius is more exciting and offered him a home, but he had known Remus a good while befor meeting Sirius and I just find it a bit weird.
- In the movies at least. In the books, he met Sirius two more times in the Goblet of Fire. I've always thought Harry put his faith in Sirius because he's the only one that ever offered to give Harry a home away from the Dursleys. To Harry, that was one of the best things that could ever happen. I think Harry always saw Arthur and Molly as his best friend's parents above possible suragate parents. Yes, they're kind and very close, but then he can't get past the fact that they have seven kids to love while Sirius has none. Sirius also fills a link for Harry because he was best friends with his father and can tell him about him. It's all about perspective, and getting the perspective of an eleven-year-old orphan that's never known anything about his parents is a bit... difficult.
- Also, Sirius is a fellow adventurer who is on the run from the law. Arthur is an office government bureaucrat and Molly is a housewife. You can see who is more exciting to Harry, who prefers to get into the mystery/fight of the day rather than study for future careers.
- You both raise good points. I never really thought that Harry might think that it's selfish to expect the Weasleys to consider him a son, and I didn't really take into account Sirius being seen as a fun and exciting person for the teenaged, adventurous Harry to be around, as well as the knowledge Sirius could provide about his parents.
- The movie, as normal, skips a lot of the development. I'm pretty sure Harry wrote several letters to Sirius, and they certainly talked for a reasonable amount of time at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. Not to mention that Harry would be just fascinated with anyone that knew his father like Sirius did.
- Not only did Harry see Sirius as a more kindred spirit than the Weasley parents (close to his dad, mistrusted by the wizarding world, kept out of the loop after Voldemort's return etc) but keep in mind also that while the Weasleys were parenting Harry mostly from the comfort of their own home, Sirius was doing it while on the run from the law. In dog form. Eating rats. Kinda hard not to feel more affectionate to a guy in those circumstances.
- As for Remus, although he was James' close friend too, they weren't inseparable kindred spirits in the same way as Sirius and James. The whole 'godfather' thing probably did have an effect too, because it's a name to put to someone who's your guardian, not just a feeling. It has a physical presence (such as Sirius being able to sign permission slips or offer a home). There's also the fact that Harry might feel more emotionally safe with Sirius because he needs Harry emotionally in the way the other characters don't (especially in that he seems to view Harry partly as a replacement James). Remus on the other hand (although unwillingly), did walk out on Harry (when he resigned). Lastly, as someone else (Dumbledore?) points out, Harry sees Sirius as a mixture of father and brother, whereas Remus will always be Harry's teacher (even in the narrative, it takes ages for Harry to refer to Remus by his first name instead of 'Lupin').
- Also, Molly, Arthur, and Remus are much more responsible authority figures than Sirius. As another troper mentioned, Sirius still acts more like a teenager in some ways. In other ways, he's rather reckless. It could be that Harry subconsciously feels the need to be more protective of Sirius - he has a protective streak in general, and it's not uncommon for a child to take on the adult role when their parent figure fails to. It could be that Harry felt responsible for Sirius's safety on some level - even more apparent when he wanted to go save him in the Ministry of Magic, to the point where it was more impulsive than well-thought through.
Everyone loves the scenic route
- Time that the Ministry Six depart from Hogwarts: sunset. (Explicitly mentioned in text). Time that Harry Potter is portkeyed back to Dumbledore's office after the DOM battle: dawn. (Again, explicit.) So, allowing 1-2 hours for creeping around the Ministry, being chased around the Ministry, being rescued at the Ministry, etc., that means that the kids must have been in the air all night and well into the dark of the next morning. So why in the pluperfect heck did Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix not make it to the Ministry until around half an hour behind the children, given that Snape had the alert out right after they left? Does it really take them all the way from mid-evening to circa 4 AM just to get up, have a staff meeting, and take the floo?
- For that matter, why did Dumbledore not try contacting the kids en route, either by house elf or by Patronus messenger? "Harry, it's all right! I'm with Sirius and he's safe! You're being tricked by Voldemort! Come stop at Grimmauld Place before going to the Ministry; Molly has cookies!" He had hours.
- Dumbledore needed the whole shenanigan to proceed in due course for a number of reasons: 1) to set up a face-off between V and Fudge, so that the latter would finaly admit the obvious, dig his head out of the sand, and stop interfering with D's affairs, 2) to set up a showdown betwen V and Harry wherein V would attempt to possess Harry, get burned, and abandon that idea altogether, 3) to allow Potter's "outer circle" their "baptism by fire". Sirius's interferance was, apparently, unexpected.
- Even so, stupid. 'All right, here's the plan. We intercept the kids en route and keep them safe at Grimmauld Place.' 'But what about the Death Eaters? We have a perfect chance to-' 'And then a few hours later, at the time when the kids would have arrived at the Ministry, we make sure the Death Eaters see Harry going in alone to retrieve the Prophecy. They pounce, and we pounce immediately after they reveal themselves, not half an hour after.' 'You're sending Harry in there ALONE?' 'No, but Tonks shapeshifted into Harry works just as well.' Doesn't fulfill the 'deliberately expose Harry to Voldemort' objective, true, but that would have been a hideous jerk move anyway. Not to mention, there's easier ways to bait Tom into doing that; after all, Dumbledore specifically stated that was the reason he didn't want to give Harry Occlumency lessons himself.
- The DE only revealed themselves after Harry grabbed the ball. Tonks couldn't do that for obvious reasons (wow, that didn't sound right). Even if they did show up, nailing them immediately would scare away V. As for the jerk move, it's true, but then again, nearly everything D had been doing from the end of "Prisoner of Azkaban" onwards was stupid, insane, or criminally irresponsible, and only worked because absolutely everything V had been doing was even more so, therefore this plan at least falls into the general pattern.
- Have her step up to the shelf, pretend to pick up a glowy ball that she actually had up her sleeve, pretend to listen to it, and then say 'ohhh THAT's what the prophecy is!' out loud. Then pretend to put the ball back on the shelf. If the DEs haven't revealed themselves already, they sure will now... capturing 'Harry' and making 'him' talk is now their only option left for finding out.
- *Sigh*... and the real prophecy ball will just obligingly dissappear from the shelf to maintain the ruse. The Death Eaters were already there, standing around the shelf, invisible. Not to mention, that who says you can actually playback the prophecy without anyone around you seeing and/or hearing the process?
- "The Death Eaters were already there, standing around the shelf, invisible." Yes, and the #1 and #2 biggest badasses in the Order (Dumbledore and Moody) can both see through invisibility cloaks.
- To explain the timeline, we have to understand the narration doesn't say what happened, Dumbledore says what happens, but there is no way for Dumbledore to actually know what happened. Hence, he is an Unreliable Narrator. So here we go with the events:
About seven or so, Snape is told by Harry 'He’s got Padfoot at the place where it’s hidden!'. Snape walks out of the room, baffled by pronouns 'he' and 'it', but goes to check on where Sirius is.
Shortly after, Snape returns to Umbridge's office to see what's going on. The Inquistion Squad are there, tied up. Upon questioning Draco, Snape learns that Harry and Hermione and others have apparently been hiding some sort of secret weapon for DD in the forest, and that's where everyone went. And, importantly, Snape assumes this hidden weapon place Hermione is talking about is the place where it is hidden that Harry was talking about.
A few hours later, Snape gets worried they haven't returned from the forest. Which is where they must be, as they can't apparate and they didn't fly as Hogwarts doesn't let students leave without permission. He tells the Order they didn't come back, and goes and searches the forbidden forest in the dark. (This is actually when the search mentioned happens.) Probably searches the castle also.
He does _not_ consider the Department of Mystery, as a) That's in London and there's no way they could be in London, b) if they were going to London, surely they'd be going to Grimmauld Place where they know Sirius is, c) the Order has a guard stationed at the D of M who will surely notify someone if Harry showed up, c) the D of M has nothing to do with Sirius, and d) the D of M has nothing to do with a hidden weapon.
Around three in the morning (Which makes it about an eight hour trip, which is a reasonable ~50 mph from Scotland), the kids arrive at the Ministry of Magic.
At some point after Snape says 'I wonder if that idiot child was talking about the Prophesy when he said 'The place where it was hidden'? The Prophesy is not hidden, and is not a weapon, but Potter is a complete moron, so maybe...'. He contacts the Order, explains what's going on. They, unable to contact their (dead) Prophesy guard, run to the rescue.
During the middle of the battle, elsewhere, DD finally finishes up the all-night Star Wars marathon at the local theater, and and checks his cell phone messages. He hurries to Grimmauld Place, where he is met by Kreacher. He then learns the events of the entire evening via Legimancy from a house elf who didn't even observe anything Snape did.
DD joins the battle. Battle ends at 5:30, DD sends Harry to Hogwarts. He spends the next 30 minutes talking to Fudge, as he promised.
There are two sources of information that could reach him during this conversation. Except he can't talk to Snape in front of everyone, and the Order members still standing can't approach DD to explain what happened during this, or can't give more than vague hints, because the Order is supposed to be secret. (Assuming that they even know what happened. For all we know, they were asleep all night until Moody grabbed them on the way out the door.)
Thirty minutes later, at sunrise, DD excuses himself from Fudge, and immediately goes to Hogwarts to talk to Harry. He explains 'what happened'...based entirely from what he forced from Kreacher's mind. That is his entire source of the night's events, as the text clearly says. DD having some parts of it wrong is not impossible.
In fact, we know part of what DD said is wrong. It is impossible for Snape to have worried that Harry 'still believed Sirius to be a captive of Lord Voldemort's'. While Snape knows about the D of M vision of the hallway and doors, this was the very first day that the vision included Voldemort in any way at all. So Snape can't know who 'he' refers to that is holding Sirius. (Sirius is a wanted criminal. Perhaps Harry thought Fudge captured him, and was about to have him Kissed.) DD learned the content of the vision from Kreacher, along with everything else that happened that night.
- Sorry, doesn't work. First of all, the "weapon" is clearly bullshift and a ruse to escape from Umbridge. Severus could confirm this with DD. Second, "he" cannot be anyone other than Voldemort, because only his connection with Harry could've given the kid the idea that Sirius was captured and only he had any reasons to inform the kid about it. Third, since there's no "weapon", the "place where it's hidden" could olny refer to the Prophecy and the Do M. Harry used it as a code, so he expected Severus to quickly understand it, and the Do M was the only hiding place they'd recently discussed. Also, even if Snape wasn't given the details of V's plan, he had to know that it would commence that night, because he was the only Death Eater in Hogwarts, so only he could've ensured that the kid would be able to leave the castle safely, and that was obviously his task.
- Please give the slightest bit of justification how 'the place when it is hidden' obviously refers to the prophesy, which is, of course, not hidden in the slightest, but is sitting in plain sight where it's always been. And technically Harry is not actually talking about the prophesy there, he is talking about something that does not even exist (The weapon the Trio decided the Order was guarding.), and he does not know about the prophesy at all. So it's a little baffling how you think Harry and Snape could have discussed its hiding place. (And it's also a little baffling why you think the Trio having conversations in code about it can possibly help Snape locate them. Of course Hermoine and Ron knew what Harry meant by 'the place where it's hidden'.)
- Snape can't confirm anything with DD, because DD was incommunicado almost all the night, which we learned when DD recounted the night.
- 'The weapon' is clearly bullshit and a ruse to escape Umbridge when we see it, but Snape did not see it. He would have learned of it from the Slytherins. And it doesn't matter whether he actually believed that or not...the students were, as far as he knew, still in the Forbidden Forest. Whether they were at a hypothetical weapon or just wandering around aimlessly didn't really matter that much, except that if he had had seen something weapon-y he would have investigated.
