How Was the Sword of Gryffindor Placed In the Pond in Deathly Hallows?
How was the Sword of Gryffindor placed into the pool in the Forest of Dean in Deathly Hallows?
‘So how did the sword get in that pool?’
‘Whoever cast the Patronus must have put it there.’
They both looked at the ornate silver sword, its rubied hilt glinting a little in the light from Hermione’s wand.
Deathly Hallows - page 304 - UK - chapter 19, The Silver Doe
I've read the chapters The Silver Doe (DH) and The Prince's Tale (HBP) many times over and I'm still not certain whether Snape placed the Sword of Gryffindor in the pool in the Forest of Dean, or if he somehow managed to have his doe Patronus place the sword there.
Was it Snape or his Patronus that actually placed the sword in the pool?
Well the provided quote *would seem* to indicate that "whoever cast the Patronus" did. I would guess from that that Snape himself did. Don't have canon for that, aside from what you mentioned, so this is a comment.
The Harry Potter wikia indicates that it was Snape, but without any reference. The page on the Patronus Charm also gives no indication that corporeal Patronuses are even capable of interacting with physical matter.
I think it is semi-safe to say that Snape was at least in, or near, the Forest of Dean when the sword was placed in the lake.
"And you still aren't going to tell me why it's so important to give Potter the sword?" said Snape as he swung a travelling cloak over his robes.
"Don't worry, Dumbledore," he said coolly. "I have a plan...."
[DH American soft-cover, pg 690]
Granted Snape could have been going anywhere with travelling robes, but likely he was going to the forest. So for the argument's sake, we've placed him "at the scene," so to speak, with a plan.
The lake was seemingly quite distant from the tent Harry and Hermonie were using. Additionally, just before the Silver Doe's appearance the forest seemed to take on an unnatural darkness. I believe it is not too much to assume that Snape, between the distance and a darkness spell, covered his actions while planting the sword and he then used his Patronus to lure Potter to it.
Several times he jerked upright, his neck aching because he had fallen asleep, slumped at an awkward angle against the side of the tent. The night reached such a depth of velvety blackness that he might have been suspended in limbo between Disapparition and Apparition. He had just help up a hand in front of his face to see whether he could make out his fingers when it happened.
Snow crunched beneath his feet, but the doe made no noise as she passed through the trees, for she was nothing but light. Deeper and deeper into the forest she led him, and Harry walked quickly, sure that when she stopped, she would allow him to approach her properly.
[DH American soft-cover, pgs 365-366]
So, for alternate reasons I agree with David's answer, that Snape was the one who placed the Sword of Gryffindor in the lake in the Forest of Dean.
+1. If I'd remembered about the conversation between Snape and Dumbledore, I might have incorporated similar thoughts in my answer, but I'm glad you put it because it's a completely different angle to come to the same conclusion!
I think this is a good theory. If you have a moment, read the small passage in *The Silver Doe*, starting with *‘You didn’t see anyone else?’* and going through *‘Anything there?’ Ron asked. ‘No,’ said Harry.* Do you think this indicates that Snape was not at the scene? I'm asking this as a serious question, not trying to debunk your theory, which I think is quite solid. :)
@Slytherincess: As I read that passage, it does indicate that Snape was at the scene. Snape would be clever enough to leave no trace, wouldn't he? I just see no other reason why JKR would let Ron say "I did think I saw something move over there".
@Slytherincess Yes, I have to say that that passage indicates someone was there. Later, in *The Prince's Tale*, it leads one to believe that it was Snape who was there, when he reveals his Patronus to Dumbledore.
@Slytherincess Read the next two sentences: "But he hesitated, glancing at two trees growing close together some yards away. / - I did think I saw something move over there..." They saw someone at the scene, Snape was in a traveling cloak and talking about delivering the sword, and there's no evidence patronuses can carry physical objects. I think that's quite enough evidence.
@Kevin - I tend to agree with you. The only thing I'm left wondering is whether Snape's Patronus had the capability to place the sword in the pond. Further down I put in a little blurb about how the Patronus is the only charm known to repel a Lethifold, which is fully corporeal. If the Patronus can lift up a Lethifold into the air, is it possible it could have carried the sword in its mouth to the pond? I'm 95% on board with you ... I just have this one bit that keeps me wondering. :)
@Slytherincess Another thing to consider is whether or not a patronus would also have been able to break the ice to place the sword on the bottom.
If Snape wanted Harry to have the sword why throw it in the Pond in the first place? I agree that Snape took it there but why throw it in the water?
Snape wouldn't have to use a patronus to place the sword there assuming that's even possible. Aren't wizards capable of levitating objects? He could've levitated the sword directly over the pond. I don't think the entire lake is covered in ice either, but if it was, he could've used a spell to crack it prior to placing the sword. @Johan Pretorius To make Harry suffer, obviously lol.
@JohanPretorius As James says Sev did it in spite of Harry. There is a quote from Rowling somewhere where she talks about this; not sure where I saw it whether in a chat or elsewhere. But she did mention that he didn't need to do it but he did it out of spite. Of course it was almost to the ruin of the plan but the fact he could still help Harry after what his father did, and the fact he could also at his dying moment tell Harry to look him in his eyes shows his complications all the more. And I for one love his character & Harry forgives Severus and names his son after him! Shows Harry well.
@JamesM James, you assume that the Sword of Gryffindor could even be influenced by spells like Wingardium Leviosa or Accio.