The Elder Wand

chapter thirty-two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

As they mourn Fred’s death, Harry realizes Voldemort is in the Shrieking Shack and the trio fights their way through Hogwarts to get to him. There they watch as Voldemort kills Snape so he can become master of the Elder Wand. Finally, as Snape dies, Harry rushes in, retrieving the memories that flow out of him, and looking into his eyes one final time.
 

Found and Lost, by Sarapsys

“Percy!” Harry saw tear tracks streaking the grime coating Ron’s face… but Percy would not budge. “Percy, you can’t do anything for him!”


 

ROOKWOOD, by Julie Graham

Rounding the corner, Percy let out a bull-like roar: “ROOKWOOD!” and sprinted off in the direction of a tall man, who was pursuing a couple of students.


 

Minerva Leads a Charge of Desks, by anguinea

“Get back!” shouted Ron, and he, Harry, and Hermione flattened themselves against a door as a herd of galloping desks thundered past, shepherded by a sprinting Professor McGonagall…. As she turned the corner, they heard her scream, “CHARGE!”


 

Trelawney Joins in the Fight by Throwing Crystal Balls at Hogwarts Attackers, by Drew Graham

Then with a bright white flash and a crack, a crystal ball fell on top of [Greyback’s] head, and he crumpled to the ground and did not move. “I have more!” shrieked Professor Trelawney from over the bannisters. “More for any who want them!”


 

Still Fighting, by Marta T

Harry… raised his wand, but a dull hopelessness was spreading through him…. And then… three more people had arrived out of the darkness to stand beside thm, their wands outstretched, continuing to cast their Patronuses: Luna, Ernie, and Seamus.

(by Marta T)


 

Luna, by Runcible

“That’s right,” said Luna encouragingly, as if they were back in the Room of Requirement and this was simply spell practice for the D.A. “That’s right, Harry… come on, think of something happy….”
“Something happy?” he said, his voice cracked.
“We’re all still here,” she whispered, “we’re still fighting. Come on, now….”


 

Potter Doodle 2, by Elad Tibi

Hardly daring to breathe, Harry edged right up to the opening and peered through a tiny gap left between crate and wall.


 

The Elder Wand, by TBranch

Voldemort raised the Elder Wand, holding it as delicately and precisely as a conductor’s baton. “Why doesn’t it work for me, Severus?”

(by TBranch)


 

I Have a Problem, Severus, by Vizen

“My Lord knows I seek only to serve him. But – let me go and find the boy, my Lord. Let me bring him to you. I know I can -“

(by Vizen)


 

Voldypoo's Watchin Youu, by salamandersoup

“I regret it,” said Voldemort coldly.


 

Look At Me, by FrizzyHermione

He did not know why he was doing it, why he was approaching the dying man: He did not know what he felt as he saw Snape’s white face, and the fingers trying to staunch the bloody wound at his neck. Harry took off the Invisibility Cloak and looked down upon the man he hated….


 

Look At Me, by Sayurikemiko

A terrible rasping, gurgling noise issued from Snape’s throat. “Take… it…. Take… it….”


 

Look at Me, by somelatevisitor

“Look… at… me….” he whispered. The green eyes found the black, but after a second, something in the depths of the dark pair seemed to vanish, leaving them fixed, blank, and empty. The hand holding Harry thudded to the floor, and Snape moved no more.


 

about the chapter

 

Severus Snape has been nothing if not an enigma through the seven years Harry has known him. It’s been clear for some time that he’s been a double-agent serving both Dumbledore and Voldemort in some capacity, and Harry has gone back and forth between believing in the man’s guilt and being shown his innocence almost more times than he can count. There’s been no doubt of Snape’s hatred for Harry, of course (or, for that matter, of Harry’s hatred for Snape); yet here, as Snape lies dying, Harry almost seems to be left ambivalent, saying he “did not know how he felt.” Harry’s story has long been about his relationship with Voldemort, but in many ways it’s been just as much about his relationship with Snape. And now, though Snape is gone, Harry remains armed with these mysterious memories of his former teacher’s, and their incredibly complex relationship is nevertheless poised to take one last mysterious step. It’s an appropriate end to a most intriguing life story.
 

Something You May Not Have Noticed

As Harry, Ron, and Hermione make their way through Hogwarts, part of the untold story of the battle is the fact that the three of them, via Dumbledore’s Army, are largely responsible for the defense Hogwarts mounts. After all, while there are a few adults present – teachers, and the Order members who showed up to fight – the majority of the fighters are students who learned how to fight in the D.A. We see Dean and Parvati defeating Dolohov and Travers (which is no small feat); and of course, Luna, Ernie, and Seamus save the trio’s lives with their Patronuses. And there’s something else worth considering as well: the D.A. may not have even been necessary (and the students, and alumni, might be even better at fighting) if Voldemort hadn’t shrewdly cursed the Defense Against the Dark Arts position a generation ago, preventing the students from potentially having a good teacher all this time. Battles are never fought exclusively in the moment; rather, they are the sum of the planning and history behind them as well. And the Battle of Hogwarts is no exception.
 

