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Blood quills and their legality.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Download, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Download

    Download Dark Lord DLP Supporter

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    I think we've all heard the various fanon ideas around them; torture devices, devices used to sign magical contracts, etc. Quite often this is bundled in with how "obviously" Unbridge is breaking the law and should be in jail.

    Lets deal with what we know for a fact:
    • They write in the user's own blood, then immediately heal with no scarring.
    • They will however scar after extended use (Days? Harry had several detentions that ran from after dinner to past midnight).
    • If you take Pottermore as canon, they were invented by Umbridge herself.
    There are a lot of poor writers out there that think this should be an easy open and shut case to get Umbridge removed from Hogwarts and jailed. I don't think so.

    Firstly, I don't think corporal punishment is against the law in magical Britain. We know it's not at home as evidenced by Fred's ass cheek after trying to make an unbreakable vow with Ron. There's no evidence it is at Hogwarts either (though I'm sure Dumbledore did not allow it to be practised). The fact Filch was granted permission to use a very extreme corporal punishment the same year suggests lesser punishments were probably legal or were made legal.

    I suspect it comes down to permanent disfigurement. Scaring is probably not acceptable, and the quill under most examination I think would appear to be acceptable in that regard. She was probably treading a fine line, but I think in the case of Umbridge she only cared about the law if she thought she would get caught. It's doubtful anyone would want to prove the quills scarred by using them for several days straight.

    Curious what others think of it.
     
  2. CareOtters

    CareOtters Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    The thing fanon always forgets about the blood quill is that it's not possible for it to be specifically illegal because Umbridge invented it. This particular device could not have been banned before it was created. However, torture in general does seem to be illegal, although I agree it seems like corporal punishment is more out of favour than outright illegal in the Wizarding World.

    Wizards are pretty lax about physical appearance in most ways. They often end up transfigured or disfigured. Scarring doesn't seem like the right part to be crossing the line. The issue is more in her motivation, if anything.

    Copypasta from Pottermore:
    Birthday: 26th August

    Wand: Birch and dragon heartstring, eight inches long

    Hogwarts house: Slytherin

    Special abilities: Her punishment quill is of her own invention

    Parentage: Muggle mother, wizard father

    Family: Unmarried, no children

    Hobbies: Collecting the Frolicsome Feline; ornamental plate range, adding flounces to fabric and frills to stationary objects, inventing instruments of torture

    Dolores Jane Umbridge was the eldest child and only daughter of Orford Umbridge, a wizard, and Ellen Cracknell, a Muggle, who also had a Squib son. Dolores’s parents were unhappily married, and Dolores secretly despised both of them: Orford for his lack of ambition (he had never been promoted, and worked in the Department of Magical Maintenance at the Ministry of Magic), and her mother, Ellen, for her flightiness, untidiness, and Muggle lineage. Both Orford and his daughter blamed Ellen for Dolores's brother's lack of magical ability, with the result that when Dolores was fifteen, the family split down the middle, Orford and Dolores remaining together, and Ellen vanishing back into the Muggle world with her son. Dolores never saw her mother or brother again, never spoke of either of them, and henceforth pretended to all she met that she was a pure-blood.

    An accomplished witch, Dolores joined the Ministry of Magic directly after she left Hogwarts, taking a job as a lowly intern in the Improper Use of Magic Office. Even at seventeen, Dolores was judgemental, prejudiced and sadistic, although her conscientious attitude, her saccharine manner towards her superiors, and the ruthlessness and stealth with which she took credit for other people's work soon gained her advancement. Before she was thirty, Dolores had been promoted to Head of the office, and it was but a short step from there to ever more senior positions in the management of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. By this time, she had persuaded her father to take early retirement, and by making him a small financial allowance, she ensured that he dropped quietly out of sight. Whenever she was asked (usually by workmates who did not like her) 'are you related to that Umbridge who used to mop the floors here?' she would smile her sweetest, laugh, and deny any connection whatsoever, claiming that her deceased father had been a distinguished member of the Wizengamot. Nasty things tended to happen to people who asked about Orford, or anything that Dolores did not like talking about, and people who wanted to remain on her good side pretended to believe her version of her ancestry.

    In spite of her best efforts to secure the affections of one of her superiors (she never cared particularly which of them it was, but knew that her own status and security would be advanced with a powerful husband), Dolores never succeeded in marrying. While they valued her hard work and ambition, those who got to know her best found it difficult to like her very much. After a glass of sweet sherry, Dolores was always prone to spout very uncharitable views, and even those who were anti-Muggle found themselves shocked by some of Dolores's suggestions, behind closed doors, of the treatment that the non-magical community deserved.

