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Occlumency and Legilimency

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Occlumency and Legilimency Empty Occlumency and Legilimency

Post  Potteraholic on Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:09 am

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing, which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. It was copied/saved by Lady Arabella and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic

HarrysAngel - Feb 17, 2004 12:59 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Nov 17, 2005 1:49 pm

Occlumency and Legilimency have been touched on in several threads, but I thought it might be useful to pull all these ideas together in one place.

So, does Lupin use Legilimency? What about Harry's History of Magic exam? Why does Snape need a wand and an incantation to perform Legilimency when Voldemort uses neither? Can any incidents in the earlier books be reinterpreted in the light of what we learn about Occlumency/Occlumency in OotP? Will Harry learn either (and does he need to)?

Fire away, folks!
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Occlumency and Legilimency Empty Occlumency and Legilimency (posts #1 to #50)

Post  Potteraholic on Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:11 am

TomoÈ - Feb 17, 2004 1:42 pm (#1 of 187)

Why does Snape need a wand and an incantation to perform Legilimency when Voldemort uses neither?

Maybe Snape is a good Occlumens but a poor Legilimens. Maybe both disciplines need completely different kind of skills.

I remember Snape telling Harry that Occlumency needs the same skills that what's required to fight against the Imperio curse. Maybe Legilimency spell is closer to the Imperius one than the Occlumency one.

Madame Librarian - Feb 17, 2004 2:57 pm (#2 of 187)

Isn't there something about having to make eye contact? That's why I don't go for the idea that Harry used Legilimency during the history exam.

Ciao. Barb

TomoÈ - Feb 17, 2004 3:27 pm (#3 of 187)

Here's the quote :

"'Time and space matter in magic, Potter. Eye contact is often essential to Legilimency. [...] The usual rules do not seem to apply with you, Potter. The curse that failed to kill you seems to have forged some kind of connection between you and the Dark Lord. The evidence suggests that at times, when your mind is most relaxed and vulnerable [...] you are sharing the Dark Lord's thoughts and emotions." (UK OoP, p.469)

If Harry did use Legilimency in his History of Magic exam, I believe he get the answers from Voldemort, not from Parvati.

Dr Filibuster - Feb 17, 2004 4:13 pm (#4 of 187)

Ooh, I like that idea Tomoe.

Harry was really trying to concentrate and at the same time Voldemort is relaxing for a moment, maybe having a kip (nap)? Then all of a sudden he starts thinking about mountain trolls in Liechtenstein.

He realises that Harry is mentally connecting with him and sends him a few more thoughts on the historical first Confederation meeting in France, before feeding him false but horrifying images of Sirius being tortured.

Gina R Snape - Feb 17, 2004 5:14 pm (#5 of 187)

Ha ha ha ha ha. That was really funny, Sue!

Maybe Harry was able to root around in Voldemort's memory, though.

There have been a few times in the books where it seemed like Snape was reading Harry's mind. But he's also extraordinarily good at deductive reasoning. Yet I wouldn't put it past him. I also wonder if DD used it after Harry's name came out of the Goblet in GoF. He does look Harry in the eye when asking him if Harry arranged to put his name in.

Lupin strikes me as more the type to develop intuitive skills than Legilimency skills. He's empathetic and good at reading people because he cares and for a degree of survival in maintaining friendships.

Madame Librarian - Feb 17, 2004 5:43 pm (#6 of 187)

I noticed from the quote (thanks, Tomoe) that Snape qualifies the comment about eye contact with the words is often essential. Often essential, but not absolutely for sure a must. And--then he says that the usual rules don't seem to apply to Harry. Well, that could be why Harry can "copy" from Parvati (Lavender?) in the seat in from of him.

Well, that's a fine how-do-you-do. I was the one who asked the question about eye contact in the first place. Sheesh! I convinced my own self that there's no problem.

Loved your theory, Dr. Filibuster.

Voldemort--the Dark Lord of the Wizarding World, feared by all good folk, nearly Immortal Ruler of the Magical Universe, Provider of instant answers to any test given at Hogwarts--for a small fee, of course. VISA and MasterCard accepted; no checks please.

Ciao. Barb

TomoÈ - Feb 17, 2004 5:52 pm (#7 of 187)

Not exactly my scenario, Doc, but close enough.

Voldemort, knowing Harry will take his final OWL that morning and knowing that two weeks of tests can be hard on a student mind, leaving him vulnerable and tired, choose that day to break in Harry's mind and lure him to the DoM. Or maybe it was suppose to be the night before, but as Harry was not in bed yet at 4 o'clock am, Voldie chose to do it next day.

Anyway, as Harry took his exam next morning, Voldemort is fully aware that Harry is ready to fall asleep any minute, more tired that he have been in the whole year, that's now or never and Voldemort focus on Harry's thoughts, ready to launch the Sirius-is-dying "movie". Being better Legilimens that Harry, he can "read" Harry's mind deeper, thus Tom actually read the questions on the paper as Harry did himself. Maybe he thought too "loudly" or maybe he decided to answer the question, encouraging Harry to strengthen the link between the two of them. I'm still wondering if Harry fell asleep on his own or if Voldemort forced him to sleep.

I won't be surprised if we learn the Trolls rights part had been removed from the programme fifty years ago. ^_^

Edit : That's Parvati, Barb, I checked as I was looking for the quote.

FCBarca - Feb 18, 2004 5:29 am (#8 of 187)

'Why does Snape need a wand and an incantation to perform Legilimency when Voldemort uses neither?'

I actually know the answer this, but people will still disagree (never mind.) We've only seen Voldemort use Legilimency to see if someone is lying. You don't need a wand for that, and neither does Snape. You need to use your wand to extract feelings and stuff from someone's mind. Voldemort can extract stuff from Harry's mind without eye contact because of the connection (Snape says this). But we've never seen Voldemort extract things from other people. So he would need to use a wand.

TomoÈ - Feb 18, 2004 2:53 pm (#9 of 187)

Makes sense, FC Barca, for most of the people, they're getting nervous as they lie, they think "loudly" about the important point of their make-up stories, so it is possible to feel those thought without the wand and the "Legilimens". To go deeper in someone's mind, you need the wand and the "Legilimens".

Sherbie Lemon - Mar 10, 2004 4:56 pm (#10 of 187)

I have an idea about Legilimency. This may belong on the Predictions thread, but I'll post it there later.

Since PS/SS, Harry has been able to sense when Voldemort is near, or feeling an intense emotion. In GoF and especially in OotP, Harry has been able to participate in Voldemort's actions, see his thoughts, feel his emotions, even if they are unrelated to his own. Now Occlumency and Legilimency go hand in hand. I think it is safe to assume that Harry will be practicing more and more on protecting his mind. Now, what if he becomes very astute at it (which I have a feeling he will be, he threw off the Imperious Curse completely, and that is related to Occlumency)? What if he also learns a bit about Legilimency? What if he learns enough to use it on Voldemort? Suppose he does the same to Voldie as Voldie did to him about Sirius in OotP?

Let's say Harry and Dumbledore and probably Snape devise a plan. They come up with a "message" that Dumbledore has flown off to London or Bulgaria or to visit the Giants or anyplace where he is away from Hogwarts. The message also relays that Harry has somehow wandered off into a remote area outside of Hogsmeade, looking for Ron or wanting to be away from his constant "babysitters." He is unprotected. He is alone. He is afraid. He is out of Dumbledore's sight. He is a sitting duck. Snape Apparates to wherever Voldie is and tells him that Dumbledore is gone, and now would be a perfect time to strike. He cooperates Voldie's vision. So, Voldemort, being the rash and hasty person he is, instantly Apparates to where Harry is believed to be, only to find Dumbledore, the Order, and a whole slew of Aurors waiting in an area that has been enchanted with an Anti-Disapparation Jinx. After a terrific duel, Voldemort is at long last captured.

It could happen, right?

Madame Librarian - Mar 10, 2004 5:02 pm (#11 of 187)

Not a bad scenario, Sherbie, especially if the build-up involves all kinds of side stories and twists dealing with the elimination of the loyal DE crew which forces Voldie to act solo at the crucial moment. I mean that kind of plot development could take up a big chunk of a book.

Ciao. Barb

Sherbie Lemon - Mar 10, 2004 5:11 pm (#12 of 187)

Here's a better version I posted over on the Predictions for Book 6 & 7 thread: (pardon the repetition and length )

While browsing through the books, I had a little theory about Legilimency and how it could possibly lead to Voldemort's downfall. I haven't got all the kinks ironed out yet, but here is the basic gist:

Since PS/SS, Harry has been able to sense when Voldemort is near, or feeling an intense emotion. In GoF and especially in OotP, Harry has been able to participate in Voldemort's actions, see his thoughts, feel his emotions, even if they are unrelated to his own. Now Occlumency and Legilimency go hand in hand. I think it is safe to assume that Harry will be practicing more and more on protecting his mind. Now, what if he becomes very astute at it (which I have a feeling he will be, he threw off the Imperious Curse completely, and that is related to Occlumency)? What if he also learns a bit about Legilimency? What if he learns enough to use it on Voldemort? Suppose he does the same to Voldie as Voldie did to him about Sirius in OotP?

Let's say Harry and Dumbledore and probably Snape devise a plan. They come up with a complex idea, a "message" that is transmitted to Voldemort through Harry's Legilimency and Snape's information. For most of the year, Snape (perfectly positioned at Hogwarts) and Voldemort had been trying to devise a way to get Harry alone so Voldemort could finally finish him off. The two of them create a red herring, a wild goose chase that leads Dumbledore far away from Hogwarts. Of course, this is actually Dumbledore, Snape and Harry's plan. To make Voldie think that it has been his plan all along to send Dumbledore away and get Harry alone. The telepathic "message" that the three come up with would relay that Harry has somehow wandered off into a remote area outside of Hogsmeade, looking for Ron or wanting to be away from his constant "babysitters." He is unprotected. He is alone. He is afraid. He is out of Dumbledore's sight. He is a sitting duck. Harry transmits this "message" via Legilimency while Voldemort is relaxed. Of course, Voldemort would see a panicked Harry, lost and unprotected and trying to find his way into Hogsmeade. Snape quickly Apparates to wherever Voldie is and tells him that Dumbledore is gone and that now would be a perfect time to strike. He tells Voldie that their earlier plan has worked, and he has lured both Dumbledore and Harry away from Hogwarts. He cooperates Voldie's vision. So, Voldemort, being the rash and hasty person he is, instantly Apparates to where Harry is believed to be, only to find Dumbledore, the Order, and a whole slew of Aurors waiting in an area that has been enchanted with an Anti-Disapparation Jinx. After a terrific duel, Voldemort is at long last captured.

It could happen, right?

Edit: Thanks, Barb! I think that it would be quite lengthy too, but it would be nice to see Harry and the good guys pulling the strings for a change.

Rosariana - Mar 10, 2004 5:54 pm (#13 of 187)

Interesting, Sherbie Lemon, and very well thought out. In your plan though, Harry will have to be present with Dumbledore and the whole slew of Order members. According to the prophecy, Harry has to be the one to kill Voldemort. He is the only person who can.

It wouldn't do for Harry not to witness Voldemort's downfall.

It is a really cool idea though. Voldemort could be expecting Harry to be alone and he would be surprised to see Harry's back-up wizard duelers. This theory works as long as Harry is the one to cast the fatal spell.

Julia. - Mar 10, 2004 6:04 pm (#14 of 187)

I like your theory Sherbie, very well though out. Rosariana, perhaps Harry could use Legilimency to lure Voldy into a trap, in which he would be captured by the Aurors, but finally destroyed by Harry? The Aurors and Dumbledore would only be there to stop him escaping.

Sherbie Lemon - Mar 10, 2004 6:16 pm (#15 of 187)

Thanks Rosariana and Julia!

You both are right about Harry. He would have to be there. I think your idea is good Julia, about Voldemort being restrained by Dumbledore and the Aurors and Harry being the one that casts the last curse.

TomoÈ - Mar 10, 2004 7:44 pm (#16 of 187)

I don't think Harry or Voldemort or anyone else can use Legilimency to send thoughts to another person's mind, that should be a third discipline. And I'm not sure Occlumency and Legilimency go hand in hand, but that does mean Harry won't learn Legilimency or the third discipline.

I bet Harry will learn Occlumency over the summer and Legilimency somewhere in his sixth year. But Occlumency will not be useful against Voldemort, because their connection don't follow the usual rules.

I like your theory Sherbie.

Dumbly-dorr - Apr 8, 2004 7:00 pm (#17 of 187)
Edited Apr 8, 2004 8:02 pm

And yet, Harry wouldn't finish off Voldemort when Voldemort is like a caged animal, unable to escape. Think of his decision to not kill Pettigrew. When Harry finishes off Voldemort it will be an emotional action of desperation, not cold and calculated.

Although I still think that what will 'vanquish the Dark Lord' will vanquish only the Dark Lord, not Tom Riddle, as Dumbledore made the distinction in the Ministry of Magic.

Dumbly-dorr - Apr 8, 2004 7:10 pm (#18 of 187)

I completely forgot the reason I went to this thread, and had to remark on the previous posts, but back to the original question.

Why did Dumbledore assign Snape to teach Harry Occlumency when Snape was in such a crucial position with Voldemort. If Harry had broken into Snape's thoughts (which he did) at the same time as Voldemort broke into Harry's thoughts (which also happened), not at the exact same time, but almost at the same time (Harry had the vision while in Snape's Occlumency lessons) then Snape would have been compromised to Voldemort, and our loyal spy, Snape, would have been exposed.

Any thoughts?

Chris. - Apr 25, 2004 12:11 pm (#19 of 187)
Edited Apr 25, 2004 1:39 pm

Dumbledore trusts Snape, and if you can't trust Dumbledore who can you trust.

Dumbledore explained at the end of OP, that it would be far too dangerous to open Harry's mind even further to Voldemort while in his [Dumbledore's] presence.

OP Bloomsbury Edition, P734, The Lost Prophecy

"...though I was sure, at the time, that nothing could have been more dangerous to open your mind even further to Voldemort while in my presence-"

sewfuninme - Apr 25, 2004 3:44 pm (#20 of 187)
Edited Apr 25, 2004 4:48 pm

Hmm... "Nothing could have been more dangerous to open your mind even further to Voldemort while in my presence-"

Dumbledore knew that Harry would have more dreams about Voldemort! Harry was right about it being worse after lessons with Snape, but Dumbledore knew that it would happen.

Hmm... Not sure what that means, but it is kind of interesting.

They really should have told Harry more about what was happening. He would have been less confused and angry.

Chris. - Apr 26, 2004 8:28 am (#21 of 187)

I'm sure Harry would have tried harder in Occlumency if Dumbledore was teaching him.

I think Dumbledore meant Harry might try to attack him, because he [Harry] was more prone to feeling like that during the lessons.

haymoni - Apr 26, 2004 9:19 am (#22 of 187)

I think Harry would have tried harder in Occlumency if he actually knew why he had to study it in the first place.

DD didn't have to tell him about the Prophesy. He could have said that, just like Harry could see into the DOM, so could Voldemort and that wouldn't be good for the Order or something like that.

What if...

Chris. - Apr 26, 2004 9:25 am (#23 of 187)

Yes, he could have told Harry, just, that Voldemort might try to lure him into the DoM. I think he actually did say that at the end of OP.

