Severus Snape

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Post  Mona on Thu May 26, 2011 1:35 pm

constant vigilance - Aug 18, 2005 8:34 pm (#2451 of 2980)
Edited Aug 18, 2005 9:40 pm
oh..T VRana, I did not right my post in response to any one's specific opinion on the Snape-Harry relationship. Please don't think that. This is just something I've wanted to have the courage to finally articulate and post.

Harry does have a lousy childhood, but he is a likable kid and he makes friends at Hogwarts, so no matter how bad it gets, he can always turn to them.

True. Harry has friends, but I would think one must desire friendship in order to obtain it. Harry enters the Hogwarts express, and quickly shares his candy with Ron. Harry had the desire to make friends. He did not build a fortress around his heart despite the Dursley's attitude towards his existence..but he could have.

Harry could have also been like Neville. Harry's confidence in himself was absolutely not nurtured by the Dursley's, just as Neville was meek in the beginning because of the "great expectations' for him to live up to his father repuation. Yet somehow, Harry has this fire within him a desire to prove those people wrong, which the Hat noted.

I just think that Harry could teach Snape about compasion if only Snape would remove his armored wall.

And I agree...Snape being unkind does not excuse Sirius, Lupin, James or any other person who hexed and harassed him.


T Vrana - Aug 18, 2005 8:51 pm (#2452 of 2980)
Constant vigilance-

There is no doubt that the whole HP series has much to do with choices. Snape makes bad choices, regardless of why, he still made choices. Yes, he could learn much from Harry, but it may be too late for Snape to change his basically nasty personality.

The big question is what Harry can learn from Snape. Can Harry learn compassion for Snape? Can Harry accept that Snape made many, many bad choices, but can still be redeemed?


Lizardbeth Johnson - Aug 18, 2005 10:15 pm (#2453 of 2980)
Saracene: Re: Snape being a loner - I wonder, timeline-wise, at what point he became the part of the Slytherin gang Sirius mentioned and which then produced so many of Voldemort's Death Eaters. It's most likely to have been during his sixth or seventh year at Hogwarts...

That might be, but actually I tend to think it's just the opposite. We know Lucius Malfoy was five years ahead of him. I suspect Lucius saw this Dark Arts prodigy get sorted into his house and took a personal interest, bringing him into his circle. That circle probably included Avery, Bella, Lestrange, Crabbe Sr, and Goyle Sr at least (since they were all under Malfoy's orders at the DoM) and maybe Rosier and Narcissa as well. I see Lucius as far more likely to gather and lead such a gang, not Snape. If true that the gang was Lucius', then unfortunately for Snape, they all left Hogwarts by Snape's middle years. Worse, if Snape had put all his social eggs into Lucius' basket, he might not have had any friends/allies his own year in Slytherin (I can just imagine the sneers in his Slytherin dormitory: "pathetic half-blood loser hanging on malfoy's coattails"). This would have left Snape basically alone and unprotected in his year five (Gang-less, in effect), but I'm not sure that Sirius would have recognized that, or cared, especially if Malfoy's crew had done some bad stuff to them in the years before.

But in any case, of all the Death Eaters: the Next Generation in Snape's classes, Snape has seemed to favor Draco the most. This suggests to me that Snape was closer to Draco's father than to the others'. Of course, for awhile it was also far more politically expedient to treat Draco well while Lucius was in power. But as we've seen, Snape was still willing to make the Unbreakable Vow to protect Draco, despite the fact that Lucius is in Azkaban and not high on Voldie's Christmas card list either. So maybe it's because he owes Lucius (and Narcissa, too) for being his friend in school, when nobody else was.

And just a random thought: If Crabbe and Goyle are as stupid as they're portrayed, how on Earth did they pass their OWLS and come back for Sixth year? Snape's presumed favoritism could only pass them in one class, after all...


T Vrana - Aug 19, 2005 4:14 am (#2454 of 2980)
"Snape's presumed favoritism could only pass them in one class, after all..."

OWLS were given by outside Witches and Wizards, Snape could not affect the grades.

Maybe that's wht Crabbe and Goyle had so much time to help Draco, not mnay classes to attend/

Good thoughts on Snape's gang being older. leaving him alone later.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 19, 2005 4:50 am (#2455 of 2980)
Edited Aug 19, 2005 5:53 am
You know, I swear it says in HBP that Snape gave Crabbe and Goyle detention because they were in danger of failing their O.W.L.s a second time.

Edit: Yes, at least for one O.W.L. They need to resit for DADA. It's at the very end of "The Unbreakable Vow".


T Brightwater - Aug 19, 2005 5:06 am (#2456 of 2980)
Edited Aug 19, 2005 6:07 am
Crabbe and Goyle failed their DADA O.W.L.S. and had to take them again. Snape had them in detention for not studying enough.

We know Snape was especially resentful of James for saving his life; it really bothered him to owe a debt to someone he despised. What if the same was true of Lily? That of all the people who came to his defense when he was being bullied by James & Sirius, it was someone he resented - a bright, popular Muggleborn who was better than him at at least one subject? That would equally well explain the "Mudblood" comment. Lily's blink could be just that someone she was trying to help was insulting her, and she wasn't expecting it. Maybe at that moment she realized that Snape contributed his share to whatever feud was going on. She didn't waste any time in handing it back, either: "I'd wash your pants if I were you, Snivellus!"

I don't think Snape ever had the kind of grudge against her that he did against the Marauders, but he didn't like her, either. What made it worse was that he couldn't honestly say anything really nasty about her. And I think he takes it out, not on Harry, but on Hermione. The fact that _she_ knew the answers to his questions on the first day may have reinforced the connection. That would also contribute to the delight he took in reading the Witch Weekly article aloud - it embarassed both of his least favorite students in one go, and gave him a little vicarious revenge on Lily and James.

Edit: Cross-posted with Mrs Brisbee.


T Vrana - Aug 19, 2005 5:36 am (#2457 of 2980)
If Snape didn't like Lily seems like he could come up with something nasty to say, at the very least he could comment on her bad taste in choosing James, but he never says anything at all.

As for picking on Hermione, Snape is a bully himself. Kids who are bullies sometimes choose to bully others, kids who are abused often choose to become abusive parents (note that I see this as a choice, not an excuse).

This is about choices and Harry is our hero because given similar circumstances he chose not to bully, and not to be in Slytherin. But I'm not sure that that is the end of his journey. I think he needs to be able to forgive and see the possibility of redemption as DD did, unlike Snape who is still holding a grudge. We know James turned out to be a decent man, but Snape has not forgiven him, and did not see that even though James made mistakes, he redeemed himself, (perhaps the night Snape nearly died. That may have been the event that caused James to realize they had gone too far.)


Saracene - Aug 19, 2005 5:52 am (#2458 of 2980)
Edited Aug 19, 2005 7:13 am
If Snape disliked Lily, it makes it pretty strange for him to say absolutely nothing bad about her to Harry during the course of six books. And I think that what the Pensieve memory makes clear is that the way people feel about each other may go through a 180-degree turn, as Lily and James' example shows.

It's funny, but the first time I've read that Snape and James hated each other I immediately thought of a girl being involved in it somehow. And whether Snape owed James a life debt or not, I just can't for the life of me imagine him going through what DD called "the biggest regret of his life" on James' behalf, not at all. I don't get the impression that he thought much of James' saving his life either; from his perspective James was only acting to save himself and his Marauder buddies from getting expelled or copping an even harsher punishment if Snape was killed. The net result did save his life, and it irks him no doubt, but I can't really see it playing that huge a role in Snape's turn to the good side.

Re: James and redemption, I wish we knew what his later feelings were on the way he and Sirius treated Snape. Sirius mentions that even after James started to go out with Lily in the seventh year he didn't stop hexing Snape, as Snape was "a special case"; and if I remember correctly the incident with Lupin happened in a much earlier year.


T Brightwater - Aug 19, 2005 6:05 am (#2459 of 2980)
Edited Aug 19, 2005 7:06 am
I think Harry is already starting to learn those lessons - his dislike of Draco is already modified by pity, and I think that will only grow stronger.

I'll agree to disagree about Snape and Lily until Jo gives us more information. Wouldn't be the first time I've had to eat my words. :-)

I think the Pensieve scene tells us something else important about Snape. If it really is his worst memory, the worst thing for Snape is an assault on his dignity. This goes along with his insistence on Harry calling him "sir," with his "I believe I am the Potions Master at this school" in CoS, and his fury over Neville's boggart. It's not being hurt or bullied that's his greatest fear - it's being made to look ridiculous. It was Harry's comment "just because they made a fool of you in school" that tipped him over the edge in the Shrieking Shack, and I think he's also got a bit of a grudge against DD for being amused at him losing it over Sirius's escape.


Saracene - Aug 19, 2005 6:35 am (#2460 of 2980)
Edited Aug 19, 2005 7:45 am
Oooh yeah. Which is why I think he'd hate Harry so much more after Harry got to see him so horribly humiliated in the Pensieve memory, and why I'm sure that Snape would never, EVER, have left that memory on purpose for Harry to see.

What I'm really curious to see is Snape's direct interactions with Voldemort, either past or present; what's his manner around him, and whether is it very different from what we normally see from him. Does he go for that stereotypical "yes master" cronyish thing, for example, Smile


Lina - Aug 19, 2005 6:39 am (#2461 of 2980)
This thread is really hard to follow, yet, so interesting that it is not possible to skip any post. It was really frustrating seeing the number of posts growing and not being able to read them all and post all opinions. i hope I'll catch the rhythm now.

I like the idea that Snape didn't say anything against Lily because she was the only one who stood up for him. That is making the most sense for me. If Snape's dad was really a bad and abusing person, it would be logical for him to beware all the muggles or muggleborns and avoid them. Still, there is a muggleborn who stood up for him. I think it confuses him a lot, he doesn't know what to feel, so he chooses not to feel anything.

Another thing that might bother him is that Harry is the chosen one. Not chosen by the prophecy, but chosen by LV. And the person responsible for LV choosing Harry is him! There might be still some other reason why Snape discovered that he didn't want to be a DE any more, he probably discovered that it is the choice he couldn't make, according to what happened to Regulus. Maybe he discovered about the horcruxes and decided to destroy LV by himself already and take the credit for it some day (sorry for being persistent). Now, thanks to handing the prophecy to LV, the man who saved his life and made it miserable at the same time and a woman who stood up for him got killed and their son became the chosen one while he imagined that he would be the one who would defeat Voldemort. I can understand that he felt a great remorse for that. Still, I don't think that DD (who has such a great brains) would rely just on words of remorse to believe Snape. I think that there had to be something much more useful that would make DD believe him.

Yet, if he knew about the locket, why didn't he destroy it in the fifth book?


irish flutterby - Aug 19, 2005 8:23 am (#2462 of 2980)
with regards to Potions Master PRofessor Severus Snape:

"The thought manifests as the word; the word manifests as the deed; The deed develops into habit; And habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care, And let it spring from love Born out of concern for all beings." - The Buddha

I think as far as Snape's gridge goes (and possibly other grudges that we have not been made aware of) He has dwelt on these things until he bagan to tell himself over, and over, that the Marauders were...well...gits. To the point that his hatred became a part his character. His general character is a distain for just about everyone.

just a thought.


T Brightwater - Aug 19, 2005 9:36 am (#2463 of 2980)
Exactly, irish flutterby. There's a passage from Dorothy L. Sayers' essay "The Faust Legend and the Idea of the Devil" which I think is very relevant to Snape:

"The lust for destruction in no way increases the happiness of those who indulge in it - if anything, the more successful they are in it, the more miserable they are - but they persist in it because they have destroyed their own will for anything else." Later in the same paragraph she speaks of other ways in which this tendency manifests itself in human beings: "our savage resentment against those we have injured, which prompts us to renew the injury and so increase the miserable resentment."


Madam Pince - Aug 19, 2005 10:18 am (#2464 of 2980)
What excellent and eloquent quotes! They fit exactly as I picture Snape.

Another example: I know a lady who is just a miserable person. She is unhappy, unattractive, and acts nasty to almost everyone. She doesn't have to be this way, but she chooses to be this way. I personally feel that she is so convinced that there is no way she can bring herself "up," that the only way to make herself feel marginally better is to bring everyone else around her "down." And although she doesn't really feel anything other than perhaps some grim satisfaction, she keeps doing it because she doesn't know anything else to do. It's quite sad, really.


T Vrana - Aug 19, 2005 10:21 am (#2465 of 2980)
irish flutterby and t brightwater-

Both excellent quotes and very applicable to Snape. I think the question, for me anyway, is Snape beyond redemption?


Gregory Royal - Aug 19, 2005 11:03 am (#2466 of 2980)
I'm more than certain that Severus Snape is a Death Eater and a horrible excuse for a human being. Oh, a brilliant, brilliant man with an innovative mind -- but a horrible heart.

Everything he told Bellatrix Lestrange in Spinners End can be interpreted as a lie -- a lie so he could continue spying for Dumbledore. Except for one thing: Emmy Vance's murder. He tells Bellatrix that his information led to her death. If that's true, and I certainly believe it is, there's no way the Order of the Phoenix would do something like this -- you know, "Let's have Snape give them information that leads to a death. They'll trust him more!! Now who's willing to die? Oh, Emmy? Okay!" -- and so that seems beyond reconciliation.

Dumbledore's a brilliant mind but he's foolish in several respect -- naive, too idealistic for his own good. Remember in book four, when Barty Crouch (impersonating Alastor Moody) says to Dumbledore, "What's happened? Snape said something about Barty Crouch!" Dumbledore never asked Snape if this was true; never even bothered to employ Legillimency on Crouch/Moody while he was saying it. If he had done either of these basic things, particularly the former, he would've realized that Alastor Moody, his old friend, was lying to him and thus couldn't actually be Alastor Moody.

The books seem to hint that Snape loved James Potters' wife; and they seem to hint that Dumbledore trusted him because he felt sorry for James Potters' death, presumably because of the life debt that he probably never repaid. Dumbledore trusted in love, I think, when it came to Severus Snape. Love, compassion and mercy -- is there ANYTHNG else Severus Snape shouldn't be associated with?

Aside from the circumstantial bits about Dumbledore being a fool to trust blindly, to take people at their word, Snape attacked Flitwick. There was no reason for it. There were no Death Eaters in the Dungeons to see that. It was a senseless and unneccessary strike.

"But he didn't attack Hermoine!" you might say, but hey, she had taken Felix Felicis. She probably got lucky that he was in a hurry. That aside, why attack Flitwick? There was absolutely no reason for it.

I just get the feeling that Dumbledore made a huge mistake. I just hope he didn't tell Snape about the Horcruxes aside from the ring. I think he told Snape about the Ring because Snape stopped him from dying because of the "horrible curse" that was on it. Now Voldemort, I suspect, will know that TWO of his horcruxes are gone.

Finally, Rowling goes to great pains to show us that Snape is trustworthy just she like did with Moody in book four only to stuns us. I think she always scripted Snape to be an evil git and I think she's finally pulled it off.

It may be that Snape is still good, but that plotline seems too convoluted for Rowling's taste and, after all, too predictable. Not to put anyone on this site down, but as soon as Snape killed Dumbledore many fans here at the Lexicon reacted with, "Dumbledore told him"! and rationalizations. Something that is so clear to the fandom has to be wrong, I reason. It seems too predictable for Rowling's standards.


T Vrana - Aug 19, 2005 11:24 am (#2467 of 2980)
Edited Aug 19, 2005 12:38 pm
"Except for one thing: Emmy Vance's murder. He tells Bellatrix that his information led to her death."

This could easily be a lie. Bellatrix can't ask LV about it because she would have to admit she went to Snape's, chasing after her sister, who wasn't supposed to be there discussing Malfoy's task.

You could be right, but then Snape's role is just evil git Harry has to kill. Harry already has an evil git to kill, and plenty of evil DEs around.

Thematically Snape needs a role. Is his only role to deliver the message, DD was wrong, and a bit foolish. Everyone knew Snape could not be trusted, except DD. What then happens to DD's message (therefore JK's) that love is the most powerful magic? And is redemption possible? The only example of a DE gone good is "RAB", and he's dead, (presumably). If Snape turns out to be totally evil, we have zero major characters who were bad, and came back to be good. "Once you go bad, you stay bad" doesn't seem to be a theme JK would put out there.

However, not matter what you've done, you can always choose to return to the good side, seems more likely.

Just a thought.


T Brightwater - Aug 19, 2005 12:08 pm (#2468 of 2980)
Edited Aug 19, 2005 1:12 pm
No, I don't think Snape is beyond redemption. I think he's made plenty of evil and self-serving choices up to this point, but I think Dumbledore's death is going to hit him hard once it sinks in. He betrayed and killed someone who had trusted him and done him nothing but good, and I think he's about to learn what genuine, gut-wrenching remorse feels like.

Accepting forgiveness, no less than offering it, requires letting go of pride, and that's where I see Snape having serious problems. There are several examples in C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce of people who literally will not give up their pride, especially their aggrieved sense of injury, to save their souls.

At the risk of edging too close to the Unmentionable Topic, there's another Sayers essay where she mentions another betrayer from a well-known story. She says that this character hanging himself was "the final, the fatal, the most pitiful error of all, for he despaired...and never waited to see [what came next]. Had he done so, there would have been an encounter, and an opportunity, to leave invention bankrupt; but unhappily for himself, he did not." (emphasis mine) Sayers was looking at the story from a writer's perspective, and imagining writing a scene in which the betrayer is confronted by the man he betrayed....the idea send chills down my spine, frankly, and I hope Jo decides to go for it with Snape, because it would be absolutely incredible if she could bring it off.

[reference supplied on request; e-mail [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]]


Gregory Royal - Aug 19, 2005 12:45 pm (#2469 of 2980)
"This could easily be a lie. Bellatrix can't ask LV about it because she would have to admit she went to Snape's, chasing after her sister, who wasn't supposed to be there discussing Malfoy's task."

It could be a lie -- I acknowledged that. However...

Bellatrix is in Voldemort's inner circle. So is Snape. I'm sure they would know most of what goes on in the Death Eaters' Camp. When Snape tells Bellatrix that his information led to the "capture and murder" of Vance, Bellatrix doesn't call him on it or dispute it. She can't ask Voldemort, but if she didn't know it already I'm sure she would have interjected indignantly like she did when he spoke of how useful Harry has been to Voldemort.

"You could be right, but then Snape's role is just evil git Harry has to kill. Harry already has an evil git to kill, and plenty of evil DEs around."

First of all, Harry doesn't have to kill him. Second, Snape's role, if he were good, would be to show us what, exactly? That you can be a bad guy, repent, and then do things to redeem yourself only to go on and kill someone, making you irredeemable and naming you as evil to the entire world?

No, Snape's role is, I think, to show us that good isn't infallable and trust and friendship won't always shield you from mistakes.

I think Avery is a Death Eater who is spying on the Death Eaters but that's another story. We know Dumbledore has had many spies in their ranks (book three, when discussing the murder of the Potters, Fudge, I believe, says that Dumbledore had "many useful spies that alerted him...").

Not everyone knew he couldn't be trusted. In fact, it's quite the opposite. They all trusted him, albeit grudgingly, because Dumbledore trusted him. Everyone except Harry and Ron.

There are plenty of instances, my dear, where love has been shown to be powerful magic and I'm sure the last book will be sure of this. Snape has never, so far as our eyes have shown us, loved someone in the books or have shown love -- kindness to Draco, tenderness to Cissy, but that's it.

Oh, maybe "once you go bad you stay bad" isn't Rowling's theme. That seems too harsh a message for her. But it could further her theme that our choices make up who we really are far more than our abilities. Lupin seems every bit as powerful as Severus Snape, for instance, and he's chosen to be good, to always be good.

Snape chose to use his abilities, his occlumency, for different means. To cause pain, gain power, to kill to hurt. Choices. Dumbledore chose to trust and be kind and merciful. He chose to use his abilities for good.

Like I said, I could be wrong about Snape, but he killed Dumbledore, got Vance killed and attacked Flitwick. The last two are, in my mind, impossible to justify.


T Vrana - Aug 19, 2005 1:32 pm (#2470 of 2980)
I don' think DD is dead, lied about Vance, stunned Flitwick to keep him out of the way.

Yes, Lupin always chose to be good, Harry's always good, DD is completely good. Where's our redemptive character? It is our choices that define us, not our abilities (one of my favorite lines!), but if once we make a bad choice we can never choose to return to good, that is pretty harsh. JK has said no more major characters coming out in Book 7 (I think, someone mnetioned that somewhere), so someone has to represent redemption and forgiveness (Snape/Harry).

I know I could be way off..


Gregory Royal - Aug 19, 2005 1:37 pm (#2471 of 2980)
"I don' think DD is dead, lied about Vance, stunned Flitwick to keep him out of the way."

Ummm. You keep believing that.

Snape got Harry's parents killed. Was a Death Eater (is, rather). Had nasty beliefs regarding Muggle-borns. Killed Albus Dumbledore.

He's only done one bad thing?


Lina - Aug 19, 2005 1:38 pm (#2472 of 2980)
I must say that I find DD's death very strange. He does not seam as a person who would plea for his life. I agree with that. But does he seam as a person who would plea for his death? Well, he doesn't to me. So, what he was pleading for? I have the feeling, somehow, that we have to find it out yet.

Maybe he knew that he was dying anyway, so Snape's AK was not really killing him? I must say, it doesn't sound convincing to me either. I can't imagine DD asking anybody to kill anybody, not even himself.

Still, I find it interesting how fast did Snape kill him and tried to make sure that the DEs go away from the tower and away from Hogwarts. "Let's go, it is finished" or something like that. Did he really try to make sure that they don't find out about Harry (the brooms) and that they don't have any more opportunities to hurt anybody else? I'm sorry, but I tend to see things this way. If he were all evil, would he stop to explain Harry that he needs to learn Occlumency and the nonverbal spells? Would he let him try to curse him instead of cursing him back and go away? This is too intriguing to accept that he is just evil. Sorry.

On the other side, as much as DD respects and cherishes love, it has been mentioned in this book, more than in all the books before, how great are his brains. I think it is true. I don't think that he would just listen to anybody's words and say: "Oh, yes, I see that you are really on the good side." He is not that stupid. He could use Legilimency with Harry or anybody who is not a skilled Occlumens, but with skilled Occlumens, I see no use of Legilimency, so he should not even try it. I'm sure that a Legilymens can see when Occlumency is used. I think that the only reason why DD trusted Snape was a solid proof that he wants Voldemort defeated. Whatever that proof was, I'm sure it was convincing over any doubt. Now, the only possibility that I see Snape not being loyal to DD would be that he wanted to defeat both great wizards and take over the world for himself. In the 7th book, we could see him helping Harry in finding the horcruxes, or using Harry in defeating Voldemort.

BTW, I think that in HBP Snape really showed love for the Malfoys.


HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 19, 2005 2:03 pm (#2473 of 2980)
I've stated this before, but I will again for Gregory Royal. If DD's life ends with him pleading to Snape, then that is some POOR writing. How can you create a character of DD's caliber, with no equal, and have him come to his end cowering, weakened and defenseless on a tower pleading to one of the slimiest characters in the book?

For that reason alone, I must consider the fact that Snape is up to good, rather than no good.


Lizardbeth Johnson - Aug 19, 2005 2:12 pm (#2474 of 2980)
Agreed Lina. Except for the part about about Snape wanting to take over the world himself. My trouble with it is that Snape had ten years of Voldemort being out of the picture, and what did Snape do? Nothing. He continued to teach at Hogwarts, apparently followed Voldemort's instructions to keep applying for DADA (despite the curse), and did nothing to take out Dumbledore in all that time.

Not exactly the actions of an Evil Overlord there. Minion of Darkness, sure, but I just don't see the conqueror ambition in him.


T Brightwater - Aug 19, 2005 3:12 pm (#2475 of 2980)
HH11, I agree that it's unlikely DD was pleading for his life - it's completely out of character. However, after what has been said about murder being the supreme act of evil, and the damage it causes the soul, I can't really see DD pleading for Snape to kill him, either.

In PoA, DD basically admits to Harry and Hermione that he is powerless to save Sirius - and then, almost in the same breath, he tells them that they can do it. I think this is a similar situation: DEs in the castle, including Greyback; DD is weak, wandless, and alone; Severus, do something!

Perhaps the easiest and quickest way he could think of to get the DEs away and protect Draco and the rest of the students was to kill DD. It could also be that Snape took a quick look, reckoned the odds, and figured that the best way out for himself was to kill DD.


HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 19, 2005 3:20 pm (#2476 of 2980)
That makes sense, T Brightwater, however, I have read the alchemy thread and that has me convinced there is more to it than what meets the eye. I think DD was pleading to Severus to fulfill his responsibility - however begrudgingly he did it.

On another note, did anyone think it was surprising how Fenrir cowered at the appearance of Snape?


T Vrana - Aug 19, 2005 3:31 pm (#2477 of 2980)
"Ummm. You keep believing that."

ok. (Since we have 2 -3 years to discuss the possibilities could have been interesting, but we can be done)

Yes, Snape has done more than one bad thing, wasn't literally talking about Snape doing ONE bad thing.


irish flutterby - Aug 19, 2005 4:43 pm (#2478 of 2980)
I just have a quick question as I am currently several humdred miles from my book. Are we sure that DD hadn't JUST and I do mean JUST brethed his last breath when Snape AK'd him. HE was already weak. and probably from all appearances dying. Could Snape have waited just long enough and then AK'd an already dead guy. Maybe that's why the AK behaved more like a levicorpus? just a thought/question.


haymoni - Aug 19, 2005 5:12 pm (#2479 of 2980)
Hungarian Horntail - your post makes me think of the language Dumbledore used to describe Petunia.

She took Harry in - she didn't want to, but she did it.

Perhaps Severus found himself in the same position. It was a crossing the Rubicon kind of move. He was riding the fence and leaning one way or the other was going to make his life a mess.

If he leaned toward Dumbledore, he couldn't help the Order anymore as a spy and would be a marked man in more ways than one.

If he goes over to Voldy, the Order hates him, the Ministry is after him and he has to live in that house with Wormtail. Or the trapped door room at the Malfoys. Or worse.


