7-potters

Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 154

It’s time to plan…

As we discussed in this chapter, the Order’s plan to smuggle Harry from Privet Drive has many flaws, not least of which that it comes from Mundungus Fletcher, quite possibly the least trustworthy Order member. What was the alternative plan for Harry’s escape prior to this one? What would have been a better alternative? And why, exactly, were the members of the Order so willing to go along with this idea, seemingly without question?

Let us know what you think in the comments below or by sending us an Audioboom!

  • Felix Scamander

    FIRST!

  • Felix Scamander

    First waited episode, and first comment

  • Mypatronusisadoberman

    Why were the Order so willing to go along with this idea despite a thousand possible things that could go wrong? Because clearly despite the best of intentions, the Order of the Phoenix sucks at their job. They couldn’t stop Voldemort the first time around, and between the fifth and sixth book, they are highly ineffectual at doing much of anything except “standing guard” for Dumbledore and putting up a good fight before losing against the Death Eaters every time. In the seventh book once Dumbledore is gone, they are basically impotent. It’s sad, really.

    • SlytherinKnight

      Totally agree. The Order is ineffective in pretty much everything they set their minds too. They are supposed to be guarding Harry, Dementors show up, they are supposed to be guarding the prophecy, six Hogwarts students are able to get by with ease (why wasn’t there an Order member on duty that night anyway?) They don’t capture any Death Eaters at either the DoM or at the end of HBP. And as soon as Dumbledore dies, they fall apart. Dumbledore’s Army, a group of underage students, is much more effective than a group of war veterans that include several Aurors, a DADA professor and several other Hogwarts teachers.

      • To be fair, the order is not what it once was. Many of the original members are no longer around and who is left? Broken old men. And Tonks. Their prime, their glory days, are over.

  • Lovelle

    I think that everything is still Dumbledore’s plan. He made sure that Fletcher would suggest this plan so if something goes wrong (which something did go wrong) the blame would go to him and not to Snape. So the untrustworthiness would turn to Fletcher making everybody think the Snape is still someone the Order would still trust even though he ‘tipped’ You-Know-Who. Since this, I think is Dumbledore’s plan, the Order did this willingly.

    • SlytherinKnight

      If that is true, then that makes the Order nothing more than mindless followers of Dumbledore, pretty much making them Death Eater (blindly following their leader). And the Order didn’t know that Snape was still ‘good’, they all believed him to be on Voldemort’s side after killing Dumbledore so Snape/Dumbledore couldn’t have any trace of their involvement in the plan which meant using Dung as a patsy.

    • Griff

      I like the idea that Dumbledore designed the plan to fail in a way– he planned for it to be discovered. He knew he wanted Snape to tell Voldemort the basics, but withhold the essentials, to keep his cover (as discussed in The Prince’s Tale).

      I feel like any of the plans discussed in the comments, while better for Harry’s safety, would have been harder to partially yet safely disclose to Voldemort.

      Snape’s cover is very important to the ultimate fulfillment of Dumbledore’s plan for Harry’s sacrifice, and has to be protected.

      Of course, the Order going for Fletcher’s plan (regardless of Dumbledore’s intentions) was foolish. I feel like it spoke to the Gryffindors of the group, wanting to fight and sacrifice themselves for the cause. Moody going for it seems out of character, though.

      • SnapesManyButtons

        That’s a good point! We’re thinking of it as an Order plan and forget that it was actually Dumbledore’s plan, which included Snape revealing the plan to Voldemort. I would think most of the alternate plans offered, mine included, are more dangerous for Harry if the Death Eaters find out, which Dumbledore made sure would happen. The muggle transport plans depend on the Death Eaters not watching that method and letting Harry just drive or walk away. But in a car, subway or other transport, he’d be a sitting duck if 30 death eaters swooped down on them. Great comment!

    • WitchWolfsbane10

      It just adds another shade to Dumbledore here, doesn’t it? We learn, obviously much later in the book, that it’s actually his plan all along. But, essentially, Snape, in order to keep his cover, had to give Voldemort most of the details. Dumbledore certainly hopes that everything goes well. But this isn’t a plan to make sure it’s done as safely as possible; there is a guaranteed confrontation with Death Eaters. Yeah, every single one of those decoys and escorts volunteered wholeheartedly and willingly to help protect and defend Harry. But Dumbledore uses their lives in a chess piece, giving Harry the best chance to live, even if it meant one or more of them going down.

  • SlytherinKnight

    An easy and probably effective alternative for Harry’s escape plan would have been Harry slipping out of the house using his Invisibility Cloak and walking to a nearby bus or subway station and then get off the bus or subway a couple of stops away from Privet Drive to meet someone from the Order to take him to the Burrow. Heck, they could have still used Polyjuice to make Harry look like Dudley or a random Muggle so that the Death Eaters who were most likely watching the house wouldn’t know. And besides, the gathering of all the Order members at Number Four would have tipped off the Death Eater watchers that something was going to happen that night.

  • ISeeThestrals

    Hope the episode is coming along soon, unless it’s just not showing up on my computer

    • SnapesManyButtons

      It’s not just you. It’s 11:30 pm here and still waiting. If they’re in Eastern Time, it’s past midnight there.

      • Give the editor a break! Haha. By the way, I forget his name now, but the editor is a FANTASTIC host! Probably my favorite guest host. I wish he would join the main group of hosts as one of the main hosts. I really love to hear his thoughts.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          agreed, Patrick is doing a wonderful job!
          and I always store five or more older episodes on my phone to listen to, it makes waiting easier, for buses, trains, sleep, people or new episodes.

