- Harmione sends her parents to Australia - which was a dominion of UK before WWII - to keep them safe. If she knew (and she would know) Voldemort can control the entire former British Empire by taking over UK, then she would have sent them somewhere safer, like the US.
- If the historical development of the Wizarding!British Empire and the Muggle!British Empire only diverged in WWII, then Australia was already an equal Commonwealth partner as per the Statute of Westminster and the Balfour Declaration. The Dominions were not subordinate, a huge part, in fact, of Chamberlain's pre-WWII diplomacy was done out of fear that the Dominions would remain neutral if they didn't feel enough had been done for peace. So it's possible an independent-but-affiliated Wizarding government in Canberra would refuse to back Voldemort, and could even do what Churchill planned for the Dominions to to in WWII if Britain was occupied; continue the battle for true government from overseas.
- Given everything else we learn about Dumbledore, this theory's refutal is probably for the best.
- Quite probably, what happened was that the eavesdropper got caught while the prophecy was being told, Trelawney finished giving the prophecy while the bartender spoke to the eavesdropper about what he was doing, and then the bartender and the eavesdropper entered the room where Dumbledore was holding the interview.
- Pretty clearly not so. People remember Dumbledore as a young man, and it's established that Dumbledore went to Hogwarts like Harry or Ron.
- He had red hair when he was younger, though.
- And a long nose.
- That is just that wizards are cousins and Gryffs are even closer cousins.
- Disagree: Ron is poor, DD is rich; Ron has the emotional range of a teaspoon, DD knows how to manipulate human emotions; Ron is Harry's best friend, DD sent Harry to the Dursleys and set up a cunning plan to murder him.
- Disagree with the above. Ron's a very good strategist and Ron is, in fact, capable of complex and deep emotions. Dumbledore didn't send Harry to the Dursleys to murder him. He sent him there to keep using the blood protection from Lily. It was, sadly, the best option at the time to keep Harry safe.
- Except Ron is a die-hard fan of the Chudley Cannons, whereas Dumbledore states that death will be coming for him as surely as the Cannons will finish at the bottom of that year's league.
- Dumbledore actually died of old age and Ron replaced him in POA
- Instead of dying, Harry is whacked into a limbo when the curse takes out the second-to-last Horcrux. He comes back, and is pretending to be dead when Neville kills the last Horcrux, Nagini. Harry goes on to one last battle with Voldemort.
- That would have been the best ending ever! Too bad it didn't happen.
- The problem with this theory is that the recordings of the prophecies in the Department of Mysteries were designed to cause severe brain damage to anyone who tried to pick one of them up, unless the person who tried to pick up a recording of a certain prophecy was mentioned in that prophecy. Harry picked up the recording labeled "SPT to APWBD: Dark Lord and ?Harry Potter" and did not suffer any brain damage; thus that prophecy had to be about Harry. Unless you're suggesting that Harry DID suffer brain damage from picking it up, and everything that happened after that was a figment of an addled mind...
- It came pretty close actually. Neville really stepped up near the end. If it hadn't been that Harry was already established as The Chosen One, Neville might have had an even deeper role in the overall plot. Mugglenet even suggested the theory that had something like this happened, it would have given the series an even more poignant ending in one of their books, entitled, simply enough "Harry Potter Should have Died".
- This theory wins the Fridge Brilliance award, because of how it applies to the prophecy. Voldemort chose Neville "as his equal"...by disregarding him and going for Harry, meaning Neville was not bound to Voldemort as Harry was, leaving Neville free to act. And because Voldemort was so focused on Harry, he knew nothing about what Neville could do, thus resulting in whole "power he knows not" bit.
- What Fridge Brilliance are you talking about? Everything in the books clearly points out to Harry being the one marked by Voldemort "as his equal" - where does Neville become that? Certainly not in the argument they have after Voldemort makes Hagrid bring Harry's "dead body": Voldemort does recognize that Neville is a Worthy Opponent, but he only offers Neville the chance to live by becoming his servant.
- Confirmed by events in Deathly Hallows.
- Although it wasn't so much a plot to defeat Voldemort as Dumbledore didn't want to give Voldemort the satisfation of A) succesfully killing by proxy and B) turning Draco into a murderer.
- Or a murder victim, as Voldemort would've killed Draco in order to gain mastery over the Elder Wand.
- No. At first glance both Harry Potter and Star Wars seem to be Black-and-White Morality stories but the War is Light Versus Dark applying Blue-and-Orange Morality. Snape is on the Light side = DD's side but Light Is Not Good.
- So, in other words, Snape is a flawed but good man.
- No, Snapes an a-hole and a jerk and a villain. He is a 'good guy' only in the Noah Bennet (from heroes) sense of the word. Noah Bennet was always an a-hole, it's just he loved his daughter and family and would do anything to protect them, even turn on his bosses. The only reason Snape turns against Voldemort is because Voldermort threatened the woman Snape loved. Other than that Snape was on board with the whole Death Eater agenda, and the only reason he started working for Dumbeldore is because Dumbeldore swore to protect Lilly...and after failing at that miserably, to get revenge on Voldemort for Lilly's death.
- Obviously Jossed by Deathly Hallows.
- Riddle cast a spell to burn the Hat while Neille was wearing it. I assumed that the Hat was only slightly charred, but the text ain't precise. Riddle was holding the Idiot Ball throughout bk7. He would have desroyed the Hat ifn it was a horcrux.
- Ahem. Don't you mean 'Siriusly!'?
- He is the only character, beside the first year School song and Luna Lovegood later, that we see singing. He constantly sings God Rest Ye Marry Hippogriffs at Christmas.
- And Stubby Boardman did retire and disappear from public view in 1980, and no one's been able to find him since...probably because the next year, Sirius got locked up. The math all works out. And we had no idea what Sirius was doing after graduation except secretly working for the Order, and he couldn't be living with James like he used to, James had gotten married and had a kid. Sirius had to have some actual real job, since his family had cut him off.
