Updating Dumbledore: When he knew things

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Updating Dumbledore: When he knew things

Post  Elanor on Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:23 am

Updating Dumbledore: When he knew things

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. Elanor

vball man - Aug 27, 2007 8:37 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Sep 26, 2007 4:35 am
I don't know if this sort of thread is desired or not.
The purpose is to assist the Lexicon in updating Dumbledore's timeline.
Specifically I want to focus on what Dumbledore knew and when he knew it - if we can figure that out with enough certainty for it to be added to the timeline.

If we can't be sure enough to add something to the timeline, I still want to talk about when Dumbledore knew things like: "Harry is a horcrux."
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Updating Dumbledore: When he knew things (Post 1 to 50)

Post  Elanor on Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:24 am

rambkowalczyk - Aug 28, 2007 8:21 am (#1 of 116)
When did Dumbledore learn that Harry was a Horcrux.

My brief timeline

1. He knew of Harry's scar as a baby. He would have known that an AK curse doesn't leave a trace. On the other hand an AK curse had never bounced off. At this time he probably knew that Voldemort was seeking Immortality but had no proof of what method he was using.

2 After Harry explained what happened in the chamber of secrets. He recognized that the diary was a Horcrux and it made him wonder why he was so careless choosing a horcrux that wasn't meant to be hidden. So Dumbledore thought of the unthinkable--Voldemort made more than one horcrux. It is at this point Dumbledore says to Harry that he is Parseltongue because there is something of Voldemort in Harry as a result of Godric's Hollow.

This seems to be the most likely time that Dumbledore concluded that Harry might be a horcrux. Important to note that at this time Dumbledore isn't really aware that Harry's scar hurts him.

3 I don't think that Dumbledore knows about any link between Harry's scar and Voldemort under the beginning of Harry's fourth year. I suspect Sirius Black told Dumbledore right away after he got Harry's letter.

Just as important as discovering that Harry is a Horcrux is when did Dumbledore start doing his inquiries of Tom Riddle. Before 1970 which seems to be the accepted start of Voldemort's reign, (in SS, Dumbledore says to Minerva on the day after Halloween in 1981, about 11 long years with nothing to celebrate.), between 1970-1981, 1981-1990, (after Voldemort's defeat but before Harry goes to Hogwarts), or after Harry goes to Hogwarts (this is when Voldemort seems to make is first appearance as something other than vapormort.

Specifically when did Dumbledore 1 interview Bob Ogdon 2 interview Morphin in Azkaban 3 interview Hokey the House Elf 4 get the tampered memory of Slughorn--my guess is sometime after COS 5 interview the lady at the orphanage

I was thinking the interviews happened during Voldemort's first reign when Dumbledore decided he should get to know his enemy. But this would mean that Morphin was in Azkaban for over 25 years. Can one survive that long in Azkaban? Also Hokey was pretty old in the late 40's and early 50's when Tom was working at Borgin and Burkes. Would she still be around in 1970?

If Dumbledore did some of these interviews in the late 50's or early 60's one has to ask why? Was Voldemort even dangerous back then?

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Soul Search - Aug 28, 2007 4:44 pm (#2 of 116)

vball man,

I really like your idea of figuring out when Dumbledore knew various things. Bit daunting, though. I wonder if we should give some thought to methodology or process? rambkowalczyk has made a good start, but it will be sort of lost as posts accumulate. I wonder if we should have two topics: one for discussion, another for conclusions, or whatever. Is it possible to have a post that is always open, perhaps only to the originator?

Anyway, my two knuts.

When did Dumbledore learn that Harry was a Horcrux.

In SS, we learn from Hagrid (talking to Harry) that Dumbledore knew Voldemort was not gone and that he would, eventually, come back. Far as we know, the only way for a body to die, but the soul to not "cross over." is a horcrux. To make the statement Voldemort was coming back, Dumbledore had to have known he had made (at least) one horcrux.

In SS, #4 Privet Drive scene, McGonagall asks Dumbledore if Voldemort is really gone. He replies (something like) "It would seem so." Bit of doubt there.

Dumbledore put Harry with the Dursleys to protect him, mostly from Voldemort. He had to have thought Voldemort was around, in some form. Or Voldemort would come back. Either way, he had to have concluded Voldemort had made a horcrux.

Dumbledore confirms all this in his talk with Harry at the end of OotP, but I will have to check to see if it really applies.

I would suggest Dumbledore knew Harry was a horcrux when he put him on the Dursley's doorstep. He might have, at that time, thought Harry was the only horcrux.

Does the prophecy say Harry has to be a horcrux? Reading it after the fact, so to speak, it seems so, but could Dumbledore have drawn that conclusion just after Godric's Hollow?

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TomProffitt - Aug 28, 2007 7:48 pm (#3 of 116)

Bullheaded empiricist
I think we know from the pensieve scene in HBP where Riddle is seeking a job from DD that it would be known at this point that there was a horcrux. Riddle's changed appearance was evident to Harry in that scene. I think DD would have suspected a horcrux then, which is what about 1960?

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rambkowalczyk - Aug 28, 2007 8:01 pm (#4 of 116)

Far as we know, the only way for a body to die, but the soul to not "cross over." is a horcrux. ...he had to have concluded Voldemort had made a horcrux.

Well there is the Sorcerer's Stone. Now one can say that the Stone is not perfect because one must continually drink the Elixir of Life. But a Horcrux isn't perfect either because a Horcrux can be destroyed.

The point is Voldemort (In GOF,) says he's done many experiments to achieve immortality and that one of them had succeeded. It can be interpreted that there are unnamed ways of achieving Immortality. It is possible that he was referring to his 5 horcruxes (diary, cup, ring, tiara, locket), but it is possible that there may be other ways to avoid death.

He might have, at that time, thought Harry was the only horcrux.

To Dumbledore's way of thinking, Voldemort only made one Horcrux, not many. Can we agree that Dumbledore didn't start to think of multiple Horcruxes until after COS? This means that Voldemort may have made one Horcrux, but the Horcrux he made wasn't Harry as Dumbledore believes that what happened to Harry was unintentional.

If Voldemort's soul was intact at the time he killed Lily and James (that is he he didn't make any Horcrux) then why should his soul split in two upon being hit with the rebounding AK curse. It's never happened before. Why would Dumbledore think that a whole soul would break up?

If Voldemort made one Horcrux prior to attempting to kill Harry, then Dumbledore might conclude that because Voldemort's soul was already split that the rebounding curse could have fragmented it. In this case Dumbledore would have concluded that two Horcruxes were made: one intentional, one accidental.

Does the prophecy say Harry has to be a horcrux?

I think the prophecy is deliberately vague and although horcruxes fit the explanation, there were probably other explanations as well.

Dumbledore put Harry with the Dursleys to protect him, mostly from Voldemort...

and from other Death Eaters. Look what happened to the Longbottoms.

Already we got a tangled web of possibilities.

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poohnpiglettt - Aug 28, 2007 8:41 pm (#5 of 116)

I'm wondering when/how did Dumbledore know Lily died trying to save Harry. I've just started rereading the series. I just finished Sorcerer's Stone. LV tells Harry that his mother was trying to protect him but Dumbledore does not seem to know at the beginning of the book--indeed, he says they may never know what happened at Godric's Hallow--but he leaves Harry with his aunt because the blood tie. At the end, however, DD tells Harry his mother had died to save him. Since only LV knew since he had been there and Harry knew since LV had told him, how did DD know? Did he just make a conclusion based on the fact of the scar and that LV was gone, at least temporarily?

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mona amon - Aug 28, 2007 9:38 pm (#6 of 116)

I think he came to the conclusion based on what Snape told him about asking Voldemort to spare Lily's life. So when he sees Harry unharmed except for the scar, and no signs of Voldemort, he must have guessed correctly that Voldemort gave Lily a choice to get out of the way, and that she sacrificed herself to try and sheild Harry.

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NFla Barbara - Aug 29, 2007 8:14 am (#7 of 116)

This relates to a question I had at the end of DH.

After Harry says to LV that Snape always loved his mother ("he asked you to spare her life, didn't he?") LV sneers "He desired her...but when she had gone, he agreed that there were other women, and of purer blood, worthier of him---"

Initially I took this to mean that Snape and LV communicated after Lily's death. But that cannot be. Or maybe "when she had gone" means "when she left and went into hiding," although that's a stretch. OR maybe it means that after LV came back in GoF, Snape allowed him to think that he agreed Lily had not been worthy of him.

But on second thought none of this would have allowed Snape to confirm what DD suspected went on at Godric's Hollow, so we are left with an educated guess on DD's part (but, as he says, his guesses are very often right).

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Soul Search - Aug 29, 2007 8:21 am (#8 of 116)

TomProffitt brought up Voldemort's appearance when he met with Dumbledore. Way back on the Horcrux thread a progression of changes to Voldemort's appearance was noted, starting with the red glint in his eyes when he saw the cup and locket, through his meeting with Dumbledore, to his appearance in the graveyard. It seems to fit that Voldemort's change in appearance reflects the number of horcruxes he had made on each occasion we saw him.

Some time after he became headmaster, Dumbledore removed the books in the library that referenced horcruxes. Hermione discovered them in his office (via an accio.) No doubt, Dumbledore was interested in horcruxes then.

Let me suggest Dumbledore suspicioned Voldemort had made at least one, and probably more than one, horcrux after seeing Voldemort in his office. Dumbledore had to have been sure of one horcrux. He didn't, in his "have to be absolutely sure" way, know that Voldemort had made multiple horcruxes, but Voldemort's appearance had to have strongly suggested it.

It might also be Dumbledore talked to Slughorn and got the altered memory around this time. (Why he would think to go to Slughorn is a mystery, though. Slughorn may need some more thought.)

I can't recall any hint Dumbledore suspicioned Voldemort had made a horcrux before the office meeting with Voldemort.

So, let me propose:

Dumbledore first knew Voldemort had made at least one horcrux, and strongly suspicioned more than one horcrux, after seeing Voldemort, and noting his appearance, at their office meeting. Dumbledore retrieved the library books and researched horcruxes, to support his suspicions, at that time. Slughorn's altered memory would have helped.

The diary horcrux in CoS only confirmed Dumbledore's earlier suspicion of multiple horcruxes and provided a convenient reference for explaining multiple horcruxes to Harry. (Dumbledore didn't go into Voldemort's changed appearance.)
rambkowalczyk,

The Elixir of Life extends the life of a body, but doesn't anchor the soul. Voldemort was so afraid of death that the Elixir would not have been sufficient for him. He had to make horcruxes so his soul would never cross over. He, likely, did use other means to protect his body. He had to make horcurxes to anchor his soul.

I agree, after the previous look at things, that Dumbledore had to have known Voldemort had made at least one horcrux before Godric's Hollow, so would not have thought Harry was the only horcrux.

At the end of OotP, Dumbledore tells Harry Voldemort was planning to make a horcrux with Harry's murder. When did he figure this out? The only information he could have had were the events of Godric's Hollow and Harry's scar. He did know Voldemort had made a horcrux, so the possibility was there. Harry speaking Parsletongue might have confirmed the soul-bit in Harry, but Dumbledore had to have thought it long before that.

We wonder why Dumbledore didn't visit #4 Privet Drive. He didn't want to see Harry, and get to know him. Dumbledore knew Harry was destined to die. It would be easier if he didn't get to know Harry and, perhaps, become too fond of him.

