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Author Topic: Are you game enough to ask a question to the Mods?  (Read 3332 times)

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April 24, 2013, 10:07:01 PM

ss19

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The OT Mods love everyone's great game playing in the Recreation Center and love how the games have all been going so smoothly.  We've started this thread to give you a comfy place to pose any niggling questions you might have about any of the games without interrupting the flow of the games.  :mollyarthur:


I'll start us off with a question that was raised in the 20 Questions game:

Rules for the game:
...
2. The person starting the round chooses one subject from the Harry Potter books (the 7 books only, not J.K. Rowling's other books such as Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, or Quidditch Through the Ages) in one of 6 categories: person, creature, spell, potion, place, and thing.  Please note that for the purposes of this game, the category of "creature" includes all non-human beings such as goblins, house-elves, and giants.
...
After typing this in I realized my mistake so:

I am thinking of a potion/spell:  :ashamed:

1. We do see the potion/spell being performed.
2. Yes, the potion/spell is  seen at Hogwarts.
Please note that for the 20 Questions game on the Discussion Station, a spell and a potion are separate categories, not lumped together.

But what I really want to ask is:
Please note that for the 20 Questions game on the Discussion Station, a spell and a potion are separate categories, not lumped together.
Why? And does this mean that person and creature are also separate categories here?
Why?  Because on Leaky Lounge, even though the official rules said that person/creature together was one category, thing/place together was one category, and spell/potion together was one category, almost no one followed that rule.  The vast majority of time (I would guess about 95%) we just named the specific half of the category that we're doing in our rounds.  The only exception was potter2005 who would name spell/potion together as her category, but only for that one, not for any of the other categories either.  (OK, that's not the only exception literally, but it's the only one that happens often enough for me to remember.)

So, my thinking when I set up this game for the Discussion Station was, why set ourselves up for failure by making a rule that nearly no one follows that's either going to require intensive modding or require turning a blind eye all the time?  That doesn't make any sense to me, so I decided to just make the 3 combo categories into 6 distinct categories instead.

However, if anyone has a problem with doing it this way, please do let us know.  :trio:

And yes, this means that person and creature are also separate categories here. :hagridfriends:


But what I really want to ask is:Why? And does this mean that person and creature are also separate categories here?

I don't know Billie Mac as to why the rules were changed. ss_19 just replied yesterday that they couldn't be used together any more and I had seen it myself that a few other people had used both potions and spells together in the past... :(
The rules haven't changed here.  They were set that way from the very beginning.  And I don't think anyone here has used potions and spells together, unless the Mods have missed it.  On Leaky Lounge, yes, some members put potions and spells together (though weirdly those are often the only two that got lumped together), but not here, as far as I know.


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April 24, 2013, 10:54:44 PM
Reply #1

BillieMac

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The only exception was potter2005 who would name spell/potion together as her category, but only for that one, not for any of the other categories either.  (OK, that's not the only exception literally, but it's the only one that happens often enough for me to remember.)
It was the one exception in my case that made me take notice of the category separation.
You may recall that one time on Leaky I was thinking of a Person/ Creature. Not separating the categories was deliberate, because I was thinking of Bane, the Centaur. One of my clues was that it was a matter of WW political debate as to whether they were people or creatures.
Every other time, iIrc, I also forgot to name both categories.
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April 25, 2013, 03:01:38 AM
Reply #2

ss19

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It was the one exception in my case that made me take notice of the category separation.
You may recall that one time on Leaky I was thinking of a Person/ Creature. Not separating the categories was deliberate, because I was thinking of Bane, the Centaur. One of my clues was that it was a matter of WW political debate as to whether they were people or creatures.
Every other time, iIrc, I also forgot to name both categories.
Yes, I do remember that round, which was why I put in the bolded part below when I wrote those new 20 Questions rules for the Discussion Station's version of the game several months ago:

2. The person starting the round chooses one subject from the Harry Potter books (the 7 books only, not J.K. Rowling's other books such as Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, or Quidditch Through the Ages) in one of 6 categories: person, creature, spell, potion, place, and thing.  Please note that for the purposes of this game, the category of "creature" includes all non-human beings such as goblins, house-elves, and giants.

