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- When Hagrid was expelled, his wand was snapped. However, far as I know, there is no law that states you need to graduate from Hogwarts (or any other wizarding school) to perform magic. Just you need to be of age. When Hagrid turned 17, why was he then unable to buy a new wand, or rather than having the wand snapped, just confiscated and returned when he became of age. Then of course he was later exonerated. Rowling I believe said in interviews that students can be even homeschooled then, and since the trace gets removed after you turn 17 automatically, there will be no way for the ministry to know you are performing magic and in wizarding homes, since they have to ignore magic in the house since the of age adults will trigger the magical trace alert anyway.
- I'd say it was the other way around. As a punishment, he was forbidden to use magic, ever, his wand was snapped, and he was expelled from Hogwarts, because he cannot use magic, so he shouldn't study it.
J.K. Rowling dropped the ball when it came to the sorting of the Houses.
- I am just going to say it: The Marauders (James, Simus, Remus, and Pettigrew) that were the best of friends should have all been from different Houses in order to teach the readers a lesson about complacency.
- James was a Gryffindor (because he was an Jerkass who recognized what he was and then changed)
- Sirus would fit in better here as, he was the most impulse of the Marauders. Gryffindors have a reputation for being reckless.
- Remus was a Ravenclaw (because he was bookish and always tried to think ahead.)
- James would be a better fit here. He was a Jerk Jock as a teenager, but he was a prodigy when it came to transfiguration.
- Sirus was a Slytherin (because he wished that he could fit in with the rest of his family; and then proved he had the personal strength to fight)
- Siruis didn't want to fit in with his family, though. He was disgusted with his family's obsession with blood purity. Peter Pettigrew would be a better fit here. He wasn't ambitious in the usual sense, but he always wanted protection from from the biggest bully in the playground.
- Pettigrew was an Hufflepuff (because he was average and desperately wished to excel somwhere else; even it if came to the cost of everyone else.)
- Hufflepuffs are not meant to be "average". They just don't fit that specifically into any of the other categories. They could be a combination. They are usually loyal and egalitarian. Peter Pettigrew is not loyal, he is a traitor and he hangs around with Death Eaters so you can't call him an egalitarian.
- Hufflepuffs are loyal and hard workers. Remus Lupin would most likely be the best fit here, since he was the most mild-manned of the Marauders. Also, his loyalty was his fatal flaw.
- If anything Sirius should be a Hufflepuff because he is loyal and Pettigrew should be a Slytherin because he knows who to hang out with to be kept safe (Resourcefulness).
- On Pottermore when you are sorted a lot of this is explained and its not cut and dry like that. IN FACT: Your potential and even memories and hopes have more to do with sorting than traits alone, because at eleven you DON'T have a developed personality. Its why Rowling has said in the past the Hermione would not fit into Ravenclaw but Luna does. Its more complicated then Ravenclaws being smart and in fact is more about the love of knowledge and even more so open mindedness.
- I would argue that having the four Marauders be Gryffindors actually DOES make a point: Up until this book, Gryffindor was portrayed as the "good guy" house. But James was a bully (though he got better), Sirius was impulsive and reckless and later abused Kreacher, Remus let his friends push him around instead of standing up for Snape and Peter eventually betrayed the whole lot. This showed that there could be bad Gryffindors and that even the good ones could have issues. That gets the house unity message across a a lot better than "four boys, one from each house, teamed up to pull pranks on people and then grew and started trying to kill each other."
Lupin - richest poor guy ever?
- In the first scene with Lupin, we see his battered briefcase which says 'Professor R. J. Lupin' in peeling letters. If he's never been a professor before, the letters of 'Professor' shouldn't be peeling, even if the case and the original name were worn out. Continuity error, but it annoys me just the same. How did no one notice that?
- Maybe it was a gift from James and Lily. "Here, mate, you're exceptionally clever, you should go profess things." Or perhaps he was a professor at Muggle schools — the prejudice against werewolves in Wizarding culture presumably wouldn't extend to Muggle culture. Or maybe his father was a professor and had the same initials.
- I'm pretty sure Lupin says in a later book that he's been tutoring Muggle students, perhaps that was still the case.
- Maybe it was an old briefcase and just the letters were new, but they were the cheap stick-on kind so they were already peeling off.
- Or maybe it just was a new but poor-quality briefcase?
- Or a poor-quality, secondhand magic briefcase, which changes its lettering to match its owner's name.
- This is my theory. He could have had it for a while, too, and the "Professor" part only appeared now he's a professor, but came in peeling because that's how the magic briefcase thing works.
- Maybe he possesses a sort of Murphyonic field that eventually causes a state of tidy shabbiness in all the objects around him.
- Or maybe he stole it from some other Professor R. J. Lupin.
- Maybe he knows enough transfiguration to change the lettering on an old briefcase.
- More seriously though, he might have been named after a relative, or simply shared the same initials. Maybe the case belonged to a relative.
- In the scene where Harry and Lupin are walking in the woods, Lupin suddenly has a walking stick. So is it like a hiking-in-the-woods walking stick, or a lycanthropy-induced-leg-pain walking stick? I think he might have been limping a bit, but I really can't remember. And it seems fairly consistent with the fact his face was all scratched up for about half the movie and then got a bit better: he keeps getting himself injured quite badly and it just goes away without much comment... yeah, I just want to know so I can be sure of how much of a woobie to consider him.
- Don't look at the movies if you want consistency. There are many things which are changed or ignored in the movies, and combined with that which remains unchanged we get something that is an unreliable mess if you want to use it to know.
Shapeshifting vs. laws of physics... FIGHT!
- Just one question about the shapeshifting: where does all the extra flesh go? Law of conservation of mass, after all.
- You're expecting magic to conform to the laws of physics?
- Looking for logic in a man transforming into a rat, or any element in a fantasy novel for that matter, is kind of a moot point. Hell, in this universe the common thirteen year-old can turn teacups into turtles, i.e. give life to inanimate objects.
- Yeah, In a World... of flying broomsticks, teleporting people, and all that, a person shrinking down to a rat didn't fuss me that much. The only thing that bothered me was that in the movie, Peter Pettigrew came back in clothing (I think he was naked in the book), and when he turned back into a rat, the clothes didn't go with him. If they're gonna do something like that, they can at least be consistent about it.
- No, I'm fairly sure he had clothes in the book.note
- There is a fascinating theory on this (about Odo's shapeshifting abilities) in the Star Trek: Millennium novels. I think it's in book 2 or 3.
- Please explain further, not everyone likes and has access to Star Trek Millennium novels.
- It posits that Odo shifts the extra mass into another dimension via using it to create four dimensional shapes.
- If it's any use, in the Animorphs books, when the kids shapeshift, their extra mass goes into something called "Z-Space" IIRC, and this becomes a minor plot point in one of the books.
- I actually read a fic that dealt with this stuff before. It was an AU where Harry was raised by atheists, called Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
- Which has its own TV Tropes page now.
- Easy one. A Wizard Did It (literally)!
- The mass goes where Vanished objects go; into Nothingness, which is to say, everything.
- And, of course, the one who deciphered that riddle is the Transfiguration professor. Brilliant.
- A better question, I think, is how Peter Pettigrew was fully clothed (in the movie) when Sirius and Lupin changed him back into a human in the shrieking shack. Later when he escapes, he transfigures right out of his clothes and into a rat. So....where did his clothes come from? We don't actually see Sirius transfigure so we don't know what happens to his clothes, but he, too, is fully clothed when he changes back into a human. It is especially frustrating with Peter Pettigrew, because his clothes are clearly shown to not be attached to him anymore in any way shape or form, but he will presumably have them again when he returns to human form.
- "We don't actually see Sirius transfigure": this has been bothering me for years. Why?
- Seeing how Prof. McGonagall also transformed together with her clothes, it appears that Pettigrews turning into a rat and leaving clothes behind was just a movie blunder.
- I'd rather think that when a wizard animagi transform into an animal, the clothes they're wearing transform along with the rest of his/her body.
- Especially since both McGonagall's and Rita Skeeter's animal forms directly incorporate the look of their eyeglasses into their facial markings.
- Possibly the Animagus effect gives you the option to bring clothes along into your animal form, but Pettigrew opted not to do so in that instance because his wrists were chained to two other characters. Leaving the clothes behind him meant he also left the shackles behind.
The Trouble With Time-Turners
- Why didn't Snape see Harry and Hermione twice on the map when he uses that to find everyone? And why didn't he also see Peter Pettigrew listed if he saw everyone else?
- He didn't see everyone else, he only saw Lupin going down the passageway to the Shrieking Shack. He didn't see Harry, Ron, Hermione, Pettigrew, or Sirius because they were all off the school grounds when Snape saw the map, in the Shrieking Shack or in the Forbidden Forest.
- Snape looking at the map wouldn't have seen the past Harry, Ron or Hermione because they had gone off the boundaries of Hogwarts into the Shrieking Shack. However if he looked at the map he could have seen future Harry and Hermione but wouldn't think anything of it because they would be the only ones on the map. And they were in the forest at that point waiting for everyone to come out. So Snape looks at the map, maybe sees Harry and Hermione in the forest and then arrives at the Shrieking Shack to find them there. He assumes they just got there before him.
- Ok, let's try this again. I have the following scenario in mind: after the kids tell Dumbledore the whole tale in the infirmary, he travels to the past, conceals himself, sneaks to the Shack, and waits. After the company emerges from the passage, Lupin and Pettigrew morph, Pettigrew darts to the forest... and Dumbledore nails him, unnoticed by the kids! Even if the most powerful wizard in England is somehow unable to catch a rat, he could've taken an owl or a cat with him. This wouldn't have broken the past in the least, since Pete's post-escape fate was unknown anyway. Thus they'd have Sirius acquitted and Voldemort's return postponed or prevented altogether, and at Dumbledore's discretion, he could recruit Pettigrew to his cause and sent him to find V when it suited him (i.e. when Potter was properly informed and prepared). Are there any flaws with this plan, or did Dumbledore just conveniently "omit" this opportunity for the sake of plot propulsion?
- To my knowledge, they only had one Time Turner, and it was Hermione's. Harry and Hermione had to go back to save Buckbeak, since Dumbledore presumably knows it already happens. Besides, your plan basically involves a centenarian wandering around a forest occupied by a hungry and out-of-control werewolf and dozens of Dementors looking for a rat that knows the forest infinitely better than he does. Without getting caught, seen on the Marauders' Map, or being even the slightest bit late in returning to the castle. Dumbledore is powerful, but he's not God.
- The delight of time travel is that it allows you to Take Your Time, both in the present and in the past. D could meet H&H from their quest, ensure that Black successfully escaped, see Fudge off, calm Snape down, then borrow the Turner from Hermione (and maybe Cape from Harry), go to the Shack and use the Turner to go, say, ten minutes before the company emerges from the Shack. After that, it's all technicalities. A magic rat-trap, an owl, a cat - I flatly refuse to believe that THE Dumbledore wouldn't think of something to catch a single puny rat (remember, he had time he needed to prepare in the present). So nope, he wouldn't have to wander anywhere, there was nobody to look at the Map at that moment and he had nowhere to be late to. I still see no flaws in the plan.
- First of all, just as a general point, the entire message of the way the Time-Turner was presented is that it doesn't allow you infinite chances to take as much time as you need and then go back and fix it — there's a time frame that has to be adhered to very punctually, and if you press your luck too hard, you will see or be seen by someone you're not supposed to and this will fuck everything up. Using it multiple times in the same area on the same night is just asking for trouble. Secondly, to address your specific concern, Dumbledore would never have been able to capture Pettigrew after the fact because it manifestly had not happened in the timeline as it originally stood. He certainly couldn't have done it the way you're describing, after Harry and Hermione had already freed Sirius, because if he'd had Pettigrew that whole time, then they could have proven Sirius's innocence and there wouldn't have been any need to break him out of Flitwick's office, and H&H's whole mission would have become a pointlessly risky and stupid waste of time. And if he'd done it instead of sending H&H anywhere, how would he have covered it up adequately? It would have looked to everyone like he'd talked to Sirius and listened to Fudge and Snape insist his story was nonsense/lies and then checked with H&H [at which point he would have borrowed the Time-Turner and gotten his past self out of the way and done his thing and arrived back inside the castle (all without being seen) and had to fake the entire previous three conversations wherein he didn't yet know that Sirius was innocent] and then suddenly piped up with, "By the way, Minister, I have Peter Pettigrew alive and Stunned in my office, and no, you can't ask how I knew he was alive or on the grounds or when I caught him or why I didn't mention this before, but why don't we question both him and Black and see if we can't get to the bottom of this?"
- First. Unlike H&H, D, being the freakin' Headmaster, obviously didn't have to worry about being caught on the grounds or gone missing for some time, and, being the freaking Dumbledore, he could easily conceal himself from casual eyes (including his own). And as for the Map, D didn't know about it. Second. I don't see a problem with D catching Pete behind the scenes just like Buckbeak was rescued behind the scenes. Third. H&H obviously had to go to the past because Harry had to save himself from Dementors, as it had already happened. After they return, D could borrow the Time Turner and go back himself. Again, no problem. Finally, with D being one of the most respected people in Britain, I see no problems in explaining the matters to Fudge in as many details as desirable. (something to the sound of "Cornelius, if you somehow failed to notice, you and your ministry have fucked up TWICE already: twelve years ago, when you nailed an innocent guy and now, when one of your fucking Caspers nearly ate my student. How about you quell your curiosity and I make sure they don't sue the collective guts out of you? That's great, I always knew you were a reasonable man deep inside.") Not that he couldn't tell the truth, I think. Again, no problem.
- How would you know if Dumbledore could disguise himself from Dumbledore? He can see through Invisibility Cloaks by sheer virtue of being awesome. Even Mad-Eye needs a magical artifact to do that. Moreover, Dumbledore sent Harry and Hermione back in time to save Buckbeak because he knew that they'd gone back in time to save Buckbeak. Dumbledore knew that he didn't go back in time to catch Pettigrew, or at least assumes that he didn't, because he's seen no evidence of it. Third, there was a fucking werewolf out there. He knew that Harry and Hermione would make it through okay because they'd already made it through okay; he didn't know that about himself. Fourth, he didn't know where Peter had gone. Even if he was standing just off to the side of the screen waiting for Wormtail to scamper up to him, he didn't know what Peter did in the original timeline that would now be changed because of Dumbledore. What if Wormtail distracted a single Dementor, making it slow down a few seconds? What if that one Dementor would have given Harry or Sirius the Kiss before Time Travel Harry could cast the Patronus? You don't muck around with time travel. You just don't.
- (New troper to the conversation here) Dumbledore had well over a decade to study that specific invisibility cloak (so you don't know that he wasn't using a magical artifact that allowed him to look through that specific cloak, or at least tell him where it was and who was under it), and Mad-Eye was really Barty Crouch, which I hope will excuse his lack of seeing through invisibility by virtue of being awesome. Dumbledore didn't know that he hadn't gone back in time to catch Pettigrew until he never went back in time to catch Pettigrew, or at least until Pettigrew showed up elsewhere a year later and Dumbledore knew that going back would be futile. He couldn't have changed anything that he knew had happened, up to however accurately he thought he had interpreted the information he was given (which, succinctly, was that everyone survived except the fencepost, Lupin ran off, and Wormtail went somewhere towards the forest). Until a year later, he almost definitely didn't know that Pettigrew was still free, and he knew roughly where he was to have been in rat form. Not going back to locate and catch Pettigrew was prioritizing for time, which is a bit of a silly thing to do when you've got a time machine that works like the time-turner, or can easily borrow one. Unless Dumbledore had information that made him feel it was better to let Pettigrew get away (such as that the direction he ran would take him straight into a colony of acromantula, and that Pettigrew doesn't know what acromantula smell like or had a slight head cold, or that that specific werewolf or werewolves in general were impervious to anything he could quickly use to non-lethally neutralize it without attracting the attention of everyone on the grounds), it's just an example of a time-travel induced Idiot Ball (and if that's not a trope already, which I think it was at one time, it should be).
- Dumbledore specifically had knowledge that Harry and Hermione went back in time and everything turned out okay for it. Thus, it was safe for him to send them back. He did not have knowledge as to whether or not he went back, and thus it was unsafe (and phenomenally illegal) for him to go back himself to capture Wormtail. And if he doesn't catch Wormtail the first time he goes back, he'll have to either try again or let it go. Every time he doesn't catch Wormtail increases the chances for him to get caught by himself or someone else. Finally, we know that there can't be a way to non-lethally neutralize a werewolf, otherwise the Wolfsbane potion wouldn't be such a big deal. They wouldn't have had to stick Moony in the Shrieking Shack; they could have just sat him down near sunset, Stupefied him (or whatever) and kept at it until daybreak.
- Funny thing is: he DIDN'T have such knowledge. He'd sent H&H to the past BEFORE they returned to him and reported their success. At best, he could guess it when he saw that the Hippogriff was gone. He told H&H to go to the past because it was a right thing to do. Next, what some people forget (or don't get) is that the time line is invariant - i.e. there is only one way the events ever happened or will ever happen. Remember, in the "normal" course of events (without time travel) Harry would've been killed by Dementors, but it never happened, although in that moment he had no idea that he was going to travel to the past and save himself. This means that in any particular moment, the space-time continuum "knows" what will happen in the future and how it might alter the past. This means that if D decided to go to the past, in that very moment of decision-making he would've already existed in the world where he travelled to the past. Nothing would've changed and could be changed because it had already been changed. Dumbledore-2 could've sent Dumbledore-1 a note of success or even appear in his office with Pettigrew in a cage - it doesn't matter. The success was guaranteed because H&H succeeded, even though D would've been there near the Shack, and he would've been there in the past because later he would decide to go to the past.
- Agreed! Plus, Dumbledore seems like the least likely person to freak out if he saw a future version of himself walking around. The only reason that really makes sense for sending H&H is that, like so many things he had them do/allowed them to do, he wanted to make sure they'd gain the experience they'd need down the road (for example, because of his time-travelling, Harry is finally able to do the Patronus charm, which factors into the plot many, many times later on).
- Next, on the exact technicalities of capturing Pete. For the love of Abaddon, Dumbledore is the freaking Dumbledore! THE headmaster of the school and THE most powerful wizard in the world! Who was going to "catch" him? No, seriously, who?! Himself? That's ridiculous - what do you think he would've done, blasted himself? As for the capture, he didn't need to neutralize Lupin, he didn't even need to be there in person - just place some area-effect spell that stupefies everything rat-sized or something like that, then take a broom, make yourself invisible, and over-watch the scene from above like a good strategist does. Done.
- "If Dumbledore had just used a magical spell that has never been used in the books that I just made up on the fly, he'd have succeeded! Come to that, in Back to the Future, why didn't Doc Brown just use the Make-Marty's-Parents-Fall-In-Love-Machine that I just decided he must have had in his garage?"
- Right. I mean it's not like the series was the biggest offender of New Powers as the Plot Demands EVER. And it's not like the characters used "spells that have never been used in the books" all the effing time. But for the most powerful wizard in the world to contrive an area effect rat-trap? Yep, that would've been a colossal Ass Pull, all right.
- Yeah. It would have been. Even if a reasonable person might assume that the spell exists somewhere in the no doubt millions of charms and jinxes that have been developed over the years, why would Dumbledore know it? "Because he's Dumbledore, he's the shiniest bestest wizard that ever was," blah blah blah. Every bit of magic we've seen him use, there's a reason he would have learned it. Mastering a rat-catcher spell for no apparent reason is kind of weird, though. He's not a rat-catcher. He's not an exterminator. He's not a zoologist. So basically Dumbledore would show up at the last minute with the rat in tow saying, "Wait, Minister, fortunately I have captured the real culprit with a bit of magic that I learned for what is no doubt a very good reason during my adventures some years ago. Allow me to conveniently resolve the plot." And finally, do we ever even see any area effect spells get used in the books? Certainly, places get charmed, but they're generally specific addresses: Hogwarts, James and Lily's house, the Burrow. As far as I recall, it's never been "a patch of land about fifteen meters by twenty meters, provided there's a rat in it."
- He wouldn't even need a specific rat-catching spell: "Accio Scabbers" or "Accio Pettigrew" would have worked just fine. It's mentioned that H&H&R didn't use this because they didn't learn it until the next book, but it seems fairly certain that freaking Dumbledore would have a working knowledge of this very common and very useful spell.
- First. HE. HAD. A. TIME. MACHINE. He had all the time in the world to prepare (already explained it above). Learn a rat-catching spell. Invent a rat-catching spell. Consult any number of qualified rat-catchers, zoologists, exterminators, name it. Get himself an intelligent rat-catching creature (hint: Hermione and Harry both own one). Second. No, basically D would show up with demorphed Pettegrew in shackles, Sirius would be acquitted, and V's resurrection would be averted, and then hardly anybody would care how he did it. Finally, yes, yes we do see area-effect spells. The age-detecting spell that protects the area around the Cup in GoF. The protection charms Hermione casts on their camping grounds in DH. V's Taboo, that covers the whole of England (if not the whole world).
- As it is now, they won, more or less. Wormtail got away, yes, but Sirius escaped the clutches of the Ministry, everyone avoided both the Dementors and the werewolf. They didn't know that Peter would raise Voldemort at that time, so your point about Voldemort's resurrection being averted is invalid because it's not an argument Dumbledore could have made in his own defence (which, given that time travel is illegal, he would have had to make, and your situation creates the very obvious and notable existence of at least two Dumbledores). Finally, Harry and Hermione were effective in their time travel because they created a stable time loop: they avoid creating a situation that would keep them from going back in time in the first place. If Dumbledore goes back, makes it obvious what he did, and then takes away his past self's reason to travel back, I don't know what would happen. I'm leaning towards unpleasantly, however.
- OP: Yes, they did know, they heard the prophecy. No, D wouldn't have to make arguments, 'cause acquitting a wrongly accused is much more endearing to the public then allowing a dangerous criminal to escape, so Fudge would hardly nitpick, and even if he would, D could always act mysteriously and pretend he went after Pettigrew and captured him without any time travel, cause he's just that awesome (worked all the other times). No it doesn't, cause who the fuck was supposed to see future-Dumbledore in the Forbidden Forest at night (needless to say, the Time-Turning was to be done right there)? Finally, if Dumbledore decides to go to the past, it means he's already been there and everything has gone fine. Nobody can change the past - it has already happened with all the possible alterations in account.
- There is the possibility that Dumbledore had seen the second version of Harry and Hermione running around at some point. If he knew there were two versions of them running around, then, since he knows about the Time Turner, he concludes that they had gone back in time. If they had gone back in time, he wouldn't have been able to use the Time Turner until they had already gone back. When they were back in time, he was with the Ministry representatives so he wouldn't have been able to leave and go get the Time Turner off them. And the first thing that Harry did when he saw Dumbledore again was tell him that Sirius and Buckbeak had escaped, so Dumbledore would have been unable to change that sequence of events.
- Yes, all of that is most likely true, so? Sirius and Buckbeak were fine, there was no need to change anything on their affair. We're talking about capturing Pettegrew after he escaped from the heroes at the Shack - it doesn't interfere with any other events, that's what makes it so easy.
- Does it mention in the books how far out the Hogwarts anti-apparition wards go? This troper had just presumed they were close enough to the edge for Pettigrew to get outside and apparate away while the dementors were after Sirius and Harry
- Dumbledore didn't want to kill Pettigrew. Simple. It's made obvious in the books that Dumbledore likes to believe the best of people, and he probably hoped that Peter wouldn't do what he thought he was going to do.
- Who said anything about killing? Capturing Pettigrew was a matter of proving Sirius was innocent. And then, of course, the bastard was going to Azkaban, but I dare you tell me he didn't deserve it.
- I think you guys are missing something. Going back in time and getting caught by a normal person wouldn't bother Dumbledore, and the only reason they advise against meeting yourself in the past is that it messes things up if you don't know about time travel. Dumbledore, on the other hand, being Dumbledore, has probably known about time turners since they were invented.
- The psychological ramifications are a huge problem, though, because while you!present knows where you!past is, you!past only knows that he or she has just run into someone who appears to be you. Even Dumbledore can't go around assuming that anybody who looks like him and knows some random password is him from three hours in the future, and never telling another person is useless with Legilimancy.
- But knowing where he was will allow him to avoid himself.
- Someone mentioned this before, but the intelligent time-travelling wizard/witch will make sure to invent a unique "code spell" that only he or she would recognize, before the time and date to which the wizard/witch will time travel. That is, he/she will cast the spell in the event that he/she runs the risk of running into his/her past self (because of the code spell, the wizard/witch's "past self" will already be forewarned). Anyone can take advantage of the Stable Time Loop this way; no problem at all if one is prepared.
- I think I have a good explanation as to why Dumbledore didn't go back in time to stop Pettigrew. On the night the whole climax happened, he might actually have had his mind on catching Pettigrew and clearing Sirius's name. However, he decided to (like a reasonable person) ask Harry about the details of the whole ordeal and decide how best to approach the situation and when to get Pettigrew. So, what happened the next time he was talking to Harry without others listening in on them? Harry told him Trelawney's prediction. Dumbledore knew that Trelawney is capable of a true prophecy, so he already knew that the timeline was set on him NOT catching Pettigrew, and so any attempt was doomed to failure due to the Stable Time Loop and You Can't Fight Fate nature of time travel.
- Well, the prophecy didn't set any time constraints, did it? "The faithful servant shall set forth to seek for his master"? Sure, he shall, for about ten seconds before he's nailed. "The Dark Lord will rise again"? Why not, let the reformed Pettigrew bind him into flesh, so that Aurors could immediately grab him and stuff him into the deepest pit of Azkaban until all the Horcruxes are destroyed and Harry dies.
- Has nobody ever considered that Dumbledore doesn't want to clear Sirius' name? Dumbledore wanted Harry to stay with his blood relatives until his 17th birthday so that he'd be perfectly protected. He didn't want Sirius to die, but he also didn't want Harry to live with him, so he simply let Wormtail get away.
- Of course we have. And the conclusion was that denying an innocent man his long-deserved chance to clear his name and live a normal life, denying a kid the chance for the long-deserved happiness, and, oh yes, facilitating in Voldemort's resurrection and therefore all the innumerable casualties it is bound to lead to in order to protect that kid from enemies who are all dead, disembodied or imprisoned, instead of explaining to him why he should stay with Dursleys, makes DD an even bigger douche and moron than all other alternatives.
- To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised at all even if Dumbledore had all of those in mind back in Book 3. To be fair, Voldemort WAS going to come back to power at some point, regardless of whether Wormtail was captured or not. If so, casualties don't even need explanations. As for Sirius, too bad - there are bigger things at stake than one man's innocence. Harry Potter? Sure, he might not be as happy as he would hope, but at least he'll be alive, which is important, because in Dumbledore's Batman Gambit, Harry WILL and MUST end Voldemort. And what do you mean his enemies are all dead, disembodied, or imprisoned? Voldemort may be "less than the meanest ghost" and some of his followers may be imprisoned, still others are all waiting and biding their time, waiting for the second coming of Good Ol' Tommy. Given how crucial Harry Potter is as the key to Voldemort's permanent death, as well as some of the light shed on Albus Dumbledore's personality in Book 7, none of these is news to me.
- Believe it or not, in LEGO Harry Potter, there's a part in the Shrieking Shack stage where Lupin and Sirius construct a mouse trap for Pettigrew. But presumably it only works in the Shrieking Shack because it was a much smaller area.
- Here's a possibility. If Dumbledore had traveled back in time to capture Pettigrew, what would have made the most sense to do, and therefore what he probably would have done, is to capture him, stun him, tie him up, and then either find a way to discretely deliver Pettigrew to his past self, or, alternatively, thrown him on top of the unconscious pile of bodies after future!Harry saves them from the Dementors, and past!Harry faints, but before Snape wakes up. Since none of that happened he concludes that he must never have gone into the past in the first place, and so can't now because it would disrupt the Stable Time Loop. In other words, he knows what he would have done if he had time travelled, but since that didn't happen he must not have, and so he doesn't do it.
- No. The only sensible way was to capture Pete, wait somewhere for his past self to travel back in time, and then return to his office, call Fudge and resolve the matter.
- The shock of seeing your past or future self has been credited in-universe as the source of tragedy and therefore time travel is a very risky deal. But if Time Turners are so much a fact of life in this universe that they hand them out to 13 year old girls to help them attend classes, why would anyone be that surprised by it? Especially when other forms of creating body doubles exist so openly (like Polyjuice Potion)?
- They wouldn't. Hermione is most likely blindly repeating what Prof. McGonagall must've told her, and Harry doesn't question her, because he's an idiot.
- To give a TL;DR on this; the Stable Time Loop is in full effect, the predestination paradox prevents people from actually changing the past; thus they have no motivation for going back in time to begin with. Hermoine was exempt from this because her shenanigans didn't involve changing the past to undo an action, but she was simply drawing herself a newer path.
- 1)Only Harry ever heard the book 3 prophecy (remember Hermione leaves Divination FOR GOOD before Easter)
- um it says in the book that McGonagall had to say a bunch of things to get the MOM to give it to Hermione.
- There's a possibility that no one has bothered to think of. If Time-Turners require stable time loops, there logically must be circumstances where you are stopped from going back in time. It is entirely possible that DD heard the entire story, concluded that he easily could capture Peter without altering anything, ran upstairs to get his own time turner, tried to go back, and it refused to work because he would have, despite his best efforts, caused a paradox. Perhaps, for example, he would have inadvertently ran into and delayed Snape as he headed to Lupin's office, so he didn't see Lupin on the Map. Or Lupin attacked him at some point. Or one of any millions of things that could have changed things. However it would have happened, because DD's trip would have caused a paradox, he simply was not allowed to go back in time.
- This has been disproven by Word of God: In Pottermore, there are examples of wizards time-travelling and erasing other peoples' existence, causing them to be un-born, and causing a Thursday to last four hours. Time travel is clearly unstable and volatile, and not restricted to stable time loops.
- And this can even be extended. Perhaps he did go back, with a bad plan, because he couldn't use a good one. Maybe any plan that put him close enough to succeed might have put him close enough to cause a paradox so he wasn't allowed to go back with that plan. So he was forced to try a stupid plan, like wait at the gates of Hogwarts, and he did this, and it didn't work. Then he goes and waits in the Shrieking Shack and that doesn't work either. And so on and so on. And eventually he's forced to conclude this won't work.
- And the reason it might not work is that even it capturing Peter technically doesn't violate the prophesy, if Peter had not escaped, the events of that night probably would not be prophesy-worthy. So capturing Peter might have resulted in the prophesy never having been made, which would, of course, means everything would not longer be a stable time loop. (Nice job breaking things, Harry. All you had to do was not tell Dumbledore something.)
- It once again appears to me that people have a misconception about time travel, as presented in HP (I know, presumptuous, but please bear with me). Merely going back and interfering does not cause paradoxes. Case in point: Mc Nair vs. Buckbeak. In the normal course of events Mc Nair exits Hagrid's shack, sees BB and kills it. But then/before the kids arrive from the future and steal BB. Does this eventuality cause a paradox and/or prevent the TT from working? Obviously not. Why? Because the "normal cause of events" had never happened. Not "no longer happens" - never happened. There's only one timeline, and at every point it is already affected by all possible interferences by time travellers. That is what the awesome power of Time Turner is - not change the past, but shape the past. So if DD ran into Snape or was attacked by Lupin or anything, then that's way the events had gone. The same goes for Trelawny. If capturing Pettegrew negates her prophecy, then she hadn't made it. The only way a paradox could occur is if DD's actions in the past absolutely prevent him-in-the present from going back to the past and enacting them. And since he knows about time travel and can always just give himself instructions to go to the past and do so and so, that's hardly an issue. And no, "but that's not the way it was shown to happen" is not a valid argument. Once you introduce time travel, cause and effect become bilateral - that is the decisions of present define the past as well as the future. If a you have a compelling idea that requires going to the past (and stopping V from resurrecting is as compelling as they get), then it means you exist in the universe already affected by your time travel, so you can (and in fact have to) safely go. Therefore, if DD's decision not to go after Pettegrew in itself makes no sense, then neither do the past events that stem from his inaction.
- Now for the practical part. Sure, he could run into Snape or Lupin or something. He could also trip over his own beard, fall onto his own wand and die from it, and he wouldn't even need to go the past for it. Just because you can invent some obscure way for him to screw up, it doesn't become even remotely plausible. He's the goddamn Dumbledore for Khorne's sake! It's his school. He can become invisible, he can get a broom and fly around, he can watch the memories of every participant of the events, and all he has to do is catch one lousy rat! I can make up a handful of sure ways to do it on the spot: place some weak area-effect stunning spell that would work on a rat-sized creature only (don't tell me he couldn't do it, just don't), b) put Imperio on Pete after he emerges from the passage, c) visit Hagrid's shack earlier, turn Pete to human, Confound him and order to go to DD after he escapes, then order him to turn back to rat and forget the whole conversation (or, again, just put him under Imperio), d) take McGonagall with him, so that she turns into a cat and captures Pete. I wouldn't mind so much if this bloody affair wasn't so goddamn trivial and simple, and if it didn't lead to so much death and suffering in the next parts, all of it completely unnecessary.
- The whole thing is pretty simple, but not the way you seem to think. The Time-Turner does not exist to facilitate going back to the past and then changing it. If you experience certain events and then go back in time, everything will happen the exact same way, full stop. X happens, then Y, and then Z. If you use a Time-Turner to go back, X will happen and then Y will happen and Z will happen, but nothing you do will make B happen instead of X. When Harry and Hermione go back in time and save Buckbeak, it's not like he died the first time around and they rescued him and thus changed the past. Basically, they go back and X happens again (only now they know that the swish of the axe wasn't to kill Buckbeak, but because the executioner was pissed that Buckbeak somehow escaped). If Buckbeak was executed originally, but H&H went back and saved him, then they would be changing X into B (actually changing the past). It was the same with the Dementors and the stag Patronus; after going back in time with Hermione and leaving her at Hagrid's shack, he runs to the lake expecting to see his father. He hides and waits, watching as the Dementors draw closer and wondering when James will appear to save them... until he realizes that he conjured the Patronus and not his father. What's so interesting with the whole Time-Turner thing is that Harry and Hermione don't go back in time to change the past, they go back in time to ensure that everything happens the exact same way it happened before. Hell, Harry wanted to chase down Peter after they get back to the Hogwarts grounds and Peter escapes, but Hermione asks how Harry expects to find a rat in the dark in the Forbidden Forest, and reminds him that they're supposed to rescue Sirius so they shouldn't get too far from him. And it probably would've put him too far from the lake to go back and conjure the Patronus in time, and the Time-Turner doesn't let you change the past, so Peter escaped. So really, Dumbledore would not have been able to catch Peter himself for the simple reason that him catching Peter never happened, and he knows he never went to catch Pettigrew, so no matter what he would've done Peter would always get away. He is "the goddamn Dumbledore", but even he can't rewrite with the past. (After all, if you could change the past, then why not just go back in time to kill Tom Riddle before all of this Voldemort shit even starts?)
