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More food for thought . . . Bendable vow essay

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  • I’m afraid I’ve got to disagree with the part about Dumbledore’s hand. At Spinner’s End, Snape tells Bellatrix and Narcissa:

    “I am pleased to say, however, that Dumbledore is growing old. The duel with The Dark Lord last month shook him. He has since sustained a serious injury because his reactions are slower than they once were.”

    So you see, the injury already occurred. And the point is made that when Snape and Narcissa’s hands were engulfed with the tongues of fire, that it somehow charred their skin? I think something that graphic might be explained. Yet, any burning is not mentioned.

    And also, if the “thrilling tale” which Dumbledore mentions is of himself possibly switching places with Snape,…what’s the point? Dumbledore would have trusted Snape regardless, so why would he have to step in for him to ensure no breach of trust?

    The notion is mentioned that the ring Horcrux was destroyed after Harry saw it Dumbledore’s office. I don’t think that really matters as to when it was destroyed. There was a “curse” placed on it when Dumbledore removed it from the remains of the Gaunt’s house. Quite clearly that’s how his hand became the way it was.

    Interesting theory despite my rebuttal, D.B. Fwoopersong.

  • jamie1putt

    Interesting stuff. I disagree about the ring, its destruction and so on. I am sure the crack in the stone was part of the destruction. The diary had no visiable damage from the “act” of evil. However I have to believe, much as I don’t want to, that Snape is good. I like the idea of the withered hand having to do with the vow. I guess we will find out for sure on Saturday but Snape is the only wizard, in my mind, powerful enough to assist Harry to kill “he who must not be named”

  • Jameswys

    I really enjoyed the essay although I disagree about the curse on the ring not being true. I took Dumbledore on is word that the curse caused the “dead” hand. However the part I found intresting was the breakdown of the rule “bending” and the evidence for Snape. If in 3 days it turns out the essay was close to correct mega props to D.b. Fwoopersong and Lexicon for posting it.

  • hermes88507

    It is very plausable.

    Since I am adding a blog I would like to share a thought that came to me last night.
    Can it be that RAB is the Wizard that trained Lord V in the way of the Black Arts. Possibly the owner at the time of Borigin and Burkes?

  • I’m afraid I’ve got to disagree with the part about Dumbledore’s hand. At Spinner’s End, Snape tells Bellatrix and Narcissa:

    “I am pleased to say, however, that Dumbledore is growing old. The duel with The Dark Lord last month shook him. He has since sustained a serious injury because his reactions are slower than they once were.”

    So you see, the injury already occurred. And the point is made that when Snape and Narcissa’s hands were engulfed with the tongues of fire, that it somehow charred their skin? I think something that graphic might be explained. Yet, any burning is not mentioned.

    And also, if the “thrilling tale” which Dumbledore mentions is of himself possibly switching places with Snape,…what’s the point? Dumbledore would have trusted Snape regardless, so why would he have to step in for him to ensure no breach of trust?
    The notion is mentioned that the ring Horcrux was destroyed after Harry saw it Dumbledore’s office. I don’t think that really matters as to when it was destroyed. There was a “curse” placed on it when Dumbledore removed it from the remains of the Gaunt’s house. Quite clearly that’s how his hand became the way it was.

    Nice theory D.B. Fwoopersong, but I just don’t agree.

  • anshou

    The only thought I can’t reconcile is how is it that Dumbledore managed to be at Snape’s residence on that particular night, already masquerading as Snape, while Snape was (by all appearances) under the watchful eye of Wormtail?

  • Karen L

    I’ve always thought that Dumbledore trusted Snape completely because Snape had made an Unbreakable Vow to Dumbledore when he came back to the Right Side. It would be easier to trust someone completely if he would die if the broke his word. Plus, you would be forwarned of his treachery when he dropped dead!

