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Thread: Why the delay?

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    Why the delay?

    Okay- looking through the forums the consensus seems to be that Peter had been a Death Eater/ spy for a while before Lily and James died.

    The Fidelius charm was cast immediately before their death- I think it's less than a week or something like that.

    SO for over a year Harry Potter was alive, protected by the Order yes, but not protected by a Fidelius charm? So why did Peter not turn over their location to Voldemort before? Indeed Voldemort knew about the prophecy before Harry's birth so why does he wait until what, according to the prophecy, is the only threat to him, is nearly a year and a half old before actually attempting to kill him? Surely, given how by all accounts everything else was working in Voldie's favour, this would be top priority? So why the delay?

    I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but it's confusing me.
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    Good points raised.

    Okay, we don't know when the Prophecy was made. There isn't a canon date on this, although the Lexicon has hypothesized, but that's not conclusive.

    It was a rainy/stormy night in Hogsmeade according to Dumbledore, but we're talking Scotland and that could be the summer.

    Snape says he became a teacher 16 years ago in OOTP. That could put his start date at Sept 1980 when Harry was already born.

    We don't know when the Prophecy was told, we also don't know when Snape told Voldemort (he could have been mulling it over for a month or so) and we don't know when they worked out that both Lily and Alice had children at the end of July.

    It wasn't until Voldemort decided that Harry was a threat that the Order knew Harry was in danger. He may well have dismissed it as inconsequential when he first heard it. Remember, he set no store by fairytales so would he pay much attention to Sybil Trelawney's ravings?

    Not sure I've helped much. Perhaps they had better protection before the Fidelius Charm and the Charm made them lax.

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    I thought we did know when the prophecy was made. The language of the prophecy is all in the future tense, therefore surely it means it was made pre-July 1980.

    Although I agree Snape may have been mulling it over in his mind, I think the chances are that he didn't. If he had the slightest suspicion that the prophecy could apply to Lily than surely he would not have told Voldemort about it? That may be a question for the character forums and not here.

    It sort of makes sense that Voldemort initially dismissed it, but given he trusts Snape to spy on Dumbledore whilst Dumbledore thinks Snape is spying for him, I think he would trust Snape's judgement regards whether the prophecy was genuine or the Trelawney's ramblings.
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    Post nargles in the machine.

    Yes, sorry, I meant it could have been made whilst Lily and Alice (and Narcissa ) were pregnant but not before they'd conceived. I was getting confused with another timeline question.

    Regarding Voldemort trusting Snape, I don't think he trusted anyone particularly. It looks as if Snape was at the Hog's Head by accident. Whether he was actually there for an interview (Sybill thinks he was) is subject to debate, but I don't think he was sent there to deliberately spy on Dumbledore. He was, after all, merely interviewing a ridiculous woman for a teaching position. I think Snape was lucky, and the retelling of the Prophecy was what made him a part of Voldy's inner circle.

    It was only when Snape told Dumbledore that the Potters were the target that the Fidelius Charm was cast. Before then, they were in hiding, but perhaps they didn't think there was a specific threat.

    ~Carole~
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    Hmm. Wouldn't it be interesting to make a case for Snape sitting on the information for a long time? Dumbledore knew Snape knew and probably assumed it would get back to Voldemort, so the Potters were in hiding, but they weren't a specific target...perhaps because the other side actually didn't know yet? And when Snape did finally give up the information, that's when it got more serious and led to the Fidelius Charm. It would also explain Peter's silence for so long.

    Oooh, I think I've intrigued myself...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gina
    mm. Wouldn't it be interesting to make a case for Snape sitting on the information for a long time?
    Sitting on the information because he wanted to find out who it could pertain to and then when he realises, he tells Voldy hoping that Voldy will dispose of his rival and the brat.

    OOOH, I feel the curse of a 1000 Sevgirls raining down on me ... but darn it, that is intriguing.

    Having slept on this question, I think the only reason Peter didn't say where the Potters were before the Fidelius Charm was because it was unnecessary. Voldemort could have found them easily enough, it was only after the Fidelius was cast that he would have had trouble.

    When Snape visits Dumbledore and informs them that Voldy has decided on the Potter child, it can only be a week or so before Halloween. Dumbledore then suggests the Fidelius Charm ... and we know Peter betrayed them a week later.

    ~Carole~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padfoot Patronus
    Only that Snape started teaching at Hogwarts in 1981 as far as I think, which is '14 years' ago when Umbridge asks him how long he's been teaching (1995-14). If Snape started at Sep 1981, he wouldn't be meeting Dumbledore on the hill to say about Potter's danger now is he if he were working at the school?
    Oh, good point. Now why did I think it was 16 years - which makes no sense at all.

    He doesn't have to have started teaching in September 1981, McGonagall, for instance, starts teaching in December according to her statement to Umbridge. We know that the Fidelius was only cast a week before the Potters died. And they would have put that in place as soon as they possibly could. Perhaps the Fidelius takes a long time to cast? *shrugs* Personally, I don't think he could have become a teacher before Voldemort 'died'. There is no way Voldemort would believe that Dumbledore would hire Snape as a teacher, it doesn't make sense.

    What makes more sense is that after Voldemort was defeated, Snape was outed as a 'good-guy' and took up the position at Hogwarts.

    Ah ... nearly 16 years is how long Trelawney's been a teacher - Autumn 1995 -16 puts her at the back end of 1979/beginning of 1980. That again gives another teacher a start date not in September.

    ~Carole~
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  8. #8
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    I love Gina's conclusion.

    But the thing about Snape releasing the prophecy he heard over some time or instantly... well it could very well work if it was written that he relayed it as soon as he heard it. The thing to draw on from here is that if you are Voldemort and you hear the first half of the prophecy, it must be a little vague. Not much information there really until you begin exploring who fits the profile.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carole
    When Snape visits Dumbledore and informs them that Voldy has decided on the Potter child, it can only be a week or so before Halloween. Dumbledore then suggests the Fidelius Charm ... and we know Peter betrayed them a week later.
    Only that Snape started teaching at Hogwarts in 1981 as far as I think, which is '14 years' ago when Umbridge asks him how long he's been teaching (1995-14). If Snape started at Sep 1981, he wouldn't be meeting Dumbledore on the hill to say about Potter's danger now is he if he were working at the school? Besides Dumbledore still says to him along the lines of 'request of a DE' which is weird if he was actually already a teacher. That scene on the hill happened before Sep 1981. The delay of act on Voldemort's part could very well be explained by Ministry's intact control (how is it that you figure out where someone actually lived -makes me think of registers and forms), and fact that it takes time to place the moles who will help Voldemort decide who is the threat.

    So why did Peter not turn over their location to Voldemort before?
    Well this is confusing isn't it? Becuase the only idea that comes to me is that Peter was not considered as important as Snape and may be infact did not know that Voldemort was looking for them (atleast for some time) which is a little doubtful btw. It could be that Peter betrayed them on a few instances where they would be on a particular evening
    and thus an Order attack on Potters and/or Order turned ugly or was saved by (potentially) Snape's help to Dumbledore. May be Peter was not that high up the rank, may be he was in the beginning coerced to reveal information, which he'd do fearing for his life. May be it took him almost a years worth of trying to finally be so desperate and blind that he took the opportunity to save himself of the guilt of the little bombs by dropping the biggest one.

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