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Author Topic: Chapter Four: The Leaky Cauldron  (Read 1407 times)

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February 27, 2014, 07:18:11 PM

JaneMarple9

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Chapter Four: The Leaky Cauldron
(Chap Summary by twiddlethosedials )


Fan Art by cogdis


Harry’s immensely enjoying his newfound freedom, but knows better than to go hog wild and spend all his gold, even when he sees the hottest new item in Quidditch - the Firebolt. Ron and Hermione turn up just before the last day of break, and Hermione acquires a new pet in the form of bandy-legged, squashy-faced Crookshanks, who immediately takes a disliking to Ron’s already fading rat, Scabbers. Harry overhears Ron’s parents fretting about Sirius Black, who’s been chanting “He’s at Hogwarts” to himself during his retreat at the Azkaban spa. Hmmm...

A few questions to get you started:

1) Who’s right - Molly to keep Black’s plans a secret, or Arthur to warn Harry? Why?

2) Both Harry and Molly believe the safest place for him is where Dumbledore is. What does that say about Harry? What does it say about Molly?

3) What’s up with the humor in this chapter (the twins, the mirror, etc.)? What’s up with the lost stuff - the tonic, the Head Boy badge?



"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with a really big library"
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February 28, 2014, 06:24:30 PM
Reply #1

siena

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I am really impressed how sensible Harry is about his money. If I think of myself in his position - having a lot of money available at a young age - I would probably blow the lot. But he keeps reminding himself that he would have to ask the Dursleys for money if he spent all of his, and consequently refrains. Very impressive.

I would agree with Hermione - I am very taken with Crookshanks as well ( I can't find a Crookshanks emoticon by the way ...) although I understand Ron's concerns.

I think Arthur is right to warn Harry - Harry has already proven himself in the face of danger. He will keep  8)

I would want to stick around Dumbledore  :dumbledore: as well ... he is just so shrewd and powerful. So Harry and Molly are being wise.

I love the humour in this chapter - especially how Fred and George are taking the mickey when Poncy Percy goes a bit overboard with greeting Harry - I love this passage read by Stephen Fry, he does the twins so brilliantly - absolutely corking and spiffing  :fredgeorge:
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March 01, 2014, 07:12:37 PM
Reply #2

paint it Black

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I agree with siena that Arthur is right to warn Harry that he is in danger from Sirius Black, but I think there is a compromise that he and Molly could have made.  Surely many people in the wizarding world felt that Sirius was a threat, so it would have been totally reasonable for the Weasleys to sit down all of their children (plus Harry and Hermione) and give them a serious talking-to about personal safety until Black was captured.  That would put all of them on their guard.  They could then leave it to Dumbledore (who seems to be Harry's unofficial wizarding-world guardian  :dumbledore:) whether or not to tell Harry about his personal connection to Sirius.

I also really enjoy the humor in this chapter.  I think we see it more on those rare occasions when Harry can just chill and not stress about anything.  I liked when Ron described when he and Hermione shopped for their Monster Books and the assistant almost cried when they said they wanted two.  :scared: And although I felt a bit like an 11 year-old at the time, I did think it was really funny when Fred and George changed Percy's badge to read "Bighead Boy".   :fredgeorge: And also when they described the Ministry car that would be taking them to the train station as having little flags on the front reading "HB" (not for "Head Boy" but for "Humungous Bighead").  ;D Normally I'd feel a little sorry for Percy, but the twins are so darn funny, and they are not (in this case anyway) purposely trying to humiliate Percy in front of his peers, they're just having a laugh with him.  It's interesting that if they were actually trying to get Percy to lighten up a bit, it had absolutely no effect.  I think that he would have been exactly as formal and rigid had the twins been really supportive and congratulatory over his Head Boy assignment.

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March 02, 2014, 04:34:16 PM
Reply #3

siena

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I agree that sitting all the children down to talk to them about Black would be a good idea - it's just that I feel that Molly would strongly oppose this. We see how she gets in OoTP, when Lupin, Arthur and Sirius are for filling Harry in about Voldemort ... she cares deeply about all the children under her wing but she has to realise that they are bound to find out for themselves anyway - and, as I think Lupin says in OoTP, it's better for them to find out by being told directly than by overhearing things from third parties. We see how upset Harry gets when he has to find out the hard way in the Three Broomsticks  that his father was friends with Black, and when he overhears Moody suggesting that Harry might be possessed in OoTP.