- And, on top of all that, assuming that Snape knew about V's plan, to up and assuming he knew this would be the night that they needed to learn, is completely unsupported by the text. If he knew this was the night, he would have told the Order, and they would have been in place much sooner, and DD wouldn't have been out of touch the entire night. To have Snape act the way he does, you basically have to assume that Snape is a triple agent that is actually loyal to V. That may be your fanon, but it's not clearly not how the story actually is. If Snape is a good guy, he couldn't have known about the plan much beyond 'V wants the prophesy'.
- 1) There's literally no reason why DD would be unreachable 2) "place where it's hidden" can only mean the Department of Misteries, because Harry expects Snape to understand his code message, and Do M was the only place they'd recently discussed as a place where something is hidden. 3) "He" can only be Voldemort, because only Voldemort could've given Harry the message about Sirius or would've had any reasons to do so. Coincedentally, the only place Voldemort could be interested in Harry's attendace to was Do M. 3) The Order could not've acted on Severus information and arrive early because it would've blown his cover. Neither would they act, since the events that night transpired according to DD'd design. And again, it stands to reason that Severus was told about the plan, because only he could've ensured Harry's unobstructed departure from Hogwarts.
- And an alternate explanation is that DD is just lying. Harry is trying to blame Snape for Sirius dying, so DD says that Snape immediately figured out what was going on and told everyone, when DD does know it took Snape hours to think of it. So DD lied to avoid the obvious 'I bet Snape figured it out immediately and delayed telling people on purpose!' idea that Harry was about to have. (Which makes no sense for Snape to do even if he was trying to kill Sirius, because it was Harry in danger, not Sirius, but Harry was not entirely rational at the time and probably would not believe that.)
- Correct me if I'm wrong, but night time in northern Scotland in June is pretty darn short, if memory serves.
- *looks up sunrise/sunset times for Northern Scotland in late May* ... sunset is around 9:30-10pm?!? WHAT. ARBITRARY. SILLINESS. Harry gets the phony vision of Sirius being tortured during his History of Magic OWL, in other words, middle of the afternoon. The text specifically states that the students are just starting dinner when Umbridge takes them into the Forbidden Forest. Even allowing for the time it takes to lose Umbridge and all, there is no way that this sequence works without someone just unaccountably sitting on his hands for a couple hours doing absolutely nothing. Great, now we've got two unaccounted time sinks in the same scene; between the initial vision and the sunset takeoff, and the one we've already been discussing! Bad at math indeed, Ms. Rowling.
- Where was that vaunted and much fussed over "Protection" Harry was supposed to have, when Harry was attacked by Dementors?
- If you're referring to the protection from Aunt Petunia's blood, I'm pretty sure that only works when he's on Privet Drive or possibly even on the Dursleys' property. He was on Magnolia Crescent when the dementors attacked him.
- Even if that is true (Dumbledore never says anything to back that idea), then how could it possibly be effective in the first place? Harry obviously couldn't be expected to stay at home 24/7.
- Actually, Dumbledore entirely says something to back that idea. From chapter 37 of OotP:
- Dumbledore: While you can still call home the place where your mother's blood dwells, there you cannot be touched or harmed by Voldemort. He shed her blood, but it lives on in you and her sister. Her blood became your refuge. You need return there only once a year, but as long as you can still call it home, whilst you are there he cannot hurt you.
- Hookey, so it's confirmed then, that the "Protection" was absolutely useless. And by DD, no less. Delightful.
- I always felt that the blood protection was against Voldemort and his minions specifically. The dementors were sent by Umbridge, not LV, so they may have been able to ignore it entirely.
- Handwave doesn't even begin to describe it. How the heck would the protection tell one from another? Did the Dementors show their credentials? What is even the point in such "filter"? An enemy is still an enemy, no matter his origins, especially if it's the darkest and foulest of all beings and natural allies to Voldemort. So what, Harry is safe from V's minions who are mostly dead or in Azkaban, but if another aspiring Dark Lord decides to make himself a name by killing the Boy Who Lived, the boy's screwed?
- For the last freaking time: THIS! IS! MAGIC!!!!!
- For as many times as it would take to sink in: THIS! IS! STUPID!!!! It is a lazy excuse at the best of times, and it flat out fails in a world where magic is subject to natural laws and restrictions.
- /bangs head repeatedly against wall/ No, it's NOT subject to natural laws! You can jump up and down on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, magic itself seems to have intelligence, information can be transmitted faster than the speed of light... sweet Jesus, there's hardly a law of physics that isn't broken. Magic does not care how you think it should work, it works how it wants to, which happens to be that it is able to tell whether a threat is sent by Voldemort or not. You can whine about that all you like, it's just how magic works.
- Silly me, I though it was glaringly obvious I wasn't speaking about natural laws in the sense of our, non-wizard, nature, but the intrinsic magical laws. And it has them. There is the fifth-exclusion-from-whatever that prohibits conjuring up food; animagi can only morph into a single animal; when V needs to root out the opposition, he cannot just wish to find all people who hate him - he has to set up a very definite trigger (his name spoken aloud); time travel operates on Stable Time Loop; Quirrel burns on Harry, because he shares a body with V, but other Death Eaters can touch him without any harm etc. So yeah, I don't care how magic does what it does, but what it does has to make sense. With that in mind, what exactly constitutes "a threat sent by Voldemort". What is the trigger? Caused by V himself? He'll have others do it. The Dark Mark? He'll send people without it. Knowingly taking command from him? He'll hire assassins anonymously. He's not some demon, he cannot "taint" people merely by communicating with them. How obscure should the connection between V and the threat itself be, before the protection stops reacting to it? Heck, Umbridge sent the Dementors to silence Harry, because he was trumpeting V's return, which he did because of V. So in a matter, that threat was also caused by V, but the protection didn't work. Does this mean that if he manipulates people into wanting to kill Harry, like, say, by taking their relatives hostage, the protection won't work? And that is only what concerns living, or at least sentient, threats. What about inanimate ones? Let's say a jet explodes in the sky above the Dursley's house, and a turbine is falling right at it. Will the protection really care if the jet exploded by itself or if it was blown up by V (or his cronies, or a hired terrorist, or a brainwashed random person, you get the idea)?
- Moreover, why exactly was it supposed to only last until Harry's 17th birthsday? Seriously, is there ANY explanation at all?
- The protection only lasted until Harry became a wizard of age. Presumably he wasn't going to keep living at Privet Drive once he was old enough to perform magic legally.
- MOR Eover, each book at some point in the summer Harry is removed from Dursley's home and spends the rest of it elsewhere. Sooooooo, how does that fit in with the whole protection theme? Are we are to assume that DD can protect Harry from harm by other means at those times? Then the blood protection is redundant and Harry's incarceration with Dursleys was needlessly cruel to both him and them. Or that Harry only needs to spend some time at Dursleys to "recharge" the protection for the rest of summer? In that case he could've stayed with a wizard foster family and only visit Dursleys for the required period.
- I always read it that Harry needs to actually live with Petunia. She has to accept him as part of her family (much hated, but still) and thus, offer him a home where he will live outside of school. He has to have a home there, not just a place he visits for two weeks or so, but a fixed place to live at.
- But that's my point. It's not a fixed place to live anymore, and Harry keeps spending a large part of the summer elsewhere. Or what, it's ok that he leaves, as long as the leave is kinda sorta unexpected and he kinda sorta expected to spend the whole summer there, or at least Petunia expected that he would? It wouldn't be enough if she offered him a place to stay anytime he wanted and that wouldn't count as "having a home"? How more contrived and ridiculously vague could this "ultimate protection" possibly get?
- What boggles my mind is though: Dumbledore was obviously not happy about how the Dursleys treated Harry. BUT, in line with the "he needs to have his home there" rule, he couldn't just remove Harry. But how then was it ok for Harry to leave in Book 2 and 5? In 4 we know Dumbles was ok with it (I guess? Can't remember), probably because it was close to September anyways ("Let's allow young Harry to have something nice from summer, what could happen?") and in 3 he was to stay at Diagon Alley, where enough adult wizards were... but 2 and 5? only explanation this troper has that Dumbles had the choice between a powerful wizard foster family where Harry would surely grow up with his own legend (he frowned upon this, remember?) and a muggle upbringing with magic protection. He chose the latter (could not forsee HOW bad it would turn out). And then had to stick to it for one reason or another.
- Yes, we remember, and it's Barely Sensible. Even if that dichotomy wasn't false as all hell, it would still be a morally atrocious decision, for no amount of potential spoilering could possilby justify submitting a child to 12 years of abuse (and, you know, submitting Dursleys to 12 years of living in constant fear, but buck those untermenshen). But it is false as all hell! There was no reason why Harry would have to "live with his own legend" and be spoiled, because his legend is false as well, and DD knew that. All he had to do was tell Harry's foster parents the truth. In fact I don't see why he couldn't tell the whole world the truth. Prasing Harry was an insult to the memory of his mother - the true heroine, whose sacrifice actually destroyed Voldemort.
- Ok, headcanon time. The BP works on all people who consider 4 Privet Drive a "home", for a given definition of "home". It extends to outside the property, because if I go from my "home" to the store, I would still think of myself as "living at home". The Dementors bypassed this because the BP works off of Lilly sacrificing herself to protect Harry from Voldemort. Dumbledore was able to stretch the definition to "Lilly died to protect all of her living relatives from anyone seeking to harm them in Voldemort's name", and Umbridge does not fit that definition.
- That still doesn't explain why Harry was forced to live there any more than necessary which was clearly less than the whole summer. Also "anyone seeking to harm them in Voldemort's name" does not, in all common sense, include an assassin hired by an anonymous party. Also, if that was the trigger, but Umbridge's desire to silence the kid, steaming, ultimately, from V's return, didn't qualify, it means the protection had a huge whole, easily exploitable by indirectly influencing people, such as, say, kidnapping their relatives.
What kind of crazy room is Heart, anyways?
- "There is a room in the Department of Mysteries,' interrupted Dumbledore, 'that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible... the power of heart." What's up with that? How can you lock the power of heart inside a room? I mean technically, how? What, do they keep an imprisoned angel there? Or Ma-Ti?
- Word of God: The Love Room in the Do M contains a fountain of Amortentia.
- A fountain of potion that induces strong lust and obsession, the stuff that more or less turns people into slaves, the thing that was aptly named "the ultimate date rape drug" in the HBP section? Seriously?
- It's quite clear that originally Rowling had different ideas for how the series would progress after book five. For whatever reason, and we can only speculate, she changed her mind when writing the last two books. That's why plot points like what was in that locked room and the purpose and eventual use of the Veil in the story, relationships between characters (Luna clearly liking Ron, Hermione and Harry not giving a crap about Ron and Ginny respectively while slowly developing an atrraction to each other), etc.. are dropped. So I garauntee that originally something else would have been in that room, and Rowling just handwaved it away as a fountain of love potion in wordofgod mode as it no longer fit with what she ended up writing.
- Have you only watched the movies? It's so obvious in the books that Hermione and Ron would eventually pair up, not Harry and Hermione.
- To some people the R/Hr pairing is obvious; to some people it isn't. This doesn't need to be a shipping war.
- According to Rowling she had planned the for Harry and Ginny/Ron and Hermione to get together from the very beginning. If you ha, that screams ve any evidence to the contrary that Rowling intended otherwise and changed her mind, please present it, because at this point you're just making things up.
- Shipping matters aside, there is zero evidence that the veil and love-room were ever meant to be recurring plot points. Sure, there are a lot of Chekhov's Guns in this series, but that doesn't mean everything has to be one.
- Why would they even create a room, then keep it permanentley locked? Why did they decide that love is off limits, but not death, time, space, knowledge, or whatever else they have?
- The books stress time and again that love triumphs over all other forces and magic.
