The Lightning-Struck Tower

chapter twenty-seven of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry and Dumbledore return to Hogwarts, where they discover the Dark Mark hovering over the school – but when they land there, Draco Malfoy disarms Dumbledore. He can’t bring himself to kill the headmaster, though, and is soon joined by other Death Eaters, including Snape, who does kill Dumbledore once and for all.
 

Prelude, by MartinTenbones

[Harry] knew it had worked before he opened his eyes: The smell of salt, the sea breeze had gone. He and Dumbledore were shivering and dripping in the middle of the dark High Street in Hogsmeade.


 

Rosmerta Indicates the Horrifying Scene at Hogwarts, by Drew Graham

“What has happened?” asked Dumbledore. “Rosmerta, what’s wrong?”


 

Hogwarts, by Sanna Lorenzen

Dread flooded Harry at the sound of the words…. He turned and looked. There it was, hanging in the sky above the school.


 

by Laurence Peguy

The sight of the Dark Mark seemed to have acted upon Dumbledore like a stimulant: He was bent low over his broom, his eyes fixed upon the Mark, his long silver hair and beard flying behind him on the night air. And Harry too looked ahead at the skull, and fear swelled inside him like a venomous bubble….


 

Expelliarmus, by gerre

The door burst open and somebody erupted through it and shouted, “Expelliarmus!” Harry’s body became instantly rigid and immobile….

(by gerre)


 

Greyback, by pojypojy

“Now, Draco, quickly!” said the brutal-faced man angrily. But Malfoy’s hand was shaking so badly that he could barely aim.
“I’ll do it,” snarled Fenrir, moving toward Dumbledore with his hands outstretched, his teeth bared….


 

Snape, by Laurence Peguy

But at that precise moment, the door to the ramparts burst open once more and there stood Snape, his wand clutched in his hand as his black eyes swept the scene.


 

Severus... please... by gerre

But somebody else had spoken Snape’s name, quite softly.
“Severus…”

(by gerre)


 

Severus... Please, by Vizen

Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face.

(by Vizen)


 

by Caladan

Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore.

(by Caladan)


 

Lightning-Struck Tower, by Katrina 'Rohanelf' Young

“Avada Kedavra!”


 

Falling, by Sanna Lorenzen

For a split second, [Dumbledore] seemed to hang suspended beneath the shining skull, and then he fell slowly backward, like a great rag doll, over the battlements and out of sight.


 

about the chapter

 

On the night Half-Blood Prince was released, quite a few idiots looking for a few seconds of attention ran into bookstores around the world, interrupting fans lined up to buy the book and shouting, “Snape kills Dumbledore!” Quite apart from why anyone would want to deprive anyone the joy of discovering the ending of a book for themselves (I mean, how despicably low can you stoop?), the incidents do point out the fact that this moment is a pivotal turning point in, and one of the biggest surprises of, the series. I remember the first time I read it, literally jumping up and shouting. Dumbledore was gone, and now Harry knew where Snape stood.

Or did he? One of the first topics to start being discussed when forums and chats filled up after the book’s release was where Snape’s loyalties might lie. What if Snape didn’t really kill Dumbledore, but only made it look that way? The two of them could have communicated via Legilimency at the top of the tower; what did they say? You could even visit dumbledoreisnotdead.com to read up on the theories. Rowling finally spoke up after a few months to say that “Dumbledore is definitely dead,” which at least quashed that idea. But the theories and the debates about Snape – what he knew, when he knew it, and why he did what he did – raged on unanswered for two years until book seven was to be released.
 

Oops

A rare miscommunication between J.K. Rowling’s American and British editors occurred in this chapter, when a passage that was intended to be removed was accidentally left in the American (Scholastic) edition of the book. It was something Dumbledore said to Draco while atop the Astronomy Tower:

“Nobody would be surprised that you had died in your attempt to kill me – forgive me, but Lord Voldemort probably exects it. Nor would the Death Eaters be surprised that we had captured and killed your mother – it is what they would do themselves, after all.”