- *Sigh* Ok, one more time. Yes, the Time Turners very obviously do let you change the past. No, BB wasn't actualy executed originally, but he was going to be executed originally, and the kids changed that, retconned that eventuality out of existance. So of course it happened exactly the same way as they experienced it before, because it was literally the same event, just seen from different points of view, but it doesn't restrict the freedom of the time travelers. They aren't playing out some script somebody wrote for them - they are writing the script. I'm avoiding the "Harries, Dementors and Patronus" case because it does come dangerously close to the paradox territory, and I have no idea what would've happened if Harry acted differently, but it's hardly relevant. DD capturing Pettegrew did not immenetly lead to a paradox, "Dumbledore would not have been able to catch Peter himself for the simple reason that him catching Peter never happened" is circular logic and simply doesn't mean anything, akin to "this statement is wrong". He cannot now he never went to the past, and there has to be a reson why he wouldn't want to go to the past, otherwise he goes and had gone. If he goes but fails to capture Pete despite his best efforts, then he fails, sure, but, again, you cannot just reason that "well, then that's what happened", because it's the goddamn Dumbledor and a lousy rat. There has to be an equally goddamn good reason why he'd be unable to use any of the half-a-dozen ways already listed above or any others that were missed.
- Oh dear. Buckbeak's execution was not "retconned" in any way whatsoever. Harry and Hermione only heard the axe hit something and assumed that BB was now dead, when in reality their future(?) selves had already freed BB and the sound they heard was the executioner axe something in rage.
- Oh dear indeed. Yes, yes, it was. BB was going to be executed, and would've been executed if H&H hadn't come from the future and prevented that. It doesn't matter what anyone heard or assumed - there're two alternative ways the events could unfold - BB either dies or lives. Without the time travel, and hence never, it was the first, with it, and hence always, it was the second. Hence the retcon.
- And as for saying that "Dumbledore would not have been able to catch Peter himself for the simple reason that him catching Peter never happened", that really is exactly the way it works. It's made abundantly clear that, if you go back in time and do something that never happened the first time, there will be serious repercussions. It doesn't matter how great of a wizard Dumbledore is (or how great Pettigrew isn't). In fact, you easily could argue that Dumbledore didn't change the time line precisely because of everything he knows. He is fully aware that making something happen different the second time is incredibly dangerous. He probably wanted Pettigrew captured as much as everyone else, but there's no telling what sort of nasty stuff would happen because of it. Dumbledore might be one of the most powerful wizards who ever lived, but it's kind of like death: no matter how powerful you are, there is no way to fully resurrect someone. And no matter how powerful you are, there is no way to change the timeline without serious repercussions. Being a witch/wizard doesn't mean you have free reign to do anything you could ever think of. There are rules to follow (e.g. no resurrection, no creating food from nothing) and we do get to see first-hand the results of using magic in a way it wouldn't: Voldemort splitting his soul to achieve immortality, which fails spectacularly.
- He just addressed all of that. "That really is exactly the way it works" - no, because all the "they saw it the *first* time through the timeline" stuff still ONLY happened because they went back in time to make it happen. If Dumbledore had gone back in time to catch Peter, then Peter would have ended up caught the first time and then Dumbledore would have gone back to make it happen.
- Thank you. Besides, when they said "It's made abundantly clear" I presume they refer to that one time one teenage girl hastily spurted some vague nonsense to prevent one teenage boy from doing something stupid. There's no elaboration on what those "serious repercussions" are, and no reason to believe it's an issue, because they "do" things that never happened "the first time" - that's the very definition of time travel. To start, "the first time" there're no interlopers from the future. Then they come, and it's not "the first time" anymore - it's whatever they make out of it.
- This troper always assumed that it was a matter of priorities; which do you think is the more pressing concern, the rat running around the forbidden forest in the dead of night with a werewolf and dementors flying around, or the man about to have his soul sucked out in a few minutes? Punishment was being carried out as they spoke, and I suspect it wouldn't be resolved so easily as storming in and saying, "We found Peter Pettigrew, he's innocent!" Especially if Sirius Black was just spirited away on a condemned Hippogriff, (evading the law).
The psychic shopkeeper
- In Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry went into Flourish and Blotts for his school books, why did the manager assume he needed a "Monster Book of Monsters"? Harry was fairly small for his age until he hit his growth spurt in book 6, so he probably looked eleven or twelve. And besides that, he never even said that he was taking Care of Magical Creatures.
- Maybe, just maybe, because the shopkeeper recognized Harry "The Vanquisher of Voldemort" Potter? But I might be wrong there.
- Care of Magical Creatures is one the core classes, like all the other classes started 1st year. Students can't drop core classes like Charms and Magical Creatures until after OW Ls. It's the electives they start taking in 3rd year, like Divination, that they can drop early. (Because they don't have to take them in the first place.)
- No, Care of Magical Creatures was an elective, and they only started it in 3rd year. Harry and Ron picked Care of Magical Creatures and Divination because Ron heard they were the easiest to get good marks in.
- Possibly he's thinking, "I've seen that kid in here buying schoolbooks a couple years before, he must be here for the fucking goddamn bloody stupid Monster Book of Monsters and so I will hate him with all my might." I don't think it's meant to be, "Oh, this clerk must be psychic!", it's just that he's having a bad day.
- Yeah, after all the crap he's been going through with those books, a pessimistic attitude is unsurprising. Probably everyone of student age who walked in the door made him think "Christ, I bet they want that damn book, too."
- Why are people assuming that different years have different books? Perhaps 1st-4th years all use that book.
- Care of Magical Creatures is an elective and 1st/2nd year students only take core classes. However I would guess that anyone taking Hagrids class would need that book and he teaches 3rd-7th years so probably way to many students needed that book.
- I have a better question: why weren't the books strapped right after printing?
- The same reason copies of the Invisible Book of Invisibility didn't have ID stickers and Lockhart's books were classified as nonfiction: Because it's cheaper to not strap them, and any decent mythozoologist will know to stroke the book's spine on the first instant of seeing the book. Also, Flourish and Blott's is a third-party distributor, and the more copies get destroyed after delivery to the shop, the more copies F&B must buy to keep up with student demand.
- That, or the writer of the book had a mindset similar to Hagrid.
- Care of Magical Creatures is not a core class, though. It's started in the third year when students sign up for it. That's why we don't actually meet Professor Kettleburn before Hagrid replaces him in book 3.
- Speaking of psychic shopkeepers, how does Rosmerta, the barmaid from the Three Broomsticks, know what drinks the teachers and Fudge were waiting for in Prisoner of Azkaban? They never order any; they just walk in and sit down, whereupon she starts asking which of the drinks are for which customer.
- Probably, it's not the first time they drink there and she knows their tastes. Besides, is there even a choice? The only beverages ever mentioned are butterbeer and firewhiskey.
- Actually, I've just read the section in question, and the teachers don't just walk in and sit down — it's described from Harry's POV, that from his hiding place under the table, he "watched the teachers' and Fudge's feet move toward the bar, pause, then turn and walk right toward him." In other words, they went up to the bar before they went to sit down — and during the "pause" described, they must have placed their orders. The actual orders aren't mentioned in so many words because Harry can't hear them from where he's hiding, but that doesn't mean they don't take place.
- Rosmerta might just be one of those bartenders who remembers all of her customers, especially regulars like the teachers probably are.
BURN THE WITCH!
- Right on the first page of the first chapter, we see the topic of Harry's history essay, 'Witch-Burning in the Fourteenth Century Was Completely Pointless - discuss', and an extract from his textbook 'A History of Magic'. There are so many things wrong with section this that I'll go point-by-point:
- There were no witch hunts of note in the British Isles in the 14th century [nothing significant, really, until the 16th]. I could understand the assignment covering continental Europe, but I would somehow expect that part to be mentioned.
- Not if all the Muggle witnesses got their memories erased after seeing someone giggling, unharmed, in the middle of a Flame-Freezing Charmed bonfire, you wouldn't expect it to be.
- When there were witch hunts in the British Isles, witches were seldom burnt [burning being a punishment for treason] - they were hung, or executed by other means; but burning was far more common in Germany, France, Italy, and so forth. Furthermore, in England, it was not uncommon for a condemned witch to be hung and then burned - so bad luck with your Flame-Freezing Charm, there.
- If a person was being executed via burning at the stake, they were burned to death. To a crispy, charocoal-y death. How exactly would protecting oneself from the flames fool the watching crowd when, oh, the victim a) failed to suffocate from the woodsmoke, and b) wasn't getting even a little charred? The only solution that comes to mind is Apparation, which is... hardly subtle.
- I agree with all of these points, and have one more to add. This type of mentality reflects the latent anti-Muggle bias in wizard society as a whole (the kind that doesn't actually end in attempted genocide). The witch-burnings were 'pointless' because the witches themselves were supposedly able to escape being burnt to death. The whole way these attacks are presented in Real Life is as cruel, ultimately hysterical and panic induced murders on other people who were not witches. They are presented in Real Life as being 'tragic' and 'misguided', but the fact that wizards consider them 'pointless' because the witches themselves were able to escape harm really detracts from the actual results of the witch-hunt hysteria, which resulted in numerous people being tortured and executed in a variety of horrible ways. But the wizards weren't hurt by it, so it was all pointless.
- Well, technically, it was. They were trying to kill witches and apparently never succeeded. While also being tragic, misguided, ect. there was no reason for it. Innocents weren't killed along with witches because it wasn't an effective way to kill the witches themselves. The fact that their anti-Muggle slant possibly is why they don't sound very sympathetic to the Muggle victims doesn't change the fact that it did not serve its purpose and so was a pointless attempt to wipe out magic.
- There was no reason for it, huh? In real life maybe, but in the Potterverse, seeing how in the end of the XX-th century the very few open-minded wizards are struggling to introduce a freaking bill to protect non-wizards (like an endangered species), and also seeing all the nice little pranks wizards play on them, it's not hard to imagine the state of affairs in the Middle Ages. In a nutshell, I wouldn't be surprised if the Black Death and other maladies were, in fact, the work of Dark Wizards. So yeah, I'd say non-wizes had all the reasons they needed to hunt witches.
- On top of everything else, it must be noted that the real-life victims of witch hunts were mainly accused of consorting with Satan to gain their powers. This is rather different from Potterverse witches, who are born with magic powers and don't seem to interact with deities of any sort. Within the Potterverse, the witch hunts might easily have been misunderstood by wizards as an attempt to eliminate wizardry from the gene pool rather than to punish initially-non-magical individuals for the "crime" of becoming magical. Come to think of it, that very accusation is made against people in Book 7!
- Seeing how dim-witted the wizards of the present are, I wouldn't be surprised if some Middle Age witches did partake in satanic rituals, either expecting an boost of power, or just for the blood orgies.
- It's not like it'd be the worst thing that was going on back then.
- I have a response to the 'there were no witch burnings or hunts in England.' It's been a while since I read the book but does it specify anywhere that the Witch burnings he's writing about are English? I don't know about American schools but UK students learn about history from other cultures all the time, primarily German and French, so it doesn't seem that out of place that he might well be writing about the burning of European Witches. Of course, if it specifies English witches then my argument doesn't work...
- For that matter, how can we know there were never any burnings in Britain, if the wizards whom it was tried on survived to cast Obliviate on the perpetrators?
- Witch hunting is a pretty big topic that it's not unreasonable to assume Hogwarts students learn something about it in History of Magic, even if it happened outside Britain. In medieval Europe, especially Germany, witches were burned. The homework could have been about those areas.
- “seeing how in the end of the XX-th century the very few open-minded wizards are struggling to introduce a freaking bill to protect non-wizards (like an endangered species), and also seeing all the nice little pranks wizards play on them, it's not hard to imagine the state of affairs in the Middle Ages.” It’s interesting how different people may have different interpretations of the same text. I take exactly the opposite from reading the books: hateful anti-muggle wizards were the exception, not the rule, and they were seen negatively by the average wizard in a similar way how we currently see racist people with most wizards been in worst case scenario condescending toward muggles.
The Trouble With Time-Turners 2: Electric Boogaloo
- This book introduces Time Turners, a device that controls time and is kept within the Department of Mysteries. Even entering the Department of Mysteries without authorization will get you a nice fat prison sentence. So it raises serious questions as to why the Ministry of Magic entrusted a 13-year-old-girl with the most powerful magical artifact ever crafted for a completely mundane reason.
- Hermione explains that McGonagall wrote various letters attesting to the Ministry that Hermione was a model student and wouldn't use it for anything but getting to her classes. (If you didn't know by this book that Hermione is Lawful Good and majorly opposed to breaking rules in all but the most extreme circumstances, you're hopeless.)
- So what? It doesn't matter that she's Lawful Good and the best student in the class. It's hard to believe that the Ministry would give out such a powerful device in order for a student to take classes for the same reason that it's hard to believe that a real world government would loan an elementary school student a nuclear bomb for a science fair project. Besides, she's not completely Lawful Good anyway; she broke rules plenty of times in the previous two books in order to get to the Stone and into the Slytherin Common Room.
- The fact that Time Turners exist — not just one, but many — implies that there is a reason to use them. And the Ministry probably has a list of what those reasons are. Besides, this was the Ministry of 1993, back when the official party line was "Give Harry Potter special treatment." It's possible that all the letters she wrote got rejected, until McGonagall wrote directly to the Minister and said, "Harry's biffle wants to take a few extra courses, give us a hand, won't you?"
- Best Friend For Life. BFFL. Biffle. There you go.
- Also, it's a pretty large leap to assume; Time-Turners are kept in the Department of Mysteries, trying to get into the Department is a big no-no; therefore, having a time-turner is a big no-no. There is a LOT more stuff in there then just the Time-Turners that are reason for keeping people out.
- Not a large leap at all. The device pretty much allows you to alter the world as you see fit and there's not even a 1% chance a ban on them isn't in effect. "All the special letters" and "On behalf of Harry Potter's best friend" explanations might work for her getting a hold of one, but it certainly doesn't make sense that they wouldn't even regulate it.
- Actually, the book seems to somewhat imply a self-enforcing Stable Time Loop rule, given that an entire shelf of them exists in the Unspeakable department and, as was mentioned in the argument above, you don't mess with time if you can actually mess up time. The laws of the universe and magic most likely wouldn't allow it. Now, logic dictates that Hermione's warning to Harry about revealing himself to... himself was mainly dumbing it down for him, as a clever witch like Hermione would have come up with a signal in case she ever did run into herself accidentally, if that was possible. More likely, if you try to tamper with time, by, say, using a Time Turner to go three hours back, spying yourself in Hagrid's hut, and bursting in wand blazing to kill Ron's rat, the fact that that hadn't happened in the timeline would make you blow up and anything you did go virtually unnoticed.
- There's a plan that some armed forces in England do, which is basically that the armed force in question will pay a student's university fees in exchange for the student being in the employ of that armed force (that is, if they're still the kind of person that's suitable for the armed forces). Maybe it's like that? Hermione got top grade in everything - if you could provide a student like that the means of being able to take - and hopefully still excel in - every lesson on the Hogwarts curriculum, then wouldn't she at least owe the Ministry for providing her the means of taking all those subjects? If they could get a student who passed literally every single subject that Hogwarts provided, then the Ministry of Magic would probably want to sink their claws into them as soon as they can, so giving Hermione a time turner would be a pretty good way to get her on their side.
- WMG: Hermione herself appeared to the relevant Ministry bureaucrat, holding the device up. So they had to give it to a "previous" Hermione to ensure the Stable Time Loop.
- Ack, that made my brain hurt.
- Other theory: McGonagall wrote letters to the Ministry that the school needs them. God knows why the Ministry would give time-turners to a school, but y'know, highlighting the important points might help. Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore, blah blah, we need 'em. She wrote numerous letters, with every one making Fudge giving in a little more. When she finally has one, she gives it to Hermione without the Ministry knowing. A little un-McGonagall, though.
- I know it's fantasy, but they under explain things. She says, don't change anything. Well, by displacing air and taking up *space*, you're changing things. By stepping on grass, you're changing things. Changing space and time using a body that technically should only exist in another point in space and time . . . and how can you be several seconds/minutes/hours *older* than the time that you're physically existing in? Shouldn't the universe implode or something?!
- But if she went back in time, then she has always existed at two points in space in the same time period (as due to her going back in time there is no "timeline" where she wasn't there) and therefore any air displaced etc was always displaced.
- It's a Stable Time Loop. Their future selves were already there the first time around, before they had travelled back in time. There have always been two versions of Harry, Ron, and Hermione running around between 8:55 p.m. and 11:55 p.m. on June 6, 1994; there has never been a timeline in which they did not go back in time then.
- Look up Schrodinger's Cat. To dumb it down, all realities can exist simultaneously in a given space as long as you're not looking at it, but when you do, it collapses immediately into the one you can see. We haven't quite worked out HOW that works in real life, but if you apply it to the books, then as long as you're not seen by anyone while Time-Turner-ing, then there aren't two conflicting 'realities', and it's all fine and dandy. Not that I could see why someone who's admitted to be bad at maths has a grasp on quantum physics, but there you go.
- Doesn't the book imply that Time-Tuners are occasionally used by students with large class loads, and that McGonnagall had to write the letters to get special permission because Hermione was only a 3rd year? I got the immpression that some of the older students were given the occassional Time-Turner to allow them to get to class.
Is the Weasleys' poverty their own fault?
- The Weasleys are depicted as lacking money, to the point that they originally sent their youngest son to school with an unsuited wand (that is, possibly defective, as it is said that the unicorn hair is nearly sticking out). So why is it that when they win money, they spend it on a trip instead of something practical? Yeah, it's nice that they got to see one of the older brothers, but he could have easily visited them, since there's only one of him.
- I think this is part of the reason behind the whole "Weasleys are evil and stealing Harry's money" thing in Fanon. If you have easy access to a large sum of cash, when you get a unexpected windfall, you don't mind spending it on luxuries. But, it was kinda dumb of them.
- Why on earth would they steal what they could freely have? Harry mentions in one book that he'd give them half of the contents of his vault if they'd let him. Fanon is ridiculous sometimes.
- There's no evidence that they didn't use it on things more useful, because just that year, they bought Ron a new wand, which is a necessity. Just because they suddenly got a lot of gold doesn't mean they're going to use it all on brand new products (case in point: Ron's dress robes). And why not go visit their brother? They needed a break. They're so poor, they probably don't even go out all that often. And that fanon theory about the Weasleys stealing Harry's money is stupid. Harry is always shown wanting to help the Weasleys out, but he knows they'd feel like they're depriving him of his rights.
- This is fairly realistic; a big reason many people remain in poverty after having been born in it is because they are bad at managing their money. Witness all the people in real life who win the lottery and blow it in a blaze of spending glory within a few years at most. In particular, seeing money as something to spend on frivolous luxuries rather than something to save and invest for monetary returns is a common and serious failing.
- As I said above, fanon is using this as evidence for the "Evil Weasleys" things. Little facts like that aren't gonna stop them. Their minds are made up. I never said that it was bad that they visited their brother. Just that given their lack of money, there are smarter things they could have done with it.
- Alternate theory: The Weasleys are very good at managing money, they just don't have a lot of it. Molly is a stay at home mother and Arthur's job is not the best paying, yet somehow they are able to raise seven children in what seems to be a fairly nice environment. Yes the children go without luxuries and they make their pennies count by having things like hand-me downs, but the number of times they are described as eating well, and obviously having enough to get by, suggests they are actually good with their money. They get a windfall and buy their son a new wand, who's to say they don't replenish other much needed items at the same time, and the trip to Egypt is entirely done once they are sure they have enough to get by. The Weasleys aren't poor because of their own choices, they continue to get by because they know exactly how far you can stretch the value of a galleon. When you don't have many galleons coming in, why waste them on robes when you have perfectly good hand-me-down robes, and food is obviously a better purchase for a large family?
- Remember, this was a few months after Ginny was taken to the Chamber of Secrets. That would be traumatizing. I remember hearing somewhere that Bill was her favourite brother, so maybe the Weasleys went on the trip for Ginny's sake.
The Weasleys own their own home, managed to keep nine members clothed, fed and schooled, buying supplies for each child each year, had pets, have recreational brooms and did it all with only one person bringing in an income and at a moderately paid job at that. I'd say that's impressive myself.
- Just how expensive is a trip from Britain to Egypt, anyway? Especially if you can go part of the way on broomsticks or via Apparition?
- Pretty expensive, yes even for Wizards. You can't take the risk of Apparating long distances (e.g. continents) unless potentially country by country (and even that might be too dangerous)... all the way over Europe, the Middle East and over the Suez to Egypt? Not a chance. Not even if you crossed the Mediterranean Sea, and especially not with four junior wizards that you'd need to side-along Apparate with. They probably wouldn't get clearance to fly all that way on broomsticks either for fear of being spotted. No, I think they either used Portkeys or the Floo Network. And either way, whether you make one big jump, or a series of smaller inter-country jumps, that kind of return journey has to cost a pretty penny to set up. Combine that with food, accommodation (Bill can't put all of them up surely?) and Egyptian wizarding tourist activities, and you can see that this trip is financially a really big deal.
- A possible idea? Maybe they flew to Egypt? Like on a plane. Arthur loves Muggle things. He might have converted some of the money to pounds so they could get a flight there. That's fanfic potential right there.
- Or maybe the trip didn't take as much as is implied. The Weasley parents went during first year to Romanian. I imagine that taking the kids along would cost more but maybe the rest of the money went else where. Afterall, their daughter did spend a year of being mindraped that she is still recovering from. The trip was announced as a way to ensure no one would ask what they did with the money since Ginny would probably prefer that it wasn't spread. Or they could have gone the Egypt simply because it is where the Curse-breaker Weasley is, the one who is the most likely to know something useful out of most people they know that can help her
- To answer the title question: They had seven children (apparently because Molly was obsessed with having a daughter) when there was only one earner and he with a low-paying job (mostly due to wizard prejudice), so yes, they are responsible for being poor. That being said, they definitely don't live in poverty - they have a home, regular meals, etc - they are poor in comparison to other wizarding families. In regards to the Egypt trip, it's been pretty well covered above, but just because the trip and Ron's new wand (anything else? I don't remember) were the things mentioned, doesn't mean they didn't have any left over for other stuff, such as savings.
That Maddening Marauder's Map
- If Hogwarts has 1000+ people in it, how is the Marauders' Map even readable, with all those names floating around on it at once?
- IIRC, Harry does mention being unable to spot a name once or twice (Draco's in HBP, I think). Besides, the castle is big and Harry usually uses the map to look for teachers at places he's not supposed to be and all that, so I think it's plausible.
- Ahhh, but Harry only doesn't see Draco's name because Draco is in the Room of Requirement, which has magically concealed him.
- Yeah, that's true, but he makes mention of it being hard to be sure because he can't make his name out from the crowds near the Entrance Hall, etc.
- In my mind, the map works like maps in most computer games. You can zoom in and out and move it around to focus on the part you need to focus on.
- That can't be, because if it could do that, then Harry would have had no doubt at all when he couldn't find Malfoy on the map. Also, bear in mind that when Harry's actually using the map to get around and avoid people, it's mostly at night, or other times when the corridors are mostly deserted.
Operating the Map
- How did Fred and George know how to operate the Marauders Map? If you need the specific phrase "I solemnly swear I am up to no good" to turn it on and "Mischief Managed" to switch it off, how did they find out what the phrases were? The only theories I can come up with are 1) They tried as many different passwords as possible until they got the right ones, or 2) The map realised that the twins were mischief makers on par with its creators, and that they were deserving of knowing the passwords.
- In fact, those are both Word of God (more or less), from this interview. So there you go!
- Basically, they spent a long period of time trying different phrases at random, and the closer they got to being correct, the more the map would reveal itself.
- It could also be that "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good" isn't the exact phrase needed, but it's close enough to use the map. It's totally unrelated, but it reminds me of Ducktales, when the Gizmoduck suit was activated by shouting "Blathering Blatherskite!" The actual password was just the second word, but the guy who wore the suit didn't know that.
The Worst Protection Plan Ever?
- Let's recap the marauders' plan for Potters' protection, shall we? They announce that Sirius is going to be the Keeper, but then secretly swap him for Pettigrew with the reasoning that the cowardly Wormtail is the last person the Death Eaters would suspect of being the Keeper. Thus V's conjectural spy in their midst will be misinformed, the DE'll waste time chasing the wrong guy, and even if they get him, they can't make him break the Charm. A sound plan, isn't it? Actually, no, it's downright stupid, because SIRIUS STILL KNOWS WHO THE REAL KEEPER IS. Their master plan's only gain was that instead of two stages: "capture Sirius - kill Potters", V'd have to complete three: "capture Sirius - capture Pettigrew - kill Potters". The plan would make sense if, for example, somebody erased knowledge of Pete's involvement from Sirius' mind, Code Geass-style, or if Sirius scrammed to Australia.
- Maybe he WAS planning to scram abroad, but the Potters were killed too soon after the event. Also, Sirius has said he would rather die than betray his friends; presumably, even if tortured, or threatened with death, he would not have given up the location of Pettigrew, or the fact that he was the real Secret-Keeper. So it was supposed to be at least as safe as the original plan - they still had to find and break Sirius, but then they had to do the same with Wormtail.
- As they say: "The only safe way to preserve the secret - is not to know it." Information extraction techniques are not limited to torture and death threats - there are also Veretaserum, Legilimency (which V is VERY potent in), and the Imperius Curse, and even though they can be resisted in theory, you can't guarantee that you'll manage to. And let's not forget about the "nauseatingly endless possibilities" of torture by proxy. My point is that there was a gaping flaw in the plan which could be easily avoided if they'd just erased the information from Sirius's mind. The fact that they didn't think of it bugs me.
- According to this, those methods wouldn't work: "Additionally, it appears as if the disclosure must be voluntary (as evidenced by the fact that no dark wizard is ever seen attempting to coerce the disclosure by means of Veritaserum, Legilimency or the Imperius Curse)."
- Going with the whole secret keeper train of thought. It says in the book that at one point, Dumbledore offered to be the Potters' secret-keeper. Why in the world did they not take him up on it?!?!?! Dumbledore is one of the most powerful wizards in the world, and it was well-known that Voldemort wouldn't dare to cross him. Sounds like an ideal secret-keeper to me.
- Evil Dumbledore...?
- Somewhere at that point, Sirius had a major break out with his mother and was disowned. Perhaps James wanted to cheer him up by showing such deep trust.
- They may have thought that Sirius and Wormtail, being unknown Animagi, would be easier to hide in plain sight.
- Also, Dumbledore was probably second only to Harry on Voldemort's "People To Kill" list. He may have feared him, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't trying to get rid of him. While Dumbledore's plan ultimately won out in the end, Voldemort did legitimately Out Gambit him a few times over the course of the series and they seemed to be pretty evenly matched during their duel in Order of the Phoenix. It wouldn't be unreasonable for the Potters to think Dumbledore could be captured or killed and that they would be safer going with someone (they thought) Voldemort wasn't likely to know about or suspect like Pettigrew.
- It was mentioned in the Three Broomsticks that Sirius planned to go into hiding himself. Maybe he was going to do whatever it was he was planning to do on November 1, figuring that Voldemort wouldn't have caught up with him yet. Didn't he imply that Peter ran straight to Voldemort, meaning that the charm hadn't been in place for long?
- Hiding from somebody who can irreversibly curse a frigging school position, expose and strip of wards anyone who mentions his name, and track his quarry across several countries, seems a rather shaky idea to me. Unless, of course, it is possible to provide the same level of security as the Fidelius Charm does, but without third person involvement (otherwise it's just Turtles All The Way Down). But in that case, they should've just used that method for the Potters themselves.
- He only gained the power to remove protections any time his name was spoken after he took over the ministry in DH.
- He only used that power afterwards. It doesn't mean he didn't have it, maybe he just didn't see the point of using it - he already knew where Harry was, but the wards in his home and in Hogwarts could've been impervious to the spell.
- They wouldn't exactly be planning on having either of their friends get caught. But even so, it still adds protection in the form of time if nothing else, as well as giving them more warning. If Sirius was the SK, and was in hiding, they might not know he'd been captured till Voldy came knocking. This way, if they suspect something may have happened to Sirius, they can double down the protection on Peter, and if he vanishes too, they know to get the hell out of Dodge ASAP.
- It seems that a lot of the topics on this page come from people expecting others to think and behave rationally in dire situations. "James, Lily, guess what? The most dangerous, evil, murderous wizard in the world has just decided that your infant son has to die. Alright, now, if you'll just stop screaming and crying for a couple seconds, we can come up with a plan to make sure your baby boy isn't horribly murdered among your own fresh corpses."
- Yeah, something like that. That is, of course, if you firmly insist that two brilliant wizards and relatively battle-hardened veterans, who'd already escaped death by V's hands thrice, would pee their pants at the news that he might, *gasp*, try it for the fourth time.
- Voldemort wasn't out to kill them a fourth time, he was aiming for their baby. That'll panic quite a few parents, I'd guess.
- If dropped upon them unexpectedly, yes. But they knew Voldemort would be coming, they just didn't know when. This is a situation in which experienced fighters would come up with something called a 'contingency plan' and rehearse it. "OK, if Voldemort somehow breaks the Fidelius and boots the front door, I'll chokepoint here while you grab Harry and the escape portkey there, and..."
Hiding in Hogwarts
- Now that I think of it, why the hell didn't they just hide Harry in Hogwarts? You know, the only place that Voldemort didn't have access to even on the brink of his victory? And before you start saying about how it's unfair to other kids, other kids are not explicitly on V's "to kill" list, and neither they are prophesied to defeat him.
- It's unfair to the other kids because it makes them targets for collateral damage or hostage situations.
- Care to elaborate?
- Not the troper who originally answered, but if Voldemort's after Harry, he obviously wouldn't mind gathering all of his followers (keep in mind, he had quite an army back in the day) and storming the castle. Which puts pretty much everyone in Hogwarts in danger. Particularly students who can't duel.
- Seeing how Hogwarts is the domain of his arch-nemesis Dumbledore, not to mention a place of great magical power, I guess he'd want to do it anyway at some point. On the other hand, it was said that even on top of his power V feared Dumbledore. So no, I don't think it'd make much difference.
- Basic strategy, "If you can see it, you can kill it." If an opposing force has sufficient power (which Voldy did back then) and knows where your assets are, it can destroy them. Your best chance is to make sure the enemy can't find your assets.
Fidelius Charm, Peter
- Consider the Fidelius charm: It hides a location to all except those who know the secret. Only the secret keeper can tell others the secret. How on earth did Dumbledore (and possibly others, including Hagrid) NOT know Peter was the secret keeper? Peter had to, at some point, tell them where the Potters lived, or else they wouldn't have been able to show up immediately and pick up baby Harry.
- My only guess is that the Fidelius charm can be prepared beforehand. Like, Dumbledore does the spell and then he tells the Potters that they can indicate the secret keeper by pointing at him with their wands or something. That's the only way he wouldn't have been present when Sirius convinced the Potters to make Wormtail the keeper.
- Maybe because two of the spell casters had just died?
- Or Peter (very sensibly) dismissed the charm altogether after his run-in with Sirius, to prevent Sirius from proving his innocence by saying "The Potters' house is right there! Whoops, it didn't appear, did it?" and spoiling Pettigrew's frame-up.
- It was stated that Peter was not always the Secret Keeper, as Sirius noted he suggested the "switch". Rather, Sirius was at first, and most likely gave the location to those who knew in order to enforce the lie (remember, it was implied that they knew there was a spy in the Order). Then Peter was swapped in as the "real" Secret Keeper while Sirius was made a decoy. This does not excuse, however, making the real deal the cowardly Peter instead of the powerful and well protected Dumbledore.
- You know, if Peter hadn't been a dirty coward, making him the Secret Keeper would have been a sweet, heartwarming moment. Can't you just hear James giving his friend encouragement? "Listen, Peter, I know we've never been really close. I know everyone says you're a coward. But you've always been behind my back, all throughout Hogwarts. We wouldn't be the Marauders without you. I want to make you the Secret Keeper. I believe you can be brave enough, and I trust you." Like I said, sucks that he was a traitor.
- Regarding how people couldn't have known Peter was the Keeper, remember how Harry found Grimmauld Place? He just had to read a note from Dumbledore telling the location. So if anyone found out about the location after Peter was made Keeper, they didn't have to be told in person. And the charm itself works to conceal something as long as the Secret Keeper keeps their mouth shut. Lily and James themselves (and presumably Harry too) were being concealed. In the case of Grimmauld Place, the house itself was what was being concealed. Logically Peter or Sirius could have stayed in the house. BUT - they were both still Order members (as were Lily and James) and were taking part in the war. It's also suspicious if Sirius goes into hiding as well. The Secret Keeper could have been any one of the Order members. Turning Sirius into a definite Red Herring still risks his cover being blown.
Fidelius Charm, Harry
- Why not make Harry the secret keeper? If they manage to get a hold of him the charm's already failed, also it's not like he's going to be leaving the house. Why doesn't James just make his wife the secret keeper or vice-versa? I never understood why the secret isn't kept within the soul of the person you're trying to protect.
- I always thought that the Fidelius Charm required one to put trust (hence the name) in a person outside of the place one dwells. That is, a person can't become Secret-Keeper of a place they live in. Why? I don't know, maybe that's just the way the charm works. It's magic after all.
- Well, that would make a perfect and rather poetic sense, but for the fact, that it's exactly what they did in Deathly Hallows. No excuses, no explanations, just an off-handed remark, that yeah, a resident of the house under FF is the Keeper, and, of course, no stunned realization and the following "Well, why the hell didn't my parents do the same?!!!" from Harry.
- I think you're mistaken, can you tell me where in DH it says that?
- The house where they stayed after escaping from the Malfoy Manor. Bill Weasley was the Keeper, and he lived there. The same with the house of aunt Muriel and Arthur as the Keeper.
- I could be wrong but I thought Bill was the Secret Keeper for Arthur and vice versa.
