The Spy for A Cause: Kreacher (and other house elves)

Kreacher

The Spy for Cause—Patriotic: Kreacher

A spy who could be deemed patriotic without connection to a particular nation is Kreacher. As a member of and servant to the House of Black, he has absorbed all of their biases and prejudices. Kreacher’s patriotism lies with his understanding of the history and values of the Black family. Importantly, in the last book, Kreacher is able to unlearn these biases and prejudices (as we all are able to do) and actually assists Harry, Hermione, and Ron when they are hiding out at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, and in the final battle.

Kreacher Analysis

Recruitment by: Presumably Voldemort himself

Incentive Used: At first, Voldemort and co. used Kreacher’s obligation to the House of Black and then specifically to R.A.B. (Regulus Black), but later Kreacher behaved according to his perception of what R.A.B. believed or desired. His attitude changed once he discovered that Regulus betrayed Voldemort (with Kreacher’s help), thus Harry was able to recruit Kreacher through friendship and convince him to accept the ideals of Harry and his friends as parallel to Kreacher’s beloved master, Regulus Black.

Handler: Initially Regulus Black; later Harry, after Kreacher was turned

Method of Communication: Face-to-face

Memorable Quotes:

Hermione: “What do wizard wars mean to an elf like Kreacher? He’s loyal to people who are kind to him, and Mrs. Black must have been, and Regulus certainly was, so he served them willingly and parroted their beliefs” (DH 198).

Kreacher: “Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!” (DH 734).

Notes: 

The patriotic spy normally owes allegiance to his or her own country. In most countries, when people assume a public office, they take an oath. In the United States the oath includes the obligation to support and defend the Constitution from any enemies, foreign or domestic. In other words, it is possible that we might need to defend our country and Constitution not only from those outside its borders, but also from those within it. Although there are some who argue convincingly that the nation-state is disintegrating or becoming less important, and that we are entering instead a clash of civilizations (discussed at pagesn572-73 in the Appendix), spies are presently and primarily organized by nations and thus are sent out to do a nation’s bidding.

Other House Elves:

Think about Dobby and Winky. Who were there masters? How did they become intelligence assets for Harry, Ron, and Hermione? The answer, as usual, lies with Hermione. She said that Kreacher was “loyal to people who are kind to him.” By being kind to Dobby and Winky, the Trio won the hearts of creatures who were more often ignored. However, they were valuable precisely because they were ignored. Dobby was a wealth of information about the Malfoy family because they never thought to censor themselves around a servant. When he escaped their employ, Dobby was more than willing to share his former master’s secrets!

Answers: Close Your Mind, Harry!

Dpt_of_Mysteries

Did you open your mind enough to remember the answers to yesterday’s quiz? Find out by checking your answers below. Let us know how you did in the comments!

1. As Harry leaves Grimmauld Place to return to Hogwart’s after Christmas break, Sirius gives him a special communication device. What is it?

A two-way mirror

2. What is the mode of transportation back to Hogwarts after Christmas break?

The Knight Bus

3. Who is the driver (who is later arrested by the Ministry on trumped up charges)?

Stan Shunpike

4. Dumbledore realizes through his double agent that Voldemort perceived Harry’s intrusion into his mind when he was possessing the snake. What countermeasure does Dumbledore insist Harry learn to prevent Voldemort from turning Harry into a spy against him?

Occlumency

5. When Harry asks Snape how they know that Voldemort detected Harry, Snape applies the need-to-know rule against Harry, and tells him what?

It is enough that we know

6. Before their special lessons, Snape takes what and puts them away in a secure location?

His memories

7. When Snape is able to see Harry’s memories that he fears, Snape warns Harry about what?

That he is giving his enemy weapons to use against him

8. During Harry’s lesson with Snape he is able to see further along the hallway of his dreams and recognizes where the hallway is located. Which is where?

The Department of Mysteries

9. What is the name of the Weasley twins’ new invention that makes your head disappear?

Headless Hats

10. Why should the Weasley twins be assigned to the CIA Science and Technology directorate?

Because they invent wonderful devices for surveillance, diversions, and much, much more! 

We’ll be investigating another spy from the Harry Potter series this Thursday… Stop back then!

Quiz: Close Your Mind, Harry!

