My friend is going back over the series now and had some thoughts about Snape and some other items we discussed. Snape’s apparent animosity to Harry can be explained by Dumbly-dore telling him to intentionally distance himself from Harry so as to give the “dark side” no reason to further suspect Snape. Later explanations to children notwithstanding the sickness of the wizard society, and its members, can be explained as stagnancy resulting from a society of long-lived members only recently removed (150 years?) from Wizard Council rule. environmental pressures (muggles) are causing the wizarding world to diminish. how many giants are left in Britain, did you say? the reason dark wizards are often returned to society with no or light punishment is that, if light totally triumphed over ”dark”, the way voldemort envisioned his triumph, the world would be as surely destroyed. Some balance must be maintained and neither side must ever gain an overwhelming advantage over the other. Perhaps only a few wizards are aware of this fact. The reason life isn”t as cherished in the wizarding world is that death isn”t always death, permanent injury isn”t often permanent and it has always been thus. It doesn”t help that the fertile imaginations of children, combined with training, often allows for more powerful incantations. In history, children often make the best warriors (in the muggle world, as well) mumbling diminishment, also, a driving reason for the move towards accepting muggle-born wizards and anyone (at Hogwarts) that can do magic. As well as the Monsters are People too, movement. Harry was left at the dursleys, not only for his protection, or to be raised away from his celebrity status, but because he would not raised with the same prejudices as wizard-born. Even Ron had those prejudices. continues mumbling