I also agree that Fred and George are just trying to loosen Percy up a bit - he is just so uptight, he is asking for it... unfortunately, it takes him until DH until he gets the message ...
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March 04, 2014, 04:15:33 AM
Reply #4

wordsaremagic

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This chapter reminded me of a two week period when I was 19 and in the Navy. I was given orders to a new duty station with a very unusual "do not report earlier than" date, with 10 days of free time, with extra money for room and board, none of those days counting against official leave accumulation.
I was in San Francisco, 1968. I found a cheap room next to the downtown bus station and checked all my gear into a locker in the USO.
I was 19, with money in my pockets, every day and every night free in a city full of bookstores, art museums, theaters, concert halls, marvelous ethnic neighborhoods (china town, russian hill, etc.). I was a year out of the Ozark Mountains and this was a whole new world. In those days, the cable cars were not just tourist attractions, but common means of transportation. I took them all over the place.
My girlfriend, Kathy, (who has been my wonderful wife since 1969) and I went everywhere whenever she was out of class and off of work. The rest of the time I walked all over the great city. She lived in Haight-Ashbury, a kind of a weird place in 1968, not exactly a Diagon Alley, but still a bit weird and colorful.
I imagine Harry as always keeping a wonderful memory of that time when he was a young adult, completely free, living all on his own in a wonderful place.
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March 05, 2014, 12:04:52 AM
Reply #5

roonwit

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I agree with siena that Arthur is right to warn Harry that he is in danger from Sirius Black, but I think there is a compromise that he and Molly could have made.  Surely many people in the wizarding world felt that Sirius was a threat, so it would have been totally reasonable for the Weasleys to sit down all of their children (plus Harry and Hermione) and give them a serious talking-to about personal safety until Black was captured.  That would put all of them on their guard.
I don't think it would work and would lead to awkward questions. The main issue is the children would have no reason to think they were at particular risk as Hogwarts is generally a safe place so wouldn't change their behaviour (Harry still takes risks even though he knows about the threat from Sirius). If on the other hand Molly and Arthur were able to convince them there was a risk they would want to know the details, and in the case of the Weasley children why they hadn't been warned earlier.
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April 15, 2014, 10:02:17 AM
Reply #6

Evreka

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1) Who’s right - Molly to keep Black’s plans a secret, or Arthur to warn Harry? Why?
I think this is one of the instances where there is no one right answer. Both approaches make sense and seem reasonable.

Molly has Harry's best interest at heart and am convinced Harry will be perfectly safe without being told that a murderous lunatic is after him. She thinks that with all protection put in place around him, the adults can do the worry, and decide on the best security plan, while Harry should be free to enjoy his 13th year. She is also aware that it is thanks to this young wizard and his courageous actions that her daughter is still alive. All in all, I think Molly would stop at no inconvenience on her own part to keep Harry safe and sound and unworried.

Arthur, also has Harry's best interests at heart, and he is worried that no matter how much security is sent his way, he'll come up with a way to wiggle out of it and wander off on an adventure of his own, if he is not warned of the danger in doing so. I think he sees Harry as possessing some of the twins more aggravating personality traits, though to a somewhat lesser extent. Still to be able to - and prone to - use some of his talents on sneeking off for adventures, thus exposing himself to danger. I think he is also very concerned that Harry will, at some point, be told how Sirius betrayed his parents, and I do think Arthur guesses quite accurately how Harry will react to that...

I think both are equally right and that this is no easy problem to choose a path for.


2) Both Harry and Molly believe the safest place for him is where Dumbledore is. What does that say about Harry? What does it say about Molly?
Not sure it says a whole lot about either Harry or Molly. I think it is down to the fact that Albus is known for his resistance against Voldemort and that both realises that Voldemort was scared of Albus, and that he had reason to be. And so has Black, whether he understands it or not...


3) What’s up with the humor in this chapter (the twins, the mirror, etc.)? What’s up with the lost stuff - the tonic, the Head Boy badge?
The humour is there because this is Jo at her best.  :fredgeorge: And the lost stuff is there (or rather NOT there) in order to give characters a reason to wander about as they do, overhearing things...  :)


Some things that stood out to me as I reread this chapter now
We discussed in the rat thread, that Peter chose a good family to be his "hosts". What do you think would have happened if Ron had gone for a replacement rat instead? How would Peter have handled that?

Quote from:  Molly in GOF, Chapter 4
Well, Arthur, you must do what you think is right. But you're forgetting Albus Dumbledore. I don't think anything could hurt Harry at Hogwarts while Dumbledore's headmaster.
And it struck me that this is the very first hint that Albus will have to leave Hogwarts, because we know that Harry will not always be safe... Don't we?


Further, in the Magical Menagerie we learn that Scabbers have lived unbelievably long to be a common or ordinary rat, which is the first THIPS (I think?)  that something is not quite as it seems with him...


