Albus Dumbledore

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Post  Mona on Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:09 am

maria cloos - Sep 4, 2007 12:37 pm (#1101 of 2055)
T Vrana, I too now remember thinking that it was probably a good thing that James didn't have the cloak when I read the letter from Lily to Sirius.

I just wanted to say that everything that we learned about DD gave me a whole new perspective on him. It actually made a lot of what he did in his life much more noteworthy. We all have demons that we must lay to rest. After what had happened to his sister at the hands of muggles most people would have hated the whole lot of them and been more than happy to see them all punished. Indeed....that was DD's first inclination. But of course Ariana's death gave him a much different perspective. I think that turning his life around and actually working to protect muggles was extremely amazing. A person who goes through live with no real adversity and always makes the right decisions is not necessarily worthy of respect. It is one that overcomes his faults and understands them. The simple fact that DD recognized that he was not capable of handling great power and refused the post of minister is perhaps one of the things that makes me respect him far more than I possibly could have.

I believe him when he said he took the cloak out of idle curiosity. If he had thought that the cloak was necessary for the Potters' survival he WOULD NOT have taken it. If he hadn't been concerned about their safety he wouldn't have bothered to try to help them in the first place. DD feels a tremendous responsibility towards all people around him (not just those he knows, nor wizards, but all mankind). We see this time and again....the examples abound.

The stone, I have to agree with T Vrana....a moment of great weakness. How many of us can truly understand the enormous weight of feeling responsible for the death of a loved one. We all know the devastation of losing someone, but what if you were to feel guilt on top of that devastation? My goodness, it would break most people!

As for how and when DD gave info to Harry, I think he did what he thought was best. I think the conversation between the two at the end of OoTP says it best. Again, we have to put ourselves in his shoes. As he says, he alone could prevent disaster. He is the one that must place the greatest burden of all on Harry. I cannot even begin to imagine having to take on such a chore! DD sees Harry go through a great deal in the time he's known him and has taken great care to make sure that Harry's taken care of and tries to help him to have some comfort in his life. Hindsight is always 20/20. Had DD known what would happen by keeping the info from Harry he surely would have shared it at an earlier date. But, as he said, he was more concerned with Harry being happy in the "here and now."

Did DD love Harry? There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the answer is yes.



T Vrana - Sep 4, 2007 12:48 pm (#1102 of 2055)
Dumbledore removed temptation by taking the cloak even though we knew he took it for much more selfish reasons.

I don't know, is curiosity selfish? Xenophilius was also interested in the Hallows, if he had asked to borrow the cloak to study, would anyone be caling him selfish? Or just curious....

maria- Great post. I agree.



TomProffitt - Sep 4, 2007 12:56 pm (#1103 of 2055)
"James is getting a bit frustrated shut up here, he tries not to show it but I can tell - also, Dumbledore's still got his Invisibility Cloak, so no chance of little excursions." --- Lily's letter to Sirius (DH, Scholastic, p. 180)

James only wanted it so he could get out of the house to play, as Lily's letter indicates. He wasn't even concerned enough to want to stay home with his family, so I don't think he was planning to use it as a great tool to save his family. --- T Vrana

T Vrana, you (and many others) get a great deal more out of a single line of text than I think is warranted. How does "a bit frustrated shut up here" turn into not being concerned enough to stay home with his family? Lily merely mentions an option they don't have and a frustration anyone would have. It is inconceivable to me that this automatically means that James would be running around England under his Invisibility Cloak playing silly buggers with the Marauders if Dumbledore did not have the cloak.



wynnleaf - Sep 4, 2007 1:27 pm (#1104 of 2055)
That's correct, Tom, there's nothing in that line to show that James wants to get out for frivolous reasons.

About apparition within the house -- we don't know. If Lily could apparate -- why didn't she? After all, she had the time it took from James shouting and then being killed by LV, to his going up the stairs. James didn't say "grab Harry and get out" or "grab Harry and apparate" he said "Lily, take Harry and go! It’s him! Go! Run! I’ll hold him off –." "Run" not "apparate."

In 12 Grimmauld Place, the twins could apparate within the house from one room to another, but no one apparated out of the house when the Order meeting was over. They all went out the door, at least as far as was mentioned.

Back to DD and the cloak. DD would never have been able to think, "James and Lily don't need this cloak because it can't possibly help them regardless what way LV might attempt to attack them." Sorry, but that makes no sense. DD would have had no way of knowing how LV might attack or whether or not the cloak could be useful. DD certainly thought Harry should carry the cloak at all times during HBP, even with his wand already on his person. Keeping the cloak while the Potter's lives were in danger was at the very least quite irresponsible. Since I find it hard to believe that Dumbledore actually forgot about the Potter's possible need of the cloak, or never considered that it could help them, I'm forced to think his desire to hang onto the cloak made him keep it anyway.

And what is the reason for the cloak at all in the story? JKR said the reason DD had the cloak was "crucial." It was so crucial that she considered that "never asked question" to be important enough to give it to her readers without them asking. Why was it important at all if DD only had it to study it a bit and it made no difference to anything. No difference to the Potter's safety. No difference to our opinion of Dumbledore. No difference.

Why have the cloak as a Hallow that DD had borrowed and kept at the time the Potter's died? How is that possibly crucial unless it actually gives us some vital information?

JKR could have made all manner of items a 3rd Hallow that DD was fascinated by and either borrowed or otherwise acquired. Why make it an item that he borrowed from the Potters at precisely the time when their lives were in danger and they were attacked and killed?



TomProffitt - Sep 4, 2007 1:42 pm (#1105 of 2055)
Keeping the cloak while the Potter's lives were in danger was at the very least quite irresponsible. --- wynnleaf

I think something like this sentiment applies to Dumbledore in many other cases as well. There is a single-mindedness to Dumbledore's actions and way of thinking that often seems to forget the dreams, goals, desires, ambitions, and lives of his friends and allies.

Dumbledore's brilliance is his downfall. His "I know best do what I say attitude" is rather repugnant but receives the unfortunate justification of his usually being right. His friends really should have stood up to him more often.



Joanna Lupin - Sep 4, 2007 1:49 pm (#1106 of 2055)
Lily couldn't have apparated because she didn't have a wand on her which was naive, utter madness even.

Note: Harry never parts with his wand.



wynnleaf - Sep 4, 2007 1:51 pm (#1107 of 2055)
Tom, I agree.

However, unlike a number of fans who apparently think DD saw everyone as a tool and didn't really care about people, I think Dumbledore really did care about others. But I think he saw people from the arrogance of someone of great intellect who assumes that no one else can truly understand or see what he can see. And also, perhaps part of his eccentricities included not really being able to understand other people very well.

It seems amazing that he'd try to keep a man like Sirius closed up in a house for a year, when he could probably have found some way (polyjuice, anyone?) to get him out and about and feeling more useful. Or the way he talked to Harry about Sirius only about an hour after Sirius' death. Or sending Harry home to Privet Drive after Cedric and Sirius' deaths without any real support for weeks. Not good.



Madame Pomfrey - Sep 4, 2007 9:30 pm (#1108 of 2055)
I think Dumbledore understands people better than we think.He has his reasons for being so blunt.

Had Dumbledore waited and spared Harry's feelings reguarding Sirius' treatment of Kreature,Harry may not have learned through Sirius' mistakes.By gaining Kreatures respect he was able to locate the locket horcrux.After Sirius' death sunk in,Harry didn't talk about him it was too painful and didn't people avoid mentioning Sirius in front of Harry? Had Dumbledore waited I don't know if there would have been an opportunity.

Dumbledore knew Ron well enough to know that he would leave Harry during their mission.

He knew Harry most of all.He knew that Harry would not be tempted by the Hallows as he was. He set the Snitch to Open at the Close because he knew Harry would selfessly give his life for the Wizarding World and he provided him with comfort-his parents,Sirius and Lupin.I think he may have even known Harry would forgive Snape.There was that bit in HBP where Harry was questioning Dumbledore about why he trusted Snape and Dumbledore looked as if he was going to tell Harry something then changed his mind.Had Dumbledore not promised Snape I think he would have told Harry knowing that knowledge would have changed his opinion of Snape.

Gee,I hope My sentences articulate.Its late and I'm tired.



mona amon - Sep 4, 2007 10:38 pm (#1109 of 2055)
I disagree. DD was curious, but he said it was the Hallow he and Grindewald were least interested in. They only wanted it to complete the trio and perhaps hide Ariana. By the time DD borrowed it he didn't want the power and Ariana was long dead. He only had the wand because he wasn't interested in it as a Hallow, but rather in protecting it.

He did not seek the Ring, but only found it as a horcrux. Then he only put it on in the hopes of apologizing for a 130 year old mistake. (T Vrana)

Wynnleaf has already said most of what I wanted to say in post#1104.

I feel we are meant to see the pull that the Hallows had on Dumbledore, and that although there are no evil consequences (other than his own death) of his obsession, we are meant to see it as one of Dumbledore's weaknesses.

He may have borrowed the cloak out of curiosity. But he kept it long after the curiosity was satisfied. He should have thought along the lines of "OK, this is most certainly a Hallow. Imagine that! Now let's get it back to James as fast as possible. He might be needing it." But his obsession, which is not really rational (as you say, he did not need the cloak the way he needed the ring) makes him hold on to it. He obviously regrets it till his dying day, and it is left to Harry, who 'saw' the whole Godric Hollow incident, to assure him that it would not have helped his parents at all.

On the credit side, there was a point when Dumbledore could have united the Hallows if he had wanted to. He had the Wand and the Stone. All he had to do was borrow the cloak from Harry. But he does seem to have learnt from his past mistakes and resisted the temptation.



NFla Barbara - Sep 5, 2007 5:34 am (#1110 of 2055)
I also think DD understands people pretty well. I have never thought the scene in OoP where DD talks about Sirius was evidence of any thoughtlessness or cruelty. DD has realized that he was mistaken to keep unpleasant truths from Harry, and they are at a point where they don't have the luxury of waiting to see when LV will return. Harry needs to express his own emotions and then hear information that will be important for him to have later, and DD accomplishes both of those things.



T Vrana - Sep 5, 2007 6:14 am (#1111 of 2055)
That's correct, Tom, there's nothing in that line to show that James wants to get out for frivolous reasons.

The wording, ‘no little excursions’ certainly implies frivolous, not serious. She didn’t say James was nervous without the cloak, or needed the cloak for anything important. Jo picks her words for a reason.

T Vrana, you (and many others) get a great deal more out of a single line of text than I think is warranted. How does "a bit frustrated shut up here" turn into not being concerned enough to stay home with his family? Lily merely mentions an option they don't have and a frustration anyone would have. It is inconceivable to me that this automatically means that James would be running around England under his Invisibility Cloak playing silly buggers with the Marauders if Dumbledore did not have the cloak.

Jo, must often relay lots of information with single lines, or her books would be even longer! We have to take what we are given. This line seems to indicate James is itchy to get out and would if given the opportunity, why else bother writing these words? Jo chooses every word she writes for a purpose. Not that James didn’t care about his family, he just completely trusted they were safe.

DD certainly thought Harry should carry the cloak at all times during HBP, even with his wand already on his person.

Harry was an underage wizard not a full grown accomplished member of the OOTP, as were James and Lily.

DD would have had no way of knowing how LV might attack or whether or not the cloak could be useful

Perhaps not, but give me an example that makes sense where it would be more useful than a wand? Unless they were carrying it around, but why carry the cloak and not a wand? Why not use Disillusionment, rather than struggle to get a cloak on, run outside trying to keep the cloak on (a feat Harry and friends find impossible in POA) and apparate? Place the cloak by the back door? What if LV came in the back door? What if they were asleep upstairs? For the cloak to be useful they woud have to carry it. If they were going to carry it, why not carry a more useful wand that could protect all three easily, even if they were not all in the same room? I can’t think of a single scenario that makes the cloak more important or useful than a wand in the hands of an adult wizard.

There is a single-mindedness to Dumbledore's actions and way of thinking that often seems to forget the dreams, goals, desires, ambitions, and lives of his friends and allies.

Example?

It seems amazing that he'd try to keep a man like Sirius closed up in a house for a year

Sirius was an adult who could have said no, or thought of a way to get out himself. DD didn’t restrain him. The one trip out as a dog he was seen. DD was responsible for many. many things, many, many lives, not just one adult Wizard’s happiness. If Sirius wanted out he could have put a little effort in himself to a solution rather than mope and snap at Harry. Who was Sirius responsible for? Himself and Harry, and he had a lot of help with Harry. DD’s busy with his school, horcruxes and trying to save the WW. Maybe if Sirius wasn't so nasty to Snape he could have asked for a little Polyjuice. Instead he feels sorry for himself and treats Harry alternately like a friend, not a godson, and horribly.

I think Dumbledore understands people better than we think.He has his reasons for being so blunt.

I agree.

I feel we are meant to see the pull that the Hallows had on Dumbledore

Sure, that is different than morbid dangerous obsession which was your first take. Pull or curiosity works for me.

Now let's get it back to James as fast as possible. He might be needing it."

For what purpose?

He obviously regrets it till his dying day

Yes, in hindsight he wonders because he is a deeply caring man who has made himself responsible for so many others. Who wouldn’t wonder if there was something more that could have been done, if some small thing might have made a difference. But we know, and Harry knows, it would have done no good. It makes no sense that a cloak, already pointed out as not needed by DD and Grindewald, would be better than a wand.

The big question, why couldn’t James use disillusionment to go out? Jo needed to tighten book 7. Too many gaps.



Madame Pomfrey - Sep 5, 2007 6:42 am (#1112 of 2055)
Barbara,you explained that so much better than I tried to.

T,as usual,I agree with your posts.I see Dumbledore in the same light.



legolas returns - Sep 5, 2007 12:35 pm (#1113 of 2055)
I think the only time that he did not try to understand people/disregarded his gut instinct on people was when he was with Grindelwald. He neglected everything including family because he was so caught up in the Deathly Hallows.

I completely agree that on occassions Dumbledore was harsh to people. I never thought that this was lack of understanding/disregard for people but the fact that he was trying to drive a difficult message home that the person may not want to hear but needed to hear.



T Vrana - Sep 6, 2007 5:50 am (#1114 of 2055)
wynnleaf- You have mentioned a few times how irresponsible it was for Dd to send 13 year olds out against Dementors to save Sirius. He didn't. They had already survived the Dementors, and were only going to get Buckbeak and Sirius, already knowing what had happened, and where the werewolf and Dementor's would be. The danger was very minimal.

I hate the time turner thing. Ridiculous that the Ministry would give a 13 year old such a device to take more subjects, but wouldn't use it to go back in time and stop LV. However, since it is out there, it could be argued that DD had to let them go back since Harry's going back saved Harry, Hermione and Sirius from the Dementors.....

Legolas- I agree.



mona amon - Sep 6, 2007 6:51 am (#1115 of 2055)
Perhaps not, but give me an example that makes sense where it would be more useful than a wand? (T Vrana)

The point isn't whether the cloak would actually be useful or not. That is not for Dumbledore to decide. The point is, it belonged to James, they were in hiding, it would be useful if they had to (or wanted to) get out for any reason, it was generally considered a protective item, and Dumbledore really should have returned it to them just as soon as he had satisfied his curiosity about it.

Sure, that is different than morbid dangerous obsession which was your first take. Pull or curiosity works for me.

Morbid, because he wanted to bring back the dead, not a good thing. Dangerous, because it was the cause of his death. Obsession, because years after he had decided to give up messing with the Hallows, he was still unable to resist when tempted by them.



T Vrana - Sep 6, 2007 8:27 am (#1116 of 2055)
Edited Sep 6, 2007 9:50 am
The point isn't whether the cloak would actually be useful or not. That is not for Dumbledore to decide. The point is, it belonged to James, they were in hiding, it would be useful if they had to (or wanted to) get out for any reason, it was generally considered a protective item, and Dumbledore really should have returned it to them just as soon as he had satisfied his curiosity about it.

Of course it matters if it was useful. We would not be having this debate if it didn't matter. If Dd borrowed a can opener, obviously useless against LV, no one would care. So the debate is over whether the cloak could realistically have been any more useful than a can opener. Given that James and Lily were qualified adult members of the OOTP, I contend their wands made the cloak about as useful as a can opener.

As for protection, Dd told Harry it wasn't very useful for a wizard such as himself or Grindewald. I assume James and Lily could perform the disillusionment charm, since Moody could, and they would find running with the cloak on about as useful as Harry did in POA, not very useful at all.

No, it was for James to decide. It was James' cloak and if he felt uncomfortable or wanted it back, he could have said no or asked for it back.

Morbid that he wanted to apologize to his family...I don't see it.

Dangerous, it did turn out to be persoanlly dangerous, but to Dd only, poetic justice, but the danger was not to others.

Obsession implies he thought about them and desired them on a ongoing basis. We have no evidence he continued to seek them. He was curious when he came across them, and could not resist the urge to apologize to his family, but I don't see an obsession here.



Joanna Lupin - Sep 6, 2007 10:36 am (#1117 of 2055)
Isn't it enough that DD spent 15 years being eaten by guilt and wondering whether the cloak could have saved Lily and James? What more can anyone expect of him? Harry, who is personally involved here, forgave him. Why can't you?



T Vrana - Sep 6, 2007 10:51 am (#1118 of 2055)
Joanna- Who are you replying to? I'm fine with DD having the cloak...



Joanna Lupin - Sep 6, 2007 11:09 am (#1119 of 2055)
Not sure, Wynnleaf, I think?



T Vrana - Sep 6, 2007 11:14 am (#1120 of 2055)
AH! OK! Just wanted to be sure my post wasn't misleading!



legolas returns - Sep 6, 2007 11:19 am (#1121 of 2055)
The threads get added to so quckly sometimes its hard to remember who said what.

I am totally convinced that the cloak would not have saved the Potters. Voldemort was to good a wizard to be fooled by it. I am sure that Wormtail would have passed on the fact that James owned an invisibility cloak.

I wonder what the exact timescale was between Dumbledore having the cloak and the Potters going into hiding? Dumbledore seems a little on the sketchy side about the details.



wynnleaf - Sep 6, 2007 12:29 pm (#1122 of 2055)
Joanna Lupin,

I don't need to forgive Dumbledore. He certainly didn't do anything to me, nor am I angry at him. He is a fictional character. I am simply pointing out his weaknesses and flaws. Even real people, when we forgive them, still have flaws. Forgiveness doesn't mean "now I believe you're flawless."

We analyze the characters because they are fascinating. Are we not supposed to analyze the flaws of characters we like? I realize some readers only like to think of the positive aspects of their favorite characters, but personally I found DD to be far more compelling a character after discovering his flaws than before.

T Vrana, you asked:

You have mentioned a few times how irresponsible it was for Dd to send 13 year olds out against Dementors to save Sirius. He didn't. They had already survived the Dementors, and were only going to get Buckbeak and Sirius, already knowing what had happened, and where the werewolf and Dementor's would be. The danger was very minimal.

No, all DD knew as he sent Hermione and Harry out was that Harry would produce a patronus and chase away the dementors. He had no idea whether Harry or Hermione would be injured by dementors, injured or killed by the werewolf, caught by Ministry officials while trying to free Sirius, or injured by Buckbeak. Any of these could have happened. Dumbledore could easily have gone instead. He did not know the form that the patronus had taken. He could have assumed it was his own patronus and that he should go back in time and save the day. Harry had not yet told Dumbledore about seeing his "father," thus alerting DD to a possibility that it was Harry sending the patronus.

No, Dumbledore simply assumed that it should and would be Harry, and assumed that both children would be safe from the dementors, the werewolf, the hippogrif, and ministry officials. He really had no idea whether or not they would be, but he sent them anyway.

As regards the cloak... very similar. DD had no idea what might help protect the Potters.

Simple example. LV comes to the house accompanied by some Death Eaters who stay outside to gaurd the perimeter of the house so no one escapes. LV comes in the front door and James had his wand. Lily is in the back of the house with Harry. James shouts for them to run. They hide under the cloak while James duels LV (briefly, as LV is really powerful), and run out the back, disapperating easily without the DE's keeping gaurd outside able to see them. Lily and Harry survive.

Just an example you know. Of course, it didn't happen that way. But Dumbledore couldn't see the future. He had no way of knowing.



Joanna Lupin - Sep 6, 2007 12:38 pm (#1123 of 2055)
About PoA, DD did know nothing happened to them because there they were unharmed in the Hospital Wing. How could they be there otherwise?



legolas returns - Sep 6, 2007 1:05 pm (#1124 of 2055)
Do we know for certain that they were unharmed? One could have survived and gone back and caused a subtle change that lead to both of them surviving. This situation could have looped round a number of times leading to the end result that we witness.



wynnleaf - Sep 6, 2007 1:53 pm (#1125 of 2055)
In POA, Dumbledore talked with Hermione and Harry in the hospital wing. Up to that point, he knew they were okay. When he sent them back in time, he did not know that they would remain okay and get back to the hospital wing.

If you can picture H&H1 and H&H2, with #2 being the Harry and Hermione as they go back in time. DD knew that as H&H2 went back in time, H&H1 would be okay. But he couldn't have known that H&H2 would remain okay and get back to the hospital wing in time.

He could just as easily have turned around outside the door, and instead of Harry and Hermione running up to meet him, Harry alone could have run up saying that Hermione had been attacked by a werewolf in the woods just after Harry sent the patronus to chase off the death eaters.

The whole scheme depended on Harry and Hermione #2, going back in time, freeing Buckbeak, chasing off the dementors, avoiding the werewolf in case he showed up, getting Buckbeak and taking him up to rescue Sirius all before Fudge got up there, and then getting back down to the hospital wing just as Dumbledore was leaving. What if Harry and Hermione had taken longer to get Buckbeak up to the tower? What if they'd been seen or caught by Fudge while helping Sirius escape? What if they'd been late and Sirius already kissed?

Any number of things could have happened and either of the children could have been hurt or even killed.

Dumbledore could just as easily have gone, rescued Buckbeak, then gone down to the lake and chased off the dementors, then taken Buckbeak to free Sirius, and he wouldn't even have had to get back to the hospital at a certain time. He could just amble up to Fudge and Snape after they discovered Sirius escaped. Would Fudge seriously suspect Dumbledore? Of course not. Or even if he did, so what? He couldn't prove anything.

Dumbledore chose to send Harry and Hermione, presumably for the experience of it all, but without knowing for sure that they'd be safe.



T Vrana - Sep 6, 2007 4:22 pm (#1126 of 2055)
wynnleaf- LV comes in the front door and James had his wand. Lily is in the back of the house with Harry. James shouts for them to run. They hide under the cloak while James duels LV

And they would struggle to hide and run under a cloak rather than use a disillusionment charm because.....?

You are assuming they would keep the cloak by the back door? What if they were sleeping and they couldn't make it to the back door? Or should they carry it around? How is the cloak better than a wand and a disillusionment charm? I can come up with a thousand ways to use the cloak, none of them beat a wand in the hands of a talented witch or wizard.

The time turner is so messy. How did Harry and Hermione survive the 'first time', before they went back? Makes my head hurt....



Thom Matheson - Sep 6, 2007 9:26 pm (#1127 of 2055)
The final book to me clearly says tht DD had the cloak just a few days before the attack. I also don't think that the cloak would have made a hoot of difference.

AS for the PoA problems with sending the kids back, this is the Wizarding World. 13 year olds do dangerous stuff all the time. Fred and George, Charley, the Mauraders. If Harry can handle Voldemort at age 11 and Riddle and a Bassilisk at 12, a few dementors were no problem.



wynnleaf - Sep 6, 2007 9:49 pm (#1128 of 2055)
You are assuming they would keep the cloak by the back door? What if they were sleeping and they couldn't make it to the back door? Or should they carry it around? How is the cloak better than a wand and a disillusionment charm? I can come up with a thousand ways to use the cloak, none of them beat a wand in the hands of a talented witch or wizard.

All these assumptions about a disillusionment charm negates any need for invisibility cloaks at all - ever. Why not throw it out? Why is it valuable? And it is valuable. We don't know how the charms work, how long they last, etc. Can you use them on babies?

That's the main thing. If I'd been in Lily's shoes, I'd say keep the cloak near the baby. The baby is the target and the hardest to hide for various reasons (namely, he can't do magic on his own and can't defend himself).

Or, since we know the cloak folds up small enough to fit in a pocket, why not keep it in a pocket? Just like DD told Harry -- so it could be used at a moments notice.

By the way, if the disillusionment charm works just as well, for just as long, and is just as good, why didn't DD just teach it to Harry, so he wouldn't have to worry about carrying the cloak everywhere for an entire year?



T Vrana - Sep 7, 2007 7:27 am (#1129 of 2055)
That's the main thing. If I'd been in Lily's shoes, I'd say keep the cloak near the baby.

But clearly they didn't even carry their wands so I doubt they would carry the cloak.

Bottom line, DD made a point that the Cloak wasn't really very useful to himself or Grindewald, as they knew how to become invisible. When he asked for the cloak, I don't think he thought he was removing a useful protective tool from two gifted Order members. And Jo's only reference to it from the Potters, seems to refer to it for recreational purposes. No indication they thought of it as a useful or needed tool.

I looked up disillusionment last night, more of a chameleon effect, not invisibility. Perhaps whatever DD uses to become invisible, as he says he can, was too complex for Harry. Doubt it was too complex for Lily who was knowingly using and controlling her magic pre- Hogwarts.

But this goes back to my problem with book 7, too many holes....think Jo needed a few more months to tighten this book up.



wynnleaf - Sep 7, 2007 7:43 am (#1130 of 2055)
But this goes back to my problem with book 7, too many holes....think Jo needed a few more months to tighten this book up. (T Vrana)

I absolutely agree. Personally, I think the filming of the books had started to drive the publication schedule. After the first few books were made into films, they seem to have developed a schedule for the rest of the films, in part because they wanted to use the same actors as much as possible, and that meant not having too long between films. Anyway, in order to get the films into production, you have to get the books published.

And then there was the desire to get DH out there around the same time the OOTP film came out.

We learned that JKR finished writing DH around January, and then the book was published 6 months later. That's way too fast for a book of that size, especially one that would have to be checked for continuity with six other books, 3 of them quite long. The book probably needed at least another 6 months and perhaps a year of editing and revision to be sure it was truly ready for publication.



zelmia - Sep 7, 2007 12:26 pm (#1131 of 2055)
Regarding Dumbledore having the Cloak:
There is nothing in Lily's letter to directly contradict Dumbledore's recollection of having the Cloak a few days before the Potters were killed. His statement is only contradicted if you assume that Lily wrote the letter right after Harry's birthday, but there is really nothing to indicate that this is the case.

In fact, in Lily's letter, she says "Wormy was here last weekend. I thought he seemed down." While Lily ascribes this to the recent deaths of the McKinnons, I think it much more likely that Pettigrew's mood was due to his private knowledge that this would be the last time he would see James and Lily alive. I would even suggest that this was the visit when the Fidelius Charm was invoked using Pettigrew as Secret Keeper.
That we later see Snape sobbing over this same letter, what appear to be Lily's last words to Sirius, seems to corroborate this.

But I would agree that, however the situation ultimately played out, having the Cloak would indeed have been better than not having it, as far as providing all possible options for the Potters, who were meant to be in hiding from Voldemort. Dumbledore knew it as well, which is why he still feels a level of responsibility for their deaths, even after his own.

Regarding why Lily didn't just Apparate with Harry:
Even if she had had her wand, she would not have been able to Apparate while inside the boundary of the Fidelius Charm. She may or may not have known this. In DH we see the Trio leave Shell Cottage and walk to the edge of the Fidelius protection before they can Apparate to Diagon Alley.

Regarding Dumbledore and Grendelwald:
Grendelwald was truly terrible by all accounts. And while I understand what Dumbledore means by it becoming "shameful" not to act against Grendelwald, the reality is that Grendelwald was not Dumbledore's responsibility, or at least, not his alone.
Perhaps the lesson learned there was that when Voldemort came to power, Dumbledore was sure he had others to help him by forming the Order.

Regarding Dumbledore not leaving a Second:
I agree that it seemed pretty clear that Mad Eye was charge after Dumbledore's death. When Mad Eye was killed, there seemed to be more to the "fallen warrior" feeling than simply losing a colleague. No one seemed to know what to do next.



PatPat - Sep 9, 2007 10:07 am (#1132 of 2055)
I'm having the hardest time keeping up with this forum since school started! Our principal is piling the work on us poor teachers! (I really DO love my job.)

Anyway, great discussion. I'm a little biased because Dumbledore has always been my favorite character and remains so to this day. His faults only make him more noble in my eyes because he recognized and overcame them. zelmia, I agree that there is nothing in Lily's letter to directly contradict Dumbledore having the cloak for only a few days. I think the problem some people are having is that it's hard to imagine Lily thanking Sirius for Harry's birthday present 3 months later. But there's certainly no reason this can't be the case. And some have mentioned that Bathilda could not have visited them had they been under the Fidelius charm. Why? Where does it say that Bathilda was not in on the secret? In my opinion we have to take Dumbledore at his word in King's Cross. What reason does he have to lie? Harry already knows all of the things that Dumbledore is ashamed of. Why would he lie about how long he had the cloak? It makes no sense.

I agree with T Vrana. The cloak would not have been useful. Even Harry admits this. Even if they had kept it with them at all times, which one would carry it? James or Lily? What if Lily was carrying it and the baby happened to be with James when Voldemort broke in? Or vice versa? Lily does not seem at all concerned about the cloak being with Dumbledore for safety reasons. She merely states that James is bored and can't get out. Had they really thought the cloak would offer protection, they certainly could have said no when Dumbledore asked for it. Clearly Voldemort would have been able to find them under the cloak just as Dumbledore could find Harry in PS. Do you seriously think throwing the cloak over the baby and running rather than trying to use wands would have been effective? No way. Neither James nor Lily bothered to even hold onto their wands! Why? Lupin tells us why in DH. James would have trusted his friends. It would never have occurred to him that Peter would betray them. He thought they were safe. Too trusting? Definitely. But I don't see that the cloak would have helped the situation.

Dumbledore certainly makes mistakes. Even he admits it and he definitely knows his own brilliance. But the fact is that Dumbledore is responsible for the entire wizarding world. He refuses to be Minister because he knows he can't be trusted with power. Yet, he IS the leader of the WW. He is the one people turn to to save them from evil. This is a huge responsibility to pile on one person. He does the best he can with what he is given. He must protect Harry while burdened with the knowledge that he will have to ask this wonderful boy that he loves to sacrifice himself. How horrible those years must have been! I can't even imagine having the knowledge that I would have to ask a child that I love to die for the greater good. Yet, it is Dumbledore's influence that allows Harry to succeed. It is Dumbledore that shows Harry that death is not to be feared. It is Dumbledore that gives Harry the tools to defeat Voldemort. It is Dumbledore that makes sure Harry has the time to make the right choice between horcruxes and hallows. Thank goodness for Dumbledore or the WW would have been doomed. I'm amazed at what he accomplished. I love him.



T Vrana - Sep 9, 2007 11:44 am (#1133 of 2055)
PatPat- Great post . I agree.

On the cloak, James didn't even bother to turn around and grab his wand off the couch. I doubt anyone was going to run and find the cloak.



wynnleaf - Sep 9, 2007 2:16 pm (#1134 of 2055)
Yes, there are some things in Lily's letter that contradict DD's statement of borrowing the cloak a few days before their deaths.

The Fidelius Charm was put in place a week before the Potter's death. If DD took the cloak just days before their deaths, he took it while they were under the Fidelius Charm. But Lily talks about Bathilda dropping by regularly as though she was still in the habit of dropping by. That means No Fidelius at the time. Further, James may be the impatient type, but if he'd only been without the cloak for a couple of days, that's pretty quick to start getting frustrated with DD still not giving it back, nor would it make sense for Lily to characterize it as "Dumbledore's still got his invisibility cloak..." In fact, that Lily does not explain how Dumbledore borrowed the cloak or anything like that implies that Lily knew that Sirius already understood that Dumbledore had borrowed the cloak, and Lily is simply filling Sirius in on the fact that Dumbledore "still" has it. Yet Lily writes to Sirius as though she and James haven't seen him in awhile. So the only way Sirius would already have known about the cloak is if he'd been informed in a previous letter or other form of communication.

So Lily had previously told Sirius about DD borrowing the cloak, was regularly entertaining Bathilda who was dropping by, and spoke of DD as "still" having the cloak. That means 1. no Fidelius when DD took it and 2. DD had the cloak long enough for more than one communication to be made to Sirius about it and for the second communication to impart a level of impatience. It sounds to me like DD must have had it for some weeks at the least.

And to repeat for the nth time, it makes no difference if in the end the cloak wouldn't have helped. The point is that DD didn't know it wouldn't help or that they wouldn't use it.

In the end, James and Lily didn't use their wands and therefore having their wands in the house didn't save them. Since we know that in hindsight, would it have been okay if DD had borrowed their wands??



T Vrana - Sep 9, 2007 3:43 pm (#1135 of 2055)
LOL! Of course not because DD assumed they would use those. But we know already that DD didn't consider the cloak better than wands as he told Harry it was the least of the Hallows and he and Grindewald only wanted it to hide a damaged younger sister and to complete the trio of Hallows.

Th impatience was only at not being able to go out and play. We have no indication that the Potters considered the cloak important to their safety, and DD didn't seem to either. James was an adult wizard. He could have said no. DD did nothing wrong, IMO, asking an adult to borrow the cloak to look at it, and if James needed it, he coudl have said no, and if wanted it back, he could have asked.

eta: I don't believe for a second that DD thought it was important but borrowed it anyway.



Madame Pomfrey - Sep 9, 2007 3:57 pm (#1136 of 2055)
Dumbledore certainly makes mistakes. Even he admits it and he definitely knows his own brilliance. But the fact is that Dumbledore is responsible for the entire wizarding world. He refuses to be Minister because he knows he can't be trusted with power. Yet, he IS the leader of the WW. He is the one people turn to to save them from evil. This is a huge responsibility to pile on one person. He does the best he can with what he is given. He must protect Harry while burdened with the knowledge that he will have to ask this wonderful boy that he loves to sacrifice himself. How horrible those years must have been! I can't even imagine having the knowledge that I would have to ask a child that I love to die for the greater good. Yet, it is Dumbledore's influence that allows Harry to succeed. It is Dumbledore that shows Harry that death is not to be feared. It is Dumbledore that gives Harry the tools to defeat Voldemort. It is Dumbledore that makes sure Harry has the time to make the right choice between horcruxes and hallows. Thank goodness for Dumbledore or the WW would have been doomed. I'm amazed at what he accomplished. I love him.PatPat

That is exactly how I feel about him,PatPat. Learning from his mistakes made him the great wizard that he is. One of them being his great regret about his family,his loving and missing them. I think this might have led to his setting the snitch to "Open at the close" for Harry. What Harry needed most of all during his walk toward death was his parents.Particularly Lily,since he asked her to stay close. I thought that it was such a thoughtful gift from Dumbledore.

Great man,Dumbledore!



zelmia - Sep 9, 2007 4:37 pm (#1137 of 2055)
[I]t makes no difference if in the end the cloak wouldn't have helped. - I agree. Dumbledore couldn't possibly have known that the Cloak wouldn't have helped the Potters. But Dumbledore having it took away the option. And even he still regrets having had it after his own death.

Though Wynnleaf makes some good points, I'm still not convinced about the timing of Lily's letter. For one thing, Dumbledore tells Harry at Kings Cross "I have no secrets from you anymore." So why would he be lying when he later says, "James had shown [the Cloak] to me just a few days previously [to the night he was killed]."

I think the letter must have been written much later than it first appears. We know that Sirius was unable to attend Harry's birthday because he was doing something for the Order ("the Order's got to come first...") We know that Owl Post can be exchanged within a few hours or even less, depending on distance; so Lily's letter could have been written the night she died.
Bathilda drops in most days... - This sounds to me like she's trying to let Sirius know what's been going on since they haven't seen each other for while.
...we've had to pack away all the ornaments... - We know they didn't make it to Christmas, so what "ornaments" could she mean? Granted, this word could be used to refer simply to various random "objets" around the house; but it's a bit of an unusual usage if this is what she means. So, I think she could be referring to Halloween ornaments.

Maybe the Letter should have its own Thread?



wynnleaf - Sep 9, 2007 4:42 pm (#1138 of 2055)
For one thing, Dumbledore tells Harry at Kings Cross "I have no secrets from you anymore." zelmia

Actually, I think this is the biggest argument that the discrepancies regarding the letter are more likely continuity errors (which doesn't absolve DD for me, because he shouldn't have taken the cloak at all, regardless when he did it).

From a literary perspective, I think the Kings Cross chapter is supposed to be the point at the end of the series where JKR drops all misdirection, all unreliable narrator, etc., and gives Harry and the reader the straight truth, without any more catches or cleverly hidden meanings. If that's the case, then DD's comment about having no more secrets is not just a message for Harry, it's a message to the reader that from that point on we're getting the Facts.



NFla Barbara - Sep 9, 2007 5:49 pm (#1139 of 2055)
I think this is a continuity error. It just doesn't work for me that DD would say "I have no secrets from you anymore" and then give Harry such a big piece of -- misinformation. Wynnleaf, you have a point that DD should not have borrowed the cloak at all, but I think we could look at what moral responsibility he bears for having the cloak at all without thinking that he had it for months. So my vote is for a lapse in editing.



PatPat - Sep 9, 2007 5:56 pm (#1140 of 2055)
The Fidelius Charm was put in place a week before the Potter's death. If DD took the cloak just days before their deaths, he took it while they were under the Fidelius Charm. But Lily talks about Bathilda dropping by regularly as though she was still in the habit of dropping by. That means No Fidelius at the time. wynnleaf

Why does it mean that?? There is no evidence that people cannot "drop by" simply because the Fidelius charm is in place. In fact, Lupin does just that at the Shell Cottage. Drops by to tell everyone that Teddy was born. As long as they are told the secret, they can come by. And we know the secret can be told by letter so it's perfectly reasonable to suggest that the Potters or someone else gave Bathilda a note from Peter saying where they were hidden. But, even if you don't believe this to be the case, it still does not contradict the letter being written shortly before the Potters' deaths. Fudge tells us in PoA that the Potters were killed barely a week after the Fidelius was performed. So, it's perfectly possible that the letter was written very shortly before or after the Fidelius was performed which would be very shortly before the Potters were killed.

Edited to add: To me, the words "a few days previously" are ambiguous. Most of us probably think of a few days as 3, but, to someone as old as Dumbledore, a few days might be a week.



zelmia - Sep 9, 2007 8:47 pm (#1141 of 2055)
I think I understand what Wynnleaf is saying. No one knew Peter was the Secret Keeper, which means it would have been all but impossible to have casually revealed the Secret - particularly to anyone who wasn't in the Order - without also revealing that he was the Secret Keeper. So when Lily mentions in her letter that Dumbledore or Bathilda came by, that seems to indicate that the Fidelius had not yet been performed.

Anyway, this could be a "continuity error"; but none of us really understands the way the Fidelius Charm works. I think that's what's causing the confusion.



Luna Logic - Sep 10, 2007 12:29 am (#1142 of 2055)
Wynnleaf: So Lily had previously told Sirius about DD borrowing the cloak, was regularly entertaining Bathilda who was dropping by, and spoke of DD as "still" having the cloak. That means 1. no Fidelius when DD took it and 2. DD had the cloak long enough for more than one communication to be made to Sirius about it and for the second communication to impart a level of impatience. It sounds to me like DD must have had it for some weeks at the least.
As Wynnleaf has pointed, the sentence "DD is still having the cloak" is important, and James's impatience too. I think it is really a continuity error in chapter 35, and that we could rely more on the text of the letter than on the simple "a few days" in chapter 35.
But yes, then, should not we discuss the topic of the letter elsewhere?

On Dumbledore's topic: I think before lending the cloak James was using it for Order's missions. (IMO he was missing action, not only for "play" but also for a "cause"). Dumbledore's taking of the cloak may have protected James (who could not expose his life anymore), but added risk on some other members of the Order which James could previously protect, or members who had to stand in for him and thus do those missions without such a precious item.
IMO Dumbledore in keeping the cloak was giving in to the attraction of the Hallows, just as he would do later with the Gaunt's ring (and we see in chapter 35 that he was well aware of it).



mona amon - Sep 10, 2007 5:23 am (#1143 of 2055)
I'm a bit confused. Which is the continuity error?

1)Lily's mention of Dumbledore ' still having James's invisibility cloak' in the letter to Sirius, or

2)Dumbledore saying that he took James cloak only a few days before their death?

If the first point is the error, it makes Dumbledore seem much less tempted by the Hallows, just curious about them. If the second point is the error, it means Dumbledore kept the cloak for weeks (months?) without bothering to return it. If neither point is an error and JKR meant it that way, it means he kept it for weeks and brushes it off as 'a few days'. Which means he feels so guilty that he's actually in denial about it. So which is it, I wonder?

I feel, like Wynnleaf, that he should not have taken the cloak anyway.

Good point about the secret keeper, Zelmia. If other people had been told about the secret, there would have been others beside Sirius who knew that Peter was the secret keeper.

To me the letter sounds as if it was written immediately after Harry's Birthday. It is not inconcievable that Lily would wait three months to thank Sirius for the Birthday gift, but if so she would most certainly have started with an apology for being so late.

IMO Dumbledore in keeping the cloak was giving in to the attraction of the Hallows, just as he would do later with the Gaunt's ring (and we see in chapter 35 that he was well aware of it). (Luna Logic)

I feel this is the way JKR meant us to see it. And I also think we are meant to see that in the end he was able to overcome the attraction, because when the Stone happened to fall into his hands, he had a great opportunity to unite all three Hallows. All he had to do was borrow the cloak from Harry. But this time he was able to resist the temptation.



wynnleaf - Sep 10, 2007 5:48 am (#1144 of 2055)
mona amon

I agree that we're meant to see Dumbledore's taking the cloak as evidence of his being so overly interested in the Hallows that he took an item of potential help in protecting the Potters and kept it during a time when they were under dire threat.

However, the question of when he took the cloak may be due to a continuity error, because while I agree that Lily's letter reads very much as though it was written not long after Harry's birthday -- and therefore a couple of months before the Potter's deaths -- Dumbledore told Harry in Kings Cross that he borrowed the cloak a few days before the Potter's deaths.



Madame Pomfrey - Sep 10, 2007 6:06 am (#1145 of 2055)
The only referrence to who knew about the secret that I could find is on JKR website under the FAQ poll. She said the Potters would not be able to tell anyone the secret and that the only people who knew were those who Wormtail told directly. I realize she used the Potters as an example but,it makes it all the more confusing to me. Had Peter told anyone besides Voldemort directly they would have known that Sirius was not the betrayer. I assume that directly means person to person but, we know that the secret can also be put on paper. I wish she would resolve this.

On second read, I think Dumbledore is guilty about taking the cloak. I'm sure he, like everyone else, considered the Potter's to be safe under the Fidelius charm but in hindsight I'm sure he questioned himself about "what if?" IMO he seems to be worried about what Harry thinks about his having the cloak now that Harry knows about his obsession with the Hallows and Harry reassures him that it wouldn't have saved them.



Die Zimtzicke - Sep 10, 2007 11:50 am (#1146 of 2055)
Was Bathilda possibly like Mrs. Figg, someone nearby who was supposed to keep an eye on the situation? Then it might be possible for Peter to have been ordered by Dumbledore to tell her, at the time he performed the charm.

But I have no faith in that charm anymore, because of the way things changed about Grimmauld Place after Dumbledore's death. My displeasure with the Fidelius is well known and doesn't need to be brought up further here.

I disagree tht Dumbledore resisted the stone in any way. He was so eager to tinker with it, he forgot it was a horcrux, didn't he?



Joanna Lupin - Sep 10, 2007 1:58 pm (#1147 of 2055)
DD couldn't have ordered Peter to tell Bathilda the secret as he didn't know Peter was the Secret Keeper.



PatPat - Sep 10, 2007 3:57 pm (#1148 of 2055)
I think I understand what Wynnleaf is saying. No one knew Peter was the Secret Keeper, which means it would have been all but impossible to have casually revealed the Secret - particularly to anyone who wasn't in the Order - without also revealing that he was the Secret Keeper. So when Lily mentions in her letter that Dumbledore or Bathilda came by, that seems to indicate that the Fidelius had not yet been performed.

This is simply not true. We have direct canon evidence that the secret can be told through a letter given to the person by someone other than the secret keeper. Mad-Eye handed Harry a letter regarding Grimmauld Place and, at that time, Harry did not know who wrote it. What is to stop the Potters from giving Bathilda a letter written by Peter so that she would be able to visit? This would allow her to drop by, but she would still be unaware of who the secret keeper is.

Of course it is also possible that this is yet another example of JKR's poor math ability.



wynnleaf - Sep 10, 2007 5:05 pm (#1149 of 2055)
There are just too many discrepancies between the letter and DD's assertion that he borrowed the cloak days before their deaths. Any one could be explained away, but when you start having to explain away several things, then it gets to be too big a stretch. But it's more likely it's a continuity error.

The main thing, in my opinion, is that the cloak being a Hallow is in the story to help show us the degree of Dumbledore's temptations with the Hallows.

Deathly Hallows did not make me dislike Dumbledore or think he was a terrible person. I actually think his flaws make him a far more interesting character. But I don't think we're meant to come away from DH and think DD made some bad mistakes in his teens over a hundred years previously, but has been pretty much wonderful ever since. I think we're meant to see that Dumbledore's flaws and weaknesses continued to affect him all his life. His decision to not seek positions of leadership in the government for instance, isn't to show us that Dumbledore was judging himself too harshly, but to show that Dumbledore really did understand his weaknesses. The Hallows aren't in the story just to show us some long ago and far away weaknesses, long since overcome, but to show us ongoing weaknesses that Dumbledore had.

In Kings Cross, when Dumbledore says it was cowardly to wait several years while many people died before going after Grendelwald, I think we're meant to believe him rather than just assume poor Albus is being too hard on himself.

The character of Dumbledore in DH isn't to show us how a great and wonderful overcame all his flaws, but to show us how a flawed individual continued to work for the good, sacrifice, etc. even while dealing with his ongoing weaknesses.



Soul Search - Sep 10, 2007 6:49 pm (#1150 of 2055)
I like your assessment of Dumbledore and the references to him in Deathly Hallows. Spot on.
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mona amon - Sep 10, 2007 7:55 pm (#1151 of 2055)
However, the question of when he took the cloak may be due to a continuity error, because while I agree that Lily's letter reads very much as though it was written not long after Harry's birthday -- and therefore a couple of months before the Potter's deaths -- Dumbledore told Harry in Kings Cross that he borrowed the cloak a few days before the Potter's deaths. (Wynnleaf)

What I meant was, is Lily's letter the error, or is Dumbledore saying that he took the cloak a few days before the Potters' deaths the error? Or in other words, I was wondering whether we are supposed to think Dumbledore had the cloak for a few weeks, or a few days? Or does it matter at all? Yesterday I thought for some reason that it was important, but today I'm not so sure!



wynnleaf - Sep 11, 2007 9:11 am (#1152 of 2055)
Oh, I see what you mean. Maybe the continuity error (if there is one) is the Kings Cross statement? Hm, could be. In fact, I think it makes a lot more sense for Dumbledore to have borrowed the cloak well before they went under the Fidelius Charm. Yes, he could have gotten the Secret through a written note, with no name attached, but that seems a bit unlikely. Besides, JKR's explanations of the Fidelius Charm fluctuated quite a bit and she seemed to have forgotten in DH that a person could get the Secret from a note. She had Moody put those protections on Grimmauld Place, supposedly to help keep Snape from passing along the Secret, but he could easily have given a note to Death Eaters.



PeskyPixie - Sep 24, 2007 8:34 am (#1153 of 2055)
I can't help but feel sorry for Dumbledore-the-teenager (pre-Grindelwald, when he was still in school and having papers published and corresponding with great minds of the magical world). Imagine being not only ambitious, but having the talent to achieve your dreams, but being held back by a family situation.



PeskyPixie - Sep 27, 2007 12:39 pm (#1154 of 2055)
Trelawney was quite accurate when she read for Dumbledore; she kept on getting 'the lightning-struck tower'.



Veritaserum - Oct 9, 2007 12:04 pm (#1155 of 2055)
A quick note about the Fidelius-note thing: the note has to be written by the Secret Keeper. Dumbledore wrote the note that got Harry into Grimmauld Place; Moody was just the messenger. So Snape could not have just written a note to get the Death Eaters in.



zelmia - Oct 9, 2007 1:02 pm (#1156 of 2055)
Yes, but once Dumbledore died, everyone in the Order became a Secret Keeper, including Snape.



wynnleaf - Oct 9, 2007 5:38 pm (#1157 of 2055)
Based on the explanations in DH, I think zelmia is right. If, when the secret keeper dies, everyone who knew the secret becomes a secret keeper as well, then you'd have to assume that every new secret keeper can pass along the secret in the same ways the old secret keeper could pass them along. Therefore Snape should have been able to write a note for the Death Eaters, if he'd been so inclined. But the trio don't seem to think of that, nor the rather obvious fact that a phantom image of Dumbledore wasn't likely to scare Snape. And someone who could perform nonverbal magic as well as he could, should have been able to make short work of the spells Moody put up, even without being able to speak.

The whole secret keeper thing has a string of plot holes after DH. We also learned in DH that you could be your own Secret Keeper, which leaves us with the question of why James or Lily didn't become the secret keeper for themselves.



Die Zimtzicke - Oct 9, 2007 9:16 pm (#1158 of 2055)
But that was not the rule for secret keepers as it was first presented. I got confused when the rules changed in the middle of the game, so to speak.

Am I the only one? Drat!



wynnleaf - Oct 10, 2007 12:29 am (#1159 of 2055)
Oh, yeah, it gets worse Die. Remember when Harry was looking at the ruined house in Godric's Hollow? He decides that he must be able to see it because the secret must have broken down when James and Lily died. Oh really? That's not what happened after DD died.

Sorry, this is way off topic, except insofar as DD was secret keeper to Grimmauld Place.



Joanna Lupin - Oct 10, 2007 5:41 am (#1160 of 2055)
DD died, but the objects of the secret (Order members) lived.



Steve Newton - Oct 10, 2007 6:45 am (#1161 of 2055)
Die, the rules that seemed to change were JKR's explanation of the Fidelius Charm given on her website. I think we agree that the website is shaky as canon. I also think that the previous explanation was totally unworkable and not understandable. As explained in DH the Fidelius Charm works.



wynnleaf - Oct 10, 2007 10:43 am (#1162 of 2055)
DD died, but the objects of the secret (Order members) lived.

The object of the secret was the location of the headquarters.



Joanna Lupin - Oct 10, 2007 11:16 am (#1163 of 2055)
Not according to Harry in GH, he says what was left of the house is visible because Lily and James are dead. After all, the secret keeper (Peter) is alive.



zelmia - Oct 10, 2007 12:38 pm (#1164 of 2055)
In GH, James and Lily were the objects of the Secret. In OP, the Secret was - remember Dumbledore's note - "The location of the Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix is 12 Grimmauld Place".

In other words, GH the Secret was people, in OP the Secret was a location.



PatPat - Oct 10, 2007 4:27 pm (#1165 of 2055)
Joanna is right. There's no inconsistency with Harry seeing the house in Godric's Hollow and the death of Dumbledore. It's a different situation. James and Lily were not the secret keepers like Dumbledore was. They were the objects of the secret. Their deaths caused the secret to be revealed because it was no longer a secret. Dumbledore was not the object of the Grimmauld Place secret. He was the secret keeper. Completely different.

I, also, agree with Steve. I have mentioned before that many of the inconsistencies get eliminated if we remove things JKR has said in interview or on her web site and only look at the books. There is no inconsistency that I can find with the Fidelius Charm if we only focus on what is in the books.



wynnleaf - Oct 10, 2007 6:48 pm (#1166 of 2055)
You guys are right about the difference between the Fidelius Charm on Grimmauld Place, and the charm on the Potters. But I do think DH brought up, not a clear inconsistency, but definitely several plot holes regarding the Fidelius Charm.

According to DH, Snape would have been a Secret Keeper and therefore able to tell any DEs he wanted about the location. And he could have done it standing outside the house without tripping any spells that Moody had set. Further, spells to make a person unable to speak shouldn't have stopped Snape from passing along the secret, because Dumbledore used a note to pass it along in OOTP.

Further, in DH, Bill and Fleur had Bill as their Secret Keeper, creating another plot hole because the question is then present, but unanswered as to why Lily and James had to have someone besides themselves as a Secret Keeper.

So while I agree that there's not an inconsistency in Harry being able to see Godrics Hollow, I very much disagree that within the books there's no inconsistency about the Fidelius Charm.



zelmia - Oct 10, 2007 10:26 pm (#1167 of 2055)
I think the case of the Potters was a bit unique. Their Secret was to do with them personally - and that prevented them from being able to even leave the house. The other Secrets we know of are about locations.
So, logically, the Potters would have to have someone else be their Secret Keeper if the Secret was about them. If one of them was their own Secret Keeper, it would essentially negate the Secret. Follow me? Whereas the other Secrets being about locations (i.e. the location of the Burrow or Shell Cottage) meant that someone living there could be the Secret Keeper without it negating the Secret itself.



PeskyPixie - Oct 12, 2007 10:59 am (#1168 of 2055)
I was under the impression that James can't leave GH because DD has his Invisibility Cloak (from Lily's letter to Sirius). Or is the letter written prior to the Fidelius Charm being performed?



wynnleaf - Oct 13, 2007 6:19 am (#1169 of 2055)
PeskyPixie, I think the letter is written prior to the charm because of the mention of Bathilda dropping by regularly which she couldn't do presumably if they were under Fidelius. We had a long discussion about this because the letter seems somewhat at odds with Dumbledore's assertion that he took the cloak only days before the Potter's deaths.

zelmia, I agree that the Potters Fidelius may have been on them rather than the house. But why do that? If they were going to mostly be confined to the house anyway, why not put the charm on just the house and avoid the hassle of deciding who to be the Secret Keeper and having the Secret Keeper out and about possibly getting captured and forced to tell the Secret? Like I said, it's a plot hole. Not an error, a plot hole.



zelmia - Oct 13, 2007 1:05 pm (#1170 of 2055)
Well, if the Secret is about the Potters themselves then "Voldemort could look right into their window and still not see them" as Flitwick explains. This is slightly more protection than simply protecting the house. They could move if they had to (for whatever reason. What if there was a fire or something?) and still be protected by the Fidelius Charm wherever they went.

And this, I think, is why Dumbledore really wanted to be the Secret Keeper. Apart from the fact that he would be nearly impossible to capture due to his strength as a wizard, he would most certainly never betray them.



Solitaire - Oct 14, 2007 11:58 am (#1171 of 2055)
Perhaps a fire was not really a concern, as they were Wizards and could immediately put it out. I do believe the letter was written before the Fidelius Charm was cast, but James might still have felt he could go out only if he had the cloak, because he would not want to be followed and give away their location, leaving Lily and Harry vulnerable. They were obviously trying to keep clear of Voldemort even before they went under the Fidelius Charm.

Solitaire



PeskyPixie - Oct 16, 2007 3:01 pm (#1172 of 2055)
Edited Oct 16, 2007 4:15 pm
"Although [Dumbledore] seems to be so benign for six books, he's quite a Machiavellian figure, really. He's been pulling a lot of strings. Harry has been his puppet." -JKR's recent interview

I don't know if DD is truly a Machiavellian figure. While he does pull a lot of strings he lacks the 'amoral' quality which is a part of such an individual. DD has a very strong sense of right and wrong, good and evil. Above all, he is an extremely compassionate man. He finds no pleasure in handling the fates of so many people; rather, he is burdened by the terrible truth he knows: the immense power (and secrets) of the Dark Lord, the prediction in the prophecy and that Harry is a horcrux.

DD is not happy to send Snape to LV at the end of GoF. He looks apprehensively at Snape's retreating figure as there is a chance that he may not return.

Similarly, DD takes no joy in grooming the 'Chosen One' for his final confrontation with LV. At the end of OotP we learn that DD has been putting off telling Harry about his destiny to allow him more time to simply be a boy. It takes Sirius's death for him to remember that if he does not prepare the only person with the ability to destroy LV the world will suffer LV's tyranny.

DD's tragedy is his brilliance. He is the only one with the ability to set in motion plans which will ultimately save humanity. He has morals which break his heart over the sacrifice of loved ones, of keeping others 'in the dark', as he is not a Machiavellian at heart. Ultimately, he chooses to act on behalf of the 'Greater Good'. I am sure that members of the Order also realize that there are things worse than death.



PatPat - Oct 16, 2007 4:39 pm (#1173 of 2055)
Pesky,

Very well said. I agree with you 100%. I am actually shocked that JKR used that word in reference to Dumbledore. Dumbledore did pull strings, that's true. But I have said before and I still believe that Dumbledore really had very little choice. He is pretty much expected to be the savior by the rest of the Wizarding World. How many times did we hear that Dumbledore is "the only one Voldemort ever feared." and "as long as we have Dumbledore we'll be OK."?? He is burdened with the knowledge that this boy he has grown to love (and, yes, I think it's obvious that he DID love Harry) must sacrifice himself to defeat Voldemort. Then, once he realizes that Harry will not die, he still must let him believe that he will for the plan to work. He must let this "wonderful boy" walk willingly to his death for the greater good. He also must let Snape put himself in harm's way on a daily basis. He did not throw Snape to the wolves as some people have suggested. Snape is the only person who could perform the vital role. He was the only one with the skill, experience, and ability to pass as a Death Eater. What a burden Dumbledore must have carried all of those years! Sometimes it is necessary to put the good of the many before the good of the one (any Star Trek fans out there?) This is what Dumbledore did. But, I do not think it was easy for him at all.



journeymom - Oct 16, 2007 7:54 pm (#1174 of 2055)
I'm surprised but thrilled that she said Dumbledore is Machiavellian. I really enjoyed discovering this whole ruthless side of Dumbledore in Deathly Hallows. I loved that contrast, sympathizing with Snape and being disgusted with Dumbledore. Amazing! I'm just glad JKR herself used the word, 'Machiavellian'.



mona amon - Oct 16, 2007 8:29 pm (#1175 of 2055)
I agree with you both, PatPat and PeskyPixie (PP and PP ). I certainly don't see Dumbledore as a Machiavellian figure. If he was, he would never have turned down that offer to be Minister of Magic.

I think she was just drawing our attention to the fact that the Dumbledore at the end of the series, a strong willed master strategist who really means business, is quite different from the benign, omniscient, infalliable DD of the first two books.

EDIT: Journeymom, we are certainly surprised by Dumbledore in DH, but why disgusted?



Mrs Brisbee - Oct 17, 2007 3:57 am (#1176 of 2055)
I'd say "Machiavellian" was the right way to describe Dumbledore. He told us that he had a plan in OotP, and he only stumbled in its implementation because he had grown to care for Harry, and Dumbledore worked to get back on track. Someone who is Machiavellian will pursue their end of "Greater Good" with ruthlessness towards their pawns-- just like Dumbledore does. I do think he cared about Harry and Snape, but Dumbledore saw the Wizarding World as the greater thing that needed protecting. Harry and Snape were always expendable toward that goal.

Dumbledore himself recognized that he was prone to abuse power. He refused the Minister for Magic position, but he still had power as the Headmaster of Hogwarts, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. All these positions had checks to their power, as we saw in OotP when Dumbledore could be removed from each of these powerful positions. The exception was the Order of the Phoenix, which he both founded and led. He didn't allow even death to knock him out of his autocratic position, which was the point where the Order members could reasonably expect that they could choose and follow a new leader, and design and implement plans without interference from beyond the grave. I was very disappointed, because I felt that if Dumbledore had done his job right, then he would leave behind a legacy that would survive through the actions of those he influenced. People would remember what Dumbledore stood for, and would come into their own fighting for the same goal. Dumbledore didn't put too much stock in that version of life beyond death. I know Dumbledore was brilliant, but in my opinion he thought too much of his own abilities and not enough of everyone else's.

I'm glad too that Rowling used the word "Machiavellian", because it clears up the question of how she intended Dumbledore to be viewed.



journeymom - Oct 17, 2007 8:02 am (#1177 of 2055)
Yeah, that. Lol! I shouldn't try to post before I've finished my first cup of tea. Mrs Brisbee, you put it right.

Though I do think Dumbledore's plan, if all went right, guaranteed that Harry would live and Lord Voldemort would die. And that's what happened. Though it was a gamble of epic proportion. Dumbledore demonstrated unbelievable audacity. There was room for error the size of a gaping chasm.



zelmia - Oct 17, 2007 12:15 pm (#1178 of 2055)
I know Dumbledore was brilliant, but in my opinion he thought too much of his own abilities and not enough of everyone else's.

I agree with this. We get a hint of this attitude when Harry tries to warn Dumbledore that Draco is out to kill him. Dumbledore tells Harry (paraphrased), "What makes you think you know more about it than I do?" Harry, who truly cares about Dumbledore, is only trying to warn/protect him. Dumbledore could have said, "I appreciate your concern, but I know all about it and I am taking care of it." Instead he is very dismissive of Harry's - all too legitimate - concerns.
The same thing regarding Harry's concern over Snape. Part of the animosity between Harry and Snape was fueled by Dumbledore's own ignorance of Harry's need to understand Dumbledore's relationship with Snape. Dumbledore could have at least acknowledged Harry's point of view with "I understand how Professor Snape must look through your eyes." That whole issue seemed to be nothing more than a petty annoyance to Dumbledore.



legolas returns - Oct 17, 2007 1:07 pm (#1179 of 2055)
Journey Mom-Yes it was an incredibly big risk. Many many people died prior to Voldemorts eventual defeat.

Mrs Brisbee-I dont think that Dumbledore viewed Harry and Snape as expendible. He did everything possible to keep Harry alive and educate him to such an extent that he would be able to defeat Voldemort. He tried to keep Harry happy (not telling him about the prophosy and the fact that he was unintentional horcrux). He "managed" Snape to such an extent that he was in Voldemorts good books until almost the end-protecting the students after he died. This allowed Snape to work against Voldemort to ensure the best outcome in the end. I totally agree with the Machiavellian comment. He did do some questionable things for the "greater good".

I think that Dumbledore was dismissive of people asking why he trusted Snape partly because of his promise to Snape and partly because his judgement on Snape was continually questioned by the order and every other person on the planet for that matter. I think that Dumbleodre was extra dismissive to Harry because he wanted him to concentrate on what he thought were the important things e.g Horcrux hunt/getting slughorns memories etc. He did not want side shows such as his impending death to upset Harry. He did not want Harry to be distracted by anything. I think he was still concerned that Voldemort would break into Harrys mind so he could not risk Harry knowing more than he needed to.



PeskyPixie - Oct 17, 2007 1:11 pm (#1180 of 2055)
Edited Oct 17, 2007 2:33 pm
I know Dumbledore was brilliant, but in my opinion he thought too much of his own abilities and not enough of everyone else's. -Mrs Brisbee

We get a hint of this attitude when Harry tries to warn Dumbledore that Draco is out to kill him ... the same thing regarding Harry's concern over Snape. Part of the animosity between Harry and Snape was fueled by Dumbledore's own ignorance of Harry's need to understand Dumbledore's relationship with Snape. -zelmia

I agree with these views. I noticed these traits in DD before the release of DH. He has never really been an entirely 'benign', grandfatherly figure from my point of view. He has many flaws. Even when he knows his flaws he is sometimes unable to realize when he is guilty of them (e.g. in OotP he tells Harry that it is 'an old man's mistake' to have kept Harry away from him without any explanation, yet, in HBP he continues to treat Harry with the same 'father knows best' attitude regarding Draco and Snape.).

However, these points do not detract from my previous post. DD's flaws do not make him a Machiavellian figure. I've looked up many different definitions of the term in case I was mistaken in my understanding, and every single one mentions amorality as a trait of one who may be considered Machiavellian. On these grounds I do not see DD as the Machiavellian figure JKR suggests he is. One may disagree with his choices and criticize his flaws, but he is not Machiavellian.



Die Zimtzicke - Oct 17, 2007 3:00 pm (#1181 of 2055)
So much for Jo's previous interview comment that Dumbledore was the "epitome of goodness".

I saw him as Machiavellian from the start and kept getting my head handed to me on a plate when I said so. For once Jo said something in an interview I agree with.

Press this day in your book of memories.



PeskyPixie - Oct 17, 2007 3:05 pm (#1182 of 2055)
I suppose my opinions differ from the most popular views as I don't really think in extremes. From my examination DD is neither "the epitome of goodness" nor "a Machiavellian figure".



zelmia - Oct 17, 2007 3:17 pm (#1183 of 2055)
Well, I have to admit that Dumbledore does exhibit a certain level of detachment in his decision-making process. True, he is emotional about and caring and considerate for those around him and in his care (Snape included). But he is also determined and driven and seems to have in common with Hermione not to be dissuaded from what he has determined to be the best course of action.
We never see Dumbledore actually considering the opinions of others in terms of how to proceed with anything. I realise that this is largely due to the fact that everyone has placed Dumbledore on such a high pedastal (with the possible exception of his own brother) that they tend not to even offer up an alternative plan. They simply assume that Dumbledore will take care of it.
Still, he doesn't seem to be as approachable about the important things as he first appears in the earlier episodes of the saga.



Mrs Brisbee - Oct 17, 2007 3:33 pm (#1184 of 2055)
I saw him as Machiavellian from the start and kept getting my head handed to me on a plate when I said so.-- Die Zimtzicke

It has been an unpopular view. I think The Viking is one person who deserves to give everyone a resounding "HA!" Talk about being on target.

I've looked up many different definitions of the term in case I was mistaken in my understanding, and every single one mentions amorality as a trait of one who may be considered Machiavellian. On these grounds I do not see DD as the Machiavellian figure JKR suggests he is.-- PeskyPixie

My understanding of Machiavellianism (and mind you Politic Science classes exist only as a distant memory to me) is that the Machiavellian prince should use amoral methods to achieve his ends of the Greater Good. Amoral is meant to be indifferent to either morality or immorality. Do whatever is necessary.

An example of Dumbledore being Machiavellian would be his allowing Draco to continue his attempts to murder him in HBP. Dumbledore has his scheme to neutralize the Elder Wand, but he also has many other things he wants to accomplish before his year is up. By allowing Draco to terrorize the school, and nearly murder Katie Bell and Ron Weasley, Dumbledore buys more time for himself and Snape. Dumbledore believes his plans are more important than his duty as Headmaster to keep his students safe, thus we have an amoral decision to place them in danger for what Dumbledore thinks is the Greater Good. Dumbledore buys almost a full year of time before things come to a head and Draco gets Death Eaters into the castle.



legolas returns - Oct 17, 2007 3:48 pm (#1185 of 2055)
Edited Oct 17, 2007 4:20 pm
Hasnt JKR said at different times that Dumbledore has no equal and this makes him isolated. If he has no equal then he cant bounce any ideas off others and sanity test them. It has to be said that Dumbledore has not chosen the easy path at any time his aim has been the greater good. Some of his methods have been questionable. He has had a very difficult job to do in guiding/preparing Harry for what he needs to do-who would want to do that/know what to do? He has always fought for muggle rights and other minorities/given people second chances/fought against dark magic.

Nobody is totally good or evil so why should should we have to classify Dumbledore as such.

The definition of Machiavellian I got from the dictionary is less strong than using ammoral methods for greater good. It said "using clever but often dishonest methods which deceive people so that you can gain power or control."

Mrs Brisbee-Dumbledore let Draco continue so that he/his family would not be killed by Voldemort. He knew that Draco would try more and more risky tactics as time went on. He thought that Draco was likely to fail in killing him and was depending on the fact and he had his master plan with Snape. Dumbledore thought he had things covered by asking Snape to investigate. I dont think Snape had any idea that Draco was trying to get people into the school via the cabinet. It seems that Snape tried but did not get very far in trying to help Draco. He seemed to find out after the event what was going on. If he had tried to hard things would be suspicious and Draco was uncooperative. It was a very fine line and I think Dumbledore was expecting too much of Snape. If all he wanted was to get Snape to discourage Draco it did not work.



Mrs Brisbee - Oct 17, 2007 4:18 pm (#1186 of 2055)
Mrs Brisbee-Dumbledore let Draco continue so that he/his family would not be killed by Voldemort. Dumbledore thought he had things covered by asking Snape to investigate. I dont think Snape had any idea that Draco was trying to get people into the school via the cabinet. It seems that Snape tried but did not get very far in trying to help Draco. He seemed to find out after the event what was going on. If he had tried to hard things would be suspicious. It was a very fine line and I think Dumbledore was expecting too much of Snape.-- legolas returns

I disagree on Dumbledore's stated purpose of the reason he let Draco continue his terror. Lucius Malfoy is a Death Eater who has shown a desire to murder students before and Narcissa Malfoy is a collaborator at best. While I can have some sympathy for Draco's difficult position-- kill or face Voldemort's wrath-- allowing Draco to murder students for that reason is immoral, not amoral, especially as Dumbledore reveals another solution at the end: fake a death and go into hiding, which Dumbledore could have offered Draco earlier if the real reason was just to save him from Voldemort's wrath. No, the reason Dumbledore let it continue was that as soon as Draco stopped trying to fulfill his mission, Snape would be called upon to do it, and time would be up. I agree with the rest of the post though. I don't think Dumbledore thought Draco would ever succeed in getting Death Eaters into Hogwarts. It was just a bad consequence of allowing Draco to continue with his activities, and not paying enough attention to Harry's warnings.

Edit: while I was replying, legolas returns was clarifying, so the quote doesn't match the above post anymore!



journeymom - Oct 17, 2007 4:43 pm (#1187 of 2055)
Don't laugh. An anagram of ALBUS DUMBLEDORE = MORAL DEED BUBULS (bubble)

Get it? He makes his decisions about his deeds in a morality bubble, separate from others.

Yeah, it's weak. Lol! Back to work now!



TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 17, 2007 5:35 pm (#1188 of 2055)
Weak maybe, but accurate. 10 points for your house.

...toddles off to another dreary night at work...



legolas returns - Oct 18, 2007 11:56 am (#1189 of 2055)
Is anyone a else a little bit dissapointed with the interviews that JKR has done so far (I am not critising her but I am critisising what she has been asked)? We have not really learnt anything new. If you had read the books you would have known that there were certain religious themes in the Kings Cross chapter and elsewhere. You would know if you read the book that Dumbledore was pulling strings and doing things for the greater good which were questionable. The only thing we learn is that she would describe his actions as machiavellian. Previously she has described him as the epitomy of goodness. She is asked so many times about people and her descriptions change each time. Do the ends justify the means?

I would really love some more questions of a similar type to the bloomsbury ones. Even silly little questions like "what muggle song was played at Dumbledores funeral?" made me happy in a way. It did not advance the story but it made me smile.



PeskyPixie - Oct 18, 2007 12:32 pm (#1190 of 2055)
Personally, I do not really care for JKR's interviews. Her answers are usually quite simplistic. Perhaps that is due to the fact that she must remain accessible to a younger audience or she has very limited time in which to answer?

Whatever the reason I am quite disappointed with 'Albus Dumbledore: Benign Grandfather or Machiavellian Puppeteer' and 'Severus Snape: the Little Vindictive Man Who Could Love' (All she ever says about him is 'he's a bully, he's mean, he's vindictive, ooh, but he loves' ... there's so much more there ... and I shall take this line of thought to the Snape thread!).

I honestly don't pay much attention to her interviews anymore as she tends to repeat/contradict herself a lot. Ron's profession comes to mind (along with the fans who indignantly retort, 'Well, why can't he have two careers' ). I think the woman just needs a major break from HP for a while. She should take a few years off (that includes movie premieres!), then re-read the entire series from start to finish and then provide fresh information/ideas for her fans.



legolas returns - Oct 18, 2007 12:56 pm (#1191 of 2055)
I want to know information now *huffs and stamps feet*!



journeymom - Oct 18, 2007 1:44 pm (#1192 of 2055)
"what muggle song was played at Dumbledores funeral?"

Is this a question she has answered? What song was it??

[I bet it was Lascia Ch'io Pianga, by Handel. Lovely. Oh, or on a completely different note, maybe it was Wayward Son by Kansas.]

"I think the woman just needs a major break from HP for a while."

I completely concur.



legolas returns - Oct 18, 2007 1:56 pm (#1193 of 2055)
Yes she did answer the question. It was "My Way" by Frank Sinatra.

I know that she needs a break but there are loads of impatient Potties out there who want to know.



TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 18, 2007 5:36 pm (#1194 of 2055)
Something that interests me is the definitions of "the epitome of goodness", and "for the greater good". Is there really a difference? Or is there just a percieved difference in "goodness"? Is there really a difference in a man that "does good", or a man that "does good for the greater good"?



wynnleaf - Oct 18, 2007 6:09 pm (#1195 of 2055)
I was looking up more info on Machiavelli and he believed that "The Prince" should be following his style of leadership for the greater good. In other words, that excuse is typically Machiavellian.



TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 18, 2007 6:26 pm (#1196 of 2055)
I really don't see any difference in the concept of what Dumbledore saw as for the "greater good" of his youth, and the "greater good" in his later life. All I see is where he rejected the absoultes of Grinderwald, and the later absoultes of real-life circumstances of Harry, and his love for Harry. What I fail to see is the objections to the term "Machiavellian" as it applies to him. I see him as being consistant throughout his life, no matter how the circumstances changed.



wynnleaf - Oct 18, 2007 6:44 pm (#1197 of 2055)
Part of the problem with Dumbledore's manipulations for the greater good is that he takes it upon himself to not only decide what the greater good is, but also to decide the best way that "good" should be obtained. We see that Dumbledore not only asks no one's advice, he won't share information either. He takes power, in the sense that he decides what the greater good is as well as what steps are needed to achieve it, and no one is particularly allowed any more part in it other than to follow his orders.

If we were shown that Dumbledore's plans were built on some particular knowledge that no one else had, or if we were shown that Dumbledore was using various methods of calculating outcomes -- perhaps arithmancy, or his unusual gadgets -- then we might assume that, well, he was the most brilliant and someone has to make those tough decisions so it's best if the most brilliant guy does it.

But what we actually discover is that much of Dumbledore's master plans work because of luck, not because Dumbledore was really the most fantastic wizard at creating intricate and impressive plans. Are we supposed to truly assume he's the most wise person to tell everyone how to get to the "greater good?" or just really, really lucky?

Dumbledore takes a great deal of power for himself when he doesn't give others information, when he makes all of the decisions and pulls all of the threads. That's fine perhaps if he's both brilliant and incorruptible. But what we're actually shown is that Dumbledore is easily diverted from his plans to destroy the Horcruxes by the opportunity to have the Hallows.

And in spite of the greater good, are Dumbledore's plans necessarily moral? His lies to Snape, in order to manipulate him into killing him, is in part to control who does or doesn't get mastery of the wand. Wouldn't a quiet death off on his own achieve the same thing? And is it truly "moral" to lie to someone and pull a guilt trip on them about the need for them to murder you? Dumbledore is willing to engage in many morally questionable decisions in order to achieve what he feels is necessary to gain the greater good. But he doesn't allow anyone else a say so in what those plans are, or even really in exactly what the great good entails.

Dumbledore may not have wanted the Ministry of Magic position, but he definitely wanted to hang onto his particular strings of power.



TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 18, 2007 7:03 pm (#1198 of 2055)
Ahh, and is all that a failing of Dumbledore's, or a failing of JKR to transfer Dumbledore's reasons and logic to her readers?



wynnleaf - Oct 18, 2007 7:30 pm (#1199 of 2055)
Ahh, and is all that a failing of Dumbledore's, or a failing of JKR to transfer Dumbledore's reasons and logic to her readers? (TBE)

I do think it's JKR sometimes. But there are other times when she did seem to be showing us that it was luck. For instance, we're actually shown that he had no real control over what Draco was up to in HBP, both with the attempted murders that only through luck didn't kill anyone, and the later attack on Hogwarts which turned out to surprise Dumbledore after all (in spite of people like me thinking that he knew it was coming and had planned for it). So regardless what Dumbledore told Harry about how he was keeping the students safe, in fact Dumbledore was not keeping them safe, and his decision to allow an attempted murderer to remain in the school was putting all of the students at risk.

Looking back, I think that Dumbledore had deemed keeping Draco at Hogwarts an acceptable risk. But his protestations that he was keeping the students safe were, in fact, not true. What was really going on was that Dumbledore had plans for how to deal with Draco -- I suppose he considered his plans for the "greater good" -- and the risks to the rest of the students were, in his opinion, acceptable risks. But who got to be a part of that decision making process? Who got to help decide if it was okay to leave a young, frightened, adolescent who is in the process of attempting murder, to stay in the castle? As far as I can tell, this was purely Dumbledore's decision. He told Snape about it, but it was Dumbledore's "call" and as far as I can tell, he allowed no one in on the decision making process, but himself. Talk about insisting on power! Dumbledore absolutely wouldn't give any decision making to others -- even as regards what was an acceptable risk for the entire student body.

And was he correct? No, he wasn't. The only thing that kept students from being killed was luck. It wasn't Dumbledore or any of his plans. Would others -- for instance Order members -- have considered that an acceptable risk? We don't know and Dumbledore didn't appear to give anyone else the opportunity to help make those decisions.



PeskyPixie - Oct 19, 2007 10:42 am (#1200 of 2055)
I think we all agree that DD is a flawed human being (though admittedly a brilliant one). He actually allows eleven-year-old Harry to have a try with Quirrellmort in PS/SS.

One's classification of him depends greatly on one's criteria for the term 'Machiavellian'. Personally, a certain amorality is necessary for one to be considered Machiavellian; I see LV fit the description better than DD (I believe this point was mentioned by zelmia on the Snape thread). DD is a great man with human flaws which lead to some reckless decisions.

Sometimes I feel that being a parent and raising his own child would help him relate better to those he feels are in his charge. For example, he locks Sirius away in 12GP 'for his own good' without realizing that Sirius is not a toddler in his play pen; he is a grown man who is resentful at being treated as a small child. Still, one can not deny that DD's heart is in the right place.
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mona amon - Oct 19, 2007 7:39 pm (#1201 of 2055)
Just heard the latest news about Dumbledore at 'The Leaky Cauldron'. LOLOLOL! He is so cool! Jo never ceases to surprise me!



Die Zimtzicke - Oct 19, 2007 8:08 pm (#1202 of 2055)
Now that Jo has talked about that, can we talk about it here? It would never have been allowed before, but I think it's hardly fair to censor us, when she brought it up.



wynnleaf - Oct 19, 2007 8:39 pm (#1203 of 2055)
Personally, I think it fits in exactly with the way she wrote about that friendship. I am surprised, however, that she went public with it, since she chose not to make it clear in the book.



Gina R Snape - Oct 19, 2007 9:11 pm (#1204 of 2055)
Well, it's nice to know she included someone in the series. But it's a pity we had to read between the lines to get there first.

Oh, but better him than Snape, speaking as Snape's widow.



zelmia - Oct 19, 2007 9:12 pm (#1205 of 2055)
I actually thought it was clear enough in the book (i.e. shooting off letters to each other in the middle of the night), but never posted about it because I didn't think it would be considered "forum friendly". The two have a pretty stereotypical Romantic era kind of friendship anyway; but Dumbledore's view on the matter is no surprise to me.



wynnleaf - Oct 19, 2007 9:21 pm (#1206 of 2055)
When I said she didn't make it clear in the book, I meant that she did not write about their relationship in a way that would make it obvious to everyone. If we had been able to discuss this previously on the Lexicon, there would certainly have been much disagreement, because she wasn't clear about it in the book.



zelmia - Oct 19, 2007 9:23 pm (#1207 of 2055)
I'm not arguing with you, Wynnleaf. But I don't necessarily think every little thing needs to be spelled out letter by letter all the time. I like a bit of subtext sometimes.

ETA: Just my own preference/opinion, of course.



Gina R Snape - Oct 19, 2007 9:27 pm (#1208 of 2055)
Yeah, I think most of us "saw" it in the subtext. And subtext can be hugely fun. She sure played with relationship subtext between the kids in HBP as we figured out who was dating whom and who liked whom.

But having it spelled out in the books would, for one thing, have hastened forum discussion openly. I still don't know how far we can take this discussion on the forum.



mona amon - Oct 19, 2007 10:36 pm (#1209 of 2055)
I meant that she did not write about their relationship in a way that would make it obvious to everyone. (Wynnleaf)

Like me for instance. I completely missed it! But then I never analyse Dumbledore as minutely as I analyse Snape.



Chemyst - Oct 19, 2007 10:39 pm (#1210 of 2055)
Still, one can not deny that DD's heart is in the right place. ~ PeskyPixie, post #1200

Kinda' takes on a whole new meaning. . .



legolas returns - Oct 20, 2007 1:22 am (#1211 of 2055)
Its better to have loved and lost rather than never loved at all.

I think I would be horrified personally if the person I loved turned out the way they did. I can see another reason why Dumbledore may have delayed a confrontation. He admits being scared of the possibility that he may have accidently cast the spell that ended his sisters life but this is another factor in my mind.



Phelim Mcintyre - Oct 20, 2007 5:57 am (#1212 of 2055)
Edited Oct 20, 2007 6:50 am
I am not suprised at the latest revelation from JKR re DD. Having studied the research on causes (both biological and psychological) DD's childhood ticks all the right boxes for the psychological theory. Problems with his father, traumatic childhood, dominant mother who relies too much on her oldest son, loss of ideals due to having to take on responsilbilty too young etc etc.

Edit - Die, I agree with you about the timing of the revelation. Why not say that he couldn't find true love now because he is dead? Why such a dramatic revelation now? But as JKR says, the fan fiction. On this note I have asked Kip for clarification on this issue on the fan fiction forum.



Die Zimtzicke - Oct 20, 2007 6:19 am (#1213 of 2055)
I'm surprised, though, that she didn't leave it for people to think or not think...that she had to make this particular piece of information public in such a dramatic way.



Chemyst - Oct 20, 2007 7:23 am (#1214 of 2055)
I totally agree, Die. The revelation done this way came off as being an in-your-face "I'm going to use my bully pulpit" to get even with all you intolerant critics. I think it was also a disservice to Scholastic who was sponsoring her tour because you know this will — fact-of-life — affect future sales. If she was determined to tell, there were better ways, times, and places to go about it. I wish she could have saved that gratification until she wrote an encyclopedia.

As for the story, it completely modifies my view of the scene of DD asking Snape, "After all this time?" I feel a bit betrayed because I'd assumed that DD understood Snape. . . . which is undoubtedly, 'nuf said.



Meoshimo - Oct 20, 2007 7:33 am (#1215 of 2055)
Edited by megfox* Oct 21, 2007 7:00 pm
It feels like she added this revelation about Dumbledore as an afterthought.

Edit: The italics are to bring this post in line with our request regarding this topic.



wynnleaf - Oct 20, 2007 8:13 am (#1216 of 2055)
I getting a little tired of JKR augmenting her books after the last one is published, through interview comments. And not all of her comments are even consistent. In that same question and answer session, she said that the Potters went into hiding while Lily was pregnant. But on her site, we've got an answer to a question in which she said that about the time of the Christening, the Potters learned they'd need to go into hiding.

This new info about Dumbledore isn't a surprise to me, but I really don't like JKR adding info after the final book is published which affects the stories of primary characters.



Veritaserum - Oct 20, 2007 9:09 am (#1217 of 2055)
I find I kind of agree with you, Wynnleaf. I feel like taking all her comments as her own very well-informed version of fan fiction, or "this is what I think happened." I think that once the book is published for everybody to read and interpret, true canon has to stop there. She can add whatever subtext and additional insight into her characters, but I don't know if you could retroactively put it into the story. The story's over, you can't really keep legitimately adding to it. She chose what details to put into the epilogue and all that, and there would have been reasons for those choices. I don't want to sound blasphemous, but I don't know that she has full control over the story anymore now that it has been completely and totally released to the rest of the world.

Unless she published all this in an encyclopedia. I would consider that perfectly acceptable as canon.



Nicoline Vance - Oct 20, 2007 9:13 am (#1218 of 2055)
This new info about Dumbledore isn't a surprise to me, but I really don't like JKR adding info after the final book is published which affects the stories of primary characters. -Wynnleaf

I have to say I was completely caught off-guard by the revelation. I just don't think too much about the personal preferences of fictional characters very often, if it is not part of the storyline.

I whole-heartedly agree that I don't care for big revelations that do affect the meanings and motivations of characters post-publishing.

Was it meant to shock, clarify, challenge, offend? Is JKR thumbing her nose at some of her critics or simply clarifying character motivation? Why now? Why not leave it for the imagination? Apparently, quite a few people picked up the hints.



PatPat - Oct 20, 2007 9:43 am (#1219 of 2055)
I think you guys are being a little hard on JKR. The poor woman can't win. Fans are constantly asking her to reveal information. People were upset after her web chat because she didn't get to their question. Yet, when she does answer questions, she is criticized. She was asked a direct question about whether Dumbledore ever found love and answered honestly as to what she thought. There are plenty of hints in the seventh book especially. In fact, I remember the thought fleeting across my mind when I was reading about the late night owls between the two. We are all free to ignore her interviews and focus only on what is directly written in the books. But we can hardly criticize her for answering questions fans have been insisting she answer for years. I can absolutely see why she would not want to reveal this information before DH. It would give away too much. And right after the book, it's important to allow people time to come to conclusions on their own.



azi - Oct 20, 2007 9:43 am (#1220 of 2055)
I myself did not see the hints! It cheered me up though. I like the idea that DD had loved other than familial love, even if it ended badly.

Somehow, I'm finding myself in agreement with those who think that any information from interviews is pointless now. I'm preferring to come to my own conclusions or reading fanfiction, which, to be honest, is often better than what JKR herself is saying (once you get through the rubbish anyway)! If JKR ever writes an encyclopedia then I will be there buying it and reading from cover to cover, but until then I'll make my own decisions.

As for the shock factor, I suspect that now the series is over any controversy arising from this has a limited impact. You can't encourage boycotting of the books as there isn't anything new to buy, while most people won't even realise about DD since it wasn't in the books and they don't read the interviews. The media will be a big factor in how many people know! I think the majority of people who will be offended by this will be those who already boycott the books on other grounds. This will just serve to annoy them more. JKR mentioned that she would have said it much earlier if she'd thought people would respond so positively, so she must have been aware about the negative reactions that could occur. Maybe now she feels free to say what she wants.

(The contradictions also annoy me, but it happens. No point getting ruffled feathers over them )



Luna Logic - Oct 20, 2007 9:47 am (#1221 of 2055)
Edited by Oct 20, 2007 9:57 am
On a good HP site in France (La Pensine), there was this summer a good beginning of a fan-fiction about this relation, taking place "that summer" at Godric's Hollows (title : "Summer Rains", by aLiCe). It was very sensible and very credible, because based on precise hints in DH.
Thus (prepared for it...)I, personnaly, both appreciate and enjoy this revelation!

edited : the author of the fanfic "Summer Rains" had given some of the hints which made her begin her story (pages -UK edition):

Bagshot : "The boys took to each others at once". " After they'd spent all day in discussion, [...] they got on like a cauldron on fire - I'd sometimes hear an owl tapping at Gellert's bedroom window, delivering a letter from Albus ! ". p291

Dumbledore "I do not complain, because if you had not been expelled, we would never have met". p291

"Grindelwald, you cannot imagine how his ideas caught me, inflamed me." p573

Skeeter : " However, there can be no doubt that Dumbledore delayed for some five years of turmoil, fatalities and disappearances, his attack upon Gellert Grindelwald. Was it lingering affection for the man ?" p293



Finn BV - Oct 20, 2007 10:06 am (#1222 of 2055)
Edited by megfox* Oct 21, 2007 6:59 pm

PatPat, I totally agree with you. JKR's comments now, if you can't accept them as canon, you can accept as her own personal views on what happens, and that's still pretty cool too -- getting inside the author's mind.

Perhaps this was why information on Hogwarts' staff's spouses was restricted?

Edit: I removed a personal opinion.



Choices - Oct 20, 2007 10:18 am (#1223 of 2055)
Edited by megfox* Oct 21, 2007 7:08 pm
I guess my mind doesn't work that way, but I never in a million years would have suspected this type of relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald and I feel it is totally unnecessary to reveal such a thing at this point. This information certainly does not add anything to the books.

Edit: I took out some personal statements. I also deleted the next post by Madam Pomfrey, which I could not edit and have it make sense.



zelmia - Oct 20, 2007 10:49 am (#1224 of 2055)
Edited by megfox* Oct 21, 2007 7:12 pm
What does it matter who Dumbledore loved? That he loved is what sets him apart from Voldemort, et al.

Edit: I removed a majority of this post, as it dealt with the deleted post. I also deleted the next post by Finn, as it dealt with the deleted post and some other parts of posts that I have edited.



Choices - Oct 20, 2007 11:04 am (#1225 of 2055)
Edited by megfox* Oct 21, 2007 7:15 pm
I have an image of Dumbledore in my mind and this goes against it. I just don't want to know about Dumbledore's private life. It has no purpose in the story as she has told it and it is much better left to each individual reader's imagination.

Edit: I edited out some thoughts in this post that wouldn't normally be allowed on this Forum anyway.



megfox* - Oct 20, 2007 11:09 am (#1226 of 2055)
I am shutting this thread down until the other Hosts can determine what the Forum's stance on this is. It is already causing some harsh words be exchanged, and the tone of the posts since yesterday has been significantly strained. Please be patient while we deal with this!

Thanks and sorry - Meg



megfox* - Oct 21, 2007 11:27 am (#1227 of 2055)
Edited Oct 21, 2007 7:21 pm
I just wanted to let people know that I am working on reopening this thread, but I have to finish my progress reports before I do so. Kip and I spoke this afternoon and I will be posting something soon about how we are going to proceed.

Thanks for being patient - Meg



megfox* - Oct 21, 2007 7:23 pm (#1228 of 2055)
Dear fellow Forum members:

This thread was closed Saturday, October 20, 2007, because of some posts that were discussing JKR’s “announcement” about Dumbledore. This action was taken to neither condone nor condemn Jo’s statement, nor any single opinion that was being presented on this thread. My sole intention for shutting down the thread was to prevent the possibility of it quickly descending into a place for people to express and defend their personal opinions, as well as to declaim those that did not follow what they believe. Within a few hours of the announcement, there were posts that had already begun to do that, and several that had done it in harsh and intolerant ways.

As you know, there is a general ban on discussions related to politics and religion on this Forum. Lexicon Steve’s stance, and therefore, the Forum’s stance on this, has always been that these are largely too personal, and too divisive, to allow for free conversation. People’s beliefs surrounding this topic are largely based on religious and political viewpoints. While this is not the final word on this subject, for now, we are asking that you refrain from discussing Jo’s statement that she made about Dumbledore in her recent chat, on all threads. We are considering guidelines that may be posted to help contain and facilitate this discussion in the future.

You may also have noticed that I also edited some of the posts that referred to her announcement here and in other places. I tried to be light-handed in this, and only edited posts where the viewpoint of the poster was very blatant in terms of the personal feelings about this issue. The Hosts will continue to edit posts that we feel are not conforming to this request. We ask that you please self-moderate in this case, so we do not have to come down on this thread again. However, we will not tolerate people pushing the envelope to see how far they can go before we act. We will close this thread if it again becomes too personal.

Please know that we are doing this to protect what we feel is the best and most respectful Forum out there, a place that we all cherish. We are not doing this to “censor” people’s viewpoints. We will be determining if and when this topic may be discussed freely, and how we will set up parameters to make sure it continues to be done in a respectful and family-friendly way, which are two of the hallmarks of this Forum. We as Hosts, and with input from Lexicon Steve, will try our best to do what is best for our Forum family. If you really feel that you must have a discussion about this issue now, you may do that through email or off the Forum in some other venue.

Several of the Hosts discussed this earlier today, and Kip has given me the go ahead to make this request and to edit posts as we see fit. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact either me at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] or him at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], or both, to discuss your concerns.

I will leave this post up until Monday at 8:00 pm EST, at which point I will reopen this thread.

Thanks for your patience and understanding – Meg



megfox* - Oct 22, 2007 6:43 pm (#1229 of 2055)
This thread is now open. Sorry for the slight delay (see chat thread). Please remember to conform to the standards that this Forum strives to uphold as we continue our discussion...



Mrs. Sirius - Oct 22, 2007 8:02 pm (#1230 of 2055)
Ok, but I am not sure if this means that there or isn't a 600 pound pink gorilla in the room?

In a recent interview Jo said that if anyone had asked her what Dumbledore's wand was made of she simply would have said "elder". No one asked? In all that time with all the questions asked no one asked that one?

In common with other trees with white blossom, such as hawthorn and rowan, the elder had strong associations with Faery- and Goddess-centred mythology... the elder was thought of as being a protective tree... the elder's was at the back door, to keep evil spirits and other negative influences from entering the home.... Elder trees were also traditionally planted by bake houses as protection from the Devil



wynnleaf - Oct 22, 2007 8:23 pm (#1231 of 2055)
Considering that JKR's recent comments regard the "pink gorilla" are national news on every news source I know of, I think it's a mistake to make the entire topic off-limits. This is one of the most careful group of posters I know of in terms of attempting to speak respectfully to each other. I'm probably one of the more "intimidating" types and I'm practically the essence of circumspection and civility compared to posters on many other sites. If this site can't find a way to discuss an extremely newsworthy topic, given to us by JKR, in a civilized manner, I am quite disappointed.



