Blood status and prejudice Dark Magic Death Death Eaters

Charity Burbage is murdered

"Severus... Please... Please..."
-- Charity Burbage, speaking her final words (DH1)

The Muggle Studies teacher’s body has been rotating above the table around which Voldemort and the Death Eaters are having a meeting, when Voldemort magically awakens her. In vain, Burbage begs her fellow teacher, Severus Snape, for help. Voldemort angrily explains to the Death Eaters that Burbage had recently written a defense of Muggles, Muggle borns, and and half-bloods in the Daily Prophet, suggesting that the woman – who supposedly corrupted the wizarding youth by teaching them that Muggles are not so bad or different – had gone too far. After Burbage is killed by Voldemort, her body crashes down onto the table and Nagini is given permission to eat it.

Timeline Notes

A week at most before the Battle of the Seven Potters, which is described as the next Saturday.



"A broad, hunched woman with pointed teeth cackled" when Voldemort explained that Burbage had been - up to her abduction - the Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts. We might guess that this is Alecto Carrow, who is described elsewhere as "hunched" and "slope-figured", and who becomes the Muggle Studies teacher later that year under Snape's tenure as headmaster (DH12). She, like her brother, is described as having a "wheezy giggle."

Nagini slithers onto the table to eat Burbage's body. Imagine -- or don't -- the horror of this scene. Poor Draco is sitting there watching a huge snake ingest the body of one of the Hogwarts teachers. It takes quite a while for a snake to do this, by the way. According to experts, it took a 12-foot ball python six hours to swallow an electric blanket by mistake.And how does it do it? Here's an explanation from an article in "Science World" (Klein, Andrew; 11 December 2006):

But how does a slim snake fit a big animal...into its mouth? Flexible rubber-band-like ligaments connect its jawbones together. By stretching these ligaments, the python can open its mouth wide enough to swallow animals bigger than itself. Then, it uses its curved teeth like a shovel to push the animal down its throat. The python moves its powerful body muscles in a wavelike motion to guide the food down into its stomach.

This is happening in the middle of the table, in front of all of the Death Eaters.

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