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Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?



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  #1  
Old December 20th, 2007, 1:59 pm
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Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

There are many factors that led to and forced Dumbledore's death but which is the event or action that basically pronounced his death sentence and completely destroyed his chances of continued survival?

Dumbledore is out hunting for Horocruxes and is visiting different places of Tom Riddle's past and stumbles upon the demolished Gaunt cottage with it's magical protections guarding the Horocrux that Albus is able to penetrate to retrieve the Horocrux which turns out to be a Ring. An artifact descended down the Perverell brother's line and which also contains one of the Deathly Hallows: The Resurrection Stone inside. Now Dumbledore who has been seeking these Hallows all of his life cannot control himself as he thinks he will finally see his family again and all responsibility would be lifted from his shoulders, so in his euphoria he recklessly puts the Ring on and is cursed by the protection of the Horocrux which spreads slowly through his hand virtually 'killing' along it's way slowly through his body. He returns to Hogwarts and summons Severus Snape who has much more knowledge and experience with the dark arts than he does to help heal him. Snape is able to stall the spreading of the curse and limit or bound it to the hand, but it will not be for long. He speculates that he has little over a year to live. It turns out that out of punishment for Lucius's failures, mistakes and blunders, Draco Malfoy has been given the impossible mission of killing Dumbledore, but he really intends Snape to do the deed if and probably when Draco fails.

Dumbledore then decides that Snape will have to kill him and Snape very grudgingly agrees to spare him the humiliation. A few days later, Snape is visited by Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange who talk him into making an unbreakable vow to protect Draco as he attempts his mission to kill Dumbledore and in essence stepping in to kill Dumbledore when he fails, sealing his fate.

Nearly a year later, in the cave, Dumbledore drinks that fateful potion and suffers dreadful visions from his past and slips into madness.

Now, this is where it gets muddled for me.

If one were to write an epiphany for Albus Dumbledore for his tombstone; What would it say he died from?

1)Cursed from the dark magic of a cursed object.

2) Ordered to death by Voldemort and killed by Severus Snape.

3)Killed by drinking a poisoned substance.

We know his murder was planned with Snape, but Voldemort ordered his death and then confirmed by the unbreakable vow. He also would have died anyway because of the ring and then because of the potion.

It's very complicated.

So I ask the ultimate question:

What did Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore truly die of and which of these events or the will of which man really signed his death sentence? Which force ultimately led to Dumbledore's death?



Last edited by MasterOfDeath; December 20th, 2007 at 3:30 pm.
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  #2  
Old December 20th, 2007, 2:55 pm
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

In some areas, there is a phenomenon known as "suicide by cop", wherein a person will pull a gun on a law enforcement officer with no real hope of survival, but instead intending the police to kill him in a hail of bullets. I often wonder if this were Dumbledore's intent.

The point is that he planned his death with Snape, but was his death absolutely necessary? One of the holes in the series was that Dumbledore was one of the most powerful wizards of his age, why didn't he take it upon himself to face down Voldemort and why did he choose, instead, to place that task on a child? and why was he so obtuse about his clues and information?

The possibility exists, in my mind, that he had a death wish, brought about by the death of his sister. In many regards, were he the instrument of that death (and there is a distinct possibility of that), it would only bolster the contention that his sister had been killed by Dumbledore.

Thus, the force that killed Dumbledore was guilt. Guilt over his obsession with Grindenwald that eventually led to his sister's death and guilt over having been the hand that killed her. Everything else he did was out of a sense of duty, but he always planned, IMO, to die before the ending.


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  #3  
Old December 20th, 2007, 3:17 pm
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

I had quite a differnt take on it, though generaly the same... same ending, differnt means of getting there, I guess you could say, lol.

Dumbledore knew that the ring/stone was cursed, but he put it on anyway; I can't remember the exact quote but he thought in some way he might be able to bring Ariana back, or something to that effect. In that way, maybe, I think he was willing to be cursed so long as he got to tell his sister he was sorry, and ask her who really killed her.That was a guilt that he carried around with him nearly all his life, and to him i don't think there was anything more important than talking to Ariana, therefor he was willing to ultimatley die for it.

