Still Unanswered Questions

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Story #151

Post  Verity Weasley on Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:14 pm

Julia, that's a great theory that Dumbledore could have used legilimency on baby Harry, but when would that have happened? If Dumbledore was there and did that, why would he leave Harry in the ruined house. Hagrid tells us that he rescued Harry from the ruins himself. Dumbledore seems to have entrusted Hagrid with that job, although why it took him a whole day to do so and where he had been all that time is another question that is never satisfactorily answered.

Could Dumbledore have sent Hagrid to get Harry straight away (because he was too busy to go himself? ) but he then had Hagrid bring Harry to him somewhere else where he could perform legilimency and then have Hagrid keep Harry safe until nightfall when he was to deliver him to the Dursleys? That doesn't sound plausible. For one thing, I don't think Dumbledore would send Hagrid to the scene of a Voldemort attack, without knowing whether he (LV) was still around to pose a threat. Another consideration is that Dumbledore was not Secret Keeper. How could he tell Hagrid where to go. When does the Fidelius Charm break? With the death of the Secret Keeper? With the death of the people the Fidelius Charm is designed to keep safe? Or was the Fidelius Charm broken somehow when Pettigrew divulged the secret to LV? (More unanswered questions?)

The showdown with Sirius and Pettigrew must have happened after Hagrid delivered Harry to the Dursleys, or at least Hagrid hadn't heard about it yet if it had already happened. But it is curious that Dumbledore didn't react when Hagrid said he had borrowed the motorbike from Sirius. Perhaps he just didn't want to alert Hagrid or McGonagall to his theory at that stage.

I'm sorry, I haven't contributed much more to this discussion - just raised a few more unanswered questions!

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Julia H. on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:07 am

LOL, Verity, I love all the questions that you all raise here!

You are right. It doesn't make sense that Hagrid rescues Harry from the ruins after Dumbledore has performed Legilimency on him. But it doesn't make sense either that Hagrid should be the first (and only?) person to get to the Potter's house. Yet, if he has to rescue Harry, it means he digs him out by physical work rather than by magic, since Hagrid mustn't use magic. However, it seems to be a kind of job which could be done much more quickly by Dumbledore (or someone else who could do magic) - unless there is a reason perhaps to suppose that using more magic on the place might be dangerous at the moment.

I've looked at the book more carefully and this is what I've found:

By the time Dumbledore will meet McGonagall, people have started celebrating everywhere. We know that Minerva has been sitting in front of the Dursley house since early morning (since about half past eight at least) so she has known all the time that Dumbledore will be going there eventually. (She learned it from Hagrid.) It suggests that she didn't think she could talk to Dumbledore at Hogwarts, so Dumbledore may have been (or was supposed to be) out of the school all day long. That's strange because we know that at one point he talks to Snape in his office - but that may have happened at a later point.

Dumbledore confirms the news about the Potters and tells Minerva about his plans for Harry.

"But how is the boy getting here, Dumbledore?" She eyed his cloak suddenly as though she thought he might be hiding Harry underneath it.

So Minerva seems to suppose that Dumbledore has seen Harry. Of course, she may be wrong. Then Hagrid arrives.

"No problems, were there?"

"No, sir -- house was almost destroyed, but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin' around. He fell asleep as we was flyin' over Bristol."


It's strange that Hagrid tells Dumbledore about the state of the house. It sounds as though Dumbledore has no idea of it at all. He knows what has happened to Lily, James, Harry and Voldemort, but he doesn't know that the house is in ruins? But perhaps Hagrid simply means that even though the house was almost destroyed, he saved Harry from the Muggles (who could have entered easily in the absence of the Fidelius Charm). In that case, Dumbledore may have been there before and seen the house, because the information Hagrid is giving him is not the fact that the house was almost completely destroyed.

Hagrid does not exactly say that he rescued Harry from the ruins, only that he got him out of the house before the Muggles got there.

Later Hagrid tells Harry:

"Took yeh from the ruined house myself, on Dumbledore's orders. Brought yeh ter this lot..."

Again, no mention of rescuing.

So perhaps Dumbledore has been there earlier that day and found Harry among the ruins. (That could have been the point where he performed the Legilimency.) Then he may have summoned Hagrid and told him to look after the baby and later bring him to Privet Drive. (He may have reinforced the remaining walls a bit with magic. Everybody talk about ruins, but in DH, Harry finds that most of the cottage is still standing, though the right side of the top floor had been blown apart.) Dumbledore probably had things to do - like performing the magic that would protect Harry at the Dursley house.

Why he did not take Harry to another place in the meantime is another question. Perhaps he hoped to be able to keep the whole thing secret for a few hours at least. Then again, Hagrid may have left with Harry soon after Dumbledore did - how fast can a motorbike travel? How far is Privet Drive from Godric's Hollow? It seems it would have been easier to Apparate with Harry, but since they didn't, I must conclude that they had a reason - perhaps Harry was in a state of shock or something and Apparition might have made it worse? If, for any reason, they couldn't Apparate with him, Hagrid was probably the ideal person to transport him. I suppose Dumbledore was able to place some temporary magical protection on them.

Perhaps Hagrid was supposed to be on the move with Harry all day long (as a safety measure) and get to Privet Drive at night only. Dumbledore obviously wanted to leave Harry there while it was dark.

So to sum it up:

Dumbledore goes to GH, investigates (does Legilimency on Harry perhaps), summons Hagrid. Minerva somehow has a chance to speak to Hagrid, who tells her to go to Privet Drive to talk to Dumbledore, so Hagrid must know something about that plan already. (How? Perhaps Minerva tells him she wants to see Dumbledore, and Hagrid remembers it later, and sends her a message.) Hagrid gets to GH, and Dumbledore leaves. Dumbledore probably alerts the Ministry. Death Eaters are fleeing. Word spreads and Sirius hurries to GH. Hagrid leaves with Harry, meets Sirius, borrows the motorbike and travels for many long hours to Privet Drive. Dumbledore places protective magic on the Dursley house. He may or may not return to Hogwarts during the day to talk to Snape. In the meantime, Sirius is probably looking for Pettigrew. In the evening, Dumbledore goes to Privet Drive to meet Hagrid and Harry.

I'm not sure how Hagrid was supposed to travel though. He is too heavy for a broomstick, and he mustn't use a wand. He borrowed the bike from Sirius, but what if Sirius had not been there? Was he to board the Knight Bus with Harry?

Some more unanswered questions then?

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Verity Weasley on Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:22 am

Whichever way you look at it, it doesn't really make sense. Or at least raises even more questions.

