A Few Questions...and Possible Answers (Condensed Thread)

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A Few Questions...and Possible Answers (Condensed Thread)

Post  Elanor on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:10 am

A Few Questions...and Possible Answers (Condensed Thread)

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. Elanor

shepherdess - Dec 5, 2003 3:53 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Jan 12, 2006 11:39 pm
This thread had many different questions and the answers were scattered throughout the thread. In order to edit it so that it would make sense, I broke it down by question, and gathered the answers thogether. Therefore, the number sequencing of messeges will not be in proper order.
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A Few Questions...and Possible Answers (Condensed Thread)

Post  Elanor on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:12 am

HP Lady - Dec 15, 2002 2:39 pm
What if 2 squibs have a child can the child be magic?
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riquelme - Dec 15, 2002 2:47 pm (#1 of 181)
There's a big chance, since two muggle parents can also have a wizard/witch baby.
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Karl Jackson - Mar 9, 2003 11:57 am (#74 of 181)
Since a Squib is someone who lacks his/her own magical power despite being born into a wizarding family, I'd say yes. It certainly works the other way, as Hermione shows. Probably one or both of Hermione's parents have magical relatives. There might be families like the Grangers in whom the magic thing tends to skip a generation, but the next generation who then inherits the gift gets it in spades.
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Jenny M. - May 18, 2003 5:29 pm (#157 of 181)
In my biology class, we learned about epistasis, a situation where two pairs of genes interact to produce a trait. For example, one pair of genes controls possession of magic, and another pair controls ability to use any magic possessed. If you have the "magical" gene combination from the first pair, your gene combination from the second pair will determine whether you are a full witch/wizard or a Squib. If you don't have the magical genes, the "usage" pair of genes won't affect you at all, since they only affect that one combination of genes.
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Megan Felton - Jun 15, 2003 7:05 am (#171 of 181)
It's probably the same chance as two muggles. It is possible but more possible for them not to be.
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Andrew Buchanan - Jun 16, 2003 9:14 pm (#173 of 181)
As a squib is, essentially, the wizarding world reversal of a mudblood, I would imagine it's entirely possible for them to pass magical ability to offspring since it's possible for those without the talent themselves to have magical offspring, especially since magical children of muggle parents aren't very uncommon, apparently (Justin Finch-Fletchley, the Creevey Brothers, and Hermione Granger being notable examples).

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HP Lady - Dec 15, 2002 2:39 pm
What is the difference between a wizard and a warlock, witchcraft and wizardry?
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riquelme - Dec 15, 2002 2:47 pm (#1 of 181)
I think warlocks are older and are also highly skilled wizards?
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Greg Rookwood - Feb 22, 2003 9:44 am (#68 of 181)
Maybe the words are just synomyms, but "warlock" seems to have a more sinister connotation.
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Karl Jackson - Mar 9, 2003 11:57 am (#74 of 181)
Both are male magic-users, though "warlock" originally meant "oath-breaker".
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Shadow Thief - Mar 12, 2003 8:08 pm (#84 of 181)
Here is the definition of a Wizard and Warlock from my fantasy encyclopedia.

In genre fantasy, a wizard is most often a male, human practioner of magic.

Warlocks are refered to as male practitioners of witchcraft, but the word has no etymological warrent. (meaning someone most likely just made it up)
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Lenka - Mar 17, 2003 12:13 pm (#85 of 181)
What's the difference between Witchcraft and Wizardry? I thought one was related to men and the other to women, but the existance of warlocks seems to prove that wrong.
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Nine - Mar 17, 2003 6:09 pm (#86 of 181)
Witchcraft is considered "black", wizardry "white", and witchcraft has more to do with herbs, weird old ladies in forests, and shapeshifting whereas wizardry is more wand or raw power-type magic.
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Lenka - Mar 18, 2003 9:53 am (#87 of 181)
Hermione sais it's "the best school of witchcraft there is" (PS).

Witchcraft? Black? Ha! Makes me think of the dark arts.

By the sound of it, however, Herbology and Potions would be witchcraft, while Charms or transfiguration is wizardry.
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Nine - Mar 18, 2003 3:47 pm (#88 of 181)
That's the historical connotation, not necessarily what it means in HP. But yes, that would make Herbology and Potions witchcraft, Charms, Divination (despite the tea leaves and stuff, it's associated with wizardry. Think crystal ball), and Transfiguration wizardry, and everything else in some other category.
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Andrew Buchanan - Jun 16, 2003 9:14 pm (#173 of 181)
I don't know if J.K. Rowling makes an actual distinction between the two. However, in the strictest sense of the word a Wizard was a male witch. A Warlock, on the other hand, was actually someone not of the coven of witches who infiltrated it in order to betray it to outside authorities, usually Christian. I imagine in J.K. Rowling's world either the terms would be interchangable, or she would be referring to a Muggle infiltrating the Wizarding World.

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HP Lady - Dec 15, 2002 2:39 pm
Around what time period did Arthur and Molly Weasley attend Hogwarts?
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Megan Felton - Jun 15, 2003 7:05 am (#171 of 181)
It would seem quite a bit before Severus, the marauders and Lily. Maybe they were in 7th year when the others were in 1st. They had a different Caretaker They were after the first time the CoS opened.
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Andrew Buchanan - Jun 16, 2003 9:14 pm (#173 of 181)
They do seem to be a bit older than Harry's parents were, but remember they have children that have to be in their mid to late twenties by now, so assuming they started young, they would have to be in their fifties now. That would make sense since it would put them knocking about Hogwarts while Hagrid was still an assistant.
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Kathy Grebeldinger - Jun 17, 2003 9:56 am (#176 of 181)
I believe Arther and Molly Attended Hogwart on or around the same time as Hagrid (1940) at least it make sence taking Bills age into consideration. As for James and Lily they were both in Gryffindor from1971-1978 They were Head boy and girl there final year.
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Petunia Dursely - Jun 17, 2003 12:46 pm (#177 of 181)
Kathy, That would mean that at the beginning of PS Mr and Mrs Weasley would be 51. Let's say in '81 Bill was 25- leaving Mrs Weasley to be 26. It fits perfectly and I agree with you.
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Saralinda - Jun 17, 2003 2:24 pm (#178 of 181)
Some people believe that Lucius would have been from the same class --his enmity with Arthur Weasley seems quite powerful, much like other Hogwarts-born rivalries we've seen.
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However, Mr. Malfoy explicitly told Draco -- or at least, Draco told false-Crabbe-and-Goyle that his father had told him -- that the Chamber of Secrets was last opened "Before his time."

