Couldn't he have used Sacrificial Protection in the Astronomy Tower before being killed by Snape? Wouldn't that have saved countless lives in the future? He had already accepted his death when he said, "Severus, please."

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    Protection on who? To what effect? – Valorum Apr 2 '17 at 20:24
  • On everyone at Hogwarts. The Order – Kyle V Apr 2 '17 at 20:25

Dumbledore was not in a position to sacrifice his life for someone else. The only life at stake was Dumbledore's own.

In contrast, Harry giving himself up in the Dark Forest works because he could have run or left, and didn't, to protect the people in the castle.

  • what about Lily? she didn't have a choice either.... – Kyle V Apr 2 '17 at 20:40
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    @KyleV - yes, she did. A brief one, but it was there. – Radhil Apr 2 '17 at 20:46
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    technically Dumbledore was saving malfoy's life. – Himarm Apr 3 '17 at 1:18
  • @Himarm - might work, but no way to know for sure, Malfoy never gets attacked by Voldemort. – Radhil Apr 3 '17 at 16:30

It could have protected them from Snape.

They weren't in danger because

Snape's a good guy.

  • but when Harry used Sacrificial Protection in the Battle of Hogwarts, it protected everyone from the Death Eaters and Voldemort, not just Voldemort – Kyle V Apr 2 '17 at 20:32
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    That's because the Death Eaters are working on Voldemort's behalf. Even if Dumbledore's death could have resulted in a protection spell (which I doubt) it would only have worked against Snape and people working on Snape's behalf. – Harry Johnston Apr 3 '17 at 1:28
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    ... and only to protect Malfoy and/or Harry, since they are the only two people whose Dumbledore's sacrifice was (arguably) protecting. – Harry Johnston Apr 3 '17 at 1:30
  • @KyleV no, just Voldemort. – Doctor Two Apr 6 '17 at 6:10

Dumbledore's death was coming anyway, due to:

  1. a cursed ring that had burned his hand and poisoned him.
  2. the potion he took at the lake.

He was already dying. According to Snape's memories revealed in book 7, the whole scene was pre-arranged by Dumbledore and Snape in order to increase Snape's authority with Voldemort and other Death Eaters, and to spare Draco.

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