Go, Severus, And Spy No More
- DD tells Harry that, when Snape was eavesdropping on him listening to the Prophecy, somebody (apparently, Aberforth) busted him and "threw out of the building". Why would they just let a potential (that is if, for some reason, they failed to establish his true allegiance) spy go with his memory intact?
- It's possible that Aberforth didn't know who Snape was and, seeing a man listening outside of a room in his inn that was rented to a woman, simply reacted like a good landlord and threw Snape out. Then, afterwards, when Aberforth told Albus what had happened, much facepalming ensued.
- Except that it's not what happened. According to Trelawny in HBP, Aberforth actually opened the door and "introduced" Snape to them, and Severus even made some excuses for being there, so obviously DD knew he was there and what he was doing. And them he let him go. Why.
- I imagine it went something like this: Aberforth: Hey, Albus, I caught this guy outside the room! Snape: Oh, crap! *Disapparates*
- Good idea, but a) in that case Snape wouldn't have bothered with excuses (and he did, even Trelawny remembers them); b) DD said that he was "thrown out", not apparated away.
- Now that I think of it, the scene makes (what a shock) even less sense! If Trelawny remembers Snape, this means that she saw him after she'd finished prophesying, because during the process she's out. But how is that possible?! Snape was only supposed to hear the first sentence before he was "thrown out"!
- Well, maybe what happened was that Snape was eavesdropping on the door, and heard the first half of the prophecy, but then he got caught by Aberforth, who prevented him from keeping eavesdropping and the two of them fought for a few seconds, and right after Trelawney finishes the prophecy Aberforth opens and tells his brother Snape was eavesdropping, before kicking Snape out of the Hog's Head. Fits quite well with all theories.
- Nope, it brings us back to the initial point. If DD was aware that Sev'd evasedropped on them, then there's no way he'd let him go at all, and with his memory intact in particular. Especially since he was more likely than not aware of his allegiance.
- Erasing Snape's memory would require explanation to Aberforth and Trelawny, which would mean revealing the fact that Trelawny unknowingly gave an extremely important prophecy. Chances are, Dumbledore thought Snape had not heard enough of the prophecy to be a threat and decided to let it go.
- He's Albus Dumbledore. Are you trying to tell me he can't do a wandless, nonverbal Obliviate?
- Ok, let's assume there was no way for him to do it discreetly, however unlikely that is, and he would have to explain everything to them. What's the problem? If nothing else, he could erase their memories of the event as well.
- Maybe there was such a commotion that DD simply couldn't get away with an Obliviate. Snape is spying, Aberforth catches him, Snape refuses to stop, a fight starts, other people get involved, and at some point Snape falls/is pushed through the door into the room. At which point Snape, realizing that the prophesy is over anyway, makes lame excuses, whereas Aberforth informed everyone that Snape was actually spying and will be removed. DD is not able to do anything about this because there's a large crowd of people who've come upstairs involved in the 'commotion' that Trelawney was talking about, and you can't just blatantly Oblivate wizards like that. (Perhaps some of the crowd were even Voldemort supporters.)
- So in the time of war the goddamn Dumbledore would be deterred from dispatching a captured spy by the presence of bystanders? Like how? Would they bring up the human right issue and go to lengths to ensure he's treated humanely, or rush DD to break Snape out? Gimmeabreak. But let's say DD indeed couldn't act there and then. So what? How the hell does "removing" Snape transcribe into letting him go? Obviously he would have to be "removed" to the Ministery/Azkhaban for interrogation. And even if DD didn't want to get them involved and learn about the prophecy, again, do you seriously believe THOSE people would sincerely object or care if DD said that that's where he'd be taking Snape? And after they got far enough from the inn, well...
- There would be a rather large difference in the onlooker reaction to a landlord saying 'Get the hell out of here, you eavesdropper!' and Snape either being forced out the door or just leaving under his own power, and the onlooker reaction to DD (Who is not any sort of law enforcement official) attempting to detain and arrest Snape for eavesdropping, which is not actually a crime. In fact, presuming Snape had his wand, detaining him would have required DD illegally attacking him for no obvious reason at all.
- What kind of "reaction" would you envision in such situation? No, seriously, I'm curious. Here's a guy, who'd been caught eavesdropping and fought over it, and Dumbledore, who's either already the goddamn Supreme Judge (so much for "not any sort of law official"), or at least the leader of the goddamn Resistance, or just the goddamn Dumbledore, declares that he's taking this man into custody on suspicion of espionage. Oh, and you are a random patron of a shady, rundown inn, maybe with a few others, because honestly, how much "hastle" could a few seconds of magical fight cause? So please, elaborate, what are you going to do? Take into consideration that DD already knows the Prophecy and likely understands its importance and possible consequences of it falling into V's hands.
- We have twice been told that Death Eaters hang out at the Hogs Head. DD said Voldemort's 'followers' had hung back there while V was applying for the DADA job in the 1950s, and in the present Alberforth reminded them if they went after him for curfew violations, they'd have nowhere to hang out. It is not 'random patrons' who might join in the fight with Snape, it's actual Death Eaters. And the premise is that they already did get involved, that the 'commotion' described included them. So the door swings open to situation that DD can't contain, with half a dozen Death Eaters plus Snape apparently in a stand-off with Alberforth who is telling them to get out. DD has no way to detain them, especially since they'd just apparate away if he did attack them. And that's assuming that other people are going to have no problem with him randomly attacking people. No, a Supreme Court justice can't walk up to people and start a beatdown, even if he yells that they're a terrorist.
- Wow, that escalated quickly. We started from a very simple set-up, where Snape was distracted by Aberforth and left or was escorted away. Thanks to Rowling's trademark subtlety and regard for previous books when introducing new plot elements, it was no longer possible, and it all went to hell. Suddenly there had to be a fight between the two for no reason. Then this conjectural seconds-long fight had to attract attention from numerous witnesses, and those people, who at every other instace were text book examples of Apathetic Citizens, would suddenly have to give such a damn about that random schmuck, that they would dare oppose the goddamn Dumbledore on his behalf with enough ferocity that even his repurtation and status wouldn't deter them, and he'd have no choice but to let Snape go with the vital piece information he had obtained. Then some of those interlopers suddenly became Death Eaters, who just happened to be there (rather than follow their leader or be staitioned there, after they'd taken over), and those conjectural Death Eaters gave such a damn about a loser who got caught, that they would oppose their fucking arch-nemesis, whom even their master was afraid of, on his behalf. I'm sorry, but that's beyond ridiculous. Not to mention, what the hell would it matter if they were DE's or not? DD wiped the floor with a dozen of them in the Ministery. And to all the "he couldn't do that" stuff: they are in a war, formalities and protocols be damned, who the hell was supposed to judge him?
Oh, AND THEN this high-tense showdown would have to somehow boild down to Snape "waffling about having come the wrong way up the stairs" and Trelawny mentioning nothing at all about the stand-off or Death Eaters or anything. Sorry, doesn't compute.
Oh, sure, sending the Dementors after an underaged boy is a great idea... NOT.
- What exactly was Umbridge counting on, when she sicced Dementors on Harry? Let's say they succeed. Now instead of a boy who since the end of the year hasn't made a single attempt to press the matter of V's return they've got themselves two teenage corpses with very distinct "marks" of a Dementor's Kiss. And since all the Dementors were supposed to be under Ministery control, she'd as well lay her business card on the scene of crime.
- To go one worse, if Harry Potter turned up dead (or kissed, whatever) mere months after reporting that Voldemort had made his return, it would basically confirm that someone was trying to silence him. It would be impossible to cover up the death of such a famed individual, and no matter what, it wouldn't end well for the Ministry. Umbridge should be glad her attempt failed.
- Can't remember and don't want to dig the book out from my bookshelf... Did she say that she specifically wanted them to get rid of him somehow? Or could she have given them orders to attack him, maybe pretend to perform the kiss, but leave him? Just to try and scare him into behaving?
- Was she that dumb? Like Dementors could just pretend to kiss him and then rise up and leave! They are vile creatures who attacked Harry on their own in the past. And Ministry knew about it, and so did Umbridge.
- Not to mention, that if they could do that (can the Dems be Imperiused or something?) it would've been even worse, because it would've instantly excluded Voldemort or Sirius Black from the list of suspects, leaving only Ministery.
- Possibly she'd ordered them to crowd around Harry (who is known to be very vulnerable to their aura) until he was genuinely driven insane, thus "verifying" the Daily Prophet reports that he's mentally unstable. As Harry is a loner when he's not at Hogwarts, she didn't count on there being another person there with him, whom the ravenous dementors would try to Kiss on sight.
- Except that the other dementor was trying to kiss Harry as well.
- I could have completely misunderstood the books, but I always thought that the attempt was never supposed to "succeed", that is to say, Umbridge knew Harry could do a patronus, and so expected him to use one to fight the dementors off. Umbridge knew Harry would never be able to convince the ministry that the Dementors were there, so he would have been expelled and therefore out of the way. The only thing she didn't count on was Dumbledore and Mrs Figg showing up at the trial.
- Yes, such plan would make more sense, but could she really rely on Harry to act? The only time Harry ever casted a Patronus in public was during the Quidditch match in Prisoner of Azkaban and the Dementors were not real then. Even if Umbridge somehow, third-hand, heard about that time, it would be a huge stretch and risk to expect that he'd be able to repell two real ones. And even Madam Bounce apparently didn't know he could cast a corporeal Patronus, so I doubt Umbridge did. And as for "would never be able to convince", again: Veritaserum (already explined why reasons against it are retarded), Pensieve and most importantly Time. Frigging. Turners. The whole problem is completely artificial.
- Occam's Razor would suggest that the answer is "Yes, Umbridge really is that much of an idiot". This has a lot of support in canon — we're talking about the same woman who could bitch up something as simple as 'put veritaserum in a tea cup and then force Harry to drink it', after all. It takes a noteworthy lack of savvy to not notice that the person you're staring directly at the whole time isn't actually drinking anything and is just spilling it down his shirt instead.
- Why not just Apparate outside #4 Privet Drive at 3:00 AM and fire off a bunch of spells? Harry gets blamed for illegal use of magic, expelled, etc., and there's no possibility of dangerous Dementors killing him.
Positive thinking... Hermione, WTF?
- So, we all know that Hermione is a smart girl. That much is clear. And also we know, that the House-elves get free, if THEIR MASTER gives them a piece of clothes. So, why did the smart girl think that her leaving the clothes in Gryffindor room would free someone? She isn't their master, it's Dumbledore. And leaving clothes in Main Room isn't giving. So, is Hermione too stupid to understand that or is she trying to convince herself?
- Hermione wasn't even listening when she was told House Elves like their jobs and getting clothes equals being fired in disgrace. Her intentions were good but her brain was sadly absent for much of her SPEW work.
- It's not about the fact that she should know they liked the work. That's different matter. But she knew only the clothes their master gave them would free them, and she was clearly not their master, which she also knew. So, WTF?
- Apparently, stupidity is contagious. You can't abide around Harry and Ron for five years and not catch some. Although, seeing how the elves were so appalled by those hats they stopped cleaning the Gryff common room, perhaps they could've been used to free them (or maybe they were just that hideous, lol); maybe there was some loophole in that the elves were loyal to Hogwarts and all its denizen in general (like the whole Malfoy family were considered Dobby's masters, not just Lucius) and as such could be freed by any of them.
- Maybe it was because Hermione was a prefect? Maybe she considered that enough "authority" to free the elves? I mean, obviously people would accidentally leave hats, gloves, scarves, etc in the common room all the time but the Elves didn't freak out over it.
- That's only half the stupidity. The other problem is that House Elves, being servants, surely can pick up even their master's clothing without becoming free. Or are we assuming that Lucius Malfoy washes his own clothes? There's a fun question of whether they're generally freed by just being handed clothing, or if Dobby used a somewhat dubious interpretation of the rules to escape his situation. But picking up clothing owned by someone else can't possibly count as being 'given' clothing, especially when their entire premise is as a magical servant. Dobby proves it, if he could have picked up a random spare sock off the floor, he would freed himself years ago!
