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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 5)

I hate to be a heretic on this site, but I think that it's quite clear that Dumbledore is . Harry's love of Dumbledore strengthen his resolve to destroy Voldemort.
I have no explanation for Snape's betrayal. I genuinely think that Snape is a good person. Somehow Dumbledore's is part of a larger plan. Somehow Dumbledore's benefit "the good side" - which would support my theory of Dumbledore being evil.

I really hope Dumbledore's not . I want Snape to be good! Snape is one of my favorite characters (other than Sirius).

Posted by Elaine from Canada on May 2, 2007 2:58 PM

I should very much hope that Dumbledore isn't evil! I think its perfectly logical that Dumbledore come back as a ghost and help harry. Maybe like his parents did. I'm pretty sure that hes really , and Snape is really evil...

Posted by Matthew King from Idaho on May 2, 2007 6:13 PM

I agree with the fact that Dumbledore is and although someone may have mentioned this but he d to keep Harry going in their fight against Voldemort. I think it was in book 6 when Harry said that he had been inquired by Rufus Scrimgeour and Harry had said that he was, indeed, Dumbledores man through and through. This would have been enough for Dumbledore to start his plan for his own . When Dumbledore would have d, a thirst for revenge would have been born inside of Harry and he would of course be more engaged towards destroying Voldemort. I think this was the true reason why Dumbledore planned his own .


I believe the idea that Dumbledore planned his own to motivate Harry is incorrect. This can be seen mostly through Snape's actions in the 'Spinners End' chapter. It is very evident that he does not know of the plan they are talking about, but is sly enough to get them to divulge some of the details (I suppose, contrary to Narcissa calling him Voldemort's confidant, Voldemort must be keeping him at arms length somewhat). On of the crucial scenes is when he stares out the window.

Keep in mind that when you are in a well (or partially, even) lit room and it is black outside, you can see very little on the other side and the window is essentially a mirror. Owing to the fact that when he turns around again, his mood has changed, we can tell he has learned or guessed something. I believe he used the mirror to perform Occlumancy on the women (probably Narcissa since her mind was distraught and fragile at the time), and understood that Voldemort had ordered Draco to Dumbledore.

It is a little unusual, the wording he chooses when he says he help Draco.

'It might be possible...for me to help Draco'

It's unusual that he offers, and you would think that he would resist having to do so unless:

a) it was anticipated this might happen; slightly unlikely

b) he knew she was going to ask and so in offering, it raises his standing in their eyes

c) the pause means he was unsure or hesitating.

It is very obvious that he doesn't expect to be bonded to ing Dumbledore if Draco should fail. This can be seen when he flinches during the spell. He knows he is trapped and if he should stop, he be exposed. He has no choice but to agree. I think that he agreed to enter the Unbreakable Vow with only the intention of HELPING Draco (and in doing so, allowing Dumbledore to know what is going on).

Thus, he must then inform Dumbledore that he has just agreed to him, should Draco fail to do so. He wouldn't of course know how, but would be asked by DD to find out, under the guise of helping Draco.

In closing, I do not believe, and am fairly certain I am correct, that Dumbledore chose to on his own.

Certainly, he could have ed Draco or locked him up, but then he would have lost Snape, who he needs to bring down Voldemort. He was put in an unfortunate place, as often happens in battles between those of great power.

And remember that he was good friends with Flamel who " have enough elixir left to put their affairs in order" before , and who also believed that "to the well organized mind, is but the next great adventure. Clearly, he recognized that he was getting old, that his reactions were slow, and that he could not defeat Voldemort on his own. Snape and Harry were more important, and had he not d, Snape would have. He was ready to , clearly, and was not afraid of it. That is what seperates him from Voldemort.

Posted by Reveille from Kingston, ON on May 2, 2007 6:26 PM

Elaine, Dumbledore being evil? What therory is this, or is it a typo?

In regards to the human-phoenix theory... I think it is an interesting concept. Has anyone done any research into the name of Fawkes? Or once the wizard has become the phoenix, and the previous phoenix has "passed on", would the new "master" know what wizard the phoenix was? Or would they get a new name at that point?

Can you imagine Harry calling "his" phoenix Dumbledore?

Posted by Chris from Walla Walla on May 3, 2007 08:15 AM

From the reading of these posts, it seems that I may be the only one perusing this site (except Matt) that is not fully convinced that Snape is one of the "good guys". Yes, the arguments and evidence used to support this belief are well formulated and outline a grand plan that is so complex and far reaching that Snape and Dumbledore would have to be working together to pull it off. Or would they?

My contention is that most of the evidence used to support the �good� arguments is very circumstantial in their interpretation and are interpreted this way, because so many of us have so wanted Snape to be good and redeemable. The one piece that is irrefutable is that Dumbledore stated numerous times that he trusted Snape - completely. But that has never been fully explained as to why. So here's a thought.

Dumbledore has always had the uncanny ability to read people and situations and predict actions and outcomes (hold that thought). What if Snape has truly been on the side of Voldemort all along and Dumbledore fully knows this. Could his �trust� be based on Snape acting exactly as his true nature/allegiance dictate and therefore Dumbledore has made his grand plans around this fact?

To the original premise of the article of Dumbledore coming back, I also agree much rides on what Rowling�s definition of �pulling a Gandalf� means. My feeling is that it means is . But there may still be a way around the issue and it has to do with the mention made earlier by Patty about time-turners. Dumbledore always had the uncanny knack for knowing what people�s actions be and being able to show up at just the right time. I think the use of a time-turner goes far in explaining this and he does have that nifty weird timepiece he�s always carrying. I think the use of a time-turner could also be applied to his as well.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione gives a clue of it being possible when she recounts the strict rules in their use, and touches on the fact there has been instances of wizards having �ed their past or future selves�. So by canon it is a possibility. This would allow for a possibility of Dumbledore to be working behind the scenes in book 7 (possibly make a surprise appearance at a critical moment?) while still remaining true to the premise that he s (irrevocably) in book 6. A bit far fetched? Possibly, but hey � this is magic after all.