I guess I can see how Dumbledore could have gone to the scene first and then summoned Hagrid to come and collect Harry. It's a fair question though, about how Hagrid was travelling. Harry wonders the same thing when Hagrid turns up at the Hut on the Rock. One more for the list of 'unanswered questions'. Although wasn't there some speculation that Hagrid had used the motorbike to get to the Hut on the Rock?

So Dumbledore figures out that something is wrong (how?) and goes to Godric's Hollow. While there, he summons Hagrid who is at Hogwarts. Before he leaves he tells Minerva where he is going and that he's to meet Dumbledore later at Privet Drive. Minerva's on tenterhooks waiting for news, but by morning Dumbledore hasn't returned to Hogwarts so she goes to Privet Drive to wait for him. It makes sense that Dumbledore would have gone to the Ministry to inform them, and that the news spread from there.

Presumably Dumbledore's priority was to keep Harry safe from any Death Eaters who might have sought vengeance, and he obviously felt he would be safer with Hagrid than with him. Perhaps he thought that he would be more of an obvious target for Death Eaters, which is why he summoned Hagrid rather than take Harry himself.

So, still unanswered questions include:
How did Dumbledore know what had happened at GH? As a Death Eater, did Snape receive some signal that LV was gone?
What happened to the Fidelius Charm after the attack?
When and where did Hagrid meet Sirius and get the motorbike?
Where did Hagrid go with Harry all day? (It couldn't have taken him that long to fly from GH to Privet Drive)

More questions to ponder...



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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Julia H. on Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:16 am

Looking for possible answers...

How did Dumbledore know what had happened at GH?


I like the idea that there was some magical alarm system which would alert Dumbledore but I find it difficult to imagine that he had access to full information at once. Magic does not seem to be so powerful in the HP world. If there was a magical alarm (to prompt Dumbledore to go and investigate), it is another question what would set off the alarm.

The death of the Potters? That would seem to be a bit late for Dumbledore to act. No one supposed that in such a case there would remain anyone in the house to be rescued.

Voldemort entering the house? It still does not seem early enough.

The breaking of the Fidelius Charm? In that case, Voldemort had to act real fast after he got the information from Pettigrew. Which he probably did. Yet, it should not take much longer for Dumbledore to get there than for Voldemort, yet Voldemort spends some time killing first James, then arguing with Lily before attempting to kill Harry, and still Dumbledore is not there. Or was Dumbledore arriving just as Voldemort was "leaving"?

There is also the possibility that Dumbledore found out that something had happened in a different way, even by accident - like an announcement on the Muggle radio or a direct question from someone at the Ministry. Or the Order may have been watching Godric's Hollow in general (if not the Potter cottage in particular). Or perhaps it was Bathilda who first realized something was wrong and sent a message to someone.

What is certain is that Dumbledore took matters into his own hands at some point during the day, and at least Minerva regarded him as the surest source of information.

As a Death Eater, did Snape receive some signal that LV was gone?

Absolutely. His Dark Mark faded. But Dumbledore still had to deduce that LV's downfall had something to do with the Potters (the Prophecy again).

What happened to the Fidelius Charm after the attack?

It was probably gone. Therefore Hagrid was able to go there without any problems. That's also what Harry thinks when he visits GH in DH:
"the Fidelius Charm must have died with James and Lily." There are words carved into the gate there, so people were obviously able to find the place in the past years.

When and where did Hagrid meet Sirius and get the motorbike?

My guess is that it must have been at the Potter's place or near it. Sirius, too, found out the something had happened and hurried there.

Where did Hagrid go with Harry all day? (It couldn't have taken him that long to fly from GH to Privet Drive)

Perhaps Hagrid purposefully did not stay in one spot with Harry for a long time. Since Dumbledore used a Deluminator in Privet Drive, it is clear that he wanted to place Harry on the Dursleys' doorstep in complete darkness, so he may not have wanted Hagrid to show up there too early. As a result, Hagrid and Harry may have been just travelling all day long avoiding people in general - and not only Death Eaters, because Dumbledore probably did not want an overzealous Ministry official or a journalist to interfere.

Although wasn't there some speculation that Hagrid had used the motorbike to get to the Hut on the Rock?

Yes, once he had the motorbike, he was able to use it any time, though it's not clear where he left it after arriving at the Hut on the Rock. Did he somehow send it back to Hogwarts? Why?

It is interesting that Dumbledore did not seem alarmed when Hagrid mentioned Sirius. Dumbledore knew that the Fidelius Charm could only be broken by the Secret Keeper. Then again, at this point he may have been still willing to give Sirius the benefit of the doubt.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Julia H. on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:17 pm

OK, Hagrid still uses the "rescue" word at one point, when he, Minerva, Flitwick and Fudge are discussing the Potters' story in PoA. There he also shares some details of his meeting with Sirius.

"I met him!" growled Hagrid. "I musta bin the last ter see him before he killed all them people! It was me what rescued Harry from Lily an' James's house after they was killed! jus' got him outta the ruins, poor little thing, with a great slash across his forehead, an' his parents dead... an' Sirius Black turns up, on that flyin' motorbike he used ter ride. Never occurred ter me what he was doin' there. I didn' know he'd bin Lily an' James's Secret Keeper. Thought he'd jus' heard the news o' You-Know-Who's attack an' come ter see what he could do. White an' shakin', he was. An' yeh know what I did? I COMFORTED THE MURDERIN' TRAITOR!" Hagrid roared.

An' then he says, 'Give Harry ter me, Hagrid, I'm his godfather, I'll look after him -' Ha! But I'd had me orders from Dumbledore, an' I told Black no, Dumbledore said Harry was ter go ter his aunt an' uncle's. Black argued, but in the end he gave in. Told me ter take his motorbike ter get Harry there. 'I won't need it anymore,' he says.

So at this point Sirius could imagine that he would be able / allowed to look after Harry.

His own words about how he knew that something was wrong:

The night they died, I'd arranged to check on Peter, make sure he was still safe, but when I arrived at his hiding place, he'd gone. Yet there was no sign of a struggle. It didn't feel right. I was scared. I set out for your parents' house straight away. And when I saw their house, destroyed, and their bodies... I realized what Peter must've done... what I'd done...."

Now it seems that Sirius may have got there first. He is there grieving for his friends when Hagrid arrives on Dumbledore's orders, discovers that Harry is alive and takes him to Privet Drive, again on Dumbledore's orders. In the meantime, people are already celebrating all over the country. Dumbledore seems to know that Voldemort is gone, that the Potters are dead and that Harry has survived, yet he does not even stop by to take a look at Harry? He just sends there Hagrid, who can't even do magic (at least not much). That would only be possible if Dumbledore were able to monitor everything that is taking place in the Potter house, but since he obviously didn't notice Voldemort's arrival there in time, I don't see the point in monitoring anything after the damage is done and the tragedy has happened. No one could count on Harry staying alive, could they?

