I was reading about the Magical Power of Love whereby it states that 'Love' is an ancient form of Magic, a force more mysterious, more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence and the forces of of nature.

Furthermore, with regard to the self-sacrificial protection, a power which is unleashed when an individual HAS a choice to live or die, but chooses to die instead as an act of self-sacrifice and hence casts a kind of powerful protective charm upon another person or persons, a charm so powerful that it has the power to rebound killing curses, to shield people against various offensive spells, and so on. It says that in the books, only two examples are properly accounted for

  1. The protection of Harry Potter provided by his mother, Lily, who sacrificed herself and hence created a protective charm over Harry Potter, a charm which was later extended by Albus Dumbledore until Harry Potter came to age.
  2. The protective charm Harry Potter created over his friends at Hogwarts, which was created when he voluntarily stepped into the jaws of death in an act of self-sacrifice in order to save his friends.

My question is, can one argue the case for Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape, whereby both of them had a choice(s) to save themselves, or at least manipulate their own means of death to match their convenience, but chose instead a particular path of action which had the best interests and well-being of the children of Hogwarts at heart instead?

Dumbledore planned his death with Snape, in an attempt to save Draco Malfoy, does this count as a self-sacrifice/protective charm towards Draco? Also, Dumbledore planned his death with Snape in a hope that the Dark Lord will trust Snape enough to name him Headmaster, which will enable Snape to discreetly look over the welfare of children of the school, and prevent them left totally alone at the hands of the Carrows, (and also look over the assistance and aid of Harry Potter in the quest for finding Horcruxes). Does this count as a self-sacrifice towards Hogwarts?

Similarly, Snape had even more of a choice. He could choose not to kill Dumbledore, he could choose not to incur the hatred of the entire anti-Voldemort world. He could have also chose to flee afterwards, but chose to remain at Hogwarts, until the very end, and even chose not to disclose his true allegiance before he was killed by Voldemort. Does this also count as an act of self-sacrifice towards Hogwarts?

Do these acts have any protective force, protective charm which helps to protect Hogwarts to any extent? Or should it?

  • 4
    Did Snape really have a choice in not killing Dumbledore? He made the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa to complete what Draco was ordered to do if he could not.
    – Dylan Yaga
    Commented May 18, 2012 at 12:33
  • Umm, well that's true. Although the decision to make the Unbreakable Vow was probably done after Dumbledore had been cursed by the ring, and the mercy killing plan between Dumbledore and Snape was agreed? Commented May 18, 2012 at 12:40
  • Sure, but as I understand it the Unbreakable Vow is either perform what you vow, or die. So had he decided to not kill Dumbledore then he wouldn't have been in Book 7 at all.
    – Dylan Yaga
    Commented May 18, 2012 at 12:43
  • Well maybe the Magical Power of Love is that is is limitless, undefinable? Perhaps there are so many instances of this Magic taking place throughout the Magical and non-Magical World. For instance, Regulus Black making the decision to sacrifice himself (by drinking the potion inside the cave), in an attempt to retrieve and aid in the destruction of the Horcrux? Commented May 18, 2012 at 12:58
  • 1
    @Izkata, you're mixed up. Voldemort made Kreacher drink the potion in the cave. Regulus didn't; Regulus drank it himself.
    – Joe White
    Commented May 19, 2012 at 5:35

1 Answer 1


I believe Dumbledore's death didn't count for two primary reasons: it wasn't a choice made in an immediately dangerous (to Draco or other students) situation, and Voldemort didn't kill Dumbledore himself. And Snape's didn't count because it wasn't a decision to let the snake kill him in order to save anyone, in fact he wanted to survive to be able to tell Harry what Harry needed to know. His sticking around despite potential danger wouldn't be enough.

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