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Thread: Fortnightly Foray Into the Fandom: Dragons

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  1. #1
    rita_skeeter
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    Fortnightly Foray Into the Fandom: Dragons

    *throws balloons* FFIF is back, by popular demand! For the first time after Book 7, we will once again be looking deep into a topic within the HP world.

    And our first one for this year will be Dragons.
    We have seen throughout the series that dragons can serve many purposes. How do you think the first one was dicovered? By who and in which country? How did Dumbledore first discover the twelve uses of dragons' blood? What could they be [apart from oven cleaner!]? And Charlie Weasley is a dragon keeper - what do you think he and others do in their work?

    As usual, this discussion is completely open to your own interpretations and interests. You do not need to answer all or even any of the questions! The idea of posting questions is to start you off and encourage you all to delve deeper into the subject. Particularly good posts in here will earn 5 or perhaps even 10 points, so make your contributions well worth it!

    HP Lexicon - Dragons

    So get posting and sharing ideas!

    This discussion has been extended, so it will finish on Sunday 30th.

  2. #2
    Danielle_Malfoy
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    Dragons

    We have seen throughout the series that dragons can serve many purposes. How do you think the first one was dicovered? By who and in which country? How did Dumbledore first discover the twelve uses of dragons' blood? What could they be [apart from oven cleaner!]? And Charlie Weasley is a dragon keeper - what do you think he and others do in their work?

    Please excuse me as I am new to this. (Soon to be Hufflepuff)

    I think that Newt Scamanders great great great great (A lot of greats) grandmother
    discovered the first dragon in Sweden.
    Dumbledore observes like he usually does and he knows nearly everything.
    Twelve Uses Of Dragons Blood
    1) Sting Reduction. (OotP, Chapter20 Page 374 Uk Version) Hagrid uses dragon meat to reduce the sting when he comes back from the giants. So the blood drips on his face./Wound Healers/Painkilling Properties
    2) Potion Uses.
    3) A secret ingredient in Firewhisky?
    4)Plant fertiliser?
    5)A Tangy sauce Dumbledore likes on his meals
    6)Understanding The Language of Birds? (Fawkes Perhaps) (O_o I know he's a phoenix)
    7)Cures Blindness
    8) Increases Bravery,
    9)Core in a wand?
    10) Drinking it makes you knowledgable and know things you shouldn't,
    11)Metaphorphagi (Sp) mut drink it to recharge? (i ran out of ideas)
    12)Oven Cleaner


    Charlie Weasley studies dragons and their environment and tracks evolution and breeding etc. He could also collect parts of dragons for potion makers and other people.
    We know dragons are dangerous and untrainable (as much as Hagrid would like to think so) but I have always thought of some of them as intelligent and others as stupid; not that this makes much difference

    Hope this was ok?

  3. #3
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    I'd think that dragon blood would probably have some restorative properties that would be useful at St. Mungo's. Plus, I'd think it would be used in different types of potions, and maybe some other household products like the oven cleaner. It's also cool that the rest of dragons are very helpful too. The heart, horn, and eggs are just among the few things that are found throughout the wizarding world. What, I wonder, makes them so beneficial? The fact that they're magical creatures, maybe?

    With Charlie, well, I'm sure a lot of time goes into studying the creatures and their habits/appearance/general behavior/etc. Besides that, control of dragons, like we see with Hagrid and Norbert, and maybe some breeding. I was surprised to see that there were only ten different breeds. I'm not sure why, but I'd always assumed there would be more.

    The Lexicon article also mentioned dragon reservations, which are really interesting to me. I'd assume that different sort of dragons go to each depending on what sort of climate they like to live in. What type of schooling would be necessary to get a job working there?

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  4. #4
    hermybabay82
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    Originally posted by rita_skeeter
    We have seen throughout the series that dragons can serve many purposes. How do you think the first one was dicovered? By who and in which country? How did Dumbledore first discover the twelve uses of dragons' blood? What could they be [apart from oven cleaner!]? And Charlie Weasley is a dragon keeper - what do you think he and others do in their work?
    I'm new to this so bare with me, please. First, let's break those questions up.