Luna Logic - Oct 22, 2007 10:04 pm (#1232 of 2055)
Given that posts 1202 to 1225 still exist, and speak about the subject, I thought we could discuss it, on the "model" of those remaining posts ?



zelmia - Oct 22, 2007 10:06 pm (#1233 of 2055)
Agreed, Wynnleaf.

I must say that I feel somewhat relieved to know that Dumbledore had indeed experienced the Love, at some point in his life, that he so professes to be Harry's greatest strength. That was one major aspect of the character that I found odd. So isolated and alone, yet claiming to be aware of others' needs... Seemed a bit hypocritcal to me.



Gerald Costales - Oct 22, 2007 11:42 pm (#1234 of 2055)
Edited Oct 23, 2007 12:30 am
(re: post# 1230)

“In common with other trees with white blossom, such as hawthorn and rowan, the elder had strong associations with Faery- and Goddess-centred mythology... the elder was thought of as being a protective tree... the elder's was at the back door, to keep evil spirits and other negative influences from entering the home.... Elder trees were also traditionally planted by bake houses as protection from the Devil.” Mrs. Sirius

Mrs. Sirius - Is a "bake house" the same as a bakery?

I’ve read that witchcraft in general is “Goddess-centred”. And some people believe “Goddess-centred” beliefs are related to Nature and/or Paganism. A witch or someone who might believe in “Goddess-centred” magic could create a “flying salve” from ingredients found in nature. When the “flying salve” was applied to the witch it would create the sensation of flying. Herbs, etc. would be used to create the “flying salve” or “flying ointment”.

The witch would fly to join the devil for their Black Sabbath. (You just thought “Black Sabbath” was just a catchy name for a Rock group. ) And the devil, etc. was only associated with witchcraft when pagan/witchcraft beliefs began to clash with other beliefs. (Being real careful here.)

But, more then likely salves, oinments, teas, brews, potions, etc. were just nature derived folk rememdies. How many of you may have applied mud to a bee sting to draw out the poison, etc. or used some other traditional folk cure?

“Hippocrates, a Greek physician, prescribes leaves and bark from willow tree (which, like the myrtle tree, also contains salicylic acid) to relieve fever and pain, including labor pains.”

(Source – Pharmaceutical Achievers - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] )

And the above folk remedy is the origin of what we now call “Aspirin”.

“ . . . not all witches were assumed to be harmful practicers of the craft. In England, the provision of this curative magic was the job of a witch doctor, also known as a cunning man, white witch, or wiseman. The term "witch doctor" was in use in England before it came to be associated with Africa. Toad doctors were also credited with the ability to undo evil witchcraft. (Other folk magicians had their own purviews. Girdle-measurers specialised in diagnosing ailments caused by fairies, while magical cures for more mundane ailments, such as burns or toothache, could be had from charmers.)

Such "cunning-folk" did not refer to themselves as witches and objected to the accusation that they were such. . . .”

(Source - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] )

Many traditional healers – people who used herbs, spices, teas, etc.; mid-wives – who also could lessen the pain of childbirth with folk remedies and herbs; and other “cunning-folk” were sometimes the first to be accused of witchcraft when the “Witch hunts” and “Witch trials” began. (Remember, the poor couldn’t afford conventional doctors. So, these traditional healers, etc. were eliminated by those in power.)

Many other people accused of witchcraft were more often selected for political and economic reasons. It cost money to hold “Witch trials”. Buying the, Malleus Maleficarum, the book most Witch Hunters used, was quite expensive.

The innocent victims under torture often confessed to being witches and even accused other innocent friends and relatives. These victims lost their lives, friends, families, lands, money, etc. The “Witch hunts” and “Witch trials” were very misogynistic. And the people running the “Witch hunts” and “Witch trials” were men.

PS I haven't read some of the recent posts. But, I know how heated some of the discussions can be. I was posting in the Marietta Edgecombe thread when it needed to be closed.

Dumbledore is Dumbledore. The Greatest Wizard of his time; the only Wizard Voldermort feared; etc. These things don't change no matter what JKR announced or what others say.

I am personally proud that JKR would answer the question about Dumbledore as she did. There is a great deal of back story we may never know. But, the story remains unchanged. And most importantly Good triumphed over Evil.

PPS But, isn’t it all about convincing JKR to write other Potter related books. I’m a Pottermaniac, I WAND to know more. GC



Celestina Warbeck - Oct 23, 2007 4:25 am (#1235 of 2055)
Edited by megfox* Oct 23, 2007 5:48 am
I have been a bit out of touch with the Forum and the discussions which have been happening here, but I'm guessing that JKR's latest revelation definitely sparked off some kind of activity here. All I wanted to say was that the news didn't really surprise me as much as it should have. I mean it sort of fit! I'm not sure if I am putting this in the right words, but in reference to an earlier post where someone had said something to the effect that Dumbledore's orientation had not been particularly evident in the books, I must say I beg to differ. It is just my view that with this information in retrospect, Dumbledore's character does seem to make a little more sense. In fact, I now feel that this is one of the best written characters in literature since JKR never fell into the trap of stereotypes and cliches, so much so that Dumbledore's orientation never bothered us for so many years. I just mean to say that the man that Dummbledore was, became far more important to us than his orientation. This, in my opinion makes it all the more interesting that his sexuality was so matter of fact and so unobtrusive to the larger narrative.

Edit: I removed one word to keep this post in line with the "request". Please email me at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] if you have a question or concern about this.



Madam Pince - Oct 23, 2007 4:55 am (#1236 of 2055)
It never even occurred to me to wonder about Dumbledore, and I did not pick up on any clues or anything in the text to make me consider what was recently revealed by JKR. (I'm pretty literal, though, *not to say "dense"* so that's not too surprising...) It does seem to me that JKR, by saying this now, is making a point that she wants to make. It's after the fact -- the main "rush" of sales is over -- any objections by anyone at this point are sort of moot, although naturally sales hopefully will continue for many years to come and could be affected by many things. JKR has always impressed me as being rather "feisty" -- she's quite defensive of "her" story and quite emphatic that "it happened this way, and this is MY story, and if you don't like it, don't read it!" So it's not too surprising to me that if she wanted to make a point, she'd make it some way, some how, regardless of what discussions might or might not have taken place around Scholastic's and Bloomsbury's boardroom conference tables. I think what Celestina Warbeck said above is probably exactly what JKR meant to accomplish -- that we take note of what sort of a man Dumbledore is, rather than anything else.

I suppose it's interesting maybe, but it doesn't seem to me to be integral to the story. No different from many of the questions we ask JKR, like what is so-and-so's middle name, or what is so-and-so's wand made of, etc. Interesting, enriching detail... but not integral to the story. We love it because we love the story and the magical world she's created.



Denise P. - Oct 23, 2007 5:06 am (#1237 of 2055)
I love how JKR plays on things. Dumbledore's wand is made of elder and he had the Elder wand I wonder if it had been known before he had an elder wand, we would have picked up that he had the Elder wand while reading DH



Madam Pince - Oct 23, 2007 5:08 am (#1238 of 2055)
I guarantee I wouldn't have! (That "dense" thing...)



Denise P. - Oct 23, 2007 6:34 am (#1239 of 2055)
I would not have picked up on it either but only because I would have been looking at other things (that are of no consequence at all)



Muggle Doctor - Oct 23, 2007 6:49 am (#1240 of 2055)
Edited by Denise P. Oct 23, 2007 7:13 am
Blocking any sort of overt discussion of Albus Dumbledore's sexual orientation in the name of being family-friendly is pointless; every news service I've seen on the net, at least, has carried it, and I understand the other news media have too.

I cut the vast majority of this post since it was off topic and inflammatory. This is not the thread to discuss JKR's motivation in revealing certain aspects of a character, it is the thread to discuss Albus Dumbledore.

We are allowing discussion of Dumbledore as long as it relates to the character, is respectful and within the bounds of the guidelines of the Forum. If that can't be done, then we will impose guidelines. Please go back and read megfox* post #1228 on this thread.

If you have any further questions about this edit, please email me at denise at hp-lexicon.org Denise P.



painting sheila - Oct 23, 2007 7:03 am (#1241 of 2055)
Regardless of whom Professor Dumbledore loved he was a wonderful mentor to Harry and all the other student's at Hogwarts.

He was wise, caring, giving, and forgiving. He was a man who made mistakes, but not a man that hid behind them. He had success in life but knew what a successful life was really all about.

Isn't that enough?



Denise P. - Oct 23, 2007 7:07 am (#1242 of 2055)
I just deleted a post that was responding to an edited post.

Let me say this again: This thread is to discuss Albus Dumbledore. It is not to discuss why JKR revealed specific information or motivation in timing the release of information.



Gina R Snape - Oct 23, 2007 7:46 am (#1243 of 2055)
Ok, I'm going to try and get this thread back on track because I think there is room for very fruitful discussion of canon repercussions of everything we learn in JKR's interviews.

Well, I find it incredibly sad that DD's one BIG love in his life turned out so tragic. Just goes to show how we can all become enamoured with someone and then find out later they are evil and crazy. Even DD, who seems to know everything, managed to be fooled by love.

On the other hand, it also makes me angry that he knew of tragic love and yet showed Snape so little respect for his own tragic love scenario. When he says "Still, Severus?" it's like he doesn't acknowledge the deep pain and sadness Snape carried with him all those years. Yet, he too carried deep pain and sadness as a result of tragic love.

Finally, it makes me wonder if Tom Riddle knew about this because he does mock DD and his faith in love.



Hogwarts Class of 85 - Oct 23, 2007 7:57 am (#1244 of 2055)
I must say Gina, I read "Still, Severus?" as surprise rather than disrespect. I think it is more symptomatic of a different mechanism between the the two men with respect to dealing with their respective emotional set backs. I see Dumbledore as someone who has either been more successful in "moving forward" or better at closing down his emotions than Snape if that makes any sense.

This new parallel between Snape and Dumbledore is quite interesting.



Mare - Oct 23, 2007 8:11 am (#1245 of 2055)
it's like he doesn't acknowledge the deep pain and sadness Snape carried with him all those years. Yet, he too carried deep pain and sadness as a result of tragic love.

But I have a feeling that Dumbledore did get over it. Maybe because he had to actually defeat Grindelwald, maybe because he had more time or maybe because he learned to focus on other things (Hogwarts and its students possibly.)

I do find it interesting that after such a tragic ending to his love and all the damage to his family that came of it, he still keeps faith in the emotion itself.



Mrs. Sirius - Oct 23, 2007 8:15 am (#1246 of 2055)
On last night's Countdown with Keith oberman, he quotes JKR saying that she wrote these books to talk about tolerance and acceptance and these works were about the politics. So the connections we see to WWII and current US-British world politics subtext are there.

There is a paragraph in OoTP that struck me as such current world politics 4 years ago, I wish had save my essay. the paragraph was so astute to current world politics.

On the one hand most fans want to know more back story, we want all the details of all the characters' lives. When we get one detail we critize her motives and question weather she was motivated by the bottom line.

IMHO, in society, diversity is diversity, we cannot control what other people are, even fictional characters. Nor can/should decide which diverse aspects of a person will be accepted. Each person has to be judged on his/her own behavior, even action to action. All people/characters have flaws.

Sirius says judge a person based on how he treats those less powerful than themselves, yet look at how he treats Kreacher, Dumbledore knows that power is his weakness so he doesn't take the Ministry position, yet he gets the ring and tries to use it, Snape is mean, angry and vindictive yet he loved Lily and never let go of that.

I like to joke that I like Sirius as he is simple, no complexity to his motives. Dumbldore is the person he is. He behaves as he does because of who he is. It is all part of the package -Dumbledore-.

The larger character of DD is to be judged on what he did. I wondered why people had to go after DD to finish Grindelwald. Well we all face the fear of confronting ones we love when their behavior is unacceptable. Now this luminates the question for me.

EDit: BOY! am I slow when I started this post we were at Madame pince 1238. yes Gina DD's "Still, Severus" did stand out.



T Vrana - Oct 23, 2007 8:21 am (#1247 of 2055)

>On the other hand, it also makes me angry that he knew of tragic love and yet showed Snape so little respect for his own tragic love scenario. When he says "Still, Severus?" it's like he doesn't acknowledge the deep pain and sadness Snape carried with him all those years.

Little respect? It brought tears to his eyes! DD was very moved by Snape's enduring love for Lily. He acknowledged it with his own powerful emotions.



Mrs Brisbee - Oct 23, 2007 8:23 am (#1248 of 2055)
I think Dumbledore could understand the power of love: "There is a room in the Department of Mysteries," interrupted Dumbledore, "that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than forces of nature...." (OotP, Ch 37, "The Lost Prophecy"). Love didn't automatically make Dumbledore do the right thing, and he can see that it is the same with Snape. But Dumbledore can understand what power it can hold over a person, and he uses that. The problem with Snape is that he seems to lack an internal moral compass. Dumbledore provides him with an external one, and Snape gives himself mostly over to it. I think that's why Dumbledore trusted Snape, because Dumbledore recognized the power of love, and once Snape had latched onto Dumbledore's moral direction to give his life meaning, Dumbledore could direct Snape's feelings somewhere he found useful.



Orion - Oct 23, 2007 8:42 am (#1249 of 2055)
Edited by megfox* Oct 23, 2007 8:58 am
I'm confused - does "Elder Wand" mean anything else than "elder wand"? I only understood that the wand was made of elder. What is the other meaning?

And it's nice that DD has this one redeeming trait, at least one thing I like about him.

I edited part of this post that referred to a deleted post.



painting sheila - Oct 23, 2007 8:42 am (#1250 of 2055)
I took the "Still Severus?" as a painful statement. At the time I felt like Dumbledore knew the answer Snape was going to say "Always." and understood it.

Dumbledore knew about love and all it's power. It's power to hurt, to heal, to lift and to drag down.

He understood the hold love could have on a person. JKR never explained "how" he knew but used his words, his caring, his warnings to others to express that he did indeed know what love was all about.

I think she handled his history perfectly.
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Phelim Mcintyre - Oct 23, 2007 8:49 am (#1251 of 2055)
Die - as Megfox said the issue is not JKR's revelation. The issue is that so much of the debate on sexuality is driven by religion and politics. These two issues are generally off limits because of how inflamitary people can make them. We also have to remember that the Lexicon, and all its Forums, are used by schools for research. We should not post anything which we would not want a child we know to read. Bearing these caveats in mind the discussion can probably go ahead. In fact, if the issue is handled properly, the revelation can be used educationally. The problem is some of the posts were not in line with the Forum's guidelines.

Denise/Meg/Kip et al - sorry if my reply is off topic. I hope what I have said makes sense.

Now back to the discussion. In the light of JKR's revelation about Dumbledore I see his comment "Still, Severus" as one of sympathy and sorrow. That Snape has been unable to move on and that has in someway stunted his emotions. As a counsellor I have seen a number of cases where the greif process has been stopped for whatever reason and it has caused depression and even physical health. Snape has been locked in the past and this has prevented him for seeing Harry as Harry not as James. DD knew what it was like to have an unrequented love but, unlike Snape, had been able to greive this.



Orion - Oct 23, 2007 8:51 am (#1252 of 2055)
Oh thanks.



painting sheila - Oct 23, 2007 9:05 am (#1253 of 2055)
Good point Phelim! I never thought of Snape's heart break as grief stoped. That makes sense now - the grief can often turn to bitterness - to hatred -

I am going to ponder on that some more.

She



Barbara J - Oct 23, 2007 9:11 am (#1254 of 2055)
I see "still, Severus?" like the comment DD made to Harry about understanding how he (Harry) felt after Sirius died. In both places, because of DD's life story, the statements are more than glib expressions of sympathy, but the listener (along with us, until much later) does not necessarily understand just how sincere the sympathy is.

I think DD's experience also would have made him more likely to believe Snape's repentance -- first, he might be more willing to forgive Snape's attraction for the dark arts because he himself had been willing to go along with some of Grindelwald's ideas; and second, because he had an experience with early love that ended very sadly, although of course for completely different reasons.

(Barbara J, formerly NFla Barbara, here as long as my new name keeps working)



journeymom - Oct 23, 2007 9:50 am (#1255 of 2055)
I'm a little peeved at pundits who claim this revelation is 'too little, too late', and that JKR should have included this aspect of Dumbledore's character in the books. First, I say, dang, the woman can't do anything right, can she? I also say that she did, indeed, leave a hints of this in Deathly Hallows. I also wonder if JKR was caught up in the moment at that event in NYC, and would she have made this comment if she hadn't been asked if Dumbledore ever knew love?

This revelation pretty much confirms my take on certain other scenarios in Deathly Hallows that can be interpreted in an 'adult' light.



kaykay1970 - Oct 23, 2007 9:52 am (#1256 of 2055)
I'm confused - does "Elder Wand" mean anything else than "elder wand"? I only understood that the wand was made of elder. What is the other meaning? -Orion

In the story of the Tale of Three Brothers the eldest brother received the wand, the "elder" wand.

I wondered why people had to go after DD to finish Grindelwald. Well we all face the fear of confronting ones we love when their behavior is unacceptable. Now this luminates the question for me.-Mrs. Sirius

I totally agree. It makes much more sense in light of this new info.



Ana Cis - Oct 23, 2007 9:54 am (#1257 of 2055)
One of thing I love about Jo’s writing style is its highly descriptive nature and way she places so much feeling and atmosphere into the scenes and characters. She has consistently done this with Dumbledore, showing him as a person who’s not afraid to discuss and express his sensitivity towards love. You have shown it in the above examples, and her best example, to me, is the very moving scene in OotP, Ch37, “The Lost Prophecy” where Dumbledore shows his love for Harry.

“You do not see the flaw in the plan yet? No … perhaps not. Well, as you know, I decided not to answer you. Eleven, I told myself, was much too young to know. I had never intended to tell you when you were eleven. The knowledge would be too much at such a young age.”
“I should have recognized the danger signs then. I should have asked myself why I did not feel more disturbed that you had already asked me the question to which I knew, one day, I must give a terrible answer. I should have recognized that I was too happy to think that I did not have to do it on that particular day … YOU were too young, much too young…”
“Do you see, Harry? Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now? I had fallen into the trap I had foreseen, that I had told myself I could avoid, that I must avoid….”
“I cared about you toy much,' said Dumbledore simply. `I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act.”
However, I think she missed her opportunity to show Dumbledore’s love for Grindelwald. This one of very few times I found her to be inconsistent in demonstrating a main character’s true emotions. She addresses his love for his family, but there nothing to say how he felt about Grindelwald as a person. Dumbledore doesn’t even mention having any affection or care for Grindelwald, and the sharing of ideas was glossed over by the idea of power. When she describes Dumbledore being inflamed, it was to the idea of power and revolution. We really don’t get a picture of Dumbledore’s feelings as lonely boy needing a companion/a friend except for power. She had the opportunity to show Dumbledore’s loneliness and the need to love this young man. I believe this would have made him even more touchable, more human. This the reason I was disappointed with her revelation; I could not see that vulnerability or affection that would have said to me, “yes, that make sense or ok there’s some consistency here”. When she said Dumbledore was Machiavellian, it didn’t affect me because she showed it throughout all of the books. Granted, it wasn’t until the Price’s Tale where it became explicit, but it was there. However, I just don’t see the deep feeling for Grindelwald. Here’s the excerpt, if you see something I missed please tell me. I don’t mind being wrong on this at all.

DH, Ch. 35, King’s Cross:
“I resented it, Harry.” Dumbledore stated it baldly, coldly. He was looking now over the top of Harry’s head, into the distance.
“I was gifted, I was brilliant. I wanted to escape. I wanted to shine. I wanted glory. “
“Do not misunderstand me,” he said, and pain crossed the face so that he looked ancient again. “I loved them, I loved my parents, I loved my brother and my sister, but I was selfish, Harry, more selfish than you, who are a remarkably selfless person, could possibly imagine. ‘
“So that, when my mother died, and I was left the responsibility of a damaged sister and a wayward brother, I returned to my village in anger and bitterness. Trapped and wasted, I thought! And then of course, he came. . . .” Dumbledore looked directly into Harry’s eyes again.
“Grindelwald. You cannot imagine how his ideas caught me, Harry, inflamed me. Muggles forced into subservience. We wizards triumphant, Grindelwald and I, the glorious young leaders of the revolution.” (My emphasis, and I apologize for any typing errors.)
I know that earlier in the book, it was stated that they were best friends. However, Jo is very consistent in revealing Dumbledore’s true (though not necessarily his complete) feelings and thoughts on the later chapters of the books.



journeymom - Oct 23, 2007 10:06 am (#1258 of 2055)
Ana Cis, I noticed that, too, that Dumbledore is specifically referring to Grindelwald's ideas, not to Grideldwald himself. But I can't deny that I stopped and looked at that choice of words (Inflammed), if only briefly, on my first read-through of Deathly Hallows. That paired with the late night letters passed back and forth.

I wonder if this love of Dumbledore's was one-sided, unrequited. That would make the parallel to Snape's love Lily more direct. I guess it doesn't matter! Perhaps the fan fiction writers can take that up.



Ana Cis - Oct 23, 2007 10:22 am (#1259 of 2055)
Well Lily had affections for Snape and was his friend until his started hanging out with Death Eaters and became one himself. Jo does say that Dumbledore's feelings were was one-sided.

You know, I never made the jump about the passing of owls back and forth because of the letter, which again referred to the idea of Wizard domination. There was nothing romantic or even affectionate about the letter. As I’ve been working with the symbolism thread for a while, I tend to look at the whole context around what I’m reading and it never showed me any type of romance or affection. The letters from Ron and Hermione to Harry show more affection, and by the way they were usually sent at night. Teenagers tend to do things at night, and not necessarily illicit things.

The word "inflamed" jumped at me also, but then again I looked at the context he was discussing: “wizard triumphant,” “leaders of the revolution”; it sounded to me that he was excited about being powerful. Call me naïve. But there it is.



PeskyPixie - Oct 23, 2007 10:27 am (#1260 of 2055)
I feel that young Albus discovered a true intellectual connection with young Gellert.

(have the hiccups badly, will return later)



zelmia - Oct 23, 2007 10:31 am (#1261 of 2055)
Edited Oct 23, 2007 11:02 am
I would like to suggest that Dumbledore's "machiavellian" control stemmed, in part, from his early sense of lost love. As Ana Cis cites, Dumbledore seemed determined not to fall "into the trap I had foreseen, that I had told myself I could avoid, that I must avoid….” Why did he foresee caring about anyone as "a trap" if not because he had once felt his own feelings had betrayed him?

But, of course, we can't help who we fall in love with - in any sense of the word. “Do you see, Harry? Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now?" “I cared about you too much" said Dumbledore simply.

So, I would say that there is consistency to Dumbledore. But the more multi-faceted a character is, the broader the range of what we can call "consistent".



TheSaint - Oct 23, 2007 10:31 am (#1262 of 2055)
journeymom I wonder if this love of Dumbledore's was one-sided, unrequited. That would make the parallel to Snape's love Lily more direct. I guess it doesn't matter! Perhaps the fan fiction writers can take that up.

I don't believe it was unrequited. Isn't there a passage about the actual battle between DD and Grindelwald being a mere confrontation...with Grindelwald surrendering his wand without a true battle. I believe there was love between the two, but DD's love could only blind him so far. The death of his sister was a rude awakening.

This revelation did nothing more for me than explain a few lingering questions. I could not imagine that DD's fear of finding out he may have been 'the one that pulled the trigger' on his sister was enough of an excuse for a five year delay in confronting Grindewald. Many atrocities and deaths occurred in this time. The revelation of the love between the two of them strongly reminded me of his previous thoughts on Harry's welfare. “I cared about you too much,' said Dumbledore simply. `I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act.”

That makes a lot more sense. Not to mention all those long purple robes and high-heeled buckle boots.



journeymom - Oct 23, 2007 10:47 am (#1263 of 2055)
I'm not laughing. Nope, not laughing!



Ana Cis - Oct 23, 2007 10:47 am (#1264 of 2055)
Hi Zelmia, great observation. I just would have liked to have seen a more descriptive scene, just as she had done in OoTP, especially since this is the experience where he was really hurt…just my opinion. I’ll even admit I have an ulterior motive.

She’s so good at writing those types of scenes. I wouldn’t’ have minded shedding a few more tears.

The Saint, Jo’s the one that said is was unrequited. However, I do believe he probably regretted his treatment of Dumbledore. At least that’s the impression I get from Harry’s comment to Dumbledore. EDIT: Not going there on the fashion wardrobe. Personally, I though the high heel boots were cool.



PeskyPixie - Oct 23, 2007 10:48 am (#1265 of 2055)
Grindelwald does not cooperate with LV when questioned about the Elder Wand's whereabouts. DD attributes this to remorse for the atrocities he commits in life; Harry feels Grindelwald also does not want LV to disturb DD's grave.

I think there is always great affection between the two, but DD is like Lily, who has to give up a person she cares about because he is heading towards a life of evil.

And yes, DD has great fashion sense. I've always admired his self-confidence. Not many men can pull off a vulture-topped hat during Christmas dinner with style!



journeymom - Oct 23, 2007 10:50 am (#1266 of 2055)
And you cannot deny he's got style....



TheSaint - Oct 23, 2007 10:52 am (#1267 of 2055)
Where has she said 'unrequited'?

I only saw a quote about how children and 'sensitive' adults would be reading it.



Loopy Lupin - Oct 23, 2007 11:05 am (#1268 of 2055)
I think Saint's got a point. Did she say that DD's being smitten with Grindelwald was not reciprocated? Or have we just assumed so, given the fact that they ultimately and famously dueled later on in life?



Ana Cis - Oct 23, 2007 11:10 am (#1269 of 2055)
My apologies TheSaint. It wasn’t a direct quote, but from the news. Sorry, I’m usually more careful than this. Thank you for asking that. It sounds like she left it open.

Jo: “Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him. Yeah, that's how I always saw Dumbledore.”

By the way this is just out: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]



Gina R Snape - Oct 23, 2007 11:13 am (#1270 of 2055)
I don't recall hearing it was unrequited either. I picked up on it with all the feverish letters back and forth. I also sensed something of a romantic friendship or more with Doge, who gave the eulogy.

I still want to know if Voldemort knew, and used that information to poke at DD's ego with his comments on love.



Elanor - Oct 23, 2007 11:15 am (#1271 of 2055)
I do agree that Dumbledore's words and actions show that there "is consistency about Dumbledore" as Zelmia has said.

Edit: This thread moves too fast, lol! The post that made me start writing was Zelmia's, #1261, in which she was saying: "But, of course, we can't help who we fall in love with - in any sense of the word. “Do you see, Harry? Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now?" “I cared about you too much" said Dumbledore simply.
So, I would say that there is consistency to Dumbledore. But the more multi-faceted a character is, the broader the range of what we can call "consistent". "
I'm adding this quote here for this post to seem more consistent in turn (or try to after so many hours at the asylum school. ) end of the editing.

Ana Cis: "However, I think she missed her opportunity to show Dumbledore’s love for Grindelwald. This one of very few times I found her to be inconsistent in demonstrating a main character’s true emotions. She addresses his love for his family, but there nothing to say how he felt about Grindelwald as a person. Dumbledore doesn’t even mention having any affection or care for Grindelwald, and the sharing of ideas was glossed over by the idea of power. "

If I may respectfully disagree, I would say on the contrary that she made Dumbledore's emotions very visible though in a very subtle way. Indeed, when Dumbledore mentions Grindelwald is said to have shown remorse once in Nurmengard, he adds:

"Perhaps that lie to Voldemort was his attempt to make amends... to prevent Voldemort from taking the Hallow...'
'... or maybe from breaking into your tomb? suggested Harry, and Dumbledore dabbed his eyes." (DH, p.719)

"and Dumbledore dabbed his eyes"... IMO, if there ever were some telling tears, these ones are. I find them infinitely more moving and revealing than anything Dumbledore could have said at this point.

I also have the feeling that what JKR revealed about Dumbledore is the missing piece of the puzzle that we needed to truly understand him. I too was feeling that we were not told of the whole story behind the years he waited before confronting Grindelwald.

To know that Dumbledore has loved makes him even more human and endearing to me and the fact he used the "scars" left by this love for the true "greater good" this time very moving. "Scars can come in useful" once said Dumbledore. Indeed.

Finally, this brings back to me some lines I've been working on for a post for the alchemy thread (soon to be posted ):

"I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all." A.Tennyson

These lines are from a very famous poem by Alfred Tennyson, poem which title is... "In Memoriam". IMO, they find a wonderful echo in the DH's "In Memoriam" chapter 2 (and there is far more to it, as I will post on the alchemy thread) and the first glimpse we have of Dumbledore's past. For me, in a way, in a very subtle way, Jo is already telling us to search Love and emotions behind words.



zelmia - Oct 23, 2007 11:32 am (#1272 of 2055)
It's precisely cases like this where I think not being such a literal-minded individual can have its advantages. Those of us who tend to think more metaphorically, I think had a much easier time picking up on the subtleties and symbolism of Dumbledore's backstory very quickly. Elanor give some wonderful examples, in my opinion.
For others, if it wasn't written out in the text, they simply didn't see it and "the Revelation" came as a huge surprise.

Elanor, your citation of Tennyson is very appropriate, I think; and I agree that it does suit the discussion about Dumbledore.

Again, I will say that at long last I feel that, now that that crucial missing element of Dumbledore's character has been put into place, I feel that at last I can fully appreciate this character as a well-developed, three-dimensional person.



PeskyPixie - Oct 23, 2007 11:59 am (#1273 of 2055)
In some cultures the friendship between Albus and Gellert presented in DH is just that, friendship. Thus, I did not automatically jump to any conclusions. However, the clues are all there and they do fully develop Dumbledore as a character.



Ana Cis - Oct 23, 2007 12:08 pm (#1274 of 2055)
Thank you Elanor, for providing excellent examples and presentation us “literal-minded” folks to get the symbolism within the literature. Sorry Zelmia, be patient, some of us need a little spoon feeding now and the.

Seriously, I had missed the meaning of the title until you brought it up. Thank you for sharing it. That poem fits so well with Jo’s characterization of Dumbledore. As for making Dumbledore’s emotions very visible in very subtle, just call me greedy. I’m not ashamed it admitting.

About the following passage: "Perhaps that lie to Voldemort was his attempt to make amends... to prevent Voldemort from taking the Hallow...' '... or maybe from breaking into your tomb? suggested Harry, and Dumbledore dabbed his eyes." (DH, p.719)

You’re quite right, it is a very moving passage. It does makes more sense now that Jo told us about Dumbledore’s feelings. Well that’s it for me, since I've been edumicated educated , I’ll be heading to my more literal area on the symbolism thread.



Caius Iulius - Oct 23, 2007 12:42 pm (#1275 of 2055)
I wasn't surprised by the news Dumbledore loved Grindelwald.

First of all, Dumbledore must have got his wisdom from somewhere, so he must have experienced having loved or having been loved at some point of his life.

Secondly, I remember reading Grindelwald being both handsome and very intelligent. A young 17 year old Dumbledore must have been impressed.

Poor Albus, at last meeting someone very interesting when you have so much on your head (family troubles), probably falling in love for the first time, then finding out that Grindelwald wasn't romantically interested, just power hungry. So sorry for him.



Loopy Lupin - Oct 23, 2007 1:32 pm (#1276 of 2055)
I also sensed something of a romantic friendship or more with Doge, who gave the eulogy. -- Gina

I sensed this too, Gina. It "raised an eyebrow" when I read it the first time, but Doge's feelings for DD seem rather clear now in light of the revelation. I somehow also have the impression, however, that it was Doge who suffered from unrequited love.



Nathan Zimmermann - Oct 23, 2007 1:42 pm (#1277 of 2055)
Gina, I think it plausible Tom Riddle either knew the information or suspected and attempted to use it against Dumbledore. I wonder Tom Riddle could have discerned the information during their first meeting at the orphanage given the following passage.

Hogwarts," Dumbledore went on, as though he had not heard Riddle's last words, "is a school for people with special abilities " "I'm not mad!" "I know you are not mad. Hogwarts is not a school for mad people. It is a school of magic." There was silence Riddle had frozen, his face expressionless, but his eyes were flickering back and forth between each of Dumbledore's, as though trying to catch one of them lying.(HBP large print edition page 349)



Gina R Snape - Oct 23, 2007 1:45 pm (#1278 of 2055)
Well, Loopy, if Doge's breath was as bad as Skeeter reported then the poor guy probably suffered a LOT of unrequited love.



Caius Iulius - Oct 23, 2007 1:48 pm (#1279 of 2055)
Poor Doge!!! (Gina, you really made me laugh).

But for Doge being fond of Albus could be just loyalty and real friendship, as Albus was te only one truly interested in Doge at age 11.



PeskyPixie - Oct 23, 2007 1:52 pm (#1280 of 2055)
True friendship carries its own special kind of love and affection. Doge and Dumbledore share this. I think they're 'just friends'.



zelmia - Oct 23, 2007 2:01 pm (#1281 of 2055)
Zelmia, be patient, some of us need a little spoon feeding now and then. - Oh, Ana! It wasn't meant to be a criticism. I tried to be careful not to make it sound that way, but my apologies if it still did.

I think it's very easy to fall for someone you feel is a kindred spirit. Dumbledore, having no real outlet for his brilliance and creativity, was overjoyed to have a relative equal come into his life. "And then he came." Who wouldn't - especially at that age - believe "it was meant to be" (or whatever)?



Ana Cis - Oct 23, 2007 2:48 pm (#1282 of 2055)
I know you weren’t, Zelmia. I was just teasing you. Actually, I respect you very much and follow your comments in the Alchemy thread along with Elanor’s and the other members. I was serious when I said you and Elanor made excellent points. There are many times when I am too literally minded. I really need folks who can have imagination. Can you imagine if we were all like Vernon Dursley? Yuck ! Also, if we all agreed, it would be too boring .

Keep on posting.



PeskyPixie - Oct 23, 2007 3:03 pm (#1283 of 2055)
I wonder what JKR's belief is about ambition. In the books it is a trait of Slytherin House, and Dumbledore's ambitions as a young man are projected as being his greatest mistakes in life.

Surely, DD shouldn't blame himself for wanting great things out of life, especially when gifted with brilliance. I pity the circumstances he finds himself in in his youth.



Loopy Lupin - Oct 23, 2007 3:15 pm (#1284 of 2055)
Well, Loopy, if Doge's breath was as bad as Skeeter reported then the poor guy probably suffered a LOT of unrequited love.-- Gina

Not to mention the pock marks left upon his "visage" after the bad case of dragon pox. I wonder if those were lifelong scars.

I'd concede that it is entirely plausible that Doge's feelings for DD were entirely platonic and he just felt no self-consciousness about expressing those feelings.



Nicoline Vance - Oct 23, 2007 3:26 pm (#1285 of 2055)
Gina, I think it plausible Tom Riddle either knew the information or suspected and attempted to use it against Dumbledore. I wonder Tom Riddle could have discerned the information during their first meeting at the orphanage given the following passage. Nathan Zimmerman

I tend to the thought that Voldemort believed all love is a sham. No matter what form it took. Dumbledore valued all kinds of love friendship, familial, and romantic and I am sure Voldemort mocked it all.

Hogwarts," Dumbledore went on, as though he had not heard Riddle's last words, "is a school for people with special abilities " "I'm not mad!" "I know you are not mad. Hogwarts is not a school for mad people. It is a school of magic." There was silence Riddle had frozen, his face expressionless, but his eyes were flickering back and forth between each of Dumbledore's, as though trying to catch one of them lying.(HBP large print edition page 349) Nathan Zimmerman

I would think that young Riddle would be suspicious of someone who said he wasn't mad. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe he thought he was mad, but the other children were afraid of him and I don't thing the director was sorry to see him go. He knew that he was capable of doing bad things to others. I am sure he thought of himself as "special," but no one else appreciated his gifts enough. I think he might be afraid that Dumbledore was trying to trick him into going to an asylum or a correctional facility like St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys.



haymoni - Oct 23, 2007 5:07 pm (#1286 of 2055)
I could have sworn that I read "unrequited" in one of the first news articles.

Either way - the guy is even more incredible because he still loves and isn't a bitter old man. I always found him too great to be bogged down in the hassles of a relationship. He knew too much, he had bigger fish to fry - the guy was busy!

I never thought that he had been married - he had no peers - how could you compete with the greatness of Dumbledore?

Such sadness though.

I really did think that we'd end up seeing Dumbledore leading everyone in the school song.

How misleading of Jo!!



PeskyPixie - Oct 23, 2007 5:46 pm (#1287 of 2055)
My friend and I had hypothesized that Dumbledore had had relationships in his youth, but is too dedicated to his students (and defeating LV) to pursue romance as an adult. We also believed him to be the 'amicable separation, we're great friends' type of man. I think, to a certain extent, our theories hold true.



kaykay1970 - Oct 23, 2007 6:56 pm (#1288 of 2055)
I don't remember reading anything about the relationship being unrequited. But I wonder if Dumbledore ever even told Grindelwald how he felt about him. It would have been much more difficult to express those feelings in the days of his youth than it is today.



painting sheila - Oct 23, 2007 7:12 pm (#1289 of 2055)
What makes me think it was one-sided is the fact the Dumbledore calls him "Grindelwald". If it was a committed relationship n both sides wouldn't they call each other by their first name?



zelmia - Oct 23, 2007 7:33 pm (#1290 of 2055)
Well, Grindy turned out to be the most heinous villain ever - prior to Voldy, of course. Naturally, Dumbledore kept his association with Grindy pretty quiet. Most people didn't even know they even knew each other, let alone anything they may have felt for each other. So, while I would normally agree, Sheila, in this case that may not provide much evidence.



mona amon - Oct 23, 2007 7:41 pm (#1291 of 2055)
If it was a committed relationship n both sides wouldn't they call each other by their first name? (Painting Sheila)

He addresses him as 'Gellert' in the letter, and signs it as 'Albus'. It is only when talking about him to others that he refers to him as Grindelwald.



Mrs. Sirius - Oct 23, 2007 10:19 pm (#1292 of 2055)
Hi to TheSaint.

Funny though the purple robes did make smile, I attributed that more to the eccentric ways wizards dress. I never thought about the boots.

JKR is wonderful with words. her word are rich and textured. The word inflamed is a word of passion and stands out. Given a little more information you then see why the word stood out in the first place.

I think Dumbledore is careful. Just as we here are careful to speak within the boundaries of the Forum, always aware of members who may not understand all the subtext, Dumbledore too, was careful around his young charges.

Rita Skeeter on the other hand is a nasty piece of work, in her article twice she said things that to me seemed to blast what she knew about DD. I actually was upset that she seemed to be intimating things. (I wondered why JK came so close to a subject I though she had set out to avoid).

When Voldemort went to Grindelwald and and Grindelwald lies, that really made me think. I never felt settled with that lie. Grindelwald was an evil, ambitious man. Prior to Voldemort, Grindelwald was the most evil wizard, so why in the world would he lie to Voldemort? He been in prison for so long. He had nothing to gain by lying to LV, that question actually bothered me.

Also on this point, Grindelwald is the most evil wizard to date and DD knew he was more that his equal. DD could probably have killed Grindelwald, no one would have questioned him. Instead DD sends him to prison for the rest of his life.

Gina on the question of Elphius Doge, they may have been special friends but I never had the sense of anything more between them that two kids one recognizing the brilliance of the other and truly admiring that. It's possible Doge had feeling for DD but I had the feeling that DD may have resent Doge more than anything else. I see Doge more in line with a Neville or Collin Creevey or Pettigrew without the malice.

Edit: Yes Zelmia the emphasis on how DD felt when Grindelwald comes along lead me to believe that Doge was never an equal.



Verity Weasley - Oct 23, 2007 11:53 pm (#1293 of 2055)
Everyone on this thread has done a great job of showing how this information is not inconsistent with what we know of Dumbledore from the books, although I do have to admit with being taken by surprise by the news. What I think is inconsistent is that this news was not dug up and exploited by Rita Skeeter to help sell her salacious biography. It is hard to believe that Rita did not manage to uncover this information. I suppose we could say that she gave us a hint when she talked of the possibility of a lingering affection, but as a hint, that would have been extremely subtle. And since when has subtlety been one of Rita Skeeter's character traits?



rambkowalczyk - Oct 24, 2007 4:23 am (#1294 of 2055)
I read DH in much the same way that Ana Cis did. Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald's ideas not him the man. That was how the book was written. It might have to do with the way Dumbledore thought of himself.

In any type of romantic love, one must leave his or her parents and family to live with one's spouse. At the time Dumbledore fell in love, he couldn't leave his family because he made a commitment to take care of them. Maybe Dumbledore does not want to admit he fell in love with the man because it just adds to his guilt for abandoning his family (in his eyes).

Generally speaking the seven books don't go into detail of the teacher's lives unless it relates to Harry, so therefore it's not surprising that we have no idea whether (previous to Jo's announcement) Dumbledore ever experienced love.

But in Dumbledore's case he seems to have chosen intellectual pursuits that benefit wizardkind and teaching to be his first priority and will not allow for any distractions. The love he seems to have chosen is a love for all instead of an individual. Maybe that's why he felt guilty for not telling Harry earlier about the prophecy.



Phelim Mcintyre - Oct 24, 2007 9:43 am (#1295 of 2055)
I am writing an essay on Dumbledore in the light of JKR's revelation, looking at the issue from a psychological viewpoint. I am not sure that it will be suitable for the Lexicon but if people want to read it please feel free to email me and I will send a copy when it is ready.



Rea - Oct 24, 2007 10:46 am (#1296 of 2055)
When I read DH, I thought there were several similarities between DD and Snape: both of them were more clever than their peers, and so when DD met GW, he thought he had one at last, so he joined his ideas and enjoyed the feeling that being better and more powerful than others can do. Unfortunately, he discovered that that was an evil feeling when his family, his loved persons, were hurt. That is the same fascination Snape had, power, and the reason he stepped out his awful road was the very same as well, someone he loved died. I thought that DD loneliness was the mirror image of Snape's, still paying the fee for a loss and devoting himself to the greater good.



Elanor - Oct 24, 2007 11:15 am (#1297 of 2055)
I do like the parallel you've drawn between Snape and Dumbledore, Rea.

One of Dumbledore's greatest achievements, if not simply the greatest, IMO, is to have been able to keep believing in Love and make all the ones around him benefit from his belief and warmth, as shows McGonagall telling Remus and Tonks in the HBP that: "Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world."

As would say Hagrid: "Great man, Dumbledore!"

BTW, thank you so much Zelmia and Ana for the compliments!



zelmia - Oct 24, 2007 11:43 am (#1298 of 2055)
Phelim, please tread carefully in your essay.

There is a parallel between Snape and Dumbledore. But Snape completely shuts down after his failed love. Dumbledore is capable of redirecting his energies into something more useful.
Still, he seems to ignore the pining of his own brother, who never seems to have moved on from their sister's death. Of course, one would always carry guilt about something like that. But Aberforth seems quite extreme about it.



PeskyPixie - Oct 24, 2007 12:11 pm (#1299 of 2055)
Dumbledore is forced (by remorse) to turn away from a love headed for evil. Snape's decision to pursue evil turns his love away from him.



zelmia - Oct 24, 2007 12:35 pm (#1300 of 2055)
Nice one, Pesky! Points to your House, I think.
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wynnleaf - Oct 24, 2007 12:45 pm (#1301 of 2055)
A rather sad aspect of JKR's use of DD's love is that while many of the other characters find themselves doing better or more worthwhile things because of their love for another person, DD in fact does the opposite. His love causes him to disregard the needs of those he's supposed to be responsible for, to get more deeply involved in a very wrong philosophical stance, and ultimately, to be willing for numerous people to die or be tortured for literally years before he's finally willing to reject the person he loves completely and oppose him.

This is in direct contrast to the other characters. Snape, for instance (for all of the parallels that I agree exist between Dumbledore and Snape), finds that his love for Lily causes him to ultimately make right choices. We see Lupin willing to make right choices because of his love for Tonks and Teddy. Even Narcissa makes some right choices because of her love for Draco.

But Dumbledore's love causes him to make his some of his worst choices.

That is an interesting contrast. I can't think of another example in canon where a major character makes bad choices because of his love for another. Merope, of course, comes to mind, but she's a very minor character.



PeskyPixie - Oct 24, 2007 12:55 pm (#1302 of 2055)
Make those points out to Slytherin House, zelmia!

Will read your post (as it's a lengthier one) when I return home, wynnleaf.



Mrs Brisbee - Oct 24, 2007 7:10 pm (#1303 of 2055)
That is an interesting contrast. I can't think of another example in canon where a major character makes bad choices because of his love for another. Merope, of course, comes to mind, but she's a very minor character.-- wynnleaf

While I see your point about Dumbledore, I also see it a point brought home by several other characters. Love for her son sent Narcissa running to Snape, attempting to get Snape to commit murder to get her son out of trouble, and even in the end she was only did a good thing because it got her what she personally wanted. Luna's father betrayed her friends to the Death Eaters out of love. Out of love for Lily, Snape promised "anything"-- a morally bankrupt offer, and the only reason he chose to do right is because Dumbledore pointed him towards right (I'm trying to say that if Snape had needed to go to some other more unsavory character to save Lily, he would have offered them "anything" too, and would have willingly become their agent to save Lily). Like with them, love didn't automatically make Dumbledore great and good. Perhaps it is developing a broader compassion that does that.



Mrs. Sirius - Oct 24, 2007 10:46 pm (#1304 of 2055)
It is hard to believe that Rita did not manage to uncover this information. I suppose we could say that she gave us a hint when she talked of the possibility of a lingering affection, but as a hint, that would have been extremely subtle. And since when has subtlety been one of Rita Skeeter's character traits?

I think Rita did know and through many hints. My question is is this acceptable or not in the wizarding world. Well,I suppose the wizarding world is as intolerant as the rest of the world can be. So it may well not be acceptable.

If anything I believe that Dumbledore is truly concerned for his students and their well being. We have seen him go to great length to protect his students.

Rita is sordid and her poison comes through her every word. In one passage I felt extremely uncomfortable with what Rita wrote. I won't quote it here but if you want to read it your self it's DH p. 319, Bloomsbury. (It's the chapter Xenophilius Lovegood for the those with the Scholastic edition) I squirmed a bit everytime I read it and thought Rita went over the line.

Don't forget Regulus. He so loved his family and his house elf he gave up his life to keep them safe. He made this sacrifice when he was less than 20 years old.



totyle - Oct 25, 2007 2:17 am (#1305 of 2055)
Mrs. B, I can't find anything Rita wrote on that page you've mentioned. Are you referring to what Harry feels apprehensive about on what Hermione needs to talk to him regarding what Rita might have written? That's the only reference to Rita on that page in my Bloomsbury DH.



legolas returns - Oct 25, 2007 10:26 am (#1306 of 2055)
Been away for a couple of days and there was seventy something posts.

I too noticed that Doges piece in the daily prophosy was a little on the hero worship side. I thought that that was a touch of the unrequieted love.

I read the Grindlewald bit literally. How many children do you know that spend all day at school together and then phone each other/text each other at night? The sending of owls in the middle of the night struck me in the same vein.

Although Rita did question Dumbledores relationship with Harry she did not question his relationship with Grindlewald. I think she was so excited by the fact that they were friends that she thought that it was a grand reveltion. She is not subtle in the least. Lingering friendship suggests that she assumed that they were friends and not more. Even Aberforth did not seem to question the relationship beyond the fact that Albus could not take his sister with him when searching for the hallows. I think any relationship would have been very discrete.

Dumbledore describes the Love room at the ministry as "contains a force more beautiful and terrible than death.." and his remarks to Snape + tears after he sees the Patronus suggest to me that he gets what Love is all about and what power it has.



journeymom - Oct 25, 2007 10:33 am (#1307 of 2055)
We're allowed to quote canon, are we not?

DH, p. 319 Hermione has her copy of The life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore in hand. Harry thinks to himself, "It flew through his mind that there was a chapter on him in there; he was not sure he felt up to hearing Rita's version of his relationship with Dumbledore."



PeskyPixie - Oct 25, 2007 10:36 am (#1308 of 2055)
Dumbledore describes the Love room at the ministry as "contains a force more beautiful and terrible than death.." and his remarks to Snape + tears after he sees the Patronus suggest to me that he gets what Love is all about and what power it has. -legolas returns

Well said, legolas.

I agree that Dumbledore's one love is a secret between the two individuals involved as it is a private matter. Hey, Snape hangs out with Lily for five years at Hogwarts and still nobody guesses the depth of his feelings for her.

I had thought of something about Dumbledore last night, but I can not remember it today. Arrgh!



journeymom - Oct 25, 2007 2:11 pm (#1309 of 2055)
I had thought of something about Dumbledore last night, but I can not remember it today. Arrgh! PeskyPixie

And it was brilliant, wasn't it? Lol!



PeskyPixie - Oct 25, 2007 4:46 pm (#1310 of 2055)
I like to think it was brilliant, but as I was half-asleep at the time it was probably in the line of, "Dumbledore wears purple robes".



maria cloos - Oct 25, 2007 4:58 pm (#1311 of 2055)
Hey folks,

Just wanted to see what was going on on this thread. Everyone has made some really good points. I have to agree with those who have said that DD's feelings towards Grindelvald (I can never spell that, please forgive me) help us make sense of the situation between them, both as young men and later when DD conquers him. I found that extremely compelling. When we were all debating on what would happen in the last book (before it came out)we noticed a similarity in wording describing DD's defeat of Grindelwald (on the chocolate frog card) and the wording of the prophecy. When I learned that Grindelwald was imprisoned, I started to thing about why that would be. As DD said to LV, there are things worse than death. He also said to Harry, in King's Cross, to pity the living, and especially those who live without love. I took all of these facts together to reason why DD didn't kill Grindelwald. Also, would DD risk tearing his soul to kill the Dark wizard? These were the primary thoughts going through my head upon finishing DH. Now, however I'm beginning to see more insight, thanks to some of the more enlightening posts. Although I think that the reasons that I previously had for DD not killing Grindelwald still hold true, I have to say that I don't think they are the ONLY reasons.

As it's been said before, a deep affection could certainly have caused DD to avoid a confrontation. That combined with fear of learning the truth about his sister would almost be a double whammy. As I put the two together it actually makes it that much more understandable that DD was avoiding Grindelwald. No matter the truth of who killed Ariana, it was DD's almost deliberate blindness that killed her. Facing Grindelwald, and possibly having to kill him, would mean making it that much more real.

If anyone can take that and run, I'd appreciate it. I'll have to think about it some more before I can try to flesh it out.



Celestina Warbeck - Oct 25, 2007 8:07 pm (#1312 of 2055)
Interesting point, maria cloos, that it was DD's almost deliberate blindness that killed Arianna, because it is irrelevant who gave the fatal blow, but what is relevant is that DD could not see in time the damaging consequences if his 'friendship'.

For Dumbledore, facing Grindelwald again would have meant confronting some of his weakest moments, moments when he made wrong choices, succumbed to his biggest weaknesses, and saw his sister die. It would mean confronting a moment when he had loved, but been severely disappointed. It must hurt immensely to see that someone who you were so enamoured by, had turned into the embodiment of qualities that were repulsive to you. I agree that DD had been fascinated by Grindelwald's ideas in his youth, but with experience he too learnt the good and the bad, not only in others but in himself too, and that was key. He understood his attraction for power for what it was, a weakness. And for him to see someone he had once cared so much about succumb to this very weakness in the worst possible fashion, must have hurt a lot. That Grindelwald was finally defeat, and not killed by Dumbledore, shows that Dumbledore was able to overcome all this... more or less!



Madame Pomfrey - Oct 25, 2007 8:25 pm (#1313 of 2055)
Edited by Denise P. Oct 26, 2007 5:13 am
Taking what JKR revealed into consideration,I feel that if it had been any other Dark Wizard Dumbledore would have slain him. Did he not applaud Harry when Harry said that he would take out as many DE as he could? Sorry can't remember exact quote. Dumbledore loves Harry I dont think he would be ok with Harry doing something that he himself wouldnt do if it caused a wounded soul.



Caius Iulius - Oct 25, 2007 8:27 pm (#1314 of 2055)
Poor Albus, by killing Grindelwald he would have broken his soul after breaking his heart , but luckily there was this prison.... .



PeskyPixie - Oct 26, 2007 7:47 am (#1315 of 2055)
Well, we don't know how exactly souls are wounded. Willful murder damages a soul, but DD feels that Snape's 'mercy killing' for the greater good will not harm him. Similarly I don't think Harry's soul would be damaged if he took out a Death Eater or two, but he would be unbearably guilty about it as he's a soft-hearted person.



Gina R Snape - Oct 26, 2007 9:36 am (#1316 of 2055)
Hmmm, actually I rather got the impression that DD reckoned Snape's soul was already torn.



Celestina Warbeck - Oct 26, 2007 9:59 am (#1317 of 2055)
I suspect DD would not have wanted Harry to actually kill any one even if he was a death eater. I suspect he was applauding Harry's intentions. As for the splitting up of the soul, I think that happens only in case of a murder done with an evil intention, as opposed to a noble intention, which one might have, in say killing a death eater. I mean some members of the Order would probably have killed a Death Eater at some point of time. Such a killing would not split their souls I think. But DD's reasons for not killing Grindelwald, I think were not just this, but also his own complexes.



zelmia - Oct 26, 2007 10:44 am (#1318 of 2055)
Remus tells Harry, "If you're not prepared to kill, then at least stun". Sounds to me like there's no real danger to Harry's soul in a situation like that.

I agree that Dumbledore seemed to have already believed Snape's soul to have been torn.



PeskyPixie - Oct 26, 2007 11:56 am (#1319 of 2055)
I agree that Dumbledore seemed to have already believed Snape's soul to have been torn. -zelmia

I hadn't considered this point which both Gina and zelmia bring up. Why do you believe this? Does DD then use Snape for the 'mercy killing' because his soul is already damaged, or has remorse begun to mend Snape's soul and Dumbledore knows that his 'mercy killing' will bring no further harm to Snape?



Barbara J - Oct 26, 2007 1:02 pm (#1320 of 2055)
Yes, I would like to know more about what you all think on this point too. I had assumed the opposite, that Snape's soul is not torn yet, but I am open to different interpretations. : )

ETA: Since this is the DD thread, I should have said that I had assumed that DD doesn't think Snape's soul is torn yet.



PatPat - Oct 26, 2007 1:22 pm (#1321 of 2055)
I DO believe that Snape's soul is torn. I have argued (often getting pummeled because of it) that Snape probably killed or participated in a killing as a DE. However, I do think Snape showed remorse in later years and may have healed any tears. On the other hand, I never interpreted that line to mean that Dumbledore necessarily thought Snape's soul was torn. My interpretation has always been that Dumbledore was telling Snape that the status of his soul was more a matter of choice than anything. I think intention behind a killing is everything when it comes to whether the soul will be torn or not. A mercy killing or killing of an evil person to save others would not damage a soul as long as the intent is for good and not evil.

EDITED for clarity



zelmia - Oct 26, 2007 1:22 pm (#1322 of 2055)
Partly I think Dumbledore doesn't want to bring up the past. He knows Snape was a different person then. But he also knows that, as a Death Eater, Snape must have done some pretty horrific things.
I suppose I should amend my opinion to:
Dumbledore may not necessarily believe Snape's soul is no longer intact, but I don't think he's ruling the possibility out.

The other side of that conversation strikes me that, though Dumbledore doesn't want to specifically address Snape's past, he does certainly seem to want to remind Snape of his obligation to Dumbledore. It is the only moment where we see Dumbledore truly hold Snape accountable.
At this point, Dumbledore has taught Snape all he can - including the concept of choosing what is right over what is easy. He has set the example of "Love's obligations" and expects Snape to reciprocate by doing what Dumbledore asks of him. He has told him all he can without compromising either Snape or the "master plan". He needs Snape to do this from a tactical standpoint; but I think he also wants Snape to do it. I believe Dumbledore was sincere in his argument to "end an old man's suffering".

ETA: Good point, PatPat.



wynnleaf - Oct 26, 2007 2:45 pm (#1323 of 2055)
I didn't get that impression at all. Those that think DD already thought Snape's soul was "torn," why do you think Snape didn't know it? Snape doesn't seem to think his own soul was torn, hence his question to DD. And if DD had never, in many years, conveyed to Snape that he thought his soul was torn, nor conveyed that sentiment in that conversation, why do you assume DD thought it?

Further, we are never told that Snape directly killed anyone except DD. JKR said he could see thestrals because of what he'd seen not what he'd done. Further, Bella practically accused Snape of being a do-nothing Death Eater. Sirius had never heard a hint of him being a death eater in the first war. So where's the notion come from that he'd murdered people in the past? As far as I have seen in the past regarding this argument, it seems based on the "all Death Eaters murder people" assumption, which then leads to the idea that because all Death Eaters must be murderers (non canon) Snape must also have murdered people. That's quite a stretch, especially since we've got JKR only saying Snape had seen death, Snape concerned about ripping his soul, and Bella unconvinced that Snape ever does anything.

So we've got 1. DD probably thought Snape's soul was torn because 2. Snape was probably already a murderer because 3. all Death Eaters murder (another assumption not backed up by canon).

Long list of assumptions creating quite a stretch, in my opinion.



PatPat - Oct 26, 2007 3:41 pm (#1324 of 2055)
First, I never said that I thought Snape didn't know his own soul was ripped, did I? I SAID that I personally, IN MY OPINION, believe that Snape had murdered in the past. Whatever our differences of opinion on Snape now, canon shows that he willingly joined the Death Eaters. Do we have direct evidence he murdered? No. We also have no direct evidence that he DIDN'T. Any opinion one way or the other is purely that, opinion. I personally think it's just as much of a stretch to assume that Snape managed to stay a Death Eater without EVER killing or participating in a killing.

Second, I also stated that I believe Snape had enough remorse that he repaired his soul. I don't think Dumbledore was assuming Snape's soul was ripped and I said that. I think Dumbledore was pointing out that Snape should not be concerned about his soul (which he clearly WAS) as long as his intentions were for good and not evil.



zelmia - Oct 26, 2007 3:51 pm (#1325 of 2055)
I must say, Wynnleaf, I may be reading it wrong, but to me your post sounds like you think anyone who interprets the text differently from your opinion is simply "WRONG!"

Snape doesn't seem to think his own soul was torn, hence his question to DD.
Snape's question isn't really about his own soul. It's about whether or not Dumbledore cares about Snape's soul. This leads directly to "You have used me!"

So where's the notion come from that he'd murdered people in the past? - We're talking about Dumbledore, not what the reader is able to deduce from conversations and narration to which Dumbledore was not privy. Dumbledore wasn't there when either Sirius or Bellatrix expressed their views on Snape's DE activities - or lack thereof.

because all Death Eaters must be murderers (non canon) Snape must also have murdered people. - Actually, I'd like to see the canon evidence that not all Death Eaters are murderers. And while Snape may not have pulled the trigger, he was certainly instrumental in at least 3 deaths: the Potters and Amelia Bones.

Long list of assumptions creating quite a stretch, in my opinion. - How so? If nearly all the other characters seem to see Death Eaters as latent murderers - or at least that murder is never completely off the table - how is it a stretch to think that Dumbledore, who isn't infallible, would not put that out of reach for the rabid Death Eater Snape used to be?

ETA: Actually, what I said was that I thought that Dumbldore had thought this. I later amended that to "Dumbledore may not know for certain, but he isn't ruling it out."



wynnleaf - Oct 26, 2007 3:51 pm (#1326 of 2055)
First, I never said that I thought Snape didn't know his own soul was ripped, did I? (PatPat)

First, I was addressing at least three posters, you, zelmia, and Gina, all of whom stated that they thought Snape's soul had already been torn. I never said that anyone of you had said that Snape didn't consider his own soul torn. It seemed to me the implication of his comments, or at least that he'd never had any conversation with Dumbledore in the past where Dumbledore had spoken said to him that his soul had previously been torn.

And I have no clue why you were yelling at me.

zelmia,

Did I say any of you were wrong? What I said was that the idea that Dumbledore thought Snape's soul had been torn stems from a list of assumptions that build on each other, making the idea quite a stretch.

Was I not supposed to think it a stretch to build an idea on 3 separate assumptions? (All DE's murder, therefore Snape murdered and DD knew it, therefore DD thought Snape's soul was torn in the past.)



zelmia - Oct 26, 2007 3:58 pm (#1327 of 2055)
Well, I don't see it as being any kind of a stretch when every other character seems to think along these lines. Why shouldn't Dumbledore also think this? There may be extenuating circumstances for it (i.e. Draco), but why should Snape be exempt from what apparently every other Death Eater has been called upon or volunteered to do at some point?



wynnleaf - Oct 26, 2007 4:05 pm (#1328 of 2055)
Where do we learn in canon -- like from which characters, or which narration -- that all Death Eaters are murderers? I can't recall where this is coming from.

Or where do we learn that all the characters think all DEs are murderers?



Madam Pince - Oct 26, 2007 4:39 pm (#1329 of 2055)
I'm confused, too. I never got the impression that every other character thinks that all DEs are murderers. They think they're dangerous certainly, but it never occurred to me that each and every DE is considered to be a murderer.

I think intention behind a killing is everything when it comes to whether the soul will be torn or not. A mercy killing or killing of an evil person to save others would not damage a soul as long as the intent is for good and not evil. -PatPat

I agree with the above, for what that's worth. For example, I don't think that a killing in the context of a war would rip your soul.

For the rest of it, I've got to agree with wynnleaf. I didn't read the post as being "I'm right/you're wrong" -- it seemed to me to just be stating an opinion and asking for more information. For my part, in reading the entire series I've never once made the assumption that all Death Eaters have committed a murder. Perhaps they are evil enough that they are potential murderers, but if we're to make the "real world" comparisons that JKR evidently intends us to make, (based on her recent interviews) then there are a lot of people who follow "Voldemorts" simply because they are scared not to, or to try to get lost in the crowd. Many of them may indeed have committed murders, but I never once assumed that just because you were a DE, you were a murderer. But that's just me.

The only thing that had me wondering about Snape's being a murderer and Dumbledore perhaps knowing something about it was this exchange:

"...How many men and women have you watched die?"

"Lately, only those whom I could not save," said Snape.

The word "lately" had me wondering if he had previously stood by and watched while someone he could've saved was killed. But even so, does that constitute murder? That's debatable even in today's courts I think. (where is Loopy?)

A few pages earlier, when Dumbledore is talking to Snape about Draco's plan to kill him...

"That boy's soul is not yet so damaged," said Dumbledore. "I would not have it ripped apart on my account."

"And my soul, Dumbledore? Mine?"

"You alone know whether it will harm your soul to help an old man avoid pain and humiliation," said Dumbledore.

To me, that exchange makes it clear that Snape does not believe his soul is yet ripped, hence he has not committed any murders. And thus Dumbledore knows it also. I read it like wynnleaf did. The "you alone know" part reads to me like Dumbledore is saying "Well, if you're killing me because you hate me and you'll enjoy it and you're doing it for Voldemort's benefit, then yes, it'll rip your soul. But if you're doing it to help an old man, it won't. You alone know the WHY behind why you're actually doing it." Which I think is what PatPat said. So aren't we sort of saying the same thing?

Just my humble opinion!



PatPat - Oct 26, 2007 6:41 pm (#1330 of 2055)
And I have no clue why you were yelling at me. wynnleaf

LOL. Sorry, wynnleaf. I didn't intend to be yelling. I intended to be emphasizing and used caps instead of italics. My fault. Poor font usage. Didn't mean to be CAPSLOCK PATPAT! Humble apologies.

But back to Dumbledore. I do believe that Snape had, at the very least, participated in murder while he was a loyal DE. But that's my personal opinion, as it is yours that he did not. I don't believe either idea is "a stretch" as we have no canon either way other than the fact that Death Eaters as a group do not seem to mind murdering innocent people. But the question, as zelmia pointed out, is what Dumbledore thought, not what I think. What I was trying to say, and maybe I did not make myself clear, is that I don't necessarily think Dumbledore was saying that Snape's soul was ripped. Madam Pince is correct about what I meant. I believe that Dumbledore was trying to emphasize to Snape that he need not fear for his soul if he performs this task with the right intentions. Only Snape knows what is in his own heart, but as long as he is truly performing a "mercy killing" and saving Draco, his soul is safe.



wynnleaf - Oct 26, 2007 6:53 pm (#1331 of 2055)
Humble apologies.

Oh, that's okay then. I didn't think I'd been that horrible!

Yes, I agree with you about what DD was probably saying. Whether or not killing Dumbledore would tear Snape's soul would depend on the motivations behind Snape's doing it. Of course, the very fact that Snape didn't want to do it and that he was worried about the state of his soul in killing DD is a good sign. And I also agree with those who think that Snape wanted to know that DD cared about his soul as well as Draco's.

As regards whether DE are generally considered murderers, I think this is unlikely. The Wizengamot let Karkarov off just for turning in some other DEs. Would they have done that if the assumption was that all DEs were murderers? Well, I suppose, given the MOM, that's debatable.

But what about Dumbledore? Many people believe that at the time Snape turned from LV and started helping DD, he really had no true inner change, but was just wanting to save Lily. That is, he was still Death Eater "material" except for his love for Lily. But if that means he was also a murderer and DD knew it, or even suspected it, what in the world was DD doing hiring young Snape, only brief months from being a supposedly murderous Death Eater and with no true change of heart, only a desire to save Lily, to teach little 11, 12 and 13 year old kids at Hogwarts? A murderer?

I admit, my opinion of Dumbledore suffered a good bit of damage in DH, but even I don't think he'd stoop to that.



haymoni - Oct 26, 2007 7:16 pm (#1332 of 2055)
Didn't Dumbledore say that remorse could heal your soul?

Perhaps Snape saved himself.



mona amon - Oct 26, 2007 7:46 pm (#1333 of 2055)
I too support Wynnleaf. People are free to express their opinions. And others are equally free to disagree with those opinions, which is all that Wynnleaf did, IMO.

As for the question of Snape being a murderer, I'd like to quote Dumbledore,"Innocent until proven guilty". Murder is a serious crime. It would seriously mess up JKR's plotline and themes if Snape had committed murder in the past. If that was true she would have to show Snape being redeemed for that crime instead of for his relatively less serious role in the death of the Potters. I also feel that Wynnleaf and Madam Pince have given very good evidence to show that he had not killed anyone before he killed Dumbledore. I'd like to add that Dumbledore vouched for Snape before the Wizengamot. I doubt he could have got him pardoned so easily (and I doubt he would have wanted to) if Snape was guilty of murder.

We do have cannon evidence of a DE who was not a murderer, Draco.

And while Snape may not have pulled the trigger, he was certainly instrumental in at least 3 deaths: the Potters and Amelia Bones. (Zelmia)

Zelmia, what did Snape have to do with the death of Amelia Bones?

EDIT: Cross posted with all the posts after Madam Pince's.



zelmia - Oct 26, 2007 8:28 pm (#1334 of 2055)
Hm... I guess I didn't know we needed to choose up sides.

The only reason Draco wasn't a murderer is because his plans were foiled. But he most ceratinly did have every intention of making it happen - even if it was from a distance.

As for what Snape did to Ameila Bones, I don't know. But he claims to have played a huge role in arranging it to Bellatrix.

Actually, I guess I'll look up the citation....

ETA: Okay. Sorry about that. It was Emmeline Vance, not Amelia Bones.
"The Dark Lord is satisfied with the information I have passed him on the Order. It led, as perhaps you have guessed, to the recent capture and murder of Emmeline Vance." - HBP2



mona amon - Oct 26, 2007 9:07 pm (#1335 of 2055)
What's wrong with taking sides?

Snape also claims responsibility in the very same sentence for helping to dispose of Sirius, and we know the story behind that. But anyway, isn't he supposed to be Dumbledore's man at this point?



wynnleaf - Oct 26, 2007 9:36 pm (#1336 of 2055)
Do we trust Snape to be truthful to Bella? Or to Voldemort?

Yet even if he was being truthful, it could easily be a similar situation as when Snape passed along information that ultimately led to the death of Mad Eye Moody. He passed along the info on DD's orders and in order to meet goals of the head of the Order. Did he tear his soul because Moody died? I doubt it. I think if anyone on the Order's side could be held responsible for what happened to Moody, it would be the "commander" who ordered Snape to pass along the information. Not that I necessarily blame DD, but my point is that Dumbledore, as Head of the Order, would be ultimately responsible for the orders he gave the members.



zelmia - Oct 26, 2007 9:48 pm (#1337 of 2055)
Snape has to be as truthful as possible if he is to avoid suspicion, as Dumbledore points out. And technically, Snape's information did lead to Sirius's death - since it was he who informed Sirius and the Order that Harry had gone to the Ministry. Yes, it's only a technicality, but Snape isn't really lying when he says this.

Notice that Snape uses the word "murder" with regard to Emmeline Vance, which is what we've been discussing. I think it's an interesting choice of words to use to Bellatrix.



mona amon - Oct 26, 2007 11:38 pm (#1338 of 2055)
I'm sure Snape didn't inform Voldemort that it was he who informed the Order, thereby thwarting Voldemort's plan to get the prophecy. He'd have been AKed on the spot! So, since he couldn't tell Bella that he sent Sirius to his death (technically), I feel he was just bluffing in that scene about both the deaths. Bella was out of favour with Voldemort at that point, so he knew she most probably wouldn't check whether he was telling the truth.

I don't recall Dumbledore telling him he had to be as truthful as possible. I thought it was an essential part of his job to tell lies.

Yet even if he was being truthful, it could easily be a similar situation as when Snape passed along information that ultimately led to the death of Mad Eye Moody. (Wynnleaf)

Oh I hope not! I don't like the idea of Dumbledore sacrificing Order members for the greater good. As I said earlier, I prefer to think of it as just Snape bluffing to Bella, quite confident that he will not be found out.



wynnleaf - Oct 27, 2007 6:03 am (#1339 of 2055)
Yet even if he was being truthful, it could easily be a similar situation as when Snape passed along information that ultimately led to the death of Mad Eye Moody. (Wynnleaf)

Oh I hope not! I don't like the idea of Dumbledore sacrificing Order members for the greater good... (mona amon)

Well, if it was like the situation in DH where Mad Eye died, it wouldn't have been DD intentionally sacrificing Order members. It could have been a similar situation in that DD ordered Snape to pass along some information and it inadvertently led to Vance getting murdered, just as the info that DD told Snape to pass along about Harry leaving Privet Dr. led to Moody's death. DD hadn't intended Moody to die, but after all, being involved in Order business is risky. I felt the DH scene where we learn that Dumbledore's orders are what lead Snape to pass info along is a strong indication that this is the way things had generally worked in the past. Dumbledore acted as a spymaster and gave Snape instructions for what info to leak to Voldemort. If that backfired and someone on the good side got killed, the responsibility for whether or not it was a mistake to leak that particular information belonged with the spymaster and not the spy.



Denise P. - Oct 27, 2007 6:53 am (#1340 of 2055)
Please remember that this is the Dumbledore thread. This is straying too heavily into the Snape discussion, which belongs on that thread. Thanks



wynnleaf - Oct 27, 2007 7:20 am (#1341 of 2055)
If I understand the discussion correctly, the question is regarding whether or not Dumbledore, in attempting to convince Snape to kill him, considered Snape's soul to already be torn, and to discuss what DD meant in his comments about whether or not killing him would tear Snape's soul.

Further comments, as I understand it, are on the relationship between DD as spymaster and whether or not he would consider deaths that occur as a result of his spy's activities to have torn the spy's soul. My point was in regards to the responsibility of the spymaster.

In this case, I think the discussion is on the conversation between the two and the relationship between them. One could just as easily discuss this on the Snape thread and start talking about Dumbledore's assumptions, decisions, responsibilities as spymaster, etc. and be guilty of leaning too far toward discussing Dumbledore.

I don't want to drop the discussion, although I agree that we need to focus here on Dumbleodore's opinions, assumptions, responsibilities, etc.



Phelim Mcintyre - Oct 27, 2007 7:27 am (#1342 of 2055)
I think the difference between what Voldemort was demanding Draco do and Dumbledore was asking Snape to do was motive. Voldemort wanted Draco to murder Dumbledore out of fear and in cold blood. This would have split Draco's soul. Dumbledore recognised this and acted to protect Draco. He asked Snape to do this, but not because of Snape's soul was torn.

While some people may see the death as euthanasia or assisted suicide, there were better ways and means if this was the case. A poison of some type, which of course Snape could have whipped up in his sleep. The death had to be in a way that allowed Snape to continue in his role of a mole. Dumbledore sacrificed himself, when he knew he was dying, to allow Snape to protect the students as much as he could from Voldemort and the Carrows and to carry on working against Voldemort.



Solitaire - Oct 27, 2007 9:17 am (#1343 of 2055)
While some people may see the death as euthanasia or assisted suicide, there were better ways and means if this was the case.

Then again, if Dumbledore knew beforehand what was in that cave, what he would have to do, and what it would do to him--and it sounds like he had a good hunch, given his instructions to Harry--he probably knew his death might possibly come soon after he and Harry returned to Hogwarts. He didn't count on the invasion and meeting Draco, IMO. Rather, I believe he intended to go directly to Snape for either some pain relief or an antidote to whatever he drank. Obviously, things did not work out as he intended, and he and Snape had to improvise on the spot.

Dumbledore had been on borrowed time since the "ring business," and I believe that, on the tower, he knew his death was imminent. Since he could not stop it, he tried, at least, to control how it went down, in order to preserve Snape's cover. In the circumstances, didn't he do the best he could do?

Solitaire



Phelim Mcintyre - Oct 27, 2007 9:59 am (#1344 of 2055)
Solitare, I agree. This is part of what I was trying to argue. As we know from Snape's memories in DH Dumbledore knew about the plot on his life. He arranged in with Snape that Severus would kill Dumbledore at the right time. DD left it up to Snape's judgement as to what that time was. My comment about euthanasia/assisted suicide was to illustrate that DD knew what he was doing and did not take the easy route of a poison to be put out of his pain but like Ron in the chess game in PS/SS sacrificed himself to allow the rook and the castle to take the king. If Snape had poisoned Dumbledore at a later time it would have been done in such away to keep Snape's cover and protect Draco. It would probably been done with the agreement of Dumbledore.

As to the invasion, the fact that DD had the Order patrol the school suggests that he knew it would come somewhen. Or at least that an attempt would come.



Madam Pince - Oct 27, 2007 11:46 am (#1345 of 2055)
Oooo, good chess comparison, Phelim. I've always been rather dense about chess, so that whole thread went over my head most of the time. But you're right about Ron's sacrifice foreshadowing Dumbledore's. Many times posters theorized about a possible connection between Ron and Dumbledore, either familial because of the reddish hair, or wasn't there even a theory about Dumbledore actually being Ron gone back in time or something? Anyway, good catch on the chess sacrifice tying them together.



Solitaire - Oct 27, 2007 12:50 pm (#1346 of 2055)
Good analogy, Phelim. Madam P, I remember the thread about Ron/Dumbledore. There were several things, I believe, which contributed to the theory: red hair, scar on his knee, etc. I'd forgotten about it!

Solitaire



PeskyPixie - Oct 27, 2007 2:10 pm (#1347 of 2055)
I believe one thing DD doesn't count on in his big plan is Harry's presence during his murder. This really muddies up his plan of having Snape tell Harry his penultimate mission against the Dark Lord (as Harry's existing hatred of Snape boils over after Dumbledore's 'murder').



Soul Search - Oct 27, 2007 4:53 pm (#1348 of 2055)
Actually, Harry witnessing Snape's killing Dumbledore aided Dumbledore's overall "plan."

It was important that Harry not know Snape was actually loyal to Dumbledore. His mind was often connected to Voldemort. We saw no evidence Voldemort picked anything from Harry's mind, but Harry would not have known it. Had Voldemort sensed any hint of Snape's true role, Snape would have been killed at once. As it was, all Voldemort could have sensed from Harry's mind would have been Harry's intense hatred for Snape, which would, no doubt, have pleased Voldemort no end.

As it turned out, Snape was able to protect Hogwart's students, so that part of Dumbledore's "plan" worked well.



Barbara J - Oct 27, 2007 5:38 pm (#1349 of 2055)
I agree with both Pesky Pixie and soul search, actually. I didn't get the impression it was part of DD's plan for Harry to witness DD being killed, and to some extent it made Snape's ultimate job more difficult. But to the extent there was a mind connection between Harry and LV, Harry's increased hatred of Snape could only solidify Snape's position with LV (if, as you say, he was even aware of it).

It all goes back to something that's been discussed before...how much control DD really had over events as they unfolded; how much was his "plan" and how much was luck or chance. DD was very adept at judging what people would be capable of, and of giving them the information they needed to do those things. But some things could not be planned; he just had to put the right people on the right path and hope for the best. (Or, as he said to Remus and Kingsley, Harry is our best hope - trust him. Not Harry will prevail if you help him, but he is our best "hope.")



rambkowalczyk - Oct 27, 2007 5:38 pm (#1350 of 2055)
Did Dumbledore take into consideration the state of Snape's soul when he asked Snape to kill him?

IMHO no not really. I believe that Dumbledore's Slytherin side got the better of him here and to justify to himself that it was ok to ask Snape to kill him he wanted to believe that Snape's soul could handle this killing.

There were three reasons that Dumbledore requested this of Snape. First and foremost it would have established Dumbledore master of the Elder Wand and remove the possibility that Voldemort could possess the wand making it possible for Harry to ultimately defeat Voldemort after his first death. This, Dumbledore considered paramount to his overall plan and I think he was willing to take any steps necessary to accomplish this even fudging the truth a little.

The second and third reasons were minor compared to the first. He didn't want to be tortured before he died, but I don't think Dumbledore's fear of pain was all that great in that it would prevent Dumbledore from doing what had to be done. The third reason was to protect Draco's soul. I would consider this reason to be more important than the second reason.

I like the way JKR has Snape question Dumbledore about the state of his soul but I don't think Dumbledore's answer is the final word on the subject.

Murdering someone with good intentions is still killing and I think a soul is torn as a result. Granted Dumbledore gave Snape permission to kill him, but the scene in Sirius' bedroom shows how much this has hurt Snape. Even soldiers who kill during a war feel damaged.
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PeskyPixie - Oct 27, 2007 7:49 pm (#1351 of 2055)
I thought that in Potterland it is murder which tears a soul. Perhaps I'm mistaken?



wynnleaf - Oct 27, 2007 8:04 pm (#1352 of 2055)
PeskyPixie,

I agree. I think that's what DD was saying -- that is, that Snape would not be tearing his soul if he killed DD as a kind of mercy killing.



Madame Kulich - Oct 28, 2007 1:30 am (#1353 of 2055)
Dumbledore has a Slytherine side?



Madam Pince - Oct 28, 2007 1:13 am (#1354 of 2055)
Oh, I think he has a Slytherin side! The ends justify the means, and all that. He doesn't choose to "save his own skin" like Phineaus Nigellus mentioned, but he sure didn't object to using people (Snape, Harry, the Order) to get what he wanted, and poor old Mad-Eye really took the brunt of it. Granted, "what he wanted" was justified by him as being "for the greater good," but overall it was sort of a Slytherin-ish arrogance to assume that. (Now, let me be clear here, too, that I agree with the position and actions he took! But they were definitely a bit Slytherin-ish.) Acting "Slytherin" can't be all bad, or else the House would not have been allowed to continue to exist at Hogwarts, in my opinion. There are times and places where you need a little Slytherin attitude. I think Dumbledore was really JKR's embodiment of the united Houses -- we had seen the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff in him prior to DH, but we didn't know about the Slytherin side until last.

"You alone know whether it will harm your soul to help an old man avoid pain and humiliation," said Dumbledore.

To me, the word "whether" implies that there's a possibility that the soul wouldn't be harmed. So I think Dumbledore knew that his "mercy killing" could technically go either way for Snape, but I don't think he was really truly concerned. I think he knew in his heart that Snape was not evil, and would be doing the killing for the "right" reason, so he was not worried for Snape's soul. No doubt that attitude may have seemed cavalier to Snape, so no wonder he was a little indignant, but to me it was just Dumbledore's confidence and trust in Snape. I don't think any killing "tears your soul" (in JKR's world, here, I'm speaking of); I think she's established that it's only murder with evil intentions, and the "soul-tearing" is a literal, magical happening rather than the more metaphorical "muggle" definition. You're undoubtedly right, rambkowalczyk, that any killing in the "real world" affects the person doing it in some way, whether justified or not.



rambkowalczyk - Oct 28, 2007 4:46 am (#1355 of 2055)
"You alone know whether it will harm your soul to help an old man avoid pain and humiliation," said Dumbledore.

I think in this statement Dumbledore Wants to believe that killing would not hurt Snape. I'm sure he believes it will hurt Snape less than it would hurt Draco. I think Dumbledore should have known that killing would be very dangerous (soulwise) for Snape regardless of whether Snape killed before or didn't.

Madame Pince, you may be right that in JKR's world that there are degrees of killing and that some type of killing may not hurt the soul. It just bothers me that Dumbledore chose the most bitter person to do the job. (Also thanks for explaining Dumbledore's Slytherin side. I too think Dumbledore and most great Headmaster have all 4 houses in them.)

Another words if a mercy killing is ok, or if there is permission of the victim and it's not an suicide then Dumbledore could have had any one kill him and it would be ok. But Snape at this point has reason to be angry at Dumbledore. He spent his whole life protecting Harry and feels betrayed when he discovers that Harry has to die. The temptation would be great for Snape to kill Dumbledore for reasons other than noble ones. This would have made Snape the Master of the Elder Wand. Isn't it possible that Dumbledore, given what he knew of Snape's feelings, chose the wrong person to kill him.



Madam Pince - Oct 28, 2007 8:04 am (#1356 of 2055)
I took it that because of what he knew about Snape's feelings, he chose exactly the right person to kill him. Dumbledore trusts Snape as implicitly as he trusts Hagrid and Harry. He knows his full background. He knows Snape would be the only one to be able to pull off the "mercy killing" and still be able to function as he needs to (spy/double-agent/protect the kids at Hogwarts in case the worst happens, etc...) in order for the big master plan to continue.

I don't think Snape knew anything about the Elder Wand, so that wasn't a temptation for him, so that wouldn't enter into any reasoning he may've used for why to kill Dumbledore.

In other words if a mercy killing is ok, or if there is permission of the victim and it's not an suicide then Dumbledore could have had any one kill him and it would be ok. I think you're exactly right here -- anyone else could've done the deed and it would've been technically OK from a "soul-tearing" standpoint. But he needed it to be Snape because of how they had set up the master plan. Dumbledore was going to die anyway. He needed to solidify Snape's position with the DE's and Voldy, and at the same time it didn't really matter so much if the Order trusted Snape anymore or not. If, for example, Dumbledore had gotten McGonnagal to kill him, that would've accomplished absolutely nothing with the DE/Voldemort side, and it would've also had the negative effect of alienating McGonnagal to the good guys. With Snape doing the deed, it strengthened the illusion they had going with the bad guys, and it didn't matter so much with the good guys liking him or not because half of them didn't trust him anyway. Or, if they trusted him, it was only because they felt Dumbledore had told them to, and Dumbledore knew he wasn't going to be around to reassure them anymore.

I do feel badly for Snape, even though I think it was the best decision. It was a lot to ask of someone.



wynnleaf - Oct 28, 2007 8:37 am (#1357 of 2055)
I think Dumbledore should have known that killing would be very dangerous (soulwise) for Snape regardless of whether Snape killed before or didn't. (ramb)

I took it that because of what he knew about Snape's feelings, he chose exactly the right person to kill him. (Madam Pince)

I see both of your points of view. The problem I have with Dumbledore's decisions and how much he really knew about how it would (or could) affect Snape, is that we discovered in DH that DD made a great many decisions in which his so-called excellent "guesses" were in fact incorrect and it was only good luck that saved the day, not DD having the best knowledge or being great guesser.

So while I think DD wanted to believe that Snape was the best person to kill him, I don't think that Dumbledore's knowledge of Snape as a person would be as accurate as Dumbledore would probably want to think.

JKR said she wanted to end DH with Snape "redeemed," so killing Dumbledore apparently didn't do irrevocable damage to his soul. Still, I don't like the way Dumbledore made his decision. What I dislike the most is that he pressured Snape to do the deed through deception and trying to use guilt. Given that Snape owed Dumbledore a great deal, I think that was wrong to use those tactics when trying to get someone to do something which had the possibility of damaging their soul.

On the Snape thread a discussion came up about whether or not those of us who believed prior to DH that Dumbledore planned and expected many of the events of the night he died, still consider this to be the case even after DH did not specifically reveal Dumbledore to have planned and expected the events of that night.

Personally, I had thought for several books that in the last book we would learn that many of Dumbledore's actions and decisions in the previous books, which had previously appeared pretty risky or at least unplanned, would turn out to have been much more under his control than we'd previously been told. I expected to learn that he had methods of knowing things that Harry hadn't known of, which enabled Dumbledore to make more informed decisions about the risks he took or allowed students to take or undergo. But no such extra knowledge or control was revealed in DH. In fact, we learned that many of the risks he took only turned out well due to luck, not due to his planning which turned out to be often faulty. I felt that many of the decisions that I'd been willing to allow DD the "benefit of the doubt" assuming him to have made those decisions with much more knowledge and control than he apparently had, were in fact decisions made with no more control than we'd ever been told, and sometimes even less knowledge.



Soul Search - Oct 28, 2007 9:51 am (#1358 of 2055)
Edited Oct 28, 2007 10:35 am
wynnleaf,

I generally agree with the doubts about Dumbledore you expressed in your previous post. In many posts past, we have both expressed doubts of Dumbledore's invulnerability. Yet, I do think you have overstated the role of mere "luck" in Dumbledore's plans working out as he intended.

We did learn a little in Deathly Hallows. Dumbledore did, indeed, ask Snape to perform a mercy killing. DH also confirmed Dumbledore's trust in Snape was justified. We weren't absolutely sure of all that after HBP.

While Dumbledore, on more than one occasion, overestimated his own capabilities (the protections on the Stone in PS and his protections on the castle in HBP, for example) and underestimated his adversary (Quirell in PS and Draco in HBP) he did well with those he groomed to execute his plans (Harry and Snape, particularly.)

While fortune favored Harry, it was more than just "luck" that he destroyed the horcruxes and defeated Voldemort. Over the six years Harry was at Hogwarts Dumbledore gave him just what Harry needed to make the right decisions and complete the ultimate tasks Dumbledore had planned for him.

Snape performed his very difficult role as well, culminating with the mercy killing in HBP, protecting Hogwart's students in DH, helping Harry with the Sword, and giving Harry the information he needed to complete Voldemort's destruction.

Any detailed, checklist type, plan Dumbledore would have developed would have been doomed to failure as soon as events varied, even a little, from those anticipated. Dumbledore's "plan" was to develop the best "tools" to get the job done.

It worked.

We saw one possible set of events unfolding in Deathly Hallows, but Dumbledore's "tools" would have worked even had there been variations.

As an aside, I too thought Dumbledore "knew" the future or something and his plans were based on some kind of extra knowledge. PoA suggested the idea. We learned of time turners. Dumbledore's delaying actions in Hagrid's hut when Harry and Hermione were trying to steal Buckbeak, then Dumbledore's suggestions to Hermione to use the time turner seemed to be telling us something. I am, however, glad that we didn't learn Dumbledore employed time turners or had any extra knowledge in Deathly Hallows. I would have been disappointed with our author.



PeskyPixie - Oct 28, 2007 10:28 am (#1359 of 2055)
What's wrong with having a Slytherin side? I've been put into Slytherin by most Sorting Hats!

I must now go back and read the previous seven posts, however, does DD have some sort of plan in action on the night he is killed? Does he seriously expect Snape to be asleep when he tells Harry to wake Professor Snape? If there is a plan in action DD should know that Snape is awake and fully dressed ... unless he doesn't want to further alarm Harry? Ack! I'm just confusing myself right now!



zelmia - Oct 28, 2007 10:36 am (#1360 of 2055)
I think the only place where Dumbledore's foreknowledge of that last night becomes muddled is regarding Harry. When they arrive back on the Tower, Dumbledore tells Harry to go get Snape. But when he hears someone coming up the stairs, he freezes Harry there. This was clearly to prevent anyone from knowing that Harry was there; but it also prevented Harry from interfering, which is what I think was the real reason for Dumbledore's last spell.
This sets the table for several things: Snape's apparent betrayal, leading to Snape's nearly insupplantable position with Voldemort, Draco's still safe soul-wise, Dumbledore's out of his misery.



PeskyPixie - Oct 28, 2007 10:42 am (#1361 of 2055)
Dumbledore tells Harry to go get Snape.

He actually tells Harry to 'go and wake Severus,' yet, from Hermione and Luna's account Snape is sitting fully dressed in his office. This scenario has always made me wonder who knows/suspects what at this point.



zelmia - Oct 28, 2007 11:25 am (#1362 of 2055)
Snape is most certainly aware of Draco's plans for the evening. Voldemort would likely have told him, since he is the "backup" for that mission.



Madam Pince - Oct 28, 2007 12:46 pm (#1363 of 2055)
PeskyPixie, I can only speak for myself, but the "overall plan" I was speaking of wasn't any specific plan for that particular night up on the tower -- I don't see how he could've possibly had a detailed plan in place for that. There were too many variables and contingencies. I was referring to a more general plan, along the lines of what Soul Search said. I believe Dumbledore was putting what he felt to be the best possible "tools" in place to complete an eventual task, not planning specifics down to the nth detail. I do believe he considered (and shared with Snape, and to some degree Harry - when he told him to trust Ron & Hermione) possible contingencies and things like "If X happens, then let's do Y, but if A happens, then maybe it's best to do B." The idea of having Snape do the "mercy killing" falls in that category. Without a time-turner or some other plot twist (which I, like Soul Search, halfway expected and yet was glad we didn't get), I don't see how Dumbledore could've possibly anticipated the exact circumstances up on the tower. So it was a more general plan with Snape: "When the time comes, we will both recognize it, and I will let you know, and I will expect you to do it, Severus."

I know what you mean; it's confusing to me, too. Very convoluted plot there.

(And certainly there's nothing at all wrong with a Slytherin side! As I said, I think it's like one of the four Elements. Any one of the four can be "bad" by itself or in imbalance, but together... ahhhhh.... perfection. )



rambkowalczyk - Oct 28, 2007 5:00 pm (#1364 of 2055)
I don't think Snape knew anything about the Elder Wand, so that wasn't a temptation for him, so that wouldn't enter into any reasoning he may've used for why to kill Dumbledore. Madame Pince

Forgive me for interrupting this discussion to go back to Madame Pince's post.

I don't think Dumbledore told Snape about the Elder Wand either. If he did I think it would have been part of Snape's memory to Harry. The danger to Snape's soul is that he could have killed Dumbledore for reasons other than mercy killing. Snape did not have to know he would be defeating the Elder Wand. (Draco certainly didn't have a clue). The danger was that if Draco didn't do the Expelliarmus on Dumbledore and if Snape killed Dumbledore with the wrong frame of mind, then Voldemort would have been the Master of the Elder Wand when he killed Snape.



Orion - Oct 29, 2007 1:49 am (#1365 of 2055)
In the shrieking shack, when LV asks Snape why the elder wand doesn't work for him, Snape says something like "I couldn't tell you" and seems really uncomfortable about it, as if he was trying to conceal knowledge rather than as if he honestly didn't know why. But it's possible that I interpret the scene wrongly.



Madam Pince - Oct 29, 2007 4:37 am (#1366 of 2055)
Oh, I've got you now, rambkowalcyzk! Sorry, I misunderstood you earlier!

I wonder, though, if Draco hadn't done the Expelliarmus, would Snape have been the master of the Elder Wand regardless of his frame of mind when he did it? (I still get confused over that whole "defeating/conquering" thing and how it works... I had it figured out in my own mind but I'm constantly challenging myself. I still think JKR has some more 'splaining to do with regard to that...)

I think Dumbledore said he originally intended for Snape to be Master of the Elder Wand, but I've never quite worked that out in my head. I need to do a re-read...

Anyway, it seems like Dumbledore's plan was as sound as he could possibly make it, but there was still a great deal depending on happenstance and the abilities of his "lieutenants" Snape and Harry. I guess that's how all great battle plans go, though. You can't plan for everything.

Orion, you could be right about that scene. I read it as Snape was uncomfortable because this is the first time he's being closely questioned about something -- he could feel himself in the spotlight. Maybe he could even sense Voldemort's growing aggression towards him. (Hope that's not too "Snape-thread-ish" -- I'm trying to talk about how/whether Dumbledore's plan would be feasible, and whether or not Snape knew about the Elder Wand enters into it...)



T Vrana - Oct 29, 2007 12:30 pm (#1367 of 2055)

>I think Dumbledore said he originally intended for Snape to be Master of the Elder Wand<<

I think owner, but not Master, as Snape would not have defeated DD, because DD had planned his death with Snape. Its power would have died with DD. (if Malfoy had not disarmed DD). I still contend DD thought he needed Snape to kill him because if he had died of LV's ring curse, the Elder Wand would have recognized LV as Master and its power would remain.



rambkowalczyk - Oct 29, 2007 1:31 pm (#1368 of 2055)
Actual quote from the Scholastic edition Kings cross chapter

"If you planned your death with Snape, you meant him to end up with the Elder Wand, didn't you?"

"I admit that was my intention," said Dumbledore, "but it did not work as I intended, did it?"

