Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Harry Potter Tidbit

JKR's answer to the FAQ Poll on her website:

What happens to a secret when the Secret-Keeper dies?

I was surprised that this question won, because it is not the one that I'd have voted for… but hey, if this is what you want to know, this is what you want to know!

When a Secret-Keeper dies, their secret dies with them, or, to put it another way, the status of their secret will remain as it was at the moment of their death. Everybody in whom they confided will continue to know the hidden information, but nobody else.

Just in case you have forgotten exactly how the Fidelius Charm works, it is

"an immensely complex spell involving the magical concealment of a secret inside a single, living soul. The information is hidden inside the chosen person, or Secret-Keeper, and is henceforth impossible to find -- unless, of course, the Secret-Keeper chooses to divulge it" (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

In other words, a secret (eg, the location of a family in hiding, like the Potters) is enchanted so that it is protected by a single Keeper (in our example, Peter Pettigrew, a.k.a. Wormtail). Thenceforth nobody else – not even the subjects of the secret themselves – can divulge the secret. Even if one of the Potters had been captured, force fed Veritaserum or placed under the Imperius Curse, they would not have been able to give away the whereabouts of the other two. The only people who ever knew their precise location were those whom Wormtail had told directly, but none of them would have been able to pass on the information.


Mean Mommy said...

Interesting. What were the other two questions up for vote? I haven't been to the site lately.

ahem. said...

# What happens to a secret when the Secret-Keeper dies? - 46%
# Does the destruction of a Horcrux involve more than the destruction of the object? - 38%
# Why did Voldemort want the Philosopher's Stone if he already had his Horcruxes? - 16%

Mean Mommy said...

Which one did you vote for?

ahem. said...

The one she answered.

ahem. said...

JK Rowling updates official site
Commenting on the progress of Book 7 in her diary:

This always happens. I make a plan, it looks nice and neat, then I get to actually write the book and realise that Harry can't possibly do all that in just one chapter. So what I thought were going to be two chapters have now become four. I still don't think the book will be as long as 'Phoenix', but if that keeps happening... no, it won't. I'm looking at the plan, and it can't. Surely. Please.

Mean Mommy said...

Oh. Yes, I did see that.