Saracene - Aug 19, 2005 6:48 pm (#2480 of 2980)
Edited Aug 19, 2005 7:49 pm
Regarding Dumbledore's fallibility and Snape serving to show it: I think that he has already shown plenty of mistakes in Book 5, when, for emotional reasons, he chose to keep the knowledge from Harry that could have spared them all so much trouble. And he obviously made a misjudgement of Snape's inability to overcome his loathing for Harry's father, and Sirius' desperation to be useful to the Order. And why doesn't anyone ever mention that by far his biggest miscalculation in Book 6 seems to be bringing himself to near-death for the sake of finding a Horcrux which then turns out to be a useless fake? Good is fallible alright.

However when it comes to Dumbledore's judgement on the core of the people, I think he's very far from naive. He may have given Tom Riddle a second chance but he never trusted him and was as far as we know the only person at Hogwarts who Tom couldn't fool with his charm and brilliance. He judged Draco rightly in that when you get down to it, Draco is simply not a killer. With Snape, there is seemingly not -one- single reason whatsoever to think him trustworthy, yet Dumbledore trusts him completely, unwaveringly, with adamantine certainty that cannot be attributed to some sort of wishful thinking that Snape might be good after all. When Harry tells everyone what he understood to be the reason for DD's trust (which he, and multiple readers it seems, get completely wrong because Snape went back to the good side BEFORE James and Lily's deaths), there's not one person in the room who doesn't think in disbelief, "Dumbledore believed -that-?". So there's simply no way there isn't more to that story than what we've seen so far.


wynnleaf - Aug 19, 2005 7:36 pm (#2481 of 2980)
Saracene, You make an excellent point. DD could simply Not have been trusting that Snape felt really bad about what happened to James and Lily, because DD says he left LV's side before they died. So why did he trust Snape then?? Why did he trust before James and Lily died and Snape was so sorry?? There's no point in saying that Snape's regret over James and Lily's deaths wasn't a good enough reason for DD to trust him, or that DD made one of his "big mistakes" in trusting that Snape was sorry for their deaths. Because that couldn't be why DD trusted Snape -- he was already trusting Snape before they died.

Dont' know why I never thought of that point. It's really hard to keep the timeline in mind sometimes.


T Vrana - Aug 19, 2005 7:57 pm (#2482 of 2980)
wynnleaf-

Snape went to work a Hogwarts after the prophesy incident, but before the Potters died. At that time, someone close to LV told DD that the Potters should change secret keepers because someone close to the Potters was giving LV info about their location (at the time, Black was suspected). Snape seems to be the source giving DD this info because he references James arrogance in not changing secret keepers in POA in the shrieking shack. That the Potters were the target might have brought Snape back to the good side (for reasons I've already theorized, James/Lilly debt), but the true regret, if he did feel he owed James (maybe) and Lily (more likely) would have come when his info didn't save them. This would also have increased his hatred of James, and why he says James was too arrogant to believe he (James) might have been wrong about Black. He had a debt, endangered the folks he has the debt to with the Prophesy info, tries to make good, James doesn't listen, Potters die, Snape somewhat responsible.

Does DD tell Snape he owes Harry, and does Snape grudgingly accept this penance? Not nice to Harry, but keeps him alive (SS, OotP, HBP)?

Just a thought...


Weeny Owl - Aug 19, 2005 11:56 pm (#2483 of 2980)
I don't think Bella could go to Voldemort to find out if what Snape said is the truth. After the Department of Mystery fiasco, she isn't exactly Voldemort's favorite person.

Snape claimed that he provided information that led to Emmaline Vance's capture and murder, but he never said what that information was. It could be something someone else knew as well, such as a standing appointment at a certain time. Something that other Death Eaters would have noticed eventually or perhaps did notice and Snape just mentioned it before others did. He might not have been able to get any information to an Order member if he was with Voldemort or Death Eaters at the time. Unless we're told what he did, whether or not he's telling the truth is anyone's guess.


septentrion - Aug 20, 2005 12:16 am (#2484 of 2980)
Or Emmeline Vance is in hiding and her death was fake...


Lina - Aug 20, 2005 2:02 am (#2485 of 2980)
I don't think that Emelin Vance's death was fake. When I read that in the book, I thought that it is mentioned just to show how much terror is Voldemort spreading now. (It seems that he is responsible for the climate changes as well.) But now it seems that there is something more to her death since Snape takes some credits. I doubt we will figure it out before the next book comes out.

Now, about the Potters' death. As I said, I can imagine Snape feeling regret when they died. He was the person who contributed to it very much. But I think that he feels more sorry that Harry became important than that they died. Well, the fact that he didn't pay back his debts surely helps. Maybe, if he was the one who informed DD that LV is after the Potters, he was hoping that that would be the way to pay back the debts and then that attempt became a fiasco. He blamed James' arrogance for that fiasco. If it is the truth that he thought that Sirius betrayed the Potters all until GoF, that would mean that he didn't know that Wormtail was working for Voldemort. I find it interesting. But now I'm lost.

Someone said that Snape is a character almost as important as Harry in the series and I agree.


wynnleaf - Aug 20, 2005 2:12 am (#2486 of 2980)
And since we know he's deceiving them when at the same time he takes partial credit for Sirius' death at the MoM (but in fact holds credit for the DE's failure there), we should not assume he's telling the truth about Vance.

It seems strange to me that so many posters assume that Snape stunned Fliwick. Snape claims he "collapsed." Later, in the narrator's voice, it says that Fliwick had a bruise, but looked otherwise okay from his "collapse in Snape's office." We know Snape didn't stun any other professors or students. So what evidence do we have directly in the book that Flitwick was stunned? Only Harry's assumption which he passes on to others. If the other characters believe Harry's assumption, than it could easily be that no one ever asks Flitwick, "how'd you get that bruise?" They just assume.

We can't say "Snape stunning Flitwick is evidence he's on LV's side. We know he stunned Flitwick because Harry, who is convinced Snape's on LV's side, assumes he stunned him. We agree with Harry's conviction that Snape is on LV's side and a piece of evidence is that Snape stunned Flitwick." That just doesn't work. Especially when narration, pages after Harry's statements, contines to say "his collapse."


T Vrana - Aug 20, 2005 4:04 am (#2487 of 2980)
Lina- I agree with the Snape/Potter regret/debt scenario.

As far as knowing about wormtail, it is not unusual for organizations like LV's to keep some things secret, and only tell individuals what he feels they need to know to do their job. That way if someone gets caught they can't reveal evrything that is going on. And maybe LV didn't totally trust Snape...

Wynnleaf- Flitwick, good point!


T Vrana - Aug 20, 2005 4:29 am (#2488 of 2980)
irish flutterby- "Are we sure that DD hadn't JUST and I do mean JUST brethed his last breath when Snape AK'd him."

This could pssibly explain why DD's eyes were closed, when all the other AK victims we know about are open.


HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 20, 2005 6:56 am (#2489 of 2980)
Lina, imagine what it did to Snape to find out about Pettigrew after his display in PoA. Perhaps that is why he made contact twice in OotP (when Harry was being detained by Umbridge) - to compensate for his error. That would be revealing about this character's true character (though I'm not a Snape fan that is how I read his actions).


constant vigilance - Aug 20, 2005 5:23 pm (#2490 of 2980)
Where's our redemptive character? T VRana

I agree that Snape would fit perfectly into the role of the Redemptive character. However as many know -- -- I do not believe that Snape is working for the benefit of the Order.

The redeemed character(s) could be: Regulas Black --- he tried to back out of the Voldemort club, and it is possible that he's alive in the Dumbledore Protection Program.

Petunia --- for saving Harry's life despite her prejudice against Wizards and her dislike of Lily.

Mungdungus --- who is fully immersed in the "Black Market" but is working for the Order because he owes Dumbledore.

Percy --- He could eventually remove his cloak of Pride, apologize to his family, and help the Order. Although, I don't expect this one to happen.

The point being that Snape is not the only person who could represent the message: a person is capable of redemption.


T Vrana - Aug 20, 2005 5:31 pm (#2491 of 2980)
Edited Aug 20, 2005 6:34 pm
OK, but Mundungus and Percy? I'd rather have Snape!

JK said Regulus is dead, she didn't hedge at all.

RAB, if it is not Regulus could work.

Petunia, ok, but not central in the WW, and just by taking care of Harry, even grudgingly (is that a word?) has already redeemed herself somewhat. And her biggest crime is being nasty. Unless there is more to tell (which I think there is).

What then is Snape's role?


Madam Pince - Aug 20, 2005 5:37 pm (#2492 of 2980)
JKR herself was the one who reacted in a positive (although admittedly somewhat vague) manner when she was asked in the interview about Snape having a redemptive quality. To my mind, that cinches it for Snape being the redemptive character. I just can't see him being "Oh, he was the one Harry thought was a bad guy all the way through, and sure enough, Harry was right."


constant vigilance - Aug 20, 2005 6:02 pm (#2493 of 2980)
Edited Aug 20, 2005 7:02 pm
oh well. I had to try to list some possible alternatives to Snape.

Yeah..I agree Mungdungas and Percy are lousy candidates.

However, Regulas whether dead or alive attempted to resign from the Death Eaters--Voldemort just did not accept it.


T Vrana - Aug 20, 2005 6:42 pm (#2494 of 2980)
I guess Malfoy could fill the redemptive role, but how bad has he really been up 'til now? Rotten, spoiled, nasty, but not bad on the level of a DE...well the necklace and the wine were pretty serious...


Weeny Owl - Aug 20, 2005 7:11 pm (#2495 of 2980)
Edited Aug 20, 2005 8:28 pm
I'm still not sure how an Avada Kedavra makes its victims act.

Voldemort casts a few Avada Kedavras in the Ministry's atrium, and all have differing results as it seems do the ones cast on Cedric Diggory (cast by Wormtail) and the Riddles (cast by a young Tom Riddle). When Bella used the curse on the fox, however, it yelped before it died. I'm not sure Dumbledore's body's reaction is necessarily indicative of much of anything.

It could be the spellcaster's ability. It could be the spellcaster's natural magical power. It could be the emotion felt by the spellcaster. It just seems that Dumbledore's body flying over the turret could just mean that Snape is very powerful, and that there was a great deal of force behind his spell.

JKR herself was the one who reacted in a positive (although admittedly somewhat vague) manner when she was asked in the interview about Snape having a redemptive quality.

Oddly enough, the quote from her about Snape's redemptive quality is what makes me wonder if he isn't a Death Eater after all. It didn't sound positive to me... she said she was stunned that it had been asked and that it would become clear why she was stunned in book seven. That could mean that she was stunned that people were already seeing Snape as a good guy because he is one, but equally, it could mean that she's stunned because he is a true Death Eater and she can't see why anyone would think otherwise.


Saracene - Aug 21, 2005 12:56 am (#2496 of 2980)
You could think of a few characters with possible redemptive stories, but Snape's I think would definitely be the most dramatic. His story had the biggest build-up; he's got the most to atone for; and the hatred Harry has for him is so white-hot intense and personal that to make Harry see Snape in a different light would be really powerful. Although I don't think that Harry will ever get to actually like him; Snape's redemption, if it's to happen, is not going to be about him becoming a nicer person and feeling sorry for the misery he's put Harry and other children through while at school. I don't think he'll ever stop feeling the way he does about Harry's father, and perhaps Harry himself too. But he'll probably do everything to protect Harry and Harry can at least grow to appreciate that without actually growing to like the man himself.


Netherlandic - Aug 21, 2005 2:31 am (#2497 of 2980)
Loony4Lupin, yes I agree, Narcissa may be a more likely candidate for Snape than Lily. Snape may have felt only friendship or respect for Lily. Then again, he might have been in love with both during different stages of his life. I don't know. Snape certainly seems to have a soft spot for Cissy. Let's wait two years...LOL.


T Vrana - Aug 21, 2005 3:50 am (#2498 of 2980)
saracene-I agree.


wynnleaf - Aug 21, 2005 5:02 am (#2499 of 2980)
"There’s an important kind of redemptive pattern to Snape" "JKR: He, um, there’s so much I wish I could say to you, and I can’t because it would ruin. I promise you, whoever asked that question, can I just say to you that I’m slightly stunned that you’ve said that and you’ll find out why I’m so stunned if you read Book 7. That’s all I’m going to say." Oct. 1999

A few interesting things to note about this quote. 1999 was when Prisoner of Azkaban came out. At that time, while we might have seen Snape as a nasty guy, LV was not back to wonder if Snape was loyal to him. There was not yet an Order back in force. Snape wasn't spying for anyone. In other words, the readers were not at that time given much of anything to wonder about with Snape, other than to wonder why he disliked Harry so much. But at that point, it would have been surprising that a question would be asked about Snape's "redemption" because the books had not yet presented much that he might have needed to be redeemed from.

Also, note that JKR says that we'll find out in Book 7 why she was so stunned the question was asked. Now if she was thinking that Snape's really a totally evil charcter and we'll be finding out about that, then wouldn't she be thinking that in Book 6 we'll see just how unredeemed he is when he kills DD? And then she'd have said, "you'll see in Book 6" and we'd all know now that Snape was a thoroughly bad guy. But instead, she said Book 7, all the while knowing that Snape would do something apparently horrible and "unforgiveable" (make that "unredeemable?") in Book 6. Seems like she's talking about his redemption.


irish flutterby - Aug 21, 2005 5:59 am (#2500 of 2980)
"Petunia --- for saving Harry's life despite her prejudice against Wizards and her dislike of Lily.

Mungdungus --- who is fully immersed in the "Black Market" but is working for the Order because he owes Dumbledore.

Percy --- He could eventually remove his cloak of Pride, apologize to his family, and help the Order. Although, I don't expect this one to happen."

I know this has already been addressed,but here's my take on these three being "redeemable" characters.

Petunia - just because you don't want to be responsible for the possible death of your nephew, doesn't mean you are actually a nice person. Also, she really doesn't have THAT much to be redeemed for. Anymore than, say, Filch does.

Dung - doing something good because you owe someone isn't a redemptive quality. It's a save my bum quality. Particularly in the WW where, apparently, there is magic behind debts that holds you to them.

Percy - He hasn't done anything that really NEEDS to be redeemed. Yes, he should run to his mum and beg and plead for her forgiveness for being a major prat, but other than that, he's just being a snotty yuppy. Doing anything he can to work his way up the ladder.

With regard to the AK, it could be that some spells/hexes/curses are just unpredictable. No matter how you perfect them they may never react exactly the same way. The AK may be such dark magic that it could just be like that. That might help also explain why LV lived. You just never know exaclty what you're gonna get out of an AK.
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HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 21, 2005 9:13 am (#2501 of 2980)
Just reading from the Edinburgh interview where JKR responds:

"Snape's ancestry is hinted at. He was a Death Eater, so clearly, he is no Muggle born, because Muggle borns are not allowed to be Death Eaters, except in rare circumstances. You have some information about his ancestry there."

So, what am I missing? Either he is not a Muggle born, or he is not a Death Eater. (She doesn't seem to be referring to him with regard to the rare circumstances.)


Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 21, 2005 9:40 am (#2502 of 2980)
HH I agree that quote presents quite a conundrum. I am leaning toward the possibility that Severus apparent return to the DE was carefully orchestrated by Albus.


irish flutterby - Aug 21, 2005 2:13 pm (#2503 of 2980)
Can't remember. Where did we get it that Snape was a Muggle born. Didn't the article Hermie find say something about Eileen marrying a muggle. Where did that info come from?


Ag Hart - Aug 21, 2005 2:44 pm (#2504 of 2980)
Edited Aug 21, 2005 3:47 pm
Snape is not Muggle born; his mother was a witch. She went to Hogwarts. That would make Snape a true half blood like LV and not like Harry who is more of a mixed blood. Harry's bloodline is actually "purer" than either Snape's or LV's.


HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 21, 2005 5:02 pm (#2505 of 2980)
Big V seemed to have kept that half-blood tidbit to himself. Wouldn't Snape, whose father was a muggle be considered a muggle born, or is that title reserved for those born to two muggle parents? Harry was called a mudblood, wasn't he?


irish flutterby - Aug 21, 2005 5:58 pm (#2506 of 2980)
Sorry, I mistyped. I was asking how we knew that Snape was not pureblood. Was it the article that Hermione found?


HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 21, 2005 6:25 pm (#2507 of 2980)
Yes, it announced Snape's birth to Eileen and Tobias.


wynnleaf - Aug 21, 2005 6:43 pm (#2508 of 2980)
Edited Aug 21, 2005 7:44 pm
I hope you all don't mind if I interject some thoughts I had today, and a few sentences in HBP that I noticed that bear on Harry's, and therefore the reader's, viewpoint of Snape.

In Snape Victorious, Harry sees Snape for the first time since the summer and this is the description of his thoughts:

"Whatever Dumbledore said, Harry had had time to think over the summer, and had concluded that Snape's snide remarks to Sirius about remaining safely hidden while the rest of the Order of the Phoenix were off fighting Voldemort had probably been a powerful factor in Sirius rushing off to the Ministry the night that he had died. Harry clung to this notion, because it enabled him to blame Snape, which felt satisfying, and also because he knew that if anyone was not sorry that Sirius was dead, it was the man now striding next to him in the darkness."

Main points to me are that, regardless of DD's evidence, Harry blames Snape because it felt satisfying and because knowing that Snape disliked Sirius made Harry all the more desirous of finding blame in Snape.

Today, I noticed this for the first time in The Phoenix Lament:

McGonagall had been concerned that sending Flitwick to Snape made everything her fault.

"It isn't your fault, Minerva," said Lupin firmly. "We all wanted more help, we were glad to think Snape was on his way..."

"'So when he arrived at the fight, he joined in on the Death Eater's side?' asked Harry, who wanted every detail of Snape's duplicity and infamy, feverishly collecting more reasons to hate him, to swear vengeance."

We have already discussed in this or other threads that Harry has several things to say about Snape in this conversation that either aren't true, are almost completely unsubstantiated, or are mostly assumptions. He tells everyone that DD trusted Snape because Snape was sorry about James and Lily's deaths, when in fact DD had told him Snape had already turned from LV at the time of their deaths. Harry tells everyone that Snape "didn't think my mother was worth a damn either,"..."because she was Muggle-born.." yet this is mostly unsubstantiated or assumption. And he tells everyone that Snape stunned Flitwick, even though they don't really know that, either, nor does the book back it up later, still referring to Flitwick's "collapse" pages later.

What I see as similar in both chapters is Harry's hate becoming so intense toward Snape that he loses sight of what is fact versus pure assumption on his part, fueled by his natural bias toward Snape. Because Harry says these various things about Snape, it's very easy to believe that they are likely true. But JKR, in the voice of the narrator, makes it clear that in both chapters Harry is reaching conclusions about Snape based in part on his own bias, or he is grasping for even the hint of "evidence" in order to more greatly condemn.

I think we, the readers, have to be careful of many of Harry's opinions of Snape, particularly those not backed up by other events or other character's, or actually contradicted by other characters or events in the books. This is especially true because of JKR, in the narrator's voice, description of why and how Harry reaches some (not all certainly) of his conclusions about Snape.


irish flutterby - Aug 21, 2005 6:52 pm (#2509 of 2980)
"What I see as similar in both chapters is Harry's hate becoming so intense toward Snape that he loses sight of what is fact versus pure assumption on his part, fueled by his natural bias toward Snape."

This is somewhat ironic in that Harry's actions and thoughts toward Snape are becoming much more like Snape's toward James and SIrius. Basically Harry hates Snape because he picks on Harry. (Like James and Sirius bullied Snape) Without regard to any change or fact that might cloud the impression Harry has of him. I say cloud in the sense of "kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with facts." I'm happy wallowing in my distorted view of reality.


Ag Hart - Aug 21, 2005 7:09 pm (#2510 of 2980)
Edited Aug 21, 2005 8:13 pm
I don't remember Harry being called a "mudblood." His mother and Hermione were, however. Even if he were called one, that wouldn't make him Muggle born, at least according to JKR, and she was the one who made the comment that Muggle borns were not accepted as Death Eaters. Snape is definitely not a Muggle born, because BOTH parents would need to be muggles. There are three degrees of wizards/witches.

Pure bloods (At least they "pass" for pure bloods.)

Half bloods (These include those who are half and half as well those of mixed ancestry. Most wizards fall into this group.)

Muggle born (Those born to two nonmagical parents. They are the direct opposite of squibs.)

Interestingly, our trio (Ron, Harry, & Hermione) reflect the three groups. JKR covers the classification on her site and explains why some consider Harry a half blood even though both parents were magical.

You may be right in assuming that LV kept his "dirty" blood a secret. Most posters make the same assumption, one which Harry seems to share. I had always thought that it was simply the "unspeakable' secret" that the Death Eaters kept. LV (as Tom Riddle) told Harry he(LV)was a half blood, and Lucius had Riddle's diary earlier. Also, Wormtail should know because he had to make the arrangements for LV to return. He saw the tombstone and heard the spell that requires the bone of the father. I don't know if wizards are buried in muggle cemeteries, but wizards should know the last names of wizard families, and the Riddle tombstone would be a dead (sorry about that) giveaway. The wizards who apparated to the cemetery may also know. LV is the heir of Slytherin and that may be enough for them.

If Snape were to ever challenge LV for lordship of the Dark Side, he might have a broader appeal, since there are more half bloods than pure bloods.


irish flutterby - Aug 21, 2005 7:52 pm (#2511 of 2980)
"You may be right in assuming that LV kept his "dirty" blood a secret. Most posters make the same assumption, one which Harry seems to share. I had always thought that it was simply the "unspeakable' secret" that the Death Eaters kept. LV (as Tom Riddle) told Harry he(LV)was a half blood, and Lucius had Riddle's diary earlier."

I assumed that it wasn't exactly widely known since Bella threw such a fit about it and called Harry a liar in the Room of Prophecy in OoP. It seemed like she really believed that LV was a pureblood.


loopy4loopin - Aug 22, 2005 2:54 am (#2512 of 2980)
Maybe LV was excused being a half-blood because he was Slytherins heir. Possibly his mother was the blood traitor in their eyes and LV was the victim.

About Harry, Snape and LV all being half-bloods (one from each generation), I think that the intention is to show that whatever your background, its the choices that you make that define who you are. LV chose pure evil, Harry chose the side of 'good'. What is Snape's choice?

After HBP, I see a showdown between Harry and LV with Snape literally standing between them. I think that he will put himself between Harry and harm as he always has. Harry does not have the skill to take on LV but Snape seems to.....

I don't think that Snape will ever turn nice but I see myself shedding tears at his death.

I'm starting to call the series 'Snape's Choice' in my mind.


rambkowalczyk - Aug 22, 2005 4:39 am (#2513 of 2980)
Kind of makes you think that the story is about Snape? In alot of ways he is the more "central character".


T Vrana - Aug 22, 2005 4:48 am (#2514 of 2980)
I don't think so. This isn't Severus Snape and the Boy Who Lived. This is Harry's story, but Snape is deeply entwined in Harry's story, and, therefore, I think has a big role to play in the completion of Harry's journey.


HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 22, 2005 5:18 am (#2515 of 2980)
wynnleaf, your points and irish flutterby's make a lot of sense and do support Snape's "innocence".

My main problem with Snape's character was that JKR lumped him as a bad guy with Draco. When she revealed that Draco could not kill DD, it made me think twice about Snape.

Too many things do not add up with respect to Snape's behavior. Snape could be an older Draco (in a sense). That certainly doesn't make him good, but it leaves unanswered questions regarding why he is involved with Big V.

irish flutterby, I was thinking of that OotP scene with Bella too.


constant vigilance - Aug 22, 2005 7:44 am (#2516 of 2980)
Edited Aug 22, 2005 8:44 am
Kind of makes you think that the story is about Snape? In alot of ways he is the more "central character".

I don't think so. Snape is a central character to on-line discussions because his character offers much to be debated about. However, in the books, Snape shows up no more or less than any of the other secondary characters. Honestly, I would not mind if Snape took a walk with the centaurs for a little while; After years of bullying defenseless children, he has earned the same negative karma.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 22, 2005 7:48 am (#2517 of 2980)
"Honestly, I would not mind if Snape took a walk with the centaurs for a little while;"

Boy does that cast the centaurs in a bad light! :-)


irish flutterby - Aug 22, 2005 8:22 am (#2518 of 2980)
"Honestly, I would not mind if Snape took a walk with the centaurs for a little while; After years of bullying defenseless children, he has earned the same negative karma."

I agree he has definately done some nasty things, but we really don't know exactly how he has been to anyone's grade but Harry's. Though we can assum eit's pretty much the same way. I do however have trouble seeing the trio, Particularly HH as defenseless.


Ag Hart - Aug 22, 2005 4:34 pm (#2519 of 2980)
Edited Aug 22, 2005 5:35 pm
irish flutterby-- That the Death Eaters are ignorant of LV's parentage is, as I have mentioned before, the generally accepted view. Most of the Wizarding World certainly is ignorant, at least, according to DD. LV doesn't exactly spread the "ugly truth" around. I simply think it is a bit incredible that pure blood families like the Blacks and Malfoys would be unaware of LV's pedigree or lack thereof. I would think people like Bella would know every pure blood in the UK, especially if there are only 3,000 wizards of all classifications. The Death Eaters would also have to be a bit dense after the rebirthing ceremony. Some obviously must know (Wormtail). Harry seems to believe that they are unaware, and that is why he brings it up at the ministry. He may, of course, simply be "rubbing salt in the wound." I thought that perhaps Bella acted angrily because Harry had dared to bring up the "unmentionable truth" of which no Death Eater would dare speak. She prides herself on being his most loyal follower and would protect his reputation at all costs. If Bella doesn't know, she isn't as close to LV as she seems to think. In any case, Slytherin blood and his direct link to his prestigious ancestor, as I noted, must count for something after all.


Ann - Aug 23, 2005 6:19 am (#2520 of 2980)
Edited Aug 23, 2005 7:22 am
Whew--what a long read, and what a lot of good ideas since I last checked about 200 posts ago!

I like the Irma Pinch/Eileen Prince theory, though I don't quite see how it will work out. But I had a few thoughts that I don't think have been mentioned, or not lately, on this thread.

One is the implication that Snape may have visited Lily at home. My source?

How does Aunt Petunia know about dementors and all the other magical facts she knows?

