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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Six Comments - posts #305 to #340

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:29 am



freshwater - Jul 25, 2008 6:45 pm (#305 of 925)

Harry does develop, but not in supernatural abilities (at least, in terms of those he faces). Rather, Harry gains wisdom..."--tandaradei

I recall being part of a discussion on the forum a few years ago where some folks were speculating that Harry would develop amazing magical powers in order to dispatch LV. We ultimately concluded that Jo was not going to go in that direction....that her emphasis on making choices, along with her focus on human relationships more than magical skill, tended to disprove the super!Harry idea. I remember commenting that magic may be fun and useful, but it wouldn't help you with the really important things in your life: the relationships you maintain, the choices you make, the day to day living that we all must do. Despite Arthur Weasley's amazement, we Muggles really do manage quite well without magic....and also struggle with the same issues wizards struggle with: generally our relationships with other people.

I agree, Mrs. Brisbee...this is what I love about the HP series: it's not about magic or fantasy worlds...it's about growing up and facing challenges and finding support and making do with what you have and learning to rise above the frustrations and obstacles of daily life to make great things happen....that is why these stories have resonated with people in various cultures around the world....it's not about magic, it's about people learning how to live. That's universal.


poohnpiglettt - Jul 26, 2008 3:20 am (#306 of 925)

I just noticed Ron not only got hand me down robes and a hand me down pet (Scabbers) but also a wand from Charlie. I'll have to finish rereading to see if it made a difference the first year. Which lead me to wonder is "the wand choosing the wizard" common knowledge because doesn't Mrs. Weasley just send Ron's wand to him the next year (Ill have to look that up)? It could still "choose " him but might it make a difference in how it works for him. Also, I found it interesting that Scabbers bit Goyle and wouldn't let go--not sure what that means.


mona amon - Jul 26, 2008 6:40 am (#307 of 925)

Yes, why on earth does Wormtail/Scabbers take the trouble to bite Goyle?


Julia H. - Jul 26, 2008 7:39 am (#308 of 925)

My guess is that he was suddenly woken up from his sleep, got frightened and bit the thing nearest to him (Goyle's finger). Perhaps he was frightened by seeing a finger near him as he woke up. It may have brought back bad memories to him... and he may have had bad dreams (who would not in his place?).

Otherwise I think it is a red herring. The first-time reader will like Scabbers after that.


Anna L. Black - Jul 26, 2008 10:00 am (#309 of 925)

Funny way to get to a wizards' school, the train.

So Vernon isn't afraid to say "wizard" yet?

Harry's huge, heavy trunk had been loaded into the Dursleys' car

Contrast that with the move from the cupboard to his new room - then he had barely anything in his possession, but as soon as he joins the magical world - he has a heavy trunk full of things.

I never realised that Petunia knew how to get to the platform!! That's horrible for her to just leave Harry out there


Solitaire - Jul 26, 2008 10:27 am (#310 of 925)

I found it interesting that Scabbers bit Goyle and wouldn't let go--not sure what that means.

We now know that Crabbe & Goyle, Sr., as well as Wormtail, were all DEs together. Given the ages of Crabbe and Goyle, Jr., is it possible that C&G Senior were at Hogwarts with Peter? If so, perhaps they tormented him, so he's getting even.

I never realised that Petunia knew how to get to the platform!! That's horrible for her to just leave Harry out there

Look who she married! Can you imagine what Vernon would say if he knew Petunia had once written DD a letter asking to come to Hogwarts? It would give her away as once having wanted to be a Witch. Knowing how to get onto Platform 9 and 3/4 would probably make her just as guilty in his eyes. Remember, she is trying to pretend that magic doesn't exist.

Solitaire


Quinn Crockett - Jul 26, 2008 12:16 pm (#311 of 925)

I never realised that Petunia knew how to get to the platform!! That's horrible for her to just leave Harry out there - Anna

Actually, this connection is wonderful! I had forgotten all about this when I read that section of the Prince's Tale memories in DH. So, to me, it makes it less horrible, actually, that they just left Harry there. Petunia, at least, knows that the platform is really there and that Harry will either figure out a way or be shown how to get there; because she also knows that the place will be secretly swarming with other Witches and Wizards.

It also makes sense that they agree to drive Harry into London for the purpose. If we take the view that Petunia was terrified of anyone finding out that Harry was living there (wizards, I mean, because of the threat of Voldemort), she may have actually been relieved to be able to finally have a reprieve.


tandaradei - Jul 26, 2008 3:33 pm (#312 of 925)

...[cut]...”Wow,” said Ron. He sat and stared at Harry for a few moments, then, as though he had suddenly realized what he was doing, he looked quickly out of the window again.

“Are all your family wizards?” asked Harry, who found Ron just as interesting as Ron found him...[cut]...

PS, Ch 6,"The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters," p.99 US

At their first meeting, Harry and Ron appear willingly vulnerable in how they approach each other, asking first, deepest questions; and even in showing manners in how they imagine the other might not like a subject. We instinctively know Harry would never have approached Draco this way, gauging from his reticence at their first meeting in Madam Malines.

Neville, with his tears asking about his lost Trevor, similarly introduces himself vulnerably to first comers.

Draco, in how he manages first introductions on the train, begins strategically with two backups while attempting a formal sizing up. Such strategizing seems very Slytherin-like.

I’ve been lurking on the Snape thread, where they have been arguing in depth, including talking about how a fair few of the HP characters introduced themselves when first aboard the Hogwarts Express: James and Sirius - sizing themselves and others up aggressively; Snape and Lily, clarifying boundaries and leaving; Harry and Draco with knowledge of instant enmity, where Draco approaches the situation strategically and Harry willingly jumps in the hornet’s nest willy nilly, already having assessed Draco to be a blonde-haired Dudley.

...[cut]...”Say that again,” Ron said, his face as red as his hair.

“Oh, you’re going to fight us are you?” Malfoy sneered.

“Unless you get out, now,” said Harry, more bravely than he felt...[cut]...

PS, Ch 6,"The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters," p.109 US


Solitaire - Jul 26, 2008 3:58 pm (#313 of 925)

Well, Harry has already stood up to Draco about Hagrid, in Madam Malkin's robe shop. When Draco referred to Hagrid as "sort of a servant" and "sort of savage ... gets drunk, tries to do magic, and ends up setting fire to his bed" ... Harry just says, "I think he's brilliant." I think Draco pretty well tipped his hand about his prejudices back in the robe shop, giving Harry plenty of ammo for disliking him.


freshwater - Jul 26, 2008 3:59 pm (#314 of 925)

Interesting points, tandaradei. Much has been made of Ron being Harry's sidekick or supporter, but here we see Harry is the first to offer support for Ron in a tense situation....suppose that's a likely way of engendering loyalty.


tandaradei - Jul 26, 2008 7:19 pm (#315 of 925)

Yes, Soli, I am sure Harry already had his mind made up regarding Draco, as from Madame Malkins. As to the train event, I've been assuming: (1) Draco didn't yet know Harry was the boy he'd introduced himself to at Madam Malkins; (2) Draco had heard, through his excellent gossip circles, that Harry Potter was aboard and where; and (3) regardless of how it was all to play itself out, or who Harry Potter even was, Draco had a manner in which he preferred introductions to happen -- in his way, and then with two bodyguards.

Draco offered a hand in friendship in a glove that was his (all understandings on his side played out); and Harry, knowing that glove and siding with Ron (and Hagrid), rejected it.

Frankly, I actually rather understand Draco's approach a bit better, regardless of his superior attitudes; and must wonder if I'm Slytherin in my tendencies. Harry's approach throughout all introductions IMO seems unprepared and impulsive at the times ... though IMO he always proves himself on the higher moral ground.

I guess what I'm exploring here, tentatively, is how folks get sorted into their houses.

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freshwater said:

...[cut]... here we see Harry is the first to offer support for Ron in a tense situation....suppose that's a likely way of engendering loyalty...[cut]...

Hmmm... I hadn’t even gotten that far. Leadership by example, from Harry? That’s very 60s, how I was raised. I remember as a kid, when at summer camps or whatever, the leader was to get everyone else to work hard by working hardest himself. (As you may also see here, I’m experimenting with different html templates, hoping to find some that work easy for me to duplicate quickly.)


Solitaire - Jul 26, 2008 8:29 pm (#316 of 925)

You're right, tandaradei ... Draco had no idea who Harry was in the robe shop. It's clear, though, from his comments to Harry on the train, that he has heard plenty of talk at home about James and Lily. It's obvious that Harry does not like to see people judged by how much money they have (He may be financially "comfortable" as a Wizard, but he is poor in his Muggle life) or their social position (Draco refers to Hagrid as "a sort of servant"; imagine how he'd have treated news of Harry's "home" under the stairs). Draco's extremely personal comments about Harry's parents, when he is just meeting Harry, really do show his arrogance and let Harry know just exactly what the Malfoys' sympathies are, right out of the gate.

Harry's approach throughout all introductions IMO seems unprepared and impulsive at the times Up to this point, how often can we suppose Harry has been introduced to anyone in any formal way? I can't believe he has acquired any social graces from the Dursleys.

how folks get sorted into their house Well, we see Harry standing up to Malfoy about Hagrid and being willing to stand beside Ron, if Malfoy and the gar"goyles" decide to attack. I guess that is his Gryffindor bravery and loyalty coming out, even before he's been sorted.

Solitaire


tandaradei - Jul 26, 2008 8:53 pm (#317 of 925)

Here's some of what I'm thinking here, about "train introductions" with wizard children about to be put into Houses:

I'm thinking James and Sirius show the haughty side of Gryffindor “perhaps the too-well-to-do side, even rakish; where those assuming power use it poorly.

I’m thinking Snape and Lily show the better side of both Slytherin and Gryffindor - not backing down from opinions (I think Snape overdid his), and not standing for boorish pre-talk about Houses in their own respective ways - Snape by raising the ante as to which house was worse, perhaps thereby allowing everyone to back off from confrontations; and Lily by refusing to enter into any of this “bad house talk” at all.

I’m thinking Draco did not display his opinions of the house he wanted to enter, in its best light; by overstressing the “its who you know” line (I guess its Slughorn who was the master of that); however, Draco does get points for offering a (tainted) handshake.

I’m thinking Harry and Ron handled this all very well by just being themselves.

I also think, heck these are all CHILDREN! On the Snape thread everyone talks as if events like this affect folks for the rest of their lives. In my sordid childhood I remember attacking my brother with a bat and ending up with my jaw out of line for a month; and both of us pretty much forgetting it all by the next month and starting all over. I just can’t see things as so set in stone at that age.

However, I do love to tease out nuances of what things, and what they might mean in the author’s mind, as they develop.


Solitaire - Jul 26, 2008 9:23 pm (#318 of 925)

Draco has already commented back in Madam Malkin's shop that "I know I'll be in Slytherin, all our family have been ..." Since neither Sirius (Gryffindor) nor Tonks (Hufflepuff) were in Slytherin, I guess he doesn't count them as family. We know Auntie Bella has certainly thrown them off. I don't know that Draco's "it's who you know" attitude necessarily reflects "Slytherin-ness." I think it just reflects his own personal arrogance. We don't see other Slytherins boasting about their families (in this book, I mean)--just Draco. As to offering Harry his hand ... I do not give him any points, because he wasn't truly offering friendship. It was an excuse to insult Ron and Hagrid, IMO.

(I'll skip the James/Sirius/Snape/Lily thing here. I've had enough of it on the Snape thread.)

Solitaire


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 26, 2008 10:22 pm (#319 of 925)

I thought child Sirius showed bravery-- not haughtiness-- by breaking away from his family's expectations, and choosing Gryffindor over Slytherin. His family seems to have showcased the worst of the Slytherin sensibilities: Bigotry. I commend Sirius for wanting to get away from that, and I can understand his disdain for anyone he perceives as embracing bigotry and Dark Magic.

The Houses have a long history. How each House is generally seen must have an impact on Wizarding culture. It certainly has to have a huge impact on the Wizarding children ages 11 to 17. What House is a very important decision for their future at Hogwarts.

How do Harry's contemporaries feel about the Houses?

Hermione declares Gryffindor "best". Ravenclaw is a close second for her. We learn that Dumbledore was in Gryffindor (which, after DH, makes me wonder if he also sat under the Sorting Hat thinking "Not Slytherin, not Slytherin!").

Ron is gloomy over the prospect of going into Gryffindor, because he is following along in his whole family's footsteps. But he also doesn't want to be sorted anywhere else. He has neither the wherewithal nor the desire to avoid his fate. He also places Ravenclaw second in the hierarchy, and Slytherin dead last. I think why Ron disdains Slytherin is soon demonstrated by Draco. Draco's hand was an "us or them" offer to Harry, and Draco made clear before he put out his hand that Ron's family was on the "them" list. And when Harry refuses the hand, it's "Unless you're a bit politer you'll go the same way as your parents." Draco is certainly artless.


tandaradei - Jul 26, 2008 10:50 pm (#320 of 925)

Well, in the same way Sirius resisted his family's preference for Slytherin (in both the presence of James and the Sorting Hat), Cedric likewise resisted his father's method of lording it over Harry regarding a Quidditch match. I admired Cedric greatly, almost at all moments; and admire Sirius too for his resistance, yet still ... those two (James and Sirius) just have the smell of high-minded troublemakers to me; and the Sorting Hat was happy for such to go to Gryffindor. Remember, the Weasley twins were also classed as troublemakers, hehe.

I'm not trying to defend Draco as much as look into how he approaches things. He was certainly artless in saying Harry would meet the same fate as his parents. But. Draco also would not kill Dumbledore when it mattered and when he "had" to. I seems to me now that Draco was a child at many times dealing with matters as his parents had shown him to deal; but when push came to shove he could not perform with that "artlessness."

Honestly, life is so much about choices, and our maybe living to see those consequences; and then our hopefully making better choices next time.

I think the Sorting Hat mainly looks into aspirations, as maybe placed against talents and such; and the Hat maybe considers what may happen to us should we find ourselves basically in this or that House "family" philosophy, which either may nourish our aspirations; or maybe will help us to see how we can at least work in that direction.

What was Neville's conversation with the Sorting Hat??? I'm gathering it was the longest, and maybe the most intense and most sensitively determined.


Solitaire - Jul 26, 2008 11:11 pm (#321 of 925)

I, too, agree that Sirius was brave to buck family tradition. I think his quick response that he may "break the tradition" shows he's given it some thought. Still, I think this probably belongs on a different thread.

Ron is gloomy over the prospect of going into Gryffindor To me, the gloom seems to reflect--for all we learn that he wants to stand out--a fear that he might not be sorted into Gryffindor. Ironically, although he often feels overshadowed by Harry, that very friendship puts him into a position where he really does distinguish himself from his brothers (and others) in BIG ways on a number of occasions ... but I'll not go there right now. I like Ron ... I think I'd have enjoyed him and Harry as students. (I've already had Hermione ... twice! I like her, too. )

I can only guess what happened in Neville's Sorting Hat experience. He may also have told the Hat he didn't want to be in Slytherin, given what some of the Slytherins (Lestranges) did to his parents. I figure there was probably a conversation in which Neville told the Hat he wasn't brave of heart or daring or chivalrous ... but the Sorting Hat may have told him he was destined for great things ... which made him so happy he ran off to the table still wearing it! (Just guessing.)

Solitaire


Quinn Crockett - Jul 27, 2008 12:18 am (#322 of 925)

I think where Draco is concerned, we also need to bear in mind that he really looks up to his dad. Draco sees his dad manipulate people by being very formal and following all the "social niceties"; essentially by pretending to be kind and generous to them to get what he wants. But Draco never quite learns to master this particular art form.

Then, too, as we will come to learn in CS, Lucius has a pretty hateful "dark side" (no pun intended), which Draco has no doubt seen in action as well (i.e. the bookstore in CS).

Harry may not have ever been formally introduced to anyone, but he's been to primary school so he's not completely unsocialized the way someone like Draco or James might have been, being only children of wizard parents (who were also doting and wealthy to boot). Draco may have only just met Goyle and Crabbe the same way Harry had just met - and bonded - with Ron.

As far as House rivalry, McGonagall tells the young First Years that "your House will be like your family" (so no pressure or anything). Still it must be an incredible burden to a young boy or girl - particularly one who feels obliged to follow after older siblings or parents - to get into the "right" House (however that is defined by the particular student). Even for those who know nothing of the history of the House rivalries, there must be a sort of sensation similar to that of choosing up teams for a playground game. Close friends would obviously hope to be sorted with each other, and siblings may as well (i.e. the Twins).


rcs - Jul 27, 2008 2:41 am (#323 of 925)

Two things in this chapter that have never made any sense to me:

1. Why can't Mrs. Weasley seem to remember the platform number (remember, she has to ask Ginny what it is), when she's gone to Hogwarts herself, not to mention sent her kids there for the last ten years (note that she does know how to get ONTO the platform; she just doesn't seem to know the NUMBER). Maybe she's just playing with the kids a bit by asking them what the platform number is, but that doesn't seem very consistent with how her character is portrayed in later books.

2. Why doesn't Ron know how the students get sorted into Houses, given that he's had five older brothers and two parents who've all gone to Hogwarts before him? Yes, I know the twins have been pulling his leg a little, but surely Percy or somebody else could have given him accurate information...


poohnpiglettt - Jul 27, 2008 4:12 am (#324 of 925)

Rereading the part about Neville searching for Trevor on the train made me wonder why are the students allowed to bring animals? I know an owl is very useful and if they bring any animal, that would be the one that makes the most sense, but I don't understand why they would bring a cat or a frog (not to mention Scabbers who, technically, should not have be taken since rats were not even mentioned on the list). Do they possess some magical ability that would make them useful or necessary? Since everything else at the school seems to be in line with traditional style boarding schools, apart from the magic of course, it seems strange that the students can bring pets.


poohnpiglettt - Jul 27, 2008 4:25 am (#325 of 925)

Why doesn't Ron know how the students get sorted into Houses, given that he's had five older brothers and two parents who've all gone to Hogwarts before him? Yes, I know the twins have been pulling his leg a little, but surely Percy or somebody else could have given him accurate information... res

I'm guessing that it was just not an important enough detail to pass on to someone. It seems amazing to us and to Harry but since the Weasleys have always lived in a magical world, an old hat talking is not such a strange thing, and nothing to write home about, like, say, a Nimbus 2000. I think they would be excited over the sorting itself but not necessarily how it happened. After all, Ron was not really impressed by the hat, just relieved he wouldn't have to do some sort of difficult test to get in and then was even more relieved when he was placed in Gryffindor. He just chose the wrong brothers to ask--he should have known better : )


Steve Newton - Jul 27, 2008 5:34 am (#326 of 925)

rcs, I thought that Mrs. Weasley asked Ginny the platform number not because she didn't know but because she wanted to give Ginny something to contribute.


mona amon - Jul 27, 2008 6:37 am (#327 of 925)

Since we are not told why Sirius was resisting his family's preference for Slytherin, I do not think we can be sure whether it was bravery or superior moral values or plain rebelliousness.

I love the idea that Neville had a long and interesting conversation with the hat and that's why he ran off to Gryffindor table still wearing it!

Most of the kids don't seem to know anything much about the houses, choosing the house their parents or siblings have been to. Except Hermione, who always researches everything. Young Severus seems to think it's a house for the 'brainy' and actually imagines that Muggle-born Lily has a chance of getting sorted into it.

Parvati and Padma Patil must have been upset, getting sorted into different houses.

Poor Draco. He doesn't get proper moral guidance either at home or from the house he is sorted into, with it's double agent Head of House. Such kids would have a much better chance if they were in some other house.

EDIT: oops, I think my thoughts jumped to the next chapter!


tandaradei - Jul 27, 2008 8:02 am (#328 of 925)

...[cut]... “Nine and three-quarters!” piped a small girl, also red-headed, who was holding her hand, “Mom, can’t I go “”

“You’re not old enough, Ginny”...[cut]...

PS, Ch 5,"The Journey From Platform Nine and Three-Quarters," p.93 US

...[cut]...and the redheaded girl trailed tearfully behind her brothers, clutching her father’s arm.

“It won’t be long, and you’ll be going too,” Harry told her.

“Two years,” sniffed Lily. “I want to go now!...[cut]...

DH, Epilogue, "Nineteen Years Later," p.753 US

Another Beginning/Ending comparison


Quinn Crockett - Jul 27, 2008 10:03 am (#329 of 925)

I agree that Mrs Weasley was probably just asking about the platform for Ginny's sake, as you do when you want to try to make sure everyone is included. That's certainly the way I always play it when I'm reading aloud to my young nieces and nephews.

I also kind of always thought "the Sorting" was just another ritual, the details of which were probably traditionally kept secret (in many families) until the time came for a young First Year to go through it. Or perhaps there is a Fidelius Charm on the Sorting Hat.

Now, I was kidding when I said that about the Fidelius Charm, but that almost makes sense, in some ways. Imagine the things the Hat would have been privy to over the last thousand years. Hm.....


Julia H. - Jul 27, 2008 10:17 am (#330 of 925)

I also think, heck these are all CHILDREN! ... I just can’t see things as so set in stone at that age. (Tandaradei)

I think you are right, children can change at and after this age and the relationship between them may change as well. Perhaps the train ride and the introductions are symbolic and that is why so much seems to be "set in stone" here. Or perhaps it is the sorting itself that sets these original relationships and attitudes into stone...


PatPat - Jul 27, 2008 10:19 am (#331 of 925)

I've seen everyone talking about this. I'd love to join in on the re-read. Is it too late?


PeskyPixie - Jul 27, 2008 10:24 am (#332 of 925)

It's never too late! Hop aboard. We're on chapter six in PS/SS, but feel free to add your thoughts on the previous chapters if you wish.


Julia H. - Jul 27, 2008 10:25 am (#333 of 925)

Of course not. It is just the beginning of the first book and anyway... Welcome, PatPat!


Solitaire - Jul 27, 2008 10:28 am (#334 of 925)

Why can't Mrs. Weasley seem to remember the platform number Do you suppose they need to say it or "think it" in order to see it? Perhaps she wants to make sure they are concentrating. Remember when Moody had Harry concentrate on 12GP that first time, so that he would eventually see where he needed to go? Perhaps if they aren't concentrating properly, they can't get through the barrier. Remember that it is Ron's first time, so maybe she wants to make sure. Besides, if she hadn't said anything, how would Harry have found it? Just a thought ...

Since we are not told why Sirius was resisting his family's preference for Slytherin, I do not think we can be sure whether it was bravery or superior moral values or plain rebelliousness. It may be a bit of all three, Mona. However, based on what we learn about Sirius--the fact that he seems to spend most of his "off time" with James's family, once he meets him--it sounds like Sirius didn't much care to be in the company of his family. As we get to know him, too, we find out that he didn't like his family's values at all. We do know that Sirius is brave, daring, and loyal from the time Harry meets him in PoA. Perhaps the Sorting Hat saw these qualities. But we seem to be getting away from PS/SS.

Perhaps the Patil twins wanted to be in different houses. Maybe their parents were from different houses, and each went into a parent's house. Maybe ...

I just can’t see things as so set in stone at that age. Hence Dumbledore's comment to Snape at the Yule Ball: "I sometimes think we sort too soon." (not exact words, but I don't have my book handy)

Solitaire


tandaradei - Jul 27, 2008 12:34 pm (#335 of 925)

Should have thought up this Beginning/Ending comparison sooner: the HRH story pretty much begins at King's Cross in Chapter 6 of PS, and ends at Kings Cross in the Epilogue of DH.

BTW, Chapter 35 of DH is called "King's Cross"; wouldn't Ch 6 in PS have better been called, "The Journey from King's Cross" for better symmetry?


freshwater - Jul 27, 2008 1:56 pm (#336 of 925)
Edited Jul 27, 2008 3:22 pm

Or the epilogue could have been called "Another Journey From King's Cross" to bookend with ch. 6 of PS/SS.

I just tallied the results of the poll on possible format changes for this series re-read-along. The overall consensus seems to be to leave things well enough alone....but please check out the final results/comments for yourself in the Votes folder.


PatPat - Jul 27, 2008 3:52 pm (#337 of 925)

Thanks, everyone! I'll start from here as this would be a rather long post if I commented on the previous five chapters too!

Small thing that always bugged me about chapter 6. What on earth did the Dursley's tell the hospital they took Dudley to?? "I don't know, Doctor. The tail was just there one day!" Weird.

I also thought it was weird that Molly didn't know the platform number. It couldn't simply be an author's trick to allow Harry to find them because the mention of "Muggles" was enough to accomplish that. I like the thought that it was done to include Ginny in the conversation. I also absolutely love the parallels here between Ginny and little Lily in DH. I had noticed that immediately upon reading the epilogue and I am glad it was brought up here. I think Jo is an absolute master at this. The parallels in this series are too numerous to count. Pure genius.

Wonderful character development was the twins immediately being willing to help Harry with his trunk. This really shows their true personality. Jokesters, yes, but always there to help. **sniff sniff**

The other thing that pops out of this chapter is Molly's concern for Harry as a person and not just because he is famous. There is a definite separation in the books between people that truly care for Harry and those who are interested in him for his fame and what he can do for the wizarding world. The Weasleys definitely fall into the former category and it is in this chapter that begins to be seen.

This may be one of the most important chapters in the entire series actually. It is the beginning of Harry and Ron's friendship, they are introduced to Hermione and Neville, and Draco becomes their enemy here. A real start to the relationships that are central to the story.


PeskyPixie - Jul 27, 2008 4:47 pm (#338 of 925)

What on earth did the Dursley's tell the hospital they took Dudley to?? "I don't know, Doctor. The tail was just there one day!" -PatPat

LOL! I seem to recall it being mentioned somewhere that they told the doctor that it was a weird wart or a skin growth or something. But maybe I just made that up, so don't take me at my word on this one!

About Platform 9 3/4, I think JKR just wasn't focusing on Molly's background and history when she wrote that bit. However, we can easily overlook it by interpreting it as Molly (the mother hen) either including little Ginny in the conversation, or perhaps checking whether or not Ginny remembers it after learning it as part of her home-schooled Magical education.


Solitaire - Jul 27, 2008 5:30 pm (#339 of 925)

I think you're right about the tail, Pesky--they did say it was a wart or mole or something similar. You don't suppose Petunia knows about St. Mungo's ... nah!

When Mrs. Weasley tells Ginny to be quiet after she has piped "Nine-and-three-quarters!" I kind of take it that she was not talking to Ginny. I still think she may have been talking to Ron--to make sure he concentrated when he went through the barrier, since this would probably be his first time going through on his own. Concentration seems to be important when trying to see/enter things hidden from Muggle (and other) eyes and also when casting spells and Apparating.

Solitaire


freshwater - Jul 27, 2008 6:13 pm (#340 of 925)

Excellent points about Molly's initial view of Harry and the twins' willingness to help out a firstie, and of the beginnings of the essential relationships.

Makes me think....I really like the way Harry is supportive of Neville later in this book....Hermione (an only child) first takes Neville (also an only child) under her wing...then Harry (another only child) takes his part....Ron (one of many siblings) doesn't extend himself much for Neville in this book(as I recall)...perhaps he takes for granted having someone to turn to for help?




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Six Comments - posts #341 to #369

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:31 am



PatPat - Jul 27, 2008 6:37 pm (#341 of 925)

You're right, freshwater. Ron really is the one that later is kind of hard on Neville, telling him to stand up for himself. Probably also part of having 5 older brothers. He had to learn to stand up for himself. That's a really good point. I think, besides being an only child, Harry's innate goodness and helpfulness just comes through when he sees someone in pain.


PeskyPixie - Jul 27, 2008 6:48 pm (#342 of 925)

I find similarity between Harry's defense of Ron against Malfoy and his thugs, with Lily's defence of Severus (moving to another compartment with him) from James and Sirius.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 27, 2008 8:46 pm (#343 of 925)

I find similarity between Harry's defense of Ron against Malfoy and his thugs, with Lily's defence of Severus (moving to another compartment with him) from James and Sirius.-- PeskyPixie

After thinking really hard about this (because I'm too lazy to go find my copy of DH and actually reread it right now, so I'm going to have to rely on thought only), I don't know (how's that for conclusive? ). Wouldn't one friend usually help another friend defend against "interlopers"? In that regard I think Lily and Harry are pretty much like anyone else (although it just at this moment occurred to me that Snape in the future will let Lily down in this regard. Hmmm. Interesting). Perhaps you had something more specific in mind?

There are some parallels, but I find the complex differences between the two scenes to be what makes them interesting. But, maybe I had better wait until DH so I'm not talking too far ahead, and have actually reread the scenes.

Great observations on many fronts, folks. I liked the points about Ron having had to learn to stick up for himself because of all his older brothers, and the kindness of Mrs. Weasley.


PeskyPixie - Jul 27, 2008 9:06 pm (#344 of 925)

Lily doesn't know much about the Magical world. She is sitting with a friend who knows much of that world. This friend most probably does not have much standing within the Magical community because he is a poor Half-Blood. A rich Pure-Blood picks on him, he makes a snarky remark back, and the rich Pure-Blood(s) gang up on him. Rather than side with the 'cool kids', Lily sticks by her friend.

Harry doesn't know much about the Magical world. He is sitting with a new friend who knows much about that world. This friend most probably does not have much standing within the Magical community because he is a poor Blood Traitor. A rich Pure-Blood picks on him after he sniggers at the Pure-Blood's name and the Pure-Blood tells him off. Rather than side with the 'cool kids', Harry sticks by his friend.

Obviously, I am not comparing each kid very deeply to their counterpart in the other scenario. Ron and Severus, James and Draco, Sirius and Crabbe/Goyle are highly different characters who make highly different choices in life. However, Lily's and Harry's responses are the same. And no, I don't think every kid in the world would stick up, verbally or with actions, when their friend is verbally harassed by kids who seem cool. They may not like it, but it's hard to be so obviously brave in a relatively minor situation. Many kids would wait for Draco or James to leave, then say to Ron or Severus, "What's his problem?" Others (like Pettigrew) would gravitate towards the more obviously alpha kids of the pack.

Many kids are tempted when presented with the opportunity to be cool. Harry is offered it but he doesn't take it. Lily is not openly offered it during this scene, but when she is placed in Gryffindor Sirius makes room for her at the Gryffindor table, but Lily ignores his 'peace offering' because she does not like what she has seen on the train. So, yeah, I find Lily and Harry to be very similar. Dumbledore got it right.


freshwater - Jul 27, 2008 9:53 pm (#345 of 925)

They may not like it, but it's hard to be so obviously brave in a relatively minor situation.--Pesky Pixie

Well put, P.P. After all, DD did say, "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." Interesting that in that comment, he is calling our attention to the fact that Neville's bravery is equal to that of H/R/H.....another parallel with the end of DH.....although I've gotten ahead of myself, chapter-wise.


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 27, 2008 10:01 pm (#346 of 925)

PeskyPixie, I do see many parallels (some very superficial, though). One major difference I see is that in Lily's scene Snape has the part of bigot, and in Harry's scene that role is taken by Draco. Lily isn't capable of tackling her friend's bigotry at the moment. If the choice is seen as accepting the bigotry (by taking the easy road of not dealing with it) or rejecting it, then Lily and Harry make very different choices. But of course Lily and Harry are in different situations. Snape has been friends with Lily for a long time, and she has never met James and Sirius before. Draco was probably what he considered friendly to Harry in the robe shop, and Draco extends his hand on the train in do-it-my-way-or-else "friendship", and Harry finds himself having to make a choice between Draco or his brand new friend, Ron. It's an easy choice, but a very different dynamic from Lily's train confrontation.

I guess I'm just looking at the complexities going on underneath the obvious parallels. It doesn't invalidate your observations, PeskyPixie, but I also see a lot of differences in the way Lily and Harry act, and the situation they were in.

Ack, it's 1 o'clock in the morning. Out of time.


PatPat - Jul 27, 2008 10:40 pm (#347 of 925)

Hmmm. I see where you're coming from, Mrs. Brisbee, but I'm afraid I have to side with Pesky on this one. It's true that Snape has some bigotry issues, but, in that particular scene, he does not start the problem nor is he the one who is acting prejudiced (Bet you never thought you'd see me stick up for Snape! ) James and Sirius start the conflict when they comment (rather rudely) on Severus' desire to be in Slytherin. From Lily's point of view, Snape is the one being "picked on". At this point, she probably does not have a whole lot of knowledge of Severus' prejudices as he has told her (though admittedly rather hesitantly) that being Muggle-born doesn't matter. All she sees is her friend, who is decidedly "uncool", being picked on by "cool" kids. She defends her friend, which is not what "any kid" would do. I teach kids every day and see how difficult it is for them to go against the "popular crowd" and do the "right thing." It doesn't make them bad kids. It just takes a tremendous amount of bravery to do this. Especially with the immediateness that Harry and Lily do it. No thought. Simply acting to do what they believe is right.

Harry is in a similar position because he has very little knowledge of the magical world, yet sees bigotry in front of him and immediately comes to the defense of his new friend. The fact that he doesn't even have to think about it is what impresses me. It's very unusual for a kid to instinctively know what the right thing is and to do it no matter how difficult.

Pesky is correct. Dumbledore got it right. (IMO)


freshwater - Jul 28, 2008 5:25 am (#348 of 925)

You make some excellent points, Mrs. Brisbee...but I think that at the point of that event on the train, Lily does not yet fully appreciate the extent of Severus' bigotry....but, it seems to me, the bigotry displayed by James & Sirius (just because we like them doesn't mean they can't be really wrong) is what Lily reacts against, just as Harry reacts against Draco's prejudices against Ron's poverty.

I suppose that, between these two train introduction scenes there are both significant similarities and significant differences.....oh, my....I feel like I must be playing the role of a Hufflepuff peace-maker!


PeskyPixie - Jul 28, 2008 7:34 am (#349 of 925)

No, freshwater, don't be a peaceful Hufflepuff!

PatPat, you've done an excellent job of explaining the points I left in my head (I was too tired to elaborate at the time!).

We know about Severus's issues a bit, but in that scene he is in a private conversation with his best friend which James interrupts and butts into simply because he doesn't agree with Snape's wish to be in Slytherin.

Now, later on in the series we learn that Ron himself, as much as we love him, is not a character without any bigotry issues either. He has prejudices against werewolves and giants due to his upbringing in the Magical world. (We see how easily Harry and Hermione are able to see past these prejudices.)

Still, I don't think Ron does anything in that particular scene to be picked on by Draco (well, yes, he snickers at Draco's name, but we'll overlook that ). Similarly, I can't see how Snape provokes James and Sirius in the particular moment of the train ride we are shown. As superficial as it may seem to some, both Ron and Severus are quiet nerds who get picked on by rich Pure-Bloods which causes Harry and Lily, respectively, to defend them.

Anyhow, Mrs Brisbee, as I said, I wasn't comparing the corresponding characters at any depth, just Harry and Lily and how they are both brave enough to stand up against popular kids in order to defend their friend who is obviously uncool. They both have this built-in ability to do the right thing rather than the easy thing ... and they do it quite quickly without much contemplation. From all I've seen during that period of my life, many (I hesitate to say 'most') children are not able to be so bold against popular kids. As PatPat says, it doesn't make those kids 'bad', however Lily and Harry are very impressive in this type of bravery, and at such a young age too.

EDIT: "Bet you never thought you'd see me stick up for Snape!" -PatPat

LOL, that's what happens once you start hanging out with Slytherins!


Solitaire - Jul 28, 2008 9:00 am (#350 of 925)

Whew! Not me ... I'm Gryffindor to the core! (although I did come up with a lot of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw answers)


PatPat - Jul 28, 2008 9:32 am (#351 of 925)

LOL! Oh, I am definitely a Gryffindor, Soli, but, even our favorite Gryffindor, Harry, is able to admit when his father is the one in the wrong when he picks on Snape. He is even able to forgive Snape, in the end, and appreciate his bravery.


PeskyPixie - Jul 28, 2008 9:38 am (#352 of 925)

Plus, even if you don't admit it, you all know you love me , and I'm in Slytherin (though the Hat seriously considered putting me in Ravenclaw)!

BTW, well said, PatPat.


Soul Search - Jul 28, 2008 9:39 am (#353 of 925)

Chapter Six seems to be for establishing the student characters throughout the series. We meet most, with the only real exception of Luna who we don't see until OotP. We also meet Molly Weasley and learn a little more about Dumbledore.

Most importantly, the trio meet each other and Ron and Harry establish their life-long friendship.

I thought I would explore the beginnings of Harry's and Ron's friendship but, in anticipation of a continuing discussion, posted on the "Internal Relationships of Our Trio" topic, post #232.


PatPat - Jul 28, 2008 11:07 am (#354 of 925)

Of course we love you, Pesky! You know you are my favorite Slytherin!!


Solitaire - Jul 28, 2008 12:37 pm (#355 of 925)

I lack the Ravenclaw brains, Pesky (as you see from my fear of riddles) ... but I do hate to make rash decisions. That is my least Gryffindor trait. I want to examine all angles of a problem or issue before I tackle it ... unless I am forced to act immediately. That is apparently a Ravenclaw trait.


tandaradei - Jul 28, 2008 4:27 pm (#356 of 925)
Edited Jul 28, 2008 5:14 pm

Here's my Neville Moment:

Unknown to HRH and all else on the train, Neville could easily have spent much of his childhood wanting to get away from magic; and unlike them not wholeheartedly wanting to go where he's presently going. I'm guessing something like this might be going in the unconscious, more animal-like part of his brain. I'd imagine his grandmother has taken him a number of times by now to his traumatized parents; and I'd also imagine he has learned from both Gran and family, that they were highly adept wizards and were badly traumatized "in the line of duty." I'd rather think, regardless of aspirations, that Neville just naturally is less excited about following in such footsteps. I don't mean this conflict is a cognitive process; just an animal observation on his part, to avoid unpleasant things. By OotP, I'm thinking Neville's higher brain functions will override this "animal" tentativeness.

Uncle Algie has, however, managed to prove Neville is a wizard (story yet to be told). I'd really doubt Neville was actively campaigning against being a wizard; only that like Arianna, in his childhood brain he's experiencing conflicting emotions about magic, because of what he has observed; yet Neville's magic side, ever wanting to express itself, might also know that; and as Neville is on the eve of entering Hogwarts, he might feel somewhat conflicted.

Neville is going to go; Gran is adamant. But on account of some conflicting feelings, Neville might have become a bit retiring about it all. Now, the family knows he probably needs a pet for security, and they give him a toad -- something popular in their generation, possibly, but less so with the present.

Oddly, Trevor the toad may actually be what Neville needs, because it forces him to do some things a retiring personality is at odds with -- mixing with wizard and witch children his own age, engaging them to help him find his toad. The first thing we see Trevor do is disappear (they tend to hop), so that Neville eventually can be seen enlisting the aid of others, notably Hermione on the train and later Hagrid, to help him track Trevor down. Trevor is forcing Neville to come out.

As to crying. Neville is a child. I remember crying once as a child and not even wanting to. It was weird for me: I'd dreamed of winning this stupid soapbox derby contest, and when I went to the tryouts my car didn't even come close winning; I cried copiously, and even I was startled by this, because I normally got into fights with my peers and brothers all the time, and all of us knew I could take enormous amounts of abuse. IMO tears from that age are spontaneous and not necessarily too critical as indicators of courage; yes, maybe at a parent's level tears need to be dried; but I'm perfectly accepting of tears from anyone at that age; and rather doubt they are solid indicators of developing character. The Sorting Hat will bear me out on this, I'm thinking.

Neville will soon receive Trevor back with delight in the next chapter; and again in a very uncomplicated manner because he is a child.


freshwater - Jul 28, 2008 4:38 pm (#357 of 925)

Very insightful comments about Neville, T. Your explanations about his possible reticence in doing magic makes a lot of emotional sense to me.....and would explain a lot about Nev's trouble doing magic in his early years at Hogwarts that was never properly explained by Ms. Rowling. **Accio, HP Encyclopedia!**


tandaradei - Jul 28, 2008 4:53 pm (#358 of 925)

thanx.

This isn't coming naturally. I have so completely misread so many characters in this series that I'm trying to see them from "outside the whole," meaning, as they turn out; instead of from within ongoing bits of the story.

Neville's reaction before Voldemort in the end completely floored me. How can anyone be so spontaneously brave, against such devastatingly apparent disaster??? I'm trying to work out a scenario.


freshwater - Jul 28, 2008 5:58 pm (#359 of 925)

I think Neville found both a cause he was compelled to support and a friend (Harry) whom he respected highly and was willing to follow/support. Both would be much more compelling reasons than impressing his demanding Gran (which moment was my favorite out of all of DH, BTW ) or living up to the legendary exploits of parents who were unavailable to raise him.

As with Harry, --in true JKR style-- Neville didn't spend 7 years at Hogwarts becoming a powerfully magical wizard; he spent 7 years at Hogwarts becoming an emotionally mature, self-confident young man with friends he valued and respected and who valued and respected him in turn.


tandaradei - Jul 28, 2008 6:51 pm (#360 of 925)

Yes.

I hope this isn't in bad form, but I'd really like to repost Soul Search's little essay on Harry & Ron here too; SS has worked on yet another part of this chapter I hadn't first taken keen enough notice of; & I'd like it all together.

Soul Search said:

...[cut]...This post is from the series-read-along and Chapter Six, "The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters." One cited activity for the read-a-long was to track the development of the relationship of the trio. Chapter Six is where they first meet. The series-read-along Chapter Six discussion starts with post #304.

The chapter deliberately progresses through all the steps for developing a friendship:

Establish a mutual interest in a friendship.

Recognize similar background and interests.

Each willing to share with the other.

Each willing to help in a time of diversity.

We see the friendship develop over the course of the train ride to Hogwarts:

Harry first sees Ron on the station with the other Weasleys. Mrs. Weasley is kind and helpful, even letting him go to platform 9 3/4 before her youngest son, Ron. Harry might even be a bit envious of Ron, having a kind mother and an obviously good family.

Harry then meets the twins. They help him, are kind, confirm that he is THE Harry Potter, but then join their mother on the platform. Reinforcement that this is a good family.

Harry overhears the Weasleys on the platform. Mrs. Weasley expresses concern for Harry and chides the twins about asking Harry about his parents deaths. Harry is grateful, since he doesn't want to call attention to himself.

Ron enters the compartment and actually asks Harry if he can join him. How polite. Ron must come from a well-mannered family. Ron and Harry have an exploratory discussion. Ron satisfies his curiosity about Harry, his scar, and the Muggles he grew up with, without going too far and embarrassing Harry, and Harry learns about Ron, his family, Voldemort, and a little about the wizarding world. This discussion establishes the following:

Neither Harry nor Ron have what might be termed a "best friend." (Harry because of Dudley. Ron because the twins are the brothers closest in age and they treat him as a subject for their jokes.) Both want a "best friend."

Both grew up financially "poor" having to wear hand-me-downs and never having enough money for frills.

They are both rather even in magical knowledge, in spite of Ron being from a wizarding family.

Each has something to contribute. Harry knows about Muggles, is famous for his scar, and says Voldemort's name. Ron has a family, knows about the wizarding world, and about Hogwarts.

Ron helps alleviate Harry's great fears by telling him it is all right that he doesn't know much about the wizarding world.

Throughout the discussion, neither tries to put the other down nor tries to dominate the budding relationship. Each is interested in the other.

