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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 17)

Dumbledore knew of many, many events and probabilities long before we or the characters suspected them. He knew the Vow was a sentence for him and planned accordingly.
Monkeeshrines, I agree that Snape's switch to DADA was done purposefully by Dumbledore, and I also think the hiring of Slughorn was purposeful. He is described as being a good friend of Dumbledore, but I wonder if there is more to it than that. I have some questions about his depth of involvement with Riddle. If his only indiscretion was letting slip about the spell to make horcruxes, why hide that? I wonder how much more he let slip, and how "charmed' he was by Riddle.
My perception of Dumbledore's view of magic is that it is useful and available to those with the ss but it is like a river. It is better to "go with the flow" than to try to go against the natural order of things.
He knew he could not subvert or withstand the Unbreakable Vow without unintended consequence (possibly injury to Harry on the tower, if he got in the way), so he accepted that his time of was approaching and made the preparations he could to best protect Harry when he was gone.
Voldemort, on the other hand, has little respect for magic, beyond the power it can give him, so he thwarts himself at every turn.

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on April 26, 2007 07:29 AM

I dont know how Snape could fool Lord Voldemort considering Voldemort is the world's most powerful Legilimens. I actually have this doubt. Lets say that Voldemort is using Legilimens to break into my mind and I use Occlumency to keep him out. Will Voldemort be able to sort of feel that I'm trying to block him? Because if he can feel his target trying to use Occlumency, he would know that the target is hiding something from him. And the target here is Professor Snape.

Posted by Yash from Bangalore,India on April 26, 2007 8:22 PM

What if Voldemort is the greatest legilimens but Snape is the greatest Occlumens....Snape says to Harry "The Dark Lord, for instance, ALMOST always knows when somebody is lying to him" (my CAPS...p469 OotP) This suggests that Snape may know of instances when the Dark Lord didn't know he was being lied to.

Snape puts three memories into the pensieve before teaching Harry occlumency. Presumably one was the memory of James etc and Lily which we see when Harry experiences it. What were the other two? Presumably one is the one which explains why Dumbledore trusts Snape so explicitly perhaps the actual events....the other perhaps the moment when Snape goes to Dumbledore to switch sides/betray Voldemort? Why is it so important that Harry doesn't see these last two?.....because his knowing them would put Snape at risk in the presence of Voldemort? and this would jeopardise Harry in some way?

Posted by Joe from England on April 27, 2007 08:05 AM

Snape owes Harry another life , after the events in HBP when the Eaters were escaping, another Eater was trying to Harry but was unable to do this since Snape tells him that Harry belongs to the Dark Lord. This was a life if you consider it, but it was made protecting his Eater status, so if it is relevant we find out in ly Hollows.

Posted by Ken from Ft. Worth, TX on April 27, 2007 6:07 PM

YES i believe Peter Pettegrew stand up to Voldemort. But that may not be true.

Posted by Jojo from USA on April 29, 2007 07:13 AM

Dont Ron and Mr.Weasley have a to Harry? He saved both of them. No, that any of this matters, i just wanted to point it out that in the 7th book they may factor into it.

Posted by Emily from Wisconsin on May 5, 2007 11:56 AM

I have a theory about this topic. do you all remember when harry was telling dumbledore about the events in the graveyard in book 4? when harry told the part about how wormtail gave his hand "ingly" (flesh of the servant, ingly given) and as harry was talking, dumbledore had a look of triumph on his face for the briefest of instants. well, I think that look was because wormtail owes his life to harry, so he didn't really give his flesh ingly. something went wrong with voldemorts transformation, and I am sure that this is going to come up in the 7th book.

Posted by bob from harlem, NY on May 6, 2007 12:12 PM

I think we see too many life s. Life is something very specific. When Harry decided that Pettigrew shouldn't be ed, he really was the one that had Pettigrew's in his hands. Pettigrew was an awful criminal. If he hadn't escaped, he would most probably have been kissed by a Dementor.

Saving someone from an accidental should not earn you a life . If it was so, then Ron would owe his father a life , and maybe Harry would owe something to Dumbledore and Hermione, and Hermione to Harry (the troll), and Ron to Harry (the bezoar), and Mr Weasley to a bunch of people who helped him being cured (the snake), and so on.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on May 7, 2007 07:03 AM

Herve, I think you are right that a life arises from something deliberate rather than accidental. I also think a life only comes into play with someone who would otherwise not have good intentions. In other words, Hermione would not need a life to Harry, to act in his best interest, it is in her nature to do so. However, Pettigrew's actions would be influenced by the life , in ways he might not be inclined to act without it.

Posted by Patty from Quincy MA on May 7, 2007 5:27 PM

The idea about Snape performing the unbreakable vow with Dumbledore definitely intrigued me, but it makes me wonder how no one knew Dumbledore's reasons for trusting Snape (if this did happen), as someone would have needed to be the 'bonder' and therefore would have observed the vows made...

Posted by Gina g on May 9, 2007 10:16 AM

Gina: That person was most likely sworn to secrecy, or perhaps, it was someone who doesn't talk to people a lot, like Aberforth...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on May 9, 2007 3:32 PM

I sincerely doubt that Albus Dumbledore would perform have Snape perform an unbreakable vow.

Dumbledore is a believer in choice, he tells Harry that it is his choices which make him what he is. In the tower, Albus tries to convince Draco not to him, he did not stop him with magic, he tries to reason with him and to give him options, but THE CHOICE is always Dracoís.

Dumbledore believes in Snape, he trusts him, I donít think Albus would hinder anybodyís use of free .

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on May 10, 2007 10:47 AM

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