Featured News
Unforgivable

Unforgivable

by Logan Anbinder

NoteAccording to the prophecy, Harry has the power to “vanquish” Voldemort. Given Dumbledore’’s declaration that ““[Voldemort’'s] failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been [his] greatest weakness”” (OotP pg. 814, US Hardback); I don’’t think Harry’’s necessarily going to defeat Voldemort by killing him. However, it’s definitely a possibility because destroying all the Horcruxes is a prerequisite for killing Voldemort, as opposed to another method of defeating him that might not require the destruction of the Horcruxes. The following editorial assumes that Harry will vanquish Voldemort by killing him.

When Bellatrix’’s spell knocks Sirius through the veil at the Ministry, Harry is (quite understandably) enraged. He catches up with her in the Atrium after her flight from the Department of Mysteries, and she taunts him. Then “hatred rose in Harry such as he had never known before” (OotP pg. 810, US Hardback), and he attempts to cast the Cruciatus Curse on her:

Bellatrix screamed. The spell had knocked her off her feet, but she did not writhe and shriek with pain as Neville had….

“Never used an Unforgivable Curse before, have you, boy?” she yelled…. “You need to mean them, Potter! You need to really want to cause pain – to enjoy it – righteous anger won’’t hurt me for long.…”

(OotP pg. 810, US Hardback)

We learned in Goblet of Fire that Avada Kedavra (and presumably the other two Unforgivable Curses) are “curse[s] that need a powerful bit of magic behind [them]” (GoF pg. 217, US Paperback). From this passage in Order of the Phoenix, we learn that the caster must be not only powerful, but guided by a certain mentality – namely, the willingness to cause suffering for suffering’’s sake, rather than as revenge for a loved one’’s death. Though Harry is angered, it is “righteous anger,” not the type of cruel rage best suited for casting Unforgivable Curses. As a result of his justified anger, he is unable to cast a successful Cruciatus Curse; instead, he causes only momentary pain.

Harry’’s anger toward Voldemort, for killing his parents, is the same type of “righteous anger” he feels toward Bellatrix for killing Sirius, and is obviously stronger. This begs the question: If Harry is unable to cast a fully powerful Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix with the type of hatred he has for her, what hope does he have of casting an Avada Kedavra on Voldemort?

The answer may lie in the one of the three Unforgivable Curses not yet touched upon in this editorial. Impostor Moody demonstrates the effects of the Imperius Curse on Harry’s classmates in Goblet of Fire:

Harry watched as, one by one, his classmates did the most extraordinary things under its influence…Neville performed a series of quite astonishing gymnastics he would certainly not have been capable of in his normal state.

(GoF pg. 231)

If the Imperius Curse can make people capable of things they can not normally accomplish, why couldn’’t this be used as a method to allow Harry to successfully cast Avada Kedavra? If Harry were to be Imperiused, with his consent, he would be able to use the Unforgivable Curses, regardless of his previously encountered problems casting them. (I don’’t think that Harry’’s ability to throw off the Imperius Curse is an issue here. The resistance is probably not something that happens automatically. Harry could make a conscious decision to accept the caster’’s orders instead of fighting against them.)

A few examples of the Imperius Curse’s skill-altering capabilities have already been mentioned in the series; the first, when Viktor Krum was placed under Impostor Moody’’s control in the maze, during the third task of the Triwizard Tournament:

Harry heard Krum’’s voice. “Crucio!”

…looking to his right, [Harry] saw Cedric jerking and twitching on the ground, Krum standing over him.

(GoF pg. 626-627)

While we know students at Durmstrang are taught the Dark Arts, it has not been specifically stated whether or not Krum had learned the Cruciatus Curse beforehand, or was only capable of using it under the Imperius Curse. However, another, more blatant example of such coercion is mentioned in passing in HBP, when Hermione is reading the Daily Prophet:

“Oh, and how horrible, a nine-year-old boy has been arrested for trying to kill his grandparents, they think he was under the Imperius Curse…”
(HBP pg. 457, US Hardback)

Assuming the boy was using Avada Kedavra, this passage is a confirmation of the Imperius Curse’’s ability to enable the victim to use Unforgivable Curses, since such a young child would obviously be unable to cast the spell himself. (Admittedly, the passage says “trying -” this could mean “trying to use Avada Kedavra but was unable to.” However, it could also mean “trying to use Avada Kedavra but was stopped in time.”)

