Curses, Hexes and the Unforgivables

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Curses, Hexes and the Unforgivables Empty Curses, Hexes and the Unforgivables

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:47 am

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. It was copied/saved by Lady Arabella and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic


irish flutterby - Mar 24, 2006 1:36 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Jun 10, 2006 9:23 am

Well, we have a thread for charms, spells, etc., but we don't have one for the dark side. I figured I'd add it because I have a question, which I posted on the Snape thread, but should have posted here. Only we didn't have this thread then!

Anyways, this thread is for questions and discussion on curses, hexes, and unforgiveable curses.

Here's my first question.

All or most of the other dark curses that we've heard of till this point couldn't really be executed by any of the Trio (or at least Harry) because, as Bella points out, you have to really mean it.

Here's the thing. Do you have to really mean it even if you don't know what it does? I guess I mean, at this point between what Harry had heard Draco say to Myrtle, and Draco attempting "Cruciatus", was Harry in a state of REALLY wanting to do some damage to Draco? Maybe not kill him, but really do enough to guarantee that he wouldn't continue with his plan?
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Curses, Hexes and the Unforgivables Empty Curses, Hexes and the Unforgivables (posts #1 to #40)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:50 am

Magic Words - Mar 24, 2006 7:08 pm (#1 of 110)

Hey, I found a new thread! Hi, irish flutterby!

I don't think Harry's Sectumsempra was an issue of "meaning it" the way Unforgivables are, because there's no way he could have wanted to harm Draco more than he wanted to harm Bellatrix when he tried Crucio on her. I always just saw Unforgivables as a different class of spells - the darkest of the dark, in a sense. They can't be the only Dark Arts spells that are widely used (by Dark wizards, I mean), so it would follow that some Dark spells are forgivable, and maybe these take less power behind them.




Choices - Mar 24, 2006 7:21 pm (#2 of 110)

In the potion's book, Sectumsempra is described as "for enemies" and I think Draco fits that category in Harry's opinion. Harry didn't know exactly what the curse did, but I think Draco trying to "Crucio" Harry gave him cause to try it. At that moment, Draco was definitely Harry's enemy. I certainly don't think Harry would have used it had he known what it would do to Draco. Harry is not evil and I don't think he would intentionally use such a damaging spell - at least not on another student.




Puck - Mar 24, 2006 7:26 pm (#3 of 110)

But will he use it on Snape, turn the "Prince's" own spells against him?




Choices - Mar 24, 2006 7:33 pm (#4 of 110)

Harry might think about it, but I really don't think he will use that spell again.




haymoni - Mar 24, 2006 7:39 pm (#5 of 110)

He tried to use it on Snape.

We have heard several times that Harry is a powerful wizard.

He zapped Bella - he didn't keep the curse going, but it hurt her enough to slow her down.

Harry had never performed that curse before - the other curses that he had tried - Jelly-Legs & such - seem to take effect quickly, while "Crucio" seems to be something that you have to focus on - you have to maintain it.

He was willing to use Sectumsempra on Snape, knowing full well what it did, having already used it on Draco.

I just wonder how many people know about that spell?

And why would the counter curse be a song - like the phoenix song?




Choices - Mar 24, 2006 7:51 pm (#6 of 110)

You're right Haymoni - he sure did try to use it on Snape - I didn't remember that until I reread that scene - but I guess his hatred for Snape was at an all time high right about then and he desperately wanted to hurt him.




Magic Words - Mar 24, 2006 8:29 pm (#7 of 110)

I wondered about that song counter curse myself, haymoni. It seems almost like a new branch of magic entirely. Do you think Snape invented it along with the curse? Or would a curse always have a natural counter curse, so that it's more a matter of finding the thing that works?

A while ago I read an essay, or a long post, or something... wow, my memory is bad... suggesting that in that scene, the musical spell could be symbolic of a future "harmony link" between Slytherin and Gryffindor, represented by the water on the floor and the crimson blood, respectively. It seemed a little far-fetched IMHO, but interesting to consider. I'd like it to be something to that effect.




irish flutterby - Mar 25, 2006 11:10 am (#8 of 110)

I just had a thought about the counter curse. Perhaps DD already knew that Snape had created the curse because DD created the counter curse. Considering his close link to Fawkes or Phoenixes in general, it may be that Snape already used it, at some point and DD had to come up with a counter curse.




frogface - Mar 25, 2006 11:34 am (#9 of 110)

I read an idea by someone once (I think on the Snape thread) where Snape invented the curse, and Lily came up with a counter curse. Of course this ties in with the idea with them being friends at one point.




Solitaire - Mar 25, 2006 6:53 pm (#10 of 110)

I can't imagine the Lily we have read about thus far wanting to have anything to do with the Sectumsempra! curse--including creating its counter curse. It seems like the kind of thing that would revolt her.

Solitaire




Puck - Mar 25, 2006 7:08 pm (#11 of 110)

It may not be a new counter curse. Perhaps it's a healing charm. Phoenix song makes sense, as Phoenix tears are healing.




bigearl - Mar 27, 2006 2:33 pm (#12 of 110)

Sectumsempra - for enemies, to me this foreshadows Harry finishing off a post-horcrux Voldemort or perhaps Nagini with "Sectumsempra".




Esther Rose - Mar 27, 2006 8:03 pm (#13 of 110)

Or himself bigearl. Perhaps this is what Lily did when she "sacrificed her own blood" to save Harry.




Magic Words - Mar 27, 2006 8:59 pm (#14 of 110)

Esther Rose, are you saying Lily used Sectumsempra on herself? I really don't see that happening... JM2K...




Laura W - Mar 28, 2006 12:46 am (#15 of 110)

Very interesting discussion here. Everybody's brought up some really good points. Here's *my* take on the subject.

irish flutterby wrote:

All or most of the other dark curses that we've heard of till this point couldn't really be executed by any of the Trio (or at least Harry) because, as Bella points out, you have to really mean it.

When Harry is chasing Bellatrix after she has killed Sirius, and he unsuccessfully tries to Crucio her in OoP (chapter The Only One He Ever Feared), she tells him it failed because he doesn't really mean it. " 'Never used an Unforgivable Curse before, have you, boy?' she yelled. 'You need to mean them, Potter! You need to really want to cause pain - to enjoy it ...'" Well, I think he *did* mean it at that moment, whatever Bella said. She had just murdered the man Harry thought of as the only caring family he had left, for heaven's sake! And he had this taken away from him after just two short years. (muffled sob.) I don't know why the curse didn't work - perhaps because Harry was only 15 years old at the time? - but it had nothing to do with Harry not meaning it, so says I.

Same with when he tried Crucio and Sectumsempra against Snape in HBP, chapter Flight of the Prince. "Harry uttered an inarticulate yell of rage; in that instant, he cared not whether he lived or died, pushing himself to his feet again, he staggered blindly towards Snape, the man he now hated as much as he hated Voldemort himself -"

Oh, he meant it all right!!

Laura




Esther Rose - Mar 28, 2006 4:42 am (#16 of 110)

Magic words, I am not saying that Lily forcibly bludgeoned herself, just that if there wasn't anything around to "cut" with she may have used it.

Of course, everything is only speculation.




Steve Newton - Mar 28, 2006 6:28 am (#17 of 110)

Laura, I think that Harry's Crucio of Bella did work. It just didn't last. After this Bella doesn't laugh and there is no more baby talk. She took some kind of a hit.




Magic Words - Mar 28, 2006 10:38 am (#18 of 110)

Laura, that's why I think we need to look closely at the exact way Bellatrix defines "meaning it." Clearly, Harry wanting to take out his anger by hurting her didn't qualify. I think what she was saying was that you have to mean it with your entire soul, in a way - that is, Harry can't truly "mean" to cause pain as long as there's a part of him that can feel compassion and is therefore unwilling to harm others on principle. Any surface emotions he might feel, such as anger or rage or even hatred, are just that - on the surface, not an integral part of him. On the other hand, Bellatrix can torture people without even being angry with them, because it is in her nature to enjoy causing pain.




Choices - Mar 28, 2006 11:14 am (#19 of 110)

I wonder if there is anything about being of legal age or being a fully qualified wizard that might influence the strength of an unforgivable curse? Maybe Harry means them, but just isn't fully mature/qualified enough to cast a proper one. Just a thought.




Magic Words - Mar 28, 2006 1:02 pm (#20 of 110)

I was under the impression that J.K. Rowling was trying to make a statement on Harry's character by proving him incapable of Unforgivable curses. He just doesn't have that kind of hate. At the same time, the fact that he would even attempt it showed his pain at losing Sirius. IMHO, it would seem cheap to make it a function of his age instead. Would we appreciate reading about a seventeen-year-old Harry Potter who hurled the Cruciatus curse right and left whenever a Death Eater provoked him? I know I wouldn't. But the fact that he can't perform them is the only thing that's kept him from abusing them in multiple situations so far.