    How do you think the first one was dicovered? By who and in which country?

    Modern Muggle scientists believe that the 'legend of the dragon' was originally based upon ordinary snakes and similar creatures coupled with common psychological fears amongst disparate groups of humans. Still other Muggles believe that descriptions of the 'mythical' creature arose from the history of dinosaurs and archosaurs. This last line of thinking is roughly supported by the naming of the Komodo Dragon, a species of the Monitor lizards. If Muggles truly knew how close they were to reality with this idea it would shock them!

    Dragons, as the wizarding world knows them, were originally discovered in ancient Mesopotamia by the little known wizard, Ormus of Tigbiden. As legend goes, it states that he was so shocked by the size of the beast that at first he had thought he was hallucinating due to heat exhaustion. After much research after this large discovery, ancient wizards were able to trace back the origins of this massive and magical creature to the time of the dinosaurs, which many had assumed long dead. Apparently some species, all directly linked to each other as flying, fire-breathing behemoths with an especially ill temper (some more than others) survived the destruction of the other dinosaurs, which leads us to believe that they are exceptionally intelligent, self-preserving creatures.

    How did Dumbledore first discover the twelve uses of dragons' blood? What could they be [apart from oven cleaner!]?

    What we know of Dumbledore is that he was a very inquisitive youth while at school, always studying and writing, even going so far as to be announced Gold Medal-Winner for Ground-Breaking Contribution to the International Alchemical Conference in Cairo while still at school. Which leads me to wonder when, exactly, did he make his discovery of the twelve uses of dragons' blood? Was this what gained him the Gold Medal at the International Alchemical Conference? I feel that this was exactly what gained him that award.

    Keeping that in mind, during this time Dumbledore's main focus was on expanding his mind and becoming a great Wizard, which he does eventually do but not without some sacrifice. I believe that he had planned on attempting to locate something that would help Wizard-kind and in doing so realized that dragon meat was used as an old remedy for physical topical injuries and that is how he came to work with that particular substance. Little did he know that he would discover so much from that one item.

    Along with healing properties, dragon blood is also used in many complicated potions. It also has uses as an oven cleaner, memory enhancer (when diluted though one has to be careful with this as it can also have the reverse affect when not used correctly), plant restorative (for carnivorous species), strengthening agent for materials, memory retrieval, wand varnish, knowledge enhancer, calming agent, energy restorative, and levitating enhancer used by broom manufacturers to steady their racing brooms.

    Charlie Weasley is a dragon keeper - what do you think he and others do in their work?

    Well, most dragons pretty much take care of themselves. One of the main problems that we Wizards face in regards to dragon colonies is the possibility of Muggles discovering their existance. Most dragon keepers have the job of casting Muggle repelling charms and other protective spells around the colony to keep Muggles from stumbling into this dangerous area, although there are times when slip ups occur - but the dragons usually take care of that problem themselves.

    As hard as it can be keeping the Muggles out of these colonies, it is even harder keeping the dragons in. As we all know, dragons are not tameable creatures and most are kept on sturdy chain leashes in order to keep them from flying out. Of course when one does get loose it is the dragon keepers duty to retrieve the rogue dragon and bring it back into the colony as safely as possible.

    Other than smaller trivial duties, such as cleaning living areas, retrieving food for the creatures, and doctoring any injuries they may incur, there isn't much more to being a dragon keeper.

    The passage in italics was taken directly from Wikipedia's page on Dragons, as well as most of the information regarding 'Muggle's' information was gathered there. The name Ormus of Tigbiden was thought up by my brilliant friend, Sammy/MissyQuill.

    Edit: I just thought I would add that I've challenged Sammy/MissyQuill to write a humorous poem or drabble involving Ormus of Tigbiden's discovery of the first known dragon! *squee* As payment for her agreeing to do the challenge, I have agreed to attempt to convert as many people as possible into becoming fangirls (or fanguys for you guys out there) of Ormus of Tigbiden! If you would like to join in this 'movement' (for lack of a better word), just take a look at the banner in my siggy regarding the character or just type the words in your siggy. If you use the banner, remember no hotlinking and keep your siggy size in mind also.

