CSI: Hogwarts

It’s not enough to have a feeling that Dumbledore’s not dead, or to want him not to be dead. What you need is a way to prove he’s not dead.

We at Wizarding World Press are happy to help you work on techniques needed for doing that.

Now, if life was a Jasper Fforde novel, you could just walk right into Book 6 and do a little poking around like his Jurisfiction operative Thursday Next. You could get there before Hagrid, for instance, and listen to ALL of that conversation Dumbledore had with Snape. That would rock, especially if it meant you heard something that meant the book was supposed to have ended differently.

Sadly what would be standard operating procedure for Thursday Next would be fanfiction for us. So what to do, what to do…

You could always engage in what has come to be known as “HP Sleuthing.”

Sleuthing Harry Potter has become a popular sport — er, pastime — for thousands of series fans. The serial publishing of seven books, in essence seven parts of an epic mystery, has led to fans trying their best to stay one step ahead of that redoubtable Games-Mistress who has kindly told her fans to call her “Jo”. Can fans figure out what’s going to happen before Jo makes it happen? Before the last book? Before the last page? Maybe. Can we figure out the great Dumbledore question, once and for all? Maybe.

Long ago in the English classes you were forced by law to take, they tried to teach you a technique they called “close reading”. Pull your memories of that skill out and dust them off. The teachers who told you it was useful weren’t lying, any more than the ones who told you that you would need math.

Some familiarity with great literature won’t hurt, but isn’t absolutely necessary. And if you decide you need to know what TS Eliot (for example) has in common with Harry Potter, there’s always the Internet. WWP deeply admires the work of www.bartleby.com, which has gathered a reference-library full of wonderful stuff and placed it at our busily tapping fingertips.

Finally, you need to read the Harry Potter books. Again, and again, and again, and again. How often is really necessary, you ask? Well, if you have a bookcase with a copy of Goblet of Fire that’s been reduced to a series of soft-cover pamphlets, you’ve probably read the series enough to get started.

Like most talented magicians, Jo is a mistress of misdirection, and has created books that are able to be read on so many different levels.

There are the readers who genuinely admire the story, and who are happy to wait to find out what happens when each book is released. They share the series with their friends, they share it with their children — especially with their children, of course, it’s a children’s series, isn’t it? 😉 These readers don’t sleuth.

Then there are the learned readers, who know all about literary tradition and criticism. They sleuth, but in the time-honored fashion. They didn’t have to dust off their knowledge of close-reading. There’s a lot in Harry Potter for these folks to find — hero’s journey, mentor’s revival, Greek traditions, Egyptian legend. It all relates, it’s all there, you can find the parallels, you can do a LOT with close reading and literary analysis in Harry Potter. For those readers, sleuthing is just one of many means of dissecting and analyzing the septology.

Then there’s the rest of us.

We have watched the evolution of Jo’s trio over a series of six books now, and we have seen the patterns develop on her loom as surely as the wildest paisley. We have realized that Jo does nothing without reason, even if the reason is to camouflage her plans. Where in the world did Hagrid get that flying motorcycle? Poor Harry, getting sent to that old bat’s house to look at pictures of cats so he won’t blow up the house… Isn’t it funny that Montague got shoved in that cabinet and disappeared!

Look for Jo’s odd words, sprinkled like fancy stitches woven into the tapestry. If you have ever come across a name, magic spell, or other word in Jo’s books and said to yourself, “Gee, this sounds like the word…” then you have encountered a Rowlinguistic. Many times those strange names and words in the Harry Potter books have been made up by Jo from French, Latin, or other derivations. It is no coincidence that the names seem to relate directly to the personality of the character or the purpose of a spell. Remember those two words: No coincidence. It is very important that you remember them if you are going to sleuth.

The shuttle goes from left to right, then back again, and the cloth lengthens, and the story grows. Here a Muggle-born witch, there a pure-blood boy, there a half-blood with a past — and always in the background of the design, the elderly wizard with a twinkle in his eye and a secret. Maybe many secrets.

The hardest part is to not get so involved in the story that you forget to keep looking for the clues. With Jo’s works, that is quite tricky. You may need to start passages, pages, or even chapters all over again, when you suddenly realize you haven’t been paying attention because you got caught up in her world. The slight-of-hand is Jo’s cleverest move. She will draw your attention one direction while handing out clues off in the corner. Keep your eye on the lady!