"... and from other Death Eaters."

Yes, however, if Dumbledore was only worried about Death Eaters he could have provided an easier means of protection. Harry had to be protected from Voldemort, and the "where your mother's blood dwells" charm was the best way.

Already we got a tangled web of possibilities.

As always.

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legolas returns - Aug 29, 2007 11:43 am (#9 of 116)

I always thought that Dumbledore did not know about the Horcruxes until CS. He noted that Voldemort had gone past natural evil but I thought that he put that down to the worst kind of magic that Voldemort had performed rather than pinning it on Horcruxes specifically. The speach at the end of GOF told Dumbledore that there were more Horcruxes. Though Dumbledore might have suspected this after seeing the diary and how easily it could be activated. I am not sure when Dumbledore removed the Horcrux book.

I am sure that Dumbledore may have suspected a conection between Voldemort/Harry when he first saw Baby Harrys scar.

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TomProffitt - Aug 29, 2007 1:07 pm (#10 of 116)

Bullheaded empiricist
I concur with Soul Search's post. That pretty much fits my line of thinking.

This discussion got me thinking about Hagrid's line in SS/PS "Some say he died. Codswallop, in my opinion. Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die...." Seems to me that Hagrid suspected LV had had a horcrux. So, what makes DD unique, then, is deducing the multiple horcruxes.

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legolas returns - Aug 29, 2007 2:41 pm (#11 of 116)

Can I offer an alternative view point?

On P471 OOP uk-"I have made it my business for many years to discover as much as I can about Voldemorts past life."

P467 OOP (uk) "Four years ago, I received what I considere certain proof that Voldemort had split his soul."

P468 "What you described was a phenomonen I had never witnessed". A few lines later "No, something much more sinister had lived inside that book...a fragment of soul, I was almost sure of it. The diary had been a Horcrux." I think that this is the Dumbledores first proof that Voldemort had made at least one Horcrux.

"The careless way in which Voldemort regarded this horcrux seemed most ominous to me. It suggested that he must have made - or be planning to make - more Horcruxes, so the loss of his first would not be so detrimental. I did not wish to believe it, but nothing else seemed to make sense." This suggests that he did not know there were multiple Horcurxes until the end of CS. I am going to assume that this is the stage when Dumbledore asks Slughorn for the memory.

Voldemorts speech "Further than anybody along the path to immortality."

Dumbledore "yet it fitted: Lord Voldemort had seemed to grow less human with the passing years, and the transformation he had undergone seemed to me to be only explicable if his soul was mutilated beyond the realms of what we might cause usual evil....". This suggests that Dumbledore has found a cause for the effect he saw.

I think most people would have seen how Voldemort became less human but in order to know what a Horcrux was they would need to be looking into Dark Magic. I seriously doubt that Hagrid had the magical knowledge. Only the darkest of Magic books mentions them.

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Choices - Aug 29, 2007 5:49 pm (#12 of 116)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
I agree with you, Legolas, about Hagrid not possessing the knowledge about Horcruxes when he made that statement. I think it was an innocent remark on Hagrid's part that turned out to have a very sinister truth to it.

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vball man - Aug 29, 2007 6:22 pm (#13 of 116)

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot loose. - Jim Elliot
DD knew Voldy was coming back when he chose to put Harry at the Dursleys. (Office scene at end of OoP.

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rambkowalczyk - Aug 29, 2007 7:26 pm (#14 of 116)

He didn't, in his "have to be absolutely sure" way, know that Voldemort had made multiple horcruxes, but Voldemort's appearance had to have strongly suggested it. Soul Search

I think at this point I'm going to make a general statement of agreeing to disagree. The arguments that Soul Search and Tom Proffitt make that Dumbledore could have suspected horcruxs when Tom interviewed for the DADA job are plausible. So are the arguments that Dumbledore didn't suspect until after COS. I'm on the fence.

My main reason that I think that Dumbledore didn't do any investigation until after 1970( after Voldemort's first reign)is because why should he? Oh darn, I think I can answer this. He was still bothered by Myrtle's death, so he probably not only investigated Tom Riddle, but also the Death Eaters he surrounded himself with.

But even given that, why would Dumbledore suspect Tom made a Horcrux when he came in for the interview. What proof did he have of Tom's desire for immortality? Red eyes? Maybe all sorts of Dark Magic can make Red eyes. Why does it have to be a Horcrux? Is that a side effect listed in that book of Dark Magic that Dumbledore confiscated?

At this point, we don't know if that book was confiscated when he first became Headmaster or when he suspected that Tom used Horcruxes.

We wonder why Dumbledore didn't visit #4 Privet Drive. Soul Search

Your reasoning is sound. But If Dumbledore really suspected that Voldemort's soul was trapped in a baby, wouldn't he be worried that the baby would be possessed? And would leaving Voldemort in the hands of hateful Muggles be a wise thing to do? Voldemort could do alot of wandless magic. Frankly I think he would want to visit on an occasional basis to see how Harry acts.

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poohnpiglettt - Aug 29, 2007 11:50 pm (#15 of 116)

Is it known if DD ever willingingly, knowingly lied to Harry? Not through omitting knowledge or releasing what he knew little by little, but actively lying? In Sorcerer's Stone, he tells Harry at the end that he would never lie to him, although he might hold off on information (of course, the "wool socks" comment from the Mirror or Erised was before that conversation so I'm guessing it doesn't count, if he indeed was lying). I tend to believe that he does tell Harry the truth as he knows it or remembers it so up until HBP, everything he had told him directly was true. I don't necessarily count DH because in the place where Harry was, even though I think it was DD talking to him, I think its possible that info could be skewed. Not exactly lying, but in the spiritual world where they are, details might get lost in the realm of the more important events that happened. So that could explain some of the inconsistencies there.

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Mrs Brisbee - Aug 30, 2007 3:31 am (#16 of 116)

Dumbledore tells Harry that Snape was trying to protect him because his dad had saved his life, which was a lie about Snape's motives. That also took place before the promise not to lie, but right before, as it was part of the same conversation in PS/SS.

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Xenophilius - Aug 30, 2007 5:27 am (#17 of 116)

Mrs Brisbee - that Snape was trying to protect him because his dad had saved his life, which was a lie about Snape's motives.

Actually the quote is: "I do believe he worked so hard to protect you this year because he felt that would him and your father even." (underlining added) This statement was made after Dumbledore told Harry he would not lie to him.

Dumbledore probably did believe this was part of Snape's motivation.

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Mrs Brisbee - Aug 30, 2007 5:32 am (#18 of 116)

Was it after?! I could swear it was before, but I don't have my book handy.

It sounds like an outright lie to me. Dumbedore's version of Snape's feelings on the matter don't tally with Snape's stated feelings on the matter. I really don't think Dumbledore ever felt James was Snape's motive for protecting Harry.

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Xenophilius - Sep 7, 2007 6:07 pm (#19 of 116)

Not me. Over the years I have believed a lot of things that later turned out not to be true. Does that mean I am lying when I state my beliefs and I am later proved wrong?

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Mrs Brisbee - Aug 30, 2007 5:55 am (#20 of 116)

That would assume Dumbledore believed it to be true. From "The Prince's Tale" we know that Dumbledore asked Snape to protect Harry for Lily's sake. We know that Snape agreed with Dumbledore for Lily's sake. There is no suggestion at all that Dumbledore thinks that Snape feels he owes James anything, or that Snape ever felt he owed James anything.

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TomProffitt - Aug 30, 2007 5:56 am (#21 of 116)

Bullheaded empiricist
Back tracking a bit.

I don't think that there is a discrepancy with DD suspecting Riddle made a horcrux at the job interview (1957 according to the Lexicon).

DD did not yet at this point have any reason to investigate Riddle with the need to fight him in mind. That is, for all the "Bad Things" LV was certainly doing he was not yet "a Dark Lord" in need of vanquishing. The need to fight LV and begin researching him would not occur for another 10 or more years.

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Soul Search - Aug 30, 2007 6:05 am (#22 of 116)

rambkowalczyk,

I am inclined to go with a date for Dumbledore starting his investigations of Tom Riddle earlier than the end of CoS for a couple of reasons.

If Dumbledore didn't start investigating until the end of CoS it would mean he gathered all the memories we saw in HBP between the end of CoS and the beginning of HBP. About three years. We don't have any suggestion that Dumbledore was gone from Hogwarts a lot during those years. Morfin is a particular problem: it would have meant he lived in Azkaban prison for over fifty years after Riddle killed Riddle Sr.

In Slughorn's memory he tells Tom Riddle he won't find much information in the Hogwarts library about horcruxes because Dumbledore had removed it. So, Dumbledore had the dark arts books about horcruxes before then. Why? I would consider it likely Dumbledore knew Tom Riddle had been using those books and removed them when he became headmaster. We have Hermione's suggestion in DH that Tom Riddle had probably used those very books to learn about horcruxes. Seems to fit. That would place Dumbledore's suspicions about horcruxes before Slughorn's memory.

Tom Riddle's changed appearance is well noted in the text. Dumbledore saw the changes. Riddle was still at Hogwarts after the Diary and Ring horcruxes were made. He even wore the ring. Dumbledore likely saw the changed Riddle then. He is a skilled wizard and had all the information on horcruxes. He had to have, at least, suspicioned Tom Riddle was making horcruxes. By the time Riddle came to visit Dumbledore his changed appearance was dramatic. Dumbledore had to have guessed what had caused the changes.

You mentioned Myrtle's death. I agree Dumbledore started investigating Tom Riddle after that and some of the memories could have been obtained during that process, rather than specifically targeted to horcruxes. Still, the more Dumbledore looked, the more suspicion of horcruxes would have surfaced.

"But If Dumbledore really suspected that Voldemort's soul was trapped in a baby ..."

I agree, even my sound reasoning still doesn't account for Dumbledore practically ignoring Harry for ten years. Still a bit of a puzzle there.

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Xenophilius - Aug 30, 2007 6:17 am (#23 of 116)

Mrs Brisbee - There is no suggestion at all that Dumbledore thinks that Snape feels he owes James anything, or that Snape ever felt he owed James anything.

Except Dumbledore's statement that that is what he believed.

Edited to add: Keep in mind that Dumbledore was barred from telling Harry more because of his promise to Snape.

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NFla Barbara - Aug 30, 2007 4:34 pm (#24 of 116)

Here's how the DD comment makes sense to me. Maybe it's not Snape feeling "indebted" to James...but he DID owe him one, in a sense. So now he's met Harry and despises him too, and perhaps (since he does have a conscience, however deeply buried) realizes how distasteful that is...if he slacked off in protecting Harry, he would be letting his dislike of James triumph over his promise to Lily. So he could not slack off. It is not the whole truth, but it is part of the truth, and DD told Harry as much as he could.

As for the timing...I agree that DD had been investigating/suspecting for a long time, particularly after seeing Tom Riddle's changed appearance. I can't decide when he suspected something special about Harry's scar, though. At the beginning of SS he says he wouldn't change it even if he could, so that seems to indicate he suspects it is special from the beginning, even if he does not suspect it is a Horcrux. By the end of CoS I think he definitely suspects, because he has learned that Harry can speak Parseltongue and tells Harry that he suspects LV transferred some of his power to Harry that night. Again, this could be a partial truth. He may actually suspect a Horcrux then, but it is too soon for him to start burdening Harry with that kind of knowledge, so he tells him as much as he thinks he can/should.