So either:

Lucius was lying or Lucius is younger than Arthur Weasley or Arthur Weasley didn't go to school with Hagrid, either.
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Lars Smedberg - Jun 18, 2003 10:25 am (#179 of 181)
I do think that Arthur & Molly are several years younger than Hagrid. Remember, in the beginning of PS, Hagrid is 62 years old - he's 51 years older than Harry and Ron. So it's quite possible that Arthur and Lucius were at school together. Voldemort is some years older than Hagrid .
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Saralinda - Jun 18, 2003 11:14 am (#180 of 181)
Hagrid is, I believe, two years younger than Voldie.
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Kathy Lynch - Jun 20, 2003 1:32 pm (#181 of 181)
Also, i don't think Arthur and Lucious necessarily had to have gone to Hogwarts together to have a rivalry. Simply working together could have been enough.

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HP Lady - Dec 15, 2002 2:39 pm
Where James and Lily both Gryffindor's?
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W J - Mar 10, 2003 4:50 pm (#78 of 181)
Scholastic 2nd interview:

Q: What position did James play on the Gryffindor Quidditch team? Was it seeker like Harry, or something different?

JKR: James was Chaser
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Sly Girl - Mar 10, 2003 6:16 pm (#79 of 181)
Which makes sense because while Harry may get his keen flying skills from his father, he may get his ability to watch that Snitch from his mother's eyes.
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Andrew Buchanan - Jun 16, 2003 9:14 pm (#173 of 181)
Yes, I think they both were. Of course, an argument against it would be they were Head Boy and Head Girl so they'd almost have to be from separate houses. Mind you, they could've been co-prefects of Gryffindor house, and for that matter they may not have been in the same grade. I believe in "Sorcerer's Stone" Hagrid simply says they were Head Boy and Girl in their day, so James could have been older than Lily or vice versa.

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HP Lady - Dec 15, 2002 2:39 pm
There are spells for everything why isn't there a location spell to find missing people?
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lilly - Dec 16, 2002 3:14 pm (#9 of 181)
Yeah, they could have just said "Accio Bertha Jorkins!" They would have found Bertha quick and spit! Maybe "Accio" just dosen't work on humans.
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Mickey - Dec 19, 2002 10:33 am (#17 of 181)
I'm betting that Lilly's right and Accio doesn't work on humans, at least ones who are in possession of all their faculties.
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Zelmia - Dec 26, 2002 10:37 pm (#18 of 181)
As for a "locator" spell, there aren't spells that give the caster knowledge he or she doesn't already have. Many spells apparently don't work on humans. You can't "Oculus Reparo" your eyes. But I think in order for Accio to work, you have to know where the object is. Even if the spell could be used on a person, they didn't know where Bertha was so could not have summoned her.
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Andrew Buchanan - Jun 16, 2003 9:14 pm (#173 of 181)
If you look at the Maurader's Map, you'll see there are indeed spells for locating people. However, as Barty Crouch Jr. pointed out in the end of GoF, there are ways around that. For instance, he transfigured his father's corpse into a bone and buried it so it wouldn't show up.

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HP Lady - Dec 15, 2002 2:39 pm
How do muggles like Herminone's parents get magical children? Does there have to be some sort of magic ancestor?
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riquelme - Dec 15, 2002 2:47 pm (#1 of 181)
Maybe, after all, everything is hereditary. The ancestors could have even been Squibs.
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Alianora - Dec 15, 2002 7:22 pm (#6 of 181)
I personally think that this isn't true, I think that magic has nothing to do with genes and is just about the sort of person you are, but you are more likely to have a certain mindset or something if your parents are wizards.
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liliaceae - Feb 4, 2003 1:39 pm (#51 of 181)
Well, in answer to the genetic question, I'd assume that magical ability could be explained as a recessive gene, like blond hair or green eyes. I mean, even a family with a dominant genotype can produce the occasional recessive. Hermione could be a recessive in a long line of dominants. And the magical community is made up of recessives continually passing their genes down. For example, red hair is fairly recessive, and yet the entire Weasley family has it. They can be looked upon as a microcosm for the wizarding world.

The only thing that throws me is that when a muggle and a witch/wizard have a child together, s/he usually ends up magical, right? Hmm...that would be the opposite of recessive, so maybe the wizarding gene is dominant and wizards/witches choose to sequester themselves? Maybe people like Hermione are the odd dominant that appears in a long line of recessives. Maybe the reason squibs are more rare than muggle-borns is because it IS a dominant gene? Hmm...this gets kinda funky...
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Nine - Mar 23, 2003 10:42 am (#90 of 181)
Magic could be tied to the X-chromosome. But we still end up with a problem that it can't be recessive or we don't have Squibs. But if the trait is dominant, muggle-borns like Hermione can't exist. Same goes for every possible combination of a single-gene magical trait.
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Rosariana - Mar 23, 2003 3:07 pm (#91 of 181)
Or maybe magic isn't tied in with genetics at all. It is niether dominant nor recessive. Magic contradicts the rules of science, therefore we can't scientifically explain how people in HP get their magical talents. It's magic, that's how!