Harry, very generously, shares what he buys from the cart and Ron offers to share his corned beef sandwiches, which is all he has.

The incident with Draco cements their budding friendship. Draco is a common enemy, and each takes a risk to help the other. Harry decidedly chooses Ron over Draco's offer of pureblood association and Ron stands with Harry when the confrontation appears about to become physical.

Ron and Harry's friendship builds throughout the series, but it is firmly established on the train ride to Hogwarts....[cut]...


Solitaire - Jul 28, 2008 7:23 pm (#361 of 925)

Neville didn't spend 7 years at Hogwarts becoming a powerfully magical wizard; he spent 7 years at Hogwarts becoming an emotionally mature, self-confident young man with friends he valued and respected and who valued and respected him in turn.

Harry shows himself to Neville as he is on his way to meet Voldemort. He tells Neville--not Kingsley, or McGonagall, or other powerful wizards, but Neville--that Nagini needs to be killed and asks him to make sure it happens, just in case Ron and Hermione are ... "busy." Although Harry denies that he is "handing himself over," I think Neville knows ... and Harry knows he know. That's why he tells Harry that they are going to keep on fighting, I think, to give Harry heart for the task ahead. I think it say something about Harry's understanding and level of respect for Neville, as well. He sees that Neville, like himself, is committed and will go the distance as long as he is breathing and can wield his wand. Neville is a good guy.

Tandaradei, I think this whole segment of Harry's interaction with the Weasleys from the entrance to the platform to the first arrival at Hogwarts is the beginning of Harry's kind of being "grafted" into the Weasley family. From this point on, they seem to consider him as such. Molly actually admits to considering him as a son on more than one occasion in the series.

Solitaire


Anna L. Black - Jul 29, 2008 6:29 am (#362 of 925)

I think Neville is coming to Hogwarts in a state of mind similar to Ron's -

Five, said Ron. For some reason, he was looking gloomy. "I'm the sixth in our family to go to Hogwarts. You could say I've got a lot to live up to. [...] Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it's no big deal, because they did it first. You never get anything new, either, with five brothers. I've got Bill's old robes, Charlie's old wand, and Percy's old rat."

Neville comes to school when there are lots of expectations of him to live up to his parents' "glory", just like Ron he has somebody else's wand, and both of them come with pets that aren't exciting, useful or plain "cool". I think that the fact Ron has a lot of siblings, thus having had a lot of "social time" with kids around his age, might be the main difference between the two at this point.


mona amon - Jul 29, 2008 8:51 am (#363 of 925)

Good point, Anna.

By DH all Augusta Longbottom's unfair expectations of her grandson are realised. Neville does become the kind of person she wants him to be. She never learns to appreciate him for what he was earlier (what Minerva McGonagall wants her to do). There's something rather unsatisfactory about that.


freshwater - Jul 29, 2008 9:30 am (#364 of 925)

I don't know if Augusta's expectations of Neville were 'unfair'....she's just gotten too old to recall how a young person needs to grow up --gradually-- and is eager to see any trace of her late son and daughter-in-law in him. I'll admit that I get pretty angry with her at points in the series....but I guess I have a lot of empathy for her, too. The fact that she can recognize his strengths by the end of DH shows that she has at least not solidified him in her mind as ineffectual/weak...she is willing to alter her view of him.


PeskyPixie - Jul 29, 2008 10:22 am (#365 of 925)

Should we spend another day on this chapter before I post the notes on chapter seven? (please let me know - don't be as wishy-washy as I am when asked this same question!)


PatPat - Jul 29, 2008 2:32 pm (#366 of 925)

I'm new here on this thread, but I think we can move on. Just my opinion though!


Quinn Crockett - Jul 29, 2008 6:16 pm (#367 of 925)

We have all read these books several times, it seems. I think it's safe to move on when the discussion naturally dictates it.


PeskyPixie - Jul 29, 2008 6:17 pm (#368 of 925)

Alright, go for it.


Solitaire - Jul 29, 2008 6:32 pm (#369 of 925)

I agree ... Chapter 7!




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Seven Notes/Summary - post #375

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:36 am



NOTE: This chapter notes/summary post was posted after some Chapter 7 comments were made, but I reposted it before those comments, to keep to the uniform layout of this thread: chapter notes/summary followed by posters' comments. ~Potteraholic


PeskyPixie - Jul 30, 2008 8:01 am (#375 of 925)

Oh, I had assumed from Quinn's post that the notes were getting unnecessary.

Personally, I like them (although mine aren't as great as others), so here they are:

Chapter Seven - The Sorting Hat

=>Minerva McGonagall is not a witch to mess with; she is thinking all sorts of Snapey comments in her head about Neville's crooked cape and Ron's smudged nose.

=>seriously, why are all of the kids unaware of the method of sorting into houses? Is it really a secret ritual that is not spoken of in front of those who have yet to attend Hogwarts? I can't imagine the Malfoys following such traditions.

=>the ghosts! If the Fat Friar is indication of Hufflepuff then it is a noble House indeed.

=>first mention of Hogwarts: A History!

=>even after learning of the simple nature of being Sorted Harry is panic-stricken that none of the Houses will accept him - how true it is that these ridiculous worries strike when one is incredibly anxious.

=>Harry's not sure whether it's his imagination or all he's heard, but the Slytherin students look like an unpleasant lot to him ...

=>I too would loved to have heard the Sorting Hat's conversation with Neville, well, with all of the characters actually.

=>as I've mentioned, I seriously thought the Hat would shove Harry into Slytherin. This is the first indication that choices do matter, a theme which is further explored throughout the series and even makes its way into the epilogue.

=>Ah, there's Zabini! I wonder which number step-father he had at the time.

=>Harry is finally fed well

=>where I live, mint humbugs are these little brown and white striped candies, sort of square-shaped, like old-fashioned candy (I had a teacher who was obsessed with them). I wonder whether the humbugs (mentioned twice in the first book) are a dropped detail of the Magical world?

=>we learn about Seamus, Neville, Nick, and many others we'll be spending quality time with.

=>while the back of Quirrell's turban faces Harry, the hook-nosed teacher with greasy black hair looks directly into Harry's eyes and Harry feels a burst of pain in his scar; we now know that two different things are going on in this moment.

=>the Hogwarts song!

=>a nice bed for Harry

=>Scabbers is chewing up the sheets. Weird.

=>Harry's first dream at Hogwarts: "He was wearing Professor Quirrell's turban, which kept talking to him, telling his he must transfer to Slytherin at once, because it was his destiny. Harry told the turban he didn't want to be in Slytherin; it got heavier and heavier; he tried to pull it off but it tightened painfully - and there was Malfoy, laughing at him as he struggled with it - then Malfoy turned into the hook-nosed teacher, Snape, whose laugh became high and cold - there was a burst of green light ... " ; lots to examine there.

BTW, I'm getting my computer looked at today. If you don't hear from me for a few days assume that it is in the shop and someone else can post the notes for chapter eight.




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Seven Comments - posts #370 to #400

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:46 am



NOTE: Post #375 is missing in this section of posts because it contains the chapter notes/summary for Chapter 7. It was posted after some Chapter 7 comments had already been made, but I reposted it before those comments, to keep to the uniform layout of this thread: chapter notes/summary followed by posters' comments. ~Potteraholic


PeskyPixie - Jul 29, 2008 10:41 pm (#370 of 925)

Okay, I'm assuming we've decided not to use the 'chapter notes' anymore, so I'm not posting them for chapter seven. My notes for chapter six weren't that great anyway.

I remember that the first time I ever read this chapter I seriously thought the Sorting Hat would place Harry in Slytherin, that he'd be denied the comfort of being in Gryffindor like Ron. I thought he'd be made even more miserable by having to share a room with Draco, so I was surprised when he got his way and was Sorted into Gryffindor. Ah, right, choices.


Solitaire - Jul 29, 2008 10:45 pm (#371 of 925)

Thank heavens the Hat had some compassion! Can you imagine how miserable he would have been in Slytherin, not only with Draco and the gar"Goyles" but also with Snape as head? Ick!


PeskyPixie - Jul 29, 2008 10:53 pm (#372 of 925)

Actually, if Harry had been in Slytherin Snape would probably not have chopped so many points from him. Ah, that is the question, isn't it? Does Snape hate Harry or love Slytherin more?

It's great to see Harry get fed well, but what's with the mint humbugs? They turn up for the second time, then are never mentioned again.


freshwater - Jul 30, 2008 6:24 am (#373 of 925)

What is a peppermint humbug, anyway?

Did we decide to dispense w/chapter note? I kinda liked them....

Just yesterday I discovered that the Lexicon has chapter notes for every chapter of every book....imagine that...in a Lexicon **head-desk**blush**


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 30, 2008 6:34 am (#374 of 925)

I liked the chapter notes, too. They have been very good so far. But I think it should be up to the chapter lead what style they wish to post in, so if they prefer some other format that's okay.



* For Post #375, see NOTE above.


PeskyPixie - Jul 30, 2008 10:27 am (#376 of 925)

My computer is now fine. I'll do the notes for chapter eight as well, when the time comes.


Quinn Crockett - Jul 30, 2008 11:24 am (#377 of 925)

I had assumed from Quinn's post that the notes were getting unnecessary. - Pesky

Why? I was only saying that once the discussion starts to die down about a particular chapter, it seems a good indication that we can safely go on to the next one. I didn't say anything about the format.

I also like the chapter notes. It's kind of "de rigueur" for a book club meeting, isn't it?

-----

I don't like those mint candies.

As far as people not knowing about the Sorting ritual, I'm sure that not everyone is as ignorant as Harry and Ron about it. But I could see the Weasleys being the sort of family to keep it a secret. One's first time going to Hogwarts is a big deal, it seems. I could well imagine some families not really wanting to spoil the surprise for their little First Year.

Harry's dream is an interesting one. I have always wondered what, exactly, JKR was imagining the reader would think. One interesting thing is that the sort of "burden of Harry's destiny" also becomes increasingly heavy and tighter as the series rolls on. And Malfoy, Harry's nemesis, is indeed later replaced in that role by Snape.


Steve Newton - Jul 30, 2008 11:32 am (#378 of 925)

I think that the chapter notes are helpful if you are searching for something. If you know the chapter then you have a better chance of finding what you are looking for.


PeskyPixie - Jul 30, 2008 11:55 am (#379 of 925)

Quinn, it was a misunderstanding. I like the chapter notes myself as well.


poohnpiglettt - Jul 30, 2008 5:08 pm (#380 of 925)

l find it interesting that Lavender Brown became the first Gryffindor--who knew she would come into play later? Also I find it interesting that the only time it mentions that the sorting hat took time to choose was in sorting Gryffindors--Seamus, Neville, and even Harry to an extent, although we don't get an actual time frame on him.


PeskyPixie - Jul 30, 2008 5:18 pm (#381 of 925)

I wonder what the Hat wondered about Seamus.


Solitaire - Jul 30, 2008 8:33 pm (#382 of 925)

I guess we don't need a timeframe on Harry, since we are privy to the actual conversation. The fact that the hat was on Seamus and Neville for rather a long time suggests they may have had some "mental conversations" with it, as well.


tandaradei - Jul 30, 2008 8:48 pm (#383 of 925)

been so busy & sick, not had time & must catch up.

I like some of these ideas of more folks having conversations in the hat. It fits with Seamus, who incidentally has many, erm, doubts about Harry & what he should do in OotP; so maybe some of that kind of thing got hashed out here with the Hat. Jo IMO likes to keep such continuities.

With Neville, I'm also thinking about two things: It seems Neville rather quickly & expertly retrieves the Gryffindor sword (out of Griphook's possession) through his communications with the Hat ... and couldn't the seeds for that expertness be grounded in what he and the Hat learn about each other from here? It reminds me of how Neville was such an expert about the Room of Requirement ... better IMO than Harry's intuitive designs over it; I'm thinking there are some really special "magical" intuitions that Neville has, about magical things even beyond botany, that others may not.


Solitaire - Jul 30, 2008 9:04 pm (#384 of 925)
Edited Jul 30, 2008 9:42 pm

I think Neville was probably just a normal Wizard kid who was underrated and stressed out by his Gran (who unfairly compared him with his Auror father before he'd even had a chance to learn anything), tormented by Uncle Algie, and terrified by Snape in the early books. Once he'd survived the battle of the DoM and fought DEs in Hogwarts, I believe his confidence grew and he began to realize he could do things that were worthwhile. With the trio (especially Harry) gone from Hogwarts in the year 7, I think he felt he had to step up and stand against what was happening. He did what he thought Harry would have done ... or maybe what he thought George and Fred would have done.

It's kind of funny, really. Remember this passage from OotP: If he could have chosen any members of the D.A. in addition to himself, Ron, and Hermione to join him in the attempt to rescue Sirius, he would not have picked Ginny, Neville, or Luna. Yet they were the three who led the Hogwarts "resistance." Indirectly, I guess, Neville led to the rescue of the captives from Malfoy Manor, as it was he who made the connection with Aberforth. I mean, would Dobby ever have connected with him if Neville hadn't connected Hogwarts to the Hog's Head? The thing about Neville is that he is brave, and DD recognizes it from the very first book. He just needs to see the need, and he steps up, even if he is scared. That's brave in my book!

I wonder how many people other than Harry and Neville have ever pulled Gryffindor's sword out of the Sorting Hat ...


freshwater - Jul 30, 2008 9:11 pm (#385 of 925)

As DD said, "It takes a true Gryffindor to pull that out of the hat." (don't have my book here...may not be an exact quote) Clearly, whatever deliberations the hat made with Neville --as with Harry-- they both qualified as 'true Gryffindors' when destiny called.

One of the things I love about the series is 1)the way 'hero' Harry questions his abilities and tendencies in CoS, and 2) the way meek, vulnerable, barely competent Neville turns out to be a leader and a key player in LV's defeat. The moral of the story....don't make assumptions based on appearances....don't underestimate the potential of anyone to do great things. Kinda seems to contradict the entire house Sorting system....is JKR trying to tell us that some ancient traditions may be outdated?


Solitaire - Jul 30, 2008 9:20 pm (#386 of 925)

Even Dumbledore questioned whether kids might be sorted too soon.


rassannassar - Jul 30, 2008 9:27 pm (#387 of 925)

Yes, but the Sorting Hat is very shrewd, as Jo said. She said that most people are about the same at 40 as they were at 11 but there are those people who can change (e.g. Severus Snape). She did also say though that to say he might have been in a house other than Slytherin even if he was at 11 they he was when he died, would be going too far though.

And as far as bravery and Neville go- I don't think being scared doesn't mean you're not brave. The bravest people are the ones who act in the way they think is right even though it's frightening. I don't necessarily think the ability to do stupid and yet dangerous things makes one brave or courageous. Sometimes I think people lump bravery and foolhardiness together when they are quite different.


Solitaire - Jul 30, 2008 9:35 pm (#388 of 925)

I don't think being scared doesn't mean you're not brave. I think that's what I said: ... he steps up, even if he is scared. That's brave in my book!


rassannassar - Jul 30, 2008 9:45 pm (#389 of 925)

Oh, sorry, I think I read that wrong or took it to mean something else.


Solitaire - Jul 30, 2008 10:07 pm (#390 of 925)

It's okay, rassannassar.


freshwater - Jul 31, 2008 7:20 am (#391 of 925)

I've just discovered something nifty on the lexicon that I'd never noticed before: a calendar of events throughout the books. Check out the link here:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

....it might help keep things clear as we move through the books.


PeskyPixie - Jul 31, 2008 9:05 am (#392 of 925)

... most people are about the same at 40 as they were at 11 but there are those people who can change (e.g. Severus Snape) ... also ... to say he might have been in a house other than Slytherin even if he was at 11 they he was when he died, would be going too far though. -rassannassar

I agree. Snape is very brave but his role as spy is successful due to the Slytherin traits he possesses in abundance. Then again, Phineas Nigellus states that Slytherins are also exceptionally brave, so perhaps Snape is different from the stereotypical Slytherin in his ability to eventually use his courage for the 'Greater Good' rather than only for selfish purposes.


wynnleaf - Jul 31, 2008 4:26 pm (#393 of 925)

I had meant to be posting on this thread, but am in the midst of huge changes this summer and haven't had much time.

Anyway, as regards the bravery thing, I don't think bravery is necessarily a good or bad characteristic. On the extreme level of nastiness, Bella appears to be quite brave in a fanatical sort of way, and as loyal to the one she serves as a Hufflepuff. But of course she's completely evil. And we see little actual Slytherin characteristics in her character other than her interest in blood purity.

I love the development of Neville's character throughout the book. Here in PS/SS, I'd have assumed that he'd be kind of bumbling throughout, even if he did show bravery, but Neville grows in many ways, not just bravery.


PatPat - Jul 31, 2008 4:46 pm (#394 of 925)

OK, here are my thoughts for chapter 7:

1) Professor McGonagall is immediately painted as someone you don't cross. It's interesting that her concerns about dress are directed at Ron and Neville, who both end up in her house. She's always very strict with students in her house.

2) I, too, was originally curious about why the kids didn't know how students are sorted. However, as I read through it this time, we are really only, specifically, told of three who don't know. Harry and Hermione who were raised by Muggles , so couldn't possibly know. And Ron. It is perfectly logical to me that the Weasleys kept it a secret. I'm sure the twins reveled in being able to tease Ron about it. It matches with the Weasleys not revealing the truth about the Triwizard Tournament either. They keep stuff like that secret. We are not, specifically, told of anyone else that doesn't know. So it's possible some of the students, like Malfoy, are familiar with the ceremony and just don't say anything because they are all nervous and scared.

3) I have always wondered about the peppermint humbugs. What exactly are they? It's interesting to note that Harry reaches automatically for the treacle tart here, which becomes his favorite. Small thing, but shows JKR's level of organization in things like that.

4) I just noticed that it is Ron who makes sure to include Neville in the conversation about their families. Ron is really a good soul.

5) JKR is masterful! Harry scar hurts as Snape looks past Quirrell’s turban at him. Clear clue there, but she directs us so expertly to Snape that we don't even realize it. Everyone, even Percy, is talking about how Snape is into the Dark Arts. Ahhh, if only we had known then that Jo is a master of misdirection, we may have seen it!

EDIT: I see your point there, wynnleaf, but one of my personal definitions of bravery is doing the right thing in spite of being afraid. I don't consider Bellatrix brave. She chose what is easy over what is right and I don't consider that brave. But I may be in the minority here.


PeskyPixie - Jul 31, 2008 5:31 pm (#395 of 925)

Here, PatPat. This is what I have on humbugs from the chapter notes:

=>where I live, mint humbugs are these little brown and white striped candies, sort of square-shaped, like old-fashioned candy (I had a teacher who was obsessed with them). I wonder whether the humbugs (mentioned twice in the first book) are a dropped detail of the Magical world?

I'm afraid I don't have anything more specific than that.

He looked around anxiously and saw that everyone else looked terrified too. -PS/SS

This is the line which makes it seem as though the Sorting ceremony is a ritual completely unknown to those who have yet to become students of Hogwarts.

I find it extremely symbolic that during their very first encounter Snape looks directly into Harry's eyes, because we know that at their very last interaction Harry will look into Snape's eyes.


PatPat - Jul 31, 2008 6:13 pm (#396 of 925)

Thanks, Pesky. I missed that!

I agree that line sounds like the kids don't know, but it could simply be that they are just scared about what house they will end up in. OK, maybe that's a stretch, but, even after Harry sees what the procedure is, he is still frightened. He is worried about being in Slytherin. So maybe the other kids are also worried about their house. It doesn't necessarily mean that they don't know about the hat. There's only two other explanations, in my opinion. Well three really if we count a mistake by JKR as one. One, it is a rule that no one is allowed to tell about the ceremony. I don't buy this for two reasons. One, we never hear anything about this. No one ever tells the kids that it is a secret. Two, I don't believe that the Malfoys would have abided by this rule. They didn't keep the Triwizard Tournament a secret.

The other possibility is, as someone mentioned earlier, there is some kind of Fidelius Charm on the hat. I don't buy this either because, if that were the case, how would Harry have been able to tell little Albus about it? He specifically talks about the Sorting Hat with the boy. And, if we remember, Albus was still terrified. So, I am more inclined to believe that our trio were among the few who did not know about the Sorting and everyone else was simply frightened for the normal reasons an 11-year-old would be frightened in this situation. But that's just my opinion.


Solitaire - Jul 31, 2008 6:18 pm (#397 of 925)

Oddly, I do not see Bella as brave. I'm not even sure if loyalty is actually a trait I would ascribe to her. I think she is a cruel and twisted psychopath, and by serving Voldemort she is given free reign to use her magic to torture and murder. Eventually, I think she becomes obsessed with Voldemort--perhaps because she sees similarities to herself--and by the time we see her in OotP and thereafter, she has reached a level of obsession where she must be first with Voldemort. She's even jealous of Snape! While obsession can look like love, it is not the same. I just do not see how love and such evil can coexist in the same person.

I would have liked to hear what the Sorting Hat told Bella ... and Voldemort.


PeskyPixie - Jul 31, 2008 6:40 pm (#398 of 925)

I just do not see how love and such evil can coexist in the same person.

I'm still out on whether Bella is brave or not, but sure, love can exist with evil. Lucius and Cissy and a good example of how evil people are still able to love one another. Their love just happens to be very limited. I suppose the best way to describe it is that they understand love at a very basic level; they are not open to the true greatness of love.


Solitaire - Jul 31, 2008 6:52 pm (#399 of 925)

Perhaps they are not as evil as the others ... not thoroughly evil. I don't like 'em much ... but even I do not think Lucius holds a candle to Bella on the "evil scale."


PeskyPixie - Jul 31, 2008 6:56 pm (#400 of 925)

No, but he's still evil. A bit shrewder than Bella perhaps, but does that make him much less evil?




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Seven Comments - posts #401 to #437

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:49 am



tandaradei - Jul 31, 2008 6:58 pm (#401 of 925)

PatPat said:

...[cut]... We are not, specifically, told of anyone else that doesn't know. So it's possible some of the students, like Malfoy, are familiar with the ceremony and just don't say anything because they are all nervous and scared....[cut]...

I’ve noticed that folks who tend to already know many things others don’t know, like Malfoy, seem to be sorted amazingly quickly; and folks more ignorant, like half-bloods like Seamus, tend to take a good bit of time; and folks with plenty of possible personal baggage, like Neville and Harry, take the longest. I’m rather wondering if the Hat doesn’t also sort of level out the playing field by strengthening the weakest links.

It could well be that the Sorting Hat is rather quiet among most wizarding families, hence there’s little discussed about it there; and its much more vocal, almost in a Hufflepuff philosophical way, with those who might be “left out.” Remember, all the founders had a say as to what to put into that hat.

PeskyPixie said:

...[cut]... I find it extremely symbolic that during their very first encounter Snape looks directly into Harry's eyes, because we know that at their very last interaction Harry will look into Snape's eyes....[cut]...

Excellent Beginning/Ending catch!

DD’s insistence on how the school song is sung brings tears to my eyes. Can’t explain why. Maybe it’s DD’s background, with his original in-depth explorations of serious magical studies? DD seriously takes seriousness not-too-seriously.


PatPat - Jul 31, 2008 7:05 pm (#402 of 925)

Oddly, I do not see Bella as brave. Solitaire

Agreed. I'm glad to see I am not alone in this! Thanks, Soli!

As far as evil and love existing in the same person, I think they can, but it depends on the level of evil. There's no doubt that there are different levels of evil. We know very few people are all good or all bad. Lucius and Narcissa are cruel certainly, and clearly have bigotry, but a lot of their actions come out of fear. Lucius saw Voldemort, in my opinion, as a means to exercise his prejudice. But I don't think he is pure evil. In the end, he was merely serving Voldemort because he had little choice. Both Lucius and Narcissa were capable of love. For their son. For each other.

On the other hand, Voldemort and Bellatrix are pure evil. They revel in cruelty and power. I don't even think Bellatrix really loved Voldemort. It was more of an infatuation. I would label both of them as psychopaths. No conscience. This is the highest form of evil, IMO, and the one that really precludes love.


rcs - Jul 31, 2008 7:24 pm (#403 of 925)

Regarding Harry's dream with the turban, I am interested in the part where Malfoy turns into Snape, followed by a flash of green light. For me, this almost seems to foreshadow the events on the Tower in HBP, ending with Dumbledore's death. If so, this could be more evidence of Harry's dreams anticipating events that wouldn't happen until much later in the series (cf. the dream in PoA where Harry's chasing something silvery in the forest, anticipating the Silver Doe in DH, for another example).


Mrs Brisbee - Jul 31, 2008 7:45 pm (#404 of 925)

I think some of you pointed out in the earlier chapters that the Dursleys, despite how unpleasant they are, love each other, so the capability to love isn't limited to nice people only. The Malfoys can be evil and still be capable of love-- limited to themselves, maybe, but love nonetheless. I'm with PeskyPixie on Lucius being true evil, and that love can exist with evil. Some of the things Lucius did in the later books was out of fear of Voldemort, but we also saw in CoS and GoF that he was quite happy to torture or murder children without Voldemort breathing down his neck. But that doesn't mean he can't love his wife or child. A very selfish, limited love, but there.


tandaradei - Jul 31, 2008 9:54 pm (#405 of 925)

Hear, hear Mrs Brisbee! I may try to bring Charles Williams into this later, regarding such.

Before we go to the next chapter I wanted to make a few observations that already seem a bit late.

I'm thinking Hermione wanted to become Harry's "right hand man" from the moment she read about him in a book. I'm thinking from that moment, knowing his and her age, and certain possibilities, that he might very well be her lift project ... and maybe she might also appear next to his name "in a book." I'm thinking Ron, outside of any book in her readings, had become an unknown factor, and something she didn't know how to deal with correctly.

I'm thinking Neville's walking away from the stool with the Hat still on is a very telling moment. Neville possibly had become so distracted from the revelatory dialogue he'd been having with the Sorting Hat, that he simply lost awareness of normal necessities, and walked away with it. I'm guessing that the Hat may have said something like this to him: "You don't want to suffer like your parents; yet you want to do right, like your family and everyone else expects; I see it within you; and think your answers can best be found in Gryffindor." Or something like that.


PatPat - Jul 31, 2008 11:11 pm (#406 of 925)

First of all, there's a difference between being "not nice" and being evil. Though the Dursleys are certainly selfish and mean, I wouldn't place them in the same category as some of the other characters in this story.

In my eyes, as I've said, there are degrees of evil. The purest evil is a case where there are no redeeming qualities. This is how I see Bellatrix and Voldemort. There is not an ounce of goodness that can be found in either of them. Umbridge falls into this category also, IMO. I don't see Lucius this way. Don't get me wrong. He is certainly evil. But there are traces of goodness there. Those being his obvious love for his wife and child. This makes him not as evil as Voldemort. In fact, his and Narcissa's love for Draco are such that they don't even participate in the final battle after Harry returns from the forest. Their only concern is finding their son. Had they been pure evil like Voldemort, their son would have meant nothing compared to the defeat of Harry and the other fighters and the chance to take over. That's just how I see it.


Solitaire - Aug 1, 2008 4:37 am (#407 of 925)

rcs, I agree about Harry's dreams. The minute I read "The Silver Doe," I went back to find that dream.

The Malfoys can be evil and still be capable of love

I suppose my feelings about this issue are tied up in my faith and what I believe love truly is ... and that is not something we can really pursue here on the Forum. Having said that ... because there is a great deal of symbolism in the HP books--and symbols often evoke different responses in different readers--I sometimes think personal beliefs can color how we react to different characters and situations. They may also explain why some of us can't understand others' interpretations of various events or characters. JM2K ...

Solitaire


wynnleaf - Aug 1, 2008 5:47 am (#408 of 925)

In spite of our personal views on what should go along with bravery, bravery in and of itself is defined along the lines of willingness to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, etc., and there's nothing tied to that about the willingness to confront these things having to be for "good" reasons. After all, in wars throughout the ages there is bravery on both sides. We don't have to figure out who's "right" to see that there is bravery. Bravery does not equate to nobility, which I think is a problem when interpreting Gryffindor's prime characteristic, because if bravery is necessarily a mark of courage for good choices, then all Gryffindors are necessarily "good" just by virtue of being brave.

As for gradations of evil or badness, I agree that there are levels. Bella and LV are purely evil and have no apparent ability to truly love anyone. Bella's devotion to LV is, however, fully committed and she doesn't exhibit the supposed Slytherin characteristic (as related by Phineas) of looking out for self first. Lucius and Narcissa are definitely able to care for others, at least for Draco, and that ability to love Draco is redemptive to an extent -- at least as far as JKR's literary redemption goes.

As for what the various kids know or understand about the Sorting, I think that some probably know about the Hat, maybe even a lot of kids, but are still very, very nervous. It's clear that for many, a particular House association runs in their family, so there's lots of expectations from others on the line when they go to be Sorted, not to mention their own personal preferences.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 1, 2008 6:25 am (#409 of 925)

In spite of our personal views on what should go along with bravery, bravery in and of itself is defined along the lines of willingness to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, etc., and there's nothing tied to that about the willingness to confront these things having to be for "good" reasons. After all, in wars throughout the ages there is bravery on both sides. We don't have to figure out who's "right" to see that there is bravery. --wynnleaf

That would be my interpretation of bravery, too, and what I originally applied to Gryffindors. Often throughout the series Gryffindors also appear as brazen or foolhardy, a less noble interpretation of "bravery".

Bravery does not equate to nobility, which I think is a problem when interpreting Gryffindor's prime characteristic, because if bravery is necessarily a mark of courage for good choices, then all Gryffindors are necessarily "good" just by virtue of being brave.

By the end of the series, I'll say that I was confused by what Rowling intended. By DH, Gryffindor is the epitome of goodness, and has co-opted the best attributes of Hufflepuff, too. The Houses in the early books actually appear more balanced and complex to me.

I'll agree that there are levels of evil and they correspond to ones ability to love or feel compassion. It's sort of a sliding scale, with Voldemort on one end, and Harry on the other. In Rowling's world even selfish love seems to have a redemptive quality, perhaps because having the ability to love-- no matter how stunted-- shows hope for the character. Personally, I don't find Lucius' actions redemptive, because I don't see that he wants to save anything but himself and his family. Sure, he loves them, but I seriously doubt he cares that other people' children are being slaughtered-- especially as in CoS he was quite happy to be the one responsible for the slaughter.


PatPat - Aug 1, 2008 8:25 am (#410 of 925)

As I said, that was merely my personal feeling about bravery. I see bravery as being willing to conquer fears to do the right thing. You don't have to agree with me. That's just how I see it. Now I agree that the "right thing" is not always black and white, and that falls to my personal views. However I think we can certainly agree that Bellatrix and Voldemort and even Umbridge are not doing the "right" thing. So I do not see Bellatrix as brave. That's just my opinion.


PeskyPixie - Aug 1, 2008 8:42 am (#411 of 925)

I've transferred the Lucius discussion to the slippery old eel's thread.

I'm about to do the same for Bella.

This way, we can we can focus on the chapter at hand and also go nuts on these great threads which have remained inactive for too long!


wynnleaf - Aug 1, 2008 9:47 am (#412 of 925)

PatPat,

Yes, I totally understand. We all bring different personal feelings about the characteristics that the Sorting Hat talks about -- you know, like whether the characteristics of this or that House are necessary good or bad, etc. It's one of the problems with some of the key and crucial words and concepts that JKR brings up - like with "love" - is that while we each have our own feelings about what the words mean, to interpret the story, we have to figure out when possible what JKR's interpretation is for the word or concept, or if that's impossible, decide whether to assume she means a standardly held definition, or something else.

Sorry to belabor the point.


PeskyPixie - Aug 1, 2008 9:58 am (#413 of 925)

I'm actually finding this discussion about bravery really fascinating, wynnleaf, and am thus transferring some of the points to Bella's thread so we don't need to constantly check ourselves from getting too off-topic. I really hope you'll add to the discussion there.

As for Neville, I wonder if his Gran and other family members ever told him that he was sure to be in Hufflepuff as he didn't exhibit his father's bravery and Neville was thus ecstatic that the Hat saw Gryffindor in him?


wynnleaf - Aug 1, 2008 10:07 am (#414 of 925)

I'd bet that if the Sorting Hat mentioned anything about seeing courage in Neville (like it did Harry), Neville would probably be thinking, "who, me???" No wonder he wandered off with the hat still on.


Solitaire - Aug 1, 2008 11:00 am (#415 of 925)

Personally, I think bravery and courage are less difficult to deconstruct than love ... as I said in my earlier post. There is a lot of baggage that goes along with how one views love, IMO. Bravery, though, and courage ... these seem to be the ability to conquer one's personal fears and do what needs to be done. I will concede that people do think differently about courage, too. Some may consider it brave to rush into "battle" (of any sort) without stopping to think or make a plan of attack. Others may consider this the height of foolishness. I suppose I fall into the second category. I think that real bravery involves weighing the risks, and--even when they may be against you--being willing to go into battle in the face of them, if that is what you need to do.

I do not believe Neville's Gran ever really saw him before the battle at the Ministry. I think that event may have opened her eyes to his potential for the first time. She certainly is proud of him in DH. Interestingly, I do not remember anything about Uncle Algie in the later books.

Solitaire


PeskyPixie - Aug 1, 2008 11:21 am (#416 of 925)

Regarding Harry's dream with the turban, I am interested in the part where Malfoy turns into Snape, followed by a flash of green light. For me, this almost seems to foreshadow the events on the Tower in HBP, ending with Dumbledore's death. If so, this could be more evidence of Harry's dreams anticipating events that wouldn't happen until much later in the series (cf. the dream in PoA where Harry's chasing something silvery in the forest, anticipating the Silver Doe in DH, for another example). -rcs

Nice interpretation. It really is spooky, how Harry's sub-conscious connects many things which belong together.

PeskyPixie said: '... I find it extremely symbolic that during their very first encounter Snape looks directly into Harry's eyes, because we know that at their very last interaction Harry will look into Snape's eyes...' Excellent Beginning/Ending catch! -tandaradei

Thanks, tandaradei1 It means a lot to me as I'm really terrible at finding these things and am in awe of how the rest of you come up with them. ***basks in glory***


Soul Search - Aug 1, 2008 1:12 pm (#417 of 925)

Good catch, PeskyPixie, about Harry and Snape and looking in eyes bit. Combine that with the very many "you have your mother's eyes" comments and we see a literary plan from book one to book seven and all the books in between. We were practically hit over the head with it, but only you caught it. Good job.


Anna L. Black - Aug 1, 2008 2:09 pm (#418 of 925)

About the dream in PoA (I know, it's jumping forward a bit ) - I always thought that is was James/the stag patronus that he was trying to catch up with. It was just after the patronus lessons with Lupin, but before he knew its real shape - so to me it makes sense that he'll dream about it, but won't we able to catch it.


PatPat - Aug 1, 2008 2:10 pm (#419 of 925)

Excellent points, wynnleaf. I agree. I think that's why we can continue to discuss JKR's books over and over! Anyway, back to the topic at hand!

(But I do think this is a good discussion to continue elsewhere.)


PeskyPixie - Aug 1, 2008 2:57 pm (#420 of 925)

Thanks for the ego boost, Soul Search. I needed that today.

PatPat, I've copied a lot of the posts regarding courage and bravery and Bella onto lovely Miss Trixie's thread. I hope to discuss with you there as I haven't had the opportunity to do so on this thread.


tandaradei - Aug 1, 2008 8:29 pm (#421 of 925)

...[cut]... “How did [The Bloody Baron] get covered in blood?”

“I’ve never asked,” said Nearly Headless Nick delicately...[cut]...

PS, Ch 7,"The Sorting Hat," p.124 US

Haw, haw. But Jo told us though, didn’t she, in the final book!

You know, I’ve always wondered since: The Bloody Baron and The Grey Lady have drifted around each other as ghosts now, for almost as long as Hogwarts has had classes. So: what has the social arrangement between these two been like????????

Someone needs to ask Jo (and while they're at it, ask what happened to Neville's granny.)


Solitaire - Aug 1, 2008 8:42 pm (#422 of 925)

Anna, I believe the animal in the dream probably was the stag ... but the "The Silver Doe" certainly did cause me to immediately put down my DH and go grab PoA. Actually, I had the other 6 books sitting beside me as I read ... just in case I needed them!

what happened to Neville's granny Well, we know she was fighting at Hogwarts. I can't help thinking her death would have been important enough to at least warrant a mention ... someone would have seen her dead or being AK'd. I suspect she is finally doting on Neville as a good Gran should!

Solitaire


tandaradei - Aug 1, 2008 8:48 pm (#423 of 925)

NOTE: This post was blank in the original document I received from the Archivist, and thus, is reposted as such. ~Potteraholic


PatPat - Aug 2, 2008 12:06 pm (#424 of 925)

Thanks, Pesky. I will check out Trixie's thread.

Note to all Five-Worders: The completed story is posted and the new one is started. We also welcome all forumers who want to try it! It's fun!


tandaradei - Aug 2, 2008 12:42 pm (#425 of 925)

...[cut]...he had a very strange dream. He was wearing Professor Quirrell’s turban, which kept talking to him..[cut]...

...[cut]...then Malfoy turned into the hook-nosed teacher, Snape, whose laugh became high and cold - there was a burst of green light and Harry woke, sweating and shaking...[cut]...

PS, Ch 3,"The Sorting Hat," p. 130 US.

Maybe one can translate the dream as ““Harry/Voldemort (thru the scar horcrux) was wearing Professor Quirrell’s turban, which kept talking to Quirrell.” The turban talking to Quirrell would actually be Voldemort talking to Quirrell; but Harry couldn’t reason that out. I'm thinking the horcrux maybe doesn't know who it is, as it now tries to self actualize.

I assume the high and cold laugh came from Voldemort's memory of the Godric’s Hollow event, along with the green light (which maybe both remember).

...[cut]... He pointed the wand very carefully into the boy’s face: He wanted to see it happen, the destruction of this one, inexplicable danger. The child began to cry: It had seen that he was not James. He did not like it crying, he had never been able to stomach the small ones whining in the orphanage -

“Avada Kedavra!”

Then he broke. He was nothing but pain and terror ...[cut]...

PS, Ch 17,"Bathilda’s Secret," p. 345 US.

I’m thinking now that Voldemort for the first time maybe, had alone became aware of Harry at the feast, which sparked the pain of recognition in Harry’s scar, as the horcrux “awoke”; and that through the now awakened horcrux, Harry shared or maybe blended some of his memories with Voldemort's.

Maybe I’d rather not intuit this.


Steve Newton - Aug 2, 2008 4:35 pm (#426 of 925)

Folks, I have fallen very much behind in my reading and am off for a brief vacation. With some luck I will catch up with the discussion. Folks have brought up much more than I have ever seen.


Mrs. Sirius - Aug 2, 2008 9:49 pm (#427 of 925)

Likewise here Steve. I had to hit the magic button much as I am loath to do that. To add insult to injury, I cannot find an English language version of PS/SS, we who own the complete set in hard cover English Scholastic, soft cover, Bloomsbury, and I think every language it has been published in! The only one I can find is a paperback that is in so many pieces it is like single pages set next to each other. Reading the book in Spanish is much slower going, and does not offer all the great play on language.


Solitaire - Aug 2, 2008 11:50 pm (#428 of 925)

I'm leaving tomorrow for a week. I'm not sure what sort of access I will have, as Net costs in this hotel.


PeskyPixie - Aug 3, 2008 3:18 pm (#429 of 925)

I'm going to post the next chapter's notes soon.


tandaradei - Aug 3, 2008 3:56 pm (#430 of 925)

A Neville moment.

...[cut]...So why does the Sorting Hat take so long with Seamus and Neville? In spite of his nerdiness and seeming ineptness, Neville is sorted into Gryffindor, which is a big clue. An even bigger clue might be the Longbottom name. Lord of the Rings fans may remember that Longbottom Leaf, which was found in the stores of Saruman (an enemy and a traitor), was a hidden link that later exposed Saruman’s evil plot. Could Neville have a hidden link? ...[cut]...

Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter, Ch 7,"The Sorting Hat," p.32 US

ok I am a bit off this passage when getting into my speculation, but I thought it a good introduction.

Due to Jo’s tendency to echo some characters off others, I’m rather wondering if the Sorting Hat hadn’t offered to put Neville into Hufflepuff in the same way it offered to put Harry into Slytherin. If so, Neville chose rather to go to Gryffindor as a matter of choice. Later, the Sorting Hat will give Neville the Gryffindor Sword, a sign that Neville is a true Gryffindor.

Neville is mentioned a fair few times in this and surrounding chapters, almost always in ways that to demonstrate IMO that Neville might have done better in Hufflepuff, where oddities and nerdiness might have been better accepted (as seen in the character of Justin Finch-Fletchley). Consider the one teacher who really likes Neville, Pomona Sprout, Herbology teacher and Head of Hufflepuff House

Add to this that Neville walks away from the stool with the Hat still on, indicating IMO that he has become quite distracted, IMO because of the conversation he had just had with the Sorting Hat. No mention of his embarrassment is made here, and I’m thinking there’s deeper significance to this particular moment of apparent great distraction.

Perhaps the Hat confronted Neville about his fear to follow in his parent’s footsteps??? I think it interesting in Book 5 (OotP) that Neville categorically states to his granny that he is not embarrassed by what his parents have gone through. Perhaps the seed for Neville’s being so firm with his grandma on this one subject begins with his decision with the Sorting Hat.

Perhaps Neville said something like, "No, if you give me the choice, I wish to follow in my parent's footsteps..."


Quinn Crockett - Aug 3, 2008 7:37 pm (#431 of 925)

Well, we know the Hat "thought about" putting Hermione into Ravenclaw, as well as Harry's seemingly lengthy conversation. Why couldn't the Hat have discussed Neville's future with him? Sounds good to me, Tandaradei.

Neville is introduced to us as a complete bumbler, apparently with no friends to speak of and a domineering grandmother. What always struck me about Neville is that he doesn't seem to mind not having anyone from his class that he is really close to. He is similar to Hermione in that way. Like Hermione, Neville is so worried about doing well with all his studies (and making a decent impression for the family's sake) that it's as if friendship is completely pushed to the back burner.

And yet people do like him. What's more, they come around to him, liking him for who he is. A character like Neville could easily become sycophantic in his attempts to get "in with the cool kids". But Neville never really has to do a thing to earn people's love and friendship - except offer his own in return.


Dryleaves - Aug 3, 2008 11:21 pm (#432 of 925)

I was a bit struck by the way Neville tells the others about how his family feared that he had no magical ability at all and how they treated him to force magic out of him. He tells it very as-a-matter-of-factly, I think, and seems not embarrassed, though both the fact that he may not be very magical and the way his relatives treat him because of it ought to be very humiliating to him.

As you say, Quinn, he never tries to "get in with the cool kids". Neville seems to dare to be himself, though he is clumsy and "un-cool". At the end of this book comes the "stand up to our friends" quote. It is Neville who has that kind of courage. Maybe the hat saw this courage as a trait more typical of Neville than loyalty and being hard-working?

But maybe Neville never thought of himself as a brave Gryffindor and got distracted by its final decision and forgot to take it off. We know that Neville has a special relationship to the hat as Voldemort later forces him to wear it and sets it on fire and that Neville then pulls out the sword of Gryffindor from it.


