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Old 12-12-2016, 09:58 AM   #1
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Week 7: Prisoner of Azkaban, Ch. 16 - 22


New week, new thread.

---------- Post automerged at 09:58 ---------- Previous post was at 06:36 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 208
Their second to last exam, on Thursday morning, was Defense Against the Dark Arts. Professor Lupin had compiled the most unusual exam any of them had ever taken; a sort of obstacle course outside in the sun, where they had to wade across a deep paddling pool containing a Grindylow, cross a series of potholes full of Red Caps, squish their way across a patch of marsh while ignoring misleading directions from a Hinkypunk, then climb into an old trunk and battle with a new Boggart.
That sounds pretty fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 212
“IT WILL HAPPEN TONIGHT.”
Another bit of canon I tend to forget about. I suppose this is a good a time as any to wonder about prophecies, though.

Rather than immutability and Fate or whatever, which are well-tread topics I'm frankly bored of, I wonder what triggers them. I mean, Trelawney just only goes into trance when Harry's done with his exam, not right in the middle of it.
Obviously it isn't just being in the presence of its subjects, since otherwise she'd have spouted this particular prophecy the moment she laid eyes on Harry. Considering the other prophecy we know the circumstances of was spoken to Dumbledore during the interview, it's possible it's necessary for the one being spoken to be alone, but I'm unable to guess at other restrictions.

Prophecies are a mystery in general, really. Who (or rather, what) is responsible for their creation? For what purpose are they then passed along? Why do only specific people, usually of a specific bloodline, get visions? Why are they spoken in English? Are they meant to push people into taking some kind of specific action?

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 215
Hermione carried the milk jug over to the table and turned it upside down. With a frantic squeak, and much scrambling to get back inside, Scabbers the rat came sliding out onto the table.
Seriously though. The fuck is Scabbers doing there? You'd think that as soon as he'd heard Sirius was in the actual fucking castle he'd have made a run for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 219
Harry reached for his wand, but too late — the dog had made an enormous leap and the front paws hit him on the chest; he keeled over backward in a whirl of hair;
Not exactly the best first impression to make on one's godson.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 219
Then, out of nowhere, something hit Harry so hard across the face he was knocked off his feet again. He heard Hermione shriek with pain and fall too.
Harry groped for his wand, blinking blood out of his eyes
Quote:
Originally Posted by page 220
All they could see now was one of Ron’s legs, which he had hooked around a root in an effort to stop the dog from pulling him farther underground — but a horrible crack cut the air like a gunshot; Ron’s leg had broken,
Goddamn, this is violent. Also Sirius must have some serious strength in dog form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 224
Ron had thrown himself on Black’s wand hand
With a broken leg. I really don't understand why people bash Ron.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 224
Crookshanks had joined the fray; both sets of front claws had sunk themselves deep into Harry’s arm; Harry threw him off, but Crookshanks now darted toward Harry’s wand —
Crookshanks is just a regular cunt of a cat, isn't he?

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 225
Harry stared down at Black and Crookshanks, his grip tightening on the wand. So what if he had to kill the cat too? It was in league with Black… If it was prepared to die, trying to protect Black, that wasn’t Harry’s business…
Harry very nearly murdered a cat. Nice. Although considering the preceding quote, maybe it's just that specific cat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 227
“You’re the cleverest witch of your age I’ve ever met, Hermione.”
Note the "I've ever met". And "of your age." Not the cleverest witch ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 233
“Yes, indeed,” said Lupin. “It took them the best part of three years to work out how to do it. Your father and Sirius here were the cleverest students in the school, and lucky they were, because the Animagus transformation can go horribly wrong — one reason the Ministry keeps a close watch on those attempting to do it. Peter needed all the help he could get from James and Sirius. Finally, in our fifth year, they managed it. They could each turn into a different animal at will.”
First off, this means James, Sirius, and Peter learned Remus was a werewolf in their second year.
I was going to say something about the method being dangerous, but I forget what it actually was and all text on the internet that described it has been DMCA'd into oblivion. It's a shame. I recall something about lightning, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 234
He especially disliked James. Jealous, I think, of James’s talent on the Quidditch field…
Really, Remus? I don't think it's that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 237
“SILENCE! I WILL NOT BE SPOKEN TO LIKE THAT!” Snape shrieked, looking madder than ever. “Like father, like son, Potter! I have just saved your neck; you should be thanking me on bended knee! You would have been well served if he’d killed you! You’d have died like your father, too arrogant to believe you might be mistaken in Black — now get out of the way, or I will make you. GET OUT OF THE WAY, POTTER!”
Snape's a real sweetheart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 244
I realized he was at Hogwarts with Harry… perfectly positioned to act, if one hint reached his ears that the Dark Side was gathering strength again…
The "Dark Side". Interesting use of capitalization there.

