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Prank poll - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Prank poll
Well, I'm going to attack the infamous "amusing joke" that Sirius played on Snape sixth year in fic. I have my own ideas and will stick with them, but one I'd taken very much for granted--the timing of Sirius's running away from home in relation to the prank--seems to have the other notion equally taken for granted, and I'm racked with curiosity as to how the numbers play out.

Poll #469623 Marauders' sixth year poll

How were Sirius's "prank" against Snape and his running away from home related chronologically and psychologically?

He ran away after the Prank; it was part of the fallout from it.
39(18.2%)
He ran away before the Prank; that was part of why he was so unstable at the time.
77(36.0%)
He ran away after the Prank; there was no relation between the two events.
63(29.4%)
He ran away before the Prank; there was no relation between the two events.
35(16.4%)


EDIT: And on the question of Sirius being sixteen during most of sixth year, JKR has been giving birthdays since late July. Sirius hasn't yet been listed, which means his birthday is between April 7 and July 30 (unless JKR is going to go back over and add names in next year). So at the very earliest, Sirius would be turning seventeen on April 7, and may well have a summer birthday the same as Harry has. In either case, he's sixteen for either most or all of sixth year.
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Comments
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: April 7th, 2005 12:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I think his fallout with his family had a lot to do with it - perhaps Regulus as well. (I have a theory Sirius partly hated Snape for his friendship with Bellatrix and Regulus, feeling he influenced them - even if Bellatrix ws older). I do think either way, he had to have been unstable at the time.
mafdet From: mafdet Date: April 7th, 2005 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
(I have a theory Sirius partly hated Snape for his friendship with Bellatrix and Regulus, feeling he influenced them - even if Bellatrix ws older).

I think you're really on to something, especially as regards Regulus. Estranged though they may have become, Regulus was still Sirius' little brother, and Sirius probably held Snape responsible for "corrupting" him. In fact, he probably focused a lot of his anger at his family onto Snape.
volandum From: volandum Date: April 7th, 2005 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think the two are directly connected, but I think that it's unlikely that he'd have performed the Prank after running away.
From: hobviously Date: April 7th, 2005 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Sirius states that he ran away when he was "about sixteen," but given his statement that he got his own place when he was seventeen, plus the time spent with the Potters, it's reasonable to conclude that "about sixteen" means "sixteen or a little younger."

So. You have to be eleven to start first year, which means you have to be sixteen to start sixth year. The running away would almost certainly have to take place during a summer. Sirius was sixteen or a little younger for at least part of the summer before his sixth year, and that's when he must have run away. In order for the prank to have come before the departure the ages would have to be all wonky, or else Sirius would have to be getting it wrong. Which is more likely?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 7th, 2005 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, JKR seems to treat ages as "the year plus ten," eg, sixth years are sixteen. As a fellow summer-birthday person, I tend to accidentally do that myself. ;)

