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 Spies Among Us: Patriotism Gone Bad

Death Eaters

Death Eaters

Patriotism does not necessarily mean that the cause the spy holds dear is related to a nation or the security of a specific nation, as is clearly evident by Voldemort’s Death Eaters. They are against a nation, and indeed, the whole Wizarding world and the world of Muggles. Their cause is Voldemort, or perhaps the desire to obtain power through Voldemort.

Analysis:

Recruitment by: Presumably Voldemort

Incentive Used: Assertion of Wizarding superiority, the opportunity to wreak havoc and assert extraordinary power over Wizards and Muggles alike

Handler: Voldemort or a Death Eater who has a close connection to Voldemort

Method of Communication: Direct assignments from Voldemort, messages sent through another Death Eater, or use of the Dark Mark on the Death Eater’s arm

Memorable Quote:

Sirius: “Well, you don’t just hand in your resignation to Voldemort. It’s a lifetime of service or death” (OP).

Quirrell: “There is no good and evil… there is only power, and those too weak to understand it… Since then, I serve him faithfully, although I have let him down many times.” (SS)

When Voldemort returns at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, you can see exactly what kind of relationship Death Eaters have with their handler, Voldemort. The Dark Lord demands loyalty and disappointing him is dangerous to say the least.

The first blog post in the Spies Among Us series was about Mundungus Fletcher, a Spy for Hire.

Break the Code: Decipher the Prophecy!

Prophecy Label

Last time we figured what the number 6—2—4—4—2 means.  These are the numbers Mr. Weasley enters 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.

In the Order of the Phoenix when Harry reaches the Department of Mysteries, Harry comes over and reviews the card (780) right beneath a prophecy, which states

S.P.T. to A.P.W.B.D.

Dark Lord

and (?) Harry Potter

Remember the Mirror of Erised, where the letters carved into the mirror needed only to be read backwards to reveal its message? Here we have a code based on abbreviations, though Harry does not know it yet.

Does anybody remember what SPT stands for, or ABWBD?

Let’s think about it for a bit. We are dealing with a prophecy, a prophecy about Harry. First of all, who delivered (that is, spoke out loud) the prophecy?

And who heard the prophecy being given?

Perhaps a certain Divinations teacher and a certain Headmaster?

Quite correct you are!

SPTstands for Sibyl P. Trelawney!

And APWBD stands for Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore!

Thus, the abbreviations stand for “Sibyl P. Trelawney to Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore”!   OP 780, 840, 841

But there is more to figure out.

Why is there a question mark? Because the prophecy could apply to Harry Potter, but it could also apply to some other boy born at the end of July whose parents thrice defied Lord Voldemort. And we all know who that boy is, don’t we?

Yes!

Neville Longbottom!

Final Rita Skeeter Exclusive: All for Lily

Snape and Lily

It is finally here! The authors of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying have reached the end of the Rita Skeeter’s long lost articles in which she interviews Severus Snape’s portrait about his life as a double agent. And it looks like he left the biggest shocker of all until the very end!

All for Lily – Snape Finally Reveals Why He Became a Double Agent

The big question on everyone’s minds for the last few weeks has been why. Why did Severus Snape become a spy to Dumbledore at the height of Voldemort’s power? Why did he die to protect Harry Potter? Why did he submit to these interviews? The truth is that Severus Snape was in love, writes Rita Skeeter, special correspondent.

“I had known, and had been, at one time, a friend of Lily Potter, then known as Lily Evans,” Snape began slowly, “we were neighbors and classmates. For a time she, unlike the others, was kind to me.”

Reports of Lily Potter’s kindness have lived on long after her death. Her husband’s bravado was also well known among those who admired it, but it was Lily who won the hearts of all she had met. “Ah always loved the way she treated my pets,” reported half-giant and former Care of Magical Creatures professor Rubeus Hagrid, “Harry’s got ‘er eyes and ‘er soft touch with ‘em.”

It seems, however, that Snape was more than an admirer of the fiery haired witch. When she fell in love with James Potter, his disappointment took over his better judgment.

“I wanted people like James Potter to realize they could not control the world with a smile and a flick of a wand forever,” said Snape bitterly, “everything came so easily to him, including her. He never knew how lucky he was.”

By throwing his lot in with Voldemort, Snape had aspirations of overturning the stranglehold that certain wizarding families had on the community as a whole. Unfortunately, his loyalty to the Dark Lord proved fatal to the one he loved.

“The Dark Lord, choosing between two possible enemies, selected Potter as the one who provided the most risk to him, and decided to hunt him down and kill him.”

The way the Prophecy is worded, either Potter or his classmate, Neville Longbottom, could have been the Chosen One. When asked whether Snape would have turned against the Dark Lord had Neville been chosen as a target, Snape shook his head.

