He hadn't told anyone about the Grim, not even Ron and Hermione, because he knew Ron would panic and Hermione would scoff. The fact remained, however, that it had now appeared twice, and both appearances had been followed by near-fatal accidents; the first time, he had nearly been run over by the Knight Bus; the second, fallen fifty feet from his broomstick. Was he going to spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder for the beast?

And then there were the Dementors. Harry felt sick and humiliated every time he thought of them. Everyone said the Dementors were horrible, but no one else collapsed every time they went near one ... no one else heard echoes in their head of their dying parents.

Because Harry knew who that screaming voice belonged to now. He had heard her words, heard them over and over again during the night hours in the hospital wing while he lay awake, staring at the strips of moonlight on the ceiling. ...

"Because Harry knew who that screaming voice belonged to now." looks like an incomplete sentence, but ended with a full stop instead. I suspect if it's a special use of the word 'because'? Any thoughts?

  • 2
    It's an incomplete sentence. Incomplete sentences are used all the time in spoken English, and many authors occasionally use them in fiction. You should avoid them in formal writing. Not because they're hard to understand, but because it isn't the custom to use them. Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 10:39
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    Could you include some of the preceding text? That "because" seems to refer to something that has been mentioned before.
    – RubioRic
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 10:41
  • Semantically it is a continuation of an earlier context, like the answer to a question, in which the main verb of the question is understood to be present. Please include the preceding sentence.
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 10:42
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    It is a complete sentence, but one that has radical ellipsis. It's most likely a response to a question, where the answer has been reduced to just a single element, in this case a because preposition phrase. For example, A: Why wasn't he afraid", B: "Because Harry knew who that screaming voice belonged to now", where the response is an elliptical version of "He wasn't afraid because Harry knew who that screaming voice belonged to now".
    – BillJ
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 10:53
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    It appears to be explaining Harry's singular reactions to the voice: "Harry felt sick and humiliated... no one else collapsed [as he did] every time they went near one...heard echoes of their dying parents [as he did]". Harry had these reactions because Harry knew ...
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


BillJ has already answered in the comments.

Why did Harry feel sick in the presence of Dementors? Because he heard echoes in his head of his dying parents. His parents? Yes, because he knew who that screaming voice belonged to now: her mother.

The two questions are not explicitly written in the text but Rowling is explaining there why Harry felt sick when there were Dementors around.

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