Hand Me The Ball
- The only ones who can touch a prophecy ball without going insane are the ones it was made about, so the D Es lure Harry into the Hall of Prophecy, have him grab the ball, and then Lucius demands that Harry gives the ball to him. Wait, what makes Lucius think that the ball's mind-shattering power subsided once Harry had taken the ball from the shelf? And if he in fact knows it for sure, then why the heck would it? I don't think that the balls were initially meant to be played Hot Potato with, so why would whoever enchanted them include such a security-compromising caveat?
- It was about picking them up from the shelf, not about holding them. Once picked up, anyone could hold them. That's what it was all about, it would make no sense at all if not that.
Draco the Prefect
- Why is Draco Malfoy made a Prefect? He doesn't seem remotely qualified for the position and he blatantly abuses it. He's never implied to be more than an average student, either. Dumbledore surely is a better judge of character than that!
- What's Draco's competition? Crabbe and Goyle? Someone has to be the fifth-year male Slytherin prefect.
- "Dumbledore surely is a better judge of character than that" - *five minutes of uncontrollable insane laughter*. Ok, seriously though, it makes perfect sense. Snape needed to gain Draco's trust and what's a better way to do it than by (ostensibly) pushing his appointment as a prefect through.
- For the sake of plot? Actually Blaise Zabini seems more worthy of being a Prefect, but Rowling didn't give any details about him until the next book. Likewise Pansy Parkinson isn't exactly Prefect material, but it fits seeing as how she's the Slytherin equivalent of Hermione.
- Forget Blaise Zabini! What about Theodore Nott? From what we know he's extremely clever and isn't known to bully anyone like Malfoy does. Why wasn't he made prefect?
- Possibly Draco took Nott or Blaise aside and explained to them why turning down the job of prefect, should it be offered to them, would be a substantial contribution to their personal health fund.
- This is only a theory, but I always saw it like this: Dumbledore doesn't appoint the prefects; the Heads of the Houses choose their own prefects (they are, or at least should be, the ones who know their own students best, after all). Dumbledore, of course, has the final say, and the power to veto the Heads' decicions — but he hardly ever does, partly because he trusts his employees judgment and partly because (and this is even more speculation) he is is so afraid of abusing his position of power that very often he fails to wield the power he does possess even when he should. He intervenes for Harry, because Harry is a special case, but for the other prefects he doesn't get involved. Which means that Snape was the one who approved Draco Malfoy as prefect... and we know Snape plays favorites.
Oh Look, a Pensieve! Gee, That's Not Private
- Why on earth would Harry look into Snape's Pensieve? Sure, he hates the guy's guts, but that's still no reason to do something as invasive as looking at someone else's private memories. Snape didn't get mad when Harry managed to use Occlumency correctly and therefore see a few snippets of the memories that he chose to retain during the lessons (kid!Snape cowering; teen!Snape sitting isolated and shooting flies off the wall.) He's already willing - maybe not happy, but willing to risk letting Harry see these less-intense memories compared to SWM; he specifically chose to retain his more personal memories in the Pensieve. So why the heck would Harry violate that? Does he really have so little self-control?
- Why would he know better? It's not like he'd ever gotten any comeuppance for doing the similair thing in the past, like peeking into Filch's mail or into the Pensieve itself.
- I'd second this. However much we may sympathize with Harry as a protagonist, Snape is right on target when he comments, "Potter has been crossing lines ever since he arrived at this school." The only time he was appropriately punished was way back in his first year (Professor M. docked him 50 points and a detention for sneaking around after hours): since then, he's been able to skate out of punishment one way or another. Harry was simply in the wrong here, the nosy little snoop.
- I think Harry's got his share of punishment at the Dursleys (locking him in his cupboard for DAYS because of accidental magic), which more than makes up for the lack of punishment here and there. And plus, IIRC, they were helping Hagrid that night, so it wasn't like they were fooling around.
- Punishment doesn't work proactively, so whatever DD allowed Dursleys to do to him only hurt, not helped.
- That might be innaccurate. Harry's been punished for rule-breaking the entire series. The problem is, most of his rule-breaking coincides with whatever plot was going on this year. Snape kind of missed the point with that comment.
- He'd almost never been punished in a way it stung, and even when he had been, like with the aforementioned massive point deduction in the first book or Lupin telling him off in the third for sneakin out, it was oh so educationally negated later.
- Remember, he wasn't after Snape's personal secrets. He wanted to know if Snape was hiding any Order information from him, namely about Mysterious (got my pun?) dark hallway with a door.
- Also, Snape is telepathically rummaging through Harry's most painful childhood memories every week, and then being a dick to Harry about them. At this point, its not surprising that Harry's respect for Snape's privacy or dignity would be nonexistent; from Harry's point of view, Snape is showing zero respect for Harry's privacy or dignity.
- He'd been a dick about it once, and even then it amounted to *gasp* smirking and asking whose dog it was that chased Harry up a tree. He never mentioned his memories again, and I wonder why that would be. He also had his painful memories exposed to the kid, and then he left the kid alone with the Pensieve. Of course, some people are just blind to the signs of tentative trust and respect, whadyougonnadoaboutit. You would argue that Sev was being a dick generally during the lessons, but I've already explained, why. V would inevitable learn about the lessons through his link with Harry. Moreover, if he did, but Severus had kept silent, it would've given him away, so most likely Sev had to just tell V about the lessons. After that Sev was without doubt ordered to sabotage the lessons. He couldn't bullshit his way around, since V could personally monitor the progress, or rather the lack thereof, and his position within V's ranks was crucial to the cause, so he did the only thing he could - teach the kid while being a dick about it, hoping that the kid would pick up on his ruse and cooperate. Naturally, his hope was crushed.
- Wait, what? Snape was only a dick to Harry once? Are you kidding me? Snape has had exactly one non-dickish interaction with Harry Potter in his entire life, that being the day he died! Snape has no right to complain that Harry Potter doesn't like, respect, or trust him and acts accordingly; Snape has deliberately gone way out of his way for years to guarantee that Harry has the worst opinion of him possible.
- You make an interesting point about Snape's seeming inability to recognize and empathize with the fact that both Harry and Snape had traumatic childhoods. Still, there's no evidence that Snape told Voldemort about the lessons. Voldemort found out on his own. The simple truth is that Dumbledore should have been teaching Harry. Snape's too much of a Stern Teacher and Harry can be overemotional sometimes. Combined with their personal history together, it was a recipe for disaster.
- I'd assumed his lip curled in disgust, not amusement, maybe because he, albeit grudgingly, felt empathy towards Harry (He did complement Harry after: "Well, for a first attempt that was not as poor as it might have been.." In my opinion, Dumbledore probably asked Snape to give updates on how the lessons were going, and Snape told Dumbledore more about Harry's abusive relatives. As a result, the Order went to King's Cross to threaten Uncle Vernon. Just my view though.
- It just seems logical to me, that he'd have to tell, otherwise... "Severus, it turns out Dumbledore ordered you to give Potter Occlumency lessons. And you were going to tell me about it... when, exactly?" Not that it matter much. The rest I agree, except my point is that Sev did recognized and emphatized with that fact... well, in his own manner, but Harry failed to see it.
- It may seem logical, but in the book, Voldemort found out through the bond. Nobody told him. Out of the two. Harry was the one who recognized and emphasized how alike he and Snape were. He floos Lupin and Sirius the next chance he gets, extremely upset about what he saw. Later in the seventh book, he mentally refers to Snape, Voldemort and himself as lost boys who made their home at Hogwarts. It's a bit of a plot point.
- I've got a strong impression that Harry only ran off to call Sirius and Lupin, because his father was involved. Broken Pedestal and all that. Earlier he'd already seen the glimpses of Sev's horrible childhood, but it didn't change his attitude at all - he still showed no appreciation for what Snape was doing for him, and never bothered to understand, why Snape was acting the way he did, although the answer was right there. And even after the Worst Memory incident he didn't feel guilty for what he did and never tried to reconcile with Snape. Hell, he blamed him for Sirius' death! And those contemplations in the seventh book, what did matter? He still hated Snape right up to the very moment when he was told, that *gasp* Sev was a good guy. And even then he didn't stop to ponder, that hadn't he been so biased and dim-witted, Snape might've survived. Snape, on the other hand, acted on his revelations, as much as his constricting situation allowed him - he stopped teasing Harry and then left him alone in his sanctum.
- To be fair, there were other, more pressing matters capturing Harry's attention immediately following the final Snape-related revelation. The epilogue shows that he gave it some thought a bit later on.
- I really think we're going to have do agree to disagree on that.
- On what exactly? On why exactly he was upset after seeing the Worst Memory? Ok, that's a speculation on my part. All the other things were pretty much stated in the book. He didn't care about other displays of misery in Sev's past, he never felt a twinge of sympathy or appreciation for what he'd been doing, he didn't apologize for the Pensieve, he shifted the blame for Sirius' death on him. As for epilogue, yeah, 7 years after he'd been explicitely told the obvious truth, he finally admitted it. Whoop-de-do.
- Why do people even find it a problem that Harry 'violated Snape's privacy' under the circumstances? Remember the discussion Harry had with Hermione about how Harry wasn't sure if Snape was actually teaching him Occlumency or just opening up his mind further for Voldemort? Let me underline that — Harry had a legitimate suspicion at that time that Snape was a double agent for the Death Eaters. Sure, we know where Snape's ultimate loyalties lay (although we might want to stop a second and remember that the fandom didn't have any firm knowledge of exactly which side Snape was really a double agent for until book 7), but Harry didn't. So the entire 'no respect for privacy!' thing is irrelevant. Harry wasn't snooping in Snape's stuff because he wanted to prank Snape, Harry was snooping in Snape's stuff looking for evidence about a possible threat from Voldemort with at least some kind of probable cause to actually suspect Snape of being that threat. That might not be 100% legal (although since when does 'legal' apply to anything the Harry Potter cast ever did?), but it is ethically justified under the circumstances.
- I wondered that too. I got pretty mad at Harry while reading that passage. I chalked it up to a character flaw on Harry's part. Harry's a curious guy who doesn't understand the terms "off limits" or "private." Not trying OK his actions, I think they were wrong, and "character flaw" doesn't make what he did right, but at least there's a reason.
SNEAK, the book, not movie
- Neville tries to tell on Harry and the others, and he's rewarded for his attempts. Hermione gets Harry's firebolt confiscated, and while she's shunned, she's rewarded as well. Marietta isn't given her side of the story, but from what Cho says, it's implied Marietta turned on the DA either in an attempt to help her mother or out of fear for the consequences that could befall her mother. Everyone, it seems, besides Cho, is okay with this, including the professors who are either incompetent if they can't remove a hex placed by a fifteen/sixteen-yr-old or malicious in their refusal to help a student. JK Rowling thinks the fact that a person who was in an oppressive environment, had a mother who might have been in striking distance of Umbridge, was a teenager, meaning she likely wouldn't have realised how badly her telling would be for them, deserved to be permanently scarred. Marietta wasn't, from what was shown, a hardcore Voldemort supporter. She wasn't a 'traitor'. She was a teenage girl who tattled. And permanently disfiguring even actual traitors is a moral travesty in my opinion, never mind an underage tattle-tale.
Umbridge: Well, Minister, Miss Edgecombe here came to my office shortly after dinner this evening and told me she had something she wanted to tell me.
