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Who is R.A.B. and where is Slytherin's Locket?

by David Haber

In the dramatic climax of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore and Harry recover a locket from Voldemort's secret cave. Only after Dumbledore "dies" does Harry open the locket and find the note from R.A.B. But who is R.A.B., and where is the locket now?

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Reader Comments: (Page 46)

You are right about the eaters knowing about the horcruxes. I suspect that Snape may have made the original potion for the basin on the island, and maybe even the replacement one when R.A.B took the original locket. Snape may have been along with Voldemort when he hid the original locket and passed this on to R.A.B. when he found out about the horcrux and wanted to destroy it. It is possible this is when Snape turned against Voldemort and it is the reason Dumbledore knows so much about the cave too. There are a lot of loose ends to this thread...

Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico on May 19, 2007 4:15 PM

Justin P,

Why would Dumbledore leave the castle and go make himself sick by drinking poison? Why would he wnat to harm himself needlessy? just to show Harry a fake and empty locket? just to test his strength and courage? i think not.
And i'm sure dumbledore had methods unknown to us and others, as he was a very important and famous wizard. And it was clear he knew a bit more than others about diffrent kinds of magic, etc. And i think Snape or anyone who knew about inferi would know that they feared fire. so he would use it. It must be general knowledge for any wizard who has done their schooling.

Posted by sanitylost (Divi) from Dubai, U.A.E on May 21, 2007 05:15 AM

Dave Porter
I'm not clear about Snape's role. If he was on the good side and had replaced the potion in the basin of the cave, wouldn't he have told Dumbledore how to deal with the potion and its effect on the drinker? Moreover, he would probably have informed Dumbledore about the horcruxes long ago. From the information we're given in HBP, it seems Dumbledore has been working on finding and later destroying the horcruxes on his own. On the contrary, if Snape was evil and loyal to Voldemort, surely he would have said nothing as it would play to this "master's" advantage that Dumbledore left the scene at some point. So it's all a bit confusing, because Snape, despite his villain-like demeanor, seems to be on the good side. Thus, my guess is that he may have known about the horcruxes in a general sense, as the rest of Voldemort's eaters did, but he didn't create the potion nor did he know about it. I hope his performance in the Tower has to do with helping destroy Voldemort in the long run. Otherwise, his attitude towards Harry just after "ing" Dumbledore makes no sense - he seems to be teaching him, as other people have already mentioned. I'm sure, though, that Snape's role in the final book be important one way or another.

Posted by Olga from Barcelona, Spain on May 21, 2007 08:31 AM

Divi, Thanks for your opinion but consider this.

What if it wasnt poison at all? What if Dumbledore was just faking it to see Harry's reaction and test him? This would also give him a good excuse not to put up a fight. After all would Voldemort really believe Dumbledore could be ed so easily if it wasnt for his "poison"?

Posted by Justin P from Prattville Alabama on May 21, 2007 12:13 PM

We don't know when Voldemort hid the locket in the could have been a long time before RAB found it or just a few days before. I don't think Snape was involved in hiding it otherwise Dumbledore would have known more about what to expect. Yes, he did find his way through the enchantments in the cave, but I think that is testament to his great s as a wizard and the fact that he had taught Tom Riddle and knew his style.

Also, in the timeframe, Snape was only about 20 when Regulus d...very young himself. Regulus was about 18 when he d. I think this is why Hermione didn't find anything about him in the library...he was too young to be in any books, he wasn't famous. There are lots of references to age underestimating youth in the Cave chapter... I think this applies to Regulus as much as to Harry. Interestingly, Dumbledore also tells Harry not to be afraid of a body. If the locket is disguised by the fidelius charm and Regulus made himself secret keeper, perhaps they have to find his body to access the secret somehow. I don't think Kreacher can be secret keeper otherwise what was to stop him telling Narcissa and Bellatrix where the locket is now...or that Regulus had stolen it?

