14

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry and Ron fly Arthur's flying car to Hogwarts. They get into severe trouble, and both Dumbledore and Severus tell them that they could be expelled. (Severus being rather nasty about it)

Severus:

Most unfortunately, you are not in my house and the decision to expel you does not rest with me[...]

Dumbledore:

I must warn you that if you do anything like this again, I will have no choice but to expel you.

Would Severus expel Harry, despite the fact that he told Dumbledore that this was all for Lily?

Would Dumbledore expel Harry, despite the fact that he was the Boy Who Lived, one of the most important people in their time?

I really doubt that Dumbledore would expel them, however, would Severus?

  • 1
    I think the answer is, yes, obviously, Severus would have/might have jumped at the chance. – Slytherincess Jan 7 '15 at 3:20
  • @Slytherincess Then, you don't know anything about Love. Showing hate is one thing and actually harming is another. – I Love You 3000 Jan 7 '15 at 6:39
  • I personally do not think both Severus and Dumbledore would expel Harry, because both of them show very high emotional attachment to Harry in later parts of the story. Although Severus does not show any kind of attachment to Harry, he does feel the need to constantly keeping in touch with Harry even though he does it in the most nasty way possible. As for Dumbledore, he needs to show that he means business being the headmaster but just to make sure Harry does not cross limits. – SoundStage Jan 7 '15 at 9:55
  • 2
    Severus' comment is more of a bluff than anything else. It's like saying "I'd definitely do something about it if I was in charge" or "If your mom/dad was home you'd be in reaaally big trouble". I'd expel you! But I can't... oh well... – Gorchestopher H Jan 7 '15 at 18:22
  • @Slytherincess how is it obvious? As mentioned above, it could be a bluff. They have to impart the seriousness of what has been done in order to encourage Harry to think carefully about future actions. Worth mentioning also that this incident put Harry in grave danger with the Whomping Willow. This just months after he put himself in danger tracking down and facing Quirell alone. They need to discourage Harry from such actions to try to protect him from himself, at the very least. – The Giant of Lannister Jan 8 '15 at 7:38
5

Snape would not. But in order to convey the seriousness of the situation he has to threaten them with expulsion.

From Chamber of Secrets chapter The Whomping Willow

“Professor Dumbledore, these boys have flouted the Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardry, caused serious damage to an old and valuable tree — surely acts of this nature —”

If Snape was really serious about expelling the boys he would have raised a stink and escalated the issue to the Ministry.

  • Didn't the case (the one of a flying car, not the serious damage of an old tree) escalated to the Ministry without Snape having to? I remember Mr Weasley getting some punishment? – Don_Biglia Jan 8 '15 at 15:31
  • Yep Mr. Weasley faced an inquiry. Snape still has a good case against the boys (even Dumbledore knew it was a serious offense), but Snape did not follow thru, which can only mean Snape was not serious about expelling them. Actions determine intent. – tls Jan 8 '15 at 15:53
  • You're right, I'm not saying that Snape wanted to expell them at all cost, but he did not need to go to the ministry. They were aware of the case before the boys did themselves. I'm also not certain the ministry could expel them at that time. Of course other measures like confiscating their wands would result in sort of the same outcome. But, if it were up to Snape I can't help to feel he would have expelled them. It was merely Dumbledore's decision he valued to much to object I think. I don't think Snape knew already what would happen a few years later. – Don_Biglia Jan 9 '15 at 7:52
  • 1
    Why would you expect Snape to act against Dumbledore? Especially in light of what we find out at the end of Deathly Hallows. – Alex Jan 6 at 2:27
2

I don't think there's any chance Dumbledore would have, unless Harry did something completely out of line that put other students in danger. Apart from him knowing that Harry would be returning to a bad life with the Dursleys if he weren't attending Hogwarts (the Weasleys could potentially take him in, but that would break Lily's protection of him prematurely) Dumbledore knew of the prophecy concerning Harry and Voldemort, and that Harry was thus key to defeating Voldemort. Denying him an education in magic and casting him out into the world would have virtually ensured Voldemort's victory upon returning.

Snape, in a particularly emotional state, seeing in Harry only James and not Lily, might have tried to expel him. Dumbledore didn't tell Snape of the full prophecy, he only knows what he overheard the night that Trelawney made it. However, even if Harry was in Snape's house or Snape had the power to expel him, I think it's safe to say that the Headmaster can overrule a Head of House in a decision such as this, and that if Dumbledore couldn't convince Snape to back down, he could still just put his foot down and say, no, we aren't expelling him.

edit: Meant to add in that at the time, Harry is 12 years old, and has only been at Hogwarts for one year. Despite the fact that he's already had an encounter with Voldemort, he doesn't really understand how important he is to fighting Voldemort in the future, and I would guess that he is only just starting to grasp how important he already has been. If you tell a 12-year-old kid that you're going to kick him out of the only place he's been happy in the world as quickly as he discovered it, it's going to spook him and get him to be (a little) more in line.

0

Severus, in his admittedly biased viewpoint, thought Harry was in desperate need of humility and cutting down to size.

So yes, Severus would have expelled Harry.

Knowing what he knows, and desperate to cling to the last vestige of Lily he has, I doubt his education would simply be left to chance. I forsee strict personal tutelage in Harry's hypothical future; really, Severus would think Harry needs the hard knock lessons he himself had to go through, and his opinion of Harry would make that very easy to arrange and carry out.

  • 4
    That sounds like unsupported fan theory, sorry. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 7 '15 at 15:28
  • 3
    @DVK - Without an interview with Rowling, I don't know what other kind of answer can fit a question about something that was not allowed to take place. I've supported as best I could with Snape's own declared opinions on Harry. Any other suggested ways to improve or answer? – Radhil Jan 7 '15 at 15:33
  • @Radhil I believe Snape fooled you with his top class masquerade the same way he fooled Voldemort. Even without full knowledge of the prophecy at that time, he was already informed before by Dumbledore that the Dark Lord would come back and Harry was going to be in danger. Snape was doing all he could to protect Harry, while pretending to deeply hate him. It would be unwise for him to take Harry away from Dumbledore's protection. His hate for James was real but he didn't actually hate Harry. – ElmoVanKielmo Jan 8 at 8:50
  • The other side of the coin is that Snape wanted Harry to mistrust and hate him. If Harry liked and trusted Snape, Voldemort could anytime simply ask Snape to take Harry for a friendly trip which would surprisingly end up at Malfoy's mansion... – ElmoVanKielmo Jan 8 at 8:53
0

It could be a bluff. Easy to make threats when you have no intention of following through, and in Severus' case can deflect responsibility onto Dumbledore. Severus and Dumbledore have to impart the seriousness of what has been done in order to encourage Harry to think carefully about future actions. Worth mentioning also that this incident put Harry in grave danger with the Whomping Willow. This just months after he put himself in danger tracking down and facing Quirell alone. They need to discourage Harry from such actions to try to protect him from himself, at the very least. Dumbledore at least recognised how important Harry would be in stopping Voldemort at this time.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.