For instance: In Chapter 16 of Book 1, J. K. Rowling writes that Harry “watched an owl flutter toward the school across the bright blue sky, a note clamped in its mouth.” Even after reading the book several times, it still catches readers by surprise when they realize that this note was probably the message used to trick Headmaster Dumbledore into leaving the school for a trip to London. That clue doesn’t help us solve the plot of the book and it was never explained or mentioned again, but when we see similar clues in other books, we know that we need to pay much closer attention.

It is the charge of the HP Sleuth to predict the pattern as it grows and changes. Does a repeated mention of goblin wars mean something? Why was it Hermione never told all of what she read in the library about house-elves? Can you believe what you’ve been told about, say, Aberforth?

Because you couldn’t believe what you were told about Gilderoy, could you?

Prediction is, as Trelawney herself would admit, an uncertain thing. HP Sleuths theorized, from Jo’s “running bits” in Book 5, that water would be important in Book 6, but who could have imagined the kind of watery world in which Jo was going to immerse us? Look for her repetitions, it’s a tool HP Sleuths use often, and to good effect, to construct theories.

HP Sleuths also use a tool in theory construction that serves much the same purpose as the carpenter’s adage, “Measure twice, cut once”. It’s called Two Degrees of Separation.

We all love fanfiction, there’s just a big difference between fanfiction and theory. Basically it is this: a theory is based directly on canon. If I say, “Snape was a Death Eater”, that is canon – verifiable from what Jo has specifically stated in the novels. If I say, “Snape was a Death Eater, therefore he might have been there when the Potters were killed”, that’s a theory based on the canon we all know to be true. If I say, “Snape was a Death Eater, therefore he might have been there when the Potters were killed, so he might have preserved Lily’s soul in a potions bottle he had on him for that purpose and now he’s keeping her soul upstairs at his house in preparation for the day when he’s able to restore her body just like Voldy’s body was restored! And that’s why Wormtail’s there, he’s watching it!”, that falls under Two Degrees of Separation, otherwise known as fan fiction. (Okay, it’s, um, six degrees — Snape keeping Lily’s soul in a potions bottle was two — but once you get to two why bother counting any further?)

You want to prove Dumbledore’s not dead? Go for it! We at WWP would dearly love for him not to be dead. Just remember, though, if you get to the point where he’s being kept in a bottle upstairs at Snape’s house, check your Degrees of Separation. They probably got a bit too separated. 😉

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brian
brian
17 years ago

I think that there is a grand mistake in the books of harry potter. maybe it will not sulve anything about snape and dumbledore but…. the living paintings can see, be seen, hear, be heard and have a mind of their own right. so why dont they just have pictures of the dead. then it would almost be like if they where still there.

greg
greg
17 years ago

if you can come back as a ghost, (NEARLY HEADLESS NICK) then why doesnt dumbledore come back and help harry, after the burial at the end of HBP, IF he is really dead.

mandy
mandy
17 years ago

Brian: I agree with you 100% That’s why i think the portrait on the wall of the Head’s office will defintly help Harry.
Greg: He is Sir Nicholas! Sir Nicholas explains why Dumbledore would most likely not come back as a ghost in HBP.

thej
thej
17 years ago

heres a question. mundungus was banned from the hogs head long ago says sirius in the 5th book… but in the 6th book, in hogsmeade, harry sees two people huddled up and reliases that one of them is the barman from hogs head and the other dung… sirius also says in the 5th book that the bar man has a long memory… hows that?

Ra'l Llavaneras
Ra'l Llavaneras
17 years ago

Answering the Mundungus question from Thej, well, the Hog’s Head’s barman may have a long memory, Dung may be banned from the Hog’s Head (only JK knows why), but that doesn’t prevent them from having business outside of that place, or maybe those objects from Sirius’, now Harry’s house, are a way of repaying (partly, I suppose, or they’d be IN the Hog’s Head) his (Dung’s) debt.

Now, continuing with Nearly Headless Nick’s explanations, those reffered to Sirius, that was “a very brave man”, as is Dumbledore, the difference comes when you take everything’s that said about ghosts, that they exist because the person that died had unfinished business (watch some Sci-Fi TV and you’ll see this pattern in EVERY TV series or movie about ghosts), meaning that Dumbledore’s unfinished business will be helping Harry (or Harry helping him, as he promised) to destroy the remaining horcruxes.

