Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

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Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:32 am

Sorry for the delay. I became obsessed with "The Protectors of the Plot Continuum", and I’m still obsessed with "Mark Reads" (and "Mark Watches" and "Mark Plays"), so I spent all my free time lurking and couldn’t do my homework.

Anyway, I do not longer pretend that this is a read along, and since there isn’t much to say for the first chapters of GF, we will start with chapter six.

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Chapter 6: The Portkey

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:43 am

In which there is (probably) no Slytherin, but still:

Slytherin observation Nr. 25:
(In case you wonder: Slytherin Observations Nr. 1 through 24 are [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].)

Parents like to be proud on their children, but Amos Diggory’s boasting seems to be a little bit over the top. I don’t see a humble and just Hufflepuff here. So we may learn from this that not all wizarding families have a tradition like the Malfoys (all Slytherin) or the Weasleys (all Gryffindor). If we see a Slytherin, we shouldn’t assume that all members of their family are Slytherins.

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Chapter 11: Aboard the Hogwarts Express

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:43 am

In which there is no Fidelius Charm, but:

Fidelius observation Nr. 3:
We learn of a more specialized way to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]: If a building is made Unplottable, "it’s impossible to plot on a map".

I’m not a native speaker and don’t understand the exact meaning of Hermione’s words.

Is it just physically impossible to mark the spot, because your hand would be restrained or the map would repel the ink? In this case Unplottability wouldn’t really help much in concealing the whereabouts of a place like Durmstrang.

Or is it impossible to tell where the mark should be, like "at fiftynine degrees, fiftysix minutes of latitude north and thirty degrees, sixteen minutes of longitude east of Greenwich", or "three miles and twohundredfortysix yards southwest of the crossing of the road from Woronesch to Wolgograd and the railway from Rostow to Kasan"? Does Unplottability effectively remove the building from the standard space-time continuum (how else would it be impossible to tell where it is?) so that you can not even stumble into it accidentally while walking in the region of its location? So if you don’t already know where to look for it, because you have already been there at least once, you couldn’t find the place unless you were guided by somebody who knows the way? (At least one person had to be in the building when the spell was casted, so when they left they could find their way back and they could lead others to the place.)

In the latter case, making their house Unplottable might have protected the Potters better than the Fidelius Charm did, if they hadn’t accepted any visitors, so that nobody who didn’t stay in the house would have been able to find it. But this would have been a very lonely life then.

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Solitaire on Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:05 pm

HG, does the Room of Requirement show up on the Marauder's Map? I can't remember. The reason I ask is that--in addition to its other magical qualities--it seems unplottable. Do you suppose there is a Fidelius Charm on it, as well, so that only those who know of it can see it? The Carrows are never able to find it in DH, and if Snape knows where it is, he isn't telling.

In PS/SS, Harry notices that the people who are walking on the street pass The Leaky Cauldron without even appearing to see it. He notes that if Hagrid hadn't pointed it out, he wouldn't even have noticed it, and he felt that only he and Hagrid could see it. Is it unplottable, or does it just have Muggle-repelling charms on it?

We will eventually learn that 12 GP is unplottable, invisible, and has a Fidelius Charm on it. I would imagine that as many of these as possible were placed on the house in GH, as well.

The Harry Potter Lexicon says, in the Encyclopedia of Spells, that Hogwarts is not unplottable, even though I believe Rowling has said it isn't on any map. Is it possible that Durmstrang isn't unplottable, either, but that Krum just assumes it is, since it isn't on any map?

Edit: I see that the RoR is unplottable, so I answered my own question.

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Verity Weasley on Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:43 pm

Soli, the Room of Requirement does not show up on the Marauders Map, which is why it took Harry such a long time to figure out what Draco was up to in HBP.

HG, like Soli, I would imagine that the Potters used as many protections as possible on their house, and it may have been unplottable. However, I get the feeling that making something unplottable is more of a protection against Muggles than Dark wizards, so I doubt it would have been sufficient to hold Voldemort at bay.

