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Discussions on Philosopher's Stone/Sorcerer's Stone "The dog must be guarding Flamel's Philosopher's Stone ..."

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Old 18-11-2004, 14:02   #1
Nagini
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How does Dumbledore know?

When reading PS/SS again I wondered when Harry got his first then subsequent letters from Hogwarts how did Dumbledore know the exact location of Harry. For instance, the first letter was sent to

Mr H Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
Little Whinging
Surrey

The Dursleys were very disturbed by this and considered that they were probably being watched so they switch Harry to a bedroom upstairs. Which Dumbledore obviously knew about as his next letter was addressed to Harry but said The smallest bedroom.

How did Dumbledore know this? Is he having the house watched and if so by whom? Is it the same people the Ministry use to keep track of those doing magic or do they just keep watch over Harry?
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Old 18-11-2004, 16:07   #2
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Re: How does Dumbledore know?

I guess Dumbledore is just all-knowing. I mean he is one of the most powerful wizards in the world and he seems to know everything, even though he never tells people until they've figured things out themselves. Maybe he just can sense Harry.

perhaps he became invisible (he says he doesn't need a cloak to be invisible in PS/SS) and have been checking in on Harry during his years before Hogwarts.
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Old 18-11-2004, 16:35   #3
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Re: How does Dumbledore know?

Interesting question...I've been thinking along the same lines since re-reading for the chapter by chapter excercise. Maybe Ms Figg is keeping a close eye on things, or Dumbledore knows an animagus who is small enough to get into the Dursley's house to spy on them for him. Or maybe there is some magic on the letters themselves that Let Dumbledore know whether Harry has been able to read them or not and they have a tracking spell on them so they automatically address themselves to Harry where ever he might be.

just a few speculative thoughts for ya...
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Old 18-11-2004, 18:29   #4
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Re: How does Dumbledore know?

I think the addressing of letters is a magical process in itself. Like all the letters that Harry sent to Sirius - There would have to be some sort of magical power for those to be delivered. He was constantly travelling around trying to avoid being caught and would have made it impossible to have a set location. Not to mention that most owls can't read - There would have to be something that lets them know where to go as well. Perhaps you just have to address it with a name and then magic does the rest.
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Old 18-11-2004, 20:01   #5
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Re: How does Dumbledore know?

Yet again just another good reason for Dumbledore to be an animagus... lol. I forgot about him being able to be invisible as well, thats interesting.
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Old 19-11-2004, 02:17   #6
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Re: How does Dumbledore know?

I like Roosters idea of the magical addressing of letters - perhaps there is a clue in the green ink that it used - perhaps this is a little like Rita Skeeter's quill which was green and which could be dictated to. Perhaps Dumbledore dictates to a quill also and does a type of incantation that finds the addressee!
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Old 19-11-2004, 15:16   #7
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Re: How does Dumbledore know?

I think it was used by JKR for a little humour and also to introduce us to the magical world in small steps - rather than a full on onslaught ...
It has to be magical ink rather than an all seeing Dumbledore ...
I liked the ink idea by Rooster
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Old 22-11-2004, 12:18   #8
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Re: How does Dumbledore know?

I just read something in CoS and thought I should put it here. The question is whether the ink is magic or if Dumbledore is all-knowing. I went for the latter, with nobody agreeing... Anyhow, quote from CoS:

" 'Letters from school', said Mr Weasley, passing Harry and Ron identical envolopes of yellowish parchment, addressed in green ink. 'Dumbledore already knows you're here, Harry - doesn't miss a trick, that man. You two've got them, too,' he added (...)"

I started leaving my all-knowing-DD theory when I saw your posts about the magic ink, although if there were such a thing as magic ink who knows exact locations of people - surely the Weasleys would know about it, since they're all wizards and witches and use magic all the time, and probably send letters now and again... In that case, why would Mr Weasley say that it is Dumbledore who knows exactly where Harry is?

Just a thought...

But then again, it doesn't say that the letter is addressed to Harry at the Burrow, it might just be delivered to Harry wherever he is. (like when Harry can send letters to Sirus trusting Hedwig to find him wherever he is). But Mr Weasley implies that DD knows...

I don't know, I'm confusing myself now...
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Old 22-11-2004, 12:31   #9
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Re: How does Dumbledore know?

Well I never really had an opinion of this one so I guess it is split into 2 theories

Either Dumbledore is all knowing and for the other letters -Sirius' address was blank and every owl just takes a longer time to find people

Or Arthur was just giving Dumbledore too much credit and owls always find people wherever they are

It does seem interesting that the address was specific for harry in book 1--are we to assume that if he the letter was sent during Aunt Marge's blowup in book 3 that it would have been adressed to the Knight Bus? or would it have changed in transit?
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Old 22-11-2004, 14:18   #10
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Re: How does Dumbledore know?

I have been thinking more on this and given what Ploki said about the green ink too. I remembered something JKR said about Wizards making themselves "unplottable" perhaps all wizards are plottable of where they are etc and that this magical ink knows it? Or most wizards can find people by plotting them on some magical map - a bit like a giant Mauraders Map?

I am sure Sirius would have made himself unplottable and that this was in fact what JKR was discussing when she mentioned it but I cannot remember where it was. Sorry
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