  • DB Fwoopersong

    In response to Patrick: Interestingly, the mention at Spinner’s End of Dumbledore sustaining an injury does not include mention of a specific kind of injury. No mention of a hand injury, that is certain! Perhaps the injury comment was said as a safeguard in case something should happen as a result of bending the vow. It could be a way of setting the Death Eater audience up to both see Dumbledore as weak and to not be suspicious of any unusual changes in Dumbledore’s manner or appearance. And perhaps it’s also a way for JKR to set us up to accept Dumbledore’s hand injury at face value.

    Also, you wrote: “And the point is made that when Snape and Narcissa’s hands were engulfed with the tongues of fire, that it somehow charred their skin? I think something that graphic might be explained. Yet, any burning is not mentioned.” But I am proposing that the burning of the hand did NOT happen at the time of making the vow. I think the very appearance of flames (even COLD flames) around the right hand is just a visual clue for us. My idea is that the damage occurred later when Dumbledore re-assumed his own bodily form, thus bending the vow and bending the punishment that would normally occur from breaking it. That’s my basic premise!

    By the way, I don’t think Dumbledore ever had any intention of telling Harry his “thrilling tale” IN THIS LIFE! I think he intends for Harry to learn of it later (perhaps in Pensieve form?) and it will vindicate Snape in Harry’s (and everyone else’s) eyes then. Dumbledore did trust Snape, but I still think Dumbledore manipulated the situation in order to protect Snape and his position as double agent…

    Thanks for reading my essay!

  • Patrick

    Sorry DB Fwoopersong, I just have to respectively disagree. The only things I can offer as a discrepancy to your theories are quotes from the book. I guess I have more of a strict interpretation of the novels and don’t allow much leeway to fanatical alternatives. We’ll all see very soon who’s right!

    And to clear any confusion, I’m not dogging your essay, just simply questioning the premise. 🙂

  • Myst

    Just the whole idea that they knew that Narcissa was coming that night, Dumbledore was there . . . Makes it hard to follow this one. “could it be”–sure, we are dealing with Dumbledore, but I’m not sold. I don’t even see how it would be a necessary part of the story. I think the onus is on Snape, part of that whole redemption, who’s side is he on thing. Interesting idea and the blind eye to “rule-breaking” is definitely a trend in this series. But look how many things would NOT have been able to happen without all that rule breaking–good, bad and the ugly=short series. 😉

  • DB Fwoopersong

    I’m just happy to stir the controversy cauldron a bit more! Many thanks to Paula and all at the Lexicon for giving us lots more rare and valuable ingredients on which to stew during this ultimate week…

  • Zam

    DB Fwooperswong’s theory was one of the best, funnest, and most credible theories I’ve ever heard. He presented it beautifully but left out one piece of CRUCIAL evidence. He proposed that Snape did not perform the Avada Kedavra curse on Dumbledore. This is, i believe 100% true, and for one reason: DUMBLEDORES EYES WERE CLOSED PEACEFULLY. Now one may say that someone else closed them but that seems unlikely because everyone around was in awe and shock and no one would’ve had the presence of mind to do so. This proves that it couldnt have been the Avada Kedavra because one is dead instantly when they are hit, usually looking as though theyre scared to death.
    Now if you are going to say that Dumbledore’s eyes were closed when he was hit by the curse, you are supporting the theory that Snape is good, even if he did use Avada Kedavra, because why would Dumbledore close his eyes and presumably accept death if he didnt know it was coming? But personally i dont believe his eyes were closed at death so it couldnt have been AK!

  • beauxbatons

    Hello, DB Fwoopersong.
    I like you theory insofar as it is based on a fascinating coincidence : the flames around Snape and Narcissa’s hands, and the fact that Dumbledore’s hand is blackened and seems burned.
    Yet I cannot buy it. Though Dumbledore’s explanations about his injury are indeed a bit disconnected, he states clearly the following (I took the quote in your own essay) :
    “However, a withered hand does not seem an unreasonable exchange for a seventh of Voldemort’s soul.”
    Here Dumbledore is clearly telling Harry that his injury is related to one of the horcruxes, and that it was the price he had to pay to get to it. Maybe he wasn’t injured when he destroyed it but rather when he got it — I don’t know. But the Vow itself has nothing to do with Horcruxes.
    So, either Dumbledore’s injury is not related to the Vow, however appealing this would be in literary terms, or Dumbledore lied to Harry.
    I can’t believe the latter, because if he lied to him about his hand, he could also have lied about many other topics, including Horcruxes…

  • IBelieve

    One thing to remember that has not featured a lot, Remember that Dumbledore used to be the Transfiguration Teacher before he became headmaster.
    I am sure that we will find out that he can change at will or something.

