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!

A Spy in the Light of Day – Dolores Umbridge

Umbridge Giving Speech

One spy who does not fit into the typical definition of a spy is Professor Umbridge, who certainly spied for a cause (the Ministry can do no wrong, hem hem, giggle), but was spying openly. In other words, everybody at the school knew that Professor

Umbridge was there to spy on Hogwarts, its students, its staff, and its headmaster. We note this simple fact because normally a spy works covertly and secretly.

However, there are situations in which somebody spies openly, particularly when they have been given authority to do so by those in power! The role of such open spying is to assert the authority’s control with constant reminders that resistance will be observed, reported, and certainly not left unanswered!

Dolores Umbridge Analysis

Recruitment by: Cornelius Fudge

Incentive Used: Pure loyalty to the Ministry and the Minister

of Magic, Cornelius Fudge

Handler: Cornelius Fudge

Method of Communication: Owl, Floo Network, Educational Decrees

Memorable Quotes:

Umbridge: “Let us move forward, then, into a new era of openness, effectiveness, and accountability, intent on preserving what ought to be preserved, perfecting what needs to be perfected, and pruning wherever we find practices that ought to be prohibited” (OP 213–14).

Here’s her full speech, because it’s pretty awe-inspiring to watch:

What Cornelius doesn’t know won’t hurt him” (OP 746).

Other Spies in the Open

As an aside, we note two other “open” spies in the series, both appearing in book 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The first is none other than Petunia Dursley, who, it turns out, is quite the nosy neighbor! According to Harry, Aunt Petunia would love to be the one to call in and report the spotting of Sirius Black:

Petunia Dursley

“She was the nosiest woman in the world and spent most of her life spying on the boring, law-abiding neighbors” (PA 17).

Another “open” spy is Tom, the toothless landlord of the Leaky Cauldron, who at the request of Cornelius Fudge keeps an eye on Harry while he stays at the Leaky Caldron for a few weeks after escaping from the Dursleys’ (PA 46).

Tom, Leaky Cauldron

What do all of these spies in the open have in common? Do you have any examples of other spies in Harry Potter who make sure everyone knows what they’re doing?

Answers: The Department of Mysteries

Department of Mysteries

How did you do on the quiz yesterday? Would you have successfully navigated the Department of Mysteries? Check your answers below!

1. What form of stealth technology do Harry and his friends use to travel to London?

Thestrals!

2. Why is the code 6-2-4-4-2 an appropriate code for entering the Ministry of Magic through a telephone booth?

It spells M-A-G-I-C on the keypad of a telephone!

3. Why does Harry want to leave a lookout in the corridor outside the door to the Department of Mysteries?

He was trying to leave some of his friends behind to keep them out of danger. 

4. What is behind the first door Harry and his friends try?

A large tank full of free-floating brains.

5. Who notices the sphere with Harry’s name on it?

Ron Weasley

6. What does S.P.T. to A.P.W.D. mean?

Sybill Patricia Trelawney to Albus Percival Wulfric Dumbledore

For more code-breaking, try going here or even here! There’s even a code on the cover of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying!

7. Why has Dumbledore been ignoring Harry?

He was worried Voldemort would use Harry to spy on him!

8. Who ends up in Azkaban after the events at the Ministry of Magic?

Lucius Malfoy – which of course sets the stage for his son’s action sin the Half Blood Prince!

9. What does the Daily Prophet call Harry Potter once it is revealed that he had been telling the truth the whole time?

the “lone voice of truth”

10. Who meets Harry at the train station to escort him to the Dursleys?

Mad-Eye Moody, Tonks, Lupin, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley!

Quiz: Department of Mysteries

Daily Prophet Voldemort Returns

This is it. It’s the quiz on the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. If you’ve been following along the whole time, this is quite the accomplishment. Congratulations! If you’re just joining us, then good luck – you may need it!

1. What form of stealth technology do Harry and his friends use to travel to London?

2. Why is the code 6-2-4-4-2 an appropriate code for entering the Ministry of Magic through a telephone booth?

3. Why does Harry want to leave a lookout in the corridor outside the door to the Department of Mysteries?

4. What is behind the first door Harry and his friends try?

5. Who notices the sphere with Harry’s name on it?

6. What does S.P.T. to A.P.W.D. mean?

7. Why has Dumbledore been ignoring Harry?

8. Who ends up in Azkaban after the events at the Ministry of Magic?

9. What does the Daily Prophet call Harry Potter once it is revealed that he had been telling the truth the whole time?

10. Who meets Harry at the train station to escort him to the Dursleys?

Spy Term

Stealth Technology (n): Outside the world of Harry Potter, there is technology that allows a large aircraft (as well as some ships) to travel virtually unseen. Or, to be more accurate, it makes ships and planes seem much smaller than they are by enemy radar. Because this technology doesn’t hid the vehicles to the naked eye, stealth technology is only really useful at night.

 

Quiz: Umbridge Takes Over

Inquisitorial Squad

Things begin to look grim when the Ministry attempts to arrest Dumbledore and officially take over Hogwarts. However, if you were paying attention you know that Harry and his friends rely on their spy craft to keep up their resistance despite losing their biggest ally. Take this quiz to find out just how observant you were! Answers will be posted here tomorrow!