Julia H. - Aug 4, 2008 12:22 am (#433 of 925)

Hm... am I the only one here who never really disliked Augusta Longbottom? I do feel for Neville and I understand how he must have been afraid of her but I was always sure Mrs Longbottom loved her grandson deeply. Now that I know her full back-story, my opinion is that she is an extremely strong woman and that is the reason why she has been able to go through all she has had to go through and to remain sanely and safely by the side of her family members, who desperately needed her strength.

Imagine her having to see her beloved and (in her opinion in any case) brilliant son and daughter-in-law become insane due to torture and be reduced to that pitiable existence for the rest of their lives and at the same time having to see her grandson practically become an orphan. How would she be able to bear it all and keep on supporting her family without having this extremely strong personality? Yet, I am sure what she has had to go through has affected her personality and her way of seeing things. You cannot be strong and tough in one respect and soft in another respect. She cannot be the prototypical grandmother making cakes and knitting in an armchair.

I also understand that she cannot wait to see Neville's magical powers or to see him become tough and strong and powerful. She knows from her own bitter experience what horror can happen to people in life, of course she wants to see him prepared to fight and to survive as soon as possible. (I think it is mentioned somewhere that she has always thought Voldemort will be back one day.) She is also old and she does not know how long she can be by Neville's side, which is another reason why she is impatient. Of course, it is not good for Neville psychologically but then again, she desperately wants him to survive.

(Perhaps I like her because she reminds me of one of my grandmothers, though my granny always wore plain black clothes and never any accessories besides her naturally strong and black hair even when she was old. But she was an equally strong woman, one of those who survived two world wars, which did not stop outside her home, and other horrible historical events. In the meantime, she worked, she - as a deeply religious person and as a young girl - was independent enough to get married against the tradition and outside her own church, she buried one child and raised two, protected them in very dangerous situations, gave them the opportunity of higher education, found a way to live in times of hardship, later, as a grandmother, stood by her widowed daughter and orphaned grandchild ... and so on. She was extremely strong-willed and demanding as a mother with very definite ideas of right and wrong - but how could she have done all those things otherwise during all those decades?)


Dryleaves - Aug 4, 2008 1:49 am (#434 of 925)

Julia, I do not dislike Augusta Longbottom, and I too think she is a strong woman and I am sure she loves her grandson above all and wants him well. But when she wants him well she makes the mistake of not really seeing him as he is. She has a picture of what he ought to be, in the sense that you mention, "she desperately wants him to survive". But she never saw the strength Neville actually had, which is sad. Still, I do not think she did any permanent harm to him. Even though Neville was afraid of her sometimes I think he knew that she loved him, and he was strong in his own way and kept his strength. And finally Augusta realized that too.

BTW, your grandmother seems to have been a really strong woman. I love to read stories about these old ladies, like in obituaries or birthday adds for really old women, because though they will not make their way to the history books they often show so much courage, strength and ability to do the best of their situation, and they did much work in the silent.


PatPat - Aug 4, 2008 2:48 pm (#435 of 925)

I don't dislike Augusta either. However, my personal opinion is that, had she been more accepting of him, he may have found his confidence a bit sooner. It took Harry in OotP, as well as the escape of Bellatrix Lestrange, to be able to pull this side out of him. Most of Neville's issues were with confidence. We see that, when he learns to believe in himself, he is able to do great things. I believe Harry's ultimate acceptance of him and telling him that he was "cool" was important. I wish Augusta had been able to appreciate him for what he was as well. Even McGonagall, someone who is normally very hard on the students, feels that Augusta needed to appreciate her grandson a little more.


Orion - Aug 4, 2008 3:00 pm (#436 of 925)

Augusta can hardly be blamed, on account of losing her child. The big problem is that she behaves like a sprightly eighty year old. Normal grandmothers are round fifty, wear jeans and go to Bon Jovi concerts. Just when did these people breed? Are they, because they can expect a longer life span than Muggles, not very much in a hurry to have kids? (The Potters: Twenty-one, that would be the opposite.) But then again, a severely traumatised person could get a bit set in her ways. She ought to have controlled mad old Uncle Algie a bit better. He seems a bit like Uncle Fester, IMO, and should be in an institution. JM2K.


PeskyPixie - Aug 4, 2008 3:07 pm (#437 of 925)

Maybe the Longbottoms tend to marry later on in life? It's possible. Small families later on in life is the trend for my family and we aren't too nutty.




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Eight Notes/Summary - post #438

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:48 pm



PeskyPixie - Aug 4, 2008 7:47 pm (#438 of 925)

Chapter Eight - The Potions Master

=>the first of many chapters named for our beloved Potions Master

=>poor Harry, the reluctant, bewildered celebrity who just wants to be left in peace as he makes his way through his first week at Hogwarts (hard to do when the staircases keep changing and Peeves keeps grabbing your conk!)

=>I had forgotten (due to movie contamination) that Ron is a tall kid with a long nose.

=>we learn of secret passageways in the school - these'll come up many times

=>intro to the teachers

=>Flitwick is excited to have James and Lily's son in his class; he's tiny, but his back-story never does make it into the books

=>McGonagall is a strict teacher and starts her class with a stern warning; Hermione gets a smile for her first (perfect) attempt at Transfiguration

=>important 'facts' about Quirrell: classroom smells of garlic (rumoured to ward off a vampire he met in Romania), his turban is a gift from an African prince for dealing with a pesky zombie (had JKR already invented the term Inferius?; Seamus claims that Quirrell didn't elaborate when asked about this story), there's a funny smell around his turban (oh my gosh, Voldy's in the house! it will be interesting to note the Snape/Quirrell interactions as they call for major explaining on Snape's part when the Dark Lord returns)

=>Harry's first letter via Hedwig at Hogwarts, to meet Hagrid for tea

=>ah, Snape; the beginning of a tempestuous relationship (I'm not going to even try to begin to summarize this first Potions class as it's extremely memorable and I'm sure that it's going to attract a lot of analysis).

=>the Gringotts break-in occurred on the same day that Hagrid took the important, grubby little package from the bank - and I still didn't link either clue to the title and realize that it must be a Philosopher's Stone!

=>tea with Hagrid; a comforting first which will be repeated many times; the tradition makes its way into the epilogue as well

=>friendly Fang, tea, horribly hard baking, does Hagrid know something about Snape which he's not telling Harry?

=>why oh why does Snape hate Harry so much?

=>we still don't know that Snape's name is Severus, do we?




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Eight Comments - posts #439 to #465

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:51 pm



tandaradei - Aug 4, 2008 8:22 pm (#439 of 925)
Edited Aug 4, 2008 8:59 pm

Ooooooh, where to begin.

Here’s a near beginning/ending comparison:

...[cut]...Over the noise, Snape said, “And a point will be taken from Gryffindor House for your cheek, Potter.”...[cut]...

PS, Ch 8,"The Potions Master," p.138 US

...[cut]...”Detention, Saturday night, my office,” said Snape. “I do not take cheek from anyone, Potter - not even 'The Chosen One’ ...[cut]...

HBP, Ch 9,"The Half-Blood Prince," p.180 US

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I cannot tell you how differently I now interpret this PS introduction to Snape. I now think Snape appears a Drill Sergeant with a full agenda of ideas with which to "prepare" or maybe "confront" this Chosen One with the real tasks for which our poor Harry has been "chosen for," through the prophecy. I rather think Neville is likewise isolated for special training.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I wonder how much after this lesson it is, when we should consider this dialogue:

...[cut]...Snape was pacing up and down in front of Dumbledore.

--Mediocre, arrogant as his father, a determined rule-breaker, delighted to find himself famous, attention-seeking and impertinent --

You see what you expect to see, Severus, said Dumbledore, without raising his eyes from a copy of Transfiguration Today. "Other teachers report that the boy is modest, likable, and reasonably talented. Personally, I find him an engaging child"

Dumbledore turned a page, and said, without looking up, "Keep an eye on Quirrell, won't you?"

DH, Ch 33,"The Prince's Tale," p.679 US


Quinn Crockett - Aug 4, 2008 10:57 pm (#440 of 925)

Actually, I find Snape's remark to Harry ("Our new celebrity") to be absolutely the single most horrible thing he could possibly have said to Harry, since Snape himself is at least partially responsible for why Harry has been given that status. What a really sick and twisted thing to say!


Dryleaves - Aug 5, 2008 1:07 am (#441 of 925)

Twisted, yes... I think the reason Snape says this is that he is partially responsible for it. He is just furious about Harry being the Chosen One and everything that led to it. To most other people in the Wizarding World Harry being the Chosen One is a positive thing, which it can never be to Snape. Harry is very much a reminder of everything gone wrong in Snape's life, from James Potter bullying him and finally getting Lily, to the horrible part Snape himself plays in the death of his loved one. In this sense I think that Harry functions as Snape's Boggart and that his behaviour towards him here is some sort of "Riddikulus". He has to hold Harry and everything he represents away from himself, especially in the classroom (but he never really succeeds...?).

As for the later flashback, I think we see in this chapter that not only Snape sees what he expects to see. The other teachers have also their expectations about Harry and some are quite excited about having him as a student.

Now for something completely different: I think one of the reasons some of us like Snape, at least as a character, is in this chapter. His passionate and at least in my ears (as I am not a native English speaker)elevated speech, ended with "if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach". And then they say this guy has no sense of humour!


rcs - Aug 5, 2008 1:43 am (#442 of 925)

Regarding Snape's behavior toward Neville, I have occasionally heard a theory proposed that Snape hated Neville because he was the other boy the Prophecy could have referred to, thus Neville's survival sealed Lily's fate. Does anyone else think this theory might be reasonable?


Dryleaves - Aug 5, 2008 2:21 am (#443 of 925)

In a way it is a reasonable theory, I think, but I am not sure that Snape really hates Neville. He does not say anything to or about Neville during the first potions class until Neville melts down Seamus' cauldron, and then, even if it is not a nice thing to say, this event is enough reason in itself to call Neville "idiot boy", I think. And Neville is, after all, a Gryffindor. But then his relationship to Neville could never be as complicated as is his relationship to Harry.


Julia H. - Aug 5, 2008 2:59 am (#444 of 925)

Our new celebrity...

This line, together with Flitwick's excitement and everything Hagrid has told Harry, also indicates how Harry's arrival at Hogwarts must have been anticipated among the teachers. Snape must have noticed it but to him, Harry's arrival meant something totally different than to everyone else. Ten years ago, he said: This must be between us! Swear it! I cannot bear ... especially Potter's son... To me, it implies that maybe all these years Snape positively dreaded the day he knew he would have to look into Harry Potter's Lily-eyes. Ha has "decided" on the necessary distance between them and by the end of the first lesson he knows that Harry, unlike Lily, is not a natural at potions. (He will soon find out that Harry, like James, is a natural at Quidditch.)

His passionate and at least in my ears (as I am not a native English speaker)elevated speech, ended with "if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach". And then they say this guy has no sense of humour! (Dryleaves)

LOL, I agree! I love this introductory speech. Which other teacher takes care to give such a thrilling introduction to his/her subject or to give just a hint why the subject may be useful? (The same applies to Snape's speech when he starts teaching DADA.) He may not be kind to his students but he surely loves the subject he teaches!

...it will be interesting to note the Snape/Quirrell interactions as they call for major explaining on Snape's part when the Dark Lord returns (Pesky)

Great idea! BTW, do we know anything about the possibility of a connection between Voldy and the garlic? Did Vapormort have a smell that the smell aroma of garlic was supposed to hide? (I have just been to a region which can be called the country of garlic and onion and I have been taught to always use the word "aroma" with reference to these plants. ) Or did garlic play a part in his survival?


wynnleaf - Aug 5, 2008 6:12 am (#445 of 925)

I agree that Harry represents to Snape a huge amount of what was bad in Snape's life. The fact that LV targeted Harry, that Snape couldn't save Lily, that even Lily's choice - which saved Harry - was brought about by Snape's request of LV to spare her. I imagine Snape is completely bitter about the whole thing. If Harry had looked more like Lily than James and shared her talents rather than James, I imagine Snape might have looked at Harry a bit differently. But instead he feels that this boy for whom Lily died is a James clone, so he vents his long festering grief and bitterness on the mini-James. This of course is not right. It's quite wrong. But it's also an entirely believable response.

Snape's opening to the Potions class is amazing. Later, he opens his first DADA class with a similarly dramatic speech. I think we might surmise that while Snape loves both areas of study, he's also a deeply dramatic sort of person, for all his wish to keep his emotions subdued.

I found the question about Hagrid interesting. Hagrid had known Snape to some extent since he was 11, and throughout the series always supported Snape when others would doubt his motives or actions. This is intriguing to me.


Orion - Aug 5, 2008 6:38 am (#446 of 925)

I looked up "dunderhead" and was amazed to find that it actually exists in the English language. It was on leo.org. I also looked up "conk". For all the non-native-speakers: It means "nose", in case you wondered.

Yes, of all the methods Snape could have chosen to keep his emotions about Harry in control he chooses the worst one. Not a genius in emotional intelligence.

The garlic is there to back up the vampire story, IMO. Why would Voldie smell out of Quirrell's head? Does Voldie smell? And why is he only a face at the back of Quirrell's head? Why didn't he take over Quirrell's whole body? And how did he get into Quirrell's body without a wand?


Quinn Crockett - Aug 5, 2008 10:25 am (#447 of 925)

In this sense I think that Harry functions as Snape's Boggart and that his behaviour towards him here is some sort of "Riddikulus". - Dryleaves

Ha! Fair enough and nice analogy! Still, Harry obviously had nothing to do with any of that.

Snape hated Neville because he was the other boy the Prophecy could have referred to, thus Neville's survival sealed Lily's fate. - rcs

Sounds quite reasonable to me. But since Snape also has a thing against Gryffindor in general, Neville gives Snape ample opportunity to punish "James's House". But I agree that melting another student's cauldron would probably have earned him an "idiot boy!" from me as well


Julia H. - Aug 5, 2008 4:40 pm (#448 of 925)

I found the question about Hagrid interesting. Hagrid had known Snape to some extent since he was 11, and throughout the series always supported Snape when others would doubt his motives or actions. This is intriguing to me. (Wynnleaf)

To me as well. I can think of several alternative explanations. There are probably more.

1) Perhaps as far as his colleagues are concerned, Hagrid follows DD's judgment and he knows DD trusts Snape so he does the same. (Although he does not seem to suspect Quirrell. But he can see through Lockhart very quickly.)

2) He senses that Snape is lonely and disliked and he feels that - just like his favourite monsters - Snape (not being nice and attractive) is unfairly judged and treated and that is why he defends him.

3) He probably knows that it is Snape's second chance already and he may know Snape is protected by DD's trust just like himself and perhaps he looks at Snape with empathy, knowing that a second chance is more fragile than the first one. He knows what it feels like when trust cannot be taken for granted and perhaps by defending Snape he is defending DD's judgment and by extension his own second chance and trustworthiness. (Hagrid likes to mention how much DD trusts him, so it is probably an important issue to him.)

4) He may have seen reasonable evidence for Snape's trustworthiness during the past decade, which we know next to nothing about. (Snape has been a Hogwarts teacher for 10 years now.)


PeskyPixie - Aug 5, 2008 5:35 pm (#449 of 925)

[Hagrid] senses that Snape is lonely and disliked and he feels that - just like his favourite monsters - Snape (not being nice and attractive) is unfairly judged and treated and that is why he defends him. -Julia

LOL, yes, Snape is a lonely, misunderstood, troubled little monster.


PeskyPixie - Aug 5, 2008 7:32 pm (#450 of 925)

It just occurred to me that Snape has already looked directly into Harry's eyes at the feast and therefore, he knows that they resemble Lily's eyes. Perhaps he is extra harsh right from the beginning of their first Potions class together because he needs to convince himself that Harry is really James's son, not Lily's?

I rather like Snape's intro as well. Granted, I didn't have to sit through it in person, but he is so passionate about his fields that the students who want to learn (such as Hermione) are inspired to do well and prove to him that they are in fact worthy of his teaching and are not dunderheads.

A note about Neville, I feel sorry for him, but he walked right into that 'idiot boy'! Funny, he doesn't lose any points, does he? Snape takes them from Harry, for the most twisted of reasons as well! This guy is in desperate need of a Muggle psychiatrist.

Snape is only 31 years old at this point. (Rickman makes us forget just how young Snape really is.)


wynnleaf - Aug 5, 2008 10:03 pm (#451 of 925)

I looked up "dunderhead" and was amazed to find that it actually exists in the English language. (Orion)

Oh, yes, we used it at home a good deal when I was a child. I've heard that in the UK it is heard more in northern England than elsewhere in the UK, which would fit since Snape appears to be from the north.


Julia H. - Aug 6, 2008 1:46 am (#452 of 925)

LOL, yes, Snape is a lonely, misunderstood, troubled little monster. (Pesky)

Yes, ... and perhaps this is why some of us like him... So how could Hagrid not like him?

Snape is only 31 years old at this point. (Rickman makes us forget just how young Snape really is.) (Pesky)

Yes, indeed, and his age is important I think. There are people (among Muggles at least) who start their independent adult life only in their late twenties. Snape may still be the youngest teacher at Hogwarts. (Quirrell's age is probably similar but he soon will be out.) Snape already has a terrible past and a 100 years' worth of misery behind him. His own life, the life that is truly his, is over. But to DD he may be hardly more than a kid. (Movie DD does not look quite as old as book DD is supposed to be, so the age difference between them is rather diminished in the movies.) Regarding their respective ages, Snape is quite close to Harry, at least in comparison with most of the other teachers we know about. It makes the "rival brothers" analogy between them more believable.


Dryleaves - Aug 6, 2008 2:17 am (#453 of 925)

Snape is only 31 years old at this point. (Rickman makes us forget just how young Snape really is.) (Pesky)

Snape already has a terrible past and a 100 years' worth of misery behind him. His own life, the life that is truly his, is over. (Julia)

It is not only Rickman's "fault", I think, that we imagine Snape to be older.

When I first read this, before there were any films, I thought of Snape as ten to fifteen years older than he turned out to be (even if he was still very young by Hogwarts standards). There is something about him that make you think of him as older. It may be the hundred years' worth of misery but maybe he also, as the youngest teacher at Hogwarts, closer in age to his students than to his colleagues, tries to seem older than he is. I think Snape is very insecure and a little scared of the students, and therefore it is important for him not to be at the same level as them, but have a position that is above them. (And he sometimes abuses this position as well.)


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 6, 2008 3:44 am (#454 of 925)

Am I the only one who sees 31 as solidly adult? I remember turning thirty, and I felt like I had thankfully left young behind. Perhaps many of you have had a different experience.


Julia H. - Aug 6, 2008 4:26 am (#455 of 925)

31 is solidly adult but a young adult. A 31-year old adult probably finished his / her education several years ago, has gained some work experience (some more, others less), has recently started or is about to start a family etc. But it is not (proto-)typical to have your life and your personal dreams over, to already have such tragedies and regrets behind you.

And when we compare Snape specifically to his "environment", we must see that - adult or not - he is still much closer in age to any of his students than to many of his colleagues, especially the ones we, the readers, get to know. McGonagall had already been teaching at Hogwarts when Snape was born and she is by no means among the oldest teachers. All these old colleagues used to teach Snape for years, read his homework, gave him detention, told him to be quiet, gave him marks etc. As it happens, I know it from experience that in a situation like this, it is rather difficult to really feel like an adult, especially if you are insecure from the start. You must at times remind yourself that you are an adult, a colleague, not a student any more. In the Muggle world, this situation may be quickly over because your colleagues will retire much sooner than Hogwarts teachers do. In the wizarding world, it is totally possible to spend your thirties and forties in this difficult position. And Snape is always at Hogwarts practically (apart from the summer holidays), he is always among these people in the place where he spent his teenage years.

I think Snape is very insecure and a little scared of the students, and therefore it is important for him not to be at the same level as them, but have a position that is above them. (Dryleaves)

I know this feeling as well! (I remember that is...) I love the following idea from the fanfic that Freshwater recommended (and several of us have read and liked) as expressed below:

The terrifying, commanding air he’d spent years practicing in the mirror deserted him for a moment.

Of course, it is not canon but surely a reader's interpretation and I find it totally possible, probable...


Dryleaves - Aug 6, 2008 5:11 am (#456 of 925)

Of course 31 is solidly adult, that is why I felt like a complete fraud when I turned 30... I still do. But I pretty much agree with Julia's post.


Orion - Aug 6, 2008 7:11 am (#457 of 925)

Of course 31 is solidly adult, that is why I felt like a complete fraud when I turned 30... ROTFL! 13 going on 30?


PeskyPixie - Aug 6, 2008 11:22 am (#458 of 925)
Edited Aug 6, 2008 11:53 am

I'm not thirty yet, but it doesn't seem to be an 'old' age. I mean, of course one is more grown up at thirty than twenty, but it just doesn't seem to be a really old age to me. I'm actually quite looking forward to the 3-0 as these numbers in the twenties are getting boring now.

In Snape's scenario, he probably is closer in age to his students than his colleagues. LOL, I remember that when I was sixteen I had a teacher who was only twenty-four years old at the time and he always acted far older than the older members of the school staff and went the extra mile to treat us like 'kids'! Snape's situation and choices sound similar, but my teacher was far more pleasant (though a bit of an incompetent dunderhead).

ETA: " ... when we compare Snape specifically to his "environment", we must see that - adult or not - he is still much closer in age to any of his students than to many of his colleagues, especially the ones we, the readers, get to know. McGonagall had already been teaching at Hogwarts when Snape was born and she is by no means among the oldest teachers. All these old colleagues used to teach Snape for years, read his homework, gave him detention, told him to be quiet, gave him marks etc. ... in a situation like this, it is rather difficult to really feel like an adult, especially if you are insecure from the start. You must at times remind yourself that you are an adult, a colleague, not a student any more ... And Snape is always at Hogwarts practically (apart from the summer holidays), he is always among these people in the place where he spent his teenage years." -Julia

Right on, Julia. Also, from what we know, he spends his summers in the place of his bittersweet childhood memories, not the ideal background for using your twenties to 'grow up'.

At 31, Snape is only thirteen-fourteen years older than his N.E.W.T. students, so it's more of a big brother age difference than a parent-child difference. With Harry's year, he's facing his first batch of students for whom he is reasonably old enough to be their father.


Joanna Lupin - Aug 6, 2008 12:20 pm (#459 of 925)

Can you imagine how weird it must have been in his first years of work? He started teaching at 21. How strange!


Julia H. - Aug 6, 2008 2:16 pm (#460 of 925)

Yes, just three years after being out of school himself... From the fourth year on, any of his students may have remembered him as a student. They may have seen him hexing James in the park... the older ones may have been in the crowd at the worst memory scene. He had to take extra care to keep a certain distance because students are always willing to test a teacher in many ways, to check just how far they can go. At some point he became Head of Slytherin as well, perhaps early on, and the kids in his House were really old enough to be his younger brothers and sisters. On top of that all, Igor Karkaroff was shouting loudly in the Ministry Courtroom in front of that large audience that Severus Snape was a Death Eater. No wonder he was different from those old Heads in the other houses...

ROTFL @ a complete fraud! I see what you mean, Dryleaves!


tandaradei - Aug 6, 2008 4:30 pm (#461 of 925)

...[cut]..."You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making."...[cut]...

PS, Ch 8,"The Potions Master," p. 45 US.

Snape’s introduction with his students begins with descriptors. In college an extremely long time ago, I was told adjectives and adverbs were sentences within themselves, vastly complicating things. They actually affect things much more than simple sentence diagramming might indicate. Most storytellers avoid narratives with such, because they are simply too hard to memorize.

If nothing else, those descriptors for every noun here implies that Snape is extremely prepared, with a memorized script; and this maybe more so, regarding his age (such extra work is one way to compensate for benefits of age). McGonagall has had decades in which to learn precisely how to introduce herself; but not so, Snape.

So what has Snape prepared?

I sense no affability; only aggression and extreme preparedness, especially in regards to Harry. Battle lines are immediately drawn, salvos thrown out, and all systems cleared for more aggression.

Too, here I sense an interesting Like-like parallel between Draco and Snape. Draco came to visit Harry on the train in an extremely prepared, strategically thought-out style, where aggression was certainly a prior consideration on Draco's part Snape similarly introduces himself to Harry here, with such things well thought out.

Harry, in every case, must respond extemporaneously; right on-the-moment. Good training for later events.


tandaradei - Aug 6, 2008 4:59 pm (#462 of 925)
Edited Aug 6, 2008 6:01 pm

...[cut]...”As there is little foolish wand-waving here” ...[cut]...

PS, Ch 8,"The Potions Master," p.137 US

...[cut]...”Idiot boy!” snarled Snape, clearing the spilled potion away with one wave of his wand ...[cut]...

PS, Ch 8,"The Potions Master," p.139 US

And here we have two descriptors for wand-waving; and an interesting contradiction two pages later: Snape first tells everyone wand-waving is “little” and “foolish”; and then he saves a dreadful situation by it.

Yet again, I’m thinking Snape’s introductory comments were well thought out and slanted to his specific ends of the moment.


rassannassar - Aug 6, 2008 5:16 pm (#463 of 925)

He isn't calling wand-waving "little" and "foolish." He's saying it's foolish and there will be very small amounts of it done in his class.


tandaradei - Aug 6, 2008 5:58 pm (#464 of 925)

Ouch I stand corrected. However the comparison remains: Snape first implies wand-waving is foolish; yet he employs it on the spot when so needed, within the same class period ... i.e., it hardly appears foolish to his eyes at that moment, does it?

Just saying Snape, in his introduction, is putting on quite a spin here; with much of it aimed at Harry.


tandaradei - Aug 6, 2008 6:49 pm (#465 of 925)

Here's an interesting tidbit on Filch:

...[cut]...Argus Filch’s first name is perfect for a watchful guardian. In Greek mythology, the monster, Argus, had 100 eyes and was used as a guardian by the legendary gods...[cut]...

The Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter, Ch 8 Analysis, "The Potions Master," p.38 US

Guess two of those eyes belong to Mrs. Norris.




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Eight Comments - posts #466 to #486

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:54 pm



PeskyPixie - Aug 6, 2008 7:27 pm (#466 of 925)

Argus Filch: the many-eyed guardian who loves confiscating stuff. Perfect.

Snape wears a cloak in class. I had forgotten about that. It makes sense as he works (and lives) in the damp dungeons. I wonder if it (i.e. living in the dungeons) is a personal preference or an act of penance?

Snape's eyes are mentioned. They are like dark, empty, cold tunnels. Occlumency or meanie?

I'm actually interested in comparing Snape and McGonagall as teachers. With the exception of Harry (with whom Snape is just absolutely nutty), are these two vastly different?


rassannassar - Aug 6, 2008 9:14 pm (#467 of 925)

with whom Snape is just absolutely nutty

I like that. It's a good way to put it, and it made me chuckle out loud when I read that.


Dryleaves - Aug 7, 2008 12:05 am (#468 of 925)

And here we have two descriptors for wand-waving; and an interesting contradiction two pages later: Snape first tells everyone wand-waving is “little” and “foolish”; and then he saves a dreadful situation by it. (Tandaradei)

Once I read an article somewhere on the Internet(unfortunately I don't remember where or who wrote it; maybe someone else knows?) that claimed that Snape is often feminized in the books and that one example of this was his use of his wand, as wands were some kind of phallic symbols. I think this essay (this is just from my very faulty memory) stated that Snape often used his wand "lazily" or not at all (for example when giving his memories to Harry) and that he talks about "foolish wand-waving". He often uses his wand in defence but not for attack, etc.

I think I always saw this as a strength of Snape's instead of something that made him look weaker (but then I am a woman, of course ). Now that I read "foolish wand-waving" it made me think of men who use their car or something similar to enhance their own masculinity. Still in a way I think Snape makes himself guilty of a similarly silly kind of power-demonstration in his treatment of Harry during this class by abusing his power as a teacher towards a student. I think Snape maybe does this because he internally feels rather powerless in relation to Harry because of his own guilt, etc. (I think it very likely that his introduction here is very thoroughly thought out and rehearsed.)

Snape is verbally mean and sarcastic, not physically violent, and some claim that this is a characteristically female trait (but I know that is not completely correct).

I'm actually interested in comparing Snape and McGonagall as teachers. With the exception of Harry (with whom Snape is just absolutely nutty), are these two vastly different? (Pesky)

If we assume Harry went to Durmstrang instead, maybe Snape and McGonagall would not be so very different from each other. Both are strict, demanding and sarcastic. Maybe McGonagall is a little more soft-hearted sometimes and maybe a little more prone to make encouraging comments. I sometimes think that Snape is that kind of teacher that you really hate in school: never encouraging, very demanding, not very nice. Then later in life you reluctantly have to admit that you actually learned something... But for some students (like Neville) he may very well be a disaster, convincing them that they are stupid and unable to learn anything.


Julia H. - Aug 7, 2008 3:18 am (#469 of 925)

I think Snape is the kind of teacher who (although definitely not the showman type like Slughorn) can teach really fascinating classes because of his deep knowledge and because, yes, he is prepared and loves his subject but he is also very demanding and strict and scares the hell out of you when you have to do something for a mark. An existing type in real life.

As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic.

I have always interpreted this sentence as Snape defending his subject for some reason: First-year students may well associate magic with wands in the first place but potion-making requires something different, something more. It is a difficult subject but much less spectacular than transfiguration or charms, hence the need to point out the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses -, which they may not understand. (Later he will imply that potion-making requires subtlety.) Also, there is more to magic than mere wand-waving. Does it not turn out to be a deep truth by the end of the books?

Otherwise I think Snape's "lazy" movements with his wand show how easy these things are to him. Perhaps he is approaching the level of magic where wands are less important. Being able to perform magic without a wand certainly makes a wizard more powerful and less vulnerable (the same applies to non-verbal magic). Remember what he tells Harry in the first Occlumency lesson? Repel me with your brain and you will not need to resort to your wand. The last magic Snape will perform in life will be wandless. (It makes an interesting contrast with Voldemort, whose dependence on a wand will increase to the point of obsession. Wand-magic vs. brain-magic?) Hm... it might be interesting to note further quotes from / about Snape concerning wands.


Dryleaves - Aug 7, 2008 3:51 am (#470 of 925)

Being able to perform magic without a wand certainly makes a wizard more powerful and less vulnerable (the same applies to non-verbal magic). (Julia)

This is what I always thought, so when I read the essay I mentioned I thought it interesting that it would be seen as "lack" of something. But then I don't remember the essay as a whole and as I cannot remember where to find it I cannot look it up, and I may very well remember it all wrong. You may be right that Snape is defending his branch of magic, maybe because it is not considered to be "real" magic by some because of the lack of wand-waving. (A movie line from PoA comes to my mind, where Sirius says to Snape: "Why don't you go play with your chemistry set" or something like that.)

Repel me with your brain and you will not need to resort to your wand.

I always liked this sort of magic, much more than the wands and the red or green jets of light that spark out of them. It is interesting that you contrast it with Voldemort and his dependence on the strongest wand in the world.


Orion - Aug 7, 2008 4:24 am (#471 of 925)

The "lazy" movements might also be a bit rehearsed and deliberate. He might control his body language out of insecurity.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 7, 2008 6:38 am (#472 of 925)

Snape first implies wand-waving is foolish; yet he employs it on the spot when so needed, within the same class period ... i.e., it hardly appears foolish to his eyes at that moment, does it?-- tandaradei

LOL, that is amusing. I hadn't noticed that before. I think Snape likes to build up the things he favors by putting down everything else.

Does anyone else see a parallel between Neville's first potions lesson with Snape and Draco's first Care of Magical Creatures lesson with Hagrid? Both boys are injured because they didn't pay attention to instructions. Big differences in how all involved parties handle the situation, though.


mona amon - Aug 7, 2008 7:29 am (#473 of 925)

And then they say this guy has no sense of humour! (Dryleaves)

I feel he doesn't have a sense of humour because he is not able to laugh at himself. A lot of teachers would have burst out laughing if they came to know that they were Neville's Boggart, and try and reassess their relationship with him. But Snape starts bullying him worse than ever when he finds out.

All these old colleagues used to teach Snape for years, read his homework, gave him detention, told him to be quiet, gave him marks etc. As it happens, I know it from experience that in a situation like this, it is rather difficult to really feel like an adult, especially if you are insecure from the start. You must at times remind yourself that you are an adult, a colleague, not a student any more. (Julia)

This may be true of the 21 year old Snape who first started teaching at Hogwarts, but to continue to feel like this after ten years is ridiculous, and I don't think he did. Maybe we can discuss it further on the Snape thread some time.

Snape's eyes are mentioned. They are like dark, empty, cold tunnels. Occlumency or meanie? (Pesky)

I think maybe it's something like Occlumency, he tries not to feel. And I guess all that repressing of emotions is what makes him a meanie!

-----------

I liked your 'wand waving' post #468 Dryleaves!

-----------

I think Snape is the kind of teacher who (although definitely not the showman type like Slughorn) can teach really fascinating classes because of his deep knowledge and because, yes, he is prepared and loves his subject but he is also very demanding and strict and scares the hell out of you when you have to do something for a mark. (Julia)

Julia, I think this would be true only for the brainy kids, or for university level students. In school a fascinating teacher is one who can get the attention of, and make himself or herself comprehensible to the average dunderhead.

It makes an interesting contrast with Voldemort, whose dependence on a wand will increase to the point of obsession. Wand-magic vs. brain-magic?

Excellent point.


Julia H. - Aug 7, 2008 7:33 am (#474 of 925)

Little foolish wand-waving refers to potion-making, not to life in general (even within the class) and I don't think Snape thinks wand-waving is "foolish" when he does it. Easy maybe, easier than making a perfect potion. However, he may well refer to what first-year students may do with their wands as "foolish". We see plenty of evidence in other classes (and they exploit that in the movie as well ) how these kids enjoy waving their wands and rather "foolishly" indeed and what results they may get. I think Snape means "in this class, you are not going to wave your wands foolishly, trying to play the great wizard, instead, you will concentrate on the potion, on the ingredients, on the shimmering fumes (etc.), i.e. on the exact art of potion-making. Don't think you have become powerful wizards and witches just because you have wands to wave now since it takes more than that."

Julia, I think this would be true only for the brainy kids, or for university level students. (Mona)

I agree that he should teach older students or maybe a selected group of advanced students who want to specialize in his subject because they are talented / interested etc. He could do that well.

This may be true of the 21 year old Snape who first started teaching at Hogwarts, but to continue to feel like this after ten years is ridiculous, and I don't think he did. Maybe we can discuss it further on the Snape thread some time.

Yes, let's do it. I think this feeling goes away gradually but how soon or how easily depends on the circumstances, e.g., how insecure that person is, what the general atmosphere in the school is, etc. (Some people never feel like this, not even at the age of 21.) For Snape, there is also his guilt and his past (probably known by his colleagues), which may make it further more difficult for him to really feel equal. But even if this feeling is not there anymore, his attitude in some respects may still be the same as the one he based on this feeling. Besides, he is still closer in age to his students than to his colleagues and the students, too, would probably notice it if he did not take care that they should not.


Dryleaves - Aug 7, 2008 8:16 am (#475 of 925)

I feel he doesn't have a sense of humour because he is not able to laugh at himself. (Mona)

I think it depends on how you interpret "sense of humour". It is certainly true that Snape cannot laugh at himself, and he rather sneers and jeers than laughs or smiles, but I think that is about being vulnerable, insecure and being used to being laughed at by others. But I can agree with you that it limits a person's sense of humour. Still I think he has one, though rather bitter and often malicious, because his way of using the language reveals a way of seeing the little twists and quirks in life, contradictions, parallels, etc. In the case of the speech, for example, the last part is a breaking of style that brings his dramatic and passionate introduction of the subject of potions bitterly down to earth again. But sometimes he also goes too far in bitterness and malice when making jokes and then it is not funny. So I guess the line between sense of humour/no sense of humour is a fine one.


PeskyPixie - Aug 7, 2008 8:52 am (#476 of 925)

Snape's humour is quite funny as long as one is not on the receiving end of it.

I particularly love Snape in DH, when Dumbledore tells him that he must kill him, Snape responds with, "Shall I do it now, or would like a moment to compose your epitaph." (or something like that)

ETA: Regarding wand magic vs. brain magic, it is interesting that in his dying moments Snape has no wand, but he performs very important magic anyway.


Quinn Crockett - Aug 7, 2008 9:14 am (#477 of 925)

I also had the impression that Snape was almost defending his subject with the "foolish wand-waving" remark. After all, even Snape himself knows that Potions isn't anywhere near as glamorous as something like Defense Against the Dark Arts or Transfiguration. But in his usual fashion, he automatically tries to put down precisely what he knows most people will find exciting and interesting.

I could see Snape as a psychologically "feminine" character (never to be confused with "effeminate", please!). I remember reading that people had written the same sort of thing about Spock on the original Star Trek; that Spock represented the unattainable, etc. Snape is cerebral and emotional rather than physically powerful or agile. Hm... it makes sense to me, but I'm not sure I can explain it.


tandaradei - Aug 7, 2008 9:42 am (#478 of 925)

Here's a thought.

Just noticed something else about Snape's usage of the phrases "subtle science" and "exact art." Wouldn't you more normally say, "exact science" and "subtle art"??

To me, "exact" as a modifier implies technical precision; and "subtle" implies emotive nuance ... yet Snape chooses to blend everything by using what one might expect to be oppositely-used modifiers.

This is not a complaint, just an observation. Actually, I think Snape gives more life to his observations this way; and IMO it shows his love for it. Aaaaand, doesn't this sound just like what Harry felt Snape was doing, when he was describing DADA in HBP? What Snape studies, he develops a love for, maybe even an emotional attachment for?

Hey, maybe more.

Here's a question: could Snape in his love for Potions, possibly be displacing in it some of his love for Lily, since according to Slughorn, she was a near potions master? I rather imagine that, if Gryffindor and Slytherin students shared potions classes in Snape's time too, that Snape may have shared a table with Lily, perhaps quite often and happily. These may be some of Snape's best memories. Maybe he married the emotional and scientific balance so well here, because he did the same with Lily in this subject????


Julia H. - Aug 7, 2008 10:12 am (#479 of 925)

Snape is the master of sarcasm and as far as I know sarcasm is a type of humour. But he does not exhibit any self-irony. (With his sense of sarcasm it is not impossible that in his unknowable mind, he can think of himself with similar sarcasm and what he cannot bear is others seeing him in a humorous light.)

I agree with Dryleaves that lack of self-irony may be associated with insecurity. It requires a certain amount of healthy self-confidence to let others notice your weak points without feeling "threatened" or vulnerable. For example, if you have the solid conviction that your dignity cannot be affected by a stupid Boggart impersonating you in a ridiculous hat, you may be able to laugh at the idea. If you don't have this conviction, you may not be able to laugh.

We see that Snape has vivid memories of being laughed at in his childhood for various reasons: because of his clothes, because of the bucking broomstick, in the SWM scene. These very same memories are also associated with situations of failure, humiliation and isolation. It seems these experiences have strongly influenced his personality and that may be the reason why he feels he cannot afford to be laughed at.

Specifically the Boggart incident may hit a sensitive point. What irritates him is perhaps not so much the fact that he is Neville's Boggart but the idea that in front of all those kids and a Marauder(!) he was impersonated wearing the clothes of a grandmother and was being laughed at. One way Snape probably defines himself is "the guy whose love was never returned by the girl". He is not athletic, he is not popular, never has been, he is apparently keeping his beautiful doe patronus a secret from everyone but DD ... the last thing his sensitive pride needs is being depicted as a grandmother and then being laughed at and being "defeated" by one of the teenage Gryffindor dunderheads.

Just noticed something else about Snape's usage of the phrases "subtle science" and "exact art." Wouldn't you more normally say, "exact science" and "subtle art"?? (Tandaradei)

Great observation! It is a stylistic device.

I rather imagine that, if Gryffindor and Slytherin students shared potions classes in Snape's time too, that Snape may have shared a table with Lily, perhaps quite often and happily. These may be some of Snape's best memories. Maybe he married the emotional and scientific balance so well here, because he did the same with Lily in this subject????

I find it entirely possible.


Dryleaves - Aug 7, 2008 10:15 am (#480 of 925)

Just noticed something else about Snape's usage of the phrases "subtle science" and "exact art." Wouldn't you more normally say, "exact science" and "subtle art"?? (Tandaradei)

This is just one more thing I love about this speech.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 7, 2008 10:30 am (#481 of 925)

Here's a question: could Snape in his love for Potions, possibly be displacing in it some of his love for Lily, since according to Slughorn, she was a near potions master? I rather imagine that, if Gryffindor and Slytherin students shared potions classes in Snape's time too, that Snape may have shared a table with Lily, perhaps quite often and happily. These may be some of Snape's best memories. Maybe he married the emotional and scientific balance so well here, because he did the same with Lily in this subject????-- tandaradei

It's a good theory. Alas, Lily's potion making abilities are never developed in the story beyond what they meant to Slughorn. We never actually hear about her using her supposed abilities for anything, so the question remains on just how good she actually was, or whether there is any connection to Snape.

Snape's potion book was from 6th year, and Lily broke off their friendship at the end of 5th year. I doubt Lily would have sat willingly with him after that.


Julia H. - Aug 7, 2008 11:28 am (#482 of 925)

I don't see what Snape's potion book has to do with this. They probably studied potions every year, not only after their OWLs. They may have sat together but clearly only while they were friends. And they may have been brilliant at potions in the earlier years as well.

But actually I think the potions book of the Half-Blood Prince was studied by Snape before his six year, though probably not as the official school book, only as a hobby. On the margins there are his notes for the Levicorpus spell in several variations with crossings and corrections. It seems he was making notes into that book as he was inventing the spell. However, the same spell was already used by James against Snape right after their (fifth-year) OWL exam. It means he must have invented the spell before that. But this spell is not the first note on the margins, it is somewhere in the middle of the book, so it must have been written about the same time when he wrote the improved potions instructions into the book. The only way I can imagine it, is that he had been reading this book much before it was his textbook and tried the "recipes" and started to experiment with them (outside the potions lessons, of course).


PeskyPixie - Aug 7, 2008 12:33 pm (#483 of 925)

Snape's little introduction speech has certainly inspired Hermione, our favourite over-achiever.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 7, 2008 7:50 pm (#484 of 925)

I don't see what Snape's potion book has to do with this.-- Julia H.

That's kind of the problem. It's a NEWT level text, but Snape might have been working at it before then (Levicorpus in the margin would seem indicate he was using the book 5th year). But it fails to provide any potion connection to Lily. Apparently it's all Snape's work. How were they together in potions? We don't know. The potion thing never went anywhere for Lily's character development, and potions aren't part of the final memories that Snape gives Harry. So at the end all I know is that Snape was good at potions, Lily was good at potions, and maybe that was something that they had in common and shared, but it wasn't important enough to be elaborated on.


wynnleaf - Aug 7, 2008 8:18 pm (#485 of 925)

Just noticed something else about Snape's usage of the phrases "subtle science" and "exact art." Wouldn't you more normally say, "exact science" and "subtle art"?? (Tandaradei)

It's like he's saying that as a science, potions is special in that it is so subtle; and as an art it is also unusual, in that it is so exacting. Overall, I think what Snape is doing here is claiming the highest attributes for this area of study.

