Pottermore and the problem of time travel

So those following know that the final seven chapters of Prisoner of Azkaban went live on Pottermore within the last few days, which means more new information for us to enjoy. This is wonderful, and the biography of Lupin in particular is absolutely lovely (and makes me want to amend my character portrait of him to add some of the new information!). But there’s another entry that makes me want to cry. It comes when Jo tries to give more information on the Time-Turner.

Her insights on the problems it caused her as an author were very well done, and her explanation that traveling back more than a few hours messes with the fabric of time and can’t be attempted is a stroke of brilliance. But there are two passages that unravel much of the beautiful simplicity of the one chapter of the books that actually contains time travel. Here’s the first:

What is more, her five days in the distant past caused great disturbance to the life paths of all those she met, changing the course of their lives so dramatically that no fewer than twenty-five of their descendants vanished in the present, having been “un-born.”

Sigh. Repeat after me: this is not how time travel works. I recognize the temptation to think of it this way, but when a person travels back in time, they do not change the past. They merely become another person who is part of the past, exactly as it took place.

When Harry and Hermione stood in the hospital wing and spun the time-turner, Buckbeak had already been saved and Sirius Black was already flying away. There was no “version” of the past that was altered when they went back; there is merely one linear span of time that exists the way it does. Dumbledore sends them back because he already knows there was an extra Harry and Hermione that saved Buckbeak. And if Eloise Mintumble changed things in 1402 so that somebody failed to have 25 descendents, it is no different from my changing the present so that someone in 2013 fails to have 25 descendents over the next five centuries. The descendents are not un-born, because the events that happened in 1402 (with Eloise present) are the events that always happened in 1402. Nothing. Else. Makes. Sense.

Here’s the other quote that drives me crazy:

Secondly, I had Hermione give back the only Time-Turner ever to enter Hogwarts.

You could argue on a technicality that this single Time-Turner is one that various students over the years have shared, but I don’t think that’s what Jo meant. I think she meant that Hermione is the only student ever to have a Time-Turner. This type of hyperbolized superlative exists throughout the books, and I’ve talked before about my distaste for it, but even beyond that this particular claim really bothers me.

Here’s the thing. Barty Crouch Jr. got twelve O.W.L.s. So did Percy Weasley. If they were able to do this without Time-Turners – either by adjusting the class schedule or allowing them to miss certain classes or what-have-you – then Hermione is perfectly able to attempt the same four years later without a Time-Turner as well. But if Hermione could only do it with a Time-Turner, as far as I’m concerned, we have absolute proof that Percy and Barty did too. And probably many, many other students before, during, and after them.

This is something that probably happens every few years at a minimum, and it’s virtually certain that there have been times that more than one student has possessed one at the same time (in fact Percy was taking twelve N.E.W.T. classes during Hermione’s third year. I’ve suggested before that they might have run into each other ducking into a broom closet at some point). You can argue the danger of this all you want; it nevertheless is the reality of Hogwarts as it is presented to us in the books. To suggest that Hermione is the only student ever granted this magic is hogwash. But now it’s canon. And I couldn’t be more frustrated.

Why do these things bother me so much? Here’s why: I LOVE this world. I love the intricacies of it, I love how well-thought-out it is, I love that even the puzzles that Rowling didn’t really intend to exist can usually still be solved. When Rowling posts something like this, and it isn’t fully thought-out (and this isn’t the first time I’ve vehemently disagreed with something she’s written on Pottermore), it undermines the integrity of that world and makes it less enjoyable for us “obsessives” that Rowling once said her books were written for.

Yes, there are a few things in the wizarding world that it is legitimately impossible to make sense of. But there are very few, and most of these problems stem from things Rowling has said off-the-cuff in interviews. Pottermore does not need to be done off-the-cuff. It is writing that is prepared ahead of time and that can be properly edited before being added to the canon of Harry Potter. And it’s disrespectful to fans when this isn’t done. Does Pottermore simply not have an editor checking these things over? I’d do it for free, and I’m surely not the only one qualified who would.

Please, please, please, Jo. Take the time to do this right.

Signed, one of your biggest fans.

~ by Josie on August 1, 2013.

