Observations in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

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Chapter 16: In the Hog’s Head

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:10 am

Slytherin observation Nr. 39

There are sixteen Gryffindors at the first meeting of what will become Dumbledore’s Army, seven Ravenclaws, five Hufflepuffs and zero Slytherins.

I spent much time on thinking about this. Were there no Slytherins who would have wanted to learn how to defend themselves even if the teacher would have been Harry? I don’t think so; they just never got a chance.

Hermione didn’t mention that the candidates needed to be trustworthy, because this is just self-evident. So, were there no students in the other houses who would trust a Slytherin friend? Again, I don’t think so.

I would have loved to see Harry go ballistic about somebody bringing a Slytherin to the Hog’s Head, and then being called out because "Slytherin’s aren’t all evil!" But this, and what would necessarily come from it, would be a big thing and couldn’t be handled in a few sentences. So just look at this brickstone of a book; could another complicated side story be put in there? I can understand why Jo preferred to let us simper in our prejudices for at least another fictional year.

So I have to accept that

  • at least every Gryffindor in Harry’s year or on the Quidditch Team and Collin Creevey,who attempted to know everything about his idol, knew that they couldn’t bring a Slytherin to a secret meeting with Harry.
  • in case students didn’t know Harry well enough, but were invited by Hermione, like the Hufflepuff prefects and (unintentinally) Zacharias Smith, she was probaly sensible enough to tell them that they were allowed to spread the news, but couldn’t bring a Slytherin.
  • Lee Jordan and Michael Corner should have known at least that they couldn’t bring a Slytherin to a secret meeting with the Weasleys.
  • Cho Chang’s still nameless friend didn’t even want to join herself; she obviously wouldn’t bring another friend.
  • Second-year Dennis Creevey shouldn’t even have been there, his brother had smuggled him to Hogsmeade; he of all students inviting an older Slytherin friend who wouldn’t need to be smuggled out of Hogwarts would stretch the limits of believability.
  • If Ravenclaw prefect Padma Patil was not invited by Hermione, then her sister Parvati seems sensible enough to have told her that she could bring other Ravenclaws, but not a Slytherin.
  • Anthony Goldstein and Terry Boot, taged along with Michael Corner who had been invited by Ginny Weasley (at least this is what Hermione assumes), probably didn’t expect that they were allowed to bring in even more friends.I don’t know who invited Luna Lovegood and Cho Chang, but Michael Corner, Padma Patil or in Luna’s case Ginny Weasley and in Cho’s case Hermione Granger are not less plausible than Anthony or Terry, so there is no reason to assume that they invited anyone.
  • The same may be assumed for Justin Finch-Fletchley and Susan Bones, who were probably invited by their Hufflepuff prefects.
  • If Luna Lovegood tried to tell somebody that Harry would be teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts, they would probably believe that this is the usual quibblerish nonsense Luna talks about.
  • This leaves us with Cho Chang, who did bring a friend and, if she wasn’t invited by Hermione, might have considered bringing a Slytherin as well. But Cho introducing a Slytherin and the future traitor, who comes out to be not the Slytherin, would be a little bit over the top, so it just happened that she didn’t know a trustworthy Slytherin who would have wanted to learn from Harry.


Conclusion: There is no plausible way to have a Slytherin in Dumbledore’s Army, but there also is no evidence for "Everybody hates Slytherins and wouldn’t trust any of them ever".

BTW may it be significant that Hermione trusted the Hufflepuff prefect’s loyalty, but not the Ravenclaw prefect’s wisdom? She obviously didn’t talk to Anthony Goldstein, and by extension probably didn’t talk to Padma Patil.

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Chapter 17: Educational Decree Number Twenty-four

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:50 pm

Slytherin observation Nr. 40

Shouldn’t there be more Slytherins outside Snape’s clasroom door than just Malfoy, Grabbe, Goyle and Parkinson? What are they doing? Probably nothing bad, otherwise Harry wouldn’t ignore them.

So, is Draco not funny anymore? Are these kids growing up?