Comparing McGonagall to Snape, as some mentioned earlier: Well, Harry likes McGonagall of course, but we actually do see her be quite partisan in the giving of points, handing out rather large point rewards to the Trio, while in general when Snape took points they were very small, as we see in this chapter. Or lobbying to get Harry made seeker when first years weren't generally allowed to play Quidditch. And McGonagall can treat Neville in just as humiliating a way as Snape sometimes. Recall her making Neville sit out in the hallway, unable to get into the portrait because he had no passwords, even though a supposed killer was stalking the hallways. That seems pretty humiliating to me. And we later learn that Neville didn't lose the passwords after all (although carrying the list was a mistake).


PatPat - Aug 7, 2008 9:35 pm (#486 of 925)

Wow! I'm way behind here. As a teacher myself, I have to say that this was not a great introduction to Snape for me, personally. His description of his subject, as others have noted, is wonderful: eloquent and mature and lovely. But, then, IMO, he negates all that by childishly picking on Harry and Neville. Whatever his past and his motives, whether we think of him as "solidly an adult", barely an adult, or whatever, he is supposed to be the adult in this situation. Harry is an eleven-year-old boy in a strange situation, thrust into fame and, whatever Snape says, never relishing in it. To be treated like that in his first class is appalling and sent me on a quick hatred of Snape that took a long time to overcome. Even after knowing the back story, now, I still have a hard time forgiving him for this particular behavior. Harry has been at fault many times in his relationship with Snape, no doubt. But there is equally no doubt that Snape started it. Right here in this chapter.




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Eight Comments - posts #488 to #523

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:03 pm

NOTE: Post #487, containing a chapter notes/summary post for Chapter Nine, was originally posted before the conclusion of the discussion of Chapter Eight. It is posted after the next section of posts, all pertaining to Chapter Eight. This was done to keep to the uniform layout of this thread: chapter notes/summary followed by posters' comments. ~Potteraholic



PeskyPixie - Aug 7, 2008 9:48 pm (#488 of 925)

Oh yeah, PatPat. Snape is absolutely horrid as a person here. However, this is the very moment where I perked up and became really interested in the books. Just what was this weird man up to?

-------------"


Dryleaves - Aug 7, 2008 11:28 pm (#490 of 925)

Just a question from a non-native speaker: what does "stopper to death" mean in English? I thought this was a metaphor for making a poison, pouring it into a bottle and put a plug in it. But that of course means that you keep it safe in the bottle and prevent it from causing death. Do you think "stopper" is used deliberately to make the expression ambiguous?


Julia H. - Aug 8, 2008 5:16 am (#491 of 925)

But it fails to provide any potion connection to Lily. Apparently it's all Snape's work. How were they together in potions? We don't know. The potion thing never went anywhere for Lily's character development, and potions aren't part of the final memories that Snape gives Harry. So at the end all I know is that Snape was good at potions, Lily was good at potions, and maybe that was something that they had in common and shared, but it wasn't important enough to be elaborated on. (Mrs Brisbee)

The potion book neither proves nor disproves that Lily and Snape may have sat together in their potions lessons in the early years. We do have Slughorn's assertion that Lily was a very good potion-maker and I see no reason why we should not believe him. We also know that Lily and Snape were best friends for many years and even during the holidays, they lived near each other. We even know that in Harry's time Slytherins and Gryffindors were together in their potions classes and we also see it elsewhere that things do not tend to change in this school unless there is a very good reason so it is quite possible that Slytherins and Gryffindors studied Potions together in Snape's time as well. (It seems even the same textbook has been used for generations.)

True, Lily's potions abilities are not elaborated on but as I said Slughorn's words should be enough for us to believe she was very talented. Considering that Lily is a character who dies right before the beginning of the first book, we find out quite a lot about her and perhaps it would be too much to expect too many further details about her everyday life in her childhood. As for mentioning her potions abilities without making any further use of it in the plot: its importance is not Lily's character development. It seems to me the only reason why JKR put it in the books is to give us, readers, something to refer back to later, when we learn that Lily and Snape were childhood friends. I think she may have wanted to give us a clue which was obscure enough for many readers not to make immediately any connection between Snape and Lily but which gets quite clear after the Prince's Tale so we could have another moment of "OH!".

Snape and Lily were friends and they shared a certain talent (they were very talented at potions) and it can be concluded that they probably shared a common interest since people are usually interested in what they are talented and successful at. Whether they actually sat together in class or not we cannot know but they, as friends, had this shared interest and it gives an extra (and quite realistic) dimension to their friendship.

The adult Snape's situation is perhaps made one step more complicated emotionally with this: not only does he live where he spent his teenage years and got some of his most painful memories, not only does he have to teach and protect his dead love's son but he also teaches (has been teaching now for years) a subject which is a source of both extremely happy and extremely sad memories to him. (And we sometimes wonder why he cannot move on...) Then again it makes Snape's notion of Harry as "mini-James" one step more believable: Harry inherits his father's spectacular Quidditch skills but not the subtle / exact art in which his mother was talented and, of course, Snape.

Now when I come to think of it, Snape and Harry end up sharing one interest though: their interest in DADA and even the ambition to teach DADA. In Harry's case, it is not his idea but we can tell that he enjoys teaching it and finds it exciting. (Another Harry-Snape parallel!) Their confrontation in HBP about the best way to fight off Dementors can almost be viewed as a debate between two persons in the same profession! Harry knows that once Umbridge is out, there is no point in continuing the secret DADA meetings but perhaps his irritation with seeing Snape get the job is partly due to the idea that Snape is practically taking over his students that year.

Totally off-thread, sorry. If anybody is interested in this topic, please, feel free to take it to a more appropriate thread.


megfox* - Aug 8, 2008 6:15 am (#492 of 925)

Just a comment about the use of words, specifically the "subtle science and exact art." This makes me think of baking. In the kitchen, with most general cooking - say, making a stew - you can ballpark things. Ever see Rachel Ray cook? Or Emeril? They never measure. Wonder why most of those celebrity chefs hardly ever bake? Because baking requires exact measurements, is more scientific, and is not as flashy as throwing things almost willy-nilly into a pan and flipping them around. But I would say that baking is more of an art form than some other kinds of cooking. It is much harder to bake well than it is to make a stew. It's an "exact art", but also a "subtle science".

Also, the stopper death phrase could have two meanings, Dryleaves - the one you mentioned, putting a poison into a vial and using a stopper to keep it in, or to do what Snape did for Dumbledore and stopped death in his hand. Good pick up that it gives a slightly different meaning depending on how you read it.


mona amon - Aug 8, 2008 8:34 am (#493 of 925)

Now when I come to think of it, Snape and Harry end up sharing one interest though: their interest in DADA and even the ambition to teach DADA. In Harry's case, it is not his idea but we can tell that he enjoys teaching it and finds it exciting. (Another Harry-Snape parallel!) (Julia)

Nice one, Julia!

Excellent kitchen/potions lab parallel, Megfox!

Another phrase with different meanings depending on how you read it is the title of the chapter- 'The Potions Master', which can mean potions teacher, or master of the art of potion making, i.e. a maestro. Is any other teacher referred to as 'master'?


PeskyPixie - Aug 8, 2008 10:08 am (#494 of 925)

Note Harry's response to Snape's irritating question session. After Snape's third question Hermione stands up with her hand raised and Harry says, "I don't know ... I think Hermione does though, why don't you try her?" That one cracks me up every time! Harry is a tough kid. He won't go out of his way to hurt you, but he knows how to stand his ground and doesn't allow bullying to affect him deeply. I don't know if this is a trait he has indeed inherited from his father, but it sure comes in useful for all the different obstacles he has to face, endure and overcome.


PatPat - Aug 8, 2008 5:43 pm (#495 of 925)

Good point, Pesky. I absolutely love that line. I adored Harry from that point forward. And you are completely correct. He is very tough. Which is why it bothers me when Snape calls him weak in OotP, but we'll get to that later in our re-read! Not many people, adult or child, could survive what Harry goes through, and still come out of it pure of heart and loving. This is exactly what Dumbledore is trying to tell Harry in HBP.


mona amon - Jul 14, 2008 9:01 am (#496 of 925)

I love that line too, Pesky. I don't think he inherited his toughness from his father (Lol, I hate to give James credit for anything!), but he had a lot of practice standing up to bullies, thanks to Dudley and gang. I don't think James ever had to be 'tough'.


Solitaire - Aug 8, 2008 11:13 pm (#497 of 925)
Edited Aug 8, 2008 11:51 pm

Can you imagine how weird it must have been in his first years of work? He started teaching at 21. How strange! Joanna, in my 23 years of teaching, I've worked with a couple of teachers that young. They graduated from high school early and were able to complete their degrees and credentials by age 21. My first teaching job was in a Roman Catholic high school where I taught senior English. I was 23, just five years older than some of my students.

Just saying Snape, in his introduction, is putting on quite a spin here; with much of it aimed at Harry. Much of it? Hm ... seems like most of the derisive comments are certainly leveled at Harry.

Snape and McGonagall would not be so very different from each other. Both are strict, demanding and sarcastic. There is a difference in McGonagall’s sarcasm, however. Hers is not hurtful and demeaning, as Snape's is (although she does get pretty cross when Neville leaves his list of passwords lying around his room and they are stolen--PoA). Her remarks seem to be aimed more at behavior than at the kids themselves. (Sorry ... no books to check for an example.)

About Snape's eyes "like dark, empty, cold tunnels," ... I agree that he has probably been practicing Occlumency and Legilimency all of the time. I think Snape was trying to scope out what exactly Harry was--perhaps some especially gifted Wizard to have thwarted Voldemort--and he wanted to keep his thoughts from being penetrated. I seem to remember that Harry wonders (in the earlier books) whether Snape can read minds. Perhaps he is doing this, too.

Harry has been at fault many times in his relationship with Snape, no doubt. But there is equally no doubt that Snape started it. Right here in this chapter. I agree, PatPat. Had this initial encounter gone differently, everything about the Snape-Harry relationship might have been different. I fault Snape for this, because he was one of the few people still living who really knew Lily and could have helped Harry know more of her. Shame on him!

tandaradei, based on our observations of Filch and Figgy, I've begun to wonder if all Squibs have some special affinity with cats and Kneazles.

Solitaire
Edited by me


Dryleaves - Aug 9, 2008 2:59 am (#498 of 925)

When it comes to Snape's eyes I find it probable that he is practicing Occlumency here, for example he does not want Harry to know anything about him and the history they have in common, but I think it maybe also says something about Snape's psychological state. He lives in the past, in his guilt and his dark memories, seeing no way out of it. In this chapter we see how Snape hates Harry, and this hatred seems completely illogical (at least it seemed so to me when I read this the first time), as Harry does nothing to deserve Snape's treatment of him. The question is triggered: Why does Snape hate Harry? We never really get to know why until something deep down in those cold, dark tunnels has vanished.


Julia H. - Aug 9, 2008 3:15 am (#499 of 925)

I am not sure why Snape would practise Occlumency in front any first-year student. It seems Legilimency is a rather advanced branch of magic and why would Harry, who knows nothing about Snape, want to enter his mind? The "dark, cold tunnels" symbolize Snape's own hopelessness in life, the fact that he can see nothing before him just penance and atonement but nothing he can look forward to and he lives with the knowledge that whatever he may do in the future, he will not be able to bring back Lily or to change the past in any way.


wynnleaf - Aug 9, 2008 4:43 am (#500 of 925)

I imagine Snape was practicing Occlumency in that first class, not as a defensive measure against Harry, but as a defensive measure against his own emotions. Remember that in GOF, Snape's instructions to Harry are a lot about emptying his mind of emotion. The first class with Lily's son who looks so much like James would have the potential of being extremely stressful to Snape emotionally, so I would imagine he'd at least attempt to use Occlumency to control that.

Still, I like Julia's idea that the "dark, cold tunnels" are more symbolic of Snape's own life.


Julia H. - Aug 9, 2008 4:58 am (#501 of 925)

OotP: He attempted a last-minute practice during classes that day, but it was no good ... and, after all, the best moment to empty his brain was not while teachers were firing revision questions at the class.

I wonder if a teacher can afford to empty his brain while teaching .. but of course Snape was an expert at Occlumency so he was probably able to get rid of his emotions (which, I admit, he may have wanted to do) without emptying his mind of what he wanted to teach. () Then again, he does not seem to have controlled his feelings towards Harry very well... or does he?


Dryleaves - Aug 9, 2008 5:01 am (#502 of 925)

I wonder if a teacher can afford to empty his brain while teaching .. (Julia)

I have had such teachers...


rassannassar - Aug 9, 2008 8:40 am (#503 of 925)

Haven't we all had that teacher?


Julia H. - Aug 9, 2008 12:50 pm (#504 of 925)

Everyone has had a least favourite teacher, I see.

'The Potions Master', which can mean potions teacher, or master of the art of potion making, i.e. a maestro. Is any other teacher referred to as 'master'?

I cannot recall any other teacher being called a "master" (perhaps not even Slughorn)... Does anyone else feel the need for a searchable electronic edition of the books?

Good observation, Mona! So Snape is a master (maestro), Potions is an "exact art" and even his other main interest (DADA) has the word "art" in its name. Then Snape is the only wizard I can remember in the whole series who uses a spell that sounds "almost like a song". Conclusion: He is an artist. (His strong emotions fit the picture, too.)


wynnleaf - Aug 9, 2008 4:02 pm (#505 of 925)

According to some British friends, and also as I recall from some older books about old-school British schools, a "master" at a school is simply a teacher at the school. There is another teacher somewhere in the series who is once called the "____ master" but I can't recall which one - I think maybe it was Flitwick, the Charms Master. It isn't a higher level or rank, nor is it pretentious for someone to refer to themselves as a master of Hogwarts, as it just means a teacher of Hogwarts.


PeskyPixie - Aug 9, 2008 4:18 pm (#506 of 925)

I think Potions Master refers to schoolmaster.

Male teachers are schoolmasters and female teachers are schoolmistresses.


Julia H. - Aug 9, 2008 4:24 pm (#507 of 925)

This is clear but can there be something more in the background, regarding the choice of this word? Other teachers tend to be called teachers or professors. I am not thinking of ranks but Mona's idea of the possible ambiguity struck me as interesting, especially with the other references to "art". Are there other subjects that are compared to art?


Orion - Aug 9, 2008 4:28 pm (#508 of 925)

I think Rowling uses the word Master to single Snape out and prepare the reader for the importance of the character. I can't make up my mind whether she intended the expression to give Snape the dark Victorian glamour of the MovieSnape or whether it's just my own impression of the word.


PeskyPixie - Aug 9, 2008 5:45 pm (#509 of 925)

Victorian glam, that's a new one. More impressive than 'basic black,' I must say.

I think more than the title, it is the fact that an entire chapter is named after this greasy being is of importance. As Orion says, it shows that he is important, and we will see many more chapters named after him as the series progresses.


Quinn Crockett - Aug 9, 2008 8:29 pm (#510 of 925)

This is clear but can there be something more in the background, regarding the choice of this word? Julia H.

No, Julia. Your beloved Snape is just an ordinary "male teacher" in the British public school tradition. While the etymology goes back to the old tradition of all male educational environments (when there were "masters" and "pupils") it really doesn't mean anything more.


Mrs. Sirius - Aug 9, 2008 10:08 pm (#511 of 925)

Just a question from a non-native speaker: what does "stopper to death" mean in English? Dryleaves

Like the potions "master" I think that JKR deliberately uses words that have ambitious meaning-power with its use. "Master" does just mean professor-teacher but once it is used, you stop and wonder "well, why did she that word?"

A stopper is a top, a cover, a stop to let the contents of the bottle out. How it could also mean that he is stopping, prohibiting death. Since we see that Snape literally does "stopper death" in HBP, it give you pause. If nothing else, she knew early on that Snape serve to stopper Dumbledore's dying.


Solitaire - Aug 9, 2008 10:40 pm (#512 of 925)

I am not sure why Snape would practise Occlumency in front any first-year student. I suspect Snape practices Occlumency as a matter of course. He must have done so as a double agent. He obviously suspects Quirrell of something--and we now know that Voldemort had taken up residence in the back of Quirrell's head--so I should think he would be quite careful in general, not just before Harry. I do wonder, sometimes, whether Snape practiced Legilimency on Harry at times earlier than OotP. More than once Harry seems to think Snape is reading his mind, and we now know he can do that. Maybe ...

Solitaire


Julia H. - Aug 10, 2008 12:52 am (#513 of 925)

Your beloved Snape is just an ordinary "male teacher" in the British public school tradition. While the etymology goes back to the old tradition of all male educational environments (when there were "masters" and "pupils") it really doesn't mean anything more. (Quinn)

Well, the idea of a possible ambiguity was not mine, I just liked the idea. However, the word does single Snape out even if it has no additional meaning. And, no, Snape is far from being an ordinary teacher - that one thing becomes clear in the books. He is lots of other things besides a teacher. But I see you are irritated, so I will quit this discussion now.


Dryleaves - Aug 10, 2008 1:28 am (#514 of 925)

I like the discussion about the ambiguity of the word "Master". I agree that it is significant that this chapter is named after Snape and that his importance to the story is introduced here.

As I am not a native English speaker these are my own associations to the different words used for a person who teaches at Hogwarts, and may not be relevant at all, but "Professor" I see as a rank or a title, "teacher" is rather neutral, but indicates some activity, someone teaches and may be dedicated to the teaching in itself, to pass on knowledge to others, and we all know that Snape did not choose the job because he felt he had any vocation to do so.

The word "Master" here I feel can have a slightly ironic or bitter connotation. I associate a little with the "Victorian glamour" I think Orion mentioned, as it makes me think of black-dressed, sinister men or schoolmasters in the countryside in the old days who were rather incompetent but got a position of relative power in society through their schoolmaster title and sometimes abused it (NB! this I mean not as a historical fact, just that it is my association). Snape is certainly not incompetent, but sometimes abuses his power. I feel that you can sometimes use the title "schoolmaster" in this sense a little derogatory, "he is just a schoolmaster", and I imagine that is how Snape feels about it. He wants to be something else than a teacher, but fate brought him here and he is bitter about it. I see him as a person who does not want to teach, but who wants to learn. Learn and master.


mona amon - Aug 10, 2008 7:53 am (#515 of 925)

According to some British friends, and also as I recall from some older books about old-school British schools, a "master" at a school is simply a teacher at the school. (Wynnleaf)

While the etymology goes back to the old tradition of all male educational environments (when there were "masters" and "pupils") it really doesn't mean anything more. (Quinn)

We follow the British tradition here, and our male teachers were referred to as 'masters'. But the word 'master' also means 'someone who has consummate skill in a particular field'. Both definitions fit Severus perfectly.


Choices - Aug 10, 2008 9:52 am (#516 of 925)

I always figured there was some special reason why Snape was the Potion's "Master", whereas Quirrell, Slughorn, Lockhart, Binns, etc. were just teachers/professors of their various subjects, not "Masters". Snape must have had advanced training or done something special to have earned the title. Then again, perhaps he just assumed the title, sort of like Tom Riddle declared himself Lord Voldemort.


wynnleaf - Aug 10, 2008 10:02 am (#517 of 925)

As I recall, he only calls himself "a master of Hogwarts" once, and that's when he's trying to get the Marauder's Map to reveal itself. He is basically saying to the map, "I have authority within this school to investigate this object, therefore reveal your secrets."

By titling him The Potions Master in a narrative form, or in the chapter, it becomes either authorial voice or the narrator that is giving Snape that title, not one of the characters. I do think it must mean something for JKR to have chosen this word rather than just The Potions Professor, but I'm not sure what it might be other than giving Snape an "old-school" kind of persona. And indeed, Snape's classroom manner, as much criticism as it gets, is very, very "old-school" even down to the sarcasm and harsh manner which was pretty common in British schools years ago.


Solitaire - Aug 10, 2008 10:35 am (#518 of 925)

Even Lupin refers to Snape as the Potions Master, doesn't he, in PoA? Perhaps Snape has the equivalent of a Ph.D. in potions, whereas the other professors just have their B.A. or M.A. equivalents.


Quinn Crockett - Aug 10, 2008 11:20 am (#519 of 925)

I think Potions Master just sounds better than Potions Professor; that it's nothing more than an aesthetic choice. JKR is a wordsmith, after all.


Solitaire - Aug 10, 2008 11:24 am (#520 of 925)

Good point!


Orion - Aug 10, 2008 11:34 am (#521 of 925)

The word master drags a trail of connotations behind it, as undoubtedly Rowling knows quite well. It invokes a picture of an alchemist in his laboratorium, getting up to all kinds of strange experiments (Frankenstein), and the picture of a Dickensian villain exuding power over innocent children, and you don't have to read fanfic (and I don't read fanfic, it gives me the creeps and the willies and lots of unpleasant stuff I don't want in the household) to think of concepts of dominance and submission (Venus in furs is actually about a guy called Severin). I don't know much about this SM codswallop, but even I can hear the whispering behind this word. So anybody else can, too, I guess.


Anna L. Black - Aug 10, 2008 2:36 pm (#522 of 925)

As far as I can see, the word "Master" is used in the following circumstances in books 1-6:

- The "Headmaster" of Hogwarts (part of another word, I know...)

- The Potions Master (not only by the narrator - Lockhart says they'll "still have your Potions master when [he's] through with him")

- Voldemort is often called Master by DEs, or by other characters, in reference to DEs ("The servant will rejoin his Master").

- House Elves refer to their families/owners as Masters. ("Perhaps just one more, Master Harry, for luck?" )

Now, DH is a different matter. While all the previous meanings are also used, there are some more "Master" references:

- The Deathly Hallows - Master of Death

- Wandlore - Master of the wand

- And, finally, there's this: “Professor,” Harry said, approaching the little Charms master. “Professor, I'm sorry to interrupt, but this is important. Have you got any idea where the diadem of Ravenclaw is?” Now, it's probably the least meaningful, but it shows that Snape isn't the only one in Hogwarts called a master


tandaradei - Aug 10, 2008 5:34 pm (#523 of 925)

To me, Mastership indicates competency. It's bestowed as a title by means of others in the field, through agreed-upon criteria (I rather think different countries may have different criteria). When anyone is called a Master in some field, those so called are in effect universally judged as sufficiently competent, to add their voices to that field.

Higher levels than Master, IMO, imply a kind of "leadership role" among those in that field, which again follows universally accepted criteria.

I guess calling someone Master means you're accepting them as an authority, especially within that field.

I assume "Master" and "Mister" (Mr) have some shared etymology.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

To change the subject entirely. I've been mowing (we call it shredding) grasses for horses on a quarter-section of land; and have been out of everything for about 4 days. I'd "published" notes for the next chapter a ways back, expecting us to have moved on by now. We haven't and I don't know whether that's good or bad; but if nobody objects, if things seem to start quieting down soon I'm going to repost those notes and move on. Look at it this way, in the next chapter after this one we'll have some Snape issues again ... and be nearer IMO to the point where we have one of our first DH "Snape memories" to access, and I will be VERY INTERESTED in that Snape issue too.

ta ta!




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Nine Notes/Summary - post #487

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:07 pm

NOTE: This post, containing a chapter notes/summary post for Chapter Nine, was originally posted before the conclusion of the discussion of Chapter Eight. It is posted now after the previous section of posts, all pertaining to Chapter Eight. This was done to keep to the uniform layout of this thread: chapter notes/summary followed by posters' comments. ~Potteraholic



tandaradei - Aug 7, 2008 9:38 pm (#487 of 925)

(please continue, but I must to get this out now; I will be very busy the next few days)

Chapter Nine - The Midnight Duel

A galloping chapter! Stuff happens fast here, like in a Louis L’Amour potboiler, where we only get enough breath for another galloping. HR(H) are in the action too “though not yet solid.


Breakfast

Typical, said Harry darkly. “Just what I always wanted. To make a fool of myself on a broomstick in front of Malfoy.” “At least in this chapter we can truly see Draco as an aspiring baddie; but no match for Harry, still. Even here, most of the first “evil” of Draco is in Harry’s mind, not in anything Draco did.

" You don’t know you’ll make a fool of yourself,” said Ron reasonably” ...[cut] Ron’s a best-mate. He’s a morale-booster and an excellent “Second.”

Even Ron would tell anyone who’d listen about the time he’d almost hit a hang glider on Charlie’s old broom...[cut]” “Here’s typical Jo-like storytelling: Hogwarts audiences gather around storytellers who talk about past events in relation to some future moment that everyone fears.

Neville managed to have an extraordinary number of accidents even with both feet on the ground...[cut]... “Why? Because Neville can’t help it” or “because unconsciously he didn’t want to succeed where his parents did (and eventually end up being tortured as an Auror)? Perversely, I’m rather glad Bella Crucio’d him later, so Neville could see and know what it all was, for sure, what it was. His tears from the broom accident don’t bother me much (I’ve explained); but I am interested that later here Neville said Madam Poppy Pomfrey mended his wrist “in about a minute”; whereas Draco will later have is arm in a sling for weeks.

“Malfoy’s got my Remembrall, Professor.”...[cut]”

“Hooray for McGonagall; I noticed Neville stepped right up to place the blame on Draco; he does have spunk.

- do you think Neville’s Remembrall is a precursor for Harry’s prophecy orb in the plotline? (I’m beginning to think so. More below.)

...[cut]... “Sniff around, they might be lurking in a corner.”...[cut]...”A Squib is talking to a Cat here - a Mrs. Norris, almost like they’re really communicating! Latent magic?


Broom lessons

Reminds me of horses. I'm around horses and to me its like this: horses are prey and are herd oriented and so are near “psychic” to all and such around; but we riders are predators who are sometimes so intent on goals that we can’t see outside our “tunnel vision” - thus, we are often very un-psychic, compared to horses. Now, if we, a predator, fear getting on a horse, it picks up our fear & might easily buck us off from that shared fear (by simply sharing our desire to get out of the situation); but if we command, they’ll obey us almost with relief. Alpha mares and stallions are very strict and commanding in herds, in this sense they are like predators; and the herd instinctively follows such. So: to me this broom stuff sounds like horses.


Night Mischief

Neville precedes HR(H) out of the Trophy Room, fleeing Filch; nothing like running into a suit of armor to, erm, help Mrs. Norris out.

...[cut]...”Malfoy tricked you,” Hermione said to Harry. “You realize that, don’t you?”...[cut]..” Hermione is always the brains of the outfit, even now.

...[cut]...It was Peeves. He gave a squeal of delight...[cut]...”Ooooooh, isn’t Peeves the worst? Peeves is a Beginning/Closing element throughout the series, just noticed.

Alohomora. Hermione can already do advanced magic.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I must add a quick “Neville Moment” - something’s just occurred to me: Neville precedes Harry many times. We’ve already had Neville as being the first person Harry notices once “inside” station 9 æ at King’s Cross “so, in a way, Neville preceded him there. Neville preceded Harry with the Sorting Hat of course. Here, maybe Neville’s Remembrall is a precursor to Harry’s prophecy orb in OotP? Next, Neville precedes Harry on a broom - and a hospital visit too! Neville also precedes Harry here as HR(H) go off for a Midnight Duel -- he's out there already; and then precedes them out of the Trophy Room; and certainly Neville precedes Harry in “discovering” Fluffy! I think I may start some “Neville a Precursor?” mini thread.




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Nine Comments - posts #524 to #550

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:15 pm



Dryleaves - Aug 10, 2008 11:46 pm (#524 of 925)

LOL, Tandaradei! I think you are right we should move on and I will go back to look at your previous notes on chapter nine. It is funny with word associations, though, just like putting a snowball into rolling, but it has grown quite big by now...


Dryleaves - Aug 11, 2008 2:07 am (#525 of 925)

Here, maybe Neville’s Remembrall is a precursor to Harry’s prophecy orb in OotP? (Tandaradei)

I don't know if it is all right to move on yet, but I reread your notes and I thought the idea of the Remembrall and the prophecy is an interesting one.

My thoughts are not clear on this one, but I certainly think the Remembrall and the prophecy are related. They are both spherical, but otherwise they are opposites: the Remembrall is about a lost, forgotten past, and the prophecy is about a future that will (or may) be, the Remembrall "glittered in the sun" but is full of smoke, the prophecy is full of dust on the outside but has a glow of light within. When Harry catches the Remembrall it leads to him becoming a seeker.

Like Snape's importance in the story is introduced in the previous chapter I think in this chapter we get a hint that Neville may be more than just a clown to laugh at. We also get to know that Neville's grandmother never has let him near a broom. I think her lack of confidence in Neville has made him lose confidence in himself, therefore he has all those accidents and therefore his broomstick does not move at first when he says "Up!" I think here there is a parallel between Neville and Snape, as in one of Snape's memories he is laughed at when he is trying to mount a broomstick that will not obey him. The broomsticks sense if people are afraid.

In this chapter we learn that Harry really wants to learn how to fly, but it turns out that he instinctively knows how to. (While Neville and Snape have to learn how to do it.)


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 11, 2008 3:51 am (#526 of 925)

Great comparison of the Remembrall and Prophecy, Dryleaves and tandaradei.

I think with flying, the difference for Harry is that he was given a toy broom when he was a baby, and he had a godfather with a flying motorbike whom he loved, plus Hagrid who also rode the motorbike when he took him from Godric’s Hollow. I think good memories of flying were embedded in Harry's brain at a very young age.


Joanna Lupin - Aug 11, 2008 6:56 am (#527 of 925)

Sorry to go back a little, but...

JKR's maths problem: Nearly Headless Nick died in 1492, and yet in 1991 he says he hadn't eaten anything in nearly 400 years. How the hell had he managed to eat 100 years after death??


Julia H. - Aug 11, 2008 10:28 am (#528 of 925)

Just one final mention of the word "master": It may not have been JKR's intention at all to refer to this, but ... what about The Master and Margarita? (That book certainly has a lot to say about dark magic...)


Quinn Crockett - Aug 11, 2008 10:58 am (#529 of 925)

When Harry catches the Remembrall it leads to him becoming a seeker. - Dryleaves

Ah, yes! And in HBP Harry catches hold of the Past which leads him to "seek" the truth and understand his Future.


Steve Newton - Aug 11, 2008 12:02 pm (#530 of 925)

Geez people. I'm away for a week and over 100 posts. I'll never catch up.

Anyway, someone made the mistake of mentioning Neville. In this book and several later he has Trevor, more or less. In OotP he has the Mimbulus Mimbletonia. I think in DH also. They both sort of disappear without mention. Are they sort of foils for Neville, allowing him to hide?

Sorry, not well worded or thought out.


Joanna Lupin - Aug 11, 2008 12:12 pm (#531 of 925)

Just caught up on reading the chapters, and I can't help but admire JKR's gift for giving away important details in a form that we'll surely miss. Wasn't Emeric the Evil a master of the Elder Wand once?


tandaradei - Aug 11, 2008 12:37 pm (#532 of 925)

(sorry folks, just got off Jury Duty)

Chapter Nine - The Midnight Duel
(6 or 7 days after the first Snape Potions lesson = Sept 12)

A galloping chapter! Stuff happens fast here, like in a Louis L’Amour potboiler, where we only get enough breath for another galloping. HR(H) are in the action too “though not yet solid.


Breakfast

Typical, said Harry darkly. “Just what I always wanted. To make a fool of myself on a broomstick in front of Malfoy.” “At least in this chapter we can truly see Draco as an aspiring baddie; but no match for Harry, still. Even here, most of the first “evil” of Draco is in Harry’s mind, not in anything Draco did.

"You don’t know you’ll make a fool of yourself,” said Ron reasonably...[cut]” “Ron’s a best-mate. He’s a morale-booster and an excellent “Second.”

Even Ron would tell anyone who’d listen about the time he’d almost hit a hang glider on Charlie’s old broom...[cut]” “Here’s typical Jo-like storytelling: Hogwarts audiences gather around storytellers who talk about past events in relation to some future moment that everyone fears.

Neville managed to have an extraordinary number of accidents even with both feet on the ground...[cut]...”Why? Because Neville can’t help it “or “because unconsciously he didn’t want to succeed where his parents did (and eventually end up being tortured as an Auror)? Perversely, I’m rather glad Bella Crucio’d him later, so Neville could see and know what it all was, for sure, what it was. His tears from the broom accident don’t bother me much (I’ve explained); but I am interested that later here Neville said Madam Poppy Pomfrey mended his wrist “in about a minute”; whereas Draco will later have is arm in a sling for weeks.

“Malfoy’s got my Remembrall, Professor.”...[cut]”

“Hooray for McGonagall; I noticed Neville stepped right up to place the blame on Draco; he does have spunk.

-- do you think Neville’s Remembrall is a precursor for Harry’s prophecy orb in the plotline? (I’m beginning to think so. More below.)

...[cut]...”Sniff around, they might be lurking in a corner.”...[cut]...”A Squib is talking to a Cat here - a Mrs. Norris, almost like they’re really communicating! Latent magic?


Broom lessons

Reminds me of horses. I'm around horses and to me its like this: horses are prey and are herd oriented and so are near “psychic” to all and such around; but we riders are predators who are sometimes so intent on goals that we can’t see outside our “tunnel vision” - thus, we are often very un-psychic, compared to horses. Now, if we, a predator, fear getting on a horse, it picks up our fear & might easily buck us off from that shared fear (by simply sharing our desire to get out of the situation); but if we command, they’ll obey us almost with relief. Alpha mares and stallions are very strict and commanding in herds, in this sense they are like predators; and the herd instinctively follows such. So: to me this broom stuff sounds like horses.


Night Mischief

Neville precedes HR(H) out of the Trophy Room, fleeing Filch; nothing like running into a suit of armor to, erm, help Mrs. Norris out.

...[cut]...”Malfoy tricked you,” Hermione said to Harry. “You realize that, don’t you?”...[cut]..” Hermione is always the brains of the outfit, even now.

...[cut]...It was Peeves. He gave a squeal of delight...[cut]...”Ooooooh, isn’t Peeves the worst? Peeves is a Beginning/Closing element throughout the series, just noticed.

Alohomora. Hermione can already do advanced magic.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I must add a quick “Neville Moment” - something’s just occurred to me: Neville precedes Harry many times. We’ve already had Neville as being the first person Harry notices once “inside” station 9 æ at King’s Cross “so, in a way, Neville preceded him there. Neville preceded Harry with the Sorting Hat of course. Here, maybe Neville’s Remembrall is a precursor to Harry’s prophecy orb in OotP? Next, Neville precedes Harry on a broom - and a hospital visit too! Neville also precedes Harry here as HR(H) go off for a Midnight Duel -- he's out there already; and then precedes them out of the Trophy Room; and certainly Neville precedes Harry in “discovering” Fluffy! I think I may start some “Neville a Precursor?” mini thread.


Soul Search - Aug 11, 2008 2:58 pm (#533 of 925)

Superb pickup Joanna Lupin.

Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21, The Tale of the Three Brothers,Xenophilius to the Trio: "Surely you have heard of the way the wand came to Egbert the Egregious, after his slaughter of"


tandaradei - Aug 11, 2008 8:54 pm (#534 of 925)

Been lurking on the Snape thread and thought some ideas there should be added here. Here's a Snape/Harry parallel:

Sirius "aided" Snape into "breaking rules" by luring Snape towards the Shrieking Shack. (Snape probably wouldn't have broken the rules & passed the Willow if it had not been for Sirius.)

and Draco "aided" Harry into "breaking rules" twice, in these last two chapters: first, by luring Harry into the sky expressly against Madam Hooch's commands; and second, by luring Harry to the Trophy Room for a midnight duel.

Snape and Harry are lured in similar ways to break rules by main characters in opposite Houses.


wynnleaf - Aug 12, 2008 2:09 am (#535 of 925)

tandaradei,

Great observation. I love the Harry and Snape parallels, but had never thought of this one until the recent discussion on the Snape thread. Harry, right from the start, is always so willing to break rules and make many foolish decisions just because Draco goads him into it, or because Harry becomes convinced that he's got to find some kind of evidence against Draco.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 12, 2008 7:15 am (#536 of 925)

What strikes me about Ron and the Midnight Duel is that he's one of the leaders in rule breaking. He's often accused of being Harry's sidekick, but on several occasions it's the other way around (as another example, the flying car incident in CoS. There Ron is the instigator, and Harry the sidekick).


tandaradei - Aug 12, 2008 5:14 pm (#537 of 925)

I've got some ideas rolling around in my head. Maybe it should soon go to the "Internal Relationships of Our Trio" thread, but maybe also here too. It has to do with how Jo has presented the story to us, how she has kept IMO vital ideas from us; and how she envisions the "reality," behind which this story is made.

Let's look at Hermione, but also how she's seen through the narrator's eyes. Like Neville, she is a bit off-stage from Harry and Ron right now; and I'm wondering if therefore certain "rules of narration" are in play for her.

OK, in this chapter Hermione is a young girl. She is what we might call pre-adolescent and pre-romantic, wouldn't you say? Now I'm asking, how does a girl like that express herself to those who attract her, even at her age?

It's a guess again, but I'm thinking she would be bossy to the ones she likes. It would be her first kind of silly way, albeit an ineffective one, of "Getting to know you."

Between you and me, Hermione is pretty bossy to Harry and Ron.

OK, part two: the narrative voice: how do we envision this telling?

Obviously its not totally through Harry's eyes; but less obviously, I'm thinking, Jo makes us notice things mainly that only Harry notices; and thus, not notice things that might shed a very different light onto what's really going on. (This is why I was so misled about Snape???) At our library, we have a band of extreme HP fans; and one of them is our local Snape-O-phile, who of course will never let me forget how wrong I was re: her favorite darkly-greasy-haired-one-man-hero ... well ... anyway she said I was mislead from the beginning because I fell into a "herd-like" thinking that Jo encouraged us to fall into.

Now, let's pretend that Hermione got the hots for either Ron or Harry; but that she was inexperienced in such things; and the boys of course were "beyond help" at this age ... well, how would things transpire? And more importantly from the reader's perspective, how would we be made aware of it???

An omniscient, controlling narrator would tell us of the respective positions of all the players and have us watch it all transpire.

A 3d person Narrator would probably give us some of the ideas of, most likely, the main character.

A 3d person Limited Omniscient Narrator would probably give us reliable knowledge, but only that stemming again, mainly from the perspective of one main character. This sounds to me very close to Jo's style.

I've been cruising around Wikipedia, and it speaks of a 3d Person Limited Omniscient style, which originated from a Henry James' writing style, which he called "effaced narration," wherein the actual narrator occasionally sort of disappears (is effaced), and we are given basically some 1st person visions. Here's the example given there:

...[cut]...Henry met Madeline on New Year's Eve in 2002. He went to a party and she opened the door. Her hair! Only a goddess could have hair so fine....[cut]...

Obviously, the 3d Person Omniscient aspect is at one point "erased" in this example, so that we get somewhat precisely and exactly what the character is thinking and feeling; and thus less what was happening in reality (i.e., what a Pensieve would pick up, for example.) The thing about this narrative style is how it adds color and depth to the story, helping us to identify closer; but also, how it is very particular in what it observes, and thus, what we can infer. For example, in the above quote I can't really be sure her hair would have told me that it was of goddess quality; only, that the main character felt and thought it was so.

I'm wondering if Jo doesn't do that to us somewhat in her own narrative style. I think Jo OWNS this narrative style, and she has conquered me and zillions others with it (Snapophiles are somehow immune). Anyway, offstage at this point in the story, I think Jo maybe believed that Hermione should have been "getting the hots" for Ron; but she also knew how children at this age are unaware of such biological imperatives, and so are just children in cognitions. And so, why shouldn't we share that all in our reading? I'm thinking in this sense, Jo is inviting us to be at Harry's and Ron's "place of being"; but also, that unfortunately for us grownups with normal minds, she understands that this is a perfect vehicle to mislead even the wisest of us (local Snapophiles receive some special kind of dispensation, so IMO they can then lord it over us for the rest of our lives.)

hehe


Quinn Crockett - Aug 12, 2008 5:41 pm (#538 of 925)

Wow! Awesome post, tandaradei!

Yes, JKR does own this style very much - and yet it seems such a perfectly natural way of telling a story.

I'm not sure I agree that Hermione had already fallen toward Ron at this point. I remember finding her a very annoying little person to have to be around and wondered why she actually thought this was a good way to treat people. Nobody likes a tattletale, nobody likes to be bossed around. But as soon as Ron made her cry, I had a sense that they would end up together. Don't ask me why, though. Formulaic, maybe?


mona amon - Aug 12, 2008 6:38 pm (#539 of 925)

If there's anything in the first book to suggest that Hermione had the hots for Ron, I missed it by a mile! I wasn't really thinking about romance anyway. It wasn't until the first movie, when Hermione flings her arms around Harry but acts stand-offish with Ron, that I realised they were going to end up together.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 12, 2008 6:56 pm (#540 of 925)

Unfortunately, I had seen most of the first movie and all of the second before I even picked up the books (although I did enjoy the second movie; it's why I started to read the books), so I'm not sure what sort of conclusions I would have come to about the characters and their relationships going only by Rowling's writing style.


tandaradei - Aug 12, 2008 7:25 pm (#541 of 925)

Well heck, I didn't even think any romance stuff the first time, until maybe the Christmas blowup in GoF. (I thought Harry's saving Ginny was heroically romantic.) My suppositions here might be called "reverse engineering," on my part; meaning, I'm working backwards from what I now know and am hypothesizing what's really happening here in Jo's mind as against what's said in her narrative.

heck, could be true


PatPat - Aug 12, 2008 7:27 pm (#542 of 925)

Hmm. That's a great post, tandaradei, but I'm not convinced that Hermione, at this point, had any romantic feelings, even unconscious ones. Hermione is very intelligent, more intelligent really than most of the kids her age. Yet, despite this, she is very self-conscious and has a great fear of failure (as we know from her Boggart). IMO, in trying to "belong", she overplays her intelligence and comes off as a bossy know-it-all. Her intelligence is her biggest gift, and she doesn't know how to use it yet without flaunting it. Others may disagree, but I think the friendship between the trio is most important in Hermione's development. Without Ron and Harry, she probably would have remained as bossy and annoying throughout the series. She needed them to gain confidence and also to relax a little and learn how to be herself.

On another note, this chapter already shows Harry becoming the "hero." He is the first to step forward and tell Malfoy to give Neville back the Remembrall. Harry has a very keen sense of right and wrong and is never afraid to stand up for what he believes. This is very unusual, especially at 11-years-old. Other kids might agree, but either, like Hermione, they would be afraid of getting in trouble, or they would be afraid of not being in the "popular" crowd if they stood up for a boy who, at this point, is distinctly unpopular. Harry really is very special in this way.


PeskyPixie - Aug 12, 2008 8:27 pm (#543 of 925)

Agreed, PatPat.


wynnleaf - Aug 12, 2008 8:37 pm (#544 of 925)

Yes, I agree with PatPat as well. I didn't even think about anyone pairing up with others until the end of COS when I started to think Harry would eventually end up with Ginny.

And I agree with PatPat's assessment of Hermione, in that she's trying to use her intelligence to fit in, which doesn't really work. Ultimately, it's the willingness to join in a kind of camaraderie with Harry and Ron that helps win their friendship.


Quinn Crockett - Aug 12, 2008 9:59 pm (#545 of 925)

I actually loved how it said that Hermione was nervous about the flying lessons because it wasn't something she could memorize out of a book. It just makes me laugh - still.


rcs - Aug 13, 2008 12:31 am (#546 of 925)

What's weird is that by HBP she's still terrible (at least at Quidditch), and even in DH she rides a thestral in "The Seven Potters" because she "lack[s] confidence on a broomstick."


