Question: This question is for all the novels. How are all the schools in the wizarding world kept hidden from the muggle world? Surely if a plane were to fly over Hogwarts, people would be shocked at seeing people flying around on broomsticks and using magic.

Answer: The International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy is in charge of hiding the general wizarding community from the Muggle world. As for many of the wizarding schools such as Hogwarts, their use of multiple Concealment Charms provide the necessary protection to creatively conceal them from Muggle view.

Super Grover Premium member

Also, Muggles usually don't "want" to see magic. Most of them are too convinced that magic is not real. A Muggle might see the occasional wizard/witch fly high above them on a broom, and assume they imagined it.

Answer: There are special spells at work to hide the schools and other places from muggles. In Deathly Hallows for example you can see Hermione cast a few when they are in the woods. An example is "Repello Muggletum", which is a barrier that causes Muggles who hit it to forget they were there and turn around.

lionhead

Answer: Yes. J.K. Rowling was going to give Hermione a younger sister who was a muggle. However, by the time "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" came out, she felt that it was too late.

Question: Has it ever been explained what happens to a wizard/witch if they don't repay a life debt? Harry should owe one to Snape after Snape rescues him from Quirrell's curse during the Quidditch game, but he never does throughout the series.

Answer: It does not appear that life debts automatically form whenever somebody saves somebody else - J K Rowling has, for example, stated that Ginny did not incur a life debt to Harry when he saved her in the Chamber of Secrets, although she said nothing about what circumstances need to occur for a debt to exist. In Snape's case, there would seem to be several possibilities. 1) A life debt simply didn't form. 2) Snape is protecting Harry because of his love for Lily and his failure to save her, so he may actually be paying off a debt of sorts himself by doing so. 3) Harry's father James saved Snape from almost certain death when Sirius tried to trick him into going into the Shrieking Shack when Remus Lupin was in his wolf form. As such, Sirius may have owed James a debt, which he paid off by saving Harry. 4) A life debt did form but, as Snape died before Harry could pay it off and, insofar as we know, had no relatives that the debt could pass to, Harry was let off the hook.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: I heard that Quirrell was the muggle studies teacher before this year. So after he took defense against the dark arts, why not give muggle studies to Arthur Weasley?

Answer: Mr. Weasley was fascinated by Muggles but he was not an expert. His knowledge in that subject was somewhat sketchy and based on erroneous assumptions. He frequently got many details wrong. He usually relied on Harry for explanations.

raywest Premium member

Answer: Even with his fondness for Muggles, Arthur may not have wanted to be a teacher. And even if he did, another possibility is that he doesn't have the necessary educational requirements (i.e. O.W.L./N.E.W.T. passing grades in certain subjects) or enough teaching experience.

Cubs Fan Premium member

Question: The night when Harry is given to the Dursleys takes place in 1981. McGonagall and Dumbledore each say something about "for eleven years", so they are referring to the year 1970. What happened that year? I know from the sixth book that Voldemort had been around and gathering followers since way before then; he had some followers when he was 28 and he visited Hogwarts to apply for teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Answer: Although Voldemort had been gathering followers for decades, he had done so quietly, slowly building his Death Eater army. The "eleven years" being mentioned refers to the period during which the Dark Lord actively attempted to conquer the wizard world.

raywest Premium member

Question: This question is actually about all of the books. Is a "double" class twice as long as normal, or does it contain twice as many students?

Answer: "Double" classes are twice as long.

Cubs Fan

Question: Has JK Rowling said what happened to James Potter's parents and Lily's? They were only 21 when Voldemort killed them, and most people of that age still have living parents.

Answer: James had older parents who died of some type of wizarding ailment. It's suspected to be Dragon Pox as that can be fatal to elderly wizards. All that is known of Lily's parents is they died of a normal muggle death. As to what "normal" means though and the age of her parents, that has never been said.

Question: Why did Snape have Filch treat his wounds from the three-headed dog? Why not go to Madam Pomfrey in the hospital wing, considering that Snape wasn't really doing anything wrong after all?

Answer: I think Snape wanted to keep what happened quiet while he investigated Professor Quirrell, and Madam Pomfrey was more likely to inform Professor Dumbledore. Filch, who would consider Snape something of a kindred spirit, would not feel a need to report it to anyone, particularly if Snape asked him to say nothing about it.

raywest Premium member

Question: Do magical folk generally live longer than Muggles? Considering that Minerva is described as having black hair, even though she is old enough to have taught Harry's parents, and Dumbledore is more than one hundred years old (according to the Harry Potter Wiki).

Answer: Yes they do, though Dumbledore is considered quite old even by magical standards. Members of the magical community reach their middle age in their 80's or so, but also maintain their virility much later into their lifespan, relatively speaking, than muggles do.

Phixius Premium member

Question: Why did Professor Quirrell really have the garlic in his classroom? I know that some people thought he was afraid of a vampire who wanted revenge. Since he was serving Voldemort, however, it seems that a vampire would not be a serious concern for him.

Answer: At that point, Voldemort had little to no power and was reliant on Quirrell to protect him, not the other way around. No one knew Voldemort still existed, and Quirrell wanted to ensure his safety until he was restored to corporeal form. He may have believed garlic would be an added protection but more likely it was just for show and to create a sense of drama to enhance his phony persona.

raywest Premium member

Question: What did Harry and his friends come across when they were trying to escape from Filch?

Answer: Presumably you are referring to when the trio come upon "Fluffy," the three-headed dog, that is kept in the restricted area of the castle. Inside the room there is a magical self-playing harp that keeps "Fluffy" asleep when it's playing. Hermione also noticed Fluffy was lying atop a floor hatch, which leads to where the Philosopher's Stone is hidden.

raywest Premium member

Answer: In addition to raywest I will add that at this point in the book, the Harp isn't playing and Fluffy is awake. It is also not known at this point that music puts Fluffy to sleep.

Ssiscool Premium member

True, although the question only relates to what the trio came across while evading Filch, not about knowing what any particular object is or does. (I just added an explanation as an aside.) However, I'm not sure now the harp had been installed yet when they first found Fluffy, so it was probably about the floor hatch.

raywest Premium member

Continuity mistake: Harry buys the book "One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi", but later, the title changes to "One Hundred Magical Herbs and Fungi".

More mistakes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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