I'm not sure all the eaters knew about the horcruxes. Dumbledore himself says to Harry that he didn't think they knew about them. To my mind, the exception is possibly Bellatrix Lestrange, because she was the only one who actively went looking for Voldemort and was convinced he would return. She also says that Voldemort used to trust her with his secrets (or words to this effect at the start of HBP). And Voldemort calls her Bella rather than Bellatrix...the only other person to do this is Narcissa.

What I wonder is whether Voldemort tried to Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop as they would have been the only people alive who knew about the Cave apart from himself. The last horcrux was created when Voldemort used Nagini to a muggle man. The only two muggle men associated with Voldemort are Denis Bishop and Snape's father (that we know of). As Voldemort used significant s to create horcruxes perhaps he ed either of these?

Regulus could have found out about the locket from Bellatrix...and the cave from Amy or Dennis...

Posted by Joe from England on May 21, 2007 2:06 PM

I'm not 100% sure, but I think the fidelius charm isn't used to hide a thing, it's used to hide a person (or people).

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on May 21, 2007 4:27 PM

Dave Haber, unless i'm mistaken, the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix was hidden via the fidelius charm and Dumbledore was the secret keeper. So i think that more that just people can be hidden this way.

Posted by Heather from NJ on May 21, 2007 5:49 PM

Oops! You're absolutely right! I was thinking of the way James and Lily were protected, you could see the house in Godric's Hollow, you just couldn't tell they were there...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on May 21, 2007 5:50 PM

I am not so sure Snape didn't let Dumbledore know how to get around the cave or get the potion out of the basin. Dumbledore didn't try to vanish it, burn it, scoop it and toss it, add something to it, or anything. I think Justin P. has a point that Dumbledore may have been faking his symptoms to test Harry, and maybe use Harry's testimony that he was ill. This would be a great cover for the drought of living , and no one would question Snape's fake AK curse then either.

Who knows what Snape had done for Voldemort before deciding he was in too far, or even what RAB was going to use the potion for. For all we know, he didn't become a great occlumens until after he left the eaters. He may have been imperioused and was able to fight it off after awhile, swearing to learn some way to never let it happen again. His memory from under Voldemort's control would be a little hazy, and not know all the details of what he had done, just some bits here and there. That would sure scare me, and I would make sure it didn't happen again. Determination is a great teacher.

Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico on May 21, 2007 6:52 PM

Justin, that's also a thought I had when I first read the book: Dumbledore seems to be awfully weak, but when he has to save them from the inferi, he immediately makes the right move. Later, he is able to freeze Harry using a non-verbal spell. Dumbledore could be faking his own weakness, so that Harry has to take his own responsibilities (foreseeing what happen in book 7), but when Harry is in danger, Dumbledore is there to help him ( it be so in DH?).

Posted by herve from strasbourg on May 22, 2007 12:09 AM

Dave Porter & Herv�,

Actually I believe that Dumbledore DID try to get rid of the liquid in several ways, including vanishing it, but as he realized that it couldn't be done he then told Harry "I think we are supposed to drink it", but after he had exhausted all other possibilities.

It is possible, but unlikely that Dumbledore faked his weakness.

Sometimes we believe we have no more strength, no more energy, but faced with fear (fear for a loved one, fear for our lives, fear in general) we suddenly find that we do have a reserve of energy or strength that we can use, if only for a moment.

This may very well apply to the inferi situation and the freezing charm on Harry, before Draco disarmed Albus.

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on May 22, 2007 08:48 AM

Emilio: What you say and what we say are both plausible. Jo puts the things in such a way that we can't decide whether it's right or wrong. That's her strength.

Besides that, my first feeling was that Dumbledore had already gone inside the cave. He behaves like a teacher who knows what's going to happen, coaching a student who has to experiment. Except if he was in a hurry (he just discovered the cave and knew that he was going to ), coming with Harry was foolish: there could have been much more dangerous weapons in the cave that the inferi, remember Indiana Jones.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on May 23, 2007 12:10 AM

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