      • ISeeThestrals

        k. I usually end up listening to the podcast the next day or two, lol. I’m patient :)

    • Michael Harle

      Don’t panic, all. Our lovely Editor this week, Kara, did a fabulous job, and it’s left to the hosts to post the episode after the editing is done. We’ve all had work and other engagements today and are working to get the episode to you. Thank you for your patience, it’s appreciated.

      • Yo Rufus On Fire

        Thanks for the updat Michael! Really appreciated. Labor Day brings about so many party’s and engagements. We understand. Can’t wait to hear the latest episode! :)

  • How about picking Harry up a week earlier, and having all 10+ people who can apparate simply apparate to 10+ different locations and then again apparate to a safe location? A double apparate to escape the trace and keep safe locations secret?

  • DoraNympha

    Okay so the original plan was for Moody to come take Harry a bit outside the range of 4 Privet Drive and then take him to a safe house with side-along apparition. The Ministry then makes it impossible to use Portkeys, Floo or have Harry apparate, so Dumbledore’s portrait suggests the Seven Potters plan. In itself, not an entirely stupid idea, and I love the scene and the chapter and the magic and I absolutely can’t watch the movie without rewinding to watch the transformations like ten times because I’m still not convinced that was Muggle technology, but a few things come up:

    1. Why could the Dursleys just drive to the end of the road and then be apparated away by wizards, who btw had probably arrived the same way into the neighbourhood, and why can’t Harry? How hard could it have been to have Harry sit in the car, side-along disapparate with Hestia or Dedalus from the car once they’d driven a mile or something?

    2. Ah but what if by them leaving the driveway the charm breaks instantly and DEs might await by the Magnolia Crescent playground swings? How about using the same decoy and just Ployjuice Harry into an unsuspicious Muggle person OR umm you know wear the invisibility cloak? Moody’s got his cloak too, Fred and George have made a ton of them as well in the past year, just put one on, walk a safe distance from Privet Drive and take a Portkey. How could they all just accept the canon plan when options like this were so obvious? What sort of arguments were said that convinced everyone that this was the best idea??

    3. Alright, let’s say we heard more arguments from what was probably an arduous all-night Order meeting where everyone kept coming up with all the flaws in this plan and how it could be done in a simpler way and everything and when Mundingus had oddly excellent comebacks from his Imperioed mind to make sure this was the plan that they execute. Moody said the DEs would expect Harry to be on a broomstick, so it follows that he probably shouldn’t, yes. But why didn’t anyone else use his Firebolt? Did no one stand there in that kitchen and go, oh, Harry, would you mind stacking my Comet in the sidecar instead and lend me your Firebolt? Better chances against the DEs and an extra decoy if one of the hooded guards is a quidditch fan and remembers Snape and possibly Draco’s huffing and puffing about famous Harry Potter’s awesome broomstick. Also, Harry, you accioed that broomstick across the Hogwarts grounds once before, what’s stopping you now, kid? If he remembered to levitate the broken-off sidecar…

    Also why didn’t they use Buckbeak instead of a Thestral? Hermione would’ve been safer if she saw what she was flying on. We also don’t know if Bill or Fleur could see Thestrals but we can assume at least one of them did. I like how the question is posted before the epidoe because now we can get all our venting out about the technicalities of the plan before delving into discussions about the why of it and how this was not one of Dumbledore’s best days but more of that once the ep is out and not in this comment section! 😀

    Seriously, though, Moody could have turned Harry into a mouse and smuggled him out of Little Whinging in his pocket before apparating to the Burrow, literally, anything could have worked more efficiently.

    • WitchWolfsbane10

      Your last suggestion about Moody transfiguring Harry is genius.

    • MartinMiggs

      Harry is underage so no transfiguring him into a mouse

      • DoraNympha

        But Moody could Disillision him in OotP? In that same kitchen? I know, I know, that’s a bit of a plot hole. :/ He could bring his amazing magical box, put Harry in it and take a bus from Little Whinging before disapparating.

        • sumduxvoldemort

          On pg. 45 of the Canadian (and British I suppose) edition, Moody says “If you, or anyone else around you, casts a spell to get you out of here, Thickness is going to know about it, and so will the Death Eaters.”

          • DoraNympha

            Yes I know they can’t do magic in there now but in OotP Moody Disillusions Harry in the kitchen, who is awaiting trial for doing magic he wasn’t supposed to, didn’t the Ministry pick up Moody’s charm that night? Or Tonks’ cleaning up, for that matter, earlier in Harry’s room? The Order, not the Ministry, rescued Harry, which was being kept secret because Fudge was so against Dumbledore at the time. So they shouldn’t have done spells that time either, not just now because of Thicknesse. Either I’m missing something or that’s a plot hole. Either way, they can’t do magic now so why not use an invisibility cloak or a magical container like a bag or Moody’s trunk and smuggle Harry out of there somehow? Concealing Harry could have been done without casting a spell. Not very elegant to stuff him in a box but it could have worked.

  • ArthurShouldHaveDiedNotSirius

    I think the main reason behind this plan is that all the alternatives are boring and it’s a lot more exciting to have an action scene
    But Michael said that already

  • What The Hell Is A Hippogriff

    I completely agree with the AudioBoo from this episode on the topic of the 7 Potters Plan. Wizards, especially the ‘pureblood’ wizards who make up the Death Eaters have no idea how Muggle transport works. Imagine Voldemort trying to apparate onto a crowded, moving, muggle train, especially with Harry disguised as a random Muggle. What on earth was stopping them from taking Harry in the car with the Dursleys, dropping him off at the station as if he was just a random Muggle, taking him as far away from Little Winging as possible and then apparating to The Burrow? If they can’t trace him on a broom then they can’t trace him in a car or on a train. They had Death Eaters patrolling the skies, but I can’t see Voldy positioning people on the ground. He didn’t even know the exact location of the house.

