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Unanswered Dumbledore Questions

by David Haber

These are elements of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that would seem to be related to either the Dumbledore or Snape mysteries, but they have loop-holes or unresovled bits of information, and we're not sure about them and are still checking into them...

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Reader Comments: (Page 13)

To my mind, UV's must be filled with loop-holes. For instance, what's the time-limit on fullfilling one? If Dumbledore hadn't d up on the tower that night, that's not to say Snape still can't him at some point or other, therefore the UV is not broken. Similarly, to Joe's point, it seems unfair to me to hold someone to a UV if the situation, through no fault of the UV-bindee, becomes undoable, for example, the person you're bound to keep safe s when you're far away and couldn't have known the person would be in danger...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on May 21, 2007 4:31 PM

"And a new portrait had joined the ranks of the headmasters and headmistresses of Hogwarts: Dumbledore was slumbering in a golden frame over the desk, his half-moon spectacles perched upon his crooked nose, looking peaceful and untroubled." p. 626 US HBP

It does appear that it is Dumbledore's portrait that is the new one. However, it could also make sense that McGanagall's picture might be up there now--the new one--and Dumbledore's portrait is just sleeping.

"After glancing once at this portrait (maybe it was her own), Professor McGonagall made an odd movement as though steeling herself, then rounded the desk to look at harry, her face taut and lined." p. 626 US HBP

Am I reaching to much here?

Needless to say, regardless of whether or not Dumbledore's protrait was the new one or not, it seems apparent that the sleeping portion of it is clue to us. Perhaps a hint that he may in fact still be sleeping.

Posted by Heather from NJ on May 21, 2007 5:43 PM

Dave - The Unbreakable Vow is considered "dark" magic, isn't it? While I do agree that there are some loopholes (like the time limit thing), I don't think it would discriminate whether or not the vower knew the person he was supposed to protect was in danger. I think if the vow became "undoable" by some extenuating circumstances (i.e. Albus s in another fashion and neither Draco nor Severus is involved) then, yes, it would become null and void. In this case, if Draco s, Severus has failed part of the vow he made, and would therefore , even though the danger was almost unassociated with the other task Severus had promised to help with.

Posted by Monkeeshrines from Orlando FL on May 22, 2007 06:15 AM

It is possible that dumbledore placed his memory in a bottle because he was organizing his thoughts about voldemort's horcruxes. It was said in one of the books that dumbledore, gifted with an excellent brain power, also gets tired of thinking too much.

on the other hand, he could have also placed that memory (the one voldemort applied for DADA) in a bottle for safe keeping. dumbledore maybe also giving us a hint here that he not be available in the near future. and leaves this memory for harry to use, just in case he needs to get back in this memory.

Posted by Ashley from Baguio City, Philippines on May 22, 2007 9:37 PM

My daughter had this question for me today. At the end of HBP when McGonagall becomes the new Headmistress, she tells Slughorn he can represent Slytherin. She doesn't appoint a new Gryffindor head of house. I would presume that you can't be a head of house and headmaster too, since Dumbledore is no longer a head of house. So who is the most likely choice? Hagrid, Sinestra, Trelawney, Hooch, or someone else? My guess is on Hagrid, but other teachers have been there longer. Any comments?

Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico on June 5, 2007 6:54 PM

The Unbreakable Vow seems to be a very tricky thing, and, though it may be considered Dark Magic, it can still have only a certain amount of loopholes. For example, how much of the vow must be explicitly stated? What was the understanding between Snape and Narcissa in regards to helping Draco? To know this, we would have to know the actual task that Draco was required to do. Was it simply to bring the Eaters in, or was it to actually Dumbledore? Maybe I'm just missing something, but it is my understanding that when the UV was made, the explicit details of the agreement were never really stated. Basically, that "task" that Severus agreed to assist with could be many different things, depending on both's understanding.

Posted by Neelie from USA on June 6, 2007 11:48 AM

Dave Porter: I think that McGonagall wasn't officially named Headmaster by the council. She was only replacing Dumbledore until someone was named (herself or someone else).

Posted by herve from strasbourg on June 7, 2007 01:22 AM

What if all that Snape vowed to do was protect Draco from and Voldemort's hand for failure? In that case, he did fulfill his vow. When Draco could not Dumbledore, Snape stepped up. If Dumbledore does come back, it be on Snape's head, not Draco's.

Posted by Jenn from Oshawa, Ontario on June 7, 2007 1:12 PM

From a literary analysis point of view (something that Rowling does include with names such as Professor Sprout, etc etc), the name Fawkes could hold vital importance. Fawkes, at least to me, sounds quite similar to the French word faux, meaning false. I am curious to the possibility of Dumbledore being capable of turning into Fawkes, or something of the sort.

Posted by Rob from IL on June 16, 2007 6:53 PM

i get what your all saying, but is it really possible to say one thing and mean another? i think NOT, because in ootp in dada lessons they are practicing non-verble spells but snape says you can only cast one spell at a time, therefore it would make it impossible.

Posted by rachel hork from soton,england on June 24, 2007 05:39 AM

About the comment on Umbridge. I think that maybe Umbridge could have also attended dumbledores because she is grateful, since he rescued her save and sound from a herd of centaurs. And also because its probably policy of the ministry to attend s of chief mugwumps of the wizengamot and someone from the order of merlin

Posted by Alex from Zeist, Holland on June 30, 2007 9:10 PM

i think that dumbledore had set out some of the memories that he wanted to show harry so he wouldnt have to think of what memory he wanted to show him... but if he wasnt really dumbly, but someone else with polyjuice potion, that would be really cool!

Posted by bri from hawaii on July 2, 2007 07:57 AM

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