Posted by Seyah from Jordan, Utah on May 3, 2007 09:46 AM

Most searches on the name Fawkes run into Guy Fawkes of "Gunpowder plot" fame and presumably not a Wizard.

Fantastic Beasts would lead us to believe that there are 'wild' phoenix who may only be tamed by exceptional wizards. This could be a blow to the Human-Phoenix connection. Tamed or not, a bird which can tell the difference between spells and keep watch strikes me as having somehow more than a 'bird brain'. And how a 'wild' phoenix could have been sighted at the cremation//internment of Dumbledore goes beyond coincidence.

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on May 3, 2007 1:54 PM

Dumbeldore might be because Snape used the Unbreakable Vow saying if Draco failed anything he would do it. So he had to Dumbeldore because Voldemort asked Draco to but he failed so according to the vow Snape had to do it.

Posted by jessthizlle from new youk on May 3, 2007 4:44 PM

Seyah, good thought about the timeturner, perhaps Dumbledore did end up ing his future self! Someone mentioned Ron was given a watch very similar to Dumbledore's. Having read HP6 2 times now I think there are hints throughout showing Dumbledore knew his time would soon be up. Perhaps he gave Ron the watch for the very reason you suggested, and Ron play a crusial part and step out of Harry's shadow. Afterall, Gandalf didn't travel through time to come back, he transformed form Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White.

Posted by mmc from sa on May 3, 2007 6:04 PM

If Snape is indeed good, (and I believe he is), he would have had to tell Dumbledore that he made the vow. Also, Snape was one of those close to Voldemort at the time the story begins for all of the reasons he gives Bellatrix.

While Voldemort has never had or wanted friends, it seems like if he would have informed Bellatrix (who was not on good terms with Voldemort at the time) of the task Draco was to take on, he would surely tell Snape as well.

So if Dumbledore knew of Malfoy's plan, and Snape's vow, it would seem plausible that Dumbledore himself would just to save Snape from breaking the vow, and even more ingly if he knew that it would help Harry and the Order somehow. Hundreds of famous tales throughout history have shown the of someone close inspiring people to gain strength from their grief and do extraordinary things. So far Harry has lost his parents, his godfather, and Dumbledore, to whom Harry felt a very close connection. And Dumbledore even made clear that the fact that since, Harry could still love, it made him even more powerful and strong.

Also, Snape was an accomplished Occlumens, but who taught it to him? Snape "taught" it to Harry, Bellatrix taught it to Malfoy, perhaps Dumbledore himself taught it to Snape. I don't think Snape would be able to lie to Dumbledore, even if he could lie to Voldemort. Dumbledore has a good read on people, occlumency or not. I don't think Snape would have been able to hide the vow, Malfoy's plan, and his true intentions from Dumbledore one way or another.

Posted by Andrea from Syracuse, NY on May 3, 2007 6:29 PM

Charlie, thanks for addressing my suggestion of the Dumbledore might be a human version of a phoenix---otherwise know as the "human-phoenix". I really do believe that he com back to us all (and Harry) in this fashion. JKR is therfore not lying to us when she claims that he is . He his---but then again we have all watched fawkes and then become reborn. Dumbledore be reborn from his own ashes. I'm tempted to say that he was reborn and Harry saw a fleeting glimpse of him at the (the phoenix in the smoke).

For those who continue to suggest that Dumbledore would come back as a ghost, i doubt it. i must remind you that we are told that people become ghosts when they are afraid of . Dumbledore was not afraid of ---in fact he seemed to welcome the adventure.

As for Snape---he did what he was told to do by Dumbledore. Although he uttered the AK ing curse, he clearly did not perform that spell. Non verbal spells are the focus of the HBP and it appears that Snape performed a differnt nonverbal spell throwing Dumbledore over the tower. Again, this was Dumbledore's master plan. Voldemort and Harry (and us) need to believe taht Dumbledore is in order for Harry to conquer Voldemort in book 7.

In the end, Snape prove that he is good.

Posted by Heather from NJ on May 3, 2007 6:55 PM

Interesting thought on the time piece Ron got. I'd forgot all about it. I dont remember, was it a old fashion vest watch or a wrist watch that he got?
To the posts regarding Snape not really using the AK curse on Dumbledore but some other non-verbal spell or spells because how Dumbledore flew back off the tower isnt indicative of what we have seen it do in past. But we have seen it cause varing amounts of damage to inanimate objects when its missed intended targets. We all seem to agree the amount of effect an AK has on its target depends on the amount of force (emotional?) you put into it. How do we know how much emotional force was put into Snape's AK?
Additionally, in the eyes of the Ministry (who I completely agree to being incompetent and corrupt as well), how does this change Snape's guilt in having MURDERED Dumbledore? So he threw him off the building instead of using an AK. We've seen that its not only Unforgivable Curses that land you in Azkaban. How Snape prove his innocence without Dumbledore to provide witness statement that he was acting on his orders?

Posted by Seyah from Jordan, Utah on May 4, 2007 08:23 AM

Also we've been told that no one can escape Azkaban, yet Sirius does in book 3. So even though we are told you can not, its possible that you can, this goes for both the and beyond the veil where Sirius is now trapped.

Posted by Mathias from Denmark on May 4, 2007 12:47 PM

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