Something Else You May Not Have Noticed

I’ve never met an evil overlord (I don’t think), so it’s hard for me to say whether they would really behave this way. But Voldemort shows the classic signs of evil-overlord-overconfidence when he strides out of the room while Snape is still gasping his last breaths. We don’t know yet what Snape’s memories will show Harry, but why would Voldemort not simply stay to ensure the person he intended to kill was, in fact, dead? We’ve actually seen him make this mistake once before, when he left Kreacher gasping for water on the island, sailing away before the house-elf tried to drink from the lake of Inferi. As a result, he never realized that Kreacher Apparated away – and thus, that word of his Horcrux was able to spread. Not only did Voldemort make a mistake with Kreacher, but he didn’t stick around long enough to learn from it. And Harry now has a pocketful of memories that, were it not for Voldemort’s arrogance, would no longer exist in the mortal world.
 

The Wizarding World

It’s not a secret among the Death Eaters that Voldemort has a new wand; after all, he was very open with them about imprisoning Ollivander and about borrowing Lucius’s wand (which then snapped), and they would realize that he’s now using a different one from his original. But it’s fascinating to watch Snape’s reaction when Voldemort reveals exactly what his new wand is, and where it came from:

“I sought a third wand, Severus. The Elder Wand, the Wand of Destiny, the Deathstick. I took it from its previous master. I took it from the grave of Albus Dumbledore.”
 
And now Snape looked at Voldemort, and Snape’s face was like a deah mask… marble white and still….

The legends of the Deathstick are well-known. Of its power, of its history, and of the fact that it has passed hands for generations by murder. So surely Snape’s first thought (after “ahh, so *that’s* what he was doing that night at Hogwarts!” anyway) must be of just how invincible Voldemort must now seem with this ultimate weapon. Whether you’re on his side or not, that’s a scary thought. But then, it can’t take more than a couple of seconds for Snape to register, too, why Voldemort has called him to the Shrieking Shack. He knows the wand has passed hands by murder in the past; he now knows that the wand’s last owner was Albus Dumbledore; and he knows that he was the one to kill Dumbledore. In other words, Lord Voldemort has brought him here to kill him and thereby master the wand. And indeed, Snape manages just a few stammering words from that point forward. And I can’t help but wonder, as he thinks of his impending death, whether he’s also thinking of the monster he seems to have just unleashed.
 

Full Circle

Ron and Hermione’s relationship has come full circle in many, many ways since the day they met on the Hogwarts Express (and Ron instantly declared, “Whatever house I’m in, I hope she’s not in it!”). But the most obvious parallel comes as they try to get into the Whomping Willow, with Hermione “so out of breath she could not speak:”

“How – how’re we going to get in?” panted Ron. “I can – see the place – if we just had – Crookshanks again -“
 
“Crookshanks?” wheezed Hermione, bent double, clutching her chest. “Are you a wizard, or what?”

Of course, six years earlier Ron asked the same question of her, as she lamented her inability to fight back the Devil’s Snare en route to the Philosopher’s Stone because she had no wood to light a fire. And it’s pretty clear Hermione hasn’t forgotten that moment, given that she recited Ron’s retort back at him word-for-word. But the best part actually comes next, when the spell Ron uses is Wingardium Leviosa, the spell the two of them once fought over in first-year Charms class. The two of them have come a long, long way, and it’s taken them a heck of a long time to get to this point, but there’s no question both have been at the forefront of each other’s minds, one way or another, for most of the ride.
 


82 Responses to “The Elder Wand”

  1. Another fantastic chapter and beautiful artwork. I love the picture of Luna.

  2. I really liked the Full Circle! Very sweet. I love Ron/Hermione mainly because of how their relationship has evolved through the books, and I’ve been hoping for a happy ending for them since book 2.

  3. I just re-read this chapter yesterday, actually, and what stood out for me for the first time since the re-reading is how much of what is going through Snape’s mind when he realizes he will be killed there must be despair that he has failed in passing on Dumbledore’s message to Harry. That thought struck me as completely tragic, as for those few moments before the snake attacks him he has completely failed, and all his double-crossing has been for nothing. Harry must be the one person he wishes most to see on his deathbed, for more reasons than one.

    He’s quite distracted by the snake in its bubble, and as we see in the next chapter, he knows he must find Harry and tell him everything. I wonder what his plan was to get Harry to listen to him? In between his realization about the snake and the later realization that he would be killed there, before he could speak to Harry, I wonder what he was thinking he could do to get Harry to listen to him and not curse or kill him. I doubt he intented to tell Harry everything he showed him in his dying memories, but could anything less than all that have convinced Harry that he was telling the truth?

  4. Nice return to Wingardium Leviosa. Also, great reflections on the D.A. Can’t wait to read what others have to say.

  5. The McGonagall picture is *fantastic.*

    Love the comment about Voldemort following typical “evil overlord” bad habits–I remember thinking that it was so stupid to leave Snape before he was really dead, but I hadn’t even thought of the consequences of his doing that to Kreacher. But, and this thought only just occurred to me, Voldemort was so afraid of death he may not have been comfortable with watching slow, tortuous kinds because it was his greatest fear (or his boggart). He obviously had no problem killing folks, but to have to make himself watch death all the time wasn’t on his priority list. Hmm.

  6. Oh, and, (sorry, I forgot) I can’t wait to see how many pictures end up in The Prince’s Tale. :)

  7. When Snape commands Harry to look at him, it strikes me as a very important moment for the character. The very last thing he wants to see before he dies is Harry’s eyes, Lily’s eyes, looking into his.

