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

  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
    To answer the first bit, no, Sirius does not explicitly say "I cut up the Fat Lady's portrait". We just have what Peeves mentions about it being Sirius and the more-than-likely scenario that such IS the truth.

    Dumbledore, however, DOES imply that Sirius was the one to do the Fat Lady's portrait, when he's talking to Harry and Hermione in the hospital wing at the end. "Sirius has not acted like an innocent man. The attack on the Fat Lady -- entering Gryffindor Tower with a knife --"

    So, more than likely, it IS Sirius and as for why, just about anything can be made to work. But, to simply answer the question, it isn't stated explicitly BY Sirius that he did it.

  9. #9
    Heh heh heh. That just means I get to come up with an explanation. Thanks again, all!

  10. #10
    Not in exactly so many words, but I think he would have if the conversation hadn't gotten sidetracked:

    First, Ron sees Sirius, with a knife in Gryffindor tower:

    "... I was asleep, and I heard this ripping noise, and I thought it was in my dream, you know? But then there was this draft... I woke up and one side of the hangings on my bed had been pulled down.... I rolled over... and I saw him standing over me... like a skeleton, with loads of filthy hair ... holding this great long knife, must've been twelve inches... and he looked at me, and I looked at him, and then I yelled, and he scampered."

    Then, in the Shrieking Shack, Black admits to having had Crookshanks steal the passwords:

    "This cat isn't mad," said Black hoarsely. He reached out a bony hand and stroked Crookshanks's fluffy head. "He's the most intelligent of his kind I've ever met. He recognized Peter for what he was right away. And when he met me, he knew I was no dog. It was a while before he trusted me.... Finally, I managed to communicate to him what I was after, and he's been helping me. .. "What do you mean?" breathed Hermione.

    "He tried to bring Peter to me, but couldn't... so he stole the passwords into Gryffindor Tower for me.... As I understand it, he took them from a boy's bedside table...."

    And then later, Dumbledore is talking to Harry & Hermione right before Hermione uses the Time-Turner:

    "Sirius has not acted like an innocent man. The attack on the Fat Lady -- entering Gryffindor Tower with a knife -- without Pettigrew, alive or dead, we have no chance of overturning Sirius's sentence."

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