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Thread: Polyjuice Question

  1. #11
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    It's good thinking, but I'm not sure if the "temporary condition" reasoning works. When you think about it, for example your body fat is a temporary condition too, because it changes quickly when you eat or exercise or on an even more basic level, your haircut is a very temporary condition, yet you get the same haircut as the person whose polyjuice you drank. So at least they'd have to look pregnant *I think.
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  2. #12
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    I could be wrong, but I feel that if a person were to take Polyjuice Potion containing the hair of a pregnant woman, the drinker would not look pregnant. My reasoning is that - pregnancy is actually a (nine-month-long) temporary situation. When Hermione and Fluer took that potion and had Harry's poor eye-sight, it was because his condition was more or less permanent. In order to look pregnant, the person would have to use a charm.
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    Anymore thoughts on the subject of glamours?

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  3. #13
    Queen of Foals Slytherin
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    This is so interesting

    I could be wrong, but I feel that if a person were to take Polyjuice Potion containing the hair of a pregnant woman, the drinker would not look pregnant. My reasoning is that - pregnancy is actually a (nine-month-long) temporary situation. When Hermione and Fluer took that potion and had Harry's poor eye-sight, it was because his condition was more or less permanent. In order to look pregnant, the person would have to use a charm.
    Hm, I'm going to disagree slightly. If you took the hair of the pregnant woman then I think you would look like her as she looked when you took the hair from her. So, if you took her hairs at different times eg. 3 months, 6 months, then if you used the 3 month hair then you would look like she did at 3 months pregnant whereas if you used the 6 month hair then you would look like she did at 6 months pregnant. Make sense?

    The thing is, bad eyesight often changes. I get different lenses for my glasses about every two or three years. So when Hermione and Fleur took the Polyjuice, they had Harry's degree of bad eyesight at that exact point in time when he gave them his hairs. I don't think it has to do with whether the situation is temporary or permanent. I think it has to do with what that person looked like at that point in time when the hair was taken from them.

    Hope that makes sense!

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  4. #14
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    Oh no! Two different arguments, and both are just so, so convincing. I'm just going to have to dwell on this within my own head some more.

    But opaleye, what are your thoughts on glamours?

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  5. #15
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    Hm, glamours...

    So if you were to take the form of a person much taller than you are, and someone tried to throw a book at your head, it would just pass right through.
    Okay, so a glamour is like an illusion, right? So, this is my theory. The glamour gives the illusion that the head is there but really it isn't. However, if your argument is correct then that means anybody with a glamour would not really be able to touch anything or anyone without being found out. Say, a small man uses a glamour to appear taller and larger in general. His hands therefore seem bigger. If he tries to touch someone else or take their hand, then he would be exposed as a fake too since his hand would appear to touch the other person before his actual hand had made contact. This would rake up all sorts of complications. Gosh, that sounds confusing. It's hard to explain my theory.

    Therefore, with glamours, even though the hand or head does not actually exist, it looks like it does and makes contact with the world around it as if it exists too. So, if someone threw a book through the short mans glamourised head, then the book would appear to make contact and would fall to the ground as if it had hit a real head. The book would have actually hit the real mans head even if the book had been thrown higher than where the real mans head occupies in space. I think it would be part of the glamour charm, that the glamour appears to exist and thus appears to interact with the world as if it truly existed as well.

    In my head, this all makes sense, but writing it down was quite hard. I hope you can make some sort of sense out of this

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  6. #16
    Inverarity
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    Polyjuice: It depends on how you decide the magic works, but I think Harry Potter magic rarely follows any sort of rigorous (or even non-rigorous) system of pseudo-scientific rules. It does what works thematically. I think Polyjuice Potion will make you look like the person whose hair you took, most likely at the time you took it. If you take the hair of a pregnant woman, then you're going to look pregnant, because the magic is going to magically make you look like her. That's what the spell to create the potion does: "Make me look like this person."

    What if the person whose hair you took is injured? Then you'll probably wind up with the same injuries. If it can duplicate hair (which is the most temporary and easily changeable detail of appearance of all) then it probably duplicates cuts and bruises and pregnancies, too.

    Glamours: Do they fool the mind, or only the senses? If the latter, then a short person Glamoured to look like a tall person will basically be wearing a "hologram" and you can see a book passing through him if you toss it at his head. But if they fool the mind, then the magic is more flexible and comprehensive and will do whatever it has to to maintain the illusion, including making a book bounce off the subject's head.

  7. #17
    leahsm2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    Polyjuice: It depends on how you decide the magic works, but I think Harry Potter magic rarely follows any sort of rigorous (or even non-rigorous) system of pseudo-scientific rules. It does what works thematically. I think Polyjuice Potion will make you look like the person whose hair you took, most likely at the time you took it. If you take the hair of a pregnant woman, then you're going to look pregnant, because the magic is going to magically make you look like her. That's what the spell to create the potion does: "Make me look like this person."
    Huh. I would assume that for that one hour, you'd actually be pregnant or near-sighted or whatever, just because of the horrific side effects Hermione experienced from the unfortunate cross-species thing. I think it makes sense, anyway.

  8. #18
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by leahsm2
    Huh. I would assume that for that one hour, you'd actually be pregnant or near-sighted or whatever, just because of the horrific side effects Hermione experienced from the unfortunate cross-species thing. I think it makes sense, anyway.
    Well, if it actually makes you pregnant, then magic would be creating life, which would violate Gamp's Law. It might duplicate the effects and physical appearance of pregnancy, though.

  9. #19
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    Originally posted by Kara:
    It's good thinking, but I'm not sure if the "temporary condition" reasoning works. When you think about it, for example your body fat is a temporary condition too, because it changes quickly when you eat or exercise – or on an even more basic level, your haircut is a very temporary condition, yet you get the same haircut as the person whose polyjuice you drank. So at least they'd have to look pregnant –*I think.
    Hmm...I suppose this makes better sense.

    I did find the idea of looking pregnant (that is, having a - er - bloated tummy) without actually being pregnant a little weird. But, of course, if your resembling the other person's appearance is something like a charm - that is, if you don't actually become that person...But then, there is that issue with eyesight again. Which means that you do become the person.

    And I have trapped myself in a conundrum.

    Maybe this is one of those areas of magic which one is not supposed to tamper with. *shrugs*
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  10. #20
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    Hm, I like opaleye's explaination of glamours. I may have to adapt my own thinking a little bit. I didn't quite think it through, it would seem.

    As to the pregnancy debate, I think the person would become extremely bloated, but they wouldn't pregnant themselves. I actually read about a psychological condition where a woman can take on the appearences of being pregnant without actually becomming pregnany. It's very rare, but it does happen. Though I think a Polyjuice Potion might help things along.

    But I do have another pondering. Day a person needed to take on the form of a woman before she became pregnant. Would hairs collected before she became pregnant be able to succeed in doing this, or do you think Polyjuice Potions only work with freshly gathered ingredients. Brings up an entirely new topic of people being able to transform into people who have died.

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