Still Unanswered Questions

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Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:49 pm

Let's face it--there are still some things we don't actually know from cannon. Sometimes while rereading I come across something that makes me wonder. Sometimes I've just forgotten stuff. Probably because I'm not discussing the books much anymore. Perhaps we can dust off our old thinking caps and invent some come up with reasonable explanations for the little holes left in the story now that it's done.

Spurred by Julia's recent hangman, I want to know something. Lockhart was an honorary member of the Dark Forces Defense League. What is this and where the heck were they during the last book?!
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The Dark Forces Defense League

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:22 am

Knowing Lockhart, the Dark Forces Defense League may have exactly one member: he just made it up to print it on his business card. (But I have to look up the exact quote to see if this is possible.)

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Verity Weasley on Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:48 am

Great question Shepherdess! And it's great to see some activity on some of these other threads.

HG may be right, it may be just a made up organisation that Lockhart created to make himself look good, but if he made it up, why wouldn't he make himself a full member rather than just an honorary member?

It sounds like a good topic for us to explore in a future Five Words story. I love writing about Lockhart!

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Solitaire on Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:32 am

Well ... maybe they were defending the DARK forces rather than defending people FROM the dark forces. Anyway, Lockhart would have been in no shape to defend anything from anyone. Truly, I agree with HG that it is probably just something Lockhart made up.

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The Dark Forces Defense League

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:13 pm

Verity Weasley wrote:... why wouldn't he make himself a full member rather than just an honorary member?

"Honorary" sounds more honorable, and a regular member may actually be asked questions about the League's activities, while a honorary member doesn't necessarily participate in and know much about such activities.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:41 pm

But, seriously, if he just made up the name of an organization, how could he get away with that? Doesn't he do interviews and stuff, being famous? Surely someone would have asked him about it at some point and investigated to see if such an organization existed. What would he say then? It couldn't be a secret organization or he wouldn't be able to tell people he's an honorary member.

I think there are some things that JKR put in the books because they worked there, then didn't have the time-or inclination-to develope them (or just forgot about them). Some of these things will ultimately have to be dismissed as just that. We should come up with a name for them-"Jo's Unfinished Ideas" (or something more clever). But before we label them that way and dismiss them as such, it would be nice if we could come up with reasonable explanations for them being there, and save that title for things that simply cannot be explained in any way.

Perhaps Solitaire is onto something here about who they're defending. Could be that the Dark Forces Defense League (DFDL) originally defended people against the dark forces, but, like the Ministry, became infiltrated and it's purpose switched to defending the dark forces against non-LV supporters. Of course, this means that their original purpose was the same as the Order of the Pheonix, which would be redundant unless it was an official (government) organization, whereas the OP wasn't.

If it was a goverment organization (though it doesn't sound like a department of the Ministry), under the reign of Fudge (who's determined to deny that dark forces exist), it may have become an organization in name only--still there to make people feel safe, but no longer actively working against anyone.

Yay! Discussion!
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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Solitaire on Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:02 pm

shepherdess wrote:But, seriously, if he just made up the name of an organization, how could he get away with that? Doesn't he do interviews and stuff, being famous? Surely someone would have asked him about it at some point and investigated to see if such an organization existed.
You know, Shepherdess, I thought about that earlier, but I still think it could be so. DD knew Lockhart was full of himself (and a lot of hot air) and probably wouldn't have bothered asking about anything so mundane. Some folks might not have wanted to show their ignorance by admitting they didn't know about some special organization. Still others might have realized it was some private group and chose not to pursue it. Lockhart was enough of a blowhard that even Rita Skeeter probably didn't bother asking him about everything that he blabbed about interviews (back when he was reasonably lucid). JM2K

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:11 am

Hieronymus, the quote is in CoS, chapter 13. Hermione is in the hospital wing recovering from turning herself into a cat with polyjuice potion, and Professor Lockhart has given her a get well card containing the following message:

To Miss Granger, wishing you a speedy recovery, from your concerned teacher, Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defence League and five times winner of the Witch Weekly's Most-Charming-Smile Award.

I know this is Lockhart we're talking about, and that he is a liar and a coward. But his success and fame depend on people not knowing he's a liar.