Reading this passage always makes me think of watching deleted scenes on a movie DVD: the quote of course fits in to the book, and I can see why it was written there initially. But it also doesn’t quite feel like something the Dumbledore I know would say; after all, is it really true that nobody would be surprised if Dumbledore had captured and killed Narcissa Malfoy? I remember the night after the book came out, discussing it in a chat room with some other fans who had finished reading, when someone brought this passage up. The British folks in the chat room were quite confused, as they discovered the passage didn’t exist in their editions. Of course, the error was quickly discovered, and the lines were cut from all subsequent printings of the book. But it does beg the question – if Draco and Narcissa had taken Dumbledore up on his offer and let him hide them, what would have happened after that?
 

The Final Word

“Draco did a lot of growing up in this book. I had an interesting discussion, I thought, with my editor Emma, about Draco. She said to me, “So, Malfoy can do Occlumency,” which obviously Harry never mastered and has now pretty much given up on doing, or attempting. And she was querying this and wondering whether he should be as good as it, but I think Draco would be very gifted in Occlumency, unlike Harry. Harry’s problem with it was always that his emotions were too near the surface and that he is in some ways too damaged. But he’s also very in touch with his feelings about what’s happened to him. He’s not repressed, he’s quite honest about facing them, and he couldn’t suppress them, he couldn’t suppress these memories. But I thought of Draco as someone who is very capable of compartmentalizing his life and his emotions, and always has done. So he’s shut down his pity, enabling him to bully effectively. He’s shut down compassion — how else would you become a Death Eater? So he suppresses virtually all of the good side of himself. But then he’s playing with the big boys, as the phrase has it, and suddenly, having talked the talk he’s asked to walk it for the first time and it is absolutely terrifying. And I think that that is an accurate depiction of how some people fall into that kind of way of life and they realize what they’re in for….”–J.K. Rowling, July 2005
 


44 Responses to “The Lightning-Struck Tower”

  1. I agree that at least part of that quote, which I never knew existed anywhere until a year ago, does fit in: after all, it’s said repeatedly elsewhere in the book that Voldemort wants Draco to die in the attempt – “he does not mean him to succeed, he wants him to be killed trying” from Narcissa in Spinner’s End, for example. I suppose I should count myself lucky that no part of the book was ever spoilt for me – the idea that Snape would kill Dumbledore never once crossed my mind until I read it (although, having skipped to the last chapter title early on for some reason, I suspected that “The White Tomb” meant Dumbledore’s.) When I first read it, I remember thinking “That’;s not Snape, it’s got to be someone Polyjuice Potioning him”. Much less brilliant than JKR’s truth.

  2. Obviously, I didn’t think the semicolon.

  3. I would 1st like to say that this is one of the most well written chapters in the series. And I cry EVERY SINGLE TIME I read it. I read this chapter trough the end yesterday and cried for like 20 minutes (And I already knew the ending lol). But now that I’ve said that let me move on to the story.

    @Draco Changes: Draco become a really interesting character in this book. He drastically changes in HBP and it is fascinating to watch. In books 1-4 you have Draco who is for the most part innocent. Yes, he is bully. Yes, he is a bigot. And yes, he is a twat and a very, very bad child. Book 5 Voldermort  enters Draco’s life. He starts to change a bit. He probably has met Voldermort
    (someone who he fears yet admires at the same time) and he get slightly darker. His actions get uglier. As do his words. He starts to get a taste of power (as Umbridge Squad member and as Perfect). He likes it and abuses it. Book 6 everything changes. Everybody now knows that his father is a Death Eater. So the outside world views Draco differently. But more importantly he has a job from Voldermort and is a Death Eater. The task he has, kill the greatest wizard of all time: Dumbledore, is basically impossible. If he doesn’t complete the task he will be brutally murder as will his father and mother. Of course he doesn’t realize the difficulty when he starts the task but as he moves forward he realizes how difficult it is and he realizes how hard it is to take a man’s life. He has to deal with feelings that he never has had to deal with. He starts to break down. He doesn’t want to kill Dumblodre but if he does he will die. What is a boy to do? Well, eventually he succeeds in cornering Dumbledore alone and wandless. He has the perfect opportunity to kill him but he can’t. He finally realizes that “murder is harder than the innocent believe”. His journey is as interesting as Harry 