  • DB Fwoopersong

    WOW! So many great comments…I’ll try to get to as many as need response.

    Working backwards:
    IBelieve–Wise, wise thoughts! I can’t wait to get that Dumbledore back story!

    Beaubatons–When I read the quote you sited (“…a withered hand…seventh of Voldemort’s soul”) I can honestly not see any necessary connection to the idea that the Horcrux itself CAUSED his injury. However…the entire set of circumstances, including the ongoing Horcrux hunt/Horcrux destruction could lead to danger and injury which would all be seen as imminently worthwhile to Dumbledore. There would certainly be many things that he would consider worthy casualties in exchange for the ultimate destruction of Voldy!

    Zam–Interesting thoughts about the eyes being closed. I could look into it, but I do believe that no matter what actually killed him, Dumbledore was prepared to go…and asking to go…perhaps his eyes were closed in a sort of reverent prayerful way! He had put his affairs in order and his mind was organized, after all!

    Myst and Anshou– I agree that the coincidence of timing might seem a bit far fetched at first, but when you consider how many years Dumbledore and the order have had Snape working as a double agent, it is very possible that they knew just what was coming and had worked out a signal. (Phoenixes are good for that sort of thing ;-D) And of course, Snape would have been privy to Dracos deal with the Dark Lord! Also, assuming that the order have worked to improve their spying techniques since OOTP…and given the fact that with Lucius in jail it would be MUCH easier to keep close tabs on Narcissa, it seems even more entirely plausible that they knew just when she was coming. And Wormtail, being the wormy little rat that he is…you could just imagine how intimidated he would be by Snape, especially if he had to live with him and serve him 24/7! He would be very easy to trick! Snape’s mind powers are so superior to Wormtail’s in every way! Snape certainly seems to have powers the Dark Lord knows not!

    I have to be up in 2 hours! I must get to bed now… hee hee! This is so much fun! Loved all your responses! Keep them coming!

  • beauxbatons

    Dear DB,

    I think we agree on this : his injury was not necessarily caused by the destruction of the horcrux.
    But it is however related to it : the word “exchange” is a clear evidence. And we don’t know any connection (for the moment) between horcruxes and the Vow. I know it is all part of the same fight against Voldemort, but then why would Dumbledore precisely mention “a seventh of Voldemort’s soul” ? If it was not the case, this would be at least deliberately misleading Harry. As far as we know, Dumbledore doesn’t want him to fail !

  • iszi

    If the mark of the horcrux was the crack in the ring – what about Riddle’s diary – why hadn’t this sustained similar damage?

    Perhaps dumbledore forsaw the arm injury that would occur if he made the vow, but he didn’t even know bellatrix would ask him to do it. There is no evidence that snape even knew he would be having guests – how did dumbledore forsee this?

    A more likely explaination for the destruction of the ring is the need to use dark magic to destroy horcruxes. The Diary required a poisonus fang… it survived being drowned in a toilet. in order to destroy the object completely maybe dumbledore needed something stronger – hence its sudden disappearence.


  • MotherDemdike

    Fab essay. I really think you’re onto something here! Can’t wait to see if your theory turns out to be right – but I shouldn’t be surprised.

    There’s one small detail I want to comment on, though – and there’s a clue to it in my last sentence above! I think you’re under a slight misapprehension at one point in the essay, based on your unfamiliarity with some aspects of UK English.

    You mention that in Chapter 13 of HBP, Dumbledore says of Tom Riddle, “I (was) intending to keep an eye on him, something I SHOULD HAVE DONE in any case”, and you interpret this to mean “ought to have done” – i.e. Dumbledore is saying he ought to have watched Riddle and didn’t do so, and thus he might want to redeem his mistake by saving Draco.