There are a lot of wizards who know he's full of hot air and probably some who would like to pop his inflated ego. If he's lying about one of his titles, and claiming to be part of an organization that doesn't exist, it would only take one doubtful and inquisitive person to discover the truth. That could ruin his reputation, and he would do anything to prevent that--even obliviating people.

The fact that he's a professor can be verified, as can the Order of Merlin thing and the Most-Charming-Smile Award. Adding in a fake title could be detrimental to him. It wouldn't be in his best interest. It's very risky, and I'm not sure he'd take that risk.

It's something that could easily have been left out of the book, and can easily be dismissed in reading. But I want a good explanation for why it is there--other than a JKR goof.
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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Verity Weasley on Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:28 am

Any organisation that would bestow honorary membership upon Gilderoy Lockhart can't be that great. They sound like a group that, like Lockhart, are concerned mostly with appearances. Wilbert Slinkhard is probably also a member! It could easily be a group set up and populated by Ministry cronies who never actually did anything except talk. The fact that we never hear anything else about this group just goes to show how ineffective they were. Boasting about being part of a group that doesn't actually do anything, but sounds good, is perfectly in character for Lockhart.

I don't see it as a goof, just an interesting snippet that we never find out more about - but you never know, it may turn up on Pottermore one of these days.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Solitaire on Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:19 am

Verity, your explanation seems perfectly plausible.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:38 pm

Ok, so Voldemort goes to Godric's Hollow. He kills James. He kills Lily. He tries to kill Harry, but fails. More than 24 hours pass and Dumbledore meets McGonagall in Privet Drive. During the past day, wizards and witches everywhere have been celebrating Voldemort's downfall and meeting and discussing it. Albus and Minerva are discussing this and she says:

"...they're saying that when he couldn't kill Harry Potter, Voldemort's power somehow broke - and that's why he's gone."

Now, how do 'they' (meaning all who are celebrating and discussing) know that Voldemort's power 'broke' or that he's gone? Or for that matter, how do they even know it was Voldemort that committed the crime?

At this point anyway (first chapter of the first book), we don't know that there was anyone else in the Potter's house at that time except the Potters and Voldemort. James and Lily are dead, Harry can't talk, and Voldemort..well, he's probably not talking to anyone. The only evidence we have is a destroyed house, James and Lily's body's, and Harry with a scar on his forehead.

Based on that evidence, how can anyone conclude that:
1. Voldemort was the one who killed the Potters?
2. Voldemort tried to kill Harry?
3. the scar on Harry's forehead was from a curse and not an object hitting him when the house was destroyed?
4. the house was destroyed by the killing curse rebounding off Harry?
5. the rebounding killing curse hit and damaged Voldemort in any way (assuming the person was Voldemort)?
6. the rebounding curse 'broke' Voldemort's power?
7. Voldemort is 'gone' as opposed to having left the Potter's house and gone home (wherever that is)?

How did 'they' all know about what happened in Godric's Hollow?
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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Verity Weasley on Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:33 pm

one word - Hagrid!

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shepherdess' seven questions

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:04 pm

Based on that evidence, how can anyone conclude that:
1. Voldemort was the one who killed the Potters?

The person who killed the Potters is probably the same person who tried to kill Harry. (See below.)

2. Voldemort tried to kill Harry?
Who else would
a) try to kill a baby (see below)
b) be able to "convince" a trusted secret keeper to reveal the secret
There where not many other suspects who could find the Potters.

3. the scar on Harry's forehead was from a curse and not an object hitting him when the house was destroyed?
Where had Harry and Hagrid been during the last 24 hours? Probably at a place where some kind of magical-medical examination could be done. Since it couldn't be healed, the healers knew that this was a cursed scar, not just a wound from a falling object. Somebody had attacked Harry and the intent had probably been to kill him.

4. the house was destroyed by the killing curse rebounding off Harry?
Magic leaves traces and the ruined house had been examined by the Ministry as well as by Dumbledore.

5. the rebounding killing curse hit and damaged Voldemort in any way (assuming the person was Voldemort)?
Something obviously had happened to Voldemort (see below), and what else should it have been? Nobody claimed they had protected Harry.

6. the rebounding curse 'broke' Voldemort's power?
If Voldemort wasn't dead (many hoped for this, but there was no corpse?) he obviously had at least lost his power (see below).

