Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 126

This chapter gets us back to Hogwarts, but only after a certain Auror saves Harry…

In this chapter, Tonks comes to Harry’s rescue. But what if she hadn’t? Does Hogwarts take attendance, and would anyone notice he wasn’t there and come looking for him? Would Harry have really gone back to London dripping blood?

Let us know what you think below – your response may be discussed on our next episode!

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  • Is this really the podcast question of the week?

    Doesn’t seem to be very deep, but I haven’t heard the episode yet, so I guess I should just keep my mouth shut until then.

    • Kat

      And last week’s was particularly deep? Haha! Sometimes we just need to keep it light and fun 🙂

      • I guess deep was the wrong word. It feels more “one answer,” but obviously I am incorrect as we have had a good handful of discussions going already.

        I love light and fun!

        • ISeeThestrals

          Not sure what else you could ask for this chapter, lol

  • Saiyangirl

    If Tonks hadn’t found Harry, I imagine the train would have gone back to London with Harry in it. I do believe his absence would not go unnoticed, however. I don’t know if Hogwarts has some magical means of taking attendance (hope they have), but either way, Ron and Hermione would end up making a fuss, and as Harry is as important as he is, so would the professors. I reckon Dumbledore or McGonagall would communicate with the driver within the hour (by sending a Patronus for example), and ensure that someone would go looking on the moving train until Harry was found. He’d then be able to get to Hogsmeade by side-along apparition. Maybe Dumbledore himself would fetch him even, considering how important it is for Harry not to be wandering unsupervised with You Know Who out to kill him and all that.

    • Yea. With Harry being referred to as “The Chosen One,” everybody at school will be wanting a look at him. And when nobody is getting that look they will ask questions. It wouldn’t take long at all for some sort of search party to be sent out.

      Would they search the train straight away? If Ron and Hermione were there to suggest the idea, then yea. Otherwise they might search the school and Hogsmeade first.

      And that about settles this weeks question of the week. What a discussion…

  • DisKid

    I think Harry may very well have choked to death on his own blood. I’m sure they would have realized Harry was not there. In Harry’s case, I don’t think Hogwarts taking attendance matters. He’s too high status to not notice. Who knows when they would have gotten to the train though. Sure they can apparate over there, but how soon would they have thought to look on the Hogwarts Express? This could have had a pretty bad outcome.

  • daveybjones999 .

    This question got me thinking. How long do spells last and, in relation to petrificus totalus, do you need to be within a certain range of the person it’s cast on for it to keep working? Maybe the spell would have worn out and Harry would be able to get up and tell the conductor to go contact Hogwarts before it got back to London.

    • Ooh, I like that. I don’t think that particular spell would have lasted that long. I don’t know what decides each spell’s length, maybe the intention of the spell matters? The power of the wizard matters too I know but surely thats more of the force of the spell not the length…? Considering the journey back to London is a full day, I doubt Draco’s spell would last that long, so it is entirely possible it would wear off and Harry could just stand up and walk to the front compartment. Thinking of another thing, why would the Express go straight back to London that night? Surely the Conductor is tired? Wouldn’t he/she want to spend the night in Hogsmeade and then start the journey the next day? Or, does the train go all on it’s own like cruise control or auto-pilot and the Conductor is just there to tap his/her wand to start it up?

    • Sharona Lumos

      I was thinking the exact same thing.

  • I don’t know…I don’t think Harry would have gotten all the way back to London. I think probably the train would have gotten going but I would be astonished if it really got all the way back. I would hope, as I posted last week, that the train had some sort of security buzzers or sensors or something in case a student was mistakenly left on the train. (It’s a long journey! What if you fell asleep? I can just see some poor little first year falling asleep and, really would no one notice them??) Obviously as Harry is Harry his absence would be noticed, but I think with the absolute hoard of students they should have a spell sensor that lets the conductor know a student is still aboard. And since I have no evidence to the contrary, I am going to say that there indeed are magical sensors and once the train was about to leave the station they’d have gone off and someone would have realized a student was still on the train and gone to get them. A simple homenum revelio would have shown the person where Harry was, regardless of The Cloak.