“I would not have come to the boy’s rescue,” he said with a scowl. “I would not have come to Potter’s rescue if it had not been for Lily.”

Realizing that Lily and her husband would stand and fight for the life of their child, Snape raced to save them by alerting Dumbledore. Unfortunately, their precautions failed and the Potter parents died at Voldemort’s hand.

When asked what he did the night Lily died, Snape shook his head and turned away for a moment. He then turned to face the front of his portrait, his shoulders stiff and square and his dark hair pushed back from his face.

“I thought my world ended that night,” he said. “I wish I had died by the same curse. But the next day her son was still alive and Dumbledore asked me to help keep an eye on him. I hated that boy for who his father was but I had made a promise to Dumbledore to protect him, as much as I did loathe him.  But there was more to it than just a promise made to an old man . . .”

Tears shone in the stoic professor’s eyes. Special correspondent Rita Skeeter was speechless for a moment before she asked her final question.

“So you did it for love?”

“Yes,” he said, “I will always love his mother. That was the only thing that mattered.  It is why I did what I did for all those years.”

3rd Rita Skeeter Exclusive: Snape’s Last Act at the Battle of Hogwarts

Snape's Death

The authors of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying have been feverishly reproducing a series of articles written by Rita Skeeter that reveal Severus Snape’s first person account of his life as a double agent. In this third installment he describes his own death and his commitment to giving Harry Potter the sensitive information he needed to defeat Voldemort.

Snape’s Last Act at the Battle of Hogwarts

When Severus Snape re-entered his frame, he looked tired. Unlike the other headmaster portraits, however, he did not feign sleep but resumed his haughty pose before special correspondent Rita Skeeter. Under his command of Hogwarts as Headmaster during Voldemort’s second rise to power, Snape allowed the Dolohovs to torture students and did little to protect his young charges from kidnappings designed to persuade their parents to assist Voldemort. The man had little to offer by way of explanation for his willingness to put these students in harm’s way.

“I was undercover,” he said, “the most important thing was to stay close enough to Voldemort to ensure his demise. And I made sure that the Carrows didn’t go too far.”

However, at the Battle of Hogwarts in the spring of 1998, Snape died well before he could do anything to affect Voldemort. His death leads many members of the wizarding community to question whether reports of his heroism are not greatly exaggerated. When asked about these accusations, Snape simply shook his head.

“What so many of you do not understand is that some things are more powerful than magic,” he said coldly, “Dumbledore would have said love is one of them, but I have not been on the receiving end of much of that. I do, however, think the truth can be far more powerful than any spell.”

The cryptic answer seems, to any rational listener, like quite the excuse for Snape’s long list of prior bad acts. Special correspondent Rita Skeeter pressed the former headmaster for details.

“In the end,” said Snape, “Harry Potter did not need me or Dumbledore or any of you. He needed to know that he had to die in order to make Voldemort vulnerable to death. That tiny bit of information made all the difference and I was the only one who could give it to him.”

As he was dying, Snape asked Harry Potter to retrieve some of his memories. By placing them in Dumbledore’s Pensieve, the Boy Who Lived Twice learned what he needed to do to kill Voldemort, which apparently involved allowing Voldemort to kill him. Many believe that this was actually Snape’s attempt to assist Voldemort in killing Harry Potter, something he struggles to deny.

“He didn’t die, did he?” said Snape scornfully, “Doesn’t that kind of imply that I wasn’t sending him into a trap?”

Snape still refuses to explain why Harry had to nearly die.

“That’s none of your business,” he said.

To be continued….

New Rita Skeeter Exclusive: Snape Claims He Dedicated His Life to Protecting Harry Potter

Snape

Last week, the authors of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying released the first part of Rita Skeeter’s article on Severus Snape, longtime Death Eater and apparently Dumbledore’s right hand man. This week, Skeeter dives deeper into Snape’s role as a double agent.

Snape Claims He Dedicated His Life to Protecting Harry Potter

Severus Snape refused to speak with special correspondent Rita Skeeter for an entire week following her initial interview during which he proclaimed his loyalty to the Dark Lord. However, current Headmistress Minerva McGonagall invited the Daily Prophet back once more to hear more of his outlandish story. When asked about the woman who “changed everything,” Snape was tightlipped, but he soon revealed his role as a double agent in the years leading up to the second Wizarding war.

“I was a spy to Dumbledore,” he said with a sneer, “not for him. I made it my duty to keep an eye on Potter while he was at school for his own safety.”

Considering that the boy survived a face to face encounter with Voldemort before he could walk, it seems highly unlikely that the Death Eater-turned-Potions-Master could offer much in the way of additional protection, but Snape was adamant.

