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Insignificant magical items… ?

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Insignificant magical items… ? Empty Insignificant magical items… ?

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:24 pm

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

hells456 - Dec 6, 2004 8:10 am
Edited by Kip Carter Nov 17, 2005 1:50 pm

There have been lots of discussions about the important magical objects, i.e. Pensieves and time turners, but I'm more interested in the small things that jump up and down waving red flags and shouting potential at me. The sort of thing which I don't think has been fully used, or contains secrets that we haven't discovered. Things like:

Omnioculars "you can replay action...slow everything down...and they flash up a play-by-play breakdown if you need it." (GoF chapter 7.) These struck me as something that could be really useful, they were fairly expensive, all of the trio have them and I expect to see them reappear at some point.

"A heavy locket that none of them could open" (OotP chapter 6). If it was important enough to mention that it couldn't be opened, I guess that there is something interesting inside. A key of some sort perhaps?

Any thoughts?
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Insignificant magical items… ? Empty Insignificant magical items… ? (posts #1 to #50)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:27 pm

popkin - Dec 8, 2004 10:03 am (#1 of 141)

hells456, I agree with you about the Omnioculars. JKR spent so much time developing them, then never used them for anything. I wonder if she planned on using them for something later, then when she actually wrote that scene they just didn't fit.

Another underused object is the put-outer. It's one of the first magical objects we saw, and then Dumbledore loaned it out again later (to Moody, Mundungus? I don't remember if he got it back, either.) So it's been mentioned in at least two books. I think it will play a significant part later on.

Others I wonder about: flesh eating slug repellant, magic carpets, pocket sneak-o-scope, and the two-way mirrors.

Paulus Maximus - Dec 8, 2004 10:08 am (#2 of 141)

Book 5 has a lot of references to items in book 1: the Put Outer, Black's bike, regurgitating toilets ("The poor toilet has never had anything as horrible as your head down it; it might be sick" i.e. regurgitate), the 12-handed pocket watch...

Matilda the Pygmy Puff - Dec 8, 2004 10:47 am (#3 of 141)

I would love to see the sneak-o-scope again. There was a lot of time devoted to it in POA because it kept detecting Scabbers/Pettigrew, before they knew who he was. It makes me wonder that if they had it in St. Mungo's, they might have found out about the Devil's Snare, or at least who it came from. I hope it comes back. It should have been going off like crazy near Umbridge as well.

I also hope the omnioculars come back.

hells456 - Dec 8, 2004 2:57 pm (#4 of 141)

Ooh, I hadn't thought about the put-outer, JKR did say she had to conceal a lot in the first chapter of SS/PS, that could be one of them. I also find these sort of one-off items interesting, the put outer must be fairly unique if DD had to lend his to Dung. That sort of thing would be really useful for a sneaky petty criminal.

The sneak-o-scope would be really useful if all these rumors about traitors come true. These seem quite easy to get hold of, I'm surprised they are used by more people that we know of.

DD's watch I think has to be explained, there are lots of mentions of timepieces through all the books, but his watch I don't get at all.


The giant squid - Dec 9, 2004 4:01 am (#5 of 141)

While I like the putter-outer, I really don't think there's much you could do with it to make it an "important" item in books 6 or 7. I mean, it puts out fires.

...I think I just contradicted myself, because I can suddenly think of a very good use for the putter-outer. The question is, how big of a fire can it put out?


Mare - Dec 9, 2004 6:30 am (#6 of 141)

No use for the put-outer?? Read this excellent essay:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

It is pre-OoP, but after you read it, think about it. Moody uses the put-outer (The same! put-outer) before Harry enters 12GP. Whatever its function is, both 4Privet Drive and 12GP have it before Harry lives there.

septentrion - Dec 9, 2004 7:28 am (#7 of 141)

Woah ! I didn't think of half the things which are in this essay !

The giant squid - Dec 9, 2004 1:37 pm (#8 of 141)

Why does JKR, a master of inventing clever names like "Pensieve" and "Veritaserum", choose a conventional name like Put-Outer?

While I respect the essayist's efforts, I think she's digging a bit too deep on this one. Why call it a "put-outer"? Because it's the opposite of "lighter". QED. Also, taking the fact that JKR mentions balls of light on the relighting but not extinguishing & jumping from that to added protections on 4PD (and 12GP) is rather sketchy. It's a great "wouldn't it be neat if-" statement, but there's really nothing to back it up.


Mare - Dec 10, 2004 1:11 am (#9 of 141)

While I respect the essayist's efforts, I think she's digging a bit too deep on this one. Why call it a "put-outer"? Because it's the opposite of "lighter". I have to agree with you on that. I think the simplicity of the name is one of its charms. But that is also because I read the Dutch version first. A lighter is called an "aansteker" literally translated an "on-putter". The translation was off course "uitsteker" or off/out-putter. Exactly each other's opposites.

I thought it was rather brilliant because it was so simple, actually.

While I like the putter-outer, I really don't think there's much you could do with it to make it an "important" item in books 6 or 7.

Well if that was the question, the essay gives you a possible answer.

Off course it's all speculation, but we know that there are still clues cleverly hidden everywhere in the book. The put-outer is featured in the very first chapter of Harry Potter, if I remember correctly, it's the first magic we see happening.

I always liked the essay, but after OoP, with Moody using the exact same device on the area around 12 GP before Harry's entrance, I got completed convinced the put-outer had a more important role to play.

Especially because Moody, the Auror, has two very rare invisibility cloaks, but this device that would be so handy dandy for somebody in his line of work, he has to loan from Dumbledore.

However, we'll have to wait till book6 or 7 to see if it was just a "put-outer" or something more. I do wonder how "big" its powers are. Can it put out bonfires? Can it only put out lights that are lighted for "seeing" instead of "heating"?

I'm afraid that if we keep having these kind of questions, we will still be unsatisfied after book seven...

PS QED, What does that mean?

Kip Carter - Dec 10, 2004 1:32 am (#10 of 141)
Edited Dec 10, 2004 2:40 am

The giant squid (Mike), when writing a post, please consider that we have an international membership and American English is not the primary language. Some even use electronic translators. Also, please limit your abbreviations to those noted in Commonly Used Abbreviations for the Lexicon Forums; however, if you choose to use abbreviations not on the list, at least explain their use in your text.

I understand that you are referring to Number 4 Privet Drive when you stated 4PD and Number 12 Grimmauld Place when you wrote 12GP; however many would not understand nor would a translator know how to translate those two abbreviations. As for QED in Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, that abbreviation means "quantum electrodynamics" or "which was to be demonstrated (quad erat demonstrandum)" of which I hope you were referring to the second definition.

edit: I corrected the spelling of quantum by removing the "i". MarË was right in pointing my error in her post below.

Mare - Dec 10, 2004 1:57 am (#11 of 141)

Okay, then I'm guilty as well, because I use the abbreviation 12GP too.

It would be rather interesting to tie in quanitum (quantum?) electrodynamics with the put-outer, but I'll leave that for more enlightened minds...

The giant squid - Dec 10, 2004 5:08 am (#12 of 141)

My apologies. I have seen "12GP" used around here a bit, and neglected to see if it was on the official list of abbreviations. And yes, my QED refers to the second definition. Again, apologies to any non-English speakers I may have accidentally confused. If it helps any, I confuse myself all the time.


hells456 - Dec 10, 2004 2:50 pm (#13 of 141)

I wonder if the put-outer could be used for anything else, maybe it can steal forms of energy other than light?