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Chapter 19: The Lion and the Serpent

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:12 pm

Slytherin observation Nr. 41

So this is were movies and fan art got the idea of house-coloured accessories? No, wait! The first two movies existed before this book was published, so Joanne K. Rowling got the idea of  house-coloured accessories from here advisory work at the movies.

Actually, we have never seen any of the "usual green and silver scarves and hats" or corresponding red and gold stuff. Yes, at the Quidditch Final in PA 15, there were scarlet or crimson rosettes and flags with the (golden) Gryffindor lion, and Slytherins wearing green (rosettes) and showing the silver serpent on their flags. But even if we accept that all these scarves, hats and gloves are usual now, it’s still fan wear for the Quidditch matches, not something students wear every day. So no, Harry would still not know that every mean person is a Slytherin and every friendly person isn’t a Slytherin [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

Everybody had waited for another Quidditch match for more than a year, and now the hooligans run wild. There are reports (or rumours?) of (unsuccessful?) "Slytherin attempts to hex Gryffindor players in the corridors" and there are fourteen actual eye-witnesses for Miles Bletchley jinxing Alicia Spinnet in the library. But Bletchley probably knew that his eyebrow-thickening charm could easily be cured and wouldn’t encumber Alicia’s performance in the match. I cannot see the difference to practical jokes like putting Bulbadox powder in Kenneth Towler’s  pyjamas (Fred Weasley, Chapter 12).

Professor Snape ignoring all this is something different, but I don’t talk about Snape here, he is too complax a character.

Pansy Parkinson (no surprise) claims that Warrington has sworn to knock Harry off  his broom, which may or may not be true, but then Warrington doesn’t try anything.

Draco Mallfoy (no surprise) imitates Ron dropping the Quaffle.

Slytherins ask Ron whether he already got a bed booked in the hospital wing. Some of them are seventh-years, so they cannot be just the Malfoy-Parkinson-gang again, nor can they be [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] from Harry’s second year who should have left school by now, so there might be some more students for the list of Slytherins to be disliked.

Every Slytherin is wearing the Weasley is our King badge, and many (not all) of them wave and laugh at Ron when he walks by their table. And this song is infuriating.

But look, it’s Quidditch. Why do I even talk about it.

Appendix A to Educational Decree Nnumber Twenty-four:

The Hogwarts High Inquisitor shall not allow the formation of a Quidditch team unless there is at least one member from each house on the aforementioned team.

At no time shall there be more than two members of the same house playing for the same Quidditch team.

Spectators are advised to cheer based on actual performance or personal preferences rather than on house loyalty.

Hieronymus Graubart
Junior Assistant, Department of Magical Games and Sports


This might have solved a lot of problems, right?  


Last edited by Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:56 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Formating)

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Chapter 21: The Eye of the Snake

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:01 pm

Slytherin observation Nr. 42

The Slytherins – and some Gryffindors – are wary of Hagrid bringing wild beasts to class. I can’t blame them.

There is a stringy Slytherin boy standing just behind Goyle. Considerung that there isn’t unlimited space between the trees, we shouldn’t suppose that he is intentionally standing close to Goyle because he is another of Draco’s cronies.

Also, he sees the Thestrals. I would like to know his back story. Who died when, where and why?

On a note which may or may not be related, I just realized (after so many years) that
‘The only people who can see Thestrals are people who have seen death.’
is not the same as 'Everybody who has seen death can see Thestrals.'

Yes, I’m aware that Joanne K. Rowling just didn’t want to present a mystery on the last pages of GF and then have us wait year after year for the solution in the next book. But it’s a fact now that Harry couldn’t immediately see Thestrals when he had seen Cedric’s death. He had to go through some weeks filled with nightmares to come to terms with it.

So, having seen death is not sufficient. You need some special relationship to death, or it may be better to say – some special comprehension of death, because Death Eaters apparently have a special relationship to death, but it is probably not the same.

Would a murderer who has seen his victim’s death be able to see Thestrals?

Are the properties 'is a Death Eater' and 'can see Thestrals' mutually exclusive?

Obviously I’m clutching at straws here, trying to find a Slytherin who would be inherently unable to become an evil sorcerer.