By the way, what was Malfoy doing casting a Cruciatus curse during the Sectumsempra scene? He could have lost everything right there, if the spell had hit Harry. Wizards seem to forget surprisingly often that to be caught using an Unforgivable is the best way to spend the rest of your life in Azkaban. Would it have failed as Harry's did, or did Malfoy "mean it?" Was a part of him secretly hoping he would be caught and removed from Voldemort's reach?




Choices - Mar 28, 2006 5:57 pm (#21 of 110)

I would say that NOT casting an unforgivable curse would show something about Harry's character - he refuses to use them and that shows his high-mindedness. But, Harry does try to cast them - granted, he isn't very good at it, but he does try. So, what does that say about Harry's character? He is unsuccessful not because he is too good to use them, but because he is just not very good at them or not powerful enough yet or they get blocked. To me, there is a big difference there.




Magic Words - Mar 28, 2006 6:51 pm (#22 of 110)

I agree, he has to learn some discretion.... hmmm.... it would make for some interesting character development, wouldn't it, if Harry at some point finds himself capable of an Unforgivable curse and has to live with the consequences. But I do think if that happens, it will be because he becomes cynical or hateful and starts to lose touch with his loving side, rather than simply when he comes of age or gets a chance to try again without being blocked. Maybe there will be a brief time in which he starts tending towards the Dark Side, starts using the end to justify the means, and eventually he'll use an Unforgivable successfully and be horrified and pull himself back from the brink at that time.




Solitaire - Mar 28, 2006 7:42 pm (#23 of 110)

eventually he'll use an Unforgivable successfully and be horrified

I suspect that this is probably true of many of the Aurors. Don't most of them avoid the Unforgivables, if possible?

Solitaire




frogface - Mar 29, 2006 1:44 am (#24 of 110)

Not sure on that one. We know they were given legal rights to use them if they needed, but we're only told that Moody always tried to bring them in rather that kill him.

However do note that Sirius used the word "tried". It seems that Moody may have had to kill in the course of his career, I wonder how that has effected him.




Choices - Mar 29, 2006 9:54 am (#25 of 110)

+Frogface - "It seems that Moody may have had to kill in the course of his career, I wonder how that has effected him."

From Moody's description, I would say that he has suffered some horrific injuries in the course of his career as an Auror. I think it is noble of him to try to bring in a criminal without resorting to killing, but I don't doubt that he has killed in self-defense. I doubt it bothers him too much since he probably killed to save his own life - it was either kill or be killed.




Laura W - Mar 29, 2006 3:39 pm (#26 of 110)

Magic Words wrote:

Laura, that's why I think we need to look closely at the exact way Bellatrix defines "meaning it." Clearly, Harry wanting to take out his anger by hurting her didn't qualify. I think what she was saying was that you have to mean it with your entire soul, in a way - that is, Harry can't truly "mean" to cause pain as long as there's a part of him that can feel compassion and is therefore unwilling to harm others on principle. Any surface emotions he might feel, such as anger or rage or even hatred, are just that - on the surface, not an integral part of him. On the other hand, Bellatrix can torture people without even being angry with them, because it is in her nature to enjoy causing pain.

Good point, Magic Words. It never even occurred to me that my definition of "meaning it" and Bellatrix's definition might be different.

Laura




Laura W - Mar 29, 2006 3:44 pm (#27 of 110)

By the way, what was Malfoy doing casting a Cruciatus curse during the Sectumsempra scene? He could have lost everything right there, if the spell had hit Harry. Wizards seem to forget surprisingly often that to be caught using an Unforgivable is the best way to spend the rest of your life in Azkaban.

My thoughts exactly, when I read that passage in HBP, Magic Words! What a risk Draco took, had the curse taken! Life in Azkaban is nothing to take lightly, you know. Sheesh!

Laura




Laura W - Mar 29, 2006 4:22 pm (#28 of 110)

Magic Words, when I read your comment, "Maybe there will be a brief time in which he (Harry) starts tending towards the Dark Side ...", what came into my head was a) isn't using Dark Magic (successfully or not) on another human being *in itself* tending towards the Dark Side?, and b) aha! Perhaps what Jo is telling us by having Harry try an Unforgivable Curse once in OoP and once in HBP - forgetting about Sectumsempra (which is dark magic, but not unforgivable) because he didn't know what it would do -, she is saying that there is darkness in the best of us. As much as I genuinely love and care about and am loyal to Harry Potter, the Sorting Hat did want to put him in Slytherin House in first year and re-affirmed this to Harry in DD's office in CoS (2nd year). Hmm.

Steve, You are right in saying that "Harry's Crucio of Bella did work." Sort of. She was thrown backwards but did not experience the extreme pain of a really successful Crucio (a la what Harry experienced in the graveyard in GoF and when the DE hit him in HBP when Harry was chasing Snape). More than anything, I think his attempt REALLY teed her off! As you said, no more playing; no more baby talk.

Laura




haymoni - Mar 29, 2006 5:02 pm (#29 of 110)

I think the fact that Draco was willing to use an Unforgivable Curse shows us just how deep he's gotten himself.




Magic Words - Mar 30, 2006 7:08 am (#30 of 110)

Yes, Laura, I think attempting to use dark magic is the beginning of tending towards the dark side. But Harry is not a dark wizard right now, by any stretch of the imagination. He's only ever attempted dark magic on another person when he's really, really, angry, and he's never succeeded (except for Sectumsempra, and he didn't know that was dark at the time). On the other hand, how big a step would it be for him to start using it strategically, in cold blood? It's interesting that he persisted in trying to complete a Cruciatus curse on Snape, even knowing there were many more effective spells he could have used. And he used Sectumsempra on the Inferi. Granted, they're not alive and they don't have blood, but I was a little surprised when reading that he didn't seem to have any qualms about using that particular curse when opportunity arose.




Choices - Mar 30, 2006 10:16 am (#31 of 110)

Dark times often call for dark magic. It would not be fair for the dark side to be able to use darker, more powerful magic, and the good side be stuck with using the likes of the "jelly-legs curse". Harry will have to fight fire, with fire. Harry may not initiate the darker curses, but if they are thrown at him I think he will defend himself appropriately.




K Stahl - Mar 30, 2006 12:59 pm (#32 of 110)

Perhaps Draco saw the use of an unforgivable curse with its one-way ticket to Azkaban as a way out of his assigned task. Perhaps someone should ask Myrtle.




Magic Words - Mar 30, 2006 1:49 pm (#33 of 110)

"Dark times often call for dark magic." ~Choices

That's an age-old question, isn't it? Do you take the high road and stay true to your own ethical code when you know your enemy won't? It's a disadvantage, but if the only other option is to become what you are fighting, what choice do you have? It seems to me that the good side in HP shouldn't have to resort to darker spells, because while some Dark magic is more powerful, the good side also has advantages of its own. I'm a big fan of the Stunning spell, for instance. Puts Death Eaters out of action just as well as a Cruciatus, and there's no torture involved.

Besides, we already know the Dark Arts will have nothing to do with Voldemort's eventual defeat. It will be a power he knows not.




Laura W - Mar 31, 2006 1:11 am (#34 of 110)

Re #30 of 33:

I think we are totally on the same page here. And despite everything I have said to date - *which I still stand by* -, I do not think Harry is a dark wizard in any way or ever will be. I believe he is, in fact very, very good and decent. But there are those moments. And it is not doing these wonderful books justice to ignore or gloss over those moral ambiguities (since Jo probably gave them to us for a reason).

In OoP, chapter Careers Advice, Sirius tells Harry that the James he knew in school "always hated the Dark Arts." I believe, based on everything I have read in all six books, that this hatred of the Dark Arts is even stronger in James' son. And yes, this whole debate about the morality/immorality of using evil to fight evil is as old as history and as current as today's headlines. (Thanks, irish flutterby for starting this thread and allowing us to explore it pertaining to HP.)

Besides, although Harry asks DD in OoP, chapter The Lost Prophecy, "so does that mean that ... that one of us has to kill the other one ... in the end?" and DD answers in the affirmative; we must also remember that DD has said, "That power also saved you from possession by Voldemort, because he could not bear to reside in a body so full of the force he detests. In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you."

It continues to bother me to some extent the fact that Harry would even consider using an Unforgivable Curse -- although a part of me understands why he did so in those particular instances -- or even Sectumsempra ("for your enemies"), but if the canon quoted in the previous paragraph is as much of a clue as I believe most of think it is, it isn't dark magic that will save him and/or defeat his - and the wizarding world's - enemy.

Thanks, folks, this has been terribly fun, not to mention cathartic, and who else could I have this discussion with if you weren't around? (smiley)

Laura




Phelim Mcintyre - Apr 3, 2006 3:33 am (#35 of 110)

The Dark Arts may not defeat Mouldy Voldie, but I think they may have a role in dealing with the Death Eaters. Probably people will use them, have such a shock at what they had done and find another way. But I doubt negotiation will work with Bella et al. Combat will be needed to bring the peace, healing and reconciliation that the Wizarding World wants, as such there appears to be no room for pacifism.