Emily - May 24, 2004 3:31 pm (#24 of 187)

Just how many people do you think know Occlumency/Legilimency? I think Snape said it was rare. It must be hard to find someone to practice with- if you want to get really good at Occlumency you need someone who knows Legilimency and if you want to get good at Legilimency, you need someone willing to let you break into their mind. Though I suppose you could just not tell them what you are about to do.

septentrion - May 26, 2004 12:12 am (#25 of 187)

In ch 24 of OoTP, Snape says that Occlumency is "an obscure branch of magic". You can deduce from this statement that it is actually rare. But how to learn it with somebody if you don't explain to them that you need to break into their mind to learn ?

veraco - Jun 2, 2004 7:05 am (#26 of 187)

Well I think that there are different levels of Legilimency, in some cases you would need a wand to perform and in others, eye contact will be enough, especially when you are not trying really hard to conceal anything or when your own feelings betray you. Lupin could have used Legilimency with Harry in order to "save" him and the Marauders Map from Snape's in PoA. Snape could have known that Harry, Ron and Hermione where ready to go and get the stone in PS and decide to tell Dumbledore instead of doing something about it(he will have tell a secret I think he prefer to keep for himself), remember when he found Harry and the others wandering around and Harry "feel" like if Snape was reading his mind? (look it in the book and if you have the movie watch it and you will see what I mean). As if Harry will ever learn to use it.... I'm not sure

Gina R Snape - Jun 15, 2004 8:55 pm (#27 of 187)

Well, there's been a lot of retrospective speculation on the use of Legilimency since OoP. But I can't help to wonder if Legilimency isn't flirting with the dark arts.

Nonetheless, I think when one practices Legilimency, you must sort through things. Like Snape said, thoughts aren't simply etched into one's skull. I'm guessing that emotions strike a certain chord. Concrete memories are probably strong, while ideas and flights of fancy are hazier. So, I imagine that if one is looking for a lie, you'd have to cross-reference the emotion with the thought, if you will.

It's easy enough to tell a bad liar without Legilimency. Tone of voice will contradict facial and bodily expressions. Bad liars can't keep their facts straight, and get nervous and fidget or have some other 'tell'. But the kind of liars who can pass lie-detector tests can calm themselves to the point of appearing to 'believe' their own lies. They control certain autonomic responses that usually go off when in fear of being 'caught.'

I see Legilimency as the same thing, really. Looking for thoughts and feelings that contradict what the person is trying to project. Occlumency shuts the Legilimens from accessing those thoughts and feelings, or else finds a way to convince the Legilimens that they are seeing something else. Calms the fear of being 'caught' long enough to throw the Legilimens off. Maybe even finds a way to 'help' the Legilimens find certain thoughts and feelings more so than hiding others in the effort to throw him off the track.

Does this make sense?

Padfoot - Jun 16, 2004 7:28 am (#28 of 187)

Yes, Gina, that makes sense. I like the idea of Legilimens find certain thoughts and feelings more so than hiding others. Although faking/passing the lie detector test is a good way to look at it too.

popkin - Jun 18, 2004 12:42 am (#29 of 187)
Edited by Jun 18, 2004 1:44 am

Unless Dumbledore's suspicions were enormously aroused, I don't think he'd use any form of Legilimency on a friend and colleague like Moody. Good point about the carefulness of Moody/Crouch's speech, Kevin.

The giant squid - Jun 18, 2004 3:30 am (#30 of 187)

Well said, Kevin. Although I doubt Dumbledore would be actively Legilimenting Wink his staff, there would probably have been at least an initial interview...or did Crouch Jr. take over after Moody was hired? If that's the case, there'd be no reason for DD to suspect anything as long as Crouch acted like Moody.


Denise P. - Jun 18, 2004 7:30 am (#31 of 187)

The following message edited and it got moved out of order. It was posted by:

Kevin Corbett[/b] - Jun 18, 2004 1:32 am (#29 of 31)One thing that the whole Legilimency/Occlumency thing made me wonder about, almost right away, was Barty Crouch Jr. Remember what DD says, to Harry about his interview with Kreacher,

"I too am a sufficiently accomplished Legilimens to know when I am being lied to."

Okay, except for the times when he seems to have allowed HARRY to lie to him and maybe known it (like when he asks, in CoS, "Is there anything you would like to tell me), this seems fairly true, and maybe knowing when you are or are not being lied to is only the tip of the iceberg that is DD’s Legilimens power. I mean, note how often DD seems to know what Harry and others are thinking (like just after the attack on Crouch Sr., he told Harry to postpone sending any owls---and there are other incidences, I'm sure), so it's possible he can do it sans-wand like Voldemort.

So then, how DID Barty Crouch get around Dumbledore's constant mental surveillance for TEN MONTHS? It's entirely possible that he was using Occlumency, but I think a different kind than is recommended to Harry for warding off Voldie. It was more, for him, about blocking out "anything that contradicts the lie", like Snape says---this, I think, explains even more his need make his imitation of Moody totally authentic---he needed to get under DD mental radar as well as his and the whole school's visual one---and the former was probably much more of a concern to him than the latter. Also, this would sort of explain the double talk Moody/Crouch often uses, like, "There's nothing I hate more than a Death Eater who went free". That way, if Moody/Crouch was talking to Dumbledore about, say, a known DE, he might be able to detect hatred or contempt in the fake Moody’s brain, but it would really be Crouch's hatred for their lack of loyalty, not Moody's for their general evilness.

Then there’s, of course, Moody's magic eye. Even for Dumbledore, some eye contact might be necessary, so Moody's constantly moving magic one might would be ideal for avoiding DD's attempts at mental perusal. I think this may well have been one of the reasons they, Voldie and Crouch, choose Moody---besides, of course, the fact that they knew no one would believe him if he managed to escape their attempts to get at him---when they could have as easily done the same thing to, say, Hagrid, who would have had a lot easier job manipulating Harry than Moody would initially, being his dear friend and occasional confidante.

Gina R Snape - Jun 18, 2004 7:39 am (#32 of 187)

Crouch Jr. went to Moody's home and took over before arriving at Hogwarts. When Arthur Weasley showed up at Moody's home, he didn't know it was Crouch Jr. already, who had caused the incident.

I too doubt DD would use Legilimens on any kind of regular basis with staff. But with all the Polyjuice, invisibility cloaks, time turners and other things in the wizarding world, it's amazing people aren't more paranoid!

I'm very certain DD knows when Harry is lying. But I think DD was trying to build trust in the boy. Letting him know "I can read your thoughts and find out for myself anytime anyway" isn't the way to do that. I feel fairly certain Legilimency isn't used often, just on general principles.

Kevin Corbett - Jun 18, 2004 6:00 pm (#33 of 187)

I guess I sort of conceive of DD's Legilimens power as having a sort of function of telling him when something's up---like Obi-Wan, "I sense a disturbance in the magical force". Maybe his ability to Legilimens is, to some extent, involuntary---it picks up subtle discrepancies in people general aura without DD having to actively, well, mind-rape them.

Mellilot Flower. - Jun 19, 2004 5:39 am (#34 of 187)

I don't think it can be. I think it has to be an active mental process, he must actively make an effort to use the ability, like Tonks changing her features- she must actively think about doing it. Whenever something major is going on, like when Harry woke up after having the snake dream he probably automatically turns it on. Other than that though, in day-to-day dealings with other people he'd feel much to intrusive to use it - he is thought to be very noble after all.

The Grey Lady - Jun 26, 2004 6:50 am (#35 of 187)

Hey, a thing my sisters and I always joke about:

Usually, when someone is possessing you, they can see what you're doing and 'read your thoughts'. However, in the 5th book, Harry finds himself having 'dreams' from LV's point of view, and getting flashes of his feelings. Does this mean Harry's possessing Lord Voldemort? (As well as the other way around)

No, it doesn't make sense.

Gina R Snape - Jun 26, 2004 6:58 am (#36 of 187)

Yes, I would say there are times when Harry seems to be inadvertently accessing the Dark Lord's mind. I believe there was something in the Occlumency chapter about Snape saying the Dark Lord had become aware that Harry was entering his mind, as well.

TheQuibbler - Jun 26, 2004 3:37 pm (#37 of 187)

Will Harry ever master Occlumency?

Mellilot Flower. - Jun 26, 2004 4:25 pm (#38 of 187)
Edited Jun 26, 2004 5:27 pm

I think if someone aside from Snape teaches him... then maybe. Or perhaps it's one of those things, like with potions- Harry is perfectly proficient at it, unless Snape's involved.

The Grey Lady - Jun 26, 2004 5:55 pm (#39 of 187)

Yeah, nothing like a greasy-haired git breathing down your neck while you try to remember the ingredients of a forgetfulness potion.

But I don't think DD can teach Harry any Occlumency, because LV probably won't give up trying to influence Harry. But Snape's obviously no good for teaching him. Someone else needs to teach him, but who?

The Wandless Wizard - Jul 4, 2004 6:41 pm (#40 of 187)
Edited by Jul 4, 2004 7:44 pm

Ok, I have a theory regarding Occlumency that is part of a much larger theory of magic. So forgive me if I have to explain some of the larger theory. But I will be bringing it all back to this on-topic point: Snape was the absolute worst choice to teach Harry Occlumency for reasons beyond their mutual hatred of each other.

First we have to look briefly at the nature of magic as it applies to wizards. We know there has to be something innately magical about wizards as they can use magic and Muggles can't. However, most spells require an incantation and a wand. However, the magic still has to come from the wizard since a Muggle could wave a wand all he wanted and chant all the incantations in the world to no avail. Further, wands are not even necessary for magic. When Harry is scared or angry, he performs magic without realizing it (setting the snake on Dudley, blowing up Aunt Marge as examples). So in my mind, the wand, wrist motion, and incantation are all focusing agents. The magic comes from the wizard.

I also think emotions are another focusing agent. Take for instance the patronus charm. You need great feelings of happiness to produce the Patronus. Now the Patronus is special because it requires a specific emotion to be put into the patronus and no other emotion will work. I believe that most spells use emotion to fuel or focus the wizard’s power. However, it is like wands. Certain emotions work better for certain wizards. Harry's magic would not be as powerful if he used Ron's wand. Wizards test wands to see what works best for them (the wand chooses the wizard). The same can be said for emotion. The emotion used by one wizard (a sense of justice perhaps) may not work for another. The emotion chooses the wizard as well.

We know Harry's power comes from love or so DD says at the end of OotP. But we also know it comes from anger (Dudley and Aunt Marge). The times when Harry was most successful throwing off Snape was when he was angry. When Snape tried to look at him kissing Cho, for example. The same could be said for when he threw off the Imperius curse. At first is was a mild questioning "Why should I do this?" Then it was an outright scream "No!" that finally broke it. So I believe that Harry's power comes mostly from anger. However when he is able to tap into love on a regular basis, his power will be extraordinary. Even in regards to his Patronuses this is evident. The most powerful one are fueled by happy thoughts of the people he loves, but he can produce one with happy thought based on anger as well (He thinks of Umbridge getting sacked to make the Patronus during his owl).

Snape is a different creature from Harry. He is cool and calculating. I believe his power comes from an absence of emotion. It comes from reason (remember the trial he made in the sorcerer’s stone). So he teaches Harry to perform Occlumency in his way using his emotion, or lack of. "Clear your mind". This clearly (pardon the pun) doesn't work for Harry. In fact, it weakens him. He is moving away from his strengths. So Harry feels that he is more vulnerable. This is not because Snape is opening his mind up, but instead because Harry is going about stopping it completely wrong. The better he gets at clearing his mind, the farther away he gets from his power source. He should be getting angry (or tapping into love which is harder) rather than emptying himself from emotion.

Let me make my final illustration with the lie detector analogy. Some people react coolly to accusations against them. If someone accuses Snape of something, he would brush it off with little emotion. However, every time Harry is accused of something, he gets mad. So if Harry took a lie detector test and stayed calm, he would not be true to himself and thus would fail. Does this make sense? Does any of it?

EDIT: Wow this was a long post. Sorry. I hope it was at least interesting and long. Doh! This edit just made it longer

Mellilot Flower. - Jul 5, 2004 3:50 am (#41 of 187)

Right, the most of it made sense about emotion being an essential part of wizardry. But think about it, if happiness is needed for a patronus, that is a specific emotion then it would make sense that other advanced magic need specific emotions or lack of emotions as well. This would be why some dark arts require a specific hatred or emotion to perform them... And the only way I can see anger or love working with Occlumency is if it simply creates a huge wall of intense feeling like a barrier- but this would be easily detectable and so it would be too obvious that he was performing Occlumency as opposed to Snape's method which is subtle and hard to detect...

The Wandless Wizard - Jul 5, 2004 8:57 am (#42 of 187)

I have thought about the Patronus needing a specific emption, but that is because happiness is the thing the patronus is made of. Harry himself has used various sub-emotions to produce that happy thought. He has used thoughts of his friends to make a Patronus. This would be a happy feeling based on love for his friends. He has also thought of Umbridge being sacked (During OWLS in OotP), and this is a happy thought based on anger at Umbridge. Maybe for Snape to produce a Patronus, he has to think about being left alone in a room by himself or some other emotionless thought that makes him happy. And I agree that Harry using anger to fuel Occlumency would not be ideal for him going undercover as a double agent, like Snape, but it would keep Voldemort out of his head, which is what is necessary. We know the only way he got Snape out of his head was getting angry. We also know that not many are suited toward Occlumency. Maybe Snape means not many are suited to using it how Snape uses it, to go undercover, because not many people get their power from reason. Just my thoughts.

tout le monde et personne - Jul 5, 2004 1:36 pm (#43 of 187)
Edited Jul 5, 2004 2:36 pm

I don't agree with you when you all say Harry got Snape out of his head because of his anger. I don't think so. I think it is the thought of the Patronus, and the thought of saving Sirius which made Snape get out. I'll explain why. You were talking about the Patronus. What does a Patronus do ? It forbids the Dementors from accessing to your mind. What does Occlumency do ? It forbids the others from accessing to your mind. To me, the Patronus spell is just a highly specific form of Occlumency. That's why when Snape finds the memory of Harry making a Patronus, he's expelled from Harry's mind and more, Harry's reading Snape's memories. I think the power Harry has, the one the prophecy deals with, allows Harry to make this strong Patronus, for when he first made a corporeal Patronus he wanted to save Sirius and himself. This power made Voldemort get out of his mind although they were bound to each other, I think it gave Harry the power to expel Snape from his mind.

You were also talking about the role of feelings in magic. I found another example which can make us think so. We all saw the power of anger, happiness or love. Bellatrix also says the cruelty has a main role using Forbidden Curses, especially the Cruciatus curse. You need to really want to cause pain - to enjoy it - righteous anger won't hurt me for long. I totally agree with the Wandless Wizard, I think the feelings' role is crucial. For example fear prevent you from doing magic. That's why Neville can't make any potion during Snape's lessons. That's also why Harry couldn't manage with the Attraction Spell. He was too anxious. What really matters in magic is the meaning of what you want to do.