1. Just before he escapes his arrest, Dumbledore knocks out everyone except McGonagall and Harry. He then covertly talks to them.  What does he tell Harry covertly?

2. When the others start to wake up, McGonagall and Harry do what?

3. How does Dumbledore escape?

4. After Dumbledore leaves, what room is Headmistress Umbridge unable to enter?

5. In order to enforce her new rules and authority, Umbridge create a new student organization. What is its name?

6. When the Weasley twins tell Harry when they are going to do a little “mayhem,” what do they tell Harry to do?

7. When the mayhem begins, who serves as Harry’s alibi?

8. When in Umbridge’s office, the new Headmistress tries to get Harry to drink tea? Why?

9. Right before drinking the tea, who does Harry think about?

10. Harry, like a good intelligence officer, pretends to drink, and when the Weasley diversion begins, he does what?

 

Break the Code: Alphanumeric Codes!

Ministry of Magic

Let’s have another try at code breaking.  Last time we figured out the words above the Mirror of Erised (Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi).

Today we are going to discover what the number 6—2—4—4—2 means.  These are the numbers Mr. Weasley dials when they go to Harry’s trial in the Order of the Phoenix—and the number Harry later uses to get in to the Ministry of Magic with his friends to rescue Sirius.

To get into the Ministry of Magic for Harry’s trial, Mr. Weasley takes Harry to the visitor’s entrance, which is “an old red telephone box, which was missing several panes of glass.”  (OP 125)   Mr. Weasley reaches over Harry and dials in “six . . . two . . . four . . . and another four . . . and another two . . .” (125).  It works and Harry and Mr. Weasley gain entrance to the Ministry of Magic!  (126)

And later on, when Harry flies to the Ministry of Magic with his friends on the thestrals, they land at the visitor’s entrance to the Ministry of Magic (767). All six rescuers squeeze into the telephone box and enter the code Harry remembers the number (62442) and Ron, at Harry’s direction, has him dial in the number.  A friendly sounding female voice asks them to state their names and purpose, and badges arrive stating their names and the purpose of their visit, and after doing so they are allowed to enter (768).

So, what do the numbers mean?

Time for code breaking!

ANALYSIS: Why 62442? Time to use logic! Let’s first try assigning letters of the alphabet to the numbers: 1 being A, 2 being B, and so on. Do we get anything?

A B C D E

1 2 3 4 5

6        F

2        B

4        D

4        D

2        B

 

Applying 62442, we get F B D D B. Not much there.

Let’s think some more. Any ideas?

Let’s apply situational analysis. Where are they?

At the visitor’s entrance. Yes, yes. But what are they physically in?

A phone booth! Very good!

So what do you think?

Any thoughts on how to break the code?

Phone numbers, you say? But phone numbers usually have seven numbers, like 555–5555.

What’s that? Oh! You want to apply the letters that are on each number key on the phone itself! Sure, that makes sense!

Any readers out there who have texted someone by using the numeric keys?

Let’s add to our list the letters assigned to each number:

6        M N O

2        A B C

4        G H I

4        G H I

2        A B C

See anything?

6        M N O

2        A B C

4        G H I

4        G H I

2        A B C

 

MAGIC!

Isn’t this great? J. K. Rowling never tells us how to break the code, but by using logic we can decode the password for the Ministry of Magic visitor’s entrance!

Code breaking, you see, is very much like magic!

Quiz: The Hearing at the Ministry of Magic

Wizengamot1995

Let’s try another quiz! This time, you have to be quick on your feet to produce the answers to this “interrogation”! Answers will be posted tomorrow and linked here.

  1. When Harry walks into the courtroom he immediately recognizes it from the prior use of what intelligence tool that Dumbledore uses often? OP 137
  2. The hearing was supposed to be in front of only the administrative person in charge of improper use of magic by minors, but through the use of politics two other hearing officers were added.  Name them. OP 138-39
  3. At the beginning of the trial who uses interrogation techniques on Harry to get him to admit to all the essential elements of the crime? OP 140-141
  4. Who attempts to help Harry during the trial by asking a friendly question, “You produced a fully-fledged Patronus?” OP 141
  5. At Harry’s trial we find out that the Ministry of Magic has used surveillance and has “always closely monitored” Privet drive, and yet there was one witch who lived nearby the Ministry did not know about.  Name that person. OP 143
  6. After the trial Harry notices someone talking to the Minister of Magic.  Name this secret agent of Voldemort. OP 154
  7. Being a member of a subversive organization, such as the Order of the Phoenix, has risk, just like the risk inherent in spying.  Describe what Mrs. Weasley most fears, as shown by her encounter with a boggart. OP 175-76
  8. When taking the Harry to Hogwarts Express in one of his Order of the Phoenix members escorts is missing.  Who? And why was he missing? OP 181
  9. When they get on the train, who does Harry observe reading a magazine upside-down? OP 185
  10. What is the name of the magazine? OP 185
  11. When Malfoy tells Harry that he will be “dogging” him, what does Harry the intelligence analyst conclude? OP 194