    Fantastic, in-depth post. 10 points. I'm really impressed!

  5. #5
    GringottsVault711
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    Existence of Dragons

    I don't really see dragons as having been 'discovered', exactly. I think for that to happen they would have had to originated on an uninhabited continent. But, given that certain breeds of dragon are native to geographical areas that have been populated by humans for centuries (most notably China, Scandinavia, Britain, Central/Eastern Europe), I imagine that the existence of dragons is something humans have always been aware of.


    Clearly the existence dragons, among other aspects of the magical world such as unicorns, leprachauns and witches and wizards themselves, was not always unknown to 'Muggles'. They have a strong presence in the folklore of various cultures. We see a lot of dragons in English, Welsh and Norse "legend", as well as Central/Eastern European mythology. Also, the dragon has a very prominent place in oriental myth. The origin of all these myths all happen to be known locations in which dragons are native to. (What a coincidence! )

    However, modernly, the existence of dragons is hidden from the knowledge of Muggles. This is known to be an aspect of the Statute of Secrecy. However, the reason they should have to be hidden along with the existence of wizarding society has never been made clear.

    There is the fact that the existence of magical creatures might hint at the existence of a magical creature. However, I don't think Muggles would know dragons to be magical. They would probably never get close enough to a dragon to note their magical properties, and even if they did, would they recognise them for what they are?

    I think the greater reason for having to hide the existence of dragons from Muggles is that it is safer for everyone. Dragons are immensely strong and wizards themselves seem to have to take an extreme amount of caution when dealing with them. I imagine it is highly difficult, if not impossible, for a Muggle to have any chance against a dragon, and that the responsibility of dragon-taming and/or -slaying naturally fell on people of magical ability. With magical society retreating under the Statute of Secrecy, they had no real choice except to also hide the existence of dragons, as well as the existence of all other highly dangerous magical creatures. (As well as highly-vulnerable, highly-valuable, or obviously-magical creatures). If they had left dragons exposed, surely it would have been a great source of Muggle distress through the ages, and with the development of modern-day weapons, might have led to a 'war' against dragons, which may have caused much chaos and wiped out the existence of dragons (which would be highly unfortunate as they are immensely useful and contribute a great deal to the magical world.) Furthermore, any attempts of magical people at any point to protect Muggles from dragons (or vice-versa) would have resulted in a breach of the Statute. Therefore, the choice to simply make secret the existence of dragons was a far more simple and beneficial solution.

    Uses For Dragon's Blood

    I would say Dumbledore discovered the twelve uses for dragon's blood the way any sensible scientist would; by isolating the various properties of the blood, perhaps with some magical equivilant of qualitative analysis, and testing their uses in an extensive trial-and-error experimentation.

    I would imagine that dragon is blood is highly powerful and extremely caustic. I don't imagine they are all too seperate from 'oven-cleaner'. If we compare dragon's blood to sodium hydroxide, a key ingredient in Muggle 'oven-cleaner' we can make some guesses as to what properties dragon's blood contains and what it might be used for.

    Working with this theory, I'd suggest various uses for dragon's blood could also include paint-stripping, soap production, parchment production, smelting, metal etching, hair styling, tissue digestion, etc; It could also be used as a catalyst for magical reactions, or a neutraliser of certain magical properties. Furthermore, it could be used to imitate the affects of alchemy, by being used in a process that will cause an object to appear gold.

    Goblins clearly have some sort of experience with dragons, as at least one dragon is used to help maintain security (thought I'm sure that the most courageous and clever bank-robbing witches and wizards could turn this to their advantage somehow); I imagine it's possible that they are also aware of this property of dragon's blood and have studied the results closely, so as to be able to clearly recognise counterfeited galleons.

    Some excellent thoughts; well reasoned. 10 points!

  6. #6
    hpheart
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    How do you think the first dragon was discovered?

