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harry potter and the Sorceror's /Philosopher's stone, discussion thread

Hogwarts Express

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Aug 27, 2007, 12:13pm Top

Okay here we go!
My first thought for discussion was: Vernon saw strangely dressed people, but did other muggles?

Aug 27, 2007, 12:17pm Top

I'll be posting more later, but the fun thing now is finding all the people/events that play into the plot later. Sirius, Mrs. Figg, Aunt Marge are all mentioned early on.

Aug 27, 2007, 12:20pm Top

you are right! whoever thought Mrs Figg would became an important character!

Another question, how did the school know exactly where Harry was ?

Aug 27, 2007, 12:24pm Top

As in the cupboard under the stairs? Cos Dumbledore was there when he was delivered to Privet Drive.

Also, they would have to have magical means of knowing where people were, or else how would the muggle-borns ever find out about Hogwarts?


Aug 27, 2007, 12:30pm Top

of course ,magical means, but how?

DD hoped when they took Harry in that they would treat him well, like another son. I don't think he knew that harry slept in the cupboard for ten years, or did he?

Aug 27, 2007, 12:30pm Top

As for knowing stuff....how the H-E-doubletoothpicks did the wizarding world know what happened at Godric's Hollow? Was there a witness? Did I miss something later on?

And how come, after 10 years of nothing, there are no skeptics re: Harry. Why does everyone buy the story of what happened there without reservation, even though Harry has been missing so long. You would think there would be lots of theories about it.

Aug 27, 2007, 12:35pm Top

My main thought was how interesting it was to know the backstory. For example, how must Petunia have felt when all of those letters started coming for Harry -- knowing (minor book 7 SPOILER) that she would have done almost anything to get one of her own, back when she and Lily were children. And Hagrid's explanation to Harry of why Voldemort wasn't able to kill him seems so incomplete, but when you think about it, that plot line (in many ways the main plot line, or a significant part of it) was revealed verrryyyy slowwwllllyyy over the course of the series.

The other thing I realized, knowing more of the backstory, is that you know a little bit about what the characters were doing, even ones that haven't yet been mentioned. For example, shortly before Dumbledore came to Privet Drive, on that whole long day when Professor MacGonagall was sitting around watching the Dursleys, Dumbledore was (another SPOILER for book 7) in his office with an absolutely devastated Snape. . . .

I think that my point is it's interesting to know how things fit together. I was a little reluctant to embark on a whole-series reread, but I'll admit here and now that I'm glad we did.

Aug 27, 2007, 12:44pm Top

#1 Polly presumably people did notice but may not have had any reason to be concerned. There are a lot of oddly dressed people in my city but I assume they are eccentric and move on. It is amazing how little people notice.

#2 I agree about the set up of all these characters that become important. Do you suppose she knew she'd use all of them or chose to use some after the fact.

#4 I agree with LadyN, there has to be a tracking system of underage wizards- just to keep track of whether or not they've used magic etc. But it is never adequately explained in the books.

#6 LG good question given the avidness of Rita Skeeter later on you would think that the magic world would have a thirst to know about Harry. Presumably the ministry intervened.

I was struck by how when I read it the first time those opening chapters reminded me of Roald Dahl I suppose for the basic plot set up of an unhappy child in an unhappy situation and a sudden magical solution. Now her world seems more her own.

I was also wondering about Harry. If the Dursleys had been a real family to him he might not have wanted to go with Hagrid.

Edited: Aug 27, 2007, 12:59pm Top

I see a deep discussion already. :)

#1 polly:
I think Vernon may have been more quick to jump to there being funny-dressed people. After all, he did wear his most boring tie to work. :)

Remember that with owls, they only need give the name of a person at times and not the location. (Minor Book 7 SPOILER Perhaps Hedwig was simply a good owl.) Of course, you could very much be specifically refering to Hagrid, in which case I think that's a very good question!

#6 littlegeek:
I had similar thoughts. I wondered why the wizarding world, other than McGonagall expressing otherwise on pg. 19 of my PS copy, was so quick take it that a little baby had been what made Vodlemort vanish. (They were eager for life without the You-Know-What, but still. A baby!)

Edited: Aug 27, 2007, 12:56pm Top

Okay, now that I've got that (post #7) out of my system, responses:

#1: I wonder if Vernon was just more sensitive to anything outside of "normal" than most. I think that, especially in a big city like London, there are enough oddly-dressed people that most people would assume that there was a convention or something, and think nothing more of it, if they noticed at all.

#2: Yes, and even Dedalus Diggle -- always a minor character, but he's mentioned throughout the book. I think that one of Rowling's great strengths is her strong characters, she really knows them, so even someone like Diggle isn't just a placeholder or a funny name -- he's a short, excitable fellow from Kent with a liking for bright purple clothes, and he's on the right side when it really matters.

#3: I'd never thought about that -- how they knew he was sleeping under the stairs. (Or at the hotel in Cokesworth, or in the cabin on the rock.) Maybe the letters were just enchanted to have the most specific address possible on them somehow.

#4: It would be interesting to know how the Wizarding world finds out about Muggle-Borns, especially since we now know that the Trace is how they detect underage magic. It seems that you'd have to know someone was capable of doing magic before they could have the Trace put on them.

#5: I'd also have thought that Dumbledore would have checked up on Harry periodically, even if he did so without Harry's knowledge, but it seems he didn't. I mean, I can see allowing things to go on if Harry was just being picked on by Dudley or whatever, but some of the Dursleys' treatment of Harry crossed the line into "abusive" and I would have thought someone from the Wizarding world would have wanted to deal with that, considering how important Harry was.