- And Kingsley thought Sirius would find the Quibbler with that information 'interesting', so maybe Kingsley knows it's true. Arthur thought it was 'amusing', so probably doesn't know, but they were hardly in a place where Kingsley could correct his misconception. Just because Harry thinks it's crazy doesn't mean it can't be true.
- Therefore the Ministry of Magic has a 13 year Statute of Limitations. Why did she take so long to announce the alibi? Ministry sent Sirius to Azkaban without a trial and decreed that no-one may publish any defence for 13 years. When the edict expired, she wrote in.
- Well, that makes Hedwig's death in Book 7 absolutely awful. And she's obviously Crookshanks, who actively sought out Harry('s friend). She was intelligent, friends with Padfoot, and tried to keep Ron away from Hermione to make Harry happy. That pesky little thing about him being a male is because Hermione didn't quite know how to tell boy cats from girl cats, and by the time she read a book on cat sexing, was too arrogant to admit she was wrong about it.
- Wait, what? Do you mean "Jossed", Or did JKR actually Joss Lilly being specifically Crookshanks?
- Yes, J. K. Rowling really did specifically say that Ccrookshanks is not an animagus in an interview. The theory had been popular since PoA came out.
- Whoever suggested that Lily is Crookshanks: Are you really that oblivious to how much "Lily Lives!" theories cheapen her sacrifice? Any loving mother, when confronted by a psychopath who wants to kill their child, would offer themselves up in place of the child; to suggest that Lily wouldn't is to suggest that she was a selfish shrew.
- This troper firmly believes the following- Lily did sacrifice herself, meant to die in place of harry, and so on and so on. But fate/Death/God/Saint Peter or whoever offers her soul/spirit a choice- she can watch from above/the afterlife, or she can spend a few years as, say, Crookshanks. When the cat dies, she will return to her dead human spirit state. kinda like Zee's grandma in The Shadow Thieves. Alternatively, the choice giver uses a good form of the horcrux spell to allow part of her soul to remain alive, in the form of Crookshanks, and the other to go to heaven/the afterlife, until the cat dies and her soul spirit is reunited.
- This troper wrote the "Lily is Crookshanks" as satire on the Lily=Hedwig theories, and had no idea that anybody already seriously believed it. I would have thought that if using the word "obviously" in a Pot Hole to Epileptic Trees didn't get the point across, the point would have been gotten by the book on cat sexing.
- *bang* *bang* *bang* *bang* *bang* *bang*
- Hermione wasn't the first one to call Crookshanks "he", the witch who ran the pet shop did. Presumably she'd know how to tell a cat's gender.
- It was actually James's sacrifice that protected both Lily and Harry. Voldemort realised he couldn't kill Lily and instead transfigured her into a cat an unable to transform back. (ginger fur and all) he goes to kill Harry, not working and back fires because of two people that just sacrificed themselves for him, even when one was not successful.
- Lily as a Cat wanders around until she gets put into the magic pet shop. In a pissy mood would not anyone buy her. Then the spitting image of her husband walks in, she then sees Peter and causes a commotion and lets herself be bought by Hermie to get back to Hogwarts to be with her son and to get Peter.
- She meets with Sirius, he does not recognize her because her transfiguration was done by dark magic and unable to communicate and tell her she's Lily so Sirius comes up that she was a smart cat.
- Voldemort does not mention it to Harry or anyone else that he didn't kill Lily, thinking it would damage his reputation more badly that he couldn't kill a Mudblood. With the fact that Crookshanks is a male, well,she was transfigured into a cat Voldemort would not have been thinking about the gender.
- [[Up to Eleven...Wow. I didn't think there was any worse way to cheapen Lily's sacrifice than the Deathly Hallows theory that she was actually Hedwig, but clearly I was wrong]].
- And I suppose being forced to live as a house pet(and one in the wild for a few years) for the remainder of your life is a bed of roses?
- *looks at my cats* Let's see... Never having to go to work or school again, having owners who love on you constantly, not having to do anything useful to earn your keep (unless you're a cat who lives in a barn, and even then, maybe)... That's just an awful life, OP; you're absolutely right.
- I wouldn't call it a cheapening of her sacrifice, instead of losing her life, she loses her humanity. Hell, it almost adds to the sacrifice. If Lilly died, she would be able to go on to the next great adventure in Heaven. Instead she's forced to spend her remaining life as a animal knowing that her husband is dead and that an evil madmen is trying to kill her only son. Until book 3 she had to spend most of her time either wandering the forest alone, or cramped in an old pet shop. I really don't see why being happy would cheapen her sacrifice. This is a good theory, Voldemort promised Snape that he wouldn't kill Lily, but he never said anything about transfiguration!
- I don't really like this idea, but it doesn't matter. If Lily was still alive, she couldn't come out of Voldemort's wand or be brought back by the resurrection stone. Lily is dead. End of theory.
- What, Harry does not recognise Moody? Scars are very distinctive.
- How scarred? Law of Conservation of Detail, y'know, and I think the original poster might be onto something (even if it is just a loose thread that probably isn't part of the final canon). If he had his face practically smashed in, or had Umbridge or a lackey gouge out his eye and take some flesh with it when he was merely unconscious, then spent the next year or however long it was living on what little he trusted wasn't poisoned, he wouldn't necessarily be recognizable.
- Okay, but as Hermione pointed out in the book, he fell at least one mile. Even a wizard couldn't survive that kind of a fall, and that's considering that they can cast a spell to slow their descent. In order to survive a fall from that height, Moody would have had to slow his velocity down to that of a feather, which, whether or not A Wizard Did It, is probably impossible.
- Feather Fall?
- Um, apparition? Sure 'his wand was blasted of his hands'...but did paranoid Moody really only have one wand? Let's recap. Moody picked the person that was obviously going to leave, mid-flight, as his partner, deliberately setting himself up with no close witnesses. He then saw that he had been betrayed somehow, as the Death Eaters knew the time he was leaving, confirming his theory that the Order had been infiltrated, so he uses his exit plan. Months later, we discover just his eye. We have no one who even claims they've seen his body. The only problem with the theory is that didn't show up during the last fight...of course, he certainly knows about Polyjuice, and anyone who dies while Polyjuiced stays that way. Or he was just out of sight, we barely see the first part of the battle at all. Or maybe he just missed it.