Orion - Aug 13, 2008 3:01 am (#547 of 925)

PatPat, very good point about Hermione needing Ron and Harry. If it hadn't been for the troll, she would have had no chance to get friends at all. She would have been an outsider until NEWTS. She was incredibly lucky that these two decided to save her and decided to be friends with her.

Hermione surely doesn't want to appear bossy. IMO she's one of those persons who always feel responsible for everything. So when she meets Neville and he has lost his toad, she has the feeling that she must help him. And when she asks around on his behalf, she appears bossy because she'd like to appear confident. She has never learned how to behave if you want to appear confident because she isn't confident at all. I think she wants to hide her fears. So she comes across as precocious and bossy. This is probably the last thing she wants.

She is an only child, isn't she? So she probably spends too much time in the company of adults and lacks the social skills needed around children of her age. I wonder how she fared in primary school. Not very well, I fear.


Joanna Lupin - Aug 13, 2008 8:29 am (#548 of 925)

I think you're right about Hermione undergoing a change under Harry and Ron's influence, PatPat.

Interesting beginning/ending parallel is in Hermione's famous quote "We could've been killed, or worse - expelled!" This quote shows us how important education is to our bushy-haired heroine, and yet, by Deathly Hallows she abandons her education in order to help Harry fulfill his destiny.


Steve Newton - Aug 13, 2008 10:32 am (#549 of 925)

Hermione on the train is vaguely reminiscent of James on the train. James seems to be setting himself up as a leader and Hermione is basically doing the same thing in a very different way. She is trying to help Neville, sort of the go to girl.

I am finally reading chapter 4. Sorry to be so behind. Hagrid obviously does not know of the prophecy or suspect a horcrux.


freshwater - Aug 13, 2008 11:08 am (#550 of 925)

I had minor surgery and went camping for a week so am about 150 posts behind! But...am looking forward to reading all you've spotted and discussed.

I have a request...or two. I've been running the polls on the votes threads for a couple of months now (rather haphazardly, lately...) and we've had a couple of topics suggested for polls --1) Bravest moment/action and 2)Best Descriptions-- that I think would be best handled by creating a poll for each book. Here's where I need your help....as you are reading PS/SS (and future books) if you come across a brave moment/action or a great description in the narrative PLEASE post it on the "Poll Suggestions: Submit Yours Here" thread in the Votes on All Things Potter Section. I will do my best to give credit to all those who contribute to these polls, when I post them.....probably one poll for each topic as we finish each book in the re-read-along. THANK YOU!!!




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Ten Notes/Summary - post #551

Post  Potteraholic on Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:16 pm



tandaradei - Aug 13, 2008 3:56 pm (#551 of 925)

(hope I didn't post this too early) I've looked around here and I don't think I can make better notes than those already done. I will assume, therefore, that you've already gone through the HPL Chapter 10 notes here and Steve Newton's earlier notes here; (just click on them to go to them); and that after them my notes will only be complementary, adding onto but not repeating, what they've already managed.

Chapter Ten - Halloween

Chapter 10 starts Sept 20 about a week after Ch 9 concludes; but halfway through the chapter, we jump about 6 weeks ahead, and are at Halloween. This means Harry & Ron have spent that intermittent time cementing their friendship, but the same amount of time mutually ignoring Hermione. That's a long time for kids! I wonder, what happened during this intervening period, in Jo's mind?

...[cut]..."excellent adventure"...[cut]... I think this represents a mindset slightly different than the Weasley twins' or the Marauders' excuses for rule breaking; which difference BTW Snape won't appreciate. I'm thinking Harry and Ron find seat-of-the-pants adventures really fun ... eventually as in, "hey, lets break into Gringotts and escape on a dragon" kind of stuff.

...[cut]..."All Neville cared"...[cut]... Neville moment. Neville apparently remains conflicted about magic and where it could lead him, as against what happened to his parents. Fluffy probably didn't help that attitude.

...[cut]..."I thought you weren't speaking to us"...[cut]... Really they (and especially Ron) were rude here. Harry had gotten away without receiving severe punishments twice now ... and this is how he appreciates his luck, by belittling someone who cautions him? Many times in the HP series I see Hermione rightfully saying something like "its not fair," how she seems to be on a wrong side. I especially remember her bad luck with Ron in HBP; and sympathize greatly with her here. But excusing HR somewhat, they are just kids.

...[cut]..."Well, that's it -- any questions?"...[cut]... I notice here that Harry is excellent at picking up instructions and information when he's really motivated. He doesn't seem to do this nearly as well in Professor Binns' class.

...[cut]..."Professor Flitwick put the class into pairs to practice"...[cut]... Ahhhh, now I think we should call this a teacher's moment. I notice here that Harry and Ron's getting paired up together apparently wasn't even a choice ... even though, by Neville's waving, classmates still normally had some choices! So: six weeks after their excellent adventure together, these two troublemakers have been "noticed" by teachers perhaps? Perhaps even separated more than once???

...[cut]..."Wingardium Leviosa!" [Ron] shouted, waving his long arms like a windmill...[cut]... OK, how about a Ron moment? Ron's laughable here, trying to imitate Flitwick. But with a faulty wand Ron will perform this spell perfectly only a few hours later, and on the spot. He seems to have an ability for near-perfect recall, like when he managed to speak Parseltongue at the end of DH. This may be a Beginning/Ending comparison.

...[cut]...Ron looked still more awkward at this, but a moment later they had entered the Great Hall, where the Halloween Decorations put Hermione out of their minds...[cut]... Perfect description of kids' way of thinking IMO.

...[cut]..."Don't ask me, they're supposed to be really stupid," said Ron. "Maybe Peeves let it in for a Halloween joke."...[cut]... For a wizard-newbie like Harry, Ron is a perfect buddy. His reasoning appears sound to me here; even though he's incorrect.

...[cut]...They edged toward the open door, mouths dry, praying the troll wasn't about to come out...[cut]... ... OK, now compare that with ...[cut]...Harry then did something that was very brave and very stupid...[cut]... ... These boys turn heroes once there's a need. That's the real difference in bravery IMO -- not whether one's afraid, but what one does when someone else needs help. IMO this is a freshwater moment.

OK, here's some interesting facts at the end of this next "excellent adventure": the accomplished Legilimens gives Harry a swift, piercing look; Ron drops his wand upon hearing Hermione's fib (now who would find that hard to interpret); and Professor McGonagall ONLY DEDUCTS 5 POINTS (not 50, like later) says, "I'm very disappointed in you," and tells them to go eat, after hearing Hermione's weak story about nearly getting them all killed. Wellllll ... I'm thinking the teachers very soon figured out the real facts.

IMO, this indicates Dumbledore's placid and near happy state of mind in DH, at the moment Snape is delivering a harangue about Harry's "breaking all the rules." I'm thinking, through both Professor McGonagall’s and Snape's renditions, and DD's own ways for gathering facts, that he is fairly certain now that Hermione has been added as the stabilizing rudder for the famous steamship the HRH; and that this triumvirate may well help Harry out tremendously in the future.




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Ten Comments - posts #552 to #578

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:30 am



PeskyPixie - Aug 13, 2008 9:58 pm (#552 of 925)

I'm not exactly sure which chapter we're on, but when Snape gives Harry the 'swift piercing look' in the girls' bathroom (after the troll), I'm now thinking it's Legilimency ... but I guess that's pretty obvious to everyone by now. Oh well, it caught my eye.

EDIT: LOL, what a dumb way to start my post. We're on chapter 10!!!!! I really should get to sleep now.


mona amon - Aug 14, 2008 2:25 am (#553 of 925)

Snape and Harry seem to have a knack for bumping into each other in girls' bathrooms!


Steve Newton - Aug 14, 2008 6:13 am (#554 of 925)

Wow, a theme I hadn't noticed before.


PeskyPixie - Aug 14, 2008 8:21 am (#555 of 925)

Neither had I.

Oh well, I guess Snape's allowed during emergencies as he's a teacher and Harry, well the first time it's an emergency and the second time he's tracking Draco ... gosh, there are too many boys wandering around the girls bathrooms!


rcs - Aug 14, 2008 9:10 am (#556 of 925)

Draco's not in a girls' bathroom in HBP (if that's the scene you're thinking of; the one where Harry uses Sectumsempra and then regrets it immediately). He's actually in the boys' bathroom here (easy to forget, because Moaning Myrtle's with him).


Joanna Lupin - Aug 14, 2008 9:16 am (#557 of 925)

LOL!

I always wondered why Hermione lied about the troll incident. Wouldn't it be better if she told Professor McGonagall that Harry and Ron only went looking for her because they knew she didn't know about the troll? Now, I come to the conclusion that Hermione made a conscious choice to join the camaraderie of rule-breakers.


Anna L. Black - Aug 14, 2008 9:16 am (#558 of 925)

There's Tom Riddle, too

It's the first time we see Harry's "saving people thing" in action - it's he who thinks about going to find Hermione.

I never understood why Hermione had to lie about why they are there. Wasn't it enough that the boys knew she doesn't know about the troll, and came to help her?

That's interesting: It's originally Ron's fault that Hermione hides in the bathroom, and it's due to Hermione that Ron knows how to do the spell correctly and make up for it.

freshwater, if you're looking for descriptions - I have a sure candidate: There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.

Edit: LOL, Joanna! We cross-posted and both asked the same thing Great minds think alike, I guess


Joanna Lupin - Aug 14, 2008 9:20 am (#559 of 925)

Looks like it, Anna :DDDDD


PeskyPixie - Aug 14, 2008 9:40 am (#560 of 925)

Draco's not in a girls' bathroom in HBP (if that's the scene you're thinking of; the one where Harry uses Sectumsempra and then regrets it immediately). He's actually in the boys' bathroom here (easy to forget, because Moaning Myrtle's with him). -rcs

Ah, that's right! So which other girls' bathroom do Harry and Severus meet in?

I've wondered about Hermione as well. She could have just said that she was in the loo when the troll incident occurred. Oh well, she's young and getting stared down by McGonagall and Snape at the same time may have frazzled her nerves.

Oh my, Voldy's in the room too, isn't he? Thank goodness Snape doesn't say anything incriminating.


wynnleaf - Aug 14, 2008 10:38 am (#561 of 925)

Oh well, she's young and getting stared down by McGonagall and Snape at the same time may have frazzled her nerves. (Pesky)

That's what I think happened. She didn't want Harry and Ron to get in trouble, so even though they might not have got into trouble for going to warn her, she took all the blame herself.


tandaradei - Aug 14, 2008 11:29 am (#562 of 925)

I don't want to belabor narrative points of view, but it just occurred to me that no mention is made of Hogsmeade visits until the third book. For example, we've just gone through Halloween and there is absolutely no indication that anything is happening outside of things like the Weasley twins' bewitching snowballs.

Although Hogsmeade visits will soon be of importance to the story, there is simply no way for us to be aware of them yet.

The Narrator is locked into Harry's mindset, or maybe what a friend of mind has called a "herd mentality," about who is right and wrong; who is good and evil; and even what is happening of importance at Hogwarts. We as readers are also locked into that "herd vision." Quirrell is that silly, forgettable DADA teacher; Snape is obviously the enemy; Draco represents nearly every threat; and before Hermione's "change of mind," girls were also forgettable.

That doesn't mean the Narrator is right; just that we focus solely onto Harry's point of view, and thus many other things can slide by without us (like Harry) even really noticing them.


Anna L. Black - Aug 14, 2008 11:59 am (#563 of 925)

Speaking of narrators, I noticed that in this chapter, we get what might be the only case of us seeing things from Ron's point of view: Hermione had sunk to the floor in fright; Ron pulled out his own wand -- not knowing what he was going to do he heard himself cry the first spell that came into his head: "Wingardium Leviosa!"

I don't know if that means anything...


PatPat - Aug 14, 2008 6:40 pm (#564 of 925)

The first thing that popped into my head when re-reading this chapter was exactly what Anna said. It is our first view of Harry's "saving people thing." He immediately realizes that Hermione doesn't know about the troll, and wants to go help her. He doesn't even think twice. Ron, on the other hand, is a little reluctant at first, but goes along with his friend and, as usual, reacts beautifully. But the other noticeable thing is that Harry doesn't use his best judgment. This is a continuing theme. His "good heart" leads him, and he doesn't always use his "hot head." They could have easily told a teacher or Prefect Percy that Hermione was in the bathroom and didn't know about the troll. Instead, they sneak off and try to handle it themselves. Again, as usual. We are already seeing here why Dumbledore needed to slow Harry up in his search for the Hallows. Harry is truly good and instinctively knows what is right. But he doesn't always go about it the best way and is very impulsive. Had Dumbledore not done things the way he did, the outcome could have been very different. Hermione's skepticism is a very important tempering force for the trio.


PeskyPixie - Aug 14, 2008 7:34 pm (#565 of 925)

I'm interested in all of the scenes Quirrell is in as the Dark Lord is present in those scenes as well. What does he learn about Harry (and Snape's allegiance) each time he is near either of them?


Joanna Lupin - Aug 15, 2008 8:05 am (#566 of 925)

Blimey, you're right, Pesky. I haven't considered it before, but if we observe it carefully we may glimpse what kind of things Severus had to answer for when Voldemort returned.

Let's see what happens behind the scenes at this point in the book. While our trio is busy fighting the troll, Severus Snape sprints to the third floor and gets bitten by Fluffy. Do you think he meets Quirrell on the way, since they turn up together in the bathroom?


tandaradei - Aug 15, 2008 2:20 pm (#567 of 925)

IMO, since Quirrell hasn't yet tempted Hagrid with the Dragon egg and thus learned Fluffy's weak spot, I'm thinking he might have been scared off by Fluffy right away ... and Snape then, following closely, couldn't help but be within the attentions of an extra-hyped up, three-headed monster.

BTW, as Fluffy came from some Greek chap, I'm betting Jo intended Fluffy to have come from some Cerberus ancestor....


freshwater - Aug 16, 2008 7:39 am (#568 of 925)

Well, after camping on an island for a week, getting back into my home routine, catching up on more than 100 posts (I'm still 30 posts --and a couple of chapters-- behind...) I'm about to catch up to the rest of you. Please bear with me as I post a few backward-looking comments....

rcs: your idea, in post 403, of Harry's dream foreshadowing Draco and Snape with DD on the tower in HBP is genius! I'd always felt that Harry's dreams were meaningful in some way, but could never make the connections...

tandaradei: with your insight and intuition into the conversations the Sorting Hat may have had with Neville, Seamus, etc., you should write a fanfic or script...one chapter per person, perhaps...I'd LOVE to read it!....also, your idea, in post 425, of the horcrux in Harry's scar recognizing/awakening in the presence of LV in Quirrell’s turban: brilliant!

Pesky Pixie: you are to be commended for taking the initiative to move certain comments to other character-specific threads to better carry on with the discussions w/o bogging down this thread...not that they are not wanted/appropriate/well-done on this thread...just that the conversation can flow more freely (and draw in others to participate in this thread)....Thanks, P.P.! Also, loved your grasp of Harry's spunkiness in answering Snape's final question during the first potions lesson!

Julia: I really enjoyed your defense of Augusta Longbottom in post 433...as much as her criticisms of Neville bothered me, and as much as her pride in him in DH was my favorite bit of the book, I agree completely with your assessment (wonderfully explained, BTW) of her need to be the rock of the family and deal with her own losses and her fears for Neville....was she informed of the prophecy about the one who "will be born as the 7th month dies"? If so, having Harry's parents killed and him "marked" by LV wouldn't necessarily lighten any concerns for Neville's destiny.....also, your explanation of Hagrid's defense of --and empathy for-- Snape in post 433 makes a lot of sense and is something I had not considered before.

Dryleaves: your comment about Harry being Snape's Boggart and Snape's reactions to him being a kind of 'Riddikulus' on his part is very sensitive and insightful....thanks for sharing it!

Quinn Crockett: your post #529: "When Harry catches the Remembrall it leads to him becoming a seeker. - Dryleaves Ah, yes! And in HBP Harry catches hold of the Past which leads him to "seek" the truth and understand his Future." Wow....well caught and well stated!

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

I've just finished ch. 8 The Potions Master, and hope you all don't mind my making a few comments on this previously discussed chapter....

A numbers moment: 142 staircases in Hogwarts....1+4+2=7....the number of "completeness" and "isn't 7 the most powerfully magical number?"

...Harry was sure the coats of armor could walk. We don't see this again until the final battle in DH.

Quirrell misdirection moment: "Harry and Ron managed to get on the wrong side of him (Filch) on their very first morning....they were rescued by Prof. Quirrell..."

During Harry's first visit to Hagrid's hut: "Fang rested his head on Harry's knee and drooled all over his robes." The same thing happened on the trio's first visit with Hagrid after his return from visiting the giants (OotP). Not terribly significant...but consistent.

Harry told Hagrid about Snape's lesson...But he seemed to really hate me." "Rubbish," said Hagrid. "Why should he?" Yet Harry couldn't help thinking that Hagrid didn't quite meet his eyes when he said that. "How's yer brother Charlie?"... Harry wondered if Hagrid had changed the subject on purpose.".....all foreshadowing for the James/Severus back-story that we won't learn until OotP.


PatPat - Aug 16, 2008 4:41 pm (#569 of 925)

Attention all Five-Worders: The latest Five-Words story is posted. Drop by and give us your opinion. The new story will be started sometime tonight (Florida Time.)


wynnleaf - Aug 16, 2008 6:14 pm (#570 of 925)

PatPat, what's the Five-Words stories?


Quinn Crockett - Aug 16, 2008 8:51 pm (#571 of 925)

It's on the FanFiction Forum. Apparently you need to tell a Moderator that you want to join that forum. But everyone takes turns telling the story using only five words at a time. It's a lot of fun, Wynnleaf! You should do it!


freshwater - Aug 17, 2008 7:18 am (#572 of 925)

Ahhhh....feels good to be all caught up with the last 150+ posts!

Here are a few last minute comments about ch. 9, The Midnight Duel:

During the flying lesson, Harry prepares to chase Malfoy into the sky to retrieve Neville's rememberall....."No!" shouted Hermione Granger. "Madam Hooch told us not to move-- you'll get us all into trouble." Harry ignored her.".....similar to the scene in OotP where Harry wants to go right off to the Ministry to save Sirius, and Hermione wants him to wait, make a plan, be cautious....by that time she's learned how to persuade him and he's learned to not ignore her.

Out, Peeves! she barked." When McGonagall wanted an empty classroom for her conversation with Harry and Oliver Wood she expects Peeves to listen to her...and he does!

When Harry tells Ron, at supper, about being put on the Gryffindor Quidditch team...."Ron had a piece of steak and kidney pie halfway to his mouth, but he'd forgotten all about it." Clearly, Quidditch takes priority over food for Ron.

As they are running away from Filch (who'd nearly discovered them in the Trophy Room): "...Harry in the lead, without any idea where they were or where they were going--..." Reminds me of H/R/H's wandering about in DH.

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

Now for ch. 10: Halloween

Tandaradei: I really like the way you were able to post links to both the Lexicon's notes on ch. 10, and Steve Newton's notes on ch. 10 from the original read along! Can you explain how to do that...make a link: different color font, key word, etc...on the practice thread, maybe?

In the Lexicon notes, I enjoyed the critique of how the girl's bathroom was seemingly on the 4th floor, so the troll had managed to elude the entire teaching staff of Hogwarts, wander unnoticed up four flights of stairs, to be taken out by two first year boys. Clearly JKR's early editors were not nearly as fastidious about the layout/floor plan of Hogwarts as were later fans!

I enjoyed the discussion of Hermione's level of confidence, brashness, bossiness, etc....excellent observations!

A Nimbus Two Thousand, sir, said Harry...."And it's really thanks to Malfoy here that I've got it." he added. Yep, he's a spunky little buzzard! He knows that will make Malfoy just boil in frustration and jealousy!

THANK YOU to tandaradei and Anna L. Black for noting "bravest moments" for me! I had originally asked folks to post them on the polls suggestions thread....but if you just note them here as you are reading, I'll collect them in a word document for later use in a poll....Thanks! Oh, and remember to note the "great descriptions" also.

Quirrell misdirection moment: "Quirrell took one look at the troll, let out a faint whimper, and sat quickly down on a toilet, clutching his heart." Since we learn in the final chapters that Quirrell can handle trolls quite easily, this faintheartedness is pure acting on his part.


tandaradei - Aug 17, 2008 10:03 am (#573 of 925)

freshwater said:

...[cut]... I really like the way you were able to post links ... Can you explain how to do that...make a link: different color font, key word, etc...on the practice thread, maybe?...[cut]...

I've tried showing this before and confused everyone; the problem is that if I use real examples, the HTML code on this server takes over, ruining what I've explained ... it gets to be a real mess.

OK, here's another trick. I'm a veteran Copy & Paster, even from the late 70s. I Copy and paste everything from templates (like I just did above), then just fill in my bunch of x's on my templates with the see-able stuff, usually once again by Copy & Pasting.

THIS time here's a different idea. Maybe the best thing to do on this HTML forum is to call up the background code, then Copy & Paste the bits you want into something like Notepad, for you to play with on your own.

On any Browser you can normally click on something like "View" and then "Source" or "Page Source" etc., and that will give you EVERYTHNG in the relevant code, as it's read in real time by HTML in our case. The best thing to do then is to find your section you're interested in & COPY&PASTE it into some other open notepad window, then maybe break the instructions down by pressing ENTER around what looks good, to see what's happening in the instructions; then play with it there & save what you want for later templates.

This sound OK? It's how most Internet pages were constructed in the beginning ... just Copying & Pasting good code from other pages you liked.

GOOD LUCK. Maybe I can help more, but maybe that should be on the Practice thread??

Thanx, I'm trying to figure out the next chapter soon ... THEN IT'LL BE SOMEONE ELSE'S TURN, hehe


tandaradei - Aug 17, 2008 10:29 am (#574 of 925)

BTW, here's my main templates that you only can see by going to the Source Code:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

APPEARANCE OF WORDS

xxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx QUOTING w some appearance

...[cut]...xxxx...[cut]...

HBP, Ch ,"xxx," p. US

OR

...[cut]...xxxx...[cut]...

...[cut]...xxxx...[cut]...

PS, Ch 5,"Diagon Alley," p.77 US

OR

xxxxx said:

...[cut]...xxxx...[cut]...

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

LINKS; how to link to another URL, and have that URL's name IN THE QUOTE :

This is what you'll see

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

LINKS WITH lots of DETAILING

xxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

LISTS / choose which list command (whether you want dots, letters or numbers to signify separations within the lists) ... then use the asterisks for each separator; then end the command:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Centering

xxxxxxxxxxxxx


freshwater - Aug 17, 2008 10:33 am (#575 of 925)

Thanks for trying to explain it, tandaradei....but I'm afraid that it reads like Chinese to me (need I add that I neither speak nor read Chinese? ). I'll check the practice thread later....maybe you can show an example with *** or something added to the code so that it will not actually execute? (Does that question even make sense? )

EDIT: oops, cross-posted w/your last post....give me a chance to read it....

BTW, here's my main templates that you only can see by going to the Source Code:

Ok....how do I go to the source code? I tried right clicking on it and then clicking on properties, but didn't get anything useful....

Hmmm...right clicking and then selecting open took me to url.com.....is that supposed to help?


PatPat - Aug 17, 2008 11:00 am (#576 of 925)

freshwater, generally on your browser there is a View menu at the top. Click that and there should be one that says "Source" or "Source code" or something along those lines. Unfortunately, if you are not familiar with html, it may still be Chinese!

There are several good sites on the web that explain html. Here is one I have used in the past:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

We'd better move this discussion though or we might get Kipendo'd! If you go over to the practice thread, we might be able to help you.


freshwater - Aug 17, 2008 11:50 am (#577 of 925)

Thanks, PatPat! I have to go now, but will check the practice thread later, and will monkey around with the 'view' and 'source' you mentioned.


PatPat - Aug 17, 2008 4:01 pm (#578 of 925)

wynnleaf, Five-Words is a game over on the Fanfiction forum. Basically the idea is to write a HP story five words at a time. It's a whole lot of fun! Drop on by!




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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Eleven Notes/Summary - post #579

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:34 am



tandaradei - Aug 17, 2008 9:30 pm (#579 of 925)

Believe it or not I wrote notes for chapter 12 & just now realized I was supposed to do 11! Aaaargh, its what happens when you've read something a couple dozen times....

anyway,

Chapter Eleven - Quidditch

This takes place about a week after Chapter10 @ the end of the first week of November

HPL notes that at least one Quidditch game must already have taken place (one house is already in first place). Comparing this HPL observation to the lack of mention of the Hogsmeade visits in Harry’s first year, and I am again finding narrative clues that much is being "left out" that may have direct bearing on the story. Jo loves to do this to keep us in the dark.

I will cheat again and refer you to the HPL notes here; and Steve Newton's notes here; (just click on them to go to them); and that after them my notes will only be complementary, adding onto but not repeating, what they've already managed.

Here's some Hermione/Ron shipping observations:

...Hermione had become a bit more relaxed about breaking rules...

..."Better you than me," they said together.... Hmmmm. Hermione & Ron respond like two peas in a pod, all valves clicking together???

..."Honestly, Hermione, you think all teachers are saints or something," snapped Ron... Well, yes. But what happens the next time Hermione has a chance to "judge" Snape? It happens a few pages later, and Hermione seems to have completely changed her views... why?

..."What are you dong?" moaned Ron.

I knew it, Hermione gasped, "Snape -- look."...

Hermione adopts Ron's viewpoint.

And how about this? ..."Budge up there, move along."

Hagrid!

Ron and Hermione squeezed together to give Hagrid enough space to join them... Well, guess who squeezed together.

A Neville moment: ...Neville had been sobbing into Hagrid's jacket for the last five minutes... Was Neville seeing his parents in Harry's predicament?? Maybe watching Harry get out of his "excellent adventures" is what turns Neville around??



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Eleven Comments - posts #580 to #612

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:41 am



rcs - Aug 18, 2008 1:40 am (#580 of 925)

Here's a question to ponder regarding this part of the book: Clearly Snape by this point that Quirrell is after the Stone, since he tries to head him off at Halloween. Does he tell Dumbledore what he's found out? DH seems to suggest he does. And if so, and if DD knows what Quirrell is up to, why does he continue to allow Quirrell to teach at Hogwarts, rather than sack him/turn him in to the Ministry? I think it's because all the circumstantial evidence (throughout the year) points to Snape, while the only evidence against Quirrell is Snape's word, so if DD publicly named Quirrell as the guilty party, it would look like he was covering up for Snape (especially given Snape's past). So instead, he allows Quirrell to stay, but gives Snape the task of watching him carefully in order to keep Harry safe (also enabling him to find out more of what Quirrell was really up to--specifically, whether he was working for Voldemort or not).

What do you guys think of this theory?


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 18, 2008 5:06 am (#581 of 925)

Here's a question to ponder regarding this part of the book: Clearly Snape by this point that Quirrell is after the Stone, since he tries to head him off at Halloween. Does he tell Dumbledore what he's found out? DH seems to suggest he does. And if so, and if DD knows what Quirrell is up to, why does he continue to allow Quirrell to teach at Hogwarts, rather than sack him/turn him in to the Ministry? I think it's because all the circumstantial evidence (throughout the year) points to Snape, while the only evidence against Quirrell is Snape's word, so if DD publicly named Quirrell as the guilty party, it would look like he was covering up for Snape (especially given Snape's past). So instead, he allows Quirrell to stay, but gives Snape the task of watching him carefully in order to keep Harry safe (also enabling him to find out more of what Quirrell was really up to--specifically, whether he was working for Voldemort or not).

That sounds mostly reasonable to me. Snape doesn't seem to know how close to Voldemort he is. In retrospect, it seems odd that Dumbledore would put those tasks solely on Snape if he suspected Voldemort's involvement if Dumbledore was ever hoping to use Snape as a spy in the future. Maybe Dumbledore hadn't planned that far ahead at this point.

It seems to me that Dumbledore's assignments for Snape seem to be tailored for Snape's rehabilitation rather than any kind of efficiency.

Harry could have probably been protected more easily by someone other than Snape-- say, McGonagall, who is head of Harry's House. McGonagall is also Deputy Headmistress, and we see again how under-informed Dumbledore keeps her.

Something I found amusing in this chapter is another example of how "Muggle dueling" can trump wizardry: Hermione accidently knocks Quirrell over in the stands, thus breaking his curse.


freshwater - Aug 18, 2008 5:32 am (#582 of 925)

Harry misdirection moment: After seeing Filch helping Snape with the bandages on his leg, Harry tells Ron & Hermione: "...I'd bet my broomstick he let that troll in, to make a diversion!".....our first example of Harry's instincts not always being right.

Harry's Gryffindor friends create a banner for the first Quidditch match: "Potter for President" (Scholastic paperback ed., p. 184)So...what did the British version say?

I LOVE Lee Jordan's commentary on the Quidditch matches, and, of course, the side commentary by Minerva!

Hermione misdirection moment: "He's doing something -- he's jinxing the broom," said Hermione....our first example of Hermione being wrong.

Hagrid drops two critical bits of information....our first clues to the real mystery of the book....in ch. 11? I suppose a 7 book series requires a good bit of foundation building....


Joanna Lupin - Aug 18, 2008 5:47 am (#583 of 925)

For me it's most interesting that Snape doesn't seem able to deal with Fluffy's bite in a week proceeding the scene in the staff room. We learn later on that Snape is most proficient in healing, and yet, here he fails miserably. Maybe there is some rare poison in the fangs or saliva of that dog that took this long to find an antidote to. I can understand why Snape would rather not go to Mme. Pomfrey for help. It'd be embarrassing to admit he couldn't deal with it on his own.

I can't tell whether Snape and Dumbledore knew they were dealing with Voldemort at the start, but they must have been suspecting it (at least Dumbledore), otherwise why move the stone from Gringotts?


mona amon - Aug 18, 2008 5:49 am (#584 of 925)

Potter for President

Freshwater, my Bloomsbury edition also says the same thing.


Orion - Aug 18, 2008 5:59 am (#585 of 925)

For me it's most interesting that Snape doesn't seem able to deal with Fluffy's bite in a week proceeding the scene in the staff room. We learn later on that Snape is most proficient in healing, and yet, here he fails miserably. Maybe there is some rare poison in the fangs or saliva of that dog that took this long to find an antidote to. I can understand why Snape would rather not go to Mme. Pomfrey for help. It'd be embarrassing to admit he couldn't deal with it on his own.

Joanna, that's it. I've been meaning to post this on the "Odd" thread but I keep forgetting it. Why doesn't Snape heal his own wound in a tick? Madame Pomfrey would ask awkward questions, or maybe not, but it's very strange that a well-trained wizard walks around with a limp.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 18, 2008 6:13 am (#586 of 925)

Nathan Zimmerman provided a possible explanation in the other PS/SS read along: in Greek mythology Cerberus both his bite and spittle were fatal to humans.

So Fluffy drool might be similar to Nagini venom in that something beyond the standard healing spells is needed to cure the damage (in this case, maybe Muggle healing is the only known viable cure). We also see a similar situation later when Ron is bitten by Norbert, and Madam Pomfrey has difficulty healing the wounds because Ron doesn't tell her what bit him. There is also someone in OotP in St. Mungo's who doesn't tell the healers what bit them, and the healers have trouble with the wound because of that. So not all wounds can be healed with a wave of a wand, particularly if they are received from Magical Creatures.


Steve Newton - Aug 18, 2008 8:24 am (#587 of 925)

I'm sorry to be lagging behind but I just finished chapter 9 and noticed another of the many parallels between Harry and Neville. Neville’s broomstick drifts away to the Forbidden Forest. The same will happen to Harry's in PoA. Also Neville preceding Harry at something. I have reposted the rest on the Neville thread. What the heck, here they are:

Could each have been meant by the Prophecy

Were born a day apart

Both lost their parents to Voldemort or his minions

Both true Gryffindors (The sword came to each.)

In the Forbidden Forest together as a punishment

Each have their right arms broken while on broomsticks (Technically crashing broomsticks.)

Both dated Ginny

Have both been hit with the Tarantallegra spell, Neville by Dolohov and Hermione, Harry by Draco

Both can see Thestrals

Snape hates both

Both have been hit by the Petrificus Totalus spell, Neville by Hermione and Harry by Draco, again

Both have led rebellions/resistance movements at Hogwarts

Both faced Voldemort in battle


Quinn Crockett - Aug 18, 2008 2:40 pm (#588 of 925)

And both Harry and Neville are the only two characters other than Dumbledore to literally stand right up to Voldemort and tell him where he could stick it.

Good list, Steve.


Soul Search - Aug 18, 2008 4:42 pm (#589 of 925)

After reading Steve's "parallels" list I am wondering about the literary purposes for Neville's character.

The early parallels of meeting Fluffy and the forbidden forest are shared adventures that can help build or cement a friendship. They were at least as good as Ron's and Harry's encounter with Draco et al on the train. Yet, Neville never became even as much as an "also ran" with the trio.

We learn in OotP that Neville also fit the prophecy. Neville's character development and the cited parallels were the basis for a lot of speculation, which only came partly true in Deathly Hallows. Were all the parallels just to support the "red herring" of Neville fitting the prophecy?


Julia H. - Aug 18, 2008 5:08 pm (#590 of 925)

For me it's most interesting that Snape doesn't seem able to deal with Fluffy's bite in a week proceeding the scene in the staff room. We learn later on that Snape is most proficient in healing, and yet, here he fails miserably. Joanna

Another question is why Snape and Filch are in the staff room at all and not in Snape's own office. There was a discussion about this on the Things that struck you as odd... thread. It seems Snape never lifts his wand to help or to save himself unless he has to fight off an attack directly (i.e., in the most extreme situation). He always heals others and he never seems to use a potion directly for his own benefit. Here he does not even take the time to go to his own office, instead he chooses to deal with the wound just where he happens to be.

BTW I like the explanation that Fluffy's Cerberus ancestry may be the reason why the wound cannot be healed immediately.

I cannot tell it either whether DD and Snape know or suspect at this point that Voldemort may be nearby... I have been wondering how these people can see into other people's minds but they cannot see through a turban. Of course, it may have been bewitched but still... OK, maybe seeing through objects is a totally different skill (something that Moody can do).

It is suggested later on that DD actually follows Harry's detective activity quite closely and lets him try his strength. Maybe DD is testing Harry (though the game is rather dangerous), wanting to see if he could be the one "equal" to Voldemort in power. Then he may be testing Snape in the same way: Snape vowed to protect Harry and this is the first time he has a chance to do it and it is clear that he is taking the task very seriously. This is also probably the first time that Snape (and the other protectors of the Stone) have a chance to do something against Voldemort's return. (I am quite sure DD decides to protect the stone because he suspects something, perhaps he knows about Voldemort's disappearance from Albania and suspects that he has returned to Britain.) Again, Snape is taking the task absolutely seriously. So he ends up watching Quirrell and practically following Harry. And if DD is testing Harry's abilities (as the Chosen One), perhaps he is also testing Snape's skills (rather than his loyalty) as Harry's protector.


tandaradei - Aug 18, 2008 6:58 pm (#591 of 925)

Having read the 7th book, I think that's all rather well said. I do find it most interesting now. Snape not only sees Harry's predicament first, he responds, probably as effectively as possible (if one remembers what he says about how hard it is to fight the Dark Arts in HBP). And even more interesting, DD is out of the picture. I'm thinking now, on purpose.


freshwater - Aug 18, 2008 7:13 pm (#592 of 925)

After reading Steve's "parallels" list I am wondering about the literary purposes for Neville's character.--Soul Search

Nice list, Steve! Well spotted!

I've always loved having Neville in the books, and particularly beginning with OotP and his evolution into an effective wizard. Neville is the human equivalent of 'don't judge a book by its cover'. It is so tempting to look for hints of the potential in children, but so often limited or totally wrong. Neville is JKR's 7-book-message that people can change and grow and develop in the most surprising ways. Reminds me of a billboard I saw today with a photo of the world's oldest person to graduate college....it showed a 95-year-old woman with white hair, a huge smile and her diploma raised in triumph. Anyway, I've always felt that the manner in which the trio deal with Neville and his failures and concerns reveals a lot about them as people.


wynnleaf - Aug 18, 2008 7:17 pm (#593 of 925)

I don't think at this point DD and Snape think LV is nearby, but I do think they believe that Quirrell wants the stone for LV. I think that DD isn't much concerned about the safety of the actual Stone, because it was protected quite well. Even at the end of the book, Quirrell/LV wouldn't have been able to get it from the Mirror. It took Harry being there to get the stone.

My guess is DD didn't get rid of Quirrell because there wasn't any hard evidence, especially if DD didn't realize LV was under the turban.

As for Snape not healing himself, well we see Snape later healing people from cursed objects and from a Dark Magic wound. But we learn later that the Hippogriff bite is hard to heal, as is the wound caused by Fenrir. So it may be that magical creatures, dark or not, inflict wounds that quite difficult to heal. I do think it's kind of Snapish to not go to Madame Pomfrey for help, but instead have Filch bandage the wound according to Snape's instruction. I imagine Snape wouldn't like putting himself at the mercy of Madame Pomfrey, much less admitting to how he got the wound. He'd probably have to answer Madame Pomfrey's questions, but not Filch's questions. And yes, the staff room is an odd place to be in that scene. Perhaps Snape doesn't like having someone in his private rooms.


Quinn Crockett - Aug 18, 2008 8:22 pm (#594 of 925)

Wasn't the staff room fairly close to third floor corridor (or wherever Fluffy was stationed)?


rcs - Aug 18, 2008 8:49 pm (#595 of 925)

I don't think at this point DD and Snape think LV is nearby, but I do think they believe that Quirrell wants the stone for LV. I think that DD isn't much concerned about the safety of the actual Stone, because it was protected quite well. Even at the end of the book, Quirrell/LV wouldn't have been able to get it from the Mirror. It took Harry being there to get the stone. --wynnleaf

Was the Stone really that well protected? This raises what I consider one of the central questions we should, with hindsight, be asking ourselves about PS/SS: Where was the Stone hidden before Dumbledore moved the mirror? Was it simply lying there in the last chamber, the one beyond Snape's potion challenge (in which case, I don't think it was at all safe, given that three first-years got past the other challenges), or was it in the mirror the whole time (in which case all the other "protections" were merely decoys)? I am inclined to think the latter, as otherwise there would have been no way the Stone could be safer there than at Gringotts.

Any thoughts about this?


mona amon - Aug 19, 2008 4:51 am (#596 of 925)

Very good points, rcs. LOL, I bet Jo never thought of all this.


freshwater - Aug 19, 2008 4:55 am (#597 of 925)

If DD believed that no one evil could gain access to Hogwarts without his knowing it, he would have believed that the stone would be safer at Hogwarts than at Gringotts. Once he admitted to himself the possibility that an evil force/person could have gotten inside Hogwarts, then other protections would become necessary. Since DD's idea of hiding the stone within the mirror would have prevented any self-serving person from obtaining it --directly at least-- the other protections may have always been intended as decoys or merely to delay the thief and/or alert DD to attempts to get to the stone.

Of course, the very nature of the protection he designed for the mirror would indicate that he expected someone evil and self-serving to get that far...


rcs - Aug 19, 2008 2:01 pm (#598 of 925)

Here's another question. Since DD didn't destroy the Stone immediately after it was moved from Gringotts, clearly Flamel must still have had thoughts about continuing to use it (or else he would have destroyed it outright). But once it was placed in the mirror, how exactly was Flamel (or DD, on his request) supposed to get it back? If it's really true that only someone who wanted to find the Stone, but not use it, could get it out of the mirror, I don't see how Flamel could have gotten it either! Maybe DD could have retrieved it for him, as he didn't intend to use it personally, but neither did Quirrell, and he wasn't able to get it (he just saw himself presenting it to LV, I think).

Did Dumbledore know some loophole that would enable him to get past his own defenses and retrieve the stone for Flamel? And if so, was this loophole something that Quirrell, with enough time and perseverance, could have figured out how to exploit? Or was there some crucial difference between DD and Quirrell's plans for the Stone that would have enabled one to get it and the other not? At any rate, it's clear to me that the Mirror of Erised is a much more complicated and interesting device than what we've been told about it in PS/SS suggests.

Any thoughts?


rassannassar - Aug 19, 2008 3:27 pm (#599 of 925)

Quirrell did not plan to use the Stone in the same sense as Flamel. He did however plan on using it for personal gain. He was in it for the glory. Quirrell's deepest desire was not to find the Stone, but to present it to Voldemort and receive glory and be honored. Dumbledore, on the other hand, knowing how the mirror works and what was necessary of him to retrieve the Stone, would make it, for that moment, his deepest desire to find the Stone, probably in much the same way that Harry did. What Harry wanted at that moment, more than anything else, was to find the Stone. I see no reason why Dumbledore should not be able to do the same, even if the circumstances by which he would have retrieved it were not the same as how Harry did.

_______________________________________________________

EDIT: Thanks Julia!


Julia H. - Aug 19, 2008 3:38 pm (#600 of 925)

Very good questions, rcs. The second one is especially difficult. I can imagine there is a quick way to get to the Stone. I don't think DD, as he is rushing to save Harry, has to start playing chess or hunting for a flying key, for example, and of course the potion which helps a person get through the flames has already been drunk. (OK, the bottle could be magically refilled.) It is difficult for an outsider to enter Hogwarts in the first place and then there are all those magical protections. Three first-year students do get through them but it is important that there are three of them (with various skills, including Muggle experiences) and have the advantage of already being inside the building. So perhaps the Stone seems to be well-protected until DD and Snape start suspecting that one of the protectors may want to steal the Stone. (How they become suspicious in the first place, we will never know.) Since Quirrell may have learned how to get past at least some of the obstacles (the quick way perhaps?) and may be skillful enough to overcome the rest, further protection may become necessary - perhaps this is the reason why the Mirror is placed there only later. Even if Quirrell found out the secret of the mirror, it would not help him.

I don't know how Flamel would get back the Stone from the Mirror, although we can imagine solutions like the "rightful owner" can retrieve the stone without any problems if he wants to.

EDIT: Good explanation, Rassannassar!


freshwater - Aug 19, 2008 4:24 pm (#601 of 925)

Interesting questions, rassannassar....could DD just have said, "Finite" for his spells on the mirror?


rcs - Aug 23, 2008 2:59 am (#602 of 925)

I still think the other protections (the chess game, and so on) were decoys, and the Stone was in the Mirror the whole time. I agree that, were that not the case, the Stone still would have been reasonably safe (were it not for Quirrell already being inside Hogwarts), but I still can't see any way, given that scenario, that the Stone could have been safer there than in Gringotts, given what we learn about Gringotts protection in DH. Also, I can't see Dumbledore letting Quirrell stay at Hogwarts after he realized he was after the Stone (which Snape must have told him after Halloween) unless he knew Quirrell had no chance of getting it. To me, this seems like almost certain proof that the Stone was hidden in the Mirror the whole time, with the other protections originally serving as decoys, as well as to alert DD if somebody did try to go after the Stone (which is exactly what happened when Quirrell tried to get past Fluffy on Halloween). DD then moved the Mirror (with the Stone inside it) to the chambers below the trapdoor after Christmas because he wanted Harry eventually to go after it (to test Harry's ability to handle a crisis, and to prepare him for what would come later), and he knew that that was where Harry would expect to find it.

