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... On the way, Harry filled Ron in on everything Sirius had told him about Karkaroff. Though shocked at first to hear that Karkaroff had been a Death Eater, by the time they entered the Owlery Ron was saying that they ought to have suspected it all along.

Fits, doesn't it?” he said. “Remember what Malfoy said on the train, about his dad being friends with Karkaroff? Now we know where they knew each other. They were probably running around in masks together at the World Cup.…

I figure "fits" here means something like: "it fits for the situation" or "that makes sense". But I don't know if my understanding is correct? Is it short for something?

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"fits", in this context, indeed means "makes sense".

be compatible or in agreement with; match.

(from Google)

The question, "Fits, doesn't it?", is trying to convey the idea that what they know about Karkaroff indeed matches the situation and there is no contradiction.

6

“Fits, doesn't it?”

To expand this to the full sentence the word "fits" is expressing everything below that is in bold

All the information we have and everybody's actions all make sense, doesn't it?

I hope you do jigsaws as this analogy will work a lot better if you do :)

Imagine the story to be a jigsaw, all the clues are jigsaw pieces, You have lots of pieces, some are together making a picture, but there are some gaps still. This new piece fits nicely into one of the gaps filling in more of the picture.

Thanks to @AC for reminding me of this.

  • That's a very interesting way to look at it! Thanks! – dan Dec 18 '18 at 12:13
  • I think mentioning puzzle pieces really helps this answer to explain the sense of OP's quote. I would, however, argue that when "something fits" it's not necessarily the last piece of the puzzle. It's just one more piece, and that piece fits nicely with the other pieces (as opposed to something which doesn't fit, which would be a bit of information that contradicts other facts/assumptions). We have other, related expressions for "the final piece of the puzzle" (or "the missing piece") and when "all the pieces come together" or when they fall or fit into place. – A C Dec 18 '18 at 20:18
  • @AC yes I agree with you, will edit to say that – WendyG Dec 19 '18 at 10:03
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It is elliptical:

[It] fits, doesn't it?

It means "to jibe, to agree".

For the ellipsis compare:

We should paint the ceiling first and then the walls. That way we won't splatter the walls with ceiling paint.
-- Makes sense.

Such ellipsis is very common in informal conversation.

We painted the room.
-- Looks good!

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