“That arrogant pipsqueak of a wizard couldn’t protect himself if he tried,” he said, “And he didn’t try at all. He was always taking on trolls, sneaking around to forbidden areas of the grounds, and using that invisibility cloak so that the rest of the professors had no idea what he was doing.”

Snape’s comment should remind readers of the utter lack of consistent security at Hogwarts during Harry Potter’s time there. In his very first year a troll made its way into the castle and threatened the lives of Potter and his friends. In his second year, the Chamber of Secrets was opened once more to wreak havoc on the student body. Escaped convict Sirius Black made his way into the Gryffindor Common Room the next year and Voldemort himself returned after kidnapping Cedric Diggory (may he rest in peace) and Potter during the following year’s Triwizard tournament. Dumbledore even died in Hogwarts’ tower, raising significant questions as to exactly what role Snape played in “protecting” Potter and Hogwarts.

“Of course I was not responsible for the troll or the Chamber of Secrets or Sirius Black’s return!” Snape shouted thunderously. “I certainly did not want Voldemort to return and I –“

Here, the proud professor stopped. He killed Dumbledore the year before the Battle of Hogwarts, allowing Voldemort to return to full power for the first time in 18 years. When asked why he did it, Snape gave a remarkable answer.

“Dumbledore asked me to.”

The ludicrous claim was followed by a tense silence, which was broken only when correspondent Rita Skeeter stood up to leave.

“Wait!” Snape said with a sigh, “People need to hear this. They need to know that fighting evil means making difficult choices.”

When asked once more why he killed Dumbledore, Snape expanded upon his previous answer.

“As soon as Voldemort returned, Dumbledore told me to respond to the Dark Lord’s call as if I were still a loyal Death Eater. As one of Voldemort’s more trusted followers, he told me of his plan to have a Hogwarts student, a boy from my own House, kill Dumbledore. When I reported as much to the headmaster, he made me swear that I would be the one to kill him if it came down to that. He did not want that guilt and evil staining the conscience of such a young boy. I protested, but in the end, I was forced to kill him in order to protect my cover.  Besides, he was going to die soon anyway, thanks to the wound he had received to one of his hands.”

When asked if he regretted his decision, Snape sighed and began to step toward the outer frame of his portrait.

“I did not love Dumbledore like others did. I saw him for what he was, a man much like me who was trying to make up for all the damage he had done when he was young and foolish. I needed to kill him so I could continue to protect Potter and fulfill my own obligation to right my wrongs. Do I regret it? No. But his death is a part of me now just like all the other deaths are.”

Snape disappeared from the frame leaving more questions than answers.

To be continued…

Death, Dreams, and Prophecies: How J.K. Rowling paid Homage to the Bard

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!

Yes, on April 23, 2014, Shakespeare turns 450 years old!

Celebrations are occurring all over the world, particularly in England, which makes it a great time to discuss some of the many Shakespeare references in the Harry Potter series.

First, let’s discuss Harry’s nightmares about Cedric’s death in Order of the Phoenix:

Harry Potter: Hey Big D. Beat up another 10 year old?

Dudley Dursley: This one deserved it.

Harry Potter: Five against one. That’s very brave.

Dudley Dursley: Well you’re one to talk, moaning in your sleep every night. At least I’m not afraid of my pillow. “Don’t kill Cedric!” Who’s Cedric, your boyfriend?

Dudley’s taunting is immediately followed by a dementor attack which makes Harry’s fears and nightmares come alive even as he seems to approach a kind of death at the hands of the dementors. This brings to mind that famous Hamlet quote that conflates death and dreams:

To sleep – perchance to dream.  Ay, there’s the rub,

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause.

Hamlet, Act III, Sc. 1, line 73-76.

And then there’s the passage in Macbeth where Banquo cannot sleep for fear of what he may dream:

A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,

And yet I would not sleep, Merciful powers,

Restrain in me the cursèd thoughts that nature

Gives way to in repose.

Macbeth, Act II, sc. I, ll. 6-9.

At this point in Macbeth, Banquo cannot sleep because he is afraid of the prophecy given to Macbeth in the form of a riddle by three witches known as the weird sisters.

Witches, prophesies, riddles?  Sound familiar? Keep in mind that the Order of the Phoenix is the book in which Harry finally learns about the prophecy that led to his parents’ deaths.

Lest you think we are reading too much into all of this, do you remember the name of the band that plays at the Yule Ball?