I, particularly, do not believe that Dumbledore would become a ghost, that gives too much hope for Harry and makes it TOO easy for him to find the remaining horcruxes. However, I think Dumbledore’s portrait in the Headmaster’s office is of importance to the continuance of Harry’s mission, because it would be able to, in some degree, help Harry in his mission.

Andrea
Andrea
17 years ago

I think that people need to stop freaking out about Dumbledore. I mean, I’m sad about him too, but what J. K. Rowling wrote is what she wrote. We might as well just accept the fact and wait for the next book to explain it.

Kate
Kate
17 years ago

Dumbledore doesn’t need to become a ghost because he might not be dead. In ‘the Princess Bride'(the movie) remember Miracle Max says that Wesley is only ‘mostly dead’ and he saved Wesley? Well maybe Dumbledore is only ‘mostly dead’ and he can be saved.

Rhiannon Raphael
Rhiannon Raphael
17 years ago

I just want to ask one question (this may have nothing to do with the whole mystery of the 7th book but-) What is up with Mrs Norris! Seriously there is something WRONG with that cat!

Jennie
Jennie
17 years ago

Interesting point about the portraits. Sirius’ great great grandfather seems to have memory of his previous life.
He describes how Sirius ‘used’ to be. So he must remember when he was alive.
Portraits can get drunk and talk to and visit other portraits.

These paintings link back to Nearly Headless Nick speaking to Harry after the death of his godfather. He explains how his real spirit has gone beyond but he left a copy of himself behind because he was afraid of death. He still has memory of his past life, remarkable sensitivity to what’s going on around him and is – for all intents and purposes – alive. Except for the fact he is dead.

Anyway, I’m wittering. What I really mean is that I think this is exactly the same for the portraits. A copy of them has been left behind but it is not the actual spirit of that person. I believe that Dumbledore thought it was time to die. Just like his friend Nicholas Flamel. He knows it will do no good if he is always holding Harrys hand and he is growing tired of the world. From his portrait which will undoubtedly be put up in his old office he will be a guide but nothing more than that.
I believe that Snape’s ‘look of hatred’ was misinterpreted by Harry and was in fact Snape not wanting to carry out his orders from Albus. He will now be able to help Harry destroy the horcruxes from within and Voldemort will not dubt him for a second as he cannot concieve that Dumbledore actually wanted this to happen. As he believes the worse thing that can happen to a wizard is to die.

christina
christina
17 years ago

ok so this is sort of off topic about dumbledore, but it does have something to do with sleuthing. I was just rereading book 6, the chaper about the memory of hokey. i realized that hepzibah and zacharias both have the same last name: smith. also, we know that hepzibah is related to hufflepuff, and that zacharias is in hufflepuff. could it be they are related? and if so, could this somehow tie in with the location of the cup and the locket? im not sure how, but maybe zacharias could be of some help in that area.

Timo
Timo
17 years ago

Maybe i’m the only one to think this, but in my humble opinion, there a two options.

1. He’s not dead. Maybe he is to the outside world, but he could be in hiding. (Contradicted by JK herself, Forget this remark, fun to think about though).

2. He’s dead. As a doorknob. Snape killed him. be it as a friend or foe, i dont know. fun to speculate about, but not of any immidiate importance. What i’m goaling at is: horcruxes. What is Dumbledore has one of his own? That would make him dead, but not dead, know what i mean? This would allow him to come back, supprt harry and find the other horcruxes of voldemort.

How’s that for peannuts?

Kevin
Kevin
17 years ago

Dumbledoor is dead…I think….at least for now…..
but as already been pointed out by others, there’s still the portrait..
or should I say, portraits…

In OotP, DD asks a wizard to go to another portrait to check on Mr. Weasley..
DD asks that particular wizard because he was very famous and had many pictures around the wizarding world…

DD, being Head of Hogwarts will obviously have his portrait there,
but he was also on the wizigmot(sp)
head mogwomp(sp) of something…….
the list goes on and on….
plus…I see Molly Weasley giving up wall space in her kitchen(next to her clock) for a picture of the great man…
the twins could put one up in the shop…
the ministry…

but here’s one Ive wondered about….
what about those chocolate frog cards?
just because they haven’t spoken so far(to my knowledge)
doesn’t necessarily mean they never will…..does it?

