Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

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Chapter 16: Professor Trelawney’s Prediction

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:56 am

In which our friends sit all their exams and Harry would be a true seer, if he hadn’t just made it up.

Does Harry only believe he made it up because he isn’t aware of his ability? But if Trelawney isn’t a special case, true seers don’t remember their own predictions.

Time Turner observation Nr. 5
We see that Hermione has to sit double exams at Monday morning and Monday afternoon, but then Harry and Ron just give up, because their isn’t any point asking how she’s going to do this. We can not be sure there weren’t more exams for Hermione than for Harry and Ron at Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. She may still study an unknown number of unknown topics.

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Chapter 17: Cat, Rat and Dog

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:32 pm

In which Padfoot attacks and Scabbers’ true identity is revealed.

Fidelius observation Nr. 2:

Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew “switched”, but how could they expect to keep this secret?

‘The worst he did isn’t widely known.’ (Cornelius Fudge at the ‘Three Broomsticks’, Chapter 10). Officially Sirius Black was imprisoned for mass murder alone, not also for being a traitor while he was a trusted Secret Keeper, so nobody wondered how it had happened that the secret had been told to them by Peter Pettigrew rather than Sirius Black?

But at least Hagrid learned (probably from Dumbledore) that Sirius was supposed to be the traitorous Secret Keeper, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ’I tell yeh, if I’d got ter Black before little Pettigrew did, ...’ (Hagrid at the ‘Three Broomsticks’, Chapter 10). Neither Hagrid nor any other person who knew the Potters’ hiding place and knew about the Fidelius Charme remembered that the secret had been told to them by Peter Pettigrew.

Sirius and Peter expected that the Secret Keeper would never actually have to tell the secret, because everybody who should know the Potters’ hiding place did already know it and casting the spell wouldn’t change their memories.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Mona on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:52 am

Yes, we suppress the laughter because we know and like Neville. But I wonder why the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws and even some Gryffindors didn’t laugh. Were they all so full of pity for poor Neville, or was Harry just too occupied to notice? (He didn’t even notice that he had a letter.) ~ Hieronymus

This is an excellent observation. The reason why most of us fail to notice or wonder about this is that by this point the author has completely biased us against all Slytherins. I guess uncomplicated straightforward hate appeals to kids, as well as some childish part of us adults, and for the first few books I was happily rooting for Great Gryffindor and booing Slimy Slytherin along with my 13 year old son. It was only on one occasion, when Dumbledore awards all those last minute points to Gryffindor at the end of PS, that I sat up and said, "Hey , that's not a very nice thing to do!"

The books do grow up with the kids, but as far as Slytherin is concerned, JKR leaves things pretty much as they were in the early books. There's a very good discussion of all this in the archived [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] thread.

Time Turner observation Nr. 4

If Hermione plans in advance to take two lessons at the same time, or to do some homework while also taking a lesson, she can make this impossible future become true and nobody will ever notice that she couldn’t have been in the Arithmancy classroom before she used the Time-Turner after the end of the Divination lesson. But as soon as somebody tells Hermione that her absence has been noticed, going back to the lesson she had planned, but forgotten to take, would cause a time paradox, so she doesn’t dare to do it? The science (or magic) of time travel is weird.~ Hieronymus

I think it's not so much that Hermione's absense has been noticed so much as the fact that her absense has happened. You cannot go back in time to change what has already happened. If we start with this premise, time travel in the HP world becomes quite simple and logical. When Hermione uses the time-turner at the end of the Divination lesson to attend Arithmancy, it is true that the Arithmancy lesson has already happened, but it has happened with Hermione in it. However, when she misses Charms, she can't go back to take it because the class has already taken place without her.

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Verity Weasley on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:23 am

That was a great explanation Mona. Time travel can be so confusing when you try and explain how it works, but your succinct explanation makes perfect sense! Well done!

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Solitaire on Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:44 am

Mona wrote:I guess uncomplicated straightforward hate appeals to kids, as well as some childish part of us adults
I'm not sure about adults, but you are right about kids. In my 26 years as a teacher--the last 22 of which have been spent exclusively in junior high--I have seen kids as pretty much "all or nothing" in their support or hatred of others. Occasionally, I'll have a student who can grudgingly acknowledge a positive trait in an "enemy," but it is rare. Many kids, too, seem willing to carry on family traditions of disliking certain families or groups, even though they may neither know nor understand the root of the animosity. Sound familiar?

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Chapter 18: Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:04 pm

In which Remus Lupin explains the Marauders.

Sorry, no comments for this chapter. I'm in a hurry to finish this now.

