Series Read-Along

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Post  Potteraholic on Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:39 pm


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. It was copied/saved by Julia H. and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic


More info. to follow, when all the 'Series Read-Along' threads have been reposted.
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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along

Post  Potteraholic on Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:40 pm

This post will be used for an index or some other organizational info. If not, it will be deleted.
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Post  Potteraholic on Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:41 pm

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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along

Post  Potteraholic on Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:41 pm

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Series Read-Along Empty Re-read/Discussion of All 7 Books (begins early July 2008)

Post  Potteraholic on Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:43 pm

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. It was copied/saved by Julia H. and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic


freshwater - Jun 18, 2008 10:02 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Jun 19, 2008 6:02 pm

The group that recently finished re-reading and discussing --thoroughly! -- 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows had so much fun that they suggested re-reading the entire series. This re-read will be done with an eye to spotting foreshadowing and clues and other tidbits overlooked/unrecognized in earlier readings.

Due to some real life obligations, the consensus was to start in early July, 2008; also to take turns "facilitating" the discussion of 2-4 chapters by providing --one chapter at a time-- a brief outline of key events in the chapter, noting details/clues/puzzling things/etc., as well as questions or comments to jumpstart discussion of the chapter. (For examples, skim through the Re-read of DH thread and look for posts by Steve Newton.)

Posts will not really begin on THIS discussion thread until early July, 2008. In the meantime, please check out the "Series Re-read: Volunteers to Facilitate Chapters" thread to sign up for 2-4 chapters in PS/SS, and check out the "Series Re-read: What Shall We Watch For?" thread to list concepts/themes/characters/whatever that you think we should keep in mind as we re-read the entire series.


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Series Read-Along Empty Re-read/Discussion of All 7 Books (begins early July 2008) - posts #1 to #6

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:42 am




PeskyPixie - Jul 6, 2008 11:41 am (#1 of 6)

When are we starting?


freshwater - Jul 6, 2008 12:29 pm (#2 of 6)

I think the consensus, in some earlier posts, was Monday, July 7. I'll try to e-mail whoever volunteered for the first few chapters, to remind them.

EDIT: Here's the line-up, from the volunteer's thread...

So, here's a list of volunteers to facilitate the discussion of chapters in PS/SS:

Joanna Lupin: Ch. 1 - The Boy Who Lived, and Ch. 2 - The Vanishing Glass

freshwater: Ch. 3 - The Letters from No One, Ch. 4 - The Keeper of the Keys, and Ch. 5 - Diagon Alley

Pesky Pixie: Ch. 6 - The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-quarters, Ch. 7 - The Sorting Hat, and Ch. 8 - The Potions Master

There are only 17 chapters in this book...so we need only 3 or 4 more volunteers to lead the discussions for this book....I'll guess-timate that we will reach ch. 9 by the last week in July...possibly a bit before that? We'll see!


tandaradei - Jul 7, 2008 6:16 pm (#3 of 6)

When are we starting???

I'm going to say this right now before I forget what to say:

The "Thank you very much" in the first sentence Jo published was what got me hooked.

Some posters disliked this phrase but I found it a perfect lure. The persona appears 3d person limited; the narrator has managed to go right inside the minds of its chief characters and pull out the one phrase they'd have used, which we can quickly develop a strong reaction to. We quickly form an opinion of them, and have a way of relating to them; and this is so important in abstractions like stories.

To me, the phrase says these are jerks or gits that you can't argue with constructively. We must then merely observe them and secretly hope we ourselves don't exhibit such traits, as we live our own lives. We are to hope we would enjoy owls and folks in outlandish dress, and even cats who might "stare" at maps.


geauxtigers - Jul 7, 2008 8:04 pm (#4 of 6)

Perfect timing! I just picked up SS last night!

The "Thank you very much" in the first sentence Jo published was what got me hooked. Me too! I always read it out loud every time I open the book! It's just so great!

I'd also like to point out how much Jo changed as a writer. Going from DH to PS really shows how much she's evolved as a writer and how much "better" she became with each book. The first book is very child-like and you never questioned for a second that it wasn't written or children (I know it was, but you get what I mean, DH, I wouldn't consider a children's book anymore). Her language is simple and written in a more elementary form. Her language is simple and very much written for children. Look at DH and you find a much harsher, less playful and elementary. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I know there is someone who is going to set up things to talk about, but I just wanted to add that to the list. It's something that we can look for and notice in each chapter of PS, all the way through DH.


freshwater - Jul 7, 2008 9:29 pm (#5 of 6)

It seems that Joanna started a new thread for PS/SS that is still in the New Threads section. There are several posts over there.


Madam Pince - Jul 7, 2008 10:01 pm (#6 of 6)

Tori, I completely understand what you meant. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House series is the same way. The first two books read like a primer or something, then gradually get more complex. It is interesting to note that about JKR as well.




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Re-read: What Shall We Watch For?

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:51 am

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. It was copied/saved by Julia H. and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic


freshwater - Jun 19, 2008 5:37 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Jun 19, 2008 6:04 pm

A re-reading/discussion of the entire series --now that we know how it all ends-- has been suggested and will begin in early July. Please list here any concepts/themes/details/questions/characters/whatever that you think we should especially watch for while re-reading the entire series. We will engage in general discussion of each book/chapter, but also with an eye towards making connections with answers/events in Deathly Hallows &/or other books later in the series.



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Series Read-Along Empty Series Re-read: What Shall We Watch For? posts #1 to #39

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:55 am



Joanna Lupin - Jun 20, 2008 7:18 am (#1 of 39)

Over the years, we've been theorizing about the things hidden in between the lines (e.g. what happened in the 24 hours between Lily and James's death and the arrival at 4 Privet Drive) and now we know, of course. I'd like to discuss those tidbits.


freshwater - Jun 20, 2008 8:22 am (#2 of 39)

On my first readings I was so focused on Harry and his friends...I'd like to notice more about other Houses and their students: Cedric Diggory, Luna Lovegood, the Hufflepuffs, etc.

Given the prejudices that flare and take over in the last book, let's take note of hints about the attitudes of wizards/witches towards Muggles and the Muggle world.


Steve Newton - Jun 20, 2008 8:31 am (#3 of 39)

Parallel characters interest me. Harry and Neville have many parallels. Ron sacrifices himself in SS/PS so that Harry can go on. Is this a parallel to Snape or a chess clue? (They are both also victims of the Levicorpus spell.) There may be many others.


Julia H. - Jun 20, 2008 3:10 pm (#4 of 39)

We have already said we would discuss parallels between Harry and Snape and have mentioned/collected quite a few.

Once I said I was interested in father-and-son or parent-and-child relationships and how they influenced events. Only one forumer answered then so the idea may not attract general interest but I thought I'd mention it just once again.


Mrs Brisbee - Jun 20, 2008 9:21 pm (#5 of 39)

The Harry and Neville parallels will be interesting to track.

I think parent/child relationships would be great. There is also the broader theme of adult responsibility to children, with how adults and mentors look after their charges, and what the children take away from the adults’ actions.

Some other possible themes to track:

We have the theme of responsibility in general. There is the government's obligation to its citizens, a leaders obligation to their followers, and a follower’s obligation to their cause and leader. There is also the idea of noblesse oblige, and beyond that, the concept of taking responsibility giving you real ownership in your world. That's a hard one for me to define coherently, but I'd say that was definitely present in the endgame of DH.

Betrayal and Loyalty. The books are full of betrayers: Dobby, Kreacher, Snape, Firenze, Narcissa, Peter Pettigrew, Marietta. Just what is it to be a betrayer? The book is full of the loyal: McGonagall, Neville, Bellatrix, Sirius, Barty Crouch, Jr. But what does it mean?

Truth, Lies, and Misdirection. The truth is a terrible and beautiful thing. Deception breeds discord. And obfuscation, confusion.

Since the primary themes of DH were finding the future in our children, and finding the gift of our dead within ourselves, those too would be worth tracking.

Mistrust and Trust also wends their way through the series, big time.

And, of course, the power of love and friendship.


Steve Newton - Jun 21, 2008 3:41 am (#6 of 39)

It seems to me that these are also very much novels of manners. Dumbledore brings this up many times.


Dryleaves - Jun 21, 2008 5:04 am (#7 of 39)

Like Julia, I would like to discuss parallels between Harry and Snape, as their destinies get more and more entwined through the books. Other character parallels (and differences) would be interesting to discuss as well, like Harry - Neville, Snape - Dumbledore, Snape - Sirius, etc.

I am also for a discussion about the parent - child relationships, but then in the wider context, that also includes guardians, mentors, foster parents, etc. I also think it would be interesting to see if the role of the fathers differs from the role of the mothers, as there are few mothers and a lot of fathers.

Like Mrs Brisbee I think there are some themes, or maybe virtues, we could look into, like courage, loyalty, love. How are they treated throughout the books, who have these virtues and who have not, are there different sorts of courage, of love, of loyalty, etc, parallels to the Hogwarts Houses, etc?

This is also close to how ethical problems are discussed in the series, and as many of the characters are morally "blurry", this would be interesting to take a closer look at.


mona amon - Jun 21, 2008 5:29 am (#8 of 39)

Betrayal and Loyalty. The books are full of betrayers: Dobby, Kreacher, Snape, Firenze, Narcissa, Peter Pettigrew, Marietta. Just what is it to be a betrayer? The book is full of the loyal: McGonagall, Neville, Bellatrix, Sirius, Barty Crouch, Jr. But what does it mean? (Mrs. Brisbee)

I too find this most interesting and would love to keep it in mind while reading-along.


wynnleaf - Jun 21, 2008 5:55 am (#9 of 39)

This time I'll try to get in on the read-along idea from the start, although I'm very involved in moving cross-country at the end of the summer and so don't have a great deal of time.

I like the idea of the parent/child relationships which also fits into the "lost boy" ideas. Would anyone else like to look at the "lost boys", not just the ones Harry specifically thinks of, but perhaps others? I had felt there were really five "lost boys", Harry, Tom Riddle, Snape, Hagrid, and Dumbledore (also from a very neglected situation at home).


Joanne Reid - Jun 21, 2008 8:37 am (#10 of 39)

Hi, Thank you all for the good thoughts. I just finished reading the series ... again ... for the many-ith time! It's quite a read, both in terms of length and in terms of content. I keep thinking back to my thoughts as I was beginning each book and as I ended it. The parallels between Tom Riddle and HP were too many and too large to ignore. In many ways, one would have expected HP to turn out to be the bad guy and TMR to have been the good one. HP had to live with the Dursleys and their ongoing abuse. TMR, on the only hand, lived in a relatively neutral, if sterile environment. Nothing terrible, cruel or abusive seemed to have occurred to him. Yet, it was he who became LV and Harry the hero.

I was also struck by the difference between Dobby and Kreacher. Dobby seemed to be able to break the bond that enslaved him to the House of Malfoy. Kreacher, on the other hand, was bound to Harry, even though the elf hated his new master. Seemingly, Dobby could defy his master, even if he did have to punish himself for it. Yet, Kreacher seemed to be unable to do so. I looked for other clues into the characters, but was unable to find anything, except that Dobby was, somehow, different. But, then I considered the other house-elves at Hogwarts. I wondered how they got there. Were they more like Dobby? Were they once enslaved, but managed to escape to a far better environment? Or, were they just unwanted elves with nowhere else to go? Yet, in this regard, wasn't Dobby much like Harry? Both were raised in abusive homes. Both escaped to become someone far greater than others of their kind. I don't know. I just muse. Maybe, I'll re-read them again, with your thoughts in mind. Joanne

It got me to thinking about all the other-elves who


Dryleaves - Jun 21, 2008 8:38 am (#11 of 39)

Would anyone else like to look at the "lost boys", not just the ones Harry specifically thinks of, but perhaps others? I had felt there were really five "lost boys", Harry, Tom Riddle, Snape, Hagrid, and Dumbledore (also from a very neglected situation at home). (Wynnleaf)

I think Neville is a lost boy as well. I think it would be a great idea to look at the "lost boys" in the read-along.


freshwater - Jun 21, 2008 11:02 am (#12 of 39)

I'd like to take note of changing perceptions/understanding of others, and what that means. One of my favorite things about "Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen is her ability to make you strongly like/dislike a certain character, and then turn that completely around by the end of the book....an excellent lesson on not judging people until....well, a former boss used to say she wouldn't judge until all the facts were in...but are "all the facts" ever in?

Anyway, this changing perceptions idea could apply to character growth and development, particularly as the students age and mature....or, perhaps more meaningfully, to the adult characters, as we come to better understand --throughout the series-- what events conspired to make them into the person we see in each book.


rcs - Jun 21, 2008 8:40 pm (#13 of 39)

I'd like to take note of changing perceptions/understanding of others, and what that means. One of my favorite things about Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen is her ability to make you strongly like/dislike a certain character, and then turn that completely around by the end of the book....an excellent lesson on not judging people until....well, a former boss used to say she wouldn't judge until all the facts were in...but are "all the facts" ever in?" --freshwater

I haven't read Sense and Sensibility, but I've read Pride and Prejudice, and Jane Austen (one of JKR's favorite authors, by the way), does something similar there too. And I definitely agree that that can be said about MANY characters in HP (Snape, Sirius, Peter Pettigrew, and even Dumbledore, for instance).


mona amon - Jun 21, 2008 8:54 pm (#14 of 39)

I'd like to take note of changing perceptions/understanding of others, and what that means. (Freshwater)

Yes, let's do that! Great idea, Freshwater!


Julia H. - Jun 22, 2008 1:51 am (#15 of 39)

I'd like to take note of changing perceptions/understanding of others, and what that means. (Freshwater)

Yes, let's do that! Great idea, Freshwater! (Mona)

I agree!


Mrs. Sirius - Jun 24, 2008 7:45 am (#16 of 39)

"ability to make you strongly like/dislike a certain character, and then turn that completely around by the end of the book. POA rcs

While I quite agree, this applies to so many of her characters. She shows us repeatedly why not to judge a character too hastily. On the other hand, my favorite adult character throughout the series, is Sirius Black. I feared him when he was first introduced. However as soon as his true nature was revealed, I loved him and have never stopped. Since he uttered the words

...then you should have died for him as we would have died for you..."""

right to "The Forest Again" everything about Sirius is consistent. He does not walk in a cloak of disfusion.

I have started a thread on quotes JKR uses consistently to contrast characters. But this is another method she uses to contrast characters. She gives us day/night character to show us how they are different/same. From day one we distrust/dislike Severus. We never really know him. He keeps everything in and never reveals his intentions. Sirius on the other hand wears his heart on his sleeves and from when we meet him we know who he is and where is stands on the subject. Sirius is a simple man (I adore him) Severus is deep and complicated but ultimately they both work for the good.


freshwater - Jun 24, 2008 3:41 pm (#17 of 39)

From day one we distrust/dislike Severus. We never really know him. He keeps everything in and never reveals his intentions. Sirius on the other hand wears his heart on his sleeves and from when we meet him we know who he is and where is stands on the subject. Sirius is a simple man (I adore him) Severus is deep and complicated but ultimately they both work for the good.--Mrs. Sirius

Excellent points, Mrs. S. Sirius' own quote of "the world is not divided into good people and death eaters" was certainly proven true. Even further, your comments brought to mind how much we all love Sirius...how much many of us disliked Snape (for much of the series).....and yet, who ultimately did more for the side of the light in the fight against LV? So often we admire and respect those who are comfy and appealing, and neglect those with greater claim to our accolades because they are less appealing or distasteful in some way.

Accolades.....did I really write that? I think being on the forum in improving my vocabulary!

Anyway, Mrs. S., seems that you and I just can't wait to get more discussion going!


Mrs Brisbee - Jun 24, 2008 4:58 pm (#18 of 39)

Excellent points, Mrs. S. Sirius' own quote of "the world is not divided into good people and death eaters" was certainly proven true. Even further, your comments brought to mind how much we all love Sirius...how much many of us disliked Snape (for much of the series).....and yet, who ultimately did more for the side of the light in the fight against LV? So often we admire and respect those who are comfy and appealing, and neglect those with greater claim to our accolades because they are less appealing or distasteful in some way.

It's weird, because I disagree with this in so many ways. I think people who are genuinely kind deserve accolades, because they really do have something valuable to offer. I don't think real kindness is worthless, especially in a world drowning in cruelty. And the idea that Snape is "better" because he "did more" leaves me feeling cold, because many other people died as well doing the right thing, and they were willing to put their lives on the line, and will never get personalized monuments or the like. Plus it brings up my issues with Dumbledore and his inability to trust any of those other good people he had fighting on his side. The only reason Snape had to do so much is because of Dumbledore's gross shortcomings. There were plenty of people who could have been doing things, but Dumbledore left them floundering out in the cold, and left Snape floundering away at tasks he could only ever hope to accomplish by plain luck. I don't see at as a contest about who does more, but what matters is what were they willing to try to do. They are all equally deserving of respect for that. Nasty and nice is a separate issue, though, but yes if you are nasty to people and don't treat them with respect it is a little much to assume you will get respect back from them. So yes, an impersonal filter might be needed to separate the personal from the general (Kreacher could have used that filter. Maybe Sirius would still be alive).


freshwater - Jun 24, 2008 5:20 pm (#19 of 39)

It's weird, because I disagree with this in so many ways. I think people who are genuinely kind deserve accolades, because they really do have something valuable to offer. I don't think real kindness is worthless, especially in a world drowning in cruelty. And the idea that Snape is "better" because he "did more" leaves me feeling cold, because many other people died as well doing the right thing, and they were willing to put their lives on the line, and will never get personalized monuments or the like.--Mrs. B

Oh, dear...I must have expressed myself very poorly to have you misunderstanding me so! I certainly do not think kindness is worthless...in my classroom my only 3 rules are "1)Do your best. 2) Help others do their best. and 3) Be kind." I always emphasize to my students that #3 is my most important rule of all! Although Sirius was very supportive of Harry and other OotP members, he was not terribly kind to Kreacher, or to Snape, even as an adult. He is hardly the model I'd suggest for kindness.

I did not actually say that Snape was "better" because he did more....that is not what I believe at all. I was trying to point out that his long term actions in defending the innocent, and in hindering and ultimately ending evil, were far more effective than anything Sirius did himself (at least, after the death of James and Lily). Perhaps that is another JKR message: lose your temper, attempt to AK a traitor w/o backup, go to Azkaban, lose 10 years of your life....tragic, but not particularly helpful to anyone who was left,: Harry, Remus, other innocents. Think of what Sirius could have done for the good side --not to mention for Harry-- had he not succumbed (sp?) to a rage of revenge.

I don't see at as a contest about who does more, but what matters is what were they willing to try to do. They are all equally deserving of respect for that.--Mrs. B.

Of course it is not a contest......and while I'll agree that "they are all equally deserving of respect", I must insist that they are not all deserving of equal respect....those who do are worthy of more/different respect than those with good intentions but no real accomplishments.


Mrs Brisbee - Jun 24, 2008 7:22 pm (#20 of 39)

Sort of an incomplete post on my part, because I keep getting interrupted. I don't have much time in the summer, I'm afraid!

Of course it is not a contest......and while I'll agree that "they are all equally deserving of respect", I must insist that they are not all deserving of equal respect....those who do are worthy of more/different respect than those with good intentions but no real accomplishments.-- freshwater

I'm thinking of the war heroes who get decorated for their actions, and when I read about what they did it is extraordinary and they deserve their medals, but often these men say that they saw many other men do the same things who never got acknowledged for it. So yes, they deserve their accolades, but they don't forget that their brothers-in-arms are equally deserving even if their accomplishments haven't been recognized, and neither should we. And the guy who took the bullet at the bottom of the hill may not have lived to make it to the top and take out the machine gun nest, and the guy who did make it to the top and did take out the machine gun nest rightly deserves accolades, but it might not have happened without the sacrifice of the guy who took the bullet, even if he didn't live long enough to rack up some real accomplishments.

If the point of HP is to rank people in a hierarchy by how much respect they deserve, no thanks (as I'm afraid Snape and Dumbledore wouldn't be that high on my list ).

I think I mentioned mistrust as a worthwhile theme to examine (as the flip side of Trust). Snape's situation is another case in point, as his position is so poisoned by mistrust at the end that he has been rendered an ineffectual spy, he is assigned contradictory tasks for which he can get no aid in accomplishing, his position means that the only way he can complete his tasks is by pure chance, and while he does protect the school the only way he could maneuver into that position is by betraying the Order and getting Alastor Moody murdered. Not particularly awe inspiring, but he does deserve an E for effort. His biggest contributions to the cause came earlier, when he was still a trusted spy for the Order, and I think that's the work he deserves respect for, but the mistrust and discord he sowed did far more harm than good. I don't think this can simply be put down to having a nasty disposition that everyone misunderstands. There has to be a basis for trust, and it needs to be built. It's a bit much to expect people to just "know" that someone is trustworthy, especially when things are being actively done to foster the opposite impression.


freshwater - Jun 24, 2008 8:02 pm (#21 of 39)

And the guy who took the bullet at the bottom of the hill may not have lived to make it to the top and take out the machine gun nest, and the guy who did make it to the top and did take out the machine gun nest rightly deserves accolades, but it might not have happened without the sacrifice of the guy who took the bullet, even if he didn't live long enough to rack up some real accomplishments.--Mrs. B.

Your soldier analogy makes a certain amount of sense to me, Mrs. B., except for the fact that an attack on a machine-gun nest on the top of the hill is a team effort....the first guy to the top certainly wouldn't have made it there if it were not for the guys further down the hill doing their part.....I can't imagine drawing some sort of imaginary line between who accomplished what in that kind of scenario....the guy who took a bullet definitely accomplished something with his actions/sacrifice. You could also say that the cheerful, fun-loving cook back in the base tent also contributed to the success of this attack....but can you sense how the connection to the 'accomplishment' is becoming a bit more indirect?

Snape and Sirius (at least what we know of Sirius' actions after the Potter's deaths) were quite individual in both their choices and their actions. I find it interesting that, in response to Lily's death, Sirius went off like some kind of lone gunslinger to get Pettigrew, but Snape went back to DD and --given appropriate counsel-- chose to do something that was genuinely helpful for Lily's son. As much as I love Sirius, I suppose I'm rather angry with him for the choices/actions whose consequences removed him from a better role in the wizarding world.

...but the mistrust and discord he sowed did far more harm than good.--Mrs. B

Now that's a real judgment call, IMHO...although I'll agree with you that his attitudes/actions caused some harm...but whether --in the final tally-- that outweighed the good....I really couldn't say that.


Mrs Brisbee - Jun 24, 2008 9:34 pm (#22 of 39)

Snape and Sirius (at least what we know of Sirius' actions after the Potter's deaths) were quite individual in both their choices and their actions. I find it interesting that, in response to Lily's death, Sirius went off like some kind of lone gunslinger to get Pettigrew, but Snape went back to DD and --given appropriate counsel-- chose to do something that was genuinely helpful for Lily's son. As much as I love Sirius, I suppose I'm rather angry with him for the choices/actions whose consequences removed him from a better role in the wizarding world.-- freshwater

LOL. Well, I do think it good characterization, their different responses-- although I think you give Snape too much credit, since without direction he probably wouldn't have done anything but wallow in self pity and accuse other people of failing. Luckily Dumbledore is there to redirect him to doing something useful, though-- spy. I agree that Sirius flying off the handle and going off on his own to kill Pettigrew was foolish-- but completely in character. I don't love Sirius, but I've grown to like and appreciate the character for many of the reasons that Mrs. Sirius outlined. He's a static character, but a very interesting one. Loyalty will later cause Snape to stick to Dumbledore's half-baked plots with cold precision, so I'd say both men were capable of doing stupid things out of loyalty.

On another note, and maybe more on topic, I'm trying to think if each book has a meta-theme. Something that sums it up in an And The Moral Of The Story Is... sort of way.

PS/SS. Love is the strongest force in the universe.

CoS. It is the choices we make that determine who we are, far more than our abilities.

PoA. In a perfect world, you would always know what is going on, and could act with knowledge. But omniscience is impossible in even the best of circumstances. So draw on the past for strength, and act in the present with intent to do good.

GoF. Choices are important, but sometimes it seems like you have no choice available. In that case the only real choice you might have is how you face an inevitable situation. And that can make all the difference.

OotP. Obligation. What is a leader, and what do they owe their followers? Likewise, what does a follower owe their cause?

Any ideas for HBP and DH?


Julia H. - Jun 25, 2008 4:03 am (#23 of 39)

His biggest contributions to the cause came earlier, when he was still a trusted spy for the Order, and I think that's the work he deserves respect for, but the mistrust and discord he sowed did far more harm than good. (Mrs Brisbee)

I think eventually he did far more good than harm... As far as I see the mistrust and discord harmed him much more than the cause as such; and the reason why he stopped being a "trusted spy for the Order" was because Dumbledore had asked him to sacrifice any trust he may have received or could receive in the future to save DD from "pain and humiliation" and to become Hogwarts Headmaster being able to protect the students when DD is not around any more and the school is taken over by Voldemort. It was also important to prevent a situation in which a DE could become the master of the Elder Wand, though it seems Snape did not know this. Anyway, these were important and difficult tasks and somebody had to do them. Snape was still able to help Harry in this situation - it is not his fault that he did not know what Harry's job was and that he was not assigned the task of directly helping him - as nobody else (besides Ron and Hermione) was in fact, due to DD's decision of secrecy and to Harry's decision to act in accordance with DD's instructions. I think Snape did his best in the given circumstances and I see his isolation as a sacrifice rather than a character flaw.

I think you give Snape too much credit, since without direction he probably wouldn't have done anything but wallow in self pity and accuse other people of failing.

It was Snape who went to DD first, on his own account, he did the first step and he decided to accept DD's direction to be able to do more for the good cause. I don't see many characters in DH who could have done much alone had they not been helped or directed by others in the fight against Voldemort. (Those who tried, as we see, failed.) Realizing that is an important step. Yes, Snape did stick to DD's plans - but, since you brought up the analogy of a real war, well, DD was his commander - soldiers are supposed to follow the orders they get from their commanders, who must be trusted to have more information (as DD indeed had) and a better overall "view" of everything. How was Snape to know that DD's plans were "half-baked"? He did exactly what you find fault with DD for not doing: he trusted. DD was also this very intelligent, very powerful wizard - I am not surprised that people looked up to him as their leader at least until they had proof that he, too, made mistakes (but then everybody does and soldiers cannot be blamed for their commanders' mistakes). Had everyone started to act on their own, the chaos would have been even bigger.

I also like Mrs Sirius's idea of contrasting characters very much.


Mrs Brisbee - Jun 25, 2008 4:56 am (#24 of 39)

Julia, you must have missed where I said, "Plus it brings up my issues with Dumbledore and his inability to trust any of those other good people he had fighting on his side. The only reason Snape had to do so much is because of Dumbledore's gross shortcomings. There were plenty of people who could have been doing things, but Dumbledore left them floundering out in the cold, and left Snape floundering away at tasks he could only ever hope to accomplish by plain luck.".

I think all this can be discussed under the themes of loyalty and obligation, too. Is blind loyalty a good thing? When should you start to question your orders? When does a leader's orders violate their obligation?


wynnleaf - Jun 25, 2008 5:15 am (#25 of 39)

I would like to see some focus on Dumbledore throughout the series re-read, in terms of what we thought of Dumbledore at first, versus how we view his decisions and actions now that we have the whole series. For instance, in the early books I really thought of Dumbledore more as a Gandalf or Merlin sort of wizard. I assumed Dumbledore had ways of knowing a lot of things that neither the readers or other characters could know, and that therefore the many decisions he made, or things that he allowed to happen, were not the huge risks that they appear at first glance, but made with some deeper knowledge of the outcomes than we had. But later in the series I began to suspect that wasn't true, and by the end of DH, we knew that for certain. It really changed my perspective on Dumbledore in the earlier books.

Has this already been mentioned? I read the other posts, but haven't had much sleep the past 24 hours and am pretty fuzzy about things.


Julia H. - Jun 25, 2008 5:31 am (#26 of 39)

I think all this can be discussed under the themes of loyalty and obligation, too. Is blind loyalty a good thing? When should you start to question your orders? When does a leader's orders violate their obligation? (Mrs Brisbee)

I would like to see some focus on Dumbledore throughout the series re-read, in terms of what we thought of Dumbledore at first, versus how we view his decisions and actions now that we have the whole series. (Wynnleaf)

Yes, these are all good questions, I agree.


Mrs. Sirius - Jun 25, 2008 8:37 am (#27 of 39)

Boy you would think that after reading the book on our own (one or 10 times), then on the read-along there would be consensus! lol, just goes to show how in life we all have our point of view and JK knows how to capture that conflict.

I think all this can be discussed under the themes of loyalty and obligation, too. Is blind loyalty a good thing? When should you start to question your orders? When does a leader's orders violate their obligation? (Mrs Brisbee)

As far as I see the mistrust and discord harmed him much more than the cause as such; and the reason why he stopped being a "trusted spy for the Order" was because Dumbledore had asked him to sacrifice any trust he may have received or could receive in the future to save DD from "pain and humiliation" and to become Hogwarts Headmaster being able to protect the students when DD is not around any more and the school is taken over by Voldemort. Julie H

It just goes to show how in war everyone has a role. Without Snape playing the role of LV loyal servant the students at Hogwarts would have been in far greater danger. With Snape playing the double role he may not have been liked but the students were far safer then left to a true DE in charge.

Yes, Snape did stick to DD's plans - but, since you brought up the analogy of a real war, well, DD was his commander - soldiers are supposed to follow the orders they get from their commanders, who must be trusted to have more information (as DD indeed had) and a better overall "view" of everything. How was Snape to know that DD's plans were "half-baked"? He did exactly what you find fault with DD for not doing: he trusted. DD was also this very intelligent, very powerful wizard - I am not surprised that people looked up to him as their leader at least until they had proof that he, too, made mistakes (but then everybody does and soldiers cannot be blamed for their commanders' mistakes).

How many times haven't leaders lead their nations, their people, their populations, into war or battles with half-baked idea? Leaders who have either not thought it through or severely under estimated their opponents or their own positions. Think of Gallipoli (sp?), think of the Bay of Pigs? 1967 War, and of course I will not mention any event closer in time.

I do not judge Dumbledore too harshly in view of real world history. In addition, more than once DD said that Harry and Voldy had entered uncharted magical rules powers, and laws.

So yes, DD was making it up as he went along, but some of the greatest war tactic have been that. Have any of you heard of JFK during the Cuban missile crisis exchanging telegrams with Khrushchev? They exchanged several heated telegrams each escalating that last offer/threat. Khrushchev sent one that was really scary, the Kennedy people didn't like it, because it boxed them in too much, so they decided to respond by pretending they had not gotten the last telegram and responded to the previous one which lead to a defusing of the crisis. Thank goodness for slow telegrams and not e-mail!


Madam Pince - Jun 25, 2008 11:24 am (#28 of 39)

Are we deciding here on whether we will have one or more "themes" to focus on during the series re-read? If so, is the thinking that discussions will be limited to the agreed-upon "themes" in order to stay on-topic?

Because if that's the case, I'm not sure that we will really be able to make that happen... There are so many series-wide themes and so many random thoughts that come up with every re-read, that I feel it will be very difficult to limit thoughts / posts to something too specific...

Or maybe I'm misunderstanding the thinking here? Anyway, just my two knuts...


Mrs Brisbee - Jun 25, 2008 2:32 pm (#29 of 39)

I think we are just identifying the prevailing themes so we can track how they developed over the course of the series. Other discussion is certainly welcome and encouraged!


freshwater - Jun 25, 2008 7:40 pm (#30 of 39)

Mrs. B, I LOVE your idea of a meta-theme for each book (along with additional smaller themes, perhaps)! This may help us with the discussion (on the "volunteer" thread) about how to structure the re-read-along.

PoA. In a perfect world, you would always know what is going on, and could act with knowledge. But omniscience is impossible in even the best of circumstances. So draw on the past for strength, and act in the present with intent to do good.--Mrs. Brisbee

I think this --and all your theme ideas-- are very well stated...but I had to chuckle at your references to "draw on the past for strength, and act in the present with intent to do good" about a book where the major events were accomplished via time travel.


Mrs Brisbee - Jun 26, 2008 4:15 am (#31 of 39)

I've concluded that Rowling was only interested in time travel as a metaphor, rather than as something real that was integrated into her universe (she even later smashes all Time Turners, so as to remove the plot device entirely from the remainder of the series). In PoA they get a second chance to act in the present, this time with more knowledge about what is going on so they can make better choices. But yes, it is amusing.


rcs - Jun 26, 2008 4:54 pm (#32 of 39)

Well, that's the tricky thing about time travel. You can't change what happened in the past; you can only go back and bring about what's already happened. And most of all, you can't do anything that affects the decision to go back in time in the first place. That's why time travel's so dangerous (and incidentally, the more important reason why they couldn't grab Pettigrew and keep him from escaping).


Madam Pince - Jun 26, 2008 6:17 pm (#33 of 39)

Oh, rcs, you need to watch Lost....


freshwater - Jun 26, 2008 6:23 pm (#34 of 39)

Both those explanations make sense to me...thanks Mrs. B and rcs!


Ana Cis - Oct 12, 2008 8:17 am (#35 of 39)

I think it would be good to notice the duality or contrast that is prevalent within every aspect of the story within each of the books, be it people, things, places. Dumbledore and Voldemort are great examples of this. Especially as we see them through Harry’s eyes and how he grows by learning the truth about these two most influential people in his life.

Dumbledore, who we can see as the ultimate representative of good, has some significant shortfalls. He learned to recognize his weakness for seeking glory, power, and control over people, things, and situations.

Voldemort, the ultimate representative of evil & power, can also be seen as weak and pathetic. One can find some pity for his childhood and being raised without any type of love or guidance. It leaves a question of whether he would have become (to some extent) a different person if he would have had someone to love him and guide him.

Consequently, JKR helps us see beyond our prejudices by not labeling anything as absolutely one thing or another. So her hero, Harry, at the end, was able to pity Voldemort without giving way to what is right. Giving Voldemort the opportunity to change, hence live, or stay as he was, hence destroying himself.

Ana Cis


freshwater - Oct 12, 2008 9:16 am (#36 of 39)

Excellent point, Ana!

Love your motto about Zen, too!


PeskyPixie - Oct 12, 2008 10:51 am (#37 of 39)

I'd also like to examine how ambition is represented throughout the series.


Mrs Brisbee - Oct 28, 2008 7:55 am (#38 of 39)

Here are the things we mentioned we wanted to track, in no particular order. I condensed some, so I hope I didn't skip anyone's contribution! List:

• Things that we didn’t know the answer to early in the series, now answered.

• The other Houses and their students.

• Hints about Wizarding attitudes towards Muggles.

• Parallels between characters (Neville/Harry; Snape/Harry; etc.).

• Parent/mentor/guardian/adult relationships with child.

• Government, leader, and follower responsibility and obligation.

• Betrayal and loyalty.

• The power of truth, lies, and misdirection.

• The strength and dangers of trust and mistrust.

• The power of love and friendship.

• Finding the strength of dead loved-ones within.

• Finding hope in the future through the children.

• Manners, and why they matter.

• Virtues, and how they are presented and developed.

• 'Lost boys'. Who are they, and why?

• Our changing perceptions of characters (Dumbledore, Snape, etc.).

• Choices, choices, choices!

• Intent matters.

• Duality within characters.

• How ambition is presented through out the series.


PeskyPixie - Oct 29, 2008 9:55 am (#39 of 39)

Thanks, Mrs Brisbee!



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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:44 pm

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. It was copied/saved by Julia H. and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic



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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter One Notes/Summary - post #0

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:23 pm



Joanna Lupin - Jul 7, 2008 4:43 am
Edited by Kip Carter Jul 14, 2009 4:35 am

So the adventure begins! Thanks Freshwater for reminding me about this, I got caught up in a book and very nearly forgot!

Chapter One – The Boy Who Lived

The story begins early in the morning on Tuesday 1st November 1981.

Immediately, we are introduced to the Muggle society, the stereotype Muggle is described very forcibly indeed. You are bound to wonder how it’s possible that Petunia is a blood relative of Lily’s. Brought up in the same environment, they grew up to be so very different, where did it go wrong?

I’m not very good at literary patterns, but perhaps someone will be interested to explore it, this chapter follows the pattern common in children’s tales of describing negative characters as physically unattractive.