I'm actually planning for him to run away over Christmas. Lots of cold rain and holiday drama.
penny_pixie From: penny_pixie Date: April 7th, 2005 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I honestly don't think they had anything to do with each other. I just saw it as Sirius running away because of his homelife. I see the prank as him being a cocky teenager who doesn't think before he acts and being an ass. *shrug*
tiferet From: tiferet Date: April 7th, 2005 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Me too, but it's a good question and now I wonder...
penny_pixie From: penny_pixie Date: April 7th, 2005 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
lol, I know this has nothing to do with what we are talking about but I just looked at your lj and I've seen that style all over but can't figure out how to get it, is it some special layout or something??
tiferet From: tiferet Date: April 7th, 2005 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a standard S2 layout, called "The Boxer". I do believe you have to have a paid account to use it, so if you're a free user, that may be why it isn't showing up on your list of options.
penny_pixie From: penny_pixie Date: April 7th, 2005 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
No, I have a paid account, I'll look for it again. Oh lord, I know why. I'm such an idiot. It's for another journal and that one is free, lol. I'm a dork. Thanks again!
doomandnachos From: doomandnachos Date: April 7th, 2005 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I ticked 'd' - I see Sirius as running off around Christmas of his sixth year, and the Shack incident happening a few months later, in spring. While the emotional fallout of his runaway act might have played into the Prank, I see it mostly as Sirius losing his temper (again) and doing something stupid (again).
sreya From: sreya Date: April 7th, 2005 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I ticked (b), although that's not entirely what I think. Rather, the same circumstances and forces that made Sirius run away from home are the same circumstances and forces that would make him unstable enough to send Snape to the werewolf. It wasn't simply the running away from home making him unstable -- he was already pretty bothered if he ran away in the first place.
judas_iscariot From: judas_iscariot Date: April 7th, 2005 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I could be mistaken... but didn't J.K.R. state that he ran away when he was sixteen? Because that would make two of those options moot.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 7th, 2005 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah--sixteen. Sixth year. And the prank was sixth year. I can't tell which order they go in from that.
mincot From: mincot Date: April 7th, 2005 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought it was sixteen, but the PRank is sixth year, and he could be sixteen. Anyway, I think there is definitely a relationship, which I wrote in "The Knight of the Mirrors."
From: ex_olivehorn645 Date: April 7th, 2005 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it could easily be any of these. I tend to go more with the first option (he ran away after the prank; it was part of the fallout from it) because I think that the prank had to have had some serious effects on the group dynamic of MWPP, and that with instability in Sirius's close-knit group of friends, he wouldn't be able to tolerate the instability of his own family anymore. Especially after the prank, I can see Sirius wondering if he is more like his family than he wants to be and leaving because of that.

I don't think that the two events of Sirius running away and playing the prank are 100% directly related, but the emotional effects of one almost certainly would have played into the other.
eir_de_scania From: eir_de_scania Date: April 7th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I voted for #2, but I would be just as happy if JKR proved me wrong because that would mean we'd learned more about the Prank.

I wonder if she will tell us Sirius birthday - perhaps under FAQ. She can't exactly wish her dead characters a happy birthday.

gryfny From: gryfny Date: April 7th, 2005 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Sirius hasn't yet been listed, which means his birthday is between April 7 and July 30 (unless JKR is going to go back over and add names in next year).

Very likely though not forsure. There is a theory that because he's dead Jo isn't going to wish him a Happy Birthday...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 7th, 2005 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)
In which case, we can make his birthday whenever we want, and put it in the summer. ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 7th, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
My own thought is that things were heating up in the first war. Something big happened. Part of it led to Sirius being willing to pull a lethal prank on another kid he associated with all that pro-Voldemort stuff (I'm not sure where Snape's loyalties were at this time, but Sirius obviously branded him a Dark Wizard from day one). I think this event also led to Sirius breaking with his family and to the Potters understanding and taking him in instead of trying to send him home. I think it was also this event that forced James to grow up and to risk both his friendship with Sirius and his life to save Snape.

Er, not sure what order that puts Sirius running away from home. Probably after the prank.

Ellynne
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 7th, 2005 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Previously, I thought Sirius moving out came after the prank and there was no connection between the two events. However, the more I think about it I’m inclined to believe the prank came at the end of the sixth year, Sirius stayed with the Potters during the summer entering his seventh year, and he bought his home after he came of age/left Hogwarts. So, I’d vote the prank came before he moved out and there was a connection between the two events.

Whatever happened following the prank had to prompt Sirius to reconsider a few things, i.e., growing up, just as James did. I think James and Sirius spent a nice, long summer together mulling the past and maturing a bit before seventh year. Not to stay Sirius still wasn’t a “dangerous” (I believe that’s the word Jo used) rebel….

Lauryn
lodessa From: lodessa Date: April 7th, 2005 08:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I never really connected the two. I assumed though that the prank was first. I could easily see the prank as being in some part prompted by his frsutration with his home life but I don't think he was repentant really and am sure that doesn't lead to his running away.
shannon_sue From: shannon_sue Date: April 7th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
He ran away after the Prank; it was part of the fallout from it.

I picked this option, and I wanted to clarify:

In my head, Sirius realises what a crap thing he's done and how much his family is affecting him, and he leaves before he ever does something to hurt his friends again.
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