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mona amon - Aug 31, 2007 7:05 am (#25 of 116)

I do not believe Snape owed James anything at all for trying to save them all from the consequences of his friend's incredibly foolish and murderous prank, and Snape didn't think so either, as he told Harry in POA. He was protecting Harry because he promised Dumbledore he would protect him, and really, now that he is was a teacher, wouldn't he have protected any student if he could? And surely Dumbledore knew all this. That whole passage seems to me a gross misrepresentation of the facts, and immediately after his assurance that he would tell Harry no lies.

Still, it makes no sense to have Dumbledore to tell lies and twist the facts in that way. My explanation is that this is the first book, and JKR probably intended the James\Snape relationship to be similar to the Harry\Draco relationship. But her characters started evolving and getting away from her, and young James ended up being much more of an arrogant, bullying toerag than she intended at first. So, although at the time she probably meant that passage to be the truth, it was no longer so when she finished the series.

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poohnpiglettt - Sep 1, 2007 3:30 am (#26 of 116)

"Still, it makes no sense to have Dumbledore to tell lies and twist the facts in that way." mona amon

I think DD left out the more important reason of Snape protecting Harry, but I don't think he actually lied.

Right before he tells Harry that he will not lie to him he says "the truth...[DD sighing]...it is a beatuiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution. However, I shall answer you questions unless I have a very good reason not to." Since James did save Snape's life, the life debt he owed to James could have been passed on to Harry. So not the full truth, but I don't see it as being a lie.

The twisted facts happened throughout--like letting Harry know half the prophesy at first and then revealing the rest later. I don't think that makes the information any less truthful--DD is just letting Harry know what he needs to at the given time.

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mona amon - Sep 1, 2007 5:18 am (#27 of 116)

like letting Harry know half the prophesy at first and then revealing the rest later.

When he decides to let Harry know the prophecy, he tells him every word of it, hiding nothing. However, he does use the words, 'I'm going to tell you everything', which wasn't true because he was still hiding the Harrycrux information.

I think DD left out the more important reason of Snape protecting Harry, but I don't think he actually lied.

I do not mean that he lied about James saving Snape's life. That part was the truth. But the rest of what he says sounds very much like lying to me, "Yes...' said Dumbledore dreamily. 'Funny, the way people's minds work, isn't it? Professor Snape couldn't bear being in your father's debt...I do believe he worked so hard to protect you this year because he felt that would make him and your father quits. Then he could go back to hating your father's memory in peace..."

The part about Snape not being able to bear being in James' debt is very far from the truth. He tells Harry very clearly what he thinks about it in POA, that James was saving his own skin as much as Snape's. He clearly feels that they are quits, he doesn't owe James anything. And anyway, when he meets Dumbledore on the windy hill top to warn him that Voldemort is after the Potters, we see that he does not care a jot whether James gets killed or not. He would, if he felt he owed James a life debt.

The whole mendacious explanation is totally unnecessary. Harry only asks whether its true that Snape hated his father.

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Xenophilius - Sep 1, 2007 6:32 am (#28 of 116)

The thing that strikes me about this idea of Snape owing James for saving his life, is Snape's reaction when its mentioned. Both Harry and Lily confront Snape with it and each time his face contorts and he explodes. What is causing such a violent reaction? I think deep down he knows its true and he can't handle the thought that he owed James. Dumbledore's beliefs were most likely correct.

I believe Dumbledore answered Harry's question as he did to let Harry know that Snape was one of his protectors and not his enemy.

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NFla Barbara - Sep 1, 2007 9:40 am (#29 of 116)

I agree, Xeno. What he says in PoA has to be read together with HOW he is acting/reacting. I think DD was telling Harry part of the truth.

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poohnpiglettt - Sep 1, 2007 2:09 pm (#30 of 116)

"The part about Snape not being able to bear being in James' debt is very far from the truth. He tells Harry very clearly what he thinks about it in POA, that James was saving his own skin as much as Snape's."

Snape tells Harry "There was nothing brave about what he did. He was saving his own skin as much as mine. Had their joke succeeded, he would have been expelled from Hogwarts". So James is figuratively, not literally, saving his own skin. He still actually saved Snape's life.

"He clearly feels that they are quits, he doesn't owe James anything."

Snape might not feel that he owes him, but according to DD "when one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain bond between them" making that person, essentially, a "servant in debt" to the person who saved him/her. Again, not sure if this passes on to Harry via James but it seems reasonable.

"And anyway, when he meets Dumbledore on the windy hill top to warn him that Voldemort is after the Potters, we see that he does not care a jot whether James gets killed or not. He would, if he felt he owed James a life debt."

This is my biggest problem with the whole lie/not lie question but I wonder if it matters whether Snape cares or not about James' getting killed since he did hate him. I don't know if Peter Pettigrew really cared whether or not Harry died--he just hesitated and met his own death. Maybe just the person in debt can't kill the person he/she in debt to directly.

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Xenophilius - Sep 1, 2007 3:09 pm (#31 of 116)

methinks Snape doth protest too much!

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mona amon - Sep 3, 2007 4:39 am (#32 of 116)

Snape tells Harry "There was nothing brave about what he did. He was saving his own skin as much as mine. Had their joke succeeded, he would have been expelled from Hogwarts". So James is figuratively, not literally, saving his own skin. He still actually saved Snape's life. (Poohanpiglet)

Actually that's what I meant, figuratively. Snape felt that

1) James was in on the joke (so he was also resposible for Snape's plight)

2) That he saved Snape only because he got cold feet at the last moment.

3) That he was saving Snape's life only 'to save his own skin'.

4) He also felt there was nothing brave about what James did, and he was right. There was no risk to James whatsoever.

Let us also remember that he did not owe James a life debt even technically. JKR has said in an interview that Ginny does not owe Harry a life debt for saving her from the chamber of secrets, so I don't see why Snape owes James for pulling him out of the tunnel.

The thing that strikes me about this idea of Snape owing James for saving his life, is Snape's reaction when its mentioned. Both Harry and Lily confront Snape with it and each time his face contorts and he explodes. What is causing such a violent reaction? (Xenophilius)

No doubt the fact that, not only did James and Sirius try to murder him, James is now considered a big hero for 'saving his life'. LOL! That would cause anybody to explode!

methinks Snape doth protest too much!

Methinks not! I would take his splutterings at face value!

Anyway, back to Dumbledore. I feel that what he tells Harry is partly true. James saved Snape's life, and Snape hated that to happen. But he gives Harry a completely wrong picture about his father's role, as well as Snape's motives, when there was no reason to do so. As a result, Harry finds he does not have a leg to stand on when he confronts Snape with it later, in POA.

'And did the headmaster tell you the circumstances in which your father saved my life?' he whispered. 'Or did he consider the details too unpleasant for precious Potter's delicate ears?'

Harry bit his lip. He did not know what had happened and he did not want to admit it...

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Xenophilius - Sep 3, 2007 6:03 am (#33 of 116)

Methinks yes!

Its not what Snape says so much as how he is reacting. He is rationalizing the event to discount what James has done as mere self interest. His actions and not his words tell me Snape his having difficulty reconciling the event. The fact is JAMES DID SAVE SNAPE. What does that say about Snape that he cannot accept James's couragous act? Yes courageous because James put himself in harms way to get Snape out of that tunnel. James's motivation in my mind is irrelevant. What is relevant is Snape's inability to accept what James has done for him.

What an ungrateful jerk!

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NFla Barbara - Sep 3, 2007 6:21 am (#34 of 116)

mona amon, do you remember where you saw that about Ginny?

What DD says in SS and PoA is that when one wizard saves another's life, it creates a bond between them. So in addition to the idea of a "life debt" there is a bond between the two. I think we have to go by what DD says rather than what is in an interview, unless there is some way to reconcile things.

This is getting a little off-topic from "when DD knew things," but I do think it's important...

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Steve Newton - Sep 3, 2007 6:23 am (#35 of 116)

Librarian
mona amon, I think that James was in danger. Lupin in his wolf form would have attacked anyone.

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mona amon - Sep 3, 2007 8:12 am (#36 of 116)

Yes courageous because James put himself in harms way to get Snape out of that tunnel. (Xenophilius)

mona amon, I think that James was in danger. Lupin in his wolf form would have attacked anyone. (Steve Newton)

James was in the habit of running around the countryside in the company of the werewolf Lupin month after month. How does he suddenly become a risk to his life? All he had to do is transform into his animagus form the way Sirius does when confronted with the transformed Lupin in POA. There was no danger to James whatsoever. It was not a courageous act. He was only saving himself and his friend from serious trouble. No reason for Snape to be grateful to him.

NFla Barbara, she said it on the Melissa-Emerson interview. Here's the quote-

MA: Does she have a life debt to Harry from book two?

JKR: No, not really. Wormtail is different. You know, part of me would just love to explain the whole thing to you, plot of book seven, you know, I honestly would.

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NFla Barbara - Sep 3, 2007 8:23 am (#37 of 116)

Thanks, mona amon. Maybe I will have to add this to the things I'd like to ask her, because I don't think it's whole lot clearer after book 7. What is clear is that Peter did "owe" Harry enough to hesitate in killing him, himself. But DD also did suggest that there was a kind of bond or debt created by James keeping Snape out of the passage. And maybe Ginny did not "owe" Harry anything after the Chamber of Secrets, but there was a bond between them after that -- the two of them had come closer to LV than any other living wizards, except the DEs of course.

I agree James could have saved himself if necessary by turning into his animagus state, but of course he would only have done that as a very last resort -- if he did that in front of Snape, there would have been all kinds of consequences.

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Xenophilius - Sep 3, 2007 8:31 am (#38 of 116)

All that really matters on this thread is does Dumbledore believe that Snape feels that James saved his life. I believe Dumbledore did regardless of Snape's comments. We have no evidence that Dumbledore and Snape even talked about the incident. That would make his statements to Harry truthful. Albeit a partial truth, but Dumbledore needed to respect his promise to Snape not to tell Harry about his role as a protector. If Dumbledore can be faulted it would be his telling Harry that Snape was working to protect Harry throughout the year. Wouldn't this violate the pledge he made to Snape not tell Harry that he is protecting him?

Nfla Barbara - That stag would not have fit in the tunnel.

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mona amon - Sep 3, 2007 9:02 am (#39 of 116)

The werewolf was in the shrieking Shack, not in the tunnel. James wouldn't have had to transform until he was inside the shack.

We have no evidence that Dumbledore and Snape even talked about the incident.

Exactly. He didn't have a clue as to how Snape felt about it, and really should not have been making up stories for Harry's benefit. That is why I feel, as I mentioned in an earier post, that JKR must have intended Snape to owe James his life initially, but as the story evolved, things did not work out that way.

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Xenophilius - Sep 3, 2007 9:29 am (#40 of 116)

I believe if you check it out, while Lupin (as a werewolf) was in the shrieking shack, Snape was still in the tunnel when James caught up with him. As Snape neared the end of the tunnel he spotted the werewolf/Lupin. Snape was then sworn to secrecy by Dumbledore about Lupin. I think that was in PoA.

