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Mischief Managed... Not!

by David Haber

I believe there is a small mistake in the movie script of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The error is when Lupin says "Mischief managed" to the marauder's map just after saying goodbye to Harry at the end of the movie. Fred and George stole the map from Filch. They would have no way of knowing the original incantations used to operate it. But Lupin uses the same incantation in this scene.

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Reader Comments: (Page 6)

You're quite correct, Ashley. Mr Weasley did enchant the car himself and Mrs Weasley was spitting mad with him over it. Sorry. Should have made that clearer.
There's something weird about that car though. It's almost dog-like in its loyalty, showing up to help Harry and Ron the way it does. Did someone say somewhere that we're going to see the car again in ly Hallows? Still wish I'd bought the one I saw! They're not exactly thick on the ground down here.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on February 11, 2007 07:01 AM

I agree with the answers on the first page. It has to give you answers/help because otherwise no one other than the original 4 marauders could work the map.

I also agree that it must contain part of them like a horcrux because otherwise how could it say all that stuff about snape being a professor (pg 287 americian version). The younger marauders could not have known that Snape was going to be a professor. so part of them had to be allive in the map itself so that they could insult him properly. What if Snape became a plumber and it came into his hands somehow. then professor snape would not sound right in the insults.

Posted by Megan on February 26, 2007 10:20 AM

Since the Marauders were "forunners of the Weasley Twins", they probably thought alot alike.

I could see Fred and George saying something along the lines of "I swear I am up to no good" and the wording on the map maybe flickering but not coming all the way up. They would know they were on the right track and then keep playing around with the wording until they got it right. Once the map was working, it probably told them how to clear it off.

Posted by Thomas on February 26, 2007 2:47 PM

The map is able to recognize people in the castle, everyone on the map is identified with their name. It would not need foreknowledge of Snape to be able to identify him and his proper title as teacher is Professor.

Here's an observation I just thought of:
Since James and his friends created the map, maybe another one exists of Godric's Hollow to allow Dumbledore to keep an eye on the situation. James would not have to violate the Fidelius Charm if he just handed Dumbledore a map, who with incredible wisdom would understand the implication.
Would James do such a thing if he turned down using Dumbledore as Secret Keeper?

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on February 27, 2007 7:09 PM

Megan: I don't have the book under my eyes right now, but didn't Snape ask the map to reveal his secrets "to Professor Snape". Or is it only in the movie?

The idea Dumbledore has the same map, or something else working in the same way, is great. I can't imagine that Filch kept the map in a drawer for thirty years, without Dumbledore knowing about it.

By the way, it is said that noone knew more about the secret shortcuts than Fred, George AND Filch. How can Filch, being a squib, know about shortcuts that need magical squills to be opened?

Posted by herve from strasbourg on February 27, 2007 11:41 PM

As i recall from the book (I never really cared much for the PoA movie-- it left too much out and that really got on my nerves) Snivellus said to the map (and i dont have my book with me either):
I, Professer Severus Snape, order you to reveal your secrets!"
The Mauraders despised Snape, they even came up with a cool nickname for him. So you would think that in everything they did they would put something to keep nosy little traitors like Snape out of their mischief. And also do as much as they can to insult said nosy little traitor.
Also Herve: Which secret passage needs magical talent to open? Only the one that gets you into Hogsmeade, but that one doesn't lead anywhere else but Honeydukes and I can't see why Filch would need to use that one anyway. I only recall the book saying that Filch KNEW the passageways, and that he could pop up suddenly like any of the ghosts, but nothing about using extraordinary powers to get into them.

Posted by Ashley from Missouri on February 28, 2007 2:24 PM

Ashley: you're probably right about the secret passages. I just thought that, to be a secret passage, it had to be opened with a special spell like the one that gets you into Honeydukes, or it was physically protected like the one that gets to the Shrieking Shack. If shortcuts were not protected, wouldn't the students end up knowing about them and give the word to each other?

By the way, isn't it strange that when Harry sees the map for the first time, the first two names that are mentioned are Mrs Norris and, not Filch, but Dumbledore. Just a thought.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 1, 2007 12:23 AM

I don't think the knowledge of the passageways would spread: Fred and George told Harry, because they knew of the map and they gave the map to Harry. Harry told Ron and Hermione, but they are his best friends. They deserve to know. Other then that, I think Filch and Lee Jordan are the only other people interested in the passageways.
Besides, if you had a secret that was beneficial like that, you probably wouldn't let it spread throughout the school either.
And about the people first mentioned on the Mauraders Map, I don't think it really matters. Neat observation though.

Posted by Ashley from Missouri on March 4, 2007 3:10 PM

Someone mentioned earlier that since James was one of the makers of the map, the map would know if anyone had interacted with Harry and reveal it to him/her.

This can't be, because Fred and George knew about the map in their first year, when Harry was still with the Dursleys.

Oh, and I read somewhere that Mrs.Norris is an animagus. How else could she be so clever whenever she saw a student (or didn't...invisibility cloak) doing something? I think she was a woman (MRS) but was condemned to Azkaban or the Kiss so she turned into a cat and stayed like that forever. And Filch knows and he loves her, that's why he's keeping her secret!

Posted by Hannia Zia from Markham,Canada on March 8, 2007 06:35 AM

Perhaps you are right about Mrs. Norris. I have always wondered where the "Mrs." came from. If she is an Animagus, maybe she was a widow or something and that is her real name as a human!
Just a thought.

Posted by Ashley from Missouri on March 8, 2007 2:30 PM

Ashley and Hannia, JKR is a big fan of Jane Austen. In Austen's book Mansfield Park there is a very unpleasant, nosy and manipulative character called Mrs Norris. I think I have read somewhere that JKR deliberately named Filch's cat after her. Also, could Mrs Norris (the cat!) be part Kneazle like Crookshanks? That would explain her intelligence, although I think individual creatures associated with the wizarding world are often shown as more intelligent than ordinary non-wizarding animals. Hedwig for example.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 14, 2007 04:55 AM

I have one alternate theory on why Fred and George would have been able to figure out how the map worked.

I think that, through various experiments, they figured it out. Probably, they originally tried something similar to Snape's "reveal your secrets" (can't remember if that's from the book or the movie) and gotten a similar result. After experimenting with other methods, they somehow simply figured it out.

I have several supports for this. First, Fred and George are extremely intelligent. As we see in Order of the Phoenix and in HBP, the twins have a knack for figuring things out. The map is exactly the type of thing that they would themselves have developed. Finding out how the map works would not be beyond their capabilities. Additionally, they have shown that, when they want to, they have sufficient motivation to learn almost anything they want.

The other evidence comes from Harry's firebolt. Hermione informs the teachers about the broom and it is confiscated for inspection. Several weeks are spent examining the broom to make sure it hasn't been cursed somehow, and then it is returned to Harry. Obviously, this means that there are methods for determining if an item has special properties and for identifying what those properties are and how to access them. I think it only fair to assume that even as first-years that Fred and George would be able to identify the properties of a map with no particularly strong enchantments on it.

Posted by Vince from Provo, UT on March 15, 2007 12:34 PM

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