Pravin
Pravin
17 years ago

In the Half Blood Price, after Trelawney goes to the room of requirement, she hears a boy celebrating….then she tells harry everything and she tells something about the lightnening struck tower, and she also tells that dumbledore is avoiding him and that the centaur is not concerned over this lightnening struk tower…though it happens that hogwarts is attacked but the centaur doesnt really pay much importance to what she says because i think he must be knowing that if this happens then it is for the good…this way maybe dumbledore is not dead and even if he is then it is something planned

Nikita
Nikita
17 years ago

i really cant believe that fact of dumbledore being dead…. and even if he is he could help harry though. he could talk to harry and solve his problms through his potrait? but still how could harry get pasted all the encantments without any help and if he refused to talk about it to anyone? will dumbledore have confided in anyone else? just in case… he was a thoughtful man he must have thought of the two sides of the coin realizing that his reflexes are weaker that usual… and if it were so who could that man be?
i have been rereading the book to find any loops indicating to Dumbledore’s survival but i have found none or the way in which Harry could find the next Horcruxes…..

Robin
Robin
17 years ago

In one of the books it is mentioned that Oclumency can be used to lie to Lord Voldemort, unlike Snape says in the first chapter of book six.

Charlotte
Charlotte
17 years ago

I think that the fact that Dumbledore is dead was a strange move on J.K. Rowlings plan but I know it had to be just like I know it had to be that Sirius died even though it devistated me. I was thinking since Sirius died Harry got his house which was an important event because it could help the order and I think that if Dumbledore didn’t really die then he could hide out there because nobody can find it on a map or anything not even Dumbledore and it could be a good place for them to have a picture of Dumbledore so they could still consult with him and it would kind of be like he wasn’t even dead, just away on business and like their talking to him on the phone.

clair
clair
17 years ago

Sorry i may be being really thick and i am sure someone will explain to me, but in the very first book how did DD know that LV was going to try and steal the philosphers stone,as far as he knew LV was long gone, and did he really think that those challenges would be difficult for LV to get through, if you ask me it was as if they were set up purely for the children as they were all tasks tailored to the three childrens talents, logic, chess and flying on a broomstick plus DD showed Harry the mirror- why if not to lure him into the room and if he knew Harry would be the only one to be able to get the stone from the mirror, then why enable him to do so when he knew LV would try and use him to get it! And what happened to Quirrell after DD pulled him off Harry, did DD kill him, did he die and so where is the body? Plus i thought no one had lasted a year as the defence against the dark arts teacher since LV had asked for the position-well Quirrell had lasted at least two years?

Dave Haber
Dave Haber
17 years ago

About Quirrell, two points: 1. The year we see him at Hogwarts, he is returning from a sabbatical (a year or more off) so even if he was at Hogwarts before, we can’t say for sure it was ever consecutive years. 2. We have no way of knowing that Quirrell previously was DADA teacher before he went away on sabbatical. We know teachers can change subjects (Snape does it in HBP).

kevins sister
kevins sister
17 years ago

It seems to me that, though it saddens me, DD is dead. To start with, the adults (even the really powerful ones) in the wizarding world are distraught over DD’s death- either someone’s good at covering or there’s no escape. Next, he was exceedingly old (old bones don’t bounce, old reflexes are slowed (see HBP) and had become disturbingly frail. Finally, the books chronicle Harry’s slow but inescapable loss of those whom he loves and who protect him- I know this is in the book but meditate on that for a spell (try not to get too depressed about it!) This series is a “coming of age,” “throwing off the cloak of childhood to gird one’s loins and face the battles of adulthood” kind of book. It gets progressively darker. It was never sunshine and snugglebunnies (he starts as an abused child)but as he becomes more aware of the “real” world things seem darker and more desperate. If JKR wanted to really make the ending throw a curve, it could be the daydreamed imaginings of a suicidally depressed teen somewhere…

Anonymous
Anonymous
17 years ago

what about Dumbledores brother Aberforth? maybe he knows about everything. Maybe dumbledore told his brother everything so maybe HE can help Harry! maybe thats another thing dumbledore was doing while he was away all those times because he knew what was going to happen because Snape told him because he’s actually good!

oatmeal
oatmeal
17 years ago

in the first book DD says he has a scar on his knee thats a map of london under ground, i thing he will/has use/used it. there are lots of times we dont know where he is, he could be under ground, using HIS scar.

Orlando
Orlando
17 years ago

oatmeal

Your comment made me think! Is Dumbledore’s comment on his London underground scar a throw away lighthearted remark – or is it a clue?

What if it is Aberforth who is the Dumbledore who is dead and what if Albus poses as his brother – then the scar is spotted. What are the chances of both brothers having the same scar? McGonagall knows of the scar, does anyone else?

Standing Moose
Standing Moose
17 years ago

Well there is ONE thing Dumbledore said that prevents Aberforth from being the one who died. He said that Aberforth MAY not be able to read. It was DEFINATELY Albus Dumbledore with Harry in the cave retrieving the “horcrux” (which turned out to NOT be) and there was no chance for the Dumbledore brothers to switch places afterward.

Orlando
Orlando
17 years ago

Standing Moose

How does the fact that Albus Dumbledore does not know if his brother can read or not lead to a definite reason for the Dumbledore who is dead being Albus?
Aberforth Dumbledore may be an excellent reader – Albus doesn’t know.

cassandra
cassandra
17 years ago

I don’t think Dumbledore’s dead and I think his injured hand in book 6 is a clue. I have a theory that the books mirror themselves from the halfway point (book 4 starts and ends with a major tournament) One of the major plots of book 2 (opposite of book 6) is someone taking polyjuice potion. What if someone was using polyjuice potion to disguise themselves as Dumbledore and that person didn’t have a hand; maybe their hand would appear to be dead. And who was living with Snape just before he went back to school and we all know, owes a debt to Harry Potter? Peter Pettigrew! Just a theory, but I can’t believe Dumbledore’s really dead!

karen
karen
17 years ago

Cassandra! I just posted the same thing about Pettigrew on another thread, and the dead hand! And him having been with Snape in Spinners End! And the life debt to Harry!

Dumbledores hand is described as having the flesh melted off, which is how I believe Wormtails hand would have ended up looking. Plus there was a lot of polyjuice potion in the basement! The things that Dumbledore said in the cave, after drinking the potion really made me wonder if it could be wormtail too,
‘It’s all my fault, all my fault’
‘Please make it stop, I know I did wrong, oh, please make it stop and i’ll never, never again..’
‘Don’t hurt them, don’t hurt them, please, please, it’s my fault, hurt me instead…’
‘Please, please, please, no… not that, not that, I’ll do anything…’

Wormtail could have returned to Dumbledore to help save Harry after PoA, (or he could have been helping Dumbledore all along, but that is a different story) because of the life debt that he owes Harry. In GoF, after Dumbledore is told by Harry that Voldermort has Harrys blood in his veins, there was that gleam of something like triumph that Harry thought he saw in Dumbledores eyes, suggesting that Dumbledore wanted that blood in Voldermorts veins for a reason.
Fawkes did not come to the rescue either, another big clue. Wormtail is a pretty good Wizard really, he was able to become an animagus as a teen, fool the world about his death, frame Sirius, and hide for years if you think about it. Although I am not sure that was all entirely his own thinking, but again, that is a different story:)

I cannot believe that Dumbledore is dead either.

Patty
Patty
17 years ago

Cassandra,
I like your comment about the books mirroring each other. A lot of fans believe book 4 is a “bridge” book.
In book 3 we are introduced to Sirius and in book 5 he dies.
In book 2 Polyjuice Potion is a major part, in book 6 Dumbledore has to drink a potion to retrieve the locket.
In book 1 Harry has to face a series of challenges and face Voldemort, and in book 7 he will have to find 4 Horcruxes and again face Voldemort.
There are so many other similarities than these between the books which mirror each other.
Excellent idea, Cassandra.

sumeetha
sumeetha
17 years ago

karen… that is a really good point you touched upon… i was wondering if I was the only person who noticed this…

Maybe Dumbledore HAD to do something with the Potters’ death (that’s why he was moaning “i know i did wrong…” etc.) and he definately knows more about Petunia than meets the eye… i hope he’s not dead though…

Karen
Karen
17 years ago

As far as Petunia goes, she sealed the Bond of Blood by taking Harry in we are told.

We are lead to believe that this was when Hagrid placed him on the doorstep with the letter, but I am thinking now that it actually happened before that.

In order for the Bond of Blood to protect someone, three things have to happen.
1. A blood relative has to sacrifice their life for you 2. Someone has to cast a charm to activate the Bond of Blood
3. Another blood relative has to take you for their own before the protection can begin.

So I am thinking that there had to have been some drastic steps taken that night to make that AK Curse rebound off of Harry. I am thinking that Dumbledore was there, and he was able to use his time turner after Lily was killed to bring in Petunia, possibly with James’s invisibility cloak, so she could take Harry as her own BEFORE Voldermort tried the AK Curse on Harry. If somehow the three steps were not all taken, I do not see how Harry would have survived that AK curse.

I think the letter addressed to The Dursleys, and having Hagrid leave Harry on the Doorstep, was just for the benefit of Vernon Dursley, so he would not realize that Petunia had kept up the relationship with her sister, and the magical world. I think early on he may have forbidden her to have anything to do with her sister.
She had recognized the name of Sirius Black when he escaped Azkaban, when it came on the news. She knew what Dememtors do. She explained this by saying she had once overheard Lily and that ‘awful boy’ talking. And she seemed to react as someone in the Wizard World when Dumbledore mentioned Voldermort by his name, instead of saying you-know-who. As for her terrible treatment of Harry, that could be explained as her resenting him, feeling that he caused the death of his mother.

Cassandra
Cassandra
17 years ago

Hi Patty thanks for your comment! And also to Karen who had the same idea at the same time – maybe we’re onto something!
I just wanted to bang on about my theory of the books mirroring each other (my favourite at the moment is that in book 2 Ginny was being instructed by a past student’s book while in book 6 Harry was) & wanted to put forward an idea of who might die in Book 7.
Following my mirroring theory, I think it may be Ron because in book 1 he sacrifices himself on the chess board so Hermione and Harry can move forward through the clues. Since this thought entered my head, I now can’t read the books anymore without seeing a cloud of doom hanging over him. I’ve noticed that alongside Harry’s need to save everyone, Ron has a tendency to sacrifice himself for the greater good. I now feel sad everytime he does something!

Heather
Heather
17 years ago

Cassandra, I have thought for a long time now that Ron may be one of the major characters to die. I too think that the first book may have foretold his fate in how he sacrificed himself for Harry’s greater cause. I am so saddened by this, and I really hope we are wrong!

Oh, by the way i often go in search of JKR’s quotes and i felt slightly better after reading one of her early quotes. In reference to Ron, she said something like As if I’ld kill off his (Harry’s) best mate. Unfortunately her later quotes hide way too much when it comes to Ron’s fate, so we really can’t be sure. (i read so many quotes, so i forgot where i got that one—if someone REALLY needs me to look it up again i will try to search it out. let me know.)

gordon
gordon
17 years ago

Ref post by kevins sister december 29-2006 old bones old reflexes

“and with the sudden agility of a much younger man. Dumbledore slid from the boulder, landed in the sea and began to swim with a perfect breast stroke.”

page 520 uk edition. not sure if this has been mentioned.

gordon
gordon
17 years ago

It seems our best hope for Dumbledore�s continued existence is the living death potion.
This seems possible to cover the two main problems. Namely jkr being truthful. And the unbreakable vow. The other potions have been used and this one I strongly believe is a clue. It looks difficult to fit into the tower chapter, but remember jkr wrote the story and if it is
a clue with regard to the tower scene then it will work. this clue I hope maybe the salvation of
those fans that are hoping and praying for Dumbledore�s survival. Also page 63 Horace slughorne UK editions
You have not asked me, for instance, what is my favourite flavour of jam, to check that I am indeed professor Dumbledore, and not an impostor (I didn�t, Harry began,) for future reference, Harry, it is raspberry�although of course, if I were a death eater, I would have been sure to research my own jam preferences before impersonating myself.� er � right said Harry. This seems to me to be a clue to survival (emphasis on Harry)
Well that�s it just a few thoughts gleaned from this site. but I really do feel a genuine chance
For Dumbledore�s survival. long live Dumbledore if only in a story. he is kind of real to me.
From an ancient old softy. mind you not as old as dumbly
Very best to all fans. great story.JKR has made a lot people happy if only for a while

Joanna
Joanna
17 years ago

Honestly, I think Dumbledore IS dead, JKR has made that pretty clear, though I don’t really like to accept it, but I think many people are overlooking the Pensieve. Dumbledore himself says “it becomes easier to spot patterns and links, you understand, when they are in this form” (GoF, page 519). I think Harry will use the Pensieve to finish off what Dumbledore started, to paste together the clues that he had gathered before he died.