  8. I thought the same thing as Tafka yesterday when rereading this chapter (to have it fresh for this site, lol). How was Snape going to pass on Dumbledore’s words to Harry? I understand his urgency in trying to leave VOldemort to find Harry, and it must have been horrifying to realize that he was not going to be allowed to leave, and he was going to be killed by VOldemort, and his mission to Dumbledore was going to remain unfulfilled. I thought it was amazing that Snape had the presence of mind to ask Harry to look at his thoughts (such a great line, too…”look…at…me…”) as he lay dying. And he must have thought that Harry was one kid who would, definitely, go look at those thoughts. I mean, Harry looked at Snape’s thoughts before in the pensieve, so he must have figured that there was a good chance Harry would do what he asked of him.

    Amazing artwork. Amazing chapter. I don’t want it to end!

  9. After you read the next chapter, and then go back to this one “Look at me” is even more poignant.

  10. I agree with Tafka. This must have been one of the few moments that Snape was lost for a solution. (As smart and cunning as he is, I’m sure there were not many times when he could do no more than stammer.) I think this scene compared well to his reaction when he realized that he was responsible for Lily’s death. This was the moment, in his mind, where he could make up for his past mistakes and I can only imagine how terrible he must have felt believing that his efforts to make amends would be in vain.

  11. I always kind of attributed Snape’s reaction to Voldemort talking about the wand as the disgust he felt about Voldemort robbing Dumbledore’s grave. Though I agree with your ideas Josie, I also think he would be horrified by the thought of Voldemort violating Dumbledore like that.

  12. After reading your comments I’ve realised that this chapter has a lot of my favourite parts in. McGonagall with the desks has to be up there in my top ten. I have such a good mental image. It is then swiftly followed by Tralawny and her crystal balls. I loved that scene. Who world have thought a crystal ball would take down a werewolf? Only in Harry Potter. Then we have Luna calmly leading Ernie and Seamus and turning teacher on Harry. Just reading “We’re all still here,” she whispered, “we’re still fighting. Come on, now….” makes me tear up. I just love Luna to bits and I pray that they include that scene in the film. Please, please let it be included. Then there is the full circle with Hermione and Ron. I can just imagine Hermione holding a grudge with Ron for saying that to her during PS. I laughed when I read it. I think that is why I love this chapter. To be in the midst of a battle with death and destruction JKR still adds the humour. I think I needed it to get me through the chapter. Mind I end on a tear when Snape says “look at me”. I was determined he was good from OotP when he passed on Harry’s warning “he’s got Padfoot at the place where it’s hidden”. I was proved correct but ‘rewarded’ with his death.

  13. Love it, love it, love it, love it, love it!!! I also love how Lavender is saved (apparently? Do we ever know what happened to her?) by both Hermione, who she hasn’t had a wonderful relationship with, and Trewlawney, her BFF Teacher over the years.

  14. Michael, yes, that’s so powerful.

  15. I love the Ernie/Luna/Seamus moment, when a representative from each House comes to relieve Harry. The boar, strong and heavy but symbol of honesty and determination, is such a great patronus for Ernie. The fox and the boar are both solar animals (the fox symbolises fire in alchemy), but the hare is connected to the moon… I wonder what that means? Possibly nothing more than bringing light into the darkness.

    And I love Anguinea‘s McGonagall picture! It makes me wonder what Minerva was like as a teenager. As for Trelawney’s moment, it was possibly the most useful thing her crystal ball ever did, so maybe Lavender was right all along to trust in it. (But I’m sorry it wasn’t Lupin who took down Greyback.) Sky, I don’t think Lavender is ever mentioned again, but I like to think that she ended up like Bill: scarred and a little canine, but perfectly all right. Of course it’s Hermione who saves her. Their petty quarrels over Ron are simply not important at a time of battle, and Hermione can in any case now afford to be generous. Lavender didn’t seem to pay much attention to Ron in the RoR (compare the way Cho alternated between Harry and Michael), so I infer that she’s over him.

    None of these inspiring moments can really detract from the darkness of the Snape scene. FrizzyHermione‘s use of colour tells the story really well. Voldemort shows absolutely no gratitude for the services of his “most trusted servant”. I almost wonder why Snape didn’t betray Draco into Voldy’s clutches, not specifically to escape, but to have one last chance to speak to Harry and so save the world. But of course that would have been a despicable thing to do.

    I never really thought before about how Snape must have despaired to think that his life’s mission had failed. Thanks for pointing it out, Tafka. By the time I reread the chapter, I knew how the story would end, i.e. that Harry would turn up. That really was fortuitous. However, in this case the “luck” element of the narrative is offset by the very bad luck that Voldemort, amid all his thoughts of the battle, happened to choose that particular moment to kill Snape. Who would have guessed?

    I still like to think that Snape had made some provision to contact Harry in the event of his own death, even if the message wasn’t going to reach Harry immediately. But no post-mortal message could ever beat the ultimate drama of Snape spending his dying moments with Harry – his enemy, his beloved, his only hope, all represented in one person.

  16. Full circle was sweet… So much of what you write here never occurs to me. I loved the picture of McGonagall. And the next chapter is my favorite in the entire series and I have been looking forward to it since i started following this site back during book 4. :)

  17. Amy, I don’t know how you found out that detail about the film of Part 2, given that it’s not released for two months, but I would rather nobody posted that kind of spoiler as there is no chance anyone not involved in the film can have seen it in its most legitimate medium (the film itself).

  18. Grace: your last line is very powerful.
    All the pictures are amazing. FrizzyHermione’s picture is moving, i loved how it depicted that particular scene with detail. Sayurikemiko’s picture is incredible as well! Also loved Elad Tibi’s drawing, they are all beautiful pictures!

