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Hmmm... - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003

When, during OotP, did Harry go Christmas shopping?

I assume he normally does it by owl post and we just don't hear about it, but in OotP, we hear what he gave Mr. Weasley--screwdrivers and fuses--and that's not the sort of thing you can buy by owl post, especially when you're living in a house that's invisible by Muggle means. Which also brings up the point that they didn't want to send a lot of owls to GP because it would raise suspicion, so doing a lot of shopping by owl post isn't going to work. And he couldn't have done it at Hogwarts, because he left very unexpectedly an didn't take a lot of stuff with him. Well, maybe it was in his trunk, which was brought. But with Umbridge watching his owl so closely, would he have sent her out on errands like that?

But if they spent a day shopping while they were staying at GP, wouldn't he have given us some heads-up on it? Even just, "Sirius was so cheerful during the holidays... and when everyone else spent the day in Diagon Alley, he gave Harry his list to shop from..." (or whatever).

So, for fic purposes, I need to figure out when Harry shopped. But I'm also just curious. When did Harry buy those screwdrivers?
13 comments or Leave a comment
jesspallas From: jesspallas Date: December 9th, 2004 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps he got one of the others (a discreet other - maybe Molly? ;)) to do some shopping for him. Wizarding stuff I guess he could have bought earlier in Hogsmeade, though the Muggle stuff may have been more of a challenge - perhaps ordinary mail order or through the Grangers. I've also seen it asked - when did Sirius do his shopping? I've always assumed that since he and Lupin gave Harry a joint present, that it was because it was a joint effort - Remus had the opportunity to shop but not the means and Sirius had the means but not the opportunity, so Remus chose and bought and Sirius mostly paid. Hence a joint gift for financial reasons rather than (as I've seen others argue) because they were a couple.

That probably wasn't very helpful was it? Oh well...:)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2004 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I definitely agree about the joint gift from Remus and Sirius--it was definitely a gift that Remus picked out. I'd guess that all of Sirius's gifts were like that.

The problem with Muggle mail would be, how did it get to him? And the owls getting to Hogwarts under Umbridge?

Brain ache. I was just going to leave him home going through mail order catalogs with Sirius while everyone else went to Diagon Alley, then I ran into those screwdrivers and realized that he must have gone out at some point. When? :headdesk:
fiatincantatum From: fiatincantatum Date: December 9th, 2004 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, with having had a motorcycle, Sirius is probably quite familiar with Muggle tools and you can certainly buy those sorts of things in catalogues. Sirius probably worked out the issue of buying stuff from Muggles back before he went to Azkaban.
rabidsamfan From: rabidsamfan Date: December 9th, 2004 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I always figured that Harry got the muggle stuff for Arthur when he was at the Dursleys and stuck it in the bottom of his school trunk for later, and then forgot about it till Christmas, or deliberately saved it till then.
kelleypen From: kelleypen Date: December 9th, 2004 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I figured he saved it up from leftover stuff at the Dursleys and had been stashing it in the bottom of his trunk to give to Arthur.
mrs_who From: mrs_who Date: December 9th, 2004 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
During the summer when wandering the streets of Little Whinging - I'm sure the village shops had a general goods store.
From: arclevel Date: December 9th, 2004 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, I've wondered about Harry's shopping opportunities in general. He hasn't been to Diagon Alley since before PoA -- 3 years now. We're general given a pretty solid play-by-play of how he spends his Hogsmeade trips, and those are mostly hanging out or buying candy and jokes. As far as I can tell, he's wearing robes that are three years old, despite having at least one growth spurt since then. It's possible, of course, that Madame Malkin's tape measure is enchanted to automatically update measurements, and he's buying them by owl, too, but that's the sort of cool detail to tell us.

As for the muggle stuff, I also assumed he'd tossed it in his trunk over the summer with the intent of surprising Mr. Weasley.
frozen_jelly From: frozen_jelly Date: December 12th, 2004 06:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
In GoF Molly went to do everyone's shopping for them, and Harry got new robes then. So the robes he has, assuming that he hasn't been shopping since then, are more like two years old than three.
azaelia_culnamo From: azaelia_culnamo Date: December 9th, 2004 10:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not the only one who has thought about this! Yay!

Sorry, I'm on a last-day-of-the-semester high. Anyway, I think before PoA, he probably ordered them through catalogues and stuff... there's probably a lot of things JKR's never thought to put in.And in OoTP, I'm not sure Umbridge's Owl watch would affect what people bought, as long as it wasn't something that could hurt someone, or dungbombs or something. She was more worried about preventing people from believing Voldemort was back.
pockettheroach From: pockettheroach Date: December 9th, 2004 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Here from the Snitch...

I have nothing to bring to the table here. I just got a mental image of Umbridge catching Hedwig with a package of screwdrivers and fuses, having no clue what they were, subjecting them to jinx tests of all kinds, and finally giving up and adding to her evidence of Harry being a loony.

And I had to share. :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 9th, 2004 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Here from the Snitch...

Heh. Thank you for sharing. Yup, that's exactly what would happen. It's inevitable. :)
beaustylo From: beaustylo Date: December 9th, 2004 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
The simplest answer would be that he acquired the tools in Little Whinging and kept them in his trunk.

But, considering that he's male and Harry, I don't think he would have that much forethought. So I'm guessing Hermione had some involvement. She probably suggested to Harry that he should start thinking about Christmas presents and then he gave her money to send to her parents to buy the hardware and Owl it back. And if they didn't want an owl to be intercepted by Umbridge, then they could have picked it up at the post office in Hogsmeade.
thepastperfect From: thepastperfect Date: December 9th, 2004 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
i'm afraid i won't be much help for your fic purposes, but i've always had similar questions, particularly in SS and CoS. in SS, one of harry's presents is "a large box of chocolate frogs from hermione," and in CoS ron gives him Flying With the Cannons and hermione gives him a luxury eagle-feather quill. in both books, though, the trio's too young to visit hogsmeade (indeed, we don't yet know that it exists).

since we never hear about them running out of regular old quills or ink or parchment during term, maybe there's a sort of "school store" in hogwarts where they can buy quills and candy and stuff. but i'm not sure about the cannons book.
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