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(1) Harry and Hermione dashed across to him.

(2) 'Ron - are you OK? '

(3)'Where's the dog? '

(4) 'Not a dog,' Ron moaned. His teeth were gritted with pain. 'Harry, it's a trap -'

(5)'What-'

(6) 'He's the dog... he's an Animagus ...' Ron was staring over Harry's shoulder. Harry wheeled around. With a snap, the man in the shadows closed the door behind them.

First, who is saying what? I can't determine, Harry or Hermione? And how do you determine, please tell me, it will help.

And why "behind them" not "him"? He was a man.

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    I've numbered the parts. >> (a) Who utters line (2) cannot be determined from the text, though Hermione usually speaks in a less colloquial register than this. See the film (monitored by J K Rowling). / (b) It is very likely that if Harry uttered (2), Hermione utters (3) (and vice versa). / (4) is obviously Ron speaking; 'moan' is the non-central quotative verb. / (5) is most likely but not necessarily Harry speaking. /// When people (plural) have entered a room, the one standing nearest the door can shut the door behind them [all]. Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 10:41
  • Why does it matter? Naming the speakers would have slowed the pace. Rowling would have told us who says what if it had mattered. Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 14:02

2 Answers 2

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(1) Harry and Hermione dashed across to him.

(2) 'Ron - are you OK?' most likely Hermione - females tend to worry about health.

(3)'Where's the dog?' most likely Harry - Harry wants facts.

(4) 'Not a dog,' Ron moaned. His teeth were gritted with pain. 'Harry, it's a trap -'

(5)'What-' - most likely Harry in response to "Harry, it's a trap."

(6) 'He's the dog... he's an Animagus ...' Ron was staring over Harry's shoulder. Harry wheeled around. With a snap, the man in the shadows closed the door behind them. = all three of them.

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  • I'd suggest that "them" is Harry and Hermione who have just entered the room. The man in the shadows was already in the room with Ron. Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 12:32
  • @KillingTime In the room are Harry, Hermione, and Ron. The gist is that the man in the room, who was not a part of the group, did not close the door so much "behind himself" or behind them all, but behind "them", i.e. so as to trap Harry, Hermione, and Ron.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 15:15
  • Regarding your justification for (2) and (3) - in the story, Harry’s the one with weaponised love and Hermione’s the fact finder extraordinaire.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 17:05
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First bit: "Harry and Hermione" are mentioned.
The relevant subject is "Harry", who just happens to be accompanied by Hermione, thus the unattributed speech after that is by Harry.
It could just as well have been "Harry and the gang", in which context the following speech is obviously by Harry. If it was Hermione responding to Ron, then she would have been mentioned explicitly.

Second part: "Closed the door behind them"
This "them" refers to the whole group, including the person that is closing the door. There is an implication that it is the only door to that room, as an identical action when they are not trapped as a result, would indeed have been "closed the door behind him". By stating the door is closed behind "them" the sentence also includes the students in the meaning because not only is the door closed, but it is now closed for them, trapping them.

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    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 12:16

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