That being the case, it makes sense that there were "easy" ways past most of the other obstacles. Actually, we've already seen some of them. Playing music gets you past Fluffy, while conjuring fire gets you past the Devil's Snare. DD probably had a duplicate for the flying key. The troll was already knocked out by Quirrell on his way through (and I'm sure DD knows how to handle a troll; I'm not sure why the teachers had so much trouble with the one on Halloween, except that they were probably more focused on trying to figure out who had let it in and why, and they expected the students to be safely out of harm's way, so they let the troll run around a little so whoever had let it in would think his diversion had worked). As for the potion challenge, DD must have known which potion was correct to drink (and the challenge MUST have reset itself by magic, as Quirrell had already passed through and drunk the potion once) or possibly had a duplicate of that too. That only leaves the chess game, and it seems reasonable that there was an easy way through that one as well, albeit one that an outsider could never have figured out without prior knowledge (something like pressing the knot on the trunk of the Whomping Willow, perhaps).

Clearly, it was the Mirror that was the real defense for the Stone. And I agree with rassannassar's suggestion that, though DD and Quirrell would both have been retrieving the Stone for others, DD's motives would have been completely different, which would have enabled him to get the Stone out of the Mirror. The fact is, while Quirrell went after the Stone for the personal glory of presenting it to Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore, in retrieving the Stone, would have been seeking no personal gain at all, but would have been doing it as a favor to a friend. I think the Mirror would have recognized that and acted accordingly (As DD himself says, "It is our choices that matter, far more than our abilities").

One final word that must be said: I think it is without a doubt that Dumbledore did intend for Harry to go after the Stone. That was (at least in part) why he gave Harry the Invisibility Cloak, why he let Harry stumble across the Mirror, and why he moved the Mirror, with the Stone inside it, to the place where Harry would expect the Stone to be. I also suspect that DD asked Hagrid to "let slip" to Harry just enough information to enable him (with Hermione's help) to figure out what was hidden at Hogwarts and how it was protected.

What was the motive behind all of this, you may ask, when Harry going after the Stone was the one thing that could have actually enabled Quirrell to steal it (and kill Harry besides)? It was a calculated risk. Dumbledore knew (because of the Prophecy, among other things) what was in store for Harry if Voldemort returned (and he was sure LV would, even before he'd seen the Diary, as he knew Harry, at least, was a Horcrux), and he wanted to prepare Harry for it, as well as to test his ability to handle the kind of terrible adversity he knew Harry would face someday. And he could be reasonably sure Harry wasn't going to get killed trying to get past the other challenges. DD knew Harry knew how to get past Fluffy (as it was on his orders that Hagrid leaked that piece of information), he knew the troll would be out of the way as long as Quirrell went through first, and he trusted Ron to be able to handle the chess game and Hermione the Devil's Snare and the potion bottles. Clearly, the biggest risk was that Harry would not be able to hold off Quirrell forever, or that Quirrell would try to use Harry to get the Stone. But that risk was clearly one that Dumbledore foresaw as well, and that was why he pretended to go to the Ministry (trying to make both Harry and Quirrell think that his ruse had worked), then returned as soon as both of them had gone through the trapdoor, intending the whole time to go in after Harry, using the shortcuts mentioned earlier, and get him out safely if anything went wrong (bear in mind that DD still may not have known that Quirrell was being possessed by LV). All this explains another mystery: Why DD came back so unexpectedly, before he'd even gotten Ron and Hermione's owl, saying "We seem to have crossed paths in midair," or something like that. DD knew he had to be back at the castle because he'd planned it that way the whole time. Granted, the plan still involved great risk on DD's part, because he could not be sure he was going to make it back in time to save Harry and stop Quirrell, but it was clearly a risk he deemed acceptable and necessary, given what he knew was to come.

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on all of this. And feel free to ask me to reiterate this analysis when we get to the relevant chapters later in the book.


Joanna Lupin - Aug 25, 2008 2:04 am (#603 of 925)

I don't really like 'Dumbledore's Grand Plan' theory. It takes a lot from the story for me and makes Harry seem no more than a pawn in Dumbledore's hand.

Yippee! Looks like the forum is fixed at last!


rcs - Aug 25, 2008 3:43 am (#604 of 925)

The fact is, everything from OotP onward (and especially DH) suggests that Dumbledore did have a grand plan, and the fact that Harry would eventually have to sacrifice himself virtually necessitated DD using Harry as a pawn. Nevertheless, Harry's actions did demonstrate real courage and determination (and they were not always set up by Dumbledore; Harry rescuing Ginny from the Basilisk was purely his own doing, as Dumbledore was in exile from Hogwarts at the time). Furthermore, I think the idea that DD has been "manipulating" Harry as early as PS/SS is brilliant, as it PERFECTLY sets up one of the central conflicts of DH, when Harry finally catches on to what Dumbledore's been doing all this time. Who'd have thought that Jo would have foreshadowed THAT so early in the series?


Anna L. Black - Aug 25, 2008 4:12 am (#605 of 925)

I think that the question "Did DD manipulate Harry in PS/SS?" arose long before DH (in fact, Harry almost says so himself in the end of PS). So I wouldn't call it foreshadowing, exactly - more like a nagging suspicion waiting to be confirmed (that's the way it was for me, at least). However, we don't really get a clear answer in DH - although we see DD manipulated Harry a lot, it is unclear to what extension. There are still many events regarding which we can't say with certainty "Dumbledore made this happen" or "DD didn't make this happen". Obviously, DD did want Harry to go through the obstacles leading to the stone, but I'm not sure what was the purpose - to catch Quirrell? To save the stone? Just what was DD expecting?

Anyway, what I'm trying to say - I think (hope?) that DD didn't control all the minor details. I'm sure, for instance, that Hagrid was acting of his own accord, and not on DD's directions (when he told them about Flamel, and Fluffy, etc...). Like Joanna, I don't want everything that Harry's been through to be simply a small part of DD's grand plan (though to a certain extent it probably was).


Orion - Aug 25, 2008 11:13 am (#606 of 925)

Is there a quick way for DD to get to the Stone? Yes, IMO, as during the Apparition training the anti-Apparition-charms in the whole building are lifted. DD only has to lift these charms to Apparate to exactly every spot he wants to. He is, after all, together with Voldie the most powerful wizard on the continent, *cough* sorry Brits, in Europe.


Quinn Crockett - Aug 25, 2008 11:20 am (#607 of 925)

Yeah, I don't think Dumbledore told Hagrid to let anything slip - though he may well have privately counted on Hagrid doing so, simply knowing Hagrid.

I admit that I had never really thought about the Stone already being hidden in the Mirror. That would seem to make sense. However, Dumbledore does say at the start of the year feast that the 3rd floor corridor is off limits. So, that suggests that at least some of the protections were already in place. So, prior to moving the Mirror down there, was the Stone just lying around in a spotlight on a sort of plinth like the idol at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark? Why did Dumbledore wait another 2 months after the Halloween attempt to use the Mirror? Was it that he simply hadn't thought of it yet?

We know from the Prince's Tale memories that Dumbledore apparently suspected Quirrell pretty much right away. Snape's rant about Harry seems to have occurred at some point during the first few days of the term. But if Dumbledore suspected Quirrell of having "gone over" then why not just get rid of him?

Did he think he could still save Quirrell? Or was it simply that the need for a DADA teacher outweighed the suspicion that Quirrell was really an agent for Voldemort? Could it be that Dumbledore knew Quirrell was already lost and was hoping to use him to somehow gain information on Voldemort's state of being, whereabouts and plans? I think it must have been some combination of all of these considerations, with the last weighing heavier than one might first expect. But this is Dumbledore we're talking about and "calculated risk" is one of his middle names.


rcs - Aug 25, 2008 1:55 pm (#608 of 925)

I still think that, without the Mirror, there's no way the Stone could have been safer at Hogwarts than in Gringotts. The fact that the 3rd floor corridor was off-limits from the beginning is no evidence against that, as Fluffy and everything else was already there as decoys. Something wouldn't need to be hidden below the corridor for it to have to be off-limits; the mere presence of a three-headed dog would have been sufficient.


Soul Search - Aug 25, 2008 2:21 pm (#609 of 925)

Where are we? Last I noted, we were on chapter 9. Did I miss something?


freshwater - Aug 25, 2008 4:37 pm (#610 of 925)

But this is Dumbledore we're talking about and "calculated risk" is one of his middle names.--Quinn Crockett

'ear, 'ear! Extremely well-put, Quinn!


wynnleaf - Aug 25, 2008 5:00 pm (#611 of 925)

I don't think the question of the stone being safer at Hogwarts than Gringotts is really the reason it was moved. We have to remember that DD was very good friends with Flamel, they'd worked together and so forth. When they knew someone was after the Stone, Flamel asked DD to take it because he felt safer with it being with DD than in Gringotts. I don't think it was necessarily because they'd added up all the pros and cons.

I imagine the stone was not in the mirror at Halloween. Perhaps DD had to acquire the mirror first? Or, since the mirror really isn't intended as a safe deposit box, perhaps he had to work out the spells first.


tandaradei - Aug 25, 2008 8:30 pm (#612 of 925)

Soul Search said:

...[cut]...Where are we? Last I noted, we were on chapter 9. Did I miss something?...[cut]...

... actually a good question. My last responsibility was Chapter 11, which I posted about 5 pages back (post #579). Even then, I'd thought I was supposed to post Chapter 12 instead, and had to rush around to put that together. Theoretically, we're still in Chapter 11, even though most of the observations given recently would work better in Chapter 12, Erised. (ETA: I haven't seen a Dryleaves post yet; Chapter 12 was Dryleaves' responsibility; Dryleaves may not know we've finally gone up; who knows when everyone will finally know?) Too, everything here has crashed long enough to disorient most of us. I rather doubt most posters even know the forum is back up.

Any suggestions? Chapter 12?



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Twelve Notes/Summary - post #613

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:42 am



Dryleaves - Aug 26, 2008 12:11 am (#613 of 925)

OK, here are some notes on chapter 12. When the forum was back up again yesterday it was evening where I live and no real discussion had started yet and I wasn't sure if it was time to move on. Then I had my Muggle life and then I needed to go to sleep, so that is the cause of the delay.

Chapter Twelve - The Mirror of Erised

This chapter alludes to a lot of what is to come later in DH.

Christmas is coming.

The Weasley twins bewitch snowballs to bounce off the back of Quirrell’s turban. Poor Voldie...!

The trio is searching for Nicholas Flamel in the library. I had no idea that Flamel was a real person before reading “The Da Vinci Code”, but for those more educated people it must have been hilarious to read about the trio looking for him in books with titles who all have words like “modern”, “recent”, “of our time”, etc.

Harry and Ron play wizard chess. The figures are alive and Ron has an advantage because he knows his old chessmen well and can make them do what he wants. I guess this is relevant to the discussion about DD’s great plan. Maybe chess player DD is getting to know his chessmen Harry and Snape.

The Weasley jumpers!

Harry gets the Invisibility Cloak and a note that says “Use it well.” We know now that he finally does so, in DH.

Harry uses his Cloak to go to the restricted section of the library and finds the Mirror of Erised. “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cofru oyt on wohsi.” (I show not your face but your heart’s desire.” Is this a special code, I mean apart from being backwards?)

Harry sees his mother and father and his relatives (no Petunia, though). The people look like him, have the same nose, eyes, etc. Harry stares hungrily at them. The word “hungry” is also used in DH when Harry and his mother look at each other.

Ron sees himself as Head Boy.

Harry cannot stop thinking about the mirror.

Ron sounds like Hermione.

Harry gets caught by DD: “Strange how short-sighted being invisible can make you.” Hogwarts is obviously the home of more than one master of sarcasm and irony (though this one has a friendlier tone than some others... ).

DD needs no cloak to become invisible.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” DD also talks about wasting away before your desire: Voldemort desires eternal life and lives a half life.

“a pair of thick, woollen socks” - the famous, but not very truthful statement

Harry shoves Scabbers off his pillow. Does this mean anything?



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Twelve Comments - posts #614 to #643

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:46 am



rcs - Aug 26, 2008 2:11 am (#614 of 925)

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” DD also talks about wasting away before your desire: Voldemort desires eternal life and lives a half life. --Dryleaves

Yes, but Dumbledore's quote applies equally well to himself, does it not. DD's reluctance to give up his own dreams becomes his fatal weakness when he puts on the ring with the Resurrection Stone, setting in motion a string of events leading to his death. Dwelling on dreams and forgetting to live could also describe some of DD's mistakes regarding Grindelwald and Ariana.


Soul Search - Aug 26, 2008 3:23 pm (#615 of 925)

In Deathly Hallows, "King's Cross," Dumbledore is explaining about Grindlewald to Harry and Harry thinks: "At last he knew what Dumbledore would have seen when he looked in the Mirror of Erised, and why Dumbledore had been so understanding of the fascination it has exercised over Harry." On reading Deathly Hallows I thought this a clever connection all the way back to PS, but after rereading "The Mirror of Erised" I wonder if the Deathly Hallows reference to the Mirror was there to tell us more.

A few paragraphs later in "King's Cross" Dumbledore tells Harry of the Resurrection Stone: "I lost my head, Harry. ... I picked it up, and I put it on, and for a second I imagined that I was about to see Ariana, my mother, and my father, and to tell them how very, very, sorry I was ..."

Dumbledore is obsessed with seeing his sister, family, and for the opportunity to seek their forgiveness. When Dumbledore tells Harry in PS: "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that." he speaks from great experience. Dumbledore has been watching his family in the Mirror, perhaps over a long time and to the excess he cautioned Harry about.

Dumbledore was using the Mirror when Harry first found it. Dumbledore was there when Harry stumbled over it and made himself invisible.

Dumbledore used the Mirror to hide the Stone so he could move it out of convenient access and, perhaps, break his obsession to see his family in it.

--------------------------------------------------------

After Ron saw himself as "Head Boy" and "Captain of Quidditch" in the Mirror I was sure this would all come about. It didn't, but Ron still out shown his brothers by destroying the locket, robbing Gringotts, and helping Harry defeat Voldemort. All far more impressive than merely Head Boy at Hogwarts.


tandaradei - Aug 26, 2008 6:01 pm (#616 of 925)

Anyone get a feeling that the Mirror Erised is somewhat of a precursor to the Resurrection Stone? Possibly, the tantalization DD possibly experienced here, in peering into the Mirror Erised as Soul Search suggests, weakened DD into feeling he had to put on the ring, to even better see...

I feel DD was around the mirror, if only to protect it if the stone was already there; too, I think he knew it was Harry, obviously, who pulled out the book in the Restricted Portion of the library; and that he suspected Harry might somehow discover the mirror? Harry and Ron quickly leave later, one time after visiting that mirror ... after an unexplained "noise." I think DD might have made 'helped' them leave by making that noise.

Ron's not really wanting to visit the Mirror, later, to me shows he has a better sense of health: he just senses there's something unhealthy in the experience.

I think Harry's headaches are also due to his now-activated scar, mixing with his less-than-healthy obsession with the mirror.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 26, 2008 6:50 pm (#617 of 925)

Dumbledore was using the Mirror when Harry first found it. Dumbledore was there when Harry stumbled over it and made himself invisible.-- Soul Search

Wow, I never thought about that possibility. But it makes so much sense, and now you've said it, I believe it.


Mrs. Sirius - Aug 26, 2008 9:55 pm (#618 of 925)

Harry's Gryffindor friends create a banner for the first Quidditch match: "Potter for President" (Scholastic paperback ed., p. 184)So...what did the British version say? freshwater

It says:

...a large banner on one of the sheets Scabbers had ruined. "It said Potter for President" p.136 Bloomsbury 1997


freshwater - Aug 27, 2008 7:01 am (#619 of 925)

Funny...I'd have thought it would say "Potter for Parliament" or Potter for Premier".


Soul Search - Aug 27, 2008 7:05 am (#620 of 925)

Anyone get a feeling that the Mirror Erised is somewhat of a precursor to the Resurrection Stone? Possibly, the tantalization DD possibly experienced here, in peering into the Mirror Erised as Soul Search suggests, weakened DD into feeling he had to put on the ring, to even better see... (tandaradei)

I agree. The Mirror would have been more frustrating than satisfying to Dumbledore; he could see Ariana and his family, but not interact with them so he could "... to tell them how very, very, sorry I was ..." With the Resurrection Stone he could, finally, relieve his conscience and ask for their forgiveness.

I note that Dumbledore PUT THE RING ON, but that was not the way to activate the Resurrection Stone; Harry turned the ring over three times to see his parents, Sirius, and Lupin. Dumbledore's early research into the Deathly Hallows did not include how to activate the Stone properly?

I wonder what happened to the Mirror after PS; did it stay safely hidden or did Dumbledore bring it back and use it ... from time to time.

What was the literary purpose of the whole mirror incident? Harry started to become obsessed with what he saw in the mirror, but was able to resist the temptation after Dumbledore explained what the mirror was. Dumbledore may have been obsessed with the mirror, returning to it often, the same as someone might bring out a family photo album and use it to invoke fonder memories. Dumbledore could not resist the temptation offered by the mirror, even though he knew full well what it was.

Ron, however, did not want to go back; he seemed to sense its danger. Are we seeing some special strength in Ron's character?

Before this reread I thought Dumbledore might have, somehow, steered Harry to the Mirror room so Harry would discover it and learn how to get the Philosopher's Stone. Now, with this new insight into Dumbledore, I conclude Harry's discovering the mirror was completely accidental, and, perhaps, not even welcomed by Dumbledore. Dumbledore's flip "socks" response to Harry's question now seems more to assuage guilt than an attempt at humor. Harry had stumbled upon one of Dumbledore's most embarrassing secrets.


freshwater - Aug 27, 2008 5:49 pm (#621 of 925)

Nice chapter notes, Dryleaves...thanks!

This is one of my all-time favorite HP chapters, and certainly one of the most poignant....

A bit of foreshadowing: "...this would probably be the best Christmas he'd ever had." Later the mirror allows him to see his late parents and extended family.

link to HBP: "I hate them both," said Harry, "Malfoy and Snape." One of the first times these two are lumped together.

Hermione took out a list of subjects and titles she had decided to search while Ron strode off down a row of books and started pulling them off the shelves at random. Harry wandered over to the Restricted Section.-- p. 198, PS/SS, Scholastic paperback ed. I LOVE this passage because it is such an accurate reflection of each child's personality/tendencies: Hermione is 'decided' and organized, Ron is 'random', impulsive and determined, while Harry takes a more intuitive approach.

misdirection alert: "Ron started teaching Harry wizard chess...a lot like directing troops in a battle." This lead to much speculation that Ron would employ his strength in planning and strategy to help defeat LV....but, nope, not so much.

Harry played with chessmen Seamus Finnigan had lent him, and they didn't trust him at all.....they kept shouting different bits of advice at him, which was confusing. Now I can see this as an allusion to Harry's need to develop leadership skills...something that begins in GoF, I think, and expands in his role as leader of the D.A. Later in the chapter Harry gets "his own new wizard's chess set" from a cracker during the Christmas dinner.

imagery/description alert: "Something fluid and silvery gray went slithering to the floor where it lay in gleaming folds." PLEASE remember to flag any great descriptions for me to use in upcoming polls....Thanks!

Weasley sweaters: Harry's is emerald green, Ron's is maroon, F/G get blue sweaters with their initials in yellow leading to the famous "Gred and Forge" comment.

Foreshadowing alert: when Fred urges Percy to put on his own Weasley sweater Percy resists, saying "I -- don't-- want--" He doesn't seem to have the same sense of family camaraderie that the other boys do.

JKR's terrible maths: "A hundred fat, roast turkeys..." How many kids remained at Hogwarts for Christmas that year! That's a LOT of turkey!

Harry moved nearer to the mirror, wanting to look at himself but see no reflection again. He stepped in front of it. The Mirror of Erised is not fooled by invisibility cloaks!

like hallows vs. horcruxes in DH: "Harry couldn't eat. He had seen his parents and would be seeing them again tonight. He had almost forgotten about Flamel. It didn't seem very important anymore. Who cared what the three-headed dog was guarding? What did it matter if Snape stole it, really?" p. 209-210, Scholastic paperback ed. When Harry focuses on one goal, other issues fade in importance to him.

also similar to horcrux hunt in DH: (while searching for the mirror) "I'm freezing," said Ron. "Let's forget it and go back." "No!" Harry hissed. "I know it's here somewhere." p. 210, Scholastic paperback ed.

It's been mentioned that DD may have been using the mirror before Harry entered the room, or that DD may have had an obsession with the mirror....interesting as speculation, but do we have any indication for either of those ideas in the text?

more foreshadowing: after DD's famous and entertaining sock comment, "....it struck Harry that Dumbledore might not have been quite truthful." We learn the truth in the island in the cave near the end of HBP. And even though his statement may not have been strictly truthful, it is still consistent with a --rather melancholy-- view of DD as an isolated and detached person, at least as regards his own family.


tandaradei - Aug 27, 2008 7:48 pm (#622 of 925)

Excellent catch about questioning DD’s actions with the mirror, freshwater; instincts tell me this supposition of Dumbledore mooning in front of the mirror remains true, but I’ve no arguments yet to back myself up. (Perhaps, did he moon over Ariel's portrait? He went there often.) The HPL server troubles disrupted my intensity to canon, and it may take me a bit to get back to fighting form.

May I please interject one SS observation that should have been made much earlier, but at least be made now before we move on? It revolves around Draco/James and Snape/Harry parallels, which has just been brought up in the Snape thread (those folks always appear to be in fighting form!) Anyway, can you guess who said the stuff below, and where????

...[cut]... “Imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?”...[cut]...

PS, Ch 5,"Diagon Alley," p.77 US

...[cut]...”Who wants to be in Slytherin? I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?”...[cut]...

DH, Ch 33,"The Prince’s Tale," p.671 US

The similarity of these sentences, spoken by Draco and James respectively, sends shivers up my spine. It had to be intentional. I guess you could also label this as a Beginning/Ending parallel too.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 27, 2008 8:23 pm (#623 of 925)

Interesting quotes, because Slytherin is about exclusiveness, and Hufflepuff about inclusiveness. In many ways I see Slytherin and Hufflepuff more of opposites than Slytherin and Gryffindor. It makes me wonder what the children are thinking of when they do think of the Houses, and if the perception of the Houses has altered at all over the decades. James makes his statement right at the beginning of the First War, and Draco makes his during the lull between the two wars, and I'd love to know the broader atmosphere at those times.


Soul Search - Aug 28, 2008 8:17 am (#624 of 925)

Regarding Dumbledore and the Mirror of Erised. I have been wondering a few more things.

Erised, of course, is "Desire" spelled backwards. Dumbledore's "desire" was to see his family again. Harry's "desire" was to see his family too, although he didn't realize it until he looked into the mirror the first time. Harry had never even seen pictures of his parents, let alone paternal grandparents. I note that Hagrid later provides Harry with the means to fulfill his "desire" by giving him the photo album. Probably the best gift Harry ever received. I wonder, did Hagrid come up with the idea or, having seen Harry in front of the mirror, Dumbledore suggested it. Hagrid does say Dumbledore gave him the day off to collect the pictures. Dumbledore was more in a position to know Harry's heart's "desire" than Hagrid.

Hagrid fetched the Stone from Gringotts on Harry's birthday, July 31. When the students arrived at Hogwarts on September first they were warned about the third floor corridor, so Fluffy was already in place. Hagrid knew about the teachers providing protections so they were probably in place as well. But, the Mirror was not yet there.

Harry discovers the Mirror the night after Christmas. Most of five months after Hagrid fetched the Stone. Why did it take Dumbledore five months to complete the protections for the stone?

Harry dons his new cloak and leaves the dormitory after Ron is asleep. Its already late. He goes to the Library, fools around there for a while, then runs out and gets lost escaping Filch. When he stumbles upon the Mirror it is quite late.

But Dumbledore, we learn later, was already there, invisible. What was Dumbledore doing there, that late, if not succumbing to his "desire" to see his family.

Given that he had had the Stone for five months and still had not placed it in the Mirror and moved the Mirror to the chamber I wonder if Dumbledore didn't get the idea of using the Mirror after encountering Harry with the Mirror. Did his guilt for using the Mirror make him decide to put the mirror somewhere he couldn't easily access it?


Orion - Aug 28, 2008 8:27 am (#625 of 925)

IMO DD had steered Harry to the place where the mirror was stored because he wanted to find out what Harry would see in it, therefore, to find out whether Harry was trustworthy. DD was there, invisible, because he had spied on Harry for a long time, using the portraits to grass on Harry and using his ability to make himself invisible. (Disillusionment Charm?) DD had to know whether Harry was to be trusted to find the Stone, but not to want to use it. So he later knew that Harry was to be trusted with the Resurrection Stone.

ETA: So as soon as Harry passed the test, DD conjured the Mirror down into the chamber. So he must have had the plan to use the Mirror before Harry found it. The Mirror was a testing device as well as a hiding place.


Soul Search - Aug 28, 2008 9:36 am (#626 of 925)

Orion, I, too, am suspicious of Dumbledore's actions related to Harry and the Mirror, but I think your scenario is just too complicated. I will go with the simpler scenario, something like Harry stumbled upon the Mirror by accident and Dumbledore was already there.

Now, I agree, that Hogwarts portraits are Hogwarts' version of security cameras, but Harry was wearing his invisibility cloak the whole trip, so they wouldn't have seen him. Remember, Harry's cloak is not an ordinary invisibility cloak, but death's own. No portraits were mentioned in the Mirror room itself.

Harry was running away from Filch. The Mirror room was off the normally used areas of Hogwarts; Ron and Harry had a difficult time finding it for the second visit. Dumbledore would have had to move rather fast to get there while Harry was using the Mirror the first time.

How could Dumbledore "steer" Harry to the Mirror room? Great wizard, yes, but we don't have even hints of magical "steering."

Why did Dumbledore give eleven-year-old Harry the Cloak? That is still a puzzle, but it doesn't mean Dumbledore had some grand "plan" for Harry to find the Mirror. Dumbledore could have given Harry the cloak a lot earlier and save five months of the Stone not being where he had set up protections.

The whole idea that Dumbledore "planned" for Harry to find and learn about the mirror, and then work out all the information about the Stone, and then try to rescue the Stone from some intruder is ludicrous. Way too complicated to work as "planned." And way to risky. If Dumbledore had "planned" everything, he wouldn't have left Hogwarts at a critical time.

Some of Dumbledore's comments to Harry, like complimenting him for finding out about Flamel, are suspicious if you already have the "planned" mindset, but are more likely just Dumbledore showing his appreciation of Harry's efforts.

Putting the Stone in the Mirror was a good protection for it, only if Harry didn't get it out. Once out, the Stone could be easily taken from Harry. So, Harry knowing how to get the Stone was a mistake. If Voldemort/Quirrell could get the stone out, then using the Mirror was a bad idea. Any "plan" that showed Harry how to get the Stone was flawed.

The much more likely scenario is Harry accidently found the Mirror, and Dumbledore was already there. No "plan."

All that said, I am still wondering about this last bit:

D'you think he meant you to do it? said Ron. "Sending you your father's cloak and everything?"

Well, Hermione exploded, "if he did -- I mean to say that's terrible -- you could have been killed."

No, it isn't, said Harry thoughtfully. "He's a funny man, Dumbledore. I think he sort of wanted to give me a chance. I think he knows more or less everything that goes on here, you know. I reckon he had a pretty good idea we were going to try, and instead of stopping us, he just taught us enough to help. I don't think it was an accident he let me find out how the mirror worked. It's almost like he thought I had the right to face Voldemort if I could ... ."

If Harry’s at all right, Dumbledore knew Quirrell was Voldemort and intentionally sent Harry to him. Dumb, at best.


Anna L. Black - Aug 28, 2008 11:38 am (#627 of 925)

I think that's one of the rare parts in the books where JKR conveys information through Harry (and not DD/Hermione). It's the first book, so she probably wanted to make sure her readers would know this.


freshwater - Aug 28, 2008 6:03 pm (#628 of 925)

If Harry’s at all right, Dumbledore knew Quirrell was Voldemort and intentionally sent Harry to him. Dumb, at best.--Soul Search

I agree, S.S., but I think the first book was all about the adventure, rather than the logic...although, in hindsight from the end of the series it does appear to be extremely reckless of DD.


tandaradei - Aug 28, 2008 7:45 pm (#629 of 925)

(<== the horse, Tandaradei) ... For Xmas, Hermione gives Harry chocolate frogs, and Ron the Bert's Every Flavor beans. Interesting. Both are sweets, but every flavor carries more depth & complexity, than just chocolate.

Too, about Gred & Forge's quote of Xmas being 'family time.' Aaaaaand their parents abandon them at Christmas? ... Or maybe, there's a Weasley understanding to get Harry some family for himself; and the parents' trip a good excuse to start 'enlarging' their family, with Harry now in it?

Everyone acts so naturally in all this, that I'm thinking there's general agreements.

Neville Moment. Offstage, at about this moment and after a couple big scares from Fluffy and watching Harry nearly fall off his broom, Neville now goes to St Mungo’s and visits his tortured parents.

What is he thinking? Surely, that folks such as Harry, when they mix it up in the magical world, do encounter risk plus dividends. But he must know Harry and Ron thought the Fluffy episode an "excellent adventure." Neville's roommates, Harry and Ron, are out there and mixing it up, and nearly getting eaten or killed on brooms ... but still thinking things like that spiced up life! They are having fun. Here's a different view of magical trials, than Neville would see at St. Mungo’s.

Neville soon will come back to Hogwarts for some humiliation; but also encouragement from his idol Harry (is his idolization of Harry, grandma-induced?) ... and then Neville will pick a fight against another three-headed monster himself! Against spectacular odds, yes. Copying Harry? Maybe his visit with his parents over Xmas was a catalyst in this? Maybe Neville is just now beginning to think something like, "my poor parents paid a price, yes; but hey, you bullies lay off; because I've seen heroes in my own generation, and I'm beginning to think those efforts just might be worth the trials."


Orion - Aug 29, 2008 2:00 am (#630 of 925)

You are a very beautiful horse, tandaradei. I am more on the Neville side than on the Ron and Harry side regarding mortal danger as a jolly good adventure. They are a bit insane, aren't they? It's a character trait Harry has inherited from his father.


mona amon - Aug 29, 2008 3:57 am (#631 of 925)

Yes, Tandaradei's a beautiful horse!

Interesting quotes, because Slytherin is about exclusiveness, and Hufflepuff about inclusiveness. In many ways I see Slytherin and Hufflepuff more of opposites than Slytherin and Gryffindor. It makes me wonder what the children are thinking of when they do think of the Houses, and if the perception of the Houses has altered at all over the decades. James makes his statement right at the beginning of the First War, and Draco makes his during the lull between the two wars, and I'd love to know the broader atmosphere at those times. (Mrs. Brisbee)

Good point about Slytherin being more opposite to Hufflepuff than to Gryffindor.

I do not think Draco was thinking about Hufflepuff's inclusiveness when he rejects that house. It's more likely that he, like Hagrid, was under the impression that it was a house for duffers.

I also don't think the time when James made his anti-Slytherin statement (the start of the first war) had anything to do with it. If James was portrayed as a noble sort of person, I'd find that easier to accept. But he only seems to be suffering from the same prejudice as his grandson Al, 19 years after the defeat of Voldemort. Wars come and go, and Slytherin is probably not as exclusive as before, but the prejudice remains.


PeskyPixie - Aug 29, 2008 3:33 pm (#632 of 925)

Whew! Finally caught up!

Great arguments, guys. While I don't believe that Dumbledore is capable of orchestrating all of the minor details which lead to Harry's showdown with Quirrellmort, he certainly does give Harry the tools to take on the challenge if he so wishes.

I feel that Dumbledore does this to observe Harry's nature as he alone has a hunch of the extreme bravery which might be required of Harry in order to defeat Voldemort. It must be a terrible secret for Dumbledore to live with.

Many teachers seem to remain at Hogwarts for the Christmas holidays. I wonder if they do 'Secret Santas' or some sort of British equivalent?

I'm betting that Hagrid, McGonagall and Snape exchange gifts with Dumbledore. I'm betting on a book from Snape, a keepsake of sorts from Minnie and something mad or inedible from Hagrid.


freshwater - Sep 4, 2008 4:02 pm (#633 of 925)

I'm betting that Hagrid, McGonagall and Snape exchange gifts with Dumbledore. I'm betting on a book from Snape, a keepsake of sorts from Minnie and something mad or inedible from Hagrid.--Pesky Pixie

Interesting....what would DD give the others? An obscure potions ingredient for Severus? Something in tartan for Minerva.... dragon hide gloves for Hagrid? Or would he give each of them a pair of warm, woolen socks?


Solitaire - Sep 4, 2008 8:59 pm (#634 of 925)

I do not think Draco was thinking about Hufflepuff's inclusiveness when he rejects that house. It's more likely that he, like Hagrid, was under the impression that it was a house for duffers.

Given Draco's comment to Harry about his parents--"But they were our kind, weren't they?"--I'd say Hufflepuff's inclusivity might be a very good reason for Draco not to want to be associated with them. He is an exclusive kind of guy.

Solitaire


Julia H. - Sep 4, 2008 11:53 pm (#635 of 925)

I'm betting that Hagrid, McGonagall and Snape exchange gifts with Dumbledore. I'm betting on a book from Snape, a keepsake of sorts from Minnie and something mad or inedible from Hagrid. Pesky Pixie

It sounds in character with these people but doesn't DD complain that people will insist on giving him books? That makes me wonder what kind of books each of these colleagues may give him. Minnie will probably give him the latest book about transfiguration, Snape will probably find him some rarity that you can't buy everywhere or something about an obscure branch of magic and Hagrid will probably give a him a book that can do some special tricks (like the monster book).

Interesting....what would DD give the others? An obscure potions ingredient for Severus? Something in tartan for Minerva.... dragon hide gloves for Hagrid? Or would he give each of them a pair of warm, woolen socks? Freshwater

I think DD keeps his distance too much to present his colleagues with something as personal as woolen socks. The other presents are more likely (although he might give a book to Snape: one that he can learn something new from).

I do not think Draco was thinking about Hufflepuff's inclusiveness when he rejects that house. It's more likely that he, like Hagrid, was under the impression that it was a house for duffers. Mona

I'd say Hufflepuff's inclusivity might be a very good reason for Draco not to want to be associated with them. He is an exclusive kind of guy. Solitaire

Or it may be both. "Not our kind" people are probably viewed by Draco as worthless and even as "duffers". If a house is inclusive, it is likely to include students who do not belong to any sort of an elite and Draco will not want to be in that house any more than among - strictly speaking - non-pure-bloods.


mona amon - Sep 5, 2008 7:24 pm (#636 of 925)

Given Draco's comment to Harry about his parents--"But they were our kind, weren't they?"--I'd say Hufflepuff's inclusivity might be a very good reason for Draco not to want to be associated with them. He is an exclusive kind of guy. (Soli)

That's true, and that's probably one of the reasons he chooses Slytherin. But Hufflepuff is not any more inclusive in this sense (inclusive of Muggle borns) than Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. Yet he singles out Hufflepuff as the house he really doesn't want to be, the way James singles out Slytherin.

I also agree with what Julia says about it.

I feel that Dumbledore does this to observe Harry's nature as he alone has a hunch of the extreme bravery which might be required of Harry in order to defeat Voldemort. It must be a terrible secret for Dumbledore to live with. (Pesky)

That's a very good point, Pesky!


Steve Newton - Sep 6, 2008 3:54 am (#637 of 925)

OK, I forget. What chapter are we on?


Julia H. - Sep 6, 2008 4:09 am (#638 of 925)

I think it is "The Mirror of Erised".


Steve Newton - Sep 6, 2008 7:10 am (#639 of 925)

Gracias!


Dryleaves - Sep 6, 2008 7:45 am (#640 of 925)

As this discussion has been somewhat interrupted by all the technical trouble, I just ask you all: Do you want to move on to chapter 13 (and I will post some notes) or do you think we should wait a little?


Anna L. Black - Sep 6, 2008 11:11 am (#641 of 925)

I think we should wait until the forum works normally...


Soul Search - Sep 6, 2008 3:14 pm (#642 of 925)

I think we should move on. In spite of the trouble, I haven't noticed any posts lost. And, I need some Harry Potter stimulation!


freshwater - Sep 6, 2008 5:07 pm (#643 of 925)

I believe the forum is working normally at this time....just not with the links to the actual Lexicon it has had in the past. Let's keep going...I've missed our discussions, even with the distraction of a new school year starting up.



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Thirteen Notes/Summary - post #644

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:53 am



Dryleaves - Sep 7, 2008 1:32 am (#644 of 925)

OK, here are some brief notes on chapter 13:

Chapter Thirteen - Nicholas Flamel

Snape will be refereeing the next Quidditch match. We all know why by now, but isn’t it strange to at all allow a Head of House to be the referee in a tournament between Houses? Especially since Dumbledore himself turns up at the match. Snape isn’t really needed, is he? But at least it has the effect of scaring Harry.

“Chess was the only thing Hermione ever lost at (...)” Too much conscience, or something else?

When Malfoy puts a leg-locker curse on Neville everybody is laughing, except Hermione, who says a counter curse instead.

Neville has doubts about having been sorted into Gryffindor. He doesn’t think he is brave enough. Harry tells him he is worth more than twelve Malfoys, as Malfoy is in “stinking Slytherin”. This shows how bad everybody thinks Slytherin is. But all Gryffindors except Hermione laughed at Neville...

At last they find Nicholas Flamel on a Chocolate Frog card. Hermione makes the connection between alchemy and the Philosopher’s Stone. Flamel is the only known maker of it.

Harry is afraid of Snape. He seems to be running into Snape wherever he goes and wonders if Snape is following him. He most probably is, but for a different reason than Harry expects. He is trying to protect Harry, not harm him. Snape is horrible to Harry during potions lessons. This maybe shows the doubleness of Snape’s feelings towards Harry - is he compensating?

Harry has the horrible feeling that Snape can read minds. We know that he can, but very often I think that Snape’s mind reading is rather “Muggle”, based on a teacher’s experience of student behaviour.

Dumbledore has come to watch the game. Harry feels safe and Snape looks angry.

Neville tells Malfoy that he is worth twelve of him.

Harry catches the Snitch and ends the game quickly. Snape spits on the ground.

Harry sees a hooded figure, which he recognizes as Snape, walking towards the forbidden forest. He follows on his broom and witnesses the meeting between Snape and Quirrell. Snape is threatening and Quirrell is scared. The dialogue is very vague and ambiguous. Snape really looks like the bad guy and Quirrell like the poor victim.

HRH think the stone is safe only as long as Quirrell stands up to Snape. That is, not for long...



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Thirteen Comments - posts #645 to #670

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:59 am



Julia H. - Sep 7, 2008 5:01 am (#645 of 925)

When Harry tells Ron and Hermione that Snape is going to referee the match, they tell him not to play but Harry puts duty before safety. This is what he will do later as well. He is scared of Snape but he is ready to face the danger. It is good training for Voldemort.

Snape will be refereeing the next Quidditch match. We all know why by now, but isn’t it strange to at all allow a Head of House to be the referee in a tournament between Houses? Dryleaves

It does seem to be strange. I wonder what Snape said when he volunteered to referee. (Now that I come to think of it we did not really discuss the first Quidditch match, did we?)

Dumbledore has come to watch the game. Harry feels safe and Snape looks angry.

It seems Dumbledore and Snape did not consult with each other before deciding what to do next. Is Snape angry because Dumbledore does not leave him the job of protecting Harry? Or is he angry because he feels he is making a fool of himself quite unnecessarily now?

The conversation between Snape and Quirrell is interesting. There will be another forest conversation overheard and involving Snape in HBP. In both cases, only parts of the conversation are known to the reader, although in DH, we will find out the full text of the HBP conversation. This conversation, however, remains incomplete and we can only guess what Snape says about Quirrell's "little bit of hocus-pocus" and what exactly he is referring to.

We'll have another little chat soon, when you've had time to think things over and decided where your loyalties lie.

Perhaps the first mention of the question of "loyalties", a major topic in HP, and it is Snape himself who will be most in the centre of such questions.

Harry is not the only one overhearing this conversation. Voldemort is listening as well. Is Snape accusing Quirrell of trying to get the stone for Voldemort or is he pretending to want to get it for Voldemort himself? The first version is not probable since Snape later claims (to LV) that he had not idea why Quirrell wanted the stone. The second one is again not probable because Voldemort does not seem to conclude he can trust Snape. But then what "loyalties" is Snape talking about?

HRH think the stone is safe only as long as Quirrell stands up to Snape. That is, not for long... Dryleaves

HRH do not think much of Quirrell.


Joanna Lupin - Sep 7, 2008 7:40 am (#646 of 925)

Back to chapter 12 for a moment. When Harry is fleeing from Filch he overhears him say that Snape wants to be notified immediately whenever somebody seems to be prowling the school at night. Severus does take his responsibilities very seriously.


poohnpiglettt - Sep 7, 2008 12:39 pm (#647 of 925)

“Chess was the only thing Hermione ever lost at (...)” Too much conscience, or something else? Dryleaves

I've always thought it was very interesting that JKR chose to have Hermione be bad at chess. Like Hermione, I'm very good at logic problems and not so good at chess (bad, really). Logic problems follow a step by step progression: A leads to B which leads to C which leads to D. You cannot do it out of order. Chess involves being able to figure out D without having done B or C yet. And, also, figure out your opponents moves. Hermione's and Ron's individual talents obviously are shown at the end of PS/SS but I think it also may show a greater pattern of how they think, at least with Hermione. She can be quite intolerant (that may be a bit strong but it's the best word I can think of right now) of ideas/actions that do not follow a logical, ladder-type progression (feelings/comments towards Trelawney and Luna come to mind). I think this makes Hermione far more realistic and true to her character but I think it also means she's might miss the bigger picture sometimes.


freshwater - Sep 7, 2008 1:06 pm (#648 of 925)

Those are excellent insights into Hermione's mind, poohandpiglett. I always liked that JKR made Hermione not skilled at something, and the fact that it is Ron's strength is an added bonus to her main point of the need to value a broad range of skills and perceptions (of which Luna is the ultimate example). I always thought that Hermione's difficulties with chess might be attributed to the need to visualize several moves in advance....and that she seems to be very verbally/auditorially oriented as a learner. I also like the statement that Harry and Ron thought that her losing in chess was "good for her"....I agree!

I particularly liked Harry's response to Neville's being hexed by Draco and wondering about being sorted into Gryffindor: Harry tells him he (Neville) is worth 12 of Malfoy and gives Neville his last chocolate frog. This kindness leads to two serendipitous events: 1) Neville hands back the Choc. Frog card of DD leading H/R/H to discover the info they've been seeking about Nicholas Flamel, and 2) at the next Quidditch match Neville defends himself to Draco, using Harry's own words, and even joins in the fistfight Ron starts with Draco.....this is a huge step forward in Neville's self-image and level of self-confidence. Harry's small kindnesses and supportiveness were the springboard for Neville's eventual development into a 'hero' of the final battle.


tandaradei - Sep 7, 2008 8:11 pm (#649 of 925)

I agree. I also think it significant that Neville's bid for a courage here happened after Christmas ... meaning, after he had visited his parents at St. Mungo’s. Maybe he was working something out, regarding whether such sacrifices in the magical world -- as evidenced by his parents and Harry -- might be worth it.


