I really like thinking about this sort of thing. I have some additional questions after reading.
Can a portrait only be painted after someone is dead? It seems sort of odd or just a weird little parameter. Lots of wealthy people commission a portrait of themselves during their lifetime. If so, does the portrait not have magical properties because the person is not dead yet? I remember that right after Dumbledore died, his portrait showed up in the Headmaster's office. It seems that it just appeared after his death. As if it had been physically painted beforehand and then actually because a portrait in its rightful place with all the magical properties after Dumbledore's death. I suppose the photos are used to depict people during their lives and portraits after they're dead?
Also, when you were discussing the actual ways that subjects move between portraits, I was very interested. I imagine a different (yet parallel) plane of space (space-time if you like relativity) that connects all the portraits together and thus the movement between is simply made along this continuous plane.
Another interesting question is that of scale. All paintings have different scales obviously. WHen I think of the Fat Lady versus Sir Cudgian (spelling?) I think of them as painted at different scales (perhaps I'm getting this from the films). I imagine the Fat Lady as quite large in scale (almost human-sized) and the Knight rather smaller in a landscape with his horse. So if the fat lady was to go into his painting, would she fit? WOuld she change in scale to be proportionate in his landscape? Would he become life-sized if he moved into her painting? If a subject moved acorss tons of paintings in a long hallway, it might look quite funny to see them constantly changing in scale.
Also, the films seemed to portray the portraits will 3D space. But I wonder if this is the case. For instance, if you has a portrait of several people playing cards at a table, would an intervening subject have to go behind or in front of the table to get through the portrait? I guess I am wondering about how the movement itself would look. Perhaps, if the fat lady got tired of the landscape she is painted in, she could go frolic in a painting of dandlions or go splash under a waterfall, at whatever appropriate scale.
This makes me think of another question: would paintings not consisting of any people as subjects still allow for the magical properties attributed to portraits? Thus, could the fat lady move into a painting of only dandilions? Or would the painting have to be a portrait in the strict sense for her to be able to move to it?
If it was me, I would want a portrait of myself painted, then a couple different of my favorite places so that after I kick the bucket, I can move between all those places whenever I please in the portrait world!
Thanks for this Quibble!
Awesome ideas! We have to take into account that, like you said, they can also travel to all their other portraits. At first I thought maybe their traveling was dependent upon their significance to the area in question. For example, a healer with portraits in St Mungos and the Leaky Cauldron might be able to travel St Mungos, but can only visit their portrait in the Leaky Cauldron without being able to walk the other paintings. However, this theory isn't strong enough for me when it comes to Hogwarts. I also wonder if it's a specified enchantment placed upon the magical area or a bind between paintings, for although we see these in people's homes, we've never actually seen them travel amongst themselves in homes. Sure, Harry IMAGINES Phineas to be walking from portrait to portrait in the Black's house (OotP), but we don't verify that's the case (and even so, I'd think the Noble House of Black might be an exception to the rule, as they would have made sure their house was as magical as possible). Also, rather than thinking staircases, I would maybe try to equivocate it more to apparating. Great piece!
The whole world behind the paintings is fascinating! about the part of that paintings could only travel behind their normal perimeters in Hogwarts. I don't think that is a special thing that only happens in Hogwarts. In OotP when Ron and Harry and the others are visiting Ron's Dad in St. Mungo there is a man from a portrait who is following Ron through the hospital saying that he has some weird illness because of his freckles. So this would mean that it is not only Hogwarts where this is happening. I think it is something about boundaries of the boulding, that the portraited people can't travel any further and not about who the painter was.
I liked the quibble, it really got me thinking about the portrait world!
you forgot to mention a few things: OoTP, we have three portraits who are able to leave their paintings at Hogwarts and travel elsewhere. Everard and Dilys are two of Hogwarts most celebrated Heads of Houses. they have paintings elsewhere: one at the Ministry of Magic and one at St. Mungo's. then we have Phineas who has a portrait at Grimmauld Place. Since these three have another place, they can visit their other portraits. We also have the small man at the Muggle's Prime Minister's office. He occassionally left his portrait whenever he got bored. We don't know were he went, only that sometimes there was a muddy blank space on a wall. The only reason Dumbldore couldn't leave Hogwarts was because there wasn't another painting of him.
Since there was a portrait of Phineas in Hogwarts, that was why he was able to travel back and forth from the painting that Hermione had.
We know there was a portrait of Sirius' mother in Grimmauld Place. she couldn't leave, but she was still able to communicate whenever her curtains were pulled back. And they were pulled back whenever she was able to scream at everyone.
As for who painted the portraits, and how were they able to communicate with people is amazing.
Author's Response: I've often wondered why the curtains could make Mrs. Black quiet. Were they magical curtains with some kind of charm on them? As for Everard, it says "I ran along to Elfrida Craggs portrait to get a good view as they left-" (OOTP US ed. 471). He gives us another example of traveling through other pictures, but it's in the same building, which proves that there has to be some sort of spell or charm that is cast over buildings to allow them to travel between each other, and all pictures in the building as subjected to that spell. Thanks for the comment, and it answered one of the major questions in my Quibble.
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