24 Responses to “Pottermore and the problem of time travel”

  1. I’m still upset that I haven’t had the time to explore the recently available chapters of PoA. Thank you for your thoughts on time travel here; very eloquently put! And, while I love all the little asides and added information we’re learning in Pottermore, when something conflicts like the above statements, I just have to sit myself down and tell myself to ignore them.
    It hurts the heart, but it allows me to still enjoy the world.
    Good to hear from you again!

  2. I agree…. Especially the second point. Pottermore’s updated? Grr, I keep not getting the follower emails! Sigh. Josie for editor!

  3. Good to see a new post from you, it’s been a very long time. Personally I don’t try to explain every thing that happens in a work of fiction that revolves around magic since really it can’t be explained. It just is what it is and I love it none the less. Having said that your writing is as articulate and eloquent as ever and I enjoyed reading it.

  4. I find your logic terribly flawed regarding time travel. That concept of the “stable time loop,” in which anything which has happened is set in time is only a theory. Yes, I know, the late, great, Albus Dumbledore — sorry, I mean Albert Einstein! — was on board with this theory, but that’s all it is, a theory! Of course, we have no idea what will happen if someone were to time travel, so I think writing off JK’s explanation based on one Muggle theory of time-travel is a bit silly.

  5. I also agree with your comments; I have read stories where the writer explained how things wore not changed like you did. As for the 2nd point, Hermione could not have had the only time turner unless the others just read the books, studied, and did the exams for a few of the classes( it’s how someone else thought it was done).

  6. YesImARavenClaw, here’s the thing. Let’s say someone does go back and “alter” history, and 25 descendents of somebody or other are legitimately “unborn.” How would we ever know? The only recorded history that is generated from that point forward doesn’t include those 25 people, so the present day wizards in the Dept. of Mysteries would have no knowledge of them. No matter how many things could have happened, no matter how many things you believe actually did happen in some parallel dimension of time, at the end of the day, only one thing DID happen, and it didn’t include those 25 people. So there’s no way for anyone to ever know that they were unborn. Does that make more sense?

    Ellen Hoppock, I’ve thought of this too – and of course it’s possible that, say, at N.E.W.T. level it’s possible to do all twelve courses without a Time-Turner (maybe the classes meet less frequently or something) so Percy doesn’t need one. Maybe Percy only took ten classes until after his fifth year and then picked up the other two. Who knows. There are loads of possibilities, but here’s where they bother me: Hermione is given a Time-Turner in the books with very little effort. Her parents don’t seem to be involved in the conversation; there doesn’t seem to be any hand-wringing; she isn’t even politely asked, say, to sit the Muggle Studies exam without taking the class. She just signs up for everything and then it’s one brief meeting with Professor McGonagall, zip, zang, done. If it’s that easy, it’s happened before. Any other explanations require stretching the canon to its breaking point.

  7. Great new post – insightful as ever! Love your idea of updating Lupin’s character portrait. Keep up the good work!

  8. Josie, I have been thinking about your statements a lot over the last two days, I have read through your essay on time travel again, have read the entry on Pottermore and have looked up some passages of the book itself and want to share my thoughts:
    About the first issue: I think the important thing here is that the specific instance of time travelling that is being described by Rowling here is entirely different from the time travelling that we’ve encountered previously by Hermione and Harry. Hermione and Harry do the time travelling in the “normal” and “legal” way, i.e. how it should be done: they go back only a few hours in time and re-live or re-experience the entire period until they come back to the starting point, which means that a stable time-loop is created in the process, which results in a single non-paradoxical time line that will only ever be remembered as such.
    But what this woman did was travel back a few centuries, meaning that she did not re-experience the whole period in between, but had to be retrieved by members of the Department of Mysteries from the past – and this apparently did not result in a stable time-loop and a single time line, but had weird and catastrophic consequences – maybe you could interpret it as “shattered” time lines that mingled themselves, leading to this paradoxical situation that there were 25 descendants, which then suddenly vanished, because they have been “unborn”. From how Rowling describes it, these consequences are just meant to be inherently paradoxical and even the people from the Department of Mysteries do not fully understand them. So this story just wants to show how dangerous time travel can be if you don’t comply with the rules – the consequences are unpredictable and cannot be easily understood by logic.
    I hope this makes any sense.
    (Continuation in a second post).

