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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:

I think there are some really good points in this article, but I actually disagree in regards to the Snape-not-using-Avada-Kedavra-on-Dumbledore theory. It is true that JKR has explained the ing curse's requirements to us through characters like Bellatrix and fake Moody, but I think we need to take into account that these characters each have their own spin on the curse based on their own experiences. All we know for sure is that you need to have enough force behind the curse to make it proven the many times Harry tries to use it against Voldemort and Snape but is unsuccessful -you have to mean it. But you do not necessarily have to enjoy it. Bellatrix is mad and hardly a good reference in this case. We can safely assume that Snape, however, has the ability, and at one point had the desire to use the unforgiveable curses.

I think that the revulsion on Snape's face when he ed Dumbledore is the clearest marker of his allegiance to good. He wasn't disgusted with Dumbledore either for evil reasons or for being forced into participating in a fake- plan, but with the act itself. Clearly, he knew how to perform the curse, was well aware of the power he held, and was disgusted by it.

That being said I do not believe that Avada Kedavra was responsible for Dumbledore's (he's definitely ). I think it was a combination of his weakened state, the ing curse AND the fall from the tower that caused him to . The closest thing to proof that I can find for this theory is that Harry wiped blood from Dumbledore's mouth when he saw the body. This implies that he either bit his tongue, or had some kind of damage to his lungs prior to , and both of these things are not caused by the curse but are more consistant with physical trauma from the fall. As we well know, Avada Kedavra leaves no marks, that is what made it so alarming/disturbing to Muggles.

My final point is surrounding the idea that Dumbledore could actually be alive. He's not. He d to protect Harry, Draco, Snape and whatever work Snape was needed to do while maintaining his close relationship with Voldemort. We already have it from his mouth that is hardly the worst thing in the world, he's said that twice. That is what makes his character so substantially different from Voldemort's. Voldemort is obsessed with his fear of , that's obvious both from his name(Voldemort seems to be derived from vole-de-mort, or fly from in French)and his actions (he's gone farther along the line of immortality than any before him...Horcruxes!). Dumbledore on the other hand would be completely ing to give up his life simply to save another's. Like Snape, Draco or Harry. Or the thousands of other who could be saved by Harry's continuing fight and subsequent overthrow of Voldemort.

I know it's hard to accept, but we need to accept that Albus is not coming back, and the closest thing we'll probably get to seeing him again is the painting in his old office. He's . Snape ed him, using the ing curse. Whether or not Snape is good or evil remains to be seen, but I think there is a very good chance that Snape and Dumbledore had planned that event and Snape in fact remain true to the Order of the Phoenix, even if we don't see it until the very end of the final book.

Posted by Eilan on April 28, 2007 6:23 PM

Hmmmm... Interesting well we have to wait and see on July 21st then.

Posted by Zubayr from Auckland, New Zealand on April 28, 2007 6:46 PM

Interesting theory. Alot of people think that. that might be true. but didnt he fall off the 500 ft. tower?

Posted by Jojo on April 28, 2007 7:02 PM

Why do I feel like I'm the only one who thinks Dumbledore coming back to Hogwarts as a ghost answers the questions in a very simple way?

Posted by Jason from Freeport, NY on April 28, 2007 7:36 PM

Dumbledore is stronger than anybody and if Harry could live from a ing curse given by Voldemort, then Dumbledore could have survived from a ing curse by Snape.

Posted by omar from delhi on April 28, 2007 8:26 PM

I agree very strongly with the first Reader Comment on several points.

The only thing that I would like to add is that I do not agree that Snape would have to be evil in order to cast Avada Kadavera. While Snape did block Harry's attempts at unforgivable curses, he was still able to cast them. And Rowling has not explicitly stated any views of 'good vs evil' in any of the books. In fact, Voldemort himself insists that there is not such thing, only power and those too weak to seek it. In fact, by the posters logic, Harry would ultimately be unable to Voldemort in the end without becoming evil himself.

Yes Snape ed Dumbledore, but he did not want to and was forced to by the vow he made (likely without fully knowing what Draco's task was and simply was forced to make it to maintain his cover), and his promise to Dumbledore. Sacrifice is a common theme in the books, and Dumbledore's is the ultimate expression of this (unless, as some people speculate, Harry sacrifices himself to Voldemort)

But the poster did bring forward some interesting and well thought out ideas, and I agree with him in general.

In response to the 'Dumbledore as a ghost' post, I would guess that it won't happen. Headless Nick confided in Harry that he is a ghost because he was afraid to . I do not believe Dumbledore would be afraid to , and nor would he intentionally chose a half-existence (even to help Harry), due to his beliefs on .

Posted by Reveille from Kingston, ON on April 28, 2007 10:04 PM

i think snape is innocent because in the 4th book, voldemort has a coversation with harry. he tells harry that all his servants have been faithful to him. three are at is too scared to return (Karkaroff), the second is his most faithful servant (Barty Crouch Jr.), and the third he believes has left him for ever (Snape)! it all fits in place!

