In the very first book, Harry along with the rest of us were introduced to the portraits of Hogwarts. As you'd expect from any medieval castle, the pictures contained chivalrous characters in battle, portraits of famous and powerful people long deceased, and vast landscapes occupied by animals, or various mythic creatures. That said, there is one subtle difference between the images of the Wizarding World's and ours -- in the former, they move.
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The Mystery of the Paintings
It is seen throughout the series that pictures are able to talk to living human beings. The Fat Lady, Sir Cadogan, Phineas Nigellus Black, Dumbledoreâ€¦all have spoken to various characters in the books, and are treated as if they were actually there. But Dumbledore clearly stated that no spell can reawaken the dead in Goblet of Fire (page 697).
Pondering About Paintings In the Alohomora! discussion about chapter 7 and 8, they started talking about portraits and if they were imprints or could think for themselves. That got me to thinking, and that's when I started thinking about the capabilities of the portraits.
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