Magic Words - Apr 3, 2006 11:49 am (#36 of 110)

Pacifism isn't necessarily the only alternative to Dark Arts. It's as Hermione says to Umbridge in OotP - counter curses are not just curses with more acceptable names, they can be very effective when used defensively. You can fight a battle, defend yourself, and vanquish an enemy without resorting to Dark Arts. I'm not really sure what the definition of Dark Arts is, but I would guess it has to do more with causing unnecessary harm, above and beyond what is needed to keep an opponent from harming others. There’s nothing defensive about the Unforgivable curses, except maybe the killing curse, and there are always less destructive options there.




Laura W - Apr 6, 2006 6:38 pm (#37 of 110)

I quite like "Protego" myself, Magic. (grin)

But of course you are right, Phelim. Pacifism is not an option here. Not for Harry, at least. The prophecy, you know. From OoP, chapter The Second War Begins, these two quotes: "He had not told Ron, Hermione or anyone else what the prophecy had contained. ... He was not ready to see their expressions when he told them that he must be either murderer or victim, there was no other way ..." (p. 748-749, Raincoast) " it was still very hard to believe as he sat here that his life must include, or end in, murder ..." (p. 754, Raincoast)

And the Aurors - some of whom are members of the Order (e.g. - Tonks, Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt) are allowed to use Unforgivable Curses against DEs, thanks to legislation passed by Barty Crouch, Sr., as we learned in GoF. *And* I'm sure Jo revealed in an interview (sorry, I can't reference it at the moment) that more people will die in Book 7. More people than Voldemort and/or Harry (shudder) as I recall.

I guess the question is how Harry can defeat Voldemort - if he does - without using an Unforgivable Curse (especially AK) or other dark magic. Or will he use it? I just cannot get myself to believe he will. On the other hand ... Oh, this is so frustrating! (But fun.)

Laura




Phelim Mcintyre - Apr 7, 2006 4:22 am (#38 of 110)

Laura, pacifism isn't an option for anyone. Unless they are Muggles like Petunia who tries to convince herself it is all a bad dream.




Laura W - Apr 8, 2006 2:58 am (#39 of 110)

So, Phelim, do you see the only answer being all the "good guys" (i.e. - Harry, Ron, Hermione, the members of the Order) using dark magic to defeat the dark forces? Pacifism means not going into combat at all, but is there a way of fighting without using the Dark Arts? As I said before, the Aurors can use them legally but I think it would still be illegal (i.e. - result in life in Azkaban for the others to do so). Lupin, Molly, Bill, etc. are *not* Aurors. Either is Harry, of course.

Magic Words wrote: "You can fight a battle, defend yourself, and vanquish an enemy without resorting to Dark Arts." My question would be, "Can Harry?"

"'It will take uncommon skill and power to kill a wizard like Voldemort, even without his horcruxes.' (DD) 'But I haven't got uncommon skill and power,' said Harry. ... 'Yes, Harry, you can love,' said Dumbledore." (HBP, p.475-476, Raincoast)

Laura




Soul Search - Apr 8, 2006 5:12 am (#40 of 110)

The prophecy implies that Harry will "kill" Voldemort. Dumbledore has told Harry that the "power the Dark Lord knows not" is love, and this will defeat Voldemort.

The question becomes how can "love" kill Voldemort. Harry shouldn't need a dark arts curse. Unless "love" is an unforgivable curse.
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Curses, Hexes and the Unforgivables Empty Curses, Hexes and the Unforgivables (posts #41 to #80)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:56 am

Phelim Mcintyre - Apr 9, 2006 7:45 am (#41 of 110)

Laura - I see pacifism as being unwilling to rise up in anyway. People wrongly see Gandhi as a pacifist. While he did not use violent protest he was not willing to do nothing. To do nothing would also send out the wrong signals to the Death Eater's, that people don't care, just as the wrong actions can be the wrong response. Look at Chamberlain and Hitler.

Love is not an emotion that does nothing. For some reason people from the West see love as a wishy-washy thing, all pink Lockhart Valentine hearts. But sometimes love is the most powerful and dangerous force in the world. Think how many myths, legends and modern thrillers are about love that consumes and destroys.

I don't see the battle being just about the forbidden curses, can Harry et al use them or not. I wouldn't be surprised if the forbidden curses are used by one of the group, but I believe that there is something more than this. This is why I am one of those who believe that Harry will sacrifice himself to kill Voldemort - there is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.




irish flutterby - Apr 9, 2006 3:20 pm (#42 of 110)

I haven't finished catching up yet, but I can't wait to read any more before chiming in. I think DD has made it VERY clear that there are ways to fight the Dark arts that are not Dark in and of themselves. In the battle at the Ministry DD never stooped to using dark magic to fighting LV. No, he didn't try to defeat him then and there, but I agree with Laura W and the quote she referenced. There are less evil ways to overcome evil. For example, though I shudder to think it would indeed happen in HP, self-sacrifice (life that of Lily for Harry) is the ultimate "conqueror" of evil. This is a recurring literary theme throughout the ages, and may yet hold true. Though I really hope Harry isn't literally sacrificed. I'd hate to see him die.




Choices - Apr 9, 2006 4:27 pm (#43 of 110) Edited Apr 9, 2006 5:29 pm

Somehow, and don't ask me how, I think Harry will appear to sacrifice himself or will consider sacrificing himself, but will not really die. I think it will be sort of a cliffhanger, a breath holding moment, but Harry will live to fight another day.....or just walk off into the sunset with the woman (Ginny?? Hermione??? whoever???) of his dreams.




Phelim Mcintyre - Apr 10, 2006 12:32 am (#44 of 110)

Irish Flutterby, but don't forget that DD knew the prophecy. That he couldn't vanquish Voldemort, only Harry can. DD didn't try and defeat Voldemort in the Ministry of Magic because he knew it wasn't his job and that he couldn't.




Mediwitch - Apr 10, 2006 5:40 pm (#45 of 110)

Hmm, I'm not so sure about that. I think Dumbledore did not try to kill Voldemort in the MoM because he already knew about the horcruxes and therefore knew it would be impossible for anyone to kill Voldemort. I wonder if Dumbledore WOULD have attempted to vanquish Voldemort (regardless of the prophecy) if the horcruxes did not exist, or if Dumbledore had not known of their existence.




Magic Words - Apr 11, 2006 10:17 am (#46 of 110)

Choices, that would be the best scenario IMHO. It would make sense from a literary standpoint: the hero often undergoes a symbolic death/resurrection. Maybe he'll have to sacrifice himself to get rid of the last Horcrux but he will survive where the Horcrux doesn't.




irish flutterby - Apr 11, 2006 2:25 pm (#47 of 110)

I would agree that DD probably didn't try to destroy LV because he knew of the Horcruxes and the Prophecy. HOWEVER, I don't think he would have used dark magic (particularly an Unforgiveable) to destroy him regardless. The phrase that keeps coming to mind is DD saying "there are worse things than death" or something along those lines. I think, in DD's opinion (well, mine at least) death is too easy a punishment for LV.




Mediwitch - Apr 11, 2006 8:23 pm (#48 of 110)

irish flutterby ~

That's why I said "vanquish", not "kill".

I have no doubt that Dumbledore knew ways to "vanquish" an enemy without resorting to Unforgivables. What those ways are, however, I don't have a clue!




Laura W - Apr 12, 2006 12:31 am (#49 of 110)
Edited Apr 12, 2006 1:33 am

Irish flutterby -- from OotP, chapter 36, p. 718 (Raincoast):

" 'You do not seek to kill me, Dumbledore,' called Voldemort, his scarlet eyes narrowed over the top of the shield. 'Above such brutality, are you?'

'We both know that there are other ways of destroying a man, Tom,' Dumbledore said calmly,... 'Merely taking your life would not satisfy me, I admit -'

'There is nothing worse than death, Dumbledore!' snarled Voldemort.

'You are quite wrong,' said Dumbledore, ... 'Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness -' "

Perhaps this is the passage you were thinking of.

Laura




Choices - Apr 12, 2006 8:20 am (#50 of 110)

'We both know that there are other ways of destroying a man, Tom,' Dumbledore said calmly,... 'Merely taking your life would not satisfy me, I admit -"

That almost sounds like Dumbledore could mean the other ways of destroying Voldemort would be to destroy his Horcruxes. When Dumbledore speaks of taking his life, he could mean killing Voldemort's body without destroying his Horcruxes would not be satisfying because Voldemort wouldn't be truly gone. Just a thought....




irish flutterby - Apr 24, 2006 4:26 pm (#51 of 110)

"That he couldn't vanquish Voldemort, only Harry can." - Phelim Mcintyre.