Posted by aditya on April 28, 2007 11:20 PM

Article contains some interesting ideas but I disagree. Dumbledore is . This genre of literature virtually demands that the mentor so the hero can fulfill his destiny. JKR has clearly said Dumbledore is . But, she not only said that in response to a flood of speculation after "Half-Blood Prince", she, through Dumbledore, has repeatedly let us know that the no spell can reawaken the and that there are worse things than which Voldemort may be about to find out once and for all.

As for Snape's action on the Astronomy Tower, I believe there's more to what happened than met the eye. Did the curse Snape used produce the green light? I don't recall that it did in which case it probably wasn't the AK curse. But, there could be other ing curses. We don't know definitively but JKR has repeatedly said that AK was unblockable. It's possible that there are other ing curses which their victims just as as the AK.

Remember the meeting between Snape and Dumbledore in the forest that was partially overheard by Hagrid? They were arguing. My thoughts are that Dumbledore was insisting that Snape fulfill the Unbreakable Vow he made to Narcissa to protect Draco by ing Dumbledore if it became necessary and Snape was arguing against it.

Dumbledore has always been more than a role model for his students and colleagues. He has been a "deity" of sorts, a moral compass, a man of the highest ethical standards. More than anyone else, Dumbledore would do what is right and necessary to benefit the common good regardless of the cost to him. Dumbledore would not be afraid of the sacrifice needed from him to help deliver the wizarding world from the clutches of Voldemort's evil.

Posted by Hannah from Los Angeles on April 28, 2007 11:32 PM

I think the thing everyone is overlooking about Dumbledore really being is that they laid his body to rest in book six. Hagrid carried it to the stone table and then someone did a spell to encase him in the table.

Posted by Chrissy Chaplik from Frazer Pa on April 28, 2007 11:41 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 .

Posted by Yash on April 29, 2007 02:28 AM

if Dumbledore is somehow alive (which i think is possible) we also have to bear in mind that he must not contact harry or show any sign of life. after all, voldemort can enter harry's mind....

Posted by Lastkiss from split,croatia on April 29, 2007 02:42 AM

i agree with alot of what people are saying but basically DUMBLEDORE IS DEAD and there is no coming back of him whatsoever apart from the painting in the office.
basically ALL the facts point to him and i have gathered facts to prove that snape is good as well. these are very subtle in book six but nevertheless they are there.

SNAPE IS GOOD. dumbledore has always trusted snape implicitly if not more so than most. his reasoning he gives is due to the remorse that he showed after voldemort went for parents as he had not expected that. now this sounds like a very stupid place of trust for such a lame explanation of his actions.
however if you look at all the books, he may have hated james but i believe he may have loved harrys mum lily. he has never once said anything mean about her and she always defended him in his school days. this is one reason he hated james as he got the girl, and another that he hates yet protects harry at the same time. he sees lily in harry sometimes and he is a constant reminder that she d and it was his fault. after all we know that voldemort actually tried not to lily even though she is a 'mudblood' and the fact that he went along and did it shows his betrayal to snape as i believe snape to have asked voldemort to spare her. thats why V says "get out of the way you silly girl!"

so that explains his change to the good side. he wants to aid in the destruction of voldemort. this also adds to dumbledores theory that love is the strongest type of magic as ultimately snapes love for lily help voldemort.

it is blatant that snape ed dumbledore on his orders this is proved sightly way in in the book. HAGRID overheard dumbledore and snape in the woods talking. he tells harry of how snape was saying that he "doesn't want to do it anymore" and that he's "taking to much for granted" there is no explanation for this whatsoever in the book so i believe that him not wanting to do it is the ing of dumbledore and the taking to much fr granted is that harry voldemort.
it also states at the beginning of the book 1. how he has performed the unbreakable vow so has to and 2. how he is voldemorts most trusted servant. after voldemorts betrayal in ing lily he has no affections for voldemort as a master and doesn't trust him back.

also when harry is chasing snape he does not hurt harry in the slightest saying "leave him for the darklord." he also does not hurt any of the other students and gets all the deateaters to leave as soon as possible therefore trying to protect the students. he did not know harry was up at the tower otherwise he might not have ed dumbledore so nastily with hatred etched in his skin.

now i come to my next theory based on fact. dumbledore has never feared ever. this is stated in the sixth book between his battle with voldemort when he says "there are things worse than , that has always been your greatest weakness tom!" whatever this may be we find out in the next book. maybe he haunt voldemort somehow i dont know, but i am sure his spawn more followers on the good side as people want to avenge his , most specifically harry.

and voldemort does not believe it or know it it seems snape is very similar to Voldemort, he is a half blood, gave him a new title like Voldemort, likes DADA like Voldemort. which helps prove that Snape is good. he was the DADA teacher that year employed by Dumbledore and Dumbledore knew there was a curse on that job so must known that snape would be leaving at the end f the year, i.e. by ing him.

i know this has probably been confusing but if you read carefully, im sure you see where im coming from and must believe it slightly.

Posted by CAZ from Devon on April 29, 2007 02:52 AM

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