Also, concluding that Amos is not a Hufflepuff because he was boasting about his son is a bit of a stretch. Are you a parent? Parents can lose their perspective a little where their children are concerned, and loyalty is also a trait of Hufflepuffs. I don't think we can draw too many conclusions from his comments here.

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Solitaire on Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:41 pm

Cedric was clearly embarrassed by his father's boasting, because he seemed to understand the whole Harry/Dementor thing and what really happened in the Quidditch match the previous year. Amos was just doggone proud of his son--perhaps because he did prevail over Harry. From the little we see of Cedric, he was definitely a good guy, and I suspect Amos was, as well.

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Solitaire and Verity

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:12 am

Concerning Amos, I may have tried too hard to find something to write about in this chapter. Yes, I’m a parent, but Amos loosing his perspective up to deliberately ignoring what Cedric had told him seemed remarkable to me. On the other hand, there are big differences between members of one House, so it really isn’t easy to tell if Amos is a Hufflepuff. (If a were forced to guess, I would say he is a Gryffindor.)

Unplottability is not just a protection against Muggles. When Hermione talks about Durmstrang, she says specifically:

And to keep foreign wizards from finding it, they’ll have made it Unplottable.
Hermione also suggests that

it might have Muggle-Repelling Charms on it, like the World Cup Stadium.
And Arthur Weasley explained at the Quidditch World Cup:

Every time Muggles have got anywhere near here all year, they’ve suddenly remembered urgent appointments and had to dash away again.
I don’t see why a building that is inaccessible and invisible anyway would also need Muggle-Repelling Charms, but Hermione is only guessing here; she doesn’t know if Durmstrang is actually Unplottable.

Hogwarts, on they other hand, is hidden in an illusion. Hermione speaking again:

If a Muggle looks at it, all they see is a mouldering old ruin with a sign over the entrance saying DANGER, DO NOT ENTER, UNSAFE.
This charm is not actively “Muggle-Repelling”, but another kind of protection against Muggles; it doesn’t work on wizards.

Reading ahead, doesn’t Harry tell all his friends about the Room of Requirements? If Harry isn’t the Secret Keeper, there can be no Fidelius Charme. In DH, Neville had deliberately required that Carrows supporters (and the Carrows themselves probably count as such) should not be able to get in, so there was no need for further protections.

There is no indication that Fred and George or Filch or Dumbledore or the house-elves knew anything about the Room of Requirements before they found it. The magic of the RoR – accessible only if required and not denied by other reqirements actually performed – may resemble Unplottability, but it is not the same and may be unique.

If something isn’t on a map, this doesn’t mean that it would be impossible to plot. Would anybody who used the RoR regularly actually want to plot it on a map or would they prefer to keep it secret? People who walked in just once like Dumbledore were probably not able to find it again before they even thought about plotting it, and for Filch or the twins it was just a cupbpoard not worth plotting until they realised that nobody knew about it and they couldn’t find it again. The Marauders may just never have found the RoR because they didn’t ever need it.

Unfortunately JKR said a lot and not everything comes out to be true. Since it isn’t in the books I don’t even try to speculate why a mouldering old ruin shouldn’t be on Muggle maps (as a point of reference, not a place to visit), or why Hogwarts should deliberately be left out on wizards’ maps although foreign wizards are allowed to visit it.

No enemy should have been able to find the Potters in the first place, and if they had ever thought about treachery, their secret keeper would also have known how to overcome Unplottability. Thus, a combination of both spells wouldn’t have increased their safety.

At least Diagon Alley and its side alleys should be Unplottable, otherwise the real estate tax collectors should have noticed that the maps of London are inaccurate in the vicinity of Charing Cross Road: some estates should be bigger than they actually are or their must be more parcels which are apparently unaccessible and don’t pay any taxes

I’m not so sure about the Leaky Cauldron. In PS/SS, chapter five:

If Hagrid hadn’t pointed it out, Harry wouldn’t have noticed it was there.

