Now I'm curious what your additional thoughts are on the Dumbledore Sirius thing
Hi there! Thanks for the ask. I definitely have opinions on this.
Overall, I think it’s clear that Dumbledore doesn’t like Sirius much, on a personal level. This is understandable- Sirius was most likely a little shit during most of his school years, as we see in Snape’s memories. However, this does not excuse Dumbledore’s treatment of Sirius, which I am still salty about.
The fact that Dumbledore was hesitant about making Sirius the Potters’ secret keeper, yet allowed it to happen anyway proves to me that he did not actually suspect Sirius as the spy at this time. This makes sense. Sirius is too rash and unpredictable to have been a spy for an entire year. Dumbledore likely worried that Sirius would accidentally give up the Potters’ location, either through trickery, or without thinking it through, or under duress, similar to how he gave up Remus’ secret back in school.
And yet, after Sirius’ arrest, Dumbledore doesn’t question Sirius at all. Even thought Voldemort was supposedly defeated, there were still plenty of Death Eaters out and about. Dumbledore also states to Snape that he fears Voldemort will return, so even if he wasn’t completely clear about the horcrux situation, he was definitely aware that something was amiss. You’d think he’d want to question Sirius about what the hell actually happened, even if he thought Sirius was guilty, if only to gather as much information as possible, but he doesn’t.
I think Dumbledore was content to let Sirius be locked away because it was convenient. It meant that he was able to have more control over Harry’s situation, and it kept a hothead who’d screwed over two close friends (and valuable Order members) with his careless behavior out of Dumbledore’s hair. I’m sure Dumbledore thought he was acting out of the best interests for The Chosen One. If it was at the expense of an asshole Black hothead who’d nearly lost them the war, well, so be it.
Moving on to post-Azkaban… I will mostly bypass my extreme skepticism of Dumbledore not being able to clear Sirius’ name without Peter in custody, because that’s just my personal opinion. I’m not saying he had to be declared innocent that very evening, but the fact that there’s no evidence of Dumbledore trying again over the next two years makes me irritable.
Regardless, there is no excuse for the way Dumbledore treated Sirius in OOTP. Throughout the book, Sirius clearly exhibits signs of mental illness. Being trapped in his childhood home where he continues to be verbally abused by his mother in portrait form does not help matters. I understand that it was dangerous for Sirius to be out and about, but honestly, I’ve read about fifty fics that work around this issue and allow for more freedom. If you are going to tell me that the only option for Sirius was complete isolation, well, I just don’t agree. The fact that Sirius’ mental health is never taken into consideration is upsetting to me.
Dumbledore says after Sirius’ death, “Sirius was a brave, clever, and energetic man, and such men are not usually content to sit at home in hiding while they believe others to be in danger.” This isn’t something that Dumbledore just realized. He’s know Sirius for over twenty years. He’d been through a war once before with him. He knew that keeping Sirius cooped up was in many ways just as dangerous as letting him out on certain missions would be. He knew that keeping Sirius locked away was just going to make him more reckless once he was allowed out. He knew, and yet he did nothing to stop it, hoping against hope that Sirius would be content to sit quietly until he was needed, even though that goes completely against his character.
One of Dumbledore’s biggest flaws is that he expects people to act as they should rather than as they are. Sirius bears the brunt of this, and I’ll never stop being salty about it.
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