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The power The Dark Lord knows not

by David Haber

It all comes down to this. The big difference between Voldemort and Harry. The only difference that's really important. It couldn't be more important to the climax of the Harry Potter Septology Mystery. And the reason we know it's important is because J.K. Rowling went out of her way to tell us about it, right out, in plain language, not couched in a riddle, in the very first Harry Potter book.

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Reader Comments: (Page 6)

Monkeeshrines, about Snape loving Lily - it all depends on what you see as evidence. I think we have to take character into account when we are looking at motivation. There has to be a very powerful reason for Dumbledore to trust Snape when he came to him offering to spy. Dumbledore is a great legilimens, but he knows that Snape is too. There must have been something that Dumbledore believed Snape simply could not fake or lie about. Slughorn gives us a very important clue in the first potions lesson of HBP. He tells the class that; "Amortentia doesn't really create love, of course. It is impossible to manufacture or imitate love."
Love can't be imitated. Therefore I think love is the one thing that would allow Dumbledore to know beyond all doubt that Snape was not lying. Dumbledore is not a fool. He would not give his trust lightly. I also suspect that he does not like to rely on such things as Unbreakable Vows which remove free , and can be manipulated anyway as we have seen. He had to be able to trust Snape's motivation.

Why Lily? The scene in the Pensieve where Lily sticks up for Snape is vital. Yes, he calls her a mudblood and rejects her help. Can you imagine how humiliated he must have felt at that moment? She's pretty, smart and really good at potions. She's popular. And she's just seen him hanging upside down in the air with his underpants showing. Not too mention all the other stuff James had done.
But she stood up for Snape. Afterwards, do you think he didn't remember that? He might already have had a bit of a thing for her too.
Another snippet that makes sense is that Voldemort has never broken Snape's cover. Never hit on a reason WHY Snape might have betrayed him. This suggests that Snape's motivation is something that Voldemort discounts, or wouldn't associate with a bitter, twisted person like Snape.

I also think that Snape's loathing for James went further than the hatred/dislike he feels for Lupin and Sirius. Sure they hated each other as teenagers, before Lily came into the equation, but sexual jealousy would compound Snape's dislike of James. Combine that with guilt and self-loathing and you have a very complex, mixed-up man.

As I said, I'm basing all this on character and motivation and odd clues I've picked up in the text. Snape went to Dumbledore AFTER he told Voldemort about the prophecy, when he realised that Voldemort was going to go after the Potters. We know he loathed James. So if he truly turned against Voldemort it had to be because of Lily. That's my view anyway. I'm taking bets. We can compare notes on 22nd July.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 21, 2007 6:47 PM

interesting...yet ridiculously funny:D i really dont see the hugging in the end...i think we all know JKR, harry, and lord voldemort well enough to know this never in a parallel universe happen. Every time voldemort confronts harry its always "Avada Kedavra" harry wouldnt even be given the time to give him a hug hehe.

Posted by Dvin from Glendale, CA on March 21, 2007 8:58 PM

Exactly, Charlie! She stood up for him and he called her a "mudblood". Then he indirectly caused her . It gets missed because Harry is so wound up about James's behaviour. there is other stuff there like Snape using the sectumsempra curse, but that's just Rowling being a good writer and making the scene perform about six jobs at once.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 22, 2007 02:06 AM

I've only been seeing your site for so long but already I respect your points of view. However, I think Dave's idea of the bear hug is ridiculous. Even if just that happens I don't think that'll be the end of it. Remember the article about Harry being the last Horcrux? Well maybe he somehow destroys all the horcruxes besides himself and s Voldemort but in the process s destroying Voldemort's last Horcrux and completely ing him, this suits the prophecy. A more elaborate version is that he saves someone: Ginny, Ron, Hermione etc. and does the hole Lily thing all over again after destroying all the horcruxes so that he s and s Voldemort and himself thus fulfilling the prophecy. Yes, I know how you're going to say that then whoever he's protecting would receive Voldemort's powers. Yes, but Voldemort's been completely ed off so even if the person Harry saves gets Voldemort's powers there won't be a Voldemort to fight anymore since Harry completely s him destroying all the horcruxes(including himself) and Voldemort thus ending Voldemort's existence. That's what I believe anyway.