This way, it's clear which category each person/being/creature should belong to and we won't need to give too much away by saying we're not sure it's a person or a creature like you had to do with Bane.  If most of the time all of us were naming only one category, not both, then suddenly that one time you named them both because it wasn't clear which of the two categories Bane belonged to, that immediately gives away too much about your round too early, in my opinion.
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May 07, 2013, 08:03:51 PM
Reply #3

siena

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I have a question as well. As you may remember, my last clue for "Twenty Questions" was Olive Hornby's brother. He is mentioned by Moaning Myrtle in GoF and referred to as "her (Olive Hornby's) brother". Hence his name is not really mentioned. Now when you, ss19, asked whether we know the person's name, I wasn't quite sure what to answer. Of course we can assume that his name is Hornby (the same as his sister's) but this is not necessarily so.

How would you have answered the question?

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May 08, 2013, 03:11:33 AM
Reply #4

ss19

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Great question, siena. :) For the purposes of the 20 Questions game, we can assume that siblings have the same surname unless we have evidence otherwise.  If a woman is married, then her married name might be different from her brother's surname, but in the case of Olive Hornby who went to Hogwarts with the name Hornby, then that should be her brother's name as well.  We know there can sometimes be exceptions, but for the game it's fine to assume what would normally be the case.

Because we only know Olive's brother's surname but not his given name, I would personally have answered the question, "Yes, we know part of his name."  But giving a vague answer like you did because you weren't sure is perfectly fine too.
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August 05, 2013, 08:02:09 PM
Reply #5

BillieMac

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I have an idea for the Quote Game, but it's a three way conversation. It's a total of 12 words, so I'm hoping it's permissible.
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August 11, 2013, 09:37:51 PM
Reply #6

Evreka

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I have an idea for the Quote Game, but it's a three way conversation. It's a total of 12 words, so I'm hoping it's permissible.
I'm affraid the answer to that is no, as RiverSpirit clearly stated in this post a few months ago. The quote game is not meant for anyone to have to remember fully fledged conversations, just to check if you know which character said it.  :trio:

So, in each round it is ONE character speaking, and also keep the sentences down to two.

However, I am sure some part(s) of your three way conversation would work well on its own. Otherwise I'm affraid you'll have to come up with something else.  :luna:
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April 04, 2014, 07:49:38 PM
Reply #7

siena

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This is about the discussion that evolved out of the question whether giants are magical creatures or not in the 20Questions Thread.

I have to apologise to BillieMac, as I misread her quote from 01 April 2014:

I understood the JKR definition of "magical creature" as being "not existing in the real world."


I said that it isn't sufficient because Muggles can see giants (according to Hagrid in OoTP Chapter: Hagrid's Tale)

But BillieMac didn't say not-existing in the Muggle world, but she said real world. She was, I think, referring to the non-fictional world. And giants don't exist in the non-fictional world because they are mythical. So I think BillieMac's definition could work for the 20Questions game.   :nod:

And then roonwit came up with the subtle difference magical creatures vs creatures that are magical.

This I found interesting - how would you define the difference?
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April 12, 2014, 09:02:14 PM
Reply #8

BillieMac

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This is about the discussion that evolved out of the question whether giants are magical creatures or not in the 20Questions Thread.

I have to apologise to BillieMac, as I misread her quote from 01 April 2014:

I understood the JKR definition of "magical creature" as being "not existing in the real world."


I said that it isn't sufficient because Muggles can see giants (according to Hagrid in OoTP Chapter: Hagrid's Tale)

But BillieMac didn't say not-existing in the Muggle world, but she said real world. She was, I think, referring to the non-fictional world. And giants don't exist in the non-fictional world because they are mythical. So I think BillieMac's definition could work for the 20Questions game.   :nod:
(Bold mine)
Yes, siena, that's exactly what I meant. No need to apologise- I just put the misunderstanding down to English being a second language for you.