#6: Well, the house was pretty much destroyed, and there were a lot of Wizarding families in the area -- wasn't Bathilda right next door? And I don't think they knew specifics, just that Voldemort had tried to kill Harry and failed -- that he failed was obvious; but how they knew it was V and not just some Death Eaters, I'm not sure. You would think that conspiracy theories would abound -- but come to think of it, Hagrid mentions that pretty much everyone has a theory on what happened to Voldemort, whether he was dead, whether he would be back, etc.

Aug 27, 2007, 12:58pm Top

#7 Foggi, I found it very touching on this read that McGonagall was waiting their all day I had this surge of affection for her. Yes putting the pieces together from the later books is also nice.

#6 and #9 Doesn't it seem like the wizarding world is a little too eager to believe what they read in newspapers throughout the whole series?

Aug 27, 2007, 12:58pm Top

#6#9 maybe the wizarding world at large did not think that baby Harry had much to do with it. simply that he was a survivor of such a deadly attack but that something else had broken V's power.

I wonder also if the Dursley's had been a good family to Harry, would he have gone to wizard school, against their wishes?

Aug 27, 2007, 12:59pm Top

#7 foggi:
Very good thoughts re Petunia and the letters. Now we know just how truly much that probably upset her! :)

Here's a small quote:
"His nose was long and crooked, as thought it had been broken at least twice." (PS 15)
We know from DH for one of the times Dumebledore's nose was broken, but I wondered about the other time(s). Also, I thought it amusing to see the likeliness Harry has with Dumbledore at age ten (nearly eleven): "He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Sellotape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose." (PS 27)

Aug 27, 2007, 1:00pm Top

#13 -- I wondered about the second time his nose was broken, too! Just forgot to write it down.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:01pm Top

foggi--yes, they have theories about voldy, but not Harry. Everyone wants to meet Harry, see his scar, etc. No one out there doubts his existence or wonders where he was hiding, etc. If it were me, during the 10 years I would be doubting the whole story of a boy who lived, because where is he now? When he resurfaces, how do we know it's really him, just from the scar? He could easily be an impostor, but these kind of theories never surface.

Strange, since Harry is the subject of skepticism so many times during his Hogwarts career.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:01pm Top

#13 Also was anyone else now assuming Dumbledore's nose had been broken dueling?

I like the similarities K

Aug 27, 2007, 1:01pm Top

#11 marensr:
Yes, it does. Always.

#12 polly:
Good point.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:04pm Top

#16 Marensr:
You know, I think I still looked at it with a muggle's perspective. ;)
Thank you. :)

Aug 27, 2007, 1:05pm Top

#12 I think anyone with Harry's abilities would want to develop them, regardless of how he was being treated. And presumably, if the Dursley's treated Harry properly, he'd know all about Hogwarts and would be dying to get in!

Aug 27, 2007, 1:05pm Top

I agree, I think that it would be interesting to see a time line of the events that took place on that fateful Monday.

Hagrid told Harry that he removed him from the ruins of his house, under Dumbledore's orders, but I get the feeling that Dumbledore was not there that day, or was he? I can't remember! And if he wasn't how was he sooooo damn well informed about everything that happened?

I mean

1. voldi shows up
2. kills James
3. kills Lilly
4 Tries to kill Harry
5. the spell bounces off Harry and destroys half the house and kills a piece of Voldies soul and his body.

so Hagrid got instructions from Dumbledore, he had to somehow get harry before the "please men" got there, Sirius was there because he lent his bike to Hagrid, told Hagrid he wouldn't need it anymore(but of course that's for another discussion thread). How were all these people able to respond so very quickly?

I know I've made zero sense here (nothing new) but I guess I'm just confused...

Aug 27, 2007, 1:06pm Top

#15 -- Good point! One wonders how much the Wizarding world knew about where Harry was. On the other hand, there were several instances mentioned of people coming up to Harry on the street, or in a shop, and shaking his hand -- were these people who just accidentally ran across him? If so, how did they know it was him, and not just some kid who fell off his skateboard last week and scraped his forehead? Or, say that the Wizarding world knew Harry was living with Muggles -- you'd think that eventually some psycho wizard stalker would track down exactly which Muggle family Harry was living with, and try to meet him.

Edited: Aug 27, 2007, 1:09pm Top

#20 suge:
Makes sense to me, suge. Good questions. :)
I expected to learn that Dumbledore was at Godric's Hollow around the time of the event, but no. So I also still wonder, how was he so well informed?

Aug 27, 2007, 1:11pm Top

#21 foggi:
He was the spitting imagine of James with Lily's eyes, of course. ;) LOL! Can you imagine a stalker? Hehe, thanks for that! :)

Aug 27, 2007, 1:14pm Top

I bothered me that you don't really get that feeling of camaraderie among the members of the order at first.

Macgonogall says: "The Potters son, Harry" (or something close I don't have the book with me) these were her intimate friends right? Maybe JK wrote that line for our benefit but the more natural line would have been if she called him "Harry", not the potter's son Harry

again maybe for our benefit: "young Sirius black lent it to me" instead of saying Sirius lent me his bike he says young Sirius Black like it is someone that they barely know.

Maybe I'm just griping here. Oh well...

Aug 27, 2007, 1:15pm Top

#18 Well Kerian - it does say it looks as if he broke his nose twice - once the muggle way and once dueling?