I agree with MarË, it looks as though it could be more significant later. JKR said on her site that she had to conceal a lot of stuff in the first chapter of PS/SS. In a chapter with so much information to get across it was shown very thoroughly.

Daisy Pennifold - Dec 13, 2004 4:52 am (#14 of 141)

This is off-topic, but I just checked the "commonly used abbreviations" thread and 12GP is an accepted abbreviation.

Message #2, section B Kip Carter, January 4, 2004

That said, I'd like to know more about the vanishing cabinet in the castle. Once in one of the earlier books, Harry is in Filch's office (I think it's CS) and Peeves destroys the cabinet. (I hope I remembered that correctly).

It is mentioned again in OP, when Fred and George stuff one of the Slytherins in. They "don't know where they sent him", and I think he reappears in a toilet on another floor.

How does it work? What is it for? Is it like a Vaudeville vanishing box? Who repaired it once it had been destroyed?

Paulus Maximus - Dec 13, 2004 7:38 am (#15 of 141)

Is it even the same cabinet?

Hogwarts is a big school...

Or perhaps, like DD's gadgets, the Vanishing Cabinet repaired itself...

popkin - Dec 13, 2004 6:59 pm (#16 of 141)

I'd like to know what the deal is with the toilets in general. They are mentioned so often. Moaning Myrtle's toilet, the regurgitating toilets, the one Daisy Pennifold just mentioned, the one which was repaired when the Weasleys are on vacation (is that movie contamination?), some associated with Dudley, etc...

Do they have a commonality? Are they code of some kind? Does JKR just think they are funny?

Steve Newton - Dec 14, 2004 6:29 am (#17 of 141)

popkin, toilets are definitely a recurring theme. Don't know what they mean. I'll try to look into it during the upcoming holidays. I'm looking into something else right now and am lagging behind.

Choices - Dec 14, 2004 9:34 am (#18 of 141)

The toilets may be significant, but I think JKR just knows that kids like "toilet humor". We did find out in book 5 that Willie Widdershins (sp?) who was responsible for the regurgitating toilets, was also spying for Umbridge in the pub and reported to her about the DA club that was being formed.

Steve Newton - Dec 14, 2004 9:41 am (#19 of 141)

Just as an FYI here is the definition of widdershins from the online American Heritage Dictionary:

ADVERB: In a contrary or counterclockwise direction: 'The coracle whirled round, clockwise, then widdershins' (Anthony Bailey).

Is this another, vague, 2 reference(clock)?

Jessalynn Quirky - Dec 14, 2004 4:06 pm (#20 of 141)

I think JKR likes to use absurd phrases. Toilets are absurd. Throw a toilet into almost any sentence and it sounds absurd.

Prefect Marcus - Dec 14, 2004 4:25 pm (#21 of 141)

Jessalynn Quirky - I think JKR likes to use absurd phrases. Toilets are absurd. Throw a toilet into almost any sentence and it sounds absurd.

"The fruits of honest toil let her save for a rainy day."

Choices - Dec 14, 2004 5:44 pm (#22 of 141)

Widdershins may be a clock reference and it also may be a hint that he is not on the side of the law, but "contrary" to it. Thanks for the definition.

Daisy Pennifold - Dec 16, 2004 6:39 am (#23 of 141)

Regarding Widdershins:

Also, when you flush a toilet, the water swirls in a counterclockwise direction (in the northern hemisphere, anyway)

Sorry, couldn't resist!

Solitaire - Dec 18, 2004 9:50 pm (#24 of 141)

I like the Widdershins meaning. We already know he is not to be trusted. Perhaps he is forever "changing directions," or turning to the side that offers him the best "deal" at the time ...

Matilda says of the Sneak-o-scope, "It should have been going off like crazy near Umbridge as well." I don't remember Harry ever having his Sneak-o-scope when he was around Umbridge. In fact, do we see Harry's pocket Sneak-o-scope at all in OotP? I don't really remember seeing it since PoA. Am I forgetting something?


Choices - Dec 19, 2004 9:30 am (#25 of 141)

I always have to laugh when I read the title of this thread - Insignificant Magical Items. I can't fathom a magical item that I would consider insignificant. They are all wonderful and special and very useful - hardly insignificant at all. Perhaps "less powerful" would be a better description?

TomoÈ - Dec 21, 2004 9:52 am (#26 of 141)

"Easily looked over magical items" would be my take.

hells456 - Dec 21, 2004 2:58 pm (#27 of 141)

I meant the title in an ironic way, that's why I added the ...?

I remember there were mentions of other sneak-o-scopes in OotP in the room of requirement, but no mention of Harry's pocket version. In GoF it only says that Harry took it out of his socks (which had been cushioning it for over a year) to give the socks to Dobby.

You would have thought that by now Harry would learn to use any tool at his disposal to protect him and his friends and would pay attention to it.

Solitaire - Dec 21, 2004 8:57 pm (#28 of 141)

Good point, hells. Harry does tend to "forget" things or overlook how they might be useful in less obvious situations. We saw him leave behind that knife Sirius gave him when it would have been useful in the second GoF task. And if he'd used Sirius's mirror instead of Umbridge's fireplace--well, things might stand very differently right now.

Harry told Zacharias Smith that a simple Expelliarmus! spell worked against Voldemort. This shows that he generally is willing to work with what he has at hand. Perhaps remembering about the pocket mirror will cause him to take some time to think about the various items he possesses and how they might help him in different situations. The invisibility cloak seems to be the item he uses to greatest advantage. Let's hope he looks more closely at the rest of his little magical "trinkets."


BTW, Choices, I'm with you! I would love any of those "insignificant" magical items.

popkin - Dec 22, 2004 3:43 am (#29 of 141)

Edited by Dec 22, 2004 3:46 am

I can see Harry using a more mature approach to a "saving people thing", and planning a strategy that would make better use of the charmed objects he has available. Perhaps over the summer he'll make some good use of his time and assess the contents of his trunk. He has quite a few objects that would have come in handy in perils past. Now that he's older, and hopefully wiser, maybe he'll do more to prepare himself than simply carrying his wand in his back pocket.

Maybe he'll take a page out of Moody's book and begin a routine of CONSTANT VIGILANCE!! that would include keeping some of his more useful objects on his person at all times.

septentrion - Dec 22, 2004 9:57 am (#30 of 141)

Solitaire : Harry does tend to "forget" things or overlook how they might be useful in less obvious situations.

So does Voldemort. Strange likeness, isn't it ?

Solitaire - Dec 24, 2004 2:05 am (#31 of 141)

Yes, septentrion ... a very eerie likeness, now that you mention it. **hearing quiet little HP theme and feeling chills running up spine**

Miriam Huber - Jan 5, 2005 2:23 am (#32 of 141)

Hi, rereading PoA (for the umptheenth time...) I wondered (again) about the Marauders’ map.

When Harry gets it, he thinks of Mr. Weasley’s phrase about magical object that are perhaps dangerous, if they can think for themselves without you being able to see where they keep their brains (referring to Riddle’s diary at the end of CoS). Then Harry argues (for himself) that he only wants to use the map to get out of Hogwarts and that the Weasley twins have used it for years without problems. I remember that, when I first read this, I very strongly wanted to snatch the map from Harry to protect him...