    This speaks so much the the overall wizarding mistrust of muggles and muggle technology. I have always thought that wizards would advance beyond belief if they took muggle technology into account, something Arthur Weasley has clearly already realised with his creation of the flying Ford Anglia. In the 21st century, Muggles have almost caught up with the wizarding community with the use of science and electronics.Sure, we can’t teleport (yet) but Arthur’s reaction to the muggle technology he witnesses gives a pretty good indication as to just how clueless wizards are to how the muggle world works. Unfortunately, Arthur is almost alone in his love of Muggle technology.

    That is a really long-winded way of saying that the reason they all agreed to Mundungus’s plan was that they really didn’t have another option. They were transporting the most famous person in the whole wizarding world to a safe house, and the thought of using anything non-magical (and therefore, to them, weaker than a magical option) was beyond comprehension. Really, if they wanted to transport Harry by magic then a decoy plot was their only option.

  • DoraNympha

    And why did they forget about Kreacher or Dobby? Why did I forget about them in my earlier comment?? 😀

    • sumduxvoldemort

      I don’t think wizards truly understand the full power of house-elves.

  • DoraNympha

    Another circle theory within DH is that Moody dies in this chapter because Snape had to do something real for the Death Eaters and Voldemort, give them the real date so this had to happen, or well something had to happen A) for Snape to do something for Voldemort to truly trust him and his information and B) so that we see Moody die or we’re sort of there when it happens because he wouldn’t be a character that we learn about dying in a Prohpet article. And so Snape gains here and Moody loses so that Snape can survive for long enough so that he can give Harry the memory. Snape’s strong position Dumbledore was so adamant on was all for the memory so basically in the end Moody died for the memory, in other words for the Prince’s Tale.

  • Eileen_Prince/Jones

    Disillusionment charms?
    Bring along some blast ended skrewts then let them loose on the death eaters?
    Transfigure harry into an animal and ship him in a kennel to the burrow? Maybe a cat then mrs figg could pretend to take him to the vet?
    Stuff harry into hermiones extended charmed bag and then pretend shes going shopping?
    ;-]

    • Yo Rufus On Fire

      If it’s an undetectable extension charm for her bead bag, why couldn’t she just have stuffed Harry in? I mean it’s undetectable… lol.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      the only person I’d trust to transfigure Harry safely into a cat and then back is McGonagall. But where could she do that? Inside Privet Drive’s love protections sphere she can’t cast spells without the trace going off, and out side the bad guys are waiting.
      Maybe it would have been sufficient to send Harry on a walk together with Mrs. Figg and all her cats. The Death Eaters won’t have time to go for Harry because they must-pet-kitties-immediately.

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      I keep forgetting about the no magic because of the trace around harry! So i guess the best idea i had was shoving him in hermiones little beaded bag… ;-]

  • Awesome Hufflepuff

    I think that many of the members of the Order of the Phoenix were pureblood and their automatic instinct was not take muggle transport. Much like the Death Eaters, they would have never considered muggle transport as the first choice. The only people in the Order who have any idea of muggle transport is Hermione, Harry, and Arthur. This was the best idea in their mind, especially considering it was very last minute.

    • Yo Rufus On Fire

      I’m actually very surprised that the Order didn’t use Muggle Transport. I don’t think the Death Eater’s would have thought it because they don’t know muggle transportation. It’s too beneath them. They’re wizards and they can do much better.

      • Awesome Hufflepuff

        Well you have to think that they don’t really know too much about muggle transport and they don’t know how it works and if they would actually safe. Imagine if Harry took the underground? If the dementors followed him, he would literally be trapped in the train. He couldn’t run anywhere.

        • Griff

          Dumbledore would know plenty about Muggle transport, though, and be able to plant the idea through Snape/Mundungus.

  • Ravenclawesome

    They absolutely should not have used untrustworthy Mundungus as one of the fake Harrys. But even if they couldn’t find a better candidate to replace him, why not just have 6 pairs instead of 7?!

    But that aside, there are so many ways that could have worked to get Harry out of there without being so elaborate or dangerous. I know Moody said that the Dursleys’ house couldn’t be connected to the Floo network, but what about someone else’s house? Walk across the street and use Mrs. Figg’s!
    Or, even though they didn’t realize that Harry’s invisibility cloak was the only perfect one, even a worn-out invisibility cloak still would have provided a decent enough cover (especially at night) for Harry to walk a little ways away from Privet Drive and then side-along apparate with someone (unless apparition can be detected by the Trace).

    It doesn’t make sense to me that they went with Mundungus’s plan. How did a group of well-qualified Aurors and experienced members of the Order see this as the best option? Maybe everyone was just really excited to see Harry and wanted to feel like they were helping out. But it put far too many people in danger and required way too much preparation (like all the defensive spells at multiple locations, preparing the polyjuice and the outfits, and rounding up some thestrals). I feel like at least one of them should have questioned this insanely risky idea! Even with everything they had to be cautious about, like Thicknesse’s restrictions and the Trace, there are definitely ways that could have gotten Harry out of there without using magic and without being noticed.

    • WitchWolfsbane10

      Well, since the Ministry has been infiltrated by Voldemort, the Floo network is being watched, and though it’s not the Dursley’s fireplace, I wouldn’t imagine they’d overlook any other fireplace in that area, especially Mrs. Figg’s.

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      7 is powerfully magical right? That’s prob why they wanted 7…

  • WitchWolfsbane10

    There are so many interesting and great options from the listeners! You guys are all wonderful!