From the flaw in the plan chapter

Aren't you listening? Snape never beat Dumbledore! Dumbledore's death was planned between them! If all had gone as planned, the wand's power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!"

In spite of Dumbledore's words in King's cross I don't think Dumbledore meant for Snape to be Master of the wand. Otherwise how would Harry have come to the conclusion he did in the last chapter.

Snape says something like "I couldn't tell you" and seems really uncomfortable about it, as if he was trying to conceal knowledge rather than as if he honestly didn't know why. Orion

I think what Snape is concealing is his need to give Harry his memories, Dumbledore's final message. I don't think Dumbledore told him about the Elder wand as that could be an unnecessary temptation. I am not sure how much Voldemort told Snape (or any other Death Eater) about the Elder wand though.



T Vrana - Oct 29, 2007 1:43 pm (#1369 of 2055)
I don't think Dumbledore told him about the Elder wand as that could be an unnecessary temptation

Agreed, especially since Rowling showed us Ron and Hermioen being tempted after LV's defeat.



PeskyPixie - Oct 29, 2007 1:53 pm (#1370 of 2055)
I don't think Dumbledore told him about the Elder wand as that could be an unnecessary temptation. -rambkowalczyk

While the Elder wand could be a temptation for almost anybody, this point makes me wonder whether Dumbledore ever fears a relapse by Snape into his Dark past.

Does Dumbledore truly deny Snape the position of DADA professor because he does not want to tempt Snape into his old ways or is this a cover story to demonstrate to Death Eaters that a certain amount of distrust exists between Dumbledore and Snape, while in reality DD needs his closest ally (who just happens to be the Potions whiz-kid) to have quick access to potion-making facilities?

I am typing at the speed of thought and hope that my post conveys my ideas properly.



T Vrana - Oct 29, 2007 1:56 pm (#1371 of 2055)
I thought he kept him from the post because of LV's curse. No one remained in the position for more than a year since DD refused LV the post.



PeskyPixie - Oct 29, 2007 2:07 pm (#1372 of 2055)
That's right, the curse . Well, it was a helpful thing for Snape to say to Bella.

I assume Snape was given the position of DADA professor in HBP as he wouldn't let Harry into his NEWT Potions class. Then the option to let him have it occasionaly always existed for Dumbledore as long as he returned to Potions for the next year.



T Vrana - Oct 29, 2007 2:17 pm (#1373 of 2055)
Only if he found a potions master who only wanted to work for a year!



PeskyPixie - Oct 29, 2007 2:19 pm (#1374 of 2055)
Dumbledore should have found two teachers and alternated them between the positions.

Sorry for the distraction, back to the discussion ...



wynnleaf - Oct 29, 2007 6:11 pm (#1375 of 2055)
Dumbledore never told Snape about the Elder Wand. He never even gave him the slightest hint that killing him (Dumbledore, that is) would put Snape in any danger, although it's quite obvious that from Dumbledore's perspective it could. After all, the whole point about the Elder Wand is to protect it from LV, right? But there's no reason to protect it from LV or anyone else unless DD actually expected LV or others to suspect that DD's wand was the Elder Wand and try to go after it. Otherwise, what's the whole point? So not telling Snape makes no sense, because if the Wand is in danger of someone trying to get at it, then instead of Snape trying to "win" it from Dumbledore, it'll just be some other person -- like LV -- eventually trying to kill Snape to get it, and Snape won't even know why.

This reminds me, of course, that poor Harry naively tells everyone at his final confrontation with LV that he, Harry, is the Master of the Elder Wand and later goes blithely off to become an auror. He might as well have painted a target on himself for all future dark wizards saying "Come try to defeat me. I'm Master of the Elder Wand."

As regards not telling Snape because of the temptation, I think it's interesting that Dumbledore assumes that power is everyone's temptation and weakness. He admits that it is his weakness, but in comments to Harry also assumes that it is anyone's weakness. Yet that's simply not true. Many people aren't tempted by power at all. Harry, for instance, really isn't tempted by power. And we don't really have much indication that Snape is either (seeming to want respect much more).

Anyway, back to DD's secrets about the Elder Wand, his refusal to tell Snape anything about it, even after DD is dead, makes no sense at all. DD should anticipate that Snape would be in danger as soon as LV started to realize that DD had owned the wand, yet DD doesn't tell Snape anything about it in warning.



T Vrana - Oct 29, 2007 7:25 pm (#1376 of 2055)
As regards not telling Snape because of the temptation, I think it's interesting that Dumbledore assumes that power is everyone's temptation and weakness. He admits that it is his weakness, but in comments to Harry also assumes that it is anyone's weakness. Yet that's simply not true. Many people aren't tempted by power at all. Harry, for instance, really isn't tempted by power.

DD tells Harry at Kings Cross that he felt Harry would eventually overcome the desire to possess the Elder Wand, and that is why he hoped Hermione would slow him up. And it would not have been for power, but to defeat LV. Yet, Hermione, who has no desire for power, and Ron, who also only wishes to be recognized, WERE tempted, after LV's defeat. So it isn't just about power.

I can see no reason for Rowling to show Ron and Hermione, who knew the dangers, yearning , even momentarily, for the Wand, after LV"s defeat, except to show that Harry was uniquely qualified to possess it but not desire to keep or use it.

Did DD the portrait know LV was looking for the Elder wand? If Snape did not, how would DD? I don't think the portrait knew what the Kings Cross DD knew. The portrait could take in information and react to it, but was not omniscient. He may have suspected LV would look, as he said in Kings Cross, but knowledge that he was looking is not there.

If, after DD's death, the portrait had told Snape, would he not have been tempted still to take it? Lots of recognition would come with defeating LV and the Elder wand would be tempting. Why would Snape stand by as hundreds die with the Elder wand within his reach? I'm not saying Snape would take it for power or nefarious reasons, but rather too defeat LV. But DD knew this could not happen. The only way to save the WW and Harry was the way in which it played out. Snape was in danger, but he always was and was a volunteer who said he would help protect Harry, which he did, and which he owed.



rambkowalczyk - Oct 30, 2007 3:47 am (#1377 of 2055)
I think if Snape knew about the Elder Wand after Dumbledore's death, he would have been aware that it was Draco who was the Master. I think Snape would have (and Dumbledore's portrait would have advised) kept Draco's secret.



wynnleaf - Oct 30, 2007 7:38 am (#1378 of 2055)
Sorry, T Vrana. I made that comment about DD assuming power was everyone's weakness without citing the quotes that I was thinking of.

Here are two:

HBP Chapter 23:

'It is Voldemort's fault that you were able to see into his thoughts, his ambitions, that you even understand the snakelike language in which he gives orders, and yet, Harry, despite your privileged insight into Voldemort's world (which, incidentally, is a gift any Death Eater would kill to have), you have never been seduced by the Dark Arts, never, even for a second, shown the slightest desire to become one of Voldemort's followers!'

`Of course I haven't!' said Harry indignantly. `He killed my mum and dad!'

`You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!' said Dumbledore loudly. `The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's!'

Dumbledore assumed that Harry needed love as protection against the "lure of power like Voldemort's." Perhaps Dumbledore needed some sort of protection against the lure of power, but everyone does not, nor do I think Harry had many temptations for power.

Here's another, also from the same chapter:

"just as pure as you were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mirror that reflected your heart's desire, and it showed you only the way to thwart Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. Harry, have you any idea how few wizards could have seen what you saw in that mirror?"

Dumbledore assumes that in a similar situation -- even when faced with an Evil Wizard wanting to gain eternal life by stealing the stone -- very few wizards would have been more concerned with protecting the stone from LV, as they would the power of the stone itself. Is that really true? Is everyone entranced with the idea of living forever? Of course not. But Dumbledore was fascinated with the Hallows, and therefore the power of the Philosopher's Stone would have fascinated him as well.

Dumbledore assumes that these powers that Voldemort seeks are tempations for almost anyone and Harry is a rare exception. But I think what Dumbledore is doing at this point is taking his own weaknesses and temptations and assuming that everyone else has the same temptations.



legolas returns - Oct 30, 2007 12:04 pm (#1379 of 2055)
I always assumed that very few people would be wanting to break through all the enchantments to get to the stone. Ron thought Harry was mad and Hermione was worried about being expelled-not Voldemort. Who would want to try and get past fluffy? I think the only people who would want to get through that are people who would want to do Voldemorts bidding, people who would want to live forever/want as much gold as they can have and Harry. Harry would do anything to get to the stone and prevent Voldemort from having it and he knew how the mirror worked, he was driven and wanted Voldemort dead. He did not care for riches and immortaltiy his only thought was stopping Voldemort e.g his hearts desire. Thats why I assumed that Dumbledore thinks that Harry would be unique in terms of the pool of people looking into the mirror rather than the weaknessess and strengths of the magic community as a whole. If they were not in VOldemorts employ I think they would probably see a way of getting out of the situation in the mirror or see themselves older and alive.

Does that make sense-few people would want to get as far as the mirror. Of the select bunch that got to the mirror Harry would be the only one who would want rid of Voldemort and would not be tempted by anything Voldemort would say.



T Vrana - Oct 30, 2007 2:15 pm (#1380 of 2055)
But I think what Dumbledore is doing at this point is taking his own weaknesses and temptations and assuming that everyone else has the same temptations.

I think in the case of the Elder Wand he was correct, at least according to Rowling, why else show Ron and Hermione being tempted after LV's defeat?

It was almost One Ringish if you read the scene.....

I love Snape but have no difficulty believing he may have been tempted to take the Elder Wand and defeat LV. Especially since we know he does crave recognition.



PeskyPixie - Oct 30, 2007 2:15 pm (#1381 of 2055)
In DH when LV interrogates Grindelwald he tells LV 'there is so much you do not understand ...'

I had originally taken this as a reference to wandlore but now feel that it may also apply to, as Dumbledore always says, LV's lack of knowledge in the magic of love.

ETA: While I agree with T Vrana about Snape, I sometimes wonder that if he's faithful enough to Dumbledore to break his promise to keep Lily's son alive, would he be tempted to use the Elder wand if DD tells him it's not for him? Then again, it is similar to the one ring which one may try to use for good but will eventually fall prey to. Bilbo's first act after possessing the ring is of mercy (to Gollum). Similarly, Dumbledore is the first wizard not to be corrupted by the legendary powers of the Elder wand. Both characters receive merciful ends.



T Vrana - Oct 30, 2007 3:55 pm (#1382 of 2055)
I sometimes wonder that if he's faithful enough to Dumbledore to break his promise to keep Lily's son alive, would he be tempted to use the Elder wand if DD tells him it's not for him?

Since DD told Snape that Harry must die, saving Harry was no longer on the table. Protecting the student and staying close to LV, so he could tell Harry the 'truth' was. I think Snape would have been tempted to take the Elder Wand to either protect it from LV or kill him, if he had survived after Harry's 'death'.



PatPat - Oct 30, 2007 5:13 pm (#1383 of 2055)
T Vrana, haven't seen you in a while. Glad you're back! I agree with everything you have said. I actually think Dumbledore was correct both about the Elder wand's temptations and about the Philosopher's stone. Clearly even Ron and Hermione are tempted by the Elder wand. Not because they would initially want to do evil with it. A person could initially want the wand for the right reasons, to use its power for good to defeat dark wizards. But the saying "power corrupts" is true more often than not.

As far as the Philosopher's stone, the point is not whether another wizard would want to keep the stone from Voldemort. Sure, there are a lot of wizards who would want that. The question is whether there would be any temptation at all to use the stone for something else in the future. Because of the way Dumbledore set up the mirror, I believe even the smallest temptation would prevent the wizard from obtaining the stone as Harry did. The person had to, IMO, wholeheartedly want to get the stone but never use it. I believe Dumbledore is correct that very few wizards would have this quality. Dumbledore is pretty much on the mark as far as understanding people's motivations, desires, and personalities



T Vrana - Oct 30, 2007 7:17 pm (#1384 of 2055)
Hi, PatPat...Nice to see you as well.....

Dumbledore is pretty much on the mark as far as understanding people's motivations, desires, and personalities

I agree. He makes mistakes, but not in reading people. Even when, distracted, by Grindewald, DD knew.....



wynnleaf - Oct 30, 2007 7:35 pm (#1385 of 2055)
I don't think JKR tells us either way -- whether DD is actually correct or not. Personally, I know that many, many people are not tempted by power, because they actually don't want it. And the idea that practically anyone would be tempted by the Philosophers Stone is a similar thought. But JKR did show us that one of Dumbledore's personal temptations is for power -- he says this himself. And we know he's very tempted by the Hallows.

Notice this:

Harry, despite your privileged insight into Voldemort's world (which, incidentally, is a gift any Death Eater would kill to have), you have never been seduced by the Dark Arts, never, even for a second, shown the slightest desire to become one of Voldemort's followers!'

This implies that DD assumes that seeing Voldemort's world would be an automatic temptation, but for love.



T Vrana - Oct 30, 2007 8:08 pm (#1386 of 2055)
True....but does it have to be about power, or just temptation. Ron and Hermioen were tempted, drawn to the Elder Wand. Why put that in except to show that Harry is unique and even someone liek Ron and Hermione, neither interested in power, were tempted when they knew the dangers?

Do we have an example of DD misreading anyone?



PeskyPixie - Oct 30, 2007 8:30 pm (#1387 of 2055)
He may be misreading Guilderoy Lockheart, but maybe he is just desperate for anyone to take the DADA post by this time.



T Vrana - Oct 30, 2007 8:34 pm (#1388 of 2055)
LOL....he read Gilderoy..."Foisted on your own petard, Gilderoy?"

Think that was the quote.....



Solitaire - Oct 30, 2007 8:59 pm (#1389 of 2055)
Actually, I think it was, "Impaled upon your own sword, Gilderoy?" but I am too lazy to walk into the other room and see.



zelmia - Oct 30, 2007 10:38 pm (#1390 of 2055)
I would say Harry isn't really tempted by power because it's already been given to him. He is a natural leader to whom even the adult members of the Order look for guidance after Dumbledore's death. True, Harry has had insight and intimacy with Dumbledore that nobody else has; and true, Dumbledore basically told them to follow Harry ("Trust Harry. He's our only hope...").
But consider the scene when everyone has arrived at the Burrow and they realise they have been betrayed. It is Harry who allays their fears be declaring his trust in all present. That doesn't come from his relationship with Dumbledore, that is just who Harry is.

With this in mind, I think Dumbledore makes a good point when he says that Harry is uniquely qualified not to be tempted by a power such as Voldemort's. He is speaking from personal experience, yes. But he is also speaking to Harry's specific innate abilities and morality.



TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 31, 2007 1:32 am (#1391 of 2055)
"Dear me," said Dumbledore, shaking his head, his long silver mustache quivering. "Impaled upon your own sword, Gilderoy!"



T Vrana - Oct 31, 2007 2:15 pm (#1392 of 2055)
"Impaled upon your own sword, Gilderoy?"

Ah, yes....same idea. Thanks!!



legolas returns - Oct 31, 2007 3:20 pm (#1393 of 2055)
The thing is that when Harry says that he trusts everyone Lupin looks at him in a funny manner and points out to Harry that he is like his dad who would think it was the "height of dishonour not to trust his friends". Trusting his friends lead to James/Lilys death.

The trusting of friends is not something that is inherited from father to son but is learned/gained over time. Dumbledore was so cagey with giving people information. He was the master of telling people only enough to let them carry out a task and letting them know more when they were ready. Harry employs this method when he looks for the Horcrux at Hogwarts/tells Neville to kill Nagini. At other times he lets people know that he has a task that he has been told by Dumbledore he can only share with Ron/Hermioney. The order step back when told this and respect his decision.

The only time that Dumbledore compares Harry to his Dad (when Harry is there) is when Worktail escapes. He says that James would not have killed him either.

Dumbledore said something along the lines of the best people suited to being leaders are those who dont go looking for it but is thrust upon them and they do it because they have to. Harry is a good example of this. Even after he has got rid of Voldemort he wants to have a quiet peacefull time but has to share everyones grief and joy.



wynnleaf - Oct 31, 2007 6:26 pm (#1394 of 2055)
On the question of whether DD ever misjudges people, yes indeed. Some of the following are definite misjudgments, others are only possibilities.

1. He let Pettigrew in the Order. Pettigrew was a traitor, and we can even see in the Worst Memory scene that he's not a particularly good sort.

2. If he expected Lupin to be trustworthy in POA, he was wrong, as Lupin concealed vital information from DD for the whole academic year, willing to risk all the school children for the sake of keeping Dumbledore's goodwill.

3. If he expected Snape to continue to keep Lupin's secret at the end of POA, he was wrong.

4. A year of Fake Moody in Hogwarts, and even being at private meetings, and he still didn't recognize that it wasn't his good friend Moody.

5. He was suspicious of Quirrell, but apparently didn't realize LV was in the back of his head.

6. As a youngster, he didn't think Grendelwald's beliefs would lead to the excesses that they eventually became.

7. He didn't seem to get it that keeping Sirius caged up in Grimmauld Place was a mistake, especially given Sirius' temperament. He realized this too late.

8. He didn't seem to get it that if you take an orphan who never had decent parental figures in his life, become like a grandfather/mentor to him, and then cease to ever even look at him during a very difficult year, it's going to create a Big Problem for the kid.

9. He didn't think Draco could be successful at getting Death Eaters into the castle. Wrong.

10. Was he wrong about how "harmless" Gildroy was? We don't know. If Gildroy hadn't circumstantially used a broken wand, he was quite capable of wiping the memories of two 12 year olds.

11. When Fudge had Crouch Jr. kissed at the end of GOF, the narration said that DD looked at Fudge as though he'd never really known him. It seemed clear to me that the narration was telling us that DD was shocked that Fudge would go so far to cover things up.

12. He set Snape to teach Harry occlumency, and apparently misjudged the degree of animosity between them if he expected Harry to actually learn occlumency from Snape.

That's just off the top of my head. My guess is that there's probably more.



T Vrana - Oct 31, 2007 7:37 pm (#1395 of 2055)
wynnleaf- As I said, DD makes mistakes, but usually can read folks characters, but he also assumes the best and gives chances. So the difference for me is:

1. If asked I'm sure DD knew Pettigrew was weak, but misjudged how weak and gave him a chance to do his part for the Order

2. Same here, I'm sure he knew Lupin was weak, but was all for second chances

3. We don't know he expected any such thing

4. Were they good friends?

5. Hmmmmm, this I wonder about...."he's gone after him, hasn't he..." think DD knew. Harry certainly thought so, and said so.

6. DD admits he did know on some level and fooled himself

7. Sirius was an adult who could have said no. DD was not responsible for Sirius.

8. A mistake, he still had Harry's character down.

9. Again, a mistake, of perhaps, arrogance, not a misjudgment of character. He knew Draco was not a killer and would not kill him.

10. LOL, did he ever say he was harmless? He knew his character as indicated by his remark in the end.

11. Again, he knew Fudge was weak and power hungry, the lengths to which he would go is a different matter

12. But he knew it was there and misjudged the depth, a mistake. It would be different if he was completely surprised it didn't work out,

The point was whether DD usually reads a person's character correctly, I believe he does, but at times he makes mistakes in how he gives second chances. Typical example is Tom Riddle of course, from day 1. He read his character properly but gave a second chance. That is different from being blindly wrong about someone's character.



TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 31, 2007 7:52 pm (#1396 of 2055)
Whoa! Lets back up a minute Wynnleaf.

To begin with Dumbledore is NOT responsible for the actions, or reactions of others. You speak as if he planned everyone's moves and countermoves. He's good, but, no one is that good, not even God.

Methinks you may be laying a lot more at Dumbledore's door than even the doorbell can handle.

"1. He let Pettigrew in the Order. Pettigrew was a traitor, and we can even see in the Worst Memory scene that he's not a particularly good sort." Hmm, he was supposed to know beforehand? Seems to me someone also let a traitor into the DA. Who's fault was that?

"2. If he expected Lupin to be trustworthy in POA, he was wrong," Whoever said he was supposed to be right all the time? Seems to me the Mauraders handled that "furry little problem" on their own.

"3. If he expected Snape to continue to keep Lupin's secret at the end of POA, he was wrong." There was no reason for him to expect that.

"4. A year of Fake Moody in Hogwarts, and even being at private meetings, and he still didn't recognize that it wasn't his good friend Moody." Isn't polyjuice a wonderful thing? "This is not Alastor Moody," said Dumbledore quietly. "You have never known Alastor Moody. The real Moody would not have removed you from my sight after what happened tonight. The moment he took you, I knew - and I followed." And you think Dumbledore didn't suspect?

"6. As a youngster, he didn't think Grendelwald's beliefs would lead to the excesses that they eventually became." As a youngster, did you think life would have turned out as it has?

"7. He didn't seem to get it that keeping Sirius caged up in Grimmauld Place was a mistake, especially given Sirius' temperament. He realized this too late." He did "get it"..."'It is my fault that Sirius died,' said Dumbledore clearly. `Or should I say, almost entirely my fault - I will not be so arrogant as to claim responsibility for the whole. Sirius was a brave, clever and energetic man, and such men are not usually content to sit at home in hiding while they believe others to be in danger." And he did admit that he had made a mistake, in the next sentence in fact..."Nevertheless, you should never have believed for an instant that there was any necessity for you to go to the Department of Mysteries tonight. If I had been open with you, Harry, as I should have been, you would have known a long time ago that Voldemort might try and lure you to the Department of Mysteries, and you would never have been tricked into going there tonight. And Sirius would not have had to come after you. That blame lies with me, and with me alone." He accepted the responsibility for his actions, or lack thereof, what else can you expect a man to do?

"8. He didn't seem to get it that if you take an orphan who never had decent parental figures in his life, become like a grandfather/mentor to him, and then cease to ever even look at him during a very difficult year, it's going to create a Big Problem for the kid." I think he did, and told Harry so..."Harry roared. `I don't want to hear anything you've got to say!"You will,' said Dumbledore steadily. `Because you are not nearly as angry with me as you ought to be. If you are to attack me, as I know you are close to doing, I would like to have thoroughly earned it." Do you really think Dumbledore didn't know excatly what it cost him and Harry both?

I could go on, but I won't. Has any human ever misjudged his fellow man? Has anyone ever said Dumbledore was infallaible? Misjudgements are the one thing that makes us HUMAN.

I have refrained from responding on this thread for a long time now because I was amused, amazed at those who would condem Dumbledore for his "mistakes", mistakes that he readily admits to, in canon. How do you debate a character who makes mistakes, and admits them in canon?

...toddles off amused, but given human nature, not suprised...



zelmia - Oct 31, 2007 8:01 pm (#1397 of 2055)
Wynnleaf, most of those are examples of willful deception toward Dumbledore rather than Dumbledore's poor judgment.

1. He let Pettigrew in the Order. Pettigrew was a traitor, and we can even see in the Worst Memory scene that he's not a particularly good sort.
Well, that's what makes him the perfect spy. No one suspected him. And, unlike either Harry or the reader, Dumbledore wasn't privy to the Worst Memory so he had no reason to suspect Pettigrew. Besides, Dumbledore wasn't the only one, by any means, who was fooled by Pettigrew's duplicity.

2. If he expected Lupin to be trustworthy in POA, he was wrong, as Lupin concealed vital information from DD for the whole academic year, willing to risk all the school children for the sake of keeping Dumbledore's goodwill.
Again, how is this Dumbledore's fault? Lupin had been a Prefect while at school and in the Order during the First War. Dumbledore had known him for 20 years and had no reason not to trust him. It was Lupin who lied and withheld information.

3. If he expected Snape to continue to keep Lupin's secret at the end of POA, he was wrong.
Personally, I don't really think Dumbledore was naive enough to think that, after Snape's little tantrum, he wouldn't lash out in some way.

4. A year of Fake Moody in Hogwarts, and even being at private meetings, and he still didn't recognize that it wasn't his good friend Moody.
Now, this I agree with. Unless they hadn't seen each other in a long time, it always struck me as quite strange that Dumbledore wasn't able to suss out that particular little parlour trick. On the other hand, he did know immediately when it wasn't the real Moody so something must have tweaked his suspicions.

5. He was suspicious of Quirrell, but apparently didn't realize LV was in the back of his head.
Well, really, who would? Had that kind of magic ever even been heard of?

6. As a youngster, he didn't think Grendelwald's beliefs would lead to the excesses that they eventually became.
Actually, he acknowledges that he did know this, but that he "closed his eyes" to it.

7. He didn't seem to get it that keeping Sirius caged up in Grimmauld Place was a mistake, especially given Sirius' temperament. He realized this too late.
Sirius was a grown man. Dumbledore wasn't "keeping him caged up", but expected Sirius to recognise the situation for what it was and behave accordingly. The Ministry still believed Sirius to be a murderer - and I'm sure Snape's little chat with Fudge at the end of PA didn't do anything to help dispel that myth.

8. He didn't seem to get it that if you take an orphan who never had decent parental figures in his life, become like a grandfather/mentor to him, and then cease to ever even look at him during a very difficult year, it's going to create a Big Problem for the kid.
Well, under the circumstances (Voldemort having an open window into Harry's mind) what else should he have done? He couldn't acknowledge the connection without tipping Voldemort off to it.

9. He didn't think Draco could be successful at getting Death Eaters into the castle. Wrong.
The only thing he didn't know was how the Death Eaters would get in. "Dumbledore had told us that he would be leaving the school for a few hours and that we were to patrol the corridors just in case... Remus, Bill and Nymphadora were to join us... Every secret passageway out of the school was covered... (McGonagall, HBP29). We also know from his remarks in GF that Dumbledore wasn't familiar with the RoR, so it's not surprising that he wouldn't have thought of that as an entrance point.

10. Was he wrong about how "harmless" Gildroy was? We don't know. If Gildroy hadn't circumstantially used a broken wand, he was quite capable of wiping the memories of two 12 year olds.
Indeed. And again I agree here.

11. When Fudge had Crouch Jr. kissed at the end of GOF, the narration said that DD looked at Fudge as though he'd never really known him. It seemed clear to me that the narration was telling us that DD was shocked that Fudge would go so far to cover things up.
"Fudge's attitude, though not unexpected, changes everything." (Dumbledore, GF36). He seems to have fully understood that the power Fudge enjoyed as Minister had become an addiction.

12. He set Snape to teach Harry occlumency, and apparently misjudged the degree of animosity between them if he expected Harry to actually learn occlumency from Snape.
True, and Dumbledore acknowledges this.

ETA: Oh, cross-posted with TBE, there. Sorry to gang up.



wynnleaf - Oct 31, 2007 10:12 pm (#1398 of 2055)
Hey, guys, I didn't say Dumbledore was accountable to have known all this stuff. I was basically responding to this idea:

Dumbledore is pretty much on the mark as far as understanding people's motivations, desires, and personalities.

What I was trying to say was that Dumbledore wasn't always on the mark and that we have a bunch of examples of his missing the mark. I'm not saying Dumbledore should have known all those things about those people. Many of the excuses you guys gave I agree with. The point is that Dumbledore didn't always read people correctly.

By the way -- and this is a little different, but back on the "tempted by power" thing -- I think Dumbledore missed one of Harry's big temptations.

Dumbledore, in the quotes I gave earlier, comments on how Harry was able to avoid the temptation of power from the Dark Arts. Power is DD's big temptation, as he said. However, I think DD misread Harry's temptation regarding Dark Arts. In my opinion, when Harry is tempted by Dark Arts, such as a desire to use Unforgiveables, it's not for power, per se, but for revenge. Immediately after Harry learns about crucio, he imagines using it on Snape. He tries Crucio on Bella after she killed Sirius. He tried crucio and Sectumsempra on Snape after he saw Snape kill DD. And he used crucio after Carrow insulted McGonagall. He even considers petty revenge on McClaggen. Harry, in my opinion, is tempted much more by revenge than by power.

That is where, in my opinion, Dumbledore misread Harry. He commented about Harry being able to withstand temptations of power, but that wasn't really Harry's temptation. Dumbledore wasn't particularly tempted by revenge. Harry was. Dumbledore thought of Dark Arts and its power. Harry was attracted to its ability to help him hurt people he hated or who had hurt him and people he cared about.



legolas returns - Nov 1, 2007 12:38 am (#1399 of 2055)
I dont think Harry has a temptation for Dark Arts though I see where you are coming from. He has difficulty controlling his temper at times. He is really angry and he does the first thing that comes into his head and thinks later. The three occassions you mention are extreemes where emotions are running really high and a lot is at stake. I am not saying that it was the correct thing to do but at the same time I dont think in a normal situation he would be thinking "ah yes, who shall I crucio today?".



wynnleaf - Nov 1, 2007 6:10 am (#1400 of 2055)
legolas returns,

I agree. Harry never sits around plotting revenge and thinking about how he can include the use of Unforgiveables to achieve that revenge. But when Harry is extremely angry and hate is running high, he is sometimes tempted to use the curses he can think of that will hurt the most -- cause the most pain and suffering. And that's when he's tempted to use a Dark Arts curse like crucio and sectumsempra.

Dumbledore, who never saw Harry in those situations, may have no idea that Harry does this. Once again, I'm not saying Dumbledore should have known, but this is an area where I think he misreads Harry. Harry isn't tempted to use Dark Arts for the power, but when his emotions run high with hatred.
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T Vrana - Nov 1, 2007 7:09 am (#1401 of 2055)
What I was trying to say was that Dumbledore wasn't always on the mark and that we have a bunch of examples of his missing the mark.

I still disagree that your examples show that DD wasn't on the mark with reading people. They show that he tends to see the best and give second chances, even when he knows their weaknesses. That is different than not being able to read people.

Harry isn't tempted to use Dark Arts for the power, but when his emotions run high with hatred.

He isn't tempted because of his abiltiy to love, as DD told him, and that is also why he IS tempted to use them for revenge. So where is the misread?

ETA: DD never said use of the Dark Arts was only for power, did he? He said love was the only thing that could overcome the lure of power like LV's. (paraphrased, no book handy).



wynnleaf - Nov 1, 2007 7:42 am (#1402 of 2055)
They show that he tends to see the best and give second chances, even when he knows their weaknesses. That is different than not being able to read people. (T Vrana)

No, Lupin was not a second chance situation. As far as DD knew, Lupin had not betrayed DD's trust in the past. But DD was completely wrong. Lupin had betrayed his trust while in school, and continued to do so later. It's not just that DD was wrong about Lupin betraying his trust. He was also wrong when he (I assume) believed that Lupin would be committed to protecting the students as any good teacher should. Lupin was more committed to keeping DD's good will than protecting students.

Or with Pettigrew -- that wasn't a separate chance. Nor was Lockhart -- and if DD knew that Lockhart cared so little for the students that he'd be willing to wipe their memories to protect himself, then that's a lot worse than just making a mistake about someone.

I understood that Moody was a friend of DD's. He'd been in the Order as well. Yet DD didn't recognize that it wasn't Moody.

And misreading how far Fudge would go? That's important, since Fudge's actions were quite drastic and damaging.

Yes, some were people were actively hiding their negative traits -- but that is, after all, what one might expect people to do with many of their negative traits and agendas. In Dumbledore's position, he would be supposedly on the lookout for people who are trying to infilterate the school or hide negative agendas. After all, Hogwarts, Harry and the Order are targets of LV and Dumbledore took on the responsibility for all of those three.

Like I say, I'm not saying that Dumbledore was bad or negligent or weak or whatever for not reading everyone correctly, but to say that he doesn't read people incorrectly you have to explain away a whole lot of examples in canon where people were engaged in very important deceptions that DD completely missed. Or where people were highly affected by things DD did, or ordered, and he apparently missed the fact that his orders weren't necessarily the best.

For instance, DD is responsible for the orders that he gives Order members. Sure, they are also responsible for their own actions. But when DD ordered a man who had been in prison for 12 years and on the run for two years, to stay in a house with very Dark memories and not go out for a year -- well, yes, Dumbledore was responsible for the fact that he gave a possibly unstable Order member an order that was almost guaranteed to create a lot of emotional anguish.



T Vrana - Nov 1, 2007 8:16 am (#1403 of 2055)
No, Lupin was not a second chance situation. As far as DD knew, Lupin had not betrayed DD's trust in the past.

Lupin did let DD down in the past, when he made him a Prefect in a effort to control James and Sirius and he did nothing. So, I contend DD knew Lupin was somewhat weak, but did not carry it to the conclusion that Lupin would endanger students rather than admit he had betrayed DD.

Or with Pettigrew -- that wasn't a separate chance.

No, it was A chance, it isn't all about second chances. As I also said it is about seeing the best in folks and giving chances even if when he knows a person's weaknesses. That DD can see a weakness does not mean that he assumes that weakness will lead to some of the ends it does.

Nor was Lockhart -- and if DD knew that Lockhart cared so little for the students that he'd be willing to wipe their memories to protect himself, then that's a lot worse than just making a mistake about someone

Being able to read Gilderoy as a lying git and knowing he would take it too the extreme of harming students support my point. DD knew he was a bit useless, as indicated by his comment to him, but may have underestimated how far he would go. I say 'may' because I think DD gave Harry obstacles and challenges hoping to save his life in the long run.

I understood that Moody was a friend of DD's. He'd been in the Order as well. Yet DD didn't recognize that it wasn't Moody.

Crouch did an excellent imitation, DD had no reason to suspect, and being in the Order doesn't require getting chummy. I don't see how this applies.

And misreading how far Fudge would go? That's important, since Fudge's actions were quite drastic and damaging

Of course it is, but it is beside the point. As I said, DD is very good at reading folks, but tends to give the benefit of the doubt as to how far they will go.

but to say that he doesn't read people incorrectly you have to explain away a whole lot of examples in canon where people were engaged in very important deceptions that DD completely missed

We are talking about two different things. He reads folks well. He knows their weaknesses. When he is deceived it is because he over estimates a person's ability to overcome that weakness. And I prefer a person who approaches life this way rather than assuming the worst.

For instance, DD is responsible for the orders that he gives Order members. Sure, they are also responsible for their own actions. But when DD ordered a man who had been in prison for 12 years and on the run for two years, to stay in a house with very Dark memories and not go out for a year -- well, yes, Dumbledore was responsible for the fact that he gave a possibly unstable Order member an order that was almost guaranteed to create a lot of emotional anguish.

DD was trying to keep him alive. Emotional anguish? Better than dead. And he was an adult volunteer who could have said no.

I'm talking about the overall reading of weaknesses and strengths. You are talking about always being completely right about what will be done with those weaknesses and strengths. Not the same thing. No one can determine that, but one can be good at reading the overall person. And I suppose a more cynical person would draw more negative conclusions. But how many folks benefitted from DD's willingness to give chances? Hagrid, Lupin, Snape...



zelmia - Nov 1, 2007 12:17 pm (#1404 of 2055)
I'm not saying that Dumbledore was bad or negligent or weak or whatever for not reading everyone correctly - Sounds to me like that's exactly what you're saying.

No one - not even Dumbledore - can be expected to get an accurate read on someone if they don't have all the information required to do so.
In the cases of Lupin and Pettigrew at least, you're saying that Dumbledore should have known what they were like. But there is no reason for him to have known this.
They betrayed his trust - which is exactly what betrayal is: taking advantage of someone's trust.

Fudge: Dumbledore isn't at all surprised by how far Fudge would go ("Fudge's attitude while not surprising, complicates matters.") It is Harry who is rather shocked at Fudge's apparent transformation from kindly and avuncular to corrupt dictator.

Moody: Again, I agree with this to a point. But we are shown the real Moody in a flashback in GF, and are finally introduced to him in OP. There is nothing that stands out about this Moody that makes it clear he is the real deal - other than, of course, knowing that Junior has been... eliminated. But Dumbledore was able to recognise it wasn't Moody when Junior acted out of character. Yes, it took a long time. But then Moody's character is rather unconventional, to say the least.

Sirius: He was a grown man, not a child, however immature he may have acted on occasion. While Dumbledore certainly felt responsible for what happened with Sirius, in reality he was not.

Gilderoy Lockhart: As T Vrana points out, Dumbledore seemed fully aware of the wicked side of Lockhart, so I tend to agree that Dumbledore might have made a mistake there. On the other hand, Dumbledore couldn't have known that an opportunity would actually emerge for that side of him to manifest itself in such a diabolical way. Or perhaps he figured that, being such a poor wizard, most students would be able to handle themselves against Lockhart.

Anyway, I don't think active betrayal can be counted among Dumbledore's miscalculations. What is amazing about Dumbledore's character is that, when you consider all the people who have lied to/betrayed him in some way, the fact that he is still able to trust and love anyone shows just how magnanimous he is.



Madam Pince - Nov 1, 2007 12:30 pm (#1405 of 2055)
For what it's worth, wynnleaf, I completely understand (yet again) what you were talking about. (Our brains must be wired the same way, I guess. Poor you. )

And also yet again, it seems like everyone is saying basically the same thing -- Dumbledore was not perfect.



T Vrana - Nov 1, 2007 12:44 pm (#1406 of 2055)
And also yet again, it seems like everyone is saying basically the same thing -- Dumbledore was not perfect.

Yes, and no. This started from my and other posters comment that DD was very good at reading people. By that I mean that he is aware of their weaknesses, but tends to give folks chances, regardless, to overcome them.

But by some the ability to read someone is being interpreted as always being able to predict what a person would do with that opportunity. Can't be done. None of us know for sure what another being will do. Some in power choose an optomistic and generous stance, like DD, others tend to label and exclude, Umbridge, Fudge. Isn't this rather important to the HP series? That DD knew these folks were flawed but gave them opportunity and choice?

I think reading someone's character, and knowing for sure how they will act given a chance are not the same thing.



wynnleaf - Nov 1, 2007 1:55 pm (#1407 of 2055)
I'm not saying that Dumbledore was bad or negligent or weak or whatever for not reading everyone correctly - Sounds to me like that's exactly what you're saying. (zelmia)

Oh, where did I say that? Apparently, all I had to do was list what I thought were places where DD misread people's character and/or intentions, and it automatically means I think DD was "bad or negligent or weak."

For what it's worth, wynnleaf, I completely understand (yet again) what you were talking about. (Madam Pince)

Thanks. I appreciate it. Truly. And for your saying so.

This started from my and other posters comment that DD was very good at reading people. By that I mean that he is aware of their weaknesses, but tends to give folks chances, regardless, to overcome them. (T Vrana)

While I certainly agree that DD gave several people second chances, I don't really think there's a huge amount of evidence that DD was a great reader of people. He understands that Harry isn't going to be tempted to join LV and that Harry's love for others will protect him. He understands that Snape is loyal, but really he'd got plenty of evidence -- it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that someone willing to risk his life so completely and whose patronus was a symbol of Lily must be telling the truth about being loyal. He supposedly assessed Hermione and Ron correctly to leave them what he did in his will, but considering he really had virtually no personal contact with them, and Harry didn't pass along much info about them either, I tend to see this as an authorial plot contrivance, because really DD had no way to actually know Hermione and Ron so well.

As regards much of the rest, in my opinion if DD really did understand the weakness of Lupin to endanger students, or Lockhart to be willing to harm students, then hiring those two was extremely irresponsible. One doesn't hand out second chances or even first chances, by knowingly risking hundreds of school children. Personally, I'd rather think DD just didn't understand how weak Lupin could be or how unscrupulous Lockhart could be.

As for Fudge, sorry but it really does say in the text that DD looked at Fudge as though seeing him for the first time.

‘But he cannot now give testimony, Cornelius,’ said Dumbledore. He was staring hard at Fudge, as though seeing him plainly for the first time.

While Dumbledore certainly felt responsible for what happened with Sirius, in reality he was not. (zelmia)

Is Dumbledore only wrong when he's criticizing himself? Hm. Anyway, in my opinion, Dumbledore as Head of the Order of the Phoenix, was responsible for all of the orders he gave the members. He ordered a man who'd been in prison for 12 years and on the run for 2 years to stay more or less "imprisoned" in an extremely depressing house with little productive to fill his time. Is Dumbledore not responsible for giving that order?

In my opinion, Dumbledore had a somewhat good ability to read some people, especially if he knew them rather well, or if, in the case of Riddle, he'd studied them quite extensively. I don't consider his ability to read people in general to be highly above average.



legolas returns - Nov 1, 2007 2:17 pm (#1408 of 2055)
I thought that Dumbledore had a post to fill and nobody else wanted the job. He was forced to recruit Lockhart as he could not leave the post vacant. I am sure that he knew that he was a fraud and probably expected other people to see it as well. I dont think he ever considered him as a real threat and he was neutralised in his job. I think that his only error was in not forseeing that Harry and Ron would go to him for help in a dangerous situation. Lockhart showed the "fight or flight reaction" and was trying to save his reputation/skin.

I disagree that the put outer was a plot contrivance. Dumbledore knew that Harry and Ron had fell out in the past. He knew that eventually they made up and got back together. This happend in GOF due to Ron being jealous of Harry being a champion until Harry was really up against it. When searching for Horcruxes it would be almost impossible to get back together.

He did not know about the Maurauders so he had no reason to mistrust Lupin. As far as he was concerned Lupin was trustworthy. I am sure that he knew that Lupin could not control his friends.



PeskyPixie - Nov 1, 2007 2:28 pm (#1409 of 2055)
Doesn't Dumbledore say in PS/SS how Ron sees only himself, the best of the batch, in the Mirror of Erised because he has the achievements of so many brothers to live up to?

I think Dumbledore does understand Ron quite well and makes inferences about his character from this (as well as from all he knows about Ron's brothers).

At the end of the day, Dumbledore does judge Ron accurately, doesn't he?



legolas returns - Nov 1, 2007 2:32 pm (#1410 of 2055)
He knows that Ron feels overshaddowed by his brothers. He judges Ron well.



PeskyPixie - Nov 1, 2007 2:37 pm (#1411 of 2055)
LOL, you summarized my rambling very well, Legolas!



T Vrana - Nov 1, 2007 2:37 pm (#1412 of 2055)
As regards much of the rest, in my opinion if DD really did understand the weakness of Lupin to endanger students, or Lockhart to be willing to harm students, then hiring those two was extremely irresponsible.

But there's the rub, I never said DD knew Lupin would endanger the students. I said DD knew Lupin was weak, but chose to give him a chance. Lupin blew it.

Knowing Lockhart was a fake and predicting he would find himself on the way to the Chamber of Secrets and desperate enough to obliterate some students memories are a bit different.

Anyway, in my opinion, Dumbledore as Head of the Order of the Phoenix, was responsible for all of the orders he gave the members. He ordered a man who'd been in prison for 12 years and on the run for 2 years to stay more or less "imprisoned" in an extremely depressing house with little productive to fill his time. Is Dumbledore not responsible for giving that order?

The key here is MAN. And WIZARD. DD is trying to save the world, not just the WW, the World, from LV while saving an innocent boy, Harry. That on top of this he should be expected to entertain a grown wizard is silly. With members of the Order in and out everyday, he had company and he could certainly have found ways to entertain himself. Instead he chose to wallow, even lashing out at Harry. And as I said before, he could have said no.

DD got Riddle from the start, I think...but chose to give him a chance. The lengths to which he would go he may not have understood. But then again he's an optimist.



PatPat - Nov 1, 2007 5:40 pm (#1413 of 2055)
Hey, guys, I didn't say Dumbledore was accountable to have known all this stuff. I was basically responding to this idea:

Dumbledore is pretty much on the mark as far as understanding people's motivations, desires, and personalities. wynnleaf

That was my statement and I stand by it. I'm sorry but Dumbledore absolutely understood Fudge. He had argued with him prior to the end of GoF about the fact that the disappearance of Crouch, Bertha, and Frank were related. He knew Fudge was going to have a hard time accepting the situation. As zelmia already pointed out, Dumbledore says specifically at the end of GoF that Fudge's attitude is "not surprising." He knew. He just couldn't do anything about it. Fudge was minister of magic. We may see Dumbledore as all powerful but he wasn't. We saw this in OoP.

Dumbledore read Tom Riddle on his first meeting. He says that he knew he needed to keep an eye on him. Riddle even admits in CoS, "Dumbledore never seemed to like me as much as the other teachers did." As T Vrana has stated, just because Dumbledore may have known people's weaknesses doesn't automatically mean that he knew how far they were willing to go. He is not a fortune teller. Merely a good judge of character, IMO.

He supposedly assessed Hermione and Ron correctly to leave them what he did in his will, but considering he really had virtually no personal contact with them, and Harry didn't pass along much info about them either, I tend to see this as an authorial plot contrivance, because really DD had no way to actually know Hermione and Ron so well. wynnleaf

OK, this is unfair, IMO. It is canon that Dumbledore read Ron and Hermione well and knew exactly what to give them to help them and Harry along. Why should this particular piece of canon be dismissed as an authorial plot contrivance? Actually the fact that Dumbledore was able to read them without really spending a lot of time with them supports the fact that he was a good judge of character.



Madam Pince - Nov 1, 2007 6:31 pm (#1414 of 2055)
Why can't canon be authorial contrivance? The whole thing is authorial contrivance.

I think that's a good point -- it's canon that Ron and Hermione had very little direct personal contact with Dumbledore. It can be read two ways -- either JKR took a little liberty there and had Dumbledore guess correctly and give them the right items because she had to move the plot along, or Dumbledore was the most amazing judge of character / mind-reader out there -- practically all-knowing. Given what we have, I think either interpretation is technically possible and neither one is "unfair," just different.

(I'm stumping for the post of arbitrator in the upcoming lawsuit, can you tell? )



Vox Gerbilis - Nov 1, 2007 7:08 pm (#1415 of 2055)
Dumbledore may not have had much contact with Hermione or Ron, but he knew enough to make some reasonable inferences. As headmaster, he probably would have known who the top academic achievers were. He knew about Hermione's time turner, so he must also have known that she was smart and ambitious enough to take all the elective courses she could. He knew that she was the book learner, who could make the most out of the Beedle the Bard information.

He also would have gained some knowledge of Bill and Percy's characters when they were Head Boy, and he surely must have known about Fred and George's antics. He also knew about Ron's vision in the Mirror of Erised. Based on this, he could make some reasonable estimates of how Ron would feel as the perpetual "second banana," and yet also understand how his innate sense of loyalty would eventually prevail. Hence, the deluminator bequest.

Very interesting discussion. Dumbledore's the most confusing character for me, so I'm glad to get all the various viewpoints.



PeskyPixie - Nov 1, 2007 7:32 pm (#1416 of 2055)
We see Snape giving Dumbledore a report on Harry's character. I wouldn't be surprised if he (and all other teachers) have meetings with the headmaster in which they discuss the students's characters and academic progress.



Barbara J - Nov 1, 2007 7:44 pm (#1417 of 2055)
Hermione and Ron quickly became Harry's best friends when he arrived at Hogwarts. Don't you think he was watching them carefully? I think he got information from teachers, school ghosts, portraits...whoever saw them. And don't forget how much time they spent with Hagrid, who can't keep anything to himself -- it would not take much to get him talking about R&H and what they were like.



wynnleaf - Nov 1, 2007 8:33 pm (#1418 of 2055)
Hermione and Ron quickly became Harry's best friends when he arrived at Hogwarts. Don't you think he was watching them carefully? I think he got information from teachers, school ghosts, portraits...whoever saw them. And don't forget how much time they spent with Hagrid, who can't keep anything to himself -- it would not take much to get him talking about R&H and what they were like. (Barbara)

I used to think Dumbledore really did watch some of the key students that closely, but he must not have. Surely if he really watched any students that closely, he'd have kept a close eye on Draco, knowing that Draco was so dangerous to others. But no, DD had no idea what Draco was up to, even with Harry passing on some info.

So if DD wasn't watching Draco closely, even knowing that Draco almost got 2 kids killed, then I seriously doubt if he was watching Hermione and Ron.



zelmia - Nov 1, 2007 9:19 pm (#1419 of 2055)
Well, actually he was watching Draco - through your man Snape. But what should he have done? Expelled Draco - and thus effectively signed his death warrent for Voldemort?

One doesn't have to stand right over someone all the time to get a sense of who that person is. Teachers are well aware of this. And Dumbledore may not have been "watching" Ron and Hermione, but they have been right there alongside Harry through all the various adventures and misadventures since book 1. Dumbledore was clearly able to discern all he needed to about them to know that he had bequeathed the right gifts to them.



PatPat - Nov 2, 2007 3:26 am (#1420 of 2055)
Why can't canon be authorial contrivance? The whole thing is authorial contrivance. Madam Pince

I have no problem with that interpretation. What I find unfair is dismissing canon as a piece of evidence because it is an "authorial contrivance." If that's the case, what are we all doing here?

I'm stumping for the post of arbitrator in the upcoming lawsuit, can you tell? ) Madam Pince

LOL. You're doing a great job!



wynnleaf - Nov 2, 2007 8:00 am (#1421 of 2055)
Well, actually he was watching Draco - through your man Snape. But what should he have done? Expelled Draco - and thus effectively signed his death warrent for Voldemort? (zelmia)

No, he wasn't watching. No one was watching Draco closely. And I'm sure they would have if they could. But apparently, even with portraits around, you can't watch a student extremely closely. Otherwise, Dumbledore or Snape would have known that Draco was using Rosmerta, that he'd gotten the mead poisoned and sent to the castle, that he was working in the RoR, that he was working on the cabinet, and so on. Even with Harry's input, Draco was not being that closely watched, and yet we know that both DD and Snape wanted Draco watched as closely as possible. I have to assume, therefore, that they really couldn't watch him as closely has has been suggested that DD could have watched Hermione and Ron.

When I said authorial contrivance, what I mean is that the author made something happen without showing us a series of supporting scenes or other information that makes the incidence seem likely. Actually, JKR did this a great deal in DH -- for instance, Harry totally coincidently running into the campers in the woods that just happen to be talking about important info at the time. Or Dumbledore's leaving the books about horcruxes out in his office and the window conveniently open, so that Hermione can conveniently accio them when she wants information, but we're to assume that DD didn't want Snape to find out about the horcruxes. Throughout the series, we only have maybe one or two instances of DD speaking with Hermione and Ron at all, much less watching them or getting to know them. Harry tells DD next to nothing about them. We have no examples of other teachers passing info along to DD about Hermione and Ron. Yet we're supposed to assume that DD knew them so well that he could leave a large part of the process of getting vital information to Harry on the chance that he could guess correctly about what Ron and Hermione would do if he left these items in their care. That's contrivance. Readers might believe it and it not affect their suspension of disbelief (vital to the believability of a story), but that doesn't meant that JKR had already laid the literary groundwork for us to believe DD knew Hermione and Ron that well.



PeskyPixie - Nov 2, 2007 8:16 am (#1422 of 2055)
When I said authorial contrivance, what I mean is that the author made something happen without showing us a series of supporting scenes or other information that makes the incidence seem likely. Actually, JKR did this a great deal in DH -- wynnleaf

I mostly agree with this. A lot of important events are left up to chance rather than the trio's sleuthing and discovering. As Dumbledore knows he's dying throughout HBP I expected a bit more guidance from him. Then again, maybe I'm just biased against DH because I feel it needed a lot more editing before publication.



Soul Search - Nov 2, 2007 8:32 am (#1423 of 2055)
wynnleaf,

Throughout the series, we only have maybe one or two instances of DD speaking with Hermione and Ron at all, much less watching them or getting to know them.

You might be stretching this a bit. While there aren't scenes with a one-on-one with Hermione or Ron (after all, most scenes have Harry in them) there are references to and inferences that such scenes did occur.

In PS, when Dumbledore is talking with Harry in the hospital wing, he makes a few references that imply he has talked with Hermione and Ron.

There are a couple of references in OotP. Hermione and Ron both tell Harry how Dumbledore has made them promise not to tell Harry anything. It seems Dumbledore was a regular visitor to Grimmald Place until Harry arrived. When Hermione comes to Grimmald Place for Christmas she immediately seeks out Harry to comfort him, like Dumbledore has told her of Harry's fears and suggested a course of action.

In HBP, Dumbledore approves Harry telling Hermione and Ron about the horcruxes, saying they have proven their loyalty, etc. Suggests Dumbledore, at least, thinks he knows them well enough.

I will have to be on the alert during my next re-read, but I have it in mind there are numerous little casual references that suggest Hermione has been talking with Dumbledore.

A couple of Ron's actions were public enough that Dumbledore must have heard of them. For example, Ron's problem with Hermione and Crookshanks in PoA and Ron being upset with Harry in GoF. Dumbledore would have understood Ron a bit from this.

So, I think Dumbledore did know Hermione well enough to justify giving her the book in Deathly Hallows. Giving Ron the deluminator that brings him back to Hermione and Harry is a bit of a stretch, but not without any canon support.



Barbara J - Nov 2, 2007 9:13 am (#1424 of 2055)
Thanks, Soul Search! Those are helpful examples. To me it seems more contrived that DD did not watch Draco more closely than it does to infer that he observed Ron & Hermione over the years and formed a pretty solid impression of them.

There are differences in the two situations, though -- R&H were not trying to conceal as much from DD as Draco was in HBP, for one. And I do think DD observed Draco closely enough over the years to know his essential nature -- that is really what I'm talking about, not whether he knew every specific step Draco was going to take. DD's judgment in that respect was confirmed when Draco hesitated on the tower instead of killing him.



wynnleaf - Nov 2, 2007 9:24 am (#1425 of 2055)
Soul Search,

You bring up some good examples to make your point and I admit I had not thought of those, but instead looked for where we actually see DD talk to them on the page. So as regards Hermione, it is possible that DD knew her well enough to be able to predict her actions regarding the book. That still, in my opinion, leaves his assumptions regarding Ron quite a stretch.

You see? I am not utterly beyond being convinced.



T Vrana - Nov 2, 2007 10:07 am (#1426 of 2055)
I used to think Dumbledore really did watch some of the key students that closely, but he must not have. Surely if he really watched any students that closely, he'd have kept a close eye on Draco

DD knew he had less than a year before he would die and used this time to work with Harry and horcrux hunt. He assigned Snape to watch him, who was around more and whom Draco had traditionally liked.

Snape does appear almost out of thin air when Harry uses Sectumsemopra so I think Snape was keeping as close an eye as he could. He also put Draco's lookouts in detention as much as possible without looking suspsicious.

As for knowing about Rosmerta, Draco never went to Hogmeade during school, so how would anyone know? He used the coins to communicate.



PeskyPixie - Nov 2, 2007 10:23 am (#1427 of 2055)
Snape does appear almost out of thin air when Harry uses Sectumsemopra so I think Snape was keeping as close an eye as he could. He also put Draco's lookouts in detention as much as possible without looking suspsicious. T Vrana

This is what I assumed as well. Snape keeps an eye on Draco as he does on Harry in PS/SS (Harry wonders why Snape turns up wherever he goes).

Dumbledore uses a tactic which works quite well in the past.



Soul Search - Nov 2, 2007 2:59 pm (#1428 of 2055)
wynnleaf,

You see? I am not utterly beyond being convinced. Wow! And I am proud that I was the one to finally do it.

As I was running through the series for examples of Dumbledore knowing Hermione and Ron, I noted the very few times Dumbledore interacts with Harry. He does get a "wrap up" one-on-one at the end of each book, but until HPB, not much else.

Yet, on a couple of occasions, Dumbledore remarks that he has watched Harry closely. We still haven't figured that out.



PeskyPixie - Nov 2, 2007 3:01 pm (#1429 of 2055)
Ah, the man was brilliant!



T Vrana - Nov 2, 2007 8:04 pm (#1430 of 2055)
Dumbledore remarks that he has watched Harry closely. We still haven't figured that out

Actually, didn't he say he has been watched more closely than he can ever have imagined? After DH, I assumed DD was referring to Snape fulfilling his promise.



PatPat - Nov 3, 2007 10:54 am (#1431 of 2055)
The exact quote is:

Is there a defense? I defy anyone who has watched you as I have - and I have watched you more closely than you can have imagined (OoP 37) (emphasis mine)

It actually doesn't surprise me that Dumbledore himself has watched Harry closely. We know he can become invisible when he wants to. We saw him pop up in PS when Harry was looking at the Mirror of Erised. He had clearly been watching Harry sneaking around the last couple of nights. I'm sure some of Dumbledore's information came from Snape, but I think he was also personally watching Harry.



haymoni - Nov 4, 2007 8:55 am (#1432 of 2055)
Someone suggested that he used the Deluminator to watch Harry.

I'm goin' with that.



legolas returns - Nov 4, 2007 4:55 pm (#1433 of 2055)
If Dumbledore had watched Harry so much he should have realised Harrys reaction after book four and the great anger he felt through OOP. I know that he was trying to distance himself for reasons that he listed but he could of had someone act on his behalf.



PatPat - Nov 4, 2007 5:33 pm (#1434 of 2055)
Dumbledore did know how Harry felt about him distancing himself from him. But what else was he supposed to do? Dumbledore was correct that him having close contact with Harry would give Voldemort further reasons to break into Harry's mind. The couple of times that Harry and Dumbledore were in close contact in OoP, Voldemort rose up inside of Harry.

Dumbledore admitted that he should have told Harry sooner that Voldemort would try to lure him to the Department of Mysteries. This was not because he didn't know Harry, but because he was trying to protect him from this horrible information. He admits that this was a mistake, but can we really blame him for not wanting to put such a burden on this young boy that he loves so much?



Solitaire - Nov 9, 2007 7:51 pm (#1435 of 2055)
We know that Terry Boot (I think it was he) mentions having seen Gryffindor's sword in DD's office ... which means he was in the office for some reason. If he was there, isn't it safe to assume that kids as close to Harry as Ron and Hermione are might have gone to talk to Dumbledore about concerns? Since we only see--with a few exceptions--things that Harry sees, it isn't surprising that we do not see Dumbledore talk with Ron and Hermioine more. Just because we do not see something happen, however, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Solitaire



wynnleaf - Nov 9, 2007 8:54 pm (#1436 of 2055)
That's of course, true, if we imagine that it's all a lot of real events and people and places. But since it's in fact a book, we have to take what JKR gives us as indications of what was really going on.

For instance, we know that Harry, Ron and Hermione would, if it were all real, have far, far more conversations of an important nature than we ever see in the books. But we have to assume that anything of any importance has been conveyed to us by JKR. Otherwise, we're in a real mess trying to make sense of the books. We know that JKR is having Order meetings and other things go on that she never relates to us, because she lets us know that these meetings are happening and the Trio don't attend. But in order for us to understand the books, we have to assume that everything we need to know to understand the events of the books is somehow being told to us by the author. If the reader must imagine all sorts of meetings or events that the author never even implies occurred, in order to make events "work," then the author has not done their job well enough - at least in those instances.



Solitaire - Nov 9, 2007 9:36 pm (#1437 of 2055)
we have to assume that anything of any importance has been conveyed to us by JKR

I suppose that Dumbledore's bequests to Ron and Hermione DO suggest to me that he had more than a passing acquaintance with Ron and Hermione. I certainly have no trouble believing that Hermione, at least, took the initiative to talk to Dumbledore on her own, even if Ron did not. We know that Ron and Hermione have had conversations with each other that do not include Harry, because we saw it happen in DH. Frankly, I think it is UNrealistic to suppose that the only contact they ever had with Dumbledore took place in Harry's presence. I'm not saying it is so ... just that it makes sense to me.

Solitaire



Madam Pince - Nov 10, 2007 6:44 am (#1438 of 2055)
Except, we have that part in "The Will of Albus Dumbledore" where Ron sort of slips up:

"Would you say you were close to Dumbledore, Ronald?" asked Scrimgeour...

"Me? Not -- not really... It was always Harry who..." Ron looked around at Harry and Hermione, to see Hermione giving him a 'stop-talking-now!' sort of look, but the damage was done...

And then a few paragraphs later when Hermione is trying to cover it up:

"You're being modest, Ron," said Hermione. "Dumbledore was very fond of you."

This was stretching the truth to the breaking point; as far as Harry knew, Ron and Dumbledore had never been alone together, and direct contact between them had been negligible.

So to me, that's canon that pretty much says they're not really close. But otherwise, I would agree with you, Soli, that it's not unreasonable to assume that they may have met without Harry's (and therefore, our) knowledge, because that technique has been done elsewhere. At the end of DH when Ron and Hermione go after the cup and Harry has no idea what they're doing -- is that sort of similar? (Actually, the quote does say "as far as Harry knew" so that may cover it. And it doesn't address Hermione and Dumbledore.)

It's a bit of an ambiguous job on JKR's part though, I think, either way.



wynnleaf - Nov 10, 2007 6:53 am (#1439 of 2055)
I can't picture Ron having some separate meetings with Dumbledore and never mentioning it to Harry. Hermione might, but not Ron. In fact, given no other evidence (unless somebody remembers some more), I think those lines that Madam Pince quoted are enough canon to assume that we're to believe that in fact Harry is quite correct.



PatPat - Nov 10, 2007 6:58 am (#1440 of 2055)
This was stretching the truth to the breaking point; as far as Harry knew, Ron and Dumbledore had never been alone together, and direct contact between them had been negligible.

I think the relevant part of that statement is as far as Harry knew. We are seeing everything (well almost) from Harry's point of view, which is, I believe, Soli's point. There certainly could have been contact that we are really not aware of because it's not really relevant to the story. We actually do know that Dumbledore spoke to Ron and Hermione without Harry's presence in OoP. They tell Harry that Dumbledore "made them swear" not to tell Harry what was going on. This certainly sounds like they had spoken directly to Dumbledore. Certainly they did not have a huge amount of contact with him, but I think that's really the point. Dumbledore didn't need an enormous amount of personal contact in order to read people. Plus, we know he was watching Harry and, if he was watching Harry, he was watching Ron and Hermione because they were almost always together. This is seven years worth of information. I don't find it a stretch at all to say that he knew them well enough to foresee what would happen in DH.



haymoni - Nov 10, 2007 10:03 am (#1441 of 2055)
The only other time that I can think of Ron being with Dumbledore without Harry was when he & Hermione were called with the others for the 2nd challenge in GOF.



Solitaire - Nov 10, 2007 10:58 am (#1442 of 2055)
The whole exchange and Ron's behavior during Scrimgeour's "interview" could also be ascribed to Ron and Hermione having been sworn to secrecy in that instance, as well. It probably isn't ... but it could have been. Picture it: Dumbledore talks to Ron and Hermione about some thing or other concerning Harry while (apparently) absentmindedly fiddling with the Put-Outer. Ron would certainly pay attention to that gadget!

On the other hand, Dumbledore certainly would not have had to give Hermione any hints about reading the book. The whole school, including the staff, knew her curious mind well enough to be certain that she would not be able to resist reading it! DD surely knew she had not only the intelligence but the historical knowledge (probably being the only kid of her year who'd read Hogwarts: A History) to be able to tie the information in the book to things Harry could tell her from his talks with DD.

As PatPat says, too, if DD was watching Harry closely, he was seeing plenty of R/H, because they were with him more often than not in the "everyday" kinds of adventures and activities. True, he was usually alone when he faced Voldy, but R/H were with him in his "prep time" leading up to those confrontations. JM2K ...

Solitaire



Madam Pince - Nov 10, 2007 2:36 pm (#1443 of 2055)
For some reason I find it more likely that Dumbledore found out what "type" of students/people Ron and Hermione are from staff meetings with his professors, and from his discussions with Harry, rather than actually knowing Ron and Hermione personally. Wouldn't things like "Miss Granger reads almost obsessively" and "Mr. Weasley is likely to have a short temper and get into spats with friends, especially when stressed and hungry" be the sorts of things that would come up in the teacher's lounge? or on report cards? Big, defining personality traits of the students would be almost common knowledge, wouldn't they?

If that's so, then it wouldn't necessarily be any outstanding magical ability or extraordinary cleverness on Dumbledore's part to have given the inheritances he did. Probably anyone with a decent memory could've predicted the behavior of Ron and Hermione and thus come up with the things that were most likely to be helpful.

I don't mean to be determined to make Dumbledore "more ordinary" or anything, really. It just occurs to me that sometimes we (or at least I) forget that Hogwarts is after all a school, albeit a magical one. The teachers and staff still know pretty much what's going on, much as in our muggle schools, although the kids would probably be astounded to discover that. (Remember McGonnagal's dry wit "We teachers are rather good at magic" or whatever it was, at the end of DH... sort of the same idea.)



PeskyPixie - Nov 10, 2007 2:57 pm (#1444 of 2055)
Well, we get a glimpse of Madam Pince's theory in 'The Prince's Tale' when Snape rants about what a nasty, obnoxious little boy Harry is and DD comments that 'other teachers report that the boy is modest, likeable and reasonably talented.' I assumed that DD calls meetings with teachers to discuss students's academic progress and personality quirks.



Madam Pince - Nov 10, 2007 3:59 pm (#1445 of 2055)
Yes, Pesky -- that quote is probably my "for some reason" reason...



wynnleaf - Nov 10, 2007 11:09 pm (#1446 of 2055)
Whether or not Dumbledore had regular meetings to find out about individual student's progress, that does not appear to be what was going on in that particular meeting, as we see Dumbledore reading something else while listening to Snape go on about Harry. That particular meeting looks like an informal meeting and I get the impression that DD was well used to Snape pacing around ranting about various students. I doubt if Harry was the first, even if he was a particularly special case. I imagine Snape had various rants to DD about numerous things.

As to whether or not the headmaster would hear regular reports on all students, probably not. At least, not in schools I've been associated with. But he would hear about some students and Hermione is one that teachers probably did talk about on occasion.



Mrs. Sirius - Nov 10, 2007 11:25 pm (#1447 of 2055)
In OoTP Professor McGonagall in a meeting with Harry, asks his if he hadn't heard what Umbridge said on the opening night and he replies vaguely what he understood. McGonagall's (paraphrasing) well 'at least you listen to miss Granger".

To me this indicates that McGonagall meets with Hermione, off camera. On the one thing leads to another, staff meet with the students off camera, so logically Dumbledore meets with students at times. Earlier in POA, Hermione meets with Prof. McGonagall prior to classes starting , this is where she is given the time turner and instructions. But I also thought she must have met with Prof. McGonagall prior to that to set up her classes in the first place.

We also saw Professor Dippett meet with Tom Riddle, Terry Boot said he was in the headmasters office and weren't the twins or Lee Jordan in the office in OoTP?

Of course in GOF, Ron and Hermione are summoned to the office with out Harry. Was DD in the room when the Weasley's came to represent Harry's family in GOF before the third task?



PeskyPixie - Nov 10, 2007 11:58 pm (#1448 of 2055)
Whether or not Dumbledore had regular meetings to find out about individual student's progress, that does not appear to be what was going on in that particular meeting, as we see Dumbledore reading something else while listening to Snape go on about Harry. That particular meeting looks like an informal meeting and I get the impression that DD was well used to Snape pacing around ranting about various students. I doubt if Harry was the first, even if he was a particularly special case. I imagine Snape had various rants to DD about numerous things. -Wynnleaf

The point of my quote, Wynnleaf, is 'other teachers report that the boy is modest, likeable and reasonably talented'; Snape's rant was not my focus.

Also, I do not recall theorizing about DD hearing 'regular reports on all students'. It is my belief that he does occasionally, perhaps annually, meet with teachers to get a feel of his students. One needs to remember that if Harry's year is indicative, there are approximately only three hundred students attending Hogwarts at a time. This is a far less overwhelming number than Muggle principals/headmasters oversee, and Dumbledore is not a man of average abilities. It makes perfect sense to me that Dumbledore does make the effort to know who his students are. The moment where he addresses Derek by name demonstrates how he knows each student, not as well as Harry of course, but better than a Muggle headmaster.



PatPat - Nov 11, 2007 8:16 am (#1449 of 2055)
Well said, Pesky. I agree with you.



wynnleaf - Nov 11, 2007 8:57 am (#1450 of 2055)
Also, I do not recall theorizing about DD hearing 'regular reports on all students'. It is my belief that he does occasionally, perhaps annually, meet with teachers to get a feel of his students. (PeskyPixie)

Sorry to be unclear. That was what I supposed you meant. When I said "regular" I did not mean "often," just regular as in a systematic consideration of each student. As to whether DD meets even annually to consider each student, is I think unlikely. JKR has given the number of students at Hogwarts at about 1000 and another time 600. Dumbledore, more than more headmasters, spends a great deal of time on tasks that aren't part of his job as headmaster. It makes sense for Heads of House to given particular consideration to each of their students. That's, after all, part of their responsibility. But it seems unlikely that Dumbledore does the same. We know he does meet with other students on occasion, but it's not a common thing.
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PeskyPixie - Nov 11, 2007 9:21 am (#1451 of 2055)
I really don't take JKR's mathematical calculations too seriously (just my opinion), and if Harry's year is used as an average there is very little chance of over approx. three hundred students attending Hogwarts at a given time. I also take into consideration that the magical world is a small, hidden society. It doesn't make sense to me that hundreds of wizards graduate per year in Britain alone; seventy to one hundred per year is a more logical estimate.

The scene where Dumbledore refers to Derek by name (and the boy blushes and shakes at being addressed by Dumbledore himself) is enough proof for me that Dumbledore does what he can to know all of his students. It's not really that hard for teachers. I went back to visit my high school recently and was surprised by the fact that not only did my teachers remember me, they also remembered who my classmates were and the hopes/dreams we left high school with.



Solitaire - Nov 11, 2007 11:34 am (#1452 of 2055)
We know that Dumbledore was certainly aware that Hermione had a Time-Turner (sorry if the mention of it causes any headaches) and knew how to use it. He was also aware that Ron had gone down into the Chamber with Harry in his second year. He knows what goes on with those two!

Solitaire



rambkowalczyk - Nov 13, 2007 6:42 am (#1453 of 2055)
Dumbledore said he kept a close watch on Harry. Since Harry spent alot of time with Ron and Hermione I suspect Dumbledore was also watching Ron and Hermione.



wynnleaf - Nov 13, 2007 12:21 pm (#1454 of 2055)
The thing that bothers me about Dumbledore's supposed "close watch" on Harry is that if Dumbledore was really closely watching Harry -- that is, in a way Harry couldn't have known about -- then he certainly did let him enter into many dangerous situations for which DD had no way of knowing that he and his friends, would necessarily come through without death or serious injury.

So either DD really was keeping a "close watch," but was willing to risk Harry, Ron, and Hermione's lives repeatedly, or he wasn't truly keeping a close watch and regularly had no idea whatsoever about the highly risky ideas and actions that Harry and his friends were considering and doing.



zelmia - Nov 13, 2007 1:23 pm (#1455 of 2055)
Well, Dumbledore also thought Mundungus Fletcher could be trusted to mind his post in Privet Drive the night the Dementors attacked. So, I suppose "close watch" to Dumbledore might have a rather loose interpretation for the rest of us.



PatPat - Nov 13, 2007 2:31 pm (#1456 of 2055)
wynnleaf, this is a point that many people have made concerning Dumbledore. Was he not really watching or was he just careless with Harry's safety? The answer to the question is, IMO, in the Prince's Tale section of DH:

We have protected him because it has been essential to teach him, to raise him, to let him try his strength. (emphasis mine)

I think this is the point. Dumbledore did let Harry enter into dangerous situations, something most of us would consider completely irresponsible. BUT we have to remember that Dumbledore knew that Harry would have to face Voldemort eventually. All of the situations Harry experienced were to prepare him for what was to come. Dumbledore knew that Harry would never be able to defeat Voldemort if he was never given the opportunity to find out what his talents were and to learn about what he would be facing. We may think that this is careless, but the truth is that, without the experiences Harry had accumulated through the years, he never would have been successful in the end.



PeskyPixie - Nov 13, 2007 3:50 pm (#1457 of 2055)
I agree, PatPat.

Dumbledore is not really 'gone' when Harry confronts Quirrell in PS/SS. He lets Harry try his strength against a reduced power LV, remaining as a back-up himself. Yes, DD does panic that maybe he is a bit late coming to Harry's aid, but Harry also understands at age eleven that he has a 'right' to face Voldy. He says this to Ron and Hermione near the end of PS/SS ... someone can finish this train of thought or argue against it.

Oh, PatPat, I'm heading over to the Games thread now, right after I iron my hands.



wynnleaf - Nov 13, 2007 4:18 pm (#1458 of 2055)
Yes, but it wasn't just Harry getting into the risky situations, was it?

Even if we assume that Dumbledore was only doing what was necessary or ultimately beneficial to Harry by letting him into these risky situations (and I'm assuming here the notion that DD was keeping such a close watch that he knew about this stuff), did he really approve and accept the following risks?

1. Trying to protect the Philosopher's Stone, even though it was safe in the mirror. Harry thinks DD wanted him to attempt this as some kind of learning experience. Did DD know that LV couldn't touch Harry? After all, allowing this risk would have resulted in Harry's death were it not for the fact that LV, and therefore Quirrell, couldn't physically touch Harry.

2. Go after the Basilisk? Sure, DD may have known that Harry would stay faithful to him, which would result in Fawkes bringing the Sword of Gryffindor. Did DD likewise know that Harry could successfully use the sword to kill the Basilisk?

3. DD sent out Harry to rescue Sirius. Did he know what would happen after Harry sent out the Patronus (assuming he knew Harry did that, which is never actually explained)? How did he know that the future Harry, the one who goes back in time - not the Harry who collapsed by the lake - would avoid getting killed by the werewolf, attacked by dementors, or caught by any ministry officials and make it back to the hospital in time?

I'll stop with the first three books. But even if we assume Dumbledore knew these were the best risks for Harry to take, given the destiny which Dumbledore insisted Harry could choose to avoid, why would he be likewise comfortable with allowing Ron and Hermione to take the same risks?

In PS/SS, Ron and Hermione go protect the Stone as well. Either could have died. In COS, Ron could easily have been killed by the Basilisk, or Lockhart could have wiped his memories just as badly as he wiped his own. In POA, how did DD know that Hermione would return to the hospital unscathed? Why was it perfectly okay to send 11, 12, and 13 year old friends of Harry off into danger as well?

And then there's Ginny. Either DD knew nothing about what was going on with her, or he did know about it. Either he was completely clueless about Harry's listening to the Basilisk, the kid's search to discover what it was, the spiders, Moaning Myrtle's testimony in the toilets, and so on - which one would assume if he'd been watching very closely - or he did know about it in which case he'd know that not only was he allowing Harry free rein to stop Slytherin's monster, he was also trusting in Harry's ability to save Ginny's life, even though Harry actually only saved her by the circumstantial grabbing of the fang to stab into the book.



The Viking - Nov 24, 2007 5:03 am (#1459 of 2055)
I think considered Harry expendable, "for the greater good". That is, the person Harry was expendable. The tool Harry was not expandable, but if he considered the dangers Harry was exposed to as learning experiences, then it is all a question about weighting the risk of loosing the tool Harry in one of these incidents against the risk of Harry loosing in the end because he was not ready.

And Ron and Hermione? As individuals, they are just as expendable as Harry is, as tools they are far more so.



PatPat - Nov 25, 2007 8:26 am (#1460 of 2055)
I don't think Dumbledore thought of Harry or any of the kids as expendable, necessarily. He just knew that Harry had an enormous task ahead of him and needed to be prepared. As far as Ron and Hermione being put in danger also, wasn't it better that Harry had his friends with him at these times? There were times Harry would not have survived without them.

And as far as Harry going after the basilisk, Dumbledore can hardly be held accountable for this as he wasn't even there. He had been sent away from Hogwarts at this point.



wynnleaf - Nov 26, 2007 3:50 pm (#1461 of 2055)
I don't think Dumbledore thought of Harry or any of the kids as expendable, necessarily. He just knew that Harry had an enormous task ahead of him and needed to be prepared. As far as Ron and Hermione being put in danger also, wasn't it better that Harry had his friends with him at these times? There were times Harry would not have survived without them. (PatPat)

A good example of the point. Dumbledore wanted Harry to learn things and to live through them. If Ron and Hermione's lives were risked to keep Harry safe, well, they were expendable in the sense that their safety was not nearly as important to Dumbledore as his plans for Harry.



PeskyPixie - Nov 26, 2007 6:35 pm (#1462 of 2055)
"And here we are, risking our lives to fight the Dark Arts ... Look what he asked from me, Hermione! Risk your life, Harry! And again! And again!" -Harry Potter ranting about Albus Dumbledore in DH

Interpret as desired.



Soul Search - Nov 26, 2007 6:52 pm (#1463 of 2055)
I wonder what Dumbledore thought of Ron and Hermione? Their close association with Harry, was likely, unanticipated and could have been a serious complication in Dumbledore's plans for Harry.

In CoS, after Ron and Harry return from the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore commends Ron, but then dismisses him.

In PoA, Dumbledore gives Hermione the hint of the time turner, and seems to accept that she and Harry will rescue Buckbeak and Sirius. Was he starting to accept Hermione?

In OotP, Ron and Hermione seem to have received Dumbledore's attention, mostly getting them to promise they will not tell Harry anything. Later, he sends Hermione to get Harry over his funk about what he heard in St. Mungo's with the extendable ears. This is the closest association between Dumbledore and Ron and Hermione we know of.

In HBP he seems to accept Ron and Hermione into the horcrux fold by letting Harry tell them about what he tells Harry. At this point he must realize that separating Harry from Ron and Hermione would be difficult and could place his whole plan at risk. Yet, he must also see he was placing them at considerable risk.

At the end of Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore's portrait has a lot of good things to say to Harry, but not one word to Ron and Hermione.

I think, to Dumbledore, Ron and Hermione were just expendable "spear carriers." Unfortunate that they became involved, but otherwise not important. Did Dumbledore ever realize that without Hermione his whole plan would have failed?

Or, did he recognize the power of the trio, each making unique, important contributions, and encourage the association? I can't think of anything overt, but there could be something.



zelmia - Nov 26, 2007 11:08 pm (#1464 of 2055)
That he gave Ron and Hermione specific bequests in his will tells me that Dumbledore did indeed come to realise how integral they were to Harry; and that their own unique talents were also important to the success of Harry's overall mission.



mona amon - Nov 27, 2007 6:15 am (#1465 of 2055)
I agree! Dumbledore may have become a bit isolated over the years due to his brilliance, and he has been accused of holding all the strings and not sharing his plans with others, but he definitely recognises the power of friendship. Snape in his catty manner describes Harry's successes as sheer luck combined with help from more talented friends, but he's not that far off the mark. Harry needs Ron and Hermione, and Dumbledore knows that this will be one more weapon in his fight against Voldemort, who likes to act alone and trusts no one.

And Ron and Hermione? As individuals, they are just as expendable as Harry is, as tools they are far more so. (The Viking)

If Ron and Hermione's lives were risked to keep Harry safe, well, they were expendable in the sense that their safety was not nearly as important to Dumbledore as his plans for Harry. (Wynnleaf)

I think, to Dumbledore, Ron and Hermione were just expendable "spear carriers." Unfortunate that they became involved, but otherwise not important. Did Dumbledore ever realize that without Hermione his whole plan would have failed?

Or, did he recognize the power of the trio, each making unique, important contributions, and encourage the association? (Soul Search)

I don't feel that Dumbledore can be accused of considering Ron and Hermione as expendable. When did he ever send them on any dangerous missions or set them any life threatening tasks?



Soul Search - Nov 27, 2007 6:17 am (#1466 of 2055)
Good point, zelmia. I agree. Even more, come to think of it, Dumbledore mentioned to Harry in "King's Cross" that he relied on Hermione to slow Harry down about the Deathly Hallows. This would indicate he had included Ron and Hermione in his planning at least towards the end of HBP.

Had Dumbledore decided to include Ron and Hermione in his plans for Harry as early as OotP?

One would think, though, that Dumbledore's portrait might have made a comment or two to them. They did do rather well.



Solitaire - Nov 27, 2007 7:58 am (#1467 of 2055)
I think Dumbledore realized by the end of Harry's first year that R&H were with Harry for the long haul. He had to recognize that it took something extraordinary within those two kids to take them through the trap door with Harry into nobody knows what. If you think about it, all four of the kids recognized at that first end-of-year banquet--Harry, Hermione, Ron and Neville--played major roles in ultimately vanquishing Voldemort.

Solitaire



wynnleaf - Nov 27, 2007 11:07 am (#1468 of 2055)
I don't feel that Dumbledore can be accused of considering Ron and Hermione as expendable. When did he ever send them on any dangerous missions or set them any life threatening tasks? (mona amon)

DD directly sent Hermione into danger at the end of POA.

Further, all of the children were rewarded by DD at the end of PS/SS, even though if they had done nothing at all, the stone would have still stayed protected within the mirror. Yes, DD wanted Harry to have this experience, and I must assume the other two as he rewarded them as well. In other words, they broke rules, unnecessarily tried to "save" a stone that didn't need saving, and risked their lives. Quirrell ended up dead (perhaps he'd have died anyway) and Ron and Harry injured. And DD rewarded them.

In OOTP, the trio were again rewarded along with their friends, for rushing to the MOM to save someone who didn't need saving and who then needed to come help save them, and got killed. In addition to Sirius' death, several other people were critically injured.

Because the trio and their friends were rewarded for doing things that were both unnecessary, dangerous, and broke rules, they were therefore encouraged to continue to do just that.

The POA example is the most noteworthy to me, because DD had no way of knowing that Harry and Hermione would come through unscathed and he could have gone himself almost as easily [/b]- Maybe just as easily.

Yes, Harry had a destiny (which DD said he didn't have to fulfill), and therefore DD wanted him to experience some action I guess. But Hermione and Ron had no such destiny. DD encouraged them through direct order (POA), reward (PS/SS), and much implicit encouragement.



zelmia - Nov 27, 2007 5:35 pm (#1469 of 2055)
The POA example is the most noteworthy to me, because DD had no way of knowing that Harry and Hermione would come through unscathed...
Actually, he did.

Without getting into the complicated Time Travel business, I will say only that Dumbledore knew Harry and Hermione would come through unscathed because they already had come through unscathed. In other words, Dumbledore couldn't have sent them on the mission if they had not already succeeded - because they wouldn't be there to send if they hadn't.

Dumbledore knew that Buckbeak had "escaped" three hours earlier, which is how he know how far back to send Harry and Hermione. He also knew that a Patronus came from across the lake to drive the Dementors away. Dumbledore, the greatest wizard alive, can certainly put that kind of two and two together.



Choices - Nov 27, 2007 6:28 pm (#1470 of 2055)
That gave me a headache and I'm trying not to think about it too deeply - LOL - but, I totally agree with you Zelmia.



wynnleaf - Nov 27, 2007 6:58 pm (#1471 of 2055)
zelmia,

No, DD didn't know.

Consider. Harry and Hermione woke up in the hospital. At that point DD would have learned about a patronus that drove off the dementors, so if he deduced that it was Harry who produced the patronus, then he would know that if he sent Harry from the hospital out to rescue Sirius, Buckbeak, and in addition, to rescue himself (Harry) back at the lake, then the Harry that was sent back in time would at least live long enough to conjure the patronus. Because DD would already have known that Buckbeak had "escaped" he would also be able to deduce that when he sent Harry and Hermione back in time, they would release Buckbeak.

But DD had no way of knowing whether or not Harry would make it all the way back to the hospital alive and uninjured. And he had no way of knowing, once he sent Hermione off, whether she'd even survive up until the point where Buckbeak was released. All he knew was that one of them must have released Buckbeak and conjured the patronus, but not that both lived and came back uninjured.

At the time DD sent Harry and Hermione off, he had not gone up to see Sirius. He did not know whether or not Sirius would ultimately be released by them. So when he sent them back in time, he couldn't know that they'd survive up to that point and get back to the hospital.

Even once he went up toward the tower and discovered that Sirius had escaped, he would only know that at least one of the pair had made it that far to help Sirius. He still couldn't know that both survived, nor could he know that both would be uninjured.

Although I keep saying that DD must have known that Harry and Hermione must have at least made it far enough to do this or that, in fact Dumbledore wouldn't know that it was in fact Hermione and/or Harry doing that. He could just as easily have stood there in the hospital wing and determined to send himself back, safe in the knowledge that at least he would be able to release Buckbeak and conjure a huge patronus.

At the time he stood in the hospital wing getting ready to send someone back in time, he had no way of knowing whether, after the conjuring of the patronus, the person(s) who went back in time would continue on to rescue Sirius or run into major danger.



Choices - Nov 27, 2007 7:02 pm (#1472 of 2055)
Now I really have a headache. LOL Time travel always does this to me. :-(



zelmia - Nov 27, 2007 7:57 pm (#1473 of 2055)
Okay, I don't want to take up any more time on this because it needs to go to the Time Travel Thread.

Dumbledore knew they would both be okay because everything Harry and Hermione go back to do in their Past has already happened in their Present. This means that Harry and Hermione must have succeeded. If they hadn't, they wouldn't have been able to go back in Time in the first place.

But I don't want to digress any further so here are a couple of posts from the Time Travel Thread that explain this in greater detail:

Time Travel Explanation 1

Time Travel Explanation 2

Time Travel Explanation 3

Time Travel Explanation 4

Time Travel Explanation 5



wynnleaf - Nov 27, 2007 8:36 pm (#1474 of 2055)
I read the posts listed and none of them apply to what Dumbledore knew of what would occur to Harry and Hermione -- especially to Hermione.

Dumbledore knew they would both be okay because everything Harry and Hermione go back to do in their Past has already happened in their Present. This means that Harry and Hermione must have succeeded. If they hadn't, they wouldn't have been able to go back in Time in the first place. (zelmia)

It is true that what occurred in the past had already happened. However, DD has no idea who it happened to (because until he sent them, he didn't know whether it was H and H or himself back in time), nor does he know what all might happen to them. As far as Dumbledore knew, the only things that had already happened in their present were that someone had cast a huge patronus and someone had released Buckbeak. In fact, DD didn't even know for certain that either of those events were caused by someone going back in time. And even if he surmised that they had been done by someone going back in time, he had no way of knowing for certain who went back in time. It was only once he made his decision to send back Harry and Hermione that he could be sure who went.

And DD didn't know if Harry and Hermione did anything after the casting of the huge patronus.

After all, the point that Harry and Hermione return to the hospital wing is after DD sends them off. DD has no certain knowledge that they'll return until he later sees them return (or is that just the film?). In any case, it is only after they return that he knows they return.

If all time travel (in JKR's world) involved the certain knowledge that whoever you send back in time must naturally reappear safe and hale and hardy, then that would be the perfect solution to almost any unfortunate incident. And there would be not the slightest reason for DD's warning either.



mona amon - Nov 27, 2007 9:08 pm (#1475 of 2055)
Now I really have a headache. LOL Time travel always does this to me. :-( Choices

LOL, me too!

But DD had no way of knowing whether or not Harry would make it all the way back to the hospital alive and uninjured. And he had no way of knowing, once he sent Hermione off, whether she'd even survive up until the point where Buckbeak was released. All he knew was that one of them must have released Buckbeak and conjured the patronus, but not that both lived and came back uninjured. (Wynnleaf)

I think this makes the most sense to me.

The POA example is the most noteworthy to me, because DD had no way of knowing that Harry and Hermione would come through unscathed and he could have gone himself almost as easily [/b]- Maybe just as easily.

Hermione was authorised by the ministry to use a time turner. Maybe Dumbledore couldn't do any time travelling himself because he was not authorised? Anyway, I don't think he felt it was a life-threatening mission he was sending the kids on. All they had to do was release Beaky and use him to rescue Sirius. The place was swarming with Dementors and there was a werewolf on the rampage, but we cannot judge that by muggle standards. Hogwarts was just having a slightly more exciting day than usual! And he knew Hermione would follow the rules and use the time turner correctly, and he knew Harry could protect both of them from Dementors.



zelmia - Nov 28, 2007 1:21 am (#1476 of 2055)
The point I was getting at is that Dumbledore knew that it would be okay to send both Harry and Hermione back in Time - and that they would both be okay - because he already had sent them back.

How did Dumbledore know he didn't go back himself? Well, for one thing, because he had figured out that it was Harry who cast the Patronus across the lake. Remember, Dumbledore recalled the essence of Harry's Patronus at the Quidditch match, so that meant that Harry, at least, had to have been sent back. It would follow that Hermione would be sent as well, being the one with the Time Turner and being able to advise Harry on the technical aspects of using it since she had been all year.



mona amon - Nov 28, 2007 4:55 am (#1477 of 2055)
The point I was getting at is that Dumbledore knew that it would be okay to send both Harry and Hermione back in Time - and that they would both be okay - because he already had sent them back.

Not necessarily, Zelmia, because there were actually two Hermiones and two Harrys co-existing in that particular time period-- the three hours from the time they go to visit Hagrid upto the time Dumbledore announces that he's about to lock the door to the hospital wing. Nothing could have happened to 'normal time' Hermione and Harry, or there would be no 'time travelling' Hermione and Harry, but the opposite isn't true.

Let us assume that 'time travelling' Harry and Hermione dropped dead in the forest after Harry cast the Patronus. Nothing would have happened to 'normal time' H&H, who were lying near the lake. They would have been taken to the Hospital wing, and Dumbledore would have sent them back in time. The difference would have been that when he turned around after making his announcement about locking the door, there would have been no Harry and Hermione running towards him.



wynnleaf - Nov 28, 2007 5:34 am (#1478 of 2055)
Let us assume that 'time travelling' Harry and Hermione dropped dead in the forest after Harry cast the Patronus. Nothing would have happened to 'normal time' H&H, who were lying near the lake. They would have been taken to the Hospital wing, and Dumbledore would have sent them back in time. The difference would have been that when he turned around after making his announcement about locking the door, there would have been no Harry and Hermione running towards him. (mona amon)

Exactly.

And as regards DD knowing whose patronus it was, I don't see how he could have known. As far as we know, he neither saw the patronus, nor was out in the forest examining any after effects. At the time he sent out Harry and Hermione with the timeturner, all he knew was that a powerful patronus had been used, not any specifics that would help him identify who cast it.



Solitaire - Nov 28, 2007 7:42 am (#1479 of 2055)
Hadn't Dumbledore seen Harry's stag once before, at a Quidditch game? I can't remember, and I'm too lazy to get up and go into the other room and get my book.



Soul Search - Nov 28, 2007 7:44 am (#1480 of 2055)
We still have the hint that Dumbledore knew what was going on, even as early as when he intentionally delayed Fudge and McNair from leaving Hagrid's hut to allow Hermione and Harry time to get Buckbeak. My thought was he saw Hermione and Harry through the window and figured out what was going on.

Even if he did see them, he still couldn't be sure that sending them back in time would be completely safe.

Doesn't Dumbledore tell Harry in "King's Cross" that he "let him try his wings," or something like that. The idea being that Harry, even at the young age of eleven, had to have some exercises to develop his skills in preparation for the horcrux hunt.

In my earlier post I wondered if Dumbledore had included Ron and Hermione in his plans for Harry as early as OotP. Subsequent posts have convinced me Dumbledore included them much earlier, perhaps as early as after the troll incident in SS.

Saying that, I am not sure exactly what "included them" means. I can't see where he encouraged them, other than the "rewards" wynnleaf points out. I do note that circumstances always kept Ron and Hermione from facing Voldmeort, even at the end. Only Harry ever faced old ultimate evil.



Choices - Nov 28, 2007 12:15 pm (#1481 of 2055)
Mona Amon - "Maybe Dumbledore couldn't do any time travelling himself because he was not authorised?"

Since when does Dumbledore need "permission" to do anything? He has never before let lack of permission stop him from accomplishing what he deemed necessary.

I really don't want to add to the argument, but my opinion is that Dumbledore knew exactly what was going on from start to finish. :-)



PeskyPixie - Nov 28, 2007 12:27 pm (#1482 of 2055)
Well, Dumbledore is pretty sure that if Hermione and Harry both put their strengths to use, the mission is not an impossible one.

However, one mustn't deny that a certain danger element remains whenever one travels in time. This is why JKR provides us with info (via Hermione) of past selves killing their own future selves. 'Being seen' is the ultimate danger of time-travelling. Add to this the dementors, werewolf and CAPSLOCK Snape ; Harry and Hermione do have much to be alert about in addition to saving Sirius and Buckbeak. But Dumbledore is quite sure that these two kids are more than capable.

ETA: I would assume that DD is unable to time-travel at that time because he is busy with Ministry officials that day. Any prolonged absences would be noticed, even by idiots like Fudge.



wynnleaf - Nov 28, 2007 3:30 pm (#1483 of 2055)
ETA: I would assume that DD is unable to time-travel at that time because he is busy with Ministry officials that day. Any prolonged absences would be noticed, even by idiots like Fudge. (PeskyPixie)

But from the perspective of the present time people, whoever is gone -- Harry and Hermione or Dumbledore -- would only be gone for a few seconds. So if DD had gone back himself, he'd have just needed to return to the Hospital by moments after he used the timeturner. Then he could have proceeded on to catch up with Fudge and the others and "discover" that Sirius had escaped.



zelmia - Nov 28, 2007 4:20 pm (#1484 of 2055)
The reason Dumbledore couldn't go back is because he didn't go back.



wynnleaf - Nov 28, 2007 8:33 pm (#1485 of 2055)
The reason Dumbledore couldn't go back is because he didn't go back. (zelmia)

Assuming that if someone goes back at all, it's all a big kind of foreordained loop, that's correct.

But that really isn't the question, is it? The whole point under discussion is Dumbledore's decision. At the point he made the decision of who (or anyone) to send back, he didn't know what was going to happen. It's his decision that's important in this case, because what is under discussion is Dumbledore's willingness to risk the lives of children in order to meet the goals he feels are necessary.



PeskyPixie - Nov 29, 2007 11:53 am (#1486 of 2055)
Time travel discussions give me a headache.



zelmia - Nov 29, 2007 2:27 pm (#1487 of 2055)
Dumbledore didn't make a decision to risk anyone's lives. He sent Harry and Hermione back in time because he already had. The fact that they were both there - at midnight - in the first place to send back in time proves that they were successful in their mission.

