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A theory on Christmas at GP - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
A theory on Christmas at GP
I'm re-reading the Christmas section of OotP. A few things struck me.
Okay, I'm going to go ahead and use this in Shifts (bit of a spoiler, but not so very big, as I'll be getting into the set-up in the next few posts) because I feel like it, but I thought I'd toss it out just as something to discuss. (Of course, if there's some huge canon point that absolutely disproves it, then please point it out.)

What if the Order thought Harry was going to be attacked over the Christmas holidays?

Here are the things I'm looking at in canon:

  • Harry's wrong about being the weapon, but he seems to be right about people making sure he's escorted anywhere out of the house. Not unusual by itself, but possibly worth noting.

  • Lupin, though he lives at GP, isn't exactly a constant presence (not rare, but not common enough for someone living there), though the entire Christmas holiday takes place between full moons.

  • Harry's not only accompanied when he goes out, but accompanied by Aurors (Tonks and Moody, during the hospital visits). On the Knight Bus, Tonks--the Auror--insists that she's the one to sit with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Lupin is capable of defending them if something happens... so what's with choosing the Auror who knows him less well?

  • The adults shut up very quickly the morning they're going back to school, when Harry and friends come in.

  • The Hogwarts Express should logically be running on the last day of holidays, and GP is in London. So why are they taking the Knight Bus? And why is Tonks so quick to tell Stan Shunpike that she'll curse him if he shouts Harry's name?

  • Dumbledore meets with Snape at some point to work out a program of study for Harry that could be very dangerous if Umbridge found out about it.

  • The escape of the ten Death Eaters from Azkaban occurs the first night of the return to Hogwarts (they hear about it the following day, but Harry feels Voldemort's excitement the night before).


So, my theory is that there were rumbles coming out of Voldemort's camp, things possibly designed to throw suspicion off the real plan (getting Bella et al out of Azkaban) or possibly just misinterpreted by the Order. The belief was that after the attack on Arthur, Voldemort would try to do exactly what he ended up doing in June, but it wasn't what he had in mind at that particular moment. The preparations observed by the Order via Snape and other means they may have are actually going on to spring the DEs out of Azkaban, but the Order interprets them as trying to get Harry out from under their protection--hence their insistence on keeping him guarded outside of Hogwarts, not putting him on the Hogwarts Express (where he'd be expected), keeping Stan Shunpike's big mouth closed. Adults come and go in the house because they're trying to figure out what's going on and what these murmurings are about. They're not telling Harry because they don't want Voldemort to know how much they've heard. The Auror (and retired Auror) presence is in case a Dark Wizard attacks him--they have authority to do something more about it than just fight. They could drag the Dark Wizard in to testify under Veritaserum or whatnot.

Does this make sense? Is there anything in canon that absolutely disproves it?
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Comments
sixth_light From: sixth_light Date: November 27th, 2004 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I first read the post it didn't make sense, because why would they agree to Harry going to the Burrow if they thought he was in danger? But after reading the rest, it does...as long as those rumblings only begin after the attack on Arthur. Otherwise there is no way in hell Dumbledore would have given Harry permission to spend the holidays out of Hogwarts at the Burrow.

Or they grow louder after then but before they are small enough that Dumbledore feels he can justify the risk to give Harry a holiday with his adoptive family - then you can have other Order members grumbling about it, and it would make sense in terms of Dumbledore's admission at the end of the book.
shadiness From: shadiness Date: November 27th, 2004 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
They stayed at Grimauld Place that Christmas, not the Burrow.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 27th, 2004 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but they were planning to stay at the Burrow until Arthur's incident. US ed. page 452.
undeadgoat From: undeadgoat Date: November 27th, 2004 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