Soul Search - Sep 8, 2008 8:14 am (#650 of 925)

freshwater,

Harry's small kindnesses and supportiveness were the springboard for Neville's eventual development into a 'hero' of the final battle.

Rather good analysis.

Neville plays an interesting role in this novel, and the series in general. He is presented as a bumbler, unsure of himself, yet he is along for the momentous events of the story. He is there when they first run into Fluffy, he tries to warn Harry about Draco when they are sending Norbert off, he is in the forbidden forest when Harry encounters Voldemort, and is there when the trio sets off to save the Stone. He didn't do much at these times, but he was there. In my mind I thought of Neville as the bumbling "sidekick" for the trio, although that didn't fully develop in later stories.

In later stories Neville always has faith in Harry and trusts him, even when most of Hogwarts doesn't. I wonder how much Neville's trust of Harry is from Harry's early "kindness" freshwater pointed out.


Orion - Sep 11, 2008 3:23 am (#651 of 925)

Also something on chapter twelve, sorry I'm lagging behind, I had lent someone my copy and only got it back yesterday, can I please still post that?

Chapter twelve, Draco is "jealous and angry" because everybody is so impressed by Harry's success at Quidditch. So Draco isn't a monster - yet. He is a jealous and angry kid. First his attempts to become friends with Harry are declined, then Harry is the popular one. Draco will still be jealous and angry in HBP, even when he is forced to pursue a murder plan - still he has time to call Harry "the Chosen Captain - the Boy Who Scored - whatever they call you these days".

Ron immediately asks Hagrid whether he needs help with the big tree. Ron has been brought up as a social animal. He needs help quite often but he is able to see when others need help.

Hermione can't ask her parents who Nicolas Flamel is because they are both dentists. The book takes place 1991, that was before Google, but still both she and her parents wouldn't have needed much time to find out who he was. He's a Muggle and he really lived.

Fred and George love Percy. They force him to wear his jumper and frog-march him from the room to sit with them for breakfast. His love for them doesn't seem to be too strong, already. He is always looking for something to complain about. Fred and George don't seem to mind. For them, he is simply their brother, and they try to get as much fun out of him as possible.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 11, 2008 3:49 am (#652 of 925)

In later stories Neville always has faith in Harry and trusts him, even when most of Hogwarts doesn't. I wonder how much Neville's trust of Harry is from Harry's early "kindness" freshwater pointed out.-- Soul Search

Good point, as Trust is also a major theme of the series. I think the early kindnesses demonstrated to Neville what kind of character Harry had, so he knew he could choose to trust him. Since we also get to see in the series how damaging mistrust, showing people what sort of person you are so they can decide to trust is important.


PeskyPixie - Sep 11, 2008 10:12 am (#653 of 925)

Regarding Snape's interrogation of Quirrell in the Forbidden Forest, let's not forget that Voldy is there too ...


Orion - Sep 11, 2008 2:09 pm (#654 of 925)

Yes, and let's not forget that the twins bewitch snowballs to pelt Quirrell's turban from behind, so Voldie gets them into his ugly mug all the time! Ouch!


PeskyPixie - Sep 11, 2008 3:00 pm (#655 of 925)

LOL! I was also thinking of the words Snape says and what Voldy assumes from them.


rcs - Sep 11, 2008 4:34 pm (#656 of 925)

Maybe I've said this before, but do we know for sure whether Snape knew LV was possessing Quirrell all this time? I sort of think perhaps he didn't (remember how good LV is at Occlumency).


PeskyPixie - Sep 11, 2008 4:38 pm (#657 of 925)

As far as I can tell, Snape has no idea that Voldy has set up camp on the back of Quirrell's head. However, Voldy is listening in on Quirrell's conversation(s) with Snape; this can't be good for Sev once Voldy comes back to full power again.


rcs - Sep 11, 2008 7:31 pm (#658 of 925)

Well, whether or not Snape knew about Voldy possessing Quirrell, doesn't he use exactly that dodge to explain his PS/SS actions to Bellatrix and Narcissa in HBP, namely that he didn't know that anyone other than Quirrell was going after the Stone? I guess the only question is whether he was telling the truth or not. Personally, I think he may have known Quirrell was working for LV, but just not realized that LV was actually possessing Quirrell. Any thoughts?


Julia H. - Sep 11, 2008 10:38 pm (#659 of 925)

It has been suggested that DD wanted to give Harry the chance to face (the weakened) Voldemort. It's almost like he thought I had the right to face Voldemort if I could...., Harry says in the last chapter. How exactly did DD imagine it would happen if he did not know Voldy was or would get inside the school? If DD knew who was in Quirrell's head, he might have warned Snape as he had specifically told him to keep an eye on Quirrell, too. But then again, since this is DD, he might not have told Snape at all... Also, knowingly letting Voldemort be inside the school for months sounds a bit risky to me, even if he is weak and watched by Snape.

Perhaps for a long time, DD thought Quirrell was "simply" working for Voldemort but then, at some point, he may have realized where Voldy was and then decided to let Harry face not only Quirrell but Voldy as well but he also decided that he would guard Harry when it happened (though pretending to be far away). Perhaps he kept Snape deliberately away from the confrontation between Harry and Quirrellmort, wanting to keep Voldemort in the belief that Snape did not know he was there. Hm... is it possible that DD realized the full truth about Quirrell some time before the second Quidditch game (in the spring) and that was the reason why he decided to be there and either told Snape (just before the game started) or did not tell him and Snape did not know what the change of plans meant? In both situations, I can see a reason for Snape to be angry.

Once again, what is exactly Snape saying when he tells Quirrell to decide "where his loyalties lie"? Even if Snape knows Quirrell works for Voldemort, he can't tell him his suspicion because then Voldy would not believe later on that Snape did not know.


rcs - Sep 11, 2008 11:51 pm (#660 of 925)

What seems clear from all of this is that there's a LOT going on behind the scenes between Snape and DD (and Quirrell and LV) that neither Harry nor the reader ever finds out the truth about. To really know everything that was going on, one really has to go back through and tell the whole story from the perspective of DD/Snape. I think going through and trying to invent a consistent narrative for PS/SS as told from their perspective (just to fill in the gaps in what JKR has given us) could go a long way toward understanding the possible scenarios for what was really happening here. Project for the Fanfic Forum, perhaps, or maybe an independent thread on the main forum?


Julia H. - Sep 12, 2008 12:04 am (#661 of 925)

To invent everything that is missing, things that Harry does not know... I would love a project like this!


freshwater - Sep 13, 2008 8:55 am (#662 of 925)

Hermione can't ask her parents who Nicolas Flamel is because they are both dentists. The book takes place 1991, that was before Google, but still both she and her parents wouldn't have needed much time to find out who he was. He's a Muggle and he really lived.--Orion

This may be our first example of how Hermione's set of "known facts" can actually limit her understanding: she expects that Flamel will be a wizard and so assumes that the Muggle world will have no real information about him. I've always hoped that Hermione would name Luna as a godmother for her daughter....Hermione needs a "Luna" in her life. BTW, doesn't "luna" refer to a source of light / enlightenment?


Quinn Crockett - Sep 13, 2008 10:25 am (#663 of 925)

Luna = moon, also the Roman goddess of the moon. As in "lunatic" - or someone believed to be under control/influence of the full moon. However in the original Greek mythology this goddess was called Selene, which is believed to come from the Greek word for "light".

I think part of the reason Hermione has difficulty with chess is because she does not play team sports. When you play sports, you learn to anticipate your opponents' moves - and that translates easily into other activities like chess. But also, at this point, her interpersonal skills are still quite lacking. Anticipating your opponent's move requires you to sort of put yourself in their place. At this point Hermione is not very good at that sort of thing - though she does develop this later.

I don't think Dumbledore really intended for Harry to find the Mirror - particularly when he admonishes Harry for spending too much time there. I think he initially understood Harry's desire to be with his family in whatever way he could - since Dumbledore had the same desire - so he doesn't really interfere at first. But because Dumbledore knew of the Mirror's addictive power first hand, he could honestly tell Harry to leave it alone. I wonder now, post DH, if Dumbledore might have been referring to his brother when he says, "Men have wasted away in front of it", Aberforth NEVER moved on past his sister's death.

It's so strange to read these pages now knowing what was going on with Neville. Poor boy really had such an emotional burden to carry. No wonder he used the opportunity to lash out at Draco, et al.

Snape refereeing the Quidditch match was just ridiculously unfair. In any sport, the official cannot have any ties to either side. Even after all these years, I cannot believe that there wasn't greater backlash about it.

I don't think Snape knew about Voldemort being right on the back of Quirrell's head. However, as a Legilimens, he may have been able to see enough of Quirrell's thoughts to know that Quirrell was in direct contact with Voldemort and that he must mince his words to avoid giving his own loyalties away.


Julia H. - Sep 13, 2008 11:17 am (#664 of 925)

In any sport, the official cannot have any ties to either side. Even after all these years, I cannot believe that there wasn't greater backlash about it. (Quinn)

That makes it likely that DD may have at least supported the idea of Snape refereeing so that he could watch over Harry. DD must have thought Harry's safety was more important than the fairness of the game. If DD supported this idea (or gave direct orders) that may have been the reason why everyone else in the school accepted it - the teachers at Hogwarts do not ever seem to question DD's decisions. Perhaps that was the original plan and DD may have decided to attend the game personally because he began to suspect (or simply realized somehow) that Voldemort was more directly involved than he had previously thought. (Harry thought Snape was angry because of DD's presence, which makes it possible that it was a change of plans Snape had not anticipated. Of course, Harry may have been totally wrong here, too, since he absolutely misunderstood Snape's role in the whole story but we never get another explanation from the author regarding Snape's anger.)


tandaradei - Sep 13, 2008 11:49 am (#665 of 925)

Because of the Point of View Jo caters to, personally I am perfectly willing to believe Harry's impressions of Snape are skewed out of truth here. I am now mostly of the opinion Snape was stern faced, possibly looking out for Incantations-incantations, and Harry misinterpreted.


freshwater - Sep 13, 2008 12:38 pm (#666 of 925)

I agree, tandaradei-- the perspective of one wizard teenage gave us a lot of insight into Harry himself, but often served as misdirection about other characters/events for the reader.


Quinn Crockett - Sep 13, 2008 1:49 pm (#667 of 925)

DD must have thought Harry's safety was more important than the fairness of the game. - Then Dumbledore's a big fat jerk.

If he genuinely thought the threat to Harry was that great, he should have forbade Harry from playing or cancelled the game altogether. Snape could have far more easily kept an eye on Harry from the ground or the announcer's booth. There is no reason for any supposed concern over Harry to affect the outcome of what should be a fair play sporting event.


Julia H. - Sep 13, 2008 3:10 pm (#668 of 925)

Everybody knew (I am sure DD included) that Harry had almost fallen off his broomstick during his first game. Yet, it was Harry's decision to continue playing Quidditch. Remember how important choices are in DD's opinion. If DD did want to prepare Harry for the dangerous task of voluntarily facing and defeating Voldemort in the future, he could not possibly have forbidden him to play Quidditch on the grounds that it was dangerous. He could not have cancelled all the coming Quidditch games either just to keep Harry on the ground. DD let Harry try his strength, face Quirrell, even LV - how would he have kept him out of Quidditch when Harry chose to play and it was partly because he felt a responsibility for the whole team? (I sometimes think the main purpose of Hogwarts Quidditch is to train these kids to fight and to endure - and to play in a team.) It would be typical DD to let Harry play but take steps to protect him. I do think DD thought Harry's safety and his own general plans with Harry were more important than one sports game.

BTW, nobody ever seems to mind the commentator's partiality during these Quidditch games. Jordan gets a few warnings from McGonagall but it changes nothing and the style of the commentary remains the same from game to game.


Quinn Crockett - Sep 13, 2008 4:05 pm (#669 of 925)

Commentary, however biased, does not affect the outcome of the game. Giving penalty shots to the team whose House you are Head of just because you are in a position to do so does affect the game's outcome. There is no justification for allowing this.

Team sports are there to teach .. well, teamwork. There are also the factors of sportsmanship and fair play (i.e. a not trying to deliberately harm another player, not "diving" or pretending to have been injured just to draw a foul, etc). Snape has no regard for fair play or impartiality. He had no business whatsoever being involved in that game.


rcs - Sep 13, 2008 5:27 pm (#670 of 925)

Don't forget, this match was Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff. Snape wasn't head of either of those houses. And I think the real purpose of having Snape referee was to deter Quirrell from trying any sort of jinx this time, as he suspected Snape was onto him and wouldn't do anything suspicious if he knew Snape would be watching. That, I think, is the difference between having Snape referee and having him sit in the stands: If he's the referee, Quirrell knows he's going to see everything.



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Thirteen Comments - posts #671 to #689

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:03 am



mona amon - Sep 13, 2008 8:00 pm (#671 of 925)

Good points, rcs.

'A stone that makes gold and stops you ever dying!' said Harry. 'No wonder Snape's after it."

I love the kids' unsophisticated view of the matter!

Ron and Hermione had been secretly practicing the leg-locker curse...

Would the leg-locker curse have been any use when Snape was flying about on a broomstick?

Snape had just awarded Hufflepuff a penalty because George Weasley had hit a Bludger at him.

If George aimed a Bludger at the referee on purpose, I think he's justified in penalising him.

Snape had awarded Hufflepuff another penalty for no reason at all.

No one, not even Snape, can award a penalty 'for no reason at all' and get away with it. How come there wasn't an uproar?

I think Snape was 'white-faced and tight-lipped' because of stress and strain. But he 'spat bitterly on the ground' because he was miffed that Harry was once again the hero. Proving that even when he's occupied with far more important matters, he still has enough room in his mind to be petty.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 13, 2008 8:15 pm (#672 of 925)

Overall points in the Quidditch series matter as well as who wins. That's why in PoA it was possible for Gryffindor to win the match but lose the series. Snape already had a reputation for unfairness that at the very least would influence how the players would react.

Whether or not Snape was taking the opportunity to be biased or not, I do have to question whether it was at all necessary. What was Snape supposed to do better from the referee position than he-- or another well informed protector, if Dumbledore had bothered-- could have done from the stands?

I really have to question Dumbledore's judgment.


mona amon - Sep 13, 2008 9:17 pm (#673 of 925)

I suppose the plan was that Dumbledore would take care of Harry from the stands, while Snape was a referee so that he could stay close to Harry. I think they were not taking any chances.


Quinn Crockett - Sep 13, 2008 10:59 pm (#674 of 925)

Right, Hufflepuff. Sorry, I only remembered that Snape awarded the penalty for no reason. I'll read it again (a LOT of reading this time of year, sorry).

No one, not even Snape, can award a penalty 'for no reason at all' and get away with it - Well, clearly the author thinks he can.

And actually, in real life, this happens a LOT - though one would like to believe that it is often simply a mistake on the referee's part, as they have to make a split-second decision without the benefit of instant replay in many types of games.

For example, Australia did not make it out of the quarter finals of the last World Cup because the Italian player "dived" inside the penalty area, literally throwing himself over the top of the defending player. The referee awarded Italy a penalty kick for it. Naturally Italy scored, were able to advance to the next round, and ultimately win the tournament - all because of this one moment when they were wrongly awarded the opportunity for a free goal. Though the whole world saw what happened, the official's ruling could not be changed. By the way, earlier in the same game, an Italian player was ejected from the game for a routine challenge, which was also unfair.

Topic? That whole situation just doesn't fly, as far as I'm concerned. Dumbledore was clearly already aware of Quirrell's ... affiliation. He could very easily have taken care of the matter by simply inviting Quirrell to attend the game with him. Quirrell wouldn't dare have tried anything sitting right next to Dumbledore. And of course this way Quirrell would be present and accounted for in any case.


Dryleaves - Sep 14, 2008 2:19 am (#675 of 925)

My husband claims he stopped reading the HP books because the lack of legal security in the Wizarding World annoyed him so much (though I strongly suspect he did it because he only can read books about D Day... ). The problem with this Quidditch match is that a Head of House should never be allowed to referee a match in a House Tournament. He/she could never be unbiased. There ought to be a rule for this. But rules are constantly bent in the HP series. I agree with Quinn that the situation could probably have been solved in another way, but then we would have lost a thriller moment, of course. And maybe this is what DD thought best...

From Harry's point of view the problem is that he is genuinely scared of Snape and that Snape is a biased teacher. PS/SS shows in many ways a childishly black and white world, where Slytherin is bad and Snape is unfair. But the fact that Snape at all can referee the game with support from the Headmaster and without any official protests shows us that the Wizarding World is not fair. But there are other examples of this in the HP books.

At the end of this book DD awards Harry and his friends house points in the very last minute, and exactly as many points as it takes for Gryffindor to win the House Cup. The point system seems very arbitrary. There seems to be no guidelines or control system at all, other than the individual teacher's mood and disposition. And there is a very strong anti-Slytherin bias at Hogwarts, so maybe Snape regards his bias as some sort of pro-Slytherin crusade to even the odds.

In the other books we see a lot of other examples of people bending, changing or ignoring rules to achieve their goals. Both for good and bad.


Orion - Sep 14, 2008 3:17 am (#676 of 925)

... spat bitterly on the ground. Professor! Manners!!!

In PS/SS Snape is still allowed (by the author) to behave like a normal human being and say things like "blasted thing" or zip around on a broom. Not like in later books at all where he's stylized to the point of appearing like fallen out of time altogether.


Julia H. - Sep 14, 2008 4:57 am (#677 of 925)

Perhaps DD wants to test not only Harry's courage but also Snape's abilities at protecting him. Of course, the whole situation could have been solved by removing Quirrell from the school as soon as he was suspected but then we would have had very little story or none at all. Besides, it is easier to keep an eye on Quirrell (and by extension on Voldemort) while he is in the school and while DD knows what he (Quirrell) is up to. I don't think DD is a Quidditch fan.

A biased commentary does not influence the outcome of the game as directly as a biased referee may but I think it does have a psychological effect and we can witness it regularly at Hogwarts so I actually think over time it may have at least as strong an impact as a single instance of a biased referee may.

I agree with Dryleaves that rules are not respected very much at Hogwarts. It is hard to know in advance when one might get detention (and what) or reward. To start with, according to the rules, Harry should not play at all because no other first year student is allowed to play. He can join the team only because McGonagall wants him to. And why can this happen at all? Because Harry flew when he was prohibited to. We understand his noble motivation but McGonagall does not even ask him why he was flying up there, she just decides that he is the Seeker Wood's team needs. This is officially supported rule breaking favouring the Gryffindor team.

Some more aspects to consider besides the rules of fair play:

I think there was a referee in Harry's first Quidditch game as well, Madam Hooch, probably. Yet, she did not seem to be doing anything while Harry was trying not to fall off the broomstick, she was not even mentioned. This may be a good reason for DD to find another referee, one who has already proved to be able to act when it is necessary to act. (Other teachers in the stadium did not interfere either.) Rules should be important but at Hogwarts it does not generally seem to be the case and in a situation like this I even agree that safety is more important than the rules of a game.

Snape is bound to be biased I know, yet before we condemn his actual conduct, we must remember that he is probably a first-time referee (and he may not be very enthusiastic actually) and, as Quinn says, you have to make decisions within a second during a game, without the chance to analyse what has happened, and, most importantly, refereeing is NOT his main job at the moment, he has the other, more important task of watching over Harry. He has to keep an eye on him constantly and at the same time watch the game and do the job of a referee somehow. All this with so many kids flying wildly around you plus all those balls coming and going all the time. I can see why he is nervous or angry.

Harry is scared of Snape and not only Harry but the whole Gryffindor team. As a result, their strategy is to end the game as soon as possible - a lucky decision with regard to Harry's safety: the sooner the games ends, the less Quirrell can do to harm him. I would not put it past DD to foresee that and count on it.

Professor! Manners!!! (Orion)

Oh, yes. This moment is out of character with what we learn about Snape's style and manners in the coming books. My guess is that the author may not have had Snape's finer character traits quite ready at the time yet.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 14, 2008 6:02 am (#678 of 925)

I agree with Quinn that the situation could probably have been solved in another way, but then we would have lost a thriller moment, of course. And maybe this is what DD thought best...-- Dryleaves

Perhaps DD wants to test not only Harry's courage but also Snape's abilities at protecting him.-- Julia H.

We see in HBP as well that Dumbledore is willing to risk the lives and well-being of students for his greater plan, and few of his underlings are ever told what is going on so that they can be adequately prepared. So I suspect that this is what is going on here, though I think he is more testing Snape's resolve to protect Harry than anything else, since as a protective scheme it strikes me as inefficient.

I do still have a hard time believing that Dumbledore would allow Quirrell to stay in the school if he knew that the back of his head was playing host to Voldemort, because of how Dumbledore reacted when Voldemort had come to apply for the DADA position. I don't think he knew that Voldemort was in Quirrell.


Julia H. - Sep 14, 2008 7:54 am (#679 of 925)

I do still have a hard time believing that Dumbledore would allow Quirrell to stay in the school if he knew that the back of his head was playing host to Voldemort, because of how Dumbledore reacted when Voldemort had come to apply for the DADA position. I don't think he knew that Voldemort was in Quirrell. (Mrs Brisbee)

I would tend to think that too, and yet:

At the end of the book, Harry thinks DD may have wanted to give him the chance to face Voldemort. If Harry is right, there must have been a moment when DD realized how close Voldemort was (even if he did not know it at the beginning of the school-year). Harry may be wrong again, of course, but in DH, DD tells Snape almost the same thing: it was necessary to teach Harry and let him try his strength.

Then it may be important that this Voldemort is not the same as the one who applied for the DADA position. Then Voldemort was in full possession of his extraordinary powers and wanted a position in which he could have influenced the kids directly. Quirrellmort, however, is only a little more powerful than Quirrell alone and it is possible to watch and contain him inside the school. Besides, now DD knows exactly what Voldemort is doing or trying to do but earlier it would not have been so if Voldemort had got the DADA position.

I also think DD may really use the situation as a test, to test both Harry and Snape. If Harry cannot face Voldemort now, how could he face him if he returned to power as DD always thought he would? If Snape should not be able - or willing - to successfully protect Harry against Quirrellmort, what could DD expect in a more dangerous situation? I think DD needs to know what he can expect both Harry and Snape to do in the future and this is an "in-vitro" experiment now. It is also a bit like vaccination: Harry is "vaccinated" with a weakened Voldemort so that, meeting a strong one later, he could resist.


mona amon - Sep 14, 2008 9:43 am (#680 of 925)

In PS/SS Snape is still allowed (by the author) to behave like a normal human being and say things like "blasted thing" or zip around on a broom. Not like in later books at all where he's stylized to the point of appearing like fallen out of time altogether. (Orion)

I think there are other instances of him being 'normal'- he throws a jar of pickled animals at Harry and doesn't he call Peeves 'that damned poltergeist' or something like that? Anyway, now that you've mentioned it, I'll watch out for other examples as we go along.

No one, not even Snape, can award a penalty 'for no reason at all' and get away with it (Me)

Well, clearly the author thinks he can. (Quinn)

Yes, it's something like the Dursleys sending Harry a toothpick or whatever it was for Christmas. People just don't do that. She's grossly exaggerating and distorting reality to give the readers an idea of how mean the Dursleys were to Harry. (can we call it Surrealism?) Here I suppose we have to conclude that Snape was a ridiculously biased referee, and it fits in very well with the general picture she gives us of Snape's character, which is a masterful blend of greatness and pettiness.

ETA: I too can't believe that Dumbledore knew that Quirrell was carrying Voldemort around the school hidden under his turban, and did nothing about it. I think he could only have suspected that Voldemort was after the stone, and that Quirrell was helping him, and he probably guessed that Harry would end up facing him (Voldemort) in a contest over the stone.

Edit II : Orion, I think he's mad because Harry caught the snitch in record time, became the hero of the match and that Dumbledore's praising him.


Orion - Sep 14, 2008 9:49 am (#681 of 925)

I've seen soccer matches in which I wanted to strangle the referee. They get away with an awful lot. But really it probably wasn't Snape's idea to referee a Quidditch match. It just doesn't seem like his idea of a perfect free evening. He was probably bullied by DD to play watchdog for Harry, so his bad temper is understandable. (More understandable still because he is in a bad temper all the time and everywhere.) I don't understand why he should look angrier than before at just the moment when DD turns up. It's a red herring which is not very well thought out. A good red herring should turn out to be perfectly logical afterwards.


Julia H. - Sep 14, 2008 10:15 am (#682 of 925)

It just doesn't seem like his idea of a perfect free evening. (Orion)

I agree. Snape does not seem to be a person who likes to take part in any kind of a public show in front of an audience. In PS, there is nothing to suggest that Snape and DD work closely together (beyond basic school work) so most readers probably suppose (after reading PS) that Snape acts on his own throughout the book. After DH, however, it seems quite likely that it was DD who suggested Snape should referee the game so that Harry should have someone nearby to watch over him. It probably means that Snape accepted a task that did not suit him at all just for the sake of protecting Harry.


Quinn Crockett - Sep 14, 2008 12:44 pm (#683 of 925)

In PS/SS Snape is still allowed (by the author) to behave like a normal human being and say things like "blasted thing" or zip around on a broom. Not like in later books at all where he's stylized to the point of appearing like fallen out of time altogether. -

Interesting observation, Orion.


rcs - Sep 14, 2008 1:02 pm (#684 of 925)

I think DD may have realized LV was possessing Quirrell, but he thought that keeping them both in the school, with Snape tailing him, was the best way to keep an eye on what LV was doing.

But I think there's another reason DD didn't just sack Quirrell or expose him as a Death Eater immediately. Remember how much the Ministry (and most of the Wizarding World in general) discredited Dumbledore in OotP, when he announced, without proof, that LV had returned? I think the same thing would have happened if DD had tried to publicly expose Quirrellmort. Moreover, all the evidence appeared to point to Snape as the one who was after the Stone (especially for someone who, unlike Harry, knew about Snape's Death Eater past and remembered how controversial his appointment to the school must have been), so if DD had accused Quirrell of trying to steal the Stone, he would have been seen as covering up for Snape. Even if DD had sacked Quirrell without giving a reason, Quirrell would have ratted on Snape, and his version of the story would have been much more believable than Dumbledore's, for which there was no objective proof. DD needed to wait for Quirrellmort to do something (such as making an actual attempt to get the Stone) that would conclusively expose him as the culprit. That was why DD pretended to take Quirrell's bait (by flying off to the Ministry), then returned immediately. He needed to bluff Quirrell into going after the Stone, then come back and apprehend him. Of course, it also gave Harry a chance to go after the Stone and face LV, and DD wanted to give him that chance, whether he took it or not.


freshwater - Sep 14, 2008 5:46 pm (#685 of 925)

To start with, according to the rules, Harry should not play at all because no other first year student is allowed to play. He can join the team only because McGonagall wants him to.--Julia

Not to quibble, but I believe the rule is that first year students are not allowed to have their own broom at school....I don't think there a rule that prohibits their being on a Quidditch team. It's just that, without their own broom, and being the youngest/smallest/least experienced players, they are not often picked for the teams. Still....it is a stretching of a rule to enable Harry to be on the Gryffindor team.

I can imagine that DD is willing to allow Harry to encounter a partially incapacitated Voldemort....but I don't think DD expected the close encounter to occur while he (DD) was far away from Hogwarts. I have to believe that DD expected to be near at hand to assist as needed in any Harry/LV confrontation....anything else would have been recklessly irresponsible of him.

Are we about ready for the next chapter?


Soul Search - Sep 14, 2008 6:14 pm (#686 of 925)

Let's see how the clues add up.

Voldemort has only a spirit form and can perform no magic. All he can do is occupy the minds of animals or people.

Dumbledore knew Voldemort was not dead and gone. He thought Voldemort was in Albania. (I never have figured out how he, or his sources, knew this, but we have to accept it.)

Dumbledore has some reasonable evidence that the Stone was at risk and convinced Flamel that it should be moved.

Dumbledore sent Hagrid to retrieve the Philosopher's Stone from Gringotts and bring it to him at Hogwarts, where it would be safer. Presumably he had worked out some protection method at Hogwarts before sending Hagrid.

Harry and Hagrid meet Quirrell just before they go to Gringotts. He is not wearing his turban, so Voldemort is not occupying him yet.

Hagrid retrieves the stone from its Gringotts vault.

Sometime the same day Hagrid retrieves the Stone, its vault is broken into by "wizards unknown."

Harry goes to Hogwarts. Quirrell is wearing his turban and Harry's scar hurts for the first time when he looks toward Quirrell. (Harry also has a strange dream, but I can't make any connection.)

Sometime after the start of the school year, Dumbledore asks Snape to look after Quirrell.

Harry has his problem with his broom, Snape saves him. Later, Harry overhears Snape and Quirrell in the forest. Snape clearly suspects Quirrell.

Harry goes into the forbidden forest and encounters Voldemort. Firenze tells Harry Voldemort can use the Stone to make a body. Dumbledore must then know that Voldemort is around Hogwarts and is after the Stone.

At this point, Dumbledore should have made a connection between Voldemort and Quirrell. Voldemort could not have killed the unicorn without help from some wizard. He already suspects Quirrell of wanting the Stone and the Stone would benefit Voldemort the most. The most likely scenario is that Voldemort is in the forest and Quirrell is helping him, but not that Voldemort has been occupying Quirrell.

So, if, and I still consider this an IF, Dumbledore intended for Harry to try and rescue the Stone, he had to think he would only be facing Quirrell, not Voldemort. Still risky, of course, but Dumbledore didn't seem to have too high an opinion of Quirrell.

I like rcs's idea the Dumbledore faked going to the ministry to force Quirrell's hand. He didn't tell Harry he had faked the trip because he wouldn't want Harry to think he had been set up all along. Took him long enough to get back, though.


Solitaire - Sep 14, 2008 6:24 pm (#687 of 925)

He thought Voldemort was in Albania. (I never have figured out how he, or his sources, knew this

Could the ghosts have told him? Isn't that where Helena Ravenclaw and the Bloody Baron died? Could they have imparted that information without going into the story of the tiara? Dumbledore does not seem to have known about it ... or at least, he did not know its whereabouts.

Solitaire


rcs - Sep 14, 2008 6:47 pm (#688 of 925)

He thought Voldemort was in Albania. (I never have figured out how he, or his sources, knew this, but we have to accept it.)

Wasn't it established somewhere (GoF, I think) that there was a spot in an Albanian forest where all the animals were dying mysteriously and getting possessed and so on? Pettigrew heard a tale like that from the rats (I think), which was how he was able to find LV and seek him out after the end of PoA. Presumably, wizards living in the same area would have recognized that dark magic was going on. A wizard like Dumbledore, hearing these tales, would have put two and two together and realized LV was probably hiding there.


Solitaire - Sep 14, 2008 9:56 pm (#689 of 925)

I think I remember that, too, rcs.



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Fourteen Notes/Summary - post #690

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:06 am



Dryleaves - Sep 15, 2008 2:16 am (#690 of 925)

Someone mentioned it might be time to move on, so I post some notes on the next chapter.

Chapter Fourteen- Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback

HRH are checking on Quirrell, Fluffy and Snape. The Stone seems to be safe. Whenever Harry passes Quirrell he gives him an encouraging smile. Little does he know that he should give the smile to Snape instead...

Hermione is preparing for the tests. She is reciting the twelve uses of dragon’s blood. Harry is looking up “Dittany” in One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi. (We will hear of dittany in HBP)

Hagrid is looking for books in the Dragon section of the library. Harry says that Hagrid always wanted a dragon.

“But it’s against our laws,” said Ron. “Dragon-breeding was outlawed by the Warlocks’ Convention of 1709, everyone knows that.” Apparently this is true as even Ron has found a historical date worth remembering. (I do not find it odd that he knows dragon-keeping is against the law.)

There are still dragons in Britain. Wizards have to put spells on Muggles who have spotted them, so that they will forget about it. Not that I would like to meet a dragon, but sometimes I feel it is hard to forgive the wizards for these Obliviating spells.

The trio visit Hagrid, whose cabin is very hot. Hagrid does not know what else is protecting the Stone, apart from Fluffy. Hermione flatters Hagrid to make him tell them who have done the guarding of the Stone. It is Professors Sprout, Flitwick, McGonagall, Quirrell, Dumbledore and Snape.

The Stone is said to be safer at Hogwarts than in Gringotts. Why? I think we have discussed this already, though.

Hagrid has a huge, black egg in the fire. He got it from a stranger he played cards with. The pub seems to be a great place for monster trade.

“Wonder what it’s like to have a peaceful life.” A wonderful Ron quote, I think. It will take a long time before he knows, won’t it?

The dragon is hatching. Malfoy overhears the trio when they talk about going to Hagrid to watch it. Hagrid is delighted and loves his little dragon. Malfoy sees the dragon.

Norbert the dragon grows fast. They write to Charlie in Romania to ask him if he can take care of the dragon. Charlie agrees to take it. They are to get the dragon to the tallest tower at midnight on Saturday.

Another bite from a magical creature. Norbert bites Ron in the hand. Ron does not want to tell Madam Pomfrey what bit him. Malfoy borrows a book from Ron and in the book is the letter from Charlie, which means Malfoy knows everything. But it is too late to change plans. They put their trust in the Invisibility Cloak.

Hagrid is sad when Norbert is leaving.

The Invisibility Cloak can hide many people and even a small dragon. From under the cloak they spot McGonagall holding Malfoy by the ear. She does not believe his story about Harry having a dragon and gives him detention. HRH are delighted about this.

When Norbert is gone they go back down the stairs only to be caught by Filch. They have forgotten the cloak on the tower.



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Fourteen Comments - posts #691 to #710

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:09 am



Quinn Crockett - Sep 15, 2008 4:37 pm (#691 of 925)

Wizards have to put spells on Muggles who have spotted them, so that they will forget about it. Not that I would like to meet a dragon, but sometimes I feel it is hard to forgive the wizards for these Obliviating spells.

Interesting comment, Dryleaves. Personally, other than actual enslavement, I can't imagine what the whole Dumbledore-Grindelwald Giant Scheme might have been that would really be that much different from way the Wizarding World - exemplified by the Ministry - treat Muggles now.

Malfoy's got detention. I could sing.

Please don't.

Two things here. 1) Why is Hermione suddenly so anti-Malfoy? Just because Harry and Ron don't like him? Since we haven't yet been introduced to the M word, I don't think it could be due to any personal slight Malfoy may have made against Hermione directly. 2) Why doesn't Harry want Hermione to sing? Is he just embarrassed by it or does she have a terrible voice? Seems we would have heard about it if the latter, doesn't it? Because it would be one more thing on a pretty short list that she isn't good at.


mona amon - Sep 15, 2008 7:55 pm (#692 of 925)

The Ministry only interferes with Muggles when they stumble accidently into the Wizarding World. They're only hiding their world from Muggles, and I think they have the right to do so if they think it is best.

Dumbledore and Grindelwald on the other hand wanted to come out of hiding, subjugate Muggles, and control them. The main attraction for Dumbledore was that, if there was no longer any Statute of Secrecy, there would no longer be any need to hide Arianna. The Ministry goes about Obliviating Muggles so that there would be no need to control them in other (and much worse) ways.

----------

I think Harry does not want Hermione to sing because singing means noise, and when you are on the top of the tallest tower at midnight against all school rules, silence is of the essence!

-------------

Ron's hand, Fang's bandaged tail- Hagrid always loses my sympathy when he's thoughtlessly endangering those around him with his monstrous pets.


Mrs. Sirius - Sep 16, 2008 8:14 am (#693 of 925)

Ron's hand, Fang's bandaged tail- Hagrid always loses my sympathy when he's thoughtlessly endangering those around him with his monstrous pets. mona anon

Don't forget Hagrid was considered to be monstrous. Hermione or Ron say in GoF that their is all kinds of prejudice against giants and half-breed. Umbridge also says something along this line and treats Hagrid as if he were dangerous and were about to attach her. From an early age Hagrid is used to ignoring people objects and fears about creature they consider dangerous.

In CoS Tom says something to Hagrid about his dangerous pet and I think Tom also makes so inference to Hagrid not be believed because he is some dangerous out of control giant.

(If I remember correctly I said I would lead/ moderate the next chapters till the end. With the site being down and my kids back at school it has been nutty but will get back on track)


Soul Search - Sep 16, 2008 8:19 am (#694 of 925)

I have observed a JKR literary practice that I don't quite understand that begins in this chapter.

The storyline is about a "trio," Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but for most of the action sequences either Ron or Hermione are missing. In this chapter Ron has a bitten hand so only Harry and Hermione take Norbert to the tower. Then just the two of them get detention and Ron isn't in on the forbidden forest scene. When they are going after the Stone Ron then Hermione gets pealed off after they have made their special contribution to the effort so only Harry faces Voldemort.

In CoS, Hermione turns into a cat so only Harry and Ron talk to Draco, then Hermione is petrified so only Harry and Ron go to the Chamber. The rock fall separates Ron and Harry so only Harry faces Diary-Riddle.

In PoA Ron is cursed and only Harry and Hermione rescue Buckbeak and Sirius.

In GoF, Ron is separated at the start, but only Harry performs the tasks and is confronted by the fake Moody.

In OotP all three go to the ministry and all three have a good run, but Ron and Hermione get disabled. It is Neville that joins Harry in the fight, then Harry and Dumbledore face Voldemort.

HBP, too, is a little different; only Harry goes with Dumbledore and only Harry is on top of the tower.

Deathly Hallows is the only book where all three share some adventure scenes. All three enter the Ministry, but are quickly separated and Harry and Hermione confront Umbridge. Ron is separated for Godric's Hollow but all three go to Lovegood's and Malfoy Manor. All three raid Gringotts and go to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. They separate in Hogwarts and Ron and Hermione get to have an adventure by themselves, a return to the Chamber of Secrets, without Harry. All three go into the Room of Hidden Things but they separate again and only Harry finishes the adventure.

So, why does JKR seem to restrict most adventure scenes to only two of the trio? There even seems to be a balance of Harry/Ron and Harry/Hermione scenes. I think I can understand why only Harry confronts Voldemort, but why limit the participants in other adventure scenes? Is it easier to write?


Mrs. Sirius - Sep 16, 2008 8:40 am (#695 of 925)

So, why does JKR seem to restrict most adventure scenes to only two of the trio? There even seems to be a balance of Harry/Ron and Harry/Hermione scenes. I think I can understand why only Harry confronts Voldemort, but why limit the participants in other adventure scenes? Is it easier to write? Soul Search

No, I don’t believe it's because it is easier to write it that way. I have always loved that she does that too. The trio grows together they balance each other off. That doesn't mean however that they are the same, they have their own strengths. They get, I think equivalent time together, not equal. They each bring in different things, they mature and learn different thing and each can offer his or her own strengths that the others can then incorporate.

Hermione brings intelligence and planning and analytical skills, Ron brings humor and comfort within the wizarding world. In GoF Harry goes the library with Hermione, but he misses the fun he had with Ron. Ron and Hermione complement and "complete"" Harry.

I have triplets daughter, 2 of them are identical. They are not the same, even the identicals but they are so good together, each one brings a different contribution to the team.

This is part, I think of all the little things that she puts into her books that some people ask if it is planned or just a co-incidence. I say it is all well planned


mona amon - Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am (#696 of 925)

Yes, I also think that it's all well planned. Three's a crowd for some of the adventures, when two can easily do it. So Hermione is out of the action and in the hospital wing for the CoS adventure, but gets her turn in the end of the PoA adventure, with Ron out of action in the hospital wing this time.

Don't forget Hagrid was considered to be monstrous. (Mrs. Sirius)

I don't think he was considered monstrous until Rita Skeeter revealed that he was half-giant in GOF. It was easy for Tom Riddle to frame Hagrid for opening the Chamber of Secrets because of his monster fixation (he mentions something about him raising were-wolf cubs under his bed).


Quinn Crockett - Sep 16, 2008 11:50 am (#697 of 925)

Well, even McGonagall says in the prologue "Do you think it's wise to trust Hagrid with something so important?" And she says this who is someone who is at least casual friends with Hagrid; at least, they apparently have the occasional drink at the 3 Broomsticks together.


tandaradei - Sep 16, 2008 6:23 pm (#698 of 925)

...[cut]...Filch's face loomed suddenly out of the darkness.

Well, well, well, he whispered, "we are in trouble."...[cut]...

PS, Ch 14,"Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback," p. 241 US.

When Filch is happy, things are bad.

You know, I think Soul Search has something, about Jo often using any 2 of the trio, for much of her action. It reminds me of something Harry only occasionally notices -- how Ron & Hermione appear to have separate if associated missions sometimes: "Little did Harry know that Ron and Hermione had been secretly practicing the Leg-Locker Curse..." (p.222) I'm guessing, in Jo's mind, that since Harry was spending so much time practicing for Quidditch, well, what were the other two in the trio to do? Harry will get Ginny, but now it seems natural to me that Ron and Hermione would also work closely with each other exclusively, often, too.


Dryleaves - Sep 17, 2008 12:51 am (#699 of 925)

Well, even McGonagall says in the prologue "Do you think it's wise to trust Hagrid with something so important?" And she says this who is someone who is at least casual friends with Hagrid; at least, they apparently have the occasional drink at the 3 Broomsticks together. (Quinn)

But this does not necessarily have to be a sign that Hagrid is considered to be monstrous. It could just as well be a sign that she knows what he is like, that he sometimes is careless even if his intentions are good.


Soul Search - Sep 17, 2008 6:27 am (#700 of 925)

... how Ron & Hermione appear to have separate if associated missions sometimes: Little did Harry know that Ron and Hermione had been secretly practicing the Leg-Locker Curse..." (tandaradei)

Glad you brought that up. I think your citation is the first example but Ron and Hermione seem to have their heads together about Harry a lot. And, timing seems to be arranged so they can prepare for Harry. In GoF, OotP, and HBP when Harry arrives at the Burrow, Hermione is already there. Why? Doesn't she spend any time with her parents. OotP seems the most obvious for about Harry discussion. When Harry arrives, Ron and Hermione seem to have worked out what they are going to say, and they have had some coaching from Dumbledore.

Harry doesn't seem to catch on with these Ron/Hermione about Harry discussions. We will have to keep open for other occasions as we continue the series re-read. There might be some deeper significance.


Quinn Crockett - Sep 17, 2008 8:25 am (#701 of 925)

I just meant that Hagrid is viewed, even by those close to him, with something of a skeptical eye.


tandaradei - Sep 18, 2008 12:18 pm (#702 of 925)

I've gotten two new ideas from this chapter:

(1) There appears to be an interesting parallel between Draco here, sneaking around in this chapter trying to get the trio into trouble; and Snape sneaking around the Marauders in a previous generation, trying to get them into trouble. Snape got his fingers burned and apparently lost Lily over this; and Draco got caught by Professor McGonagall.

(2) Which brings me to a perhaps premature, Professor McGonagall Moment. I'm having some behind-the-scenes questions over how much she and Dumbledore discuss matters. First, over the Troll incident, she hands out 5 points, and I rather expect that through consultations with Dumbledore she rather quickly figured out what really happened; and now, soon, over the incident of HRH possibly tricking Draco into detention, she hands them 50 points! Once again, I'm of the feeling that afterwards, after consulting with Dumbledore and learning about Hagrid's indiscretions, she may now have thought she over-did that punishment. Now, in the next book, COS, she "punishes" Harry and Ron for their spectacular manner of arriving to the school ... and she hardly hands out any punishment! Is she making up, each time, for a former mis-balance of judgments?