He might have however known that Severus could stop the curse before hand, implying that he was only intentionaly willing to carry around a curse that would eventually kill him.

Voldemort did order death upon Dumbly, but that ties in with the curse. It was planned, Voldemort just didn't know it. So to say that the curse was the cause, and Snape was the cause is in effect saying the same thing.

The potion wasn't really the cause. He could have easily been given a counter potion that would have helped his health by Sev, had the Death Eaters not been in the school. It had been a year (I think) since Dumbly was first cursed, so then he was willing to die. It probably wasn't the timing that he had expected, but it was still planned.

Ultimately, I'd have to say it was the ring. Also, I'd have to say that most of this doesn't really make sense... lack of caffine.

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Old December 20th, 2007, 3:39 pm
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

I'm going to take the easy way out of this and say that void of any unnecessary speculation, it was Severus Snape who uttered the curse that ended Albus' life. Therefore the tombstone should read, "Died of the Unforgivable Curse, Avada Kadavra". I don't think the name of the person who cast the spell is a necessity, or even appropriate for a tombstone.

But, it was Snape that killed him. He may have done it unwillingly, or begrudgingly, but he did do it. For me, the means don't justify the ends in this discussion.

Had he not done it, and instead Greyback came into play and mutilated Dumbledore, we wouldn't be having this discussion. We'd most likely agree that Greyback was the killer. It's because it is Snape, that we don't want to condemn him for it. But, just because we give him the responsibility, doesn't absolutely translate to condemning him. His reasons are ultimately justifiable because of the means to his "end".


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Old December 20th, 2007, 3:41 pm
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

The point is that he planned his death with Snape, but was his death absolutely necessary? One of the holes in the series was that Dumbledore was one of the most powerful wizards of his age, why didn't he take it upon himself to face down Voldemort and why did he choose, instead, to place that task on a child? and why was he so obtuse about his clues and information?


I don't think it's a hole. Dumbledore even admits in the begining of the series in chapter one of PS that Voldemort knows magic he doesn't. Just because Dumbledore is the only one Voldemort ever feared did not mean he was more powerful. I think they were more or less equals. But the thing is, dueling skills were not what was needed to ultimately bring Voldemort down. Voldemort also had Harry's blood and Lily's sacrifice so I don't think anyone could have even touched Voldemort except Harry because he was protected by the love charm. Not to mention, harry had a connection the dark lord's mind and all the tools needed to defeat and the fact a prophecy foretold that Harry would be the one to do it.

The possibility exists, in my mind, that he had a death wish, brought about by the death of his sister. In many regards, were he the instrument of that death (and there is a distinct possibility of that), it would only bolster the contention that his sister had been killed by Dumbledore.

Thus, the force that killed Dumbledore was guilt. Guilt over his obsession with Grindenwald that eventually led to his sister's death and guilt over having been the hand that killed her. Everything else he did was out of a sense of duty, but he always planned, IMO, to die before the ending.


I never thought of this. This is a great idea and very possible but while I think Dumbledore welcomed death and did not fear it, I still don't think he's the reckless suicide type person. He would have killed himself earlier if that were the case, maybe even right after Ariana died. The fact that he didn't, cements the fact that he decided to live and right his wrongs rather than just give up out of shame and guilt. Thus I don't think he died out of guilt but like Snape, died in his duty born from his desire to correct the mistakes in his past and right the wrongs of his life. This would explain why he empathizes so much with Snape and why he encourages him not to give up but focus his guilt into fixing his mistakes.


It's very interesting because according to Celtic legend, a wizard can only truly die if he is killed three times. Did Rowling have this in mind when she had three factors that contributed to Dumbledore's timely death?



Last edited by MasterOfDeath; September 11th, 2012 at 3:53 am.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 5:27 pm
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

I don't think it was guilt, I think it was greed - greed for obtaining all the Hallows. All his adult life, DD atoned for Arianna's death - he gave everyone a second chance just as he gave himself the means to second chance.

The power that he craved, though, he repeatedly says in the books that he didn't trust himself with power, yet his position as headmaster of Hogwarts DID give him power - the ability to influence the future of wizardry, by teaching and guiding students.

