Gryffindor Tower #24: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

by Dan

First and foremost, let me say, HEAVY SPOILER WARNING! SUPER-HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD, EVERY DETAIL OF HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE ABOUT TO BE DISCUSSED, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

That being said, how many people are as thoroughly depressed as I? Dumbledore, poor Dumbledore, killed by his most faithful servant, well, you can all imagine Snape does seem to be the biggest traitor ever and for that, he’s going to pay. Yes, Voldemort is going to want to kill Snape.

Now I realize that most of you have worked this out, but for others who seem to be in the dark, let me assure you: by raising his wand at Albus Dumbledore and killing him atop the Astronomy Tower, he has finally declared his unequivocal support for the Order of the Phoenix and has stood firmly against Voldemort. How, you ask? By killing his true master, an act that will have silenced every Death Eater murmuring mistrust against the former Hogwarts potions master. Dumbledore’s pleas to Snape, “Severus, please” (pg. 595, US ed) were not begging Snape to spare him, but to finish him, in the hopes that Snape can remain in a most important position, able to, when most needed, turn on Voldemort and help the Order to finish the Dark Lord.

You may ask what proof I have to support such a claim. The answer is simple: Dumbledore trusted Snape, and no matter what Harry believes to the contrary, Snape is acting upon Dumbledore’s orders much like he himself is. Dumbledore’s unyielding trust of Snape was not unfounded; in fact, regardless of what happened between Snape and Narcissa at Spinner’s End, Bellatrix was right to mistrust Snape who, as everyone believed before Book 6, was always playing both sides, but his loyalty lay with Dumbledore. And, as MuggleNet staffer Jamie pointed out to me, Snape’s outburst at Harry for calling him a coward (pg. 604) may suggest that Snape is rather dreading having to be blamed for Dumbledore’s death, and not wanting to be called a coward because he has, and will continue to have to be, extremely brave. I cannot defend myself more; this is what I believe to be the obvious truth.

As you may have noticed, this particular column is entitled “The Light at the End of the Tunnel”. This is because, after reading Book 6, I feel that everyone involved with Harry now realizes that they are approaching what will be the end of the journey, and the end of the fight against Voldemort. With two Horcruxes destroyed, and four to go, the final installment of Jo’s masterpiece will undoubtedly follow Harry, Ron, and Hermione pounding the trail of the missing pieces of Voldemort’s soul. One wonders what those objects can be; we have fair evidence that a locket and a cup, belonging to Slytherin and Hufflepuff, respectively, are two of the items; the snake, Nagini; and an item of either Gryffindor’s or Ravenclaw’s. Two, obviously, are destroyed: Marvolo Gaunt’s ring, and the Riddle diary. The most important question right now is, where lies Slytherin’s locket? And what is the meaning of the note left within the locket at the bottom of the basin where Tom Riddle had once lured his young peers? The only hint we seem to have is the initials R.A.B., which, as many have speculated, and I myself assumed the moment I read the note, may stand for Regulus Black. The A, moreover, can be after his Uncle Alphard, which, while I found the name while reading the HP Lexicon, I cannot assume I am the only one to have come to such a conclusion. At the moment, with so many HP fans having just finished the book for the first or second time, and many probably having not yet gone back through the first five, newer and grander theories will be some time coming. However, we do know that Regulus backed out from what he was doing under Voldemort’s orders, and who knows if he was actually brave and intelligent enough to figure out Voldemort’s secret and hunt down a Horcrux?

Does anyone really believe that Harry will not return to Hogwarts? I suppose it’s possible, though I think that, if he does, it will be more like Dumbledore did this year. As Hogwarts has an infinite supply of information and aides, it may be unwise to leave such a storehouse of magical ability and information untapped. I do think that Ron and Hermione will accompany Harry on his final journey, and yes, I do say final, I believe that Harry has earned one thing after all these years: a reunion with James, Lily, Sirius, and Dumbledore.

As always, please email your thoughts and ideas to me. Feel free to comment on HBP as a whole, on my theories, and on your own or others’. Next week will begin my chapter-by-chapter analysis of HBP; unlike last time, this endeavor will not go undone. Until then, enjoy the theories, and may Dumbledore rest well.

Oh, and by the way many people have asked if I’m just coming back for a few months, well, as far as I can tell, no. Unless my book gets published, then I’m sure you’ll understand the circumstances of my leaving. Peace!

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