Weekly Archive
September 1, 2002 - September 7, 2002

RE: TBAY: Canon College: DEs and Aurors 101

Professor Eileen Lucky-Kari smiled mysteriously over her wine glass at George, who amazingly enough, was smiling right back at her. He had been remarkably attentive all through dinner -- that is, if you didn't count the part during the soup course, when he had left her alone at the table for just ages to loiter by the restrooms and chat up the women seated near the kitchen. Or that unfortunate period of time when his attention had seemed utterly distracted by the brunette in the corner. Or that bit of egregious flirtation with the busboy. Still, the Professor figured that all of those things had been pretty funny, really. So they probably shouldn't count against him.

Right now, though, George was looking right at her. And doing something with his foot under the table that probably ought to have been exciting...although actually, it sort of tickled and was in fact beginning to get truly annoying. Still, the Professor thought that it was probably meant to be exciting. So she figured she should probably stop over-analyzing this entire experience and just try to enjoy it.

"George..." she began, then froze at the all too familiar sound of a rather hectoring voice. She glanced across the crowded restaurant with a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. Indeed, there she was, Professor Lucky-Kari's most temperamental student, Elkins, currently engaged in what appeared to be a heated debate with the matre d'.

The Professor put her wine glass down on the table and sighed wearily.

"Elkins found us," she said.

George blanched. He had always been a little bit afraid of Elkins.

Elkins, you see, was utterly immune to charisma.

Also, she didn't like red-heads.

"Can't we—" he began, but at that very moment Elkins came bustling up to the table. She had a sheet of parchment in one hand, and a decided expression of indignation on her face.

"Now why did I expect to see you here, Elkins?" Professor Lucky-Kari sighed.

"Well, Professor," said Elkins, somewhat out of breath. "Your secretary said that you weren't taking calls, and no one was answering your fireplace, and—"

"And so you thought that you'd track me down at a restaurant. Naturally. You know George, of course."

Elkins narrowed her eyes slightly.

"We've met," she said coldly.

"Elkins," said George, with equal warmth.

"This is about your marks," sighed the Professor. "Isn't it."

"Professor, I really must protest! A C! I mean, it's—"

"Average. A C means average, Elkins. You don't have a problem with being average, do you?"

"Well, I—"

"You aren't some sort of elitist, Elkins. Are you?"

"Well, I...I..." Elkins seemed briefly at a loss for words. The Professor resolved to enjoy this state of affairs while it lasted, which was not, sadly, for very long at all.

"I think," Elkins stated huffily. "That it must surely be clear to anyone who can take an unbiased view of things that a terrible miscarriage of justice has been—"

"Do you think I could have the short version, Elkins? You may have noticed that I'm eating dinner."

"The short version?" Elkins blinked. "Um...of course, Professor. Of course. Well. First off, I don't know if I really think that Cindy should have received just as much credit as I did for her response to the question about precisely what Crouch authorized his Aurors to do. I mean, I did a close reading. I cited canon. I carefully parsed Sirius' canonical statement about the changes instituted under Crouch and evaluated its meaning. And I think that my conclusion—that what Crouch in fact authorized his aurors to do was to kill rather than to capture, in other words, to kill people who could instead have been apprehended—was perfectly sound. In fact, you said so yourself, Professor."

"Yes. And you received full credit for it. Your point?"

"Well, but you also gave full credit to Cindy, now, didn't you? And what Cindy said...well, it just didn't make sense, Professor! She said that it was perfectly acceptable for Aurors to be going around shooting suspects in the back!"

"She did have all of those law books, Elkins."

"Oh, books! Books, schmooks! There are more important things than books. Things" Elkins thought for a long moment, then shook her head. "Oh," she said. "Oh, well. Actually, I can't think of anything more important than books right now. Damn!"

"Did you have a point, Elkins?"

"Yes! The point here is that Cindy said:

Now, it is entirely possible that, before Crouch authorized the use of the Unforgiveables, the wizarding rules didn't allow aurors to shoot suspects in the back at all. Aurors had to try to hit them with some spell and capture them if they were trying to flee.

