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30 March 2008 @ 03:41 am
Dumbledore and the Invisibility Cloak  
We're reminded quite a few times in DH that Dumbledore had James' Cloak of Invisibility on the night that Lily and James died. We never quite know why he had it. The closest thing to an official answer we get, I suppose, is Afterlife!Dumbledore telling Harry that his "guess" has been right, that the Order Leader had "asked [James] to borrow it, to examine it" -- but that just reeks of bullshit, doesn't it? I mean, sure, the thing was part of a holy trilogy that had obsessed him back in his foolish youth. But they were in the middle of a war here, back in 1981; the Potters had to go into hiding because Dumbledore had it on reliable intelligence that infant Harry was specifically targeted by Voldemort, for his potential Voldemort-destroying powers. This is no time to take away from James the one artifact on earth whose truly magical strength is, as Dumbledore himself puts it, that it can "protect and shield others" than its already-powerful owner himself... those who don't have the ability to defend themselves, such as mentally-challenged sisters or infant sons. It can't have been just a whim, surely. So what was it that Dumbledore had wanted to achieve by borrowing that Cloak?

When I first read the book, I just assumed that it must have been needed for some operation or another that Dumbledore had been cooking up at the time. Maybe even a diversion plan to lure Voldemort away from Godric's Hollow, as swythyv explains in her very convincing essay. But something still doesn't seem to fit the picture completely, if we decide to take that view. For one thing, why would Dumbledore, already dead and now defenseless against Harry's full knowledge of his past deeds (or so we think), imploring him for forgiveness and absolution from beyond his grave, still choose to tell him a blatant lie?

I mean, Dumbledore may be a pretty horrible man personality-wise, but he still embodies the Side of the Good with all his being, in all of his outward behaviors. He never -- or almost never -- straightforwardly lies, at least without good reason (judged by his own warped sense of what constitutes the Greater Good, of course). He omits, he prevaricates, he deliberately misleads, but he doesn't usually outright lie... Unless, of course, when he deems it absolutely necessary. He deemed it necessary to lie to Harry in PS/SS that Snape's motivation for protecting Harry's life was one that was hateful and vengeful, as opposed to saying he had no idea or hinting that the motivation might be related to any emotion more akin to Sirius' reason for taking a liking to Harry, for whatever deluded reason he had (such as, oh, the unmistakable fact that he didn't want these two major pawns of his bonding with each other and later deciding that Dumbledore's plan to sacrifice Harry was one that was unpalatable enough for them to not want to follow through with). He deemed it necessary to lie to Harry in HBP when he told him that "he hoped" those pensieve lessons would help him to survive. That was a straight lie, not even prevarication (which, when he told Harry about Slughorn's new recruitment in slippery enough words that Harry was led to believe he was helping him get a new DADA teacher, I think it was), because at that point he already knew that his final plan for Harry was suicide (or attempted suicide, depending on how much of a chance he thought Harry had of surviving), and Harry's knowledge of Voldemort's parentage etc. clearly had nothing to do with whether he would survive Voldemort's murder curse. And Dumbledore knew this. But like he had a good reason for not letting Snape tell Harry about the suicide mission until he'd destroyed most of the Horcruxes ("otherwise how could he have the strength to do what must be done?"), so did he have a reason for telling Harry that the lessons he was getting from Dumbledore in HBP -- and the subsequent order that they led to -- were going to help him defeat his enemy and come out of the war alive. So it's not that Dumbledore never ever lies, but when he does, he tends to have a very strong, strategic reason for it. Then the question is, what motivation could he possibly still have, to keep on lying from beyond his grave?

Because it's either that he did lie, about whatever sensible war-effort type thing he had really been planning with that Cloak, or that he wasn't lying and he really had chosen to take away a strong magical protection item -- the one thing that might have given Lily a split second advantage, had she had it on hand (would you let go of such an item for even a second if you were the mother of a baby targeted for murder? [*]), so that she could leave Harry's side to go get her wand and fight rather than be left with no option but suicide -- for nothing more than some whimsical curiosity of a completely personal nature.