I wanted to add a few more things about Dumbledore's surprising powers concerning the Legilimency. In fact, when we get inform Dumbledore was a pretty good Legilimens, I already knew it from the GoF, for Dumbledore uses several times Legilimency in the previous books, especially in the GoF. First he uses it in order to know whether Harry put his name into the goblet, and several other times, when he seems to guess Harry's thought. But he also uses it when Harry is in the graveyard. Usually the eyes facilitate the Legilimency, or in the case of Voldemort and harry, the scar. In the graveyard it is Fawkes' song which allows Dumbledore to speak to Harry during the prior Incantatem. He even tells him something. It's more than Legilimency, it is more than read someone's memory, Dumbledore can also communicate thoughts. I'm nearly sure he does that with Hagrid too. When Mr. Crouch disappears, Dumbledore send Hagrid a thought: he puts his wand on his temple and makes a sliver thing as the ones in the Pensieve and sends it to Hagrid who comes few minutes later.

I think Harry will continue his Occlumency lessons in the 6th book for he will need to close his mind if he doesn't want to see horrible things every nights and maybe Voldemort's voice in his head. I think the only reason Harry didn't manage with Occlumency was because he really wanted to know what was going on, he tells Dumbledore about that in the end : he could have stopped the dreams whenever he wanted, but he didn't. Harry will probably become a quite good Occlumens, and, to my mind, he'll become also a kind of Legilimens, being able to know when people lies, more aware about the other's feelings, even if he'll not be able to know what people things or to read their memories.

septentrion - Jul 6, 2004 2:05 am (#44 of 187)
Edited Jul 6, 2004 3:09 am

Snape is a different creature from Harry. He is cool and calculating. I believe his power comes from an absence of emotion. I It comes from reason (remember the trial he made in the sorcerer’s stone). So he teaches Harry to perform Occlumency in his way using I his emotion, or lack of. "Clear your mind". This clearly (pardon the pun) doesn't work for Harry. In fact, it weakens him. He is moving away from his strengths. So Harry feels that he is more venerable. This is not because Snape is opening his mind up, but instead because Harry is going about stopping it completely wrong. The better he gets at clearing his mind, the farther away he gets from his power source. He should be getting angry (or tapping into love which i is harder) rather than emptying himself from emotion.

I don't agree with this statement, even if I agree with the rest of the theory. Harry felt more vulnerable because he didn't want to clear his mind, he wanted to feel angry to Snape, to DD and to the entire world...

To me, the Patronus spell is just a highly specific form of Occlumency

very interesting thought indeed. And I also think that Harry will be a good Legilimens because LV is one and LV gave some of his powers to Harry in his attempt to kill him.

Gina R Snape - Jul 6, 2004 12:25 pm (#45 of 187)
Edited Jul 6, 2004 1:25 pm

I think there were perhaps to purposes two the Occlumency, which affect this very interesting theory.

For Harry, the point was to keep the Dark Lord from entering his mind. Anger might be enough to push someone out, but I don't know that that would work on a long-term basis.

In Snape's case, the purpose of Occlumency is to be able to conceal thoughts and ideas, in order to lie to the Dark Lord (or, potentially, anyone else...). Sealing the mind from external intrusion, yes, but in such a way that doesn't actually show you are doing such.

As such, both skills would be necessary in Harry's case. He needs the Dark Lord to STOP VISITING every night. He needs keep himself from being an open vessel for suggestion, which is different than an interrogation. But likely, he also needs to learn how to lie to the Dark Lord, or at least to keep information from him. So, I don't think anger alone would accomplish this. He needs to be able to control his thoughts and emotions so he can tell when he is being influenced, and not just dreaming (or 'hallucinating of sorts' like he did when he felt the desire to bite DD before going to 12GP at Christmas), to try and stop it from happening.

Does this make sense?

The Wandless Wizard - Jul 6, 2004 3:49 pm (#46 of 187)
Edited by Jul 6, 2004 4:51 pm

Wow. Everyone is against me. It's just cause I am new here. You're all out to get me. Okay, just kidding. This forum is really great about accepting new people, so I am not hurt you all hate me...er, I mean disagree with me.

I see a lot of your points. Your post made sense, Ms. Snape. I still don't fully agree though. I think different wizards have different temperaments to do different things. Just like in the Muggle world. A doctor couldn't necessarily be a teacher and a teacher might not make a very good police officer. I don't think Harry has the temperament to go undercover and lie to Voldemort, but he has the temperament to fight for his life and survive 4 times. You can't teach someone to go against their temperament very successfully. You have to use what you have, and work around the difficulties.

The point I keep coming back to is that the only success Harry had dispelling Snape's Legilimens was when he was mad. Look at the first lesson in chapter 24. On the first attempt when the memories moved to his kiss with Cho, he thought "No...you're not watching that, you're not watching it, it's private" and produced a stinging hex. He did not have a clear mind, but he was upset about Snape's intrusion and subconsciously made him pay with a stinging hex (he says he didn't mean to produce a stinging hex). The second attempt, Snape got to Diggory's death and was stopped by Harry yelling "NOOOOOO!" Again anger at the intrusion. The third time he was remembering being led to the courthouse and he was angry he was being led away from the department of mysteries which he now recognized form his dream. Again, the spell was broken by Harry shouting. this time he was shouting at Mr. Weasley in his memory, but it was still anger.

Now let's look at something Snape said at the end of the first lesson. "Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions, who wallow in sad memories and allow themselves to be provoked easily-weak people in other words-they stand no chance against [Voldemort's] powers." However, Dumbledore said in Chapter 37 after the events in the MoM, "In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you [from Voldemort]." Because Harry wore his emotions on his sleeve so to speak, Voldemort could not hurt him. So Snape was wrong at the very outset of his teaching Harry. His emotions are what make Harry strong, not weak. Unless you believe Snape over Dumbledore that is. If Harry's emotions are powerful enough to repel Voldemort when he is right there, shouldn't they be powerful enough to repel him from a distance?

I keep coming back to Harry's shouts of "No!" breaking the Legilimens with Snape and DD saying Harry's power is his heart and emotions. Thinking of all that, I just can't believe Snape was on the right track in teaching Harry Occlumency by clearing his mind. I don't believe Snape was doing it on purpose. I just think Snape doesn't understand the power of emotions. They only ever get in his way. So he was not the right person to teach Harry. Maybe Harry shouldn't be using his emotions, or using them in a much more subtle and less detectable way. Even if that is the case (which I am not saying it is), someone else would be better suited to show him how. Someone who understands how emotions can be powerful. Snape doesn't.

Gina R Snape - Jul 6, 2004 7:24 pm (#47 of 187)
Edited Jul 6, 2004 8:26 pm

On the contrary, I think Snape knows exactly how powerful emotions can be... which is why he cautions Harry to learn how to control them.

I do agree that people have different ways of doing things. But we also need to look at the situation. At the end of OoP, Harry's strong emotions fended off Voldemort, true. But this was NOT Occlumency. This was a repelling of being possessed in body. What we need to know is how that is different from repelling being possessed in mind.

I don't know that there's any answer here. I don't even know if JKR has thought it out this deeply. But I do find Occlumency to be one of the most interesting forms of magic she's given us yet.

EDIT: btw, I posted much earlier in this thread about Occlumency being like passing a lie detector test. This is of course I direct response to Snape's method, but I don't think it's far off.

Mellilot Flower. - Jul 7, 2004 6:15 am (#48 of 187)

Harry seems to be a very strong character, I think this more than his emotions stopped Snape from seeing certain memories and threw Crouch Jnr's imperious curse off, not to mention Voldemort's and later to a degree Voldemort's possession (we still have to go with what DD said at least a little I think). It is his strong sense of self and strong will which asserted itself in these occasions and forced them out... but it didn't shield him from Snape, at no point were his feelings hidden which is a major part of Occlumency. Occlumency is meant to be a mask so that your truths are not easily presentable and so that your thoughts are not easily guessed. I'm doubting now, after reading through your arguments and after reading the OotP again that Occlumency would have worked any way, even if Harry had practiced it because it doesn't seem to me to be the type of thing that prevents possession or manipulation, which is what Voldemort aimed to do. And even if it did to some extent I fear the bond between the two of them would have overcome this. What would have been better would have been if DD or Snape or Sirius had said that Voldemort needed Harry to obtain something and that he would try and manipulate Harry via the bond the two shared that had begun with the scar. This way no more would have needed to be explained and Harry would have known that the dreams were subversive and so repelled them with the strength of his will and personal character.

The possession of Harry in MoM seems to go against this slightly and the fact that DD tells us it was Harry's love for Sirius- or something to that effect- which repelled Voldemort. But I think one of the reasons Voldemort found it so easy to enter and posses Harry then was Sirius' very recent death and the emptiness that this had left in Harry and Harry's desire to be anyone but himself at that point, without Sirius. But as soon as the possibility of being with Sirius presented itself his sense of self returned. So it becomes both his love for Sirius and his strong character which forced Voldemort out.

Detail Seeker - Jul 11, 2004 1:23 pm (#49 of 187)
Edited Jul 11, 2004 2:25 pm

Wandless Wizard and co-disputants! This seemed to me to be a very high-level discussion of this phenomenon. Please allow me to archive this part of this thread to the "Mechanisms of Magic" thread in the archived section, where it will make up Chapter 5. I think this is worth it.

The Wandless Wizard - Jul 11, 2004 1:58 pm (#50 of 187)

Go ahead, detail-seeker. If you need my permission you have it. I am glad others besides me find it interesting.
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Occlumency and Legilimency Empty Occlumency and Legilimency (posts #51 to #100)

Post  Potteraholic on Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:12 am

accio firebolt - Jul 12, 2004 9:49 am (#51 of 187)

I just scanned through this thread and don't think I saw this point discussed - do you think McGonagall is using Legilimency when she apparently overhears Hermione's analysis of Umbridge's speech? OoP chapter 12 - McGonagall says "didn't you listen to Dolores Umbridge's speech?" and when Harry says yes, she says "Well, I'm glad you listen to Hermione Granger..." But at the time of the speech, McGonagall was sitting at the head table and the kids were at the Gryffindor table.

I've always wondered how McGonagall knew this. Legilimency could be the answer, but it seems to be a hostile action that McGonagall obviously wouldn't be performing on Hermione. I wonder if there's another, related, power (that might also explain why Dumbledore always seems to be able to benignly read Harry's thoughts) that we haven't learned about yet.

If this has been discussed already, please accept a newbie's apologies!

haymoni - Jul 12, 2004 10:25 am (#52 of 187)

I think Hermione spoke with McGonagall about it. She knows Minerva is with the Order and that she can be trusted.

septentrion - Jul 12, 2004 10:26 am (#53 of 187)
Edited Jul 12, 2004 11:27 am

I think that McGonagall had just observed the student while Umbridge was speaking, and as she knows them well, she could read their expressions. So no Legilimency in this.

edit / I posted in the same time than Haymoni

Gina R Snape - Jul 12, 2004 10:59 am (#54 of 187)

Yes, I too think McGonagall simply *knows* Hermione. Likely, the two had a conversation in McGonagall's office at some point (or in the library :snerk:).

And, I agree with Mellilot that it is strength of will, not anger per se that pushed Snape out of Harry's head. Harry must have the resolve to make it happen. I'd suspect that Snape's approach wouldn't work any better if one were calm but not trying to keep someone out of one's thoughts.

By all means, Detail Seeker, post my parts of this discussion in the archives.

The Wandless Wizard - Jul 12, 2004 6:17 pm (#55 of 187)

As for McGonagall, I don't think it was Legilimens either. I don't even think she needed to talk to Hermione about it. She knows Harry is good friends with Hermione who is an extremely intelligent girl. Harry's uncomfortableness explaining what the speech meant showed he didn't really listen. He stumbled over his words and finally spit out that it means the ministry is interfering at Hogwarts. This is a point many school age kids would miss. But McGonagall knew Hermione wouldn't. She put 2+2 together. Harry obviously didn't listen to Umbridge, but he would to Hermione who would be able to figure it out. Presto-chango, deduction without magic.

Anna Osipova[/b] - Aug 7, 2004 7:06 am (#56 of 187)

My thoughts are that if McGonagall were a Legilimens, she'd be the one working with Harry and not Snape. After all, Dumbledore wouldn't put Harry through all this torture if there were someone else to teach him.

As for Hermione and McGonagall, I think Minerva simply knows Hermione would've paid attention and then divulged the information to the other two. I think any good teacher could have made that deduction.

Gina R Snape[/b] - Aug 10, 2004 10:54 am (#57 of 187)
Edited Aug 10, 2004 11:55 am

I agree. McGonagall would have certainly made time to teach Harry Occlumency if she could. The only reason I think she wouldn't is if DD wanted Snape and Harry together for reasons other than the lessons. While that's been speculated upon on the Snape thread, I think any understandings between them would've been a happy coincidence, not the primary or secondary purpose. DD needs to think of Harry's safety and blocking the Dark Lord first. DD said in retrospect he should have taught Harry himself. Had McG been able, I think he would have said he or McG should have taught him. And that would've been JKR giving us another sly hint.

Her-melanie[/b] - Aug 24, 2004 1:36 pm (#58 of 187)

Did anyone else notice that in 'Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone' after Harry sees Snape's bitten leg, Harry thinks it seems like Snape is following him around school, and then JK has Harry wondering if Snape can read minds?! I recently re-read 'S/P Stone' and saw that and LAUGHED and LAUGHED! Then I wondered how many other clues like that are hidden that I never even knew were clues. She is so good!

LooneyLuna[/b] - Aug 26, 2004 2:23 pm (#59 of 187)

Hopefully, Harry will have a better Occlumency teacher in HBP. It seems to me that Harry needs to learn how to meditate. Once he has the meditation down, then the teacher can try to break into his mind. I think Harry is a natural Legilimens. Of course, I have no evidence to back this up - it's probably wishful thinking on my part. Smile

Archangel[/b] - Aug 26, 2004 8:46 pm (#60 of 187)

Her-melanie, in CoS when Harry and Ron arrived in the castle and Snape swept them into the dungeon -- "This wasn't the first time Snape had given Harry the impression of being able to read minds." Smile

dragon keeper[/b] - Aug 27, 2004 1:39 pm (#61 of 187)

So will DD be Harry's new Occlumency teacher?

TomProffitt[/b] - Aug 27, 2004 3:07 pm (#62 of 187)
Edited Aug 27, 2004 4:08 pm

"I think Harry is a natural Legilimens." --- LooneyLuna

I can't give you page numbers or direct quotes(my OotP is on loan), but I thought that it was possible that Harry was inadvertently using Legilimency to get his History of Magic O.W.L. answers from Parvati.

LooneyLuna[/b] - Aug 27, 2004 3:14 pm (#63 of 187)
Edited Aug 27, 2004 4:15 pm

"I can't give you page numbers or direct quotes(my OotP is on loan), but I thought that it was possible that Harry was inadvertently using Legilimency to get his History of Magic O.W.L. answers from Parvati." - Tom Proffitt

I think he either got them from Parvati or from Voldemort using Legilimency. Harry also made a comment to Cho about choosing her friends better - she should have known about Marietta. I think Harry gets an inkling when his friends are hiding something or possibly lying to him. In OotP, doesn't Harry think Ron has a secret and is hiding something from Harry? Harry doesn't press him because he had a secret too.

TwinklingBlueEyes[/b] - Aug 28, 2004 4:28 am (#64 of 187)

Is Harry even going to continue with Occlumency?