If something had happened to Harry and/or Hermione at any point in the Time Loop, there wouldn't be a Harry and/or Hermione there at midnight to send back. Remember it's a point in Time they have to return to, not a location. If Harry and/or Hermione hadn't returned to that point in Time (midnight) - if they had been killed after Harry conjured the Patronus, say - then they wouldn't be there at midnight to be able to leave in the first place.

The 2 Harrys/Hermiones exist only in the Time Loop - which only lasts until midnight. After that point in Time - midnight - the Loop rejoins with the rest of the Timeline either with or without Harry/Hermione. The fact that they are both there at the point where the Loop reconnects - midnight - means that nothing happens to either of them.

So Dumbledore knew that the kids would be fine. What he did not know, until Harry and Hermione told him, was whether or not they would be able to release Sirius successfully.



PeskyPixie - Nov 29, 2007 2:42 pm (#1488 of 2055)
I think I follow your argument, Zelmia, but how does the fact that some wizards have killed their own future selves fall into this? I figured the most dangerous aspect of Dumbledore's mission for Harry and Hermione is not being seen by their past selves.



wynnleaf - Nov 29, 2007 3:06 pm (#1489 of 2055)
Pesky has an excellent point. If you were correct zelmia, then anyone who goes back in time would be guaranteed to survive just based on the fact that they were standing there with the timeturner ready to go back in the first place.

Clearly, in JKR's world, you can die when you go back.

And if Harry and Hermione had gone back in time and been killed following the sending out of the patronus, their previous selves would still have woken up in the hospital, talked to DD, and been sent back in time to die.

DD did not know that they would survive. That is the entire point. In JKR's world (and in my opinion, logically speaking), you can die when you go back in time. DD had not yet seen Harry and Hermione after their return, therefore he had no proof that they'd make it through. All he knew was that by sending them back, Buckbeak would be rescued and the patronus would be cast. He had no knowledge of their safety after that point.

On a personal note, my philosophical viewpoint of life is that everything is ordained and there are, technically, no "ifs." However, in no way do I think that any person's decisions are therefore justified simply because something or another will or must happen. "What will be, will be" is no justification or excuse for any decision.



mona amon - Nov 29, 2007 9:02 pm (#1490 of 2055)
If something had happened to Harry and/or Hermione at any point in the Time Loop, there wouldn't be a Harry and/or Hermione there at midnight to send back. Remember it's a point in Time they have to return to, not a location. If Harry and/or Hermione hadn't returned to that point in Time (midnight) - if they had been killed after Harry conjured the Patronus, say - then they wouldn't be there at midnight to be able to leave in the first place. (Zelmia)

Zelmia, I do not know if it was midnight or not, but the point of time you refer to, when the time loop begins (or ends?) is immediately after Hermione turns the Time-turner. If 'time travelling' Harry and Hermione had been killed at some point, 'normal time' Harry and Hermione would still be there to turn the time-turner. So until she actually turns the time turner, Dumbledore can have absolutely no idea whether they will return or not.



Meoshimo - Nov 29, 2007 11:37 pm (#1491 of 2055)
"Where am I?" asked Billy Pilgrim

"Trapped in another blob of amber, Mr. Pilgrim. We are where we have to be just now--three hundred million miles from Earth, bound for a time warp which will get us to Tralfamadore in hours rather than centuries."

"How- how did I get here?"

"It would take another Earthling to explain it to you. Earthlings are the great explainers, explaining why this event is structured as it is, telling how other events may be achieved or avoided. I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is . Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber."

-Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-five



The Viking - Nov 30, 2007 6:12 am (#1492 of 2055)
When I said that Harry, Hermione and Ron are expendable to DD it is because I see in the old DD, as he himself did in the young DD, a willingness to do almost anything for the "common good".

I have issues with DD letting Harry live with a family that despised him for 10 years+ and expose him to all kinds of dangers and suffering at school, only because he needed him to fight and die for the greater good. Untill the end of book 4, DD must have considered Harry's death inevitable, and his main concern was to make that death as usefull as possible.

Ron and Hermione was not as essential to his plan in the outset, but in the last books DD is well aware of Harry's dependency on the trio, and he does nothing to prevent them from following Harry, and thus expose them self to dangers.

DD does consider his soldiers as expendable, as shown when he tells Snape to leak information about the Order going to get Harry, thus causing the Death of Moody.

Moody was in effect scarified to maintain Snape's cover story. DD did accept that Ron and/or Hermione might suffer a similar fate, but took the risk in order to keep Harry able to perform his own sacrifice.

It is all a big chess game, and DD as the supreme chess master is willing to sacrify any piece, including himself, to win.



wynnleaf - Nov 30, 2007 8:31 am (#1493 of 2055)
It is all a big chess game, and DD as the supreme chess master is willing to sacrify any piece, including himself, to win. (The Viking)

I do think it's important to remember that Dumbledore treats himself in the same manner, in the sense that he's willing to sacrifice himself for the cause as well. It concerns me that as a Headmaster, with the responsibility to protect the children, he is willing to sacrifice children.



PeskyPixie - Nov 30, 2007 9:04 am (#1494 of 2055)
I find parallels between Dumbledore's decisions regarding the safety of his students similar to an idea attributed to Gandhi. Supposedly Gandhi did not believe violence needed to be used against even the Nazis because the most important thing was to incite some change for the better in them. In his eyes the victims would all go 'on' safely without any damage to their souls; there are many things worse than death in the world.

Although Dumbledore is not a pacifist to this degree, his concern for saving Draco's soul often overshadows the safety of innocent students who may be sacrificed to Draco's careless, murderous plots in HBP. I suppose it takes a certain kind of wisdom to regard things in this manner, but I personally am nowhere near such a level of enlightenment. I love Dumbledore, but feel he does get a bit careless in his final year of life.



Barbara J - Nov 30, 2007 9:51 am (#1495 of 2055)
I have issues with DD letting Harry live with a family that despised him for 10 years+ and expose him to all kinds of dangers and suffering at school, only because he needed him to fight and die for the greater good.

So do I!

Until the end of book 4, DD must have considered Harry's death inevitable, and his main concern was to make that death as usefull as possible.

My sense was that he considered Harry's death a possibility, but that the day of reckoning was still far enough away that other possibilities might arise as well. This is just from my feeling about DD as being someone who is constantly assessing and reassessing. He also made as close a study as possible of Tom Riddle/LV and I think we can assume that part of that was eagerly looking for any weaknesses that might turn the tide in Harry's favor. But yes, until the end of GoF, he had not seen any other possibility clearly.

Ron and Hermione was not as essential to his plan in the outset, but in the last books DD is well aware of Harry's dependency on the trio, and he does nothing to prevent them from following Harry, and thus expose them self to dangers.

True, but I think by then DD -- the consummate loner -- had realized that Harry could not "go it alone." They weren't just following Harry, they were making it more likely that he would succeed.

DD does consider his soldiers as expendable, as shown when he tells Snape to leak information about the Order going to get Harry, thus causing the Death of Moody.

Well, any commander is going to have to give orders that COULD result in someone's death. It does not mean they regard the individuals as expendable. Snape leaked that information to preserve his standing with LV -- if Snape had convinced LV that he still had contacts within the Order, it would have been extremely suspicious had he not known something about the plan. Moody's death was possible, but so was his survival.

It is all a big chess game, and DD as the supreme chess master is willing to sacrify any piece, including himself, to win.

I agree with you about the sacrifice...I just don't agree that it's all a game.



The Viking - Nov 30, 2007 12:15 pm (#1496 of 2055)
My sense was that he considered Harry's death a possibility, but that the day of reckoning was still far enough away that other possibilities might arise as well.

I do agree that DD probably was looking for and hoping for a way to let Harry survive, but he did in fact set Harry off on a path where, if nothing unexpected happened, would make Harry's sole purpose in life be to sacrifice himself according to DD's plan.

True, but I think by then DD -- the consummate loner -- had realized that Harry could not "go it alone." They weren't just following Harry, they were making it more likely that he would succeed.

Yes, but that is my exact point: DD had little qualms about letting them risk their lives, in order to increase the chances that Harry would fulfill DD's secret plan.

Well, any commander is going to have to give orders that COULD result in someone's death. It does not mean they regard the individuals as expendable.

Well, in one sense you can hardly be an general without regarding soldiers expandable, war is all about people dying to achieve an objective. But my point is that when my superiors give me a mission, I expect them to be frank about the risks involved, and to make every effort to reduce the risks and improve the chances for success.

If my commanding officer leaks information of my mission to the enemy, and thus endangers my mission, and also endangers my and my men's life, I would feel betrayed. If it was for a very good reason, I might or might not forgive him, but I would feel betrayed.

Would Marietta's betrayal be OK if there was a very important reason to protect her mothers position at the ministry? Is a betrayal simply an betrayal, or is any means justifiable as long as the end is important enough?

In my view DD does a number of very questionable things, but for very good reason. Does the end justify the means? I think it was Jo's intention to leave this question open.

I agree with you about the sacrifice...I just don't agree that it's all a game.

Jo herself used Ron's chess game and his self sacrifice in PS to foreshadow the end of the story. I called it a chess game because the pieces are just moving around according to the chess master's instructions. The chess master does not play for fun, the stakes are to high for that, but still he treats his people as chess pieces.



PeskyPixie - Nov 30, 2007 1:56 pm (#1497 of 2055)
I'm sorry for interrupting the flow of the current discussion, but I wondered whether Dumbledore really wants to keep Snape away from the Dark Arts as much as possible for fear of a relapse, or whether that whole line of thought simply serves as an excellent cover story for why Snape doesn't get the DADA job for so many years, and also to demonstrate to LV that a certain level of distrust exists between the two men?



The Viking - Nov 30, 2007 2:13 pm (#1498 of 2055)
I always found it strange that Dumbledore trusted Snape totally, and still refused him the DA post. I do not really believe he feared a relapse.

But perhaps he regarded Snape to valuable an asset in his plans for Harry to allow Snape to face Voldemort's curse on the DA post?

Your idea that DD wanted to appear to have some distrust in Snape for tactical reasons also makes sense to me.



PeskyPixie - Nov 30, 2007 2:16 pm (#1499 of 2055)
Well, DD couldn't really give Snape the DADA post due to LV's curse on the position. I just wondered whether others feel DD's supposed concern of a relapse on Snape's part is real or just an attempt to create an illusion of distrust between the two allies.



wynnleaf - Nov 30, 2007 7:05 pm (#1500 of 2055)
It may be that when DD first hired Snape (apparently a couple of months before Voldemort's downfall), he told Snape that the reason he was putting him in the potions position was because the DADA position could be tempting. He might not have immediately told Snape about the curse. Or Snape may have known about the curse, but thought LV would break it if Snape was put in the DADA position.

However, I think the primary reason in DD's move was that he didn't want to risk Snape in the cursed position, because then Snape would have to leave Hogwarts. Snape had to be at Hogwarts both while LV was first alive, and later because DD knew LV would likely come back. And being at Hogwarts was the perfect way for Snape to be a double agent and stay close to DD without blowing his Death Eater cover to LV.

I think the primary reason for putting Snape in the DADA position in HBP was because DD wanted Slughorn at Hogwarts. That meant he had to move Snape out of the potions positions. He could easily place him in the DADA position because of the longstanding story they'd put out that Snape wanted that position (he probably commented constantly to DD that he could do it better), and because DD knew that Snape would probably have to leave anyway at the end of the year.

But it's interesting to note that the DADA curse did not force Snape to leave Hogwarts for good. Sure he left after AKing Dumbledore, but he was right back again within months to take the Headmaster position.
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zelmia - Nov 30, 2007 8:09 pm (#1501 of 2055)
It's the position itself that is cursed. No DADA teacher has lasted in that position longer than a year. True, since Harry's time, they've all died or left Hogwarts altogether. But I didn't understand that to be intrisic to the Curse.



Solitaire - Nov 30, 2007 10:00 pm (#1502 of 2055)
My sense was that he considered Harry's death a possibility, but that the day of reckoning was still far enough away that other possibilities might arise as well.

I've always believed that Dumbledore probably wanted to postpone the inevitable confrontation until Harry had the necessary strength, confidence, skill, emotional maturity, and information to meet Voldemort in the final battle. True, Harry has faced him on several occasions and managed to escape. But DD knew that eventually they must meet in a "fight to the death," and I think he wanted Harry to have every edge he could possibly give him. JM2K ...

Solitaire



Steve Newton - Dec 1, 2007 3:47 am (#1503 of 2055)
Harry's death was certainly inevitable if Dumbledore had done nothing. It was hard work but Harry had to be ready or he would have been killed easily. Probably also the mudblood and the blood traitor.



The Viking - Dec 1, 2007 4:22 am (#1504 of 2055)
Harry was a horcrux and thus had to die. No amount of training and preparation could change that. Only LV's own mistake did.

As I see it, DD's training was not aimed at helping Harry to survive, but at condition him into being willing to sacrifice himself.



Soul Search - Dec 1, 2007 10:10 am (#1505 of 2055)
"DD's training was not aimed at helping Harry to survive, but at condition him into being willing to sacrifice himself." (The Viking)

I agree, although it is not evident from the storyline until "The Prince's Tale." Even knowing it and re-reading I haven't been able to pick up more than vague hints that Dumbledore knew Harry had to die. The only bits that might be hints are the "glint" in Dumbledore's eyes at the end of GoF when Harry tells him Voldemort used Harry's blood for his new body and that business of "walking into the arena with head held high" at the end of OotP.

Dumbledore had to have been in a real quandary. Dumbledore had heard a prophecy about Voldemort's eventual destruction. At some point he knew Voldemort had made multiple horcruxes, that Harry was a horcrux, that Voldemort would come back, and that Harry fit the prophecy for his defeat. But it didn't make sense that the one to "defeat the Dark Lord" had to die (horcrux) before that could happen.

It was Voldemort using Harry's blood that showed Dumbledore how it could all work out. So, from the end of GoF on, Dumbledore was preparing Harry for both sacrificing himself and defeating Voldemort. Harry had to be prepared to do both.

It might have also been then that Dumbledore realized that Ron and Hermione would also have to be part of the plan.



Choices - Dec 1, 2007 10:47 am (#1506 of 2055)
Reading the above posts made me think about the wisdom of placing Harry with the Dursleys. He really had a terrible childhood, he had nothing, was unloved and downtrodden. Basically he had nothing to lose. If you want someone to be willing to sacrifice himself , you give him nothing to live for - no loving parents, a rotten childhood, a godfather who dies before you really get to know him, school mates who are jealous and suspicious, a teacher who is mean and spiteful, etc. When the time comes, Harry goes willingly because he has had so much pain and disappointment in his life he really sees no reason to continue living. Why not just let it all end? Had he been the pampered little prince, loved and adored and spoiled by all, it would have been much harder to give up his life. Does this make any sense?



Soul Search - Dec 1, 2007 11:03 am (#1507 of 2055)
Choices, it does make sense. The only things that might have kept Harry from sacrificing himself were his friends and love interest. But, when the time came, they were all at considerable risk from Voldemort; had Harry not gone into the forest seeking Voldemort, Voldemort would have likely killed everyone there, especially targeting Harry's friends.

Choices, your "Basically he had nothing to lose" comment has started me wondering. Did Dumbledore set things up so Harry had nothing to lose? More than just leaving him at the Dursleys. Could Dumbledore have prevented any of the tragedy in Harry's life, but chose not to so Harry would more easily sacrifice himself? For example, Dumbledore didn't seem to go too far out of his way to protect Lily and James.



Choices - Dec 1, 2007 11:08 am (#1508 of 2055)
Soul Search, re your last paragraph - that is exactly what I am wondering.



zelmia - Dec 1, 2007 12:40 pm (#1509 of 2055)
Dumbledore didn't seem to go too far out of his way to protect Lily and James. - Oh, I have to disagree with this. He offered to be their Secret Keeper. You can't really do any better than that if you're looking for the ultimate protection. But they turned him down.



PeskyPixie - Dec 1, 2007 2:20 pm (#1510 of 2055)
I agree with Zelmia.

I've mentioned this on the Sirius Black thread, but after Snape's confession and plea to Dumbledore, Dumbledore offers the Potters a protection which would have guaranteed their safety. Sirius' and James' decision to turn down Dumbledore's offer to be James and Lily's Secret Keeper ultimately brings about their deaths. Dumbledore does all in his power to save their lives.



wynnleaf - Dec 1, 2007 2:32 pm (#1511 of 2055)
Prior to the Potter's deaths, DD could not have known that their deaths would be necessary to make their son the person who could defeat LV. So it makes sense that DD would want to protect the Potters as much as possible.

It was only after their deaths, and his realization that LV had created a horcrux in Harry, that he'd start to see Harry's life differently.

At that point, I'm not certain of his decision to place Harry with the Dursleys. Initially, I can see it being purely for protection. But later it should have become fairly apparent that they were terrible foster parents for Harry. So why did Dumbledore leave him there?

Personally, I can't buy the notion that there was no other safe place for Harry to be.



PeskyPixie - Dec 1, 2007 2:53 pm (#1512 of 2055)
Doesn't the ancient 'blood sacrifice' magic turn 4 Privet Dr. into the safest place in the world for Harry Potter? I assumed that Dumbledore doesn't interfere too much as he's grateful that these foul wretches have agreed to let the boy call this safe place home. The lack of care also prepares him for his mission, but I doubt that even with love he'd be ruined. On the contrary, Harry's childhood could turn him into a nasty, power-hungry piece of work, especially upon entering the magical world as a 'celebrity'. Just look at the issues Snape has which stem from his rotten childhood. However, Harry is by nature a loving, caring person; he has a lot of Lily in him.

I don't feel Dumbledore places him in harsh surroundings as a little child to condition him for his ultimate mission.



Soul Search - Dec 1, 2007 3:58 pm (#1513 of 2055)
wynnleaf is right about the Potters' deaths. Until Godric's Hollow, Harry wasn't a horcrux and the prophecy could have applied to him or Neville. I chose a wrong example.

We have kicked this around before, but it might be worth a brief re-visit in the context of Dumbledore "conditioning" Harry for his inevitable fate. We have that "watched more closely" reference so have to conclude Dumbledore knew what was going on at the Dursleys. Yes, Harry did rise above his torment there, but was that a foregone conclusion? Why did Dumbledore not try to make Harry's life any easier? The "conditioning" factor fits.



PeskyPixie - Dec 1, 2007 5:52 pm (#1514 of 2055)
What could Dumbledore do to make Harry's life easier? Dumbledore doesn't want to do anything to jeopardize Harry's 'welcome' at 4 Privet Drive. The only time he steps in is when Harry is being tossed out in OotP. The conditioning factor is certainly of relevance, by I don't feel it's some brilliantly master-minded part of a grander scheme. It helped, to a degree.



zelmia - Dec 1, 2007 10:01 pm (#1515 of 2055)
Dumbledore only left Harry there because of the Blood Sacrifice Charm. He explains all this to Harry (and us) in either OP or HBP; that though there were plenty of wizarding families who would have been more than happy to take Harry, Dumbledore had to place him with the Dursleys to ensure the highest protection.

Again, it's the best he could offer to protect Harry, even though the Dursleys were horrible people.



wynnleaf - Dec 2, 2007 7:22 am (#1516 of 2055)
What good did the blood sacrifice charm actually do, though? I know this has been discussed a great deal in the past. There seems to be the protection that was directly from Lily's sacrifice -- it protected Harry from the AK, and it protected him from Quirrell/LV's touch in PS/SS. But it didn't protect him from diary horcrux/Riddle almost killing him in COS, or from LV almost killing him in GOF (only the wands protected him from LV's AK).

I think the blood charms protect Harry while he's living at Privet Drive. But that kind of begs the question of why keep him at Privet Drive at all, especially after he'd started at Hogwarts? And then in later books, he only goes to Privet Drive for a few weeks each summer. It's like he goes to Privet Drive so he can have a few weeks of blood protection and be safe at Privet Drive? What's the point? Like in DH, if he could go to the Burrow and be safe, why go to Privet Drive at all and end up having to have that risky departure which cost a life?

As regards whether Dumbledore could have made life easier for Harry, I think he could have done so. If Dumbledore could send a letter to Petunia and convince her to keep Harry in OOTP, or if he could visit in HBP and the Dursleys were clearly in a bit of fear of him, why couldn't he have used his influence to get them to treat Harry a bit better when he was younger?

The Dursleys were never going to actually like Harry and be loving toward him, but Dumbledore's influence could have helped his situation to a large degree, nevertheless.



Soul Search - Dec 2, 2007 7:50 am (#1517 of 2055)
I have always thought the storyline of Harry having no close relations and having to live with the horrible Dursleys was a bit weak. It seemed JKR wanted the "poor, downtrodden, Harry Potter rises above all that to become a hero" part of the story, but didn't really flesh it all out enough. We did see in Deathly Hallows that Petunia was a part of the early story, but not a particularly important one.

I think we just have to accept that JKR wanted Harry to be mistreated ... and still turn out alright.



Orion - Dec 2, 2007 1:29 pm (#1518 of 2055)
Harry had to go somewhere during the summer break, and he didn't have another place to go. The school apparently used to close down completely during the summer weeks. So Harry would have been an easy target during the summer break without the Hogwarts security charms. Only the special security placed on Privet Drive through the family protection magic got him through summer unharmed.

Apart from that, I agree with Soul Search. Harry invites the reader to identify with him, because he is in a far worse place than most of his readers (I sincerely hope), but he still turns out to be morally incorruptible person who succeeds triumphantly in the end.



PeskyPixie - Dec 2, 2007 2:51 pm (#1519 of 2055)
I agree, Orion, (double shock !!!!!!!! ). I'm straying a bit from DD, but three boys have dismal childhoods: Tom Riddle Jr., Severus Snape and Harry Potter.

Harry is by nature an extremely 'good' person. I don't feel 'conditioning' was necessary to make him willing to stand up to the Dark Lord. Being the person that he naturally is, the murder of his parents and the number of lives ruined due to LV and his Death Eaters, coupled with knowledge of the prophecy, is enough to make Harry desperate to stop them. DD correctly judges him in King's Cross as a highly unselfish being.



mona amon - Dec 2, 2007 8:46 pm (#1520 of 2055)
What good did the blood sacrifice charm actually do, though? Wynnleaf)

I think Lily's sacrifice protected Harry from direct attack by Voldemort. He could not AK him or even touch him. The sacrifice could not protect him from anyone other than Voldemort, and it could not protect him from the Basilisk that he set on him in CoS. Then, at the end of GOF, Voldemort uses some of Harry's blood to regenerate, and Harry is no longer protected from Voldemort.

The Privet Drive protection is different. It did not automatically result from Lily's sacrifice. It was a charm that Dumbledore put on the house, taking advantage of Lily's sacrifice. This protection continued even after Voldemort used Harry's blood to regenerate, and it not only protected Harry from LV, but from his Death-Eaters as well. "...my priority was to keep you alive. You were in more danger than perhaps anyone but I realised. Voldemort had been vanquished hours before, but his supporters- and many of them are almost as terrible as he- were still at large, angry, desperate and violent." OOTP, Chapter 37.



jo bot - Dec 3, 2007 4:50 pm (#1521 of 2055)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the Longbottoms Crucio-ed to insanity after LV's downfall? I think that this shows that the danger didn't pass when LV did. Therefore, there was a need for protection from that moment on.

As regards whether Dumbledore could have made life easier for Harry, I think he could have done so. If Dumbledore could send a letter to Petunia and convince her to keep Harry in OOTP, or if he could visit in HBP and the Dursleys were clearly in a bit of fear of him, why couldn't he have used his influence to get them to treat Harry a bit better when he was younger? -wynnleaf

On the playground, when teachers confront bullies, what happens when the teacher isn't looking?



legolas returns - Dec 3, 2007 5:05 pm (#1522 of 2055)
People were wondering why Harry had to return to Privet Drive at the end of the school year.

It gave Harry a breathing space and time to work things out in his head. Between 5th and 6th year he had some time to mourne Sirius and become more determined in his quest. He also had time to recover from battles. Nobody could touch him in Privet Drive.

You can point someone in the correct direction, give them pointers and encourage them but ultimately the person has to have the will to do something. Harry already had the burning desire to get rid of Voldemort/stop him regardless of the risk to himself and Dumbledore gave him the tools/oppertunity to do this. I dont think that Dumbledore expected Harry to be as he was. "I never dreamed that I would have such a person on my hands"-He says this in OOP before telling him about the prophecy.

How did Dumbledore know that Harry would turn out to be a good guy? Harry and Voldemort both grew up with a lack of love. Harry could have been just as evil and terrible as Voldemort.

Making Harrys life at Privet Drive easier-I think it would have been noticed if Dumbledore interfeered to much. It would go beyond the bounds of "normal headmaster/pupil relationship". It probably would come to the attention of Voldemort. Saying that Harry could have had a much more pleasant time.



wynnleaf - Dec 3, 2007 8:57 pm (#1523 of 2055)
On the playground, when teachers confront bullies, what happens when the teacher isn't looking? (jo bot)

But if the teacher only looks, but never says anything or does anything to try and stop the bullying, it hardly matters whether the teacher is ever looking or not.

Making Harrys life at Privet Drive easier-I think it would have been noticed if Dumbledore interfeered to much. It would go beyond the bounds of "normal headmaster/pupil relationship". It probably would come to the attention of Voldemort. (legolas returns)

Why does it matter if LV (who only came back at the end of Harry's 4th year), learned that Dumbledore had helped to ensure that Harry's family took good care of him? Why does it matter if anyone found out about that?



PeskyPixie - Dec 3, 2007 11:15 pm (#1524 of 2055)
Is it not entirely possible that interference from Dumbledore could result in the Dursleys saying they want no part in this experiment and Dumbledore is free to take this freak with him wherever he pleases? Dumbledore only interferes in OotP when Vernon Dursley threatens to throw Harry out of the house. I find it quite believable that he'd want to maintain some sort of peace as long as Harry is allowed to call 4 Privet Dr. his home. I understand this is not canon and I have no proof for it. It's just an opinion.



mona amon - Dec 4, 2007 5:43 am (#1525 of 2055)
Pesky, I think you're right. Aunt Petunia cannot be forced to take care of Harry, it had to be voluntary. And it was absolutely essential to Dumbledore's plans that she give Harry house room. He's not really in a position to interfere with how the Dursleys treat Harry.



Soul Search - Dec 4, 2007 9:05 am (#1526 of 2055)
In PoA (with Aunt Marge,) and other times, there is mention that Harry "should have gone to an orphanage." My read was that Vernon wanted to send Harry to an orphanage but Petunia felt obligated to keep him. In OotP it is Vernon who wants to throw Harry out, with Petunia, after a howler from Dumbledore, insisting he must stay.

We have developed a number of theories as to why the Dursleys kept Harry, but with no new information in Deathly Hallows must conclude that it was just Petunia trying to live up to an obligation to Lily. And not much more.

Any overt interference from Dumbledore and he just might have had Harry tossed back at him. I do note that Dumbledore just left Harry on the doorstep; had Dumbledore come to the door in the morning, Harry in his arms, the Dursleys would have likely said NO.

Even Mrs. Figg was best kept a secret. Had the Dursleys discovered she represented Dumbledore, she might have had Harry as a permanent house guest.

Harry's whole stay at Privet Drive was touchy. And every "accident" he had made it worse.

I have asked, in the past, why Dumbledore didn't try to make Harry's life a little easier, but after consideration I see that Dumbledore understood the situation well. And, the most important thing was for Harry to be safe as he could only be at Privet Drive.



PeskyPixie - Dec 4, 2007 9:17 am (#1527 of 2055)
You've summarized the situation quite well, Soul Search. I view it the same way.



Orion - Dec 4, 2007 10:53 am (#1528 of 2055)
The Dursleys were exactly the sort of people who wouldn't have said no to a wad of money in exchange for putting up with a freak in the attic, so DD or Harry himself could have alleviated the situation with a generous gift every year or so. (Harry himself is rich enough, and he doesn't seem to add anything to the family household.) Maybe for dramatic contrast the hero has to be reduced to David Copperfield in each book. JM2K.



PeskyPixie - Dec 4, 2007 11:06 am (#1529 of 2055)
Hmm, I hadn't considered DD paying off the Dursleys to keep Harry and treat him well. I wonder if DD ever thought of it? It may well have worked, although at the cost of the 'Cinderella story'.



Soul Search - Dec 4, 2007 12:15 pm (#1530 of 2055)
The Dursleys' would take the money and treat Harry just as badly.



wynnleaf - Dec 4, 2007 2:09 pm (#1531 of 2055)
Hmm, I hadn't considered DD paying off the Dursleys to keep Harry and treat him well. I wonder if DD ever thought of it? It may well have worked, although at the cost of the 'Cinderella story'. (PeskyPixie)

Actually, it needn't be "paying them off." In reality, when a child with an inheritance is orphaned and goes to live with guardians, it is common for courts to work out a measure of monetary support to come out of the estate in order to help in the upbringing of the child. Harry was wealthy. It is by no means "paying off" the guardians if some stipend had been given for his upbringing, and it could be contingent on Harry's being better taken care of. And it might even have made Vernon a little more accepting of the situation.

After all, DD dropped off Harry and from all we can see offered no support to a pair of muggle parents in how to deal with the new baby, his future accidental magic, or anything else.

Oh, I agree that the Cinderalla story makes for a great read. But by the end of DH, when we're shown all these manipulations by Dumbledore, his not offering greater oversight to make sure Harry was better taken care of doesn't stand up well on a re-read.



PeskyPixie - Dec 4, 2007 2:24 pm (#1532 of 2055)
I honestly don't feel we're supposed to look into it that deeply. It would make for one dry read.



legolas returns - Dec 4, 2007 2:33 pm (#1533 of 2055)
I am not trying to stick up for Dumbledore because I genuinely think that he could have done better.

I would have thought that a magical baby was the same in terms of needs as any other baby. As they already had a small child this would not be a voyage into the unknown. It would need fed, changed and clothed.

I am sure that Petunia having had a magical sister would be prepared for random underaged magic. Harry remembers the things that made his Aunt and Uncle really mad-they were the outburst of magic that made him "different" when they had been denying all along that they knew about magic.

Dumbledore appealed to Petunias better nature in the letter he left with Harry and I she herself said that she expected Harry to be as "Stange" as her sister.

They did get something out of Harry staying there. They could not be touched while he called Privet Drive home. If he had been hidden they would have been tortured and killed by death eaters.



Soul Search - Dec 4, 2007 3:31 pm (#1534 of 2055)
legolas returns,

"... they would have been tortured and killed by death eaters."

I don't see why. Petunia being Lily's sister was the only link and that couldn't have been well known, especially by death eaters. the Evans parents were already dead, so there was no one to interrogate about Lily's family.

Harry was the only thing that placed the Dursleys at risk. Actually, Vernon had the right idea in OotP; chuck Harry out and they would be safe. (Although, it might have been too late.)



legolas returns - Dec 4, 2007 3:42 pm (#1535 of 2055)
I think that they would know that she was muggleborn-everybody seemed to know who the muggleborn kids were (at least if they were in Slytherin). It would not be to much of a stretch to find them.

Why did they ensure that Harrys family was hidden after he left home. It was mutual protection. Why did Hermione protect her parents by modifying their memories.

I am sure that the death eaters would be desperate. They tortured the longbottoms for information.



Soul Search - Dec 4, 2007 3:50 pm (#1536 of 2055)
legolas returns, just to clarify. I was referring to when Harry was placed at Privet Drive. Voldmeort gone, Death Eaters on the run, and all.

The Dursleys didn't hide at Privet Drive, so could have been snatched when they left the house. It didn't happen.

Once Harry had lived at Privet Drive for sixteen years and Voldemort was taking over, the Dursleys would certainly be at risk.



legolas returns - Dec 4, 2007 4:04 pm (#1537 of 2055)
The protection Dumbledore put on Harry meant that death eaters did not know the exact location. They knew the area otherwise they would not be floating around in the sky waiting for Harry to leave.

Dumbledore said that Harry was at risk as a baby because some of Voldemorts worst supporters were still at large and described them as "angry, dangerous and violent" a couple of hours after he dissapeared (P736 OOP uk). They would have done anything to get at baby Harry.

For Voldemort to know that Harry was protected then he must have tried to get at Harry to know that it was impossible. He mentions this in GOF ch33.



Soul Search - Dec 4, 2007 6:24 pm (#1538 of 2055)
legolas returns,

"For Voldemort to know that Harry was protected then he must have tried to get at Harry to know that it was impossible."

That is a curious reference. In Deathly Hallows, when Voldemort is recalling what happened at Godric's Hollow, it seems he left for Albania right after becoming Vapormort. Even if this isn't totally accurate, in the same reference Voldemort says he couldn't perform magic because he couldn't use a wand.

So, my read is the he and Wormtail tried something at Privet Drive after he was Ugly Babymort.

I guess one question is how many Death Eaters did Voldemort tell of the prophecy and Harry Potter. He went to Godric's Hollow alone, suggesting he didn't want anyone to know until he had destroyed the potential threat.

Snape knew, but he did give the prophecy to Voldemort.



PeskyPixie - Dec 4, 2007 6:49 pm (#1539 of 2055)
'Ugly Babymort', ROTFLOL multiplied by 1000!



PeskyPixie - Dec 7, 2007 4:58 pm (#1540 of 2055)
Many people accuse Dumbledore of sacrificing Snape's life for the 'Greater Good'. However, when it is evident to Death Eaters that the Dark Lord is indeed returning, Dumbledore offers Snape the option of backing out of their deal to go into hiding as Karkaroff does.



wynnleaf - Dec 7, 2007 6:05 pm (#1541 of 2055)
Sorry, I didn't read that as Dumbledore "offering" an option. It's not like Snape was being technically coerced into helping the Order, so Dumbledore did need to ask Snape what his plans were if LV were coming back. But in no way did Dumbledore suggest or offer for Snape to escape the situation. And certainly, as we know that running away from LV was a generally hopeless endeavor, Snape couldn't have just run away. If DD were actually offering Snape a way out, he'd have to include the escape scenario. We did not, however, see DD offer any sort of possibilities to hide Snape "more completely than he could imagine." So no. I don't think DD was offering Snape the chance to get out.



PatPat - Dec 7, 2007 7:10 pm (#1542 of 2055)
I disagree, wynnleaf. Dumbledore didn't offer an escape plan because Snape immediately quashed the idea of running from Voldemort. I believe that, had Snape chosen to flee or go into hiding, Dumbledore would have helped him. He offered to help all of the Malfoys. Why wouldn't he help Snape?

And either way, I don't see that Dumbledore callously sacrificed Snape. In any war there are sacrifices for the Greater Good. Had Dumbledore, as the "General", not made sacrifices, the war would never have been won. He did the best he could in an awful situation. And he allowed Snape to find purpose again and to turn his life around, from Death Eater to a very brave man who fought for good. Quite an accomplishment, I think. But just my opinion.



PeskyPixie - Dec 7, 2007 7:16 pm (#1543 of 2055)
No need to apologize for a different opinion, wynnleaf.

Snape is not a baby who needs to be looked after if he chickens out of his agreement with Dumbledore. That Dumbledore even asks him if he is considering going into hiding like Karkaroff demonstrates that Dumbledore does not take Snape for granted.

Snape's role will be more dangerous this time around. The fact that he hides behind Dumbledore for thirteen years and threatens Quirrellmort over where his loyalties lie indicates that winning LV over during their reunion will be extremely risky. Snape and Dumbledore both know this. Dumbledore's query during the Yule Ball seems to be an, "are we still good?" type of comment. If Snape backs out now he's free to go. Dumbledore might try to guide him back to a decision which is necessary to heal his soul, but if Snape still chooses to flee I'm sure Dumbledore won't send Voldy an owl leaking Snape's hiding spot (even if that spot is in a spare dungeon at Hogwarts).

Of course, Dumbledore already knows that Snape is no coward; he also understands the great power of love. Still, I find this comment implies that Dumbledore is not the cold-hearted mastermind who sacrifices Snape for the 'Greater Good' that many have made him out to be. Snape has a choice and he makes the right one.

ETA: Yay, PatPat and I agree! Gryffindor and Slytherin come together - Dumbledore's vision is realized. And you're right. If Dumbledore offers to help the Malfoys, why won't he help Snape? I hadn't thought of that before.

Edit: And wynnleaf, Snape is supposed to help save Harry when the Dark Lord returns. This is the basic agreement. To ultimately save Harry, the Death Eaters and Voldy must be weakened and eliminated, their secret ambushes must be known by the Order of the Phoenix. For this to occur Dumbledore needs a spy among the Death Eaters. So technically, with the returning Dark Mark, Snape is an Order member once again, arguably a greater one than before.



PatPat - Dec 7, 2007 7:24 pm (#1544 of 2055)




wynnleaf - Dec 7, 2007 7:38 pm (#1545 of 2055)
That Dumbledore even asks him if he is considering going into hiding like Karkaroff demonstrates that Dumbledore does not take Snape for granted. (Pesky)

I agree. But that's not the same as an offer to leave. An offer implies that Dumbledore would be okay with Snape leaving. I don't think that was DD's intention in his comment.



PeskyPixie - Dec 7, 2007 11:20 pm (#1546 of 2055)
My first post regarding this issue was written in a rush. I have since clarified my interpretation of the exchange between Dumbledore and Snape at the Yule Ball.

As I've mentioned, I take DD's comment to mean, "Are we still good?" If Snape had answered with, "Well, now that you mention it I have been thinking of retiring from this business to enjoy a quiet life brewing potions in the spare dungeon by the broom cupboard," I think Dumbledore would have to accept that as Snape's decision. I find this exchange to be the moment when the plan made upon Lily's murder is finalized. Snape essentially 'signs the dotted line' here and knows there is no turning back as the Dark Lord is most certainly returning.

Of course, I feel that Dumbledore knows all along that Snape will not chicken out on him, but needs to hear it directly from him. Snape is on the brink of arguably the most strenuous and nerve-wracking mission of all. If Snape cracks the Order is in peril. Dumbledore needs to hear Snape's resolve to stand against Voldemort in his voice. If he's starting to have doubts about his ability to reconfirm his loyalty with other Death Eaters and win back the Dark Lord's favour Dumbledore needs to know beforehand. There's no way Dumbledore would want someone unprepared among Death Eaters. This is how I feel Dumbledore's comment is an offer for Snape to back out if he's starting to get cold feet.

I suppose we could always try to specifically define the term 'offer', but I hope you understand the gist of what I mean? My use of the word wasn't in a formal sense.



Orion - Dec 8, 2007 4:27 am (#1547 of 2055)
"Dumbledore might try to guide him back to a decision which is necessary to heal his soul" I swore to myself never to enter again into a discussion of this sort but as usual I'm too easily provoked:

It's not a decision necessary to heal his soul, but necessary (in DD's mind) to help bring down LV no matter what the cost to human lives (plenty, too many IMO). DD never lets Snape heal his soul, he instead keeps him in an emotionally immature, neurotic relationship of dependence because no sane man would enter into such a job. While staying in bloody Hogwarts Snape can never get away from the whole sorry Lily thing. DD is never truthful towards Snape, who dies still not knowing what's going on.

Lots of times I want to shake him and yell "Push off! Save your own bum! Disapparate to Bolivia, dye your hair, get yourself a new paasport! Are you a Slytherin or what??!" Sorry if it's off topic, sorry for jumbled english.



PatPat - Dec 8, 2007 8:03 am (#1548 of 2055)
***sigh***

I was not going to argue this anymore either, but, Orion, you've gone and brought it up again! I jut cannot resist because Dumbledore has always been and, remains to this day, my favorite character. Is he flawed? Certainly! ALL of JKR's characters are, even Harry. They're rather like real people that way. Dumbledore absolutely could not tell Snape what was really going on. Had he told Snape that Harry would survive, then Harry would have known it and the plan would not have worked. Harry had to go to his death willingly, believing 100% that he was going to die. The lives of countless people depended upon this. Therefore, Snape had to believe this too, since he was charged with passing this information on to Harry. Dumbledore had no way of knowing how, and, in what form, Snape's information would be passed on. He had to ensure that Harry knew only what was necessary for the plan to work. As to why Dumbledore did not tell Snape earlier that Harry was a horcrux . . . well, I can only say, can you imagine being saddled with this awful information? Poor Dumbledore. He loved Harry, yet, up until GoF, believed he would have to die for the greater good. How horrible! I can only see this as an awful burden, but one that Dumbledore bore with dignity. Should he have placed this same burden upon Snape? I don't believe so.

As far as people being sacrificed, well, that's war. We were given a glimpse of this all the way back in PS, when Ron tells the other two that sacrifices must be made in chess in order to win. I believe this was a foreshadowing of things to come. Sacrifices had to be made. That's the way war is. And the bottom line is Dumbledore's plans worked. Harry survived to defeat Voldemort, saving the lives of many many people who would otherwise have died. Thank goodness for Dumbledore is all I can say.



PeskyPixie - Dec 8, 2007 8:25 am (#1549 of 2055)
This is an HP forum - it's always nice to see people voice their opinions. If not here, then where? (And always agreeing is just so dull, dull, dull!)

I'm sure Snape has his own 'you brave, brave man' moment with Dumbledore in the King's Cross of his own choice (probably inside a cauldron). Snape's ability to follow Dumbledore's plan despite not being told the truth (i.e. he thinks he is working to keep Harry alive but later learns that Harry must really die at the hands of the Dark Lord) demonstrates Snape's conviction and unwavering belief in Albus Dumbledore.

(this belongs on the Snape thread, but does this perhaps indicate that Snape isn't only out to protect Harry? That maybe he wants LV gone as well? Hmm, I need to think on this ...)



zelmia - Dec 8, 2007 11:25 am (#1550 of 2055)
DD is never truthful towards Snape, who dies still not knowing what's going on. - This is true, and does make for an unsatisfying resolution of Snape's particular arc. However, Dumbledore tells Snape outright that he cannot reveal information too him because of Snape's intimacy with Voldemort. If Snape can accept this, we should be able to as well.
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Post  Mona on Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:04 am

PeskyPixie - Dec 8, 2007 11:48 am (#1551 of 2055)
Zelmia, that's sort of what I meant by 'Snape's belief in Dumbledore'.

Dumbledore convinces Snape that all will be well if he breaks his promise of protecting Harry and assists him to embrace death. Snape is admittedly miffed by this 'betrayal' and the fact that Dumbledore refuses to give him any details of the final aim of his risky missions. However, he believes enough in Dumbledore to faithfully obey him, even after Dumbledore is dead. Dumbledore does not make Snape do anything; Snape always has the right to choose his course, but his loyalty to Dumbledore is most certainly necessary for Dumbledore's plans to have a chance of success.



legolas returns - Dec 9, 2007 12:24 pm (#1552 of 2055)
I hope Dumbledore and Snape had a chat in Kings Cross.

I know that we have moved on slightly but I wanted to post this here as I have been working on it for a number of days. I am sorry that I did not finish it sooner.

Going back a number of posts I began to think about the interactions between Dumbledore and Harry. I have not commented on the actual main points in the chapters e.g when Harry goes into the pensieve in GOF I have not commented on the memories that Harry saw but the discussion he has afterwards with Dumbledore. I have made a list of the interactions and chapters from each book (UK edition).

PS

Harry is present when Philosophers Stone is collected from Gringgots. The Cloak was given as Christmas gift and returned when Harry leaves it in the tower.

Ch12 Dumbledore tells Harry how the Mirror of Erised works and tells him not to brood over what he saw in the mirror.Ch13 Dumbledore praises Harry for not dwelling on mirror. Ch17 They discuss a number of things including not to be afraid of death, to keep on fighting against Voldemort no matter if it seemed a hopeless task, love and hate and how truth is a double edged sword both beautiful and terrible.

This is the first instance of Dumbledore giving Harry some pointers and then letting him and his friends work things out.

COS

Ch 5 Ron and Harry are reprimanded for the flying car incident. Ch9 Mrs Noris is petrified. Dumbledore gives Harry a searching look.. Ch 12 Dumbledore asks Harry if he has anything to tell him. Harry thinks about everything that has happened. Does Dumbledore use Legilemency on Harry? Ch14 Dumbledore knows Harry et al are under cloak and asks for help. Ch 18 Dumbledore thanks Harry for loyalty, discusses Voldemorts "transfer" of powers to Harry and discusses how our choices determine who we are.

“Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those that ask for it”. Various characters along the way give Harry information/help including Hermione, Hagrid, Aragog and moaning Myrtle. Harry puts the information together and asks for help from the sorting hat-he gets Gryffindors sword. He saves Ginny destroys a horcrux and kills the basalisk.

POA

Ch11 Dumbledore is ring master to Trewlaney and McGonagall at the Christmas Lunch and asks Snape about Lupins potion. Ch21 Harry discovers that Dumbledore can’t fix everything, Dumbledore gives Harry and Hermione a few pointers and lets them figure out how to rescue Sirius and Beaky. Ch22 Harry puts a number of facts together and works out how to save Sirius. Dumbledore discusses how one action may have a number of unexpected results that you can’t predict. Although someone may be dead they still live in our hearts and minds.

Dumbledore shows Acceptance/Tolerance towards Lupins furry little problem when others would not. This helps to protect Harry because he learns more of his parents and friends and how to fight dementors. He again lets Harry and friends work things out.

GOF

Dumbledore is one of the judges for the Triwizard Tournament.

Ch17Asks Harry for a truthful answer. Ch18 Rescues Harry from Rita Skeeter.Ch23 Dumbledore mentions what we know to be the ROR during Yule Ball but he does not know that this is what it is.Ch28 Dumbledore goes to search for Barty Couch senior and becomes more anxious as Harry tells him all that happened Ch30 Harry goes into the pensieve when Dumbledore is out in the grounds. They discuss Harrys scar, Voldemorts first rise to power and Nevilles parents. They discuss the fear that Voldemorts first rise caused and how people were not safe when Voldemort has gone because he still has evil followers. Ch35 Barty Couch jnr is unmasked and he tells his story under the influence of Veratiserum. Harry learns the truth. Ch36 Harry describes to Sirius and Dumbledore what happened at Voldemorts rebirthing ceremony. Dumbledores gleam of triumph. Dumbledore points out that spells can’t bring the dead back to life. In the hospital wing Fudge does not believe that Voldemort has returned and Harry is surprised at this and to some extent so is Dumbledore. Sirius and Snape depart to do Dumbledores bidding.

I find it a little on the ironic side that it is a death eater who ensures that Harry goes to where Voldemort is but he also inadvertantly helps Harry escape from Voldemort. He ensures that Harry can fully throw off the imperious curse and makes sure that Harry learns new spells and practices with his friends. These things help Harry escape.

OOP

Dumbledore distances himself from Harry in this book.

Ch8 Dumbledore appears for the defence in Harry Potter versus Ministry of Magic. Ch22 Dumbledore questions Harry over the Snake attack on Mr Weasley. Harry feels the Snake rising within him when he looks at Dumbledore. Ch26 Dumbledore recruits Firenze. Ch27 Dumbledore protects Harry by claiming Dumbledore’s Army was his idea. Ch35 Dumbledore arrives at the MOM and Sirius falls through the veil. Ch36 Dumbledore and Voldemort begin to duel and they discuss death (Harry hears what is said). Voldemort takes over Harry but grief drives him out. Ch37 This chapter is predominantly about the power of love and Dumbledore discusses Harry’s connection with Voldemort and why he left Harry at his Aunt and Uncles. He explains the prophecy and how he has tried to protect Harry because he cared for him too much and does not want to cause him further pain.

Dumbledore the protector. The truth but not the whole truth .

HBP

I have not listed the contents of the pensieve memories but the conversations that happen after viewing the memories. The memories that Harry views show people displaying the characteristics and flaws that Dumbledore has discussed in previous conversations.

Ch3 Dumbledore goes to collect Harry and takes his Aunt and Uncle to task for mistreating him. They did not love him like a son. Dumbledore reinforces that Harry must come back for a final time at the end of the year. Ch4 They go to encourage Slughorn out of retirement and Dumbledore explains Slughorns weakness. Dumbledore discusses Sirius death and how well Harry has coped. Ch10 They discuss the loveless marriage of Voldemorts parents, the backstory and how it came about. Ch13 Voldemorts mothers choices, pre Hogwarts Voldemort and his use of magic to control others and his lack of friends. Ch17 Dumbledore is touched by Harrys loyalty and Dumbledore give Harry some homework to get the full Horcrux memory from slughorn. Ch20 Harry apologises and feels ashamed for not applying himself fully to getting Slughorns memory. Ch23 They view Slughorns memories and discuss the reasons behind Voldemorts choice of objects to make horcruxes. Love, choices and the soul are discussed. Ch25 Harry hears that Snape overheard the prophecy and Dumbledore tells him of Snapes remorse. They set out for the cave. Ch26 In the cave they discuss fear of the unknown e.g death and darkness. Ch27 Dumbledore gives Malfoy a choice. Dumbledores death. Ch30 Harry remembers some of the things that Dumbledore told him while he was alive e.g to continually fight against evil.

Continued in the next post.



legolas returns - Dec 9, 2007 12:25 pm (#1553 of 2055)
Continued

DH

Harrys views of Dumbledore are challenged by Rita Skeeter, people that knew Dumbledore and by second hand information. Harry becomes totally disillusioned and feels abandoned and alone. With the help of Ron and Hermione Harry manages to destroy most of the Horcruxes. Harry goes through in his mind what Dumbledore might have done or said.

Ch33 Harry views Snapes memories. He learns of Snapes love for his mother and the lengths he goes to protect him for her sake. Dumbledores manipulation of events is apparent and he learns that he must go to his death. Ch35 Harry has an adult to adult conversation with Dumbledore. They discuss how Voldemort fails to understand the power of things that he does not value e.g love, they discuss death, Dumbledore lays bare his faults, failings, guilt and grief and expects Harry to hate him. Harry does not judge Dumbledore at all and is supportive and understanding. Dumbledore presents Harry with a choice and why continuing to fight will benefit everyone. Ch35 Harry seeks confirmation from Dumbledores portrait that he has done the correct thing with the Hallows.

In summary Dumbledore does allow Harry and his friends to do many things that are dangerous but these things are all part of Harrys education so that he can finally succeed in getting rid of Voldemort. He gains the skills needed. He discusses love and death and why you shouldn’t be frightened of it frequently and at length with Harry from a very young age. Some have argued that Dumbledore moulds him to accept death and his fate but I disagree.

PS p196/197 (UK) Harry says “Don’t you understand? If Snape gets hold of the stone, Voldemort’s coming back! Havent you heard what its like when he was trying to take over? There won’t be any Hogwarts to get expelled from! He’ll flatten it, or turn it into a school for the Dark Arts! Losing points doesn’t matter any more, Can’t you see? D’you think he’ll leave you and your families alone if Gryffindor win the House Cup? If I get caught before I can get the Stone, well, I’ll have to go back to the Dursleys and wait for Voldemort to find me there. It’s only dying a bit later than I would have done, because I am never going over to the Dark Side! I’m going through that trapdoor tonight and nothing you two say is going to stop me! Voldemort killed my parents, remember?”

Hagrid explained how things were under Voldemorts first reign of terror when he collected him from the Dursleys but he does not parrot this information. This passage shows at age 11 Harry truly understands why he must stop Voldemort and understands what life would be like when he takes over. He has an incredibly strong sense of what is right and wrong . He knows that in defying Voldemort he will die particularly if he comes back to power but he does not care. At age 11 he has the desire to stop Voldemort regaining his body but once he comes back to full power this becomes the burning desire to destroy Voldemort and stop him taking over. Dumbledore in my opinion gives Harry the skills to do the job that he knows and accepts he has to do at a very young age.



PatPat - Dec 9, 2007 12:37 pm (#1554 of 2055)
Excellent summary, legolas. I agree with you completely. Without the "training" that Dumbledore gave to Harry, Harry would not have had the skills to cope. It was also necessary to allow Ron and Hermione to participate because they were instrumental in the final outcome as well. Voldemort was going to go after Harry no matter what. Dumbledore gave Harry and his friends the tools necessary to defeat him.



PeskyPixie - Dec 9, 2007 4:00 pm (#1555 of 2055)
Great summary, legolas. I appreciate it a lot! And PatPat, I agree with you as well.

I wonder, does Dumbledore hold back from giving Harry even the tiniest reason to trust Snape only because Snape's position among Death Eaters must never be risked or because of his promise to never reveal Snape's 'best' side to the world? It's a mix of both, but I'm leaning a bit more towards the latter at the moment because if Dumbledore really wishes to give Harry some small proof of Snape's loyalty (can't think of examples off of the top of my head!), Snape can just claim it to be part of the charade he plays in front of Dumbledore and the Order if it's ever discovered by Voldy. My thoughts are getting jumbled. I've got to go back and chop fruits for my mom's fruitcake now! (It's really good - even people who dislike fruitcake, such as myself, LOVE it.)



PatPat - Dec 9, 2007 5:12 pm (#1556 of 2055)
I had the same thought, Pesky. I truly believe that Dumbledore did not tell Harry because he did not want to break his promise to Snape. We have several instances where Dumbledore looks as if he is about to tell Harry something when they are discussing Snape. He stops himself every time. I can only believe that this is because he has given his word.



legolas returns - Dec 10, 2007 1:48 am (#1557 of 2055)
Even to the last Snape was the perfect spy. Nobody including Voldemort thought that he was a good guy. Dumbledore could not risk the truth leaking out. If Harry was in the least bit forgiving towards Snape then I think that it would have been noticed.

People have commented about Dumbledore saying to Harry that Snape saved him because of James. They have said that this is a lie/poisonus. I think to some extent what Dumbledore says is true. Snape never did forgive James for saving him. He thought that James was in on the 'joke' and doing it to save his own skin. Dumbledore thought that in OOP that Snape would be able to get over his hatred of James and help Harry. Snape continued to see only what he expected and not what was in front of him. I actually think that this statement is more a case of Dumbledores detachment and not being quite in touch with the degree of Snapes feelings. Not everyone gives second chances and forgives.



zelmia - Dec 10, 2007 12:51 pm (#1558 of 2055)
I actually think that this statement is more a case of Dumbledores detachment and not being quite in touch with the degree of Snapes feelings. Not everyone gives second chances and forgives. - Yes, and Dumbledore acknowledges this in HBP. He realises that it was foolish to put Harry and Snape together for Occlumency lessons for precisely that reason.



Julia H. - Jan 17, 2008 3:37 pm (#1559 of 2055)
About the Dumbledore - Harry - Snape triangle: Actually, it is not Snape alone who kills Dumbledore. First Harry makes him drink the poisonous potion, so that he loses most of his strength. Harry is acting on Dumbledore's orders just like Snape. Harry and Snape are in similar situations, both acting in the same way: both of them obey Dumbledore, although both of them are horrified by what they are ordered to do. An important difference is that Harry and Dumbledore are alone in the cave, so there are no witnesses. It seems that in the aftermath of later events Harry does not reflect too much on what he had to do in the cave.



Soul Search - Jan 17, 2008 5:18 pm (#1560 of 2055)
Julia H.,

Your observation is good, but Dumbledore didn't die from drinking the potion. With different circumstances, he would have recovered.

Snape deliberatly AKed Dumbledore. True, it was at Dumbledore's request, but I judge Harry's and Snape's actions to be different.

As an aside, when I read HBP, I accepted that Dumbledore wanted Harry to get Snape because Snape was skilled at healing Dark Arts afflictions and Dumbledore wanted Snape to treat him for the potion. After Deathly Hallows, however, I am convinced Dumbledore, even as they approached the tower, knew his time had come and he wanted Snape to be there to kill him.

I don't think Dumbledore expected to die from the potion, but he recognized that Draco had succeeded and Dumbledore expected Draco to try to kill him. The death eaters on the tower were unexpected.



Julia H. - Jan 17, 2008 5:40 pm (#1561 of 2055)
I don't think Dumbledore could have recovered. I agree he wanted Snape because he knew he was dying (quite independent of Malfoy and DE's). He had already been injured by a fatal curse, so it is not probable that he could have survived Voldemort's potion, which must have been strong and lethal if we know anything about LV. However, it did not kill him immediately, which probably added to the cruelty, so Dumbledore may have actually felt "pain and humiliation": the very circumstances he had envisaged when he made Snape promise to kill him (even Greyback was there...).

Of course, he could not die twice but he forced both Snape and Harry to make a very difficult choice and they both proved to what extremes they were ready to follow his orders.



PeskyPixie - Jan 17, 2008 8:02 pm (#1562 of 2055)
It may also be argued that had Harry not forced Dumbledore to drink the potion (under DD's orders, of course) Dumbledore would have been more fit to handle the events at Hogwarts that night.



wynnleaf - Jan 17, 2008 8:10 pm (#1563 of 2055)
Dumbledore didn't die from drinking the potion. With different circumstances, he would have recovered. (Soul Search)

As I recall, DD never told Harry it wouldn't kill him, just that he didn't think LV would want the victim to die immediately. Harry went ahead pouring in the potion in spite of the clear evidence before his eyes that it was deeply injurious to DD.

Even if someone could have helped DD to live, if Harry had not reached anyone in time, DD would still have died. Just because someone could have lived with medical help does not absolve their murderer from having killed them. I don't consider Harry a murderer exactly, any more than Snape, but if Snape hadn't AKd DD and if no one had been available to help DD or he couldn't be cured, then it would have been Harry that killed him.



zelmia - Jan 17, 2008 9:09 pm (#1564 of 2055)
It would have been Harry who killed Dumbledore and not Voldemort? I think I agree with Julia here in that in either case, Dumbledore was going to have been killed (I'd like to see someone diagram that sentence ) by Voldemort, not by Harry or by Snape.



wynnleaf - Jan 17, 2008 10:13 pm (#1565 of 2055)
Well, I agree that LV would have been the root cause of DD's death either way. But my point is that Harry's forcing what he knew to be poison down DD's throat, even at DD's orders, would have been - if DD had died from the poison - no different from Snape AKing DD on DD's orders. In both cases Harry and Snape were willing to obey DD's orders even to his death. Sure, Harry obeying DD's orders wasn't definitely going to result in DD's death, but it was clearly bringing him close to death so continuing to give the potions had almost as directly as much potential of causing his death as Snape AKing him.



zelmia - Jan 17, 2008 11:18 pm (#1566 of 2055)
I understand you, Wynnleaf and even agree. On the other hand, if neither Harry nor Snape had stepped in, Dumbledore would have died as a result of Voldemort's extremely Dark Magic. And we know from DH that he could not afford for that to happen.



PatPat - Jan 18, 2008 5:25 pm (#1567 of 2055)
If I understand you correctly, wynnleaf, you are chastising Harry for following Dumbledore's orders in the cave. I don't hold Harry responsible for following Dumbledore's orders any more than I hold Snape responsible. Both were following Dumbledore's orders which were given for, what Dumbledore believed to be, the greater good. Had Harry not done what DD asked, they would not have retrieved the fake horcrux, which was important. The note from RAB led directly to HRH finding the actual horcrux. Surely they would not have discovered it otherwise. Snape's actions on Dumbledore's orders allowed Draco's soul and life to be saved and Snape to become Voldemort's right hand man. I don't consider either Harry or Snape to be a murderer in either case. The blame lies first with Voldemort and second with Dumbledore himself. Though I believe Dumbledore's actions to be what was necessary in both cases, the responsibility for his own death still lies partly with himself. He sacrificed himself for good. He is a true hero and so are Harry and Snape.



wynnleaf - Jan 18, 2008 7:21 pm (#1568 of 2055)
If I understand you correctly, wynnleaf, you are chastising Harry for following Dumbledore's orders in the cave. I don't hold Harry responsible for following Dumbledore's orders any more than I hold Snape responsible. (PatPat)

No, I wasn't in fact "chastising" Harry for following DD's orders any more than I would "chastise" Snape for following DD's orders. I am simply stating that if DD had died from the potions prior to Snape getting there, Harry would have been the one to kill him. Not quite as knowingly as Snape when he AK'd DD, but Harry still would have been the one to kill him. After all, it was clear to Harry that he was forcing highly injurious potions down DD's throat. No one tricked him into doing it, nor did the liquid appear safe in any way. It was obvious it was hurting DD very badly and Harry continued. So yes, if DD had died, Harry would have killed him. Sure, we could say that LV also would have killed him, because he left the potion in the basin. One could just as easily say LV in part "killed" DD on the tower, because he set up the terrible situation of Draco who was ordered to kill DD, the Death Eaters there to make sure someone killed DD, etc. Snape was forced, even without DD's orders or the Vow, to either kill DD or completely break cover which would have resulted in Harry, Snape, and DD's deaths at the hands of the DEs. So in that regard, LV is at the root of DD's death.

But in a technical sense, it was Snape that dealt the killing action. If DD had died from the potions that Harry forced him to drink, it would have been Harry that dealt the killing "blow."

Neither are, in my opinion, wrong to have done their actions, regardless whether DD had died at Harry's hand, or as he did at Snape's hand. They were both following orders by DD and were attempting to do the best they could. But Harry never seemed to see that Snape had been put in almost the same position as Harry, following DD's orders even if it brought about DD's death.



zelmia - Jan 18, 2008 9:04 pm (#1569 of 2055)
But Harry never seemed to see that Snape had been put in almost the same position as Harry, following DD's orders even if it brought about DD's death. - Prior to the Prince's Tale, why would Harry see things this way?



wynnleaf - Jan 18, 2008 9:33 pm (#1570 of 2055)
But Harry never seemed to see that Snape had been put in almost the same position as Harry, following DD's orders even if it brought about DD's death. - Prior to the Prince's Tale, why would Harry see things this way? (zelmia)

Well, of course Harry didn't know that Snape was following DD's orders and therefore he assumed he was a traitor. However, the readers didn't technically know anything more than Harry did, and certainly many of us were able to see the fact that DD had asked Harry to do something terrible that could have cost DD his life, and therefore it stood to reason that DD could also have asked something similar of Snape.

But Harry didn't consider that if DD could have asked him to pour what amounted to poison down his throat, he could also have asked Snape to AK him. And yet Harry knew that DD was pleading with Snape to do something. It's just that Harry assumed that DD was pleading with Snape to spare him, even though DD had only just hours before asked Harry to practically poison him.

Not that Harry should have seen and known that Snape was in the same position that Harry had been, but Harry could have at least considered the possibility and he never did. It wasn't like Harry didn't already know Snape was a spy -- he did. Yet he never considered any possibilities other than his own first assumptions.

Then, of course after The Prince's Tale Harry learns the truth, but while he may someday see the connection in the far away unwritten future, he never sees it on the page.



zelmia - Jan 18, 2008 10:13 pm (#1571 of 2055)
Well, to be fair, the readers have had the benefit of having seen the Snape character many times before in a variety of other settings and could see that little plot twist (such as it was) coming. Harry only had the one frame of reference.



Orion - Jan 19, 2008 3:49 am (#1572 of 2055)
That is a fascinating idea, wynnleaf.



Soul Search - Jan 19, 2008 8:12 am (#1573 of 2055)
It aso occurs to me that Harry and readers were misdirected by the Katie Bell incident.

Katie is initially treated by Snape and Dumbledore later establishes that Snape is skilled at treating darks arts injuries. So, when Dumbledore and Harry are heading for the tower and Dumbledore tells Harry to get Snape he, and we readers, assume Dumbledore wants Snape for his healing skills.

Without the healing misdirection we careful readers would have suspicioned Dumbledore wanted Snape for another reason. We did anyway.

Harry, however, would not have picked up on it, given his bias toward Snape, so the healing misdirection was only for us.



wynnleaf - Jan 19, 2008 9:46 am (#1574 of 2055)
Thanks Orion!

Soul Search, that's a good point. We'd also been told through DD's discussions with Harry, that Snape had saved DD's life when he was hit by the ring curse. So it would be natural to at first assume DD wanted Snape to heal him again. I certainly thought that as I was reading those scenes for the first time. But later, as I considered it, I compared what DD had asked of Harry to what he might have asked of Snape, especially in light of Hagrid's account of the argument in the forest.

But of course, the reason I was interested in seeing those comparisons in the first place was because I was already predisposed to think that Snape was probably loyal to DD. Further, I had always seen Snape's actions in OOTP of alerting the Order and DD to Harry and Co.'s trip to the ministry, as proof positive of his loyalty. In spite of the fact that DD tells Harry about that action of Snape's, Harry never asks himself how Snape's action could possibly have been consistent with loyalty to LV. All he can think about is that Snape must have somehow egged Sirius on to his death, and he never looks carefully at the rest of the picture.

Harry never adds all of that up primarily, I think, because he assumes almost from the start that DD's trust was misplaced. Plus, Harry isn't really the analytical type. He doesn't think these things through. And we're never told if he passes many of these clues along to Hermione, who is the only one of the Trio who does analyze things. We don't know that Hermione was ever told much detail about Harry's trip to the cave, for instance, or the details of what DD told Harry at the end of OOTP.

Dumbledore asked similar things of both Harry and Snape -- sending them on high risk ventures, asking them to hurt him for the sake of the cause, and ultimately putting both in the position of giving their lives. While DD was more kind in his manner toward Harry, I don't think he actually treated either one any better than the other -- giving both different sorts of protection and making allowances for the foibles of both, and yet also willing to put them both through terrible ordeals for the sake of defeating LV.



Michael Franz - Jan 19, 2008 12:47 pm (#1575 of 2055)
I think there was a major flaw in Dumbledore's plan. Snape kills Dumbledore, Snape escapes — but what if Harry kills Snape before he can escape? After all, it doesn't matter how good you are at magic — there's no defense against Avada Kedavra.

If Harry had used that, Snape would have been toast. For that matter, what about McGonagall and the other Hogwarts professors? If I'd been her, I would have said, "If anyone sees Severus Snape, shoot on sight."

Sure, in retrospect, it would have been the wrong thing to do. But Dumbledore was not so wise as he thought if he never considered it. When Harry sees Snape kill Dumbledore, he's filled with more hatred than he's ever felt in his life. With that, he could have cast an AK to rival Voldemort himself.

(It's just like Obi-Wan telling Luke that Vader betrayed and murdered his father. What kind of Jedi wisdom is that? It's practically a guarantee that Luke would want to kill Vader out of revenge. Did he learn nothing from Anakin's fall?)



PeskyPixie - Jan 19, 2008 12:58 pm (#1576 of 2055)
Harry isn't supposed to witness Dumbledore's 'murder', is he? That's not part of the plan.

I'm thinking in circles again! Will be back later.



PatPat - Jan 19, 2008 1:11 pm (#1577 of 2055)
If I understand you correctly, wynnleaf, you are chastising Harry for following Dumbledore's orders in the cave. I don't hold Harry responsible for following Dumbledore's orders any more than I hold Snape responsible. (PatPat)

No, I wasn't in fact "chastising" Harry for following DD's orders any more than I would "chastise" Snape for following DD's orders. I am simply stating that if DD had died from the potions prior to Snape getting there, Harry would have been the one to kill him. Not quite as knowingly as Snape when he AK'd DD, but Harry still would have been the one to kill him. wynnleaf

OK, so I didn't understand you correctly. LOL. However, I still disagree that Harry or Snape would have been the one to kill Dumbledore, but I'm worried we're getting into a touchy area here because Snape's task at least borders on euthanasia. So, I'm going to let it go!

Michael, Pesky is correct. Dumbledore never intended Harry to witness Snape killing him. This was not a flaw in the plan. It was merely an unforeseen event. Dumbledore, clever as he is, cannot foresee every possible circumstance. He did not know he was going to end up at the top of the highest tower, weakened from drinking LV's potion, accompanied by Harry. He did initially try to get Harry away by sending him for Snape. But Draco burst through the door at that point. At this point, Dumbledore's choices were limited. Allow Snape to "kill" him, thus maintaining his cover with the DE's and allowing Draco to get away safely. Or, have Draco kill him, thus tearing his soul. Or have Draco be unable to do it, in which case his life and his parents would be in danger. I don't see Dumbledore had much of an option here. His confidence in Snape's abilities was such that he was most likely pretty certain Snape could get away unscathed.



zelmia - Jan 19, 2008 2:22 pm (#1578 of 2055)
He did initially try to get Harry away by sending him for Snape. - Yes, and then he stunned Harry specifically to prevent him from acting against Snape - or Draco. But also, I think to make sure Harry witnessed the entire exchange.



Julia H. - Jan 19, 2008 3:37 pm (#1579 of 2055)
"Dumbledore asked similar things of both Harry and Snape -- sending them on high risk ventures, asking them to hurt him for the sake of the cause, and ultimately putting both in the position of giving their lives. While DD was more kind in his manner toward Harry, I don't think he actually treated either one any better than the other -- giving both different sorts of protection and making allowances for the foibles of both, and yet also willing to put them both through terrible ordeals for the sake of defeating LV." (Wynnleaf)

Great summary, Wynnleaf.

I like these carefully placed similarities in the stories of Harry and Snape. It is fascinating to discover how much more they had in common than one would think at first sight. They tended to respond to these situations - essentially - in similar ways, despite the more noticeable but in fact less important differences between their reactions.



wynnleaf - Jan 19, 2008 6:22 pm (#1580 of 2055)
I'm worried we're getting into a touchy area here because Snape's task at least borders on euthanasia. (PatPat)

Not wanting to get into a discussion of the ethics of euthanasia, but one reason I had, pre-DH, assumed that DD did not die from Snape's AK, was that I really seriously didn't think JKR would have one of the good guys kill Dumbledore on Dumbledore's orders. I just felt that was a place she wouldn't go. I was obviously quite wrong.



Michael Franz - Jan 19, 2008 7:10 pm (#1581 of 2055)
I guess my point isn't so much about Dumbledore, but about Harry. Why didn't Harry AK Snape? Why didn't McGonagall AK Snape? Even if she was unwilling to issue a "shoot on sight" order, why wouldn't she do it when she fought him in Book 7? Remember, it doesn't matter how good you are at defense when it comes to AK — it only matters who can get the words out of their mouth first.



zelmia - Jan 19, 2008 7:32 pm (#1582 of 2055)
Because Avada Kedavera rends a person's soul. Also, Harry doesn't think like that and neither does McGonagall.



wynnleaf - Jan 19, 2008 8:18 pm (#1583 of 2055)
Michael,

As I understand it, you're saying that DD made a mistake in his plan because he assumed that no one would try to AK Snape following Snape killing him. If things had gone as DD planned, no one but Draco and perhaps Death Eaters would have known about it. So who would accuse Snape? As it worked out, DD was unable to get Harry away from the tower prior to Draco arriving, so Harry ended up seeing everything. However, McGonagall had no idea that Snape had AKd Dumbledore until well after Snape had escaped.

As for why she didn't do a "shoot on sight" later, that would have been a huge mistake. Even if she'd managed to kill Snape after he returned to Hogwarts as Headmaster, it wouldn't have accomplished much (from the perspective of Snape being a loyal DE). LV would simply have put another DE into the Headmaster position and McGonagall would likely be killed and replaced by yet another DE, thereby exposing more students to greater danger.



Michael Franz - Jan 19, 2008 10:49 pm (#1584 of 2055)
But why didn't she AK him in Book 7 when he comes knocking on Ravenclaw's door? After all, she thought Harry using the Crucistus Curse was "gallant", not Unforgivable. Was McGonagall going to just arrest Snape? Molly Weasley killed Bellatrix, though we don't know if she used AK. But if not, what did she use?

Yeah — just how "Unforgivable" are these curses, anyway? If they're so evil that a good person risks his very soul to cast them, why do the good guys use Imperio freely in Book 7? Why is Harry's use of Crucio shocking in Book 5, but "gallant" in Book 7? There must be a magnet on my moral compass, because it spins like a top whenever I read Deathly Hallows.

wynnleaf, I think the result of McGonagall and the professors doing as I suggested would have been basically the same as the Battle of Hogwarts, just earlier. Plus, you wouldn't have three Death Eaters already in the castle. They could have closed the school so that no students were there to be put in danger in the first place. Finally, they could have just fled and rigged the castle as one big trap, causing it to collapse and crush anyone who entered.



PeskyPixie - Jan 20, 2008 12:20 am (#1585 of 2055)
But why didn't she AK him in Book 7 when he comes knocking on Ravenclaw's door?

Because, she just couldn't resist a good, old-fashioned wizard's duel!



Orion - Jan 20, 2008 3:40 am (#1586 of 2055)
In book four we learn that you have to practise AK because a room full of inexperienced students can only give a teacher a nosebleed or not even that if they hurl their little AKs at him or her. So: Do you automatically become able to do a good AK if you're becoming better at magic? Or do you have to practice the AK specifically? In the first case, even somebody like McGonnagal who is dead set against Unforgivables would be able to produce a perfect AK on her first try because she is accomplished at magic. In the second case she can't AK anybody, even if she wants too, because she could never be bothered to learn that.



mona amon - Jan 20, 2008 8:16 am (#1587 of 2055)
I think it's the second case, she didn't know how as she had never even thought of doing it. But she does try to kill Snape with those daggers.



rambkowalczyk - Jan 21, 2008 11:54 am (#1588 of 2055)
In book 4, Crouch as Moody says that to do an AK curse needs a powerful bit of magic behind it, that a number of students could do the curse and he wouldn't get as much as a nosebleed.

Maybe the reason that McGonnagal didn't try to kill Snape was because she knew she couldn't do it. This wasn't really a life or death situation. Snape wasn't trying to kill her, she had no adrenelin flowing due to the fact that she might die in the next second. This coupled with the fact that she also might have qualms about splitting her soul made sure she didn't kill.



PeskyPixie - Jan 21, 2008 9:00 pm (#1589 of 2055)
We're really straying from Brian on his own thread, however I just had to get my two knuts in.

The Avada Kedavra curse is not the only way to kill using magic (I agree with Mona that the daggers could have been lethal had the target not been so swift in his defence). McGonagall tells Sluggy that if he tries to turn against Hogwarts she will duel with him 'to the death'. I'm sure she feels the same way when she finally gets a chance to fight Snape.

ETA: Then again, perhaps Minnie McG feels that Slughorn is a person who needs to be threatened in this manner in order to choose what is right over what is easy. After all, she doesn't kill the Carrows when she has the opportunity to do so (she does remember to make sure they are unable to assist in the battle, which is more than can be said for others ). Yet, I still feel that Snape is a very special case. The Carrows (and other Death Eaters) are known enemies, while Snape is a perceived traitor, 'the sleeping snake'. I'm sure she wouldn't mind if he croaked from injuries received from her.



haymoni - Mar 14, 2008 5:24 pm (#1590 of 2055)
I have said numerous times that I always felt that Dumbledore was asexual.

Here is a paragraph from an interview w/ JK Rowling. I took it off Mugglenet:

(JK Rowling is talking about Dumbledore's interest in racial domination.)

“So why did he flirt with that?” she asks. “He’s an innately good man, what would make him do that? I didn’t even think it through that way, it just seemed to come to me, I thought, ‘I know why he did it. He fell in love.’ And whether they physically consummated this infatuation or not is not the issue. The issue is love. It’s not about sex. So that’s what I knew about Dumbledore. And it’s relevant only in so much as he fell in love and was made an utter fool of by love. He lost his moral compass completely when he fell in love and I think subsequently became very mistrusting of his own judgement in those matters so became quite asexual. He led a celibate and a bookish life.”

So there!



wynnleaf - Mar 14, 2008 7:44 pm (#1591 of 2055)
haymoni,

Where is that quote to be found? I don't think I've read that and would like to see it in context with whatever other comments she may have made at the time.



haymoni - Mar 14, 2008 7:59 pm (#1592 of 2055)
I went to mugglenet.com and looked at some of the news they have there. It isn't the latest thing - you have to scroll down a little - "New Interview With JK Rowling". I clicked on "Read More".



Elanor - Mar 16, 2008 11:01 am (#1593 of 2055)
When I read this quote from Jo's interview, it really made me feel sad for Dumbledore. To me, Dumbledore's "mistrust of his own judgement" evokes inner suffering and solitude, a wound that never healed. It deepens our understanding of who he was, and of his actions, but it also makes me feel sorry for him: the champion of Love not trusting himself in that matter and thus not allowing himself to love again. More than ever, Dumbledore is not shown as the typical "omniscient", "indestructible" hero's guide: he is first a human, acting humanely, which is most probably why he is so dear to many readers, don't you think?



haymoni - Mar 16, 2008 3:04 pm (#1594 of 2055)
Hands down, Elanor.

I think we get the message in our first meeting w/ Dumbledore. When Minerva says that he is too noble to use dark magic, he says that he is blushing.

Even though this was probably a joke, I got the feeling that we were meeting a humble person.

Jo once said that Dumbledore had no peers - that made me feel sorry for him, but I could see that it was true. Also explains his attraction to Grindelwald - he finally met an equal.

Sad all the way around.



PeskyPixie - Mar 18, 2008 11:14 pm (#1595 of 2055)
It is extremely sad that Dumbledore is not able to experience the love he so strongly believes in. Love turns Snape away from the Dark Lord. Love causes Narcissa to assist Harry. Lily's love flows through Harry's veins. These are only a few examples in the books of the wonderful results of Love.

However, in Dumbledore's life love tragically influences his worst decisions and results in the most devastating outcomes. How sad that this should happen to Dumbledore, of all people.

Hmm, or do his personal experiences with love somehow cause him to believe in it even more strongly?

Love assumes different forms, and although Dumbledore does not experience romantic love again, does he truly experience and enjoy Love in its other forms? Are his friends, staff, students, (i.e. those we observe in close interaction with him), close personal bonds of love - or is he emotionally distant with them due to his horrible experience with love in his youth?



zelmia - Mar 19, 2008 5:46 pm (#1596 of 2055)
That is one aspect of the series that I didn't really like. JKR seems to imply that we only get on chance at true love, a notion that I don't really agree with. Poor Aberforth never seems to have had anyone to love (careful now...) and Albus stayed alone for another 100 years.



Veritaserum - Mar 20, 2008 1:12 pm (#1597 of 2055)
Well, that was probably due to Albus's own choosing, I would think. After things went so badly with Grindelwald, he just immersed himself in fighting the Dark Arts and running his school, so he was always too busy to be looking around for a relationship.



PeskyPixie - Aug 3, 2008 4:09 pm (#1598 of 2055)
I was just thinking of how bittersweet Dumbledore's victory over Grindelwald must have been.

Going into battle itself must have been excruciatingly difficult and Dumbledore must have had many mixed feelings, as it wasn't merely an enemy he would have to fight against.



Orion - Aug 3, 2008 4:21 pm (#1599 of 2055)
Bittersweet? No, just bitter.



PeskyPixie - Aug 3, 2008 5:37 pm (#1600 of 2055)
I meant bittersweet as in it would be bitter for a person like Dumbledore to defeat a person he once loved (the man was even sad that he could no longer scare Voldy into repaying for his crimes, and Gellert was the great love of his life), but sweet as well because Grindelwald's reign needed to come to an end. Either way, a lot of mixed emotions for Dumbledore to deal with in this battle.
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Quinn Crockett - Oct 19, 2008 5:10 pm (#1601 of 2055)
This was from the re-read Thread:

From the start, when Jo introduces DD, she openly shows us his strong secretive nature. He just doesn’t like to share much information to people he trusts, even McGonagall—of his most faithful colleagues. He really gives a new meaning the name “Secret Keeper” .

Dumbledore really lived most of his whole life as a Secret Keeper, in a manner of speaking. First there was the sort of Secret about his sister, who could never be left alone. [As an aside, I am morbidly curious as to what exactly JKR had in mind for both a) what caused Arianna Dumbledore to be do severely disabled, seeing as how she was attacked by Muggles; and b) exactly what kinds of things she would do if left unattended; why she was so dangerous.]

But also, I bet Dumbledore must have kept dozens of other people's Secrets over his long life - many likely at the same time. That could go a long way to explaining why he was so unwilling to reveal things. Yes, he was definitely machiavellian in his control over the "master plan" (whatever that was). But perhaps some of it came from being fearful of inadvertently revealing someone's Secret.

Just a thought....



Solitaire - Oct 19, 2008 10:53 pm (#1602 of 2055)
perhaps some of it came from being fearful of inadvertently revealing someone's Secret.

I think that could well be true, Quinn. I know a lot of people tell me things that are often sensitive (usually at work, and about someone at work), and sometimes it is difficult to remember who said what. I'm so afraid of mixing up the people and issues that I wait for confidantes to initiate the talking.

As to what caused Arianna's problems, I suspect she was tortured in some way. It reminded me of the way an assault will sometimes affect a young victim--if the victim is never treated and does not receive any counseling--bringing on all kinds of emotional problems. If this was the case, then she may have been prone to outbursts of emotional magic. We saw what happened with Harry when Aunt Marge badmouthed his parents ... and Harry had developed pretty good coping mechanisms. A severely traumatized child/young girl who had been shut away might well have no ability at all to control her magic, and the older she got, the more extreme her outbursts might have become. Just speculation of course ...

Solitaire



Julia H. - Oct 20, 2008 1:19 am (#1603 of 2055)
Good observation about Dumbledore as a life-long Secret Keeper. He really grew up to be one, since he had to keep not only Ariana's condition a secret but also his father's story: that his father was not a determined muggle-hater, at least not originally (probably), and that he had committed the crime for which he was sent to Azkaban in great stress and mad with rightful anger and despair.

As for what exactly happened to Ariana and what she was doing when she was dangerous: I think JKR is good at hinting at truly horrible things, which happen in the real world, in either a cryptic or highly symbolic way. It is probably necessary because she wants to address issues like cruelty, torture and other sensitive issues but still keep her books suitable for young readers. (I guess it could be debated whether she actually manages to do the latter with all the deaths in the books and all the adult problems discussed.) Anyway, traditional fairy tales, in which a lot of horrors may happen, do not usually disturb children because they are either symbolic or only briefly mention frightening things and do not normally go into naturalistic details and children usually picture for themselves only as much as they can tolerate. (Movie versions are often more frightening because we are shown pictures that are not suited to our level of sensitivity.) JKR often hides the details when those details could be too disturbing but hints at something horrible (for example by showing the reactions of those who were involved in the event) and leaves the rest to our imagination. It can have the effect of making us think of unspeakable horrors, actually, but we are not forced to imagine them precisely.



legolas returns - Nov 27, 2008 4:29 pm (#1604 of 2055)
Just had a few thoughts/observations that keep randomly buzzing around in my head. Have I missed something obvious/am I being dim?

1) The last thing that Dumbledore said to Kingsley and Lupin was "Harry is the best hope we have, Trust him."

This seems a very usual thing to say. He would probably have talked to the order members to say he was going with Harry. I can imagine that he would have been bombarded with objections about the danger he was putting Harry into. He may have distracted them from the object of the mission by explaining that he has had Harrys word that he would obey any instruction he gave. These instructions would ensure Harrys safety. Dumbledore may have said that Harry was much more important than him and then I can see him saying the above sentence.

2) Portrait Dumbledore knew a little too much information

He knew the day the Harry was being taken from Privet Drive and he told Snape to let Voldemort know and he knew which of the Weasley twins had been injured by Snape.

The only way that he could have known about the date Harry was being transferred to the Burrow was if he was instrumental in the decision process. It mentions that the Dursleys knew that they were going into hiding 4 weeks before the actual date (They would have known late June-Dumbledores death date is just marked as June. So this may have been planned prior to his death). The plans seemed to be fluid as a result of changes at the MOM but Dumbledore was up to date with the plans and making suggestions to ensure Harry’s safety. I would have thought that Moody would be very wary of people knowing plans/date so far in advance and would be likely to want to change the date because he would want to avoid the information getting out and a large scale attack resulting. Unfortunately he did not know that Portrait Dumbledore was giving Snape instructions to ensure that Voldemort knew the correct date.

Only the Weasleys and possibly very close friends could tell the difference between twins. Mad Eye did not know for certain which twin was which. How did they find out which one was hurt and how did it feed back to Dumbledore?

What I am trying to say is that probably the order had a chat to Dumbledore’s portrait at some time after the funeral/before the start of term.



Soul Search - Nov 27, 2008 5:24 pm (#1605 of 2055)
McGonagall was in the order and used Dumbledore's office, at least until Snape arrived. She could have even met Dumbledore's portrait clandestinely even after Snape was there.

Snape also seemed well informed of Order activities. Mundungus? Under the imperius curse?



Mrs Brisbee - Nov 27, 2008 10:51 pm (#1606 of 2055)
I don't think it was clear from that scene whether Dumbledore's portrait had information about the Order, or Snape was breaking into the office to get advice from Dumbledore about information he'd somehow gleaned. My impression was the latter.



legolas returns - Nov 28, 2008 12:36 am (#1607 of 2055)
Getting inorormation using the imperius curse on Mundungus probably is not something that Dumbledore would have suggested.



Julia H. - Nov 28, 2008 12:58 am (#1608 of 2055)
Before the Ministry fell into Voldemort's hands, Order members, especially McGonagall, had the opportunity to talk to Dumbledore's portrait. McGonagall may even have had the opportunity later. She didn't even have to go into the Headmaster's office, since the portraits were able to go into other pictures inside the castle, so Dumbledore could talk to her from any quiet landscape somewhere in a deserted corridor. Even Hagrid may have been able to talk to Dumbledore, when he went into the castle. He was at Hogwarts during the summers, too, I suppose, and he was involved in the rescue plan. He may even have been looking for an opportunity to talk to Dumbledore and nothing was easier for Dumbledore than keeping himself informed about the rescue plan by Hagrid.

As for finding out about George's injury: It could happen in the same way or Dumbledore could overhear a conversation between Ginny and another Gryffindor, for example. It is quite possible that Ginny told Neville what had happened to George. Hagrid could also talk about it to McGonagall and Dumbledore could overhear it or I can even imagine that another portrait heard it (for example, the Fat Lady) and she told it to other portraits. The portraits seem to have a network of information among them.

Order members may have even visited 12GP once or twice (Moody put the anti-Snape spells in place, for example) and Phineas could hear things, too.



mona amon - Nov 28, 2008 1:58 am (#1609 of 2055)
Good points, Julia. A super-spying network, and in a school! No wonder Dumbledore seems so omniscient in the earlier books.



Soul Search - Nov 28, 2008 9:09 am (#1610 of 2055)
Something else. Dumbledore and Snape discussed Snape's mercy killing of Dumbledore in Dumbledore's office so the headmaster portraits knew about it. The headmaster portraits would have overheard any discussions Snape had with the Dumbledore portrait. Yet, they didn't tell anyone, even McGonagall when she was headmistress.

Curious.



Julia H. - Nov 28, 2008 10:19 am (#1611 of 2055)
I suppose she did not ask them.



Solitaire - Nov 28, 2008 2:00 pm (#1612 of 2055)
How long was she Headmistress before the Ministry installed Snape? Is it possible that the discussion between Snape and the DD portrait did not take place until after McGonagall was out?



legolas returns - Nov 28, 2008 2:13 pm (#1613 of 2055)
I think that McGonagall was head from when Dumbledore was killed until the children were put on the train. I dont know if she considered herself to be head after the end of term or not because a decision to reopen the school was in the hands of the school govenors. I am sure the govenors would have been "persuaded" that Snape was the best man for the job. So the best possible answer is from when she knew Dumbledore was dead. She also acted as Head pressumably when Dumbledore was not on the premises.



Ludicrous Patents Office - Dec 28, 2008 8:06 am (#1614 of 2055)
On the Snape thread we have been talking about Snape taking Lily's photo and tearing James and Harry out of it. James and DD were similar as youths. Neither one was very considerate of others. I don't think DD tormented anyone like James did but he sure neglected his familial duties. Harry was so neglected he could not comprehend DD acting in the manner he did. Similar to what he went through in OoP when he saw his father tormenting Snape. LPO



wynnleaf - Jan 5, 2009 7:41 pm (#1615 of 2055)
I don't see DD and James as similar. DD did neglect his family duty as a young man. However, he had lost his father at a relatively young age when his father was sent unfairly (as far as I read it), to Azkaban for life. Then DD's mother focused all of her attention on their sister. So DD was probably rather neglected quite a bit himself. I find it hard to expect a young man in his late teens with his history to have been ready to shoulder the responsibilities of taking care of his family.

While I would agree that DD's interests with Grindelwald were rather appalling in their attitude toward controlling others, it was more hypothetical. DD didn't actually put into action any torment of others.

James was an only child of older parents who "pampered" him (JKR's word). He had every advantage including lots of love and attention from his parents. Yet he was willing to abuse and torment others basically for fun and was utterly unconcerned about regularly putting the lives and health of many others at risk.

DD, however, did do something that really puts James' bullying to the pale as regards misdeeds.

DD was part of a fight in which his sister was killed. He knew that she was killed by either his, Grindelwald, or Aberforth's spell. But he participated in the deception for the authorities and the Wizarding World that her death was simply an accident. He persisted in this cover-up his entire life of what was basically some form of murder or manslaughter.

His willingness to allow Grindelwald to bring about the deaths of literally thousands before DD would act to combat him -- even though DD believed he was himself in part responsible and that he was the only one that could stop Grindelwald -- is also of note.

Compare this to James' willingness to dash off to stop Snape from getting killed even at possible risk of his own life. Or James' joining the Order right out of Hogwarts in an effort to stop LV. I don't think, for all I dislike James, that he would have hidden his part in an actual murder, nor allowed hundreds or thousands to die if he felt he alone had the ability to stop their murderer.



Ludicrous Patents Office - Jan 5, 2009 8:53 pm (#1616 of 2055)
Wynleaf I see a similarity in their arrogance and lack of regard for others feelings. Both were viewed by peers as exceptionally intelligent (though I think DD was the smarter). James did behave in morally superior manner than DD. According to Aberforth Albus learned intrigue from his mother and took to it like a duck to water. I don't think James had the capacity to do that. James by far was more capable of maintaing friendships and relationships than DD.

Harry idolized his father. It was a blow to him to be in a position to sympathize with Snape. He also idolized DD. He felt empathy for Ariana, not fully understanding her illness. There was a lot of disillusionment in finding out the truth about things. LPO



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 11, 2009 12:45 pm (#1617 of 2055)
To me the parallel is not between DD and James but DD and Severus. I tried to read back on this thread to when DH first came out and it seems this was combed through. But here we are with nothing better to do but rehash the plot...

Accidentally causing the death of a loved one would have to be the most damaging and toxic regret to live with. How either of them dealt with it is a miracle. But, there is also the hope that those deaths provided the catalyst for each of these men to turn from their evil ways. Perhaps DD would not have had the change of heart about seizing power and muggle torture and all the rest if the fight hadn't occurred. It is probable that Severus would have stayed a DE had it not been for Lily's life being in danger.

And both men reluctantly helped another (Severus despised Harry, DD was "disgusted" by Severus) in order to help themselves. DD's comment "You disgust me" when Severus said he was trying to trade Harry's life for Lily's was interesting. Who was DD really disgusted with? Reminded of himself, I'm sure.



Orion - Jan 11, 2009 1:05 pm (#1618 of 2055)
Yes, he could have been a little more understanding indeed.



TomProffitt - Jan 11, 2009 1:13 pm (#1619 of 2055)
DD's comment "You disgust me" when Severus said he was trying to trade Harry's life for Lily's was interesting. Who was DD really disgusted with? Reminded of himself, I'm sure. --- me and my shadow 813

Um, I don't see this parallel at all. While Dumbledore neglected Arianna, he didn't try to trade her life away. I think Dumbledore was genuinely disgusted with Snape, as was I at that moment.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 11, 2009 1:38 pm (#1620 of 2055)
'...and then your father died, and I had two Hallows at last, all to myself!'

'...and any harm done would be repaid a hundredfold in benefits for wizards.'

These attitudes and intentions would later cause DD to be disgusted with himself. The precise actions of Severus and DD are not the same (wouldn't that be boring) but the motivations were purely selfish which, as far as DD is concerned as a mature wizard, is the quality Harry is lacking and which makes him, the "remarkably selfless person", the One.



TomProffitt - Jan 11, 2009 1:48 pm (#1621 of 2055)
Perhaps, Dumbledore saw himself that way, but as I see it Dumbledore caused (or was at complicit in it if the blame belonged on one of the other two) an accidental death, but Snape was actively trying to give up specific lives of innocents in order to save a life that mattered to him. At this moment Snape is worthy of Dumbledore's disgust.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 11, 2009 1:57 pm (#1622 of 2055)
Agreed, but whoa James was killed and DD focused on the Hallows. Obsession with a person compared with obsession with an object. Granted, DD wouldn't have killed James in order to get the Cloak, but he might have killed someone he didn't know for it, or encouraged GG to do it.

(Tom, I added a question for you on my last post in the Severus thread...)



Solitaire - Jan 11, 2009 2:16 pm (#1623 of 2055)
I do not believe, when push came to shove, that Dumbledore would have killed simply to possess the cloak. Nor do I think he would have encouraged Grindelwald to do so for that reason. They were only interested in the cloak, anyway, as it completed the trio of objects. I think Dumbledore spoke the truth to Draco that night on the tower when he said that it is not so easy to kill someone. I think it took Grindelwald's leaving and his own sister's death for that truth to come home to him. But put in a position to kill someone, even before Arianna's death, I do not believe Dumbledore could have or would have willingly taken a life.

I think that, as Harry's experience with the Sectumsempra spell shocked and disgusted him, so the unintended consequence of Arianna's death shocked Dumbledore back to reality. Grandiose dreams of Muggle subservience were one thing. Even with the knowledge of Muggle culpability in Arianna's damaged life, I'm still unconvinced that Dumbledore ever would have killed willingly.