    I’d imagine, though, that the Order wouldn’t want to combat dark, evil magic with Death Eaters who have no moral qualms or codes about killing on the spot, by relying heavily on muggle transportation or other non-magical options. While the Death Eaters value “Magic is Might,” the Order and the overall wizarding world want to keep the Statue of Secrecy in tact for as long as possible; so transporting the most famous and most wanted wizard on the planet wouldn’t exactly be inconspicuous to the non-magical community if this battle was taken to the streets instead of the skies.

    I think it’s unfair to assume that the Order just goes along with the plan “without question.” I’m sure this wasn’t the first or the only option proposed, but it’s the one that might have proven to have the least amount of risks. And every single one of these people know the danger they’re facing; it’s why Mundungus is so hesitant about participating. This is war. They know how badly Voldemort wants Harry. They know what Harry’s been through, what he’s survived, what others have sacrificed for him. And, as Ron points out before the transformation, it’s not the first time any of them have risked their lives for the cause or for Harry himself. The volunteers demonstrate just how badass and loyal they truly are (sans Mundungus) *because* of what they’re willing to risk to make sure Harry gets to the safe house alive. Look what happens to Mad-Eye. Look what happens to Fred and Hagrid. No, I don’t think this decision was made lightly or blindly by anyone in the Dursley kitchen.

    Though, I admit, they probably should have had someone ride the Firebolt instead of a Cleansweep. The stuffed owls could easily have been charmed to appear lifelike. I’d like to imagine a lot of toys for magical children are charmed to move and make noise and the like.

  • NuttierThanSquirrelPoo

    They should have put Harry in Hermione’s “bloody beaded bag” with all the books. haha. Undectable extension charm.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      I guess you can’t put persons in there, or living beings.

  • NuttierThanSquirrelPoo

    I loved the scene in the movie when Fleur-Harry is taking off the bra. Bill’s facial expression is priceless. It looks like he has no idea what the protocol is for that situation.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      keep it and don’t put in in the bag with the others’ stuff!

  • Felix Scamander

    Honestly, I think Rowling put this in just because it was more entertaining (dare I say, cinematic?) Then Harry pretending to be a random muggle and catching a taxi to another location, and apperated to the Burrow/Tonk’s Parents House, though it would have been ten times more sensible! This is one of the few, if not the only times in the series when Rowling makes the story irrationally, stupidly, dramatic.

    • Felix Scamander

      Though admittedly if she’d written that in it would have been quite dull…
      Rowling could have started at the Burrow and ‘remembered’ leaving Number 4 for the last time.
      Then again, I love the dialog between Harry and the Dursleys.
      Ach, after writing this, I am now undecided. :)

  • MartinMiggs

    What if they had just waited until Harry was 17 and at the exact second he is 17 they leave? The Death Eaters don’t know the exact location of the house so in that moment of confusion they could’ve escaped quickly Just collect Harry’s and the Dursley’s belongings a few days before the birthday, have 4 Order members live with the Dursleys on July 30th and on July 31st you apparate them out.

  • DisKid

    This is the best possible scenario I can come up with: There is no way the order is going to let Harry go out alone, but if any order members are seen by this house it’ll automatically be suspicious to the death eaters. So have an order member steal a hair from a muggle to make polyjuice potion so they are not recognizable. As said in this episode, I doubt the order would allow Harry to use his cloak, so also get another muggle hair for Harry that way Harry can go out as a muggle too. Have another order member, also in disguise, get Harry’s things and Hedwig then apparate to the burrow safely. Harry and the order member can go off into a spot the death eaters likely won’t go into (I.E. a shopping center of some type or even the movies) then they can apparate from there to the burrow. Sure, Harry is still underage and the ministry can see magic happening, but as long as it is outside of 4 privet drive they have no way of knowing this was Harry as stated in the 6th book.

    Seems like doing the plan this way would not only save Moody, but poor little Hedwig too. There was a way to keep her alive Rowling!

  • Laurel Phoenix

    I honestly don’t think the 7 Potters plan was such a bad one. Sometimes I wonder if we think the plan was terrible because it went so badly wrong, but if you think about it, it was their best option based on the information they had. While we have the benefit of hindsight and slightly omnipresent viewpoint (granted, still Harry’s viewpoint), the Order didn’t know Snape had in fact orchestrated the entire plan. As stated in the previous chapter, the original plan was to have Moody take Harry on Side-Along Apparition but Pius Thicknesse has nipped that idea in the bud. Any magical option involving spell work in some capacity, such as taking him somewhere else and then Apparating is also not an option because of the Trace that is still on Harry. I think that even might eliminate the use of Disillusionment Charms, since the Ministry could detect it and send representatives to arrest any members of the Order found there. The Order wouldn’t think to use any Muggle forms of transportation, even combined with Polyjuice Potion, because no one apart from Harry and Hermione would understand how to use it. A grown adult not knowing how to use public transportation is highly suspicious and might draw unwanted attention. Even if Voldemort wouldn’t think twice about monitoring Muggle transportation, it is for the same reason the Order doesn’t think to use it. They don’t understand it, and with something as important as getting Harry to safety, they wouldn’t want to mess with something they don’t know. The only option left is to use magical transportation that doesn’t require any element the Ministry can detect. The use of decoys helped to increase the odds the plan would work, at least in part, which it did. The fact of the matter is, while the plan wasn’t the most sound, and came from Mundungus, it was the best plan they had.

