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Talk:Life debt

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Picture

I was thinking maybe a picture of the moment that Harry showed Peter mercy choosing not to let Sirius and Lupin kill him would be good here. --BachLynn23 17:24, July 26, 2010 (UTC)

Go for it. Yatanogarasu 17:31, July 26, 2010 (UTC)
I thought I had a picture of both Harry and Peter, when Peter was begging Harry to save him in the shrieking shack, but I can only find the picture of Peter by himself begging Harry, if anyone has a picture of this event with both Harry and Peter in it go ahead and change it. --BachLynn23 18:39, July 26, 2010 (UTC)

Magical bond?

The following statement by JKR calls into question whether a life debt is actually a magical bond:

"When Dumbledore said to Harry, Voldemort won't want a close associate who is in your debt, I wasn't implying by that there was any kind of magical bond there. It was more that Dumbldore's extensive wisdom and knowledge of human nature, he knew as Harry later thinks in book seven, he knew that Pettigrew would react a certain way to having saved his life."

Should we interpret this as inconsistency on JKR's part, or indication that life debts are merely a wizarding custom that relies not on magic, but on social expectation? Starstuff (Owl me!) 17:56, December 2, 2010 (UTC)

It is hard to tell since we have so few examples in the text. --JKochRavenclawcrest(Owl Me!) 18:00, December 2, 2010 (UTC)

How can Ginny not owe Harry one?

Whether or not J.K. Rowling said Ginny does not owe him a life debt, Harry still saved her life. He fought tooth and nail to get down their and save her and by saying she doesn't owe him one feels like you're trying to diminish that. Because how could she not?! I think J.K. might have been mistaken. Why wouldn't she? I mean, if Jo said, "Uh...Harry didn't really kiss Ginny in HBP" would we believe her just cause she said it when we KNOW Harry kissed her? Of course not! So, can I put it back on there? ---General Ironbeak, April 19 2011

It's not as cut-and-dry a matter as if Rowling stated there was no Harry-Ginny kiss in HBP. If she did, we could point to the scene in the book, and easily rule she'd gotten her facts mixed up and misspoken.
But how life debts work, exactly, has never been fully explained, either in the books or by JKR in an interview. There's no way of determining whether Ginny not owing Harry for her rescue in the Chamber of Secrets is an inconsistency because canon simply isn't clear enough about what a life debt is. It's possible young children rescued from peril aren't held to a life debt in the same way juvenile offenders aren't charged as adults. Or that one must see, and be able to identify, one's rescuer in order to owe a life debt to them (Ginny was unconscious when Harry rescued her, whereas Pettigrew was awake, and so presumably was Snape). It's logical to conclude that there are more parameters involved in incurring a life debt than simply being rescued, because it's such a potent thing, and could be abused or even faked if safeguards weren't in place.
I do hope we get some clarification on life debts from The Scottish book, but until then, JKR has said Ginny doesn't owe Harry a life debt, and per HP Wiki policy, "Rowling's Word is Law." Starstuff (Owl me!) 08:21, April 20, 2011 (UTC)
But that doesnt diminish the fact that Harry rescued her and risked his his life in doing so, does it? Cause that's what was bothering me.
Ugh........ i agree with what eveyrone else said. JKR never explained at all what it means to "save someones life(like you never actually know whether this guy was the reason of that guy not dying - especially in certain situations when it becomes very vague). In fact, JKR sucks, she didn't expalin any of the plotholes not even the very important horcruxes - it doesn't make sense at all since when you use up a horcrux it should be gone. Now, let me emphasize(f---? that's usually the way actually lol) about "saving someone else is toovauge). Consider me eating a orange. say, sirisu was about to kill peter pettigrew. Let's say he didn't suceed.Now say, we clone the universe - in this universe everything is the same - sirisu is still trying to kill peter. I lied - not EVERYTHING. the only thing that's differnet is that i didn't eat a orange. sirius DID suceed in this "virtualy universe". does that mean me eating the oragne is the cause of peters life beings saved? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 64.175.32.208 (talkcontribs).
One thought I'd like to point out to this argument, which seems lost above: JK did this interview after HBP was printed, and said, "No, not really," instead of a flat "No, never." Technically, her wording and timing could be taken as meaning that Ginny didn't owe Harry at this point in the story. It might be splitting hairs, but one could say that somehow it was resolved before the seventh book, perhaps during some battle (especially the Ministry or Astronomy Tower battles) or even more indirectly due to a positive effect on Harry's morale/psyche. Food for thought at least, and a potential question for a future interview if anyone ever gets the chance. 67.2.121.75 07:38, May 12, 2013 (UTC) 

Healers and Aurors

It's just came to me that if the parameter for a life debt was 'saving the life of...', no matter how vague and or loose the wording, then loads of people must be owing a life debt to healers or aurors. Aren't these the ones supposed to be in charge of saving or protecting lives? How does a bond not form with them?

jeun 21:01, March 20, 2012 (UTC)

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