So here we are, book six of the series. Seeing as a lot of the focus was on more specific plots in the fifth book, this book focuses much more on the pieces that make up the big picture. We are nearing the end, and that means that all loose ends are being tied up and that all smaller plots are being connected to the main one. I enjoy this book mostly for the character development going on. That is the reason for which I will analyse this book on a character basis. The majority of characters that stood out to me for analysis have been around for most of the series, while others make an appearance for the first time. Ironically enough, I have selected a total of seven characters. This is probably my subconscious acting out from a Harry Potter overdose.
1. Rufus Scrimgeour, Minister for Magic
Let’s start with the new Minister for Magic. The author is deviating more and more from her preferred format used in the past and chose to start off with the introduction of the new Minister for magic with the muggle Prime Minister. Now that it has been made more than obvious that Voldemort has returned, Fudge could no longer hide behind his facade of delusion and has chosen to resign. He must therefore introduce the new Minister to the muggle Prime Minister. It is clear right from the start that Scrimgeour is quite different from Fudge. The ex-auror is a strong, reliable figure in which the magic community can trust. This is quite the opposite of the fearful and easily manipulated Fudge. This replacement is not afraid to take action and understands the urgency and menacing nature of the situation. It is quite apparent that there is a clashing of two worlds as the distinction between both worlds lessens with the darkness of the one affecting the other. This is serious business! The fact that the Minister for Magic and the muggle Prime Minister meet and discuss this fact is an indication of its severity. You know things are bad when you have to blow your cover in order to survive.
The second appearance Scrimgeour makes in the book is during his unexpected visit to the Burrow at Christmas. He made up a sorry excuse to drop by, but had a hidden agenda. He was on a mission to recruit Harry and get him to work for the Ministry in order to appease the magical community. Harry refuses to be used as a puppet to serve the needs of the Ministry. I find it odd the Scrimgeour uses a similar tactic Fudge used the previous year. I guess after a few months in post, he was starting to get desperate to prove his worth, as not much had been accomplished since his appointment. The Ministry focused more on the way it was perceived than on the work it was doing. This makes me think that Scrimgeour and Fudge were more alike than different. This might be due to the fact that the employees surrounding the Minister did not change much from one mandate to the next. I mean Percy and Umbridge were still in the picture...
2. Draco Malfoy, Death Eater
Draco is a character that is very much developed in this book. Up until now, he has been known as the annoying, pure-blood rich kid who torments Harry and his friends. This trait is slightly developed in every book, but remains relatively the same. It is interesting to note that the first time Harry meets Draco in this book is in Madam Malkin’s shop. The exact place he met him for the first time in the series. I think this is representative of Harry meeting the “new” Draco. He is no longer the old Draco, but has been reborn, for lack of a better word, into a Death Eater. From the get-go, Harry notices Draco’s changed demeanor and, as usual, is suspicious. When the trio is visiting Fred and George’s joke shop, they spot Malfoy headed somewhere alone, naturally they decide to stock him using the invisibility cloak. They see him going into Borgin and Burkes. Again, this is where Harry sees Malfoy for the first time in the second book. Notice a pattern here? This time, Draco is interested in fixing the matching vanishing cabinet to the one located in Hogwarts. Draco also threatens the shop attendant before leaving. This odd behavior makes Harry suspects that Draco has been branded as a Death Eater to, in a sense, replace his father who is now in Azkaban. I’d say Harry had good intuition in thinking that, although at first I think it only stems from the fact that he has never trusted Draco in the first place.
During the first few months of school, Harry does not really pay attention to Draco. That is until Slughorn’s Christmas party come around. Harry overhears Snape and Malfoy having an argument. It was hard to tell whether Snape was trying to help Malfoy or work against him. This makes Harry think that Snape is also involved and fuels his Death Eater inkling. Although one also gets the impression that Draco, who usually respects and looks up to Snape, wants him to butt out. It’s as if Draco is afraid that Snape is after his glory. From that moment, Harry wanted to know exactly what Malfoy was up to and enlists the help of house-elves Kreacher and Dobby. He orders one and asks the other to tail Malfoy 24/7 and report all of his comings and goings. Harry also obsessively checks the Marauder’s map to locate Malfoy. Harry soon finds out that Draco disappears to the Room of Requirement, where he is fixing the vanishing cabinet that will allow the Death Eaters to enter Hogwarts.