Which is precisely what I said! But then she went on to say that this was a good thing. She said:

After all, we don't know that there would be no accountability if an Auror didn't follow established procedure and killed on sight or something. As Elkins said, the wizarding world does have a justice system, and there's no reason to think Aurors had immunity for criminal action if they abused their authority according to whatever procedural requirements were established.

"But we do know that! Or at least we can infer it. Because Sirius said—"

"Do we always believe everything that Sirius says, Elkins?" Professor Lucky-Kari interrupted gently.

"Well...well, no. But...but, oh look! Cindy was arguing from real world law, to prove that it is possible that Crouch was merely expanding the laws of the WW to conform with what is well within the bounds of what we Muggles would consider perfectly reasonable and commonplace: namely, to permit the police to shoot suspects who might prove a danger if they were permitted to escape. Right?"


"But why should we consider this reasonable? Or commonplace?"

"Well," said George. "Cindy is basically right that police have the authority to kill in situations where they are not immediately defending themselves or bystanders."

"You're a Snapetheory, George," snapped Elkins. "You stay out of this."

"But George has a point," said the Professor. "Obviously if the law does not allow such an action, then it really ought to. To do otherwise would be just so contrary to common sense!"

"Whose common sense?" demanded Elkins. "Don't you think that's a very American view, Professor? Uh," she added quickly. "A very North American view, I mean. North American. After all, Cindy was arguing from US law. But JKR's Wizarding World isn't an analogue of the US at all, is it? It's an analogue of the UK. And in the UK,

the police are not normally armed. Only certain officers are allowed to bear arms and the circumstances under which they are allowed to bear, and even more to use arms are strictly controlled. Any police killing is news-worthy and ends up in an inquiry. I don't think we really have a concept (certainly not a publically perceived concept) of the police being "allowed" to kill under certain circumstances: any police killing will have to be justified according to its individual merits.

"So you see, Crouch's measures really do constitute unusual war-time—"

"Elkins!" Professor Lucky-Kari said sharply. "Whose work was that?"

Elkins opened her eyes very wide. "What?" she asked innocently.

"I saw angle brackets, Elkins. That wasn't your own work. Whose was it?"

"It's not..." Elkins sighed. "Oh, all right. Fine. It was Eloise's. But the point—"

"Really, Elkins! Even if the angle brackets hadn't given the show away, that 'we' certainly would have. We all know that you're a..." The Professor paused meaningfully. "A North American."

"I didn't mean to plagiarize," muttered Elkins. "I just—"

"Plagiarism isn't the issue here, Elkins. Misattribution is." The Professor reached down to draw a slim metal ruler out of her purse. "You know how we feel about misattribution here on the list."

Elkins sighed. She held out her palm and looked away.

"I'm still skeptical about the idea that the right to kill fleeing suspects would have been a war-time measure only," said Professor Lucky-Kari, taking Elkins' hand firmly in her own. "After all," she said, "the WW is a lot Tougher than the muggle world." She laid the ruler lightly across Elkins' palm, eyes fixed on her face. "It seems almost impossible to believe that they wouldn't have allowed their Aurors to kill fleeing suspects, even before Crouch."

"It doesn't—" Elkins began, then made a small high noise in the back of her throat, as she felt the ruler leave her palm. The Professor smiled lazily, then let go of her hand.

"Let's just let it pass this time, shall we?" she said pleasantly. "You're really not much good with physical pain. Are you, Elkins."

Elkins opened her eyes. She jerked her hand back to her side and glared at the Professor with an expression of pure hatred.

"Thanks," she muttered, after a long moment. She took a deep breath. "It doesn't seem impossible to me," she said. "This is a society that has declared the Avadra Kedavra 'Unforgiveable,' isn't it? And yet, as you yourself have mentioned, it seems like a merciful enough death. Not a bad way to go, really. And yet, it is held to be Unforgivable by this society. So I think that we can run into some error if we take the 'warrior culture' motif too far. In some ways, it is. In others, it is not. And I think that we are meant to understand that in its judicial practices, at any rate, the Wizarding World isn't analogous to a warrior culture at all. It's—"

"But that's where I'm skeptical," interrupted the Professor. "Crouch relaxing a few safeguards, I can see. But not his having to do away with a law that NEVER EVER allowed the auror to shoot the Fleeing Suspect in the back. Who would make that law? Can you imagine the Romans passing such a law?"

