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The Aftermath: We were all correct

by David Haber

Sometime a week before Book 7 came out, someone commented that Harry would die, but then come back. I think most everyone on the site thought it was a silly idea. But I told several people at that time that I thought that just might be the perfect solution, although I couldn't figure out how J.K. could make it work. J.K. did, of course! So, the half of the Harry Potter fans in the world who thought Harry would die were right! And the other half who thought he would live were also right!

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Reader Comments: (Page 83)

Here's what I think happened:
Voldemort chose to believe the prophecy, and so chose Harry as his enemy, unaware that he made an accidental Horcrux when he attacked. Dumbledore recognised the "symptoms" of the Horcrux in Harry (parseltongue, dreams, mental links) and hatched a plan, knowing it meant Harry had to to remove the Horcrux, but only after eliminating the other Horcruxes. Voldemort made the crucial mistake of using Harry's (and Lily's) blood to rebirth in GoF, thus entwining their survival.

Here is where we diverge from the prophecy. Voldemort's survival ensured Harry could not . Dumbledore's look of triumph meant he recognized the chance that Voldemort had created for Harry's survival. Now, Harry could remove the piece of Voldemort's soul by leaving it behind in , and return without it.

Here is where the Elder Wand comes into play. But here is also where I lose the thread. If Harry has the wand he can defeat Voldemort. But how is it that Dumbledore intended Harry to get ownership of the wand? Dumbledore knew he could never expect Harry to challenge him realistically for the wand, so he set up the situation with Snape. Did Dumbledore know that the wand would recognize the setup and refuse to belong to Snape? Did he expect Harry to duel Snape and get the wand that way?

But Dumbledore gives Snape no instructions on the wand in the memory given to Harry in the final part of DH. I think that all along, Dumbledore's plan was for Harry to . This is why it was so difficult for him to tell Harry about the prophecy. After Voldemort took Lily's blood, Dumbledore could conceive of a way for Harry to survive the ordeal, and so revealed what he could of the plan, and provided a way for Harry to find out about the Hallows and to use them.

I wonder if Dumbledore's plan for the wand was merely that it would not work for Voldemort, as Dumbledore had not been truly defeated by anyone before he d. In effect, Dumbledore wanted Voldemort to steal a useless wand, giving Harry an advantage.

Posted by Patty from Quincy MA on September 10, 2007 5:47 PM

dumbledore said he came to care about harry that was the reason he kept trying to shield him from the prophecy and the meaning of it. before he came to care about him i think dumbledore was planing to sacrifice harry for the greater good. after he came to care about harry he wanted to save harry, that's why he took him with him to the cave plus, told him about the prophecy and the horcuxs---he didn't plan on ing that put a hitch in his plan----he had to hurry and give harry all the memories and knowledge of what the memories meant----plus dumbledore was the only one that knew snape ed him as he requested---he knew harry was back there and knew harry would think that snape just ed dumbledore, he knew that harry wouldn't ever trust snape---another hitch in his plan and one he couldn't fix, for he was ---except his portrait that sanpe could talk to but harry couldn't---so he has to revise his plan again for the umph-teen time----every year something would happen to harry and dumbledore had to rethink his plan and revise it---in the end i think it was more harry's plan and knowledge plus his love for ginny and his friends that saved him and them. dumbledore's plan was to bring the down fall of voldemort which happened--but i definitely know it wasn't dumbledores plan for a war to be waged at hogwarts.

Posted by Pamrla sue from Ar on September 10, 2007 10:25 PM

My version of the original plan:

Dumbledore wasn't positive about his theory that Harry would survive, but he was quite sure of it (Dumbledore's triumphant gleam in GoF). But if Harry didn't survive when he gave himself up, Dumbledore intended for the power of the Elder Wand to have d, along with the Invisibility Cloak, because their true owners would be . If Harry survived, then the last of the ly Hallows would be his. But since the Elder Wand's power remained intact, so Dumbledore's plan backfired both ways.

I thought I ought to clarify on this because people seem to think that Harry didn't because he had ingly given himself up. But actually it was because Voldemort had Harry's blood in him. The reason it didn't work the other way around was because Voldemort's own AK came from the Elder Wand, which was working according to its master's bidding.