Once Harry and Dumbledore return from their mission, they find the school vulnerable. Draco arrives in the astronomy tower and finds Dumbledore alone and defenseless, after he disarms him. It is clear that Draco’s mission is to kill Dumbledore. However easy this task might have seemed to any other Death Eater, Draco hesitates and stalls for a few minutes. Dumbledore is clearly aware of this mission and tells Draco to get on with it. Draco is shaking in his boots and is quickly realizing that killing is not as easy as it looks. (Killing not only takes the life of the victim, but also rips the soul of the perpetrator.) It is obvious to Dumbledore that Draco will not be able to fulfill his duty and therefore decides to chit chat with him until his back-up arrives. This is when all of Harry’s inklings are confirmed, and Draco admits that Voldemort has threatened his family should he fail to kill Dumbledore. At this point, Dumbledore assures Draco that the Order could protect his family. When Draco seems to consider the offer, and lowers his wand, Snape bursts into the room and finishes the job.
It’s no wonder Narcissa sought the help of the only Death Eater able to aid Draco in his task, and made an unbreakable vow with Snape. This was her form of insurance policy to guarantee the safety of her family. I think it is clear that Narcissa knows her son would be unable to kill, he does have a glimmer of a heart. Although the Malfoys put up a strong exterior, the inside is softer than we think. After all, her actions in protecting her son are reminiscent of those of Harry’s mother. I guess the fact that a mother’s love is the most powerful magic applies to even the less pure of heart.
3. Merope Gaunt, Tom Riddle Jr.’s Mother
Speaking of maternal love, let’s look at Voldemort’s mother, Merope Gaunt-Riddle. This year’s private lessons with Dumbledore prove to be a wealth of information. We delve into Voldemort’s pass, examining key moments that provide clues as to how and why he turned out the way he did. We first meet Voldemort’s mother Merope, uncle Morfin and grand-father Marvolo Gaunt. We learn that they are the last remaining descendants of Salazar Slytherin and are therefore as pure-blooded as they come (even though there has been inbreeding to ensure this). They live in a rundown shack and clearly have no more fortune, seeing as it was squandered in previous generations. Marvolo and Morfin are under the impression that Merope is a Squib, seeing as she has not proven any real magical skill. This is probably due to the fact that she is abused and degraded by her brother and father.
The Gaunts live near the Riddles, as in Voldemort’s eventual father. Merope has had her eye on Tom Riddle for quite some time and, when her father and brother are sent to Azkaban, she is finally able to break free of her tormented life and makes Tom fall in love with her. They marry and she gets pregnant with Voldemort. At that point, she stopped giving Tom the love potion in the hopes that he would love her on his own or that he would stay for the child’s sake. Tom leaves her and she is then left to fend for herself. She gives birth to the baby in an orphanage and dies shortly after, having only the time to name her son, Tom Marvolo Riddle.
Eleven years later, when Dumbledore comes to tell Tom he has been selected to attend Hogwarts, he finds out that he is a wizard. The boy assumes that he must have inherited his powers from his father, thinking that had his mother been a witch she would not have let herself die. This is a very important bit of information. Tom Riddle does not yet understand the limitations of magic. Like all things, magic has its limits. For example, one cannot make another fall in love with oneself or resurrect from the dead. Voldemort ultimately tampers with the laws of nature, thinking that magic will make him indestructible. But there is, and will always be, a greater power.
It could be said that Merope died of a broken heart after having been left by her husband who never returned the love she felt for him. Due to this choice, Merope never had a chance to give Tom the love and care he yearned for, and eventually led to him being completely unable to understand and grasp the concept of love. Not having known love in any form, Voldemort is prone to repeatedly tearing his soul apart in a vain attempt to evade death, thinking that immortality is the most important and powerful state to achieve in order to reign supreme. Having this lust for ultimate power and control, he loathed his mother’s choice of simply letting herself die without putting up a fight. He sees her as being weak and I think he is ultimately ashamed of her. Add that to the fact that his father was a Muggle and you get a vengeful son who is ashamed of his roots and wants nothing to do with his past. To detach himself completely from his meagre roots, he changes his name, distancing himself once and for all.
Dumbledore is compassionate towards Merope. He understands that she had a tough choice to make. Despite her hardship and suffering, she was unable to muster the courage to live on without the love of her life. Unknowingly to her then, her son would have most likely filled that void in her heart and would have helped her to love again and given her the will to live. Voldemort therefore entered the world in sadness and suffering rather than love and warmth. This is sure to affect his total outlook on life.