I wonder about this a bit. DD doesn't seem to put much stock in the prophecy. He seems to emphasize LV and Harry's belief in the prophecy. The way I read it, if LV hadn't believed the prophecy, he wouldn't have tried to kill Harry; therefore, he wouldn't have vaporized himself by trying to AK a boy protected by a mother's love. Had he not done this, there is no reason to believe that Harry would have been any different from Ron or Neville. (Well, maybe a little more talented, but generally the same.)

Because LV continues to believe that Harry might be his demise, he will continue to try to kill Harry and, in turn that will lead to his or Harry's death, which will fulfill the prophecy.

Does that make sense? Sorry if my grammar is a bit skewed.

Anyways, I think DD's belief is that this is a more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The only reason one of them has to die is because LV won't let it go. jm2k




TheSaint - Apr 24, 2006 5:35 pm (#52 of 110)

Agreed Irish!




Magic Words - Apr 24, 2006 6:28 pm (#53 of 110)

I realize that it was Voldemort's choice to mark Harry as an equal, but are you also saying (Irish and Saint) that it was Voldemort's actions that gave Harry "the power to vanquish the Dark Lord?" If he had never started fulfilling the prophecy, would Dumbledore have been able to vanquish Voldemort, only now he can't because the prophecy is activated and it specifies Harry?

I know love is the power the Dark Lord knows not, and Harry's supposed to use it to conquer LV. But he's hardly the only one who has that power. This makes me wonder whether "the power to conquer the Dark Lord" is more specific to the link between Harry and Voldemort and is subtly different from the "power the Dark Lord knows not."




TheSaint - Apr 25, 2006 3:32 am (#54 of 110)

mumbles something about horcrux and love converting piece of Voldie’s soul* Runs from Dungbombs! LOL




Magic Words - Apr 25, 2006 6:31 am (#55 of 110)

Wow, Saint, you're right! This is ammo for the Horcrux Harry theory!




Phelim Mcintyre - Apr 25, 2006 6:33 am (#56 of 110)

Irish, but I thought that Harry didn't put much store in the prophecy but Voldemort did, hence his visit to Godric's Hollow. Or this is how I read the section at the end of OoP.




irish flutterby - Apr 26, 2006 11:15 am (#57 of 110)

Perhaps I am misunderstanding your question, Phelim. I agree that Harry might not put much stock in the prophecy in and of itself. I think Harry, Like DD, realizes that as long as LV is banking on the prophecy, it is valid. I believe that IF LV were to walk away from the prophecy and forget about it, someone else could destroy the horcruxes and vanquish the dark Lord. As it stands, however, DD has only told Harry (and possibly Snape) about the horcruxes, so the Trio and DD are/were the only ones with the power. As LV is "after" Harry, I think DD is/was giving Harry ammunition to defend himself and fight back.




Laura W - Apr 28, 2006 11:48 pm (#58 of 110)
Edited Apr 29, 2006 12:50 am

irish flutterby wrote: " Because LV continues to believe that Harry might be his demise, he will continue to try to kill Harry and, in turn that will lead to his or Harry's death, which will fulfill the prophecy."

Although I find this whole subject more than a little confusing, I agree with everything you wrote in your post #51, irish - assuming I understand it - and think the above quote can be borne out, canon-wise, in the following passage from HBP, chapter Horcruxes, where Dumbledore tells Harry:

" 'You see, the prophecy does not mean you have to do anything! But the prophecy caused Lord Voldemort to mark you as his equal ... in other words, you are free to choose your way, quite free to turn your back on the prophecy! But Voldemort continues to set store by the prophecy. He will continue to hunt you... which makes it certain, really, that -'

'That one of us is going to end up killing the other,' said Harry. 'Yes.' "

Or maybe I've misinterpreted the conversation I just cited.

Laura




frogface - May 1, 2006 5:47 am (#59 of 110)

I fully agree with Laura and Irish. I really love that particular interaction between Dumbledore and Harry because it put to rest my biggest fear in the story: that by including Prophecy into the story, JKR had contradicted Dumbledore's key message of choice. But that passage made it clear that Choice is still a key player in the story.

In fact it seems like Choice, along with Love embodies Dumbledore and Harry, while the Power to force people to do things (the opposite of Choice) along with Evil embodies Voldemort and the Death Eaters.




Phelim Mcintyre - May 3, 2006 3:55 am (#60 of 110)

Could this be why we saw Harry as the only one to throw off the Imperious Curse?




wynnleaf - May 10, 2006 3:07 pm (#61 of 110)

Since no one has posted anything for a week, I hope you won't mind if I bring up another topic -- Unbreakable Vows. I know it's not a curse or hex or unforgiveable, but you do die if you don't complete it, so maybe we could discuss it here?

I recently read a theory that instead of some magical "knowledge" on the part of who-knows-what determining whether or not the vow has been fulfilled, perhaps it could be the Bonder of the Vow who bears that responsibility. Obviously, the Bonder is the one who does the wand work to make the charm. But JKR never tells us how the Vow works. I doubt that Ron's recollections of the Vow, which stem from when he was 5 years old, could be considered the "be all and end all" of how the Vow works. Anyway, Ron just said that if you don't complete it you die, but without any comment on how completion of the Vow is determined.

Is it possible that the Bonder is the person accountable for determining whether the Bond is kept?




Magic Words - May 10, 2006 4:05 pm (#62 of 110)

I got the impression the Bonder's function was more as a witness than anything else. I certainly hope Bellatrix doesn't have any say in what happens to Snape! When you think about it, it would be tough to enforce - for instance, if Snape didn't carry through with the Vow, he could have lied to Bellatrix and said he did, or said he never got a chance to get involved (which would let him off the hook, because of the wording "to the best of his ability").




Mrs Brisbee - May 11, 2006 4:13 am (#63 of 110)
Edited May 11, 2006 5:14 am

I too would like to know what the Bonder's role is in the Unbreakable Vow. Perhaps a third party is just needed to cast the spell? Would the Unbreakable work like other magical contracts? The jinxed parchment didn't need to see or hear about Marietta blabbing to give her spots: it was as if the spell was already with her just waiting for something to happen so it could take effect. On the other hand, the Goblet of Fire was confounded to think Harry had entered the Triwizard Tournament, but he never did so how could any adverse conditional jinxes attach to the real Harry at the moment of agreement? Yet no one suggested they could confound it again to get Harry out of the Tournament, or that Harry could safely just ignore it, suggesting that it was too late to get him out. That one's a bit confusing.

I'm inclined to think that Snape is bound by the terms he agreed to no matter where the Bonder is. Agreeing to the contract is key, and the contract goes where he goes from then on.

That still leaves a mystery about why a Bonder is needed.




Mrs Brisbee - May 12, 2006 5:58 am (#64 of 110)
Edited May 12, 2006 7:01 am

I'm also wondering when someone drops dead from an unfulfilled Unbreakable Vow.

Snape took a three-part Vow: protect Draco while he performs the task; help Draco with the task; finish the task if Draco can't.

At what point would the Vow decide Snape isn't helping enough? Draco made it clear he didn't want Snape's help, and didn't seem to care that the consequence would be Snape dropping dead. Snape never dropped dead, so he must have been helping enough.

Draco's two failed attempted murders didn't have any effect on Snape, so I suspect Draco must have had a time limit of until the end of the school year to finish his task, and the Vow wouldn't weigh success or failure until then. So maybe if the Tower thing never happened, some time at the end of June the Vow would have kicked in to weigh Snape's success at fulfilling each of the three clauses.

Ack, I really wish we had more information to work with.




Magic Words - May 12, 2006 7:07 am (#65 of 110)

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Draco's task was to kill Dumbledore this year. So if Dumbledore were still alive by the end of the year, Draco would have failed, and Snape would die.

However, when you listen to the way Narcissa worded the Vow, it was to "keep watch over Draco as he attempts to fulfill the Dark Lord's wishes," "to the best of your ability, keep him from harm," and to perform the task himself if Draco failed. Nothing about "keeping him from harm until his task is complete." There is no time limit to the second clause.




Puck - May 12, 2006 9:20 am (#66 of 110)
Edited May 12, 2006 10:25 am

I am pretty sure that there is a thread dedicated to discussing this topic, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. Am I just imagining things?




Solitaire - Jun 28, 2006 9:07 am (#67 of 110)
Edited Jun 28, 2006 10:10 am

I have a question about the Sectumsempra! curse. Remember back in the DoM, the DE Hermione silenced (Dolohov?) used a slashing motion of his wand to take her down. A few minutes later, the same DE used what Harry noticed was the same movement again on him--he blocked it with Protego!--and Harry thought it felt like a blunt knife streaking across his face.

Madam Pomfrey said that the curse--even though Hermione had blocked the caster from speaking it--had caused rather a lot of damage to her body. If the caster had intended to use wordless magic, might the spell have been fatal? And more ... could this slashing wand movement have been a blocked Sectumsempra! curse? It would certainly be an appropriate movement, wouldn't it?