A little further on, we learn who made the map, and until now, it has not harmed Harry. How could it, the Marauders being who they were (but what about Wormtail)?

But I keep feeling slightly uneasy about the map. Why this comment if it is just a harmless magical item? Just a red herring? Or is there something to come? What do you think?

Maria Dunlavey - Jan 5, 2005 11:35 am (#33 of 141)

A few thoughts I had on uses for a Put-Outer: Perhaps it could store quite a bit of energy. It could certainly be useful to have extra energy in a little device in your pocket. Perhaps, though, the Put-Outer could convert energy into a form with a greater capacity for magic. Some substances are more conductive of electricity than others, so it would make sense for some forms of energy to be more conductive of magic than others. I'm sort of building on the essay about Put-Outers. 4PD and 12GP are both very protected areas, though ó and they are the two places we have seen the Put-Outer being used.

On the Remus Lupin thread, we've been having an interesting discussion concerning Filch's filing cabinets. Although they are not strictly 'magical items,' it seems to me that JKR has made a conscious effort to have them come up repeatedly, if very subtly. We're introduced to them in CoS. Then, in PoA, we learn that Fred and George found the Marauder's Map in one of them. Later, Lupin finds a Boggart in one. It does make sense for the Map to be found there, but in a castle as big as Hogwarts, a Boggart could be found anywhere. But it's not found just anywhere ó it's found in Filch's filing cabinets. My theory is that Filch's extensive files may hold some crucial information.

I agree, Miriam, that the comment about the Map thinking for itself shouldn't be overlooked. It didn't actually seem to me that it could think for itself until it insulted Snape, though. Those insults were very personalized. It seems like the Marauders put something of themselves into the Map. However, I find it interesting that the Map didn't insult Snape until he actually declared his name to it. I don't mean that it doesn't make sense ó I'm just wondering what might happen if Harry told it his name.

Oh, well. I'm hoping it's just a red herring. Wouldn't Lupin have told Harry if the Map was potentially dangerous? (I would say Sirius, as well, but he seems more the type to say, "Don't be silly, Remus, that won't happen.")

The likeness between Harry's and Voldemort's tendencies to forget "insignificant" details is indeed eerie.

popkin - Jan 6, 2005 8:29 am (#34 of 141)

About the put-outer temporarily removing a protection, or placing one, it's interesting that the only other time the lights were "put out" at 4 Privet Drive was when the Dementors showed up for Harry and Dudley. Do the Dementors always put out the lights? Or was that something special that they did so they could get at Harry (and possibly Dudley) on protected grounds?

septentrion - Jan 6, 2005 12:50 pm (#35 of 141)

I think the Dementors don't put out the lights but creates darkness in the people they surround.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Jan 6, 2005 7:15 pm (#36 of 141)

The lights went out when the Dementors searched the train too. :-)

Phelim Mcintyre - Jan 15, 2005 4:48 am (#37 of 141)

The thing I'm most fascinated by at the moment, and can't find a thread on so am using this one, is tents. Some of the wizards' tents at the Quidditch World Cup had chimneys - are these connected to the Floo Network?

hells456 - Jan 16, 2005 3:39 pm (#38 of 141)

Phelim, I think that it would be possible to link any fireplace to the Floo network. After all the Dursleys were connected and their house must have been fairly isolated itself because it was surrounded by Muggle houses and they aren't supposed to be connected.

mike miller - Jan 17, 2005 4:54 pm (#39 of 141)

Since the "Putter-Outer" belongs to DD, I think it provides some kind of remote sensing spell. The lights go into the "putter-outer" and when they are returned to their rightful place they are linked in some way to DD, perhaps one of the interesting gadgets on the spindle-legged table in DD's office. This would allow DD to be warned about, or maybe even directly observe, events at a great distance.

The only 2 places it has been used are in front of #4 PD and #12 GP, both places were directly associated with Harry at the time of use and DD was not present. Just a thought....

Phelim Mcintyre - Jan 18, 2005 3:06 am (#40 of 141)

hells456 - but many wizarding houses appear to be surrounded by Muggle Houses. Take 12 Grimmauld Place for example. Yes it was protected by charms and enchantments but it was between two Muggle houses. So the temporary connecting of the Dursleys' is not too strange, though illegal. But tents are much less permanent and moveable. Any way, would a Ministry wizard want his tent fire connected to the Floo Network anyway. There he is on holiday in his string vest and shorts when suddenly this head appears in the fire asking him where he filed something. Not that relaxing.

Choices - Jan 18, 2005 5:30 pm (#41 of 141)

I would think the Floo network could be connected to any "proper" fireplace. Now the question is.....is a fireplace in a tent considered a proper fireplace? Hmmmmmm??

moondance - Jan 19, 2005 2:16 pm (#42 of 141)

I'm re-reading CoS, and this thread reminded me of the Hand of Glory described in Borgin and Burkes that Malfoy is looking at. Though we see other interesting Dark magic items, this is the only one of two we're provided a description of (the other being the cursed necklace).

Makes me wonder if its just filler or if we'll see this item again.

I Am Used Vlad - Jan 19, 2005 6:55 pm (#43 of 141)

moondance, here is a quote from JKR from an October, 2000 interview on Scholastic.com:

Question: Did you ever make a study of herbs and other Hogwarts subjects, or did you create all those classes from inspiration? J.K. Rowling responds: Most of the magic is made up. Occasionally I will use something that people used to believe was true ó for example, the "Hand of Glory" which Draco gets from Borgin and Burkes in Chamber of Secrets.

Since we did not see Draco get the Hand in CoS, some Harry Potter theorists think that Rowling was mistaken when she said this. Others, including me, think that we will see the Hand again.

And just for the record, JKR brings up the Hand of Glory in two separate interviews when asked general questions about where she gets her ideas. Could this be proof that it is vital to the series.

Phelim Mcintyre - Jan 20, 2005 12:45 am (#44 of 141)

I think the interview is an illustration of JKR sometimes using real, not invented things. The Hand of Glory being a main example.

There are certain things though that I think will be reused - the Time Turner for one. So the Hand of Glory may be one of them.

moondance - Jan 20, 2005 9:21 am (#45 of 141)

Oh, I'd forgotten all about that! I'd say odds are pretty good we'll be seeing the Hand of Glory again. Now it has me speculating on who will be using it...

Elanor - Jan 21, 2005 12:24 pm (#46 of 141)

I am not sure this is the right thread for posting that, but may I suggest a magical plant amongst the insignificant magical items?

I was searching some details for the alchemy thread and found some about Dittany, a plant mentioned in PS. In the library (chapter 14), Harry was "looking up 'Dittany' in "One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi"". As the Hand of Glory, it is a real plant and its story is rather interesting:

- Dittany can be found only in Crete and this plant was very popular in Minoan Crete and Ancient Greece where it was known for its magic properties.

- It was considered then, and still during the Middle Ages, to be a highly therapeutic plant. Among other things, it was meant to cure wounds. Mythology says that, during the Troy war, Aeneas had been wounded and that no one could remove the arrow stuck in his leg, but his mother Aphrodite put some dittany on the wound, the arrow felt and he was cured at once.

- In ancient times, it was believed that a snake would allow itself to be burned to death rather than crossing the path of Dittany.

