That third night he found his way more quickly than before. He was walking so fast he knew he was making more noise than was wise, but he didn't meet anyone.

I don't understand the structure of "making more noise than was wise". I guess it means if he managed in a wise way, he wouldn't be making so much noise. But I'm not sure if my understanding is correct. Can someone help to explain its structure and meaning?

-- Excerpted from Harry Potter.

  • 2
    Your assumption is correct. It would have been wise, or preferable, in this use, to make less noise... but he was hurrying. Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


You're correct. The excerpt is saying that (Harry Potter, I presume) made his way slowly, carefully, and quietly through the forest on the first two nights. On the third night, however - perhaps because he knew his way through the woods better or perhaps for some other reason - he was tearing through the woods quickly. His foot speed did not allow for him to avoid stepping on noisy branches, etc. His feet met the ground with a heavier thud, like when you're on the second story of a house and you run across the room and you can hear your footsteps much louder. The enchanted forest was a very dangerous place and the only reason his recklessness didn't attract attention from something dark and evil was simply luck.

  • Harry was actually trying to find the room where the mirror of Eliesed was put. But I haven't put enough context in my question. Sorry.
    – dan
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 23:28
  • Ah well anyway take the concept and apply it to trapsing about the corridors. Hope my answer was helpful
    – Jessica
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 15:41

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