- It would be incredibly stupid to make Harry the secret keeper as a baby would be unable to tell anyone anything. He wouldn't even be able to tell his parents so, assuming they were even inside the building at the time, if they ever went out for any reason they wouldn't be able to get back in. Plus, it's likely that the secret keeper has to understand the secret to be able to keep it.
- Which is why in the following sentence it was suggested that Lily or James could be a Keeper.
- But the charm was placed on Lily and James, not the house they lived in. You can't be Secret-Keeper for yourself, because you'd tell everyone about yourself by simply being somewhere. That, of course, doesn't forgive the fact that James could have been Keeper for Lily and Lily for James, then One of them be keeper for Harry.
- So you mean that since James and Lily are the subject of the secret, they will not be sensed in anyway by those not in the secret; and they could be walking around the town without being found by the Death Eaters? Then that brings the question why Sirius didn't get the Order to put Fidelius Charm on himself to escape the ministry rather than hiding in foreign places?
Surprises at the Shrieking Shack
- Apologies if this has already been discussed, but towards the end of the third book, Sirius, Lupin, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Pettigrew, and (unconscious) Snape leave the Shrieking Shack. It is well past nightfall — we see this both when they leave and later, when Harry and Hermione revisit the scene. Moonrise has come and the night is upon them. And yet Lupin has not transformed! He only does so when the moon comes out from behind a cloud. We've seen on other occasions that he transforms during the full moon regardless of whether or not he is directly in the moonlight — otherwise, how would he transform in the Shack when he was a kid? Being a werewolf wouldn't even matter if he could just stick it out indoors. So... why does the position of a few clouds suddenly matter? (Other than the obvious answer, of course.)
- Perhaps he would've transformed anyway later, and the direct moonlight only accelerated the process.
- I've always said that if I ever get bitten by a werewolf, then I'm going to invest in a very wide-brimmed hat and wear it every night. This book is by no means the first (or last) time that looking at the full moon as it passed from behind a cloud is when the transformation hits. I'm starting to think that's the real trigger, and the only thing that causes werewolves to transform is a lack of proper planning and foresight.
- Did J.K.R. ever say "naked"?
- Uhm, hello? He transformed inside the Shack.
- He'd have transformed that night, no matter where he was. The moon peeking out from the clouds was just a visual aid for the audience, to remind everyone of his lycanthropy and give the fans an Oh, Crap! moment, just before the fangs and fur start sprouting ... that, and a Shout-Out to classic horror movies that used the same gimmick.
- Speaking of which... couldn't they just, you know, stun or petrify Lupin? I don't recall anybody saying werewolves were invincible to magic. Grayback was hexed quite a lot in the later books. Now that I think of it, didn't it occur to somebody to petrify Lupin every time he was about to transform?
- I would assume they were very resistant to most spells when transformed, if not completely immune. They probably wouldn't be considered so dangerous otherwise.
- Who said they were considered especially dangerous, other than the viral part? They were shunned by the society, sure, but then the magical society consists mostly of clueless and/or racist assholes, so it's not surprising. Also, there are indirect spells, like the ones that conjure ropes or manacles, like the one they'd used a few seconds ago on Pettegrew.
- That'd be rather painful, wouldn't it, being Stunned/petrified again and again?
- First, "again and again" was just once a month; second, where did it say that either of those was painful at all; third, being locked in a room in wolf morph was already extremely painful; finally, we're talking juvenile security here. And anyway, my prime question is, why didn't the Trio and/or Sirius stun him after they left the Shack.
- The trio didn't learn to stun until the next book; it's my belief that JKR didn't even invent Stupefy until the next book. As for Sirius, he and the other Marauders never stunned Remus before, they always transformed to keep him company. That was the point of them becoming Animagi in the first place. And when describing his past, Remus says that when they had adventures exploring Hogsmeade during the full moon, "there were near misses, many of them." This implies that Padfoot and Prongs had to hold Moony back from attacking people before. Sirius probably figured that doing what he had always done would still work. The only problem was that he hadn't had a decent meal in twelve years and James wasn't around to help him out this time.
- The kids did learn Petrificus Totalus in their first year.
- Casting Petrificus Totalus on a stubborn 11-year-old is a different story from casting it on a slavering werewolf who's gunning for you.
- Let's see: you point the wand at it, you say the words, it's petrified. Frankly, I don't see the difference. Especially if you do it while it's busy transforming.
- I think he means that the kids might have gotten flustered in the face of transforming werewolf and thus not been able to concentrate on casting effectively. While this is true, it overlooks that Sirius is also there, and he is a combat-experienced certified badass who spent years mixing it up with Death Eaters back at the height of the first war against Voldemort and also has spent years and years of time helping Remus with his transformations and so shouldn't be remotely panicking at 'werewolf!' at all, because he's used to this. Which means he's clutching an Idiot Ball in trying to wrestle Remus in wolf form (when the werewolf is larger and stronger than his grim form) instead of just taking that wand and going 'stupefy stupefy stupefy incarcerous ok let's run before he gets back up'.
- Are you sure that making someone unable to move while their body is deforming and growing in size is a good idea? I always assumed that Petrificus Totalus worked by paralyzing the target's muscles, and if those muscles are trying to deform into an entirely different creature... it just sounds liable to cause serious injury. I don't think that Sirius or the Trio would be willing to risk it. The point for stunning him AFTER the transformation still stands, though.
- Conjure shackles, like the ones Lupin put on Pettigrew earlier, or a sturdy net, just to keep Remus from lunging at them immediately after morphing. When he's done, petrify him. And before somebody starts crying "hindsight" or "you-want-the-characters-to-be-perfect-fallacy", please consider, that this is by no mean the first time they encounter such situation, and what I suggest is NOT rocket science, but something that took me five minutes to come up with. They had years to think of the solution.
- At the Shrieking Shack, before the group leaves, Lupin comments that it would be best to revive Snape later. But there's no reason for this. They could have revived Snape right then. He would have been angry, of course, but he wouldn't have had a wand and would immediately see Pettigrew and would know immediately that Sirius and Lupin were telling the truth. The only counter to this argument is that they didn't expect Lupin to transform and Pettigrew to escape, but it still seems like a good idea to have a witness who isn't a convicted murderer or a werewolf.
- It's called "bounded rationality". People are not always able (or willing) to think straight. When you meet your old friend who escaped from prison and turned out to be innocent, you kind of forget about other things.
- No, it's called "contrived plot device", aka Idiot Ball. For the whole duration of the scene in the Shack, Lupin seems very cool-headed and composed, he doesn't look agitated or absent-minded AT ALL. I can buy that he forgot all about the potion, when he saw Pettigrew's name and it became irrelevant, but his decision to keep Snape unconscious (remember, he didn't just forget - he said that they shouldn't wake him up) indeed makes no sense.
- Actually, they sort of knocked him out for a reason: He was holding them at wand point raving about how cool it would be to feed Sirius to the Dementors and how everyone else should just shut the hell up. In other words, he was being dangerous and unreasonable. If they'd woken him up there, then he would have been on them immediately doing the same thing again. If they'd have gotten to the castle and woken him up there, then they would be able to safely explain the situation to him after Sirius had his name cleared.
- How exactly would he have been able to do "the same thing again", when he was tied up and wandless?
- All he needs to do is shout for help once they're on the school grounds and bring people (maybe even Dementors) running. Just use a silencing charm, you say? So he's immobile AND silenced by magic now... which is different from being unconscious how? Looking at the situation WITHOUT hindsight (in other words, not knowing for a fact that things go to hell in a handbasket), why WOULD they care if he sees Peter an hour earlier than he would once they all reached the castle?
- He wouldn't need to shout because having seen Pettigrew he'd have no choice but to admit that Sirius was innocent. Thus they'd only need to keep him tied up only until that. As for why they'd want to do this, please consider this. A convicted mass murderer is entering Hogwarts with an unconscious tied up Potion master in his tow...I'd give him about ten meters in until the first staff member they encounter casts something nasty (up to AK) on him or just calls the Dementors.
- Not necessarily. With Snape as convinced of Sirius' guilt as everyone else (plus thinking the worst of him regardless), seeing Pettigrew alive would prove nothing to him. He'd likely assume something like that Pettigrew survived on a fluke and subsequently fucked off to the Cayman Islands after realizing all his friends were dead, and only came back to Britain after Sirius' breakout to get revenge.
- 1) Survived what, being vaporised with a naught but a finger remaining?! 2) You forgot the part where after his return he obtained a Time Turner, went back several years and came to live with the Weasleys as a pet rat for some inexplicable reason. 3) Pete confessed being a traitor.
- Lupin has just found his old friend who he had thought betrayed his best friends but now finds out is innocent. Harry is getting to know his godfather, a man who can take him away from his horrible aunt and uncle. He doesn't want Snape ruining it all by being at first accusatory and then snarky.
- Right. On one hand we risk the newly innocent Sirius be killed or fed to Dementors by the first person who sees him strolling into Hogwarts with unconscious Snape in tow. On another we risk Snape being snarky. What a poignant and biting dilemma this is totally not!
- It's not logical, and 'snarky' is probably the wrong word, more like abusive, possible violent and vicious. And they aren't expecting things to go badly, they are too happy at how everything would work out. In hindsight, I bet they all regret not waking him, but people who have been through a lot of stress, and then suddenly get very happy, are not at their most logical.
- HOW. How the hell was he supposed to be "abusive and possibly violent". No, seriously, I'd honestly like to see at least some resemblance of a plausible scenario. So, he sees Peter Pettegrew in the flesh, he hears his testimony (obviously, during all this he's kept wandless at best, at tied up at worst), and...then what? What is he going to do? As for all the "they are too happy", gimme a break. Ok, Harry and Sirius maybe, they are both idiots. Ok, Lupin BIG maybe, but Hermione? Did V lend her his favourite ornate Idiot Ball for the occasion?
- Snape was clearly in a position where he was out of his mind with rage and revenge. He wasn't going to listen to anyone else's opinions, regardless of any evidence offered, he'd still stand by his position, regardless of how many logical hoops he had to jump through to ignore anyone else's opinion. Why does this sound familiar....
- Probably because you're describing Harry Potter, not Severus Snape. Petter Pettegrew in the flesh is not an opinion - it's a fact. Besides, (alltogether now) it's not about whether or not it would've worked - it's about heroes not bothering to try when it would've cost them so little.
- Actually, whether it would have worked is directly linked to whether or not they should have tried it. And I was indeed describing Professor Snape, if in addition to Harry, though I'd like to hear a certain scene where Harry acted in such a fashion. There is a tendency among people like Snape, namely, incredibly petty people, (and there's no denying Snape is pretty petty, insofar as he took out his grudge for a man who'd been dead for several years on his son who just happened to look like him,) that they are right and everyone else is wrong, all the time, as evidenced by several of the Headscratchers on these pages themselves, who seem bent on proving that the books are entirely crud, with no leeway for them to be even somewhat decent books that happen to have flaws. To these people, their opinion is correct and nothing, no other evidence or facts, will dissuade them. Thus, even if Snape had seen Wormtail, nothing would have changed- he'd still insist that Sirius was guilty, there would be some reason or another, maybe he'd say Wormtail was fake, maybe he would have followed Wormtail's line of logic that he went into hiding because Sirius would be out to get him- to someone like him, especially in his aforementioned state of being out of his mind with rage and revenge, no logical hoop is too ridiculous to jump through in order to make him right. Bottom line, it's pretty clear that reviving Snape would do them no favors, and it wouldn't take a genius, much less ones like Sirius and Lupin that knew Snape for several years at Hogwarts and (admittedly) are slightly prejudiced against him from the get-go to come to the same conclusion- Waking Snape up is bad news. He would immediately jump right back into his 'rage against Sirius' mode and have to be subdued all over again. Why bother when you can just skip that step and have him already subdued? Again, they had no idea what was about to happen.
- Whether or not Snape would have been as rage-crazed as you think (although he did appear fairly controlled in that scene), a) he hated Pettigrew too: it's not unlikely that he could have transferred his "you got Lily killed" hatred onto him, and b) we know that Dumbledore was able to convince him of the truth offscreen: surely seeing Pettigrew would have served as something of a wake-up call.
- Snape had suffered a concussion and fallen unconscious from being disarmed by three people at once. They may not have been able to revive him by magic as they would if he had been Stupefied. Also, Sirius and Lupin didn't care very much about Snape's welfare, as evidenced by Sirius letting Snape's head bump repeatedly on the low ceiling without doing anything to prevent it. Snape was upset even before being knocked out, having been stewing for over a decade in the belief that Sirius had turned on his school friends and killed them, reinforced by the fact that Sirius had actually endangered Snape's own life while they were in school, but there's no reason to believe that Snape wouldn't have accepted hard evidence of Sirius's innocence and Pettigrew's treachery.
Knowing the traitor
- When Sirius confronts Lupin, Wormtail, and the Trio at the Shrieking Shack at the end, he says that the other Death Eaters at Azkaban knew that Wormtail was the traitor. While they obviously wouldn't tell the good guys that, why wouldn't Snape know? And if Snape knew, the rest of the Order would presumably know too.
- In the next book, Karkaroff says that "we never knew the names of every one of our fellows", so apparently not all the Death Eaters knew that Wormtail was the spy. It seems Voldemort didn't trust Snape and apparently Lucius Malfoy (since Draco also thought Sirius was the spy) enough during the first war to let them in on it. I'd imagine that the Death Eaters in Azkaban who knew it was Wormtail were the Lestranges. The fact that Sirius knew the Death Eaters hated Womrtail implies that the prisoners can communicate with each other, so maybe the Lestranges spread the word of Wormtail's betrayal around until all the Death Eaters in Azkaban knew it.
- In the Shrieking Shack, why is no one suspicious that there is a knock on the door, and no one is there when it is opened? The place is supposed to be haunted, but everyone in that room knows it really isn't, and they don't care at all. Plus, they all know about the Invisibility Cloak (assuming Lupin and Sirius have already seen it) and it would be safe to assume someone stole it, but no one reacts in the slightest. It doesn't make any sense.
- They had other things on their minds at the time. And even in the wizarding world, old houses creak.
- Do the doors in the wizarding world also open and close without any reason? Ok, they do in general, but this particular one shouldn't, which both Sirius and Lupin knew.
- As a corollary to this, Snape enters, and then stands around listening to Sirius and Lupin reminisce about their schooldays and that time Sirius tried to get Snape killed before dramatically revealing himself. Why? Why not enter, take advantage of everyone's lack of curiosity, stun the escaped (believed to be) murderer and his accomplice, and get everyone back to the castle?
The Ministry of Morons
- From the very beginning of the book: Why is Harry trying to practice the Light Charm while still at the Dursleys? He is well aware of the penalties for underage magic, and had even received a warning the previous year because of Dobby's Hover Charm. Granted, it probably wouldn't be noticeable until he had mastered it, but once he had, he should have received a prompt owl from the Ministry of Magic, congratulating him on a well-mastered spell and inviting him for a brief chat with the Wizengamot disciplinary review board to tell them all about it.
- Only in the movie.
- This has been debated to death. I believe the favoured explanation is that the spell wasn't powerful enough to show up on the Ministry's "radar".
- Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it mentioned in the book that Harry is using a Muggle Torchlight to do his homework?
- My guess is that he was allowed to practice this particular spell as homework for the summer. Lumos is a pretty low-key spell that wouldn't lead most muggles to assume "magic" and can easily be done in the safety of one's house without people noticing. That doesn't mean Vernon would approve, though.
- Ditto this. While the Lumos spell IS movie-only in this instance, book 5 has Harry using the Patronus charm, Lumos and Accio at the beginning, yet Harry only gets in trouble for the Patronus charm. Lumos and Accio are weak spells and probably not considered a horrible offense.
- "Words of two 13-year old wizards will not convince anybody." Wat. Why the hell do they need to convince anybody when there are such things as Veritaserum and Pensieve? Ok, Dumbledore cannot just cancel Black's execution, but surely he can persuade Fudge to postpone it for an hour to conduct a small extra investigation? Fudge hasn't yet gone into his complete Jerk Ass mode, so there's no reason he would deny Dumbledore and Harry such a small favour. On the other hand, Snape's version of the story makes precisely zero sense, for why the hell would Black try and charm Harry into believing in his innocence instead of killing him? Even if we concede that he did... what, is there no way to detect the traces of mental incursion?
- Fudge isn't as bad as he'll get later, but he's still stubborn, not terribly bright, and scared of Sirius. He doesn't see any reason to further test the innocence or guilt of a man who was apprehended for a well-publicized, public, and brutal crime twelve years ago — he just wants the whole thing over with. Also, both Pensieves and Veritaserum can be tricked by a skilled wizard (and since everyone thinks Sirius is completely nuts anyway, it would be entirely in-character for Fudge to dismiss anything learned through those methods as delusions Sirius convinced himself were true).
- Of course, that raises the question of what would happen if one of these methods were used on Harry or Hermione, both of whom are nowhere near skilled enough for there to be any doubt at this point.
- But Snape said that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were probably Confunded, so that might mess with the evidence as well. As for why Black would do that instead of killing them, he's assumed to be pretty unstable, so maybe he actually believes what he's saying. Remember, there was a whole street full of witnesses to see him kill thirteen people and then just laugh about it. That's pretty strong evidence.
- OP: That's exactly what I meant from the beginning - use the Pensieve/Veritaserum on the kids. Next, Fudge can be all the asshole he likes, but Dumbledore is supposed to be the freaking Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot! That's like what, the Head of the Supreme Court? Hell, he shouldn't even had to call any favours from Fudge - he should've had direct authority to postpone the execution in light of the new evidence! As for H&H&R's alleged Confounding by Sirius, again, are you telling me there's no way to determine for sure whether it happened? BS on that. Some magical CAT scan aside, just use Priory Incantem on the wand Sirius ostensibly used (and, of course, on the one he ostensibly had killed those people with, and do I really have to explain "crime investigation 101" here?).
- The problem is that the Ministry wants to execute Sirius. He's the only criminal ever to escape - ever, and he has the reputation of being the most evil man in the country, with Voldemort supposedly dead, and having killed thirteen people with one curse. He's making them look bad, and having him Kissed will make them look better. So if the wand doesn't give the murders up, then he stole another one after he escaped — which is honestly probably true anyway, being as Hagrid got his wand snapped just for being expelled, so you can't tell me that Sirius got to keep his in a safe place after being convicted of murder. And it doesn't show the Confundus Charm? Maybe he has an accomplice, or he has multiple stolen wands. Again, they want to arrest Sirius. They're in a desperate situation and they want someone to blame. They probably do genuinely believe that he's guilty, but they also probably don't want to dig too deeply in case he's not. What do they say to the world if he's cleared, "Oh, sorry, we destroyed an innocent man's life because we didn't give him due process of law. By the way, there's a real murderer out there, one who killed twelve people with a single curse, and he can turn into a rat, so he could really be anywhere. Also, Mr. and Mrs. Pettigrew? We're taking back your son's Order of Merlin; it turns out he's not a war hero, he's a war criminal. Oops! Apologies for the mixup!"
- Also, in HBP we find out that Dumbledore has sufficient skills to detect if someone's had their memory tampered with, and undo enough of the tampering to find out what really happened. Because he succesfully pulls that off with Morfin Gaunt, a guy who had been mindscrewed by Voldemort himself. Dumbledore was even starting the process to get the Wizengamot to reverse Gaunt's own Azkaban sentence before Morfin made the point moot by dying in prison.
- Except for one detail: Sirius was incarcerated BEFORE Fudge became the Minister. That means he's got a perfect scapegoat in the form of the previous minister. All he has to do is make a public heartfelt speech about how much had changed under his sage rule, and how he's a vehement advocate of fair trial, and what a tremendous work had been done to get to the bottom of that particular case, and how the Boy Who Lived is so very grateful (Harry would hardly mind at that point) for the aquittal of his godfather, and how he'd personally see to it that no such transgression ever happens again, and blah blah blah. As for Pettigrew, see above. Him not being captured is an even bigger Plot Hole.
- All of these points about witnesses and lack of evidence are irrelevant; Black never had a trial, and thus was never actually convicted on any sort of evidence.
- Dumbledore explicitly says he has no power to overrule the Ministry of Magic, so illogical as it may seem, Fudge does have authority over Dumbledore in this context, and wanting to take the easy way out of trouble is a pretty well established aspect of his character.
- Just because Dumbledore says something doesn't mean it's true, or makes a tiniest bit of sense for that matter. Again, he didn't have to cancel the execution, just postpone it for an hour. For a man who managed to drive the Minister of Magic out of his bed in the middle of the night and to some dive to personally meet a 12-year runabout and ensure his safety, I'd say it shouldn't be too difficult.
- I think that Dumbledore can be expected to know the duties and authority granted by the offices he holds. And what exactly are you referring to in the rest of your reply? The only part of the series that really sounds like what you're describing is when Fudge meets up with Harry in person at the Leaky Cauldron at the beginning of the book, which was on his own initiative, since he wanted to make sure Sirius hadn't caught up with Harry. Dumbledore didn't make him do anything.
- Suuure, because that's what the Minister's duties consist of and because he has precisely zero subordinates he could delegate that crucial task to. But nevermind that, remember how in Book 5 D completely trashed the whole fabricated case against Harry in about 15 minutes, even after he fell out with Fudge, was stripped of all his regalia, and nearly declared a conspirator? "Cannot overrule" my ass.
- At this point in the timeline, keep in mind that Fudge still likes Harry and sees him as, at the least, an important symbol — he'd want to check in on Harry's welfare in person because if the Boy Who Lived gets murdered on his watch, that's not going to look good for him. No need for Dumbledore to be directly involved at all (and if D thought Harry was seriously at risk, it'd be much smarter and easier to go after him himself, rather than using a bumbling middleman like Fudge). And the Wizengamot situation you mention is apples and oranges — there, Dumbledore didn't overrule Fudge, he appealed to common sense and swayed the majority of the Wizengamot towards his and Harry's favor. That's totally different from getting Fudge himself to do something he really doesn't want to do, and in the time it would take to call the court (which itself would probably be difficult to do, since Sirius is, I remind you, an escaped felon who was convicted of a well-publicized and brutal mass murder 13 years ago), the Kiss would already have been performed.
- D is The Chessmaster — he doesn't get involved personally but acts through middlemen (nobody says Fudge was the only one awake that night, he was merely the one with the easiest task). The appeal to the common sense of Wizengamot (or Wizards in general) was really funny, thank you. As for "getting Fudge to do something he really doesn't want to do", that would be what exactly? Postpone the execution for twenty minutes and take a look in the freaking Pensieve? Yeah, sure, Fudge would totally abhor that, especially if the most powerful wizard in the world and the most respected man in Britain kindly asked him.
- OP: I admit, I oversaw one thing: Dumbledore couldn't begin acquitting Sirius until after the kids went back in time, because it had to happen in any case for Harry to save himself from Dementors. Not that it changes much. Afterwards, when all the rush is down, D could sit down together with Fudge, explain everything ("Yes, Minister, I sent Harry back in time to save himself and his godfather. Yes, I know that I wasn't supposed to. Well, maybe if your fucking Caspers didn't try to eat them and you weren't so stubborn, I wouldn't have had to! So do you really want to start putting blames?") and present all the evidences.
- Now that I think of it further, they didn't even need to use the Pensieve - they could witness the scene in question with their own eyes. Use the Time Turner to go back before the events in the shack, make themselves invisible, set a "camera" inside, then gather up in D's study and enjoy the view. Sure, they couldn't interfere with the events, but they could see them!
- One more thing that would prove so very useful to Sirius's acquittal was conveniently kept under the rag: Sirius's wand. Surely they'd kept it as the material evidence, right? Sure, Crouch didn't perform Priory Incantato on it because he was an asshole Hanging Judge. But why didn't D have it performed on it?
- Because the Ministry would have snapped it. That's pretty much a given for a life-sentence in Azkaban.
- I'm trying to follow Fudge's train of thought when he "lost his patience" and sentenced Sirius to a Dementor Kiss, and I just... can't.
First of all, they haven't caught him yet! Forget "caught" - they haven't got a single lead! Who the hell were they going to kiss? That's cooking a hare before catching him, and it's a sure way to become the universal laughing stock. Hell, Fudge should've been tiptoeing around this whole issue, afraid to mention it another time, and pray that people would somehow forget about it, and praise Sirius for keeping his head low (two appearances and zero casualties in a year that's pretty tame, even the journalists would get bored from the lack of juicy stuff), but instead he loudly reminds everyone that yes, his ministry had screwed up, keeps screwing up, and he's apparently losing his crap in a painfully transparent and pitifully childish attempt to pretend he's in control. I'd understood if he "lost his patience" and, say, commuted every single Auror to the searches or unleashed some heavy duty, maybe even controversial, magic to find Sirius, or set to burn the Forbidden Forest to the ground to flush him out. But this is just pointless. How was that supposed to appeal to the public or favour his image? Surely even Fudge couldn't be that ass-numbingly stupid?
Second, what sense does it make to issue the death warrant so late? I'd understand if they issued it immediately after he escaped, logic being that it's no point in taking him alive, since their worst (and only) prison cannot contain him. A shaky logic, but logic nonetheless. Hell, it'd make sense if they had a standing "shoot on sight" (or kiss on sight) order in case of any escape, just to discourage them. Or if they didn't know what exactly Sirius was after, and then learned he was after Harry. But they knew it from the start! So what exactly caused Fudge to make this, rather detrimental to his image, decision? Hell, if I didn't know better, I would think that it was just an Ass Pull, used to create shock and drama, force a moral dilemma on Harry and induce a time constraint in the finale.
- The way people are talking on here. It seems people think that Sirius went on trial. Well book 4 Sirius states that Crouch sent him directly to jail without a trail. You can't be convicted on eye witness testimony alone. So is a 'innocent' man who didn't get a chance to prove his innocence.
Time-Turners v. Marauder's Map
- Why did Lupin only see one Harry and Hermione when he was looking at the Maurader's Map in his office?
- The Time-Travelling Harry and Hermione spent most of their time hiding in the Forbidden Forest, didn't they? Perhaps they were outside of the map's boundaries. Or maybe they were far enough away from the part of the map Lupin was looking at, and he didn't notice them.
- Same reason Harry never noticed that there were three Hermiones running around at 9 am each day: if you're looking at the Map to determine where a specific person is, and you spot their name somewhere on it, you stop searching rather than check if their name appears anywhere else.
The Strange Case of the Vanishing Hippogriff
- Why was Fudge (and, by extension, Lucius) so lenient about the escapes of Buckbeak and Sirius, seeing how they were in custody of Hagrid and Dumbledore respectively when it happened? You'd think charges of criminal negligence at the very least would be much to the point, especially since Lucius would be eager to compromise D's authority in any way and Fuge would be desperate for a scapegoat in the wake of the vicious ass-pummeling he was bound to receive from the mass media.
- It's specifically noted that they waited until Fudge had seen Buckbeak tied up before releasing him so that Fudge wouldn't be able to think Buckbeak's escape was Hagrid's fault. If this wasn't good enough for Lucius, it's possible that, between the end of Azkaban and the start of Goblet, he raised a stink about it which never went anywhere.
- And it changes... what exactly? The beast is still missing. If Buckbeak indeed broke free, as Hagrid suggests with completely inappropriate glee, it means that the tie was weak, which calls for accusation of criminal negligence at best and, of course, to immediate termination of his teaching duty (if you can't properly deal with one dangerous murderous animal, then what the hell are you doing teaching kids about them?) If the hippogriff was stolen, then it's Dumbledore who's in for some awkward questions, because the idea that somebody could sneak into the school grounds from outside just to steal the hippogriff, and moreover, choose the very precise moment that ACCIDENTALLY happened to provide Hagrid with an alibi, is far-fetched beyond all limits.
- Except Fudge himself had seen how Buckbeak had been tied up, and he never noticed anything amiss with how the animal was secured or bothered to check that the rope was strong. He was the senior official on-site at the time the hippogriff escaped, and he and Macnair had technically taken custody of the creature once the necessary paperwork was completed. If Fudge were to rake Hagrid and Dumbledore over the coals about the matter, do you really think the likes of Rita Skeeter would miss a chance to shove the Minister's face in them as well?
- Oh, goodie! Meaning we can exclude the negligence and move straight to the malicious intent. Since the tie had no visible weaknesses, as was duly attested by the agents of the Ministery ("- Wasn't it, Mr. Macnair? - Indubitably it was, sir.") this means that either it was charmed to break or disappear after the inspection, or somebody freed the beast while DD distracted them with papers. And since, again, the idea that some independent party would accidentally choose that exact moment to steal it? is ridiculous, not to mention who the hell would want to steal it, this only leaves the conspiracy on the Groundkeeper's and, by extension, the Headmaster's part. They had both the resources and the motives.
- Fudge says outright that he can't afford to let the Daily Prophet find out that they'd lost both Black and a condemned beast on the same night, or his administration will become even more of a laughingstock than it already is. The implication is that he and the Disposal officials are going to keep quiet about the hippogriff and/or blame Buckbeak's escape on Sirius, not the Hogwarts staff.
- How could they keep quiet about BB, if Lucius was interested (and he clearly was) in pushing the case? And why blame Sirius, who would have no motive to do it, and whose timing would have to be improbably precise, when you have the perfectly good Hagrid to blame? And regardless, the original question concerned both BB and Sirius, and, of course, the latter was much more important. Who cares about that stupid bird-lion, when they've let Sirius Goddamn Black escape? Yet, again, Fudge seems absurdely serene about it and not in the least interested in shifting the blame on the most glaringly obvious suspects: DD and Potter, both of whom tried to convince him of Black's innocence.
- Because he doesn't really care, it is Lucius the one that wants BB dead, not Fudge. From his point of view, there is no difference if BB is dead or not. It's not that he thinks BB deserves it or not, he just doesn't care, he probably would not even be the one to go to BB's execution if it wasn't in Hogwarts. "Did BB escape by himself? did Dumbledore have something to do? was it a third party?" "who cares!?, the bird is gone, students are safe, the job is done. end of story." what is the worse that can come from BB's escape? Fudge's image is mudded a little. and really, what would he accomplish by saying that Dumbledore had something to do with it? it may seem unfair, but it is the truth, he may think Dumbledore had something to do with it, but he doesn't think BB's escape is that big of a deal.
- *sigh* The original question concerned both BB and Sirius, and, of course, the latter was much more important. Yet, again, Fudge seems absurdely serene about it and not in the least interested in shifting the blame on the most glaringly obvious suspects: DD and Potter, both of whom tried to convince him of Black's innocence.
- Speaking of which... Buckbeak was supposed to be executed through beheading. With an axe. An actual metal axe. What. Macnair, are you a freaking wizard or not?!
- I just assumed execution by decapitation had a ceremonial importance. The wizarding world is pretty into traditions.
- Perhaps, it'd just make more sense in respect to state traitors or something. But when putting down a troublesome beast? Really? Hell, how are you even supposed to behead it? It's not like you can tell it to put its head on a block and lay quiet. It would most likely go berserk and lash at you, so in the end you'd have to take out your wand anyway to stun or petrify it. So why not just AK it? Simply too many troubles (especially in the movie, where Macnair even wears a freaking executioner's hood, for Khorne's sake!) for what's essentially a rabid dog.
- Hippogriffs are magical creatures. Maybe they can't be killed by straightforward spells, or it takes a lot of effort to kill one with magic. So an ax, specially enchanted, is designed to do the job.
- Hedwig was also a magical creature, but it didn't save her from an AK blast in Deathly Hallows. Also, if that was the case, you'd think Hippos would've been used more in battles (or at all for that matter). Now that I think of it, why weren't they used in the battle of Hogwarts? After all, AFAIR, Thestrals did partake in the fun, so why not these guys?
- Hedwig wasn't a magical creature, she was an OWL. A particularly intelligent owl, sure (possibly from generations of exposure to magic) but not a magical creature in the same way a Hippogriff, Dragon, Centaur, Basilisk or Giant would be considered a magical creature.
- What about a phoenix? In the Battle at the Ministery in OotP Fawks takes the AK for DD and explodes. He survives, but only because he's immortal.
- Simple, semi-serious explanation: Macnair considers execution by magic to be too cold and impersonal. If he's going to kill, he's going to get up close and personal and finish the beast with his own physical strength and his trusty axe. It's not a proper execution if blood doesn't flow.
- That seems like a pretty good explanation. If memory serves, It's mentioned a few times through the series that the whole reason Macnair got the job destroying dangerous creatures for the Ministry after Voldemort's fall is because he's a pretty big fan of violence and bloodshed, the kind you generally don't get with wands.
- Most likely Mac Nair doesn't think that using an Unforgivable Curse and spending the rest of his life in Azkaban is the best way to perform an execution if he wants to keep his job.
- Lolwut? Unforgivables were explicitly stated to only be punishable when used on people.
- Indeed. Hence why the next DADA teacher wasn't jailed for using Unforgivables on a spider.
- Second simple, semi-serious explanation: Hagrid chose beheading. I know in the US, if one is given the death sentence they'll be offered a choice of how to die (if the state/prison has more than one option). Since Hagrid owned Buckbeak, he got the option to choose how he was to die. DD suggested beheading because...well, no one really knows why DD does half of what he does, and Hagrid took his advice.
- That's in the US. This is the wizarding world in the United Kingdom, two cultures apart.
- Combining explanations one and two: Hagrid knew Macnair would be the one to do the execution and chose the simplest and least painless method which was beheading
- Third simple, semi-serious explanation: Avada Kedavra requires a lot of concentration and intent. Why waste time building yourself up to the point where you honestly and truly want some random creature you've never interacted with before to be dead when all it takes is a single swing of an axe?
Fidelius Charm inconsistencies
- How is it that Hagrid is able to come and get Harry after James and Lily are killed? If Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper, no one else should be able to see the location unless he told them. At first I thought it made sense for the Charm to break if its subjects died, but Harry was a subject of the Charm just as much as James and Lily and he was still alive, so why would the Charm stop working? If the Charm broke every time one person under its protection died, that would mean that Grimmauld Place would have stopped being Fideliused when Dumbledore died, because he was a member of the Order and therefore under the protection of the spell too.
- The charm is cast on a dwelling rather than on its habitants. Perhaps after V's curse destroyed the house, the charm dissipated as well.
- But the house wasn't destroyed- in fact, it's still there nearly two decades later. It just had a hole in the roof.
- As James and Lily were in hiding it would be foolish for them to leave their house and do thing like shop or socialize so it would make sense for there to be a few people who would have been immediately told to facilitate such things. As the charm was Dumbledore's idea and Hagrid has his utmost confidence, not to mention being more than capable of defending himself against violent wizards, it would make sense for Hagrid to be told the secret. It would also explain why it was Hagrid who was sent to fetch Harry from the scene, Dumbledore was setting up the protection at the Dursley's, Sirius was tracking Peter and Peter was trying to run away so Hagrid may have been the only one available at the time.
