The Boy Who Lived

I have to confess that I really love Chapter 1. I think last time I wrote about it, I may have said it reminded me in tone a bit of Tolkien’s opening to The Hobbit.

Actually, yes, I did.

In looking back, it appears that I wrote four consecutive blog posts about just this one chapter. In addition to the Hobbit comparison, I discussed the overwhelming presence of owls, drew up a  Chapter map (complete with explanation), and wrote another whole long post about Albus Dumbledore and sundry other issues. I really went “into the weeds” with this chapter when I wrote about it 10 years ago!

But in fairness, this brief introductory chapter accomplishes a lot. It sets up the conflict between the Dursleys and Harry and the recent and future conflicts between Harry and Voldemort, shows the secret world of the Wizards and its fear of being found out, introduces part of our main cast of Wizards, and hints at the recent war with Voldemort.

It’s a writing tour de force, and in it J.K. Rowling announces her presence on the literary stage.

The Power Dynamic

In terms of our broader themes, this chapter sets up various versions of power. We don’t know yet how it’s all going to play out, but we can clearly identify four power centers in the chapter:

Vernon Dursley – Vernon is a non-magical person who abuses power and people and gets “enraged” at anything that deviates from his conception of social norms (such as older people wearing weird attire). Yelling “at five different people” at work in the morning puts him in “a very good mood.” Yet after hearing rumors about the Potters from the “weirdos,” he shrinks into worry and insecurity. With just these small character details, Rowling establishes Vernon as an abuser who will soon be placed in the position of having to foster his “weirdo” nephew (Hint: This will not go well),  but she also establishes him as something of a paper tiger. Just put some pressure on him and watch him crumple.

Voldemort (a.k.a. “You-Know-Who”) – We don’t really meet Voldemort here, just hear about him. But from the conversation between Professor McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore, we find he is a magical person whom Wizards have feared for the past eleven years – feared so much that only Dumbledore will say his name. In fact, Voldemort murdered Harry’s parents the night before… and even tried to kill the boy. On a first read, this is where it gets confusing, because apparently trying to kill the boy made him disappear. Before the night he disappeared, Voldemort clearly possessed astounding powers, but used them to evil purpose. As the story progresses and he finds a way to return, his ill intent will thwart him over and over again. It’s almost like Rowling is saying that “power is not enough.” (Hint: It’s not!).

Albus Dumbledore – Dumbledore is, in many ways, the antithesis of Vernon Dursley and even moreso of Voldemort. He’s an older man, dressed weirdly, yet Professor McGonagall (who can transform herself from a cat into a human being!) defers to him. He speaks gently, consolingly, and with a certain amount of wisdom. He’s also a bit naive. He thinks that if he just explains the situation to the Dursleys in a letter, they will accept Harry and eventually tell him who he is. In addition, Dumbledore has a bit of humility, as we can see from this snippet of dialogue:

“But you’re different” [said Professor McGonagall]. Everyone knows you’re the only one You-Know-Who – oh, all right, Voldemort, was frightened of.”

“You flatter me,” said Dumbledore calmly. “Voldemort had  powers I will never have.”

“Only because you’re too – well – noble to use them.”

McGonagall here effectively establishes Dumbledore as a man whose powers rival Voldemort’s but who restrains himself from using the more ignoble types of power. We will (much) later learn exactly why Dumbledore restrains himself, but for now, it’s simply worth noting that in the first chapter Rowling subtly establishes the possibility that life could have gone much differently for Albus Dumbledore had he just seized all the power he was capable of wielding. Instead, he has chosen a different path and consequently introduces us and the Dursleys to Harry.

Harry Potter – He’s just a baby, but he inexplicably broke Voldemort’s power just the night before. The implication here is that Harry has amazing powers of his own (we will later discover the extent to which this is true), and McGonagall argues that Dumbledore should not give him up to the Dursleys because…

“He’ll be famous – a legend – I wouldn’t be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter Day in the future – there will be books written about Harry – every child in our world will know his name!”

Dumbledore wisely replies that anonymity with the Dursleys will be better for Harry until “he’s ready to take” the fame thrust on him by the Wizarding World.

Dumbledore is right on the face of it. He’s just missing one major detail: the Dursleys are not the people he hopes they will be. And then he leaves Harry on the doorstep to face his unwilling aunt and uncle.

Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few hours’ time by Mrs. Dursley’s scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley. . . . He couldn’t know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: “To Harry Potter – the boy who lived!”

It is a powerful conclusion to a magnificent opening chapter.

Pottermore: I Just Solved Snape’s Logic Puzzle

Sorry I’ve disappeared into Pottermore for the past couple of days. I will be back tomorrow, I think – or possibly Monday – to write up my general thoughts.

In the meantime, I just wanted to let everybody know that on Pottermore, you will have an opportunity to solve Snape’s Logic Puzzle. And when you get to that point in the story, you will find that one of my two final solutions is correct. :)

If you have visited Solving Snape’s Logic Puzzle, then you will know that figuring out the single final solution is impossible without actually seeing the layout of the bottles. You can only narrow it down to two potential positions for the “Forward” potion. (No such problem exists for the “Backward” potion).

I’m not going to reveal right now which one of my two solutions is the correct one. I’d like to give you an opportunity to solve the puzzle for yourself when you get to Pottermore.  But I will say this: while it was a solution I anticipated, it was not the solution I expected… though I think it was kind of the solution I was hoping for.

Feel free to use my Logic Puzzle notes when you get to Pottermore. Goodness knows I did!

Pottermore Debrief: Day 3

We have now completed Day 3 of the Pottermore Magic Quill challenge.

Here are the approximate times that the clues have been posted so far:

Day 1: 9am BST (4am US Eastern, 1am US Pacific)

Day 2: 10am BST (5am US Eastern, 2am US Pacific)

Day 3: 11am BST (6am US Eastern, 3am US Pacific)

As you can see, the clues so far have been posted roughly one hour later than the clue was posted on the previous day. It is not known if this pattern will hold. In fact, we should probably assume that it will not. Pottermore does not want to become too predictable concerning the times of the Quill challenge.

Confirmed: Tomorrow’s challenge will take place between 2.00pm and 6.00pm BST, so it will not fit the previously established pattern.

Here are paraphrases of the clues that have been posted:

Day 1: Find the number of owl breeds listed on the sign of the Eeylops Owl Emporium and multiply by 49. (Book 1: PS/SS)

Day 2: Find the chapter in which McGonnagall calls off the Gryffindor-Hufflepuff Quidditch match and multiply by 42. (Book 2: CoS)

Day 3: Find the score Gryffindor was leading by in the Gryffindor-Slytherin match before Harry catches the Golden Snitch and multiply by 35. (Book 3: PoA)

As I have already noted previously, each day will focus on a different book. Clue 4 will come from Goblet of Fire (GoF). It will be some sort of number. And it will almost certainly be multiplied by 28 (7 books * 4 days/chances remaining).

In addition, the Pottermore website says that the clues become easier starting on Day 4. I think that the only clue thus far that has been remotely challenging is Clue 1. So if it’s going to be getting easier, expect it to get very easy. They are probably making the clues easier because the books get so much longer and more complex starting with GoF.

Here are the challenges involving the Magic Quill:

Once you have solved the clue, multiplied it by the required number, and entered the solution into the address bar of your web browser (after the slash in the following address: http://quill.pottermore.com/ ), you will be redirected to another site to do something with the Magic Quill. The site you will be redirected to has some sort of a relationship with the Harry Potter series. I mention this so that you will not freak out when you suddenly find yourself redirected to some third party website.

Here is what you’ve had to do with the Quill so far:

Day 1: Catch the Magic Quill. (redirected to the Sony website – the creative team behind Pottermore)

Day 2: Find a picture of the Magic Quill. (redirected to the Warner Brothers website – the studio behind the movies)

Day 3: Levitate the Magic Quill. (redirected to The Guardian, UK – on an article concerning Pottermore)

Once you have accomplished this part of the challenge, you will be redirected to registration.

Here is some speculation concerning the Day 4 clue:

Here are some numbers that I would have on hand before the release of the next clue:

Day 4: Goblet of Fire:

  • How many students enter the TriWizard Tournament?
  • How many schools participate in the TriWizard Tournment?
  • How many challenges are there supposed to be in the TriWizard Tournament?
  • What age is a student supposed to be in order to participate in the TriWizard Tournament?
  • How many Death Eaters arrive at the graveyard?
  • How many Death Eaters are missing from the graveyard?
  • How many murdered people emerge from Voldemort’s wand when his wand is locked with Harry’s?

