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Author Topic: Chapter Seventeen: Cat, Rat, and Dog  (Read 2784 times)

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April 13, 2014, 06:12:23 PM

JaneMarple9

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Chapter Seventeen: Cat, Rat, and Dog
(Chap Summary by twiddlethosedials )


Fan Art by Thanfiction


OK, here’s where it starts to get complicated. Ready? The Trio starts back toward the castle, but Crookshanks chases Scabbers, Ron goes to his rescue, and a big black dog drags him into the Whomping Willow. Crookshanks shows Harry and Hermione how to get into the tree, and they follow a long tunnel up into a creaky, dusty structure - they’re in the Shrieking Shack! So, it turns out, is Ron... who tells them the dog’s an animagus and he’s really Sirius Black. Black disarms Harry and Hermione, Harry attacks Black, Lupin shows up and admits he’s a werewolf, and we finally learn Scabbers is really Peter Pettigrew.

A few questions to get you started:
1) Harry isn’t willing to kill Black if he has to go through Crookshanks to do it. What does that say about Harry?

2) Several times now, we’ve seen Ron sacrifice himself to save Harry - and here, it’s a real threat against his life. What does that say about Ron?

3) What do you make of Black’s reaction to Ron’s willingness to sacrifice himself?



"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with a really big library"
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April 14, 2014, 09:43:59 PM
Reply #1

roonwit

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3) What do you make of Black’s reaction to Ron’s willingness to sacrifice himself?
He seems to be rather obtuse here. He must surely have realized by now that the trio think he is there to kill Harry and he could easily have said something like "Sit down, I am not here to kill Harry." His reaction implies concern for Ron's leg, but a bit more explanation here could have saved Ron a lot of pain. Of course this is probably the longest human interaction he has had for several years now so he probably out of practise.
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May 03, 2014, 12:30:03 AM
Reply #2

paint it Black

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I agree that Sirius has probably lost touch with whatever people skills he once possessed.  For one thing, he's willing to choke Harry in order to escape from his attack on him.  This is Harry, the one that he broke out of Azkaban to protect!  And as he's fighting him off, he doesn't say something like, You don't know what danger you're in!, but instead, "No.  I've waited too long--"  Which suggests to me that avenging James and Lily is quite as important to him as protecting Harry.

I also thought it was interesting to note how Hermione expressed her outrage at discovering that Lupin was allies with Sirius...
Quote
'NO!' Hermione screamed, 'Harry, don't trust him, he's been helping Black get into the castle, he wants you dead too -- he's a werewolf!'

Aside from the excellent dramatic effect  ;), I have to wonder... why does Hermione out Lupin right here?  What's her point, that because Lupin is a werewolf (or, has concealed the fact that he is one), that makes him untrustworthy?  It seems unlikely that Hermione would buy into such a bias, especially since she's felt no need to share Lupin's secret before now.  Does she tell because she thinks he's a physical danger to them?  Why would she think that he is now if she didn't think he was before (when he would have had the same loyalties)?  Am I wrong, or is Hermione giving in to the stereotype that werewolves are not to be trusted, now that she believes that Lupin is in league with the murderer Sirius Black?  :hmm:

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May 03, 2014, 02:21:12 AM
Reply #3

HealerOne

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I also thought it was interesting to note how Hermione expressed her outrage at discovering that Lupin was allies with Sirius...
Quote
'NO!' Hermione screamed, 'Harry, don't trust him, he's been helping Black get into the castle, he wants you dead too -- he's a werewolf!'

Aside from the excellent dramatic effect  ;), I have to wonder... why does Hermione out Lupin right here?  What's her point, that because Lupin is a werewolf (or, has concealed the fact that he is one), that makes him untrustworthy?  It seems unlikely that Hermione would buy into such a bias, especially since she's felt no need to share Lupin's secret before now.  Does she tell because she thinks he's a physical danger to them?  Why would she think that he is now if she didn't think he was before (when he would have had the same loyalties)?  Am I wrong, or is Hermione giving in to the stereotype that werewolves are not to be trusted, now that she believes that Lupin is in league with the murderer Sirius Black?  :hmm:
That is the impression I get too paint it Black. Hermione is willing to throw Lupin under the bridge (so to speak) because now she thinks that Lupin has been in league with Black who has been trying to get to Harry! (Whew! It's like a soap opera!) But I can see where she is coming from. They had been told all year that Sirius was coming after Harry. Sirius had gotten into the school twice and then disappeared! Hermione sees Lupin give Black a big brotherly hug and had just shown up in the Shrieking Shack, so her (quick) mind computes that if he and Black were such buddies then Lupin was the one who was helping Sirius get in and out of the castle. Ah - so it must be because Lupin was a werewolf that he is so unreliable! (Or something along that vein.) I think she was reacting to the immediate shock of Lupin and Black hugging and acting like brothers. Nevertheless I am proud of both Harry and Hermione for giving Lupin and Black a chance to explain.
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May 03, 2014, 05:51:17 PM
Reply #4

roonwit

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I also thought it was interesting to note how Hermione expressed her outrage at discovering that Lupin was allies with Sirius...
Quote
'NO!' Hermione screamed, 'Harry, don't trust him, he's been helping Black get into the castle, he wants you dead too -- he's a werewolf!'

