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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 9)

And what if the terms of Snape's Unbreakable Vow with Dumbledore also includes watching over Harry? That would explain why Snape continues to do so, even after he saved Harry's life during the Quidditch match in Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone. If it was a life that was causing Snape to protect Harry, it would be logical to assume that would have been paid off when Snape saved Harry's life by counter-jinxing Quirrel's broom jinx. But, Snape has carried on protecting Harry even after this.

I have one thing to say with this. I dont agree that Snape saved Harrys life, because even though he stopped Quirrel from sending him from his broom it was Hermione that saved ahrry because she knocked Quirrel out of the way in a rsh to get to Snape.

But the Unbreakable Vow thing sounds plausible. I may not agree with it, but it sounds plausible, because as we also know, DD was angry with Snape when he refused to do something for him and he said that he had promised to do it and agreed.

So it could make a bit of sense

Posted by Sonya from Australia on January 7, 2007 03:02 AM

I Agree with Sonya, But even after that you Do notice snape protecting Harry as well as His friends. When Lupin changed into a werewolf, Snape gathered them behind him, and holds his arms out in a protective stance, He also takes a hit from Lupin as he swipes at them.
He gets back up quite fast, and as Harry runs off he without leaving the others trys to grab him back.

In my opinion, it pokes at Snape being a Good person.

Posted by Ryan Convery from Northern Ireland/Uk. on January 7, 2007 08:38 AM

I agree that DD would not have asked for an unbreakable vow, he trusted Snape; and I think in this he was wrong. In both book 5 and book 6 we see DD make terrible, but very human, errors, of judgement: he doesn't tell Harry the full story about Voldemort being after him and he trusts Snape and ends up because of it. The point is that no one, not even someone as wise as DD, is always right all the time. From this point of view the statement 'I trust Dumbledore therefore I trust Snape' is a problem - nobody is so infalible that we should ignore our own judgement.
I think it is significant that Hermione trusts Snape because she trusts DD - but she doesn't trust the Half Blood Prince, and she is actually right not to!
On the other hand I know there are plot points that indicate maybe Snape isn't working for Voldemort (why did he save DD's life after the ring accident? Why did he alert the order to the fact that Harry had gone to the Ministry?) - but on the whole I tend to think DD was just wrong about Snape and this is an important them of the book - even the wise old white haired guy can be wrong.

Posted by Carol from Hungary on January 7, 2007 08:55 AM

Even though I think an UV between Snape and Dumbledore is a very plausible theory, I have to agree with the people who think Dubledore doesn't want to need such a thing. But what would happen if you let Snape make the request for the UV? After he realizes he is responsible for Lily getting ed, Snape turns to Dumbledore and he is so mad with grief and remorse and what more, that he convinces Dumbledore to let him make an UV. And another thing: It has crossed my mind that maybe Dumbledore isn't the one Snape made the vow to, but that Dumbledore was in fact the Bonder. Then the trust issue would have completely been avoided.

Posted by Anya from Enschede, the Netherlands on January 9, 2007 05:26 AM

Occam's Razor
"All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one."

If Snape were truely contrite and repentant, it would be simplest for him to drop his mental defences and allow Dumbledore access to his thoughts and feelings. This would make Snape the most vulnerable and therefor the most convincing to Dumbledore.

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 9, 2007 09:24 AM

Snape is a very fine Occlumens - with one exception, I doubt there is a circumstance in which Dumbledore could be certain of Snape's repentance. Someone else has already touched on my theory; that Snape was in love with Lily Potter. This would also explain his almost maniacal hatred of James's memory - sexual jealousy tinged with guilt. It also explains why he turned spy when he saw where Voldemort was going with the information. In the first potions lesson in HBP Slughorn makes a very interesting comment about the love potion Amortentia, that it only create a powerful obsession, because "you cannot manufacture or imitate love". Very rough quote - my son has pinched my copy! My point is that it's the one thing Snape would not be able to fake to deceive Dumbledore, and the one thing that would incline Dumbledore to trust him.
I think Dumbledore did give Snape orders to him if there was no other way out. My theory is that Dumbledore was trying to the very end to protect Draco Malfoy from what he, Dumbledore, would consider a fate worse than - the maiming of Malfoy's soul by committing the act of . Dumbledore has never feared . There are references to his acceptance of as a part of life from the first book on. But there are things far worse than , and Dumbledore is prepared to genuinely give his life to protect a boy in his charge from them. This is why I do not believe that Dumbledore "do a Gandalf". Not suggesting that Tolkien cheated, but it just doesn't seem to fit this scenario.
Just my thoughts. I've been enjoying the posts so much that I thought I'd join in instead of working. Oops.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 10, 2007 04:27 AM

I have some questions.

