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Author Topic: Chapter Seven - The Boggart in the Wardrobe  (Read 3270 times)

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March 10, 2014, 07:55:20 AM

JaneMarple9

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Chapter Seven: The Boggart in the Wardrobe
(Chap Summary by twiddlethosedials )

Fan Art by sayurikemiko


Potions is a predictable disaster as Draco gets preferential treatment for his injury, and Snape threatens to shrink Neville’s toad - or maybe poison it - with Neville’s potion. No pressure, Longbottom! When Neville’s toad actually does turn into a tadpole, Snape knows Hermione helped him and takes points away from Gryffindor. But Neville gets his revenge in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Lupin teaches the class how to tackle a boggart, and Neville turns his Snape-boggart into a dress-clad, vulture-hat wearing drag queen. Everyone takes a crack at it except Hermione and Harry, who wonders why he didn’t get to try it.

A few questions to get you started:

1) What did you think about the boggart? Is laughter really the best way to deal with fear?

2) Both Snape and Lupin use Neville to make a point in their lessons. Compare and contrast their methods.

3) What do each of the students’ boggarts tell us about them? Why don’t we get to see Hermione’s?



"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with a really big library"
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March 12, 2014, 12:44:35 AM
Reply #1

paint it Black

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2) Both Snape and Lupin use Neville to make a point in their lessons. Compare and contrast their methods.

Clearly, Snape and Lupin have very different teaching styles!  Snape is a sink-or-swim kind of guy; you either succeed in a trial-by-fire, or you fail spectacularly.  To be fair, some people are challenged by this approach, and do improve their skills under the challenge.

Lupin is the kind of teacher we would all like to have!  He gives a thorough background on his subject (assisted by the students), then goes on to demonstrate what they have just learned in a way that gets everyone involved.  While Lupin gives Neville the knowledge and support to succeed, thus boosting his self-esteem, Snape lets him know from the beginning that he's sure Neville will fail.  And Neville proves him right time after time.

It's interesting to contrast Lupin's first lesson with Hagrid's.  Both teachers introduced a new magical creature to the students, but Hagrid's lesson was less successful.  I think that Hagrid actually made a good attempt at using a method similar to Lupin's, in that he gave a background on the Hippogriffs while introducing them to just one of the creatures.  Then, he let the whole class try.  However, I think that he is just not yet experienced as a teacher to pull this off, and that he stretched himself a bit for his first-ever lesson.  If he had done this same lesson the same way with a harmless magical creature, it may have gone quite well.

One thing I wondered about Snape's lesson: when Trevor was given the successfully-made Shrinking Solution, he turned into a tadpole.  If a toad were actually shrunken, wouldn't it have turned into a smaller toad?  Doesn't the fact that it was turned into a more youthful version of itself make that solution more of an age-reversing potion?  (And, how wealthy would the wizard be who came up with that!)

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March 12, 2014, 12:34:21 PM
Reply #2

siena

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Snape and Lupin have very different teaching styles

Snape is a sink-or-swim type of guy


This is very mildly put, paint it Black ...  ;)


I think Snape is out of order here. He is threatening to poison a living being, which hopefully is illegal in the wizarding as well as in the Muggle world, and he unreasonably distresses a pupil by threatening him. This really is way out of order and someone should have informed Dumbledore about this.

I think we don't see Hermione's worst fear to build up a bit of tension about what it could possibly be. Ron's guess is of course very close. And when we see it later it is of course hilarious. But it is a concept fear so to speak, not a materialised fear - Hermione is afraid of the idea of failure as opposed to being afraid of a person, animal or thing. Am I making sense ? Probably not , but I can't explain it any better.
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April 27, 2014, 08:20:25 AM
Reply #3

Evreka

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1) What did you think about the boggart? Is laughter really the best way to deal with fear?
I love the Boggart for its comical effects in this book, and it is a really fun idea theme-wise that your worst fear can materialise in front of you! In context, and putting yourself into a world where this is so, it is of course a very scary thought. Not just because it would be horrible to meet your worst fear as a creature coming for you, but also because it shows everyone else who are about (including your worst enemies) what your worst fear is!  :o

I do think, though, that many things that we people are scared of are things that are unknown to us, and if we found a way to turn that unknown into something funny, our fear would evaporate - and so it is an excellent weapon sometimes. In truth, though, your worst fear would then be replaced by something else.... so it would be a never-ending process to turn it into something funny.