    As she grew older and harder, and rose higher within the Ministry, Dolores's taste in little girlish accessories grew more and more pronounced; her office became a place of frills and furbelows, and she liked anything decorated with kittens (though found the real thing inconveniently messy). As the Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge became increasingly anxious and paranoid that Albus Dumbledore had ambitions to supersede him, Dolores managed to claw her way to the very heart of power, by stoking both Fudge's vanity and his fears, and presenting herself as one of the few he could trust. </p> <p>Dolores's appointment as Inquisitor at Hogwarts gave full scope, for the first time in her life, for her prejudices and her cruelty. She had not enjoyed her time at school, where she had been overlooked for all positions of responsibility, and she relished the chance to return and wield power over those who had not (as she saw it) given her her due.

    Dolores has what amounts to a phobia of beings that are not quite, or wholly, human. Her distaste for the half-giant Hagrid, and her terror of centaurs, reveal a terror of the unknown and the wild. She is an immensely controlling person, and all who challenge her authority and world-view must, in her opinion, be punished. She actively enjoys subjugating and humiliating others, and except in their declared allegiances, there is little to choose between her and Bellatrix Lestrange.

    Dolores's time at Hogwarts ended disastrously, because she overreached the remit Fudge had given her, stepping outside the bounds of her own authority, carried away with a fanatical sense of self-purpose. Shaken but unrepentant after a catastrophic end to her Hogwarts career, she returned to a Ministry which had been plunged into turmoil due to the return of Lord Voldemort.

    In the change of regimes that followed Fudge's forced resignation, Dolores was able to slip back into her former position at the Ministry. The new Minister, Rufus Scrimgeour, had more immediate problems pressing in on him than Dolores Umbridge. Scrimgeour was later punished for this oversight, because the fact that the Ministry had never punished Dolores for her many abuses of power seemed to Harry Potter to reveal both its complacency and its carelessness. Harry considered Dolores's continuing employment, and the lack of any repercussions for her behaviour at Hogwarts, a sign of the Ministry's essential corruption, and refused to cooperate with the new Minister because of it (Dolores is the only person, other than Lord Voldemort, to leave a permanent physical scar on Harry, having forced him to cut the words 'I must not tell lies' on the back of his own hand during detention).

    Dolores was soon enjoying life at the Ministry more than ever. When the Ministry was taken over by the puppet Minister Pius Thicknesse, and infiltrated by the Dark Lord's followers, Dolores was in her true element at last. Correctly judged, by senior Death Eaters, to have much more in common with them than she ever had with Albus Dumbledore, she not only retained her post but was given extra authority, becoming Head of the Muggle-born Registration Commission, which was in effect a kangaroo court that imprisoned all Muggle-borns on the basis that they had ‘stolen’ their wands and their magic.

    It was as she sat in judgement of another innocent woman that Harry Potter finally attacked Dolores in the very heart of the Ministry, and stole from her the Horcrux she had unwittingly been wearing.

    With the fall of Lord Voldemort, Dolores Umbridge was put on trial for her enthusiastic co-operation with his regime, and convicted of the torture, imprisonment and deaths of several people (some of the innocent Muggle-borns she sentenced to Azkaban did not survive their ordeal).
     
  3. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I think I've had Umbridge as a manager before.
     
  4. Methos

    Methos Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    Not sure what more ridiculous, JKR expecting us to believe Umbridge capable of inventing something new, or Umbridge actually doing it.

    Umbridge as some one pointed an article, is the kind of petty evil, that will abuse you, because it fill a hole in their shriveled heart.
    Her power comes from her being authoritarian bureaucrat, ruthless and cruel.
    I would expect her to dabble in blackmail and other illegal activities, that she can hide.
    I'm quite sure she probably murdered some poor wizard/witch that offended her in some way.

    However innovation is something behind her.
    The problem with blood quill like many other canon plot device, is that we meet them once and never again. (time turners)
    So we don't know what is their real purpose, we can speculate since blood is included that it might be important.

    Maybe Umbridge innovation was taking a regular blood quill and twist it, to write on the victim arm, instead on a scroll ?

    Regarding torture and physical punishment, while school nurse is talented, I doubt parents of Hogwarts children will be thrill that their children receive physical punishment and at least to the extreme Flitch describe.
     
  5. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Mate, it doesn't take a genius to come up with something like that. Only someone with sufficient sadism to think it's a good idea. The vast majority of spells were likely not invented by wizards of Albus Dumbledore's caliber; they were made by the Fred and Georges of the world.

    Umbridge invented the bloodquill. Just because she's an odious bureaucrat with a severe prejudice problem doesn't mean she's an idiot.
     
  6. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, Umbridge is consistently shown to be quite competent magically speaking. The idea that she must be bad at magic because she is close-minded, petty and cruel would result in a rather more shallow world.
     
  7. Download

    Download Dark Lord DLP Supporter

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    Your ability to threadshit in every thread you post in is impressive.
     
