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Severus Snape v. The Ministry of Magic

by J.K. Rich

After reading Book Six in the Harry Potter saga, millions of Harry Potter fans were devastated to learn that after it all�after all the warnings and signs�Severus Snape is, in fact, evil. And, even more devastating�he had killed Professor Dumbledore right in front of The Boy That Lived. Or did he?

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Reader Comments: (Page 4)

Dumbledore coming back to life and thus disproving the Doctrine of would violate the continuity of the story. There are no do-overs in real life and I believe JKR has not written book 7 with such an easy out. If Dumbledore found a way to return, but Harry's parents and Sirius are still , Harry would experience sorrow over their s anew every time he looked at Dumbledore. I know there are proponents of time-turning, but I think this is a different situation. Buckbeak never d in the original timeline. Dumbledore quickly put it all together and maintained events as they happened by giving Hermione and Harry the opportunity to do what had already been done, not to change events.
As to whether or not Gandalf d, it does not really matter if we believe he d or not. It matters what JKR believes. What does "pulling a Gandalf" mean to her?
I read a quote from JKR in which she states that wizards have ways to make their voices heard from beyond the grave. I think Dumbledore knew his time was up and made preparations to help Harry from beyond , not by returning.
Snape arrived on the tower when Draco had already attempted and failed in his task in front of witnesses. He had to live up to the Unbreakable Vow, or suffer the consequences. Dumbledore had probably spent the whole year studiously avoiding Draco's presence in the interest of delaying what he could not ultimately prevent. Instead, he is using his somehow to further Harry's protections.

Posted by Patty from Quincy MA on April 30, 2007 4:44 PM

Ok I just read this new post, and half way through this it hit me... Why has J. K. Rowling talked about Dumbledore�s phoenix Fawkes in nearly every book? Well, she is hinting on how Dumbledore is going to come back to life... A phoenix is a magical creature which at the end of its life burst into flames and is reborn from the ashes... Well isn�t true that Dumbledore was burned after he "d"... Maybe he figured out a way to take the rebirthing powers of a phoenix... That is why he was burned after he d, so he could be reborn from the ashes...

Posted by Taylor M. from Tyler, Tx on April 30, 2007 4:44 PM

One problem with your theory.

The books are named after "Harry Potter" not "Albus Dumbledore". In order for him to be the actual hero, he must do the work.

Dumbledore is gone in body....we here from him in the portraits or pensieve in Book 7....but not reality. Harry does it we all knew it had to be.

Posted by David from Chicago on April 30, 2007 7:07 PM

Harry didn't go to Azkaban for trying to curse Bellatrix because he didn't know how (or want to) to do the curse properly. As Bellatrix said, "you've got to mean it". Without meaning, the unforgivable curses are, for lack of any other term, not unforgivable.

And that brings us back to my original point. Did Snape "mean" the ing curse with the possible negative consequences of DD's & a life sentence in Azkaban, or was there an underlying nonverbal spell?

Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico on April 30, 2007 7:47 PM

I think Harry did not go to Azkaban because he would have to stand trial before the Ministry, which is notably inept. (They did not know Dobby, not Harry, performed magic at Privet Drive.) They would need witnesses to testify against Harry, and the only witness was Bella, and maybe Dumbledore.
An Unforgivable Curse only buys you a ticket to Azkaban if you get caught and found guilty.

Posted by Patty from Quincy MA on May 1, 2007 04:39 AM

I agree with almost everything the author says. I only disagree with that Albus come back, and agree with Patty that it disrupts the continuity of the story. He is actually, and permanently, . I do not think he was ed with Avada Kedavera, but the combination of his increasing weaker state, the potion and the fall; I do not believe AK was used at all on the tower, but rather Levi- and Libracorpus in quick succession. I do not think Voldemort would really care whether or not Severus faked AK to Albus, just as long as Albus was good and .
I also feel the insatiable need to clarify, although it seems to go against my firm belief that Abus is not coming back to life, that he would not be the only literary character to do so should he choose to. Dave said the same thing in his initial "Is Not " article. Other literary works do incorporate this aspect as well; allegory or not, Aslan is a literary character (for example). Almost all mythologies also hold elements of and resurrection. Not only the familiar Jesus Christ story, but (among others) the Greeks had Persephone, the Sumerians had Inana, the Egyptians had Osiris, Mayans have Hunahpu and Xbalanque, the Japanese Ohkuninushi is revived several times, and so on. The theme of a and rising character, "deity" or otherwise, has been present in our stories since stories existed.