Then again... if you fear for your families lives, or depression, or you fear being afraid, it might not be so easy to dispel your fear with laughter...  :( Thankfully, your defence technique for these things apparently also work against a Boggart, as Harry's Patronum can chase his Boggarts away.

I also like that wizarding school prepares its students to face their worst fears in a good way, and teach them how to go about it; which is a long step up from many IRL schools....  ;)


2) Both Snape and Lupin use Neville to make a point in their lessons. Compare and contrast their methods.
Well... Snape having a go at Neville in front of another teacher is so low, he should get a month's worth of a Detention writing I must not be a cruel git over and over until the message sank in...  :furious:

I think Lupin chooses to single out Neville, because of Snape's taunts. Thereby showing Neville - and the rest of the class - that this boy who does not believe in himself, is still strong enough to tackle a Boggart twice and finish it off.... And I am sure Lupin got a lot of secret joy out of seeing Snape dressed thus, too. It might also have helped the rest of the Gryffindors to see Snape thus in their inner eyes during Snape's worst diatribes in Snape's classes to come.... I think Neville went away from that lesson having experienced true pride over his own accomplishment for a change!  :hug:


3) What do each of the students’ boggarts tell us about them? Why don’t we get to see Hermione’s?
It tells us a lot about where they are coming from (litterally and geographically). Seamus fears a Banshee which is an Irish "appearance" after someone died. (Not sure if it is a Being, Beast or spirit....) Parvati a mummy, which isn't a typical artefact in Britain, but it also represents death, and a dead body getting "life" and come after you... This is a little tiny bit like Inferi, although those are even worse... Neville fears the teacher who seem to hate him, Ron is afraid of spiders as we already know, and Harry is afraid of fear itself.

I think that we don't get to see Hermione's Boggart because Lupin is keen to not let the Boggart face Harry; and anxious to single him out. So he makes sure two students get to answer questions and let the rest tackle it, so it shouldn't be as obvious that Harry didn't get to tackle it, I think.

In creating the plot, however, I think we don't get to see Hermione's Boggart, so it can be saved as a great comical moment at exam time instead.   :owlsd:   :fredgeorge:



One thing I found interesting about this chapter is that in a magical world where such things as Pensieves (which shows events as they truly unfolded) and Veritaserum exists, a student can get away with pretending to feel pain in an arm which is perfectly fine and thus put into question whether his teacher is fit to teach or not. Why didn't they just look at how that lesson truly was through Hagrid's memory or Harry's or Draco's for that matter? Should Buckbeak really have been sentenced to death if they did? What do you think?


Clearly, Snape and Lupin have very different teaching styles!  Snape is a sink-or-swim kind of guy; you either succeed in a trial-by-fire, or you fail spectacularly.  To be fair, some people are challenged by this approach, and do improve their skills under the challenge.

..., Snape lets him [Neville] know from the beginning that he's sure Neville will fail.  And Neville proves him right time after time.
Which is an absolute given. If you take a kid who doesn't believe in themselves and their own abilities and then tell them again and again, in no uncertain terms, that they are an utter failure, they will sadly believe you! It doesn't take a genius to figure this out! Snape says in HBP that Harry should not call him a coward (and to be fair I do think he shows an extreme amount of courage in many ways in the Voldemort wars  :thumbup: ), but in his classroom he sure is making a good impression of one!  >:(

Further, even if he didn't bully Neville and Harry to the extent he does, he doesn't tell any of his students (not the Slytherins either) how to do things correctly! He never helps his students at all, it is criticism all the way!  :annoyed:


Lupin is the kind of teacher we would all like to have!  He gives a thorough background on his subject (assisted by the students), then goes on to demonstrate what they have just learned in a way that gets everyone involved.  While Lupin gives Neville the knowledge and support to succeed, thus boosting his self-esteem, ...
Oh yes, he is! This is the inspiring kind of teacher.  :thumbup:


One thing I wondered about Snape's lesson: when Trevor was given the successfully-made Shrinking Solution, he turned into a tadpole.  If a toad were actually shrunken, wouldn't it have turned into a smaller toad?  Doesn't the fact that it was turned into a more youthful version of itself make that solution more of an age-reversing potion?  (And, how wealthy would the wizard be who came up with that!)
I've always wondered over this too!  :harry:

We do see very similar things to this again in the series though. The Aging Potion the twins drink to become a few months older in GOF, is sort of the opposite, but in one of the rooms behind the Atrium at the MoM in OOP, we see a tank which seems to be filled with liquid time... I always wondered what would happen if an old wizard bathed in that pool until he got about 40 years old - would he then be able to live another 50 years or so again?