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Verity Weasley on Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:48 pm

Good detective work Julia. So it seems that some of our unanswered questions just stem from our faulty memories!

I'll come back with some more thoughts later. Have to go to work now.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Verity Weasley on Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:49 am

The timeline is still problematic.

Assuming that Sirius is first on the scene, and perhaps sends word to the Order of the attack, how long was he waiting there before Hagrid arrived? Presumably, Sirius assumed that everyone was dead, otherwise why wouldn't he try and get Harry out of the house himself? If Sirius sent word of the attack, and that's how Dumbledore knew, then how did Hagrid get there so fast, given that he can't apparate, and why wouldn't Dumbledore go himself? Could Dumbledore have sent Hagrid with a portkey?

However, as you suggest Julia, maybe Dumbledore had some sort of alarm system in place. Although if it were some kind of magical alarm, I think it's fair to suggest that we should know about it by now. We know the Order organised the guard to keep a watch over Harry in OOTP when they suspected a possible attack. Maybe something similar was in place in Godric's Hollow, just a regular patrol. So Dumbledore could have been notified that something had happened and despatched Hagrid (with a portkey?) while he went to do what? (Speak to Snape?) Coincidentally, Sirius arrives just before Hagrid because he realised something was wrong after going to visit Peter.

Regarding the fidelius charm, we know that the charm breaks on the death of the secret keeper, but has it ever been established that the charm would break if the object of the charm were killed? I don't think that's so clearcut. Of course, even though Peter was secret keeper, Sirius and Dumbledore, and probably trusted others, also knew where the Potters were hiding. If there was a patrol in GH, would the patrollers also know the location of the cottage, or would they just be instructed to look out for any general signs of disturbance anywhere in the village?

I feel like we're just answering questions with more questions!

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Julia H. on Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:45 pm

I feel like we're just answering questions with more questions!

LOL, and it seems to be part of the fun!

In DH, Harry assumes that the Fidelius Charm died with Lily and James. I can't remember if anything more is said on this topic anywhere else. I wonder what we should mean by the "objects" of the Fidelius Charm though. Are they people or places or both? In the case of 12GP, it seems the object of the charm is the house rather than any people. What about GH? Is the object of the charm the Potter house (and then perhaps anyone within its walls would be hidden and safe) or the Potter family? So far I have thought it is the house, since it is their location that is hidden in the soul of the Secret Keeper. But then I have no idea how the charm can die while the Secret Keeper is alive. Dumbledore shared the secret of 12GP with various people, yet the charm remained in place. So I may be totally wrong there. Or can the "object" of the charm be the combination of a place and certain people?

I like the idea of a patrol in GH. I suppose there were people who knew the location of the Potters and were able to visit them (as Sirius, too, thought he could go there and investigate) - they were the people who had known their whereabouts before the Fidelius Charm was placed on them / the house. They simply weren't able to share this knowledge with anyone. Does that make sense? So, for example, Order members could know where they were and were able to patrol the place and alert Dumbledore.

I still find it hard to believe that Dumbledore could be so well-informed and he could arrange for Harry's future while Harry was still under the ruins and Hagrid was looking for him - or that Dumbledore never even had a look at the surviving baby before leaving him on Petunia's doorstep.

Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.

"Is that where -?" whispered Professor McGonagall.

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


Doesn't it sound as though Dumbledore were already familiar with Harry's scar? That it wasn't the first time he had seen it?

I think I'll do some more research into the details (there must be some other places in the books where that night is mentioned), but not now. I must go to bed - I feel tired and ill.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Verity Weasley on Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:45 pm

Good point.

We know where McGonagall was all day, but we don't know where Dumbledore and Hagrid were. It's entirely possible that Hagrid and Dumbledore met up earlier in the day, which is when DD gave the instructions about bringing Harry to Privet Drive. Of course, in that case, Hagrid must have parked the motorbike somewhere out of sight before meeting Dumbledore!

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Fidelius Charme

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:53 pm

May I remind you that the Fidelius Charm doesn’t break with the death of the secret keeper?

After Dumbledore’s death, the Fidelius Charm was still in effect, but everybody who knew the secret was now a secret keeper. This is probably because somebody should still be able to tell the secret, but the Fidelius Charme can not decide who should this be now. The problem there was not that the Fidelius Charm was broken, but that Severus Snape had become a secret keeper and the other secret keepers didn’t trust him.

Just after his arrival in Godrics’ Hollow (DH 16), Harry wonders:

He was not even sure whether he would be able to see the cottage at all; he did not know what happened when the subjects of a Fidelius Charme died.

Later (DH 17), Harry thinks:

He could see it; the Fidelius Charme must have died with James and Lily.

But I believe that Harry, who never learned much about the Fidelius Charm and forgot half of what he had learned(*), got this wrong. If [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] was "Lily, James and Harry Potter are hiding in the Potter’s house at Godric’s Hollow", the Fidelius Charm should have died when Hagrid removed Harry from this place. If the Fidelius Charme could die with James and Lily, it wasn’t performed properly, because Harry (or his hiding place or whatever) wasn’t part of the secret and Voldemort could always have found Harry just by looking for him, not for his parents.

(*)He believed that Hermione had made Yaxley a secret keeper when she unintentionally lead him to GP 12. This is not how secret keepers are made.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Julia H. on Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:33 pm

It's entirely possible that Hagrid and Dumbledore met up earlier in the day, which is when DD gave the instructions about bringing Harry to Privet Drive. (Verity)

I like that, but Hagrid remembers telling Sirius that it was Dumbledore's order to take Harry to his relatives' house. Unless Hagrid doesn't remember entirely accurately (which is possible after about 12 years), he went to pick up Harry already knowing what Dumbledore's exact instructions were.

By the way, Sirius says he went to check on Pettigrew on the night the Potters died, and I guess he hurried to GH immediately when he couldn't find Peter because he was very worried. Should it mean he must have been there quite early? How long did he spend there (obviously not realizing the Harry was alive) before Hagrid arrived? Was Hagrid there quite early, too? (We know that at about 8.30 Minerva was already sitting outside 4 Privet Drive having got the information from Hagrid that Dumbledore would eventually go there.)

May I remind you that the Fidelius Charm doesn’t break with the death of the secret keeper? (HG)

Oh, yes, you're right. Thanks for reminding us!

So we don't know for sure when exactly the Fidelius Charm dies.

If the Fidelius Charme could die with James and Lily, it wasn’t performed properly, because Harry (or his hiding place or whatever) wasn’t part of the secret and Voldemort could always have found Harry just by looking for him, not for his parents. (HG)

Or it may mean that if a part of the charm becomes irrelevant (so to speak), the whole charm dies. So the original charm may have included Lily, James and Harry, but the death of one or two of them may have meant the charm would have to be recast for the surviving object(s).