He continued his entire life to study and become one of, if not THE most powerful wizard alive. He was deluding himself about giving up his yearning for power. He may not have had the Minister position, but he had power in every other way, including judicial and law writing as the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, the equivalent of the wizarding high court.

The frequent references to his Macchiavellian nature are not unrealistic. He was a plotter, planner, puppetmaster, and always playing his cards close to his chest. His underlings only knew what they needed to know. (does this remind you of a certain Dark Lord?)

DD was a genius, a master wizard, and perhaps only one as knowledgable and experienced as him could possibly overcome as fierce an enemy as LV. He also did love - Harry, anyway and possibly others. He did work for the common good, but with a good meaning, mostly. This gave him justification for his greedy actions.

Anyway, his greed for power is what ultimately killed him in my estimation. With all the power he had, it wasn't enough, he had to possess the Hallows as well. He groomed Harry to be the 'Chosen One', knowing that indeed, Harry is the better man.

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Old December 20th, 2007, 5:40 pm
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

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Originally Posted by I am S Black View Post
I'm going to take the easy way out of this and say that void of any unnecessary speculation, it was Severus Snape who uttered the curse that ended Albus' life. Therefore the tombstone should read, "Died of the Unforgivable Curse, Avada Kadavra". I don't think the name of the person who cast the spell is a necessity, or even appropriate for a tombstone.

But, it was Snape that killed him. He may have done it unwillingly, or begrudgingly, but he did do it. For me, the means don't justify the ends in this discussion.

Had he not done it, and instead Greyback came into play and mutilated Dumbledore, we wouldn't be having this discussion. We'd most likely agree that Greyback was the killer. It's because it is Snape, that we don't want to condemn him for it. But, just because we give him the responsibility, doesn't absolutely translate to condemning him. His reasons are ultimately justifiable because of the means to his "end".
I agree with this take on it. Snape killed Dumbledore. It doesn't matter that he might die a year or two later anyway or that he was weak; it does not matter if the roof at Hogwarts would have fallen on him the next morning. The point is, once Snape killed him, it was over.

But not only did Snape kill him; Snape had to kill him or die. So from Snape's perspective, would he have died rather than kill Dumbledore? Because if he didn't kill him and allowed Greyback or another to do it, he would have broken the Vow and died (part of the Vow was that he would do the deed that Draco was meant to do if Draco failed - kill Dumbledore). Under the circumstances, Snape knew that Draco had failed and that others were going to do the deed, so the Vow was enabled.

Keep in mind that Dumbledore had another way out. We know he could have called on Fawkes and disappeared in a flame as he did when the Ministry was trying to capture him in his office. Dumbledore was not so weak that he could not perform magic - he'd immobilized Harry and silenced him just before Draco arrived. Also, Dumbledore did not use his wand in his office to call on Fawkes, so that would not have barred his escape. In fact, Dumbledore didn't appear to use his wand when he knocked everyone out in his office to effect his escape, so he could have done that on the tower as well.

However, Dumbledore wanted Snape to kill him and that is what Snape did; as far as we know, it was against Snape's will to do the deed. But really, since Dumbledore didn't provide any alternative, Snape had no choice but to kill him or die.


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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:56 pm
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

Nice thread!!!

Um,i like to think,He killed himself ,out of foolishness and desire to see the ones he loved once more.
He was the one who put the cursed ring on,without coersion.It was his mistake.a deadly mistake.
He asked Snape to kill him,planning not to defend himself.I doubt if he had not desired death as well,someone would have been able to kill him...like harry he chosse death ,but for very different reasons.

You could also argue it was Voldemort who killed him,because he was the one who cursed the ring,and that would be correct in my opinion,thats what woldy intended ondoing,kill who ever found his horcrux.
So one could say,Dumbledore ,due to a mistake allowed Voldemort to defeated him at the end,Although Voldy never found out...

Snape,ended the life of Dumbledore ,but it was at his request,so i doubt he was responsible for it,it was Dumbledores decision...

Dumbledore was defeated,by his own foolishness,that was the reason that lead to his death,himself being responsible for it.