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Chapter 22: St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:54 pm

No Slytherins here, but we are back to

Fidelius observation Nr. 11

At the end of the summer holidays, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], and Harry would not have been able to find and enter it again.

Now, Phineas is sent to give Sirius the message
that Arthur Weasley has been gravely injured and that his wife, children and Harry Potter will be arriving at his house shortly
or in Phineas’ words:
Arthur Weasley, injured, wife and children and Harry Potter coming to stay
not just for a short visit.

Dumbledore waits for Phineas Nigellus’ report, because he wants
to be sure that the coast is clear.
But Voldemort’s snake attacking Arthur Weasley at the Ministry doesn’t imply a dangerous situation at 12 GP. So, Dumbledore just wants to know whether Sirius is in a situation where he doesn’t want any or these specific visitors.

When Phineas reports
He says he’ll be delighted
and adds
My great-great-grandson has always had an odd taste in house-guests
Harry and the young Weasleys clearly got an implicit invitation to come and stay at 12 GP.

I wonder whether Dumbledore just wanted to be polite or whether he knew that the jinxed house would not let them in if they hadn’t got an invitation. What might have happened if they had tried to use the Portkey, but had not been welcome?

Harry and the Weasley’s trunks arrive at Hogwarts (delivered by a pack of owls?) and Fawkes delivers a message from Molly Weasley. Also, none of the spells casted on this house were designed to stop a travelling portrait person (which isn’t a problem, because Phineas Nigellus is probably the only person portrayed at 12 GP who also has a portrait at some other place, and the only place he can go is Dumbledore’s office at Hogwarts). But does Phineas Nigellus know that
The Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London
or does he believe that he just carries messages to his great-great-grandson, who is hiding from the Ministry’s aurors?

Again, Harry doesn’t look back when they leave the house to visit Arthur at St. Mungo’s, but I’m quite sure that the house doesn’t vanish this time, because Harry is expected to come back and stay for some more days.

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Chapter 23: Christmas on the Cloesed Ward

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:44 am

Fidelius observation Nr. 12

Hermione’s Timeline:

Day 0/1 before or after midnight:
Nagini attacks Arthur Weasley. Dumbledore sends Harry, Ron, Fred, George and Ginny to Number 12, Grimmauld Place.

Day 1 morning:
Dumbledore tells Hermione what happened.
Hermione decides that Harry may need her more than her parents do. I’m not sure whether she lied to Ron or to Harry when she said that skiing is really good / not really her thing. Harry has a hard enough time and Hermione wouldn’t want him to believe that he spoiled her holiday.
Classes.

Day 1 noon:
Hermione sends a letter to her parents, telling them that "everyone who is serious about the exams is staying at Hogwarts to study".
(Hermione also sends a letter to Sirius. She never mentions this in the book, but it seems reasonable. Hermione wouldn’t just ring Sirius’ door bell for a surprise visit.)
More classes.

Day 1 afternon or evening:
(Hermione’s owl arrives at Number 12, Grimmauld place. We don’t watch this, because Harry is sleeping respective hiding in his and Ron’s room.)

Day 2 (last day of term) morning:
Hermione receives her parents’ answer. They are "a bit disappointed", but they want her "to do well, they’ll understand".
(Hermione receives Sirius answer as well.)
Classes.

Day 2 afternoon:
More classes.
Term officially ends with the last class.
Hermione takes the Knight Bus. Is there no Hogwarts Express for the winter holiday? If there is, it would probably depart the next morning and take a full day to travel to London. But Hermione is in a hurry (especially if Sirius mentioned Harry’s weird behaviour in his letter).

Day 2 evening (six o’clock):
Hermione arrives at Number 12, Grimmauld Place. Obviously she [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

But this [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] I may have invented if I didn’t discover it, still holds water.

And again, Harry doesn’t look back when they leave the house to visit Arthur at St. Mungo’s.

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Chapter 24: Occlumency

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:34 pm

Fidelius observation Nr. 13 ?