TomProffitt - Jan 11, 2009 2:19 pm (#1624 of 2055)
Granted, DD wouldn't have killed James in order to get the Cloak, but he might have killed someone he didn't know for it, or encouraged GG to do it. --- me and my shadow 813

That wasn't the way I interpreted Dumbledore's story. It seemed to me that as long as Dumbledore was "speaking in the abstract" he could accept "losses for the cause," but if it came to him actually "pulling the trigger" on an innocent I don't believe he could have done it.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 11, 2009 2:38 pm (#1625 of 2055)
Tom and Solitaire, your points are probably accurate given what we are told through his confession to Harry at King's Cross. He was masterminding but never executed (no pun intended) the deeds for the Greater Good.

It is also telling that DD knew GG had the Elder Wand yet he remained at Hogwarts going about his business of avoiding the conflict. Granted, he was avoiding the conflict to avoid learning if he'd actually killed his sister, but the Elder Wand did not have enough pull on him to immediately go, seek out GG and win it from him. He'd turned the corner as soon as Ariana died.



TomProffitt - Jan 11, 2009 2:44 pm (#1626 of 2055)
I think another reason that Dumbledore was genuinely disgusted by Snape at that point was that Dumbledore had been sending his close friends and associates to die fighting for what was right against the people Snape was serving, and here Snape is grasping at straws and willing to throw away lives that are as equally precious to Dumbledore as was Lily's.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 11, 2009 3:35 pm (#1627 of 2055)
It is, however, worth noting that until the events that caused DD's 'Triumphant Gleam', DD was prepared to sacrifice Harry, too. Yes, for a more noble reason than Severus's motivation, of course, but I just wanted to add that.



TomProffitt - Jan 11, 2009 3:39 pm (#1628 of 2055)
me and my shadow 813, I'd say that Dumbled did sacrifice other people. People like Mad Eye Moody and Sturgis Podmore, but I think these folks had the benefit of knowing what they were being sacrificed for and willingly took the risks.



Solitaire - Jan 11, 2009 3:39 pm (#1629 of 2055)
I'm not so sure he was necessarily "prepared to sacrifice" Harry so much as realizing that, since Voldemort had set the reality of the prophecy in motion, there wasn't much he could do to prevent it. He didn't want Harry to die--or to worry about the ultimate showdown--which, I think, is why he withheld the prophecy information for so long.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 11, 2009 4:07 pm (#1630 of 2055)
Absolutely, Solitaire, DD's feelings for Harry were preventing him from keeping his usually "cool head" regarding plans around the prophecy.

For me, however, JKR implies that Harry rekindled DD's ability to attach emotionally to others. He was a detached, brilliant person all his life, met GG and found a kindred spirit. He was shaken to the core when Ariana lost her life, which seemed to occur due to DD's lack of attachment to his family. Perhaps his time as a teacher taught him the value of loving support, but I always interpretted that up until getting to know Harry, he'd have been just as detached as ever to let the child be "traded" for the Greater Good.

I'll have to do some OOTP research in order to make this point more specific.



wynnleaf - Jan 11, 2009 4:41 pm (#1631 of 2055)
Was DD's complicity in Arianna's death on the same level as Snape's?

First, I think it's important that there would have been no argument of that volatility without DD's deep involvement with GG, without their desire to gain great power to rule others (for the "greater good"), and without DD's desire to give up his responsibilities to Arianna. That caused the argument. Gellert being a part of the argument, it grew in proportion until Arianna was killed by, apparently, a stray spell.

So Arianna's death wasn't just being caught in the crossfire of a school boy hexing battle. It was due to an argument over DD's interest and insistence in following a very Dark path. DD did not mean for someone he cared for to die. But his Dark path did include the enforced servitude (which would, realistically have to include deaths), of all muggles.

So DD was quite willing to follow a path that would, if he considered, lead to the deaths of others, but he did not intend someone he cared about to be harmed.

In that regard, his situation is like Snape's situation.

Later, as head of the Order, DD -- for completely different reasons -- was willing to sacrifice others, but I think only in the way any commander in a war must be willing to sacrifice those under his command in order to win. I don't think, by the way, that he was fond of James in any particular way. He displays a remarkable lack of grief over the Potter's deaths the same day they were killed. Nor did he later seem particularly cut up over Sirius' death, going so far as to criticize Sirius to his godson's face within only about an hour of his death. I don't fault DD for that lack of grief. I just don't think he was necessarily that close to the Potters or Sirius.

Due to that, I doubt that DD was thinking of his personal care for James when he thought Snape's action in asking LV to spare Lily "disgusting".



Solitaire - Jan 11, 2009 4:52 pm (#1632 of 2055)
I think I understand what you mean MAMS. I also think that, when Dumbledore came to realize why Harry had not died that night when Lily gave her life for him, something happened in him. Perhaps it was this very event that taught Dumbledore the enormous power of love that he spoke of so frequently.

I think Dumbledore was awed by having the responsibility for Harry, a child who was alive solely because of the love of his mother. I also think that he genuinely came to love Harry, as he might have loved a grandson. His sadness in OotP, I think, is as much for what Harry has lost as for his own feelings of loss from the events of the evening. Harry has now lost someone he actually knew and came to love, who loved him in return. He has also lost his innocence, because Dumbledore has had to enlighten him about the Prophecy and what it means to him. He has had to witness feelings of anger and hatred in a child he has always known as gentle and loving ... and he has had to accept responsibility for some of that loss.

Harry has also lost his illusions of Dumbledore as the wise, infallible mentor who can fix anything, and Dumbledore has seen Harry's reaction to that realization. That had to hurt.

Interestingly, Harry seems to have snapped back by the time Dumbledore comes to collect him at the beginning of HBP. He pretty much admits to Harry that he is "using" him to get to Slughorn, and Harry seems to accept it rather philosophically. Harry also seems to accept that he may well die in the attempt to vanquish Voldemort. Has he learned this acceptance of death and a lack of fearing it from Dumbledore?

I think the whole "greater good" business seems cold, but the truth is that individuals are (either literally or figuratively) sacrificed to it every day, in some way or other ... don't you think?

I doubt that DD was thinking of his personal care for James when he thought Snape's action in asking LV to spare Lily "disgusting"

Interesting ... I think Dumbledore cared for them both. But I also think that Dumbledore may have stayed a bit distant for the same reason he stayed distant from Harry in OotP. I think he feared that people who were too close to him might be used and hurt in an attempt to get to him.



TomProffitt - Jan 11, 2009 5:08 pm (#1633 of 2055)
I think the whole "greater good" business seems cold, but the truth is that individuals are (either literally or figuratively) sacrificed to it every day, in some way or other ... don't you think? --- Solitaire

It is one of the beauties of JKR's work. There are deaths from "Greater Goods" occurring everyday in the real world.

The "Greater Goods" that inspired the young Dumbledore and Snape to Dark Acts are far different from the "Greater Goods" that led to the death of both of them later.

What we have to ask ourselves whether or not we are truly serving the right kinds of "Greater Good" through our acts or through our inaction or even by the votes we cast in elections. They aren't easy answers to find and our responsibility is just as real as those students in the Great Hall at the last battle.

I believe that I am making the right choices, but aren't as easy to see as the ones in the books.



Julia H. - Jan 11, 2009 5:15 pm (#1634 of 2055)
People dying or being otherwise sacrificed every day for the "Greater Good": Unfortunately many others die or are sacrificed for a false "Greater Good" as well. Sometimes the victims don't know if they really die or suffer for the true Greater Good or not.



wynnleaf - Jan 11, 2009 5:24 pm (#1635 of 2055)
I also think that he genuinely came to love Harry, as he might have loved a grandson. His sadness in OotP, I think, is as much for what Harry has lost as for his own feelings of loss from the events of the evening. Harry has now lost someone he actually knew and came to love, who loved him in return. He has also lost his innocence, because Dumbledore has had to enlighten him about the Prophecy and what it means to him. He has had to witness feelings of anger and hatred in a child he has always known as gentle and loving ... and he has had to accept responsibility for some of that loss. (Solitaire)

Yes, I completely agree. While of course DD may have loved people in the interim, I tend to think his love for Harry was something that particularly affected him and perhaps even changed him somewhat, perhaps because he couldn't distance himself from his personal care for Harry.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 12, 2009 1:32 pm (#1636 of 2055)
So DD was quite willing to follow a path that would, if he considered, lead to the deaths of others, but he did not intend someone he cared about to be harmed.

In that regard, his situation is like Snape's situation.

…Due to that, I doubt that DD was thinking of his personal care for James when he thought Snape's action in asking LV to spare Lily "disgusting". – wynnleaf

I agree and, personally, would have to cut out part of my brain in order to NOT see the parallel JKR is making between DD and Severus. Both men were "accidentally" responsible for the beloved female figure in their life's death. In both situations, the death was due to the men's willing involvement with dark agendas and dark wizards. And, in both sitations, the death of said female caused the men to completely change their life and pursue a path of righting things in their own way, utilizing their special gifts (I believe skill in the dark arts coud be seen as a talent and a gift when the knowledge is used in order to be aware what "evil" is up to).

The difference is, DD turned his life around on his own and Severus required help from DD. DD is much too modest most of the time, and hard on himself, of course. However, after going back and reviewing DD's OOTP confessions to Harry, I really think that as a younger man, DD was quite like Severus in their willingness to sacrifice certain people in order to accomplish that which meant most to them personally.

Edit: regarding the "you disgust me" remark, I do feel there were many levels there as with any great character, as JKR has given us. Yes, Severus's feelings were despicable but yes, I think DD hadn't forgiven himself and, if he had, he wouldn't have used the word "disgust". We all know how understanding DD is.



wynnleaf - Jan 12, 2009 4:01 pm (#1637 of 2055)
The difference is, DD turned his life around on his own and Severus required help from DD. (me and my shadow)

Here I differ a bit. What you say above is true, but there are other differences in that situation.

The moment DD recognized his mistake, Arianna was dead, therefore there wasn't anything he could do to help her specifically -- and no dead son to help either. DD went for literally decades without directly confronting his own guilt (wouldn't check in a pensieve or confront GG because he didn't want to find out exactly how culpable he actually was). And DD allowed many people to die in the Grindelwald war before he finally decided to go up against GG, even though DD himself believed he was the only person capable of stopping GG.

Because Lily was still alive when Snape realized his error (or at least part of his error), he immediately set about trying to rectify the situation, risking his life (or so he thought) by going to DD and then offering to do "anything".

Lily being alive moves Snape immediately, whereas DD waits. DD did not need a mentor perhaps, but by the time he was actually doing anything about it, he'd had years to deal with things alone and was hopefully not only older, but wiser.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 12, 2009 4:07 pm (#1638 of 2055)
(wouldn't check in a pensieve or confront GG because he didn't want to find out exactly how culpable he actually was) - wynnleaf

Oooo, why hadn't I thought of a pensieve for the fight! I wonder if they come with a "slow-mo" button. But, alas, apparently even pensieve memories are subjective because they are being filtered through a narrator. (this is my attempt at sarcasm)

I agree with above points, wynnleaf, about why this difference exists and that it does not reflect Severus being inferior to DD as far as "righting the wrongs".



Quinn Crockett - Jan 12, 2009 11:56 pm (#1639 of 2055)
I don't see why Dumbledore alone should be held responsible for the duration of Grindelwald's "reign of terror" (though I don't think it was "decades"). Surely he was not the only wizard in the local area.



wynnleaf - Jan 13, 2009 5:07 am (#1640 of 2055)
By "decades" I meant that DD did nothing in response to his remorse for decades. He knew that GG and he had developed all sorts of plans that GG would likely continue and put into action. And he didn't attempt to do anything about that.

It's not that anyone else would think it was DD's responsibility to handle GG on his own. But DD did think he was the only person who could actually stop GG. Even though DD thought he was the only one who could stop GG, and even though DD had helped in the initial development of GG's plans of muggle domination, DD did nothing to attempt to stop GG until so many people had died that "the shame became too great" (not exact quote perhaps). The point is that internally, DD did not decide to do what he personally considered was his responsibility until many decades had passed and many, many people had died.



Solitaire - Jan 13, 2009 10:38 am (#1641 of 2055)
DD did not decide to do what he personally considered was his responsibility until many decades had passed and many, many people had died.

It was Dumbledore's responsibility to step up and deal with Grindelwald, because he was the only one who had a chance of stopping him. And yet ... he was being cold and manipulative for giving Harry over to a future that meant certain death because Harry was the only one who could stop Voldemort?

I think Dumbledore "groomed" Harry to understand and accept that it was his responsibility to deal with Voldemort, so that Harry would never hang back, as Dumbledore had. Harry seemed to understand from the time of hearing the prophecy that it would be a face-off between himself and Voldemort. Of course, he had the Prophecy and Dumbledore to help him.

I'm sure Dumbledore thought, originally, that someone would stop Grindelwald. Also, if you take into consideration Jo's post-series comments about Dumbledore's earlier feelings for Grindelwald, it is understandable why he might never want to meet him again--certainly in a battle--and why he postponed the inevitable and tried to hope the situation would just go away.

In the end, it didn't go away, and he had to face Grindelwald. It was inevitable. And he knew that a Harry-Voldemort showdown was inevitable, too, and he worked hard to prepare Harry to be ready to face that eventuality when the time came.



wynnleaf - Jan 13, 2009 11:13 am (#1642 of 2055)
It was Dumbledore's responsibility to step up and deal with Grindelwald, because he was the only one who had a chance of stopping him. And yet ... he was being cold and manipulative for giving Harry over to a future that meant certain death because Harry was the only one who could stop Voldemort? (Solitiare)

I'm never sure about these sorts of statements. The rhetorical nature of the question makes it sound like someone just commented on DD being cold and manipulative. Since you were originally quoting me, it sounds like I said he was cold and manipulative. But of course, I didn't say that.

I actually agree with the rest of your post. I suppose DD had to be cold to an extent -- in the same way a commander in a war can't get too emotional about sending people into danger. But since I also think DD truly cared for Harry, I think he was sad for what Harry would have to do. As for being manipulative, well DD did have to arrange matters in certain ways and to an extent he did mentor Harry in a way that led him to accept his part in bringing down LV. JKR called DD Machiavellian and he was that, yet not completely because he did actually care about Harry. I think he also cared about Snape. I don't think he allowed these people to go into danger because he didn't care. I do however think that DD was too caught up in his own genius and began to assume that he was correct in all of his analysis. I think that led to some errors on his part by HBP and DH.



Solitaire - Jan 13, 2009 4:59 pm (#1643 of 2055)
Wynnleaf, I was not singling out one particular poster. I've seen this general sentiment among many posters since DH came out, and that is how I interpret the sentiments being expressed--that DD just stood by and did nothing for years. Because of the past between them, it is possible, IMO, that he had blinders on and kept hoping someone else would step up and take care of Grindelwald. Finally, he had to accept that this was not going to happen.

In his decisions and actions regarding Harry, I do not think he was being manipulative. Harry had no parents to help him make decisions. Dumbledore really was the only one who could help him with this kind of problem. I think one of the reasons he had watched Harry "more closely than you know"--I believe that is how he put it--was so that he would know how to proceed. He needed to understand what made Harry tick in order to guide him properly.

For example, he told Harry (in King's Cross) that he had used Hermione to slow him down, because he didn't want him dropping the search for the Horcruxes and rushing off after Hallows. He knew Harry's temperament from watching him so closely. He was also honest with Harry at the beginning of HBP when he tells him that a lot of what he believes is sheer guesswork, deduced, I suppose, from what he did know for certain.

I suppose what I'm saying is that I see a sort of double standard here, with the pronouncement that Dumbledore should have acted sooner against Grindelwald, yet he is being manipulative when he has Harry go for Voldemort. It makes sense to my feeble brain; I apologize if no one else understands what I'm trying to say.



TomProffitt - Jan 13, 2009 5:26 pm (#1644 of 2055)
... yet [Dumbledore] is being manipulative when he has Harry go for Voldemort. {Although out of context, my take is that the poster (Solitaire) disagreed with this statement} --- Solitaire

From my perspective, Dumbledore is being manipulative of Harry, but he is doing it in the way of a leader, or at worst in the way of a "case handler" in a spy novel. Dumbledore would prefer to fight Tom Riddle himself, but he understands the nature of prophecy in general to know that Harry can succeed where he(Dumbledore) cannot. So, Dumbledore does everything that he can to prepare Harry to succeed and to desire to succeed.

I'm sure that in a perfect world Dumbledore would have wanted to destroy all of the horcruxes himself so that all Harry would need to do would be to confront Voldemort himself and Dumbledore would be there to slay Riddle when the final horcrux "Harry's scar" was destroyed. But that wasn't what fate left for him.



Solitaire - Jan 18, 2009 7:57 pm (#1645 of 2055)
I posted the following on Snape's thread, but I think it works here just fine ...

First of all, Dumbledore didn't kill Harry ... or try to kill Harry ... or hand Harry over to be killed. What he did do was attempt to prepare Harry by providing him with as much information as possible to survive. I think you're giving Dumbledore a bum rap.

In the first place, I do not necessarily think Snape had all of the information. He himself had accused Dumbledore of not trusting and confiding certain things in him ... so he was well aware of it. I see things very differently than Snape, who felt Dumbledore was simply raising Harry to be sacrificed. I think that Harry had to believe that he was walking into the forest to face death, and he had to go willingly, in order for things to work out in the way they did. Yes, it was a gamble--What if Dumbledore had been wrong, and there hadn't really been a bit of Voldy's soul in Harry?--but it was the only gamble they had. I think Dumbledore understood how the fragment of soul combined with Lily's blood from the rebirthing would work ... and that is why he chose that course of action.

What's more, Harry didn't have to walk into the forest. He could have chosen to flee and live his life on the run. But he didn't. In that respect, he was truly like Lily. He stepped forward to sacrifice himself and, in doing so, provided protection for those he loved. Even he mentions this to Voldemort: "I was ready to die to stop you from hurting these people ... I've done what my mother did. They're protected from you. Haven't you noticed how none of the spells you put on them are binding? ..."

I'm not sure Snape ever understood Dumbledore's real intent, because Dumbledore couldn't let him know. Harry had to believe he was meant to die. That is just my take on it all.

Solitaire



Quinn Crockett - Jan 18, 2009 10:30 pm (#1646 of 2055)
I agree, Solitaire. And it seems that it was a painful revelation for Dumbledore to have to make. But necessary.



Mrs Brisbee - Jan 18, 2009 11:39 pm (#1647 of 2055)
In my opinion, Dumbledore was definitely culpable for Arianna's death because he intentionally let Grindelwald, knowing what he was, into his home, and gleefully plotted with him.

However, I am doubtful of the claims that Dumbledore stood by and did nothing about his remorse until he went mano-a-mano with Grindelwald. I only remember Dumbledore saying that he delayed confronting Grindelwald, not that he never did anything up to that point to oppose him, or even actively demonstrate his remorse in some other way. Does anybody remember when Dumbledore started fighting for Muggle rights? I don't know if a clear timeline is given in the books. But I feel that Dumbledore probably was busy pushing for an agenda that was quite contrary to the one he espoused that summer with Grindelwald. Anyway, I don't think that he says he did nothing about his remorse, only that he didn't confront Grindelwald.



wynnleaf - Jan 19, 2009 5:21 am (#1648 of 2055)
Mrs. Brisbee,

I can't recall that we are ever shown that DD did anything to directly fight for muggle rights. He fought against GG and LV who wanted to take over the WW and wanted to control the muggle world. But I don't recall DD doing anything for muggle rights at all. As for the rights of muggleborn wizards and witches, well he did personally treat muggleborns equally at the school, but that's not the same as fighting for their rights either.

The only way I recall that DD actively fought for the rights of muggleborns or muggles was in resisting GG and LV. Of course, I might certainly be forgetting something. Are we told that he championed their rights to the Ministry? Or in other public forums? I don't recall that.



mona amon - Jan 19, 2009 7:09 am (#1649 of 2055)
Someone called him a 'muggle-loving fool' but I've forgotten who. He must have done something to deserve that reputation.



Mrs Brisbee - Jan 19, 2009 7:12 am (#1650 of 2055)
Wynnleaf,

I don't recall there ever being any specifics, either, on what Dumbledore was doing pre-Grindelwald confrontation, which is why I'm asking. However, I think it incorrect to state unequivocally that Dumbledore did nothing, when he did not say that in King's Cross. He said he delayed his confrontation with Grindelwald, which is not the same thing as doing nothing. It would be interesting to know when he started a spokesperson against the pervasive bigotry of the Wizarding World. He was certainly active in politics and well-known and respected prior to his confrontation with Grindelwald, as he had been offered the position of Minister (and turned it down) several times by then. I simply think that there is no evidence that the battle with Grindelwald marked a point between doing absolutely nothing about his remorse, and doing something about his remorse.
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Julia H. - Jan 19, 2009 5:24 pm (#1651 of 2055)
This is what I remember from canon about Dumbledore's years before the duel with Grindelwald. There can be more details, of course.

"Years passed. There were rumors about him. They said he had procured a wand of immense power. I, meanwhile, was offered the post of Minister of Magic, not once, but several times. Naturally, I refused... I was safer at Hogwarts... But while I busied myself with the training of young wizards, Grindelwald was raising an army.... I delayed meeting him until, finally, it would have been too shameful to resist any longer. People were dying and he seemed unstoppable and I had to do what I could." (Dumbledore)

"Grindelwald never extended his campaign of terror to Britain..." (Rita)

We know Dumbledore was not only a teacher but also a scientist active in several fields of magical sciences (the uses of dragon blood, alchemy, transfiguration). He was also a very powerful wizard. I do not doubt that he was an outspoken defender of Muggle rights in those years but he seems to have spent those years in Britain or mainly in Britain. However, Grindelwald's terror was not extended to Britain, it was apparently focused on continental Europe. (Viktor's family members have first-hand experience.) It seems Muggle rights were respected in Britain, as far as the law was concerned. Dumbledore's own father had been imprisoned for attacking Muggles. Bob Ogden, from the Ministry, investigated an attack on Muggles, and Morfin was imprisoned for allegedly killing Muggles. At the same time, many or most wizards seem to consider Muggles inferior beings. It would be logical that with no major Muggle problems in Britain and with Muggles seen as "aliens" to the wizarding world, though Dumbledore was offered the post of Minister of Magic, it may not necessarily have been for Dumbledore being a protector of Muggles (even if he was a protector of Muggles). It seems, on the one hand, in Britain, Muggles and Muggle rights were not directly threatened by anything as dangerous and large-scale as Grindelwald and his army. (Clearly, there were isolated problems, like Morfin.) On the other hand, is it ever mentioned that Dumbledore ever did anything in those other countries where the killings occurred prior to the duel with Grindelwald?

He may well have been a pro-Muggle British wizard (politician), but it is not necessarily the same as doing something - anything - about Grindelwald, on the continent, specifically.

Someone called him a 'muggle-loving fool' but I've forgotten who. (Mona)

Wasn't it Voldemort?



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 19, 2009 7:46 pm (#1652 of 2055)
I think that Harry had to believe that he was walking into the forest to face death, and he had to go willingly, in order for things to work out in the way they did. Yes, it was a gamble--What if Dumbledore had been wrong, ... - Solitaire

I agree with your post wholeheartedly and think it was eloquently written. I'd like to add that in spiritual initiations this believing you are facing something life-threatening is a requirement. I would think JKR is completely aware of such processes.



wynnleaf - Jan 19, 2009 8:05 pm (#1653 of 2055)
I also agree that DD could not allow either Harry or Snape to know that Harry might (DD did not know for certain), be able to live through "dying" if he gave himself up voluntarily.

Right after DH came out I disliked Dumbledore a good deal. But in looking at it again, I do realize that much of what DD had to allow was really forced on him either by LV or by circumstances.

Nevertheless, regarding Harry's going to his death, DD did not know for certain that Harry could live through it. And although DD seemed to believe his guesses were usually right, in fact they were often wrong.

Personally, I think one of DD's greatest flaws is pride in his own intellect to the point of not trusting others, even one or two, with his decision making process. It is a common weakness of people who believe they are far less fallible than everyone else around.



Solitaire - Jan 19, 2009 8:25 pm (#1654 of 2055)
Actually, Dumbledore pointed out that his errors were usually big ones. As to not trusting others because of pride, I do not see it. So much of what he had to do required confidentiality, and we all know how long secrets stay secret once we tell someone. Not only that ... Dumbledore tried to protect those around him, I think, by not putting them in a position to be forced into giving information. What they did not know, they could not tell.

Even if Dumbledore had known Harry would die in his confrontation with Voldemort, what could he have done, given the circumstance? When he chose to tell Voldemort about the prophecy--would he ever have learned about it any other way?--Snape set in motion a series of events that had to play out.

Could Dumbledore have been the one to take him on? Perhaps he might have, had he not succumbed to the temptation of the Stone. Could he have found the Horcruxes and destroyed them without ever involving Harry? I don't know ... It may have been that Harry had to face Voldemort eventually, if he was ever to be killed. I personally do not see that Dumbledore could have done things any differently. Circumstances bound him, and he tried to minimize the fallout. It was Snape who ultimately set the wheels in motion.



wynnleaf - Jan 19, 2009 8:32 pm (#1655 of 2055)
When he chose to tell Voldemort about the prophecy--would he ever have learned about it any other way? (Solitaire)

Absolutely. As the people possibly named in the prophecy, the Potters, as well as, for that matter, the Longbottoms, would have been told the prophecy. The prophecy was, after all, stored in the MOM. It wasn't DD's personal possession.

James would have told his friends. After all, he trusted them.

Peter would have told LV.

And the story would have continued. Only this time, the betrayer wouldn't have been filled with remorse. He wouldn't have had the courage to do what Snape did. LV could attack any family he suspected, but since he attacked lots of people anyway, DD might never suspect that LV was attacking the Potters or the Longbottoms because of the prophecy, rather than just because they were Order members, blood traitors, or other reasons. DD would probably have had both the Longbottoms and the Potters go into hiding. But then Peter would have betrayed the Potters anyway.

Only there'd be nobody to beg LV to spare Lily, so she wouldn't have been given a choice. She'd have died with out the direct, voluntary sacrifice and Harry would have been killed.

Things would actually have been worse if Snape hadn't been involved.



Solitaire - Jan 19, 2009 8:40 pm (#1656 of 2055)
Would they? Would Voldemort have known if Snape had not told him?

Absolutely. As the people possibly named in the prophecy, the Potters, as well as, for that matter, the Longbottoms, would have been told the prophecy. The prophecy was, after all, stored in the MOM.

Are you certain the Longbottoms were told? Are we sure that everyone who is the subject of a prophecy is told about it? Did someone contact Peter Pettigrew and tell him Sibyll had made a prophecy about him in PoA? I am doubting it. And who told the Potters? If it was DD and not the Ministry, then I suspect he told them only to convince them they were in danger.

I'm not sure everyone who is the subject of a prophecy is told. Did the Ministry ever volunteer to tell Harry? Not that I can recall.



wynnleaf - Jan 19, 2009 9:18 pm (#1657 of 2055)
Did someone contact Peter Pettigrew and tell him Sibyll had made a prophecy about him in PoA? I am doubting it. And who told the Potters? If it was DD and not the Ministry, then I suspect he told them only to convince them they were in danger. (Solitaire)

So you're basically saying that Dumbledore would naturally have taken it on himself to assume that without the Potters or Longbottoms or anyone learning about the prophecy, there was no danger at all, so he wouldn't tell anyone.

That's not what happens with Peter, is it? No one knew. Peter wasn't making a prophecy come true because he knew about it. It happened anyway.

Would DD have really taken that chance and never told the Potters or Longbottoms about the prophecy, hoping that "what they don't know can't hurt them?" From the fact that the MOM had thousands of prophecies stored up, it seems to have been what responsible wizards did: report prophecies. Harry of course, didn't need to, as it came true immediately.

So yes, I think DD isn't quite that reckless with other people's lives. I do think he'd have told the Potters and Longbottoms that the Dark Lord might target them. And in fact, since the Potters and Longbottoms had found themselves "defying the Dark Lord" 3 times already, DD should have told them.



Solitaire - Jan 19, 2009 9:44 pm (#1658 of 2055)
Would DD have really taken that chance and never told the Potters or Longbottoms about the prophecy, hoping that "what they don't know can't hurt them"

I don't know. I do feel pretty strongly that the Ministry never contacted Peter about that prophecy. Perhaps that's because Harry heard it, and he didn't know he was supposed to report it. Or maybe any prophecy that's made just automatically shows up in a bubble in the Ministry, sort of like when Muggle-born Magical children are born and they are somehow registered at Hogwarts, even though their parents haven't got a clue they are magic yet.

Dumbledore's comment to Harry that the prophecy could have gone unfulfilled, had Voldemort not chosen to act on it, makes me wonder whether he would have found out about it had no one told him about it. We know Dumbledore was not going to tell him. Sibyll apparently didn't even know she'd made the prophecy. There are only two ways for the Ministry to have found out: One, Dumbledore recorded it, or two, the Ministry magically knows. Even if they do magically find out, I wonder, though, whether they inform every single person who is the subject of a prophecy that a prophecy has been made about him or her. Do you think the Ministry would have contacted Voldemort back then and told him?

If I remember correctly, the prophecy was originally labeled with "Lord Voldemort and ?" It was relabeled after Voldy's attack on Harry. This means to me that the Ministry was not sure who was the subject of the prophecy. If they didn't know, how could they tell anyone? It seems Snape was surprised to learn that Voldemort had interpreted it to mean Harry. If he didn't know who it meant, would anyone else? Does the Ministry keep such close tabs on pregnant women?

As to whether Dumbledore told the Potters and the Longbottoms ... I do not know. If the Longbottoms were told, Neville seems not to have been told about it. That could mean they knew and they didn't tell Gran ... or Gran knew and didn't tell Neville.



Quinn Crockett - Jan 19, 2009 10:24 pm (#1659 of 2055)
I got the impression that both the Potters and the Longbottoms knew about the prophecy, partly because Bellatrix and company went straight to the Longbottoms after Voldemort's "disappearance". I mean, why would the Lestranges think the Longbottoms knew anything unless they thought the Longbottoms knew about the prophecy? I could be way off on that, of course.

And I also got the impression that the prophecies sort of magically appeared there in the Hall of Prophecies. But there's not really anything in the text to support it. Just what I thought.



Solitaire - Jan 19, 2009 10:26 pm (#1660 of 2055)
But didn't Dumbledore say Bella didn't know about the Prophecy? Or maybe it was Jo in an interview ... I can't remember now. I thought the same thing about the prophecies.



Quinn Crockett - Jan 19, 2009 10:35 pm (#1661 of 2055)
Oh... well, I guess that settles that



mona amon - Jan 20, 2009 12:18 am (#1662 of 2055)
I think the prophecies do appear by magic in the Hall of Prophecy. And I also think the labelling happens by magic. Sybil's prophecy about Wormtail would have appeared as The Dark Lord and (?) and when the prophecy was fulfilled, Peter's name would have appeared.

I'm betting Dumbledore would never have said a word to anyone about the prophecy. He's the one who believes that prophecies get set into motion by people acting on them. If Snape hadn't overheard it, there would have been no Chosen One and the prophecy would have remained unfulfilled.



wynnleaf - Jan 20, 2009 6:29 am (#1663 of 2055)
Yes, JKR has DD say that the prophecy would have gone unfulfilled if LV had chosen not to act upon it. This makes it seem like DD thought that a prophecy was not definitely going to happen, but instead happened as some kind of "self-fulfilling" prophecy -- that is, the person believes it so much that they act on it. But we don't actually know that's what DD meant. Further, in JKR's "world" it seems that prophecies are actually real. We see Trelawney make the prophecy about Peter and it happens that very night. By the way, even if the Ministry knew of the prophecy about Peter, they'd have no idea who it was about.

Back to the Potter prophecy.

The prophecy doesn't say "the Dark Lord will hear of this prophecy and then...." It simply says that a person is coming who the Dark Lord will mark as his equal. Nothing about marking him because the Dark Lord equated this person with a prophecy.

When DD heard the prophecy, he would be able to identify certain people or families who had "defied the Dark Lord three times" and who had babies in July of that year. But DD would have no idea -- prior to it actually happening -- exactly why LV would target the particular person. Therefore DD would have to warn the families in question that LV might, for unknown reasons, target them a fourth time and, again for unknown reasons, end up "marking" their child as his equal.

DD can say after the fact that LV targeted the Potters because he heard the prophecy. But prior to the fact, he could not know why LV might target them. After all, if LV had confronted the Potters and Longbottoms 3 times already, there might be any number of reasons why he'd attack them again. But the prophecy told DD that the sons of these two sets of parents would, if they were attacked again, be in huge jeopardy, even if for unknown reasons.

He couldn't just sit back and hope that if the Potters and Longbottoms never knew the prophecy, that LV would never decide to target either the Potters or Longbottoms or attempt to harm their child.

So yes, I think he'd have to tell them, even if the ministry didn't. And if the ministry did have the prophecy concerning LV, then LV would likely hear of it (spies in the ministry remember) and try, as in OOTP, to get the prophecy. Further, just as the ministry identified Harry as the person in the prophecy after he was "marked", so they might have identified the possible objects of the prophecy by determining who had "defied the Dark Lord" three times.



Solitaire - Jan 20, 2009 7:58 am (#1664 of 2055)
He couldn't just sit back and hope that if the Potters and Longbottoms never knew the prophecy, that LV would never decide to target either the Potters or Longbottoms or attempt to harm their child.

Of course he couldn't. Death Eater Snape had already overheard at least part of the prophecy, and Dumbledore wisely suspected he might run straight to Voldy with it ... like he did. Doing nothing was never an option. Did he say anything to the Potters before Snape came to him and let him know how Voldy was interpreting the prophecy? I do not remember Dumbledore saying this. Does anyone else? As to Ministry workers finding it out ... hard to say. I guess it would have depended on whether or not any DEs were working in the Department of Mysteries.



Julia H. - Jan 20, 2009 8:27 am (#1665 of 2055)
As to Ministry workers finding it out ... hard to say. I guess it would have depended on whether or not any DEs were working in the Department of Mysteries.

Rookwood was working there. He could have told Voldemort there was a prophecy about him.

It's interesting that Voldemort heard the first part only and yet he fulfilled the second as well. We can even say, he fulfilled the second part because he had heard the first.

Pettigrew certainly fulfilled his Prophecy without knowing about it.



wynnleaf - Jan 20, 2009 9:55 am (#1666 of 2055)
Of course he couldn't. Death Eater Snape had already overheard at least part of the prophecy, and Dumbledore wisely suspected he might run straight to Voldy with it ... like he did. (Solitaire)

You know, I could have sworn we were talking about what DD would have done if Snape hadn't overheard the prophecy, the question being if LV would ever have attacked the Potters without Snape in particular listening in on the prophecy and taking it to LV. Of course once DD knew Snape had heard it, I would hope it would be utterly obvious he had to tell the Potters and the Longbottoms. But the comment that I orginally started this aspect of discussion about was when you said that none of it would have happened if Snape hadn't taken the prophecy to LV. And I said that LV would have heard of it anyway, probably from Peter because DD would have told the Potters and James, who clearly trusted Peter with his life, would have told him. You seemed to assert that in that case DD likely wouldn't have told the Potters.

We do know, via JKR interviews, that the Potters went into hiding right after Harry's christening, so perhaps DD told the parents as soon as either child was born. It would certainly have been the responsible thing to do regardless of whether or not someone had eavesdropped and heard the prophecy.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 20, 2009 1:47 pm (#1667 of 2055)
Only there'd be nobody to beg LV to spare Lily, so she wouldn't have been given a choice. She'd have died with out the direct, voluntary sacrifice and Harry would have been killed.

Things would actually have been worse if Snape hadn't been involved. - wynnleaf

Thank you. I've been trying to have a conversation about this point.

My statement about Harry needing to die was regarding the plot from the “lower level” – that is to say, the level where JKR has encoded the work with a massive amount of symbolism. Just as the “wizard with the white beard must die” and the quester must go it alone, so must this quester go through a death of sorts in order to become “invincible”.

I was not saying DD *wished* for or was *indifferent* to Harry's suffering. It seems DD could never have been 100% certain, which is realistic to me. How could he? The series is firm in its attitude of “prophecy” and “fortune telling” – there are no absolutes.

However, I feel that had DD not had the Triumphant Gleam moment, he would have proceeded much differently. He grew to love Harry too much to be cavalier with his life. To me much of the story is how Harry changed DD for the better.



Solitaire - Jan 20, 2009 8:35 pm (#1668 of 2055)
Only there'd be nobody to beg LV to spare Lily, so she wouldn't have been given a choice. She'd have died with out the direct, voluntary sacrifice and Harry would have been killed.

Things would actually have been worse if Snape hadn't been involved.

We do not really know this.



wynnleaf - Jan 20, 2009 8:57 pm (#1669 of 2055)
We do not really know this. (Solitaire)

We don't know for certain that DD would have told the Potters and Longbottoms about the prophecy -- but he should have told them and if DD was doing the right thing, he would have done it.

After that, we can know for as close to certain as one could be that: James would have told Peter. Peter would have told LV. LV would have determined to attack. No one would have asked LV to spare Lily. LV would not have given Lily a choice to live. Therefore Lily would have no choice with which to give herself sacrificially to save Harry. Harry would die.



Solitaire - Jan 20, 2009 9:19 pm (#1670 of 2055)
We still do not know for certain that the Potters told anyone about the Prophecy. In PoA, McGonagall says that Dumbledore was tipped off by one of his spies (whom we now know is Snape) that Voldemort was after the Potters, and he alerted them. I think it's possible they could have gone into hiding without having to say a thing about the Prophecy.

If Sirius or Remus had known about the prophecy, I think Harry would have learned about it before he did.



mona amon - Jan 21, 2009 12:27 am (#1671 of 2055)
There seem to be three types of prophecies- The ones that get fulfilled whether anyone tries to do anything or not (like Sybil's prophecy about Wormtail), the ones that are 'self-fulfilling', which need to be acted upon to set them into motion, and the ones that just do not come true. Dumbledore's attitude towards prophecies, from what he tells Harry, seems to be "better leave them alone". He takes no action when he hears the Wormtail prophecy from Harry.

If Snape hadn't overheard the prophecy, I do not think Dumbledore would have told anyone about it, because if he is the only one who heard it, how is it going to reach Voldemort's ears?

As for the records in the MoM, I do not think anyone in the ministry actually hears all those prophecies. The physical similarity between the prophecy that got smashed in the MoM ("A pearly white figure with hugely magnified eyes rose into the air...Harry could see its mouth moving, but in all the crashes and screams and yells surrounding them, not one word could he hear.") and the memory that Dumbledore evokes out of the pensive for Harry ("A figure rose out of it, draped in shawls, her eyes magnified to enormous size...") makes me think that the prophecies in the MoM were magically recorded and encapsulated in their glass spheres without anyone hearing them.



wynnleaf - Jan 21, 2009 7:34 am (#1672 of 2055)
If Sirius or Remus had known about the prophecy, I think Harry would have learned about it before he did. (Solitaire)

Sirius knew a number of things that he didn't tell Harry because DD didn't think the time was right. For instance, we know he knew about there being a prophecy because the Order members were gaurding that room. Yet he didn't tell Harry. Therefore we actually have evidence that if Sirius knew the prophecy or it's basic contents, he probably wouldn't have told Harry as long as DD thought it best to wait.

As for Lupin, the rest of the Marauders were suspicious of Lupin late in the first war, for some unknown reason, so they may well have not told him. But later, if Sirius told him, I still think it highly likely that he wouldn't have told Harry without DD's permission. After all, Lupin had withheld a great deal from Harry through most of POA, and he wasn't the one in OOTP pushing to have Harry filled in on more secrets.

The ones that get fulfilled whether anyone tries to do anything or not (like Sybil's prophecy about Wormtail), the ones that are 'self-fulfilling', which need to be acted upon to set them into motion, and the ones that just do not come true. (mona amon)

Are we shown any prophecies that don't come true? I can't recall any. Or perhaps DD refers to prophecies that don't come true?

Actually, it may well be that the "self-fulling prophecies" and the other types like with Wormtail are really no different. It's just that every prophecy is a prediction of what people will do given certain circumstances that will play out. Some of those circumstances include hearing the prophecy and others don't, but either way, the prediction is that the individuals involved will act and react in certain ways.

We don't really know JKR's view of prophecy. I don't mean in real life, but what she considers prophecy to be - that is, what defines prophecy to JKR - and therefore how she interprets it in the HP series. I know we can't discuss religon on the Forum. However, JKR is Church of Scotland which, according to Wikipedia, is "reformed in theology". I have a rather thorough understanding of what that means and it could be that her way of writing about the prophecies in the series is somewhat informed by that background.

If that was the case, it may be that the prophecies in the book work as follows.

A prophecy does not force anyone to do anything. Neither Harry nor LV are forced to follow any set of actions because of an earlier prophecy. Each person still makes all of his or her choices based on their personalities, their desires, their ethics, and info they have about the situation. That info might include the prophecy or not, but the knowing the words of the prophecy is only another piece of information.

The prophecy itself isn't like a spell that pushes people to do something. It is simply statement of what will eventually pan out when all is said and done. That is, whatever the circumstances that are to come, they will come in such a way as to ultimately fulfill the prophecy.

This doesn't take away anyone's personal responsibility.

A fictional comparison might be like time travel into the past. The time traveler might tell or not tell an individual what they are going to do in the following days. It doesn't matter whether the time traveler gives the info or not, the person will still do what they were going to do. If the time traveler does tell someone what is going to happen, perhaps thinking to prevent it, the circumstance still occurs and the time traveler realizes that his own giving of the information was always going to happen and always a part of the process. He didn't change anything.

So that makes the prophecy not something that shapes events. Instead, it's almost like a message from the future coming to tell what will occur. It's not a force pushing anyone to do anything. If knowledge of the future encourages an individual toward a particular action, that's still something that was always going to happen -- the individual was going to get the future knowledge and use it to make his/her decision.

The person always has a choice. The prophecy doesn't force the choice, but like a message from the future it simply states what their choice is going to be.

Confused? Yep, it's confusing and I'm often a convoluted writer, so not the best to try and describe something like that.



Solitaire - Jan 21, 2009 7:54 am (#1673 of 2055)
we know he knew about there being a prophecy because the Order members were gaurding that room

Yes ... when Harry was 15. But we still do not know if he knew of it when Harry was a baby. I'm still not convinced.



wynnleaf - Jan 21, 2009 7:57 am (#1674 of 2055)
Yes, I know that. I was pointing out that we have evidence that Sirius more likely wouldn't have told Harry if he did know the full prophecy.



mona amon - Jan 21, 2009 9:18 am (#1675 of 2055)
Confused? Yep, it's confusing and I'm often a convoluted writer...(Wynnleaf)

Actually, you explained that part of it very well. What I don't understand is, are you saying that this particular prophecy would have come true whether Snape overheard it or not?

If so, I don't think that's correct because, in HBP, Dumbledore tells Harry that not every prophecy has been fulfilled and he also clearly tells him that this particular prophecy is important only because Voldemort acted upon it (something he could not have done if he had never heard it). "If Voldemort had never heard of the prophecy, would it have been fulfilled? Would it have meant anything? Of course not! Do you think every prophecy in the Hall of Prophecy has been fulfilled?" HBP,Chapter 23.



wynnleaf - Jan 21, 2009 11:23 am (#1676 of 2055)
Mona amon,

I think that the prophecy had to happen exactly as it did. The prophecy was simply a statement of what would happen, but did not actually, in and of itself, cause anything.

If no prophecy had been made, the Potters might have had to confront LV another time and still died. Perhaps Harry might have died in an attack agains blood traitors and/or Order members.

If the prophecy had been made, but not heard by Snape, DD would most likely have passed it on to James, James to Peter, Peter to LV, and LV attack the Potters without any reason to give Lily a choice. Harry would have died, but not been marked. There would be no rebounding spell and therefore no "mark", only a dead baby. Therefore the prophecy would not come true. LV would have heard it and responded, but it wouldn't come true.

But in my explanation of prophecy about (and I certainly don't know if it's JKR's idea), there really is no "if/then" set of scenarios.

In order for Harry to get "marked", the spell had to rebound. The only way the spell would rebound was if Lily made a voluntary choice to die. The only way that would happen is if LV gave her the choice. The only reason he gave her the choice was because Snape asked him to spare Lily. And of course, the only reason Snape was involved is because he joined the DEs and spied for LV.

So what am I saying? Our choices are what make things happen. Snape made an extremely wrong and immoral choice. But Snape didn't "make" the prophecy come true. The prophecy was simply a statement of what would happen. There are no if/thens, only what actually happened. Ultimately, good comes out of it, but that doesn't make Snape's choice any better, even if his choice was necessary for LV to ultimately be defeated. It just is what is.

I looked up the part in HBP where DD is discussing the prophecy. He wants Harry to understand that he is not compelled by the prophecy to do anything. The prophecy doesn't make or force anyone to act on it. People make the choices themselves. And that fits with what I discussed above.

DD says that there are unfulfilled prophecies, although we don't know exactly how that works with JKR's version of prophecy in HP, because Peter fulfills the prophecy about him without knowing a thing about it. Further, LV's choices only make a bit of the prophecy come true. It is LV that decides to go after Harry. But it is the combined good and bad decisions of other people -- Snape, Lily -- that make the rest of the prophecy even possible. Yet neither of them acts because they think they are fulfilling a prophecy.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 21, 2009 1:28 pm (#1677 of 2055)
If the prophecy had been made, but not heard by Snape, DD would most likely have passed it on to James, James to Peter, Peter to LV, and LV attack the Potters without any reason to give Lily a choice. Harry would have died, but not been marked. There would be no rebounding spell and therefore no "mark", only a dead baby. Therefore the prophecy would not come true. LV would have heard it and responded, but it wouldn't come true. - wynnleaf

Exactly.

What I find even more fascinating is that Severus did not even relay the "mark" part of the prophecy...



legolas returns - Jan 21, 2009 2:17 pm (#1678 of 2055)
If Snape had not heard the prophecy then Dumbledore would be the only person who would know the contents. The people who worked in the MOM only knew that it concerned Voldemort and an unknown person. I honestly think that Dumbledore would not have wanted to draw attention to it. I am sure he would have thought of some clever way to work out whether Voldemort was interested in it or not. I don't think he would have got the order to guard it as it would make Voldemort think that it was really important. I think he would have kept a closer eye on the Longbottoms/Potters and got them to have a secret keeper and told them that it was for the childrens safety.



Quinn Crockett - Jan 21, 2009 2:53 pm (#1679 of 2055)
but he should have told them and if DD was doing the right thing, he would have done it. - "The right thing" according to whom? I happen to think Dumbledore had the right attitude regarding prophecies in that they can only "come true" if someone thinks they mean anything.

If the prophecy had been made, but not heard by Snape, DD would most likely have passed it on to James, James to Peter, Peter to LV - Wow, that's a lot of extrapolating there. And it assumes that Dumbledore would inexplicably do a complete about face and suddenly decide, "You know, I think I do believe in prophecies after all! I better tell someone!"

But even if Dumbledore had always thought prophecies should be taken seriously, how could he possibly know who to tell? How could he know that "born as the seventh month dies" referred to an as yet unborn child? And even if he did think that, was he supposed to quickly calculate the due dates of all the pregnant women he knew? Why would he even think the prophecy referred to a person he knew personally?

See, there are just far too many variables to the thing, which is why Dumbledore didn't think people should pay prophecies much attention. But even if, for some reason, Dumbledore thought this particular one was worth hearing, he would never have taken it upon himself to pass on such unreliable "information".



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 21, 2009 3:09 pm (#1680 of 2055)
See, there are just far too many variables to the thing, which is why Dumbledore didn't think people should pay prophecies much attention. But even if, for some reason, Dumbledore thought this particular one was worth hearing, he would never have taken it upon himself to pass on such unreliable "information". - Quinn C.

I agree completely with that. He wasn't looking for a fortune teller, he was looking for a teacher. He didn't pass on the information, of course. My point (and I know you were addressing wynnleaf) for what it's worth, was more the irony of how Severus's involvement was crucial for Lily's protection, the "mark", the entire contents of the second half of the prophecy, to happen.

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Julia H. - Jan 21, 2009 3:24 pm (#1681 of 2055)
I don't see the point in dividing prophecies into prophecies that come true because the person concerned knows about them and prophecies that come true although the person concerned does not know about them - unless we can tell what makes these prophecies work differently. (If one comes true only because the person mentioned in the prophecy knows about it, then what makes the other one come true?) If we cannot tell that, the simple way is to say that these are prophecies that come true - regardless whether the person involved in the events the prophecy speaks about knows it or not.

As for not fulfilled prophecies: I wonder why they are not fulfilled. The fact that the persons involved do not know about it cannot be the reason, since other such prophecies do get fulfilled. I also wonder what happens if a person learns about the prophecy but does not believe in it. Would the prophecy get fulfilled if Voldemort thought it was just rubbish and did not bother to find out who it was referring to? Or was Voldemort's interest in it a means in the hands of fate?

If, as Wynnleaf says, the prophecy simply predicts what is going to happen in the natural course of events, then all real prophecies should be fulfilled. In this case, what makes Harry the Chosen One is the right constellation of circumstances and events, including facts like Harry's mother's former friend is a DE now but still loves Harry's mother and will choose her over Voldemort's goal, that Harry's father has this particular circle of friends, one of whom is going to be a traitor (will choose Voldemort instead of his friends), that Voldemort is far too self-centred not to care about to prophecy, that Harry's father will listen to his friend's advice instead of Dumbledore's, that Harry's mother will love Harry enough to shield him with her own body etc. The trick is that the prophecy identifies Harry not with these circumstances but with the fact that his parents defied Voldemort thrice, which fact, I think, has much less to do with the fulfillment of the prophecy (apart form identifying the family for Voldemort) than the above mentioned circumstances. The defiance, however, applies to the Longbottoms as well, while the other circumstances do not. Does that mean if Voldemort had chosen the Longbottoms, the prophecy would not have come true - but maybe the fact that Voldemort will choose the Potters is also a part of the right constellation - i.e., there is a specific reason why Voldemort will "naturally" choose Harry (e.g., that he is another half-blood)? Or does that mean that there is another series of events/circumstances that would make the prophecy come true even if Voldemort chose the Longbottoms, since it is not an accident that the Prophecy could identify two different boys - i.e., that the prophecy chooses this ambiguous way of identification because both boys could fulfill the prophecy though for different reasons?

Of course, the prophecy is ambiguous in another sense too: It only says the boy to be born has the power to vanquish the Dark Lord, not that he will in fact vanquish him - it is a chance only. And the prophecy only says one will be killed by the other but does not say which one will win.

So, whatever DD says, I think the fact that someone makes the prophecy true by hearing it and acting accordingly, is only a part of the circumstances the prophecy "takes into account". So, for example, another necessary circumstance was that Voldemort sent a spy to Dumbledore. Perhaps this was the event that - magically? - triggered the making of the prophecy: All other circumstances were already in place but there still had to be a way for both Voldemort and Snape to know about the prophecy.*

I think in principle the news of the prophecy could have got back to Voldemort through his spies in the Ministry, but without Snape's involvement, the right constellation of events that resulted in the "logic" of the prophecy would not have existed so perhaps the prophecy would not have been made or it would have been worded to refer to the Longbottoms only, making the other line of events (the other optimal constellation if there was such) be the only possibility.

So the reason why Pettigrew does not need to know about the Prophecy to fulfill it may be that the series of events / circumstances in this particular case does not involve the circumstance of Pettigrew knowing it. It is not necessary for the fulfillment because other circumstances make it sure already. In other words, whether the person knows about the prophecy or not may be just one of the circumstances that can play a role in the course of events the prophecy is based on but is basically not different from any other circumstance the prophecy may or may not take into account.

Does anyone think that might make sense?

EDIT: *In fact the actual trigger for the Prophecy - as the last part of the necessary constellation [/b]- May have been Snape's decision to go to the door and listen. So it is not accidental that the Prophecy was made precisely in those minutes because that was the circumstance that completed the constellation for the Prophecy to be true.



Quinn Crockett - Jan 21, 2009 3:48 pm (#1682 of 2055)
It only says the boy to be born has the power to vanquish the Dark Lord - It doesn't even say that. It says "The one with the power to vanquish the dark lord approaches".

But I think I know what you mean, Julia. In scientific observation, there is a school of thought that holds that the very act of observing affects the outcome of the experiment. Perhaps it is the same with prophecies.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 21, 2009 5:17 pm (#1683 of 2055)
If a tree falls in the forest with no one to witness it, does it make any noise? heh heh

...but without Snape's involvement, the right constellation of events that resulted in the "logic" of the prophecy would not have existed so perhaps the prophecy would not have been made or it would have been worded to refer to the Longbottoms only, making the other line of events (the other optimal constellation if there was such) be the only possibility. - Julia H.

Interesting if Trelawney's "information" was affected by Severus standing at the door. Fun to ponder...

EDIT: Julia, it seems you also added this idea to your post! How funny~ I had stopped short upon reading the above quote and needed to respond. Then went back to finish reading and there was your mentioning it, too.



wynnleaf - Jan 21, 2009 8:02 pm (#1684 of 2055)
Even though we know that it was LV's choice to pursue the prophecy coming true, which therefore set it into actual action, LV's choice is not the only choice that made the prophecy come true. The prophecy being fulfilled was dependent on a number of choices which didn't include people trying to fulfill a prophecy. The "marking" aspect of the prophecy wasn't even known to LV (do I have that right?). And the ability of LV's action to end up "marking" the baby was dependent on Snape's being involved and Lily's choice as well.

If LV had chosen to target Neville instead, the factors would not (as far as we know), be in place whereby Alice would be given a choice to live, thereby giving Neville a protection against LV and causing the AK to rebound. So LV's other "choice" would not have resulted in a fulfilled prophecy. But the prophecy isn't an "if/then" scenario. It's a message about what LV will do. So even though one might speculate about what would happen if LV had chosen Neville, he would never have done so, according to the prophecy.

Even though DD says that it took LV wanting to pursue the prophecy (which is true), it also took the decisions of a number of other people who were not trying to pursue the prophecy. Therefore, fulfillment of a prophecy is not predicated solely on a person hearing it and working to fulfill it. It may also be very much dependent on people unknowingly fulfilling it.

Similarly, Peter has no knowledge that a prophecy was made concerning him, and he doesn't need to know in order to fulfill the prophecy.

As I said, I think the best explanation for prophecies in HP, an explanation that fits both DD's comments and the way the actual prophecies work out, is that the prophecy is almost like a message from the future, with no particular power at all. It's a message about what will happen. Sometimes hearing about the prophecy informs a person who then acts in a way they'd not otherwise act. Sometimes people don't know about it. But it doesn't matter. All of the factors, hearing about the prophecy or not hearing, are each a part of what it takes to bring it to pass. Kind of like the visitor from the future in a time travel story bringing info from the future. Some time travelers tell no one about the future, in the fear that they'll "change the course of events". Other time travelers attempt to "change the course of events" by giving info to particular individuals in the past. But both discover that the past wouldn't change because even if the time traveler gave crucial info in order to attempt to change events, he may find later that his info was always a key ingredient to what occurred.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 21, 2009 8:26 pm (#1685 of 2055)
The "marking" aspect of the prophecy wasn't even known to LV (do I have that right?). And the ability of LV's action to end up "marking" the baby was dependent on Snape's being involved and Lily's choice as well. - wynnleaf

Yes, you have that right and yes, if Severus had not asked for her life to be spared, Lily could not have made her "sacrifice".

It's a message about what LV will do. So even though one might speculate about what would happen if LV had chosen Neville, he would never have done so, according to the prophecy.

I like where you go with this. It is possible that, as far as prophets go, the person who will be making the "choice" is known better to the prophet's source than to the person himself. Riddle might have chosen Harry because he did not want to be up against the magical power of a pure-blood infant. Another underestimation on his part.

But both discover that the past wouldn't change because even if the time traveler gave crucial info in order to attempt to change events, he may find later that his info was always a key ingredient to what occurred.

I would agree that the prophecy is about what will happen *if* the wheels are set in motion. If Severus had not heard the prophecy, Voldemort would not have ever heard it, and the course of events would have come to a screeching halt.

Time traveling would be a great new topic to get on, but I'll not go into it on this thread... I know there was one around here somewhere at one point.

I would like to add to mona amon's (I think) ideas about different types of prophecies, in that there are prophecies where people go out of their way to fulfill them in order to become the subject of an awaited event. In Holy Blood, Holy Grail it is *rather speculatively* explored that the man Jesus went out of his way to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey because that was what had been prophesised about the messiah's coming. I don't mean to make any waves about spiritual beliefs, this is just an example!



Quinn Crockett - Jan 21, 2009 8:53 pm (#1686 of 2055)
if Severus had not asked for her life to be spared, Lily could not have made her "sacrifice". - Why do you say that? Lily doing the only thing she could to protect her child had nothing to do with Snape. Any mother would have done the same (well, maybe not "any" mother). The mother's love is "ancient magic" and that is what protected Harry.

I don't think prophecies exist in the HP world any more than they do in real life, nor do I think the author wants us to think they do. Hermione's deconstructing of Trelawny's "prediction" to Lavender Brown, McGonagall mocking the divination class and Dumbledore's own comments on prophecies, seems a clear enough indication to me that the author didn't think prophecies, real or fictional, hold much water.



Solitaire - Jan 21, 2009 9:01 pm (#1687 of 2055)
even if, for some reason, Dumbledore thought this particular one was worth hearing, he would never have taken it upon himself to pass on such unreliable "information".

Why, Quinn ... do you mean Trelawney isn't reliable?



mona amon - Jan 21, 2009 9:34 pm (#1688 of 2055)
Quinn, there was more to it than mother's love. James actually did the same thing as Lily, throwing himself in front of LV in a desperate attempt to protect his family. Yet his sacrifice did not protect Lily, because he did not choose between getting killed and stepping aside and being safe. He was never given the 'you can be safe' choice. Lily was given the choice, and it was because Snape had the courage to ask LV to spare her.

Harry's sacrifice at the end has the same effect as Lily's in protecting all LV's intended victims from him because he did a similar thing, he could have been safe, just like Lily. Instead he voluntarily offered up his life to protect those people.

Wynnleaf, I still don't understand why you say the prophecy has to come true, whether Snape overheard it or not. This does seem to contradict what Dumbledore says to Harry about it. And if, as you say, the one who makes the prophecy is similar to a time traveller who has come from the future to tell the people of the present what has actually happened, then Snape overhearing the Prophecy and carrying it to Voldemort is also part of the chain of events that has already happened, and there is no point speculating about what might have happened if he did not do so.

And what about the prophecies that were never fulfilled?



wynnleaf - Jan 22, 2009 8:16 am (#1689 of 2055)
James actually did the same thing as Lily, throwing himself in front of LV in a desperate attempt to protect his family. Yet his sacrifice did not protect Lily, because he did not choose between getting killed and stepping aside and being safe. He was never given the 'you can be safe' choice. Lily was given the choice, and it was because Snape had the courage to ask LV to spare her. (mona amon)

Yes, JKR was the one that said this. She was trying to point out why James' death was sacrificial, but not the kind of sacrifice that Lily's was. Most any parent (according to JKR) would be willing to give their life for their child, but Lily was specifically given the choice by LV, and because she chose to die when she didn't have to, that created the power that protected Harry.

Wynnleaf, I still don't understand why you say the prophecy has to come true, whether Snape overheard it or not. (mona amon)

I'm not sure of the exact quote of mine that you're thinking of, but I'll try and explain.

On a here-and-now basic, without considering what will happen, we all in real life, as well as the characters in fiction, often consider lots of "what ifs". That is, we wonder "what would happen if this person did this, or this person didn't do something." And we try and picture different scenarios. In that sort of "what if" exercise, I think that if Snape had never heard the prophecy, DD would still have told James and Lily (because it's simply the right thing to do, as DD had no idea that LV would wait for the prophecy before acting, any more than Peter waiting to hear his own prophecy before acting), and James would almost certainly have told his friends and Peter, being a DE, would have told LV, and so on. BUT, as far as we know there would have been no one involved to beg LV to save Lily and therefore she wouldn't have been given a choice to live, thereby taking away the opportunity to have that magical protection for Harry. So the prophecy would not have come true anyway, even if LV had heard about it through Peter or someone else other than Snape.

But getting out of the "what if" game, we can look at things through the perspective of prophecies in general. If they are simply messages about the future similar to a message brought by someone from the future, then there is no "what if" at all. There is simply information about what will occur. Everyone involved bears their own personal blame for their own actions, because no one is forced to do anything -- it's still everyone's individual choices at work. All the prophecy did was point out the choices that they would ultimately make.

I don't think prophecies exist in the HP world any more than they do in real life, nor do I think the author wants us to think they do. Hermione's deconstructing of Trelawny's "prediction" to Lavender Brown, McGonagall mocking the divination class and Dumbledore's own comments on prophecies, seems a clear enough indication to me that the author didn't think prophecies, real or fictional, hold much water. (Quinn)

I disagree. I think JKR gave us the other prophecy from Trelawney, the one that does come true without any possibility of a "self-fulfilling" aspect, to show that there are real prophecies and then there are the fake ones that Trelawney makes all the time. DD doesn't say prophecies are fake, but that even a real prophecy doesn't take away one's choices.

The fact that the main prophecy about LV and Harry is not only contingent on LV hearing it and attempting to make it come true, but also on other people who are actually trying to stop the prophecy from coming true (Lily and Snape), shows us that attempting to force the prophecy to occur or stop the prophecy isn't the answer either way. The prophecy is not a force in itself to be "stopped" or "activated". Instead it is simply a message about the way people are going to end up acting and the choices that they will eventually make.

And what about the prophecies that were never fulfilled? (mona amon)

Since we aren't given actual examples, we don't know which of these were false prophecies, like Trelawney's fake ones, and which might come true eventually when the time is right, and which, if any, were "real" prophecies that somehow got thwarted, or if such changing of a prophecy is actually possible.



mona amon - Jan 22, 2009 9:13 am (#1690 of 2055)
Actually, when Dumbledore tells Harry about unfulfilled prophecies, he's implying that this particular one would have remained forever unfulfilled if Voldemort hadn't acted upon it. Since he believes this, it's highly unlikely that he would open his mouth about what he had heard from Sybil (even to Lily and James), risking the possibility that it would ultimately reach Voldemort's ears.



wynnleaf - Jan 22, 2009 9:31 am (#1691 of 2055)
Yes, but DD can easily say that in retrospect because after the fact, he can look back and see that getting info about the prophecy is what motivated LV to target the Potters.

However, back when the prophecy was first given, DD had no way of knowing what would cause LV to target the possible families. DD had no way of knowing that perhaps LV would simply target the family in the prophecy because they were Order members, or blood traitors, or some other reason. He could not afford to assume that keeping the prophecy secret would keep everyone safe, any more than Harry telling no one about the Peter prophecy kept Peter from fulfilling it.

So once DD had figured out the likely families -- defied LV thrice and had a boy born in July -- he'd need to assume that not only might LV attack them, LV would in some way go after their baby as well.

It's only after the events had played out that DD could see what motivated LV and realize it was knowledge of the prophecy.

The problem is that LV did hear about the prophecy. We can say "what if Snape hadn't become a DE?", but then again, for all we know LV sent Snape to spy on DD, and if Snape hadn't been a DE, LV would simply have sent a different person to do the spying. That person would hear the prophecy, take it to LV, and care nothing about Lily.

Yes, the prophecy being fulfilled depended on LV hearing about it, but that's all "if then". There's nothing in the prophecy that says " if everyone follows a certain path, then these events will unfold." The prophecy says they will happen. The prophecy doesn't give the prior needed events such as "if a DE hears the prophecy and carriers it to the Dark Lord" or "if a spy regrets his decision". None of the "if thens". The prophecy only tells some of the things that will happen. But all of the things that happen occur because of individual choices. The prophecy doesn't force anything, but it does tell what people will do.

Kind of makes me think of "Back to the Future". You just have to "learn to think fourth dimensionally".



tandaradei - Jan 22, 2009 9:56 am (#1692 of 2055)
wynnleaf said:

...[cut]...As I said, I think the best explanation for prophecies in HP, an explanation that fits both DD's comments and the way the actual prophecies work out, is that the prophecy is almost like a message from the future, with no particular power at all....[cut]...

Your arguments, especially out of HP, seem quite persuasive. However, do you remember our debating just a while ago over one of Sagan's favorite sayings, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”? The problem especially here, is that if things go 'according to plan' as to prophecy's statement, that there appears to be a de facto definition, in 'absence of evidence,' that prophecies by definition are actually independent of free will.

But if we take into account "believers" of prophecies, of those who accept the underlying Moral Code that prophecies often champion, and if we follow how believers of such prophecies behave, there can indeed be a different interpretation.

Look at Jonah. He was to make a prophecy against Nineveh, remember? No matter how he exercised his free will to avoid his obligation in this prophecy, things always seemed to interfere to "make" him do it; and once he did provide that prophecy to that population, since the Ninevites immediately accepted it and repented, the prophecy "made itself" null and void, and the prophecy never came about. Here we have an interesting expose on free will: the one who exercises his free will appears to be simply forced into the prophecy's guidelines, no matter how much he/she does anything about it (or others do anything about it); and yet, on the instant that others involved heard it AND ACCEPTED IT POINT BLANK, the prophecy itself became null and void.

Perhaps a prophecy is like those steps to a pueblo enclave. Those steps are carved into stone on a vertical face, wherein one starts with the right or left foot, and must follow those niches up to the pueblo. However, only those in the pueblo know whether you START WITH THE RIGHT OR LEFT FOOT. If you start on the wrong foot, you end up disastrously way up in the sky, with no way to finish climbing up onto the pueblo without its inhabitants knocking you off; but its your freedom of choice at the bottom to choose which foot you wish to start with. The only problem here is, if you hear an inhabitant tell you which foot to use and you choose not to listen, the end result becomes your responsibility regardless.

Dumbldeore just accepted the facts of the prophecy, not even attempting to kill Voldemort when he had a chance (end of OoP). Here is a "believer" accepting the prophecy. However, Voldemort appeared to believe more in his free will than in the prophecy, thinking he could manipulate it to his own benefit, regardless or the prophecy's underlying Moral Coimment; and he lost out. Yes, other elements seemed to interfere, just like elements on the steps to a pueblo seem to only go a certain way; but the end result will always be the same if you start out on the wrong foot. This IMO involves both freedom of will, and inevitability of certain consequences.

To me, this is not so much because of a snapshot of the future, as much as a struggle of one’s “free will” against those factors that are naturally overwhelming (Nature's will, if I may), like those carved steps to the pueblo.



wynnleaf - Jan 22, 2009 10:16 am (#1693 of 2055)
tandaradei, excellent post!

The Jonah example was superb and shows how easily one (I) can get caught up in an idea and forget important "evidence". The Jonah story is, in my opinion, evidence because it's a famous story from the same background as JKR and is well known as a story within a system of belief which she, at least in general, claims as her own. Therefore, that becomes part of the view of prophecy that could have helped inform JKR's view (whatever that really is!).

I love your example of the pueblo steps. And the struggle between free will and "Nature's will" or fate or whatever it is that is supposed to be the root of the prophecy.

Okay, so based on those ideas, an individual's choice may, even amidst a myriad of "fated" circumstances and other people choosing things that go along with the prophecy, still work to stop a prophecy from being fulfilled.

I agree with you that DD, for all his comments about not believing too much in prophecy, does seem to often act because he, too, believes the prophecy.



tandaradei - Jan 22, 2009 1:41 pm (#1694 of 2055)
hehe, weird that someone thinks I might be right.

As to DD, yes its odd how DD seems not to pay attention to prophecies, yet behave towards them as if he believes in them. Maybe he just tends to do the opposite of Voldemort -- "You picked that path so I'll pick this one"??

I don't understand some of Jo's writing. Sometimes her descriptors and such, almost seem the opposite of what she tries to tell us in the narrative. Snape descriptors are a good example. Wish I had kept track of this tendency in our readalong.



Quinn Crockett - Jan 22, 2009 1:58 pm (#1695 of 2055)
I have no idea what Tandaradei's post is talking about. Is this another novel you're referring to?

Regardless, I don't see anything to convince me that Dumbledore thought predictions and prophecies should actually be given credence, the "wormtail" prediction that appeared to have come true notwithstanding.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 22, 2009 2:24 pm (#1696 of 2055)
tandaradei, I'll say it again: you're my kind of poster! I love the idea that, ironically, trying *not* to pay attention to the prophecy could make things worse for your effort in such regard. And, ironically, those who believe instantly are disqualified, or "null and void" as you put it. Good stuff to ponder.

I do not think JKR means to say she does not believe in prophecy or divination in general. Trelawney obviously gave an accurate prediction regarding Peter. Trelawney also had a few tarot readings which proved prophetic. JKR was not at all trying to make Trelawney a "fraud". Hermione's take on things non-literal rarely pans out. Look at her feelings about Harry's suspicions in HBP about Draco, and in DH about Hallows. JKR is showing us ultimately that it is not simply black and white when judging the validity of esoteric information.



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 22, 2009 2:40 pm (#1697 of 2055)
This is the quote from JKR regarding Lily's "sacrifice":

ES: This is one of my burning questions since the third book - why did Voldemort offer Lily so many chances to live? Would he actually have let her live?

JKR: Mmhm.

ES: Why?

JKR: [silence] Can't tell you. But he did offer, you're absolutely right. Don't you want to ask me why James's death didn't protect Lily and Harry? There’s your answer, you've just answered your own question, because she could have lived and chose to die. James was going to be killed anyway. Do you see what I mean? I’m not saying James wasn't ready to; he died trying to protect his family but he was going to be murdered anyway. He had no - he wasn't given a choice, so he rushed into it in a kind of animal way, I think there are distinctions in courage. James was immensely brave. But the caliber of Lily's bravery was, I think in this instance, higher because she could have saved herself. Now any mother, any normal mother would have done what Lily did. So in that sense her courage too was of an animal quality but she was given time to choose. James wasn't. It's like an intruder entering your house, isn't it? You would instinctively rush them. But if in cold blood you were told, "Get out of the way," you know, what would you do? I mean, I don't think any mother would stand aside from their child. But does that answer it? She did very consciously lay down her life. She had a clear choice -

ES: And James didn't.

JKR: Did he clearly die to try and protect Harry specifically given a clear choice? No. It's a subtle distinction and there's slightly more to it than that but that's most of the answer.

MA: Did she know anything about the possible effect of standing in front of Harry?

JKR: No - because as I've tried to make clear in the series, it never happened before. No one ever survived before. And no one, therefore, knew that could happen.

MA: So no one - Voldemort or anyone using Avada Kedavra - ever gave someone a choice and then they took that option [to die] -

JKR: They may have been given a choice, but not in that particular way.



Julia H. - Jan 22, 2009 7:04 pm (#1698 of 2055)
It seems the prophecies which are "designed" to use someone's knowledge about them do play a part in their own fulfillment in the sense that the making and hearing of the prophecy is a necessary circumstance for the prophecy to come true. At least I wonder if the events that were foretold in Trelawney's prophecy about Harry and Voldemort would have happened if the prophecy had not been made at all. In principle, it is possible that Voldemort would eventually have found some reason to target Harry and his family and Snape could have found it out and he could have asked Voldemort to spare Lily; however, what really happened was based on the prophecy being made and heard. So it is a question whether the prophecy can be considered not only instrumental in its own fulfillment but also a prerequisite for the foretold events to happen at all.

I think we can be sure that the prophecy about Wormtail did not affect the course of events, and the same things would have happened if there had been no prophecy. In this case the prophecy was only a warning, intended probably for Harry, since his future was most affected by the foretold events.

Hm... I see no way for anyone to know it in advance whether a new prophecy will be just "information" about or an "active participant" in the foretold events.

What we can learn from other prophecies in literature is that trying to prevent them will only make them come true. The Greek Oedipus, for example, wants to prevent the terrible prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother, so he does not go "home". But he does not know that the people he believes to be his parents only adopted him. He ends up in his original home and fulfils the prophecy.

Perhaps it is possible that a true prophecy would be fulfilled in all cases in one way or another but those who hear or know about the prophecy will either not do anything about it (like Harry in the case of the prophecy about Wormtail) or will do something but it will only help the prophecy come true, regardless whether they want to fulfill or to prevent the prophecy. I.e., at the moment when the prophecy is made, that particular course of events about which the prophecy speaks has already been put in motion by the participants (e.g., Voldemort is seeking immortality by killing others - AK -; Lily has become a(n expecting) mother, brave and loving; Snape has become a DE in love with a Muggle-born woman).



me and my shadow 813 - Jan 22, 2009 8:12 pm (#1699 of 2055)
What we can learn from other prophecies in literature is that trying to prevent them will only make them come true. - Julia H.

This seems connected to the term "self fulfilling prophecy" which occurs due to the paranoia of the horrible prediction. However, it is equally damaging according to DD to actualise them, also becoming "self fulfilling": '...because Voldemort made a grave error, and acted on Professor Trelawney's words!'

To me, DD's speech to Harry in HBP about the prophecy was making sure Harry knew that his ability to love would give him the power he needed for the job, not incredible wand skills. And that if Vold had not heard the prophecy he would not care about Harry, but even without the prophecy Harry would still go after Vold.

Edit: I just realised that Vold was in reality trying to prevent the prophecy *by acting on it*, so forget what I just said : )



mona amon - Jan 22, 2009 9:51 pm (#1700 of 2055)
Yes, but DD can easily say that in retrospect because after the fact, he can look back and see that getting info about the prophecy is what motivated LV to target the Potters. (Wynnleaf)

If he can say this in retrospect, he could have been even more dismissive about prophecies earlier. At least now he's admitting that some of them get set into motion by people acting on them. The theory that Voldemort would have come to know of the prophecy anyway, even without Snape telling him, is based on too many assumptions.

* That DD believed the prophecy would come true.
* That DD would have told the Potters that a prophecy had been made about their son.
* That the Potters would have told Wormtail.

All the evidence we have shows that DD was extremely dismissive of prophecies. Even when he hears the one about Wormtail, he doesn't get terribly excited about it, even though he believes it to be a true prophecy. All he does is make a laconic joke about Sybil and her only other true prophecy. Even more significantly, he tells Harry, who feels it's all his fault for not allowing Sirius and Lupin to kill Peter, "The consequences of our actions are so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed." I can very well imagine him keeping the prophecy to himself.

Even if he felt that the Potters and Longbottoms needed extra protection, he's more the type who will tell them that they are in danger and to be careful, without giving them any reasons. We have seen many examples of Dumbledore telling people to do things without giving them reasons.

The prophecy doesn't force anything, but it does tell what people will do.

Not necessarily, according to DD. If Voldemort hadn't acted on Sybil's words, the prophecy would not have been an accurate voice from the future.

Tandaradei, I don't think the prophecy against Nineveh can be compared successfully to this one because the Nineveh prophecy was made to Jonah by God, someone who can use extra-natural means to make the prophecy work. Jonah did not disobey God because he did not believe in prophecies. He distrusted God about this particular one. He knew that his God was "a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity." He did not want to make a fool of himself, prophesying to the people of Nineveh that God would destroy them in 40 days, when he knew God would not follow through. In this case the prophecy did not come true because the maker of the prophecy decided not to let it come true.

It seems the prophecies which are "designed" to use someone's knowledge about them do play a part in their own fulfillment in the sense that the making and hearing of the prophecy is a necessary circumstance for the prophecy to come true. (Julia)

A very interesting point, Julia.



wynnleaf - Jan 23, 2009 6:39 am (#1701 of 2055)
The prophecy doesn't force anything, but it does tell what people will do. (Wynnleaf)

Not necessarily, according to DD. If Voldemort hadn't acted on Sybil's words, the prophecy would not have been an accurate voice from the future. (mona amon)

But what I was saying was that if the prophecy were kind of like a message from the future, there wouldn't be any "if LV hadn't acted on Sybil's words" because the prophecy wouldn't be saying "if this, then that", but instead telling what LV would actually do. And of course, he did do it.

What's interesting to me is that DD's comments are basically saying that the individuals mentioned in a prophecy have choices which they are responsible for, but what DD overlooks is that it's not just the people named in the prophecy who are needed to make it all happen. In both of Trelawney's prophecies, it took extra people's unknowing choices (not knowing that they were bringing a prophecy to pass) to make it work out.

If the prophecy, even let's say a good prophecy, can be affected by all sorts of extra people who can make it happen or mess it up, then the prophecy means absolutely nothing at all. The idea of any kind of "telling the future" whether through prophecy, the tarot that Sybil reads of the lightening struck tower, or whatever, has to depend on some sort of order or fate to events such that they will, at least in general, follow certain paths. Or, in the case of Ninevah, that a personal force, such as a god, with particular intent will affect the future in certain ways. Personal opinion and it's all I'll say about this aspect: I don't actually think the notion of prophecy can work at all without that personal intentional force.

HP is kind of dependent on this in many ways -- this kind of order or destiny to the events. But DD wants to emphasize that people still have choices to make and responsibility for those choices. You can't just blame a choice on "it was meant to be".



mona amon - Jan 24, 2009 4:51 am (#1702 of 2055)
Oh, now I get what you are saying, I think. I thought you were saying that Snape's role in overhearing the prophecy and carrying it to Voldemort wasn't really very important for the prophecy to be fulfilled.



Solitaire - Jan 25, 2009 2:33 pm (#1703 of 2055)
While looking at "The Prince's Tale," I noticed something I'd kind of skimmed over the first time. Snape is badmouthing Harry to Dumbledore, and Dumbledore says that Snape sees what he expects to see. He also tells Snape, "Keep an eye on Quirrell won't you?"

I wonder ... at what point in the year did this occur? What did Dumbledore suspect at that time? How much did he know? Does he have the ability to see under turbans? Did he use Legilimency on Quirrell?



wynnleaf - Jan 25, 2009 2:54 pm (#1704 of 2055)
Hadn't DD known that LV's spirit/soul/whatever was in Albania? Am I mistaken about that? Quirrell came back from Albania apparently quite changed. The stutter I think was new for him, as well as the turban and excessive fearfulness. Perhaps his personality seemed quite different as well. In a world where there were things like imperius, possession etc., DD may have been concerned that Quirrell was under the control of someone or something else, maybe even LV.

I got the impression that Snape and DD's conversation was very early in that first year. The first couple of months seems likely to me.



Quinn Crockett - Jan 25, 2009 3:16 pm (#1705 of 2055)
From the way Dumbledore counters with the other teachers' first impressions of Harry, I got the impression that the exchange between Dumbledore and Snape was pretty early in the year. Dumbledore may have noticed a change in Quirrell had occurred over the summer. In CS he remarks that his informants had advised him that Voldemort was in Albania. Wasn't that where Quirrell had gone over the summer break? Dumbledore may have just made of his famous "guesses".

ETA: cross post with wynnleaf.



Solitaire - Jan 25, 2009 3:19 pm (#1706 of 2055)
That makes sense.



Julia H. - Jan 25, 2009 3:59 pm (#1707 of 2055)
Yes, that makes a lot of sense. But I still wonder why Dumbledore chose Quirrell as one of the teachers protecting the Stone. Perhaps he had decided it before he noticed the change and did not want to let Quirrell know he had noticed anything. Hm... still... Maybe Dumbledore did not notice the change until after the stone was at Hogwarts. No, Hagrid mentions this change on the day he picks up the stone at Gringotts so Dumbledore could have noticed, too.

I also wonder why Dumbledore and Flamel decided to take the stone to Hogwarts just then. Was it because of Quirrell? Or did Dumbledore get some news that implied Voldemort must have left Albania?



wynnleaf - Jan 25, 2009 4:06 pm (#1708 of 2055)
I have sometimes wondered if the whole setup with the various safe-guards was really an elaborate trap. After all, the mirror alone could easily protect the stone. In fact, without Harry there, Quirrell and LV would never have gotten the stone out -- at least, not as far as we can tell with the info we're given. So what were the other traps for? Perhaps to gradually trap the villain red-handed?

In other words, as the true thief would attempt to find out how to get by Fluffy or the other traps, he might reveal himself in such a way as gave actual evidence. If DD used the mirror alone, a potential thief could stand in front of it all day trying to figure it out, without incriminating himself.



Julia H. - Jan 25, 2009 4:32 pm (#1709 of 2055)
Good point.



Ludicrous Patents Office - Jan 25, 2009 4:36 pm (#1710 of 2055)
Wynnleaf i like your idea of the trap. Harry nearly messed it all up! LPO



Thom Matheson - Jan 25, 2009 5:53 pm (#1711 of 2055)
It would not have suprised me if Dumbledore had suspected and the mirror was a test to once again outsmart Voldemort. There is a vanity about Dumbledore and just who is the better wizard. Trapping Voldemort would have been another great test of his abilities. I could be way off base but Dumbledore does like playing his little mind games.



wynnleaf - Jan 25, 2009 6:52 pm (#1712 of 2055)
By the way, connecting the PS traps to the prophecy questions, I used to feel, prior to DH, that perhaps DD allowed Harry to go through so many life-threatening situations because he somehow had a kind of secret knowledge through which he knew that Harry would be okay. That made all of that life-threatening stuff more acceptable to me.

However, in DH we didn't find out anything like that.

Now, about the only way I can really justify DD allowing Harry to go into so many life-threatening situations is to think that DD did actually believe the prophecy would happen - at least after LV marked Harry. If DD actually thought that Harry wouldn't die from other things because he was destined to confront LV someday, then the only thing DD really had to worry about as regards Harry's safety was LV himself.

I suppose he could also trust in the life protection Lily had given, but that didn't protect Harry from everything.

Harry thinks at the end of PS/SS that DD wanted him to go through the whole adventure of the Stone. Of course, we can't help but wonder if he also wanted Ron and Hermione to go through it as well, complete with Ron almost getting killed. Still, it helps if I think that DD knew they'd make it through. However, I never saw anything in the series that confirmed that.



Michael Franz - Jan 28, 2009 1:28 pm (#1713 of 2055)
How come Dumbledore didn't know that the thing petrifying the students in Chamber of Secrets was a basilisk? Are there really that many things that can petrify you in the HP world? I mean, Hermione figured it out as a 2nd-year student. While it's true she is a genius, I somehow doubt she's more knowledgable than the Hogwarts headmaster about Dark creatures.

Is this just another example of Dumbledore relying on Harry to solve the problem for him? I really hope not, as it was just good luck that prevented the students from being killed instead of petrified.



rambkowalczyk - Jan 28, 2009 5:39 pm (#1714 of 2055)
I agree that Dumbledore should have known it was a basilisk. I remember the first time reading COS that I should have figured out it was a basilisk. But even if he suspected he didn't know how it got out or how it disappeared so quickly. Perhaps he felt that this information would not be helpful to either the students or to the teachers altho Hermione knew how to use this info to save two lives.



wynnleaf - Jan 28, 2009 7:53 pm (#1715 of 2055)
Frankly, I think this is mainly just a plot weakness. I find it very hard to believe that JKR intended DD to know it was a basilisk, while children were only missing death by luck.



Hieronymus Graubart - Jan 29, 2009 1:13 am (#1716 of 2055)
I'm not sure if anybody knew that a basilisk can petrify you, normally it will kill you.

But I admit that it's not very probable that just by chance petrifying happened four times in a row if it had not ever happened before.



Julia H. - Jan 29, 2009 4:45 am (#1717 of 2055)
Well, Dumbledore was at Hogwarts fifty years earlier, when the basilisk actually killed someone - how many beasts can there be that can kill without causing any visible injury? (The basilisk kills quite like the Killing Curse but nobody seems to have concluded the girl had been AK-ed.)



Solitaire - Feb 7, 2009 1:37 pm (#1718 of 2055)
This is a response to Wynnleaf's post #1371 over on the Snape thread. I feel it belongs here, since it is chiefly about Dumbledore.

DD is in a far, far more powerful position than Aberforth. Yet he talks about Aberforth to a student (Harry, and it's none of Harry's business), as though Aberforth was practically the village idiot. "I'm not even sure he can read" or telling Harry about Aberforth's problems with the goats.

I guess I'm the odd man out here, but I never did think DD was being serious here. I just saw it as pointing out that his brother was kind of an individual and did his own thing without caring what others thought of him.

many people think Snape should have apologized directly to Harry. I do not think Snape should have apologized. What I think is that he never should never have been so mean in the first place.

we aren't shown that he works in a begrudging way for DD and the Order. Hm ... well, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Personally, I see everything Snape does in connection with Harry, up until DH, as being done grudgingly.

As to endangering the kids by hiding the stone in the school ... should he have left it at Gringott's? We know that the vault in which it was hidden was breached. Had it been left there, Voldemort would have become truly immortal, and there would have been no story. Remember, too, that Dumbledore is not infallible, as he himself says. Should he have destroyed the stone up front? In retrospect, I am sure he would agree that this would have been the wisest course of action, since it ultimately had to be done. I think he felt that he had hidden the stone in a safe place. Who would have expected three neophyte Wizards to attempt to get past Fluffy in the first place? (BTW, thank Hagrid for that.)

The part about asking forgiveness from the one's you've wronged that many feel is necessary for remorse? DD didn't do it.

Kind of hard to ask Arianna for forgiveness, isn't it? As to never asking Aberforth for forgiveness ... I can't find where either he or Aberforth says that. I'm not saying it isn't there, just that I can't find it. I certainly do not trust Rita Skeeter's account of anything, and even Aberforth's comment seems to indicate that it wasn't necessarily accurate. I think that Dumbledore's final account of things in King's Cross Station indicates pretty well that he had attempted to atone for his mistakes in the best way possible. As to not immediately springing to action against Grindelwald, I can even understand why he did not want to see him again. I don't think it was fear of being "found out." I think it was fear of finding out--finding out who really killed Ariana, as he said. Selfish? Yes ... but he did overcome it.

Well, after knowing Snape and working with him closely for a decade and a half, Dumbledore (who once was "disgusted") apparently thinks so...

Does he? I thought Jo said in an interview that, if it hadn't been for Lily, Snape never would have changed. This, to me, means that he probably would never have done anything about it had anyone else been the target.

by assuming that DD apologized to Aberforth, you are cutting DD slack that you are not cutting to Snape The difference is that we know Snape never apologized to Harry. The fact that Aberforth did join the Order suggests to me that there was some kind of peace, however fragile and uneasy, established between them at some point. We know that they talked from the fact that DD told Aberforth what that mirror was.

We can all argue until we are blue in the face whether this is enough or not.-- legolas returns I think this is the bottom line.

I do not believe Aberforth was necessarily bitter in his pub, when he was talking about his brother and encouraging Harry and the kids to flee. I think he was trying to get them to save themselves and forget everything else ... or maybe he needed to know that Harry was really serious about what he said. I'm not sure there. All I DO know is that Aberforth helped Neville and the "Hogwarts resistance," he didn't turn the Trio in to the DEs, and he joined the fight in Hogwarts.

In the end, I think Aberforth did understand what his brother had been about all these years, and I am satisfied that Dumbledore's life did bear out his remorse and atonement. Others are free to feel as they choose.



Mrs Brisbee - Feb 7, 2009 2:44 pm (#1719 of 2055)
... or maybe he needed to know that Harry was really serious about what he said.-- Solitaire

That's what I got from the conversation. As soon as Harry changed his tune from "I'm doing it because Dumbledore said so" to "I'm doing because Dumbledore said so, and I think it's a good idea", Aberforth aided him in getting into the castle. I think Aberforth just objected to people following his brother around like blind idiots, instead of thinking about what they were doing.



Solitaire - Feb 7, 2009 2:55 pm (#1720 of 2055)
Aberforth just objected to people following his brother around like blind idiots, instead of thinking about what they were doing.
I think you're right, Mrs. Brisbee.



Quinn Crockett - Feb 7, 2009 3:08 pm (#1721 of 2055)
As do I, Mrs B. That was certainly my take on the conversation reading it for the first time.

Not to bring up the dreaded cliché of a Star Wars reference, but Yoda does the same thing when Luke first shows up at Degoba. Yoda makes all these complaints about why he can't train Luke until Luke finally realizes he was being tested the whole time and has to make a case for himself. It is part and parcel of the Hero archetype that, just before the final battle, his loyalty/nerve/determination/qualifications/what have you are called into question and/or tested.



Mrs Brisbee - Feb 7, 2009 3:23 pm (#1722 of 2055)
From Snape's thread:

Dumbledore's remorse seems to be even more secret and private than Snape's.-- Julia H.

When I look at the services Dumbledore performed for the Wizarding World over many decades, I see someone who openly and actively attempts to do the right thing, and changes the world for the Good. His words and actions show an enlightenment about his past-- not just what he did, but the kind of thinking that lead him there in the first place.

If Dumbledore dedicated his life to trying to get others to look past prejudice, as well as battle the evils in the world that arise from prejudice-- as a very stark contrast to how he thought and acted in his youth-- I can't say his remorse is a hidden, secret thing, but something open and genuine.



me and my shadow 813 - Feb 7, 2009 3:50 pm (#1723 of 2055)
Mrs Brisbee, I feel DD's remorse was very private as opposed to a great secret. I see him as being very internal in his personal reflection, probably never speaking of why he believes 'second chances' to be so crucial. Never talking to Minerva or Hagrid, or Severus, about his motivation. Everyone probably thought he was always that way, which spurred even more humility in him, knowing inside that it was not the case and everyone was viewing him in a pristine light.



Julia H. - Feb 7, 2009 3:58 pm (#1724 of 2055)
What if Snape had learned that Voldemort was targeting Mrs. Longbottom and Neville (or even Molly and Ron)? Would he have gone to Dumbledore then? If the answer is no, it wouldn't have bothered him if some other innocent mother and child were threatened (or killed), then I must ask ... was it really remorse? Again, just asking ... (Solitaire)

Well, after knowing Snape and working with him closely for a decade and a half, Dumbledore (who once was "disgusted") apparently thinks so... (Julia)

Does he? I thought Jo said in an interview that, if it hadn't been for Lily, Snape never would have changed. This, to me, means that he probably would never have done anything about it had anyone else been the target. (Solitaire)

I may not have been clear enough in the above post. You asked whether Snape was really remorseful on the hilltop even if he would not have done the same for the Longbottoms as for Lily. In my answer, I said Dumbledore apparently thought he was remorseful - at least he said so to Harry. So I think even if Snape would not have done the same for the Longbottoms, Dumbledore thinks, as things happened, he was remorseful. (And I agree.) We can assume he would not have been remorseful if the Longbottoms had been targeted but he was feeling remorse about endangering Lily. According to Dumbledore, in any case. And Dumbledore should know: He was making plans with Grindelwald that would have put Muggle lives in mortal danger had they come true (some of them perhaps did come true later, although without Dumbledore) but Dumbledore began to feel remorse only when Ariana died and it was only after Ariana'a death that he actually condemned the plans threatening the lives of unknown Muggles. Yet, his remorse was remorse.

If Dumbledore dedicated his life to trying to get others to look past prejudice, as well as battle the evils in the world that arise from prejudice-- as a very stark contrast to how he thought and acted in his youth-- I can't say his remorse is a hidden, secret thing, but something open and genuine. (Mrs Brisbee)

I do agree that Dumbledore's remorse was genuine but I don't at all agree that it was open. People saw what Dumbledore was doing, knew his opinion about the Dark Arts, Muggles and other topics, but nobody knew he was remorseful, not even his own brother, who knew Dumbledore had a reason to be remorseful. Other people had no idea that Dumbledore had anything to be remorseful about. He was a widely admired person, the symbol of the fight against the Dark side, someone who had been offered the Minister's position several times, the recipient of numerous awards and holder of various titles, but nobody knew he was actually atoning for something. Nobody knew he may have committed something against the law or against morality. Nobody knew he could have been an inspiring and great example to those who made a serious mistake once but wanted to put it right. Nobody knew he was an example that there was a way back from the dark side if someone really wanted and tried. His actions were widely known and admired, but his remorse was kept secret even from Aberforth, which may have been a reason why Dumbledore's popularity and greatness made Aberforth so bitter.



wynnleaf - Feb 7, 2009 4:39 pm (#1725 of 2055)
Julia is correct. People certainly knew of DD's stance on muggleborns, but not even Aberforth knew of his remorse. We know that from the point where Harry relates DD's words during his hallucinations in the cave and Aberforth finally after about 100 years, starts to think maybe DD was remorseful. So no, it doesn't look like DD apologized either.

And remember, what DD was hiding wasn't just his remorse. He was hiding his own direct involvement in the murder of his sister. He even hid the fact that she was murdered at all, pretending to authorities that it was accidental death. Aberforth also was in on the coverup, but this discussion is about DD's remorse, not Aberforth's.

DD's life and actions show us a man who changed in his viewpoints on muggleborns and muggle domination, but they don't show us, necessarily, his remorse over getting his sister killed.

Using DD's deeds as evidence of the remorse has to include an assumption that his various work regarding muggleborns and fighting dark wizards was because he was so remorseful. In other words, all those things he did indicate his remorse. If DD would have switched his opinion on muggleborns anyway and pursued the downfall of dark wizards, then we can't claim all of those actions as evidence that he was oh so sorry he got his sister killed.

I definitely do think DD was remorseful. But a lot of what we have to do to believe in his remorse is accept that real remorse can be hidden for a crime that was also hidden. And we have to accept that the actions of the character after his great wrongdoing came about orginally due to his remorse.