    @Sympathy For Draco: I feel really bad for Draco in a lot of ways. He was born into an ‘evil’ family. He was raised to believe that Voldermort is the greatest wizard of all time and that Muggles, Mudbloods, and Squibs are people to be looked down on. Now let me make something clear, I am by no means excusing Draco’s behavior. We always have a choice. As Dumbledore says “you have to make a choice between what is easy and what is right”. Draco chooses easy. This is evident in his final meeting with Dumbledore. He refuse to take his offer because it is to difficult. 

    @Oops: wow! That is a really neat excerpt. That wasn’t in my book. It is like getting to see the notes of JKR. But I am glad that it was cut. It doesn’t fit Dumbledore at all. Good choice. 

  4. The first time I read this, I literally screamed and ran around our house, shouting about it. My mom thought I’d gone crazy. Sometimes I wish I could go back and re-read the books like I didn’t know what was going to happen, just to get that wonderful on-the-edge-of-your-seat, every-page-is-a-total-mystery type feeling again. :)

  5. Before the sixth book was published here in Sweden, I accidently clicked my way into a HP-forum and the first headline said: “DUMBLEDORE CANNOT BE DEAD!!!!” in capital letters. And voilá, my ending was spoiled by my own stupidness. Ugh. I still hate myself for that small click…

  6. I guess the correct sentence is “Lord Voldemort probably expects it”.

  7. Spoiler – On a first reading the shock: Snape fooled everyone, including Dumbledore. After rereading the book and started crossing information with previous books one crazy thought arrived: what if Dumbledore was pleading not to be spared but to be killed? What if somehow Snape was still working for the right side? What a turnaround that would be!

  8. I cried for at least a couple of hours after I was done with this book. And wore black for days afterwards. In July. In Italy.

    But at least, I had my unwavering faith in Snape to keep me going until book 7: I actually couldn’t wait for the last book to be published so that all the Snape haters would shut up once and for all. =p
    I mentioned it in my comment to Chapter 2: my aunt spoiled the “Snape kills Dumbledore” for me, so I knew before I even started the book and anguished over it until I finally had it in my arms. Then I read “Spinner’s End” and found peace: I simply could not believe that such a wonderfully

  9. [sorry about that… i hit “publish” without meaning to]

    I simply could not believe that such a wonderfully-written character would just turn out to be bad, and that was that. Also, I was pretty sure Dumbledore wouldn’t have been fooled, not even by Snape: if he trusted him, he must have had more than solid reasons for it. Hence, the whole thing must have been some twisted, crazy plan hetched up by Dumbledore himself and the Unbreakable Vow was part of it.

    I loved Snape here… Just imagine how much I loved him after book 7!! He’s Rowling’s greatest creation, I believe. =)

  10. While I love rereading all 7 books straight through, I also wish that sometimes I could read them as if it were the first time, like Erica said. I hated Snape throughout the series-not even just for the way he treated Harry, but for how he treated ALL his students. What a horrible teacher. It always seemed to me that Snape did the least amount of actual teaching in his classes-he would put up the formula and tell them to begin. It is never written in the books that he explains anything to the classes or tries to show the kids how adding things in the correct order makes a difference. SPOILER: I never saw it coming that Snape was the HBP because of that-in the potion book the Prince makes it clear that in potions, order of ingredients, subtlety, stirring, all make a huge difference.

    When I read this chapter, I was in complete shock. The first read had me convinced that Snape had somehow fooled everyone including Dumbledore. I was so upset about it all that I think I cried from here on to the end (especially the end). It took me quite a few reads to decide that Dumbledore is pleading with Snape to honor their agreement, and I think the hate and revulsion on his face shows how very much he hates to have to be the one to end Dumbledore’s life. After all, Dumbledore is the only one who believes in Snape completey-even Voldy doubts him sometimes. For Snape to have to end the life of the one person who knows his heart, well, that must have been pretty tough to do.