This could become useful someday... Something is telling me that Harry should not forget what he learnt about this plant.

lobelia - Jan 24, 2005 9:36 am (#47 of 141)

Does anyone else think we might see Fred and George's joke wands again? It seems a shame if we do not.

hells456 - Jan 24, 2005 12:20 pm (#48 of 141)

The joke wands do sound useful. It might also be worth remembering that Ludo Bagman has one, not that I know what this could mean. I love the idea that one of F & G's inventions will be major later on. There have been so many times that Molly has thought they are wasting their time/talent/money that I think there is more to them than comic relief.

Well found Elanor, that is the exact sort of reference that completely floats over my head. A plant that can heal and repel snakes could make a big difference in the big showdowns still to come. Were any other plants mentioned?

Elanor - Jan 24, 2005 12:53 pm (#49 of 141)

Hi Hells! On the alchemy thread we have searched a little about the plants mentioned in PS. Here are the links:

- The ones mentioned in the chapter 8 - The Potion Master. this post and the next ones.

- Dragon's blood, this post and the next ones.

- Another curious detail: moly was meant to be a magical plant as well: Moly. It could be another clue hidden in Molly's name.

septentrion - Jan 25, 2005 4:42 am (#50 of 141)

Your links make me feeling like reading the alchemy thread, Elanor, if it wasn't for the huge number of posts.
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Insignificant magical items… ? Empty Insignificant magical items… ? (posts #51 to #100)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:31 pm

mollis - Jan 25, 2005 3:04 pm (#51 of 141)

Mike Miller: "Since the "Putter-Outer" belongs to DD, I think it provides some kind of remote sensing spell. The lights go into the "putter-outer" and when they are returned to their rightful place they are linked in some way to DD, perhaps one of the interesting gadgets on the spindle-legged table in DD's office. This would allow DD to be warned about, or maybe even directly observe, events at a great distance."

Big shocker here, but I completely agree with you. (We seem to agree a lot around here.) The put-outer is one item that I am just sure has something else to it. The idea that it is a means to enhance DD's surveillance fits perfectly with the information we have. It makes me wonder if at some point before Harry returned to 4PD for summer holidays DD paid a little visit to restore the monitoring device. I doubt that we'd see that, but if the put-outer shows up when Harry leaves at the end of this summer I will be convinced!

hells456 - Jan 27, 2005 4:03 am (#52 of 141)

If Spinners End turns out to be a place we might see the put outer there. So far we have seen it outside 4PD and 12GP, and both times was just before Harry entered for the very first time. It might set up surveillance or protection, but I'm not sure that it needs topping up every year.

Solitaire - Feb 19, 2005 8:38 pm (#53 of 141)

Hm. I guess I'm pretty dull, but I thought it was just a neat device to put out all of the lights in a vicinity--sort of like Dementors do--so that no one could see anything magical that was taking place. It's better than shooting them out--there is no destruction and light can be restored in a matter of seconds.


dizzy lizzy - Feb 19, 2005 10:13 pm (#54 of 141)

Still for a supposedly insignificant item - it's taken up a few lines of description in the books.

Perhaps it's a way of marking the boundary of an area of magic to stop Muggles seeing and feeling it. Especially hearing and feeling Harry's presence. I mean, how do we know the earth doesn't move in his presence??

So in taking out all the lights in Privet Drive, Dumbledore has marked the boundaries of where Hagrid parks/rides the motorbike and brings Harry. Strange how no Muggles complained to Pet and Vernon?? After that for the next 10 years he is a supposedly normal boy so the lights go back on.

And the same thing for 12GP. The putter outer sets out the boundaries of magic so the occupants on either side don't know what is happening.

Does this make sense?? Perhaps I should go have another cuppa tea??


Solitaire - Feb 19, 2005 10:22 pm (#55 of 141)

Strange how no Muggles complained to Pet and Vernon

Why would they complain to Pet and Vernon? Presumably everyone is asleep and the area has been made so dark that nothing is visible. Why would neighbors connect it to the Dursleys? Just wondering ...


Choices - Feb 20, 2005 9:41 am (#56 of 141)

Solitaire - "Hm. I guess I'm pretty dull, but I thought it was just a neat device to put out all of the lights in a vicinity--sort of like Dementors do--so that no one could see anything magical that was taking place."

Put me in the "dull" category - that's what I thought too.

Phelim Mcintyre - Feb 26, 2005 12:49 am (#57 of 141)

Solitaire, Choices - that makes three of us in the "dull" camp. But then I believe crop circles are man made, UFO pictures are flocks of geese.......

Solitaire - Feb 26, 2005 1:08 am (#58 of 141)

Phelim, a lot of UFOs were flying over my house all week ... I must be in the UFO migration path! LOL Actually, I've heard a lot of explanations for them--UFOs, not geese--all of which make sense. Geese work, too.

The giant squid - Mar 1, 2005 12:33 am (#59 of 141)

Actually, I've heard a lot of explanations for them--UFOs, not geese

No one can adequately explain geese...

Mellilot Flower. - Mar 1, 2005 6:08 am (#60 of 141)

I believe Sirius' motorbike has been mentioned elsewhere... but talk of Hagrid arriving with Harry has made me wonder about it (and I'd guess that that's what the neighbours would have to complain about- an almighty roaring bike in the street in the middle of the night). Hagrid said he was going to return it in PS, but later in PA says that Sirius gave it to him, not needing it anymore. I know that Hagrid is one of the greatest sources of misinformation and supposed errors, so I'll not quote him - but do you think Sirius got the bike back? and if he did what happened to it while he was in Azkaban? Did Hagrid just sell it, or trade it?

(Sirius' bike is perhaps another great explanation for UFOS?)

Snuffles - Mar 1, 2005 6:18 am (#61 of 141)


a few threads down there is one called 'Sirius Blacks Motorcycle', you may want to take a look, there are some good ideas about what might have happened to it.

Robert Dierken - Mar 2, 2005 6:12 pm (#62 of 141)

Since Hagrid flew to get to the rock in PS/SS, I suppose that he should be considered a UFO himself!

hells456 - Mar 6, 2005 3:54 pm (#63 of 141)

I could easily be wrong and there might be nothing interesting about the put outer. I found it interesting because it must be fairly rare if Moody had to borrow DD's one in OotP. I can see that turning out the lights would be useful to wizards because of the statute of secrecy, I would have thought them to be common. It is also the first magical object we see in the series and as Dizzy Lizzie says, it does get a rather long-winded explanation in the books. When I first read about it I couldn't see why DD didn't just use his wand to extinguish the lights and relight them when they left, it made me think perhaps there was more to it than just making it dark. The description says that any Muggle looking out wouldn't see a thing, but DD and McGonagall could clearly see each other and Hagrid's approach.

I have absolutely no idea how it would be useful in the future unless it could steal forms of energy other than light. For example if the soul was basically a persons life energy, it might be able to steal their soul, but unlike Dementors it would keep it safe until it was ready to be returned. LV could then have possibly used something like that to separate his soul from his body, then return it after some steps had been taken to make him immortal. This initial separation of his soul could explain why his soul wasn't tethered to his body and survived the rebounded AK.

I'm sorry if none of this made any sense. Hells

The giant squid - Mar 7, 2005 12:32 am (#64 of 141)

It made sense, Hells... In fact, your idea about the putter-outer storing souls until they can be returned fits in with the theory that Dumbledore has to die before Harry's final showdown with LV. In order to "die" DD (or perhaps Hagrid--someone he "trusts with his life") places his soul in the putter-outer. Harry, thinking DD is dead, has his big fight; DD then is "re-lit" and gets to do his usual explanation of everything.