What if DEs had to invent damaging curses to use that were not technically considered Unforgivables? What if Snape had taught this curse to other DEs? Just idle musings ...

Solitaire




haymoni - Jun 28, 2006 10:29 am (#68 of 110)

I think we would have seen blood all over it was Sectumsempra.

I pictured it being more of a "burning" curse.




rambkowalczyk - Jun 28, 2006 5:10 pm (#69 of 110)

Solitaire,

Here's what I read: the Death Eater Hermione had just struck dumb made a sudden slashing movement with his wand from which flew a streak of what looked like purple flame. It passed right across Hermione's chest; she gave a tiny "oh" as though of surprise and then crumpled onto the floor...

I don't see where Dolohov did the same spell to Harry and had it blocked by a Protego. Dolohov did silently threaten to do to Harry what he did to Hermione but Harry put him in a full body bind.

The purple flame makes me think that this isn't Sectumsempra as I don't think there was a purple flame when Harry did it against Draco.

But it does have two things in common with Snape's spell: the slashing motion, and that it seems to be an easy spell to do nonverbally.

I would guess that Snape taught the Death Eaters how to do this spell. He probably also taught members of the Order how to heal the damage it caused.




haymoni - Jun 28, 2006 7:44 pm (#70 of 110)

But maybe none of the Order sing as well as Snape.

It does recall Dumbledore's comment about music being better than any magic taught at Hogwarts.




Choices - Jun 29, 2006 5:21 pm (#71 of 110)

The spell that hit Hermione almost sounds like the "stunner" spells that hit McGonagall in the chest.




Solitaire - Jun 29, 2006 8:21 pm (#72 of 110)
Edited Jun 29, 2006 9:22 pm

Ramb, this happens about 10 pages after Hermione has been hit and Harry has cast the Petrificus Totalus! Here is what it says in my book:

"He made the same slashing movement with his wand that he had used on Hermione just as Harry yelled, "Protego!"

Harry felt something streak across his face like a blunt knife but the force of it knocked him sideways, and he fell over Neville's jerking legs, but the Shield Charm had stopped the worst of the spell.

Harry mentions Dolohov using that slashing motion again, when he is dueling with Sirius. Harry does the Petrificus Totalus! once again, this time sparing Sirius. This is just 2-3 pages before Sirius falls behind the veil.

Solitaire




Solitaire - Jun 29, 2006 8:30 pm (#73 of 110)

McGonagall took four stunners to the chest. Madam Pomfrey commented, "Four Stunning Spells straight to the chest at her age? It's a wonder they didn't kill her."

Hermione is young and strong, and she was injured pretty badly. Could whatever hit her have been even stronger than four stunning spells?

Solitaire




Magic Words - Jun 30, 2006 12:29 pm (#74 of 110)

Stunning spells aren't meant to cause lasting damage, at least judging by the way Ron and Hermione played guinea pigs to prepare Harry for the maze in GoF. Whatever Dolohov used was doubtless some Dark spell meant to cripple or kill.




TheSaint - Jun 30, 2006 2:06 pm (#75 of 110)

Yes, I don't think the DE would be messing around with baby jinxes. They are going for the mutilate, maim and kill variety.




Choices - Jun 30, 2006 4:56 pm (#76 of 110)

Yes, but we have seen that "intent" can make the effect of a spell greater.




TheSaint - Jun 30, 2006 8:27 pm (#77 of 110)

Ohh... Choices... you keep supporting Harry is a Horcrux and the world will collapse. What was that about intent and spells being greater? Intending to make a horcrux...Voldie cast his AK in Harry's direction. LOL




Choices - Jul 1, 2006 9:21 am (#78 of 110)

No, No. LOL I said intent can make the effects of a spell stronger, I didn't say intent can make a Horcrux. LOL




rambkowalczyk - Jul 2, 2006 7:02 pm (#79 of 110)

Re Dolohov's Sectumsempra in the MOM battle.

Solitaire, the similarities are interesting. My guess is that there must be variations of this spell in use. There was no purple light when Dolohov aimed the spell at Harry. What did the spell do to Hermione? cause internal bleeding?




Vulture - Jul 10, 2006 6:05 pm (#80 of 110)
Edited Jul 10, 2006 8:27 pm

And the Aurors - some of whom are members of the Order (e.g. - Tonks, Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt) are allowed to use Unforgivable Curses against DEs, thanks to legislation passed by Barty Crouch, Sr., as we learned in GoF. (Laura W[/b] - Apr 6, 2006 7:38 pm (#37))

Hi, Laura W. I don't think you're quite right on this. The impression I have is that the Unforgivable Curse legislation was a special emergency measure that only remained in force for the duration of the first war against Voldemort. I know we're not told in so many words that it has been rescinded, but that's my impression from the general text.

These two examples don't amount to cast-iron proof , but for what they're worth:

(1) Sirius's account in Book 4 is our main source for the details of the first war against Voldemort _ at least for the events before Voldemort's attack on Godric's Hollow. Sirius's whole tone is that of one who (a) disapproves of Crouch Sr.'s approval of Avada Kedavra, and (b) is far from untypical of his peers in doing so. I know you can bring up all sorts of stuff about Sirius being outside the wizard mainstream and brainier than most of it, and I can't prove you're wrong. But there's a tone in which Sirius talks when he's being Sirius , and quite another tone in which he talks when he's saying stuff he doesn't regard as controversial or unique.

Indeed, when talking about the Crouch legislation his emphasis is quite the other way _ " Mind you " he says, "there were people who thought Crouch was going the right way about it" (my italics). In other words, he's trying to get across something to his audience which he knows is not, for them, the norm.

(2) In Book 5, Umbridge has practically "carte blanche" from Fudge to do whatever she likes in Hogwarts _ I don't think any of us have any doubt of Fudge's oft-expressed hostility to Dumbledore and Harry. Yet, when Umbridge decides to use the Cruciatus curse on Harry, she very visibly has to conquer her own nervousness about doing so. We know full well that this has nothing to do with conscience about torture (and Harry has the scars to prove it), so her nervousness, if not outright fear, can only be because she knows that she's stepping over a legal line. Also, significantly, she says "What Cornelius doesn't know won't hurt him".

If Crouch Sr.'s Avada Kedavra legislation were still in force, I think Umbridge would feel far more at ease about using it, even if she's not, strictly speaking, an Auror. After all, she has several times accused Harry of shielding Sirius, regarded by Fudge as Public Enemy No. 1 during Book 5.

========================================================

Draco's two failed attempted murders didn't have any effect on Snape, so I suspect Draco must have had a time limit of until the end of the school year to finish his task, and the Vow wouldn't weigh success or failure until then. So maybe if the Tower thing never happened, some time at the end of June the Vow would have kicked in to weigh Snape's success at fulfilling each of the three clauses. (Mrs Brisbee[/b] - May 12, 2006 6:58 am (#64))

Hi, Mrs Brisbee: I think the crucial thing is the wording of the Vow. Narcissa's final Vow question (in the "Spinner's End" chapter in Book 6) was: "And _ if it becomes clear that Draco will fail , will you do the deed Draco has undertaken to perform ?" (my italics)

(This, of course, is why Snape's hand twitched _ the previous two requests would have been easy to keep without doing anything he didn't want to do himself. But this one boxed him into a corner.)

But anyway, my point is that Draco's earlier attempts to kill Dumbledore meant nothing to Snape's Vow because they did not make clear that Draco would ultimately fail: he was still trying to do what he had been ordered. But on the Tower, Draco came face to face with that ultimate choice _ and lowered his wand. From that moment, Snape was bound by the Vow.

Anyway, I imagine that all this is gone into on the "The Unbreakable Vow - And Why Snape Took It" thread, though I haven't been in there (yet!!).
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Curses, Hexes and the Unforgivables Empty Curses, Hexes and the Unforgivables (posts #81 to #110)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:59 am

Vulture - Jul 10, 2006 7:29 pm (#81 of 110)
Edited Jul 10, 2006 8:34 pm

When Harry is chasing Bellatrix after she has killed Sirius, and he unsuccessfully tries to Crucio her in OoP (chapter The Only One He Ever Feared), she tells him it failed because he doesn't really mean it. " 'Never used an Unforgivable Curse before, have you, boy?' she yelled. 'You need to mean them, Potter! You need to really want to cause pain - to enjoy it ...'" Well, I think he *did* mean it at that moment, whatever Bella said. She had just murdered the man Harry thought of as the only caring family he had left, for heaven's sake! And he had this taken away from him after just two short years. (muffled sob.) I don't know why the curse didn't work - perhaps because Harry was only 15 years old at the time? - but it had nothing to do with Harry not meaning it, so says I.