It happens again:
As he reached the pavement, Harry looked round. Number twelve was shrinking rapidly as those on either side of it stretched sideways, squeezing it out of sight. One blink later, it had gone.
Well, Harry doesn’t need to see the house anymore. Nobody expects him to return for spring holiday, and the summer is so far in the future. But Harry didn’t forget the secret, or did he?

Why do they take the Knight Bus? Security reasons? Or is there really no Hogwarts Express for winter holiday?

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Chapter 25: The Beetle at Bay

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:35 am

Slytherin observation Nr. 43

There is "a large gang of Slytherin girls", obviously more than just [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. The number of all Slytherin girls in Harry’s year is probably still too low to form a large gang(*). Pansy may have recruited some younger girls. But since this gang is "including Pansy Parkinson", not "led by Pansy Parkinson", it isn’t her gang anyway? This may imply that there are some older girls who wouldn’t follow Pansy’s lead?

There is no indication that all Slytherin girls in Harry’s year are present here, so Millicent Bullstrode (and maybe one other girl) is still off the hook.

But what is with these girls? Are they still jealous because Cho got the good-looking Cedric?

(*)Doing the Maths:
20 (Broomsticks at the first Flying lesson)
-8 (named Gryffindors)
-5 (Slytherin boys)
-2 (Pansy and Millicent)
= 5
There may be five nameless Slytherin girls in Harry’s year, but some of them may actually be boys or Gryffindors.

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Chapter 26: Seen and Unforseen

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:26 pm

Slytherin observation Nr. 44

After more than four years of  shared Potions lessons, Hermione still has to tell Harry Thoedore Nott’s name, and apparently Harry doesn’t remember that this is the boy who can see thestrals, so J. K. Rowling had to confirm this on her old web site, because it isn’t in the book.

Clearly, Harry doesn’t pay any attention to Slytherin’s who aren’t mean to him or his friends.

Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle apparently want to talk to Nott, because Harry "had named all of their fathers as Death Eaters". But why don’t they do this in a more private place, like their common room or dormitory? Did Nott avoid to talk to them until they caught him while he was working in the library?
Goyle cracked his knuckles threateningly and Malfoy whispered something undoubtedly malevolent to Crabbe.
Nott still doesn’t do anything that Harry might perceive as hostile.

Theodore Nott may be an example for not all children of Death Eaters supporting Voldemort.


Also, "the" (all?) Slytherins sing this infuriating song again, but since I’m tired, I let Hermione speak for me:
That’s the trouble with Quidditch, it creates all this bad feeling and tension between the houses.

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Chapter 27: The Centaur and the Sneak

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:47 am

Time-Turner observation Nr. 9

Or is there the usual simple explanation involving a reversal of time, a dead man coming back to life and a couple of invisible Dementors?
I’m slightly confused here. Apparently somebody tried to tell Fudge that time may have been turned and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], but Fudge got it all wrong? Rather than realizing that he now had a good reason to arrest Harry for aiding and abeting Sirius’ escape from Hogwarts, Fudge dismissed it as another of these weird events that are always claimed to happen with Harry and are never true?

If Fudge even knows about the DOM’s time branch testing Time-Turners, he strongly believes in the Ministry’s security: no Time-Turner can ever have left the DOM to be used at any place near Harry Potter.

(Why am I still trying to prove that Hermione was the only Hogwarts student who ever used a Time-Turner? "J. K. Rowling’s thoughts" on Pottermore confirm that Hermione used "the only Time-Turner ever to enter Hogwarts". But then, secondary sources are only canon as long as they don’t contradict the books.)

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Chapter 30: Grawp

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:56 am

Slytherin observation Nr. 45

The Inquisitorial Squad seems to be a bunch of Slytherins, and most of them are already on  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]*) :
Crabbe – check
Goyle – check
Malfoy – check
Parkinson – check
Montague – check
Warrington – ?

Did we ever see Warrington misuse his powers like Malfoy and Montague did? Did we ever see him do anything wrong, other than wearing the tiny silver ’I’ on his robes? Did he really deserve to be hexed, supposed his "horrible skin complaint" was caused by somebody hexing him, not by an allergy or such?

