Recruitment and Handling: Spy Craft in Harry Potter

Dumbledore's Army

If you’ve ever seen a James Bond film, you know that Bond takes orders from someone. He doesn’t not always follow those orders, but someone gives them nonetheless. The same is true of real spies and spy craft. A spy always has a handler who tells him or her what to do and who sends the information the spy gathers to the right place.

Handlers often recruit new spies as well. Dumbledore, for example, never passes up an opportunity to convince someone to spy for him.

How much do you know about spy recruitment and handling in Harry Potter? Test your knowledge with this quiz!

1. How did Grindelwald nearly recruit Dumbledore? What ultimately made his recruitment efforts fail?

2. Why does Hagrid’s attempt to bribe the giants fail?

3. Why is Dumbledore successful in recruiting Slughorn to teach at Hogwarts in Book 6?

4. What device does Mrs. Weasley have to “handle” her large family when they are out of her sight?

5. How does Voldemort ensure that his followers do what he wants them to?

Here’s an example of Dumbledore’s EXCELLENT recruitment tactics. Check out how he uses some serious psychological analysis to get Slughorn to do what he wants!

Answers: Types of Spies

Harry Potter characters
Yesterday, we asked you to name Harry Potter characters that fit into the five Types of Spies that 4th century theorist Sun Tzu devised. Here are our answers!

1) Local Inhabitants – i.e. people who are in the right places at the right times to observe what’s happening and report back to their handlers.

Mrs. Figg – She used her location near the Dursleys to keep an eye on Harry Potter for Dumbledore

Tom – The innkeeper at the Leaky Cauldron, Tom often spied on Harry and his friends for Cornelius Fudge

Mrs. Norris – Ok, so a cat is not typically a spy, but Mrs. Norris made a point of nosing around Hogwarts to report back to Fudge

2) Government Officials who can be persuaded to switch their loyalties

Pius Thicknius – He’s not the most well-known character, but thanks to an Imperius Curse, he became Voldemort’s puppet as the Prime Minister.

Kingsley Shacklebolt – Once it was clear that the Ministry of Magic had lost its way, Kingsley Shacklebolt quickly affirmed his loyalty to Dumbledore.

3) Enemy Spies who can be persuaded to become double agents

Severus Snape – Snape is the most obvious example of a double agent in Harry Potter. Lily’s death was more than enough to persuade him to work as a double agent.

4) Spies who conduct acts of espionage to deceive the enemy

Severus Snape – Once again, Snape proves himself to be an EXCELLENT spy by deceiving Voldemort every step of the way.

Peeves – Peeves helps Fred and George Weasley wreak havoc in the Order of the Phoenix in order to combat Umbridge’s horrible regime.

5) Spies sent behind enemy lines that return with information

Remus Lupin- Although the task was distasteful, Lupin went to spy among the werewolves.

Hagrid – Similarly, Hagrid used his half-giant status to try to get information and support from the giants.

Did you come up with better answers? Tell us in the comments! 

Answers: Padfoot is in Danger!

Harry on Thestrals

How did you do on yesterday’s quiz? Check your answers below to find out! Also, stop back here on Thursday for a blog post about the Daily Prophet in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!

1. Who concludes that Umbridge fired Hagrid at night in order to avoid another scene like the one following her dismissal of Professor Trelawney?

Ernie McMillian 

2. What does Kreacher tell Harry when asked about Sirius’ whereabouts?

“Master will not come back from the Department of Mysteries” (OP 740-71),

3. What alerts Umbridge that Harry and his friends have infiltrated her office?

Hidden Stealth Sensoring Spells 

4. What does Harry tell Snape in order to communicate that he believes Sirius is in danger?

“He’s got Padfoot at the place where it is hidden!” (745)

5. What spell does Umbridge nearly use to get information out of Harry?

The Cruciatus Curse

6. What does Hermione tell Umbridge to stop her from torturing Harry?

That there is a weapon in the Forbidden Forest.

7. What does Hermione do that alerts the centaurs to their presence in the forest?

She makes a lot of noise as she stumbles through the forest. 

8. Who saves Harry and Hermione when the centaurs become angry with them?

Grawp!

9. What draws the thestrals to Harry and his friends precisely when they need transportation to London?

Thestrals are attracted to the scent of blood and Grawp is bleeding from arrow wounds received from the centaurs!

10. Why does Harry fail to realize that he’s walking into a trap?

He has let his emotions take over. Unlike Hermione, he is not objective enough.

Answers: Covert Operations under Umbridge’s Regime

tumblr_lm5ep7HK9T1qi6xzso1_500

How did you do on yesterday’s quiz? Could you keep track of all of the covert ops Harry and his friends ran after Umbridge took over Hogwarts? Check your answers below and tell us how you did in the comments!

1. When Umbridge is unable to trick Harry into revealing his secrets, she threatens him by revealing that the Ministry is doing what?

Monitoring all channels of communication in and out of Hogwarts

2. What happens when Umbridge attempts to counteract the Weasley’s fireworks?

Her stunning spell causes the fireworks to explode even more!