I think of magic as not a hereditary trait, but a quality similar to attitude and personality. Maybe it is influenced by environment, which is why Squibs are uncommon. Muggle-borns may acquire their talent from the desire to create excitment in their lives. Maybe Hermione was inspired by some particularly imaginative book in her childhood to let loose her magical qualities.
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Nine - Mar 24, 2003 5:52 pm (#92 of 181)
Power, according to Hagrid, is genetic, but whether or not someone has magic doesn't seem to fit any particular pattern.
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Cliff Hamaker - Mar 24, 2003 6:50 pm (#93 of 181)
Maybe it is tied to both the X and Y? Like you have to havea certain "mutant" X-chromosome to pair up with the certain "mutant" Y-chromosome? And that those special chromosomes are more common in "mutant" people?
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Mattew Bates - Mar 25, 2003 9:38 am (#94 of 181)
It can't have too much environmental influence, Rosariana. Their names are scribed into the book at Hogwarts when they are born.
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Jennifer Raye - Mar 25, 2003 10:41 am (#95 of 181)
I agree with Rosariana about magical ability being like attitude or personality. In many, but not all cases, kids "inherit" personality traits from their parents and it has nothing to do with genetics, its just the way it is. That would explain why most wizarding families continue to have magic children but also the existence of squibs. Muggle borns are just kids who possess talents their parents didn't have - again something that is seen fairly often.
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S.E. Jones - Mar 25, 2003 2:17 pm (#96 of 181)
Science is the study of nature. Magic by definition is supernatural and so cannot be confined to the laws governing the natural world. Some of my favorite fantasy series view magic as a sort of essence the imbues the witch or wizard. If this were the case then it would make sense to have muggle-borns and squibs.
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Cliff Hamaker - Mar 25, 2003 6:48 pm (#97 of 181)
I don't know how much "inherited" personality traits are nature and not nurture. I would think that they are more nurture though in the fact that after living with your parents for 18 years, the beginning ones you most impressionable and the time you spend most with your parents, you would pick up on some of their mannerisms.

However, I can also see your side as my mother constantly tells me I sneeze exactly like my father. So, until sneezing is proven to be an impressionable trait, I will agree that some of one's magical ability is inherited.

I also think that magical ability is more potential rather than a set thing. Filch has little potential, so he is a Squib. Muggles are the same way though they weren't born into a wizarding family. Harry has much wizarding potential (Mr. Ollivander saying something along the lines of "We must expect great things from you Mr. Potter.") and he is living up to it. And though Crabbe and Goyle might have a reasonable amount of potential, they most likely will not live up to it. I think that magical ability relies on a potential more or less set at birth and a person's willingness to reach that potential.
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Meg L. - Mar 30, 2003 1:17 pm (#105 of 181)
Maybe witches and wizards are a more highly evolved form of humans. I don't really know how this would work with Muggle-borns or Squibs, but somehow, it could be genetically based. I don't know, this problem just bugs me so much. I really don't think that it can be totally something that can be explained by our Muggle science. Just think about what people in the Middle Ages thought about things we know to be "true science" today - they called it magic. We rely very heavily on what we know about the universe and about science to discuss this topic, but I have a feeling that if we were to ask someone in the know (eg, JKR) it would be much more complex than we can comprehend. Magic doesn't follow all of our traditional scientific laws, so we probably can't explain heredity of Magical abilities with our knowledge of genetics either.
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Diagon Nilly - Apr 14, 2003 5:45 pm (#130 of 181)
My theory on Magical Ability: magical ability is inherited the same was eye color is inherited. In other words: genetic and recessive. However magical ability is NOT supernatural, but has to do with the wizards ability to manipulate the electromagnetic fields that exists around everything. For example, the reason we can't walk through a wall has nothing to do with the clashing of two solids since on a molecular level MOST things are composed mainly of empty spaces between atoms. We can't walk through wall because the electron clouds surrounding our atoms and the walls atoms have opposing electrical charges. If someone could somehow manipulate the electromagnetic field in the wall (Probably the valence electrons would do) to be ATTRACTING charges to a person's EM field (say, in a certain wall leading to the platform for a certain train) then walking through walls would be no problem. To again quote my "Science of Harry Potter" book, "Particles of matter are waves of energy, and waves are particles. Each can appear as one or the other depending on what sort of measurement is being performed. Stranger still, a particle moving between two points in space travels along all possible paths between them simultaneously."

Okay, I'm going to put that all together. A wizard is a wizard because of his/her ability to manipulate electricity and magnetism. All things on Earth are made of atoms, and all atoms are electric and magnetic (positive, negative or neutral). A wizard can start simply, like levitating charms (the wizard manipulates the magnetic field in an object to make it "repel" from a surface - to do so, the wizard has to have an awareness of EVERY ATOM in that object and manipulate EVERY ATOM in that object) to advanced magic, like apparating (The wizard has to be VERY aware of every atom in his OWN body, disassemble every atom in his whole body and reassemble them again in the correct order - and do ALL this in the fraction of a second). This would probably not only me mentally tiring, but physically as well since magic (of any level) requires concentration on physical and mental levels. Wizards don't need electricity because they can manufacture their own and draw electricity from the objects around them. Things like CD players and computers won't work at Hogwarts because there's too much "magic" in the air. Actually, there's too much electricity in the air and the extra surges of electricity would cause an electric object to either die or blow up and die (like plugging an American hair dryer into a European socket). So, magic isn't really supernatural at all, but an amalgamation of quantum mechanics, physics and biology. If it makes it easier, think of magic like ESP. Certain people can do it but most people can't. So, like someone said above - a wizard is not necessarily a "highly" evolved person, but a person with super-charged physical consciousness.
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Cliff Hamaker - Apr 14, 2003 6:21 pm (#131 of 181)
Makes sense. Especially that last sentence. I agree that their brains are "wired" differently than a regular human being's. But I do think that the possibility is there that they are our next "evolution".
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Diagon Nilly - Apr 14, 2003 6:50 pm (#132 of 181)
The only reason I don't agree is because wizards have been around for ages...almost as long as modern man. I prefer to think of them as an "alternate" evolution. Sort of like that brief period of time when Cro-Magnon co-existed with Neanderthal. Hey, maybe wizards are the "missing link"? There's quite a jump in evolution between the two with no explanation given as to how they could have both existed at the same time. And why did Neanderthal man die out? I don't actually think wizards are a missing link,..or aliens...or anything other than a genetic anomaly. But hey, it's a theory.
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Thomas Barnes - Apr 18, 2003 5:33 pm (#136 of 181)
The "missing link" was early-20th century theory that attempted to explain the gap between Homo Habilis and modern humans. Subsequent excavations have filled in the gap. Current paleontological theory holds that early hominid development didn't just progress from pithicenes to humans in a straight line, but that there were several "dead end" branches that existed at about the same the same time.