Supporting Umbridge may be a bad thing in and of itself, but how would the Slytherins know? Umbridge's methods are rather subtle. Did they ever really see her do something wrong?

Cutting off Dumbledore's welcome speech was not polite, but apparently Dumbledore didn't take offence.

Gryffindors and Slytherins don't share classes in Defence Against the Dark Arts. Do the Slytherins  know how many days of detention Harry got for talking back? Writing lines in detention is not so bad; Madame Hooch made Crabbe do this. Do the Slytherins know about Umbridge's special quill? Probably not. Harry told only Ron and Hermione, and possibly Lee Jordan when Lee already had his own experience.

Why would the Slytherins think that banning mad Harry and the dangerous twins from playing Quidditch is bad when they just have beaten up the Slytherin Seeker for no apparent reason? Draco is very careful in choosing whom he lets hear his words.

Umbridge sacked Trelawney, who is a bad teacher and probably not liked by many students. Levander and Parvati may well be exceptions. How many Slytherins did take Divination anyway?

Umbridge mocking Hagrid is fun if you don't like Hagrid, and many students would prefer Grubbly-Plank for a teacher in Care of Magical Creatures.

And the Inquisitorial Squad isn't supporting Umbridge in the first place, they support the Ministry who made Umbridge High Inquisitor. You don't need to like every representative of your government. You may even believe that the Inquisitor is incompetent, because her decrees are ridiculous and she depends on your help to do her duty. But as a good citizen, you are expected to follow your  government's advice and help to keep up law and order. Yes, there is a Right of Resistance against a bad  government, but illegal actions can only be a last resort when you are very sure that your government is wrong. How can they be sure when they have nothing but Harry's word?

There are good reasons why we don't see any members of other houses in the Inquisitorial Squad:

Loyal Hufflepuffs are typically more loyal to their fellow students and well-known teachers than to a distant Ministry of Magic.

Daring Gryffindors are typically too furious about everything Umbridge did to their beloved school to think about their future.

Intellectual Ravenclaws think thrice:

  • Staying in the Ministry's good books although you hate Umbridge may help to further your future career.


  • But if Harry is right and a drastic change of policy becomes necessary to defeat You-know-who, being associated with the ancient regime may hinder your future career.


  • And if You-know-who wins, having been in the Inquisitorial Squad may be outright dangerous. After all, the IS would have been expected to fight any Dark Lords pointed out to them by the Ministry, if the Ministry had believed in the existence of Dark Lords, thus You-know-who would consider every member of the IS to be his enemy.

So, if "I love Umbridge and want to help her" is not a factor there, it's two-to-one for not joining the IS.

Ambitious Slytherins don't think as far as Ravenclaws do. Joining the IS to further their future career, especially if they are planning a career in the Ministry of Magic, is exactly what they would do.


*) Derrick and Bole (and apparently Miles Bletchley, although I don't remember the reason), and Pansy Parkinson's gang of Slytherin girls are also on this list, but were not seen in the IS. Also, Marcus Flint is on this list, but he is no longer seen at Hogwarts; he finished school at the end of PA. And I made a mistake there: the knot of Slytherin fifth-years seen in Harry's second year finished school only at the end of GF.


Oh, the song again, but this time it fires back.

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

Post  Verity Weasley on Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:25 am

HG, are you in the legal profession? The lengths you go to in order to defend the Slytherins is quite remarkable!   
I enjoy your observations and analysis, but I think we have to accept, that whatever JKR may have said in retrospect, she clearly set up the Slytherins to be the villains of the school. As hard as we may look, she did not give us a 'good' Slytherin amongst the students. There may certainly be some un-named Slytherins who were not completely evil, but despite your exhaustive search, I remain unconvinced that JKR included any examples of good Slytherin characters.

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Legal profession? Haha, no!

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:35 am

I’m a scientist turned software engineer.

I disagree. JKR set up Harry to believe that the Slytherins are the villains of the school and then to be proven wrong. Many readers not getting this may imply that she didn’t do it well, but there are numerous hints to this intention throughout the books.

