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Magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable

by David Haber

At the end of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore describes the life that Peter Pettigrew owes Harry as "magic at its deepest, it's most impenetrable". But who else the in Harry Potter books might owe Harry a life ? And are life and Unbreakable Vows related?

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Reader Comments:

I like your theory, but Snape has already paid back his life to Harry. He saved Harry from Quirrel when he was jinxing the broom. That's the only reason the subject came up at all. I don't think that Snape owes Harry anything anymore.

Also, if you break an Unbreakable Vow, you . Snape isn't looking out for Harry anymore, especially since he's working for Voldemort again. If he had made an Unbreakable Vow to protect Harry, he would know better than to work for someone who is trying to him, wouldn't he?

I may be wrong, I just like playing devil's advocate. You have a good theory, it made me think. =D

Posted by Sarah from Somewhere Over the Rainbow on November 1, 2006 05:13 AM

Very interesting question. We know Harry has saved several of the Weasleys at various times. Ron, Ginny, Mr. Weasley. These are folks who would probably stand up for Harry anyway so it wouldn't likely effect storylines.

Does Harry owe the centaur (forget his name) for saving him from Quirrel/LV in the forest in Book 1?

Posted by bart from Denver, Colorado on November 1, 2006 09:18 AM

It sounds quite interesting, but have you realised this one thing: In the 4th book, when Voldemort is revived, Pettigrews hand is used in the spell. And by that time, he was already on to Harry. Might it be so, that Voldemort can't do some evil thing, because a part of him is on a to Harry?

Just a thought, which I had the first time I read the 4th book. Brilliant site, by the way!

Posted by Elliida from Finland on November 1, 2006 12:44 PM

This is a really good theory. But snape and dumbledore cant be the only people to know about the unbreakable vow.
Dont you need 3 people? (snape, dumbledore and 1 person as the bonder). I remember snape telling bellatrix in spinners end to be the bonder. If only 2 people were required snape or narcissa would have done it.
dunno, what do you think?

Posted by huzaifah from london on November 1, 2006 1:01 PM

No Bart i dont think that counts. I Reckon you have to be a human to be able to make an unbreakable vow.

Posted by huzaifah from london on November 1, 2006 1:39 PM

Do you have to say what you vow out loud? What if snape said 'not' in his mind to one or all the vows?

Posted by huzaifah from london on November 1, 2006 1:53 PM

I guess anything's possible, but every indication in the books is that Unbreakable Vows are very powerful. It's hard for me to believe it would be that easy to get around being bound by one.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on November 1, 2006 1:57 PM

Do you think the unbreakable vow could be broken if one of the parties is ed? For example, what if Snape were to Narcissa prior to fulfilling the vow? Or if Bellatrix was ed would the bond be broken? I doubt it, but it makes for interesting speculation. We know that life s remain after one of the parties s. (ie., Snape saving HP in Book 1 as part of his dept to James Potter) but would an UV hold the same bonds since it is a formal bond and a life seems much more elemental.

Posted by bart from Denver, Colorado on November 1, 2006 3:31 PM

ok first of all, sarah from over the rainbow, Snape is still looking out for Harry, thats why even when they were fighting at the end, he was still teaching him. e.g not until you keep your mind closed and your mind shut, or whatever he said.

Posted by Goody from Australia on November 2, 2006 04:20 AM

Yippie! Thanks for that article Dave! I've been wondering for a long time if anyone else thought that Snape and Dumbledore made the unbreakable vow. I think JKR put that scene in Spinners End to show us exactly what Snape had done in the past. I think that part of the reason Snape is so very nasty to Harry is because he is bound to his protection and resents it.
Huzaifah, from London ~ The third person...I suspected it was maybe Aberforth since none of our mainstream characters understand Dumbledore's iron-clad reason for trusting Snape.
Ellida, from Finland ~ That is a cool point! I need to think about that one. Voldy also has Harry's blood in him. (Does that mean he is capable of love?)

Posted by tracy on November 2, 2006 8:53 PM

Is it possible for Snape to do a memory charm (think of Gilderoy Lockhart's early tricks) on Dumbledore? If Snape put in a "don't tell anyone why Dumbledore trusts Snape" content in the memory charm, it would explain why Dumbledore would never tell anyone why he trusts Snape and why he always seemed to 'pause' before speaking about it.

Posted by Linda from Fort Wayne, IN on November 3, 2006 11:02 AM

Linda, that can't be. See, Dumbledore's the greatest sorcerer in the world. And when Snape could've done that, that would be years ago - before Dumbledore accepts Snape on the teaching post, I daresay. And I say too that Dumbledore isn't that old way back then. So it isn't possible... Plus, I believe Dumbledore's great s and ability. And anyway, while we're on it, I think Snape's not that bad. But I can only prove this once Book 7 is out.:p

Posted by Michael from Manila, Philippines on November 3, 2006 3:25 PM

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