Answers: Undercover in Harry Potter

Barty Crouch JR. Peter Pettigrew Transforms Arabella_FiggLucius and Cornelisu

Could you name all of these undercover agents in the Harry Potter series? If so, you just might be observant enough to be a spy yourself!

1. She might be considered a sleeper agent because she is introduced in book 1 and not revealed as a spy until book 5.

Mrs. Figg

She broke her leg in book 1, which meant that 11 year old Harry Potter got to go to the zoo for Dudley’s birthday. In book 5, she appeared out of nowhere when Dementors descended on Privet Drive. There was much more than met the idea with this batty old woman!

2. He’s assigned to track down Sirius Black, but he seems to be pretty bad at his job.

Kingsley Shacklebolt

He always seems to be Cornelius’ Fudge’s right hand man. That is, until he sits down to dinner across from a known fugitive and greets him like an old friend. Shacklebolt balanced his job at the Ministry with his support of the Order quite well, don’t you think?

3. He uses his family’s wealth to insert himself in the Ministry of Magic

Lucius Malfoy

Hard to be entirely undercover when your bratty kid brags about your political bribes at school. Nevertheless, Lucius Malfoy just bides his time throughout the series, waiting until the Dark Lord returns and gives him even more power in the Ministry.

4. He is more of a diplomat than a spy when he attempts to win over a whole magical species.

Rubeus Hagrid

Although Hagrid and his stunning girlfriend, Madame Olympe Maxime, tower over most of their colleagues, they were pretty tiny compared to the giants they tried to recruit on behalf of the Order. Despite their gifts and common heritage, Hagrid and Maxime were unsuccessful in their diplomatic mission.

5. This creature changes sides more than once in response to the treatment he receives at the hand of his various masters.

Kreacher

Yes, he’s spiteful and hateful and bitter. But look who he’s had to serve his whole life! He is almost entirely responsible for Sirius’ death, but Hermione is quick to realize that the old house elf just needs a little kindness to change allegiances and help the Order rather than the Dark Lord.

6. This man spent thirteen years undercover with the Weasleys.

Peter Pettigrew

13 years as a rat is not nearly long enough for a man whose cowardice resulted in the deaths of James and Lily Potter. However, he’s the only undercover agent to maintain such an elaborate disguise and cover story for so long! So, kudos for cowardice?

7. He may win the award for most elaborate disguise used by a spy in the Harry Potter series — he may also qualify for the insanity plea!

Barty Crouch Jr.

He’s a nut job, no two ways about it. He was willing to drink Polyjuice Potion constantly for nearly 9 months just to get Harry Potter to touch a portkey in the middle of an elaborate labyrinth.

8. She kept her special talent hidden so she could get the best scoop on a scandalous piece of gossip!

Rita Skeeter

This journalist took the whole “I wish I could be a fly on the wall for THAT conversation” a little too seriously. As an unregistered insect animagus, Skeeter could get any of the information she wanted just by waiting patiently to eavesdrop on the right conversation.

Quiz: Undercover in Harry Potter

Top Secret

Until you sit down and think about it, it doesn’t seem like there are that many undercover agents in the Harry Potter series. After all, it’s not a spy novel or anything, right?

Wrong!

There are TONS of examples of people working under deep cover throughout the Harry Potter series. Can you name them all?

1. She might be considered a sleeper agent because she is introduced in book 1 and not revealed as a spy until book 5.

2. He’s assigned to track down Sirius Black, but he seems to be pretty bad at his job.

3. He uses his family’s wealth to insert himself in the Ministry of Magic

4. He is more of a diplomat than a spy when he attempts to win over a whole magical species.

5. This creature changes sides more than once in response to the treatment he receives at the hand of his various masters.

6. This man spent thirteen years undercover with the Weasleys.

7. He may win the award for most elaborate disguise used by a spy in the Harry Potter series — he may also qualify for the insanity plea!

8. She kept her special talent hidden so she could get the best scoop on a scandalous piece of gossip!

Answers: Counterintelligence in the Harry Potter Series

Marauders Map

Check your answers to yesterday’s quiz! How much do YOU know about counterintelligence in the Harry Potter series?

1. What magical object, introduced in Prisoner of Azkaban, does Harry Potter consistently use to track people’s movements – enemies and friends alike?

The Marauder’s Map

2. How do members of the D.A. know who tattled on them?

Hermione jinxed the D.A. signup sheet so that if anyone revealed their secret the word SNEAK would appear across his or her face.

3. What device does Dumbledore have in his office that allows him to research Voldemort’s past and future plans?

The Pensieve

4. What magical device will reveal if someone nearby is being dishonest?

Sneakoscope

5. How does Voldemort ensure that Wormtail can never switch sides again?

The hand he gives Wormtail in reward for the sacrificing his own to bring Voldemort back to life is bewitched to turn on its owner at the first sign of disloyalty. 

6.  What does Mad Eye Moody use to keep an eye on enemies?

His Foe Glass!

We will have a special guest blog this Thursday! Stay tuned for more info!

Quiz: Counterintelligence in the Harry Potter Series

Mad Eye Moody

We’re back with a special quiz about the spy craft in the Harry Potter series! If you’re a longtime fan,  you know we started our quizzes at the very beginning of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the book in which Harry Potter and his friends really start to practice spy craft. Now, we’re quizzing you on spy craft more generally so you can see how JK Rowling laid the foundation for the Golden Trio to be excellent covert operatives!