Remember, Dumbledore says..."In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you."

I think controlling his emotions will be more important. Just my opinion.

LooneyLuna[/b] - Aug 28, 2004 7:09 am (#65 of 187)

I hope that Harry continues with his Occlumency, it will help him when he skives off Potions and Snape confronts him. Smile

I hope Harry also gets some Legilimency lessons to enhance his natural ability. In the future books, it will be important that Harry know who is lying to him or holding back.

Solitaire[/b] - Aug 29, 2004 1:52 pm (#66 of 187)

For those who have not already read it, here is an interesting Mugglenet essay which comments on Harry's skills and gives a run-down of events linked to his Occlumency lessons with Snape. It also contains some interesting speculations on Snape.

Occlumency: Harry Has Skills After All

Paulus Maximus - Sep 3, 2004 6:51 am (#67 of 187)

I was wondering about what would happen if Snape used Occlumency in Voldemort's presence.

This is assuming that Voldemort believes Snape to be the deserter.

If Snape, protected by Occlumency, said to Voldemort "I never deserted you", what would happen?

Voldemort would not think that Snape was lying, because Occlumency prevents him from probing Snape's mind. Would he figure out that Snape was using Occlumency, or would he question his own memories of Snape's desertion?

LooneyLuna - Sep 3, 2004 7:42 am (#68 of 187)

Solitaire, thank you for posting that essay!

After reading it, I'm not so sure that Snape needs to use Occlumency in Voldemort's presence. More like Snape needs to use Occlumency in Dumbledore's presence.

EbonyRebel - Sep 4, 2004 5:59 am (#69 of 187)

yes, it was an interesting essay - a clever theory. however, it was told from only one point of view, and left room for only one interpretation - the "Snape is bad" theory. this is fundamentally flawed, as we can see from the books that there is much more to Snape than this. he may only be working for himself, putting himself in a position to join the side with the best chance of winning (as has been previously suggested both in this forum and on mugglenet). I can't help but notice one big flaw in the last paragraph of that essay - the suggestion that Voldemort "ordered peter to persuade the potters to use him as secret-keeper" as we know for a fact that Sirius himself "persuaded James to use peter as secret-keeper...I thought it was the perfect bluff". the essay does leave a lot to think about though, doesn't it?

LooneyLuna - Sep 4, 2004 6:40 am (#70 of 187)

EbonyRebel - I agree with you about the end of the essay. What I found most relevant was Harry's Occlumency lessons and how Snape seemed to open Harry's mind to Voldemort as opposed to helping Harry close his mind. When I first read that chapter, I got that same feeling.

Snape is fascinating and complex. I can't wait to find out more about him.

Chris. - Sep 4, 2004 7:19 am (#71 of 187)

I don't think Snape was helping Voldemort by opening Harry's mind. Dumbledore trusts Snape and I don't think DD would allow Snape to teach Harry Occlumency if he doubted him.

EbonyRebel - Sep 4, 2004 9:34 am (#72 of 187)

agree with you there, prongs. I must admit I’d be one of the "Snape is ultimately good" people! I think that Snape opening Harry's mind to Voldemort during Occlumency is a little too obvious. it reminds me of the PS/SS, when HRH thought that Snape was threatening Quirrell, jinxing Harry’s broom, etc - it was a bit too obvious. JK Rowling is subtler than this. Snape also seems to be one of her favourite red herrings. I also think that redemption and the power of choices are big themes for her - somehow I think that it would be a very disappointing, cynical ending for the series if Snape turned out to be bad all along. of course, he may still turn out bad, but not without a moral struggle along the way - Snape is not this black and white. Note: apologies - this post would seem to belong more on the Snape thread, after all!

Ann - Sep 4, 2004 11:22 am (#73 of 187)

The essay is interesting, but I was not convinced. For one thing, the techniques Snape uses to teach Harry Occlumency are obviously the right techniques. Just before DD takes off (after the DA is exposed), he tells Harry to remember to empty his mind every night, which is just what Snape has been telling him.

What is really unclear to me is by what theory this would work. I can see the parallel with the Imperius Curse that Snape mentions: essentially, one is asserting control of the access to one's thoughts, just as in resisting the Imperius Curse you are asserting control of your mind and body. In fact, though, with the Imperius Curse, the effect is to empty your mind: "every thought and worry in his head was wiped gently away." It seems very odd that putting yourself into the same state that signals succumbing to an Imperius Curse could somehow create resistance to Legilimency.

LooneyLuna - Sep 4, 2004 12:44 pm (#74 of 187)

Maybe if Harry had emptied his mind of thoughts/feelings, he would have been better able to detect an intrusion. Once detected, then he would be able to push Voldemort out of his mind or he would have realized that the corridor dream was not his own.

Solitaire - Sep 4, 2004 3:24 pm (#75 of 187)

The problem with many of the essays on Harry is generally that they tend to reflect and support any prejudices or theories held by their writers. Some--like the article about Snape being a DE--present and effectively argue more than one point of view. I find these the most illuminating, because the writers are forced to find evidence for both sides of an issue. But I did think that the one on Harry and Occlumency/Legilimency was interesting.

Moving along ... over on the Snape thread, Popkin posted the following: ... if Snape is really a good man, then that just about has to be why he uses that name. Actually, no matter what his future plans are, if he wants to stay alive to achieve them, then he must be very careful about never letting his guard down.

I sometimes wonder how the man can do anything at all. Whether he's trying to fool Dumbledore (an excellent Legilimens), or Voldemort (same), or play both sides against each other, how can he make any plans? It seems like there's always someone around who can look inside his brain. What will he do when Harry can get in there any time he wants to, too?

Apparently, it wasn't until Arthur was bitten by the snake that Voldemort realized how far Harry had begun to enter into HIS mind. Since then, I have wondered whether Voldemort actually FELT or KNEW Harry was in his mind, or whether he learned of this via information provided by Lucius--who, thanks to Fudge's loose lips, would certainly have found out everything in short order. I don't think we can discount this possibility.

I ask the question because I believe it will become extremely important in the last two books. If we learn that Harry truly is a Legilimens--and I think it is something he needs to explore in a way other than "sessions" with Snape, who would be on his guard--would there be a possibility of his entering and "inspecting" Snape's mind? Assuming he attempted it, this brings up something more about Occlumency. What if one is using it to prevent intrusions by more than one person? Would "one block fit all" attempts, or would special blocks be needed for each wizard one is attempting to block? (Ouch ... now my brain hurts!)

If Harry discovers and hones Legilimency skills, it might also prove invaluable in detecting traitorous plans by people who are close to Harry. I've read more than one post recently by those who suspect traitors in the Order.

The problem with Harry having the power is obviously the same as last time--attempts by Voldemort and the DEs to "commandeer" it once again. How would Harry ever know if what he was "seeing" or "discovering" was REAL or just a ruse being projected to misdirect him again (a la the DoM debacle)? Do you suppose Dumbledore has discovered ways to tell if such thoughts or images are real or false?

I certainly hope that Dumbledore works with Harry on this particular set of skills--Occlumency and Legilimency--in the next book. The use of this particular "pair" of skills seems to require a great deal of wisdom and discernment. Both abilities have HUGE potential for abuse, and I think Dumbledore's sense of fair play would be necessary.


septentrion - Sep 5, 2004 5:26 am (#76 of 187)

DD is a Legilimens himself and he used this skill to "interview" Kreacher. How is it he never discovered Sirius and Remus weren't traitors ? And that he never found out that Peter was a traitor ? It seems you need to do something special like casting a spell to use "real" Legilimency, and DD respects the others' privacy too much to use it randomly. But in the case of the Potters, when lives were in danger, why didn't he use Legilimency to find out who the traitor was ?

Solitaire - Sep 5, 2004 8:36 am (#77 of 187)

Septentrion, I posted some possible reasons for this on the Dumbledore thread, here. Just speculation, of course.

EbonyRebel - Sep 9, 2004 2:22 am (#78 of 187)
Edited Sep 9, 2004 3:24 am

I think that it's possible that DD never had enough time to use Legilimens. It seemed to me that Sirius changed to Pettigrew at the last minute. Also, as for Sirius and Lupin, DD probably knew they weren't traitors, but that wouldn't have stopped them from mistrusting each other - it has often been remarked in the books that DD trusts where others don't. As for Wormtail, it's possible that DD miscalculated by thinking that he probably wasn't very important (he was probably too cowardly to do a lot of important stuff for the order, and because of this cowardice, no-one would have suspected he'd have the brazenness to be working for V) in which case DD simply didn't suspected him enough to perform Legilimency. DD had so many pressing matters to attend to (Solitaire suggested this) - he just couldn't focus on everyone.

rambkowalczyk - Sep 22, 2004 3:21 pm (#79 of 187)
Edited Sep 22, 2004 4:22 pm

Although I don't think Snape is working for Voldemort in the way the Mugglenet Author implies, there were a couple of other points that may be true.

One is the possibility that Voldemort was happy not just because the Death Eaters free from Azkaban but because Rookwood finally gave him the "key" on how to get the prophecy.

The other is that Harry has an innate gift for Legilimency although I think this is only true for Reading Voldemort's mind. (The author claims that that the scene with Rookwood actually happened the night the Death Eaters escape so therefore Harry was accessing Voldemort's mind.) In book 4, I'm sure Harry probably looked into Crouch JR's eyes and still had no clue that Moody was an imposter.

Solitaire - Sep 25, 2004 1:42 am (#80 of 187)
Edited Sep 25, 2004 2:45 am

Is it possible that Harry could have possessed the gift of Legilimency and not yet have known it at that point? Perhaps now that he knows such abilities or gifts as Legilimency do exist, he may begin exploring them more, to see if he actually possesses any of them.

rambkowalczyk - Sep 25, 2004 5:36 am (#81 of 187)

Harry will need to be careful. There has to be ethical rules about the use of Legilimency. We don't really want another episode of Harry peeking into someone else's private thoughts like the Snape's worst memory scene.

LooneyLuna - Sep 25, 2004 6:07 am (#82 of 187)

I agree that Harry will need to be careful about peering into others minds if he can do it. I wonder if Harry will need to use the incantation out loud or will he be able to tell if someone is lying to him (without casting the spell). I think if Harry has the ability to detect lies, that will be very helpful in the coming books.

Doxy Bowtruckle - Sep 25, 2004 6:20 am (#83 of 187)

Am I right in saying that Harry was beginning to get to grips with the Legilimency towards the end of OoP. When he was sat in one of his exams and he was completely stuck in what to write. He began thinking back to Hermione's notes and could recall quite exactly what he had read and that with out thinking to hard had written it already.

There was a time, same exam I think, when he was looking at the back of some ones head.

Does this make sense?

Or am I imagining things and finding that I too have written them down without realising!!!Smile


LooneyLuna - Sep 25, 2004 3:59 pm (#84 of 187)

Good question, Doxy! I don't know if Harry was peering into Parvati's mind or Voldemort's mind for the answer during his exam. Snape said that do Legilimency you normally need eye contact, but that wasn't the case between Harry and Voldemort.

rambkowalczyk - Sep 25, 2004 8:14 pm (#85 of 187)

I still want to emphasize that the link between Harry and Voldemort may be unique. I don't think that just because Harry can know what Voldemort is thinking that he can also figure out what someone else is thinking. Dumbledore seems to think that Harry's link to Voldemort is his scar. And if there is a part of Voldemort in Harry that may explain why Harry can know what Voldemort is thinking. Something resonates. I don't think that Harry can read minds with any one else.

Solitaire - Sep 25, 2004 10:14 pm (#86 of 187)

I agree that the link between Harry and Voldemort is unique and probably has aspects to it that may not be common to other Legilimens/Occlumens activity. Snape has already clued us into this before. HOWEVER, just because that link is special and the connection was forged through the scar does not mean we should assume Harry can't be a Legilimens.

I am not saying he does possess that ability. I am saying that just because what we currently know about IS connected through Voldemort doesn't mean there cannot be a regular, legitimate Legilimens ability with others. I think we need to wait and see what shows up in the next books.

It is possible that Harry has still more gifts that were given to him by Voldemort--gifts he has not yet discovered. I also think that he will have his own gifts that would have been his naturally, had there been no Voldemort connection. We can't assume every special ability he possesses is due to Voldemort.


Ann - Oct 6, 2004 6:41 pm (#87 of 187)

Solitaire: We can't assume every special ability he possesses is due to Voldemort.

No, of course we can't: but Voldemort is an excellent Legilimens, as Snape tells us. And Snape is right: Voldie read Harry's mind already in PS/SS (when Quirrell takes off his turban and Voldie is able to make eye contact). If Harry has Voldemort's gifts (and, I suspect, knowledge and buried memories) as well as his own, he, too, will be an excellent Legilimens with a bit of practice.

hells456 - Nov 4, 2004 5:30 pm (#88 of 187)

When we first learned about the existence of Occlumency and Legilimency I linked them to Harry's eyes. There are several mentions of DD's blue eyes scanning Harry like an x-ray (sorry no books on me at the moment) and these spells seem to have a lot to do with eyes. We know there is something special about Harry's eyes and it lead me to connect the two. Harry does seem to have some sort of innate talent at 'reading' people, e.g., thinking Snape could read minds, instinctively refusing Draco's attempt at friendship in PS/SS.

I also found the high emotion vs. restrained emotion posts very interesting. They have made me wonder if all of Harry's anger came from within in book 5. He seemed to have so much that some of it could have come from LV (by osmosis?). Angry people do tend to act more rashly which is what LV wanted.

Gina R Snape - Nov 6, 2004 5:05 pm (#89 of 187)

Someone on the Snape thread pointed out awhile back how Harry described Snape's eyes as dark emotionless tunnels when they first met. I thought that was very interesting evidence that Snape was practicing Occlumency.

Yes, we have heard over and over how Lily's eyes were special and I've no doubt we're going to learn *something* about that with the next book. But I am not sure about your idea with Voldemort giving Harry some of his anger. On the one hand, I think it's possible. We have specific moments in the book where Harry is definitely feeling Voldemort's feelings. But on the other hand, Harry was angry more time than not and I just don't see Voldemort hanging out all day every day giving Harry psychic anger. Plus, some of Harry’s anger was typical of his age and entirely justified in the way he was treated. I'd hate to take that level of humanity away from him.

Harry's experience with this branch of magic seems very different from anyone else's. I wonder if what Voldemort was doing could even be considered Legilimency after a certain point.

Ann - Nov 7, 2004 12:47 pm (#90 of 187)

Gina said: "Someone on the Snape thread pointed out awhile back how Harry described Snape's eyes as dark emotionless tunnels when they first met. I thought that was very interesting evidence that Snape was practicing Occlumency."

I'd read this on the Snape thread, but for some reason I didn't make a further connection until you repeated it: I don't have my books at hand, but doesn't Harry make this observation when Snape was talking to Quirrell? Could he have known that Voldemort was living in the back of Quirrell's head, somehow? We're assuming there was no direct contact between Voldemort and Snape in SS/PS; could we be wrong? Why else would Snape be practicing Occlumency at the start-of-school banquet? It seems an odd place to feel threatened. Or does he just do it all the time?

hells456 - Nov 7, 2004 1:34 pm (#91 of 187)

According to one of JKR's interviews, we won't find out the major thing about Lily's eyes until book 7. It may not have anything to do with Legilimency. Unfortunately we will have a long wait to find out.