Quote
And then roonwit came up with the subtle difference magical creatures vs creatures that are magical.

This I found interesting - how would you define the difference?
I'd say that roonwit is overcomplicating it. For the purpose of the game, "magical" covers both humans who can do magic, and mythical creatures that by definition are magic.

Now, about that frying pan.
Petunia is a scratch cook, and no scratch cook in the world has fewer than two frying pans in the  home. Three is average. They come in various sizes and metals (or glass or ceramic Corningware). My preference is cast iron. I have four; one with high walls specifically for chicken cacciatori or similar dishes.
The frying pan in CoS is probably not the same as the one in PS, as cast iron is best for frying bacon, and even in anger Petunia would think twice about throwing anything heavier than aluminum at Harry.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 09:56:11 PM by BillieMac »
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April 12, 2014, 10:46:52 PM
Reply #9

ss19

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This is about the discussion that evolved out of the question whether giants are magical creatures or not in the 20Questions Thread.

In case anyone wants to follow the original discussion in the 20 Questions thread, it started in this post.


Also, if I am being pedantic the question was "Is the creature magical?", not "Is it a magical creature?" and the two are subtly different.
And then roonwit came up with the subtle difference magical creatures vs creatures that are magical.

This I found interesting - how would you define the difference?

I'd disagree with roonwit here.  I think those two questions can still both be interpreted the same way. I mean I don't think the wording there makes any difference in terms of what we've been discussing.  It still comes down to how we define the adjective "magical" in both cases.

If we want to distinguish the two ways of classifying whether something's magical, ie what we've been discussing in the 20 Questions thread, we'd have to ask the question in a more specific way.  "Does the creature possess any magical abilities?" versus "Does the creature exist in the real world?"

Personally, when answering the question, "Is it magical?"  I would say 'yes' in both cases - both when someone/something has magical abilities, and when a creature exists in Potterverse but not in the real world.  I would have said that a giant was magical.  But at the same time I would keep in mind that others might answer the question differently.

I think it all comes down to all of us having different backgrounds and living in different parts of the world, making it impossible to try to agree on how we interpret and answer each question.  I don't think it's a problem because eventually it'll become obvious that there's a potential discrepancy in one of the questions when it starts to look like all the potential answers have been eliminated and there's nothing left to consider.  Even if there weren't any language/interpretation differences, most of us won't be able to remember all the details in the books and will make other mistakes from time to time anyway.  So I just keep all of this in mind and never completely trust all the questions and answers we have in front of us.


Is it the frying pan Petunia aims at Harry's head? (They can have all sorts of sizes.)
That is presumably the same frying pan that Harry was frying bacon and eggs in before the Zoo trip in Book 1, thus in more than one book!
I guess it's likely, but it doesn't have to be so. Petunia seems very proud of her kitchen, she might have more than one frying pan... :kreacher:
But it must be the same frying pan that was used to fry bacon earlier in that chapter, and even Petunia is unlikely to have two frying pans she uses to fry bacon.
Now, about that frying pan.
Petunia is a scratch cook, and no scratch cook in the world has fewer than two frying pans in the  home. Three is average. They come in various sizes and metals (or glass or ceramic Corningware). My preference is cast iron. I have four; one with high walls specifically for chicken cacciatori or similar dishes.
The frying pan in CoS is probably not the same as the one in PS, as cast iron is best for frying bacon, and even in anger Petunia would think twice about throwing anything heavier than aluminum at Harry.

Well, I think there are too many assumptions that need to be made in order to come to this conclusion.  We'd have to assume that Petunia owns cast irons pans and has the same preference as you do and would use a cast iron pan for frying bacon.  We'd also have to assume that she wouldn't do anything stupid even in anger.  Maybe she's tried hurting Harry before but Harry somehow always magically protects himself (like how his hair would grow back magically after they cut it), so she doesn't hesitate to throw a heavy pan at Harry, knowing he won't actually get hurt.  Who know?

