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I was watching the Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince movie recently and when Harry tries to take down Snape at the end

(after Snape kills Dumbledore)

it was a perfect opportunity for the Death Eaters to take Harry to Voldemort.

Why didn't the fleeing Death Eaters take Harry right then? Was it too much of a risk for them to take him?

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Well ... it is actually Snape who stops them.

He is still a double-agent and uses the argument that Voldemort wants to personally deal with Harry to forbid them from assaulting and also abducting him.

Also don't forget that the death eaters were currently fleeing after executing the main objective - to kill Dumbledore. Harry was not the main target of this raid. The ministry was not yet under their control and aurors could start apparating just outside Hogwart's grounds and capture them.

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    Thanks. The last part of your answer is what i was looking for. I guess they were rushed and had little time to think BUT i feel that in the film it was poorly done. When Harry was knocked onto the floor the Death Eaters had plenty of time to quickly pick him up and leave (worth taking that time and risk since Harry is an important objective). I guess that's poetic license for ya... – Gargandeep Jan 29 '15 at 20:49
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    "Executing the main objective" metaphorically and literally :p – Möoz Jan 29 '15 at 21:32
  • @Gargandeep "i feel like in the film it was poorly done". Yeah...there's a lot of that to go around... – DavidS Jun 23 '17 at 9:58
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You'll note that Bellatrix hexes Harry in front of Hagrid's hut and Snape stops her: "No! He belongs to the Dark Lord!" Voldemort had an established history of ordering his underlings not to interfere when it came to bringing harm to Harry -- he wanted to do it all himself. I should say that this changes in Deathly Hallows, at which point Voldemort is willing to accept help in capturing Harry.

Was it too much of a risk? Actually, I'd say it wasn't at that point. In fact, Harry left himself quite vulnerable to attack or abduction by chasing after Snape and the other Death Eaters -- he no longer had Dumbledore to swoop in and come to his rescue and Snape could not blow his cover as a double agent. If Snape had protected Harry any further than telling Bellatrix to stop hexing Harry, it would have caused suspicion, especially on the part of Bellatrix, who we know was doubtful of Snape's loyalty to Voldemort from the beginning of the film.

It was also a plot point. Harry couldn't disappear at the end of Half-Blood Prince because Deathly Hallows couldn't then occur as it did.

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    OP isn't asking about killing Harry. Why couldn't they capture Harry? – Captain Cold Jan 29 '15 at 17:14
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    Yeah, exactly. Surely they could have at least taken him to Voldemort. That would have been the sensible thing to do. – Gargandeep Jan 29 '15 at 17:17
  • @SS - True. Edited for clarity. Thanks for pointing that out. :) – Slytherincess Jan 30 '15 at 10:37
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    @Gargandeep -- I agree that the sensible thing to do would have been for the Death Eaters to take Harry to Voldemort at that point in the Half-Blood Prince movie. But they didn't and that's not a choice I personally had anything to do with. I tried to answer the question pertaining to what is, not what perhaps should be. I've revised my answer -- maybe it's more acceptable now? :) – Slytherincess Jan 30 '15 at 10:50
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    @Slytherincess - Thanks for the update. Even though your answer includes some really important points, it still doesn't quite cut it for me. I understood at the time that Snape was trying to protect Harry but it was ridiculous that the most important character was left lying on the floor while they ran off. It just seemed like a particularly flawed scene and something that the filmmakers could have easily avoided. If they hadn't made Harry defenseless at that point it would have be fine. Sorry for being so pedantic... – Gargandeep Jan 30 '15 at 21:28
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Because Voldemort (supposedly) ordered them to leave him.

‘No!’ roared Snape’s voice and the pain stopped as suddenly as it had started; Harry lay curled on the dark grass, clutching his wand and panting; somewhere above him Snape was shouting, ‘Have you forgotten our orders? Potter belongs to the Dark Lord – we are to leave him! Go! Go!’

What's not clear is why he ordered them to leave him. I personally err on the side of Snape intentionally misconstruing Voldemort's orders that Harry Potter should be left in situ.

  • Apparently Voldemort was familiar with the dangers of mission creep. – EvilSnack Oct 16 '16 at 17:10

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