here from da snitch

But before the attack, the plan was for Harry to go to the Burrow.
sixth_light From: sixth_light Date: November 27th, 2004 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but they were planning to go to the Burrow. It was only after Arthur was injured that they went to Grimmauld Place. Dumbledore gave Harry permission to stay at the Burrow for Christmas prior to that, and, therefore, must have considered that the threat to Harry was not great enough to make that a bad idea until the attack on Arthur.
shadiness From: shadiness Date: November 28th, 2004 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eek! My mistake, sorry.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 27th, 2004 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Re the order thinking Voldemort would do at Christmas what he ended up doing in June: Voldemort didn't even make the plan to involve Harry in retrieving the prophecy until the Voldemort-Rookwood vision inSeen and Unforseen, long after Christmas. Until then, he didn't know that only he or Harry could touch the prophecy. Of course, the order could well have assumed Voldemort knew more than he actually did... Anyway, the order seeing the activity building up to the Azkaban break and thinking it was somehow aimed at Harry makes sense independently of what they expected Voldemort to do to Harry.
Hexnut
ashtur From: ashtur Date: November 27th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
It makes perfect sense to me. I've never bought the Snape as Spy theory, so I've always thought his intellegence gathering activites were as "spymaster" or the like. In any case, instead of being at the "side of Voldemort", he's picking up the "whispers" that are out there. If there whisper is "there's something big laid on", it makes a fair amount of sense that they'd want to be extra careful with Harry.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: November 27th, 2004 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is the Order protecting Harry from Voldemort or from the Ministry?

We've already seen Harry attacked by the Dementors, which the MOM insists are under their control. If Snape perhaps was able to ascertain that the attack was not under the auspices of the Death Eaters, then the logical assumption is that the MOM (or its designee) sent them to attack Harry.

Also, after the smear campaign, it's reasonable to fear that the general populace is going to have a negative response to Harry in whatever context they might see him. Hence Tonks' shut-down of Stan Shunpike.

There's also the whole new set of fears and presumptions about Harry's new ability re: his dream about Arthur. No one knows precisely what's up with the Harry/Voldie link. It was at least 2 weeks before the order from AD came for Snape to teach Harry occulmency (sp?) so there must have been some discussion in the meantime about how to protect Harry and the Order.
From: magnolia_mama Date: November 27th, 2004 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
What if the Order thought Harry was going to be attacked over the Christmas holidays?

Harry's wrong about being the weapon, but how secure is the Order in this conclusion? Neither the Order nor Voldemort's camp know how deep the link between Harry and Voldemort goes. The vision of the attack on Arthur proved beyond all doubt that Hogwarts cannot protect Harry any better than The Burrow or Grimmauld Place (which raises the question of why Harry wasn't sent to Privet Drive for the holidays, to rejuvenate the blood protection he has through Petunia). Now the Order needs to find out -- quickly -- how much Voldemort knows about the link, and whether or not (or how) he can exploit it. Possibly Harry was prescient -- the Order may fear that he could unwittingly be made a weapon, and posts Aurors around him at all times to make sure Voldemort can't bring that fear to fruition. Could this be interpreted as an attack on Harry? I suppose; Voldemort could "attack" Harry and use him as a weapon, which is what Harry suspected from the start.

MM
mrs_who From: mrs_who Date: November 27th, 2004 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Darn, I wish I had more time to comment on this. There are parallels going on through out OOTP. When something is happening in the Order, and at Hogwarts, a similar thing is happening in Voldemort's ranks.

What if the Order thought Harry was going to be attacked over the Christmas holidays?

Here are the things I'm looking at in canon:

Lupin, though he lives at GP, isn't exactly a constant presence (not rare, but not common enough for someone living there), though the entire Christmas holiday takes place between full moons.


No, he's missing for "long periods of time doing mysterious work for the order". The details of which will come (I believe) in book 6. I think it's Pettigrew related as there is a mysterious lack of mention of PP, too. He's supposed to be conspicuously absent.

Harry's not only accompanied when he goes out, but accompanied by Aurors (Tonks and Moody, during the hospital visits). On the Knight Bus, Tonks--the Auror--insists that she's the one to sit with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Lupin is capable of defending them if something happens... so what's with choosing the Auror who knows him less well?

