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Old September 18th, 2011, 12:26 am
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Rookie_Angel  Female.gif Rookie_Angel is offline
Third Year
Join Date: 23rd August 2007
Posts: 450
Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Originally Posted by meesha1971
I'm not entirely sure what you mean be "whose Trace was activated". The Trace was always active from what we're shown - though it wasn't referred to as "the Trace" in the first six books, but rather a more general detection of magic. From how it is described, it sounds more like an alarm system - something that is always active and running, but not noticed until something triggers an alert. It's not a question of what triggers an alert. I think the text is clear on that point - it is triggered by the use of magic and an alert of some kind is received by the Ministry when that happens.

Originally Posted by willfitz
I think our understanding of this might be even further apart than I first thought. What the Dobby incident shows me is that, around each underage witch or wizard, there exists a sort of sensory radius which is 'activated' when magic is performed with in it. The ministry is alerted upon each activation, receiving the name of the witch or wizard, the location of the magic and the type of magic, and if it occurs within a zone designated to not contain any adult wizards, the student is considered to have broken the law.

This also fits with why the Order felt that they could not perform magic around Harry in DH- they did not want to do magic within Harry's Trace, or else they would have his location and the details of the magic performed given to the Ministry. It fits with Dumbledore's words, when he says that the exact perpetrator of the magic could not be determined. It fits with the fact that, if Tom had done underage magic within the Gaunt house, it may have slipped the notice of the Ministry. That is what I meant by activation, anyway, and that is the understanding I have always had of the Trace.
Interesting take, willfitz. I’d never really thought of it as a sort of field around the underage wizards like that.

I’m now having to work a bit at concentrating and putting into focus exactly how I thought of it exactly, I guess my original idea was a little more like Meesha’s in that it is was sort of a magic radar detection system that was always running, but didn’t “alert” like a birddog on information until it had gotten all the way through its “flow chart” and not hit all the "right" answers:

1) Magic detected? (Location probably determined at this point.) When yes, continue. 2) Underage wizard present? No? End monitoring. Yes? Continue. 3) Adult wizards present (and/or perhaps “Known wizarding home/area?”) Yes? End monitoring. No? Trace goes into full alert mode, zooms in, and identifies underage wizard and transmits the name, location and other info to the Ministry.

(Or it could be the other way around, and the fact an underage wizard is even present might not be noted if the Trace is pre-belayed by there being an adult wizard/known wizarding home there?) 1) Magic detected? (Location probably determined at this point.) When yes, continue. 2) Adult wizards present (and/or perhaps “Known wizarding home/in area?”) Yes? End monitoring. No? Continue. 3) Underage wizard present? No? End monitoring. Yes? Continue. Trace goes into full alert mode, “zooms in” and identifies underage wizard and transmits the name, location and other info to the Ministry.

I’m at a bit of a disadvantage not having my DH handy at the moment, but if the area searched for adult wizards or a known adult wizard in the area were a bit on the wide side, this setup would fit perfectly for Tom Riddle and the Gaunts--the Gaunts presence nearby would have turned off the “system” before it got to detecting and identifying Tom.

As to Order members not wanting to do magic near Harry, do we ever actually see anything like this actually trigger a Trace even with adult wizards present or in a wizard home? (If I recall, someone said a few posts back that they actually did a Trace on Harry after he was of age--did that actually happen? Could someone refresh my memory if so?

Maybe if the Order members/Aurors therein knew of a way that the Trace system could be “messed with”, they would be wary of something that could happen if the Ministry did some tweaking, even if it wasn’t the way the Trace usually worked?

As to the tournament, it was my least favorite part of my least favorite book, so it's sometimes hard to get up the gumption to come to the defense of some of them, and some things did seem a bit strained to me, but most of them I could buy.

As to the portkey, I didn't see it as something V. and the DE's had done. It was Lily's shadow form that told Harry it would take him back to Hogwarts. I always sort of suspected that was supposed to indicate that "she" could somehow have sensed that perhaps the field of beams around Harry and Voldy with the Priori Incantatem "reversal effect" itself had somehow affected the cup and reversed its "programming" or perhaps even that ShadeJames and ShadeLily had been somehow able to deliberately affect the portkey somehow to take Harry back to safety. Because, no, making it a portkey back to Hogwarts again doesn't seem like anything that FakeMoody or Voldy would have any reason to have enchanted it to do.

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