He believed that Hermione had made Yaxley a secret keeper when she unintentionally lead him to GP 12. This is not how secret keepers are made. (HG)

Oh, yes. Dumbledore shared the secret of 12GP with Harry, yet Harry didn't become a Secret Keeper.

By the way, Flitwick says: the information is
impossible to find - unless, of course, the Secret Keeper chooses to divulge it.

Does it mean the secret can only be shared intentionally? But in that case, what was the point in choosing Pettigrew the Secret Keeper? Sirius was afraid that he was a too obvious Secret Keeper, therefore Voldemort would go after him either way. He says he would have died before betraying his friends. If the secret can only be shared intentionally by the Secret Keeper, Voldemort could not have got it out of him with Legilimency (and perhaps not even with torture) because Sirius would never have wanted to share the secret with him. However, since the identity of the Secret Keeper was not protected by a Fidelius Charm, if Sirius had been caught by Death Eaters, Voldemort could have broken into his mind and find out who the real Secret Keeper was, and that would have put Sirius's clever plan into serious jeopardy.

I don't know when and where Dumbledore saw Harry first (after the Potter parents' death), but I don't see how he could know so much and make arrangements for the rescue and Harry's future protection before checking the details personally. As Verity says, such a powerful, long-distance alarm and monitoring system is never mentioned in the books; besides, a monitoring system that starts operating only after (or immediately before) the protected persons' death is of little use. So how could Dumbledore know enough to send confidently Hagrid (a person who cannot / must not do magic!) there with precise instructions without first taking a look around or getting a report from someone else? But then why didn't he or that other person rescue Harry immediately?

Could it be that Dumbledore was alerted by some patrol in the area or by the disappearance of Snape's Dark Mark and he first sent Fawkes to GH to investigate and got a detailed report from him (including even Harry's scar?), after which he was able to send Hagrid to the place with precise instructions? (I guess he may have had to spend a few minutes to find out, with some magical search engine, where Petunia lived. He may have already been aware that Lily and James had no living magical relations, but I don't think they had had any reason to consider Petunia for any role in the affair before.) Can we assume a sort of telepathic relationship between Dumbledore and Fawkes?

After sending out Hagrid, Dumbledore may have gone to the Ministry or locked himself up in his office. As Hagrid was leaving Hogwarts, he told Minerva where Dumbledore would go, then, reaching the Potter house, he met Sirius, told him he couldn't get the baby, and borrowed the bike. During the day, Dumbledore had plenty of time to talk to Ministry people, talk to Snape and perform the new protective magic for Harry and the Dursleys, while Hagrid was travelling most of the day with Harry far away from everybody's sight.

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The night when the Potters died

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:06 pm

... the night they died, I’d arranged to check on Peter, make sure he was still safe, but when I arrived at his hiding place, he’d gone
doesn’t give us an exact time-line. Sirius may have arrived at Wormtails hiding place quite late at night (because it was a hiding place and Sirius didn’t want anybody to see him go there).
Jus’ got him outta the ruins, poor little thing, with a great slash across his forehead, an’ his parents dead ... an’ Sirius Black turns up, on that flyin’ motorbike he uesed to ride
sounds to me as if Hagrid was already about to leave when Sirius arrived at GH.

Sirius intended to die rather than tell Voldemort anything, but how can anybody be sure in advance that they really can stand the torture? So the plan was:
1) avoid to be caught, as long as possible
2) use Occlumency against Voldemort’s Legilimency and withstand confunding, torture, the imperius curse and whatever else Voldemort may try, as long as possible
3) either die from the torture or let Voldemort know that he wasted a lot of time

However, since the identity of the Secret Keeper was not protected by a Fidelius Charm, if Sirius had been caught by Death Eaters, Voldemort could have broken into his mind and find out who the real Secret Keeper was, and that would have put Sirius's clever plan into serious jeopardy.
Did Voldemort ever ask Snape who was the Secret Keeper for the Order of the Poenix’ headquarters?
If he did, didn’t he know that the secret keeper’s death should have made Snape a Secret Keeper?
How could Snape still avoid to lead Death Eaters into 12 GP, if Voldemort knew that Snape had become a Secret Keeper after Dumbledore’s death?
The answer is probably: Voldemort never asked, because he knew that the Secret Keeper’s identity is routinely part of every secret concealed by a Fidelius Charme, and can only be revealed by the Secret Keeper himself telling the secret.

I love the rest of your comment, Julia. "Dumbledore sent Fawkes to GH to investigate" will probably become my head canon.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Julia H. on Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:42 pm

Yes, from Hagrid's comment it does sound as though he was there before Sirius. Dumbledore must have acted very quickly. (It could be late at night, of course.)

Voldemort never asked, because he knew that the Secret Keeper’s identity is routinely part of every secret concealed by a Fidelius Charme, and can only be revealed by the Secret Keeper himself telling the secret. (HG)

It is possible, though we are never told. (But even if the identity of the Secret Keeper cannot be revealed, it can apparently be guessed, at least according to Sirius.) It isn't necessarily the only possibility though.

Did Voldemort ever ask Snape who was the Secret Keeper for the Order of the Poenix’ headquarters? (HG)

Voldemort may have asked Snape, but even if he did not, he may have guessed that the Secret Keeper of the secret of the location of the Order of the Phoenix headquarters was the leader of the Order of the Phoenix himself - the only person Voldemort was afraid of (I guess Voldemort knew that Dumbledore knew. ).

If he did, didn’t he know that the secret keeper’s death should have made Snape a Secret Keeper? (HG)

It depends on how thoroughly Voldemort studied the magic of the Fidelius Charm. But it is quite possible that he knew.

How could Snape still avoid to lead Death Eaters into 12 GP, if Voldemort knew that Snape had become a Secret Keeper after Dumbledore’s death? (HG)

The Order vacated the place after Dumbledore's death precisely because they realized that Snape was a Secret Keeper. That was a logical step, so Voldemort may even have assumed that the secret of the OP headquarters had lost all its value. Or Snape might have told Voldemort the address of any empty building in the country, as when they got there, he could easily have said , "My Lord, they suspected we would be coming, so they have fled". But we also know that the Fidelius Charm wasn't the only kind of magic protecting the place. What is specifically mentioned is that Moody put a few anti-Snape spells on the house:

"We hope they'll be strong enough both to keep him out and to bind his tongue if he tries to talk about the place..." (Mr Weasley)

I think the mere possibility of such a charm should be enough to give Snape an excuse not to speak about the house. Since Snape has "proved" himself to be a Death Eater, Voldemort must expect the Order to renew their security system immediately. For all Voldemort knew, the Order may have totally renewed the Fidelius Charm with a new Secret Keeper, in which case Snape's old information would be useless anyway.