Aside from the excellent dramatic effect  ;), I have to wonder... why does Hermione out Lupin right here?  What's her point, that because Lupin is a werewolf (or, has concealed the fact that he is one), that makes him untrustworthy?  It seems unlikely that Hermione would buy into such a bias, especially since she's felt no need to share Lupin's secret before now.
I think Hermione feels betrayed, after having trusted Lupin and kept his secret up until then. I think she shows this in the lead up to the above quote
Quote
‘I DON’T BELIEVE IT!’ Hermione screamed.
Lupin let go of Black and turned to her. She had raised herself off the floor, and was pointing at Lupin, wild-eyed. ‘You – you –’
‘Hermione –’
‘– you and him!’
‘Hermione, calm down –’
‘I didn’t tell anyone!’ Hermione shrieked. ‘I’ve been covering up for you –’
‘Hermione, listen to me, please!’ Lupin shouted. ‘I can explain –’
so I don't think she sees Lupin being a werewolf as making him untrustworthy, but she could (at this moment) think that his concealing of this is an untrustworthy act.
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May 03, 2014, 06:31:24 PM
Reply #5

siena

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That is the impression I get too paint it Black. Hermione is willing to throw Lupin under the bridge (so to speak) because now she thinks that Lupin has been in league with Black who has been trying to get to Harry! (Whew! It's like a soap opera!) But I can see where she is coming from. They had been told all year that Sirius was coming after Harry. Sirius had gotten into the school twice and then disappeared! Hermione sees Lupin give Black a big brotherly hug and had just shown up in the Shrieking Shack, so her (quick) mind computes that if he and Black were such buddies then Lupin was the one who was helping Sirius get in and out of the castle. Ah - so it must be because Lupin was a werewolf that he is so unreliable! (Or something along that vein.) I think she was reacting to the immediate shock of Lupin and Black hugging and acting like brothers.

It does not take a quick mind to think that if Lupin and Black are friends then Lupin was surely the one to help Sirius in my opinion. A simple mind would jump to the same conclusion.

I am with roonwit in thinking that Hermione felt betrayed by Lupin. She respected him as a very good teacher who obviously managed his condition well. She worked out what Lupin's condition is, and I guess she also figured out that Dumbledore must know about it. It is the way he answered the questions about Lupin being absent from the Christmas Dinner that I think made her realise that Dumbledore must know. Therefore I think she concluded that Lupin must be safe, as Dumbledore obviously agreed on him being at Hogwarts.

But now, all of a sudden, it seems obvious that Lupin seemed to have harboured another secret, and that he obviously kept that secret from Dumbledore: It all points towards the assumption that Lupin was the one to help Black, and that he therefore betrayed Dumbledore - and Hermione, in a way. Hence her outrage.
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May 04, 2014, 09:02:10 AM
Reply #6

atschpe

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With Hermione it is a combination of a quick (yet superficial) mental deduction and hurt feelings. We should not forget that she has put herself under alot of strain through this year, with all her extra classes and then ontop enstranging herself from Ron and Harry in the process, too. There is the apt comparison of Hermione being the mind, Ron the heart and Harry the soul of the trio. Without the heart and soul, her deductions are not only very "heady" (only the mind talking) but she has to compensate for the emotional balance the heart and soul has to offer, and thus is more vunerable and feels attacked or let down much more easily. To me it is a nice little way to remind us not to get up in our heads and allow our heart, soul, body, subconscience, gut, etc. etc. to be a part of our life and decision making, rather than being overcome by the western drive of just training and using the mind.
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May 04, 2014, 11:50:59 AM
Reply #7

siena

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There is the apt comparison of Hermione being the mind, Ron the heart and Harry the soul of the trio.

I am aware that a lot of people have suggested this division over and over again, but for me, it is far too simple and does not do the individual characters much justice by viewing them as parts of a whole. Each character - Ron, Hermione, Harry - shows elements of each component mind, heart, soul. Each character is a complete unit initself made up of these three pillars - in my opinion. I would only go as far as saying that the three components seem balanced out differently in each character, but they are there, always.