"Well, can you imagine the Romans abolishing capital punishment?" retorted Elkins. "And yet apparently, the Wizarding World has done just that. In the Pensieve sequence in GoF, Crouch calls his son's crimes 'a crime so heinous that we have rarely heard the like of it within this court.' The mob is hissing and jeering. And yet no one even raises the possibility of death as a possible sentence. Can you really imagine Brutus sentencing his son to life in prison?"

A dreamy expression crossed Professor Lucky-Kari's face. "Crouch was like Brutus," she mused. "Wasn't he."

"He was, rather," agreed Elkins.

"I have dreams sometimes," sighed the Professor. "Dreams about trembling in the dock, with Bartemius Crouch presiding over my tribunal—"

"For God's sake, Professor," hissed Elkins. "Pull yourself together!" She paused, glanced quickly around the restaurant, then leaned in close, to whisper urgently in the Professor's ear. "In those dreams of yours, are you actually guilty? Or do you stand falsely accu—"

George cleared his throat.

Elkins jumped. "Er," she stammered. "Um, yeah. Well. Yes. But anyway, the Brutus analogy really is quite clear. Crouch was doing a Brutus. So he surely would have been calling for the death sentence, if one had existed, don't you think? His wife would have been prevailing on him to spare their son's life. It would have come up. Instead, he calls for life imprisonment, and she faints dead away. Nor is the crowd disappointed in Crouch. They're all hissing and screaming as if they'd just won the...the Vengeance Lottery or something..."

"There's a Vengeance Lottery?" murmered George.

"I'd say that life in Azkaban is the most severe sentence one can receive, wouldn't you?"

"Actually, I—"

"Ah!" interrupted Elkins. "What about the Dementor's Kiss, I hear you cry? Well! The Dementor's Kiss has only been authorized twice that we know of in canon. Once for Sirius Black, and once for young Crouch. Both of them Azkaban escapees. So the implication here seems to be that the Kiss is only used for those who have proven that the wizarding prison cannot hold them by virtue of escaping from it. It's a last ditch effort."

"Actually," the Professor began again. "I—"

"But there's no death penalty, Professor."


"There's no death penalty."

"Elkins!" snapped the Professor. "I agree with you about the death penalty."

"You do?" Elkins blinked. "Oh. Oh, well. All right, then. So you see my point, I trust. When it comes to the WW's judicial system, the analogy that we want to be looking to in order to evaluate Crouch's measures is not Livian Rome. And it's not the United States, either. It's a place that has no death penalty. It's a place that does not ordinarily countenance weapons (read, 'spells') that make it very easy to kill someone instantly. It's a place without a gun culture, in other words. The analogue here is contemporary Britain. No death penalty. And no shooting fleeing suspects in the back. Not under normal circumstances, at any rate. Only in times of war, or as a special measure taken against terrorist activities. It is an unusual circumstance, Professor. For an Auror to use AK on the hypothetical Fleeing Suspect is not business as usual in the Wizarding World. Warrior culture or no."

The Professor thought about this, then shook her head doubtfully. "I still think you'd have to be a bleeding heart of the bloodiest variety to ban all lethal force in the case of the Fleeing Suspect," she said.

"Do you?" Elkins glanced down at her own heart, then shrugged. "Well, but wizards have options that we muggles don't, don't they? Take that binding spell,for example. We've already seen it used three times, by three different wizards, in the canon. Snape uses it to immobilize Lupin in the Shrieking Shack. Shortly thereafter, Lupin himself uses it to restrain Peter. And then Peter uses it in GoF, to bind Harry to the gravestone. It would certainly seem to be a very commonly known spell, don't you think? Snape doesn't even need his wand to cast it. He just snaps his fingers. Can you really imagine that trained Aurors wouldn't know it? For that matter, can you really imagine that they wouldn't be familiar with lots of different ways to prevent a suspect from fleeing, short of killing him? Muggles don't always have that option, but wizards? Wizards do. So it seems perfectly reasonable to me to believe that under normal circumstances, they would not be able to kill a Fleeing Suspect."