In the end, it is quite possible that Voldemort did not ask Snape many questions about the OP headquarters simply because he knew that a place of such tight security cannot be betrayed so easily.

Death Eaters kept watching the area of 12GP while the Trio lived there in DH. As various characters point out, they probably watched the place because they knew that 12GP belonged to Harry (a fact independent of the Fidelius Charm or of the question of the OP headquarters).

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Story #151

Post  Verity Weasley on Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:38 pm

Death Eaters kept watching the area of 12GP while the Trio lived there in DH. As various characters point out, they probably watched the place because they knew that 12GP belonged to Harry (a fact independent of the Fidelius Charm or of the question of the OP headquarters).
Death Eaters were watching 12GP because of the Taboo. The trio were talking about Voldemort freely inside the house, which alerted the DEs. They knew someone had used LV's name in the vicinity of the house, but they still couldn't see the house because of the Fidelius Charm, unplottability etc.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Solitaire on Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:02 pm

Don't you think that someone from the Order--most likely Moody--would have gotten to 12 GP posthaste and recast all of the concealing spells? Given that he believed Snape was a murdering traitor, I can't believe he would have left 12 GP unguarded for long ... maybe just long enough for Snape to have retrieved the things he took from Sirius's bedroom. Then again, I am assuming he took them shortly after DD's death; I suppose it could have been another time.

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The Fidelius Charm at 12 GP

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:59 am

The point of my questions was to show that Sirius might have had a good reason to asume that his clever plan could not be jeopardized by Voldemort learning the true Secret Keeper’s name from Sirius. This was obviously a silly attempt, especially since I myself don’t believe that Death Eaters would have been able to enter 12 GP if they only had known the secret, or that everybody who could enter 12 GP would know the secret by default. The absence of Death Eaters in 12 GP doesn’t really tell as anything.

Verity, I’m not sure if the Taboo really worked at 12 GP. If [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and puts it into an alternate universe, the signal might not be able to pass between universes. I’m not sure whether any of Hermione’s spells made the Trio’s tent unplottable. Anyway, the Death Eaters were
"staking out everywhere that’s got any connection with you, Harry." (Remus Lupin in DH 11)
. Having learned from the Ministry’s files that Harry had inherited 12 GP would have been reason enough to watch the place. If they had known that somebody had actually dared to speak Voldemort’s name at this place, shouldn’t there have been more Death Eaters trying harder to break the protective charms rather than just watching?
For all Voldemort knew, the Order may have totally renewed the Fidelius Charm with a new Secret Keeper, in which case Snape's old information would be useless anyway.
So Julia found another "Unanswered Question": Why didn’t the Order do just this?

Considering that the Fidelius Charm is an immensely complex spell, I would assume that Albus Dumbledore and one of James Potter or Lily Potter or Sirius Black had been the only members of the Order who could cast it. But somebody casted Fidelius Charms on Shell Cottage and Aunt Muriel’s Place. (Can’t we just forget this? JKR must have been confunded when she wrote this chapter )

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Story #151

Post  Julia H. on Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:51 am

Considering that the Fidelius Charm is an immensely complex spell, I would assume that Albus Dumbledore and one of James Potter or Lily Potter or Sirius Black had been the only members of the Order who could cast it. But somebody casted Fidelius Charms on Shell Cottage and Aunt Muriel’s Place. (HG)

Good point. The Fidelius Charm starts out as an immensely complex spell, which one would assume just a few people could cast, and then we end up having it almost all over the place. The same happens to the Patronus Charm. In PoA, Lupin keeps telling Harry how difficult it is; at Harry's DADA OWL exam everybody is amazed that Harry can produce a corporeal Patronus, but, if I remember correctly, the reader finds out that practically every student (or at least a lot of students) in the DA can learn it, no matter how young they are. OK, Harry may be an exceptionally good teacher. But later we find that even a witch like Umbridge can produce a corporeal Patronus, and Umbridge doesn't strike us as a particularly talented witch - she can't do anything against the twins' fireworks and other tricks, for example.

I wonder which of the three - Lily, James or Sirius - was able to perform a Fidelius Charm. Aren't we told somewhere that Lily was very good at charms or that her wand was especially suitable for charm work?

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Verity Weasley on Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:13 am

Good points about both the Fidelius Charm and the Patronus Charm. You would think that both would be required training for an Auror. We know that Auror training typically takes three years, so you would think that the training would cover such complex magic. I could easily believe that Kingsley was definitely up to the task, but I'd also like to think that McGonagall, Lupin and Tonks were equally accomplished.

I take your point about the Patronus, Julia. It doesn't seem to be quite such complex magic when Harry teaches it. As for Umbridge being able to produce one, I guess she is a more accomplished witch than we would like to give her credit for, but since the twins magic was unknown to her, she was unable to counteract it.

HG, I like my Taboo theory, and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I'm sticking to it! The effects of the Taboo might have been weakened by the protective spells around 12GP, but I believe the DE's still knew the name had been spoken somewhere in the vicinity. We know that the Taboo was able to break the trio's spells around the tent, so it's feasible that the effects of saying the name could still be felt even through the spells protecting 12GP, but were not enough to break them.

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:25 pm

AHA! So the Dark Force Defense League did exist, and it wasn’t just something Lockhart made up! Thank you, Hieronymus, for finding and sharing that. That still leaves the second part of my question: where were they during the last book? It sounds like exactly the type of organization that would be most needed as Voldemort was regaining power.

Apparently they were still around during Harry’s fourth year. But it was at the end of that year that Voldemort came back and everything started changing.

I’m still trying to understand the purpose of the organization. There was the ministry (with aurors), whose job it was to protect people from dark forces. Because it’s called the Dark Force Defense League, and not the Dark Force Defense Department, it sounds to me like it’s not part of the Ministry. Then you have the Order of the Phoenix, who pick up where the Ministry leaves off as far as fighting the dark forces. So the DFDL and the OoP seem to perform the same function. Aahh…but then there’s also the DA. So that’s three non-ministry groups with the same goal. But only two helping in the final battle.

I love this thread.~Julia I miss discussing the books.

An added note: Edinburgh Book Festival (2004
"Harry did not see his parents die. He was one year old and in a cot at the time. Although you never see that scene, I wrote it and then cut it. He didn’t see it; he was too young to appreciate it." (JKR) However, Harry had to have heard the sounds of the things going on in the house. And we know he saw LV curse him (he remembers the flash of green light). And maybe he saw the curse rebound and hit LV. So I suppose DD could have performed legilimency on Harry. But I don’t think he saw Harry until he arrived at Privet Drive with Hagrid.

