Harry felt as though he had barely lain down to steep in Ron's room when he was being shaken awake by Mrs. Weasley.

“Time to go, Harry, dear,” she whispered, moving away to wake Ron.

Harry felt around for his glasses, put them on, and sat up. It was still dark outside. Ron muttered indistinctly as his mother roused him. At the foot of Harry's mattress he saw two large, disheveled shapes emerging from tangles of blankets.

“'S time already?” said Fred groggily.

They dressed in silence, too sleepy to talk, then, yawning and stretching, the four of them headed downstairs into the kitchen.

I don't know what "two large, disheveled shapes" refer to. Are they persons, Fred and Ron maybe? It's really miserable.

  • This is not a question about the English language but about understanding what an author has written apparently intending to be briefly mysterious. We know no more than you do who or what those shapes are. I haven't read the books but judging from the movies, it's the twins, one of whom is identified in the very next sentence.
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 18:13
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo So, what does "at the foot of Harry's mattress" mean exactly? Is it opposite to where his head's located?
    – dan
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 20:18
  • At the end of the mattress opposite the headboard. The edge close to where the sleeper's feet are.
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 21:01

3 Answers 3


In the Potter books, I am not sure it is fair to infer that creatures are necessarily humans. As I read it, there seem to four sleeping in the room: Ron in one bed, Harry in the other, and two, one of whom is named Fred, at the foot of Harry's bed. Presumably, this gets clarified either before or after the quoted sentences.


I believe that J.K. Rowling here means that there were two misshapen shapes emerging from the blankets. Imagine something like this:
two dogs in a blanket

The blankets were disheveled by the objects inside them. (The objects being two people presumably)


Both Harry and Ron are already mentioned, so my guess is we're meant to assume the two large, disheveled shapes are Fred and George, since they are the other two people in the room. Plus, throughout the series, the Weasley twins almost always appear and act together.

In this context "disheveled" does not mean "unhappy". It's more how someone looks when they have just woken up, before they have a chance to wash and/or groom themselves, e.g. "bed-head".

  • As a side, I don't understand your use of "we're meant to...". Maybe, you meant "they're meant to..."? Can you help to explain that a bit? Thanks!
    – dan
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 0:18
  • @dan Rowling (the author) means (intends) that we (the readers) should understand the ambiguous reference is to Fred and George. But this might be a good subject for a separate question, how to properly use this definition of "to mean to" or the passive "to be meant to". That way I'd have room to give more examples.
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 0:26
  • I see. I was confused because usually I only saw 'things' is the subject of "be meant to", not a person or persons.
    – dan
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 0:47
  • I managed to find this in a dictionary: You're meant to(you are supposed to) pay before you go in. Is this use the same as yours? Can we take "to be meant" as "to be supposed to"?
    – dan
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 0:55
  • 1
    @dan Yes, that's it, although there is a difference in usage and nuance. Someone has to mean for you to do something, whereas supposed to has no actor. Example: Hillary Clinton was supposed to be the first woman US president (expectation this goal would happen) vs. Hillary Clinton was meant to be the first woman US president (active effort towards this goal).
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 1:59

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