- Neville tried to stop them, not tell on them, and, as it turns out, he was absolutely right. I don't recall Hermione being rewarded even a single point for what she did (correct me if I'm wrong), and, again, she was entirely justified in her worries. As for Marietta, calling her a traitor is not that big of stretch, because even if it wasn't an actual combat situation, it was as close to it as it could get in that environment, with DA as the resistance group and Umbridge as the enemy. Games were over, the real war was looming outside, and the kids had to grow up fast to have a chance to survive. After all, the whole idea behind the DA was to learn real fighting instead of its emasculated, Ministery-approved version, well, it is only fitting that they get the taste of real responsibility as well, to be more prepared for the adult world, where they, indeed, do not disfigure traitors, but execute them. It is actually refreshing to see the staff trying to bring the seriousness of the situation home to the students for a change, instead of beating around the bush, like they did with Potter all the time.
- I could have sworn that I originally wrote that Hermione was still clearly presented as the heroine of the stories, not that she was rewarded, too. I don't know if someone edited that or if I just thought I did. Neville was going to tell if he couldn't stop them; he said as much himself. Marietta was a teenager who seemed to have some doubts that Voldemort was back. She likely didn't grasp how important everything was. Or she grasped it all too well and made the choice to put her mother in front of the DA. And professors shouldn't be allowed to pick sides. If a student disfigures another student, even if they agree with the one who did the disfiguring and don't like the victim, they still have an obligation to help the one who has been disfigured. They have just as much obligation to protect the children of death eaters as they do muggle-borns, and the same principle applies to members of an underground club. Whether they approve of the club or not, whether they agreed with Marietta's choice or not, she was still their student, and she was attacked by another student. They chose not to punish Hermione, and they chose not to help a girl Hermione disfigured. If they wanted to impart the seriousness, they could have punished Marietta in some way that didn't permanently alter her body. Although, I'm not sure how it is that no one at St. Mungo's or any other wizarding hospital couldn't have helped Marietta, but my main thing is the moral statement presented that a teenage tattle-tale deserves to have his or her body violated and permanently disfigured. I utterly reject that statement.
- It was originally that she was the heroine of the story. For whatever reason EMY3K edited to what it currently says. I thought it was you in the page history so I didn't even question it. Anyway the common fanon theory is that when everyone in the DA signed the list that says they were part of the DA it formed a part of a magical contract. As part of the contract it made an irreversible betrayal clause which makes it so that anyone trying to repair the damage wouldn't be able to. This is similar to the fanon theory that anyone backing out of the magical contract for the Goblet of Fire would lose their magic or life. Now it's all fanon and whether that's moral or not is up to your interpretation of Hermione's character or not. I mostly agree that if that's true she should have been more open to them about what it was they were signing or at least told them after they signed. I think most of the teachers simply assumed that it was break in a contract that she signed willingly and decided not to help or punish as it was out of their hands.
- "They could have punished Marietta in some way " - oh, like what, make her write lines? Take away House points? Send a letter to her mother? Make her clean the latrine? Get real. And it wasn't permanent - she got away with some scars, probably not worse than those you get from real acne - Hermie was not a sadist. And again, they were in the middle of a war. You can always make a lot of excuses for a traitor - they were afraid, they were confused, they were Just Following Orders - it doesn't change the fact that traitors are not tolerated at war. Or wargames for that matter.
- Scars are permanent; they may fade, but they never completely disappear. Harry could have gotten scars on his hands from playing Quidditch, but as far as I know, no one has ever used that to say Umbridge wasn't sadistic in forcing him to use the blood quill. Defecting soldiers, adult spies, etc., are held to a rigid standard, and though I protest some of the treatment they're subjected to, I don't get upset that they aren't tolerated. However, I don't believe in children soldiers, nor do I believe a scared child in an oppressive environment should have permanent damage done to her body for making an ill-thought out choice. As for punishments, I don't know, but I do think the professors could have thought of a way to punish her that didn't involve physical harm if they felt she deserved it.
- She isn't permanently scarred. It's stated in the next book that most of the pimples have gone away, with only a few left. Hermione wouldn't want someone scarred for life.
- JK Rowling specifically said that, though the pimples faded, Marietta was left with scars on her face. She did want that character scarred for life as evidenced by her 'loathing a traitor' (paraphrase) comment. Since Hermione is her also her character and no other characters of hers besides Cho, who was presented somewhat unsympathetically, ever called her out on, and there were no scenes or dialogue that even implied Hermione might feel guilty, I'd say Hermione did want Marietta scarred for life or, at least, felt no guilt towards the fact she was.
- Here's a couple of points to consider. We don't know if Mariette ever asked any of the adults for help. And I see we she wouldn't: ask the people you've betrayed to help remove a sign of your betrayal (not a life threat, mind you, just an inconvinience), that requires some nerve. And as for why they didn't punish Hermie, well, they have no proof it was her doing.
- She was a hurt child. If a non-abusive parent or teacher sees a child is hurt, they, at least, ask if the child would like some help. Often, they don't even bother to ask and automatically grab the medicine/first aid kit/telephone while telling the kid to sit down/stay still/etc. In this instance, the proper response, once they realised what had happened would be to take her to Madam Pomfrey as soon as possible, and if she couldn't help, make arrangements to transport her to St. Mungo's. Again, whatever their personal opinions, she was a hurt student under their care, and they had no right to shirk their duties.
- First, she was not a child. She was fifteen, and in the wiz world this is closer to maturity than in ours. Hell, Riddle started taking over the world at that age! Second, and more importantly, she was not "hurt" - she had a bad case of acne, that's it. Ton of kids have it, and somehow parents or teachers don't rush to put them into hospital. Again, wizards are much more tolerant to injuries, both because they suffer them more frequently and can withstand more than us. So could you please stop pulling the pity card? She betrayed her comrades and endangered the whole anti-Voldemort movement. Yes, she probably didn't mean to or didn't think of the ramifications, so what? Simplicity is worse than robbery, they say. I think the teachers can be excused if they were willing to let her be inconvenienced by the consequences of her actions, and not fussing over her as if she was a baby. As you duly noted, Harry was also scarred, but nodoby dragged him to Madam Pomfry.
- Actually, there's a subtle but not unimportant distinction between what she's doing and what Hermione and Neville did. In the latter two cases, the "betrayal" was done for the good and well-being of the group/friends. In Marietta's case, justified as she was, she betrayed the DA for her mother, a decidedly not-DA person, effectively betraying her friends she swore (by contract), knowing that the outcome would be bad for them, rather than thinking it'd be for their good as well. Whether she should be punished for that is another matter, but it is a different situation from Hermione and Neville's.
- Actually, many parents do take their children to the doctor for bad cases of acne. Marietta had a spell on her that altered her body; it altered her body in a way that caused emotional distress to her. If a student threw acid or permanent ink on another student's face and a teacher failed to help the latter student, I'd still call foul, even if that student had tattle-tailed on the other student. No, nobody took Harry to Madam Pomfrey, nor did he go to her himself; I personally believe that situation was mishandled, as well. I make no apologies for my empathy towards real life people or fictional characters. I don't like to see people hurt, I'm a big believer in a person's mistakes not haunting them for the rest of their lives, especially when the mistakes are made when they're young, scared, and confused, and I absolutely despise and disagree with the idea that a person doing something wrong gives another person the right to physically hurt them.
- Yes, but that would be parents of our world, that generally shares your opinion about children being fragile and vulnerable and in need of protection. This is not our world. This is a society stuck back in the 18th century at best and with very different morals, bordering on Blue and Orange. This is a place where children play sports that involves flinging metal bone-breaking balls at each other. A place where a school neighbors a forest full of horrors, and the only thing done to keep children from venturing there is calling it "forbidden". These people keep (probably brainwashed) slaves, casually practice Mind Rape on innocent people, and their state prison is a hand-made pocket of Hell. This whole shenaneegan with Marietta kind of pales in comparison and is no way out of character for any of them, so your moral considerations, even if valid, are simply inapplicable. As for practical, well, as I said: they are at war, Hermie is an invaluable asset, Marietta is a traitor. They are not going out of their way and antagonising a potential ally just to help a stupid girl in her inconvinience.
- Um, where was it said that the acne gave her physical pain? To me it always read more as identification but not torture, and that I could get behind. Treason is the arch-crime for a reason, and considering Marietta was handing over her fellows to Umbridge, who clearly has no compunctions about physically harming, expelling, or even using Unforgivable curses on those who don't fall in line, I'd say Marietta got off easy. Besides which, there's scarring and then there's scarring. It's probable that, although there would be lasting marks, they'd be all but invisible except in the right light.
- One of the main themes of the series is that our choices are what define us. Marietta chose to betray the entire DA to Umbridge. She had other options available but she chose to physically go to Umbridge and tell on them. Remember that one of her best friends was at the meeting? Some friend. If she actually cared a damn about Cho then wouldn't she have at least warned her not to go that night? Cho clearly thinks highly of her and Marietta didn't want to go to the DA but seemed to go anyway because of her friendship with Cho. There's obviously some strong friendship there. It's not exactly a secret what Umbridge puts students through in detention. Surely she had to have known all the students would be punished severely for the DA. She can't have been in denial about that. I repeat - she chose to betray each and every one of them. She had other options; if she was feeling conflicted, didn't she consider asking Harry if she could leave? If she was afraid of his reaction, couldn't she have talked to Cho about it considering she was his girlfriend? Marietta made her choice and she had to live with the consequences. And after the whole ordeal was over, she never considered simply apologising and asking Hermione to remove the spots?
- She was a teenager. When put in highly stressful environments, many people react badly, especially children and teenagers. She gave information to Umbridge, and Umbridge made the choice to use it to hurt others. For all anyone knows, Umbridge manipulated her into thinking giving the information was the best way to avoid harm to everyone. Hermione inflicted bodily harm on Marietta; as many people do, she avoided her attacker afterwards.
- The point is that she had other options available yet chose to betray them to Umbridge. By all accounts, it's her that went to Umbridge's office of her own free will. She was not an innocent child, she was at least sixteen or seventeen - with some sense of right and wrong. Maybe not realising the full extent of her actions but she still made a bad choice. And thus she had to live with the consequences of what she did. There is a very big difference between being tortured into confessing and actively seeking out someone to betray information.
- By all accounts, no one knows whether she went into the office without provocation or if Umbridge called her in. Marietta was never given a POV scene or even one line of dialogue. She might have hated Harry and decided to go into Umbridge's office because she wanted to hurt him or the others, she might have been manipulated into believing telling Umbridge was the right thing, or there might have been something else no one has suggested. Children are encouraged to tell adults when other children are doing something against the rules. Usually, them telling is a good thing; on rare occasions, it's a bad thing. Often, children are conflicted about which side their action would fall on but end up going with telling. Whatever Marietta's motivations, she's guilty of giving information to someone who had significantly more power than she and who choose to use it badly. Hermione is guilty of inflicting permanent bodily harm.
- During the scene where Fudge and Umbridge are confronting Dumbledore in his office Umbridge says that Marietta came to her office unsolicited, not that Umbridge called her in.
- I don't think Umbridge is a trustworthy source. There were plenty of witnesses in that room, including Dumbledore, McGonagall, and a few Ministry Officials. If she admitted to blackmailing Marietta in front of them, someone might expose her. Plus, it wouldn't be out of character for her to lie so that Fudge could have some plausible deniability.
Dude, you have pockets
- In the movie, Harry, while running for his life, carries the prophecy in one hand. He was wearing jeans. I'm fairly sure some of the others had pockets, too. Put the prophecy in a pocket. It's a wonder he didn't drop it.
- Eh, the prophecy doesn't look like it'd fit into a jean pocket. Not easily, at least. Harry would have to set aside time in the heat of battle to squeeze it in.
The Prophesy is wrong in oh so many ways
- The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ...
- It says 'either must die at the hand of the other'. The last blow against Voldemort is struck by...Voldemort. It's a backfiring curse. That is not 'the other'.
- But Voldemort was using Harry's wand at the time so in a way it counts.
