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Thread: Another Sirius question--the Fat Lady's portrait

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  1. #1

    Another Sirius question--the Fat Lady's portrait

    Hey, guys, did we ever learn exactly why Sirius slashed up the Fat Lady's portrait in PoA? Peeves said "He has a temper," but I don't believe Sirius would hack up the portrait just out of irritation. Was he trying to stab Peter at the time and hit the portrait instead? Did PETER actually do it, to frame Sirius for yet another thing he didn't actually do? Or was Sirius really mad enough at the Fat Lady that he cut her picture?

  2. #2
    Noel Weasley
    Hmm, you've brought up a very interesting question.

    Well, it depends on how you look at it, really. It could have been Peter, but how would Peeve's have kept his mouth shut about that? Sirius did stay in Azkaban for about twelve years and that could do some things to your mind, maybe imagining things or over-reacting to stuff, like a portrait not letting you inside the Gryffindor Common Room. Peter could have been on the portrait, but the Fat Lady would have made a big fuss about that... but now that I think of it, wouldn't the Fat Lady "raise the Alarm" so to speak, that Sirius Black was there? Drowsiness maybe? But things must have made somewhat sense to her because she still didn't let Sirius in.

    A number of things is a bit off with the whole scene now that I think of it, and when things don't make sense, you come in and make sure that it does! And that's just awesome!

    Well, I hope that this post was somewhat helpful. I love your story and I want to help get the next chapters up as soon as possible!


  3. #3
    Neville had a list of all the Common Room passwords, and that is how Sirius got into the CR that night, because Neville had dropped them in the corridor. So Sirius might have gone to the Fat Lady and tried to coax her into him in, pulled the whole, "I used to be a Gryffindor" card. When she didn't let him in, his temper probably got the best of him and he started pacing the halls, only to find the scrap of paper with the passwords on it.

    After going through the passwords, the Fat Lady was probably hesitant because she knew what he was doing. He was too old and not a student. So she still said no to him. At this point he was irate. Peter was mere feet away from him, and a piece of talking canvas was in his way, so *slash* *slash* in we go!

    Just a theory

    I'm pretty sure that's how the story line went though.

  4. #4
    We see in PoA that Sirius is pretty one-minded in terms of getting to Peter. There's really nothing that he wants to have in his way, after waiting a dozen years and whatnot, and then there's just this stupid annoying painting that wasn't letting him to his goal.

    Like Lindsay said, though, he WAS in Azkaban for twelve very long years, constantly exposed to Dementors the whole time, and he seemed to have two thoughts all through PoA: a) Kill Peter and b) Protect Harry. Proving his innocence wasn't a concern, he just wanted revenge and not to fail again.

    I'd seriously just go with a temper aspect in the slashing of the portrait. I don't think it had to do with Peter specifically being by the portrait or Peter doing it himself, but that Sirius had that "so close and yet so far away" feeling to the whole thing. He *knew* Peter was just through that stupid picture and yet he still couldn't get to him. A bit of madness, I'd say.

    Oh, and Misletoe, the passwords from Neville and the slashing of the Fat Lady were at two different times. The slashing was Sirius's first attempt into the Tower, and then Sir Cadogan (sp?) took over. That's the portrait that Neville made the list of passwords to, and the list that Crookshanks stole from his bedside table to give to Sirius. Sirius goes into the Tower, but isn't able to get Peter because Ron wakes up screaming.


  5. #5
    Sirius went to the common room figuring she'd let him in because he used to be a Gryffindor but he didn't have ht password so he sliced her up, thinking he could get past the portrait that way.

    The slip of passwords was brought to Sirius by Crookshanks, who took them from Neville's nightstand, I believe, when Neville was sleeping.

  6. #6
    Ouff, so sorry. Disregaurd the Neville bit, then.

  7. #7
    Thanks, guys. I'm working on Heirs of Slytherin and I want to make sure I got the facts straight. I guess my question is, did Sirius ever confess to cutting up the portrait, and/or why he did it? In other words, are we 100% certain that Sirius did it, and did Canon ever explain why he did it?

  8. #8
    Fifth Year Hufflepuff
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    fg_weasley's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Fargo Rock City.
    The night that he slashed the portrait comes BEFORE the night that he uses the stolen passwords. At the very end of Chapter Eight, Flight of the Fat Lady is when he slashes up the portrait. He doesn't get in with the stolen passwords until the end of Chapter Thirteen, Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw, when Sir Cadogen is in the portrait in place of the Fat Lady because she was still shaken up. He didn't have a password that first night, so, obviously the fat lady wouldn't let him in. Personally, I think that after that incident, he realized he would need the passwords, hence, he got them.

    Honestly, I can see Sirius hacking it up out of frustration at being able to get in. The Fat Lady wouldn't let him in without a password, so I think it safe to say that he would slash it up out of anger and frustration. I mean Peeves even said "Nasty temper he's got, that Sirius Black," and we know he REALLY wanted to get to Peter, and, as stated by megan before "he was so close, yet so far" and that had to pull his strings. Honestly, I think temperis the most logical answer.

    Hope that helped!

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  9. #9
    Hmmmm...I see what you mean about Peeves perceiving a difference between Sirius and Snuffles. That's pretty key. Assuming Peeves doesn't know about Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail (and why would they ever trust HIM with a secret like that), he wouldn't have properly identified Snuffles as Sirius Black, if, in fact, Snuffles had clawed the portrait.

    Geez, I'm glad I asked! Thanks, guys!

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