Snape, just like the other Death Eaters, would have been alerted of Voldemort's return and position when Voldemort touched Wormtail's Dark Mark in the graveyard, yet he did pretty much nothing about it. Sure, he may have told Dumbledore that his Mark had burnt, but why couldn't he have Apparated Dumbledore to the place the Mark was telling him to go so that they could figure out what was going on? They had plenty of time to do so, after all, and could have easily stopped the duel between Voldemort and Harry in time.

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    How could Snape/Dumbledore have possibly known that Harry was in danger at that point? Probably staying put seemed like the better move at the time, they had no way to know that the Dark Mark and Harry's touching the Triwizard trophy was connected. Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 7:44

2 Answers 2


First: Since this had happened during the time of the competition, the atmosphere was inappropriate for such a move. Imagine the panic that would've been produced by Dumbledore's leave from such an important event.

Second, Snape is supposed to be a Death Eater and not inform Dumbledore, as Dumbledore's plan later unraveled. A fellow former Death Eater lurking nearby, which was the case; seeing Snape, would've jeopardized the plan. However, whether this plan was ready and waiting for Voldemort's return or put later on, is unclear. But, still, it's a possible reason for Snape's inaction, if any.

Also have in mind that there was no indication (to the good guys) that Harry was taken to that place where Voldemort supposedly returned (from their point of view). If they didn't know the latter's plans to teleport Harry, how would they have rushed to the rescue?!

All of the possible available information, was Voldemort's return, and not Harry's teleportation to this latter's whereabouts. Otherwise they would've prevented disaster before happening and more bloodshed.

Whether Snape had the first point in mind or not, is yet unclear.


1. It would have been a reckless move
The Order wasn't prepared when Voldemort suddenly reappeared. That meant it would have been just Dumbledore and Snape going to the graveyard.

2. Snape would have blown his cover.
By apparating to the graveyard with Dumbledore, Snape would've effectively given away that he was in fact a double agent (ermmmm.... double wizard? double death-eater? I don't know..).

3. They would've been outnumbered
Despite the powerful wizard Dumbledore is, I highly doubt he could have taken on ALL the death-eaters by himself or even with Snape's help.

All in all, haste would have been waste & it would have served no purpose. And on top of that, Snape would've blown his cover AND the both could've gotten killed.

  • Very true point. Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 8:03
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    I actually think Dumbledore could have taken all the Death Eaters on by himself...but that's just my own opinion. Also, Dumbledore had gotten hints throughout the year that something was going to happen -- although he didn't know exactly what, he must have had his suspicions. Commented Jun 7, 2014 at 6:12
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    I'd say Dumbledore could have taken on all Death Eaters OR Voldemort single handed, but not both. Also, there was the matter of Harry, who would have been at risk of death due to Dumbledore's arrival.
    – cst1992
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 18:53
  • Of course he could have taken them all. And he could have almost certainly disabled the Death Eaters before he then duelled with Voldemort. Not only was Dumbledore at that time not dying but in year five he did disable (and prevent Apparation) the Death Eaters in the Ministry (all except Bellatrix who wasn't there at that point - but when he arrived where Voldemort, Bella and Harry were he trapped her under something by magic - it was Voldemort who took the effort to rescue her just as he fled). Point 2 is the most relevant of your points though I dare say there are probably others.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 22:18

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