    I, like one or two others, also thought that Snape was innocent. I remember making that remark years ago. This chapter was definitely worth reading, and i’m glad that Snape’s real intentions are slowly revealed in this chapter. When Snape asks to look into Harry’s eyes, that was one of the saddest parts of this chapter for me. The next chapter reveals why, but it IS odd for someone who was seen as an enemy to Harry, and possibly most students in Hogwart’s, ends up being one of the most important and kind characters in this book.

    Loved all the comments:)

  19. Hare and moon: GhV, I think it’s simply another interpretation of the markings on the moon’s surface. It’s hard for us not to see a human face in the moon, but the rounded, pointy bit can be a hare’s face and then the long ears on top, bending forwards … isn’t it an Amerindian legend? And in The Little White Horse (a book beloved of JKR) we are told that Selina (!) the hare is “very wise” …

  20. @rtozier I’m not sure where I read it, I think it was a report on Leaky about an interview with either the writer or director. It’s such a small moment and about something not even included in the film so I didn’t for a second consider it to be a spoiler. I really hate to have things spoiled for me but I honestly don’t see how this could do that. However, I’m sorry you felt it has. Josie, if you think it’s worth it, could you possibly edit it out of my post?

  21. Snape probably had a backup plan for the possibility of his death, but one cannot avoid to imagine his last thoughts. He neede Harry, and suddenly, there he was next to him. For one moment Snape must have thought “what the hell is he doing here!?”.

  22. Deborah, the hare/moon seems to be a tradition in several cultures. The hare is definitely associated with Eostre, the Germanic goddess of the dawn and the spring, and there are lunar associations there as well.

    Right here, however, there seems to be an association of the sun and the moon (the boar, hare and fox) that together produce the powerful protectors that Harry needs. I just can’t quite bring together in my mind exactly what JKR is doing.

  23. Amy, thanks for the apology. Personally I consider a spoiler anything about the content of the film which I couldn’t project from the book, so basically any differences between book and film. That’s my philosophy, maybe not other people’s.

  24. Amy/rtozier, I edited the comment per Amy’s request and I’ll do my best to keep doing so in the future – only I should warn that sometimes I don’t see comments for a few hours after they’re posted.

  25. Love that Percy is wearing a Weasley sweater in Julie Graham’s picture.

  26. I should have posted this remark a few chapters before, but this one is also a good example, so here it goes: Harry has no problem accessing Voldemort’s thoughts, even after Voldemort started using Occlumency against Harry. So either Voldemort is a bad Occlumens, or his arrogance prevents him from seeing that its thoughts are not secure against Harry, or both.

  27. Thinking better, this is the proper place to place this remark: all other occasions Harry had access to Voldemort’s thoughts by accident, due to Voldemort’s humour at the occasion. This one is different, it was a deliberate intrusion into Voldemort’s thoughts.

  28. All kudos to JKR! I’ve been in combat, I’ve read lotsa books by others who have. That the pathos, pain, perseverence, ugliness and glory by those who have participated have been so wonderfully captured by someone who has not is magnificent. It is a measure of her craftmanship, that folks on this site are discussing the characters’ motivations and etc. as if they were real people is to a large extent unprecidented. I am, quite simply, delighted with this opportunity. So, kudos to Josie, as well, for giving us this forum.

  29. Gary: I would have never thought that the scenes in this book would be that close to reality, with combat as a subject. I love the book and all the things that can be read in there, but i would have never thought that war in reality would be something like what was written in the book. That’s a pretty powerful perspective! Thanks for sharing!

  30. Who taught Harry the Expelliarmus ? Snape.
    Who taught him his best spells through the prince’s diairy ? Snape.
    Who taught him, finally the true power of love ?
    Constantly bullying Harry, Snape taught him to resist and fight back.

    In a strange way, he always was Harry DADA teacher.

  31. Alan Rickman says goodbye to Harry Potter. I think this is appropriate

  32. Thanks for that, Sabila.

  33. I much enjoyed all the artwork, thoughts and discussion on the chapter! I had to re-read all the action a couple of times to really grasp again all that happens in the chaotic battle scene. Considering our discussion several chapters ago regarding Draco’s motivation at Malfoy Manor, his behaviour in the last couple of chapters is truly disappointing. Draco completely embodies the self-seeking aspect of the Slytherins… doing anything to save his own skin. He really is the antithesis of Harry. I wonder who Draco expected to see when he “looked around, beaming, for his saviour”? Surely he didn’t think one of his fellow Slytherins was going to stun a Death Eater? And I love that Harry is Draco’s “saviour” here, as he will be again (for Harry’s sacrifice isn’t just for those fighting with him, but for all that opposed him too).

    And I wish we knew how Dean won the wand he’s fighting with in the battle. Considering all the violence and chaos, his feat seems pretty amazing!

  34. Andrea, I’d like to know about Dean’s wand too. I wonder if Bill has the connections to get him a spare one – perhaps one that used to belong to Auntie Muriel’s deceased spouse??

    Not so sure that Draco will benefit from Harry’s sacrifice. Death Eaters – anyone who was truly on Voldemort’s side – will still be kill-able. But more of that in the final chapter. It’s truly spoiler-ish to enter this debate now.

  35. In reference to Dean’s wand, he can’t have gotten it from Bill because he shows up in the Room of Requirement without one. Unless Bill put it all together and brought one along with him, but that timing seems odd to me – why not give it to Dean during the months he’s spending at Shell Cottage if you have one that easily accessible?

