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HP Questions that don't deserve their own thread V2

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Sesc, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Silirt

    Silirt Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Don't trust them either. With the portraits in Hogwarts, you're trusting the staff of the school to keep the place free of portraits painted by dark wizards with hypnotic eyes that convince students to murder each other. If a portrait is making some inane conversation, you can ignore it. If it does anything suspicious, try a fire charm.
     
  2. jitenshasan

    jitenshasan First Year

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    Well isn't it the point? Ginny has always seen enchantments around her house and Hogwarts where it's safe. And she received it at the Burrow, from her mom (or so she thought), and it behaved exactly like a diary should since it listened to her and probably didn't do much more (at least at first)... when she noticed more she did try to get rid of it... so the reproach always seemed a bit unfair to me.

    On the other hand, it is something said in the heat of the moment, and Mr Weasley didn't know the whole story... and it could be the catchphrase of more detailed stories and instructions that Arthur gave his children... (I like the idea)

    I'd rather tell her that a simple "thanks for the diary mom" would have solved the situation, so Ginny was possesed because she was rude (joking).

    Now I am curious how sentient the portraits are... that the portraits of former headmasters are giving advice, canon or fanon? (Cue fanfic where Harry escapes the Dursley and is raised secretly in Potter manor by the portraits of his ancestors... and begin Hogwarts ready for politicking with the most shrewd of Slytherins - nevermind it probably has been written already)
     
  3. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I'm totally here for a side-plot in some story where the best broom in Madam Hooch's Broom locker has become arrogant and the protagonist has to either break it like a horse or assuage its broom ego to work with him/her.
     
  4. jitenshasan

    jitenshasan First Year

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    Well the Weasley car did became sentient (or at least it looks like it)... it ran away to live in the Forbidden Forest and saved Harry and Ron from the acromentulas later.
     
  5. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Yes please, that sounds fantastic.
     
  6. Faun

    Faun Third Year

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    When did Voldemort realise that he shared a mental connection with Harry? Was it before, after or during Nagini's attack on Arthur?
     
  7. Silirt

    Silirt Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    I would think before. He wouldn't have gained much intel from Nagini's scouting the Department of Mysteries, so I would think the idea was to attack Arthur, giving Harry the opportunity to save an old friend and convince him to use the mental connection rather than block it out.
     
  8. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Seventh Year

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    Not according to Snape and Dumbledore:
    As to why he sent Nagini to the Ministry, he doesn't really need a reason to attack a member of the Order, especially in a place where their mere presence was hard to explain. And he would have gotten some intel on the DoM protections had he been able to enter, since he was possessing Nagini, all the while not risking discovery of any of his agents.
     
  9. Silirt

    Silirt Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    That's really interesting; I had forgotten that conversation. Somehow I think I ruled it out that Harry would grab the idiot ball and run with it that far. With Snape dismissing Harry's question, I would guess that he heard it from Voldemort himself, perhaps something he told all the Death Eaters, but it's weird to think of him saying that if he had any suspicion at all that there was a mole. The reason I say that Nagini wouldn't have gained that much intel is because the door was locked and snakes can't open doors. Arthur was guarding the corridor leading to a locked door, and it's hard to explain why he was there in the middle of the night, but Malfoy was there earlier in the book and no one thought it was terribly suspicious. If Voldemort wanted to know what kind of magical protections were on the door, he could have asked his own Death Eater.
     
  10. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Seventh Year

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    Snakes can't use elevators either, but there she was anyway, so it's safe to assume she can do a bit more than a normal snake. Who knows, maybe he intended her to possess the Order member after killing them like she did Bagshot in DH, if he hadn't felt Harry seeing the scene.

    Also, Lucius' earlier presence was easily justified by him wanting to see Fudge and Fudge being at the trial a few meters away. The same couldn't be said in the middle of the night so it would be much more suspicious (and for all we know, straight-up illegal), and someone from the Order wouldn't even have Fudge's (deep pockets') protection. It was Sirius, I think, who explained that when he told the Weasleys to wait before going to St Mungo's.
     