Elkins took a deep breath.

"Therefore," she concluded. "It is an extreme measure. The Aurors had just as many options open to them under Crouch's regime as they did before. There is still no reason for them to be practising the AK on people who have never been convicted, nor even formally accused, of any crime. Therefore, Cindy's argument that Crouch's authorization to kill should not be read as perilous does not hold."

Professor Lucky-Kari took a slow sip of her wine.

"Elkins," she said. "Why didn't you bring this any of this up during the actual exam?"

"I can't help it," whined Elkins. "I'm not any good with competition, Professor. I never have been. I can't stand the pressure. I just go all to pieces. I...well, I Crack."

"Well, that's certainly regrettable, but it's really not my problem, is it? You knew when you joined my class that I was sitting an oral examination. You really do have to Toughen up one of these days, you know."

"Well, I...well, okay, fair enough, but what about the second question, then? I give a complete answer, with canon, and then you give Avery and Cindy equal marks for a couple of lousy 'me toos?'"

The Professor sighed.

"Look, Elkins," she said. "You want to know the truth, here, I wanted to knock you down a bit for that

I think Crouch Sr. authorized Aurors to kill anyone they damn well felt like, with little or no accountability to anyone for their actions.

That was really overstating your case, don't you think? It was—"


"No, not over-analyzing. Strident. Strident and over-stated. And really pretty silly, too, when it comes right down to it. After all, you surely didn't mean to imply that Frank Longbottom was Avada Kedavring his neighbours for their tennis table while Crouch Sr. looked the other way, were you? That's Dekulakization, not the Potterverse!"

"Dekulakization?" repeated Elkins numbly.

"Yes. Dekulakiazation is—"

"I know what dekulakization is. I" Elkins shook her head, then laughed helplessly. "I, um, just really never thought that it was a word that I would see on this list. I mean, ever."

"'Dekulakization and Collectivization from 1921-1929 in Soviet Russia,'" said Professor Lucky-Kari smugly. "That was the title of a paper of mine that got a perfect mark. Naturally, I remember it quite well. In fact...what?" she asked Elkins, whose lips were twitching suspiciously. "WHAT?"

"Nothing." Elkins bit her lower lip. "It's, uh, nothing, Professor. I just, um, well...Well. Well, my. You really do identify with Percy Weasley, don't you?"

"Oh, shut up," the Professor told her.

"Not that I mind, Professor," added Elkins hastily. "I mean, I just love Percy. I defend him all the time! You've noticed that, Professor, surely. Haven't you? Haven't you?"

The Professor glanced down to the floor.

"Those shoes are Italian leather, Elkins," she said calmly. "If you really must do that, then kindly stick to the soles." She shook her head. "I really don't see Dekulakization as a realistic role-model for the Potterverse. And that's why I knocked down your marks. You were exaggerating. You have a terrible tendency to do that, you know."

"But I just can't help it, Professor! The instant that Sirius started talking about those Aurors, I just, just..."

"Just went all Alexandr Solzhenitsyn?"

"Well...yes. I suppose so."

"I know, Elkins. I know. But we really do have to stick with the canon, you know."

"But JKR worked for Amnesty International! Surely she felt exactly the same way!"

"You aren't really arguing that the reader's best guess as to authorial intent is canon, Elkins, are you?"

"Well, I, er, no. No, no, of course not. Absolutely not. But is it such a bad analogy, really? I mean, just look!" Elkins struggled up onto her knees, banging her head against the bottom of the table. "Ow." She fumbled in her pocket, drew out a battered book, and began leafing through it wildly. "Look!"

"Is that _The Gulag Archipelago?_" asked the Professor, with some interest. "That's one of my all-time favorite books!"