  9. About the second issue: I’ve always had the impression from how it is described in the book, that Rowling’s intention was that Hermione is the first and only student to have had a time turner – and I don’t have the impression that it is being described as an “easy” and routine thing to do – Hermione talks about how many letters McGonnagal had to write and how she had to testify that Hermione is trustworthy etc. This of course leads to the question how Barty Crouch Jr., Bill and Percy Weasley (and probably quite a few others) could do 12 OWLS/NEWTS without a time turner (and without missing classes).
    A possible solution that I have come up with is the following (and I’m sure it won’t be a satisfactory solution to everyone):
    What if – theoretically – it is possible for a single student to take 12 classes without a time turner – i.e. that it is possible the student could have a weekly schedule where all the classes fit?
    (I haven’t actually tried to come up with such a schedule, based on the information we have on how many available time periods there are on the Hogwarts class schedule, but for the sake of the argument I’m assuming here that such a schedule is possible.)
    But even if this is possible theoretically, in practice this does not only depend on the individual student – one has to remember that every subject at Hogwarts is only taught by one teacher and that some lessons are taught for every house seperately and some are taught for two houses together – and it could be possible that some of the extra subjects that haven’t so many students signed up for (for example Muggle Studies or Ancient Runes) are taught for all houses at once.
    So that has to be quite a complex task for Dumbledore and the heads of houses, to devise schedules for all students with their partly shared and partly individual classes that will also fit the teachers’ time capacity. And the more students there are – and also depending from how many different houses they are – who want to do 12 (or also 11) classes, the more complicated it gets.
    And maybe up til this year, it always was possible to come up with normal schedules for all students, because when Barty Crouch Jr, Bill, Percy and the others did their 12 OWLS/NEWTS, there happened to not be many other fellow students who also attempted 11 or 12 classes, but in Hermione’s year it wasn’t possible to satisfy all the students’ wishes (maybe there were some students from the other houses in Hermione’s year – e.g. Ernie Macmillan – who also signed up for at least 11 classes) and it became apparent to Dumbledore and McGonnagal that one of these students – i.e. Hermione – could only get a schedule that requires her to use a time turner (while the other students in the same year could still get a normal schedule).
    Of course I know that it is a bit of a stretch to suggest that in all of Hogwart’s history this situation hasn’t happened before – but that just seems to be Rowling’s intention and there always has to be a first time for everything…
    But there is also something that you said in your essay about time travel and the third book – that Dumbledore might have found it a good idea to have a time turner around Harry in this particular year – so maybe that’s also a reason why it was such an “easy” decision from Dumbledore’s perspective to give Hermione a time turner – and in front of the ministry they just had to emphasize that it wouldn’t be possible without a time turner, that they want to give Hermione the chance to do all the classes she wants to do and that she’s very reliable etc.

    So these are my attempts at trying to come up with solutions to these two issues. I hope I’ve expressed myself in a comprehensible way. I like such mind-boggling discussions. It’s always fun to read about other people’s thoughts about such questions and to think them through oneself.

  10. Lorena, that makes so much sense! After I left my original comment, I became exceptionally confused, as I realised perhaps we were missing something regarding the time-theory… But you were able to put it into words! Thanks!
    Your point about the time turner is a good one – as Josie has said, Dumbles liked the idea of a time-turner near Harry. Maybe, as someone already said, the students would take the extra class outside of regular hours? Doing the HW, meeting with the teacher one-on-one or as part of a study group… I can imagine Percy doing that!

  11. Yes, yes, yes! I disagree in part with your time-theory, but not in the HP canon (simply because I have read other stories in which whilst time itself is not changed, it is possible to pass into different ‘time-streams’, alternate universes if you may, hence the disappearance of decendents is possible*). But, in the JK’s work, stable time loop theory is most prominent, and, yes, I dislike how she appears to be contradicting her own thoughts here. Okay, being an author is hard work, but consistency is key.
    *Reading Lorena’s first comment – “maybe you could interpret it as “shattered” time lines that mingled themselves”; this corresponds with the possible time-theory I’m used to.

    Also, I agree with your above comment that it is too easy for Hermione to have the time-turner. Is it just me, or are her parents hardly ever involved in Hogwarts business? Yes, they’re Muggles, but they’re still entitled to a say in her education.

