7 Reasons Why Dumbledore Did Not Tell Harry ANYTHING

Although Harry Potter himself was a key figure in defeating Lord Voldemort, Harry was often kept in the dark by Albus Dumbledore. Why was that? Here’s what you need to know…

Why did Dumbledore not tell Harry about the Order of the Phoenix?

There are several related reasons that could possibly explain why Dumbledore did not tell Harry about the existence of the Order of the Phoenix in addition to its top-secret list of members.

#1 Recoiling for Another Loss

In Order of the Phoenix, Harry has had to emotionally process and come to terms with the murder of Cedric, and the return of Voldemort while working through the events he is experiencing at school. By means of sympathy and taking into consideration Harry’s short-tempered nature, Dumbledore might have not wanted to add to it.

#2 A Mind Shared by Two

Source: Harry Potter Fandom

In the books, Dumbledore explained to Harry that the reason he avoided Harry was due to the connection Harry shares with Voldemort (due to him, at the time, being a Horcrux involuntarily created by Voldemort). 

His intentions were ultimately motivated by fear that Voldemort could exploit that connection to get to Harry and himself.

#3 A Mercy to the Abused

Source: Quora

Dumbledore knew joining the Order would expose Harry to more loss and pain when in reality, he was too young to have experienced the degree of Abuse he had already received under the care of the Dursleys. 

Dumbledore was quoted to tell Harry in Book 5, “you had suffered. I knew you would when I left you on your aunt and uncle’s doorstep. I knew I was condemning you to ten dark and difficult years.”

He even says to the Dursleys, “he has known nothing but neglect and often cruelty at your hands.” We can assume his intention was to soften the load on Harry, in the least harmful way possible.

Why did Dumbledore not tell Harry about the prophecy?

All the prophecies in the Department of Mysteries are Ministry property. Therefore, it would be difficult for Dumbledore to extract these files without it being alerted. Furthermore, the existence of the prophecies alone was a secret that was guarded under lock and key. Harry only knew of it because it was relevant to him considering he was already marked as the ‘Boy who Lived’.

From a factual point of view, no one in the ministry believed that Voldemort was alive. His existence was a rumour. 

Due to this, most of the ministry was against Dumbledore because he kept saying that The Dark Lord was back. Not to forget they were trying their best to expel Harry in fear that him being a student would only provoke the Dark Lord (if he was in fact, alive and buying time). 

The ministry had the perception that Dumbledore was trying to recruit people for some secret society to fight against the Ministry. So, either way, they would never listen to, nor help Dumbledore!

Furthermore, while it is true Hogwarts has very strong protection, the prophecy could only be extracted by either Harry or Voldemort and this was a fact only Dumbledore knew – so, in fear that Harry was not ready to know this information, Dumbledore kept it a secret until the right moment.

Why did Dumbledore not tell Harry about Snape?

#1 An Easy Target

Source: Time

There are two parts to this theory. One is that Severus Snape is a master of Occlumency and therefore a difficult target for Voldemort to see through. 

The second is that Harry himself was not able to block Voldemort, and therefore the overall plan between Snape and Dumbledore was too critical to risk its discovery. Information tends to leak out faster when it is known by more people. The Death Eaters were seeking that information ruthlessly and would not, in fact, did not, hesitate to torture and kill to discover it.

We can add a base to this theory by looking at the below excerpt:

“Now, Severus, the sword! Do not forget that it must be taken under conditions of need and valour – and he must not know that you give it! If Voldemort should read Harry’s mind and see you acting for him.

– Albus Dumbledore (The Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33, The Prince’s Tale)

#2 Trust comes at a cost with Dumbledore

Dumbledore has lived a long and adventurous life. It is only fair to presume he has been both impressed and disappointed by people and their ability to stand by his side. A possible presumption could be that he was just not very certain he could trust Harry completely to keep the secret from those he cared for. 

A prime example is that he would likely tell Snape’s tale to Hermione, Ron and Ginny, who would possibly relay it further to the Weasley family where Percy Weasley, who worked for the Ministry of Magic, could catch wind of this shift in allegiance, and notify the ministry.

“I knew my brother, Potter. He learned secrecy at our mother’s knee. Secrets and lies, that’s how we grew up, and Albus… he was a natural.– Aberforth Dumbledore, (Deathly Hallows, Chapter 28, The Missing Mirror).

#3 Acceptance of one’s fate is Defeat

Dumbledore knew Harry had a “Saving People Affinity” and therefore expected him to not calmly accept that Dumbledore engineered his own death, and instead would do everything in his power to charge in wands blazing to try and save him.

“I am afraid I counted on Miss Granger to slow you up, Harry. I was afraid that your hot head might dominate your good heart– Albus Dumbledore (Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35, King’s Cross)

Why did Dumbledore not tell Harry about Godric’s Hollow?