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Chapter 19: The Servant of Lord Voldemort

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:51 pm

In which Snape is knocked out and Wormtail gets a reprieve.

Slytherin observation Nr. 24:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

There’s not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn’t in Slytherin. You-Know-Who was one.
When Hagrid said this back in PS/SS, he obviously didn’t know that Peter Pettigrew 'went bad'. It doesn’t even matter if Wormtail was coincidentally a Slytherin. (Will we ever know? I honestly don’t remember.) If Pettigrew escaped Hagrids attention, there may be others as well. So there is no reason to believe that Hagrid knows all evil wizards and their house.

Sirius is innocent, but Hagrid believed that he was a traitor and mass murderer, and Hagrid believed that Sirius was a Slytherin. Obviously he didn’t do the research. Even if Hagrid coincidentally knew all evil wizards except Wormtail, there is no reason to believe that he did the research for all of them.

So there is no reason to assume that every evil wizard whose house we don’t know should be a Slytherin. We may even argue that he can not be a Slytherin, because to Harry it doesn’t matter if this wizard was in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, but if there was the slightest hint that this evil wizard was in Slytherin, Harry would have noticed and we would know.

On the other hand, a 'good' wizard whose house is unknown may be a Slytherin, because Harry would ignore all evidence for this unless it was shoved down his throat.

Very few people know that Lord Voldemort was once called Tom Riddle.
Is Hagrid one of the few? Can we be sure that at least 'You-Know-Who was a Slytherin' is true? Is there any independent evidence?

Was discrediting Hagrid in this way a big mistake, or did JKR do this on purpose?

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  shepherdess on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:33 pm

Hieronymus, for what it's worth, I'm glad you're doing this. I know I'm not contributing, but I'm reading your posts. You're helping me see that things are not as black and white as I tend to think they are.
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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Verity Weasley on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:39 pm

I think that comment of Hagrid's shows that he's not above subscribing to stereotypical ideas. Many people make such generalised comments, (particularly in regards to race) without having the evidence to back them up. So I think this comment represents Hagrid's beliefs, but is not necessarily to be taken as gospel. Now, if Hermione had said it, that would be a different matter...

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Chapter 20: The Dementors’ Kiss

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:45 am

In which Lupin transforms, Wormtail escapes, and Harry, Sirius and Hermione are rescued by a mysterious non-stranger.

No comments again.

(Thanks for the response, Verity and Shepherdess)

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Chapter 21: Hermione’s Secret

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:36 pm

In which Harry and Hermione travel back in time to set things right, but are not allowed to change history.

Time Turner observation Nr. 6

A lot of paperwork was necessary to let Hermione use a time-turner, and she could only get it because she is trusted to use it for educational purposes only.

Professor McGonagall made Hermione swear she wouldn’t tell anyone. How secret is this thing? (Hermione was under the impression that in case of an emergency, she couldn’t ask a random teacher for help, because she wasn’t allowed to tell them about the time-turner.)

'Nobody’s supposed to change time,' is one of the most important wizarding laws. Would all wizards know how to travel in time and to change history if they were allowed to do so? Or was this generally worded law just a precaution in case somebody might invent a magical means to travel in time? The legislatory powers may have anticipated the dangers of changing history before time travel was actually possible, so this law doesn’t necessarily imply that the public is aware of the ministry actually exploring a means of time travel now. Nor does it imply that there are specific laws concerning the use of a time-turner outside of the DOM or by an underaged witch.

Professor McGonagall told Hermione what awfull things happened when wizards have meddled with time ... loads of them ended up killing their past or future selves by mistake!
How many are 'loads of them'? Is it possible that these were two thirds of the minstry’s time explorers (before they learned to be carefull), but were actually not more than about ten people?

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Re: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Read Along

Post  Solitaire on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:57 pm

Is it possible that, even though he is the Minister of Magic, Fudge does not know Hermione has been using a Time-Turner all year? What if all of those letters that McGonagall supposedly wrote never really were written? I can't really believe the Ministry would allow a kid--especially one who was Harry's bosom buddy and partner in crime--to have a Time-Turner. I think that was a cover. What if the Time-Turner in question is Hogwarts property, and only the Hogwarts staff know about it?

I think all of the professors would have had to know, given the difficulties involved. Remember that Hermione goes off to talk to Professor Flitwick after she falls asleep in the Common Room and misses Charms. I'm also sure Snape must have known, because when he burst into the hospital wing in Chapter 22, yelling about Sirius escaping, he was pointing at Harry and Hermione and saying "THEY HELPED HIM ESCAPE, I KNOW IT!"