I like observing her because of how she handles Harry in OotP, when, after Harry explains what Umbridge's opening lecture at the Sorting Hat ceremony was really about, how she so obviously knew that Harry's wisdom had come from Hermione. I'm thinking much of her wisdom in turn came from Dumbledore.

Perhaps the first chapter's usage of Professors McGonagall & Dumbledore discussing matters was made by Jo, to indicate a commonplace meeting between minds of such professors (but possibly separated from DD's & Snape’s?)...


Julia H. - Sep 18, 2008 12:50 pm (#703 of 925)

About separating HRH: The quarrels and injuries separating them probably give extra dynamism to the story because it might be boring it they were always the same unchanging team in seven books and it also gives the author the opportunity to highlight their different abilities, personalities or the different types of relationship existing between them (Harry - Ron, Harry - Hermione, Ron - Hermione) and it is easier to observe the development of these relationships over the years if there are conflicts, internal problems.

Another important function of this device is to separate Harry from everyone else whenever he is face to face with Voldemort. Harry is meant to get help from other people (Ron, Hermione and others) but he is also meant to finally confront Voldemort alone. Not only Ron and Hermione are removed (sooner or later) before these confrontations but DD as well.

McGonagall: It is hard to tell how much DD discusses with her but she seems to be his regular deputy: whenever DD is forced to leave, she will become a temporary headmistress.

House Points: There seem to be no rules at all to regulate how many points are to be given or taken in various situations. I don't see what DD could have told McGonagall after the troll incident that could have made her regret those five points she had awarded. At the beginning of CoS, the end of PS is very close yet, which may explain McGonagall's patience and special treatment, and she may also know that the Willow has already "punished" the boys. In the present incident, I wonder if DD or McGonagall know about the dragon. I guess when Malfoy mentions the dragon story, she may well suspect that it is true (she knows Hagrid) and perhaps she takes so many points to emphasize the opinion that the children wanted to trick each other, that it was their fault and that nothing else happened but a stupid student joke - to protect Hagrid, who would have to face far graver consequences than lost house points if it became known that he was (once again!) keeping a dangerous pet illegally.


tandaradei - Sep 18, 2008 3:19 pm (#704 of 925)

There seem to be no rules at all to regulate how many points are to be given or taken

Amen to that. House points kind of reminds me of Dudley's Smeltings stick -- basically a wicked "punisher" whose results depend solely upon its wielder (cf OotP).

Hmm. As to McGonagall, I was stunned by her light punishments/rewards in the Troll scene; then amazed by the amounts of her punishments soon to be meted out ... and it just makes me wonder what happened behind the scenes to facilitate these vacillations.


freshwater - Sep 18, 2008 6:24 pm (#705 of 925)

Re: the earning of only 5 points for defeating the troll: perhaps McGonagall wanted to reward them for their success while still making the point that THEY SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN IN THE SAME ROOM AS THE TROLL IN THE FIRST PLACE, for Merlin's sake! Giving them 50 points for knocking out a troll might have inspired other students (reckless Gryffindors or pragmatic Slytherins) to seek out other dangerous opportunities --Forbidden Forest, anyone?-- to earn lots of points for their house and so make a name for themselves.


Quinn Crockett - Sep 18, 2008 9:01 pm (#706 of 925)

That was my take as well, freshwater.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 19, 2008 3:34 am (#707 of 925)

I'll agree with freshwater as well. I also think she let Hermione off lightly then because she was an exemplary student and it was the first time Hermione had caused trouble by doing something dangerous. The second time around, I imagine McGonagall lost her cool.


Soul Search - Sep 19, 2008 12:58 pm (#708 of 925)

I never could see why Hermione lied about the troll. As it actually happened seemed a reasonable story. Hermione was in the bathroom and didn't know about the troll. The troll being in the dungeons, Ron and Harry thought it perfectly safe to go upstairs and tell Hermione about it and take her to Gryffindor tower.

Her lying and taking some responsibility for the rule breaking did, however, impress Harry and Ron and so helped cement her relationship with them.

Actually, I don't understand why everyone seemed to go in a panic. After all, the Great Room was filled with all the staff and hundreds of magical students. A troll wouldn't have a chance.

It is never mentioned that Hermione was crying in the bathroom in the first place because of Ron's insulting comments about her. Crying in a bathroom seemed a bit out of character for Hermione. I wonder if she was particularly affected by his insults because she was already sweet for Ron.


Julia H. - Sep 19, 2008 1:03 pm (#709 of 925)

I never could see why Hermione lied about the troll. As it actually happened seemed a reasonable story. Hermione was in the bathroom and didn't know about the troll. The troll being in the dungeons, Ron and Harry thought it perfectly safe to go upstairs and tell Hermione about it and take her to Gryffindor tower. (Soul Search)

That is how I see it, too. There was no need to lie at all. She may not have wanted to mention that she had been crying there (and the reason why) but I don't think any of the teachers would have asked her why she had gone into that bathroom.

BTW, how did that big troll get upstairs unnoticed?


Quinn Crockett - Sep 19, 2008 2:21 pm (#710 of 925)

Everyone was at dinner. Plus Quirrell may have used some sort of Disillusionment Charm on it.

Anyway, I never understood why they didn't make the students stay in the Great Hall while the teachers went off to deal with the troll. It would have been far safer for everyone. And I'm with Soul Search in not understanding why Hermione felt she needed to lie. The only thing I've ever been able to come up with was that, for some reason, she thought the boys were about to be in trouble so wanted to take the fall for them.

The whole exchange is just very strange and obviously just meant to get the Trio together.



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Fourteen Comments - posts #711 to #735

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:30 am



freshwater - Sep 19, 2008 5:08 pm (#711 of 925)

Well, if all the students had stayed in the Great Hall, and the troll had gotten in there, he could have killed/injured more at one time than if the students were in 4 different common rooms. Since the troll was supposed to be in the dungeons the staff thought there would be time for all students to get to a safer area.

As to Hermione lying, I think she was trying to cover up that 1) she was in the bathroom crying instead of at the feast with ALL the other students, and 2) Harry and Ron had left their house --in route to safety-- without permission, to find her. I always thought she was trying to keep Harry and Ron out of trouble, in gratitude for their finding/rescuing her.


Julia H. - Sep 20, 2008 12:40 am (#712 of 925)

Harry and Ron had left their house --in route to safety-- without permission, to find her. I always thought she was trying to keep Harry and Ron out of trouble, in gratitude for their finding/rescuing her. (Freshwater)

Of course. That is even true, they left the others to find her and to warn her and to take her to safety. They did not expect to meet the troll there. But I still don't see why it was necessary to say she had been looking for the troll. You can go to a bathroom for totally innocent reasons.


freshwater - Sep 20, 2008 7:18 am (#713 of 925)

You can go to a bathroom for totally innocent reasons.--Julia

True...but not when every other student in the castle is supposed to be heading upstairs for safety during a troll invasion....unless she wanted to admit to being in the bathroom during the feast, which might lead to other sticky questions: "Why weren't you at the feast, Miss Granger?", etc.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 20, 2008 9:10 am (#714 of 925)

I have to agree that Hermione was trying to keep Ron and Harry out of trouble. What they should have done was told a Prefect where she was. So Hermione made it seem like they had no time to do the smart thing, and distracted the teachers by making it look like the dangerous situation was all the model student's fault.


Quinn Crockett - Sep 20, 2008 12:08 pm (#715 of 925)

I still think they should have just told the truth. I mean, since when is it required to attend a feast? Why would it not be okay for Hermione to be in the bathroom? Maybe she wasn't feeling well... Don't get me wrong. It's a fun section of the book and definitely necessary to bring the Trio together, but it really does completely fall apart under the slightest scrutiny.

But basically Hermione is taking charge of the relationship by extending the olive branch here. She leaps in with her totally ridiculous story and does two things: lies (gasp!) and also deflects any imminent blame from the boys. The plan works. The boys feel they have misjudged her (they have) and that she is actually quite a handy person to have around in a crisis.


Orion - Sep 20, 2008 12:41 pm (#716 of 925)

Hermione does something which will make her appear in a good light with Ron and Harry. She feels that she has to leave her corner and enter their sphere (of adventure, lying and rule-breaking). That is successful. Hermione doesn't act according to her personality, which is a bad thing because everybody has the right to have a certain personality, but also a good thing because this act allows her to stretch out and see a bit more of the world.


Solitaire - Sep 20, 2008 1:59 pm (#717 of 925)

Sorry to be so behindhand on this, but it's been a busy week.

I also think she let Hermione off lightly then because she was an exemplary student and it was the first time Hermione had caused trouble by doing something dangerous. Then again, perhaps she knew that there had been a problem between the boys and Hermione earlier that day (kids do talk--often indiscreetly--and teachers do overhear what they say). She may have been rewarding the boys' willingness to save their friend, even though it was their fault she was crying in the bathroom in the first place. Still, they'd put themselves into danger, and she wouldn't want to encourage that too much. Perhaps the 5-points only deduction was to let Hermione know she realized that she was fibbing about some aspect of the situation. While she would not have wanted to encourage lying, she probably recognized Hermione's attempt to keep the boys from being blamed as a sign that she was making a gesture of friendship.

Teachers see lonely kids in classes and around school, and we worry about them. Those who are not too bright or discerning often fall in with a bad crowd. Those who are "too smart for their own good" (not really, but you know what I mean) are often shunned by the "mainstream" kids and become depressed and lonely. In McGonagall's shoes, I'd have worried about Hermione. It's my guess that she was a lot like Snape in some ways when he was her age. She was smart, but she had not yet developed the social skills (and wisdom) to impart her intellect properly among her peers. Even though she was fibbing, she was not doing it to hurt anyone. I'd have seen it as a sign that she was attempting to reach out to someone, so I might have made her punishment less severe. JM2K ... (BTW, I agree that it was dumb to lie about the Troll. She could have just said she'd slipped out to go to the bathroom before Prof. Quirrell came in, and Ron and Harry knew she didn't know about it, so they came to get her.)

Hermione made it seem like they had no time to do the smart thing

At this age, they are not really into "the smart thing," are they? Remember McGonagall's question to Harry after the Flying Anglia incident, when Ron is explaining why they "had no choice, Professor, we couldn't get on the train."

Why didn't you send us a letter by owl? I believe YOU have an owl? Professor McGonagall said coldly to Harry.

Harry gaped at her. Now she said it, that seemed the obvious thing to have done.

And this was a year after the Troll incident!

Okay, I see others have said something similar. (I answer as I go. )

Solitaire


Julia H. - Sep 21, 2008 1:32 am (#718 of 925)

Very well said, Solitaire! I totally agree with everything in your post.


tandaradei - Sep 21, 2008 7:50 am (#719 of 925)

Here's another take. If McGonagall was a Legilimens, she'd know by merely looking into Hermione that she simply hadn't even been aware of the troll until it was too late for her in the bathroom. And it wouldn't take Legilimency to become quickly aware that Hermione was lying. Now, what should a teacher do?

I'm thinking McGonagall's interests here were in solidifying friendships, based on what she pieced together at that moment. (Hey, lets not forget we are not in this chapter, but almost into another chapter where McGonagall really lays the law down hard on everyone!)


freshwater - Sep 21, 2008 8:39 am (#720 of 925)

Interesting point about McG and Legilimency, T.

Not to be critical or anything...but I think we've all read between the lines quite a bit on the 'why did Hermione lie? and why did McGonagall give only 5 points?" questions. I love discussion and speculation and creative thinking...but I also like to keep things somewhat grounded in the available information.


Soul Search - Sep 21, 2008 8:57 am (#721 of 925)

But basically Hermione is taking charge of the relationship by extending the olive branch here. She leaps in with her totally ridiculous story and does two things: lies (gasp!) and also deflects any imminent blame from the boys. The plan works. The boys feel they have misjudged her (they have) and that she is actually quite a handy person to have around in a crisis. (Quinn Crockett)

I like what Quinn Crockett is suggesting here. Hermione did not lie about looking for the troll for McGonagall, BUT FOR RON AND HARRY!

Let's go back a bit. On the train to Hogwarts Hermione visits Ron's and Harry's compartment TWICE. The second time for the lame reason of looking for Trevor. She is obviously interested in famous Harry Potter, and maybe interested in Ron too. They have classes together and she does well, perhaps, in part, trying to show Ron and Harry that "she is actually quite a handy person to have around ... ."

They have an "adventure" and she saves them from Filch by unlocking the door, although it leads to Fluffy.

Now, she and Ron are partnered and she, again, demonstrates her magical skill but it backfires when Ron, frustrated perhaps with his own failure, insults Hermione. That is why she was crying in the bathroom: for all her trying she can't get close to the boys. And Ron, who she most wants to impress, actually insults her.

But then, wonder of wonders, the boys come to save her. They are interested! They care about her! And it is RON who actually saves her, by knocking out the troll, and with the very spell he couldn't do in class.

But, if the boys get punished it will spoil everything. So, by making them out to be heroes she saves them punishment, Gryffindor actually wins some points, and she finally impresses the boys with her lying and rule breaking. A perfect end to the day.

Hermione accomplishes her goal of getting close to the boys. The trio is finally together.

Was Hermione that clever? I think so.

Now the whole sequence makes sense. Hermione's lie wasn't lame and wasn't out of character. It was very clever indeed. JKR is amazing.


Dryleaves - Sep 21, 2008 9:59 am (#722 of 925)

I have wondered about Hermione's lie too. I think your explanation makes sense, Soul Search.


freshwater - Sep 21, 2008 11:23 am (#723 of 925)

I like Quinn C.'s explanation very much...it's a great characterization of events. However, since we are speaking of 11 year old kids, I don't think there was a lot of conscious pre-planning involved....more like kids re-acting to and taking advantage of the moment.


freshwater - Sep 21, 2008 12:32 pm (#724 of 925)

So, I was paging through PS/SS looking for a quote to use as a hangman puzzle on the Potty Games thread, when I suddenly "saw" a couple of phrases with new eyes:

p. 118, Scholastic paperback ed.: "So we've just got to try on the hat!" Ron whispered to Harry. "I'll kill Fred, he was going on about wrestling a troll."

Was this JKR's first foreshadowing of Fred's death in DH? And, of course, battling a troll is an event that will occur soon in this same book.

p. 124, Scholastic paperback ed.: "How did he get covered in blood?" asked Seamus with great interest. "I've never asked," said Nearly Headless Nick delicately.

We get the clear impression that not only does no one knows how the Bloody Baron got covered in blood, but also that we are not likely to find out. It seems that --as we waited for the next book, and the next...-- most fans failed to credit the Bloody Baron with having any real significant role in the series. But how he became covered in blood, and why he still haunts the castle, are both intricately interwoven into finding the last of LV's horcruxes in DH.

Such tiny details, placed so early in the story.....**bows down before the genius of JKR**


PeskyPixie - Sep 21, 2008 2:05 pm (#725 of 925)

I have had to get caught up on a lot of posts, so please, bear with me.

Regarding Snape's spitting after refereeing the Quidditch match, I agree that maybe JKR hadn't worked out the details of this character when she wrote the first book, but perhaps it's Snape's roots coming through in a stressful moment? We know that he tailored himself as he grew up, but that doesn't mean that old habits can't show themselves during moments of stress.

I do still have a hard time believing that Dumbledore would allow Quirrell to stay in the school if he knew that the back of his head was playing host to Voldemort, because of how Dumbledore reacted when Voldemort had come to apply for the DADA position. I don't think he knew that Voldemort was in Quirrell. -Mrs Brisbee

Agreed. He probably suspects Quirrell of fishy business, and he knows that some servants of Voldy are nearly as deadly as their master. Thus, even if he wants Harry to take on Quirrell to get a taste of what the Dark side is like, he knows that at some point he needs to save Harry. But I liked what the rest of you said about this point.

I wonder about Snape's tattoo though. As Voldy returns to a rudimentary body (GoF) his Dark Mark returns "stronger and clearer than before." Well, Sev, "before" what? Does the tattoo slightly tickle each time Voldy attempts a comeback?

Snape's character ... is a masterful blend of greatness and pettiness. -mona amon

Well put. No wonder his thread is always active.

Whenever Harry passes Quirrell he gives him an encouraging smile. Little does he know that he should give the smile to Snape instead ... -Dryleaves

LOL, Imagine what Snape's reaction would have been.

As much as I love Hagrid he is no way a responsible adult, and I don't blame his giant background for it either. He's a great guy, a great buddy, but not responsible adult material. As I've said before, I'd rather take my chances with Snape (he'd curse me out for stupidity but at least I'd get to go home in one piece. ).

Hermione's post-troll lie bugs me as well. The only thing I can put it off as is that although she is extremely bright she is still a child and in the stress of the situation she does not fully comprehend that neither she nor the boys need to get into trouble. "Professor, I haven't been feeling too well today. I was in the loo when that dirty great troll came in. Harry and Ron heard my scream and came running in. I would have been dead if it weren't for them." End of story, olive branch extended, pumpkin juice all around.

Snape gets bitten. I thought he was brighter than that.

LOL, I had forgotten which chapter we are on!

ETA: "We get the clear impression that not only does no one knows how the Bloody Baron got covered in blood, but also that we are not likely to find out. It seems that --as we waited for the next book, and the next...-- most fans failed to credit the Bloody Baron with having any real significant role in the series. But how he became covered in blood, and why he still haunts the castle, are both intricately interwoven into finding the last of LV's horcruxes in DH." -freshwater

Incredible, isn't it?


Quinn Crockett - Sep 21, 2008 6:58 pm (#726 of 925)

I don't think Hermione really "planned" to lie, etc. But she saw an opportunity to - in her mind - put things right between herself and the boys and she took it. That's all.

I agree that the bit about the Bloody Baron is quite genius. I think we get another sort of hint - though I don't really think it's entirely intentional on the author's part - when Harry figures out that Myrtle can tell him who had opened the Chamber of Secrets. "We want to ask you how you died."


Dryleaves - Sep 22, 2008 12:27 am (#727 of 925)

Such tiny details, placed so early in the story..... (Freshwater)

I agree. When I reread the series I was often struck by this, how small details that would have great importance in later books, were in fact mentioned very early on.

...perhaps it's Snape's roots coming through in a stressful moment? We know that he tailored himself as he grew up, but that doesn't mean that old habits can't show themselves during moments of stress. (Pesky)

I have been thinking this too. Sometimes I like to think that his "Having fun?" when he finds Harry in the pensieve is pronounced with a northern accent...


Julia H. - Sep 22, 2008 12:47 am (#728 of 925)

Readers have said Snape's "What the - ?" half-sentence when Trelawney screams in OotP is also a sign of his "roots coming through in a stressful moment".


Mrs. Sirius - Sep 22, 2008 9:31 pm (#729 of 925)

Such tiny details, placed so early in the story.....**bows down before the genius of JKR** freshwater

Yes, freshwater. My sentiments exactly. And she sprinkles these gems throughout the series starting right in the first chapter mentioning Sirius not coming till book 3 and this not coming till book seven. **bows...bows...bows**


tandaradei - Sep 23, 2008 5:11 pm (#730 of 925)

Chapter 15 anyone?


Soul Search - Sep 23, 2008 5:47 pm (#731 of 925)

Go for it. I'm ready.


freshwater - Sep 23, 2008 8:01 pm (#732 of 925)

In Wisconsin we say, "Forward!" **sorry, couldn't resist: it's the state motto...**


tandaradei - Sep 24, 2008 2:11 pm (#733 of 925)

Erm, my copy is at home & I'll be too busy this evening (anniversary & all). Someone else needs to provide some synopsis, hehe.


Mrs. Sirius - Sep 25, 2008 7:30 am (#734 of 925)

...wait, wait, I think I said I would lead on these last 3 chapters??:-0


freshwater - Sep 25, 2008 6:10 pm (#735 of 925)

That's fine if you want to, Mrs. Sirius. If not, I'll do ch. 15 on Friday evening.



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Fifteen Notes/Summary - post #736

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:32 am



Mrs. Sirius - Sep 26, 2008 7:48 am (#736 of 925)

Chapter Fifteen - The Forbidden Forest

In trouble again. Forgetting the invisibility cloak, I think that just shows that they are children, just children.

Harry has gotten his friend in trouble inadvertently, first of more times?

Neville actually saves them, by saying he overheard Malfoy say the preposterous story, doesn’t he? Like in DH when things look really bad for Harry right at the end, Neville’s actions help Harry.

Somehow I had missed that the hourglass recording the house points was introduced in PS/SS. I often wondered how they kept track. (I’ve read the books how many times?) I like how JK has these direct parallels at the end of this book and the DH and the other books. Despite rebukes and scorn Ron sticks by his friend, even if he was separated from him temporarily.

It is a side note from the story, more of a reality thing, but is it fair that winning at Quidditch should have such high value?

Malfoy is afraid at the end of PS/SS as he is in DH.

I like Draco’s allusion to “servants”, also time and again in this chapter Draco shows us theme first self preservation and run to come back another day Slytherin trait.

In the previous chapter we hear Quirrell saying “no not again”, he Hagrid says, “it must have been staggering since last night so not much time has passed since getting rid of Norbert and getting into trouble and Hagrid’s finding the evidence.

Ronan remarks “always the innocent are the first victims” right after being introduced to Harry Potter. Hagrid completely discounts Ronan’s remarks. However, the Potter name apparently got around the forest quick.

While we see Malfoy showing cowardice and fear and then total retreat, when Neville detects trouble, terrified as he is, he correctly sends a sign for help, he doesn’t run.

I love Harry putting his hand up to stop Malfoy when he detects something, the unicorn. Protect even the enemy

The confrontation of Firenze verses Ronan and Bane is the crux of this saga. What has been -foretold- verse our ability to change the future by making -choices- of what we perceive to be the future. This is not only how we live our lives day to day but our relationships to religion, what religion can sometimes say -must- and our ability to take that and still use our free will to interpret and live out our lives. (I hope this s clear I am rushing)

This chapter has a heavy does of the foreshadowing the jinxing the name “Voldemort”

You just have to love Hermione’s staunch position on logic, she wholeheartedly rejects fortune-telling, destiny, she is all about choices. JKR in an interview yesterday say Hermione willfully 'can't hear anything" behind the vial.

“Just in case”” what? Dumbledore says Harry is watched close than he knows” does DD know or suspect what happened in the forest already? I still wonder.



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Series Read-Along - Page 2 Empty Series Read-Along - HP and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Fifteen Comments - posts #737 to #765

Post  Potteraholic on Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:29 pm



Quinn Crockett - Sep 26, 2008 1:08 pm (#737 of 925)

… is it fair that winning at Quidditch should have such high value?

This may be an unpopular view, but I think it is. By this point, we know that Quidditch is the most popular sport in the Wizarding World. And Quidditch is a team sport, which means the players must work together to be successful. In this case, they are also representing their House, which means that, even though only a few members of a particular House are actually on the pitch, the entire House can actually rally their support.

But more simply, it's also just a way to make Quidditch have any value from a competition standpoint. Normally competitive sports are played between schools. But as Hogwarts is the only school in Britain, this concept has been modified to an inter-House level.

… when Neville detects trouble, terrified as he is, he correctly sends a sign for help, he doesn’t run.

A very astute observation. I certainly hadn't thought about that before. Nice work!

I wonder now whether "just in case" referred to Voldemort's eventual re-appearance. At least, Dumbledore might have been thinking that at the time.


tandaradei - Sep 26, 2008 1:18 pm (#738 of 925)

Harry has gotten his friend in trouble inadvertently, first of more times?

Many.

Perhaps "look before you leap" comes with age and burnt fingers! Harry and Hermione especially should have looked, listened & grabbed the cloak before leaving. Their impossible task went well, so maybe they thought such luck would continue. The impetuosity of children.

Yet sometimes Harry's impetuosity IMO saves the day, as in how he improvised their escape (in DH) at the Malfoy mansion, or released a dragon in Gringotts, so "solve a problem." Sometimes audacity levels playing fields, so to speak; and can be seen as good and helpful.

But impetuous leaps, though possibly seen in the moral mind as sacrificially acceptable, become less so when other lives are at stake. I wonder if Harry solved this tendency of his in the final battle; after he came back from King's Cross, up to when he confronted Voldemort, I rather think he appeared calm, steadied and "non-impetuous."


Julia H. - Sep 26, 2008 1:43 pm (#739 of 925)

I find it interesting that while students must not wander at night and must not go into the Forest at all, these things are exactly what they have to do as detention.

Detention: doing some work for Hagrid in the Forest. How frightening it seems now to them! How relieved Harry will be in DH when he hears that his friends' punishment was nothing else but doing some work for Hagrid in the Forest!

Malfoy mentions "copying lines" as (light) punishment. Hagrid dismisses the idea as useless. Umbridge will have the students "copy lines" later. It will not be light at all.

The unicorn: Five Worders know that there is a connection between the death of the unicorn here and Snape's death at the end of DH.


Orion - Sep 26, 2008 1:57 pm (#740 of 925)

Can somebody explain to me who or what is the hooded figure who comes gliding towards Harry in the forest? It's not Quirrell, because he can't fly. (The figure is described as gliding over the ground.) It's not Voldie, because he doesn't have a body. (In the basement when he tries to steal the stone he still lives in Quirrell’s head.) So who is it then? It has probably been explained before, but it's not possible to go to the Lex or Search.


Quinn Crockett - Sep 26, 2008 2:06 pm (#741 of 925)

It is Quirrell, being possess by Voldemort. I don't recall it ever saying it right out, though. I think we sort of have to put two and two together based on what Quirrell reveals to Harry during the big "how I did it" speech and also what Voldemort himself says about it during his "How I did it" speech in GF.


Mrs. Sirius - Sep 26, 2008 2:06 pm (#742 of 925)

I always thought that it was Quirrell. He was gliding over the ground in some transformed state, perhaps Animagus, a snake.


Orion - Sep 26, 2008 2:27 pm (#743 of 925)

Voldie must have transferred some of his magical abilities to his host body, then, because Quirrell isn't described as an exceptional able wizard.


Julia H. - Sep 26, 2008 2:34 pm (#744 of 925)

Yes, Voldemort tells Harry that it was Quirrell that Harry saw drinking unicorn blood in the forest. Gliding over the ground: Maybe it is some temporary effect of the unicorn blood. Or Quirrell can do it now with some help from Voldemort (?). The Animagus form is a good idea too; we don't exactly see his face, do we? Quirrell may well have skills that others (including the readers) don't know about.

EDIT: Cross-posted with Orion!

Quirrell is not described as an exceptionally able wizard but he is not quite as harmless or silly as he pretends to be for most of the book. Then again, if Voldy can punish him somehow, then he may be able to help him with his skills as well.


Soul Search - Sep 26, 2008 5:02 pm (#745 of 925)

This is a momentous chapter ... we meet Voldemort. Sort of. Like previous comments I have never been sure exactly what Harry did meet.

Did Harry ever tell Neville that they really did have a dragon? Neville was "stunned and hurt" when McGonagall suggested it was all a hoax just to get Draco in trouble. Once again, Neville showed he was a true Gryffindor, trying to warn Harry.

Remember, Norbert is really Norberta. That's a flashback all the way from Deathly Hallows to PS/SS.

I have always wondered what was so dangerous about wandering the castle at night. What, did ghosts and ghoulies wander around waiting to nab students? I think it was just a way to keep kids in their beds at night.

Draco shows his true self; an abject coward.

Hagrid says: "This is the second time in a week. I found one dead last Wednesday." So, Voldemort needs a lot of unicorn blood to keep in the back of Quirrell's head.

I have always been interested in the Centaur foretelling. Bane says: "Remember Firenze, we are sworn not to set ourselves against the heavens. Have we not read what is to come in the movements of the planets?" We get more here and there. It seems JKR was giving us hints of the future storyline, just not enough to predict details. Looking back, Bane must have meant that Voldemort would return, there would be a war, and Harry was to die. Later, Harry says to Ron and Hermione "They (the stars) must show that Voldemort's coming back. ... Bane thinks Firenze should have let Voldemort kill me ... I suppose that's written in the stars as well." EXACTLY!

The centaurs enter the fray in Deathly Hallows after Harry returns from King's Cross. Apparently, doing so is not "against the heavens" anymore.

Firenze does tell Harry about unicorn blood, Voldemort, and the Stone. All crucial pieces to the storyline.

Dumbledore returns Harry's cloak "Just in case." Harry sure is careless with a Deathly Hallow.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 26, 2008 5:31 pm (#746 of 925)

Dumbledore returns Harry's cloak "Just in case." Harry sure is careless with a Deathly Hallow.

Of course, Dumbledore is the only one who knows it is a Hallow.

That makes twice he's given it back to its rightful owner. The first note was "Use it well". This time, it's "Just in case". I think perhaps there is some feelings of guilt there, for not giving the cloak back to James in a timely fashion. We see the guilt in DH, in Dumbledore's King's Cross appearance. Even though the Cloak probably would not have helped James and Lily survive, Dumbledore at the time he decided to keep the Cloak didn't know that, and he placed his desire above their safety. Now, Dumbledore won't make the same mistake, and makes sure that Harry has the Cloak, "Just in case".

Interesting discussion about House points. I realize that in many ways the points given and taken are completely arbitrary, but I think on a metaphorical level they have meaning. Here Draco loses Slytherin 20 points, and in the end it could just as well be counted as the margin of victory or defeat as any of the Gryffindor gains or losses. Throughout the series, one Malfoy or another will be doing something that metaphorically loses their side points, and ultimately helps cost their side the game.


freshwater - Sep 26, 2008 7:03 pm (#747 of 925)

But impetuous leaps, though possibly seen in the moral mind as sacrificially acceptable, become less so when other lives are at stake. I wonder if Harry solved this tendency of his in the final battle; after he came back from King's Cross, up to when he confronted Voldemort, I rather think he appeared calm, steadied and "non-impetuous."--tandaradei

Excellent points about Harry's impetuous behaviors rescuing them from dangers. What were DD's last words to Remus, et al? (something like) "Trust Harry...his judgment is nearly always right." In his younger years Harry often acts/reacts on instinct....to the benefit of all. In DH Harry still relies on his instincts, although he struggles internally with choices: should he follow DD's advice/guidance....or should he trust his own inclinations....or should he try to reach consensus w/Ron & Hermione....or....? The choices are now both more important and more difficult. After the death of Sirius at the Dept. of Mysteries, Harry has learned that trusting instinct alone is dangerous. In DH he collects a lot of data from a variety of people: Ollivander, Hermione (& Beetle the Bard), the goblin, Rita Skeeter, Xeno Lovegood, Remus and Bill, etc.--and sifts through it to reach a point of informed decision-making that incorporates his instinct/judgment.


Solitaire - Sep 26, 2008 8:11 pm (#748 of 925)

I find it interesting that while students must not wander at night and must not go into the Forest at all, these things are exactly what they have to do as detention.

LOL That has always kind of amused me, too.

Trust Harry...his judgment is nearly always right.

You know, Choices, I was really surprised at how easily McGonagall seemed to accept what Harry said when the Trio returned to Hogwarts in DH. I figured he would wind up getting into more hot water, because McGonagall and the other adults would try and restrain him from doing what he had to do ... and yet she didn't buck him at all. It makes me wonder if Dumbledore had given her some sort of "heads up" in the event of his death. Or perhaps his portrait filled her in on Harry's suspected course of action in the coming months before Snape was officially installed as Head--letting her know that Harry would eventually arrive at Hogwarts seeking something necessary to Voldy's defeat. She certainly seemed to accept what he said about Voldemort being on his way to Hogwarts, needing to find the diadem, etc. Minerva is neither green nor helpless ... once she has discussed what is coming with Harry (whose information she does not question at all), she gets on with the business of prepping for battle. But she seemed to look to him for some confirmation about things. I found it surprising. Sorry ... I didn't mean to veer off course.

Solitaire


rcs - Sep 27, 2008 12:55 am (#749 of 925)

It makes me wonder if Dumbledore had given her some sort of "heads up" in the event of his death. Or perhaps his portrait filled her in on Harry's suspected course of action in the coming months before Snape was officially installed as Head--letting her know that Harry would eventually arrive at Hogwarts seeking something necessary to Voldy's defeat. --Solitaire

Except that DD never knew there was a Horcrux at Hogwarts. I think that's fairly well established in canon.


Soul Search - Sep 27, 2008 6:08 am (#750 of 925)

Except that DD never knew there was a Horcrux at Hogwarts. I think that's fairly well established in canon. (rcs)

He didn't know, but we have also seen how Dumbledore hesitated to say anything unless he was absolutely sure. He had to have known about the missing tiara, that is, that it was a Ravenclaw object that had been missing for a long time and he did show Harry the pensieve memory where Voldemort visited him. There was no horcrux information in that memory and the true reason for Voldemort's return to Hogwarts was obscure. They even discussed it. Did Dumbledore suspect? I think he must have.


tandaradei - Sep 27, 2008 7:17 am (#751 of 925)

Dumbledore was certainly curious as to why Voldemort came to him asking for a job (Pensieve memory, HBP). I think DD all the time suspected Voldemort had come back to Hogwarts for ulterior reasons, but could not nail down the reason.


Mrs. Sirius - Sep 27, 2008 7:41 am (#752 of 925)

She certainly seemed to accept what he said about Voldemort being on his way to Hogwarts Solitaire

Don't forget Soli, by this time it is evident to all that the "war" is on, the Ministry has fallen. It is a mere question of which battle is being fought, the attack at the Weasley's? The attack on Gringotts? An attack at Hogwarts is inevitable. In her exchange with Amycus she knows the battle is on, this is it. When he spits at her (all the little moments JK builds in I love so much) Harry instantly appears to her defense... no questions, just defends her honor. There is a point in battle when you need to act not question, this was it.

Harry had once before come to McGonagall with a fantastic tale, OoTP attack on Mr. Weasley, she took a second of thought then accepted Harry's story without question and acted. McGonagall is a battle ready soldier


Swedish Short-Snout - Sep 27, 2008 8:02 am (#753 of 925)

Harry had once before come to McGonagall with a fantastic tale, OoTP attack on Mr. Weasley, she took a second of thought then accepted Harry's story without question - Mrs Sirius

And before that, he had come to her with a fantastic tale that she didn't believe - that someone was about to steal the Philosopher's Stone. McGonagall learns from her mistakes.


freshwater - Sep 27, 2008 8:21 am (#754 of 925)

True...McGonagall learns from experience: 1)she didn't believe Harry about the danger to the SS, but it turned out to be true, 2)Harry insisted Arthur Weasley had been attacked --hundreds of miles away-- and it proves to be true, 3) Amycus has just told her that LV was summoned via the Dark Mark, so....when Harry claims that LV is on his way, she has many good reasons to believe him.

I also think DD must have advised her to assist Harry in whatever he asks, even though he likely did not mention horcruxes at all, much less one hidden in Hogwarts.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 27, 2008 10:24 am (#755 of 925)

And before that, he had come to her with a fantastic tale that she didn't believe - that someone was about to steal the Philosopher's Stone. McGonagall learns from her mistakes.-- Swedish Short-Snout

An excellent observation about McGonagall, and one that makes me feel a whole lot better about her character, since it goes to prove she is quite capable of assessing when to trust if she is given a proper foundation (conversely, now I feel even more bitter towards Dumbledore's and Snape's treatment of her in HBP and DH ).


tandaradei - Sep 27, 2008 2:09 pm (#756 of 925)

Here's another Neville Moment, and playing with one of my thematic asides that I'm trying to keep up with. Anyway, Neville here has once again preceded Harry, in this scene by being caught by McGonagall first in the night, and also first here in presenting a situation as the truth, but which is then misread by all important characters (Neville's "its a dragon" stuff); which situation reminds me of how Neville spent serious time early in OotP analyzing his dreams, which Harry once again was late in doing seriously; and which once again portrayed something as a truth which no one important catches on to.

I like this: Harry knew what it must have cost [Neville] to try to find them in the dark, to warn them. (p. 243) On his own and without backup, Neville is now trying to "do the right thing," like Harry. With the visit to St. Mungo’s and his fight with Draco, Crabbe and Goyle now behind him ... Neville now sets out on his own to do things even in the magical world that stand out as "doing the right thing." The Hat knew this resource was within Neville, and DD will eventually reward him for it.
Edited TO ADD: I know movies aren't canon, but even canon implies that Neville's bed is close to Ron's and Harry's; and I'd bet over time Neville overheard Ron and Harry commiserating about many things; and developed ideas from all that.


Quinn Crockett - Sep 27, 2008 4:22 pm (#757 of 925)

I think the set design and decoration of the films does come largely from JKR directly. The Art Department (on the dvd's) often talk about "Jo's sketches" and other information she has given them to help them recreate her vision.

Good catch, tandaradei, about Neville here. He does have a very clear arc in this episode of the saga, but it's very much in the background.


mona amon - Sep 28, 2008 6:18 am (#758 of 925)

The confrontation of Firenze verses Ronan and Bane is the crux of this saga. What has been -foretold- verse our ability to change the future by making -choices- of what we perceive to be the future. This is not only how we live our lives day to day but our relationships to religion, what religion can sometimes say -must- and our ability to take that and still use our free will to interpret and live out our lives. (Mrs. Sirius)

Well put, Mrs. S. The centaurs seem to be fatalists, and Firenze is the 'Dobby' of his species, the weirdo who feels that some attempt should be made to thwart evil, no matter what the stars foretell. Which probably means that, like Hermione, McGonagall and Dumbledore, he feels that fortune-telling is a very imprecise science.

Good luck, Harry Potter,' said Firenze. 'The planets have been read wrongly before, even by the centaurs. I hope this is one of those times.- So Bane and the other centaurs seem to have read Harry's defeat in the stars.

… that there is a connection between the death of the unicorn here and Snape's death at the end of DH. (Julia)

Julia, what is the connection?

conversely, now I feel even more bitter towards Dumbledore's and Snape's treatment of her in HBP and DH. (Mrs. Brisbee)

I don't know about Dumbledore, but Snape's situation is a bit complicated. I do feel sometimes that it would have been a good idea to take Minerva into his confidence. The question is, would she have believed him the way she believed Harry? He killed Dumbledore after all.


legolas returns - Sep 28, 2008 7:40 am (#759 of 925)

I think that there is a difference between Harry and Snape’s believability. Minerva told Harry to go in DH until he uttered the magic words "Dumbledores orders" and then she did everything in her power to help him. I cant see Snape using that line in deathly Hallows after Dumbledores "murder". She was one of the Snape doubters in previous years.

I wonder how much can be told in the stars? Did Centaurs see Harry’s death but not when and how? Just wondering because the centaurs set themselves against the stars after Harry had died. They joined in near the end of the battle. Previously they keep on banging on about Mars being bright and war coming and how they should not go against what was foretold.


Julia H. - Sep 28, 2008 8:23 am (#760 of 925)

Julia, what is the connection? (Mona)

Mona, it seems that you missed that particular story on Five Words in which we were trying to decide what shape Snape's Patronus might have taken before Lily's death. Then it came up (I suggested it ) that towards the end of the first book (not long before Harry's confrontation with Voldemort) a Unicorn dies, bleeding to death, killed by Voldemort simply because Voldemort wants to gain greater power by the Unicorn's death. Towards the end of the seventh book (not long before Harry's confrontation with Voldemort) Snape dies, bleeding to death, killed by Voldemort simply because Voldemort wants to gain greater power by his death. (In both cases, Voldemort fails.) The connection is the similarity: Snape's death is quite similar to the Unicorn's.

I don't know about Dumbledore, but Snape's situation is a bit complicated. I do feel sometimes that it would have been a good idea to take Minerva into his confidence. The question is, would she have believed him the way she believed Harry? (Mona)

I cant see Snape using that line in deathly Hallows after Dumbledores "murder". (Legolas)

I agree. I think while Snape was just a spy, it was simply not his business to decide to confide his secrets to anyone or not. He had to keep all his secrets unless he was told (or permitted) to do otherwise. Immediately after Dumbledore's death, it would have been very difficult for him to explain the truth to anyone even if there had been a possibility to explain. But there was no such possibility because the DE's were in the castle, he had to take charge among them and drive them out of the castle before any further harm was done. At the same time, I think Snape still felt he was DD's spy and still acted as he would have had to act if DD had been alive. Later, when he was the Hogwarts Headmaster appointed by the enemy, he was probably too isolated, entrapped in secrets and lies, and far too mistrusted to try to tell the truth to McGonagall. He seemed to be trying to do something like that when Harry was in the castle but it was far too late then.

I don't know if I agree with the idea but (I think) Hermione says in DH that Regulus did not tell anyone, not even Kreacher, what he was going to do because he wanted to protect his family by not letting them know about Voldemort's secret. It seems to me that this is not just Hermione's thought but something that JKR wants to convey to us. Along the same lines perhaps DD and Snape may have thought that they might perhaps protect people (as well as the plan, obviously) by not telling them dangerous secrets, such as Snape's real job. (DD apparently thought Snape would manage to do his tasks alone and Snape did all he could to live up to DD's expectations.)


freshwater - Sep 28, 2008 8:58 am (#761 of 925)

Thanks for explaining the similarity between the deaths of Severus and the unicorn in book 1...I'd forgotten that.

I remain curious about the centaurs...did they foresee Harry's death at the hands of LV?....or just the terror and conquering of the Ministry by LV? And why did they decide to join the battle of Hogwarts after seeing Harry 'dead' in Hagrid's arms....did they then feel that the foretold events had come about and they were no longer in danger of disrupting them? Fatalists, indeed.


mona amon - Sep 28, 2008 9:47 am (#762 of 925)

Interesting about the unicorn, Julia. Another interesting aspect of it is that, although Voldemort does not know it, Severus is hardly as innocent as the unicorn. He is working to harm Voldemort, betraying him, thwarting him and doing everything in his power to bring him down.

---------

Drinking the blood of a unicorn seems to be a sort of Faustian pact- Selling your soul to get some earthly benefit. This particular corruption of Voldemort's soul is never mentioned again. The later books concentrate on the Horcruxes.

'That is because it is a monstrous thing to slay a unicorn,' said Firenze...

I wonder if Jo was thinking of To Kill A Mockingbird.


Quinn Crockett - Sep 28, 2008 10:04 am (#763 of 925)

The question is, would she have believed him the way she believed Harry? He killed Dumbledore after all. - He could always have showed her the memories, as he did Harry.


legolas returns - Sep 28, 2008 10:07 am (#764 of 925)

Would she have wanted to put herself at such a disadvantage. It’s the equivalent of turning your back on an enemy and hoping they will not strike.


Soul Search - Sep 28, 2008 10:16 am (#765 of 925)

I think Snape played his role the only way he could have.

Keep in mind that his position was very precarious. The hand killed Pettigrew for the merest thought of regret. Voldemort killed his Death Eaters for no reason at all; he killed a whole roomful just because they heard of the cup. In the end Voldemort killed Snape just because he thought it might give him mastery of the elder wand.

Hogwarts also had the Carrows. No doubt, part of their job was to keep an eye on Snape. And, Death Eaters were very competitive for Voldemort’s attention; any would betray another just to curry favor.

Knowing about Snape, how could McGonagall have helped? There was nothing she could do that would not be suspicious. Even the smallest inadvertent hint from McGonagall that Snape wasn't the devoted follower he pretended would have got him killed.

It was safer for Snape, and the "good fight," not to tell anyone.



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