    In some ways I imagine the chaos of the battle would help Dean – I picture him sneaking up behind some Death Eater that’s battling another student, punching him in the back of the head, and grabbing his wand. The Death Eater certainly wouldn’t expect it, so it couldn’t be all that hard. Actually, having a couple of people doing that might not be the worst battle plan, although it’s probably considered dishonorable – think how quickly the battles would devolve into utter mayhem as those Death Eaters then try to wrestle wands from students….

    Of course, Dean could also have simply taken the wand from someone who was killed, though the fact that he’s successfully dueling a Death Eater would hint to me that he actually *won* the wand (and therefore more powerful than if he’d simply picked it up).

  36. If the hare is a symbol for the moon, it’s pretty darn clever because Luna=Moon in Latin.

  37. Hey guys, I like the sun/moon thing going on, but I have a different theory about the trio who saves Harry – I think they’re symbolic of trust. Ernie didn’t trust Harry in CoS, but trusted and stuck by him in OotP. Seamus didn’t trust Harry in OotP. And Harry had to learn to trust Luna in Book 5, and believe that she sometimes knows what she’s talking about and is a valuable ally. And in some ways, this moment is the resolution of those little conflicts. Ernie and Seamus, who once doubted Harry, now come to save his life. And Harry has to trust Luna and take her words to heart in order to survive. So there’s another full circle moment for you right there.

    Talk of which, I did catch all the Ron/Hermione stuff that paralleled book 1, and I absolutely loved it. And that Hermione was the one to save Lavender. In many ways, this chapter more than any other is a resolution of all the conflicts these students have had, as they all unite against Voldemort.

    That McGonagall picture is absolutely brilliant! And I think it’s truly commendable that Jo had me sobbing pretty much non-stop through this chapter, and then made me laugh out loud through my tears. God, rereading this part of the books is absolutely exhausting, I always feel drained afterwards.

    While Voldemort’s downfall was brought about largely through his arrogance, I can understand why he didn’t want to watch Snape die. As was mentioned in a comment above me, he is afraid of death. And I truly believe that Voldemort cared for Snape…as much as he can care for anyone. Sort of like he was upset when Bellatrix was killed…I believe Voldemort regretted having to kill Snape (which he says, and I think he’s being honest because he doesn’t lie to Death Eaters).

    When first reading this, I believed that Snape was still the bad guy, but I still felt sorry for him. Now, however, my pity is multiplied tenfold. Because really, he knows he’s about to get killed, and what are the bloody odds that he’ll ever get to give Harry the memories (once again, Dumbledore’s awful planning comes to light). But even worse than that, he’s dying alone so no one will ever know he was good. And worse of all, he’s dying this awful death in the SHRIEKING SHACK…where Sirius Black nearly killed him over twenty years ago, where he got humiliated by Sirius and Remus and Harry four years ago. This shack and Snape just don’t have a good relationship, and it’s fitting that in the end he met his downfall here.

  38. hpboy13, I really like your trust theory too. I wouldn’t be surprised if both are going, on and half a dozen other things too. JKR is writing very densely in this chapter, bringing so many things to full circle, and literally every word counts.

    And the Shrieking Shack… I’d forgotten that this was such a bad place for Snape. He really does die in the pits of despair, doesn’t he? Even the arrival of Harry, and hope, comes at a bitter price, since Snape never really faced up to his own fault in hating Harry.

    Sam, no surprise at all that JKR researches her nomenclature and her symbols properly!

  39. When I read the *Something Else…* section, I wondered why Voldemort didn’t go to check the cave and Locketcrux immediately after Kreacher showed up at Malfoy Manor with his info about Sirius and Harry. I mean, if the elf I thought I had killed while hiding a horcrux turned up at my secret HQ, I would be just a little bit concerned. Maybe Voldemort didn’t recognize Kreacher, or maybe Miss Cissy and Miss Bella presented the information as their own without crediting Kreacher. Any thoughts on this, anyone?

  40. Personally, I always felt LV was the sort of person to whom “all house elves look alike” and probably never ID’d Kreacher as an individual and wouldn’t notice if he showed up again. Anybody else want to weigh in?

  41. I believe I will lend my support to Anna1 on this one.

  42. Yeah, I second that, Anna1. Dumbledore even says that Voldemort knew nothing of “house-elves and children’s tales” and that they all ahd a magic that was beyond his – I believe this is in a few chapters.

  43. I only recently found this site and I have to say its amazing! Josie you do a fantastic job of analyzing things I had never thought about before in my many readings of this great series. Its a strong testament to how deeply these characters can strike you that just reading the small captions about can put me in their place and start the tears going again.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Anna1 that Voldemort in his arrogance is the kind of person to whom one “slave” would look the same as any other.

    I’ve always felt so bad for Snape that he had to die like this. Once again thought Voldemort’s arrogance puts Harry in a position to triumph because if you think about it … if Voldemort had just AK’d Snape then there would be no memories, no final moment with Snape but instead he uses Nagini. When I reread this again (which will be very soon) I will have so many new thoughts to think about regarding this chapter and Snape specifically.

  44. Wouldn’t LV have just assumed that the Blacks had gotten a new house-elf? There’s no reason to think that he ever saw Kreacher or knew his name, either in Regulus’s day or in Book 5.

  45. daddybug: if I’m not mistaken, LV personally sailed Kreacher out to the Horcrux, made him drink the potion, and left him there to die.