I would personally say that we can't be sure it's the same pan or not, but it's a possibility.  I probably would have answered that question in an ambiguous way, saying I can't be certain but it might be in more than one book, if the thing we're guessing for this round really is that frying pan.  But again, I don't think it's a big deal if others answer this question with a simple 'yes' or 'no', using their own reasoning that might be different from mine.
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April 12, 2014, 10:50:57 PM
Reply #10

roonwit

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And then roonwit came up with the subtle difference magical creatures vs creatures that are magical.

This I found interesting - how would you define the difference?
I would define a creature that is magical as one that has a magical ability. Magical creatures seem to be defined differently, for example Flobberworms are in the Fantastic Beasts book, and studied in the Care of Magical Creatures, but don't seem to be able to do anything magical. In contrast Owls seem to have the magical ability to find someone even if they are at an unknown location in an unknown country, but don't seem to be considered as a magical creature.

Petunia is a scratch cook, and no scratch cook in the world has fewer than two frying pans in the  home. Three is average. They come in various sizes and metals (or glass or ceramic Corningware). My preference is cast iron. I have four; one with high walls specifically for chicken cacciatori or similar dishes.
The frying pan in CoS is probably not the same as the one in PS, as cast iron is best for frying bacon, and even in anger Petunia would think twice about throwing anything heavier than aluminum at Harry.
Petunia is not selecting the best frying pan to hit Harry with, she is swinging the one she happens to be holding at him (as it is soapy she seems to be in the middle of cleaning it following breakfast), and she is probably expecting him to duck. Hence I think it is very likely to be the same pan.

On the general issue of definitions and answers, I think we just have to bear in mind that other peoples interpretations might be different (and possibly mistaken), so we may have to allow for one or two answers to be wrong (which I do anyway - you might have noticed in the giants round I asked the question "Is it a giant?" knowing that it would contradict my view of what a magical creature (given the game rules) was).
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 10:59:48 PM by roonwit »
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April 13, 2014, 03:30:44 AM
Reply #11

Evreka

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On when a creature is magical

Also, if I am being pedantic the question was "Is the creature magical?", not "Is it a magical creature?" and the two are subtly different.
I do agree that this holds a subtle difference: in the first case we're asking if the creature has any magical abilities and in the latter if it is NOT an ordinary species we might find on the streets any day. However, .... we have to keep in mind that not everyone has English as their first language and that consequently our grips of the finer points in English grammar varies between us. I think this is way too subtle a difference to rely on in 20 Questions.

I would tend to see a creature as magical on either one of two entirely different grounds:
* As long as we won't be able to come  by it IRL no matter where we travel. This includes: phoenixes, sphinxes, hippogriffs, giants, fairies, unicorns, flobberworms, house-elves as well as Aquavirius Maggots, Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and a vast number of other creatures besides whether they exist "for real" in the Potterverse - or not.
* If the individual creature has magical abilities - even if the species is ordinary. For example: The rabbit that changes into a hat and back again ( :fredgeorge:), owls, the rats that play a skipping game in POA, and others.

Therefore I agree whole-heartedly with ss19, here:
If we want to distinguish the two ways of classifying whether something's magical, ie what we've been discussing in the 20 Questions thread, we'd have to ask the question in a more specific way.  "Does the creature possess any magical abilities?" versus "Does the creature exist in the real world?"
This, I think everyone will read as separate questions, they are to the point, clear and classifies  creatures far more efficiently, I think   :thumbup:


On frying pans
That is presumably the same frying pan that Harry was frying bacon and eggs in before the Zoo trip in Book 1, thus in more than one book!
I guess it's likely, but it doesn't have to be so. Petunia seems very proud of her kitchen, she might have more than one frying pan... :kreacher:
But it must be the same frying pan that was used to fry bacon earlier in that chapter, and even Petunia is unlikely to have two frying pans she uses to fry bacon.
In my opinion this is making use of an assumption that is nowhere in the book and depends, I think, very much on our own approaches to pots and pans.