    But you’re misinterpreting Dumbledore. Remember, he’s an old man, and he’s English, so he speaks rather differently from how you would. In fact, he speaks in the formal style of an educated Englishman of the old school. In this style of UK English, “should” is used as the first person (“I” or “we”) of “would”, just as I did further up this post, when I said, “I SHOULDN’T be surprised”. As far as I know, this doesn’t happen in US English; and many younger English people today don’t use it either. To express Dumbledore’s meaning, you would probably say, “I returned to Hogwarts intending to keep an eye on him, something I WOULD HAVE DONE in any case…” In other words, Dumbledore says he DID keep an eye on Riddle, because he seemed a bit odd – but then, he’d have kept an eye on him even if he’d thought him a lovely boy, simply because Riddle was an orphan and friendless. What Dumbly is getting at is, he wasn’t breathing down Riddle’s neck or making assumptions that he was evil – just keeping an eye on him, the way he would have done anyway. So, no mistake to redeem, and no reason for Dumbledore to feel he has to save Draco in compensation. (However, I do agree that Dumbly probably felt he had to save Draco from committing murder – just, not for this reason.)

    Sorry for the long post – it sometimes takes a lot of convoluted words to explain a confusion caused by words/language!

  • Huntington

    Nice prose. . .but nonsense all the same. Sorry.

  • SilentJ

    DB – Very well researched essay. Can’t wait to see how it all plays out. And to hear the roar when your theory proves to be correct. heehee.

  • DB Fwoopersong

    Hi to all fans and foes of my essay! LOL!

    To MotherDemdike: You have a nice point about my possible misinterpretation of Dumbledore’s meaning of “should have” in that quote. However, I was reading it with the emphasis on the word “intended”, which I think means the same on both sides of the pond. We often say “intended” when, in retrospect, we realize and regret that we may not quite have followed through as we wish we had. That is what I believe dear Albus was getting at. Likewise, the description of allowing Tom to find his way through Diagon Alley and magical London all alone that first time also conveyed to me a similar sense of regret from Dumbledore.

    Thank you for reading it so carefully! Only 3 days to go!

  • DB Fwoopersong

    Hi Beauxbatons! I believe that Dumbledore specifically used the term “a seventh of Voldemort’s soul” because he had just explained about the number of Horcruxes to Harry and did indeed want him to draw this conclusion. Still, he was speaking truth when he made the point that destroying even one Horcrux was very worthy of real sacrifice. (It is very interesting to study the difference between LOGIC and Likely Natural Assumption or “psycho-logic”al interpretation.) Take care!

  • John

    DB Fwoopersong, I disagree that Dumbledore made the Unbreakable Vow, I still believe that Snape is a baddie who might become a goodie, also, on a totally unrelated note, I heard a theory a few days ago about Snape at the Battle in Hogwarts between the Order of the Pheonix, Dumbledore’s Army and the Death Eaters, about how there may have been two Snapes at Hogwarts that night, one of those Snapes was Narcissa “Black” Malfoy, who had come to Hogwarts to make sure that Draco succeded in his task. My questions are, if there were two Snapes, and one of them was Narcissa, wouldn’t Dumbledore have known, and where was the original Snape?

  • beauxbatons

    In this sentence Dumbledore does not only talk of sacrifice in general but specifically of “a withered hand” in “exchange for a seventh of Voldemort’s soul”. That’s what this sentence means, and as you noticed yourself, we should be very careful before relating it to any other idea… 🙂

  • beauxbatons

    I realize that I did not answer to your point about psycho-logical interpretation… Of course it’s possible that Dumbledore is not really stating facts but rather telling Harry what he feels. But in that case we can’t take anything he says as facts, because we lack a criterion to distinguish facts from feelings… We can’t even know if he really destroyed a horcrux or just felt confident he would, etc. If we can doubt one sentence, we can doubt all sentences, at least in this passage where his remarks are less logically connected than the usual.