JKR: "Another very good question. She overheard a conversation. That is all I am going to say. She overheard conversation. The answer is in the beginning of Phoenix, she said she overheard Lily being told about them basically....The reason I am hesitant is because there is more to it than that. As I think you suspect. Correctly, but I don't want to say what else there is because it relates to book 7." (17 July 2005: Edinburgh "cub reporter" press conference)

So obviously it wasn't James. Seems likely enough to be Snape: Petunia calls him "that awful boy," as I remember, which no doubt describes Snape rather neatly.

Second, I think the reason Snape joined the Death Eaters in the first place may have been anti-Muggle prejudice, not as we used to think, because of his snooty pure-blood family, but because of the horrible Muggle that was his father. The "Mudblood" comment that he throws at Lily (which obviously shocks her before it angers her) may be something that he has picked up from his Slytherin gang, and finds apposite because of his hatred for his father. (I like the idea that was suggested that his Slytherin friends were older, and had abandoned him by graduating by the time of the pensieve scene.) One thing that makes me think this is another quote:

"As I look back over the five published books," she says, "I realize that it's kind of a litany of bad fathers. That's where evil seems to flourish, in places where people didn't get good fathering.” (Time Magazine, 17 July 2005)

Thirdly, the commonly cited bit about all purebloods being aware of the names of all the other wizarding families. I don't think that's true: Slughorn, who sets such store by family connections, doesn't seem to think that the name Riddle is any reason to suspect less than "good wizarding stock"; and likewise, the fact that he assumes Hermione Granger is related to a known wizarding family. There must be a lot of names out there.


haymoni - Aug 23, 2005 6:28 am (#2521 of 2980)
I always thought the awful boy was James until this book.

Others thought it was Snape much earlier than I did, but now I have to agree.

It doesn't make sense to me now that Pet would say "that awful boy" and mean James. James seems too charming to fall into "awful" and I think Pet would have had more fun spitefully saying "your father" to Harry.

Did she say "that awful boy" or "that AWFUL boy", comparing him to the other boys that came to call on Lily?


constant vigilance - Aug 23, 2005 6:36 am (#2522 of 2980)
I do however have trouble seeing the trio, Particularly HH as defenseless. irish flutterby

I only say they are defenseless because Snape has the power to control his students because he can find reason for them to be expelled. With this threat lumming over Harry, and particularly Hermione, they can only do so much in response to Snape's bullying.

Sorry if I'm coming across harshly towards Snape, but I am currently rereading PoA, which is Snape's moodiest and most volitial year. He is absolutely horrid to Neville, and there is no reason or excuse for it.


HogwartsExpress5972 - Aug 23, 2005 6:57 am (#2523 of 2980)
I’m new to this forum and maybe missed a previous thread that may have dealt with this issue. I believe that Professor Shape may be one of the Horcruxes. This is based on the fact that in Chapter 16 of the HBP (Scholastic page 337) it is mentioned that the “Advanced Potion-making” book was nearly 50 years old. That is during the time that LV was a student at Hogwarts. Probably about the same time the the Chamber of Secrets Diary was cursed. This could also explain why Professor Snape was so good with potions. He got the book used, the power transferred to him, and he’s cursed with the powers of LV. Any thoughts?


haymoni - Aug 23, 2005 7:52 am (#2524 of 2980)
Harry has to kill Snape?

Bwah hah hah hah!

We've got a locket, a cup, possibly a tiara, maybe the sword.

I just think it has to be a thing.

Except maybe for Harry himself and I am still really torn on that one.


wynnleaf - Aug 23, 2005 9:51 am (#2525 of 2980)
Edited Aug 23, 2005 10:54 am
Ann, thanks so much for pointing out those quotes. I'd read them before without really paying attention.

Since JKR is so careful to not say any more about who Petunia overheard in conversation, other than Petunia's "awful boy" comment, it certainly wouldn't be James. The most likely other candidate for "awful boy" other than the guy Lily married (awful maybe in Petunia's mind), would be Snape. I can't think why any other person -- like maybe Sirius -- would be a "hush, hush, the readers can't know this yet until Book 7" kind of thing. That would then make it highly likely that Snape visited Lily and they were friends, at least.

On the other quote of "a litany of bad fathers" and evil flourishing...well, there's LV's father, of course. Who else could she be talking about? Hmm, there's Barty Crouch and Barty, Jr. -- that's way bad fathering, too. Dudley and Vernon Dursley. Lucius and Draco. Draco's friends have DE's as dads. So far, all of the really bad, or very spoiled boys or men had bad fathering -- either they're rejected by their fathers, or they are actively parented into very wrong directions. Seems like it's almost a prerequisite for Snape, too, doesn't it? And she gives us the hints of the pensieve scene with possibly Snape's parents, as well as the hint from the HBP title that Snape is rejecting his father and embracing his mother's roots. The hint we got in the pensieve isn't the father who abandons the family, or the father who actively parents the child toward evil, but more likely the father that displays such cruelty and inspires fear, forcing the child to reject the father.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 23, 2005 10:12 am (#2526 of 2980)
Now Haymoni, play nicely, HogwartsExpress is new here. :-)

All ideas have merit, just some more than others...

...toddles off chuckling...


haymoni - Aug 23, 2005 12:12 pm (#2527 of 2980)
No! I would NEVER laugh at a Forum Member!

I was trying to type my evil laugh for Harry killing Snape!

Obviously, I'm not good at it.


Mrs Brisbee - Aug 23, 2005 12:21 pm (#2528 of 2980)
Kind of makes you think that the story is about Snape? In alot of ways he is the more "central character". --rambkowalczyk

I see what you are saying. Although he is not the central character, he has ended up being the pivotal character. Almost every single plot thread in the stories is being driven by the actions of Snape, much more so than by Harry (which is why everyone is in the various Snape threads, talking about Snape). I think I'm suffering from Too Much Snape Syndrome, but I'm afraid Book 7 will be more of the same. I greatly fear that the promised revelation we'll get about Lily in Book 7 will turn out to be more about Snape.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 23, 2005 1:20 pm (#2529 of 2980)
How does one type an evil, diabolical laugh? Hmm, maybe we better ask Snape since it is his thread. LOL!


Ag Hart - Aug 23, 2005 1:25 pm (#2530 of 2980)
Edited Aug 23, 2005 2:28 pm
Ann-- I wouldn't say ALL pure bloods would know the "Who's Who" of the Wizarding World--only those to whom such really things matter. Slughorn may be a pure blood (no direct evidence, just a hint of snobbery) and a Slytherin, BUT he is not a Death Eater. He is less conerned with pedigree than he is with talent. (Think Lily and Hermione.) In a way, he is a parasite. The Malfoys and Blacks, on the other hand, are consummate snobs, probably afraid of losing their prestigious and powerful social positions. The Blacks are willing to disinherit their own offspring, if they mix with the "other kind" of wizards. They won't even associate with other pure bloods like the Weasleys who they believe have betrayed their own kind. I would think that wizard genealogists would certainly be able to keep up with what must be a very small handful of pure bloods. If not, then Mother Black surely could! :-)

I doubt that the Blacks would accept Snape no matter how talented or dedicated to the cause he is. They are greater snobs than LV himself. The Malfoys, like LV, seem to be willing, however, to accept half-blood wizards, if they find them useful. Perhaps this difference in the two families' views at least partially explains the friction between Bella and Snape. Can you imagine how it must gall Bella to accept that LV chose the half-blood Snape as his most trusted confidant over her, a Black and pure blood witch?

After the rebirthing ceremony in the Muggle cemetery where LV extracted the bone of his father, the rumors of LV's parentage, and Snape sudden ascendency in the Death Eater hierarchy, I think some pure-blood Death Eaters may begin to question just how secure their so-called pure blood makes them.


Sparrowhawk - Aug 23, 2005 1:38 pm (#2531 of 2980)
Ag Hart,

Basically I agree with you, with just one minor difference. Only one Death Eater attended the rebirthing ceremony, Peter Pettigrew; all the others were called later, and we can't be sure that Wormtail told the others what he had seen, nor that they saw the Riddle name on the tomb and made the connection with Voldemort (although it is very possible). We can believe it, but there is no certainty.


irish flutterby - Aug 23, 2005 2:34 pm (#2532 of 2980)
It seems to me that as Petunia tries her hardest to forget about Lily and "her kind," it might be possible to imagine that she didn't really know that Lily didn't marry snape. She might very well have never known Severus' last name, or maybe forgot (selective memory) his full name all together. I can just imagine Snapey-poo getting all twisted and evil sounding while freaking Petunia out telling her all about dementors. Even if she does know the difference between James and Severus, she may have no idea that James is any different than Snape, and may figure all wizards are Dark Art loving slimey guys with greying underpants. (okay, so she may not have known about the underpants, but you get my point!)


T Brightwater - Aug 23, 2005 6:13 pm (#2533 of 2980)
There was a suggestion a few posts back that Snape was a Horcrux. I don't think he's one of Voldemort's, but here's a really off-the-wall idea. <looks around for Shield Hat>

If there's anyone who could find a way to conceal part of his soul without killing someone, it would be DD. Could it be remotely possible that part of his soul is concealed in Snape? That would account for his absolute trust...

Oh, well, I'm allowed a delusional moment occasionally, no?


Abracapocus - Aug 23, 2005 6:49 pm (#2534 of 2980)
I can just hear Dumblesnape (or Snapledore) humming "All of me... why not take all of me..."


Ag Hart - Aug 23, 2005 8:54 pm (#2535 of 2980)
Edited Aug 23, 2005 10:05 pm
Sparrowhawk-- Actually, I agree with you, and that should be a bit clearer in earlier posts. I didn't do a full recap--Sorry. As I mentioned previously (#2510 & #519), we can only be sure that Wormtail knows LV's ancestry because of his presence at the birthing ceremony (although the other Death Eaters MAY know), and that Lucius probably knows because of his possession of the Horcrux diary with Tom Riddle's name on it. (Now that I think of it, Crouch Jr. may also have known since he was in on the planning of LV's return.) The rest is more or less conjecture based on my understanding of human nature--especially human curiosity. I just find it difficult to believe that ALL of the Death Eaters could be so stupid (with the exception of Crabbe and Goyle) and show absolutely no curiosity regarding their leader and certain events. Put it all together-- The Death Eaters apparate to a Muggle cemetery to find a reconstituted LV. Harry is tied to the Riddle tombstone, thereby drawing attention to it. Wormtail certainly knows what happened, and certain Death Eaters are very proficient at Legilimency--even if Wormtail never tells. Harry declares that LV is a half blood at the Ministry. A diary with Tom Riddle's name on it was in the Malfoy household for several years. Combine these facts, and the wheels should start to turn. Surely, there is a trace of intellectual curiosity among them! I know that my own curiosity would win out.

On a related note, even before Goblet, we knew there were others who were aware that Riddle and Voldemort were one and the same. In CoS, Dumbledore mentions that "' very few people know that Lord Voldemort was once called Tom Riddle'" and that after LV's reemergence "'hardly anyone connected'" LV with Tom Riddle (Scholastic,329). This, of course, implies that SOME people knew, even if it was not common knowledge. Since DD explains this in front of the Weasleys, including Ginny, he doesn't exactly keep quiet about it. Who else knows then? Hagrid with his big mouth should know. Minerva who is only a few years older than LV should know, if not because they were probably at Hogwarts together, then because she is a member of the Order. If DD is willing to tell the Weasley children, then certainly Snape and the other members should know. It is not only the "good guys" who know. Tom Riddle tells Harry that he began using LV "'at Hogwarts, to my most intimate friends'" (314). DD confirms this in HBP when he tells Harry about Tom's classmates, some of whom became "'the first Death Eaters after leaving Hogwarts'" (Scholastic, 362). Certainly, some of them or their children should still be alive. DD also explains that there are those who remember Tom, but most are too "terrified" to talk about him and must be tricked. If they are terrified, they probably know that Tom is LV. Those who are willing mention how Tom was obsessed with his parentage. Tom may not have known of his ancestry at first, but others would have already known what he discovered while searching the school--that no Riddle had ever attended Hogwarts and that his father was a Muggle. Therefore, I think it is feasible that some Death Eaters know and remain quiet out of fear (like those wizards mentioned by DD) and others out of loyalty. It seems just as possible that some keep the secret as that they are ignorant of his ancestry in the first place.

We also know that LV could trace his wizard ancestry all the way back to Slytherin from "old books" (363). Therefore, witches who are concerned with such matters (Bella and Mrs. Black) have the means to ascertain who is and who isn't pure. I don't think that anyone has to resort to such measures with Snape because he seems to be fairly up front about it, which is a good thing, as I doubt that he could hide such recent Muggle parentage anyway. He seems to have gone in the opposite direction from Tom Riddle, taking a somewhat perverse pleasure in being a half blood, although he emphasized his Prince ancestry. Such pride would really rankle Bella if he had openly used the title "Half-Blood Prince" in school. Perhaps in their younger years, we could find additional reasons for their animosity towards each other.


Weeny Owl - Aug 24, 2005 4:37 am (#2536 of 2980)
I've been thinking about how Snape and Sirius have so much in common, yet almost seem to be opposite sides of the same coin in a lot of ways.

Snape and Sirius started out with different lives. Sirius came from a wealthy pure-blood family, while Snape came from a poorer half-blood family.

Sirius was popular in school. Snape wasn't.

Sirius was a pure-blood who disliked the Dark Arts and disliked his family's approval of them. Snape was a half-blood who loved the Dark Arts, and while we don't know what he family thought of them, he became thoroughly entrenched.

Sirius became a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Snape became a Death Eater.

For whatever reasons, things began to change.

Snape became a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Sirius became a prisoner in Azkaban.

Sirius comes back and things change again.

Sirius and Snape now have to work together. They need to be united just as the houses of Hogwarts do. They fail miserably.

Sirius dies and things change again. Snape now has the job he wants, but he knows that if Draco's task isn't completed, he (Snape) will have to do it, and he probably knows that if he does, it's the end of life the way he knew it.

Sirius was on the run accused of a crime he didn't commit. Snape is on the run accused of a crime he may or may not have committed. If he did kill Dumbledore, there may have been extenuating circumstances. He may still be faithful to the Order regardless of how it appears to the outside world just as Sirius was faithful to the Order regardless of how he appeared.

Snape went to Dumbledore with a story proving that he wanted to change sides; Dumbledore took him at his word. Sirius told Dumbledore his story, that he wasn't the traitor; Dumbledore took him at his word.

Through Legilimency or some other means, Dumbledore trusted both Sirius and Snape. Had he been a different person, he probably would never have trusted either of them. There was no reason whatsoever for him to trust Sirius... he hadn't spoken to the trio yet, Lupin was off in the woods as a werewolf and couldn't give testimony, Sirius had broken into the castle twice which certainly didn't place in in the best way, and he did escape from prison. We don't know if Sirius was good at Occlumency or not, but for some reason Dumbledore trusted him. I believe the same basic thing happened with Snape... he gave Dumbledore enough information that was believable, perhaps including facts that only Dumbledore would know, and maybe at the time Snape didn't know Occlumency. I said on an old Snape thread that maybe Dumbledore taught it to him and that was part of the trust he received from Dumbledore. Even if Snape did already know Occlumency, him giving information Dumbledore already knows and him obviously telling the truth about it might have been a factor.

Now to Snape's fate... does he live or die?

Sirius was on the run, came to Harry's rescue, and was killed. Snape is on the run, but will his fate mirror Sirius's the way it has already?

Sirius bucked tradition in the Black family and became a Gryffindor. We don't know what house Snape's mother was in, so we don't know if he bucked tradition or not.

Sirius had two definite friends, a wife, and a son, yet was betrayed by someone who seemed to be a friend. Snape hung out with a group of Slytherins who nearly all became Death Eaters, but that doesn't mean they were friends. He has no wife that we know of, no children that we know of, and if we go back to opposites, perhaps there will be a Death Eater who seems to be an enemy but saves Snape.

On the other hand, Sirius died protecting Harry. Snape might die protecting Harry or even Draco.


T Vrana - Aug 24, 2005 4:58 am (#2537 of 2980)
Sirius had a wife and son?


HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 24, 2005 5:12 am (#2538 of 2980)
Edited Aug 24, 2005 6:58 am
No, he was too busy being a rebel, T Vrana.

Weeny Owl, earlier in the year, I posted the following:

Severus/Sirius - Lucius/Lupin

At the time, I was thinking of them as opposites, but is seems as though they may have parallels also, as you pointed out. [To further your point and mine, Gina R. Snape made comments (Post #495 on N. Tonks thread) about Lupin that could be compared to Lucius.]


Weeny Owl - Aug 24, 2005 9:18 am (#2539 of 2980)
T, I have to laugh at myself for that. I shouldn't post things when I've been up most of the night because I can't sleep.

What I meant was that Sirius had two people who were true friends to him and a godson while Snape's gang may or may not have been true friends and he didn't have any godchildren that we know of. I did have a reason for including Lily in that, though, but for the life of me, I can't remember why now.

Hungarian, I may have read what you posted and it simmered a while. I was just struck by how much their lives seemed to weave back and forth between being similar and total opposites.


T Vrana - Aug 24, 2005 9:21 am (#2540 of 2980)
weeny owl- Actually you were probably making the connection between Lily/Harry/Sirius and Narcissa/Malfoy/Snape...but, being sleep deprived it came out a little funny... :-)


T Brightwater - Aug 24, 2005 10:05 am (#2541 of 2980)
Is it possible that Snape is Draco's godfather?


haymoni - Aug 24, 2005 10:37 am (#2542 of 2980)
It certainly would make sense as things have played out, but I really can't imagine the wealthy Malfoy family choosing the lapdog to be Draco's godfather.

Crabbe & Goyle are too stupid.

Mmmm...I wonder.


HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 24, 2005 11:20 am (#2543 of 2980)
Edited Aug 24, 2005 12:22 pm
Someone (sorry I can't remember whom to give credit to - sleep deprivation, I guess) once compared the Marauders to Severus, Lucius and Narcissa. Maybe Snape is Draco's Godfather.


irish flutterby - Aug 24, 2005 11:33 am (#2544 of 2980)
"I did have a reason for including Lily in that, though, but for the life of me, I can't remember why now."

Perhaps the connection is also along the lines of both of them caring for Lily, whether in similar or different ways. Both being friends of Lily's. Snape early in school, Sirius later. Both are also, in part, responsible for the Potters' deaths. Snape ratted them out to LV and then Sirius talked them into trusting a rat.

"I can just hear Dumblesnape (or Snapledore) humming "All of me... why not take all of me..."" tee hee hee.

That would be one good way of DD keeping a close reign on him.


Sparrowhawk - Aug 24, 2005 12:29 pm (#2545 of 2980)
If Snape were Draco's godfather, don't you think that Narcissa would have alluded to that in the "Spinner's End" chapter?...


irish flutterby - Aug 24, 2005 12:38 pm (#2546 of 2980)
Edited Aug 24, 2005 1:38 pm
not if she didn't want Bella to know about it.

EDIT: or Wormtail, for that matter.


Sparrowhawk - Aug 24, 2005 12:39 pm (#2547 of 2980)
A secret godfather, huh? Doesn't sound very likely to me... but I've been wrong more than once.


Weeny Owl - Aug 24, 2005 1:21 pm (#2548 of 2980)
Edited Aug 24, 2005 2:23 pm
Okay... I think my poor old brain might have kicked in, so I think I remember what I was trying to say.

Sirius didn't have any children, but he did have a good friend who had a wife and a son. Snape has no children that we know of, but he was friends with Lucius Malfoy who has a wife and a son. Both mothers love their sons. Both fathers (James and Lucius) seem to have trusted their friends (Sirius and Snape). Wormtail betrayed the Potters; he seemed to be their friend but wasn't. I'm thinking that there may be someone who appears to be an enemy but is actually a friend to Snape. It's more of the parallels and opposites. I could say that someone would betray the Malfoys, getting Lucius and Narcissa killed while Draco survives, but the situations are too different with the Malfoys, and this all has to do with Sirius and Snape and Snape's possible fate being either the same as Sirius's (he dies saving Harry or Draco) or the complete opposite in that he lives and has his name cleared.

But you're right, Hungarian, in that they were both partly responsible for the Potters dying, and add to that, they've both saved Harry.


T Brightwater - Aug 24, 2005 2:24 pm (#2549 of 2980)
I like the idea that Snape and Lily knew each other in the Muggle world before Hogwarts better than Snape having a crush on Lily, and I really like the idea that Snape was the "awful boy" who told Lily about the Dementors in Petunia's hearing. I think Harry might find that out in his last visit to the Dursleys.

I agree that Lily wasn't expecting to be called "Mudblood" and this would make sense if she knew from way back that Snape had a Muggle father. How many times have friends from elementary school split up in high school because one of them found himself/herself in a crowd which considered the other one "uncool"? The "Mudblood" comment makes more sense to me in that context.


Madam Pince - Aug 25, 2005 10:47 am (#2550 of 2980)
I am liking the "Snape-is-the-awful-boy" idea. I can see Snape possibly coming over to the Evans home during holiday to practice Potions with Lily or something (I think they had some sort of "friend" connection at the very least -- going by Lily's "blink" in the Worst Memory scene), and nosy-kins Petunia absolutely wouldn't be able to resist listening in on their conversations. Can't you just see Snape trying to impress Lily with his knowledge, and describing dementors to her? Petunia would definitely classify greasy-haired Snape as "awful." Yup, I think this fits.
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Post  Mona on Thu May 26, 2011 1:45 pm

irish flutterby - Aug 25, 2005 12:22 pm (#2551 of 2980)
Just to clarify, I think most of us would classify Severus. That is if we didn't know that he was such a great husband to Gina, anyways.


haymoni - Aug 25, 2005 3:05 pm (#2552 of 2980)
I think its more that Gina is such a great wife to Severus.

I liked the idea of Lily knowing Severus before they went to Hogwarts.

Or at least very early - like on the train. She would have been all alone, like Hermione.

Maybe Snape was her Neville. "Has anyone seen a toad? There's a greasy-haired boy who's lost one."


T Vrana - Aug 25, 2005 5:49 pm (#2553 of 2980)
Edited Aug 25, 2005 6:50 pm
Like the idea of them meeting on the train. Snape knew he was a wizard before Hogwarts, but the Hogwarts' letter seemed to be Lily's first clue, like Harry. Doubt Snape's family was hanging with muggles.


T Brightwater - Aug 25, 2005 7:04 pm (#2554 of 2980)
Snape's father was a Muggle. I've always wondered about the children of mixed marriages - do they go to school with Muggles or are they home-schooled like most wizard kids? How does the Muggle parent cope with being shut out of a large part of his/her kid's life?


irish flutterby - Aug 26, 2005 2:40 am (#2555 of 2980)
hey. It's a stetch, I know, and it probably doesn't hold aANY water; but, here goes. What if Snape and Lily were related on his father's side? Distantly, for example. Or maybe Petunia has a great dislike for Harry bacause Snape used to do mean things to her at famiy gatherings. Or maybe they didn't find out until they got to Hogwarts.

That would certainly explain Lily's blink. "You called me a mudblood, and you're my cousin. You idiot."


haymoni - Aug 26, 2005 5:03 am (#2556 of 2980)
That would mean that Dumbledore could have left Harry with Snape instead of the Dursleys.

Ugh.


Ann - Aug 26, 2005 5:11 am (#2557 of 2980)
I suggested a Muggle-side familly relationship at some point, too (I think on one of the early HBP threads) and someone pointed out that Dumbledore has definitively said that Harry has no relatives but the Dursleys.

But I suppose they might have been neighbors.... (If Petunia grew up in that dirty industrial area where Snape seems to live, her fetish for cleanliness may have a good explanation.)


T Brightwater - Aug 26, 2005 5:30 am (#2558 of 2980)
We don't know that either Snape or Petunia are living anywhere near where they grew up.


Madam Pince - Aug 26, 2005 12:41 pm (#2559 of 2980)
irish flutterby, I had a very similar thought a long while ago and developed a very nice (if I do say so myself) theory about Snape and Lily being related by marriage, but not by blood. (Posted in one of the old archived Snape threads, search "Dad Evans" if you want...)

But it got shot down (I think, anyway) by the revelation in HBP that Snape's dad is apparently a muggle named Tobias Snape. Sigh.... I want to re-think that theory, but it makes my head hurt. If you can come up with another good one, I'd love to hear it! I want to believe that soooo much!


Madame Librarian - Aug 27, 2005 10:58 am (#2560 of 2980)
Edited Aug 27, 2005 11:58 am
A thought came to me as I was reading various posts in this and other threads about our enigmatic Professor Snape.

It is hugely ironic that Snape is the eavesdropper who was only able to deliver part of the Prophecy to his master. And--he's the one who ultimately prevented Voldemort from hearing the rest of it. After all, Snape set in motion the sequence of events that alerted the Order and DD that the Harry and friends had dashed off to the Ministry to rescue Sirius. If he hadn't done that Voldemort would have probably achieved his goals.

Is there a chance this is the point we are supposed to think about when trying to decide if the man is good or evil? I haven't a clue.

Ciao. Barb


popkin - Aug 27, 2005 12:41 pm (#2561 of 2980)
Is it possible that it serves Snapes purposes to keep Voldemort in the dark about the remainder of the prophecy? According to Dumbledore, Snape does not know the end of it.


wynnleaf - Aug 27, 2005 9:16 pm (#2562 of 2980)
Madame Librarian, I also think it's ironic that Snape taunts Bellatrix with the failure of the DE's at the MoM -- including a taunt that they were fighting students. Bellatrix's excuse was that half the Order showed up. Ha! Naturally, Snape doesn't tell her who sent them.

popkin, does it serve Snape's purposes to keep LV in the dark about the remainder of the prophecy? Well, since Snape doesn't know the end of it, he wouldn't know how the end of the prophecy would fit into present or future events. So if he has separate goals from the Order, he couldn't necessarily know how the entire prophecy would fit into his personal goals. However, since he clearly thwarted LV's attempt to hear the last part, and since Snape was under no particular pressure to send the Order other than to thwart LV, I'd say we have to assume that it fit Snape's goals to thwart LV. The question for some would be whether or not the fact that Snape's goals were the same as the Order's goals at that point means he's on the Order's side.


septentrion - Aug 28, 2005 2:11 am (#2563 of 2980)
I'm sure there are suspicions about Snape sending the Order to the Ministry. when they talk about it, Bellatrix says Snape the Order showed up soon enough, "as you very well know". isn't it a hint she suspects something ?