LooneyLuna - Nov 7, 2004 5:52 pm (#92 of 187)

Ann - that is an excellent point about Snape, Occlumency and SS/PS. Did Snape know that Voldemort was hiding out in Quirrell's head? If Snape knew, then Dumbledore knew for sure. If Snape didn't know, then he keeps his Occlumency skills up to date by always practicing. Or is Occlumency just second nature to Snape now? He can't help but shut himself off emotionally.

Things that make you go hmmmm....Think I'll go have a butterbeer. Smile

Gina R Snape - Nov 7, 2004 8:21 pm (#93 of 187)

Well, I doubt he uses it 24/7. That would probably just be too mentally taxing. But I think it's reasonable to consider the first day of term of the first year Harry comes to Hogwarts as a 'high risk' day. I'm sure every faculty person at Hogwarts had their eyes peeled and their ears pricked up for any signs of danger. Little did they know how close it was...

Solitaire - Nov 7, 2004 10:01 pm (#94 of 187)

I don't know, Gina. Perhaps Occlumency is a way of life with Snape. It would explain his demeanor to people.

There are a couple of family members around whom I am always on my guard. They practically LOOK for reasons to be offended by what others say--never mind the people they insult--and I never want to be the one to trigger anything. I can't begin to tell you how emotionally and physically exhausting this is. Spending too much time this way can leave me rather cranky.

I do not even want to think how exhausting it would be to have to monitor not only what one says but what one THINKS and where one's mind wanders, for Pete's sake! How could anyone ever get any rest or relaxation in such a situation? If this is indeed the case, it's no wonder Snape is cranky.


Ann - Nov 8, 2004 8:39 am (#95 of 187)

Understanding words about Snape from Solitaire! A red letter day! (Just kidding--I realize that as a teacher of the same age group, you have legitimate issues with Snape's teaching.)

But I must say, I agree, keeping your mind completely blank without going to sleep is a pretty difficult trick. It's like the old saying (which I seem to have forgotten) about trying not to think of an elephant(?); once you have decided not to, it's impossible, however little you were thinking about elephants (or whatever) before.

Annika - Nov 8, 2004 9:47 am (#96 of 187)

I take a class in meditation. One of our lessons is to sit with our eyes closed and count to ten without thinking of anything except for the numbers. If your mind wonders, you must restart your counting. I have never made it past six. I imagine that keeping your mind blank would be an extremely taxing thing to do, especially when trying to do so when your eyes and ears are open to the world around you.

Gina R Snape - Nov 8, 2004 10:02 am (#97 of 187)

Yes, well, I don't think the point is to clear your mind completely. I think the idea is to keep others from accessing particularly important bits of information. If this can only be done by looking in someone's eyes, then theoretically you could be guarded but not fully applying Occlumency until it's absolutely necessary.

But I'll take any level of sympathy for our Potions Master! He does have a hard life...

LooneyLuna - Nov 8, 2004 12:12 pm (#98 of 187)

I think Occlumency has more to do with suppressing emotions than clearing your mind (although clearing your mind can help you achieve a balanced emotional state). Snape very rarely loses his cool. He also doesn't get excited about things either. If he's excited, his eyes will "glitter", if he's mad his eyes will "flash". That's why he is so good at Occlumency - he is very controlled.

Gina R Snape - Nov 8, 2004 12:23 pm (#99 of 187)

Oh, now that is an interesting observation LooneyLuna.

It could be that his eyes glitter or flash only during moments when he is unsuccessful at practicing Occlumency. His emotions are showing, even if the exact emotion is unreadable to Harry.

LooneyLuna - Nov 8, 2004 12:45 pm (#100 of 187)

Thank you, Gina. I don't know why, but I remembered in GoF when Dumbledore asked Snape if he was prepared and Snape's eyes "glittered strangely" before he swept out of the room. I'm sure he was excited/nervous and that's how he showed it.
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Occlumency and Legilimency Empty Occlumency and Legilimency (posts #101 to #150)

Post  Potteraholic on Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:14 am

hells456 - Nov 8, 2004 3:46 pm (#101 of 187)

The books are told from Harry's point of view, it could also be that Harry is intuitively good at picking up these small emotional lapses from Snape. Harry (through JKR's narrative) does seem to notice eyes and expressions a lot, e.g. DD's x=ray gaze/twinkling blue eyes, Snape's eyes glittering/flashing. He also seems to pick up on what these little flashes mean, like DD's searching gaze looking for the truth, Snape's eyes flashing being a danger sign.

Harry is almost turning into a human lie detector. He notices and understands what it means when Ron's ears go pink, or when someone's neck goes red, various people's hands clench, or drum their fingers. I don't know about the rest of you, but I was far too self-absorbed as a teenager to notice details like that and I didn't have any real issues to deal with like Harry does.

LooneyLuna - Nov 8, 2004 4:53 pm (#102 of 187)

Excellent point, hells456! I think Harry has a natural Legilimency ability. It's important that he develop it because he'll need to know who's lying to him in the next 2 books.

Gina R Snape - Nov 8, 2004 5:37 pm (#103 of 187)

I tend to think some of this talent isn't so much from Legilimency as from growing up abused. There is a feminist argument/idea that those who are not in power have a greater investment in being able to 'read' the emotions of those who are in power just for survival. In Harry's case, he was hyper vigilant as a small child (pre-Hogwarts) to, for example, keep Mr. Dursley from blowing up or taking away his dinner or locking him up under the stairs all night. He was constantly looking for signs of what was and wasn't ok, long after he entered Hogwarts.

But then, he was able to get into Snape's mind during the lessons and I am not sure any ordinary student would be able to do that even under the circumstances of these specialized lessons. So who knows!

Ann - Nov 8, 2004 7:16 pm (#104 of 187)

hells456, a very interesting point--I agree; I was surely never so observant at that age. But is it really Harry? Or just a literary device of JKR's to get that information across to us? Since we learn about everything from Harry, it is very useful that he's observant. I agree, Gina, that it fits the abuse-victim profile; but I do wonder sometimes if we aren't going too far in analyzing these characters. Especially in something like this, where a character's traits fit the author's needs, perhaps we should remind ourselves that at on one level, all these wonderful characters are just words on paper.

Gina R Snape - Nov 8, 2004 7:35 pm (#105 of 187)

Actually, Ann, I do think his observations are more of a literary device than a particular gift of Harry's. But I also think he's more observant than most boys his age in regards to these sort of things. So I guess my opinion lies somewhere in the middle!

The funny thing is, although he notices these little cues, he strikes me overall as being somewhat daft and self-involved. A forest-for-the-trees perspective if you will. Ok, most kids his age are by the very nature of adolescence self-involved. But Harry's seeming obliviousness/lack of inquiry in certain areas is often frustrating and mindboggling (e.g. never asking DD where his parents are buried). But I digress...

What I am interested in seeing, is to what extent an Occlumens can hide certain emotions and 'push forward' others in an effort to deliberately deceive the Legilimens rooting around in his/her brain. Can Snape go before the Dark Lord and prove he is happy to be there? Can he prove to the Dark Lord that he hates DD and wants Harry to die? Perhaps his continued outward unhappiness and general loathing of Harry are a purposeful perpetuation of unhealthy emotions designed for his ultimate protection.

For Harry, I wonder if Occlumency will protect others. If the Dark Lord cannot get into his mind, he cannot see what information Harry knows, and cannot manipulate his feelings.

Does this make sense?

hells456 - Nov 9, 2004 3:22 am (#106 of 187)

Good points there Gina. I also wondered if half the time it's JKR talking, not Harry. I think she said somewhere that she often uses DD and Hermione for her mouthpiece.

I think that is a good idea about his abused childhood being what has made him so alert and watchful, I could see how that could come about. What also interested me was that he understood the little things he picked up. The Dursleys are not a subtle family and I couldn't see where he would learn these subtle signs of anger, embarrassment, etc. This is what leads me to believe he may be a natural at Occlumency/Legilimency or some such discipline along these lines.

If an Occlumens can push forward emotions, as you suggest, that could explain a lot. I agree that would be why Snape is so obvious in his hatred of Harry, it's like making yourself believe something is true to pass a lie detector test. Even easier for Snape because he genuinely does dislike him. I think it would be easier for Harry to project an emotion/idea than it would be to keep his mind clear.

LooneyLuna - Nov 9, 2004 6:14 am (#107 of 187)

Great posts! I agree with you, hells456. Harry would find it easier to project an emotion than suppress all his emotions. That is what Snape does. He keeps all that hatred close to the surface, bubbling like a cauldron. So when Voldemort does peer into his mind or sees Snape through Harry, what Voldemort sees is the memories connected to the hatred.

Little wonder that when Snape does lose control of his emotions, it's like a volcano erupting. Mount Snape is going to blow!

Gina R Snape - Nov 9, 2004 6:50 am (#108 of 187)

Heh, heh.

Well, if it's anything like it was in PoA---it won't be pretty!

And actually, a loooong while back I did say that I think Occlumency is rather like trying to pass a lie detector test. I still think that's the case.

Ann - Dec 1, 2004 5:58 pm (#109 of 187)

Didn't Snape say something like that when he was explaining about Occlumency? That you have to learn to suppress all the thoughts that would contradict the lie? (Sorry--I should look this up, but it's been a long day.)

Qwaz - Dec 10, 2004 8:19 am (#110 of 187)

Hells456, That's very interesting. I was considering something along those lines myself.

Snape's a bright man, obviously skewed and from a broken home (well, from what harry saw from the Protego charm) and was bullied by James. But Snape must know that harry is not his father and hasn't even been brought up by him, I don't think this is why Snape’s mean to him. no, Snape's a bright man. What if he wasn't up to scratch with his Occlumency when visiting Voldemort? If Voldemort could break through Snape’s defenses what would he like him to see? Harry laughing and having coco with him, insulting the Dark Lord. Or harry miserable and hating Snape?

I think Snape's only really mean to harry to protect himself (and the harry by way of the order) from Voldemort.

Further I think that this will come to light in book seven when Snape will make some big revelations around this subject.

oh well...Just a thought.

Gina R Snape - Dec 10, 2004 11:12 am (#111 of 187)

Harry laughing and having coco with him, insulting the Dark Lord.

Oh, how I wish I wasn't drinking when I read that one!

hells456 - Dec 10, 2004 3:25 pm (#112 of 187)

LOL, good one Qwaz.

That would also explain why Dumbledore and the other teachers just let him get on with torturing Harry and favouring the Slytherins. If Neville really is significant too, it was a good idea for Snape to be vicious to him as well.

loopy4loopin - Dec 30, 2004 3:47 am (#113 of 187)

Hi All,

I first posted this on the Lupin thread but Solitaire suggested that it might be relevant here.

I think that Lupin also skilled at Legilimency/Occlumency. Some of the evidence for this looks like it could just be Remus being extra sensitive to those around him but I don't think so.....

"'So you've been thinking that I didn't believe you capable of fighting the Boggart?' said Lupin shrewdly. POA

"Snape pointed at the parchment.....An odd, closed expression appeared on Lupin's face....Lupin looked up [he is lying to Snape while looking at him] 'Full of dark magic?' he repeated mildly'". POA

"'But then...' Lupin muttered, staring at Black so intently it seemed he was trying to read his mind....Lupin's eyes suddenly widened, as though he was seeing something beyond Black, something none of the rest could see" POA

"Harry inclined his head awkwardly at each of them...He also wondered why so many of them were there. 'A surprising number of people volunteered to come and get you,' said Lupin, as though he had read Harry's mind.

So, the fact of the matter is that the only others who know what Harry is thinking are Snape and Dumbledore and we know that they are both mind readers. Jo doesn't put clues like this in accidentally.

Which raises the question, if Lupin also knows Occlumency, why doesn't he teach Harry? Was it simply the lack of proximity (Harry needed regular lessons and Lupin was not at Hogwarts) or something else?


septentrion - Dec 30, 2004 7:11 am (#114 of 187)

Or Snape is a far better Occlumens/Legilimens than Lupin...

loopy4loopin - Dec 30, 2004 1:48 pm (#115 of 187)

Yes, but Lupin lies to Snape.

I can't wait to see how the Lupin/Snape relationship pans out in the next two books

Solitaire - Dec 30, 2004 2:09 pm (#116 of 187)

I'm inclined to agree with septentrion. I'm not saying that Lupin isn't an Occlumens or Legilimens. I am simply saying that Dumbledore would have insisted Harry be taught by the best person for the job--given the fact that he did not feel he could do it himself. I don't think Dumbledore was willing to mess around or "go second best" where something this critical was concerned. This is precisely why I believe he chose Snape, despite the mutual animosity--because Snape was the best.

On the "Shortest Stay" thread, I brought up a point (question, perhaps?) about Legilimency/Occlumency. We are told by Lupin (OotP, Ch. 24, p. 527 US ed. hardcover) that Snape is a superb Occlumens: "Harry, I know you don't like Snape, but he is a superb Occlumens and we all--Sirius included--want you to learn to protect yourself, so work hard, all right?"

"Yeah, all right," said Harry heavily, looking up into Lupin's prematurely lined face.

Occlumency is defined by Snape in OotP (p. 519) as "the magical defence of the mind against external penetration. An obscure branch of magic, but a highly useful one." He tells Harry, in his first lesson, that Occlumency "seals the mind against magical intrusion and influence."

Snape goes on to say that Voldemort is highly skilled at Legilimency, and that, though eye contact is usually essential, "the usual rules do not seem to apply" with Harry.

My question is this: If Snape is teaching Harry how to seal his mind intrusion, isn't he doing it by attempting to break into his mind? And if he is breaking into Harry's mind, wouldn't that also make Snape a Legilimens as well as an Occlumens? Since Dumbledore apparently possesses both skills, isn't it possible that Snape does, as well?


loopy4loopin - Dec 30, 2004 2:44 pm (#117 of 187)

Hi Solitaire,

It seems to me that Snape definitely practices both because he uses Occlumency with LV and Legilimency with Harry (is that the right way around, LOL).


Nathan Zimmermann - Dec 30, 2004 2:57 pm (#118 of 187)

Is it possible that one of the reasons why Dumbledore seemed more inclined to teach Harry Occlumency after the Battle in the Ministry is because Harry demonstrated himself of being capable of expelling Voldemort from his mind and body?

septentrion - Dec 31, 2004 1:53 am (#119 of 187)

the spell Snape uses to teach Occlumency to Harry is "Legilimens" so Snape is definitely a Legilimens, even if he uses a spell to perform it. Occlumency looks like something you can learn only with practice, like DADA in general. Some theory is useful but doesn't allow the person to learn it. Therefore, to teach someone how to seal their mind against aggression, you have to aggress them with Legilimency.

Solitaire - Dec 31, 2004 5:22 pm (#120 of 187)

Thanks, Septentrion. That makes sense.

septentrion - Jan 1, 2005 2:55 am (#121 of 187)

You're welcome Solitaire.

Ann - Jan 4, 2005 4:57 pm (#122 of 187)

Tania, You've completely convinced me that Lupin is a Legilimens & Occlumens. For me, the clincher is the way Lupin assures Harry that Snape is good at it: clearly it's coming from one who knows. And Occlumency in particular would be an extremely useful skill for a werewolf.