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Old December 20th, 2007, 11:15 pm
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

But IAmSBlack rasied a good point. If Greyback had killed Dumbledore before Snape got to him, would Greyback then be responsible, despite all that Dumbledore had planned? I know Dumbledore asked Snape to kill him, but, imo, it is a matter of: you can lead a horse to the water but you can't make him drink. Snape killed Dumbledore of his own will in the end, just as Greyback would have done.

I don't feel it is analogous with a man who pulls a gun out intending for the cops to kill him. In that case, the cop is acting unknowingly in self defense. Here, Snape acted knowingly out of what we cannot be sure since he didn't say. But perhaps mercy, survival, to benefit Dumbledore's plan?


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Old December 20th, 2007, 11:53 pm
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

Dumbledore couldn't have killed Voldemort. It's my understanding that Lily's blood protected Voldemort and, even if I'm wrong about that, Harry's blood in Voldemort created a tether that kept Harry alive. Dumbledore realized that at the end of Goblet of Fire. Killing Voldemort, therefore, would have taken that protection away from Harry.


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Old December 20th, 2007, 11:56 pm
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

Yes but,if he had not been weakened by the potion he drank and by the curse who had obviusly done harm,if he had been fully the dumbledore even voldy feared.If he had not decided to die already he would have perhaps defended himself...And i would think that even weakend by the potion,if he had not been cursed...I f he knew he still had a chance of surviving I think he would have defended himself and no matter how weak,he would have overpowered Greyback.He let snape kill him,because he had already de ided to die,and was going to any way,because of the ring,
If he had not put the ring on,and gotten cursed,You think that he would have let anyone not only snape but anyone kill him...I dont think so,it was voldy really who got the best of him.


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Old December 21st, 2007, 12:28 am
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

Dumbledore's death is so complicated, but I'm really not sure what truely caused his death. But if I were to choose one, suicide. The final blow, the killing curse, was planned by Dumbledore. The other things, like the curses, were more of things that pushed him into wanting to die.


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Old December 21st, 2007, 12:34 am
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

Oh i wouldnt call it suicide...maybe Eutanasia,is that what you call it in english,when they pull the plug on very ill patients?
that sound more like what he did,decided toend his sufferings before the curse got the best of him...

The epithaph would read...

Albus Dumbledore died due to the mistake of wanting to see the ones he dearly missed...


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Last edited by Montse; December 21st, 2007 at 12:41 am.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 12:47 am
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

Quote:
Oh i wouldnt call it suicide...maybe Eutanasia,is that what you call it in english,when they pull the plug on very ill patients?
Well, it depends if those patients want to die. Suicides are when people choose death, and that's what Dumbledore did. I think he could probably find some way to survive, no matter what everyone else thinks, especially with the help of Snape and some other people. I'm sure he had some sort of choice.


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Old December 21st, 2007, 1:08 am
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

ok,lets put it this way Dumbledore commited suicide ,because i do think he did kill himself and like you say ,chose to die.
Snape did what doctors who pull the plug did,ended the person´s suffering,you know how some persons authorize doctors to pull the plug if there is no hope int their case...and doctors please the patients...

So ,yes Dumbledore comminted suicide when putting on the ring,and then asking Snape to kill him.
I seriously doubt he had choice,that curse must have been like a metastasis in cancer,it spread all over him,didnt Snape said that would happen?

But then againyou are right,he didnt stay to fight it,giving severus the chance to try to find an antidote,who knows,SEverus Snape was an awesome potions master,he invented hexes and stuff,why not trust him with an antidote,maybe deep in,Dumbledore was tired and in fact desired to rest and die...beside this bieng esssential to plot.


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Old December 21st, 2007, 1:31 am
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

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ok,lets put it this way Dumbledore commited suicide ,because i do think he did kill himself and like you say ,chose to die.
Snape did what doctors who pull the plug did,ended the person´s suffering,you know how some persons authorize doctors to pull the plug if there is no hope int their case...and doctors please the patients...

So ,yes Dumbledore comminted suicide when putting on the ring,and then asking Snape to kill him.
I seriously doubt he had choice,that curse must have been like a metastasis in cancer,it spread all over him,didnt Snape said that would happen?