Then I was re-reading Snape's pensieve memories, and one scene struck me for how different Dumbledore's words there are from the way he phrased things to McGonagall on the Dursleys' doorstep, sometime within the same twenty-four-hour time frame -- which we had read way back at the beginning of PS/SS:

"It's -- it's true?" faltered Professor McGonagall. "After all he's done... all the people he's killed... he couldn't kill a little boy? It's just astounding... of all the things to stop him... but how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?"

"We can only guess," said Dumbledore. "We may never know."

[Philosopher's Stone, Ch.1]


The thing is, we were to find out later that Dumbledore says this kind of a thing a lot. He's always quite precise in choosing to say either "I'm guessing" or "I know this," as the speculative history lessons in HBP has shown to us ad nauseum. Not that we knew such a character trait of his back in PS/SS...

So I was kind of taken aback when I went back to read that again post-DH, and then came back to Snape's pensieve scene to make sure I hadn't misread anything:

"If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear."

Snape seemed to peer through a haze of pain, and Dumbledore's words appeared to take a long time to reach him.

"What--what do you mean?"

"You know how and why she died. Make sure it was not in vain. Help me to protect Lily's son."

[Deathly Hallows, Ch.33]


Now hang on. He knows how and why she died? How and why she died? How on earth could Snape know that? Who told him? Who could?

Knowing Harry was charmed by Lily's protection by looking at him, or sensing the aura around him or whatever, now that's one thing. I'm sure that kind of deductive thinking could have been enough for Dumbledore to "guess" that Harry was protected by Lily's love protection charm, and correctly plan his next move -- the end result of that planning being his arrival at the Dursley's where he talks with McGonagall and plants the baby on its relatives' doorstep. But knowing something, anything, about how and why she died is quite another thing. It sounds like Dumbledore is talking about the way Voldemort told Lily that she didn't have to die, the way she begged and cried for him to take her instead of Harry, the way she wouldn't step aside no matter how many times Voldemort insisted, the way she had no wand at hand to fight him with and had no choice but to hope the sacrifice of her life would be enough to protect her baby (which incidentally hadn't ever been enough in the known history of the Wizarding World before she managed to pull it off). In other words, those facts we're by now quite familiar with, having seen them in Harry's and Voldemort's memories. Yeah, that was a heart-wrenching manner and circumstance of death. If anything can motivate the heartbroken, despairing and near-suicidal ex-Death Eater to keep on living and working for the Good Cause, it's got to be that. But the thing is... Is Dumbledore just lying to Snape here, feeding him some empty speculative tale (one that might be close but can't possibly be exactly the same as the actual facts) in a language that only pretends to be authoritative about the truthfulness of the whole matter? Because how could anyone know exactly how she died, except Voldemort himself and the Potter family? Of whom, I might add, every single one but the one-year-old, not-yet-comprehending-of-human-language Harry were dead or vaporishly undead at that point in time?

Except, of course, if there had been a spy planted in Godric's Hollow, one who could see into the Potters' house (i.e. was told of the location by the Secret Keeper) and could observe the events going down without being witnessed by Harry or Voldemort -- both of whose memories of the event never hold a trace of any third party. An invisible observer. And an extremely inactive one.

Could Dumbledore have been standing right there when it all happened, under the Invisibility Cloak, holding his Elder Wand raised at the ready in case something went wrong -- which it didn't? Or could he have planted somebody else with the Potters, unbeknownst to the couple themselves, watching everything, making sure that Harry got attacked by Voldemort and subsequently survived, not lifting a finger to change the course of events as long as things were going well? Am I reading too much into just two little words "know" and "guess," maybe, possibly?

A part of me kind of thinks I am. God, I hope I am. But lately I'm just finding Dumbledore's predisponency to use different words for each different audience really very frightening indeed...



[*] But then again, would you leave your wand somewhere out of reach, ever, if you knew your child was targeted specifically? Both you and your husband at the same time? Even when you slept, wouldn't you put the protection stick under your pillow, just in case, no matter that the house was already protected, if the threat was on your baby? Would you be laughing indulgently about your husband being frustrated at having to stay at home with nothing better to do than protect his wife and child, wishing he had the disguise item he could use to go away and have more interesting adventures? Which makes me wonder if Dumbledore ever even let the Potters know that it was Harry that Voldemort was specifically after. I mean Harry was born on the very last day of July. Even Muggles have some technology that could have controlled Lily's pregnancy and/or held off her labor/delivery so that Harry would get born sometime past midnight -- or hey, pretend he did, by begging the doctor to lie in the birth certificate.