Do we know that the James was able to become a stag by the time this incident happened?

British stags are about the same size as the ones in the Northern US. (I had a stag and 2 does in my backyard this morning--cool.)

NFla Barbara - That's a heck of a lot bigger than what they call deer on the Keys or Southern Georgia for that matter.

We are going to have to disagree to disagree on JKRs intent since this incident was brought up in at least 3 of the 7 books. (I think it was brought up in OoP but, once again, I gave my set of books away so I can't check it out. If it was in OoP make that 4 of the 7 books.) Either way it means she is hammering us with this one.

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mona amon - Sep 3, 2007 9:47 am (#41 of 116)

We are going to have to disagree to disagree on JKRs intent

Agreed!

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TomProffitt - Sep 3, 2007 2:24 pm (#42 of 116)

Bullheaded empiricist
I think what really made Snape spitting mad is that when James got cold feet and went back to save his victim he succeeded, whereas when Snape got cold feet and tried to save his victims he failed.

That's really got to stick in your craw.

(Is that the right expression? I haven't used it in a long time.)

Edited to add: He's also probably embarrassed that James went back to save him on his own whereas Snape hadn't been interested in saving James until Dumbledore sneered at him for it.

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Steve Newton - Sep 3, 2007 4:48 pm (#43 of 116)

Librarian
"James was in the habit of running around the countryside in the company of the werewolf Lupin month after month. How does he suddenly become a risk to his life?"

Because he is unlikely to transform in the presence of an enemy who will likely report him to the ministry and because transforming in the Shack might be a tad, um, close.

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NFla Barbara - Sep 3, 2007 7:34 pm (#44 of 116)

Hi Xeno,

I've lived in Southern Georgia -- I mean North Florida -- for a while now, but I'm actually a Jersey girl, so I am quite familiar with the size of deer in the NE. ; )

I was simply thinking that if James's life was at stake, he could change either in the shack or outside the tunnel. I'm actually in agreement with just about everything in your earlier posts on the subject.

TomP makes a good point about James getting cold feet and succeeding...interesting comparison between James and Snape there. It's not hard to see why Snape felt that James really wanted to avoid trouble for his friends rather than save him. But we still have DD's statement that saving another person's life creates a sort of bond. I think Snape wasn't working so hard in SS because he really felt he "owed" James anything, but more because he wanted to regain a sense of James having wronged him, or maybe because he wanted to feel morally superior to James. Of course, he cannot feel morally superior to James, because James ended up dying for the "right" side and it was partially Snape's fault -- and Snape knows this.

The important thing here, as Xeno said, is what DD believed and whether he is being truthful, and I think he is.

About when he knew...I have been thinking about that some more since re-reading the GoF graveyard scene. LV is telling the DEs that they should have looked harder for him because they knew he had done things to make himself immortal. If DD was doing all he could to find out about LV by the time Harry was born/attacked, then he may have had reason to suspect even then. That doesn't mean he realized Harry was a horcrux, at least until he began to see the extent of the connection between Harry's scar and LV.
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poohnpiglettt - Sep 5, 2007 1:41 am (#45 of 116)

"No doubt the fact that, not only did James and Sirius try to murder him, James is now considered a big hero for 'saving his life'." mon amon

I don't think James actually tried to murder him. Lupin says that James "heard what Sirius had done, [and] went after Snape and pulled him back, at great risk to his life." I don't think James was even in on the joke, he just found out and then went to save Snape. Could make the life debt issue a little different and therefore, the truthfulness of DD's words to Harry (which I believe were at least a partial truth and therefore not a lie) (is anyone else, or just me, tired out from flipping back and forth through these books looking for info?--it's amazing JKR got as many things as right as she did : ) ...but it is great fun looking at all of the stories again with all these new perspectives)

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mona amon - Sep 6, 2007 7:06 pm (#46 of 116)

poohnpiglettt, you are quite right, James was not in on the joke, and seems to have rushed off to stop Snape just as soon as he found out about it.

But for the purpose of this discussion we have to analyse it from Snape's perspective. Did he feel he owed James a debt or not? And since he thought that James was also part of the plan which would have resulted in his death, he would not have felt he owed James anything for "getting cold feet at the last moment" and pulling him out of the tunnel.

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vball man - Sep 6, 2007 8:55 pm (#47 of 116)

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot loose. - Jim Elliot
And from Dumbledore's perspective. What did Dumbledore really know about James, Lupin, Sirius, and Snape?

At the end of PS Dumbledore tells Harry about the life debt. I suppose that Dumbledore could have found out about Sirius's murderous "prank" without finding out that the Marauders were animagi.

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NFla Barbara - Sep 7, 2007 10:17 am (#48 of 116)

He would have had to find out about it from Snape. Doesn't Lupin say that DD forbade Snape from revealing that Lupin was a werewolf? Snape must have gone to him right afterwards.

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valuereflection - Sep 25, 2007 3:14 pm (#49 of 116)

Here is what Dumbledore actually said about Snape in PS/SS chapter 17. I think the context is important so I'll quote the whole thing. Harry asked Dumbledore,

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valuereflection - Sep 25, 2007 5:48 pm (#50 of 116)

Edited Sep 25, 2007 6:57 pm
I think the emotional context of what Dumbledore said about Snape is important. Harry was eleven years old, and he had just awakened after three days in the hospital wing. Dumbledore had been watching at his bedside, and he told Harry what happened to him had "nearly killed" him. A few paragraphs earlier, Dumbledore had refused to tell Harry why Voldemort wanted to kill him. Dumbledore explained, "as you lay in the hospital wing, weak from your struggle with Voldemort... I decided... eleven was much too young to know... I cared about you too much... I defy anyone who has watched you as I have -- and I have watched you more closely than you can have imagined -- not to want to save you more pain than you had already suffered." (OotP chapter 37) Next Dumbledore told Harry how much his mother loved him, and Harry needed to dry his eyes on his sheet. Dumbledore averted his eyes for awhile, and then he made a joke (about Harry's father stealing food from the kitchens). Finally Harry himself brought up the subject of Snape, asking specifically about Snape's detestable attitude toward himself. This little boy whose life had been starved for love had just been told by one of his professors that another professor truly loathed him in particular -- and the loathing was because of his father. I think all of Dumbledore's answers in that interchange, including his answers about Snape, were colored by his desire not to cause Harry any more pain at that time.

Here is what Dumbledore actually said about Snape in PS/SS chapter 17. Harry asked Dumbledore,

"...Quirrell said he (Snape) hates me because he hated my father. Is that true?"

"Well, they did rather detest each other. Not unlike yourself and Mr. Malfoy. And then, your father did something Snape could never forgive."

"What?"

"He saved his life."

"What?"

"Yes..." said Dumbledore dreamily. "Funny, the way people's minds work, isn't it? Professor Snape couldn't bear being in your father's debt... I do believe he worked so hard to protect you this year because he felt that would make him and your father even. Then he could go back to hating your father's memory in peace..."

Harry tried to understand this but it made his head pound, so he stopped.

I believe Dumbledore's dreamy conjecture about Snape's conflicted motivations for protecting Harry during his first schoolyear might have been a result of this interchange between Dumbledore and Snape which happened several months earlier:

Snape was pacing up and down in front of Dumbledore.

"-- mediocre, arrogant as his father, a determined rulebreaker, delighted to find himself famous, attention-seeking and impertinent --"

"You see what you expect to see, Severus," said Dumbledore, without raising his eyes from a copy of Transfiguration Today. "Other teachers report that the boy is modest, likable, and reasonably talented. Personally, I find him an engaging child."

Dumbledore turned a page, and said, without looking up, "Keep an eye on Quirrell, won't you?" (DH chapter 33)

This Snape/Dumbledore exchange was probably Dumbledore's first personal experience with the intensity of Snape's personal grudge against Harry. I suspect the illogic of Snape's grudge puzzled Dumbledore throughout Harry's first schoolyear. Certainly Dumbledore noted Snape's speech demonstrated that his old feelings about James were at the root of his unfounded complaints about Harry. Thus when asked about Snape's feelings toward Harry, Dumbledore shared with Harry one of his own personal conjectures about Snape's feelings, which he had been mulling over in his mind for several months. Maybe Dumbledore pointed out to Harry that Snape's mind was working funny, in order to comfort Harry. I remember the first time I read that paragraph long ago -- I thought Dumbledore was again cracking a joke in order to help Harry smile after they discussed another sad subject.

When he answered Harry's question about Snape in Philosopher's Stone, Dumbledore did not know that James had been a stag Animagus who ran around the countryside with a werewolf once a month. Dumbledore did not learn that fact until the very end of Prisoner of Azkaban, when Lupin left Hogwarts, in chapter 22: "Last night Sirius told me all about how they became Animagi... An extraordinary achievement -- not least, keeping it quiet from me..."

Dumbledore did not say to Harry that James saved Snape at great risk to his life -- it was Lupin who made that statement, during his story in the shrieking shack. (PA chapter 18) I never have understood exactly why Lupin said this. Perhaps, as others have speculated, Lupin said it because he knew James could not transform in the tunnel, or he thought James would be reluctant to transform in front of an enemy. But I think the most likely reason is because only moments earlier he was full of "self-loathing" (guilt): "All this year, I have been battling with myself, wondering whether I should tell Dumbledore that Sirius was an Animagus. But I didn't do it. Why? Because I was too cowardly. It would have meant admitting that I'd betrayed his trust while I was at school, admitting that I'd led others along with me..."

In conclusion, I do not believe Dumbledore lied to Harry in Philosopher's Stone about Snape's motivations -- at least, not intentionally. Dumbledore did withhold the information about Snape's motivations which involved Lily -- as he had promised Snape he would do. (He forewarned Harry that he would not answer his questions unless he had a very good reason not to, and he considered his promise not to reveal Snape's feelings about Lily to be a good reason.) But what Dumbledore did reveal about Snape's motivations, he believed to be true. He is only human, after all.

And now, back to the subject of when Dumbledore knew what about the Horcruxes.

Specifically when did Dumbledore 1 interview Bob Ogdon 2 interview Morphin in Azkaban 3 interview Hokey the House Elf 4 get the tampered memory of Slughorn--my guess is sometime after COS 5 interview the lady at the orphanage. I was thinking the interviews happened during Voldemort's first reign when Dumbledore decided he should get to know his enemy. But this would mean that Morfin was in Azkaban for over 25 years. Can one survive that long in Azkaban? Also Hokey was pretty old in the late 40's and early 50's when Tom was working at Borgin and Burkes. Would she still be around in 1970? (rambkowalczyk, Post #1)

Others on this thread have more insights than me. But I did note one interesting bit in Half-blood Prince. Dumbledore's phrase when he talked about Hokey the house-elf caught my attention: "As in the case of Morfin, by the time I traced her and managed to extract this memory, her life was almost over --" (HBP chapter 20) I think Dumbledore's wording can be interpreted to mean that Dumbledore sought out the memories from Morfin and Hokey at about the same time. His story implied about her implied that the Ministry had imprisoned her somewhere as they did Morfin.