It struck me that Lily and Petunia didn’t meet for several years, and yet, they were sending each other Christmas presents. I wonder, did Vernon know of this?

Question: What is a tyke?

That day Muggles and wizards took notice of one another’s existence probably for the first time in years as wizards exuberantly celebrated the end of war. Mr. Dursley loves his wife.

Who could be the man in violet cloak that Vernon walked into? I have a feeling we know him from later on.

I’ve found unusual similarity - Mr. Dursley & Mr. Weasley - aren’t the poor blokes afraid of their wives exploding?

Dumbledore - high-heeled buckled boots? Isn’t it an early hint of his orientation? Anyone knows how such boots look? Nose broken at least twice: we know of one instance, when was it broken a second time?

Put-outer seems to be an early version of the Deluminator Ron had as it didn’t extinguish all light, but one lamp at a time.

All day? When you could have been celebrating? I must have passed a dozen feasts and parties on my way here. Did he really? Could you remind me what Dumbledore was doing that day? I was under the impression he was comforting Snape in his office?

First war with Voldemort lasted 11 years? How come the ministry endured then, but lasted only a year in the second war? I smell corruption and incompetence!!

McGonagall certainly seems to be a pure-blood as Dumbledore says about lemon drops “They’re a kind of Muggle sweet” I expect he’d phrase it differently if she had anything to do with Muggles.

Funny how we never questioned Minerva’s belief that Albus was too noble to use the Dark Arts. It seems such an obvious hint now, doesn’t it?

Did Dumbledore know as early as then why Harry survived? He must have done since he decided to use the Dursleys.

Dumbledore would trust Hagrid with his life. Is that because Hagrid obeys orders and doesn’t ask questions? Something other Order members wouldn’t do?

“No problems, were there?” Is that a hint of Dumbledore’s conviction that Sirius had betrayed his friends?

Did Albus know the scar was a place where a piece of Voldemort’s soul resided? Is that why he never believed Voldemort was dead?

Well, I think that’s all that comes to my mind about this chapter. I hope I did it all right.




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter One Comments - posts #1 to #30

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:35 pm



Dryleaves - Jul 7, 2008 9:09 am (#1 of 925)

Great summary of the chapter, Joanna!

In this chapter we are introduced to the fact that there are two different worlds, but I do not think that the words "wizard" or "witch" are ever mentioned, even if we may understand a thing or two since a cat can turn into an old woman and vice versa, motorbikes can fly, etc. Instead we get acquainted with the word "Muggle" and the Dursleys, who are a caricature of a Muggle family. So even if (at least most of) the readers are Muggles and should find wizards strange, we do not identify with the Dursleys as their comically exaggerated normality makes them rather weird. We side with the wizards (though we do not really know they are that yet)instead and find them pretty normal.

Interesting comparison between Mr. Dursley and Mr. Weasley. Both families are sort of "ideal" families, but have very different ideals, as the Dursleys have all those attributes or accessories of a "good", "normal" life, and the Weasleys are this big, loud family, where family itself is more important than the accessories. The Dursleys have one child, the Weasleys seven.

Dumbledore would trust Hagrid with his life. Is that because Hagrid obeys orders and doesn’t ask questions? Something other Order members wouldn’t do?

I would say it is because Hagrid is truly loyal in his heart. I am not sure that necessarily is the same thing as obeying orders and not asking any questions, but maybe it is in practice. What I mean is that Hagrid acts on his heart rather than is a mere follower.


Joanna Lupin - Jul 7, 2008 9:41 am (#2 of 925)

My point exactly. Hagrid follows Dumbledore blindly, because he loves him.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 7, 2008 12:54 pm (#3 of 925)

Question: What is a tyke? - It's just a name for a small child. It's usually meant to be an endearment.

Dumbledore's assertion that he would trust Hagrid with his life is probably about the highest praise he can personally give to anyone - especially considering how truly secretive Dumbledore really is. I think this is partly precisely because Hagrid doesn't ask questions. Hagrid trusts Dumbledore absolutely - and without question. I think it's pretty clear after reading the entire saga that Dumbledore doesn't really like questions because they force him to reveal information that it might not yet be time to reveal (from Dumbledore's point of view, that is).

He appreciates Hagrid's unconditional loyalty, but it's also that Hagrid is seen as something of an oaf by most people. He can be clumsy and awkward. So I think the other part of Dumbledore's comment is simple validation of Hagrid's importance. Hagrid can and does come through when it matters and Dumbledore is very much aware of that.


Anna L. Black - Jul 7, 2008 12:56 pm (#4 of 925)

Very good points, Joanna!

I always thought that the man in the purple cloak is Dedalus Diggle. But that could have been wild stretching of facts on my behalf, I can't really explain it

I've also always wondered why Petunia told Vernon about Lily being magical, before Harry arrived on their doorstep. She was supposed to be "ashamed" of it, so why reveal this fact to him?

I don't think the boots mean anything about Dumbledore... Wasn't it a common thing to wear in the distant past?

Eleven years... That must mean Voldemort started acting openly just before Lily and Snape got to school. A perfect time for little Severus to hear words of appreciation about Voldemort from Lucius Malfoy.

It was plain that whatever everyone" was saying, she was not going to believe it until Dumbledore told her it was true. [...] Lily and James... I can't believe it... I didn't want to believe it..."

Can we compare it with Harry's refusal to "Choose what to believe" in DH?

He'll be famous -- a legend -- I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future -- there will be books written about Harry -- every child in our world will know his name!

So self-fulfilling I love that quote!

It was noted long before, but a symmetry between PS and DH - Hagrid's both bringing Harry to 4PD and taking him away from there. Both times on Sirius' bike.

Now that I think about it, she should've ended the 7th book with the line "To Harry Potter - the boy [man?] who lived!"


Soul Search - Jul 7, 2008 2:26 pm (#5 of 925)

The start of this momentous series re-read might be the time to mention how I got started with Harry Potter. While well read in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre, I had no interest in a children’s fantasy book. My granddaughter wanted the book so I bought HP and the Sorcerer's Stone for her. I thought I should read it to see if it was suitable for her. However, she came over and saw the book and immediately started reading it, taking it with her. I had to buy another copy to finish the story.

It was this first chapter that grabbed me. While I don't, often, judge a book by its cover, I do judge by the first chapter. "The Boy Who Lived" was quite worthy of my continuing to read the book. Very well written.

I am still impressed with how much background and how many characters are introduced without any mention of "magic." (I think Dryleaves concurs.) We learn of a "weird" group that wears robes and has reason to celebrate on the day after Halloween. (Maybe Halloween should have been a hint, but I didn't pick up on it on my first read.) A lot of strange things happen: an unusual cat, a lot of owls, and a man suddenly appearing, but it isn't until the cat changes into a woman that it is clear something like magic is going on. Even then, the narrator still doesn't use any words like "magic."

We are introduced to the major characters: the Dursleys, Harry, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Voldemort (A.K.A. You-Know-Who,) and Hagrid. Also some other characters are mentioned: Lily and James Potter, Dedalus Diggle. We meet Dedalus in OotP and again in Deathly Hallows. Hagrid casually mentions Sirius, who is the title character for PoA.

The Boy Who Lived well prepares us for the rest of the story, although we really have a long way to go.


Solitaire - Jul 7, 2008 4:22 pm (#6 of 925)

Dryleaves: So even if (at least most of) the readers are Muggles and should find wizards strange, we do not identify with the Dursleys as their comically exaggerated normality makes them rather weird. We side with the wizards (though we do not really know they are that yet) instead and find them pretty normal.

I'd never considered this before, but it is true! From the beginning, don't the "Muggliest" among us identify with the Wizards? I know I certainly do! The Dursleys seem at once (IMO) to stand for people who are narrow-minded, bigoted, and selfish. Who would want to identify with them? I'd rather identify with Squibby old Mrs. Figg than the Dursleys!

I'm not sure Dumbledore knew just yet the extent of the connection and the significance of the scar. It depends on whether or not he knew about the Horcruxes at that point. I do, however, think the mere fact that Harry had survived the curse probably led DD to suspect the scar was more than just a mere wound.

I believe another reason Hagrid was chosen to bring Harry to Privet Drive--in addition to those already mentioned--is that, as a part-Giant, he seems to be less vulnerable to the spells cast by his enemies. Consider the times we have seen him under attack in the later books. His Giant blood seems to have given him an extra measure of protection ... kind of like magical Teflon.

Solitaire


Steve Newton - Jul 8, 2008 4:47 am (#7 of 925)

AAAAHHH! I can't find my book. Maybe tonight.


Joanna Lupin - Jul 8, 2008 6:02 am (#8 of 925)

Bad luck, Steve...

Anne - I thought of Dedalus as well, but McGonagall says that he lives in Kent, so unless he came shopping to Little Whinging (sp?) it couldn't be him.


Solitaire - Jul 8, 2008 3:35 pm (#9 of 925)

Anna, I think it was Dedalus Diggle. He is described as a tiny old man in a violet cloak. The man who bowed to Harry in the shop was described as tiny and wearing a violet top hat, and we know he was Dedalus Diggle from Harry's first meeting with him in the Leaky Cauldron.

Solitaire


tandaradei - Jul 8, 2008 4:31 pm (#10 of 925)

...[cut]..."You dislike the name 'Tom'?"

There are a lot of Toms, muttered Riddle....[cut]...

HBP, Ch 13, "The Secret Riddle," p.274f US.

...[cut]..."Their son -- he'd be about Dudley's age now, wouldn't he?"

I suppose so, said Mrs. Dursley stiffly.

What's his name again? Howard, isn't it?

Harry, nasty common name, if you ask me s....[cut]...

SS, Ch 1, "The Boy Who Lived," p. 274f US.

I thought this interesting. Remember how we were comparing Harry and Riddle? They both have "common" names.


tandaradei - Jul 8, 2008 4:56 pm (#11 of 925)
Edited Jul 8, 2008 6:21 pm

Joanna Lupin said:

...[cut]...First war with Voldemort lasted 11 years? How come the ministry endured then, but lasted only a year in the second war? I smell corruption and incompetence!!....[cut]...

Yes this is most interesting. Maybe Voldemort thought the first time, that he had to conquer the Ministry from the outside (maybe like how Grindelwald & DD were discussing such things a half-century earlier?); but the second time around, after much thought as a spirit in the Albanian woods, Voldemort apparently thought, "why not take it over from the inside, control it like a puppet on strings?"

Joanna Lupin said:

...[cut]...Did Dumbledore know as early as then why Harry survived? He must have done since he decided to use the Dursleys....[cut]...

&

Joanna Lupin said:

...[cut]... McGonagall certainly seems to be a pure-blood as Dumbledore says about lemon drops “They’re a kind of Muggle sweet” I expect he’d phrase it differently if she had anything to do with Muggles...[cut]...Did Albus know the scar was a place where a piece of Voldemort’s soul resided? Is that why he never believed Voldemort was dead?...[cut]...

Insightful. Dumbledore must even then have thought Harry would have to die in order for the prophecy to be completed.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I would like to comment on the book cover. It just makes me think it’s a sort of pre-Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew type of story. Harry trying to catch a Snitch in the twilight, with a unicorn prancing around in the background, and owls and strange fellows in purple capes -- it just appears to me to have a preadolescent attraction. I identified with Soul Search's original attitude towards this remarkable effort. Actually, I can't remember how I even got involved in HP. I'm a librarian, so I must assume I got irked about all the kids wanting to read this, then my interest peaked, and I finally decided to see what all the furor was about. I was soon out there on opening nights with all those costumed folks, though I never did actually wear one myself.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

{Just thought to add this bit I wrote from another thread}:

The "Thank you very much" in the first sentence Jo published was what got me hooked.

Some posters disliked this phrase but I found it a perfect lure. The persona appears 3d person limited; the narrator has managed to go right inside the minds of its chief characters and pull out the one phrase they'd have used, which we can quickly develop a strong reaction to. We quickly form an opinion of them, and have a way of relating to them; and this is so important in abstractions like stories.

To me, the phrase says these are jerks or gits that you can't argue with constructively. We must then merely observe them and secretly hope we ourselves don't exhibit such traits, as we live our own lives. We are to hope we would enjoy owls and folks in outlandish dress, and even cats who might "stare" at maps.


Soul Search - Jul 8, 2008 6:48 pm (#12 of 925)

I was a bit surprised that JKR's characterization of the Dursleys in this chapter held throughout the entire series. Everything they said and did fit the characters initially developed in this first chapter. Dudley did soften a bit toward Harry in Deathly Hallows, but he did it in character.

Dumbledore also says "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he is older. I've written them a letter." Well, we know they never did explain everything to Harry. And, we never got to see the "letter." It is referenced in OotP when Dumbledore tells Petunia "REMEMBER MY LAST" and in HBP when Dumbledore chastises the Dursleys for not treating Harry "like a son."

I think this is also the beginning of Dumbledore generally keeping Harry in the dark about himself, his scar, and his destiny.


Steve Newton - Jul 8, 2008 7:00 pm (#13 of 925)

tandaradei, I think that you are right and Dumbledore did think that Harry had to die. Whenever the 'in essence divided' scene is, is when he figures out that Harry can survive. His plan becomes more convoluted after that as he struggles to give Harry a chance. (I know, I haven't figured out the plan either.)


rcs - Jul 8, 2008 7:42 pm (#14 of 925)

Whenever the 'in essence divided' scene is, is when he figures out that Harry can survive. --Steve Newton

I don't think so. That scene was in OotP, right after the attack on Mr. Weasley (Ch. 22, I think). But Dumbledore must have known by the end of GoF that Harry had a chance to survive, given his "gleam of triumph" on learning that Voldemort had used Harry's blood. I think the "in essence divided" scene most likely merely confirmed what Dumbledore already knew (although it may have been the first clue that the snake was a Horcrux).

First war with Voldemort lasted 11 years? How come the ministry endured then, but lasted only a year in the second war? I smell corruption and incompetence!! --Joanna Lupin

I think the difference has to do with Dumbledore. Even though Dumbledore wasn't connected with the Ministry (apart from being on the Wizengamot), I think Voldemort was afraid to do anything too drastic (by LV's standards) while Dumbledore was still around, watching his every move. Plus, there's the Order to think about. Most likely, LV's takeover of the Ministry in Book 7 was only successful because the Order was in so much disarray after DD's death. Had Voldemort tried anything like that with Dumbledore still alive, I don't think he would have been able to pull it off (and DD is one person who definitely would have seen right through LV's propaganda and done his best to keep LV from brainwashing everybody else).

I also think the first part of those 11 years was probably spent recruiting followers, rather than engaging in open warfare. Most likely, the First War only included about four or five years of actual war of the kind we see in Books 6 and 7. I imagine it must have taken quite some time for LV to build up his army the first time. In the Second War, he managed to get all of his old supporters back quite quickly, thanks to the mass breakout from Azkaban (as well as whatever threats he must have employed to win back people like Lucius Malfoy who had abandoned him). Point is, he could simply pick up where he'd left off before he'd lost his body, and that, I think, is another reason the Ministry fell so soon in the Second War.


PeskyPixie - Jul 8, 2008 8:08 pm (#15 of 925)

That's right, Dumbledore pretty much knows that this precious little recently orphaned baby will have to be sacrificed for the Greater Good. What a terrible secret to have.

Do you suppose Dumbledore's conversation with heartbroken young Sev occurs before or after his meeting with Minnie McG and Hagrid at Privet Dr.?


Solitaire - Jul 8, 2008 8:28 pm (#16 of 925)

Perhaps it is one of the things DD does during that long day between the time Harry is taken out of GH and the time he arrives at PD, in addition to setting up all of the protections.

Although I believe DD knows Harry will one day have to confront Voldemort, I am not sure that he knows just yet that Harry will be sacrificed. I think he may have a hint of what's to come in CoS after what happened with the Diary. I believe he is pretty sure after Voldemort's rebirthing. If he had realized sooner about the Horcruxes, don't you think he would have begun trying to locate and destroy them sooner? Why would he have waited so long? Or was Slughorn the key there? Could nothing be done before that time?

Solitaire


Quinn Crockett - Jul 8, 2008 11:40 pm (#17 of 925)

I agree that fall of the Ministry during LVII is due largely to the fact that so many of Voldemort's closet supporters - whom he would not have had to invest time recruiting - were now in a position to make it happen. After LVI, most of them had more or less been exonerated and gone back to their lives. So when Voldemort returned, those in who worked in the Ministry would have been in a prime position to put into action whatever plan Voldemort would have come up with.

I'm not sure whether or not Dumbledore knew immediately that Harry was an accidental Horcrux and would ultimately have to be sacrificed, but no doubt he knew something was going on with that scar. He's lived a long time and seen many things; and as he, himself, says, "My guesses are usually right".

It is interesting that we never get to see "the letter" explaining about what Harry's doing there. Normally when an author introduces an item like that, at some point the reader will be privy to whatever information it contains. But in this case, not at all.

So now, did Dumbledore tell Mrs Figg or someone to keep watch on Harry, since Harry is sleeping on the porch? I find it hard to believe that Dumbledore would have left Harry completely vulnerable like that.


rcs - Jul 9, 2008 12:07 am (#18 of 925)

It is interesting that we never get to see the "letter" explaining about what Harry's doing there. Normally when an author introduces an item like that, at some point the reader will be privy to whatever information it contains. But in this case, not at all." --Quinn Crocket

I hope the complete text of that letter will be included in the Scottish Book.


Joanna Lupin - Jul 9, 2008 2:49 am (#19 of 925)

About Dumbledore's knowledge of horcruxes, in DH Voldemort says that Dumbledore always suspected him, but on the other hand we also know that only after CoS Dumbledore started suspecting that there were more than one.

I think that on that dreary Tuesday, Dumbledore realised there must be a horcrux hidden somewhere. If he knew that Harry is an unintentional horcrux then is questionable. He might have done, he was a smart man, and he obviously realised something had gone amiss. After all, AK doesn't leave any signs of damage, and here it did. Of course, that was a unique case, so he might have assumed that AK does leave signs when it fails. We must remember, however, that Dumbledore knew that Voldemort would mark Harry as his equal. So, I dunno, maybe he did guess what it meant even then?


Steve Newton - Jul 9, 2008 4:37 am (#20 of 925)

You all are right, I think. Harry's blood in GOF was the hint to a way that Harry could survive. The OotP scene just made it a tad more difficult.

I found my book! I think that I will reread chapter 1 tonight.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 9, 2008 4:43 am (#21 of 925)

Dumbledore would trust Hagrid with his life. Is that because Hagrid obeys orders and doesn’t ask questions? Something other Order members wouldn’t do?-- Joanna Lupin

Great observations about how Dumbledore's personality shows itself in the very first chapter of the series. Dumbledore is the leader of the Order, but puts more stock in those who are most devoted to his person rather than those most dedicated to the cause. He declares his trust in Hagrid, who will serve him without question, at the same time he deflects the astute questions of McGonagall.

Although we see a growth in his trust and reliance of McGonagall throughout the series, to the point in OotP where she appears to be his right hand woman, by DH she is back where she started, outside the loop.

Dumbledore deflects her concerns about the Dursleys with his pampered prince comment. Ironically, Dudley is a pampered little prince. If the Dursleys had treated Harry just like Dudley as Dumbledore had wanted (as said by him in HBP), Harry would have had just the upbringing that Dumbledore claims to McGonagall he is trying to protect Harry from. It's a lie, anyway. Dumbledore's true motive is to protect Harry from Voldemort and his minions.

About Dedalus Diggle, I assumed that was him. And other Order members, too, that Harry saw. I don't think it a coincidence that Harry kept seeing them around. They were probably assigned to check up on Harry.


tandaradei - Jul 9, 2008 8:09 am (#22 of 925)

...[cut]...It seemed that Professor McGonagall had reached the point she was most anxious to discuss, the real reason she had been waiting on a cold, hard wall all day, for neither as a cat nor as a woman had she fixed Dumbledore with such a piercing stare as she did now...[cut]...

PS, Ch 1,"The Boy Who Lived," p.11 US.

Shades of Occlumency???


tandaradei - Jul 9, 2008 8:28 am (#23 of 925)

...[cut]..."Yes, this is the place."

How can you tell? Harry spoke in a whisper

It has known magic, Dumbledore said simply....[cut]...

HBP, Ch 26,"The Cave," p.557 US.

...[cut]..."Is that where?"

Yes, said Dumbledore, "He'll have that scar forever."...[cut]...

PS, Ch 1,"The Boy Who Lived," p.15 US.

Perhaps Dumbledore can see that Harry's scar "has known magic."


Mrs. Sirius - Jul 9, 2008 9:14 am (#24 of 925)

-Put-outer seems to be an early version of the Deluminator Ron had as it didn’t extinguish all light, but one lamp at a time. Joanna Lupin

I always thought it was one and the same.

It was noted long before, but a symmetry between PS and DH - Hagrid's both bringing Harry to 4PD and taking him away from there. Both times on Sirius' bike. Anna L

Don’t forget the symmetry of Hagrid carrying Harry out of the forest after Voldemort AK’d him as he did out of the GH house.


Soul Search - Jul 9, 2008 9:19 am (#25 of 925)

Perhaps Dumbledore can see that Harry's scar has known magic." (tandaradei) Very good pickup.

We have wondered how Dumbledore surmised Harry was an accidental horcrux and you may have answered that question.

Far as we can tell, that meeting outside #4 Privet Drive was the only time Dumbledore was close to Harry until he came to Hogwarts. He sent Hagrid to fetch Harry from Godric's Hollow and cannon does not say Dumbledore surveyed the scene, saw Harry, or anything. It may have taken Harry speaking Parseltongue in CoS and the opening dream sequence in GoF for Dumbledore to be sure, but he must have suspected something when he saw Harry's scar. After all, a statement like "He'll have that scar forever" is very strong for just having seen it.

Dumbledore also seems a bit evasive with McGonagall, like he is already trying to protect a great secret.


Anna L. Black - Jul 9, 2008 9:31 am (#26 of 925)

I think Dumbledore must have seen Harry at some point during the missing 24 hours - otherwise, he didn't really have the time to look at Harry and understand everything about his scar and it's nature. Also, how would he know exactly what kind of protection charms he needs to activate?

Is there something that contradicts DD seeing Harry before that evening?


Joanna Lupin - Jul 9, 2008 9:59 am (#27 of 925)

Interesting question, Anne. Maybe we got it all wrong. I always thought that DD didn't see Harry earlier because of what Hagrid said. It doesn't fit - how could DD have written that letter without seeing the boy? Maybe Hagrid's report of events was more for Minerva's benefit, not DD's?


Soul Search - Jul 9, 2008 10:14 am (#28 of 925)

There is much more that we don't know about that 24 hours than we do know. There is no direct canon to contradict Dumbledore doing anything, but enough indirect canon that makes suggestions like Dumbledore saw Harry earlier a bit of a stretch. Some examples:

We now know Voldemort went to Godric's Hollow alone. There was no mention of anyone seeing him (except the Halloween kids) so how did Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, and the wizarding world learn of those events so quickly. McGonagall knew of the events before she arrived at Privet Drive in the morning. She needed a map to find the place. There were a lot of owls around Privet Drive. Were they delivering messages to McGonagall? From whom?

Dumbledore didn't talk to McGonagall before she left for Godric's Hollow. Why didn't she ask him about events? Did Dumbledore leave Hogwarts for a while? How did McGonagall know something was so important about #4 Privet Drive that she spent the whole day watching the place and waiting for Dumbledore. Dumbledore suggests Hagrid told her. Hagrid had to move fast to get to Godric's Hollow. When? Why? How did he meet McGonagall? Why was McGonagall so interested in Harry in the first place?

How did Dumbledore know of Godric's Hollow, that Harry lived, and to send Hagrid to Godric's Hollow for Harry and to take him to #4 Privet Drive? How was Hagrid to travel? How did Hagrid get to Godric's Hollow "before the Muggles came around." Hagrid arrives late to Privet Drive, yet meeting Sirius and getting the motorcycle was an accident. Hagrid is too big to use a broom or thestral. Was Hagrid supposed to have used Muggle transport?

We also know Dumbledore spent some time with Snape in his office at Hogwarts, so he was there. When and how did Dumbledore learn everything he needed to know to send Hagrid, write the letter, and perform all the protective magic?

Hagrid implies he came straight from Godric's Hollow, yet the trip couldn't have taken nearly 24 hours. When Hagrid arrives at #4 Privet Drive, there is no suggestion that he has seen Dumbledore since leaving for Godric's Hollow. Harry arrives fresh, sleeping peacefully, and wrapped in a blanket. When and where was he fed, changed, and given a blanket? Who treated his scar?

They just left Harry on the cold, hard doorstep most of the night. He was fifteen months old! Rugrats can move fast. He could have wandered off and crawled into London by then. Good thing he didn't have his broom.

We can, and have, speculated a lot about those 24 hours, but there is no canon to allow more than wild speculation. I have wondered if a reasonable scenario and timeline can be developed, or if JKR was a little slipshod with the timing for this all-important event. I think she avoids questions about the 24 hours.


Solitaire - Jul 9, 2008 11:00 am (#29 of 925)

otherwise, he didn't really have the time to look at Harry and understand everything about his scar and it's nature

I do not think he did understand everything about the scar and its nature. He knew that some sort of connection had been forged, but I still do not believe he knew the extent of it until after Harry appeared at Hogwarts. JM2K ...

Solitaire


tandaradei - Jul 9, 2008 12:21 pm (#30 of 925)

Soul Search said:

...[cut]...There is much more that we don't know about that 24 hours than we do know...[cut]...

Folks (me included) have discussed these 24 hours so much it’s hard to sift from canon in my memory! There's canon, yes; but also there's this sort of "fanfic" that develops from teasing out ideas from it ... and, after awhile, well, I can't sift facts well anymore. I could swear there is canon that DD visited Godric's Hollow and put Harry into Hagrid's care with instructions (DD using a patronus / maybe he never saw Hagrid face to face); but I cannot help but wonder how Sirius fit into all this without Dumbledore, erm, asking questions of him at the site.

I think Minerva McGonagall's reading that map actually is quite interesting. It means there's a place on the map, still, by which to find number 4, Privet Drive. What I mean is, apparently the Fidelius charm apparently didn't hide Privet Drive until after Petunia physically lifted Harry off the doorstep? I do wonder how folks found Privet Drive afterwards, though. I mean, remember in COS, when the Dursley's bring in guests? Maybe if one of them tells someone how to get there, that's enough? Maybe the folks searching for Harry have to want to do him harm, before the magic takes effect?




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter One Comments - posts #31 to #60

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:43 pm



Joanna Lupin - Jul 9, 2008 12:30 pm (#31 of 925)

I don't think it was a Fidelius Charm somehow...


Quinn Crockett - Jul 9, 2008 12:39 pm (#32 of 925)

Far as we can tell, that meeting outside #4 Privet Drive was the only time Dumbledore was close to Harry until he came to Hogwarts.

Well, we know that Dumbledore visited the Potters in GH (his own home town) at least once: the time he borrowed James's cloak. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to assume that Dumbledore visited the Potters regularly, though most likely on Order business. He would have been around baby Harry during those times.

Soul Search, I think you covered just about all the questions I ever had about the "missing" 24 hours Here are my suggestions:

*We now know Voldemort went to Godric's Hollow alone. There was no mention of anyone seeing him (except the Halloween kids) so how did Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, and the wizarding world learn of those events so quickly.

How did Dumbledore know of Godric's Hollow, that Harry lived, and to send Hagrid to Godric's Hollow for Harry and to take him to #4 Privet Drive?

I think it's fair to assume the Order (remember, Dumbledore was alive and strong and fully heading it this time around) probably had some contingency plan for an attack on the Potters. Remember, even though the Potters were under the Fidelius Charm, there was still a traitor on the loose and no doubt Dumbledore would have factored this in.

Also, whether they were Order members or not, GH is apparently populated by a fairly large community of wizards (i.e. Bathilda Bagshot) who would surely have notified the Ministry or someone about what had happened.

*There were a lot of owls around Privet Drive. Were they delivering messages to McGonagall? From whom? - I would say no, since JKR tells us "the cat had not moved all day". McGonagall also confesses to having been sitting on a brick wall all day.

*Dumbledore didn't talk to McGonagall before she left for Godric's Hollow. Why didn't she ask him about events? - She didn't really have to. She mentions the rumors, which Dumbledore confirms are true.

*Did Dumbledore leave Hogwarts for a while? - We've actually seen Dumbledore kind of MIA in just about all the books of the series, so this would not have been completely unusual. But under the circumstances, I would say that he must have done at some point.

*Hagrid had to move fast to get to Godric's Hollow. When? Why?

How was Hagrid to travel? How did Hagrid get to Godric's Hollow "before the Muggles came around." - Dumbledore must have sent Hagrid to GH using a portkey as soon as he received word of what had happened. As I mentioned above, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that Dumbledore would have had people watching over the Potters, even with the Fidelius in place.

As to "why" Hagrid and not, say, McGonagall or someone else? Hagrid was far more dispensable in terms of his position at Hogwarts (he was not yet a faculty member, remember). Also, Hagrid's giant DNA makes him all but impervious to attack. And Hagrid would definitely "stay on task" probably better than anyone else.

*How did he meet McGonagall? - This is the real question, I think. Personally, I have always fanwanked that Hagrid took Harry to the Order's headquarters and that he must have met McGonagall there.

*We also know Dumbledore spent some time with Snape in his office at Hogwarts, so he was there. - Snape crying over the news didn't necessarily happen on the same day. In fact, I would suggest that it was probably not until after Dumbledore had secured all of the arrangements for Harry that he would even have had time to meet with Snape.


rcs - Jul 9, 2008 1:44 pm (#33 of 925)

Far as we can tell, that meeting outside #4 Privet Drive was the only time Dumbledore was close to Harry until he came to Hogwarts. He sent Hagrid to fetch Harry from Godric's Hollow and cannon does not say Dumbledore surveyed the scene, saw Harry, or anything. It may have taken Harry speaking Parseltongue in CoS and the opening dream sequence in GoF for Dumbledore to be sure, but he must have suspected something when he saw Harry's scar. After all, a statement like He'll have that scar forever" is very strong for just having seen it." --Soul Search

Dumbledore must have been fairly certain by the end of CoS, because (and I don't have the exact quote, but it's when DD and Harry are talking about Parseltongue) he says thinks Voldemort put a bit of himself in Harry. Indeed, I have always thought this passage was the strongest piece of pre-DH evidence that Harry was a Horcrux).

We now know Voldemort went to Godric's Hollow alone. --Quinn Crockett

Do we, though? (This isn't really a question about PS/SS, but I'll ask it here anyway). If that was really the case, who retrieved his wand? (And we know he got his original wand back, because of the Priori Incantatem scene in GoF.) I think Pettigrew must have been there too (disguised as a ordinary city rat, no doubt), and when Voldemort failed to re-emerge from the house, he ran in, found his master mysteriously gone, snatched the wand, then stashed it somewhere (Gringotts?) before Sirius found him the next day. No proof of this, of course, but just my theory.


Steve Newton - Jul 9, 2008 2:13 pm (#34 of 925)

fanwanked?


Quinn Crockett - Jul 9, 2008 3:42 pm (#35 of 925)

That wasn't me, rcs, but I believe whoever posted the bit about Voldemort going to GH alone was referring to the vision Harry had in DH in which he was inside Voldemort's own memory of the incident, and which confirmed that he did go to attack the Potters by himself. Pettigrew could have gone back for Voldemort's wand at any time, really. He didn't have to be there at the time Voldemort was ... vaporized(?) in order to retrieve his wand - particularly since he could search the whole house in his rat form at any time.

Sorry, Steve. "Fanwanked" is an expression I've seen and used on other Boards. It just means "making up the back-story to suit the current direction of the plot".


rcs - Jul 9, 2008 4:19 pm (#36 of 925)

Oh, sorry, Quinn. I don't know why I put down your name on that comment. It was actually Soul Search who said it.

But as regards that vision in DH, I just looked at it again, and I don't see anywhere that it actually says Voldemort's alone. Granted, we don't see anyone else with him, but I don't think that means that Pettigrew couldn't conceivably have been there in Animagus form (standing guard, perhaps?).


Mrs. Sirius - Jul 9, 2008 8:09 pm (#37 of 925)

** We also know Dumbledore spent some time with Snape in his office at Hogwarts, so he was there. - Snape crying over the news didn't necessarily happen on the same day. In fact, I would suggest that it was probably not until after Dumbledore had secured all of the arrangements for Harry that he would even have had time to meet with Snape. Quinn

Interesting Quinn, I thought just the opposite. I figured DD need to extract Snape’s promise to do "anything" in order to set his plans in motion in a particular manner. DD confesses several times along the way that he was essentially making it up as he went along, something like "you and LV had delved into areas of magic hereto unknown". I figured needed such a promise form Snape to relay so strongly on the magic of his Lily's love to save her child.


tandaradei - Jul 10, 2008 6:26 am (#38 of 925)

I guess we should also remember that at about this time Neville will be undergoing similar kinds of trials, which Harry will be undergoing. Neville's parents will soon be tortured into insanity; over time his magical growths will appear stunted to his family's distress; and Neville will begin to grow, not only under diminished expectations from his extended family to succeed as his parents had, but he will also in time be making periodic visits to see them in their torment -- a horror he must learn to absorb and live through.


freshwater - Jul 10, 2008 11:37 am (#39 of 925)

Dumbledore must have been fairly certain by the end of CoS, because (and I don't have the exact quote, but it's when DD and Harry are talking about Parseltongue) he says thinks Voldemort put a bit of himself in Harry. Indeed, I have always thought this passage was the strongest piece of pre-DH evidence that Harry was a Horcrux).--rcs

I must admit that I was of the group that did not want Harry to be a horcrux...but, in retrospect, that CoS comment about Voldemort leaving a bit of himself in Harry is very cryptic. At the time I only saw it as though LV had inadvertently shared some of his skills/talents with Harry, much as a child might inherit musical or athletic skills from a parent. Now we know that LV left a much more significant aspect of himself in Harry via that scar/spell.

========================

I find DD's comments to McGonagall about Harry's scar to be very intriguing......

Yes, said Dumbledore, "He'll have that scar forever." (Our first indication that injuries inflicted by dark magic cannot be magically healed.)

Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore? (Interesting that she wants him to erase it...suppose it could be quite a disheartening reminder of his parents' deaths to have to live with forever...)

"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in handy. (Here is our first indication that DD at least suspected that the scar might prove to be important in Harry's life.) I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground. (This last bit is one of my favorite quotes, but I think he just throws it out here to lighten the conversation and deflect it away from Harry's scar....a topic that he has not yet resolved in his own mind....it is definitive evidence that the AK didn't just miss Harry, yet he is alive and otherwise unharmed.)

I have to believe that --given DD's close relationship with the Potters and his awareness of the prophecy-- he would go to Godric's Hollow himself ASAP after learning about the attack. I'm certain he would want to examine the site himself, as well as speak to anyone (magical) who had happened upon the wreckage.

I also don't believe that DD & McGonagall left baby Harry alone and unprotected on a doorstep for the remainder of the night. Later in the series we learn about Disillusionment charms, Notice-me-not charms for hiding things like Quidditch pitches, as well as the OotP....I'm sure that some member or another was watching through the night until Petunia discovered him on her doorstep.


Solitaire - Jul 10, 2008 4:30 pm (#40 of 925)

Oh, I'm sure that Harry was protected on that doorstep. There is no doubt in my mind.


Soul Search - Jul 10, 2008 4:57 pm (#41 of 925)

But there is no canon for anyone casting a protective spell, any watcher, or anyone else knowing Harry was even there. Later, Dumbledore installed Mrs. Figg and we have hints that Harry was watched when he left Privet Drive, but nothing for that first night.

This has always bothered me a bit. Somehow, Dumbledore knew about Lily's sister Petunia, that she was married (the letter was to THEM,) and she lived at #4 Privet Drive. He knew this before he dispatched Hagrid. I think it a stretch that Lily would even tell Dumbledore about her wizard-hating sister, let alone give all that detail.

How sure was Dumbledore that Voldemort or Death Eaters couldn't get to Privet Drive, assuming they even knew of the place. Death Eaters could have followed Hagrid, of course, so there should have been some concern. After all, a bunch of Death Eaters did attack the Longbottoms (later, but they were a mean lot.)