    Time for my extensive imagination to come into play here.
    I think the first dragon was discovered in Romania, in or around the reserve where Charlie works. This is because there are two types of dragon that originally come from Romania or countries surrounding Romania(Romanian Longhorn and the Ukranian Ironbelly). This would make it more possible for a dragon to be seen, especially if there are 2 different types so if wizards or even Muggles saw the 2 different types, then they would know that they wern't just seeing things, and wizards would be able to hush it up with a Memory Charm if Muggles did go blabbing around that they'ed seen a dragon.


    How did Dumbledore discover the 12 uses of dragon blood, and what are the 12 uses?

    Well, as people have said before, Dumbledore was a very clever student, and a very clever man, so he could have easlily found out some of the uses, and didn't he get an award for Alchemy?Gold Medal-Winner for Ground-Breaking Contribution to the International Alchemical Conference in Cairo.
    He also worked on Alchemy wth Nicolas Flamel,as it says on his chocolate frog card.(his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel.)He could have worked out some of the uses whilest working with Flamel.

    The 12 possbile uses of dragon blood:
    1)Potion ingrediant
    2)Pain reliever
    3)Wand Polish
    4)Wand Core?
    5)?
    6)?
    7)?
    8)?
    9)?
    10)?
    11)?
    12)Oven Cleaner

    And Charlie Weasley is a dragon keeper - what do you think he and others do in their work?

    I think that he would just do the basic looking after, scale lookng-after, teeth cleanng, basic health and such like. He would also make sure if any dragons escape, said dragon could be brought back as quckly and fuss-free as possible

  7. #7
    MithrilQuill
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    Oooh! Cool topic! Thanks for the poke


    Quote Originally Posted by GringottsVault711
    Existence of Dragons

    I don't really see dragons as having been 'discovered', exactly. I think for that to happen they would have had to originated on an uninhabited continent. But, given that certain breeds of dragon are native to geographical areas that have been populated by humans for centuries (most notably China, Scandinavia, Britain, Central/Eastern Europe), I imagine that the existence of dragons is something humans have always been aware of.

    Good point, actually, but I think it's possible that they could have at one point been discovered. Although they live in countries where we have humans that doesn't mean they wouldn't have kept themselves away from humans, especially if wizards would try and slay them if they did come into contact with humans. To have survived in the world, I think such fierce and dangerous beasts would have had to know how to keep themselves away from people.


    Of course there would have been interaction between Dragons and humans on occasion, but these kinds of encounters would have seemed so mythical that no one would really have believed it other than the person who saw it. So their stories would have been preserved in legend and myth only and few would have believed them to be real outside of the legends.


    Then at some point if a Wizard discovered that they were actually real and made that discovery known in the world/wizarding world this could be considered "discovery". And as you said they would have been hidden again from the Muggle world because of the Statute of Secrecy.


    Uses of Dragon's Blood


    You all mentioned some great points, but I just wanted to add that there must have been some aspect of Dumbledore's discovery/research that involved studying ancient observations and stories about Dragon's blood...(we know Wizards have their own bedtime stories and myths) and using that info to get ideas on where to begin research. Because with any kind of scientific research, especially one involving chemicals, you don't just start reacting them with anything you come across to see what they do...well, unless you're very brave. There would have been a long history of Wizards who did research, or at least recorded observations on, the uses of Dragon's Blood and Dumbledore would have built on that to come to his own discovery.


    So it would probably have been a combination of some hints and clues from ancient stories/scrolls etc, and his own patient chemical/alchemical research, and alot of luck!


    Dragon's blood could possibly have medicinal properties, like some of you already mentioned. Maybe it could be used in strengthening solutions or something as well. What do you think the side-effects of using it would be?


    Charlie and Other Wizards who deal with Dragons


    Aside from being a very cool and thrilling occupation I think that one of the main aspects of this job would be to keep muggles and wizards safe from these dangerous creatures and try to keep the encounters between them and unsuspecting people to a minimum.


    Also, another important aspect of the job could be to preserve the dragons themselves from extinction. Dragon Slayers in the past must have done the population alot of harm and there's also disease and the humans moving into more and more of the Dragon's natural habitat.