We can only speculate that Dumbledore did not speak of the attack at Godric’s Hollow for three reasons: 

  1. The painful memories it would bring back to Harry on the sacrifice his mother and father made to protect him as an infant. 
  2. This event was brought about by Peter Pettigrew’s betrayal and therefore may indirectly lead to Harry losing trust in his friends. Which would be a repercussion of him trying to prevent a repeat in history.
  3. The last and most likely is that he did not want Harry to know the details of that night because it may lead to him or his friends piecing together that Harry himself was a Horcrux (that Voldemort never intended to make). We already know from the Deathly Hallows, Hermione already suspected this may be the case. Perhaps Dumbledore was trying to prevent this idea from being centralised too soon – as Voldemort may read Harry’s mind and use this information to his advantage.

Why did Dumbledore not tell Harry about the Deathly Hallows?

Dumbledore was a smart man. He knew when to attack and when to recoil and study. The Deathly Hallows for example were one of the few mentions in the series whereby Dumbledore seemed genuinely afraid of the uncertainty they carried with them – as can be seen in the below excerpts from the Deathly Hallows:

“Can you forgive me?” he said. “Can you forgive me for not trusting you? For not telling you? Harry, I only feared that you would fail as I had failed. I only dreaded that you would make my mistakes. I crave your pardon, Harry. I have known, for some time now, that you are the better man.”

“What are you talking about?” asked Harry, startled by Dumbledore’s tone, by the sudden tears in his eyes.

“The Hallows, the Hallows,” murmured Dumbledore. “A desperate man’s dream!”

“But they’re real! Real, and dangerous, and a lure for fools,” said Dumbledore.

Had Harry known earlier about Horcruxes, it would not have changed anything. Even at twelve he instinctively knew to destroy the diary, and Dumbledore could never have predicted that Harry would stumble across one so young. 

Instead, he planned things out carefully and told Harry about Horcruxes when he was old and skilled enough to join the hunt for them.

Why did Dumbledore not tell Harry how to destroy the Horcruxes?

The reason that Dumbledore keeps his knowledge about the Horcruxes secret, (and presumably this is the same reason he did not tell the Order), is because he did not want the word to get around that he knew so many of the Dark Lord’s secrets. This is likely so the Dark Lord would stay confident that his Horcruxes would be safe, and he would not decide to secure them better or change their locations.

“Sir, am I allowed to tell Ron and Hermione everything you’ve told me?’

Dumbledore considered him for a moment, then said, ‘Yes, I think Mr Weasley and Miss Granger have proved themselves trustworthy. But, Harry, I am going to ask you to ask them not to repeat any of this to anybody else. It would not be a good idea if word got around how much I know, or suspect, about Lord Voldemort’s secrets.”

– Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 10 (The House of Gaunt)

This was sound reasoning – as soon as the Dark Lord finds out Hufflepuff’s cup was stolen, he decides to check on them all and redouble protection around them.

“But to be sure, to be utterly sure, he must return to each of his hiding places, he must redouble protection around each of his Horcruxes …”

– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 27 (The Final Hiding Place)

By not telling anyone, including the Order, Dumbledore ensured that the Dark Lord remained confident in his defences for as long as possible – by the time he began checking on them, the Dark Lord only had two left, the Diadem and Nagini

The diadem was destroyed while he was still in the process of checking on them, so he did not have time to move it either. Dumbledore prioritised keeping the Dark Lord from finding out he knew. 

Though the Order should be theoretically trustworthy, the last time a Potter died was because of a spy in their ranks!

Why did Dumbledore not tell Harry that he was a Horcrux?

It appears that Dumbledore was afraid of Voldemort finding out that he knew about the Horcruxes. At the end of Deathly Hallow Harry realized that Dumbledore also did not want to waste anyone else’s life. 

According to ‘The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore’ writer, @Theowyn; 

“Harry had to die anyway, so Dumbledore decided to use him as the Horcrux hunter:

Dumbledore’s betrayal was almost nothing. Of course, there had been a bigger plan; Harry had simply been too foolish to see it, he realised that now. He had never questioned his own assumption that Dumbledore wanted him alive. 

Now he saw that his life span had always been determined by how long it took to eliminate all the Horcruxes. Dumbledore had passed the job of destroying them to him, and obediently he had continued to chip away at the bonds tying not only Voldemort but himself, to life! 

How neat, how elegant, not to waste any more lives, but to give the dangerous task to the boy who had already been marked for slaughter, and whose death would not be a calamity, but another blow against Voldemort.”

Dumbledore for all his triumphs and flaws was a man of mystery and knowledge. We may never know the reasoning behind most of the decisions he made, or the thought process that preceded them. We do however have this quote from Dumbledore himself on his reasoning behind being secretive – whereby he stated that he “prefer not to put all of my (Dumbledore’s) secrets in one basket.”

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Maariyah Bhari

For the love of written words, a cathartic release for me has always been writing. I have over 8 years of writing experience and two degrees in business.

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