    • daveybjones999 .

      I agree. That’s probably the most likely outcome, but would hommenum revelio work because the cloak is a deathly hallow.

      • The Cloak doesn’t repel all spells. I don’t really know why some work and some don’t but obviously Draco put the body bind on Harry while he was still concealed beneath the Cloak…so yes, I am going to say that Homenum Revelio would have worked. The Cloak doesn’t stop Harry from existing, it just makes him invisible to the eye. He still makes noise and is solid/walks into things and is a human. I think Homenum Revelio reveals all humans, concealed or not.

        • I think this was discussed some episodes ago, and the conclusion that was agreed upon seems plausible here; the Cloak itself is immune to curses and spells and such, but it doesn’t protect the wearer from said curses and spells and such, therefor Petrificus Totalus works on Harry while he wears the Cloak, but when the Death Eaters tries to summon the Cloak in DH, it doesn’t work

          • Nice distinction. I agree, it’s the Cloak itself that is immune, not the person(s) beneath it. Canonical and clever, my favorite kind of solution!

  • Sharona Lumos

    I don’t know if they have always taken attendance (you would think so) but we know this year Filch is checking everyone at the gates with his whats-it-called-stick (lol). So I think someone there would notice Harry hadn’t come off the train. Surely Ron and Hermione would have spoken to McGonagall if Harry still wasn’t back at the end of dinner? I also think the bodybind spell Harry was under wouldn’t have lasted all the way back to London (but I doubt the train would go back to London at once). So Harry would have been able to alert the conductor. There are so many people having an eye on Harry, so I know for sure someone would have done something when he didn’t show up (DD, McGonagall, Snape, Ron, Hermione, Ginny). I mean, Tonks says she ”didn’t see him come off the train so thought she’d check”. This once again shows us the many ways in which DD has been trying to look after Harry. She clearly was there to protect Harry.

    • Oh she was, and there’s no doubt Harry would have been rescued before he was in London, I mean he was! But what about the rest of the students? No one is looking after them!

      • Hence the necessity of ‘Student Sensors’ …so the conductor/someone is alerted of a straggler or a sleepy student…not everyone is a famous hero after all…

  • TimDrakeFan

    Slughorn specifically said that he never got Sirius in his chapter

    • The Half Blood Princess

      I thought he meant in his house though.

    • What The Hell Is A Hippogriff

      He was referring to his house at the time, I think.

    • Sharona Lumos

      Yes he was talking about his house. Page 71: “The whole black family had been in my house, but Sirius ended up in Gryffindor! Shame – he was a talented boy. I got his brother Regulus when he came along, but I’d have liked the set”

      • Hmm! I always assumed he meant in the Club. Obviously, Sirius *was* in Gryffindor and his brother was in Slytherin, but I always read it as him wanting ‘the set’ as part of his special Slug Club…I like the different way to read it though…
        EDIT: Is it ever stated that Regulus was part of the Slug Club..?

  • What The Hell Is A Hippogriff

    My first thought when I heard this question was that maybe the curse would wear off and Harry would be able to move (as a lot of people have already mentioned), but I get the impression from what we’ve heard from Jo that only a counter-curse can be effective against a curse, and time and distance don’t really affect curses like Petrificus Totalus in any way.
    I think the entire school would notice if The Chosen One was missing, though! Obviously Ron and Hermione would get worried as soon as they sat down, and Dumbledore would probably have his eye out for Harry, and would probably go straight to ask his friends where Harry was. I can’t imagine the train getting much further than the station before Dumbledore, like Tonks, realised that Harry had his cloak, and that he is prone to hiding and getting involved in things he shouldn’t.