Posted by Monkeeshrines from orlando fl on May 1, 2007 07:56 AM

Just to be up-front. I think that Snape is good, but did Dumbledore. I don't know if he used Avada Kedavra or if he used something else, but I think that cheating would be very out of character for Dumbledore.
Dumbledore does not fear , as Voldemort does so he wouldn't have taken such measures to ensure that he wouldn't . He wouldn't have made horcruxes and there is no way he would have sent someone in his place knowing the risks that were involved.
Also, if Snape had not ed Dumbledore, he would be instead. I believe that that is the stake for the unbreakable vow. And I think that even if others were fooled into believing that Dumbledore was , the magic that binds that vow would be more powerful and would be able to determine if the vow had been broken or not.
I really think that Snape informed Dumbledore about his vow and that Dumbledore told him that if it came to that, he was to proceed in the way that he did.
Dumbledore has worked tirelessly against Voldemort and one of the keys is having Snape on the inside getting information for them.
Dumbledore's , though terrible for Harry, is very important to the growth of his character. Dumbledore is the last of Harry's great protectors. Whatever happens next has to be Voldemort vs. Harry, not Dumbledore.
Dumbledore has done all that he was meant to do and now, it's Harry's turn.

And Snape, I just love to hate Snape. I think that all the defense that I could give for Snape has already been mentioned, so I won't go into it again. Except to say that Snape, while a complete jerk to Harry, hasn't shown us any true allegiance to either side.
I think he was cleverly and purposely written that way, I know there is more to come from him, and I just can't wait to hate him a little bit more before his true character is revealed.

Posted by Rachel on May 1, 2007 09:25 AM

I can totally go for the Dumbledore is a human phoenix idea. And it explains why his body went into flames. I kinda like that whole idea.

As far as Snape and Dumbledore planning for Snape to Dumbledore, I don't buy it. Would Dumbledore really want Snape to use AK on him (or anyone for that matter)? I doubt that Dulmbedore would plan for one of his followers (for lack of a better term) to use the AK curse on him. Assissted suicide? No, Dumbledore wouldn't have wanted that. So I think Snape must have been doing some nonverbal magic in his head and just saying AK if it was planned or if Snape is really a good guy. The good guys don't use dark magic. I think Dumbledore said somewhere that he chose not to use it. It also scares me that Harry was trying out that Crucio curse.

Posted by amber from jacksonville, fl on May 1, 2007 10:30 AM

I think the human phoenix idea is good, not sure it'll work, but it's hopeful. We know phoenixs have healing powers as shown by fixing harry's fatal wound in HP2. If and injury that cause can be fixed, can a be fixed? Keeping in mind how powerful dumbledore is, is it possible fawkes was working his powers the moment dumbledore d in order to help him somehow, perhaps with a rebirth, perhaps someother way. I have no idea what happen with dumbledore, but I think he with atleast feature as his talking portrait.

Posted by mmc from sa on May 1, 2007 4:19 PM

Someone suggested that snape used levi- and libracorpus to Dumbledore. I think the use of non-verbal spells is an intruiging idea. I just wanted to point out that the light out of Snapes wand was definitely green. What color are levi and libra? What other spells cause green jets of light? Just wondering if anyone knew.

Posted by Geoffrey Martin-Noble from Seattle, WA on May 1, 2007 10:33 PM

I would like to know this: Where do you get Phoenixes? It seems they cannot simply be purchased in Diagon Alley, or wouldn't others have one? What if...a Phoenix is the reincarnated figure of somebody? It's just a wild thought. But my original question does remain, where did Dumbledore get Fawkes?

Posted by Amy from P. Kentucky on May 2, 2007 05:15 AM

A 'human phoenix'... interesting idea. Consider Fawkes.. He responds to 'loyalty'.. He knows enough about spells to intercept Avada kedavra for Dumbledore in the middle of a duel, he knews when and where to apply tears to Harry numerous times, leaves messages (feather), can 'keep watch' and give a signal if someone is coming. Isn't that just a little much for a bird?

Would it be surprising if all phoenix were once Wizards? If Ghosts had to be wizards who chose not to pass on from this world why could it not be that Phoenix were also Wizards who with a speall or other enchantment not 'pass on'? Perhaps as Harry knew that Fawkes would NEVER return that when Dumbledore d Fawkes was released to 'pass on'? If Harry then did see a Phoenix at the it was Dumbledore who had become a replacement for Fawkes?

The original Phoenix was supposedly a single bird...did not reproduce with a mate or pair. Could it be that Phoenix are not created by biological reproduction, but by a succession of Wizards? This would allow Dumbledore to carry out some of the earthly unfinished business in a 'ghost like' fashion but to also pass on when his time here was done. It seems to me to tie up more loose ends with Dumbledore and Fawkes than now having 2 phoenix (s).

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on May 2, 2007 08:16 AM

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