I imagine Dumbledore was convinced of Sirius' innocence because of legilimency. The question is, why did he not know beforehand? Personally, I think that he was, at the time, swamped in work. I imagine Voldemort's defeat, the circumstances behind it, and the Longbottom's sudden insanity, must have played a part too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 262
“In here!” Hermione seized Harry’s arm and dragged him across the hall to the door of a broom closet; she opened it, pushed him inside among the buckets and mops, then slammed the door behind them.
I suppose they are about that age...

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 278
Dumbledore backed out of the room, closed the door, and took out his wand to magically lock it. Panicking, Harry and Hermione ran forward. Dumbledore looked up, and a wide smile appeared under the long silver mustache. “Well?” he said quietly.
I remember the movies had him pretend he didn't know anything. I rather prefer it like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 280
“Oh yes, they’ll have to go,” said Fudge, running his fingers distractedly through his hair.
“Never dreamed they’d attempt to administer the Kiss on an innocent boy… Completely out of control… no, I’ll have them packed off back to Azkaban tonight… Perhaps we should think
about dragons at the school entrance…”
Considering next year, Fudge did apparently actually think about dragons at the school entrance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by page 286
“I went to see Professor McGonagall this morning, just before breakfast. I’ve decided to drop Muggle Studies.”
“But you passed your exam with three hundred and twenty percent!” said Ron.
320%? That's beyond ludicrous.

Last edited by Palindrome; 12-19-2016 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:56 AM   #2
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320%? That's beyond ludicrous.
In the book the narrator cites Hermione studing pictures of Muggles carrying stuff in their arms, so I think she went full-lecture-mode about evolution, technology, hidraulics and engineering in a question like that. Maybe she even explained the inner workings of some of the objects that could have been asked about.

---

Something that have always bothered me is how little we know about Runes and Arithmancy. Harry describes tables of numbers somewhere, but what is Ancient Runes about? Is it like Classic Latin? Or there is magic involved? Hermione talks a lot about her tests, so Harry probably knows at least in passing what those classes involve, but he never gives it much tought...
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTT View Post

Another bit of canon I tend to forget about. I suppose this is a good a time as any to wonder about prophecies, though.

Rather than immutability and Fate or whatever, which are well-tread topics I'm frankly bored of, I wonder what triggers them. I mean, Trelawney just only goes into trance when Harry's done with his exam, not right in the middle of it.
Obviously it isn't just being in the presence of its subjects, since otherwise she'd have spouted this particular prophecy the moment she laid eyes on Harry. Considering the other prophecy we know the circumstances of was spoken to Dumbledore during the interview, it's possible it's necessary for the one being spoken to be alone, but I'm unable to guess at other restrictions.

Prophecies are a mystery in general, really. Who (or rather, what) is responsible for their creation? For what purpose are they then passed along? Why do only specific people, usually of a specific bloodline, get visions? Why are they spoken in English? Are they meant to push people into taking some kind of specific action?
I always thought it was triggered by an event happening, like Pettigrew deciding on a course of action, or the conception date that correlates to the end of July. There is a fanfiction I read once that had a good explanation on it... Harry Potter and the Deus Ex Machina (I think) that said something about the words of the prophecy were according to the one giving the prophecy... I always found theories on this interesting.
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Old 12-15-2016, 04:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTT View Post
The "Dark Side". Interesting use of capitalization there.
Yes, it's actually used several times in each volume, by different characters, always with the capitalization. Probably something Rowling picked up from SW. Hadn't noticed that until I've read the English version because my language doesn't have capitalization. Then in GoF we have this enigmatic reference:
Quote:
And both of us had the pleasure…the very great pleasure…of killing our fathers to ensure the continued rise of the Dark Order!
I doubt Rowling actually thought that out, but it implies there's some kind of order, probably natural, of all dark magical beings, and that the reason Voldemort had so many followers is that he was at the top of it.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:42 PM   #5
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Chapter 16: Professor Trelawney's Prediction

Quote:
'Is there any point asking how you're going to sit two exams at once?' said Harry
So, informal poll: given that usually when faced with a mystery they're all over that shit, is Harry and Ron's resignation to ignorance here a product of a) respecting their friend's privacy, or b) they don't actually care all that much?

Quote:
Harry slightly overdid his [Cheering Charm] out of nerves and Ron, who was partnering him, ended up in fits of hysterical laughter and had to be led away to a quiet room for an hour
Another instance of emotion affecting a spell. Also, couldn't the laughter have been stopped by 'Finite Incantatem'?