  • Shwez

    Man.. I already throw all theories out the window to prepare for this saturday. But then your essay make me wake at night all over again. XD… Just kiddin’.. The essay is really refreshing, for me anyway.

  • DB Fwoopersong

    To Huntington: Loved your comment! I get that a lot–LOL!
    To SilentJ: Thanks for your support.
    To John: I have not read the theory you mentioned so I have no comment and no reference point for even begining to fathom it! But it sure is fun theorizing, isn’t it? Gonna do it till the last possible moment! Have fun! What an exciting time for us!

  • Zam

    Could the 7th of Voldemort’s soul be THE ONE IN HIS BODY? that would be quite possible because Dumbledore would’ve believed that taking the unbreakable vow for Snape would contribute directly to Voldemort’s death by Snape’s continued service as a spy and teh ability to help Harry, whereas if Voldemort knew that Snape was really working for Dumbledore he would be dead within the week and Dumbledore knew this.

  • Zam

    …and obviously if hes dead Snape can no longer help Harry. …. thought i’d ad that just to round off that last comment

  • Reader2

    DB Fwoopersong,

    As much as I like your essay, I have to disagree with the part about Dumbledore impersonating Snape and taking the wow in his place.
    It was specifically stated that penalty for breaking the vow is death (not partial burning).

    To those who want Snape to be good, I’d like to point out that the mysterious injury could very well be slowly killing Dumbledore, which in turn would man that Snape was taking a vow to kill a dieing man.
    That’s not necessary an evil decision to make.
    Also, from the artistic perception, I am all for looking for a hidden meaning, but there is such a thing as digging too deep.

  • DB Fwoopersong

    Zam: Yes yes yes! Frankly it doesn’t matter which particular 7th of Voldy’s soul we are discussing. Dumbledore would find ridding the world of each of them worthy of sacrifice…

    Reader2: My point was that Dumbledore didn’t simply “break” the vow (which, yes, would result in death) but that he “bent” the vow, using his amazing legal skills (as qualified by his role in the Wizengamot!) Therefore, the penalty would not necessarily be the same…

  • Reader2

    DB Fwoopersong,

    Do you really believe that the vow functions the same way as the brain of Cornelius Fudge?

    The basic idea of magic is that it’s connected to human morals. When it comes to taking an oath, there is no such thing as half-breaking it.
    Either you broke it or not.

  • Big_Kelpie

    a little bit to farcfecthed

  • John

    I doubt that it was Dumbledore who made the Unbreakable Vow. But, can you make the Unbreakable Vow, for someone else, when using polyjuice potion? This is what we need to know, without this we can’t fully explore this particular theory.

  • DB Fwoopersong

    John: I think you might have missed the point that no polyjuice potion would have been used. It would have to have been full human transfiguration by a master of the art. Polyjuice is too unreliable!

  • DB Fwoopersong

    Dear Reader2: I have not given the Brain of Fudge any thought at all (hee hee) but I see no reason not to believe that (even though it very well could turn out to be a failed experiment) one could indeed attempt to “trick” the vow. However, as in the comparison I drew to playing with a loaded gun, such an action would be seen as a very frightening and risky business. But since you brought up the subject of magic working in connection with human morals perhaps you might see the possibility that in essence, whomever took the Vow was making an oath to protect Draco. And Draco ceratinly was protected! This sounds like the start of some reasonable explantaion, if only the vow was based on human intentions. But as I wrote in my essay, I disagree about human intent when it comes to this specific form of magic. It is a darker magic! To me, it seems clear that the whole point of the Unbreakable Vow is that in contrast to non-verbal spells and virtually all other magic in the HP universe, the Unbreakable Vow is above all, NOT about intentions. It is a very physical binding of words to actions. It is about the verbal promise, not the inner life of the one taking the vow. It is a way of getting around what you believe or fear a person’s actual intentions and character could lead them to do…it is very strictly an unbreakable contract of words! Therefore it is far less connected to a “moral” sense, to use your word. For another comparison, think of Veritaserum…though it is a potion and not a spell, it is about getting around what a person wishes they could say and forces the truth. It would be tough, but perhaps a real potions master could even trick that by, say, injesting enough bezoars!