  11. Oh, and btw-when my younger sister first read this chapter, she shut the book and wouldn’t read any more. When she finally did open it up again, she read quickly to the end and was quite upset for a while about it. She only read book 6 one time–that is how upsetting it was for her to read about Dumbledore’s death. It really shows how much we all love this world of JKR’s-what a wonderful author.

  12. Dumbledore’s death was spoiled for me by my cousin. But she didn’t not say that Snape had done it. That came as quite a shock.

  13. There was an occasion on wich JKR did say that Dumbledore would die, but I guess most readers would expect that Dumbledore’s death would happen somewhere during book 7, trying to protect Harry from Voldemort. So this early brutal death contributes a lot to the general shock…

  14. Since we don’t have the books, we have Jim Dale’s reading of the audiobooks, we never get any corrections of subsequent editions.

    For example, we will always have the “wand order problem” and the sentence where Dumbledore said that Voldemort was “the last remaining ancestor of Salazar Slytherin” instead of “descendant.”

    So this is the first time I learned that the quote you mention above was later removed from the book! Next time I reach that chapter I will have to consider what it would be like without it.

  15. Dumbledore’s death is foreshadowed in this book by the amount of time he spends teaching Harry. I’ve often seen this in other stories – if a wise old character goes out of his way to communicate essential information to a younger character, it means that his own death is approaching. But that Snape kills him – that was a shock. To me this was conclusive evidence of Snape’s villainy, and I believed he was a villain right up until “The Prince’s Tale” in book 7.

    Of the evidences of Snape’s true allegiance that I ignored, I think the best is the fact that Snape’s face shows in the foe glass in GOF (“Veritaserum”) along with the faces of Dumbledore and McGonagall. Rowling points this out to us not once, but THREE TIMES in the chapter. It’s obviously something we need to pay attention to.

  16. I forgot to breathe for a little while after Dumbledore died. I do that a lot reading character deaths. :P I was a diehard “EVIL SNAPE” fan, but I must admit that was only because of how much of a jerk he was to the kids.

    I’m also sure it won’t be long before vincentcrabbeisnotdead.com pops up, too.

  17. My ten year old niece loves Snape. She is up to book 5 now and I really wonder what she will think of him by the time she gets to book 6. I have pointed out to her how horrible he is to Harry and his friends but she seems to have hope in him. She loves his character in the movies. She thinks he is handsome.

  18. My friend read this book before me and told me that Dumbledore died. Even knowing that though didnt stop me from crying…. And the quote in “oops” always bothered me too, like Dumbledore would really go and hunt down Narcissa Malfoy….

  19. Other Anna — I never thought that Dumbledore would hunt down Narcissa; rather that he was saying that was the story they would put out to explain why she had disappeared (into a Witness Protection Program).

  20. Reading this chapter was the first time I ever cried while reading a book. And I cry every single time I reread it.

  21. @ Billie: I’ve always thought that was interesting, too. On one hand, Snape was probably coming to unmask Crouch Jr. whether Crouch was a Death Eater or not (since I assume “Death-Eater-laying-low Snape” wouldn’t have known either way). Does that make sense? But on the other hand, I do like to think of this as foreshadowing or something…

  22. My mom ruined the end for me. When we first got it, my family all went out to breakfast and she flipped to the back of the book and she got a really suprised look on her face. I sort of hate myself for asking her to tell me. I didn’t actually read the last two books until last summer, but the scene still had me on the edge of my seat.
    Since my dad got a first edition copy and we’re American, that Dumbledore quote is in there. I feel like it fits becuase Dumbledore is trying to reach out and relate to Malfoy when Malfoy is ditressed. So even though it is out of character for Dumbledore, it fits the situation.
    SPOILER: Another finding out an unwanted spoiler story, my English teacher ruined the fact that Harry dies and comes back to life in book 7. She just offhandedly mentioned it in clase one day. I was like “WHAT?!?!” Thankfully, nobody ruined the plot twist about Snape, which to me was even more unexpected.