But I'd also agree that Snape is probably better at the Occlumens part, at least. The fact that Harry notices the "odd, closed expression" suggests to me that Snape saw it as well, and knew he was being lied to (but couldn't complain about it in front of Harry, which must have really irked him). He may be better at Legilimency for the same reason--Jo doesn't tell us very often that Snape or Dumbledore are looking at people like they can read their minds. Lupin is more obvious about it than they are, and therefore probably less skilled.

Despite the fact that projecting lies to close your own mind to observation and penetrating someone else's mind would seem to be completely different skills, I do think Legilimency and Occlumency are probably inextricably related--if you can do one, you can do the other. I assume they'd take the same kind of mind control, and that somewhere there is a common denominator. Certainly a competency at Legilimency would be very useful in understanding how the mind is read, and therefore what is best done to prevent it. But I'd bet Snape would be really reluctant to teach Harry that!

loopy4loopin - Jan 4, 2005 11:13 pm (#123 of 187)

HI Ann,

But I'd bet Snape would be really reluctant to teach Harry that!

I bet he would!

I don't think that Lupin is more obvious about it than Snape, but I could be wrong obviously Smile

I'm now going back and getting the quotes but from memory Snape does a lot of looking like he is reading Harry's mind in pretty much all of the books.


Ann - Jan 5, 2005 7:38 pm (#124 of 187)

Tania, You may be quite right. I was going from memory, too.

And also, I once read a collection of quotes in which it had been suggested that Legilimency was being used, possibly only by Snape--but I've just done a search for "quotes Legilimency" and turned up nothing. It may have been a Mugglenet essay or something like that. Or a posting on an old Occlumency and Legilimency thread? Maybe some kind person who remembers can give you the reference and save you the hunt through the books.

Lina - Jan 6, 2005 3:16 pm (#125 of 187)

This is really cute:

loopy4loopin: "Snape pointed at the parchment.....An odd, closed expression appeared on Lupin's face....Lupin looked up [he is lying to Snape while looking at him] 'Full of dark magic?' he repeated mildly'". POA

Not while I was reading the book, but while I was reading this thread, assuming that both, Snape and Lupin are Legilimens, it seems to me that the two of them are arguing without saying a word aloud. So it makes me wander: if two people are Legilimens, are they able to talk without actually talking?

I think that Snape could use his ability of mind reading, he jut doesn't want to, because he doesn't like what he finds in other people's mind especially concerning him. It would make him even more paranoid.

Solitaire - Jan 9, 2005 10:52 pm (#126 of 187)

I don't think Harry will have to learn Legilimency. I think we will discover that he is a Legilimens--eventually. We know that he was invading Voldemort's mind, but Voldemort was not aware of it until the "snake incident"--at which point he began to use it.

I realize that this may not be considered true Legilimency, given the connection between Voldemort and Harry. But I also do not think we should rule it out just because Harry and Voldemort are connected via the curse and scar.

James and Lily were powerful wizards, so there is every reason to think that Harry is going to have some pretty awesome powers of his own--powers that are in no way related to his connection to Voldemort. I think this may be one of those powers.


Gina R Snape - Feb 5, 2005 4:59 pm (#127 of 187)

The problem with the Harry-Voldemort connection is we don't know, ultimately, what came from Voldemort and what Harry had in him (at least as far as powers go). Harry might be a 'natural' Legilimens or not. Well never know. I do think, though, that he inherited his Parselmouth abilities from Voldemort.

One thing is for certain--Harry is not a natural Occlumens! I do think he'll be getting some more practise in at some point. Or, at least, the time will come when he will need to use that ability along with some others again.

Solitaire - Feb 5, 2005 5:40 pm (#128 of 187)

I wonder whether Occlumency is a natural or a learned ability. I am beginning to believe that it is something anyone can learn on at least a rudimentary level. Even Muggles--like my friends who practice meditation--do some level of "clearing the mind."

As far as my own mind, there are certain "issues" and trains of thought I try to block from my mind--usually things about work that I cannot control which make me angry--because brooding about them is counterproductive (it raises my blood pressure considerably). Since ordinary Muggles like me can do this--and whether or not Harry "could" learn Occlumency was never really a question (it was assumed he could if he tried)--I tend to think it is a learned skill.

Legilimency, on the other hand, seems to be a "gift." Obviously it must be trained, or it gets out of control. I do believe we will eventually be able to learn whether or not Harry is truly a Legilimens. Just "picking up" Voldemort's thoughts involuntarily is probably not Legilimency. If Harry finds he is able to enter Voldemort's mind and snoop around for specific information, however, that could be a different matter and may indicate a true "gift."

Unusual abilities that Harry possesses cannot automatically be ruled out as innate, just because of his connection with Voldemort. I see this as a tendency on the part of many readers, and it fails to recognize that Harry had two parents who were powerful wizards. I believe we need to see more about how these abilities operate in Harry before we write them off as mere "transfers of power."


Gina R Snape - Feb 5, 2005 7:56 pm (#129 of 187)

Well, Harry was able to get inside Snape's mind. So we know he is at least capable of accidental Legilimency.

And like I said before, we will likely never know what he got from Voldemort, what he got from his parents, and what he's got just because of whatever. . .

Wand Maker - Feb 5, 2005 8:02 pm (#130 of 187)

So, is there a natural version of Legilimency as well as a spell version of Legilimency? Snape was using a wand. Voldemort doesn't use one. We don't know if Dumbledore needs one, but I suspect that he doesn't.

Does the spell merely focus the magic? If so, than it is possible that every wizard could have the ability.

Solitaire - Feb 5, 2005 9:48 pm (#131 of 187)

It is difficult to know about every wizard, I think. We know about Harry because these are his stories ... and we know about Voldemort and Dumbledore because they are crucial to the stories as the most powerful Wizards of the time (IMO). I still think, in the end, it will become possible to sort out Harry's natural and "acquired" or transferred powers--although it may take the death of Voldemort to find out.


Madame Librarian - Feb 6, 2005 9:51 am (#132 of 187)

I suppose it could be something my neighbor--a professional musician, 2nd chair clarinet with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra--said about having a musical "ear."

Some lucky people, musicians and non, are born with a brain wired to have perfect pitch. They can identify and produce the exact (true, exact, spot on, total) note required, and consequently can tell you oddball things like what note your doorbell rings in or your car horn, even electrical whirring noises. Others, like most professional musicians, if well trained, are taught something called relative pitch. With that they learn to use conscious technical practices that help them identify the pitches general relationship to other musical notes. Help me here, all you musicians, if I'm not explaining this well.

This is how I see many of the magical spells, charms, practices, etc. that are used by the Wizarding world. For some, there's a totally natural, unconscious ability. Maybe it's a little undeveloped and random, but it's exact and true. For others there are ways to learn these things such as Occlumency and Legilimency that may involve consciously applied techniques, wand usage, other spells, and perhaps, years and years of practice.

Given Harry's other surprising talents, those both inborn or "donated" by Voldemort, I would be surprised if we've seen the end of them. I'm very eager to see how JKR handles the lessons in Apparition for instance to see if there's something particularly amazing about Harry's ability, but till we know more there's no point in getting into a thread on that topic.

Ciao. Barb

Solitaire - Feb 6, 2005 10:13 am (#133 of 187)

I like your analogy about "perfect pitch." I was a flautist in my youth, and I remember one girl in honor orchestra who had perfect pitch. It was spooky. We held our rehearsals at different schools each month, and whenever one of the different school bells would ring--or when someone just played a random note or scale as warm-up--the conductor would point or call out to this girl and ask her what note she'd just heard. Then someone else would plunk out that note on the piano, and sure enough ... she was right!

To take the music analogy further, there are always musicians who can play any piece of music perfectly--yet the music lacks something. Another musician may play the same piece and slur a note here and there ... but the performance evokes sensations that were completely missing in the perfect performance. Why? I believe it is because some musicians play the music; others feel it.

Perhaps it is the same with casting spells and charms. Perhaps this is why Harry finally was able to cast the Patronus charm--because he was able to feel the need. The force to do it was marshaled from deep within him. I believe that learning and mastering Occlumency may be a bit like playing the music perfectly. It is possible for everyone to learn this. Legilimency, on the other hand, requires something else, something more than just the academic knowledge. I believe it requires something innate, deep within the Wizard, to make it happen. I believe it is connected to the "feeling ability" that lies within Harry--the "force" that Dumbledore mentions so often. Of course, I could be full of beans (Bertie Botts!), too!


Paulus Maximus - Feb 6, 2005 12:17 pm (#134 of 187)

"Well, Harry was able to get inside Snape's mind. So we know he is at least capable of accidental Legilimency."

Harry used a Shield Charm to repel the Legilimency. Spells that hit Shield Charms tend to backfire, I think. (The only charms that don’t seem to backfire are the Summoning Charm and AK.)

Wand Maker - Feb 6, 2005 4:21 pm (#135 of 187)

Barb & Solitaire - I like that. It always seemed that Harry has done his best magic when not really thinking about it, just as if he has all these abilities inside. He mainly needs to see the light, to get it.

I have found that many times I need to back off from something for a while and then later on (that day, or a week later) the solution comes to me and I wanted to say "Why didn't I see that before?"

Eric Bailey - Feb 7, 2005 2:17 am (#136 of 187)

Agreed that some would have a natural talent, a feel, for Legilimency/Occlumency. In another thread, some suggested Hermione as a natural who could help Harry with it, but I think, if any of the students have a special aptitude for it, this would be Luna's field. Hermione's more about what she can learn from books and the like, and this seems more about getting the "feel" of someone, reading them and their emotions, while maintaining emotional control and shields, yourself. Luna "reads" people like an open book, while no one can get a read on her, or get to her on an emotional level. She also, of course, has her eye contact thing, and tendency to watch people. So, if she's not a Legilimens/Occlumens already, it's something she'd pick up, very quickly. She already practically does it, assuming she's not actually doing it.

Amilia Smith - Feb 25, 2005 9:09 pm (#137 of 187)

I have been listening to the Occlumency chapters in OotP recently, and it struck me that Snape does not tell Harry how to empty his mind. He just says, "Let go of your emotions. Empty your mind." (Or something to that effect, sorry, no book handy at the moment.) He never tells Harry that it is virtually impossible to think about nothing. That's why you have a meaningless mantra or chant when you meditate. It gives your mind something small and meaningless to focus on so that everything else will just clear away.

Try it. Try just thinking about nothing and see if you can do it. It's almost like saying, "Don't think about pink elephants." Your brain starts going crazy.

I have a feeling that if Snape had told Harry to concentrate on saying "Fizz-ing-whiz-bee" slowly over and over to himself before he went to bed, Harry's Occlumency practice might have gone a bit better.


Gina R Snape - Feb 26, 2005 7:13 pm (#138 of 187)

Y'know, fizzing whizbee would make a good mantra!

But yes, Snape did not tell Harry how to empty his mind. That, unfortunately, was a crucial step not taken.

The thing is, though, that you cannot empty your mind when asleep. And the Dark Lord entered Harry's mind during dreams. So I wonder how effective Occlumency would have been anyway.

Amilia Smith - Feb 26, 2005 8:49 pm (#139 of 187)

Good point. And, come to think of it, Harry's brain was fairly empty when he dosed off during his History of Magic exam.

So, why was everyone so keen to have Harry take Occlumency lessons again?


Maiden - Feb 28, 2005 11:49 am (#140 of 187)

It seems to me that Legilimency works in two different ways. During Occlumency lessons, when Snape practices Legilimency using a wand and an incantation, it is an attack on Harry's mind, forcing him to see memories, that he barely knows himself that he had. From the conversation between the two it seems the Legilimens sees exactly the same pictures as his victim. On the other hand when you use Legilimency only through eye contact to determine if somebody lies or if Snape and Dumbledore used it to question Harry on different occasions, it doesn't seem to bring about anything that the victim involuntarily thinks of. It doesn't take the form of pictures, either. Here I have the feeling that the Legilimens will see the thoughts and emotions that are most heavily on your mind. So here it would help to empty your mind and not think a lot about the fact you are trying to hide.

Snape says to Harry "You are handing me weapons, showing me things that you fear" or something like that, so he must think that Harry can control what Snape can get access to. I don't really see how this works if Snape can find things in Harry's mind, that he never thinks of. But maybe this has to do with emotions. If Harry feels wronged and miserable, Snape can get access to memories of situations where he was wronged.

I don't know where this is leading me right now, but I just think that some of the discussions on the use of Legilimency are based on a too simplistic view of how this works.

septentrion - Mar 1, 2005 2:41 am (#141 of 187)

I don't know where this is leading me right now, but I just think that some of the discussions on the use of Legilimency are based on a too simplistic view of how this works.

We'd then suffer from what Snape calls a lack of subtlety.

Lina - Mar 13, 2005 10:05 am (#142 of 187)

Maybe the aim of Occlumency lessons was not to teach Harry Occlumency, maybe the aim was just to know what is going on and how far has Voldemort come and Occlumency lessons were just the good excuse to read Harry's mind. It is interesting that Snape never found out anything about DA in those lessons. So he tried to make the atmosphere that would lead Harry to think about Voldemort and everything related to him to see how much time the Order has left until the battle at the MoM that was obviously inevitable. Because, Voldemort was not reading Harry's mind, he was giving Harry his thoughts. It is possible that neither DD, neither Snape had a clue on how to stop it, so they figured it would be good to have this happenings under control with fake Occlumency lessons. Since it was Voldemort's thoughts and emotions, it was really dangerous for DD to give those lessons. Snape, as Voldemort's sort of friend, was the best choice. And Harry hated him anyway.

Dumbledore - Mar 13, 2005 10:17 am (#143 of 187)

I don't think Dumbledore would purposely trick Harry like that. Sure, he didn't give him the information about the prophecy, but that was because Dumbledore was doing what he thought was best to protect Harry. I really just don't say him deliberately trying to use Harry like that.

Lina - Mar 13, 2005 12:42 pm (#144 of 187)

I don't think it was tricking or using Harry. Could he tell him to confide with Snape? How come that memories about DA classes never came in Harry's memory during the Occlumency lessons? I think they just tried to bring up the best from the situation that they didn't know how to deal with. They wanted to keep the situation under control until something happens. I'm sure, the lessons were not useless, I just think that even if Harry mastered Occlumency, it wouldn't mean that he could shut Voldemort out.

It's not that I have always thought that, it is just the idea that came to me while reading this thread. One possibility.

Amilia Smith - Mar 15, 2005 9:00 pm (#145 of 187)

I actually really like that idea, Lina. Suddenly Snape's appalling teaching methods make sense! And, much as I love Dumbledore, I wouldn't put it past him to work in this somewhat underhanded manner. He likes to play his cards close to his chest, and rarely tells Harry more than he needs to know.


Cornelia - Mar 18, 2005 1:15 am (#146 of 187)

They could get the most out of it.

Check Harry’s memories to see what Voldemort is up to and at the same time try to teach Harry to shut his mind up. I don’t know if Snape’s teaching of Occlumency is different to his teaching methods in potions-class? He’s not easy to cope with in both cases...

Ms Amanda - May 9, 2005 3:45 pm (#147 of 187)
Edited by May 9, 2005 4:45 pm

I don't believe that Dumbledore intentionally means for Harry's mind to open. I don't believe that Snape is intentionally making Harry fail at Occlumency.

