In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore uses a spell to knock out the ministry wizards in his office in order to escape.

A streak of silver light flashed around the room. There was a bang like a gunshot, and the floor trembled. A hand grabbed the scruff of Harry's neck and forced him down on the floor as a second silver flash went off - several of the portraits yelled, Fawkes screeched, and a cloud of dust filled the air. Coughing in the dust, Harry saw a dark figure fall to the ground with a crash in front of him. "No!" The sound of breaking glass, frantically scuffling footsteps, a groan - and silence.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Chapter 27, The Centaur and the Sneak

When the smoke clears it's revealed the ministry folks have been knocked out and Dumbledore says they won't remember anything.

The descriptions of the incident don't make sense to me. What's with the "no!" and frantically scuffling footsteps? Who made those sounds? I doubt the footsteps belonged to Dumbledore (he's anything but frantic), and they wouldn't belong to McGonagall or the kids as they were on the floor. As for the "no!", it doesn't make sense for Dumbledore/ McGonagall/ Marietta to say it.

I always got the impression they were made by the ministry wizards, but then why would they still be conscious after the spell ended? What knocked them out? What were they doing?


I guess I was wrong about the sleeping spell. As Harry was coughing in the dust but didn't get knocked out.

The first 2 silver light flashes was to cause distraction and dust cloud, making the opponent hard to see. While Harry was forced to the floor, Dumbledore taking out the Aurors one by one, resulting in different time of being knocked out. Harry saw one in front of him, while others were trying to defend themselves resulting in "No!", glass breaking, running around, and groaning.

When all were taken down, silence.

That's pretty much what I get from analysing your original book quote.

  • Interesting theory, but do you have any sources to support your theory? – Often Right Apr 8 '15 at 4:37
  • It was based on reading the book quote OP posted. Although I could be wrong about the sleeping spells, it seems more like Dumbledore knocking them out one by one in the dust cloud now that I read it again. But there is no indication of spells casting after the dust cloud. – Sufendy Apr 8 '15 at 5:44
  • If that is the case, then I suggest you incorporate relevant parts of the quote, highlighting the important phrases to further support your case. Just helps to substantiate your theory ;) – Often Right Apr 8 '15 at 5:47
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    I think the whole quote is self explanatory, just that it can be confused that Dumbledore knocked them out with single spell (or two). My answer will just point out the confusion and rewrite the whole quote to a simpler English. With that cleared up, I hope OP can now make more sense of that original quote. – Sufendy Apr 8 '15 at 6:04

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