    I kind of disagree with Brittany about the whole captivity thing, though. Or maybe it's just that I dislike the idea of Dragons being locked up like that in total captivity. Either way, I think the main function of the reserves is to draw the lines around the Dragon's existing territories and make sure that they're not decreased even more by human activity. On the reserve at the mountain tops or wherever I think the Dragons would be free to fend for themselves, with wizards patrolling the outside of the protected areas to make sure that people don't get in and dragons don't get out.


    Nature of Dragons


    I was just discussing this with teh Mask the other day, so I thought I'd bring it up. To me this is one of the most interesting aspects of Dragons...


    The Dragons we've seen in the Potterverse are very different from Dragons in other fantasy stories. For example Smaug from The Hobbit actually talks and seems to be very intelligent. We also see a bit of evilness attached to that intelligence whereas the ones in HP can't really be blamed for being vicious since they're just unintelligent creatures looking out for themselves. So in a sense their magic in HP is restricted to the properties of their various parts when they die...


    In other fantasy stories, like the Pern series we have Dragons that are intelligent, good, and that have a very close relationship with humans. I love those books to death, but I also really like how Jo kept the viciousness there, because the ones in Pern are really tame and nice. (I was about to say fluffy ...>.>)


    Another example is the Earthsea series. The dragons in those books are smart and actually alot like humans. Actually they're portrayed as being better than humans in terms of wisdom etc. They generally keep away from people and people are still very frightened of them. I haven't read all those books yet, but I kind of wished the dragons were in the books more since they seem really intriguing and she seems to have struck a balance between the totally tame and the completely wild. (of course the came before HP and the Pern series too I think, so it's not so as if she was consciously trying to strike a balance between those approaches...she was more like a pioneer on that front...)


    So what do you think of the way the nature of Dragons is portrayed in HP? Do you think there's more to them than we've seen so far in the books? What is it that actually makes them so "magical"? What other Dragon-related stories have you read?


    EDIT: By the way, anything written about Dragons (or Ormus Tigbiden) would be fair game for the Three Broomsticks Worlds within a World challenge. I'm just mentioning it because alot of people had trouble deciding what worked and what didn't for that challenge and I was low on examples at the time...as I said, the world of Dragons would be a good one!

    Brilliant stuff, Mithril.

  8. #8
    cmwinters
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    Quote Originally Posted by rita_skeeter
    How do you think the first one was dicovered? By who and in which country?
    I don't think they were discovered any more than, like, deer were. There are cave paintings in France, dating 20,000-30,000 years ago, depciting gigantic (3 meter long!) serpents, which is nearly statistically impossible for that climate at that time. Yes, some snakes do grow to be 3 meters long (notably cobras, pythons and boas), but they are living in much more temperate climates. France was in the middle of an ice age at the time and not temperate by even the most broad definition of the term. So a 3 meter snake is not only statistically impossible, it's also artistically ENORMOUS, particularly when you take into account that most of the other animals (including the humans) in paintings in the same grottoes are noted by how *small* they are.

    </Slytherin-ness>

    Quote Originally Posted by rita_skeeter
    How did Dumbledore first discover the twelve uses of dragons' blood?
    What I'd like to know is how the roughly 150 year old Dumbledore can be renowned "for his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicholas Flamel", when Flamel was 600+ years old and it's well-known that Flamel's alchemy research was into the Philosoper's Stone. It almost sounds like Jo was trying to say that Dumbledore helped make the Stone. Surely that's not what she intended.

    Er, maybe he was researching on how to make another Stone, with Flamel?

    </straw-grasping>

    Quote Originally Posted by rita_skeeter
    What could they be [apart from oven cleaner!]?
    Oh gosh. Well, oven cleaner is quite caustic, so I'm sure some sort of caustic agent apart from oven cleaner (like, general corrosiveness. Maybe it will eat through some sort of magical corrosion?)

    I'm positive one of them is a healing aspect. Ingredient in potions or whatever.

    Antiseptic

    Definitely an ingredient in some poisons.

    Quote Originally Posted by rita_skeeter
    And Charlie Weasley is a dragon keeper - what do you think he and others do in their work?
    I think the dragon keepers do much like any animal trainer does; possibly rehabilitate the injured/illegally kept ones for potential release in their natural habitat, perhaps teach them to perform tasks (they could be fantastic in aerial defense!) , although I admit I see little use for dragons as, say, service animals. And I just don't see the Wizarding World as a whole all that interested in the behavioural psychology of a dragon versus a werewolf versus a centaur versus a "normal wizard".