But Harry wasn’t looking for a tiny pub. Since Hagrid hadn’t told him that they had to go through the Leaky Cauldron first, he tried to find a shop

that looked as if it could sell you a magical wand.

The people hurrying by didn’t glance at it. Their eyes slid from the big book shop on one side to the record shop on the other as if they couldn’t see the Leaky Cauldron at all. Harry had the most peculiar feeling that only he and Hagrid could see it.
Or maybe the Muggles, like Harry before Hagrid pointed it out, just don’t bother to look at the Leaky Cauldron, as long as they haven’t any business there (like it’s "Somebody Elses Problem"). If Muggles are looking for a drink, a special repelling charme may make them think "No, this isn‘t the kind of pub I would like", but parents of Muggle-borns may be able to enter this contact point to get magical advice, especially if the problem is: their children have vanished and can not help them to get in

Reading ahaed again, HBP chapter thirteen seems to settle the matter. Albus Dumbledore was able to tell eleven year old Tom Riddle exactly how to get to the Leaky Cauldron from the orphanage (this should probably be impossible if the place is Unplottable), and Tom Riddle apparently didn’t need any further assistance to find the pub. (But although he didn’t like the idea of another Tom, he may have neeeded the barman’s help to get through the gate in the backyard to diagon alley for the first time).

Also, Dumbledore said about the Leaky Cauldron:

You will be able to see it, although Muggles around you – non-magical people, that is, – will not.
Canonical, the Leaky Cauldron is invisible for Muggles. Am I still allowed to hope that Dumbledore’s explanation is somewhat shortened because it didn’t really matter to Tom who else could see the Leaky Cauldron? Where else should the Creeveys go if they ever need to find Dennis? Travelling to Hogsmeade is probably much more difficult than travelling to London if you can not use the Hogwarts Express

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Chapter 12: The Triwizard Tournament

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:21 am

In which there are so many observations that I don’t know where to begin. Let’s start with

Time-Turner observation Nr. 8
Most of this was actually observed in chapter eleven:

'You’ll find out this evening, I expect,’ said Mrs Weasley, smiling. 'It’s going to be very exciting – mind you, I’m very glad they’ve changed the rules –'
The change of rules isn’t such a big secret. Charlie (who is involved in the event) or Percy (who is at least working for a department involved in the event) or Arthur (who may have picked it up at the Ministry’s cafeteria) told Molly Weasley about it.

But Draco Malfoy, who pretended to know everything about the upcoming event at Hogwarts, because his father "always associated with the top people at the Ministry", assumed that Ron could and Harry would enter the "secret event", until he realized that they still didn’t know what he was talking about.

Now we learn why Mrs Weasley is glad: the change of rules means that her underaged sons are not allowed to participate in the dangerous Triwizard Tournament.

So Cornelius Fudge didn’t tell Lucius Malfoy everything? Or Lucius didn’t tell Draco everything? Or perhaps the "top people at the Ministry" just don’t bother to know every detail of what their subordinates are doing?

Does it now seem more possible that Fudge [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Time-Turner observation Nr. 8 2/3

Teachers at the staff table (as seen by Harry):
1 Prof. Flitwick - Charms
2 Prof. Sprout - Herbology
3 Prof. Sinistra - Astronomy
4 Prof. Snape - Potions
5 Prof. McGonagall - Transfiguration
6 Prof. Dumbledore - Headmaster
7 Prof. Moody - Defence Against the Dark Arts
8 through 11 in no particular order:
Prof. Binns - History of magic
Prof. Vector - Arithmancy
still nameless (Prof. Babbling) - Ancient Runes
still nameless (Prof. Burbage) - Muggle Studies
12 Hagrid - Care of Magical Creatures - "sat down at the end of the staff table"

Is this the reason, why
13 Prof. Trelawney - Divination
never leaves her tower?
To get a more symmetrical arrangement, Prof. Trelawney’s usually empty seat is probably at the other end of the staff table, next to Prof. Flitwick, placing Prof. Dumbledore as number seven at the center. I’m assuming here that
a) Harry ignores Trelawneys empty chair because it is at the end of the table and usually empty
b) Madame Hooch, like Madame Pince, Madame Pomfrey and Mr Filch doesn’t have a chair at the “staff table”, because it’s actually the “professor’s table”.