  12. Hoo boy, does this kind of discussion get me excited! I’ve missed this website!

    So, my first point: Pottermore is what I like to think of as “selective canon” – as in, it’s only canon if it doesn’t contradict the books. I apply the same policy to her interviews and her website. Otherwise, the whole thing makes heads explode. So, for example, I’m happy to consider Lupin’s parents, Quirrell’s House, etc as canon; the stuff about Quirrell seeking out Voldemort, wands acting on their own, and that completely wrong explanation of Secret Keepers from jkr.com is not canon. But you are absolutely right – it’s nothing short of a disgrace that Jo can’t have someone fact check the meager five pages she’s written here. Like you, I volunteer as Tribute!

    Re: Time loop. Like Lorena said, this was a freak accident, and not how time works in general. Picture it like this: Mintumble goes to 1402 and changes stuff so 25 people are unborn. In present-day, 25 people vanish in the middle of the day – one minute they’re talking to a colleague at work, the next there’s an empty chair. Because time went all wonky after this, it takes some time for their not-existing to integrate into the new reality, and in this delay people have time to note their disappearance. Hence, when the craziness is over and they’ve never been, there is still record to show that they indeed have been. And now my head hurts.

    I could write essays about all the things that don’t make sense about the Hogwarts education system. First, how is it that there is an exam at 9 o’clock for both Transfiguration AND Ancient Runes? Transfig is a core class that everyone takes, so apparently Hermione will be the only one sitting the Runes exam. Second, are we led to believe that no student has ever chosen to take Arithmancy and Divination as their two electives? Third, why on earth would some of these electives only be taught to one House at a time like Divination is – just to keep Trelawney busy? At most, that’s ten people in the class, which is ridiculous by any standard. In the grand scheme of things, getting 12 OWLs seems as plausible as anything else.

    I’m with you though, there is no effing way Hermione was the first student to ever get a time-turner. She’s brilliant, but she can’t be the first overachiever to go to the school. So yeah, Jo messed up here. And you reminded me that I planned to write a fanfic about Hermione and Percy in a broom closet.

    Good to be chatting about HP again!

    P.S. Having just reread Book 1, I am forced to conclude that your essay about it was pretty spot-on. So I retract my arguments on that thing.

  13. The idea that Hermione is the only student ever to have a Time-Turner also seems inconsistent with the conversation the trio have with Hagrid in HBP11 about not being able to continue Care of Magical Creatures:

    “Ar, I always knew yeh’d find it hard ter squeeze me inter yer timetables,” he said gruffly, pouring them more tea. “Even if yeh applied fer Time-Turners -”

    “We couldn’t have done,” said Hermione. “We smashed the entire stock of Ministry Time-Turners when we were there last summer. It was in the Daily Prophet.”

    “Ar, well then,” said Hagrid. “There’s no way yeh could’ve done it . . .”

    Since applying for a Time-Turner is something Hagrid immediately thinks of as an option, it seems as though other students besides Hermione must have used one.

    Josie and hpboy13, I think you’d be great editors for Pottermore!

  14. “But now it’s canon”

    While it’s nice to get extra information from the author about different aspects of the books, to me the definition of “canon” is only what exists between the front and back cover of each book.

    No matter how much time is spent writing and editing the series, cracks are inevitable. Interviews, Q & As, Pottermore, and any author-written HP encyclopedia (if it ever happens) will always be “off the cuff” in relation to the original series, regardless of whether the new information is supposed to fill cracks or if it accidentally creates new ones.

    I do enjoy getting more information from the author, but primarily because it gives me more insight into what she was thinking about while developing the series. I’ll never believe anything said outside the books will ultimately alter what she said inside the books (for good or bad).

    PS. – Did she say she writes her books for the “obsessives”? She must have a different definition of “obsessive,” because I’ve never felt the books were tightly enough edited to cater to that specific demographic. Elements don’t carry over from book to book (or sometimes chapter to chapter) and/or contradict each other over the course of the series. In reference to hpboy13’s post, certain aspects of the world she created don’t make much sense and seem to be only loosely sketched in. I’m not saying it’s sloppily written or edited, but she never struck me as that kind of writer.

  15. Sigh. Hermione got eleven O.W.L.s after abandoning two subjects at the end of third year, so she tried to study thirteen subjects during PoA, while the most brilliant other students we ever heard of did only get twelve O.W.L.s because it is apparently impossible to study more than twelve subjects if you don’t have a time-turner. It’s really not hard to understand.