- As mentioned elsewhere on the page, the inconsistency is that if Hagrid or Dumbledore had been told the secret, then they would have known who the real Secret-Keeper was. Canonically, the only people who knew about the Sirius-Pettigrew swap-out were the Potters, Sirius, and Peter. Even Remus wasn't in on the loop.
- Harry was able to look at Dumbledore's handwriting to access Grimmauld Place. Maybe Hagrid saw the Peter's writing and didn't bother asking who wrote it.
- Peter probably dismissed the Fidelius after he escaped from Sirius. If he hadn't, Sirius could've proven his innocence by telling his accusers "The Potters' house is in Godric's Hollow on _______ street.", and then pointing out that the place is still invisible.
- This may be directly contradicted by canon - reading these books once was quite enough for this troper - but perhaps the Fidelius charm works as a kind of magical contract? The Secret Keeper and the subjects have to magically agree to the keeping of the secret. Since Harry is a baby he cannot participate in the spell. He is covered by it, but is not part of the spell, so when James and Lilly die, the magic collapses? I think magical agreement must be part of it, or the fidelius charm could be used as a horrifying weapon.
- This is more or less explained in Deathly Hallows when the trio are using Grimmauld Place. It is specifically stated that since Dumbledore died, everyone who already knew were the place was (including Snape) became the Secret-Keeper. This means that the Secret-Keeper is the official person who can tell other people, but other people who know cannot tell anyone else. So if only person A knows where the place is, he can tell person B so person B can go there, but person B cannot tell person C unless person A dies.
- Deathly Hallows also poses another explanation - Harry worries as they're on their way to visit the house in Godric's Hollow that the Fidelius charm will keep them from seeing it, but once he realizes he's able to, his thoughts suggest that the charm lapsed and dissipated once James and Lily were killed.
Is the Sorting Hat going senile?
- Wormtail is a coward, no doubt about it. He hides behind powerful people, only is with someone when he thinks it's going to be a benefit for him... all of that would automatically makes him a Slytherin. So then, why on earth did he wind up in Gryffindor, according to Word of God?
- 1) Peter couldn't be put in Slytherin, possibly because he doesn't have enough ambition, and there's no one for him to hide behind if everyone's looking out for themselves.
- 2) He wasn't suited for Hufflepuff because he wasn't too loyal, as it turns out.
- 3) He was not smart nor talented enough for Ravenclaw.
- By default, he was put in Gryffindor, which also provided him a houseful of brave people for him to hide behind and mooch off of. Plus, it's possible he asked the Sorting Hat to be put in Gryffindor, as Harry did.
- It's also possible the Hat gave him the benefit of the doubt, like he did with Neville.
- Just because he possesses certain qualities doesn't mean he'll embrace them or won't ever change. Peter probably fancied himself brave and noble as an 11 year old but when theory was put into practice he found himself unable to sacrifice himself and sold out his friends instead. After that it was either be crushed by guilt or adopt a philosophy of doing whatever he needed to.
- Pettigrew wasn't completely devoid of courage. Infiltrating the household of someone who works for the Ministry must have required a certain amount of daring, and a complete coward would never have been able to go through with cutting off his own hand. Rather, he has nerve, but he never directs that nerve to anyone else's benefit.
- Alternately, he was probably courageous and good-hearted, but began turning bad over time. That or he was tortured.
- The Sorting Hat takes student's choices into account. Perhaps like Harry, Pettigrew may had been meant for Slytherin but was placed into Gryffindor because he asked
- So the defining trait of Slytherin is ambition, right? They're ambitious, power-hungry, somewhat selfish, self-centred, interested only in what will get them to a better positions. So why, in the name of all things good, is Percy Weasley, the absolute personification of arrogant ambition, in Gryffindor, when he is always described as being severely ambitious? I can only guess that he asked the hat to be put in Gryffindor so as not to shame his family, but still. Percy is the living incarnation of Slytherin House's traits, excluding the pure-blood mania. It makes a lot less sense than Peter, even, if the Hat gave him the benefit of the doubt. Percy would have HAD to beg for Gryffindor specifically, since he's got more traits from Slytherin and Hufflepuff than Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.
- Gryffindor is thought of as being the 'best' house to be placed in. No doubt the Sorting Hat would suggest Percy be better suited for Slytherin but Percy asked for Gryffindor because he doesn't want to shame his family, and being in Gryffindor would get him some praise that being in Slytherin would not. This is probably the same reason Hermione was put in Gryffindor rather than Ravenclaw, not only did she ask, she knew Gryffindor was thought of as the best house.
- It's also because, despite having the academic prowess that usually lands you in Ravenclaw, she values courage as far more important than intelligence.
- These children are sorted at 11 YEARS OF AGE. This is really too early, as even Dumbledore muses at one point. Personalities change over time, particularly through puberty. The expectations and environments of the House the wizards and witches are sorted into probably help to shape their developing personalities, but there are other factors as well. In Percy's case, determined ambition was how he coped with the Twins' constant teasing. The Twins likely started with the teasing the first time he came home with good results, because he was a bit of a nerd, lacking the 'coolness' of older brothers Bill and Charlie.
- All of the REALLY good Slytherins go into other houses so no one will suspect them.
- The end of The Chamber of Secrets establishes that the choices of an individual matter more than his or her aptitude when it comes to getting into a house. Maybe Wormtail wanted to possess the "daring, nerve, and chivalry" of Griffindor House, and that was enough for the Sorting Hat.
- Wait, if Gryffindor is the "BEST" house, then why is it that Slytherin had been the House to win the House Cup every year until Harry's first year? Seems to me that Percy was being thrown into an underdog house. And before you say something like "Gryffindor looks best on a resume", remember that Slyhterin housed the children of quite a few higher-ups in the ministry, so it was probably the Harvard of British Wizards.
- Slytherin winning the House Cup every year is implied to be the result of Snape's bias, as he is incredibly strict and often outright unfair with students from the other three houses, but never punishes the Slytherins at all. The other heads of houses all try to remain unbiased.
- Wouldn't Oxford be more appropriate? Anyway, one of the traits Salazar Syltherin valued was a willingness to bend or break rules to one's benefit. Now the sorting hat doesn't place in the exact same manner as the founders, as Salazar only wanted pure bloods but the hat will put half bloods into his house, but Percy, on top of being a goody goody rule follower, is also a blood traitor. Those two traits may be enough to cancel out his ambition. And hard working as he is, he's more pompous, or brazen, or bold than you'd expect from Hufflepuff, which combined with Griffindor running in the family probably sealed it.
The Trouble With Time Turners 4: Insert Title Here
- So, we know from the rock-throwing instances that what people do when time travelling has already happened. So, if it's already happened, then how can you change anything?
- After you are finished changing things, you will find that it has already happened. Time travel is complicated.
- Your past self will never know what your future self has done until you physically go back in time and realise. Hermione remembers that someone threw a stone into Hagrid's house and they realised the execution committee were coming. But she never finds out who did it until she's gone back in time. She notices that Fudge is coming but they aren't leaving the house. She remembers how they found out and throws the stone. That is the way it happens and that is how it will always happen. Hermione will always not realise until the moment where she throws the stones.
The Trouble With Time Turners 5: the missed class
- This is something that always confused me. Why did Hermione miss the one charms class? She couldn't have forgotten, because as soon as she remembered that she missed it, she only has to turn the TT a bit and take the class. And even if she missed the class because she already missed it, it still brings up the question of why did she originally miss the class, and what's stopping her from going back and not missing it?
- If she went back to take the class, Harry and Ron wouldn't have told her that she missed it and then she wouldn't have gone back to take it. And then they would have told her that she missed it and then she would have gone back, etc. Grandfather Paradox!
- But why did she miss it in the first place? The problem with the above post is that if Harry and Ron hadn't told her, she still would've realized that she missed the class at some point, and immediately would have gone back in time to take the class. Unless there's some weird time-turner rule that makes it so she couldn't go back to the class, she shouldn't have missed it.
- She couldn't go because she already knew that she didn't go.
- Uh, what? Harry and Ron did tell her and saying that she could have found out without them telling her doesn't change the reality that they did. That's like saying, "Why did Harry live with the Dursleys? If his parents hadn't died, he wouldn't have lived with them." Harry's parents did die and saying that they might not have died doesn't change the reality.
- quote from the post above mine "[if] Harry and Ron [hadn't] told her that she missed [the class] then she wouldn't have gone back to take it"
I said what I said to show that there is no Grandfather Paradox. The whole thing about Hermione missing the class probably should have just been removed as it didn't have much impact on the plot and there's absolutely no reason for it to happen in the first place. On it's own it doesn't make sense because it feels like there should be stopping her from not missing the class that doesn't involve circular reasoning.
- She missed the class because she'd missed the class. It was too late, people had noticed and all use of Time Turner results in stable time loop so it means she couldn't just go back because she hadn't. Don't ask me why, that's just how time travel works in the Harry Potter universe.
- Ah, that's the problem with the Time Travel. Once you introduce it into the plot, words "too late" and "people had already noticed" become meaningless. Because the Time Travel adds something I call proactive cause-and-effect relation. That is, if somebody in the future decides to go back in time, it means that they are already existing in universe altered by their time travel.
- I always thought that the way time travel worked was that you could not change things you know have happened or have experienced the affects of. If one can't then having stable time loops could work, otherwise they would colapse. In real life this would mean that you could not stop the twin towers from colapsing in 9/11 because you know that they do. In this case to keep a stable time loop she cannot be seen to be in that class after she knows she was not.
Meaning, that if, for whatever reason Hermie ever decides to go back and take that lesson, it means that she had. The event of her not attending that lesson should've never existed, because she has no reason not to do it.
Of course, that requires her having a mean to inform herself that she has to go back in time, since, indeed, Harry and Ron wouldn't be able to do it in the altered timeline, but I don't see a problem with that. We've seen at least two such instruments (Sirius' mirror and Hermie's coins).
- Realize that time travel effectively means you switch cause and effect, and the stable time loop means you see the results of your time travel BEFORE you travel back. If Hermione notices that she missed something and apparently didn't travel back in time, she must conclude that she didn't go back that single time. She doesn't necessarily know WHY, but she can see it already happened. Complicated, no? This is why they don't just hand out time turners to everyone.
- I understand and agree that, if she knows that she missed the class, then she cannot go to the past and attend it. My point is, this whole sequence of events (Hermie misses class, people see this, Harry and Ron tell her, she doesn't go back) has no reason to exist. Ever. Because in the present there is no obstacle that prevents her from going to the past.
What mistake people make, I think, is they treat the described past events as something immovable, once and for all settled. Well, they are not. Proactive cause-and-effect relation means that your decisions determine not only your future, but your past as well. You basically gain the powers of God, by moving outside of the timestream and writing the script for yourself as you see fit. The only limitation is that in this script, in this "new" and, simultaneously, only timestream there has to be a feasible way for yourself to receive the incentive to go back and close the loop. To miss the class Hermie must choose to miss it for reasons unrelated to time travel (like, she's too tired or doesn't care), and I see no such reasons.
- But that's it exactly, she was too tired and forgot. She's taking three more classes than Harry or Ron, for a grand total of twelve classes, and it's highly likely that she's only using the Time Turner to go to the classes that she couldn't physically possibly attend because they're all at the same time, and not to help her stay on top of her homework and studying without cutting into her sleep time, or to get in some extra sleep because all the extra re-lived hours she's spending are throwing off her sleep cycle. There was a whole subplot of the book showing Hermione to be increasingly overwhelmed with her course load, which is part of the reason why she dropped Divination mid-term, and the whole reason why she didn't continue with Muggle Studies after fourth year.
- If you see no reason why she had to miss this class then you have problems. You see, the only reason they can "change" the past is that it's a "Schroedinger's cat" situation, i.e. the exact details weren't known and thus it could have been one of many things and the "change" she made was forcing the past to be a specific one of those "many things", by simply being there. Essentially, a "you change the past by observing it" situation. So when people had observed that she wasn't in that class, all versions of the past in which she instead was there became an impossibility for her. That is exactly why it is made into a point that you should not let your "past" selves see you, because if you do you might suddenly get into a situation in which all the futures that are still possible for you stop being possible and as a result you are written out of existence.
- A good point, but it has two flaws - it's both anthropocentric and present-centric, if you like. You say "the situation wasn't witnessed, so it can be changed". But it was witnessed. Not by people, maybe, but by other creatures and things. Animals, insects, bacteria, plants. Something inevitably registered your presence/absence in some way. Hell, the matter itself - if you don't step on the ground, it technically "witnesses" your absence in that spot. Air is not displaced and consumed by your body, heat is not given out and so on. If the past witnessing the absense of the time traveller could prevent the time travel, than the time travel wouldn't have been possible.
- No, that example is like saying the state of Shroedinger's cat is witnessed by the box - that's overthinking the concept, and ultimately makes no sense. Arguably, only things with a human level of sentience count.
- No, that's bringing the concept to its logical conclusion, intsted of arbitrarily excluding a reasonable concern that invalidates it. There's nothing inherintly special about humans that should make them "count" exclusively - seeing a person means absorbing the modified light waves reflected from them, and it doesn't matter in the slightest if they're absorbed by the tissues of your eyes or the tissues of the wall. And anyway, this is only the first flaw. As I said, your argument is also present-centric, i.e. you claim that by observing a situation people make it impossible for the time-traveller to change. Except that the reason they observed it a certain way in the first place is the consequence of the time-traveller's decision to (not) affect it. A time-traveller doesn't change the past - they shape the past once and for all.
The Trouble With Time Turners 6: The One with the Funny Title
- Why was Hermione constantly bedraggled and exhausted from her extra courseload? She could take 3 hour midday naps with no issue at all.
- Hermione tends to take the rules very seriously, at least when it isn't a life-or-death situation. Perhaps McGonagall told her she was only to use the Time-Turner to get to her classes and Hermione took that very seriously.
- But getting enough sleep is essential for productive learning! Certainly McGonagall would foresaw that and made the respective concession.
- No she couldn't. If anyone caught her when she was supposed to be in class, and actually was in class elsewhere, she's just blown her secret. She was raising enough suspicion just using it for getting to classes.
- The teachers, including McG, were in on it. The solution is as simple as throwing a cot down in her office for Hermione to use while McGonagall is teaching. Considering they went to the extreme of allowing her time travel, something as simple as a secluded spot for naps seems like a completely harmless request.
Doubly so since it was her fatigue that was causing her to slip up in front of Harry and Ron oftentimes.
- Every additional time travel nap would make her age a few hours. Over the course of five school years that would have cost her at least a month of her lifetime. Maybe that's why she was only allowed to only use the time-turner for classes and nothing else, to not make her age more than necessary.
- A month? Seriously? As opposed to all the damage the lack of sleep would've done (and did) her, a month doesn't seem such a step price.
- Just because Hermione wasn't getting sleep it doesn't mean she wasn't trying. Have you ever suffered from insomnia? You want to sleep and you're tired but your body won't physically let you. It's caused by stress. Hermione is an excessive perfectionist. She has the stress of all her coursework to keep up with, meaning she has to do additional sets of homework every night. She only does hours over again to attend classes happening at the same time. She still has only one evening to get her homework done and it's not like she can rewind time and have two of herself sitting in the Common Room sharing the work. She's still doing all the work herself. Likely pulling all-nighters and fretting about not getting the rest of her work done on time when she's supposed to be sleeping.
Just leave him, he'll be fine
- The scene with Lupine's transformation in the movie. Snape suddenly emerges from the Shack and...wait, does this mean those assholes just left him there, unconscious and probably injured? Why?
- Probably happened something like this:
Hermione: Hey, shouldn't we get Snape?
Sirius: Nah, he likes lying around in the dark. He'll feel right at home here.
Lupin: And it's Professor Snape, Miss Granger.
- They didn't leave Snape behind. He was unconscious, and Lupin had levitated him to hover along at the back of the group. Presumably, in the process of getting Ron out of the tunnel with his broken leg, they left him inside out of the way. Once he woke up, he emerged ala Bat Out Of Hell.
- Probably happened something like this:
The Trouble With Time-Turners 7: Hunt for the Blood Orchid
- May I just ask... How old is Hermione? Think about it, she repeated about 4 hours of her life, every day, for a whole year...
- 4 hours a day for a year is only about 60 days, so basically the same age as she seems to be to everyone else.
- Even in the absolute worst case where she uses her time turner to go back 6 hours during every single day (including summer vacation) of a leap year, that still leaves us with 366 (days) * 6 (hours/day) = 2196 (hours) = 91.5 (days), or about 3 months. So, yeah, it doesn't make a noticeable difference.
- On that note, Hermione has the power to make time out of thin air. She should have been able to get more sleep to counteract her additional classes and so not be as haggard by the end of the year.
- This Troper always had a little pet theory that living days over during her third year made Hermione grow up faster than usual (and this was before the film, wherein she really did become hot). If the 60 days estimate is accurate, this might not make much sense, but then, Hermione is older than most of the people in her year, as she was born in September.
- BUT the year before, she had been petrified for a couple months, presumably not getting older during that time, so it would cancel out nicely.
- The scene where the students practice how to defeat a Boggart. The only concern Lupin seems to have is that Harry would "summon" Voldemort. No worries about kids with Abusive Parents? And having your biggest fear exposed to all your classmates really isn't a nice thing.
- They are supposed to fend off real-life monsters, dark wizards, and demons, which takes some mental conditioning. If you can't step up to your jerkass parent, how can you be expected to step up to a Dementor? As for exposing their fears to the classmates, well, when everybody does it, it puts them on the same level, so it's fine.
- Then again, most of these so-called "greatest fears" were quite silly: a mummy? an eyeball? a disembodied hand? Ron's was probably the only one that made sense, considering his history with spiders.
- To be fair, this is a universe where mummies, floating eyeballs, and disembodied hands are all very real and very dangerous.
- They are little kids. They can get some Adult Fear when they get older, like Molly's worst fear.
- "I'm scared of mummies" is not on the same level as seeing drunken Dad unzipping his pants, dude.
- Would it not be quite hard to abuse a kid who could turn you into a frog?
- Had the Boggart turned into Abusive Parents, Lupin would have probably jump in front of the kid as he did with Harry in the film. He's a teacher, he probably considered the possibility of someone failing to perform the riddikulus charm. I mean, his concern wasn't even Harry, he though that if Harry made the boggart turn into Voldemort, it would have scared the rest of the class. An abusive parent would have scared the one who was in front of the boggart, and they probably had the option to reject to have their greatest fear exposed, anyway. Also, come on, at this point, Harry has seen Voldemort -the guy who murdered his parents- thrice (once as a deformed human being, once as Body Horror and once as a life-sucking phantom), add to that all the challenges he had to face in The Philosopher's Stone, Aragog and the Basilisk, the Dementors and his own less than perfect childhood. Abusive Parents or not, Harry has the most backstory among those kids, and he's the only one whom Lupin actually knows about.
- Still doesn't quite explain away the 'exposed to your classmates' angle, and also the abusive parents sort of fear. Even a little kid would conjure up that image. My only additional point was to wonder what a Boggart would do with a more abstract fear, like a fear of having your eyes put out or losing a limb. Would it just recreate an image of you, but missing the appropriate body parts? Molly's fear is of the death of people she cares about, but what about people with a fear of death as an abstract concept? JK's explanation that Voldie would see an image of his own dead body falls a little flat for me.
- It would probably be different for every person. Voldemort, with all of his ego and dramatics, would probably find the image of him being dead frightening. Other people, they might simply see the Boggart as something killing them. If someone is afraid of being buried alive, the Boggart might envelop them and turn into a coffin. Someone who's afraid of getting their eyes ripped out might see an image of them getting their eyes ripped out, or the boggart might turn into someone with a knife pointed at their eyes. It depends on what would scare the person the most, I suppose.
- If Lupin is to be taken literally, then Harry's worst fear is an abstract thing: fear itself. If that's the case, than it's been shown in the book how boggarts deal with an abstract fear.
- This troper was likewise bothered that almost everyone's "greatest fear" is really a mere phobia. Molly's makes sense, and perhaps also Lupin's (although wouldn't he be conditioned to the full moon by now, and doesn't the wolfsbane potion make it far less scary?) But just because Ron is an arachnophobe doesn't make it plausibly his greatest fear. If I had to take a stab at it, I would imagine that it would involve something like the inverse of the glory the Mirror of Erised showed him, some moment of unspeakable and terrifying shame, like publicly allowing Harry and/or Hermione to die. That's the sort of thing people fear in the back of their minds. Ron doesn't faint or run from spiders, they just freak him out a lot. So maybe boggarts don't actually reveal a person's greatest fear so much as the scariest thing they've had to think about lately. Ergo, Dementors for Harry and the moon for Lupin, rather than the things that ultimately make those things scary for them: reliving the death of one's parents, becoming a monster that could slaughter innocent people. (And for Ron, spiders are really a shameful reminder of his place in the family hierarchy.)
- This, mostly. The Boggart doesn't actually delve deeply into your mind to know what, exactly, would terrify you the absolute most, it just skims your brain a bit to find out what you're thinking about being afraid of. Or at least, that's how I always thought of it. Ron has a phobia of spiders, they were on his mind, ergo the Boggart turned into a spider for him. If the Boggart had turned into, say, both of Ron's parents with spiders pouring out of their eyes as they screamed at him he was a waste of a son and blood pouring from every orifice, that would probably scare Ron more than just one big spider the likes of which he'd already dealt with, but that wasn't what he was thinking of at the time.
- Of course, you're supposed to make it funny, which may have been a little difficult if it did turn into something of your description. Also, despite the name, arachnophobia is not technically a phobia.
- Also... What? Spiders are a reminder of his place in the family hierarchy? Why would you assume this? Considering that more people are scared of spiders than any other animal (Even more than snakes). As for personal encounters, well... I am not entirely sure how much it would help me get over my own arachnophobia if a Giant Spider leaped out of nowhere and began strangling me trying to eat me.
- No, being reminded of his insignificance is his greatest fear, as demonstrated by the Slytherin Locket in Deathy Hallows. Actually, now that I think of it, Ron should've encounter the exact problem that the OP raised: Boggart in front of him should've turned into an image of his brothers sneering at him and telling everybody how worthless and stupid he is, Harry and Hermione calling him The Load, or, even worse, his parents denouncing him in favour of Harry. Thank goodness Rowling copped out on this one!
- Spiders remind of his place because it was his older brothers using a spider to bully him that brought about Ron's fear of spiders. If they had used, say, a horny toad, that might end up being it, or maybe not because as said, not as many people are afraid of them as spiders, but they still wouldn't scare Ron as much otherwise. Trauma works like that.
- Face it: Boggarts just don't seem to have much imagination. They go for the obvious scare, not necessarily the one that's grounded deepest in an intended victim's psychological hang-ups. The fact that they're rather easily confused suggests that they aren't clever enough to come up with the sort of intricate, custom-fitted imagery people are suggesting here.
- Maybe Boggarts are just conscious of their own limitations. Seeing a spider or a disembodied hand may be more immediately frightening to someone than seeing one of their loved ones dead. The first kind of scare is threatening and provokes more of an immediate panic response. The second kind is just sort of upsetting. It might keep you up at night, and it would scare you more if it really happened, but seeing a thing that's basically a spooky animal imitating it doesn't have the same sort of shock value. There might also be an Adult Fear element: adults like Molly Weasley have life experience that makes them vulnerable to a more personal, psychological Boggart form, because they know how they'd feel in that situation. For instance, Molly's brothers died, so she probably knows how she felt when that happened. Most thirteen-year-olds have never felt those sorts of emotions, so they won't experience them in a fake scenario. So, basically, what would scare you the most if it really, actually happened for real in real life isn't always the same as what would scare you in a simulated situation, and maybe Boggarts are just about clever enough to know that.
- I think the last few points all come to one point: A Boggart is is a jump-scare incarnate. They don't show am image of your "deepest fear", they actually show an image of what will - upon a random and unexpected encounter - frighten you the most. The idea is that you open up a cupboard some time, and out leaps exactly what you would reply to the question "what is the worst thing that could be in that cupboard." Ultimately, the Boggart is taking a cheap-shot.
- If you think about it, it's a great defense mechanism, playing on your fight-or-flight responses. It's not about making you face your own shortcomings and insecurities, no matter what the fanfictions say- that's just stupid. Why don't they just use the Boggarts as shrinks in that case? No, the Boggarts scan your mind for the thing that will make you freeze up in terror- I, for one, totally freeze up at spiders. While the prey is frozen with terror, the Boggart gets lunch.
- Just how powerful is a boggart? A boggart impersonating a Dementor gains its power to suck the heat and happiness from a person and show them their worst memories; enough to knock out Harry like a real one. It doesn't turn Lupin into a werewolf, however. Does that mean that Ron would have been poisoned by the spider if it bit him? And what if it faced somebody who feared black holes above all else?
- The damage a Boggart does is completely psychological. Someone who fears Dementors would only imagine their happiness was being sucked away by a boggart taking the form of one. Just like a claustrophobe isn't really suffocating in a small space; they just believe they are. Once the person being victimized by a boggart realizes this, s/he can say "Riddikulus!" and banish it with a flick of a wand.
- It's possible that they know full well that abusive parents may appear and are hoping for it. It gets said parents exposed and then the school can intervene as necessary. That may not be how it works in our world but wizard world has it's own rules.
- Yeah. like they intervened when Dursleys abused Harry! Oh, wait...
- Nothing could be done in that specific situation. Harry HAD to stay with them for the magical protection and they weren't going to change who they were. Any attempt to force the subject would have required either a constant wizard or witch on guard in the house (unlikely and likely a violation of a few wizard laws at that) or the attempt of threats or even positive enforcement which would just make the Dursleys become even worse to Harry once they were gone for bringing more 'freaks' and their magic into their homes. It's a unique situation born of necessity. I think we can all agree the Weasley's would have taken him in as early as his second year if they'd been allowed.
- Not speaking from experience here, but I still would not want everyone in my class to know if my parents used to abuse me in any way, even if that means my teacher would go and kick their ass.
- One thing that the movie actually improved upon: Harry steps in-front of the boggart during DADA and is quickly overwhelmed by its Dementor form, which causes Lupin to quickly jump in-front of him. In the book, Lupin wilfully approaches the boggart and it takes the form of the full moon, giving away a major clue that he's a werewolf, something that is in-fact frowned-upon by most of the wizarding world.
- In his defence, he was doing it in front of a bunch of dumb kids, most of whom cannot make a logical conclusion to save their life, unless it blows a trumpet and waves a banner with huge neon letters at them. Besides, in the book, the boggart didn't look so explicitely moony - it was just a "shining ball".
- Of course, later in the movie, they retain the book's line that he did it because he worried it would become Voldemort. So even while the original change made a bit more sense, the overall result is much more convoluted.
- Hum, i think he may have talked to DD before to ensure no one with such abusive father/mother or such psychological problem, heck, even a disturbed childhood was to face the Boggart, but who knows?
- This troper always presumed that Lupin just used a weaker Boggart that couldn't make a person's very worst ever fear. I know this theory falls flat with Harry and Lupin, but as I recall most of the other things the Boggart did were significantly less than what the Boggart did with eh dead Weasley's being shown.
- The "weaker Boggart" theory makes a lot of sense- either that, or that it shows you your "greatest fear" is an exaggeration. Because honestly, who would be more scared of a spider or a snake than, say, a serial killer murdering your entire family, or getting burned alive, and other Fridge Horrors for the entire family to enjoy? J.K. does, though, have a bit of a problem with downgrading the severity of different situations; kids being shown their worst fears? Played for laughs! The crucio curse driving people insane? An abomination! Not saying they're equally awful in real life, just that she tends to flip-flop on what's supposed to be dark and emotionally taxing.
- Maybe I have a dark sense of humor but, showing little kids their worst fears (as in simple phobias) it is funny, and not at the same level as torturing someone to madness. Especially when the kids are more than capable to overcome their fears by facing them (which is an accepted type of therapy, by the way, it’s call Systematic desensitization therapy). Whether abused kids would see their parents (I guess a victim of sexual abuse would see the father saying something like “hey little girl, come here” or a victim of physical abuse see the mother with a belt ready to beat-them up or something like that) I think you’re confusing fears with traumas. As said before, the Boggart is not that intelligent life form, it seems not to have the basic understanding of such complex feelings, emotions and social interaction. It’s a basic creature, like an animal, that uses the most basic primal fear the person’s have, not Sigmund Freud.
- The boggart actually makes Harry see and hear more of what exactly happened to his parents, continuing what the real dementors started, in addition to the heat and darkness sapping. However, the boggart also isn't capable of flight/gliding, as it "stumbles" when trying to get away from a patronus. So, uh, boggarts are weaker than dementors? I'm guessing they specialize in duplicating the things something did or does to scare, so it can alter the environment and push out feelings like a dementor, but can't actually take a soul in the same way it happens to be ground bound. That the boggart looks like a silvery orb in front of Lupin shows that it's having trouble duplicating the sunlight reflection through atmosphere affect, otherwise it would look orange, yellow or white.
- Something's that always bothered me about Bogarts is the whole Ridikulus spell. The spell is shown as a "make things funny" spell, but the way it's shown in the books and movies, it seems that the spell allows you to impose your will on a living sentient creature, to change both it's form and it's actions. So is the spell like a combination of Imperius and transfiguration, or is the spell somehow limited to only funny things?
- Presumably, the Ridikulus spell is limited to Bogarts. The Bogart is reading your mind, trying to dig out your worst fear. The Ridikulus spell basically forces it to take the one that makes you laugh instead. It's not the first time that a spell was created just to deal with a single threat, after all. (Expecto Patronum for the Dementors)
- I don't think Expecto Patronum is a spell SPECIFICALLY created to deal with Dementors. It seemed to work to many Dark creatures like a Lethifold.
- Expecto Patronum actually WAS designed specifically with driving away Dementors in mind, as far as I know(Lupin says a patronus is an anti demontor). Driving off Lethifolds simply happens to be a coincidental extra use. Dementors are more common than Lethifolds are anyway, and so it's much more likely that the spell was designed with the former in mind, rather than the latter.
- On a related note, how does size impact a bogart? My biggest phobia would probably be being stuck in a watertank with a giant whale (I know, its a weird one). Considering the giant size is part of the reason why I'm scared (unlike the moon for Lupin), it would have to imitate that or it'd be adorable. The fight is done in a relatively small classroom. What happens if one of the students in that situation had a similar phobia? Would everyone have been squashed against the wall due to a massive whale (Or similar giant creature) suddenly growing?
- Hm...maybe the boggart would cast a kind of illusion, making it seem to you as if you were trapped in a tank with a giant whale, but you wouldn't actually be trapped, because the boggart knows that it might bust through the walls if it tried to actually become a whale. (Heck, maybe all boggarts are doing is casting an illusion. Maybe it's not really transforming; it looks like it to Harry, but is it really?) Also, can I just say that until this moment I thought I was the only one afraid of giant whales...and whale sharks...I know they won't hurt you, but the hugeness is just...gah.
- Well we know they can't become as big as the moon, so there is some size limit.
- Furthermore, what if somebody else also happened to be deathly afraid of Voldemort? He is pretty much the most powerful dark wizard ever, and everything... Besides, who's to say that it wouldn't turn into anything else overly dangerous, like, oh, a basilisk or something?
- Lupin didn't know if anyone else would have a deathly fear of Voldemort, therefore he didn't prevent them from participating. All the kids there have never even seen Voldemort or remember his reign of terror, while Harry has personally encountered him just two years ago. As for other dangerous creatures, both a banshee, an acromantula, and, in the movie, a giant cobra (does that count as a basilisk?) were summoned and yet the kids could handle them fine.
- Seeing how nearly everyone in the Wizard world, children included, are too afraid of Voldemort to even say his name, I would say it's a given that children are taught to fear him.
- Getting back to an earlier question: how powerful is a boggart? One of them was able to render Harry unconscious by taking the form of a dementor. Does this mean that a boggart taking the form of a cobra or basilisk assumes the abilities of said snake?
- Boggarts don't get all of the dementor powers, presumably spider and snake boggart get just enough traits to be scary to their target but might lack something like precises reflexes used in hunting.
- Lupin didn't know if anyone else would have a deathly fear of Voldemort, therefore he didn't prevent them from participating. All the kids there have never even seen Voldemort or remember his reign of terror, while Harry has personally encountered him just two years ago. As for other dangerous creatures, both a banshee, an acromantula, and, in the movie, a giant cobra (does that count as a basilisk?) were summoned and yet the kids could handle them fine.
Harry and Ron's treatment of Hermione.
- Harry and Ron's treatment of Hermione. In the last book, she literally almost died. She was in, for lack of a better word, a coma for months. The two things that cause her friends to turn on her were that: She argued there was no absolute proof her cat ate Ron's rat, which was true but did disregard his feelings, and that she tried to protect Harry by getting his broom confiscated, which as someone else pointed out wouldn't have been so bad if she had, at least, tried to talk to him about her fears, first. The fact they were angry doesn't bother me. The fact they saw the person who they had once saved, who had helped them twice save the school, who had been turned into stone for months, mentally falling apart and still kept their grudge does. Harry forgives her but refuses to have much to do with her due to his loyalty towards Ron, and Ron forgives her after he receives the apology he wanted. Even when he told her that they'd help her with the appeal, that wasn't forgiveness; that was him caring about Hagrid and feeling righteous anger towards Draco Malfoy. When she hugged him and broke down, explicitly saying she was sorry, he, then, said something to the effect of it being alright. And I don't recall either ever apologising for their overreaction to her mistakes. Pointing out a logical fact and trying to protect a person in a misguided, though harmless, way is better than shunning a person who is obviously in an emotionally frail place, especially if there's such an intense history with that person.
- I have problems with that too. She was the most responsible and reasonable of the three in this book - heck, in all the books - but more than half the time she's utterly disregarded, treated as "too fussy" and "worrisome" - there's also the scene where she's telling Harry not to sneak into Hogsmeade, and Harry and Ron yell at her. What the hell! She's reminding them that there's a sociopath on the loose and after Harry specifically (of course this isn't actually true but everyone thought so at the time) and they get mad at her for thinking things through and being thoughtful!
- Yes, heaven forbid a series have flawed protagonists. That just might lead to (gasp!) Conflict. Really, what was Rowling thinking with this whole "not making everyone a Mary Sue" thing?