But then againyou are right,he didnt stay to fight it,giving severus the chance to try to find an antidote,who knows,SEverus Snape was an awesome potions master,he invented hexes and stuff,why not trust him with an antidote,maybe deep in,Dumbledore was tired and in fact desired to rest and die...beside this bieng esssential to plot.
I think you hit the nail on the head. It was essential to the plot for Dumbledore to die. In as far as Snape though, if he hadn't killed Dumbledore, he would have died, I think that has to fit in the equation too - that was a decision Snape made on his own (with Narcissa and the vow). In a mercy killing or if you call this assisted suicide, generally the helping party's own life is not at jeopardy if he doesn't do the deed - only if he does (and has to go to jail). Here, Snape's life was in trouble if he didn't do it.

That combined with the fact that Dumbledore made his own decision to die (because I agree he had a choice) and he really wanted Snape to do it, kind of spreads the culpability around a bit. In the end, Dumbledore was guilty of planning for his own death and Snape was guilty of both helping to plan Dumbledore's death (by agreeing to do it and by planning on the side with Narcissa) and for killing him.


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Old December 21st, 2007, 1:43 am
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

How is it that Jo wirtes it...That Hermione beams whenshe gets a right answer...

Im beaming here...

The death was unavoidable ,but again we see a topic very much developed in the books.. choices...

I Think by the time Snape made the unbreakable vow,he had already promised Dumbledore to kill him,so he knew there was no risk in making the vow...he chose to do it,because he had already promised to do so...
And by the look of hatred in his face when doing so ,we know its a deed he verymuch disliked...


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Old December 21st, 2007, 3:10 am
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

I don't think dumbledore comitted suicide, and this is not eutanasia either. eutanasia is when the person cannot commit suicide because they cannot do it themselves. So somebody else "kills" them instead.
Dumbledore could have comitted suicide, technically, he was able to do it, he could have jumped off a cliff, but he chose Snape to kill him for the reasons we know.
If snape had not killed him, he would have died from the curse, eventually, like a normal person would die of a disease like cancer for example.
I think it was murder, even thought Snape agreed to kill him. even though Dumbledore asked him to do it, it is still one human being killing another.


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Old December 21st, 2007, 3:25 am
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

umm,i think to assist a suicide is considered murder..then if you see it fromthat point of view ,you are right...

why I insist on suicide,because Dumbledore chose to die...
yes he was accidentally cursed,and thus sentenced himself to death...
I insist on saying the ring was what really got him...
but he chose to die sooner than he would have ...then its suicide...from that point of view...in some jusrisdictions,as i have said to assist in commiting suicide is murder...

I rather see it like eutanasia,because the curse was spreading allover just like untreated cancer would...


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Old December 21st, 2007, 3:30 am
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Re: Who really killed Albus Dumbledore?

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Originally Posted by Montse View Post
How is it that Jo wirtes it...That Hermione beams whenshe gets a right answer...

Im beaming here...

The death was unavoidable ,but again we see a topic very much developed in the books.. choices...

I Think by the time Snape made the unbreakable vow,he had already promised Dumbledore to kill him,so he knew there was no risk in making the vow...he chose to do it,because he had already promised to do so...
And by the look of hatred in his face when doing so ,we know its a deed he verymuch disliked...
I agree that Snape seemed to find it a horrible task to have to do. But on the other hand, he agreed to do it and then made a Vow to die if he didn't. Snape had ample time to consider if he were up for the task and I would think that he understood when he agreed and made the Vow that it would not be something he wished to do. But I agree with Lorna also, it was murder. Dumbledore knew it would be murder too, but he was looking at the bigger picture - the means justified the ends in his mind I guess. He knew Snape was capable of doing it because he'd done it before (based on the fact that one has to 'learn' to do unforgiveables correctly for them to work - recall Harry unable to do it until he meant it, so Snape would know it had to mean it, even if he didn't like the chore).

Still, one has to consider Dumbledore's mind set in the scenario, because he did after all ask someone else to committ murder and at the same time, he knew that once he was killed, if Voldemort located the Elder Wand, he would likely kill Snape to become its master (a small factoid he neglected to tell Snape). So I don't see Dumbledore as being in the clear in this scenario either - not relative to his own death - but relative to asking Snape to do it.


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