Quote:
'Then you might not have to witness an execution at all!'
Friendly reminder that Ron was the first of the trio to mouth off at a politician. It took Harry another year and a half, and Hermione another four years. Amateur hour, honestly.

--

So, Divination exam. We see Neville go in. Then Parvati. Then Ron. Then Harry. That's L, P...W...P. Why the sudden non-alphabetic order? Obviously there's the meta reason of wanting Harry to be on his own for her prophecy, but what's the in-universe reason?

Quote:
It [Buckbeak] looks fine, it's - flying away...
He really is a Seer!

Quote:
His servant has been chained these twelve years.
I mean, I know it's a prophecy, and they're always poetic and unhelpful, but honestly, this is just needlessly metaphorical. The only thing Wormtail was chained by was his own fear and a good food source. Whoever or whatever causes prophecies to happen, and the wording for them, is just a massive dick.

Chapter 17: Cat, Rat and Dog

Quote:
Crookshanks darted forwards. He slithered between the battering branches like a snake and placed his front paws upon a knot on the trunk.
Ok, he's an asshole, but he really is smart. He's either worked that out for himself, or copied someone doing it - either way, pretty good going for a cat.

Quote:
...he might have been a corpse
But he's so dreamy and pretty!

Quote:
'Expelliarmus!' he croaked, pointing Ron's wand at them
So...did Sirius 'win' Ron's wand? Or is he just good enough to make it work despite not having mastery of it?

Quote:
He was going to kill Black. He had to kill Black.
Informal poll 2: given that Harry doesn't yet know the incantation for the Killing Curse, what was he going to do to Sirius, precisely? We don't see him using or learning any spells that might realistically kill someone prior to learning 'Reducto' for the Triwizard Tournament, IIRC (anybody who talks about the Levitation Charm being potentially lethal will get a slap...)

Quote:
Do it now! said a voice in his head
Harry's own darker impulses, or a flash of the Horcrux? It strikes me that this could be a good jumping off point for a Dark!Harry AU, which has probably been noted before, but I've never actually seen it done.

Quote:
Get away from me, werewolf!


Quote:
The important thing is, I was watching it carefully this evening, because I had an idea that you, Ron and Hermione might try and sneak out of the castle to visit Hagrid before his Hippogriff was executed.
Well then, it took him a bloody long time to catch up to them then. The length of time they were brawling with Padfoot (admittedly probably not that long in reality), then the time Harry and Hermione were paused in front of the Whomping Willow, then the trek down into the Shack...
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
Informal poll 2: given that Harry doesn't yet know the incantation for the Killing Curse, what was he going to do to Sirius, precisely? We don't see him using or learning any spells that might realistically kill someone prior to learning 'Reducto' for the Triwizard Tournament, IIRC (anybody who talks about the Levitation Charm being potentially lethal will get a slap...
Diffindo to the neck? seeing that Harry used it pretty casually early in year 4 he might have known it at the time.

But as I recall Harry wanted to do it with his bare hands, because he's hardcore like that.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atram Noctem View Post
Diffindo to the neck? seeing that Harry used it pretty casually early in year 4 he might have known it at the time.

But as I recall Harry wanted to do it with his bare hands, because he's hardcore like that.
Diffindo is a possibility. Bare hands is less likely, as the full paragraph is
Quote:
Harry raised the wand. Now was the moment to do it. Now was the moment to avenge his mother and father. He was going to kill Black. He had to kill Black. This was his chance...
Chapter 18: Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs

Quote:
'You're nutters, both of you,' said Ron shakily, looking round at Harry and Hermione for support. 'I've had enough of this, I'm off.'
Ah, Ron. Always abandoning your friends at the drop of a hat...

Quote:
I was separated from humans to bite, so I bit and scratched myself instead.
Maybe I'm reading too much into the phrasing here, but this makes it sound like - for most werewolves - biting humans is some sort of compulsion, rather than simple viciousness. Obviously some like Greyback do attack out of viciousness or spite or whatever, but if there is something about the werewolf...infection? that almost forces you to attack non-werewolves then it might go someway to explain why they're so hated (beyond obvious bigotry).

Chapter 19: The Servant of Lord Voldemort

Quote:
You're wondering, perhaps, how I knew you were here?
He's certainly a damn sight quicker about things than Lupin was. Maybe he already knows how to fly, like he does in 'Deathly Hallows', and it was actually him who taught Voldemort? Or maybe I'm just making too much of the timing issue.