I haven't posted in a whie because I've been trying to do some research and organize my thoughts. I apologize in advance because this is going to be long.
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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:34 pm

Ok; with all the speculation, I was getting all kinds of confused. So, using a timeline on the Lexicon as a guideline, this is what I came up with (italics are direct quotes from the books or from the Lexicon):

Fall 1979Trelawney makes the prophecy

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...
Born to those who have thrice defied him,
born as the seventh month dies...
and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not...
and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives".


What DD knows: that the following July a baby would be born who would have the power to vanquish LV, that the baby would have power that LV doesn’t know about, that, in order for LV to live, that child would have to be killed by LV at some point, and somehow, sometime LV would ‘mark’ that person.

What DD might have done: as soon as possible, find out everyone who might be expecting a baby in July (and possibly later as babies can come early), begin planning and preparing ways to protect the child until it’s old enough to vanquish LV, start thinking about how to teach and prepare the child for when it meets LV.

Once the possible babies were narrowed down to the Potter and Longbottom babies, he might have started tweaking any general plans to fit those two families. This might include what to do with them if anything happened to their families. One can do a lot of planning and considering pros and cons of different options given months to do it.
July 1980Harry and Neville are born

What DD knows: one of these boys will be the one to vanquish LV if he lives long enough to do it.

What DD might have done: learned everything he could about each child (in an effort to anticipate which might be the one). Do we know if he ever talked to the families before he knew Lily was in LV’s sights?
Jul 31- Sep 1, 1980Snape finds out Voldemort’s going to kill Lily and Harry, tells Dumbledore, offers his allegiance to Dumbledore in exchange for protection for Lily, and is hired as Potions Master.

What DD knows: LV will try to kill both Lily and Harry (does this exclude the possibility LV might try to kill Neville too?), that the Potters need to be protected, that Snape is in love with Lily.

What DD hopes: that Harry (and his parents) will be safe, that Snape will be a loyal and valuable spy for him

What DD did: agreed to protect Lily and Harry, gave Snape a position at Hogwarts (presumably to keep him close as well as to make LV think he’s a valuable spy for him)

What DD might have done: talk to the Potters and/or Longbottoms? Adjust/tweak protection plans. Spend the next year fighting against LV--gathering what intelligence he could, sharing it with the OoP, advising Fudge--always looking for anything to help him protect Harry.
before Oct 24, 1981
Over a year has passed since Harry and Neville were born
About a week before the attack, Dumbledore suggests that the Potters use the Fidelius Charm.

What DD knows: that the charm can be a good way to hide the Potters

What DD fears: that the charm might not be enough

What DD did: place another charm on the Potters’ house.


PotterCast #130
JKR: "Obviously Dumbledore could cast a charm on a dwelling that would immediately alert him if something happened to it. So he can know instantaneously. That's not a problem at all. And then he could dispatch Hagrid, and so on. [...] I'm gonna have to really go back through notes, and either admit I've lost 24 hours, or, I don't know, hurriedly come up with some back story to fill it. Either way, you either get to be right, or you get more story. So you can't complain."


What DD might have done: consider other protection options, refresh any plans for Harry’s future (just in case).


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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:42 pm

Oct 31, 1981, nighttimeVoldemort kills James and Lily and attempts to kill Harry. The curse rebounds, destroying the house and Voldemort (almost). What’s left of him flees.

What DD knew: That something had happened at the Potters’ house, that in order for that to have happened the fidelius charm would have to have failed.

What DD assumed: (combining the new knowledge with the previous knowledge that LV wants to kill the Potters) that LV has attacked the Potters


Now, this charm of DD’s is where things start getting fuzzy for me. If the charm is on the house to alert DD if something happens to it, that sounds like a burglar alarm—it goes off if the house (or the charm?) is breached.

But a burglar alarm going off can’t tell you who entered the house (but it’s easy to guess that would be LV); that part of the house was blasted away (but since Hagrid had to tell DD about that, he probably didn’t know that from the charm); who within the house is dead (Lily and James) and who is alive (Harry); that a curse rebounded; or that LV was ‘broken’ and gone. How does DD come to all those conclusions? He wouldn’t send Hagrid there if he thought LV was still there in full power.

So I guess this charm must have reported to DD that, not only had the house/charm been breached, but that James and Lily were dead and Harry was still alive? And maybe that there was no longer anyone else in the house? That’s asking a lot of a charm, and JKR didn’t say it did all that in her statement above.


What DD did: told Hagrid to go to GH and rescue Harry.
Nov 1, 1981 Very early morning hoursDD sends Hagrid to GH. Before he leaves, Hagrid tells McGonagall that DD will be going to number four Privet Drive later that day. (She doesn’t know who lives there or why DD is going there, or about what happened in Godric’s Hollow.)

As best we know, Hagrid is first on the scene. We do not know how he travels there, but he gets there so quickly that he is able to rescue Harry from the ruins of the house just before Muggles start "swarming around."

To me, this is another important point. The Fidelius charm is broken, DD’s charm is broken. At this point, muggles should be able to see the house. Of course it’s late and dark so probably no one’s looking to see it. LV is in the house, he kills James and Lily, tries to kill Harry. The curse rebounds, blasting away an entire section of the house. That has to be extremely loud—something like an explosion. Probably woke everyone living anywhere nearby. Now how long would it take before people started swarming around the house to see what happened and if anyone was hurt? I can’t imagine that it would take half an hour.

And in that time, DD realized something had happened, guessed what it was, and told Hagrid to go. Hagrid told McGonagall where DD was going to be later, went to GH, dug Harry out of the rubble, and had a conversation with Sirius.

There’s just no way anything else could have happened in those few minutes between the blast and the muggles swarming unless Hagrid had a time turner.


Sirius arrives (on his motorbike), and is horrified by the destruction and death. Hagrid is still there and comforts him. Sirius gives Hagrid his motorbike to deliver Harry.

What DD knows: Nothing new? How could he?

What DD did: No one knows what he did for the next 24 hours. We are not told in the books or by JKR. In fact, she apparently didn’t intend for there to be 24 unaccounted for hours for him to do anything in.

What DD probably didn’t do: Go to GH (why bother now that everything’s over and he knows what happened anyway?), go to Privet Drive to place charms on the Dursley house (McGonagall would have seen him).

What DD might have done: Alert the Ministry about what happened; install Mrs. Figg in the Dursleys’ neighborhood. Since JKR didn’t intend for him to do anything, anything we put here would be speculation.
Before 8:30 AM.McGonagall is at Privet Drive. People are already celebrating. They’re already talking about LV having killed Lily and James and attempting but failing to kill Harry, and saying that his powers were broken and he’s gone.
Just before midnightDD arrives at Privet Drive, followed by Hagrid with Harry. Hagrid gives this report: “…house was almost destroyed, but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin' around..."