Wait! Did I just shoot down one of my [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]? If there where a
14 unknown professor – unknown topic
shouldn’t Sybill Trelawney regularly attend dinner at the professor’s table to avoid the unlucky “thirteen dine together”? (If there were more than one unknown professor, shouldn’t Harry see at least one more teacher or unusually empty seat between Flitwick and Dumbledore?)

If german teachers do administrative work as the school’s headmaster or deputy headmistress, they still have to teach some lessons (from twenty to eighty percent of what an ordinary teacher does, depending on the school’s type and size). I don’t know the british rules, so I need a native's help here:

Should Dumbledore at least offer to teach some obscure topic, even if it doesn’t get a single student in most years, so that it usually wouldn’t really take much of his time?

Slytherin observation Nr. 26:

We get [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], more direct, hint that all family members being in the same house isn’t a general rule: Parvati Patil is in Gryffindor, but her identical twin is in Ravenclaw.

Also, "Harry wondered whether Baddock knew that Slytherin house had turned out more Dark witches and wizards than any other." Harry doesn’t insist that all Dark sorcerers were Slytherins, he does know better now (so the far-fetched assumption that Wormtail may have been a Slytherin but still James and Sirius’ friend is probably wrong).

Also, what good reason did Fred and George have to hiss Malcolm Braddock? Isn’t this the unfriendly behavoiur we would expect from Slytherins to Gryffindors?

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Chapter 18: The Weighing of the Wands

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:16 am

In which everybody seems to hate Harry again.

Slytherin observation Nr. 27:

... Pansy Parkinson and her gang of Slytherin girls, who were laughing harder than anyone ...
So Harry can see a difference here: Under group pressure, all Slytherins in his year flash Malfoy’s fashionable badges and join the laughter, but some are not quite as amused as others. Who else is there and not a girl in Pansy’s gang?

A certain Blaise Zabini was sorted into Slytherin, but on first read we still didn’t know anything about him, because he had not ever been mentioned again. We also still didn’t know that Nott was sorted to Slytherin.

Harry should remember [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], so he might have seen Pansy Parkinson, Millicent Bulstrode and the rest of Pansy’s gang of Slytherin girls, and this being a badly structured sentence may have been the only reason to leave Bullstrode out. But there are still three other nameless girls, and two of them would be sufficient to form something resembling a gang. We don’t actually have any reason to force membership on poor, ugly Millicent.

Did Pansy and her gang really laugh harder than any of the Slytherin boys?

Further on:

Pansy Parkinson and the other Slytherin girls were doubled up with silent giggles, pointing at Hermione from behind Snape’s back.
We don’t get any reaction from the Slytherin boys, so maybe this is more a girls thing than a Slytherin thing? Girls who aren’t members of Pansy’s gang seem to be included here, but maybe they are giggling because it looks funny, not because it’s Hermione who got the beaver teeth? We don’t see any reaction from Gryffindor girls either. Since this is such a them vs. us situation here they probably don’t think it’s funny in this case, but I can imagine Lavender and Parvati giggling if this happened to some catfighting Ravenclaws.