You guessed it! The Weird Sisters (GF 419, OP 286, 867, H-BP 316)

Need even more proof? Check out this excerpt from HARRY POTTER AND THE ART OF SPYING:


The Background of J. K. Rowling

As you may already know, Joanne Kathleen Rowling—who was born on July 31, 1966 (which would be Harry’s birthday, fourteen years later!)—attended Wyedean Comprehensive School, a middle school. She did quite well there; she was popular and outgoing and got good grades. In what we would call her eleventh year, at Stratford-upon-Avon, Rowling saw her very first play, Shakespeare’s King Lear, and was “absolutely electrified by it”—her words. She also saw The Winter’s Tale, featuring a character named Hermione!

Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Art of Spying by Lynn M. Boughey and Peter Earnest (forthcoming September 2014).

This information is derived from Marc Shapiro’s J.K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter 17, 34, 38–39, 48, 64 (2007), and Lindsey Fraser’s Conversations with J. K. Rowling, 31–32 (2000).


So tip your hat, cloak, or wand not only to the Bard, but to J. K. Rowling’s wonderful use of Shakespeare throughout the series!

Want to know more?

Shakespearegirl has a lot to say about the similarities between Rowling’s tale and Shakespeare’s plays.

 

 

 

Dumbledore’s Earliest Debriefs with Harry: Revelations from Harry Potter Books 2 & 3

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 6.29.19 PM

The last post we discussed what Dumbledore knew, when he knew it, and whether he should have told Harry sooner—and what Dumbledore disclosed at the end of the first book after Harry rescues the Philosopher’s Stone from Voldemort/Quirrell.

 

Today I want to continue that theme slightly and talk about what Dumbledore disclosed to Harry at the end of the next two books, and how he begins to unfold the realities of Harry’s his connection to Voldemort.

 

At the end of the second book after Harry defeats the basilisk.

1)     According to Dumbledore’s sources, Voldemort was hiding in the forests of Albania

2)     Voldemort was probably the most brilliant student Hogwarts has ever seen

3)     Voldemort disappeared after leaving the school  .  .  . traveled far and wide  .  .  . sank so deeply into the Dark Arts, consorted with the very worst of our kind, underwent so many dangerous, magical transformations

4)     When he resurfaced as Lord Voldemort, he was barely recognizable.

5)      Nothing but loyalty toward Dumbledore could have called Fawkes to Harry

6)     “You can speak Parseltongue, Harry,” said Dumbledore calmly, “because Lord Voldemort—who is the last remaining descendant of Salazar Slytherin—can speak Parseltongue. Unless I’m much mistaken, he transferred some of his own powers to you the night he gave you that scar. Not something he intended to do, I’m sure.  .  .  .”   “Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?” Harry said, thunderstruck.   “It certainly seems so.”

7)     Harry is different from Tom Riddle because he chose Gryffindor and asked the sorting hat not to go in Slytherin.  .  .  . “Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

 

So by book two, Dumbledore knows that it seems that “Voldemort put a bit of himself” in Harry, and on the night Voldemort tried to kill Harry when he was a toddler, he unintentionally transferred some of his powers to Harry.

 

And of course Dumbledore knows what the prophesy says:

FOR NEITHER CAN LIVE WHILE THE OTHER SURVIVES.  .  .  . THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD WILL BE BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES

Harry is destined to fight to the death the Dark Lord—heavy stuff for a twelve-year-old, I guess.  So Dumbledore tells Harry—basically—to go off and play—and the story continues, Harry none the wiser.

 

In book 3, Harry saves Sirius and Buckbeak, once again has an end-of-the-book discussion with Dumbledore.  Harry is concerned that he didn’t make any difference because Pettigrew got away.

Dumbledore tells Harry that his actions made all the difference in the world: “You helped uncover the truth. You saved an innocent man from a terrible fate.”

Harry then tells Dumbledore about Professor Trelawney’s prediction, where she said “Voldemort’s servant was going to set out to return to him before midnight.  .  .  . She said the servant would help him come back to power.”

Dumbledore concludes that was Professor Trelawney making a real prediction and calmly took the news that Pettigrew is going to help Voldemort return to power.  Harry feels guilty that he has done something that will help Voldemort return to power.  But Dumbledore looks at his action in a positive light:

“You did a very noble thing, in saving Pettigrew’s life.”

“But if he helps Voldemort back to power—!”

“Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt. When one wizard saves another wizard’s life, it creates a certain bond between them  .  .  . trust me  .  .  . the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew’s life.”

Finally, Harry had hoped that he had seen his father James across the lake the night before and realizes that his father is indeed dead and cannot return.  Dumbledore helps Harry through this realization as well, telling him, “Your father is alive in you, Harry . . .  How else could you produce that particular Patronus? . . .  So you did see your father last night, Harry.  .  .  . You found him inside yourself.”

So in book 3, Dumbledore doesn’t tell Harry much (except that saving a wizard’s life might help you later) and focuses more on “cheering” Harry up.

Harry remains in the dark, and off once more to the Dursley’s for his summer break!