Snape was wrong when he suggested that the Marauder’s Map is “plainly
full of Dark Magic,” but it really is a remarkably powerful artifact
and it’s not at all obvious how it works. How does it know your name,
in order to label your dot as it tracks you throughout the castle? To
figure that out, we’re going to have to start from the beginning, and
figure out what names even are, and how they work.
Here at Baruffio we sometimes cast a critical eye on Harry Potter,
and amuse ourselves by pointing out inconsistencies in the books (then
weaving them into conspiracy theories). But time travel in Prisoner of Azkaban is a
model of consistency, illustrating wonderfully how time travel
works—if it’s possible at all.
Earlier this month, J.K. Rowling finally admitted that Ron and
Hermione should not have ended up together. While this led us to
Rowling might have secretly preferred, it offered powerful support for
which maintains that Ron is Dumbledore, and at some point went back
in time to live the majority of his life as the eldest son of Percival
and Kendra Dumbledore.
In Harry Potter, places like Hogwarts are hidden from unwelcome eyes with a number of protective enchantments. One of these enchantments makes the building unplottable, and so—apparently—incapable of being plotted on a map. It’s not immediately obvious how this is possible. Some of the simpler and more obvious proposals as to how Unplottability might work turn out to be no good. Unplottability cannot not say anything about what I can and can’t draw on a piece of paper.
Much is made in Harry Potter about “the Trace”, the charm on
underage witches and wizards that is used by the Ministry to detect
illegal spellwork. The problem is that there is no such thing.
Until Deathly Hallows, we all thought Expelliarmus was just a nifty spell that causes people to drop their wands and sometimes knocks them over (which is why we had all those Tower Truthers saying that Dumbledore wasn’t dead). But then it turns out that it’s totally bonkers. Apparently disarming someone actually transfers their wand’s loyalty to you. This is totally bonkers because everybody disarms everybody at some point. So to figure out whose wand is whose and what really happened, let’s catalog every instance of disarming ever!