There may, however, be a simple solution to the "leaving Harry on the doorstep" question. I note that neither McGonagall nor Hagrid thought it unusual!

We noted in Deathly Hallows that the Fidelius Charm on #12 Grimmauld Place extended to the doorstep. Reasonable to assume that Dumbledore's protections on #4 Privet Drive included the doorstep. We did see something happen to Vernon in OotP when he tried to strangle Harry, and Harry was just outside the house.

So, Dumbledore previously installed protections on #4 Privet Drive and they were powerful enough to keep Harry where he was fully protected.

This means, of course, that Dumbledore visited Privet Drive earlier. He probably saw McGonagall but avoided her because he didn't want her to know what he was doing. She would have asked a lot of questions he didn't want to answer, just like she did when he arrived later.


PeskyPixie - Jul 10, 2008 5:04 pm (#42 of 925)

If we were to ask JKR she would probably tell us, "I didn't think I had to include that Dumbledore would have arranged for some form of magical protection. I thought that bit was obvious."


Solitaire - Jul 10, 2008 5:58 pm (#43 of 925)

Dumbledore says, in OotP, that he put his trust in Lily's blood by delivering Harry to Petunia. In taking Harry, Dumbledore said that Petunia "sealed the charm I placed upon you. Your mother's sacrifice made the bond of blood the strongest shield I could give you." If she had not taken Harry in but handed him off to an orphanage, then perhaps the charm wouldn't have worked. Was it incomplete until Petunia actually took Harry in? Probably. Think about it ... Dumbledore knew that DEs were still at large when he placed Harry with on the doorstep, and he also knew Petunia was not magical and couldn't protect anyone. How futile would it have been to leave Harry alone on the doorstep of Lily's sister's house with no protection around him until he was taken in by Petunia? And what of Petunia herself? If she were killed, then she could not "seal" the charm. I'm betting the house had some enchantments around it, as well.

Solitaire


freshwater - Jul 10, 2008 6:14 pm (#44 of 925)

This has always bothered me a bit. Somehow, Dumbledore knew about Lily's sister Petunia, that she was married (the letter was to THEM,) and she lived at #4 Privet Drive. He knew this before he dispatched Hagrid. I think it a stretch that Lily would even tell Dumbledore about her wizard-hating sister, let alone give all that detail.--Soul Search

But remember, DD had received that letter from Petunia begging him to allow her to attend Hogwarts, too, so he was acquainted with her. Given the danger to the Potters, and the prophecy, I don't find it strange that DD knew about Lily's family.

What I do find strange is that DD must have known that Sirius was Harry's godfather....this is about 24 hours after the death of James and Lily....had Sirius already confronted Peter and been arrested? If so, DD and McGonagall did not discuss it. If not, why not put Harry under Sirius' protection? This choice to go with "blood protection" through Lily's family seems to have more logic and planning (and secrecy) behind it than is first suggested in ch. 1.

I wonder... what would have happened if Sirius had been so distracted by the care needed by a baby that he had not gone after Peter right away?


rcs - Jul 10, 2008 6:48 pm (#45 of 925)

For that matter, I wonder what would have happened if Sirius had gone to the Ministry, told them that Peter had been the Potters' Secret-Keeper, and let the Aurors handle it from there (revealing, of course, Peter's unregistered Animagus status but tactfully concealing his own). Would Peter have been sent to Azkaban and stayed there, never to rejoin Lord Voldemort? Or would doing so have only drawn suspicion to himself (Sirius, that is), leading to his being arrested, tried, and convicted when Peter and even Dumbledore testified against him?


Solitaire - Jul 10, 2008 10:06 pm (#46 of 925)

I thought Sirius went to confront Peter that same night that the Potters were killed ... and was arrested that same night. No?

About Sirius going to the Ministry ... even DD thought Sirius was the Secret Keeper. It would have been his word against Peter's and Dumbledore's. Whom do you think the Ministry, never known for its brilliance and insight, would have believed? I kind of had the idea that the Magical Law Enforcement was already looking for Sirius. Could DD or Peter have already talked to them?

Solitaire


Quinn Crockett - Jul 10, 2008 10:42 pm (#47 of 925)

I think because, the author does establish a particular paradigm - in this case, that of "magical protection" - means that it's okay for the reader to make reasonable assumptions based on that paradigm - in this case, that Dumbledore somehow magically protected baby Harry while he slept on the Dursleys' porch.

Personally, I don't think every little detail needs to be spelled out when we have similar examples to guide us. In fact, I really don't want the author to tell me every little thing. I want to be able to go into her world, become a part of it, and work out the details from that perspective.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 11, 2008 4:45 am (#48 of 925)

About Sirius going to the Ministry ... even DD thought Sirius was the Secret Keeper. It would have been his word against Peter's and Dumbledore's. Whom do you think the Ministry, never known for its brilliance and insight, would have believed? I kind of had the idea that the Magical Law Enforcement was already looking for Sirius. Could DD or Peter have already talked to them?-- Solitaire

I agree with this, somewhat. I do think Sirius could have handled things better, but he was distraught and handled things in character for the character.

Sirius must have known he was in a jam, though. When he goes to Godric’s Hollow, Hagrid refuses to turn over the baby to his rightful godfather, because Hagrid has his orders. Sirius knows at this point that Dumbledore doesn't trust him.


megfox* - Jul 11, 2008 6:59 am (#49 of 925)

Also, think about it this way. The only two people living who know who the Potter's Secret Keeper was are Sirius and Pettigrew. Even Dumbledore thinks it's Sirius. So, since the Secret has been spilled, Sirius must have known that Pettigrew did it. He knew that either Pettigrew had no loyalty to his friends, but to Voldemort, or that it had been gotten out of him by some other means (Crucio, etc).

If it is the first, then he has no chance, and so he goes to confront Peter, who uses it as the perfect chance to publicly pin it on Sirius. Or, if by chance it is the second, which is Sirius' only hope for freedom, he goes to find Peter in order to help him or protect him, as well as to get Peter to help him, which again ends in the finger-pointing public display. Sirius would need Peter to explain that he was innocent - obviously the only way this would happen is if Peter claimed that it was against his will to share the secret with Voldemort. *

I don't know if this is totally logical, or if there is anything canon that could help support this line of thinking, but I am just trying to figure out why Sirius would confront Pettigrew. Did he really want to kill him when he tried to find him? Pettigrew knew that Sirius was not the most even-keeled, and he knew that Sirius was going to be looking for him. Who is the stronger, more powerful wizard? My bet is Sirius, but then why would Pettigrew put himself in the position to be killed, when that apparently is a gigantic fear of his? The only reason I could see was that he assumed Sirius wouldn't kill him on sight, or even when he started accusing Sirius, at which point Sirius must have known he was meat. I wonder if it was Pettigrew that went looking for Sirius, and not the other way around. He could then complete the deception. There seem to be ways to test magic to see who cast what spells and things like that, so it would have been a matter of time before Sirius would have been cleared. Pettigrew had to cover his tracks, so to speak, as best and as quickly as he could. Why wait for "murderous" Sirius Black to come find him?

* Which brings up another question about Secret Keepers - can the secret be wrested out of them? Or is it safe as long as they are alive and have the will to keep it safe? What if that will fails? Then can it forcibly be taken?


Soul Search - Jul 11, 2008 7:32 am (#50 of 925)

I want to be able to go into her world, become a part of it, and work out the details from that perspective. (Quinn Crockett)

Yes, I agree, and we seem to be doing that now. (tongue firmly in cheek)

But remember, DD had received that letter from Petunia ... (freshwater)

YES! I forgot that letter. Knowing of Petunia would have been a good start. He still would have had to find where she lived, but that would have been easier. Knowing of Petunia, that is, that Lily had a sister, was essential for his "mother's blood" protection scheme. It might even be said that JKR put the bit about Petunia's letter into Deathly Hallows just to cover a flaw in the events of this chapter of SS.

Sirius knows at this point that Dumbledore doesn't trust him. (Mrs Brisbee)

Not sure what Dumbledore thinks at this point in time. Did Dumbledore believe Sirius was the Secret Keeper and that he betrayed the Potters? Dumbledore showed no particular interest when Hagrid mentions that he met Sirius Black and that Sirius lent him his motorcycle because Sirius wouldn't be needing it. That part suggests Dumbledore did not, then, think Sirius had been the Secret Keeper.

It seems no one thought, or knew for sure, Sirius was the Secret Keeper until he met Pettigrew on the street and Pettigrew yelled to the crowd that Sirius had been Secret Keeper and had betrayed his friends.

Hagrid, apparently, did not think Sirius had been made Secret Keeper or their meeting would not have been so casual. Had Hagrid known, he would have "ripped him limb for limb," as he proclaimed in PoA.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 11, 2008 9:38 am (#51 of 925)

Dumbledore showed no particular interest when Hagrid mentions that he met Sirius Black and that Sirius lent him his motorcycle because Sirius wouldn't be needing it. That part suggests Dumbledore did not, then, think Sirius had been the Secret Keeper.

Somebody in PoA (Hagrid?) says that the Ministry caught up with Sirius the next day, which would be when McGonagall staked out 4 Privet Drive all day. So Dumbledore must know what happened (or appeared to happen) to Peter Pettigrew by the time he gates to Privet Drive. McGonagall perhaps hasn't heard, unless one of the owls brought her news. Hagrid, wherever the heck he's been for the past day, obviously hasn't heard the news.

Also I note that even before Sirius is arrested, Dumbledore has sent Hagrid to remove Harry to his aunt's care without consulting the man who is Harry's true legal guardian.
Edited to add: McGonagall must have known the plan to use Sirius as a Secret Keeper. She alludes to it in PoA. And she doesn't question Dumbledore's right to place the child elsewhere, so I think she must assume Sirius's guilt.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 11, 2008 10:25 am (#52 of 925)

When he goes to Godric’s Hollow, Hagrid refuses to turn over the baby to his rightful godfather, because Hagrid has his orders. Sirius knows at this point that Dumbledore doesn't trust him.

I think this is a very astute observation and probably right on the money. We learn in PoA that Sirius "knew something was wrong" when Peter wasn't where he was supposed to be. When Sirius got to the house at GH and saw what had happened, he knew immediately that he was doomed - hence the realization that he would no longer be needing his motorcycle.

Those are good points about Sirius's presumed guilt from the perspective of other characters, but I think Dumbledore is probably the only one who, at that point, knew/suspected Sirius since he, Dumbledore, had offered to be SK but had been turned down. I think the other characters probably didn't find out about Sirius's supposed treachery until afterwards, at which point the legend of Sirius's betrayal began.

Dumbledore showed no particular interest when Hagrid mentions that he met Sirius Black and that Sirius lent him his motorcycle because Sirius wouldn't be needing it. That part suggests Dumbledore did not, then, think Sirius had been the Secret Keeper.

I'm not sure I agree with this. Consider the way the exchange is described:

Hagrid, said Dumbledore, sounding relieved. "At last. And where did you get that motorcycle?" (Surely Dumbledore knows the motorcycle belongs to Sirius. Everyone else seems to.)

Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir... Young Sirius Black lent it to me. I've got him, sir.

"No problems, were there? (To me, this is in direct response to the knowledge that Hagrid had met Sirius at the site.)


tandaradei - Jul 11, 2008 11:38 am (#53 of 925)

In the style of Jack Sprat could eat no fat / his wife could eat no lean,"" I'm thinking Jo's mentioning that Mr. Dursley had no neck, while Mrs. Dursley had twice the normal neck, might be a similar signal. For rea"

that this story is meant for the "Jack Sprat" level of children, since such over characterizations delight this age group; and

that these characters are meant to be somewhat two-dimensional, less of what one would try to identify with in a story, and more what one would tend to react against (easy for them to become "an enemy").

But I don't know. Snape seemed that way to me also. I'd had him pegged as two-dimensional and ultra-predictable, and thus easily to be seen in the "enemy camp" (which the Foe Mirror refused to show) .... and look at where that led me.

I do think the Dursley's are a study, possibly, into how bullies behave: full of vicious opinions, fully willing to be vicious in expressing them, happy to nurture such viciousness in their offspring (as in how Mr. Dursley chortles 'little tyke' at Dudley's tantrum), and yet quite fearful even to the point of easily being called a chicken, at other times (Vernon's hesitancy about talking certain matters to Petunia.)

I'm wondering if Jo hadn't had her memories of government atrocities in mind, even in her descriptions of this two-dimensional family setting.


rcs - Jul 11, 2008 1:38 pm (#54 of 925)

As regards the Secret-Keeper business, I have to raise another question (although I'm sure it's one that's been discussed many times already). Why DID the Potters think Pettigrew or even Sirius was preferable as a Secret-Keeper over Dumbledore? Later books suggest that it is HIGHLY unusual for anyone OTHER than DD to be SK for another member of the Order. Why, with so much at stake, did they break protocol and put their trust in someone unreliable like Peter, especially when it was virtually known that ONE of the Marauders was a spy?

I think the clue lies in Sirius's explanation of why he suggested that they use Peter instead of him: namely, that it was important to bluff LV by using the least likely Secret-Keeper possible. Dumbledore, of course, would have been the most obvious choice, then Sirius. Presumably, the Potters knew about the Prophecy--knew that Voldemort would be trying extra-hard to find them, so whoever was placed as the their Secret-Keeper would be in INCREDIBLE danger. I suspect the Potters, and Sirius, did not want Dumbledore to be put at that kind of risk, as if he were killed (or tortured into insanity, like Neville's parents), the whole Order would fall apart at the seams (as happened in Book 7). Thus, they planned to use Sirius, but Sirius then realized that Voldemort would still go after Dumbledore anyway if he believed that DD was the SK, so Sirius concocted the following plan: Sirius would reveal himself openly to be the SK, thus protecting DD from any kind of misdirected attack, then willingly endure LV's torture (even die if need be), yet have nothing to reveal, as Peter would be the real Secret-Keeper. Does any of this make sense?

Of course, as we all know, the whole plan backfired when Peter betrayed them himself.

On a side note, Sirius's willingness or even expectation to die under torture could have been the source of line in PoA about "Then you should have died, rather than betray your friends."


Soul Search - Jul 11, 2008 1:53 pm (#55 of 925)

Quinn Crockett,

I see your point about "No problems, were there?" On the other hand, if Dumbledore suspected Sirius of being on Voldemort's side, he should have been a bit puzzled when Sirius let Hagrid take Harry. That early, it may not have been known that Voldemort was out of the picture.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 11, 2008 6:12 pm (#56 of 925)

Hm... Good point, Soul Search. Dumbledore may not have thought Sirius was the traitor at that point, but Sirius could still have made trouble about Harry not going with him, Harry's legal guardian. Actually, maybe Dumbledore knew there was more to the story than what would become "the legend of Sirius's betrayal." Perhaps one of the things Dumbledore was doing during "the missing 24 hours" was trying to find Pettigrew himself.


PeskyPixie - Jul 11, 2008 7:11 pm (#57 of 925)

I don't think Dumbledore's decision to designate Hagrid as the person to remove Harry from Godric's Hollow necessarily means that he does not trust Sirius specifically. All Dumbledore knows (probably from Snape) is that someone in the Potters' inner circle of friends has been passing information on them to the Dark Lord. It could be Peter, Remus or Sirius (or maybe even some other close friends who have not made it into the books, though I think that's unlikely). James and Sirius choose not to accept Dumbledore's offer to be Secret Keeper and the worst occurs. There's no way Dumbledore is going to be as trusting as James after that; he will trust no one in the Potters' inner circle with Harry's life.

I don't think that choosing Dumbledore as Secret Keeper would be all that dangerous. Yes, he's the Death Eaters' Target #1 but he's also The Only One He Ever Feared. Even when Dumbledore is old and injured in HBP, Voldy keeps his distance. I think the Potters would have been quite safe if they had trusted Dumbledore with their lives.


rcs - Jul 11, 2008 8:09 pm (#58 of 925)

I think the Potters would have been quite safe if they had trusted Dumbledore with their lives. --PeskyPixie

Yes, most likely they would have. Nevertheless, they must have had a good reason for turning down his offer (like I said, later books reveal that it seems to be standard procedure for DD to serve as SK for virtually anybody else in the Order). And yes, maybe there was pride or arrogance involved, but in order for Peter to be preferable to Dumbledore as Secret-Keeper, there must have been something bad they feared would happen if they'd used DD (and bear in mind that they could have been fearing for DD's safety as much as their own.

Imagine if they had used DD. Sure, he's The Only One He Ever Feared, but he's also the Secret-Keeper protecting The Chosen One, and I don't think Voldemort would have let Dumbledore stand in the way of his finding and killing Harry. LV kept his distance in HBP because A: he had less to gain from going after DD personally, and B: he's more cautious at that point because he's already gotten in over his head once (by attacking Harry) and doesn't want to mess things up the second time. So I don't think the situations are at all comparable, and I think Dumbledore (and by extension, the whole Order) would have been in considerable danger if he'd become the Potters' Secret-Keeper. I feel that by offering to be SK himself (or to bluff by using Peter), Sirius was essentially sacrificing his life because he knew he was less important to the cause than DD.

Just my theory. If this isn't plausible, then I think the Potters' decision not to use DD becomes a major plot hole.


tandaradei - Jul 11, 2008 8:42 pm (#59 of 925)

In life anything that is possible CAN happen (such as a place where lightning strikes). Statistically, anything that can happen should happen sometime. So, if something is possible and is said to happen, then there's little reason to use logic against that thing happening, unless there's some kind of obvious conflict; and that especially if its canon in a story.

Probability arguments on unknowns are a different kettle of fish. What I mean to say is, when we know what happened and it seems possible, we have little reason to naysay those canonically explained events; but when we don't know what happened -- as in EXACTLY what happened in the 'missing 24 hours' -- then probabilities of all the possibilities we can think up, well they, erm hehe, are things we should argue about, to come to some reasonable explanations. I assume this is what the term 'fanwanking' is all about.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 11, 2008 9:09 pm (#60 of 925)

I can think of lots of good reasons for Lily and James to prefer a Secret Keeper other than Dumbledore, not least of which is a desire to keep some control over their own lives. We've seen how controlling Dumbledore can be, and he's very busy and thus not always available when needed. Plus, Sirius at least seems to have suspected Lupin as the traitor. Looking at the way Lupin and Sirius wanted to handle Pettigrew in PoA, I'd say that they viewed the betrayal as a "family affair".

James and Lily were right to trust Sirius, as he was fiercely loyal. But, bad judgment when it came to their other friends!

Dumbledore seems to have solved the problem by simply not having any friends to trust. Grindelwald really burned him.

Perhaps Lily is a variation on that theme. She got burned, so she trusts not her old friends, but only the ones James trusts.




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter One Comments - posts #61 to #90

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:48 pm



Quinn Crockett - Jul 11, 2008 9:55 pm (#61 of 925)

Looking at the way Lupin and Sirius wanted to handle Pettigrew in PoA, I'd say that they viewed the betrayal as a "family affair". - Mrs Brisbee

Yes, exactly! I believe we learn in PoA that they chose Peter because no one would ever suspect that he, as someone who appeared to be magically weak and little more than a hanger-on in that crowd, would ever serve as anyone's Secret Keeper - least of all someone who was forced into hiding. It was certainly sound thinking in principle not to go for the obvious choice in Dumbledore.

James and Sirius were essentially brothers in terms of their relationship; but Lupin and Wormtail were also in Gryffindor so Lily would have grown up with them as well. From the tone of her letter to Sirius in DH, I get the sense that Lily sort of became the 5th Marauder.


tandaradei - Jul 11, 2008 11:09 pm (#62 of 925)

May I add a brief aside? I know that heavy analysis of HP in forums was in full swing by GoF, and by OotP such discussion forums had become famous; but in my wanderings around the Net I'd not really come across heavy analysis of the first three books in Net form (except maybe in actual critical works on them -- and, of course, such sites as this one!). Does anyone out there know of examples for or against this?

Personally I hadn't expected this thread to begin so solidly. What I mean is, there are some really excellent observations and arguments out there in this thread so far and I'm wondering if such a thing like this should have, or could have, happened sooner....

As a second aside, I'm sensing a real similarity between HP fans & Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) fan groups begun a century ago. Wonder if this means anything about how society develops.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 11, 2008 11:20 pm (#63 of 925)

Gosh, tandarei! Just how old are you?

I think part of the "heavy analysis" at this point comes from the simple fact that we now have most of the information and can finally fill in the blanks on some of these earlier parts of the saga.


tandaradei - Jul 11, 2008 11:38 pm (#64 of 925)

Hehe, I'm 53; but my comments here were really thoughts passed on from what I'd heard in other HP forums.

The reference to Sherlock "fanwangers" is one example; but I think it’s still an apt one.

Going to sleep now...


Joanna Lupin - Jul 12, 2008 2:58 am (#65 of 925)

Great discussion, everyone!

I have 2 comments to make. First, as far as I remember DD was the SK of the Order headquarters only, and it was natural since he was the founder of it. Second, it is said that DD testified to the Ministry that Sirius was the Potter's SK, so he must have been told that they'd use Sirius. There really isn't any way for LV to get into the house unless the SK spilled the beans. Thus, DD must have suspected Sirius immediately.


Steve Newton - Jul 12, 2008 4:53 am (#66 of 925)

I think that the reference to the Baker Street Irregulars (Sherlock Holmes fans) is apt. Their use of the canonical texts to make their points is relevant. On another thread someone suggested that JKR made a mistake about something. With canonical texts there are never any mistakes. They are canon. In Holmes I recall one of the issues being where Watson was injured. Three places are mentioned. None can be a mistake.

53? I scoff at 53.


Soul Search - Jul 12, 2008 6:09 am (#67 of 925)

Joanna Lupin makes a good point. Dumbledore would not have testified on mere hearsay. James must have told him he was going to use Sirius as Secret Keeper, with Sirius arguing for Pettigrew at the last minute. Part of the deception was that everyone believe Sirius was the Secret Keeper and for Sirius to go into hiding.

So, Dumbledore believed Sirius was the Secret Keeper when Hagrid delivered Harry to #4 Privet Drive and mentioned meeting Sirius.

At that time, there must have been uncertainty for how Voldemort found the Potters. For example, someone could have seen them out of the Godric's Hollow house, or something like that. It wasn't until Pettigrew shouted to the crowd that Sirius was accused of betraying the Potters.

One problem is that we don't know exactly what the secret was.


Joanna Lupin - Jul 12, 2008 7:59 am (#68 of 925)

That's not quite true. In PoA Fudge mentions something along the lines of "we did look for him, but it was Peter who found him". I don't think it can be assumed the Potters were caught out of their protected area since the house was destroyed and the bodies were inside it. There was one conclusion to make for the MoM and start looking for Sirius. At least that's how I understand this.


freshwater - Jul 12, 2008 11:48 am (#69 of 925)

I know that heavy analysis of HP in forums was in full swing by GoF, and by OotP such discussion forums had become famous; but in my wanderings around the Net I'd not really come across heavy analysis of the first three books in Net form ...there are some really excellent observations and arguments out there in this thread so far and I'm wondering if such a thing like this should have, or could have, happened sooner....--tandaradei

That's an interesting point, T. I suspect that the events/info surrounding Sirius Black was the threshold to a new level of complexity in the series....

PS/SS was the intro to the magical world and LV's ominous continued presence...

CoS gave us a link to young LV and his continued influence, but was still a pretty much self-contained story....

PoA gave us a link to that what actually happened before/after the Potters' deaths, and a new significant character in Harry's life...

During the wait for GoF, the fandom had new hints/motivations to reconcile with the canon to that point....clues that stretched into the past, as well as what would LV --and Sirius-- might do in the future.

==================

On another note...ch. 1 gives us the first example of DD begin wrong...."It's the best place for him," said Dumbledore firmly. "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter." Of course, we know now that Vernon and Petunia explained nothing, discouraged the asking of questions, and thought they could "stamp it out of him" (ch. 4 PS/SS).

I don't want to rush things, but...shall we start on ch. 2 soon?


Joanna Lupin - Jul 12, 2008 1:42 pm (#70 of 925)

I was thinking about Monday, how about that?


rambkowalczyk - Jul 12, 2008 2:30 pm (#71 of 925)

Just a few things. I liked rcs' comment on James' and possibly Sirius' motivation in choosing Peter as the Secret Keeper. I think the idea of protecting Dumbledore is possible. Actually I think it might be Lily's idea more but this is a gut feeling more than anything else.

We've commented on Dumbledore's calmness when Hagrid mentions Sirius Black. What was Dumbledore thinking? Was he trying to imagine a possibility that Sirius was somehow tricked into divulging the location of the Potter's and that Sirius might come back and repent? Is it possible that Sirius used notes to reveal the location and one was stolen?

I think Dumbledore's manner suggests that at this point he doesn't believe Sirius Black is a traitor in spite of 'the evidence' before his eyes. The idea of Black being in Voldemort's command also doesn't make sense (or at least would be a puzzle to a thinking man like Dumbledore) because Black let Hagrid take Harry. This somewhat parallels Hagrid not believing that Snape killed Dumbledore at the end of book 6 in spite of Harry telling him otherwise.

Also in the beginning of the book there is an owl sighting. Wouldn't that be Dumbledore's message to Petunia that Harry needs a new home. I suspect she either said yes at this point to Dumbledore and didn't know how to tell Vernon so she said nothing. Maybe when the baby didn't show up she hoped that Dumbledore changed his mind. Maybe the owl flew in a window that the cat couldn't see. I like the suggestion that the doorstep is part of the house.


Solitaire - Jul 12, 2008 4:09 pm (#72 of 925)

I like the suggestion that the doorstep is part of the house.

The doorstep was certainly a part of 12GP, because the trio Apparated to it in DH. That is why I think it was under the same protection as the interior of the house at 4PD.

Why would Sirius need to write down the location of the Potters' home, unless he was planning to reveal its whereabouts?

Solitaire


tandaradei - Jul 12, 2008 7:01 pm (#73 of 925)

Hey, I unearthed an old standby I never really used before, so might as well now. It’s The Ultimate Unofficial Guide t the Mysteries of Harry Potter, and was written & published prior to OotP, but may provide interesting chapter-by-chapter tidbits. I’ll try to glean whatever. Here’s a few interesting things about Chapter 1, PS.

Jo's first book she read(?) was called Rabbit; and most famous British author on rabbits was Beatrix Potter; too, Potter can mean penniless, as in Potters' field. Harry can mean to harass, harry an enemy. Maybe this has to do with the prophecy?

The French pronunciation of Privet (which Jo taught) is “privet”, meaning confidential, private. Does No.4 Privet Drive being away, private, from magic? I wish they’d speculated on why that #4. This book had a lot to say about 12s throughout, but I don't find that very interesting anymore.

Petunias represent anger and resentment. Hehe.


Soul Search - Jul 12, 2008 7:15 pm (#74 of 925)

I can't recall the timing of Sirius encountering Pettigrew in the street. Was it during the day before Harry was put on the doorstep, so Dumbledore would have known of it and believed Sirius the traitor and killer of a lot of Muggles?

There are quite a few mentions of owls. The narrator mentions an owl flying past the Dursley's kitchen window, which they don't notice, and other owls in the neighborhood. The TV newscaster mentions owls' unusual behaviour and "showers of owls." However, nothing seems to come of the owls. The letter Dumbledore left on the doorstep is the only letter he sent (and the howler later.) McGonagall stayed in cat form and, apparently, received no owls. Not sure what the owls were for. Little bit of color, I guess.

By the way, Petunia must have learned of her sister's death from Dumbledore's letter. Seems a bit crass of him to tell her of her sister's death in a letter and dump a kid on her at the same time.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 12, 2008 8:59 pm (#75 of 925)

Seems a bit crass of him to tell her of her sister's death in a letter and dump a kid on her at the same time.

And yet many a goofy romantic comedy begins with just this sort of plot point.


Solitaire - Jul 12, 2008 9:17 pm (#76 of 925)

Do you think DD was trying to prevent Petunia from refusing to take Harry? If he'd gone in person, she would have had the opportunity to say, "No! No way am I taking a magical child into my home. Forget it!" This way, she was kind of stuck, wasn't she? And if she did refuse to accept Harry based on the info in the letter and contacted an orphanage, Mrs. Figg would have squealed to DD. Do you suppose DD put some sort of magical spell that went into effect the minute Petunia took Harry into her home ... a sort of binding magical contract that she literally could not break?

Solitaire


freshwater - Jul 12, 2008 9:56 pm (#77 of 925)

I'm glad you found that book, tandaradei! I had many enjoyable hours reading their insights and predictions....it will be a fun addition to the discussion, I think, to see what folks were thinking and mulling over back then.

Do you suppose DD put some sort of magical spell that went into effect the minute Petunia took Harry into her home ... a sort of binding magical contract that she literally could not break?--Solitaire

I think an action like that is too similar to the Imperius curse...depriving the person of the use of their own judgment and will... I don't think DD would have done that.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 13, 2008 6:58 am (#78 of 925)

Why would Sirius need to write down the location of the Potters' home, unless he was planning to reveal its whereabouts? Solitaire

Dumbledore's speculation may have been that Sirius was telling Lupin or Pettigrew or a friend of Lily's. The point was Dumbledore had trouble believing Sirius was the betrayer at first and was trying to come up with an alternate theory to explain facts.

I can't recall the timing of Sirius encountering Pettigrew in the street.

It does seem deliberately vague. I thought the confrontation happened the day after Dumbledore left Harry. Halloween--Potters are killed. Nov 1 McGonagall as cat on Privet drive, Nov 1 evening Harry left on doorstep. Nov 2 confrontation between Sirius and Peter.

It would explain why McGonagall didn't say anything about Sirius Black. (Unless she didn't know he was the Secret Keeper or unless she didn't know about the confrontation because she was at Privet drive. Also Hagrid appears not to know of the confrontation either.


Soul Search - Jul 13, 2008 7:32 am (#79 of 925)

Another minor first chapter reference. The newscaster mentions Bonfire Night. Bonfire Night, November 5, is a reference to the 1605 Gunpowder Plot and the principal Guy Fawkes. In CoS we meet Dumbledore's phoenix Fawkes, who bursts into flame and is reborn.

I think this reference had to be deliberate on JKR's part.


freshwater - Jul 13, 2008 8:03 am (#80 of 925)

Ooooo! Good catch on that, Soul Search!


Solitaire - Jul 13, 2008 8:08 am (#81 of 925)

I just do not see Sirius putting something as sensitive as the Potters' hiding place in writing. It seems out of character for him. As well as DD seems to have known James and Sirius, I do not think he would have expected it, either. Do the books say this somewhere? I can't find it, but I miss a lot of things when I am speed-reading!

Solitaire


Quinn Crockett - Jul 13, 2008 10:42 am (#82 of 925)

Do you suppose DD put some sort of magical spell that went into effect the minute Petunia took Harry into her home ... a sort of binding magical contract that she literally could not break? - Solitaire

Dumbledore does refer to something like this at the end of OotP. He says, "She may have taken you grudgingly, furiously, unwillingly, bitterly, yet still she took you, and in doing so, she sealed the charm I placed upon you... Your aunt knows this. I explained what I had done in the letter I left, with you, on her doorstep." (OotP ch. 37)

While not really a magical contract in the strictest sense, Petunia certainly did acknowledge and maintain her role in Harry's life (as the anchor for the "blood protection") by taking Harry in ("The boy will have to stay, Vernon").

Regarding Sirius, I think he got well and truly shafted by the Ministry. We know they can test the wand to see recent spells, yet this was never done for Sirius. He never even had a trial but was sent straight to prison. By all appearances, Dumbledore seems to have believed in Sirius's presumed guilt until the end of PoA. He certainly never speaks in Sirius's defense or the travesty of justice regarding his case.

However, I agree that, as close as Dumbledore appears to have been with these young rascals, it seems very odd that he would never have wanted to bring Sirius to the Wizengamot or at least question him about what happened, simply for his own peace of mind. I find that whole situation very out of character for Dumbledore.

I think that the confrontation between Peter and Sirius must have happened Nov 1st, while the arrangements for Harry were being put into place.

From PoA: Then Madame Rosmerta said with some satisfaction, "But [Sirius] didn't manage to disappear, did he? The Ministry of Magic caught up with him the next day!"

Alas, if only we had, said Fudge bitterly. "It was not we who found him. It was little Peter Pettigrew..." (PoA ch 10).

Rosmerta is responding to Hagrid saying he must have been the last person to see Sirius before the confrontation.


Soul Search - Jul 13, 2008 11:07 am (#83 of 925)

But [Sirius] didn't manage to disappear, did he? The Ministry of Magic caught up with him the next day! (good pickup, Quinn Crockett)

Voldemort attacked the Potters Halloween evening (the Halloween kids were still outside) and Sirius and Hagrid were there "before the Muggles came 'round" so "Next Day" must have been during the day of November 1. Hagrid met Sirius before then so he would not have heard about Sirius, but Dumbledore would have. His "no problems" supports this.

Now I really wonder why Dumbledore didn't take a more active role in investigating Sirius' guilt. Reports, although false, of the Pettigrew street event might have been overwhelming evidence, but he knew Sirius. The meeting reported by Hagrid should have been, at the least, suspicious. Dumbledore had the opportunity during whatever formal hearing he testified at to insist on hearing from Sirius, but he didn't. This does not fit the Dumbledore we saw at Harry's hearing in OotP.

All I can think is JKR wanted Sirius in Azkaban for the plot of PoA.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 13, 2008 11:27 am (#84 of 925)

So that still leaves us with the question of:

1) Where did Hagrid take Harry during the time between collecting him from the rubble and Privet Drive?

2) When Hagrid met McGonagall long enough to inform her about Privet Drive, where was Harry? Because McG's response to learning that "Hagrid's bringing [Harry]" to Privet drive was, "Do you think that's wise?" This, combined with her reaction to seeing Harry's forehead ("Is that where...?") make it clear that Privet Drive was the first time she'd seen Harry (not necessarily ever, just since the attack).

3) Who was looking after Harry during Hagrid's encounter with McG? For that matter, what was Hagrid doing when he met McG?

Since McG was already sitting outside #4 when Vernon went off to work, Hagrid must have met McG in the middle of the night. This suggests that Hagrid took Harry back to Hogwarts. But where? To me, the most likely would have to be up in Dumbledore's office, with Dumbledore.

On the other hand, since McG specifically waited to hear the truth from Dumbledore outside #4 all day, that suggests that Dumbledore was not at Hogwarts, or she would have gone to his office (or wherever) and asked Dumbledore there.

So we're back to: Where did Hagrid take Harry?


PeskyPixie - Jul 13, 2008 11:31 am (#85 of 925)

I understand that Pettigrew's betrayal is a family thing for the Marauders. However, I cannot help but feel beyond frustrated at Sirius' and James' display of brotherhood in a situation where a baby's life is in danger and someone within the 'family' is leaking secrets to the local Dark Lord.

Granted, we discover in DH that Dumbledore is far from perfect but that doesn't mean that he was a complete power-hungry dunderhead who regularly concocted half-baked plans. In fact, the issue is not about whether the Dark Lord would attack Dumbledore to get at Harry, or whether James and Sirius are as close as brothers (and since when are brothers immune to never hurting one another anyway?).

The main point is that information about the Potters is being leaked to the other side by a member of this 'family' they have created. Someone has already broken the bonds of this relationship and a baby's life is threatened. At that moment, the smartest decision is to trust nobody who may be the culprit.

I think that one reason Dumbledore wishes to be the Secret Keeper is that it is bad judgment to use guesswork to determine who among the three (Sirius, Remus and Peter) is a traitor. Now, in the first chapter of PS/SS we get a hint that Dumbledore probably does not suspect Sirius, but it is bad judgment to deduce which of the three is the traitor then leave the child's life in the hands of the person least likely to be the one to turn them over, but (and it's a huge 'but') who may well be the traitor if they have played their role cunningly enough.

Despite the revelations in DH I still regard Dumbledore as a highly intelligent wizard and respect his decision to not trust even his own intelligence and hunches (which he knows tend to be right) with a baby's life. Sirius doesn't do this. He himself is the brother who would never betray James and Lily, but his choice to pick between two people (one of whom wishes to hand his godson over to the Dark Lord on a silver platter) shows a great lack of judgment. If he himself will not be Secret Keeper, fine, but is he really qualified and arrogant enough to believe that he himself knows which friend, of Remus and Peter, is the betrayer? One of these two is a threat to the Potters. Thus, neither should be trusted at present.