#20 I think how the deaths of Harry's parents unfolded has always been a weak point. How does everyone know if no one was their? IF someone was their why didn't they help?

I assume they jumped into action quickly because their were alarm/protection enchantments around the home that alerted the Order.

#21 However wizards do share the need to keep themselves a secret from the rest of the world so stalking might be frowned upon . . .

Aug 27, 2007, 1:17pm Top

#23 Yes, but there would still be skeptics. And this is the wizarding world, remember how easy it is to disguise yourself!

Love the stalker idea, heehee!

Aug 27, 2007, 1:17pm Top

#24 It is a good point Suge- but it is exposition and she hast to introduce the characters for the first time.

I can justify McGonagall because she was their teacher and it may be she never lost the habit of calling them by their surname . . .

Aug 27, 2007, 1:18pm Top

#20 -- suge, I'm confused, too, but I think my confusion has to do with too much time, not too little! I was assuming that the attack happened on 31 October 1981 after dark. . . (fact checking, yes, it's described as "night" in two places). Now, if Harry was removed from Godric's Hollow that night, how did MacGonagall know earlier that morning to watch the Dursleys -- long before the attack, hours before they knew Harry would need to go there? So, if we assume that MacGonagall is watching the Dursleys on November 1, then what happened to Harry all that day? I mean, a one-year-old can get into trouble if left unattended for five minutes -- you get the impression that Hagrid pulled him from the still-smoking ruins of the cottage, but in fact it was almost a day later that he was rescued, even figuring that it took some time for Hagrid to get from GH to Privet Drive on the motorbike. So, was someone from the neighborhood with Harry? Did they immediately cast enchantments to keep Muggles (police, etc.) away? Was Harry knocked unconscious for all or most of that time? *sigh* Loads of questions.

Edited: Aug 27, 2007, 1:24pm Top

#24 -- I'd put that down to the age difference, and the fact that MacGonagall was a very formal sort of person. Remember, the Potters and their friends were "the young ones" in the Order at that time. As far as Hagrid referring to Sirius as "young Sirius Black," I think that's just Hagrid's way of speaking. I seem to recall him referring to Harry as "young Harry" at some point. Of course, I could be just imagining that!

Aug 27, 2007, 1:23pm Top

28--> That is even more intriguing foggi! I never thought it out like that!

Aug 27, 2007, 1:24pm Top

re #24--> like you, Mar I pegged it down as being an intro so JK had to be formal but it still bothered me!

Aug 27, 2007, 1:27pm Top

I'm assuming that hagrid had him all day, prehaps at his hut at Hogwarts. They couldn't simply walk up the front walk of #4 in the middle of the day and hand him over. that would have been very suspicious. Plus again I think the cover of darkness might have been just in case V regained himself and came bursting on the scene.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:30pm Top

Now there's a thought, Polly! It might also explain why Hagrid was so cut up over leaving him at the Dursleys.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:37pm Top

#32 and #33 I imagine baby Harry was almost as much fun for Hagrid as a baby dragon.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:38pm Top

Ya gotta worry what hagrid tried to feed him!

Aug 27, 2007, 1:45pm Top

#28 yes, exactly. What day was Chpt 1? That would help answer some of those questions.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:47pm Top

Chapter one began on a Tuesday.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:50pm Top

Then foggi is right, there's just not enough time. Unless it's a week later, but then, who had Harry?

But all the wizard folk keep saying that "this is a great day" and "it'll be known as Harry Potter Day" like it just happened. And somehow everyone in the universe knows all about it.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:53pm Top

Halloween was on a Saturday in 1981 -- but I think I remember this being a blooper mentioned on Mugglenet or something, in an essay about the timing of this event.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:55pm Top

gosh I can't believe how jacked up this thread got so fast! my other thought with that polly is maybe it just took that long for Hagrid to fly there without being noticed. Minor Spoiler: **in seven it took them weeks to get to godrics hollow** Though I shudder at what Hagrid would have done with him.

My main question is what made McGonagall wait outside the Dursley's house all day. I really don't see a reason for that.

Aug 27, 2007, 1:56pm Top

But owls and wizard post travel fast. I would imagine word would spread like wildfire quickly - like it does during a national tragedy.

Plus we know (MILD SPOILER) the order can communicate with Patronuses.

The Harry Potter lexicon timeline points out that the 24 hours between the evening of the 31st and the 1st are missing.

I'd imagine they'd want to get Harry someplace safe and then there may have been an argument between Dumbledore and the ministry about what to do with Harry.

How McGonagall got her information about the Dursley's is a good question though.

Edited: Aug 27, 2007, 1:58pm Top

Why didn't Sirius take in Harry from the beginning? Sure, he was young and carefree, but he assumed the responsibility of godfather at Harry's birth. Surely, this includes taking him in in the event of something horrible, which, given the circumstances, was pretty likely.

Oh yeah, the Pettigrew thing. When was this supposed to have happened, anyway?

Edited: Aug 27, 2007, 2:05pm Top

#42 -- I think his first, hotheaded response was that he had to go after Pettigrew and clear his name, and then he could come back for Harry. He had no idea he would end up in Azkaban for the next twelve years.

ETA: I guess the Pettigrew thing must have happened on 2 November? Of course, it all fits nicely if we assume that Hagrid picked up Harry on the night of the 31st and kept him for a day -- then the Sirius/Pettigrew showdown could have taken place on 1 November, and by that evening the Dursleys would have been the only logical people to take him to. It's also not evident how many people knew that Sirius was Harry's godfather, and as was pointed out in another thread, "godfather" and "guardian" are not quite the same thing -- I think that blood relatives would trump that, and we know that Dumbledore had reasons for wanting Harry to be with his mother's family.

Aug 27, 2007, 2:00pm Top

littlegeek I suspect Sirus was busy trying to track down Peter Pettigrew.

Also the magic that protects Harry by living with a relative of his mother is never really explained but presumably the argument for why he has to live there.

A new McGonagall thought. Perhaps that is why Dumbledore chuckles to himself- she figure out where he would be and has been waiting. . .she is very clever.

Aug 27, 2007, 2:14pm Top

maybe...the thing with sirius can also be that dumbledore still thought that Sirius was the Potter's secret keeper, so he thought that Sirius had been in cahoots with voldy

Aug 27, 2007, 2:18pm Top

#45 -- True, g. I kept thinking that Dumbledore knew Pettigrew was Secret-Keeper, but come to think of it, he proably didn't, or he would have worked to get Sirius out of Azkaban, or at least told Harry the truth about him.

Aug 27, 2007, 2:19pm Top

*takes a little bow* thank you

Edited: Aug 27, 2007, 2:30pm Top

thanks gwpts, that makes sense!

Somehow, with everything else, Hagrid managed to get the message to McGonagall about Dumbledore being at the Dursley's. (pg 13) So, he must have decided pretty quickly what to do.

Although, reading between the lines, it looks like McG pumped Hagrid for info and he spilled like he always does. And it explains why she questions giving Hagrid the responsibility to retrieve Harry.

Aug 27, 2007, 2:28pm Top

I wonder if there is a definitive timeline out there on the internets somewhere. Maybe we'll have to wait until JKR puts out her encyclopedia or whatever it will be.

And we thought all the questions would be answered in DH!! Ha!

Aug 27, 2007, 2:30pm Top

is there ever away to answer all the questions though. There are just so many

Aug 27, 2007, 2:33pm Top

45 and 46 But Hagrid is using Sirius bike and Dumbledore doesn't seem alarmed. I don't think the Pettigrew incident happens until a little later or it is happening at the same time Harry is being delivered to privet drive.

49 LG there is a pretty good timeline on the HP Lexicon site but it would be nice to have the diffinitive encyclopedia wouldn't it.

I have to feel sympathy for JKR can you imagine having scores of people scouring your work and pointing out inconsistencies.

Aug 27, 2007, 2:34pm Top

#51 -- sympathy, yes, but on the other hand, it's all people who really love her books that are doing this sort of scrutiny.

Aug 27, 2007, 2:37pm Top

Here's two more items from my notes:

1. First sign of Harry's compassion: how he feels sympathy for the snake in the zoo. Of course, he's pretty much in the same position, except without the idiots tapping on the glass.

2. On page 55 it says James was made Head Boy. A bit unlikely, since Lupin was the good one and a prefect!

Aug 27, 2007, 2:38pm Top

#51 JKR is human. She's allowed, especially with a work of this kind of scope. We're the idiots for spending so much time dissecting it!

Aug 27, 2007, 2:38pm Top

oi hey, cuz you have to be prefect first but sirius said that they didn't
and I know in other books they mention james as head boy as well

Aug 27, 2007, 2:40pm Top

#53 -- I thought to be Head Boy you had to be either Prefect or Quidditch Captain -- and I think James was the latter.

Aug 27, 2007, 2:40pm Top

#51 yes Foggi that's true and she now has her castle and everything.

#52 I love the snake bit. Oh and I wish at some point in the series we got to see how James changed. I imagine he did after Lily and we didn't get to see the tranformation

I wonder if Lupin was passed over for similar reasons to Harry. I mean can you accomplish head boy duties if you have to disappear to the shrieking shack every month.

Aug 27, 2007, 2:41pm Top

#56 Well, he's also too much of a badboy to get chosen, one would think!

Aug 27, 2007, 2:41pm Top

#54 -- Oh, I probably wasn't clear. I was thinking that, because it's people who love the books that are doing the scrutiny, she might not mind so much. It's got to be flattering how many people really love this series!

Aug 27, 2007, 2:42pm Top

i didnt' think about the qudditch captain thing but maybe?

Aug 27, 2007, 2:43pm Top

#58 -- I don't know -- yeah, he was a little wild, but didn't they indicate that he settled down in his sixth and seventh years?

Aug 27, 2007, 2:49pm Top

maybe...but can you be named a prefect in your six year if you weren't in your fifth year?

Aug 27, 2007, 2:50pm Top

Oh, I wasn't indicating that he was a prefect -- I don't think he ever was! But I do think he was Quidditch captain, and had shown himself mature enough to be Head Boy by his 7th year.

Aug 27, 2007, 2:59pm Top

Did anyone laugh when Harry said he wouldn't blow up the house? There's Marge, and the fact that Harry had no idea yet that he was a wizard. But now I feel bad for suggesting someone laughing at this scene, since the Potters house in Godric Hollow was, after all, blown up.

Aug 27, 2007, 3:01pm Top

#64 -- Interesting. . . I wonder if the Dursleys knew what happened to the Potters' house in Godric's Hollow?

Aug 27, 2007, 3:05pm Top

Perhaps that was further incitemen for their treatment of Harry - fear that they were now in the same danger of a world they didn't fully understand.

Aug 27, 2007, 3:10pm Top

#65 foggi:
Something makes me think they did know, but I don't know if I'm mixing up the movies with the books.

Aug 27, 2007, 3:12pm Top

that is interesting since DD left a letter and petunia does admit in a fit of rage "...and then she went and got herself blown up!..."

Aug 27, 2007, 3:15pm Top

hadn't thought of that p...maybe Petunia does know more then she cares to admit

Aug 27, 2007, 3:21pm Top

Oh, I think she knew a good bit, about what happened to the Potters, and about the Wizarding world in general. We know she kept in touch with Lily, because (minor spoiler for book 7) Lily mentions Harry breaking a vase Petunia had sent in her letter to Sirius.

Aug 27, 2007, 3:48pm Top

Now we can't keep skipping ahead we have to analize the first book ONLY at this time. We don't know any of that other stuff yet!

Aug 27, 2007, 3:53pm Top

*practices her wide-eyed innocent look again* But Polly, we were discussing the first book, where Harry is left with the Dursleys!

Actually, discussing the book in light of what we know from later books is mostly what has made this thread so interesting.

Aug 27, 2007, 3:55pm Top

grumble grumble...whatever

Aug 27, 2007, 4:03pm Top

The innocence is gone, that's why we're doing the reread! Or so I thought.

polly, you should be proud of me that I held off of my sudden brainstorm about Goblet of Fire. I'll wait.

Aug 27, 2007, 4:06pm Top

A little while at least

Aug 27, 2007, 4:15pm Top

that's what i thought LG was we were looking at the books now that we know everything

Aug 27, 2007, 4:52pm Top

# 68 Polly,

It is interesting that we never see the contents of the letter Dumbledore left with Harry. We don't know how much he chose to tell them. You would think he would tell them if he thought they would be put in danger too.

Aug 27, 2007, 4:59pm Top

gwpts, I thought you weren't doing the reread. Wasn't there something about Fred grief and too much school?

Edited: Aug 27, 2007, 5:03pm Top

I didn't do the reread...

this is all from my very freakish memory

Aug 27, 2007, 5:08pm Top

I am intrested in how Rowling introduces the magical world.

We get the putter outer and McGonagall transforming, we have Harry's hair and the glass at the zoo and the snake but then we get Hagrid and he is very magical.

I love the way stuff is always coming out of Hagrid's pockets. It isn't just a cake but sausages and tea and a kettle and pan.

I also think she is particularly good with descriptions of food.

Aug 27, 2007, 5:10pm Top

Hagrid's pockets are like Hermione's bag! (oops, I'm not supposed to know that yet am I?....or am I?....eek!)

Aug 27, 2007, 5:19pm Top

Hi LadyN! I think you are fine. It is nice that it explains the pockets. But then I also imagine Hagrid's pockets would be large anyway.

Aug 27, 2007, 5:28pm Top

Too true, too true!

Aug 27, 2007, 5:28pm Top

I didn't see Hagrid's pockets as magical -- just extremely large. Of course, that's the sort of magic he'd do on the sly, to make his pockets big enough to carry everything he needs!

Aug 27, 2007, 5:30pm Top

I was making a fun comparison really - I'm more inclined to think of them as giant pockets. Which of course they are! Dear me...bed time! Catch you all later!


Aug 27, 2007, 6:29pm Top

okay okay! discuss anything you like! Don't hurt me!
I agree about the food, a harry potter feast makes me hungry!
and Hagrid is amusing with all that comes from his pockets!
Hermione's bag reminds me of Mary poppins bag too.

Aug 28, 2007, 6:47am Top

Okay moving on, can you see any real life parralells in the Harry Potter stories, for instance, Do you know someone who is prejudiced against another group or race?

Aug 28, 2007, 8:20am Top

Fun Question, no right or wrong answer: How many colors can you remember being mentioned in the first four chaps?

I noticed thru the whole series what a marvelous use of color JKR employed!

Aug 28, 2007, 8:52am Top

88--> purple like Vernons face...

87--> Sure, haven't the "higher classes" always shunned the less fortunate?

Aug 28, 2007, 9:12am Top

but sometimes its not the higher classes, sometimes for no reason people don't like other people, Would you avoid a child at school because he wore clothes that were too big? or had broken glasses all the time? How many times were you warned to avoid a certain child or family? I was. I was also priviledged to be in a class in third grade with the first black child in our school (1960) I was told to avoid her by my parents because she could "cause trouble" She was a nice girl and I walked her home that first day because she told me she was scared to walk alone, so I walked her to her house in an area I had never been before. knowing I had disobeyed my parents was preying on my mind so i politely declined her mother's offer of milk and a cookie, and started home. Don't you know I got lost and when I finally found my way home, I had to tell where I'd been, My mother said "see I knew that colored girl would get you into trouble!" I think I lost a lot of respect for my mother at that point in time. It was so unfair! But I did not disobey again and that little girl stopped coming to our school after a week or so, I guess they moved.

Aug 28, 2007, 9:13am Top

sorry, I didn't mean to lecture

Aug 28, 2007, 11:12am Top

When I moved to Missouri in high school, I got warned by many people not to talk to the black kids. Coming from California, this seemed completely bizarre to me. Especially since they were also always going on about how "sinful" California was.

I had black friends, get over it, Baptist bigots!

Aug 28, 2007, 12:41pm Top

New York is such a melting pot.... I've never had any problems because of my race..