- It says 'neither can live while the other survives'. That has be interpreted pretty poetically to be true, and even then it doesn't work. Even if we assume 'live' means 'live in a way that isn't under constant attack'...Harry manages to pull that off for 11 years. Likewise, Voldemort managed to live pretty well the first 18 months Harry was alive. It might be true at this point in the story, but not earlier.
- The Dursleys are at least occasionally physically abusive. Even if they aren't, Harry's quality-of-life at 4 Privet Drive seems to fall under "surviving", not living. The cupboard under the stairs, for Merlin's sake!
- So the theory is that there are two different thing, that there is 'living' vs. 'surviving', and both Harry and Voldemort are restricted to only 'surviving' while the other survives? That does seem to explain the end, but doesn't explain the first 18 months of Harry's life, where Voldemort seemed to live just fine.
- Or split the "neither can..." part into two. Now it literally means neither can live, which means both must die at some point, but somehow one will survive. The prophecy really doesn't make full sense unless an Ass Pull happens at the end, which turns out to be a Fridge Brilliance from Jo. But seriously, neither can DIE while the other survives is a little closer to clarity.
- It say 'but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not', which is love, and that part seems to be true and make sense. Love is a power, and Voldemort does not know about it. But then it says 'the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies'. While the power of love is important, at no point does Harry's power of love vanquish Voldemort. His mother's love sorta does, at least twice (The original backfired curse, and killing Quirrell.) But not his own power of love. We're all glad it showed up, it kept a lot of people alive, etc, etc, but it didn't vanquish Voldemort, Voldemort's stupidity and egotism did that.
- The prophecy just said that he would have power that Voldemort doesn't know of, not that that's how he will defeat him.
- And, to top it off, we have strange tense issues: The entire prophesy is in the future tense. He's approaching, he will do this, he will have that, etc. Except he is apparently 'born', not 'will be born'. The first 'born' could be written off as it fading out for a second, but not the second.
- It doesn't refer to Voldemort's death, but to Harry's. My interpretation of the prophecy is based on the fact that it doesn't talk about killing, but about dying - as if the active party is the one doing the dying rather than the killing. And so it eventually proves - Harry sacrifices himself to stop Voldemort, thereby resolving the prophecy.
- The prophecy makes sense when you break it down into its individual parts:
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies..."
- The tense issue is reconciled by the fact that, since Voldemort hasn't attacked either child, neither is the 'Chosen One' at this point. Thus, they are approaching, meaning that they will be chosen soon.
"and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not..."
- By choosing the one he will kill, Voldemort acknowledges them as 'the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord' meaning that they are equal to him, since no inferior could possibly bring him down in his eyes. The power he knows not of is obviously love, as has been stated before.
"either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives..."
- Here's where it gets tricky. The two are destined to fight each other, and one of them will eventually succeed in killing the other. No one else can do it. Harry can't die, since the Horcrux inside him will likely sustain him (as a Horcrux container can only be destroyed by magical means that far exceed the norm, Harry was likely only in danger from the Basilisk and the FiendFyre throughout the whole series), and Voldemort can't die due to the Horcruxes he has made. By the time the Horcruxes are destroyed, Harry and Voldemort are fixated soley on each other, and are eager to kill the other, not allowing anyone else the privilage.
- Except for the part where Voldemort did not die at 'the hand of the other'; he died at the hand of himself. Voldemort gets killed by his own reflected Killing Curse.
- Or split the "neither can..." part into two. Now it literally means neither can live, which means both must die at some point, but somehow one will survive.
- But still, it seems to fall short. "Neither can die while the other survives" makes a lot more sense in the context of what happens in Deathly Hallows.
- Or maybe I ought to go with the previous interpretation, neither of them can get a real life while the other survives...Voldemort always fearing Harry and being the predator and Harry being the prey. I mean Harry gets a real life only after Voldemort is killed, till that time the only way to summarize his story was Deus Angst Machina.
- You shouldn't think about the prophecy as being "destined." Think of it as a Batman Gambit. It's based on people acting in a predictable manner. It never actually says that only Harry can kill Voldemort, or vice versa, people just read that meaning into it because ooh, destiny. The meaning of the last few lines is that the two of them will be driven to fight each other until one of them is dead. Harry is perceived as being the cause of Voldemort's disembodiment, which is an insult to Voldemort's power that he can never forgive. On the other hand, Harry inherited a heroic nature from his parents that won't allow him to forgive Voldemort for what he did to his parents, or what he intends to do to his friends and the world. Thus, neither can go on with their lives while the other survives.
Underestimating Floo Powder
- So, Harry is desperate to get to London to save Sirius, although he has no idea how to get there. So, Hermi persuades him to sneak into Umbridge's office first to use the Flowing Floo so that they could call the Grimmauld Place and check if Sirius is there... ... ... ... WHY DON'T YOU IDIOTS JUST GO THROUGH THE FIREPLACE STRAIGHT TO GRIMMAULD PLACE?!!! The fireplace is not supposed to be monitored (how in the world could they buy such a primitive ruse is another thing, but lets ignore minor plot holes in favor of big ones).
- I think that Harry's plan in here was just to do a fast check on Sirius, like he had done before when he asked Sirius and Remus about Snape's memory. He is on a very tight schedule, due to (a) having seen Sirius being tortured, and (b) Umbridge could be back at any moment. Sure, Harry could have gone to Grimmauld Place, but then how does he get back? Umbridge would have known that Harry had gotten inside, but had not come out, so it would be easy for her to understand that he could have gone somewhere, and once Harry goes back to Hogwarts, he's toast. Harry didn't expect that Umbridge could have placed warning charms on the door.
- Why would he need to get back? He needed to get to London to save Sirius, right? Well, unless I'm wrong, Grim. Place IS in London.
- Yes, but what if Sirius didn't need to be rescued (which was actually the case)? Then Harry would be stuck and in big trouble.
- It seemed to me, that at that particular moment, "trouble" was the very very last thing Harry could care about. Besides, by that point, Hogwarts pretty much royally sucked, with all Harry's allies among the teachers gone and Umbridge fully in charge. I doubt he'd miss it much. Finally and most importantly, the school year was (almost) over, it's not like he was going to miss any classes, and I got an impression that after the exams, the students were more or less left to their own devices. Perhaps, that's why V chose that exact time for his little game. In case of a false alarm, he'd just ask somebody from the Order to give him a lift back.
- Point's moot, anyway. Wouldn't Kreacher have had to let Harry come through the fireplace? Imagine how likely he'd be willing to do that without a direct order.
- Nothing in the books indicates that there was such condition, Harry was already disclosed the location of the house, Kreacher wasn't the owner of the house, and in CoS Harry accidentally Flooed into Borgin & Burkes without any permission from the owners, so no, I don't think it was the case. And, as usual, it's not about whether or not would it work - it's about not trying an obvious solution (and it was obvious because when Sirius was talking to them through the fireplace, Umbridge tried to grab him, meaning that he was physically there, therefore "talking" and "walking" via Floo is the same thing).
- Harry never says how he's going to get to the Department of Mysteries, and it's entirely possible he was planning on using the flue after hanging up after Grim. Place. He was planning on getting there some other way, probably the Knight Bus, before the flue was suggested.
- Luna is the only one who asks how he was going to get to the Department of Mysteries after the floo mention, perhaps it was obvious to everyone else...and perhaps Luna was just asking because she, being conspiracy-minded, knows you can't just floo into the Department of Mysteries, or floo into the Ministry and walk there. Except you can when all the security is disabled, like it was. (She does seem rather astonished when they just walk in, although the Narrator seems to think she's inexplicably awed at an empty hallway.)
Sneaking into Hogwarts
- Speaking of which. Why was Sirius able to reach Hogwarts so easily? Where's the security? Does this mean that anybody else could do the same thing and peek/teleport into the school? On the other hand, if Hogwarts was indeed accessible from the outside via Floo Network...why the heck didn't all the kids go there that way instead of by the train? Everybody would be saving a lot of time, nerves and resources.
- I was about to object that Grimmauld Place could be miles from the Ministry and still be within the greater London metropolitan area... when I remembered the Knight Bus. Whisk your rescue team through to Grimmauld Place, get outside the Fidelius boundary and take the Knight Bus the rest of the way. Would've shaved valuable time off messing with broomsticks or thestrals. Of course, if that thought had occurred to Harry, he'd have gone there immediately and alone, which would have ended badly for him...
- It gets worse. The Knight Bus is capable of being chartered for a run between London and Hogwarts; that's how Harry and Ron get back to Hogwarts from Grimmauld Place after Christmas break, in the same book.
- It's likely that the Knight Bus won't pick up underaged students from Hogwarts or Hogsmeade during the school year without Professor permission, to keep students from running away, which at least explains why they can't take it from Hogwarts. However, yes, there's nothing that stops them from taking the bus from right outside Grimmauld Place.
Boggart's true face
- Lupin states that no one knows the true form of a boggart, the form it has when no one's near for him to take his form. So how could Moody know it was a Boggart in the cupboard when he saw it? It would have its true form at that point, no one was near it. And if you count that they were near enough, it was stated in 3rd book that Boggart had no form until it came out of the cupboard and took the form of Nevil's (nearest Persons) greatest fear. In that case, he would have to be in his natural form.
- Maybe Boggart simply knows whenever somebody is looking at it, whether by a normal eye or a magical one.
- Maybe Moody has seen through a closet or whatever that had a Boggart in it, then saw it come out and do Boggart-type things, so now he knows what Boggarts look like in their true form. He's just never bothered sharing the information or anything.
- He's never bothered to share that information because him learning it was deliberately engineered by a conspiracy of boggarts, and sharing that information is certainly what they wanted him to do. *dramatic chord* CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
Redefining Cardboard Prison
- In the end Malfoy taunts Potter, saying that the Dementors had left Azkaban, and so his father and other Death Eaters would be out in no time. So let me get this straight. They know V is back. They know the Dementors would most likely join him on the drop of a hat. And they still put all the captured villains in the Azkaban like nothing happened?! What the heck? Wouldn't the first thing they'd want to do in this situation be relocating all the prisoners to a more secure location?
- I read this out of a fanfic, but I notice it seems to be disturbingly true: Wizards have no redundancy. They have ONE banking organization (goblins), ONE hospital (St. Mungo's), and ONE prison. I'm guessing they didn't have the foresight of having any place more secure than even a compromised Azkaban...
- At the very least there's Nurmengard.
- That's in a different country.
- So? That's even better - now, if V decides to liberate his cronies, he'd have to antagonize a whole new country. And it was almost empty anyway, why waste the place?
- I'm pretty sure that in the magical world, much like in the real world, the British government does not have authority over the German prisons.
- No, but the goverment could negotiate deportation of criminals to said prison. After all, it was DD who ended Grindelwald's reign of terror, surely they wouldn't deny him a little return favor. And the real importance of Nurmengard is that it demonstrates the possibility to contain the magical criminals without use of dementors. Since DD is dead sure V would eventually return and dementors would immediately join him, why didn't he borrow their experience and have a back up containment procedure prepared in advance? Yes, the majority of wizards are idiots, but isn't he supposed to be different?
- You assume that Britain has something to bargain with. For all we know, Magical Britain is equivalent to muggle Zimbabwe. Maybe that's why no other countries bothered to intervene the first time Voldemort rose up.
- That would explain much, although I put stress on DD's personal authority and esteem as the vanquisher of Grinewald and his standing as the most powerful sorceror in the world. You'd think his favour would be valued enough to warrant a little cooperation.
Oh, no! Voldemort might realise...what he should've always known anyway.
- So, DD's excuse for not teaching Harry Occlumency personally was that "if Voldemort realised that we were connected more closely than just a teacher and a student, he would've tried to use you to spy on me" or "possess you to tempt me to try and kill him by killing you".