Or something.


Phelim Mcintyre - Mar 12, 2005 4:18 am (#65 of 141)

Melliot - we know how the Evening Prophet reported the Wesley's flying car. I guess that the Muggle papers dismissed the spotters as mad or defined the images as UFO's. Well it makes a change from flying cigars.

Jon Parker - Apr 8, 2005 1:04 pm (#66 of 141)

I'm not disagreeing... just playing devil's advocate. In reference to the put-outer placing magical protection or something of the sort at #4PD and at #12GP, why then do we not see any kind of protection of this sort when he goes to the burrow?

pottermom34 - Apr 8, 2005 7:07 pm (#67 of 141)

Maybe because the burrow isn't in a Muggle neighborhood. It is more in the country where the neighbors don't live as close and wouldn't be so nosey and most of the neighbors are probably wizards instead of Muggles.

Choices - Apr 9, 2005 6:20 pm (#68 of 141)

Jon - "why then do we not see any kind of protection of this sort when he goes to the burrow?"

Uh, maybe no streetlights? LOL

hells456 - Apr 11, 2005 2:40 pm (#69 of 141)

They might already have sufficient protection set up for their own family, especially after Ginny was targeted in CoS. With an enemy like Lucius Malfoy I'd want my family protected. Maybe a put outer was used and we just didn't see that scene.

Daisy Pennifold - Apr 12, 2005 4:43 am (#70 of 141)

I've said this before, but I am worried that Wormtail having lived at the burrow for twelve years will bring problems security-wise. He will know everything about the burrow and its inhabitants. How will he use this information? With the Weasleys so close to Harry, I find it hard to believe that Voldemort won't want information about them to get to Harry in some way.

hells456 - Apr 12, 2005 1:14 pm (#71 of 141)

Good point, Daisy.

We also know that he can create a marauders map. For all we know he may have made a map of the burrow. As a rat he might be able to sneak in there easily, perhaps through a gnome hole. I always wondered why the Weasleys stayed in 12GP over the summer, there was no need for the parents and kids to be there the whole time. They could have been securing the burrow to make it safe for them (and Harry) at the same time.

Daisy Pennifold - Apr 12, 2005 1:47 pm (#72 of 141)

I hope so, hells. I hadn't even thought of a map. Voldie and the gang may be able to do a constant surveillance on the Weasleys whenever they are at the burrow. They would be able to see where each family member was located at the house, etc.


I read an essay by Red Hen today that reinforced my belief that we should certainly not discount Peter. He is certainly NOT an insignificant magical person! I'll bet he could create a map, or plant some kind of magical surveillance device inside the house.

How many of the twins’ inventions do you think he saw before he disappeared again?

Miriam Huber - Apr 26, 2005 1:50 am (#73 of 141)

Hi, perhaps I just missed the point, but this has been bugging (right word?) me: When the DA meets in the RoR, there is a Foe glass on the shelf which Harry is quite sure was in fake Moody’s office the previous year. How can this happen? Did Crouch-Moody get things out of the RoR? But he had the real Moody’s things! And how could the Foe glass have gotten into the RoR again? And the most important question:

Why did JKR write this connection? If it has no meaning at all, there would have been absolutely no reason for that line. red herring?

Steve Newton - Apr 26, 2005 5:16 am (#74 of 141)

I think that the ROR only takes items from elsewhere in the castle. I could be wrong. It would appear that Moody did not take it back when he left. (It didn't seem to do him a lot of good.) Harry also does not seem to have used it as he was able to be surprised by DJU and the Inquisitorial Squad.

hells456 - Apr 26, 2005 6:54 am (#75 of 141)

In which case, where was kept in the castle through OotP? I don't remember it being in the DADA classroom. Who else could have use for a foe glass?

Steve Newton - Apr 26, 2005 7:00 am (#76 of 141)

You wouldn't expect Umbridge go have something useful would you?

hells456 - Apr 26, 2005 8:08 am (#77 of 141)

lol. If you were her, would you spend much time looking in mirrors?

Miriam Huber - Apr 26, 2005 11:53 am (#78 of 141)

But Harry knows Umbridge’s office so well -- he would have spotted the foe glass at lest at the twenty-something’s evening of detention, wouldn’t he?

Ms Amanda - May 1, 2005 5:48 am (#79 of 141)

Well, I don't know if the ROR does only take items from the castle. Argus Filch can get cleaning supplies there when he's running short.

Hey, that means a squib can use the ROR!

So possibly the sneak-o-scopes and the Foe glass were in Hogwarts, possibly not. Harry doesn't hold much stock in them, anyway; he tells the DA that dark detectors can be fooled.

My vote for the most important insignificant magical item is the locket no one can open. My books are unavailable right now (they're packed; I'm moving). Could someone quote the passage to me with the locket in it?

TwinklingBlueEyes - May 1, 2005 7:03 am (#80 of 141)

"There was a musical box that emitted a faintly sinister, tinkling tune when wound, and they all found themselves becoming curiously weak and sleepy, until Ginny had the sense to slam the lid shut; a heavy locket that none of them could open; a number of ancient seals; and, in a dusty box, an Order of Merlin, First Class, that had been awarded to Sirius's grandfather for "services to the Ministry"."

Ms Amanda - May 1, 2005 7:08 am (#81 of 141)

Thanks, TBE!

hells456 - May 3, 2005 8:16 am (#82 of 141)
Edited May 3, 2005 9:17 am

Ms Amanda, did you see my theory in regards to the locket (this thread or the why Voldemort didn't die thread)? What do you think?

Ms Amanda - May 4, 2005 6:03 pm (#83 of 141)

Wow, hells! You've put more thought into it than I had. I assumed that if no one could open it, then something really interesting had to be in there. Congrats on coming up with an intriguing theory.

far from prefect - May 20, 2005 10:05 pm (#84 of 141)

Remember that Elanor mentioned Harry looking up Dittany in the library? In the OotP, Harry is doing some Potions homework late at night and keeps rereading the same paragraph over and over about Confusing and Befuddlement Draughts.. "where the wizard is desirous of producing hot-headedness and recklessness"(US p383)... the herbs involved are scurvy grass, lovage and sneezewort.

Of course, Harry is suffering from hot-headedness and recklessness. JKR seems to be emphasizing that draught in that passage. Is someone slipping Harry some scurvy grass or lovage? His behaviour warrants it.

Just idle speculation really...

Solitaire - May 21, 2005 9:09 am (#85 of 141)
Edited May 21, 2005 10:11 am

to far from prefect ... I think Round Pink Spider mentioned something about this some months back in one of her posts. I wish I could remember the thread or even when it was. I seem to remember her talking about the scurvy grass, lovage, etc. You might do a search.


Edit: It might be on a thread that was munched. I can't seem to find it.

far from prefect - May 21, 2005 3:38 pm (#86 of 141)
Edited May 21, 2005 4:40 pm

Neither can I, but that passage is markedly emphasized. Makes me wonder... I looked up lovage in a herbal book I have but could find no listing for scurvy grass or sneezewort... of course, those are the common names and not the Latin binomials... Surprised) I'll have to a little further study to answer my question. ffp

edit: once again, I mean scurvy grass

Cornelia - Jun 11, 2005 7:16 am (#87 of 141)

It’s some time ago somebody posted here and today, while rereading OotP some thoughts about the Room of Requirement crossed my mind.