    Getting back to the idea of “tricking the vow”, I hope you noted the example I gave of “hoodwinking a powerful magical object” in GOF. Nobody believed that such a thing could ever be done…but it turns out they were wrong! Nobody thinks the Unbreakable Vow could be tampered with, but it is so feared and revered a form a of magic that no one but a magical genius of Dumbledore’s caliber would dare mess around with it.

    Glad this Pensieve is here…too many thoughts swimming around in my head!

  • Cricket

    I would almost wonder if Jo wrote herself into a corner on the human transfiguration bit. In OotP, Tonks is a ‘Metamorphmagi’ who can change her appearance at will, and they are ‘born, not made, it isn’t something you can learn.’

    Just sayin’ and mileage may vary…

  • Elle

    And let’s not forget the way Snape looked enraged, almost insane, as he shouted at Harry for calling him a coward. He had just murdered the only man who had ever given him a chance and believed in him. To be accused of cowardice after this act would be nigh-on unbearable.

  • NEVER thought of this before, but TORTALLY agree with it!!! That’s exactly the thing JK would write!

  • Reader2

    Well, DB Fwoopersong, we seem to have a nice debate going. I happen to like those.
    You see, I am not all for believing that there is a way around the vow. What I can not believe that it can be “bent a little”.
    You pointed out how the Goblet was “hoodwincked”, but note – the Goblet did not give any signs of dissatisfaction. It behaved as if it’s normal to spit out four names instead of three.
    The same with the vow: if it was bypassed, the one who took it would remain compltely unharmed.
    Whoever came up with the vow had to give it to possible outcomes:
    You kept it – you live, you broke it – you die.
    The wizards would have no reason to respect it or fear it if there was a “you bent it a little – you get a little burnt” option.
    Besides, there is a reason why the vow is made TO someone.
    Snape (or pseudo-Snape) was making the promise to Narcissa, so it is very likely that the vow is based on what she would consider keeping the promise.
    If Darco was completely safe, and Narcissa was satisfied, whoever took the vow would not be harmed in any way.
    On the other hand, if the vow was broken, and Draco was in jeopardy – does Narcissa strike you as the kind of person who settles for a partial retribution?

  • DB Fwoopersong

    ‘ello again Reader2! You wrote:‘You kept it – you live, you broke it – you die. The wizards would have no reason to respect it or fear it if there was a “you bent it a little – you get a little burnt” option.’ I agree with you on that point, but I believe that no Wizard would have ever believed it possible to trick the vow and as a feared magical contract with an incredible history of social taboo connected to it, none would ever consider messing around with it in any way. It is serious business in their world…so serious, that even the evil criminal mind of Belatrix was shocked to hear that “snape” would be willing to make the Vow. I contend that just as no Wizard had gone farther to attempt immortality than Voldy, none had gone further in the fight against Voldy than Dumbledore. Both Voldy and Dumbledore were involved in experiments toward their goals. Dumbledore admits to having made mistakes that are unfortunately equivalent to the size of his brain and abilities. I honestly think that the “hoodwinking” of the Vow was done with great confidence by Dumbledore with the knowledge that it was also an experiment (on himself) with risks worth taking. I don’t think the idea specifically of a burnt and withered hand upon transforming back to his own form was an expected result…but my theory states that it may have happened all the same!

    Also interesting to note…when a Phoenix “dies” it BURNS!!!! Hmmm????? I should have written THAT essay too, though I have a feeling someone else must have come up with that one before!

    Take care…2 days to go…stay openminded! LOL!

  • DB Fwoopersong

    Cricket: Interesting comment! I also wondered about the several vague mentions of “switching spells” made in the books (check out the Lexicon’s definition for that). But a switching would involve two people, not just one…and I didn’t want to imagine that Snape and Dumbledore switched bodies! That seemed, well, just wrong! HA!

    Anyway, in more direct response to your comment, I think a metamorphmagi seems to be a different thing than someone skilled in human transfiguration. The fact the Tonks is born with the ability means she never had to study. So I imagine that even someone who studies and masters the difficult art of human transfiguration would still never be considered a metamorphmagi. Sort of like how having naturally curly hair and getting a perm are just not the same thing–lol!