Here's my take, and forgive me because I have read all the posts here but it's been awhile.

Ok. Basing my ideas on my belief which concurs with Dumbledore's post, Dumbledore assigns Occlumency lessons to Harry because he wants his mind closed. From there, I believe that it would be unwise for DD to teach Harry Occlumency because Voldie would take advantage of Harry's close relationship to DD. Therefore, it is necessary to assign Harry a teacher. Dumbledore chose Snape.

Maybe Snape is the only professor well versed in Occlumency, or maybe Umbridge would be less suspicious if Harry is spending extra time with Snape because it is well known that Snape and Harry don't get along well.

Now, whether Snape is a DE spy or a DD spy or just a former spy trying to make an honest living now, it would be unwise for him to go against DD's orders to make Harry successful at Occlumency. He doesn't want to let DD down or make DD think he is incompetent.

Therefore, Snape's horrible teaching methods in Occlumency might either derive from his hatred of Harry or . . . to that memory in the pensieve. What if Snape was taught Occlumency by his father (who I assume to be the angry man in the pensieve)? If his father or someone else taught him Occlumency through these abusive means, Snape may know no other way to teach it.

Solitaire - May 9, 2005 10:11 pm (#148 of 187)

In order for Harry to learn Occlumency--blocking penetration of the mind--his mind must be penetrated (or opened up) by someone. It is possible that there may have been less painful ways Snape could have done this. Then again, why would he want to? This is sort of a "free pass" to cause pain and agony to Harry. I can't see Snape letting that pass.

On the other hand, one would assume that the more painful the intrusions, the faster Harry would grasp the skill and begin to employ it--if only to keep both Snape and Voldemort from poking around in his mind.


Ms Amanda - May 10, 2005 3:32 am (#149 of 187)

Yes, but the painful intrusions weren't working to motivate Harry, and Snape knew it. He kept telling Harry that Harry wasn't improving and that he knew Harry wasn't practicing. Snape is a teacher with pathetic methods, but he is results-driven, and would not want DD to find out he wasn't getting the job done.

Solitaire - May 10, 2005 10:58 am (#150 of 187)

But he didn't get the job done, did he? He stopped teaching Harry altogether.
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Occlumency and Legilimency Empty Occlumency and Legilimency (posts #151 to #187)

Post  Potteraholic on Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:16 am

Ms Amanda - May 10, 2005 1:47 pm (#151 of 187)

I wonder when he told DD about that. I wonder when Lupin and Snape talked about that, too. I mean, how could Snape explain himself without revealing what Harry had seen?

Lina - May 14, 2005 8:36 am (#152 of 187)

I do have the feeling that Snape learned about Occlumency from the books. He wanted to prevent his father or whoever was it that tortured him, and he found his shelter in the books. And it is very probable that he had many dark magic books by the hand and that many of the dark methods helped him to defend himself. Snape does seem as a person who likes learning from the books, as Hermione. And what he teaches Harry, are probably phrases from the books. He just cannot understand how Harry doesn't see the meaning of those phrases.

I still think that neither DD neither Snape were sure that Occlumency would help Harry to prevent the intruding of Voldemort, they just hoped it would, they thought that this knowledge couldn't harm him and they wanted to make sure to know what is going on. And it was important for Harry to know that those visions are projected by Voldemort, but I don't think they succeeded in it because he thought that what he saw was truth.

And, I think that it was enough for Snape to tell DD that Harry saw something that was too painful for him and that DD wouldn't make any more questions.

Miriam Huber - May 14, 2005 9:03 am (#153 of 187)

When re-reading part of the series, I realized that there are quite a few situations mentioned where Snape’s eyes "are boring" into Harry’s. And every time before he knows about Occlumency, Harry consciously stares back (like dueling with eyes). I think at one moment he even compares the situation to looking at a hippogriff.

Unfortunately, I realized that that could be clues only when I met perhaps the third instance like that, so I did not note where it was. Did anyone of you notice that and has the references? Otherwise, I fear I might get myself immersed in these books again, searching...

But in the light of Occlumency, I can’t believe these are just throwaway phrases. What do you think?

Dumbledore - May 14, 2005 9:36 am (#154 of 187)

I do believe that we have evidence that Snape is able to use some sort of Legilimency, especially in the instances you described above, Miriam. In addition to this, after Harry begins to learn Occlumency he starts noticing these types of instances and remembers to look away when he feels that Snape may be keeping eye contact for reasons other than to admire Harry's green eyes.

My own personal opinion on Harry's learning Occlumency is basically what Dumbledore said. He acknowledged that he made a mistake in trying to distance himself from Harry, so by doing so he left Snape, who I'm assuming is the only other skilled Occlumens in the school, to teach Harry. This must not have been the most pleasant experience for Snape in the least, but he had to do it. However, even though he was obligated to take the job did not mean he was willing to give up his negative attitude toward Harry, nor did not make much of an effort to insure that Harry was comfortable with Occlumency or even really bothered to explain to Harry truly how to seal off his mind from external penetration.

This conflict was bound to come to a boiling point, which it did when Snape caught Harry in the pensieve and stopped teaching him.

Basically, I truly don't think that Snape was trying to open up Harry's mind for Voldemort, but neither do I think he was doing the best job he could have in actually teaching Harry Occlumency due to what Dumbledore calls the wounds that couldn't be healed that James and co. caused to Snape.

]Not So Headless Nikki - May 25, 2005 8:23 pm (#155 of 187)

If Harry does need to continue learning Occlumency, who would be the next logical person to teach it to him? Lupin?

Ms Amanda - May 26, 2005 6:26 pm (#156 of 187)

You know, rereading OotP, I realize how many times it is mentioned that Lupin says something "like he was reading" Harry's mind. That's how Snape was often described.

However, I would really like to see Dumbledore teach him instead. Lupin has already had his moment to shine in teaching Harry a nifty protective spell. I want Dumbledore to become closer to Harry.

Lina - May 27, 2005 4:34 am (#157 of 187)

Honestly, I do think that Harry has learned from Snape all that he needed to know and that he is going just to practice Occlumency in the next book without needing anybody's help.

Not So Headless Nikki - May 27, 2005 5:36 am (#158 of 187)

Lina wow! I hadn't thought of that. I suppose you are right. I mean, DD did say that in the end it mattered not that Harry could close his mind.

But I still think that LV will try to get in there again. He obviously will need to put into practice what he has learned.

I like the ideas on this thread about Harry using Legilimency to find out who is lying to him. I can definitely see Harry getting better and better at Legilimency. He seemed to be a natural at it. (Whether he got those powers from LV or from his parents, I don't know.)

I thought that Lupin would be the next choice to teach Harry because DD might be too busy to do that. Although it would seem that Harry and DD need to solidify their relationship more so it probably would be better for DD to teach him anyways.

applepie - May 27, 2005 6:03 am (#159 of 187)

maybe he'll use Legilimency to find out whether Ron and Hermione are spending "quality time" together....

probably should be on the shipping thread

Lina - May 27, 2005 6:08 am (#160 of 187)

According to the covers of HBP, Harry and DD should spend much more time together in this book.

Miriam Huber - May 27, 2005 11:16 am (#161 of 187)

I think when Dumbledore said "It did not matter that you could not close your mind" he was referring only to that concrete occasion where Harry was saved from being possessed by Voldemort because he thought about Sirius. But I can’t see that as a long-time solution (would be something like defending a Boggart: "every time Voldemort tries to possess you, think about somebody you really, really love!...)

And it does not protect Harry from Voldemort’s intrusions into his mind - although he knows now, at least, what to think of them.

But I see no other possibility than Harry to continue Occlumency, and I suppose he will do that with Dumbledore. (Harry training on his own? When did he ever do that? And I am not even sure he as the "knack" after which you only need practicing, but no more instruction) Just my two knuts.

applepie - May 27, 2005 11:28 am (#162 of 187)
Edited May 27, 2005 12:29 pm

I think he will continue the training with Dumbledore. I remember Dumbledore making a statement at the end of OoTP that he was foolish to keep distance from Harry and that foolishness made him give Snape the task of teaching Harry Occlumency, but that he realized that his thinking was foolish and so on and so forth.

I don't have my books, so I can't quote word for work, but it was something of that nature, and led me to believe that Dumbledore would pick up where Snape left off...and probably give him a little more direction on how to prepare one's self to close the mind to intrusion.

Eric Bailey - Jun 10, 2005 1:21 pm (#163 of 187)

Harry still needs to learn it, obviously. Not only does he need to be able to keep Voldemort out of his head, but he really needs to learn some emotional self-control in a crisis, so he isn't going CAPSLOCK on everybody, and acting before he thinks. A major part of Occlumency is controlling one's emotions.

Still, he doesn't necessarily have to learn it from Snape, or even Dumbledore. Maybe the reason he'll leave the Dursleys earlier than he has, before, will be to get some tutoring from someone who isn't a Hogwarts Professor, and someone that Harry can be more relaxed with than Snape, or even Dumbledore. There are a few potential candidates...

As has been brought up, Remus may well be a Legilimens/Occlumens. Then, there's Luna, who shows all the signs of having mastered both disciplines. She's very into maintaining eye contact and observing who she's studying very closely. She's extremely empathic (a necessary quality for a Legilimens), and reads people like an open book. Yet, at the same time, others find her unreadable. No one knows what she's thinking or about to do until she chooses to let them know. She's emotionally controlled to the point of usually being completely detached. Tutoring Harry would allow her to return the favor of all that DADA training he's given her.

Or, we could go with one of the Aurors, as I'd guess this would be part of their training. I'd expect Nymphadora's thoughts to be as slippery as her appearance. Or, this could be a way to introduce Andromeda, as I figure, considering her sisters, she was almost certainly someone Voldemort wanted to recruit. She seemed to somehow manage to keep her intentions secret from her old circle of family and associates, as the impression I got was that her actions took them all by surprise.

So, plenty of potential options, here.

Not So Headless Nikki - Jun 11, 2005 6:00 am (#164 of 187)

In the FAQ poll on JKR's website, Jo has posted a new poll to vote on for the next question she'll answer. And one of the questions to choose from is whether or not Harry will continue to learn Occlumency and whether it will be with Snape or someone else. So I suggest that if everyone is interested enough they should go and vote for that question to be answered. Because right now, it's not winning, and I for one would REALLY like this particular question answered!! Smile

applepie - Jun 14, 2005 11:27 am (#165 of 187)

Eric - I like the idea about Luna. Very true about Luna... She's emotionally controlled to the point of usually being completely detached. I think Luna is a good candidate for helping Harry, though she might not actually teach Harry, as much as give him pointers. I think he will need a more mature teacher, a teacher he can trust, and speak to on a personal level... someone exactly like Lupin.

Paulus Maximus - Jun 20, 2005 4:12 pm (#166 of 187)
Edited Jun 20, 2005 5:15 pm

I think that Ginny would qualify better as an Occlumens, myself, knowing how well she can lie.

Solitaire - Jun 20, 2005 9:25 pm (#167 of 187)

I think Luna is a good candidate for helping Harry, though she might not actually teach Harry, as much as give him pointers

If Occlumency is going to be so important that Harry still needs instruction in it, it would seem logical to conclude that he will need that instruction from a knowledgeable and experienced teacher of Occlumency rather than a younger student who has probably never studied Occlumency.


Choices - Jun 21, 2005 8:13 am (#168 of 187)
Edited Jun 21, 2005 9:13 am

I agree Solitaire. Occlumency doesn't seem to be a very common ability - it obviously takes a great deal of study and practice, so I would think a "master" would need to teach it. It also doesn't seem like something an ordinary wizard would need to know - it seems to be the sort of thing a spy or secret agent would use.

Paulus Maximus - Jun 21, 2005 9:25 am (#169 of 187)

On the other hand, Occlumency allows one to lie and make it sound like the truth... Snape can lie in Voldemort's (or Dumbledore's) presence as though it were the truth, and Occlumency can also negate Veritaserum according to Jo.

Is it possible that Ginny is using Occlumency to make her lies sound so convincing?

Solitaire - Jun 21, 2005 10:05 am (#170 of 187)
Edited Jun 21, 2005 11:06 am

Perhaps she is just a really good liar ... or perhaps Tom Riddle transferred something of that ability to her when he possessed her.

I've often wondered whether some of Tom lingered in Ginny after Harry destroyed the diary. After all, he did say he'd begun to pour a little of his soul (I didn't realize he had one!) back into her when he was talking to Harry down in the chamber.

If Ginny is a natural Occlumens--or even if she has officially "acquired" that ability via Tom's possession--I'm not sure she would actually realize it yet, just as Harry did not realize that he was a Parselmouth. He just knew he'd talked to a snake once, and it had seemed to answer back to him.


LooneyLuna - Jun 22, 2005 5:18 am (#171 of 187)

Sure, Luna and Ginny are not masters of Occlumency, but that doesn't mean that Harry can't learn from them. Although, there wouldn't be any formal teaching involved.

At the end of OotP, Harry has learned to control his emotions a bit. He has a "detached satisfaction" while insulting Malfoy, and he doesn't lose his cool or lie to Snape when Snape asks what he's doing. "Deciding which curse to use of Malfoy, Sir."

Paulus Maximus - Jun 22, 2005 11:11 am (#172 of 187)

Only, what Harry said to Snape isn't so different from what he said to Dudley about 4 years previous... "deciding what is the best spell to set that bush on fire", or something like that.

Irrelevant to Occlumency and Legilimency? Yes, I confess that it is... Sorry.

LooneyLuna - Jun 22, 2005 11:20 am (#173 of 187)

Pardon me while I go eat a stoat sandwich.


Lina - Jul 13, 2005 1:16 pm (#174 of 187)

What bothers me is that Harry saw the round room in the MoM, for the first time, during the Occlumency lessons. That would mean that Voldemort entered his mind exactly at the time he was learning how to shut him out. What really happened?

The Wandless Wizard - Jul 13, 2005 1:56 pm (#175 of 187)

I don't think Harry will have as much of a pressing need for Occlumency after the events OotP. There were 2 reasons DD feared from Harry's connection with Voldemort and wanted him to close off his mind: (1) Harry being fed false information in the form of a vision/dream and (2) Voldemort using Harry to strike out at DD. Neither of these are a threat anymore. After Harry's ill-fated trip to the department of Mysteries, Harry won't believe any more of his visions. So the first reason is moot. DD was actually wrong about the second reason as he told Harry. Voldemort actually wanted to use DD to kill Harry by possessing Harry and forcing DD's hand. That plan failed for Voldemort. Harry has learned how to keep Voldemort from possessing him without Occlumens (or at least Snape's version of Occlumens, I consider it Harry's version of Occlumens). He can rid himself of Voldemort with his emotions.

The only other possible reason for Harry to study Occlumens is to keep Voldemort from extracting information from Harry. However, we have no evidence this is possible. As Snape says distance matters in magic. The only reason Harry got visions of Voldemort was because of their connection. All evidence shows this connection is one way, from Voldemort to Harry. Voldemort transferred some of his powers to Harry. Voldemort's feelings and dreams get transferred to Harry. Voldemort can put his mind into Harry and possess him. Did Voldemort get any of Harry's powers? Does Voldemort see Harry's dreams and emotions? Can Harry possess Voldemort by putting his mind into Voldemort's body? We have no evidence to answer these questions. However, I think DD would have mentioned it before telling Harry the complete prophecy. If he feared Voldemort could read Harry's mind through the connection, he would not have told Harry exactly what Voldemort wanted to know. DD does not seem to think Voldemort can get info from Harry. So that negates the only possible reason (at least that I can think of) for Harry to need to study Occlumency. It might be a good idea, just to stop the annoying dreams and visions, but it isn't necessary.