Quote:
'Expelliarmus!' he yelled - except that his wasn't the only voice that shouted...Harry looked around. Both Ron and Hermione and tried to disarm Snape at exactly the same moment.
So it's just three school children fighting over their creepy teacher's wand in a shabby bedroom after dark. All perfectly innocent.

Quote:
It was like watching a speeded-up film of a growing tree. A head was shooting upwards from the ground; limbs were sprouting; next moment, a man was standing where Scabbers had been, cringing and wringing his hands.
This deserves to be quoted in its entirety, because it's a really cool image - done rather well, but not as imaginatively, in the film (which I still defend as the best in the franchise, at least on its merits as a film).

Quote:
I heard things in Azkaban, Peter...I've heard them screaming all sorts of things in their sleep
So...wait a minute. Death Eaters - not all of them, agreed, but enough of them - were aware that Peter was the real spy, not Sirius. I can accept those like Malfoy not saying anything about this, because why would they? They think he's dead, and one of their opponents is rotting in a cell he doesn't deserve to be in. There's no gain for them in telling the truth. But...don't the guards at Azkaban hear this as well? Ah, I hear you cry, but the only guards are the Dementors, and why would they care/understand? Well, fair enough on the caring, but two pages later Harry is recalling Arthur telling Molly that the guards have reported what Sirius has been saying in his sleep, so they clearly understand what he's saying.

Chapter 20: The Dementor's Kiss

Quote:
Where there should have been eyes, there was only thin, grey, scabbed skin, stretched blankly over empty sockets. But there was a mouth...a gaping, shapeless hole, sucking the air with the sound of a death-rattle.
God damn. The Dementors are seriously fucking creepy. Also, this goes rather well with my headcanon of their appearance:



(The Ghost of Christmas Future, from 'The Muppet Christmas Carol')
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:49 PM   #8
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Chapter 21: Hermione's Secret

Quote:
'What we need,' said Dumbledore slowly, and his light-blue eyes moved from Harry to Hermione, 'is more time.'...'If all goes well, you will be able to save more than one innocent life tonight.'
I know Dumbledore keeps a lot of secrets, and there's usually a good reason for it, but for the life of me I can't figure out why - in-universe - he doesn't just say to Hermione "Take Harry back in time, get Buckbeak away, then rescue Sirius." Isn't there a quote from Dresden about this sort of thing being like heroin to wizards? Presumably the same applies here.

Quote:
They watched Hagrid meander tipsily to the castle.
For a half-giant, he gets drunk pretty quickly. Or, I suppose, he's drinking really powerful stuff.

Quote:
Harry's corporal Patronus
Strong contender for coolest bit of magic in the books, IMO.

Quote:
Hermione was holding Harry very tightly around the waist; he could hear her muttering, 'Oh no - I don't like this - oh, I really don't like this - '
Funny, I don't recall this ever being brought up in discussion of the Harry/Hermione pairing...

Chapter 22: Owl Post Again

Quote:
Fellow seems quite unbalanced...I'd watch out for him if I were you, Dumbledore
Cue Fudge, post-HBP, declaring to all and sundry, "I warned him, you know, three years ago, told him he was dangerous! Would he listen?"

Quote:
Lupin's resignation
There's something quite ironic about the fact that the only one* of the DADA teachers we see who doesn't leave the job following physical/mental injury is one of Voldemort's staunchest opponents.

*I'll admit, I can't recall whether Harry actually manages to injure Snape even a little in HBP, but still.

Quote:
Yes, your father was always a stag when he transformed
Probably just unfortunate phrasing, but could be seen to imply that Animagi can choose different forms if they like.

Quote:
Percy had got his top-grade NEWTS; Fred and George had scraped a handful of OWLS each.
They get their results about two months before Harry's year got them, for some reason. Illicit contacts in the Ministry, I assume.

Quote:
You passed your exam with 320%!
Yeah, but only because she used the Time-Turner to sit it three times. Definitely an unfair advantage...