  • DB Fwoopersong

    Elle: Yes! I feel exactly the same sort of deep compassion for Snape in that instant! It is unimaginably and unbearably painful to imagine what Snape must be going through RIGHT NOW! (Time is standing still till 12:01 am Saturday)

    Lisa Marie: Wow! I feel like I just got an O on all of my Newts! Thank you so much!

  • Stewy

    I’ve seen a similar essay where someone suggested Slughorn took DD’s place on top of the tower and it was reallt Sluggy that died.

    Dumbledore died. He might be reborn in some phoenix type fashion, but he’s dead and the dead can’t be brought back to life. Note: Being bringing the dead back to life is not the same as what a Phoenix does which is be reborn out of the ashes.

    Anyway, it seems this whole essay hinges upon the assumption that DD never explained to Harry what happened to his hand. And on this I quite disagree.

    As others have pointed out I think it is very clear that DD is speaking of the damage to his hand in reference to when he acquired Marvolo’s ring. I believe DD is being shifty about being specific because when Harry makes the connection between the ring and damage to DD’s hand, DD isn’t ready to discuss Horcruxes with Harry yet. Once, harry is introduced to Horcruxes DD mentions that a withered hand isn’t a big price to pay for a 7th of LV’s soul. By this time JKR doesn’t spell it out because she doesn’t need to spell it out. We already have the connection between the ring and the damage and now we know the ring was a Horcrux and we know that the Ring had a horrible curse on it.

    JKR comes up with Red herrings and remarkable plot twists, but I don’t think the main premise of this essay is supportable by canon, except in the most unlikely and far fetched interpretation of the events in HBP.

  • Stewy

    Bleh – sorry for the typos. Please filter them when reading.

  • DB Fwoopersong

    Hi Stewy! Consider yourself filtered…lol. I read that essay on Scribbulus about Sluggy too. I loved reading about the historic magician that his character may have been based upon and about the sort of missdirection and Muggle-type magic that Slughorn seemed to master (like appearing to be a chair when we first meet him–hee hee!). It was very cool. Although that essay did try to conclude that Dumbledore may not be dead, that is certainly not the point of my essay at all! I do hope you read the whole thing and understood that I only saw Dumbledore posing as Snape during the Spinner’s End scene, Chapter Two.

    One of the things I really enjoy studying is logic and logical fallacies (see for more details). I don’t want to repeat too many points from my essay, but I have to say that I really can see the “7th of soul/no longer a Horcrux” speech as an example of a non sequitur. Using this form of logical fallacy or false reasoning we (and Harry!) are led toward a conclusion just because two statements are given sequentially. Let me try to come up with a new example:

    “It was just not worth arguing with my spouse about what to have for dinner every night. I am no longer married.”

    On the surface, the first sentence might seem to be an explanation of the second. Likewise, the second sentence might seem to the outcome of the first. But in fact, no true logical connection can be drawn between them.

    Thank you for reading my essay!

  • Myst

    Your right. I see no connection with the two spouse comments but that doesn’t change or effect how I read the text. Keep reachin’ ;)–or at least come up with a better example (this comment coming from the uh, not so masterful of example conjurers, mind you). 🙂

  • Philip Legge

    Nice work! The best thing about the timing of your essay is that there’s now only 24 hours to wait for it to be vindicated, or relegated to the rubbish heap…

    It certainly turns the reading of Spinners’ End (one of the very few chapters narrated by a true authorial third person, rather than presenting Harry’s point of view) completely topsy-turvy, and it does suggest convincing reason for Snape’s behaviour in the book’s denouement.