We know that Dumbledore has a "shrewd idea" and that his shrewd ideas are usually spot on. The Order is acting purely out of the shrewd idea that the only thing Voldy lacked last time round was the method by which Harry could be killed, and that the method is revealed in the Prophesy. PLUS, the Ministry of Magic is out to get Harry.

Therefore, the idea is:

1. to keep Harry from being recognized and keep him from indulging in his weakness - underage magic, (hiding from the MoM)

2. to guard The Weapon, and

3.if Voldy somehow GETS the weapon, be prepared to kill or die in order to protect Harry. (I suspect that's the dangerous bit of the Order which Fred and George "know nothing about.") I think that's the reason for Tonks and Moody -- killing or dying. Although Lupin is de facto leader of the Order in Dumbledore's stead, Tonks heads up the "protect and accompany" missions. As head of the mission, she *takes* the most important and dangerous assignment of guarding Harry. Lupin is her second on these operations, so he defers to her decision.

The adults shut up very quickly the morning they're going back to school, when Harry and friends come in.

I think that's ministry talk - trying to keep the Order members within the MoM well hidden. Just as Voldemort is trying to build up HIS army, and Harry is building up his (or Dumbledore's) army, the order is trying to keep themselves a secret.

The Hogwarts Express should logically be running on the last day of holidays, and GP is in London. So why are they taking the Knight Bus? And why is Tonks so quick to tell Stan Shunpike that she'll curse him if he shouts Harry's name?

Why the KB instead of Hogwarts Express. That's a great question. IMHO, the HE would be more secure than the Knight Bus. I haven't a clue on that one.
psychic_serpent From: psychic_serpent Date: November 27th, 2004 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why the KB instead of Hogwarts Express. That's a great question. IMHO, the HE would be more secure than the Knight Bus. I haven't a clue on that one.

I don't agree. If anything, the train is both too obvious and too vulnerable to attack, since it's out in the middle of nowhere for large parts of the trip and it takes all day. (And remember--the Dementors stopped and boarded the train in PoA.)

The Knight Bus would be unexpected, very fast and, with Aurors along for the ride, a way to minimize the risk to Harry. Dumbledore could have used another Portkey to get Harry back to the castle, but he could probably justify that to the Ministry to get Harry and the Weasleys to London when Arthur was wounded; for getting back to school he'd have a hard sell on an unauthorized Portkey. (Fudge rather blows his top when Dumbledore creates one on the spur of the moment after the battle at the Ministry.)
sprite6 From: sprite6 Date: December 1st, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Although Lupin is de facto leader of the Order in Dumbledore's stead, Tonks heads up the "protect and accompany" missions. As head of the mission, she *takes* the most important and dangerous assignment of guarding Harry. Lupin is her second on these operations, so he defers to her decision.

How do we know Lupin in the Order's 2nd in command? We haven't been privy to any Order meetings, so we don't know how they function. Moody is just as likely a 2nd as Lupin, maybe more - he and Dumbledore are old friends, he's a retired Auror, and he was giving a lot of orders on the mission to pick up Harry from the Dursleys. (Which is also why I wouldn't say Tonks heads the "protect and accompany" missions.)

I'm not saying you're wrong. I'd just like to hear the reasons you think this.
maglors_finch From: maglors_finch Date: November 28th, 2004 01:20 am (UTC) (Link)
On the Knight Bus, Tonks--the Auror--insists that she's the one to sit with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Lupin is capable of defending them if something happens... so what's with choosing the Auror who knows him less well?

Because she's there in an official capacity, and Lupin is not. Also, Lupin is more capable of keeping Gred & Forge in check, but IMO that's not the main reason.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 28th, 2004 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, when she's with the Order, she's not there in an official capacity--the Ministry would have a couple of cows (mooncalves?) if they found out she was working for Dumbledore as well...
maglors_finch From: maglors_finch Date: November 28th, 2004 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'm inclined to think she'd be able to use her authority in case of need. I take it that Aurors have some kind of badge or whatever to identify themselves as Ministery officials. For the bus people, this would probably be enough.


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