Harry Potter - wouldn't it have been ok if he had just minded his own bee's wax?

Nope. McGonagall gave him the broom (Nimbus 2000?). Dumbledore gave him the cloak.

Seems to me that Harry needs to learn to trust his elders more. MOST of his problems would be solved with a simple chat with Dumbledore.

This is not quite correct. V’s mother didn’t tell her husband she was a witch until after she married him and was pregnant with V. Husband (Tom Marvolo Riddle Sr.) promptly abaondoned her and she died in childbirth (lived just long enough to name the baby), leaving V to be raised in a Muggle orphanage. Tom Riddle Sr. returned to his parents’ house. When V was a teenager, he killed Tom Riddle Sr. and his Muggle grandparents, Tom Riddle’s parents. There was no remarriage or half-brother (at least through book 4).

**Tom Riddle is apparently descended from Salador Slytherin himself. However, more recently, his mom died while he was young, and his dad remarried. His father was named Riddle, though I’m not sure if we ever hear the full name. Voldemort killed his father, stepmother, and half brother, who was also named Tom Riddle. This might be some cause of confusion. **

Nope. The Riddles that Voldemort wipes out in the forth book are his grandparents. The grown son Tom who is killed with them is in fact his father, who left his wife after finding out she was a witch. Even so, she named her son after him, and little “You Know Who” was sent to a muggle orphanage after her death.

Harp and Sword

We must also remember the creepy “look of triumph” on Dumbledore’s face at the end of GoF when Dumbledore learns that Voldemort can touch Harry without hurting himself. And the uber-creepy remark about reading between the lines Rowling made when the above look of triumph was asked about.

Well, this gets to my biggest criticism of the whole series… no, second biggest… anyhow…

Is it really likely that a person, a person completely unalike in temperment to another, a person deranged and evil could manage to adopt the mannerisms, attitudes and reactions of another wholly unalike, stronger personality they had locked in a trunk and could occasionally consult with?

It’s impossible for me to read GoF without mentally rewriting the story so that the false Mad-Eye is only substituted in the last chapters. “You never knew the real Mad-Eye”? Come ON. If Rowlings didn’t foul up, and write the real Mad-Eye into the story I’ll eat my hat (or some other hat of my choosing).

Random thought: what if having Harry Potter’s essence inside of him corrupts voldemort’s pure evilness?

majinborg, you’ve hit the nail on the head by bringing up Dumbledore’s look and Rowling’s comment about it at the end of GoF. This, coupled with Dumbledore’s previous actions, leads me to believe this guy is up to no good. Travesty, you say? Let’s look at the facts:

  1. Dumbledore allows Harry to participate in the Wizarding Tournament, clearly breaking the rules. He gives some ad hoc reason for this decision- “We can’t change it now.” Well, why not? Especially since the kid admits he didn’t put his own name in, he was obviously set up, and by whom no one at this point knows. (Or do they…?) The tournament is dangerous. Could D. be deliberately trying to put Harry in danger?

  2. The “look of triumph” when D. finds out V. can touch Harry without getting hurt. What could this possibly mean? Alos, Dumbledore’s reluctance to come out of his office, which indirectly leads to Diggory’s death.

  3. Sirius Black- seemingly the one person who would be totally committed, body and soul, to fighting V. and keeping Harry safe. Dumbledore figures out he’s innocent in PoA; why doesn’t he use his suposedly considerable influence to at least try to get Sirius some sort of judicial appeal? No. He just says “Oh, too bad I personally helped wrongfully convict an innocent man and sentence him to hell on earth. Lalalala…” This removes the one person Harry can completely trust, plus gets rid of a witness- Sirius knows about the Dementors’ being under V.'s spell.

  4. Draco Malfoy- and this kid is still at Hogwarts, why??? It’s obvious his father is some Grand Poo-bah among the DeathEaters; the kid is continually being a complete and total bastard, not to mention breaking almost as many school rules as Harry, and always with malicius intent. But he’s still there. A dramatic foil for Harry? Are we supposed to look at Draco and think “There but for the grace of god goes H.P.”? Why does Dumbledore allow Draco to stay at Hogwarts, and why does he continue to deal with “the opposition”?