- I acknowledged they had a legitimate reason to be angry. I don't even have a real problem with their treatment of her, at first. But Harry, the POV character, never had so much of a paragraph where he remembers that his best friend was in turned to stone for several months and remembers how horrible that was and how relieved he was to have her back after the fights begin. He and Ron never had a true discussion about how Hermione is showing visible signs of mentally unravelling; perhaps they could've argued about whether they should forgive her, or perhaps they could have acknowledged that they both wanted to make things right with her but didn't know how to make the first move. There could still be conflict without it seeming as if they never almost lost their best friend to death and as if they didn't particularly care that she was close to a mental breakdown. The most the reader gets is Harry having a strained conversation where he asks her if she's still supporting him despite his lack of support for her and trying to get her to acknowledge that Ron is right, only blithely acknowledging how broken she comes across in that scene.
- I apologize if you thought my comment was about your legitimate original post. I was responding to the self-righteous, why-isn't-everyone-perfect whining of the first reply.
- I think it should be noted that they're 13 year old boys almost completely oblivious to emotions so it's not that crazy to think that they would react like they did.
- Maybe neither of them could tell the difference between over emotional and falling apart. Its subtle and someone who is falling apart would try to keep themselves composed. On top of that their fight never was meant to go on as long as it did and so neither Ron nor Harry thought it would do enough damage to her emotions that they would be in danger of actually losing her like before. It was a stupid fight that would end when she apologized not a friendship ending one. Surly if she had been hospitalized and real danger was perceived they would have the forgot about the fight for her sake.
- They're thirteen years old. At that age you think your parents are the most vile rotten people in the world simply for grounding you. Hermione started avoiding them. They were still mad at her at the time and admittedly the way she went behind their backs was pretty uncool. She never thought of talking it out with them before going to tell? It's Harry's property so she should have at least respected him enough to give him some say. They felt she was in the wrong and wanted her to apologise to them. And she was too proud and stubborn to do so. Notice how when Harry gets the Firebolt back he goes up to her and he's giving her the opportunity to apologise. And again when it looks like Crookshanks ate Scabbers, Hermione initiates the separation. She loses her temper with Harry when he says his opinion that the evidence pointed to that. She jumps down his throat and yells at him for "siding with Ron". He could have been trying to patch things up but she didn't want to listen.
- It should also be noted, however, that Hermione isn't innocent. She is hiding the fact that she has a time travel device that she's using to be in all classes, which itself is taxing her, but she doesn't want to admit it. Crookshanks' first act in the story was chasing Scabbers, and when Ron finds his bed covered in fur and blood, the LOGIC explanation is that her cat(Since she's the only one who has a cat in Gryffindor, and they never say anything of Ms. Norris hunting Scabbers or entering their common room) did it, and she blatantly refuses to accept it, not to mention she fact she doesn't once entertain the idea of maybe, just maybe, using her time turner to try and save Scabbers(And that would lead her to find him biting himself; maybe not discover he's Pettigrew, but certainly find there's something odd about Scabbers)! While she has a point at worrying about the Firebolt, she'd rather run to a teacher than first talking with Harry; if Harry had been a numbskull and ignored her advice, THEN she'd have an excuse to go running to Prof. McGonagall, but as it stands, she simply didn't trust Harry the same way he trusts her with almost everything (If anything, that's what always pissed me off with Hermione on that part; seriously, Ron might be a bit of a ditz, but Harry is smart enough to hear to Hermione's advice, so her acting like she can't trust him is EXACTLY like the Order of Phoenix', and is such Fridge Logic my brain hurts with Snarl) But Hermione, through the series, has a really bad case of thinking she's the smartest cookie in the pot, that she's always right by default and that she has the responsibility or the right of making everyone act correctly; it's a trait that's been present ever since the first book(i.e. Her trying to reprimand Harry for getting the Nimbus 2000 by breaking the rules). Hermione, funnily enough, can be a meta-example of Gryffindor's negative traits without making her The Bully or The Scrappy like Cormac McLaggen and Romilda Vane; arrogance, recklessness, short-temper, self-righteousness(Seriously, even if she's a Book Worm, she acts like she's a freaking prefect). So while Harry and Ron may have been Jerkish towards her, she is not The Woobie being mistreated by her ungrateful friends, but is also the reason why they're being Jerk by being a Jerk herself.
- While I agree that Hermione was in the wrong sometimes (like with the Firebolt), it seems like you're being a bit unfair with the time-turner bit. First of all, Hermione DOES have an excuse for not telling Harry and Ron about the time-turner: She was specifically told by McGonagall not to tell anyone about it. She was just following the rules and that's pretty understandable. McGonagall was said to have had great difficulty in getting Hermione the device, so it makes sense as to why Hermione didn't want to break the rules. Also, as trustworthy as Ron and Harry can be, they are children and children tend to speak before they think. It wouldn't be a stretch to assume that at some point, news about Hermione having a time-turner would slip, and soon there'd be students wanting it/one for themselves, like Draco, for example. (And maybe not just students! I mean, imagine if Pettigrew found out that a thirteen-year-old girl had a time-turner who lived in the same building as him? It'd be pretty tempting, even for him.) Also, another one of the rules, I'm pretty sure, is that she should only use it for her classes and no other reason unless she has specific permission. At the time, Ron's rat wasn't really worth going back in time for, especially when she doesn't even know the exact time it happened. After all, messing with time can be pretty dangerous. (Plus, god forbid a thirteen-year-old girl have flaws and problems.)
- And the Aesop of this particular section was that all three of them were in the wrong. Harry and Ron were wrong to shun their friend completely, while Hermione was wrong to play the victim and rebuff them. Hence why it matters more when she swallows her pride after Buckbeak is sentenced to death, and the other two follow suit.
Best friend ever, worst teacher ever.
- Okay, this is admittedly based on the film, but, what the hell was Dumbledore smoking when he made Hagrid a teacher? Hagrid is a nice bloke and really loves magical creatures, but he is complete pants at teaching. If a competent teacher had been placed in charge of magic beasts, then Buckbeak would never have even been in danger (nor any of the kids; honestly, it was lucky it was just Draco that got hurt, due to his being the Designated Monkey).
- I don't see how this doesn't also apply to the book, but in either version, Malfoy only got attacked because he didn't follow Hagrid's instructions. Hagrid warned them to approach hippogriffs in just the right way and to not insult them.
- Well, it could apply to the book, but I have only seen the film. Anyways, a good teacher, or a decent teacher, or heck, even just a competent teacher would have gone over the theory at length and made it very clear that the hippogriff was a dangerous creature, and taken measures to ensure that if the kids did something dumb (i.e. being kids), then they wouldn't get hurt. Not just said it was dangerous, then proceeded to plonk a student on its back and sent them off for a nice little jaunt. That kinda undermined the whole "dangerous" thing and replaced it with "can do this really cool thing", so it's amazing that it was only the blond ponce that decided to go pet it after that. Dumbledore knows Hagrid has always had problems treating dangerous animals too casually, and yet he puts him in a position where he can encourage others to be equally casual with deadly beasts. Accident waiting to happen.
- Well, the "only Malfoy approaching" part was just the movie. In the book, there were a bunch of Hippogriffs, and after Harry approached Buckbeak and showed that hippogriffs are safe if approached carefully, the other students all gathered around the other Hippogriffs. Malfoy's was the only injury because he was too arrogant to pay attention to the lesson.
- That's just Hogwarts. It's a dangerous place full of eccentric professors because a series about a safe school with normal teachers wouldn't be as fun.
- Just remember, they are all actually wizards, and what may be a pretty serious injury to us may just be a scratch in the wizarding world. They do have blood replenishing potions, skeleton growth potions, etc., etc.
- Yeah, in the book they point out that Madam Pomfrey healed the wound pretty much instantly. Draco is just whining and making a huge deal out of it for attention and to get Hagrid fired.
- Hagrid isn't actually that bad a teacher. He said very explicitly "do not disrespect Hippogriffs, they will kick your ass." The only time he really effed up as the Magical Creatures professor was with the Skrewts, but if you remember his Thestral lesson, he seemed perfectly alright until Umbridge showed up.
- Exactly. Go into a chemistry class, listen to the teacher say, "OK, there's some nasty stuff in here, be careful", watch someone perform an experiment successfully, then stroll up to a vial of concentrated hydrochloric acid, say "You aren't dangerous at all, are you?", then drink it. Should the teacher be punished for your idiocy?
- He will be. He's responsible for you, while you're in his class. Why do you think is Snape so intolerant to klutzes?
- But realistically, what else could the teacher have done? Not let them work with HCl? It's the same logic here. In a lot of classes, things can get dangerous (and have in the past - Neville fainted during Herbology, it's a miracle no one got injured in the first year when they were all left alone with their broomsticks [and Neville DID get hurt], Dueling Club got out of hand fast even with Snape presiding), so I assume there's quite an emphasis made on following directions.
- With this particular case? Probably not so much. But chemistry classes don't start with unsupervised experiments with concentrated acids. If I recall correctly, we didn't touch anything worse than soda solutions for several months after we started lab practice. And that's what a good teacher, or a decent teacher, or heck, even just a competent teacher does: he starts with safe stuff and does it in a controlled environement, where he can quickly intervene and prevent any mishap. That would allow him to get to know his students, and learn who can and who cannot be trusted with nastier stuff. In short, that's what Lupin did.
- There have been hints (such as an anecdote in Beedle The Bard) that Hagrid's predecessor made Hagrid look tame and cautious by comparison. A good case can be argued that anyone willing to teach a subject like Care of Magical Creatures has to have a different definition of "dangerous" than most other people.
- Hagrid's predecessor, Kettleburn, had gotten into probation for, like, sixty times due to his reckless actions. Make that of what you will.
- I make of it that Hogwarts' HR department is staffed by monkeys.
- Hagrid has been at Hogwarts for about fifty or so years. He's been acting as game keeper and knows the forest inside and out (to an extent) so he's quite well versed in the various creatures. And being a half-giant he's very well qualified to defend students against creatures that might get violent. Hagrid does know his stuff and it's unreasonable to not expect one or two hiccups in his first year as a teacher. People miss the point that Hagrid was very clear with the class about what not to do: don't insult a hippogriff and be careful. People are also forgetting that they have a matron on staff who can heal most wounds in an instant. Malfoy's arm was fixed in a minute and there's no mention of any serious injuries in class.
- Uhuh, so well versed in fact, that he was surpised when the swarm of huge man eating spiders he bred turned on him the moment Aragog died, and that was after they'd nearly devoured two kids he sent to them. And what exactly are you saying, that it's ok if children get hurt from their teacher's glaring incompetence (see the chemistry analogy above, "was very clear" my posterior), as long as they can be quickly restored? Well, I'm sure Madam Pomfry could've easily healed Harry's scars Umbridge caused him if he'd bothered to ask, so I guess her "punishment" wasn't that bad?
- And remember when Grubbly Plank subs for Hagrid? Their very first lesson, she shows them unicorns. So Hagrid isn't the only COMC teacher who has no problem with showing them a creature up front before they've read about it.
- Yes, a safe creature. Which is what a good (or just, you know, a sane) teacher does. They understand the difference.
- The Hippogriffs are potentially dangerous, yes but as mentioned, Hagrid did clearly tell everyone NOT to insult a Hippogriff and how to approach them. He showed them all how to handle them with Harrys help and when it looked like Buckbeak would dislike Harry, he said Harry to go back carefully. The whole lesson was a sucess untill Malfoy screwed up on purpose. And if you take into account wich kind of creature Hagrid normally likes (Norbert, Fluffy, Aragog), Hippogriffs as a start where outright harmless. And in case of emergency Hagrid would have been able to protect the students if a Hippogriff started to act strange.
- The fact that the Hippogriffs are potentially dangerous is what showcases how bad Hagrid is at his job as a teacher. As mentioned above, he could have started out with harmless creatures and moved up to dangerous ones as time went by, all the while checking his students out to see who are the more qualified ones to deal with dangerous creatures further on. The Hippogriffs can be friendly, and Malfoy got hurt because either he was too smug and stupid or it was his plan all along to get Hagrid in trouble, and it was less likely he could have gotten hurt with harmless creatures, plus there is nothing to say that less confident students, such as Neville, wouldn't have been afraid and panicked and in said panic offend the Hippogriffs. It was also stated that his substitute, Grubblyplank, gave more proper lessons and that all the students enjoyed her lessons, with the exception of Harry, Ron and Hermione, and they only disliked them due to loyalty to Hagrid. And from here and in following years, they even show that while Grubblyplank still gives proper lessons whenever she subs for Hagrid, Hagrid eventually also gives lessons with harmless creatures but he's basically going through the motions and is clearly not into them because he finds harmless creatures boring, just helping to further showcase how terrible he is as a teacher that he only wants to give classes with dangerous creatures that can and do harm the students.
- Exactly. The equivalent would've been a driving teacher "very thoroughly" explaining to his first-time students the details of extreme driving... and then shoving them into a live race track. Because you see, he's a speed maniac and he finds all that baby-step drudgery on the stage boring. Or, in the show's term, skipping all that Boggart nonsense and inviting an ''actual' Dementor to help train Harry cast the Patronus spell.
- I've always had the impression that Hagrid, being half-giant, is a bit more durable than the average third-year, hence why he has no problem with playing with monster spiders and dragons like puppies, and has a hard time understanding the danger we frail mortals are in. No one is saying that Hagrid doesn't know his stuff- on the contrary, he's perfectly qualified to tame hippogriffs and take care of dragons. Teaching others how to do it? Heck no. Bring it back to the Chemistry Teacher analogy: just because you can work in a lab setting and make marvelous scientific breakthroughs does not necessarily make you qualified to teach chemistry to High Schoolers; along with proper knowledge of chemistry, a proper teacher would need the skills to put together a curriculum, make sure the students are doing things safely, and knowing how to keep order in the classroom. Hagrid has essentially handed the strong acids to twelve-year-olds without much more safety instruction than "don't spill it".
- So you really read the books or watch the movies? Snape’s Potions class have several students burn by explosions, Hooch’s class has first graders flying around in brooms over hundreds of meters, not to mention Quiditch is the school’s favorite game and is pretty dangerous even for the audience, Neville almost die during one of Sprout’s herbology clasess, Lupin in DADA has the kids fighting a living shape-shifter monster. Really, Hagrid seem to be actually one of the most responsible teachers in comparison and maybe the one that care for the student’s safety the most (especially compare with Snape). Is a magic school! very dangerous in general, actually Hagrid’s class seem to be one of the least dangerous all things considered.
- The only time I recall anyone burned in Snape's class was when Harry blew up the potion as a diversion for Hermie to steal the ingredients (Our hero, everyone, throwig acid in his classmates' faces to pull a heist). Hooch's class and Quidditch are yet more examples of glaring idiocy and lack of proper safety technique. "Neville almost die..." When was that? If I remember correct, the worst he had was fainting. "Lupin has the kids fighting a shape-shifter monster" What? You mean boggart? You do know that, aside from scaring, it's completely harmless, right?
- Fine, but then again a hippogriff does not seems to be more dangerous than a regular horse or an ox, many schools in the world have classes involving large animals, here in my country we have especial schools that teach farming and have teens dealing with bulls and cows and the like (I'm pretty sure other countries must have that too), also I'm sure horse riding is a class in many British boarding schools. So what's the big deal? Even for real-world standards handling large mammals similar to hippogriffs in high schools is not unheard off, for such a dangerous school like a magical school [where the nurse can re-growth bones, mind you] it's probably even less of a worry.
- That's some pretty hardcore schools you have there)). I honestly have never seen or heard of anything like that, so I'll take your word for it. But tell me this. Would those schools have their 13-year old students handle an adult ox or horse on their first class? Or would they maybe start with chickens, bunnies and like, then move to calves and only then to adult cattle? The same with riding lessons. Do they usually start with ponies or unbroken mustangs? The point is, nobody here has a problem with presence of dangerous animals per se - it goes with the subject, we get. But the handling was completely backwards and unpofessional. Nor was it Hagrid's only or worst failure, mind you. After the Hippogrif incident he instantly falls apart and wastes the rest of the year on some stupid worms. So, what, he didn't have a prepared and approved curriculum, and DD just gave him, a rookie teacher, a carte-blanche to teach whatever he wants however he wants? And the next year he drags students into his unholy monster breeding experiments. Still "no big deal"? And then there was Grawp. And before that there'd been Norbert. And before that - the Acromantula. All clear indications that Hagrid has very serious issues, and he should not be allowed to bring children and animals together anymore then a pyromaniac should be allowed to arrange fireworks at a birthday party. In other words, Hagrid is Bob Belcher of education. He's got passion and affinity, but sorely lacks everything else - discipline, pedagogic skills, academic knowledge and mental capacity. Hell, his own students, including the clearly biased Trio, disown him as their teacher, do we really need to say more?
- But again, things in context. We are talking of a school that has 13 year old been teach how to fly and how to make potions that can actually change the shape of your body or explode if they're not done right. It will be like asking if will be ok for a school to have kids learning how to use a jetpack to fly around isn't it?
- Snape once told the students they had to make an antidote because he was going to poison them soon, he's not a good teacher, which is shown when the average students who struggle in his class suddenly start getting average marks the moment they are under the instruction of someone else...but that doesn't necessarily make Hagrid good. The school has disappearing steps in its stair cases which could easily lead to broke arms or ankles, its inherently dangerous...but that still doesn't mean starting with Hipogryphs was the correct way to go about it. Hagrid was told what exactly what he had did wrong even though Draco Malfoy's injury really was his own fault. The bewildering thing is that it really should have ended at that. "You had a dumb kid in your class, this is how you organize a curriculum if you want to keep dumb kids from getting hurt, do this next time." There was no reason to execute the hippogriph once it was established it could still be safely handled when approached correctly.
Dress code? What dress code?
- This is also from the film version, but I really was horrified at the fact that nearly every single student had their shirt untucked during the Care of Magical Creatures class. It looked sloppy and awful, and I would have expected better of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardty. I would not have thought that students would be able to wear their uniforms so poorly without getting reprimanded at such a place as Hogwarts. Even worse, Hermione was one of the untucked ones. I would most certainly have expected better from her.
- Maybe they thought Care of Magical Creatures would be more informal than their other classes because it's, you know, Hagrid. Also, it was near the end of summer, so maybe the weather was still warm.
- Extreme Values Dissonance here for American viewers, most of whom don't give a damn.
- In-universe, no idea, but maybe the producers thought it would be a good way to symbolise entering puberty, which is intimately linked with rebelliousness.
- In the fifth movie, trying to combat this was associated with Umbridge's reign. Basically, Hogwarts is like a traditional British boarding school in the same way that Starfleet is like the military. Just go with it.
- IIRC, one of the directors outright told the cast "Wear the uniforms how you would ordinarily wear them." Without more direction than that, I suspect we may have would up seeing more of the actors showing through than the characters.
- That makes sense. I go to a school where we have to wear a dress code a bit similar to theirs. If my class had a lesson outside with nice weather we'd be untucking our shirts and undoing a button or two. I felt that how they wore their uniforms at all times durring the movie was realistic.
- Dude, you should have seen the school ''I'' went to...
Wormtail - The TRUE Dark Lord!
- Speaking of the Muggle massacre Sirius had got accused of. How did a nincompoop like Pettigrew manage such a powerful spell, and, more importantly, why don't we ever see this "magic hand grenade" used later, except maybe for the time Fred got killed in DH? You'd think that in a massive battle, it would be even more effective than Avada Kedavra.
- I always figured that Pettigrew was rather more talented than he let on (after all, he did manage the animagus transformation, which is supposed to be insanely advanced magic and can't have been easy even with help from James and Sirius); being the quintessential Dirty Coward, though, he'd want to make himself look as harmless as possible unless backed into a corner. As for why nobody else used it, I'd imagine something like that would be a bit hard to aim and could just as easily take out your allies as your enemies.
- Well, Pettigrew managed to aim it precisely enough to make it look like he was blasted, yet not actually harm himself.
- If it was exploding outwards from behind him (how I always imagined the scene, what with the "wand behind his back" reference), there's no reason it would hit him, and it would also make it look like Sirius just indiscriminately blasted everything in front of him.
- Or perhaps he has really good reflexes and was relying on turning into a rat just before the blast, so the blast would hit where his head would have been if it weren't all of a sudden much smaller and lower to the ground. He was, after all, in a very desperate situation — if he didn't get away, it was virtually certain that either Sirius would kill him or he'd be taken to Azkaban for the rest of his life — so it's conceivable that he'd be willing to take the risk.
- I just figured that he legitimately hit a gas main with his spell, causing it to explode. It would be ironic, at least — that the fake story fed to the muggle press was the version of events closest to the truth.
- My impression was if Pettigrew could pull off a spell like that but be considered "talent less" by Black, that Pettigrew could commit manslaughter of that magnitude but opted to run from Black and spend nine years in hiding, then Black and everyone else he's hiding from must be really hardcore(a little disappointing only a few Death Eaters lived up to the hype)
The Trouble With Time-Turners 8: The Quest for Peace
- It just bugs me that the Time Turner was given to Hermione just so she could take extra classes. Wouldn't it make more sense to give it to Harry in case of an emergency? Furthermore, there must be more simple ways to take extra classes. The teachers could've come up with something less extreme.
- Give a time machine directly to an Idiot Hero? Believe me, sooner or later, you WILL end up with a universe-destroying time paradox. The way they did it was pretty smart actually - the TT was within reach, yet in possession of someone with a working brain.
Lawyers? Even the Ministry Has STANDARDS!
- Why would the Trio have to help Hagrid with the trial of Buckbeak? They know nothing about the law — couldn't Hogwarts spring for a lawyer? Why didn't Dumbledore or one of the other professors help? And why was Hagrid required to speak in the defence — he doesn't own Buckbeak, Hogwarts does — Dumbledore or one of the governors should have.
- Well, D does get Hagrid himself off the hook, doesn't he? Apparently, that's the best he could do.
- The Wizarding World doesn't seem too keen on defence attorneys. Harry doesn't get one in Book 5, DD has to basically force his way into the hearing. None of the Death Eaters shown in flashbacks seem to have them either.
- Yeah, the main problem is that we don't really know how the Wizarding Justice System works, especially when it comes to magical creatures. Hagrid might have just been an advocate for Buckbeak, or a character witness. We also don't know that no one else tried to help Hagrid, or if he even asked anyone for help. One or more of the other teachers might have lent a hand when they had a free minute, but they probably weren't too terribly concerned about the fate of one hippogriff. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if Hagrid demanded to be the one to defend Buckbeak over Dumbledore or any of the Governors. Hell, the Governors probably would've said "It attacked a student? Let it hang."
- You'd think that, since the Wizarding Justice System became such a major point in the later books, J.K. would have at least attempted to explain how their laws and government work, you know, beyond, "There's a minister of magic, and he's a useless, power-hungry bureaucrat".
- Yes, having a complex legal system explained in detail it’s a perfect idea for a children’s book
Has Scabbers outsmarted the Map?
- How come Fred and George didn't notice Peter Pettigrew being on the map? Since they'd been there longer, you would think that they would know more names of people in the school than Harry would, so they might know quicker that it wasn't anyone who attended, right?
- It's not like being at Hogwarts a particularly long time makes you familiar with every single student. At the start of his fifth year, Harry had never met Luna Lovegood, even though she had been attending since his second year. If you saw a perfectly ordinary name on the Marauder's Map, would you assume it was a student you hadn't met or an Animagus Death Eater in hiding?
- Also, the map is big. Unless Peter happened to be in the corridors they intended to snoop through, they very well might not have seen him.
- Word of God has answered this on her official website; it can be found in the FAQ.
- "It would not have mattered if they had. Unless somebody was very familiar with the story of Sirius Black (and after all, Sirius was not Mr. and Mrs. Weasley's best friend — indeed, they never knew him until after he escaped from Azkaban), Fred and George would be unlikely to know or remember that Peter Pettigrew was the person Sirius had (supposedly) murdered. Even if Fred and George HAD heard the story at some point, why would they assume that the 'Peter Pettigrew' they occasionally saw moving around the map was, in fact, the man murdered years before? Fred and George used the map for their own mischief-making, so they concentrated, naturally enough, on those portions of the map where they were planning their next misdeeds. And finally, you must not forget that hundreds of little dots are moving around this map at any given time; Fred and George did not know everyone in school by name, so a single unfamiliar name was unlikely to stand out."
- I hate to challenge the FAQ, but her version of events seems incomplete. Peter Pettigrew was given an Order of Merlin for 'bravely defying Sirius Black to the end', so the events are public record. And given that 'Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban!' has been the headline news event all summer, the name "Peter Pettigrew" should be in common wizarding knowledge all of fourth year unless we assume that despite running 'Sirius Black: Threat Or Menace?' articles for months on end, the Daily Prophet has never once actually mentioned what crimes Sirius Black was put in prison for in the first place. Even for the Daily Prophet's famously low standards of journalism, that would still seem to be a bit too low to be believed.
- Except that the map would show "Peter Pettigrew" and "Ronald Weasley" right on top of each other, nearly 24/7. Even if Fred and George weren't looking for the secret passageways, they must at some point have needed to find out where Ron or the Trio were, and they would see Pettigrew with them. It doesn't make any sense that Fred and George wouldn't put 2 and 2 together and realize that Scabbers was Pettigrew.
- This image suggests the brothers are just◊ open minded.
- They're looking at a map, not security cameras. Assuming the twins ever bothered to spy on their brother, it would almost always show several people practically on top of him. There's only so much room on a two dimensional representation of a three-dimensional object full of thousands of ever-moving trackable people. The only time it would ever be obvious would be if he was right in front of them with Scabbers in his pocket (pets don't go everywhere with their masters). Hell, even if they did notice Peter was with him so much when they couldn't see him, they might have just assumed he had a secret boyfriend he was trying to hide. Percy had spent a year trying to hide the fact that he had a girlfriend, after all.
- This may work to explain how Peter Pettigrew was never discovered in waking hours, but what about at night when everyone is in their room? I may not have been to a boarding school, but I'm quite certain that you do not normally need to share a room with, say, hundreds of students. And by the way the books describe it, it seems there are only a handful of students that share a room, and along with Ron and Harry, only Neville, Dean, and Seamus appear to be sharing the same room, and George and Fred do actually know all of these boys (if not personally, in name's and appearance's sake).
- At some point, you would think that the twins would be sneaking out at night (and am I not going to accept the possibility that they wouldn't sneak out... after breaking practically every rule in the book, how could they have not snuck out after hours?!) and when they consult the map they wouldn't have seen the name "Peter Pettigrew" in the same room as their brother. Hell, let's go one step further and point out that the nights Peter as Scabbers was sleeping in that room at night instead of scurrying about the castle, that he was even sleeping in the same bed as Ron (much to the disgust of the poor boy when he realised his pet rat was a balding man). How could the two mischief makers Fred and George not only have not noticed that Ron's and this "Peter's" name is suspiciously way too close together, but to have resisted the urge to tease their brother about this? Please explain how they would not notice an additional name in one fairly decent sized room that should only have at most FIVE boys occupying it. Even on a small two dimensional magical map, this feat should not be too hard to accomplish, unlike trying to find one name among thousands of moving names in a narrow corridor.
- Also, why didn't they notice that Scabbers's name never appeared on the Map? Mrs. Norris's name does, so we know that named pets aren't exempt.
- "...they concentrated, naturally enough, on those portions of the map where they were planning their next misdeeds." THIS is what explains it. In the two and some years Ron goes to school and F&G have the map, we never hear any hint of them pranking the room. The only time they even go into the room is to wake the boys up on Christmas Day, an event which doesn't require looking at the map.
- This HP Lexicon essay offers a possibility - the map focuses itself on the areas most likely to be relevant to the user, in this case Harry or F/G: their immediate vicinity, teachers' offices and quarters, etc. If it showed the common rooms at all, it might very well only focus on people of particular interest to mischief-makers, perhaps going a la Facebook and saying "Percy Weasley, (prefects' names), and 117 others are in here."
- Yep. Indeed, the twins themselves said they didn't use the map very much anymore, else they wouldn't have given it away in the first place. From their comments, it sounds like they used it to find secret passages, not spy on people.
- Ron didn't have Scabbers with him all the time, he was probably in the Common Room or the dormitory most of the time during classes. And though Scabbers did sleep in Ron's bed, it's doubtful Fred and George would ever think to check that room while they were about their mischief. Even on the off chance that Ron happened to catch them sneaking out, they would have just told him to go away. They'd be more likely to see what Percy was doing, so they could avoid him.
- Does it say that Scabbers/Pettigrew necessarily was sleeping in Ron's bed every night? Potter only notices him on the map himself because he was out prowling and saw Pettigrew's name wandering the corridor.
- Did Harry notice Peter's name in the book? I think was just the film.
- No-Prize Explanation: The name on the map used to be Scabbers. It was only that year when the name started showing Peter Pettigrew again, because Peter's identity returned as his fear of Sirius and Crookshanks overwhelmed the mellow pet personality he'd assumed for himself over the years. In short, he had been Becoming the Mask as Scabbers, and come Sirius's escape, the mask came off.
- For all the twins knew, Sean or Dean could've had a pet named "Peter Pettigrew". We don't know whether either one of them had a pet at all.
- We know that Arthur Weasley told Ron about Peter Pettigrew's finger, since it was Ron who told Harry about it. And Arthur had equally good reason to tell the rest of his family, including Fred and George. Now, whether Fred and George saw fit to listen to him is another story.
- Don't forget - Gryffindors sleep in a TOWER, with rooms stacked by years following a stairwell. Maybe names are always on top of each other if (logically) the beds are in the same spot on every floor.
- All the explanations above have the same flaw - they adhere to the following sequence: *Twins don't have the Map* - ??? - *Twins use the Map exclusively for pranking and focusing only on secret passages and such*. But let's return to Step 2, namely what happened immediately after they found the Map and figured out how to make it work (note, it doesn't have a manual on it). What would they do? Test it! Examine it thoroughly! And where would they start? Naturally, with the parts of the castle they already know well and can verify, i.e. their Common room! And what would they see? Exactly, an extra person, whom they at best never heard about, and at worst know as the gallant hero and martyr of the First War, Peter Pettegrew.
- "Never heard about" shouldn't raise too many alarms, because even within the houses not everyone knows everyone. For example, Harry didn't meet Romilda Vane until his sixth year, and they're both Gryffindors.
- She's a girl and Harry's a Socialy Awkward Hero. Twins hardly had that problem. If anybody ever knew everybody in their House (if not in the whole school), it would be them. Not that it really matters, the simple fact of there being more people on the Map than there were in the room should've raised their interest.
- Um have to point out that Scabber wasn't even NEW to the family when Ron got him, Scabbers was Percy's pet rat BEFORE he became prefect so that means from Nov.2? Nov 3? 1987(maybe 1981-since for all we know it could have been Bill's pet before Percy's)-1990 Percy had it the twins start going to school in 2 years in fall 1989. The twins get the map in 1989..? and Percy has the rat for at least one more year between 1989 and 1991.
The Strange Case(s) of Peter Pettigrew
- It is established that the reason Sirius knows where to find Wormtail is that he recognised him from the newspaper photo. Now, I can buy that Sirius would be able to tell the difference between his friend's animagus form and any other rat, but the picture wasn't of Scabbers, was it? It was of the entire Weasley family, and Scabbers was sitting on Ron's shoulders. And they have a big family. You may have been able to identify Scabbers as a rat, but he'd have been tiny. There's no way the differences between RATS are going to be visible at that size. I seriously doubt they'd have noticed the missing toe, either.
- A couple of points here: Some rats are bigger than people think. In the movies, Scabbers is shown to be about the size of a 3-month-old kitten. Secondly, wizarding photographs move about, and interact with the wizard holding the photograph (as seen in OotP with Moody telling people in the old Order photograph 'Move along, one side' and the like to show off all of the old Order). It's possible that he saw the rat that was familiar, asked Ron to step forward with the rat in the picture, and got a clear view that way. It's not just the missing toe that gave Peter away; in their school days, they used to run around at least once a month with each other for the better part of at least 2 years. It's like recognizing a human friend in a photograph from a distance. You get the idea you might be wrong, and you need a closer look, but you get that pang of recognition.
- Indeed, male domestic rats can weigh upward of half a kilogram. I should know, I've held one that was - he's so big, he really has to be held in two hands.
- Also keep in mind that the Dementors have been "eating" his happy memories and basically forcing him to dwell on Peter's betrayal. It's not just a hazy memory of what his buddy looked like as a rat, it's literally all he's been able to think about for 12 years.
- If that's not good enough, consider that maybe it actually being Pettigrew was a stroke of dumb luck. I doubt being around mind-raping demons is good for your mental health. Maybe with Sirius being unable to think of anything but Pettigrew's betrayal, saw a rat, fixated on the possibility of it being the traitor and boom. The missing toe on Scabbers would have only fuelled that obsession (would he have seen the rat in enough detail in photo to see the missing toe?). The fact that this rat would be at Hogwarts with Harry only made things worse.
- Also, remember just how much time Sirius spent with Peter. To an outsider, two grayish/brownish rats would probably look the same, just like two roughly same-sized black cats would. Yet I can usually tell the difference between my black cat and some random other black cat even from a considerable distance, because I saw that kitten grow up. Same thing here, Sirius is so very used to how Rat!Peter looks, he can very easily distinguish him from some normal rat, even from a distance/small picture.
- On the subject of Peter Pettigrew, it bugs me that neither the Potters, nor Lupin, nor Sirius ever figured out that Peter had turned over to Voldemort's side. True, they probably didn't pay much attention to him, but surely someone would have recognized that something was wrong? In Lily's letter to Sirius that Harry finds in DH, she mentions that Peter was acting odd last time he visited, and it makes sense that she wouldn't know why given that they didn't spend much time together. But James and Peter spent nearly their entire Hogwarts careers together — don't you think he would have been able to see that Peter was seriously off the mark? Or is Peter just that good of an actor?
- People lie successfully all the time. That one's not even something we see take place in the continuity of the series, we just find out about it about after the fact, so I don't know how you can find it badly done/hard to believe. You might as well say the books are at fault for not explaining exactly how Aunt Petunia met and married Uncle Vernon.
- Also, if Lily didn't know Peter all that well, it's entirely possible for her to describe "acting odd" when, to James, he was acting the same as he always was for the past 7+ years. Peter is clearly a very frightened person. While it doesn't excuse the betrayal of his only real friends or the glee he obviously took from the bullying of Severus Snape, he probably hid behind James a lot and James would've been used to seeing a very jumpy Peter. Peter being more jumpy than usual during a time of war wouldn't have surprised James. Lily would've only have gotten to know Peter well for at least three years, more depending on the exact age difference between Harry and his parents. (I'm under the assumption James and Lily were 20-21 when Harry was born, but that's due to something I read long ago. I've recently read they were 25-26, but I'm not sure which is correct.)