Also, about the books mirroring each other. I think the fact that McGonagall is an Animagus hasn’t really been this “important” since the first book… so surely there must be something related to this. Perhaps the Order will use McGonagall’s ability to turn into a cat in order to spy on someone, or protect Harry, without others, including himself, knowing.

Ashley
Ashley
16 years ago

I think Dumbledore WAS dead, as JKR made explicitly clear. But heres the thing: the key word, WAS. Phonixes are reborn from their ashes, so if Dumbledore was dead, he would be reborn. So that way JKR could say “Yes Dumbledore is dead, dont expect him to do a Gandalf” and it could be true. Phoenixes do die, but they get another shot at life. But Dumbledore is half-human, only an Animagus phoenix. So when Dumbledore was reborn from the flames at his funeral, and flew “joyfully into the blue”, he was reborn a grown man, because his Animagus form is an adult phoenix!
Brilliant huh? Congratulate my friend Tonks, I took the idea from her.

Patty
Patty
16 years ago

Ashley,
Sounds awful like Gandalf being reborn as Gandalf the White to me…

Ashley
Ashley
16 years ago

Patty–
The difference being that Gandalf was raised from the dead, and Dumbledore was reborn. So technically Dumbledore isn’t “doing a Gandalf”, because Dumbledore was reborn from his own ashes, not raised from his grave.

Patty
Patty
16 years ago

Ashley,
Gandalf wasn’t raised from the dead, he never died but was transformed by his ordeal from Gandalf the Gray to Gandalf the White. His companions only believed him dead. For Dumbledore to return everyone believes him dead would be doing a Gandalf.
And wouldn’t Dumbledore have been reborn as an infant or as a baby pheonix?

Ashley
Ashley
16 years ago

Patty-
My bad. I dont know too much about LOTR, so I didn’t know that Gandalf didn’t die. But then if Dumbledore did die then there is a difference because Dumbledore was actually dead and Gandalf wasn’t.
And I had the same thought about Dumbledore being reborn as an infant, but that was answered by my friend Michelle:
Dumbledore would come back as his Animagus form, that of an adult phoenix. You will notice that Padfoot and Prongs, when they transform, have no difference in their animal descriptions. The animal form doesn’t change at all with age: the Animagus forms never grow older. So if Dumbledore was reborn, it wouldn’t get younger either, because then he couldn’t get older. So since Dumbledore’s Animagus form is an adult phoenix, he would be reborn as.. you guessed it.. an adult phoenix!

Patty
Patty
16 years ago

Ashley,
LOTR is an excellent series for anyone who loves ancient mythology and lore and all things magical, as is the Narnia series.
How do you know the animal form doesn’t change with age?
This would be a crucial characteristic when dealing with a phoenix animagus.
We have only seen the Prongs Patronus, right? Not the animagus Prongs.

Ashley
Ashley
16 years ago

Patty–
Oh yeah. I meant Wormtail, not Prongs.
And we know that because we have seen Padfoot transform and every time he does we are provided with a description, and the description never changes.
And I do like LOTR, my dad and his friend are obsessed with it. Im just too busy being Dumbledores gurlie to be Gandalfs gurlie too. and I love Narnia, but my friend Elissa is obsessed with Narnia, her whole family is. its kind of freaky actually.
Is this what we do to non- Harry Potter fans?
And I think that Dumbledore is an Animagus, because otherwise the scene I have played out in my head of the end of Deathly Hallows is pointless, on a count of it involves alot of fire and Dumbledore showing up as “Fawkes”

herve
herve
16 years ago

Ashley: I think you are right in saying that the phoenix appearing in the sky, at the burial, is a proof that Dumbledore is alive. But I don’t think the phoenix is Dumbledore: Harry wasn’t really sure he saw something; a real phoenix would have been easy to see. Besides that, when the phoenix is re-born, it becomes an ugly baby-bird.

