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Pottering about

Finally got the chance to read teh book.

OK, I figured it was Snape to begin with. It was pretty obvious - the book in the bottom of a drawer and with sheer unadulterated genius in everything to do with the potion part. Although really it was pretty annoying that Harry didn't quite GET what was written in there - and was rather amusing how much he liked and admired the personality that was shown.

I was misled for a bit - thought that Draco had been bitten by Fenrir, and that it was part of the rather nasty 'recruit the kiddies' thing that the wolf creep was doing.

Also figured out, knowing that SOMEONE was going to die, that it would be Dumbledore. Though the whole thing seems to contain a touch of withering stupidity that bothers me.

Snape killing Dumbledore? Yeah. He had to. He made the Unbreakable Vow. And he was, in a perverse way, saving Draco from the Dark. And, I suspect, Dumbledore knew about it, though in his overconfidence he thought he could avoid letting things get that bad.

Too bad, really, that Harry is not likely to understand that. He's better than he was but he's still an idiot. Not that I'd expect great sophistication from a kid who was kept in a closet under the stairs. I really expect better from Snape though. He's being far too stupid in his treatment of Potter, it really continues to be inconsistent with the depth of character he's shown otherwise. If he's THAT good a legilimens, he would know precisely WHY Potter thinks the way he does, and if he had a tenth of the subtlety required to make a potion the way he went on in his first clas, then he'd ALSO know that his every action was guaranteed to make the kid hate him. Stupid for no reason.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 21st, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
A friend of mine points out a possible aternative to Dumbledore's overconfidence.

I know what you mean about Snape, though. All I can imagine is that his public persona is that of the truly vile human beings who become teachers so that they can lord some miniscule amount of power over the helpless; those who were abused become the abusers, and the cycle continues. I'm given to understand that this sort of thing continues rather unabashed in the British boarding school environment. Perhaps there's a great deal of self-loathing behind Snape's obstinate refusal to understand Harry. As you say, a legilimens of his skill should have no trouble discerning the causes behind Harry's cheek, but it takes an understanding human being to transform knowing into compassion. Snape may have come a long way from his days as the Half-Blood Prince, but he hasn't come that far.

If Dumbledore's death was not the result of misplaced confidence in Snape, then the series has taken a very serious turn: Dumbledore is/was playing a very deep game and realized that he might have to sacrifice himself (the Queen) to put Snape (Knight? Bishop? Pawn near the edge of the board?) in position to check(mate) Voldemort. Snape is now so positioned, and Harry (Rook) is on his way to apply the screws. Oh, the game does indeed proceed apace.

What other pieces would Dumbledore be prepared to sacrifice in order to destroy Voldemort? In a darker series, I might suggest that Harry has been shaped to the purpose of destroying Voldemort as much by Dumbledore as by Voldemort himself, but I'm not prepared to go that router with Rowling just yet. There's still hope, if somewhat hidden, in the Harry Potter series.

Coaxing it out into the open without resorting to platitudes will truly mark the transition from engaging tale-teller to good writer for Rowling.
Jul. 21st, 2005 04:52 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about that myself: Sacrificing himself to put Snape close to the 8th square as posible. (Interesting imagery of Snape becoming Queen Alice here).

There's also anothing thing... R.A.G. died from imbibing the potion, and Albus Dumbledore was also clearly dying after drinking it-- the potion he had Harry feed him. Having Snape kill Dumbledore before Harry could see him die before his eyes from something he gave him is... a very convenient mercy, isn't it? Sparing Harry from getting any further traumas along the line of "I killed Albus Dumbledore!" You know, the kind of thing that'd get him to finally go off the deep end, considering it was partially Harry's stupidity that caused Sirius' death.

And then, there was that entirely bizarre duel between Harry and Snape after Dumbledore's death. It seemed like Snape was actully trying to give harry pointers on how to effectively fight, and it wasn't done in his witheringly mocking way. It felt like a final DADA class.

There's a theory that Harry himself is a Horcrux, but that holds no water- since Voldemort's been actively trying to kill him.
Jul. 21st, 2005 06:53 pm (UTC)
Note also Snape teaching the DADA class how to cast spells without verbalizing. This is not something you see often in the wizarding world of the books; most wizards and witches seem to have to vocalize their hexes and curses. It's possible that non-verbal spellcasting is really difficult to pull off under stressful circumstances, but it could also be the sort of advanced technique that Snape felt would serve Potter (and his friends) best in later confrontations with Death Eaters. The less people are expecting your attack, the better off you are.
Jul. 21st, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
It definitely sounds like a higher technique. At points of the book Dumbledore and McGonagall are mentioned casting spells but their incantations are never mentioned- and we never know if it was silent casting or simply compressed narrative.

I imagine some of the higher tiers of the magic world are able to handle silent casting- Voldemort is probably able to do so, but doesn't bother--- I mean, except for that one instance, you can't stop an AVADA KEDAVRA curse, or a Cruciatus curse. And those are his favorite toys. Dumbledore most certainly could.

Another possibility is that sSilent casting serves a primary function: Battle magic. In times of peace, such as right after the death of Voldemor, there was no need for the majority of the wizarding world to use silent casting... I mean, what's the point, really? If it is more difficult to get a handle of, it would be much less effort to speak the darn incantation to fetch yourself a nice mug of ale from accross the room.

When you've got a Death Eater breathing down your neck, however, you can certainly see the advantage of casting curses without letting them see what's coming. So it's probably a technique that most wizards went through at one point or another in their DADA classes, but few ever really honed up - with the exception of Aurors, who deal with unpleasant scenarios all the time.
Jul. 22nd, 2005 01:43 am (UTC)
Interesting reminder of the chess game from the first book.

I wonder if that particular game is laid out anywhere, and if so, whether or not we might find any parallels to the plot line, assigning various characters to various pieces.
Jul. 22nd, 2005 03:16 am (UTC)
I don't have the book with me, but if you do ,you could look up that challenge and see. How many 'turns' were mentioned before the end of the match? It'd be interesting if there had been seven.
Rowling is just sneaky enough to do something like that.
Jul. 22nd, 2005 03:18 am (UTC)
We also know one thing: Harry is a King, not Dumbledore. Dumbledore said how Harry was indispensable. Voldemort is the king as well.
Who are the Queens? The Queen is the most powerful and versatile piece in the game. I am absoutely certain that Minerva is not the equivalent to the Queen in this game... unfortunately, because she's my favorite character, but she's not up to par with that role.
Jul. 22nd, 2005 03:19 am (UTC)
Link titled "possible alternative" is a protected entry. Can't view it, sorry.
Jul. 21st, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
then he'd ALSO know that his every action was guaranteed to make the kid hate him. Stupid for no reason.

Unless Snape doesn't TRUST Potter to keep his intentions hidden. Snape is a very accomplished Legilimens, but Potter isn't. Furthermore, Potter screwed up his Occlumency lessons with Snape by poking around in the man's underwear drawer... Snape isn't immune to taking offense to that, specially if he has some major complexes under that greasy hair of his- and it seems he does indeed. Dumbledore may have trusted Harry with his plans, but Snape's position in the game being much more difficult and requiring total secrecy is different.

And what better way to guaranteeing your cover than to have The Chosen One hating your very guts? If Harry had known that Snape's killing of Dumbledore fulfilled some need or pre-established plan, he probably wouldn't have reacted as batshit crazy as he did... and if he hadn't, that could have raised suspicion.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )