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Old April 24th, 2007, 7:21 am
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Keeper of the Mignon Eggs
 
Join Date: 16th February 2003
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Re: Frequently Asked Harry Potter Questions

ANIMALS AND MAGIC

Thestrals - why didn't Harry see them before OotP?:    


  
JKR's website, Section FAQWhy could Harry see the Thestrals 'Order of the Phoenix'? Shouldn't he have been able to see them much earlier, because he saw his parents/Quirrell/Cedric die?

I’ve been asked this a lot. Harry didn’t see his parents die. He was in his cot at the time (he was just over a year old) and, as I say in ‘Philosopher’s Stone’, all he saw was a flash of green light. He didn’t see Quirrell’s death, either. Harry had passed out before Quirrell died and was only told about it by Dumbledore in the last chapter.

He did, however, witness the murder of Cedric, and it is this that makes him able to see the Thestrals at last. Why couldn’t he see the Thestrals on his trip back to the train station? Well, I didn’t want to start a new mystery, which would not be resolved for a long time, at the very end of the fourth book. I decided, therefore, that until Harry is over the first shock, and really feels what death means (ie, when he fully appreciates that Cedric is gone forever and that he can never come back, which takes time, whatever age you are) he would not be able to see the Thestrals. After two months away from school during which he has dwelled endlessly on his memories of the murder and had nightmares about it, the Thestrals have taken shape and form and he can see them quite clearly.

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Crookshanks - an Animagus? Or what?:    


  
JKR's website, Section RumoursCrookshanks is an Animagus

No, he's not, but he's not pure cat either. If you buy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (all royalties to Comic Relief, which means you're helping some of the poorest children around the world) you might just be able to work out what Crookshanks really is.

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JKR's website, Section Extra Stuff-------
Crookshanks, as anybody who has read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will have guessed, is half Kneazle. And if you don't know what a Kneazle is, you need to hurry up and buy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (all royalties go to help some of the poorest children in the world).

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Fluffy - what happened to him?:    


  
Interview transcript (partial), Blue Peter (cBBC), 12 March, 2001Child: What happened to Fluffy and is Arabella Figg the same Mrs Figg in book one?

JKR: I love an ... I love attentive readers, erm, you tend to find at Hogwarts that, erm, anything that's dangerous ends up in the forest ... so that's where Fluffy was released, so he's roaming round in the forest ... erm, and, er, yes, Arabella Figg is Mrs Figg ... but you'll have to wait 'til book 5 to find out exactly where she fits into things ...

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The Marauder's Map - How did Fred and George find out how to use it?:    


  
The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three, 16 July 2005MA: How did they figure out how to work the map?

JKR: Don't you — well. This is how I explained it to myself at the time, and this does sound glib. Don't you think it would be quite a Fred and Georgeish thing to say in jest, and then see this thing transform?

MA: Yeah.

JKR: Can't you just see them?

ES: But the exact word combination? Is that just a lot of luck, or Felix Felicis —

JKR: Or, the map helped.

MA: Yep, yeah. You can see them sort of answering and joking with each other —

JKR: And the map flickering into life here and there when they got closer and closer, and finally they hit upon the exact right word combination and it just erupts.

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The Marauder's Map - Why didn't Fred and George notice Peter Pettigrew on it before?:    


  
JKR's website, Section FAQWhy didn't Fred and George notice Peter Pettigrew on the Marauder's Map before ("Prisoner of Azkaban")?

It would not have mattered if they had. Unless somebody was very familiar with the story of Sirius Black (and after all, Sirius was not Mr. and Mrs. Weasley's best friend – indeed, they never knew him until after he escaped from Azkaban), Fred and George would be unlikely to know or remember that Peter Pettigrew was the person Sirius had (supposedly) murdered. Even if Fred and George HAD heard the story at some point, why would they assume that the 'Peter Pettigrew' they occasionally saw moving around the map was, in fact, the man murdered years before?

Fred and George used the map for their own mischief-making, so they concentrated, naturally enough, on those portions of the map where they were planning their next misdeeds. And finally, you must not forget that hundreds of little dots are moving around this map at any given time… Fred and George did not know everyone in school by name, so a single unfamiliar name was unlikely to stand out.

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The Marauder's Map - How did Harry get it back after GoF:    


  
JK Rowling's World Book Day Chat, March 4, 2004HPFreak7: How did Harry get the Marauder's Map back, when Crouch Jr. had it last?
JK Rowling replies -> Loads of people have asked me this, I knew I should have shown Harry nipping into Moody's empty office and getting it back, but I assumed you'd all know that's what he did. Sorry!

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Veritaserum - why can't it be used in court to get confessions?:    


  
JKR's website, Section FAQVeritaserum plays a big part in finding out the truth from Mad-Eye Moody in book four. Why then is it not used for example in the trials mentioned in the same book? It would be much easier in solving problems like whether Sirius Black was guilty or not?

Veritaserum works best upon the unsuspecting, the vulnerable and those insufficiently skilled (in one way or another) to protect themselves against it. Barty Crouch had been attacked before the potion was given to him and was still very groggy, otherwise he could have employed a range of measures against the Potion - he might have sealed his own throat and faked a declaration of innocence, transformed the Potion into something else before it touched his lips, or employed Occlumency against its effects. In other words, just like every other kind of magic within the books, Veritaserum is not infallible. As some wizards can prevent themselves being affected, and others cannot, it is an unfair and unreliable tool to use at a trial.

Sirius might have volunteered to take the potion had he been given the chance, but he was never offered it. Mr. Crouch senior, power mad and increasingly unjust in the way he was treating suspects, threw him into Azkaban on the (admittedly rather convincing) testimony of many eyewitnesses. The sad fact is that even if Sirius had told the truth under the influence of the Potion, Mr. Crouch could still have insisted that he was using trickery to render himself immune to it.

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Last edited by Alastor; August 30th, 2007 at 8:52 pm.
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