  23. I absolutely LOVE the reasoning behind who can and can’t perform occlumency, It makes perfect sense as to why Snape is so good at it.

  24. I think I may have found another goof: when Dumbledore says, that Voldemort is the last remaining descendant of Salazar Slytherin(SS), then that is not true, beacause when Marvolo Gaunt shows the resurrection stone to Bob Odgen, he says that it has been handed down in his family for centurys. From DH we know, that the stone was created and owned by one of the Pevrell brothers. That would mean, that the Gaunts are descendend from one of the Peverells. In DH we also learn, that Harry is also descendend from one of the Peverell brothers. Since we know, that Gaunts descend from SS, then we can conclude, that The Peverells descend from SS, witch also means, that Harry is also a heir of SS and so Voldemort would not be the last remaining dascendant of him.
    Any thoughts?

  25. On the other hand, TH, Tom Riddle had no compunctions about stealing valuable objects.

    Maybe SS stole the resurrection stone from the Peverells and only claimed he had inherited it?

  26. I have been reading the site since the beginning, but this is the first time I have contributed. First of all, Josie the site is brilliant and very much appreciated (as you could probably tell from the passionate comments around your now explained absences).

    I read the American edition which did include Dumbledore’s offer to hide the Malfoy’s and didn’t think it particularly out of character. First of all I don’t imagine that Dumbledore had any intention of actually hunting down Narcissa and killing her, or necessarily even being involved with the staged killing as she entered his protection. It would be far easier and more believable to have the Malfoy’s “killed” in a fight with Aurors or attacked in vengeance by an OoP member with a grudge. Both easy enough for Dumbledore to arrange (If Serius were still alive I would imagine he would love to put his infamy to such good use). Dumbeldore was simply commenting that Voldemort would probably not be too suspicious with the news because killing is how Voldemort deals with all of his issues. Also, I am not sure that Dumbledore is all too concerned with how he is perceived by the wizzarding world anyway. He has been dragged through the mud of public opinion before (and will again with Rita Skeeter’s book) without being phased.
    The tone of the exchange between Draco and Dumbledore struck me as similar to someone intervening in a suicide attempt. Draco is telling Dumbeldore that this very drastic action is the only way out, that there is no other choice. Dumbledore assures Draco that he is not as alone as he feels and that together they could have (and maybe still can) find an alternate way out. The possibility of entering the Wizzard Protection Program certainly never occurred to Draco in his desperation. Its a very moving and compassionate passage. It was working too, until the Death Eaters show up…..

  27. Is it possible that Slytherin was a descendant of the Peverells, not the other way around? Or does that even matter in this case?

  28. A couple of very astute observations I’d totally missed – Gryff, I love your comparison between Dumbledore’s conversation with Draco and a suicide intervention. Because in Dumbledore’s mind, that’s exactly what he’s doing – preventing the young boy from forever destroying his soul. It’s like he says to Snape in DH33, “The boy’s soul is not yet so damaged. I would not have it ripped apart on my account.”

    TH, you’re also totally right about the descendents of the Peverells – I think the only explanation that makes sense is the one Ragmar Dorkins pointed out, that the Peverells must simply be older than Slytherin. Those are some seriously old wizards.

  29. I love the title of this chapter; The Lightning-Struck Tower is a tarot card representing a stripping away of pretense and innocence, just as Harry no longer can make any pretenses: he is now facing evil head-on, with no one to protect him. What’s more, this tarot card is often represented with someone falling from a tower as lightning shines behind him — perhaps a reference to Dumbledore falling from the Avada Kedavra curse.

  30. I read about one other clue about Snape not being on Voldemort’s side quite a while ago. It said that Snape was the one who alerted DD to Harry going into the forest in OoP, and why would he do that if he was not on DD side?

    I will have to go back and re-read the part about the foe glass and think about it. I think a case could be made for Snape showing up in the glass even if he were in league with Voldemort. Thanks for the interesting point Billie.