Same with when he tried Crucio and Sectumsempra against Snape in HBP, chapter Flight of the Prince. "Harry uttered an inarticulate yell of rage; in that instant, he cared not whether he lived or died, pushing himself to his feet again, he staggered blindly towards Snape, the man he now hated as much as he hated Voldemort himself -"

Oh, he meant it all right!!

(Laura W- Mar 28, 2006 1:46 am (#15))

Hi again, Laura W: I disagree. That is to say, Harry may have "meant" it in the way you describe, but he didn't "mean" it in Bellatrix's sense of the word "mean". She makes this quite clear for us, both positively _ "you have to want to cause pain, to enjoy it" _ and negatively _ "righteous anger won't hold me for long". What is burning in Harry in both situations is just that _ righteous anger, as well as the heat of battle.

This is a very far cry from the enjoyment of pain described by Bellatrix. She kindly provides us with an example, earlier _ her evil gloating over Neville, deliberately alluding with relish to the torture of his parents as she prepares to torture him.

========================================================

Laura, that's why I think we need to look closely at the exact way Bellatrix defines "meaning it." Clearly, Harry wanting to take out his anger by hurting her didn't qualify. I think what she was saying was that you have to mean it with your entire soul, in a way - that is, Harry can't truly "mean" to cause pain as long as there's a part of him that can feel compassion and is therefore unwilling to harm others on principle. Any surface emotions he might feel, such as anger or rage or even hatred, are just that - on the surface, not an integral part of him. On the other hand, Bellatrix can torture people without even being angry with them, because it is in her nature to enjoy causing pain. (Magic Words[/b] - Mar 28, 2006 11:38 am (#18))

Yup. Spot on; no argument here !!

========================================================

By the way, what was Malfoy doing casting a Cruciatus curse during the Sectumsempra scene? He could have lost everything right there, if the spell had hit Harry. Wizards seem to forget surprisingly often that to be caught using an Unforgivable is the best way to spend the rest of your life in Azkaban. Would it have failed as Harry's did, or did Malfoy "mean it?" Was a part of him secretly hoping he would be caught and removed from Voldemort's reach? (Magic Words[/b] - Mar 28, 2006 2:02 pm (#20))

Well, firstly, Malfoy thought he was alone. Secondly, the one who would have caught him would have been dear old Severus, so I think we can rule out Azkaban for Malfoy. As for whether Malfoy's curse would have failed due to not "meaning" it in Bellatrix's terms _ interesting question. My answer would be that he certainly meant it more than Harry. (This is the guy who stamped on Harry's face, remember.) Whether he meant it enough (i.e. to Bellatrix levels) to get the full blast going is another thing. On balance, though, I wouldn't like to be depending on Malfoy's purity of heart _ as we know, Harry certainly didn't.

========================================================

I would say that NOT casting an unforgivable curse would show something about Harry's character - he refuses to use them and that shows his high-mindedness. But, Harry does try to cast them - granted, he isn't very good at it, but he does try. So, what does that say about Harry's character? He is unsuccessful not because he is too good to use them, but because he is just not very good at them or not powerful enough yet or they get blocked. To me, there is a big difference there. (Choices[/b] - Mar 28, 2006 6:57 pm (#21))

I think you need to bear in mind something that was very much part of Book 1 but which we may have forgotten _ that Harry spent his early years as an ordinary Muggle like us who had no clue that he was a wizard. Many of his reactions, even as late as Book 5, are those of someone just like us who happens to have found out that he's a wizard, rather than someone like Ron for whom wizardry is normality.

In a lot of fighting situations, Harry's reactions are very much the average Muggle ones _ if someone is trying to kill you, kill them; if you're in a battle, the point is to win it. When he's in a fight, he seems to use his wand as if it was a gun, up against other guns. (This is not really the way Dumbledore, or even a hot-blooded fighter like Sirius, uses a wand _ but their world has always been a wizard one.) On the other hand, Harry does show as much restraint (if not more) as could reasonably be expected from the average Muggle with a gun in a war situation. On the Tower, he Petrifies that Death Eater _ he doesn't Sectumsempra him. (In short, he acts like someone with a gun who wouldn't shoot someone in the back or shoot them dead when they're helpless.) So, it seems that he only goes for the most extreme curses in his most heated moments, when he himself is under attack _ and usually, his own nature prevents them working (though this doesn't happen with Sectumsempra).

Sectumsempra is the first example we've had of a combat spell which has effects as bad as an Unforgiveable without requiring any commitment by the user other than saying the thing. (Though not relevant for this thread, I note with interest that there has been little debate by Snape's defenders on the mentality behind deliberately inventing such a thing.)

People mention Harry's attempted Sectumsempra on Snape despite him now knowing what it does. But (1) Harry only tries it after he has tried other spells that Snape has blocked _ I can't help feeling that what he has in mind is the speed with which this spell acts; and (2) as far as he himself is concerned, Harry is trying to capture a traitor who has just killed his own (particularly widely-loved) Commander-In-Chief and is now trying to kill Harry. Harry is Dumbledore's loyal follower _ if he can't capture the traitor, killing him is not just self-defence: it's his duty.

(Whether Snape turns out to be "really on the good side" is irrelevant here _ Harry doesn't have the benefit of the Lexicon !!)




Vulture - Jul 10, 2006 7:37 pm (#82 of 110)
Edited Jul 10, 2006 8:40 pm

I started a new thread called "Avada Kedavra and the Morality Of Killing", and one of the contributors (Phelim, I think) said that its subject matter was already being discussed here. Having read through this thread, I'm not so sure, but anyway, here's my comments about Avada Kedavra for anyone who wants to take them up in here instead of in their own thread:

Avada Kedavra is broadly defined for us by two Death Eaters _ fake Moody in his Unforgiveable Curses class in Book 4, and Bellatrix after Sirius's death in Book 5. Without getting into huge detail, my feeling is that the Avada Kedavra requires the user to hate and to enjoy hating. We know that anyone's choices can lead them down that path _ but the amount of evil commitment needed to make Avada Kedavra work would be at the end of that path, not the beginning _ as Harry finds out any time he tries an Unforgiveable out of momentary "righteous anger".

Wizard/witch attitudes towards the AK should be read against a background of constant affirmations in the books that "killing" is the worst possible crime _ Slughorn describes it in Book 6 as "the supreme act of evil". As Slughorn (whom I wouldn't call "evil" or even "bad", but who is morally _ as in so many other ways _ lazy) is not usually known for his rigorous attention to doing good, this remark, coming from him , is perhaps more noticeable than it would be coming from Dumbledore.

A big problem with all this is that JKR has never given any clear signal about what forms of killing are legitimate in the wizard world. Harry's views would probably be close enough to our own _ whether he himself could kill when it came to the point, he would probably not condemn a person who had no choice but to kill to defend themselves. There is also the issue of killing in war _ is all war wrong, or is there a form of just war ?

But the thing is, neither Harry's views nor my views are those of the magical world. JKR hasn't spelt out the magical world's official view, but has made clear its horror of killing - even in self-defence. In Book 4, Sirius mentions how Crouch Sr., to win the war against Voldemort, authorised the use of the Avada Kedavra _ and it's very clear from the way he expresses himself that not only he, but many others, regarded this as a departure from the norm.

I'm not sure what JKR is up to here, and I'm not saying that she hasn't left this vague for a reason _ one of the best things about her books is how she, like any good writer, gets us to think twice about our world _ and I think she knows what she's ultimately doing on the killing issue. Nevertheless, I must point out that, in our world, there is a distinction between what is "killing" and what is "murder" _ this distinction hasn't _ yet _ been defined in the world of the HP books.




TheSaint - Jul 10, 2006 8:29 pm (#83 of 110)

OMG!




Laura W - Jul 11, 2006 12:44 am (#84 of 110)
Edited Jul 11, 2006 1:50 am

"Hi, Laura W. I don't think you're quite right on this. The impression I have is that the Unforgivable Curse legislation was a special emergency measure that only remained in force for the duration of the first war against Voldemort. I know we're not told in so many words that it has been rescinded, but that's my impression from the general text."

Vulture, I'm afraid I cannot see any canon in your argument that Crouch's authorization of the use of Unforgivables by Aurors has been rescinded.

The fact that Sirius seems to disapprove of Crouch's methods is not surprising. Crouch's arguably unlawful methods of enforcing the law got Sirius sent to Azkaban without a trial. And Sirius saying that some in the WW supported Crouch is just that. He is telling the trio that what Crouch did in allowing Aurors to use Unforgivables was controversial; opinion on it at the time (and probably to this day in the WW) was divided. And as to Umbridge: Sirius makes it very clear to the trio in GoF that only Aurors were given these new powers. Umbridge is not an Auror.

Laura




Laura W - Jul 11, 2006 1:05 am (#85 of 110)

Vulture, re your post #81, in which you quote an earlier post of mine, dated March 28. As you wrote in the next part of your message, Magic Words gave me another perspective on this. Although you did not put it in when you wrote #81, after reading what Magic wrote last March, I immediately conceded it in my next post #26 on this thread.