 Without the heart and soul, her deductions are not only very "heady" (only the mind talking) but she has to compensate for the emotional balance the heart and soul has to offer, and thus is more vunerable and feels attacked or let down much more easily. To me it is a nice little way to remind us not to get up in our heads and allow our heart, soul, body, subconscience, gut, etc. etc. to be a part of our life and decision making, rather than being overcome by the western drive of just training and using the mind.

I feel one of Hermione's biggest weaknesses is her pride and a certain degree of stubbornness. Once she believes she is right about something, there is very little to persuade her to rethink her thoughts to maybe reach a different conclusion. When Crookshanks appeared to have killed Scabbers, her only thoughts go towards defending Crookshanks, because she believes him to be innocent. Her pride and belief in being right prevents her from listening to the heart component of her being, which would have lead her to say sorry to Ron about Scabbers. This would have been the right thing to do had she listened to her heart instead of her stubborn mind. We later learn that all Ron would have needed to forgive Hermione would have been a Hermione saying sorry. Now she does just that later on in the book, when her heart component finally takes over. Hagrid reminds us and Ron and Harry  powerfully that Hermione does have a heart: She has her heart in the right place, Hermione has   I think he says.
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July 03, 2014, 06:56:01 PM
Reply #8

Evreka

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This is, in my opinion, one of the very best chapters in all of HP (as part of the ending of POA).  :hearts: It's an awsome plot, about to begin to unravel...

1) Harry isn’t willing to kill Black if he has to go through Crookshanks to do it. What does that say about Harry?
He is not going to let innocent people get in the way of his rage - or his thoughts of justice. That's a great characteristic about Harry.  :hug:

I am also not entirely convinced he'd have killed Black even without Crookshanks, as if he had been absolutely set on it, he could have had time to do it before Crookshanks logged himself there.  :crookshanks: Which again shows that he isn't defined by hatred without any other feeling, but that he is a great person even when he hates a supposed murderer.



2) Several times now, we’ve seen Ron sacrifice himself to save Harry - and here, it’s a real threat against his life. What does that say about Ron?
Ron is a true friend and a true Gryffindor, who rather faces deadly enemies than run for coverage when a friend's life is in danger. As long as there are the slightest glimmer of hope he can protect his friend, he'll take that stand.



3) What do you make of Black’s reaction to Ron’s willingness to sacrifice himself?
My initial reaction: Something is VERY, VERY fishy here.... A mad mass-murderer who's murdered a whole street for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, cares if a cat and a "spare" boy gets hurt or looses their lives?  :crabbegoyle: Surely not?  :crabbegoyle:

Further, if his main attempt is to murder Harry; why drag Ron - not Harry - into the Whomping Willow? And if so, why not kill Harry immediately after entering the room? Something isn't like it seems here..... :crabbegoyle:


He seems to be rather obtuse here. He must surely have realized by now that the trio think he is there to kill Harry and he could easily have said something like "Sit down, I am not here to kill Harry." His reaction implies concern for Ron's leg, but a bit more explanation here could have saved Ron a lot of pain. Of course this is probably the longest human interaction he has had for several years now so he probably out of practise.
And you really think the trio would have gone: “Oh, what a relief! Now we can relax!” had he said any such thing? :mcgonagall2: I don’t think it would have helped one bit. Further, he begins to say this, and no one believes him, for good reasons.


I agree that Sirius has probably lost touch with whatever people skills he once possessed.  For one thing, he's willing to choke Harry in order to escape from his attack on him.  This is Harry, the one that he broke out of Azkaban to protect!  And as he's fighting him off, he doesn't say something like, You don't know what danger you're in!, but instead, "No.  I've waited too long--"  Which suggests to me that avenging James and Lily is quite as important to him as protecting Harry.
I do believe that he is still anxious to commit the murder he was imprisoned for (and as he know Peter a lot better than we do) he might be convinced for a rather good reason that unless he acts very swiftly the risk is overwhelming that Peter will escape again, unless he finish him first and explains later.

But the choking of Harry… I think he is out of options. Essentially he fights for his life here, and what’s the worst that could happen to Harry? He could become unconscious, then his attack would cease and Black could turn around and make sure he started to breathe again before doing anything else. It’s a desperate plan, but what’s the alternative? To allow Harry to kill him, leaving him unprotected from Peter?