 
 
 
duniazadeduniazade on March 30th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you for having just added the third element to my suspicions about Dumbledore's role in the Godric's Hollow tragedy. The first one was the incredible fact that Dumbledore, knowing that DE Snape has heard the prophecy, lets him scamper without so much as an Obliviate. The second one was the just as unplausible fact that Dumbledore, leader of the Order of the Phoenix, would be refused as a Secret Keeper by the Potters - in favour of Sirius, and ultimately of Pettigrew! - and that Dumbledore would accept that refusal and do nothing about it, considering that Harry's survival is not only a private matter, but concerns the fate of the wizarding world.

Add the cold and calculating way Dumbledore manipulates Snape, and it seems very probable that Dumbledore has engineered the whole situation.
(Anonymous) on March 30th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, on the fishy circumstances of the prophecy. I mean we know exactly how badly that story adds up, seeing as Trelawney's memory is in direct contradiction to the direct image of her making that prophecy that Dumbledore shows Harry from his pensieve.

I fully think Dumbledore did Obliviate Snape, and did so selectively. And then Obliviated Trelawney selectively for good measure. There's no other way everything we've seen in this story (including Snape's incredulous "What do you mean how much did I tell him? Every single word I heard, of course!") can mesh with each other in a perfect synchrony.

Brrr... We are still reading a children's story, right?
(no subject) - raisin_gal on March 30th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - duniazade on March 30th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raisin_gal on March 30th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - duniazade on March 30th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mary_j_59mary_j_59 on March 30th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
wow! You're right, of course; somebody had to be there. I, and many other fans, had assumed it was Severus, trying to rescue Lily on his own against both his Masters' orders (see my fic "All Hallow's Eve" for how I thought this could have happened). Severus certainly knew more about what happened that night than, for example, Minerva - else, how could he have told Harry he was "just like his father, too arrogant to believe he was mistaken in Black."? But Dumbledore, too, seems to know all the details, when there is no reasonable way that he could.

Except a pensieve. The missing 24 hours don't make sense. Harry had to be somewhere other than lying in a wrecked house on a raw, damp autumn night. CMWinters speculates that Dumbledore took the baby's memories of that night once he'd been taken from the house - and then put him back there for Hagrid to find.

But I really think your speculation is the most probable of all. I wouldn't put anything past Dumbledore at this point - especially since we find out in the first book that he could have mitigated Harry's situation at the Dursley's *years* earlier than he did.
Raisin Gal: Haloraisin_gal on March 30th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
Wow, your right. That 24-hour time-out *is* extremely weird, and fishy to boot. Your theory is a really good one, and even meshes with the fact that Harry starts to get back a sliver of this memory at precisely the point in time when Hogwarts (and whichever jar in it might be holding a memory) gets bombarded by a team of soul-sucking creatures. Dumbledore could have decided to just keep the memory for himself the way he appropriated all those memories he shows Harry in HBP, or he could have decided to give it back and then went, "Hey, you know what? Let's bury this baby *really really deep* so there's no chance that Harry will ever have a clue as to the real circumstance of his parents' deaths and his own subsequent greatness."

And you've reminded me that I forgot to make reference to something very relevant to my theory: There's a great essay out there (on HPL? -- I don't remember and couldn't find it when I tried to search; anybody know where it is please give me a link!) that, amongst other things, pegs Dumbledore's full knowledge of this event on him having Legilimenced baby Harry for everything he saw.

Your scenario is slightly more plausible in this case, because I'm not sure Legilimency can dig up details of an event that couldn't have been seen from the memory-holder's vantage point *or* ones that couldn't have been comprehended by him, whereas pensieve memories we know for a fact can uncover things said in a language that the memory holder can't understand (Harry understanding the parseltongue conversation at the Gaunts').