And that's pretty much what I accept about Snape as well. That he could be remorseful without telling anyone and still keeping his great wrongdoing secret from almost everyone. And that all of the work he did to bring down LV came about originally due to his remorse.



Solitaire - Feb 7, 2009 4:47 pm (#1726 of 2055)
Was the crime hidden? First of all, Ariana's death sounds more like a horrible accident than a crime. Second, it sounds like people who were around at that time knew Ariana had died and they knew Aberforth blamed Albus for it. The knowledge that Grindelwald had fled following the death probably made some suspect he had been involved. I'm betting the Ministry poked their noses into it sufficently to realize that Albus had not murdered his sister.

Dumbledore's insistence on people being given a second chance indicates pretty strongly to me that he believed people could change. IMO, he could only believe that if he himself had changed.

edited



wynnleaf - Feb 7, 2009 4:51 pm (#1727 of 2055)
There were probably rumors about how her death came about. But DD himself was concerned that he may have fired the fateful killing spell. They were fighting. When someone dies in a situation like that, it's generally considered manslaughter - a "lesser" form of murder because it's not premeditated. But it's not "accidental death", because the people involved knew they were doing something dangerous by having such a violent argument.

Dumbledore's insistence on people being given a second chance indicate pretty strongly to me that he believed people could change ... and he could only believe that if he himself had changed (Solitaire)

I certainly agree! And I think he knew enough about his own wrongdoing, his own remorse, and his own changes, to be able to recognize remorse when he saw it -- especially for relatively similar wrongdoing.



Solitaire - Feb 7, 2009 5:01 pm (#1728 of 2055)
I think Ariana's death would today be called "collateral damage." It sounds to me like Grindelwald started in on Aberforth, Albus tried to stop it, and Ariana got caught in the crossfire.

I agree that Snape was remorseful over Lily. However, I still have a big question mark over his true remorse, given his initial willingness to sacrifice Harry and James. No one has sufficiently explained away that one for me.



me and my shadow 813 - Feb 7, 2009 5:13 pm (#1729 of 2055)
However, I still have a big question mark over his true remorse, given his initial willingness to sacrifice Harry and James. No one has sufficiently explained away that one for me.

Solitaire, you might recall DD's confession at the end of OOTP about not caring how many people got hurt/killed if he could spare Harry's suffering.

Then again in King's Cross, '...any harm done would be repaid a hundredfold in benefits for wizards.'

Do you not see a similarity there? To me, DD became more active in his repentance for such desires because his attitude towards the disposal of human life was broader. It was a grander scale, due to DD and GG being potential global leaders. Severus's case was more personal, a parallel of Ariana's story, one that relates more to my previous example of how DD was willing to look the other way if other people would die so that DD could keep Harry from suffering. Does that make sense?



wynnleaf - Feb 7, 2009 5:15 pm (#1730 of 2055)
I think Ariana's death would today be called "collateral damage." It sounds to me like Grindelwald started in on Aberforth, Albus tried to stop it, and Ariana got caught in the crossfire. (Solitaire)

Yes, she probably did get caught in the crossfire. But collateral damage is a term generally used for "inadvertent casualties and destruction inflicted on civilians in the course of military operations."

This was an argument between three young adults, not military combatants.

Solitaire, I wanted to address your other comment on the Snape thread.
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Solitaire - Feb 7, 2009 6:14 pm (#1731 of 2055)
Wynnleaf, I realize that "collateral damage" is generally applied to military situations. But the dictionary in which I checked said that it also referred to injuries inflicted on something other than the intended target. I do not honestly believe that Ariana was an intentional target ... do you?

Does that make sense? I'm not sure, Shadow. I'll have to give it a bit more thought.



wynnleaf - Feb 7, 2009 6:34 pm (#1732 of 2055)
Solitaire, no, I certainly don't think she was an intended victim.

Using the term "collateral damage" only concerned me because it kind of softens the terminology, since we usually use it for military combatants, who - presumably - aren't generally considered to have murdered the innocents caught in the "collateral damage" of a bomb or stray gunfire. (Some would naturally disagree, depending on the war and how it occurred.) Whereas in real life, if several young adults were trading gunfire because of a violent argument, and an innocent bystander was killed, all of those firing weapons would probably be prosecuted, with the one who actually killed, or maybe all of them, likely being charged with manslaughter.



Solitaire - Feb 7, 2009 7:22 pm (#1733 of 2055)
It sounded to me as though DD was trying to stop Grindelwald from hurting either Aberforth or Ariana. IMO, Abe and Albus were innocent, regardless of whose wand ultimately did the deed. I wonder why no one performed Priori Incantatem ... but I guess no one really wanted to know.

It sounds like wrongful death. Is that the same as manslaughter?



wynnleaf - Feb 7, 2009 7:36 pm (#1734 of 2055)
Wrongful death is a civil law term, used for tort cases. In other words, it's when a family must sue the one they deem to have caused the death (through neglect or accident, for instance), in order to get some sort of financial recompense or support for the family. It's not a criminal court term and it does not mean that the person found guilty is only guilty of some lower or lesser offense. A person might be convicted of wrongful death and 1st degree murder, but the wrongful death tort would be to get the murderer's estate to pay out, even if he/she is in prison.

I looked back at the scene. Apparently DD and GG were spending a great amount of time together and finally after a few months Aberforth confronted DD about what they were doing. DD wouldn't accept Aberforth's criticisms and they were the ones arguing. Then they started to fight. It must have become a fight between all three. It was at that point that DD says that GG "lost control". Somehow that escalated the fight, but DD did not know who actually killed Arianna. What he said was that all the sudden there was Arianna dead on the floor.

Oh, Quinn I think asked about GG killing hundreds. Well, DD said he raised an "army" and armies generally kill more than just a few...



me and my shadow 813 - Feb 7, 2009 7:54 pm (#1735 of 2055)
I read a book years ago called The Prince of Tides. Somehow, I am reminded of it in the story of Ariana, Albus and Abe.

Does anyone know this book?



Solitaire - Feb 7, 2009 8:05 pm (#1736 of 2055)
Yes, all were arguing. But Aberforth says that he confronted Albus and told him he couldn't drag Ariana around with them. Then, "He didn't like that," said Aberforth ... "Grindelwald didn't like that at all. He got angry. He told me what a stupid little boy I was, trying to stand in the way of him and my brilliant brother ..."
(It was clearly Grindelwald who was arguing with Aberforth when the dueling started.)
"And there was an argument ... and I pulled out my wand, and he [Grindelwald] pulled out his, and I had the Cruciatus Curse used on me by my brother's best friend--and Albus was trying to stop him, and then all three of us were dueling, and the flashing lights and the bangs set her off, she couldn't stand it--"
"--and I think she wanted to help, but she didn't really know what she was doing, and I don't know which of us did it, it could have been any of us--and she was dead."

It sounds like she got into the middle of the fighting. In her condition, it probably wouldn't even have had to be an AK used on her, if more than one stunning spell had zapped her. (Think McGonagall.) Any or all of them could have hit her. And we know from some of the weird things we've seen that curses of different kinds hitting someone can have odd results. (Remember the mixture of various hexes that turned Malfoy and friends into slugs.)

Anyway, it still sounds like an accidental death. I don't think anyone intended to kill anyone else that day. And I do think that DD was haunted by it from that day. I think it informed every act of his from that day forward. JM2K ...



legolas returns - Feb 8, 2009 6:59 am (#1737 of 2055)
If Grindlewald was using the Cruciatus Curse on Aberforth then I doubt all the spells being used were benign. I am not apportioning blame to anyone in particular but I thinking if the magic was bursting out of Ariana in an uncontrolled manner which in the past killed her mother then a strong shield charm could cause the energy to rebound on her and kill her. So I agree that it was probably accidental death.



Solitaire - Feb 8, 2009 12:01 pm (#1738 of 2055)
A reasonable explanation, legolas.



wynnleaf - Mar 24, 2009 7:14 am (#1739 of 2055)
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I had a long discussion about deconstructionist methods of untangling history and what my husband (who teaches art history), felt were pitfalls of some deconstructionist methods of interpreting individuals in history. In practice, what often occurs is a historian taking a figure from history and trying to ferret out all of their "real" motivations, their "true" history, etc., as apart from the "myth" of that person. I put those all in quotation marks because it is often the historian's personal view of what was real, true, and myth. The pitfalls are sometimes a tendency to attribute motivations to individuals centered primarily around an assumed desire for individual power and individual gain or benefit. In other words, historical figures are often assumed to be primarily motivated by personal gain or power, while altruistic motivations as primary motivations are often disdained by the historian and considered part of the myth.

Okay, I'm not suggesting anyone has to agree with that.

However, in trying to come up with a good example, we picked the fictional character of Dumbledore, because in Deathly Hallows, that's exactly what JKR had Rita Skeeter do in her journalistic expose'. Rita ferrets out all sorts of information about Dumbledore, much of it basically correct. Rita is trying to deconstruct the history of Dumbledore -- show the "real" man as opposed to the "myth". But she ends up focusing almost exclusively on motivations of power and personal gain or benefit (in the form of DD getting things he personally wanted), and basically casting aside any altruistic motivations.

But Rita completely looses the most important truth of DD, that is his motivations from love and remorse, and his very real desire to make his world a better place, even if that is partly from a desire to atone for the past.

On this Forum, most posters see that there is far more to DD than just the manipulative Machiavellian person who is highly tempted by power, likes to control situations, only concerned about his own version of the "greater good" and willing to sacrifice anyone in order to get it. Nevertheless, there are many HP fans out there who do see DD in that way. I'm sometimes shocked at how vehemently many fans dislike DD. What's interesting to me though is that JKR has Rita Skeeter do the very thing that many readers who dislike DD have done. That is, Rita "deconstructs" DD and in an attempt to get down to his "real" motivations, ends up seeing him as purely motivated by power and his own personal ambitions, while completely discounting his love and remorse.



Ludicrous Patents Office - Mar 24, 2009 7:53 pm (#1740 of 2055)
So much of what JKR does is hold a mirror up to society. The deconstruction of famous people is very popular. One of the strengths of her writing is creating characters like Dumbledore that there are, like all of us, have good and bad traits. Dumbledore is a very complex person. The most admirable part is Harry's desire to find out the truth. Especially after someone dies we tend to only think of the good things. Harry is angry, remorseful and bitter about Dumbldore's death because he finds out how much more in common they have and Dumbledore did not share it with him. LPO



Solitaire - Mar 24, 2009 9:14 pm (#1741 of 2055)
there is far more to DD than just the manipulative Machiavellian person who is highly tempted by power, likes to control situations, only concerned about his own version of the "greater good" and willing to sacrifice anyone in order to get it

I think that part of DD is far gone when we meet him. I see him as turning way from power (rejection the MoM post) by this point. I do believe he takes into account all factors--or as many as he knows--when he is deciding what to do. I believe he is pained by the thought of what may await Harry. Then again, he may have an idea that Harry will survive the confrontation with Voldemort, if he can only find and destroy all of the Horcruxes. But if DD had told the Order what he was up to, think what might have happened. In their haste to "help" Harry, Order members might have put things out of Harry's reach. Pursuing and destroying the Horcruxes quietly and secretly was far better. I'm only sorry that Dumbledore was not there to see Neville kill Nagini ... or Ron get the sword and destroy the locket ... or Hermione destroy the cup. I mean, I suppose he knew it, but it's different than being there in person, alive.

When I think of all DD left unsaid to Harry, I can have sympathy for him. I am trying to prepare my 8th graders for the history portion of the STAR in a few weeks, and I am having a terrible time trying to decide what we absolutely must do and what I can kind of skim over. There isn't time to do even the bare necessities, so some things are not going to be covered. Imagine how DD must have felt, knowing how much he had to make Harry understand in so little time ... and Harry always wanting to discuss Draco and Snape and other issues which were kind of beside the point.

In truth, I think that the frustrations of the search helped Harry. He had to endure every single thing that happened to him in order to become who he needed to be when he faced Voldemort. He had to learn to block out things from his mind, and only experience could do this. By the time he meets Voldy in final combat, he is ready to take him. He has put together the missing pieces of the puzzle DD left for him. He has learned to master his fears and emotions, and Voldy is the one who is falling apart. He is even able to deal with the news Snape left him. Could the Harry of July or September have done this? I am not so sure. IMO, Harry had to go through the entire process in order to arrive where he did. The process was crucial.



Mrs Brisbee - Mar 25, 2009 5:21 am (#1742 of 2055)
Dumbledore is a very complex person.-- LPO

I'm going with that, too. In fact, in my opinion Dumbledore ended up being one the more interesting and complex character in the series, perhaps second only to Harry Potter.

I confess that the secrecy and arrogance Dumbledore displayed in his planning through HBP and DH astounded me, and I'm still flabbergasted when I think of it. In many ways Dumbledore's nature served to divide the Good Side after his death. However, the better parts of Dumbledore's nature left an even more enduring legacy, that people could find strength in and rallied around. They could handle adverse situations, think on their feet, problem solve, come up with their own plans that worked, and band together to defeat Voldemort-- not because they were micromanaged by Dumbledore, but rather by finding strength in the principles he had openly espoused during his life.



me and my shadow 813 - Mar 25, 2009 9:34 am (#1743 of 2055)
What freaked me out in hindsight (among other things) was in the Cave DD offers the blood to enter because, he says, "your blood is worth more than mine." We now know it is a nod to the rebirthing of course, but a strange thing to say to the boy you're planning on allowing to be killed.



mona amon - Mar 28, 2009 1:56 am (#1744 of 2055)
He wasn't planning on allowing him to be killed. He was planning on allowing him to make the sacrifice, believing he was going to be killed, so that Lily's sacrifice could kick in and Harry would be saved, while the Horcrux would be destroyed.



wynnleaf - Mar 28, 2009 3:24 am (#1745 of 2055)
Actually, DD was planning on allowing Harry to be killed, hoping that he was right and Harry wouldn't die.

Considering that DD was wrong about quite a number of things, regardless of his notion that he was usually right, this was a Big risk to take.



mona amon - Mar 28, 2009 9:06 am (#1746 of 2055)
The impression I got was that Dumbledore 'guessed' that Harry would survive, and given his (almost arrogant) confidence in his own guesses, that was equal to being sure that he would.

As for it being a risk, he didn't really have a choice. He knew that Voldemort would never rest until he had hunted Harry down. He knew he couldn't be protected from him forever. And he knew Harry didn't have a chance of defeating Voldemort as long as he was keeping his soulbit alive in himself.

To make Harry believe, at the right time, that he had to allow Voldemort to kill him was Dumbledore's best chance of ensuring Harry's survival and victory.



Solitaire - Mar 28, 2009 9:59 am (#1747 of 2055)
I agree, Mona, that Dumbledore didn't have a lot of options. Quite honestly, I do not see what else he could have done. Harry was not the kind of person who would want to live in hiding indefinitely, just to stay alive, and Dumbledore knew this. I think he banked heavily on Harry's persistence when it came to "getting the job done." He knew Harry would do his best to avoid getting himself killed before he had vanquished the Horcruxes. Whether he counted on Harry being the one to really make all of the connections and figure out about the Elder Wand, I am not sure.

I see it less as arrogance on Dumbledore's part than simply his only option, if Harry and the rest of the Wizarding World were to live in any kind of peace and freedom.



legolas returns - Mar 28, 2009 11:01 am (#1748 of 2055)
Just thinking back over the books and remembering the gleam of triumph in Dumbledore's eyes that Harry thought/imagined that he saw after he told him of the blood and rebirthing ceremony. Dumbledore made an incredibly quick connection in his minds eye if he realised at that point that the double connection meant that there was a chance that Harry may (would) survive. Up to that point I wonder if he thought that Harry really was going to have to die to free himself and the world of Voldemort.



wynnleaf - Mar 28, 2009 12:55 pm (#1749 of 2055)
If DD had been wrong then Harry would have simply died. No one other than Ron and Hermione had the faintest clue that LV had been staying alive by virtue of a bunch of horcruxes that were now all destroyed (Harry included). Can't recall all the sudden -- did Ron and Hermione know before Harry's "death" that Harry had a horcrux within him? If not, then they'd have no idea that Harry's death would mean LV's instant vulnerability.

After all, what exactly (however untruthful) was DD trying to explain to Snape about why Harry had to die? DD makes it sound to Snape as though Harry has to die first -- totally and that's that -- but that Harry's death will enable someone else to kill LV.

If DD had been wrong about Harry surviving LV's curse, then that's what would need to happen. But because DD didn't tell anyone else, and Harry, if I recall correctly, didn't tell Hermione and Ron prior to going out to meet LV, then Harry would have died without anyone left alive that knew that LV was now completely vulnerable to the next AK to come his way.

DD was, in my opinion, too secretive. There should have been at least a couple of more Order members in the loop.



Solitaire - Mar 28, 2009 5:46 pm (#1750 of 2055)
DD makes it sound to Snape as though Harry has to die first -- totally and that's that -- but that Harry's death will enable someone else to kill LV.

As much as Dumbledore trusted Snape's loyalty, I think that he still feared allowing him to know every single thing, because of the amount of time Snape had to spend in close proximity to Voldemort. Face it ... Snape was at just as much risk of being tortured as anyone else--we know Voldy had tantrums and tortured people for no real reason--and maybe Snape would not have been able to shut his mind down during such an event. Or what if Voldemort realized Snape was using Occlumency against him? He might have wondered what Snape was trying to hide ...

Harry didn't need to tell Ron and Hermione where he was going. He knew that they knew Nagini still had to die for Voldemort to be vulnerable ... and he had also told Neville, on his way out to the forest, that she had to die. He also knew Voldemort would announce that he was dead. Ron and Hermione would know that, once Nagini was dead, Voldemort could be killed. I doubt the battle would have been so grand as it was, because, really, it was all of Harry's revelations to Voldemort which unhinged him and made him cast the spell which caused his own death. Ron and Hermione might have killed Voldemort in a quieter way, from behind some cover.

To be really honest, I think the entire sequence of events had to do with the same reasons that Ron had to destroy the locket Horcrux ... Harry and Dumbledore were dealing with magic at its deepest, and things had to play out a certain way in order to work.

Bottom line ... I buy into the "willing suspension of disbelief" when it comes to Jo's books.



PeskyPixie - Mar 28, 2009 7:35 pm (#1751 of 2055)
Is it just me, or is ambition treated as a bit of a fault in the HP world?

Personally, my heart breaks for the brilliant young Albus who must shoulder the burden of a family rather than go off to his bright future. I think that his cooped up ambition contributed to the depth of his loyalty to Grindelwald during that stage of his life. I am not excusing his behaviour, but I pity his situation.



Solitaire - Mar 28, 2009 8:09 pm (#1752 of 2055)
Actually, Pesky, I think you are right. Ambition is seen as a character flaw, as it sometimes can be. Still, if no one ever had any ambition, nothing would get done! When I think of young Dumbledore, I think about how isolated extremely brilliant children often feel when they have no peers who can match them in intellect or interests. It is often that very feeling of isolation that spurs the kind of ambition that ends up having tragic consequences.

It must have been terribly frustrating for a talented and brilliant young wizard, just on the brink of entering his world as a young adult, to feel that the rest of his life was going to be consigned to caring for an invalid sister. Even though Aberforth would probably have gladly shouldered that burden once he graduated, the time lost must have seemed terribly long to Albus.

We all hope our better natures will prevail in situations that demand sacrifice ... but I can certainly understand the frustration and forgive him for being selfish. Maybe, if there had been an adult to help out, he might never have fallen victim to Grindelwald's machinations. It's hard to say what might have been when all we have are what was and what is.



wynnleaf - Mar 28, 2009 8:41 pm (#1753 of 2055)
Bottom line ... I buy into the "willing suspension of disbelief" when it comes to Jo's books. (Solitaire)

In this case, I think that's necessary. Some of the sewing up of plot points in DH does not bear intense scrutiny. That is, there are plenty of "what ifs" and "what about??". Thematically, it was all quite important that it work out as it did, and really in HP, that's just as important as plot.

It must have been terribly frustrating for a talented and brilliant young wizard, just on the brink of entering his world as a young adult, to feel that the rest of his life was going to be consigned to caring for an invalid sister. (Solitiare)

The books don't really address it, but having his father gone off to prison is a pretty traumatic thing for a kid. Then his mother was mostly tied up dealing with Arianna. That left Albus and Aberforth effectively neglected kids, almost like orphans. And yet they were also supposed to shoulder the burdens of the family.

I agree that would have been very difficult for Albus, a brilliant kid with no real outlets for his creativity and brilliance. A lot of people assume that such kids "have it made" because they have so much ability, but it can place them at high risk for making very bad choices. And of course, Albus did just that.



Solitaire - Mar 28, 2009 9:09 pm (#1754 of 2055)
A lot of people assume that such kids "have it made" because they have so much ability

Yes, it is often "assumed" that such bright kids don't need instruction in ordinary life skills, because they are so smart, "they can figure it out on their own." Yet, I'm sure many of us have known exceptionally bright and gifted individuals who have no "people skills." I'm not suggesting Albus fell into this group, exactly. But with no adult around to give basic "life skills" guidance--or just talk to him and find out what was going on in his mind--it is easy to see how he would have fallen under the spell of a brilliant and charismatic manipulator like Grindelwald.

Who among us has never dreamed of being able to shed some overwhelming responsibility that we never really asked for--it just sort of "landed" on us--and which seems unlikely to end in the foreseeable future? Think how a young man of 17 must feel knowing he will be saddled indefinitely with caring for his unstable sister ... even though he loves her dearly. It must have seemed like the death warrant of any of his own personal life dreams.

Edited



Julia H. - Apr 6, 2009 12:15 am (#1755 of 2055)
It may have been mentioned way back earlier, but I've recently thought of Dumbledore's relationship with Hagrid and I seem to find a connection that is new to me. (It may have been obvious to others long ago.) Hagrid's wand was broken, yet, it is strongly implied in PS that he uses its pieces disguised as an umbrella. Later we find out that broken wands simply do not work, at least not properly. (Ron has to get a new wand after CoS.) In DH, we find out that broken wands cannot usually be repaired, according to wand expert Ollivander. Harry, however, eventually repairs his broken wand using the Elder Wand. My conclusion is that the only way Hagrid can really use the pieces of his wand is if it has been repaired by the Elder Wand, which, of course, belongs to Dumbledore. So Dumbledore must have repaired Hagrid's broken wand. It means Dumbledore actually broke the law, but we know he was sure from the start that Hagrid had been unjustly punished. Such law-breaking would be in character with Dumbledore, I think.

Any thoughts?



Hieronymus Graubart - Apr 6, 2009 2:46 am (#1756 of 2055)
Wand expert Ollivander also told us "Oh yes, if you are any wizard at all you will be able to channel your magic through almost any instrument." (DH 24, page 399 Bloomsbubury).

I found it remarkable that Ollivander did not say "... any wand". Since I read this, I believe that Hagrid does not use his broken wand. In the course of years, Hagrid actually learned "to channel his magic through his umbrella". Besides helping him to believe that this would work, the fact that the pieces of the broken wand are still hidden in this umbrella doesn't really matter.

This would also explain how the first sophisticated wands came into being. Wandmakers could use a simple peace of wood (or any other instrument) for a simple wand to put the magical core into another peace of wood to make a more effective wand.

But this seems to belong to an other thread.

(Edited for punctuation)



me and my shadow 813 - Apr 6, 2009 8:30 am (#1757 of 2055)
Julia, I like your theory very much! Regarding Hiero's comments, although I love the idea I believe it was insinuated that Hagrid's umbrella contained his wand (something about Fudge or Crouch asking Hagrid if the wand had been disposed of...? ) I'll try to find the quote.



Solitaire - Apr 6, 2009 10:04 am (#1758 of 2055)
Julia, I've often wondered about the "broken wand" business myself. Like you, I believe DD repaired Hagrid's wand. I wondered about that the moment Harry's was repaired. I suppose DD could also have given Hagrid a different wand, perhaps his own, original wand.

Hieronymus, I wondered at the time Harry's wand broke whether he could have the Fawkes feather put into a different wand. I still wonder ...



Ludicrous Patents Office - Apr 6, 2009 7:08 pm (#1759 of 2055)
Julia I like your idea. In SS when Harry is getting his wand it is strongly implied that Hargid's umbrella contains his wand (Diagon Ally p. 83 Scholastic Hardback). In HBP (Hagrid)...he raised a smoldering pink, flowery umbrella and said, "Aguamenti!" A jet of water flew out of the umbrella tip. Flight of the Prince p. 606 Scholastic Hardbound. It seemed to work fine for him. LPO



Solitaire - Apr 6, 2009 8:51 pm (#1760 of 2055)
It did seem to work fine. If it were broken, I am sure it would either not do a thing, or it would act like Ron's broken wand and backfire.



me and my shadow 813 - Apr 6, 2009 9:09 pm (#1761 of 2055)
LPO, that's exactly the quote I was reminded of... I was thinking it was Fudge but it was Ollivander who asked Hagrid if the wand had been snapped and basically chucked in the bin. Hagrid nervously said something like 'oh, yeah! of course!' *cough*



Solitaire - Apr 6, 2009 9:26 pm (#1762 of 2055)
I've posted some more thoughts and questions about wands over on Wands: Your Thoughts After Book Seven, if anyone is interested in continuing the discussion.



Vulture - Jul 23, 2009 8:31 am (#1763 of 2055)
I don't know if this has been brought up before (I couldn't see it in the last 20 posts, anyway), but how do we all feel about Dumbledore's "seven Potters" idea, and letting Snape inform Voldemort about Harry's departure from Privet Drive ?

I personally feel that it was incredibly reckless, and almost bound to result in injuries and/or death. OK, so it must have convinced Voldemort that Snape was a well-informed spy, but was that worth Moody's death ?

Also, I notice that the instructions to Snape about all this come from "the portrait of Dumbledore behind his desk". But Snape hadn't become Headmaster at this point. And if it's supposed to be a different Dumbledore portrait, where is it ? Snape would hardly have an office in Spinner's End with a Dumbledore portrait, would he ? Not with Wormtail doing the dusting.



Soul Search - Jul 23, 2009 10:22 am (#1764 of 2055)
"... about Dumbledore's "seven Potters" idea, and letting Snape inform Voldemort about Harry's departure from Privet Drive?" (Vulture)

Incredibly stupid! With that many participants, guaranteed to get somebody killed. And it did. Fortunate that George was the only other casualty. Dumbledore knew Harry needed Hermione and Ron to perform his Horcrux hunt, yet the "Seven Potters" plan put them at great risk. And both knew about Horcruxes. If either had been captured Harry would have had an impossible time trying to find the remaining Horcruxes. Voldemort would have set a trap.

Madeye was intended to be a special target to deflect interest from Harry and Hagrid and it worked. It would have worked better if Dung hadn't apparated out of there, but the idea needed someone expendable with Madeye.

Not much protection for Harry either; one-of-seven isn't very good odds when the whole wizarding world is at stake. Voldemort wasn't altogether fooled anyway. Putting Harry on a souped-up motorcycle with Hagrid was a good choice. The motorcycle could outrun brooms and Hagrid was nearly impervious to most spells. And we liked seeing Sirius's motorcycle again. However, Voldemort could fly as fast as the motorcycle so that wasn't perfect. I wonder if Dumbledore or Snape knew Voldemort could fly. Snape might have, since he had learned to fly too.

Should have sent Hedwig to the Burrow weeks earlier. And Harry should have given his Firebolt to one of the other teams, then left it to Ginny.

I don't see how cementing Snape's position with Voldemort helped much. He was already in good order (first chapter at the Malfoys) and could have received the Hogwarts job anyway. Hard to tell, though. Harry wasn't to be captured, so it might have been better for Snape to have had no involvement at all. Voldemort does seem to blame everyone for any failure, even his own.

Giving Voldemort the actual date wasn't that much of a problem. Voldemort would have had Death Eaters watching #4 Privet Drive 24/7 from a few days after Harry arrived. All they had to do was signal waiting troops who could apparate to Privet Drive and the chase was on, no matter when Harry left, or how. No doubt, watching Death Eaters saw the group arrive, with Thestrals for Merlin's sake, so had plenty of time to signal and organize the attacking Death Eaters. If anyone could see Thestrals, it would be Death Eaters. Again, why the arriving crowd to announce everything? The people could have arrived in a car(with brooms hidden,) then the Thestrals swoop down to pick them up when they were all ready to leave.

The Dursleys got away clean. The watching Death Eaters saw them get into a car, none were Harry, so they didn't attack, at least right away. Since they apparated when outside the Ministry's no-apparating zone they were safe.

A smarter Headmaster would have polyjuiced Harry into Dudley, Madeye into Vernon, and Tonks into Petunia. Let them leave in the Dursleys car and apparate outside the zone. Sometime later, after Harry's birthday, the real Dursleys could leave. The Death Eaters would be puzzled, but wouldn't have figured it out until too late.

Snape must have had a secret way into Hogwarts and the Headmaster's office. After all, he could fly. Maybe he just flew in the open window.

Madeye woud have been great at the battle of Hogwarts.



Solitaire - Jul 23, 2009 10:50 am (#1765 of 2055)
Should have sent Hedwig to the Burrow weeks earlier. And Harry should have given his Firebolt to one of the other teams, then left it to Ginny.

He couldn't. What if he needed to beat it outta there in a hurry? What if there was an emergency and he needed to send Hedwig? I never could understand why he didn't just send Hedwig on ahead, before they pulled out. He could have told her to take a circuitous route and arrive in a day or so.

Harry needed to be protected and moved, and Snape's cover needed to be protected, so that he could remain at Hogwarts. I'm sure that Snape made it into the Head's office because Dumbledore genuinely wanted him to be there. He was obviously able to walk into Hogwarts because Voldemort was in control of the Ministry and he put Snape in Hogwarts.



Soul Search - Jul 23, 2009 11:10 am (#1766 of 2055)
"What if he needed to beat it outta there in a hurry? What if there was an emergency and he needed to send Hedwig?" (Solitaire)

Harry was well protected at #4 Privet Drive by Dumbledor's spells. Otherwise, he would have been attacked. Death Eaters were watching Privet Drive, otherwise Harry could have left anytime.

If Hedwig left just before the seven Potters, she likely would have been followed or captured (like in OotP.) If she left a week before, at night, swooping low through backyards until she was well away, she might have made it to the Burrow. Actually, the reason Hedwig wasn't sent away could be the fear that watching Death Eaters would attack her. After all, any Death Eater getting a message from Harry Potter's owl would have been in Voldemort's favor.

Harry couldn't leave Privet Drive, even on his Firebolt. He could have given his broom to any of the others who were riding brooms to help them get away. After all, it was the fastest broom around.

I think the real reason Harry lost Hedwig and his Firebolt was JKR wanted him to suffer losses. Hedwig was his childhood. The Firebolt was Sirius and family.



Solitaire - Jul 23, 2009 12:22 pm (#1767 of 2055)
I suppose the Dursleys could have taken Hedwig, and Daedelus and Hestia could have let her go for Harry. I agree about the Firebolt and Hedwig. They were losses that had to be endured. Hedwig's death, I think, points up how the innocent are the first to suffer in the savagery of war. The Firebolt was certainly a connection to family, but it was also one of Harry's most important possessions. I think its destruction set up Harry as well as the reader to expect that loved ones would be lost and living would be skint in the coming year ... no luxuries and even want of common necessities.



Hieronymus Graubart - Jul 24, 2009 2:40 am (#1768 of 2055)
Also, I notice that the instructions to Snape about all this come from "the portrait of Dumbledore behind his desk". But Snape hadn't become Headmaster at this point.(Vulture)

Snape must have had a secret way into Hogwarts and the Headmaster's office.(Soul Search)

Near the end of OotP, when Dumbledore sends Harry to the Headmaster’s Office by portkey, Phineas Nigellus isn’t surprised. He asks someting like “Another message for my greatgrandson?”.

It seems we all, like Harry, ignored this question because we had so much else to consider. But shouldn’t we understand that Phineas refers to the messages sent from Snape to the headquarter earlier this night or the previous day?

Because Snape could not use the talking patronus, Dumbledore had granted him special acces to the Headmasters’office (even at times when there was no Headmaster and the office head sealed itself) so that he could send Phineas to Sirius at any time.

Is it significant that this was done long before Dumbledore knew that he would die at the end of HBP (obviously not to make Snape discuss everything with Dumbledore's portrait)?



Soul Search - Jul 24, 2009 6:26 am (#1769 of 2055)
Hieronymus Graubart's post sparked a thought. We attributed the "Seven Potters" escape plan to Dumbledore, but was it? Or was Dumbledore's portrait just aware of the plan?

Madeye seemed to be running the show at the Dursleys. Was it Madeye's plan? The plan was bold, rather than elegant, which suggests Madeye, rather than Dumbledore. Then, Madeye would have put himself as the first target for the Death Eaters, rather than Dumbledore setting him up like that. This makes more sense; Madeye was willing to sacrifice himself to get Harry safely away, rather than Dumbledore willing to sacrifice his best fighter. Maybe I should appologize to Dumbledore for my "Incredibly stupid!" comment. Hey Madeye, it was a dumb plan!

Hieronymus Graubart also suggests a more realistic scenario for access to Dumbledore's portrait. If Dumbledore still had anything to do with the Order, he had to communicate with them. There were probably meetings in Dumbledore's office so the portrait could participate.

Access to Dumbledore's office changed over the Deathly Hallows timefame. From after the sixth-year term until Voldemort installed the Carrows, the order could freely gather at the Headmaster's office. McGonnagal was in the Order and could have even arranged meetings there. No students to get in the way, either.

Once the Carrows were there Order members would have to be more careful, but could still visit Dumbledore's portrait.

Snape had a more dificult time accessing the office. He would have had to find a time when it was empty. A portkey was probably the best way for him to come and go. No doubt, Snape could create a portkey and the office allowed him to be there, since he was.

The Order would have had more difficult, perhaps impossible, access to the portrait once Snape was made Headmaster.

Why didn't Voldemort order Dumbledore's portrait destroyed? He might have even enjoyed destroying it himself, after tormenting it for a while. Did he even know it existed? He had been in Dumbledore's office a long time ago, but it wasn't until OotP that we learned the portraits were of former headmasters and that they could talk and help the current headmaster. Previously, the portraits were quiet when Harry was there. What the portraits were was not common knowledge. My guess is Voldemort never knew what the portraits were, that Dumbledore's portrait had been installed, nor that the Portraits could communicate with anyone in the room.



Solitaire - Jul 24, 2009 10:30 am (#1770 of 2055)
Phineas Nigellus isn’t surprised. He asks someting like “Another message for my greatgrandson?”

That is because when Arthur was bitten by Nagini, Dumbledore sent Phineas to alert Sirius that Harry, the Weasley kids, and Molly would be arriving momentarily. When he saw Harry with the Portkey, that is probably what he assumed was going to happen again.
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Hieronymus Graubart - Jul 24, 2009 1:10 pm (#1771 of 2055)
But how did Snape send the two messages: "Harry believes that you have been captured in the DOM. Are you still at home?" and "I can't find Harry. He probably went to the DOM. Send help, but stay at home".?

The secret use of Phineas Nigellus as a messenger would be far more secure than sending owls or leaving Hogwarts to apparate to London. Did Phineas really sound as if he didn’t refer to recent messages?

Soul Search, I would love to believe that MadEye sacrificed himself, but this doesn’t work. Snape confunded Mundungus to make him present the plan to MadEye as his suggestion. I hope for Snape’s sake that it was not Snape’s plan, so it must have been the portraits plan (which, IMO, is not the same as "Dumbledore’s plan").

Concerning order meetings at Hogwarts, I have some doubts. From Diary-Riddles memory I got the impression, that Hogwarts is normally closed down for the summer and nobody stays there (except house-elves and some persons like Trelawney or Hagrid, who have no other place to go). Armando Dippet was willing to make an exception for Tom, but this probably meant that Tom’s head-of-house and/or the headmaster himself would have to sacrifice their holidays and stay with Tom.

And McGonagall did not even know if the school would reopen after the holidays. I don’t see how teachers could stay or non-teachers could visit Hogwarts over the summer without rising suspicion, especially after the ministry had fallen (long before Snape and the Carrows were officially made headmaster and teachers).

I’m sorry that this will be long, but I would suggest a different view of Dumbledore and his portrait:

After HBP, everbody who did not simply deny Dumbledore’s death hoped that Dumbledore would still be able to give advice through his (many?) portraits or the pensieve or whatever. When we then learned in DH that Dumbledore was as flawed as everybody, we all became furious about the secretive, manipulative, macchiavellian Dumbledore, who tried to control everything even after his death. But:

Did anybody ever claim to act on orders or advice of Dumbledore’s portrait?

Did we ever see anybody (except Snape) talk wirh Dumbledore’s portrait?

Is there any evidence that more than one portrait exists?

Did Dumbledore really expect that Snape would follow the portraits advice, while normaly the portraits should follow the current headmaster’s orders?

Dumbledore knew that portraits can not think on their own (he wrote this in his annotations to The Tales of Beedle the Bard). Confronted with a new situation created by Pius Thicknesse, the portrait could only reiterate the living Dumbledore’s opinion that Snape should use every opportunity to stay in Voldemort’s good books, but could not consider the possible consequences. Snape should have known better, and Dumbledore knew that Snape should know better than a portrait.

As I see it now, Snape’s "special access" to the headmaster’s office was not established during Dumbledore’s last year (when he knew that he would die) and does not imply that Dumbledore wanted Snape to be able to visit his portrait at any time. It was established when 12GP was made the orders headquarter, Snape told Dumbledore that he would never use the talking patronus to contact the order and Phineas Nigellus came in handy.

Since Snape’s privilege was never removed (although Dumbledore could not expect that Phineas Nigellus would still have a role to play after his death) we may asume that Dumbledore wanted Snape to be able to contact his portrait. Or we may simply assume that Dumbledore had much more to consider than the removal of some "special-acces-charmes" not longer needed.

To me it seems now that this secretive, manipulative, macchiavellian Dumbledore, who tried to control everything even after his death, is fanon based on a negative transfiguration of what readers expected after HBP, but never confirmed in DH.



Solitaire - Jul 24, 2009 1:51 pm (#1772 of 2055)
I thought Snape went to GP that night. I'll reread the section. It is possible that Snape and McGonagall, being Order members, might have authority to enter DD's office. Didn't Harry enter it once alone (not via a portkey), before DD got there?



haymoni - Jul 24, 2009 3:25 pm (#1773 of 2055)
I figured he sent the Patronus thingy.



Solitaire - Jul 24, 2009 3:50 pm (#1774 of 2055)
He might have ... it's tough to say. If he had never used a Patronus to communicate with the Order, as some have suggested on other threads, Tonks might have had some snappy retort when he commented about her new one looking weak ... something like "At least I can perform one!" Since she did not make any such comment, it seems likely that she may have at least seen him perform a Patronus charm at some point.

But we are getting onto Snape, and this is DD's thread. Sorry!



mona amon - Jul 24, 2009 9:11 pm (#1775 of 2055)
It was JKR who said (in the Bloomsbury Webchat) that Severus never used his patronus.

jenny: How did snape keep his patronus secret from the rest of the order? J.K. Rowling: He was careful not to use the talking Patronus means of communication with them. This was not difficult, as his particular job within the Order, ie, as spy, meant that sending a Patronus to any of them might have given away his true allegiance.

So Tonks would have known that he could cast one, but wasn't supposed to. Even Dumbledore had never seen his Patronus until the night he sent it flying out the window of his office.

I like Hieronymus's idea that Severus used Dumbledore's office to communicate with the Order at the end of OOTP, though I feel he must have used the fireplace rather than Phinneas's portrait. He seems to have contacted #12 GP more than once that evening, and I can't imagine Phinneas going back and forth without protesting. Besides, he was duty boud to obey the headmaster, not Severus.



Hieronymus Graubart - Jul 27, 2009 12:29 am (#1776 of 2055)
"(Still) another message ... " may imply some protest (I really don't remember Phineas' tone).

Special arrangements to enable Snape's communication with the order may have included Dumbledore ordering Phineas to obey whenever Snape sent him to 12GP.

I only emphasize this because once upon a time I believed that there had been "special arrangements" to give Snape access to Dumbledore's portrait before he became headmaster (and this seemed to be the only evidence that Dumbledore tried to control anything even after his death). This I don't longer believe.

There may have been no "special arrangements" at all, Snape simply flying through open windows whenever it pleased. But why did nobody close this window

ETA: We don't depend on an interview. When there was a disagreement about the best way to defend against dementors in Snapes DADA class, some of us suspected that Snape didn't want to demonstrate the creation of a patronus, and that he had some reason to let nobody ever see his patronus. When I saw that the doe was Snape's patronus I knew that we had been right.



Solitaire - Jul 27, 2009 9:24 am (#1777 of 2055)
But why did nobody close this window

Is it possible they were open on a regular basis? That is how Hermione was able to summon all of those books from Dumbledore's office.



Vulture - Jul 28, 2009 8:58 am (#1778 of 2055)
A smarter Headmaster would have polyjuiced Harry into Dudley, Madeye into Vernon, and Tonks into Petunia. Let them leave in the Dursleys car and apparate outside the zone. Sometime later, after Harry's birthday, the real Dursleys could leave. The Death Eaters would be puzzled, but wouldn't have figured it out until too late. (Soul Search - Jul 23, 2009 10:22 am (#1764))

Yes, but that would risk the capture and torture of the real Dursleys. It might be more accurate to say "a more ruthless Headmaster", because if they had treated the Dursleys as pawns to be sacrificed, Harry and the others could have got out without casualties. I agree with much of the rest of your analysis, though.

Madeye seemed to be running the show at the Dursleys. Was it Madeye's plan? The plan was bold, rather than elegant, which suggests Madeye, rather than Dumbledore. Then, Madeye would have put himself as the first target for the Death Eaters, rather than Dumbledore setting him up like that. This makes more sense; Madeye was willing to sacrifice himself to get Harry safely away, rather than Dumbledore willing to sacrifice his best fighter. Maybe I should appologize to Dumbledore for my "Incredibly stupid!" comment. Hey Madeye, it was a dumb plan! (Soul Search - Jul 24, 2009 6:26 am (#1769))

I think it was Dumbledore's plan, because we see him suggesting the seven duplicate Potters to Snape, then Snape does a Confundus on Mundungus Fletcher, to get him to suggest it to Mad-Eye & Co. (as we learn earlier in the book).

It seems to me that the main justification for the plan was that Apparating, using the Floo, or a Portkey would (a) provoke arrest by the Ministry and (b) activate the Trace. But in my opinion, the Order should simply have used one of those methods and hidden Harry from the Ministry as well as from Voldemort. Harry himself, if asked, would certainly have preferred to go on the run earlier than risk other people's lives.

Of course, from JKR's point of view as a writer, "The Seven Potters" was a great action-packed read, and I've never read her stuff for the sake of logic in the plot.

Why didn't Voldemort order Dumbledore's portrait destroyed? He might have even enjoyed destroying it himself, after tormenting it for a while. Did he even know it existed? (Soul Search - Jul 24, 2009 6:26 am (#1769 ))

If the issue arose, my guess is that Snape made up some (smooth and silky !!) cover story along the lines of the portrait being a useful source of information.

My guess is Voldemort never knew what the portraits were, that Dumbledore's portrait had been installed, nor that the Portraits could communicate with anyone in the room. (Soul Search - Jul 24, 2009 6:26 am (#1769 ))

No, I think he would have known, because Tom Riddle was Head Boy in his day, was the all-time favourite student of the Head at that time (and of teachers generally, other than Dumbledore), and would have been in the Head's office often enough to learn the information. (For any readers who've just joined us, please refer to "Chamber Of Secrets" for all this.)

Bear in mind, if there was one thing Tom Riddle was good at, it was ferreting out secret information _ and it's not as if anyone was actually trying to keep the portraits secret.

We know from Book 7 (end of "The Wandmaker" chapter) that Voldemort visited Snape at Hogwarts _ he would probably have joined him in the Head's office, because (a) he had still not openly declared his rule over the wizard world (even though his puppets were running the Ministry), and because (b) being Voldemort, he would want to revel in the fact that Hogwarts was now his. If he was in the Head's office, he would have seen the portraits.

Did Dumbledore really expect that Snape would follow his portrait's advice, while normally the portraits should follow the current headmaster’s orders? (Hieronymus Graubart [/b]- Jul 24, 2009 1:10 pm (#1771))

Well, given that Dumbledore knew about his death for a year in advance, and planned its circumstances with Snape, I'd be amazed if the role of his portrait wasn't discussed.

Dumbledore knew that portraits can not think on their own (he wrote this in his annotations to The Tales of Beedle the Bard). (Hieronymus Graubart [/b]- Jul 24, 2009 1:10 pm (#1771))

Well, we know that Dumbledore's portrait had the power to refuse to tell Snape "why it's so important to give Potter the sword" ("The Prince's Tale"). Does refusal count as thinking on its own ?

Of course, I suppose we can choose to believe that Snape simply allowed the portrait such rights, out of his own trust of, and respect for, Dumbledore, and that he could have chosen to command the portrait if he wished _ but didn't.

To me it seems now that this "secretive, manipulative, macchiavellian Dumbledore, who tried to control everything even after his death" is fanon based on a negative transfiguration of what readers expected after HBP, but never confirmed in DH. (Hieronymus Graubart [/b]- Jul 24, 2009 1:10 pm (#1771))

Well, fan beliefs are part of it, but I also think that JKR plays a role: bear in mind that fan anger about Dumbledore being "Machiavellian" is very similar to Harry's feelings for most of Book 7.

I thought Snape went to GP that night (the night Sirius died in Book 5). (Solitaire [/b]- Jul 24, 2009 1:51 pm (#1772 ))

No, he was searching the Forest for Harry.

I like Hieronymus's idea that Severus used Dumbledore's office to communicate with the Order at the end of OOTP, though I feel he must have used the fireplace rather than Phinneas's portrait. He seems to have contacted #12 GP more than once that evening, and I can't imagine Phinneas going back and forth without protesting. Besides, he was duty bound to obey the headmaster, not Severus. (mona amon [/b]- Jul 24, 2009 9:11 pm (#1775))

I think Phineas would have stretched a point in the case of Snape, the Head of Slytherin House.



Hieronymus Graubart - Jul 28, 2009 9:57 am (#1779 of 2055)
Well, we know that Dumbledore's portrait had the power to refuse to tell Snape "why it's so important to give Potter the sword" ("The Prince's Tale"). Does refusal count as thinking on its own ?

No, it counts as "only repeating what the living Dumbledore had thought". If the situation had changed in a way making it necessary to tell Snape why Harry needed the sword, the portrait would not have been able to recognize this and still continued to keep the secret (of course this didn't happen).



wynnleaf - Aug 2, 2009 5:11 pm (#1780 of 2055)
But why did nobody close this window

I can't quite believe that DD expected or pre-planned the idea that Hermione would attempt to accio his books out of the window. Which does make me wonder why he left them out on his desk knowing that in all likelihood the next headmaster would see the books and probably it would be Snape to see them.

I suppose it depends on how one views Portrait Dumbledore. If the portrait can do no more than say exactly whatever the living DD was saying at the time of his death -- that is, no creative, new, original thinking -- then it makes sense that the Portrait Dumbledore would not give Snape further knowledge than the living DD had given him. In that case, it's no surprise that the Portrait never told Snape about the Elder Wand, further info on horcruxes other than DD's kind of oblique reference to Harry's horcrux, etc.

But perhaps the living DD would have wanted Snape to learn more, after DD was dead, and left the books out for Snape to find. Either that, or it was simply coincidence, which seems a bit odd, but DH is full of coincidence.



Vulture - Aug 4, 2009 6:36 am (#1781 of 2055)
I can't quite believe that DD expected or pre-planned the idea that Hermione would attempt to accio his books out of the window. Which does make me wonder why he left them out on his desk knowing that in all likelihood the next headmaster would see the books and probably it would be Snape to see them. (wynnleaf [/b]- Aug 2, 2009 5:11 pm (#1780))

But hang on _ the immediate successor as Head (whatever about long-term) would be (and was) McGonagall. Given that Dumbledore had arranged his death with Snape, and not told anyone else, how could he expect that Snape (who would immediately be on the run for killing the magical world's most revered wizard) would be in his (Dumbledore's) office, or anywhere in Hogwarts, immediately after the killing ?

There's no mention of the books being on the desk in Book 6 after Dumbledore's death, and Harry was in there with McGonagall, would surely have spotted them (given the role Horcruxes had played in the evening's events), and tried to grab them before she noticed them. (My memory is hazy _ in Book 7, does Hermione say that the books were on Dumbledore's desk ?)

Whatever about the open window, the books must have been Accio-ed from another, less visible, part of the room. Bear in mind that Accio is pretty powerful (especially when cast by a witch as skilful as Hermione): Harry was able to Accio his Firebolt from far away in the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Book 4, and Fred & George's Accio, in Book 5, pulled their brooms up from the dungeons and tore their chains off the walls.



wynnleaf - Aug 4, 2009 5:49 pm (#1782 of 2055)
You're right about the books. They fly out of DD's study window, but we don't know where he put them. I suppose I envisioned DD having them near to hand studying up on how to handle the horcruxes he was searching for and particularly the one he expected to find that night. But that's just the way I pictured it, and not necessarily what JKR was thinking.

However, as to DD's expectation that Snape would become Headmaster, that seems more likely. In The Prince's Tale Dumbledore acknowledges, as though they've discussed it before, that Snape and he think that LV will shortly have no need for a spy at Hogwarts. DD expects Snape to kill him, for LV to not need a spy at Hogwarts, and yet for Snape to be able to be at Hogwarts and protect the children. That suggests that DD, and perhaps Snape as well, expected LV's influence to keep Snape at Hogwarts and likely as Headmaster. After all, McGonagall wouldn't be Headmistress in a LV controlled world and nor would any other current faculty. Snape would be at Hogwarts, but not as spy. Why would LV leave Snape at Hogwarts just to teach? The more likely reason would be for LV to leave Snape in charge.

So yes, I think DD and Snape's discussion strongly implies that DD expected LV to take over soon and to put Snape in charge of Hogwarts.



Julia H. - Aug 6, 2009 4:08 pm (#1783 of 2055)
Snape tells Dumbledore that Voldemort expects the school to be in his power soon, and since Dumbledore has just found out that he is going to die within a year, this scenario must seem likely to him as well, after all Dumbledore is aware of the general efficiency of the Ministry, and the school is officially a wizarding state institution. If Voldemort appoints the Headmaster, then the only good solution is Snape, and Dumbledore must draw this conclusion very soon. (If the school is not taken over by Voldemort, there is no problem, because McGonagall can be the Headmistress.) Dumbledore, however, wants to make it absolutely sure that Voldemort will choose Snape. I think he also wants to make it sure that Snape will be able to visit his portrait even when he is not Headmaster.

Since Dumbledore knows it in advance that the Carrows are the other Hogwarts candidates, it is possible that they have been lobbying for the Headmaster's / Headmistress's position, thus there is a realistic danger that they can convince Voldemort if Snape does not obtain even more influence.

As Headmaster, Snape can protect the children better, and he can have unlimited access to Dumbledore's office, to all the portraits (who will be his only allies) and to the Sword. In exchange for this, Snape must tell Voldemort the precise date of Harry's journey from Privet Drive.

I completely agree with Soul Search that this information does not make much difference to the Order. Capturing Harry is Voldemort's most important goal so he would be a fool if he did not have the place watched every day, and the Death Eaters would have plenty of time to get there by the time these 14 people set out. In fact, they expect an attack - that is why they need a "plan" in the first place. But - failure or not - it shows Snape much better informed and more trustworthy to Voldemort than other DE's, who did not find out the correct date.

As for the plan... Dumbledore only invents the basic idea of Polyjuice Potters, and it seems the details - like who should participate or what transportation method they should use or who should take Harry - have been worked out by others (probably Moody). So, to be fair, the mistakes are not exclusively Dumbledore's. It is also interesting that Order members don't seem to have had a better plan. After all, they don't know the real origin of the "Seven Potters" plan, therefore it is not respect for Dumbledore why they accept it. So while I agree that the main reason for the plan is the action-planned scene, I think we are supposed to believe that it is a good plan.

Dumbledore's portrait: I think the portrait knows everything that the living Dumbledore knew, so Dumbledore probably made all the plans and planned all the instructions that his portrait gives Snape. I like the idea that Snape could order DD's portrait to answer his question (it is absolutely logical), but he chooses not to. (It is also a test of Snape's loyalty: Portrait Dumbledore could not prevent him from being disloyal and from switching sides, and once he is Headmaster, he could even use his power to get vital information from portrait Dumbledore and from other portraits for Voldemort - but, of course, he is loyal.)

Snape getting into Dumbledore's office: Hermione may need open windows to accio the books (although in OotP, the twins accio their brooms from Umbridge's office through the locked door), but I don't think a closed window could stop Snape once he has flown up there. We even see him fly out through a closed window, and when he is not in such a hurry, he has time to prevent any noise and to repair the glass before leaving.

I'm almost sure that Snape has access to Dumbledore's office in OotP. When Harry is in the office at the end of the book, after the battle, he finds the Pensieve there. (He and Dumbledore watch Trelawney in it.) Where did we last see the Pensieve? In Snape's office, long after Dumbledore's departure. Someone must have taken it back there in the meantime, and it is quite possible that it was Snape.



Solitaire - Aug 6, 2009 10:31 pm (#1784 of 2055)
The portraits said the office was sealed against all but the rightful head. Wasn't McGonagall the first in command when Dumbledore was away? If he was the rightful head, then surely his choice for deputy would be the next in command and not Umbridge. Would the office know that and respond accordingly? If Dumbledore and Snape had it settled between themselves, apart from McGonagall, that Snape would move into the top spot, then perhaps he was recognized as the head in Dumbledore's absence.

I've never thought Umbridge was a very good witch, and I'm betting both Snape and McGonagall could have gotten into that office under her nose without her finding out, if Dumbledore had wanted it that way. JM2K

You're right, Julia, that Snape was the only logical (and possible) choice to succeed Dumbledore. He was the only person who could at once meet Voldemort's qualification of being a DE and keep the kids safe from any real harm ... even though he was not really trusted by the other professors at this point.



PeskyPixie - Aug 15, 2009 12:08 pm (#1785 of 2055)
Someone mentioned many posts back that the first time Dumbledore sees Snape's patronus is during the memory we are shown, in the headmaster's office. Actually, from that conversation I get the feeling that Dumbledore is aware of Snape's patronus from the time he first joins the Order of the Phoenix. That may have also originally helped Snape to prove his allegiance to Dumbledore. The whole, 'Severus is a spy and therefore we must conceal his patronus from even the Order members' seems to be a passable cover story put forth by those two.

I have been re-reading DH and I have a question. Why does Dumbledore leave clues about the Deathly Hallows to HRH in his will? I mean, what do the Hallows actually have to do with the mission (i.e. how to destroy Lord Voldemort) he has left Harry? I have come up with some theories, but they seem very contrived to me.



Solitaire - Aug 15, 2009 1:13 pm (#1786 of 2055)
This is only speculation, but I believe Dumbledore knew Harry would need to understand the Deathly Hallows, so that he would realize he could defeat Voldemort. He needed to understand both the power of and the problems with the Elder Wand and how its allegiance was won ... and why it should eventually be re-interred with Dumbledore in his tomb.

The Resurrection Stone was only important as a comfort to him, I think ... something to help him do what he knew he must do. But understanding its limitations, its temptations, and its dangers also determined him to leave it in a place where it could not be deliberately sought.

In a way, I suppose we could say that Harry had united the three Hallows, because he possessed the cloak, he was master of the Elder wand, and he had been given the stone. Did knowing this give him confidence or extra power? I don't know ... maybe??

Edit: Understanding how wand allegiance worked did, I think, give Harry an edge that Voldy did not have. This would probably come under the heading of "ancient magic" and would, therefore, have been disregarded by Voldemort. I mean, Voldy wanted the most powerful wand, but he didn't really bother to understand what made the wand powerful, did he? He thought holding it and using it were all that mattered. He failed to take into account how the wand was acquired, and that was a big mistake.

One would think, given the events in the graveyard and what happened with Lucius's wand during the chase would have made him more interested in understanding wand loyalty ... but it didn't. Once again, he failed to get all of the information.



legolas returns - Aug 15, 2009 1:21 pm (#1787 of 2055)
Harry needed to know about the deathly hallows so that he would have the strength to sacrifice himself. He had his parents/friends company on the walk into the woods-he could not have done this without these "people" as he would have secumed to the Dementors. By sacrificing himself he got nearer to destroying Voldemort as the Voldemort soul piece was destroyed.

I am not totally convinced that he knew he was master of the Death Stick until he spoke to Dumbledore in Kings Cross. He decides to leave the wand when he sees what Voldemort is doing and then worries over whether he has done the correct thing. Dumbledore meant for Snape to have the wand (he would die undefeated that way). Dumbledore confirms stuff that Ollivander says about wand allegiance. He thought that he had the Stone but did not have 100% proof until he managed to open the stick. He was convinced about the provonance of the cloak.



Solitaire - Aug 15, 2009 1:23 pm (#1788 of 2055)
Good point about the Dementors. His wand was stowed, so he would not have been able to produce a Patronus anyway.



Julia H. - Aug 18, 2009 4:20 am (#1789 of 2055)
Someone mentioned many posts back that the first time Dumbledore sees Snape's patronus is during the memory we are shown, in the headmaster's office. Actually, from that conversation I get the feeling that Dumbledore is aware of Snape's patronus from the time he first joins the Order of the Phoenix. That may have also originally helped Snape to prove his allegiance to Dumbledore. (Pesky)

I absolutely like the idea that the Patronus once helped Snape to prove where his heart truly was. My impression is that Dumbledore knows about Snape's doe Patronus, but he does not know that it is still a doe, so Dumbledore probably has not seen the doe for many years. The idea seems to be that a Patronus representing one's love will change into something else when that love is not so strong or is not the most important thing in the person's life any more, and Dumbledore may not have supposed that one can feel such strong (ever unrequited) love for a long-dead woman that his Patronus would still represent that love after so many years. I think Dumbledore is touched by the extent of loyalty that Snape's Patronus proves.



PeskyPixie - Aug 29, 2009 11:19 am (#1790 of 2055)
"Maybe so but Dumbledore was sure fooled! I don't think Harry would have been fooled by a fake Ron, nor Hermione. Mind, Dumbledore did say that when he made a mistake it was usually a doozey! (or words to that effect)" -Honour (on the Harry Potter thread)

I've wondered about this as well. Moody and Dumbledore are friends, but I don't get the impression that they are as close as Harry, Ron and Hermione. A fake Severus would certainly fool Dumbledore as he knows Severus very deeply, but Moody may be more of a long-term work friend. There is extreme trust and fondness between them, but they have never been in a situation where they see one another on a daily basis, or have knowledge of the more personal aspects of one another's life.

Also, from Dumbledore's leap to the conclusion of 'Moody's' guilt after 'Moody' removes Harry from his presence, I feel that Dumbledore has had a vaguely funny feeling about Moody for a while now, but 'Moody's' questioning of the real Moody has been so thorough that he manages to pull his impression off accurately enough. 'Moody' probably refers to private moments, conversations between the real Moody and Dumbledore, and so he was interacting with Dumbledore adequately. He certainly hates Death Eaters with a passion and is obsessed with Harry's safety. Still, Dumbledore probably did feel a tad 'off' about him at times.



PeskyPixie - Sep 28, 2009 10:56 am (#1791 of 2055)
I'd forgotten all about my previous post (#1790), and just chanced upon it right now! I'd appreciate others' opinions on it.



Solitaire - Sep 28, 2009 2:28 pm (#1792 of 2055)
Dumbledore seems kind of "hands off" with the teachers at Hogwarts from this teacher's perspective. Perhaps if he'd had more interaction with them, he might have noticed something funny a bit sooner. Then again, it was a weird year with a lot of extra people on campus, so his attention seemed a bit divided at times. Also, he seemed to be focused more on events in the Wizarding World at large.



Honour - Sep 30, 2009 2:18 am (#1793 of 2055)
Which is strange in itself Solitaire to be more concerned with what was going on outside of Hogwarts than what was going on within. Surely Harry's selection into the Triwizard competition was enough of a red flag flying for Dumbledore to contend with?

I'm going back to re-read this book, I feel I may be getting my wires crossed on a couple of points. I'll be back!



Julia H. - Sep 30, 2009 12:12 pm (#1794 of 2055)
I think it likely that Dumbledore and Moody were not friends exactly the way Harry and Ron were. They were probably more like "brothers-in-arms" than friends who would spend their free time together or share their personal thoughts and feelings. It is also quite possible that Dumbledore was too preoccupied with various things that year to pay enough attention to Moody. (Moody with his experience and constant vigilance must have seemed to be the last person who could be kidnapped and used in that way.) As a result of all these, plus of the fact that Crouch played his role very cleverly, it is more understandable that it took Dumbledore a whole school-year (and a mistake on Crouch's part) to recognize the fraud.



Madam Pince - Sep 30, 2009 12:24 pm (#1795 of 2055)
Don't you think that if Dumbledore and Mad-Eye Moody were such very close friends, that Rita Skeeter would've mentioned that in her book? I mean, really played up the part like saying "Dumbledore was such a sub-par wizard that he was even fooled into thinking his very close friend Mad-Eye Moody..." blah-blah. Of course, maybe she did and JKR just didn't show it to us. LOL.



Solitaire - Sep 30, 2009 6:29 pm (#1796 of 2055)
Well, Mad-Eye was a member of the Order, and the main reason Dumbledore brought him to Hogwarts in the first place was to keep an eye on Harry. Dumbledore undoubtedly knew that he would be preoccupied with many things, not the least of which was playing host to the other schools and numerous dignitaries of the Wizarding World. He probably figured that Mad-Eye would shoulder a great deal of the responsibility. And he certainly did seem to be doing that.

As far as Rita Skeeter not getting the scoop, perhaps the fact that she was "indisposed" when most of it came to light prevented that from happening. Those who actually knew what had happened might not have been in a mood to talk to her by the time she was free to snoop around again. Those who were willing might not have had even the scanty facts required by Rita. Hard to say ...

Of course, maybe she did and JKR just didn't show it to us.

Also a distinct possibility. After all, that was old news to the kids. They were more interested in things that might lead them to Horcruxes and Hallows, and we only learn what they felt was important enough to read and discuss.



PeskyPixie - Oct 2, 2009 10:43 am (#1797 of 2055)
Dumbledore's quickness to realize that Mad-Eye was not who he appeared to be (when he removes Harry from the maze), makes me think that he found something fishy, or 'off', about him throughout the year.



legolas returns - Oct 3, 2009 2:07 am (#1798 of 2055)
I thought it was more that Moody disregarded what Dumbledore had said and moved Harry away from the pitch. Moody and Dumbledore were both on the same side so doing something unexpected after a dangerous event would be a big diversion from normal behaviour. If he had suspicions about Moody he would not have let him patrol the outer rim of the maze. If he was concerned I am sure nobody would have objected to Snape patrolling.



Solitaire - Oct 3, 2009 2:41 pm (#1799 of 2055)
I thought the teachers were patrolling. I assumed that meant all of them. Grrrr! I can't even check anything, since my books are packed away. I did manage to find DH and HBP, but I'm not sure where my others are hiding.



legolas returns - Oct 3, 2009 2:49 pm (#1800 of 2055)
It was Hagrid, McGonogall and Moody who were patrolling the perimeter of the maze. It mentions nobody else.



Solitaire - Oct 3, 2009 5:53 pm (#1801 of 2055)
Thanks, Legolas. Hm ...



kingdolohov - Oct 3, 2009 7:00 pm (#1802 of 2055)
Flitwick as well.



PeskyPixie - Oct 5, 2009 7:23 am (#1803 of 2055)
Why does Dumbledore keep Snape away from this? Buddy seems to be involved in everything else.



Julia H. - Oct 5, 2009 7:48 am (#1804 of 2055)
1. Snape is involved in everything secret. The Triwizard Tournament is not a secret.

2. Snape has vowed to protect Harry, but the tasks must be performed without the help of adults. Would Snape wait to see whether Lily's Gryffindor son can find the correct answer to the question of the Sphinx? Or would he just hex the Sphinx (not to mention the other beasts) before it may decide to attack? Assuming, of course, that it will attack anyway...

3. Snape is probably preparing for his own task: To be able to return to Voldemort as a spy in the near future - at short notice if necessary. The mark is getting stronger, and Snape must be ready to go whenever he is summoned.



me and my shadow 813 - Oct 5, 2009 8:21 am (#1805 of 2055)
This brings up an interesting point that I either forgot or haven't pondered -- Severus had been summoned by Voldemort before Harry returned from the graveyard. Did he inform Dumbledore before Harry did? I don't recall it mentioned in the Memories, and of course we would only hear the DE-friendly side of it at Spinner's End. He said he waited two hours, I think, but did he in fact go to Dumbledore during the Tournament?



PeskyPixie - Oct 5, 2009 8:32 am (#1806 of 2055)
Okay, so two hours between Lord Voldemort's re-birthing and Snape's return to the DEs. I'm estimating a half hour or so for the time between Voldemort's return to a body and Harry's return to Hogwarts. So, Dumbledore may have known of the Dark Lord's return for nearly a half hour prior to Harry's return.



me and my shadow 813 - Oct 5, 2009 11:22 am (#1807 of 2055)
A half hour is a long time for Dumbledore's abilities -- what was he doing in between the time Severus told him he was summoned, and Harry's return?



Soul Search - Oct 5, 2009 11:35 am (#1808 of 2055)
Snape said (in Spinners End) that he waited and went to Voldemort On Dumbledore's orders. So, he must have told Dumbledore he had been summoned.



Julia H. - Oct 5, 2009 11:35 am (#1809 of 2055)
A half hour is a long time for Dumbledore's abilities -- what was he doing in between the time Severus told him he was summoned, and Harry's return? (MAMS)

Looking for Harry?

Do you think they saw the boys fly away with the Portkey?

It seems they also had time to observe that Karkaroff had fled. (Well, Fake-Moody had. That may not mean much.)

I'm sure Snape told Dumbledore about the Mark as soon as he could. (They may not have been sitting right next to each other though.) It was important information. Still, if they realized that Harry and Cedric had disappeared (did they realize it?), that could have been a more immediate problem.



legolas returns - Oct 5, 2009 11:48 am (#1810 of 2055)
Snape says when Harry wakes up for the first time in the hospital wing that his Dark Mark burned and hour or so ago. If it was a couple of hours he would have said a couple of hours-he is very precise elsewhere. I think things happened very quickly. Harry had time to get back, get questioned by fake mad eye, see fake Moody unmasked, tell Dumbledore/Sirius all about it, get to the hospital and have a sleep before Fudge came round.

I got the impression that Dumbledore was entertaining Fudge and other dignitaries at the Triwizard tournament. So unless Snape and Dumbledore had a secret code I don't know if in the confusion surrounding the Triwizard tournament that Snape actually managed to get to Dumbledore to tell him. I would say that there might have been 10-15 minutes between the summoning and Harry getting back.
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Julia H. - Oct 5, 2009 12:00 pm (#1811 of 2055)
Maybe the Mark kept burning for a while - especially when Snape did not obey -, which would explain how Snape's Mark could burn only an hour or so before the discussion with Fudge in the Hospital Wing when so many things had happened since Voldemort had summoned his DE's.

So far I have assumed that Snape went to Voldemort shortly after showing his Mark to Fudge, i.e. that in significantly less than an hour after that, he was with Voldemort.

I don't know if in the confusion surrounding the Triwizard tournament that Snape actually managed to get to Dumbledore to tell him. (Legolas)

Good point.



me and my shadow 813 - Oct 5, 2009 1:47 pm (#1812 of 2055)
I think there was more than 10-15 minutes. The DE's were summoned and arrived -- Voldemort took a few minutes to address each of them, gave his little speech, Crucio'd Harry for entertainment, then they began the duel and Priori Incantatem must have taken a few minutes. I think a half hour is fair.

I also think that an hour or so is the same thing as two hours -- not to pick on legolas but I think he told Bella he waited *two* hours on Dumbledore's orders. Again, it's in the Spinner's End chapter and I'm not home right now so can't check book and quote canon. So yes, he said it was on Dumbledore's orders, but my point is before Harry returned and told everyone that Voldemort was back, why on earth wouldn't Severus interrupt Dumbledore entertaining dignitaries and tell him he'd been summoned? I think Severus would certainly do so immediately, which means Dumbledore knew prior to Harry returning. What happened in that period, I wonder?

I do not think anyone knew Harry was missing from the Maze. I don't recall any canon stating outsiders could see or know what was going on in the Maze, so I highly doubt Dumbledore or Severus had a clue about Harry going anywhere but from the Cup to the Winner's Circle, IMO.



legolas returns - Oct 5, 2009 2:07 pm (#1813 of 2055)
I am not taking it as picking on me .

Dumbledore was aware that Voldemort was getting stronger. People were disappearing and strange things would be happening at the World Cup. He must have thought that it would be only a matter of time before Voldemort would return. I guess he might have had to pretend that he did not know Voldemort had returned because it would have put Snape at risk. Harry would want to know how Dumbledore knew that Voldemort had returned.

I guess that because fake Mad-Eye did not say that Harry had disappeared then Dumbledore would not worry that he was in danger.

Dumbledore sends Sirius to tell the rest of the Order of Voldemorts return. He could have sent a message but that would have raised questions.



me and my shadow 813 - Oct 5, 2009 2:44 pm (#1814 of 2055)
Good points, legolas. All was of utter secrecy, so nothing could have been done overtly. Still... I'm curious what Dumbledore might have done when Severus told him.

Do you think they saw the boys fly away with the Portkey?

I don't personally think a Portkey actually flings you across the sky. I assumed it worked similarly to Disapparating/Apparating.

It seems they also had time to observe that Karkaroff had fled. (Well, Fake-Moody had. That may not mean much.)

I was going to mention Karkaroff, if Severus was able to see him at the point they were both summoned. Obviously, Voldemort was inferring things about them both in that moment so I wonder if Karkaroff reacted strongly to the physical impact of the Dark Mark being activated...



legolas returns - Oct 5, 2009 3:08 pm (#1815 of 2055)
I think you are thinking of the way the portkey was shown in the movie of GOF.

Perhaps Karkaroff stopped Snape getting to Dumbledore. Perhaps he held him up debating what he should do prior to doing a bunk.



me and my shadow 813 - Oct 5, 2009 4:58 pm (#1816 of 2055)
It is very possible that Severus was held up by Karkaroff. In other words, if JKR had to give an explanation of what occurred in these 15-30 minutes, she would IMO give that as a reason. Karkaroff was having a cow -- or however else we can say that without explatives -- and cornered Severus for several minutes, then he was delayed, trying desperately to get to Dumbledore through the crowds of people... and we know Severus would never deliver a message using his Patronus



Solitaire - Oct 5, 2009 8:11 pm (#1817 of 2055)
Would Snape have been able to go to Voldemort even if he'd wanted to go? He was still in Hogwarts environs, so wouldn't that have prevented him--and Karkaroff, as well--from apparating to where Voldy was?

I can see Karkaroff cornering Snape while all he** is breaking loose, considering he had done exactly that in one of the potions classes, before all of the kids had even gone from the room. I suspect Karkaroff was hysterical by this time.



Honour - Oct 6, 2009 4:07 am (#1818 of 2055)
I too am inclined to agree that Severus as soon as he was summoned by Voldermort went straight to Dumbledore and told him so. I can well imagine Severus saying something to the effect of, "Excuse me Headmaster, Minister, I am in possesion of an urgent message that begs for your attention Headmaster if you wouldn't mind?" To which Dumbledore would reply, "Of course Severus, if you would excuse me gentlemen, this will take but a moment ..." blah blah blah, Dumbledore knows Voldy is back!



wynnleaf - Oct 7, 2009 4:23 am (#1819 of 2055)
Something alerted Snape to the fact that Karkaroff had run instead of reported to LV, so I assume he told Snape what he was doing. As for Snape getting to LV, it would be simple to just walk out of the Hogwarts gates, as was done at the end of HBP, and apparate to LV, so nothing physically or magically stopped Snape from going immediately to LV once he was called. Snape waiting to help DD deal with the fake-Moody, hear Barty's story, talk to Fudge, etc., was a choice that he and DD probably made together, with DD knowing that Snape had already been called.



mona amon - Oct 13, 2009 12:24 am (#1820 of 2055)
Through DD's long talk with Harry, it doesn't seem to me that the afterlife endows any sort of change in perspective. DD seems more or less the same, even to the extent that he isn't even completely honest with Harry once he's dead. (I'm thinking, for instance, of his comments about borrowing the cloak just days before the Potter's deaths, when it's clear from Lily's letter that he'd had it for some time). Nor do we see a Dumbledore that has touched base with his dead sister or parents and he doesn't seem to have any further knowledge about that situation than he did when he was alive.

In other words, in the HP universe, death in itself does not appear to bring some sort of greater depth of knowledge or realization about life than what you had when you died. (Wynnleaf, from the Snape Thread)

I think Dumbledore at King's Cross was at some half-way point or crossroads. He was dead, and he was a soul, but he hadn't yet "gone on". No doubt he does this after Harry returns to his body, since his work is now complete.

So I do not think that this glimpse of King's Cross is supposed to be a picture of the afterlife as JKR sees it. That remains just as much of a mystery as it ever was.



wynnleaf - Oct 13, 2009 10:26 am (#1821 of 2055)
Hm... could be. Still, we're not ever told that DD is at a half-way point, and not "gone on" are we? After all, while Harry has only just "died", DD had been gone for a year when this occurred. He didn't leave a ghost and, in JKR's HP world, we're told by Nick that is what happens to the soul when it doesn't pass on.

So if DD didn't leave a ghost, I'm assuming he did pass on and that the Kings Cross scene is a way for his spirit to communicate with Harry's spirit. After all, we can see that James, Lily, Sirius and Remus were all able to come and be with Harry via the Resurrection Stone. In that case, it took the stone to enable them to be with a completely alive Harry. But it does also show us that in the HP world, it's possible for dead souls who have past on to communicate with the living, albeit through very special circumstances. In Kings Cross, Harry isn't exactly alive, even if he's also not exactly dead. Therefore DD's spirit/soul (whatever) is able to use this unique opportunity to communicate with Harry.

I agree that the Kings Cross situation isn't a picture of afterlife in the HP world. It's unique because Harry isn't exactly dead and the chance for DD's soul to communicate with Harry is quite special. But DD himself -- his soul that is -- is not in a unique state. He has passed on, which we know because he is not a ghost. Therefore what we see of DD's soul -- that is, the fact that he's not really any different from DD when he was alive, no added special knowledge, no substantially changed perspective on life, etc. -- is what one might expect of souls in JKR's HP afterlife.



Solitaire - Oct 13, 2009 7:05 pm (#1822 of 2055)
Perhaps Dumbledore was inhabiting some sort of purgatorial existence between the time of his own death and Harry's, waiting to see if he would need to give some sort of counsel to Harry ... which, in effect, he did.

Is it possible that there is some different kind of "afterlife" for the Hogwarts Heads? We do, after all, see them inhabiting portraits and being able to move between them and advise/communicate with the living. (Actually, come to think of it, all Hogwarts portraits seem to have some abilities to communicate which are considerably different from what Mrs. Black's portrait does. Interesting ...)



wynnleaf - Oct 13, 2009 8:00 pm (#1823 of 2055)
Perhaps Dumbledore was inhabiting some sort of purgatorial existence between the time of his own death and Harry's, waiting to see if he would need to give some sort of counsel to Harry ... which, in effect, he did. (Solitaire)

If so, what about James, Lily, Sirius and Remus (not so much Remus since he'd only just died)? My point is that all of these characters were able -- by some means -- to visit with Harry in spite of the fact that they'd apparently "gone on" to the afterlife. If they could all communicate with Harry, albeit with the use of the Resurrection Stone, why do we need to imagine that DD's spirit or soul had to inhabit some special place for a year in order to visit with Harry when Harry "died"? Granted, Harry didn't try to bring DD back with the Resurrection Stone. However, as with the Stone, Harry's visit with DD was also a very unique situation, given that Harry had both died and not died at the same time.



Solitaire - Oct 13, 2009 8:05 pm (#1824 of 2055)
why do we need to imagine that DD's spirit or soul had to inhabit some special place for a year in order to visit with Harry

I didn't say that it had to ... I was just wondering whether or not it had done so. Then again, as Dumbledore said, it was all happening inside Harry's head ... though it was quite real. Since it was in Harry's head, then he could make Dumbledore be any way he wanted him to be, I would presume.



mona amon - Oct 14, 2009 2:25 am (#1825 of 2055)
I'd completely forgotton that Dumbledore died almost a year before. It does seem rather a long time to be hanging around waiting for Harry at the crossroads. But maybe time behaves differently when you're dead.

I like Soli's idea that he was in some sort of purgatory, waiting for this meeting with Harry before 'going on'.

I agree that the Kings Cross situation isn't a picture of afterlife in the HP world. It's unique because Harry isn't exactly dead and the chance for DD's soul to communicate with Harry is quite special. But DD himself -- his soul that is -- is not in a unique state. He has passed on, which we know because he is not a ghost. Therefore what we see of DD's soul -- that is, the fact that he's not really any different from DD when he was alive, no added special knowledge, no substantially changed perspective on life, etc. -- is what one might expect of souls in JKR's HP afterlife. (Wynnleaf)

It's the very fact that he had no special knowledge or added perspectives that make me feel that he had not yet gone on. I imagine the afterlife to be some place where you can resolve any issues that you might have with those who have gone before you, before settling down to eternal peace. But the Dumbledore that we see in Harry's King's Cross station does not seem to have met or asked forgiveness of Ariana, or met Grindelwald, or apologised to James for keeping the cloak, or anything. I'm sure everyone will have their own picture of the afterlife, and I do not really think JKR reveals hers in the book, except to indicate that some people go on, some stay back as ghosts, and others, those with hopelessly damaged souls, cannot go on and find peace, but must suffer forever.

If they could all communicate with Harry, albeit with the use of the Resurrection Stone, why do we need to imagine that DD's spirit or soul had to inhabit some special place for a year in order to visit with Harry when Harry "died"? Granted, Harry didn't try to bring DD back with the Resurrection Stone. However, as with the Stone, Harry's visit with DD was also a very unique situation, given that Harry had both died and not died at the same time.

There's something dodgy about that Resurrection Stone. I don't think it is ever properly explained whether the figures that it conjures up are souls, or something like the figures that came out of Voldemort's wand during Priori Incantantem, or figments of the imagination of the one who uses the Stone. I think we are generally led to believe that nothing can bring the dead back to the living.

IMO, Dumbledore had something of vital importance to communicate to Harry before he could go to his eternal rest. So he hung around in limbo for a while until he could do so.

Harry tells us that Dumbledore would not have come back as a ghost. Perhaps once you come back as a ghost, there's no going back and 'on'.



legolas returns - Oct 14, 2009 9:08 am (#1826 of 2055)
I wonder if Dumbledore met others as they passed through Kings Cross or whether he just met Harry? Harry describes the fact that time seemed to act in unusual ways once you are dead.

Doesn't it say in the book that the people you bring back with the resurrection stone are "part of you" and that nobody else can see them. I think that if Harry had really thought at that point that he wanted Dumbledore there he could have concentrated and got him. He chooses to bring back his parents, Remus and Sirius because he did not want answers he wanted comfort.



Honour - Oct 14, 2009 3:15 pm (#1827 of 2055)
I suppose we shouldn't have at all been surprised that when Harry did meet Dumbledore that they should meet at Kings Cross considering DD's mark on his leg?

Maybe that whole scene was really in Harry's mind after all, as he already knew about DD's mark. Like when sometimes we dream about events we have already experienced, but at the time of dreaming it all seems real and new. I think that the Kings Cross chapter allowed Harry time to assimilate the information he had gathered over the past year and come to terms with Dumbledores death, and showed Harry that Voldermort was beyond help.



Solitaire - Oct 14, 2009 8:21 pm (#1828 of 2055)
Dumbledore was not even sure where they were, so I think maybe wherever they go looks different for each person. I think a train station is fitting for Harry, as it is where he first really entered the magical world.



PeskyPixie - Oct 15, 2009 9:42 am (#1829 of 2055)
I think that our respective opinions of where exactly Dumbledore's soul is for the year between his death and visit with Harry, has to do with our personal beliefs and ideas of what goes on after death. Personally, I don't see the need for a purgatory or any specific location in which the soul must reside in order to contact Harry. It makes perfect sense to me that he can pass on and still look into the living world, and communicate with Harry. Of course, this is my understanding due to my personal beliefs. That's what I love so much about this scene. JKR wrote it in a way in which everyone can make it fit in with their belief system.



legolas returns - Oct 15, 2009 2:20 pm (#1830 of 2055)
I agree that you can fit thousands of different belief systems into the meeting between Harry and Dumbledor.

The one thing about the Kings Cross chapter that strikes me is how alone Dumbledore was. I know that JKR says that Dumbledore is isolated and has no peers but this goes slightly further than this in my opinion. It seems that Aberforth and Albus never discussed what happend with anyone outside the family or each other. Aberforth was bitter and blamed his brother but Albus despised himself for the mistakes he made an blamed himself entirely. He never gave any real indication of the inner turmoil that was going on below the surface. True he gave advice to people but did not mention the context of where these beliefs came from so people may have thought the advice a little "unusual" on occasion. When Harry discusses things with him in Kings Cross Albus gets very emotional and expects Harry to hate him for the things that he has done. Its a slightly different Dumbledore we see in Kings Cross but it makes him all the more interesting.



Soul Search - Oct 19, 2009 1:54 pm (#1831 of 2055)
"I've got another, related question, though it will have to be transferred to the Dumbledore thread if you think it is worth discussing. In HBP, Dumbledore repeatedly promises that he would one day tell Harry the story of his dead hand. Do you think he really intended to do so? It would have involved explaining what the Resurrection Stone was and giving Harry at least hints about a very painful issue in Dumbledore's private life. The "story" was also closely connected to Dumbledore's request to Snape and the details about Snape saving Dumbledore's life." (Julia H., from Severus Snape thread)

Well, JKR plotted the storyline and Dumbledore never told Harry, so SHE never intended Harry to hear the story from Dumbledore. Then again, Dumbledore did tell Snape to convince him he had to sacrifice himself to Voldemort and Snape did tell Harry about Dumbledore's arm. Does that count?



Julia H. - Oct 19, 2009 2:10 pm (#1832 of 2055)
LOL, I'm quite sure JKR never intended Dumbledore to tell Harry this story! Not personally anyway. But did she intend Dumbledore to simply lie or just to run out of time? Because that makes me wonder how much more information Dumbledore wanted to share with Harry. The story of his hand would have been a difficult one to tell.



Steve Newton - Oct 19, 2009 2:29 pm (#1833 of 2055)
My often faulty memory recalls that Dumbledore did tell Harry that the cursed ring caused his dead hand. Not the complete story but true enough.



legolas returns - Oct 19, 2009 2:52 pm (#1834 of 2055)
He said that he wanted to do full justice to the story. By the time Harry finds out the real story from Dumbledore there was nothing to tell really. I suppose it gave Dumbledore a chance to beat himself up over mistakes that he had made in the past.



Soul Search - Oct 19, 2009 10:37 pm (#1835 of 2055)
Actually, I think Dumbledore had a lot more to tell Harry. Although, he might have saved the full Ring story until after Voldemort had been defeated, had he lived that long. It was rather embarassing and Dumbledore putting on the Ring could have meant Voldemort's triumph.



mona amon - Oct 19, 2009 10:42 pm (#1836 of 2055)
My often faulty memory recalls that Dumbledore did tell Harry that the cursed ring caused his dead hand. (Steve)

Your memory is good, Steve. Dumbledore does tell Harry how he got his blackened hand, when he's ready to explain Horcruxes to him.

”You are forgetting … you have already destroyed one of them. And I have destroyed another.”

“You have?” said Harry eagerly.

“Yes, indeed,” said Dumbledore, and he raised his blackened, burned-looking hand. “The ring, Harry. Marvolo’s ring. And a terrible curse there was upon it too. Had it not been – forgive me the lack of seemly modesty – for my own prodigious skill, and for Professor Snape’s timely action when I returned to Hogwarts, desperately injured, I might not have lived to tell the tale. However, a withered hand does not seem an unreasonable exchange for a seventh of Voldemort’s soul. The ring is no longer a horcrux.” (HBP, chapter 23)

He doesn't tell Harry that the ring contained the Resurrection Stone and that he tried to use it to meet the dead members of his family, but that's a completely different story.

I think that our respective opinions of where exactly Dumbledore's soul is for the year between his death and visit with Harry, has to do with our personal beliefs and ideas of what goes on after death. Personally, I don't see the need for a purgatory or any specific location in which the soul must reside in order to contact Harry. It makes perfect sense to me that he can pass on and still look into the living world, and communicate with Harry. Of course, this is my understanding due to my personal beliefs. That's what I love so much about this scene. JKR wrote it in a way in which everyone can make it fit in with their belief system. (Pesky)

I don't really have a problem imagining that a soul could come back to communicate with Harry even after passing on. It's just that Dumbledore's soul, as we see it in Harry's King's Cross station, does not seem to have had any communication with the soul of Arianna, or Grindelwald, or James, or anyone else. He does not really seem to be 'at peace'. He's still regretful, and guilty, and bitter about various things. So that's why I felt he was still at a crossroads and hadn't yet 'gone on'.



Julia H. - Oct 19, 2009 10:49 pm (#1837 of 2055)
Oh, yes, Dumbledore does tell Harry that much. I did not regard it as telling the story of his hand (it seems rather like telling the story of the broken ring) but perhaps that was all Dumbledore had meant all along.



wynnleaf - Oct 20, 2009 11:44 am (#1838 of 2055)
I don't really have a problem imagining that a soul could come back to communicate with Harry even after passing on. It's just that Dumbledore's soul, as we see it in Harry's King's Cross station, does not seem to have had any communication with the soul of Arianna, or Grindelwald, or James, or anyone else. He does not really seem to be 'at peace'. He's still regretful, and guilty, and bitter about various things. So that's why I felt he was still at a crossroads and hadn't yet 'gone on'. (mona amon)

While my personal view on an afterlife would agree with you, I don't think the HP "afterlife" is necessarily anything like I might personally believe. Without any other information that informs us that DD did not "go on" or pass on into an afterlife, and since we know he didn't become a ghost -- which is what does happen to people in the HP world if they don't pass on -- then I feel that as far as we're shown, this scene with DD is an example of a person who has gone on into the afterlife. And even though he did pass on, he still doesn't seem to have changed any as regards his understanding of himself, his past mistakes, his family, etc. Based on that, I tend to conclude that in the HP world, unlike in my own personal view of an afterlife, the person stays essentially the same, with the same character flaws, weaknesses, regrets, etc., as they did while alive.

This is not some odd, unknown view of an afterlife and many people do truly believe this, so it's not peculiar that the HP afterlife might reflect this view as well.



mona amon - Oct 21, 2009 9:24 am (#1839 of 2055)
What bothers me is that he doesn't even seem to have met any of the people he was so anxious to see again when he tried to use the Resurrection Stone. Is it only me, or do others feel this way?



PeskyPixie - Oct 21, 2009 10:18 am (#1840 of 2055)
That's the point that disturbs me as well, mona. The Marauders present a very different idea of what it is like to 'go on'. They are quite different from Dumbledore after they pass on. Hmmm, must ponder this point some more ...



legolas returns - Oct 21, 2009 10:51 am (#1841 of 2055)
Dumbledore just stuck on the ring-he says as much. He never turned it over three times.



mona amon - Oct 21, 2009 11:11 am (#1842 of 2055)
Legolas, I phrased my last post rather badly. What I meant was, he doesn't seem to have met Arianna and his parents in the afterlife. These are the people he was so anxious to meet again that he foolishly put on the cursed ring in an attempt to bring them back. Yet even death doesn't seem to have reunited them.



legolas returns - Oct 21, 2009 11:17 am (#1843 of 2055)
Perhaps it was just a temporary stopping point before the final journey to the next big adventure.



me and my shadow 813 - Oct 21, 2009 2:09 pm (#1844 of 2055)
I agree with wynnleaf and others, but I do feel since we are shown that Remus immediately "found" Sirius, James and Lily, that it is not the same for everyone. Remus, it seems, chose to join his old friends in order to support Harry. IMO, Dumbledore was not hanging around the crossroads waiting for Harry to create a virtual King's Cross. I think Dumbledore's spirit was surprised he appeared in Harry's crossroads vision but he was nonetheless prepared to be anywhere, even though he had no idea where he was. It is also very possible, given how JKR worded Dumbledore's comments, that this was purely a vision created by Harry and not a literal spirit, if that makes sense.

That said, I feel Dumbledore had not as of that time "found" his family (or Grindelwald, which I think he would eventually want to do). But I do feel he would eventually do so. He was a man riddled with guilt and, given what he says to Harry about despising himself even after death, it does seem like it will still take time for him to prepare to seek out his family's spirits and be at peace. JM2K



Julia H. - Oct 21, 2009 10:42 pm (#1845 of 2055)
It seems to me that since the question whether Dumbledore found peace/answers in the afterlife is not pertinent to the resolution of Harry's story, it was simply left unanswered. JKR wanted Harry to experience doubts about Dumbledore, and she wanted Dumbledore to eventually share his guilty feelings with Harry, but (for plot reasons) the latter could only happen after Dumbledore's death, so JKR needed a Dumbledore still troubled by his demons in the afterlife. Then JKR wanted Harry to come to terms with this Dumbledore, because it was important from Harry's point of view, but Dumbledore's own personal journey in the afterlife apparently had no effect on Harry's life, so we don't find out much.

For the same reason, we don't know whether Snape found any peace in the afterlife or not. (Of ocurse, we can have our views and beliefs but we get no hints in the book.) What the author found important was, again, Harry's ability to make peace with Snape's memory. We can take that as an indication that these people were indeed able to make peace with others if their memory in this world mirrors their fate in the afterlife, but it is not spelt out on the pages of the book.

Similarly, we never find out what other characters thought about Dumbledore and Snape after the revelations that Harry had made in his final duel with Voldemort or how others in the wizarding world remembered them. Among the survivors, it was Harry alone whose personal development was strongly influenced by the memories of these two people, therefore that is all we are told about.

On the other hand, Harry needed to see his parents and the Marauders together, therefore they came to him together, even if Lupin had just "joined" the others in the afterlife. Do we suppose that Lupin had found Sirius and the Potters but not Tonks, just because we don't see Tonks with him? I don't.

Of course, Dumbledore is different because he actually talks about his family and never mentions any reconciliation, but then again Harry needed him that way, and it is even possible that Dumbledore's afterlife happiness was, to some extent, dependent on Harry and on Harry's success in his fight against Voldemort, for which (and for everything that depended on it) Dumbledore was in many ways responsible. Having said all that, I think the fact that Dumbledore is much more open about his own feelings and failures and his guilt in the afterlife than he had (probably) ever been in his life is a sign of a positive change.



wynnleaf - Oct 22, 2009 8:57 am (#1846 of 2055)
What bothers me is that he doesn't even seem to have met any of the people he was so anxious to see again when he tried to use the Resurrection Stone. (mona amon)

Good point. In life, though, we learn that DD was reluctant to face Grindelwald because in doing so, he might discover (I assume GG might have told him), who actually killed his sister. Further, he doesn't appear to have ever looked back in a pensieve memory to discover this truth.

It may be that even though DD really wished he could see his family again, he was at the same time extremely reluctant to confront his own possible guilt any more directly than he'd already done.

This seems to fit, in my opinion, the attitude of DD in his talk with Harry.

By the way, I do think the discussion with Harry at Kings Cross is the real DD, otherwise, we'd have to assume that all that Harry learns from DD during the conversation isn't anything other than Harry's imagination. And my feeling was that JKR did want us to consider all that info to be true.

Having said all that, I think the fact that Dumbledore is much more open about his own feelings and failures and his guilt in the afterlife than he had (probably) ever been in his life is a sign of a positive change. (Julia)

True, he is more open about his guilt and failures, but he also seems to still feel that guilt and failure. So yes, I suppose he has changed some. At least he's able to be more honest with Harry. But he still feels the same feelings.

Your comment about Tonks and Remus... well, I think basically we see that friends and couples can get back together, so I'd assume Tonks and Remus are reunited as well. But the people we see that connect together were friends or lovers/married at the time of death. They didn't have to "get past" any bad history, bad feelings, etc. in order to be connect closely in the HP afterlife.



me and my shadow 813 - Oct 22, 2009 10:44 am (#1847 of 2055)
By the way, I do think the discussion with Harry at Kings Cross is the real DD, otherwise, we'd have to assume that all that Harry learns from DD during the conversation isn't anything other than Harry's imagination. And my feeling was that JKR did want us to consider all that info to be true. - wynnleaf

I agree that the information was coming from Dumbledore and that it wasn't Harry's "imagination". But I feel there is much more to it, because when Dumbledore makes a point to say it is all happening in Harry's head, and that it is his "party", it is implied that Harry is in control of this scene in a lot of ways. It is a mental/visual construct rather than a physically visual one and, given this concept, I feel the comment -- just because it's happening in your head doesn't mean it's not real -- is purposely made to blur the lines between Dumbledore's "counsel" and Harry's inner wisdom.

I do agree that JKR intended for us to believe this is Dumbledore and not a hallucination, because of what Harry is told about things he knows nothing about. But I do also feel that this was a way of showing Harry absorbing information where he could almost not distinguish between himself and Dumbledore. I see this as Harry "coming into his power" -- when Dumbledore says it is all happening in Harry's head, that could make Harry begin to understand the power of his own choices and not seeking counsel.