My own mother tho, has a preconceived idea that bothers me. I have olive skin, and she has said to me a few times "you're pretty for someone with dark skin" for someone with dark skin? Me own sweet mum!! But its not just her, my people can be so small minded sometimes.

My stepfather's grandmother tho, used to spit on the ground if ever she say a dark-skinned person.

Aug 28, 2007, 12:54pm Top

The closest thing I can think of is this: I attend church with a lot of people from the middle east -- Syria, Jordan, Lebanon. . . . After 9/11, there were undercurrents of very real fear, because they shared an enthic (though not a religious) background with the terrorists. For a long time, a lot of people were keeping a very low profile because they were afraid of retaliation from people who can't tell the difference between a terrorist and a decent law-abiding citizen -- who assume that distinction can be determined by the color of your skin. Grr!

Aug 28, 2007, 1:15pm Top

I have a friend who is 1/2 Mexican and 1/2 Irish. She looks Middle Eastern, and after 9/11 she got lot of scary looks. What is wrong with people, anyway!!!!???!!!

Aug 28, 2007, 3:01pm Top

okay peeps on to thenext chapter!

Aug 28, 2007, 7:07pm Top

my parents weren't so bad but whenever I met new kids people were wary. Sometimes it makes me laugh that kids are so willing to trust and be friends (look at stories of Martin Luther King Jr. and his white childhood friends) Kids don't judge by skin, they judge by personality.

Even if my parents had told me not to talk to kids with different features then mine I would have ignored them (like I do with almost anything). I hate people who are closed minded, and I hate people who act different because you look different. Like when people look at me and see my white skin and larger chest they assume I'm a moron and a (rhymes with witch) when I'm really just the second one!

I love how little kids trust each other ,not matter the different looks, we can learn stuff from kindergardener!

Sorry I got so distracted but it seemed important

Aug 28, 2007, 9:16pm Top

Loads of people are mixed where I live. Race/ethnicity has never mattered to me.

Aug 29, 2007, 1:41am Top

My dad is one of those people who hates Africans because he thinks they are biologically inferior, that somehow their race makes them more prone to crime and a lower IQ. He also thinks all Muslims are terrorists, which drives me insane. Why are some people so damn willing to believe things that aren't true?!

Aug 29, 2007, 7:02am Top

I don't get it either. its stupid!

Aug 29, 2007, 7:09am Top

CHAPTERS 5,6,7,8 now added to our discussion.

hagrid said he flew to the hut on the rock. How do you think he did it?

Aug 29, 2007, 8:05am Top

Whoa! That was quick! Now I'm behind! (Good thing I'm a fast reader -- will catch up ASAP.)

Aug 29, 2007, 8:07am Top

#101 -- Wonder if he flew on a thestral or a hippogryph (sp?). Then he could have sent it home; either of those would have been smart enough to fly home on its own.

Aug 29, 2007, 11:07am Top

Um, foggi? Did you read three chapters in two minutes? ;)

Aug 29, 2007, 11:07am Top

Hey!!! It was 4 chapters a week, not 4 chapters whenever polly felt like moving on!!!

Aug 29, 2007, 11:08am Top

I thought it was per week, too.

Aug 29, 2007, 11:09am Top

I have it all worked out to read 4 chapters every Sunday evening. I have other stuff to do. OK?

Aug 29, 2007, 11:21am Top

I also have other things to do.

Polly? Please please weekly?

Aug 29, 2007, 11:31am Top

okay. i just thought you were all getting bored!

Aug 29, 2007, 11:40am Top

I have classes for that. ;)

Aug 29, 2007, 11:44am Top

ohhhh, my bad!

Aug 29, 2007, 11:45am Top

Isn't Hagrid coming to the hut chapter 4 anyway? I do remember reading about that. Back on Sunday.

Maybe Hagrid's magic pink umbrella flew him. Like Mary Poppins.

Aug 29, 2007, 11:56am Top

Yes hagrid comes to the hut in Chap four but doesn't mention flying there till chap five.
i tend to agree with threstrals or hippogriffs

Aug 29, 2007, 12:03pm Top

This is off-topic, but did anyone think of Mary Poppins during the PoA movie when Harry was playing quidditch (in the scene with the umbrella)?

Aug 29, 2007, 12:34pm Top

well I don't think I did...but its been awhile

Aug 29, 2007, 12:54pm Top

Oh, you must re-watch it with MEM! :)

Aug 29, 2007, 1:10pm Top

I did. As for Hagrid's umbrella, remember it can do magic because his snapped wand is embedded in the handle. Therefore it can't do anything a wand in this universe can't do. As we never see evidence of a flying spell using a wand independent of a broom, I doubt he flew to the cabin using his umbrella.

Aug 29, 2007, 2:34pm Top

#117 - Hmmmm...except that we aree lead to believe that Voldemort taught Snape how to fly in DH... Although I agree it's unlikely for Hagrid to have done it!

Aug 29, 2007, 2:40pm Top

#118 -- Yeah, but that was seen as pretty dark magic (how dark is debatable; maybe just really complex, but we're not to that book yet, so we can argue about it then!), as well as being a recent development in book 7, so I agree that Hagrid's being able to do it in book 1 is really unlikely.

Aug 29, 2007, 3:07pm Top

#119 - Totally agree!