4. Horace Slughorn, Potion’s Master
We meet an interesting character in this book: Horace Slughorn. When Dumbledore picks up Harry from the Dursley’s, he takes him along to visit Slughorn and tries to convince him to accept to teach at Hogwarts once more. Dumbledore is a very calculated man and has more than one agenda. Sure, he needs a new teacher (no surprise there, the DADA post is cursed), but he also desperately needs Slughorn’s memory. He knows that using Harry as bait would probably work, seeing as Slughorn is a sucker for famous people. He also realizes that Voldemort is trying to recruit Slughorn and that the latter would be safer at Hogwarts, not to mention that that would somewhat facilitate the procurement of the said memory. Two birds, one stone right Dumby? This is not the first time Harry is used to lure a teacher to Hogwarts, Lockhart ring a bell?
Slughorn wastes no time in reinstating the Slug Club. On the Hogwarts Express, he has a preliminary gathering of potential members. He does like to surround himself with cushiness. The velvet vests, the candied pineapple, the rich, famous, talented and well-connected pupils, he does like a certain level of comfort and rather take a back seat than being center-stage. I think he freezes when put on the spot, that’s why he prefers being backstage. For example, when Ron drank the poisoned mead, Slughorn froze under panic and Harry sprang into action, shoving the bezoar down Ron’s throat. Old Sluggy is all about the pomp and circumstance, but when push comes to shove, he is unable to perform. He prides himself on picking people well and on helping connect them to the right people. He does, however, always get something in return for his “investments”, whether they are freebies or privileges. He comes across as a vain and superficial character.
Luckily, thanks to the Half-Blood Prince’s book, Harry scores bonus points with Slughorn in Potions and wins the Felix Felicis. Of course, Slughorn assumes that Harry inherited his talents from his mother, who was also a natural at potion making. The fact that Slughorn had a soft spot for Lily will play in Harry’s favour. Dumbledore assigns Harry the mission of retrieving the precious memory from Slughorn, after the first one given had been tampered with. This proves to be a hard task, as Slughorn is onto him and refused to cooperate.
Luckily, Harry has some Felix Felicis! One gulp of the liquid luck and, after an accromantuala funeral and getting two teachers hammered, Harry succeeds in getting the crucial memory. At this point, I am on the verge of loathing Slughorn for having given Tom Riddle key information in relation to horcruxes, but we see a softer and remorseful side of him. We kind of feel sorry for him. He could not have realised at the time that he was divulging information that would one day contribute to the Dark Lord’s rise. However, he does not understand the scope of the situation and the damage he contributed to. Not an easy thing to live with. It’s no wonder Voldemort wants to recruit him, he had proven to be very informative in the past. The fact that he has never joined forces with Voldemort speaks volumes. He is after all a fame-loving Slytherin through and through, yet he knows where to draw the line. This proves that not all Slytherin’s are evil. In the end, he is just a regular guy that surrounds himself with famous people and important things because he cares about what people think of him.
5. Tom Riddle, Lord Voldemort
Let’s start with his name. The guy hates his birth name because it connects him to average people. He is not a pureblood wizard. Since his father was a Muggle, he is a half-blood, not unlike other important characters (Harry and Snape). No matter how hard he tries to erase his family, the facts remain. He is, in his mind, the furthest thing from ordinary. He therefore adopts another name; one he thinks suits him better. His obsession with immorality and his fear of death are reflected in his new moniker. “Voldemort” is a compilation of three French words. “Vol” (means flight), “de” (means from) and “mort” (means death). Put them all together and you get “Flight from death” – a perfectly suitable name for a wizard who seeks immortality at all costs. He definitely sets himself above others and thinks highly of himself; therefore he dubbed himself a “Lord”. Ironically, the name that instills fear in most actually reflects the biggest of Voldemort’s own fears. Didn’t Dumbledore once say that fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself? He was a wise man and did not give into Voldemort’s name trick. He also teaches Harry this very early on.