First of all, Snape has very little respect for Harry's magical abilities. What would suddenly make him believe Harry was capable of magic powerful enough to spirit Sirius away under his very nose? Second, why would Snape include Hermione in this particular accusation, unless he knew she had the means to make it happen? It wasn't until DD spoke these words to Snape--"Unless you're suggesting that Harry and Hermione are able to be in two places at once, I'm afraid I don't see any point in troubling them further"--that Snape stopped pressing his point. He just stared from DD ("whose eyes were twinkling behind his glasses") to Fudge (who was shocked by his outburst--probably because he was clueless about the Time-Turner) and then "stormed out of the ward." Face it ... if Fudge had known Hermione had a Time-Turner, the entire incident would have made total sense to him.

JM2K, of course ...

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Chapter 22: Owl Post again

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:39 am

In which Cornelius Fudge doesn’t remember that there are Time-Turners.

Five points to Solitaire’s house, although I don’t believe that the Time-Turner is Hogwarts property or that more than seven persons at Hogwarts knew about it. Telling Severus Snape that something weird might happen in case Harry is in danger and Hermione tries to use the Time-Turner to save him would have made sense, so Dumbledore’s words may have meant to Snape: 'We both know what happened, but this shouldn’t be discussed in public'.

Hogwarts
A Play


ACT 987
Deleted Scene
DUMBLEDORE: Unless you are suggesting that Harry and Hermione are able to be in two places at once, I’m afraid I don’t see any point in troubling them further.

POMFREY: But this would be easy! Just travel back in time!

DUMBLEDORE: Shhh.

SNAPE: That’s it! Potter used a Time-Turner!

DUMBLEDORE: Shhh.

FUDGE: Don’t we hand out Time-Turners regularly for the purpose of enabling students to sit in two classrooms at the same time? I’ll have to check the files when I’m back at London.

DUMBLEDORE: Ah –

FUDGE: Wait, I remember! Last summer I authorized the use of a Time-Turner by one Miss H. Granger. Is this the Hermione you are talking about?

DUMBLEDORE: Ooops.

Time Turner observation Nr. 7

Would Dumbledore make such a mistake? He must have been sure that nobody would be aware that time travel is an actual possibility to be in two places at once, and that a Time-Turner was available at Hogwarts. So he must have known that the Minister for Magic wasn’t involved in the loads of paperwork necessary to let Hermione have a Time-Turner. Either Fudge is too high above the daily work or, since this probably wasn’t "dayly work", the person who made the decision didn’t ask the Minister’s permission.

None of the many different theories about how Sirius had escaped came close to the truth.
Wouldn’t very generally theorizing about a possible involvement of time travellers come close enough, or is this further confirmation that only very few people know that time travel is possible?

Nobody, except Harry, Ron, Hermione and Dumbledore, knew what had happened in this night. (We have to remember that this is what Harry believes, not what an omniscient narrator knows, so Snape may have had a theory, based on Dumbledore's comment, that came very close to the truth.)

Hermione had not only explained why they all were in the hospital wing, she had also told Ron what she and Harry had done after arriving there.

Remus Lupin knows that Harry casted a mighty stag patronus to ward the dementors off, but Harry didn't tell him that this was done by a time-travelling Harry to protect the original Harry.

As far as Harry knows, Hermione didn’t tell Hagrid how Buckbeak escaped. But at the beginning of Harry’s sixth year, Hagrid knows about (at least one) student(s) using (a) Time-Turner(s)? How did this happen?

Persons who obviously knew about the Time-Turner:
  • Mr. (or Ms.) Unspeakable of the DOM’s time branch
  • Professor Albus Dumbledore
  • Professor Minerva McGonagall
  • Hermione Granger
  • Harry Potter
  • Ron Weasley

Persons who may have known about the Time-Turner:
  • Professor Rubeus Hagrid (not yet, but later?)
  • Professor Severus Snape
  • One of Mr. Unspeakables colleagues (probably the pretty blonde )
  • Another of Mr. Unspeakables colleagues (the inquisitive readhead? )

Persons who may have had at least general knowledge about Time-Turners:
  • Everybody at the DOM’s time branch, although not all of them may have worked with Time-Turners.
  • The DOM’s Head of Department? (not directly involved in the time branch’s research)
  • Cornelius Fudge? (if so, he never made the connection)

Persons who didn’t know that time travel is possible, before Rita Skeeter revealed the secret after the Battle of the DOM:
  • Everybody else, because they wouldn’t have kept their mouths shut and it wouldn’t have been a secret.