    • WitchWolfsbane10

      I agree with you up until the notion that the Order wouldn’t know how to use Muggle transportation. Regardless of anyone’s blood status, Aurors are employed to protect both the magical and non-magical communities. Kingsley, for example, is assigned to protect the Prime Minister, and he’s also an intelligent man. If it came down to it, Kingsley would understand how to properly utilize Muggle transportation, and the Order members that don’t, can easily learn before putting this plan into motion. I don’t think this is a half-assed plan so they’d be sure to give themselves time to prepare. They may be wizards, but for something this important, they’d figure it out.

      I think Muggle transportation isn’t ideal or used because if there’s a possibility they’d come across evil Death Eaters (a group of psychopaths who have no moral compasses or qualms about killing people), they’d have to match them and fight with equal and powerful magic. While the Death Eaters don’t care, the Order and the community at large want to keep the Statue of Secrecy established as long as possible. “Fireworks” are one thing. But a battle like the one we see in “The Seven Potters” set in the underground or on a city street? That’s too risky both to Muggle memories and lives.

      • Laurel Phoenix

        Ok, I agree that Muggle transportation isn’t ideal because of possible Statute of Secrecy issues, but I still don’t think that weighs quite as much in the balance. For one thing, I don’t think Voldemort would even consider using Muggle transportation as an option for wizards. If they had the time to learn to use Muggle transportation, I would think the Order would utilize it because it’s the last thing Voldemort would expect; this is a big reason why I think there is something more behind the choice the Order made. For another, I’ll admit that Kingsley and possibly others would be able to maneuver through Muggle transportation, but I’m inclined to think learning to use Muggle transportation doesn’t rank high on anyone’s list of skills or to do list. Also, while Kingsley and others may understand the basics of Muggle travel, only one who uses it regularly or had grown up with it would think of everything needed to successfully travel that way. Who among them, for example, would have the foresight to provide Muggle money for the train or for fuel for a car? Yes, Kingsley again comes to mind, but I think he may be in the minority here. There is too much at stake for them to take the time for everyone to fully understand Muggle transportation to approve the plan. Again, I think the Order underestimates the Muggle transportation for the same reason that Voldemort and his cohorts don’t even consider that the Order would use it: they don’t understand or trust it.
        As for the plan being half-assed: I agree it wasn’t thrown together. In fact I think for the most part it was fairly well thought out given the information they had to go on. The biggest barrier with coming up with the plan is time frame. From what I understand, the original plan was just involving Moody and Side-Along Apparition until Pius Thicknesse threw a big wrench in that plan. Since Thicknesse wasn’t under the Imperius Curse until about a week before they were planning to move Harry, that doesn’t give much time to come up with a Plan B. Who’s to say how long it took to settle on Mundungus’s plan, let alone get the materials needed? True they had Polyjuice Potion, but I think the ever-paranoid Moody might keep a stash just in case. Regardless of the Order’s knowledge of Muggle transportation or the time crunch, I still think the plan they came up with was the best they could do based on the information they had.

  • ILoveLunaLoveGood

    This plan got some knocking. The only real alternative we have, in hindsight, is Muggle transport, because **we are muggles** and thats obviously what we would think of. For Moody, great Auror as he may have been (10-20 years ago), it probably never occured to him, although now I think of it, Harry plus an order member with polyjuice could have taken the knightbus, from a few blooks/miles away… maybe its out of service these days?

    We have to remember the inworld timeline. Everything was happening quickly from Dumbledore’s death, Snape’s betrayal and ministry takeover. Firstly they moved the date forward cos they didnt trust the ministry, but they still probably hoped there wouldnt even be any death eaters waiting. Ultimately they were tipped off but the Order couldnt have known that. Moody probably expected one or 2 standing gaurd but without any real vigilance and Voldy being far off and needing to be called giving enough time to sprint to locations. He obviously didnt expect/plan for a larger contingent of Death Eaters plus the Chief Death Eater/Voldy.

    The plan apparently changed quite suddenly which would leave less time to consider more creative solutions. They had to get him out quickly, magic couldnt be performed and they didnt even know the death eaters were waiting. Invisibility cloaks might have helped but it wouldnt have covered 2 adult people and a whole broomstick/thestral/motorbike/Hagrid. Disillusionment charms are a possibity but since magic couldnt be performed there they might not have lasted etc.

  • SnapesManyButtons

    I don’t think Rowling wanted the “best” way to move Harry from Privet Drive but rather the way that best fit the story. Personally, I think she really wanted to put in the line, “Even You-Know-Who can’t split himself into seven.” and this fit that beautifully. A better plan would have been to put Harry under the Invisibility Cloak and have him drive off with the Dursleys to the same place the Dursleys are taken to be Disapparated to their safe house. If it’s safe for them to Disapparate from there, why wouldn’t it be safe for Harry to Disapparate to the Burrow?

    As it is, I always saw it as the Order finding out at the last minute that the magical options, Apparation, Floo, Portkey, are unavailable and having to come up with something fast. With little time to decide and still needing time to implement their Plan B, they settle on Mundungus’ plan as the best option presented. I think only reason they took Mundungus along was because he knew about the plan. Ideally, only those involved are told about the plan and only those who are implicitly trusted can be involved. Except Mundungus already knows because it was “his” plan. He couldn’t be trusted to be left behind because he was too much of a loose cannon. I think Rowling having Mundungus suggest the plan served two purposes, it made the Order have to bring him along, which explained how Moody was killed, and it gave Snape a plausible contact in the Order to show Voldemort where he got his information. I doesn’t make the most sense to us, but it makes the story work.