7. Voldemort is 'gone' as opposed to having left the Potter's house and gone home (wherever that is)?
Voldemort wouldn't just go home. If he had still been able to do something nasty after he had already tried to kill Harry, he would have done it, so he obviously couldn't.

How did 'they' all know about what happened in Godric's Hollow?

There are a lot of probabilities here. Nobody really knew, but everybody was deducing (like me) and the rumours spread

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:56 am

1. I agree that the person who tried to kill Harry would have been the same one that killed his parents. And I agree that LV would have no qualms about killing a baby. But I don't think we (or the celebrating witches and wizards) can assume that no one else would do that. At that time LV had a lot of supporters, probably even people like Pettigrew who would do anything he asked of them-including killing a baby-because they feared him or wanted to be in his favor.

2. As far as convincing a secret keeper to reveal the secret--well that would depend on the secret keeper. Everyone has weaknesses that someone could use against them--fear, pain, money, glory, love, etc. And in fact, it wasn't LV who 'convinced' Sirius to reveal the Potters' location. Yes, he got the information from Pettigrew, but that was different from getting it from a trusted secret keeper. But the revelers wouldn't have known that, so they might have thought someone had 'convinced' a trusted secret keeper to reveal the secret. However, given people's weaknesses, I don't think the revelers could assume that LV would be the only person who could break someone.

3. I'm sure that someone had looked at Harry's scar, and perhaps determined that it was a curse scar, but would/could the revelers have learned that before all the celebrations started? I would think that, without that information, people would have been unlikely to jump to the conclusion that someone had attempted to kill a baby. The idea would have been appalling.

4. With this one, as well as with others, my problem is that there was a very short time between the incident in Godric's Hollow and the beginning of the celebrations. Dumbledore may have examined the house and discovered traces of magic, but I doubt he was out spreading the word about that. And would there have been enough time for the ministry to do an investigation?

5. The incident with Harry is the only time I remember reading about rebounding curses. Clearly, this is not a typical thing. It's obvious (if you know that he was hit by a curse) that the curse didn't kill him for some reason. But is it logical to just assume that it rebounded and hit anything? Yes, the house was destroyed, but why would people think that was from a rebounding curse and not deliberately done by the Potters' murderer? And even if you know the curse rebounded, what proof is there that it hit anyone?

6. Just because people don't know where LV is at the time, doesn't positively place him in Godric's Hollow or the Potters' house. Nor does it prove that he cast the curse on Harry or was the victim of it's rebounding. Does anyone ever know where LV is? How could they even tell he was missing and not just wherever he usually was that nobody knew about? And even if he was missing, that doesn't mean he got hit by a curse or that the curse broke his powers (or his body).

7. Why wouldn't LV have gone home? If he was done with what he was doing, it's a perfectly logical thing to do. If he wasn't there, and there was no body, he must have gone somewhere. How would the revelers have known where he did or didn't go? How does anyone know he would have done more if he could have? Maybe he was done.

Within hours after Voldemort's downfall, people were celebrating what did happen. I just don't think they could have known at that time what that was. Even McGonagall has trouble believing it. And Dumbledore doesn't have all the answers either. And that was more than 24 hours afterwards, not just a few.
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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Solitaire on Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:07 am

Dumbledore knew the prophecy could have pertained to either Harry or Neville. Once he learned that Harry's parents were dead, yet Harry was still alive--though "marked"--DD would probably have inferred that something had prevented Voldemort from killing Harry. Harry's destruction was Voldemort's goal, and he would not abandon it unless he was simply unable to accomplish it. If DD immediately went to check and learned that the Longbottoms and Neville were untouched and no further violence had occurred at Voldemort's hand, he may have suspected that some "magical damage" to Voldemort had occurred to prevent this.

Perhaps he then returned to GH and "inspected" both the premises and Harry. All magic leaves traces, and the GH house must have been "radioactive" (so to speak) with it. There must have been something about that particular scar that convinced him it didn't happen as a result of the house damage. This would be especially true if there were no other mark on Harry at all. Really ... a house is in ruins, two very powerful adult wizards are dead, yet the baby has one tiny scar on his forehead? Didn't Hagrid tell Harry when they first met that his scar was not an ordinary scar? Perhaps DD told Hagrid when he handed over Harry to him.

