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The Bribe

- Chapter 11

"My father died trying to protect my mother and me, and you reckon he’d tell you to abandon your kid to go on an adventure with us?”
-- Harry Potter to Remus Lupin

DH11: The Bribe

Remus Lupin seeks out Harry, Ron and Hermione at Grimmauld Place and offers to accompany them on their quest, but Harry refuses, recognizing that Lupin is seeking escape from complications in his personal life. Kreacher returns with Mundungus Fletcher, who reveals that Dolores Umbridge took the locket from him; it was a bribe so she would not turn him in for selling magical artefacts without a license.

Calendar and Dates

Begins on the same day as the previous chapter, so it is 2 August. Kreacher is missing "the following day" and "the day after that" which brings us through 3 and 4 August to 5 August.

Interesting facts and notes

The men are Death Eaters, of course. They sensed that someone was using Voldemort's name in that location, although they had no chance of seeing it. The first one of the trio to say Voldemort aloud was Hermione:

"...that's why you were supposed to use Occumency! Otherwise Voldermort can plan falso image in your mind, remember?" (DH9)

a supper composed largely of moldy bread

This isn't surprising, on one level - the house is no longer in use, unless Kreacher has been coming back here despite having been assigned to live at Hogwarts at the beginning of HBP.

It's also a nice use of food to help set the mood.

A fire sprang up instantly: It gave the illusion of coziness to the stark stone walls and glistened off the long wooden table. Lupin pulled a few butterbeers from beneath his travelling cloak

Literally lighting up the room upon his entrance, with butterbeer to further help the mood to change.

It's impossible to track anyone who Apparates, unless you grab hold of them as they disappear!

Hmm. Must make life difficult for the Magical Law Enforcement people who regulate Apparition.

seven is the age by which most experts agree that magic will have revealed itself, if present

Neville Longbottom, for one, showed magical ability at a slightly later age than this (see his first conversation after the Sorting in PS).

Restless and irritable, Ron had developed an annoying habit of playing with the Deluminator in his pocket. 

This particularly infuriated Hermione, who was whiling away the wait for Kreacher by studying The Tales of Beedle the Bard and did not appreciate the way the lights kept flashing on and off.

Then the dust figure rose from the end of the hall, and rushed him, raising its dead hand. “It was not I who killed you, Albus,” said a quiet voice.

He had forgotten the portrait of Mrs. Black. At the sound of his yell, the curtains hiding her flew open and she began to scream, “Mudbloods and filth dishonoring my house—” 

 “I am Remus John Lupin, werewolf, sometimes known as Moony, one of the four creators of the Marauder’s Map, married to Nymphadora, usually known as Tonks, and I taught you how to produce a Patronus, Harry, which takes the form of a stag.” 

Lupin pulled a few butterbeers from beneath his traveling cloak and they sat down. 

Butter beer and pewter mugs.

He had never liked Scrimgeour much, but if what Lupin said was true, the man’s final act had been to try to protect Harry. 

students must be given Blood Status—meaning that they have proven to the ministry that they are of wizard descent—before they are allowed to attend.

The term in this case is an official designation or classification: Blood Status meaning officially proven to be from magical parents.

Lupin sprang to his feet: His chair toppled backward, and he glared at them so fiercely that Harry saw, for the first time ever, the shadow of the wolf upon his human face. 

“My kind don’t usually breed! 

"My kind" and 'breed" are terms Lupin uses which indicate that he is less than human. Shocking though it is to hear Lupin speak in this way, it isn't all that surprising considering the stress and repression being heaped on him. His wife's pregnancy was the last straw, so to speak. Once again Rowling does not shy away from dragging her beloved characters through the depths of emotional turmoil when the story calls for it.

He turned a page loudly, and Dumbledore’s name leapt out at him. It was a moment or two before he took in the meaning of the photograph, which showed a family group. 


Like Mould-on-the-Wold, Godric’s Hollow was home to a number of Wizarding families

The term 'wold' refers to a raised area of land consisting typically of rolling hills. The name of this fictional town could be a take on the name of the town Stow-on-the-Wold which is cound in Rowling's native county of Gloucestershire.

Wouldn’t have known there was a daughter if I hadn’t been picking Plangentines by moonlight the winter after they moved in

Plangentines are some form of plant product, that's obvious. The fact that they're picked by moonlight suggests that they have magical properties if harvested correctly. The Harry Potter wiki suggests the following etymology:

The term Plangentine is composed by the word plangent meaning resounding, noisy, deafening, thundering, piercing, booming, shrill and vibrant ... (T)his is derived from Latin plangere which means cry, yell, scream plus suffix -ine. It may have been derived from clementine, a type of orange hybrid the name of which is spelled similarly to the Latin clementia, meaning mercy or gentleness ("Plantengine" on The Harry Potter Wiki).

There was the sound of pattering feet, a blaze of shining copper, an echoing clang, and a shriek of agony; Kreacher had taken a run at Mundungus and hit him over the head with a saucepan. “Call ’im off, call ’im off, ’e should be locked up!” screamed Mundungus, cowering as Kreacher raised the heavy-bottomed pan again.

“I dunno, some Ministry hag.” Mundungus considered for a moment, brow wrinkled. “Little woman. Bow on top of her head.” He frowned, then added, “Looked like a toad.” 

Exceptional character moments

Harry yelling at Lupin for thinking of abandoning Tonks.

Lupin being scared to be a father and afraid of what he has done to Tonks (making her an outcast).

Ron fiercely defending Hermione, telling her he's going to claim she's part of the extended Weasley family, and promising to teach her the family tree.

Memorable lines

 “What if purebloods and half-bloods swear a Muggleborn’s part of their family? I’ll tell everyone Hermione’s my cousin—”
Hermione covered Ron’s hand with hers and squeezed it. “Thank you, Ron, but I couldn’t let you—”
“You won’t have a choice,” said Ron fiercely, gripping her hand back. “I’ll teach you my family tree so you can answer questions on it.”
Hermione gave a shaky laugh. “Ron, as we’re on the run with Harry Potter, the most wanted person in the country, I don’t think it matters. 

“Well,” said Harry slowly, “I’m not. I’m pretty sure my father would have wanted to know why you aren’t sticking with your own kid, actually.” Lupin’s face drained of color. 

Kreacher’s thin arms trembled with the weight of the pan, still held aloft. “Perhaps just one more, Master Harry, for luck?”

"My father died trying to protect my mother and me, and you reckon he’d tell you to abandon your kid to go on an adventure with us?” “How—how dare you?” said Lupin. 

Broken images were racing each other through his mind: Sirius falling through the veil; Dumbledore suspended, broken, in midair; a flash of green light and his mother’s voice, begging for mercy . . . “Parents,” said Harry, “shouldn’t leave their kids unless—unless they’ve got to.” 

Words and phrases

DH 11 — The Bribe
Abbreviation DH11: The Bribe
Canonicity Primary Canon


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