We don't know how long house-elves live, but I guess they probably have an extended life-span like wizards do. It is quite possible that Hokey's last days and Morfin's last days coincided within weeks or months of each other. I think Dumbledore visited them both in the same year. But I'm still guessing what year that would have been.
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Updating Dumbledore: When he knew things (Post 51 to 116)

Post  Elanor on Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:25 am

PeskyPixie - Oct 21, 2007 11:49 am (#51 of 116)
JKR recently stated that Lily and James go into hiding shortly after Lily becomes pregnant with Harry. So, DD (and therefore LV) knows of the prophecy from this early on in the story? Does DD also urge the Longbottoms to go into hiding as well as their child could also possibly be the Chosen One? Maybe Lily and James go into hiding for the baby's sake (they are 'full-time fighters') even before the prophecy is made?

I really need others's ideas on this!

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legolas returns - Oct 21, 2007 12:03 pm (#52 of 116)

I think this is one of the inconsistancies in her comments. The only way round this is that they went into hiding but were never safe. They eventually used a secret keeper.

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PatPat - Oct 21, 2007 1:32 pm (#53 of 116)

This is definitely an incosistency in JKR's comments. BUT, I don't think it is necessarily impossible. We know that the prophecy was made (and heard by Snape) before Harry was born. Dumbledore says he was interviewing for the Divination position which would logically be before school started (though not necessarily). So it's possible that the prophecy was given to LV early on in Lily's pregnancy. The thing that bothers me, though, is why did they wait so long to go under the Fidelius? We know from Fudge they were betrayed "barely a week after the Fidelius charm had been performed." (POA 10) (((sigh))) I don't think we're ever going to get this timeline down. This might be JKR and her "maths" again.

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legolas returns - Oct 21, 2007 1:39 pm (#54 of 116)

Note to self:Never ask her anything to do with dates/ages etc.

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PatPat - Oct 21, 2007 1:41 pm (#55 of 116)

LOL! Exactly, legolas!

Or how many students there are at hogwarts!

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legolas returns - Oct 21, 2007 1:48 pm (#56 of 116)

Some of us are born to be good with words and others numbers.

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Denise P. - Oct 22, 2007 1:51 pm (#57 of 116)

Ravenclaw Pony
There were several posts here that were off topic for this thread and have been deleted. I had not intended to delete them but my computer hiccuped in the middle and I lost the saved bits.

This is to discuss when Dumbledore knew things relating to events in the books. Discussion of JKR adding information about events/characters/books should take place in the JKR thread, not here.

Thanks in advance and I apologize for losing the posts that I had intended to move.

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Mrs Brisbee - Oct 23, 2007 6:10 am (#58 of 116)

I think all of Dumbledore's answers in that interchange, including his answers about Snape, were colored by his desire not to cause Harry any more pain at that time.-- valuereflection

I think you may be right. Dumbledore does admit in OotP that he began to care too much for Harry, and thus kept too many important things from him in an attempt to protect him.

But what Dumbledore did reveal about Snape's motivations, he believed to be true. He is only human, after all.

I can see that-- but... Dumbledore knows absolutely that Snape is protecting Harry for Lily's benefit. It is the task Dumbledore himself set Snape right after Lily died: "You know how and why she died. Make sure it is not in vain. Help me protect Lily's son." (DH, Ch 23, "The Prince's Tale") That is why I think Dumbledore's answer is disingenuous. But I can see that he misread the depth of Snape's loathing for James. Dumbledore would never let himself be ruled by loathing for someone, so perhaps this is just his human failure to look outside himself and what he experiences. Dumbledore would have done better to put more faith in other people's viewpoints about Snape. I think one of his biggest shortcomings was that because he was above everyone else intellectually he also thought he was above them emotionally, and that's where he tended to trip up.

I'm having a hard time deciding what Dumbledore knew and when he knew it. Before DH, I had several rules of thumb: Dumbledore promised Harry he would not lie to him, therefore I concluded that Dumbledore might omit but not lie when speaking to Harry. I also believed that Dumbledore would never knowingly let Voldemort or his Death Eaters into Hogwarts, because his duty was to protect Hogwarts and his students. Now from "The Prince's Tale", we have that comment about Quirrell, and the revelation that Death Eater Junior Draco Malfoy was allowed to run his murderous operation from within Hogwarts (though I do believe Dumbledore when he said he didn't think Draco could have gotten other Death Eaters into the castle). So now I have to wonder about Barty Crouch. I don't like the idea, but I do have to wonder. I'm really not sure how to read Dumbledore anymore, or decide just when he knew things, because DH removed the benchmarks I used to measure his personality.

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PeskyPixie - Oct 23, 2007 10:19 am (#59 of 116)

I think DD and Snape began realizing there was something very fishy about Quirrell after his return from Albania. However, I'm not sure when he figures out that Quirrell is, in fact, Quirrellmort.

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Celestina Warbeck - Oct 24, 2007 10:28 pm (#60 of 116)

I agree PeskyPixie, I too think Dumbledore knew that something was wrong with Quirrell. I also remember Dumbledore being aware that LV had spent considerable time in Albania. I wonder if this knowledge came to him before or after the truth about Quirrell had come out. If he knew already through his 'sources', then he would have had another reason to watch out for Quirrell.

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PeskyPixie - Oct 25, 2007 8:22 am (#61 of 116)

Does Dumbledore know of Snape's Unbreakable Vow or does Snape keep this to himself as he has to kill DD anyway?

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legolas returns - Oct 25, 2007 1:17 pm (#62 of 116)

I find it quite remarkable that Dumbledore knows/sees/guesses all with the exception of the maurauders getting up to no good. How does he do it? Yes he is a genius/creative and stuff but that still does not explain it for me.

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Mrs. Sirius - Oct 28, 2007 9:32 pm (#63 of 116)

Mom of 4 in serious lurker mode.
I think that he see/knows/guesses if he is looking. With the maurauders they were just 4 more students, no one was threatening them particularly. There was nothing intriguing about them. He wasn't watching the maurauders as he had watched young Tom Riddle. He wasn't guarding them as he guarded Harry.

With 1000 students there many of them getting into mischief. While Lupin may have presented particular difficulties, he took care of that. He had Madame Pince set up a routine that took care of that difficulty.

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legolas returns - Oct 29, 2007 11:37 am (#64 of 116)

I was also wondering how Dumbledore managed to keep such a close eye on Harry? Harry did not know until things went wrong in OOP. How did he manage to do his work/keep an eye on students/do Wizengamot stuff and all the other things he had to do?

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PeskyPixie - Oct 29, 2007 11:41 am (#65 of 116)

The man was brilliant.

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legolas returns - Oct 29, 2007 11:43 am (#66 of 116)

Thats no answer Pesky *Huff*. Thats just a rubbishy plot escape in my opinion.

Perhaps Dumbledore bewitched the put outer to track what Harry was up to. I dont know...

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wynnleaf - Oct 29, 2007 11:49 am (#67 of 116)

We know that Phineas was carrying info about Harry from Grimmauld Place back to DD in OOTP. It could be that other portraits watched Harry as well, but we're just never told about it.

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zelmia - Oct 29, 2007 1:23 pm (#68 of 116)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Dumbledore repeatedly refers to his network of "useful spies" (as opposed to use-less spies?). Some of them may have been portraits (which we saw in OP). I'm sure that had a lot to do with how he was able to keep so many irons in the fire at once.

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legolas returns - Oct 29, 2007 3:02 pm (#69 of 116)

I know that this is a bit star warsish but doesnt the truth depend on your point of view. Depends who was watching and how balanced a report they gave to Dumbledore.

Dumbledore knew that Harry would react badly after the snake biting incident and told Phineas Nigellus to look over Harry and to tell him not to do a bunk. Most of the time there was a blank portrait in the room.

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wynnleaf - Oct 29, 2007 6:28 pm (#70 of 116)

Dumbledore repeatedly refers to his network of "useful spies" (as opposed to use-less spies?). (zelmia)

Where does Dumbledore refer to this at all? I know Fudge refers to DD's spies (plural) in POA, but I can't necessarily recall where DD makes this comment. I'm wondering for completely other reasons because in a discussion on another site we've been talking about the functions of the Order in the first versus the second war.

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zelmia - Oct 29, 2007 11:17 pm (#71 of 116)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Well, just off the top of my head, "...when my spies tell me he is currently hiding in Albania." - Dumbledore, CS

That's your starter for ten.

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PeskyPixie - Oct 30, 2007 9:05 am (#72 of 116)

PoA also mentions Dumbledore having many useful spies.

I don't know if it was intentional but the 'use-less spies' thing cracked me up.

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Soul Search - Oct 30, 2007 11:00 am (#73 of 116)

"...when my spies tell me he is currently hiding in Albania."

I have never understood how Dumbledore, or his spies, discovered Voldemort was in Albania. Not many, at least in the Ministry, seemed to even believe that Voldmeort still existed.

The first implication is that Dumbledore knew, or at least suspected, Voldemort had made a horcrux. There can't be too many ways to prevent one's soul from leaving when the body dies. Or did Voldemort's appearance when he visited Dumbledore (HBP pensive scene) clearly tell Dumbledore Voldemort had made a horcrux?

Could "spirit" Voldemort be detected? Or, did Dumbledore learn of deaths or something in Albania and correctly deduce that Voldemort was behind them? (Like he knew of Frank Bryce.)

Alas, we will never know.

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PeskyPixie - Oct 30, 2007 12:09 pm (#74 of 116)

Well, rats certainly know that a specific area of the forest (where Vapormort hides) is dangerous (can't remember the exact quote). Maybe Dumbledore knows how to communicate with them? JKR says that DD understands Parseltongue, and rat can't be much harder than Gobledegook.

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PatPat - Oct 30, 2007 5:48 pm (#75 of 116)

Dumbledore knew that Harry would react badly after the snake biting incident and told Phineas Nigellus to look over Harry and to tell him not to do a bunk. Most of the time there was a blank portrait in the room. legolas

Harry says many times that he believes the portrait's occupant is lurking just out of site. He even hears him snicker. Phineas was watching over Harry. He just wasn't obvious about it.

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Luna Logic - Nov 3, 2007 1:25 am (#76 of 116)

from the other side (of the Channel)
Edited by Nov 3, 2007 12:28 am
Soul Search: There can't be too many ways to prevent one's soul from leaving when the body dies.
Yes, he could think of a Horcruxe, IF he saw the dead body of Voldemort;
But we have no mention of the presence of Voldemort's corpse. Thus we speak of Vapomort !

What I never understood is how Dumbledore could know or even guess that the "body" of Voldemort had "died" on that night at Godric's Hollow.
So I had the theory of the hidden witness.

But in DH we learned there was no such a witness.
So I was left with my question : How could Dumbledore guess, on the same night or on the following day, that Voldemort himself came, and that he "died"?

But now, I have the answer, thanks to PeskyPixie: "the man is brilliant" I will sleep quietly from now!

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LILY WATERS - Nov 14, 2007 5:08 am (#77 of 116)

"I guessed, fifteen years ago," said Dumbledore, "when I saw the scar upon your forehead, what it might mean. I guessed that it might be the sign of a connection forged between you and Voldemort. . . . it became apparent, shortly after you rejoined the magical world, that I was correct . . . ." OOP CH.37

I think that DD continued keeping tabs on LV after Hogwarts because he believed Riddle/LV opened COS in 1943 - so he would been interested in knowing what LV was doing. DD suspected LV was immersed in some terrible dark magic during their meeting at Hogwarts in 1957 (HBP Ch. 20). Besides LV's drastic altered appearance, there are 4 instances during this exchange where DD may have successfully used legilmency. All 4 begin with a casual, but calculated remark by DD intended to stir up LV's emotions. First we see LV losing control of his emotions and that would allow DD to tap into his mind....then what LV actually said or admitted...and lastly what LV might have been thinking that DD was privy to through legilmency.

