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Thread: Why was Harry left with the Dursley's?

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    Analyn Grint
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    Why was Harry left with the Dursley's?

    Please forgive me if I am posting this in the wrong place. I searched around, and I didn't find any other thread concerning this topic - but I may have overlooked it!

    I was recently re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and a question struck me. On page thirteen, Dumbledore says to Professor McGonagall: "I've come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They're the only family he has left now."

    Here are my question(s):

    1. How could Dumbledore know they were his only remaining family? Was he not aware that Sirius was Harry's Godfather?

    2. If he knew about Sirius, why didn't he leave Harry in his care as James and Lily wanted? Sirius had not attacked Peter at that point, so that can't be the reason.

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    1. How could Dumbledore know they were his only remaining family? Was he not aware that Sirius was Harry's Godfather?
    I assume everyone in the Order was pretty close--after all, they had to fight alongside each other. I'm sure Dumbledore would have heard about the deaths in James and Lily's families. And I'm guessing the Potters also made a will, and reluctantly put the Dursleys as Harry's caretakers if Sirius was unavailable. Even though they were young, I'm sure they didn't assume they would live through the war against Voldemort, or come out completely unscathed.
    I'm answering the second part of this question #2 .

    2. If he knew about Sirius, why didn't he leave Harry in his care as James and Lily wanted? Sirius had not attacked Peter at that point, so that can't be the reason.
    James and Lily told no one about Peter becoming their Secret Keeper--not even Dumbledore. I think Dumbledore knew that the only way Voldemort could have found the Potters is if their Secret Keeper betrayed them, and since he assumed their Secret Keeper was Sirius...he put two and two together, and had Hagrid bring Harry to the Dursleys.

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    And let's also remember that Harry needed to be placed with someone who was blood-related to him so that the blood wards created when his prents sacrificed their lives for him would still keep him safe. Even if Sirius was found innocent, Dumbledore would probably find some way for Harry to go to his aunt and uncle anyway.

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    Agreeing with Molly here. Dumbledore needed Harry to be placed with blood relatives so he could do his charm and protect Harry, which is why he went to the Dursleys. Sirius is not a blood relative. Well, he might be seeing as all the pure-blood families are interrelated, but it needed to be Lily's blood, seeing as she was the one who sacrificed herself.

    And Dumbledore would have thought that Sirius was the Secret Keeper, and that it was he, not Peter, who had betrayed the Potters.

    As for that, I'm very curious to know why Hagrid had Sirius's motorbike. If he borrowed it just to give Harry to Dumbledore, Sirius would have justificated his case (you know, betraying Lily and James). But then again, how could Hagrid ride a motorbike so well? Unless he has tried it before. Maybe Sirius taught him and lent it to him even before the betrayal.
    Hagrid says in PS that Sirius Black gave it to him to get Harry to Dumbledore, and he adds in PoA that Sirius told him 'he wouldn't be needing it any more', which Hagrid found strange, and could well have been used as evidence against him. I'm not sure what you mean about it justifying Sirius' case, though.

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    1. How could Dumbledore know they were his only remaining family? Was he not aware that Sirius was Harry's Godfather?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evora
    Dumbledore knows almost anything, and family relations are too easy for him, I assume. James's parents might have already died - maybe they were used to bait James into being a Death Eater, but all the same, even if Harry's other relations were alive besides the Dursleys,
    It could only have been a blood relative of Lily's. James' family bloodline would not have held the same magic. Lily died for Harry despite being given the chance to live. Voldemort told her to stand aside ... he did not give James the same choice, so the Charm which was started by Lily's refusal to move aside, was then completed by Dumbledore's decision to send Harry to Lily's only remaining blood relatives.

    Sirius is the godfather, but there's no blood tie there at all. In the real world, a godfather can have an input into the child's life (and spiritual wellbeing) but there is absolutely no legal right to the child's upbringing.

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    I realize the question has already been answered, but I wanted to add as a point of character that I don't think James and Lily would have listed the Dursleys as potential parents for Harry under any circumstances at all. Lily knew Petunia would consider him a "freak," as she did Lily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire at Dawn
    Hagrid says in PS that Sirius Black gave it to him to get Harry to Dumbledore, and he adds in PoA that Sirius told him 'he wouldn't be needing it any more', which Hagrid found strange, and could well have been used as evidence against him. I'm not sure what you mean about it justifying Sirius' case, though.
    Oh, by 'justifying his case' meant that if he lent Hagrid his motorbike right after the murder of the Potter's, Sirius would be the one to have been blame, and Sirius would have pleaded that it wasn't him who betrayed them. Does that make sense? Anyway, that was just me and my ocassional ramblings

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    1. How could Dumbledore know they were his only remaining family? Was he not aware that Sirius was Harry's Godfather?
    Dumbledore knows almost anything, and family relations are too easy for him, I assume. James's parents might have already died - maybe they were used to bait James into being a Death Eater, but all the same, even if Harry's other relations were alive besides the Dursleys, he can't go live with them. I think Dumbledore had already suspected how the ancient magic of Lily's sacrifice for Harry would work. Harry needs to be under a home where Lily's blood relatives live. Hence, the Dursleys. It could have been his grandparents but let's assume that they're dead, otherwise Dumbledore would have picked them instead. Dumbledore's compassionate; if he had a better choice than the Dursleys, he would have picked it.

    Of course, Dumbledore knew who was Harry's Godfather. He would know what's been happening between the members of the secret society he founded, but still - Harry needed to live under the roof of a blood relative.

    2. If he knew about Sirius, why didn't he leave Harry in his care as James and Lily wanted? Sirius had not attacked Peter at that point, so that can't be the reason.
    I think my answer in the first question answers this too :P

    Quote Originally Posted by lucca4
    and since he assumed their Secret Keeper was Sirius...he put two and two together, and had Hagrid bring Harry to the Dursleys.
    As for that, I'm very curious to know why Hagrid had Sirius's motorbike. If he borrowed it just to give Harry to Dumbledore, Sirius would have justificated his case (you know, betraying Lily and James). But then again, how could Hagrid ride a motorbike so well? Unless he has tried it before. Maybe Sirius taught him and lent it to him even before the betrayal.


    EDIT: Okay, Molly practically summarised everything. And WOAH, my post is a spider!

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