    How easy would it be for a wizard or witch to apparate directly onto a moving train? If it was possible, I imagine Dumbledore himself might go to check the train for Harry. Otherwise he might somehow get a message to the driver and tell him or her that something was wrong. Perhaps he could send a patronus message, similar to the one sent by Kingsley in DH that warned the wedding attendees of the collapse of the ministry. Dumbledore knows how much danger Harry is in, and wouldn’t hesitate to go to all extremes to try and find him: a puppet master is nothing without his puppet.
    The only other issue is that, as you guys mentioned, there’s a good chance Harry could be dead by the time Dumbledore finds him. Would anyone ever know it was Malfoy who did it if Harry was unable to tell them? Who knows. Maybe he would be thrown in prison with his father. Would Voldemort punish him for killing Harry Potter instead of leaving him for his master, or would he be honoured above all others for killing The Boy Who Lived?

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    Lots of people notice when Harry goes missing. Neville was the last person who spoke with Harry after they had left Slughorn’s compartment (assuming that Draco doesn’t count) and he knows that Harry left for the Slytherin compartment, doesn’t he? So they would have looked for Harry on the train. It would not have taken a full day until Harrys absence was noticed, that means the train would not have gone far.

    If another student is missing, his or her friends will notice on the ride to Hogwarts and in the Great Hall, at the latest when they go to their dormitories. A first year student would have been on McGonagall’s list, and the search would have started when her or his name is called out in front of the school and no one answers.

  • AccioMinions

    Harry is famous enough that he definitely would have been missed. In Chamber of secrets Snape mentions waiting to hear why Harry and Ron didn’t arrive on the school train.

  • RoseLumos

    Can I ask a sadder question? If Harry did make it all the way back to London, how would he have let anyone know he was there? He could call the Dursley’s, but you can bet they wouldn’t care. The Weasleys would be more than happy to help Harry out but he has no way of contacting them (they don’t have a phone and Harry doesn’t have Hedwig with him). Sure, I’m betting that in the hours it takes him to get back to London someone would have noticed he was missing but if they didn’t or didn’t know where he was I just imagine sad Harry sitting alone in Kings Cross waiting for someone. Then again, he might be able to find Grimmauld Place (it is in London and I’m sure the Underground or a bus would connect him there), but that makes the hypothetical question even sadder.

    • Healer In Training

      What about heading to Diagon Alley to send an owl? If there is no owl post office open, at least Fred and George would be there so he would be okay. Also he could stay at the Leaky Cauldron, it could probably do with some business (though I would rather stay with Fred and George personally, much more entertaining, making the hypothetical question you pose much happier 🙂 ).

      • RoseLumos

        I was thinking about that, but how far away is Diagon Alley from Kings Cross? I believe in PoA they actually take cars to drive between the two, suggesting it’s some distance away. I’ve never been to London but I’m assuming like most major cities it’s very large.

        • Healer In Training

          I’ve been to London once, in 2009, so I decided I was best off to use google maps to find out. I believe the leaky cauldron is on charging cross road, so it’s about a 30 minute walk from kings cross or a 15 minute drive. Personally that’s not too bad except for the fact that it would be really late at night. And yes you are correct that they take cars to kings cross in PoA; it was said they got the cars because of Harry having top security clearance at the time, not sure what they would have done otherwise.

          • RoseLumos

            Good research! Yes, that’s not a bad walk. If it was on Charring Cross I’m sure it would be easy to find a map or ask strangers for directions. However, I was always under the impression that it was further away and not on major road.

          • Healer In Training

            I just looked it up in HBP and it says ‘”here you are then'” said the driver, a surprisingly short while later, speaking for the first time as he slowed In Charging cross road and stopped outside the leaky cauldron.” So I’m taking this to mean its on charging cross road.

  • Hufflepug

    Ron and Hermione would have noticed he was still gone and would have gotten the professors to try to retrieve him. Maybe there’s some way of magicking the train back to Hogsmeade station after it’s departed. I’m sure McGonagall and Dumbledore would have put some effort into getting him back, but maybe not Snape. That whole ordeal would be so embarrassing for Harry!