Joanna S Lupin - Aug 28, 2005 9:00 am (#2564 of 2980)
Not necessarily. Snape might have heard the recount of events from LV himself, or other DEs, I think.

Other thing, that my friend put me to, keeps bugging me. We saw Professor Tralawney making a prediction before. Harry was with her at the time, and tried talking to her, didn't he? And yet she was in such a deep trance that nothing could distract her.

And yet, now dear Sybil remembers quite clearly that there was eavesdropper present. Doesn't it sound very odd indeed? Is it likely she would have no recollection was she still in trance? After all, when Harry witnessed her in trance, she merely thought she dozed off.

Another clue, I think, is Dumbledore's own memory of the making of the prophecy. JKR said that the Pensieve shows true neutrally. It seems unlikely that Dumbledore would alert his memory so that distrabtion was hidden, for what would his purpose be? We see no distrabtion of the prophecy in the memory, but Dumbledore reveals there was one.

If Snape overheard the prophecy (part of it) how is that possible that Tralawney was aware of the affair? She was in a trance and should not have noticed!

What if Snape heard all of it? That would explain how Tralawney was able to register him! Dumbledore says that the eavesdropper was chucked out of the inn immediately after he was discovered, what I believe is right. But the question we must ask ourselves is why did Snape not tell his master the entire content of the prophecy?

I agree with those who stated that Severus Snape's master is neither Dumbledore nor LV, but Severus Snape himself. I believe that Snape, for some mysterious reason, omitted grand part of the prophecy claiming he did not hear the rest of it. Next, he confided in Dumbledore what he had done, wether revealing reason for it or not. And this omittion, inspired by Snape himself, is the true reason Dumbledore trusted him.

There was a moment, I think, in book 6, where Dumbledore is close to revealing the secret to Harry. In chapter 'Seer Overheard' it says "Dumbledore did not speak for a moment; he looked as though he was trying to make up his mind about something. At last he said: 'I am sure. I trust Severus Snape completely.'" page 513, British Adult Edition.

I refuse to believe Dumbledore was a naive fool, albeit I'm furious with Snape, I remain hopeful that his crime will not be to LV's benefit.

Jo


T Vrana - Aug 28, 2005 9:15 am (#2565 of 2980)
Sanpe was listening at the keyhole. Aberforth saw him part way through the prophesy and would have said "Hey, what are you doing" or something similar. Snape stops listening to make excuses for being at the keyhole, "Oh, I was looking for DD, blah, blah, blah". Aberforth "You were listening, blah, blah". By now the prophesy is over and DD is aware of talking in the hall, Trelawney comes out of her trance, DD goes to the door and opens it to reveal Aberforth arguing with Snape. Snape gets chucked out of the inn.

The prophesy is not that long. I see no reason to believe Snape heard the whole thing.


Joanna S Lupin - Aug 28, 2005 10:15 am (#2566 of 2980)
It's possible, certainly, but I don't buy it. Eavesdropper was chucked out immediately, there would be no time for arguing!


T Vrana - Aug 28, 2005 10:28 am (#2567 of 2980)
Edited Aug 28, 2005 11:35 am
Not possible to chuck someone out immediately unless he was vanished. Aberforth would have confronted him, at that point Snape can no longer listen. Snape would have responded and Aberforth would have proceeded to remove him. It all takes time. Reading the second half of the prophesy very slowly takes less than 20 seconds. Aberforth saw, confronted and removed Snape in less than 20 seconds? DD's and Trelawney's accounts both support a confrontation. If there was no confrontation, how did DD know someone was in the hall? Why open the door?

20 seconds or so is pretty immediate.


Ana Cis - Aug 28, 2005 11:36 am (#2568 of 2980)
Edited by Aug 28, 2005 12:42 pm
Your account of the events makes sense, T Varana. I don't think Snape heard it all or he would have told LV.

Snape reminds me of Inspector Jarvert, from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, who had a perverted sense of honor.

Snape is a man obsessed with people following the rules set before them (from his own perspective). Furthermore, Snape is a person with certain emotional flaws—he’s highly insecure, emotionally repressed, and lacks the ability to feel empathy or compassion. He hated and resented James, Sirius, Lupin, and Peter because they were always getting into mischief but were still popular with most of the students and staff. Yet, here he was, complying with the rules and being very talented, but receiving no recognition, and was highly unpopular on top of it all. When James saved his life, he couldn’t accept it because he doesn’t comprehend such feelings as compassion. Now, he has a life debt to someone he hates and finds it intolerable.

I think one of the reasons he joined the Death Eaters was to oppose the Order of Phoenix crowd whom he hated. He also joined them because he was able to get credit and recognition from LV, an expert manipulator of people through the use of their feelings and desires. When he found out that LV went out and killed the Potters as a result of the information he provided about the prophesy, he regretted it and was full of remorse. However, his remorse was not based on any feeling of compassion for James, but because he, Snape, broke his own set of rules. This remorse is based on two reasons: First, he’s responsible for the death of the person he owes a life debt; and second, LV turns out to biggest of all rule breakers. So he decided to join the other side as a way to make up for his transgressions. I think he respects Dumbledore tremendously, but I don’t believe Snape had/has the kind of affection for him that Harry did.

Snape has repressed all his emotions—logic is everything. Yet, all those repressed emotions are beginning to catch up with him. He’s spying for the order and getting no credit for it; he had to agree to an unbreakable vow for a young man who shows no appreciation; he then had to “courageously” commit the ultimate sacrifice (in his view) by killing DD, and is accused of being a coward by the son of the person whom he owed a life debt and failed. It’s no wonder he wanted to get out it and feels such agony when Harry calls him a coward.

One last point, his sadistic behavior towards Harry has to do with fact that seeing and resenting Harry as copy of his father, Snape must still protect him as reparation for his failure to meet his life debt to James hence creating a great deal of internal conflict within Snape. I think that DD trusted him because of this sense of perverted honor. DD believed that Snape would die before failing to meet his debt to James Potter, no matter how much he hated James and his son. I also, believe that Snape will have a significant roll in saving Harry and will even die defending him in order to meet that life debt.

A last, last point, I don't think Snape would let himself fall in love with Lily because it would make him vulnerable--he'd find this intolerable. One only has to read his comments to Harry when he was teaching Harry occlumency and also when he was trying to flee Hogwarts after killing DD.


Sparrowhawk - Aug 28, 2005 11:42 am (#2569 of 2980)
Edited Aug 28, 2005 12:44 pm
The problem with love, is that one doesn't always "let oneself fall in love", often it just happens completely independently from one's own will. Yes, Snape would probably have found such a situation difficult to cope with, maybe he would have hated it, but does that mean that it could never have happened to him, in spite of himself?


wynnleaf - Aug 28, 2005 12:42 pm (#2570 of 2980)
Edited Aug 28, 2005 1:43 pm
Good points,Ana Cis, although I have to point out that DD makes it clear that Snape left the DE's prior to James and Lily's deaths, meaning that there must have been other reasons for DD's trusting Snape (initially).

"A last, last point, I don't think Snape would let himself fall in love with Lily because it would make him vulnerable--he'd find this intolerable. One only has to read his comments to Harry when he was teaching Harry occlumency and also when he was trying to flee Hogwarts after killing DD."

I always found those comments at the first occlumency lesson to be more indicative of someone who had allowed himself to be vulnerable and had highly, highly regretted it. At least in my personal experience, there are people who will deride and criticize others for the very weaknesses that they find most deplorable in themselves. When I read Snape's comments, I immediately felt that this was a lecture he had given to himself in the past-- and if he told himself that emotional vulnerability was so bad, it's because what he had experienced due to vulnerability was bad enough that he never wanted it repeated.


Madam Pince - Aug 29, 2005 11:59 am (#2571 of 2980)
...there are people who will deride and criticize others for the very weaknesses that they find most deplorable in themselves.

Who said that, wynnleaf, do you know? I think it's a fairly famous quote from a fairly famous person, but I can't think of it. I was thinking of that quote just the other day and now it's driving me nuts...

I agree with it, by the way. I definitely got the impression that Snape was speaking from past experience when he was lecturing Harry during the occlumency sessions. The question is, what emotion did Snape wear on his sleeve, exactly, that caused him grief in the past?


T Brightwater - Aug 29, 2005 12:09 pm (#2572 of 2980)
One emotion he's still wearing on his sleeve is his hatred for James and Sirius.


HungarianHorntail11 [/b]- Aug 29, 2005 1:32 pm (#2573 of 2980)
He doesn't see that as a weakness, though, does he? Too bad.


irish flutterby - Aug 29, 2005 3:51 pm (#2574 of 2980)
Well, at the core of it all there are IMO only two main emotions that most other emotions stem from. Love and hate. And as we know Severus doesn't have a problem wearing his dispise out there on his sleeve for anyone to catch, I think that leaves love.


wynnleaf - Aug 29, 2005 5:43 pm (#2575 of 2980)
"Who said that, wynnleaf, do you know?"

Uh, I said it. I don't think I heard it anywhere. I switched some of the words a couple of times, so I think it was just me. Thanks, anyway! :-)


Finn BV - Aug 29, 2005 5:44 pm (#2576 of 2980)
LOL Madam Pince. I guess you really weren't thinking of that quote the other day, were you? Nicely put, wynnleaf.


Madam Pince - Aug 29, 2005 6:23 pm (#2577 of 2980)
No, really, you guys! Some self-help person or psychologist or somebody like that said it! I swear! Arrrgghh...


Ana Cis - Aug 29, 2005 7:18 pm (#2578 of 2980)
You make an excellent point, Sparrowhawk. I probably phrased incorrectly. I was trying to present the case from Snape's perspective when I said that he doesn't let himself fall in love with Lily; when in actuality he's consciously tried to repress his love for her (if he did care for her) because he couldn’t bear the rejection.

wynnleaf: After reviewing the section where DD talks about Snape’s remorse, I don’t see where it says whether he left before or after the Potters’ death, but only the he regretted it "after he realized how LV had interpreted the prophecy". I took it to mean, that he realized it after LV went to hunt them down that night. I get the feeling that he was there and witnessed the murder; hence the terrible remorse/guilt—-but I may be way off on this. You may be correct; he could have just heard LV’s plans prior to the actual killings. If you have a specific passage that says he know about it before their deaths, please post it; thanks.

As for the rest of your comments (it is a great quote btw), I totally agree with you. I believe we get a hint of the pain and humiliation he has experienced in his life. First, from his abusive father as a child; then at school, when that girl was laughing at him as he tried to mount a bucking broomstick; and of course the totally humiliating experience when James lifted him up causing his underwear to show and possibly worse...

Still, I found JKR’s comment about Snape to be quite interesting: where she finds Snape more culpable (I guess for his bad choices and sadistic behavior) than Voldemort, because LV never experienced love, while Snape has.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Maybe Harry hits close to home in calling Snape a coward because he’s too afraid to risk loving someone, or maybe he did risk loving Dumbledore and look what he had to do. This is one character that I both detest and feel sorry for at the same time. I really hope he redeems himself for his own sake...pretty good writing on JKR’s part, when she can bring out our emotions by making her fictional character "become" so real.


Ana Cis - Aug 29, 2005 7:29 pm (#2579 of 2980)
Edited by Aug 29, 2005 8:30 pm
Madame Pince,

Tried google, famous quotes, and the quotations page...couldn’t find anything. Sorry.


Matrona - Aug 29, 2005 7:36 pm (#2580 of 2980)
"I get the feeling that he was there and witnessed the murder; hence the terrible remorse/guilt—-but I may be way off on this. You may be correct; he could have just heard LV’s plans prior to the actual killings. If you have a specific passage that says he know about it before their deaths, please post it; thanks."

GoF chapter 30, in the Pensieve, when Karkaroff denounces Snape, Dumbledore says that Snape switched sides before Voldemort's fall.

Snape was never even tried as a Death Eater--Sirius said in GoF that to his knowledge, Snape was never even accused, just that he "was part of a gang of Slytherins that nearly all turned out to be Death Eaters".


kage - Aug 29, 2005 10:31 pm (#2581 of 2980)
"I was trying to present the case from Snape's perspective when I said that he doesn't let himself fall in love with Lily; when in actuality he's consciously tried to repress his love for her (if he did care for her) because he couldn’t bear the rejection."

That would probably be correct with a grown up Snape, but at that time he was a kid, a teenager. As a teenager (as far as I remember, at least ) of course you fear to be rejected. But that's a more silly kind of feeling. It's nowhere near the fierce force you need to suppress love as an adult. That's something one would have learned from experiencing a really bad consequence of loving and feeling terribly hurt and vulnerable (and guilty, as we're talking Snape) afterwards, I'd think.

JKR states that 'Snape has known love'. If it had been his mothers (fathers, aunts, ...) love suddenly withdrawn, well, that might have left him unwilling and unable to love, right. But it might as well make you want for love even more.

Snape might have had the wrong attitude about a couple of things when he came to Hogwarts, but was he damaged enough not to have a teenage love? It's possible, of course, but how does that fit into the rest of the story?

"Well, at the core of it all there are IMO only two main emotions that most other emotions stem from. Love and hate."

I'd like to add fear as a basic emotion, originally there to save us from harm, but it can just as well harm and even destroy you if you fear too much. On many days I think it's the main theme for Snape.

"The question is, what emotion did Snape wear on his sleeve, exactly, that caused him grief in the past?"

It's funny, for a second I took the "sleeve" literally (english not being my first language) and it connected to the Dark Mark Snape is bearing under his Sleeve and that he rubbs later in the Occlumency lessons. There is good reason to fear Voldemort. Snape also might have acted cowardly at some point of his carreer out of fear. Way like not trying to save the Potters in time , simply out of fear of Voldemort. And when Snape finally decided to act it was too late.

And then Harry calls him a coward - ouch.


septentrion - Aug 29, 2005 11:00 pm (#2582 of 2980)
Kage, your remark about the sleeves is really interesting. We know Jo chooses her words carefully and this one is very well chosen.

About the "coward" insult, I remember Snape called Sirius a coward (ch occlumency OoTP), and he's very touchy about that issue. Must be a very sore spot. What you suppose about it Kage is very interesting : was Snape's remorse more about his own cowardice than about anything else ? That I would believe more than remorse for the Potters's death as a reason for DD to trust him.


greta - Aug 30, 2005 12:56 am (#2583 of 2980)
DD, as quoted by Matrona in post #2580 stated that Snape left the DE's and became a spy for The Order before LV's fall from power, as LV's fall from power occurred simultaneously with the death of the Potters. DD must have trusted Snape before this event,that is before the Potters death.

I am sure DD would be highly suspicious of a death eater claiming remorse at the Potters deaths and the part he played in it if LV was already vanquished, it would appear that he was merely out to save himself.

However, Snape had already turned to DD before the fall of LV and was working as a spy as previously stated, then DD watches Snapes grief at the Potters death and the trust he already had in Snape is further cemented. As DD says to Harry in OOTP page 726 English Paperback "Harry, suffering like this proves you are still a man! this pain is part of being human-" . DD observes similar pain in Snape and believed it could only prove he was "human". Having said all of this the crucial reason as to why DD trusted Snape must have occurred before the Potters death and I have no idea what that might have been!!


kage - Aug 30, 2005 2:34 am (#2584 of 2980)
Edited Aug 30, 2005 3:34 am
"DD must have trusted Snape before this event,that is before the Potters death."

Yep. Or Snape has done something maybe only minutes before the Potters death, that later, after the dust had settled down a little, helped to build DDs trust. (Snape proving himself at least 'part-human' )


Ann - Aug 30, 2005 6:13 am (#2585 of 2980)
I think Snape went to Voldemort directly and told him what he'd heard of the prophecy--and Voldemort immediately settled on James and Lily as the parents whose child would have to be killed. Since he knew them well enough to know they'd protect their child with their own lives (they're Gryffindors, after all), he realized he'd essentially sent Voldemort after them. I think that was the realization that sent him back to Dumbledore, trying to undo the harm he'd done. So, when James and Lily were killed, probably over a year later, he'd been a spy for quite a while.

Since Dumbledore wouldn't lie to Harry, and he says this is Snape's greatest regret, I think this incident has to be at the root of why Dumbledore trusts him. But there is clearly more to it than that--there is something that makes the intensity and sincerity of his regret absolutely certain to Dumbledore. This is why I think a Snape-Lily romance or friendship or family relationship is more probable than I had thought before. (Though if it's a family relationship, it would have to be by marriage or something, since Dumbledore says Harry has no living relations.)


Saracene - Aug 30, 2005 6:26 am (#2586 of 2980)
Edited Aug 30, 2005 7:31 am
Snape really has no business lecturing Harry about "weak people who wallow in sad memories", hem hem what about that log in your own eye Professor hem hem.

I wondered about Snape flipping out after being called a coward by Harry and what it meant as well. I do feel though that his reaction is more along the lines of, "you horrible little twit, you have no clue what's really going on and what I'm going through here". Rather than some raw nerve touched in regards to some act of cowardice he had committed in the past. Whatever else he is, and plenty of it is deplorable, I just don't see Snape a coward; on the other hand I think he is -extremely- touchy as far as getting respect goes.

Lily/Snape relationship, whatever it was, would IMO definitely tie in with what DD was telling Harry about love and how it is the only thing that can protect someone from the Dark Arts and their lure. Plus deeply personal reasons like blood ties or love are often the strongest as far as people's motivations go.


T Brightwater - Aug 30, 2005 6:49 am (#2587 of 2980)
I think he is -extremely- touchy as far as getting respect goes. -Saracene

That's Snape all right. That sense of injured dignity is one of the reasons I don't trust him. (It's one of the traditional attributes of the Devil in literature, also.) He's a complete contrast to Dumbledore, who tells the House-Elves at Hogwarts that they can "call him a barmy old codger if they likes."


Ann - Aug 30, 2005 7:36 am (#2588 of 2980)
Edited Aug 30, 2005 8:40 am
I think that bit where Snape goes berserk over being called a coward has been misinterpreted. There's a dash in the middle of that sentence:

"DON'T--" [long description of what he looks like]--"CALL ME A COWARD!"

That dash is not there to set off the description, which is already set off by the quotation marks. I think the long descriptive passage there was put in to hide the gap. If you take it out, what he actually said was:

"DON'T--CALL ME A COWARD!"

which looks much more suspicious.

Harry has also just accused him of killing a defenseless Dumbledore, and I think Snape comes very close to justifying himself to Harry, but manages to change what he was about to say before he blurts out anything that will get him in trouble. After all, Harry called him a coward just before that and he laughs it off with a jibe at James's cowardice. It's not that that has got to him.


greta - Aug 30, 2005 7:40 am (#2589 of 2980)
Tt Brightwater -"that sense of injured dignity is one of the reasons I don't trust him". That was really well said. It is similar to the way he demands he is addressed as "sir" he has not earned this title and respect but demands it none the less. I could never imagine DD demanded that someone call him "Sir" , yet I cannot imagine anyone not doing so.

Whatever the Sanpe/Lily relationship was I am sure this is important, but if Snape only turned to DD because of his personal guilt/loss did he really put his death eater ways behind him? Had he realised LV's agenda was wrong or was he just aggrieved because he had now sufferd? Is that enough to really convert someone to the side of "good"?


T Vrana - Aug 30, 2005 8:30 am (#2590 of 2980)
Ann- If you actually look at that moment, I think Snape thinks Harry is talking about James. They were just talking about James when Harry says

"Kill me then...Kill me like you killed him , you coward..."

Harry is talking about DD, but I think Snape thinks they are still on James. I think Snape does feel guilt for James' and Lily's deaths, and feels responsible, and a coward for not doing more to stop it. He owed James a life debt, and Lily was the one person who stepped out of the crowd and told James to stop. He played a part in their deaths and should have done more to stop it. I do not think Snape is a nice guy, but I do think he has a somewhat warped sense of fairness.


Esther Rose - Aug 30, 2005 9:00 am (#2591 of 2980)
That is something to actually think about. What if Snape actually thought he could get away with killing Dumbledore and blame it on another DE/Malfoy? What if Snape does not know that Harry saw him kill Dumbledore?

I mean I would hope that Snape would see two brooms and assume that Dumbledore was not alone on the tower but what if...


rambkowalczyk - Aug 30, 2005 9:54 am (#2592 of 2980)
At Voldemort's rebirthing he made reference to three Deatheaters who weren't there: one who has left me forever-he will be killed, a coward-he will be punished, and his most loyal servant-he will be rewarded. I find it interesting to note that in chapter 2, Snape says "yes the Dark Lord thought that I had left him forever, but he was wrong."

If we keep the discussion simple and only consider Snape and Kakoroff, is Snape telling the truth or shading it a little. Karkaroff at his trial turned in Rookwood. Snape was never accused of being a Death Eater and to Voldemort's knowledge never turned in anyone. Furthermore Karkaroff was killed although it took Voldemort to get to book 6 to do it. Snape is still alive.

When Harry came back from the graveyard, it can be assumed Harry told every detail of that meeting. I think Dumbledore assumed Karkaroff was the traitor and Snape was thought of as a coward. Therefore both Snape and Dumbledore knew Snape might be in for an evening of Crucio before convincing Voldemort of Snape's "loyalty".

Point I want to make is that Voldemort thinks that Snape is a coward and Snape isn't about to admit it to anyone.


septentrion - Aug 30, 2005 10:04 am (#2593 of 2980)
Edited Aug 30, 2005 11:09 am
well said Ramb !

I think Snape was completely ready to take the blame for DD's death : he didn't even tried to stay behind or justify himself to the Order. He just fled as quickly as possible. I'm also of the opinion he saw the two brooms hence knew DD wasn't alone and guessed almost instantly Harry was there. Snape had all the clue with him : he knew part of the prophecy and knew Harry was the one who could finish Voldemort off, he knew about the invisibility cloak, and probably knew about DD and Harry's stroll for the horcruxes. He just drew the conclusion. Why I think he knew about DD and Harry's mission that night is he was ready : when Flitwick came to him, he wasn't obviously in his PJ's and asleep, yet he didn't know about Draco's plan with the DE. Plus, DD asked the Order to patrol the castle save for Snape and Hagrid (Hagrid may be needed on the grounds). Why didn't DD asked Snape to patrol that night ? Why having people to come when you have a perfectly competent Order member at hand ?

On another topic, I came with a wild theory today : a lot of people think Snape will make a grand gesture to help Harry to save the day in book 7. What if it is the other way around ? What if it is Harry who will save Snape ? Harry is full of love, that's his strength, and it isn't compatible with the hatred he feels for Snape. In fact Harry looks for anything to fuel his hatred. We could say Snape is the one to whom Harry has the more to forgive with Voldemort. Wouldn't it make Harry still a better man if he overcomes his hatred and saves Snape ? And Snape would find himself again with a life debt towards a Potter.

edit : I found back an idea which has escaped me the whole afternoon (what was I doing at work ?). I've spotted another lie of Snape to the DE in Spinner's End : Snape says he believed the dark lord dead. I really don't buy it. How could he believe Voldemort dead when DD, whom he saw every day, didn't believe it. Even Hagrid didn't believe it ! Snape could have only lied about it. You could say it was only to save his own skin but it was a very convenient lie to cover his actions before LV's rebirth wasn't it ?


haymoni - Aug 30, 2005 10:04 am (#2594 of 2980)
Even if Voldy thought he was the traitor, Snape failed to apparate as commanded.

He was "Crucio'd" for sure!

I always assumed that's why he blanched when Dumbledore said, "You know what I must ask you to do!"


Ann - Aug 30, 2005 10:20 am (#2595 of 2980)
Septentrion: What if it is the other way around ? What if it is Harry who will save Snape? Harry is full of love, that's his strength, and it isn't compatible with the hatred he feels for Snape. In fact Harry looks for anything to fuel his hatred.

I think you're right--although given Harry's hatred for Snape, coming around emotionally to the point that he can save him is probably going to be the saving of Harry as well.

Snape gives Harry three essential instructions as he flees Hogwarts: Don't try to use Unforgivables (they aren't where your strength lies); keep your mouth closed (work on non-verbal spells); and keep your mind closed (so LV can't predict your spells using legilimancy). Harry would do well to follow these instructions, but it's a pity Snape didn't also tell him: "Stop hating! It distorts your vision!"


T Vrana - Aug 30, 2005 10:34 am (#2596 of 2980)
"but it's a pity Snape didn't also tell him: "Stop hating! It distorts your vision!"

Snape wouldn't add this last bit...he suffers from the same problem!

I agree, Harry will need to forgive, perhaps save Snape, I think, and hopefully Snape comes around to realizing Harry is not James, and is actually more like Lily...


greta - Aug 30, 2005 11:01 am (#2597 of 2980)
I think Snape was not asked to patrol the corridors on the night of DD death (or any other night that DD was absent) becasue DD's aim to was to maintain Sanpe's position as spy for as long as possible, if he was patrolling and the castle was then attacked by DE's it would put Snape in an awkward position - who do you fight with? Therefore I believe he was not required to be in this position and therfore is able to continue as both loyal DE and loyal order member. Snape states something similar to Bella in the Spinners End Chapter he does not go to the ministry to help because how would it look to the Order if he joined in with the DE's?

Yes, I would also like it if Harry's compassionate nature overrode his hatred for Snape and he "saves" Snape in some way. I think based on Harry's personality this is a likey outcome. Aslo would this happen when Harry believed Snape to be innocent or guilty? He allowed Pettigrew to live even though he knew him to be responsible for his parents death. Could Harry still believe Sanpe to be a DE and murderer yet still save him?


Ann - Aug 30, 2005 12:28 pm (#2598 of 2980)
greta, you may be right that it's because if Snape would have to blow his cover if he met DEs while patrolling. But I think he probably also knows that Dumbledore has gone after another Horcrux, and is standing by to help with the aftermath. He's dressed and ready to run, after all.


