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The Fall of the Phoenix

Debunking the 'Dumbledore is not dead' rumours

By Ana

Over the past few weeks, many of you (including yours truly) have been swept up in the new theory that Dumbledore, is, in fact, not dead at all. Now, let me explain to you why this is not true. First of all, after the release of book 6, JK Rowling herself stated in several occasions that Harry is to face the final battle, and most of what leads up to it, alone, as he transits from boy to man. For example:

"Tristan Kent for the Victoria Herald Sun, Australia: Why did you need to kill people that are close to Harry?

JK Rowling: Do you mean - Why are you such an unpleasant woman? Well, I do not enjoy doing it, obviously, but when you have a hero who is growing up and growing to fulfil a certain destiny, which Harry now is, the ruthless answer is it is much more interesting for him to do that alone. So in terms of your story and your plot and also when you are trying to show the journey of a child into a man really which is what Harry is, the next book he is going to come of age within the wizarding world, so legally actually a man, that is a dramatic and poignant way of showing that journey is to strip him of the people closest to him."
     - From the Interview for the release of HBP by the 70 cub reporters

This interview actually took place before any of those reporters had read the sixth book. Jo said that Harry needed to brave things alone. She's already killed off Harry's helpful godfather, and now she's finished the one character who was much, much, wiser, a source of help and support for Harry. Jo needed to take away the one person that was helping him out completely so that Harry could grow up fully and face it by himself. Ultimately, Harry will have to face his destiny alone. That is why Dumbledore will not miraculously show up to help him out in the seventh book. Some theories claim that the spell that "killed" Dumbledore was not Avada Kedavra at all, but a "fake" spell. Ok, now, let's review, shall we?

"'Avada Kedavra!' A jet of green light shot from the end of Snape's wand and hit Dumbledore squarely in the chest. Harry's scream of horror never left him; silent and unmoving, he was forced to watch as Dumbledore was blasted into the air: for a split second he seemed to hang suspended beneath the shining skull, and then he fell slowly backwards, like a great rag doll, over the battlements and out of sight."

Ok. Even if Dumbledore hadn't been hit by a killing curse, would he have survived a fall as great as from the top of the astronomy tower? And anyway, Snape yelled the incantation, the green light shot out, and everything indicated it had been a killing curse. Anyways, how many spells do we know have green light? Only Avada Kedavra.

Some claim that the unusual force that blasted Dumbledore backwards into the air could not have come from a killing curse. Then again, we don't know all that much about Avada Kedavra. Perhaps when a certain wizard conjures it, it is different? Or maybe because Snape was concentrating so fiercely, the spell came out stronger and knocked Dumbledore into the air?

Alright, now the effects that followed the death of Dumbledore were in accordance to previous killings. As soon as Dumbledore fell from the Astronomy Tower, the spell that was holding Harry back was released. Dumbledore was a powerful wizard and did not want Harry to interfere; he could have kept him hanging there for days if he wanted to. But the spell lifted because of the inevitable truth: Dumbledore was dead, and his power had now lifted.

When Harry saw Dumbledore next, lying on the ground, he was lying spread-eagled, just as Cedric had been:

"A swishing noise and a second voice, which screeched the words to the night: 'Avada Kedavra! A blast of green light blazed through Harry's eyelids, and he heard something heavy fall to the ground beside him; the pain in his scar reached such a pitch that he retched, and then it diminished; terrified of what he was about to see, he opened his stinging eyes. Cedric was lying spread-eagled on the ground beside him. He was dead."
     - From the Goblet of Fire (American Edition), chapter 32, page 638

And then again, we see the same description used in Half-Blood Prince. The following passage also confirms my statement that the Body-Bind curse that Dumbledore had placed on Harry was lifted because of his death:

"Harry had known there was no hope from the moment that the Body-Bind Curse Dumbledore had placed upon him lifted, known that it could have happened only because its caster was dead; but there was still no preparation for seeing him here, spread-eagled, broken: the greatest wizard Harry had ever, or would ever, meet."
     - From Half-Blood Prince (British Edition), chapter 28, page 568

Further more, this time, we know it's real; in OotP, everyone said Sirius was dead and all, but there was no body, no funeral to be had, nothing. But this time there was. And I highly doubt that if somehow Dumbledore had organized a conspiracy with fellow staff members (such as Hagrid or perhaps McGonagall), that any of them would be crying (as most of them were) at the funeral.

Dumbledore is dead. I don't want it to be true either, but it is. There's no denying it, and Harry will have to face the ultimate challenge alone.

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