- Apparition is done wandless, so he wouldn't have to have a wand for that.
- Apparating would do nothing to shed the momentum of his fall, however, and there's no way to turn on the spot when you're plummeting to your death.
- Maybe Moody knew more of what was going on than he let on - Maybe Dumbledore knew Moody wouldn't blab, and so confided in him. Moody therefore knew that everything was in Harry's hands and there was nothing that could be done - this was powers above and beyond his control - prophecy, etc. He dissapparated and went to live somewhere quiet for the rest of his days. He probably has a spare eye - moody wouldn't be that stupid to not have a backup.
- In addition, Molly Weasley actually threw Bellatrix into a volcano and the rest of the Death Eaters were blown apart by land mines.
- None of the characters died and everyone who has read the book does not have a massive case of Dis Continuity, Harry just told them that they died to make them feel guilty for not doing something earlier on. Or maybe Harry lost contact with them at the point where they "died," so he doesn't know what happened to them after that. So he Put Them On A Bus in the cruelest way possible, again, to screw with the Ministry.
- While this is a cool idea, it is shot down by the fact that, when Harry killed Voldemort, it worked. Remember, when You-Know-Who "killed" Harry, it only destroyed the Horcrux: the bit of his soul has essentially been reduced to a suit of Plot Armor. As such, if Lord Thingy actually was a Harrycrux, Harry's bit-of-soul should've performed a similar function, and You-Know-Who should be able to return for a third time. (...Oh, great, I think I just launched a thousand Book 8 fanfics.)
- Maybe Harry ended up killing that bit of him, along with Voldemort?
- I originally thought this (the guess) was true. Harry is Voldemort's last horcrux, and Voldemort is Harry's only horcrux. Killing Harry destroyed the horcrux, so Voldemort had no Soul Jar left. Harry still had one (Voldemort). However, as written, there's no real reason the Killing Curse should have rebounded unless the Elder Wand said "screw you, just because you're holding me doesn't mean he's still not my master!" and intentionally won the duel for Harry (please respond if I'm incorrect in any way regarding the final duel). So it's really down to guessing whether the Elder wand was the next best thing to sentient, or Harry screwed up the casting of the curse via his Expelliarmus winning the quick-draw by just enough, since it didn't seem that clear.
- But wasn't Nagini not killed until after Voldemort killed Harry? In which case Voldemort still had a Horcrux - Harry wasn't his last one.
- I think this troper is talking more about the time Harry died chapters before and was brought back, not the anti-climatic duel. Of course, I could be wrong.
- I was talking about both. When did he come back during the final duel?
- He(Voldemort) didn't, he(troper) was talking about the Elder Wand killing Voldemort, which has nothing to do with his first sentence OR the original topic.
- To turn this into a Humiliation Conga for Voldemort: Since the way for a Horcrux-master to destroy his is to go into a emo-storm of regret, Harry's is/was effectively immune to that-he has absolutely nothing to feel sorry about how it was created.
- Er, is there really confusion about this? Dumbledore specifically said that Harry didn't die because Voldemort used his blood. That kept Lily's protection alive and prevented Harry from dying as long as Voldemort was still alive. It's in the chapter where Harry talks to Dumbledore in King's Cross Station. It has nothing to do with the Deathly Hallows.
- Maybe it was worn like that as a tribute to Rufus Scrimgeour, who died early in the book, rather than a mullet?
- Yes. Having hair "down to your shoulders" is not how you describe a mullet.
- Maybe it was actually a tribute to Severus Snape?
- I think that's pretty likely, actually. After all, Severus Snape was "the bravest man [Harry] ever knew."
- Or, he's been living on the run for months on end and cutting his hair hasn't really been in his top priorities. Crazy theory, I know. (Also, in response to above, Snape wasn't dead yet when Harry's shoulder length hair is discussed. And Harry still thinks he's an evil SOB at that point, too.
- Um, yes he was. The "hair down to his shoulders" description is from the epilogue. Snape is cold in his grave by that point.
- Actually there is a scene describing Harry's shoulder length hair when he see's himself in the mirror for the first time in months when he is at Malfoy Manor after being captured by Snatchers.
- DD knew that Snape would die in the Shrieking Shack in June, while Harry was in the cellar. It was essential for DD's Thanatos Gambit that Riddle kill Snape in that exact time, place, manner so that Snape could give Harry the Info Dump.
- Hagrid and Neville are still alive and at Hogwarts then. Hagrid doesn't get why the "rub meat in your hair" cure for wizard lice is funny, and Neville is less than pleased at being portrayed as a squash.
- If the number of Weasley kids who exist are any indication of Molly's sex drive, then Ginny is probably a horny one when she's ovulating.
- Of course Ron saved Harry's life then. If Ginny got knocked up then, Babies Ever After kicks in, possibly bringing us a Birth/Death Juxtaposition when Harry dies during the Battle of Hogwarts as Ginny gives birth.
- On the other hand, that may have also been Harry's only chance to get laid. Ever.
- That must have been one hell of a cabbage patch, then, if Harry and Ginny managed to find kids that looked so much like them.
- The former troper rather meant that Harry had a good chance to die WAY before that. Going against a band of murderers and their superpowered boss tends to hold that risk. Hell, he was SUPPOSED to die, just had the luck to come back.
- "Luck," nothing. Dumbledore flat-out told Harry that he could choose not to go back, knowing full well that Harry wouldn't chicken out.
- That must have been one hell of a cabbage patch, then, if Harry and Ginny managed to find kids that looked so much like them.
- It's not a guess, it's the truth. From the references to time spent in lonely parts of the school grounds, it's pretty clear that they had already made out, so when she was "kissing him as she had never kissed him before", it's pretty obvious that they would have had sex. I like to think that Ron didn't really interrupt them, and JKR showed it because children read the book. It would have worked very well in the plot for Harry and Ginny to have consummated their relationship before Harry sets out on his quest.
- Hmm... "kissing him as she had never kissed him before", doesn't really specify his lips...
