This is getting boring. Let's change the topic.
A while back, when we were discussing Hat and Cloak, we treated as strong evidence for his being Quirrell the fact that Quirrell has a very near miss on a phrase H&C says: "keyed his monster into the ancient wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself," said by H&C to Blaise Zabini in Chapter 35, versus "some entity which Salazar Slytherin keyed into his wards at a higher level than the Headmaster himself," said by Quirrell to Harry Potter in Chapter 49. However, there is also another
near miss on that phrase in Methods: "the ghost [of Salazar Slytherin] is still keyed into the Hogwarts wards," said by Padma Patil to Hermione Granger and the rest of SPHEW in Chapter 71. It seems likely that this is simply how Eliezer speaks, unless for some reason Padma Patil is also secretly Professor Quirrell.
So, with that evidence out of the way (or at least disputable) let's talk about the identity of H&C. I suppose it might be worth mentioning that we don't necessarily know that the H&C that appears to Hermione in Chapter 77 is the same H&C that appears to Blaise Zabini in Chapter 35. We know that the Chapter 77 H&C adopted multiple different identities within the space of a few minutes, and "face-concealing hat and dark cloak" is not especially distinctive as secret identities go. This could just be a coincidence, used by Eliezer to provide us with a red herring. (A similar red herring appears in-character: Harry Potter expresses disbelief that two separate people could be leaving notes under students' pillows, when in fact this is the case – Harry's notes came from Dumbledore while Hermione's came from Snape.)
As to who it actually is... it seems plain that neither H&C could be anyone other than Snape or Quirrell. (Dumbledore is a theoretical possibility but seems extremely improbable.) First H&C is most likely Quirrell, since Snape really had nothing to gain by screwing around with Quirrell and Harry. Second H&C, though... Remember, Snape orchestrated the entirety of the rest of the Self-Actualization arc. We don't know why, but we know his reason is important enough for him to conceal it from Dumbledore through ridiculous application of Memory Charms. Could the H&C have been the payoff for him at the end of Self-Actualization? Quirrell, meanwhile, really doesn't seem to have much motive; he could
have been setting up dominoes to fall and shatter some of Harry's youthful illusions, but surely Quirrell could have found a simpler way to get to the same result.
Conclusion: First H&C is probably Quirrell, second H&C is probably Snape.
edited 9th Oct '12 11:25:11 AM by Exetera
Everything has a story.