Why do you think that Bullstrode, Nott and Warrington are not 'good'? Despite my exhaustive search I couldn’t find any other argument than "They are Slytherins and all Slytherins are villains". But how do we know that all Slytherins are villains? [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

Post  Verity Weasley on Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:10 pm

HG wrote:Why do you think that Bullstrode, Nott and Warrington are not 'good'?

Millicent Bulstrode put Hermione in a headlock in their second year.
Bulstrode and Warrington are both members of the Inquisatorial Squad, who are portrayed as sadistic bullies.
Nott is the only one for whom we have no direct evidence of his involvement in nefarious goings-on, but his father is a Death Eater. While this may not be enough to convince us that Nott is also 'bad', it is also a long way from suggesting he's a 'good' Slytherin.

If JKR set Harry up to believe the Slytherins were the villains of the school, only to be proven wrong, then she failed. Or she changed her mind. I did think this might be where she was heading. The Sorting Hat's later songs seemed to point in that direction, but at the end of the day, she did not give us any evidence of a Slytherin (student) behaving honourably. The fact that no Slytherins stayed behind to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts is particularly telling. This may have been a mistake on JKR's part, but it's canon.

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Not so evil Slytherins

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:51 pm

Millicent Bulstrode put Hermione in a headlock in their second year.
Yes, I noticed and commented this [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. Since we don’t know what actually happened, there are two possible stories:
1) Millicent attacked Hermione for no other reason than "all Slytherin’s are evil".
2) Hermione tried to rip a hair off a Slytherin’s head for use in the Polyjuice Potion. Millicent fought back and put Hermione in a headlock.
You seem to believe the former. I find the latter more convincing.

Bulstrode and Warrington are both members of the Inquisitorial Squad, who are portrayed as sadistic bullies.
I don’t understand what you mean here. Some members of the Inquisitorial Squad were portrayed as sadistic bullies.even before the IS existed. But when have Warrington or Millicent ever sadistically bullied somebody? The argument seems to be the same as for the Slytherins in general: "They are all evil because we have seen that some of them are evil". Well, we will see more of Warrington and Millicent soon.

Nott is the only one for whom we have no direct evidence of his involvement in nefarious goings-on, but his father is a Death Eater.
Yes, and when Harry outed all their fathers, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. And then Nott’s father and Malfoy’s father were imprisoned after the Battle of the DOM. (I don’t remember whether Crabbe’s father and Goyle’s father were also imprisoned.) Did you never wonder what Nott is doing while Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle try and fail to beat Harry up again? I think there may be some evidence of Nott thoroughly not being involved in nefarious goings-on.

You are probably right, the Battle of Hogwarts is where JKR really failed. But it will take me two more years to get there again.

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Chapter 31: OWLs

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:01 pm

Time-Turner observation Nr. 10

When Parvati says 'Only four exams left' on Monday evening, Hermione doesn’t retort 'It’s still five for me', she only talks about Arithmancy being the toughest subject ever. May she be more concerned with the toughness than the number of her subjects? Because when we see Harry on Thursday morning:
he sat with his head in his hands by the common-room window trying hard not to doze off as he read through some of the three-and-a-half-feet-high stack of notes that Hermione had lent him.
Ron is probably sleeping long after Wednesday’s practical Astronomy, but wouldn’t it be out of character for Hermione to do the same? Shouldn’t she be right there, sharing her notes with Harry while preparing for their last examination? Where is Hermione if she isn’t sitting another examination for her mysterious eleventh OWL?

This subject is, BTW, not so mysterious anymore. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] revealed that it is probably "Basics of Interspecies Communication: Introduction to Mermish, Troll and Gobbledegook". Hermione never talked about her lessons with Albus Dumbledore, because she wanted to watch how long Ron would need to figure out what "BoICItMTG" on her schedule stands for .

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

Post  shepherdess on Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:29 pm

LOL at Hermione waiting for Ron to figure it out!
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Chapter 32: Out of the Fire

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:27 am

Slytherin observation Nr. 46

Warrington shoved "Ron roughly forwards into the room" and "Ron's lip was bleeding on to Umbridge's carpet as he struggled against Warrington's half-nelson."
I'm not entirely sure whether Joanne K. Rowling intended this to appear brutally sadistic or whether she just went with the sexist cliché of boys being rougher than girls. But since I put Bletchley on [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] for [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], I'm afraid Warrington has to go on this list now for being unnecessarily rough when capturing Ron (which is actally the only rough action we have ever seen from him).