No matter what went on there, though, I'm still puzzled as to why Dumbledore had to have Hagrid pick up Harry at the scene of the crime after whatever he did to the baby boy that (at the very least) included enhancing Lily's love charm. Why on earth plant the infant again in the rubbles? Why not just bring him with him to Privet Drive? I'm sure this will continue to bug me until I or somebody else comes up with another morbid theory that conclusively explains it...
(no subject) - duniazade on March 30th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eir_de_scania on March 31st, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Raisin Gal: Haloraisin_gal on March 30th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
JKR who? *g*

I totally agree with you that the whole series is chock full of what can only be seen as plot holes, starting from people's ages not adding up and going up to big things like this. But no matter how things got there, they got there, and unfortunately for us poor souls, fandom's first rule in letting us play is to insist that we have a canon to follow. A consistent one. And lo and behold, the HP canon is horrifyingly consistent on each of these big things, when you decide it's a story that means what it says, authorial intention be damned.

I just, you know, I thought, coming in, that I was writing/reading shamelessly adult (in ethical themes and sexual content) side-stories about an innocent world of children's adventure. And yet ever since DH I find myself gasping more loudly than I've ever gasped at the most horrendous of fanfics each time I try to go back and examine the canon. I never thought my adored fictional world could turn the table on me like this... It's like I bought a frail-looking butterfly and it mutated into a thing that bites and has poison. If I wanted that I would have gone with the tarantula!!
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - sari_malfoy on March 31st, 2008 07:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
Dumbledore redeemed? - (Anonymous) on April 2nd, 2008 02:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raisin_gal on April 2nd, 2008 05:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
p.s. - raisin_gal on April 2nd, 2008 05:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
snorkackcatchersnorkackcatcher on March 30th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
Ho hum. I wouldn't call that the 'closest thing to' an official answer, it quite evidently is the official answer, especially since JKR went out of her way to mention that Dumbledore having the Cloak was important. A few comments:


This is no time to take away from James the one artifact on earth whose truly magical strength is, as Dumbledore himself puts it, that it can "protect and shield others" than its already-powerful owner

Wouldn't make any difference given the way they were going into hiding. If the Fidelius Charm failed, and they couldn't Disapparate (that's why you should keep your wands close, J&L), they were screwed whether they had the Cloak or not. Voldemort would be quite prepared to just blow up the whole house or indeed the whole village to get them.


He deemed it necessary to lie to Harry in HBP when he told him that "he hoped" those pensieve lessons would help him to survive. That was a straight lie

Huh? Harry needs to know about the Horcruxes in order to be in a position to (a) survive Voldemort's AK by not resisting, and (b) have a chance of killing him afterwards because the soul fragment was the last one. Dumbledore already knows about the use of Harry's blood giving him a chance by this stage.


Now hang on. He knows how and why she died? How and why she died? How on earth could Snape know that? Who told him? Who could?

Um, everybody knows how and why Lily died, by simple deduction from the scene at Godric's Hollow. How? Voldemort AK'd her. Why? She was trying to protect Harry. QED. There's no reason to parse the words six ways from Sunday for some super-sekrit meaning, or to assume a spy there -- quite apart from the fact that this sort of plot twist would have been noted in the books. JKR occasionally let elements drop by the wayside, but nothing on that scale.


Except, of course, if there had been a spy planted in Godric's Hollow, one who could see into the Potters' house (i.e. was told of the location by the Secret Keeper)

Except, of course, he wasn't. As Sirius explained, the switch was a secret between Sirius, the Potters, and Peter -- and then later Voldemort when Peter told him.


Am I reading too much into just two little words "know" and "guess," maybe, possibly?

Yes. Far too much.
Raisin Gal: Loveraisin_gal on March 30th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah! Thanks for your excellent concrit. You have really good points. Most especially--

(b) have a chance of killing him afterwards because the soul fragment was the last one.

Wow, you're right, that *does* make the horcrux-lessons directly consequential to Harry's survival, doesn't it? How could I miss that? Goes to show I shouldn't be too hung up on my own view (and venomous hatred of a character based on that view) as I go and read the text.

On the "how and why she died" bit, I still think Dumbledore's wording to Snape is at best manipulatively insincere ("I *know* this for sure, shut up and take my word for it!"), and at worst hiding something sinister that *allows* him to dish out such kind of manipulation on the intellectual *and* desperate Snape, without the wretched man in question going: "What do you mean she was found AK-ed over Harry's non-dead body and she wasn't holding a wand ergo she *must* have chosen to die as opposed to just stood there as the Dark Lord killing her off exactly as he did James?? She's just dead and you couldn't protect her! See if I care about Harry!"