"Really? Mine too. Here we go. Section 10 f Article 58..."

"You mean, 'Propaganda or agitation, containing an appeal for the overthrow, subverting, or weakening of the Soviet power...and, equally, the dissemination or preparation or possession of literary materials of similar nature?'" asked the Professor, frowning.

"Yes. What Solzenitsyn has to say about that is: 'Such was the fearlessness of the great Power when confronted by the word of a subject! . . . . After all, anything which does not strengthen must weaken. Indeed, anything which does not completely coincide, subverts!'"

Elkins nodded enthusiastically.

"And then he quotes Mayakovsky," she said. "'And he who sings not with us today is against us!'"

"Yes, Elkins," agreed the Professor. "But what on earth does any of that have to do with this discussion?"

"It—" Elkins blinked. "Oh," she said. "Oh. No, sorry. Wrong thread. That quote was relevant to the Twins thread. No, no, this was the part I was looking for...

Lists of names prepared up above, or an initial suspicion, or a denunciation by an informer, or any anonymous denunciation, were all that was needed to bring about the arrest of the suspect, followed by the inevitable formal charge.

Now doesn't that sound familiar?"

"It doesn't sound like the Potterverse," said the Professor, shaking her head.

"Doesn't it? Just look at what we've seen of the situation under Crouch. Karkaroff gives a bunch of names, right? The only useful name we see him give is Rookwood. And then, the very next thing we see is Bagman's trial. Why was he arrested? Was there any evidence before his arrest, other than Rookwood's denunciation? Was there any evidence for Rookwood's arrest, other than Karkaroff's denunciation? Sirius says that Karkaroff 'put a load of other people in Azkaban in his place.' But the only genuinely useful name he gives in the Pensieve is Rookwood's. So Rookwood's arrest must have led to a whole slew of other arrests, and most of those people must not have been let free, as Bagman was. Was there hard evidence for any of those people to be arrested at all? Or were they just arrested on the say-so of other convicts?"

"We don't know," said the Professor strictly. "And there's no reason to suppose that there wasn't a perceived need to find some evidence against them before they were formally charged."

"Oh, yes there is!" cried Elkins. "Because of the Penseive Four! Both Sirius and Dumbledore admit that there was not much evidence against them at all. But even more than that, Sirius says that Crouch Jr. was 'definitely caught in the company of people I'd bet my life were Death Eaters -- but he might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.' In the wrong place at the wrong time? He was arrested and formallly charged. On what grounds? Sounds like an 'initial suspicion' to me. Or perhaps like an 'anonymous denunciation.' And then he was held in Azkaban awaiting trial. At his sentencing, he pleads with his father not to send him back to the dementors! So it really doesn't look to me as if there was any real evidence needed at all to file formal charges under Crouch's regime. If you're suspected for any reason at all, then you can be arrested, you can be formally charged, you can be thrown in with the dementors, and you can be subject to the Unforgivables!"

Elkins leafed wildly through her battered copy of _The Gulag Archipelago._ She found another bookmarked page and began reading.

People have speculated about a Tibetan potion that deprives a man of his will, and about the use of hypnosis. Such explanations must by no means be rejected: if the NKVD possessed such methods, clearly there were no moral rules to prevent resorting to them. Why not weaken or muddle the will?

She slammed her book shut with an air of mad triumph.

"Why not, indeed?" she cried. "But unlike the NKVD, the WW did have moral rules preventing them from using that technique. Until Crouch got his hands on them, that is. And then, here, when Solzenitsyn talks about torture..."

"I know all about the chapter on torture, Elkins," said Professor Lucky-Kari quietly.

"You do? Oh." Elkins' gaze fell on the Professor's old battered FEATHERBOAS. "Oh, right, of course you do, Professor, please forgive me. Of course. Then naturally you remember the clause about 'in view of the extraordinary situation prevailing....interrogators were allowed to use violence and torture on an unlimited basis, at their own discretion...'"

"I know all about the chapter on torture, Elkins," repeated Professor Lucky-Kari grimly.