    "Ormus of Tigbiden's "

    Did anybody else read that as "Tiberius Ogden" and end up going straight to "firewhisky"?

  9. #9
    Calico2
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    dragons!!!

    I always had the idea that dragons weren't really "discovered" - I think they were kind of just a given presence in ancient times (like dogs, only a lot more dangerous to have around). But as the population decreased they fell out of general knowledge, and after a few centuries they became the stuff of legend.

    As for the uses of dragon's blood, I think all the general theories have been covered. I only have one to add - an element in the Sorcerer's Stone. It's an idea I got when I saw the movie version of SS (I know that's not really what I should be going off of) and observed that the stone was a dark red, like blood. I figure if blood was used in its making then it would probably be the blood of some powerfully magical creature, like a dragon. However, if this use is true, then Dumbledore wouldn't have been the one to discover it; it would have had to have been Nicholas Flamel.

    Dragon keepers like Charlie Weasley would of course have to do the usual jobs of making sure the muggles don't see the dragons, and keeping enough animals around for the dragons to eat. But I feel like they would have to protect the dragons as well. There must be dragon poachers in the wizarding world, people who hunt dragons for their magical parts like blood, not to mention their hide. Bill Weasley is said to have been wearing boots made of dragon hide when Harry first meets him in GoF (this always struck me as odd - how could Bill wear bits of dead dragon in the presence of Charlie, who clearly cares a lot about dragons? Wouldn't Charlie get mad at his brother?), and he can't be the only one. And if dragons do get killed, some might leave behind eggs or young dragons, which the keepers would probably have to raise in captivity for at least a few months, until they could survive on their own.

    Dragons in Harry Potter are most certainly vicious and not of human intelligence. I guess they had to be that way in order to suit JK's purpose in the first challenge in GoF, but I've always liked stories in which dragons are considered wise, like Eragon, or even evilly intelligent, like The Hobbit. And personally, I think it would have been pretty exciting if Harry had had to get the golden egg from a dragon that could shout threats and insults inbetween breathing fire.

    Some very nice ideas. 5 points.

  10. #10
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    I feel like I'm entering this after most the best points have been made. I have to agree with my fellow Slyths and say that dragons couldn't really be discovered. They were always around, but I'm sure it inspired awe and fear in most everyone that ran into them. I can see them rounding up shiny objects to place in their nests with their young, just like many of the medieval stories tell. That would have had many Muggles wondering what happened to their things. As man moved into their territories, the Wizards were forced to make sanctuaries for the protection of man a dragon. That is what led to the Romanian Dragon reserve.

    I think much of the work done on the dragon reserve is to protect Muggles from the dragons as well as trying to help the dragons maintain territories and not crowd each other. I could see each breed being kept in different areas. When young are born, they would take them from the parents to try to tame them a little more then would be possible if left with the parents. This would also keep other adults from eating the young (I just see that as being one of the biggest problems... over crowding would get the dragons to attach other's nests). It is much like open range zoos. There is lots of danger and such for the keepers, but a necessary thing to keep dragons alive and Muggles safe.

    I think Dumbledore slowly learned the nature of dragon blood. I have to agree with those that say he did research into history for starters. I also can see him finding out it was a great oven cleaner by accident. I actually see it more as a antidote then poison... mostly because of it's caustic nature. It would burn the poison out of the victim's system. This of course would have to be done slowly or it would burn a hole in the victim...

    As for the other 10 uses, there are many possible choices, and with out doing the research or being told, it is hard to say. I think that it would be a very effective wart remover and/or cure to many fungi infections. I also think it was used to make the Sorcerer's Stone. Only Nicolaus Flamel could tell you that though... So I don't think it is part of the list actually taught to people. That would be the 13th use. Dumbledore didn't help make the Stone... it was make long before he was born. It might be part of what can turn elements into other elements. That is the main goal of Alchemy after all.

    Cyns


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