Posted by C.J. from Utah on September 11, 2007 9:12 PM

Yes, that's a great look from Snape once you know about occlumency. Actually, the scene in the new movie (OOtP) when Snape is teaching Harry occlumency changes dramatically once you know that Snape is on Harry's side. Seeing it before DH came out it feels as though Snape is torturing Harry. Seeing it after DH and it feels as though he is doing his best to equip Harry with the ss he need to face Voldemort.

I don't think Voldemort's soul split any more in the final duel. It only entered Harry when he was a baby because Voldemort commited , ripping his soul, and there was nowhere else for the ripped piece to go...presumably the fact that Voldemort was attempting to create a horcrux at the time might have had something to do with it? the great hall, Voldemort doesn't commit ...he s himself accidentally with the rebounding avada his soul isn't split.

Posted by Joe from England on September 12, 2007 01:33 AM

Nagini is already when it comes to the showdown in the great hall.

Concerning your question about the original plan: I think that Dumbledore knew that Harry would first. After seeing Snape's memory, Harry would sacrifice himself, without challenging Voldemort. Then he would return, due to the power of Lily's blood, and then he could finish off Voldemort. Secondly, Dumbledore had a back-up plan. He wanted harry to tell Hermione and Ron, so if something would go wrong and Harry wouldn't return etc. they would still know about the plan and finish Voldemort. (parallel: Harry told Neville - his back-up plan)

After Voldemort had lost all his horcruxes he was not invincible any more. I mean, yes, he was still a darn good wizard, but not as powerful anymore.

Go Snape Go:
I agree that Dumbledore wanted Harry to find the two hallows (ring and cloak) because their powers could help him in his quest. I don't think that he intended Harry to end up with the wand - since his original plan was to destroy its power with his (planned) . However, I think that the quest for the hallows was a final test to harry's character.

I think you are right about what saved harry in the great hall. Harry knew that the elder wand would refuse to its master and thus rebound.

At some point in hp6, Dumbledore says that Voldemort had the intention of making a horcrux with harry's . maybe that is why the soul got accidentally into Harry when he was a baby.

"Thought... Why doesn't Voldemort lose his body when the AV curse rebounds on him the first time round, like he did when he cursed Lily?"

I don't think it rebounded the first time round. in the woods he merely ed harry + his own horcrux in harry. His fainting was the effect of Lily's blood in voldemort. when he ed harry, harry was kept alive by the connection and voldemort fainted.

Another thought concerning why Harry's not defending himself "has made all the difference." (Dumbledore in King's Cross)

If Harry had defended himself and ed Voldemort in doing so, he would not have been able to come back because as long as Voldemort is alive, also harry cannot !

Posted by pigwidgeon28 from Austria on September 12, 2007 05:00 AM

I quite agree with you on all points. It really does make sense what you are saying.

Before I read your comment I always thought that Dumbledore intended the elder wand's power to with him. But it is also possible that he wanted Snape to gain the elder wand,thus staging a confrontation between Snape and Harry.
He felt that Harry, who thought Snape a er, would revenge him and duel Snape - thus gaining power over the elder wand. The fact that Harry didn't learn anything about it from Snape's memory is that Dumbledore didn't trust Snape enough to tell him about the elder wand (we see how power can influence people, even dumbledore himself when he puts on the ring, or ron and hermione, who would like to keep the elder wand...)

Posted by pigwidgeon28 from Austria on September 13, 2007 02:27 AM

Could you explain how you think the prophecy speaks of events as they happened, instead of how we thought they were going to happen.
When I read the prophecy now, it seems negated by events in DH, which I think proves Dumbledore's point that prophecies are powerless unless we believe in them.

I see two separate but entwined plot lines in DH. One is of the horcruxes and Harry's quest to destroy them to overcome Voldemort. The other plot is the ly Hallows. The horcrux plot was what we were all expecting to read about, while the Hallows elevates the book above the expected. The Hallows give Harry a chance to become more than Voldemort's target, playing by Voldemort's rules. He can make his own choices based on who he is and his ability to love. They give Harry a chance to live by giving him a weapon Voldemort cannot understand and cannot use.
This parallels the scene in the Seven Potters where Lucius Malfoy's wand in Voldemort's hand does not work against Harry's. Harry's wand containing some of Voldemort's power also echoes Harry having a piece of Voldemort's soul within him.