    Yes, I am aware that only twelve subjects were ever named. But JKR never implied that there are not more. Check the books. Whenever there was an oppurtunity to say “Yes, thats all”, it was carefully circumvented. In CoS, Neville asks about Arithmancy and Ancient Runes, Percy talks about Divination, Muggle Studies and Care of Magical Creatures, but is there any reason to assume that both together mentioned everything that exists? In PoA, Hermione is interrupted when she shows her books and tells about the subjects she took, so she never ends this sentence (such a common trope). Throughout the books, we never see Hermione’s complete schedule for lessons or examinations, and where was she when Harry used her notes to prepare for the O.W.L in History of magic? Not sharing her notes, also preparing for this examination, seems out of character if she wasn’t sitting another examination at this time.

    Pottermore just confirms that Hermione getting eleven O.W.L.s is not a mistake which should be corrected in future editions. It’s canon!

    I don’t understand Billies argument: “Since applying for a Time-Turner is something Hagrid immediately thinks of as an option, it seems as though other students besides Hermione must have used one.”

    Since Hermione had already used a time-turner once, Hagrid would be really thick if he didn’t think of this option. Are you suggesting that Hagrid knew of other students who used time-turners, but nobody had told him that a time-turner had been used to rescue Buckbeak?

    Concerning the other big theme here, the stable time loop theory clashes with one of the big themes of the Harry Potter series: Choices.

    Dumbledore had to send Hermione back in time because he already knew that Buckbeak had been rescued by time travellers, he had no choice?

    Hermione had to take Harry with her, because Buckbeak had been rescued by two time travellers, she had no choice?

    In everything they did in the past, Harry and Hermione had no choice? They had to do it, because it had already happened this way?

    No, this is not how the Potterverse works. A stable time loop may be the only save way to travel back in time, but the time travellers have to choose their actions so that a stable time loop is created, and we have seen multiple occasions where this might have gone terribly wrong if Harry hadn’t listened to Hermione.

  16. Oh wow! Of course of course of course! That makes so much sense!

  17. Hieronymus Graubart, I wish it would be that easy, but there is still an inconsistency, because at Pottermore there already is an entry from J.K. Rowling about Hogwarts School Subjects and there she only mentions the subjects we already know of:
    “All first-years at Hogwarts must take seven subjects: Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, History of Magic, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy and Herbology. Flying lessons (on broomsticks) are also compulsory. At the end of their second year at Hogwarts, students are required to choose a minimum of two more subjects from the following list: Arithmancy, Muggle Studies, Divination, Study of Ancient Runes and Care of Magical Creatures.”
    And the only other thing she mentions there is: “Very specialised subjects such as Alchemy are sometimes offered in the final two years, if there is sufficient demand.”
    Maybe the inconsistency of 12 or 13 classes arose, because she at some point counted flying lessons among the subjects, leading to 13, but they are clearly not an OWL (or NEWT) class – so that means there are only 12 OWL subjects and Hermione could only have gotten 10 OWLS.
    So either way, at some point there is a mistake that one can’t really argue around…
    On your comments about the time loop theory and free choice: that was exactly what I was thinking (I didn’t elaborate on this in my previous posts, because they already were quite long) – that it just HAS to be possible for the time travellers to do what they choose to do, which also means that they can do things that don’t agree with what ‘already’ happened. I think what one has to remember is that even though from the outside or from the perspective of everyone else there is only one time line, from the perspective of the time traveller he or she experiences this time span twice – and not simultaneously but one after the other – and always having free choice what to do. So to take an extreme example that was already discussed on other pages here: it MUST be possible for a time traveller to kill his or her past self, because from his or her perspective, what should prevent him/her to do it? – even if from the outside, this seems paradoxical.
    So what you say, that “the time travellers have to choose their actions so that a stable time loop is created” is in my opinion a very good way to put it, because it shows how careful time travellers have to be and explains why Hermione and also Dumbledore talk so much about how dangerous time travel is – because if it were all ‘pre-determined’ there wouldn’t be that much danger in it.

  18. Hieronymus Graubart, I didn’t explain myself well enough. What I was thinking was that if Hermione was the only student who had ever been allowed a Time-Turner, Hagrid would have known that it was a never-to-be-repeated event. After all, he’s lived at the school for more than 50 years, and is on good terms with the rest of the staff, so he would have been very aware that this was a unique privilege Hermione had been granted. Instead, he seems to be suggesting that applying for a Time-Turner is something that any student could do.