I also thought it was interesting to note how Hermione expressed her outrage at discovering that Lupin was allies with Sirius...
Quote
'NO!' Hermione screamed, 'Harry, don't trust him, he's been helping Black get into the castle, he wants you dead too -- he's a werewolf!'
… I have to wonder... why does Hermione out Lupin right here? 
Because Hermione trusted him up to the point where he embraces Sirius. As he embraces Sirius, her trust is exempted, and then it becomes vital that the boys, too, have all her info on Lupin. How else can they make good decisions on how to act and what to believe? At this point the entire trio is still convinced that Black is there to murder Harry.


I think she was reacting to the immediate shock of Lupin and Black hugging and acting like brothers.
Precisely.



Nevertheless I am proud of both Harry and Hermione for giving Lupin and Black a chance to explain.
Yes, I think it is a great move of Lupin to make sure they listen by giving them back their wands and putting his away, offering explanations when he just made it possible for them to protect themselves… He’s one smart man… :)



There is the apt comparison of Hermione being the mind, Ron the heart and Harry the soul of the trio.

I am aware that a lot of people have suggested this division over and over again, but for me, it is far too simple and does not do the individual characters much justice by viewing them as parts of a whole. Each character - Ron, Hermione, Harry - shows elements of each component mind, heart, soul. Each character is a complete unit initself made up of these three pillars - in my opinion. I would only go as far as saying that the three components seem balanced out differently in each character, but they are there, always.
I agree with siena here. None of Jo’s characters are ever a stereotype in my opinion, but acts believingly as real people. If they didn’t all have heart, soul and mind I do not believe we would so take them to heart as 3-dim characters.



Another interesting question is how Crookshanks learned to use that freezing knot on the trunk of the Whomping Willow? And how come Padfoot could get himself and Ron through the branches while the tree was trashing around as usual? Was it only Moony and Prongs who were too big to get through without it being pressed?



There are a couple of things in the wizarding world that have very surprising and adjustable size. The tunnel from the Whomping Willow to the Schack is one such.

Quote from: POA, chapter 17, page 247 BPE
[Harry]… slid down an earthy slope to the bottom of a very low tunnel. …
‘This way,’ said Harry, setting off, bent-backed after Crookshanks.
So, presumably Harry (who isn’t a very tall 13 year old), can not stand straight in it.

Quote from: POA, chapter 20, page 277 BPE
Getting back into the tunnel was difficult. Lupin, Pettigrew and Ron had to turn side-ways to manage it; Lupin still had Pettigrew covered by his wand. Harry could see them edging awkwardly along the tunnel in single file. … Sirius, who was still making Snape drift along ahead of them; he kept bumping his lolling head on the low ceiling.
Difficult and narrow… but no more mentioning of the need for even the kids – and therefore even more the adults – to need to crouch over? Does it grow in height magically to ajust to the tallest person in the tunnel? :hmm:



The courage it must have taken from Hermione and Harry to follow the trail right into the Schrieking Shack is really amazing, don’t you think? Again, they didn’t have much of a choice, haven gotten that far, but it still is quite some accomplishment! :o



Quote from: Ron in POA, chapter 17, page 248 BPE
He’s the dog…. He’s an Animagus…
This brilliant line is really the start of an amazing plot’s start to unravel in an unprecedented way! While we’ve known that McGonagall can become a cat right from the first chapter of PS/SS, and the term was first explained in early POA  (Talons and Tea Leaves chapter, I think), this is the first time we can really begin to see the drawbacks of uncertainties for living in a magical world… Ouch, a dog might be your worst enemy! :o

And we are just about to discover that you might not even know as much as you think about your own pet!



I really love Lupin’s quick thinking process which explains to him how Peter can be alive and that Sirius is innocent. When I first read it, it made no sense, but on re-reads, it is a brilliantly put sum-up of the explanations to come, yet not fore-stalling too much for new readers! :thumbup:

« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 07:04:31 PM by Evreka »
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July 04, 2014, 02:28:27 PM
Reply #9

siena

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I think Snuffles (Sirius transformed) showed Crookshanks how to freeze the tree.

And about the size of the dog - I think he could probably creep quite closely to the ground, as he knew exactly where to find the knob. Crookshanks isn't that small either, he is described as a very large cat or a small tiger.
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July 04, 2014, 08:26:41 PM
Reply #10