As for Dumbledore restricting James' and Lily's freedom and being very overbearing, is it really that big a problem when the benefit of the situation is that your son is protected from a Dark Lord and your 'family member' who has secretly swapped sides?

That said, Sirius' imprisonment without a trial is beyond weird. We learn that Dumbledore gives evidence for Snape which the Wizengamot accepts. Until Sirius' capture Dumbledore seems to believe that Sirius is not the traitor (as he also hires Remus in PoA, we have reason to believe that he probably pinpointed Pettigrew as the most likely traitor in the Marauder family). It really is odd that a Dumbledore in good standing with everyone does not try to at least arrange a questioning period with Sirius. Even OotP Dumbledore has a certain power which no one can deny; he gets Harry out of his little run-in with the law, even with the Toad on the jury. So, yeah, it doesn't seem Dumbledoreish at all.

EDIT: I can't remember whether I've mentioned this before, but I always assumed that Dumbledore places some sort of Alarm Charm on the Potters' home so he will know if anything bad happens. At least, that's the only way I managed to answer my own question of, "How did all that happen before the Muggles got there?!)


Anna L. Black - Jul 13, 2008 11:55 am (#86 of 925)

Why does the traitor have to be one of the Marauders? All they know is that there's a traitor somewhere close to the Potters', but that might mean anyone in the Order, IMO. I'm not trying to act as the devil's advocate, I just really don't understand why it has to be a Marauder


PeskyPixie - Jul 13, 2008 12:00 pm (#87 of 925)
Edited Jul 13, 2008 12:44 pm

I agree with you, Anna, but it was the Sirius's rant/explanation in PoA which led me to believe that the suspected traitor was 'within the family' (i.e. a Marauder) and I didn't think that everyone in the Order would know everything about the Potters' whereabouts. Either way, I assumed that that must be the reason why Dumbledore wanted to trust nobody other than himself with the Potters' security. He can deduce a lot about all of his Order members, but he can never be 100% certain (without causing a lot of fuss within the Order) that the person he is trusting is not the one person who has swapped sides. No, I'd go for Dumbledore for my baby's protection when there is a traitor on the loose.

EDIT: Hi Anna! I'm still on limited posts, so I'm using each one as much as I can! I think the way we view James' decision to never hear a word against his friends depends on how we are as individuals. I tend to make decisions with my mind rather than my heart, so I find James and Harry and Sirius to be unbelievably naive. Of course, for those who value bravery and loyalty above other traits, James and Sirius are quite noble beings.

Hmm, I don't know whether I distrust Dumbledore's earlier plans.

LOL, in retrospect, the best Secret Keeper for the Potters is Snape (as long as Lily never leaves the house, that is!)

EDIT: Joanna, I'm not too sure that it's common knowledge that Dumbledore was extremely close with Grindelwald. Lily seems to think that Bathilda's mind is going when she brings up the association. As far as the story goes, I don't think anyone is supposed to suspect that the leader of the Order of the Phoenix is indeed the Dark Lord's henchman.


Anna L. Black - Jul 13, 2008 12:18 pm (#88 of 925)

No, I'd go for Dumbledore for my baby's protection when there is a traitor on the loose. - PP

On that count, I absolutely agree Though could we really blame Lily and James for their decision? Harry makes the same decision in DH, after the DEs attack "the seven Potters". He says that he doesn't think any one of his friends betrayed him. Lupin himself thinks that's the same thing as what James did, and yet no one seems to further challenge Harry's decision... That does not make it right of course...

What I'm trying to say, I think, is that there probably isn't a "right" decision in that circumstances. Trusting DD would be smart, of course, but after DH, the words "trust" and "Dumbledore" in the same sentence make me a bit uncomfortable.


Joanna Lupin - Jul 13, 2008 12:34 pm (#89 of 925)

Why is trusting Dumbledore so obvious? Wink Remember; Lily and Sirius knew Dumbledore was pals with Grindelwald. Why should James think him more trustworthy than Sirius, Pesky?


rcs - Jul 13, 2008 12:59 pm (#90 of 925)

Regarding Dumbledore's not questioning Sirius's guilt before the Ministry, I'm not sure he had a chance to. Remember, Barty Crouch had him packed off to Azkaban without a trial. I think that means that there wasn't even a hearing, like Harry had in OotP, at which Dumbledore could have presented evidence in Sirius's favor. Yes, Dumbledore says he did give evidence that Sirius had been the Potters' Secret-Keeper, but that was probably years later, when nothing DD could have said or done (apart from finding Pettigrew alive) would have exonerated Sirius.

That's just my theory.





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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter One Comments - posts #91 to #118

Post  Potteraholic on Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:53 pm



Solitaire - Jul 13, 2008 2:29 pm (#91 of 925)

This does not fit the Dumbledore we saw at Harry's hearing in OotP.

No, it does not fit. However, it does show us that Dumbledore is fallible, which we need to understand. This is one of his big mistakes, I think.

Where did Hagrid take Harry during the time between collecting him from the rubble and Privet Drive?

This continues to be one of the big questions we have ... and I am surprised that we do not know by now.

His choice to pick between two people (one of whom wishes to hand his godson over to the Dark Lord on a silver platter) shows a great lack of judgment

I suppose I stand alone in not feeling it was arrogance. We know in retrospect that it was a bad decision to trust Peter ... but James and Sirius were operating on the only things they knew at the time ... which is that they trusted each other and Peter with their lives. Much is made of Dumbledore's unwillingness to trust other people and his persistence in acting on his own. Well, the Potters were not being foolish or stupid. I am sure that they made what they felt was the wisest decision they could, given what they knew. For all we know, James may have trusted Sirius even more than Dumbledore.

Solitaire


Quinn Crockett - Jul 13, 2008 3:28 pm (#92 of 925)

I cannot help but feel beyond frustrated at Sirius' and James' display of brotherhood in a situation where a baby's life is in danger and someone within the 'family' is leaking secrets to the local Dark Lord.

The main point is that information about the Potters is being leaked to the other side by a member of this 'family' they have create - Pesky Pixie

Yes, but they didn't know it was a member of "this family", as Anna Black points out. Although, Sirius and Lupin do admit that they each suspected the other, the only thing anyone knew for sure is that there was a traitor in the Order.

...the smartest decision is to trust nobody who may be the culprit. - Well, yeah. So who does that leave? Under the circumstances, I think the Potters acted as anyone in that situation would have: they trusted no one but their closest friends.

You're not alone, Solitaire. I don't see anything the Potters did as "arrogant" but quite what anyone would have done. In fact, their plan was too good, in a way.

ETA: I don't think the wisest decision possible is to be so trusting of the very friends among whom the traitor lurks. - Yes, but Pesky they didn't know this. They knew only that "someone close to the Potters" was leaking information. That is not synonymous with "one of their best friends" was leaking information. It could have been Bathilda Bagshot as far as that goes. She was close with them.

Yes, Sirius and Lupin admitted that they had suspected each other, but it turns out they were wrong. James and Lily, apparently, suspected no one and of course they were wrong too.

It's very easy to point fingers and decry poor decisions after the fact. But at the time, they acted on the information they had - which also included what they knew of the people they loved. And we also need to remember that the Potters were not the only targets. The Longbottoms, also extremely well-respected members of the Order, were just as much at risk.


PeskyPixie - Jul 13, 2008 3:33 pm (#93 of 925)
Edited Jul 13, 2008 4:04 pm

Much is made of Dumbledore's unwillingness to trust other people and his persistence in acting on his own.

While I acknowledge the mistakes he makes near the end of his life, this does not mean that swinging completely in the opposite direction is somehow the correct way to navigate through dangerous situations. In this case, a little secrecy would have been helpful.

We know in retrospect that it was a bad decision to trust Peter ... but James and Sirius were operating on the only things they knew at the time ... which is that they trusted each other and Peter with their lives ... the Potters were not being foolish or stupid. I am sure that they made what they felt was the wisest decision they could, given what they knew.

And what do Lily and James know? They know (through Dumbledore and Snape) that one of their close friends has switched teams and is leaking information about them to the Dark Lord. They know that the Dark Lord is targeting their family which includes a baby. At that moment I don't think the wisest decision possible is to be so trusting of the very friends among whom the traitor lurks.

I can accept that Sirius and James have a friendship where they know that one will not betray the other. That in itself is fine (I guess). However, beyond this point I would not depend on Sirius' problem-solving skills to discover who the traitor is. Sirius is a man of action, not of deep thought. Now, if Poirot has told me, "Ah, Pesky, my little grey cells have discovered the identity of our traitor", I would believe him. However, I'm just not sold on the idea that Sirius is brighter than and as objective as Dumbledore when it comes to cutting some people out of the inner circle for the moment.

For Sirius and James, chances are that either Remus or Peter is the traitor. At that moment it's just dumb to go by Sirius's judgment that Remus (the werewolf) has sided with the Dark Lord and therefore Peter must be loyal. It's smartest to pick neither, which is what Dumbledore suggests even though it is evident that he suspects neither Sirius not Remus.

I agree with Anna that perhaps anybody in the Order may have been the traitor, but we get a feel from PoA that it was kind of assumed that a Marauder had switched over. Either way, I would say it's a tad naive (dare I say, "stupid"? ) to go with either Remus or Peter or any other Order member if the organization as a whole is suspected.

I hadn't considered the possibility that members of the Order did not trust Dumbledore's judgment. I suppose that perhaps Lily and James considered Sirius to be more trustworthy than Dumbledore. However, in that case Sirius should have been the Secret Keeper and stayed in the house with them! Temporarily control your fighting urges for the sake of this child! If the Potters find Dumbledore to be a dodgy choice, then stick with Sirius and the four of you should go into hiding in Godric's Hollow immediately! It would be like a big ol' slumber party. But seriously, we know that Sirius was also about to go into hiding, so just do it together and stay holed up together until Dumbledore (or someone smarter than him, if he's not really to your liking anymore) figures out the traitor's identity. It may be difficult to do, but it's the safest option.

Look, I'm all for loyalty and trust and teamwork and trusting others with your deepest secrets, but when a baby's life is in peril I am not depending on Sirius's sleuthing abilities when picking a Secret Keeper!

EDIT: I don't think you're alone in your viewpoint, Soli. The forum is teeming with Gryffindors who know they are not mistaken in their friends. I am one of those rare ones who would rather go with the (for me) logical choice of choosing The Only One He Ever Feared.

EDIT: ...the smartest decision is to trust nobody who may be the culprit.

Well, yeah. So who does that leave?

Ummm, how about Dumbledore, and maybe Sirius (as Secret Keeper, not detective extraordinaire)?

Under the circumstances, I think the Potters acted as anyone in that situation would have: they trusted no one but their closest friends.

When you are tipped off that someone close to you is leaking information to the Dark Lord, I would suggest you trust no one for a while. It's worth it if it saves your kid's life or keeps them from becoming an orphan. Even then, if you trust Sirius, trust Sirius. You don't need to bring more and more people into the act.

I don't think we have ever established that the Potters or Sirius knew of the prophecy. Nor Pettigrew for that matter. All the Potters knew was that Voldemort was targeting them, not necessarily baby Harry. -Soul Search

I came across the same thing while I was writing this post. We really don't know whether James, Lily and Sirius are aware of the prophecy, do we? If they had not known when refusing Dumbledore's help, would they have made a different decision if they knew Harry was the main target?

EDIT: I wonder what role Bathilda Bagshot plays during the night of the Potters' murders. Is she a member of the first Order of the Phoenix? Does she alert Dumbledore via talking patronus that Voldemort has attacked Godric's Hollow? Does Dumbledore immediately send Hagrid after receiving Bathilda's message? The Potters' home is partially destroyed by the AKs, right (I can't remember)? The Muggles would be sure to notice that ... or is it charmed to be invisible to Muggles? I've severely confused myself!


Soul Search - Jul 13, 2008 4:00 pm (#94 of 925)

I don't think we have ever established that the Potters or Sirius knew of the prophecy. Nor Pettigrew for that matter. All the Potters knew was that Voldemort was targeting them, not necessarily baby Harry.

Only Dumbledore knew the whole prophecy. Snape and Voldemort only knew part of the prophecy.

I don't know if the Potters would have done anything different had they known Harry was Voldemort's real target.


Steve Newton - Jul 13, 2008 7:05 pm (#95 of 925)

Perhaps the Potters decided not to trust Dumbledore as Secret Keeper after they decided that he had been friends with Grindelwald.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 13, 2008 7:48 pm (#96 of 925)

I agree with Solitaire, too (and I like to think I'm logical).

James and Lily may have had a more realistic view of Dumbledore, and what he was capable of as the leader of the Order. Dumbledore was the head of the Order, and we know now that he was perfectly willing to sacrifice members of the Order in one area if he thought it could gain somewhere else (at least Portrait Dumbledore and Snape were willing to sell out the Order).

Perhaps the Potters decided not to trust Dumbledore as Secret Keeper after they decided that he had been friends with Grindelwald.-- Steve Newton

I didn't at first think this would make much difference to their view of Dumbledore, but I am revising my opinion. Not because Dumbledore had been friends with Grindelwald so briefly in his youth, but because they may have recognized something of "The Greater Good" philosophy in Dumbledore's authoritarian style.


PeskyPixie - Jul 13, 2008 8:25 pm (#97 of 925)

Ah, so Lily and James fear that in protecting them, Dumbledore would risk the lives of other Order members? I could respect refusing his help for that reason. I wouldn't agree with it, but I could understand it better than going with Detective Black's suggestions because he's just so darn smart.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 13, 2008 8:42 pm (#98 of 925)

Do we even know if the Potters and Longbottoms knew about the Prophecy, and that Voldemort was gunning for their babies? Lily and James may have misjudged how important they were specifically to Voldemort.


tandaradei - Jul 13, 2008 9:00 pm (#99 of 925)

Well, Dumbledore certainly knew because Snape told him ... and wasn't that the reason the Potters were in hiding already? Both the Potters and Longbottoms had defied Voldemort three times already, too; and that makes me think Dumbledore would indeed have kept them apprized of matters affecting them directly (i.e., that it would appear that Voldemort would be personally after them, even past his Death Eaters).

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I am interested in the earlier discussions about loyalty.

Here's what I know:

Lupin, when he said, "No, I think you're like James," (DH, ch5, "Fallen Warrior, p. 81) was not praising Harry but rather ruefully meditating, IMO, over how the Marauders all had trusted each other to their undoing.

Dumbledore had come to similar conclusions?? Actually I think not. When he tells Harry, "I think you ought to relax it {=Harry's deepest secret, the Prophecy} in favor of your friends" (HBP, ch 4, "Horace Slughorn" p. 78) ... well, anyway, Dumbledore seems not to have learned the same lessons that Lupin seems to have learned.

Dumbledore, despite his first friends' betrayal (Grindelwald); and despite Pettigrew's betrayal of his friends ... past all that, Dumbledore very specifically tells Harry nonetheless to trust in his friends. And Dumbledore even wills Ron his Deluminator, basically assuming that Ron will in time disappoint; but nonetheless will "repent" to great effect.

It is this basic point -- ultimate trust in the friends one has chosen -- that helps Harry to do the impossible, defeat Voldemort and even survive.

I'm just saying (1) that on principle, I'm rather thinking Dumbledore would have rather James & Lily trust in their friends firstly to be Secret Keepers ... and (2) if these Marauders had sensed this in Dumbledore, would they have strategized differently by not trusting in friends for a Secret Keeper? I think things would have naturally happened as they did in canon.

I'm thinking Jo is saying the real problem with the friendships between Dumbledore and Grindelwald ... and between all the Marauders ... was rather that they took so long to wash their dirty linen and learn the truths about each other....

(who's going to post 100 before ch 2? )


rambkowalczyk - Jul 13, 2008 9:17 pm (#100 of 925)

That said, Sirius' imprisonment without a trial is beyond weird. We learn that Dumbledore gives evidence for Snape which the Wizengamot accepts. Until Sirius' capture Dumbledore seems to believe that Sirius is not the traitor (as he also hires Remus in PoA, we have reason to believe that he probably pinpointed Pettigrew as the most likely traitor in the Marauder family). PeskyPixie

I think it is a possibility that Dumbledore may have suspected Peter. But Dumbledore didn't know that they were Animagus'. and had no reason to suspect that Peter didn't die. And although Sirius never had a trial, he never protested his innocence either. If he did, I think Dumbledore would have believed him.

I'm just saying (1) that on principle, I'm rather thinking Dumbledore would have rather James & Lily trust in their friends firstly to be Secret Keepers ... tanderadei

I think this is what Dumbledore wanted as well.

It is this basic point -- ultimate trust in the friends one has chosen -- that helps Harry to do the impossible, defeat Voldemort and even survive.

I'm just saying (1) that on principle, I'm rather thinking Dumbledore would have rather James & Lily trust in their friends firstly to be Secret Keepers ... and (2) if these Marauders had sensed this in Dumbledore, would they have strategized differently by not trusting in friends for a Secret Keeper? I think things would have naturally happened as they did in canon.

I'm thinking Jo is saying the real problem with the friendships between Dumbledore and Grindelwald ... and between all the Marauders ... was rather that they took so long to wash their dirty linen and learn the truths about each other....

(who's going to post 100 before ch 2? )


Solitaire - Jul 14, 2008 1:39 am (#101 of 925)

In the snippet of letter Harry finds in GP, we see that Lily is certainly surprised by something Dumbledore has done (or is rumored to have done). So perhaps Steve is right. Also, since DD surely would not have told the Potters the source of his information, maybe they had trouble trusting it. They were not much older than Harry is, and remember how hard a time Harry had with Dumbledore's "habit" of withholding information? In their minds, I'm sure they felt they were making the smartest decisions for Harry's security. I rather doubt they would have done something they felt was risking Harry's safety, just to make a point.

Solitaire


Julia H. - Jul 14, 2008 2:45 am (#102 of 925)

Hi, everyone! I am desperately behind reading the posts on this thread, so I would just make one quick note now. In PoA it is mentioned that James and Sirius thought Lupin was the traitor. I find it a bit strange. Suspecting Lupin and trusting "rat" Pettigrew? Is it possible that they learned so little about their "best friends" over about ten years of close relationship? The only reason why Lupin could be suspected is that he was a werewolf. But then, should we suppose that even the Marauders had some bias against werewolves, which could be extended to their friend in times of difficulty? It does not seem to add up: James and Sirius boldly demonstrate how strong their friendship is and how much they trust each other and a third friend despite the warning they got but turn away from and suspect the fourth friend, the one they know is most likely to be misunderstood and mistreated by others who do not know him as well as they do?


Joanna Lupin - Jul 14, 2008 3:24 am (#103 of 925)

I see you're enjoying the discussion. I'm sorry but I have urgent matters to attend to today, so chapter two's coming this evening or early tomorrow. Forgive me the slight delay.


rcs - Jul 14, 2008 3:36 am (#104 of 925)

Yeah, I've wondered about that, too. Why did they think Lupin was the traitor. I'll bet there's some kind of a back-story here that never made it into the books. We can only guess at what it is, but here are some ideas.

Pettigrew could very well have framed Lupin, just as he framed Sirius after the Potters' death. If he was the one who brought the "evidence" of Lupin's betrayal to James and Sirius, that would have cast suspicion on Lupin, while simultaneously cementing Peter's position of trust within the Marauders, a double whammy for our treacherous little rat.

Lupin's status as a werewolf would have made him an ideal person to frame as a traitor, not because of any prejudice the Marauders might have had against werewolves (which they clearly didn't have, or they wouldn't have spent three years learning to become Animagi for Lupin's sake), but because of the perceived reward a werewolf would stand to gain from betraying his friends. Most likely, Voldemort was actively recruiting all the werewolves (assisted by Fenrir Greyback, no doubt), promising them privileges that they'd been denied for years (remember that werewolves were essentially treated as second- or third-class citizens in wizarding society) or even positions of power in his new regime. Lupin's comments in HBP suggest that the majority of werewolves went along with this during the Second War; presumably this was the case during the First War as well. Thus, I find it perfectly believable that Pettigrew could have convinced the other Marauders that Lupin had done the same--that is, agreed to spy on and betray his friends in exchange for rewards from Voldemort. Lupin would never have done it, of course, but I think Pettigrew could have done a good job of making it look like he had.


Steve Newton - Jul 14, 2008 4:39 am (#105 of 925)

Despite not wanting to Vernon does pick up on disparate pieces of information. He may be a jerk but he is not entirely dense.

When McGonagall asks Dumbledore if Voldemort is really gone (not dead, mmmm) Dumbledore deflects her questions with irrelevancies about lemon drops. He does play it close to the vest.

Hagrid says he is taking the cycle back to Sirius. He doesn't seem to make it. Does this help to place the time for the meeting between Sirius and Peter?


Mrs. Sirius - Jul 14, 2008 9:20 am (#106 of 925)

but is he really qualified and arrogant enough to believe that he himself knows which friend, of Remus and Peter, is the betrayer? One of these two is a threat to the Potters. Thus, neither should be trusted at present.

Yes, but they didn't know it was a member of "this family", as Anna Black points out. Although, Sirius and Lupin do admit that they each suspected the other, the only thing anyone knew for sure is that there was a traitor in the Order. Quinn

I agree Q, I also suspect that Sirius and Remus may not even have suspected each other until after the attack at GH and the arrest of Sirius. From what Sirius says in the Shack in PoA, they each were fully prepared to die for James and Lily and Harry. I suspect that that only after a mulling it over and over and using a process of elimination did they come to suspect each other. Peter being beyond suspicion as he was deemed to ineffectual to approach Voldemort or the DE.

Ah, so Lily and James fear that in protecting them, Dumbledore would risk the lives of other Order members? PP

This is the reason I think that James and Lily didn't go with DD as Secret Keeper, putting the entire Order in danger and that DD would have been such an obvious choice. avoiding the obvious choice is also evident in there selection of Peter.

The only reason why Lupin could be suspected is that he was a werewolf. But then, should we suppose that even the Marauders had some bias against werewolves, which could be extended to their friend in times of difficulty? Julia

Therein lies the brilliance of JKR. She recognizes the dilemma of the human psyche. Even the best of friends, there always remains a bit of the doubts, the questions about our own prejudices and stereotypes. The person that is the "other" can never fully live it down, perhaps they became like us but now has gone back to the -other- side, perhaps they never really did become one of us. "other" wins out and they stick together, if they gain power with the new regime, they will go back to being "the other" for the power?

Now I have no strong belief that either James or Sirius was prejudiced against Remus but when you have nothing to do but think and dwell on a mistake for a dozen or more years, I can see where these thoughts of "the other" could have festered in Sirius' mind.


Anna L. Black - Jul 14, 2008 1:26 pm (#107 of 925)

But after the Potter's death, Sirius knew for certain that it was Pettigrew who betrayed them, not Remus... So he must have suspected him before the betrayal actually occurred.


rcs - Jul 14, 2008 1:39 pm (#108 of 925)

What makes you think that? Sirius thought the traitor was Lupin the whole time, so he made Pettigrew the SK. Then, when Lily and James were killed, Sirius knew at once that Pettigrew had betrayed them, because he had been their Secret-Keeper. I see no reason to believe that Sirius had suspected before then--indeed, if he had, he never would have suggested making Pettigrew the SK.


Anna L. Black - Jul 14, 2008 2:10 pm (#109 of 925)

Sorry, my last sentence wasn't clear enough... I meant that Sirius only suspected Lupin before the betrayal, not after it (not during his years in prison, as Mrs. Sirius's post suggests).


tandaradei - Jul 14, 2008 2:18 pm (#110 of 925)

Mrs. Sirius said:

...[cut]...I can see where these thoughts of "the other" could have festered in Sirius' mind...[cut]...

Precisely the point I was trying to make, though you may disagree. IMO, one requirement in any family of friends is openness, enduring faith and "airing of the linens." IMO it was Lupin's unspoken requirement as both a friend and Marauder, in how I view this kind of friendship, for him to visit Sirius in Azkaban for a confrontation (or Peter, if he had been caught). I don't know how to explain this, but in such deep friendships, even if they are broken by some treachery, I feel the group needs a "debriefing." No attempts within the ten years between these chapters was made. I rather thought Dumbledore would have done something; but IMO Lupin should have.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

BTW, is this the only chapter where Jo "invades" Vernon's thoughts? The next chapter will switch to us being privy to Harry's, I think.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Another aside: the Muggle candy seems to begin Dumbledore's interest in things-things. Interesting. Did this occur after or because of Grindelwald?


Quinn Crockett - Jul 14, 2008 2:59 pm (#111 of 925)
Edited Jul 14, 2008 3:31 pm

Good observation, tandaradei. Sirius and Lupin really should have had the "Why'd ya do it? My own bruddah!" kind of scene. But probably Lupin was too busy living hand to mouth. That, or he didn't want to go anywhere near Azkaban knowing how the Ministry felt about his "furry little problem". I wonder if anyone from the Order took him in or if he went back to his parents (assuming they were still alive) or what. His is the most interesting back-story, I think. Fraught with complications of prejudice, logistics of his condition, etc.


Mrs. Sirius - Jul 14, 2008 4:54 pm (#112 of 925)

I meant that Sirius only suspected Lupin before the betrayal, not after it (not during his years in prison, as Mrs. Sirius's post suggests). tand

What was I thinking!! Yes, obviously from the moment Sirius confronted Pettigrew Sirius knew of his deception. So no, Sirius didn't fester in the thought of the "other" about Remus. Sirius knew it was Pettigrew after the confrontation, and then knew he survived after seeing his picture in the paper that was Sirius' festering thought.

But somewhere in this series there is a n inference of Lupin not being trust worthy merely because he is a werewolf. Mea culpa. (I suppose this part of the danger of a read along when we already know all the facts, we get ahead of ourselves.)


freshwater - Jul 14, 2008 6:56 pm (#113 of 925)

Ah, so Lily and James fear that in protecting them, Dumbledore would risk the lives of other Order members? PP

This is the reason I think that James and Lily didn't go with DD as Secret Keeper, putting the entire Order in danger and that DD would have been such an obvious choice. avoiding the obvious choice is also evident in there selection of Peter.--Mrs. Sirius

I'd taken the comment to mean that Lily and James might fear that DD might --in the course of protecting the Order and its mission-- sacrifice them....but only "for the greater good", of course. I don't like to think this of DD, but... if your son is the target of a prophecy about a Dark wizard and you're looking for a reliable Secret Keeper....


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 14, 2008 8:43 pm (#114 of 925)

I'd taken the comment to mean that Lily and James might fear that DD might --in the course of protecting the Order and its mission-- sacrifice them....but only "for the greater good", of course. I don't like to think this of DD, but... if your son is the target of a prophecy about a Dark wizard and you're looking for a reliable Secret Keeper....-- freshwater

That's more like what I meant, thanks. I think it possible that Lily and James may have come to understand this about Dumbledore through Bathilda Bagshot.


Solitaire - Jul 14, 2008 8:57 pm (#115 of 925)

I suspect that that only after a mulling it over and over and using a process of elimination did they come to suspect each other.

Remus probably came to suspect Sirius after the incident in which Peter appeared to have been murdered and Sirius was apprehended. Sirius might have suspected Remus beforehand.

the only thing anyone knew for sure is that there was a traitor in the Order.

I thought it was said that "someone close to the Potters" was passing information. That would narrow the field considerably, wouldn't it? I wonder how many younger Wizards were in the Order at that time? Just the Marauders? Were the Longbottoms contemporaries of the Potters? For some reason--perhaps the description of them in St. Mungo's--I've always thought they were closer to the Weasleys in age. Either way, were they close friends with the Potters? Just wondering if anyone has heard info on this from Jo's interviews. I sometimes miss them ...

Solitaire


Quinn Crockett - Jul 14, 2008 11:05 pm (#116 of 925)

...the only thing anyone knew for sure is that there was a traitor in the Order.

I thought it was said that "someone close to the Potters" was passing information.

Well, that's certainly the story that Harry hears Fudge and McGonagall telling in PoA, Solitaire. But personally, I think anything they would have heard about what happened to James and Lily - especially Fudge - would have been second hand, at the very least.

If I recall correctly, Snape simply told Dumbledore that there was a traitor in the Order, but he had absolutely no idea of who. I think this must be true because surely he would have named Sirius if he thought there was even the slightest chance that it was his old school rival.


mona amon - Jul 14, 2008 11:07 pm (#117 of 925)

When you are tipped off that someone close to you is leaking information to the Dark Lord, I would suggest you trust no one for a while. It's worth it if it saves your kid's life or keeps them from becoming an orphan. Even then, if you trust Sirius, trust Sirius. You don't need to bring more and more people into the act. (Pesky)

I completely agree. Dumbledore informs the Potters that someone close to them has turned traitor, and offers to be their Secret Keeper. They decide that they can trust Sirius with their lives just as much as they can trust Dumbledore. That's good judgment, so far. But then Sirius comes up with his plan to outwit the Dark Lord, and from there on it is nothing but pure arrogance on their part (or on James' and Sirius' part. I think Lily's mistake was her unquestioning trust that James and Sirius knew best what was good for them).

They seem to have felt that Sirius' plan was so brilliant that they did not even stop to think that Pettigrew might be the traitor. It was thoughtlessness rather than loyalty, as Sirius was quite ready to suspect Lupin. Their readiness to suspect Lupin rather than Peter is, I feel, once again because of arrogance. Lupin was always a bit disapproving of the Marauders' actions in school, although he never said anything. Peter on the other hand used to suck up to them, and they loved it. "Every time James made a particularly difficult catch, Wormtail gasped and applauded. After five minutes of this, Harry wondered why James didn't tell Wormtail to get a grip on himself, but James seemed to be enjoying the attention." (OotP, chapter 28)

As for Dumbledore not exerting himself much to get a fair trial for Sirius, I think he really believed that he was the traitor, and that Peter had been blasted to smithereens.

ETA: If I recall correctly, Snape simply told Dumbledore that there was a traitor in the Order, but he had absolutely no idea of who. (Quinn)

But Dumbledore must have narrowed down the field to 'someone close to the Potters' after finding out what information had been leaked, and exactly who knew this information.


Anna L. Black - Jul 15, 2008 12:40 am (#118 of 925)

DD did not necessarily know what information was leaked. I think Snape was a "fresh" DE then, who wasn't that close to Voldemort - not as much as during the second war, anyway. So he might've only known that there was a traitor, but not the info that the traitor gave.




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Two Notes/Summary - post #119

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:21 am



Joanna Lupin - Jul 15, 2008 3:24 am (#119 of 925)

Let's move on, shall we?

Chapter Two - The Vanishing Glass

Ten years had passed and the Dursleys did not reconcile with the idea of having a second son.

I spot a parallel between Harry and Remus, they both were the subject of animosity in their society, although they did not deserve it.

Flying motorcycle - it’s astonishing he can remember it. He was 15 months old when he saw it.

Spiders - they mark a difference between Ron and Harry. Harry accepts them as normal element of his environment. I wonder, did Harry live in the cupboard under the stairs from the start?

The Dursleys were well off and yet they denied Harry food and attire. What did he really cost them? I should think he was nothing else than cheap labour. That shows the expanse of their abuse.

11-year-old Dudley and 17 year old Dudley are completely different people. It is a hopeful sign as it indicates that everyone can change. Of course, when he’s younger he’s mimicking his parents’ attitude, but as he matures he starts thinking for himself, as strange as it is.

Mrs. Figg broke her leg, I take it that Squibs aren’t treated at St. Mungo’s. Second-class citizens indeed.

I wonder what accidental magic Harry did so far to make his aunt and uncle so concerned about him blowing up the house. Or are they paranoid?

How do you like the parallels between Dudley and James? Both spoilt and rich, centre of attention, bullying heads of gangs, and they both grew out of this in the end.

Piers and Pettigrew parallels were already explored thoroughly.

Harry is able to do human transfiguration, NEWT level of magic, without conscious action, and yet, when he learns to control it he encounter troubles.

Harry climbing school buildings - was that apparition?

Boa Constrictor - doesn’t look like all snakes are evil, probably it’s the same prejudice as with werewolves.

Green light - traumatic events are often ingrained in our memory in strange ways so I can easily believe he remembers that.

Violet hat would nicely match a violet cloak, wouldn’t you say? We get a second mention of Dedalus Diggle. It seems wizards shop in Muggle shops. As Mr. Weasley doesn’t know Muggle money it must mean that it is his wife who does shopping.

Who might the wild-looking old woman and the bald man be?




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Two Comments - posts #120 to #145

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:37 am



Anna L. Black - Jul 15, 2008 7:17 am (#120 of 925)

I wonder what accidental magic Harry did so far to make his aunt and uncle so concerned about him blowing up the house. Or are they paranoid?

I think Petunia refers to the reason that Harry's with them at all - the Potters' house was in ruins after LV tried to kill them. She might be afraid that someone from the Wizarding World will attack Harry/ruin the house (though I'm not sure what she's concerned about more )

At school, Harry had no one. Everybody knew that Dudley's gang hated that odd Harry Potter in his baggy old clothes and broken glasses, and nobody liked to disagree with Dudley's gang.

Another Dudley-James (and Harry-Snape) parallel?


freshwater - Jul 15, 2008 7:39 am (#121 of 925)

11-year-old Dudley and 17 year old Dudley are completely different people. It is a hopeful sign as it indicates that everyone can change. Of course, when he’s younger he’s mimicking his parents’ attitude, but as he matures he starts thinking for himself, as strange as it is.

How do you like the parallels between Dudley and James? Both spoilt and rich, centre of attention, bullying heads of gangs, and they both grew out of this in the end.

Good points....but neither "grew out of it" on their own....both went away to school and fell under other influences....some good, some not....although finally good influences and increasing maturity won out.

I think Petunia refers to the reason that Harry's with them at all - the Potters' house was in ruins after LV tried to kill them.--Anna L. Black

Ooooo, good catch! I'd thought the "blow up the house" comment was just mean-spirited hyperbole...but Petunia could have known about the Potter house being in ruins....here's a hint of what DD might have included in his letter.

At school, Harry had no one. Everybody knew that Dudley's gang hated that odd Harry Potter in his baggy old clothes and broken glasses, and nobody liked to disagree with Dudley's gang.

Another Dudley-James (and Harry-Snape) parallel?--Anna L. Black

Or another Harry-Remus parallel? Shabby clothes...hated &/or feared...no one willing to oppose the "gang" or majority opinion. I hadn't realized how many allusions to prejudice were woven into the fabric of the stories.


tandaradei - Jul 15, 2008 8:16 am (#122 of 925)

Here's some first observations of Chapter 2

The 3d person narrator has now wandered over to focus on Harry's point of view.

I don't know of anyone else thinking this but when I start this 2nd chapter, I always get the feeling of Harry as a male Cinderella. Dudley equals the two wicked stepsisters; his parents equal the wicked stepmother; Harry's real parents are probably his lost (Cinderella) mother; ... and maybe Dumbledore would be Cinderella's ineffectual though loving father. Here is yet another example of why I think PS was maybe targeted to a preadolescent readership.

The Ultimate Unofficial Guide made a big deal of Mrs. Figg's name. It says, "a fig leaf is something that conceals or camouflages. What's going on with Mrs. Figg?" Hehe, I'll bet they were glad they wrote this after DH came out! I'm assuming some of those flying owls were visiting her.

Here's my Neville moment. OK, about the time of Chapter 2, what's happened with Neville? Neville's parents were tortured to insanity just a bit after Harry's parents were killed, ten years previous. In the present, Harry possessed some memory of his event; did Neville possess memories of his parents' trauma? No mention is made of where Neville was when his parents were tortured, but I'd bet he heard screams. So: in the same way our 10 year-old Harry sees a green light from a distant memory ... does at this same time, Neville dream of his parent's torture? Now let's look as to how these two were harassed over that 10 years. Harry gets harassed by all and sundry; but in an opposite way maybe Neville's relatives kind of do the same thing. They constantly remind him of two things, I'm thinking: how his noble parents were tortured; and how he's not showing magic like his parents and family by that time had (IMO, stresses in an opposite way of Harry's stresses to be normal; but building to a similar kind of alienation) . Now: when did Neville's grandmother begin take him to visit his insane parents?? I'd bet such visits and talks would stimulate whatever memories Neville had of that original event. Too, remember the story of Ariana, and how as a child she was abused for magic, and afterwards in a kind of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome she unconsciously repressed natural magic until they sometimes burst out wildly? I'm thinking Neville, possibly in a similar kind of development like Ariana's, was also repressing his magic; but as his family constantly nudged him along, finally some burst out, though this turned out to be a good thing. Also as to Neville: I think its interesting its his uncle's name is Algie and Neville likes botany; this Algie reminds me of algae -- plant stuff -- which is what Neville warms up to spectacularly at Hogwarts. In sum, like Harry, I'm thinking Neville was growing up a very brave, misunderstood little boy. However, this all happens "offstage."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Here's some interesting Beginning & Ending quotes for the HP series I got in this chapter, re: watches:

...[cut]...{Dudley} was ripping the paper off a gold wristwatch...[cut]...