- Besides, Lily is the type who sees the best in people. Look how long it took her to ditch Snape. Even seeing that Peter was acting strange, she probably wouldn't jump to the conclusion that he's a Death Eater.
- I can't remember what was said from the films, but in the book, Lily doesn't say he was acting oddly at all. He said that he 'seemed down', but rationalises it as probably being due the news about the MacKinnons, something she cried all night when she heard about, according to the letter. Harry, who unlike Lily knows that Peter was a cowardly douche, assumes otherwise.
- Also it should be noted that everyone knew Pettigrew (Mc Gonagall, the Marauders) described him as stupid and cowardly, which are poor traits for a spy and would get them caught quickly. Its possible that nobody suspected Pettigrew due to incompetence rather than lack of loyalty
Lupin discovering the traitor
- Until Lupin saw Peter Pettigrew on the Marauders' Map, he, like the rest of the wizarding world, had believed that Sirius Black betrayed Harry's parents to Voldemort. Lupin seems oddly calm about having his entire world-view shifted in just an hour or so - even though he's considered the Only Sane Man to a bunch of (mostly) useless adults, that seems to stretch Angst? What Angst? to its limits.
- It's possible that Lupin always suspected that something was off. Keep in mind, he knew something that no one else did: Sirius's and James's loyalty was such that they would risk a highly dangerous act of magic in his service. Peter was along for the ride, for the most part. So he can't rectify the image of Sirius that he's always had with the image of Sirius turning to Voldemort. Which would make him feel guilty, especially since he probably wouldn't be able to imagine Peter as the courageous hero he made himself out to be in his last moments. Then he sees Peter's name, and he sees that Peter didn't die. And the already shaky image he has of Peter as a hero falls apart. I imagine him being more relieved than angsty: he really didn't underestimate Peter, he really hadn't gotten himself killed for James and Lily; what else could he have been wrong about?
- Besides, take note that Sirius didn't act as a bloodthirsty murderer either. He didn't kill anybody when he had a chance in the boys' dorm. I think Lupin was already confused and unsure in anything by the moment of Reveal. Finally, even seeing Peter's name on the Map didn't immediately transcribe into "Pete's a traitor" for him. Only when learning about Peter's time as Ron's rat, did he understand everything. So in fact the "shift of world-view" was rather gradual.
- Lupin has spent most of his life waking up naked and bloodied in the woods every month, wondering what the heck happened last night and if he just killed someone. If anyone's going to be able to adjust to disorienting circumstances quickly, it's Lupin.
- um dude? Did you even read the books? If you read the books..you would know that Lupin didn't "spent most of his (Hogwarts) life waking up in the woods. He woke up in the Shrieking Shack.
- Six or seven years is not "most of his life", and the Shrieking Shack wasn't available to him once he left school.
- No but is hinted in the books that after school he still took precautions when transformed, like lock himself probably somewhere else, it’s very unlikely that he just let himself wander around when transform, besides it’s also mentioned that the Ministry keep track of werewolves to make sure they won’t harm people, Greyback IIRC correctly was considered a rogue werewolf because he didn’t comply to the Ministry’s security measures.
Pettigrew and Crookshanks
- If Crookshanks was such a threat to him in his rat form, either physically or because the cat's actions might eventually cast suspicion upon him, why didn't Pettigrew ever do something to stop Hermione's pet from pursuing him? There must have been times when both Scabbers and Crookshanks were left behind in the dormitory while all the students were in class. So why couldn't Peter have returned to his human form and snuck into Hermione's room long enough to kill the cat? That would protect his life and his secret, while denying Sirius the help he needed to get past the Whomping Willow. He could even set things up for Sirius to take the blame for Crookshanks's death, if he left the doors to the Gryffindor dormitory and Hermione's room open a bit, so it looked like Black broke in again, and found the cat wandering loose in the common room.
- Males cannot enter the girls' dorms. Maybe the staff is exempt, but Pettigrew wouldn't be.
- So use his rat-form to lure the cat into the common room when nobody's around, then revert to human when it tries to pounce and kill it. Even if he's a coward, we're talking about a full-grown man letting himself be terrorized by a cat, for pity's sake!
- Yeah, except Crookshanks is half-kneazle, is very intelligent, so much so that he was able to partially communicate with Sirius and help him out, and he knows something is very fishy about the rat, if not that it IS an Animagus. Crookshanks is not going to be stupid enough to let Pettigrew get the jump on him.
- Also, dead cat in the common room? Or inexplicably vanished cat? Could potentially lead to unfortunate questions and perhaps a risk, be it ever so slight, of discovery. Pettigrew has played it safe and stayed in rat form for more than a decade; he's not the type to do anything that might even look like it could potentially lead to him being exposed. Much safer then to fake his own death; everyone knows cats eat rats so this would come with its own handy explanation.
The Trouble With Time-Turners 9: Past Mistakes
- "Professor McGonagall told me what awful things have happened when wizards have meddled with time...loads of them have ended up killing their past or future selves by mistake!" Killing your future self, fine, I can see how that works. But how do you go back in time and kill your past self?
- Maybe "killing" isn't the word so much as changing the course of events to kill your past self. For instance, going back in time to stop a death eater attack, but an escaping death eater recognizes you and kills your past self. If meant literally perhaps seeing your past self causes regret enough to kill themselves as a byproduct of the time turner.
- Time can't be changed though, that's my point. If you go back in time and cause something to happen then that thing had always happened. A loop where your future self gets killed is fine, a loop where the past self is killed would be completely unstable. The progression of time from any individual reference frame is linear, but different reference frames follow different lines. From the reference frame of the Earth, all these events only happened once, but since the temporal line you're following is curved you see these events that only happen once at different times on your line. They still only happen once, so what had already happened can't be changed.
- First off time travel is complicated. Under Harry Potter's rules for time travel we don't know what would happen if someone went back in time and killed themselves in the past. By use of the time turner it's possible, but the ramifications aren't clear.
- If you change the past then it wasn't the past. It was an alternate universe that proceeded identically until that point. Changing the past is a logical impossibility. If you had a time machine and went back into the past, then tried to change something that you knew had already happened you would fail. Most philosophers who study this would say that you would likely fail due to circumstance. Something random would prevent you from changing the past for the simple reason that you have already failed to change the past.
- It will seem that way to you but if someone else changes the past then you're either still in the same universe and see the ramifications or it never happened in the first place. So if you want to go that way everyone that killed themselves in the past went to an alternate history/universe while the effects still happened for everyone else. To reiterate my point time travel is complicated and has different rules depending on the fiction. In this case changes can happen even if the one that caused them won't necessarily feel them.
- Yes, time travel is complicated. However, both of Einstein's relativity theories imply that past and future are not absolute, but instead are dependent on the frame of reference from which they are observed. There will be a frame of reference in which the event which the time-traveller is attempting to prevent occurs simultaneously with the the event where the time-traveller is going back in time. As such, you are observing both the event and some-one attempting to prevent the event occurring at the same time. Thus, it is impossible for one of them not to happen, as you can see both of them happening.
- And, yes. I am aware that I'm trying to apply relativistic physics to a children's book about magic.
- Magic, which makes every other law of physics or metaphysics quietly back off and go whimper in a corner. Why would causality be any more exempt from this than, say, conservation of mass? Alternate universes and so forth only need to be surmised if you restrict yourself to what would be logical about time travel.
- Answering the original question: if you kill your past self, then you take its place and again live the period of your life until the moment of time-travel. Then you go back in time and kill your past self, thus completing the cycle and locking yourself in a "Groundhog Day" Loop forever.
- Simple, if one is startled enough and gets into a fight, it could be easy enough for future self to kill past self in the heat of the moment, and depending on how difficult changing that makes it to navigate it might be near impossible to hit the reset button.
- I don't see the problem. Either Minerva was lying to Hermione to ensure her responsible behaviour, or the Ministry (namely Unspeakables) was lying to the population so everyone wouldn't try to meddle with time. In fact, the Time Turners could be completely safe (at least for the Universe and the timeline in general). Maybe if some time traveller ever came close to endangering the timeline he just got wiped out and disappeared. That's why everyone should be careful with Time Turners.
- Hermione could just be exaggerating their danger to Harry, who is a teenage boy with a tragic past and a heroic streak - exactly the sort of person who would do something stupid and noble and get himself killed.
It's pronounced "Stoo-puh-fye"
- Wormtail's escape required every person present in the scene to be clutching the Idiot Ball. What is the point of putting someone in manacles when you already know they can shrink down to rat size? And what kind of idiot makes one of the people holding the prisoner's restraints be the kid with the broken leg? If they'd simply fed Pettigrew a couple stunners and then levitated his unconscious carcass along like they were doing with Snape's, then even Lupin's wolfing out would not have ruined the whole thing. Or, hey, if they didn't want to risk the stunners wearing off, they could have just put Pettigrew in the Full Body-Bind. Hermione had only learned that one in first year. As is, they were practically begging for Pettigrew to make a break for it. Sodding Idiot Plot.
- Word. In fact I can practically envision Lupin or Hermie (i.e. present people with brains) looking at the safely tied up and unconscious Severus, then at the conscious Pete in his stupid manacles and saying: "Guys, something tells me we're doing it wrong."
- Maybe Peter would have been able to transform and that would have caused the spell to wear off? They could have at least tried, though.
- I felt the same way. They spent 10 minutes on exposition when it would have been simple for Black to tell Harry who he was really after, then transform Peter right away. Lupin stopping Black with "We need to explain everything to Harry first" is just stupid, even considering they didn't know Snape was there.
- Re: 'wearing off' — we see in OotP that four simultaneous stunner hits will knock someone as tough as McGonagall down for hours. How many good guys were in that scene with working wands? Four.
- I think the Doylist reason is that Rowling hadn't invented the Stupefy spell yet, which doesn't appear until the next book. That doesn't excuse the lack of Petrificus Totalus.
- Or worse yet, the lack of Levicorpus, which they are ALREADY USING RIGHT THEN AND THERE IN THE VERY SAME SCENE, on Snape. There is no reason not to just use it on Pettigrew, too! He can't run away (in either human or rat form) if his feet can't touch the ground; Sirius and Remus especially should already know this, given how they used to prank 'Snivellus' with it when they were in school.
Containing werewolves: you're doing it wrong!
- What was DD smoking when he devised the procedure to deal with teenage Lupin's condition? An allegedly haunted house on the outskirts of a town, with a secret passage leading to it, with an open entrance on the school grounds protected by a homicidal tree? The hell? I think even V would scratch his head at the contrivedness of this solution. It is blatantly unsecure, it's conspicuous, it adds another giant Shmuck Bait to the place that already feels no shortage of them and most importantly, what's the point? Why not just a padded, soundproof room somewhere in the dungeons? Why not the Room of Requirement? Even if it has to be a separate building (which does makes sense, I guess), why not just cast the Disillusionment Charm on Remus and whoever escorts him there? And why not simply immobilise him after he transforms, so that he couldn't hurt himself?
- All I can say about the Room of Requirement suggestion is that it wouldn't work because Dumbledore didn't know it existed. The rest, however, I have no answer for.
- How was it "blatantly unsecure"? No one was ever able to get into the Shack without being told about the Whomping Willow's secret by someone who knew. As for being conspicuous, sure, the Whomping Willow and Shack would stand out, but who would assume that there's a secret passage under the Willow, that leads to the Shack? That, and the noises Lupin made were passed off as violent spirits by DD. I feel that the dungeon idea could work just as well, but also feel that it wouldn't stop James, Sirius and Peter from getting past it. I do agree though that it would have made sense not to let people see Lupin being taken to the Shack. Finally, as for why they didn't immobilise Lupin during his transformations, they might just have been unwilling to chain him up like an animal.
- Why. Why go to all the troubles and create such an elaborate scheme that was threatening to come apart at seams once somebody starts snooping around? DD was damn lucky it were the Marauders and not some Slytherin, whose parents would've killed for such an opportunity to undermine his authority. Why NOT a dungeon cell? No, the Marauders would've never got there because, a) had it been done correctly, they would've never learned about it and b), that's the reason for the "keep guard while he's transformed" part. As for immobilizing Lupin, excuse me, but Remus was an animal during those times. And having a rabid, viral monster near a castle full of children is the absolutely worst time to be fastidious.
- I always figured that the Marauders found out that Lupin was a werewolf before finding out what was protecting the students from him (considering that Hermione could, I don't find this hard to believe) and that he told them how to get past the Willow afterwards. All they had to do then was learn how to become Animagi. Considering that's a very hard piece of magic to learn, and they managed it, if Lupin got put in a dungeon cell, I can imagine the Marauders learning how to break Lupin out of whatever's imprisoning him there and modify the guards' memories so they're none the wiser, if he told them what to do. As for whether to keep Lupin immobilised or not, while it would have been very wise to do so with the cell scenario, in the Shrieking Shack it seems he's too far away from humans to want to go after them, so it's not too necessary.
- "Imprisoning him there" should've been a locked door and DD standing in front of it. Personally. That was his school, and his bright idea to bring a monster into it. Would you feel safe if you knew that the only thing that is potentially keeping your child from a gruesome death is that the monster is "too far away from humans to want (not actually be able to - he is and nothing stops him, but want) to go after them"? Who can say, how far is far enough for that? And then this point became moot anyway, when the Maraduers started bringing him close enough to people (please don't tell me they were keeping him in check, and thus it was Ok, just don't). And then Sirius sent Severus to the Shack to be ripped apart and do you still have doubts about the "unsecure" part? Again, DD was damn lucky that nobody with a malicious intent (of which there is about a quarter of the school) took interest in Lupin's ailment and decided to investigate. You said it yourself - figuring Lupin out wasn't that difficult, if you wanted to.
- I don't consider it anymore unsecure than the O.P's idea. Why? Because Snape got past it by being told how. That would work for either Rowling's plan, yours, or the O.P's (I don't know if the two of you are seperate people or not). In fact, this is probably why Lupin's kept in a seperate building when a werewolf: if someone does get in there, the casualties are limited to that person alone. Which is more dangerous; a werewolf running amock in a shack, or one running amock in a castle filled with children?
- 1) Remind me again, what exactly stopped the former from turning into the latter? No, "it just didn't happen, so that" is not an argument. BTW, if you read the OP carefully, you'll see that I admit the merit of using a separate building as an extra precaution. That doesn't negate my other points.
- 2) Yes, Sev was told. Not by some insider, mind you, but by a dumb teenager. Which is exactly the problem. "If Lupin told them what to do" is not a given - that he was able to is the sign of how week the whole system was, despite being riduculously contrived (a hallmark of DD's designs, if you think of it). Revealing the "secret" wasn't even required, and becoming the animagi had nothing to do with it either. If Sev oversaw Remus being taken to the Willow, what would've stopped him (or any other snooper) from witnessing the complicated and arcane ritual of pushing a twig, which can be done with a first-year spell? I'm not even sure how couldn't he see it and why did he need Sirius to tell him (other then to set up a conflict between them, of course).
- If Lupin tries to go through the tunnel, he's got to get past the Willow (which starts moving again shortly after being frozen, according to p. 295 of the book) again, which would probably batter him to a pulp, if not kill him. If he did get past it in one piece, they could probably have locked and strengthened all the doors to the castle beforehand, so that he'd be unable to break in. And how do we know that they didn't do the same thing in the shack itself? Though I admit that this is just speculation. I do agree though that Dumbledore should have taken some steps to prevent Lupin from telling anyone else (and if he did, bigger ones), and that not doing so greatly weakened the whole protection system. I'm guessing he trusted Lupin not to tell anyone. As for the last point, yes I agree that taking Lupin to the shack unconcealed was a mistake, but as for Snape seeing them go through the Willow, how do we know that whoever was escorting Lupin didn't use Homenum Revilio to check for snoopers before stopping the tree? Again, this is just speculation.
- "...which would probably batter him to a pulp, if not kill him." - so either way DD would've got himself a corpse or a mangled victim, and I'd LOVE to hear him explaining to the authorities just how the hell did that happened. "they could probably have locked and strengthened all the doors..." - so, another layer of headache, even more threat of exposure, and even that guarantees nothing, judging by the number of secret entrances, and besides, what about Hogsmeed? "...didn't use Homenum Revilio to check for snoopers..." - would it reveal a distant person using a looking glass? Now, I hope, you see, what I meant by "blatantly unsecure". Not impossible - they'd used it, and it even "worked", because Rowling willed it, but it's akin to crossing a shasm via a flimsy suspened bridge, when you've got a perfectly good stone one just to your left.
- "I'd LOVE to hear him explaining to the authorities just how the hell did that happened." Easy. All he'd have to say is "some kid was an idiot and tried to approach the Whomping Willow at night" or "some werewolf was an idiot and tried to attack the tree at night".
- Fortifying all the doors would only require putting an unbreakable charm on them, and if Goblet of Fire's to be believed, there's no way of seeing if one's there short of trying to break the charmed object. As for the secret passages, I always figured that werewolves lose their minds when they transform, seeing that Lupin says that Wolfsbane potion allows him to keep his mind when he transforms. So even if he found out about a passage while human, he might not remember it while he's a werewolf.
I do agree though that the Whomping Willow could have been replaced with something less conspicuous, like a large rock. And if you had to say a password to get through it, it would solve the problem with the spyglass. As for why DD didn't do that, I'm guessing he only concerned himself with keeping Lupin from harming anyone, and wasn't too worried about what would happen to his reputation if the secret got out. He's never been afraid of that.
- "Fortifying all the doors..." That leaves out Hogsmead. But hey, I guess you cannot make it entirely airtight, oh wait, yes you can, put him in a dungeon cell, lock the door and stand guard, and you don't have to worry about the passages, or charms, or interlopers, or anything, and I still see no reason not to do it - only how DD's insane plan kinda sorta could be made work. Yes, I agree that it could. It doesn't make it less needlessly contrived.
"he only concerned himself with keeping Lupin from harming anyone..." Well, he failed at that as well, didn't he? Snape nearly got killed, Khorne knows how many people were put in danger during Marauders' little night trips, and if the secret got out, at the very best Lupin himself would've got the boot, and that is if he didn't actually hurt anyone. And all that for no goddamn reason.
- I thought I had already explained why DD had chosen not to keep Lupin in the castle: if he breaks out, he'll be a lot closer to students than he would be if he came out from under the willow. As for Hogsmeade, I don't really know a great deal about how well JK's werewolves can detect humans, but at the end of PoA, DD seemed content to let Lupin run around the Forbidden Forest when he did get out, which he probably wouldn't have done if Lupin was going to threaten any wizards. As for it failing, yeah it did, because of Lupin telling his friends how to get past it. DD never addressed that because he never found out about it until over a decade after they all graduated. And while I acknowledge that your werewolf containment plan would have worked, it could have failed the exact same way (Lupin telling people how to crack it).
- 1) How was Lupin going to break out of a cell that had no doors, only several feet of solid enchanted stone around it, and DD guarding it? Remus had no magical powers in his lupine form - he was just a big rabid animal (and AGAIN, I do not argue against using a separate building - I argue against every other part of the plan, which were so asinine they ended negating the good part). 2) What could Lupin possibly tell the Marauders that would help them bust him out, if he didn't know the password to the cell (because it would be wordless), and if DD was personally guarding it? That's what bothers me - the problem was so trivial that the simplest solution would not have failed (or at least not nearly as easily), because there was virtually no room for failure until they went out of their way to create some.
- A couple misc parts. 1) "DD seemed content to let Lupin run around the Forbidden Forest...which he probably wouldn't have done if Lupin was going to threaten any wizards." I'd like to point out that the rationality of DD's decisions is the object of scrutiny here, so the argument "DD did it, which means it was a sane thing to do" is invalid by default. But I guess it is alright, the wizards would be wishfully safe, and the centaurs and unicorns... meh, you're right, buck them.
- 2) "DD never addressed that because he never found out about it until over a decade after they all graduated". Yeeeeeeeeah, this part. Sorry, but he knew. He couldn't possibly not know, and I don't even have to go WM Ging. Even if we assume that DD would've left his secret werewolf without a watch, there's this little slip in "OotP": "I watched from afar as you struggled to repel Dementors, as you found Sirius, learned what he was and rescued him." There's no way around it. DD had surveliance in the Shack, he knew what was going on both in time of Lupin's youth and in the finale of PoA, and he allowed both to transpire.
- 1) I never imagined that Lupin breaking out WAS likely to happen. That's why I said your plan would work just as well. Guess someone at Hogwarts must have figured that you can't be too careful. 2) If DD was guarding it, and there were no doors, all the marauders would have to do is: have James sneak up close to DD while under the invisibility cloak, use a spell to make him fall asleep for the rest of the night (even he can't perfectly defend against a surprise attack), hide him somewhere Lupin won't be likely to go, open the room the same way that whoever put Lupin in there did, then have all the marauders transform into their animal forms and take Lupin out. Once they're done for the night, they can shut Lupin back in, then put DD back where he was, and he'll wake up none the wiser.
- Misc points: 1) "the rationality of DD's decisions is the object of scrutiny here". Sorry, forgot about that. I entered this thread to find out why people thought DD's plan sucked, and you've certainly given me some reasons: namely why did they need a violent willow tree that you can find out how to get past with a spyglass?
2) All that quote proves is that DD knew what was going on at the shack in Harry's third year. There's nothing that proves anything about Lupin's time, and from what I remember at the end of the third book, DD tells Harry that Sirius had told him all about them being animagi, and that he considered it "An extraordinary achievement - not least, keeping it quiet from me." So right now I'm not buying that claim that he knew what was going on.
- Something tells me that if letting Lupin out demanded regularly assaulting their Headmaster rather than pushing a twig, it would've discouraged the Marauders at least a bit. Not to mention that if DD could possibly be sneaked up to and put to sleep by a teenager, then the war with Voldemort would've ended in five minutes with the victory of the later. And how the hell were they supposed to replicate a wordless spell? And AGAIN, inventing some (rather outlandish, if you ask me) way for the proposed solution to fail does not negate the point that it was still much simplier and more reasonable than the one they ended up using. 2)If DD knew what happened in the Shack in Harry's time, it means he did have some kind of surveliance there, and why would he have it except for keeping an eye on Lupin back in his time? Not to mention that if he didn't keep an eye on a freaking werewolf on his turf, then he's an idiot. Also, YOUR quote could be interpreted in the meaning that they managed to become the animagi wihout his privity - it doesn't say anything about their night escapades. And "keeping" doesn't mean indefinitely.
What the hell, Sirius?
- Sirius' "highly amusing joke" on Snape has been bugging me ever since I first read this book. I can believe that he hated Snape enough to actually want him dead, but I'd really, really like to know what he had planned to say to Lupin the day after if his prank had worked.
- Not that it relieves Sirius of any guilt, but Snape had been trying to get then into trouble for years. It's not like Sirius hog-tied Snape and dumped him into the shack. I've been trying to figure out what exactly Sirius could have possible said that would make Snape take leave of his senses try to go alone into a disreputable shack on the word of somebody he didn't trust.
- Essentially, Snape clutched the Idiot Ball in his backstory because the plot required him to and nothing but. Snape has no rational reason to expect that Sirius is doing anything but setting him up for a prank. To Snape, the Marauders are the kids who bully him, beat him up, pants him in public, and prank him at every opportunity. And the one of them who's actually supposed to be the worst, or at least most impulsive and hotheaded, of them all? Snape's going to take his word for it that something really awesome lies at the other end of this secret passage into the unknown that lives off-campus? Why does Snape have any expectation that he's walking into anything but a prank ambush? Or some other kind of ambush?
- We'll never know for sure. All that we really know is that Snape, for some reason, went into the Shrieking Shack where Lupin was transforming. Snape went into the shack because of something Sirius said or did. For all we know, Sirius got exasperated, told Snape "I have a werewolf in there; don't tell" and Snape went into the shack to see what he was really hiding.
- From a conventional legal point of view, Sirius would be guilty of nothing if Snape had gotten eaten, not even involuntary manslaughter. The concept of 'contributory negligence' (or in plain English, 'the guy who died in that accident was doing something he wasn't supposed to be doing at the time') would clear Sirius of liability. The salient points are:
- Snape has no legal right to be where he is; he is trespassing.note
- A lawful tenant is under no obligation to inform trespassers of safety hazards.note
- In addition to trespassing, Snape is (albeit unknowingly) breaching a medical quarantine.note
- It is not actually illegal to be a werewolf at Hogwarts.note
- Snape is willfully going into a place that he knows is not supposed to be safe.note
- Therefore, between the contributory negligence of trespass, breach of quarantine, and knowingly going into a place already reputed to be risky without taking prudent precautions, Snape assumes all liability for any injuries he might suffer; even if he was verbally encouraged to go in by someone else. He was, after all, free to disregard their advice. And at no point was it said that Sirius made any false promises of safety; the only canon on that is that Sirius told Snape how to get past the Whomping Willow, with no mention of anything else. And if there is no civil liability pertaining to Sirius, neither is there any criminal liability.
- I don't know where the above troper got his info but as an attorney (albeit an american one) they're wrong. Each of the above doctrines they discussed cover civil law not criminal liability and lack of civil liability does not obviate criminal guilt. Further the the concept of contributory negligence has largely been abolished in favor of comparative fault (wherein even if the injured party is partially at fault he can still collect). Also the doctrines discussed pertain to negligence law and Sirius's act was intentional.
- Of course, this is all assuming that Wizarding Law is any sort of rational or logical.
- This is all true but I feel like between factoring in a werewolf and the way the Wizarding World typically does things, it's possible that if Snape had hypothetically been injured, bitten, or killed, there would have been negative consequences for Remus. If a dog or a wild animal bites someone who approached it recklessly, it might be put down even though it wasn't at fault, and as werewolves aren't necessarily considered fully human, that might be the sort of circumstances we're looking at here. Note that Buckbeak was going to be killed because he gave Draco a moderate injury when Draco recklessly provoked him. If werewolves are considered animals for some intents and purposes, the same thing might apply.
- While there might have been no legal liability, it is still a question how Sirius didn't get expelled for this. Even assuming that there was no actual murderous intent on Sirius' part and he was just handcuffed to his own Idiot Ball there for a minute, this is still a prank that could have killed someone (however accidentally). Theories on Sirius' apparent lack of punishment range from 'Dumbledore doesn't care about what happens to Slytherins/outrageously favors Gryffindors', 'Dumbledore couldn't expel Sirius without openly blowing Remus' cover, as he'd have to get into why Sirius was being expelled', and and 'Dumbledore agreed that Snape was being an idiot and had brought it all on himself'. You would like to at least think that Sirius spent the entire next year scrubbing cauldrons or something, admitted.
- Many people seem to underestimate Snape in terms of cunning and downplaying his negative qualities. He hated James and vice versa while the others were collateral. He was The Resenter and seemed to have always been spying on the group for whatever purpose. While Sirius may have said something, Snape was the one who listened and had to be bailed out by James. We don't know what exactly happened.
- No, we don't, but spying on the group who bullied him is not worthy of death. Sirius still has moral responsibility for using his friend as an attempted murder weapon.
- Alternately, Sirius didnt mean for the prank to kill Snape but simply to scare him. Its later mentioned that werewolf fatalities are rare with the survivors of attacks getting infected instead. When Lupin resigns after being outed by Snape his prime concern is that he could have bitten Harry and his friends not that he could have killed him. It's likely Sirius expected two possibilities; worst case scenario, Snape gets bitten and cant tell anyone about Lupin without exposing himself as a werewolf and gets a taste of Lupin's life; best case scenario, Snape gets a near death experience from seeing an angry werewolf and is forbidden by Dumbledore to tell anyone which is pretty much what happened. Plus, Snape would have had his wand with him and could stun Lupin if he saw him.
Not like the Death Eaters all have identification tattoos on their arms...
- OK, it's mentioned several times that Sirius is believed to be The Dragon to Voldemort. If that's true, then why the hell didn't they check to see if this oh-so-important Death Eater had the Dark Mark when he was arrested?
- He was arrested for betraying the Potters and murdering 13 people. Whether or not he had the Mark was hardly important in comparison. Besides, with V dead apparently all the Marks faded.
- they didn't fade right away, nor did they fade completely. Dark marks were still present during the trials for other Death Eaters, including Snape.
- Maybe they did so and, finding none, concluded that Voldemort had opted not to slap an obvious "I'm-With-The-Bad-Guy" label on his Deep Cover agent.
- It is also stated that Sirus went to Azkban WITHOUT A TRIAL.
- And it's not unreasonable for them to think he wasn't given the mark so he could be a double agent and spy for Voldemort.
- Where was it mentioned that the Dark Mark was still present during the trials? I don't recall that. I agree with the assessment that they faded very quickly after the attack on the Potters. For that matter though, there's reason to believe that the Ministry didn't even know about the Death Eaters' branding. Otherwise, it would be shockingly easy to confirm or deny the identity of all accused Death Eaters, period. Ex: Ludo Bagman doesn't have the mark, Barty Crouch Jr does. For that matter, at the end of GoF, Snape shows Fudge his Dark Mark, and has to explain what it is and why it's there, strongly indicating that their presence wasn't common knowledge. By that logic, we can also pretty strongly conclude that the Marks did fade fairly soon after Voldemort's first fall. Otherwise, surely it would have been noted during their entrance into Azkaban that "hmm. all these people we've imprisoned for being Death Eaters mysteriously have the same Dark Mark tattoo on their left forearms. Perhaps this is an identifying feature, and thus something we can use as evidence to convict other suspects?"
- The village of Hogsmeade is small, but still has a fair number of residents. It would be illogical to assume that there isn't at least one child in the entirety of it. And since the village is only inhabited by witches and wizards, that means their kid(s) would most likely be magical. So, do Hogsmeade non-Squib children go to Hogwarts when they come of age? And, by that, do they have to go all the way to King's Cross when the castle is literally RIGHT THERE? Also, would they be allowed to pop home whenever they go on trips to the village after their third year? Or on holidays, would they be allowed to walk back and forth from the castle to the village?
- Most likely. Of course not. Most likely. Most likely.
- Well that last one seems unlikely, as the castle would be closed, presumably including the grounds. And why would they want to?
- I thought professors lived on castle grounds if they wanted to, not just on campus?
- Hmm in my school there was always a special dispensation allowed for kids who lived in the town where the school was. If they had a permission slip from a parent, they could go home for lunch or at least wander down to the shops. If there's a Hogsmeade child then maybe they get permission from parents to visit the village at weekends. Presumably they can't during lunch since it's quite a walk to Hogsmeade and they only have an hour.
- I think the professors do live in the castle. Most of them seem to be still there during holidays when the students are away. Presumably getting a free room at the school is part of the perks of teaching there. Not sure about the couple months of summer holidays though. It seems odd if they'd have other houses they'd only live in for a couple of months, but then again it also seems odd if they'd stay at the school when the students are gone.
The Trouble With Time Turners 10: The Government Official.
- Dumbledore nicely explains away Harry and Hermione's activities at the end of the book by pointing out that he left them in the Hospital Wing, they can't be in two places at once. But hold on: he says this to Fudge, who (being the Minister of Magic) should know that Hermione has been using a Time Turner for the past year. Even though that doesn't prove she and Harry were involved in Buckbeak and Sirius' escapes, he already knows that a) they're friends with Hagrid, and wanted to keep Buckbeak from being executed, and b) they are convinced that Sirius is innocent. So is Fudge's incompetence an inability to put two and two together (especially because Snape was already blaming Harry), or simply him not remembering that Hermione has the Time Turner (which he presumably knew about, unless no-one thought to tell the Minister that they were loaning out a powerful, dangerous magical device to a teenage girl)?
- Time Turners probably aren't his department. Managing them would go to the Department of Mysteries. Additionally, maybe he's seen the tests Hermione had to take to prove she was responsible enough to use a Time Turner and assumes she's too studious to use it for a criminal that may have attacked her.
- Right, it's not like he would want to find the culprit rather than going to the media and addmitting his screw up (you know, every politician's favorite passtime). And whether or not the TT's were his department, if he was even aware of their existance, the words "at two places at the same time" should've immediately rung a bell. And then it's as easy as confirming that Hermie has got and recently used one and (alltogether now) sending an invisible observer to the past and witnessing the event in question, which, of course, he should've done anyway.
- Does Fudge even know who Hermione is? He just refers to her as "the girl" when talking to Snape. He's the Minister For Magic and hearing Dumbledore call her by her name once is hardly going to ring bells. If he knows about the Time Turner at all, he probably just scanned the papers and authorised it. He's hardly going to commit her name to memory now.
- He doesn't need to know her by name. Knowing that some Hogwarts student was ussed a TT should be enough. Or just knowing that TTs exist (and why wouldn't he), since he can always check if any were given to the school and to whom.
- He was the Minister of Magic, which means he's probably got more important things on his mind. He probably doesn't even know that a Time Turner was loaned out. Plenty of other things slip by him (and his successor). Especially with Sirius Black on the loose.
- *Sigh* "Or just knowing that TTs exist, since he can always check if any were given to the school and to whom."
The Trouble With Time Turners 11: Ancillary Applications
- Fact: Time Turners exist in the world of Harry Potter. Fact: One cannot actually change the past, but one can go back and form a stable time loop and/or casually observe. Fact: This technology is used to allow a 13-year-old girl to take extra classes, suggesting that they are well-enough understood by the Ministry to entrust to such a young child. Why, then, does this appear to be the only use to which Time Turners are put? Could not one, perhaps, send an Auror back under an invisibility cloak to watch a crime take place if it were a few hours ago. Even in a case where there is no trial, should not such a simple boon to criminal justice be standard procedure? 'Twould have been of use to a certain Prisoner of Azkaban.
- In Sirius's case, the problem is that magical law enforcement just didn't give enough of a damn. They figured they'd caught him red-handed and they had enough else on their plates they simply couldn't be arsed. They didn't give him a trial at all. Plus, I doubt they'd have observed anything meaningful without knowing exactly what to look for. But going forward, it would be a pretty smart idea. Maybe Hermione might institute it, since she ends up working for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and has experience with Time-Turners.
- Nope, she might not, because they all got destroyed in the 5th book, when Rowling finally realised how stupid the existence of such a Game Breaker makes her entire story, since, unlike Sirius, the bajillion other cases when it would've resolved the plot in -2 hours, did not have the same excuse.
How is a slashed arm worse than a coma?