  11. Silirt

    Silirt Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    I don't know about that. It's just pushing a button, going inside, pushing another button and going out again. If Voldemort were controlling the snake, he could have figured that out. I don't think she could use magic, though, so a locked door would be impassible. I don't think there's any way Voldemort would expect the door not to be locked, and possessing the Order member doesn't seem like that good of an idea, since Bagshot doesn't use any magic in DH; really she was just a corpse puppet. I think after they managed to drive Nagini away in that scene, Hermione commented that Bagshot was already dead and probably had been for a while. It seems more likely that the whole point was to attack either an Order member or someone Harry knew personally, testing a pet theory he had about Harry getting visions. Dumbledore already knew Voldemort wanted the prophecy, so it wouldn't give anything away.
    If the corridor leading to a locked door were a totally restricted area, that wouldn't be a good enough excuse. Fudge has an office. I think Harry wondered as much.
    Arthur wasn't allowed in the courtroom while it was in session, so I would think eavesdropping on a hearing would be considered suspicious, if not illegal, but there was no proving his intentions. I don't think things were so far gone at this point that Malfoy could do whatever he wanted, but Arthur makes no attempt to report him for standing around in a corridor not doing anything. Consequently, he is in no trouble later in the book, even after Dumbledore sent a portrait to go warn the Ministry that one of their employees had been attacked, but to 'make sure he is found by the right people'. Within minutes, the portrait of Everard returns and says they are taking him to Saint Mungo's, and I can't find any warning from Sirius telling them to stay away from the hospital, except when he's telling Fred and George not to go see their dad, because they wouldn't be able to explain how they knew. More than anything else, though, the fact that Arthur wasn't in any trouble after this should give it away that a Ministry employee being in an accessible area was odd, but not unlawful.
     
  12. sildet

    sildet Fourth Year

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    One question that I've had for a while is this: Why in fanfiction and in the main series are there a distinct lack of great-great-etc. grandparents?

    There are multiple instances of people reaching 100+ years old. You'd think the old manor houses would be chock full of old people right? Have any of you guys thought about this?
     
  13. Utsane

    Utsane Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    The story in the books takes place after two generational wars have taken place, so it's quite likely that all but the most powerful and the most sheltered witches and wizards survived.

    Also, Harry doesn't visit too many peoples' houses in canon, so although those people very well might be alive and in the story, we are just never introduced to them as such-and-such's great (x?) grandparents.
     
  14. Silirt

    Silirt Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    I have. There are only a handful of people in the series who are that old, and they 'show age' by varying degrees. Elphias Doge seems to be on his last legs by DH, despite being roughly the same age as Dumbledore. I guess it pays to be research buddies with the guy who developed the Philosopher's Stone and have it in your possession for several years. Aunt Muriel seems 'sharp', I suppose, but most abrasive people do. Bagshot, with whom she went to school, was killed, so we wouldn't know how well she was hanging on.
    Perhaps it's a hot take, but I don't think wizards have naturally superior bodies that last for longer times. I think they've just figured out how to prevent most natural causes of deaths, like cardiac arrest, stroke, and cancer, to where you're not really living longer, just dying more slowly. Many old people are probably in Saint Mungo's or their own homes, being life-supported by house elves. Some of them would have had their deaths accelerated by Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Like imagine having a heart condition and trying to turn off the radio when they start the scary news, don't look at the paper before tea, and watch your younger relatives put on brave faces and do their best not to shock you with any sudden developments. If that doesn't kill you, it might be enough to make you stop taking your potions.
    Advanced age in the wizarding world sounds like it could make a good short story.
     
  15. sildet

    sildet Fourth Year

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    Not sure I buy the 'they're in St. Mungos's' thing, or that they don't have superior bodies. Wasn't there an ancient old witch doing OWL practical testing? And Dumbledore was very active in his old age. It seems like it's fairly normal to have a job at an advanced age. If they were decrepit, I don't think that'd be the case.