  • ScarletGhost

    Of course someone would’ve noticed he’s HARRY FREAKIN POTTER. I’m sure it wouldn’t have taken that long for someone (specifically Dumbledore) to have figured out he wasn’t there. If it was a (forgive me) but less important character like, I don’t know, Ernie Macmillan, it may have taken a while to figure out they weren’t there but I’m sure even Ernie has some friends. I don’t think that the spell wouldn’t have lasted that long for that far out of range, especially back in London. At the worst Harry can go to the leaky cauldron and send an owl and someone can come get him, or maybe he can ask Mr. Weasley if he has another flying car.

  • Healer In Training

    In the case of Harry, I think many people noticed during the feast, just hopefully they don’t have that group mentality that someone else will take care of it, thus it never gets done. In the case of other students, I think their friends would notice. If they lead sad lives and had no friends, I think their head of house would at least notice the next morning. In most of the books we see McGonagall hand out schedules. Since each student has a distinct schedule after their 3rd year, I would imagine there is some sort of list that she goes off of and doesn’t simply walk up and down the table to make their schedules solely based on who is there (though as I say in my comment for this week’s episode, it would be a lot easier/less hectic if they pre-registered for their classes over the summer). I see the head’s of house as guidance counselors/home room teachers, thus I hope they know every student they have and would notice if someone was missing. If they still didn’t know they were missing, it becomes quite complicated because, as I mentioned, there is no pre-registration for electives in 6th year, thus a professor might think a student isn’t taking their class, thus not think they are missing from the school entirely.
    In terms of the health concerns, how does Patrificus Totalus affect breathing. Obviously Harry is still getting oxygen, or this would be a slow and painful form of suffocation (and I don’t think Hermione would have considered using it on Neville in PS/SS if it had a bad effect). But if he is getting oxygen, his lungs have to be working, which causes the problem of him inhaling his own blood if he hadn’t rolled to his side when the train moved (similar to inhaling your own vomit if you throw up while asleep and on your back). This doesn’t have much to do with the PQOTW, but I thought this was the best place to comment about it.

  • Eric

    I wonder how often students get left behind on the Hogwarts Express. Obviously if someone famous like Harry Potter went missing everyone at Hogwarts would notice, but what if it was a random first-year? How long would it take to locate the missing student? Unfortunately, this has happened all too frequently in the real world with students accidentally getting left on the school bus for several hours, so imagine how easy it would be for someone to get left behind on a train.

    • RoseLumos

      I remember being on a school bus on the way home and a little kid feel asleep. He missed his stop but was too young to remember where he lived. I think the bus driver turned around for him, but a train can’t do that as easily.

  • lifeanddragons

    Actually, in response to all those asking how a lot of students didn’t point out that The Harry Potter was missing, besides Ron, Hermione and perhaps Ginny, isn’t it possible for people to assume, that The Harry Potter is getting some sort of special treatment, to spare him the excessive attention, on the first night?

  • SpinnersEnd

    EVERYONE would have noticed the Chosen One’s absence.

    Honestly, I’m not sure anyone would have thought to check the train. I think most people would have assumed that Harry had been taken from the train.

    This does make me ask a question though: How long would the Malfoy’s jinx have lasted? Is there a time limit on these things? Or would Harry have been stuck like that forever? Or at least until the end of term when students once again filled the train?

    • Jillian the Ravenclaw

      Exactly! Everyone would have noticed if Harry of all people was gone, Ginny especially.

      I think that there is a so called “time limit” on the jinxes but the caster might be able to choose the time limit. Maybe? I doubt that Harry would have been stuck like that forever but maybe for a longtime. Sooner of later someone would have to walk though all of the cabins on the train to make sure that students didn’t leave anything behind. Don’t you think?