Vulture - Aug 30, 2005 12:51 pm (#2599 of 2980)
Why never, ever taunt Harry about his mom? Snape has no hesitation in putting down people who are by and large innocent. So why not put down Lily? This cannot be pure circumstance. JKR certainly hasn't "forgotton" to have Snape comment on Lily. JKR has to have a reason for this complete absence of Snape making taunting or nasty remarks, or indeed ANY remarks, about Lily. (wynnleaf - Aug 14, 2005 2:43 pm (#2341))

There's another thing _ think about what Snape sees when he looks at Harry. Mostly, he sees a boy who looks "extraordinarily like James", whom Snape hated. But when he stares in Harry's eyes, it's Lily's eyes he's seeing. So if he likes Lily (but I'm not saying he does), this must set up quite an inner conflict.

(Sorry for harking back to an old discussion, but I've only just joined in on this thread.)


Vulture - Aug 30, 2005 1:00 pm (#2600 of 2980)
Edited Aug 30, 2005 2:25 pm
Another topic, now: I originally posted this as #184 on "The Snape/Dumbledore puzzle or who sacrificed who??" thread (Aug 14, 2005 2:11 pm). Sorry if it repeats anything recently said by others (I had a quick look around, but probably missed loads.)

My feeling is that, with Book 6 now done, you can use everything we know about Snape to support any one of the following (but not, of course, more than one):

(1) Snape is definitely an agent for the good side (despite appearances); Dumbledore was right to trust him. To support this, we must mainly trust Dumbledore's word, but there is also what Quirrell said in Book 1, and the fact that he set off the Order's rescue dash to the Ministry in Book 5. I don't need to say more, because plenty of you have put the case for (1) better than I can.

(2) Snape is definitely an agent for the Dark Side (despite what Quirrel said in Book 1); Dumbledore was deceived, and "Spinner's End" is basically a confession to the reader. Though he set off the Order's rescue dash to the Ministry in Book 5, we should note that he only did so after Harry had shouted a verbal warning to him in Umbridge's office _ before that, although he knew (from Umbridge) that something was going on, and was staring at Harry for several minutes, he made no attempt to do a non-verbal Legilimens to access Harry's thought. (We would know if he had, because we've had the effects described to us.) I don't need to say more, because plenty of you have put the case for (2) better than I can.

(3) Snape is an operator for himself. He sides with whoever seems to be most powerful, with no loyalty to anyone except himself. (Also _ perhaps _ he has an interest in the Dark Arts for their own sake _ not as something that would influence which side he takes.) His true nature comes across in class, towards those, whom he has in his power and from whom he has nothing to gain. (Slytherin students, or at least most of them, don't fall in the second category.) We see that his worst bullying is reserved, not for those whom he has some supposed "cause" to dislike (e.g. Harry) _ but who fight back _ but for the most vulnerable, like Neville.

The clue to Snape's loyalty is the "Half-Blood Prince" title (Harry is right in thinking that shouting about "half-blood" descent wouldn't be too welcome among Death Eaters, despite Voldemort's own origins; Bellatrix uses "half-blood" as a term of abuse in Book 5. He is also right in seeing it as a pale imitation of Voldemort's ambition).

In the first war, Voldemort's side appeared far more powerful than his enemies (remember what Lupin said to Mrs. Weasley in "The Woes Of ..." in Book 5 ?), so Snape "was indeed a Death Eater" (Dumbledore, Book 4) at that time. Being ordered to spy at Hogwarts gave him a useful way to hedge his bets, which was just what he needed when Voldemort fell _ so he "changed" sides. (In any case, given that both sides wanted him at Hogwarts, he didn't have to change his behaviour. )

Since then, the anti-Voldemort side has been in power, so Snape has had no reason to act openly for Voldemort _ until now.

Now, there are 2 new factors: (i) simply, Voldemort's side is getting stronger; (ii) more importantly, Snape has been unlucky _ as part of fortifying his position on the Dark Side (but also _ please note _ as part of working (or seeming to) for Dumbledore), he has cultivated the friendship of the Malfoys, who are rich and powerful Dark wizards. (But note: this friendship would also have done Snape no harm at the Ministry, until Lucius was arrested in Book 5.)

But this has now led him into a trap _ in the "Spinner's End" scene, his personality dominated the situation until the last few moments, when Narcissa came out with the Unbreakable Vow request. Remember ? _ he paused for a moment _ then it became clear that, with Bellatrix there, he had little choice. But he still had a chance to play both sides until Narcissa came out with the third (most specific) part of the Vow. Even then, he may still have hoped that either (a) Draco would do the dirty work and leave him clear, or that (b) Dumbledore could find a way out (yes, he would tell Dumbledore _ he's too clever not to). But neither Draco nor Dumbledore could get him off the hook, so he had to keep the Vow.

(4) Snape is a conflicting personality. He is weak (jealous of the strong, such as James and Sirius), petty (hanging on to grudges for a lifetime) and cowardly (killing an unarmed man, bullying the most vulnerable in class). However, he has a conscience (a weak one), and can be influenced for good _ but he needs the influence. Thanks to Dumbledore _ a strong but kind force for good, he has been helped make choices for the good side from time to time. However, his good actions have not been conspicuously brave _ his attempt to save Harry from Quirrell involved no risk to himself (it would have been far more effective _ but risky _ to knock Quirrell down), and when he alerted the Order to rescue Harry in Book 5, he chose to "search the Forest" instead of go to battle. Like Richard Rich who betrayed Sir Thomas More (see "Man For All Seasons" movie), he needs to be steered away from temptation _ which is why Dumbledore refused him the Defence Against the Dark Arts job for so long. Unfortunately, in Book 6, Dumbledore, like a chess player, may have felt that the risk was justifiable because of other "moves" he wanted to make _ keeping Harry on track for being an Auror, and keeping Slughorn in Hogwarts, safe from the Dark Side. In fact, the temptation, combined with his situation with Narcissa, turned out to be too much for Snape, and when backed into a corner, like a lot of weak people, he took the easy way out _ betraying Dumbledore _ rather than the right one .

(5) Snape is an old spy gone weary and apathetic. Not too different from (4), but anyway _ Snape may have started out as a Death Eater, but not too fanatical, and took up the post to spy at Hogwarts in a routine sort of way, which makes him a double agent once Dumbledore asks him to spy on his own side. But, over the years, Snape gets used to his (comfortable) life at Hogwarts, gets used to taking orders from both sides, and by Book 6, couldn't care less about either way about either side's cause. (This notion about double agent apathy is used a fair bit in Cold War spy novels.) Then he falls into the Unbreakable Vow trap, and things pan out as I've mentioned before.

You can justify any of the above by reference to the 6 Books. I think JKR wants it this way, wants to keep options open. (I'm afraid that I feel that this is now having a bad effect on the writing quality, but that's for another thread ("HBP as a piece of Literature") _ which I started !!)
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Post  Mona on Thu May 26, 2011 1:54 pm

Madam Pince - Aug 30, 2005 1:03 pm (#2601 of 2980)
"Kill me then...Kill me like you killed him , you coward..."

Now, isn't this funny -- I just finished reading this scene in my re-read, and I was assuming he was talking about James, too! Never even occurred to me he was talking about Dumbledore. But, I suppose, it could be either really. Hmmmmm...

Ann, I agree with you about the "DON'T -- CALL ME A COWARD!" I got the impression that Snape was getting ready to say something else, and then changed it to "call me a coward." This is even more interesting if the above quote refers to killing Dumbledore, rather than killing James. As in "DON'T -- accuse people of things about which you know nothing!" perhaps???


M A Grimmett - Aug 30, 2005 1:04 pm (#2602 of 2980)
I also thought that Snape was going to say something different, but realized it wasn't the time or place for a fuller explanation/justification...


Ana Cis - Aug 30, 2005 2:34 pm (#2603 of 2980)
Edited by Aug 30, 2005 3:38 pm
septentrion, "Severus Snape" #2593, 30 Aug 2005 11:04 am “On another topic, I came with a wild theory today: a lot of people think Snape will make a grand gesture to help Harry to save the day in book 7. What if it is the other way around? What if it is Harry who will save Snape? Harry is full of love, that's his strength, and it isn't compatible with the hatred he feels for Snape.”

I really like your point here. It really fits w/in Harry's character. It never crossed my mind that it might be Harry who saves Snape. That's the type of situation JKR would include in her story. And that Harry saving wormtail's life PA is a foreshadowing of what will happen with Snape, where Harry would say, "That’s what DD would have wanted."

One question I would like to ask in general. How many times has DD been wrong? The only time I saw him be wrong was in overprotecting Harry by not telling him about the prophesy earlier on; and that was due to his great love for Harry. The other time was when he asked Snape to teach Harry, Occlumency. Otherwise he hasn’t been fooled by anyone else, even Tom Riddle, who's one of the best Ligilimens and at fooling everyone else. This is one where my faith is in DD. He may give people the benefit of the doubt, but he's not naive. While Harry has looked for every possible excuse to blame Snape for any evil plot he perceives because he probably still feels guilty about Siriurs' death.


irish flutterby - Aug 30, 2005 2:44 pm (#2604 of 2980)
Edited Aug 30, 2005 3:44 pm
I think possibly a better example of DD not being fooled by people is Horace Slughorn. Think about it. Slughorn is charming, influential, has great contacts, yada, yada, yada. Slughorn isn't even an evil guy. BUT DD doesn't hesitate to tell Harry to keep a distance.


Chemyst - Aug 30, 2005 3:15 pm (#2605 of 2980)
Edited Aug 30, 2005 4:22 pm
From post #2577 No, really, you guys! Some self-help person or psychologist or somebody like that said it! I swear! Arrrgghh... - Madam Pince

I Believe you, Madam Pince!

This is a pretty similar sentiment: People who make vicious unfounded accusations... are almost always guilty of whatever they are accusing others of doing.

It can be found here on the forum. That was the one I could find. But it is a basic principal of the way "things" function. "Things" can have different labels depending upon your point of view. If you heard it from a preacher, he may have called it a demonic spirit, and if you heard it from a television psychologist, he may have labeled it a dysfunctional pattern.

... more recently, I do like greta's explanation for why Snape would not be patrolling the corridors.

... even more recently, I think the 'Coward vs. Brave' thing will be a major theme of Book Seven's grand finale.


T Vrana - Aug 30, 2005 6:47 pm (#2606 of 2980)
Edited Aug 30, 2005 7:50 pm
"His true nature comes across in class, towards those, whom he has in his power and from whom he has nothing to gain"

If Snape did grow up in an abusive home, as we suspect, some of what we are seeing may be a reflection on the way he was raised. I have known adults who rarely give encouragment or compliments when children need help or are doing things right, but are quick to criticize when they do things wrong. It is how they were raised, and in their eyes this is teaching.

In reality Snape is critical, but nothing like Umbridge who was ready to crucio Harry, or Filch who wants to hang students from the ceiling.

Snape saves Harry from Quirrel (if he had knocked Quirrel over it would have been a giveaway to the readers that Snape was good, Quirrel bad). In Chamber of Secrets he grips the back of a chair tightly when he hears a student has been taken to the chamber, and says something like "how can you be sure"(I think Snape actually feels protective of the students, since he was not protected at school. He's very into rules, and responsibility). He is definitely biased and unfair, but I'm sure he does not see this in himself.

In POA he makes Lupin's wolfsbane potion, but does reveal he's a werewolf. Two things, Lupin as a prefect stood by while Snape was bullied, but did not participate. Snape made his potion, but had his revenge. But he also thought it a mistake to have a werewolf around the students. I don't think this was only revenge. And he was right in a way, Lupin did forget to take his potion. It can be argued for good reason, but the danger was still there. Good reason or not, a werewolf was loose at Hogwarts.

I can't think of a time Snape did more than criticize Harry in class, until after Harry went into Snape's personal memories. This was an invasion into memories Snape clearly wanted kept private.

I'm sure there will be more, but this is long already. I'm not saying Snape is a good guy, but in his own way he thinks he's right. He thinks DD is too easy going concerning rulebreakers (and DD was headmaster when Snape was bullied, I think even DD might admit he should have done more than make Lupin prefect in hopes of controlling James and Sirius), and a little too relaxed where the safety of the students is involved.

I don't think Snape as just another evil guy works. He's more complex and interesting as a conflicted character. Not nice, not a guy I want teaching my kids or living next door, but not totally evil.

It was mentioned that he's a coward. LV isn't very kind to those who don't come when called, but Snape went on DD's orders, late. Snape is many things, but I don't think he is a coward.

Could be wrong...


Ann - Aug 30, 2005 7:00 pm (#2607 of 2980)
A really nice analysis, T Vrana. Based on your take on the man, we can add another point to Vulture's list:

(6) Snape is a man of honor. Nasty and abusive by nature and upbringing, Snape nonetheless controls many of his baser impulses by being rigid and punctilious about his moral responsibilities as he sees them: he obeys the rules, he gives people their full and proper titles, he protects his students (physically), he pays his (life) debts, he loyally gives his assistance unstintingly to those who have earned his loyalty--and he expects others to do the same. And there's heck to pay if they don't.


wynnleaf - Aug 30, 2005 8:49 pm (#2608 of 2980)
Edited Aug 30, 2005 9:50 pm
"This is a pretty similar sentiment: People who make vicious unfounded accusations... are almost always guilty of whatever they are accusing others of doing."

This would not be the kind of thing I meant in my comment, because I was not referring to people making unfounded, or even necessarily vicious accusations. Snape's comments at the first occlumency lesson are not accusations. My observation actually comes originally from a friend who was rather gifted with negotiating strikes, etc. -- an excellent "reader" of people. He mentioned once that you should always watch those things that a person rather "harps on" as things to avoid, or consistently points out when noticing the failings of others, because those are often that person's own failings. That was years ago, and I have indeed observed this on many occasions.

So when I saw Snape going off on this bit of a tirade about emotions -- well, I immediately thought that this was, or had likely been, a major weakness for him. And of course, he does explode periodically.

Snape is not a coward, in the sense that he does not avoid highly dangerous activity. On the other hand, his fears are unlikely to be for physical dangers.

I tend to agree with T Vrana's comments and Ann's comment on the "man of honor" idea. I'd think Snape held very closely to his own version of honor. It's not a kind, compassionate, or in any way likable honor, but he does seem committed to his own version of it.

One thing that stands out to me in all of the books is the way Snape goes to DD so often with all sorts of reservations about this and that, or his recommendations for how DD should handle Harry, or others. He's very willing to voice his ideas to DD, even knowing that they are likely to be rejected. DD seems to often be saying, "yes I hear what you're saying, but I disagree...." But you don't really see Snape appearing to get bitter toward DD about that. He keeps going along, taking DD's orders, etc, but still putting in his differing opinions. You'd think the disloyal DE, pretending to be loyal Order member, would just be a "yes, sir, whatever you say sir. That's great!" person -- the "yes" man. It interests me that all of the other faculty are always fully supportive of whatever DD says. Lupin, Arthur Weasley, and others seem to follow DD without question. Snape, on the other hand, rather regularly states his own, differing opinions. I don't know exactly what I make of it, but it just seems a different relationship between DD and Snape, versus DD and all the other faculty and Order members.


septentrion - Aug 30, 2005 10:41 pm (#2609 of 2980)
Edited Aug 30, 2005 11:43 pm
Wynnleaf, your point about Snape being the critical follower is interesting. Some years ago, I had a training about "conducting a project", and we were given a classification of people implied in a project. What's interesting is the critical allies are considered to be the more credible ones because they have a distance and are willing to have a say in the decisions. The description fits Snape, isn't it ? And we see him adopting such a behaviour with DD but not with LV. With LV, he acts as an unconditional ally and in this case, people just follow directions they are given without question. I rather see this behaviour as a sign of reciprocal trust between DD and LV and as a sign of loyalty towards DD. Of course, I may be wrong...

To come back to the night when the DE entered the castle, I must insist on the fact that Snape didn't know about it, Draco has insisted about it. One could always argue Snape was told by LV but I doubt it. It was Draco's testing. I believe Snape was awake because of DD's and Harry's mission more than for Draco's mission.

About the abusive side of Snape, I just want to underlign the fact that his detentions are never dangerous, only tedious (scrubing bedpans, sorting out files...). In PS, McGonagall's detention was a lot more dangerous : going in the forbidden forest at night to track down a creature which kills unicorns...brrrrr


kage - Aug 31, 2005 12:13 am (#2610 of 2980)
Due to timezone-differences you're active when I'm asleep. So for keeping things short: just know that I appreciate all you're last nights (my time) thinking.

May I add to Snape beeing much about rules: that I found it rather interesting that Snape doesn't seem to have been put in detention much, if ever? I'm referring to Harrys detention with Snape late in HBP here, where Harry finds so many cards telling about the marauders misdeeds and detentions - but nothing about Snape. Wouldn't it have been mentioned, too?

Was teenage Snape sticking to the rules? Highly possible, although I'd think exploring and using the Dark Arts, which we are told he has been into, is pretty much against the Hogwarts -if not written rules- consensus (for lack of better words)? ...Oops, that might make all the difference. You lack subtelty, Goedde (me)!

Or was he just smarter than the marauders, being "a sly and cunning Slytherin"?


septentrion - Aug 31, 2005 1:53 am (#2611 of 2980)
I would bet about the "sly and cunning Slytherin". After all, James and him had the habit to hex each other and I doubt all of this was by the rules.


kage - Aug 31, 2005 3:45 am (#2612 of 2980)
Edited Aug 31, 2005 4:46 am
Certainly, septentrion (got your name right, finally :blush:). A teenage boy going strictly by the school rules...would be very suspicous...

Well, the scene might qualify as another attempt of Snape to educate Harry, as about what happens to people who use "illegal hexes": "It must be such a comfort to think that, though they are gone , a record of their great achievements remains..." - like 'cut out that stuff, or you'll end up dead like James and Sirius' - analogical to "No Unforgivable Curses from you, Potter".

But why is there no record of detention for Snape (mentioned) especially when James and Snape used to hex each other? Wouldn't it have been a satisfaction for Harry to throw a handful of cards at Snape: 'YOU weren't any better!'? Hm, I wouldn't put it past Snape to have combed them out.


