A Look Back at “What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7”: Chapter 4: “Dumbledore”
Last month, MuggleNet’s own Lizzie began a series of posts to reflect on What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7, a book written by MuggleNet staff and published in 2006. Lizzie’s initial post covered Chapters 1 and 2, while Morgan followed up with a recap of what JKR said we should expect from the final installment of the Harry Potter series (Chapter 3). In this post, I’ll be looking at Chapter 4, which discusses Dumbledore. So let’s take a look at what we got right and what was a little off the mark, shall we?
Dumbledore is dead.
While the book gives some attention to the theory of Dumbledore faking his death, it is very adamant that Dumbledore is, in fact, quite dead. The most important points included how Harry became mobilized once more after Dumbledore was tossed from the battlements. This showed that the spell was broken because the source of the magic that was needed to sustain the charm was gone. Dumbledore’s office admits Professor McGonagall, when it wouldn’t allow anyone who wasn’t authorized to take it over in Order of the Phoenix. Umbridge attempted to position herself in the Headmaster’s office, but since Dumbledore was still the rightful head of the school, the room would not allow her to enter. Now that Dumbledore is gone for good, the deputy Headmistress is able to take up residence in the office. Dumbledore’s portrait has also joined the other dead Headmasters and Headmistresses of the school on the wall of the office.
Another example of Dumbledore being undoubtedly dead is the funeral itself. The flames that encompass Dumbledore’s body and then turn into a marble tomb around it are a surprise to all in attendance since they startle the crowd. We can tell from the crowd’s reaction that no one conjured the flames or the tomb. It was as if the air itself were aware of Dumbledore’s departure. Like his magic lingered a little bit to carry out this act. Of course, the real reason we believed Dumbledore to be completely, without a doubt, dead is because J.K. Rowling herself said, “Dumbledore is definitely dead.”
Dumbledore is alive.
Like I said, of course there had to be a section to address the arguments that Dumbledore faked his death. This can be summed up pretty easily. Dumbledore wouldn’t have used the kind of magic he would have needed to successfully convince everyone he was dead. If it would take Dark magic to hoodwink the Goblet of Fire; it would probably also take Dark magic to make a convincing dead body and trick the Headmaster’s office into admitting someone who didn’t belong there yet into entering. Some argued that if Dumbledore were really in danger, Fawkes would have come to help him. Maybe so, but if Dumbledore wasn’t really gone, then why would a bird that is supposed to be so faithful and connected to its owner leave forever? As Fawkes flew away and sang a lament, Harry could feel that the Phoenix was gone for good.
One point in this section that is interesting to note is that those advocating that Dumbledore was still alive questioned why he delayed so much at the top of the tower. His chat with the Death Eaters was nearly pleasant. Fans argued that if he didn’t have a plan to escape death he wouldn’t have been this calm when facing a group of people who wanted nothing more than to see him dead. We do find out the reason for Dumbledore delaying on top of the tower. We find out in Book 7 that he was waiting for Snape because they had made a deal for Snape to kill him to keep Draco from having the black mark of murder on his soul.
In this chapter, there is a little tidbit about socks. It points out that Dobby was freed with a sock, Harry cushions his Sneakoscope in a sock, Mrs. Weasley washes socks, and Dumbledore professes a love for a good pair of woolen socks when asked what he sees in the Mirror of Erised. While it turned out there was nothing particularly magical about socks, we did know that there was something up with that answer Dumbledore gave about the mirror. We were right in thinking that Dumbledore’s back story might become important in the final installment, and we did find out to a certain extent what Dumbledore would really see if he looked into the Mirror of Erised. His family, whole and alive; his sister, happy and in one piece.
What Will Happen in Book 7 successfully foresaw that at least a likeness of Dumbledore would be back and play an important role in the final installment. We now know that Dumbledore’s portrait advised Snape on how to carry out the plans the real Dumbledore had made in life for defeating Voldemort. It was the portrait that told Snape he needed to get Harry the sword of Godric Gryffindor.
Dumbledore “as we know him”
A quote that stood out to me at the end of this chapter is
While his portrait has the ability to speak and advise, it is not Dumbledore. Dumbledore, as we know him, is gone.
This statement is more true than anyone could have known when writing it. In Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore, as we knew him, is absolutely gone. Everything that had been hidden about his past came to the forefront, and we, along with Harry, had to question if Dumbledore was the man we always thought him to be. After the King’s Cross scene, we can never look at Dumbledore and see him as we used to know him. We will forever be haunted by this new Dumbledore who has been enriched and made painfully human by his tragic past.