Besides JKR made the series pretty tragic so I think she'll drop her final trump card (Harry s). I mean if you watch all the good action movies some ultimate good guy gets ed like Gandalf in LOTR and Azlan in the Lion, the witch and the wardrobe only Azlan comes back. Also I think it's possible that because Harry sacrifices himself ingly he s but comes back like Azlan, also fulfilling the prophecy seeing that he did but just came back! And for all the people out there who think Harry uses Godric's sword as a Horcrux-sorry but I just can't see Harry ing someone to make a horcrux even accidentally since that would cripple his soul and I think JKR makes too much of a big deal out of purity of the soul for Harry to split his soul in two.

Posted by Diablus of the Darkn from Melbourne on March 22, 2007 02:37 AM

mmm.. liking the Snape loved lily theory.. especially the point that it would make snape's motives (if driven by love) invisible to Voldemort because it operates on a higher and more obscure level (especially to someone as depraved as voldemort) than unbreakable vows, legilimency and all that jazz..

This whole love subject is very muddy and vague though.. How, ultimately, can feelings break down physical matter? i can buy the whole protective notion of lily's love, but to actually use love as kind of weapon is something else entirely and very hard to consider logistically (hence absurd thoughts like the bear-hug).

i like the idea that love could lead to voldemot's ruin simply because he can't understand/manipulate/see it but ultimately a phsical act does him in. But i think we can safely say that it won't be an Avada Kedavra from Harry that polishes him off.. but what?

Maybe Harry and Voldemort put their wands aside and finish the matter with a good old bar-room brawl in the Hog's Head.. : )

Posted by ted on March 22, 2007 07:36 AM

Diablus, I think if Harry s, he'll stay . Unless Fawkes the Phoenix can somehow transfer his power of resurrection to Harry. Actually now I think about it, that could work quite well with Harry as a ing sacrifice.

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Aslan returns to life because the whole thing is a metaphor for christian resurrection with the Lion as Christ. And believe it or not, it took me reading the whole series as a kid to realise that. Finally worked it out on the last page of the last book!
Gandalf of course, does return from the , but in the end he, with the elves and Frodo and Bilbo, sails into the West. Another metaphor for .

Hmm. Thanks, Diablus. You've got me thinking about Fawkes whom I really like very much. I've been trying to work out how he might fit in since I doubt we've seen the last of him.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 22, 2007 07:39 AM

harry went through a lot of pain with so many s because of voldemort. i don't think he could forget these easily. the least he could do is to forgive voldemort.

Posted by nalie from Bellflower, CA on March 22, 2007 09:27 AM

Your comment here on page 3, really hits the nail on the head. Voldemort's inability to understand love , once again, lead him to underestimate Harry, and forget an important detail as he forgot about the kind of love Lily had for Harry. I think it is the same detail which be his undoing. The same love defeat him.
Harry bears his mother's blood, and now so does Voldemort. (Thanks, Elizabeth, for the pound of flesh remark on page 4). In his hubris and arrogance -- pride goes before a fall-- Voldemort used the blood of his enemy to rebirth his new body. This blood was the same used in the Bond of Blood enacted by Petunia when she accepted Harry into her home, where his mother's blood still lives.
The blood which protected Harry until he turns 17, further protect him from inside Voldemort. Whatever curses or spells Voldemort conceives be "tainted" by the ultimate love in the blood taken from Harry, and they may rebound as the AK curse rebounded.
This could be why Dumbledore's eyes gleamed triumphantly, he understood that Voldemort had made the same mistake over again, providing further protection for Harry.

