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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: (Page 12)
i think snape still owes harry something...also, Arthur Weasly could owe harry for saving his life, or ginny...
Posted by Isabel from Berlin, Berlin on February 24, 2007 06:30 AM
I think that Snape owes Harry something too... Just can't put my finger on it....
I think this was mentioned like a long time ago and thats why I'm asking it... Can you inherit life s? Like, Snape owed James a life , and now James is , so.. does Snape owe Harry a life ? Or did the go away because James is ?
Posted by Ashley from Missouri on February 24, 2007 08:40 AM
An interesting tangent on Quirell's attempt to harry, during the quidditch match when Snape supposedly nullified his life by using a countercurse. I find it odd that Quirell (under the influence of Voldemort) was attempting to do harry in by throwing him off his broom, when we've seen harry fall off his broom or be injured playing Quidditch several times in later books. In CoS, he is hit by Dobby's bludger, and, if I'm not mistaken, falls from his broom. In PoA, he falls from his broom during the Hufflepuff match when the Dementors storm the field. In HBP, he falls from his broom when hit by a bludger in the head. All of these times, he emerged with no lasting damage. Which brings me to my point, albeit a weak one. Does a life count poorly contrived attempts?
Posted by Anonymous on February 25, 2007 12:43 AM
well, why would snape make an unbreakable vow to "carry out the deed if malfoy didnt" that means he knew he might have to dumbledore? THIS is the man dumbledore trusts so much? and if he did make a vow with dumbledore to watch over harry, it wasnt just to watch over him once then let him ? i think that this meant he would have to watch-and keep watch-over harry until voldemort was defeated? its also curious how snape seems to hate harry and almost anyone that has anything to do with him, he despises them with passion, so what else could make him protect harry? and if snape did anything wrong, he'd be now because of the vow.
Posted by Dvin from Glendale, CA on February 26, 2007 9:47 PM
one more thing to add, Anonymous, in PoA dumbledore mumbled a curse when he was falling off which saved him if im not mistaken and i dont think i even saw snape during the other matches so im not if it was him, though, i think snape wants voldemort stopped too, he wants harry to succeed so even if he already payed his then he is just doing it out of himself to protect harry and we all know how much he hates him, maybe hes doing it to someway help potter? i dont know...snape is a very curious character that no one quiet read what goes through his mind.
Posted by Dvin from Glendale, CA on February 26, 2007 9:50 PM
The mind is not a book to be opened and examined at leisure.
Posted by Ashley from Missouri on February 27, 2007 1:58 PM
Thank you Ashley for those wise words but I what i think i meant was that you can infer about other characters, how they are, what kind of life they've had, WHERE THEIR LOYALTIES LIE, but Snape is by far the most mysterious and that we can't really "read" him.
Posted by Dvin from Glendale, CA on February 27, 2007 9:37 PM
Ashley: I think you're right in saying that Snape owes something to Harry, and I would make a parallel with Petunia. They both seem to hate Harry, they can be nasty with him (only Umbridge is worse), but they help him.
I wonder whether this has to do with Lily's eyes (Harry "has got Lily's eyes"). Something Snape promised to Lily, like remaining fidel to her eyes? Could this magical bound be transfered to Harry's eyes, so that Snape would at once if he didn't remain fidel to Harry?
Posted by herve from strasbourg on February 27, 2007 11:51 PM
I think you are on to something herve. Maybe Snape & Lily made an unbreakable vow in the past (for what remains hdden for now) and that is why Snape can never do harm to Harry. He has had plenty of opportunities to do so even after "repaying" his to James for saving his life. This would have bound Snape to keep Harry from harm at the end of HBP, whether Snape was good or bad. Maybe this is the "iron clad proof" that Dumbledore trusted Snape for.
Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico, USA on February 28, 2007 08:13 AM
Herve, let's take the promise a bit further. Do you think that Lily and Snape made an unbreakable vow as a childhood friends? We've touched upon this on this site earlier. I think it is possible. In HBP we learn from Ron that if an unbreakable vow is broken a person can . He tells of Fred and George trying to get him to do one as a kid, but that his dad stopped it. Maybe this is JKR's way of giving us a clue to another childhood unbreakable vow (one between Snape and Lily) that was not prevented.
The question then becomes twofold. First how was it worded. If it did have something to do with Lily's eyes, as Herve just suggested, then that might carry over to Harry (he has Lily's eyes). Second, who was their bonder? yikes---Petunia? any ideas?
Posted by Heather from NJ on February 28, 2007 10:27 AM
Lets go over the different life s and Unbreakable vows we know or suspect of:
1.- Wormtail (Peter Petigrew) ows Harry a life for not allowing both Sirius and Professor Lupin to him, he who had allowed Voldemort to Harry�s parents, by revealing their location.
Wormtail is with Voldemort more from fear than devotion, fear from the authorities for facilitating the of the Potter�s, and fear of the Dark Lord himself, but in to Harry.
2.- Snape owed a life to Harry�s father for saving him from a certain on the hands of young Lupin (when transformed into a werewolf), and I believe that you can only repay a life by saving the life of the person who saved yours, or if not possible, the life of their kin.
Linda from Kentucky wrote on page six of these comments that Snape was probably in love with Harry�s mom, Lily, and feels guilty and responsible for her , as he as the one to tell the Dark Lord about the Prophesy.
I believe that Snape has mixed feelings about Harry, he hates seeing James in him, but at the same time wants to protect Lily�s son, as he sees her in Harry�s eyes all the time, but what he also sees the face of James, the one who Lily chose.
It�s possible that Snape has/had an unbreakable vow with Dumbledore, that might have been Snape�s idea, which forced him to him on DD�s orders, but that Snape is not actually �returning� to Voldy, but going to him in order to know his plans and report back to the Order of the Phoenix, who would be better suited to report to the order than the �Right hand man� of their mortal enemy?, and which would be a better way of demonstrating both to the Dark Lord an to his followers that he was back with them, than by ing Dumbledore?, and I again think this was Dumbledore�s idea.
3.- Harry �saves� Ginny�s life in the Camber of Secrets, but I don�t thing this constitutes a life , because he did it while trying to destroy the young Riddle, but I might be wrong. He also saves Mr. Weasly in a way, when he tells Dumbledore about his dream in which Mr. Weasly is bitten by Nagini in the corridor leading to where the prophesies are stored, and if I�m not mistaken, he also saves one of the older Weasly�s from being ed by the Warewolf on HBP, whose future wife �Fleur� (which by the way means flower) thanks Harry for �saving her sister� in GoF, when Harry makes sure that she gets out of the lake of the Marepeople.
4.- I agree with Liz from Australia (Page 8)
�An Unbreakable vow is an agreement which two people choose to enter into. Whilst the consequences may be severe, they do not exist until the choice to make the vow has been made. A life , however, seems to be part of 'Harry's kind of magic', love-related, Dumbledore related, phoenix related, mother giving life to save her son, value of an intact soul type of magic.�
Which tells us that is a much more powerful and elemental magic, something that you are born with, not something that you can study, although it might be good for Harry to try to find out more of this �Elemental� magic before he has to face Voldy again.
Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on March 1, 2007 11:15 AM
I think that the Bonder would probably have to be Dumbledore, seeing as he had that iron-clad reason for Dumbledore to trust Snape that Dave Porter brought up.
We know Snivellus is a good liar. How easy would it be, amidst all those lies he told Dumbledore, to say that he had an Unbreakable Vow between Lily, who was and could not give testimony?
Posted by Ashley from Missouri on March 1, 2007 12:24 PM
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