  46. ErikaP, I don’t think Voldemort would have given Snape the AK. He believed Snape to be the Master of the Elder Wand, therefore the Wand should not have been effective against him.

    I agree that Voldemort wouldn’t recognise a mere house-elf whom he’d last seen 17 years ago. And it’s also quite in character that Bellatrix wouldn’t bother naming the elf – or perhaps any informant – who had given her the message.

  47. Grace, that’s true, I hadn’t thought of that – Voldemort wouldn’t want to turn the Elder Wand on its master, lest anything funny happen. Otherwise, what happened with Harry might have happened here – the Elder Wand refuses to kill its master. Once again, your brilliance astounds me!

  48. rtozier, thanks and oops! Of course you’re right – is the rest of my logic still sound?

  49. As Grace has Victory said, I can see it being true that Voldemort never finds out the name of Kreacher from Bellatrix, and I can see him not being bothered to learn it himself, so yes, daddybug, I agree with that. Of course, he might not need the name if he saw Kreacher again, but, as has been said, he probably wouldn’t care enough about house-elves to recognise him. Another thought is re: LV using Nagini to kill Snape. If he’d used Nagini to kill Malfoy, would he even then have gained mastery of the EW since he used another life form to do the killing, rather than besting Snape himself? Perhaps Nagini would have become the master…:)

  50. Grace has Victory: I’ve never thought about it that way before but of course he would be trying to avoid another repeat of Lucius’s wand explosion. Deep down for all his arrogance he’s terrified of losing what he sees as his only real edge over Harry in this final battle.

    rtozier: I think if Nagini had been used to kill Malfoy Voldemort still would have become the master of the Elder Wand because his soul is inside Nagini controlling her. So since Voldemort is already the master of Nagini both internally and externally the wand would have recongnized him as it’s Master.

  51. Another point about Voldemort recognizing Kreacher: it’s not stated, but I think it’s implied that part of the reason Kreacher is round the twist now (and old-looking, and hunched over, etc.) is precisely *because* he drank the potion in the cave. Think what it did to Dumbledore; I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think it had a long-term effect on Kreacher. And now he’s aged twenty years in addition to that – I doubt there are very many people at all who would be able to recognize him, especially if they only saw him once, and *especially* if, like Voldemort, they thought him beneath their notice in the first place.

  52. We don’t know the complexity of the process, but imagine that Voldemort decided to make another Horcrux after killing Snape to commemorate the fact that he had become master of the Elder Wand, and just in case of Harry had already destroyed the majority of the others… And since he didn’t know that Harry is watching him imagine also his face when Harry destroys that Horcrux also :)

  53. Even worse: Voldemort decided that the Elder Wand would become an Horcrux, that way the Horcrux would always be at his side, out of reach from others…

  54. When do you think Harry realized that he was master of the elder wand? Did he know it here in the shrieking shack as Snape was killed, or did this moment help him to later figure it out?

    It’s interesting that Voldemort chooses to ignore the fact that the allegiance of the Elder Wand needn’t pass by murder. Voldemort thinks that Snape is the master of the Elder Wand because he killed Dumbledore. And Voldemort acts as if the only way to now become master of the wand is to kill Snape. But we have learned along with Harry that the last several times the Elder Wand has changed hands it was by “disarming” or “besting” the owner, not murder. And Voldemort should know this too considering his interactions with Gregorovitch and Grindelwald. This really makes Voldemort’s actions here seem all the more cruel. If Voldemort had made use of what he learned about wandlore, he would know that he didn’t need to spill Snape’s blood, but rather just grab Snape’s wand or use a spell to disarm him. I don’t think Voldemort regretted killing Snape at all, as he really didn’t need to do it. And even more, I think Voldemort thought Snape was holding out on him about why the Elder Wand wouldn’t perform exceptional magic for him. Voldemort’s actions seem even more ironic when we read the first page of the next chapter where he says, “Every drop of magical blood spilled is a loss and a waste. Lord Voldemort is merciful.” Yeah, right.

    The text says that Snape protested and was “raising his wand” as Voldemort prepared to attack. It’s too bad that Snape’s otherwise quick reflexes didn’t allow him to fight back… it would have been more satisfying to see Snape go down fighting. Although, maybe Rowling wanted us to doubt Snape’s allegiance just a little bit longer.

  55. Andrea, I disagree – nowhere does it say that Voldemort is particularly well-versed in wandlore. He never asked Gregorovitch or Grindelwald about it, just killed them. And I’m not sure Ollivander would have explained it all that well to him (or that he would have even cared enough to listen). Also, this was probably Voldy’s way of making absolutely double-extra sure that he “defeated Snape” – you don’t get much more defeated than being dead. And Voldy can’t afford to risk anything.

    Jose Lopes, while I don’t think Voldy would have made the Elder Wand into a Horcrux, I do question why he didn’t make another one when he found out that Harry was destroying them. It wouldn’t have taken him long to kill some random Muggle and make a Horcrux out of some rock and toss it in the river – just to make extra sure he was still immortal, and to make Harry’s life that much more difficult. Of course, Harry would have seen Voldy do all this, but it would still have messed him up pretty badly. But once again, Voldy’s arrogance strikes: he was convinced that he could protect Nagini during the final battle and that no one would ever find the Room of Requirement, so he didn’t bother. Almost makes you wonder…what if we had an intelligent villain?