"Right. So you see what I'm saying, don't you? My image of the WW under Crouch as falling into the abyss of Stalinist Russia may have been a bit exaggerated, but there are plenty of indications that in some ways, it really isn't all that absurd parallel to be drawing. Just ask JOdel, will you? JOdel agrees with me! She said that the Lestranges deserved a medal for saving the WW from totalitarianism!"

"Well...possibly," conceded the Professor. "Possibly. Although I really can't see Bartemius Crouch countenancing Aurors AK'ing people in the back and then confiscating their belongings, like happened under Stalin. Can you?"


"Can you? Honestly, now, Elkins. Honestly."

"Honestly?" Elkins struggled for a moment with this concept, then sighed. "No," she admitted. "I guess not. Crouch was a man of honor. He did release Karkaroff in exchange for his information, just like he said he would, and in spite of the fact that Aurors like Moody would have preferred to 'throw him back to the dementors.' And people were acquitted under his regime. All of those Death Eaters got off the hook, and so did Bagman. Crouch wasn't Stalin."

"No," agreed Lucky-Kari severely. "He most certainly was not. And that is why you didn't get your A, Elkins. Well...that, and Frank Longbottom. You know perfectly well that Dumbledore liked Frank Longbottom. So he couldn't have been so bad either. Just like Cindy said."

"But that's was my argument, not Cindy's!" objected Elkins. "I used that argument all the way back in January, to explain to Eric Oppen why I couldn't bring myself to believe that Frank Longbottom Was Judge Dredd On Acid! Cindy was stealing my argument!"

"Well, if you didn't want Cindy to steal your argument, then you shouldn't have left an opening for her to do so by making that ridiculous attempt to smear poor Crouch by painting him as a Stalin figure, with the Aurors as his bluecaps. I'm sorry, Elkins. The C stands."


"It stands, Elkins."


"My dinner is cooling, Elkins."

Elkins opened her mouth once more to object, snapped it shut, turned on one heel, and then turned back.

"It was the gum, wasn't it?" she hissed venemously.


"It was. It was the gum. There's bias in play here. Bias, pure and simple. It''re...I...I mean, all right. All right. I can see you favoring Cindy. But Avery, Professor? Avery? Over me?"

The Professor shrugged. "I like Avery," she said.

"Who CARES if you like him?" screamed Elkins. "THat's not the point! The point is whether he is a good STUDENT or not! And that has absolutely no bearing on whether or not you happen to LIKE him! It—"

"He gave me gum," said Lucky-Kari simply.

"So WHAT? What does gum have to do with academic—"

"It reveals character. All behavior reveals character. And distributing gum shows a generous spirit."

"A generous SPIRIT? He's a Death Eater!"

"Yes, but a very generous one. That really mitigates things, don't you think? And besides, Elkins, I really don't think that labelling a nice fellow like Avery with a nasty term like 'Death Eater' is quite fair. It just seems...excessive, somehow."

"But he IS a Death Eater!"

"And besides," added the Professor. "He's funny."


"Yes. That scene in the graveyard really gave me a chuckle, the way he walked right into Voldemort's Cruciatus like that. Besides, he's such an insignificant character, isn't he? He's only had seven words of dialogue, and only one appearance, and that's been comedic. He's a Toon, really. He doesn't even warrant the second dimension. So it's sort of silly to go around calling him a Death Eater, don't you think?"

Elkins stared at her. "I..." she stammered. "I, I, I...but what does the fact that he's FUNNY have to do with his CHARACTER? What does the fact that he's TOONISH have to do with his BEHAVIOR? What does the fact that he's INSIGNIFICANT have to do with—"

"Oh, stop over-analyzing the text, will you," the Professor snapped irritably. "What difference does it make? It's just getting tedious. You know what your problem is, Elkins? You simply aren't a sympathetic character. That's your problem. It makes people want to see you taken down a peg."

"I'm not a sympathetic character? Me? Well, what about Cindy? Cindy proved herself capable of murder all the way back in February. Surely you haven't forgotten that, Professor?" asked Elkins desperately. "Surely you haven't forgotten that she tried to kill Avery?"