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Solitaire on Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:22 pm

Hieronymus Graubart wrote:Does it now seem more possible that Fudge doesn’t know about the DOM’s time travelling experiments or is at least not aware that a time-turner isn’t a gigantic non-movable apparatus built into the DOM’s time branch office that couldn’t be used anywhere else?
It seems quite possible to me, because I think Fudge is an idiot. I can imagine him not knowing lots of things if they do not concern him personally. What happens with Harry concerns him personally because, in his dealings with Harry, he usually winds up looking as inept as he is. It's also possible that Fudge doesn't understand the Time-Turners, so he disregards them. I'm sure he disregarded Hermione, because she was "only" a Muggle-Born, and (not understanding the level of her ability) why should he be worried about anything she was doing? He probably did not connect her to Harry anyway.

Regarding the rule changes in the Triwizard Tournament ... is it possible that the reason they were made in the first place was to keep Harry from participating? Surely that would have been an issue of concern among the British Ministry. As far as the Hogwarts staff were concerned, keeping Harry out of the tournament would have made sense, because it probably would have reduced the level of disruptions considerably. Had Cedric been the only Hogwarts champion, there would probably have been a lot less inter-house warfare between the Slytherins and Gryffindors, and Rita Skeeter surely would have been a less ubiquitous presence at Hogwarts. In Dumbledore's mind, it would have meant less fear for Harry's safety ... until such time as fake Moody struck in some other way.

I always assumed that Pansy's "gang" of Slytherin girls consisted of other Slytherin girls in her year. We know Millicent and Hermione didn't get along (they had some sort of wandless fight in the second year Dueling Club, when Millie put Hermione into a headlock), so she would probably have been a default member of any Slytherin girl group laughing at Hermione/Harry. In fact, I think I remember some earlier suggestions that Millie may have been Muggle-born, because she was so quick to cast aside her wand and resort to Muggle fighting tactics.

Note about the starving Basilisk, which I found on the page when I went back to your "pet theory" link: What if it was put into some sort of magical sleep, first by Slytherin and later by Riddle, so that it did not need to eat? Wasn't there some reference to its having been "awakened" both times? After all, didn't Sleeping Beauty (I know, a fairy tale) sleep for 100 years without eating ... and dying? In fantasyland, it's possible!

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Response to Solitaire

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:05 pm

Concerning the Basilisk, new information from Pottermore clarifies JKR’s intentions: The Chamber of Secrets had been created and the Basislisk was left there by Salazar Slytherin, so I should stop trying to convince myself that "historic" Salazar, opposed to "legendary" Salazar, was essentially a good person and the Founders had just a small disagreement about the best way to do right.

But I will not stop to believe that Millicent Bullstrode is the most decent of the Slytherins and would have got along well with Hermione, like with everybody else, if Hermione hadn’t tried to rip a hair off Millicent’s head to use it in the polyjuice potion. Millicent being a Muggle-born might explain why we never see her close to Draco or Pansy (until next year), but on JKR’s not totally canonical list of students she seems to be a half-blood.

Isn’t it amazing that nearly everything we assume to know about Millicent is based on a non-event [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]? All Hermione said about it (in CS 12) is

Remeber Millicent Bullstrode wrestling with me at the Duelling Club? She left this on my robes when she was trying to strangle me!

So we still don’t know what happened before Millicent felt the necessity to use physical force on Hermione.

Change the rules to keep Harry from participating in the Triwizard Tournament? Good point, I hadn’t thought of this.

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Chapter 19: The Hungarian Horntail

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:49 pm

In which Rita Skeeter, assisted by Colin Creevy, starts the shipping wars by stating the "obvious" One True Pairing (which is a wrong statement, because shipping wars were probably abound since chapter six of the first book, but I wasn’t interested in naval warfare then).

Slytherin observation Nr. 28:

Stunningly pretty? Her? ... What was she judging against – a chipmunk?

Yeah, definitely a [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] here. No girl who doesn’t even care for her looks should be allowed to be more handsome than pug-faced Pansy Parkinson.

And again I’m not sure if "the" sniggering Slytherin girls are "all" Slytherin girls or just Pansy’s gang.