Some time ago we wondered how the Foe-glass could come into the room. I think the room might be taking the things out of your mind. If you want to use it, you have to walk along the wall three times and think hard of the thing you need. Then the door will suddenly appear in the wall with the required room behind it.

Dumbledore was thinking of a toilet, suddenly there is one. Dobby thought of a place to store (sorry) Winky when she was drunk and he found a bed and antidotes in there. Fred and George thought of a place to hide, and found a classical hiding place, a broom cupboard. Filch was thinking of his cleaning stuff and found some. Harry and Hermione think about the DA things they will need.

I think while you are wandering up and down the corridor, thinking hard of what you need, the Room reads your mind, and then materializes the things it finds in your head.

The books for DA come probably from Hermione, the Room can find them in her head. The Foe-glass and the other DADA items come out of Harry’s head, the only Foe-glass the Room can find in Harry’s head is the cracked one from Moody, so it materializes the one it can find.


Ydnam96 - Jun 11, 2005 8:06 am (#88 of 141)

Cornelia, good idea! Although I think that it is possible that the room magically can "know" what is needed to perform the duties that it is being assigned to and will provide whatever is necessary. For instance, the whistle wasn't there before Harry though of it and then poof there is was.

Miriam Huber - Jun 11, 2005 11:33 am (#89 of 141)

VERY interesting, Cornelia! Ydnam, the problem (I posted the question about the foe-glass) is not that there was a foe-glass, but that Harry recognized it as the foe-glass he had seen in fake-Moody’s office the previous year. And I can’t remember Harry seeing another foe-glass anywhere at any occasion. So you would be right, Cornelia, it was the only one in his mind. (Where do all the chamber pots in Dumbledore’s mind come from? )If it hadn’t been for this, there would be nothing curious about it. A room fulfilling your needs by materializing your thoughts... have to think about it.

hells456 - Jul 28, 2005 6:16 am (#90 of 141)

I have not read the next book yet, but I am hoping that this thread will remain un-munched ready to discuss any interesting items when the time comes.

Madam Pince - Sep 18, 2005 6:10 am (#91 of 141)

I don't know if this belongs in this thread, or whether it's even a magical "item," but I came across this while researching JKR interview quotes and thought it was very interesting:

Q: What are the 12 uses for dragon's blood? -- Kelsey Biggar, age 9 A: I have a very good reason for not telling you -- the movie scriptwriter wants me to give him that information for the film. But I can say that the 12th use is oven cleaner. (Oct. 1999, The San Francisco Chronicle)

Have we discussed this before? What could be so interesting about dragon's blood that she doesn't want to answer? My radar always goes up when JKR refuses to answer things.... Any ideas?

Finn BV - Sep 18, 2005 7:42 am (#92 of 141)

Since this was 1999, perhaps at the time Kloves was going to include the uses for dragon's blood in the film, but it was ultimately cut. Dunno

Madam Pince - Sep 18, 2005 5:32 pm (#93 of 141)

I keep thinking that these little "Dumbledore-ish" things are going to come up and be important in Book 7 perhaps. Grindelwald, for one. Socks, for another. And now this about dragon's blood. I just don't know -- could be simple paranoia setting in....


Finn BV - Sep 25, 2005 5:39 pm (#94 of 141)

Somewhere in SS film it states that the 12th use for dragon blood is oven cleaner not that that helps but I was reading Geeky Movie Details, which the thread of the same name on this forum linked me to, and it says so, so Real progress, eh?

Madam Pince - Sep 26, 2005 6:05 am (#95 of 141)

Yeah, it's the other eleven uses that I'm more interested in, if JKR feels that she "has a very good reason for not telling" us....

Soul Search - Sep 26, 2005 4:18 pm (#96 of 141)

And, let's not forget that dragon's blood was mentioned at Slughorn's.

Could be something needing one of those other eleven uses.

Or maybe Harry is just going to have to clean Petunia's oven. Never can tell.

Phlegm452 - Sep 27, 2005 8:17 am (#97 of 141)

Cornelia: I like your ideas about the Room of Requirement and the Foe-Glass. I for some reason assumed that someone had hidden (DD) or stored (Filch) the Foe-Glass there. My thinking was that if you needed somewhere to hide something, you would get the room that Harry hid his Potion book in, what I call the general room. If you needed somewhere to hide/and do something specific, like hide a drunk house-elf or practice defense against the dark arts, you would get a specific room, with books and such borrowed from the general room or Hogwarts if needed.

Also, I didn't see anything about the Vanishing Cabinets. I wonder if they will come into Book 7. I mean, if I were Harry I would buy the one at Borgin and Bourke's and put the extra one in Gamp’s cave. That way he could go back and forth to Hogwarts.

hawick girl - Oct 7, 2005 2:19 pm (#98 of 141)

I think that if Filch saw the RoR (as where Harry put the potion book) he would have a huge fit. He would be along that lines that this is where they put all of the stuff he can never catch them doing, and that he would be adding to the mess? I think not. He would rather take all of that stuff out, find out whose it is and give them all detentions.

Ana Cis - Oct 8, 2005 4:44 pm (#99 of 141)

This topic may have being discussed in earlier books within the forum; I've been with the forum for only 2 to 3 months. Has anyone discussed Dumbledore's half moon glasses and if they have any magical properties? If Dumbledore is dead, do you think Harry would get them? I was thinking that DD may have used them to search for magical traces when he went Horcrux hunting.

Choices - Oct 8, 2005 4:52 pm (#100 of 141)

If I remember correctly, Round Pink Spider had an interesting idea about the half-moon glasses and what they mean. Maybe she will share it with us again.
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Insignificant magical items… ? Empty Insignificant magical items… ? (posts #101 to #141)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:33 pm

Ana Cis - Oct 8, 2005 7:30 pm (#101 of 141)

Thanks Choices, I hope she can find it.

Round Pink Spider - Oct 9, 2005 6:09 pm (#102 of 141)

Ana Cis, I and some of my friends worked really hard for a long time trying to find the meanings of the colors, shapes, animals, and certain key objects in HP. First, I don't think that Dumbledore's glasses were magical; I think they were symbolic. Glass, in general, represents protection. We think that moons represent Truth. I suggested in the past that it was possible that Dumbledore's half-moon glasses might indicate that he knew only half of some truth. But there are other possibilities.

Just before HBP came out, Phoenix Song and I were working on the theory that fractions represent division. (Remember Ron ripping Percy's letter repeatedly into fractions? He was dividing himself from Percy.) It's possible that DD's glasses indicated that some truth had been kept from him, or that he was keeping some truth from others for their own protection. I believe that Dumbledore generally looked at Harry over his glasses when he was revealing something, but I'd have to do a lot of rereading to confirm that.

I can tell you, with a certain amount of confidence, that Harry's round glasses represent the secrets that have been kept from him to protect him. Sometimes you'll see Harry's glasses slip when he has just learned some secret. Also, Harry's glasses are often off when he has dangerous mental contact (while he's asleep, or when he was possessed -- he came to and discovered his glasses next to the "Achilles' heel" of the statue). Other people's glasses, like McGonagall's, are sometimes crooked or falling off when they learn something stunning, also.

JKR once said that Harry's glasses are his greatest weakness, and also that he might someday learn to see without them. If Harry is magically healed at the end of book 7 and discovers that he no longer needs his glasses, you'll understand why! All the secrets will have been revealed, so the significance of the glasses will be at an end...