    • Laurel Phoenix

      Why wouldn’t it be safe? For one, the moment Harry leaves the confines of the protection charm for this last time, it breaks, exposing him to Voldemort. If he’s with the Dursleys at that time, it puts them in danger as well. For another, the Trace is still on him. Though this may be my own interpretation, the Trace may not be able to detect who performs the magic, but definitely what and when. Who’s to say they can’t track where Harry goes when he Apparates with the Trace still on him? I think the original plan’s advantage (Moody and Side-Along Apparition) would have been that he would have been under protection until the moment he left, possibly distorting exactly where he was going since he was moving from protective enchantment to protective enchantment. A long shot, I know. With the new regulation, I honestly think the plan they came up with in the end was the best Plan B they could have had to try to ensure Harry’s and the Dursleys’ safe escape.

      • SnapesManyButtons

        When Harry leaves the Privet Drive grounds, the protection breaks whether he’s in the car with the Dursleys or in the motorcycle sidecar. The difference is that when he leaves with the Order, the Death Eaters immediately know (even if there’d only been a couple of them) but when the Dursleys leave in the car they don’t even notice. If nobody does magic, they won’t know where Harry is. Then, as long as Harry and the Dursleys apparate at the same time, everybody’s at their safe place before anyone can get to them. Even if the Ministry can tell where Harry apparated to, he has broken no law. Because they made apparating (flooing and portkeying) from Privet Drive an imprisonable offense, the Ministry would be able to charge Harry with a crime if he’d apparated from there, but if he apparates from another place, they have no pretense to go after him. Even if Voldy’s spies in the Ministry can tell him where Harry went, as Snape pointed out, the safe houses are so well-protected that they wouldn’t be able to get Harry once he got to one. That’s why they had to capture him en-route.

        I’m not saying that was the best plan, just a thought I had of a simpler way. They could have put Harry in a separate car going the opposite direction to protect the Dursleys, had him apparate to a safe house then portkey to the Burrow like in the seven Potters plan, or even just drove him right to the safe house or the Burrow. The point is that they weren’t watching the Muggle modes of transport so it could have been an option. Harry and Hermione were raised in that world, so would know how it worked.

        At the same time, I’m not saying the seven Potters plan was as bad as some people say. It made for a better story and let Jo put in the deaths of Hedwig and Moody where she needed them to be. Not to mention the thing Harry’s wand did and the cliff hanger of whether Hagrid was okay or not. I think it really needed to be that way to move the story along, so I do think it was the best way to move Harry as far as the story goes.

        • Laurel Phoenix

          Yes, Muggle transportation would have been much simpler, but I still think they couldn’t move Harry by that way for a couple of reasons. One: as I’ve said before, how many wizards know how to use Muggle transportation? Besides Harry and Hermione, very few from the Order come to mind, and there is not enough time to educate them all. Two: think about where the Death Eaters were. They were right on top of the house. Yes, they possibly might not have been in place until after the Order had shown up, but they still knew the location of the house. How else could 30 Death Eaters be in the air space above the house when the Order took off? My thought is there must have been some way for them to detect the breaking of the protective enchantment or had someone watching for a sign, so no matter what the plan, the second Harry stepped outside the protection and broke it, the Death Eaters would descend, putting anyone in the vicinity in danger, including the Dursleys.

          • SnapesManyButtons

            I see what you’re saying, but we’ll just have to agree to disagree here. Firstly, they don’t have to educate all the Order because you only need a few, not 13 like in the seven Potters plan. Ride with the Dursleys, call a cab, walk to a subway, whatever the case, it doesn’t require much training, especially with Harry right there. Secondly, Moody said the Death Eaters didn’t know exactly where the house was, only the general area. If a typical broom can go from zero to 70 mph in 10 seconds, they could still get to the Order quickly, even if they aren’t right over the house. I didn’t read it as them waiting for the protection to break, but as them watching for Harry to physically leave the premises by some Wizarding method.

            The main point you make, though, is that the Death Eaters can somehow know when the protection breaks and I don’t see that from how I read it. Nobody but Dumbledore seemed to know the protection was even there for years, so I don’t see that they would know that it had broken. It’s blood magic, not a ward or a protective shield over the house, it resides in Harry, and I suppose anyone else who calls that place home. As I see it, Death Eaters are stationed around the neighborhood on the lookout for Harry to fly off at some point. They are paying no attention to the Muggles on the ground and, since they don’t know which exact house is Harry’s, wouldn’t notice someone driving off or walking away. I don’t think they can tell when the protection breaks, so as long as nobody triggers the Trace, they can’t know where Harry is or even that he’s left the house.

            I appreciate your theory, though. Since the books don’t say they couldn’t know when the protection breaks, you could be right, I just didn’t read it that way.

          • WitchWolfsbane10

            I guess you’re right! It’s blood magic so yeah, there’s never any trace of the protection. I’m rereading it over and over, and it doesn’t specifically say. I suppose combined with all of their talk about the Trace and when he comes of age, and it just popped into my head.

            I got the notion somehow that Snape might have told Voldemort about the protection though. I’m not saying that means they’d be notified once it was broken. But I was under the impression that Voldemort found out about it, and that’s why he stationed Death Eaters there to stakeout in the first place and knew he’d have to, at least, wait until he turned 17.

  • TheAmazingBouncingFerret

    While this plan may not be the best option, it doesn’t seem like just walking out would work either, unless it’s under Harry’s cloak, and nobody knows that yet. Death Eaters (or the Ministry anyway) can tell the general direction of someone with the Trace on them, so that’s what they’re waiting for, which sort of explains why nobody went after Dedalus and Hestia, I guess. Then if they made Harry look like someone else, they run the risk of someone killing him unknowingly (not that the Death Eaters were being too careful with their killing curses). That’s all I can come up with, but the solution to getting around a Voldemort stakeout can’t be as easy as walking to a bus stop, not anymore, not with the Ministry working against them.

