Asked by Anonymous
“The door swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. She had a very stern face and Harry’s first thought was that she was not someone to cross.”
Just about everyone in the Harry Potter world calls Tom Riddle by a euphemism for the nickname he gave himself. If they called him “YKW” instead of “You Know Who” or “HWSNBN” instead of “He Who Shall Not Be Named,” they could add a third degree of separation from the man’s actual name
"James was such a dick in year 5, there’s no way Lily would date him in year 7. He can’t possibly have changed that much in two years!"
When I was 15 there was a girl at my school who thought I was an annoying weirdo. Then I pulled my head out of my ass and stopped being such a dick, and when we were 17 she asked me out on a date, and we were in a relationship for quite a while after that. That thing you’re saying isn’t possible is literally a thing that happened to me in real life.
Can you say with confidence that you weren’t more of a dick two years ago than you are now?
A story about the Potterverse’s USA, where the anglo-saxon derived magic is considered “proper” and “civilized” magic, while magic derived from Afro-Caribbean and Latin sources (i.e. Voodoo and Santeria) are considered “dark magic” when used by people from the cultures who invented them, but are described as “innovative, groundbreaking, and hip” when high-profile white wizards use them
And the protagonist is a black witch or wizard who is constantly trying to explain how fucked up it is that “black magic” can be used to mean either “magic invented by black people” or “evil magic,” but most white wizards act like there isn’t a difference between the two connotations.
They would also be a magical genius who keeps inventing new forms of magic and reinventing old forms of magic, but Lockhart or some other Elvis-type white wizard keeps copying their work and passing it off as original magic.
Asked by Anonymous
the Ministry was worse than JUST corrupt and incompetent, they were terrified out of their minds, and someone who they had concrete evidence (to their knowledge—remember, Sirius was literally the ONLY PERSON ALIVE, as far as they were aware, who could have informed Voldemort of the Potters’ whereabouts, leaving them no reasonable doubt as to the guilty party), you have a blunder on the order of the Internment Camps from the 40’s—but one that, at least in context, makes sense.
Circumstantial evidence. None of that is substantial enough for a conviction. They presumed Sirius guilty and sentenced him to life in prison for 13 murders he didn’t commit because they reacted in haste and denied someone their right to stand trial.
Whether or not they were suspicious of Sirius informing on the Potters is completely irrelevant. He was sentenced as a murderer, not an informant. Had he stood trial for his crimes, he would have been able to explain that Pettigrew was the secret-keeper, not him, which would be an easy enough claim to verify.
Give him a dose of veritaserum and ask him where the Potters had been hiding. The veritaserum would force him to answer if he was able, and if his story was true and Pettigrew was still alive, he would still be bound by the Fidelius charm even though the Potters’ cover had been blown, because their secret-keeper still survived.
Sirius laughing proves nothing. Of course, what he was actually laughing at the sheer ludicrousness that one of his closest friends just murdered twelve people and betrayed him and all his other closest friends. Had Sirius stood trial, he would have been able to explain that Pettigrew was a traitor and still alive which, again, casts a reasonable doubt on his guilt, since in the absence of a body, it was completely plausible Pettigrew was still alive and responsible.
I honestly don’t think their reaction is justifiable or even understandable. The only explanation is that they responded out of panic, ignored protocol and human rights entirely, and sentenced an innocent man to a life sentence in a maximum-security prison without even bothering to investigate whether or not he was guilty or allow him to defend himself against his charges. He was unlawfully detained and tortured for twelve years on suspicion alone.
And that’s the thing. They didn’t have any concrete evidence. They had incomplete, circumstantial evidence. They believed Sirius was the only one who could have done it, but they made no effort to investigate any reasonable alternatives, which there were, since Sirius didn’t do it.
If Sirius had stood trial, which is a right that should be afforded to every alleged criminal no matter how heinous the crimes they’re accused of or how certain law enforcement is of their guilt, those reasonable alternatives might have come to light, and they might not have given an innocent bystander a life sentence, but they didn’t afford him that courtesy and convicted him without trial or any evidence whatsoever that he was the perpetrator.
Of course, this shit goes down in the real world all the time, that’s literally what Guantanamo Bay and similar not-so-secret prisons, but the point is that no one should be imprisoned without first being tried for their crimes, and nobody should be convicted unless the evidence proves their guilt. I’m not saying the justice system always gets it right, they super don’t, but that doesn’t make it okay to lock people up without giving them the opportunity to try and prove their innocence.