The Underground Lake #17: Mysteries Unveiled Part Deux: The Choices of the Headmaster
Yes folks, it’s that time again. B-Fizzle is back, in regular rotation, ready to spew forth (pardon the pun, Hermione) some more expounding on our good friend, Harry Potter. All the emails I received in the last week were so thought-provoking and clever, that I have NO OLD BUSINESS! Therefore this week, we’re gonna dive right in.
In these past months that we have all grown together in our knowledge of Harry Potter, you all have gotten to know the persona that I put into these articles and this persona has had several steadfast, not gonna change, predictions about the future of the series, the foremost of which is that Dumbledore and Harry are both gonna die (though Harry might not stay dead). I have clung to these two as the basis of most of my predictions, but recently I had an epiphany (that actually came while writing the end of my last). Suddenly, it occurred to me that *gasp* I might be wrong! I know – alien concept. Suddenly, I got this vision of how it’s all going to end in Book Seven. I would like to share this vision with you. I submit for your consideration and entertainment: MYSTERIES UNVEILED PAET DEUX!
“UNDERGROUND LAKE #12 – MYSTERIES UNVEILED: SPECULATING ON THE VEIL”
IN ORDER TO FULLY APPRECIATE THIS INSTALLMENT.
What is my maxim, everyone? THE WHEELS ARE IN MOTION! If you’re keeping up at home, you know that I am still deep in my reread of OotP. (And as a side note for those of you who think I have no life and do nothing but read Harry Potter, you’ll be intrigued to know that this is only the third time I’ve read OotP, not to mention I have only read Books One and Two once and Books Three and Four three times each!) But I digress. I am now knee-deep in the beginning of the forming of the DA. Umbridge has just banned all clubs and organizations. Though the former law student in me noticed a slight discrepancy in her edict: it says that a club is defined as a regular meeting of three or more students. By her definition, class is a regular meeting of three or more students, as she does not say otherwise. One could have organized a “no class” protest of her and not went to class and beat her at her own game. And there are other loopholes but I’m going somewhere, so bear with me.
Dumbledore was “unable” to find someone to take the DADA job, so Fudge installed Umbridge in the post per Educational Decree Twenty-Two. However, if one reads carefully, somebody DID ask for the job: SNAPE! Snape has asked for the job of DADA teacher every year since he started, including this year, and is never given the job. Why? When Dumbledore couldn’t find anyone, he could have easily put Snape in as DADA and then found a Potions teacher (which would have been really simple given the fact that the way Snape teaches the class, all you have to do is write the ingredients to the potion on the board, assign an essay, and grade the effectiveness of each potion). It’s not brain surgery, despite what Snape says. I mean, if the trio could concoct the Polyjuice Potion AT THE AGE OF TWELVE (a potion that is in the restricted section and has all sorts of illegal ingredients, and one that is probably not even taught in Potions), then it can’t be that hard. The ‘Snape option’ must have at least crossed Dumbledore’s mind. This brings me back to my old question of why Dumbledore trusts Snape. Let’s think about this: Dumbledore would rather have an incompetent imbecile like Lockhart, a werewolf, a sadist like Umbridge, an escaped convict torturer/murderer like Barty Crouch, Jr., and VOLDEMORT, his archnemesis (granted, he probably didn’t consciously hire the last two for that reason) teaching DADA than let Snape teach it. I think the logical answer is that Snape is not at Hogwarts for his rapport with kids or his amazing teaching skills; he is there for his own protection. I know I’m gonna get hate mail from all the Snape-lovers, but Snape is the worst kind of teacher. In Potions, he just puts the instructions on the board and that’s it. He chooses favorites and dismisses those he dislikes. There is no excuse for his treatment of Harry, none whatsoever. Teachers in the real world get fired for things like that. When he taught DADA in PoA, what did he do? He did a dry lecture and assigned an essay: one in which no one but Hermione even learned anything. I mean, a trained monkey could teach the class like Snape does.
Now this is not “Pick on Snape Day.” This is to get you all thinking so you see where I’m going. Had Dumbledore done as I just suggested (giving Snape the DADA and hiring a new Potions master), then the ENTIRE Umbridge antagonist line is GONE! No Quidditch drama! No detentions with Dolores! No Inquisitorial Squad! No High Inquisitions of Hogwarts staff! No need to sneak to talk to Sirius! In fact, Sirius could still be alive had he let Snape teach DADA!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because we still have another story line: the dream. Regardless of who is the new DADA teacher, Harry is still having his dreams about the corridor in the Department of Mysteries. Now if there is no Umbridge, then there is no DA! If there is no DA, then the only people who go to the Department of Mysteries (because Voldemort would still have planted the fake vision of Sirius) are the trio. If only the trio goes, things happen a lot differently. Without Neville to break the Prophecy, the Death Eaters get it and their mission is accomplished. There is no Luna to get Ron and Ginny to safety, and no Ginny to help Ron when the brains attack him. The battle at the Ministry ends up very tragic and we have five books instead of seven.
One thing I have always maintained is that Dumbledore has the school under control and knows everything that goes on. Dumbledore wanted to eliminate the teaching of Divination. I think this was because, as Trelawney is so fond of saying, either you’ve got the inner eye or you don’t. It makes no sense to teach a subject that 99% of your students will never have the power to use anyway. I think Dumbledore may not necessarily be able to see the future, but he does have the uncanny ability to make informed decisions. Dumbledore knows Voldemort is back and that he is up to something and that something is stealing the Prophecy (or so the good guys are led to believe). But more importantly, Voldemort needs to get Harry out of the way in order to rule the world. But Dumbledore also needs to know what Harry is capable of. He has known this since first year.
Ask yourself why Dumbledore doesn’t intervene in Book One until the very last possible second. “I arrived just in time to pull Quirrell off you- “ (PS/SS 297) Dumbledore says. “Just in time.” Also, how did Fawkes get into the Chamber of Secrets? We are told no one’s been in there, but Dumbledore could have gotten in there. Remember, Fawkes does not enter from the same entrance Harry does because if he had, the barrier between Ron and Harry caused by the cave-in would have been destroyed. Fawkes got in from some other entrance, and how would he have known to get there if Dumbledore hadn’t sent him? How did Dumbledore and the Order know exactly what room Harry and the DA were in at the DoM, and how was it that it took no time for them to arrive? Dumbledore knows EXACTLY what’s going on. I think that Dumbledore is simply in the awkward position of playing chess with time and having to think of moves years ahead. This is why Dumbledore allowed (and I do mean allowed) Umbridge to teach at his school. The wheels had to be put in motion for the final confrontation. Harry had to start the DA and learn to become a leader. Ron had to be attacked by a brain (which I think will definitely come into play later). And most importantly, SIRIUS HAD TO FALL THROUGH THE VEIL! Why did Sirius have to fall through the veil? To show Harry the way.
THE FINAL FINAL CONFRONTATION
I have always maintained that the final battle had to take place at Hogwarts. Hogwarts is the last bastion of safety because of its security and because of Dumbledore. We are told that the only thing Voldemort never managed to do the first time was to take Hogwarts. While looking back for the quote from PS/SS about Quirrell that I used earlier, I came across another Dumbledore line: “…not being truly alive, [Voldemort] cannot be killed” (PS/SS 298). Couple this with the world-famous “gleam of something like triumph” from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and you have a recipe for the end of all things. When Voldemort’s essence was ripped from its body when he tried to kill Harry, it didn’t go through the veil because of all the steps he took back in the day (for a more detailed explanation, see UGL #12 – Mysteries Unveiled). His essence was bewitched so that should Voldemort find himself on the wrong end of an Avada Kedavra, his essence would not pass through the veil into the beyond and be lost forever. He could manipulate this universe and possess people and animals for a limited time until he could fashion himself a new body. Then in Goblet of Fire, he uses a bit of Harry’s blood in the potion to re-create his body, and this is where it gets interesting.
Voldemort uses the bone of his father, which is, of course, dead. He uses the freshly severed hand of Peter Pettigrew, which is also now dead. But then he throws in a bit of Harry’s blood – blood which is living – blood containing living cells and all kinds of microscopic organisms that are full of life. I submit that Dumbledore’s famous “gleam of something like triumph” is hearkening back to his statement three years previous. The fact that Voldemort is now alive means that he can now be killed.