Honour - Oct 25, 2009 7:15 am (#1848 of 2055)
Just to add another discussion alongside what is being written about here, I'd like to ask (I suppose JKR) but since you guys are the closet I'm ever going to get to communicating with "the great one" : ) I have been wondering why Dumbledore didn't tackel Voldy earlier? I mean, the whole premise of the Harry Potter series hinges on a prophesy, half heard and passed on to Voldy by Sev, whereby voldy orphans Harry and marks him as his adversary. Hop, skip and a jump forward a couple or 4 books and DD is telling Harry not to get too hung up on the prophesy as such but that rather the choice of doing the right thing rather than basing his decisions on said prophesy is the way to go, after all in the end all Harry needs to do is kill Voldy (after getting rid of the Horcruxes of course) to rid the Wizarding World of him for once and for all!

So I guess the question I am asking is did DD believe in the prophesy after all? And if not why did he go to such great lengths to protect Sybil? Protect the Prophesy at the MOM? Chamber of secrets was book 2 so he already had actual evidence of horcruxes, he I think also suspected Slughorn of spilling the beans about Horcruxes a long while ago too because the Horcrux book had been removed from the Library. Shouldn't DD as the "greatest wizard that ever lived" and the only wizard that Voldy was afraid of just get out there and "deal to Voldy?"

Why did it take Dumbledore 16 years to go on a Horcrux hunt? He had already decided that Harry would face Voldy in a final confrontation, as Sev alluded, that DD had only kept Harry alive for this purpose.

DD's "caring" about Harry being the reason why he was not truthful with him from the beginning never quite rang true for me. It sounded like procrastination, like his dealing with Grindlewald and as above "hanging around" at Kings Cross Station, instead of getting on with things and going to see his family. I remember reading how DD described death as the "next great adventure", and I thought, "what a wonderful way to describe it." After reading the "Kings Cross chapter I felt a little cheated that DD had not moved on literally, it seemed to me DD was just as afraid of death as Voldy was?



Solitaire - Oct 25, 2009 10:39 am (#1849 of 2055)
He had already decided that Harry would face Voldy in a final confrontation

I do not think Dumbledore is the one who made that decision. I believe that decision was made the instant Voldy attempted to kill Harry and a piece of his soul attached itself to Harry. I do think Dumbledore realized that the Diary was a Horcrux, but I do not believe he had ever considered that others existed until Voldemort was "reborn" in GoF. When Harry recounted what had happened in the graveyard and told DD what Voldy had said taking steps to ensure his immortality, I think DD realized there must be more than one Horcrux. (I also think he realized that Voldemort had unwittingly tethered Harry more strongly to himself and to life.) From there, I do believe he began seeking information. I think it may have been Voldemort's possession of Harry during the DoM debacle that made DD realize once and for all that Harry's scar was more than just a scar ... that something of Voldemort was embedded there, and that Harry's scar might just be a Horcrux.

Shortly after the DoM incident, Dumbledore found the ring, and we know what happened from that point forward. I believe that from here, Dumbledore made it his business to try and find out how many other Horcruxes were actually made--and what they were--and to do this, he had to go farther back into Voldy's past ... hence his need to get info from Slughorn, Voldy's head of house.

As we now know, it was DD's business to try and keep Harry alive until all of the "external" Horcruxes had been discovered and destroyed. Dumbledore also knew that Harry had to be emotionally ready to meet death, because this is what DD believed that it would take in order to save him and defeat Voldemort. I think DD was fairly certain that Harry would survive the confrontation if he walked willingly to his death ... but, of course, he could not be sure. He needed Harry to arrive at that place on his own, and he did the best he could to bring him there. (Could this be why he might have wanted Snape to have the Elder Wand ... just in case he had been wrong about Harry living through the first AK Voldy would cast?)

Unfortunately, Dumbledore died before these things could be accomplished or even completely spelled out to Harry. However, he had given Snape enough critical information to help Harry fill in the gaps at the point when he would most need it ... and he knew enough of Harry's Gryffindor bravery and his loving heart to know Harry would risk his life for those he loved. All he could do beyond that was hope he had been right. I believe Dumbledore did love Harry, and I think that is why he dithered at times when he should have been more open. JM2K



Soul Search - Oct 25, 2009 5:47 pm (#1850 of 2055)
Dumbledore needed to die so he could meet Harry in King's Cross and tell him his options: go back or go "on." Harry's mood was such that he might have favored going "on" had Dumbledore not been there.

Now, Dumbledore knew Harry had to die to defeat Voldemort and he also knew (glint in his eyes at the end of GoF) that Harry could survive the event. After Snape saved Dumbledore he didn't seem too upset that he was dying. Was that the reason? He knew he could help Harry if he died before Harry?
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legolas returns - Oct 26, 2009 10:44 am (#1851 of 2055)
Death is also the "next big adventure".



Honour - Oct 26, 2009 8:04 pm (#1852 of 2055)
"I do not think Dumbledore is the one who made that decision. I believe that decision was made the instant Voldy attempted to kill Harry and a piece of his soul attached itself to Harry" - Solataire

Actually Solataire I disagree with you. It was Dumbledore who put such importance on the prophecy it was Voldy who chose Harry, as an adversary. The irony being that Voldy chose a half-blood like himself. The only reason Harry survived was because his mother sacrificed herself for her child thus envoking the protection spell and saving Harry's life. If Lily hadn't protected Harry and Harry died that night Voldy would have moved onto Neville.

"I do think Dumbledore realized that the Diary was a Horcrux, but I do not believe he had ever considered that others existed until Voldemort was "reborn" in GoF." - Solataire

Again I disagree with you, if DD didn't believe that Voldermort would one day return then why secrete Harry away from the ruins via Hagrid? Why not have him raised by a magical family? After all if Voldy wasn't returning why all the fuss of the blood protection spell? The Death Eaters had all scattered or gone underground, there seemed to be more "goodies than baddies" around the place, Sirius Black had already been imprisoned?

Of course this is only if Dumbledore believed that Voldermort would not return. We have no indication of the time span of when DD first started suspecting Slughorn of "sharing too much", but we know it was a good 50 years before the time of "Chamber". Slughorn had left Hogwarts between then and Voldermort's first encounter with Harry. What I would like to know is how did DD know that Slughorn had said too much when only Sluggy and Tom were in the room? It just seems to me that Dumbledore knew a lot more than he was saying, a lot longer than when he started doing anything about it. But as I have said, he has a track record of "not doing" anything to solve a problem until there are no other options.

What happened at the MOM between Voldy and Harry had nothing to do with the horcrux and more to do with Harry's not being afraid to die and Voldy's terror of it.

One more thing, what Dumbledore felt for Harry was not love. What Lily, James, Sirius, Ron, Hermione and Dobby felt for Harry was Love. They put themselves infront of Harry many times in order to protect him. Dumbledore could have pre-empted a lot but he didn't, so Harry was left with a load that should have been made lighter by Dumbledore.

I'm sorry if this post sounds as though I am singling you out Soli, this was not my intention, it was just that a couple of points you bought up in your post prompted me to comment. Thanks for giving me this op. Peace Out. Hon.



Solitaire - Oct 27, 2009 7:10 am (#1853 of 2055)
Edited by shepherdess Oct 27, 2009 5:32 pm
It was Dumbledore who put such importance on the prophecy it was Voldy who chose Harry, as an adversary.

Of course Dumbledore put importance on the prophecy, Honour, once he knew Snape had revealed it to Voldemort. And once Voldemort had acted upon it--"activated" it, or set it in motion--he couldn't very well ignore it, because he knew Voldemort would never rest until he had done everything in his power to see that it was fulfilled it in his favor. Remember that Dumbledore made his decisions based upon what he knew Voldemort would do from his prior observations and experiences.

The truth is that if Snape had not overheard the prophecy, Dumbledore would probably not have given it much consideration, because he didn't think much of Sibyll's abilities. But Dumbledore did know that a DE had overheard it--meaning it was sure to get to Voldemort--so he had to act accordingly.

You are correct that what Voldemort did to Harry had nothing to do with the Horcrux. However, I believe DD's actions had everything to do with it. Dumbledore could not have killed Voldy at this time--even if he had been prepared to sacrifice Harry--because Voldy still had most of his Horcruxes intact. Most likely, the Horcrux in Harry would have been destroyed, had DD tried to kill Voldermot--possibly rendering Harry able to be killed at that time by Voldemort ... about that I'm not yet sure. I think DD was "feeling his way along" at this point, and he wanted to make sure he knew as much as possible about what would happen to Harry in any confrontation.

One more thing, what Dumbledore felt for Harry was not love.

Honour, you are perfectly free to disagree with me. After all, I disagree with you! Oh! I also believe DD did love Harry.

What I would like to know is how did DD know that Slughorn had said too much when only Sluggy and Tom were in the room?

I suspect DD asked Sluggy about Tom and became suspicious at some point ... possibly because he had used Legilimancy on Sluggy? Whatever the case, something prompted him to attempt to ask for that memory, and when he saw it, he knew it had been corrupted. Or maybe Sluggy wanted to appear to be helpful, so he proffered the corrupted memory, not realizing DD would figure out that it was not genuine. I'm not sure about that, either.

Edit: Just closed a font tag.~shepherdess



Honour - Oct 28, 2009 1:47 am (#1854 of 2055)
Cool Solitaire, thank you for not taking my observations personally but entering instead into a lively debate/conversation. For the upteenth time I thank the heavens above for the Harry Potter Lexicon! That we serious fans have a safe and wonderful place to share our views with other like minded Potter Fans. Now where were we...



Honour - Oct 28, 2009 4:26 am (#1855 of 2055)
Oh! I also believe DD did love Harry. - Solataire

I think that even JKR believes that what Dumbledore felt for Harry was love too! I guess my idea of love is a little different. To me love is not manipulative, it is not untruthful, nor would leaving a defenceless child in an unsafe place without so much as checking up on him be condusive to a loving situation. All of which DD did do concerning Harry and then he would explain this behaviour away as caring too much and protection.

Now the whole Slughorn thing is puzzling. I am of the opinion that DD knew about Sluggy's indescretions a long time before "Order of the Phoenix" mayhaps via a house-elf, the hour was late, Tom too arrogant to concern himself about the presence of a lowly elf, Slughorn too enraptured about the information he was passing on to Tom? Or an Elf who may have told Dobby who told DD?

Anyway the diary was confirmation of the existance of Horcruxes, DD was already aware of Tom's propensity to steal so mayhaps DD asked a question of his "silvery spidery equipmenty thingy's" (don't you just love technical jargon) in his office and through a puff of smoke the some of the answer presented itself to him?



Solitaire - Oct 29, 2009 7:53 pm (#1856 of 2055)
I forgot about those instruments, Honour .. and I also keep forgetting about those tattle-tale portraits and pictures! LOL There are any number of ways DD could have learned about Tom's questions. I wonder, too, if he became aware of books with Horcrux info being checked out of the library. That might have been a tip-off, as well.



legolas returns - Oct 30, 2009 1:26 am (#1857 of 2055)
Didn't Slughorn say that Horcruxses were a banned subject and to keep quiet that they talked about them.



Solitaire - Oct 30, 2009 6:35 pm (#1858 of 2055)
He did, I think, Legolas. This is why some wondered how DD found out that Riddle had asked Sluggy. I just wonder if DD found out some way that Riddle had been looking into them in the library and suspected he might have asked his head of house, as well. It seems logical, because most of the professors liked Riddle and did not have any reason to suspect him.



wynnleaf - Oct 31, 2009 7:33 am (#1859 of 2055)
Honour,

I give DD's actions a certain amount of slack, because I think JKR tried to box DD in so that he had to leave Harry with the Dursleys. Further, I think when JKR wrote the first two books, they were written more on the level of younger adolescent fiction in which there was a bit of comic book mentality to what occurred. That is, people get hurt and it doesn't really hurt them. A child can grow up in a closet and not be particularly harmed by it. That sort of thing. So I think her decisions for DD in those books, and what he did with baby Harry, weren't originally intended to withstand the scrutiny of a real-life sensibility. But later, the books became more mature and at that point, I felt the ethics should have withstood real-life sensibilities. At that point, I felt it got rather mixed. Sometimes the characters were doing things that the reader was intended to judge with real life ethics (like prejudice), but allowed to do other things - like put kids in danger, or injure others to the point of unconsciousness - and the reader was supposed to consider it unimportant.

So in the later books when I feel that DD should have been exhibiting a love that would withstand real life ethics, and yet DD continued to allow Harry, even encourage Harry and his friends, to get in very dangerous positions, I agree that is not actually love.

Did DD believe the prophecy? DD claims choices make prophecies come true, but JKR proves him wrong, at least sometimes, by having one of Sybil's prophecies come true without anyone even knowing about it.

As far as we know, DD didn't put the Potters into hiding until after Snape told him that LV was targeting the Potters. If that's the case, then it means LV was the first one to act on the prophecy.

As for love, I am sure that DD believed he loved Harry, and I'm sure JKR would say the same.

However, in my opinion, love is not solely a feeling of care and good will, but is strongly dependent on actual actions. DD was not honest with Harry. He did not work to protect Harry to the best of his ability. And he certainly manipulated him for years, a thing Harry eventually recognizes. So in my opinion, DD, in spite of his feelings, did not act in a loving way toward Harry.



Steve Newton - Oct 31, 2009 7:57 am (#1860 of 2055)
Dumbledore did just about everything he could do to give Harry a chance to survive. That seems to be an act of love.



wynnleaf - Oct 31, 2009 8:29 am (#1861 of 2055)
Dumbledore did just about everything he could do to give Harry a chance to survive. (Steve)

All depends on the spin one might put on his actions. It can also be seen as DD doing all he can to raise up a kid who is willing to die for the cause, believing himself to be the only one who can do it, and believing he has to do it as a kid. One might also think (like Harry) that DD wanted him to attempt the extremely risky business in PS/SS, and wanted him to chase down the Basilisk. One might notice that DD encouraged -- no in fact directed, Harry and Hermione to take on the risky venture of trying to save Sirius in POA (what assurance did DD have that Hermione would live through it?). One might wonder about DD allowing Harry to compete in the Triwizard Tournament. Some people think Harry had to do it, but nothing ever said Harry would die if he didn't, only that he might die if he did participate. And then there's HBP where DD gives Harry an extremely dangerous assignment of the horcruxes.

Could DD have protected Harry? Well, it's perfectly possible to come up with workable possibilities for how DD could have kept Harry safe until he became an adult. Of course, JKR didn't have that in mind, and that's find. But we don't actually see DD protecting Harry all that much.

Like I said, I give DD some consideration due to being fairly sure JKR wanted to set up situations that DD couldn't get around. But I've seen enough ideas put forward for things DD could have done instead of allowing and encouraging some of the danger Harry experienced, to realize that she didn't make DD's options limited as we're led to believe.



Steve Newton - Oct 31, 2009 12:13 pm (#1862 of 2055)
Until Voldemort's use of Harry's blood at the end of GOF I agree and think that Harry was being groomed as the weapon. AFter that it seems to me that Dumbledore put quite a bit of effort into giving Harry a chance to live. Made his life much more complicated.



Honour - Nov 1, 2009 4:26 am (#1863 of 2055)
Finally! Thank you Wynnleaf. I was starting to think that I was the only one who could see this and thought this of Dumbledore. Don't get me wrong I liked the DD character initially but it seemed that the more I read the more that churning ugly feeling in the pit of my stomach seemed to trigger a questioning of DD's reason's behind his directives to Harry etc. some of which you have listed.

Generally I did loathe to voice my opinions about Dumbledore because I know to the majority out there he is a much loved character and compared to Voldy I realise that DD is the better character. Even saying this a question flashes in my mind asking how many lives were lost because of Dumbledore's propensity for inaction?

Steve, after GOF I think DD doubled his efforts to convince Harry that he was the weapon. DD confesses as much to Sev in HBP. Harry's life was never his own.



Steve Newton - Nov 1, 2009 7:30 am (#1864 of 2055)
I don't know if he worked to make Harry think that he was the weapon but he definitely worked to give him a chance to survive.



mona amon - Nov 1, 2009 10:26 am (#1865 of 2055)
I agree with you, Steve.

Harry's life was never his own. (Honour)

True, but not because of Dumbledore. Harry was a 'marked man' from the time Voldemort heard, and believed, a certain prophecy. Harry survived Voldemort's first attempt on his life. After that, it was Dumbledore who formulated plans to keep him safe, and they worked too, as far as I can see.



Solitaire - Nov 1, 2009 4:30 pm (#1866 of 2055)
I always had the idea that when Harry's name came floating out of the GoF, it was considered a magical contract that could not be broken without some dire consequence (which is why Voldemort had Barty, Jr., enter Harry). If it could have been broken without ill effects to Harry, I think DD would have done so.



Honour - Nov 2, 2009 12:20 am (#1867 of 2055)
"I don't know if he worked to make Harry think that he was the weapon but he definitely worked to give him a chance to survive." - Steve Newton

I think the words I used were "doubled his efforts" and not "worked" if that's how my sentence translates to you then fair enough. To have something "worked" at to me means that it was manipulated and fashioned into such a way that it convinced Harry without a shadow of a doubt that this was the course of action to take. "Worked" works for me too!

These plans that DD had to help Harry survive this quest pushed on him were? The Horcrux hunt? Insufficient information does not a plan make. Harry lurched from field, to forest to town. In the process we learnt how shallow a friend Ron was and how faithful Hermione was. We learned that Dumbledore had feet of clay, and that once upon a time he and Voldermort believed in the same philosophies.

We witnessed the trio bouncing around the countryside sometimes quite aimlessly for nigh on a year, a ruse I felt sure JKR used to mask the time allowable for the gestation and birth of young master Lupin, knowing full well that she had already ear-marked his parents to die in the battle at Hogwarts and thus making their passing easier to bare for the reader perhaps?

Because of DD's ill planning many many died as a consequence for I am sure if Dumbledore had trusted Harry as much as Harry was expected to trust him then more information should have been forth coming.

As for Harry's survival, well as I have stated before, Harry survived by his own skills and that of his friends Hermione, Ron, Dobby, even Fawks, to name a few, rather than with any actual help from DD.



wynnleaf - Nov 2, 2009 6:15 am (#1868 of 2055)
Well, I suppose we could consider exactly what DD did to protect Harry, or increase the chances that Harry would survive.

So, after somehow helping with the magic supplied by Lily, and somehow increasing the protective magic of #4 Privet Dr., what else did DD do to protect Harry or increase his chances of survival?

It would be interesting to look, at the same time, at what DD did which encouraged Harry toward danger, or sent him into danger with less knowledge about the situation than DD possessed.



Steve Newton - Nov 2, 2009 8:36 am (#1869 of 2055)
Voldemort was going to kill Harry. Training him to be a weapon would seem to be his only chance.



Julia H. - Nov 2, 2009 9:53 am (#1870 of 2055)
From OotP, I get the impression that the blood protection prevented Harry being harmed when he was inside the Dursley house. However, he was perfectly vulnerable when he went out. The Dementors were able to attack him after all, and Dumbledore considered it important to have Harry guarded by Order members.

How had Harry been guarded earlier? Dumbledore knew that right after Voldemort's disappearance there were still Death Eaters at large, who might have wanted to kill Harry Potter. Perhaps he had the Order guard the neigbourhood of 4PD in those early years. But in what sense was this protection better than what Harry could have got in a magically protected house of a wizarding family? The Order could have guarded the neighbourhood of that house just as well, and the Death Eaters did not quite have the magical power of Voldy (who was in no position to attack Harry in those days).

BTW, it does not seem that anyone guarded Harry when he left 4PD at the beginning of PoA, although it was believed that a powerful dark wizard was after him. Yes, I know Fudge went to find him, but it seems it was only the underage magic that drew the Ministry's attention to Harry. At the moment when Harry fled, no one was standing outside the front door to watch over him.



Soul Search - Nov 2, 2009 10:08 am (#1871 of 2055)
I tend to agree with the contention that Dumbledore used Harry. He was careful to tell Harry only what he had to know for the situation at hand, nothing more. Had he truely told Harry "everything" Harry would have been overwhelmed with the impossibility of his fate.

While Dumbledore claimed he "loved Harry too much," I don't think this is exactly true. Snape truely loved Lily, but Dumbledore's love for Harry fell quite a bit short of this. He might have been fond of Harry, but had there been truely love his plans would have not sent Harry to his likely doom.

But, Dumbledore faced an impossible situation. Voldemort was powerful and would take over the wizarding world, killing many in the process. Voldemort could not be defeated until all the horcruxes had been destroyed and Harry was one of the horcruxes. There did not appear to be any way to destroy the horcrux in Harry without Harry dying in the process.

There was no way Dumbledore could teach Harry enough magic for him to defeat Voldemort in a one-on-one duel. There wasn't enough time and, anyway, Harry wasn't the greatest wizard the world had ever seen. Dumbledore more than "placed his faith" in the mother's blood spell. It saved Harry in Godric's Hollow, protected him at the Dursleys, gave him a choice to return after Voldemort's AK in the forest, and protected him in the fight and his duel with Voldemort. "Mother's Blood" was the key to all of Dumbledore's planning.

The prophecy also affected Dumbledore's planning. For the prophecy to come true, Harry had to survive until his meeting with Voldemort. That is, the prophecy assured Harry's survival until that meeting.

Dumbledore came up with the only plan that could possibly work, even though it was high risk, especially for Harry. He counted on Harry's blood and the spell it contained being used to resurrect Voldemort to being the key to Voldmeort's downfall. Dumbledore even planned to die before Harry so he could help Harry after he (sort of) died.

Dumbledore was more trying to save the wizarding world than just Harry or his close friends.

All in all, Dumbledore did well with planning for Voldemort's destruction.



wynnleaf - Nov 2, 2009 12:02 pm (#1872 of 2055)
But, Dumbledore faced an impossible situation. Voldemort was powerful and would take over the wizarding world, killing many in the process. Voldemort could not be defeated until all the horcruxes had been destroyed and Harry was one of the horcruxes. There did not appear to be any way to destroy the horcrux in Harry without Harry dying in the process. (Soul Search)

Yes, this did put DD in a corner, so to speak.

Still, if he needed to keep Harry alive until all the horcruxes were destroyed (except Harry, of course), then why encourage Harry in so many dangerous activities? In the end, it was by no means necessary for Harry to be the one to destroy the horcruxes. Nor did Harry have to become a great duelist in order to finally destroy LV after the rest of the horcruxes had been taken care of. After all, Harry only need stand there and let LV kill him. Then all it took was Harry confronting LV who had the Elder Wand, of which Harry was the master.

And when DD was making his plans, he had no idea that it would come down to who was the master of the elder wand. Other than that, it really didn't matter that Harry be the one to accomplish anything other than getting "killed", albeit, at just the right time.

As far as I can see, the only thing that was accomplished in DD encouraging a kid to risk his life to save people, was to mold Harry into the kind of boy who would be willing to offer up his life for the sake of others. That way, when the time came and Harry was told he had to die, he'd be willing to do it. Although, even there, Harry had already been that sort of person even in his first year at Hogwarts.



legolas returns - Nov 2, 2009 1:55 pm (#1873 of 2055)
Is it any wonder that Dumbledore had slightly different ideas on love given his early home life and the Grindlewald disaster?



Soul Search - Nov 2, 2009 2:15 pm (#1874 of 2055)
wynnleaf,

"As far as I can see, the only thing that was accomplished in DD encouraging a kid to risk his life to save people, was to mold Harry into the kind of boy who would be willing to offer up his life for the sake of others. That way, when the time came and Harry was told he had to die, he'd be willing to do it. Although, even there, Harry had already been that sort of person even in his first year at Hogwarts."

Well stated. I agree with all the points in this paragraph.

I don't think the Elder wand and Harry being its true master played much of a role in the final showdown. Harry was protected because he had sacrificed himself (sort of a "Harry's blood" version of the Mother's Blood spell) for others and Voldemort could not harm him or anyone else, for that matter.

I am not sure that Harry was, indeed, the master of the Elder Wand when the duel started. Harry wove a good tale for Voldemort, but I am not sure it was right. Harry had not even touched the Elder Wand. Remember, "the Wand chooses the wizard." The wand DID NOT choose Voldemort. I think Draco was still the wand's master, if anyone. (Must the wand have a master?) The Elder Wand did choose Harry when it flew to him after Harry's expelliamus. That's why he could use it to fix his Pheonix wand.



Steve Newton - Nov 2, 2009 2:28 pm (#1875 of 2055)
I think that it had to be Harry or Dumbledore that destroyed the horcruxes (horcruxi?). If word got out that the horcruxes were being hunted the remainder would have immediately disappeared and been impossible to find. Until, and even after, Dumbledore's cursed wound he was trying to take care of them without Harry.



me and my shadow 813 - Nov 2, 2009 6:01 pm (#1876 of 2055)
I apologize that I am posting without thoroughly digesting all of the previous 17 posts. But my first question is for those who feel that Dumbledore needs to be taken down a few pegs about his motivations and actions. I personally feel it is plain as day that JKR -- via Dumbledore himself, naturally, as well as through the flow of the climax of DH -- is stating that Dumbledore The Great is not so very different than Voldemort the Evil in their subtle interpretations of using people for the Greater Good of the own personal cause. BUT, (a)Dumbledore was ready to sacrifice Harry, he admits, until he became emotionally attached to Harry. He admits, point blank at the end of OP, that this was not supposed to happen. He, Dumbledore, intended to be a dispassionate architect of the Plan to overthrow Voldemort, given the fact that Vold had interpretted the Prophecy in a certain way and set the wheels in motion; but (b)once Harry's blood was used in the ceremony, and once Dumbledore realised he was emotionally involved, he knew almost for sure that Harry would be able to survive when he did voluntarily walk towards his own death. I am curious as to why some folks feel Dumbledore as a character needs to be re-categorized. He is not supposed to be Gandalf. He is a flawed character. That, I thought, was JKR's entire point of this series. Not black and white...



Soul Search - Nov 3, 2009 9:54 am (#1877 of 2055)
I have been thinking on this and I will try to convey an idea about character development and the reader's perception of a character. It might need some more work. Most of the adult characters in the series remain true to their initial reader perception. Hagrid, the Dursleys, the Weasleys, Hogwart's staff, all remain the same and the reader's perception of these characters remains the same throughout the series. If we re-read these characters after completing the series, they still remain the same. Significant exceptions are Dumbledore and Snape.

Dumbledore starts out as the all-knowing, kindly, protective guardian for Harry. As the series progresses we see some flaws here and there and wonder a bit about Dumbledore's intentions. After Deathly Hallows we see that Dumbledore was far from perfect and if we re-read the series we get a very different perception of the character. He remains well intentioned, but his treatment of Harry takes on a different meaning.

Snape starts out rather nasty, treating Harry badly at every opportunity. Yet, as the series progresses, we see hints that there is more to Snape than Harry's nemisis. Deathly Hallows reveals that Snape has been protecting Harry at least as much as Dumbledore. When we re-read the series we can spot where Snape has really been trying to prepare Harry and protect him.
While these two characters don't really change the readers' perception of them changes dramatically as the series progresses.

JKR has really done a masterful job of character presentation to achieve this effect. While many novels I have read provide character twists I can't recall any that do it so well.



me and my shadow 813 - Nov 3, 2009 12:00 pm (#1878 of 2055)
I think the greatest hint for me was when I read the line about how Dumbledore knows the Dark Arts but is too "noble" to use them. Red Flag! I knew right then that there was a big surprise coming about our white wizard.



Steve Newton - Nov 3, 2009 2:25 pm (#1879 of 2055)
I noted the same line in the read a long. I didn't have an Aha! experience, though.



Honour - Nov 3, 2009 9:27 pm (#1880 of 2055)
"But my first question is for those who feel that Dumbledore needs to be taken down a few pegs about his motivations and actions." mams813

I'll put my hand up to that accusation, mine was not the intention to "take down" Dumbledore any number of notches, but rather to see if whether I was alone in "my percepttion" of DD's charanter as described so succintly by Soul Search. (Thank you Soul Search) I too noted the way inwhich the black and white characters blurred to grey. But when I read what was written about Dumbledore and Sev I found there were a mere handful of posters who saw as I saw, but the majority fought tooth and nail to keep Sev in the bad camp and Dumbledore with the good.

"As far as I can see, the only thing that was accomplished in DD encouraging a kid to risk his life to save people, was to mold Harry into the kind of boy who would be willing to offer up his life for the sake of others. That way, when the time came and Harry was told he had to die, he'd be willing to do it. Although, even there, Harry had already been that sort of person even in his first year at Hogwarts." - Wynnleaf

I too agree with this statement, and thanks Wynnleaf you put it so much better than I could ever have done.

It always makes me smile to think we are still finding new ideas to post, new view points to agree/disagree about even 2 years after we have all read the last book. That is so cool guys! : )

I'm glad that my "wonderings" were able to cause such a flurry of posting, I'm feel quite happy to think that I am not as "loony" as I thought I was!



mona amon - Nov 5, 2009 11:21 am (#1881 of 2055)
Still, if he needed to keep Harry alive until all the horcruxes were destroyed (except Harry, of course), then why encourage Harry in so many dangerous activities? In the end, it was by no means necessary for Harry to be the one to destroy the horcruxes. Nor did Harry have to become a great duelist in order to finally destroy LV after the rest of the horcruxes had been taken care of. After all, Harry only need stand there and let LV kill him. Then all it took was Harry confronting LV who had the Elder Wand, of which Harry was the master.

And when DD was making his plans, he had no idea that it would come down to who was the master of the elder wand. Other than that, it really didn't matter that Harry be the one to accomplish anything other than getting "killed", albeit, at just the right time. (Wynnleaf)

Initially, I'm not sure that Dumbledore had any plans to groom Harry into the one who could defeat Voldemort. At first, his only concern is to keep him safe, which is why he deposits him with his 'mother's blood', rather than some nice wizarding family.

During the early stages of Voldemort's disappearance, Dumbledore must have been concentrating on gathering information about his whereabouts, and about his history. We do not know exactly when he realised that Voldemort had made Horcruxes, or when he realised that Harry himself must be a Horcrux. He was probably intending to try and destroy LV himself at this point, and may not have thought about Harry much. We never see him showing any great enthusiasm for the Prophecy.

Anyway, Harry turns 11 and comes to Hogwarts, and Dumbledore makes his acquaintance for the first time. I think he quickly realises that there's something special about Harry, and he starts to "allow him to try his strength". I do not feel he encourages Harry to do dangerous things, most of the time. He just doesn't try to stop him from doing them. He's faced with every parent's dilemma: how much to protect the child, how much to let go and allow him to find his own way in the world. The most powerful dark wizard in the world was bent on kiling Harry. Dumbledore had to allow him to learn how to survive.

it really didn't matter that Harry be the one to accomplish anything other than getting "killed", albeit, at just the right time.

If it was only necessary for DD's plans that Harry had to die in order that the Horcrux in him could be destroyed, there was no 'right time'. Any time would do, and Harry could have died in any way or at the hand of anyone. He had to die at the right time and at the hand of Voldemort because that was the only way to ensure his survival. I wonder why Severus never thought to question this.



wynnleaf - Nov 5, 2009 5:36 pm (#1882 of 2055)
If it was only necessary for DD's plans that Harry had to die in order that the Horcrux in him could be destroyed, there was no 'right time'. Any time would do, and Harry could have died in any way or at the hand of anyone (mona amon)

Yes, in order for Harry to both die and live, he had to die after all the rest of the horcruxes had been destroyed. Only then would there be a chance to kill LV (in his body) and Harry minus the horcrux would still be alive.

Problem is, without the elder wand, Harry couldn't have done it and use of the elder wand doesn't appear to have been in DD's plans for Harry. Still, DD did hope Harry would first live through getting "killed" and then LV would be destroyed.

On another note, I don't think there's a desire to take DD "down a peg". We know JKR wanted DH to show us that DD was flawed. However, many readers leave DH with the impression that DD was only flawed in the past but that by the time Harry met him DD had become the great and wise wizard with only the best intentions throughout.



Mrs Brisbee - Nov 5, 2009 7:10 pm (#1883 of 2055)
Yes, in order for Harry to both die and live, he had to die after all the rest of the horcruxes had been destroyed. Only then would there be a chance to kill LV (in his body) and Harry minus the horcrux would still be alive.-- wynnleaf

I thought Harry had to die before all the Horcruxes were destroyed (so that Voldemort would live and preserve the blood protection so Harry would live), and by Voldemort's hand (because the blood protection only protected Harry from getting killed by Voldemort), in order to live. If Nagini had been destroyed before Harry had gone to the forest I think Harry would have died there. Trying to figure out what Dumbledore's last plan was always gives me a headache.

Problem is, without the elder wand, Harry couldn't have done it and use of the elder wand doesn't appear to have been in DD's plans for Harry. Still, DD did hope Harry would first live through getting "killed" and then LV would be destroyed.

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what would have happened without the Elder Wand, and what Dumbledore intended to happen with his original plan. I wish I knew what that plan was exactly, but I also think that maybe part of the point was that it was bad planning, and that there wasn't any realistic way that the secret plans of a dead man were going to work out as intended. I thought the end was about everyone coping with the problems left them, once they finally had the information they needed to make useful decisions, without needing Dumbledore to micromanage them.



Honour - Nov 6, 2009 1:51 am (#1884 of 2055)
Mrs Brisbee that "Blood Protection" spell always left my head dizzy as well. According to Dumbledore Lily's sacrifice provided the protection of love to Harry, that I get. DD then goes on to say that together with Lily's protection and Pertunia's acceptance of Harry under her roof, this seals the blood protection, sorta "blood of blood". I always thought that whatever protections Dumbledore added to the "sisters blood protection" was more to do with the outside of 4 privet drive, the Fidelis charm etc, keeping Harry hidden from "magic's eyes". But at 17 as Harry would be an adult the protection would be lifted.

The trouble I had with DD's end of the protection was that whatever spell he put on the place (not Harry), should have become void at his death? And since the Ministry already new Harry's address as far back as "Chamber" I thought that maybe Harry should have been found earlier?

"I thought Harry had to die before all the Horcruxes were destroyed (so that Voldemort would live and preserve the blood protection so Harry would live), and by Voldemort's hand (because the blood protection only protected Harry from getting killed by Voldemort), in order to live. If Nagini had been destroyed before Harry had gone to the forest I think Harry would have died there." - Mrs Brisbee

Now, you've totally lost me here Mrs Brisbee. I think that if Harry and Co had actually gotten rid of all the Horcruxes including Nagini Harry would have been able to face Voldy anywhere, the same thing would have happened such is the bravery of the character Harry Potter.

I agree with Wynnleaf here too! I think that Harry could well have defeated Voldy with his own phoenix wand had it not been broken or even Draco's. As demonstrated when Voldy used Lucius' wand and Harry's wand "worked" by itself, Voldy's magic had been compromised, come to think of it, I think Voldy's magic had been weakened the moment way back in Goblet of Fire when Harry's blood entered him, the blood so enfused with Lily's love, an emotion so foreign and abhorent to Voldy that it acted like a computer virus/trojan weakening Voldy with out him knowing. Ooh is that what you meant Mrs Brisbee? Cool! I get you now! : )



mona amon - Nov 6, 2009 2:57 am (#1885 of 2055)
Interesting posts!

On another note, I don't think there's a desire to take DD "down a peg". We know JKR wanted DH to show us that DD was flawed. However, many readers leave DH with the impression that DD was only flawed in the past but that by the time Harry met him DD had become the great and wise wizard with only the best intentions throughout. (Wynnleaf)

I think the reason why a lot of readers have a problem understanding Dumbledore's character has something to do with what we've been discussing recently on the Snape thread. I've always felt that JKR often has overwhelming 'external' reasons for making Dumbledore act as he does, but his character as she visualised it is sometimes inconsistent with these reasons. I mean, you create a character who's 115 years old, infinitely wise, the greatest wizard ever, etc, and what will be left for poor Harry to do? Maybe this is why she changed her description of him in the earlier interviews as the 'epitome of goodness' to 'Machiavellian'.

Problem is, without the elder wand, Harry couldn't have done it and use of the elder wand doesn't appear to have been in DD's plans for Harry. Still, DD did hope Harry would first live through getting "killed" and then LV would be destroyed.

It all becomes plausible if we assume that Dumbledore planned only loosely, but to the best of his ability. Dumbledore probably thought he'll be facing LV with his Holly wand, and as Honour points out, that had become a very powerful Anti-Voldemort weapon. Moreover, DD I would imagine, knew that he'd meet Harry when he died temporarily after sacrificing himself, so he knew he could give him further instructions when the time came.

I thought Harry had to die before all the Horcruxes were destroyed (so that Voldemort would live and preserve the blood protection so Harry would live), and by Voldemort's hand (because the blood protection only protected Harry from getting killed by Voldemort), in order to live. If Nagini had been destroyed before Harry had gone to the forest I think Harry would have died there. (Mrs Brisbee)

Even if Harry had destroyed all the Horcruxes, and then sacrificed himself to kill the Horcrux in him, Voldemort would still be alive because he still had a teensy bit of soul left in his own body. However, DD knew that Harry wouldn't have the mental strength to go Horcrux hunting after getting the devastating news, and that's why he instructs Severus to tell him only when Nagini recieves extra protection, a sign that all the other Horcruxes are destroyed.

The trouble I had with DD's end of the protection was that whatever spell he put on the place (not Harry), should have become void at his death? (Honour)

I don't think all spells get lifted as soon as the caster dies. The spells that the founders of Hogwarts put on the Sorting Hat, for instance, are still in place centuries later.



Mrs Brisbee - Nov 6, 2009 6:22 am (#1886 of 2055)
"I thought Harry had to die before all the Horcruxes were destroyed (so that Voldemort would live and preserve the blood protection so Harry would live), and by Voldemort's hand (because the blood protection only protected Harry from getting killed by Voldemort), in order to live. If Nagini had been destroyed before Harry had gone to the forest I think Harry would have died there." - Mrs Brisbee

Now, you've totally lost me here Mrs Brisbee. I think that if Harry and Co had actually gotten rid of all the Horcruxes including Nagini Harry would have been able to face Voldy anywhere, the same thing would have happened such is the bravery of the character Harry Potter.-- Honour

What I meant was that the soul piece in Harry had to be destroyed along with all the Horcruxes in order for Voldemort to become mortal so he could be killed, but Dumbledore had a plan where Harry could be killed by Voldemort and survive, but the piece of Voldy soul in Harry would be destroyed. Dumbledore planned this all without any idea that Harry would be master of the Elder Wand, so its desire not to harm its true master didn't figure into Dumbledore's original plan.

In the forest Harry "dies", but when he goes to King's Cross he no longer has a scar, and he needs no glasses. I think this represents the state of his soul. Dumbledore, on the other hand, has his glasses, and trademark Aberforth-Arranged crooked nose, so he still has his flaws. Voldemort seems to also have "died" in the forest, as Harry sees his mangled, incoherent soul there also. The connection between Harry and Voldemort seems to have dragged Voldy into Limbo as well.

Dumbledore explains that Voldemort made a mistake using Harry's blood to get around the protection, because he created an even stronger bond between them, and now as long as Voldemort lives he is Horcrux-like for Harry, and Harry cannot be killed (at least by Voldemort). The problem is, is that Voldemort seems to have died also when the Killing Curse hit Harry. But, because Voldemort still has one Horcrux left, he is still tethered to life, and returns from Limbo. Once Voldemort does that, he is Horcrux-like for Harry again, and Harry can return.

If Voldemort had no more Horcruxes save the soul piece in Harry, I think the same thing would have happened up til Limbo, but Voldemort wouldn't have been able to return because he would have no Horcruxes left after killing Harry, and so Harry wouldn't have been able to return because Voldemort only tethered him to life while Voldemort lived, which he would no longer do.

This is why I think Dumbledore tried to send Harry to Voldemort to be killed while Voldemort had one more Horcrux (Nagini) left.

That's what I meant and it's just my own personal interpretation of events, and I don't know if I even explained what I meant clearly because it is all very confusing.



Honour - Nov 6, 2009 6:56 am (#1887 of 2055)
O.K! Just when I thought I'd got what you meant Mrs Brisbee, I've just read your last post and found that I have indeed missed the boat completely! But that's O.K. too! : )



mona amon - Nov 6, 2009 7:00 am (#1888 of 2055)
You've explained it very clearly in this post, Mrs Brisbee.

I don't feel either of them actually die. Bella's bending over the unconscious Voldemort with concern, but she doesn't act like he's dead.

On her website, JKR says this-

What exactly was the mutilated baby-like creature Harry saw at King's Cross in chapter 35 of 'Hallows'?

I’ve been asked this a LOT. It is the last piece of soul Voldemort possesses. When Voldemort attacks Harry, they both fall temporarily unconscious, and both their souls - Harry's undamaged and healthy, Voldemort’s stunted and maimed - appear in the limbo where Harry meets Dumbledore.

EDIT: just to confuse us a bit more, here's another related quote-

What exactly happened when Voldemort used the Avada Kedavra curse on Harry in the forest?

Again, Voldemort violated deep laws of magic he did not understand, but there is more to it than that.

Having taken Harry’s blood into himself, Voldemort is keeping alive Lily’s protective power over Harry. So Voldemort himself acts almost like a Horcrux for Harry – except that the power of Lily’s sacrifice is a positive force that not only continues to tether Harry to life, but gives Voldemort himself one last chance (Dumbledore refers to this last hope in chapter 35). Voldemort has unwittingly put a few drops of goodness back inside himself; if he had repented, he could have been healed more deeply than anyone would have supposed. But, of course, he refused to feel remorse.

Voldemort is also using the Elder Wand - the wand that is really Harry’s. It does not work properly against its true owner; no curse Voldemort casts on Harry functions properly; neither the Cruciatus curse nor the Killing Curse. The Avada Kedavra curse, however, is so powerful that it does hurt Harry, and also succeeds in killing the part of him that is not truly him, in other words, the fragment of Voldemort’s own soul still clinging to his. The curse also disables Harry severely enough that he could have succumbed to death if he had chosen that path (again, Dumbledore says he has a choice whether or not to wake up). But Harry does decide to struggle back to consciousness, capitalises on Lily’s ‘escape route’, and pulls himself back to the realm of the living.

It is important to state that I always saw these kinds of magic (the very deepest life and death issues) as essentially un-scientific; in other words, there is no “Elder Wand + Lily’s Blood = Assured Survival” formula. What count, ultimately, are Harry and Voldemort’s own choices. They have each been given certain weapons and safeguards, but the power of these objects and past happenings lie in how they are understood, and how they are used or enacted upon. Harry has a deeper and truer understanding of the meaning of the objects and past events, but his greatest powers, those that save him, are free will, courage and moral certainty.



Mrs Brisbee - Nov 6, 2009 7:35 am (#1889 of 2055)
Thanks for the quotes, mona amon!

What exactly was the mutilated baby-like creature Harry saw at King's Cross in chapter 35 of 'Hallows'?

I’ve been asked this a LOT. It is the last piece of soul Voldemort possesses. When Voldemort attacks Harry, they both fall temporarily unconscious, and both their souls - Harry's undamaged and healthy, Voldemort’s stunted and maimed - appear in the limbo where Harry meets Dumbledore.--JK Rowling

Okay, that confirms what I thought (I think). Voldemort's soul-- the piece from Voldemort's body-- ends up in limbo, along with Harry's. From there, they may either move to death, or back to life.

Having taken Harry’s blood into himself, Voldemort is keeping alive Lily’s protective power over Harry. So Voldemort himself acts almost like a Horcrux for Harry – except that the power of Lily’s sacrifice is a positive force that not only continues to tether Harry to life, but gives Voldemort himself one last chance (Dumbledore refers to this last hope in chapter 35). Voldemort has unwittingly put a few drops of goodness back inside himself; if he had repented, he could have been healed more deeply than anyone would have supposed. But, of course, he refused to feel remorse.-- JK Rowling

Okay, the important part here for the understanding of what happened is that she confirms what Dumbledore said in King's Cross about Voldemort tethering Harry to life while Voldemort lives,or for as long as Lily's enchantment survives in Voldemort's body. My assumption was that the tether doesn't work (the protection ceases) if Voldemrot ends up dead.

Voldemort is also using the Elder Wand - the wand that is really Harry’s. It does not work properly against its true owner; no curse Voldemort casts on Harry functions properly; neither the Cruciatus curse nor the Killing Curse. The Avada Kedavra curse, however, is so powerful that it does hurt Harry, and also succeeds in killing the part of him that is not truly him, in other words, the fragment of Voldemort’s own soul still clinging to his. The curse also disables Harry severely enough that he could have succumbed to death if he had chosen that path (again, Dumbledore says he has a choice whether or not to wake up). But Harry does decide to struggle back to consciousness, capitalises on Lily’s ‘escape route’, and pulls himself back to the realm of the living.-- JK Rowling

This I guess explains how the Elder Wand fits in. This is the most confusing part, I think, and was not part of Dumbledore's original plan. How anyone was to get that the killing curse wouldn't work properly but still kill is beyond me! Of course, we have seem the damaging effects of powerful magic in the series before, but still--! This does confirm that Harry took advantage of Lily's "escape route" to return to life, so Voldemort had to be in the land of the living for it to work, as per Dumbledore's explanation. Since we saw Voldy's soul in limbo, I assume it had to find its way back to the land of the living first in order for Lily's blood protection and the tether to continue to exist. The Nagini Horcrux would automatically pull Voldemrot's soul back, I think. I don't think what was left of Voldemort's soul was strong enough to have made it back under its own volition, based on it stunted and mangled state.



me and my shadow 813 - Nov 6, 2009 10:11 am (#1890 of 2055)
I totally agree with JKR, it would be disappointing to me if we were given a formula as to why Harry had a, say, 90% ensured survival rate. This is what separates science from faith, which is what I have come to believe this series is based on. Choices and faith are so profoundly linked I don't even bother distinguishing them very much. The series might not be based on faith in the way Narnia is, because this faith is more universally spiritual (the faith of the quest and it being ultimately faith in oneself combining with the inspiration from the intangible/above/Spirit/dead-loved-ones).

I also agree with Mrs B, in her interpretations on the 'mutual tethering'. When first reading DH and Dumbledore said "nothing can be done" about the mangled bit under the chair, I felt it was the remainder of Voldemort's embodied soul there and not simply the Harry-horcrux. (BTW, Mrs B, your quote above The Nagini Horcrux would automatically pull Voldemrot's soul back, I think. is great, albeit probably a typo. Voldemrot... LOL, shall we take it a step futher to Moldemrot?

Regarding my earlier post about our scrutiny of Dumbledore, I feel that since we are shown the events through Harry's eyes, we DO see the utter disgust Harry feels towards him, the disillusionment, but it is Harry telling us and this man has meant a lot to him. However, of course we have our own patterns with which to see both Dumbledore (as flawed) and Severus (as redeemed). It does seem there are a few of us who come down on Dumbledore extra hard, just as there are some of us who bash James, in order to make a point about Severus. I personally feel all three of these characters, no matter what we don't get to "see", must have had their own painful journey to get past their tragic flaws. But, being they all died prematurely (including DD, had he not put on the ring), perhaps they didn't complete their journeys afterall because their tragic flaw was never remedied. Only Harry really achieves completion, which I think is the point it being a story about Harry.



Julia H. - Nov 6, 2009 10:37 am (#1891 of 2055)
Very interesting posts, and LOL @ Voldemrot/Moldemrot!

There is only one thing I would like to mention: I cannot understand how an act of cruelty (taking Harry's blood) can give Voldemort back "some goodness" (did JKR really say back???? hm...). I understand the technical explanation - Lily is goodness and her blood is goodness - but how can that be a possible redeeming force for Voldemort, who obtained this "goodness" by means of cruelty? Yes, I know, remorse would have been necessary as well, but why would not remorse have been enough then? Voldemort's chances of "healing" being increased practically by taking (for entirely selfish reasons) a child's blood seems just wrong to me.



me and my shadow 813 - Nov 6, 2009 11:13 am (#1892 of 2055)
I agree with you in the 'real' world, Julia. But as far as our fantasy story goes, I see the blood taken as something like taking a lock of hair. I know the knife hurt Harry, of course it is vile to imagine the event, but for the symbolism of what she is saying I take it as the idea that Voldemort could have literally built his foundation of remorse with the Goodness.

I think it might be a way of saying that, had Voldemort shown remorse then he would have felt regret for having taken Harry's blood and that regret would transform the cruelty -- through forgiveness. So, IMO, it is the remorse that would have to come first, and only then would the blood's goodness be the stepping stone to bolster his healing.

I'll probably have to edit this for clarity, LOL.

...and I did



Mrs Brisbee - Nov 6, 2009 11:35 am (#1893 of 2055)
(BTW, Mrs B, your quote above The Nagini Horcrux would automatically pull Voldemrot's soul back, I think. is great, albeit probably a typo. Voldemrot... LOL, shall we take it a step futher to Moldemrot?-- mams

Heh, yes, that was a typo, but one I've been inadvertently making ever since DH came out. I usually double check every time I type Voldemort's name, but inevitable that I'll miss a few. I think my fingers have tapped into my subconscious feelings about Voldy. :LOL: "Moldemrot". I think you've coined him a new nickname.



Julia H. - Nov 6, 2009 11:42 am (#1894 of 2055)
I can see the symbolism ... but it still contradicts the otherwise strongly emphasized idea of bearing responsibility for the consequences of our actions and the importance of choices. Besides, if remorse is needed first, then I don't see the significance of the goodness taken from Lily in a cruel way (and against Harry's / Lily's will) as a further redeeming power. Remorse in itself is explicitly central to the value system presented in the novel, and dragging Lily's blood into this picture seems superfluous. (I have no problem with Lily's blood protecting Harry or with the idea that Voldemort unwittingly messed up magic he did not understand.)



me and my shadow 813 - Nov 6, 2009 12:16 pm (#1895 of 2055)
Again, I agree with you. Given who said it, I am looking at in a way to make it work for me so this is my perception of what JKR means. If one has stolen another person's food against that person's will, and then the thief asks for forgiveness and is in need of sustenance, the person giving the forgiveness would then give the thief the food to help them along and strengthen them.

I am NOT saying that slicing flesh is the same as stealing food. But it was a cut and a bit of blood and the intention of cruelty in that moment was to take something needed for selfish reasons, so in that sense I don't see it as much different than the thief taking the food. Harry was not drained of life force due to the drops of blood taken. Yes a knife and slicing flesh makes us all cringe because of how we feel when we cut our finger, for instance. But IMO it was a symbolic act and, just like the thief with the food, can be easily forgiven by the victim. Harry was the key here -- he was offering his forgiveness and mercy at that moment and that includes all of what Voldemort had done to him and others, in time.

I don't expect you to agree with me. I am just explaining why I am allowing JKR her opinion here without me protesting too much.

More importantly, I feel this was a way for JKR to convey that Voldemort had absolutely not one shred of goodness left, except for that bit of Lily. I think it should have been in the text, stated clearly about the blood being Voldemort's anchor for salvation, actually. But, as he had no remorse, there was no point. Which I guess is your point about it being superfluous, Julia. So, that's probably why JKR made no mention of it until posting on her website as a response to questions.

edited



wynnleaf - Nov 6, 2009 6:20 pm (#1896 of 2055)
Mona amon and anyone else wondering what I meant,

When I was commenting on DD's flawed plan that ultimately depended on Harry being master of the elder wand, something DD never planned on, I was simply trying to point out that DD was not actually the super brilliant master-planning wizard whose plans for Harry are what saved Harry's life. Yes, DD tried to help Harry get through alive, but some of his weaknesses got in the way and it was in part "dumb luck" (as McGonagall would say) that got Harry through, sometimes in spite of DD's plans, not because of them.

Mrs Brisbee, as for whether Nagini had to be alive when LV tried "killed" Harry, I think you have a good argument. It could be, but I'm not sure that JKR intended it like that. In any case, if DD needed a horcrux to still be in existence when LV attempted to kill Harry, shouldn't DD have been a bit more explicit in his instructions?

I can see the symbolism ... but it still contradicts the otherwise strongly emphasized idea of bearing responsibility for the consequences of our actions and the importance of choices. (Julia)

Yes, I agree, but some of JKR's symbolisim in these kinds of areas gets a bit messy. DD, for instance, sometimes seems to represent an example of remorse and redemption, and other times seems (in Harry's frustration with DD's plans) a stand-in for JKR's arguments with the divine over her mother's death. Just my opinion of course.



mona amon - Nov 7, 2009 5:27 am (#1897 of 2055)
When I was commenting on DD's flawed plan that ultimately depended on Harry being master of the elder wand, something DD never planned on, I was simply trying to point out that DD was not actually the super brilliant master-planning wizard whose plans for Harry are what saved Harry's life. Yes, DD tried to help Harry get through alive, but some of his weaknesses got in the way and it was in part "dumb luck" (as McGonagall would say) that got Harry through, sometimes in spite of DD's plans, not because of them. (Wynnleaf)

I agree. I don't think we're meant to think that Harry's victory over Voldemort was mostly because of Dumbledore's planning, and that's probably why she had Dumbledore's plans fail so spectacularly. Harry defeated him because of his own unique abilities, a lot of help from Dumbledore, Severus, his friends, and a whole lot of others, and a liberal dose of luck, or fate.

EDIT: I took part of the Harry's blood discussion to the Lord Voldemort Thread.



me and my shadow 813 - Nov 7, 2009 10:16 am (#1898 of 2055)
Completely agree, mona.



Honour - Nov 10, 2009 3:18 pm (#1899 of 2055)
Fate? Seems pretty cut and dried then, like the prophesy that DD thought was so important that he should hire Sybil, and file a copy in the MOM for safe keeping? but not enough of a good idea that Harry should allow it to be the "reason" that Harry "chooses" to face and kill Voldermort? My arguement is still and always has been that poor young Harry Potter didn't have "free choice" at all... Sad



legolas returns - Nov 10, 2009 4:07 pm (#1900 of 2055)
I think in the begining there was free will. If Voldemort had chosen not to act on the information that Snape gave him things could have turned out differently. Dumbledore said that because Voldemort set store by it and continued to pursue Harry that an eventual confrontation was unavoidable.
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Julia H. - Nov 11, 2009 6:18 am (#1901 of 2055)
In HBP, it is said (if I interpret it correctly) that Harry does not want to confront Voldemort because of some Prophecy but because Voldemort killed his parents (and caused the death of other people Harry loved) - so Harry wants to confront him for reasons of his own, and not because he is forced by some external power (like the Prophecy or Fate). He would want to do the same even if he had never heard about the Prophecy. It seems that this counts as free will.

In fact, Harry wants to fight and to destroy Voldemort even before he can believe that he is the one with the special power to vanquish the most powerful dark wizard; before he can believe that love can be that special power, whatever the Prophecy says.

Voldemort, however, attacked Harry because of the Prophecy and he keeps acting with the single purpose of fulfilling the Prophecy (fulfilling it, of course, the way he wants it to be fulfilled), so his decisions are directly based on the Prophecy rather than on his free will. I guess he is more or less bound to do it after first choosing to set a lot of store by the Prophecy and choosing to follow it and losing his free will by that, as it happened initially.

BTW, I think Dumbledore hired Trelawney so that she could enjoy the protection of Hogwarts, without which Voldemort might have tried to capture and torture her for more information (i.e., the second half of the Prophecy).



Solitaire - Nov 11, 2009 11:00 am (#1902 of 2055)
I think Dumbledore hired Trelawney so that she could enjoy the protection of Hogwarts, without which Voldemort might have tried to capture and torture her for more information (i.e., the second half of the Prophecy).

Agreed. Dumbledore knew Trelawney was not a great teacher. He was simply trying to keep her alive. He knew she would be a dead woman if Voldy ever got hold of her. She was unaware of having made at least two of her prophecies that came true, so we can guess that he would have had to use considerable torture to bring them to the surface of her memory. Since she has seemed emotionally rather fragile at times, I think it is fair to suspect she would have wound up like the Longbottoms at best ... although he would probably have killed her in the end.



Mrs Brisbee - Nov 12, 2009 6:44 am (#1903 of 2055)
Copied from the Draco Malfoy thread:

I meant Dumbledore's plan before he put on the ring. At that time he still had a long life ahead of him and Voldemort had just suffered a setback at his and Harry's hands. We have the evidence from the pensive memories that he had been working on identifying and locating the horcruxes for some time. Indeed, it was the curse on the ring horcrux he found that changed his original plans. Actually, he may not have intended for Harry to have to hunt horcruxes at all, figuring he would have time to find them. He may have only taken Harry to the cave just in case something else went wrong, which it did. Although having Harry along did prove useful.

The point was that Dumbledore did not have a completely free choice in his plans. He was pressed for time because of his injury and Voldemort's growing power. Snape had made the unbreakable vow and Draco proved a little more capable than Dumbledore had estimated. Voldemort's protection on the cave and the locket horcrux may also have been more than anticipated.

Draco became an unanticipated complication. Either Draco killed Dumbledore or Snape had to. This didn't leave much margin for error.

He still had more he wanted to teach Harry and maybe even a few more things to say to Snape. He just plain ran out of time on the tower.-- Soul Search

Soul Search's post got me wondering about just what plans Dumbledore might have had before he ended up cursed with only one year to live.

Also, it made me wonder if Dumbledore ever had a contingency plan in place in case he died early. I really don't think he ever expected the Death Eaters to actually make it in to Hogwarts, but he could have been ambushed elsewhere, or even dies peacefully in his sleep of natural causes (he was quite old). But I don't see evidence that he had any plan in place to pass on all this information he had garnered in case of his untimely death.

Was there any sort of plan?

Dumbledore was very powerful. Did this make him overconfident about his ability to control the time and manner of his death? Even after the close call with the curse, Dumbledore still takes his time imparting the necessary knowledge to Harry, as if his full extra year is a sure thing.



mona amon - Nov 16, 2009 9:57 am (#1904 of 2055)
My arguement is still and always has been that poor young Harry Potter didn't have "free choice" at all... Sad (Honour)

I agree. In a book where the importance of choices is emphasised so much, what choice did Harry have in this matter? He could try and bring down Voldemort himself or be hunted down by him like a rat, but he did not have the choice to walk away.

Soul Search's post got me wondering about just what plans Dumbledore might have had before he ended up cursed with only one year to live.

Also, it made me wonder if Dumbledore ever had a contingency plan in place in case he died early. (Mrs Brisbee)

I think Dumbledore was like a lot of people who put off writing their wills and organising their affairs, even when they're quite old. They seem to think that there's always more time. Even though Dumbledore knew, after Severus told him, that he only had a year to live, and that Severus may be called upon to kill him at any time, I don't think he was quite prepared when it actually happened. He still hadn't told Harry how to destroy Horcruxes, which I think he was planning to demonstrate to him with the Locket Horcrux. And he had made no plans to clear Severus's name in case he died without telling anyone about it.

On the other hand he did make some plans when he found out that he had only a year to live. He started passing on all the information he had gathered about Voldemort to Harry. He made his will, bequeathing the Resurrection Stone to Harry, and so on, and tried to ensure that Severus would take over as Headmaster of Hogwarts.



Mrs Brisbee - Nov 17, 2009 6:35 am (#1905 of 2055)
I think Dumbledore was like a lot of people who put off writing their wills and organising their affairs, even when they're quite old. They seem to think that there's always more time. Even though Dumbledore knew, after Severus told him, that he only had a year to live, and that Severus may be called upon to kill him at any time, I don't think he was quite prepared when it actually happened. He still hadn't told Harry how to destroy Horcruxes, which I think he was planning to demonstrate to him with the Locket Horcrux. And he had made no plans to clear Severus's name in case he died without telling anyone about it.-- mona amon

I wonder if this is because Dumbledore felt that he himself was his own worst enemy? He would not have been cursed if he had not made the mistake of putting the ring on. Perhaps he felt that it was his mistake that was leading to his death, and discounted Voldemort's role in it, and perhaps that is why that event didn't lead Dumbledore to believe that he might not be able to control the time and manner of his death?



Chemyst - Nov 19, 2009 4:43 pm (#1906 of 2055)
Edited Nov 23, 2009 6:39 am
Dumbledore would have had a lot of time to contemplate the implications of death "in theory" during the years he worked with Nicholas Flammel. Of course, a prime-of-life Dumbledore isn't going to feel personal urgency then, but still, they would have approached the topic from an intellectual discussion point of view. I'm not sure how well JKR may have thought out all such little details that wouldn't directly impact her story, but I do think we can safely assume that she intended for the Dumbledore that Harry knew to be a person of rich experience.

Therefore, I think one of the side effects of Dumbledore's ring experience and his realization that death would be sooner rather than later, would be a general feeling of starting to detach from this life. I think he probably began to view time differently than the people around him, and that view would be nothing like the view of a younger person.



Honour - Nov 19, 2009 5:41 pm (#1907 of 2055)
I think that despite his 150 odd years, Dumbledore was inside, still the child who's father was put in prison and never came home, as well as the teenager who had to grow up fast and forego his own life. I think even later after the deaths of his mother and sister, such was his guilt, DD never allowed him self to live again, penance I guess he thought he needed to pay.

Maybe this is one of the reasons why he didn't seem to see that 16 years of loyal service by Sev for his crime of telling Voldy about the prophesy, was an unjust punishment, since Dumbledore himself had forgone his own life, then so should Sev?

We already know that Dumbledore was wracked with guilt about the circumstances surrounding his sister's death, but I also sensed a sort of hopelessness of not knowing how to make amends with his brother. I think that in the end the brothers chose to just live on the same plane of existance trying not to cross each other's paths knowing the unsaid between them could open the flood gates to the pure acid bitterness and drowning guilt.

I think that even though DD was reputed to be a very gifted and talented wizard, his hesitation to confront first Grindlewald and then Voldermort was an indication I think, that rushing into a situation as he did in the past can prove to be a fatal choice. So I think DD over planed, trying to factor everything in, almost obsessively and this all took time.

So the whole episode with the ring I think was probably that child inside DD who so wanted the opportunity to right his world by perhaps, asking for forgiveness of his sister? and Parents? and for a milli-second Dumbledore probably thought it was possible if he just put on the ring ...

Luckily Sev was able to stay death for a year and DD was able to walk a little way with Harry teaching him what in the end he needed to learn to achieve the tasks Dumbledore set out.



Solitaire - Nov 19, 2009 8:32 pm (#1908 of 2055)
his hesitation to confront first Grindlewald and then Voldermort was an indication I think, that rushing into a situation as he did in the past can prove to be a fatal choice

I agree that hesitated to confront Grindelwald, but what would have been gained by confronting Voldemort? He couldn't kill him, since so many Horcruxes were still intact. I don't see his failure to meet Voldemort as hesitation; I see it as common sense. Why put himself in a vulnerable position when it would serve no purpose?



Honour - Nov 20, 2009 5:24 am (#1909 of 2055)
Hey there Solitaire,

I am not sure if hesitation was the right choice of word, after all Grindelwald was wrecking havoc for years before Dumbledore finally caught up with him ...

With regards to Voldermort/Tom I guess I mean earlier on. Before Tom became Voldermort. Dumbledore knew that Tom was a mean spirited and nasty boy, yet he didn't keep a closer eye on him. Knew that Tom liked to hurt, that he hurt children at the orphanage. DD may have been able to pre-empt a lot of Tom's darstedly deeds, and save a few lives in the process.

"I don't see his failure to meet Voldemort as hesitation; I see it as common sense. Why put himself in a vulnerable position when it would serve no purpose?" - Solitaire

No I suppose putting himself into this "vulnerable position when it would serve no purpose" did seem like a waste of time especially when DD could just as well serve up Harry to do the job instead? Seriously though Solitaire, the above quote almost sounds like a Slytherin trait?

In my post #1907, I guess I was trying to articulate (not very clearly though) why I thought DD stood back and let a lot of things happen at the same time that he was frantically trying to formulate plans in the background.

I also thought that because he had given his trust so easily to Grindlewald and when eventually their friendship turned sour and ended up being the catalyst to his sister's death, I sort of understood DD's secretive behaviour, not being able to trust, keeping his cards/plans close to his chest, his players/pawns in the dark about each other's directives, the profound guilt he felt. I realised that DD's inner child would in some pressurised circumstanaces convince the adult DD to sit back and wait, and only after exhaustive planning, pondering, checking and re-checking would the child allow the adult Dumbledore to do something.

Failure is such a harsh word Soli, I think DD was more retiscent(sp?) to do anything rash just incase history repeated itself and he lost someone else he cared greatly for.



wynnleaf - Nov 20, 2009 7:03 am (#1910 of 2055)
Dumbledore knew that Tom was a mean spirited and nasty boy, yet he didn't keep a closer eye on him. Knew that Tom liked to hurt, that he hurt children at the orphanage. DD may have been able to pre-empt a lot of Tom's darstedly deeds, and save a few lives in the process. (Honour)

I don't know what else he could have reasonably done, prior to Riddle becoming LV. Tail Tom constantly? Spy on him? How could DD have possibly known that Tom was more than just a rather nasty kid? Should DD have followed all the kids who were kind of nasty around to see it they did anything worthy of .... what? Calling in aurors to arrest them? Attack them himself?

Think of all the people from Hogwarts who joined LV in his early years. Many of them probably seemed pretty nasty as well, but they didn't become dark lords. Instead, when one arose, they joined him. But I guess what I'm saying is that DD couldn't be tracking down everybody who had the possibility of going even more dark than they initially appeared, just to keep them under control somehow.



Solitaire - Nov 21, 2009 5:00 pm (#1911 of 2055)
No I suppose putting himself into this "vulnerable position when it would serve no purpose" did seem like a waste of time especially when DD could just as well serve up Harry to do the job instead? Seriously though Solitaire, the above quote almost sounds like a Slytherin trait?

Not at all, Honour. Once Voldemort has the Horcruxes, there is simply no use in attempting to kill him until the Horcruxes are destroyed ... which is why Dumbledore put such a high priority on finding and destroying them that last year of his life. I can only reiterate that getting into a duel with him would have been stupid when there was no possibility of getting rid of him. Instead, Dumbledore attempted to get him to a place where he could be destroyed. He also attempted to educate Harry as much as possible about who Riddle/Voldemort really was. It may have seemed lame, at times, but understanding one's enemy is crucial if one is going to attempt to eradicate him.

Dumbledore was attempting to prepare Harry the best he could, since he knew Harry would have to face Voldemort. He knew this, because he knew Voldemort would never rest until he had tried every possible way to kill Harry. There was really no way Dumbledore could have spared Harry this confrontation ... so he did his best to ensure that Harry would be ready for it when it came.

DD stood back and let a lot of things happen

He did keep as close an eye as possible on Riddle when he was at Hogwarts ... considering he was NOT the Headmaster at that time. He could have imparted his suspicions to others--perhaps he even attempted to do so; we are not told--but who would have believed him? Riddle apparently managed to stay on the good side of most professors when he was in school. Once Riddle was gone from Hogwarts, how could Dumbledore keep him from doing whatever he chose? As Wynnleaf has said, was he supposed to have slapped a tail on Riddle 24/7? Perhaps Dumbledore felt that his job was keeping the Hogwarts students safe while Riddle was there. Once he was gone, there really was not much DD could have done. Anyway, it sounds as though Riddle did some traveling after he left Hogwarts. Surely DD was not expected to trail him around the globe.

This would have been around the time that Grindelwald was wreaking havoc, wouldn't it? Perhaps once that started, Dumbledore forgot about Riddle anyway. I'm sure his attention was focused elsewhere.



Honour - Nov 22, 2009 8:01 pm (#1912 of 2055)
"I don't know what else he could have reasonably done, prior to Riddle becoming LV. Tail Tom constantly? Spy on him? How could DD have possibly known that Tom was more than just a rather nasty kid?" - Wynnleaf

You are right, if Dumbledore had decided to keep a closer eye on Tom we would not have a story to read, let alone 7 highly enjoyable tales! I personally just find it hard to believe that with DD's propensity to do behind the scene plans, and people doing different jobs for him that he wasn't able to keep an eye on a child - he knew to be nasty and mean of spirit, an orphan, and the child he himself had been sent to introduce to the magical world.

"How could DD have possibly known that Tom was more than just a rather nasty kid? Should DD have followed all the kids who were kind of nasty around to see it they did anything worthy of .... what? Calling in aurors to arrest them? Attack them himself?" - Wynnleaf

Like I said previously Dumbledore knew, but didn't act. No he didn't need to follow Tom, elves and paintings could have reported back to him. He was also able to become invisible if he really wanted to go see what was up with Tom.

But Dumbledore did have his suspicions about Tom and even Tom knew this. Dumbledore was aware of Tom's "dark side" so much so that he tried to procure the memory from Sluggy, and that whatever knowledge DD had accumulated would not allow him to employ Tom as a teacher at Hogwarts.

No Wynnleaf, I wouldn't expect Dumbledore to attack Tom and his gang, but I would have thought he may have kept a more closer eye out, especially when he had already encountered and probably by this time gotten rid of Grindlewald?

Had a couple of thoughts maybe this is the reason DD didn't go after Tom, thinking that Tom would see the light like he did on his own? Or maybe DD was too distracted because he was caught up in the war with Grindlewald?



Honour - Nov 22, 2009 8:28 pm (#1913 of 2055)
"Not at all, Honour. Once Voldemort has the Horcruxes, there is simply no use in attempting to kill him until the Horcruxes are destroyed ... " - Solitaire

I didn't mean to infer that Dumbledore should attempt to kill Voldy prior to destroying the horcuxes, that would be suicidal and just plain stupid, neither of which Dumbledore was. No what I was saying was that Dumbledore knew that the diary was a horcrux way back in "Chamber of Secrets" 4 years/books before he and Harry went horcrux hunting. My question I suppose was whilst gathering all that information in those 4 years, why didn't Dumbledore start destroying them at an earlier time rather than wait for his last year?

I see we've crossed posted Solitaire, about the time Dumbledore may have been tied up with Grindelwald.

"As Wynnleaf has said, was he supposed to have slapped a tail on Riddle 24/7?" - Solataire

You are right of course Solitaire to keep a vigilant watch of any kind on Tom would have been nigh on impossible, even for a little while. Funny how DD seemed to have someone able to do this with Harry through most of his life/6 books. I also remember DD "knowing" where Harry was when he was visiting the mirror of erised without too much trouble. I think it was all a matter of where or who were DD's priorities.



Honour - Nov 22, 2009 8:46 pm (#1914 of 2055)
Wow! Now that I've addressed that lot let me try again to articulate my thoughts on my original post.

I was trying to I suppose, find a reason as to why I thought Dumbledore did not act as quickly as he should have and I thought this was because of his earlier dealings with Grindlewald which lead to the death of his sister. I think that due to his sister being so traumatised after the attack by muggles as well as witnessing his father's reaction, imprisonment and subsequent death in Azkaban, that Dumbledore would not have been so receptive to Grindlewald's poison.

I thought that this was probably the reason that DD didn't rush in to pre-empt a lot of what went on. Isn't it funny? I think the Dumbledore that I was wanting Albus to be was actually his brother, Aberforth!



Solitaire - Nov 22, 2009 10:13 pm (#1915 of 2055)
Even if Dumbledore did know that the Diary was a Horcrux, how on earth was he supposed to have known just then that there were more of them? As far as I can see, just creating one was bad enough. I think Dumbledore was busy trying to find out exactly what Tom had been up to at that point, and I think his research led him to Slughorn. Until he talked to Slughorn, however, he couldn't have known for certain that there would be 7 Horcruxes (8 counting Harry). Even once he did know, he had to do a lot of back-tracking of Riddle's movements years after the fact to find the ones he did find.

When Dumbledore and Harry are out on their "field trips," Dumbledore tells Harry rather directly that they are entering into realms of magic that are deep and not well known ... and he is pretty open about the fact that a lot of his ideas are only guesses ... good guesses, but guesses nonetheless. He knows that he may not be alive long enough to find all of the Horcruxes, so he needs to give Harry as complete an education as he can on the facts of Tom Riddle. He needs to know that Harry can continue with some sort of direction if he is not there to direct the search. Personally, I think that Dumbledore had been acting on his suspicions as soon as he realized what the Diary was ... and what Harry was. That is how he was able to find out what he did find out. I believe these searches accounted for many of Dumbledore's unexplained absences over the years.

As for Aberforth ... I do not think he would have gone looking for the Horcruxes at all. I think he would have felt ... let bad enough alone.



Chemyst - Nov 23, 2009 8:19 am (#1916 of 2055)
I think that in the end the brothers chose to just live on the same plane of existance trying not to cross each other's paths knowing the unsaid between them could open the flood gates to the pure acid bitterness and drowning guilt. ~ Honour

It was the default choice then, the choice that comes by not choosing. They did not know that talking about it would lead to more bitterness and guilt; although they both lived with this presumption. It is a good example of faux-peacekeeping. People choose to contain a situation or do nothing at all because they find confrontation either offensive or perilous. There is no satisfaction, only an avoidance of risk.



Soul Search - Nov 23, 2009 9:53 am (#1917 of 2055)
Dumbledore knew Voldemort had made a horcrux after Godric's Hollow. He knew, somehow, that Voldemort was not gone, so he must have made a horcrux. How many magical ways of keeping ones soul earth-bound can there be? It was when Harry destroyed the Diary horcrux that Dumbledore realized there must be multiple horcruxes.

We still don't know how Dumbleodre knew Voldemort wasn't completely gone, or how he knew he was in Albania. We did see in the cave that Dumbledore could detect the past use of magic so we have to give him the ability to detect a soul without a body.

We don't have a good timeline on the pensieve memories but some of Dumbledore's Tom Riddle research had to have started before Godric's Hollow. For example, his acquiring Morfin's memory must have been before Godric's Hollow. Probably others, too. Here, he was just trying to keep track of Voldemort, without, necessarily, the suspicion of horcruxes.

After Dumbledore realized Voldemort had made and hidden horcruxes then he had to start some very tedious research to identify the horcrux object and where it might be hidden. Just the cave location came from a hint from his visit to the orphanage: that Voldemort had traumatized two kids in a cave. He had to find where the orphanage had taken the kids on an outing, found the kids and explored their memories for the cave location, scouted the vicinity of the outing for caves, and then explored the cave for magic. And, how many "hints" did he have to explore that did not pan out at all. We only saw the ones that were significant to the hunt. Lots of work over a long time period. No wonder Harry did not see much of him at Hogwarts.

The prophecy predicted that Voldemort and Harry must, in the end, duel, but it did not say only Harry could destroy horcruxes. I fully expect Dumbledore intended to find and destroy all the horcruxes. Until he put on the ring, that is.



mona amon - Nov 23, 2009 9:58 pm (#1918 of 2055)
Maybe this is one of the reasons why he didn't seem to see that 16 years of loyal service by Sev for his crime of telling Voldy about the prophesy, was an unjust punishment, since Dumbledore himself had forgone his own life, then so should Sev? (Honour)

Severus's loyal service was not imposed on him by Dumbledore, and certainly not as a punishment. Initially (ie. soon after Lily's death), Dumbledore could not have forseen quite how useful this ex Death Eater would be to him. He sees him as a lost sheep returned to the fold, and helps him on the path to redemption by giving him a purpose in life. Severus, to his credit, carries out the role assigned to him with aplomb. But it was completely voluntary. Not that Dumbledore didn't manipulate him sometimes, or take him for granted, especially when he asks Severus to kill him without seeming to consider the consequences, external as well as internal, to Severus. But he always had the choice to say, "no, I can't do that".

I was trying to I suppose, find a reason as to why I thought Dumbledore did not act as quickly as he should have and I thought this was because of his earlier dealings with Grindlewald which lead to the death of his sister. I think that due to his sister being so traumatised after the attack by muggles as well as witnessing his father's reaction, imprisonment and subsequent death in Azkaban, that Dumbledore would not have been so receptive to Grindlewald's poison.

I thought that this was probably the reason that DD didn't rush in to pre-empt a lot of what went on. Isn't it funny? I think the Dumbledore that I was wanting Albus to be was actually his brother, Aberforth!

I think Soul Search has done a very good job showing us that Dumbledore was not procrastinating, and that he was doing whatever work he could: trying to discover everything he could about Voldemort's past, figuring out exactly how many Horcruxes he had made, what objects they could be, and so on. As soon as it occurred to him that Voldemort must have made a horcrux with the murder of his father, he went to Marvolo's shack and discovered, and destroyed the ring.

With Voldemort he didn't have the sort of hang-ups that he had with Grindelwald, so if he wasn't able to bring him to justice, I feel it was only because he could not, not because he would not.

As for Aberforth, I agree with Soli. He would not have bothered looking for Horcruxes at all. He was the Anti-Dumbledore, who believed in lying low and minding your own business, let the rest of the world take care of itself. Of course he redeems himself in the end with his active role in the battle of Hogwarts, and the timely help he gives the trio on more than one occasion. The relationship between the two brothers is also not quite so bad. Aberforth belongs to the Order of the Phoenix, and acts as a spy for DD, passing on all the information he hears at the Hogshead, and DD stays with him in the Hogshead when he's on the run from the Ministry during the OOTP year. I think Aberforth's redeeming quality is that he always gives help to those who ask for it.



MickeyCee3948 - Nov 23, 2009 10:42 pm (#1919 of 2055)
Soul Search - Wouldn't there have been a body if Voldermort had been killed at Godric's Hollow. I don't remember any incidents where someone was killed and their body wasn't discovered. That would have tipped Albus off to the Horcrux's but I doubt if he knew there were multiple until Harry confirmed it by stabbing the diary. Then he knew there was more than one.

Mickey



Honour - Nov 24, 2009 2:06 am (#1920 of 2055)
"As for Aberforth, I agree with Soli. He would not have bothered looking for Horcruxes at all. He was the Anti-Dumbledore, who believed in lying low and minding your own business, let the rest of the world take care of itself. " - mona amon

I find this an unfair assessment on Aberforths character, you make him sound like a coward, which he was not. Aberforth was part of the Order in the first war against Voldy, and he continued to work with his brother.

If you are referring to the comments he made to Harry about his brother's grand plans and how Dumbledore manipulatedd many people, well this is one of the reason's why I question why Dumbledore didn't do something, whether it be keeping a closer eye on Tom, starting the horcrux hunt, there were other things I felt DD could have done. For instance he talked to and tried to get Morphin freed from Azkaban which would have been a good many odd years before Harry's time, yet he didn't seem to try that hard to clear Hagrid's name nor to even take a second look at Sirius' charge?

I don't know what you mean when you call Aberforth an "Anti-Dumbledore"? Is it because he is only a bar-tender rather than a headmaster of a school? Is it because through Dumbledores words that we find out that his brother is not very educated, uncouth and has an "unnatural" afinity to goats?

I like that Aberforth is a bit "gun-ho", a little bit rough and ready. I am glad that he was there for the trio, and for his brother.

I am always amazed that because I don't fawn over Dumbledore that many take this personally. Like I said in my original post #1907, I was trying to find an explanation as to why Dumbledore hesitated in some instances or didn't act at all until in some cases, when it was almost too late.

After trying to address queries made by different posters, I've tried to again try and explain my reasons why I posted what I did only to have poor old Aberforth's intestinal fortitude bought into question.

If I knew how to do it, I would insert an emoticon that shrugs and sighs!



Solitaire - Nov 24, 2009 4:04 am (#1921 of 2055)
I find this an unfair assessment on Aberforths character, you make him sound like a coward, which he was not. Aberforth was part of the Order in the first war against Voldy, and he continued to work with his brother.

Not at all, Honour. Nether Mona nor I were suggesting Aberforth was a coward. However, the whole of his counsel to Harry and the kids there in the Hog's Head was very Slytherin. In fact, like Mona, I've never seen the relationship between Albus and Aberforth to be as desperate as some here have believed. If it had been, Aberforth never would have been a member of the Order in the first place, yet he has obviously been active behind the scenes for many years.

He is clearly not in support of Voldemort, and he is acting as Albus would have had him act, both in saving the Trio and in aiding Neville over the past year. He has been attempting to watch out for Harry over the year via the 2-way mirror, which clearly shows that he felt an interest in Harry's welfare. He was more practical, however, than his brother. He always had been more of a realist, while Albus was the dreamer. I think he was willing to go along with Albus as long as Albus was alive ... but when he died, Aberforth may have felt that all possibility of ending Voldemort's reign of terror had died with him and that expecting a kid to try and finish the work was asking too much. It would be interesting to know how much he knew about his brother's plans.

Since I do not remember being told if Aberforth is a Gryffindor, is it possible he was a Slytherin? He certainly has an instinct for self-preservation. Then again, his willingness to devote his life to Arianna when he was young shows a more Hufflepuff side. This post is a response to Honour's comment, although perhaps it belongs, instead, on Aberforth's thread ...



Julia H. - Nov 24, 2009 4:34 am (#1922 of 2055)
Maybe this is one of the reasons why he didn't seem to see that 16 years of loyal service by Sev for his crime of telling Voldy about the prophesy, was an unjust punishment, since Dumbledore himself had forgone his own life, then so should Sev? (Honour)

Severus's loyal service was not imposed on him by Dumbledore, and certainly not as a punishment...He sees him as a lost sheep returned to the fold, and helps him on the path to redemption by giving him a purpose in life. (Mona)

While I share Mona's opinion about Dumbledore's initial motivation regarding Snape, I can also see Honour's viewpoint in the sense that as the years passed, Dumbledore, who knew Snape more than anyone else, may have noticed the "punishment" aspects of Snape's life and service in general - especially if he was in a similar situation.

I don't think he could have afforded to give up the advantages of having a spy among the DE's (and who else could have done that job for him?) - even though Snape would surely have been able to serve the cause in a less "punishing" way. Nor do I think that Snape would have wanted to stay out of the fight and break his promises. It is very likely that these thankless, difficult tasks were as much a life purpose for him as a punishment. But I don't really see that Dumbledore tried to ease the punishment aspects of Snape's job in any way. His coldness towards Snape when Snape obviously suffered from the prospect of having to kill Dumbledore was especially appalling.

I do see some excuse for him if I suppose that he may not have been taking the idea of his own death quite as well as he seemed to be and because he was struggling with lack of time and a lot of jobs to do, but I still think he could have tried to be a little more sympathetic towards the man who was going to do such an incredibly huge "favour" to him at such a great cost to himself and who had no one else to receive any help or comfort from.

As for Snape having the possibility to say "no", I think Dumbledore had to realize at some point how intent Snape was both on fulfilling his original promise and on doing everything in his power to fight Voldemort. This realization would (IMO) increase Dumbledore's responsibility regarding what he was asking Snape to do even in spite of the theoretical possibility that Snape could say "no" at some point. Besides, when Snape did try to say "no" to Dumbledore's request (about killing him), Dumbledore immediately resorted to manipulation. I think it was very difficult to say "no" to Dumbledore even though he did not threaten anyone with Unforgivables or other similar measures.

Speaking of lack of time, it seems a bit strange to me that Dumbledore did not mention to Harry how horcruxes could be destroyed. I know that he was probably planning to show it to him after their return from the cave, and I'm sure it would have been an exciting "lesson". However, when someone expects to die soon anyway and is engaged in activities that may easily bring this date even closer and this person has crucial information to share, what is more important: to make plans for an exceptionally spectacular lesson at some uncertain time in the future or to share the basic information as soon as possible? When Dumbledore discussed the horcruxes with Harry, he could easily have mentioned the basilisk venom and the sword of Gryffindor even if only briefly.

I don't remember any incidents where someone was killed and their body wasn't discovered. (Mickey)

Actually, that's exactly what happened to Sirius, but, of course, the reason in that case was clear to everyone. It is an interesting question what could have happened to Voldemort's body. It can't have been found after his downfall (that's how Dumbledore knew that he was not dead), but Voldemort can't have taken it with himself either, as we know that he did not have a body. I guess it must have just "evaporated" somehow.



Soul Search - Nov 24, 2009 8:54 am (#1923 of 2055)
"Wouldn't there have been a body if Voldermort had been killed at Godric's Hollow. I don't remember any incidents where someone was killed and their body wasn't discovered." (MickeyCee3948)

"It is an interesting question what could have happened to Voldemort's body. It can't have been found after his downfall (that's how Dumbledore knew that he was not dead), but Voldemort can't have taken it with himself either, as we know that he did not have a body." (Julia H.)

Voldemort's body is one of the remaining cannon puzzles. Did JKR make a mistake or is there some aspect of magic she just tell us about?

With other AK examples, the body remains. We have conflicting evidence for Voldemort at Godric's Hollow:

Everyone thinks Voldemort is dead and gone. If there was no body, why did everyone jump to the conclusion Voldemort was dead? His wand was gone too, couldn't he have just apparated away?

For that matter, why did everyone assume Voldemort had even been at Godric's Hollow?

Dumbledore was convinced Voldemort was not gone because he had made a horcrux. What evidence? My guess is Dumbledore had suspected Voldemort had made a horcrux well before Godric's Hollow.

Bellatrix etal went looking for Voldemort, torturing the Longbottoms to get information. This never made sense. Had there been a body, they would have known he was dead, so there must not have been a body. With no body, he must be alright and why go looking for him?

Dumbledore was also convinced Voldemort was planning on making another horcrux and Harry's scar became a horcrux, yet never explained how he knew.

If Voldemort's body was gone, WHAT HAPPENED TO IT?
The events of Halloween night at Godric's Hollow are pivotal to the HP series storyline, yet there seem to be some gaping holes in the details. We have kicked these questions around a lot; there do not seem to be any cannon answers.



Mrs Brisbee - Nov 24, 2009 10:37 am (#1924 of 2055)
Everyone thinks Voldemort is dead and gone. If there was no body, why did everyone jump to the conclusion Voldemort was dead? His wand was gone too, couldn't he have just apparated away?

I think some people, not just Dumbledore, felt that Voldemrot wasn't gone for good. But I think that at his death his organization began to fall apart almost immediately. The Dark Mark must have disappeared from his Death Eater's arms, and many scrambled to save themselves like rats on a sinking ship, and Imperio'ed people came to their senses all at once. I think it was his organization melting away literally overnight that convinced most people he was dead.

If Voldemort's body was gone, WHAT HAPPENED TO IT?

I always thought that it fried, and maybe there was just enough left of Voldemort's body to sweep into a dustpan.

When Harry touched Quirrellmort in PS/SS, Quirrellmort looked as if he had been physically burned, thanks to Lily's protection. I just figured that the same thing happened to Voldemort when he tried to AK baby Harry, only by several magnitudes greater.

But we never do learn in the books how Dumbledore knows the details of what happened at Godric's Hollow, do we?



Soul Search - Nov 24, 2009 10:57 am (#1925 of 2055)
Mrs Brisbee. Good thought. We do have that example from SS/PS.

Dumbledore must have been the key to the wizarding world believing Voldemort had been at Godric's Hollow and was dead. He was respected enough that wizards would have believed such a claim.

Many, though, did not want to believe Voldemort wasn't completely gone and would return. Dumbledore may have made the claim, but he did not give details. Dumbledore did not want to mention horcruxes, nor the true role Harry would later have to play. He did not mention the prophecy. Dumbledore let the wizarding world give Harry credit for Voldemort's downfall, not mentioning Lily's sacrifice and the protection it would give Harry.

Only Dumbledore knew the whole truth about Voldemort's downfall and Harry Potter. Therefore, only he could direct Harry's future.



Julia H. - Nov 24, 2009 4:23 pm (#1926 of 2055)
I always thought that it fried, and maybe there was just enough left of Voldemort's body to sweep into a dustpan. (Mrs Brisbee)

Yes, it is possible, but it still does not explain how they knew that Voldy was not dead. In the case of Quirrell, there was no doubt about that. Another question is how they knew that it was Voldemort, although that could be worked out logically perhaps... Anyway, I think another possibility to find out that Voldemort had been there and not some other DE (in the absence of a recognizable corpse) was by means of Harry's memories. Baby Harry saw what was happening and when Dumbledore arrived, he may have remembered enough for Dumbledore to recognize Voldemort in his memories through Legilimency and to see how he had disappeared. So maybe Voldemort disappeared completely and that may have given Dumbledore the idea that he might be still alive, while it was also becoming clear that Voldemort had lost his power.



Chemyst - Nov 24, 2009 5:13 pm (#1927 of 2055)
when Dumbledore arrived, he may have remembered enough for Dumbledore to recognize Voldemort in his memories through Legilimency

That certainly is a new spin on the story!
I had read about half the books just as "kids books" (with my children) before I ever started analyzing them to pieces on this forum. I had always presumed that Dumbledore did not have confirmation that Voldemort was dead or alive until Quirrelmort, but that he had been acting on his educated guess up until then. Even after the discussions here, I haven't seen much reason to change that notion. I don't think DD knew; I think he only guessed.

By the way, in reference to the timeline as to when DD may have visited Little Hangelton and tried to get Morphin released, the murders occurred during the summer of 1942. The Chamber of Secrets was opened and the Diary made the next year, 1943, while Albus was teaching. Grindelwald was defeated in 1945. The Original Order of the Phoenix was formed sometime around 1970. I would think that when Albus stepped up and defeated Grindelwald, that Aberforth would have likely (in character with his personality) felt his brother finally did the right thing and cut him a little slack. They would have had 25 years to "work out a relationship" before the OotP was formed.



Soul Search - Nov 24, 2009 5:20 pm (#1928 of 2055)
"Baby Harry saw what was happening and when Dumbledore arrived, he may have remembered enough for Dumbledore to recognize Voldemort in his memories through Legilimency and to see how he had disappeared." (Julia H.)

Good idea. We know from Voldemort's recollection in Deathly Hallows of Godric's Hollow that Harry was the only other witness. I guess I avoided the idea that Dumbledore would use Legilimency on a baby, but I suppose there is nothing really wrong with it. We did see Harry having some limited recollection of the event (green flash) so the memories must be there. JKR bringing up the green flash must be background for the idea that Dumbledore could learn what happened from baby Harry.

Still, how did Dumbledore know anything had happened and when did he perform Legilimency on Harry? The wizarding world was celebrating Voldemort's downfall before Hagrid arrived at #4 Privet Drive. Dumbledore must have visited Godric's Hollow before sending Hagrid to pick up Harry. Dumbledore did seem to give Hagrid rather specific instructions and warned him there might be trouble. He had to have been there.



Chemyst - Nov 24, 2009 5:32 pm (#1929 of 2055)
Still, how did Dumbledore know... He had to have been there.

I am pretty sure that JKR addressed this question in an interview at some point. I don't recall the exact answer, except that there was some sort of spell he'd cast that notified him when the protection broke. (If I had more time, I'd go look it up, sorry.)



mona amon - Nov 24, 2009 9:48 pm (#1930 of 2055)
Edited Nov 25, 2009 12:14 am
I agree with Mrs Brisbee. I think the body got 'fried' by the force of the rebounding AK, which was probably amplified by the avenging power of Lily's sacrificial love, and all that remained was Vapourmort.

People didn't actually think he had died, at least not immediately after the events of Godric's Hollow. They just thought he had lost his powers and disappeared for good.

I am pretty sure that JKR addressed this question in an interview at some point. I don't recall the exact answer, except that there was some sort of spell he'd cast that notified him when the protection broke. (If I had more time, I'd go look it up, sorry.)

I think this is the quote -

SU: Rock. That's so cool. I was glad to hear more about them, the night of their murder in Deathly Hallows, but there's still a little bit of confusion about those twenty four hours, Jo. (laughs) How did Dumbledore find out about what happened in Godric's Hollow?

MA:And what happened? There's this whole twenty four hours that people have been fantasizing about for years.

JKR: Yeah, I know. I've got a bit of problem with this myself, because every time I think it straight in my head I go back and look at what the fans are theorizing about, and I think "Yeah, maybe they've got a point." Dumbledore- Well there's an easy answer to how would Dumbledore know. Because you can- He? (laughs) You can. One can.

MA:Yeah. Yeah. (SU laughs)

JKR: Forgive me if I speak as though it's all real for a moment. (clears her throat)

SU: It is real! What do you mean it's not?

JN: That's what we all feel.

JKR: I know, exactly! That's how I feel as well. Yeah, so okay. Obviously Dumbledore could cast a spell on a dwelling that would immediately alert him if something happened to it. (SU: Oh.) So he could know instantaneously. That's not a problem at all. And then he could dispatch Hagrid and so on. I think The Scottish Book will have to answer that question. ( SU, MA, and JN laugh) I'm gonna have to really go back through notes and either admit that I lost twenty four hours or I don't know, hurriedly come up with some back story to fill in. (SU laughs) Either way, you either get to be right, or you get more story. So you can't complain. (Pottercast Interview, December 2007)

-----------------------

I am always amazed that because I don't fawn over Dumbledore that many take this personally. Like I said in my original post #1907, I was trying to find an explanation as to why Dumbledore hesitated in some instances or didn't act at all until in some cases, when it was almost too late.

After trying to address queries made by different posters, I've tried to again try and explain my reasons why I posted what I did only to have poor old Aberforth's intestinal fortitude bought into question.

If I knew how to do it, I would insert an emoticon that shrugs and sighs! (Honour)

I don't think anyone takes it personally, Honour. We just may not agree with some of what you've written. For instance, speaking for myself, I do not agree that Dumbledore suffered from any feelings of inertia or procrastination about dealing with Voldemort, the way he did with Grindelwald, but I'm certainly not saying that others cannot have a different opinion.

I don't know what you mean when you call Aberforth an "Anti-Dumbledore"?