Lina- I think Snape was unintentionally weakening Harry and that is why he got the vision during his lessons. Since Harry was at his weakest point, Voldemort was able to get more of the vision into Harry's brain. I had a whole long theory about it earlier in the thread. Check post #40 and the discussion that follows if you want more details. I think it provides a good explanation for your question, although I don't recall if I address that particular instance directly.


Eric Bailey - Jul 14, 2005 7:01 am (#176 of 187)
Edited Jul 14, 2005 8:03 am

Harry still has reason for not wanting Voldemort to get into his head. Plus, there's that little matter of him needing to learn emotional self-control, so he isn't going CAPSLOCK on everyone, and not flying off half-cocked into death traps. He's going to have to be able to keep a cool head in a crisis. Occlumency includes just the sort of disciplines he's going to need. This is a series about growing up, after all, so he's going to develop some maturity.

Besides, I don't think JKR would have made such a big deal about it if it wasn't important.

Mrs Brisbee - Jul 14, 2005 10:32 am (#177 of 187)

I think Occlumency can benefit Harry in a lot of ways. Harry has problems with Dementors, and I think an Occlumens could effectively render themselves invisible to Dementors. With an army of Dementors out there, that could be a handy skill to have.

The Wandless Wizard - Jul 14, 2005 11:07 am (#178 of 187)

Eric- Harry's power comes from his emotions. DD has stated that numerous times. What is going to allow Harry to beat Voldemort is his ability to love. Harry needs to learn to control his emotions, true. However, Occlumency teaches one to ignore or suppress your emotions. Harry does not need a mind empty of emotions, but one where his emotions are under his control. As for JKR making a big deal out of it, well, it already was highly important. The two things that DD feared might happen if Harry didn't learn Occlumency did happen. JKR made such a big deal about Occlumency because if Harry had learned it, he would have prevented Sirius's death. His self-blame was what made DD confess the prophecy to him. So Occlumency, or at least Harry's failure to learn it, was already important enough to justify JKR's time on it.

Mrs. Brisbee- Harry already has a very powerful Patronus, and several friends who can conjure a Patronus, to fight off Dementors. While it might be nice to be invisible to them, I don't think it is strictly necessary. My argument was that it was not necessary.

Eric Bailey - Jul 14, 2005 3:51 pm (#179 of 187)

But, Voldemort can STILL get into Harry's head, which is not a good thing. The reasons Harry needed to learn Occlumency still exist.

And who said Occlumency was about suppressing emotions? Having self-control isn't the same thing as being suppressed. I really don't think we were supposed to take Harry going CAPSLOCK on everyone to be a good thing. In a crisis, one needs to be able to keep a cool head.

Also, do you consider Dumbledore, Remus, and Luna to be emotionless? They all stay cool in a crisis, have a great deal of emotional self-control, yet all three of them are primarily driven by love and compassion. It's no coincidence that one is a confirmed Legilimens, and the other two are theorized to be.

The Wandless Wizard - Jul 14, 2005 8:51 pm (#180 of 187)
Edited by Jul 14, 2005 9:56 pm

Eric Bailey wrote: And who said Occlumency was about suppressing emotions?

"Clear your mind, Potter," said Snape in a cold voice. "Let go of all emotion..." (OotP, Ch. 24)

The type of Occlumency that Snape was trying to teach Harry was all about emptying your mind of emotion. That is why Harry had to practice clearing his mind every night. He wasn't practicing checking his emotions, but instead getting rid of them. Harry admitted he was angry when Snape told him to clear his mind of emotion.

But Harry's anger at Snape continued to pound through his veins like venom. Let go of his anger? He could easily detach his legs. (OotP, Ch. 24)

Harry had a rein on his emotions at this point. He was not "going CAPSLOCK" on Snape. And yet he was still not doing what Snape wanted because the anger was there. I agree he needs to learn to better control his emotions. Learning to control emotions is not the purpose of Occlumency. Occlumency is the "branch of magic [that] seals the mind against magical intrusion and influence." (OotP, Ch. 24) It is not the branch of magic that keeps check on emotions. You mentioned DD, Lupin and Luna as examples of people who keep check of their emotions. Well only one of those is an Occlumens. DD is. Lupin may or may not be. But Luna isn't. It is a difficult branch of magic and I doubt a 4th year knows it. So you yourself show that it is possible to keep a rein on your emotions without Occlumency. It would be nice if Harry could keep Voldemort out of his head, but it is not a necessity now that he knows what he knows.

On an interesting side note having nothing to do with the above conversation....

Snape said: "The evidence suggest that at times when your mind is most relaxed and vulnerable-- when you are sleeping for instance-- you are sharing the Dark Lords thoughts and emotions." (OotP, Ch. 24)

Wouldn't clearing your mind lead to those times when his mind is most relaxed? How is practicing the very condition that allows Voldemort access to his mind supposed to help him stop it? I think my theory that Snape's version of Occlumens was all wrong for Harry is looking better and better.

Eric Bailey - Jul 15, 2005 3:10 am (#181 of 187)
Edited Jul 15, 2005 4:11 am

He wasn't controlling his emotions with Snape, and, more importantly, Snape wasn't controlling his emotions with Harry. Snape's not capable of doing that, where Harry's concerned. To teach this, teacher and student must have a comfort level with each other. So, Snape's the wrong person to teach Harry this.

There's also the problem that Snape seems to think Legilimency is a Dark Art, since he referred to the person it's used on as "the victim". But, while it can be used to harm someone, as empathy, in general, can be used to take advantage of someone, whenever Dumbledore has used it on Harry, and whenever Remus and Luna have been especially empathic with him (whether they're using Legilimency, or not), they've been getting through his barriers to HELP him. Snape's POV, unfortunately, is that of a former Death Eater who's always seen the world in terms of Hammer and Anvil, attacker and victim. Dumbledore thought Snape had grown past all that, and he probably has, for the most part, but Dumbledore admitted he'd made a mistake in thinking Snape had overcome all his demons.

But, let's look at Remus and Luna. When Remus was told about Peter appearing on the Marauders Map, he showed no reaction, at all, since both Harry and Snape (a Legilimens, remember)were present. Was he lacking emotion since he was able to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself? Not at all. We know Remus has emotions. But, he can keep them under control, when necessary, and can apparently guard his thoughts from a Legilimens, since Snape didn't know what he was up to.

Luna, meanwhile, was able to keep her cool through the whole incident in Umbridge's office and focus on the task at hand. She was the only one asking something very important when Harry was first proposing sneaking into Umbridge's office to contact Sirius, then raiding the DoM if he couldn't contact him: How were they going to get there? While everyone else was screaming when the Inquisitorial Squad was holding them, she appeared bored. No one else considered the transportation question until they were in the forest, whereupon they started yelling at each other about it. Luna stayed cool, and came up with the solution to the question she'd asked before they'd even started.

Clearing one's mind is part of all meditation techniques. Meditation techniques are key to yoga and martial arts. It helps with balance. The world Harry's in is a magical one, but look at what the disciplines required for Occlumency and Legilimency are, the real world things these two magical skills represent. Occlumency requires what we've seen Dumbledore, Remus, and Luna do, keeping one's head, being able to stay calm and focused in a crisis. As anyone who's been in a real crisis can tell you, somebody needs to be able to do that. That doesn't mean you're not feeling anything, or incapable of love. It just means you can properly channel those feelings into something constructive, allowing you to formulate a solution to the crisis at hand. And, what's the main part of Legilimency? Empathy, being able to untangle yourself from yourself and get a feel for what someone else is feeling.

And, yes, I think Harry needs to work on both his self-control and empathy.

Weeny Owl - Jul 15, 2005 5:32 am (#182 of 187)

Wouldn't clearing your mind lead to those times when his mind is most relaxed? How is practicing the very condition that allows Voldemort access to his mind supposed to help him stop it? I think my theory that Snape's version of Occlumens was all wrong for Harry is looking better and better.

I had the feeling that clearing your mind didn't necessarily lead to relaxation but to there being nothing there for a Legilimens to latch on to.

Think of milk before it's been processed... the cream rises to the top and can be siphoned off. (The cream being emotions.) When mixed with the milk (the milk being ordinary and mundane thoughts), the mind is a jumble. But get rid of the cream... siphon it off... and there would be the protection needed. Thoughts are still there, but they're so boring that a Legilimens can't grab them. With the emotions cleared away, all that is left is a peacefulness that provides the protection.

The Wandless Wizard - Jul 15, 2005 9:07 am (#183 of 187)
Edited by Jul 15, 2005 10:08 am

Weeny Owl- I completely agree with your description of Occlumency and the cream/milk analogy. However, what Harry was trying to do was different than what Snape does with Occlumency. Snape has to allow Voldemort to penetrate his mind, while at the same time hiding what he doesn't want Voldemort to know. SO if he is able to remove the cream, Voldemort will only see the harmless milk. Harry just wants Voldemort out of his head. The times Voldemort's thoughts and feelings are getting into his head is when his mind is relaxed. Voldemort is not looking for the cream. He is adding his own cream at times when Harry's milk is low on cream. I repeat what I said earlier. There is no evidence that Voldemort can use the link to read Harry's mind. If he could, he wouldn't have needed Kreacher to realize that Harry cared deeply for Sirius. If DD thought he could, DD would not have told harry the prophecy when that is exactly the thing Voldemort wanted to hear.

To me, an empty mind would be a relaxed mind. So by emptying his mind, Harry is making himself vulnerable to seeing thoughts from Voldemort. It is like Osmosis. When Harry's head is full of thoughts, there is no room for Voldemort's. But when Harry's head is relatively empty, Voldemort's thoughts filter into the empty space via the link. By emptying his mind every night, Harry was only making room for Voldemort's emotions.

Eric- You are making, at least it seems to me, a lot of assumptions that are unsupported by the books. That doesn't mean they are wrong, it just means that a lot of things have to be right for your arguments to hold. For example, we do not know if Snape can do Legilimency without using his wand and the spell. It is obvious more accomplished Legilimens like Voldemort and DD can. But Snape uses his wand and the incantation with Harry. If he needs his wand to be effective at it, then Lupin wouldn't need to be an Occlumens to lie to him. Snape never pointed his wand at Lupin during that scene. So your assumption that Lupin is an Occlumens, on which you build further assumptions, is based on an assumption that Snape can and was using Legilimency at that moment.

Unless JKR writes it, you'll never convince me that Luna is either an Occlumens or a Legilimens. And even if she writes it, I won't agree that it was a well-planned move. Harry randomly meet some 4th year who happens to be a master at 2 extremely difficult branches of magic the same year he has to study one of those branches of magic. That is too convenient even for a basic children's story, and these are not basic children's stories. Luna's father is the editor of the Quibbler so there is no reason to think he'd know either branch of magic. Her mother died when she was young, too young to teach that magic. So where did she learn it? The reason she appeared unconcerned when Malfoy and gang had her was because she generally appears unconcerned until something strikes her fancy. The reason she is able to help Harry is they share something in common. They can both see the Thestrals.

Weeny Owl - Jul 15, 2005 9:47 am (#184 of 187)

To me, an empty mind would be a relaxed mind.

Interesting in that I see it as just the opposite. An empty mind just wouldn't have anything there.

Voldemort is not looking for the cream.

I definitely agree with that. He's adding to what is in Harry's mind as opposed to searching. He's using additives, artificial flavors and coloring, sort of.

Lina - Jul 15, 2005 2:26 pm (#185 of 187)
Edited Jul 15, 2005 3:27 pm

Eric and TWW, I must say that I agree with both of you, which would make you both right in my eyes and not at the opposed sides.

I totally agree with Eric that empathy and self-control are both very important in anybody's life. They just make life easier and more simple, they help you solve the problems and they can be so wonderfully compared to Legilimency and Occlumency. Because, really, empathy helps you to feel little differences in a person’s voice, just the same way as a lie detector does and if you listen carefully, you can hear many things that were not said which is very well comparable to the mind reading. At the same time, with self-control, you don't let the other person see your feelings and you don't wear your heart on your sleeve. So, since it is a fairy tale, it has rather analogies with the real world than the real world itself, and it is very possible that Harry has to learn both skills because they are both important in a human life.

I like very much your theory about emotions playing a big part in performing magic, TWW. That might mean that the wizards who feel a lot of hate and resentment, and a wish to revenge, are those who turn to the Dark magic. I like it very much and I just need to think more about it. At the same time, I agree with you that Occlumency prevents someone else from taking information from someone's head. But that is not what Voldemort was doing. He was putting information into Harry's head. And therefore, I'm not sure that Occlumency is the right weapon against it. I'm not sure where, but I already suggested that neither DD was sure that it was a right weapon, that he decided just to give it a try and to make sure that he would know how far has Voldemort come, by Snape reporting him what he saw.

I just hope I made sense. And that we will get the answers in THIS book, and that we won't have to wait for the last one....

Ponine - Jul 19, 2005 3:57 pm (#186 of 187)

The way I perceive Occlumency is to 'close' one's mind off for others. I think I agree with Weeny, but am not completely sure I understood it all, and perhaps Weeny can let me know if I am in essence saying the same thing? It seems that when a person is utilizing Legilimency, it is either to a) search for whatever is on the person's mind at that moment, or b) attempting to discover a particular piece of information, whether an emotion, thought or feeling. Thus, whenever Harry has something on his mind, he is pushing that particular emotion to the front like a great big billboard. Through most of OP, his head must have looked like Times Square at night for a Legilimens. To me, a relaxed mind is a mind cleared of all pressing matters (mixing the cream and milk?). Nothing will be crystallized and easily retrievable. It is the difference of leaving the name Cho Chang written in red ink on a yellow sticky on your desk, and simply having a phone directory that amongst thousands of other names includes hers. Sure, there are a lot more names easily available, but what is important or pressing to the owner of the mind would be practically impossible to determine. Goodness, this is tricky to put into words... It all made sense in my mind...

I was wondering, though, if there were memories, thoughts or emotions that you under no circumstance would wish to share could you then simply rid yourself of them by utilizing a pensieve before meeting with them? Could Snape simply dump every notion of being good before meeting with the dark side, after all, this is what he does before meeting with Harry? This would certainly minimize the risk of facing LV as a double agent?

Weeny Owl[/b] - Aug 22, 2005 8:26 pm (#187 of 187)

Sorry for not getting back to this for so long.

I see Legilimency as a sort of Geiger counter in a way. It can scan the brain and see if any alarms are set off. Strong emotions would easily set it off as would the memories behind those emotions. Harry was successful when he didn't want Snape seeing him with Cho. If he had had that attitude about his other memories, he would probably have mastered Occlumency.

Occlumency is sort of a lead shield in a way. It can block the memories (the radioactivity) that are strongest. Snape said that being good at Occlumency allows a person to shut down feelings and memories that contradict lies.

I like how you phrased it... Harry's head looking like Times Square at night.
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