Debate about Cro Magnons and Neanderthals continues among scientists. Some claim that Neanderthals vanished by breeding with Cro-Mags, while others claim that invading Cro Magnons from Africa or the Middle East pushed into Europe and either directly or indirectly wiped out the indigenous Neanderthals. Another theory holds that the Neanderthals died out directly or indirectly due to the effects of the end of the last Ice Age. In any case, the Neanderthals were very human-like (as opposed to being trollish) - they practiced fairly elaborate burial customs, cared for their sick and elderly, made beautiful stone tools and had brains capacity that was larger than the equivalent H. Sapiens of the period.

In terms of Harry Potter, it seems that most wizards are of the specie s H. Sapiens (H. Sapiens Mirabilensis?) with some exceptions (e.g., Hagrid, Fleur Delacourt). While it's possible that Giants are an offshoot of the Neanderthals, there's nothing in the books to prove or disprove such a thing.
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Mattew Bates - Apr 22, 2003 2:38 pm (#138 of 181)
Diagon Nilly, I like your idea about magic having scientific explanations, but I have to debate your statement that there is nothing supernatural about it.

(from dictionary.com) su•per•nat•u•ral - adj. 1. Of or relating to existence outside the natural world. 2. Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces.

mag•ic n. The art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural.

Magic is, by definition, supernatural.

Every scientific explanation for Rowling's magic brings with it more questions. Reading your ideas, several sprang to mind: By what chemical, physical, and/or biological mechanism do wizards manipulate electricity and atoms? Would a wizard's brain look different in a CAT scan? How do objects stay enchanted when apart from wizards? How do magical creatures (like dementors) remain invisible to muggles, yet visible to wizards?

Answers, by thier very nature, breed more questions. All explanations of the supernatural bring more questions, and somewhere down the line, the answer lies outside of natural explanation. The supernatural will always be out there, and it will always seem magical.

Some old questions still remain - ghosts. Ghosts are a (sometimes) visible and (barely) physical manifestation of dead people. No matter how you slice it, science doesn't cover the human spirit, or its (literary) ability to maintain a form after its body dies. You may be able to come up with plausible explanations for a ghost's physical properties, but their mere existence cannot be explained in the terms of natural science. Metaphysical or philosophical terms, perhaps, but that's hardly natural sciences.

Sometimes I think the most magical thing about wizards is their ability to utilize the supernatural without needing an explanation.
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Tabitha M. - May 14, 2003 1:44 am (#145 of 181)
My personal theory, is that wizards and witches may have genes in their DNA that are activated, whereas the rest of the population may contain genes that are inactivated by insertions, deletions or transpositions in the genes that control brain activity in areas of the brain controlling magic. This would be an interesting line to pursue, with the advent of sequencing the human genome. Wouldn't it be interesting if magic abilities could be detected by a test like PCR, that is also used in identifying hman genetic diseases?
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Madam Poppy - May 14, 2003 6:29 pm (#148 of 181)
In an AOL October 19, 2000 interview, JKR was asked, "Does everyone have a little magic in them? Even if they are Muggles? And if not, how did magic start?

JKR replied, "I think we do (outside the books), but within my books - do you really think there's any magic in Uncle Vernon? Magic is one of those odd talents which some have and some don't."
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Lars Smedberg - May 17, 2003 5:19 am (#150 of 181)
We humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, in which our hereditary dispositions are hidden, and we inherit one chromosome in each pair from our father and the other one from our mother. My guess is, that magic talents are inherited in one of these 23 pairs of chromosomes, but to be able to use magic, you must have inherited the magic talents from both your parents. From this aspect, there should be three kinds of humans; magicians, "pure Muggles" and "half Muggles".

Magicians have inherited the magic powers from both parents, and are therefore able to use them. "Pure Muggles" (the vast majority of humanity !) have inherited no magical powers at all, while "half Muggles" have inherited magical talents from only one parent. Then they cannot use magic, BUT they can pass the magical talents on to their own children.

If both parents are magicians, the child will automatically be a magician, if both parents are "pure Muggles", the child automatically will be a "pure Muggle", and if one parent is a magician and the other a "pure Muggle", the child automatically will be a "half Muggle". But; if one parent is a magician and the other is a "half Muggle", then it will be 50 % chance that the child will be a magician and 50 % chance it will be a "half Muggle". On the other hand; if one parent is a "half Muggle" and the other a "pure Muggle" - then it's 50 % chance the child will be a "half Muggle" and 50 % chance that the child will be a "pure Muggle". AND (the most interesting case); if both parents are "half Muggles" - thén the chance will be 50 % that the child is a "half Muggle", 25 % that it is a "pure Muggle" and 25 % that it is a magician ! (You know, this could go on for generations; a "half Muggle" marries a "pure Muggle" and have a child who is a "half Muggle", who marries a "pure Muggle" and hav a child who is a "half Muggle"... etc, etc - but then, the unsuspecting "half Muggle", who may not know a thing about his/her magician-ancestors, marries another "half Muggle" - or maybe even a magician - and have a magician for a child !)