Crabbe, of course, is just as brutal as we expect him to be.

Malfoy being as mean as ever isn't a surprise either. But when Umbridge jokes about "a Weasley free zone" and "this buffoon" Ron, he is the only person who laughs. "A few of the other members of the Inquisitorial Squad", who join the laughter about McGonagalls inability to talk to anyone, are definitely more than one (probably Crabbe), but also definitely not more than half of them. Who the third laughing Slytherin might be is everyone's guess. Why do the other three Slytherins not laugh? Are they too occupied with keeping their captives under control (the third laughing Slytherin may be the one who captured Luna)? Or do they not feel that all this is funny at all?

Millicent Bulstrode "pinioned" Hermione "against the wall", just continued to do so when "Hermione was attempting, in vain, to throw Millicent Bulstrode off her" and when "Hermione began to cry weakly into the back of Millicent Bulstrode's robes. Millicent stopped trying to squash her against the wall immediately and dodged out of her way looking disgusted." In my opinion, Millicent acts exactly like we would expect from a good police officer(*), especially in contrast to mean Malfoy, brutal  Crabbe and overly rough Warrington. She doesn't allow her captive to escape, but there is no attempt to hurt or insult Hermione, not even when she ruins Millicent's robes. Concerning the use of the verb "to squash", we have to keep in mind that Harry exaggerates everything a Slytherin does to make it look as bad as possible. (Snape tells Crabbe that he should loosen his grip because Neville is suffocating, so this, like Ron's dripping blood, is not just Harry's imagination.) I don't believe that Millicent joined the Inquisitorial Squad to outlive here secret sadistic tendencies, support Umbridge, or actually betray Umbridge and/or Fudge and work for the Ministry's downfall. She probably plans a career in the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol and hopes that having been in the IS might help her in the future.

Crabbe and Malfoy didn't bring their friends Goyle and Parkinson with them. Joanne K. Rowling preferred to show us two nameless Slytherin girls.

The sixth year girl "had both her upper arms in a tight grip" while Ginny "was trying to kick the shins of the large Slytherin girl holding her" and "was still trying to stamp on the feet of the sixth year girl" until Ginny at last "stopped trying to stamp on her captor's toes." Apparently, this Slytherin girl is very much like Millicent.

The undefined Slytherin did nothing at all while "Luna, however, stood limply by the side of her captor, gazing vaguely out of the window as though rather bored by the proceedings." I would have preferred to see Pansy Parkinson being mean to her captive. Only now I realize that I fell into another of Joanne K. Rowling's traps. The sixth Slytherin's gender is never actually mentioned, and the sexist divide into bad boys and not so bad girls I imagined to have spotted here doesn't really exist. (I looked it up. The translator fell into the same trap. In the German edition, Luna's captor is definitely a girl. So I have the excuse to have been biased by reading the wrong book first.)

(*)ignoring the last part, where she actually appears to have stopped doing per duty.

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Chapter 33: Fight and Flight

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Slytherin observation Nr. 47

A Couple of Stunners, a Disarming Charm, Neville's nice little Impediment Jinx, Ginny got Malfoy with a Bat Bogey Hex, and so they escaped, with just some scratches on Ginny's cheek, a lump above Neville's right eye, and Ron's lip bleeding worse than ever.

How could this happen? The stupid Inquisitorial Squad may have forgotten to take their wands, but they were gagged, had not yet learned non-verbal spells and were outnumbered six to four.

On my first read I thought Luna might have been able to launch a surprise attack, because nobody expected the absent-minded Loony to do anything and her captor's attention had been turned to Draco teasing the Weasleys. But would this little advantage have been enough?