1.LV's eyes burn red.....admits to pushing magical boundaries...(quest for immortality?) 2. LV look of rage-claims love is not as powerful as "his" magic.(dark arts) 3.LV's eyes flash red...says his friends (DE) will carry on without him.(his servants are at the Hog's Head) 4.LV's features thick with rage...does not answer DD's question about the real reason for his visit (Does DD now know LV wants the sword? He plans to make a Horcrux? Both?)

Before LV leaves, DD says "The time has long gone when I could frighten you with a burning wardrobe and force you to make repayment for crimes. But I wish I could, Tom...I wish I could..." Is DD saying - I see your soul is mutilated (maybe from Horcruxes?) and I regret I cannot make you love or feel remorse to make it whole again? Even without legilmency DD knew LV was experimenting with dark magic, gathering followers, and "up to something" at Hogwarts. (Interesting that during their meeting DD refers to LV as "Tom" 7 times.) After this meeting DD would have begun his search into LV's past. Why then? LV's appearance would have been alarming. HBP Ch.23, "Horcruxes in the plural, Harry, which I do not believe any other wizard has ever had. Yet it fitted: Lord Voldemort has seemed to grow less human with the passing years, and the transformation he has undergone seemed to me to be only explicable if his soul was mutilated beyond the realms of what we might call 'usual evil'..." Plus, a few years after LV's visit to Hogwarts, it would have been apparent there was a curse upon the DADA position. DD is a very intelligent and he would have considered that if LV's aspirations were anything like Grindelwald's, waiting until LV really became a threat to the wizarding world would make it nearly impossible to get anyone to talk about LV or hand over memories. And he would have been careful who he chose to question for fear of alerting LV he was interested in his past. This would have taken a long time. Still, it is possible that DD began his search during LV's first rise in the 70's. I do not believe he began investigating LV's past as late as the discovery of the diary, because he says that Bob Ogden "died some time ago" ("House of Gaunt" memory from HBP) and (concerning the location of the locket) "I have been looking for a very long time". He probably guessed LV had made more than one horcrux as far back as 1957 but wasn't 100% positive of multiple horcruxes until Harry handed him the diary. He would have suspected there was at least one horcrux after Godric's Hollow because he told Snape that LV would return.

A few other things we may consider:

1. JKR has said that Fawkes had only one owner - DD. When did DD get Fawkes? When did DD discover LV's wand had one of Fawke's tail feathers? Did Fawkes give 2 feathers at the same time? Or did he give the second when Harry was born or the night he got the scar? Does Fawkes have any ongoing connection to the tail feathers in the wands?

2. When DD first saw the scar he guessed there was a "connection" between baby Harry and LV. He may have tried to guess what powers LV had transferred to Harry. Parselmouth? We know after OOP that Mrs. Figg is a squib who is in contact with DD. In SS/PS we are told that she watches Harry at her home, once a year, always on Dudley's birthday. DD knows this. I think it is odd that she calls the Dursleys barely an hour before they are leaving for the zoo to cancel due to a broken leg. Did she really break her leg? If she did, she would have contacted DD first, before the Dursleys or even before getting medical attention. Why didn't DD fix it? Or did DD plan this and give her a fake cast so Harry could go to the zoo where DD could have been observing him and his encounter with the snake? (And what about those spiders in Harry's cupboard? Just ordinary critters that stay hidden from neat freak Aunt Petunia? Or "spy-ders".)

3. One of the most pondered questions - How did DD know what happened at Godric's Hollow? Two possibilities I thought of- (a) Is it possible that his watch or something else he had worked like Mrs. Weasley's clock? (b) After Ariana's death, maybe 2 portraits were painted, one for each DD and Aberforth. If one remained at their home, then maybe Ariana witnessed LV at Godric's Hollow and told Aberforth.

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Choices - Nov 14, 2007 12:10 pm (#78 of 116)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Lily Waters, (re:#1) I believe it was Dumbledore who gave the two feathers from Fawkes to Ollivander who then used them to create the two wands. I also believe that the two wands were a part of Dumbledore's plan and he asked Ollivander to make the "brother wands". We do know that Ollivander notified Dumbledore when Harry got his wand with the Fawkes feather core. I feel sure he already knew that Tom Riddle had the other wand. Since we do not know for sure, this is entirely speculation on my part.

(re: #3) it has long been my belief that James and Lily were staying in Dumbledore's home in Godric's Hollow. Your idea, that perhaps a portrait of Ariana hung there and it was she who told of what occurred the night Voldemort came to visit, is very interesting. I think it very likely that a portrait (of someone) informed Dumbledore about the events that night. My only thought is that Dumbledore would also have needed to have a portrait of Ariana in his Hogwarts office so that she could go between them to see the events and then return to Hogwarts to tell Dumbledore. We were never told about a portrait of Ariana in Dumbledore's office, but it's possible it was in his private quarters. Again, this is purely speculation on my part.

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wynnleaf - Nov 14, 2007 12:24 pm (#79 of 116)

The idea of a portrait has been brought up before as a way for Dumbledore to have known what went on at Godrics Hollow. While the theory has a lot of merit, I don't think Arianna is a good candidate for such a portrait. As I understand it, the portraits reflect the way the individual was in life. If so, I can't see Arianna being rational enough to act as a go-between for Dumbledore, especially in a crisis. And given how she appears to have kind of "lost it" when Aberforth, Grindelwald, and Albus got into a fight, how much more would she be shaken from whatever rationality she had when Voldemort attacked the house, killed two people, tried to kill a baby, was destroyed and the house ruined? I can't see her giving any sort of decent evidence on the situation to Dumbledore, and I don't think you can legilimatize a portrait, since there's not really a brain behind the eyes.

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mona amon - Nov 15, 2007 3:41 am (#80 of 116)

I think that Dumbledore got a fairly accurate picture of what happened at Godic's Hollow purely by deductive reasoning. He sees the house in ruins, James lying dead, Lily lying dead next to Harry's cot, and Harry completely unharmed, except for the scar. He also has that bit of information that Snape gave him, that he requested Voldemort to spare Lily. With these facts, it would be easy for Dumbledore to put two and two together and conclude that, keeping his promise to Snape, Voldemort must have told Lily to stand aside, and when she sacrificed herself in an attempt to protect Harry, unwittingly invoked the ancient magic that caused the AK to rebound on its caster. So, if anyone had asked him how he knew what happened at Godric's Hollow, he'd have said, "I guessed, but my guesses have, usually, been good."

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Luna Logic - Nov 15, 2007 11:32 am (#81 of 116)

from the other side (of the Channel)
You may be true mona amon… because your proposition is very simple and logical.
Alas, not as funny as would be portraits, house elves or squib neighbours!

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mona amon - Nov 15, 2007 7:47 pm (#82 of 116)

LOL, Luna! Mundane and prosaic, that's me!

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PeskyPixie - Nov 15, 2007 8:53 pm (#83 of 116)

Let's not forget logical and intelligent, you Ravenclaw! Your theory makes the most sense for me, Mona.

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mona amon - Nov 15, 2007 9:13 pm (#84 of 116)

Thanks, Pesky! You've made my day!

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jo bot - Nov 15, 2007 9:33 pm (#85 of 116)

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. —Ray Bradbury
I thought that Hagrid took him out of what remained of the house and rode Sirius' bike to 4PD. When has it been suggested that Dumbledore was the first to respond after the backfired AK?

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PeskyPixie - Nov 15, 2007 10:28 pm (#86 of 116)

Does anyone volunteer to create a timeline for Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 1981?

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Soul Search - Nov 16, 2007 8:20 am (#87 of 116)

The events of Halloween night in Godric's Hollow have been a popular discussion item. The "Godric's Hollow" (555 messages) thread has a lot and a couple of attempts at a timeline. The "Was It Snape At Godric's Hollow That Night?" (679 messages) and "Why did Dumbledore have James's cloak?" (1,500 messages) threads also add to the discussion. The general conclusion was that it didn't all fit and that Deathly Hallows would shed enough light on that night to make everything work. It didn't, so we may never know for sure.

Among the puzzles are how and when did Dumbledore find out the details of what happened, so the general topic is appropriate for this thread.

Deathly Hallows did add some information:

Voldemort came alone.

Snape had asked him to spare Lily.

Dumbledore knew of Voldemort's intentions from Snape, and suggested the Fedelius Charm. Dumbledore promised Snape he would try to protect Lily.

Voldemort came at a time when it was dark, some children were still out and about in the village, but late enough to be getting Harry ready for bed. I'll suggest around 7 pm.

Two children saw him, and ran away.

Voldemort went into the house, killed James, went upstairs, offered Lily the chance to "step aside," killed her, then tried to kill Harry. The killing spell backfired, killing him, and destroying part of the house.

No one else witnessed the events inside the house.

Part of the house was destroyed, likely making a lot of noise.

The Fedelius Charm broke when James and Lily were killed, so the house could be seen by anyone. (Harry mentions this when he and Hermione are looking at the house.)

Godric's Hollow was wizarding village, with both wizards and muggles living there.

There is no mention of portraits or anything in the house, so such should not be considered.
As a start, I would like to suggest the following:
The two children were wizards. They ran to their parents and told them what they had seen.

The parents recognize the kids saw Voldmeort and immediately send a patronus message to Dumbledore.

Dumbledore arrives, in time to witness the effects of Voldemort's curse, but too late to stop anything.

Voldemort casts his killing curse, alerting the village with the noise.

Dumbledore sees that Harry is alright, but has too much else to do to take care of him just then. Dumbledore sends for Hagrid, the best one to protect Harry (Dumbledore trusts Hagrid and uses him to protect Harry a number of times later in the story.)

Dumbledore tells (via a patronus) Hagrid to get Harry from Godric's Hollow, take care of him, and deliver him to #4 Privet Drive at midnight the next day.

Before he leaves Hogwarts Hagrid tells McGonagall where he is going, why, and that he will be delivering Harry to #4 Privet Drive.

Hagrid apparates (Hagrid can apparate, but he doesn't like to. This is an unsupported assumption, but is the only thing that fits.) Alternately, he takes a very fast thestral.

Hagrid arrives at Godric's Hollow, finds Harry, meets Sirius, and leaves with Harry on the motorbike.


The next 24 hours are a bit of a mystery, but a few things have to have happened. Dumbledore performs a lot of magic to protect Harry at #4 Privet Drive. McGonagall goes to #4 and, as a cat, watches the place; we don't know why she did this. Then Dumbledore arrives at #4, talks to McGonagall, then Hagrid arrives, with Harry.

There are still a lot of holes, but I think the events presented do fit together.

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zelmia - Nov 16, 2007 1:33 pm (#88 of 116)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
That's a good start, Soul Search, but I think far too complicated. I prefer the Occam's Razor approach, which basically means that the simpler the explanation, the most likely.