How will these theories apply to the characters in the book ? Tom Marvolo Riddle and Seamus Finnegan are both supposed to be sons of Muggle fathers and witches - but I guess that both Tom Riddle sr. and Seamus' father really were "half Muggles" not knowing about their magic ancestry. As for the "mugglebornes", they must be the children of two "half Muggles"; Hermione, Lily Potter, the Creevy brothers, Justin, Penelope - all being the 25 % chance-children of two "half Muggles". Hermione probably have no siblings (if she had, we ought to have heard of them) - but 25 % is not THAT small a chance, for a single child. The chance that two brothers both are magicians seems even smaller, but for all we know, Colin and Dennis might have a lot of brothers and sisters ! (If there are as musch as 8 Creevy children, statistics would say that two would be magicians, if both parents were "half Muggles"). And we don't know whether either Justin nor Penelope has any siblings.

The only "muggleborn" we know who had a Muggle sibling is Lily, with Muggle sister Petunia. But in their case, judging from what Petunia says in HP#1, chapter 4, her and Lily's parents must have known or suspected that they were "half Muggles", and hoped for at least one of their daughters to be a witch. Petunia was a disappointment in this aspect but Lily fulfilled their hopes. If my theories are correct, Petunia, as one of two children of two "half Muggles" might very well be a "half Muggle" herself - and so might also her only child, Dudley. Then, perhaps, Dudley might once be the father of a witch or wizard.

I think that Squibs are handicapped magicians; maybe being a Squib is something like being a Dyslectic. That is; to be a Squib, you have to be a magician. After all; it seems like Squibs can train themselves to overcome their problems to some degree.
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Nine - May 18, 2003 12:40 pm (#154 of 181)
But then there would have to be another gene (or circumstance) to explain why Squibs can't use their powers as well. Dyslexia, to further your example, is probably genetic in nature. We need environment or more genes to explain Squibs, at which point magic is no longer simply a recessive gene.
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Andrew Buchanan - Jun 16, 2003 9:14 pm (#173 of 181) I would imagine that with the statement "there isn't a wizard alive today who isn't half blood or less", J.K. Rowling pretty well established significant interbreeding between people in the Wizarding World and Muggles, so most people probably have a magical ancestor somewhere. The tendency toward being magical simply has to pop up. Of course, it could also be that way because this is a work of fiction and that's the way J.K. Rowling wants it to be.
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shepherdess - Dec 5, 2003 4:21 pm (#1 of 2)
55 year old mother of 3, step-mother of 2, grandmom to 3, living in Oklahoma
Zelmia - Dec 27, 2002 10:30 pm (#19 of 181)
How does the House Points thing work? What I mean is, are the points automatically added or subtracted magically whenever someone utters, "Take ten points for Gryffindor" or whatever? Or is that maybe part of the Prefects' job, to go around at the end of the day and tally all the points Smile Okay, the latter seems unlikely, but you never know.....
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Diagon Nilly - Dec 28, 2002 1:10 pm (#25 of 181)
There's a point meter on the wall in the Great Hall. It's in the background of the dueling scene in the CoS movie. (here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] )

I think points are given/taken as the teacher says it out loud to a student.
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starbuck - Feb 21, 2003 3:36 pm (#59 of 181)
In the first book after HHR are found out of bed, JKR says that the "Gryffindors passing the giant hourglasses that recorded the house points the next day thought there'd been a mistake." So I think there must be some magical system that can't really be explained. Maybe voice-recognition for all the prefects, Head Boy and Girl, and professors, or something.

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Zelmia - Dec 28, 2002 12:14 am (#21 of 181)
I keep forgetting to ask about the Weasley's clocks. The one tells when it's time to do certain things ("Time to feed the chickens...") and the other one has the 9 hands on it that say what everyone's doing when they're not at home (when they are at home the hand for that person points to "Home"). Okay, now the question: The second "clock" has "In Mortal Peril" on it, right? So why didn't Molly Weasley notify Hogwarts when Ron was "in mortal peril" when he and Harry were talking to Aragog? For that matter, wouldn't she have known already about Ginny in the Chamber?
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W J - Dec 28, 2002 3:35 pm (#26 of 181)
Wasn't the Aragog scene at night? Maybe Mrs. Weasley was already in bed or maybe she was away from home. The clock may have actually pointed to "In mortal peril" but she may not have seen it.


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shepherdess - Jan 17, 2003 11:46 pm (#28 of 181) Before the third task, while they were growing the maze on the Quidditch pitch, why did it never occur to Harry (or anyone else) to just fly over the pitch and memorize how to get to the center? Or see what obsticles there were? Yeah, I know that would be cheating, but they cheated at everything else in the tournament!
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azi - Jan 18, 2003 7:17 am (#29 of 181)
Harry probably never thought of it - he was very busy preparing for the challenges - remember Harry has pride and didn't need to stoop so low as to cheat this time.
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Sly Girl - Jan 18, 2003 7:57 am (#30 of 181)
besides which they might have put a charm or spell around the whole thing so you couldn't see in or over it.
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dudley - Jan 18, 2003 1:59 pm (#31 of 181)
They probably re-arragnged the hedges before the test to confuse potential cheaters
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Elizabeth Smith - Jan 19, 2003 10:39 am (#32 of 181)
why didn't Harry just accio a axe and chop his way through?
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Diagon Nilly - Jan 19, 2003 3:42 pm (#34 of 181)
Harry Could also have pocketed a niffler. The thing would have led him right to the gold tri-wizard cup.