    As for Mundungus, I have no idea. The Harrys are the youngest and most unqualified, other than Dung, Fleur is the oldest and she’s only 20, maybe even 19. True, I can’t think of anyone in the “inner circle” that fits that description other than Ginny, but there’s no way they’d let her while being underage. The thing is, why would they have to? Bring Molly, bring McGonagall, I don’t know, but wouldn’t it be better if the Harrys were as good as possible?

  • RoseLumos

    The Trace thing has always bothered me, because there has been plenty of magic performed at Harry’s house when he was in danger and yet there hasn’t always been conflicts. Just off my mind, Moody and Tonks use magic when rescuing Harry in OotP and so does Dumbledore in HBP. I get the point is that the Ministry is now under Voldemort’s control, but look back at OotP – the Ministry was totally against Harry and they threaten to expel him, yet Tonks does the room cleaning spell and nothing happens. It takes a while for the Ministry to be informed of the magic being used or at least of Harry being notified about it, as evidence by the thirty minute or so gap between the dementor attack and Harry’s expulsion in OotP. So why didn’t the Order just use magic here? Yes, the Ministry would know about it, but why the time they alert the Death Eaters and do anything about it Harry would have been gone. I don’t think Floo would have worked, since we see Umbridge being able to grab people out of the fire, but how much can the Ministry track Apparation or Portkeys? Is the magic detected by just the use of it, or can they see the starting and ending point of each form of transportation?

    So let’s look at the situation using my plan. Harry and Moody (like the original plan) Apparate or use a Portkey. The Ministry knows that Harry did magic at his house because of the Trace. But then what? They would go to his house and he would be gone. Let’s then say the Ministry can track Apparation and Portkeys then. Harry would end up at the Burrow. The Burrow has the best protections offered at the moment, with Arthur being the secret keeper. So the Ministry and the Death Eaters would know where Harry is, but it would be no surprise because I am sure everyone knows where he always goes. Even if they know exactly where Harry is, they wouldn’t be able to get to him because of the protections. And, as far as we know, you can’t interfere with a person as they are Apparating or Portkey-ing so I don’t think they would be in danger in the five seconds that they are moving. So why in the world did they change the plan in the first place? Obviously, the answer is because JKR thought it would be convenient to the plot, but I still think the original plan would have been fine.

    • RoseLumos

      Another thought associated with what I just wrote – so the Order shows up at Privet Drive. Did they their forms of transportation (brooms, threstrals, etc.) to get there? I see two issues with this. One, as they are leaving and Moody is assigning partners, it appears that it is the first time they are moving in this pattern, based on Ron and Hermione’s reactions. I don’t have any evidence of this, but it just appears that this is the first time they are doing this. Two, if they did all arrive using these different forms of transportation, how did the hoards of Death Eaters surrounding Privet Drive not notice them arriving? Sure, they were using disillusionment charms, but can that also cover a threstral or a motorbike? Even if it did, are we to assume than none of the thirty or so Death Eaters surrounding the area didn’t see the ripple affect disillusionment charms create? Even if they didn’t see Harry with them, if I was a Death Eater I would still attack the thirteen wizards approaching Harry’s house. Why wait for them to get Harry and attempt to leave if they could kill them all and leave Harry unprotected?

    • Yo Rufus On Fire

      I thought the reason for the Trace was to track underage magic, not all magic. It lifts after he turns 17, so it wouldn’t have tracked Moody and Tonk’s magic that they did in OotP. But I get your point, because it tracks Dobby’s magic.

  • sgreybe

    I have always wondered that when this plan is so top secret and it’s essential they maintain secrecy and try and confuse the death eaters with the 7 potters thing, for Harry’s safety, and they don’t want the death eaters to know where Harry’s going – WHY THE F did Moody shout out, just as they’re all going out into the garden, “SEE YOU ALL IN AN HOUR AT THE BURROW”!? Wasn’t that kind of a giveaway?

  • Yo Rufus On Fire

    The alternative plan was the side along apparition with Moody. Snape told the Death Eaters of Harry’s flying ability so Pius, who is now on the dark side, has limited the travel options for the Order to funnel them into only one way to transport themselves, flying.

    Mundungus is the one who gives the “idea” for the seven Potters. I think everyone trusts him because Dumbledore trusted him. Mundungus is also a very active thief and he knows how to get around things without others noticing, so with him bringing this idea forward, the Order thinks that this will be more of a sneaky way of getting around all the Death Eaters.

    I know this part is movie canon, “if you sneeze, the ministry will know who wipes your nose.” But I thought that the ministry had some kind of GPS on Harry. So if the volunteers all take Polyjuice potion it will mess up with their tracking on Harry. And since the Death Eaters have infiltrated the Ministry they can use all of the Ministry’s intel to help capture Harry.

    I think a better alternative would be to use Muggle transportation. All of the Muggleborns know how to use it so they could teach the rest of the Order that doesn’t know how and they don’t have to use any magic on this transportation and that would be able to keep the Ministry and the Death Eaters from knowing how and when Harry was being moved. Another one that could be a potential alternative is the Knight Bus! It takes you wherever you want to go super quick. It would probably have another conductor now, but I think it could work.

  • SpinnersEnd

    We know that wizards have a different definition of the word “dangerous” than us Muggles. I think the though process must have been something like: “The more complicated, the better!” I think part of that is Moody’s fault. He would have wanted so many back up plans, he would have jumped at Dung’s idea.

    The rest of the members of the Order would have followed Moody’s lead, since he is the de facto leader now that Dumbledore’s dead.