Choices - Jul 11, 2006 9:42 am (#86 of 110)

Laura W - "I'm afraid I cannot see any canon in your argument that Crouch's authorization of the use of Unforgivables by Aurors has been rescinded."

I totally agree - the use of Unforgivable curses by Aurors is still permitted as far as I can remember.




wynnleaf - Jul 13, 2006 4:58 am (#87 of 110)
Edited Jul 13, 2006 6:04 am

Harry is trying to capture a traitor who has just killed his own (particularly widely-loved) Commander-In-Chief and is now trying to kill Harry.

Vulture, while I agree with most of your posts, or at least think the points quite valid, I must point out that there's no way Harry could have thought Snape was trying to kill him that night. Snape made another DE stop cursing Harry. And it was clear to Harry that, rather than trying to kill him, Snape was trying to escape. So Harry was firing off unforgivables at a person attempting to escape. Granted, in Harry's view this was someone who had just murdered DD, but the curses he used were in response to DD's death, not his own life being in peril.

Laura W - "I'm afraid I cannot see any canon in your argument that Crouch's authorization of the use of Unforgivables by Aurors has been rescinded."

My understanding was that the Unforgivables had been authorized for use in the past war against LV and the final days of tracking down DE's after LV's fall at Godric’s Hollow. Up until the end of OOTP, the MOM didn't recognize any renewed DE activities (other than at the World Cup?), nor did they recognize LV's return. Therefore, since the Unforgivables were to use against DE's, and there was no currently recognized threat of DE's, I don't think Unforgivables would have been under active authorization at that point.




Choices - Jul 13, 2006 9:59 am (#88 of 110)
Edited Jul 13, 2006 11:06 am

But, the point is that we have absolutely no canon evidence to support your contention that the use of Unforgivables is no longer authorized. It is simply your opinion that their use has been rescinded due to the MOM not acknowledging Voldemort's return and the presence of DE activity in the wizarding world. It is certainly possible, but there is just nothing in canon to support it.




Solitaire - Jul 13, 2006 10:21 pm (#89 of 110)

The ten DEs broke out of Azkaban in the middle of the book. They were certainly a recognized threat, even if the Ministry did not acknowledge the return of Voldy. I'm sure the Aurors were authorized to AK if necessary.

Solitaire




Laura W - Jul 14, 2006 12:54 am (#90 of 110)
Edited Jul 14, 2006 2:12 am

wynnleaf wrote, "My understanding was that the Unforgivables had been authorized for use in the past war against LV and the final days of tracking down DE's after LV's fall at Godric’s Hollow. Up until the end of OOTP, the MOM didn't recognize any renewed DE activities (other than at the World Cup?), nor did they recognize LV's return. Therefore, since the Unforgivables were to use against DE's, and there was no currently recognized threat of DE's, I don't think Unforgivables would have been under active authorization at that point."

Yes, based on what Sirius told the trio, I agree with your first sentence here. That is when the use of Unforgivables - as authorized by Barty Crouch, head of Department of Magical Law Enforcement at the time - initially came into effect. No argument there. The point is that I see absolutely no canon that the original law Crouch made was ever officially taken off the books by the MOM, even though much of the WW thought that LV was gone and that his followers were in Azkaban or had denounced him. I would need for that to have been specifically stated by someone in the know in the WW for me to agree. If someone in the series has said this, please do let me know where.

Just because a piece of legislation is not always used, as long as it is still on the books, it can be used again at any point . As far as I can tell, the only time the subject of the new powers given to Aurors was mentioned at all was in Sirius' comments in the cave. And Snuffles said *nothing* about it being a temporary or time-limited change in the powers of Aurors and the government to catch suspected lawbreakers by breaking the law themselves.

"Crouch fought violence with violence, and authorized the use of Unforgivable Curses against suspects. I would say he became as ruthless and cruel as many on the Dark side." (Sirius Black)

Laura




haymoni - Jul 14, 2006 5:39 am (#91 of 110)

So the answer is we just don't know.

They could still be in effect or they could have been rescinded.

The nerve of Jo! Leaving out this detail!!!




Laura W - Jul 14, 2006 8:11 am (#92 of 110)
Edited Jul 14, 2006 9:16 am

I've got it! I've got it! (Hits herself really hard on the forehead for not thinking of this earlier.)

Ok, so in GoF, Chapter 27, Sirius tells the trio, "Oh I know Crouch all right. ... He was the one who gave the order for me to be sent to Azkaban - without a trial." And later he says, "He rose quickly through the Ministry, and started ordering very harsh measures against Voldemort supporters. The Aurors were given new powers - powers to kill rather than capture, for instance. And I wasn't the only one who was handed straight to the Dementors without trial. ..."

Thus, we learn that the same piece of legislation Crouch brought in included allowing Aurors to use Unforgivable Curses and to imprison suspects without trial.

Skip ahead two years. Book Six. The Daily Prophet: " Stanley Shunpike ... has been arrested on suspicion of Death Eater activity."

In Chapter Sixteen, Harry and Rufus Scrimgeour, Minister for Magic are discussing this very issue. Part of the conversation goes as follows - (Harry): "You see, I don't like some of the things the Ministry's doing. Locking up Stan Shunpike, for instance." (Harry): "Dumbledore's a lot older than sixteen, and he doesn't think Stan should be in Azkaban either. ..." (Harry): "Yeah, and others might say it's your duty to check people really are Death Eaters before you chuck them in prison. ... You're doing what Barty Crouch did. ..."

At the end of HBP, the Department of Magical Law Enforcement is still permitted to arrest suspects and imprison them without trial, as per Crouch Senior's order. Therefore, if that part of the legislation is still in effect (as it obviously is), the other part of it re the Unforgivable Curses must be as well.

Laura




wynnleaf - Jul 14, 2006 10:44 am (#93 of 110)

Laura,

Very good work researching the texts! I agree with you.




Vulture - Jul 14, 2006 7:33 pm (#94 of 110)
Edited Jul 14, 2006 8:44 pm

Vulture, while I agree with most of your posts, or at least think the points quite valid, I must point out that there's no way Harry could have thought Snape was trying to kill him that night. Snape made another DE stop cursing Harry. And it was clear to Harry that, rather than trying to kill him, Snape was trying to escape. So Harry was firing off Unforgivables at a person attempting to escape. Granted, in Harry's view this was someone who had just murdered DD, but the curses he used were in response to DD's death, not his own life being in peril. (wynnleaf[/b] - Jul 13, 2006 5:58 am (#87))

Hi, wynnleaf: (Before I say anything else, I would ask you (and all) to bear in mind that (in my opinion) that duel between Harry and Snape happens very fast _ faster, probably than the time taken to describe it.)

Anyway, for most of the duel, Harry does think that Snape is prepared to kill him _ this is proven by his words of defiance to Snape after Snape deprives him of his wand. The text indirectly backs this up by saying that Harry, faced with Snape's face wearing the same expression as when he had cursed Dumbledore, "felt no fear, only rage and contempt" _ I took the phrasing of that to imply that fear is what we might normally expect at such a moment if not otherwise stated.

It is true that Snape stopped another Death Eater from cursing Harry, but that was towards the end of the duel _ in fact, if I'm recalling correctly, after Harry had been deprived of his wand. So up to that point, Harry would have no reason not to expect Snape to attempt to murder him, having just murdered Dumbledore.

It may be that Harry will start to wonder in Book 7 about Snape sparing his life, but in Book 6, his only comment on Snape's action is his later comment to Scrimgeour that "Voldemort wants to kill me himself", implying that he thinks that Snape is speaking the truth about "the Dark Lord's orders".

========================================================

Ok, so in GoF, Chapter 27, Sirius tells the trio, "Oh I know Crouch all right. ... He was the one who gave the order for me to be sent to Azkaban - without a trial." And later he says, "He rose quickly through the Ministry, and started ordering very harsh measures against Voldemort supporters. The Aurors were given new powers - powers to kill rather than capture, for instance. And I wasn't the only one who was handed straight to the Dementors without trial. ..."

Thus, we learn that the same piece of legislation Crouch brought in included allowing Aurors to use Unforgivable Curses and to imprison suspects without trial.

Skip ahead two years. Book Six. The Daily Prophet: " Stanley Shunpike ... has been arrested on suspicion of Death Eater activity."

In Chapter Sixteen, Harry and Rufus Scrimgeour, Minister for Magic are discussing this very issue. Part of the conversation goes as follows - (Harry): "You see, I don't like some of the things the Ministry's doing. Locking up Stan Shunpike, for instance." (Harry): "Dumbledore's a lot older than sixteen, and he doesn't think Stan should be in Azkaban either. ..." (Harry): "Yeah, and others might say it's your duty to check people really are Death Eaters before you chuck them in prison. ... You're doing what Barty Crouch did. ..."

