Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards and leader of the light – or just a man with too many names and titles who despite dressing up everything as for the greater good really wasn’t any better than Lord Voldemort?
This post is a direct result of a twitter conversation I had with several people, Liv and Charlotte being the main culprits – Disclaimer I’m a Severus Snape fan and I think he was treated appaulingly by Dumbledore so I may be a little biased… But just what is it about Dumbledore that makes me think he was just as bad as a genocidal maniac? Let me tell you…
Exhibit One – He Kept Secrets For No Reason
Dumbledore could have shared so much information with other – but he chose not to. It’s something I don’t think you could ever make me understand, Dumbledore liked to appear all knowing, I get that, he liked all the recognition and renown he received after turning on Gellert Grindelwald and defeating him, he wanted to be the hero again. I imagine he was rather devastated when Harry survived and became the hero of the first Voldemort war, even so I almost get that. The bit I will never understand is how during the Half Blood Prince he put on the cursed ring and knew he was dying yet he chose not to share everything he knew with The Order, instead he went to his grave having given three teenagers the barest of hints and sending them off on a wild goose chase in the hope they figured it out. Would it really have been so difficult to simply tell everyone about the Deathly Hallows and the fact they actually existed rather than leaving Hermione a book of fairy tales and expecting her to figure it out? It’s almost like he’d decided if he was dying and couldn’t be the hero he didn’t really care if Harry and the Order or Voldemort won, he certainly had the opportunity to make life much easier for them and for whatever reason he chose not to take it.
Exhibit Two – He Left Harry In An Abusive Home
We all know that Harry had a terrible upbringing, living in the cupboard under the stairs and basically acting as a maid for his aunt and uncle so why did Dumbledore leave him there?
Right from the very first evening McGonagall raised concerns about the Dursleys describing them as the very worst sort of muggles. If we were to give Dumbledore the benefit of the doubt for that first night, to believe that he truly believed that Lily’s sacrifice created a protection that required Petunia to keep active a) do we really believe that in the ten or so years between that autumn and Harry starting Hogwarts not once did he check up on him and think to say something to the Dursleys or move Harry somewhere else, we all know he had Arabella Figg keeping an eye on things. b) Even if for some reason Dumbledore completely ignored him for those intervening years what is his excuse once Harry arrives at school? I don’t believe for a second that Poppy wouldn’t have picked up on the fact Harry hadn’t been properly fed and looked after growing up during one of his many visits to the infirmary – Plus the fact Harry would have been perfectly capable of sharing the truth with him.
Then you have the fact that and the end of the Goblet of Fire when Voldemort is brought back using Harry’s blood he’s able to touch him again without pain, bye bye protection! And yet despite all the trauma of seeing his classmate murdered and the man who murdered his parents regain a body Dumbledore still sends him back to the abusive household! You’d think knowing what he does about Voldemort’s childhood he’d be a little bit concerned about leaving a potentially powerful wizard in a neglectful and abusive environment, he’s lucky Harry didn’t end up on the dark side, then again Harry falling into the shadows would definitely take some of the shine off his hero status – and hey what’s one more dark wizard to defeat if it makes you look good?
Oh and don’t get me started on the fool leaving a toddler wrapped in a blanket on a doorstep one night in November. For starters it’s November! It’s not exactly warm, and secondly Harry is a toddler, what’s to stop him waking up and wandering off? The most powerful wizard in the world and he couldn’t cast a disillusionment charm and ring the bell just to make sure he was taken in okay?
Exhibit Three – He Left Sirius In Azkaban
This one bugs me too, Dumbledore is head of the Wizengamot but he just leaves Sirius to rot in prison. So Dumbledore really doesn’t know that it was Peter Pettigrew that took on the role of secret keeper for Lily and James Potter? I find that kinda hard to believe, but again giving him the benefit of the doubt I still don’t understand why he didn’t push for measures that would have quite easily proven Sirius’s guilt one way or the other. A simple reversal spell on Sirius’s wand at the time would surely have shown he wasn’t responsible for casting the spell to ‘kill’ Peter, and blow up the street, even without that surely giving Sirius a trial and making him take Veritaserum would have proven his innocence? But hey Sirius goes free and he’s in a position to fight for his rights as Harry’s godfather, Harry doesn’t have to grow up in an abusive home and end up seeing Dumbledore as the caring grandfather figure that rescues him for most of the year – children are so much easier to mould if they think you’re their saviour.
Even if for some reason he found himself unable to intervene the first time around what about after Peter’s escape at the end of the trio’s third year? He couldn’t call for a new trial? They couldn’t take Harry and Hermione’s memories to prove to the rest of the Wizengamot that Pettigrew wasn’t actually dead? Again I guess it is much easier to leave the status quo, Harry at the Dursleys rather than staying with his godfather.I’m sure Sirius would have had some things to say about Harry being raised as a sacrificial lamb, much easier to keep them separate, and if keeping a man like Sirius cooped up rather than clearing him and letting him walk around as a free man makes him reckless to the point he ends up getting himself killed so much the better – One less person to influence Harry in ways he doesn’t approve of, result right?
Yup I said it I’m blaming Dumbledore for Sirius dying.
Exhibit Four – He Let The Marauders Bully Snape
I have issues with the boys will be boys attitude that exists in the world in general – the XY chromosome combination isn’t a built in excuse for them to misbehave. Now Dumbledore I’m sure thought he was justified in having a boys will be boys attitude, he may even have tried to argue that Severus gave as good as he got and was equally responsible, however I’m not sure four against one could ever be argued to be a fair fight. Now we reach the main issue, Sirius deliberately lead Severus to the Whomping Willow knowing he would meet a transformed Remus. I’m going to ignore the fact Sirius didn’t think about the consequences of turning his best friend into a murderer because this isn’t an anti Sirius post, but how did Dumbledore let him get away with that? That’s not youthful hi-jinks, that’s attempted murder!
So why did Dumbledore let him get away with it? Was it simple pro-Gryffindor, anti-Slytherin bias? Or was it something more? Allowing them to bully Snape to the point where he snapped Dumbledore successfully managed to separate Severus from his one childhood friend, would Severus and Lily have grown apart anyway as they grew up? Quite probably, but if Dumbledore had put a stop to the bullying they may not have had the major falling out with Severus calling Lily a mudblood. So what does Dumbledore gain from this falling out? Firstly Severus is pushed further into the shadows of Slytherin, growing closer to the group slowly starting to form around a charismatic man waiting to bring honour back to the purebloods, and secondly without the natural growing apart Severus always maintained a level of guilt about the way their friendship ended. He remained devoted to the memory of their friendship, and prepared to do anything to try and keep her safe. Severus Snape successfully moulded into the perfect spy?
So in my closing arguments, Dumbledore allowed his Golden Boys to run rampant bullying Severus, he then left a toddler on a doorstep to grow up in an abusive home. He kept Harry’s one legal alternative family member away from him and instead of sharing information to help the cause he kept it to himself, even once he knew he was dying and wouldn’t be there to be the hero of the hour once again. In fact you could probably argue that Dumbledore is actually worse than Voldemort. At least Voldemort during his second coming was pretty open about being a genocidal megalomaniac who enjoyed the occasional torturing of his followers, he didn’t pretend it was all for the greater good.
So that’s my thoughts on Dumbledore, did I convince you of my case? Let me know in the comments below!