I think Snape is out of order here. He is threatening to poison a living being, which hopefully is illegal in the wizarding as well as in the Muggle world, and he unreasonably distresses a pupil by threatening him. This really is way out of order and someone should have informed Dumbledore about this.
I agree. I also wonder what would have happened to Trevor had he been poisoned? Would Snape have given him an anti-dote imediately after or let Neville watch his pet die?  :o


But it is a concept fear so to speak, not a materialised fear - Hermione is afraid of the idea of failure as opposed to being afraid of a person, animal or thing. Am I making sense ? Probably not , but I can't explain it any better.
I understand perfectly, and I also think this holds true for Harry as well. He isn't afraid of a person or creature either: he is afraid of being afraid....
« Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 08:27:56 AM by Evreka »
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April 27, 2014, 12:37:18 PM
Reply #4

roonwit

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One thing I found interesting about this chapter is that in a magical world where such things as Pensieves (which shows events as they truly unfolded) and Veritaserum exists, a student can get away with pretending to feel pain in an arm which is perfectly fine and thus put into question whether his teacher is fit to teach or not. Why didn't they just look at how that lesson truly was through Hagrid's memory or Harry's or Draco's for that matter? Should Buckbeak really have been sentenced to death if they did? What do you think?
Even if they did use Pensieves it wouldn't have made any difference, as Hagrid was acquitted of blame, and how dangerous Buckbeak is is always going to be a matter of opinion.
The use of veritaserum has huge implications on people's privacy, and is thus restricted by law. Thus I don't think it should be used in the minor matter of Draco's arm, which he uses to rearrange a Quidditch match and a bit of laziness combined with bullying in a potions lesson, but not particularly serious. If it was really important to prove Draco was faking it I imagine Madam Pomfrey could catch him out without having to resort to veritaserum.
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April 27, 2014, 02:35:58 PM
Reply #5

siena

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I do think that Snape would have given Trevor an antidote had he been poisoned, Evreka.
Quite simply because he would have had to explain himself had Trevor really died. Dumbledore would have learned about that, even if he didn't learn about the bullying. The students did keep quiet about the bullying, but they would have talked had a student's pet been killed. At least I sincerely hope so. I'm also quite sure that Snape was confident that he could have rescued Trevor, had the need arisen. But all of this still doesn't excuse him using Trevor.

I'm not quite sure if I would agree that Snape never constructively teaches though. Towards the end of PoA, they have exams, and even Neville and Harry seem to be doing okay. You could argue that Hermione helped Neville out in lessons a lot, but she still wouldn't have had the time and opportunity to teach him the all the basics though.

In HBP, we hear Ernie McMillan saying that he thought the DADA lesson with Snape was good. During said lesson, we learn that the class is very attentive, they try to catch every word Snape says. He quite constructively informs them about the scope of the task to learn to defend oneself against the Dark Arts. He inspires them to think for themselves. He asks Hermione to find her own answers for once, using the books as an inspiration but not as the be-and-end-all. I don't think his teaching is entirely useless. He undoubtedly wastes too much time bullying unfortunately.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 02:37:43 PM by siena »
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April 28, 2014, 07:57:23 PM
Reply #6

Evreka

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One thing I found interesting about this chapter is that in a magical world where such things as Pensieves (which shows events as they truly unfolded) and Veritaserum exists, a student can get away with pretending to feel pain in an arm which is perfectly fine and thus put into question whether his teacher is fit to teach or not. Why didn't they just look at how that lesson truly was through Hagrid's memory or Harry's or Draco's for that matter? Should Buckbeak really have been sentenced to death if they did? What do you think?

... The use of veritaserum has huge implications on people's privacy, and is thus restricted by law. Thus I don't think it should be used in the minor matter of Draco's arm, which he uses to rearrange a Quidditch match and a bit of laziness combined with bullying in a potions lesson, but not particularly serious. If it was really important to prove Draco was faking it I imagine Madam Pomfrey could catch him out without having to resort to veritaserum.
You're right about Veritaserum being too invasive for sorting this matter, I included it in my post mainly to show that the wizarding world have more than one reliable way to tell the truth about something that is already in the past. Which is more than we have IRL!


I do think that Snape would have given Trevor an antidote had he been poisoned, Evreka.
... I'm also quite sure that Snape was confident that he could have rescued Trevor, had the need arisen. But all of this still doesn't excuse him using Trevor.
I hope so too. :) And I agree that it doesn't make it more acceptable.