- Kind of an understated reaction by Ron, then, given his usual temper...
- And "Harry thought inexplicably of Ginny, and her blazing look, and the feel of her lips on his" doesn't help matters.
- Hmm... "kissing him as she had never kissed him before", doesn't really specify his lips...
- So...Teddy is a were-sparkledog?
- Actually, Teddy Lupin can change into a wolf (father) whenever he wants (mother).
- And this is different from being a regular animagus... how? Other than being something one is born with instead of learning.
- Best theory ever! This could be a spinoff series.
- Did you SEE the elavator scene? Compare it to Landa's entrance in the restaurant.
- Does this mean that Hans Landa was a wizard?
- Well, he's got a scar on his forehead now...
- Does this mean that Hans Landa was a wizard?
- There's some merit to that. Voldemort used Avada Kedavra on Harry then, and if the Avada Kedavra could have killed a proper horcrux then the trio's job would have been much easier.
- Doubtful... it's said to take a certain amount of evil intent to work the Unforgivable Curses, with the Avada Kedavra implied to require the most. And it's probable that the Avada Kedavra only works on living organisms. It's the Killing Curse... and you can't really kill something that's not truly alive.
- Perhaps a Killing Curse would only work on a Horcrux that the caster himself created?
- Obviously you've got the important Soul Jar element, the evil influence on a carrier's psyche. (Never mind that Voldemort turned an actual ring into his first Horcrux). But it seems that the Horcruxes that gain sentience (the diary and the locket, for example) attempt to influence the wearers to reunite them with their master, because at the end of the day, a soul is meant to stay whole.
So why did the Elder Wand not kill him? Because it was facing another wand also owned by its master. It was Draco's wand vs. Draco's wand, and the Elder Wand realized that first (it seems more sentient than other wands) and gave up.
- Erm, most times in its existence, the Elder Wand changed possession because it was stolen, which was probably more than enough to say who wins. Defeat, for the Elder Wand, would mean being able to prove yourself the more powerful wizard, even if it is by non-magical means.
- Actually in book 6 Harry tells him to go work at Hogwarts. I guess Kreacher assumes that without any other orders from Harry or his friends, he needs to go back to Hogwarts?
- Brilliant! Maybe Kreacher was so nice to Harry and Co. because he was free!
- Holy cow. That is a seriously solid WMG.
- But Dobby's considered to be an incredibly weird house-elf for being happy about being freed. Kreacher is so into being a servant that his goal is to have his head mounted on the wall in Grimmauld Place. It wouldn't make sense for him to be happy about being freed, just to be happy that this new master (who he previously hated and treated like crap as much as possible) gave him something that had belonged to dear old Regulus.
- The difference is that, even if he was technically free, Kreacher was allowed to continue to serve Harry. Being free doesn't necessarily mean being forbidden to do what you were ordered to do before.
- The reason he hesitated was because he wasn't sure if he would be punished because Voldemort reserved the right to kill Harry himself. He thought he'd be okay since he'd be preventing Harry from escaping, but the instant he tried he was choked to death for betraying his master's direct orders.
1. The Elder Wand: We've been told time and again that wands are only as good as the wizard who uses them, and the real power comes from the wizard who wields the wand. So why suddenly is there a wand which miraculously makes peoples' magic stronger? Unless there's something about crafting wands which was forgotten in the hundreds of years since the Elder Wand was made, then it has to have come from somewhere else, and since it couldn't have been another wizard, Death is as good an explanation as any.
2. The Ring: This is literally the only item we've come across which can do this. The Priori Incantatem spells are after images of old spells, Voldemort's appearances are all linked to his soul, because he wasn't really dead, so where exactly does this ring come from? Who has the power to bring people back from the dead, even as some sort of after-image, that stays permanently? Death. The Ring makes people stay until the user wants them to go, Priori Incantatem only lasts for as long as someone's wand is pointed at yours.
3. The Cloak: Again, we're told repeatedly that invisibility cloaks either don't make you truly invisible or don't last forever, so why is there one that makes you completely invisible and has lasted for hundreds of years?
The gist is that there must be limits that human wizards and witches can't surpass when it comes to magic, no matter how skilled they are. If Dumbledore, Grindelwald, the founders of Hogwarts and more haven't been able to replicate the efforts of three wizards despite thousands of years of magical improvements, then where did these three items come from? The story of the three brothers meeting Death must be true, there isn't another explanation.
- Pretty much confirmed in-universe when Ron mentions that the Invisibility Cloak acts exactly as the tale describes, then Harry puts it together that he's descended from the third brother. (This becomes Hilarious in Hindsight when you realize that Harry and Voldemort are pretty much cousins seventy-times removed since Voldemort is descended of the SECOND brother) And then Dumbledore and Voldemort flat out prove the Elder Wand is real so the first brother also existed. Harry even proves the Stone is real when he uses the thing to summon his parents, Sirius, and Lupin. Since we know Voldemort's grandfather claimed direct lineage to the Peverell brothers as stated in book six and that there were three of them...well, do the math. The Peverell siblings are the three brothers in the tale and their encounter with Death happened.
1)He has earned and found and was the last person to use the Resurrection Stone, and even had the phantoms of his loved ones as created by the Stone with him when he was killed.
2)He owns and has in his possession the Invisibility Cloak, also given to him by Dumbledore and inherited legally from his father.
3)He has, according to the events later in the book, mastery even if not possession of the Elder Wand, which was also the wand used to kill him.
Thus he is the mastery of all 3 Hallows and according to the legend the master of Death itself. Voldemort's curse didn't kill him because he could not die. He then revokes his mastery when he rejects the Wand consciously later, presumably.
This also means that Dumbledore also had all 3 Hallows at some point, but I think not all at the same time, and he had only borrowed the Cloak.
- Actually no. Dumbledore owned the Elder Wand, and at one point had borrowed the Cloak from James. But by the time he got his hands on the stone, Harry had had the cloak for some time. Since anyone would have been able to claim the Stone by that point one could argue Dumbledore was the 'owner' of that Hallow as well, though he later bequeathed it to Harry. Only the Elder Wand genuinely belonged to Dumbledore since he outright won it. The other two weren't truly his and he never had all three at once.
- It's a combination of the two. Harry was the true Master of Death. He didn't try and avoid death like Voldemort, but accepted it willingly, realizing it was inevitable and natural. When struck by the avada kedavra, Death recognized his Master and knew it was not truly his time. Thus Harry lived.
The only way anyone else is getting in if one of the five people who know this explain what happened so someone know to ask for 'a room full of things I can burn'...and then figure out how to get rid of the Fiendfrye. Which is tricky, as the only Word of God ways we know are for it to run out of fuel, or be controlled by its creator, neither of which can happen here.
- Actually, it's been proven that many spells - even spells cast by a powerful wizard - will wear off after the caster's death. And, in any case, it's very likely the castle simply would have 'grown' a new Room of Requirement soon after. Neville references new passageways appearing in and out of the castle after the known ones have been sealed off, giving credence to the theory that the castle itself is semi-sentient.
Dumbledore didn't plan on dying, the curse only disabled his hand. Snape wanted to get his revenge on Dumbledore and James, so he edited his own memories so that Harry would be led to believe he had to die. He never actually loved Harry's mother, he just wanted to give Harry a reason to believe him.
- Jossed; J.K. Rowling said that a wizard's memories are objectively true, and while a wizard can attempt to alter his memories, such altered memories are more "sluggish" than unaltered ones. (cf. Slughorn in the sixth book.)
Not to cut Umbridge any slack, as she's easily the most loathsome character in the franchise, but maybe the reason her evil tendencies seemed even worse when we saw her in that courtroom is that she was wearing the Horcrux, and had been for some time. It's evil was enough to drive a wedge between people who care as much about each other as Ron and Harry, so it could offer an explanation as to why her sadism went from bad enough to punish kids by scratching words on their hands, to giving muggle-borns a Fate Worse than Death at the hands of the Dementors. She's a heartless bitch, but that really seems like a Voldemort idea, and she was wearing a piece of his soul around her neck. Again, she's evil without question, but just maybe Even Evil Has Standards in this case.
- No, no, no Umbridge corrupted the locket. That poor Horcrux.
- Maybe Dumbledore deactivated the locks, or dumbed them down.
- Confirmed and jossed? Harry didn't give any of his kids the map. But Word of God says James Sirius nicked it at some point during his Hogwarts years.
- Alternately, there weren't enough goblin bankers left to confiscate Harry's gold... one can only imagine how ugly the scene was at Gringotts when Voldemort realized his cup had been stolen...
- His eyes feasted on her, and he thought that he would like to stand and look at her forever, and that would be enough.
Does that sound familiar? Like a certain mirror from the first book? Yup! But wait, there's more.For this we need to step back and look at the history of it for a moment:
The Resurrection Stone.
Given by Death to the second of Three Brothers, who had asked for the power to recall others from death to life. Cadmus Peverell used it to recall the spirit of his dead beloved, but was so driven mad with longing for her specter, he despaired of living himself. Cadmus committed suicide. And so the stone lay hidden.
Albus Dumbledore is the next man known to possess the Stone, having destroyed the ring in order to reach the horcrux it contained. He held the Hallow for less than a year, Riddle's withering curse inexorably stealing away his life, before that night on the Astronomy Tower. But how did Dumbledore spend his last months, knowing his death was approaching? Rather than warn others in the Order, or prepare them to keep up the fight in his absence, Dumbledore spent most of the year arranging his own death.
Dumbledore allowed Malfoy to remain at Hogwarts, despite the danger to students and staff from his repeated assassination attempts. Dumbledore encouraged Snape to assist Malfoy in his mission, even ordering him to take the Unbreakable Vow. Dumbledore petrified Harry beneath the Cloak, so his protege would witness his dramatic final moments. Everything was arranged for one purpose: to ensure that Dumbledore would die on his own terms, at a time and place he chose, even if the hand and wand were not his own.
The curse of Cadmus, and all who held and used the Stone, was that they would take their own life.
- He was not fetching them. They were fetching him.
And there's more: He fells as if life and everyone he loves are far away, as if they are the ghosts and he and the dead are the only real things, and as if his body is moving without his input, as if he's just a spectator.
The purpose of the Stone is not to summon the dead, but to summon Death not to restore life, but to end it.
There is my theory. The tale of the stone of suicide.
Even given that this Prophecy manifestly *didnt* play out the way the Prophecy claimed that it was supposed to or not if you believe Harry Potters account of it, anyway we still couldnt identify the part that was a cheat. Or rather, the way of it that was a cheat.
We caught a lot of the other true lies related to that prophecy. We saw for ourselves that it wasn't that neither Tom nor Harry could live, but that neither could die until the Harrycrux was disposed of. We had it paraded right under our noses that Harrys power to form, or attract, human attachments clearly had nothing whatsoever to do with the final confrontation although it does seem evident that he never would have made it to the penultimate confrontation without it. And an assurance that this was going to take Tom down gave Harry the nerve to submit to it. But that alone, in itself, didnt do it.
But we did still know that there had to be a catch.
Weve even all known from the very minute that it was first hinted all the way back in Book 3 that a Prophecy was even in the equation that Tom Riddle would be sure to manage to roll himself up by trying to dodge it. Also that if Harry Potter had a power that Tom knew not then you could bet 10 to 1 Tom Riddle had probably given it to him.
But Harry Potters allegedly exceptional power to love the wizarding world out of Voldemorts clutches never really materialized. He's a self-absorbed little clod right to the final page of the final book. And it wasnt the Prophecy demons that sent us off on that particular wild goose chase. It was Albus.
Indeed, Harry Potters whole exceptional power of Love ultimately appears to be just another exercise in Albus Dumbledores policy of flannel-mouthed flattery, to butter the kid up and make him feel good about his allotted rôle.
After having shoved him into it.
Which of course isnt to say that Harry Potter didnt have a power that Tom couldnt access.
Because he oh-but-definitely did.
It just wasnt a power that Tom was unaware of. Our Tom was VERY well aware of that mysterious power. And he desperately *wanted* it for himself. On stage, in front of witnesses.
He just didnt have a clue of how to get it.
Nor that Harry Potter had it.
Which is hardly surprising. That particular power hadnt been in circulation for centuries. (if ever.)
And Tom lacked the evident qualification anyway.
Just like we all suspected, hed given it to Harry.
Have you figured it out?
The power that Tom Riddle knew not was nothing less than the power to master the Elder wand.
Tom was hardly alone in that. Nobody else seems to have really understood how to do that either. Let alone have been able to.
Albus Dumbledore tap-danced around the subject with another load of flimflam and mock modesty about how no, he didn't really have the wands *mastery*, per se, but the wand had agreed to let him use it. Heavily larded with his own boasts of having only used it for good.
Gellert Grindelwald told us (and Tom) flat-out that he never had it. Period.
And for that matter, the wandmaker, Gregorovitch, who Gellert had stolen it from (and formally defeated with it as he escaped) claimed to have had the wand only to study which doesnt sound to me like he was claiming the mastery of it either.
Are you detecting a pattern here?
Frankly, I dont think that *anybody* has ever had the mastery of that wand. Certainly not anybody in living memory.
And, one suspects, quite probably not from its very beginnings either particularly not if it really was given to someone by Death himself.
Antioch Peverill allegedly demanded an unbeatable wand. Not, you will notice, a wand that would make *him* unbeatable, even though thats probably what he meant. Words are very important in magic, and especially when one is negotiating with a power such as, oh, Death for rewards for besting him.
By that token, all wands are probably unbeatable. You dont defeat a wand, you defeat its holder. No, no one ever has beaten the Elder wand. After all, they're all gone and its still here.
It would be right up Deaths alley to have handed Peverill a supremely powerful wand that he would never have the wherewithal to actually master.
And that nobody else has ever mastered either. Although the holders of it have never let *that* piece of information out from under their hats. Indeed, a lot of them, like Antioch, probably never realized that inconvenient fact themselves.
But Harry actually believes that the wand obeyed him because he snatched somebody elses wand out of his hand in a scuffle a few weeks earlier? Please. Draco Malfoy was no more the master of the Elder wand than Grindlewald, Snape, or Voldemort.
It must be admitted that if were dealing with technicalities we should downgrade this alleged unknown Power to a unique advantage, or more properly, a gift because when the chips were down it wasnt anything that Harry could actually invoke, or use. He just *had* it, at the very time when it counted.
And yet, even though it wasnt thanks to anything that he inherently was, or anything that he was aware that he did, by the time of the showdown in the Great Hall, Harry Potter WAS unquestionably the Master of the Elder wand.
Obviously, we need to take a closer look both at the issue of wand mastery, and, just possibly the whole issue of the Elder wand itself, while were at it. Because however the business allegedly works with ordinary wands, it doesnt work with that one. And no one (especially Rowling) seems to have considered that.
Issue #1: Wand MasteryApparently wand mastery actually is an issue, even though it reads like a pasted-on afterthought. But we did get at least two possibly deliberate hints all the way back in CoS One when Lockharts wand seems to have been actively trying to abandon him after his duel with Snape. A second in the events of Lockhears mindwipe. Lockheart picked up Rons backfiring wand and cast a memory charm, getting himself, we think. But is that really what happened? Or did that wand when used against its master, retaliate by exploding and sending the entire force of the obliviate back at Lockheart wiping all of Lockhearts memories, in a way thats beyond what weve witnessed from every single backfire that wand has ever had. Also, how interesting that the explosion that caved in the tunnel only erased the mind of the spellcaster. Not the wands owner, not his friend.
But there arent any other such kinda/maybe hints to point at until we reached D Hs, and by that point the whole business had to be laid on with a trowel in order to make her climax work.
But. Before you can have any hope of mastering a wand, you have to have a reasonably sound grasp of what a wand IS.
The basic parameters are:
Wands are designed as conduits for magical energies. And Magic is a form of energy, rather like electricity. It operates over a fairly wide range of something very much like a spectrum of tonal frequencies. Different types of spells are apparently known to transmit within certain ranges within the full potential spectrum (or, perhaps more properly scale). Consequently, Olivander *can* tell you that a certain wand will be good at charms, because he knows that the components of that wand will most easily conduct magic at the frequency that most charms operate.
An individual wizard or witchs own personal magic also has its own native range of frequencies. Therefore, a wand which is a good match to the wizard *will* work better for him than one which conducts in a different magical harmonic range. He gets a higher signal to noise ratio from it. But still, any trained wizard ought to be able to conduct magic though any non-defective wand well enough to function. There was no need to suddenly make all wands behave as if they were suddenly defective in the final book to get the point across.
Okay. So. Carrying this a bit further into the question of mastering a wand which Rowling threw at us at the 49th minute of the 11th hour, and trying to make it somehow fit, lets consider what wands are not.
Wands are not people. They are not alive. Theyre tools. They do not have minds. They do not have feelings. They do not, properly speaking, have memories.
However, a conduit connects at both ends. And the energy doesnt appear to be designed to travel in both directions. A wand delivers its holders magic to the target. It is not unreasonable to assume that there is a resonance which occurs when it actually connects with that target. This resonance may well set up a form of feedback which is maintained at least for the duration of the spell. Indeed, given that rather a lot of the spells we have seem wizards using are processes which must be maintained for an appreciable amount of time before the work which may be composed of several different spells in sequence is complete, it is extremely likely that a wand does indeed set up and register a relationship to whatever target its holders magic is affecting.
And since the magic the operator is conducting is traveling through the wand, to the target, it also registers what direction that energy is moving. The polarity so to speak. You do not want your magic to be forced back through your wand to you. Weve seen that happen. It wasnt fun for anyone involved. (And Ill be getting back to that in a minute.)