"Forgotten?" Professor Lucky-Kari raised an eyebrow. "Forgotten? Oh, no, Elkins. No, I assure you. My memory is as good as it ever was."

Elkins went very pale.

"Your grade," concluded the Professor calmly. "Stands."

The silence was broken by the clatter of an approaching cart.

"Dessert, Elkins?" asked George cheerfully, gesturing to the assorted sweets the waiter was bringing to the table.

Elkins glanced at the dessert cart. She snarled wordlessly, then swivelled on one heel and stalked out of the restaurant.

"That last bit was really uncalled for, George," said Professor Lucky-Kari, eyeing the chocolate mousse speculatively. "Don't you think?"

"Uncalled for?" George shrugged. "Who cares? It was funny."




RE: Whatever will become of the Marauder's Map?

Jeff wrote:

Remember, Dumbledore, who now, presumably, has the map, is the same person who gave James' invisibility cloak to Harry. Dumbledore knew how much trouble James and friends caused with that cloak. Why would he give it to Harry? Now, why wouldn't he return the Marauder's Map? :)

Olivia responded:

Because the map is illegal and dangerous.

Very much like the unauthorized use of a time-turner is both illegal and dangerous? Yet Dumbledore encourages just that at the end of PoA.

Because Harry gave the map to Barty Jr. and he used it to know when his father arrived at Hogwarts and was able to kill him before he got to Dumbledore. If the map fell into the wrong hands again anything could happen. Like Dumbledore's death or an attack on Hogwarts.

If the Philosopher's Stone had fallen into the wrong hands it would have been equally disastrous, if not even more so. And yet Dumbledore has the Stone removed to Hogwarts and then guarded by a series of obstacles that even a heroic bunch of eleven year olds can manage to circumvent. Harry himself suggests at the end of PS/SS that Dumbledore did this on purpose, and I think that as readers, we tend to believe him.

I think the Map would be considered contraband like the various practical jokes and gags of the Weasley twins. I think the Map will show up again though, but I don't think anyone will return it to Harry on the grounds that it was his father's.

Oh, I don't know. I think that Dumbledore might.

But I don't think that it will necessarily do Harry all that much good.

Harry is growing up, and I tend to read GoF, the middle book of the series, as his transition into adolescence. In GoF, all of the legacy items left to Harry by his parents lose their power to protect him. His father's Invisibility Cloak can no longer help him: his enemy, Crouch!Moody, can see right through it. The Marauder's Map can no longer help him; in fact, it leads him astray: by causing him to believe that Crouch Sr is on the Hogwarts campus, it sends him chasing after a red herring, and as Olivia pointed out, it also lends aid to his hidden enemy. And of course, by the end of the novel, even the physical protection of Lily's original sacrifice has been stripped from him.

Harry's parents' spirits may emerge from Voldemort's wand during the Priori Incantatem in the graveyard, but all they can really do for him is buy him time. There is no maternal love-shield to protect him, as there is in the endgame of PS/SS. Father figure Dumbledore's Gryffindor relics do not drop from the sky to lend him aid. His paternal patronus cannot appear to chase away the dementors. In the endgame of GoF, during his mad dash for Cedric's body, Harry is alone as he has never been at the end of any of the preceding novels. He is profoundly unprotected, and it is that fact that makes the diversion he chooses to take in order to run for Cedric's body, rather than for the Portkey, for me the most stunningly heroic moment in the entire series.

'When the connection is broken, we will linger for only moments...'

Harry may well get the Map back. I hope that he will; I like the Map.

But I don't believe that it will help him all that much. And I don't believe that we will be seeing many more ghost-like representations of Harry's parents in the future canon. No more Mirrors of Erised. No more Dementor visions. No more Priori Incantatem spirits.

From here on out, I think that Harry is going to have to deal with the reality of his parents, of who they actually were: the real people, rather than the shadows of fear and desire and longing and sorrow and legacy, the lingering protections of childhood.

And that is my prediction for Book Five.

Childhood is over.


Posted September 02, 2002 at 2:57 am
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