Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Dumbledore thinks . . ." -- or does he?

"I've got to be quick," Harry panted. "Dumbledore thinks I'm getting my Invisibility Cloak."

Whereupon he proceeds to give Hermione and Ron the Map, the bottle of Felix Felicis, and instructions to watch what Malfoy and Snape are up to, and then Harry hurries off on the Horcrux Hunt with Dumbledore.

But wait a minute -- here's a quote from much earlier in the book, spoken by Dumbledore in the Weasley's spidery broomshed:

"I wish you to keep your Invisibility Cloak with you at all times from this moment onward. Even within Hogwarts itself. Just in case, do you understand me?"

And just in case you're unsure, note that when Harry dashes up to the dormitory, he grabs only the Map and the rolled up socks containing the potion bottle. He already has the Cloak on him, as confirmed by the fact that he says "Dumbledore thinks" in the statement I quoted above.

Show of hands: Who thinks Dumbledore knew Harry had the Cloak on him, specifically didn't ask him but instead sent him to get it because he knew Harry had something important to do? Could that have been part of the "additional protection" Dumbledore anticipated being "in place" while he himself was gone from Hogwarts?

:::::sigh::::: I keep coming back to this one question: How much does Dumbledore know, how does he know it, how much does he foresee and intend Harry to do and how much is just happy (or unhappy) coincidence? And will we ever know the answer to these questions?

And can I stand to wait 73 more days to find out?

May 11

That's the date that we first saw artwork for the Deluxe Scholastic Hardcover edition of HBP. This had a picture of the Gaunt house from the outside, and Harry and Dumbledore following the ministry official through the woods towards it. We were all wondering how it related to the artwork on the regular cover and to the story itself, remember?

So, any day now we should be seeing artwork for the Deluxe edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

"And it takes six months . . . You've got to let it stew . . . ."

"Typical," said Ron.

They're referring, of course, to Felix Felicis, concluding it would be too much of a bother to try and make more of it for themselves because it's complicated to make and also not meant for those who are impatient or poor at planning ahead.

We also know that Polyjuice Potion takes over a month to make, and so does Veritaserum.

Weren't all three of these potions on display in the very first Newt Potion class in HBP? And hadn't Slughorn just arrived at Hogwarts much more recently than even one month?

So, did Slughorn make these ahead and store them somehow? Did Snape make them and Slughorn just use them? How would that work? "Professor Slughorn, I've prepared these potions for my NEWT level class but now that you'll be teaching it, why don't you use them?" From observing them, I'd say the two professors have different enough teaching styles that Slughorn wouldn't use Snape's lesson plans but would teach the class his own way.

Harry is convinced that Malfoy stole the Polyjuice potion for use in having some ready-made but inobtrusive guards for his secret activities. How much potion would that require? Surely more than could be stolen in one shot in a classroom filled with students.

So did Slughorn make the potions ahead of time and pack them away in his suitcase to bring to Hogwarts? Or is this just a case of Jo's maths weakness striking again? And did Draco steal the Polyjuice potion? Did he steal any of the others as well? We see no evidence that he used Felix.

Hmm . . .