Indeed I think a part of the wandmakers craft must be designed to prevent anything of that sort taking place under anything but extraordinary circumstances. Magic is supposed to travel through a wand only in the one intended direction. The wand may not precisely be aware (not having a brain, after all) but it registers that *it* affects the target. The target does not affect it. Rons broken wand in CoS was defective in exactly that manner. The operators magic could not be depended upon to flow in the correct direction. And Ron was still registered as the owner. (more on registration in a minute.)
And while they dont have conscious memories (since they are not conscious) all wands build at least a temporary log of the spells that they have conducted, and the targets they have affected. The Priori Incantatum spell is designed to access this log. We've seen it do so.
We dont know how long such a log really lasts. Probably not forever. It is most likely to get gradually overwritten by the records of subsequent spells with different targets. But it must remain set for the duration of an active spell, and it does not immediately reset when the spell is concluded. A witch or wizard quite often is going to be conducting more than one spell at the same selected target. Therefore, a wand retains some sort of resonance with its most recent targets. And the log does not completely reset when new targets are selected, either. the record is retained until it is overwritten by more recent spells.
Which means that if one wizard hexes another and the other physically snatches the wand and tries to hex him back, the polarity of the logs registration of who is the target is going to make for interference. Ergo: the last time Hermione met up with Bellatrix, Bellatrix had her writhing on the floor in the throes of Crucio, and since Harry snatched that wand as well as the hawthorne one, the wand hasn't been used for any significant number other spells in the meantime to overwrite the log. Consequently, when Hermione picked up that wand and tried to use it, it was still registering her as the target not the operator, and she found it very difficult to get it to work. The polarity was wrong.
It is doubtful this log lasts forever. Data requires storage, and wands dont have a lot of mass for storing an extensive log of their past spells. But if not overwritten it does last an appreciable amount of time. Voldemorts yew wand was spitting up a log of spells cast over a dozen years earlier, and would have continued to do so had Harry not broken contact. So the information doesnt simply fade over time. It needs to be overwritten. And the log of a 13-inch wand clearly can contain something like records of at least a dozen or so spells, because we saw them ourselves.
After a long enough interval, particularly if the wand remains in use, it probably will not continue to register someone as a former target, even if that person was one. But we do not know how long an interval that requires. Moreover, there are external factors which can erase the log. We noted no complaints from Hermione about Bellatrixs balky wand after that wand had been taken through the Gringotts security waterfall. Indeed, she was using that wand to duel against Bellatrix herself before the end of the battle. And holding her own with it, too. A conscientious seller of used wands would probably know how to erase such a log before putting any used wand into his stock.
Or at any rate, this is probably how it should be interpreted to work for normal wands. But there is no reason to suppose that this necessarily also applies to the Elder wand. We have been given to understand that the Elder wand is unique. Indeed, weve every indication that it flatly doesnt work like that, and it is probably a widespread mistake to expect it to. (Weve still no good explanation for the amazing auto-wand of the Seven Potters, sequence. But I doubt that it had anything to do with Harrys mastery of his own wand.)
So. Where does the Elder wand come into it? How is that one different from normal wands?
HOW did Harry manage to master the Elder wand?
Because obviously he did.Issue #2: The Elder Wand
Here is where we need to ignore anything Albus Dumbledore has to say about that wand and for that matter, about Harry Potter. Albus was not in a position to know that wands true history. Nor was he willing to believe that it might be precisely what legend claimed it was. Albus doesnt believe in a personified Death, and *he* certainly never claims to have been the master of that wand. Albus, after all, claims that the Elder wand was created by Antioch Peverill.
And I just do not see how a wizard such as what we are given to believe that Antioch Peverill was like, would create a wand that couldnt be mastered, know that it couldnt be mastered, and then boast about how it was unbeatable. So either he didn't create it, or he didnt know he wasn't the master of it, or both.
No. I really do think that we may have to at least consider the possibility that the wand really was given to some fool wizard in a bargain with Death. (Or possibly in a negotiation with something *claiming* to be Death. In any case, some entity that is at least partially from the spirit plane, even though it manifestly is able to affect the physical one.)
And that the wand was booby-trapped.
Because if you reconsider the order of events as told in the story of the Three Brothers, Antioch Peverill demanded an unbeatable wand as a reward for escaping one of Deaths traps.
He didnt win that wand in a fight. Death just created that wand and handed it to him.
And Peverill never was its Master.
Death is its Master.
One thinks that humans, and particularly human wizards, ought to be a little more open-minded about other species interpretations of the concept of ownership. And perhaps they ought not to be *quite* so hasty to ascribe purely human traditions to anthropomorphicised allegorical entities. Certainly not when there is no shortage of other competing interpretations of the same concept among other sentient creatures who are also subject to the same entity, with all of whom you already have ample experience in dealing.
Like, say, Goblins?
Goblin views on property ownership may be very inconvenient to wizards, but they are hardly unfamiliar. And by Goblin law anything that is made belongs to its maker. Even if the maker allows (or in modern terms licenses) its use by others.
Think about it.
Death has no particular need of a wand. Death isnt a wizard, after all. He isn't a human, either. Yes he deals with humans. He also deals with Goblins. And House Elves. And as many other races and species as you care to mention. He clearly had no objection to handing a wand out on a long-term loan to an endless succession of foolish wizards, however.
But its still his.
Except that for the rest of this lifetime, its Harrys.
So what did Harry do to win the mastery of the Elder wand?
Isnt it obvious?
He stood there in front of Tom to let Tom kill him. And Tom did kill him. Killed him and dropped him summarily into Deaths own country, into Deaths own keeping.
And then he picked himself up and walked back out.
Under his own power.
Which is probably the only thing that would have ever made an impression on that wand. Or, rather, on its log. That log could no longer record Harry as a target. He wasnt dead. A wand only recognizes the target and the operator. No 3rd parties. So, it evidently recorded Harry as the operator. Even using an unblockable, unbeatable, permanent, failure-proof death spell on him, the wand hadnt had any lasting effect on Harry.
Indeed, that was always the whole point of all the nonsense in attendance to the Deathly Hallows. In order to master Death, you have to master *Death*. Whether you happen to have physical possession of all three of the fool Hallows at the time is immaterial. Mastery over something and control of it are two different things.