Chemyst - Aug 31, 2005 4:45 am (#2613 of 2980)
Edited Aug 31, 2005 5:59 am
Yes, wynnleaf, that is why I said "a pretty similar sentiment." Accuses, harps on, picks on, makes slimy innuendo, consistently points out in others, goes off on tirades... all similar, and all can point to the weakness or guilt of the person doing it. The Umbridge case was so extreme she took it to a high level, but it's all the same principal. I've heard the basics of what your negotiator friend said in framed in several forms, and it is likely that Madam Pince has heard and observed it too. I just didn't want her to suffer the angst of her "Arrrgghh... "
~~~~~~~
An interesting thought, kage. Why is there no record of detention for Snape? Could Filch be selectively editing the records? I always got the impression that they were "His Thing" and not required record keeping. This could be some indirect evidence for MPISM on the Eileen Prince thread.


Madam Pince - Aug 31, 2005 4:55 am (#2614 of 2980)
Edited Aug 31, 2005 5:56 am
No worries! It's just frustrating to me when I can't think of something or place something. Goes along with getting old... it's happening more and more frequently, unfortunately! Thank you for consoling me, Chemyst! Anyway, who knows where I heard it... it's a pretty basic idea that seems to hold water!

kage, that was my first thought too when you posed the question about Snape's misdeeds -- it would be very easy (and very self-serving-Slytheriny, I might add) for Snape to just wave his wand over those index cards one time, and poof! Look what a good boy our Snape was in school!

***Giggles at septentrion's idea of Snape in pajamas***


rambkowalczyk - Aug 31, 2005 5:47 am (#2615 of 2980)
I am not sure if it is fair to lump Umbridge and Snape together. Granted Harry hated them both but their motives were different.

Umbridge wasn't just being critical of Harry. She was deliberately trying to discredit him or to be kind she was trying to get him to follow the Ministry line and recant what he said about Voldemort being back. Every mean rotten thing she did had that goal in mind.

Snape has no grand motive for his behaviour to Harry. Most of it seems to be petty revenge, sometimes I think it's because Harry genuinely annoys him just because he's Harry. Although Snape is vindictive he doesn't physically hurt Harry nor does he leave physical scars.


siliconsmiley - Aug 31, 2005 6:21 am (#2616 of 2980)
Edited by Aug 31, 2005 7:43 am
Maybe Snape does have a grand motive that we just don't know about yet.

I posted a theory over in the Will and Won't thread of the Chapter Discussion folder here siliconsmiley [/b]- Aug 29, 2005 1:50 pm (#109 of 109). I think it may be of some relavance to this discussion.

I think Dumbledore had become something of a father figure to Snape (among others). I think that's why he confides in Dumbledore so much. We know of another young man that does the same.


T Brightwater - Aug 31, 2005 6:31 am (#2617 of 2980)
kage, that's a good catch. Surely Harry would have taken some vindictive pleasure in seeing Snape's name amongst the offenders, and would have mentioned it.

I can think of a few reasons: Snape didn't get caught (which would give him more in common with Voldemort); James was his only victim and he didn't complain to the teachers; he or someone else has removed those records; he has his own file like Fred and George; each house has its own file and Harry hadn't gotten to the Slytherin box yet.

Can't figure out if there was something in there Snape wanted Harry to learn, or if he was just being his usual nasty self, delighting in keeping Harry from Quidditch and Ginny while giving him something tedious and unnecessary to do, with the occasional stab about his father and godfather. Probably the latter.


wynnleaf - Aug 31, 2005 6:37 am (#2618 of 2980)
Edited Aug 31, 2005 7:46 am
Interesting idea, siliconsmiley. It may be that DD looked on Snape in a somewhat similar fashion, seeing a similarity between young Riddle at Hogwarts, and Snape. Yet DD never trusts Riddle, either at Hogwarts, or later when as an adult he comes looking for a job. But DD does trust Snape, even to the extent of trusting he'd left the DE's. Riddle does not look on DD as a father figure. Harry does. Does Snape? He apparently did confide to DD things -- including emotions (remember great regret over Potter's deaths) -- that he doesn't appear to confide to anyone else. In addition to the basic factual type of information that Snape has apparently told DD, it's interesting to think about DD mentioning Snape's reaction to the Potter's deaths. We know that in general Snape would consider it a mark of great weakness to betray that kind of emotion. Yet apparently, he did to DD. Since we don't know of any other character that Snape confides in, it does look like DD may be his one confidant. A father figure? Perhaps so.

Cross-posting, so I'm editing. T Brightwater, I think it's likely a combination of several things. I wouldn't be surprised if Snape's behavior in school was a little like his behavior as a teacher -- nasty and vindictive, but never quite crossing the line to get into the kind of trouble that gets you detentions. I've known kids that were like that -- very bright, able to do a lot of stuff and get away with it, but knowing just how far to go without getting into "official" trouble. James and Sirius would be the types to do the really outrageous things, landing them in detention constantly. But Snape's would be more subtle and less obvious. Also, it's probable that James and Sirius wouldn't "tell on" Snape, they'd just wait for the next opportunity to get even.


Ann - Aug 31, 2005 6:37 am (#2619 of 2980)
Edited Aug 31, 2005 7:39 am
Oh I'm SURE there was something Harry was supposed to learn in those files. Neither Snape nor Jo would put Harry onto something historical like that without a purpose. There's also the fact that Snape is quite insistent that he finish the job (wonder what's at the end!). And I'm also sure Snape pulled the cards dealing with himself--he's always trying to distinguish himself from Harry & James. I wonder if some of his own cards mentioned Lily....


kage - Aug 31, 2005 7:00 am (#2620 of 2980)
"...wonder what's at the end!"

Sirius and James in detention for the werewolf-prank, by courtesy of Snape - who does NOT get a "special service to Hogwarts"-award, but instead has to endure them some more as they're not expelled like they should have been?

[not quite serious, due to Trelawnys Sherry]


Wizadora - Aug 31, 2005 7:08 am (#2621 of 2980)
Something that struck me while I was reading over the shoulder of my husband this morning, as he had the joy of reading Secumseptra for the first time. I think that Snape was following Draco around the castle, which is why he was luckily as close by to save Draco. Could he have been planning to confront Malfoy in the Bathroom and get him to let Snape into his plan while his defences were down.


irish flutterby - Aug 31, 2005 9:41 am (#2622 of 2980)
"But why is there no record of detention for Snape (mentioned) especially when James and Snape used to hex each other?"

Maybe Snape's head of house was bit like Snape is. We have to admit that McGonagall seems to be really just in her dealing out of detention, but I'd venture to guess that the other Heads of Houses (particularly Slytherine) would be more like Snape. Seeing the fault in the Gryffindor students and overlooking or justifying the actions of the own house.


Vulture - Aug 31, 2005 10:36 am (#2623 of 2980)
Edited Aug 31, 2005 11:48 am
One question I would like to ask in general. How many times has DD been wrong? (Ana Cis [/b]- Aug 30, 2005 3:34 pm (#2603))

Well, he was wrong about Sirius Black until Harry, Ron, & Hermione discovered the truth: "I myself gave evidence that he was the Potters' Secret-Keeper", he says. Admittedly, so was everyone else.

T Vrana, re your post #2606 _ none of it, for me, justifies how Snape treats Neville.

Ann, re your post #2707, "(6) Snape is a man of honor" _ I don't feel it belongs on my list, not due to how I feel about Snape's honour (or lack of it), but because I was trying to list all the possibilities as to which team he's really playing for in his spy work, not his moral character (though I know it's relevant).

He could be a "man of honour" and fit more than one of those possibilities _ Dumbledore's team might seem the obvious one, but a man of honour could just possibly fit role of the weary spy who isn't really on a "side" anymore. After all, much as we might dislike Bellatrix, there was something "honourable" about her defiance at her trial. (Of course, this should warn us that honour is not necessarily the same as goodness. )


greta - Aug 31, 2005 11:18 am (#2624 of 2980)
The detention cards seem to be categorised in some way, Fred And George are described as having a whole drawer to themselves (in COS) so I am sure Snape could remove his own.

Although Snape could have avoided the sort of trouble that landed you in detention or made you incurr Filch's wrath. His fellow Slytherin Draco is often described as checking for teachers before he attempts to cause trouble. Even if Snape avoided punishment at school he certainly wasn't innocent, he was afterall inventing the spells in the potions book which he must have practiced. Some are harmless but they become increasingly nasty and there could be more in the book Harry has not yet discovered. So he either avoided capture or has removed his own cards.

Also I always thought that James and Sirius were more of a Fred and George, causing plenty of trouble but most people laughing it off (the way Neville laughs at being turned into a canary in OOTP). I am sure it infuriated Snape to find James and Sirius gaining attention, especially when using the spells he invented. I am not justifying their actions in Snapes Worst Memory, but this is an isolated incident involving Snape, and it could have come after many nasty incidents with Snape as the trouble maker (although probably without a crowd of onlookers).

I have always tought there was more to Sirius sending Sanpe to the shrieking shack. DD states in POA that "his memory is as good as ever", or something similar, I always though that at the time he had observed Snape following the Marauders around and DD wanting to protect Lupins secret, warned Snape to stay clear, but Snape didn't and perhaps this is why the punishments were not harsher.

Just because Snape stayed out of trouble does not indicate that he is honourable, look at Percy, never broke a rule in his life!!


T Vrana - Aug 31, 2005 11:47 am (#2625 of 2980)
"T Vrana, re your post #2606 _ none of it, for me, justifies how Snape treats Neville."

Vulture- I'm not justifying so much as explaining that, in my opinion, his attitude toward his students does not make him totally evil or a DE. Neville's grandmother is overly critical and demanding of Neville, too, but that does not make her evil or a DE.

I would say Snape is a bad teacher. I'm sure Neville would do much better with a teacher who is more patient, encouraging and fair. I'm sure in his own mind Snape is a demanding teacher, struggling with (in his opinion) inept students. Again, I'm not justifying his behavior as a teacher, but questioning whether we can assume he is a DE based on his actions in the classroom.

(If we can I definitely had a DE for a teacher in 4th grade!).


Ana Cis - Aug 31, 2005 12:18 pm (#2626 of 2980)
Edited by Aug 31, 2005 1:21 pm
I wouldn't be surprized that Slughorn was Head of Slytherin when he taught Snape, James, Lily, and the rest.

BTW, I agree w/you T Vrana. I just finished rereading “The Flight of the Prince” Chapter, when this thought came up. If Snape is a DE, LV’s favorite, why didn’t he stun and take Harry with him? He had all the time in the world. He was in a rage. He's in control of the situation, magically speaking. Yet he tells the Death Eater to leave Harry alone. When the DE performed the Crucio spell on Harry, Snape roared, “NO!...Potter belongs to the Dark Lord—We are to leave him!” Why not stun/freeze Harry, take him to LV as a present? It was a perfect opportunity. Instead he spent a heap of time, blocking hexes and talking to Harry. IMO, Snape is bitter, miserable, insecure, and even sadistic, but he’s not a DE nor as evil as Bellatrix Lestrange, who would have giftwrapped Harry for LV w/out hesitation.


T Vrana - Aug 31, 2005 12:25 pm (#2627 of 2980)
Edited Aug 31, 2005 1:42 pm
Ana Cis- I agree regarding Snape. There is one reason Snape may not have taken Harry, though. I think LV still wants the prophesy before he tries killing Harry again (Sybill... where are you?)


irish flutterby - Aug 31, 2005 2:14 pm (#2628 of 2980)
Edited Aug 31, 2005 3:16 pm
True. LV has just come off of recovering from his and Harry's last meeting, and the one before that, and the one before that....You get the point. LV may want to avoid going into the situation unprepared again.

On the other hand, I agree. Snape could have done alot of really bad things to Harry, but instead he was steadily giving Harry what would look like pointers if they had been stated in a "sweeter" tone.

Edit: Another thought. All of the things that Snape advised Harry to do in that scene were things that DD would have told him also, I think.


Ana Cis - Aug 31, 2005 2:40 pm (#2629 of 2980)
Edited by Aug 31, 2005 3:40 pm
LV’s 1st priority was to kill DD....It makes sense; thanks. So LV’s next step maybe to take control of Hogwarts for its ancient magic, and maybe get a hold of Trelawney; Snape may not have known who she was at that time, and may never have told LV.

As far as Snape’s advice on Occlumency, JKR says that Harry will never be a good Occlumens because in a way he’s too damaged, so I think he will need to find another way to handle Voldemort.


Ann - Sep 1, 2005 5:16 am (#2630 of 2980)
Edited Sep 1, 2005 6:21 am
Just a random thought while reading another thread: I've always thought that one of Snape's dominant characteristics was a rigid adherence to rules and what he saw as the right (see my argument for him as a man of honor above). But the potion notations in the Half-Blood Prince book are the exact opposite: they note ways to break the rules and make better potions.

So, either Snape was more of a rule-breaker in his youth, or he adopted someone else's rule breaking. We've heard not only that Lily was creative about the way she made potions (which some have attributed to a friendship or something more with Snape), but we've also heard that she gives Slughorn "cheeky" answers, which indicates a sort of disregard for rank and authority we'd never see in Snape. So the sort of originality the altered recipes show seems to be more consistent with her personality than his. I think she's probably the source of the improvements. Slughorn was, after all, her teacher, and would probably be aware if she was getting all these ideas from another student--and I don't see Snape, however infatuated, as being the type to let someone else take credit.

But I think it's quite clear that the suggested changes are in his handwriting, which suggests that he approved of them (or at least of their creator), and was perhaps inspired by them to create new spells like Levicorpus and Sectumsempra.

I wonder what would have happened if someone had tried to mess around with the "official" recipes when Snape was teaching potions? Would he have approved or would he have been furious? We know what happens when someone gives him a "cheeky" answer ("You don't have to call me sir, Professor.") What has changed?


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 1, 2005 5:22 am (#2631 of 2980)
Well, we did see how he treated Harry during Potions class in OotP for not following the written instructions on the blackboard exactly (Harry had forgotten to add syrup of Hellabore or some such thing). Snape doesn't strike me as the type of teacher that encouraged experimentation.


septentrion - Sep 1, 2005 5:24 am (#2632 of 2980)
perhaps because he has seen first hand what could happen with experimentation ?


T Vrana - Sep 1, 2005 5:33 am (#2633 of 2980)
Edited Sep 1, 2005 6:34 am
Ann- I agree with the thought that the potions notes may have come from observing Lily for the reasons you point out. In addition, Harry notes in his first potions class with Slughorn, how unusual it is to have potions brewing when they enter. Snape never had anything going, just notes on the board. I think Snape was competent as a potions' master, (made Lupin's wolfsbane), but not great, or that into it.

BTW- Why on earth are they still using those old books with inferior instructions, anyway?

(I guess 'cause Lily never got around to putting out her own text book :-) )


siliconsmiley - Sep 1, 2005 6:19 am (#2634 of 2980)
I don't know, I think Slughorn has a bit of a blind spot as far as true skill goes, at least in Harry's case. Harry is not actually a potions wiz. Any close scrutiny from a good teacher would probably have discovered the source of Harry's 'genius'.

The true source of the improvements in the HPB book is certainly in question. If Snape had invented them, wouldn't he have been teaching these improvements to his students?


haymoni - Sep 1, 2005 6:53 am (#2635 of 2980)
Maybe that's why his notes were always on the board.

He didn't use the book for instruction, just theory or definitions.

Once you buy a book, it's yours - you can write in it, rip it up, whatever.

A library book or a school book that is just yours for a term is a different story.


siliconsmiley - Sep 1, 2005 7:03 am (#2636 of 2980)
That's a good point haymoni. We don't have any indication whether the text book potion recipes differed from Snape's instructions.


T Vrana - Sep 1, 2005 7:13 am (#2637 of 2980)
"Maybe that's why his notes were always on the board."

That is a good point. Maybe that's why Snape kept his old book around. Odd he left it there...


kage - Sep 1, 2005 7:31 am (#2638 of 2980)
Edited Sep 1, 2005 8:37 am
Snape sticking with the books instructions, but being clever enough to observe Lillys improvements makes sense. I had already suspected the notes to be made by his mother, but it doesn't add up that nicely. Seeing Lilly experiment successfully indeed might have animated him to experiment with some darker things. Like 'I can't compete with her in potions, but I can do other things' - like a teenager trying to impress...

"I wonder what would have happened if someone had tried to mess around with the "official" recipes when Snape was teaching potions?"
Harry wonders about that, too, unfortunately he never tried. I guess it depends on the outcome. If you mess up - he'll annihilate you. If you achieve an improvement - he won't acknoledge it...and annihilate you too .

"BTW- Why on earth are they still using those old books with inferior instructions, anyway?"
Well, that's Slughorn, not Snape, isn't it. It's a shame we don't know what Snape teaches in his NEWT classes and how many, or rather how few, students get there at all. There were only a handful, and Slughorn took them with only an 'exceeds expectations'. Is Snape being terribly selective or is he just lazy?!

edit " Odd he left it there.." I can't see him leaving it behind vonluntary...confiscated? abandoned?

edit 2 Abandoned, as there was no more need to impress Lilly when she went out with James?


T Vrana - Sep 1, 2005 7:45 am (#2639 of 2980)
I think he may have kept it around, as a teacher, to use the notes. Don't think potions are naturally his gift. Left it when he got the DADA position, because he has no long term interest in potions. Sort of like an English major getting a job teaching calculus. Might need to pull out those old books to brush up on those required courses...(or vice versa, math major/english teaching job, you get the idea...)


Vulture - Sep 1, 2005 7:49 am (#2640 of 2980)
Edited Sep 1, 2005 8:51 am
I just finished rereading "The Flight of the Prince" Chapter, when this thought came up. If Snape is a DE, LV's favorite, why didn't he stun and take Harry with him? (Ana Cis - Aug 31, 2005 1:18 pm (#2626))

Yes, I know this is a point which the "Snape Is On The Good Side" team uses _ but bear in mind, Snape was conscious of Hagrid being in the background, temporarily occupied by Fang and the fire, but nevertheless likely to kill all around him once he had a chance, if he saw Harry in danger. And Snape would also realise that Hagrid _ as we know from his words moments later _ still believed in him (Snape); he wouldn't want to sacrifice this just then, knowing Hagrid's temper !!

Snape ... controls many of his baser impulses by being rigid and punctilious about his moral responsibilities as he sees them: he obeys the rules, he gives people their full and proper titles, he protects his students (physically), he pays his (life) debts, he loyally gives his assistance unstintingly to those who have earned his loyalty--and he expects others to do the same. And there's heck to pay if they don't. (Ann - Aug 30, 2005 8:00 pm (#2607))

I disagree. I can't remember a situation where Snape put himself on the line to protect a student. As for "moral responsibilities", he only applies them rigorously to others, not himself _ and even at that, only to others whom he dislikes. Again, his class behaviour, where he has total power, is the key: there are loads of small examples _ Malfoy arrives late, it's "Settle down, settle down"; Harry or a Gryffindor arrives late, it's detention and/or points subtracted. He always favours Slytherins over other students _ quite unfairly. And no _ this is not what other House Heads do.

I feel that a lot of Snape fans tend to (perhaps unconsciously) focus simply on Snape, or at best, Snape and Harry, when analysing his (Snape's) personality. And of course, we've all heard the "Harry is biased; you can't trust what he says" line.

My answer is: (a) contrast Snape with a few others than just Harry, his parents, or Dumbledore; and (b) Harry may be biased sometimes _ but he's not blind.

An example of (a): look at how McGonagall treats students _ absolutely rigorous and without bias; indeed, Gryffindors could be forgiven for feeling that they suffer most from their Head in her drive to be fair.

An example of (b): when Harry sees Snape being bullied in the Pensieve, he at once identifies with Snape, not his dad, and links it with his own torments by Dudley's gang. Because his choice is so instantaneous, we're hardly conscious that it's a choice. But it is _ not everyone would choose as he does; would you ? Harry wishes that he believed Snape deserved his father's attack _ because it's painful for him to watch _ but he has no illusions about what he actually does believe. And when he confronts Sirius and Lupin later, he has (within the limits of deference to adults) no truck with their excuses.

It interests me that all of the other faculty are always fully supportive of whatever DD says. Lupin, Arthur Weasley, and others seem to follow DD without question. Snape, on the other hand, rather regularly states his own, differing opinions. (wynnleaf - Aug 30, 2005 9:49 pm (#2608))

I don't think that's quite true. The point about events written in the books is that they're put in for relevance to the story _ but we can assume lots of other events and dialogue alongside. (For example, when, in Book 6, McGonagall calls Harry in to agree with Snape's detention for Sectumsempra, we don't get the whole blow-by-blow conversation; we can basically fill it in.) Now, because Snape is focussed on by Harry so much (and indeed, vice versa), we tend to get a lot of Snape's conversations (the ones Harry witnesses) reported verbatim. But Snape isn't the only staff member who can disagree with Dumbledore; McGonagall does. In Book 1, in their very first conversation, when we hardly know them, we get a good idea of Dumbledore's and McGonagall's relationship. And in Book 6, McGonagall says at the end that Dumbledore "wouldn't hear a word against him (Snape)" _ implying that words had been said against him.

Mind you, I think you've put your finger on something _ Book 6 would have been better if characters like McGonagall and Lupin had had more of a role. What made Book 5 so good for me was that there was hardly a wasteful moment or character in the whole thing.

P.S. to my post yesterday _ I should make clear that, in my own opinion, Snape is not a "man of honour", whether he turns out to be really on the "good side" or not.


Weeny Owl - Sep 1, 2005 8:11 am (#2641 of 2980)
As for Snape's potion-making abilities, I do believe he's quite gifted. In PoA, Lupin said he was lucky that a wizard of Snape's calibre was making the Wolfsbane Potion, that there weren't many wizards up to making it.


wynnleaf - Sep 1, 2005 8:27 am (#2642 of 2980)
I'm not sure where the evidence is that Snape taught "by the book." As was mentioned, he tended to write out recipes on the board. For all we know, he’s been teaching the class a number of interesting variations on potions making. Just because Harry and Neville didn’t learn much from Snape (given his nasty teaching style), doesn’t mean he wasn’t’ teaching some interesting variations on potions recipes and methods.

Further, I’m wondering what the evidence is that Snape is into following the rules? Granted, he has threatened Harry and Ron on several occasions with being expelled for the stuff they’ve gotten into, but do we have any evidence that he does that with everyone? Or exacts strict penalties for breaking of rules?

The main thing we’ve got is his comments about James and Sirius as “rule breakers” and his taunts to Harry for being just like his father and not caring about the rules. But James and Sirius weren’t just stretching the rules a bit here and there. They were, after all, flagrantly abusing them all the time – far beyond what Harry, Ron and Hermoine have done. And while HRH break rules primarily in emergency situations, James, Sirius, Lupin and Pettigrew did it for larks.

As we’ve been discussing, Snape decided immediately on meeting Harry that he was just like his dad. So he always viewed Harry’s rule breaking through the “lense” of his father’s past. So he thinks of Harry’s rule breaking as flagrant, arrogant, to get attention, to have larks, etc., just like James and Sirius.

But just because Snape sees HRH through the “lense” of the Marauder’s truly flagrant rule breaking, doesn’t mean that he necessarily has a big “thing” about abiding by rules in general.

I’m just thinking that we’re taking Snape’s apparently valid assessment of the Marauder’s rule breaking, and his applying that to HRH because Harry is James’ son, and assuming that this is the way he views rules for everything. I don’t think we can necessarily say that he’s into rules, rules, rules, just because of the way he views James and therefore Harry.

Similarly, I don’t think we have any real evidence that he does potions “by the book.” He may be teaching his own more creative methods. Or, knowing Snape and his disdain for the abilities of many of his students, he may teach them the more basic methods, and consider them all too “dunderheaded” to do the really creative stuff.

Remember Snape’s first potion’s lesson lecture? I think he sounded like he really loved potions. He might be even more interested in the Dark Arts, but he does seem to have a thing for potions, too.

I’m sure we’ve all known students who, while bright, leaned on the talents of another more able and even brighter student in a particular subject. But while that may get the lesser student through the class with good grades, it doesn’t usually make that less talented student into someone with a passion for the subject, able to do really difficult work in the subject, become a teacher in the subject, etc. All because of borrowing from one other student.

I’d not be surprised at all if Snape and Lily were both very strong in potions. I’d not be surprised if they shared a lot of info and ideas. But I don’t think there’s a strong case for a sort of “Lily taught Snape what he knows” theory.


T Vrana - Sep 1, 2005 8:31 am (#2643 of 2980)
Edited Sep 1, 2005 10:07 am
vulture-

For myself, I am not a Snape fan, I think he's pretty rotten in many ways. But being rotten and a DE are entirely different things. I agree he favors his students and is more harsh with the other houses, but Umbridge clearly was rotten to some and favored those who were on her little squad. But Umbridge appears not to be a DE.

"Ahem...Dark Lord, I'm not sure you saw my last memo....."

"CRUCIO!"

:-)

I do think Snape is redeemable and is trying to redeem himself, not because he is really good, but because he is obligated and not really bad.


wynnleaf - Sep 1, 2005 11:06 am (#2644 of 2980)
Edited Sep 1, 2005 12:07 pm
Vulture,

I just wanted to comment that I don’t actually like Snape, in the sense that I wouldn’t like or enjoy a real person with his personality. On the other hand, JKR has made him the most difficult to “read” of all of the characters. Some other characters are just as complex, but she gives us more to help us understand the character -- she doesn’t make some of the other very complex character’s motives so difficult to understand. And while one might not care so much about trying to understand an out-and-out villain, JKR has written a character that we can’t figure out – we don’t know for sure if this is a villain or not.

For those that are certain that Snape’s a villain, it may not seem so important to understand his motivations, history, etc.—just as I, knowing LV’s a villain, find his backstory interesting, but am not riveted to finding it out.

I realize that it appears that some of us posters are “Snape fans.” At least for myself, it’s not liking Snape. It’s being highly interested in figuring Snape out. I’m convinced he’s on the Order’s side. I may be wrong. But having a character who I’m convinced is on the good side, yet is so awful and nasty, has such hatred and bitterness, but also is risking his life so dramatically for the “cause,” and willing to risk practically everything of his own (reputation, home, job, etc.) in order to follow whatever DD’s instructions were…..well, I just find that character the most interesting of all of them. No other character has so much mystery, ambivilance, high emotion, betrayals, etc. etc. you name it.

No, he’s not a “man of honour” in the sense that he’s not an admirable person. But it may be that he follows through on what his own notions of duty are – whatever they are. If he’s doing so for the sake of the Order, it’s at a great price.

I don’t like Snape. I’m not a “fan” of his. But I do find that particular character to be the most intriguing.


T Brightwater - Sep 1, 2005 11:49 am (#2645 of 2980)
Edited Sep 1, 2005 12:50 pm
Another thing to consider about the Potions book and its notes: it's an advanced text. Snape wouldn't have been using it before 6th year, and that's after his "Mudblood" remark about Lily, which occurred during O.W.L. week, in their 5th year. I doubt if she'd have been willing to help him at that point, so if he got any of his ideas from Lily, it was probably from stealthy observation and not volunteered.

If that's the case, it makes a delicious irony that Harry ended up with that book.


Weeny Owl - Sep 1, 2005 12:20 pm (#2646 of 2980)
Interesting commentary, wynnleaf.

JKR is fairly straightforward with many of her characters, but she torments us endlessly over which side Snape is truly on.

Something as simple as a look of hatred might be obvious coming from Draco and aimed at Harry, but when it's a look of hatred coming from Snape, is it really directed at Dumbledore or is it directed at what Snape is doing and ultimately at himself?

With Draco and Harry there's no mystery. When Draco makes snotty comments about Hermione's blood there's no mystery. When he makes derogatory comments about Ron's family's financial situation there's no mystery.

But what is motivating Snape when he speaks or has a particular expression on his face? Those passages can be interpreted in so many ways depending on which side of the coin the reader feels Snape is on.

I really think most of us could argue either side and make said arguments work.

That's the joy and the frustration of Snape.


Vulture - Sep 1, 2005 12:43 pm (#2647 of 2980)
Snape doesn't strike me as the type of teacher that encouraged experimentation. (Mrs Brisbee [/b]- Sep 1, 2005 6:22 am (#2631))

He'd probably be fine with it if the experimenter was a Slytherin _ as long as the experimenter had some clue what he was doing. So, he'd be OK with Malfoy (whom he regards as good at Potions (see Book 1)) experimenting, but not Crabbe or Goyle, who are stupid enough to blow themselves up if given a chance. On the other hand, Hermione, the best in the year, could safely experiment (in Book 6, all that stops her accepting Harry's offer (to use his book) is pride) but we know that Snape would chew her into little bits for departing from his instructions.

If Snape had invented them, wouldn't he have been teaching these improvements to his students? (siliconsmiley [/b]- Sep 1, 2005 7:19 am (#2634))

Well, you're right _ I think this is one of a number of weak links in Book 6.


Wizadora - Sep 1, 2005 1:00 pm (#2648 of 2980)
He wouldn't teach them his improvements, if it meant that he would create more great potion master. He wants the potion glory to himself. It is his more powerful weapon to both Voldermort and Dumbledore. They both need his skill. You don't give skill like that away. Only to a child - or a chose succesor. Could that be the reason he left the book behind? Was Harry supposed to find it?


Vulture - Sep 1, 2005 1:28 pm (#2649 of 2980)
Edited Sep 1, 2005 2:43 pm