PS, Ch 2,"The Vanishing Glass," p.22 US.

...[cut]...Harry lay in his dark cupboard much later, wishing he had a watch...[cut]...

PS, Ch 2,"The Vanishing Glass," p.29 US.

...[cut]...Inside was a watch very like the one Mr. And Mrs. Weasley had given Ron for his seventeenth; it was gold, with stars circling around the face instead of hands.

It's traditional to give a wizard a watch when he comes of age...[cut]...

DH, Ch 7,"The Will of Albus Dumbledore," p.114 US.

...[cut]...{Harry} checked his battered old watch that had once been Fabian Prewett's...[cut]...

DH, Epilogue, "Nineteen Years Later," p.757 US.

Watches seem to be at the beginning and ending of everything.


PeskyPixie - Jul 15, 2008 9:15 am (#123 of 925)

Whew, mona, I'm glad someone agrees with me! I was beginning to think that I was suspicious at a super Slytherin level! I have a lot more to comment on that, but as it's bound to come up when we get to PoA, I'm going to let it go till then.

Am I the only one who thought that snakes don't have opaque eyelids? How exactly does the snake at the zoo wink without closing its eyes?

Mr. Dursley further irritates me when he taps the glass to make the snakes 'do' something. I once gave a kid at a zoo the evil eye for doing something like that.

Ha ha, this chapter hold many memories for me. A guy (far too old for me) was trying to impress me with his knowledge of HP (acquired from the movies) and he commented on how poor the story-telling is when the movie made no further use of the 'mystery of the talking snake'! I answered with, "he's a Parselmouth, but you don't figure that our until the next book!" This is the first of many serpents we will encounter in the series.

This charming fellow also commented on how the Dursleys should have given Harry up for adoption as they really don't want him. ("That would have been a realistic story!" And he was trying to charm an HP fan? )

He also raised the point of how wicked the Dursleys are and I remember that at the time I felt that these two were almost 2-D, Roald Dahl type villains. As the story progresses the characters may become a tad more realistic, but I think in the earlier books they are nasty to the point of ridiculous - perfect for the younger kids.

EDIT: Yes, tandaradei, it's definitely a Cinderella story at the beginning of PS/SS (Harry is rescued by Hagrid!).


Soul Search - Jul 15, 2008 10:11 am (#124 of 925)

Reading this chapter I was struck by how many casual references that take on more meaning after reading the rest of the series. Among them is the theme that the Dursleys have mistreated Harry for the ten years he has been there. We get background for this in the next six books.

Dumbledore explains the basis for Harry's mistreatment in OotP: "She may have taken you grudgingly, furiously, unwillingly, bitterly, yet still she took you, ..." Petunia didn't want to take Harry but she did because of what Dumbledore explained in the letter he left with Harry. We never do find out exactly what he said.

Petunia's attitude is explained in Deathly Hallows, "The Prince's Tale" when we find out Petunia really wanted to go to Hogwarts with Lily and sent a letter to Dumbledore. He responded, politely, that she wasn't a witch, so couldn't come to Hogwarts. So, among other things, Petunia was jealous of her sister and her magical abilities.

We learn in "The Keeper of the Keys" that Petunia thought Lily was "a freak" and she knew Harry was a wizard. She and Vernon thought they would "stamp it out of him."

Marge is referenced and that she "hates the boy." We learn in PoA that she is Vernon's sister. The PoA discussion suggests Marge wanted Vernon to not take Harry and to send him to an orphanage.

With all this dislike of the wizarding world and of Harry we have to ask why the Dursleys took Harry at all. I would like to suggest that the Dursleys really didn't take Harry in. For ten years he lived in a cupboard in the front hall, close to the front door. It is like they brought him inside, but not any further than the front hall. The front hall cupboard was symbolic; not really part of the house. Handy to the front door if they decided to throw him out, which Vernon wanted to do in OotP. Keeping Harry in the front hall cupboard fully fits Dumbledore's "grudgingly, furiously, unwillingly, bitterly" description.

Even more, they spent very little money on Harry, making him wear hand-me-downs from his much larger cousin, not buying him any presents, and not sending him to the same public school as Dudley. In HBP, Dumbledore chastises them for not raising Harry as their own son.

The Dursleys really didn't take Harry in.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Might be a bit of a parallel with Tom Riddle here. Harry almost went to an orphanage and Tom Riddle did grow up in a orphanage. I think there must be some significance to the orphanage reference regarding Harry, but can't quite come up with anything more than a parallel.

We also learn in "The Keeper of the Keys" that "Muggle" is a term wizards use for non-magical folk. Hagrid and McGonagall use the term in the first chapter, and it isn't explained until the fourth. (I couldn't wait)


Quinn Crockett - Jul 15, 2008 10:24 am (#125 of 925)

One thing about the Dursleys is that they do seem to be pretty aware that the way they treat Harry is not at all okay. They buy Harry a treat because "the smiling lady" asked him what he wanted. Vernon waits until Piers "was safely out of the house before starting in on Harry". And of course in the next chapter, they are completely mortified when Harry's letters are addressed to him in "the cupboard under the stairs".

For all their desire to appear normal, they seem to draw an awful lot of attention to the way they treat Harry, with his hand-me-down clothes and broken glasses. It makes me wonder whether the other kids know that Harry and Dudley are cousins, let alone live in the same house. They wouldn't necessarily know because of having different surnames. It also makes me wonder why the teachers never seemed to take any notice of what was going on with Harry. Yes, it's Cinderella, but it still takes place in the real world.

Good point about Mrs Figg and St Mungo's. On the other hand, it may just be that someone in the neighborhood called an ambulance and she was taken to the regular old Muggle hospital. She does live there, after all. I'd like to think that she has made at least one or two friends from the community over the years. Otherwise, what a pitiful little life she leads, all for the sake of protecting Harry.

I don't think there's really much of a Piers/Pettigrew connection, the similarities in their descriptions notwithstanding. What I mean is, I don't think it was intentional on JKR's part, just as it was not intentional that she gave an off-screen character the name of Evans.

Good points about Neville's story as well. Neville has more inner strength and conviction than probably any other character. (Remember, ultimately Neville will become the only character other than Harry or Dumbledore to stand right up in Voldemort's face and openly defy him.) In fact, I think the only thing that really separates Harry from Neville in terms of personality is that once they reach Hogwarts together people lionize Harry. What I mean is that Neville is treated like the shy, awkward kid he is whereas Harry is treated with a certain amount of reverence, even by the teachers (Snape deliberately taking the opposite tack, of course).

When Harry ends up on the roof of the school, yes I do think that was accidental Apparating.

I don't think it's that important that in real life snakes are not capable of winking due to the construction of their eyelids. This same snake also pointed to a sign with its tail, which presumably wouldn't be possible for him in real life either.


freshwater - Jul 15, 2008 10:27 am (#126 of 925)

Yes, tandaradei, it's definitely a Cinderella story at the beginning of PS/SS (Harry is rescued by Hagrid!).--Pesky Pixie

So....Hagrid = Fairy Godmother?

BTW, Pesky...it sounds as though you've experienced some of the 'joys' of middle-age dating that I have...except that you've had the good fortune to meet someone who at least had a clue about HP!


PeskyPixie - Jul 15, 2008 10:52 am (#127 of 925)
Edited Jul 15, 2008 11:22 am

Dumbledore's letter probably informed Petunia (who was somewhat informed of the Magical world) that Harry would be toast if they did not allow him to call their house his home. As terrible as Tuney is, she probably draws the line at wanting him dead.

This is the first time I've thought about it at this point in the story, but Tuney knows Snape!

EDIT: LOL, freshwater! I was twenty at the time and my 'suitor' was middle-aged (I guess he had discovered the joys of middle aged dating)! He saw me at a conference and pestered me until I hit him with a good Bat-Bogey Hex and Disapparated! I guess he thought he could be cool if he garbled out all he knew about HP (and all he knew was from the PS/SS movie.


Steve Newton - Jul 15, 2008 1:50 pm (#128 of 925)

freshwater, you suggest that "Hagrid = Fairy Godmother" I like the connection. Way back in college, back with the dinosaurs, I took some art history courses. I seem to recall a sort of primal earth mother figure. I have always connected Hagrid with this. His earthy living and connection with wild life seem, to me to play into this. He also probably shows more emotion in the series than any other character.


freshwater - Jul 15, 2008 4:04 pm (#129 of 925)

This is the first time I've thought about it at this point in the story, but Tuney knows Snape!--Pesky Pixie

I re-read your comment replacing "Snape" with "Severus" and suddenly recalled previous speculation that this name was meant to indicate that he would cause division among people (as in "sever us")....and that's exactly what Severus did with Lily and Petunia. Of course, Lily would have gotten her Hogwarts letter regardless of Severus' meeting/knowing her....still, his jealousy and possessiveness seem to have played some small role in the breakdown of the sisters' relationship.

I seem to recall a sort of primal earth mother figure. I have always connected Hagrid with this. His earthy living and connection with wild life seem, to me to play into this. He also probably shows more emotion in the series than any other character.--Steve Newton

Excellent point, Steve! Hagrid has been seen by some to be a sort of father figure for Harry...but with his huge heart and tendency to nurture every living creature around him (whether they want him to or not **cough**Grawp**cough**), he could be seen as a sort of mothering figure also. It's not a huge jump from there to 'fairy godmother'....although visually, it's an enormous leap!

Steve, is there video of the latest library cart drill team performance on youtube yet?


Soul Search - Jul 15, 2008 4:54 pm (#130 of 925)

There seems to be a parallel between Harry and Kreacher. Harry lives in a cupboard. The first we see of him in this chapter Petunia is rousting him out of his cupboard so he can look after the bacon in the kitchen. Kreacher, the #12 Grimmauld Place house elf, lives in a cupboard off the kitchen.

The point may be that the Dursleys treat Harry the same as a house elf. Kreacher visits #4 Privet Drive in HBP.

The whole zoo trip was just to provide background for snakes and Harry speaking Parseltongue, which doesn't come up again until CoS.


Solitaire - Jul 15, 2008 6:18 pm (#131 of 925)

I would like to suggest that the Dursleys really didn't take Harry in.

I agree here. They may have taken Harry into the house, but they did not take him into their hearts or lives. As Dumbledore said, they gave him "house room."

Quinn: It also makes me wonder why the teachers never seemed to take any notice of what was going on with Harry.

Quinn, as a teacher, I have wondered this, as well, as it is part of my job to pay attention and ask questions about things that seem out of order. I've often wondered whether the Dursleys ever saw Harry's teachers at open house or parent conferences (assuming England has these contact opportunities). I am sure they must have gone to see Dudley's teachers in hopes of hearing some compliments about their "darling Diddums." If so, did they ever talk about Harry? Did the teachers ever mention his broken glasses?

Neville is treated like the shy, awkward kid he is whereas Harry is treated with a certain amount of reverence.

I do not see Harry as being treated with any reverence by teachers at this point. They do know who he is, but he does not seem to get any "special" treatment from the classroom teachers. McGonagall gets permission for him to play Quidditch, but I'm guessing she would have done the same for any first-year who had shown his talent for flying and catching the Remembrall. I think she is very fair. Snape is pretty "equal opportunity" in his abuse of both Neville and Harry. Then again, I think he is pretty nasty to all of the Gryffindor kids.

As to the snake winking ... I think this whole scene just sets us up for the dueling scene in CoS, where we see Harry talk to the snake Draco conjures. Harry isn't at all surprised about talking to the snake, because he has done this before he entered the magical world. Oddly, he is a bit surprised that the snake talks to him, but he takes it in stride.

I agree, Steve, that Hagrid is a sort of "mother earth" figure. He is at one with all the various species in the Forbidden Forest. I guess he is really "Fairy Godfather" ... although Hagrid and fairy seem poles apart.

Soul Search, I think Harry has probably been treated a lot like a House-elf by the Dursleys, before he learns he is a Wizard. The first interaction we see between him and Petunia is that she orders him to cook Dudley's birthday breakfast. Also, he doesn't wear his own clothes; he just wears Dudley's cast-offs. It is as if giving Harry his own clothes will make him a real person ... and they do not want to see him as a person in his own right. (I see you mention the Parselmouth connection here, too.)

About the wild-looking woman in green who waved to him on a bus and the bald man in the long purple coat who shook his hand, I've often wondered ... Were there Wizards in the magical community who knew that Harry was "out there" in the Muggle world? We know he was protected (Voldemort tells him this in GoF) and people couldn't get to him ... but is it possible that many of them knew where he was all these years? It certainly does sound as if he has been watched over. Perhaps these people were part of a "network" set up by Dumbledore to kind of keep an eye on Harry. Perhaps they were Dumbledore in disguise. He does, after all, tell Harry he has been watched more closely than he can ever have imagined. Either he was doing it himself, or he had some designated helpers.

Solitaire


Quinn Crockett - Jul 15, 2008 6:52 pm (#132 of 925)

Solitaire, I certainly didn't mean to imply that anyone was falling at Harry's feet. But I don't think we can deny that his reputation - however embellished - does precede him. But I'm getting a bit ahead of the discussion. I guess I should wait until we get to the proper chapter to go into it.

Actually, this chapter introduces a lot of elements that seem "off-hand" but later become rather important:

Mrs Figg - who is not a "mad old lady" but one of Dumbledore's agents

Harry unwittingly speaking Parseltongue, which of course comes in to play, not only in CS but also HBP

Harry's dream of the flying motorcycle and memory of the "flash of greenish light" that connect him to his past throughout the series

Harry not looking it but being "very fast"

Harry's nonchalance about the spiders

Harry's ability to Apparate accidentally (he is able to do side-along Apparition with Dumbledore even though he's never Apparated)


freshwater - Jul 15, 2008 7:12 pm (#133 of 925)

The point may be that the Dursleys treat Harry the same as a house elf. Kreacher visits #4 Privet Drive in HBP.--Soul Search

That's an important observation, SS. As many things that Harry has in common with Tom Riddle --orphaned, magically powerful, Parseltongue, etc-- he has many strengths that Tom lacked ("I know lots of important things that you don't know." from Harry's final conversation w/Tom, in DH, from memory, may not be an exact quote).

One of the most important things Harry knows is how to empathize with others....this makes him kind and generous when others are oblivious, or worse. Being treated like a house elf makes it almost inevitable that he will be kind and generous with Dobby, and eventually, Kreacher.

The incident with the snake in this chapter in another early example of Harry's character:

Harry moved in front of the glass and looked intently at the snake. He wouldn't have been surprised if it had died of boredom itself --no company except for stupid people drumming their fingers on the glass trying to disturb it all day long. It was worse than having a cupboard as a bedroom, where the only visitor was Aunt Petunia hammering on the door to wake you up; at least he got to visit the rest of the house. PS/SS, Scholastic paperback, p. 27

Empathy and compassion are often not the first characteristics of children who have been emotionally neglected or abused....in this passage JKR assures us that Harry has not yet been so damaged by that treatment as to lose what is most valuable in being human. These characteristics will --as we now know-- be instrumental in the choices he makes throughout the series, and therefore in his ultimate success.


PeskyPixie - Jul 15, 2008 7:14 pm (#134 of 925)

The point about Harry's interaction with a snake is obvious (i.e. a set-up for CoS). However, I think the whole notion of a winking snake may be attributed to a slip on JKR's part. I happen to be quite interested in animals, so that part really stuck out for me, and not in a good way. Harry could easily have talked to the snake without having it wink. It's just a regular snake after all.

Also, I think we are all pretty much in agreement that the Dursleys do not take Harry into their family. They fulfill the bare minimum of the contract (i.e. giving Harry the tiniest amount of space as possible within their house) so he can technically call home the place where his mother's blood resides.

My main question is, does Vernon know the importance of keeping Harry in their house?

EDIT: I agree, freshwater. Harry is a highly compassionate little fellow. There is a huge difference between him and young Tom Riddle.


Steve Newton - Jul 15, 2008 7:34 pm (#135 of 925)

Freshwater, yes, the Delaware Diamonds are on YouTube, out stumbling start and all. Search for 'Delaware Diamonds' and there we are. You may have to do a little figuring to get this years but it’s not that hard. When I did it the winning team also came up.

We are on some Japanese site also with a better video. Can't remember what it is though. Begins with r I think.


Solitaire - Jul 15, 2008 7:42 pm (#136 of 925)

My main question is, does Vernon know the importance of keeping Harry in their house?

An interesting question, Pesky. Based on his response following the Dementor incident in OotP--"Well, that settles it, you can get out of this house now, boy!"--and his subsequent "OUT"-bursts, I would say he does not know the significance of what he and Petunia did when they agreed to keep Harry.

His subsequent questions and attempts to get Petunia to change her mind after the "reminder Howler"--What did it mean? Remember the last what?"-- make me think that he may not have seen the original letter. What do you think?

Solitaire


tandaradei - Jul 15, 2008 9:03 pm (#137 of 925)

JKR in the 7/5/08 Harvard Commencement Speech said:

...[cut]...You might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared....[cut]...

I agree with freshwater's (et al) comments on Harry's exhibiting empathy and compassion; and would like to add that, in consideration of JKR's speech, that empathisizing may be her defining characteristic of a hero. Too, regarding Hagrid's "earth mother" fairy godmother aspect? In a few chapters Hagrid will bristle with indignation over perceived affronts against Harry and Dumbledore -- and doesn't Hagrid empathize even more, with creatures that the world perceives as ugly and hideous? I think these chapters are where all such seeds of Jo's vision of the triumph of imagination, especially in empathisizing, find their genesis.


freshwater - Jul 15, 2008 9:36 pm (#138 of 925)

Loved the Bookcart Drill Team video, Steve! The "shhhh"ing was very thematically appropriate, and the advanced moves with the carts were very impressive. Well done!


Steve Newton - Jul 16, 2008 4:15 am (#139 of 925)

Thanks. I think that we would have placed if the music hadn't fouled up in the beginning.


PeskyPixie - Jul 16, 2008 10:51 am (#140 of 925)

... does Vernon know the importance of keeping Harry in their house? -PeskyPixie

... Based on his response following the Dementor incident in OotP--Well, that settles it, you can get out of this house now, boy!"--and his subsequent "OUT"-bursts, I would say he does not know the significance of what he and Petunia did when they agreed to keep Harry. His subsequent questions and attempts to get Petunia to change her mind after the "reminder Howler"--What did it mean? Remember the last what?"-- make me think that he may not have seen the original letter. What do you think?" -Solitaire

Hmmm, I see what you mean. Well, if he is indeed unaware of the life or death nature of giving board to Harry (maybe he thinks he's just doing his wife a favour he doesn't quite understand), then his nastiness (as he is nasty man) is understandable. However, if he knows that by kicking Harry out he is probably handing him over to Death, then he is far worse than merely nasty.

I also wonder whether Petunia (horrible as she is) takes Harry in because, very deep within her heart, she still longs to have her sister back and as much as she hates Harry she can't allow herself to let him die. Or maybe Dumbledore (sneak that he is ) made her aware in the letter that if she tosses Harry to the jackals she and her family are no longer protected either and may be tortured by Death Eaters due to their kinship with the Potters?


Soul Search - Jul 16, 2008 11:01 am (#141 of 925)

Thought I would pick up a few references that connect to later story.

When he had been younger, Harry had dreamed and dreamed of some unknown relation coming to take him away, but it had never happened; ...

Well, it will happen soon! Hagrid is "unknown," although not a relation. While he is the most unlikely fairy godmother, that is his role. I like that characterization. And, Hagrid fulfills it rather well. Harry doesn't get a glass slipper, but a whole new life.

Hagrid plays the role for Harry throughout the series, but I think I will wait to point the occasions out.

We know Harry was watched and protected at #4 Privet Drive. Good thing, since he says he spent as much time as possible out of the house. He was even watched when he went with his Aunt Petunia. Must have given his watchers quite a time keeping up.

Yet sometimes he thought (or maybe hoped) that strangers in the street seemed to know him. Very strange strangers they were, too.

A tiny man in a violet top hat had bowed to him once while out shopping with Aunt Petunia and Dudley.

Harry references this encounter later when he meets Dedalus Diggle in the Leaky Cauldron. Dedalus was mentioned in the first chapter, and we will see him again here and there, then he comes to take the Dursleys into hiding in Deathly Hallows.

After asking Harry furiously if he knew the man, Aunt Petunia had rushed them out of the shop without buying anything.

Curious. Petunia could certainly recognize the man as a wizard from his unusual dress. She, at least, saw wizarding folk on the train platform whenever Lily went to and from Hogwarts. We know of one occasion from Deathly Hallows and can imply others. Did Petunia figure out that they were watching Harry? Did Petunia recognize Dedalus when he came to pick up the Dursleys in Deathly Hallows?

Not sure who the rest of these might be, but we can probably assume they were in the Order or close to Dumbledore.

A wild-looking old woman dressed all in green had waved merrily at him once on a bus.

A bald man in a very long purple coat had actually shaken his hand in the street the other day and then walked away without a word.

I think I will be alert for later references. No doubt JKR has referenced them again.

Of course, we know they were wizards but the following confirms it:

The weirdest thing about all these people was the way they seemed to vanish the second Harry tried to get a closer look.

They obviously have orders not to let Harry know who they are. Strange, had Petunia told Harry that he was a wizard and described wizards to him he would have recognized them as such.


freshwater - Jul 16, 2008 11:51 am (#142 of 925)

While he is the most unlikely fairy godmother, that is his role. I like that characterization. And, Hagrid fulfills it rather well. Harry doesn't get a glass slipper, but a whole new life.--Soul Search

Your comment, SS, caused me to think of Hagrid's 'fairy godmother-like" role in Harry's life: you're right....he makes sure that Harry is as prepared as possible to enter his new life....first he brings news of Hogwarts, the wizarding world, Harry's parents, and LV....then he removes Harry from the Dursley's (temporarily) and takes him to Diagon Alley to get his supplies and robes (a sort of extension of fairy godmother wand-waving for dress and slippers).....and finally, gives Harry his ticket for Platform 9 3/4 (instead of a pumpkin coach ). Later in PS/SS Hagrid's Christmas gift of the carved wooden flute provides H/R/H a means to put Fluffy to sleep on their way to protect the stone.

I'll bet there are more examples in the books of Hagrid's care for Harry....just can't think of them right now.....


Joanna Lupin - Jul 16, 2008 12:02 pm (#143 of 925)

In OotP Harry knows about wizards and that doesn't stop his watchers from staying out of sight either.


tandaradei - Jul 16, 2008 2:52 pm (#144 of 925)

Decades and many years ago I remember reading of an experiment where some scientists (Nazis?) put an autistic man in a room and kept raising the temperature, wanting to force him to do something "normal." Finally, the story goes, the man screamed "get me the h-- out of here!" It was long ago, maybe a joke? I don't know if this story was true or even the point of that experiment, or maybe from some morality tale; but it left me with a rather unbelieving vision of the hard-heartedness of some kinds of folks who believe they are doing the right thing: how could anyone broil a human being, to make him normal? They re-invent, in my view, ideas of wickedness and normalcy. The belief in this story appeared to be, if we apply pressure long enough and this non-normal will do something logical (normal); we've only just have to raise the temperature enough. I imagined the autistic here replying (if he could) "You cut me; do I bleed?" like Shakespeare; but being further trapped within mental constraints that might madden even these sadistic experimenters; what I really see, is him being helpless in a room, manipulated by folks who think they’re doing something good. Whoa.

Motorcycles don't fly! shouted Vernon, almost wrecking the new car. Vernon nearly explodes, angry because Harry continues to exhibit signs of non-normalcy. Raising the temperature, isn't he? By the end of the chapter, because a glass near Harry vanishes and Harry was possibly talking to snakes, in a near-apoplectic fit Vernon decides he will stamp out the nonsense once and for all by grounding Harry to a broom closet under the stairs for over a month. Raise the temperature. In my view, the Dursleys apparently feel that, like the experimenters above, if they merely raise such pressures high enough, they will "make Harry normal." I'm glad Harry's real name wasn't Ariana.

I am queasily aware of things done in prisons in Africa and Bosnia, among other places, where all-too powerful authorities even now torture folks within their power; it sickens me when I get too visual with those memories. I have friends who've been to those Cambodian killing fields where they've read old signs like "it is not allowed to scream while being tortured," and such. Just raise the pressure. Where is the difference between experimenters, African prisons, and killing fields? I can't help but feel Jo saw enough stuff like this early in her life; and she now tries to analyze this in a pleasant story with a palatable setting, so maybe the rest of us might prove willing to take a look-see.




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Two Comments - posts #146 to #170

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:43 am



rcs - Jul 16, 2008 3:06 pm (#145 of 925)

The weirdest thing about all these people was the way they seemed to vanish the second Harry tried to get a closer look.

I always took that to mean they were Disapparating.


Soul Search - Jul 16, 2008 4:11 pm (#146 of 925)

Good list, freshwater. Not only is the start of the book of Cinderella form, there are very close details in the storyline.


Julia H. - Jul 16, 2008 4:22 pm (#147 of 925)

I have finally managed to read all the posts. It is really impressive: over 100 posts about the first chapter only! Since I missed most of the very interesting discussion on Chapter 1, please allow me just to mention a few of my thoughts.

I mostly agree with Pesky about the Potters' decision. In any case, once they had decided to do it their own way, they should at least have told DD who the real SK was. That would have given Sirius some protection and Pettigrew might have thought about things twice.

On another thread it was mentioned that a person's Animagus form reflects their personality. James and Sirius do not seem to have known that or they should have treated Peter with some suspicion from the beginning. (I don't want to offend real rats but a rat as the symbol of a human's personality means - as far as I know - only bad things.) They did not notice Peter's bad traits (like enjoying watching as others are being tortured) probably because he was sucking up to them (and, of course, he was a Gryffindor!) but the Animagus form should have been an obvious sign.

Good questions about what DD was doing all that day and where Harry was. I think DD's day is easier to account for: preparing the protective charm, comforting Snape, sending Hagrid to GH, (maybe going with him?). Someone suggested that DD may have talked to Snape only later but I think it must have been that very day. Snape looks like someone who has just heard the news of Lily's death and I don't think it would have been possible if it had not been very soon after the event. News was quickly spreading all about the wizarding world, so Snape would surely have heard it from someone soon enough like everyone else. But in the memory scene, he seems to have heard it just then.

Hagrid found Harry under the ruins of the house. It may have taken some time even for Hagrid to bring him out. BTW, this may have been a reason why DD sent Hagrid, not someone else: perhaps the person needed physical strength and skill to dig out the baby. Using magic could have been dangerous with bricks falling everywhere. Then Harry may have been treated, fed, comforted somewhere in GH (at Bathilda's perhaps?) until Hagrid took him to the Dursleys'. He probably had to wait until the protective magic was ready.

Chapter 2. Until DH, I sometimes wondered about Petunia. Grudgingly (etc.) she did take Harry in (though not into her heart) and she did know that she was protecting Harry's life, as we find out in OotP. Also in OotP, Harry once saw his mother's sister in Petunia. I thought perhaps there was something more to that. Perhaps Petunia was so cruel mainly because of Vernon. But no, in DH she left the book without ever demonstrating the faintest shadow of care for Harry or for the memory of her sister. So, perhaps she did know that she was protecting her own family as well.

I like the parallels with Cinderella! Cinderella for boys: male Cinderella, wicked stepbrother (a huge one instead of two of the normal size), a male version of the fairy godmother - or a godfather (but that would be Sirius, not Hagrid).

Accidental child magic: it is interesting that children demonstrate instinctive non-verbal magic (in fact, spell-less magic), but when they start learning (verbal) spells, they apparently forget this skill and will have to learn non-verbal spells with great difficulty later on. I wonder if - with further learning? - they can return to spell-less non-verbal magic, where it is enough just to want something to make it happen but in a controlled way, not accidentally (as children do). Perhaps that is DD's level of magic. Perhaps the dying Snape gives Harry his memories in a way like that.


PeskyPixie - Jul 16, 2008 5:12 pm (#148 of 925)

Julia, first of all, I'm sure you haven't insulted any real rats.

Regarding Snape's chat with Dumbledore following Lily's death, it may be possible that Dumbledore returns to Hogwarts after talking to McGonagall to discover that Snape has similarly been waiting for him outside his office all day.

Alrighty, back to chapter two!


Soul Search - Jul 16, 2008 8:06 pm (#149 of 925)

I would like to go back to this line, cited earlier:

After asking Harry furiously if he knew the man, Aunt Petunia had rushed them out of the shop without buying anything.

The man was Dedalus Diggle, clearly a wizard from his dress. Petunia had to have known he was a wizard. Why would she ask Harry if he knew him? And furiously? Was Petunia fearful that someone from the wizarding world had been talking to Harry?

This act suggests a bit of paranoia on Petunia's part. After all, a wizard had just bowed to her nephew. Does she fear Harry will learn he is a wizard and defeat her attempts to "stamp it out of him?" Is she worried that the wizarding world will call her to task for mistreating Harry? Her rushing out of the store, and away from the wizard, suggest she is worried about something.

In the next chapter Vernon (trying to explain the owls and "Cupboard under the Stairs" address to Harry,) wonders if they are being watched. Petunia knows they have been watched. Vernon is the one who rants about Harry and magic, but he really doesn't understand what wizards can do. Petunia knows more, and is afraid.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 16, 2008 8:23 pm (#150 of 925)

The point about Harry's interaction with a snake is obvious (i.e. a set-up for CoS). However, I think the whole notion of a winking snake may be attributed to a slip on JKR's part. I happen to be quite interested in animals, so that part really stuck out for me, and not in a good way. Harry could easily have talked to the snake without having it wink. It's just a regular snake after all.

No, I don't think so. I apologize because my Sorcerer's Stone is hiding amongst junk in my house. However my recollection from this chapter is that Harry's interaction with the snake is very subtle. Harry may very well be talking Parseltongue to the snake but is unaware that he is doing so. In the beginning the snake doesn't say anything: it winks, and it motions to the sign that can answer Harry's question. At this point Harry doesn't know there is magic so the snake's behavior could be just a coincidence. Harry might think he was imagining the 'conversation'.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 16, 2008 8:52 pm (#151 of 925)

Since we are still discussing Lily's and James's choice of a Secret Keeper, I wonder how much the unreturned Cloak influenced their decision? Dumbledore had borrowed it for a few days, but it appears that he really had it for several months. I doubt James would have minded too much if he thought it was needed for Order business, but the long delay might make Dumbledore seem unreliable and untimely for what the Potters needed.

I liked tandaradei's earlier observations about the gold watch. Harry's watch had great meaning: It marked his passage into adulthood; and it had belonged to Mrs. Weasley's brother, so her giving it to Harry was a symbol of love and family.

Dudley's gold watch is just one more thing in the pile of loot. I think it must symbolize what little care the Dursleys take to teach their son what he needs to know to be a decent adult.

The Vanishing Glass is the name of this chapter. I think it is symbolic of the vanishing barrier between the magical world and the mundane for Harry. Windows are something that can be looked through, but not gotten through easily unless somehow opened. In the first chapter Vernon could ignore the window by the simple expedience of keeping his back to the it and not looking, so he could enjoy a perfectly normal, owl-free morning. Now it is not so easy to ignore the window.


Solitaire - Jul 16, 2008 8:54 pm (#152 of 925)

We have seen Harry be unaware that he was hearing Parseltongue. In CoS, he heard a voice saying, "Come ... come to me ... Let me rip you ... Let me tear you ... Let me kill you." Remember the Pensieve scene with Morfin and Bob Ogden? Dumbledore had to kind of "jog" Harry's mind about why he understood Morfin. And he didn't think until after the fact about Bathilda speaking Parseltongue. These last two events occurred after the CoS, so he actually knew he spoke and understood Parseltongue, yet he didn't think about it.

I wonder if he spoke Parseltongue to the boa. After all, Riddle tells Dumbledore during their first meeting at the orphanage that he could talk to snakes, that they found him and whispered to him when he'd been on trips in the country.

Solitaire


rcs - Jul 16, 2008 10:35 pm (#153 of 925)

I wonder if he spoke Parseltongue to the boa. --Solitaire

I always assumed so.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 17, 2008 12:14 am (#154 of 925)

Nice interpretation, Mrs Brisbee!

Petunia is described as frequently looking out the window. As cruel and horrible as she ends up being to Harry, one could almost see her point of view - even though one could never condone the Dursleys' actions.

Dumbledore has told her that her sister was murdered - by "the most feared Dark Wizard" of all time, no less. He has also (presumably) told her that taking Harry in is her only protection (assuming of course, that 'the protection' works in her favor as well). She seems to live in constant fear of attack ("...and find the house in ruins?!"). She is terrified that, at any moment, Dark wizards will - literally - darken her doorstep.

So, she goes out of her way to keep Harry hidden as much as possible from anyone who could, with even the remotest chance, identify Harry or track him down. She "whisks him away" from anyone who appears to be a wizard, whom she is all too capable of recognizing as such. She hides Harry in the cupboard under the stairs where he can't even be accidentally be seen through a window. The slightest hint or mention of magical ability is absolutely verboten, lest some magical person, who she knows are around, get wind of Harry's presence in her home.

Then there's her overcompensation with Dudley born out of jealousy of her magical sister, who she probably felt her own parents gushed over, while pushing young Tuney aside. Vernon seems to be following Petunia's lead here, but he doesn't really seem to understand anything about the situation beyond "we hate magic!"

Just a suggestion....


megfox* - Jul 17, 2008 6:09 am (#155 of 925)

I also wonder if Vernon's attitude toward magic comes from when he discovered that it really existed. If Petunia really didn't care for Lily and James, maybe she didn't let Vernon know about her sister's "condition" until Harry was left on their doorstep. If that was the case, then Vernon's first and only encounter with magic would have been that of (in his opinion) enormous sacrifice and inconvenience, and that his sister-in-law and her husband had been "blown up." Then, Petunia would have been obliged to tell him about the wizarding world, explain some of the reasoning behind why they had to take Harry in, and interject her own prejudice about the WW as she did so.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 17, 2008 7:41 am (#156 of 925)

Well, Vernon seems well enough aware of what Lily was, as least. His "...something to do with her crowd" comment confirms this, which he says before they find Harry on the doorstep.

So, I'm very curious about how that original conversation between Petunia and Vernon played out. What did she say to him? And why would it have been necessary to say anything? She was still at least on Christmas gift terms with her sister and knew that Harry had been born and was called "Harry" - something Vernon couldn't remember - but other than that, she and Lily "hadn't seen each other for several years". Why mention her sister's abilities unless it was necessary? And what would be considered "necessary"?


PeskyPixie - Jul 17, 2008 7:56 am (#157 of 925)
Edited Jul 17, 2008 8:54 am

Ramb, I'm not really quite sure what you're disagreeing with.

The snake is sleeping when it, "suddenly opened its beady eyes ... It winked." (PS/SS)

I completely believe that Harry and this snake have a conversation in Parseltongue of which Harry not aware(and yes, I do believe it's done this early on to set us up for what is to come. How silly it would be if JKR only introduced the concept of Parseltongue in the book where it is central to the plot?).

However, I do not for one moment believe that this snake sleeps with its eyes 'closed', 'opens' them up when it wakes up, then 'winks' just because he and Harry are having a subtle interaction. Snakes sleep, wake up, and perhaps even have a sense of humour with those who speak the same language as them, but they do all of these things without 'opening' or 'closing' their eyes in the sense most of us are used to because they (to the best of my knowledge) do not have opaque eyelids.

JKR admits in an interview that she did not research animals before putting them into her books. For example, only after the first few books were out did she realize that Hedwig is a diurnal owl. It was an error on her part, but as Hedwig is trained for work with wizards, she said that we could also pass her mistake off as 'magic'.