Evreka

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And about the size of the dog - I think he could probably creep quite closely to the ground, as he knew exactly where to find the knob.
Yes, but when he drags Ron with him down the tree's roots, he does not freeze the tree. The tree is simultaneously attacking Harry and Hermione as visciously as ever, the tree doesn't get frozen until Crookshanks press the knob for their sake.
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July 06, 2014, 09:34:50 AM
Reply #11

roonwit

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And about the size of the dog - I think he could probably creep quite closely to the ground, as he knew exactly where to find the knob.
Yes, but when he drags Ron with him down the tree's roots, he does not freeze the tree. The tree is simultaneously attacking Harry and Hermione as visciously as ever, the tree doesn't get frozen until Crookshanks press the knob for their sake.
I assume Crookshanks saw the freezing of the tree on a previous occasion. Sirius was probably hiding in the Shrieking Shack for at least some of the time he was around Hogwarts.
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July 06, 2014, 11:50:52 PM
Reply #12

Evreka

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And about the size of the dog - I think he could probably creep quite closely to the ground, as he knew exactly where to find the knob.
Yes, but when he drags Ron with him down the tree's roots, he does not freeze the tree. The tree is simultaneously attacking Harry and Hermione as visciously as ever, the tree doesn't get frozen until Crookshanks press the knob for their sake.
I assume Crookshanks saw the freezing of the tree on a previous occasion. Sirius was probably hiding in the Shrieking Shack for at least some of the time he was around Hogwarts.
Oh yes, I agree about this.  :hmm: Maybe I misread siena's post? I thought her comment was in reponse to this:

... Another interesting question is how Crookshanks learned to use that freezing knot on the trunk of the Whomping Willow? And how come Padfoot could get himself and Ron through the branches while the tree was trashing around as usual? Was it only Moony and Prongs who were too big to get through without it being pressed?...
So I took the reply to mean that Padfoot used it to get through the branches; but I guess it might also be meant as two separate statements: And about the size of the dog - I think he could probably creep quite closely to the ground, and the dog ... knew exactly where to find the knob:mcgonagall2: 

Sorry, if I misread you!
« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 11:55:44 PM by Evreka »
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July 12, 2014, 12:05:36 PM
Reply #13

siena

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I agree that it must have been quite difficult to drag Ron along through the branches AND pressing the knob. But we musn't forget that while Sirius took on the shape of a dog, his mind still remained that of a man. So i think he could perform movements that an ordinary dog might not be able to perform.

But I wanted to ask something different that I'm sure we have discussed before but I can't remember what we said: I would like to know how Sirius could access his money at Gringotts to buy the broom for Harry? I mean, he would have had to identify himself?
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July 15, 2014, 04:15:39 PM
Reply #14

HealerOne

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As I understood what he said - he wrote a note to Gringott's  and had Crookshanks post the letter - i.e., Crookshanks goes to the PO and gives them a note directing them as to where he wanted the other note sent. Now to the best guess of how this was done. I assume he could have just had a password of some sort that allowed the account to be accessed that way. The Gobblins, with no love lost for either the DE's or the Ministry, probably wouldn't have cared that the account belonged to a wanted criminal.  OR he sent the note to the store asking them to have the bill sent to that account number at Gringotts and they paid it without question. Both seem like a bit of a stretch, but strange things happen in the WW!
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July 15, 2014, 08:09:08 PM
Reply #15

roonwit

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As I understood what he said - he wrote a note to Gringott's  and had Crookshanks post the letter - i.e., Crookshanks goes to the PO and gives them a note directing them as to where he wanted the other note sent. Now to the best guess of how this was done. I assume he could have just had a password of some sort that allowed the account to be accessed that way. The Gobblins, with no love lost for either the DE's or the Ministry, probably wouldn't have cared that the account belonged to a wanted criminal.  OR he sent the note to the store asking them to have the bill sent to that account number at Gringotts and they paid it without question. Both seem like a bit of a stretch, but strange things happen in the WW!
I can't see the Goblins accepting an instruction to take (probably quite a lot of) money from a vault without some sort of verification. Siruis might have supplied a password, or the Goblins may have used magic or magical objects to check that the instructions Sirius sent were from someone entitled to withdraw money from the vault.
I think they would be much less troubled about accepting instructions from a murderer (particularly one that had never been tried or convicted). If the Ministry had requested they be informed of any transactions involving Sirius' vault, then the Goblins might tell them, though they may argue that such transactions are confidential. If the Ministry didn't make any request, I severely doubt the Goblins would take the initiative and inform them.
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July 28, 2014, 10:00:00 AM
Reply #16

Dreamteam

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In Sirius's letter to Harry he said "Crookshanks took the order to the Owl Office for me.  I used your name but told them to take the gold from Gringotts vault number seven hundred and eleven - my own."  He doesn't mention a password but that doesn't mean he didn't use one or perhaps the goblins rely on wizards not usually giving out their vault number (like our pin numbers)  to anyone they don't trust but I agree that the goblins wouldn't have cared about Sirius's criminal status, they had no loyalty to anyone but themselves. 

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