Now that we’ve looked at Voldemort’s biggest fears, let’s look at Harry’s shall we? In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry faces a boggart for the first time and it turned into a Dementor. Lupin had jumped in front of him because he was sure the creature would turn into Voldemort, thinking that was what Harry feared the most. Lupin interprets the transformation by saying that what Harry fears the most is fear itself, which is very wise. Since boggarts turn into something tangible, like spiders for example, it simply means that the person has not dealt with an underlying issue. Ron fears spiders because his brother traumatized him as a toddler and the spider was simply a representation of that. Had his teddy been turned into a dragon, he would probably fear them the most. Dementors drain hope and happiness from a person, leaving them with only their worst memories. This means that Harry fears living without hope, happiness and love over death. Had Harry’s biggest fear been death, the boggart would have probably adopted the form of Voldemort. Harry knows love and he has something to fight for. Voldemort fears death because he does not understand the concept of love. There is more to life than simply being in a state of living. It is because of the cause he is fighting for that Harry faces death in the final book. He is not afraid of dying if it means the world will keep on living and loving.
Voldemort was so afraid of death that he splits his soul into seven pieces (8 if you count Harry). In order to assure he would not die, he creates Horcruxes and stores parts of his soul in different trophy-like objects. His is proud of his connection to Salazar Slytherin and choses his and other famous magical objects to hide parts of his soul. In order to split one’s soul and create a Horcruxe, one must commit murder to rip the soul apart. An unfortunate by-product of ripping ones soul is that one is no longer whole; body and soul must remain as one, to be ripped apart violates the laws of nature. Seeing as Voldemort was conceived under the effects of a love potion, he is unable to understand love. He might have had a chance in learning to love and be loved had his mother set aside her selfishness and chosen to live for her son’s sake. Since Voldemort is incapable of love, it makes no difference to him that his soul has been ripped from his body, on multiple occasions. He was an empty shell to begin with. One wonders why he desired to live forever if he had no reason to do so. He never really made friends. Sure, he has Death Eaters and followers, but he never truly trusts anyone. I believe he not only inherited his mother’s magical abilities, but also her selfishness. Let’s not forget his ability to speak parseltongue. Speaking of parseltongue, how is it that one is born with the ability to speak it? Can it not be learned like any other language? Even Dumbledore had learned to speak Mermish. What makes Parseltongue so special?
Voldemort, similarly to Slughorn, attaches great importance to material things. From a very young age, he would collect “trophies” or mementos of his victims. A sort of tangible proof and reminder of his said accomplishments. What better way to select potential Horcruxes than to tie each one with the murders committed to acquire them? For example, the diary was created after the death of Moaning Myrtle. It was naturally the best one to hold the secret of the how to open the Chamber of Secrets in the future, not to mention that it was also used as a weapon. Being the last living heir of Slytherin, he felt a great need to continue the founder’s noble work. Knowing that the diary would have to be used someday, it left the Horcruxe vulnerable. He had to act quickly to create more to insure his immortality. He goes on to create more using Marvolo Gaunt’s ring, his mother’s locket (both heirlooms from Slytherin), Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem and the snake Nagini. It is fitting that he uses objects once belonging to the other founders of the school since it was the only place he had ever called home.
It is important to know that a portion of soul concealed in a Horcrux can gain a sense of sentience, by sapping away the life of any person unfortunate enough to possess the said item. The freaky thing is that this piece of soul can eventually gain a human form of its own. The best example here is of the way Ginny Weasley was weakened by pouring her heart and soul on the pages of the diary. I don’t like to think of this, but had the Horcruxes not been well hidden, the world could have ended up with seven versions of Voldemort! Now that is the stuff of nightmares!
Unfortunately for him, Voldemort is the one who pays the biggest price for his insatiable desire to become immortal, although many suffered along the way. After repeatedly splitting his soul and having all his Horcruxes destroyed, leading to his eventual death, Voldemort is stuck in limbo for eternity. His mangled soul is unable to return to the land of the living, unable to become a ghost and unable to go to the land of the dead because his soul is unwhole. Unfortunately, the reconciliation of soul and body cannot occur after death because the state in which the soul is upon death is the state in which it will remain for eternity. I think the price is befitting the crime: an eternity of unknown, without closure of any kind, for tampering with the laws of nature.
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6. Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts
Dumbledore is the greatest wizard of his time and this is no understatement. In short, he’s a genius. Having been the one to go visit the young Tom Riddle in the orphanage and break the news that he is a wizard, I think Dumbledore feels a sort of responsibility for who the pupil has become. He kept a close eye on him during his school years and always tried to be a step ahead of him during his dark rise. Naturally, when the Dark Lord fell, Dumbledore was there to pick up the pieces. He knew it was not over and that there would be a round two. He therefore devoted a lot, if not most, of his time to understanding and predicting what could happen in order to prepare for all possibilities. Not an easy task.