Also one of the last few paragraphs show Harry worrying mainly not over Black or his own safety - but over his chances to sneak off on adventures looking very slim!  ::)  :thumbdown: He is clearly showing his (lack of) age here, and also that Arthur's worry is entirely justified...


Further, one thing that I've been considering for awhile...
In this chapter Florean Fortescue comes across as a very sympathic man, doesn't he? But later we learn that he likely has a former Headmaster at Hogwarts in his ancestry and he is kidnapped by the Death Eaters in DH. So I've wondered for some time if  he had connections to either Dumbledore or the Ministry, and was asked to look after Harry these weeks?  :crabbegoyle: What do you think?


There are so many incredibly funny things in this chapter
The funniest book in all of the Wizarding World, I think, is mentioned in this chapter: The Invisible book of Invisibility! It's Jo's wonderful humour in a nutshell: "Cost a fortune and we never found them!:fredgeorge:

I also really apreciate the thought of a talking Mirror. And I love how Jo's take on the subject differs from all the other fairy tales. giving advices on how you look! Maybe I could do with one of those?  :lol:


Possibly one of the funniest things ever is, I think, in the Magical Menagerie:
We see a fat white rabbit that keeps changing into a silk top hat and back again with a loud popping noise! So, now we all know how that trick is done! And who the real artist is!  :lol: :fredgeorge:  :lol:


I am really impressed how sensible Harry is about his money. If I think of myself in his position - having a lot of money available at a young age - I would probably blow the lot. But he keeps reminding himself that he would have to ask the Dursleys for money if he spent all of his, and consequently refrains. Very impressive.
I think that Harry in many ways act a bit older than he is, more responsible. Which I think make sense seeing the family he has grown up in and how he used to live with them. And then at other times (see above) he shows his true age, which I think is endearing.  :hearts:


I love the humour in this chapter - especially how Fred and George are taking the mickey when Poncy Percy goes a bit overboard with greeting Harry -  :fredgeorge:
I do to! Even if Percy, so far is just funny (inadvertently), compared to what is to become of him later, I just love how the twins try to show him just how much of an idiot he comes across as!  :fredgeorge:


... but I think there is a compromise that he and Molly could have made.  Surely many people in the wizarding world felt that Sirius was a threat, so it would have been totally reasonable for the Weasleys to sit down all of their children (plus Harry and Hermione) and give them a serious talking-to about personal safety until Black was captured.  That would put all of them on their guard.  They could then leave it to Dumbledore (who seems to be Harry's unofficial wizarding-world guardian  :dumbledore:) whether or not to tell Harry about his personal connection to Sirius...
This seems like a far better plan than either of their individual ones! Too bad they didn't come to you for an advice!  ;)


I agree with siena that Arthur is right to warn Harry that he is in danger from Sirius Black, but I think there is a compromise that he and Molly could have made.  Surely many people in the wizarding world felt that Sirius was a threat, so it would have been totally reasonable for the Weasleys to sit down all of their children (plus Harry and Hermione) and give them a serious talking-to about personal safety until Black was captured.  That would put all of them on their guard.
I don't think it would work and would lead to awkward questions. The main issue is the children would have no reason to think they were at particular risk as Hogwarts is generally a safe place so wouldn't change their behaviour (Harry still takes risks even though he knows about the threat from Sirius). If on the other hand Molly and Arthur were able to convince them there was a risk they would want to know the details, and in the case of the Weasley children why they hadn't been warned earlier.
This is a fair objection though. Still... between Molly's approach and Arthur's, it might be beneficial to do this, and put on the air of a difference between being attacked for personal reasons (if home with Mum and Dad) and making sure to stay safe while staying in a school where there are lots of youngsters. Of the need to realise that they ought not to oppose being looked after... *shrug*


This chapter reminded me of a two week period when I was 19 and in the Navy. I was given orders to a new duty station with a very unusual "do not report earlier than" date, with 10 days of free time, with extra money for room and board, none of those days counting against official leave accumulation.
I was in San Francisco, 1968. ...
I was 19, with money in my pockets, every day and every night free in a city full of bookstores, art museums, theaters, concert halls, marvelous ethnic neighborhoods (china town, russian hill, etc.). I was a year out of the Ozark Mountains and this was a whole new world. ... She lived in Haight-Ashbury, a kind of a weird place in 1968, not exactly a Diagon Alley, but still a bit weird and colorful.
I imagine Harry as always keeping a wonderful memory of that time when he was a young adult, completely free, living all on his own in a wonderful place.
Thanks for sharing your special memory with us, and I really like the comparision!

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