Occlumency Scene

After Christmas, life for Harry Potter and his friends gets significantly more complicated. Voldemort is not only back, he is clearly after something and he is not afraid to hurt people Harry loves to get it. Take this quiz to see how much spy craft you picked up on while you read this part of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! Answers will be posted here tomorrow!

1. As Harry leaves Grimmauld Place to return to Hogwart’s after Christmas break, Sirius gives him a special communication device. What is it?

2. What is the mode of transportation back to Hogwarts after Christmas break?

3. Who is the driver (who is later arrested by the Ministry on trumped up charges)?

4. Dumbledore realizes through his double agent that Voldemort perceived Harry’s intrusion into his mind when he was possessing the snake. What countermeasure does Dumbledore insist Harry learn to prevent Voldemort from turning Harry into a spy against him?

5. When Harry asks Snape how they know that Voldemort detected Harry, Snape applies the need-to-know rule against Harry, and tells him what?

6. Before their special lessons, Snape takes what and puts them away in a secure location?

7. When Snape is able to see Harry’s memories that he fears, Snape warns Harry about what?

8. During Harry’s lesson with Snape he is able to see further along the hallway of his dreams and recognizes where the hallway is located. Which is where?

9. What is the name of the Weasley twins’ new invention that makes your head disappear?

10. Why should the Weasley twins be assigned to the CIA Science and Technology directorate?

Spy Terms:

CIA Science and Technology Directorate (proper noun): One of 4 major CIA components, this division develops technologies that provide officers in the field with a significant intelligence advantage. Follow the link to learn more!

Need-to-Know (adj): A security standard in which only those persons who absolutely must know the information have access to it.

         Example: Only the members of the Order of the Phoenix are allowed to know the address of number 12 Grimmauld Place, which is given to each one by the Secret Keeper, Albus Dumbledore.

 

 

The Daily Prophet and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Sirius Black

The Hunt for Sirius Black—Supposed Death Eater and Escape Artist

As in the matter of Gilderoy Lockhart, the Daily Prophet seems unable to properly investigate the story of Sirius Black. Why was there no thorough and substantial investigation of how Sirius was able to escape Azkaban? His escape would have been a good opportunity to review the facts surrounding the murder of thirteen Muggles and determine whether there was any real proof that Sirius Black had committed the murders of which he had been found guilty. Of course, no investigation happens and the Daily Prophet relies instead in providing a “social benefit” to the Wizarding world by extolling the dangers of one Sirius Black, killer of Muggles, follower of Voldemort, and master escape artist. We also observe in this book that the Ministry of Magic is more than happy to use the Daily Prophet as a propaganda tool and purveyor of disinformation about Sirius Black— quite often as a cover-up for its own inadequacies, mistakes, and plain stupidity (PA 37).

Consider how small details like Sirius Black’s presence at the scene of the crime, the disappearance of Peter Pettigrew, and Sirius’ supposed role as the Potter’s secret keeper led the Ministry and the rest  of the wizarding world to believe that Sirius had to be guilty of murder. However, the lie was given extra weight because the Daily Prophet, an established source, supported it. The media has a lot more power than you might think, and it’s important to pay attention to how they interpret the details!

 

Spy Terms:

Disinformation (n): intentionally incorrect information, often provided to an enemy for the purpose of influencing the enemy’s reactions. For examples of real-world espionage that relied on disinformation, check out the Wikipedia article! 

Propoganda (n): False information, usually disseminated by the government

Established Source (n): Any source that has been used regularly and found to be reliable.

For more information about the role of the Daily Prophet in Harry Potter spy craft, try these posts: Check your Sources and The Daily Prophet and Open Source Information. 

Answers: Christmas at Headquarters

12_Grim_Place

You’ll find the answers to yesterday’s quiz below. These may seem like trifling details in the Order of the Phoenix, but a good spy knows that you need all of the little details in order to see the whole picture. Let us know how you did in the comments!

1. Kreacher keeps a framed photo of his favorite person in his hovel. Whose picture?

Bellatrix Lestrange

2. What is St. Mungo’s full name?

St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries

3. Who transports the Weasleys and Harry to St. Mungo’s on Christmas day, probably in a stolen Muggle car?

Mundungus Fletcher

4. When the Weasleys begin arguing about using human stitches, the children decide to go to the tea room. Who demonstrates his powers of observation by knowing what floor it is on?