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PS: The Truth about the Time-Turner

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:35 am

In which HG ridicules himself by showing his head canon.

Warning! This may be bad fanfiction. By applying the standard revealing charme you agree that you do so on your own risk.

Spoiler:

Hogwarts
A Play


ACT 978
Scene 3
DUMBLEDORE: You seem concerned, Minerva. Is there a problem?

McGONAGALL (presenting a piece of parchment): I am, Albus. I am and there is.

DUMBLEDORE (reading): So she couldn’t decide and signed up for everything. Is this a surprise?

McGONAGALL: I had hoped – this will never work, Albus! For two years we show our muggle-born students how much can be done although Muffles deem it impossible. We convey that much more will be possible if they only work hard, but now I have to tell Miss Granger that her heart’s desire can not come true because it’s impossible to fit into the class schedules!

DUMBLEDORE: But this isn’t the first time you have to do this, right?

McGONAGALL: In these other cases, I found something I could refer to. If Miss Granger had ever experienced a situation where magic was available but couldn’t help, we would know. Why should she believe me?

DUMBLEDORE: I’m sure Miss Granger will not assume that you intent to hurt her, or that you are just too lazy to do your work right. So what do you expect?

McGONAGALL: I would be less worried if she were more predictable. For months she is every teachers dream, but suddenly Miss Granger goes after a troll. Or she helps Potter in a prank involving a fake dragon. Last Yule she tried to transfigure herself into a cat! (aside) Why didn’t she ask me first?

DUMBLEDORE: I don’t pretend to understand everything that happens in this school. Miss Grangers escapades may have better reasons than we know. But I can see your point.

McGONAGALL: Albus, isn’t there a way to show, rather than tell Hermione, that this is really impossible? Otherwise I can’t foresee what this refusal might do to her mental health.

DUMBLEDORE: There is no way as far as I’m aware, but I will think about it and I may ask for advice. If you excuse me now, I have some letters to write.

ACT 978
Scene 5

McGONAGALL (reading a letter): Did you know that the Ministry is actually researching time travel?

DUMBLEDORE: How could I know? Everything done at the DOM is top secret.

McGONAGALL: So your friend suggests to use a Time Turner to let Miss Granger take two lessons at the same time. Wouldn’t this be dangerous? Nobody is supposed to change history!

DUMBLEDORE: Since Miss Granger would just do what she already intends to do, she wouldn’t really change anything. There shouldn’t be much danger.

McGONAGALL (reading out loud): Since nobody yet considered that there should be a law prohibiting the use of Time-Turners by underaged persons or outside of the DOM, this would technically not be illegal. Ha! Your friend is a Slytherin, right? But this should still be kept secret, and for my own safety in case of a breach of security, I need sincere affirmation that your student is a honourable person dedicated to her studies who will strictly limit the use of this Time Turner to educational purposes only. Didn’t you tell him that this girls unpredictabilty is the main problem?

DUMBLEDORE: So the crucial question is: Do we trust her?

McGONAGALL: I wouldn’t even trust myself. There may always be a situation when you can safe a life by doing a minimal adjustment to what just happened – so what would you do?

DUMBLEDORE: I’ll try to get all information about previous experiences with Time-Turners. Miss Granger has to know exactly what can be done and what shouldn’t be attempted. Then I’ll trust her to do nothing unreasonable. And it’s 'her', by the way.

McGONAGALL: What? Oh, this signature is as unreadable as you would expect from an 'unspeakable'. But don’t try to distract me. This is all quite illogical. If we depend on Miss Granger being reasonable anyway, wouldn’t it be better to just tell her that she can’t study more than twelve topics?

DUMBLEDORE: Not at all, Minerva, not at all! You warned me that this may be a turning point in Miss Grangers life, and you know quite well that even well-thought decisions may have terrible consequences. Why would you take a risc?

McGONAGALL: Because we have to take a risc anyway! I just want to point out that it may be better to abandon this unnecessary complex project.

DUMBLEDORE: Maybe, but when did we ever miss such an opportunity to experience something new? How long do you reckon will Miss Granger need to learn her special lesson? I’ll bet she’ll hand the Time-Turner in before the spring holidays arrive.

McGONAGALL: Bet? Albus, this isn’t a game!

DUMBLEDORE: Life is too severe to take it always serious.
Hermione looked very happy when she emerged from McGonagalls office, but McGonagall wouldn’t give a Time-Turner to a thirteen year old student just to make her happy and let her have all the OWLs she wants to get, right?

I need a break after this three-book-marathon, but stay tuned. I’ll probably be back for 'The Goblet of Fire' after summer holidays.

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