I think that the phoenix Harry saw was Dumbledore’s patronus, sent as a tribute to Dumbledore’s death by Dumbledore himself, using a time-turner. This Dumbledore, not yet dead, was at the burial and will be featured in the Deathly Hallows, not appearing as Dumbledore but as someone else, because Dumbledore isn’t an animagus (too common), but he can transform into another human person (humanmagus?).

Of course, I have no real clue for all this, only a feeling.

Ashley
Ashley
16 years ago

Herve–

Actually if you will read further back I have addressed this situation somewhat-
As far as we know, Animagus forms don’t change at all age wise, so if Dumbledore’s Animagus form is an adult phoenix he would be reborn as an adult phoenix.

Ashley
Ashley
16 years ago

Also Herve–
If Dumbledore could change his appearance, he would either be a Metamorphmagus, or need the Polyjuice Potion, which are just as common as being an Animagus.
My GoF book is about twice as thick now because I have marked all the phoenix references I have come across.
and so is my OotP book, except that one is filled with quotes that I like…

Patty
Patty
16 years ago

Ashley,
Wormtail changes quite drastically, although I think that could be stress about possibly being found by Sirius.
He was very longlived and healthy for a rat otherwise, now that you mention it.

My non-HP-obsessed friends do sometimes give me odd looks, when I try to talk about these things. But then again, I am used to it by now:) I have been reading and watching freaky things almost since I could read…

herve
herve
16 years ago

Ashley: I agree with you that the phoenix plays a big role: when Dumbledore isn’t there to rescue Harry, the phoenix seems to protect him, he attacks the basilisk, at the end of GoF, Harry hears the phoenix sing.

But Fawkes himself seems to be a real phoenix: he dies and get to be born again as a little bird; he can disappear in Hogwarts. I don’t think an animagus phoenix could die and revive. And I don’t think that Sirius and James could apparate in Hogwarts when they were in their animagus form.

Speaking of metamorphmagus, we don’t know much about them. Tonks is able to change the shape of her nose and the color of her head, could she go further and appear as a totally different person, I’m not sure. And Polyjuice Potion is fairly difficult to manage: you need to take it once an hour.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
16 years ago

Actually, my reading of LOTR is that Gandalf did actually die. His body was destroyed by his battle with the Balrog, but since his soul remained and he was in truth an angelic, or immortal being, he could be sent back to complete his task. In The Two Towers Gandalf quite specifically says to Wormtongue that he has “passed through fire and death”.

I am quite sure that Dumbledore is truly dead. I think what Harry sees at the funeral is Dumbledore’s soul winging its way to freedom. What Dumbledore calls “the next great adventure”.

Voldemort and Dumbledore are so completely opposed to one another, and I think their attitudes towards death are very deliberately balanced and contrasted. Voldemort is terrified of death and will do anything to avoid it. Dumbledore while not purposely seeking it, can accept it without a qualm when it comes.

Ashley
Ashley
16 years ago

Herve–
Im lucky I wasn’t paying attention in science today enough to read this, otherwise i would agree with you, that Tonks cannot change herself completely.
But the fact is that she can.
In OotP, when Harry and the rest of the lot went to Kings Cross, they were greeted by an old lady with gray hair, and i think she may have had glasses, but im not sure.
so the point is, Dumbledore would have to be a metamorphmagus or something.. and that metamorphmaguses can totally change their outer appearence.
And Herve, I didn’t say that Fawkes was Dumbledore. Im positive that Fawkes is a real phoenix, not an Animagus. I am saying that if Dumbledore were an Animagus he would possess all the properties of the animal he could turn into. I don’t know how I would prove this, so dont ask me to, because I don’t know. Im fairly certain that this is the case though.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
16 years ago

Ashley, there is a clue about possessing the qualities of the animal you turn into in POA. When Sirius explains how he escapes from Azkaban he tells them that the Dementors couldnt’ sense him as well because as a dog his emotions were less complex. So that would seem to bear out your suggestion.

herve
herve
16 years ago

Thanks Ashley. It makes sense. I didn’t remember this scene with Tonks.