At the end of HBP, the Department of Magical Law Enforcement is still permitted to arrest suspects and imprison them without trial, as per Crouch Senior's order. Therefore, if that part of the legislation is still in effect (as it obviously is), the other part of it re the Unforgivable Curses must be as well. (Laura W - Jul 14, 2006 9:11 am (#92)

Hi, Laura W: You may be right about the Aurors' AK'ing and the imprisonment without trial being part of the same legislation, but I don't agree with your broader point that it must still be in force, using Stan Shunpike as proof. The reason I don't is that Stan wasn't locked up on the same basis as Sirius _ he was locked up on (roughly) the same basis as Hagrid was in Book 2.

I know this probably seems really hair-splitting, but bear with me. Sirius was caught in circumstances which (a) seemed to leave no doubt of his guilt, (b) happened to be related to the most famous murder in the wizard world, and (c) nauseated the whole wizard world due, not simply to murder, but to treachery towards his best friends. Given both the emergency laws and the public feeling at the time, the chances are that Crouch probably thought he was being merciful by chucking Sirius straight into Azkaban rather than letting him anywhere near what the wizard public would do to him (I can't quote canon for that last sentence _ it's just deduction).

Hagrid and Stan were arrested on a completely different basis (though we can't blame Hagrid for not appreciating the distinction, given the Dementors): they were arrested on suspicion. In Hagrid's case, Fudge made clear that if and when a different culprit was found, Hagrid would be released. In Stan's case, I admit that no such guarantee has been given, but he hasn't been just thrown in jail and left to rot _ from something Arthur Weasley says, it seems that he is being interrogated. I should also point out that Stan has been arrested after the Dementors have left Azkaban, so he is not even enduring what Hagrid did.

Incidentally, by saying "You're doing what Barty Crouch did" to Scrimgeour, as part of a sentence meant to provoke and criticise him , Harry seems (in my opinion) to be implying that "what Barty Crouch did" is not the norm; he speaks as if he expects Scrimgeour to argue back, not as if Scrimgeour will agree that that's exactly what he's doing. And Scrimgeour does react _ the Barty Crouch label makes him angry. Why should he be, if it's standard practise ?

My point with all this is not to show approval for the justice system in the wizard world _ far from it. (Incidentally, Harry's reactions to the wizard justice system, in common with some of his reactions to other things, are very similar to ours.) It's simply that I'm not convinced that the rules of the Crouch regime are still on the statute books. I ought to make clear that I can't prove that from canon, and I don't think I said I could. What I said was that Sirius's way of expressing himself in Book 4 indicated (well, to me, anyway) a context of wizards in Harry's day not approving of stuff they might have approved of during the first war against Voldemort. I've nothing concrete to base that on _ just a strong feeling about Sirius's character and way of talking. And I've noticed (what I think is) a different tone from him when saying something we are supposed to accepted, to the one he uses when we are supposed to react by thinking "that's typical Sirius ".

But just my opinion, in the end !!




Laura W - Jul 15, 2006 3:40 am (#95 of 110)
Edited Jul 15, 2006 4:49 am

wynnleaf wrote: "Laura, Very good work researching the texts! I agree with you."

Gracious of you to say so. Thanks.

Vulture wrote: "the chances are that Crouch probably thought he was being merciful by chucking Sirius straight into Azkaban rather than letting him anywhere near what the wizard public would do to him."

You obviously have a *much* higher opinion of Barty Crouch Sr. - and his moral compass (or lack of it) - than I do.

Laura




Vulture - Jul 15, 2006 9:03 am (#96 of 110)

You obviously have a *much* higher opinion of Barty Crouch Sr. - and his moral compass (or lack of it) - than I do. (Laura W[/b] - Jul 15, 2006 4:40 am (#95))

Oh no, not at all. But he's not going to agree with us, is he ? Human beings have an incredible capacity for convincing themselves that what they want to do is also the right thing to do. Besides (as Sirius told us) plenty of the wizard public thought that what Crouch was doing was necessary and applauded him, so it wouldn't be surprising if that helped him think he was right.




Laura W - Jul 17, 2006 3:27 am (#97 of 110)
Edited Jul 17, 2006 4:28 am

I agree he thought he was right in implementing and enforcing the new legislation which allowed Aurors to use the Unforgivables and to imprison suspects without trial. Absolutely! And not only him. I can just imagine that the wizarding world was split on that decision; both sides feeling just as adamant. Sirius says so. I have absolutely no doubt that, without having to convince himself of *anything*, Crouch believed his actions were - especially in this time of war - the best thing for society.

I think you misunderstood my post, Vulture. What I was disagreeing with was your contention that Barty thought he was being merciful to Sirius by putting him in Azkaban out of harm's way. That is what I was not willing to give him credit for, because I do not believe that thought even entered his head. In his mind, he was taking advantage - as he was legally allowed to do - of the law which did not require possibly-lengthy, annoying trials for criminals and suspects.

Laura




me and my shadow 813 - Feb 17, 2009 8:49 pm (#98 of 110)

Ooh, thanks for the link Soli! I believe someone posted it: Molly says it in DH when she's tending to George -- that the ear could not be re-attached due to it being dark magic. I'd forgotten that line and am now as confused as ever... how this pertains to Gamp's Law. Grow ears back? Why not grow back a leg for Moody? Dark magic took it off? Why not then a grow a new liver or kidney if you are getting old and ill? Hmmm. ***must toddle back to Gamp's thread***




Solitaire - Feb 18, 2009 7:07 am (#99 of 110)

Shadow, I felt we were kind of getting off the track ... and I think I was the one who brought it up, too. That's why I felt compelled to find this thread again As you can see, it's been neglected for a while!




PeskyPixie - Feb 18, 2009 11:28 am (#100 of 110)

Well, in George's case, it wouldn't be necessary to grow a new ear. All Snape would have to do was find the ear he had Cursed off and attach it back to his head. I think that if he had managed to sew Draco back together then he would also have been able to repair George. After all, Snape is more learned in the Dark Arts than other members of the Order of the Phoenix.




Solitaire - Feb 18, 2009 11:50 am (#101 of 110)

Snape is more learned in the Dark Arts than other members of the Order of the Phoenix.

Indeed.




me and my shadow 813 - Feb 18, 2009 12:28 pm (#102 of 110)

Pesky, Molly alluded to being able to grow the ear back if it hadn't been severed with dark magic. This is my confusion as we are trying to get things straight on Gamp's thread as to what WW can and cannot do with human tissue, health, healing, etc. Any thoughts?




PeskyPixie - Feb 18, 2009 1:04 pm (#103 of 110)

Ah, I see what you mean. Why indeed would Molly be able to 'grow back' a detached body part (as opposed to re-attaching it, which is probably what Snape might have been able to do)?




legolas returns - Feb 18, 2009 1:10 pm (#104 of 110)

Didn't Harry get a tooth regrown by Ted Tonks?




Mrs Brisbee - Feb 18, 2009 4:20 pm (#105 of 110)

Didn't Harry get a tooth regrown by Ted Tonks?

That's a very good point. I wondered at the time what the point of the lost tooth was, and now I think it must have been to show the difference between something lost "normally", which can be regrown, and something lost through Dark Magic, which cannot be regrown.




me and my shadow 813 - Feb 18, 2009 4:31 pm (#106 of 110)

Thanks, legolas and Mrs Brisbee. That makes good sense... JKR does seem to do that to cover and clarify things.




Solitaire - Feb 18, 2009 7:20 pm (#107 of 110)

Wasn't the tooth lost (and Harry's arm broken?) as a result of their landing?

About George's ear ... I suspect it went flying off into the night when it left his head. How would anyone ever find it? Accio, George's ear? I wonder if it could even be reattached if it had been severed with Dark Magic, unless Snape were the one to do it--assuming he has a counter-curse.




me and my shadow 813 - Feb 18, 2009 7:28 pm (#108 of 110)

Yeah, Soli, and broken ribs. So Ted healed all three, and all are bone matter. Molly seemed to feel she'd be able to heal an ear -- flesh and cartilage. Hm. **off to add stuff to recent Gamp post**




Julia H. - Feb 19, 2009 1:15 am (#109 of 110)

Lockhart's spell results in Harry losing the bones in his arm in CoS. It is probably not Lockhart's intention. He makes a mistake, but is it just a very poorly performed healing spell or does Lockhart use "accidentally" something Dark? Madam Pomfrey can regrow the bones even though they were lost because of magic, not in the "normal" way. If the spell is not dark, then it is possible that a "good" spell can bring a result which is the direct opposite of what it normally does.




Solitaire - Feb 19, 2009 7:02 am (#110 of 110)

In trying to heal a broken bone, Lockhart got rid of the bones in Harry's arm! Just normal, "inept" spell damage, I'd say.
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