Harry

5. Name two adults and one fellow student that the children run into at St. Mungo’s.

Gilderoy Lockhart, Neville’s Grandmother, and Neville Longbottom.

6. While in the locked ward, the children observe the nurse delivering a plant to a patient. Who is the patient?

Broderick

7. What eventually happens to Broderick?

The plant kills him

8. What is the name of the ability to tell what people are thinking?

Legilimency

9. What is the name of the countermeasure to prevent someone “reading minds”?

Occlumency

10. Harry is given a cover story for why he is having lessons with Professor Snape. What is that cover story?

 He is seeing Professor Snape for Remedial Potions

Don’t forget to try some of our other quizzes! How much do you know about St. Mungos, The Attack on Arthur Weasley, or Hagrid’s GIANT secret?

Quiz: Christmas at Headquarters

Christmas_1995

It may seem like just another Christmas with the Weasleys, but Christmas at 12 Grimmauld Place in Order of the Phoenix reveals a lot of important details about what’s in store for Harry and his friends. Can you remember all of those seemingly insignificant details? Click here for the answers!

1. Kreacher keeps a framed photo of his favorite person in his hovel. Whose picture?

2. What is St. Mungo’s full name?

3. Who transports the Weasleys and Harry to St. Mungo’s on Christmas day, probably in a stolen Muggle car?

4. When the Weasleys begin arguing about using human stitches, the children decide to go to the tea room. Who demonstrates his powers of observation by knowing what floor it is on?

5. Name two adults and one fellow student that the children run into at St. Mungo’s.

6. While in the locked ward, the children observe the nurse delivering a plant to a patient. Who is the patient?

7. What eventually happens to Broderick?

8. What is the name of the ability to tell what people are thinking?

9. What is the name of the countermeasure to prevent someone “reading minds”?

10. Harry is given a cover story for why he is having lessons with Professor Snape. What is that cover story?

Spy Term

Cover story (n): A false story that provides an alternative for the truth, intended to conceal an agent’s true reason for being in a particular place.

Example: The Dursleys tell their neighbors that Harry is gone during the school year because he is attending St. Brutus’s Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys. 

Psychological Assessment (n): The use of information about a person’s traits, characteristics, background, and psychological makeup to predict that person’s reactions or future actions.

Example: Kreacher’s devotion to the person in the photo reveals where his loyalties may lie.

 

The Spies Among Us: Professor Quirrell

Quirrinius Quirrell

Professor Quirrell

A good example of someone assisting Voldemort, and gladly so, is Professor Quirrell. After all, Voldemort has gotten, you might say, inside his head. At the end of book 1, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Quirrell seems more than happy to have assisted Lord Voldemort in his endeavors: he says so quite clearly—without any stuttering or nervousness! Unfortunately for him, Voldemort abandons Quirrell without hesitation, once again on the run as an ephemeral spirit looking for the next minion to help him return to physical existence.

Professor Quirrell Analysis

Recruitment by: Voldemort in a forest in Albania

Incentive Used: The promise of receiving great power

Handler: Voldemort himself—under Quirrell’s turban

Method of Communication: Direct—he’s, like, right behind you, man!

Memorable Quotes:

“A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it. . . . Since then, I have served him faithfully, although I have let him down many times” (SS 290).

“Sometimes,” he said, “I find it hard to follow my master’s instructions—he is a great wizard and I am weak—” (SS 290).

Note:

Remember how Quirrell seems to be a bumbling, frightened idiot?

Turns out his stupidity is actually a superb act.

Lesson #1 about Recruitment: Recruit Smart Spies Who Appear Stupid:

The famous Chinese general Sun-Tzu wrote in his famous book The Art of War in Part XIII 11 that good spies should seem stupid:

“As living spies we must recruit men who are intelligent but appear to be stupid; who seem to be dull but are strong in heart; men who are agile, vigorous, hardy, and brave; well-versed in lowly matters and able to endure hunger, cold, filth, and humiliation.”

Watch as Quirrell reveals his true colors!

 

Be sure to check out the other spies we’ve discussed in the Harry Potter Series: Mundungus Fletcher, Kreacher and the Death Eaters. And check back with us in a few weeks for our next installment of The Spies Among Us!