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pettybureaucrat

Ramblings: The Trace

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Mar. 18th, 2010 | 08:39 pm
location: home
mood: aggravatedaggravated

I can't seem to find the info in DH, but does anyone know if the Trace is associated with someone's wand or with the person themself?

If it's on the wand, it seems that it would be easy enough for someone to 'borrow' a wand for a little while to cast whatever spells they want. I know other people's wands don't always work well for anyone other than their owner, but it seems that one can make some use of it.

If you just want to give me a page number to look it up, that's fine. I just can't seem to find the passage that discusses it.
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Comments {8}

ap_aelfwine

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from: ap_aelfwine
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
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I'm thinking that in canon it was associated with the person. It got discussed somewhere in the first couple of chapters of DH, IIRC. Sorry I can't be more precise right now.

For a long time, fanon thought it was associated with the wand--I don't think that got Jossed (Jo'd?) until DH. I remember a number of fics where Harry got smart and borrowed somebody else's wand to take the Trace off his own. (For that matter, I'm still playing with the idea of an AU where Snape knew a way to remove the Trace and used it just before Christmas holidays to allow Ginny and Luna to escape and go to join Harry and Hermione.)

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pettybureaucrat

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from: pettybureaucrat
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for answering. If you'll check the last response to my question, you'll find the exact quote from DH. I though the Trace was on the person, but like you I've read a lot of fanfic that put it on the wand.

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ap_aelfwine

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from: ap_aelfwine
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
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You're welcome!

Glad somebody had their copy of DH handy.

I've always thought the whole business with the Trace was sort of odd. I wonder if she thought it was obvious that it was on the children themselves, finally became aware that fandom was tending to think it was on the wands, and decided to do something about it in the process of wrapping things up?

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sas33

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from: sas33
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 07:51 am (UTC)
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I'm sure it's on the person, but I can't remember whereabouts in the book it tells you that ...

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pettybureaucrat

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from: pettybureaucrat
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the reply and you're quite right. It's on the person.

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e-liz-a-beth

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from: thepastperfect
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)
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From DH:
"Ther trace, the Trace!" said Mad-Eye impatiently. "The charm that detects magical activity around under-seventeens, the way the Ministry finds out about underage magic! If you, or anyone around you, casts a spell to get you out of here, Thicknesse is going to know about it, and so will the Death Eaters."

Pre-DH evidence also points to it being on the person. In PoA, when Fudge lets Harry off for inflating Aunt Marge, Harry says, "Last year, I got an official warning just because a house-elf smashed a pudding in my uncle's house!"

Of course, that doesn't really explain how the Ministry would handle it if a bunch of underage siblings were in a house and one did magic, or if someone just used a spell in the vicinity of an underage wizard, or how "around" around has to be, but, that's what she said.

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pettybureaucrat

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from: pettybureaucrat
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 01:26 pm (UTC)
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Thank you very much. I knew there was something like this but I simply couldn't find the reference.

True, as with a lot of Rowling's creations, there's a fair amount of 'vagueness' about this. One question I want to explore at some point is just where this charm comes from. Are magical children born with it? Is it cast when they get to Hogwarts?

Again, thanks for the reply, I really do appreciate it.

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e-liz-a-beth

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from: thepastperfect
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)
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I don't have the interview offhand, but I know that she said once that "before they go to Hogwarts, magical children are the responsibility of their parents," and it's up to the parents to control them. So I would guess it's more like something that's "activated" once they go to Hogwarts (after all, you could be a Muggle-born wizard but choose not to study there, or you could be a Squib born into a magical family, etc. It breaks automatically, so my guess is that there's some automated process for turning it on as well).

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