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Kristie - Feb 2, 2003 10:36 pm (#41 of 181)
I would like to know why registering as an animagus is so important when 6th year students learn it in transfiguration. Wouldn't everyone be registered? And wouldn't they learn to become more than 1 animal or whatever?
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dudley - Feb 3, 2003 2:20 am (#42 of 181)
Becoming an animagus is not like transfiguration. For starters, you dont need a wand. Also, you can transform into anything with transfiguration, whilst being an animagus you change into your "spirit creature" (sorry for happy clappy terms). You can stay in animal form forever, when transfiguration wears off.

The jist of it is that it is very hard to become an animagus because of the no-wand thing, and is therefore not like 6th year transfiguration lessons.
-----------------------------------------------------------------And you can self-control the animagus transformation from either form. If you're transfigured or partially transfigured, you need to have someone change you back (unless you're still mostly human and can hold a wand, like Krum in GoF).
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W J - Feb 3, 2003 7:10 pm (#48 of 181)
And, 6th year students might learn ABOUT becoming an animagi but they certainly are not required to become one.
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Cliff Hamaker - Feb 21, 2003 6:29 pm (#63 of 181)
Dudley used the word "spirit animal" and I think that is a very good assessment of an animagus. I mean, Sirius is loyal to the Potters, and of course Harry, and what is his animal shape? A dog! And Peter is just a nasty little man with many unsociable qualities. His animal? A rat! Coincidence? I think not! And of course McGonagal.... Well, I can't think of a great reason at this point in time but, I'm sure SOMEBODY will!
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Diagon Nilly - Feb 21, 2003 10:57 pm (#66 of 181)
Maybe McGonagall is curious? Perhaps she's sly and graceful
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Zelmia - May 18, 2003 1:15 pm (#155 of 181)
In QA [page 1] it says: "The witch or wizard who finds him- or herself transfigured into a bat... having a bat's brain, they are sure to forget where they want to go the moment they take flight." Also, Lupin takes the Wolfsbane potion because "I keep my mind when I transform."

Yet Sirius and McGonagall seem to retain all of their human facultites while in animal form. McGonagall reports to Dumbledore in PS/SS about the behaviour of the Dursleys, which she had observed while still a cat, and Sirius had the presence of mind, not only to escape from prison, but to embark on his agonizing journey to Hogwarts while still a dog.

However, Sirius describes himself as "less human" to the Dementors, which is what enabled him to escape from Azkaban. My question is this: Does an animagus, or a wizard transfigured into animal form, keep his or her wits about them or not? This is conflicting information.
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Cliff Hamaker - May 18, 2003 3:11 pm (#156 of 181)
I think that the physical layout of the mind is different. As in Sirius can still think like a human, but the brain is still a dog's. So, the Dementors sense the dog's brain and not Sirius' human mind beneath.
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Cliff Hamaker - May 19, 2003 9:15 am (#159 of 181)
When one is transfigured it is trough an outside force, even if done by their own hand. However, when one morphs into his/her Animagus form, they do it willingly and from the "inside", for it does not require a wand. Therefore, Professor McGonagal retains her human mind when she turns into a cat and Rita when she turns into a beetle. However, Krum would have had trouble remembering what he set out to do at the beginning of the second task when he transfigured his head into a shark and Lupin completely loses his mind when whatever "virus" in his blood causes him to turn into a werewolf. Those are both outside forces.
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Zelmia - May 20, 2003 3:14 pm (#163 of 181)
That makes sense, however, Viktor Krum was able to complete the 2nd task without difficulty with his partial transfiguration. This is what makes it so confusing to me. Incidentally, it goes to show how difficult transfiguration must be since Krum's intention was to turn himself into a shark, but he only managed to change his head - which of course was sufficient for the purposes of the Task.
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Marè - May 20, 2003 3:17 pm (#164 of 181)
Well maybe he also transfigured his head partially and his human brains were kept intact.
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S.E. Jones - May 20, 2003 7:44 pm (#166 of 181)
As to whether animagi keep their human minds, I'd say yes. Someone who is transfigured takes on a transfigured mind, but an animagi keeps the original mind the person had. Black says his emotions, not his mind, became less human and that's why the dementors thought he was going crazy and why they had trouble sensing him.
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Jenny M. - May 20, 2003 11:09 pm (#167 of 181)
I agree with you, Zelmia. According to my version of the theory, Krum knew he was transfiguring himself and it was his choice to do so, so he could still retain his human mind. I think the ability to choose whether and decide when to change is the determining factor, and the source of the change (internal-animagus-power, external-wand or external-moon) is just incidental. Remember, JKR's example was "someone who was transfigured into a bat", implying passivity, not "someone who transfigured herself into a bat", which would have implied free choice.
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Lars Smedberg - May 21, 2003 8:18 am (#168 of 181)
You're right, the book says "...finds him- or herself Transfigured into a bat..." - but that's a strange way to express yourself in, I think. An Animagus surely doesn't need someone else's help to Transfigure himself - would he ? And, after all, if you Transfigure yourself into a bat (or cat or beetle or whatever) - the next moment you will "find yourself Transfigured into a bat", wouldn't you ? Transfigured by yourself, but still. (Actually, the Swedish translation has "...Transfigures himself..." - in Swedish, of course.) No, I still think that the line about bats and bats' brains in QA was a mistake from JKR:s side - OR, it could be deliberately; she might want to tell us that though the supposed writer of QA, Kennilworthy Whisp, knows a lot about Quidditch, he doesn't know much about Animagi... Maybe THAT'S the explanation ? But it would be interesting to know whether someone Transfigured by somebody else still have his/her human mind; did Malfoy keep HIS human mind when "Moody" a.k.a. Crouch jr. transformed him into a ferret ?
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Zelmia - May 21, 2003 3:32 pm (#169 of 181)
It seems clear that Malfoy was very aware of what was happening to him because his face was beet red with embarassment.
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Wednesday Weasley - May 21, 2003 3:34 pm (#170 of 181)
I think the idea (as I see it, anyway) is that transfiguration and becoming an animagus are two different things. For instance, when Krum used "an incomplete form of transfiguration" in the 2nd Triwizard task, (I assume) he used his wand to do some sort of spell, whereas an animagus transforms at will.