After the battle in the Department of Mysteries, Harry learned of the prophecy. Dumbledore then showed him his memory of the event to divulge its contents to Harry. It was then that Dumbledore realised it was probably wiser to fill Harry in on the details he knows, seeing as he is mature and ready to know. That is the reason for which he chose to give Harry private lessons in his sixth year. Dumbledore understands that it is ultimately Harry’s fight and burden and that he could no longer protect Harry from his destiny. These lessons proved useful to Harry, as they allow him to get a sense of Voldemort’s past and his habits and tendencies. We learn that he often steels material things, he kills for revenge and he feels a special connection to Hogwarts. Being a smart guy, Dumbledore has said time and time again that knowledge is power. Harry has to get to know and understand Voldemort, even sympathise with him to learn of his weaknesses. This information is what will help Harry figure out how to destroy him. Dumbledore is a realistic man, he knows that times are troubling, but he is also hopeful that good will prevails in the end.
Dumbledore is a very trustworthy man, and a proponent of second chances. He did not inform the teachers of Hogwarts of Tom’s ways when he started school, all to give him a clean slate and prove that he is capable of remorse and of changing his ways. Some could argue that this contributed to the creation of the Dark Lord. Had Slughorn been warned of Tom’s tendencies, he might not have given him information on Horcruxes. Dumbeldore is very aware of the power of choice, and in turn, what choices say about people. He could have chosen to use dark magic to vanquish Voldemort, to fight fire with fire. But he chose not to sink to Voldemort’s level, knowing that love is the greater power. He trusted that, in time, love would defeat the Dark Lord. It was not the easiest path to choose, but the fact that this is the path chosen says a lot about Dumbledore’s trust in humanity.
Dumbledore’s death affected me just as much as the first time I read the passage. Having to reread the sentence out of disbelief and pausing for it to sink in. This tells me that it is a powerful moment to affect me so, even though I knew it was coming. Great job J.K.! This death is unsettling for many reasons. We not only lose the greatest wizard in the world, but a great leader that has managed to mobilise the wizarding community to vanquish the biggest threat to its happiness. It goes without saying that he took with him a great deal of knowledge, information and wisdom. Once I realized he was really gone, I had a flood of questions ranging from the Horcruxes, to Harry’s future, to Hogwarts and everything in between.
Rowling said that Dumbledore’s trusting nature might have also been his greatest weakness. He was aware of the dangers of wisdom and warns Harry of the guesswork that will be involved in figuring out how to defeat Lord Voldemort. He also tells Harry that he makes mistakes, like the rest of us, but being modestly cleverer that the next, his mistakes are proportionately bigger. This statement sheds light on the fact that Dumbledore understands the perils involved in this quest and that he is as mortal as the next. This degree of humility sets him in contrast to the prideful Voldemort.
I do believe that one of the major reasons for Dumbledore’s death is that it forces Harry to continue on his own. Harry lost his father and two other father figures in his life, Sirius and Dumbledore. His greatest supporters, and I would add crutches, die while helping him understand what he is up against and by preparing him for what is to come. Harry has grown up and must face Voldemort head on. He is ready. Dumbledore shared as much as he knew with him before his unfortunate end and also helped him speculate on what lies ahead. Dumbledore so graciously welcomed his end, even though he was suffering a great deal. We are however left peeved by how it happened and at whose hand, Snape. We later learn in the final book, that the Horcrux Dumbledore destroyed (the ring) had cursed him. Snape had managed to limit the damage caused to his hand, but told him that it would still spread, simply at a slower rate. Knowing this, as well as being aware of Draco’s mission and of the unbreakable vow Snape took; Dumbledore had made peace with the fact that Snape would be the one to end his days. Again, it is his trust in Snape that makes Dumbledore the biggest proponent of love and second chances. He trusted Snape, when no other would, being able to see the love in him. I find it poetic that he dies at the hands of the person who had made the biggest progress on his way to redeeming himself, proving that one can truly change for the better. It is never too late.
7. Severus Snape, Half-Blood Prince
Snape is indeed the Half-Blood Prince. We always knew Snape was extremely smart because one has to be to become Potions Master. But by reading his old potions book, we find out that he invented spells. This confirms that he is actually a smart and talented wizard. By the types of spells created, we can also gather that he had an affinity for the Dark Arts. This probably stems from the fact that he was bullied while at school and was vying for means to defend himself. This want of revenge is similar to that of Voldemort’s, but not as intense. Snape was interested in pushing the boundaries of magic, but never crossing them.