Quote:
Harry telling Vernon about his 'escaped murderer' godfather
Funny trolling is funny, but since when does Vernon believe anything Harry tells him? Presumably he just thinks so little of the Potters that he can quite believe they would associate with a murderer.
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:06 AM   #9
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With regards to the prophecies in general, it seems that prophecies do not take away the free will of people in question as shown in the discussion between Harry and Dumbledore in HBP. It seems to suggest that Voldemort could have walked away with the prophecy and nothing would really happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BTT View Post
Seriously though. The fuck is Scabbers doing there? You'd think that as soon as he'd heard Sirius was in the actual fucking castle he'd have made a run for it.
I am guessing Pettigrew still wanted to stay close enough to the castle (but not within the actual castle itself) to hear what is going on and whether Voldemort is regaining strength like Sirius said? He probably thought Sirius wouldn’t know where he was.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTT View Post
Not exactly the best first impression to make on one's godson.
I know right! If Sirius had a bit more patience, Harry was likely to trust him a lot sooner than he did. However, Sirius probably already made a horrible first impression on Harry earlier in the book by cutting the Fat Lady’s portrait and sneaking into the Gryffindor Tower with a massive knife.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTT View Post
Goddamn, this is violent. Also Sirius must have some serious strength in dog form.
I think in Rowling’s wizard world physical violence and damage is relatively trivial compared to the real world considering how fast they can be healed. She probably used these scenes as a form of comic relief as well.
Quote:
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With a broken leg. I really don't understand why people bash Ron.
Sigh, agreed. These people must have thought be willing to die for a friend is no big deal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTT View Post
Note the "I've ever met". And "of your age." Not the cleverest witch ever.
I agree and I am guessing Remus is just comparing Hermione to Lily Evans whom we knew to be a very clever witch herself. However I am also very interested to know how Hermione would fare against clever wizards like Bill and Percy (who got 12 OWLs each which is insane). Sadly we probably wouldn’t ever know the answer.
In addition Rowling diminished Hermione’s achievement here by telling us that James and Sirius (I presume) worked out Remus was a werewolf a year younger than Hermione did like you said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
So, informal poll: given that usually when faced with a mystery they're all over that shit, is Harry and Ron's resignation to ignorance here a product of a) respecting their friend's privacy, or b) they don't actually care all that much?
I think it’s more likely to be giving up due to a sense of frustration because we knew Ron tried repeatedly to ask her about her timetable but she simply refused to budge.
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Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
Another instance of emotion affecting a spell. Also, couldn't the laughter have been stopped by 'Finite Incantatem'?
Yes I agree. Finite Incantatem seemed to be horribly underutilised in the books given how useful it is supposed to be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
So...did Sirius 'win' Ron's wand? Or is he just good enough to make it work despite not having mastery of it?
I believe the wandlore rules state that any wizard can use any wand but the spells they cast may not be as powerful as ones they owe. In this case, a simple disarming charm could probably be cast using any wand. Remember that Sirius seemed to be have no trouble using Snape’s wand later on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
Well then, it took him a bloody long time to catch up to them then. The length of time they were brawling with Padfoot (admittedly probably not that long in reality), then the time Harry and Hermione were paused in front of the Whomping Willow, then the trek down into the Shack...
Remus really was careless here wasn’t he? He also forgot to take the Wolfsbane Potion here amidst all the excitement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
Get away from me, werewolf!
Sadly the wizarding world is full of bigotry even though objectively speaking werewolves are highly dangerous just like giants so it is no wonder most wizards are frightened of them. Even the Muggle-born Hermione grouped Remus’ condition in the category of him letting a mass murderer into the castle and wishing Harry to die.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atram Noctem View Post
Diffindo to the neck? seeing that Harry used it pretty casually early in year 4 he might have known it at the time.
This makes perfect sense to me now even though I doubt Harry actually knew what spell to use within the context.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
So it's just three school children fighting over their creepy teacher's wand in a shabby bedroom after dark. All perfectly innocent.
This is probably my favourite Trio moment from the entire series – three school children acting simultaneously and attempting to remove the present threat in the exact same way as though they could read each other’s minds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
I know Dumbledore keeps a lot of secrets, and there's usually a good reason for it, but for the life of me I can't figure out why - in-universe - he doesn't just say to Hermione "Take Harry back in time, get Buckbeak away, then rescue Sirius."
This could be another attempt by Dumbledore at giving Harry some practice before the confrontation with Voldemort.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
Funny, I don't recall this ever being brought up in discussion of the Harry/Hermione pairing...
Lol yes I agree!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
*I'll admit, I can't recall whether Harry actually manages to injure Snape even a little in HBP, but still.
I think Harry was too angry to fight properly against Snape in HBP and Snape managed to block every one of his spells.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
Yeah, but only because she used the Time-Turner to sit it three times. Definitely an unfair advantage...
That is a very interesting theory although I feel that it is more likely she just wrote a hell lot of very relevant and accurate points on each and every single exam question.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinysavage View Post
They get their results about two months before Harry's year got them, for some reason. Illicit contacts in the Ministry, I assume.
The differences in timings of certain repetitive events in different years (like Quidditch matches for example) simply doesn’t make much sense other than as an explanation of plot convenience.
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