Remember, this is all speculation. But basically, I think the numbers you will most likely need to focus on are associated with either: The Quidditch World Cup, The TriWizard Tournament, or Voldemort’s return at the graveyard. And since this clue is supposed to be easier, I’m guessing that it will involve the TriWizard Tournament. And of course, I could be completely wrong about any of this!

Once you have the number required for the clue, you will need to multiply that number by another number. If the pattern holds, that number will be 28.

Here is some information on technical issues:

I’m not Tech Support, and I don’t represent Pottermore, so anything I say here I’m just saying as someone who has been through the process and has an opinion about it. :)

But… there has been a known issue with Yahoo Mail. Here is what Pottermore Insider said earlier about the Yahoo problem:

Q: I registered for early access yesterday with a Yahoo email address and have yet to receive my verification email. What’s happened to my email and will I still be able to verify in time?

A: There is a delay with verification emails going out via Yahoo! Mail and related providers (such as BT Yahoo!), which means that, while emails are being sent out, they are being delivered at a greatly reduced rate.

We are currently talking to Yahoo in order to resolve this problem and will update this blog post with new information as we get it.

More recently, this issue has apparently been resolved. Here’s the latest update:

Q. Is there any update on the Yahoo! Mail issue?
A. This has now been resolved and everyone who registered with a Yahoo! Mail account on Sunday or Monday should now have received their validation email.

If you still don’t want to chance it with Yahoo, you can always set up a non-Yahoo account for your Pottermore verification email. Gmail seems to have been the most reliable service so far.

In addition to the Yahoo issues, some people are finding it impossible to complete the registration process. This may or may not be a technical issue. It’s possible that Pottermore registration has closed down for the day before you finished registering. If that happened, you are not registered and will have to wait until the next Clue is posted on the next day. Sorry. :(

If Pottermore registration is still open, though, you might want to try again – perhaps in another browser. The Pottermore website and the Pottermore Insider will indicate when registration has closed.

Here is what you should know about selling and buying Pottermore accounts

Don’t do it! It’s not worth it!

Pottermore is free, and everybody will be able to register once the Magic Quill contest is over. Even people who complete the Magic Quill contest are not guaranteed immediate entry, just early entry.

None of us knows right now exactly when we will receive our Welcome email. For some of us, it could be on the day after the Magic Quill contest ends. For others of us, it could be 3-7 weeks later. And for some of us, it could be as late as the day before Pottermore opens to the general public.

Pottermore will be open to the general pubic at the beginning of October. That is only two months away. It is not worth spending as much as $800 on eBay for something that you will be able to gain for free in just a couple of months – particularly when none of these Beta test accounts guarantees immediate access.

Here is what Pottermore Insider has to say about buying and selling early access Pottermore accounts:

Q. I have seen Pottermore early access accounts being sold online on places like eBay. Is it okay to buy or sell Pottermore accounts?

A. No. Please do not buy, sell, or transfer Pottermore early access accounts. Obtaining Beta registration for Pottermore with the intent of selling on those registration details for monetary gain not only deprives genuine fans the chance to gain early access, it is also expressly prohibited in The Magical Quill promotion Terms & Conditions.

We have the right to terminate any Pottermore accounts that are sold online.

Access to Pottermore is, and always will be, completely free so please don’t be tempted by people selling Pottermore accounts online. You will only be wasting your money – and there are still more clues and chances to come!

Basically, if you try to sell an account, they are probably going to go after you. If you buy an account, you are being very foolish. And anyway, it’s really not that hard to pass the Magic Quill challenges successfully! So have fun with this. Experience it yourself, and don’t try to buy the experience!

I will be posting an update later today if Pottermore Insider posts a time window for Day 4. Good luck to those who want to give Day 4 a try!

Philosopher Stone Faves (and what should Dumbledore have told Harry?)

Once again, I must apologize for not being present this week to comment on my own blog post! I have just reached that point in the semester when first papers need to go back to students. So I got caught in the “Non-Stop Grading Zone.” And believe me, grading essays is typically not much fun.