- In book one, Harry missed out on the last game because he was in a coma for three days and the rest of the team had to play without him. In third year, Malfoy gets a hurt arm and manages to have the games rearranged. What the hell? How is it a hurt arm prompts a change and a coma doesn't? Given that they were probably aware that Harry would wake soon (given that they didn't have St Mungos take care of him, it shows they knew there wasn't any real harm other than exhaustion, why not delay for a week then decide that they can't wait too long for the final match. Why were the Slytherins allowed to postpone their match? I doubt the Gryffindors didn't ask, if only so they have a chance to get a replacement seeker and give them some rush training. What gives?
- DD needed to mollify Malfoys in order to make them drop charges against Hagrid. Although that only accounts for the second part of the issue. Only Rowling knows why in world wouldn't they wait a couple days for a guy who (supposedly) saved the world or why wouldn't they have a back-up seeker.
- How is it that no one in the school noticed this? I mean, I would think at least Oliver would make a fuss, talk to his house and classmates.
- Consider that you are comparing Harry Potter, an orphan with no political power and minimal access to his wealth, to Draco Malfoy, the offspring of a freakishly wealthy Death Eater who has enough Dark Magic and political power that the Minister of Magic himself asks "How high?" when Lucius says "Jump". Also, Lucius is one of the school governors. He has quite a bit of say as to how Hogwarts is run.
- answer: Snape is a whiny arse who's willing to lie, cheat, and steal his way to victory, McGonagall isn't.
- Yes, which is why he reminds MG about the Firebolt, and how Griffindor will lose without it, rather than keeping his mouth shut and having Griffindor lose without it.
- Well back in first year, I think the Gryffindor/Ravenclaw match was the last one of the year. Malfoy didn't have the game rearranged. He just had the opponents changed. Snape would hardly be above something like that.
Marge, dear, you´re overreacting
- Marge Dursley spends her whole visit insulting Harry and his parents... why? I can understand that she sees Harry like a burden for her brother and family but why she hates the Potter so much? She doesn´t know about the magic and only met Lily and James one time (Vernon and Petunia wedding), where, acordding to Pottermore, their behaviour was flawless. Even so, she hates them more than Petunia and Vernon put together. Seriously, what´s her problem?
- She's just your ISO standard Middle-England Jerkass. She probably sends letters to a certain blue top tabloid and signs them "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" (or where-ever she lives). In short she is the muggle version of Umbridge and her dislike for Harry is because (a) she is a bully, and (b) Harry is not from her family tree. Sadly these character types are not a rare phenomena, as the circulation figures for that certain blue top tabloid stand testament to.
- She, as well as the rest of the Dursleys, appear to be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
- On top of all that, she's also drunk. So yeah, no mystery why she's ranting like an idiot — she's three sheets to the wind and her brain-to-mouth filter has been entirely disabled.
Gringotts has no precautions against identity theft.
- All Sirius had to do to take money out of his vault was write a note that wasn't even in his name. He bought the Firebolt under Harry's name. And with a postscript that basically said "Use money from vault number 711." He also didn't show up at the bank- it was a cat (not even HIS cat) that brought a note in. And the order goes through. This is probably the most insecure method exchanging money possible, and a bank- the only bank in the wizarding world- accepts this. Keys? Who needs vault keys? Just write a note and stick it to a frog, it'll be fine.
- How did the goblins verify the authenticity of the note? Sirius obviously didn't give any information that could have led the authorities back to him. what if he just wrote some different vault number? Some poor wizard will just lose a Firebolt's worth of money?
- Password? PIN #? Verification question? Anonymous numbered bank accounts in real life use methods like this.
- Real banks also have to use a secured connection to transmit this password/PIN information, not a cat. I can accept Sirius being kind of out of his mind and not realizing that someone could just pick up the note off the cat and immediately have full access to his entire account. But it's stupid for the bank to accept it.
- My assumption is that Gringotts staff knew it was Sirius Black, and didn't care (for whatever reason), but the order was placed to the broom store under Harry's name.
- Several other possibilities come to mind:
- Sirius sent a separate letter to Gringotts, under his signature, saying 'I hereby authorize/confirm the bank draft for X galleons you're about to get from the broom store, charged to my vault #'. He doesn't mention this to Harry because of Conservation of Detail.
- Sirius' bank account, or one of his bank accounts, is not under his real name. So he can just sign his (assumed) name to the payment instructions without difficulty.
- Gringotts has access to some type of divination magic that lets them infallibly know by whose hand the ink was put on the paper.
- Maybe the bank account was actually the family Black account, since Sirius had inherited their house upon their death. So the goblins just assumed it was some other member of the Black family like Regulus.
- Hagrid managed to get the Philosopher's Stone out of Gringotts with just a letter and the key from Dumbledore. Presumably transactions can be authorized, and they have a means to detect forgery.
- Regarding the issue of why Sirius can go around using Gringotts like a law-abiding member of society, apart from having to use a cat as an intermediary: maybe since goblins have such a tenuous relationship with the Wizarding World (rebelling all the time, etc.), their own set of values, and the economic leverage to just do things their own way, they refuse to do things which human law enforcement might wish them to do, such as reporting whether supposed mass murderers have been withdrawing money. Maybe since they don't have a voice in making the laws, they don't want to help enforce them? Or they're just stubborn on principle. Or they just generally don't want the human legal system all up in their business.
- I was under the impression that exactly that was the case. Goblins are loyal to their clients or, put in other way, they have an agreement with wizards and they don’t care if the client is a criminal or a fugitive for the wizarding society. Sirius is their client and can do whatever he wants with his money and his account, they don’t care.
- After Harry's Nimbus 2000 gets destroyed, he inexplicably lingers with buying a new broom. He doesn't want to buy a Nimbus 2001 because Malfoy's got one, which I can kinda understand. But why doesn't he buy another Nimbus 2000? What, were they all instanly taken off production and in one year it was impossible to find one? That I find hard to believe.
- Remember that he didn't buy his 2000 in the first place, Prof. McGonagall did. It's a very high quality broom even if it's no Firebolt, and may be too expensive for him to repurchase for now.
- Even if that's true, and his mountains of gold were not enough, that still doesn't explain why he couldn't buy the next best broom that he could afford.
- Sorry, but two-counterpoints there. If he could afford a Nimbus 2001 (and as you pointed out, his dismissal of the idea is that he doesn't want to be like Malfoy, not that it's too expensive), surely he could afford a Nimbus 2000, as it's an older model and therefore almost certainly cheaper. Which brings up the second point - he doesn't consider just getting a replacement, because why get a broom that's at least somewhat inferior to your opponent's, if you could apparently afford a broom equal to your opponent's? Especially given that the whole Slytherin team is writing 2001s. He's planning to upgrade, he's just putting it off because it's painful to think about.
Scabbers and Crookshanks feud
- Ron's anger with Hermione for the alleged death of Scabbers is Ron being a world-class git. One: Rats are not on the allowable list of pets in Hogwarts while cats are, so Ron's automatically in the wrong from square one regardless of what else is going on. Two: There are literally dozens of natural predators roaming freely around Hogwarts (owls) that eat rats, in addition to the housekeeper's pet cat, in addition to the pet cats that other students own. Scabbers is, to put it charitably, in a high-risk environment. In such an environment it is Ron's responsibility to keep his pet rat inside its cage, where it will be safe. If Scabbers had been a normal rat and not actually a shapeshifted adult wizard he wouldn't have lasted the first week without going down something's gullet. And three: Grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brother, cats eat rats. For Ron to act surprised, let alone morally outraged, because a cat allegedly indulged in what is entirely natural and expected behavior for cats is a massive entitlement complex. So yes, Ron looks like a total idiot in this sequence and why did Rowling write it?
- To be fair, Ron Weasley is a complete git and idiot in this whole story. That's his defining trait. At least this time he had some ground for his outrage, even if shaky. Next book he will lash at his friend who saved his sister from certain death for ostensibly leaving him out of a prank no one with half a brain would ever believe Harry undertook in the first place. And the less said about his behavior in "Hallows", the better.
- Ron had some justification in that Crookshanks had repeatedly attacked Scabbers, and yet Hermione wouldn't do anything to control her pet too. Hermione herself used the reasoning of "it's just his nature, cats eat rats", which still doesn't excuse her from making a better effort to keep Crookshanks away. Then when Scabbers went missing Hermione tried to blame it on some other circumstance when all the evidence pointed to Scabbers having been eaten. The truth turning out to be far more complex doesn't excuse her from making no effort to stop her own pet.
Also, if rats were really restricted from Hogwarts Ron would have been forced to turn in Scabbers long ago. The cat/owl/toad rule is most likely just to keep students from bringing unusually exotic/dangerous pets. The pet vendor at Diagon Alley couldn't detect anything unusual about Scabbers, so it's likely too the teachers would have just dismissed Scabbers as an ordinary rat and not a danger to the students.
- Except that there is no practical way to keep a properly-trained domestic cat from chasing rodents. While it is true that some cats, due to upbringing, never actually make the mental leap that rodents are food at all, once a cat has internalized that lesson its going to hunt and kill everything that squeaks. The entire reason cats were domesticated by mankind in the first place was because they kept mice and rats out of the grain storage at a time when nothing else was able to, and it wasn't until the 20th century that the primary purpose of keeping a cat became 'companionship and leisure' as opposed to 'pest control'. When Hermione says that "it's just [Crookshank's] nature" to chase rodents she is not being dismissive — she is making an entirely literal and factual statement about animal behavior, just as if she's said "owls fly" or "dogs bark". So its either cage the cat or cage the rat, and while pet cats are not normally kept in cages pet rats are. Ron is being too lazy to do what any rat owner is expected to do as a normal course of business, and then blaming Hermione for the consequences of his own failure. That's like not housebreaking your dog and then yelling at your roommate for failing to keep the carpet free of dog shit.
- Also, the justification of 'the rule is being laxly and indifferently enforced, therefore its not actually necessary' fails generally as an ethical argument, and fails specifically in Hogwarts' case because the staff is singularly inept, haphazard, and biased about enforcing any kind of discipline standard. I mean, goodness, there's at least two canon instances where a student fails to be punished for attempted murder despite the staff entirely knowing about it, but that doesn't mean murder stopped being wrong.
- Jack Russell terriers were made to capture rats too but I don't see them at Hogwarts. The only dog I see is Black's big dog. And in a pinch Fluffy
- Well yes Ron is being a twat. He's thirteen. But in his defence, he left Scabbers in his dorm. Hermione presumably kept Crookshanks in her dorm. So it looked like the cat had easily gotten into the dorm and Hermione had made no effort to prevent it from doing so. And let's face it - it's a tad dickish to buy a cat when one of your best friends has a rat for a pet too.
forget the cloak, I'll be safer without it
- When Harry was rushing back from Hogsmeade after getting seen by Malfoy, he left his invisibility cloak in the secret tunnel. Why? Apparently he was worried that Malfoy had tipped off a teacher. But how could any teacher, even Snape, have caught Harry if he was invisible?
- Because they're trained, adult wizards who may or may not know about the invisibility cloak. Also, it encumbers his movement, and he was **rushing** back to Hogwarts.
- I'll concede that the teachers probably did know about the cloak. But even so, what could they have done? Guard the exit of the tunnel until Harry emerges?
- Why not? The cloak doesn't make him intangible. Just put some magical barrier around the exit and vois la. His only chance was to get back before Malfoy reaches Snape. Of course, eailer Snape very clearly demonstrated that he knows about the passage, so only an idiot would use it after that, but that's beside the point.
- Actually I don't think *any of the teachers* other then Dumbledore know about the cloak. Of course there is the question about how would he be able to say what he did in book 3 in the Shrieking Shack?
"There's not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin."
- In the first book, Hagrid claims there's "not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin." But in this book, we find out that as far as he knew at the time, there was an exception to the rule: Sirius, who was in Gryffindor, and who Hagrid along with everyone else believed was very, very bad indeed. So why does he say that? And also note that Hagrid mentions Sirius loaned him the motorbike in the first chapter of the first book, so Rowling actually had some idea of Sirius being a character. Did she just forget later on while writing the first book, or was Sirius initially not going to be in Gryffindor or considered a murderer?
- Conditioning. The Hat is going to offer Slytherin, but Harry's supposed to go to Gryffindor. Hence it's necessary to "subtly" push him in the right direction.
- It was also a figure of speech on Hagrid's part (and Ron's in the first movie). Not all dark witches and wizards were Slytherins, but seemingly most of them were.
- Maybe Hagrid didn't entirely believe that Sirius was guilty, considering that they already knew each other.
The Trouble With Time-Turners 12: "Where'd she come from?"
- A running gag in the film is that Hermione shows up partway into each class with no one having seen her enter. It's implied that this is a result of her using the Time-Turner to attend most of her classes. But how would that work? Even if her actions result in there being one timeline where she didn't attend a given class and one where she did, none of her classmates would somehow experience part of the first timeline followed by part of the second one. Instead, the weirdness ought to be "Where did she *go*?" or more specifically, "Why does she keep leaving us to go into cupboards or the bathroom, and coming out of different cupboards?"
- Most likely, this is the result of the writer(s) only thinking of the time travel at a vague level and not working it out clearly. But one possible explanation actually fits nicely with another difference in the films. When Harry and Hermione use the Time-Turner, Hermione doesn't bother to hide from witnesses and they see everything in the hospital room rewind around them. When they appear, no one seems to notice. Perhaps the film's Time-Turner comes with a built-in Weirdness Censor that prevents people from "seeing" you pop in from the future, even though they can tell you're there after the fact. And for various reasons (learning to use the device right, dealing with the burden of her coursework, talking to professors after class, deciding not to go back *too* early given that she can only travel in hour increments) Hermione keeps arriving later than class had begun.
- The film has to foreshadow Hermione's strange behaviour, or else the Time Turner will come as an Ass Pull. But I'm guessing is that when she goes back in time, she first makes sure she's already in the classroom where her next lesson takes place and then goes back. Presumably so she doesn't draw attention to herself by turning up late.
Keeping the Time Turner
- Why didn't Hermoine keep her Time Turner after the events in this book? Yes, she promised to take care of it and was responsible for it and all, but given how insanely useful Time Travel is to resolve ANY problem, wouldn't it be a good thing to have in case, you know, the Dark Wizard in service to Lord Voldemort succeeds in resurrecting him and he begins a campaign of terror over Britain and kills the Minister of Magic and institutes a rule of evil pureblood supremacists? I know the possibility of that happening are virtually nil but it seems to me like it might have been a useful ace in the hole to keep. And they even have a convenient magical felon to blame on the "missing" or "destroyed" Turner. And if the Ministry DOES happen to have a spell or charm that can let them track each Turner...I will remind you that Hermoine Granger has a time machine.
- She probably realized that it was more trouble than it was worth.
- At this point none of the kids think there's a war on the horizon. They don't learn that until the next book. Hermione probably didn't think she'd be in a situation where it would come in useful. And she did register to have one solely for taking extra classes - so if she's not doing that any more, she'd probably have to hand it back.
- Indeed, why would Hermie think she's likely to be in a situation where a time rewriting device would come in useful? She only had been attacked by a ravaging troll. And then an evil wizard tried to steal a powerful artifact. And then another evil wizard sicked a monster on people, including her, resulting in her spending half a year in a coma. And another evil wizard, and also one of the most powerful people in the country, got roaylly pissed at her friend. And then an innocent man nearly got executed, except she saved him using a Time Turner, which happened just a day before she realized "that it was more trouble than it was worth". Oh, and another evil wizard escaped justice and was then at large. And holy crap, I didn't even think that she could've said Sirius destroyed it! That's brilliant and instantly elliminates all the problems with the Ministery! Now this is even more glaring than before.
Lupin on train
- Why is Lupin riding the train into Hogwarts? I know you can't Apparate into the castle, but why not Apparate into Hogsmeade, have a firewhiskey, and then walk or thestrel-coach up and save yourself the inconvenience of a long train ride?
- DD asked him to, because he knew Dementors would want to search the train, and also to familiriaze him with the Trio.
- Maybe he was dead tired and Apparating while sleep-deprived is a good way to get splinched. And maybe he didn't just get a good night's sleep ahead of time like a sensible person because of werewolf problems. Although I agree being there to keep an eye on the Dementor situation works better (since he also brought all that chocolate, presumably not to stuff his face with).
- Having just read this book, I recall coming across a statement that Lupin was poor, not very well-off, as he wasn't able to find employment due to being a werewolf. Chances are, unlike the other teachers, he didn't have a means of travelling to the school anytime before the start of term, and his only choice (the only choice he could afford) was to take the Hogwarts Express with the students.
- Hmm for all we know, other new teachers sometimes take the train. We don't know if Lockhart did, since Harry and Ron weren't on there. Moody didn't because he arrived late after being attacked by Barty Crouch Jr held him up. Umbridge seems as though she would have arrived in advance to get her office ready (hers is particularly done up). But the next year Slughorn chooses to go on the train. I mean there might be at least one teacher on board in charge since there's seven years worth of students on there. It seems unlikely that all of them would be left completely unsupervised in case of an emergency.
- How do wizards know that Dementors eat souls and not brain function or something? Are there soul detectors? Can they contact the afterlife? Did they ask the Dementors politely?
- I'm guessing it's something that's studied in the Department of Mysteries. There must be some way to communicate with the Dementors but we just don't know about it.
- They do know ghosts exist, and ghosts are the disembodied souls of the dead
"Remus, my old friend. Have you taken your potion tonight?"
- For some reason I'd been assuming all along that the Wolfsbane Potion was invented some time after Sirius went to Azkaban, but in the film, he seems to fall quite naturally into reminding his dear absentminded wolfy friend to take his damn meds. Which I guess could just mean it was actually invented some time between that time when they were students that Sirius sent Snape to go snoop around the Shrieking Shack for a laugh and when Sirius went to Azkaban, so there actually was a time when Lupin was on the potion before Sirius went to Azkaban. Or perhaps after escaping Azkaban, Sirius has been checking up on recent innovations in lycanthropic healthcare because he's a concerned friend like that. Which I guess makes the whole thing perfectly plausible, it's just that it's always seemed like a reasonable conjecture and/or popular fanon that the Wolfsbane Potion was only invented in the past few years and it'd therefore be unlikely for Sirius to have heard of it, never mind keep tabs on whether goddamn Moony has goddamn forgot it.
So... not so much an unresolved headscratcher as Fridge Logic I'm not putting in the Fridge Logic category because it's not especially Fridge Horror or Fridge Brilliance.
- ...Why do you think the potion was only invented recently?
- It's safe to assume that if it was invented before or while Remus was in school then he would have had access to it then, but if he had access to it then there would have been no risk of an out of control werewolf running around Hogsmeade. Therefore, it's safe to assume that the potion was only invented in the 15 or so years between the Marauders leaving school and Remus coming to teach at Hogwarts.
- Or Sirius caught on to it while he was hiding near and in Hogwarts for around three quarters of a Year when he was checking secretly how his only remaining best friend (one died the other one was a dirty traitor and Sirius wanted to kill him) was dealing with life.
Sirius and Wormtail
- 1.) So, after everyone thought that he'd blown up Pettigrew along with a street full of Muggles, Sirius was sent to Azkaban without a trial. But the book mentions there were witnesses Indeed, there would have had to have been witnesses for anyone beyond the scope of the event to have known what had happened. So does that mean that every person that saw the crime vouched that Sirius blew up the street, even though Pettigrew was really the one who did it?
- 2.) Trial or no, why would the Ministry of Magic rely on what was presumably a bunch of magic-illiterate Muggels as their only witnesses to a crime committed entirely through the use of magic?
- 3.) The book also mentions that Sirius was found going mad with laughter at the scene of the explosion. Was this meant to be taken as true? If so, why would Sirius be laughing at what amounted to his friend trying to frame him?
- 4.) Pettigrew used his wand to blow up the street behind his back, then transformed into a rat and escaped down into the sewer that had been exposed. Where in all of this did the whole "cutting-off-his-own-finger" bit come into play? After he got down into the sewer?
Reader: Well, how come they didn't just ask Sirius what happened? He'd have told them!J.K.: Oh, well... He was put in Azkaban without a trial, so he never got the chance.Reader: Oh, okay, that makes sense.Troper: Actually, that's a serious breach of an individual's legal rights, and sounds like a huge problem!Sirius: Oh, I'm not complaining. I got out, didn't I?
- Pettigrew also yelled to everyone in the street that Sirius had betrayed Lily and James. Presumably when Sirius advanced on him or reacted to that, then he blew up the street. He gets a couple of seconds where the blast confuses everyone, cuts off his finger with magic and then transforms. Sirius laughing isn't actually as crazy as you'd think. Laughing Mad is a very common reaction to immense stress or trauma. He clearly knew Pettigrew had transformed and cut off his finger, so the laughing was probably from the realisation that he'd been planning to frame Sirius all along.
- As to why they convicted Sirius, everyone else knew Sirius had been the Secret Keeper. Only James, Lily, Pettigrew and Sirius knew that it had been changed. So as far as the authorities were concerned, Sirius was the only one who could have betrayed them. This includes Dumbledore himself. It's also mentioned in the fourth book that Barty Crouch was really cracking down on law enforcement - giving Aurors free reign to kill if they wanted. Sirius was one of many who was sent to Azkaban without a trial. If he'd had a trial, the truth would have easily come out - especially with Remus to provide testimony. But the Ministry was so dead set on jailing as many of Voldemort's associates as they could, they didn't care about sorting the innocent from the guilty.
- The thing that bothers me most about the entire scenario is not necessarily that Sirius never got a trial, but that no one is ever ever particularly concerned that he never got a trial. J.K. does this a lot in the series, I think. She gives lip service to ideas like equality and justice, but we never see it in application; sure, not all Slytherins are bad, but is there ever an effective example? Sure, the Ministry of Magic is awful, but do we ever see any attempts to reform the government? No, all we see is a less-jerky Minister getting elected. To modern day British and American readers, Sirius' lack of a trial would be a huge deal, yet this is never resolved, or ever addressed. Here's how J.K. seems to have dealt with it:
- And don't forget that little bombshell about their only prison being staffed by demons that drive people insane, which is casually dropped and then never explored in any way other than the unpleasant experience the named characters have with them or their unreliability as guards. What's that, a grossest violation of prisoners' rights in history, which god knows how many people could've been sumbitted to for little to no reason, like Hagrid? Buck that, we have a Quiddich tournament coming!
Animagi in disguise
- This may be some sort of a hindsight is 20/20 thing, but in a world where people can transform into animals at will, without having to be registered in order to do so, shouldn't there be some method that would be able to tell the difference between a normal, regular animal and an actual Animagus? Especially at Hogwarts? Some sort of charm or something? Because by this logic, anyone in the wizarding world, good or bad, could potentially infiltrate Hogwarts with ease by just transforming into an animal as posing as a student's pet.
- That's what registration is supposed to do, as the animal's marked are listed among other traits. There presumably hasn't been much effort in inventing a spell, though, because Animagi are extremely rare and the user may just end up with a form ill-suited for infiltration. As far as we know, there have only been eight in the past century.
- Related to this, shouldn't the teachers at Hogwarts who helped the Marauders become Animagi have known that they were Animagi? McGonagall was still Transfiguration teacher back then, wasn't she? Shouldn't she, at least, have been one to know about them?
- Who says any teachers helped them?
- ...I dunno, I just assumed they had to have had someone there to teach them how to become Animagi. (Upon rereading the book, however, I've noticed a passage where Lupin regrets not telling Dumbledore that Sirius was an Animagus, and thus may have been using his canine form to get onto the grounds and into the school - he says he chose against it because it would've required him to admit that he went against Dumbledore's trust after Dumbledore let a child werewolf into the school. I guess this would imply that the Marauders underwent the transformation by themselves - it was said to be such a difficult, years-long procedure, that I just assumed they had to have had some help from a professor with it.)
Moving in with Sirius
- Say Pettigrew hadn't escaped at the climax. How would Harry have been able to move in with Sirius, anyway? He was sent to live with the Dursleys because Petunia is his mother's sister, and thus, his relation to her helps to keep him safe from Voldemort and ambitious Death Eaters - Sirius being proven innocent wouldn't have changed the fact that he still needed protection. And it also couldn't have been because "Sirius was a skilled-enough wizard to keep Harry safe on his own," because there were already a ton of qualified witches and wizards Harry could've been sent to live with, in that case. I know this isn't too big an issue, because it never came to fruition anyway - I'm just wondering how it would've worked if it had.
- It wouldn't have worked. Harry would still have to stay with the Dursleys for reasons known only to Dumbledore then. Whether or not Sirius and Harry would get him to say why a few years early is anyone's guess.
- "Harry, I am homeless. Can I live with you?"
This Flesh is Only Flesh!
- This is entirely a movie complaint, but when Lupin is about to transform into a werewolf, Sirius grabs him and shouts shouting this nonsense about "This flesh is only flesh! You know who you truly are!" Surely, though, Sirius knows well enough how the whole werewolf transformation thing works. That if Lupin hasn't taken his potion, then he's going werewolf, and that shouting and shaking rubbish certain isn't going to stop it.
- What the potion did was allow Lupin to keep his mind even after transforming into a werewolf - yes, without it, they have no way of ensuring he'll be able to resist the transformation other than to hope that he'll be strong enough to fight it. Plus, Sirius has spent the last 12 years locked away in Azkaban. Odds are he wouldn't be so logically inclined. A better question, I believe, would be...Snape goes to Lupin's office because he hasn't taken his wolfsbane potion of the week, and sees him traveling to the Shrieking Shack on the map - so why didn't he bring the potion with him when he went to confront him?
- Because he (thinks he) realises, that Lupin is helping Sirius, and forgets about everything.
- A few reasons this troper can think of: one, Snape thinks he stands a better chance against Sirius and Lupin if Lupin turned into a animalistic, non thinking animal rather than a rational wolf who could still be able to think ahead of Snape, another reason could be that since he hated Lupin as well as Sirius and was going to have his soul out by Dementors too, Snape was being vicious by having Lupin spend his last moments as an insane monster. Alternately, given that Harry, Ron and Hermione were there too and Snape doesnt know what Lupin told them plus Lupin's popular professor while Snape knows the trio doesnt like them, he decided a good way to convince the trio to go against Lupin was to have them see their professor turn into a viscious, snarling animal, thereby showing them that werewolves cant be trusted.
Hack that tree down!
- What's the point of the Whomping Willow now that Lupin is no longer at school? Even when he's teaching there, he has the Wolfsbane potion, which lets him just curl up in his office until the transformation's worn off...And all the Whomping Willow does throughout the books is cause pain and misery for the students, destroying the Weasleys' car, wrecking Harry's broom...Could someone just tap at that upturned root to neutralize it and then chop it down and get rid of it?
- It removes the C from C02, giving everyone fresh air.
- So, wait...after escaping from Azkaban, Sirius swam all the way across the ocean to get back to the the mainland? Isn't the prison located on an island in the middle of some northern European sea? Wouldn't the water have been...really cold? How could Sirius have survived that trip?
- He did the doggie paddle ... I'll leave. In all fairness, the guy spent years managing to keep his sanity amidst soul-sucking guards, so he's got a fairly powerful set of willpower. Plus, he could transform into a shaggy dog. Maybe the dog's fur kept him warm.
- Dogs can resist lower temperatures than humans as they have an extra fat layer, and also swimming in open air, even very cold water, was probably paradise compare to be in cell for so many years.
- So Lily and James decide to put their lives, their son's life, and the peacable future of the world in the hands...of Peter Pettigrew. They decide to switch it from the hands of someone more capable, and without telling anyone, and for what? Why, because Pettigrew's such a spineless coward that a judgemental, mind-reading chessmaster like Voldemort wouldn't possibly suspect him! Now, not only did the members of the Order already know at this point that there was a spy amidst them, but the whole point of the Secret Keeper is that they keep the secret, so whether Voldemort knew who it was wouldn't have mattered if he couldn't get the secret out of them. And I honestly think that even Mundungus Fletcher himself would've been more tight-lipped than Peter-spineless-backstabber-coward-Pettigrew.
- In all honesty, that's hindsight speaking. Pettegrew wasn't a spineless backstabber coward back then. Remember, he was always a member of their inner circle, he went along with their dangerous animorph sheenanigans and never ratted them out. Besides, Sirius was a reckless idiot, which in this situation is a far bigger liability than cowardice. His idea of keeping the secret was: "Hey, let that stupid Voldemort go after me, I will never tell him anything!" instead of "I will run to the end of the world and crawl into the deepest hole I can find so that he doesn't catch me and torture the secret out of me."
- He was the outermost member of their inner circle, and I know that it's mentioned somewhere that he only got in because Lupin brought him to Sirius and James and vouched for him - Lupin calls himself out on this later. And you can't really say he wasn't even the slightest bit spineless or a coward, since the reason Sirius switches the role over to him was because he was the spineless outermost member that Voldemort would never have expected the Potters to entrust their lives to.
- Uhuh, except that it was Sirius talking. Makes me wonder if this attitude (which he hardly kept a secret) influenced Peter's decision in any way. Also I don't recall Lupin mention bringing Peter in and voucing for him.
- Also, how is "Let Voldemort hunt me down and torture me - I'll never give him the secret, anyway!" worse than "I'll run and hide from Voldemort because I'm scared of him finding and torturing me!"?
- It's worse because it's stupid and empty bravado - V would've got everything he knew out of him, there's absolutely no argument here. And because Sirius was too stupid to Obliviate himself, that would've included Peter's name, thus voiding the entire charade. I wonder if that also influenced Pete's decision. He's a goner either way, and these people are clearly idiots, so they won't last either - might as well save everyone the troubles.
- According to Pottermore, the Secret can't be tortured/veritiserumed/legilimensed out of the Keeper. It has to be given WILLINGLY.
- Awesome. In that case changing the Keeper makes no sense at all. If Sirius kept the role and was willing to die in it, Potter's would've been safe, but all that switching to Peter did was bring him under the strike, since, I presume, V could've still tortured Peter's name out of Sirius. Also, as usual, Rowling sets the rules without giving a bit of thought over how easily they can be bypassed. "Ok, Black, I will not torture you. Instead we'll see how many of these precious Muggle children right here will it take for me to turn inside out before you WILLINGLY tell me all I want to know."
- Also, what's implied anyway is that Peter didn't need any coaxing for him to give the Potters' location over to Voldemort - he was already acting as a spy, and while his primary motives for doing so may have been due to fear, it likely wasn't fear of an immediate threat, since Sirius mentions going to check up on Peter, not finding him where he was supposed to be, assuming the worst, and going right away to check on Godric's Hollow before resorting to hunting him down. If he thought Peter had been kidnapped by Voldemort, I would hope he would've gone and tried to save him at once before going to check on the Potters. (Especially if what above is true and Peter would've had to have given the secret over willingly.)
- "Go and save him" where? If Peter's been kidnapped by Voldemort, then too bad, but there's hardly anything to be done for him. No, for once, Sirius' actions make sence. Since V isn't even supposed to know that Peter is the Keeper, because only Sirius could've told him that and he obviously hasn't, then Peter's absense means that he either relocated to another hideout or betrayed them. After checking on Potters Sirius realises that it's the latter.
Why didn't Remus Lupin just move between time zones?
- In his backstory he went to the shrieking shack on full moon nights and gave it its name. But if he only turns into a wolf at night, why not just stay away from it during full moons? Wizards seem to have multiple methods of instant transportation. Is it so hard to transport a long distance that the shrieking shack is a better option?
- Lupin didn't want his condition to interfere too much with his life at school - being evacuated to the Shrieking Shack with the coming of each full moon seemed to serve him well enough, he couldn't Apparate both until he came of age and learned how to, and Portkeys are monitered (I think) by the Ministry. All in all, being taken into a safehouse that was on school grounds was just the safest, most hassle-free option
- Was he keeping it a secret that he was a werewolf or something? I'd expect staying out of the night would be standard. The Ministry monitoring the portkeys just means that they'll know something is up if a known werewolf isn't using one. I don't see how spending the "night" in another country is less safe or more of a hassle than sneaking into a safehouse, turning into a monster, and then spending the night frantically biting yourself and howling.
- "Was he keeping it a secret" Yes, he was, that was the whole point of the sharade. They were afraid that should it come out, other parents would demand to give him the boot. Your suggestion implies that the nightfall is the trigger for transformation, rather than the phase of the moon itself, which will be the same wherever he moves and whatever time of the day it is. Although the idea of teleporting a rabid monster away from a castle full of children and into some wilderness is solid, but solid ideas are not encouraged in Hogwarts. Apparently they're too boring.
- Lupin's situation seemed to be pretty well handled. It worked, didn't it? Seven years at Hogwarts and no one got hurt or bitten. Keeping him in a safe house is more convenient than apparating him through several different time zones to avoid the full moon.
"I don't need to explain to my friends. I'll just go to a teacher"
People act like Harry had no reason to be upset with Hermione for the Firebolt incident. But while he took it too far, he did have a reason. Hermione didn't bother trying to explain why she was concerned. She simply screeched that she didn't think anyone should trying flying it. Her next move was to tell McGonagall. At no point did she tell Harry her fears it had been sent by a Mass Murderer. She basically acted like Harry was too thick and worthless to bother explaining things to and that she was superior and knew best. If she had explained herself and the boys still wanted to ride it, then she would have been justified. The puzzling thing is that Hermione knows Harry hates people hiding things from him and prefers to be told what's going on. So why did she go behind his back before she told him that she thought Sirius sent it to him? Surely she knew he would hate that she did that without talking to him first?
- She had all reasons to expect him to blow her off. After all, he didn't find an insanely expensive anonymous gift suspicious. And later his main concern was that the stupid women were going to ruin his cool new broom that he "was sure was fine" when he "understood that Sirius Black couldn't have sent him the broom, but she [Prof. McGonagall] didn't". Sorry, but he's an idiot. So what was Hermie supposed to do after he blows her off? Run off to find McGonagall while praying that Harry manages to scrap together those two braincells of his and restrain from immediately taking the broom for a ride just to "prove" that it's fine, or to have one last ride before it's taken away? Even if he wouldn't have got this idea, I bet you anything Ron would've suggested it. So Hermie did what's right and not what's "cool".
- But she never explained herself. The closest she came to sharing her concerns before going behind his back was yelling that she didn't think that anyone should fly the broom. Then Crookshanks attacked Scabbers and everyone got sidetracked. She was never actually blown off. And while Harry's no genius, he is more lazy than stupid. And the part where Harry was saying that he was sure it was fine came after she had gone behind his back so it is possible that he was just saying that because she went and told a teacher without explaining things to him. And maybe he would have listened if she had asked him to take it to a teacher. Granted, he would have made a fuss when they took it, but she wouldn't have essentially betrayed his trust by going behind his back.