I think animagi keep their human minds a little bit more; I mean, my cats don't tend to read street signs, wheras Prof. McGonagall didn't seem to have any trouble keeping her human mind's ability to read while she was in her animagus-cat form. And I still think the key to Krum's keeping his mind in the Triwizard task is that the transfiguration was incomplete.

It's kind of sketchy and ambiguous though, I admit.

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Prof Sprout - Feb 3, 2003 5:39 pm (#44 of 181)
I have a question. Where do young wizards from wizard families go to primary school? I can't picture the Malfoys letting Draco go to a Muggle school. Are they just home schooled or tutored?
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NoVeil4Me - Feb 3, 2003 6:29 pm (#46 of 181)
JKR said in one of the Scholastic interviews (links on the Lexicon) that wizard children do not attend muggle schools prior to going to Hogwarts. They learn math etc in Muggle studies. Since this would leave them arriving at Hogwarts basically uneducated, it would stand to reason that parents teach them at home the basics of reading and such.
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Prof Sprout - Feb 3, 2003 6:56 pm (#47 of 181)
Doesn't arithmancy have a lot to do with math. Or is it just muggle borns that are in it. They would have to be at least decent in math with their money, being in odd intravals. I realize they probably don't need too much science in the wizard rule since it breaks the rules anyway, but they have to learn grammar, somewhat to write all of their papers. We also know they read. Though I thought maybe thats why, Crabbe and Goyle are so stupid, they were never in the muggle world, to go to school, like the half bloods and muggle borns. Maybe Malfoys had a private tutor, to teach Malfoy.
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W J - Feb 3, 2003 7:10 pm (#48 of 181)
Arithmancy is like astrology/divination but with numbers. It's not really "math" math if you know what I mean.

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Prof Sprout - Feb 8, 2003 7:11 am (#56 of 181)
How do muggle born wizards buy their school supplies for their first year. Hermione was able to get everything she needed for class and a little extra light reading. Not having anyone tell her about Diagon Ally how did she find it with her family?
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NoVeil4Me - Feb 8, 2003 7:38 am (#57 of 181)
Common belief, among fans anyway, is that muggle born wizards get a different letter than those born among wizard families. Along with the letter is probably a visit by someone from Hogwarts to assure the family it is not a joke, explain where and how to get supplies etc.

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starbuck - Feb 21, 2003 3:36 pm (#59 of 181)
In the first book, Harry's trying to figure out how to get on the platform when he hears Mrs. Weasley say, "Now, what's the platform number?" Ginny replies, "Nine and three-quarters!" But if five of the Weasley kids have already gone to Hogwarts, wouldn't she know the platform number? At first I thought maybe it changed every time, but clearly it doesn't because in GoF they're still traveling from 9 3/4.
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Diagon Nilly - Feb 21, 2003 3:43 pm (#60 of 181)
Maybe having six kids has fried her brain just a little. I see some people with ONE kid and they act like they've been lobotomized. Poor Mrs Weasley just has a lot on her mind Wink
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NoVeil4Me - Feb 21, 2003 3:53 pm (#62 of 181)
I think it was more a case of her thinking outloud. As for the platform number, it is not important in the grand scheme of things and I doubt she would make a special effort to remember it when so many other details need her attention more.

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shepherdess - Apr 5, 2003 9:26 pm (#108 of 181)
Before he turned eleven, Harry went to school. Why did he have no friends? He's a nice person. He's *normal*. He's not stupid or ugly or smelly. (And, please, don't say they were afraid to be his friend because of Dudley. Other kids who get picked on have friends, even if they're other kids who get picked on and have nothing to lose.)
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Denise S. - Apr 5, 2003 9:32 pm (#109 of 181)
It doesn't take much to make kids decide that a person is not worth making friends with, and there can be any number of reasons--Dudley was the 800-lb gorilla and kids followed his lead; Harry wore old and ugly clothes; he was likely quiet and easy to miss. And as far as not making friends with someone because the bully/kid in charge says not to--that happens too, because the in-the-middle-kids want to please the kids above them and don't want the scorn that would come from befriending the "unpopular" kid.
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Zelmia - May 18, 2003 1:15 pm (#155 of 181)
Harry didn't have any friends because "Dudley had made sure of that." I don't think this means that he and his gang threatened to beat up anyone who befriended Harry. More likely Dudley said things about Harry that he knew would make Harry unlikeable. For example, "He still wears diapers" is a BIG insult to any Kindergardener and something other kids would readily believe and catch on to. Sadly, there is always some kid in every little "kid community" that no one really likes. In this case it was Harry.
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shepherdess - Dec 5, 2003 4:37 pm (#2 of 2)
55 year old mother of 3, step-mother of 2, grandmom to 3, living in Oklahoma
Prof Sprout - Apr 6, 2003 7:55 am (#110 of 181)
But why would Moody/Crouch Jr. teach Harry how to deflect the imperious curse. Was he just testing his abilities? Because I don't know if he would have been able to block LV imperious curse at the end of GOF.
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azi - Apr 6, 2003 8:06 am (#111 of 181)
Acting as Moody he had to encourage Harry to fight against the curse. He may have wanted to use Harry as an example of how you can fight against it. If he hadn't taken Harry's 'work' further then people may have wondered why.

I think that Crouch was just acting how Moody would have acted in that situation. Crouch had no idea that Voldie would have to use the Imperious Curse on Harry at any point - I think he actually had a very low view on what Harry was like and thought he would give in quickly at first. Of course his views changed as time went on.
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W J - Apr 6, 2003 3:28 pm (#112 of 181)
Some people think that since Crouch Jr had been under his father's Imperious Curse himself for so long, he hated the curse and wanted everyone to be able to fight it. He admired Harry's ability to fight it and encouraged him.
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Marè - Apr 7, 2003 9:53 am (#115 of 181)
What I can recall off another thread: • Chrouch wanted to raise no suspicion and did EXACTLY what Moody would have done. • He believed Voldemort was stronger anyway and thought it could do no harm teaching Harry all that stuff. • He wanted Harry to be a worty opponent to Voldemort. So Voldemorts victory would have been a greater one. • He wanted to test hoe strong Harry exactly was.