I think the snake is a similar thing. She was so involved with the writing of this very important moment that she forgot that snakes don't visibly open and close their eyes because they physically can't. All the 'subtlety' in the world cannot make a snake wink. Apart from the wink, the interaction includes head gestures and pointing with the tail which are all physically possible for snakes. Even the 'talking' is completely possible because we all know that snakes make all sorts of hisses, and Harry understand this language (though he does not realize it at the time).

That's all I meant by my previous posts regarding this topic, so I don't think I'm disagreeing with anyone - just pointing out one aspect of this scene which really stands out as an error to me.

EDIT: Is [Petunia] really spying on the neighbors or is she constantly in fear of a wizard finding out Harry lives at #4 Privet Drive and causing harm to her family?

I think it's a bit of both.


Soul Search - Jul 17, 2008 8:11 am (#158 of 925)

Just how much Vernon knows about the wizarding world and why he hates it, magic, and Harry with such intensity is never really explained.

In the first chapter we see Vernon knows that Petunia's sister is a "weirdo" and that there are other "weirdoes" around but there is no mention of magic. Vernon seems more annoyed with the "weirdoes" than fearful of them. He might be a little afraid of mentioning the "weirdoes" to Petunia, but that's all.

In the second chapter Vernon knows a little of magic but not too much about it. His annoyance has turned to hate and he has included Harry in that hate. Petunia and Dumbledore's letter are Vernon's only sources of information about magic. Even after Deathly Hallows the reason for Vernon's intense hatred of magic still remains a question.

Quinn Crockett makes a good interpretation for Petunia's actions. Is she really spying on the neighbors or is she constantly in fear of a wizard finding out Harry lives at #4 Privet Drive and causing harm to her family?


Solitaire - Jul 17, 2008 9:36 am (#159 of 925)

I think Petunia's behavior may be a combination of fear--fear of what might happen to her and her family at the hands of Harry's enemies and fear of what could happen to them socially if her "secret" were to become known--and jealousy. Harry thinks, when Hagrid comments about him not knowing anything, that he always got pretty good marks in school. I'm guessing Dudley's marks were less than stellar. I suspect this is why Uncle Vernon encourages the bully in Dudley; he knows it's useless to hope for academic achievement.

For me, Uncle Vernon represents that element in any society who hate and fear what they do not understand. They are too lazy to try and understand the unfamiliar--they prefer to remain ignorant--so they ridicule it (he calls James and Lily "weirdoes") and try to "stamp it out," as Vernon did with Harry.

Solitaire


freshwater - Jul 17, 2008 9:54 am (#160 of 925)

Motorcycles don't fly! shouted Vernon, almost wrecking the new car. Vernon nearly explodes, angry because Harry continues to exhibit signs of non-normalcy.--tandaradei

Excellent points about wanting/demanding/expecting others to behave in a manner we deem "normal", tandaradei (and the terrible lengths some are willing to go to in order to obtain that **shudder**). What I find interesting in this example (above) is that in Harry's response to Vernon he says, "I know they don't...it was only a dream." It was Vernon's expectation that Harry would be strange that caused him to shout, not any actual strange behavior or belief of Harry's.

The Vanishing Glass is the name of this chapter. I think it is symbolic of the vanishing barrier between the magical world and the mundane for Harry. Windows are something that can be looked through, but not gotten through easily unless somehow opened. In the first chapter Vernon could ignore the window by the simple expedience of keeping his back to the it and not looking, so he could enjoy a perfectly normal, owl-free morning. Now it is not so easy to ignore the window.--Mrs. Brisbee

Brilliant insight and summary, Mrs. B.!


Julia H. - Jul 17, 2008 11:18 am (#161 of 925)

I am beginning to feel sorry for the Dursleys. It must be terrible to live with that great fear for so many years, never really trying to do anything about it.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 17, 2008 3:00 pm (#162 of 925)

Ramb, I'm not really quite sure what you're disagreeing with.

This is the part. Harry could easily have talked to the snake without having it wink.

The reason Harry couldn't have easily talked to the snake was that JKR (imho) did not want it overtly obvious that Harry and the snake were speaking Parseltongue. Harry may have been quietly hissing to the snake (something that Piers noticed although he didn't say it as hissing). I think more Muggles would have noticed if a boy and a snake were hissing at each other but the snake did not hiss back. It just made motions for Harry to read the sign. Only when the snake escaped did it say anything and no one thought that the snake was saying anything special to Harry.


PeskyPixie - Jul 17, 2008 4:07 pm (#163 of 925)

Ramb, I agree with you: Harry has a conversation with the snake at the zoo. He talks to it (in what he believes at the time is English) and the snake replies with body language (until the very end). They must both be discreet during this interaction.

I understand the wink's significance. I've always understood it. The connection between boy and snake needs to begin inconspicuously, hence the wink. It catches Harry's attention, then after making sure that no one is watching, he winks back and the private conversation begins.

Still, how does a snake wink if it doesn't have 'eyelids'? (The name for their transparent lids has slipped my mind; can't say when it'll come back!) If JKR hadn't included the bit about the napping snake waking up and 'opening' its eyes, I could accept author's licence in regards to a description of some sort of snakey wink. JKR is great with words. If anyone could describe, with a minimum of words, a snake's version of a wink without eyelids, she could.

However, the snake could just as easily have woken up (without the description of it 'opening' its eyes) and looked Harry straight in the face (as it does in PS/SS), then given a curt nod of the head in greeting (or a soft hissy 'Psst'!). Harry could have checked to make sure no one was watching him (as he does in the book) and nodded back.

I realize how cute the wink is and its significance to the scene. However, making a snake wink is the equivalent of a running goldfish, a talking koala or a flying penguin. These things may all be possible in fiction, but the HP world tends to be very realistic even though the books are about magic. That's always been the beauty of the books for me, and therefore this snake with fluttering eyelids bothers me. I guess others can overlook this inaccuracy, but it's hard for me to do so due to personal interests.

A 100 Galleon prize will be given to the person who brings me evidence that the serpent in question did in fact have beautiful, heavy, opaque eyelids which it could open and close at leisure.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 17, 2008 4:22 pm (#164 of 925)

I'm not sure why it matters whether or not a snake can, in fact, "wink" in the context of a story where people regularly do things like sticking their heads into a fireplace to talk to someone far away and fly using ordinary broomsticks; where giant talking spiders live alongside unicorns and centaurs, and House Elves do all of the school laundry.

Or, look at it this way: to the ordinary Muggle eye, snakes do not wink, blink or catnap. But to a wizard, particularly a Parselmouth, the heretofore invisible facial expressions of this reptile are as bold and vivid as a clown face.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 17, 2008 4:29 pm (#165 of 925)

Or, look at it this way: to the ordinary Muggle eye, snakes do not wink, blink or catnap. But to a wizard, particularly a Parselmouth, the heretofore invisible facial expressions of this reptile are as bold and vivid as a clown face.

Interesting take on it. I'd buy that.


tandaradei - Jul 17, 2008 6:25 pm (#166 of 925)

This is interesting. I'm of the mind the snake magically winked and Jo maybe should have taken more science. (more hyper-fan-wanking. )

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Here's a Chap 2 sentence:

...[cut]...Aunt Petunia often said that Dudley looked like a baby angel - Harry often said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig...[cut]...

PS, Ch 2, p.21 US

This appears a compound sentence where both sides are syntactically identical. Since both sides are so similar, are both equal in psychological force? I get no impression whatsoever that Harry is intimidated into thinking in any way his Aunt and Uncle want to force him to think. Actually, Harry seems to be equal to their effort. (At least, syntactically.) One expects that both Aunt Petunia and Harry are saying their stuff in an almost an identical way. What I’m trying to say is that this hints that Harry never backs down to pressure - even now while he lives under a stair.


PeskyPixie - Jul 17, 2008 6:26 pm (#167 of 925)

I'm not sure why it matters whether or not a snake can, in fact, "wink" in the context of a story where people regularly do things like sticking their heads into a fireplace to talk to someone far away and fly using ordinary broomsticks; where giant talking spiders live alongside unicorns and centaurs, and House Elves do all of the school laundry.

Quinn, it may not matter to you and many others however, believe it or not, it matters to me.

I am aware of the magical nature of these books, but assumed that a regular animal in a Muggle zoo had the anatomy of a regular animal. Trust me, I would have had the same reaction if a lion had begun flying around in excitement at the sight of Harry near his enclosure. ("Um, how is that lion flying? Lions don't have wings ... oh, I see, the lion had his 'go-go-Gadget' wings in his pocket ... but why does he have a pocket?" )

Or, look at it this way: to the ordinary Muggle eye, snakes do not wink, blink or catnap. But to a wizard, particularly a Parselmouth, the heretofore invisible facial expressions of this reptile are as bold and vivid as a clown face.

I have considered this option (it's how I've always rationalized this winking snake in my mind), but then I always felt as if I was 'explaining away' another mistake. However, I guess that's the best way to make it work. Hey, when you've got magic as Plan B nearly everything can be bended to fit in. A magical wink it is! (I'll say that because Harry is a Parselmouth he 'gets' what the snake wants to convey to him. )

BTW, snakes do catnap. I never said that they didn't. My only issue was with giving it a physical feature it lacks.

EDIT: What I’m trying to say is that this hints that Harry never backs down to pressure - even now while he lives under a stair.

Yes! That caught my eye as well. Harry is not a power-hungry maniac like Tom Riddle, but he is not breaking down in his situation either. An extraordinary kid.


freshwater - Jul 17, 2008 6:26 pm (#168 of 925)

I don't mean to rush anything....but I've got notes for ch. 3 ready to go if we are ready to push on....or shall we give it another day or so on ch. 2?


tandaradei - Jul 17, 2008 6:29 pm (#169 of 925)

hehe, I'm of the slow crowd, wanting to analyze every jot and tiddle to death ... but actually I've already read way too much further on (happens every time I involve myself in the story); I'm happy whatever.


PeskyPixie - Jul 17, 2008 6:31 pm (#170 of 925)

Freshwater, as I am finally a member of the Gold Star Club, I'll use up another post to let you know that I am in agreement with tandaradei.




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Three Notes/Summary - post #171

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:45 am



freshwater - Jul 17, 2008 7:20 pm (#171 of 925)

While still unsure it either of those responses was a 'go ahead' or a 'no, let's wait'....here are some thoughts about ch. 3....anyone who still has comments about ch. 2 can, of course, still chime in.

Chapter Three - The Letters From No One

--we learn of “Harry Hunting” by Dudley and his gang of juvenile delinquents

===========================

--I love the way JKR uses humor to reveal Harry’s spirit:

1) when Dudley threatens to put his head in a toilet, Harry pretends to misunderstand him: “No, thanks; the poor toilet's never had anything as horrible as your head down it - it might be sick.” Then he ran before Dudley could work out what he’d said.”

2) “Get the mail, Dudley,” said Uncle Vernon from behind his paper.

“Make Harry get it.”

“Get the mail, Harry.”

“Make Dudley get it.”

==============================

--she also allows Harry to show some anger and his still intact sense of self:

“That’s mine!” said Harry, trying to snatch it back... “I want to read it,” said Harry furiously, “as it’s mine,”...”I WANT MY LETTER!” he shouted.

=============================

--the letters:

1) (Tuesday): 1 letter: addressed to The Cupboard Under the Stairs

2) (Wednesday): 1 letter: addressed to The Smallest Bedroom

3) (Thursday): 3 letters arrive through the door slot right on top of Uncle Vernon

4) Friday: 12 letters arrive, pushed through various slots, crevices in the house

5) Saturday: 24 letters arrive inside of 2 dozen eggs, delivered by a very “confused” milkman (can you say “Confundus”? **smirk** or "Obliviate"? or..."Imperius"? )

6) Sunday: 30 or 40 letters whiz out of the fireplace; followed by many more; the Dursleys leave the house on a road trip

7) Monday: about 100 letters arrive at the hotel desk; Vernon takes his family to the house on the rock in the ocean

8 ) Tuesday, July 31: just after midnight Hagrid, sent by Dumbledore, arrives to deliver one letter in person

Hmmmm....I thought Hogwarts letters were supposed to arrive on your 11th birthday; but Harry’s first letter came one week early!

BTW...congrats on your goldstar status, P.P.!




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Three Comments - posts #172 to #202

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:23 am



PeskyPixie - Jul 17, 2008 7:24 pm (#172 of 925)

I love the addresses on the envelopes! They confirm Petunia's and Vernon's idea that they may be under surveillance. I suppose it's some sort of Magical letter addressing system?

Harry's quips are great. Brains over brawn anyone?


tandaradei - Jul 17, 2008 9:08 pm (#173 of 925)

Well, I thought Chapter 3 was where the ball really got rolling. FYI, I was watching Johnny Carson the night Tiny Tim sang his "tiptoe through the tulips." He actually played the ukulele fairly well. But how could Jo possibly remember or know all this? I think Tiny Tim got married in Britain, maybe that's it.

(OK I decided to become a gold star too. Not expensive, but don't like web transactions. Decided for a full 2 yrs because that sounds about right for this read along, hehe.)


Solitaire - Jul 17, 2008 9:44 pm (#174 of 925)

Quinn: I'm not sure why it matters whether or not a snake can, in fact, "wink" in the context of a story where people regularly do things like sticking their heads into a fireplace to talk to someone far away and fly using ordinary broomsticks; where giant talking spiders live alongside unicorns and centaurs, and House Elves do all of the school laundry.

I think this is the point ... it's called willing suspension of disbelief. We agree to put aside our disbelief of the unbelievable or unscientific, so that we can "participate" in the story with the characters.

Solitaire


PeskyPixie - Jul 17, 2008 10:00 pm (#175 of 925)

Soli, Quinn's fine with willing suspension of disbelief. I was the one who had a problem with it regarding the winking snake. I'm afraid that accepting that Harry, as a Parselmouth, understands the snake's playful mood and thus 'sees' the wink is the best explanation for me.

I personally feel that JKR forgot about snakes having transparent eyelids when she wrote the scene, but that seems to be an unpopular opinion at the moment so I won't push it.


Solitaire - Jul 17, 2008 10:14 pm (#176 of 925)

Pesky, I was agreeing that Quinn has it right. I suppose Jo could rewrite that chapter to be more scientifically accurate ... but then the incident would lose some of its charm. Like Quinn, I just put it aside, since it does not affect my understanding or enjoyment of the novel and I don't think there is some mysterious reason for its having been put there. Perhaps Jo's knowledge of snakes is like her handling of math.

Solitaire


PeskyPixie - Jul 17, 2008 10:27 pm (#177 of 925)

That's what it is, Soli. (BTW, I knew you were agreeing with Quinn)

Unfortunately, for someone such as myself the inaccuracies with the math and the snake opening its closed eyes really take away from the story.

That's just me though. We're all different and I'm glad that the rest of you have no problem with it.


Solitaire - Jul 17, 2008 10:39 pm (#178 of 925)

Pesky, I do have problems with some "liberties" authors take. For example, I hate when they "rewrite" historical fact for the sake of a story ... unless we are told somewhere that the story in question is historical fantasy fiction!


PeskyPixie - Jul 17, 2008 11:01 pm (#179 of 925)

I'm not a fan of historical rewrites either. I guess the sense of reality in a fictional story is heightened for me when the facts (be they historical, chronological, scientific, etc.) are an accurate backdrop for the story.

In HP I'm fine when "people regularly do things like sticking their heads into a fireplace to talk to someone far away and fly using ordinary broomsticks; where giant talking spiders live alongside unicorns and centaurs, and House Elves do all of the school laundry," because it is made known to us that these are facts in the Magical world. However, JKR contrasts a world where dragons and unicorns exist with the Muggle world which is exactly as we are familiar with. JKR tends not to mess with the rules of the Muggle world. Thus, the snake with visibly opening and closing eyelids does seem like an error on her part (like Hedwig's nocturnal hunting trips). And for someone like me, it's disturbing.

However, we've settled on the magical wink for those who cannot willingly suspend disbelief (i.e. me!).


rcs - Jul 18, 2008 12:33 am (#180 of 925)

Didn't the snake wink in the film as well? Does anyone know how they filmed that part, considering they were (presumably) using a real snake (which, of course, lacked opaque eyelids)?


Joanna Lupin - Jul 18, 2008 4:04 am (#181 of 925)

I had no clue snakes cannot wink before this discussion started.


Anna L. Black - Jul 18, 2008 8:15 am (#182 of 925)

Saturday: 24 letters arrive inside of 2 dozen eggs, delivered by a very “confused” milkman (can you say “Confundus”? **smirk** or "Obliviate"? or..."Imperius"? ) - freshwater

I thought the milkman was confused because he "had handed Aunt Petunia [the eggs] through the living room window". But maybe I'm wrong


Soul Search - Jul 18, 2008 8:38 am (#183 of 925)

Have we seen any other owl posts so accurately addressed as "Cupboard Under the Stairs?" McGonagall sends the Hogwarts invitations (her name is on the letters.) (She dresses in green and uses green ink for letters.) Even with all the magic we have seen, how does McGonagall know where Harry sleeps? He really is being watched closely.

The Dursleys question if Harry is being watched:

Vernon, Aunt Petunia was saying in a quivering voice, "look at the address -- how could they possibly know where he sleeps? You don't think they're watching the house?"

Watching -- spying -- might be following us, muttered Uncle Vernon wildly.

The earlier citation when Dedalus Diggle bowed to Harry in a shop showed Petunia very nervous of meeting a wizard. Now, it seems, wizards are watching #4 Privet Drive. They know she has been mistreating Harry. Guilt, anyone? Maybe they think moving Harry into "The Smallest Bedroom" will make up for ten years of mistreating him.

Vernon goes a bit wild, running away from #4 Privet Drive and trying to hide from the wizards watching Harry. Harry references Vernon's mad dash to outrun the letters in Deathly Hallows with: "And if you remember the last time you tried to outrun wizards, I think you'll agree you need help."

So far neither Harry, nor we readers, have a clear idea that there is a wizarding world. Lots of hints by now, but nothing definite. The whole bit with the letters is building up to Hagrid's arrival and his pronouncement that Harry is a wizard.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 18, 2008 9:28 am (#184 of 925)

Petunia's worst fears seem to have been confirmed here. Despite her best efforts, wizards unknown clearly know exactly who and where Harry is at all times.

I agree that despite all the Dursleys' best efforts, Harry retains a certain confidence in who he is - even if that means only that he is nothing at all like them.

Also, there is definitely a sort of increasing urgency in the letters reaching Harry. The Wizarding world is almost literally calling to him. We are told (in DH, I think) that for Muggle-born children, someone comes in person to explain everything. But in Harry's case, Dumbledore et al have no reason, at this point, to believe that Harry would not have understood what receiving his Hogwarts letter means. Still, I wonder whether similar measures would have been taken for any other wizard child.


Orion - Jul 18, 2008 9:32 am (#185 of 925)

IMO, the letters were magically addressed. No wizard or witch knew Harry slept under the stairs. If we accept that an owl can find any destination under the sun just because it's written on a letter we must also assume that a magical quill spells a person's correct address and sometimes it has a mischievous streak and humiliates bad foster parents. It's "more magical" that way.


Solitaire - Jul 18, 2008 10:15 am (#186 of 925)

It makes sense, Orion. I wondered about that, because when Harry sends Hedwig to find Sirius, he does not know where he is ... even in which hemisphere. Yet I would assume the letters have an address on them, and how could Harry have put it there? Perhaps, once the owl locates the recipient, the specific address magically appears???


Soul Search - Jul 18, 2008 10:42 am (#187 of 925)

Well, I still wonder about the addressing. We have seen Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys get their Hogwarts letters and no special mention is made of which bedroom they are in. My thought was McGonagall was making a special effort with the Dursleys to pay them back for mistreating Harry. And not giving Harry his letter.

Obviously, she passed the problem up to Dumbledore, who dispatched Hagrid. Again.


freshwater - Jul 18, 2008 1:20 pm (#188 of 925)

IMO, the letters were magically addressed.--Orion

That's what I always thought, too. After all, if a magical quill automatically records the birth of every witch/wizard, it's not much of a stretch to have a spell set up to send out a letter 11 years later.

Perhaps, once the owl locates the recipient, the specific address magically appears???--Solitaire

Interesting concept, Solitaire....and well within the realms of magic, too, I would say.

My thought was McGonagall was making a special effort with the Dursleys to pay them back for mistreating Harry.--Soul Search

Is there any indication in canon that McGonagall has any direct contact or responsibility for the letters? The color of her ink, and her signature are hints...but could also simply be the result of a spell she casts or monitors....or that a house-elf casts at her request, as an assistant or a secretary might do.


tandaradei - Jul 18, 2008 3:23 pm (#189 of 925)

I'm wondering if this isn't what I've elsewhere, "Hogwarts Magic." Remember how, a few chapters later, when the students on the train are told to leave their luggage wherever it is, which luggage will be in their rooms after the meal? I'm thinking that was Hogwarts magic (or at least house elves). Same thing in DH: Dumbledore told Harry not to worry about his luggage, and it just ends up at the Weasleys. I'm thinking those in charge of Hogwarts have special access to "Hogwarts Magic," which itself does many magical things (cf Room of Requirement).


PeskyPixie - Jul 18, 2008 3:45 pm (#190 of 925)

Didn't the snake wink in the film as well? Does anyone know how they filmed that part, considering they were (presumably) using a real snake (which, of course, lacked opaque eyelids)?

rcs, I haven't seen PS/SS in a while, but if my memory serves me correctly, a CG snake (and it was a Burmese python instead of a Brazilian boa constrictor) was used for the wink and the conversation with Harry.


Solitaire - Jul 18, 2008 3:50 pm (#191 of 925)

In HBP, I thought Dumbledore sent Hedwig and Harry's trunk to the Burrow, so that they would not be bogged down with them while going to see Sluggy. Would that have been a Banishing Charm or something else? I mean they did want everything to go to a specific place, not just "away" from them.

EDIT: it was a Burmese python instead of a Brazilian boa constrictor ... used for the wink and the conversation with Harry.

Since when have the movies been concerned with accuracy, Pesky? I guess we're lucky it was at least a big snake instead of a dog or something!

Solitaire


tandaradei - Jul 18, 2008 4:38 pm (#192 of 925)

Solitaire said:

...[cut]...In HBP, I thought Dumbledore sent Hedwig and Harry's trunk to the Burrow, so that they would not be bogged down with them while going to see Sluggy. Would that have been a Banishing Charm or something else? I mean they did want everything to go to a specific place, not just "away" from them....[cut]...

My idea was that the ROR, the Ceiling of the Main Hall, the relocations of baggage (& Hedwig), etc., were not the result of, say Dumbledore's magical talents ... as much as of the Hogwarts Institution, of which the Headmaster had rule over.

I'm not saying that DD couldn't Disapparate the luggage to the Burrow; only that it seems more streamlined for him to merely employ the Hogwarts magic instead...


Quinn Crockett - Jul 18, 2008 4:47 pm (#193 of 925)

Is there any indication in canon that McGonagall has any direct contact or responsibility for the letters?

Her signature is on the Letter itself. ("Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress"). Therefore, one assumes she is responsible for sending the letters out to those whose names appear on "the List" provided by the Magic Quill.

If I recall correctly, this is they way JKR explained it also, when she explained about the Quill.


tandaradei - Jul 18, 2008 5:33 pm (#194 of 925)

How about Rita Skeeter's quill? It said much more than Rita could have written while interviewing, but always within Rita's personality.

Perhaps this is something similar?


Solitaire - Jul 18, 2008 7:18 pm (#195 of 925)

Tandaradei, I believe Hogwarts has its own system of getting students' possessions and owls to their owners' rooms. I might have suggested the House-Elves, but I believe they would be busy with the Welcoming Feast at that time. I was referring only to the single incident of Dumbledore sending Harry's trunk and Hedwig to the Burrow. Since Dumbledore was not at Hogwarts at this time, I assume he used his own magical skill and cast some sort of charm to simply send these things on to the Burrow. I do not think Hogwarts had anything to do with it. JM2K on this one, of course ...

I think Rita has bewitched her quill to write what she is thinking rather than what is actually being said by the interviewee. I think Umbridge has also bewitched her Evil Quill.

Solitaire


freshwater - Jul 2, 2008 8:24 pm (#196 of 925)
Edited Jul 18, 2008 7:45 pm

Given Solitaire's theories about Rita Skeeter's quill and Dolores Umbridge's quill, it's quite possible that McGonagall has an enchanted quill also, to take care of each year's 'welcome to Hogwarts' letters. I can certainly see her being "responsible" for the letters in that way....I can't picture her sitting at a desk and handwriting each and every address when the wizarding world has so many convenient charms/spells.

So, then....IF --and I admit that it's a big 'if'-- these letters are written/addressed by a magical quill, it may well be that the quill simply records the most accurate address for each incoming student, and not that anyone is necessarily scrutinizing the Dursley's and their arrangements for Harry....although I like the fact that they thought someone was keeping an eye on them.


tandaradei - Jul 18, 2008 8:54 pm (#197 of 925)

Odd that these letters are all sent from McGonagall, but the title of the Chapter says they're sent from "no one."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

This is off topic but I wanted to add this before we got further into the story.

...[cut]..."No thanks," said Harry. The poor toilet's never had anything as horrible as your head down it -- it might be sick"...[cut]...

PS, Ch 3,"The Letters from No One," p.32 US

In every aspect including humor, Harry has so far shown stalwart resistance of tyrants and bullies. Yes, he sleeps in a broom closet and such, because overwhelming forces in his life allow no other; but in every instance in which he can resist, he does so with an unquenchable flair. In the first three chapters Harry has nothing to hope for, but even the lack of hope means nothing in terms of whether he will back off from bullies, even as regards humor against them.


Solitaire - Jul 18, 2008 9:21 pm (#198 of 925)

Odd that these letters are all sent from McGonagall, but the title of the Chapter says they're sent from "no one."

I always thought that the "no one" was a play on Uncle Vernon's comment that "no one" would be writing to Harry.


PeskyPixie - Jul 18, 2008 9:44 pm (#199 of 925)

Right. You have to actually open the letter and read it to discover that's it's signed by McGonagall.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 19, 2008 6:08 am (#200 of 925)

I always thought that the "no one" was a play on Uncle Vernon's comment that "no one" would be writing to Harry.-- Solitaire

Ah, that would explain it.


tandaradei - Jul 19, 2008 11:26 am (#201 of 925)

...[cut]..."And this gentleman's kindly agreed to lend us his boat!"

A toothless old man came ambling up to them, pointing, with a rather wicked grin, at an old rowboat bobbing in the iron-gray water below them...[cut]...

PS, Ch 3,"The Letters from No One," p. 45 US.

Charon, anyone? The death of one way of life, the beginning of another?


Julia H. - Jul 19, 2008 11:31 am (#202 of 925)

Brilliant!




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Four Notes/Summary - post #203

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:27 am



freshwater - Jul 19, 2008 12:12 pm (#203 of 925)

LOVE that observation, tandaradei....well done!

I thought Hogwarts letters were supposed to arrive on your 11th birthday; but Harry’s first letter came one week early! --freshwater

Any comments on Harry's letter coming a week before his birthday?...I found it odd...could the 'magic' sending the letters have anticipated the obstructions to his receiving them?

======================================

I don't mean to rush things....but post seem to have tapered off for ch. 3, so.....

Chapter Four - The Keeper of the Keys

-- Uncle Vernon has recently purchased a rifle

-- Hagrid, before he introduces himself-- is referred to as 'the giant'

-- Hagrid is the first to tell Harry "Yeh look a lot like yer dad, but yeh've got yer mom's eyes."

-- "Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune." lets us know that Hagrid will not be intimidated by Vernon

-- Harry’s first real birthday present since his parents’ deaths: a cake from Hagrid

-- we, and Harry-- learn about Hogwarts, and some truths about his parents

-- Petunia’s reaction to this info is way over the top emotionally: "She stopped to draw a deep breath and then went ranting on. It seemed she had been wanting to say all of this for years."

-- in Hagrid’s comments we learn many things that are repeated -or become important-- in later books:

-- we learn about Lord Voldemort and the terror of saying his name

-- "Reckon Dumbledore’s the only one You-Know-Who was afraid of."

-- "That was no ordinary cut. That’s what yeh get when a powerful, evil curse touches yeh."

-- "Some say he died. Codswallop in my opinion."

-- "There was somethin’ goin’ on that night he hadn’t counted on - I don’t know what it was, no one does - but somethin’ about you stumped him, all right."

-- "Seven years there and he won’t know himself.".....foreshadowing of Harry's uncertainties in DH?

-- "I’m -er-- not supposed to do magic, strictly speakin’."

-- "Great man, Dumbledore." - DD’s generosity and Hagrid’s devotion

-- Hagrid’s pink umbrella seems to be some sort of weapon

-- Harry has previously described Dudley as "a pig in a wig" - Hagrid gives Dudley a pig’s tail; seems they are in agreement on their analysis of Dudley’s character




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Four Comments - posts #204 to #250

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:35 am



rcs - Jul 19, 2008 12:28 pm (#204 of 925)

Charon, anyone? The death of one way of life, the beginning of another? --tandaradei

Somehow I think that also describes LV's boat in the Horcrux cave in HBP.

Hagrid’s pink umbrella seems to be some sort of weapon. --freshwater

Isn't it stated later on that Hagrid's wand is hidden in there?


Orion - Jul 19, 2008 12:39 pm (#205 of 925)

--Hagrid’s pink umbrella seems to be some sort of weapon That is something that I wanted to post on the "odd" thread: When Hagrid was cleared of the accusation that he let out the monster in the basement in COS, why did he keep his umbrella? Shouldn't he have been allowed to do magic again officially? And if you need your NEWTs to do that, shouldn't he have been allowed to take extra tuition to pass his tests?

Is a wizard only a wizard if he or she has their NEWTs? How about the dropouts who don't pass their tests, are they officially Squibs who aren't allowed to do magic?


tandaradei - Jul 19, 2008 12:51 pm (#206 of 925)

freshwater said:

...[cut]...LOVE that observation, tandaradei....well done!...[cut]...

Tandaradei failed to mention that the idea first came from The Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter. Erm, anyway here's another observation from that guide:

...[cut]...The name Gringotts is a clever combination of the French word "gringou" -- meaning skinflint or miser, and the word "ingot," which is a nugget of precious metals (as in gold ingot)...[cut]...

maybe more observations later


Solitaire - Jul 19, 2008 1:00 pm (#207 of 925)

Orion, over on another thread, I think, Choices suggested that perhaps Dumbledore had mended Hagrid's wand when he was cleared of the original charges that had gotten him expelled. Since broken wands don't really do magic, based on what we saw with Harry's and Ron's broken wands, it seems the wand must have been mended at some point.

I started to say we know the Elder wand can do that, because it mended Harry's wand. But maybe the Elder wand--now Harry's wand--was able to mend his old wand because the Phoenix wand was also Harry's wand, and it had been broken by accident rather than taken against his will by force. But I guess that's an argument for another book!

As to taking OWLs and NEWTs, isn't it mentioned that some wizards are homeschooled? I wonder if they have to take OWLs and NEWTs ...?

Solitaire


Soul Search - Jul 19, 2008 1:25 pm (#208 of 925)

This chapter brings up some questions, never really answered. How did Hagrid know where to go to pickup Harry or how did Dumbledore know where to send him? Note that the letter Hagrid gives Harry is addressed, in green ink, to Mr. H. Potter, The Floor, Hut-on-the-Rock, The Sea. I still assert that Harry was being watched. Very closely. That's how McGonagall knew to send the hundred owls to the motel and how Dumbledore knew where to send Hagrid. We just never see the watchers. There is canon for watchers. There is no canon for anything else.

The Keeper of the Keys. This is the only reference for Hagrid being "The Keeper of the Keys" and the only key we ever see him with is the key to Harry's Gringotts vault. I suppose "Keeper of the Keys" sounds more important than just grounds keeper. (There may be a later, casual, reference but I can't recall where.)

How Hagrid arrived at the shack on the rock has been discussed before, with no perfect answers. It is a stormy night but there is no mention of Hagrid or his "thick black coat" being wet. Hagrid says he "flew." Harry heard a "funny crunching noise" just before Hagrid knocked down the door. Hagrid is too big for hippogriffs or thestrals. He wouldn't have brought the motorcycle and just left it there. He would have been rather wet in any case. We have never seen him Apparate. Best guess seems to be Dumbledore created a port key for him and Hagrid just said "flew" to simplify things in front of the Dursleys. Hagrid himself was the "funny crunching noise."

Hagrid says to Harry: "Las' time I saw you, you was only a baby" and, later, explains that it was he who took Harry from the ruined house and took him to the Dursleys on Dumbledore's orders. Here we learn that it is really Dumbledore who is controlling Harry's life. (When reading passages like this I want slap Harry upside-the-head for not asking questions about it. Hagrid was there and could have told Harry a lot more, but Harry doesn't even ask.)

Why doesn't Harry comment that "Hogwarts" is a strange name for a school, of any kind. We never hear of how the name came about or if it has any special meaning. Seems to be an excess of swine references in this story.

This is now the second time Hagrid has been part of an important milestone in Harry's life. We will see a few more.

This is the first we, and Harry, hear of magic, the wizarding world, and that Harry is a wizard. Now all the strange stuff in the previous chapters is, more or less, explained.

Hagrid tells Harry about Godric's Hollow, but his version is ... limited. I can't quite tell if that's how Hagrid knows the tale, or if he is carefully editing facts for Harry.


tandaradei - Jul 19, 2008 1:54 pm (#209 of 925)

How about this from UUGMPH:

...[cut]...Here's that cabbage smell again. Note that it's associated with a wizarding Apothecary -- not with food ... The reference to Mrs. Figg's house smelling like cabbage may be due to magical herbs and not because she likes to eat cabbage...[cut]...

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

& one has mentioned it as far as I can tell, but I think it's interesting that children are allowed to bring some kind of animal companion with them to Hogwarts. This animal/companion reminds me of daemons in Philip Pullman Golden Compass books.

As to "Keeper of the Keys." Jo eventually said it had little meaning , like the Piers Polkiss 'clue'... Too bad, I really liked discussing the Key thing.


freshwater - Jul 19, 2008 2:10 pm (#210 of 925)

I still assert that Harry was being watched. Very closely. That's how McGonagall knew to send the hundred owls to the motel and how Dumbledore knew where to send Hagrid. We just never see the watchers. There is canon for watchers. There is no canon for anything else.--Soul Search

I must admit that you have a good point there, SS.

(When reading passages like this I want slap Harry upside-the-head for not asking questions about it. Hagrid was there and could have told Harry a lot more, but Harry doesn't even ask.)--Soul Search

From ch. 2, "The Vanishing Glass": "Don't ask questions --that was the first rule of a quite life with the Dursleys." Scholastic paperback ed. p.20

I can understand your frustration, S.S....and this has come up all through the series as fans have wondered why Harry hasn't asked more about his parents, why he never questions DD, etc......old habits die hard, as they say.


Solitaire - Jul 19, 2008 2:16 pm (#211 of 925)

I want slap Harry upside-the-head for not asking questions

Remember that, for all the years he has been with the Dursleys, Harry has been trained NOT to ask questions. Also, he is a child and probably still in a bit of a state of shock. It's too bad the adults in his new magical world didn't offer him the opportunities to ask questions.

When he did get older and began to ask questions about what was happening to him, consider what "satisfying" answers he received!


PeskyPixie - Jul 19, 2008 2:46 pm (#212 of 925)

With Hagrid's arrival Harry is finally favoured over Dudley. He's finally fed well (while Dudley goes hungry).

Petunia refers to witches and wizards as freaks, just as she did as a young girl.

I just realized that this Petunia that we are first introduced to has actually been on Platform nine and three quarters! She knows just how wonderful the Magical world and is horribly bitter for being excluded from this wondrous world while her little sister has gained acceptance to it. I wonder if the Evanses did enough to support Petunia through this life-altering disappointment?

From Hagrid's story we learn that chances are that Voldy won't attack Hogwarts while Dumbledore is in the picture ... a major plotline in HBP.

Voldy never tried to recruit Lily and James into the Death Eaters. I had forgotten that. So, 'thrice defied' definitely refers to attacks the Potters escaped rather than attempts by Voldy to make them switch sides.

At this early stage, does Vernon really think he is doing Harry a favour ('tough love'?) in order to make him 'normal'?

Has anyone done the math on when Hagrid became gamekeeper? I'm guessing he was an apprentice at first (didn't Arthur and Molly have a different gamekeeper?)