Also, like Harry and Ron, Pansy didn’t notice that the chipmunk-teeth are gone forever. Does nobody ever look twice at Hermione?

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Chapter 20: The First Task

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:22 pm

Which may not even be worth a

Slytherin observation Nr. 29:

Harry had seen Hufflepuffs sporting Draco’s Support CEDRIC DIGGORY badges (Ernie and Hannah at the Three Broomsticks in the previous chapter, and probably many others). Harry had noticed that Cho wasn’t wearing a CEDRIC badge, but her friends probably did, because Harry knew even before Draco started to distribute these badges that (Chapter 18:)
Most Ravenclaws seemed to think that he had been desperate to earn himself a bit more fame by tricking the Goblet into accepting his name.

But now
... those weren’t only Gryffindors cheering in the crowd. When it had come to it, when they had seen what he was facing, most of the school had been on his side, as well as Cedric’s ... he didn’t care about the Slytherins, he could stand whatever they threw at him now.

Harry rightfully doesn’t care about the usual suspects: Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, Parkinson and her [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], Montague, Bole, Derrick and some other nameless jerks (Flint and the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] from Harry’s second year should have left school by now).

But there are "hundreds upon hundreds" of spectators in this crowd, and they aren’t exactly [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] other than Durmstrang – red, Beauxbatons – blue and Hogwarts – black, so how does Harry know whether "most of the school" doesn’t include Slytherins or whether some Hufflepuffs are still supporting only one Champion?

Here is actually no implication that random Slytherin students are worse than random students from any other house.

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Solitaire on Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:13 pm

Hieronymus Graubart wrote:Here is actually no implication that random Slytherin students are worse than random students from any other house.
The thing is, I don't really know of any "random Slytherin students," do you? After the Sorting, we never seem hear about them, although there must be some. The only ones we ever hear about are those in Harry's year and a few of the more devious, unsportsmanlike Quidditch players. Are they typical of most Slytherins? Who knows? We do know that while not all of the DEs are Slytherin (Peter Pettigrew), many of them seem to be. We also know that, in the end, at least three Slytherins--Slughorn, Snape, Regulus, and even Narcissa--ultimately defied Voldy. Were there more? Will we ever know, if Jo doesn't tell us?

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Random Slytherin students

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:33 am

That’s the point, Solitaire. I have heard and seen so many readers saying or writing "I hate Slytherins" or "All Slytherins are bad" or "JKR is a bad writer, because she, against the spirit of her books, painted all Slytherins black". I would like to know iwhether this is really based on something written in the books, but there seems to be nothing.

I generally don’t care much for what Jo said in interviews, but didn’t she say something like "Of course some Slytherin students returned with Slughorn, didn’t I tell you?" and "Oh well, it was more clear before editing"? So, in a certain way we know that there must have been more than "Slughorn, Snape, Regulus, and even Narcissa." Alas, at my current pace it may take some more years to reach a point where I can try to see whether this is implied by anything in the books.

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Solitaire on Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:57 pm

I certainly don't remember anything, but perhaps another re-read is on the horizon. If I retire this summer, I'll have plenty of time for it! Wink It's interesting, though, that she would show us so few good Slytherins if she wants us not to tar them all with the same brush, so to speak. Even Snape, Regulus, and Narcissa were a part of the DEs until Voldemort's murderous ways affected them personally by touching someone they loved or valued.

Snape was the only one who was really able to do something in a major way. His double-agent role allowed him to protect and help not only Harry but also the Hogwarts students. He was surely smart enough to have caught Neville and the rest of the DA "resistance movement," even if the Carrows were too dim-witted to do so. If Kreacher had not been threatened, would Regulus have turned? Hard to say. I honestly think Lucius and Narcissa were tired of the way Voldy and Bella were treating them and their son; but I don't think they ever would have had the fortitude to resist him, had Narcissa not believed Draco was in imminent danger. Slughorn resisted, but he was ultimately self-serving ... a true Slytherin without the seriously dark traits?