- Ok, first: how the heck could V possibly NOT know that Harry was special to DD, when he obviously knew that DD had heard the prophecy, in full at that?! Besides, the personal uber-protection set around the kid's house should've also given him a clue, shouldn't it? Also, what exactly was DD afraid V would spy on? "Monday: DD is teaching Harry Occlumency. Tuesday: DD is teaching Harry Occlumency. Wednesday: Harry has mastered Occlumency, and I cannot pick up anything anymore."
- Looking in from the outside, that only proves Harry is a valuable chess piece to Dumbledore, not that Harry is in Dumbledore's confidence.
- Ri-i-i-i-i-ight. "That brat is destined to be the one capable of killing me, and DD knows it, but he will most definitely NOT divulge any important information about me to him or teach him any important skills, that might help him in his mission, because...lol, that Muggle-lover is too dumb for that, that's why! No reason to try and spy on him through him at all!" Self-delusion: Advanced Classes. Monday-Wednesday, 50% discount to Dark Lords.
- Welcome, class. Today we shall discuss the concept of "strawman argument". Here is today's example:
- Original argument: Voldemort has no reason to think Harry is in Dumbledore's confidence.Strawman version: Voldemort has no reason to think Dumbledore would teach Harry anything ever, even indirectly through a subordinate.
Thank you, class. Any questions?
- Yes, teacher, as a matter of fact we do. 1) How the heck do you go from "receiving personal lessons in mind protection" directly to "being in confidence and, hence, worth spying on"? Is it really such an outlandish occasion for the school Headmaster to teach students? If they need some extra plausibility, fine, put on a little show, like have Sirius (whom Harry'd been writing about his dreams and scar pains) explain the situation to him and how he must learn Occlumency, and how lucky he is that his Headmaster is one heck of an Occlumens, and sure, he's a busy man, but they gonna gang up with Remus and Arthur and whatnot and ask him really nicely, and whaddyouknow, he agreed! There, no reason for V to suspect anything. 2) What the heck does it matter whether Harrry is seen as being in DD's confidence or not? He's first and foremost THE Harry Potter! V's (perceived) arch-nemesis! The one he's obliged, yet is inexplicably unable to kill! Are you seriously telling me that he wouldn't grab at the opportunity to spy on him by whatever means available? He spends an entire year seeking for something that might give him insight on the kid, yet he could possiby ignore a dedicated line to his mind? 3) What the heck does it matter if V does try to spy on DD through Harry? What is he supposed to learn from their Occlumency lessons? The techniques? Well so would he from Snape's lessons as well, except in that case he would rather learn that the teacher absolutely sucks at teaching, meaning it is safe to use mind tricks on the kid. Speaking of which... 4) Even if for some reason DD just couldn't teach Harry, how in the heck does it excuse entrusting Snape with the duty, when it was an obvious recipe for disaster from the very beginning? Even notwithstanding their mutual animosity, Snape responds to Voldemort. He couldn't teach the kid well, even if he wanted.
- BTW, you may notice, that each following question kinda negates the previous one. I'm aware of that and stipulated them all to better demonstrate just on how many levels doesn't DD's excuse make any freaking sense.
- Apparently, you missed the part where Dumbledore was worried that Voldemort would force Harry to duel him to the death.
- First, how can you force a teenager to fight the most powerful sorceror in world to the death, or rather how can you force said sorceror to kill him rather than disarm and stun in about two seconds? Especially if said teenager is supposed to be his secret uber-weapon. Second, ok, let's say V does plans that. What does it matter then if DD gives Harry lessons or not? As I say below they do meet each other normally every day.
- Second: what the heck did DD's unwillingness to communicate with Harry have to do with V's willingness to possess him? On the contrary, if Harry wasn't special, wouldn't it, from V's PoV, make it more admissable for DD to sacrifice him? And Harry and DD had been seeing each other anyway, in the Great Hall, for instance, so what exactly prevented V from taking over Harry there? Mind you, we're not talking about what V would or would not actually do, but about what DD would consider a valid excuse to expose Harry to danger.
- Again, the whole point was for Voldemort to not realize that Harry is, at least partially, in Dumbledore's confidence. If Voldemort knows that, he can use him to spy on Dumbledore. So Harry sees Dumbledore in the Great Hall. Big whoop. Does Voldemort want to spy on Dumbledore giving a public speech? No, he wants to spy on Dumbledore going over his top secret anti-Voldemort plans. The issue is whether or not Harry has any access to that sort of thing. If he doesn't, there's no point in using him to spy on Dumbledore.
- So don't go over top secret anti-Voldemort plans until the kid masters Occlumency, what's the problem? As for a convenient, non-being-in-confidence-indicative reason to do that, simple: "Harry, your escape from Riddle was a major affront to his overblown ego. He will certainly try to rectify his mistake. You're safe while in my custody, but he might try mind tricks to lure you out. To prevent that from happening, I'll teach you mental protection." Done.
- Alternately, stage an argument in Harry's hearing where Sirius or Molly or someone else Voldemort already knows cares for Harry deeply on a personal level demands that Dumbledore teach Harry Occlumency, while Dumbledore makes it plain that he doesn't consider it worth his time because Harry is not important to him personally but okay, fine, I owe you a favor so I'll spend a little time teaching the brat, blah blah blah. On a more general level, this is a mild Idiot Ball because if you're afraid the enemy has someone bugged and will know everything you tell him, then what you should not be doing is 'tell this guy nothing!', what you should be doing is 'use this guy to feed the enemy all the disinformation I think I can get away with!'.
Headmistress and Teacher?
- When Umbridge declared herself to be the new Headmistress of the school, who was teaching DADA? Was she doing both jobs? I wonder if that's the reason the castle didn't accept her as the headmistress.
- Before that, it doesn't seem like she would have enough time to be both the DADA teacher and Hogwarts High Inquisitor. Perhaps she's using a Time-Turner. Or since she never did any actual teaching anyway, perhaps she got someone else (Filch, maybe?) to supervise her classes.
- It's implied that she's somewhat in over her head. She likely thought she'd be able to handle the responsibilities. All she did in her DADA classes was get them to read the textbook. So all she needs to do is turn up for class and tell them what to read.
This all could have been avoided
- Okay, Snape knows that Harry has been seeing the Department of Mysteries. Snape knows about the prophesy, and is concerned that Voldemort is trying to get it. (It's possible Snape knows roughly about the plan from Voldemort, also.) DD obviously also knows about the prophesy, and Snape has informed him of Harry's dreams. So DD believes that Voldemort is trying to get the prophesy. We learn all this at the end of the book.
So, DD then proceeds to inform Harry that this is a trap. Or, wait, he doesn't.
We all understand that, for whatever reason, he doesn't want to tell Harry about the prophesy...and? Couldn't he have just mentioned that 'Harry, if Voldemort attempts to get you to the Ministry of Magic, specifically the Department of Mysteries, you know, that place right down the hall from your trial.), you, under no circumstances, should go. He needs your physical presence there for something.' (Harry: Is it the weapon the Order's been guarding? DD: Why, yes, it is a sort of weapon, but don't worry about that. We're sure that Voldemort's men can't take it. Harry: Like Bodes tried! DD: Yes. You've figured it all out. Now run along, and remember, stay away from the Department of Mysteries, no matter what.)
- Sounds familiar, doesn't it? "It is none of your concern what that huge three-headed dog guards!", "The Stone is perfectly safe, Potter, and you shouldn't concern yourself with it!", "The Chamber of Secrets was allegedly buit by Salazar Slytherin and contains something terrible, but it is all just legends, and you shouldn't bother looking for it!", "Harry, Sirius Black is very dangerous, you shouldn't try to confront him, if for some reason you might suddenly want to." I think, we have a name for such very reasonable advice. We all know how well they worked. And "He needs your physical presence there for something" would be by far the worst of them and would raise tons of questions in Harry, like, what does he has to do with some weapon he never saw or heard about? What made V think he needs Harry? How come DD knows that he does, but not why? The correct deterrent would sound like this: "Harry, your escape from V on that cemetery was a massive affront to his overblown ego. I'm afraid he might try to rectify his mistake. You're safe at the Dursleys' and in Hogwarts, but he can use mind tricks to lure you out. I'll have Severus teach you Occlumency to prevent it, but regardless, if you have some strange visions, do not rush in, contact the nearest Order member or, lacking that, the nearest adult."
Isn't Honesty the Best Policy?
- Okay, I might be missing something here, but why, oh, why when Harry had his date with Cho couldn't he have, you know, told her the TRUTH about why he needed to cut things short? It's not like the whole school didn't find out about the interview later, and even if advance knowledge of it was somehow sensitive, there were worse people he could have entrusted with it. So, I must ask: Why couldn't Harry have been open and straightforward about it? Makes him look like a hypocrite when he complains about Dumbledore, that's for sure.
- I think you have the sequence of events twisted. Harry didn't know why he had to meet Hermione at the pub - remember how surprised he was to find her sitting with Rita Skeeter and Luna? Although I agree with you that he could've invited Cho (after all, DA business was the most likely reason Hermione would want to meet outside Umbridge's view.)
- Is this a film thing? Because in the book, he does invite her to come along. He was just a bit tactless in his wording, which is one of the reasons she's annoyed with him and runs away. Hermione actually berates him that he should have been all "Oh, I don't really want to meet her but she practically forced me and I think it might be important but I'd really rather spend the time with you", rather than the way he actually worded it.
- Yes, it's how he said it. He first says that he's meeting Hermione in the pub and that she asked him. That gives Cho mixed messages since he asked her out, yet has arrangements to meet some other girl. And then he asks Cho to come along as well. That might have offended her in another way, thinking Harry only considered this a friendly get-together while she considered it a date. Harry didn't think Cho would find anything suspicious in him meeting Hermione because he doesn't think of her in that way at all.
Why is there Venom in my wound?
- Mr. Weasley tries to treat his snake bite with stitches, but they get dissolved by venom. Wait, why the hell is there still venom in the wound? Isn't removing or neutralising it the very first thing to do in such cases? And if he had venom in his blood, how the hell could he still be alive and well?
- A wizard literally did it
- Maybe not so much a venom, per se, but more of an anticoagulant.
- Batroxobin, an anticoagulant drug in commercial use today, is actually made from snake venom. I think you've hit the nail on the head here.
Dark Lords Do Not Do Stealth?
- "Voldemort had to either go to the Ministery himself, risking exposure or..." *needle scratch*. Wait a second. What exposure? Apart from his face and, maybe, pale skin he has no distinguishing features. He's of regular height, he has no outlandish body deformities, and nobody except Harry can percept him on any special level, so what exactly prevented him from simply using some disguise? Like an invisibility spell or a shape-shifiting potion or, I don't know, a mask the kind of like every goddamn last of his underlings wears all the goddamn time?
- "Hey, look, some bloke in face-concealing hooded robes and a mask like the ones the Death Eaters wear. Haven't seen him around here before, he must be new at the Ministry." Okay, joking aside, aren't missions like that what Evil Minions are for?
- Usually yes, but this one they were simply unable to complete on their own. Besides, what about that pathologic distrust V supposedly has for everybody else? Is he a sole player or not?
- I could be remembering it wrong, but I don't think Voldemort is ever described as having a pathological distrust for everybody else, nor is he described as a sole player — one of his main traits is how he uses people, with or without their knowledge. He doesn't confide in them or share his secrets, but this seems to be less about trust and more about plain arrogance and seeing everyone else as beneath him.
- That's the way DD described him in the next book when they rummaging through his backstory, at least the solo player part. But regardless, the fact remains that only V or Harry could retrieve the prophecy. Going there himself was obviously much easier than luring Harry there, and he could do it at any moment.