Bathilda Bagshot, who knew certainly knew the Potters and had known Dumbledore in his youth so was probably still in at least occasional contact with him, is most likely to have been the one to have notifed Dumbledore that something had happened.
Hagrid tells us in PA that he "had [his] orders from Dumbledore". That suggests that Dumbledore sent Hagrid to Godric's Hollow without going there himself.
But Hagrid cannot apparate, actually, since he was expelled from Hogwarts when he was only a 3rd year and since his wand is in pieces anyway. So it is more likely that Dumbledore sent Hagrid there with a portkey, in the same way he sent Harry back to his office from the Ministry in OP.

I think the real mystery is where Dumbledore had Hagrid take Harry (I'm guessing to wherever the OP HQ was) until Dumbledore could meet up with Hagrid at Privet Drive; and when Hagrid saw McGongall. But that's not really part of this Thead's discussion.

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Choices - Nov 16, 2007 3:44 pm (#89 of 116)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Zelmia, your argument is excellent and very logical. I totally agree. I just cannot accept that if Dumbledore was there, he would leave Harry sitting in the rubble, unattended, to wait for how long? - a few minutes, an hour - who knows? until Hagrid arrived to get him. Harry, the chosen one, is far too valuable to risk leaving him alone.

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Soul Search - Nov 16, 2007 5:01 pm (#90 of 116)

zelmia, I too like Occam's Razor, although I am more familiar with the engineering term KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid.) The problem with Godric's Hollow is if it is simple one place, it gets more complicated somewhere else.

One queston has been how did Dumbledore learn of the events of Godric's Hollow, and of the details he seemed to know. The children running from Voldemort was a new piece of information so I chose to use it. The children alert their wizarding parents, who send a patronus to Dumbledore. But, now it gets sticky.

If all Dumbledore knows is Voldemort was there, and maybe that part of the house was destroyed, how does he know to send Hagrid after Harry? Did Dumbledore believe Voldmeort couldn't kill Harry? No, he knew Voldmeort was specifically targeting Harry! In fact, knowing the prophecy, he might expect that one had killed the other, that is, Voldemort had killed Harry. (Until Godric's Hollow, the prophecy could have meant Neville.)

If someone from Godric's Hollow went inside and saw Harry, (so they could have told Dumbledore) why didn't they pick him up?

We know Dumbledore likes to be absolutely sure before acting on something. How could he have acted if he didn't know Voldmeort was dead, but not gone for good, Harry was alive, and Harry would need protecting from Voldemort. How could he figure all this out from Hogwarts?

So, it is simpler if Dumbledore went to Godric's Hollow. Given that James and Lily were in the Order, and friends, it would have been rather callous had he not gone.

"I just cannot accept that if Dumbledore was there, he would leave Harry sitting in the rubble, ..." (Choices)

Harry was also left in the rubble if Dumbledore didn't go to Godric's Hollow.

I read it this way: Dumbledore gets a patronus and immediately goes to Godric's Hollow. He doesn't know what's going on, so he can't tell Hagrid anything.

He get's there around the time the house is destroyed. He know's Voldemort is there, but not much else. Dumbledore cautiously (Voldemort could still be there) enters the house. He he finds James body downstairs. He goes upstairs and seen Lily's body and Harry in his crib. There is destruction, but Harry is okay and not in immediate danger. Dumbledore sends for Hagrid, telling him James and Lily are dead, but that Harry is okay and he wants Hagrid to take him to safety then deliver him to #4 Privet Drive.

Dumbledore continues to examine the site, perhaps using the magic detection he used in the lake in HBP. He notes Harry's scar. Voldemort's body is there, but Dumbledore "guesses" that Voldemort had (at least one) horcrux and would come back. He also "guesses" that Voldmeort was planning to make a horcrux with Harry's death and that Harry's scar means he is a horcrux. (He detects the magic used to make a horcrux. He might have even used the priori spell on Voldemort's wand, but left the wand there.)

Dumbledore stays there until Hagrid arrives (by whatever means.) Dumbledore stays until he is sure what happened, then goes to perform the magic to protect Harry.

(Hagrid tells of his rescuing Harry at Privet Drive in PoA, with an emphasis on Sirius. He didn't mention Dumbledore was there because it wasn't important to the point he was making about Sirius.)

"I think the real mystery is where Dumbledore had Hagrid take Harry ..." (zelmia) I agree, but we have no new information. I think we just have to leave it a mystery.

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mona amon - Nov 16, 2007 8:02 pm (#91 of 116)

I thought that Hagrid took him out of what remained of the house and rode Sirius' bike to 4PD. (jo bot)

You are right, but it doesn't really make any difference. Dumbledore could still have figured out what happened without seeing the ruins or the bodies.

One queston has been how did Dumbledore learn of the events of Godric's Hollow, and of the details he seemed to know. (Soul Search)

I think that as soon as the house was blown up, word must have got around among the wizarding community in Godric's Hollow, and people would have rushed to the spot. Someone must have sent a message to Dumbledore. I like Zelmia's idea that it was Bathilda.

why didn't they pick him up?

I guess they found the bodies of James and Lily, but were not able to get to Harry who was trapped in the rubble. This is the news that Dumbledore must have got, that James and Lily were dead, and that they could hear the baby screaming in the ruins. So he sends Hagrid to rescue Harry. Why did he not go himself? I think he was busy trying to find out what happened to Voldemort. He must have broken the news to Snape (the scene we see in the pensieve) and after he had pulled himself together, sent him to find out what he could from the Death Eaters.

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zelmia - Nov 16, 2007 8:51 pm (#92 of 116)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
It might not have been Bathilda. But since she had visited regularly prior to the Fidelius Charm, I think it's reasonable to assume that she must have known that the Charm had been implemented, and possibly even asked by Dumbledore to keep her own watch on the young couple.
In any case, Dumbledore knew through Snape that Voldemort was prepared to act soon. We also know from DH that GH was a home to many wizarding families. So someone might have been assigned the task to contact Dumbledore immediately, but possibly without actually going up to the house. They may have been too frightened or simply prudent - Voldemort might not have come alone.

I don't think Dumbledore went to GH himself. If so, I think he would have known that Sirius had not been the Secret Keeper ("I am a skilled enough Legilimens..."). At the very least, Hagrid wouldn't have had to pull rank on Sirius with "Dumbledore's orders" as regards taking Harry.

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wynnleaf - Nov 19, 2007 8:15 am (#93 of 116)

I don't think Dumbledore went to GH himself. If so, I think he would have known that Sirius had not been the Secret Keeper ("I am a skilled enough Legilimens..."). At the very least, Hagrid wouldn't have had to pull rank on Sirius with "Dumbledore's orders" as regards taking Harry. (zelmia)

But that would only be a problem if DD had been there when Sirius arrived. If Dumbledore had left already, then we have no problem with why he couldn't tell that Sirius' grief was real, or Hagrid telling Sirius about DD's orders.

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zelmia - Nov 19, 2007 1:02 pm (#94 of 116)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Yeah, I thought of that. But that would suggest that Dumbledore just popped in for a moment to assess the situation and then left. Which he may well have done, as Soul Search points out. But I just find it a bit strange that if he did show up there that he wouldn't have gone to Harry.

Then again, after all the things he stood by and watched the adolescent Harry go through, maybe it isn't so strange after all.

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Choices - Nov 19, 2007 1:53 pm (#95 of 116)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Whoa, I am one of those Pisces who sort of goes any way the wind blows - you both make good points and I can easily see it both ways. It reminds me of Dumbledore leaving Harry on the Dursley's doorstep at midnight and Harry staying there until daylight alone, wrapped in his little blanket. This bothered me, but I had to surmise that Dumbledore placed powerful charms and protections around Harry before he left. He could have done this at Godric's Hollow and left Harry to wait for Hagrid's arrival. Let's face it, we may never know what actually transpired at either place.

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jo bot - Nov 19, 2007 4:45 pm (#96 of 116)

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. —Ray Bradbury
But I want to know!! lol

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Soul Search - Nov 20, 2007 10:12 am (#97 of 116)

I would like to further refine my #87 and #90 posts with some of the excellent citations made since then. I think a good argument can be developed using what we know from canon and what can be infered from what Dumbledore knew that he had to have been at Godric's Hollow.

We know:

As a personal characteristic, Dumbledore is thorough in his investigations and only makes a statement when he is sure.

We have numerous supporting references and particularly the locket cave and the pensive memories he showed Harry in HBP.

Dumbledore knew Voldemort was targeting the Potters, and especially Harry. Dumbledore knew a Fedelius Charm had been performed, but was not in on the secret.

We learn this from Flitwick in PoA and from Snape's memories in Deathly Hallows.

Dumbledore told Hagrid to get Harry from Godric's Hollow and take him to #4 Privet Drive. Dumbledore had to have known James and Lily were dead and Harry was alive and at Godric's Hollow. All this happened "before the muggles came 'round."

We get this from a few bits and pieces: Hagrid did bring Harry to #4. Mcgonagall was there, having learned of #4 from Hagrid. We learn from Hagrid in PoA that he went to Godric's Hollow, getting there before any muggles. He met Sirius, and left with Harry on Sirius' motorbike.

Dumbledore knew Harry's scar had been made with Dark Magic.

In SS Dumbledore tells McGonagall "he'll have that scar forever." Dumbledore is saying Harry's scar was made with dark magic, rather than flying debris or something. We know from Georges's ear in Deathly Hollows that wounds made from dark magic can't be magically healed. We have many examples that normal wounds can be healed instantly and, with dittany, without scaring. There are a few other references to Harry's scar being the result of dark magic. Dumbledore didn't particularly examine Harry on Privet Drive, so he must have done so earlier.

Dumbledore knew of the "ancient magic" that had saved Harry and killed Voldemort with the backfiring AK.

Dumbledore based his "mother's blood" protection magic on the ancient magic invoked when Lily tried to save Harry.

Dumbledore knew Voldmeort wasn't completely "gone" and would be back.

Dumbledore places Harry at Privet Drive and performs a lot of magic to protect Harry from Voldemort. In SS Hagrid tells Harry that Dumbledore says Voldemort will be back. Dumbledore tells Harry that he knew Voldemort would be back when he tells Harry about the prophecy in OotP and why he placed Harry at Privet Drive.

Dumbledore knew Voldemort had, without intending to, transfered some of his powers to Harry.

Dumbledore tells Harry this in CoS. We saw examples of Parsletongue in CoS and Harry seeing into Voldemort's mind in OotP and Deathly Hallows.

Dumbledore knew Voldemort was intending to make a horcrux with Harry's murder and that Harry was a horcrux.

Dumbledore tells Harry about Voldemort making a horcrux with his murder in HBP. We still don't know what the horcrux object was to be. We learn Dumbledore knew Harry was a horcrux via Snape's memories in Deathly hallows.

Dumbledore could sense and identify magic.

We saw examples in the locket lake in HBP and his explanation of how he found the ring horcrux.

There is no timing conflict in canon that would prevent Dumbledore being at Godric's Hollow.

We know Dumbledore had to have learned of the events of Godric's Hollow around the time of Voldemort's arrival or shortly after he tried to kill Harry: sometime early evening. He arrives at Privet Drive around midnight the next day. Canon does not tell us what he was doing, so he could have been at Godric's Hollow.

Dumbledore has some magic to provide protection for a small child.