Okay ... it's late, my head is "fuzzy," and I need to go to bed. I just came in here to shut down the computer! LOL

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Verity Weasley on Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:26 am

All I know is that it's a good job that Voldemort never came before the Wizengamot, because Shepherdess would have got him off!

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LOL! I don't let get him off

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:59 pm

There was at least one witness who had seen Voldemort at Godrics Hollow (DH 17). Unfortunately it was only a small boy, so his testimony may not count in a Muggle court, but we don’t really know much about the Wizengamot.

How could I forget the Propecy. It wasn’t public knowledge, but there is no reason why Dumbledore wouldn’t have told the magical law enforcers about the first part, which was already known to Voldemort. So there was a good reason to do a fast but thorough invetigation, and a known reason to assume that Voldemort had come himself, not just sent a minion. The aurors often know more than they can proof in court. If they say "We have reasons to suspect You-know-who, although we can not yet show you the evidence," people will probably believe them.

7. If Voldemort (or whoever else) was done with what he was doing, it's a perfectly logical thing to go home. But if he hadn’t intended to kill Harry, why had he tried to do it in the first place. And if he had intended to kill Harry, he wasn’t done. So we are back to the questions: Had there been an attempt to kill Harry (yes, evidence: the nature of the scar) and who would most likely try to do this?

As I said before, this was all a lot of guesswork (and perhaps some wishful thinking). Can we agree on:

Within hours after Voldemort's downfall, people were celebrating what they thought had happened. Coincidentally, they were right.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Solitaire on Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:54 pm

There was a record of the prophecy in the DoM, so wouldn't some Ministry employees have known about the prophecy?

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The prophecy

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:05 am

They knew at least that the prophecy existed, that it was about a so-called "Dark Lord" and somebody else (not yet determined until Voldemort attacked Harry) and had been "seen" by Trelawney and witnessed by Dumbledore.

If prophecies are recorded and labeled by automagical processes (and only "Harry Potter" had been added manually to this prophecy's label after the fact), the Minstry depends on a witness to learn more details, or on one of the prophecy's subjects to take the record from the shelf for closer inspection.

Also, if not only Trelawney, but all seers notoriously don't remember their real prophecies, this would be a good reason to have an automagical recording process in case a prophecy goes unnoticed.

To be on the safe side, I assume that the Ministry didn't know more than Dumbledore told them.


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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:04 am

Verity Weasley wrote:All I know is that it's a good job that Voldemort never came before the Wizengamot, because Shepherdess would have got him off!
Lol, Verity. Apparently not--Solitaire or Dumbledore would have come in with the evidence of the prophecy (which I wasn't even thinking about) to disprove my crazy theories.

So Dumbledore (DD), knowing about the prophecy, knew that Harry and Neville were in danger. About a week before the attack, DD encouraged the Potters to use a fidelius charm to protect their house.

According to the timeline on the Harry Potter Lexicon, "Dumbledore had placed a charm on the house and knew immediately what had occurred (PC/JKR1). He dispatches Hagrid to rescue the infant Harry."

So, between the prophecy and DD's charm, he knew instantly that the fidelius charm had been broken, James and Lily had been killed, Harry was still alive, that LV was the murderer of the Potters and had attempted to kill Harry, that the curse had rebounded upon LV, that LV's magic and body had been 'broken' and that LV was gone (but possibly not forever).

As for the house, the Lexicon timeline points out that normally the killing curse leaves no marks and does no damage to the surrounding structure (such as the cases of the Riddle House murders). But it goes on to say:

"On the other hand, we have seen numerous instances where rebounding, ricocheting, or misaimed curses cause considerable damage: Lockhart's rebounding Memory Charm in the Chamber of Secrets which caved the roof in so badly it blocked the tunnel (CS16), ricocheting Stunning Spells break marble statues when the Death Eaters attempt to catch Harry (GF34), ricocheting curses break the Gryffindor hourglass and crack stone when the Death Eaters broke into Hogwarts (HBP); misaimed curses set a desk afire and shatter statues in the Department of Mysteries (OP36)."

So, clearly I was wrong about rebounding curses not being common. And clearly DD knew exactly what happened right after it happened.