Only problem with my theory is, though, if Dumbledore did have a way of knowing exactly what went down by way of a witness, how could he have given this proof of his story's truthfulness to Snape without the man going ballistic at the fact that he would let there be an inactive observer? I don't know, perhaps mary_j_59 is onto something way more plausible.
(no subject) - snorkackcatcher on March 30th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shyfoxling on March 31st, 2008 02:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - snorkackcatcher on March 31st, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Guesswork, not deduction - (Anonymous) on April 2nd, 2008 02:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Guesswork, not deduction - sarahevekelly on April 16th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raisin_gal on April 16th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - focusf1 on April 5th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raisin_gal on April 10th, 2008 08:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raisin_gal on April 10th, 2008 08:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
ext_90247 on March 30th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
I believe that Dumbledore was there in the invisibility cloak, that he allowed the Potters to die. Really, he had the elder wand and the invisibility cloak at the time, maybe he thought Voldemort had the Gaunt ring, the third Hallow, on his person and planned to have all three by the end of the evening.

I never thought about how keeping Sirius and Severus apart by fostering their mutual disgust and hatred would also keep them from collaborating against Dumbledore to protect Harry. Nice theory, and one that is wholly belivable at this point.

My hatred of Dumbledore grows exponentially at every turn. Great job at tying the events of that night together - Dumbledore is truly a scumbag of the highest order. He was at the top of his game that night at Godrics Hollow. He had prestige as a leader of the Wizarding community, and almost had access to all of the Hallows.

To quote my hero, "I may vomit."
Raisin Gal: Haloraisin_gal on March 30th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
I never thought about how keeping Sirius and Severus apart

Oops, that was me not being equal to the English language in the middle of the night. *g* I meant that part as Snape and Harry, as in "Dumbledore didn't want Snape and Harry getting friendly enough with each other that they might decide they want to live happily ever after together, walking into the sunset in Snarry bliss *or* in some completely-non-romantic equivalent of that with the same strength of a close, life-seeking bond."

But wow, *your* theory is really a nice one, and yeah, totally believable, however shudder-worthy.
(no subject) - shyfoxling on March 31st, 2008 02:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aras_fixation on March 31st, 2008 04:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raisin_gal on March 31st, 2008 04:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aras_fixation on March 31st, 2008 04:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shyfoxling on March 31st, 2008 06:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raisin_gal on March 31st, 2008 07:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shyfoxling on March 31st, 2008 07:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aras_fixation on April 1st, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shyfoxling on April 1st, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aras_fixation on April 1st, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shyfoxling on April 1st, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shyfoxling on March 31st, 2008 05:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
berseker: fucked_overberseker on March 30th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
O.O

This is very intriguing. It had never ocurred to me before, but now that you said it, it actually makes sense. I´ll have to think about it for a while, now...
easleyweasleyeasleyweasley on March 30th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
On the other hand ... don't read too much into canon! You know that wonderful 'Invisibility Cloak'? Fools even Death? Well, Fake!Moody could see through it in GoF when Harry was trapped on the stairs. Meta is all very well ... if you assume your author is always correct and consistent!
Raisin Gal: Haloraisin_gal on March 31st, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
Ahhh, but my misfortune is that I'm a slavish b--ch of canon to my bitter end. *g*

I don't honestly care what the author's intentions may or may not have been, actually. Nor her competence. But as a fanficcer my ingrained instinct is to read *everything* in the canonical text as something that must surely be consistent, in some alternate universe (which is the whole point of fandom) if not in straightforward text... And, when faced with incontrovertible evidence in canon of a blatant incongruity (such as the one you have just pointed out), to stick my fingers in my ears and go "lalala I can't hear you..."

Or, you know, even more scarily, to try and come up with a warped version of reality so that even things like one of the Weasley brothers aging two years while another aged one, can be explained away.
(no subject) - sarahevekelly on April 16th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
some kind of snark faery: general (hogwarts)shyfoxling on March 31st, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
Could Dumbledore have been standing right there when it all happened, under the Invisibility Cloak, holding his Elder Wand raised at the ready in case something went wrong -- which it didn't?