For instance, my mother (who loves to cook and is excellent at it) owns at least six different frying pans of various sizes and materials. While some of those pans are very unlikely to ever hold bacon; she does use more than one for frying bacon (and other things) on. It depends on the best size; how much other things are fried at the same time, and sometimes, on which pan is "over" and not yet used for something else.  Further, that's a year between the two frying events; Petunia might as well have bought a new one.  :)

Is it likely? I don't know! To me it is as likely or unlikely as she uses the same frying pan. She might... so, again, I agree with ss19.
I would personally say that we can't be sure it's the same pan or not, but it's a possibility.  I probably would have answered that question in an ambiguous way, saying I can't be certain but it might be in more than one book, if the thing we're guessing for this round really is that frying pan. 
:thumbup: I too would have left this open for interpretation. Probably by deciding one way or another and add "but it might be open for debate" or similar, showing I wasn't sure.

But I also don't think it is a big deal either way, and as others have said, we must always be open for different interpretations.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 03:35:15 AM by Evreka »
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April 13, 2014, 01:47:07 PM
Reply #12

siena

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This is about the discussion that evolved out of the question whether giants are magical creatures or not in the 20Questions Thread.

I have to apologise to BillieMac, as I misread her quote from 01 April 2014:

I understood the JKR definition of "magical creature" as being "not existing in the real world."


I said that it isn't sufficient because Muggles can see giants (according to Hagrid in OoTP Chapter: Hagrid's Tale)

But BillieMac didn't say not-existing in the Muggle world, but she said real world. She was, I think, referring to the non-fictional world. And giants don't exist in the non-fictional world because they are mythical. So I think BillieMac's definition could work for the 20Questions game.   :nod:
(Bold mine)
Yes, siena, that's exactly what I meant. No need to apologise- I just put the misunderstanding down to English being a second language for you.




No, it had nothing to do with English being a second language - I simply misread your post. It could have happened in the same way had you used German (my first language).


If we want to distinguish the two ways of classifying whether something's magical, ie what we've been discussing in the 20 Questions thread, we'd have to ask the question in a more specific way.  "Does the creature possess any magical abilities?" versus "Does the creature exist in the real world?"



I agree - distinguishing between existing in the real world versus having magical abilities makes perfect sense.


And about the frying pan(s) - I would agree with Evreka and BillieMac.   Petunia seems to be an accomplished cook, who caters for four people in a well-off household. She definitely has several pans for different occasions.








 




« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 01:48:40 PM by siena »
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April 15, 2014, 04:30:44 PM
Reply #13

ss19

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Another question that came up in the 20 Questions thread:

15. No, it is not seen after the Masons arrive, but we may assume that the item is still there at that point.
. . .
P.S. As you can see, I amended my answer 15. slightly.  The crucial point being that the item is not mentioned as being seen after the Masons arrive, but that there is a strong reason to assume that the item is still on display. This point will probably lead to another discussion about how we define being seen later on ...
Let me explain my reasoning behind answer 15: I think that it is safe to assume that Petunia would still be wearing the dress after the Masons had arrived. And Petunia is seen after that point, hence the dress would also be seen. Of course you could argue that she could have got changed, but I see no reason to assume so.

I think this is another one of those questions that each of us might handle differently.  I personally would have said 'yes' for 15, given the reasoning that siena gave for why we could assume the dress is still being worn by Petunia after the Masons arrive.  If an item is assumed to be in a scene, to me that means the item is seen, even if Jo doesn't specifically mention and describe every single item in the scene every single time we are taken to that scene.
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April 15, 2014, 05:19:05 PM
Reply #14

Evreka

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This reminds me of a game I had some time ago, featuring Harry's trunk, which got me into all sorts of troubles on when it was used, see this post. As far as I am concerned it is always used, whether it is mentioned or not (within the boundaries mentioned in that post).

And similarly in this case I agree with ss19. The dress is clearly worn for the dinner party so it is still there after they arrive.