Aug 29, 2007, 7:57pm Top

#116 thanks for volunteering me for that Kerian...gggrrrr 8) Thanks but I've seen Mary Poppins a nauseating number of times8) Most movies sour after the three hundred times watched mark. And sadly after years of having fun poked at with my oh so hated name I've developed a dislike for anything that shares my name. (except for Tom Petty's Mary Jane's Last dance-rock on MR PETTY) Oh wait are you talking about SS? oh I haven't seen that in years so I'd be willing for a re watch to see if I spot anything Mary Poppinsish. 8) heheehe

Aug 29, 2007, 9:49pm Top

113 *slight spoiler* Doesn't he say he is to big for Threstrals in book seven? That is why he took the motorbike. Others rode the Threstrals.

Aug 30, 2007, 6:55am Top

Yes thats so

Aug 30, 2007, 10:56am Top

I would imagine too big for a thestral is also too big for a broomstick. Can you picture Hagrid on a broomstick?

Aug 30, 2007, 3:19pm Top

it had to be by thestral! Maybe he rode two? Maybe he didn't fly so much as jump? from the mainland to the hut on the rock. maybe he got to the dock and summoned a threstral from there and just kinda jumped, holding on to it?

Aug 30, 2007, 3:20pm Top

OR (forgive me) he apparated, isn't that a form of flying?

Aug 30, 2007, 3:22pm Top

Maybe JKR hadn't figured out all the magic yet, so she hadn't thought of apparating. polly, or any other total geek among us? When did she first mention apparition?

Aug 30, 2007, 3:25pm Top

I remember it in book two....not sure about one!

Aug 30, 2007, 4:09pm Top

127 I also think when JKR wrote it, she maybe didn't consider flying anything special in the magical world. I don't really remember flying unaided even mentioned until the last book where it became something special. I had read SS/PS many times before DH and never really took any notice of Hagrid flying until after DH.

Aug 31, 2007, 7:15am Top

I wonder if Book one had not been such a success if she would have finished the series

Aug 31, 2007, 8:19am Top

Now there's a sobering thought, Polly! But I think it would have had to really flop in order for her not to finish the series -- there are a lot of series out there that are only modestly successful, but as long as they're selling, the publishers don't drop them.

Aug 31, 2007, 8:23am Top

yeah really polly way to bring down the mood with that thought!

Aug 31, 2007, 9:29am Top

MAybe he hooped on a plane from Gatwick. Or got John Travolta to fly him in his private jet. ;-)

Aug 31, 2007, 9:39am Top

Sorry! Just a stray thought! shooshoo thought, go on shoo!

Sep 3, 2007, 12:10pm Top


Ok, then, I'll start. These four chapters are where I fell in love with the whole world of Harry. So much world-building!

So many things from Chapter 5 figure heavily in book 7.

Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! is one of the most hilarious and intriguing introductions of any character in fiction. I believe they left it out of the movie, too. How stupid was that?

Sep 3, 2007, 1:29pm Top

LG, I think that line was what made Dumbledore one of my favorite characters! I hate that they left it out of the movie.

Do we want a new thread for these chapters (5-8), or shall we just continue here? I think that continuing was Polly's intention, but this thread could get really long if we use it for the whole book.

Sep 3, 2007, 1:40pm Top

I always love the description of Diagon Ally. For some reason that place was always so alive for me, and after Hogwarts and the Burrow it was the one place I always wanted to go

I also giggle at the stuff with the owl and the paper. For some reason I just laugh at harry has no clue whats going on

Sep 3, 2007, 4:15pm Top

I'm including a blanket SPOILER warning for this post, rather than peppering them throughout. If you haven't read Book 7, you may want to skip my comments here.

Other people have remarked that, in various books in the series, the story doesn't seem to really get started until they get to Hogwarts -- which can make DH drag on quite a bit, since they don't get there until near the end of the book. Hogwarts seems to "make" the series for a lot of people, maybe because Rowling does such a good job of expressing how much Harry loves the place.

One of the things I noticed in Chapter 8, is that Harry feels that Hagrid knows something about Snape that he's not telling. Now, obviously Hagrid knows a lot about Snape, including his Death Eater connections, and the fact that Dumbledore trusts him (as DD trusts Hagrid, for that matter). But one of the times that Harry gets this feeling is when he asks Hagrid why Snape would hate him (Harry) so much. Now, I'm guessing that Snape and Lily's childhood friendship was pretty much common knowledge -- but I do wonder how many people knew (or guessed) that Snape was in love with Lily, and if Hagrid was one of those people. Or did Hagrid just know of Snape's antagonism for James and the rest of the Marauders, and assume that was the reason Snape disliked Harry?

Sep 3, 2007, 8:34pm Top

Hmmm...i don't think hagrid knew about snapes love for Lily I think it was just the bad feeling between James and Snape

Well okay if we are ready for a new thread for discussion of chapters 5 thru 9 I'll go start it!

Oct 1, 2007, 4:59pm Top

I REALLY coudn't bolive that SAPE liked LILLY, no wonder snape hates Harry so much, because he looks like James, wich everyone knows, HE DESPISES!

Ps: My friend went on www.youtube.com and found this cute video called "harry potter puppet pals: the misteriouse ticking noise?" with 17,757,149 viewers!

Snape, Snape, Severus Snape!

GO HARRY POTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Mar 25, 2008, 7:37pm Top

I know I know, this thread is really old, but I'm listening to SS right now and I have things to say.

Why is McGonagall able to sit on a wall all day on a school day? Even if they gave the kids a holiday, shouldn't she have been there since Dumbledore was probably running all over the country?

I'm pretty sure I had something else, but I can't think what it is right now.