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on March 22, 2007 09:34 AM

In all honesty, I have only seen most of the movies only once and in the theaters, so my memory of them is a bit fuzzy. I'm not saying that there is no way that Severus loves Lily. I simply imply that there is no definitive "Severus loves Lily" proof in the books that I see (I acknowledge I could just be missing it). I have, however, long been curious about why this memory was his worst when there certianly were many others that on the surface were pretty bad. It is highly humiliating, and, drawing from personal experience, some of my own worst memories are based on how humiliated I was, so for a while I did take it to be that, but Elizabeth and Charlie make very good points. I not deny that Lily sticking up for Severus may be a key to Severus' true loyalty; she was one of the few people that would stick up for him even if there was no reason for her to, and that could indeed spur a fondness for her, but I do not think it was "sexual jealousy". Not at this point in the story, anyway.

Keep in mind, though, that it is possible to love someone without that having sexual or familial overtones. "Clues" that Sirius and Remus are lovers, for instance, are really, in my opinion, simply a brotherly love. "Lupin was lowering his wand. Next moment he had walked to Black's side, seized his hand, pulled him to his feet so that Crookshanks fell to the floor, and embraced Black like a brother." Besides, if Remus was , why would he not have told Tonks? His excuses were he was too old, poor and dangerous, and when she insisted she didn't care, they end up together. If Jo wanted to imply he was , then why did she hook him up with Tonks? Sirius and Remus love each other like brothers, like Sirius and James had done, and Harry and Ron, and Lavender and Parvatti.

Separate thought: anyone else curious as to whether Bill really loves Fleur? I have no doubt that Fleur loves him, but she is part veela, and has in the past been able to "turn on the old charm" to up her chances of getting who she wanted. We even see that she still uses this power after she's engaged to Bill: "'Don't you get used to her if she's staying in the same house?' Harry asked. 'Well, you do,' said Ron, 'but if she comes out at you unexpected like then...'" This surely falls under that false love that Horace was talking about. Think this come into play at all?

Posted by monkeeshrines from Orlando, fl on March 22, 2007 10:27 AM

Dave, I really admire you for putting forth the bear-hug theory to see it ridiculed with almost every comment. It is really making all of us think.

When I finished your article, it made me think of the 12-step recovery process. The 1st step is to believe in a power greater than yourself, 2nd to make amends to anyone you might have hurt, 3rd to forgive or pray for your enemies because it is recognized that to carry hatred in your soul threatens your serenity and can lead back to the abusive behavior. ( I am paraphrasing the order of the steps) It just seemed to me that Harry, being the embodiment of a loving soul would have to feel some level of love for his enemy. Giving him a bear hug would be going too far, which is why it is so funny, but I still think if Harry can harness his power of love it lead him to destroy Voldemort, but probably not him. Although, knowing Harry he probably be as surprised as the rest of us when Voldemort is destroyed by this power.

Posted by Raow from Petaluma, CA, USA on March 22, 2007 10:56 AM

Thanks Patty for your comments. Love running in Voldemort's blood could reaaly make sense. He's not accustomed to it!

I was wondering how Harry's loving ability could appear at its best. Well, the highest love is the one you demonstrate towards your ennemies. I think the one Harry hates the most is Snape; maybe Harry get great powers if he is able to feel compassion for Snape, while his first reaction should be hatred. Just a thought.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 22, 2007 1:56 PM

Thank you, Patty, that's exactly what I was trying to work my way towards. You've expressed it really well. Obviously Voldemort tripped up somehow in using Harry's blood.

Monkeeshrines, I think you are absolutely right about the affection between Sirius and Lupin. It's never looked like anything but a very deep friendship to me, either in the books or the movies.
It's the violence of Snape's loathing for James that intrigues me. I just think there has to be more to it than a schoolboy enmity. We'll have to agree to differ there.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 22, 2007 5:12 PM

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