  31. Obviously, the first time anyone reads this chapter, the initial shock at Dumbledore’s death means that it is near impossible to be objective about what is written on the page. So, on my second reading, I looked much closer. Something about JKR’s description of Snape and Dumbledore’s dialogue and the expressions on their faces struck me.

    “..somebody else had spoken Snape’s name, quite softly. “Severus…” The sound frightened Harry beyond anything he had experienced all evening. For the first time, Dumbledore was pleading. Snape said nothing, but walked forward and pushed Malfoy roughly out of the way. … Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face. “Severus… Please..” Firstly, I was confused at why Dumbledore seemed to be pleading for his own death.. Hadn’t he always maintained that there were much worse things than death? And, That to the well organised ming, death was just another great adventure? Then, as i read the lines describing the hatred on Snape’s face. Hatred and Revulsion. J.K. used almost the exact same words for what Harry was feeling just one chapter previous:

    “You…you can’t stop, Professor,” said Harry. “You’ve got to keep drinking, remember? You told me you had to keep drinking. Here…” Hating himself, repulsed by what he was doing, Harry forced the goblet back toward Dumbledore’s mouth … ”

    It was flimsy evidence but I was convinced that there was far more than met the eye. Dumbledore has been presented to us as A great man, someone who is continously plotting to keep ahead of the game and JK’s fondness of him seems to leap off the pages. I refused to believe she’d betray him :) Oh, and Thanks Josie. The site is fantastic.

  32. Two things in this chapter convinced me of Snape’s innocence. The first, that Dumbledore so desperately demanded to be taken to Severus and not Poppy. Even if Snape brews a better life saving potion than Madame Pomfrey, there’s no reason why Snape couldn’t bring the potion to Dumbledore while he was resting in the sick ward, unless Dumbledore knew he was dying and that he needed to be killed, freeing Snape to be with Voldemort full time. Secondly, why on earth would Dumbledore have used his last moment–the time he could have used to disarm Draco–to immobilize Harry? Think about how easily overtaken Draco would have been had Dumbledore not taken Harry out of the picture, let alone if Dumbledore had tried to over power him, himself? That convinced me that there was something Dumbledore wanted Harry to witness, and it had to happen immediately.

  33. I always assumed that the Peverells were older than The Founders, and some of the first recorded wizards.

    If this was true, then I would think that one of the Peverell brothers had a daughter/grandaughter/great grandaughter etc, who married Slytherin, therefore introducing his bloodline to the stone, whilst keeping his name. Any other thoughts?

  34. @ Natalie. I agree with you. The Founders are a thousand years in the past but still are within the realm of history, whereas the Peverell brothers are so far back they have become a subject of legend and fairy tales.

  35. Natalie and tsunamicharly, you’re probably right about the Peverells being older (though they don’t *have* to be), but I wouldn’t say the Founders *haven’t* become a subject of legend or fairy tales. The Chamber of Secrets is a legend if I ever saw one, and nobody knows exactly when Hogwarts was founded because it happened so long ago.

    One thing I always found interesting about the Peverells is that they seem to be the precise family where Harry’s ancestry breaks off from Voldemort’s. Harry is descended from Ignotus, and Voldemort from his brother, Cadmus. I mean, what are the odds??? ;)

  36. I think you guys are definitely right about the Peverells being older than the Founders. I certainly always had that impression. But even if they weren’t, that absolutely doesn’t mean that Harry is descended from Slytherin. That just means that a Peverell married a descendent of Slytherin, and Harry is descended from a different Peverell.

    I also don’t think it’s that coincidental that Voldemort has an ancestor in common with Harry. Considering how much inbreeding there is among wizarding families, it would actually be pretty strange if they didn’t. I’d also be pretty surprised if they were the only living descendants of the Peverells.

  37. I was reading that quote and got confused until I understood what you meant – it was taken out of the british versions.