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on September 13, 2007 06:35 AM

Joe asked "Why doesn't Voldemort lose his body when the avada kedavra rebounds on him the first time, like he did when he cursed Lily?"
In the woods, the curse didn�t rebounds on him, he hit Harry in the chest.
However, pigwidgeon28 and many others (including me I think) speaks about "Lilly�s protection" in Voldemort�s blood, and in Harry�s too. How is it possible, if Harry has 17 years old, remember Moody when he said "because the moment you turn seventeen you'll lose all the protection your mother gave you.."?
So, perhaps I�m wrong, but if I am not, Vodlemort didn�t faint in the woods because of Lilly�s blood protection, and Harry didn�t save his life because of that.
Ok, you can tell me that Voldemort�s blood is Harry�s blood when he was still protected by his mother�s sacryfice. But I insist, this protection finished when he turned 17, or not? And I�m not talking about the protection Dumbledore put in Dursley�s home.

Posted by Go Snape Go from buenos aires on September 14, 2007 08:31 AM

I dont think anybody has made a comment on the way Regulas Black d. Alone but for Kreacher. No one knew what he was doing or how he d, He forbad Kreacher to tell anyone anything to protect them. He drank the foul potion, He saved Kreacher and protected his family. He got the horcrux and then d horribly dragged down in the lake by the Inferie. He must have been so afraid. He was really a hero and no one knew till Harry found this out. I wish Sirius had known he totally changed. Too bad he didn't have part in the book except after he d. We dont know what he was like at all.

Posted by jeannette from simi valley ca. on September 14, 2007 2:10 PM

I think that Harry would not have much of a chance in a duel with Snape, as evidenced by the one-sided battle on the run, at the end of HBP. Dumbledore would have known this and should have given Snape instructions about it, if it was part of his plan. I don't really believe this was his plan, but what was?

Go Snape go,
Dumbledore said Harry and Voldemort had travelled further into uncharted magical territory than anyone could have foreseen (or something similar), so I think we have to rethink the Blood Sacrifice protection.

The protection on the house was a known enchantment, though maybe overlooked by many. This protection was enabled when Petunia, a blood relative, accepted Harry into her house, and lasted until he came of age at 17, as long as he continued to call Privet Drive his home. Lily's blood sacrifice was separate protection. It was one element of the spell to protect the house, but did not "expire" as did the house protection.

Posted by Patty from Quincy MA on September 16, 2007 08:42 AM

I�m really confused about the plot in the end of the book. Especially about the Elder Wand and Dumbledore�s plans concerning it. And his plans concerning Snape.

When Harry and Voldemort talk in the final scene Harry tells Voldemort that Dumbledore intended the wand�s power to with him, as he would undefeated.

But in King�s Cross we hear:
Dumbledore: "He (Voldemort) believes that the Elder Wand removes his last weakness and makes him truly invincible. Poor Severus..."
Harry: "If you planned your with Snape, you meant him to end up with the Elder Wand, didn�t you?"
"I admit that was my intention", said Dumbledore, "but it did not work as I intended, did it?"

So what was Dumbledore�s intention? Did he plan that the Elder Wand would be buried with him or did he plan that Snape would take it after his ? And why would he want Snape to take the now powerless wand?

I�m sure Snape didn�t know anything about Dumbledore�s wand being the Elder Wand (he was surprised when he heard this from Voldemort). And I think it was morally very wrong that Dumbledore put Snape in such a danger without talking about it with him (whatever the plan was). I�m very disappointed with the end of the book. Dumbledore was supposed to be a wise man (the way he always talked about there being much worse things in life than , for example). And now it seems he was just as ready to sacrifice other people for "the greater good" as he was when he was young. Arrogant and immoral! I don�t understand why JKR wrote it this way. And Harry still admired Dumbledore. I think there�s wrong ethics here and it disturbs me very much.

Posted by Sara from Finland on September 17, 2007 01:27 AM

Patty: I agree with you that Jo puts up two plots, the Hallows and the Horcruxes. That was a clever idea, and the Hallows could be a very fine false track for Harry to follow. Jo could manage a real tension in Harry's mind between the quest for Hallows and the quest for Horcruxes, getting Harry to go the wrong way for a while. Instead of that, she gets out of it in just one page: Harry remembers that Dumbledore asked him about the Horcruxes. Pretty disappointing.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on September 17, 2007 09:12 AM

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