With the conversation with the boa and knowledge of Hagrid's expulsion, JKR has brilliantly set us up for CS, and PS/SS has barely begun!


tandaradei - Jul 19, 2008 3:01 pm (#213 of 925)

Chapter 4 is the first chapter I really enjoy reading over and over, maybe because we are finally getting into Harry's world.

I think Hagrid leaves a permanent and wonderfully good impression on Harry:

Hagrid totally overwhelms the overwhelming Dursleys;

Hagrid feels for Harry; he identifies with Harry and is offended for Harry's sake;

Hagrid is wild and uncivilized; the opposite of Dursley normalcy;

This wildness tells Harry that he can really fit in somewhere, but just not in the Dursley world; Harry comes to realize there's a real "home" for him out there;

Hagrid opens the door to Harry's finding his parents. True Harry doesn't ask enough right now, but that is how he was trained.

Hagrid pays attention to Harry: birthday cake for him, stories that should connect with him ... food and fire, which are all meant to help Harry feel comfortable (hardly a Dursley tendency!)

Hagrid's approach is simple and direct; and even his evasions are very easy to see and understand


Soul Search - Jul 19, 2008 5:52 pm (#214 of 925)

PeskyPixie reminded that Deathly Hallows showed us Petunia knew about the wizarding world and had wanted to be a part of it.

Vernon says "We swore when we took him in we'd put a stop to that rubbish," ... "swore we'd stamp it out of him! Wizard indeed!"

But now we can read something more into Petunia's motivation. She saw her sister going off to Hogwarts, and she knew Harry would get a letter too. She didn't want him, too, going off to a magical place she couldn't go. Jealousy rears its ugly head again.

Even the little bits we learned of Petunia and Lily in Deathly Hallows really helps us better define Petunia's character. Before Deathly Hallows we discussed if, maybe, Petunia cared a little for Harry and her attempts to mother him might be being suppressed by Vernon. Not so. With the new Deathly Hallows storyline we see Petunia is every bit as nasty as suggested in the first few chapters. This chapter gives us the basis for Petunia's attitude toward Harry, but we need to reread it with Deathly Hallows in mind:

Knew! shrieked Aunt Petunia suddenly. "Knew! Of course we knew! How could you not be, my dratted sister being what she was? Oh, she got a letter just like that and disappeared off to that-that school-and came home every vacation with her pockets full of frogspawn, turning teacups into rats. I was the only one who saw her for what she was -- a freak! But for my mother and father, oh no, it was Lily this and Lily that, they were proud of having a witch in the family!"

She stopped to draw a deep breath and then went ranting on. It seemed she had been wanting to say all this for years.

Then she met that Potter at school and they left and got married and had you, and of course I knew you'd be just the same, just as strange, just as -- as -- abnormal -- and then, if you please, she went and got herself blown up and we got landed with you!

I knew you'd be just the same, just as strange ... She dumps all her resentment of Lily onto Harry! And she has been doing this since she found him on the doorstep. It’s amazing she didn't drop him in the Thames in a sack with a brick!

No wonder Dumbledore had Harry watched so closely. He was afraid of what Petunia might do!


rcs - Jul 19, 2008 9:53 pm (#215 of 925)

With the new Deathly Hallows storyline we see Petunia is every bit as nasty as suggested in the first few chapters. --Soul Search

I don't know, though. Wasn't there a bit in DH where it seemed as if Petunia was about to wish Harry well, but then just couldn't quite bring herself to do it? That seems to suggest that she has some measure of decency left (unlike Vernon), despite having repressed it for so many years.

Just a thought.


Mrs. Sirius - Jul 19, 2008 10:33 pm (#216 of 925)

I knew you'd be just the same, just as strange ... She dumps all her resentment of Lily onto Harry! And she has been doing this since she found him on the doorstep. It’s amazing she didn't drop him in the Thames in a sack with a brick! Soul Search

Isn't this also like Snape, he dumps all his resentment about James -on Harry. -Same arrogant swagger-. paraphrase from PoA


Solitaire - Jul 19, 2008 11:57 pm (#217 of 925)

I agree, Mrs. Sirius, that both Snape and Petunia dump their negative feelings about Harry's parents (different, of course) on Harry. Harry has never had a chance of fairness from either of them. Based on their respective prejudices, they see him as they expect (and maybe even want) to see him ... not as he really is. As far as Snape is concerned, this is pretty well confirmed by Dumbledore (in DH), who counters Snape's criticisms of Harry as mediocre and arrogant by pointing out what his other instructors have said of his ability and demeanor and what Dumbledore himself has seen.

Solitaire


Julia H. - Jul 20, 2008 5:10 am (#218 of 925)

Still, there is the important difference that Snape is willing to change his way of life, his mentality etc. and is willing to run great dangers in order to keep Harry alive, while Petunia, though she takes Harry in, will not change a jot for his sake but does her best to ignore him. Then again, however determined Snape is to see only James when Harry is in front of him, deep down he also connects Harry to Lily, so his attitude to Harry is much more complicated than Petunia's.

So Petunia sees Lily in Harry and hates him because of that.

Sirius sees James in Harry and loves him because of that.

Snape sees James in Harry so he loathes him but he also sees Lily's son in Harry and secretly protects him because of that.


Orion - Jul 20, 2008 5:54 am (#219 of 925)

Funny, Julia. Do people really do that? Was your own attitude towards a person ever influenced by your attitude towards the parents? Does anybody have similar experiences? Who cares about the parents when they get to know new people?


Julia H. - Jul 20, 2008 6:06 am (#220 of 925)

Well, this is what these people seem to be doing. Poor Harry. Of course, it is a very unhealthy attitude but these three people do have serious problems, don't they? They cannot get over things that happened in the past.


freshwater - Jul 20, 2008 7:02 am (#221 of 925)

I understand your point, Orion, that people should not judge someone based on their parents' actions/money/etc.....but when a child misbehaves or has a disrespectful attitude, don't we tend to make judgments about his/her parents and the kind of people they may be? This is just the turnaround: disliking something about the parents would tend to cause you to expect that same behavior/disappointment/etc in the child.

Don't Harry/et al (especially Ron?) have this same sort of prejudice about Draco? Granted, Draco is an unpleasant, snobbish, taunting little buzzard, so he brings a lot of that on himself...still, much of their hatred for Draco is based upon their hatred/distrust of Lucius (based on his possibly being a former DE and his maneuverings in the Ministry and Hogwarts). In HBP, Harry tries to report Draco's being up to no good...but does he ever go to DD and suggest that Draco may be in trouble and in need of help? It was DD's openness to Draco making his own choices, and DD's expectation that he would make good/better choices, that ultimately led to Draco's redemption (of sorts) in DH, and that of his parents. The ripple effects of anti-prejudice, perhaps?

I'm not endorsing this kind of judging, BTW, but I think it may be a part of human nature --not one of the better parts, of course-- to have these expectations, at least until something disproves them. That may be the worst crime of Vernon/Petunia, Snape and Sirius: they receive new --and contradicting-- information, but refuse to allow it to alter their previously set feelings in regards to certain people. That is prejudice in action.

Reminds me of the humorous saying, "Don't confuse me with the facts --my mind is made up."

===========================

We never did form a consensus on a format for the discussions for this series re-read.....and it now occurs to me that having additional topic folders such as "prejudice" or "choices" might be useful....or might be fragmenting. I'll set up a poll thread (in the Votes folder) about this later today. Please go over and make your feelings known so that we can set up the format that will serve us best.


Julia H. - Jul 20, 2008 8:22 am (#222 of 925)
Edited Jul 20, 2008 8:59 am

Unfortunately, this is a circular process. It is the simplest in Petunia's case, I think, because her prejudice is against someone who can do magic. She "knows" in advance that Harry will be "just like Lily", meaning "he will have magical talents". This indeed happens to be so: every instance of accidental child magic confirms Petunia's initial suspicion and then the letter arrives... We, of course, know that having magical abilities is not a good reason to hate someone but Petunia is jealous of Harry for a real reason (although I do not claim to know what her attitude would have been if Harry had turned out to be a Squib).

Snape's case is different: While he is prejudiced against Harry from the start, soon enough Harry reacts by behaving the way Snape expects him to. I know Harry is different with other teachers but Snape, in his own case, also sees his prejudice confirmed. Harry breaks the rules, lies to him, gives "arrogant" or at least impertinent answers to him and never attempts to show Snape his "good side". So Snape makes Harry become what he originally expects him to be, which then "confirms" that Snape has been right all along and it gets more and more difficult to break out of this circular process (not that either of them seems to want to).

Then here is my often-repeated theory that subconsciously somewhere deep down, Snape does not simply expect Harry to be just like James but he also expects Harry to hate him and to despise him because of what he did. He keeps his secret a secret but he probably feels this is how Harry "should feel" towards him and, subconsciously again (under the pretext that Harry is the second edition of James), he makes Harry feel just what he thinks Harry would/should feel anyway if he knew.

Then Sirius: Harry spends only a very short time under the living Sirius's influence; however, he notices that his godfather approves of things that Harry does when they are similar to what James would have done and we all see him disapprove at least once when Harry does not want to risk as James would have wanted. Since Harry is proud of his father (at least until he sees him in the Pensieve) and he loves Sirius, he probably tries to meet these expectations to some extent - at least when they do not interfere with basic common sense or with his anxiety about Sirius's safety. Besides, he has indeed inherited a few traits from James, which probably receive more emphasis after he gets to know Sirius a little better. As a result, Sirius's attitude ("Harry equals James") seems to be justified.


freshwater - Jul 20, 2008 9:05 am (#223 of 925)

Very insightful and compelling argument you've made there, Julia. I love that, even though these inner workings are not explicitly played out in canon, the behaviour/comments/thoughts of the characters is consistent with these logical and very human ideas. Well done, JRK!


Soul Search - Jul 20, 2008 10:02 am (#224 of 925)
Edited Jul 20, 2008 10:41 am

Julia H., I like your overall comments, but this in particular:

... he also expects Harry to hate him and to despise him because of what he did.

I haven't seen this observation before. Snape is responsible for the death of Harry's parents. He tried to prevent Lily's, and only Lily's, death but failed. Harry has good reason to hate him, if he only knew the whole truth, so Snape treats Harry as if he did know the truth and did hate him.

This really fits rather well.

I think, though, that this applies only to Harry/Snape and not to Petunia or Vernon.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Just a few more comments on this chapter.

Hagrid tries to explain why Voldemort went after Harry's parents so he doesn't know Voldemort was really after Harry. Voldemort's attempt to kill Harry was "a real myst'ry." Dumbledore kept that a real secret. He does say the Potters were close to Dumbledore, but that might just mean they were in the Order.

I wonder how anyone knew Voldemort tried to kill Harry?

We have references to Voldemort killing the McKinnons, Bones, and Prewetts. Later we will learn the Bones were relatives of Susan and the Prewetts were Molly Weasley's relatives. I can't recall any other references to the McKinnons. Were they in Mad Eye's picture?

We have wondered what happened to Voldemort's body, that is, was there one after Godric's Hollow. Hagrid says he "Disappeared. Vanished." It occurs to me that Hagrid was there shortly after it happened. He fetched Harry from the ruined house and couldn't have missed Voldemort's body. We have no other examples of a body disappearing, but we will have to accept it. Had there been a body, it would have been more difficult for Dumbledore to claim Voldemort would be back.

But, with no body for evidence, how did everyone know Voldemort was dead?

Dudley gets a pig's tail. Another swine reference.

Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts. Background for CoS.

Hagrid gives Harry his coat to sleep under. Hagrid has warmed Harry, fed him, and given him a warm coat to sleep under. How great is that. Harry's dream of someone coming to take him away came true big time.


Julia H. - Jul 20, 2008 11:28 am (#225 of 925)

Freshwater and Soul Search, thanks for your comments. Soul Search, I would like to make one little correction: in the beginning at least, IMO, Snape does not treat Harry as if Harry already hated him but rather as if he "wanted" (subconsciously) Harry to know that he should not trust Snape. The difference is Snape's guilt, his own judgment of himself and, consequently, his assessment of what Harry should feel.

Perhaps if Harry treated Snape with the same basic respect and trust as the other teachers, Snape feelings of guilt would increase intolerably at least as long as he is not ready to confess his guilt to him (although the overall outcome could be better). So Snape (subconsciously) chooses to make Harry distrust him right at the beginning rather than face the choice of either "deceiving" Harry (by accepting his undeserved respect) or, to avoid this, having to make a humiliating confession supposedly with the same result of distrust, hostility and contempt.

I guess his insistence on receiving "formal" gestures of respect from Harry (calling him sir) indicates this deep conviction that there can be no real respect between them. It is part of the wall he builds around himself because he must go on living and remain relatively sane even with Harry Potter as part of his everyday life.

Now back to the chapter: Great comments, Soul Search. I have always wondered how DD knows what exactly happened in Godric's Hollow. With no dead body of Voldemort left behind, how do they know so quickly that he indeed vanished? If there is no dead body, it is easy to conclude he did not die but how do they know the next morning that he did not just "go home"? On the other hand, if there is a dead body, how do they know he is still alive?


Quinn Crockett - Jul 20, 2008 11:41 am (#226 of 925)

Still, there is the important difference that Snape is willing to change his way of life, his mentality etc. and is willing to run great dangers in order to keep Harry alive, while Petunia, though she takes Harry in, will not change a jot for his sake but does her best to ignore him. - Julia H.

I actually don't see any difference at all. In my view, both Snape and Petunia are exactly the same in that both "will not change a jot" for Harry's sake. They both do only the barest, absolute minimum required of them, both characters acting toward Harry entirely out of their own jealousy/spite/resentment/feelings of inadequacy.

Petunia's tirade make this all too clear: "Of course I knew! How could you not be, my dratted sister being what she was!" Harry seems almost more stunned by the knowledge that the Dursleys knew full well "what" Harry was all along than he is about receiving confirmation that he is a wizard. He is justifiably outraged. "You knew! You told me my parents died in a car crash!"

This exchange marks one of the rare few times that Harry and the Dursleys, particularly Petunia, have a real conversation - the volume and intensity of it notwithstanding. The mask comes off here. Though their behavior toward Harry will never change, at least we - and Harry - now know why they treat him as they do. On some level, Harry seems to bear this in mind throughout the rest of the saga.

Random thoughts:

Hagrid's list of Voldemort's targets foreshadows the Second War.

The Prewetts. Molly's brothers. No wonder her Boggart was so deeply distressing for her.

Hagrid is absolutely devoted to Dumbledore, and proudly declares it. The original "Dumbledore's man".

Hagrid's coat is described as "nothing but pockets" each containing something useful or unusual...

Hagrid's is introduced to us fully realized as a character, whom we understand and warm to immediately. He is so wonderfully consistent throughout the series.


tandaradei - Jul 20, 2008 11:52 am (#227 of 925)

As to the "No Voldemort" question

Harry -- the greatest threat to Voldemort, by prophecy -- obviously remained there at Godric's Hollow, alive and well, with no Voldemort doing anything about it. And a baby is so defenceless ... why wasn't Voldemort doing anything, unless he couldn't? I kind of thought, since when the AK kills it removes the soul but leaves the physical body totally unaffected; well, that in this case it did the complete opposite -- it took the body but left the soul unaffected (with the exception of all that horcrux making, hehe)


Solitaire - Jul 20, 2008 11:56 am (#228 of 925)

I'm older than some of you, so perhaps I remember a time when some of my peers suffered severely for their parents' choices. When I was young, I remember parents not wanting their kids to play with children of unwed mothers ... or children whose parents were divorced. Now, did the kids have anything to do with these things? No ... but they were snubbed by some of their peers all the same.

soon enough Harry reacts by behaving the way Snape expects him to

Snape created that situation. If Snape had treated Harry like everyone else from the start, I do not believe Harry would have come to feel about him or act toward him as he did. Harry was acting in what he believed was the only way to "survive" against Snape.

Oops! I must run. I'll try and remember what else I was going to say.

Solitaire


Julia H. - Jul 20, 2008 11:57 am (#229 of 925)

In my view, both Snape and Petunia are exactly the same in that both "will not change a jot" for Harry's sake. They both do only the barest, absolute minimum required of them... (Quinn)

As far as we talk about behaviour to Harry, neither of them changes. What I had in mind is that Snape starts fighting against Voldemort and follows DD's orders in the second war for a long time with the specific purpose of keeping Harry alive. (In DH, he explicitly says he did everything to keep Harry safe.) During this, his personality changes, he becomes "infected" with this "saving people thing", he chooses a new way of life, makes sacrifices - I think he undergoes quite a change, while Petunia does not. In Petunia's case, it is not only her direct behaviour towards Harry that does not change over the years but her whole personality remains the same, she does not do anything for Harry secretly. And certainly, Snape risking his life on a daily basis and doing many other difficult things just to help DD keep Harry alive qualifies (IMO) as more than the "absolute minimum", whatever this minimum may be.

Snape created that situation. (Solitaire)

That is what I said as well. I was simply trying to explain why.

If Snape had treated Harry like everyone else from the start, I do not believe Harry would have come to feel about him or act toward him as he did. (Solitaire)

I quite agree with you, though if Harry had found out Snape's secret, he could have reacted in a number of ways even if he originally had respected Snape. However, Snape saw Harry through his own guilt and he expected Harry to treat him as he felt Harry should. He may have been quite mistaken about Harry, but then his behaviour towards him was based on mistaken concepts. (Remember how sure he was, after catching Harry in the Pensieve, that Harry identified with James and found it all funny? He was mistaken there, too, but mistaken beliefs are just as strong as correct ones.) I don't think it was a conscious decision though, it was something instinctive, based on deep-rooted guilt and fears and perhaps it had more to do with Snape's own attitude to himself than with anything Harry in reality could have thought or felt.


tandaradei - Jul 20, 2008 12:01 pm (#230 of 925)

Crockett -- as to Hagrid's Pockets?

That reminds me, or foreshadows, Hermione's wonderful grab bag in DH.

Have to agree with Julia, though, about Snape. Choices matter. When you look at Dudley, Petunia and Snape, Petunia by far is the least desirable in the end; and all because of her choices.

We all make mistakes. But we also all have choices.

Hey, and lets not forget Percy. I didn't like him as a personality from beginning to end, but that's a personality thing. I admire, I guess, his choices in the end, though.


tandaradei - Jul 20, 2008 12:43 pm (#231 of 925)

Here are some interesting UUGMHP gleanings:

...[cut]...Many Danish kings (long history of brutal conflicts...) had the surname Valdemar and Shakespeare even drew from them to create his character name Voltemand...[cut]...

um, well, I can see Jo drawing from this...

...[cut]...Hagrid may be a derivation of Haggard (hagrid in French or Hagrid in Olde English). The name also conjures up images of Chris and Dik Browne's Hagar the Horrible comic strip...[cut]...

OK, in this last quote, remember how Grawp keeps calling for Hagar??


Orion - Jul 20, 2008 12:49 pm (#232 of 925)

I guess his insistence on receiving formal" gestures of respect from Harry (calling him sir) indicates this deep conviction that there can be no real respect between them. It is part of the wall he builds around himself because he must go on living and remain relatively sane even with Harry Potter as part of his everyday life." (Julia - the girl for whom every thread is a Snape thread )

In Snape's insistence on being called "Sir" I see an attempt to put a comfortable distance between his little archenemy and himself. Harry is too close for comfort. (Could have been his kid if he hadn't been so stupid. Or could he? ) Re: Pesky's story (that poor thing without an ending) - she has captured this desperate flailing (notsoclose notsoclose gerroff aaaarrrrgh) quite well, I think.


Solitaire - Jul 20, 2008 2:10 pm (#233 of 925)

Snape might not have been able to make James treat him with respect, but, by gum, he was in a position of authority over Harry, and he was going to press his advantage as hard as he could ... IMO.


Orion - Jul 20, 2008 2:30 pm (#234 of 925)

That is also quite convincing. Good job, JKR.


Joanna Lupin - Jul 21, 2008 3:02 am (#235 of 925)

Regarding Voldemort's disappearance:

There are two convincing clues that would be noticed immediately, the Dark Mark vanishing from the arms of Death Eaters and Imperiused people waking up from their trance. As far as I remember, Voldemort's body was destroyed and I always imagined it to mean the body was vaporized.


Julia H. - Jul 21, 2008 3:30 am (#236 of 925)

Those are very good points, Joanna, absolutely convincing. Still, I find it remarkable that as soon as the next day, the whole wizarding community was in confident celebration. One would think it might have taken some time to check the evidence and confirm the rumours.


Joanna Lupin - Jul 21, 2008 3:45 am (#237 of 925)

Well, it's wizards we're talking about Smile And they were confirming the rumours - remember the flocks of owls all over the country?


Soul Search - Jul 21, 2008 7:12 am (#238 of 925)

Reviewing what canon we have for Voldemort's disappearance.

Flash of green light and house almost destroyed.

Dumbledore is, somehow, quickly alerted. He must know the Potters are dead but Harry is still alive and in the almost destroyed house. (Otherwise, there is no reason to send Hagrid.)

Dumbledore must also know Voldemort is dead, or at least gone, otherwise Hagrid would have been in danger.

Only Dumbledore (and Snape) knew Voldemort was targeting Harry, rather than just James and Lily. This secret remained until Voldemort told Lucius Malfoy of the prophecy which knowledge Lucius revealed to Harry in the Ministry in OotP. It’s a bit strange, Lucius spoke to Harry as if he had known about the prophecy for a long time, but we have no canon for it.

Dumbledore could have surmised that Harry being alive had to mean Voldemort was dead, but no one else should have made this connection.

I do wonder how much Pettigrew knew. He wasn't exactly trusted by Voldemort, so probably only knew Voldemort was going after the Potters.

Wizards coming on the scene would have found Lily's and James' bodies and, maybe, would have spotted Voldemort's wand. What about his clothes? Did just his body disappear or body and cloak, etc. His wand must have been left otherwise where did Pettigrew get it from after PoA.

Hagrid had already taken Harry, so no one saw Harry's scar, and Sirius must have left to find Pettigrew.

I think we can assume Death Eaters’ Dark Marks must have faded after Voldemort's "death," since a big deal was made of the Dark Marks coming back throughout GoF. Some Death Eaters, like Lucius Malfoy, weasel out of Azkaban. I take this to mean the Dark Marks have faded, since they are prime evidence of guilt.

Hagrid mentions "some people came out of sort of trances." So those who had been Imperiused came out of the curse. Not exactly sure how this would be known, however.

Sometime after Godric's Hollow, Sirius encounters Pettigrew in the street, Pettigrew blows up a lot of Muggles and the street, and escapes. Sirius is blamed and carted off to Azkaban.

Also, Bellatrix et al go after the Longbottoms, but are caught. Bellatrix must think Voldemort's still alive, since she tried to get his whereabouts out of the Longbottoms. (I never have figured this one out. Did Bellatrix know of the prophecy and that Neville fit it?)

The ministry starts rounding up Death Eaters, putting them on trial, and sending the guilty to Azkaban.

Many wizards believed Voldemort was gone forever, but Dumbledore knew he would be back. Dumbledore must have known Voldemort had created at least one horcrux at this time. So, some of Dumbledore's Tom Riddle research had been done before Godric's Hollow. Some wizards accepted Dumbledore's assessment, but Dumbledore told no one of his horcrux research.

During the night and the next day wizards all over celebrate Voldemort's death and give Harry credit for it. No clue why.


Anna L. Black - Jul 21, 2008 7:46 am (#239 of 925)

About this "coming out of trance" thing - it happens in the end of both wars, supposedly, but why should it? It's not like Voldemort single handedly had cast lots of Imperius curses - his DEs did that, so when he's defeated (for good or not), there's no reason for the curses to lift... I think it's a little glitch in the books - one of those points nobody bothered to think about


Joanna Lupin - Jul 21, 2008 8:14 am (#240 of 925)

Voldemort said Dumbledore always suspected him (of horcruxes) which makes me think it was a long-lived suspicion so Dumbledore would know Voldemort couldn't die even before he realised Harry survived, but he also knew Harry was destined to destroy Voldemort so it was natural for him to jump to conclusions.

Here's a theory:

Early in the morning Snape wakes up and goes to the loo where he notices that his Dark Mark is missing. Immediately, he runs to report to Dumbledore who tells Snape to stay in his office while he fetches Hagrid and sends him to Godric's Hollow. In the meantime, Dumbledore goes to the ministry to discuss new situation. On his way out Hagrid meets Prof. McGonagall and lets something slip as usual.


PeskyPixie - Jul 21, 2008 8:21 am (#241 of 925)

That would work, Joanna. I always believed that even after Dumbledore was rejected as Secret Keeper he put some sort of silent alarm Charm on the Potters' home which would alert him if Voldy had entered.

Maybe this news, in combination with Snape's vanishing Dark Mark tells him that Voldy entered the house and something happened which destroyed him. Due to the prophecy, Dumbledore just knows Harry is alive. Thus, Hagrid can handle the situation while he deals with the Ministry and prepares for Harry's 'adoption' and does some general sleuthing on his own!

Wait a minute, I just discovered a bunch of holes in my theory!


freshwater - Jul 21, 2008 8:31 am (#242 of 925)

Early in the morning Snape wakes up and goes to the loo where he notices that his Dark Mark is missing....... On his way out Hagrid meets Prof. McGonagall and lets something slip as usual. Joanna Lupin

ROTFLOL!!! I particularly love the bit about the loo (in my mind it's the RoR in its incarnation as a storage closest for chamber pots!) and, of course, Hagrid will be Hagrid...thank goodness!

=================

Please stop by the Votes on All Things Potter section and open the thread "RE: possible format changes for the Re-Read-Along of the Series" to cast your vote and/or make a comment. I'll be perfectly happy to leave all as it is (if that's the outcome of the poll)...I'd just like some reassurance that other folks' wishes/ideas hadn't been overlooked. Thank you!


PeskyPixie - Jul 21, 2008 8:51 am (#243 of 925)

LOL, the bit about the loo cracked me up as well. Snape seems too serious for that!


Quinn Crockett - Jul 21, 2008 9:55 am (#244 of 925)

About this "coming out of trance" thing - it happens in the end of both wars, supposedly, but why should it? It's not like Voldemort single handedly had cast lots of Imperius curses - Anna L Black

I always reasoned that the Imperius Curse specifically mentioned something like "doing Voldemort's bidding". So, once Voldemort was gone, the Curse would be automatically negated. One can't do the bidding of someone who is no longer in existence.

I'm not convinced Snape ever goes to the loo, myself In any case, that doesn't really work because we know from Voldemort's own memory of the event that it happened Halloween night, and early enough that kids were still out trick-or-treating. We also know that Hagrid arrived on the scene pretty much immediately ("...before all the Muggles started swarming around...") Since McGonagall was already waiting for Dumbledore at #4 when Vernon left for work at 8:30 the next morning, she must have met Hagrid very early in the morning or some time the night before. Regardless, Hagrid already had his orders from Dumbledore and knew about Dumbledore's plans to leave Harry there. I think it is far more likely that Dumbledore learned of the attack from someone like Bathilda Bagshot or even some sort of "alarm Charm".


Julia H. - Jul 21, 2008 10:07 am (#245 of 925)

I suppose Snape could take a look at his left arm anywhere...

But I think there were Order members in GH watching the Potters' house (there must have been people who knew where they were, since only the SK could betray them) and they must have heard / noticed that the house came down in ruins in the middle of the night. Then I suppose they sent a message to DD, so DD probably did not have to wait until Snape woke up but was able to hurry to GH right away. I find it hard to believe that DD sent Hagrid there first but perhaps he sent a message to Hagrid asking him to follow him there.

It is interesting that it was Hagrid who found Harry under the ruins, the only person who was not allowed to do magic. It was only the next evening that Harry arrived at Privet Drive, but I don't think they left him in the collapsed building all day long, so he probably spent the day somewhere in GH with Hagrid. (Perhaps a healer examined Harry as well.) DD, on the other hand, probably examined the ruins, the dead bodies and whatever there was to find and later left GH and went back to Hogwarts to investigate (or he may have gone to any number of places besides Hogwarts) and he also talked to Snape (whose Dark Mark had faded), decided on the security measures for Harry etc.

Cross-posted with Quinn!


Soul Search - Jul 21, 2008 11:11 am (#246 of 925)

I have tried to continue the current discussion on the "Godric's Hollow" thread.


Solitaire - Jul 21, 2008 11:40 am (#247 of 925)

His wand must have been left otherwise where did Pettigrew get it from after PoA.

I read the other day, in the transcript of one of Jo's post-DH chats (on TLC), that Wormtail took Voldy's wand out of the Potter house. Wormtail, desperate to curry favour, salvaged it from the place it had fallen and carried it to him. I admit that would have been a bit of a feat for a rat, but they are highly intelligent creatures!

those who had been Imperiused came out of the curse. Not exactly sure how this would be known

We know that this happened after Voldemort really died in DH, possibly because the DEs who'd cast the curses were either killed or they simply removed them (or were forced to do so). I suspect that a lot of the people who "came out of the curses" following the Potters' deaths and Voldemort's flight were really phonies, like Lucius Malfoy. Once Voldemort had been gone long enough that even his DEs figured he might be gone for good, many, like Malfoy, probably figured that was their ticket to freedom instead of being stuck indefinitely in Azkaban.

Voldemort said Dumbledore always suspected him (of horcruxes)

Joanna, where did Voldemort say this? I remember him telling Harry that he knew DD "might have guessed" that he was responsible for Moaning Myrtle's death. He then goes on to talk about how he decided to leave behind a diary, preserving his 16-year-old self in it ... Is there some other book or passage to which you are referring? I do not remember a conversation in which Voldemort suggests Dumbledore knew about the Horcruxes.

About that vanishing Dark Mark ... In the same chat I mentioned above (at Leaky), Jo said the Dark Marks do not disappear. The Dark Mark would fade to a scar, not dissimilar to the lightning scar on Harry’s forehead. If this is true after Voldy is really dead, then I would assume the marks still remain when he is not fully dead, only vaporized. Maybe they just look like a Muggle tattoo.

Any Wizard would have known the Potters had been killed if a Dark Mark had been fired up after James's murder (Although that was common procedure with other deaths, we do not know if it happened here), even if the house was hidden from Muggle view. Could someone have sent off an owl (or Patronus) to DD to let him know what had happened? Could DD have actually been in the neighborhood, keeping watch anyway? After all, there was a family home there. Aberforth was in the Order and can perform a Patronus. Could he have been at the family home and notified his brother? Could Fawkes have been keeping watch? We know he did this in OotP ... watching for Umbridge.

Solitaire


Joanna Lupin - Jul 21, 2008 1:13 pm (#248 of 925)

Solitaire - I should have made my meaning plainer - Voldemort thought this, actually, after he found out the cup had been stolen.


Solitaire - Jul 21, 2008 1:37 pm (#249 of 925)

Thanks, Joanna.


tandaradei - Jul 21, 2008 5:11 pm (#250 of 925)

...[cut]..."Couldn't make us a cup o' tea, could yeh? It's not been an easy journey...[cut]...

PS, Ch 4,"The Keeper of the Keys," p. 47 US.

...[cut]..."What about that tea then, eh?" he said, rubbing his hands together. "I'd not say no ter sommat stronger if yeh've got it, mind."...[cut]...

PS, Ch 4,"The Keeper of the Keys," p. 48 US.

...[cut]...The giant ... began taking all sorts of things out of the pockets of his coat: ... and a bottle of some amber liquid that he took a swig from before starting to make tea...[cut]...

PS, Ch 4,"The Keeper of the Keys," p. 48 US.

Ah well, I was thinking up a great treatise on Jo's employment of 3d Person Limited Narrative changes throughout her story; on how she kept narrative observations strictly within each year's limitations from Harry's point of view. I was going to say that Harry simply would not yet have noticed things like alcoholic beverages or snogging or such, until he was "ready" (say, OotP); but here you go ... drinking, 40 pages into it all!




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Five Notes/Summary - post #251

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:44 am



freshwater - Jul 21, 2008 9:40 pm (#251 of 925)

Again, I don't wish to rush things, but the posts seemed a bit slow today, so.....

Chapter Five - Diagon Alley ...in which we learn many things about the wizarding world:

-- Harry awoke feeling that it was all too good to be true and must have been a dream

-- owls deliver the morning paper, and expect payment: 5 knuts

-- different money system: 29 bronze Knuts to a Sickle, 17 silver Sickles to a gold Galleon

-- one bank: Gringotts - run by goblins! "Yeah -so yeh'd be mad to try an' rob it... Never mess with goblins, Harry... Gringotts is the safest place in the world for anything yeh want ter keep safe - except maybe Hogwarts." (pre-DH, it never occurred to me that one of the horcruxes might have been hidden in Gringotts)...there are dragons guarding the high-security vaults: "Gringotts is hundreds of miles under London, see." (is this another example of JKR's trouble w/math?)

-- Hagrid "flew" to the island - on a broom? a thestral? w/a portkey?

-- there is a Ministry of Magic... Dumbledore could have been the Minister, but he prefers to stay at Hogwarts the current Minister, Fudge, relies heavily on DD's advice..."their main job is to keep it from the Muggles that there’s still witches and wizards up an' down the country."

-- Hagrid has wanted to have a dragon ever since he was a kid; doesn't understand Muggle money; he knits ("looked like a canary yellow circus tent")

-- Harry’s supply list for first year students: our first glimpse of JKR's love for names that fit their function: Emeric Switch -- Transfiguration, Phyllida Spore -- Herbology, Arsenius Jigger -- potions (one of the first bits of humor more easily grasped by adults than by children)

-- The Leaky Cauldron: Harry is joyously welcomed back into the wizarding world

-- stuttering Prof. Quirrell

-- "Harry wished he had about eight more eyes."; he is curious, eager, open-minded; he survived the Dursleys repression w/out becoming like them

-- "Stalagmite's got an 'm' in it."

-- Hagrid retrieves "you know what" from vault 713 for DD; assisted by Griphook; 'a grubby little package wrapped up in brown paper lying on the floor' doesn’t appear to be very valuable

-- Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions; Harry meets Draco Malfoy... we dislike him immediately: Draco's first sentences to Harry reveal his own plans: "drag. Bully, Muggle" ...for a Slytherin, Draco has not yet developed any of the subtlety or tact that might get him what he wants

-- Harry learns a bit about pureblood prejudice, Quidditch, and the 4 Hogwarts houses

-- students are not to use their magic in the Muggle world

-- Hagrid buys Hedwig as a birthday present for Harry, who is very grateful

-- Ollivander's: the first time/place where "the back of his neck prickled"; always a warning sign in HP."--it's really the wand that chooses the wizard, of course... And of course, you will never get such good results with another wizard's wand."

"Tricky customer, eh?"; holly and phoenix feather is an "unusual combination"; warmth in his fingers and red & gold sparks... brother wand to Harry's was used to kill his parents. "The wand chooses the wizard, remember." (JKR repeats what she wants us to notice.)

-- we infer why Hagrid carries the pink umbrella

-- Harry is overwhelmed by all the new information and experiences - and so are we!

-- despite his celebrity, Harry is insecure and humble




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Five Comments - posts #251 to #280

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:20 am



Solitaire - Jul 21, 2008 10:11 pm (#252 of 925)

Hagrid “flew” to the island? on a broom? a thestral? w/a portkey?

Is using a Portkey really flying? Could Hagrid have flown in the motorbike and then sent it back to Hogwarts? Could he have flown on Buckbeak and then sent him back to Hogwarts? Can Hagrid Apparate?


Orion - Jul 22, 2008 5:37 am (#253 of 925)

The amber liquid doesn't have to be alcohol. It can be a potion, like Felix Felicis, or Pepper-Up-Potion so that he doesn't get ill in the nasty weather, or something wholesome by Madame Pomfrey.


freshwater - Jul 22, 2008 6:34 am (#254 of 925)

Re: Hagrid flew to the island....I'm guessing that what he actually did was take a portkey made by DD (who always seems to know a great deal more of what's going on than could ever be possible) because when Apparating you have to be able to picture where you are going and I don't think Hagrid would have ever been there before. Also, I think that "flew" fits Hagrid's sometimes terse speaking style, and that JKR simply didn't want to get into explaining apparition or thestrals or hippogriffs at this point in the story....there's too much of the magical world to introduce first.