There was no need for Hagrid to describe the condition of the house unless DD hadn’t been there to see it for himself. What reason would he have had to go there? He expected LV to do something, and the charm told him it was done. It was too late for DD to go there to protect anyone. Hagrid was perfect for the job of rescuing Harry. Inspecting the house probably wouldn’t have told him anything he didn’t already know. Going there would be pointless for DD, though of course it would have been necessary for the Ministry.

This report also tells me that this is the first communication between Hagrid and DD since DD sent him to GH. So we have two options here. We can accept that there weren’t 24 hours unaccounted for (as JKR intended). Or, since we know there were 24 hours, we fill that time with speculations about what we think characters might have done (in a fan-fiction sort of way). The problem I have with that, though, is that for 24 hours DD just waited patiently for Hagrid to bring Harry to Privet Drive before even getting a report about Harry’s condition. That would indicate that DD doesn’t really care about Harry, which I don’t think JKR intended since in her mind it hadn’t been that long since LV attacked the Potters.


Dumbledore leaves Harry on the Dursley’s doorstep.

What DD knew: Whatever he put in the letter for Petunia; that if she took Harry in it would seal a charm to protect Harry (and the Dursley’s?); that it would be better for Harry to grow up away from his fame; that the Dursleys were not nice people; that if Harry lived to be eleven he would go to Hogwarts.

What DD hoped: That Petunia would take Harry in; that the Dursley’s would treat him reasonably well; that Harry would be safe and survive to go to Hogwarts and prepare to vanquish LV; that LV wouldn’t come back until Harry was prepared.

What DD might have done: Begin planning for the special education and training Harry would need to prepare him to vanquish LV; install Mrs. Figg to keep an eye on Harry (if it wasn’t done already).

Nov 2, 1981Petunia finds Harry on her doorstep, with a letter from Dumbledore. She agrees to provide Harry with a home and in so doing, knowingly seals a protective charm on Harry while he lives in her house. (OP37)

I don’t understand what this charm is. Lily’s charm gives him protection, before Petunia seals anything. What charm is she sealing?


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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:15 pm

So, my original questions (rearranged) with what I think are the answers.

Based on that evidence, how can anyone conclude that:

2. Voldemort tried to kill Harry? Because of the prophecy, DD knew that LV had reason to want Harry dead. Because of Snape, he knew that LV actually intended to kill Harry and Lily. He had placed a charm on the Potters’ house to let him know if something happened and it had done that. And that meant the fidelius charm had failed. (What else did his charm tell him?) Even if it didn’t tell him LV was there, DD could easily assume that because no one else had reason to want Harry dead.

1. Voldemort was the one who killed the Potters? Logically it would be the same person who tried to kill Harry, if for no other reason than that James and Lily would have tried to protect Harry. Because of Snape, DD knew that LV intended to kill Lily too.

4. the house was destroyed by the killing curse rebounding off Harry? It’s known that rebounding curses cause this kind of destruction. This could ultimately be proven by the fact that magic leaves traces, but that would require an investigation. An investigation may have been done at some point, but I don’t think it could have been done before people started celebrating.

3. the scar on Harry's forehead was from a curse and not an object hitting him when the house was destroyed? From the prophecy DD knew that LV would ‘mark’ the one with the power to vanquish him, and since LV tried to kill Harry, clearly Harry was the one. How else would he mark him except with a curse? Also, curse scars are different form regular ones; perhaps because magic leaves traces, or because they can’t be healed? But if Hagrid and Sirius were the only two people who saw Harry and his scar between the time he got it and the time Hagrid arrived at PD with him, then DD couldn’t have known he had a scar (much less a curse scar). So how did the celebrating people know about it?

6. the rebounding curse 'broke' Voldemort's power? I guess it was obvious that LV had somehow lost his powers because dark marks were fading, death eaters were fleeing, and imperiused people were coming around.

5. the rebounding killing curse hit and damaged Voldemort in any way (assuming the person was Voldemort)? Because he tried to kill Harry (see 2 above), the curse had rebounded (see 4 above), and LV had lost his powers (6 above). How else could he have lost his powers if the rebounding curse had not hit him?

7. Voldemort is 'gone' as opposed to having left the Potter's house and gone home (wherever that is)? He probably wasn’t dead, as there was no corpse, he wasn’t still there trying to figure out how to finish Harry off, and he had been hit by a rebounding curse which caused him to lose his powers. Although the state of his being may not be known, it was clear that he was no longer in a position to carry on as before.
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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  shepherdess on Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:22 pm

Who knew what happened in GH? When did they know, and who did they tell?

Voldemort ~Obviously he knew while it was happening. I don’t think he told anyone.

Harry ~He probably heard a lot of things, and saw a few things, but being a baby who just went through a traumatic experience, he probably didn’t understand what was happening. He couldn’t tell anyone, and it doesn’t seem he was around anyone but Hagrid the first few hours after the incident (unless Hagrid had a medical person check him out, but there’s no evidence that happened).

Pettigrew ~Was he there at the time? Did he witness the whole thing? We know he was not at his home when Sirius went there, and that he retrieved LV’s wand at some point. I don’t think he told anyone either as he was busy trying to escape from Sirius.

Sirius ~When he left GH, he knew what had happened. But since he was chasing Pettigrew, I doubt he took the time to tell other people about it.

McGonagall ~All she knew was that DD would be at PD sometime that day. Since she learned about what happened by hearing the rumors being spread by the revelers, clearly she couldn’t have had anything to do with spreading the word before that.

Hagrid ~Before he got to GH, he only knew what DD told him. Given the incredible time limitations, I doubt DD gave him much detail- probably something like “Voldemort has killed James and Lily Potter and tried to kill their son. Go to Godric’s Hollow and rescue the baby. Take him to 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging at midnight”. By the time he left GH, he also knew the condition of Harry, Sirius, and the house. Presumably, he spent the next 24 hours taking care of Harry. We aren’t told of him seeing anyone else during that time, but we also aren’t told he didn’t. Or whether he sent owls to anyone. If he did, it clearly did not include DD or McGonagall.

DD ~Apparently he knew everything (though I still have my doubts about the abilities of his charm). We know he didn’t talk to Hagrid or McGonagall. Again, this would all be speculation, but given 24 hours, I suppose he could have talked to anyone else. Snape, OoP members, MoM, Daily Prophet, other teachers at Hogwarts, friends. But we can only guess at who he talked to before the people started celebrating.