    I do tend to think that Dumbledore meant for Snape to spill the beans to Voldemort. Someone even comments that Dung’s suggestion was exceptional for him. I think Dumbledore planted the idea with him before he died.

  • DoraNympha

    What if they just dug a secret passageway underground? Yes more and more ridiculous alternatives for an already ridiculous plan.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      does Hagrid still have the nifflers? Because that plan seems like a job for Niffler Army!

  • SlytherinKnight

    I don’t know if this is an intentional point on JKR’s part but if the Order really did decide to disregard Muggle transport methods due to their lack of information with them, then doesn’t that make them a bit like the Death Eaters, automatically believing that magical methods are better than Muggle methods. Of course we don’t know what truly went into planning Harry’s escape from Privet Drive but that is something I would love to read about on Pottermore, why did they decide to use this plan to get Harry away from Privet Drive instead of something simpler and probably less obvious, in the sense of when they were leaving.

  • Magooters Human

    Why didn’t Moody just pick Harry up in the cover of darkness with Tonks and Kingsley as his back-up. It would seem that the fewer people involved the less likely any information would be leaked to Voldemort. I have never understood the idea of telling so many people the exact details of such an important secret mission.

  • sumduxvoldemort

    I think that Harry couldn’t have simply been disillusioned or polyjuiced or placed under an or (the) Invisibility Cloak because I presume that the Death Eaters had set up something akin to the Thief’s Downfall in Gringotts around the perimeter of Lily’s protection charm.

    In the text, once the Seven Potters and their respective guardians had risen in the air (and presumably past the Charm,) “out of nowhere, out of nothing, they were surrounded. At least thirty hooded figures, suspended in mid-air, formed a vast circle in the midst of which the Order members had risen, oblivious-”

    That last word, “oblivious” suggests to me that the Order set off an alarm, perhaps by breaching the perimeter of the Death Eaters Alarm.

    But why Mundungus’ plan? He doesn’t strike me as the type to eagerly participate at meetings. One situation where I can picture him providing this plan is, while telling a tale of some underhand scheme, he mentions the use of multiple people being polyjuice to befuddle his pursuers. Maybe Snape even planted that tale in his mind, as an indirect method of conveying his plan.

    Personally, I support the Seven Potter’s Plan. Although it could have been tweaked a bit, (real or animated owls perhaps), or having everyone apparate once they were past the Charm, statistically, by having seven Harrys in the sky that night, rather than chancing it with one running away under the Invisibility Cloak, Harry had a much better chance of making it out alive.

    On a final note, I would like to take a moment to defend Fleur. Although she is bashed quite a bit, (mostly because we have Ginny’s perspective), it should be remembered that Fleur was one of the Triwizard Champions. To excel beyond all her peers shows a great deal of magical ability. Just because she is now married, does not mean she is weak (cf. Molly Weasley.)

    • WitchWolfsbane10

      Yes to all!

  • RavenPaw

    ANYTHING would have been better than the Seven Potters idea. If Harry had just used his invisibility cloak or even polyjuice potion on muggle transport and then apparated with some other Order member to the Burrow? For merlin’s sake, he could’ve even driven a FLYING CAR

  • RavenPaw

    What about if Tonks metamorphed into Voldemort and Harry went under the invisibility cloak? VoldeTonks could’ve given Harry a clear way through and there would have been no issues. 😀

    I really wish Tonks’ metamorphosis was used more in the plot.

    • RoseLumos

      That actually makes a lot more sense. Why risk a bad reaction to the Polyjuice, or it wearing off, when Tonks can change her appearance so easily? The only explanation I can think of is her change in emotions. We see when she is depressed she had trouble changing. I wonder if she would also have trouble in high stress situations?

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        Probably, changing your appearance must require constant low level attention, otherwise the morph slips back into a default mode. I wonder if she can keep up a morph while sleeping.

        • thequeerweasleycousin

          Is there a default mode? Teddy’s hair colour starts changing the hour after he was born. Maybe stopping the changes and choosing what you’d like to look like is what requires cognitive capacity?
          I also think it’s a question of practice. Tonks at this point is experienced enough to keep her morph even in high stress situations. She might have even learned from the phase when she couldn’t morph and now understands her ability better and has more control.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            I used to play a shape shifter in a P&P RPG , and they are not the same as Metamorphmagi, but some of the processes and limits of transforming seem similar to me. Practice is the most important factor, attention and situative constitution are what influence individual morphs (be nice to your dice 😉 ).
            I do believe there is a default mode which is written down in the genes of a metamorphmagus, because even though we know that some changes are unintended, major transformations require clear intention and attention. Hair color changes seem simple to me, while there is likely more direction needed for pig noses, Hulk like muscles or additional limbs. Metamorphmagi are still human and their bodies are constructed like humans.

  • Page394

    Because most of the Order members, or at least the ones who are in charge are Gryffindors. I mean, who would like some smart and quiet movement when you have a plan where you can show how brave you are and could most certainly involve some dangerous action packed adventure?.

    Another safer way could have been using muggle transportation, I mean they could’ve just hired an Uber !(just kidding, I know Uber didn’t exist at that time).

  • thequeerweasleycousin

    Harry is polyjuiced in Ms Figg, and then just walk out of the house and to her own home. Half an hour later, a fake ambulance arrives, because Ms Figg is an old woman and has health problems. The ambulance is driven by Kingsley, polyjuiced into some muggle and Tonks in some metamorphmagi camoflage. They rush off to the distance with blue lights and sirens, because the more noticable, the less noticed. Once they are in a safe distance, Harry takes his invisibility cloak, they all get on their brooms and fly to the burrow. And they live happily ever after. The end.