Assuming this theory is correct, and Harry must be under the Imperius Curse in order to kill Voldemort, then we must consider the possible casters of the curse on Harry. As the Imperius Curse is also one of the Unforgivables, the same rule applies to it as it does the other two: the caster needs a certain sinister (or at least grim) mentality to use the spell. This pretty much takes any of Harry’’s classmates off the list. As there are several Aurors in the Order, it is possible that one of them could Imperius Harry. Since they have presumably used Unforgivable Curses in the past on Dark wizards in order to capture or defeat them, we can deduce that they are fully capable of doing so. (While we haven’’t seen any Auror actually use an Unforgivable, Impostor Moody did, which indicates that Moody is also able to use them. Crouch Jr. wouldn’’t have wanted to draw attention to the fact that Moody was casting the curses, unless it was a feat the regular Moody could accomplish). Lupin may also be a candidate since he and Sirius were poised to kill Pettigrew for his treachery, in the Shrieking Shack, in Prisoner of Azkaban. They were almost certainly going to use Avada Kedavra, as Sirius and Lupin stood with “wands raised” (PoA pg. 375, US Paperback). However, there is another member of the Order whose casting of the Imperius Curse on Harry could potentially make for a much more exciting plot; one we have actually seen cast an Unforgivable Curse before: Snape.

With JKR’’s declaration at the NYC reading that “Dumbledore is definitely dead,” it’’s now safe to assume that the spell Snape cast on top of the tower was a real Avada Kedavra. This would mean he is able to cast the other two Unforgivable Curses as well, including the Imperius Curse. Plot-wise, imagine a scenario in which Harry, still mistrusting of Snape despite his explanation of the events on the tower, must put himself under Snape’s complete control to defeat Voldemort, giving both Harry and Snape a chance to strike back at the man they despise. (Obviously, this part of the theory only works if Snape is good, which I believe he is. However, that’s a matter for another editorial; or rather, the ten thousand other editorials that have already been written about that very topic).

Of course, it’s possible that Harry’’s going to defeat Voldemort by merely destroying all the Horcruxes, then placing a rock in front of the veil so that Voldemort trips and falls in. But if he does have to use Avada Kedavra, he now has a way to do so.

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Google+0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on TumblrDigg thisEmail this to someone
  • Breana

    I honestly think Harry is more Dauntless than any other faction…it seems to me, that out of the Golden trio, Hermione is the Divergent. She is brave, selfless, and cunning. (Let’s be honest, there’s no way any of them could be Candor. Or Amity-the world they live in won’t allow it.)

    • Nicole L Rivera

      Great response! I believe Harry is more dauntless too, in the original heart of the faction. And there is a great deal of abegnation in him. I believe that is key to his choosing to use his bravery for the good of others instead of holding it selflessly and using it for the good of himself (a slytherin quality). nThanks for the comment!

  • jeff.

    well this is a fun discussion. I definitely think Harry would be Divergent, also Hermione, and possibly Ron. nnnHarry would probably test into both Dauntless and Abnegation. I would even say he’d probably have some Amity somewhere in there. But he definitely wouldn’t fit into just one faction. He’s brave and selfless. Dauntless faction believes in ordinary acts of bravery and also conquering fear. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry’s Boggart is a Dementor, which is like fear itself incarnated. Instead of running from that fear, he immediately seeks out a way to defend himself (and also teaches his peers how to in Order of the Phoenix) against them. Harry doesn’t shut down from fear and there’s plenty he has to be afraid of! He always tends to want to go it alone as well in dangerous situations, he never wants his friends to come in harms way. Very Abnegation. nnnHermione would be Dauntless and Erudite if she was to take the Aptitude Test. She’s highly logical and naturally curious. She’s the only one out of the trio who actively spends time in the library, her favorite place, mastering new spells, and also learning valuable knowledge that helps her friends. I would also argue she’s also Abnegation and Candor as well. She’s one of the only characters who cares about how the house-elves are being treated. nnnRon on the other hand, I think he could be Divergent or he could just be Dauntless. Bravery runs in his family. But I also see Abnegation in the Weasleys as well. Ron also doesn’t have a filter so he could easily belong in Candor as well. nnnIt’s a lot of other characters that could be Divergent. Luna could be Amity and Dauntless. Dumbledore would definitely be Dauntless, Erudite, and Candor, so would Professor McGonagall. This is a great discussion!

