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Towards the end of Order of the Phoenix, Voldemort escaped the Ministry of Magic after seeing Aurors. Why?

He had work to do and nobody was able to kill him (Horcrux ju-ju). Plus, he got a great chance to smash Aurors.

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    Even if he couldn't be killed permanently at that point do you think he would enjoy being killed? I highly doubt the ~14 years without a body were what Voldemort considered "a good time". – Dason May 29 '12 at 14:59
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    @SachinShekhar He was vastly outnumbered and not dealing with untrained witches and wizards. All of his opponents were highly skilled in Defense Against the Dark Arts, including a number of Aurors, a former DAtDA teacher at Hogwarts (Lupin) and Dumbledore, supposedly the only one he ever feared (that's the name of the chapter in the book, if you want to go read it). I think, skilled as he was, he'd still be hard-pressed to defeat any of them given relatively even odds. Against all of them, I doubt he would have actually stood a chance. – Anthony Grist May 29 '12 at 15:26
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    There was also always a chance that someone might incapacitate him without killing him; they might not know to do that, but it could happen.. then his 'immortality' wouldn't save him - I suspect he was aware of this risk. Turned to Stone, placed in some kind of Suspended Animation, paralyzed and fed via IV.. All sorts of things wouldn't be cleared by the Horcrux advantage... – K-H-W May 29 '12 at 16:15
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    Why didn't he suicide if he had extra lives? It's not like he had infinite quantities. Not everyone is Leeroy Jenkins. – Gorchestopher H May 29 '12 at 16:32
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    Simple, Voldemort, like most bullies, was a coward. – Chad May 30 '12 at 15:43
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Remember, Voldemort's body can always die. Voldemort will just come back in a different form, such as a parasite (Quierell). Voldemort just got his body and can do magic to his full potential. He doesn't want to throw that all away to have a chance at destroying his enemies. He also knows that the Order has very powerful wizards.

Basically Voldemort didn't have enough power to confront the Order, and he didn't want to take a chance without knowing that he would win.

Also in the entire series, Voldemort never took the offensive unless he knew he could win.

  1. Book 1, he lost due to a spell he overlooked
  2. Book 2, he wasn't on offense because Harry went to him instead of the other way around
  3. Book 4, he got his body
  4. Book 5, Didn't have enough power to defeat the Order without heavy casualties.
  5. Book 7, He thought he actually killed Harry but instead he killed his own Horcrux
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His primary focus was obtaining the prophecy regarding himself and Harry. Given that the sphere containing the prophecy had been destroyed, that was no longer possible.

At that moment in time, without knowing the full contents of the prophecy, I doubt he'd be confident in trying to kill Harry again. The only thing that may have kept him there would be Dumbledore, and with the Minister of Magic and a number of Aurors arriving, I doubt he'd feel inclined to stay around.

  • If he wasn't really confident, why did he come to Harry? – Baby Yoda May 29 '12 at 17:49
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    Because confidence to face a an entire order, and confidence in the face of some "special" boy is a different level of confidence. – Gorchestopher H May 31 '12 at 2:37
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To add to the existing answers:

Voldemort had just possessed Harry's body, but felt excruciating pain upon doing so. This might have scared him, or just didn't want to hang around any longer since something he didn't understand had just happened to him.

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The only time in the books that we see Voldemort dueling multiple people simultaneously is at the end of Deathly Hallows and he fails to defeat them:

Voldemort was now dueling McGonagall, Slughorn, and Kingsley all at once, and there was cold hatred in his face as they wove and ducked around him, unable to finish him —

In fact, if anything the phrase "unable to finish him" makes it seem like he was losing that duel. While all three of his opponents were presumably above average wizards, McGonagall and Slughorn were not specifically trained at overpowering Dark Wizards.

Had Voldemort not fled at the end of Order of the Phoenix, he would have been facing many more than three opponents:

The Atrium was full of people. The floor was reflecting emerald-green flames that had burst into life in all the fireplaces along one wall, and a stream of witches and wizards was emerging from them.

At least a portion of these many newcomers were Aurors — that is, specially trained at fighting Dark Wizards:

He looked wildly around at the Aurors he had brought with him, and it could not have been clearer that he was in half a mind to cry, "Seize him!"

Thus, Voldemort would have had basically zero chance of winning such a duel, and presumably he realized this and that is why he scarpered. Even if he couldn't be killed, he could still still lose his body or be subdued in some other way, so he had nothing to gain and a lot to lose by staying.

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