  8. Silirt

    Silirt Professor DLP Supporter

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    There's no evidence that there's more than one in existence. Did the fans feel the need to explain it?
     
  9. Methos

    Methos Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    Your contribution is also impressive, but hey some people don't feel good unless they shit on other people.

    I remember her casting the Crucio, and I remember her breaking to the ROR (or that is movies version ? )
    Beside those events, what else she showed?

    I didn't say she is bad at magic, I just hold enchanting at higher degree of level.
    At this point my memory is little bit foggy about Umbridge magical skills from the books, I admit it was 10 years at least since I read both OoPT and Deathly Hallows.

    Further the idea of a quill that draw the user blood and use it as ink, while also inscribing the message on the user arm, sound quite complicate.
    My assumption that Umbridge took a unique type of quill that already use the user blood and added the torture aspect to it.

    Than again, there are probably spells that already draw the user blood.
    She might just combined it with a torture curse and we got a quill.

    My early idea when I wrote my post was Umbridge didn't created it from nothing.
    However combining already known spells to innocent devices in the method she chose, I agree fit her.

    Is there a thread here in DLP, or outside source with HP character magical fits ? (or mention skills) that isn't frown upon.
    I know people dislike pottermore and the regular wiki of HP.

    Too much fanon is bad.

    Edit: from here:
    http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Dolores_Umbridge

    Magical skills:
    Charms: the shield and Patronus are impressive feats, especially taking into account Fred and George shield hats they made for the aurors (or it was just general DMLE) make you cry for the competency of the Aurors or DMLE.

    Transfiguration: The ropes, I assume it was books canon as well.
    Nonverbal spells and doing several things in the same time shows also competency in charms.

    The shield btw, is movies version, and I don't remember the Patronus from the books, but that is probably the time.

    I stand correct she is quite competent as magical user.
    In addition as character she got so much potential , that now I feel is wasted in both canon and fanon.

    Edit2:
    Last note, the blood quil are named black quil by JKR.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  10. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Yeah, inventing a spell or magical item doesn't seem to be an especially difficult thing to do in and of itself. Fred and George were inventing plenty of things before they were even out of school. As with the real world, the tricky part comes more from inventing things that are easy to recreate with enough mass appeal to be marketable. Especially since a lot of wizards still seem to like closely guarding their personal spells rather than spreading them out for mass consumption.

    The bloodquill isn't an especially elaborate or complicated thing. It's just something so needlessly sadistic that nobody other than a petty sadist like Umbridge would see any reason to even create such a thing in the first place.
     
  11. Darthlawyer

    Darthlawyer First Year

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    When reading the books it becomes quite clear that wizards have different idea's about safety and health than muggles. Which is to be expected if you know you can heal people so easily.

    Further we know that the ministery does not oppose heavy corporal punishement. They actually make it legal to whip children that year.

    It is most likely that it was against the school rules Dumbledore made but within the bounds of the law. (Well until she took it to far and permanently disfigured a minor). She wasn't imprisoned after the year was over so most likely it wasnt that severe an offense.
     
  12. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    Do we have a source that states the scarring caused by the blood quill cannot be healed by magic?
     
  13. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Auror DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Not to my knowledge, but household remedy magic maybe not.

    Firstly - they don't episkey it, something Luna knew in her year five, so something we can expect Hermione to have known, possibly.

    Secondly, Murtlap essence soothes and heals it to a scar, whereas it's able to completely cure boils from Fred and George's skiveboxes.

    In a pottermore entry, Jk copied Taure's notes on dark magic and passed them off as her own, in that it is difficult to treat, and intended to be so, magic struggles against magic.

    Fred and George's afflictions were intended to be self induced and completely resolve, so maybe that's why general measures also work. Sectumsempera was meant to mutliate enemies and be difficult to fix, and so it only likely responds to its specific countermagic. Blood quills are somewhere in the middle, I suspect, as they heal when you use them, but the pain remains and builds. A lasting effect that's difficult to entirely eradicate seems fitting to its purpose, and it's not supposed to be lightly gotten rid of. But yeah, that's waffle, sorry.
     
  14. Faun

    Faun Second Year

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    There was a piece about banality of evilness and Umbridge was used as an example. The way I see Umbridge and blood quills is that there were quills in use for filling and initialing documents in blood and she added the element of causing pain. Every time she offers the quill to someone to use, her unsuspecting victim might associate the minor discomfort with the general queasiness about blood, all the while she takes sadistic delight in torturing unsuspecting nobodies and getting away with it.

    As for their legality, blood quills ought to be illegal. While the use of blood quill per se might not have been criminalised because there is only one in existence. Causing hurt/bodily injury is per se illegal, so Umbridge can still be penalized.
     
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