I'm not quite sure if I would agree that Snape never constructively teaches though. Towards the end of PoA, they have exams, and even Neville and Harry seem to be doing okay. You could argue that Hermione helped Neville out in lessons a lot, but she still wouldn't have had the time and opportunity to teach him the all the basics though.

In HBP, we hear Ernie McMillan saying that he thought the DADA lesson with Snape was good. ...
Although I never said so, I was primarily referring to Snape's teaching in POA.

Also, just because people has managed to learn how to do something for exam time isn't necessarily a mark on how good the teacher is. For instance quite a few students gets EE and there's even an O in the DADA OWL exam in 1995, despite Umbridge teaching that subject. Of course we know that that's because of the illegal DA study group, but to someone who didn't know that it would seem like her methods of teaching were surprisingly effective!  :o I mean to say that we don't know how or by what means Neville studied fore his Potion exam in POA, but Harry definitely had Hermione to help him.  :harry: :hermioneread:
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April 29, 2014, 10:46:43 AM
Reply #7

siena

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Further, even if he didn't bully Neville and Harry to the extent he does, he doesn't tell any of his students (not the Slytherins either) how to do things correctly! He never helps his students at all,  it's criticism all the way.

Here is the part of your post where I thought you implied that Snape never teaches constructively.
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April 29, 2014, 07:50:51 PM
Reply #8

Evreka

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Further, even if he didn't bully Neville and Harry to the extent he does, he doesn't tell any of his students (not the Slytherins either) how to do things correctly! He never helps his students at all,  it's criticism all the way.
Here is the part of your post where I thought you implied that Snape never teaches constructively.
Yes, I understand why you thought so. :) This wasn't very clear at all. But as we are in a DG for POA, I was focusing on his behaviour in POA, which I tried to clarify in my post immediately above yours. :)
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April 29, 2014, 08:23:17 PM
Reply #9

siena

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Also, just because people has managed to learn how to do something for exam time isn't necessarily a mark on how good the teacher is. For instance quite a few students gets EE and there's even an O in the DADA OWL exam in 1995, despite Umbridge teaching that subject. Of course we know that that's because of the illegal DA study group, but to someone who didn't know that it would seem like her methods of teaching were surprisingly effective!  :o I mean to say that we don't know how or by what means Neville studied fore his Potion exam in POA, but Harry definitely had Hermione to help him.  :harry: :hermioneread:


Essentially I agree. But they had two really good teachers in DADA before Umbridge (Lupin and Fake Alastor Moody) and I think that helps as well.

I do agree that under normal circumstances Hermione does help Ron and Harry out sometimes. I just think that in PoA, there were times when the two weren't speaking with Hermione, and Hermione had a lot on her plate anyway, trying to manage her lessons and looking up stuff for Hagrid and Buckbeak. I don't think she helped as much as she normally would have - and Rowling usually gives us a detailed account of what the trio is up to, but in PoA, I can't really remember an instance where she helped out Ron and Harry. Also I find that her help often comes in the form of overlooking (in other words completing) the boys' homework, which doesn't necessarily help them to think for themselves - but in exams, they would need to do just that.

As for Neville, I would assume he studies on his own. There aren't any instances outside the classroom where Hermione would help him. So I think it is evident that he does learn things in the Potions lessons - a combination of what Snape teaches and what Hermione explains I should think - and he is eventually able to apply his knowledge in exams, once Snape is absent from the proceedings.
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June 25, 2014, 09:24:47 AM
Reply #10

Evreka

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Also, just because people has managed to learn how to do something for exam time isn't necessarily a mark on how good the teacher is. ... I mean to say that we don't know how or by what means Neville studied fore his Potion exam in POA, but Harry definitely had Hermione to help him.  :harry: :hermioneread:
I do agree that under normal circumstances Hermione does help Ron and Harry out sometimes. I just think that in PoA, there were times when the two weren't speaking with Hermione, and Hermione had a lot on her plate anyway, trying to manage her lessons and looking up stuff for Hagrid and Buckbeak. I don't think she helped as much as she normally would have ...
That's a good Point. :) She has very much to do, just to get through her own studies this year, and especially Ron and Hermione aren't speaking for what feels like most of the school year. :( Still, when exam time looms nearer we're in the spring, and by then at least Harry and Hermione are friends again. I think she does check at least Harry's homework and (he would then share it with Ron, so whether Ron is her friend or not, he'd get some help from it too).