So back to the topic at hand. We have had some lively discussion concerning Dumbledore’s lies to Harry at the end of PS/SS. And I personally have said everything about PS/SS that I’ve been dying to say.

Before the PS/SS discussion, though, draws to a close, I have a couple of questions for you:

  1. What have you been dying to say about PS/SS that we haven’t really covered?
  2. What would you have told Harry after he regained consciousness from the battle with Quirrellmort if you had been in Albus Dumbledore’s position?

The Comments thread is open. But I’m also taking suggestions for “End of PS/SS” Guest Posts. Anybody game?

When we move on to Chamber of Secrets (the book, not the Forum), I’ll do a quick read and post on random stuff that jumps out at me… and then go back and get into a bit more depth about the book.

One thing that occurred to me this morning is that CoS is really the first book that digs into biographical detail concerning Tom Riddle. Of course, we already know from PS/SS that he was a Slytherin and that his diminished form resided in Albania before Quirrell found him. But there’s not much that we know about the man himself until we open Riddle’s Diary/Horcrux in CoS.

Should be fun.

And now… what is it that you’re dying to say about PS/SS?

The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore

“Don’t be a fool,” snarled the face. “Better save your own life and join me… or you’ll meet the same end as your parents…. “They died begging me for mercy….”

“LIAR!” Harry shouted suddenly.

Quirrell was walking backward at him, so that Voldemort could still see him. The evil face was now smiling.

“How touching…” it hissed. “I always value bravery…. Yes, boy, your parents were brave…. I killed your father first, and he put up a courageous fight… but your mother needn’t have died… she was trying to protect you…. Now give me the Stone, unless you want her to have died in vain.”

“NEVER!”

We expect the lie from Voldemort, just as we expect defiance from Harry. Voldemort lies in claiming…

  • That Harry’s parents died begging for mercy
  • That he values bravery
  • That Harry’s father put up a courageous fight

In actuality, Harry’s father rushed at Voldemort without a wand in his hand, Voldemort cast the curse, and…

James Potter fell like a marionette whose strings were cut….”

That’s it.

In context, fear has failed to motivate Harry to give Voldemort what he wants, so Voldemort reverts to flattery, reciting the key Gryffindor quality of bravery. And no doubt, James Potter bravely rushed at the Dark Lord. But put up a courageous fight? There was no fight.

Voldemort’s lie about Harry’s father, however, is ultimately less destructive than Albus Dumbledore’s. Once the Stone has been saved, Dumbledore promises Harry to answer whatever questions he can… without, of course, lying. But when Harry asks if it’s true that Snape hates him because he hated his father, Dumbledore replies:

“Well, they did rather detest each other. Not unlike yourself and Mr. Malfoy. And then, your father did something Snape could never forgive.”

“What?”

“He saved his life.”

That’s not exactly true. James Potter got cold feet on a Marauders prank that would have gotten Severus killed, and James intervened to stop it.

But Severus never believed that James’ primary intention was to save his life. He believed that James’ intent was merely to save himself and the other Marauders from getting expelled.
(And when we see what James did to Severus shortly afterward in the SWM, who can blame Severus for denying James any benevolent intent?)

But the question of James’ intent is not at the core of Dumbledore’s lie. It’s in his claim that Snape, in essence, was angry over owing James a life debt – a life debt that Severus never believed he owed. In framing Snape’s hatred in those terms, Dumbledore glosses over the true source of Snape’s fury: severe, public humiliation and abuse in SWM (what I would call a form of gang rape, frankly). And then, the worst of all possible humiliations: James winning Lily’s hand.

Yes, I know why Dumbledore might feel compelled to lie on this matter. Snape swore him to secrecy, admonishing Dumbledore never to reveal his [Snape’s] motives for protecting Harry – and putting Dumbledore in a bit of a bind. So it’s possible that Dumbledore invents an alternate scenario to explain Snape’s protection (i.e., attempting to retire the life debt) while at the same time honoring his word to Severus.

But the lie doesn’t help. It doesn’t really explain anything about Severus’ antipathy toward James to Harry. It merely helps to escalate the tension between Harry and Snape. And a couple of years later, Harry uses the lie when he throws his father’s life-saving “courage” right back in Snape’s face.