Ana Cis - Oct 10, 2005 8:51 am (#103 of 141)

Back to researching the books some more... Wow! You and your friends must have used a whole forest-full of paper keeping note and tracking every piece data! (...not a criticism, just impressed on the amount of work and time this must have taken)

Solitaire - Dec 24, 2005 10:44 pm (#104 of 141)

Hawick Girl, I believe Filch has seen the RoR. But he has not seen what Harry has seen, because his needs are not the same as Harry's needs. I believe someone said that Filch has found extra cleaning supplies in the RoR when he has needed them. Dumbledore talked (in GoF) about a room full of chamber pots he found one night when he was in need of one. And we know Dobby has used the RoR to hide Winky when she was either drunk or sleeping off a hangover.

Funny ... the Room of Requirement is a lot like the Mirror of Erised. The Mirror shows the viewer his heart's desire. The RoR gives the "seeker" whatever it is that he needs, be it a place to hide someone or something, a meeting hall, a supply cupboard, a bathroom, etc. JM2K ...


Choices - Dec 25, 2005 11:46 am (#105 of 141)

Great comparison Solitaire.

hawick girl - Jan 2, 2006 12:46 pm (#106 of 141)

I guess that I was referring to the 'room' for hiding stuff (contraband, liquor bottles, illicit activities, etc.), not a cleaning closet, chamber pot repository, or something innocent.

Solitaire - Jan 2, 2006 6:00 pm (#107 of 141)

But Hawick girl, I think the point is that the room becomes what it is needed to become for whomever opens the door. Pansy was able to find the DA practice room because that is what she was seeking. But Pansy is a witch. I wonder ... Perhaps Filch does not really understand the workings of the room and will continue to see it only as it has been for him ... a supply closet.


hawick girl - Jan 2, 2006 8:54 pm (#108 of 141)

Yeah, I know that the RoR becomes what is needed, and that Filch found extra cleaning products there.

I think that the comment had to do with where Faux Moody's Foe Glass went (no pun intended). Someone said that they thought that maybe Filch put it in the RoR. I found the comment here. I said that I thought that he wouldn't add to that mess, that he would rather give detentions and whippings out to the culprits instead of adding more to that banned item repository room.

You bring up a good question: what happens if you are not magical? Does the Room change for anyone that has a need, or just for magical beings (i.e. wizards and house elves), but not for Muggles and squibs. What about ghosts? Do you think that they could go into the room, have it change into what they want? If Filch found a cleaning supply closet, would he only find that? I don't think so, I think that if it could give what was needed in a situation, it could do that anytime. If he needed a vet for Mrs. Norris, and found a cleaning supply closet, I would say that he could only find that, but since he needed the products, I think that he could get anything from it. How condescending if squibs could only get cleaning products from the room of requirement. That that's all they should want, or need.

Solitaire - Jan 2, 2006 9:17 pm (#109 of 141)

My point is that perhaps Filch did not know this was a RoR. Perhaps he only knew it as a supply cupboard.

Choices - Jan 3, 2006 10:26 am (#110 of 141)

I agree Solitaire - I think Filch only sees it as a supply cupboard. It never changes for him like it does for wizards.

hawick girl - Jan 3, 2006 3:38 pm (#111 of 141)

What does that say about the castle if squibs only see it as a cleaning closet?

I think that he needed a cleaning closet, and that is what he found. If he had needed a quill, but got a cleaning closet instead I would agree with you, but since he needed that cleaning stuff, it works for him as well.

I repeat my first statement that if the RoR only becomes a cleaning closet for Squibs, what does that say about Hogwarts?

Choices - Jan 3, 2006 7:16 pm (#112 of 141)

You have me there - I don't have a clue what it says about Hogwarts. I just think that Filch found that supply cupboard early on in his job at Hogwarts and through the years it has always been a supply cupboard and it's always been there for Filch. Since he is the only Squib that we know of at Hogwarts, I have no idea what it would be for another Squib. I guess if another Squib was there and was a cook, then the room would be a storage area for pots and pans or food. I'm just saying that for a Squib, I don't think the room changes from one thing to another like it does for a wizard - a magical person. It just stays a supply cupboard for Filch - just what it was when he first discovered it years ago when he began working at Hogwarts.

Amilia Smith - Jan 4, 2006 1:39 am (#113 of 141)

I think it has more to say about Filch than it does about Hogwarts. In that the RoR would always be a cleaning closet for him because he always expects it to be a cleaning closet. He doesn't have the imagination or the mindset to think to ask the room to be anything else.

How I see the scenario playing out: the first time Filch runs into the RoR he is in need of cleaning supplies, which the room provides. Next time he is in the area and needs cleaning supplies, he knows right which room to go to. Now, suppose he is in the area and needs a quill, to use your example, Hawick Girl. The room becomes a quill repository just for him, but Filch never bothers to open the door. He already "knows" what is in that room, and he doesn't need cleaning supplies at the moment.


hawick girl - Jan 4, 2006 3:49 pm (#114 of 141)

I think that I'm going to have to reread the related parts in OotP.

I get your point that it might be his limits of imagination that limits his use of the room. I would like to think that I would be able to use more versions of that wonderful room other than as a cleaning supply closet.

Honour - Jan 4, 2006 5:13 pm (#115 of 141)

Not only Filch's limits of imagination but also his magical limitations. In the real world there are people who are capable of doing many things and sometimes simultaneously! and then there are people who are more pedestrian who do things one at a time, all this proves is that we are not carbon copies of each other, we each have limits, and in this story Filch has his, he see's the ROR as a supply cupboard, we would all like to think that if we were characters in these books we that we would've, could've, should've, said, seen or have done things differently, but we must also remember that this will only happen if JKR deems it so?

The giant squid - Jan 4, 2006 8:21 pm (#116 of 141)

I can very well see Filch discovering that there's a supply closet that only opens if you walk back & forth in front of it three times. It wouldn't necessarily occur to him that there might be something more to it.

Really, why would it occur to anyone unless a)they were told about it or b) they happened to be thinking about something else when they did the pacing-thing (causing the ROR to become that something instead of what they originally thought it to be)?


Solitaire - Jan 4, 2006 9:05 pm (#117 of 141)

I think Choices, Honour, Mike, and Mills all have said it as well or better than I could. Filch's lack of imagination would probably lead him to conclude that the room is a supply cupboard now, because it always has been a supply cupboard for him in the past. I suspect he has no idea of its chameleon nature.


vickilh42 - Jan 6, 2006 1:45 pm (#118 of 141)

I find it interesting that we assume Filch has a lack of imagination regarding the consideration of the potential uses of the RoR when we see Harry exhibit a similar "lack of imagination"--but better described as "lack of knowledge"! I see a similarity in Harry and Filch. Consider Harry's upbringing in a Muggle home as well as Filch's ostracization due to being a Squib, it is easy to understand that neither "thinks like a wizard". Harry, of course, is learning--as evidence by his attempt to enter "Draco's RoR".

Let's not forget that Tom Riddle grew up as Muggle child---like Harry! Maybe JKR will have Harry benefit from his Muggle experiences just as much as he will need to rely on his wizarding skills in Bk 7. (We have "testimony" from the Twins that Muggle skills are were learning!