    We had it worse in New Zealand – some idiot wrote it in an article in the national news paper that bets were high on Dumbledore dying and it was said that there was a leak of information or something. Of course, I wouldn’t have read an article like that, but my brother who DID, wailed out for my whole house to hear: “DUMBLEDORE’S GOING TO DIE!”. You can imagine how angry I was. Although it seemed an obvious idea. Never the less, we never expected Snape to be the one to kill him!!

  38. Samantha, it’s funny, because right before book five the bets skyrocketed that Cho Chang was going to die. So I heard the Dumbledore rumor but didn’t take it seriously. Last I heard nobody knew whether the bets flew up because of an actual leak, or just because of somebody deciding to bet a lot on it. I mean, it wasn’t hard to guess.

    But my wife was spoiled on that front too, not by the press but by reading the chapter titles before starting the book. The last two were ‘The Phoenix Lament’ and ‘The White Tomb.’ Oops.

  39. Josie, I love how you give background to what people were talking about between books. I am only 14 now, and I was 11 when DH came out, so I wasn’t really aware of any speculation people were doing. In a way I’m really annoyed I’m not 10 years older. But it doesn’t hurt to have gone through the series with only my ideas and no spoilers.

  40. I didn’t get into the HP fandom until just after this book was released – I simply didn’t care about some kids’ story about a wizard (oh, how I wish I’d read it sooner!!), so when I overheard a couple people discussing the plot of HBP, it didn’t bother me. From that conversation, I knew that Dumbledore died, but not who killed him.

    Obviously, I finally came around and read the series. I’d been in the Snape-is-Dumbledore’s-man camp since the beginning, but after this…I was in shock. I distinctly remember turning the page back to make sure I’d read it correctly. I didn’t cry – I finished the rest of HBP in a *fury*. It wasn’t until I started scouring the web for theories and I came across an essay on Mugglenet that argued Snape was still on the side of good that I calmed down and really thought about it.

    I saw a YouTube video where some punk kid pulled the ‘Snape kills Dumbledore’ stunt and I worried about going to bookstore for the midnight release of DH, in case something like that happened. Thankfully, it was a pleasant and spoiler-free experience. :)

  41. Voldemort is a big, fat liar. Everyone makes a big deal about the fact that if Draco doesn’t kill Dumbledore or die in the attempt, then Voldy said he’d kill Draco. That’s the whole reason for the Unbreakable Vow. Yet, [Spoilers!] Draco is very much alive in the next book.

    Also, I recently re-rerad HPB, and I noticed that at the end of the last chapter and the beginning of this one, Dumbledore asks Harry to fetch Snape. It occurred to me that Dumbles fully intended to ask Snape to kill him that night. The tower incident just provided Snape the opportunity to complete his mission as Spy more effectively. Even if no Death Eaters came that night and Draco never tried to kill Dumbles, Dumbledore was going to be killed by Snape regardless.

  42. Reading this the other day, I noticed I did in fact have the Scholastic version that has the quote. The other great thing about this edition is the page turn at the end of the chapter – on the bottom of one page you read “Severus… please” and when you turn the page, your eyes fall onto the words “Avada Kedavra”.

    Best page turn ever.

  43. I was so depressed and in shock after this chapter. I convinced myself that EVERYONE was going to die in the last book, just so I wouldn’t be let down. Up until APWBD’s death, this was probably my 2nd favourite of the books. I’m still in shock, even rereading the series for the 3rd or 4th time.

  44. ***spoiler from Deathly Hallows****

    I have also given a great deal of thought concerning Harry’s relation to the Peverell’s and I’m glad someone else picked up on the connection regarding the resurrection stone:)
    But as Harry, himself, contains a peice of Tom Riddle in horcrux form, it is almost a moot point.
    The fact is that in the Chamber of Secrets, Tom taunts Harry and tells him that he needn’t bother communicating with the Basilisk because it will only respond to the heir of Slytherin. Because of this Harry doesn’t even bother to try and communicate with the monster.
    I think that if he had ordered it in pastlemouth, it probably would have responded since it was a horcrux controlling the thing in the first place!

    Any thoughts?

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