Mar 25, 2008, 7:41pm Top

Don't do that!!! I almost had a heart attack!
grumble grumble resurrecting threads I missed while I'm not looking grumble grumble. :o)

Mar 25, 2008, 7:43pm Top

Ignore JP
and I guess Dumbledore knew what was important and what wasn't

Mar 25, 2008, 7:43pm Top

Sorry jp, there's about to be another.

Mar 25, 2008, 7:45pm Top

Yeah, but it's McGonagall I'm wondering about. It seems out of character for her to leave the school without her or Dumbledore when there are children there. Especially when so far all she knew was the rumor that Voldy was gone! I don't know why it struck me this time and not before, I guess that's the beauty of rereading these things!

Mar 25, 2008, 7:45pm Top

Thanks! I just like to be warned.
Some days we talk so much I wouldn't be surprised to see 141 new messages in 5 minutes.

Mar 25, 2008, 7:48pm Top

I think....I don't know, Dumbledore i think knew she was there
and i don't know, McGonagall tends to do things out of character. Besides they needed some way to start the story, but it wouldn't surprise me that McGonagall would be there.

Mar 25, 2008, 7:51pm Top

Also, this was 11 years before the story as we know it -- McGonagall might not have been the second-in-command at that point. Or even the head of Gryffindor house.

Mar 25, 2008, 7:52pm Top

oooooooo i hadn't thought of that!!

Was Dumbledore head master 11 years prior

Mar 25, 2008, 7:57pm Top

Yeah, Dumbledore became headmaster the year Lupin started, remember?

I did think about that too, the deputy headmistress thing. I still find it somewhat odd...like I said it was still just a rumor, she had to confirm it with Dumbledore. If she had to confirm it my guess is that classes would still be in session. So she didn't have to teach? (I'm assuming it was a school day because we know Vernon went to work that day and of course it was November.)

Mar 25, 2008, 7:58pm Top

I guess I always thought Harry's parents died in the summer, now that we know the dates, it does seem odd that McG left the school.

Mar 25, 2008, 7:59pm Top

i guess another teacher could have covered her classes

Mar 25, 2008, 8:00pm Top

Obviously Dumbledore wasn't mad at her. Like I said it just struck me as interesting.

Mar 25, 2008, 8:02pm Top

Then again, how often does Dumbledore get mad?

Mar 25, 2008, 8:06pm Top

I can think of a few times. *Hugs self in glee at remembrance of a certain flashback scene in DH*

Mar 25, 2008, 8:08pm Top

Was Lupin in a different class from the other mauraders? If so, one of them could have been a prefect too.

Mar 25, 2008, 8:09pm Top

I know that James Potter was Head Boy. I don't know if you had to be a prefect in order to be Head Boy.

Mar 25, 2008, 8:11pm Top

Then why....wait, I'm posting this in the OotP thread.

Mar 25, 2008, 8:12pm Top

#157 I think he got Head Boy after being Quiddich captain.

#156 I'm pretty sure Lupin was in the same class as James, Sirius, et al Yeah, because remember in OotP they're all in their OWL test together!

#154 True.

Mar 25, 2008, 8:13pm Top

#157 -- I remember debating this on another thread. Or maybe it was this thread (not going to read through 150+ old posts to see). You had to be either a Prefect or head of the Quidditch team to be Head Boy/Girl -- Lupin was prefect, but James was head of the Quidditch team.

#156 -- LG, I'm almost certain that they were all in the same year. For one thing, it's implied in book 5 when Lupin and Sirius are talking about which of them got to be prefect, and Sirius says it was Lupin, rather than him or James.

Mar 25, 2008, 8:13pm Top

can you be Qudditch Captain and head boy. I know they get to use the same bathroom

Because Lupin says that no one woudl have made James a prefect, but he was one

Edited: Mar 25, 2008, 8:25pm Top

Stupid laptop!

anyhoo....how can you be too irresponsible to be a prefect in 5th year and head boy in 7th? That doesn't make any sense.

Mar 25, 2008, 8:32pm Top

#162 -- Apparently, James really got his head together around the end of his sixth year. Remember, when Harry is freaking out about how Lily reacted to him in "Snape's Worst Memory" (book 5), Lupin tells him that they didn't start dating until seventh year, when James had stopped being such a prat.

Edited: Mar 25, 2008, 8:36pm Top

I think that must be it too, but I agree that it is weird that James should get HB over not just Lupin but all the Prefects and QC's of the other three houses too. Perhaps this could be one of JKR's little oopsies. (I won't say math, I just think maybe she made him HB without really thinking or knowing what she was going to say to that effect in OotP yet.)

ETA: yay, I wanted to revive this thread a couple weeks ago when I first read it, but I hadn't started posting much yet and I thought it might be weird

Mar 25, 2008, 8:46pm Top

I'm glad you revived it!

I suspect that somewhere around his fifth or sixth year, James started to see what Voldemort was doing in the wider world, and as soon as he was or age, joined the Order of the Phoenix (in its first incarnation). I'm betting those experiences did a lot to help him grow up, as well as making him someone Lily could respect.

Mar 25, 2008, 8:49pm Top

Oooo, I really like that theory foggi! That certainly seems like a reasonable thing to have happened.

*whispers* I'm glad you're glad. I still felt a little weird doing it, but I really wanted to share my sudden insights and though since I could easily access this thread, it would be silly to start another one. :)

Mar 25, 2008, 9:40pm Top

hey, that's why we have a link to all the threads on the group page. I never tire of discussing Harry.

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