And we are given to believe Harryd never have been able to get up and walk back out if the Harrycrux hadnt been there to help spread the impact of Toms curse. That curse did kill the Harrycrux. Wiped it out completely. Ill get back to that modifier at the top of the paragraph later.
But even if you can theoretically kill two people with one arrow, or one bullet, you evidently cannot kill two people with one AK.
And, since the connection between Harry and Tom was still live, and open, when he hit Harry with that AK Tom got hauled into Deaths keeping as well.
And Harry *could* have let it kill him, too. He really did have a choice about whether or not to go back.
And if he had chosen NOT to go back. I suspect that Tom would have never regained consciousness. And then, when someone killed the snake, Death would have taken him for his own.
After all, Death was already holding the main portion of what was left of Tom. It was lying there under a bench screaming its head off. Theres no way that Tom was going to be getting up and walking away under his own power. But evidently, even though the Harrycrux was now gone, the connection between the two was somehow still active enough (probably something to do with the blood connection that Tom set up in GoF) that when Harry returned, he somehow dragged Tom along after him. Temporarily, at least.
Of course Albus hadnt a clue. He doesnt believe in a personified Death (who evidently hasnt bothered to come out and have a chat with Albus. Death is probably quite unimpressed with Albus). Harry doesnt have a clue either, or hed never have spouted that load of bilge about having snatched the mastery from Draco Malfoy (oh Puh-leeze!). And apparently, for that matter neither does Rowling.
But the fact is that Harry Potter demonstrably came back from the celestial Kings Cross Station the Master of the Elder wand. No curse that Tom sent at him from that point touched him. Or, apparently anyone else, more than momentarily although it was at least able to do something. Tom aquitted himself very well dueling with Slughorn, McGonagall and Shacklebolt. If all he was working with was his own magic, using a hostile wand, then he must once have been every bit as formidable as everyone keeps trying to claim.
But look at the log: that wand had just killed Tom Riddle. The Harrycrux was Tom Riddle. And furthermore, it was dead. More to the point, it was a piece of Tom Riddle that was *still connected* to the one still walking around and trying to use that wand. Who in the wands log now solidly registered Tom Riddle as a target. A dead target.
Which is where I suspect that the real uniqueness of the Elder wand may be confusing the issue. Death handed that wand to Peverill and Peverill expected it to work for him.
But Peverill was a designated target. ALL living wizards are designated targets to the original Master of that wand.
But it will function for any of them. It doesnt invoke the polarity reversal of a normal wand when a target picks it up and tries to use it. It just wont enhance their own native powers. And it doesnt give them any clue as to the fact that they are the target.
But it wont work against its Master. And they cannot force it to.
So Harry Potter will either be killed in the course of his Auror duties by some other wand, or he may die in his bed at an advanced age. And in either case, he will take the Mastery of that wand back out of the world with him.
Tom was absolutely not the boss of that wand. And unlike Gregorovitch or Grindelwald, who realized when they were beaten, or Albus who Gellert may have warned about the matter when he turned it over and settled for mere cooperation, Tom just stubbornly kept trying. Im a bit surprised he even managed to set the Hat on fire. And even at that, Neville doesnt seem to have been burnt.
(And were told outright that the Hat is still in service 19 years later.)
So how was that again?
- and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not
From that moment on, his spells never work directly against Harry. If hed just let a DE kill harry for him, then his problem would be over. But he had to go and make it personal, make a production of it. Lord Voldemort has to kill Harry Potter before witnesses.
But Tom Riddle can no longer touch Harry Potter directly with magic. That AK? It didnt kill Harry. It killed the Horcrux, and Harry was dragged along for the ride. So Harry, at the time of his birth didnt have the power. This is where that phrase, he will have the power comes into play.
He is given that power through two factors. His mothers choice, and Riddles to kill her, handed it to him on a silver platter, making it impossible for a direct spell to kill Harry.
Handed it by the Dark Lord himself. Thats the way Prophecies always work. And for a bonus, if the Dark Lord had chosen Neville, but his mother had made the same bargain, then the Power would have remained the same, making whichever child untouchable by Riddles magic, but leaving behind the horcrucx, which resonates with the matching wand to riddles own, resulting in his quest for the Elder wand. (Not that he wouldnt have anyway, mind. Hes that sort, but the brother wands certainly sped up the urgency of it.)
Which brings us right up to the final confrontation; an unblock able AK may ricochet off of a solid object (although weve never seen one do so. Generally they just damage the object), but it isnt going to bounce off of another *spell*. Spells are not solid. Or not unless they are something like a shield spell, and Expeliarmus isnt. Not unless *something* is in charge of that AK other than the caster. Or this is some amazing new variant of an AK that weve never heard of?
But frankly, any explanation for why the AK bounced off the Expeliarmus and yet *both* spells managed to travel in a straight line to solidly nail Tom instead of ricocheting off in two other directions like weve seen every other time two spells collide is stretched.
Or did they?
- Harry saw Voldemorts green jet meet his own spell, saw the Elder Wand fly high, dark against the sunrise, spinning across the enchanted ceiling like the head of Nagini, spinning through the air toward the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last. And Harry, with the unerring skill of the Seeker, caught the wand in his free hand as Voldemort fell backward, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upward.
Does that sound to you like the Elder wand began its flight when the spells collided?
Because it doesnt to me. That wasnt Voldemort getting struck by the green jet. The sequence of events looks to me like this:
They cast. The elder wand rips itself from Voldemorts hand and flies. The spells collide, and vanish from the narrative complete, as if they canceled each other out. Or something else canceled them both. Possibly Death coming to claim Tom for his own?
And the Elder wand came spinning through the air toward the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last. Harry thought that, but had no clue how right he had it.
And if Harry has any sense at all he will take that wand to the Ministry and pitch it straight through the veil right back to its original owner and get it out of circulation permanently. If Tom could take it out of Albuss tomb so can someone else, and put it back into circulation even if they havent a hope of ever mastering it.
But in any case, it is clear that in the final reckoning, Ignotus Peverill isnt the only wizard who will one day be meeting Death as an equal.