- Here's basically what happened.
- Harry got a Firebolt.
- Ron and Harry wonder where it came from and that Malfoy will "sick as a pig" when he sees it.
- Hermione comes in and sees the firebolt. Is told it didn't come with a card.
- "I don't think anyone should ride that broom just yet!"
- Crookshanks attacks. Sneakoscope whistles. Ron tells Hermione to get Crookshanks out of his dorm and she does.
- Harry examines Firebolt in the common room. "For some reason this seemed to annoy Hermione as well; she didn't say anything, but she kept looking darkly at the broom as though it too had been criticizing her cat."
- Ron and Harry leaves, Hermione says she wants a quick word with McGonagall
- Harry gets the firebolt, he and Ron admire it until Hermione and McGonagall come in.
- McGonagall confiscates Firebolt. Harry asks why, gives one protest but doesn't make an actual effort to stop her (admittedly, from shock, most likely).
- Hermione finally shares her suspicions: "that broom was probably sent to Harry by Sirius Black"
- At no point was she blown off and she had opportunities to explain her concerns. Odds are, if she hadn't snitched the way she did but was upfront about it, they could have been convinced to take it to a teacher and while they would have been angry at its confiscation, they wouldn't be mad at her for going behind their backs.
- No, she wasn't blown off, but that's because she hasn't suggested to tell McGonagall. That "kept looking darkly at the broom" was clearly her struggling with the dilemma: tell them and risk the most likely outcome of them blowing her off and then see above, or keep watch over them until she has a chance to tell McGonagall, and then explain herself postfactum when it can no longer do any real harm (temper tantrum notwithstanding). And as for Harry... Just consider this - he had no benign explanation for who could've possibly sent the broom, in fact, I'd be hard pressed to even come up with one, while there were two very plausible malicious candidates (actually, that's my gripe with the episode: why in the world would Hermie name Black, but not Lucius Malfoy?!) and yet he didn't care! Gift horse, right? How is that not sheer idiocy or at least glaring immaturity? And, yes, I understand he was basically a child at that point. Well Hermie wasn't - she was mature and did the mature thing. An actual adult in her place would've simply taken the broom away. That wasn't an option for her, so she did the next best thing she could.
- But she wasn't an adult, she was at Harrys age and one of his two closest friends. She really could at least had tried to talk with him but she didn't, if she tried, Harry would most likely at least listen to her before acting.
- Yes, he would listen. But I want you to (metaphorically) look me in the eye and tell me you honestly believe he would've likely agreed with her, and if he hadn't and she'd announced her decision to tell McGonagall, then he would've absolutely certainly NOT taken the broom for a ride before it can be tested.
- Was the heading of this post supposed to be sarcastic? Because it honestly sounds like a completely reasonable thing to say. As someone else has already pointed out, if Hermione had warned Harry about the broomstick, there was at least a chance he wouldn't have listened to her. (I don't mean to sound like a hater, but there are a few instances where he fails to heed Hermione's often better judgement instead of his own.) Whereas Hermione knows that going to a teacher would ensure his safety no matter what. To me, it came off as a lot more heartwarming and showed how much she really cares about him, to not try and warn him against something that might goad him into doing it anyway.
- No, that's hardly a "completely reasonable thing to say" when she had nothing to lose by talking to Harry first. There was no need to act behind his back the whole time. She could always go to them after speaking to him proved futile. Going to them directly without even hearing Harry's opinion first was a pretty condescending and jerkish thing to do.
- *Sigh*. If she talks to him first, and he brushes her off, then there's a chance he might try the broom out right away, before she can reach McGonagall, which is what she wants to avoid. Are we not spelling it out clear enough or something? I'm sorry if I may sound pretty condescending and jerkish, but... oh, wait.
- Adding to that, I could sort of understand the OP's point if the circumstances were different. But it's incredibly foolish of Harry to accept an expensive broomstick that was sent to him anonymously at such a time as when he did. No one should've had to explain anything to him, because it should've been obvious enough already that Sirius at least might've sent it! But Harry doesnt even consider this until Hermione brings it up to him, and the fact that he (and other members of his Quidditch team) tried to convince McGonagall to return the broomstick even after she brought it to his attention shows that she made the right choice.
- Harry accepting the gift is irrelevant. Hermione getting it checked out isn't the problem. Going behind her friend's backs to a teacher is. It's a key part of her character that she thinks she's smarter and cleverer than everyone else - and she loves taking the moral high ground. Like when Harry uses Sectumsempra, she doesn't care about how her friend must be feeling at nearly accidentally killing someone - she just has to lecture him about how she was right all along. Hermione didn't even consider talking to them about it. She just went straight to McGonagall. And as a result it's very important that she is the one to swallow her pride and apologise to them first.
- Actually "Harry accepting the gift" is the entire point. Again (and again...), it's an insanely expensive vehicle from an anonymous stranger, given after Harry had already pissed off one of the richest and most powerful evil wizards in the country, and another rich evil wizard is after his blood on a general principle. Please, give me a single even remotely plausible gift source other than those two. Unless you do, I will insist that treating that broom with anything but a ten-feet pole was an act of collosal stupidity. Yes, Hermie was smarter than that. Wasn't that hard.
- Isn't established to this point already that Harry can't be harm by Voldemort or any Death Eater (including Malfoy) due to the magical blood protection that his mother's sacrifice give to him as far as he formally lives with his aunt? because if that's the case then Harry is not so stupid after all, he has no reason to worry for the broom to be cursed by Voldemort or Malfoy and no one else hate him so much as to expend money to harm him.
- Actually I meant Sirius, not V, and no, the entire blood protection thing won't come up for another two years. By that point Harry is only aware that V cannot physically touch him. He's not even safe from direct spells, not to mention all the indirect ways the broom could've been used to kill or abduct him.
Does being an Animagus protect someone from lycanthropy if a werewolf bites them?
- It is said that when the Midnight Marauders turned into Animagi to keep Lupin company, they were naturally more calming to him, and that he wouldn't attack them because they weren't in human forms. Yet, when Sirius as Snuffles fought with Remus as a werewolf, the werewolf very clearly bit Snuffles. When Sirius transforms back by the lakeside, there's a very clear and bloody bite taken out of his shoulder. Is lycanthropy just not transmittable to animals, and does any tainted saliva disappear from the body when the Animagus morphs back?
- Maybe...Did the bite happen in the book or the movie? Someone does mention, I don't remember if it was Lupin, that Padfoot and Prongs (or maybe it was just Prongs) were both big and strong enough to keep Moony in line in the event that a problem sprang up while they were out at night - odds are doing this would've involved more than a few scuffles along the way.
- The movie part might be just an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole - but you can hand wave it by saying they were only scratches, and it's the bite that transmits the venom.
Animagus vs. Voldemort
- So in this book, we find out that James Potter was an animagus and could transform into a stag. It's also been revealed that he was without his wand on the night Voldemort attacked Godric's Hollow. Did he ever think of transforming when he was trying to hold Voldemort off? Granted, it's not much, but even against a murderous wizard like Voldemort, it would seem to me that a giant stag would be at least a bit more helpful than just a young wizard who's been caught without his wand.
- And how do you know he didn't transform in to stag when fighting Voldemort? If he was kill he probably would return to his human form.
- I get the idea that such magic requires you to be in the right state of mind - since it's very complicated and not everyone can do it. And probably not something you can do on the spot if a dangerous dark wizard has just broken into your house to murder your baby.
Time-travel and multiple Harrys
- During their little time-traveling escapade, Harry wants to strike preemptively and confront his past self and his friends, in order to keep Pettigrew-as-Scabbers from escaping before he even has a chance to. Hermione stops him by asking what he would think if an identical copy of himself burst into Hagrid's cabin, and Harry says that he'd think he'd gone mad. But why would that be his first reaction? He just drank a potion his previous year that let him flawlessly assume the form of someone else, and the Hermione in Hargid's cabin still has the Time-Tuner, too, so it would occur to her that time travel was a possibility...so why would Harry's first reaction to seeing himself saying things about the future be "I've gone mad, and I'd better kill this identical copy of myself who says he's from the future."?
Lupin and the Marauders' transformations
- The book reveals that the Marauders became Animagi in order to be able to safely accompany Remus during his transformations and keep him under control. This raises some of questions:
- Why were they needed to keep him under control? Why didn't Hogwarts put staff in charge of it?
- Why did Wormtail pick a rat form? That should have made him weaker than his human form. Unless he choose it because it would make it easier for him to get away when Lupin transforms, in which case you would wonder why he became an Animagi at all, since he could simply choose not to join Remus, James and Sirius when the first transforms. Even James and Sirius' forms (a stag and a dog) don't sound that efficient at fighting werewolves, though I guess we can give them a free pass since they got the job done.
- 1.) The original plan to accommodate Lupin at Hogwarts was for him to stay inside the Shrieking Shack during each full moon, where there was no one at risk of being attacked, and no need for the staff to control him any further since he wasn't ever supposed to leave. The other Marauders turning into animals was initially a way for them to keep him company - keeping him under control only became a necessity when they started going out on adventures at night. 2.) It's implied that you can't choose what sort of animal you turn into - Peter is a sneaking dirty coward, hence, he turned into a rat; Sirius is extremely loyal to his friends, so he turned into a dog, etc, etc. 3.) Pettigrew's rat form was also used to tap the pacifying root of the Whomping Willow, letting him and the others get in to see Lupin when he was inside the shack.
- For 1: In that case, what was the point of keeping him company? It's clear that Lupin is out of his mind when he's in werewolf form, so it's not like Werewolf Lupin would appreciate the company. Seems like all it would accomplish is having to fight him needlessly.
- There wasn't any real need for them to - they just wanted to do it because they were his friends. They probably figured that going out on adventures together during every full moon would at least be more fun than leaving Remus to be locked inside some ramshackle house biting and clawing at himself all night. Even as a mindless werewolf, he knew enough to not recognize the other animals as threats, meaning it carried at least some semblance of their true friendship, and the fights between them didn't come into play unless Remus happened to try anything too risky or dangerous, like (presumably) going after or trying to attack someone.
- Yes, I get that, it just sounds rather farfetched. Were James, Sirius and Peter so obsessed with Remus that they couldn't stand not being with him 100% of the time? I don't really see the gain in keeping him company when he's not even himself, especially when it involves going through all that trouble. And the fact that they became Animagi just so that they could become strong enough to survive being with him shows that Remus did attack them when he became a werewolf, otherwise there wouldn't have been any point in transforming.
- Apparently their presence in animal form had a soothing influence on Remus, so he could keep himself in check. Don't ask me how it's fundamentally different from human presence, or why DD didn't think to bury him in kittens or invite some registered animagi to keep him company for the night, if that helps - making sense or having the characters who are not Hermione do the reasonable thing is not this series' forte. But if we take for granted that it works, then it makes sense for the Marauders to do it, because Remus' "normal" transformations were maddening and painful, so they wanted to help him go through them.
- Let's not turn this into an "All characters in this series are idiots" argument, shall we? I'm sick of those. Simply put, there doesn't really need to be a practical reason for everything. James and Sirius were both descended from pure-blooded wizarding families - they probably both knew about the prejudices suffered by werewolves in their world, even if Peter might not have. So, as a testament to their friendship with Remus, they desired to spend time with him and show that they didn't care about his condition, that they didn't intend to abandon him because of it. And the only way to do that was by becoming Animagi. Why? Apparently, it's just how werewolves work. Being able to sneak out and go on adventures at night was just a bonus to them. It's a heartwarming sign of their friendship, not something that needs to be prodded and picked apart.
- Actually, let's do turn it into that, because it makes no sense. As usual, there's a rift between "that's how it works" and "that's what the characters choose to do with it". Werewolves do not attack animals and regain their sanity in presence of transformed animagi? Fine, that's how it works here. You might have also noticed that I don't have a problem with Marauders' decision per se (until they began to take Lupin out on walks, of course). But. The Marauders spent years mastering the transformation art. They had to be pretty darn sure that it would work. Meaning, it was common, or at least available, knowledge. So, again, why hadn't this trait been used? What was stopping DD from inviting some registered animagi to keep Lupin from mutilating himself all those years? Don't tell me it was the secrecy, because that's not an excuse even if it wasn't the goddamn Dumbledore we're talking about.
- The books imply that very few people are actually registered as Animaguses, and the ones who are probably have better things to do with their time than act as nightly company for a single lycanthropic student every full moon. Plus, it has everything to do with secrecy - they probably couldn't (or didn't want to) risk revealing Remus's condition to someone for fear that they might expose it.
- Better then helping a child stop mutilating themselves? If you so. But even then there was still Proffessor Mc Gonagal. A registered animagus, who was in DD's employment and most certainly in on the whole sharade and therefore was exempt from any security concerns. A perfect candidate to both keep an eye on Lupin (her own student, mind you) and provide the required soothing influence. Also, if Lupin's friends were so eager to help him they were prepated to master such an advanced art, why not involve them, help them learn it faster and let them come visit Remus under her supervision? Also, why would it have to be "a single lycanthropic student"? Wizards have no problem with transportaion or accomodation. There's no reason why the "animagi therapy" for werevolwes wasn't a widespread and established practice.
- They might just not see Lupin as their problem to have to deal with - staying up all night just to provide company to some kid doesn't seem like something that would appeal to most normal people, especially if that kid had a condition that is widely frowned upon and shunned by the general public. McGonnagall is another story - I don't really think that a tiny house cat would have the same effect on a werewolf that a larger animal like a deer or dog would. For all we know, Moony could end up seeing her as food. (You could say the same about Wormtail, but he would seem fast enough to elude Moony if he had to, and Padfoot and Prongs were always there to make sure he was kept in check.) All in all, I'd say that this headscratcher can't be answered completely and absolutely until/unless we learn more about the exact effects animagi have on werewolves. I think it should be left at that.
Professor Trelawney teaching at Hogwarts
- Throughout the series, it's shown that Trelawney's divinatory skills are pretty poor and 99% of her predictions are wrong. So why did Dumbledore hire her and let her teach at Hogwarts, exactly? If he wanted to keep her near because reasons, wasn't there any better way of accomplishing that than making her a teacher at Hogwarts?
- Desensitize Harry Potter to prophecies, so that when he learns about his own he won't freak out too much, and to threats to his life in general.
- To be clear, the underlying reason why he kept her at Hogwarts was because she gave the prophecy that foretold Voldemort's defeat, without even realizing she'd given it. She would've been a prime target for any Death Eater to try and capture.
- Dumbledore had been planning on getting rid of the subject altogether. But since Sybil made the prophecy, that meant that she was a) a possible target for Death Eaters and b) an actual seer. So he at least has a seer teaching his students. The class is only an elective anyway, and you can drop it if you like.
The Marauders' Map
- Was it ever explained how Filch came into possession of the map? And if we're to believe that he confiscated it from the Marauders themselves, why wouldn't they just steal it back? If Fred and George had done it, I'll bet the four of them could have, too.
- They may have just stopped using it as they matured in later years. Filch finds it one day, sees that it reacts when you try to ask it anything and keeps it in his office.
- Seriously, how the hell did Malfoy get away with the whole thing? Flitwick, Sprout or specially McGonagall would have told him to knock it off within the first day and yet he could keep the farce long enough for the first Quidditch match to be postponed. Seriously, the only one who would go along with it is Snape who likely knew the truth and just used it to be a dick to Gryffindor, further showing his lack of professionalism.
- That or it actually was worse than Harry assumed (if not as bad as Draco claimed).
- His father paid off a lot of people and used some influence.
- This is the same Malfoy who during a shocking discovery of a heinous attack decided to rush in front of the stunned crowd and shout an ethnic slur and didn't get so much as a stern gesture from any authority figures.
Sirius killing Peter
- Why does no one bring up the logical reason for bringing Peter up to the castle, instead of letting Sirius and Remus kill him on the spot...? Reason being, so that he could be presented as living proof of Sirius's innocence? I understand it's a very heated moment, and that Sirius has been severely unhinged by his time in Azkaban, but if he killed Pettigrew before showing him alive to the authorities, what would his plan have been afterward? No one would have any reason to trust him if all they had to go on was the dead body of someone Sirius had already been convicted of killing.
- You just answered your own question: Sirius wasn't exactly in his "right mind" at the time. Note that he could have escaped Azkaban at any time in his Animagus form, but only did so when he had built up enough psychotic rage (and gathered the necessary information) to go after Peter. His goals here don't seem to have much to do with clearing his name; he wants (A.) to kill Peter, and (B.) to see Harry again. Granted, Remus should have been the level-headed one in this case, but it's not too much of a stretch to say that he was pretty pissed at Peter, too.
- Yeah, I was referring more to Remus and Harry, the former of whom I could accept as being royally angry and upset, but the latter only objects to the killing not because bringing him in alive would help clear Sirius's name, but rather just because he doesn't want to see his father's two closest friends stoop to the level of killers. (Not to mention Hermione, typically the smartest and most level-headed member of a group - I know she wasn't very involved in what was happening, but she could've at least brought it up.)
- In that case, let's go with: it was very spur-of-the-moment, Harry's not the best at thinking ahead, and at any rate, "not stooping to the level of his killers" is really not a bad reason.
The only thing we have to fear is worn-out platitudes
- What the hell is Lupin talking about when he says Harry's Dementor-Boggart is proof Harry's greatest fear is fear itself? Surely Harry's Boggart being a Dementor shows that his worst fear is depression, despair in general, reliving his parents' deaths, or having his soul eaten - all of which are entirely valid fears. If Harry's greatest fear was generic fear, shouldn't the Boggart have taken whatever form it has when no one's around? Or the form of a terrified Harry? Is Lupin just trying to flatter Harry with something that doesn't make sense but sounds good?
- Harry's fear stems from what the Dementors make him feel. JK Rowling based them off Depression - where you fear that everything is horrible, nothing will get better and you end up empty. In that sense, that's what Lupin says Harry fears.
- So Harry fears depression then. Why not just say that? (And I'd quibble with that definition of depression - certainly for me it isn't fearing everything is horrible, but knowing/believing it - but I understand it's not the same for everyone.)
- Harry's fear stems from what the Dementors make him feel. JK Rowling based them off Depression - where you fear that everything is horrible, nothing will get better and you end up empty. In that sense, that's what Lupin says Harry fears.
Taking Scabbers to Gringotts
- Has Ron, and by extension Percy, never happened to have taken Scabbers with him to get money from his family's vault before? If he had, wouldn't the Thief's Downfall have forced Pettigrew back into his human form? Or does the enchantment not work on Animagi?
- Seems to me that there's no reason for either Ron or Percy to go and get money from a vault, let alone with Scabbers; the Weasleys have enough man (and woman)power to watch the kids while the other parent runs into Gringotts, and Gringotts isn't exactly the kind of establishment where you bring your kid and get a lollipop at the counter. Honestly, who would take a kid on that poor excuse for a rollercoaster? And before you ask, Harry probably only went back there because Hagrid didn't want to leave him in the lobby unsupervised and, because, well, Hagrid.
- Also, was the ward even there before the 7th year? I don't recall it being mentioned.
The Boggart and the students' privacy
- Didn't it occur to Lupin, or anyone at the school staff, that some students may not want to have their greatest fear revealed to the whole class? They may even consider it a privacy breach. That's basically showing your greatest weakness to everyone, which few people would be okay with, especially considering it may get exploited by enemies, bullies, pranksters, etc. And it could also get you mocked or bullied, if your greatest fear turns out to be something silly or embarrassing. And that's not even taking into account the possibility that someone's greatest fear may be getting caught naked in public, resulting into the boggart turning into his or her nude self. Yikes!
- This was already discussed somewhere else but, in general; the Boggart is not Sigmund Freud, it’s a very basic and non-sentient creature that uses telepathy to find out the person’s greatest instinctive fear. It does not go into complex psychological analysis on the person’s "greatest fear" (I can avoid to think in that episode of Gravity Falls when a mirror shows you your worst nightmare and it shows to a Goblin "You have turn into your father", I mean, is not something like that). The Boggart is non-sentient, it the magical equivalent of a chameleon changing colors. As such is unlikely that would go so deep as to think that a person’s greatest fear is public nudity as is something too complex. If the idea is that if you are afraid of spiders then it shows you a spider because that would cause you immediate panic and rejection and motivate you to run away, then “public nudity” is too abstract as show you naked would make no sense if you are alone (as the Boggart is suppose to attack) and you won’t react with fear to see yourself naked when you are alone, right?
As for the usage of the information with bullies and pranksters well precisely the idea of the class is that you get over your fears so no bully would bully you for being a badass that just confronted the fear and no prank would work because you end be afraid of that once you face it.
- Defeating a shapeshifter that takes the form of something you fear =/= getting over your fear. You're still facing an imitation at best, not the real thing. Would you be as afraid of someone disguised as Voldemort as you would be of the real deal? Besides, you were already prepared to face the Boggart knowing beforehand that it would take the form of your fear, and the method you used to defeat it wouldn't work against the real thing. No one is going to get over their fear of the Dark Lord because their Riddikulus Charm was able to best a Voldie Boggart.
- Fine, then it doesn't work to get over the fears (though certainly helps) but the rest still stands.
- Also, the only ones who would learn the fears of others from watching the boggart would be students who were already in class, meaning they would have had their fears exposed, as well. Which allows it to work both ways, and gives the student(s) being bullied a form of leverage.
- Hey kids, if someone tries to bully you, just bully them right back! ...actually that does sound like Hogwarts.
- Rowling if from a generation that had that philosophy; bullies should be deal like that. There are episodes of The Simpson (one of the first seasons) and Babar who thought exactly that; fight the bullies with force, fire with fire. Nowadays that would be considered politically incorrect and probably a bad moral, but kids of the 80s were no pussies, the way of dealing with bullies was fighting back.
- This particular headscratcher is probably directed more towards the films than the books. In the books, apart from a few exceptions, the four houses took classes separately from each other, so a smaller number of them would've been there to witness the boggart changing forms. Since this would've left the filmmakers with classes of about 10 students when they were working on visualizing them, the films were the ones that had students from different houses take classes together. It's unlikely that any of the students in Gryffindor would be interested in outright bullying one another over such trivial fears, but a Slytherin bullying a Gryffindor, I could buy pretty easily.
- This was already discussed somewhere else but, in general; the Boggart is not Sigmund Freud, it’s a very basic and non-sentient creature that uses telepathy to find out the person’s greatest instinctive fear. It does not go into complex psychological analysis on the person’s "greatest fear" (I can avoid to think in that episode of Gravity Falls when a mirror shows you your worst nightmare and it shows to a Goblin "You have turn into your father", I mean, is not something like that). The Boggart is non-sentient, it the magical equivalent of a chameleon changing colors. As such is unlikely that would go so deep as to think that a person’s greatest fear is public nudity as is something too complex. If the idea is that if you are afraid of spiders then it shows you a spider because that would cause you immediate panic and rejection and motivate you to run away, then “public nudity” is too abstract as show you naked would make no sense if you are alone (as the Boggart is suppose to attack) and you won’t react with fear to see yourself naked when you are alone, right?
'The most haunted building in Britain'? Really?
The Shrieking Shack has a reputation for being incredibly haunted — which would work, except that it was explicitly built within living memory, in the seventies. Even with Dumbledore encouraging rumours, and Remus's screams, how was it able to garner such a reputation, and hold on to it since it's been silent for nearly twenty years?
- Kids are vicious in their gossip, especially if they can convince themselves of a ghost. Ever play the telephone game? Kids love to create wild stories to scare each other around the campfire. Technically, this house is shrieking about once a month, and creepy-looking to boot. What, do you expect them to put together a Mystery-Inc. gang to go investigate? It makes perfect sense to this troper that the Shrieking Shack would land itself in Hogwarts lore.
Imperius and Confundus
- So we're introduced to the Confundus Charm here, and we get a more in-depth look at in in Half-Blood Prince. But how is it any different from Imperius? They both control the victim,so why is Confundus a charm? In fact, that makes me think...could a wizard use Confundus on someone and get away with it because it's classified as a charm and not...oh, I dunno, AN ILLEGAL CURSE THAT MIND-RAPES THE VICTIM?!?
- Probably the same way how is legal to give someone several beers but not to use rohypnol. Giving liquor to a boss when you try to convince him of giving you a raise or trying to hook up with a girl in a bar is not only legal, most people would consider it morally acceptable as far as the person do not lost totally the capacity for consent, whilst roofying someone would be considered rape as the person's consent is totally and absolutely absent.
- Uhuh, except that it's not "Invite your boss/girl for a beer" - it's "Invite your boss/girl for a beer (or even just tea) and then tacitly spiking their drink with vodka to get them drunk". And yes, people do lose their capacity for consent, or at least for critical thinking, while under Confundus - Snape didn't simply make Fletcher think it's a good idea to suggest the "Seven Potters" plan to the Order - he commanded him to suggest the plan and also to forget about ever having this conversation with Snape. The only difference between this and Imperius is that the latter is direct Mind Control. You (probably) cannot Confound a person to attack their friends, or harm themselves. But you absolutely can use it to commit fraud or sabotage performance, which is pretty much what's it's used for all the time.
- Fair enough. Yet as in real life, is possible that it is illegal but hardly ever prosecuted (something like smoking marihuana in most jurisdictions) as its impact on society is too small for all the costs of prosecution or it is not illegal because legislation to forbid it hasn't yet being passed. I'm pretty sure Rowling might go into more detail about the wizarding world legal system, but it doesn’t' sound as a good idea when you are writing children's fantasy books.
- Sure, using mild substances, jaywalking, violating one's agency and integrity of personality - small offences. After all, if directly removing parts of people's mind is perfectly legal there, as long as they're second class citizen, there's no reason why simply messing with them should warrant even a footnote.
- Yes, fantasy books are not precisely the best place to put legal footnotes. This is nitpicking at best. 99% of readers —especially those who did liked the books— do not care for that kind of details.
- When we're told that mind-control is one of the worst things you can do in the fantasy setting, it is entirely reasonable to notice when it's played for laughs - see also love potions.
- Yes, thank you ^ a good example of a page that needs a clean-up. Apart from the blatant natter, it has only one example about a love potion use to presumably have sex with someone, all other examples are about non-sexual inflatuation and yet they are still included in a trope about rape. Yes, some tropers really hate these books.
- Just because you take any questioning of the books' internal logic as personal attacks (or at least react to them as such) it doesn't make them natters or guarantee their removal. Perhaps you should take a break from the headscratches pages if they offend you so much.
- The problem is not about "questioning of the books' internal logic", which several tropers normally try to answer honestly, but what is to think of comments like "Are you really comfortable defending that woman's sense of humor?"? where's the questioning there or the Headscratcher? When someone has a Headscratcher is because he or she has an honest doubt and place it in search of a possible answer and other users try their best to make an answer. But curiously here some Tropers admit that they are willing to "counterargument" every answer they receive from their Headscratcher. If they have to be argumentative then they didn't have a Headscratcher to begin with, they just were angry or upset with the book and wanted to complain and didn't want an answer other than "Yes, you're right, this book sucks".
- To be honest, the ones taking it as personal attack seem to be the ones “questioning” the books’ internal logic as any effort to answer them becomes a heated debate, which—correct me if I’m wrong—is not the logic behind the Headscratchers page. This happens all the time with the Harry Potter series and, let’s be honest, there are tropers who really really didn’t like the books and they are honest about it and they edit a lot the Headscratchers, which is fine. What is not fine is that these often lead to endless debates between the anti-Rowling and the pro-Rowling as neither side wants to let the other "win".
- Presumably have sex with someone? You do recall that it was used to enslave someone, including, yes, forcing them to commit sexual acts and siring a child without consent. How would you qualify it?
- No one is saying that the example of Merope using it with Tom Riddle, Sr. should not be there, are the other examples that are questionable (as no one had sex under love potion spells on the other examples). When I say "presumably" is because there is still no evidence in-universe that love potions make you have sex with someone, it looks more like they make you infatuated with someone but not enough as to make you do something you really don't want. Merope's potion was particularly strong and/or Riddle had sex with her willingly albeit under the spell (in a similar way how someone with too many drinks can end in bed with someone else and regret it next morning). Yet, even if we do accept that Merope's potion did turn Riddle into her sex slave, that's still not valid for calling the other examples "rape" as was no sex involved.
- As with the AK curse, the difference is intention. With the Imperius you have to wish for a person to be your mindless slave and in the same way AK doesn't work if you have no homicidal urges, the Imperius probably doesn't work if you don't want to enslave someone. Confundus on the other hand can be use so casually and without effort that no ill intent is needed. The context of the narrative should also be taken into account. The Confundus charm is presented as a humorous thing, in other words Played for Laughs and most fans, if not all, take it as such. Most fans would think it will be weird for Rowling to waste time explaining why Confundus is considered legal as it is basically a Running Gag. Of course, for those who hated the books these kind of things are nervewrecking.
- Uhm, AK doesn't require homicidal urgencies - Snape had none when he was killing DD. Neither did Sectumsepra, for instance, in fact it was possible to cast it without knowing what it does. Also, I must've hurt my funny bone, because I honestly can't recall a single case when Confundus was played for laughs - DD fooling the headmistress in Riddle's orphanage, Hermie sabotaging Mc Kormak's tryouts, Snape hypnotising Fletcher, Ron cheating on his driver exams... But regardless, this is the point. That things clearly depicted as violating one's mind, free will and agency, are treated as humorous insignificant quirks. Are you honestly ok with it? Also, may I remind you that a particular joke of Rowling involved mocking an aboliton movement. Are you really comfortable defending that woman's sense of humor?
- Let's see.
"AK doesn't require homicidal urgencies - Snape had none when he was killing DD." Yes it does, it is said lots and lots of time in-universe. Snape did wanted to kill Dumbledore to spare him of pain (that, although a noble reason, is still wanting to see someone dead). That why AK doesn't work when Harry uses on Bellatrix and that's one theory of why Voldemort uses Nagini to kill Snape instead of AK.
"Are you honestly ok with it? Are you really comfortable defending that woman's sense of humor?", yes and yes. As other millions of JK Rowling's fans, we do get her sense of humor and we do enjoy her books and her writing. Deal with it. \\\
- Let's see.
- Ah yes, just like how love potions are hilarious. Just because Rowling meant it as a joke doesn't mean we all have to share her sense of humour.
- And no one is telling you have to, but is not a headscratcher if you didn't find it funny.
- Actually it is, given that the books themselves made a big deal about how unforgivable violating someone's free will is. So if readers weren't supposed to take such charms seriously, the writer shouldn't have instructed them to do it by adding the Imperius Curse and playing it straight.
- Most readers do get the difference between Imperious and Confundus, as was explained before. Problem is the explanation given was rejected (as usual) and therefore we are stuck in the same vicious circle. But again, the Headscratcher did was answer; Imperious and Confundus are very different and have very distinct motivations, they are not by any mean, the same and is even questionable if they are similar.
- If you don’t find using the Confundus to pass a driving test, maybe these are not the kind of books for you.
- Why do people cite the incident between Malfoy and Buckbeak as evidence that Hagrid is a bad teacher? Hippogriffs seem like a really interesting subject to learn about, especially as a first lesson, and I saw nothing wrong with how Hagrid introduced and described them to the class. And I think it was well-understood that they weren't creatures you would want to cross - Malfoy was just being an arrogant know-it-all, as usual, when he tried to approach Buckbeak without the proper etiquette. Maybe Hagrid should've been a bit more careful to situate himself between Buckbeak and the students, so that he could have a better chance of keeping them from provoking him, but that hardly makes him the deplorable teacher everyone makes him out to be.
- Several possible reasons IMHO: a) Values Dissonance, should be remembered that these books are European and Europeans, including British, are more badass regarding education. A lot of British boarding schools have, for example, riding lessons and students can literally fall from a horse and break something, is still accepted as a possible risk and part of education. Some schools in places like Norway and Russia teach things like shooting, fencing, archery and literal survivalism, whilst many Americans would be outright on the idea of risking kids that way. b) Society Marches On, in a way. Similar to the example before, in the 80s/90s and before it was common for many schools to do actual things that could put kids in certain reasonable danger to get hurt and no one cried about it. Being hit by a Hippogriff is probably less dangerous than skateboarding which was endorsed by some schools and even made championships. Nowadays the prevalent idea is that kids should be protected from absolutely any physical or emotional harm of any way, that’s why some schools give trophies just for showing (and thus not hurt any feelings). Rowling is probably from that generation and the books are supposed to happen in the 90s. c) Some people took the books more seriously as they really are. They are supposed to be fantasy books with certain elements of comedy, not a school manual. The books are supposed to be fun most of the time and watching the resident prick bully being hit by a Hippogriff is something that you are supposed to enjoy, nevertheless the mentality of "you are endangering kids for God's sake" prevails in some people, for some reason. It is the equivalent of watching the Quiditch games and wondering why they don’t use properly regulated helmets or watching them open the candy in the Halloween scene and thinking that all that sugar is going to hurt their teeth. You know, like a parent... (and not the cool one). d) Some people simply hate the books and/or hate Hagrid as a character.
- I think it's Values Dissonance of a different sort - a more in-universe one. Most people don't seem to realize how much more lightly injuries are taken by magic folk. Really, what's the point of getting everyone worked up over a bunch of little things that can be swept away with the wave of a wand? It's always seemed to me that some readers just don't seem able to grasp that this is basically a completely different culture we're reading about here, and a lot of instances like these are more understandable if looked at from their perspective. (It makes me wonder why they read, honestly.) And, also, people mistaking Malfoy's arrogance for a genuine mistake he made. It wouldn't have mattered even if Hagrid had been more careful - Malfoy would've found some way to screw it up for him.
- Did Sirius know all along while he was in Azkaban that Peter had faked his death and was still alive somewhere? Or did he think that he'd actually killed himself by blowing up the street, until the picture of Scabbers in the newspaper told him otherwise? The fact that he knew about Scabbers's missing toe hints toward the former, losing his finger was part of Peter's death-faking, but then why wouldn't Sirius have tried to escape from Azkaban sooner so he could hunt him down and take revenge?
- He definitely knew Peter was alive. He tells Harry that he believes the fact that he was innocent was one of the things that kept him from losing his mind to the Dementors when he arrived. However, seeing the picture does seem to be what gave him the strength to escape. Realizing that Peter was at Hogwarts, perfectly positioned to strike at Harry the moment it suited him to do so, made him angry/desperate enough to attempt it whereas before he'd been too weak.