The amber liquid doesn't have to be alcohol.--Orion

True...but given the context, the comment about "summat stronger", and what we know of Hagrid's habits at the Three Broomsticks, I'd say he'd brought along his own version of "summat stronger". Also, we know that JKR does address the condition of Winky after she's had too many butterbeers to dull her sadness.

Re: tandaradei's original point: Harry is extraordinarily observant....something that is often true of children who have grown up in alcoholic or abusive families....it's a bit of a survival tool to constantly read the demeanor of others around you so as to anticipate what may happen next.

And I'm pretty sure that Hagrid can Apparate, because of the rapid way in which he disappears after giving Harry his ticket..."Harry wanted to watch Hagrid until he was out of sight; he rose in his seat and pressed his nose against the window, but he blinked and Hagrid had gone." last sentence of ch. 5 PS/SS


Orion - Jul 22, 2008 6:42 am (#255 of 925)

Hagrid seems to do a lot of illegal magic. I wonder whether they have a Trace on him like on under-age wizards.


Julia H. - Jul 22, 2008 6:55 am (#256 of 925)

I don't know how the Muggles manage without magic, Hagrid says. It sounds quite strange from someone who supposedly has had to do without actively using magic for half a century.

About the Ministry of Magic: ...their main job is to keep it from the Muggles that there's still witches an' wizards up an' down the country... If it is so (or is Hagrid simplifying things? is he being ironic?), that explains lots of things. With so many things to worry about, is this their main job? BTW, do we ever get a really convincing explanation for secrecy? (I know Muggles would be troublesome and witches were persecuted in the Middle Ages but I don't think these are serious reasons for taking so much trouble to keep everything a secret in our age.)


megfox* - Jul 22, 2008 7:50 am (#257 of 925)

Just going back to the Dark Mark thing real quick, Karkaroff says in GoF that his is "coming back" and "getting darker" or "starting to burn" or something like that. This made me think that as Voldemort lost strength, it lightened or faded, but as he gained strength, it grew more clear again. This certainly would have been a sign to the other Death Eaters, especially if it wasn't gone all the way, but just faded.

Maybe that is why Bella and Co. tortured Neville's parents - they knew he wasn't dead because their Dark Mark were only faded. Or maybe they were torturing them hoping to find the body. In DH, there is the point made by Ted Tonks (?) while on the run that if Harry had been killed, the DE would have flaunted the body to discourage the resistance, which is exactly what Voldemort did when he thought he had killed Harry. I think that the MoM would have done the same with Voldemort's body, so when there was no body, the DE assumed that it had either been hidden by the Order, or he wasn't dead, but captured and they were keeping it quiet so that no one would try to bust him out of Azkaban.

By the way, how do you suppose that one would go about arresting and holding one of the most powerful wizards in the world? I don't suppose it would be any easier than arresting Dumbledore, and we know how well that worked!

ETA: I was thinking that Gringotts covered a lot of square miles under London, not literal hundreds of miles in a straight line. But for their to be all of those tracks, stalagmites and stalactites, not to mention a passageway big enough for a dragon to live in, it must have been pretty big.


Soul Search - Jul 22, 2008 1:15 pm (#258 of 925)

Harry, and we readers, get our first glimpse of the wizarding world. And what a world it is! We are all overwhelmed.

Harry asks: "Why would you be mad to try and rob Gringotts?" Little did we know how mad Harry would be. And there are dragons; at least one poor, mistreated, dragon that should be set free. Goblins aren't very nice, which we also learn much later. We will meet Griphook again, too. We learn Hagrid wants a dragon, which he will get later in the story.

Ministry o' Magic messin' things up as usual The first of JKR's campaign to discredit government in all forms. She does a good job throughout the series. We also get Hagrid's assessment of Fudge: "Bungler if there ever was one." We don't see Fudge again until CoS.

We see Hagrid knitting a "canary-yellow circus tent." I think we see Hagrid knitting again, but we never see the results of his knitting.

We meet Dedalus Diggle who bowed to Harry once in a shop. Probably one of Harry's "watchers." We will see him a couple of more times. I am looking to see if any more of Harry's greeters in the Leaky Cauldron match the earlier references to "watchers." "A wild-looking old woman dressed all in green ..." or "A bald man in a very long purple coat ... ." None seem to fit.

The long enmity between Draco and Harry begins.

The wand chooses the wizard. I still haven't figured that one out completely, and it seemed so simple when first read here. Deathly Hallows sure complicated wand lore.


Solitaire - Jul 22, 2008 1:53 pm (#259 of 925)

The wand chooses the wizard.

Wand lore is complicated, as Ollivander says. Perhaps the shared Fawkes-feather in Harry's wand recognized the bit of Voldemort in Harry. Perhaps it recognized that its "brother" had given Harry the scar, yet had not defeated him. Perhaps ... it's hard to know. For me, this has to be one of those "willing suspension of disbelief" issues. I hope someday to understand it. Right now, I accept it.

Solitaire


Steve Newton - Jul 22, 2008 2:08 pm (#260 of 925)

I DH we also learn the Dumbledore likes knitting patterns.


freshwater - Jul 22, 2008 2:16 pm (#261 of 925)

By Christmas we'll also learn that Molly Weasley knits a sweater for each child....including Harry. In GoF (I think?) we learn that Dobby also knits: socks for Harry for Christmas: one green with snitches on it, and one red with broomsticks on it. Knitting seems to denote caring and the willingness to make an effort to please/help someone you love. Interesting that DD likes reading knitting patterns, but we never see him actually knitting....always the planner behind the scenes while others are in the action.


Julia H. - Jul 22, 2008 3:00 pm (#262 of 925)

I DH we also learn the Dumbledore likes knitting patterns. (Steve)

We learn it in HBP, in the Horace Slughorn chapter. Does knitting have any symbolic significance? Any ideas?


freshwater - Jul 22, 2008 3:15 pm (#263 of 925)

Well, knitting --vs. buying-- implies thought and planning: choosing a pattern, buying yarn, investing hours and hours of your life in actually knitting the sweater or scarf or hat or mittens....or socks.

Just remembered: Hermione also knits (in PoA?)...hats to free the house-elves. One of my favorite fanfics totally cracked me up when a house-elf in the story referred to Hermione as "She Who Knits"! Naturally Hermione (in that story) was mortified to learn that the house elves she so desperately wanted to help were comparing her to 'He Who Must Not Be Named'. So...despite her best intentions, her knitting was seen by the house elves as a threat...although generally I'd say that knitting symbolizes homemade, family-oriented, loving care.


Julia H. - Jul 22, 2008 4:01 pm (#264 of 925)

Great explanation, Freshwater, thanks!


PeskyPixie - Jul 22, 2008 7:53 pm (#265 of 925)

From the yellow thing Hagrid's knitting you'd think he was a Hufflepuff. (I wonder if Snape knits! )

Why does Hagrid have mint humbugs in his pocket? They are mentioned once more at the first Hogwarts feast. A dropped point or a Mark Evans?

Harry's lucky that he has Hagrid to tell him to not buy a gold cauldron. I suppose any child will have a moment where they want to show off a bit; Harry is lucky that he has the guidance of a good adult at that moment.

Isn't Draco's owl an eagle owl? If so, he didn't get it from Eyelop's Owl Emporium.


poohnpiglettt - Jul 23, 2008 6:57 am (#266 of 925)

Chapter 5 was the chapter that really made me love HP. I didn't start reading the books until just after GOF came out. I was working at a school library at the time so of course I knew of the books and just felt the books couldn't live up to the hype plus I have never been fond of fantasy or science fiction, so I never bothered reading any of them. I really only started reading because of all of the talk about how the book was pushing the WICCA religion, it should be banned, etc. That type of talk drives me crazy so I started reading out of spite, really. And I enjoyed the Dickensian style names and the beginning of the story. But this chapter made me love it, all of the rich detail, and I discovered why I usually am not fond of fantasy and why this book was so different--Harry is discovering this new world along with the reader. He is just as amazed as the reader as he learns about the wizarding world. In a lot of fantasy books, the reader is dropped in the middle of a world and must figure everything out whereas in HP, Harry is learning with you. I think the walk down Diagon Alley demonstrates that more that anything.


PeskyPixie - Jul 23, 2008 7:55 am (#267 of 925)

I agree, poohpiglettt. We are easily led into the world as Harry is introduced to it. Plus, it's just a Magical version of our world! The fact that it co-exists with the Muggle world also makes one think, "hmmmm, maybe you can just walk through a wall into Diagon Alley." LOL!

At Ollivander's, I liked the descriptions of Harry's parents' wands. The wand says so much about the witch/wizard it chooses. I loved how James' wand is described as being great for Transfiguration. I suppose transforming oneself into an Animagus is a form of Transfiguration.

At the end of this chapter Harry eats his only hamburger of the series (the food at Hogwarts tends to be more traditional, and the Dursleys just starve the poor kid).


tandaradei - Jul 23, 2008 7:59 am (#268 of 925)

...[cut]..."This is it," said Hagrid, coming to a halt, "the Leaky Cauldron. It's a famous place."

It was a tiny, grubby-looking pub....[cut]...

PS, Ch 5,"Diagon Alley," p. 68 US.

I love Jo's droll sense of humor. The style keeps me off balance as I read, with contrasting moments to keep me alert.


Soul Search - Jul 23, 2008 8:09 am (#269 of 925)

I am a little surprised by all the knitting references in the series. I included Hagrid knitting the "yellow circus tent" in my earlier post as a somewhat humorous reference; I found the idea of a giant knitting funny. But, with all the subsequent posts, I realize knitting has some sort of literary significance. Not sure exactly what, though.

Harry is very pleased to get his Weasley sweater. Sort of says he is part of the family, even though he only briefly saw Mrs. Weasley at the train station. This foreshadows Harry really becoming part of the family, including marrying Ginny.

Ron always gets a sweater, but it is always maroon, which he doesn't like. He also gets "corned-beef" sandwiches, which he doesn't like. Sort of exemplifies the plight of the youngest son in a large family. Mrs. Weasley probably addresses Ron by the wrong name a lot.

The twins get sweaters with their initials on them, which they promptly switch. Sort of describes the twins.

Percy resists wearing the sweater his mom knitted. Sort of tells us Percy is ashamed of his family. In OotP, Percy returns his sweater, signifying a break with the family. What an ungrateful son.

Dobby knits, but doesn't match the socks for Harry. Not sure what this is supposed to mean. Dobby considers Harry "family?"

Hermione knits hats for house elves, but poorly. Does this mean she will not be a good mom?

Dumbledore likes knitting patterns, but doesn't knit. Does this mean he likes the idea of a family, but doesn't want one? He does like warm woolen socks.

In HBP everyone gets a sweater except Fleur. Mrs. Weasley doesn't want Fleur as part of the family.

So, what is the significance of Hagrid knitting? What is he knitting?


PeskyPixie - Jul 23, 2008 8:11 am (#270 of 925)

I love the description of the old barman as a 'gummy walnut'. My favourite of the series!


freshwater - Jul 23, 2008 8:54 am (#271 of 925)

I enjoyed reading your conclusions about knitting throughout the series, Soul Search...very insightful.

Dobby knits, but doesn't match the socks for Harry. Not sure what this is supposed to mean. Dobby considers Harry "family?" S.S.

Dobby believes that socks are not supposed to match. When Harry hurriedly gives Dobby a pair on Vernon's old socks (he hadn't thought to get Dobby anything for Christmas), Dobby rhapsodizes about socks being his "favorite, favorite clothes" (due to his being freed with one of Harry's socks in CoS) and continues "But, sir...they has made a mistake at the shop, Harry Potter, they is giving you two the same!" I am sure that Dobby 'would be most honored, sir' to consider Harry as family.

Later that day, Harry wears Dobby's socks to the Yule Ball and fake-Moody/Barty Crouch, Jr. remarks, "Nice socks, Potter." Does this indicate his own desire for family?

On a related knitwear note, at this point, Ron then gives Dobby the maroon socks and sweater he received from Molly so that "you can mix them up properly" and Dobby's response to these gifts is over the top. It seems that making/giving/receiving knitwear in the Potterverse is laden with emotion.

Hermione knits hats for house elves, but poorly. Does this mean she will not be a good mom?--S.S.

I think the poorly knitted hats are more indicative of her poor understanding of how house-elves think and what they want. She projects her own values/feelings onto them, which is, in its own way, just as dismissive of them as individuals as the system she claims to abhor.

Dumbledore likes knitting patterns, but doesn't knit. Does this mean he likes the idea of a family, but doesn't want one? He does like warm woolen socks.--S.S.

I find his comment of "I do love knitting patterns" (which he was apparently reading while in the loo as Harry first met Horace Slughorn) to be remarkable. Knitting patterns are written in abbreviated codes, for example: "K4, K2tog, P4, SSK, bo to end" means "knit 4 stitches, knit the next two stitches together to form one stitch, purl 4 stitches, slip the next stitch as if to knit, bind off remaining stitches to the end of the row". I think for DD, it must be something like reading a blueprint or maybe an equation in quantum physics....I got the impression that he can visualize the development of the knitting project as he reads the knitting pattern....which seems like a strategic military kind of skill, don't you think?

As for DD valuing a good pair of warm woolen socks....I have always thought that this was one of the most poignant statements in the series...."One can never have enough socks....Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books."(PS/SS ch. 12) If socks --and other knitted items-- are symbols of family and caring, then DD is singularly isolated....which we later learn to be true, as he is estranged from his only living relative (Aberforth). The comment about books also indicates that those in his life who care enough to get him a Christmas gift don't actually know him well enough to know what he'd truly prefer....a nice pair of wool socks. If they were hand knit, DD would probably tear up.


PeskyPixie - Jul 23, 2008 9:35 am (#272 of 925)

Well, I could definitely see Snape getting him a book for Christmas and birthdays. But Snape is greatly in need of a nice pair of hand-knit sock as well. I'd be happy to oblige, but so far I've only mastered the art of the mile-long scarf.


Steve Newton - Jul 23, 2008 10:00 am (#273 of 925)

I have suspected that the patterns that Dumbledore liked to knit were the details of his 'plan.' Whatever that may have been.


Julia H. - Jul 23, 2008 10:47 am (#274 of 925)

Well, Pesky, I think you have answered your own question. If Snape does not knit for Dumbledore, he does not knit for anyone (not for himself certainly). Anyway, Hagrid is the manual "do-it-yourself" type, while Snape is more like a "wave-your-wand-yourself", he tends to do things by magic. (Although magical knitting is knitting as well.) BTW, I think a mile-long scarf will do for him just as well, so go ahead, Pesky! (I remember once upon a time practicing that art myself...) He is after all the Head of your House and you could be ready until Christmas.

Great analyses of knitting, everyone. DD and knitting patterns: DD is (among other things) a detective, deciphering the signs leading to LV's secret. It is especially important in HBP and that is where we learn he likes knitting patterns.


Soul Search - Jul 23, 2008 11:09 am (#275 of 925)

freshwater, thanks, and thanks for the description of a knitting pattern. I had envisioned some kind of picture or diagram. The codes you describe make Dumbledore's comment even more some kind of tongue-in-cheek reference to boredom.

A minor note. As Hagrid and Harry enter Ollivander's shop we get: "A single wand lay on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window."

Well, after HBP, this wand received a lot of attention. Who's was it? Was it really a horcrux? Turned out to be nothing, but the speculation was pretty good. I seem to recall some speculation that it belonged to the Gray Lady. Not true, but that connection did turn out.

We see Ollivander again in GoF as he examines the contestants wands, which later provides the trigger, via Krum, for the Gregorovitch connection for Harry. Dumbledore also mentions, in GoF, Ollivander telling him about the Phoenix wand choosing Harry.

Harry also interrogates Ollivander in Deathly Hallows. I like the contrast between Harry's first meeting with Ollivander here, where he is greatly overwhelmed, and his meeting in Deathly Hallows where he completely dominates the conversation. There, Ollivander is completely overwhelmed by Harry.


Steve Newton - Jul 23, 2008 11:24 am (#276 of 925)

A quick note back to chapter 2. I have, elsewhere, tracked zoo references. They are in at least 2 and maybe three of the books. My list is somewhere on the Forum but I can't remember where. I keep forgetting and so don't know if I am missing any. Anyway, they seem to be an image of separation and something else, maybe awareness.


freshwater - Jul 23, 2008 12:16 pm (#277 of 925)

freshwater, thanks, and thanks for the description of a knitting pattern. I had envisioned some kind of picture or diagram.--S.S.

Well, now that you mention it, knitting patterns can involve a diagram with codes or symbols for different colors or stitches. But I've never tried any of those myself....tend to stick to simpler projects.....like mile-long scarves!

Harry also interrogates Ollivander in Deathly Hallows. I like the contrast between Harry's first meeting with Ollivander here, where he is greatly overwhelmed, and his meeting in Deathly Hallows where he completely dominates the conversation. There, Ollivander is completely overwhelmed by Harry.--S.S.

Oh, excellent point! I love seeing these kinds of connections...or maybe it's better called a comparison/contrast. Well done, S.S.!

Steve, in one of my favorite HP fanfics, the image of the snake heading off to Brazil was used as a metaphor for seeking your dream, or going after what you need. I like the fact that the snake didn't just escape....it had a purpose and a destination in mind....almost a destiny.


tandaradei - Jul 23, 2008 12:49 pm (#278 of 925)

Yes, and the Ollivander stuff is a beginning/ending HP comparison.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Some other stuff...

...[cut]..."Morning," said Hagrid to a free goblin. "We've come ter take some money outta Mr. Harry Potter's safe."

You have his key, sir?....[cut]...

Got it, said Hagrid at last, holding up a tiny golden key.

The goblin looked at it closely. "That seems to be in order."....[cut]...

PS, Ch 5,"Diagon Alley," p. 73 US.

Could this have been Jo's meaning behind Hagrid's being a "Keeper of the Keys"?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Griphook and dragons ... Jo seems to be preparing us for the end!! Here's yet another "beginning/end" comparison.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Here's a Neville Moment:

...[cut]..."Tell yeh what, I'll get yer animal. Not a toad, toads went outta fashion years ago, yeh'd be laughed at ....[cut]...

PS, Ch 5,"Diagon Alley," p. 81 US.

Jo is telling us, in essence, that the Neville she will soon introduce us to, will "be laughed at." I remember Ron being laughed at for his out-of-date robes in GoF; and maybe this is a similar kind of thing. IMO, Jo is intentionally sending us signals that, at least at the beginning, we might laugh at Neville. Like Snape, Jo also wants us to learn not to judge by first impressions.


Solitaire - Jul 23, 2008 1:20 pm (#279 of 925)

Soul Search, when I read that Hagrid was knitting, it reminded me of football player Rosie Grier, who did needlepoint and crocheted ... and possibly knitted, as well! I think it shows the more gentle, nurturing side of Hagrid.

LOL @ Pesky's mile-long scarf!

I like Freshwater's point that Ollivander is the one who is in control in his and Harry's first meeting, while Harry clearly controls the conversation and flow of information in the DH meeting.


freshwater - Jul 23, 2008 3:07 pm (#280 of 925)

Solitaire, it was actually Soul Search who made the point about Ollivander and Harry's interactions in PS/SS and DH....I just copy/pasted it into my post for reference.

I recall the huge Rosy Grier --wasn't he a linebacker?-- doing needlepoint. It's endearing to see a big, strong man doing something not typically considered manly. Indicates a certain self-confidence, don't you think.

Tandaradei, I'd always thought that the title "Keeper of Keys" indicated a position of responsibility and security. Filch is more of a janitor for the castle. But Hagrid would have the keys to the gates, the main doors, the Greenhouses, and storage areas, tool shed, barns or feeding areas. Reminds me of a Victorian housekeeper's Chatelaine (probably spelled that wrong) where she would have a large ring of keys for things like the meat cooler, the silver cabinets, the cupboard for the cleaning supplies, the wine cellar, etc.

We now know that DD managed to put Hagrid in this job when he was expelled from Hogwarts. It was a fortuitous choice for two reasons: 1) as a half-giant Hagrid could easily handle the physical demands of a job like that, and also easily intimidate or "handle" anyone who shouldn't be on the grounds; 2) giving Hagrid a position of responsibility and --more importantly-- of trust would have been just what Hagrid needed after the scandal of his (supposedly) opening the Chamber of Secrets.




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Five Comments - posts #281 to #303

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:22 am



Julia H. - Jul 23, 2008 3:47 pm (#281 of 925)

...giving Hagrid a position of responsibility and --more importantly-- of trust would have been just what Hagrid needed after the scandal of his (supposedly) opening the Chamber of Secrets. (Freshwater)

Yes, it is very important. Dumbledore is far from being the perfect, omniscient wizard he first appears to be but if I have to choose the one thing I find the most admirable in the character is how he can see into people's hearts and how he gives a second chance to everyone who deserves it. In HBP, Snape tells Bellatrix DD's "greatest weakness" is that he has to believe the best of people. Little does Bellatrix think that Snape is talking about - probably - DD's greatest strength. (Hm... have there been polls about the greatest strengths and weaknesses of the various characters?)


Soul Search - Jul 23, 2008 4:57 pm (#282 of 925)

A few more references and comments from Ollivander’s.

Ollivander recognizes Harry, probably because he resembles James. We get another "You have your mother's eyes" reference.

Ollivander claims he remembers every wand he ever sold and demonstrates it with Lily, James, Hagrid, and Voldemort as examples. We see him recognize wands in GoF and he is later called upon to use that capability in Deathly Hallows.

Ollivander says James' wand was good for transfiguration and Lily's for charm work. I don't think we see any more references that wands can have a specialty capability.

We get the first "wand chooses the wizard" reference and another just before Harry leaves the shop. We should have picked up on that reinforcement of the concept. This seems to be a well known concept. We hear it again, for example in Deathly Hallows. When accused of stealing her wand Mrs. Cattermole says the wand chose her when she was eleven and Umbridge responds that a wand only chooses a witch or wizard. I don't understand, though, if the wand does the choosing, what was all that measuring about?

Ollivander also says "... you will never get such good results with another wizard's wand." Harry learns this first hand in Deathly Hallows and Ollivander also expands on the concept.

Harry hears of Voldemort's wand, the phoenix feather in common with his, and of "brother" wands. The "brother" term was also used to describe the strange effect in GoF. In GoF, he also learns that Fawkes gave the feathers for both wands ... and ONLY those wands. Curiouser and curiouser.

Ollivander says:

Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember.... I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter.... After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things -- terrible, yes, but great.

A while back a discussion went on for a while about JKR's use of "great" regarding Voldemort. Should all the killing and evil he did be referred to as "great?" The conclusion was that there was no other word that fit better.

I am absolutely amazed at how many connections are made from the short visit to Ollivander's shop to other books, and especially to Deathly Hallows! Did JKR plan all that from the very start?


PeskyPixie - Jul 23, 2008 8:19 pm (#283 of 925)

I'll wait another 24 hours or so to see if there are more posts before moving on to the next chapter.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 24, 2008 6:03 am (#284 of 925)

I noted that James's wand had "a little more power" than Lily's. An indication of the level of his latent magical power? The books give us many examples of just how talented James was, with his ability to become an Animagus and hand in creating the Marauders Map. We get nothing for Lily until the final book, where in Snape's memories she is shown to display remarkable control and talent for a child. But in the end the wands don't matter at all for Lily and James; they die as frantic parents desperately trying to save their loved ones, rather than as spell-slinging uber-wizards.

Also, this is the chapter where we get the first hints of "House rivalry". Characters arrange the Houses into a hierarchy, with either Slytherin or Hufflepuff as the dregs. After the bad press Rowling has the characters give Hufflepuff, I really hoped Hufflepuff would get more of a lift by the end of the series, but unfortunately the House never quite makes it off the second tier. Two things go on during the series, the idea of unity being good and necessary, and the reinforcement of the hierarchy of value for the Houses. I think from reading the series that Rowling holds that Gryffindor > Hufflepuff > Ravenclaw > Slytherin, but that Gryffindor and Slytherin are the leader Houses and Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw are the follower Houses. I felt the hierarchy idea got in the way of the unity idea. I can see where Slytherin resisted unity, but the three Houses that chose to band together still had that hierarchy thing to contend with within their own camp.


freshwater - Jul 24, 2008 7:09 am (#285 of 925)

But in the end the wands don't matter at all for Lily and James..."--Mrs. Brisbee

Good point, Mrs. B. These hints at magical talent/power in both James and Lily --and their ultimate fate-- underscore just how powerful LV is, and now daunting Harry's destiny is.

I felt the hierarchy idea got in the way of the unity idea. I can see where Slytherin resisted unity, but the three Houses that chose to band together still had that hierarchy thing to contend with within their own camp.--Mrs. B

I agree, Mrs. B. I'd expected to see greater unity among at least 3 of the house towards the end. But I think that JKR was going more for reality than fantasy here....old habits die hard and the traditions of generations don't pass with a song from the Sorting Hat, even in times of war.

Still, she did give us Gryffindor Pettigrew wimping out on his friends....and Slytherin Snape being perhaps the bravest character of all as he worked for the benefit of someone else, not himself. In addition, there was brave and talented Cedric from Hufflepuff and the loyalty of Cho and Luna from Ravenclaw....so she did work in a series of character traits that went against the grain of house divisions, at least to some degree...although I'll agree that you have to sort of ferret these out, she didn't throw these examples in our faces. I suppose that the "unity" wasn't of the houses coming to some consensus en mass....but was shown more in a cross-section of house members individually coming to a point of willingness to unite in support of Harry and his efforts.


Soul Search - Jul 24, 2008 7:25 am (#286 of 925)

JKR establishes that Ollivander has a good memory with his "I remember every wand ..." claim, but I do think she was stretching it with his "You have your mother's eyes" comment. Presumably, he only ever saw Lily when she was eleven. Now, over twenty years later, he remembers her eyes.

We get hit over the head with "You have your mother's eyes" and all leading up to Deathly Hallows and Snape's "Look at me." Everyone Harry meets who knew his mother says it to him, except Snape. She must have planned the "Look at me" scene from the very start and just kept inserting "You have your mother's eyes" statements to really build to it.

She even drew our attention to Harry's eyes in an interview and we had all sorts of speculation, but nothing like what turned out.


PeskyPixie - Jul 24, 2008 7:37 am (#287 of 925)

Maybe the hierarchy partially exists due to the fact that, in general, Gryffindor and Slytherin are both 'leaders'. Neither is ready to follow. Meanwhile, Hufflepuff is a natural follower (sorry) and Ravenclaw is too intelligent and above this all.


freshwater - Jul 24, 2008 7:47 am (#288 of 925)

Don't apologize for the Hufflepuffs....without followers, the leaders would have precious little to do....and precious little effect. Leaders may have their names in the paper and get the big $$$, but when all is said and done, it's the average people who do most of what it takes to get us all from day to day, and also what it takes to recover from disaster.


PeskyPixie - Jul 24, 2008 7:50 am (#289 of 925)

I agree, freshwater. You've put it so nicely. Really, hard work, loyalty, no fear of toil, those are the most admirable qualities, even if they are not the most glamorous.


Julia H. - Jul 24, 2008 9:39 am (#290 of 925)

Freshwater and PeskyPixie, you both put it very nicely. To this, I would just like to add that Gryffindor and Slytherin seem to be (to me) houses based on the "male principle" and Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw seem to be based on the "female principle". It may be because of their founders but also because of their basic characteristics. The "male" houses are the competitive ones, who are eager to decide who is better etc. The "female" houses care about other things. In general at least.


Solitaire - Jul 24, 2008 5:57 pm (#291 of 925)

I really hoped Hufflepuff would get more of a lift by the end of the series

Well, Cedric was chosen by the Goblet to be the Hogwarts champion. We now know that Harry made it in only because of Voldy's evil plan and Barty's role in things. We also see Ernie being a pretty consistent supporter of Harry's, and he does speak up about staying to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts.

These hints at magical talent/power in both James and Lily --and their ultimate fate-- underscore just how powerful LV is

Well, they didn't even have their wands on them, did they? It's hard to know how they would have fared if they had. Remember that many of the people we have seen Voldy kill thus far have either been wandless or Muggles.

Solitaire


PeskyPixie - Jul 24, 2008 7:13 pm (#292 of 925)

Are we ready to move on to chapter 6 tomorrow?


freshwater - Jul 24, 2008 7:15 pm (#293 of 925)

That's an interesting point, Julia, about the male/female backgrounds of the 4 houses. The "male" houses --Gryffindor and Slytherin-- are more vocal and more out front in their actions, while the "female" houses --Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw-- seem to me to tend more to work quietly, but no less effectively, behind the scenes.

Yes, Pesky...as we say in Wisconsin, "Forward!"


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 24, 2008 7:16 pm (#294 of 925)

I think Rowling's point in having Lily and James be without their wands was to emphasize that their importance was in being human, not in being wizards. Because they could not use their magic, the emphasis is on what they do, rather than on how they do it.


Solitaire - Jul 24, 2008 7:21 pm (#295 of 925)

I agree, Mrs. Brisbee. But I was responding to the quote at the front of my post. Killing James and Lily does not necessarily demonstrate Voldemort's power, since he required Wormtail's betrayal to find them, and they didn't even defend themselves magically.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 24, 2008 7:29 pm (#296 of 925)

Oh, I agree, Solitaire. But of course Voldy would probably lie about it


PeskyPixie - Jul 24, 2008 7:52 pm (#297 of 925)

He'd probably figure that he was more powerful because he was resourceful enough to keep his wand with him at all times. He'd find a way to convince himself of his superiority.


freshwater - Jul 24, 2008 8:00 pm (#298 of 925)

You make a good point there, Solitaire, that in the end it didn't matter because James and Lily did not have their wands at hand. But, we don't know that until very late in the series. I still maintain that the hints of magical talent/power in James &/or Lily tend to give the reader a sense of the difficulty of the tasks Harry is facing. For most of the series we are thinking, "Oh, my! Adult wizards have been overwhelmed and killed by him....how can poor Harry ever defeat him?" Was it DH, or HBP, where Harry saw LV's recollection of the night he killed Harry's parents?


Solitaire - Jul 24, 2008 9:38 pm (#299 of 925)

Although what I'm saying appears clear to me (and in complete accordance with what YOU are saying, Freshwater), I think I must be expressing myself poorly--or in Parselmouth (and I'm not even a Slytherin)--so I'll stop.


tandaradei - Jul 25, 2008 9:26 am (#300 of 925)

(Been absent with a head cold) I order Sci-Fi & Fantasy for our library system, and one thing I grow tired of is how the hero(ine) develops such supernatural abilities by the end of the series, that it appears inconceivable that any new villain could be potent enough to give our protagonist a fair fight.

Not so here. Harry does develop, but not in supernatural abilities (at least, in terms of those he faces). Rather, Harry gains wisdom; and in this series in particular, wisdom in terms of what magic is. Harry basically lectures Voldemort in the end, sure he will win because he has learned his lessons well; he does not win because he has achieved greater magical abilities. But Harry now has wisdom, pluck and friends. Nothing against magic, but it is too easy an out for an author. (This reminds me of the basic Star Trek plotline: time moves fast at the beginning & you get your extra shipmate killed, inventing words for the dilemma; then at the end time moves slowly and you invent words to solve your dilemma. Faithful way to make a story, but boring after awhile. Well, unfortunately many authors do the same in Fantasy. It's usually that "just believe in yourself" idea, unexplainable, but sufficient for our hero to suddenly have the necessary power to overcome.)


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 25, 2008 10:20 am (#301 of 925)

Not so here. Harry does develop, but not in supernatural abilities (at least, in terms of those he faces). Rather, Harry gains wisdom; and in this series in particular, wisdom in terms of what magic is. Harry basically lectures Voldemort in the end, sure he will win because he has learned his lessons well; he does not win because he has achieved greater magical abilities. But Harry now has wisdom, pluck and friends. Nothing against magic, but it is too easy an out for an author. --tandaradei

And in the end, that's why I love the Harry Potter series, despite its many flaws.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 25, 2008 3:36 pm (#302 of 925)

When it was revealed that Dumbledore was gay, there were those who remembered his high heeled shoes from chap 1 and his flamboyant outfit when he went to visit the orphanage but to a minor extent Hagrid is described the same way--pink umbrella, knitting. I think she wanted to emphasize that wizards dressed differently, that maybe Vernon’s aversion to the magical world has its roots in their 'freaky clothing'.


tandaradei - Jul 25, 2008 6:31 pm (#303 of 925)

A few Chapter 5 thoughts:

...[cut]..."I think I'll bully father into getting me one and I'll smuggle it in somehow...[cut]...

Harry was strongly reminded of Dudley.

PS, Ch 5,"Diagon Alley," p.77 US

Draco starts out telling Harry he'll "bully" his father. I'm thinking from the get go, considering Harry's relationship to Dudley, that his and Draco’s relationship will be antagonistic regardless of who starts with the insults or hexes. BTW, I rather think Draco here appears quite talkative and maybe even garrulous, compared to Harry. I guess this might be a sign Draco's a gossip? But still, there are other ways of viewing talkative folks, but Draco’s going down the wrong path with Harry.

...[cut]...Then they visited the Apothecary, which was fascinating enough to make up for its horrible smell, a mixture of bad eggs and rotted cabbages...[cut]...

PS, Ch 5,"Diagon Alley," p.80-1. US

...[cut]...Every year, Harry was left behind with Mrs. Figg ... the whole house smelled of cabbage...[cut]...

PS, Ch 2,"The Vanishing Glass," p.22. US

I wonder if Mrs. Figg mixed potions? Can Squibs mix potions?

...[cut]..."I'll get yer an owl. All the kids want owls, they're dead useful"....[cut]...

PS, Ch 5,"Diagon Alley," p.81 US

...[cut]..."No, no, no," said Hagrid, chuckling, "tha's jus' superstition, that is, they aren' unlucky, they're dead clever an' useful!"....[cut]...

OotP, Ch 21,"The Eye of the Snake," p.446 US

Hagrid puts owls and thestrals into a similar category...




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Series Read-Along Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Six Notes/Summary - post #304

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:24 am




PeskyPixie - Jul 25, 2008 6:34 pm (#304 of 925)

The posts for chapter 5 seem to be dwindling, so I am posting a few points about chapter 6. However, please feel free to discuss the previous chapters as well, if you wish.

Chapter Six - The Journey from Platform Nine and Three Quarters

=>Harry doesn't feed off of the Dursleys' fears as a certain young Riddle would have done

=>ah, Hedwig is named; the orphan has a symbolic protector as he is ready to return to the world to which he belongs; we know at which stage he will lose this protector

=>the Dursleys scoff at the idea of Platform 9 3/4; Petunia is a liar as she herself has gone through the wall in the past!

=>we originally thought the Dursleys horrifyingly cruel for abandoning Harry at King's Cross, however, we now know that Petunia knows how to get to Platform 9 3/4; does she think he'll manage to find his way there or is she secretly hoping that this little hitch will keep him from Hogwarts; is she secretly disappointed that Harry gets picked for Hogwarts but Dudley doesn't? (childhood rejection all over again)

=>the Weasleys enter; bless them!

=>pompous Percy, mischievous twins, ickle Ronnie, Ginny's first appearance, and of course, Molly Weasley (Harry's mother figure)

=>Poor Fred; less than seven years to live; we must keep track of whether Fred is indeed the more 'malicious' of the two.

=>introductions to so many friends and foes we'll be travelling with

=>Harry's fame doesn't give him a big head; he's nice; he's as interested in Ron as Ron is in him

=>Harry has money (often a symbol of power) for the first time in his life and chooses to use it to share with Ron

=>Dumbledore's chocolate frog card; important plotlines for two books in only a few lines

=>more introductions to the Magical world

=>ah, Neville and Trevor; who knew it was to be symbolic by the final book?

=>Scabbers ; he's listening in on Harry's private conversations; I wonder if he squeals like a rat each time Harry accidentally says, "Voldemort"

=>Hermione joins the act ... and she has big teeth (was the tooth-shrinking in GoF planned at this stage?)

=>Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle meet the famous Potter; Harry shows us all what he's made of

=>the entrance of each character tells so much about who they are

=>Gringotts has been broken into! (I admit I never thought of the Philosopher's Stone at this point, even though that's the name of the book and must fit into the plot somehow!)

=>Malfoy family history; they managed to worm their way out of trouble after Voldy's first fall; surprise, surprise, after his second fall

=>the traditional boat ride across the lake with Hagrid

=>Hogwarts castle




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Potteraholic
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Ravenclaw Prefect
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