Now, concerning the revelers--either Hieronymus is correct and they were guessing and celebrating what they thought had happened and luckily were right, or DD somehow spread the word about what he knew and they were celebrating based on DD's information.
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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Solitaire on Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:43 am

Shepherdess wrote:DD somehow spread the word about what he knew and they were celebrating based on DD's information.
My guess is that DD would have informed the Ministry what had happened, which is how they would have come to the conclusion that Sirius Black had been the Secret Keeper (DD didn't know about the last-minute switch, remember). We all know Fudge likes to pat himself on the back, so I am equally guessing that he would have held a big press conference to announce that You-Know-Who had been defeated and had fled, and he may have put out the word to notify the Ministry if anyone saw Black. That seems to me a more likely way of the word having been spread. JM2K, of course ...

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The Dark Force Defence League

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:23 am

Concerning our late discussion, I just found this in the Daily Prophhet (HARRY POTTER ‘DISTURBED AND DANGEROUS’, GF 31):

A member of the Dark Force Defence League, who wished to remain unnamed, stated that he would regard any wizard who could speak Parseltongue ‘as worthy of investigation ...’.

Did Rita Skeeter interview Gilderoy Lockhart at St. Mungo’s or did she find a regular member of this League?

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Story #151

Post  Verity Weasley on Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:45 am

Ooh, good catch HG.

"...wished to remain unnamed..." Doesn't sound like Lockhart!

I guess there must be at least one other member after all.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Solitaire on Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:58 am

Verity Weasley wrote:I guess there must be at least one other member after all.
LOL Verity! I agree that Lockhart would not be reluctant to be credited. I don't think he could have been the member anyway, do you? Wasn't he still unsure of who he was as late as OP, when the Trio ran into him in St. Mungo's? So maybe there really WAS a Dark Force Defense League. Go figure!

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Julia H. on Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:45 pm

I love this thread.

I agree that the DFDL must be an organization that exists but does not do much. It was probably founded when Voldemort was (or seemed to be) safely out of the way, its members probably did a lot of talking, organized events and spent a lot of money. They were probably happy enough to accept a famous and popular media-personality as an honorary member while Lockhart was happy to have one more pompous title.

The questions about GH are very intriguing. I have also thought of some of them but I have never collected them like this. It does seem probable that Dumbledore had ways to know what was going on in the Potter House but the idea that he knew exactly what had happened by means of some magical detector is a rather formidable one. The very fact that the Potters were protected by such a strong charm that only one person (and it wasn't Dumbledore) had the power to reveal even their whereabouts makes me wonder how the place could be monitorod so precisely by someone not directly involved in the protective magic. It makes Dumbledore seem more powerful than anywhere else in the books.

On the other hand, if Dumbledore had only ways to find out at least that something had happened in Godric 's Hollow (even if he did not know what exactly it was), he would naturally go there immediately. Once Dumbledore was there, he found the house in ruins, Lily and James dead, Harry alive. How could he know what had happened? In my opinion, baby Harry may not have been a useless witness. I'm pretty sure Dumbledore could do Legilimency. Even if Harry could not yet speak, he had memories of what he had experienced, and I think Dumbledore was able to see them and interpret them correctly. So he saw Voldemort, the Killing Curse and even the rebounding. I think we know it from Voldemort's memories that Voldemort was in horrible pain after being hit by the rebounding curse, and Dumbledore may have seen that, too, in Harry's memories. Voldemort may also have left the place in some unusual way, and Harry (and through his memories, Dumbledore) may have seen that as well.

So Dumbledore deduced what had happened. However, it seems very unlikely that he would willingly share his knowledge with people in general, yet wizards and witches all over the country started celebrating within a few hours. Of course, he had to notify the Ministry. He probably told them as little as possible though. Yet, he had to tell them who was dead, who was alive, and he had to mention that something must have happened to Voldemort. He also identified Sirius as Secret Keeper. That was probably all that people learned and it was enough to make them celebrate. The news was too exciting to remain a secret anyway, and as soon as Hagrid got involved in the story, word must have spread real fast. At the same time, there must have been other signs of Voldemort's fall, like Imperiused victims coming to their senses, Death Eaters fleeing etc., which confirmed the news.

Hm... It is interesting that Dumbledore makes no comment when Hagrid mentions that he has borrowed the motorbike from Sirius. Any opinions?

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Julia H.
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