Choices - Jan 6, 2006 6:38 pm (#119 of 141)

The big difference between Filch and Harry, with reference to the Room of Requirement, is that Harry is magical and Filch is not. The ROR is magical and only responds to magical folk - at least that is my understanding of it. To Filch, it is just a broom/supply cupboard, and that's all it will ever be, but to a magical person it will become anything they require.

vickilh42 - Jan 7, 2006 4:02 pm (#120 of 141)

But the RoR is not even visible unless there is need of it. The trio had to walk in front of the blank stretch of wall concentrating, before the handle appeared. So from that, I would say that Filch's "broom cupboard" didn't exist until it appeared for him when he needed it. Whether Dumbledore was entirely truthful when telling Harry that he was surprised to find the Chamber Pot room is something only JKR knows.

In my previous post, I just wanted to point out that Harry has a lot of learning to do about the wizarding world and must try to set aside some of his Muggle ideation in order to maximize the tools the WW provides him. Like Filch, Harry hasn't had the benefit of first-hand wizarding experiences from birth to help him be aware of the possibilities. Maybe Filch will never realize the reality of his "broom cupboard" but is it really because of a lack of imagination? Rather, could it be because of his lack of wizarding skill? That's were I saw a vague similarly with Harry. But it's a good thing Harry is becoming a quick study!

Choices - Jan 7, 2006 6:16 pm (#121 of 141)

Vickilh - "I would say that Filch's "broom cupboard" didn't exist until it appeared for him when he needed it."

That could very well be....or there could have been a door there that Filch saw and it was a broom/supply cupboard when he opened it. For a wizard, maybe they had to do the three passes before the room became what they needed it to be. We just don't know for sure.

Soul Search - Jan 7, 2006 7:24 pm (#122 of 141)

We know that Dumbledore knew of the room (chamber pots), Filch (as a supply cupboard),Dobby (for Winky), the trio and the DA, the twins used the room (but didn't know of its true nature), Draco found it and Pansy went in to get the list, Draco used it in HBP, Harry discovered the store room and used it to hide his potions book, and Trelawney had been stashing empties there for some time.

The RoR was full of junk. Maybe a thousand years worth. Over time, many, many at Hogwarts have found and used the room.

Seems to me the room would have to be open to anyone with a need.

I would even bet that Tom Riddle discovered the room, used the books to find about horcruxes, and even used it to hide a horcrux.

haymoni - Jan 7, 2006 8:50 pm (#123 of 141)

Good point, Soul Search.

"I need information on Horcruxes. I need information on Horcruxes. I need information on Horcruxes."

Harry needs the Mirror of Erised, the ROR and a large batch of the Felix stuff. He'll be FINE in Book 7!

The giant squid - Jan 7, 2006 11:27 pm (#124 of 141)

The RoR was full of junk. Maybe a thousand years worth. Over time, many, many at Hogwarts have found and used the room.

More to the point, many at Hogwarts have needed a place to hide something over the years. Actually, if you think about it, that would be the most likely way to discover the RoR--you've got something you need to hide and are looking for a place to stash it; you're nervous, so you start pacing; just as you hit your third turn thinking, "where can I put this?" a door handle appears on the wall next to you.

Ever since I read that part of the book I've wanted to go to Hogwarts and find that particular RoR...just imagine what sort of things you'd find!


Soul Search - Jan 8, 2006 9:21 am (#125 of 141)

haymoni and The giant squid. No problem getting into the RoR storeroom. But you will need something you want to hide. What could it be?

I think the RoR storeroom will have a significant role in book seven. Maybe even a chapter title.

Riddle may have even left a scrap of paper stuck in a book on horcruxes. Perhaps listing the objects he wants to use for his horcruxes.

Gina R Snape - Oct 4, 2006 12:33 pm (#126 of 141)

This came up on the JKR's website thread but I thought I'd mention it here. Is the Sneakoscope a questionable item? I know it detected Pettigrew but the kids thought it was broken. Yet, I can't help but feel like there was another time when it either failed to warn or gave a false alarm. Can anyone else recall?

S.E. Jones - Oct 4, 2006 2:32 pm (#127 of 141)

Yeah, the kids thought it was broken because it went off for no reason, even though we find later the reason was Scabbers/Pettigrew.

There was a broken Sneakoscope in fake Moody's office, which Crouch probably broke because it kept going off around him....

haymoni - Oct 4, 2006 3:51 pm (#128 of 141)

Ron tells Harry about the Sneakoscope he bought in Egypt - Bill says they are just for tourists, but he didn't know that the Twins had put beetles in his soup.

Am I remembering that correctly?

Nathan Zimmermann - Oct 4, 2006 3:53 pm (#129 of 141)

I thought it was Percy who ended up with the beetles in his soup.

haymoni - Oct 4, 2006 3:55 pm (#130 of 141)

Okay - Percy (Does make sense that the Twins would pick on him), but I can't think of another time a Sneakoscope was used.

juliebug - Oct 4, 2006 3:58 pm (#131 of 141)

Haymoni is correct, it was Bill's soup.

S.E. Jones - Oct 4, 2006 4:16 pm (#132 of 141)

Yeah, but that Sneakoscope is the same Sneakoscope that Ron gives Harry, and Scabbers was with Ron in Egypt, so it just proves that it really did work.

Gina R Snape - Oct 5, 2006 7:20 am (#133 of 141)


So, it seems the Sneakoscope is just as likely to detect a prankster as a dangerous enemy. Not a very refined instrument!

Phelim Mcintyre - Oct 5, 2006 7:39 am (#134 of 141)

Didn’t (fake) Moody say his Sneakoscope's were more sensitive than most? If so then there could be grades of effectiveness. Harry's was a high street compass while Moody's was military grade GPS type difference?

S.E. Jones - Oct 5, 2006 8:54 am (#135 of 141)

Gina --So, it seems the Sneakoscope is just as likely to detect a prankster as a dangerous enemy.--

But, it was detecting a dangerous enemy (Pettigrew). The Weasleys just thought it was detecting a prankster.

Choices - Oct 5, 2006 9:41 am (#136 of 141)

Edited Oct 5, 2006 10:41 am

I think it detects anyone doing anything "sneaky", whether actually dangerous or just a prankster.

far from prefect - Oct 5, 2006 2:06 pm (#137 of 141)

Plus, did they bring the Rat to dinner with them? That same Sneakoscope also went off when Ron was sending it Harry... since he wasn't supposed to be using Errol for heavy/long flights. And, I think it went off in the train compartment on the way to Hogwarts that time. They stuffed it into a sock. The Rat was with Ron at the time.

Gina R Snape - Oct 10, 2006 10:38 am (#138 of 141)

Edited Oct 10, 2006 11:40 am

Sarah, I like this idea of there being different grades of Sneakoscopes. Your High St. bargain bin Sneakoscope is bound to be less reliable than one purchased in a wizarding military survivalist catalogue!

S.E. Jones - Oct 10, 2006 10:57 am (#139 of 141)

Ooh, wizarding military survivalist catalogue! I like that. JKR should make one as a charity book. She could include all the objects she listed on #13 of the last WOMBAT.

Meoshimo - Oct 10, 2006 1:56 pm (#140 of 141)

Did the WOMBAT include all the defense gear that the Weasleys cooked up?

S.E. Jones - Oct 10, 2006 2:38 pm (#141 of 141)

No, but it did include some of it. You can read the questions and possible answers in the first post of the WOMBAT 2 discussion thread.
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