That Mysterious Flying Motorcycle
There is a question that’s been bugging me ever since the beginning of OotP when Kingsley Shacklebolt mentions it to Arthur in the MoM. Who has Sirius Black’s motorcycle? This really seems like an important question to me because of this excerpt from the World Book Day chat:
Q: Whatever happened to Sirius’ flying motorbike?
A: Ah, good question. You’ll find out, but the real sleuths among you should be able to guess.
Obviously this is a question that will be addressed in future books, so it must be of some importance.
The first we hear of the bike is in SS pg. 14:
“…and a huge motorcycle fell out of the air and landed on the road in front of them.”
Again on the same page:
“Hagrid,” said Dumbledore, sounding relieved, “At last. And where did you get that motorcycle?”
“Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir,” said the giant. “Young Sirius Black lent it to me.”
Right off the bat, before we even know about wizards, we find out about this flying motorcycle (sounds like a subtle JKR clue about its importance to me). So, the bike belongs to Black, who “lent” it to Hagrid. Hagrid expresses his intent on pg. 16 to take Sirius his bike back, but as we well know that will be impossible, as Sirius is about to be hauled off to Azkaban. The last person known to be in possession of the bike is Hagrid. So, what did he do with it? Well the biggest clue is in OotP.
“I need as much information as possible on flying muggle vehicles sighted in the last twelve months. We’ve received information that Black might still be using his old motorcycle.”
-Kingsley to Arthur, pg. 132
Since Kingsley is in the Order, knows Black is innocent, and is feeding the Ministry false information as to his whereabouts, it’s clear Sirius is NOT still using his bike. Besides, why would he need it when he has Buckbeak? Now Hagrid could have given it to any of the Order members to aid in missions, spywork, etc., but that doesn’t make sense either. Thanks to Kingsley’s tip, the entire Ministry will be looking for the motorcycle, which, if anyone in the Order was using it, would be really stupid (after all, the Order is hiding from Voldemort AND the Ministry). Hagrid says himself:
“He loved that motorbike, what was he givin’ it ter me for? Why wouldn’ he need it anymore? Fact was, it was too easy ter trace.”
-Hagrid, PoA, pg. 206
The bike was too easy to trace, so NO ONE in their right minds would be using it. That would be a big flashing neon sign saying “I’m doing something fishy. Arrest me!” So, what do you do with something you can’t use but don’t want to throw away? You hide it. In my mind, there are only two possibilities for what Hagrid did with the bike.
1. He set it loose in the Forbidden Forest. I got this idea from The Magic Quill and it’s quite plausible. Hagrid set Fluffy loose in there (from a chat with JKR), and don’t forget the Flying Ford Anglia!2. Hagrid is keeping it to give to Harry when the time is right.
While both of these scenarios are plausible, I think the second is more likely, simply because after all the furor over Voldemort’s downfall and Black being taken to Azkaban, I could see Hagrid going to Dumbledore and asking him what to do with it. Dumbledore would tell him, maybe for lack of something better to do with it, to keep it hidden. Then, when Black is found to be innocent, the intent would be to save it for Harry. So, in the next two books Harry might be receiving an important inheritance.