So my question is: How conscious is Dumbledore that he’s telling a lie? Has he, like Harry, created some ideal “James” in his head? Or is he deliberately misleading Harry in order to protect Severus’ secret? Or what?

I await your comments.

Two-Face

“A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it… Since then, I have served him faithfully, although I have let him down many times. He has had to be very hard on me.” Quirrell shivered suddenly.

Well, I’m back! It took a bit longer to get breathing space than I thought it would, and in the meantime, my sister finished reading the Harry Potter series!!! What this means is that she is now no longer banished from my blog. (And btw, she’s pro-Severus, and really angry at Albus). Maybe she’ll peak her head into the comments at some point and say “Hi.”

But let’s get back to Quirrell.

There is something profoundly sad about Quirrell’s account of how Voldemort seduced him. Quirrell has become so deluded that he now thinks that his former belief in the existence of good and evil was a “ridiculous idea” – and that “power,” not morality, is the true foundation for action.

These views sound remarkably similar to how the philosophy of Nietzsche is described – both by those sympathetic and those antipathetic to his work. Personally, I have never managed to stomach Nietzsche enough to actually read him, but I would be curious – from those who have some better acquaintance with his work than I do – if Voldemort’s perspective is authentically Nietzschean… or if it’s a weak reading or caricature of Nietzsche’s ideas of good, evil, and power. (I welcome your comments in the Comments thread)

Regardless of Voldemort’s relationship with Nietzsche… what becomes apparent from Quirrell’s words is that the influence Voldemort exerts over this young follower is like the influence of a cult leader. Quirrell has ceased thinking for himself. He believes that in balking at Voldemort’s commands, he is in the wrong, and that it is only fitting that Voldemort “be very hard on” him when he fails.

Quirrell never considers that perhaps prior to his fateful meeting with Voldemort, his notions of good and evil were correct… or that balking at Voldemort’s commands is merely how a normal human being with a conscience would act. We know from what Harry overheard in the classroom that Quirrell begged Voldemort not to make him harm another unicorn:

“No – no – not again, please – “

For a moment in that classroom, Quirrell’s conscience made an appearance, offering a normal human reaction to Voldemort’s monstrous command. But Voldemort has so deeply programmed Quirrell (perhaps through a deadly combination of brainwashing and magic) that the young professor believes he must serve Voldemort faithfully, no matter what horrific deed the Dark Lord asks him to perform. And so, he does kill the unicorn… and now aims to kill Harry.

Quirrell does not even question the necessity of sharing his body (and, as Dumbledore mentions, his soul) with Voldemort. But all Voldemort aims to do is use Quirrell for his own ends (just as he tells Quirrell to “Use the boy… Use the boy…”). Once Quirrell becomes a liability, though, Voldemort simply leaves him to die.

This is Voldemort’s modus operandi – to seduce, use, and discard. And personally, I think there is plenty of foreshadowing here for later books in the series.

In Quirrell’s words, we get a glimpse of how Voldemort seduced the previous generation of Death Eaters – teenage boys, really, recruited from within Hogwarts. He appears to have preyed on class and “blood” prejudices, and perhaps offered visions of nearly limitless power.

Though a couple of Death Eaters (Regulus Black and Severus Snape, in particular) had experiences horrifying enough to jar loose their programming and see through to the true nature of Voldemort’s regime, most of their compatriots remained loyal to the cause.

Actually, Severus Snape becomes almost the anti-Quirrell. Just as Quirrell is the man with two faces, Snape looks two ways – towards the Death Eaters and towards the Order of the Phoenix. In fact, Rowling quite consciously made his birthdate January 9 – the celebration of the Roman god Janus, the god with two faces:

Janus

The difference between Snape and Quirrell, though, is that Snape’s “double nature” is a product of his being a double agent. He fakes loyalty to the Death Eaters. He is authentically loyal to the Order.

And just as Voldemort casts Quirrell aside the moment he has no more use for him, he kills Snape because he wants something that he believes Snape has. As Dumbledore tells Harry at the end of PS/SS:

“he shows just as little mercy to his followers as to his enemies.”

Voldemort truly believed double agent Snape to be a “good and faithful” follower. But it was the death of “faithful Quirrell” here at the beginning of the series that put the reader on notice that such things could happen… even all the way at the end.

