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Week 7: Prisoner of Azkaban, Ch. 16 - 22

Discussion in 'Bookclub' started by BTT, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. BTT

    BTT Unspeakable

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    New week, new thread.

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

    That sounds pretty fun.

    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?

    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.

    Not exactly the best first impression to make on one's godson.

    Goddamn, this is violent. Also Sirius must have some serious strength in dog form.

    With a broken leg. I really don't understand why people bash Ron.

    Crookshanks is just a regular cunt of a cat, isn't he?

    Harry very nearly murdered a cat. Nice. Although considering the preceding quote, maybe it's just that specific cat.

    Note the "I've ever met". And "of your age." Not the cleverest witch ever.

    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.

    Really, Remus? I don't think it's that...

    Snape's a real sweetheart.

    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.

    I suppose they are about that age...

    I remember the movies had him pretend he didn't know anything. I rather prefer it like this.

    Considering next year, Fudge did apparently actually think about dragons at the school entrance.

    320%? That's beyond ludicrous.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2016
  2. AndreScutieri

    AndreScutieri Squib

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    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...
     
  3. The Dark Lord's favourite

    The Dark Lord's favourite Squib DLP Supporter

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    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.
     
  4. Atram Noctem

    Atram Noctem High Inquisitor

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    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:
    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.
     
  5. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    Chapter 16: Professor Trelawney's Prediction

    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?

    Another instance of emotion affecting a spell. Also, couldn't the laughter have been stopped by 'Finite Incantatem'?

    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?

    He really is a Seer!

    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

    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.

    But he's so dreamy and pretty!

    So...did Sirius 'win' Ron's wand? Or is he just good enough to make it work despite not having mastery of it?

    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...)

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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...
     
  6. Atram Noctem

    Atram Noctem High Inquisitor

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    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.
     
  7. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    Diffindo is a possibility. Bare hands is less likely, as the full paragraph is
    Chapter 18: Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs

    Ah, Ron. Always abandoning your friends at the drop of a hat...

    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

    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.

    So it's just three school children fighting over their creepy teacher's wand in a shabby bedroom after dark. All perfectly innocent.

    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).

    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

    God damn. The Dementors are seriously fucking creepy. Also, this goes rather well with my headcanon of their appearance:

    [​IMG]

    (The Ghost of Christmas Future, from 'The Muppet Christmas Carol')
     
  8. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    Chapter 21: Hermione's Secret

    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.

    For a half-giant, he gets drunk pretty quickly. Or, I suppose, he's drinking really powerful stuff.

    Strong contender for coolest bit of magic in the books, IMO.

    Funny, I don't recall this ever being brought up in discussion of the Harry/Hermione pairing...

    Chapter 22: Owl Post Again

    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?"

    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.

    Probably just unfortunate phrasing, but could be seen to imply that Animagi can choose different forms if they like.

    They get their results about two months before Harry's year got them, for some reason. Illicit contacts in the Ministry, I assume.

    Yeah, but only because she used the Time-Turner to sit it three times. Definitely an unfair advantage...

    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.
     
  9. torrent56

    torrent56 Second Year

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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.

    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.
    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.
    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.
    Sigh, agreed. These people must have thought be willing to die for a friend is no big deal.
    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.
    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.
    Yes I agree. Finite Incantatem seemed to be horribly underutilised in the books given how useful it is supposed to be.
    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.
    Remus really was careless here wasn’t he? He also forgot to take the Wolfsbane Potion here amidst all the excitement.
    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.
    This makes perfect sense to me now even though I doubt Harry actually knew what spell to use within the context.
    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.
    This could be another attempt by Dumbledore at giving Harry some practice before the confrontation with Voldemort.
    Lol yes I agree!
    I think Harry was too angry to fight properly against Snape in HBP and Snape managed to block every one of his spells.
    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.
    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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