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Chapter 24: Rita Skeeter’s Scoop

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:53 am

In which "Our readers have the right to know the truth" – but only if it isn’t more entertaining and profitable to tell them lies.

Slytherin observation Nr. 30:

Draco Malfoy and the rest of the Slytherins were joining class. All of them looked gleeful, and none of them looked surprised to see Professor Grubbly-Plank.

Of course the Slytherins aren’t surprised. They couldn’t avoid to know about Rita Skeeters Scoop because it’s in Dracos nature to boast about his contribution.

The Slytherins look gleeful, so they aren’t mischievous and spiteful, finding joy in another’s misfortune; they are just happy and joyous to see a new teacher who may not insist on teaching more Care of Blast-Ended Skrewts. (I’m playing with translations to German and back to English here, and I wonder if this ambiguity is intentional.)

Harry doesn’t think too bad of Parvati when she hopes that Grubbly-Plank will stay, and multitasking Hermione can be worried for Hagrid as a person and be happy about her new teacher at the same time, but since Harry thinks bad of the Slytherins anyway, they have to enjoy Hagrid’s misfortune more than a really good lesson by a competent teacher?


BTW Solitaire, when you do a re-read I would be glad if you pointed me to any evidence of Narcissa’s status as "a part of the DEs"; as far as I remember she is just married to one.

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Solitaire on Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:19 pm

Actually, you are correct. However, though she was not a "marked DE," she was Lucius's wife and deeply involved in all he did. She was also there in the forest with the other DEs, so I tend to think of her as one. Sorry.

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Chapter 26: The Second Task

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:22 am

In which Harry’s imagination goes haywire.

Really, what did he think? The Firebolt would be what he will sorely miss? Dumbledore would allow the hostages to drown? And there is also this:

Slytherin observation Nr. 31:

He avoided looking at the stands; the laughter was becoming louder, and there were catcalls and jeering from the Slytherins ...
I admit that Harry may have recognized some jeering voices, like Draco’s, but "the Slytherins" (implying "all Slytherins" or at least "only Slytherins") is pure speculation. Since Harry avoided to look, how would he know who was laughing, jeering, or catcalling?

Solitaire, I prefer to say "Narcissa was there in the forest with Lucius, and when Voldemort made her check whether dangerous Harry Potter was really dead, he tried to make the best possible use of a person who was more expendable than a DE". Also, I wonder if being married counts as evidence of being deeply involved in all your husband does. My wife isn’t involved in anything I’m doing here more than just frowning on it

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Chapter 27: Padfoot Returns

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:17 am

In which Rita Skeeter gets Harry’s fictional girl-friend a fictional boy-friend.

Slytherin observation Nr. 32:
Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle were standing in a huddle outside the classroom door with Pansy Parkinson’s gang of Slytherin girls
, conspiring to make fun of Rita Skeeter’s article in Witch Weekly. This explicitly excludes other Slytherin boys and girls who aren’t members of Pansy’s gang, and all subsequent references to "the Slytherins" may refer just to this group of usual suspects, while other Slytherins may not even know about this work of prose until Snape reads it aloud.

On the other hand, giggling Hermione is right: This article is ludicrous.

Except for her entrance at the Yule ball, Harry never thought of Hermione as "pretty", so "plain" may be a correct description of Hermione’s everyday appearance.

For all we know about Pansy, she is "hard-faced" (PS/SS 9) or her face is "pug-like" (PA 6, GF 27). Coming from Harry, this may be an exaggeration, but calling Pansy "plain" would probably sugarcoat her.

There may be only one reason why not the whole class burst into laughter when they looked at "pretty" Pansy and "ugly" Hermione: The Gryffindors hate Snape and don’t allow themselves to find anything funny in what he says, even when he quotes a probably jealous(*) Rita Kimmkorn quoting an obviously jealous Pansy Parkinson.