But all that still makes me think that Chrouch Jr. made a mistake and his teaching Harry made it possible for Harry to escape Voldemort once again.
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Nine - Apr 7, 2003 2:07 pm (#116 of 181)
Another possibility mentioned on that thread WAS the idea that Crouch just didn't know that Voldie would use the Imperius Curse.
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Pinky - Apr 7, 2003 4:53 pm (#117 of 181)
I suppose Dumbledore could have specifically mentioned that he would like Moody (Crouch) to teach those to the students so they could be prepared to fight them.

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Liz Mann - Apr 9, 2003 1:07 pm (#118 of 181)
Hogwarts was supposed to be one of the only safe places left during Voldie's rise through power, right? So why didn't the Potters just stay there???
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Kathy Lynch - Apr 9, 2003 1:17 pm (#119 of 181)
Well Liz, if you had just spent seven years there, graduated, gotten married and had a baby, would YOU want to live there? =} I think most kids fresh out of school don't EVER want to go back!
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Liz Mann - Apr 13, 2003 7:53 am (#124 of 181)
Well, maybe you wouldn't want to go back, Kathy, but this is you and your families lives we're talking about. Besides, Hogwarts isn't like most schools. I should think lots of their ex-students would love to go back (so long as they didn't have to do lessons!)
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S.E. Jones - Apr 14, 2003 4:06 pm (#127 of 181)
I noticed something in the first movie that this discussion made me think of. In the picture that Hagrid gives Harry at the end of the movie (James, Lilly and Harry waving) there are some steps visible behind them but they definately don't belong to the house we see them living in in Godric's Hallow. Do you suppose it's possible that they did go back to Hogwarts but had to leave for some reason?
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Sly Girl - Apr 14, 2003 4:09 pm (#129 of 181)
It could be that the picture is supposed to be at Hogwarts like the movie suggests, but it could also be that the Potters were some place different entirely.

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shepherdess - Apr 12, 2003 6:47 am (#122 of 181)
If you point your wand at a mirror and cast a spell, do you suppose it would reflect on you?
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Eloise Midgen - Apr 12, 2003 8:54 pm (#123 of 181)
Yes it probably would, or enchant the mirror. Maybe it depends on the spell. For example, if the mirror had a crack in it, and you cast a spell to fix it, it wouldn't reflect back and fix you.

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Sly Girl - Apr 14, 2003 3:52 pm (#125 of 181)
Why do the first years always have to get to Hogwarts via the lake and (one assumes) Hagrid? Especially when it can sometimes storm (like we see in PoA) and people can fall out etc. I've always thought this was... well.. weird. And it's definitely reinforced in each story.

Do you think there are magical things at work here that we don't know about that first time students have to pass through to get to Hogwarts?
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W J - Apr 14, 2003 3:57 pm (#126 of 181)
Some traditions are just stupid but people do them anyway because they are....tradition.
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Sly Girl - Apr 14, 2003 4:07 pm (#128 of 181)
But why is it a tradition? It just seems to be odd to me.. as though there were something special about the first years going by water as opposed to going by land.

JKR doesn't usually reinforce things unless they're significant and we always hear about the first years getting to the school by boat.
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Diagon Nilly - Apr 14, 2003 5:45 pm (#130 of 181)
1st year student may just cross the lake simply because it will give the other students time to get to the castle, unpack, and be ready and waiting for the first years to come in. Also, 1st impressions are important - maybe approaching Hogwarts at night by boat is just more impressive than riding up in a carriage.

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Cliff Hamaker - Apr 21, 2003 6:56 pm (#137 of 181)
Were Harry's parents famous in their own right? Harry asks Hagrid when they are in the Hut on the Rock and Hagrid never answers. JK has done this before with important info.
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Jenny M. - Apr 27, 2003 10:27 pm (#140 of 181)
Yes, Cliff, I do believe the Potters were famous in their own right, since the murmurs heard by Uncle Vernon in PS/SS were "The Potters...their son Harry..." not "A young couple...their baby boy...his name was Harry Potter" as it would have been if the Potters had not been well known.

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Jenny M. - Apr 27, 2003 10:27 pm (#140 of 181)
We know from the Lexicon that Lily and James were both born circa 1960. Does this mean that they were in the same year at Hogwarts, or did their birthdays fall on opposite sides of the year-dividing dateline?
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azi - Apr 29, 2003 7:25 am (#141 of 181)
I think they were probably in the same year. Since Hagrid put them as Head Boy and Girl in their day it suggests to me they were. Other people may disagree.

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Matt H. - May 19, 2003 5:39 pm (#160 of 181)
In PoA when the moon comes out from behind the clouds Lupin begins to transform, and since the moon would have been in the sky awhile, how come Lupin didn't transform when the moon rose at first? Does he actually have to see the moon and/or get touched by it rays? If that is the case then why doesn't he just stay inside away from the moon and not become a werewolf?
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Cliff Hamaker - May 19, 2003 5:54 pm (#161 of 181)
It had recently risen. We also don't know how long it takes for the moon to start working it "magic" on Lupin and other werewolves.
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Wednesday Weasley - May 19, 2003 7:01 pm (#162 of 181)
Since Harry notices that 'clouds were covering the moon completely' when he watches Lupin running for the Whomping Willow, I thought that the absence of direct moonlight was the thing that kept Lupin from transforming at first.

I read in an old thread that JKR said the moon just hadn't come up yet, though, so the other thing is really just my impression.
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