Huh.

I thought you were leading up to Severus having been there (which I think is a common fan speculation anyway). Otherwise, with the sentence you have chosen to pick apart, why would he say "You know how and why"? Wouldn't he say "I have told you how and why", if he had been there himself?
Raisin Gal: Pietaraisin_gal on March 31st, 2008 04:36 am (UTC)
I don't know if anybody would believe me, since I'm such a Snape fangirl, but I actually was so under-read in fandom that I had no idea that theory was so popular. I have no clue as to how Snape could be at the scene and fail to interfere (or successfully keep himself from interfering), at this point, but I suppose there are millions of ways how he could. That's what other fen's minds are out there for, Self...

I should really read some stuff around here, starting with mary_j_59's fanfic.
(no subject) - shyfoxling on March 31st, 2008 05:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
aras_fixation on March 31st, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
I think you read a bit too much in the text. Although this idea of DD being hidden under the cloack while *those things* happened in front of his eyes wouold be an intriguing one for a story.
Raisin Gal: Haloraisin_gal on March 31st, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
I probably did. *g*

My upbringing is firmly in fanficcing and it shows, when I try to do something like this... Which IMO isn't such a bad thing, but yeah, I lose points for credibility.
(no subject) - aras_fixation on March 31st, 2008 04:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
Class 1 Demon: parentswolfsbaine on March 31st, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
Re:Interesting Essay...
Somewhere in the depths of the past I seem to remember the question of someone else being at Godric's Hollow on the night of the 31st was brought up in one of Rowling's little on line chat's. For some reason I thought she said there was someone else there, but not who so your theory has weight and is well thought out.

If you see DD as the Godhead figure then he is either there or knows pretty much what will happen or what needs to happen, which puts paid to the myth of choice. None of these people seemed to have a choice about the role they played in the story because it is a story about faith and has little to do with rational thinking and thus doesn’t conform to rational reasoning. Hence sensible things like keeping your wand at hand wont come into the story and tell me the mother who had magical powers who would just stand in front of her child and plead for its life. Even none magical parents die fighting to save their child, but few just take the chance of just standing in front of a killer and hoping that it will all rebound on the killer and save your child.

None of this has to work because ultimately it is about faith not anyone religious faith (though this is heavily weighted towards Christianity through such things as the metaphorical crucifixation in Kings Cross and the religious Iconography in the Wand, Cloak etc.) but just in having faith in what must be for the Greater Good.

I would say your biggest clue to how much DD knew or was involved in would be he believed in the Greater Good for the Greatest amount of people, so allowing people to be imprisoned for something they didn't do, and killing, lying and cheating is acceptable under those circumstances because it serves the greatest amount of people.

It comes under the heading of...

" Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

It could be said that DD went along with Snape's wishes not to let anyone know he was helping to keep Harry safe because it served his purpose and that of the authors. Quiet clearly all of Harry’s parents generation thought for themselves and came up with plans and spells of their own the weren’t under DD’s control. So had any of them gained influence over Harry it would have affected what had to happen for the greater good?

And that greater good comes from a parental love as DD told you in OoTP so that makes it morally right it doesn’t have to be rational because the parent knows best.

I agree with DD punishing Sirius, but then he punished all of the marauders one way or the other but his justification is what disgusts me.
(Anonymous) on April 6th, 2008 08:25 am (UTC)
Looking at Albus and the Hallows as a theme it makes sense the official reason he had the cloak was the true one. One of Albus' big weaknesses was his youthful fascination with the Hallows. He thought he overcame it, but never did, until his death.