Does Voldemort owe Pettigrew a life for helping him regain his material form? Afterall Voldemort said that he was less than the meanest ghost.

Did Barty Crouch Jr. owe his father a life for rescuing him from Azcaban? It seemed like the son was on his bed at the time. If so, then Barty jr. had a very strange way of paying it back.

Does/did Dolores Umbridge owe Dumbledore a life for rescuing her from the centuars? [I think they were to do her in.] Would she even realize that she owed him the ?

In my mind the life is a very blurry and subjective issue.

Posted by Mikey from New Jersey on January 13, 2007 6:06 PM

You know, I'm really curious about something at the end of GoF. When Harry tells Dumbledore and Sirius about how Pettigrew took the blood from his arm and used it to regenerate Voldemort, something's going on there. Why does Dumbledore look triumphant?
What if at the very end when Harry & co have destroyed all the horcruxes, it comes down to Harry and Voldemort and Voldemort uses the Avada Kedavra - is it possible that having used Harry's blood to regenerate, Voldemort have made Harry immune to his curse, so that the curse bounces again and this time s him? A sort of blood brother effect, rather like the wands. That's exactly the sort of magic that Dumbledore knows about, and Voldemort tends to overlook. Also, being convinced that Snape IS a good guy, I am sure that Rowling has saved him for some spectacular act, maybe destroying the snake, which logically is going to have to be the last horcrux before Harry faces Voldemort. Maybe Snape and Pettigrew can Nagini between them? Voldemort might still not realise that all the other horcruxes are destroyed. If he did he might disapparate.

And there is one other thing that niggles at me - why does Dumbledore infer that Voldemort can no longer make horcruxes? At the top of p475 of my UK edition Harry says;
'But I thought he meant Lucius Malfoy to smuggle it into Hogwarts?' 'Yes, he did, years ago when he was sure he would be able to create more horcruxes...'
To me this sounds as though Dumbledore believes Voldemort can't make any more for some reason. Otherwise, why wouldn't he take into account the possibility of Voldemort having replaced the diary? I'm guessing that while seven might be the most powerfully magical number, it might also be the upper limit of how many horcruxes you can make before destroying yourself.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 14, 2007 05:53 AM

What you are guessing at, makes perfect sense.
Supposing Dumbledore did in fact believe that Voldemort couldn't make any more Horcruxes for some specific reasons -

To Dumbledore's knowledge, no wizard/witch had ever made seven Horcruxes, so there would be a lot of guesswork. Though considering Dumbledore's age, he would naturally have learned and seen more than any other wizard.

Maybe the logical answer is, "I skate on thin ice now;-) that once the soul is split and the horcruxes made, you cannot split your soul again, if a piece is destroyed.

While talking about Horcruxes, I have to correct myself for a remarks I made this afternoon. I suggested that because two of his Horcruxes were already destroyed, Voldemort would be "weakened"! is what Dumbledore tells Harry in HBP quote:

"Never forget, though, that while his soul may be damaged beyond repair, his brain and his magical power remain intact."

Posted by Mistral from Z�rich, Switzerland on January 14, 2007 09:41 AM

It is possible, that since Morty started out human, but has become less so with every Horcrux made, maybe there is a limit to the number of Pieces of your soul you can remove and still be human.

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 15, 2007 06:50 AM

Kevin: I think one of the main points of the book is, the maximum times you can split your soul and still be human IS ZERO! Nobody but the most evil, criminally insane person would do it even once! Voldemort's the only wizard to have done it more than once...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on January 15, 2007 07:23 AM

History is full of Monsters, and ALL of them are human.

I meant that Morty is perhaps becoming some other sort of being entirely...

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 15, 2007 07:51 AM

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