wynnleaf and T Vrana _ Yes, I take your points. As I outlined in #2600, we can use the evidence of the books to support any one (but not more than one) of the following:

(1) Snape is definitely an agent for the good side (despite appearances).

(2) Snape is definitely an agent for the Dark Side (despite what Quirrell said in Book 1 _ which is the main departure point for all the later guessing about Snape).

(3) Snape is a determined operator for himself (in spy terms, "gone rogue"), with his own agenda.

(4) Snape is a conflicting personality, some conscience, but weak _ blows with the strongest wind.

(5) Snape started out on one side, but years working for both (often carrying out the same orders for both) have made him (a) un-caring about either side's overall cause, and (b) comfortable with his day-to-day life and opposed to any change in it (that would certainly explain his rage at the end, if he felt the murder of Dumbledore was something he had been trapped into).

Also, as I've said elsewhere, I don't like Book 6's writing quality (much of it is weaker than the other 5), and one of the things I don't like is that the ending reduces Snape as a character _ makes him more of a Dungeons & Dragons comic-strip villain.

In Books 1 to 5, I broadly agree with you _ Snape keeps us guessing, and fascinates us. I felt that when Harry saw his dad and Sirius tormenting Snape in the Pensieve, that was a major event in character development, and could have been built on in Book 6 _ but wasn't. OK, I can understand Sirus's death temporarily making Harry return to the old hate-hate relationship with Snape just at Book 5's end, but I hoped that the Pensieve scene would be given a role in Book 6 _ there would have been more depth to Harry and Snape as a result.

At the end of Book 5, I pretty much had Snape down as being on the "good side" _ mainly because (in Books 1 to 5) I took Dumbledore seriously (Book 6 damages this). Also because of Snape's behaviour towards Umbridge. But this didn't reduce how intriguing his character was _ quite the contrary. If JKR had focussed more on character development, and less on making up big bangs and guessing games in the plot, Book 6 would have been better.

For example, without Dumbledore's death, Book 6 might have been quieter, but would have been better: we would probably have focussed most on Voldemort's early life. As regards Snape, we would have been wondering (as Harry does) why Dumbledore, having rejected Snape's applications for years (see Book 5), finally let him into the Defence Against the Dark Arts job. That promised to have a big effect on the general tone, and its effect is lessened, not (as JKR no doubt intended) heightened, by the "big splash" of Dumbledore's death.

One reason _ apart of course, from Dumbledore's actual death _ that (I believe) more people probably now see Snape as a villain, than did so after Book 5, is that Book 6 has the effect of doing a hatchet job on Dumbledore's credibility, which in turn discredits whatever he has said about Snape. I think that making Snape the eavesdropper on the prophecy in the Hog's Head was one of the worst writing errors in all the books.

Firstly, it narrows more and more of the action into a Harry-Dumbledore v. Voldemort-Snape field, which lessens the realism and marginalises other characters (e.g. in comparison to Book 5, we see hardly anything of McGonagall).

Secondly, the whole account of Snape's eavesdropping by Trelawney is a mess _ if he was still around for her to see him, he would have heard the whole prophecy, whereas in Book 5, the crucial point is that the eavesdropper is "discovered a short way into the prophecy and thrown from the building". Neither Dumbledore nor Trelawney could have been messing around with Snape and been occupied with the whole prophecy.

Thirdly (as Harry points out) it is hard to believe that Dumbledore would give Snape a teaching job after this, even if he did believe the "tale of remorse".

Fourthly, if he did give Snape a job, it's even harder to believe that he would let Snape teach the young son of those whose deaths had been caused by Snape's actions.

Fifthly, it is absolutely impossible to believe that the Dumbledore of Books 1 to 5 (the 'Real Dumbledore', as I call him) would keep this incident secret from Harry _ especially after saying in Book 5 that he was going to tell Harry everything, and saying that he (Dumbledore) should have been open with him. Quite apart from the morality of it (which would be a big factor with Dumbledore), there is the simple fact that he couldn't rely on Trelawney not to get drunk and blurt it all out at the wrong time and place _ which is what happens.

As with many other characters, I've decided that the best way to retain the (great) impact of Snape is to ignore a lot of what Book 6 does to him. I also feel this about Dumbledore.


T Vrana - Sep 1, 2005 1:28 pm (#2650 of 2980)
"If Snape had invented them, wouldn't he have been teaching these improvements to his students? (siliconsmiley - Sep 1, 2005 7:19 am (#2634))

Well, you're right _ I think this is one of a number of weak links in Book 6."

Maybe he was. He does seem to write the directions on the board, not refer them to the books...
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Post  Mona on Thu May 26, 2011 2:00 pm

wynnleaf - Sep 1, 2005 3:35 pm (#2651 of 2980)
Vulture,

As I mentioned on the Book 6 as literature thread, and as I think your post illustrates quite well, many of the primary disappointments you mention about Book 6 are dependent on your “take” on what’s going on.

For instance:

“Book 6 has the effect of doing a hatchet job on Dumbledore's credibility.”

Because I always “read” Book 6, even the first time, as DD and Snape working together, Snape’s killing DD at the end didn’t for me affect DD’s credibility one whit.

“it narrows more and more of the action into a Harry-Dumbledore v. Voldemort-Snape field”

While I agree that other characters tended to be marginalized, I never saw the action narrowing in a Harry/DD vs. LV/Snape way. I saw it more as a triad sort of thing – Harry/DD, DD/Snape, LS/spySnape, which is, as you can see, a lot more complex.

“Snape's eavesdropping by Trelawney is a mess _ if he was still around for her to see him, he would have heard the whole prophecy,”

It seemed a mess to you – as though he’d have had to hear the whole prophecy. But others, me included, easily see the scene with Snape’s attention on the prophecy being distracted by the bartender’s doing a “hey, what are you doing here?” kind of thing and seconds later, Trelawney’s done with the prophecy, DD opens the door, and there’s Snape.

“Thirdly (as Harry points out) it is hard to believe that Dumbledore would give Snape a teaching job after this, even if he did believe the "tale of remorse".”

I didn’t find it at all hard to believe, since I knew perfectly well (DD having said so), that Snape’s remorse about the Potters came well after he’d convinced DD he’d switched sides.

“Fifthly, it is absolutely impossible to believe that the Dumbledore of Books 1 to 5 (the 'Real Dumbledore', as I call him) would keep this incident secret from Harry”

Considering Harry’s lousy at occlumency, LV can get in his head whenever he wants if he so desires, and Snape’s life would be forfeit if his spying was revealed – well, it made perfect sense to me. No problem believing that. Oooh, you mean DD should have let Harry know Snape was the eavesdropper – well, obviously Harry would have then totally hated Snape and would never have believed he was on the Order’s side without learning the real reason (whatever that is). DD couldn’t tell him the real reason, due to the occlumency problem above.

I won’t go on about each item. What I’m trying to point out is that it all depends on how you “read” what was going on. Many readers still are pretty sure Snape’s on the Order’s side and DD and Snape worked together, and as a result, probably found the book much more satisfying, even if many might agree to certain flaws.


Ann - Sep 1, 2005 3:58 pm (#2652 of 2980)
Edited Sep 1, 2005 5:05 pm
Okay, my evidence that Snape is a man of honor/playing by the rules: I was thinking of both superficial things (he always calls Dumbledore and the other professors by their titles in front of students; he dresses in a rigidly formal fashion) and of more serious things (he attempts to save Harry in PS/SS to repay his life debt to James; he follows Lupin in PoA to ensure he takes his potion; he checks with Sirius and then alerts the Order in OotP).

And I suppose the reason I wanted to add it to your list, Vulture, was the fact that you included motivations: weak and vacillating (4) or weary and lazy (5). I wanted to suggest that he had fairly rigid views of what was acceptable, and that Voldemort violated them (probably in killing Lily), and that his own sense of what was honorable brought him back to Dumbledore.

I do like Snape, not because I think he's nice or considerate of others' feelings (he's not), but because he's witty and amusing. I'd love to have dinner with the man--I'd get him started on Lockhart and Umbridge, and hope profoundly that he didn't take a scunner to me. I'd love to hear him attack them. That doesn't mean that I find everything he's done excusable, but I think that at base he's honest and on the good side, and on the surface he's amusing if one's not the object of his scorn. I think he's mean, but not intrinsically evil--at least, not any more.

I like the idea that Snape's recipes in his potions classes already include the variations written in the Half-Blood Prince's book. (It seems to me that he does refer to the book from time to time, but that may be more selective than we think. Slughorn may just be teaching the older versions because that's what he taught when he was potions master 20 years previously.

Even more do I like the idea that Snape has left the book behind intentionally. If Harry can't learn from him, perhaps he can learn from the Prince. This would be particularly apposite if the potions variations he's learning were originally his mother's. Can the whole thing of Harry getting that particular used book have been orchestrated by Dumbledore and Snape and Slughorn? I wonder.... If so, what did Harry learn from the book? Not just potions and a few extra curses, but the value of thinking about how magic works and adding one's own twists to it to make it better. A valuable lesson indeed!

PS: I agree with Wynnleaf that Vulture's take on the book is one of many possible ones. For example, I don't see Dumbledore's credibility as diminished at all. He is, to some extent, guessing, and he makes that clear. And JKR stresses it, since she clearly wants us to believe he's a villain at this point, so she can show in Book 7 (as she did in PS/SS) that we've interpreted everything incorrectly, and he's not. If she maintained Dumbledore's infallibility, we'd all believe that there was some extenuating circumstance (as many of us do anyway).


Dobby - Sep 1, 2005 4:00 pm (#2653 of 2980)
Snape says in HBP chapter two "Spinner's End" that "many of the Dark Lord's old followers thought Potter might be a standard around which we all could rally once more."

But Harry in SS feels that Snape hates him basicly from the get go...Chapter eight "The Potions Master"

If Harry was to be another possible great dark wizard why does Snape give him such a hard time?


Ana Cis - Sep 1, 2005 4:14 pm (#2654 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 1, 2005 5:19 pm
T Vrana, "Severus Snape" #2650, 1 Sep 2005 2:28 pm

Snape couldn’t have been too bad a potions teacher, when Hermione got an outstanding, and both Harry and Ron got Exceed Expectations. Don’t get me wrong, it still doesn’t excuse his sadistic attitudes towards the students, especially Griffindor students, but he did make them research for the information besides just their textbook. Furthermore, Hermione’s correct when she told Harry that if he had paid attention his first year, he woud have known about the bezoar since Snape taught it on their first year. As to whether he invented them? We're going to have to wait 'til Book 7.


T Vrana - Sep 1, 2005 4:53 pm (#2655 of 2980)
Edited Sep 1, 2005 6:44 pm
ana cis- think you misunderstood my post, because I didn't make it very clear. The first two lines were comments from other posters. The third line was my response. I was saying that Snape may have been teaching the students the "improved" potions method, not the old textbook like Slughorn does. Snape always writes the potion on the board, rather than have them look in the textbook. In this way, he could be teaching them the better method, not just relying on the textbook.In this way, he would be a better teacher than Slughorn.

I don't think he was a bad potions teacher, but I don't think potions are really his thing either, he never has anything brewing the way Slughorn does.

I do think in general he's not a great teacher, he's spiteful, unfair and well, really nasty. Then again, you have a point, his students did pretty well on their O.W.L.S...


irish flutterby - Sep 1, 2005 5:14 pm (#2656 of 2980)
okay it's been a while, and I had all this typed out and then lost it, so here goes again.

I think, in reference to HRH nor flagrantly breaking the rules, that we and Harry tend to justify Harry's actions. BUT he does regularly and flagrantly break specific rules set out. Both those specifically for him and his safety, and those set out for the school as a whole.

As far as Trelawney's prophecy goes, I think that's been argued very well, and IU have nothing more to add.

As far as DD's death and Snape's leaving, I think JKR did what she had to do as a choreographer. She had to move all of the pieces around just so, so as to have them end up in the right positions. To use chess terms (which I probably shouldn't do, as I'm no good at chess) She had to sacrifice a higher ranked piece (Ron in PS/SS) in order to set us up for a check mate in book seven.

Let me explain. Jo had several things that she had committed to. One in particular, she has confirmed that the DADA job is jinxed. That being the case, Snape could not retain his position at Hogwarts after this year. I believe that DD knew that and had planned it from the beginning that one way or another Snape would leave the school. Jo had established a faith that the readers in general had that Snape was, although a really nasty guy, not a DE. I believe that after OoP, most of us were relatively convinced of that. She needed to increase the tension as to Snape's true agenda. I believe she has unequivocally done this. (just look at this thread) We are now in a state of suspense (which I'm sure she intended) over whether we should trust our gut and DD, or believe what we saw.

Also, I believe that she needed to build Harry's hatred toward Snape. I believe this was necessary to bring Harry to a stronger point of realization in book 7. That realization, IMO, is that though often people who we see as quinessentially evil are either misunderstood, or, at the very least, redeemable.

I don't think we are given any reason to believe that Snape wasn't teaching his own "adjusted" potions in class.

And finally, is it possible (maybe it's already been considered) that Snape's relationship with Lily was one of mutual respect? Perhaps that is the reason her cared for her so greatly. She was one of only a few people that he regarded as an equal, and who (at least til his mudblood comment) regarded him as such, as well.


T Vrana - Sep 1, 2005 6:44 pm (#2657 of 2980)
"Can the whole thing of Harry getting that particular used book have been orchestrated by Dumbledore and Snape and Slughorn?"

This doesn't seem likely since Snape seems surprised and asks Harry to get his books after the incident with Malfoy in the bathroom. I suppose it is possible he forgot that was in the book, but I think this one is a stretch.


Ana Cis - Sep 1, 2005 6:57 pm (#2658 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 1, 2005 7:58 pm
T Vrana. I was the one who wasn’t clear—which unfortunately occurs with some of my posts. I included your post to indicate that I was following your thread. I wasn’t agreeing or disagreeing, just adding another perspective about Snape’s teaching. Sometimes I get lost in my own thoughts, I forget to be clear w/my perspective.

Based on all the references I've seen in the series, Snape's favorite subject appears be anything to do with the Dark Arts, as well as wanting the DADA teaching posts since he started teaching, which, confirms what you say about potions not being his favorite area of interest. He probably did well in most, if not all of his subjects, or he probably wouldn't have been accepted as a teacher.

What am I saying! Trelawney was a accepted as a teacher so maybe I'm wrong about his doing well in school.


Ana Cis - Sep 1, 2005 7:23 pm (#2659 of 2980)
"Can the whole thing of Harry getting that particular used book have been orchestrated by Dumbledore and Snape and Slughorn?"

You know, I had the same thought; mostly because Dumbledore seems to come across like a puppet master sometimes. Here’s a scenario: DD knows about Snape’s book and where’s located. McGonagall tells DD Harry’s wish to be come an Auror (which may be a good thing considering who he’s going against). DD sees the need for Harry to know more about potions (we may not know the reasons yet), and knows that if he keeps Snape as the Potions teacher, Harry wouldn’t be accepted into the Potions class. So instead of getting another DADA teacher, he gives it to Snape, who always wanted the post; looks for Slughorn, who was the previous Potions teacher; and tells Slughorn to give Snape’s book to Harry. There may not have been a need to involve Snape, and that’s why he was surprised about the incident w/Malfoy in the bathroom. Also, I think that DD knew that once he placed Snape in the DADA post, he would only last for that one year. He had his reasons for letting Snape go, which we won’t find out until Book 7...ARRGH.


Weeny Owl - Sep 1, 2005 8:01 pm (#2660 of 2980)
If Snape had invented them, wouldn't he have been teaching these improvements to his students?

For all we know he's been teaching improvements to his students all along. He has high expectations for his O.W.L. students, for one thing, and for another, we have no way of knowing how he would have taught the sixth year class potions.

I still believe Snape is gifted in potions, partly because of what Lupin said about him brewing the Wolfsbane potion, but also because of comments Slughorn made. During his Christmas party, he was going on and on about Harry's ability, and said something to Snape about "even you, Severus." That made me think that Slughorn thought Snape was gifted enough in potions that anyone doing better than Snape was quite a surprise.


kage - Sep 1, 2005 11:33 pm (#2661 of 2980)
Edited Sep 2, 2005 12:35 am
Oh, so much to read again...

Now do I like Snape? If he was my neighbour, the whole village would be suspicous of him. They'd probably accuse him of all kinds of things he doesn't have anything to do with at all. And I've got to admit that I'm not sure if I would dare to stand up for him or at least go over and check out for myself. He just has the look... (although chances are getting better every day, so hang on, Snape ).

But it so happens that Severus Snape is a fictional character, so I can wonder about him more freely, free from prejudices I would be likely to have in real life. Scary, isn't it?!

Somebody mentioned "Sever_us" somewhere lately - while we are accusing each other of being Snape-lovers or Snape-haters Severus does indeed severe us. Scary again.

"If so, what did Harry learn from the book? Not just potions and a few extra curses, but the value of thinking about how magic works and adding one's own twists to it to make it better. A valuable lesson indeed!" (Ann)
Harry has learned, or should have learned, a lot about the temptation of Dark Arts as well. He tried to Crucio Bellatrix at the MOM when he was all hate and fury about Sirius death - we never see Harry reflect on this (I hope I got the wording right). He hits Draco with the Sectumsempra to defend himself against Darcos Crucio (Harry didn't know what the spell would do exactly, but he knew well that it was "against enemies"!) - this time Harry feels remorse, an improvement I should say. But then Harry tries to use those Dark Spells against Snape, again in a state of fury and with lots of hatred, who deflects them and more ore less tells him not to use Dark Magic, whatever the matter - whatever Harry concludes from this remains to be seen, or speculated about. That's a big part of the lesson Harry has/we have to learn in the run of the story, I think: understand the mechanics of The Dark Arts and to withstand their seduction. I also wonder if it mirrors a bit of how Snape got to becoe a DE.

"Also, I believe that she needed to build Harry's hatred toward Snape. (irish flutterby)"
Exactly, see above.

And there's that tiny bit of statement from Lupin that, concerning Snape, Harry is just as prejudiced as James that nudges me. Lupin isn't JKRs 'speaker of truth', but he would make for a good mediator.

Teaching abilities
"...he never has anything brewing the way Slughorn does." (many)
To me it seems that Slughorn is showing off. It doesn't say anything about Snapes skills concerning potions. The fact that Slughorn fails to do anything to help Ron, while it's "Professor Snapes timid action" that saves DD, is more telling, I suppose. Not only about Snapes skills, but also about his ability to take proper action in situations where others are stunned.

Instructions for potions
What potion book(s) did the kids have until OWL? I can't remember. But if he had taught anything that contradicted them I would have expected Hermione to mention it. A little extra stir here and there would probably have gone undetected, though. But it doesn't seem that he passed along the bit about squashing instead of cutting the err...thing.


Celeste Tseng - Sep 2, 2005 12:06 am (#2662 of 2980)
If Snape was a death-eater before teaching at Hogwarts, then why he didn't know that Sirius wasn't one, and still try to bring him to Dementors in book3? Maybe this is a clue implying that Snape was not totally open to Dumbledore; he hid the truth that Peter was the one betraying James and Lily from Dumbledore.


kage - Sep 2, 2005 1:16 am (#2663 of 2980)
The fact that Snape was a DE at the time doesn't necessarily mean that he knew who actually traited the Potters.

And if he was a true DE (bad and truly evil individuum that doen't mind about bodies), why did Severus, who is so unfathomably cool exept when it comes to the Potters, get so hysteric about getting Black killed?


T Vrana - Sep 2, 2005 4:21 am (#2664 of 2980)
Edited Sep 2, 2005 6:01 am
celeste tseng- Criminal organizations tend not to give all members all info. That way if one member is caught, they can only reveal limited information.

Plus, Snape was a fairly new DE, and young. He may not have been in LV's inner circle, or completely trusted by LV.


kage - Sep 2, 2005 4:29 am (#2665 of 2980)
T Vrana, you're much better at explaining these things than I am. I' a bit snapish sometimes, I fear (involuntary rudeness...). celeste tseng - if I offended you in any way I apologize.


T Vrana - Sep 2, 2005 5:07 am (#2666 of 2980)
Edited Sep 2, 2005 6:08 am
kage-I didn't think your answer was snapish or rude. And I agree, Snape's reaction in the shrieking shack in POA points to very deep emotions, not just evil DE...


kage - Sep 2, 2005 5:55 am (#2667 of 2980)
Edited Sep 2, 2005 6:56 am
"I didn't think your answer was snapish or rude." I shall be deeply disappointed, of course. ;-)

I'd like some opinions on the following: JKR said that Professor Snape has known love, that he is a horrible man and that one wouldn't want him to be in love with you. Did anybody ever try to figure out how it might be like when a teenage (Professor) Snape decided to be in love with you? What would make it really horrible, aside the outer appearance with it's "air of neglect", him being very unpopular etc.? I was struck by an old memory of mine: In my 5th year (new school, new people, about 11 years old) at school there was a boy who was cast out of most everything, exept to make fun of him, naturally. He wasn't as ugly as Professor Snape or anything, but enough of an outcast to qualify for camparison. I had tried to help the boy with his homework before and one day when he was bullied again I stopped it. I think I pittied him rather than like him. Anyway, after that he started to follow me everywhere at school, I didn't get rid of him and I didn't want to be rude. But when he started coming to our house I did get angry and he left. But next day at school it was him who was angry (hurt, of course, but what does an 11 year old know). He shouted at me about me being his girlfriend etc. like I was his possession, yes I'm aware of the double meaning, his possession that refused to obey. No way I could take that so we had a fight. I won and he further on avoided me. A few months later we moved and I changed school, never saw the boy again. I wonder if he hated me or if he went on with what he took for love, probably because he hadn't been shown and given 'proper' love. What might have happened if I had not changed schools and he had to watch me with 'another' boyfriend one day?

Now, why do I tell you this? There certainly is something about the Professor Snape/Lilly thing, but I could never quite make it work in my mind. I wonder if it might have been similar to this...

Now, wands out, please! ;-)
[but make sure not to hit the Sherry]


Ana Cis - Sep 2, 2005 6:35 am (#2668 of 2980)
Kage, Ref. post #2661, I enjoyed your post; you made some very good points. On your question about potion books, the only one I found in the Lexicon was Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger; (PS5)

In your comment:

"And if he was a true DE (bad and truly evil individuum that doen't mind about bodies), why did Severus, who is so unfathomably cool exept when it comes to the Potters, get so hysteric about getting Black killed?"
Did you mean Dumbledore? If you did mean Black, can you provide the reference? There’s so much information in the series, that it's easy to miss things. Thanks.

Celeste Tseng, in your post:
"If Snape was a death-eater before teaching at Hogwarts, then why he didn't know that Sirius wasn't one, and still try to bring him to Dementors in book3?"
In Book 5, when Harry intrusively went into the penseive and looked at DD’s memories on Karkaroff's trial, Karkaroff stated that they purposely kept each other’s identity secret. In GOF, when the DE’s returned back to LV, they were all wearing masks, which supports Karkaroff's. So Snape may have taken it for granted the Sirius was one of the Death Eaters he wasn’t aware of.


rambkowalczyk - Sep 2, 2005 7:12 am (#2669 of 2980)
Before Book 5 came out I thought Snape had a thing for Lily, maybe dated her and then they broke up and she dated and married James. This left Snape many years to brood about things gone wrong and probably unfairly blaming James for their break up.

After book 5, I abandoned the idea. I am impressed at those who speculated before book 6 that Snape's worst memory was calling Lily a mudblood. I just assumed he was angrily lashing out like a git.

Book 6 has made me reconsider. There is obviously a relationship between Snape and Lily. Why are "her ideas" written in his book? I put quotes around her ideas because I originally thought they were Snape's ideas that Lily borrowed. (Now I concede it can be the other way around.)

Kage, your life experiences and more importantly the emotions that accompany it seem to mirror what may have happened to Lily and Snape.

It is also possible that when JKR says that Snape has known love, she could have just been referring to his parents love. Although we have been given dark images of Snape's childhood, overall his life may not have been that bad. There may have been some happy moments, since we can assume Snape can produce a Patronus.

And a Patronus is what I wish to talk about. I think JKR said that revealing his Patronus might reveal too much about him. Or was that just the form his boggart assumed? Anyway with way too much time on my hands I was considering a different possibility other than the vulture.

Actually the vulture can be his Patronus but if Snape is an Animagus he might be an Acromantula-the giant spider. His street is Spinners End and in that chapter he does spin lies in his story to Bella. For instance he told her he was weakened at the MOM battle when in actuality Dumbledore hurt his hand destroying a Horcrux.

Arogog is dead and now the other Acromantula's are now dangerous to Hagrid. Suppose in book 7 Harry and Hagrid are in the Forbidden Forest and are in danger and get rescued by a spider. Hagrid would think less about this as he assumes that all creatures like him anyway. But Harry would wonder why and certainly not suspect that Snape is an animagus. (he is most likely unregistered)


Saracene - Sep 2, 2005 7:54 am (#2670 of 2980)
I don't think I'd describe Snape as someone with a passion for adhering to rules. He is 100 percent indulgent as far as his own house goes, especially Draco; and IMO his distaste for people breaking the rules and getting away with it extends mostly to the people he hates - Harry, James, Sirius etc. And he definitely takes pleasure in taking points off Gryffindor whenever the slightest opportunity comes - more for his own delight IMO rather than some Javert-esque obsession with rules.

I always thought that Snape was the one Voldemort referred to as "the one that left me forever"; with Karkaroff being a "coward" who ratted on a great many of his fellow Death Eaters to save his own hide and who then fled for his life after Voldemort returned.

I agree that Snape's motivations and actions can be interpreted in great many ways; however I just can't see, for now at least, how his actions in Book 5 fit into "Snape is Voldemort's lackey all the way" mould. When you get down to it, him alerting the Order, whether it was done immediately or not, screwed up Voldemort's plans big time. When Snape's talking to Bellatrix in HBP he congratulates himself on the part he played in Sirius' death, but I really doubt that it was LV's main agenda in the Ministry. He was very clearly having a fiasco there.


Valfunde - Sep 2, 2005 8:00 am (#2671 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 2, 2005 9:10 am
kage - Your post and childhood experience compared to a possible Snape and Lily "relationship" reminded me of what Slughorn says about the dangers of obsessive love! Now why would he make a comment like that?! Why would that be important to say in the story? Makes you think...I can imagine a very intense and obsessive teenage Snape feeling things for a pretty young lady with flaming red hair and green eyes who is nice to him and is his intellectual equal. Plus, there's the "forbidden" about it because she's not in Slytherin and isn't the kind of girl that whatever friends Snape has in Slytherin would approve of (or that mom would approve of too maybe?!). Lily wasn't a "girly girl" either, but one who would carry frog spawn in her pocket. What a gal!

I honestly think a component to DD's unwaivering trust in Snape is a Lily connection. DD told Harry in SS/PS that he would never lie to him. This is an absolute truth from JK herself. DD tells Harry that Snape was devastated over his parents' death - not James' (except for that life debt business), so not a lie, BUT Lily's. Snape's silence on the subject of Lily to Harry speaks VOLUMES to me.


Saracene - Sep 2, 2005 8:15 am (#2672 of 2980)
Edited Sep 2, 2005 9:25 am
It may sound silly, but what I felt was speaking the volumes to me is the way Snape kills DD without saying a single word. I mean, it's a classic bad-guy-has-the-good-guy-cornered-and-helpless situation; and if anyone in the series is a world-class gloater it's Snape - yet he doesn't sneer -at all- about what he's done. Neither to DD, nor to his fellow Death Eaters, nor to Harry. Pretty damn out of character if you ask me.

And I'm pretty sure that whatever LV's instructions were Snape would have enjoyed seeing Harry suffer from Crusciatus curse even if for a little while. His cover's blown; there's no DD around to be reckoned with. Yeah, Hagrid was around and probably would be a danger, so why then insist that the rest of the Death Eaters run and leave him alone with Harry?

Re: DD's reluctance for Snape to patrol the corridors - that's fair enough; yet he asks Harry to send for Snape to come over to the tower despite knowing that Death Eaters may be around and Snape might be forced into a situation that would force him to pick a side.


kage - Sep 2, 2005 8:29 am (#2673 of 2980)
Ana Cis, I was simply replying to Celeste Tsengs post.

rambkowalczyk , Professor Snape turning into an Acromantula, wraah, that's scary. As for patronus and boggart - no at idea at the moment, maybe later.

Valfunde, "what Slughorn says about the dangers of obsessive love! " Yeah, I forgot about that little bit.

Saracene, thanks for pointing that last bit out! (#2672)


Ann - Sep 2, 2005 9:22 am (#2674 of 2980)
Edited Sep 2, 2005 10:25 am
I think, after HBP, that Snape's boggart is Lily, looking stunned when he calls her a Mudblood!

When you think of all the personal memories that he wouldn't want Harry to see--his being branded by LV, helpless when Voldemort punished him, his self-justification when he returns to him after his rebodification, talking to Dumbledore about all sorts of things Harry's not supposed to know--and yet his worst memory is being humiliated by James in front of Lily, and then rudely spurning her help....