... Rowling usually gives us a detailed account of what the trio is up to ...

As for Neville, I would assume he studies on his own. There aren't any instances outside the classroom where Hermione would help him. So I think it is evident that he does learn things in the Potions lessons - a combination of what Snape teaches and what Hermione explains I should think - and he is eventually able to apply his knowledge in exams, once Snape is absent from the proceedings.
I agree Neville likely studies mostly on his own, but as we know how lonely Hermione is all the months when the Ron and Harry shuns her, I Think it is possible these two spend some time together instead. The books are never written from Hermione's perspective, and when she is not together with Harry, we seldom knows what she does.

Also, in GOF, when Neville asks her to the Yule Ball (though too late) he later explains it with something along the lines of her always being so kind and ready to help him.  So I guess we don't know how much help he gets.

But yes, he passes his Potions exams every year, although the fact that he passes better when his teacher is not around isn't really a recommendation for Snape, is it?  :mcgonagall2: That said, I think we'll never see eye to eye on Snape's teaching methods, so we might just have to agree to differ, siena.
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June 25, 2014, 10:23:22 AM
Reply #11

siena

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I have already mentioned the fact that Snape wastes too much time bullying and frightening students. I have also mentioned the fact that students (especially Neville and Harry) do better in exams when Snape is absent. You said we disagree about Snape, and that is true, but certainly not on the point of his bullying and intimidating. As you said, this does not commend him at all of course, I have never and would never argue with that. However, I did point out certain indications that - in my opinion - prove that his teaching (when he actually teaches and doesn't bully) is effective at times. That's all.

About Hermione - Hagrid clearly states that Hermione visited him a lot because she's been feeling very lonely. So I don't think she hung out with any other student, neither with Neville nor anyone else. Rowling would have told us if she had I think.
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June 25, 2014, 10:43:50 AM
Reply #12

Evreka

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I have already mentioned the fact that Snape wastes too much time bullying and frightening students. I have also mentioned the fact that students (especially Neville and Harry) do better in exams when Snape is absent. You said we disagree about Snape, and that is true, but certainly not on the point of his bullying and intimidating. As you said, this does not commend him at all of course, I have never and would never argue with that. However, I did point out certain indications that - in my opinion - prove that his teaching (when he actually teaches and doesn't bully) is effective at times. That's all.
I wasn't trying to imply that you defend him all over, no matter what he does. And in fact, in what is written here, we actually agree.  :)  :hug:


About Hermione - Hagrid clearly states that Hermione visited him a lot because she's been feeling very lonely. So I don't think she hung out with any other student, neither with Neville nor anyone else. Rowling would have told us if she had I think.
I further didn't mean that Hermione hang out with Neville like she usually did with the trio, when they weren't on speaking terms. I just Think it's possible that she could have helped him with his homework in the common room every once in awhile. We learn from Hagrid that she's been visiting him and been very sad when he takes the boys to task over ignoring her endlessly; As the boys rarely speaks to Neville, and certainly not about schoolwork or homework, we're less likely to find out whether she helps Neville with this. Either way it is all speculation, it's certainly not in the books. :)
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June 25, 2014, 11:19:38 AM
Reply #13

siena

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I was just going to post a P.S. to my previous post saying that maybe it did sound a bit harsh  :-[ and that probably we misunderstood each other about Snape,but you got ahead of me  ;)

Thank you for your reply. You know what I would love to do? I would love to meet all of you to have these great discussions in person  :grouptalk: A lot of misunderstandings could be avoided and also you all seem to be such a great bunch of folks  ;D
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June 25, 2014, 08:14:33 PM
Reply #14

Evreka

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Thank you for your reply. You know what I would love to do? I would love to meet all of you to have these great discussions in person  :grouptalk: A lot of misunderstandings could be avoided and also you all seem to be such a great bunch of folks  ;D
Cheers, siena! I'd love that! Too bad we can't just all Apparate to some common grounds somewhere. :)


Another thing I find curious about this chapter, is that when the different shapes the Boggart takes are described, it becomes obvious the class is bigger than just the known students: Harry, Ron, Dean, Seamus, Neville, Hermione, Lavender and Parvati. I know that Jo has commented on there being two more girls, whose names she has always wormed her way out of giving. ;)

But even so... it gives us 8 students to tackle the Boggart, or doesn't all of them get to tackle it?  :crabbegoyle: I've never been able to match all Boggart shapes before/after Riddikulus mentioned to the students, has anyone else?
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