    Given the three binding conditions on the Unbreakable Vow (to watch over Draco; to protect him from harm; and finally, to carry out the deed in his stead should he fail), I think Dumbledore could agree to two of those conditions in all honesty (despite being transfigured as Snape), whereas the third would oblige him to commit suicide in the event of Draco’s failure… and since the Unbreakable Vow results in death if the magical contract is broken anyway, the vow pledges Dumbledore’s death as either the subject of the vow, or as its maker. Although it’s hard to imagine Dumbledore agreeing to such a vow, his obvious attempts to protect Draco from his actions on the Astronomy Tower are entirely consistent with this.

    My personal feeling though is that JKR still has several rabbits to pull out of the hat, and I don’t rate Dumbledore’s attempt to bend the Unbreakable Vow at more than about 30% likely – but it’s a very well concocted and argued theory!

    Regards, PML

  • Reader2

    So, DB Fwoopersong, now you are sayint that Dumbledore got his hand burned as some kind of a sideffect of combining the vow with a trasformation.
    Granted, I have no evidence that something like that is not possible, but you have to admit that you do not have any canonic eveidence that something like that IS possible.

    Well, we’ll know the answer very soon.

    Good luck to you.

  • DB Fwoopersong

    So, Reader2…you wrote: So, DB Fwoopersong, now you are sayint that Dumbledore got his hand burned as some kind of a sideffect of combining the vow with a trasformation.

    Sorry Reader2 for any confusion, but that is not exactly what I said. You are drawing your own conclusions that are not consistent with my logic or theoretical premises.

    I believe what I was driving at was simply that at the point in time in which he was disguised as Snape and making the vow, there was no immediate punishment to Dumbledore, despite his fraudulent conduct. I think one of your previous posts actually did explain it best…pardon me for using your quote in my own defense-lol!

    You wrote: “You pointed out how the Goblet was “hoodwincked”, but note – the Goblet did not give any signs of dissatisfaction. It behaved as if it’s normal to spit out four names instead of three. The same with the vow: if it was bypassed, the one who took it would remain compltely unharmed.”

    Without intending to, I believe your words basically support my theory that the vow could indeed have been successfully hoodwinked during the time in which the Vow was being made , the time in which I theorize that Dumbledore was transfigured to look like Snape*. Again, calling upon your terminology, the vow “did not give any signs of dissatisfaction. That is exactly my point. If my premise of Dumbledore as Snape is true, then he did indeed manage to do some mighty fine hoodwinking!

    Now to connect this part of the story with the withered hand…After hoodwinking the vow (or more importantly, hoodwinking Narcissa, Bellatrix and Wormtail!) Dumbledore-as-Snape makes his exit, not knowing what, if any, negative repercussions may come to pass from experimenting with this very dangerous area of magic. But when he transfigures himself back to his natural state of Albusness, he soon learns that as he may have already suspected, something has indeed gone terribly wrong and must watch in pain as the hand that had only recently seemed safely entwined in cool blue flames suddenly begins to burn, blacken and die… In this manner, Dumbledore discovers that his experiment was actually not a complete success, though fully worthwhile to him for accomplishing his step-one goal of simply getting away with his Vow deception in the eyes of the Death Eaters…and ultimately even more worthwhile for assuring that his ingenious plan will continue to move forward after his death by helping him get all the elements set in place (as in, setting his affairs in order) so that Harry and friends can once and for all reach Dumbledore’s dearest goal–to see to it that every last bit of Voldemort is destroyed for all eternity!

    I hope I made the whole scenario more vivid for you! As I hope you now see, I have never imagined this hand injury as some weird effect caused by the combining of two incompatible forms of magic, but rather from Dumbledore only being partially successful at the brave “Gryffindor-powered” attempt to hoodwink the vow.

    Thanks for continuing to come back and read these ever-longer posts! 1 more day!

  • DB Fwoopersong

    Wow! My previous post made me think of a whole new question:

    Does transfiguration actually turn one object–or person, as in the case of my theory–into another, or does it just make it appear as another. Cool ponderance!

    If the former is the case, then it would certainly be easier to trick the vow-ha ha! Truthfully, I imagine that even if the former is true in the most basic transfiguration, it seems far less likely to be true in the case of human transfiguration!

    Does the porcupine actually become the pincussion, or does it just appear as one?

Tags: choices explanation hand loyal promise secret vow