  56. @ hpboy13

    I never said that Voldemort was “well-versed” in wandlore. The fact that Gregorovitch and Grindelwald were former masters of the Elder Wand and were still alive for Voldemort to kill should have told him something (and maybe the memory image of the young Grindelwald jumping out the window with Gregorovitch’s wand). I guess the main idea that struck me when re-reading the chapter this time, was that it seemed that Voldemort relished killing Snape when it wasn’t really necessary (even if Snape had been the master of the Elder Wand), while originally I had bought into the idea that Voldemort regretted killing Snape on some level. Anyways, as others commented earlier, if Voldemort had wanted to make “double-extra sure” that he defeated Snape, he might have waited around to know for sure that Snape was really dead… he did take a risk here.

    Concerning making further horcruxes, at this juncture, Voldemort thought he had just become master of the Elder Wand, so I’m sure he felt invincible and no longer in need of further horcruxes. You’re right… it does make you wonder what would have happened if we had an “intelligent villain!”

  57. The wisest of people tend not to be villains…

  58. Considering LV’s soul was already so unstable that he *SPOILER* unwittingly made another horcrux many years back, if he had tried to make another one when he realized Harry was destroying the others, would he have just destroyed the bit that was left in him entirely?

  59. I’m a little confused on the Kreacher discussion. When did Kreacher show up at Malfoy Manor? I only remember Dobey going there, did I miss something?!

  60. gingercat, Dumbledore tells Harry about it in the ‘Lost Prophecy’ chapter at the end of OP. He says when SIrius yelled at Kreacher to ‘get out’, Kreacher took the opportunity to go find Bellatrix and Narcissa and tell them things that he wasn’t expressly forbidden to reveal, such as the fact that the person Harry cared for most in the world was Sirius (hence why Voldemort used Sirius to bait Harry later on).

  61. Thanks Josie, for jogging my memory! I guess full-time school and part-time work in an over 50 mind just squeezes some things out!

  62. Voldemort should have read Lord of the Rings, then he might have realised that if he merely takes the precious Elder Wand, he be the master.

  63. It’s amazing that Voldy has the audacity to demand total loyalty, yet he doesn’t give it. Although he regrets losing Snape, Voldemort is willing to sacrifice Severus to further his own power. And this is without his knowing Snape’s true loyalties!

    Snape’s last words to Harry–“Look at me!”–are, of course, poignant, as it’s Snape’s last chance to look into the eyes of his beloved Lily.

  64. Very late getting to these last posts but enjoyed the conversations here.
    As far as LV becoming the master of the elder wand- he could not have done that at this stage since Harry had already defeated Malfoy (back at Easter time, I think, in Malfoy Manor). SPOILER (in case you didn’t know it already): and the unintentional horcrux inside Harry meant that LV really couldn’t attack him at this stage without taking a huge risk (which we all find out soon). Of course, LV doesn’t know all this so it’s a mute point, I guess…
    I agree with whoever said it above- trying to make another horcrux at this stage in the game would have been incredibly risky. I wonder if LV knew that.
    As far as LV and wand lore- I have the feeling that anything that required him to actually sit and listen and process what someone else had told him was just not in his character. He wanted information on which he could act immediately. He didn’t want to sit and have learn. I think it was maybe degrading to him? LV made so many mistakes it’s incredible. I love the comment about ‘an intelligent villain’. For sure!
    I, too, loved the pix… once again!

  65. ps- did anyone else get the feeling that, in using her crystal balls as weapons Trelawny was quietly admitting that this was about all they really truly were good for? I found that little bit refreshing and amusing. :)

  66. @ ann – Ha, ha! I like your thought about Trelawney’s crystal balls! Finally, a noble and helfpul use! Just out of curiosity, does anyone know or remember which house Trelawney was supposed to be in? She seems a bit like a Ravenclaw in a Luna-ish sort of way, but was this ever stated?

  67. No, Trelawney’s house is never stated. I think Ravenclaw fits: she certainly wants to know all about something, and she doesn’t belong comfortably anywhere else.

    Nor are we told about Sinistra (who may be foreign and hence never was at Hogwarts), Binns (perhaps a Bad Hufflepuff?), Vector, Babbling (both sound like more Ravenclaws), Burbage (given the book’s bias, most likely a Gryffindor), Hooch (a Hufflepuff’s fairness or a Gryffindor’s adventurousness?), Pomfrey (a Hufflepuff’s kindness?) or Pince (a Ravenclaw’s ivory tower?).

  68. It would make sense for Ravenclaw House to be over-represented among Hogwarts staff, given the priority that its members place on knowledge and intelligence. People with those priorities are almost certainly more likely to end up in academics, no? We know the staff is split 50/50 male/female, but never hear about its split among houses. I’d bet there have been times in history where there were no teachers from a given house, and a “head of house” had to be someone who hadn’t been in that house themselves.

  69. Josie, that’s been my experience whenever I do try to allocate staff to Houses (e.g., for fanfiction). I always end up with far too many in Ravenclaw.

  70. Quick question: Why doesn’t Snape just Apparate out of the shack? At this point, wouldn’t it be better to say “The jig is up” and disappear than to just die? At this point in the battle and the war, what would be lost if Snape revealed his true loyalties by fleeing and seeking Harry? What do you think Josie?

  71. Ragmar Dorkins, one of the things that drives me a bit crazy about this series is the 100,000 situations (more or less) that could have been greatly simplified thanks to Apparition….. think of the trio in the tent when the Snatchers catch them! So yes, I agree.

