Accept the tragedy
It seems that everyone is refusing to believe that Dumbledore is really dead. I don't want him to be gone either, and it is true that there are many clues pointing towards his return (such as Snape's unconvincing performance as a Death Eater and the mysterious behavior of Fawkes), but there are also a few things which make me think that if Dumbledore does make a comeback in the seventh book, it might be only in spirit.
First you have to wonder if JK Rowling would kill someone and then bring them back. Sure, Sirius and Peter Pettigrew were thought to be dead from the beginning of the series, then appeared in Book 3, but then we actually saw Sirius die and it is apparent that he is not coming back for high tea anytime soon.
Harry's parents are also very much deceased. You could say that Dumbledore is too significant a character for him to be out of the picture, that Harry is too dependent on Dumbledore's wisdom for him to have a fighting chance against Voldemort without him and in order for Voldemort to truly be gone for good Dumbledore must take part in his demise. But must Dumbledore necessarily be with Harry in the flesh to help guide Harry on his quest for the Horcruxes? Maybe JK Rowling will have a creative way for Dumbledore to "be there" with the young heroes when they most need his advice, hence the symbolism of the phoenix at the funeral, as has been noted by many other readers. Perhaps Harry, Ron and Hermione will be assisted by Fawkes (and Fawkes=Dumbledore?) from time to time.
And who didn't see the foreshadowing when Dumbledore shows up at Hogwarts with a withered and blackened hand? Surely a dead hand wouldn't be without significance in the book? Throughout the entire school year, every time Harry met with Dumbledore, JK Rowling always drew attention to the fact that his hand had still not healed. Dumbledore was permanently injured, and I got the feeling that he didn't care because he knew it was almost his time to go anyways.
He was constantly reminding Harry that Harry's life was more valuable than his own, and that if they should find themselves in a dangerous situation Harry should not hesitate to save himself before Dumbledore. That was more foreshadowing, I think. All very fatalistic.
What's more is, we know that the seventh book is going to be completely different from the other six because Harry is not going back to Hogwarts. He is coming of age, and maybe JK Rowling thinks it is time for Harry to be independent, and move on, and if Dumbledore represents Harry's life at Hogwarts, then Dumbledore's death symbolizes the end of Harry's life as a student and the beginning of Harry's life as an adult.
So it's possible that Dumbledore was supposed to die, because Harry needs to prove himself and fight in honor of Dumbledore, but not for Dumbledore. Somewhere in the story Dumbledore has said that he sees himself in Harry more than any other student he ever had. And even Harry states "I'm Dumbledore's man through and through." Is that not symbolistic?
It is entirely likely that Snape and Dumbledore DID plan everything out, that it is all an elaborate hoax, because that WOULD explain Dumbledore's uncharacteristic lapses in judgement. He did not stop Malfoy from attempting to fulfill his "task" given by Voldemort despite Malfoy's bumbling and blatant lack of discretion.
How is it that Dumbledore has always known every little thing going on in the castle and elsewhere, yet somehow did not notice Malfoy goings on in the Room of Requirement and lack of attendance and participation in classes and on the Quidditch team? Why did Dumbledore act so strangely every time Harry tried to tell him of his suspicions regarding Snape and Malfoy? Why did he refuse to listen?
Is it that Dumbledore simply could not fathom such a betrayal, or was he unwillingly yet resolutely acquiescing to fate, a destiny he had been long aware of, and so allowed all of this to take place under his nose, in essence letting himself be killed?
This is all very much speculation, I just wanted to bring up a different point of view.
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