14

The Weasley clock checked on Ginny and the other Weasleys, and could tell if she was in danger or mortal peril.

During Ginny's possession in The Chamber of Secrets, I wonder whether the clock showed that Ginny was in danger. If not, was it because no-one checked the clock or because the clock did not think that being posessed by a diary counted as "danger" or "mortal peril"?

  • 9
    It's a great question, but I don't remember there being a general 'danger' position, just 'mortal peril' and she herself was never in mortal peril until she got taken down into the chamber, by which time the Weasleys quickly found out through other means. Anyway, if there was a 'danger' position, I mean, it's an interesting argument about whether the generic, big-picture danger of getting close to Riddle and owning his diary should have registered. She was in one kind of danger certainly. But you can argue technicalities. – Au101 Mar 25 '18 at 16:51
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    She herself, controlling the Basilisk through Riddle, wasn't really actually in physical danger at any point. Writing in the diary, you know, she was safe in bed. There's clearly enough of an out there. – Au101 Mar 25 '18 at 16:52
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    Except her soul was being consumed, I mean, Riddle was absorbing her soul or life energy everytime she was writing in the diary. The lose of a soul or life energy is not "mortal peril"? I mean, Riddle plan was take Ginny soul or life energy to have a body and that was going to kill her. – Private Mar 25 '18 at 16:58
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    @Private - She wasn't close to dying until she was in the Chamber. Thus, she wasn't in "mortal peril." – Adamant Mar 25 '18 at 22:29
  • Ron was in "mortal peril" a couple of times during that book (e.g. Aragog) and we never hear any particular worry about him based on the clock. – The Dark Lord Mar 26 '18 at 13:40
12

The "mortal peril" clock first appears in Goblet of Fire, a later novel.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, first published in July 1998, takes place during Ginny's first year at Hogwarts. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, first published in July 2000, takes place during her third year.

The Weasleys have two unusual clocks. A wall clock in the kitchen informs the family when it's time to do particular tasks:

The clock on the wall opposite him had only one hand and no numbers at all. Written around the edge were things like 'Time to make tea', 'Time to feed the chickens' and 'You're late'.

Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2), Chapter 3: "The Burrow"

A grandfather clock in the living room — the "mortal peril" clock — shows each family member's location and status:

Mrs Weasley glanced at the grandfather clock in the corner. Harry liked this clock. It was completely useless if you wanted to know the time, but otherwise very informative. It had nine golden hands, and each of them was engraved with one of the Weasley family's names. There were no numerals around the face, but descriptions of where each family member might be. 'Home', 'school' and 'work' were there, but there was also 'lost', 'hospital', 'prison' and, in the position where the number twelve would be on a normal clock, 'mortal peril'.

Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4), Chapter 10: "Mayhem at the Ministry"

We don't know if the Weasleys possessed the grandfather clock during Chamber of Secrets, or if it always worked as a safety monitor. Even if it is a family heirloom, its current configuration (with the hand for Ginny) can be no older than Ginny herself, and it's possible — maybe even likely, given Mrs Weasley's worry for her family(1) — that the Weasleys acquired and/or enchanted it in response to the Chamber incident.


(1) Mrs Weasley's greatest fear, as she admits to Lupin, is that a member of her family will die:

'I see them d– d– dead all the time!' Mrs Weasley moaned into his shoulder. 'All the t– t– time! I d– d– dream about it...'

Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5), Chapter 9: The Woes of Mrs Weasley

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