I'm wondering whether Joanne K. Rowling kept Goyle and Parkinson out of this scene to make the escape more plausible. Were they actually four against three or only two, because Millicent and the nameless Slytherins and maybe even Warrington didn't actually want to follow Umbridge's orders any more and were too occupied figuring out how police officers should act when they found out that their superior had committed crimes behind the back of her superior? Millicent did already shirk her duty when she let off weeping Hermione, didn't she?

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Ooops!

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:34 pm

I just realized that I didn’t finish this before I moved to a new computer. (Farewell Windows XP). Now I have to dig up my notes for the last chapters.

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Chapter 38: The Second War Begins

Post  Hieronymus Graubart on Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:09 am

Slytherin observation Nr. 48

Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle attempted to ambush Harry halfway down the train as he made his way back from the toilet. Malfoy (and probably also Crabbe) seeks revenge for Harry landing his father in prison.

But where is Theodore Nott? Isn't his father also in Azkaban? And shouldn't Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle want more backing after last years bad experience? [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] or did he refuse to help them?

Oh well, last year they tried to attack Harry when Ron and Hermione were with him, and they hadn't expected Fred and George. So this time the plan was to get Harry alone, and they may have believed that they wouldn't need Nott's help, because some of Harry's friends arriving in the wrong moment again was obviously impossible.

Death Eaters known so far:
NameHouseCommentSource
Tom Marvolo RiddleSlytherinSlytherin’s heirCS
Peter PettigrewGryffindor?probably, but not yet confirmedPA
Igor Karkaroff?Was he ever a student at Hogwarts?GF 19
Evan RosierSlytherinYes, I trust Sirius on "Slytherin"GF 27
WilkesSlytherinAnd I also trust Sirius on "Death Eater"GF 27
Bellatrix LestrangeSlytherin(we got her first name and marriage now)OP 6
Rodolpus LestrangeSlytherin(we got his first name and marriage now)OP 6
AverySlytherinGF 27
Antonin Dolohov?GF 30
Travers?GF 30
Mulciber?GF 30
Augustus Rookwood?GF 30
Severus SnapeSlytherinHead of House, reformed?GF 30
Rabastan Lestrange(not Slytherin?)(*)The fourth defendant in GF 30. (We got his name  now)OP 6
Lucius MalfoySlytherinFamily traditionGF 33
Macnair?GF 33
Crabbe?Slytherin student Crabbe’s father (confirmed now)OP 26
Goyle?Slytherin student Goyle’s father (confirmed now)OP 26
Nott ?Slytherin student Nott’s father (confirmed now)OP 26
Third of "Three dead in my service"(**)?First and second are Rosier and Wilkes (GF 28)GF 33
Barty Crouch junior?GF 35
Regulus Black?(we don’t know the Black family tradition to be in Slytherin yet)OP 6
Jugson?OP 35
More Death Eaters at the graveyard and at Azkaban?"Some of the Death Eaters he passed in silence"GF 33
(*)According to Sirius (GF 27), young Severus Snape “was part of a gang of Slytherins who nearly all turned out to be Death Eaters.”, including “The Lestranges – they're a married couple ...”. Although they were not yet married then, Sirius counts Bellatrix and Rodolphus as two Lestranges, and he doesn't mention a third Lestrange. Although Rabastan turned out to be a Death Eater, he wasn't part of this gang, probably because he wasn't a Slytherin, or because he didn't like to hang out with his brother, or he may be too old or too young?  

(**)These three would fit into one big gap in the circle of Death Eaters together with Karkaroff ("too cowardly to return"), Snape ("left me for ever"), and Crouch jun. ("most faithful servant"), but Voldemort may have passed more gaps, not talking about other Death Eaters who died in his service. He definitely passed gaps for more Death Eaters who are imprissioned in Azkaban, but talked only about two Lestrades.

6 out of 8 confirmed Death Eaters were confirmed Slytherins at the end of GF 28.
7 out of 14 confirmed Death Eaters were confirmed Slytherins at the end of GF 30.
8 out of at least 21 confirmed Death Eaters are confirmed Slytherins at the end of GF.
8 out of at least 23 confirmed Death Eaters are confirmed Slytherins now.

Five books done, two to go.

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Re: Observations in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

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