Let’s move to Book Five. Harry learns of the Prophecy and that if anybody’s gonna kill Voldemort, it’s gonna be him. But how exactly? To hearken back to one of my more controversial installments, Harry is nowhere near ready to go toe-to-toe with Voldemort in a duel. In fact, even if he learns a lot in the next two years, it’s still not gonna be enough to duel Voldemort and come out on top. Harry’s dad in his prime couldn’t do it. Dumbledore couldn’t do it. By “it,” I mean beat him in battle, not kill him, because only Harry can kill him. I conceded a while ago that given a bit more training he could do it. But now, I still don’t think so. I think somehow the playing field has to be leveled. That’s how I came up with that crazy Dracomort theory. I felt I had to figure a way to bring Voldemort down to Harry’s level so that if the two duel, Harry’s got a chance in hell of winning. But to be honest, I never really had any notion that that was a possibility. It was simply a means to an end. But as I said earlier, I had another of my epiphanies. Even if Harry were to become bad-*ss dueler, there is nothing in Harry’s character that would lead me to think that he would EVER, even to kill Voldemort, use Avada Kedavra. But even then, there is also still no indication that Voldemort, perhaps with Pettigrew’s help during Book Five, has not been working on the same magical transformations he did the first time to prevent his essence from going into the veil. Remember, Voldemort’s biggest fear is death, so he’ll do anything to stop his essence from going in that veil. That’s when it hit me: Harry’s gotta pull a Sirius. Voldemort, body and all, have to go through the veil.
Recall that my essence theory says that when a wizard dies, their essence leaves their body (forcibly if the person is an Avada Kedavra victim) and passes through the veil. Then I got to thinking: the veil at the ministry can’t be the only one in the world. You mean to tell me that if a witch or wizard in Mexico dies, their essence has to travel all the way to England to pass through the veil into the beyond? Why is it difficult to assume that the Mexican Ministry of Magic has their own veil that they study? Is it also therefore difficult to infer that since Hogwarts upon its creation was the frickin’ epicenter of all magical research in Britain, that a veil could not be hidden deep below Hogwarts? Or perhaps there is one in Azkaban (another place where a veil would be pertinent since obviously prisoners have to die at some point). Or perhaps there is one guarded in Gringotts? I name these three places because I see the Final Confrontation between the forces of good and the forces of evil happening at one of these three places.
Hogwarts is the headquarters of the good guys, and – if my hunch is correct – Azkaban will play host to Voldemort and his Death Eaters as a secluded base of operation guarded not only by grandsires, babies, and old women (go Shakespeare!), but also those pesky Dementors. Gringotts is a neutral location that we have only seen in Book One that could easily serve as the scene of the final showdown what with all its twists and turns and precious artifacts. The reason I am putting veils at these locations is that I feel – wherever the final battle takes place between our warring enemies – Voldemort and Harry have to break away to get to a veil. At that point, I think one of two things will happen:
- Harry will force Voldemort into a situation where Voldemort has to possess him (just as he did in Book Five). The two will fight for control of Harry’s body and mind, at which point Harry, in a valiant show of courage, will take control of his body and hurl himself through the veil taking Voldemort’s essence with him and vanquishing the Dark Lord once and for all.
- Harry and Voldemort will be dueling and Harry will abandon magic and simply rage-tackle Voldemort into the veil and the two of them will fall through the veil, body and essence.
These two scenarios solve the problem of different experience levels, because in both scenarios, the end comes down to “raw nerve and outstanding courage” and not “who knows more spells.”
Now this ending relies heavily on Dumbledore. Dumbledore knows everything that goes on, and as I said, loves Harry too much to let him face Voldemort alone. Either Dumbledore will have already been killed and that sets in motion a Harry/Voldemort chase to a veil resulting in what I have outlined, OR as in Book One, Dumbledore will have to let Harry face it on his own and will likewise be too distracted and too late to stop Harry from doing what needs to be done.
That’s my two cents.
Remember that the wheels are always in motion! Also, my advice to all: ALWAYS LOOK CLOSELY AT DUMBLEDORE’S DIALOGUE BECAUSE THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHIG ELSE GOING ON. He is NEVER just talking about one thing.