This week, we’re talking counterintelligence. What is that?

Counterintelligence is the art of determining whether others are spying on you or your organization and preventing them from doing so.

So, can you name these examples of counterintelligence in the Harry Potter series?

1. What magical object, introduced in Prisoner of Azkaban, does Harry Potter consistently use to track people’s movements – enemies and friends alike?

The Marauder’s Map

2. How do members of the D.A. know who tattled on them?

Hermione jinxed the D.A. signup sheet so that if anyone revealed their secret the word SNEAK would appear across his or her face.

3. What device does Dumbledore have in his office that allows him to research Voldemort’s past and future plans?

The Pensieve

4. What magical device will reveal if someone nearby is being dishonest?

Sneakoscope

5. How does Voldemort ensure that Wormtail can never switch sides again?

The hand he gives Wormtail in reward for the sacrificing his own to bring Voldemort back to life is bewitched to turn on its owner at the first sign of disloyalty. 

6.  What does Mad Eye Moody use to keep an eye on enemies?

His Foe Glass!

Do you have any other examples of counterintelligence in the Harry Potter series? Tell us below!

Spying out of a Desire for Mayhem—Barty Crouch Jr. as Mad-Eye Moody

Barty Crouch JR.

Another spy who does not fit exactly into Sun-Tzu’s list of spies comes from book 4: Mad-Eye Moody, who was in reality Barty Crouch Jr. using Polyjuice to impersonate the irascible professor. Moody, as we find out at the end, had been imprisoned inside his own highly secure trunk in his office. Barty Crouch Jr., disguised as Moody, was spying for the purpose of getting Harry into the Triwizard Tournament and succeeding in it, so that, at the final moment, he would touch the trophy—in reality a Portkey that would take him directly to Lord Voldemort, who needed Harry’s blood to return to his physical form.

Barty Crouch Jr. Analysis

Recruitment by: A Death Eater or Voldemort

Incentive Used: Antisocial and anti-authority tendencies

Handler: Voldemort at the Riddle house, and also probably a Death Eater, given Voldemort’s weakened state

Method of Communication: Face-to-face

Memorable Quotes:

Sirius: “When Voldemort disappeared, it looked like only a matter of time until Crouch got the top job. But then something rather unfortunate happened. . . .” Sirius smiled grimly. “Crouch’s own son was caught with a group of Death Eaters who’d managed to talk their way out of Azkaban. Apparently they were trying to find Voldemort and return him to power”

Barty Crouch Jr.: He told me he needed to place a faithful servant at Hogwarts. A servant who would guide Harry Potter through the Triwizard Tournament without appearing to do so…A servant who would watch over Harry Potter. Ensure he reached the Triwizard Cup. Turn the Cup into a Portkey, which would take the first person to touch it to my master” (GF 688).

Barty Crouch Jr.: My master’s plan worked. He is returned to power and I will be honored by him beyond the dreams of wizards” (GF 691).

Answers: Misdirection, Deception, and Disguises

Mcgongall Cat

Did you find the answers to these questions about Misdirection, Deception, and Disguises in the Harry Potter series? Time to find out!

1. Why doesn’t the Elder Wand work for Voldemort the way he wants it to?

Voldemort believes he disarmed the Elder Wand’s previous owner by stealing the wand from Dumbledore’s tomb. However, Harry disarmed Dumbledore shortly before his death, making Harry the wand’s master. 

2. How does Harry mislead both Ron and Hermione before Ron’s spectacular performance at a Quidditch match in the Half Blood Prince?

He convinces Ron — and even Hermione — that he’s slipped Felix Felicis or “liquid luck” into Ron’s drink. Ron’s confidence makes him perform well despite his lack of luck.

3. How does Hermione mislead Umbridge when the evil Headmistress is about to punish every member of the DA for their clandestine activities?

Hermione pretends to break down and confess that the DA has been creating a weapon for Dumbledore in the Forbidden Forest.

4. Who is the very first person in the Harry Potter series to appear in disguise?

Professor McGonagall appears as a cat in the very first chapter of Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone!

5. What DA member is in disguise in the Hog’s Head during the first DA meeting?

Mundungus Fletcher

Misdirection, Deception, and Disguises In Harry Potter

voldemort and elder wand

We’re back with a new quiz! This one will require you to remember details from ALL of the Harry Potter books. Specifically, do you know how much of a role misdirection, deception, and disguises played throughout J.K. Rowling’s beloved series? Well, you’re about to find out!

1. Why doesn’t the Elder Wand work for Voldemort the way he wants it to?

 

2. How does Harry mislead both Ron and Hermione before Ron’s spectacular performance at a Quidditch match in the Half Blood Prince?

 

3. How does Hermione mislead Umbridge when the evil Headmistress is about to punish every member of the DA for their clandestine activities?

 

4. Who is the very first person in the Harry Potter series to appear in disguise?

 

5. What DA member is in disguise in the Hog’s Head during the first DA meeting?

 

Did you know?

Harry Potter and the Art of Spying author Lynn Boughey adopted someone else’s identity in order to travel to Chara, Russia to research his spy novel Mission to Chara in 1993. He had to memorize his taxi driver’s passport and pretend not to understand the train conductress when she asked for identification. You don’t have to be a spy to use misdirection, deception, and disguises!