I do think these things will always be answered a little bit ad hoc though, because, for example, If I would pick the RoR for a place, I wouldn't say that it is in the first four books (although technically it is always at Hogwarts). So it will always be ambigous to a degree, and we'll just have to live with it, I think. :)
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April 15, 2014, 05:56:18 PM
Reply #15

Buckbeak 26

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This is not a big deal, but my earlier question in this last round was: Does it take place between Harry's 12th Birthday and when He and Ron fly the car to Hogwarts?

The answer should have been yes because the first chapter is called "
The Worst Birthday". Just making you aware Siena.
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April 15, 2014, 07:04:35 PM
Reply #16

Eva Hedwig

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As for the size of the dress (answer 11) - a cocktail dress would usually be between 75-90 cm long. This would of course imply that it is larger than a quaffle. However, cocktail dresses are usually made of pretty thin fabric, and it is high summer, so I would assume Petunia would choose a dress made of fine, airy material. And if you fold such a dress neatly, it might well be smaller than a quaffle.

thanks  siena  :) 

yeah, it's not that easy to answer this question, there is a lot of calculation to be made. 
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April 15, 2014, 10:16:38 PM
Reply #17

roonwit

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This is not a big deal, but my earlier question in this last round was: Does it take place between Harry's 12th Birthday and when He and Ron fly the car to Hogwarts?

The answer should have been yes because the first chapter is called "
The Worst Birthday". Just making you aware Siena.
Again that is a matter of interpretation (and if you look carefully, in the first answer between is in italics). I see the dress as being seen on Harry's birthday, not between Harry's birthday and a later date.

15. No, it is not seen after the Masons arrive, but we may assume that the item is still there at that point.
. . .
P.S. As you can see, I amended my answer 15. slightly.  The crucial point being that the item is not mentioned as being seen after the Masons arrive, but that there is a strong reason to assume that the item is still on display. This point will probably lead to another discussion about how we define being seen later on ...
Let me explain my reasoning behind answer 15: I think that it is safe to assume that Petunia would still be wearing the dress after the Masons had arrived. And Petunia is seen after that point, hence the dress would also be seen. Of course you could argue that she could have got changed, but I see no reason to assume so.
Moreover, Harry would almost certainly have heard Petunia go upstairs to change if she had switched dresses.
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April 15, 2014, 10:31:30 PM
Reply #18

Evreka

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This is not a big deal, but my earlier question in this last round was: Does it take place between Harry's 12th Birthday and when He and Ron fly the car to Hogwarts?

The answer should have been yes because the first chapter is called "
The Worst Birthday". ...
I don't agree. You asked if it happened between his 12th birthday and flying to Hogwarts, you did NOT ask whether it happened in the first X Chapters. Further, "between" is always ambiguous on including end points or not, and I think siena solved it beautifully by highlightening the word and making it plain something was up!  :thumbup:


This is not a big deal, but my earlier question in this last round was: Does it take place between Harry's 12th Birthday and when He and Ron fly the car to Hogwarts?

The answer should have been yes because the first chapter is called "
The Worst Birthday". Just making you aware Siena.
Again that is a matter of interpretation (and if you look carefully, in the first answer between is in italics). I see the dress as being seen on Harry's birthday, not between Harry's birthday and a later date.
My point too.



As for the size of the dress compared to a Quaffle - However much size it will take up it will always be flatter than a Quaffle. Usually I read a simple yes to this question as bigger in all directions, but any kind of amendment to this signals it isn't necessarily so, so I'm fine with this answer too.

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June 26, 2014, 06:26:22 PM
Reply #19

BillieMac

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Regarding the hourglasses- I interpret "part of the castle structure" as something built into the castle, which the hourglasses seem to be.
Many old houses have lovely glass doorknobs on interior doors, which are not supposed to be removed when you sell the house, as they're part of the house structure.
The same goes for a furnace, water heater or built in dishwasher. The house won't fall down if you remove them, but for the real estate market, they are considered part of the house structure.
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