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The Slytherin Dungeons

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There was no doubt that Mrs. Cole was an inconveniently sharp woman. Apparently Dumbledore thought so too, for Harry now saw him slip his wand out of the pocket of his velvet suit, at the same time picking up a piece of perfectly blank paper from Mrs. Cole’s desktop.

Here,” said Dumbledore, waving his wand once as he passed her the piece of paper, “I think this will make everything clear.”

Mrs. Cole’s eyes slid out of focus and back again as she gazed intently at the blank paper for a moment.

 

Dumbledore has introduced himself to the head of Riddle's orphanage, but she is highly suspicious of his offer of Tom attending an unknown school. How do you believe he convinces her that Hogwarts is legit and Tom should be allowed to attend? Does he use a spell? Words on a piece of paper? A combination?

 

10 scales if posted by Sunday 1st  December, 23:59 HOL time.

5 scales if posted by Tuesday 31st December, 23:59 HOL time.

Edited by February Fortescue

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I think he mostly uses a spell of some kind, Confundo or perhaps even the Imperius Curse. It seems to be the go-to method for wizards and witches when a person, especially a Muggle, needs to be convinced of something. For good measure, and so Mrs. Cole does not remember, I am sure that he Obliviated her as well, just like at the Quidditch World Cup.

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I think that Dumbledore probably used a combination of tools and abilities to persuade Mrs. Cole to let him have Tom Riddle attend Hogwarts. The confundus charm, to confuse her 'sharpness' and some form of legilimens - of getting into her head and planting the information there. He is undoubtedly a person who can 'charm' others into doing what he wants them to do but it is probably preferable to him that they feel more comfortable than not, if only for his own ease of mind. It's unlikely that he erased all knowledge of this transaction from her mind, since Tom goes back to the orphanage during the summers, but it is likely that he reinforces the false memory at times (just in case).

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I definitely always assumed he simply confunded her, though he could have done something more complex. I think he recognised that she wanted more than anything for Tom Riddle to be someone elses problem. All he had to do was overcome her professionalism and sense of duty by convincing her that everything was perfectly legal and in order. She wanted to believe that he was a responsible representative of a genuine establishment that it would be acceptable to send one of her charges to so he just had to give her a gentle magical nudge to convince her that she'd had irrefutable proof of that. The mind can be a very powerful thing when it comes to things that we want to be true so I always thought Dumbledore's intervention was quite minimal.

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Mrs. Cole seems like the type of person that needs physical proof, so Dumbledore probably magicked the blank piece of paper into an official-looking document and she believed it. I'm not sure that a Memory Charm would work in this instance because Tom Riddle does have to return to the orphanage every summer. It'd be a hassle to Confund her every year as well.

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I'm guessing he did some combination of a Confundus charm and wrote some convincing words on that piece of paper. I agree with Scarlet, Mrs. Cole would definitely need some physical proof, and I'm thinking he'd use the charm because he'd not really want to go into any real detail as to why Riddle is going to Hogwarts while no one else has ever attended the school since she's been over it.

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I'm thinking Dumbledore planted a false memory of Mrs. Cole reading  the acceptance letter even though the parchment remained blank. Mrs. Cole would be satisfied and not pursue the matter further.

Edited by Polaris Black

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