Is it significant that Snape provided some privacy before he started his broken record again, about how Harry’s popularity is going to his head? Snape’s audience is no longer eleven years old, and you don’t need to be a Ravenclaw mastermind to figure out that Harry hasn’t actually any reason to enjoy all the attention he gets. How long can the students still take Professor Snape seriously if he continues his spiteful tirades in front of them? Of course they would never dare to laugh about him openly.

But we shouldn’t be too sure that none of the Slytherins were using the cover provided by the Malfoy-Parkinson gang to laugh about Rita, Pansy and Snape’s ridiculous performance.

(*) The students don’t know any reasons for Rita taking on Hermione or falling for Pansy’s shenanigans. "Being jealous herself" would probably be their best guess, followed by "being blind" and "not paying attention".

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Solitaire on Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:40 pm

reasons for Rita taking on Hermione or falling for Pansy’s shenanigans. "Being jealous herself" would probably be their best guess, followed by "being blind" and "not paying attention".

Reasons for Rita's perfectly ridiculous articles? I imagine it's the same reason we have ludicrous junk printed in the newspapers today ... ratings and sales! People may be incredulous at her moxie or railing at her inaccuracies! I don't think Rita cares, just as long as they are buying the junk and reading it!

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Rita Skeeter’s motives

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:36 am

Right, Solitaire, that’s the general reason for everything Rita does.

The Trio suspects that there is a specific reason for Rita telling her readers that Hermione is a "scarlet woman" (the Weasleys’ terminology for you-know-what) who uses Love Potion to get all the famous guys: revenge for Hermione calling Rita out for what she wrote about Hagrid.

The students don’t know the latter and may still not understand the former. But unlike most of Rita’s audience, who can only look on a colour photograph of Harry, which is quite useless in this context, they get a direct comparison between Rita’s "pretty and vivacious" informant and the "ugly" girl she is talking about. Even if they don’t remember that Hermione was "stunningly pretty" in Rita’s first article, they may wonder what happened there (and whether Rita has ever seen Hermione or just regurgitates what her informants tell her).

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Solitaire on Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:08 pm

Good point. Most of her audience probably doesn' care much abou the ruh, anyway. (See what happens when one's TTTTTTTT key "goes south"? I have to go back over everything I've typed--or stop after every word that uses a T--and fix the misses. It's quite annoying.) I find that Rita's (and the MoM's) manipulation of the press and the wizarding public's willingness to be told what to think has an eerie timeliness for us here in the US.

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Chapter 28: The Madness of Mr Crouch

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:52 pm

In which there isn’t really a

Slytherin observation Nr. 32 1/3
It’s only Pany Parkinson and her gang of Slytherin girls again, just ignore them.

And I don’t go back to comment on what Sirius said in the previous chapter about "a gang of Slytherins who nearly all turned out to be Death Eaters", I’ll just skip to chapter Thirty. But Jo’s trick didn’t escape my attention: she first feeds our prejudice by giving us a list of Death Eaters who were Slytherins, and then she gives us more Death Eaters and lets us figure out their house on our own.

Solitaire, I hope ttttthis (and that as well) can be cured.


Last edited by Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:18 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Removed a stray apostrophe)

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Post  Solitaire on Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:19 pm

I think the cure is a new keypad. However, my MacBook Pro is a first generation (a 2006), and the keyboards are different now. Most Mac sites I've checked say the keyboard replacement (assuming I can get one) is more than the computer itself is worth, and often a refurbished keyboard is what is installed anyway. It seems to be behaving a little better today, so perhaps I hit the T key enough times the other day to make a difference! I'm not usually someone who thinks being rough with a machine is ever a good thing ... but perhaps I'm wrong. LOL

I'd think Sirius would be less likely to jump to conclusions about people, given his own history. Although, since he is speaking after the fact, I guess he isn't jumping, is he?

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