    • Nicole L Rivera

      Wow! Love your assessment. nI think the hero’s in the story are those that don’t fit into one mold or who grow not to fit into it. Ron may have been just dauntless in the beginning, but his friendship with Harry and love of Hermione made him much more. They got him out of his box. Harry made him more abegnation and Hermione made him more erudite (I believe). nLuna is the ultimate divergent. A brave, selfless, honest, genius, who is very kind. She is very strongly all five factions. nThanks for the comment :)

  • Deidra Chavez

    No no no. Harry only could have fit.imto slytherine because the hat was picking up voldemorts soul. Thats not.divergent

    • Nicole L Rivera

      Interesting observation. But, did that bit of Voldemort’s soul affect who Harry was growing to become? Would he have been a different boy had he not had the battle between himself and true evil within him? I think having Voldemort’s soul made him very capable of becoming a Slytherin. He could have embraced it. He could have chased after its power. I think his “divergence” helped him to see outside who he was “infected” to be and become who he wanted to be. nJust a thought. Great observation!

  • Lexy

    I think a better question here is what faction do you think Neville would be in? It’s proven that he can be brave when he needs to be, but would he be brave enough to not only test as Dauntless but also choose it in the choosing ceremony?

  • Ace

    The thing about the houses isn’t that you’re sorted into the house that fits your trait, but the house that has the traits you most value. Peter Pettigrew definitely wasn’t brave, but he admired bravery. Hermione would have fitted brilliantly into Ravenclaw, but she valued bravery above brains. In the faction system, however, you’re sorted on YOUR behaviour – not the behaviour you respect in others. Neville, although Gryffindor, is not Dauntless. He’s not reckless or ‘stupid’ like the Dauntless are, but he does admire bravery. The two systems don’t coincide, so being put into a house that embodies a certain trait doesn’t mean you’ll be put into the respective faction.

  • evelynsandman

    Harry (like his mother) is incredibly selfless. He was willing to die for all of those people in the Battle of Hogwarts. Sure, some of them were his friends, but most were unknow people.nnI think Harry also shows selfness when he goes to the Ministry to “save” Sirius. nYes, it ended out terribly wrong, but Harry didn’t mind dying for Sirius, althout he thought that Voldemort was there and he wanted to kill Harry.nHe never wished to get attention, in fact, we see in the book that he hates being famous. He has a “hero-complex”, in his head, Harry has to save people, to help them, to put their needs in front of his.nnYes, he shows extremely bravery, but I don’t think Dauntless would really please him. Harry doesn’t want to do dangerous things, he doesn’t chase them- insteed, danger chases him.nOverall, I think that Dauntless would appeal to him at first, but Abnegation life style would catch his attention ultimately.nnnnAs for Hermione, I choose Erudite for her. I don’t really see the “Divergent” thing.nBedsides, Erudite and Ravenclaw aren’t that similiar. Both of them value wisdom and knowledge, but Ravenclaw is more about clever, creative and open-minded, while Erudite are more logical and theorical.nnnIn my opinion, Ron is the Divergent between Dauntless and Candor. Candor because he simply has no filter. He doesn’t hide his emotions: if he is sad, angry, jealous, happy or simply confused, he shows it. nDauntless because Ron is very brave and I think, because he is from a big family with lots of siblings, who have done great things, he would try hard to get people to notice him. Maybe if he does dangerous things, like jumping of a train, he’ll receive the attention from his siblingsnIn the end, Ron would choose Dauntless, because that is where I would put most of his family members (Except Percy).

  • Glenn Stein

    The goal of the experiment in Veronica Roth’s trilogy is for everyone to be divergent. Thus, in our society and the Wizarding World which have not had genetic engineering, everyone is divergent.nnnSo the question should be which faction would they choose? Harry -> Candor, Hermoine -> Erudite, Ron -> Dauntless, Neville -> Dauntless (but he’d fail and become factionless)