- But since the prophecy can only be retrieved by Harry and Voldemort, if it were to go missing one night people would know one of them had to have taken it. As much as Fudge wants to blame everything on Harry, "Harry Potter snuck out of Hogwarts in the middle of the night, flew across the country, broke into the Ministry of Magic, bypassed all of our security measures, stole a prophecy no one's even told him exists yet, Avada Kadavra'd a couple guards on the way out, returned to Hogwarts, and snuck back into bed without anyone noticing anything" is really not any less believable than "Voldemort's back, he took it".
- The real problem is why Voldemort wants to take the prophesy. He just wants to hear it. Go along with Lucius and the others, send them out of the Prophesy room, listen to it, leave. He has to know Dumbledore knows the prophesy, Snape would have told him, and the fact Harry was hidden as a baby makes it sorta obvious. So there's no reason to remove or destroy the prophesy. Is there some sort of record of playback of the prophesy? Or is Voldemort just being stupid? Again?
- What stops Voldemort from Polyjuicing himself into someone who is politically well-connected and can wander freely around the Ministry? Even getting the original out of the way without alerting someone is easy. Voldemort has several Death Eaters who at this point in time have easy access to the Ministry (such as Lucius, or Yaxley) — he could simply order one of them to stay home for a few hours while he took their place. Sure, Lucius doesn't actually have access to the Department of Mysteries itself, but we already know Voldemort is a good enough magical burglar to hack Gringotts (as he does precisely this while advising Quirrell); Lucius' face gets him all the way to the Do M outer door, from that point on Voldemort's own skill does. Easy peesy.
CIA, MI- 6 looking for volunteer security guards. No experience necessary.
- As far as I can tell, and has been described, the Unspeakables sound like the (obviously) top-secret arm of the Ministry. Confidential and dangerous information, research in the deepest and most fundamental magic, etc.
So why on earth does it take a volunteer task force, of which include a clumsy rookie policewoman, a permanently inebriated thief, and desk jockey to guard the nation's most sensitive secrets? Why is nobody else guarding it? Why would they even be called the Unspeakables if security is so low that anyone could just waltz in there at night if it weren't for a few volunteers camping out in front of the doors overnight?
- Because 'the Unspeakably Incompetents' didn't impress anybody?
- Because the Death Eaters wanted Harry to get in. Presumably Lucius, Bella, and their buddies 'removed' all guards beforehand.
Worst defensive stance ever.
- I realize I'm being picky about this - he's a wizard and would be using spells - but when Harry and Seamus are about to fight at each other in their dormitory on the first night at Hogwarts, it points out that Harry is kneeling on his bed as he points his wand at Seamus. For a guy who spent his childhood being beaten on by and fighting back against Dudley, this is a really bad and strange defensive position to stay in.
Anyone can read minds?
- Voldemort was supposed to be one of the best Legilimens (mind raader) and Occlumens (mind reader blocker) and yet, Dumbledore assumes Harry can block Voldemort with Occlumency. Even worse is that Dumbledore has an idea why Harry can read Voldemort's mind and doesn't try to learn how that connection works.
With friends like these who needs Marauders!
- According to Sirius in the previous book, Snape was part of a group of future Death Eaters that included Bellatrix and her husband Rodolphus, as well Evan Rosier, Wilkes, and Avery. Yet when Snape was shown to be ambushed by James and Sirius, other than Lily nobody came to his defense. You'd think that being a fellow Slytherin, as well as a member of their group they would be there to provide back-up. Yet Snape is shown to be a stereotypical loner in this scene. Where were his friends other than Lily?
- Being part of a group of future Death Eaters does not equal having friends. Just look at Wormtail's example after he rejoins Voldemort; how many friends does he have there?
Why not just suspend Harry?
- Dumbledore is facing several problems during year 5: the Ministry highly suspects him and is trying to catch him doing anything wrong they can slam him for, the Ministry is also itching for any excuse to slam on Harry Potter, and there's a Ministry stooge prowling around the school and deliberately trying to bait people into doing things she can punish them for. Dumbledore's solution, in canon, was to wait it out, because Voldemort would show himself sooner or later at which point all of his lost political credibility would come rushing back. Which is actually an OK idea, mind — it makes sense, and it works. But it would have worked a lot easier if Dumbledore had pretended to go with the flow and suspend Harry Potter from Hogwarts for a semester or so, due to his 'horrible disciplinary record' and all that. It does no real permanent damage to Harry's rep (his friends will all know the truth and everybody else will forget it once Voldemort is proven to be back, as the same logic that applies to Dumbledore's situation applies to Harry's), it will actually ease the pressure on the rest of Hogwarts because Fudge will think he's winning, and it's a perfect gift-wrapped excuse to park Harry in Grimmauld Place full-time where he'll be ultra safest during this critical time period, can get all the special tutoring he needs from people who aren't Snape, and can get him the hell away from where Umbridge or the Ministry can keep adding new black marks to Harry's permanent record, like the bullshit quidditch ban. It's a nice fake-out that also has humanitarian side benefits. So its annoying that at no point does anyone seem to think of this; its all part of the even more annoying general pattern where Team Dumbledore never seems to have any proactive or cunning plans at all, just 'react to immediate events' and 'sit there and take it like a lump'.
- In answer to the objection 'but then Harry couldn't teach Dumbledore's Army', while this is true Dumbledore didn't seem to plan on the existence of Dumbledore's Army. That was an idea the kids had on their own. Dumbledore was willing to cover for them once they were found out, but its not like any of Dumbledore's own plans were relying on its existence.
- Well, for one thing, part of the procedure of being expelled from Hogwarts involves having your wand broken and being forbidden by law to perform any magic, so to hell with that. In order to supply Harry with a new wand, Dumbledore would have to convince Ollivander or another wandmaker to illegally sell it to him, and find a new wand that'd accept him. And given the severity of being expelled, Ollivander is almost certainly under some supervision as to who he sells his wands to. Also, if Dumbledore just goes with the flow and acts like Voldemort isn't really back he's letting most of the wizarding world believe that too, making Voldemort's eventual takeover even easier, and quite possibly completely covert to the eyes of the public. And given Fudge's paranoia, it's unlikely to actually stop him from sending Umbridge to Hogwarts or interfering with the school curriculum (which, actually, he had probably already announced before Harry was put on trial). This isn't a cunning plan, it's actually a pretty awful one.
No One Can Know Unless Dumbledore Tells Them Personally. Or Impersonally
- When describing the protections placed on Grimmauld Place, Sirius mentions that Dumbledore is Secret Keeper for the entire order. He specifically says, "No one can know the place is here unless Dumbledore tells them personally. That note you read last night was from him." Stop just a second and think about what Sirius just said. Harry read a note on which only the address of the house was written. The note was not personally addressed to Harry, and it seemed like Moody used the note to bring everyone into the house. Presumably, if the note had been lost or stolen, anyone who read it could have gained access to the house. That's the very definition of impersonal communication, if it will bypass the charm for anyone who gets their eyeballs on the paper. So what is Sirius talking about?
- Maybe it's the intention behind the note that makes it personal. Dumbledore means for the building to be revealed to Harry, so it is revealed to Harry only. Someone else would just see the address. Alternately, he could have charmed the note in someway that means that anybody else who reads it sees different words.
- In this case, "personally" means that it has to be Dumbledore who creates the message. Dumbledore's words, Dumbledore's writing, Dumbledore's sing language, whatever it is it as to be from Dumbledore. It can't be a message he dictated and someone else wrote or repeated. That's why "personal".
Seriously Declining Standards at Hogwarts
- Everyone is freaked out that "the Ministry will be interfering at Hogwarts." First of all, isn't it the government's job to...I don't know...oversee the implementation of curriculum? The notion that interference as unprecedented and improper is very weird. Second of all, until Umbridge started dropping in to observe teachers, was there a single instance of Dumbledore or McGonagall showing an interest in what was going on in Hogwarts classrooms? As an American educator, in my first year of teaching, I was formally observed four times and informally observed a bunch more. After that, the frequency of observations lessened, but even today I am observed in the act of teaching students at least twice a year as part of the formal educator development program, and lots more by administrators just to keep up with what's going on in the classrooms. Why does the administration of Hogwarts seem to have an "anything goes" approach to what's being taught in classrooms? It seems that if Dumbledore had been the least bit interested, Lockhart's ineffectualness would have been identified early, as would Trelawny's uselessness, Professor Binn's and Hagrid's boring and unengaging curriculum (most of a year dedicated to tending Blast-Ended Skrewts, really!), and Snape's abusive instruction. In point of fact, the only thing I can think of that Dumbledore does in his role as Headmaster that actually seems germane to student instruction is not hiring Tom Riddle when he applies for a job. So is Dumbledore a bad administrator or what?
- The students who studied in Hogwarts during those years, had the misfortune of sharing the school with Harry Potter, which caused the petty concerns of education quality being sidetracked by DD's quest of grooming his little shahid for his war with V. Hence hiring Lockheart - he's the visual aid to Harry about the importance of being humble (read "submissive"); keeping Trelawny - she's supposed to desanitize Harry to threats to his life and, hopefully, give some more genuinly useful prophesies; giving the teaching duty to Hagrid - he's the source of "accidental" information leaks to Harry and the "good cop"; letting Snape run unchecked - he's the "bad cop" and the link to the enenmy ranks; Binns... meh, nobody gives a damn about history, so who cares? And, just like Dursleys, they all, in one way or another, serve as foils to DD, the modest, all-knowing, competent, funny and compassionate Cool Grandpa for Harry to sign up with and follow without question.
Sirius Wants to Leave the Order of the Phoenix Headquarters. Magical Disguises Exist. What's the Problem?
- I'm specifically talking about invisibility cloaks, disillusionment charms, polyjuice potions, and magical plastic surgery (remember Hermoine's buck teeth being fixed magically?). Why not use some or all of these in order to go about on Order business and missions?
- Because Sirius is lying. He's kept locked in because he's proven himself to be a recless idiot, whom no sane person (or even DD) would trust with anything important. But, of course, he cannot admit that to himself or to Harry, so it's the fault of Pettegrew, Voldemort, Ministery, Snape, God, Devil, anyone but him.
- Only it's not Sirius that's the one saying he's going stir-crazy in Grimmauld Place with nothing to do. It's everyone talking about Sirius that says it. Molly and Arthur Weasely, Hermoine, Lupin, Snape, Harry, and Dumbledore too.
- Well, all of them are either in the Order or affiliated with it. Just like Sirius (who does talk about it and blames Pettegrew and the Ministery), they know the real reason, but they aren't going to tell it to Harry. And Harry... I hate to be a broken record, but he's an idiot.
You Have To Tell Dumbledore! Or Not.
- At least a half dozen times in Oot P, Ron, Hermoine, Ginny, or someone else tells Harry that he has to tell Dumbledore about his visions of Voldemort getting closer to getting the thing he wants from the Ministry. Harry refuses to do so. OK, fine. But if it's that important and Dumbledore needs to know, what's stopping Hermoine, Ron, Ginny, or whomever from going to Dumbledore and telling him themselves?
- Friends don't go over their friends' heads in matters like that. And Harry was more than a friend, he was kind of the leader of their group.
- Not going over your friend's head to tell the Headmaster that Umbridge is torturing and humiliating Harry is one thing. Not going over his head to tell Dumbledore that Wizard!Hitler has just figured out how to get his superweapon is another.
- I recall only one such talk, and Harry responds to the sound that DD already knows. Also, I don't recall his visions ever depicting V actually getting closer to the storage or having some new plans how to steal the thing - just him being obsessed with it. So, no useful information to relay.
- After the breakout of Azkaban, Harry has dream in which Voldemort interrogates Rookwood. Rookwood tells Voldemort all the flaws with his plans to retrieve The Thing thus far, and outlines exactly how to go about getting it. That's the big one I meant.