  19. Billie –

    Since Hermione had already been found “worthy” to get a time-turner, why shouldn’t she be able to get one again? To assume that this was a never-to-be-repeated event, Hagrid would need to know much more than just “Hermione had a time-turner and used it to rescue Buckbeak and Sirius”. Harry must have told Hagrid “something” when he returned Buckbeak/Witherwings, but we don’t know how much he explained. I don’t belive that Hagrid had any other source of information before Rita Skeeter revealed the former existence of time-turners to the public. We know since GoF that everything done in the DOM is top-secret, why should time-travel be an exception?

    I believe the whole purpose of this little dialog was to tell us that all time-turners had been destroyed (to end all speculations about time-turning in the “endgame” of the last book). At least at the time of the battle, every existing time-turner was on this shelf in the DOM, and this probably means that all time-turners should always have been kept there, not handed out to students at Hogwarts. We shouldn’t try to turn this into its opposite.

    Lorena –

    Since the books were deliberately planned in advance, but this project ended several years ago, I assume that the mistake is on Pottermore. JKR may meanwhile have forgotten that there should be thirteen O.W.L subjects, because otherwise the time-turner plot doesn’t work, and that giving an apparantly complete list of subjects should be avoided as long as she hasn’t thought up a plausible thirteenth subject, which she obviously never did.

    But there may be a way to argue around it. After years of considering and debating, the Mystery of the Thirteenth Subject was solved only recently. A sufficiently magical subject not covered in any other lessons would be “Basics of Interspecies Communication – Introduction to Mermish, Troll and Gobbledegook”. A plausible teacher for this subject, knowledgeable in the field and not requiring an extra seat at the staff table, would have been Albus Dumbledore. (The gender-neutral term for his function in British schools is Head Teacher, so don’t tell me he was just an administrator and didn’t teach any lessons.) So, what is said on Pottermore is true now, because Dumbledore is no longer available, but Hermione could get an O.W.L. in BoICItMTaG while Dumbledore was alive.

    I admit that it is a little bit weird that Hermione never talked about her lessons with Dumbledore. But she may have played a little game with Ron. He always peered on her schedule, so she didn’t say a word, wondering whether he would ever figure out what BoICItMTaG is. :-)

    I still didn’t check whether it may be possible that Hermione understood some Gobbledegook in DH.

  20. Arguments aside, I would *LOVE* to take “Basics of Inter-species Communication” as a subject. It would be fascinating to study the etymology of some of those languages and see if there was any common root between them. ::sigh::

  21. Hieronymus Graubart, Hermione only got 10 OWLs. The original edition of HBP had her getting 11 OWLS. It was corrected in later editions.

  22. No, it was correct in the first edition. As has been stated multiple times in the comments above, otherwise the whole time turner plot doesn’t make any sense.

    Something similar – making things worse by “correcting” a so-called “error” – happened, when the colour of Percy Weasley’s prefect badge in the first book (originally silver) was changed to match the colours of the Gryffindor prefect badges in OotP.

    In the second book, the colour of Tom Riddle’s prefect badge is still silver, because obviously the whole plot would have been changed if Harry had recognized the Slytherin house colours when he watched Tom Riddle in the diary memory. We may assume that the colours of prefect badges had been changed between Tom’s years and Harry’s years. But why? We also need to know how Harry and Ron could mistake Penelope Clearwater for a Slytherin. Didn’t they see her Ravenclaw coloured prefect badge?

    Wouldn’t it have been much better to leave the first book as it was, making us assume that the colours of prefect badges had been changed after Harry’s second year? And then mention in the sixth or seventh book that Lucius Malfoy had counteracted attempts to unify the houses by influencing the board of school administrators to make differences more visible?

    Or the inconsistency could have been removed by correcting the real error in later editions of OotP, making all prefect badges looking the same again, because throughout the books there is actually never any reason why prefect badges should be house coloured. When JKR wrote OotP, she was probably confused by all the house ties, house scarfs and coats of arms shown in the movies :-) .

    So, should we have a petition to undo these two “corrections”?

  23. This is a marvelous post. It’s very beautifully written, I think. : ) I’ll be stopping by more, as I am a huge Potterhead.

  24. Hieronymus, great comment! The prefect badges always bugged me, but my biggest pet peeve was always Lupin’s line about “And then Dumbledore became headmaster…” This line contradicts EVERYTHING about the books’ internal chronology, and yet it never got fixed. Grumble grumble…

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