It Was Quirrell!!!

[Harry] braced himself, saw the black flames licking his body, but couldn’t feel them – for a moment he could see nothing but dark fire – then he was on the other side, in the last chamber.

There was already someone there – but it wasn’t Snape. It wasn’t even Voldemort.

[chapter ends… page turn…]

It was Quirrell.

Bet you didn’t see that one coming!
Well, you did if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time… and I write assuming you’ve already read the entire series at least once! But I bet you didn’t see it coming before you read (or saw) PS/SS!

Or did you?
If you didn’t get sucked in by the Snape red herring, I’d love to hear from you in the Comments. But of course, I’d love to hear from you in the Comments regardless.

For most readers, going into the final chamber and encountering Quirrellmort and the Mirror of Erised is kind of like going through the looking glass. Everything Harry (and the reader) thinks is a known fact gets turned inside out and upside down.

What’s fun about the first part of this chapter is that it’s Quirrell himself who disabuses Harry of all his false notions of who his friends, enemies, and protectors are. Harry had thought that Quirrell was a poor, weak, stuttering fool who didn’t stand a chance against the unmentionable Snape. Now, he’s confronted with the reality:

You!” gasped Harry.

Quirrell smiled. His face wasn’t twitching at all.

“Me,” he said calmly.

The man doesn’t even stutter!

It’s significant that here, Quirrell’s face isn’t twitching… because his face always twitches. It is significant that he speaks to Harry calmly… because his speech is never calm. It was all an act – the hyper-nervousness, the stuttering, everything. Quirrell even mocks his own carefully-staged persona, noting that…

“Next to [Snape], who would suspect p-p-poor, st-stuttering P-Professor Quirrell?”

Harry couldn’t take it in. This couldn’t be true, it couldn’t.

And therein lies one of the biggest problems still plaguing HP fandom today. Harry is not the only one who can’t take it in that the bad guy isn’t Snape. Harry has so much trouble believing the truth that he starts arguing with Quirrell.

Let’s paraphrase Harry’s objections:

It has to be Snape! Snape tried to kill me! What do you mean he was trying to save me? I saw you with him in the Forest! But he always seemed to hate me so much, and anyway, I thought that it was him threatening you in the classroom!

Now let’s paraphrase Quirrell’s explanations:

No, it’s me. I’m the one who tried to kill you. Snape was trying to save you. In the Forest, Snape was trying to frighten me because he suspected me of trying to steal the Stone. Oh, he does hate you, but that doesn’t mean he was trying to kill you. That was my master, not Snape, threatening me in the classroom. Oh, and btw, I’m the one who let the troll in at Halloween.

To nearly every one of Quirrell’s explanations, Harry offers a new objection. It’s rather like certain fans who continue arguing with Rowling that she could not possibly have meant that Snape didn’t remain a loyal Death Eater after he turned to Dumbledore. After all, he was such a nasty git to Harry!

Well, to his great credit at least, Harry eventually gets over it. Let’s hope the same for those poor, sad fans who never do.

But for now, let’s focus on one of Harry’s key objections. In it, Harry actually tells us one of his reasons for suspecting Snape:

“But Snape always seemed to hate me so much.”

11-year-old Harry confuses attitude with action. Snape apparently hates him (attitude); therefore, Snape is trying to kill him (action). This has got to be some sort of unnamed logical fallacy!
Any suggestions on what to call it?

Learning the truth at the end of PS/SS is Harry’s first big adventure into separating appearance from reality, but it is only the first. In CoS, a seemingly friendly voice in a diary is actually the voice of 16-year-old Tom Riddle/Voldemort. In PoA, the psychotic murderer who is supposedly out to kill him is actually a loving godfather who was framed for his “crimes.” In GoF, the DADA professor who inspires his career choice is actually a Death Eater trying to feed him to Voldemort. etc.,etc.,etc.

It is no wonder that when Harry emerges from the Pensieve in DH after witnessing one final reversal in perception, he believes what he’s seen immediately, without question… despite having thought only an hour before that Snape was a murderer and a traitor. By the end of DH, Harry has been well trained by experience to know that appearances can be misleading. And that experience begins right here, at the end of PS/SS.