Dumbledore leaves Harry, an active thirteen-month-old, on the doorstep of #4 from sometime like midnight to early morning. Harry is there when Petunia finds him. Dumbledore didn't seem particularly worried that Harry would wander off or come to any normal harm. He must have cast a protection spell.
The simplest explanation for the cited events and Dumbledore knowing so very much about Harry, Voldemort, and what happened at Godric's Hollow is that Dumbledore went there. So, by inference:

Dumbledore learns of Godric's Hollow quickly after Voldemort arrives.

How he learns of it doesn't particularly matter. Could be from the children telling their parents of seeing Voldemort, from Batilda Bagshot, or any order member he had set to keep an eye on things. (He did promise Snape he would try to protect Lily.) "Quickly" because Hagrid arrived before the muggles came 'round.

Dumbledore uses his magic detection to learn of what happened. He may have performed a protection charm on Harry. Dumbledore examined Harry's scar, Voldmeort's body, maybe Voldmeort's wand, and the general area.

Dumbledore knows way too much to have learned all he knew from Hogwarts.

Dumbledore had to complete his investigation quickly, before other wizards or muggles came around and contaminated the scene, so to speak.

After his investigation of Godric's Hollow Dumbledore knows enough to send for Hagrid and tell him to take Harry to Privet Drive.

Dumbledore probably leaves before Hagrid or Sirius arrive. (Neither Sirius nor Hagrid mention Dumbledore. Dumbledore didn't know about Sirius' motorbike.)

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zelmia - Nov 20, 2007 11:58 am (#98 of 116)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Sounds good, Soul Search!

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wynnleaf - Nov 21, 2007 8:00 am (#99 of 116)

Good reasoning, Soul Search.

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Luna Logic - Nov 21, 2007 10:40 am (#100 of 116)

from the other side (of the Channel)
Great thanks, Soul Search I agree with all your points, and it's good (for the mind!) to have such a time-line with canons references..

Now - but not necessary for this topic - that leaves some other questions about that night and the following day at Godric's Hollow. 1. How Pettigrew got the wand. 2.If Hagrid was on the spot soon, before the Muggles, where did he take Harry during one night and a whole day? 3. What of Voldemort body?

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Soul Search - Nov 21, 2007 2:26 pm (#101 of 116)

Thanks all, I do think it fits and explains some things.

I think a key element is admiting Dumbledore would not have necessarily picked up Harry had he been there, using his leaving Harry on the doorstep as a supporting example. That seemed to inhibit the idea that Dumbledore had been at Godric's Hollow in previous discussion.

Yes, Luna Logic, there are still questions about Godric's Hollow, but I don't think we received any new information in Deathly Hallows to add to the extensive discussion already on the Godric's Hollow thread. I would appreciate more discussion if anyone has some new ideas, though.

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mona amon - Nov 22, 2007 6:52 am (#102 of 116)

That was well thought out and researched Soul Search! I'm still not convinced that Dumbledore went to Godric's Hollow though.

I can believe that those three people (Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Minerva), having no experience of family life for decades, may perhaps not have as many qualms as us about leaving a baby all night on a doorstep. Still, it's one thing to leave a sleeping, blanketted and probably magically protected baby alone in a safe place for a few hours, but quite another to leave a baby trapped and screaming in a ruined house. I cannot imagine Dumbledore doing that, especially since it would have been just the work of a few minutes for a powerful wizard like him to rescue Harry and hand him over to someone for safe keeping.

Secondly, when Hagrid arrives at #4 Privet Drive with baby Harry, he tells Dumbledore, ...house was almost destroyed but I got him out all right... If Dumbledore had already been there, Hagrid would not be informing him about the state of the house. Or if Hagrid didn't know he'd been there, now's the time for Dumbledore to mention it--"I know, I was there, I saw the house." Something like that. Why keep it a secret?

Dumbledore knows way too much to have learned all he knew from Hogwarts.

Actually at that point (before Hagrid arrives with Harry) he only knows that Lily and James are dead, that Harry survived, and that Voldemort had vanished, all of which he could have learnt without being an eye-witness. I think he sees Harry's scar for the first time in Privet Drive.

What of Voldemort body? (Luna Logic)

Maybe there wasn't any. My guess is that the AK, since it could not 'kill' Voldemort, vapourised his body instead.

It will be nice if JKR answers all these questions some time!

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TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 22, 2007 9:43 am (#103 of 116)

"Character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking"
"It will be nice if JKR answers all these questions some time!"

LOL, and then what would we have to wonder about?

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Soul Search - Nov 22, 2007 10:29 am (#104 of 116)

What of Voldemort body? (Luna Logic)

Maybe there wasn't any. My guess is that the AK, since it could not 'kill' Voldemort, vapourised his body instead. (mona amon)

We have a canon example in Deathly Hallows when Voldemort's rebounding AK at Harry again kills him. It doesn't vaporize the body, or anything, so I would infer Voldemort's body would have remained at Godric's Hollow.

I was wondering what was done with it. Now there are TWO bodies for Voldemort. How would that be managed? Stack the bodies in one grave? One birth date, TWO death dates? Bit of a problem.

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PeskyPixie - Nov 22, 2007 12:54 pm (#105 of 116)

Voldy is mortal at the time of his death in DH. Therefore, it is natural that there is a body. At the time his AK first rebounds upon him, at Godric's Hollow, he has horcruxes binding him to the world. Thus, I would not be surprised if he's vaporized the first time around. Maybe that's why many doubt whether he's truly gone?

I must admit, Soul Search's idea of the two bodies is an interesting point.

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Anna L. Black - Nov 22, 2007 12:59 pm (#106 of 116)

I can't even explain why, but I always thought his body vaporized.... If he had his body left, why couldn't he inhabit it? Why would he need his "weak, rudimental" body in book 4, why all this "flesh, bone and blood" dark magic?

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Luna Logic - Nov 22, 2007 2:23 pm (#107 of 116)

from the other side (of the Channel)
But....(trying to come back to the topic - even if the whole Godric's Hollow story is So attractive !)

... if Voldemort's body had vaporized, how Dumbledore could be sure so quickly that he was "dead" ?

Voldemort could have killed James, Lily, wounded Harry, then he could have gone away for a reason unknowed....

To Anna's objection : inhabiting living thinks (even rats!) would be very different from inhabiting a dead corpse (brr...)

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Choices - Nov 22, 2007 6:32 pm (#108 of 116)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
When Barty Crouch, Jr. killed his father, he transfigured the body into a bone and buried it in the soft dirt in front of Hagrid's cabin. If Wormtail was at Godric's Hollow and retrieved Voldemort's wand, maybe he also took care of his body, transfiguring it into something and then burying it in some secret location.

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mona amon - Nov 22, 2007 7:47 pm (#109 of 116)

I think Wormtail goes back to Godric's Hollow to retrieve Voldemort's wand only after he escapes from the trio, Lupin and Sirius in POA, that is, about twelve years after Voldemort 'lost his body'.

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Soul Search - Nov 22, 2007 8:08 pm (#110 of 116)

I can buy into that, mona amon.

One new piece of information from Deathly Hallows is that the house the Potters died in was kept as a memorial. It wasn't repaired or anything. Muggles couldn't see the house and a fence kept wizards out.

It is a reasonable assumption that the bodies were removed, but everything else left there. That would mean Voldmeort's wand would have been there for Pettigrew to find.

Pettigrew taking Voldmeort's wand to him was good evidence that he had been there, with Voldmeort. Deathly Hallows also shows us Voldemort went to Godric's Hollow alone. So Pettigrew getting the wand from the house before heading for Albania is the next best suggestion.

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Luna Logic - Nov 22, 2007 11:30 pm (#111 of 116)

from the other side (of the Channel)
Hum... And Dumbledore would have let Voldemort's wand on the spot, for any DE to find it?

How could we explain that?

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Soul Search - Nov 23, 2007 7:28 am (#112 of 116)

Luna Logic,

Voldemort's wand being left in the house is a bit of a problem for any scenario.

If we can accept that those removing the bodies left Voldemort's wand then I can also accept Dumbledore leaving Voldemort's wand, perhaps, even after examining it for the last spells performed. (Including AK's and the spell to make a horcrux.)

We don't have much canon to guide us. We have examples of Odo, who was again mentioned in Deathly Hallows, and Dumbledore of wands being buried with a wizard. We don't know about Lily or James' wands, except Deathly Hallows seemed to make a point that neither had their wands when Voldemort arrived.

My only thought is that both Dumbledore and those removing the bodies were motivated to leave the scene exactly as they found it, but I can't come up with supporting canon for why they would do so.

I also have a little problem with Pettigrew thinking of Voldemort's wand, being able to recognize it, knowing it was still at Godric's Hollow, and being able to get into the house to retrieve it. But, barring any canon to the contrary, I have to accept that as the simplest explanation.

I did think of more (somewhat) supporting evidence for Dumbledore being at Godric's Hollow.

In SS Hagrid had the key to the Potter's Gringott's vault. Where and when did he get it? From Dumbledore? How did Dumbledore get the key? Did Dumbledore think to get the key to the Potter's vault when he examined the scene? Nothing for sure, but certainly suggestive.

Dumbledore knew that Voldemort's wand contained a feather from Fawkes. Ollivander alerted Dumbledore when the other Fawkes feather wand chose Harry, so must have been alerted by Dumbledore to let him know who got the other Fawkes feather wand. Dumbledore would have known about the core of Voldemort's wand when he examined it at Godric's Hollow. Not overwhelming, but supportive of Dumbledore being at Godric's Hollow.

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PeskyPixie - Nov 23, 2007 8:10 am (#113 of 116)

Maybe Dumbledore leaves LV's wand where he may find it most easily when he (LV) returns. Dumbledore is certain from the time LV first 'dies' that he will return again, and as Fawkes gave just one more feather in the creation of another wand, perhaps he felt it prudent to wait and see whether Harry would someday be chosen by the Dark Lord's wand's brother and thus have the additional protection of the twin cores. It's a long stretch, but it does make use of Dumbledore's brilliance at guessing correctly.

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Luna Logic - Nov 23, 2007 9:30 am (#114 of 116)

from the other side (of the Channel)
Thanks Pesky and Soul search, you have answered to the question I didn't post yesterday:

Did Dumbledore have a "plan" with the wand of Voldemort and Harry?

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zelmia - Nov 23, 2007 12:45 pm (#115 of 116)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
It is just as likely that Dumbledore had the key to the Gringott's vault before Voldemort came to Godric's Hollow. The Potters had been in hiding even before the Fidelius Charm and so obviously couldn't go into town to the bank. But since Dumbledore believed that Voldemort would one day return, I don't think he would just leave Voldemort's wand there if he had found it lying around.

Sirius tells us that he went to "check on" Pettigrew and found that Pettigrew wasn't there. It would have been very easy for Wormtail to stop off at the Potters now-ruined house in rat form just long enough to collect Voldemort's wand before heading on to the rest of his plan to set up Sirius.

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PeskyPixie - Nov 23, 2007 2:11 pm (#116 of 116)

... Dumbledore believed that Voldemort would one day return, I don't think he would just leave Voldemort's wand there if he had found it lying around. -zelmia

It is for this reason that I believe Dumbledore would leave LV's wand lying around. Perhaps the explanation in my previous post is unclear? I'll go into more detail once my hand has healed up a bit more.
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