    I just feel like it's a missed bit of world building in a lot of stories. I can buy that a bunch of them could've died in the two wars, but you'd think that during those wars the families would make it a point to protect their elderly too.
     
  16. Faun

    Faun Third Year

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    There are a lot of old people in canon. However, they are not in the immediate sight of the main characters. Harry was an orphan with no family on his father's side. Hermione was a muggleborn with no magical family. Ron had a great-aunt or something(Muriel?), but had no manor to fill people with. Blacks were decimated and Malfoy's grandfather had been dead (dragon pox) for some time.

    We get a very limited glimpse in the larger magical world. Most of the fanon is Harry-centric and there are only a handful AUs where he has extended family.
     
  17. Download

    Download Slug Club Member ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Harry also moves in circles that generation after generation fought in both wars and suffered for it.
     
  18. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    The other factor to remember is that there are still illnesses that can kill wizards. Dragonpox for example killed both Abraxas Malfoy and Fleamont & Euphemia Potter. All reasonably wealthy (at least), so able to afford top quality care and expensive treatments but it still killed them. I'd guess that either Dragonpox is like the flu and every few decades there's a particularly vicious strand of it goes around that has a significant impact on the elderly, or even regular Dragonpox is reasonably lethal for anyone over a certain age.

    If there are a couple of other, similar magical illnesses that can't be magicked away then it could really cut down the number of the truly elderly.

    And I'd echo the above comments about a series of major wars in a short timeframe. Those will have taken their toll on the elderly but also the younger generations. Combine that with the above theory about illnesses, and you have a situation where in Harry's time there might be remarkably fewer elderly wizards than there were a hundred years before.
     
  19. arkkitehti

    arkkitehti Groundskeeper

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    I dislike the idea that the wars would have had a significant impact on the population. Sure, people died in the wars, but not enough to really have an impact on how many elderly wizards there are. And Harry's viewpoint is inherently biased as he was smack in the middle of the resistance movement; it's like looking at the impact the second world war had on world population by looking what happened to the members of the French resistance.

    Which rises a question: was the first war against Voldemort deadlier than the second, or the other way around? Somehow I get the feeling that the first was particularly long and nasty while the second ended pretty quickly, but on the other hand the Voldemort ministry did have about a year of complete control to do what ever they wanted.
     
  20. jitenshasan

    jitenshasan First Year

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    Magic allows you to repair bones and may prevent the onset of cancer and alzheimer, but that doesn't help against infectious diseases which is the strength of muggle medicine. Given that wizards probably have no understanding of modern pathology (vaccination /antivirals/ antibiotics) we can imagine that a lot of people die from infectious diseases that are the same than the muggle ones but named differently, and/or that are actually magical (coming from magical animals... and zoonoses are the most deadly).

    JKR gives us 1000 children at Hogwarts and 3000 wizards in all of Britain and it seems unbalanced to us, because we look at it through the lens of the ratios in modern society.... in which almost all babies survive to adulthood because we have vaccines and in which we have a stable society where the government which actually protects its citizens.

    But if you imagine that wizards are plagued by infectious diseases, meaning a lot of babies don't survive, and that all the single children we see at Hogwarts actually had brothers and sisters that didn't make it (because you would think that people who feel outnumber and threatened by muggle would have more children if they could), and that there are plagues which regularly kill of some of the most vulnerable, the elder – like Draco's grandfather and all the old people that should be there in the stories but are not)...

    ... and if you take into account that the Ministry is effective to protect the Statute of Secrecy and not really effective to protect wizards against the more or less dangerous darks lords, that inevitably crop up every century or so.... meaning the healthy able adults are going to need to fight to protect themselves and their families and a good number of them are going to get killed as a result...

    Then the skewed numbers make sense.

    Being a wizard may mean you have the potential to live much older than muggles... but only if you survive diseases and the dark-lord-of-the-century... so as a result few wizards actually benefit of that potential.
     
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