3. What gift from Sirius does Harry use to open Umbridge’s locked office door to talk to Lupin and Sirius?

A magical knife

4. What excuses do Lupin and Sirius provide for James Potter’s terrible treatment of Snape?

James was young and arrogant. Eventually he grew out of those character flaws.

5. After Fred and George Weasley create a swamp in a school corridor, what is their punishment?

Umbridge gives Filch permission to whip them, at which point they decide they’ve “outgrown full-time education”

6. What does Hagrid insist on showing Harry and Hermione during the Quidditch match?

His half-brother, Grawp.

7. Why are the centaurs angry at Firenze?

They believe “he is peddling [their] knowledge and secrets among humans” (OP 698)

8. Why do the centaurs let Hagrid pass despite their anger with him for meddling in their affairs?

According to their culture, harming “the innocent” (children like Harry and Hermione) is a terrible crime.

9. Who is the head of the Wizarding Examination Authority?

Professor Marchbanks

10. What spell does Harry cast that impresses his O.W.L examiner?

A fully-fledged Patronus Charm

Spy Terms:

Mail Cover (n): A request by an intelligence agency to obtain information from a country’s mail service, to examine the outside aspects of an envelope or package, normally without opening the item.

Example: Umbridge intercepts owls delivering messages to Hogwarts students to keep tabs on any potential rebellions.

Black Bag Job (n): a surreptitious or covert entry into a home, office or other location without the knowledge of the owner.

Example: When Harry and his friends sneak into Umbridge’s office to use the only un-monitored fireplace to contact Sirius and Lupin.

 

Quiz: Covert Operations Under Umbridge’s Regime

Mcgonagall scolds Umbridge

Harry, Ron, and Hermione have to draw on their whole network of friends and acquaintances to counteract Umbridge’s oppressive regime. Thankfully, she is not well liked, so people are happy to help! See if you can recall all of the trio’s covert operations!

1. When Umbridge is unable to trick Harry into revealing his secrets, she threatens him by revealing that the Ministry is doing what?

2. What happens when Umbridge attempts to counteract the Weasley’s fireworks?

3. What gift from Sirius does Harry use to open Umbridge’s locked office door to talk to Lupin and Sirius?

4. What excuses do Lupin and Sirius provide for James Potter’s terrible treatment of Snape?

5. After Fred and George Weasley create a swamp in a school corridor, what is their punishment?

6. What does Hagrid insist on showing Harry and Hermione during the Quidditch match?

7. Why are the centaurs angry at Firenze?

8. Why do the centaurs let Hagrid pass despite their anger with him for meddling in their affairs?

9. Who is the head of the Wizarding Examination Authority?

10. What spell does Harry cast that impresses his O.W.L examiner?

Answers: Hagrid’s GIANT Secret

 

Olympe

Check you answers from yesterday’s quiz!

1. An injured Hagrid returns from his “top secret” mission which he refuses to discuss, but Hermione has already guessed what he was doing.  What does she ask him?

Did the giants beat you up?

2. According to Hagrid, who is under surveillance by the Ministry of Magic?

Dumbledore and “anyone they reckon’s in league with him”
3. Who was on the secret mission with Hagrid?

Beauxbatons Headmistress Olympe  Maxim
4. Hagrid and his partner were being followed by agents from the Ministry.  They gave them “the slip” around what town?

Dijon
5. What intelligence officer told Hagrid where to find the giants?

Dumbledore
6. What steps did Hagrid initially take to recruit the giants?

Gave them a gift and promised another one tomorrow
7. Hagrid tries to recruit the giants on their side.  What was the leader’s name or title?

the Gurg
8. Who shows up and ruins their plan?

Death Eaters
9. Who shows up at Hagrid’s door as the he is telling the kids about his secret mission?

Professor Umbridge
10. Hagrid provides a very weak cover story.   What is it?

He wanted to get a bit of fresh air, for his health

Trivia: Hagrid’s GIANT secret

 

Hagrid

We’re making our way through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with trivia about the spy craft, codes, and agents that pop up  everywhere in the book. Check out the last quiz here or try your hand at naming Hagrid’s GIANT secret.

1. An injured Hagrid returns from his “top secret” mission which he refuses to discuss, but Hermione has already guessed what he was doing. What does she ask him? OP 422

2. According to Hagrid, who is under surveillance by the Ministry of Magic? OP 425

3. Who was on the secret mission with Hagrid? OP 424

4. Hagrid and his partner were being followed by agents from the Ministry. They gave them “the slip” around what town? OP 426

5. What intelligence officer told Hagrid where to find the giants? OP 425

6.  What steps did Hagrid initially take to recruit the giants? OP 428-29

7. Hagrid tries to recruit the giants on their side. What was the leader’s name or title? OP 427

8. Who shows up and ruins their plan? OP 431

9.  Who shows up at Hagrid’s door as he is telling the kids about his secret mission? OP 434

10.  Hagrid provides a very weak cover story about his recent trip. What is it? OP 437

Look up the answers yourself using the page numbers provided or stop back tomorrow for the answers! Don’t forget to comment below and let us know what you think.