  72. I loved Luna so much in this chapter. She gave Harry a much needed boost with just a few simple words. I think nobody but Luna could do that effectively :)

  73. I love this website and have been checking going through each page as I re-read the book. I particularly love seeing all the amazing fanart :D I do however just need to share this piece which I think is very appropriate for this chapter:

    http://silvaticus.deviantart.com/art/Deathly-Hallows-Look-at-Me-61075187

    It is an amazing artpiece of the Severus Snape’s death. Such a sad scene :( I

  74. voldy noticed frank bryce eavesdropping but not harry…nervous, excited voldy?

  75. @ud Voldy only noticed Frank Bryce because Nagini slithered past Bryce and told Voldy. When it came to Harry eavesdropping during Snape’s death Nagini was already with Voldy.

  76. I just remembered as I was reading this that when Lupin battles the boggart back in PoA, someone (I think it’s Ron) wonders why he’s so afraid of crystal balls. I love that Trelawney actually puts Greyback out of commission with one.

  77. What always makes me think regarding Snape’s death is the possibility he let himself die. On several occasions we see Snape is more than capable of healing physical trauma, Sectumsempra from HBP for one. When it comes to the magical properties of Nagini’s venom:
    Snape knew Voldemort often uses Nagini to kill
    Snape is quite possibly the best potion brewer in the world
    Snape has known for years he may one day have to defend himself against Voldemort
    Snape always tries to, without Voldemort’s knowledge if necessary, protect himself(and [SPOILER] lily) if he can.

    Therefore, as we know it is possible to produce a cure to Nagini’s venom (they found it at St Mungo’s in OoTP) I would assume Snape could with a few months work produce a cure as well and then he would have kept a vile of it on himself just in case.

    With a cure and a better ability to heal than most wizards, why did a single snake bite on his neck kill him? Unless Snape felt he achieved his redemption when he saw Harry there to accept his memories.

  78. Hi there! I just reread this chapter and I realised a few things. a) Why is Luna allowed to fight, but Ginny isn’t? Luna’s in the same year as her, so why is there such a problem with Ginny going to fight, but not with Luna? b) I can’t help but think that, through almost the whole conversation with Voldemort, Snape in staring at what? Nagini. And in the next chapter, what do we learn? That Dumbledore tells Snape that: “There will come a time when Lord Voldemort seems to fear for his snake’s life, and no loger sends her forth to do his bidding, but keeps her close by in magical protection. Then, you must tell Harry what I have told you.” or, at least, something lke that. And What does Snape immidiately ask to do once he sees the snake? FIND HARRY POTTER. And why would that be? so he could tell him about the horcrux inside him. When Voldemort refuses, he continues to stare at Nagini, wondering what he could possibly do to tell Harry what he must tell him. When Voldemort is about to kill him, that must be one of the worst moments of his life. He has failed Dumbledore. He has failed to tell Harry the final thing he must do to kill Voldemort. When he sees Harry, it must be a huge relief. At least now he can tell him what he needs to know, and rest in peace.

    Hope thats useful! I really hope you read this, it being WAY past when you posted it. Maybe you could post the Luna/GGinny thing in a Something else you might not have noticed, and the Snape thing ina Something to Remember? Just something to thing about. Again, really hope you readthis!

  79. @CentaurShadow. Ginny’s birthday isn’t until the 11th August so she was not of age during the battle in May. Luna’s birthday isn’t mentioned but it must be sometime before the battle meaning that she was of age. Most of the people in Ginny’s year would be of age for the battle. Only those born between May and August would be under age.

  80. @CentaurShadow, plus Ginny’s mother told her she wasn’t allowed to fight. Luna didn’t have anyone to hold her back.

    @Josie, I can’t think of very many situations where Appiration would have worked off the top of my head, but for the particular moment you’re talking about, it’s possible that the tio could not have Appirated once the Snatchers caught up to them. The Snatchers may have placed an anti-appiration jinx as soon as they surrounded the tent. I feel like the Ministry would do the same thing when they’re catching criminals on the run. They place an anti-appirating jinx and THEN they say “come out nice slow, we’ve got you surrounded”.

  81. Again I haven’t had time, unfortunately, to read the previous comments but I’m sure I’ll get around to it. So again, sorry if this info has already been presented;

    @ Josie, Re; Something you may not have noticed.
    I totally noticed that Voldemort had left The scene before his victims had actually died and I don’t believe it’s due to “evil overlord syndrome.” (Lol’s on the term btw.)

    It was mentioned by Dumbledore later in the book and if you haven’t read ahead,
    **possible spoiler alert**
    As I was saying, it was mentioned that the reason that Riddle would not have fancied the resurrection stone was that he would never recall a loved one.. “Voldemort fears death, he cannot love!”

    I believe it was that general fear of death that prevented him from staying to witness Kreacher and Snape’s deaths.
    If you remember in the Forbidden Forest, after casting Avada Kadavra at Harry. He was too frightened to even go to Harry and make sure that he had really died.

    Of course this info is flawed I suppose because I am pretty sure that he witnesses and causes several deaths throughout the series.. But still, I think this was J.K’s intent. Just not thought out properly (don’t kill me for saying that. I truely adore all of her books, honest!)

  82. Now why, why WHY did they kill Lavender in the film?! Did they just not like her very much?? And no awesome Trelawney save… For me, one of the more disappointing things.

    Whatever. I believe she survived the books.

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