He won the Elder Wand in 1945. He did better than Gregorovitch and Grindelwald - he did not use it to conquer humanity nor did he advertise his ownership of it, but he could not put it away (like Harry later did) thus it was always at risk of falling into the wrong hands. swythyv says that was the reason Albus avoided the frontlines as much as he could - we don't see him duel anyone from 1945 till the Ministry battle 51 years later. Even when he knew he was planning to die in a visible duel, when he knew Voldemort had in his hold Ollivander, a wand-maker who could lead Voldemort to the Elder Wand, and when he had been expecting Voldemort to eventually seek the Elder Wand since the Priori Incantatem in 1995 - he still uses the Elder Wand, risking its fate. I believe he expected to die undefeated, and later order Snape to get rid of the no longer special wand. However that did not work and with the wand retaining its power Albus did not trust to tell Snape to get rid of it, because Snape, being wizarding raised, would realize the nature of the wand, would realize Draco was its master, and would try to gain mastership of the wand for himself, with unknown consequences. So Albus remained silent, and Snape did not know until the last few minutes of his life that he had been marked for death by Voldemort from the moment the latter recovered the wand, as a result of faithfully carrying out Albus' order to kill him. Had Albus given up the wand in time (whether in 1945, 1995 or 1996) Severus might have had a chance to survive, but as the apparent master of the wand he was dead man walking.

Albus learned of James' ownership of the cloak in 1981. And he took it. And did not give it back. Lily wrote James was frustrated because without the cloak he could not chance leaving the house. Some 3 months before they died. What would have been if they had the cloak? Well, James would have been able to go out. Which meant he could have met people outside the house. So when the time came to apply the Fidelius Charm, why bother with a third party as Secret Keeper at all? James did not want to depend on Albus for what might be years on end to be the one to tell future visitors where the Potters were. (Nor was he inclined to trust the one his neighbor, Madam Bagshot, describes as a close friend of Gellert Grindelwald, or, for that matter, the one who took his cloak and did not return it for 3 months). But if James could leave the house under the invisibility cloak, James could have been the Secret Keeper (just like Bill was Secret Keeper for Shell Cottage in DH). And James wouldn't have betrayed his own family no matter what. The whole issue about Albus' suspicion that there was a spy close to the Potters would have been removed from the equation, because James wasn't and couldn't possibly have been the spy. But Albus could not bring himself to return the cloak in time, so the Potters had to rely on someone else and ended up with Peter as their Secret Keeper. I agree that once Peter was made Secret Keeper the cloak would have been of little help, especially without wands, but having the cloak could have taken Peter out of the picture of the Potters' protection in the first place.

When Albus returned the cloak to Harry in Christmas 1991 he thought he had overcome his obsession with the Hallows (don't look at the wand!). But in the summer of 1996 he found the resurrection stone, now Voldemort's Horcrux - and he couldn't wait 5 minutes to neutralize it before putting the ring on his finger, leading to suffering the effects of Voldemort's curse, and the need for his death plan. So much could have been different had he been a little bit more patient!

Thus Albus' Hallow obsession cost the lives of Ariana Dumbledore, James and Lily Potter, Severus Snape and Albus Dumbledore.

Raisin Gal: Eyesraisin_gal on April 10th, 2008 08:00 am (UTC)
Ohh, wow. You have excellent points there! And a wonderfully articulate way of putting them all to words.

I never thought about the way Dumbledore failed his Elder Wand test in quite the light you describe. Nor the Secret Keeper issue. (Why *didn't* James become one anyway, even if he were living in the house? Or why couldn't he leave it and defend his wife and child with his death anyway? If he told absolutely no one before dying, their protection would have been rock solid.) You're right, the whole Cloak thing *could* all be Dumbledore's incompetence, rather than any scary war strategy that his brilliant mind might have cooked up.

My apologies for taking so long to reply!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on April 14th, 2008 06:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
dumbledore - (Anonymous) on April 13th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
baddest_witch: pic#126319601baddest_witch on July 9th, 2016 07:02 pm (UTC)
Interesting theory. I don't agree but you do make an interesting case and argue your point well.

My thing is, James gave the cloak to Dumbledore willingly, so apparently it wasn't all that invaluable if James handed it over knowing Voldy was after them.
And as for him knowing how Lily died. Okay, Voldemort used Avada Kedavra, which is really the only spell you see him use to kill, and it's Voldemort so the Dark Mark is ten times out of nine over their house, that would alert anybody to a death.

And if Dumbledore arrived after (or was most likely told the events by Hagrid, who was told by Sirius because he's first on the scene), AK was most likely used, Lily's probably lying dead in front of Harry's crib, Harry is scarred and Voldemort is gone, Harry is alive, the only one alive. Knowing how sacrificial protection works, it wouldn't have taken a genius to put two and two together, and we all know Dumbledore was a genius