  5. And the biggest question of all- why did D. ever allow Harry to be raised by the Dursleys? He claims it is due to Harry being so famous, doesn’t want the kid to get a swelled head, etc. But he knows the Dursleys are basically the worst people on earth. But, off goes little Harry, even before Sirius is accused of any crime. (Remember, this is true- Hagrid borrows Sirius’ motorcycle to deliver Harry- presumably no accusation against Sirius had come to light, or why would Hagrid have anything to do with him?) Granted, it is Rowling’s plotline to have seemingly normal kid enter fabulous magical world, a la Alice, but the more you find out about the backstory, the shadier the whole thing seems.

So this is what I see: something’s up with Dumbledore. Maybe Rowling will go all Star Wars-crazy and have Harry eventually need to defeat Dumbledore, who has become a sort of father figure. Who can say? Any thoughts on this?

Ah, Ok, I thought the Riddles killed in GoF were Voldy’s parents and sib, not gramps and grams an’ daddy.

I think there is a good explanation for this: Malfoy hasn’t actually done anything particularly bad himself, and, moreover, its probably better to have the bastard where Dumbledore can keep an eye on him.

While he does indeed claim this is because of the whole “fame” thing, didn’t GoF state there was another, hidden reason? That, while Harry was at the Dursley’s, he was much safer from any attacks by Dark Wizards or Witches (possibly because they couldn’t find him)?

*Is it really likely that a person, a person completely unalike in temperment to another, a person deranged and evil could manage to adopt the mannerisms, attitudes and reactions of another wholly unalike, stronger personality they had locked in a trunk and could occasionally consult with? [i/]

Oh I dunno. I think Crouch and Moody are actually fairly similar in temperament: strict, unyielding, suspicious, loyal (if to different people), damning of people weaker than them. It’s clear that Crouch isn’t doing much acting when he’s torturing Malfoy and threatening Karkaroff. It’s part of Rowling’s cleverness that she shows good and evil can be fairly similar at the extreme end of the spectrum.

I’ll bet Harry is protected at the Dursleys by that weird neighbor with the cats, Arabella Figg. She was mentioned at the end of the fourth book…

I’ll second the idea that this is a children’s book. It’s a wildly popular children’s series, but the kids must be the heroes in a kid’s book. Asking the adults for help all the time is more realistic, but that doesn’t feed into the childhood fantasy that all adults are boring workaholics who know nothing about what’s REALLY going on, and only the kids can save the day.

Waiting anxiously for book 5.

In book 1 Hagrid mentions that he’s not sure if Voldemorte had enough human in him left to die because of all the evil spells he cast trying to obtain immortality. He mentions that those spells “took” the human out of him. When Voldemorte used Harry’s blood to reincarnate himself, perhaps he gave himself just enough human to be killed.

The entire wizarding world was convinced he was guilty, lots of witnesses, etc. I don’t think a jury would have overturned the sentence. Besides, at the conclusion of book 4, look what happens when Dumbledore tells Fudge that Voldemorte is back and he refuses to believe it. I feel that this is the way the entire wizarding community is. They simply want to block out the entire memory of that time, hence calling Voldemorte, “He who must note be named.”

Don’t forget that Voldemorte attended Hogwarts too. It seems like they take in all folk and let actions speak for themselves. It seems most of Slythern is evil, but they don’t remove the entire house.

I see Dumbledore as more of a Yoda than a Darth Vader.

“Salazar” Slytherin, not “Salador”.

Also, “Marvolo” is almost certainly the name (given or sur-) of Voldemort’s maternal grandfather; there is a remote possibility that Tom Riddle the elder’s daddy was named Marvolo, but I doubt it. In any event, the only Tom Riddle whose middle name was Marvolo was Voldemort.

Dumbledore explains at the end of PofA that he doesn’t have the power to make other men see the truth (or the authority to overturn the Ministry of Magic’s prison sentences), so without some compelling evidence, Sirius Black’s status as an escaped murderer is unlikely to change.

Two people above have alluded to Dumbledore’s reluctance to leave his office, and the contribution this made to Cedric Diggory’s death. Could one or both of you elaborate on that for me, please? I’m not connecting this assertion to any particular scene.