Another similarity with Voldemort, is that of the name he gave himself. Half-Blood Prince reminds us of the fact that Snape did not come from a pure-blood family. His father was also a Muggle. Using the wording “Half-Blood”, he wants to emphasize his wizarding background rather than his muggle one. The “Prince” stems from his mother’s maiden name, the wizarding name holds more prestige to him than his muggle surname of Snape. In the process of using the name Prince, he elevates his status to that of royalty, similar to the way Voldemort uses Lord. So here we have two wizards that have a similar parentage history, an affinity for Dark Arts and a thirst for revenge. It is therefore not surprizing that Snape joined the Death Eaters after leaving school and became Voldemort’s right hand man.
Snape has a double allegiance to Voldemort and Dumbledore. This makes him an interesting character. From the start, we are prejudiced into thinking he is pure evil. After all, he does display the behaviours and character traits of evil people, all while holding an intense grudge. Being the double-agent he was, he was walking a tight line and played his part well. In the end, we do find out that his true allegiance was to Dumbledore, although it had once been to the Dark Lord. He wanted to feel useful and valued. Voldemort provided the perfect environment for this. The biggest difference between Snape and Voldemort is Snape’s ability to love, which proves to be his saving grace in the end. Since his childhood, he had developed feelings for Lily Evans, forming a friendship before arriving at Hogwarts. He was always an outsider and Lily always treated him kindly. Being the target of the bullying Marauders, he never made peace with the fact that Lily ultimately fell in love and married the leader of the pack. I believe that this is where his dark streak started; the woman he loved did not return his love and this caused Snape to begrudge the rest of the world. If he could not be happy, no one should.
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This attitude was short-lived. When Voldemort heard part of a prophecy (reported to him by Snape), he decided to take action, not understanding that by doing so, he was enacting the prophecy. Prophecies are just that, prophecies, empty words. That is until someone believes it and in turn makes it happen. He also chose the person that would eventually be his downfall and marked him as his equal. There were two possible boys to choose from, the other being Neville. Voldemort, however, chose the half-blood because his saw some of himself in the boy. Voldemort was therefore the key to his own demise. Out of fear of being vanquished, he acted in a way that would ensure his downfall. He handed Harry the necessary tools to kill him. He always underestimated the power of a whole, untarnished soul.
Shocked by Voldemort’s choice, Snape turned to Dumbledore for help. He confesses his long-time love for Lily and offers Dumbledore his loyalty in exchange for her protection. It is his love for Lily that ultimately guided him on the right path. Snape was remorseful and wanted to redeem himself. In a way, one could say he sacrifices his own life for the one he loved. Dumbledore saw this, and being the trustworthy man he is, gave Snape a second chance. He also understood the precarious position Snape was in. It would not surprise me that Dumbledore and Snape agreed that it would be good to have a man on the inside. Snape would keep up appearances that he was working for Voldemort in order to provide precious information to Dumbledore and to somewhat ensure his own safety. Snape was now loyal to two masters, who happened to be enemies.
I’m sure Snape was somewhat relieved at the Dark Lord’s first downfall, although being devastated at the loss of Lily. He was saved from being sent to Azkaban because he had changed his allegiance prior to the downfall. Dumbledore kept him safe at Hogwarts and denied him the post of DADA for his own good. He did not want people thinking that Snape was regressing into his old ways. When Voldemort gained power once again, he had to tread lightly in order to still be held in high esteem. Saying that it was all part of his plan to gain Dumbledore’s trust and be a mole for Voldemort. He also told Bellatrix that he had been far more useful to Voldemort than she had, since he had sixteen years’ worth of information on Dumbledore to divulge to the Dark Lord. He played it coolly and used Dumbledore’s tactics in reverse to convince Voldemort of his allegiance. Talk about playing for both teams. Voldemort never suspected a thing, while Dumbledore was in on the plan. In the end, Dumbledore did not die in vain, since the ploy had to be believable. In doing so, he saved the Malfoy family, knowing that Draco would be unable to kill and being aware of the consequences of that lack of ability. It was sort of a saving grace that Narcissa and Snape had made the unbreakable vow. This assured that Dumbledore would die at the hands of his most loyal accomplice.