      • SpinnersEnd

        I think so you’re right. It wouldn’t be forever. But I’m also thinking about how irresponsible wizards and witches can be. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the person in charge of making sure students didn’t leave items on the train just stuck his head into each compartment and moved on.

        • Jillian the Ravenclaw

          True! I keep forgetting that Harry was under the invisibility cloak after Draco made him unconscious. What if Tonks hadn’t found him? What would have happened then? I’m not sure if the train would have left and gone back to London but if it had, how long would it have taken them to figure out Harry was gone?

  • Ok when the train travels from London to Hogsmeade it’s obviously just for students and in some cases teachers, but if Tonks was able to get on it when it was returning to London then maybe so can regular people who live there? For example if they want to visit Gringotts, the Ministry or St Mungo’s Hospital. Maybe one of those people could have found Harry and helped him.However if that’s not true I also think that Harry’s friends would alert the teachers and someone would be sent to help him.

    • I wondered this too just for the simple reason of it being extremely stupid to send an empty train all the way back to London. It would be a lot more efficient if the Express was utilized as a sort of helpful transport line to get from Hogsmeade to London and (presumably) back again. I know we only see the train arriving a couple of times a year (first day of school, Christmas, Easter (?), and end of year) but maybe it actually arrives more than that and we just aren’t told about it…?

  • RoseLumos

    I was thinking back a few chapters (and books) and thought that this reminds me of the end of OotP when Harry and some of the DA members turn Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle into slug-like things. The DA stuffs them into an overhead compartment and say something about what their mothers will think when they see them. Don’t parents usually meet their children on the Muggle side of Kings Cross? Did Malfoy transform back and leave the train or did someone have to rescue them? Was it his mother, another Slytherin, or someone on the train? It was never discussed but I do wonder how long Malfoy and his friends were left sitting in one position, waiting for someone to rescue them. If I was Malfoy, I would find what he did to Harry as equal revenge.

  • The 4th Hallow

    We are under the assumption that Harry would have choked to death on his own blood before he made it back to Kings Cross….but do you breathe under the Petrificus Totalus Spell? Or do you go under a sort of suspended animation? I guess your heart continues to beat or he wouldn’t have been bleeding?

  • PuffNProud

    Assuming that Draco’s spell would last the way back to London…I would think that from a practical standpoint, the train would have to be cleaned after carting a few hundred kids around for several hours. So whenever it got back to its storage site, if the witch or wizard who is supposed to is likely to come through with the Scourgify doesn’t first try a Homenum Revelio before they board, then he/she is likely to stumble (literally) upon Harry when entering the compartment.

  • ISeeThestrals

    I had not given any thought to Hogwarts taking attendance. Of course the
    professors would have to once everyone was in class. Still, before the next
    day arrived, I think it would be obvious that Ron and Hermione would notice
    Harry wasn’t around. They would be the first to alert Dumbledore and let him
    know the last place they saw him was on the train. Depending on how much
    time it takes for the train to leave Hogwarts and return to London, it’s possible
    Harry would have arrived back there, unless Dumbledore can establish some
    form of communication with the conductor of the Hogwarts Express. The
    conductor might then be ordered to search the train. I could imagine it would
    take a while for them to realize he was under an invisibility cloak, unless there
    are things young witches and wizards can’t hide from the train itself and the

  • Hollywobbles

    They probably do a magical, rather than manual, sweep of the train cars at some pint. Maybe the trolley witch does it as they are heading back to london. I wonder if the cloak would have kept harry from being releaveed though? Maybe a house elf cleaning the train would have found him. I think if they would have found him after they got back, they would have used the Floo network, or side along apparation to get him to hogwarts

  • Hollywobbles

    If patronus’ are sent to places, not people, then in DH Mr W must have just sent one to GP on the off chance that the trio were there, but thats kinda messed up because the order had to abandon it because of snape , and it could have e been intercepted by death eaters