MoM ~I don’t think we’re told whether the MoM knew what happened before the next day. If they did, it could be because DD told them, or because he told someone else and they informed the Ministry. Once the Ministry knew, they would have gladly spread the word—probably making it sound like they helped get rid of LV.

In conclusion, it doesn’t look likely that the news spread from LV, Harry, Pettigrew, Sirius, or McGonagall. Since Hagrid is busy taking care of a baby that’s just been separated from his family and is confused, I doubt he was spreading the word. So, since people knew and were celebrating within just a few hours after the incident, I guess we have to assume that either DD had spread the word, or he just told the Ministry and they spread the word, or both.

I also think that, since this all happened at night, those who were celebrating early were not the entire wizarding world. There were probably a lot of witches and wizards who were sleeping and didn’t hear the news until morning.

Whew! Yes, I'm longwinded.
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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Julia H. on Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:18 am

Perhaps we just have to invent an unknown witness suppose there was an unknown witness who was able to spread the word.

Thanks, Shepherdess, for this excellent analysis and summary of what can be known of those 24 hours. The fact that JKR didn't intend those 24 hours to be there is very unfortunate, but since she did write them into the story, it can hardly be helped now, and we definitely cannot assume that they are not there.

Now even if we assume that there was some magic that informed DD of what had happened, and even if he had already known what the prophecy had said, I find it quite hair-raising that he began acting on the basis of all that speculation, possibly informing the Ministry, and definitely sending Hagrid to a place where some very strong, lethal dark magic had just happened with two people dead and one having just barely survived an attack that no one had survived before, and with Hagrid being unable to do any serious magic.

I would see the point in using the magical alarm if it informed DD the moment LV entered the Potters' territory giving him time to go there himself (or at least to send the Order there) before LV had the time to kill everyone on the spot. If the alarm magic got activated by the Potters' death, it was way too late - Dumbledore simply could not assume that there would be survivors in that case as no one before had survived the Killing Curse. Since it seems that Hagrid got to the place rather fast, we may assume that Dumbledore could have got there at least as fast if the alarm had informed him in time to save the Potter family. Since he only sent Hagrid, it must mean that LV was, by that time, gone.

Apparently the magical alarm was very powerful, as it told Dumbledore that

1) Lily and James were dead
2) Harry was alive
3) that LV was gone but not dead (?)
4) there were no more Death Eaters on the spot (even with LV gone, what if there were a group of Death Eaters still running about the place in a confused state - how would Hagrid save Harry from them?)
5) that Harry had a scar(?).

He may also have learned about LV's loss of power (versus just LV's failure to kill Harry) from Snape, whose Dark Mark must have faded, but that would also take some time, and he seems to have sent Hagrid to GH immediately. So he must have learned from the alarm charm that LV was gone - that is the charm was programmed to indicate an event no one really hoped would happen.

I keep wondering - if such magic is possible in the wizarding world, then why can't they invent a magical alarm that would be set off before the protected persons are dead?

As for DD putting things together on the basis of the Prophecy: The problem with this is that DD does not seem to have set a lot of store by the intrinsic value of the Prophecy, he mostly seems to have been worried about Voldemort acting on it. He also says, I think, that Voldemort actually set the events foretold by the Prophecy in motion by believing in it. Given that, I think in DD's place I would at least go there and check things for myself before starting to arrange all sorts of things on the basis of such speculation. At the moment, he is like a Sherlock Holmes who can conclude amazing things from simple signs and connections but does not bother to check whether his conclusions are true.

We are told that Harry is the first person to have survived a Killing Curse, so no one could really know in what condition a baby who had just survived one would be found. Also, did DD know if Voldemort had performed any other magic without checking for traces? How could he be sure, really sure, that Harry had not been tortured or otherwise hurt in the hands of a powerful maniac? He may have assumed that LV would want to kill Harry as quickly as possible, but could he be sure that Harry would not need any immediate medical help? What was Hagrid alone to do in such a case? A medical check would seem to be necessary also because Harry was to be left with Muggles, who would be unable to handle any short- or long-term health problems resulting from dark magic.

Actually, perhaps we can hope that Hagrid took Harry to a healer before arriving at 4PD with him. That would account for how they had spent at least a part of the day, and we would have some more people to spread the word as well.

Of course, it is never mentioned in canon, but it seems possible (even logical to me), and I think we can now say that we won't find too many further details of those 24 hours (which JKR apparently put into the book by accident) in canon anyway.

DD to Minerva: "I must have passed a dozen feasts and parties on my way here." Hm.... I don't want to think of what that indicates regarding DD's day.

I would like the idea of DD visiting GH invisibly. I could accept that he may have had a reason not to want to tell anyone that he had been there and carried out an investigation (looked at traces etc.) - it would fit in with his secretive character and with his conviction that LV was not gone for ever. He may have got there even before Hagrid, he may have been there secretly with Hagrid and Harry, watching over them and seeing them leave safely. He may have kept the Muggles from "swarming around". When he was finally alone, he could start to thoroughly inspect the place. That would explain why he seems to know so many details.


Last edited by Julia H. on Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Still Unanswered Questions

Post  Julia H. on Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:24 am

Snape finds out Voldemort’s going to kill Lily and Harry, tells Dumbledore, offers his allegiance to Dumbledore in exchange for protection for Lily, and is hired as Potions Master. (Shepherdess)

I don't think Snape is hired at once. In OotP he tells Umbridge he has worked at Hogwarts for 14 years. That should mean he started only in 1981. Dumbledore probably hired him as a teacher only after getting to know him as a spy a little bit better and making sure that Snape could be trusted with such a position. That must have promoted Snape from a simple spy to a double agent and made his position somewhat less dangerous perhaps. It also meant that Snape could get more complex jobs (as a spy), though he did not have much time for those as the war had been over by the first of November.

We don't know how the Potters had been protected before the Fidelius Charm was placed on them, that is most of the time of their hiding period.

I don’t understand what this charm is. Lily’s charm gives him protection, before Petunia seals anything. What charm is she sealing? (Shepherdess)

Hm... How does Lily's protection work? I think it protects Harry primarily against Voldemort personally - though it also has something to do with Quirrell not being able to touch Harry - but then Quirrell also has Voldemort in him.

The charm that Petunia seals seems to be an extension of Lily's charm based on the blood relationship between Lily and Petunia. It protects Harry while his home is Petunia's house against other Death Eaters, who are still at large and may want revenge. I wonder if it works like the Fidelius Charm, i.e. that those Death Eaters can't find Harry - or if it simply means they could not hurt Harry even if they found him.

It probably protects the Dursleys as well.

When DD sends Hagrid to GH, he tells him to take Harry to 4DP. I wonder how he knows at once what to do with Harry, where his only relatives live etc. Did he count on the possibility of Harry being orphaned at some point?

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