What I meant was, he had an almost exactly opposite personality to Dumbledore. Dumbledore was attracted by power to the extent that he mistrusted himself about it, usually put the greater good above the individual good and so on. Aberforth was humble, liked to live his own life, and was resentful of his bother's grand plans and cunning schemes, in which people got hurt.

I also like Soli's assessment in #1921



Solitaire - Nov 25, 2009 1:04 am (#1931 of 2055)
Dumbledore must have been the key to the wizarding world believing Voldemort had been at Godric's Hollow and was dead. He was respected enough that wizards would have believed such a claim.

Funny ... I always got the idea that Dumbledore never believed Voldemort was truly dead and that he had tried to convince people that he would one day return. I thought this is why DD took such pains to ensure Harry's safety in the years between the murder of his parents and his re-entry into the Wizarding World.

Mickey, I do not recall that Bertha Jorkins's body was ever found--I assume she met the same fate as Charity Burbage--and we know that Mr. Crouch's body was transfigured into a bone and buried in the forest near Hogwarts.



Honour - Nov 25, 2009 11:50 pm (#1932 of 2055)
"As for Aberforth, I agree with Soli. He would not have bothered looking for Horcruxes at all. He was the Anti-Dumbledore, who believed in lying low and minding your own business, let the rest of the world take care of itself. Of course he redeems himself in the end with his active role in the battle of Hogwarts, and the timely help he gives the trio on more than one occasion." - mona amon

"I don't know what you mean when you call Aberforth an "Anti-Dumbledore"?

"What I meant was, he had an almost exactly opposite personality to Dumbledore. Dumbledore was attracted by power to the extent that he mistrusted himself about it, usually put the greater good above the individual good and so on. Aberforth was humble, liked to live his own life, and was resentful of his bother's grand plans and cunning schemes, in which people got hurt." - mona amon

Two statements made about Aberforth yet both sounding the same. One translates as Aberforth being a self-centred coward, the other a humble but still selfish individual who's feelings of resentment of his brother's "grand plans and cunning schemes, inwhich people got hurt" sounded unfair to Albus? Either way Aberforth still comes out as the "smelly" Dumbledore?

" For instance, speaking for myself, I do not agree that Dumbledore suffered from any feelings of inertia or procrastination about dealing with Voldemort, the way he did with Grindelwald, but I'm certainly not saying that others cannot have a different opinion." - Solataire

"By the way, in reference to the timeline as to when DD may have visited Little Hangelton and tried to get Morphin released, the murders occurred during the summer of 1942. The Chamber of Secrets was opened and the Diary made the next year, 1943, while Albus was teaching. Grindelwald was defeated in 1945. The Original Order of the Phoenix was formed sometime around 1970. I would think that when Albus stepped up and defeated Grindelwald, that Aberforth would have likely (in character with his personality) felt his brother finally did the right thing and cut him a little slack. They would have had 25 years to "work out a relationship" before the OotP was formed." - Chemyst

Thank you Chemyst for this, Soli whether it be 40 plus or only 4 years, Dumbledore had time to at least find more than one Horcrux (before taking himself out of the equation) instead of leaving it all up to Harry, without proper instruction on even how to distroy them. That's the only problem I have with Dumbledore, that in the end and along with Sev we found out that Harry had been manipulated by DD from the very beginning and that Harry would be the sacrificial lamb. As I said before, these stories are all about making the "right choice", but poor old Harry had his choice forced upon him, and being the honourable and caring person he was in the end he made the correct choice, still stinks of manipulation though.

I think someone questioned Aberforths characteristics? There was even some mention of Slytherin traits? Mayhaps that poster had gotten their Dumbledores mixed up?



mona amon - Nov 26, 2009 2:18 am (#1933 of 2055)
Either way Aberforth still comes out as the "smelly" Dumbledore?

We'll have to blame that on Jo. She's the one who gave him the goat-fixation. (ETA: Okay, sorry for being flippant, but when I saw the word 'smelly' I couldn't resist.)

One translates as Aberforth being a self-centred coward, the other a humble but still selfish individual who's feelings of resentment of his brother's "grand plans and cunning schemes, inwhich people got hurt" sounded unfair to Albus?

No it does not. It takes a lot of moral courage to openly hold unpopular opinions. IMO, he objected to his brother's way of doing things, not because he was afraid to fight, but because he didn't believe in it. Maybe my use of the words 'lying low' gave you the idea that I thought he was a coward. But a coward is highly unlikely to so frankly and unabashedly advocate the advantages of lying low.

In short, I never meant to imply that Aberforth was a coward.

a humble but still selfish individual who's feelings of resentment of his brother's "grand plans and cunning schemes, inwhich people got hurt" sounded unfair to Albus?

I never said or meant to imply anything like that!

" For instance, speaking for myself, I do not agree that Dumbledore suffered from any feelings of inertia or procrastination about dealing with Voldemort, the way he did with Grindelwald, but I'm certainly not saying that others cannot have a different opinion." - Solataire

I said that, not Soli.



Solitaire - Nov 26, 2009 9:44 am (#1934 of 2055)
Oh, thanks, Mona. I was going to say that I'd not said that.

BTW, I do not see how NOT going after Horcruxes makes one a coward. Aberforth knew his abilities and limits ... and I think he acted accordingly. That is wisdom, not cowardice. Dumbledore pushed his limits. He had to know the danger of that ring, yet he put it on anyway ... and passed a death sentence on himself.

Thank you Chemyst for this, Soli whether it be 40 plus or only 4 years, Dumbledore had time to at least find more than one Horcrux (before taking himself out of the equation) instead of leaving it all up to Harry

Well, obviously, he didn't have time or he would have done it! So much depends on when he first realized exactly how many there were (he apparently didn't know until he saw that memory of Slughorn's) and when he started to look for them. He was obviously looking for more, even before he got the clear memory. He also knew that he had no idea what they would be or where they were likely to find them without something more to direct them. For this reason, Dumbledore had to find out more about what Riddle had been up to after he left Hogwarts. Obviously he had not known, so a great deal of his time was spent in developing a strong enough profile of Riddle to help Harry when he was on his own.

IMO, Dumbledore was wise, because looking for Horcruxes with no idea where they might be would be a useless waste of time. I guess he figured he could either waste time, or he could help Harry construct a profile that would be helpful to him even after Dumbledore himself was gone. Fortunately, he gave Harry enough information to enable him to do what he needed to do.



legolas returns - Nov 26, 2009 2:33 pm (#1935 of 2055)
Aberforth didn't need to help Neville, didn't need to save Harry and company. He got annoyed at so many people coming through his pub but he still let them pass. He could have just gone to bed and let the battle of Hogwarts rage on.

He had never got over the death of sister and remained bitter and still blamed his brother. He probably discussed it for the first time with HRH.

He stayed below the radar but when it came down to the most important time he was there. Admittedly he did need a little encouragement and needed to be convinced but given his past history it was probably the best way for him to act in the situation. I imagine as a kid he was always in the background so that was probably his comfort zone.

I always wondered when I read HBP whether it was Aberforth that told Dumbledore about Voldemort and his Death Eaters being in Hogsmeede or whether it was another Barman there that Dumbledore was friendly with.

Albus was the opposite, high profile, high risk (I mean his actions and how he worked for "the greater good") and often controversial.

Both cogs in the same mechanism but without them things would have been different.



Solitaire - Nov 26, 2009 8:15 pm (#1936 of 2055)
I think the last few posts on Aberforth's thread seem connected with this conversation. Link. Since we seem to be focusing on Aberforth, it might be worth taking the discussion over there.



Honour - Nov 28, 2009 8:15 pm (#1937 of 2055)
Oopsy! Sorry about that Solitaire! Me fingers started typing before my brain got into gear! Thanks for that Mona : )



me and my shadow 813 - Nov 28, 2009 9:06 pm (#1938 of 2055)
I've always taken the Albus-Aberforth thing as the classic siblings symbolizing polarity -- Aberforth representing all the things that Albus was not and visa versa, but in the end they reached noble ends in their own way. Albus's comments about not being sure if his brother could read were IMO a way to show their opposite natures. Also Aberforth's love of goats a symbol of his "lower nature", i.e. Pan the earth goat god, versus Albus (the white) of spirit and thus unearthly. Hence his lofty ideals, then not really getting his fingers dirty until the end... literally. It's almost like when he came down to earth to really get into the loss he felt, he was scorched by it, couldn't deal with it.



wynnleaf - Nov 29, 2009 7:43 am (#1939 of 2055)
One thing I notice about the Albus and Aberforth differences is that Aberforth is critical of Albus over real things. Whether or not Aberforth is accurate or not, Aberforth is angry at Albus of things he truly believes -- things he believes Albus has done that cause harm to others, including their own family.

Albus, on the other hand, is going around telling students -- and if he'll say it to a student, who else will he tell? -- stuff about wondering if Aberforth can even read, or the thing with the goats. In other words, Albus is going around telling people who don't even know Aberforth that his brother is an illiterate idiot. What's the point in passing on that info to basically disinterested people?

Aberforth's complaints seem, in my opinion, rooted in true hurt, and he gives those comments as a warning to others. Albus' comments seem to me rooted in defensiveness, with a ring of "it doesn't matter what Aberforth thinks of me; he's too stupid to understand me."

I don't mean that Albus is oh-so-mean to talk about Aberforth this way. I just think it's the sort of defensiveness people will sometimes get into when they deep down realize there's a degree of truth to someone's criticism and it makes them feel a guilt they'd rather not think about.



Steve Newton - Nov 29, 2009 8:48 am (#1940 of 2055)
Just as Dumbledore minimized references to Hagrid at the feast in OOTP I thought that Albus minimized Aberforth's importance so that no one would wonder where he was and what he was doing. Aberforth's 'cover' was quite useful.

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Solitaire - Nov 29, 2009 8:52 am (#1941 of 2055)
wondering if Aberforth can even read, or the thing with the goats.

Given the context in which this was said, I have always considered it to be a sort of lame stab at humor, one Albus knows isn't true ... because his brother is smart, or at least literate. If he weren't, he would not have been recruited for the Order, IMO, and he certainly would not have been at Hogwarts. I think it was said in a teasing way. Having said that, it was not a particularly nice thing to say ... unless Aberforth and Albus are trying to perpetuate the "not too bright" label for Aberforth. JM2K ...

Edit: My last comment dovetails with Steve's suggestion.



Honour - Nov 30, 2009 3:45 am (#1942 of 2055)
The goat thing too I thought was Aberforths way of holding close the memories he had with his sister. He mentions that she like to feed them, and his patronus is a goat, demonstrating his remembrance and love for his sister? Mayhaps similar to Sev's patronus in reference to Lily? Clarifying, different types of loves, but love nevertheless?

Seems to me Albus didn't know about this shared memory about Aberforth and their sister so did not understand the goat thing?



wynnleaf - Nov 30, 2009 9:07 am (#1943 of 2055)
I thought that Albus minimized Aberforth's importance so that no one would wonder where he was and what he was doing. (Steve)

Well, we're not told that, nor given any particular excuse for DD's comments, or any implication that Albus is telling a student that his brother was an illiterate idiot for his brother's best interests. Anyway, I didn't get the impression from Aberforth and he and his brother had worked out any such "cover" that would include letting on to people that Aberforth was an idiot. Somehow, my take on Aberforth's attitude would be that he wouldn't have appreciated that particular view.

I think it was said in a teasing way. Having said that, it was not a particularly nice thing to say (Solitaire)

I agree. While it may have been teasing, it was certainly a rather unpleasant dig at his brother, especially when you consider that they don't appear to be on affectionate and good terms.



Chemyst - Dec 11, 2009 2:41 pm (#1944 of 2055)
I didn't get the impression from Aberforth and he and his brother had worked out any such "cover" that would include letting on to people that Aberforth was an idiot.
I agree that would be pushing known facts too far. I see it more as they had reached a spirit of détente. They were no longer hostile toward each other, but beyond that, there was not enough of a relationship left to salvage.



Solitaire - Dec 11, 2009 9:55 pm (#1945 of 2055)
I think Aberforth was concerned that Harry did not have a realistic view of what he had been asked to do. He may have felt Harry was behaving like young Albus had behaved, without taking all possible risks into consideration ... and he may have wanted to make sure that Harry was committed full-throttle to what he believed would happen if he followed things through to the expected conclusion. I'm not sure Aberforth realized the extent of the Trio's (in particular, Harry's) commitment to the final goal of vanquishing Voldemort.

I think there may have been more good will between Albus and Aberforth than some believe. I also believe that Aberforth may have known more than we give him credit for having known. It's no accident, IMO, that he was on hand when the kids hit Hogsmeade and he ran interference for them. I believe Aberforth had been given his own "commission" from Albus--possibly to help Harry as much as he possibly could do. It's just an idea that I have always had since reading DH.



Steve Newton - Dec 12, 2009 5:26 am (#1946 of 2055)
I don't know if the brothers worked out an agreement either, but, Albus certainly used Abe's bar as a cover for his coming and going and Abe seemed OK with it.



Viola Intonada - Dec 12, 2009 9:13 am (#1947 of 2055)
I think that JKR has beautifully captured the intricacies on a brother to brother relationship. Hubby and his brother's relationship is much like that of Albus and Aberforth. They don't know how to deal with each other without competing with each other.



Choices - Dec 12, 2009 3:39 pm (#1948 of 2055)
I think Albus and Aberforth played a sort of "good cop, bad cop" game, only it was smart brother, dumb brother in their case. I think if the wizarding world suspected that Aberforth might be anywhere near as smart and powerful a wizard as Albus was, they would have been very leery of him and that would have greatly reduced his usefulness to Albus. Albus took the spotlight, but Aberforth played out his role quietly in the background, unseen and unnoticed, gathering what information he could in his barkeep persona. We all know that spirits tend to loosen the tongue and I'm sure Aberforth picked up lots of interesting and valuable information because he seemed sort of dumb and harmless. Like Snape, I believe Aberforth was not what he seemed to be, and that he and Albus enjoyed a relatively normal brotherly relationship.



Chemyst - Dec 12, 2009 10:27 pm (#1949 of 2055)
I'm not sure that Aberforth would have accepted a "commission" from Albus–I took it that he'd likely been acting on his own to protect Harry because he knew how OC Albus could be at times. I think the brothers were in full agreement on the goal, but differed greatly in principle on how to achieve it.



Solitaire - Dec 13, 2009 12:46 am (#1950 of 2055)
Commission is not the best word. I just think Aberforth had been clued in on a great deal concerning Harry, and I'm guessing Albus enlisted him to help Harry as much as he was able.



Vulture - Jan 7, 2010 11:57 am (#1951 of 2055)
I think that, by the time they were adults, problems between Albus and Aberforth only arose when Aberforth thought of their sister. When it was a question of fighting the Dark Side, Aberforth was able to put personal feelings aside. The Death Eaters in Book 7 seemed to take it for granted that they could traffic potions and run sidelines in his pub _ and this fact, of course, was very useful for spying purposes.



Chemyst - Jan 16, 2010 8:40 am (#1952 of 2055)
The Death Eaters in Book 7 seemed to take it for granted that they could traffic potions and run sidelines in his pub

Ah, so are you suggesting that the Dumbledore boys must have made up after Aberforth had established his business and they saw that it was to their mutual benefit for maintaining the pretense?
Or are you suggesting that they made up before the rise of Voldemort and Aberforth went into business for the express purpose of attracting a chary clientele?

I wonder when the Hogshead was established; and if Aberforth started it or bought an existing pub?



Steve Newton - Jan 16, 2010 4:32 pm (#1953 of 2055)
We are told that the Hogshead is ancient. One of the goblin rebellions was based there. As I recall it it has a stone floor. NOt sure why that is relevant or why I remember. No idea when Aberforth took over.



Solitaire - Jan 16, 2010 7:15 pm (#1954 of 2055)
I think it might be relevant that Aberforth's bar was in the general vicinity of Hogwarts. If he wanted to be as far as possible from Albus, he certainly could have done so. It would be interesting to know if he took over the Hog's Head in order to be close to Albus. Could it have possibly functioned as headquarters for the first Order of the Phoenix?



Elanor - Jan 24, 2010 1:21 am (#1955 of 2055)
Very interesting points about Aberforth! There are many things to say about the symbolism of his name and his relationship with his brother. Since a good part of it is alchemical I'll post it later on today on the alchemy thread.

The other day, I was searching for a detail in my "Complete Guide to Middle-Earth" by Robert Foster, when I came across another entry that made my day and I thought I'd post it here:

"Dumbledors. A probably imaginary race of insects in Bilbo's poem Errantry. (TB27)". p.120 (TB stands for The Adventures of Tom Bombadil).

JKR said that dumbledore was an old English word for bumblebee so it's not surprising really to find it in Tolkien's universe too but I thought it was funny.

Edit: I have just posted about Aberforth on the alchemy thread: here



Liz Mann - Apr 2, 2010 4:38 pm (#1956 of 2055)
I don't know if this has been mentioned here at all. I was reading a website called HPCompanion.com, and they said something that I'd never thought of before. I always assumed that it was Hagrid who sent all those letters to Harry in book one, but as the website points out the manner in which they arrived just has Dumbledore's sense of humour all over it. Hagrid says, "I was allowed to use a bit of magic to follow you and get your letters to you and stuff," but thinking about it the magic seems too elaborate for someone who was expelled in third year and using a broken wand to do alone, and it doesn't seem quite in Hagrid's character to me either (and certainly not McGonagall's). He's more physical than clever. More likely Dumbledore devised it and performed at least some of the magic and then had Hagrid carry it out.

Another possible indication that Dumbledore had a hand in the letter sending was that although the letter Harry finally read was written and signed by McGonagall, and it was therefore her who said 'we await your owl', it was not her to whom Hagrid sent the reply, it was Dumbledore. Clearly then it was Dumbledore that sent Hagrid and him to whom he was reporting.



Choices - Apr 2, 2010 7:03 pm (#1957 of 2055)
I always had the impression that it was a "form" letter composed and signed by McGonagall, sent out by owl post to all prospective students, but since it was the famous Harry Potter and he had no owl at the time, Hagrid was sent by Dumbledore to find Harry. Hagrid took it upon himself to send a reply directly to Dumbledore. Hagrid was letting Dumbledore know that he had found Harry, given him the letter, and that Harry would be coming to Hogwarts in Sept. I think Dumbledore was aware of what was going on at the Dursley's and sent Hagrid to sort out the situation, and yes, I think Dumbledore's sense of humor came into play with the owls and letters. I believe Dumbledore very much enjoyed inflicting a bit of punishment on the people who had inflicted so much on Harry.......a little well deserved payback for the Dursleys.



Julia H. - Apr 3, 2010 1:37 am (#1958 of 2055)
Hagrid was not officially allowed to do magic. Dumbledore trusted him with visiting Harry - Dumbledore knew that Hagrid would be able to handle the Dursleys and perhaps that from Harry's viewpoint, he would actually be less intimidating than McGonagall would be. But I don't think Hagrid was in charge of the whole (official) correspondence. He was a gamekeeper, who often ran errands for Dumbledore, but he cannot have been very experienced in school administration.



legolas returns - Apr 3, 2010 2:33 am (#1959 of 2055)
It could of course have a tiny bit of magic in the letter. A self addressing envelope. Just add the name of the student and the rest appears by magic. The thing is you can send letters without putting an address on them. I guess that you would need a self multiplicating letter in case the first went astray.



Soul Search - Apr 3, 2010 5:37 am (#1960 of 2055)
Interesting. Good pickup, Liz Mann. "I was allowed to use a bit of magic to follow you and get your letters to you and stuff,"

I always missed the part about Hagrid getting the letters to Harry. And, "follow you" could be interpreted as after Vernon decided to take everyone away from Privet Drive. So ... Hagrid used magic to follow Harry. Hagrid must be able to apparate, and that is how he got to the Hut on the Rock.

The letters were always addressed to where Harry slept. Hagrid knew because he was there watching. Even the letter Hagrid handed to Harry was addressed to the floor of the Hut on the Rock.

The delivery owls did strange things. Was that in their nature, or did gamekeeper Hagrid convince them to deliver the letters in strange ways? Inside eggs? Hagrid knows more magic than we give him credit for. Did Dumbledore use the Elder wand to fix Hagrid's wand?

Hagrid has the kindest soul of any wizard we have met. Good choice for Harry's introduction to the wizarding world. Dumbledore chose well. And the friendship formed lasted a long time and carried to Harry's children.



legolas returns - Apr 3, 2010 6:19 am (#1961 of 2055)
I think that it wouldn't take a genius to deduce that Harry would be kept in the most uncomfortable place possible. Dumbledore had warned Hagrid that it might be difficult getting hold of him.

I got the impression that Dumbledore sent Hagrid to Harry to protect him from all the well wishers and explain things to him simply so that he would understand. He was also somebody that wouldn't be put off by the Dursleys.

Wasn't Hagrid friends with James and Lily as well. Three generations.



Solitaire - Apr 3, 2010 8:14 pm (#1962 of 2055)
Hagrid would be able to handle the Dursleys and perhaps that from Harry's viewpoint, he would actually be less intimidating than McGonagall would be

LOL! And he would be more intimidating to the Dursleys than McGonagall would be. (She probably looked too much like a regular old schoolmarm. hehe) I think it was good for Harry to learn the truth--at least, some of it--from Hagrid. Hagrid couldn't be intimidated by the Dursleys, and he could intimidate without doing much of anything.

When Harry sends letters to Sirius, he doesn't always know where Sirius is, does he? I think the owls have some sort of magical radar that allows them to home in on their targets, wherever they might be. Remember how easily Hedwig finds Harry, even though he had not told anyone he was going to The Leaky Cauldron.

About Hagrid's wand ... ever since I read that Harry used the Elder Wand to repair his own Phoenix-feather wand, I've always believed that this is what happened to Hagrid's wand: Dumbledore repaired it (since he believed in Hagrid's innocence), and Hagrid now keeps it concealed in the pink umbrella. Having seen how "well" Ron's and Harry's broken wands operated in CoS and DH--and Ron's did more than Harry's did--I do not believe that a broken wand would have been able to do any real magic. It's more likely to have caused havoc that would need fixing (and explaining to and obliviating by the Ministry), so it seems logical that DD would have wanted Hagrid's wand to work, even if he didn't use it often. JM2K on that subject ...



Honour - Apr 4, 2010 6:57 am (#1963 of 2055)
Plus I guess, with a giant relaying to Harry that he is a "wizard" probably sounded more believeable. I mean if a little old lady said the same thing, well you'd be hard pressed not to think that this batty old broad had escaped from somewhere?

I think JK Rowling made a great choice in having Hagrid deliver the letter, we and Harry were drawn further into the Magical World quite nicely.

Hey there Solitaire, that's a really nice explanation about Hagrids wand, and a very Dumbledore-ish thing to do! Smile



Soul Search - Apr 4, 2010 7:12 am (#1964 of 2055)
Back to Liz Mann's original question: how much did Dumbledore have to do with Harry getting his letters? I guess I am leaning to Hagrid doing most of than magic, with a repaired wand. Dumbledore sent Hagrid, then didn't interfere. There seems a certain determination with letter delivery which suggests Hagrid more than Dumbledore. And, Hagrid would have a way with owls. How did Hagrid get all the letters? Did he send owls to McGonagall?

Hagrid had to be around. How did he go unnoticed? Did he use the motorbike to follow the Dursley's car? No, the motorbike was not at the Hut when he and Harry left.



Honour - Apr 4, 2010 8:04 am (#1965 of 2055)
Hey there Soul Search, I've just finished answering this very same query on the Hagrid thread! I suggested that if not the motorbike or the Thestrals then what about Fawks?

I mean both Dumbledore and Minerva would have been aware that Harry would not have received his letters - how you may ask? - probably magic! So I think Fawks would be our next best guess. I was under the impression that Fawks was also a creature that could find any place/person. Can't remember why I thought this! But even if Fawks didn't have this ability, it wouldn't take much for Minerva to send another owl to Harry, and for fawks to follow.

Transporting Hagrid back is another question. Mayhaps in this instance Dumbledore commissioned the use of a portkey from the station. Let me ponder on that one.



Solitaire - Apr 4, 2010 1:59 pm (#1966 of 2055)
Thanks, Honour. It does make sense to me, and I agree ... it would be a very Dumbledore-ish thing to do!

I also think Fawkes would be able to find anyone. I'd never thought about it before, but inserting letters into empty eggs and forcing them through boarded up windows, down the chimney, and so forth, sounds very much like something Hagrid would do!



wynnleaf - Apr 6, 2010 4:13 pm (#1967 of 2055)
Dumbledore repaired it (since he believed in Hagrid's innocence) (Solitaire)

Excellent idea! And if Hagrid said he was "allowed" to do some magic to get Harry, then DD must have known he would and could do some magic. So DD would likely then know that Hagrid was using his wand.

And we know from Ron's example what can happen if you're using a badly repaired wand. Hagrid's wand didn't seem to have any problems. He just had to keep it disguised.



Choices - Apr 7, 2010 1:03 pm (#1968 of 2055)
Hagrid admits to Harry in the hut on the rock that he meant to turn Dudley into a pig, but he only gave him a pig's tail, so we know Hagrid's magic doesn't always work properly or as he intends. I don't believe it is the wand's fault, but just that Hagrid isn't as "focused" as he should be when performing magic. I think it may be that he remembers being expelled and having his wand broken in two, so when he goes to perform a spell, he gets embarrassed and doesn't concentrate as he should. I do like the idea that Dumbledore repaired Hagrid's wand because he believed in his innocence.



legolas returns - Apr 7, 2010 1:45 pm (#1969 of 2055)
I like the idea as well but I am not convinced that he would have thought that it could be mended. Harry is different because he had developed such a strong bond with his wand, it as it had helped him fight Voldemort and he was never one to take no for an answer.

At least in the umbrella the bits of the wand could be held together. This may have been the best that Dumbledore could have suggested.



Ludicrous Patents Office - Apr 7, 2010 8:09 pm (#1970 of 2055)
I have a more boring theory about the letters. They were charmed to seek Harry out until he actually got one. They self duplicated, followed him and forced their way into contact with Harry. I don't know if every student's letter had similar charms or if Dumbledore knew there would be a problem with Harry and set an extra one to it. I love the idea of Hagrid's wand getting fixed. LPO



Solitaire - Apr 7, 2010 8:31 pm (#1971 of 2055)
Hagrid's jumpy response when Ollivander commented and asked him about his wand makes me think he has it concealed in his pink umbrella. Since he frequently does things for Dumbledore, I can't believe DD would have him out and about without a reliable wand. I think Choices is right ... Hagrid isn't as "focused" as he should be when performing magic. I think it may be that he remembers being expelled and having his wand broken in two, so when he goes to perform a spell, he gets embarrassed and doesn't concentrate as he should. Since he was not fully trained for all 7 years, his knowledge of magic is probably less extensive than most Wizards, even after many years of living at Hogwarts. Still, being a Giant has its advantages. He can "muscle" some things that others would have to do with magic. JM2K ...

LPO, I like the self-duplicating idea. It makes a lot of sense!



Julia H. - Apr 7, 2010 11:27 pm (#1972 of 2055)
I agree that Dumbledore must have repaired Hagrid's wand with the Elder Wand. With a broken wand, Hagrid would not have been able to do much, even if he was "allowed" to perform a little magic while he was following Harry. But Hagrid had studied only three years at Hogwarts, and changing a human (even if it is Dudley) into a pig seems to be a fairly advanced level of transfiguration.

I also thought that the letters were automatically duplicating themselves until they reached the intended recipient. In Bella's vault in Gringotts, there is a curse which makes the items self-duplicate when a thief touches them. A similar spell may have been put on the letters making them self-duplicate either until Harry read one of them - or as long as they were being received by a "thief", i.e. Vernon.



Honour - Apr 8, 2010 7:01 am (#1973 of 2055)
Ooh Julie, like your suggestions, especially when you extended the self-duplicating letter theory to include the "thief touch". Cool!



Hieronymus Graubart - Apr 11, 2010 11:15 am (#1974 of 2055)
In OP26, Harry receives a letter (well, many letters, but we see only one adress) adressed to "Harry Potter, Great Hall, Hogwarts School". Everybody knows that the owls always deliver the letters while the students are at breakfast in the Great Hall, but at least some of the senders, who call Harry "nuts", should have considered that a "nutter" might not behave as usual and might not be found at brakfast in the Great Hall (the owl would find him anyway).

It seems quite unreasonable to write this detailed adress onto the envelope, because it's unnecessary or plain wrong. This makes me believe that owl post is always self-adressing: the owl finds the recipient and the adress changes appropriately.

So Harry's first letters being adressed to "The cupboard under the stairs" or "The Smallest Bedroom" wouldn't be unusual. This were probably the ordinary letter sent to every magical kid (and a follow-up copy), but containing extra advice how to answer, because Harry lived in a muggle environment and didn't know how to get an owl.

Even in the hut on the rocks Hagrid, although he must have known that something had gone wrong, still didn't expect that the Dursleys hadn't told Harry anything. So it's probable that in the beginning nobody had expected any problems. Only when Harry had not answered to the first letters, Dumbledore adviced Hagrid to take over, and more unconventional methods of delivery occured.



Honour - Apr 20, 2010 6:05 am (#1975 of 2055)
Always wondered why a letter only was sent to Harry? If muggle children were afforded a visit from staff at Hogwarts why not Harry? I mean Dumbledore knew that Harry had had no supossed contact with the magical world and that his relatives were muggles, so why didn't he send someone to Privet Drive before the Hagrid incident?

I guess this query has already been put to y'all a million posts ago but I missed that discussion ... Any takers?



Odo the Hero - Apr 20, 2010 6:32 am (#1976 of 2055)
My guess is that Dumbledore thought that because the Dursleys already knew that Harry was a wizard they would be inclined to let him go to Hogwarts, and that the main function of staff members visiting Muggle-borns and their parents is to explain the existence and nature of the Wizarding world, which Petunia already knew a bit about. Of course, Dumbledore was mistaken if he thought that the Dursleys would be willing to send Harry to Hogwarts on the basis of a letter - it seems from PS/SS 4 that they actually thought they could rid him of his magic if they kept it a secret from him. Also, Dumbledore may have known that the Dursleys would not take kindly to a witch or wizard entering their house, and assumed that a letter would be a less-aggressive, but still effective, way to let Harry know that he was a wizard. Again, this was erroneous. Dumbledore's choice of Hagrid to get Harry's letter to him in the end might have been prompted by a feeling, in this case correct, that the Dursleys would not be persuaded except by a physically intimidating figure. It is also possible that Hagrid is generally in charge of sending and delivering letters to incoming students, although this seems less likely: I think that people like Hermione's parents would respond much better to someone like McGonagall than Hagrid.



me and my shadow 813 - Apr 20, 2010 6:46 pm (#1977 of 2055)
I agree that, usually, there must be an ambassador of sorts for Muggle-born children, or kids like Harry and Riddle who are not aware of the WW. I'd also agree that the ambassador is not usually Hagrid. I think Dumbledore selected Hagrid because the Dursleys were obviously resisting the letters and, as Odo mentioned, he would scare the pants off Vernon and Petunia. Also, I feel Dumbledore knew that Harry would instantly feel very safe and happy with Hagrid on his trip to Diagon Alley. McGonagall would be a good choice to visit Muggle parents and explain their child's situation in a professional and believable manner, but I don't see her being the right choice to take Harry to Diagon Alley that day. After all, most Muggle-born children have a family to help them through this process. Harry and Riddle were exceptions that we know of who required an 'escort' (or in Riddle's case, the offer of one).

Veering off topic but we know that Lily received "her letter"; however, we do not hear about a visit from or meeting with a wizard/professor. I assume there would always have to be one -- how else would the family get to Diagon Alley? At the very least they'd need to meet someone at the Leaky Cauldron.

(PS: I've written fanfic with this as part of the plot; although I've given it a bit of thought, I'd love to hear input...perhaps on another thread?...)

edited for clarity



Soul Search - Apr 20, 2010 8:41 pm (#1978 of 2055)
We have a number of examples where Hagrid was tasked with accompanying Harry to protect him, starting with Godric's Hollow to Privet Drive. Hagrid accompanying Harry on his first trip to Diagon Alley is simply for his protection.

Harry was, sort of, coming out of ten years of hiding. Who knows, the Leaky Cauldron could have been full of former Death Eaters looking to get back at "the boy who lived." Or, just shake his hand 'till it was numb.



me and my shadow 813 - Apr 20, 2010 11:11 pm (#1979 of 2055)
That Harry needed protection is without question. I think (I could be wrong) the question we're pondering is why Hagrid? It is certain the Leaky Cauldron would be dangerous. But McGonagall (or another) could have filled the "protection" position.

Was Harry already connected magically to Hagrid because of the ride from Godric's Hollow? Yes, I tend to think so, but I refrained from bringing it up because 1)I probably should do it on the Hagrid thread, and 2)it's another fanfic subplot of mine and I didn't want to belabor the point. Here's a quote from a post of mine about it on the Lexicon FanFic Forum:

There's also a lot I'd like to explore with wands and the connections between those "loners" who don't know about the WW until a wizard tells them and they go for their supplies. Nicole is in the same category as Harry and Riddle because none of them had a Muggle parent to guide them to Diagon Alley, so a wizard had to do it. I have come to believe it is possible that Riddle's wand chose him because of Dumbledore's visit to the orphanage. They formed a bond and so Fawkes's feather was drawn to the boy. I also think, had the Prophecy and Vold's wand at Godric's Hollow not marked Harry, that Harry's connection with Hagrid might have led a wand similar to Hagrid's to choose Harry.

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Honour - Apr 23, 2010 7:57 am (#1980 of 2055)
OK, so if Harry is important enough for Dumbledore to "hide" him from the magical world with his muggle relatives then why isn't Harry important enough for Dumbledore himself to come collect. After all as we find out later DD is known to Petunia and it was DD who left Harry at the Dursleys door complete with letter outlining what had befallen Lily and James?



Choices - Apr 23, 2010 9:29 am (#1981 of 2055)
Ohhhhh, excellent question Honour! That is something to think about. Dumbledore went to see Tom before he started at Hogwarts, why not Harry? That raises lots of questions.



mona amon - Apr 23, 2010 9:44 am (#1982 of 2055)
When Dumbledore went to see Tom he was only the Transfiguration professor. But after becoming headmaster, I guess he'd be too busy to personally collect students, even one as important as Harry, so he delegated the task to someone he felt was perfectly capable of doing it.



Solitaire - Apr 23, 2010 7:43 pm (#1983 of 2055)
Was Dumbledore busy strengthening the wards around Hogwarts? Was he, perhaps, concerned that DEs who were on the loose would expect him to be the one to pick up Harry, so they might be watching for him? Did he send Hagrid because he figured no one would suspect him? I find it interesting that Hagrid was chosen to escort Harry into the Muggle world when he was a baby, escort him into the Wizarding World for the first time as an eleven-year-old, and take him from the Muggle world for the final time when he was 17. Like someone above said--I'm sorry I can't remember who--it makes me wonder if Hagrid was part of the blood seal of protection around Harry. I hadn't thought of it before, but Hagrid is Harry's escort in three of the most critical passages between the Muggle and Magical worlds.



Honour - Apr 24, 2010 4:28 am (#1984 of 2055)
Dumbledore was able to become invisible, I am sure that if he did not want to be seen he wouldn't be. So, the boy who lived was important enough to be hidden by the most powerful wizard in the magical world, important enough for Dumbledore to keep him alive for 17 years so that he can be sacrificed to save same magical world, yet Dumbledore was too busy??? in his capacity as headmaster to a school to go collect Harry? hmphfff!!!

I guess from a readers point of view having a huge guy come collect you would make good reading and quite a wonderous entrance into the magical world.

Still, for what Dumbledore expected and demanded of Harry more and more in the books, collecting him was such a little thing to do. I think if Dumbledore had, Harry may not have had as many mistrust issues with Dumbledore that he did have.



Solitaire - Apr 24, 2010 10:38 am (#1985 of 2055)
I don't believe being "too busy" was the reason. I think something else was in play there. JMHO



Elanor - Apr 25, 2010 12:07 am (#1986 of 2055)
Maybe something like telling Snape about Lily's death, assuring he would now help him protecting Harry and working on making 4 Privet Drive the most secure place for Harry to live?

In OotP, Dumbledore said that when Petunia took Harry in her house "she sealed the charm I placed upon you" (p.737). We do not know which charm Dumbledore used, only that it relied on "the bond of blood" between the Evans sisters, but we know that some charms, like the Fidelius Charm, are very complex to cast. We do not see Dumbledore at 4 PD before midnight in the first chapter but it doesn't mean he wasn't working on the protective charms during that time, does it?

(And symbolically speaking, it was also crucial that Hagrid the Red Mentor took Harry to 4PD in PS/SS and then from it in the DH: in the 7th book, the circle - the ouroboros - is closing.)



me and my shadow 813 - Apr 25, 2010 6:02 pm (#1987 of 2055)
Elanor, I absolutely agree on *Rubeus* needing to be the one who "delivered" Harry into the Muggle World and who delivered him finally from it. However - or in addition - the discussion of Hagrid being the one to "deliver" Harry into the Wizarding World in PS is also very important/symbolic to me. Perhaps for me even moreso because of Harry's awakening on that day, thanks to Hagrid.

They are all significant events, symbolically as well as historically, and so these three major tasks of *transporting* Harry make me know for certain that Dumbledore intended for there to be a bond between Harry and Hagrid from the beginning. Was it actually Dumbledore? I think so, but if that doesn't set right for some then JKR meant for it and used all these clue/symbols and patterns to show us it is there if you want to see it.

I posted this on the Hagrid thread but it really belongs here. We're having parallel discussions it seems:

Would anyone mind quoting the part of DD's speech at the end of OOTP when he tells Harry "everything" -- chapter 37. Specifically I'm interested in the part when he tells Harry about his first year at Hogwarts. IMO there is support in that speech that Dumbledore was much more focused on Harry than anyone really knew up until that point. So to me choosing Hagrid to pick Harry up and take him to Diagon Alley was hardly an accident or matter of convenience.



me and my shadow 813 - Apr 26, 2010 2:09 pm (#1988 of 2055)
Okay, found some of the quote I'm thinking of on the Lexicon:

"Five years ago, then," continued Dumbledore, as though he had not paused in his story, "you arrived at Hogwarts, neither as happy nor as well-nourished as I would have liked, perhaps, yet alive and healthy. You were not a pampered little prince, but as normal a boy as I could have hoped under the circumstances." (OP37)

"I cared about you too much," said Dumbledore simply. "I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act." "Is there a defense? 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. What did I care if numbers of nameless and faceless people and creatures were slaughtered in the vague future, if in the here and now you were alive, and well, and happy? I never dreamed that I would have such a person on my hands." (OP37)

I don't have OP so can't find the exact part I'm thinking of, but considering this speech combined with what we find out in DH from Severus's memory...

'You have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment?'

...although the two quotes/ideas might seem contradictory, I think we could discuss whether or not Dumbledore intended to test Harry from the very beginning to see what, if any, substance there was to Harry being "special". We know that DD instantly understood the protection that Lily's death had given Harry to rebound the AK, but perhaps DD couldn't help himself in wanting to see if Harry was special perhaps because of this protection. Just a thought.



mona amon - Apr 26, 2010 8:31 pm (#1989 of 2055)
"And then...well, you will remember the events of your first year at Hogwarts quite as clearly as I do. You rose magnificently to the challenge that faced you and sooner - much sooner - than I had anticipated, you found yourself face to face with Voldemort. You survived again. You did more. You delayed his return to full power and strength. You fought a man's fight. I was...prouder of you than I can say." ~ Dumbledore in OOTP, Chapter 37

Shadow, is this the quote you wanted?

To me it sounds like Dumbledore was watching and observing, rather than testing Harry.



Soul Search - Apr 26, 2010 8:46 pm (#1990 of 2055)
I would say Dumbledore planned some sort of test/exercise so he could observe Harry, but did not expect Voldemort to show up. He suspected Quirrel; perhaps he thought only Quirrel was after the stone. If so, I would say he also underestimated Quirrel.
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me and my shadow 813 - Apr 26, 2010 8:50 pm (#1991 of 2055)
Thanks, mona! Yes, that's it. What hit me in re-reading, given the Severus memory we were given in DH, was wondering...

..."You rose magnificently to the challenge that faced you

(one separate thought/subject matter)

and sooner - much sooner - than I had anticipated, you found yourself face to face with Voldemort."

...these to me are two separate sentences, really. Is DD saying here he did not know that Harry would be faced with Voldemort but he could have known Harry would face the challenge of finding the stone?

edit: cross-post with Soul Search! Aren't we in synch at the moment? I agree with your post and am trying to convey the same thing.

We have two sides to Dumbledore. The one who cared too much for Harry to tell him (like he says in his speech). And the other who Severus is enraged by because they kept Harry alive until it was time to let him die.

This quote is from JKR:

MA: It's interesting about Dumbledore being lonely.

JKR: I see him as isolated, and a few people have said to me rightly I think, that he is detached. My sister said to me in a moment of frustration, it was when Hagrid was shut up in his house after Rita Skeeter had published that he was a half-breed, and my sister said to me, “Why didn't Dumbledore go down earlier, why didn't Dumbledore go down earlier?” I said he really had to let Hagrid stew for a while and see if he was going to come out of this on his own because if he had come out on his own he really would have been better. "Well he's too detached, he's too cold, it's like you,” she said!" [Laughter] By which she meant that where she would immediately rush in and I would maybe stand back a little bit and say, “Let's wait and see if he can work this out.” I wouldn't leave him a week. I'd leave him maybe an afternoon. But she would chase him into the hut."

So he cares too much, and yet he experiments as a detached observer. Does this mean he could have purposefully had Harry witness Hagrid picking up the stone? I think it's possible.



Soul Search - Apr 27, 2010 6:43 am (#1992 of 2055)
Good supporting citations, me and my shadow 813. So, then, did Hagrid know Dumbledore was setting Harry up for a test and intentionally feed the Trio those bits and pieces or was he the unwiting shill in the action?

My read would be Hagrid did not know Dumbledore was setting Harry up. Hagrid is much too honest a person to be able to knowingly carry out a deception like that. And, maybe not the best actor in the wizarding world.

I wonder. Was Dumbledore just setting up Harry for a test, or was he building the Trio. The "key birds" for Harry, the chess match for Ron and the potions puzzle for Hermione. I don't think Harry could have passed those on his own.



me and my shadow 813 - Apr 27, 2010 8:46 am (#1993 of 2055)
Hagrid is definitely too honest and couldn't lie to save his life I'd imagine, bless 'im. I think all those times Hagrid "slipped" in saying something it was JKR showing us how guileless and not-cunning he was, and was incapable of it just as Harry was incapable of Occlumency and hiding his thoughts and feelings.

I like the idea that Dumbledore was building the Trio. It is possible; we have no knowledge of what sort of Conference the professors had when creating the protection around the stone. Not sure if Dumbledore could have known that Harry would not be good with the riddle or that Ron was great at chess. But I do like the idea of it!



Soul Search - Apr 27, 2010 10:24 am (#1994 of 2055)
While I favor the idea that Dumbledore was using the Stone to test Harry, it doesn't all fit perfectly. There needs to be a little more explanation of events.

Dumbledore arranged for Harry to observe Hagrid fetching the stone on his birthday, July 31. Before Harry even came to Hogwarts. Clearly, Dumbledore had to make arrangements with Hagrid (talk to Flamel, write the letter, etc.) before Hagrid left to fetch Harry.

Quirrel was in the Leaky Cauldron when Harry and Hagrid arrived. Hagrid got to the Stone first. Quirrel missed stealing the Stone by a very short time. Quirrel couldn't have known Hagrid was there to pick up the Stone or he would have hot-footed it to Gringotts as soon as he saw Hagrid. Was Harry a cover so no one would suspect Hagrid was there for other reasons? Did Dumbledore choose Hagrid to fetch the Stone because no one would think him worthy of the task? The first anyone knew the Stone was at risk was the breakin of the empty vault.

How did Dumbledore know the Stone was at risk? Far as we know, he didn't. It must have been a coincidence that he had Hagrid fetch the Stone with Harry observing AND Quirrel deciding to steal the Stone for Voldemort. Bit of a stretch, though.

Dumbledore announced the dangers of the third-floor corridor on September 1. So, at least Fluffy was in place then. Harry found the mirror at Christmas, so the final protection for the Stone wasn't in place until after then. Wonder where Dumbleddore kept the Stone between Hagrid bringing it to him and its final placement in the Mirror in the last chamber?

It looks to me like Dumbledore changed his plans for the Stone after the Gringotts breakin revealed someone was after the Stone. If Dumbledore had planned to use the Stone to test Harry, his original plans were not what we saw.



me and my shadow 813 - Apr 27, 2010 2:08 pm (#1995 of 2055)
Nicely summarized, Soul Search. It's fun to speculate how much DD / JKR intended "beforehand" (pre-Harry arriving at Hogwarts / consciously on the author's part). I'll have to think about it some...



Julia H. - Apr 27, 2010 3:04 pm (#1996 of 2055)
Dumbledore announced the dangers of the third-floor corridor on September 1. So, at least Fluffy was in place then. Harry found the mirror at Christmas, so the final protection for the Stone wasn't in place until after then. Wonder where Dumbleddore kept the Stone between Hagrid bringing it to him and its final placement in the Mirror in the last chamber?

It looks to me like Dumbledore changed his plans for the Stone after the Gringotts breakin revealed someone was after the Stone. If Dumbledore had planned to use the Stone to test Harry, his original plans were not what we saw. (Soul Search)

A timeline issue: Dumbledore tells Snape to keep an eye on Quirrell some time after the beginning of the school-year (probably relatively early yet - their acquaintance with Harry seems to be quite new). The way Dumbledore says it suggests this is not the first time Quirrell has been mentioned between them. Still, Dumbledore chooses Quirrell to be one of the "protectors" of the Stone, even though - as Soul Search explains - the full protection is probably built up only after the Gringotts break-in and finished only after Christmas. Is Dumbledore testing Quirrell as well as Harry? Maybe he is testing Snape as well? What he does not know is that Quirrell is Voldemort (more or less) - so is it possible that Dumbledore more or less intentionally brings together the three "abandoned boys" in a general test situation at the beginning of the story?




Honour
- May 3, 2010 6:27 am (#1997 of 2055)
Or just a case of Dumbledore being just Dumbledore, keeping his cards close to his chest, yet having all his bases covered with everyone watching everyone else, having Severus scurrying around watching Harry, suspecting Quirrell, Hagrids spilt tid-bits intriguing the trio.

I don't know if Dumbledore was actually testing anyone as he already knew he had Severus' alligance, surely he knew Quirrell well enough to know that something was amiss and well Hagrid, well we all know that Dumbledore trusted Hagrid with his life ... so, mayhaps this was only a case of Dumbledore knowing something was awry and he just couldn't put his wand on it so he sent out his most trusted two soldiers to keep an eye on the situation?

Something that has always baffled me, Dumbledore said that magic left a trail, can't put my hands on my books at the mo, but, was he referring to dark magic or magic in general? And if only dark magic, why didn't he sense that Voldermort was under the turbin? Why did no-one even question Quirrell as to why he had started to wear a turbin? ... Going off to find my books! : )



Betelgeuse Black - May 6, 2010 2:08 pm (#1998 of 2055)
Going back about 10 posts, I think that DD didn't want any relationship between himself and Harry to be common knowledge. That could be part of the reason why he sent Hagrid and didn't go himself.

We know DD professed that he was trying to keep distance between them at the end of OotP since he was trying to protect Harry from LV. I think this extends somewhat to the time before OotP too. By keeping his distance, he was keeping the attention (and danger) away from Harry as much as he could.

Betelgeuse



Honour - May 7, 2010 3:47 am (#1999 of 2055)
But surely just being "Harry Potter the boy who lived" would have insured that Harry would already be under the spot light? Letting the wizarding world and inturn Voldy's supporters know that Harry was under Dumbledore's personal protection would have pre-empted any threats to Harry, after all Dumbledore was reputed to be the most powerful wizard in the magical world and it was rumoured that even Voldy was intimidated by Dumbledore?



Solitaire - May 7, 2010 7:06 pm (#2000 of 2055)
Edited May 7, 2010 8:19 pm
Dumbledore was there with Harry at the DoM, and it didn't stop Voldy from attempting to possess him. It was the intense love for Sirius and the pain of his loss that forced Voldemort to abandon that idea. However, Harry would not have had that love to fill his heart in the beginning. He also had no way of helping to defend himself at that point, either.

When Harry left Privet Drive in DH, he was with Hagrid. Even though most of the DEs must have known by then that Hagrid had been the one who took Harry from 4PD, whom did they pursue first when the 7 Potters left? The most skilled Wizards ... Kingsley and Mad-Eye. Harry and Hagrid might have gotten away cleanly, if Harry hadn't given himself away with his Expelliarmus! cast against Stan. I suggest Dumbledore knew exactly what he was doing.

Besides, wasn't the protective magical charm still sealed on Harry at this point, since he was still living with the Dursleys? Hagrid didn't take him directly to Hogwarts. Didn't Harry have to return for another few weeks, until Uncle Vernon took him to catch the Hogwarts Express? Is that possibly why none of the earlier attempts on Harry's life--between years 1 and 6--ever succeeded? Just wondering ...



me and my shadow 813 - May 7, 2010 7:28 pm (#2001 of 2055)
Edited May 7, 2010 8:29 pm
Is that possibly why none of the earlier attempts on Harry's life--between years 1 and 6--ever succeeded? Just wondering ...

Absolutely, Soli

From the Lexicon, Lily's page:
Lily's sacrificial magic was so deep and strong that Harry was given the tools he needed to live under his mother’s protection for sixteen years



Honour - May 9, 2010 4:49 am (#2002 of 2055)
By the time Dumbledore trusted Harry enough to let him in on the whole "prophesy thing", Voldermort had already returned. Through years 1 to 4 Harry was running around in the dark. I know Dumbledore gave the big speech about wanting Harry to have a happy life etc., and because of the feelings he had for Harry he was reticent with the truth. All this translates to me as Blah blah blah too little to late!

Dumbledore knew that Harry was safe with the Dursleys because he evoked the blood protection spell. So why didn't he use those 10 years to do some research? I mean surely if Hagrid believed that Voldermort was still about then surely Dumbledore the most gifted and itelligent wizard must have come to the same conclusion? Why didn't he do something? Start the horcrux hunt earlier?

Through Dumbledores memories we find that Voldermort came to see him at Hogwarts on at least 1 occassion. Dumbledore must have known that something was afoot and yet he didn't drag this memory out until years later. He even knew about Sluggy's memory and Morfins, yet still he did nothing.

I guess that I went into this series marvelling at the magic, appreciating the wisdom especially Dumbledores quotes about the choices that we make and then I read him talking about the prophesy and yes DD mentions the Choice thing again but he also says that he knows Harry will still go out and fight. Which to me translates to "you have no choice on the matter Harry Potter, you are the sacrificial lamb that I have been fattening up for the last 16 years!"

I suppose I am disappointed that yet again a child pays the price for an adults war. All I'm saying is that Dumbledore and other wizards had the opportunity to keep fighting the good fight before Harry was old enough to attend Hogwarts, but they didn't, instead they all settled down into their comfortable lives again until an 11 year old orphaned boy started school.



Solitaire - May 9, 2010 8:52 am (#2003 of 2055)
Edited May 9, 2010 9:57 am
instead they all settled down into their comfortable lives again until an 11 year old orphaned boy started school
Honour, I think it must be accepted here that some things regarding Harry's life and future were set in motion the night the Potters died. Dumbledore was smart, but I believe the ultimate consequences here were out of Dumbledore's control. I think he had to wait to move on certain things until certain events opened up new information. If he could have fought and killed Voldemort himself, when he first reappeared under Quirrell's turban, I have no doubt he would have done so. I say this based on what happened with Grindelwald. Had Dumbledore been one who could have defeated Voldemort, he would have stepped up to the task; however, I believe he knew that this was not possible ... that things had to play out as they did and Harry had to be the one to do it. I also think he knew that the showdown would not--could not--happen until the blood charm was at an end. The most he could do was prepare Harry to meet Voldemort in battle, because he knew it would happen eventually. He knew Voldy would never rest until he had killed--or tried to kill--Harry in battle.

Regarding the Horcruxes ... I think it is possible that DD may not have known that such things had been invoked until CoS. Even after that, he may not have realized more than that one had been created, until the info Voldemort revealed in the graveyard at the end of GoF. When DD tells Harry at the end of CoS that Voldemort "put a bit of himself into you" (or however it was said), I'm not sure he actually was referring to a bit of Voldy's soul ... although thinking back to that conversation a few years later certainly would have made him realize what must have happened.

During the year of OotP, I think DD felt helpless with regard to Harry. He knew Harry was being used and tormented by Voldemort to get to the prophecy, but he honestly believed that stepping in himself to work with Harry would have made it even worse. He says as much and admits his own error there. BTW, I think DD was hunting Horcruxes during this 5th year, which is why we do not often see him in OotP.

As far as Sluggy and Morfin ... I do not have access to my books, so I cannot remember the timeline that says when, exactly, Dumbledore talked to either of them. I think he took Harry to Sluggy as soon as he could, once he realized the memory he had received from Sluggy was faulty.

Dumbledore and other wizards had the opportunity to keep fighting the good fight before Harry was old enough to attend Hogwarts
I do not think DD wanted Harry to "pay the price" for anything. I simply think he knew that was how it had to be. BTW, what would have been "the good fight"? Had any of the good wizards attempted to kill Malfoy or Macnair--or any of the other DEs masquerading as law-abiding citizens--they would have been in Azkaban. A lot of what happened--or didn't happen--unfortunately, was a waiting game.



Honour - May 9, 2010 8:20 pm (#2004 of 2055)
I have a feeling that Dumbledore did know about the Horcruxes long before Harry came to school otherwise he would not have known that Sluggy had talked to Tom all those years before. I also got the impression that this is why the books about Horcruxes were removed from the Library a n d that they were moved way before Harry's time.

With Quirell, Dumbledore didn't deal with it himself, he sent Sev, who was trying to watch over Harry without Harry knowing,do all the school teaching things he had to do, continue with his own role as spy as he was surrounded by DE children. What was Dumbledore doing?

"The Good Fight" I guess I meant that the Order could have continued as a network behind the scenes, keeping guard, be more proactive? The DE's children knew all about their parents dark histories and activities. It even seemed that the DE's were still in contact with each other, so why not the Order? Their children seemed quite unaware of their parents roles, Ron didn't even know that his mums brothers were killed by Voldy's crew. Only Neville seemed to have been bought up knowing the consequences his parents paid for being part of the Order.

So yes I think that more could have been done. There were enough people still in play yet it seemed that after the deaths of the Potters everyone went into hiding.

As for Harry "paying the price for anything", he already had when his father and mother were killed (as well as the 10 odd years he spent being brought up by his mean-spirited aunt!). Harry was fine because as you pointed out the "Blood Charm" was in force. Surely if Dumbledore didn't believe in it he wouldn't have made such a fuss about the whole "mother's love and sacrifice" thing?

One thing has always annoyed me about that Blood Charm - Dumbledore says that for as long as Harry "thinks" (will have to look for the exact wording) of Privet Drive as home he will be protected there, yet Harry (like Tom Riddle) refers to Hogwarts as his home, so is the Blood Charm as strong as we think it was?



Solitaire - May 9, 2010 11:03 pm (#2005 of 2055)
Harry may think of it that way, because it is the first place in his life where he has found friendship and acceptance. (BTW, did DD say that Harry had to "think" it was home? I didn't remember that ... but then I've forgotten a lot, too.) But the bottom line is that sealing the Blood Charm apparently is what kept Harry alive all those years. Surely the DEs who were out and about knew where he was living, and he wasn't in the house 24/7. I can't believe there weren't attempts to "get at him" during those years. I just think DD's spells kept him safe.



Honour - May 10, 2010 3:30 am (#2006 of 2055)
Y'know Solitaire it's been awhile since I read that too! I too have forgotten alot and sometimes I think my recollections could well be contaminated by those blimmin' movies!

..shuffles off muttering to self in a bewildered fashion ... : )



me and my shadow 813 - May 10, 2010 3:44 pm (#2007 of 2055)
Edited May 10, 2010 5:00 pm
I think the Order suffered quite a blow between the Potters and the Longbottoms and it appeared that Voldemort had been killed, so the Order essentially dissolved. IMO as with all "orders", there are a select few who are truly informed by the leader (Hagrid being one of them, even if only in the post-order years). I didn't get the impression that Molly and Arthur were part of the "select few"; they weren't in the photograph, for instance. But once Harry and Ron became close, and once Harry was spending time at the Burrow, I'm sure Dumbledore began to impart confidential information on them and they took on a role "just in case". I think if we look back on the series (which I haven't done in this regard) we could see how Arthur was informed. Of course, once the rebirthing occurred, they were front and center even if they once were not.

Regarding Horcruxes, I think Dumbledore acquired Slughorn's tampered memory at some point shortly after Vold visited him to apply for the teaching position (in the beginning of HBP it seems like Dumbledore and Sluggy haven't seen each other in quite some time) but, although he knew it was not the complete picture, he did not know *why* for a long time.

When, in CoS, he tells Harry that Voldemort put a bit of himself into Harry, I think he began to understand the possibility. But in PoA, Harry's life was at stake (they all believed) because of Sirius's escape, so that was a priority. And, of course, in GoF the priority was what dark magic had been used to select Harry as a champion, and then trying to keep him alive. Conveniently, JKR placed enough obstacles in Dumbledore's way so he had to dodge a lot of bullets before addressing the Horcrux and "Harry as Horcrux" issue. *sigh* But without all that, we wouldn't have much of a plot, would we?



me and my shadow 813 - May 10, 2010 8:50 pm (#2008 of 2055)
Edited May 10, 2010 9:57 pm
Dumbledore said that magic left a trail, can't put my hands on my books at the mo, but, was he referring to dark magic or magic in general? And if only dark magic, why didn't he sense that Voldermort was under the turbin? Why did no-one even question Quirrell as to why he had started to wear a turbin? ...

Honour, this is a great subject to explore. I'm willing to guess that the traces are more easily detected in isolated/undisturbed areas (i.e., the cave).

Whether or not it was unusual for Quirrell to wear a turbin... we assume the *odd* Brit wizard wears a top hat, and the *odd* eastern wizard would don a turbin ... if he was traveling then so be it, eh?



shepherdess - May 11, 2010 2:54 pm (#2009 of 2055)
Didn't Quirrell claim the turbin was a gift?



legolas returns - May 11, 2010 3:07 pm (#2010 of 2055)
I think he claimed it was a gift for saving someone from a Zombie or something like that.



wynnleaf - May 13, 2010 4:18 pm (#2011 of 2055)
Dumbledore said that magic left a trail, can't put my hands on my books at the mo, but, was he referring to dark magic or magic in general? And if only dark magic, why didn't he sense that Voldermort was under the turbin? Why did no-one even question Quirrell as to why he had started to wear a turbin? ... (Honour)

Didn't DD say this in HBP when he's in the cave with Harry and he can sense traces of Voldemort's magic?



Julia H. - May 13, 2010 10:00 pm (#2012 of 2055)
Edited May 13, 2010 11:24 pm
Yes, that is where Dumbledore said it. But I wonder if he could discover this magical trace in Godric's Hollow as well. Dumbledore apparently knew that Voldemort had been hit by the Killing Curse, that he had lost his power and that he was not dead. Since the usual effect of the AK was to kill people, not to make them powerless, Dumbledore had to know some extra details to get the picture; and I think he had to wonder how Voldemort was able to survive, so he must have thought of the existence of a horcrux - or some other magic that had a similar effect.

Dumbledore says Harry had to be protected against revengeful dark wizards after Voldemort's disappearance, and he is probably right. However, Snape mentions to Bellatrix that a lot of dark wizards thought Harry was a new, strong dark wizard, a potential new "standard" for DE's. This rumour must have existed, since Bellatrix does not challenge what Snape says about it. (Something similar is mentioned by Ernie in CoS, when Harry is thought to be Slytherin's heir.) Perhaps Snape himself helped to circulate this rumour among DE's. This may have meant extra protection for Harry. Which DE will attack the victorious young dark wizard of the future for the sake of the already fallen one?

About Quirrell's turban: Hogwarts is full of weird-looking teachers - when you have Hagrid, Flitwick, Trelawney, Binns and Snape on the staff, who will mind a turban?



me and my shadow 813 - May 14, 2010 7:15 pm (#2013 of 2055)
Edited May 14, 2010 8:22 pm
and I think he had to wonder how Voldemort was able to survive, so he must have thought of the existence of a horcrux - or some other magic that had a similar effect.

Julia, I tend to agree. Regarding when Dumbledore knew about there being even one Horcrux, canon-wise I think the earliest he realized what was going on was at the end of Harry's second year of Hogwarts:

A mere memory, sapping the life out of the girl into whose hands it had fallen? 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 - (HBP, Horcruxes)

IMO it didn't occur to him until this point. Of course, there is the likelihood that he suspected some other dark magic with a similar effect.

I totally agree about Severus circulating rumors that Harry might be the next Dark Lord. What better way to keep the wolves at bay? (hey, that rhymes!)



haymoni - May 21, 2010 2:50 am (#2014 of 2055)
I think the confusion after Voldy disappeared was enough to silence the Death Eaters.

If I recall correctly, Bella & Crew tortured the Longbottoms to find out where Voldy was - not to get info on Harry.

The Death Eaters were nothing compared to Voldy and they knew it.

Their leader was gone and they were lost.



Soul Search - May 21, 2010 5:55 am (#2015 of 2055)
Dumbledore had to, at least, have suspicioned Voldemort had made a horcrux before Godric's Hollow. Dumbledore was convinced Voldemort was not gone forever.

We don't have a good timeline for when Dumbledore obtained the memories he showed Harry, but some had to have been obtained before Godric's Hollow, just due to the ages of those involved.

Dumbledore removed the books on dark magic from the library and we were convinced that is where Voldmeort learned about horcruxes. That may have even been while Tom Riddle was still at Hogwarts.



Solitaire - May 21, 2010 6:18 am (#2016 of 2055)
some had to have been obtained before Godric's Hollow, just due to the ages of those involved.

Is there a timeline somewhere that has these things? I do not think age is a good enough indicator, because people tend to live much longer in the Wizarding World than they do in Muggle-ville.



me and my shadow 813 - May 21, 2010 1:37 pm (#2017 of 2055)
Dumbledore was convinced Voldemort was not gone forever.

Soul Search, although I agree he was convinced Vold would return, I tend to believe it is because no one knew what had occurred at Godric's Hollow that night. There were no witnesses when he fired off the AK at Harry. The scar might be evidence of it backfiring, but no one knew it would rebound onto the caster at that point. JKR said, this had never happened before -- certainly an AK had never rebounded before because there was never anything that could protect a person to such a level. So I think Dumbledore suspected that Vold had not died that night because there was no reason to believe the AK turned back on to him.

Or am I forgetting something?



Soul Search - May 22, 2010 6:11 am (#2018 of 2055)
The question of when Dumbledore knew Voldemort had made a horcrux brings up most of the unsolved mysteries of the series. We get enough detail to satisfy the basic storyline, but not near enough for our inquiring minds who really want to know.

Dumbledore took Harry to Privet Drive to seal the mother's blood spell and protect him against Voldemort. So, Dumbledore knew Voldemort wasn't gone. But how did he know enough about what happened at Godric's Hollow to do this? Dumbledore seems to know everything about Godric's Hollow, but we get no canon hints for how he knew it.

There was no body for Voldemort. Why? A similar backfiring AK left Voldemort's body in Deathly Hallows. The lack of a body leaves Voldemort's death uncertain.

Voldemort's physical appearance seemed to change in each memory we saw, with correlation to how many horcruxes he had made. By the time he visits Dumbledore at Hogwarts (really to hide the tiara horcrux) he resembles a snake. Did his appearance tell Dumbledore Voldemort had made horcruxes?

Exactly what was Harry's scar? Dumbledore seemed to know all about it, telling McGonagall at Privet Drive Harry would have it forever, but that was the first time he had seen it. Or was it? There is that missing 24 hours.

For that matter, why did Voldemort insist on making horcruxes? We have many examples of spirits that had not crossed over: the Hogwarts ghosts. From Nick's discussion in OotP, it seems a wizard can choose not to "go on." Voldemort was a skillful wizard; why couldn't he just have become a ghost, then made himself a new body? Is there a difference between a horcrux-held spirit and a ghost?



Solitaire - May 22, 2010 7:24 am (#2019 of 2055)
A similar backfiring AK left Voldemort's body in Deathly Hallows.

There were no more Horcruxes when he fired his AK in Deathly Hallows. The body was mortal.

why did Voldemort insist on making horcruxes? ... why couldn't he just have become a ghost, then made himself a new body?

Voldemort was all about power, and I received the distinct impression that the ghosts didn't really have any specific powers in their ghostly state.



me and my shadow 813 - May 22, 2010 7:57 am (#2020 of 2055)
Edited May 22, 2010 9:22 am
Dumbledore knew Harry's scar was the result of dark magic but he could not have known more than that. Looking at Godric's Hollow itself, the house was destroyed and DD might have known it was from Harry being protected -- but there was no true reason to believe that Voldemort was killed. No corpse/body indicated he might have fled, giving the impression to *some* that if he was indeed alive he must be gone for a very good reason -- i.e., seriously wounded either physically or psychically, enough so that he could not continue on his mission for the time being. But, just as no one could believe he was back in OP, I'm sure it would have been difficult for DD to convince people that he was not dead after Godric's Hollow. JM2K

Regarding Harry's scar, here are quotes from the Lexicon:

"Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That's what yeh get when a powerful, evil curse touches yeh -- took care of yer mum an' dad an' yer house, even -- but it didn't work on you, an' that's why yer famous, Harry." (PS4)

Dumbledore looked very intensely at Harry for a moment, and then said, "I have a theory, no more than that ... It is my belief that your scar hurts both when Lord Voldemort is near you, and when he is feeling a particularly strong surge of hatred."

"But ... why?"

"Because you and he are connected by the curse that failed," said Dumbledore. "That is no ordinary scar." (GF30)

So, Hagrid voices DD's understanding in PS that the "evil curse" might have rebounded off of Harry due to the protection and destroyed the house.

And in GoF we get a bit more of a hint...

--

Regarding when DD entertained the thought of there being even one Horcrux, I've said before I think when Vold came to apply for the teaching position and DD saw the physical changes, DD went to Slughorn and coerced information and ultimately the tampered memory. Years later, in CoS with the diary, DD knew his suspicions were correct and that Vold had made the diary hold on to a fragment of his soul as a Horcrux. And finally, at the rebirthing when Vold says "gone further than any other to achieve immortality" (paraphrase) DD realized there were more -- and then in HBP when he finally sees the true Slughorn memory, and Riddle mentions "seven", DD puts all the pieces together. In between these instances, at some point he realized that Harry was a Horcrux as well.

Regarding ghosts, in the HP universe they do not seem capable of "possessing" a new body and seem in most ways powerless (except for moving through walls ) as Solitaire has mentioned.

Any thoughts?



Julia H. - May 22, 2010 10:45 am (#2021 of 2055)
Even from Slughorn's modified memory, it was clear that Voldemort was interested in Horcruxes, and whatever Slughorn answered, he may have had the chance to find out the necessary information at some point.

Regarding the diary, Dumbledore says in HBP that he thought Voldemort might have taken better care of his precious horcrux. Since he had not, Dumbledore suspected that there were several horcruxes.



Steve Newton - May 22, 2010 12:17 pm (#2022 of 2055)
I don't think that Dumbledore even considered more than one horcrux until the famous "in essence divided" scene. Alas, I'm not sure which book that was. OOTP?



me and my shadow 813 - May 22, 2010 1:45 pm (#2023 of 2055)
Edited May 22, 2010 2:46 pm
Yes, Steve, that was exactly what I had in mind when mentioning "at some point he realized Harry was a Horcrux". The 'essence divided' comment was at the end of OP.

But I think when in CoS he told Harry that Vold had put a bit of himself into him, combined with what DD came to know about the diary, that CoS was the beginning of DD unraveling the puzzle.

Julia, good point about the initial tampered memory planting the notion into DD's head -- Riddle had asked, so the interest was apparent even from the tampered memory. Whether DD took it seriously up until the diary incident is hard to say.



haymoni - May 22, 2010 8:29 pm (#2024 of 2055)
What did Voldy say when he came to ask Dumbledore for the job - and to hide the tiara?

Dumbledore had already heard rumors - he didn't want to believe half of them.

Voldy tells him "I have experimented...pushed the boundaries of magic further.."

He was already looking pretty snakey - perhaps Dumbledore realized that Voldy must have already messed up his soul - he wouldn't have gone reptilian if he had only created 1 Horcrux.

Perhaps that's when the seed of multiple Horcruxes started to germinate.



Odo the Hero - May 23, 2010 8:31 am (#2025 of 2055)
I think Dumbledore knew from Harry's description of the diary's behavior that it was a Horcrux, and realized almost immediately that it could not be the only one or Voldemort would not have taken such a cavalier attitude towards its safety. I believe he says something to that effect in HBP, though I'm not sure where. The "in essence divided" comment may be the point at which he realized that Harry was a Horcrux, although he may have suspected this earlier.



Honour - May 25, 2010 3:46 am (#2026 of 2055)
In Deathly Hallows when Voldermort fired an AK at Harry and they both left their bodies, was this curse thwarted only because Nagini and Harry were still alive? Was this the "AK" situation you were speaking about Solitaire?

Or because Harry had mirrored his mother's sacrifice thereby saving everyone else, or, was this just an opportunity for JK Rowling to assauge Dumbledores guilt over manipulating and using Harry? I found this whole episode rather odd and couldn't figure out to whose benefit Rowling was writing it for; to explain about Dumbledore, comfort for Harry,or tie up loose ends?



Solitaire - May 25, 2010 4:55 pm (#2027 of 2055)
It's interesting that Harry did seem to instinctively take after Lily in his tendency to sacrifice himself for others. Dumbledore saw this and seemed to keep it in the forefront of Harry's mind throughout the years. It makes me wonder, though ... what if Harry had been less self-sacrificing? What if he had been a Draco instead of a Harry?

Was this the "AK" situation you were speaking about Solitaire?

I thought you meant the final AK that killed Voldemort. By this time, Harry's Horcrux and Nagini were both destroyed, so Voldemort was mortal. Unfortunately, he was using the Elder Wand on Harry. Hm ... what if he had used his own wand? But I digress ... this is DD's thread, not Voldemort's.



Chemyst - Jul 20, 2010 4:45 pm (#2028 of 2055)
Edited Jul 20, 2010 6:04 pm
Voldemort was all about power, and I received the distinct impression that the ghosts didn't really have any specific powers in their ghostly state.
Try telling that to the student whose mum and dad won't let them take the apparition test if they flunk history!

But back to DD...

...was this just an opportunity for JK Rowling to assauge Dumbledore's guilt over manipulating and using Harry? I found this whole episode rather odd and couldn't figure out to whose benefit Rowling was writing it.
I think that DD certainly struggles with guilt in the earlier books—he stalls and rationalizes repeatedly on telling Harry the truth. But I think he came to terms with it after the battle at the ministry and full disclosure on the prophecy. By later in year 6 when Snape is complaining:

If you don't mind dying, said Snape roughly, why not let Draco do it? ... And my soul, Dumbledore? Mine?
You alone know whether it will harm your soul ... replies DD.
I think DD sounds very much "been there, done that" on the guilt trip by that point.

Harry had to die before he could kill Voldemort, those were the rules. All horcruxes had to be eliminated first. It is an awkward plot line, so I think she wrote it for the benefit of the plot. Harry had to be in a "place" where the dead are so that he could "come back." DD was still Harry's mentor, even in the netherworld.



Solitaire - Jul 20, 2010 5:42 pm (#2029 of 2055)
When Snape says, "And my soul, Dumbledore? Mine?" Dumbledore knows that Snape's soul has already been deeply damaged by events and actions in his past. At this point, killing Dumbledore at his own request is (I think) meant to seem like euthanasia rather than murder--although many people do see those two things as one in the same--so perhaps DD feels that Snape's soul would not be further damaged by the act. Does the fact that Snape even asks the question--is even concerned about his soul--indicate that his soul is less damaged than one might think? Could working on Harry's behalf (even behind the scenes and somewhat grudgingly) have served to help "repair" Snape's soul? What about his undying love for Lily? Could that have had a healing effect, as well? If so, does DD know all of this, or is he sacrificing Snape to save Draco, much as Snape sees him sacrificing Harry for "the greater good"? Just a bunch of idle questions ...



legolas returns - Jul 20, 2010 10:35 pm (#2030 of 2055)
Doesn't Hermione say that it is really painful and can kill you but if you repent properly you can repair the damage.

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Solitaire - Jul 21, 2010 7:09 am (#2031 of 2055)
I honestly don't remember, legolas. I think it's time for a reread for me. I do remember Harry trying to tell Voldy, in that last duel, to try for some remorse or humanity or something ... like maybe it would help him??? Alas, he was just too far gone.



legolas returns - Jul 21, 2010 9:54 am (#2032 of 2055)
It's in Chapter 6 in DH.



Julia H. - Jul 21, 2010 10:29 am (#2033 of 2055)
Edited Jul 21, 2010 11:32 am
Slughorn says murder rips the soul apart. No other types of soul damage are mentioned (I believe), although it is possible that the soul can be damaged in other ways by other bad deeds. When Hermione tells Harry and Ron about Horcruxes (things that she has read), she says a ripped soul can be healed by remorse only, and it is a very painful process.

Snape certainly seems to feel the pain of remorse after Lily's death... Still, my impression is that he talks about a soul not yet damaged (ripped) by murder when he asks "And my soul, Dumbledore? Mine?"

This is a part of the conversation between them:

“If you don’t mind dying,” said Snape roughly, “why not let Draco do it?”

“That boy’s soul is not yet so damaged,” said Dumbledore. “I would not have it ripped apart on my account.”

“And my soul, Dumbledore? Mine?”

Here Snape seems to imply (directly in response to Dumbledore's words) that his soul is not so damaged either - i.e. not ripped apart by murder, therefore it is not all the same to him yet. Then Dumbledore replies:

“You alone know whether it will harm your soul to help an old man avoid pain and humiliation,” said Dumbledore. “I ask this one great favor of you, Severus, because death is coming for me as surely as the Chudley Cannons will finish bottom of this year’s league. I confess I should prefer a quick, painless exit to the protracted and messy affair it will be if, for instance, Greyback is involved --- I hear Voldemort has recruited him? Or dear Bellatrix, who likes to play with her food before she eats it.”

So Dumbledore basically says that in the case of Snape, this murder will be charity rather than anything else, therefore not so dangerous for the soul. (He does not say that Snape's soul is damaged anyway.) The problem is that Dumbledore had to say something to persuade Snape, because he needed Snape to kill him for several reasons, and this was probably his best argument, i.e. the one that was most likely to convince Snape. But Dumbledore was focusing on "the greater good", for which I think he did make Snape risk his soul nevertheless.

I'm sure the damage was not the same as after committing a murder for an evil reason; but Unforgivable Curses cannot be cast light-heartedly, we know that from Bellatrix, so Snape probably had to concentrate a lot of "negative energy" - or emotions - to be able to kill Dumbledore. For example, he may have hated Dumbledore in that moment for making him do that horrible thing. But whatever it took him psychologically to succeed in AK-ing Dumbledore, I think it could harm his soul, and he likely felt painful remorse afterwards, if not for the AK itself, then for being able to do it at all.



legolas returns - Jul 21, 2010 11:56 am (#2034 of 2055)
I have always wondered how much Snape blames him for Lily's death. That could have helped channel the hate.



Solitaire - Jul 21, 2010 2:30 pm (#2035 of 2055)
Do you think Snape truly hated Dumbledore? I think he saved that for James. it's sad that by complying with DD's last request, Snape set in motion the events that would cost his own life. Did DD foresee this, as well, and know that Voldemort would go after Draco if he believed Draco had killed DD? If so, it makes all of their situations the more pitiable, IMO.



Julia H. - Jul 21, 2010 3:56 pm (#2036 of 2055)
Edited Jul 21, 2010 4:59 pm
Do you think Snape truly hated Dumbledore? (Solitaire)

I don't know if this question is for Legolas or for me or for both of us. IMO, Snape truly loved Dumbledore - the reason why he agreed to the AK, his reluctance even after he had taken the Unbreakable Vow, his anger when he realized that Dumbledore had got himself mortally wounded and his longing for Dumbledore to keep trusting him and to understand what he was going through indicate deep love, I think. But he still had to find in himself the force to produce a successful AK, and the way his expression is described in that scene shows that it was not (or was not only) love or some other positive feeling. So I think he agreed to kill Dumbledore out of love and duty but he needed something like anger or hatred or at least despair to effectively cast the curse. I find it more likely that the root of it was Dumbledore forcing him to kill Dumbledore rather than Snape blaming Dumbledore for Lily's death, but either way, the negative force that he needed at the moment of the AK was likely to leave him with guilt, even though he knew that he had done exactly what Dumbledore had expected him to do.

(It is especially horrible that after playing a tragic part in Lily's death, Snape was forced to kill the only other person he truly cared for and who truly knew him, so that he probably ended up feeling guilty about both of them. Then, of course, he had the task to send Harry Potter to his death for the greater good (he did not know that Harry would survive), so he thought he would have a hand in the death of yet another person whom he had wanted to keep alive. After all, he tried to save Lily but failed, he saved Dumbledore's life just before Dumbledore asked him to kill him, and he worked hard to keep Harry safe for years, but only to learn that he had to give him a suicidal duty eventually.)

Did DD foresee this, as well, and know that Voldemort would go after Draco if he believed Draco had killed DD?

For me, that is maybe the biggest unanswered question of the series... Dumbledore tells Harry at King's Cross that he had expected Voldemort to start looking for the Elder Wand, and knowing Voldemort so well as Dumbledore knew him could leave little doubt about what Voldemort would do to obtain the wand. Perhaps Dumbledore had no better option, but did he let Snape know what was in store for him? We find out that Dumbledore did not want Harry to know that he was "doomed to die" until the last moment. Did Dumbledore follow the same logic in Snape's case for a similar reason? Where is the individual choice in all that? Or did Snape know?



Solitaire - Jul 21, 2010 4:03 pm (#2037 of 2055)
I think he agreed to kill Dumbledore out of love and duty but he needed something like anger or hatred or at least despair to effectively cast the curse.

Could it have been self-hatred? We have seen some of that in Snape. What about simple anger at DD for putting him in this position? Anger at himself, perhaps, for getting into this position via the Unbreakable Vow he took to protect Draco? Surely that vow could be said to have encompassed killing DD, given the chain of events, because allowing Draco to kill DD would have meant instant death to Draco once Voldemort realized he needed the Elder Wand. He only killed Snape because he didn't know Draco was the master of the wand.



Julia H. - Jul 21, 2010 4:06 pm (#2038 of 2055)
Edited Jul 21, 2010 5:13 pm
Could it have been self-hatred? We have seen some of that in Snape. What about simple anger at DD for putting him in this position?

Yes, I agree it is possible, too.

Anger at himself, perhaps, for getting into this position via the Unbreakable Vow he took to protect Draco?

I think by the time he took the Vow, Snape had already made his promise to Dumbledore, but I can imagine he hated himself (or was angry with himself) for getting into that position. (Something like "Why must I be the right person for this job?")



Solitaire - Jul 21, 2010 4:22 pm (#2039 of 2055)
Sadly, he was really the only one. Who else was a double agent and could be believable?



Julia H. - Jul 21, 2010 4:35 pm (#2040 of 2055)
The job was definitely not the kind that truly decent people would get.



mona amon - Jul 21, 2010 8:25 pm (#2041 of 2055)
Edited Jul 21, 2010 9:26 pm
This is an interesting line of thought, and maybe we could discuss in detail on the Snape thread sometime? About how Severus's evil-ness was absolutely necessary for the good guys to win the war.

I do not believe Seveus hated Dumbledore at the moment he AKed him. To me the hatred on his face was more a sort of universal hatred, better described as rage. Does it say anywhere that you have to muster hatred for the victim before you can cast an unforgivable curse? I thing Bella only says you have to really mean it, and no doubt Severus did mean it. He knew the time had come to kill Dumbledore, and it was his duty to do it. Still, it would have taken an enormous amount of will, and Dumbledore knew that he had it in him.



Solitaire - Jul 21, 2010 9:18 pm (#2042 of 2055)
Perhaps the hatred was hatred of Voldemort ... for what he had cost Snape in his life. Perhaps what he felt was a kind of anger akin to what Harry was feeling in those times when he felt so lost and completely unsure of how he should proceed. He was angry with DD for leaving him so unprepared.

Snape knew what would eventually follow DD's death ... and he knew he would be blamed and hated for it. He was a man alone. He despised what the DEs and Voldemort stood for, yet he had to appear to support them, because that was the only way he could do what he needed to do--help Harry and protect the kids at Hogwarts. The people he supported in his heart--the Order--were lost to him. And other than a portrait in DD's office, in whom was there to confide? No one. That must have been pretty lonely.



Julia H. - Jul 22, 2010 8:31 am (#2043 of 2055)
Edited Jul 22, 2010 9:38 am
About how Severus's evil-ness was absolutely necessary for the good guys to win the war. (Mona)

While I agree with the "necessary" part of your statement, I would not call the thing "evilness".

"'Evil' is a strong word..." (Hermione)

I would not call Snape evil, and I am not saying it was "evilness" that he needed to kill Dumbledore or to help the good side win the war. Molly was not "evil" either when she killed Bellatrix in defence of her daughter. Snape was protecting others, too, but, unlike Molly, he was forced to cast the "protective" AK on the "wrong person".

I like the "universal hatred" or "rage" instead of a personal feeling that Snape may have felt at the moment when he killed Dumbledore. My point is that he needed some sort of "destructive energy", which may have harmed his soul despite what Dumbledore had said. (BTW, Molly also needed this kind of force, but in her case, it was at least channelled in the "normal" way, and did not affect anyone that Molly loved.)

Does it say anywhere that you have to muster hatred for the victim before you can cast an unforgivable curse? Bella only says you have to really mean it, and no doubt Severus did mean it.

Yes, exactly. And no, it is nowhere said that you have to feel personal hatred for the victim. My question is what it takes (emotionally / psychologically) to "really mean it". It may be something different for different people. Voldemort seemed to be able to kill without any emotions, but he was a psychopath. Harry was unable to "properly" cast an Unforgivable on Bellatrix just minutes after Sirius had been killed in front of his eyes. Two years later, he successfully Crucio-d the Death Eater who had spat on McGonagall. Was he angrier with that Death Eater than he had been with the murderer of Sirius? I don't think so. But maybe it was his experiences - all his anger, sorrow, disappointment, desperation etc. that had accumulated in those two years that made him capable of casting an Unforgivable. Maybe it was something else. But I think loss of innocence, a somewhat "hardened" heart must have been involved. Snape had "revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face". This was not an emotionless action, but I agree that the hatred did not have to be personally for Dumbledore. Then again, since I think Snape really loved Dumbledore, I can imagine that he was able to "reverse" this strong positive emotion into a negative one in that critical moment.

And other than a portrait in DD's office, in whom was there to confide? (Solitaire)

Only the dead knew who he really was. I think this really foreshadowed his own upcoming death.



Solitaire - Jul 22, 2010 11:45 am (#2044 of 2055)
Only the dead knew who he really was. I think this really foreshadowed his own upcoming death.

Oh! Interesting observation. That reminds me of an ancient M*A*S*H episode. A soldier has died and keeps trying to get people to hear him and pay attention ... and the only ones who can see and hear him are other dead people ... and Klinger, who is delirious. Interesting ... even Harry didn't know who he really was until after he had died. I've always found that sad, because Snape, more than any living person, truly knew Lily and could have answered so many questions for Harry. Ah, well ... this is turning into a Snape post and I'm on the DD thread!



Choices - Jul 22, 2010 12:49 pm (#2045 of 2055)
I think the "hatred" on Snape's face was for what he was having to do and for all the other dirty jobs he had to do as a spy.



Dryleaves - Jul 24, 2010 12:51 am (#2046 of 2055)
On the top of the tower DD is weak, pleading, surrounded by Death Eaters and Snape sees this, knows what he has promised DD earlier, knows what the situation is. When DD asks Snape of this favour, he has different arguments: the great plan of defeating Voldemort, but also to save him from pain and humiliation.

If Snape would not have killed DD on the tower, he would maybe have endangered the plan, but it is possible that Snape could have imagined alternative ways to carry out the plan. When it comes to the pain and humiliation, this is more immediate. DD is clearly dying, he is clearly in pain, he is clearly threatened by his enemies and Snape would probably feel that he had let DD down if he had not fullfilled DD's wish. I don't think he wants to kill DD, but he doesn't want to let him down in a time of pain. Maybe "to really mean it" is about weighing these questions against each other: "If I kill him, can I live with it? If I don't, can I live with it?"

And, as this is Dumbledore's thread: Would it harm DD's soul to ask Snape to kill him?



Solitaire - Jul 24, 2010 7:07 am (#2047 of 2055)
Edited Jul 24, 2010 8:10 am
Dryleaves! It's great to see you!!

Gosh, have we ever discussed whether or not Dumbledore's soul has been damaged? I'm sure that the incident which resulted in Ariana's death, Grindelwald's flight, and some possible estrangement for a time from Aberforth must have shredded his soul. What is interesting is that this tragedy, as well as his defeat of Grindelwald, seemed to strengthen DD's awareness of such dangers and make him see what was important. Dumbledore seems to have come to terms with the horrible events of his life, and he even seems to have reconciled with Aberforth, which must have helped considerably in his "restoration." Perhaps the fact that these tragedies and losses were always with him is what helped him retain his humanity.

Snape's constant memory of Lily and regret for his role in the events which led to her death seem never to have left him. I wonder how he is affected on a day-to-day basis by his memory of the disgust and revulsion DD expressed when he talked about sacrificing Lily and throwing Harry and James to Voldemort. That memory was obviously a constant companion, because it is one of those he gave to Harry ... so it must have been important in helping him to agree to protect Harry and help DD. Could some of these memories be what cause such a look to cross his face?

In the end, I don't think DD sees what he is asking Snape to do as murder. I place it in the category of euthanasia. I'm not a proponent of this practice, but I am aware that a great many people do not consider euthanasia to be murder. Perhaps Dumbledore and JKR are among them--I have no idea. It's just something to consider.



Julia H. - Jul 27, 2010 7:09 am (#2048 of 2055)
Edited Jul 27, 2010 8:23 am
Maybe "to really mean it" is about weighing these questions against each other: "If I kill him, can I live with it? If I don't, can I live with it?" (Dryleaves)

Yes, maybe, in this case, it is. Interesting idea.

It is also a good question whether Dumbledore's soul was harmed by his request... especially if the request did endanger another man's soul. But I don't know ... he does not seem remorseful about it when he meets Harry at King's Cross; but then again, there the topic of the discussion is not Snape but Harry. We should see a similar discussion between Dumbledore and Snape.

Nice to see you posting!

In the end, I don't think DD sees what he is asking Snape to do as murder. (Solitaire)

He probably does not, but I hope he still knows he is asking something horribly difficult. Snape does not necessarily see it in the same way as Dumbledore, especially in the more desperate (and lonely) moments. (And now an excellent piece of fanfiction that I read springs to mind. )

In the last year of Dumbledore's life, Snape seems to feel he is gradually losing Dumbledore, that they are not as close as they may have been or as Snape would want them to be. I wonder if it is "simply" an expression of Snape's growing despair or if Dumbledore purposefully distances himself from Snape after the "big request". If he does, is this move justified by any necessity other than DD running out of time?

EDITED



Solitaire - Jul 27, 2010 9:33 am (#2049 of 2055)
Yes, I remember Snape commenting that Dumbledore didn't trust him, or was no longer confiding fully in him and DD responding that he didn't like to put all of his eggs in one basket, especially a basket that dangles on the arm of Voldemort ... or am I misremembering?

It does seem that if someone has asked you to help end his life when the time comes, then there would be an incredibly close bond there, doesn't it? Perhaps DD was so consumed with trying to prepare Harry to continue the Horcrux hunt once he was gone that he neglected certain critical aspects of his relationship with Snape, assuming (wrongly, perhaps?) that Snape didn't need the attention as much as Harry did just then.



mona amon - Jul 28, 2010 3:49 am (#2050 of 2055)
Edited Jul 28, 2010 4:54 am
Nice to see you again, Dryleaves!

Did Dumbledore's request harm Severus's soul, or even his own? Interesting question. IMO, we have to distinguish between soul on the one hand, and heart or mind or psyche on the other. The soul I think can only be harmed by a moral wound. Murder, the greatest crime of all, actually tears the soul, and requires remorse of the most painful sort to fix it.

Since I do not believe that Severus killing Dumbledore at his request was murder, I do not believe that it would have harmed either man's soul.

On the other hand, it must have been incredibly difficult for Severus to do, and must have caused damage to his heart/mind/psyche. I'm not sure that Dumbledore realises this. He takes Severus for granted, fails to acknowledge any difficulty for Severus either from killing him or it's aftermath, treats the whole thing too lightly and never tells another living soul about it. If Sevurus had not succeeded in giving his memories to Harry, he'd have gone down in wizarding history as the evil murderer of a weakened and defenceless Dumbledore.

In the last year of Dumbledore's life, Snape seems to feel he is gradually losing Dumbledore, that they are not as close as they may have been or as Snape would want them to be. I wonder if it is "simply" an expression of Snape's growing despair or if Dumbledore purposefully distances himself from Snape after the "big request". (Julia)

I don't really see this. I think Dumbledore is the same to Severus as he has always been. He's just so much older and cleverer than everyone else - he distances himself from others. Even Harry feels, on looking back at their relationship, that they never discussed anything personal.

It does seem that if someone has asked you to help end his life when the time comes, then there would be an incredibly close bond there, doesn't it? (Soli)

I think they were as close as they could be, given each one's personality, and on Dumbledore's side, he knew everything there was to know about Severus. But there is truth in Sevurus's accusation, "You have used me!" Dumbledore had to be like that. The war would never have been won otherwise.

Julia, I'll take Severus's "evil-ness" to his own thread, later.



Julia H. - Jul 28, 2010 5:21 am (#2051 of 2055)
Edited Jul 28, 2010 6:25 am
I think Dumbledore definitely overlooked an important emotional need that his request created; and this emotional need came on top of an already very stressful situation (spying and all). I can perfectly understand Snape when he is "loudly" demanding some attention, threatening to change his mind etc.

However, with regard to the Plan, Dumbledore was probably right that Harry needed more of his time and attention. I guess Dumbledore trusted Snape to be able to handle the task and the stress, just as he trusted Snape to carry out the rest of the spying business without mistakes. And indeed, Snape did everything as he had to do without any support from anyone. But the job took its toll on him, personally, for the rest of his short life.

In defence of Dumbledore, I must admit that he was indeed running out of time, and he was forced to concentrate on the greater good. I can also imagine that secretly he had to struggle with the idea of his own death, no matter how calm he seemed about it in front of others. And he was not good at giving psychological support to anyone in the first place.

Still, I would have liked Snape to get some real reassurance, something good and personal from Dumbledore that he could have remembered in the months of utter solitude.



Chemyst - Jul 28, 2010 1:22 pm (#2052 of 2055)
Edited Jul 28, 2010 2:25 pm
It does seem that if someone has asked you to help end his life when the time comes, then there would be an incredibly close bond there, doesn't it? - Soli

I think many persons would feel closer, but I doubt that I would. I think I'd feel more estranged from someone who wasn't a blood relative. I think it would realign priorities drastically.
For instance, I never watch the TV news anymore, but for years it was part of my daily routine. On the occasions when someone close to me would die, all the stories on the news would seem meaningless and empty for the next week or two and I'd stop watching for awhile. If someone asked me to help end their life, then similarly, I don't think I be able to enjoy chatting with them about who is "trending now" on Yahoo or be too fussed over who won the World Series. If we did talk about such 'newsy' topics, it would feel like there was an elephant sitting between us that we didn't want to acknowledge.



John Bumbledore - Oct 4, 2010 10:18 am (#2053 of 2055)
Following on Chemyst comments reference to the idiom, "an elephant in the room," I think DD had many such elephants.



Solitaire - Oct 4, 2010 5:26 pm (#2054 of 2055)
I might not feel too close after the person asked me. As a matter of fact, I might feel alienated and quite angry in a "real life" situation. On the other hand, I can't imagine anyone asking a casual acquaintance to do the deed. Only someone who truly understood both the one making the request and the reason for his request would begin to know why the request was being made, IMO. I do agree, though, that such a request has the potential (and likelihood) of changing forever the way one feels about the person making the request.



Julia H. - Oct 4, 2010 10:53 pm (#2055 of 2055)
Yes, perhaps that is what happens between Dumbledore and Snape as well. They have to be quite close for Dumbledore to make this request (even though there is a Great Plan involved, and Snape is strategically the only suitable person to carry out this particular portion of the plan). This closeness is emphasized by the way Dumbledore persuades Snape. Instead of referring to the plan (though Snape is clearly aware of the strategic advantages, with the possible exception of the Elder Wand problem), Dumbledore is talking about pain and humiliation, which makes the request - and Snape's consent - personal. Then in the later scenes, it is quite apparent that Snape's feelings about Dumbledore have changed - unconditional loyalty is mingled with anger, frustration, even desperation.

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