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Stan Shunpike

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'You keepin' well, then, 'Arry? I seen your name in the paper loads over the summer, but it weren't never nuffink very nice. I said to Ern, I said, 'e didn't seem like a nutter when we met 'im, just goes to show, dunnit?'
-- Stan Shunpike (OP24)

Stan Shunpike

Young, pimply conductor of the Knight Bus. He wears a purple uniform, has large protruding ears, and a Cockney accent. Stan is only about 5 years older than Harry (PA3). He was the first wizard to tell Harry the history of Sirius Black’s arrest for murder and his escape from Azkaban while Harry was riding the Knight Bus (PA3). Harry was later amused to see him chatting with a bewitching Veela at the Quidditch World Cup campground, bragging that he was going to be Minister of Magic someday (GF9).

When Harry rode the Knight Bus again on his way to Hogwarts in fifth year, Stan seemed fascinated after seeing Harry’s picture had appeared in the Daily Prophet, and the fact the Ministry had labeled him a “nutter.” But Tonks threatened to curse him “into oblivion” if he shouted out Harry’s name (OP24). Stan later mentioned his name out loud to Ernie the bus driver anyway.

Stan was arrested for “suspicion of Death Eater activity”in the fall of 1996 after a raid on his home in Clapham  (HBP11), shocking and outraging members of the Order of the Phoenix (HBP15). Harry used Stan’s situation repeatedly as an example of why he was unwilling to work with Minister for Magic Scrimgeour (HBP16, HBP30). Harry believed that Scrimgeour was treating Shunpike as a “scapegoat” so it would appear the Ministry was doing something about the Death Eaters.

Stan escaped from Azkaban during a hushed-up mass breakout in 1997, and spent the rest of the year fighting with the Death Eaters and helping out Snatchers, clearly under the Imperius Curse (DH4, DH23). Harry told Lupin that Shunpike was the reason he used the Disarming Charm “Expelliarmus” instead of the Killing Curse during the Battle of the Seven Potters: “Stan’s not himself and if I stunned him and he’d fallen, he’d have died the same as if I’d used Avada Kedavra!!” (DH5).

When Ron was on-the-run without Harry and Hermione, he was captured by Snatchers and told them his name was Stan Shunpike, which of course they didn’t believe. As they bickered about his identity, Ron Disapparated away from them (DH19).

Commentary

Etymology

"shunpike" = British slang - a "shunpike" is a side road used to avoid the toll on or the speed and traffic of a superhighway.
Stan = named after one of JKR's grandfathers, Stan Volant (Conv).

Pensieve (Comments)

Tags: bus pimples scapegoating victims young