T Vrana - Sep 2, 2005 9:24 am (#2675 of 2980)
kage- your childhood memory sounds very plausible for Snape/Lily. If Snape went on to hate Lily I think he would make nasty comments to Harry, so I think he, at the very least, respects Lily, and perhaps still harbors feelings for her.

valfunde- I agree. Snape's not saying a word about Lily, while never missing a chance to insult James, is huge. If there was nothing there you would think he would still manage to comment on her poor choice in husbands

saracene- I agree. The worst thing Snape does to Harry is that magical slap in the face for the coward comment. If he were totally evil taunting DD would seem more appropriate than rushing through what should have been his big moment.


T Brightwater - Sep 2, 2005 10:04 am (#2676 of 2980)
In answer to an earlier post, I don't think Snape cared whether Sirius was guilty of betraying the Potters and killing a dozen Muggles or not, and it has nothing to do with what side he was on/is on now. He wanted Sirius punished for his "prank" back in their school days, and never mind that Snape came out of it without a scratch and that Sirius has already been in Azkaban for 12 years. This hatred of Snape's for James and Sirius, which has followed both of them beyond the grave and fastened on Harry, is too intense and consistent and out-of-control to be just part of his cover. It's another reason I don't trust him.

kage, that's a very good example and analysis of what might have been going on in Snape's mind between him and Lily - if there was anything, of which I am still not convinced.

I think of Vulture's excellent catalog of possibilities for Snape, I'd go for a variation of 3). He's playing his own game, by his own rules, for his own reasons. In fact, I think he may be waging a one-man campaign against Voldemort that is far more ruthless than anything either DD or even Crouch Sr would countenance. He's acting like a chess player - willing to sacrifice even important pieces if it will ultimately win the game. I think Emmeline Vance was one of those sacrifices and DD was another (by analogy the Queen, the most powerful piece), but Harry is the King in the game (however much he dislikes him as a person) and he has to protect him.

It seems to me that if Snape hates Voldemort, beyond anything he feels about James and Sirius, than DD was right to trust him, because hate is his dominant emotion. This to me seems more consistent with what we know of Snape, and with his behavior throughout the series. DD trusted him absolutely, not to be a good person, or to make a loving choice, but to do whatever he thought was necessary to defeat Voldemort - in some cases, to the point of making choices that DD could or would not. He also trusted his judgment as to what the winning moves would be. And right now Snape is inside Voldemort's defenses in a way he could never have been without killing DD.

Feel free to pick holes; I expect there are lots.


T Vrana - Sep 2, 2005 10:34 am (#2677 of 2980)
Edited Sep 2, 2005 12:36 pm
I don't believe Snape wanted Sirius dead becasue of their hatred for each other in school. He may hate him, but wanting him dead needs more, in my opinion.

The scene in the Shrieking Shack seems to reveal that SNape has a deeper reason to want Black dead.

"Snape shrieked, looking madder than ever. 'Like father, like son, Potter! I have just saved your neck; you should be thanking me on bended knee! You would have been well served if he'd killed you! You'd have died like your father, too arrogant to believe you might be mistaken in Black...' "

Snape seems to have personal knowledge and interest in James trusting Black and ending up dead, along with Lily. (Turns out it wasn't Black, but Snape doesn't know that at this moment). To me, this makes more sense than wanting someone dead because of the events in school.

On DD counting on Snape's hate. It doesn't seem to fit with what DD says. He tells Harry that love is the only thing powerful enough to combat the lure of power like LV's.


wynnleaf - Sep 2, 2005 11:25 am (#2678 of 2980)
T Brightwater,

Very interesting post. Just right off the bat, without looking for holes, this theory "feels" like it could possibly work.

But this part I don't agree with: "He wanted Sirius punished for his "prank" back in their school days, and never mind that Snape came out of it without a scratch and that Sirius has already been in Azkaban for 12 years."

For this to be the root motivation to get Sirius (and Lupin, too, remember in the Shreiking Shack) sent to the Dementers for the "kiss," it would mean that Snape was willing to take an offense as you mention above, and exact the ultimate vengence for it.

But that doesn't fit the way he punishes Harry and his friends. Yes, he's quick to point out flaws, slips, and to accuse. But his detentions are never like Umbridge's or even what Filch would like to see. His detentions aren't fun, but they're not over the top excessive either. I just don't see his going so overboard with desire for, more or less, Sirius' - and Lupin's - death over that incident.

Besides, Snape was able to get along with Sirius to a point of no more than trading insults and taunts in OotP. That makes sense if by that time Snape's primary reason for truly hating Sirius had been put to rest (Sirius didn't really betray the Potters). It doesn't make sense if Snape's primary reason for hating Sirius (sending Snape practically into the "jaws" of a werewolf), is something Sirius is still truly guilty of.

Okay, T Bridgewater, here's some thoughts and questions on the theory.

What would be the cause for such hate of LV? The theory you pose needs some sort of motivation for Snape that would push him beyond working with DD and the Order, to being willing to work even beyond the bounds of the Order to destroy LV. But why would he do that? As it is, we try to figure out why Snape left the DE’s in the first place – motivated by concern for Lily, a parent, etc.? Maybe he, like Regulus, ran into stuff he just couldn’t take.

But I’m trying to think of what would push him even further, to want to destroy LV to the extent of going beyond what DD would do. Like I point out with his use of detentions, this isn’t a person who – while mean and nasty – is out generally going “over the top ruthless” (beyond Crouch Sr., or Umbridge or other really ruthless types), in his willingness to be vengeful or to accomplish a goal.

There’s another thing – if Snape’s AKing DD is part of Snape’s goal to destroy LV, but one of those excessive kinds of things DD would not do, or wouldn’t choose to do – why is Snape’s emotional outburst shortly afterward compared to Fang – a trapped dog in a firestorm? In other words, if Snape is acting in the final chapters more or less on his own – for his own motivations and following his own orders – why is he trapped?


Weeny Owl - Sep 2, 2005 12:30 pm (#2679 of 2980)
Snape seems to have personal knowledge and interest in James trusting Black and ending up dead, along with Lily. (Turns out it wasn't Black, but Snape doesn't know that at this moment). To me, this makes more sense than wanting someone dead because of the events in school.

Why does it have to be one or the other? People are complicated, and their motivations are rarely just one thing. It could be that there were all sorts of reasons Snape reacted that way in the Shrieking Shack. Was it what happened in his worst memory, was it nearly being killed or turned into a werewolf, was it that he feels guilt because he was responsible, at least in part, for Voldemort going after the Potters, and was it that maybe he's feeling guilt because he trusted Sirius as far as protecting the Order and the Potters and felt he failed when it seemed Sirius was the traitor?

Part of the problem with trying to figure out Snape's intense reaction to being called a coward is that we're not told whose death each person is thinking of at that moment. Was Harry thinking of his father or Dumbledore? Was Snape thinking of Harry's father or Dumbledore?


T Vrana - Sep 2, 2005 12:54 pm (#2680 of 2980)
Weeny Owl- Don't think Snape trusted Sirius, I think he's the one who told DD not to trust him.

I don't think it is just one thing, I think it was all of the above. I just can't accept that it was just what happened in school. This moment seems to indicate it is more, it is linked with James and Lily dying, in Snape's opinion, because James was arrogant, and didn't listen, I am assuming, to Snape's advice (to DD, or, perhaps to James). It just appears to me that James not listening to DD's information is very, very important to Snape here. I don't think he would care as much if it was someone else's warning that James ignored.

Just my take...


wynnleaf - Sep 2, 2005 3:11 pm (#2681 of 2980)
Edited Sep 2, 2005 4:12 pm
Sorry to break off on something else, but I just was reminded of something. You know how often people comment on how Snape is not just nasty to Harry and his two closest friends -- Ron and Hermoine -- but also Neville? Like, what's Snape got against Neville?

I've often thought that Snape's most nasty stuff as a teacher was toward Harry. Then to Ron and Hermoine mainly because they are close to Harry. But why Neville?

On the Eileen Prince thread it was mentioned that when Snape heard the prophecy initially (whatever part he heard), it didn't say who the boy would be. But later, it was clear that LV could have chosen Harry or Neville. LV's choosing of Harry, and the subsequent death of the Potters, is the source of a huge amount of pain, regret (whatever kind) for Snape -- according to DD. Perhaps, in the same way that he seems to hate Harry because of James, he also has a certain amount of disgust for Neville because it could have been Neville instead, thereby avoiding the Potter's deaths.

Just a thought.


Dobby - Sep 2, 2005 3:58 pm (#2682 of 2980)
I have been wondering for some time...is the reason DD trusts Snape so much because he has an Unbreakable Vow with Snape. And if so could this unbreakable vow be to protect Harry

- Snape works hard during Harry's first year to keep him safe from Quirrell.

- In the third book he puts his life on the line to follow Harry and confront Sirius

- In the fifth book he alerts the Order so that they can save Harry

- In the sixth book he stops a DE from harming Harry


T Brightwater - Sep 2, 2005 4:52 pm (#2683 of 2980)
Edited Sep 2, 2005 6:14 pm
wynnleaf, lots of good points there. You're right, the prank involving Lupin probably wouldn't have been enough in itself, but I think we saw in the Pensieve just a sample of what went on between the Marauders and Snape. It's quite possible that Snape really did believe Sirius guilty of betraying the Potters and killing Muggles, but he certainly didn't want to hear any evidence to the contrary. At the least, his school experiences with James & Sirius would have predisposed him to think Sirius guilty (consider his remark to DD about Sirius already being a killer at 16: "You haven't forgotten that he once tried to kill me?) and he probably thought it served James right to be betrayed by his best friend.

As for why Snape would hate Voldemort that much, that is the crucial question. It would take something pretty major, and something humiliating, since Snape is most sensitive about his dignity. But if something like that happened and DD knew about it, that might give him a good reason to trust Snape - a better reason, at least, than his supposed remorse over the Potters' deaths. I think that was the "official" explanation - the one Snape told the DEs ("I spun him a tale of deepest remorse") and DD told Harry. But if Voldemort had done something really humiliating to Snape, DD wouldn't tell anyone, to spare Snape's feelings. That might explain why DD seemed to consider telling Harry the truth about Snape but then thought better (or worse) of it - he didn't want to hand that information to someone who hated Snape.

DD may have thought Snape could put aside his resentment of James in order to teach Harry Occlumency, because he thought that his hate for Voldemort was stronger, but that's one sore spot Snape cannot stop picking at.

Given his reaction to Harry calling him a coward, I wonder if Voldemort taunted him with cowardice, in front of other DEs?


haymoni - Sep 2, 2005 5:09 pm (#2684 of 2980)
I'm sure Severus got "Crucio'd" a bit and certainly insulted.

I had rather hoped Voldy would torture Lucius a bit at the graveyard. I'd like to see him crying like a baby. Wonder how he's holding up in Azkaban???

Snape seemed to be a loner. Maybe he was teased quite a bit.

I still think he was so offended by Harry's comment because he is anything BUT a coward. It takes some you-know-whats to stand in front of Voldy and lie those pretty lies.

If he's lying, that is!


T Vrana - Sep 2, 2005 6:14 pm (#2685 of 2980)
Edited Sep 2, 2005 7:16 pm
T Brightwater- I don't think DD would have placed any value in hate. He said love is the only thing that works against the lure of power like LV's.

Snape hated the Marauders, (perhaps with reason) and look where it got him.

Hate can't be the answer in my opinion. In the big picture, love has to be the answer or there is no reason for a DD at all.

Sorry to be so short, tired...


Weeny Owl - Sep 2, 2005 7:25 pm (#2686 of 2980)
Don't think Snape trusted Sirius, I think he's the one who told DD not to trust him.

One thing Snape and everybody else knew, and the one thing that shocked and astonished people, was just how close James and Sirius were. Sirius was known for being a Black who ended up in Gryffindor instead of Slytherin, and it isn't out of the realm of possibilities that most of Hogwarts knew Sirius had left home. Snape wouldn't trust Sirius from a personal perspective, but from the perspective of Sirius being in the Order and being loyal to James and Lily, he would, as did everyone who was in such shock when it seemed that Sirius was the one who betrayed the Potters.

Of course it could be that Snape knew there was a traitor in the Order, and since he hated Sirius so much, he wanted the traitor to be Sirius. He's now stuck, at least for part of the summer, having the actual traitor living with him.


T Vrana - Sep 2, 2005 7:46 pm (#2687 of 2980)
weeny owl- I'm confused. Someone close to LV told DD that there was a spy close to the Potters. We know DD agreed to be Secret Keeper because of this, and that it could be Black since he was supposed to be secret keeper. This all happened before the Potters died. If Snape trusted Sirius, who told DD, before the Potters death, that Black might be the spy?


T Brightwater - Sep 2, 2005 8:23 pm (#2688 of 2980)
T Vrana, I agree about Dumbledore not valuing hate, but even though he doesn't understand or feel it personally he could see how it could drive someone like Snape. Dumbledore is quite willing to admit that love can be a weakness as well as a strength, so perhaps he could see that under some circumstances, for a certain kind of person, hate could be a strength as well as a weakness. (I'm thinking of Ransom in C. S. Lewis's Perelandra who fights a person who has been willlingly possessed by a malign force, and it occurs to him during the battle that he has found the one purpose for which hate was intended. Getting close to the Unmentionable Topic, I'll stop here.)

Anyway, what I was mostly trying to get at was that Snape might be capable of calculating odds and making tactical moves that DD wouldn't be able to, and in fact I could see him being quite proud of it. He may see himself as the only member of the Order who isn't handicapped by sentimentality and the softer emotions in general. (He can't see that he's handicapped by hate, just as Voldemort is.)

Does this make any sense or am I starting to contradict myself? Maybe what I'm getting at is that Snape may be on the right side for the wrong reasons.


Weeny Owl - Sep 2, 2005 10:18 pm (#2689 of 2980)
weeny owl- I'm confused. Someone close to LV told DD that there was a spy close to the Potters. We know DD agreed to be Secret Keeper because of this, and that it could be Black since he was supposed to be secret keeper. This all happened before the Potters died. If Snape trusted Sirius, who told DD, before the Potters death, that Black might be the spy?

In PoA the explanation is that Dumbledore had a number of useful spies, one of whom tipped him off that Voldemort was after the Potters. That was probably Snape, but later Professor McGonagall said that Dumbledore was sure someone close to the Potters had been keeping Voldemort informed of their movements, that Dumbledore had suspectred for some time that someone on their side had turned traitor.

Later, in the Shrieking Shack, Lupin and Sirius said they each suspected the other. Lupin, Sirius, and Wormtail were all close to the Potters.

I'm not saying that Snape trusted Sirius with everything, but that with there being at least three old schoolmates who were close to James, there was no reason that anyone would suspect Sirius more than the others, except Lupin knew he wasn't the traitor and Sirius knew he wasn't. Sirius was the best man at James and Lily's wedding and was Harry's godfather, and while Dumbledore might have suspected anyone close to the Potters, most people wouldn't think it was Sirius. Snape hated James and Sirius, but unless he knew who the traitor was, he could have just as easily suspected Lupin.

Even if he did suspect Sirius, and even if he did tell Dumbledore his suspicious, he still may have felt guilt when the Potters were killed because he did nothing to stop it, or couldn't do anything to stop it.


greta - Sep 3, 2005 1:04 am (#2690 of 2980)
There has been much made that although snape is a bitter, cruel and quite nasty individual this is not evidence that he is a death eater. I completely agree. Some of snapes actions such as protecting Harry is PS and informing the order of Haryy's plight in OOTP hve been put forward to demonstrate that despite the nasty personality traits Snape fundamentally does the right thing.

However, event though Snape does protect Harry is PS, he does this to repay the life debt to James. Not because he feels genuine gratitude towards James for saving his life, Snape believes that James only went to save snape to avoid trouble for himself. But the fact remains that James did save his life and now there is a debt to be repayed. Snape cannot bear to owe anything to James Potter and perhaps is fearful of some sort of magical retribution if he did not repay when the opportunity arose. So Snape does not have instinct or desire to protect Harry, he was only doing it to clear his own debt. I know the outcome s the same but I think his motivations are important.

In the OOTP he did indeed alert the order but did not not also alert LV? In Spinners End he claims he stayed behind, and did not fight on LV's orders, so he must have had some communication with LV, so whilst he did alert the order, and he had no choice after Harry's cryptic clue, he also alerted LV.
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Post  Mona on Thu May 26, 2011 2:14 pm

Sparrowhawk - Sep 3, 2005 1:41 am (#2691 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 2:52 am
Greta, why do you think that Snape "had no choice after Harry's cryptic clue"? The clue being cryptic, as you rightly pointed out, it would have been extremely easy to ignore or deliberately misinterpret it... and later apologize for the "mistake" (like "sorry, the little Potter prat's pitiful attempt at non verbal communication was so murky that I couldn't make any sense of it, and his warning shout wasn't any better"). Actually, we know that Snape didn't, and warned the Order in due time.

And the fact that he communicated with Voldemort is no proof at all that he alerted him. All we know with certainty, is that Voldemort didn't expect DD to turn out in the MoM, while in all likelihood Snape must have been aware that he would come with a vengeance at Harry's rescue... another indication that Snape is (was) truly on DD's side.

Concerning the reasons why Snape changed sides and joined the Order, the life debt towards James does not strike me as sufficient per se, although it certainly played some part. JKR has certainly hinted that there was something else, far more compelling (as far as I am concerned, a strong Snape/Lily connection is the most convincing explanation).


greta - Sep 3, 2005 2:21 am (#2692 of 2980)
Harry, in OOTP, after tring to communicate non verbally actually shouts out "he's got Padfoot in the place where its hidden". So yes Snape could have pretended that he did not understand but I think this would have caused some doubt, he was Harry's occulmency teacher so "the place where its hidden" is no secret to Snape who has had access to Harry's thoughts and dreams, and I am sure Snape is aware of the ncikname "padffot", also there were witnesses to Harry's clue. It may appear cryptic to other ears, but it was designed for snape. If Snape did not alert LV, what exactly did he tell him? LV afterall does turn up at the MOM, somethig he has desperately tried to avoid, so why does he go? I think because Snape told him memebers of the order were also on their way and most likely DD also. it was essential LV retrieve the prophecy, so when he was alerted that his plan as in danger he decided he must act. Now, this still could be Snape playing the Double Agent, he has to tell both parties or else his loyalties are doubted, the point I was attemtping to make is that these events are neither evidence that Snape is loyal to DD ot to LV as his actions for the Order are negated by his actions for the DE.


wynnleaf - Sep 3, 2005 2:43 am (#2693 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 3:59 am
Greta, in OOTP, DD recounts to Harry the messages (plural) Snape sent after the "cryptic" comment Harry made. I agree that Snape was bound to do something after Harry's comment. He did follow up on it by contacting Sirius at 12GP and discovering he was at home and safe. If Snape was only sending the message because he had to, he could have stopped there. "hey, Harry gave me this warning about Sirius, but I checked on it and it was a false alarm. Sirius was at home." If Snape had stopped there, Sirius and all the rest of the Order, including DD would never have gone to the MoM. And even those of us readers believing Snape is on the good side could claim he'd done his duty.

But after Harry, Hermoine, and Umbridge failed to return from the forest (this must have been sometime later), Snape decided to alert the Order to go to the MoM. Why would he do this? He somehow became concerned that they had gone there. When you think about it, this would have taken some real creative problem solving thinking to get from "H, H, and U went into the forest" to "what if they're not back because they somehow went to the MoM?" Even then, if Snape thought it was likely just a false alarm and they'd gone to the MoM on a wild goose chase, there'd be no need to send anyone - or maybe just 1 Order member to bring them back.

Instead, Snape's message arrived at 12GP requesting the Order go to the MoM as well as requesting Sirius to stay at 12GP and alert DD to go there as well. DD told Harry that 4 Order members were there when Snape's message came.

You mentioned that LV was surprised that DD showed up. Yes, indeed, and Snape told the Order to alert DD to go there.

Absolutely no reason presents itself in OOTP for why Snape would send that second message for the Order and DD to go to the MoM, other than a desire to thwart whatever the DE's and LV would be doing there and protect Harry.

Yes, Snape communicated with LV later. But we have no indication at all that he told LV that he (Snape) was the one that sent the Order and DD to the MoM -- the very thing that caused LV's plan to fail. Snape tells Bellatrix nothing about that at Spinner's End, even taunting her that they were facing students (not the Order Snape sent?), and claiming partial responsibility for Sirius being there (when Snape told him to stay at 12GP and alert DD). So, no, I'm sure LV had no idea the whole plan was spoiled because Snape alerted the Order and DD.

Edit: I think I must be missing something, greta. Where does it say Snape contacted LV on the evening of the MoM battle? We know from Spinners End that they were in contact afterward -- the weeks between the MoM battle and the time of Spinners End -- but where does it say Snape contacted LV the day or night of the MoM battle?


Sparrowhawk - Sep 3, 2005 2:50 am (#2694 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 3:57 am
Sorry, Greta, but I guess that we'll have to agree on disagreeing...

As indicated in my previous post, I was well aware of the fact that Harry had also shouted a warning, but Snape could all too easily have "misinterpreted" it, at least the part concerning "where it's hidden", seeing that Sirius was safe at 12, Grimmauld place. If Snape was truly working for Voldemort, it would not have mattered one bit if his "misjudgement" had caused some doubt in the mind of DD, because it would have been too late anyway.

And there are many things that Snape may have told to LV, of the useless sort that Voldemort would have learnt sooner or later (like "Harry has fallen in the trap, he's heading for the DoM"). Also, we know that the DEs and Voldemort were surprised when the Order and DD arrived at the ministry, so there is no reason to believe that Snape had told them anything about it (in "Spinner's End", Bellatrix refers to their arrival as unexpected).

It is far more likely that Voldemort just realized that something was going wrong with the plan to retrieve the prophecy - maybe because it was taking far too long, and he expected Lucius and his team to be back much sooner - and decided to take what he believed to be a small risk and see for himself, because he so desperately wanted the prophecy... Had he known that the Order and DD would be there, he would probably not have dared come at all - too many chances for his tase, I would say.

Just my two knuts...


greta - Sep 3, 2005 3:40 am (#2695 of 2980)
In Spinners End Snape tells Belatrix that ""Mr orders were to remian behind - perhaps you think that Dumbledore would not have noticed if I had joined forces with the death eaters to fight the order of the Phoenix?"

So, obviously LV was aware that some sort of battle was in progress or about to commnce and told Snape to stay away and also the order were present. A clear indication that they discussed the matter. Also I do not think it would have taken real problem solving for Snape to realize that Harry ahd gone to the MOM. Snape may be blind to many of Harry's attributes but I am sure he is aware of Harry's "Saving people thing" and also witnessed first hand Sirius great affection for Harry when he informs Harry of the upcoming occulmency lessons at 12 GP. Snape, I am sure would believe that Harry would go after Sirius. Also how do we know that Snape searched the forest for Harry? Maybe he and apparated over DE HQ .

I personally am undecided on Snapes true nature, its just that this incident in OOTP had repeatedly been put forward as evidence for "Snape is Good", and whilst its not concrete evidence to the contrary and I don't think it is evidence in favour of Snape either. Like most Snape related issues it is very ambiguous and can be viewed either way.

Wynleaf - despite all of the above, you do have me almost convinced on the issue of snapes second alert to the order, he could have easily have not bothered with this and his loyalties would not be questioned, he had checked Sirius was OK and need do no more. Oh dear I really don't know what I think now!!


irish flutterby - Sep 3, 2005 3:41 am (#2696 of 2980)
I agree that Snape did far too much in informing the order of Harry's excursion to the MoM. I also think he did far too little in letting LV know what was going on. IMO, he might have contacted LV for a different purpose. more along the lines of letting LV know about Harry's trip, but also to find out what Harry would be facing there. We don't know exactly how long it was between SNape's two communications with the Order. Perhaps he contacted LV in between to find out the full situation that Harry would meet. When Snape realized the danger, he went on to contact DD specifically.

Works in my head, but maybe I missed something.


greta - Sep 3, 2005 4:12 am (#2697 of 2980)
Irish Butterfly - yes works in my head too! I am convinced Snape communicated with Lv and passed him some information, he may have done this out of genuine loyalty to LV or to maintain his position as spy whilst his true loyalties are with the order. But yes, I can accept the idea that he went to LV to discover what was happening at the MOM and had to pass on other information also, afterall he is trusted so much by LV he msut have provided some useful information otherwise his usefullness and loyalty would be questioned.

I now appear to have come done a U turn on my opions of Snape in a few hours - there are just so many convincing arguments ott there!Well done Wynleaf, sparrowhawk and Irish Butterfly, I am usually quite stubborn and refuse to accept I am wrong but you have me nearly persauded! However I would like to say though that a few post back someone said , and I really cannot remeber who (sorry!) that sanpe "is on the right side for the wrong reasons" I think this is likely to be an apt summary.


irish flutterby - Sep 3, 2005 4:23 am (#2698 of 2980)
I too believe that DD wouldn't trust Snape for hate, although, his hate would definately give him a strategic advantage. If he has a great deal of hate within (as we know he does) he will beable to draw on that and moer rightly read what LV's actions might be.

New question. We all agree that Snape is a pretty bright fellow. I cannot assume that Snape couldn't figure out who the kids the prophecy applied to were. After all, both of there parents were in the Order, and both of them had defied LV thrice. My question is this: could Snape have handed over the info on the prophecy with the intent that Neville be the one he wanted "taken care of." did he have some vendeta against the Longbottoms. When LV went after the Potters instead, defying Snape's advice that the Longbottom boy was pureblood and from an old magical family and therefore more of a threat, Snape began to lose respect for LV.

Another note just hit me. Maybe Snape is an Anti-DE. He's out to prove to the world that non-pure blood wizards are usually better at their craft, and more gifted. therefore the world should be wiped free of pure-bloods and populated with mixed blood wizards.

Okay, it's outlandish, but fun to theorize.


wynnleaf - Sep 3, 2005 5:29 am (#2699 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 6:33 am
greta, like kage, I take anything Snape says to anyone other than DD and Harry, as a possible lie (well, especially anything to a DE). After all, if he's a decent spy, he's not supposed to be telling Bellatrix what really happened the night of the MOM battle. He also tells Bellatrix and Narcissa at Spinners End that Voldemort had told him about Draco's mission. That's probably not true, as Snape is clearly fishing for information both at Spinners End and later with Draco. Bellatrix is out of favor and probably can't exactly go interrogate LV as to what his and Snape's conversations have or haven't included. Snape knows that and can therefore tell her pretty much whatever story he wants (within reason) as to his "orders" for the night of the MoM battle.

"I do not think it would have taken real problem solving for Snape to realize that Harry had gone to the MOM."

For us readers, it's obvious that's what Harry's going to do. But from Snape's position, the last he'd seen of Harry was Harry and Hermoine with Umbridge heading toward the forest. Now he'd know that Umbridge wouldn't take them to the MoM. So to go there, H and H would first have to overcome Umbridge, even without having wands. Second, Snape knows Harry doesn't have his broom and can't apparate (even outside of the grounds), and the flu networks are watched. So Snape would have to figure out that not only had Harry and Hermoine somehow got Umbridge out of the way, they'd also found a way to get all the way to London. AND, having already discovered that Sirius was fine at 12GP, Snape would have to believe that Harry was getting a vision from LV intended to lure him to the MoM -- in other words, it wasn't a false alarm based on Harry's anxieties.

Then he'd have to decide it was all likely enough to be serious that the Order and DD should go on the alert -- not just send one Order member to check things out.

I never use Snape's assertion that he searched the forest for Harry, Hermoine and Umbridge as any sort of evidence, because those who think Snape's still a DE could arguably say he could be lying. However, given that Snape would likely have no idea how Harry and Hermoine could get to the MoM, and since Umbridge hadn't returned from the forest, it does make a lot of sense that he should search the forest for them.

As a loyal DE, he could have just called it a night and gone to bed.


kage - Sep 3, 2005 6:50 am (#2700 of 2980)
I'd like to add to the ongoings surrounding the events at the MOM that I don't think it came all out of the blue. Just in case anybody experiences a relapse ;-)

LV (Lord Voldemort, I'm lazy) has been back to a body for only one year. He lost his body due to that prophecy that he only knew a part of. (By the way LV: "What kind of servant is that junior DE Snape, getting his Master disembodied for a beginners mistake, maybe a treachery even, that idiot, I'll make him pay!" Just so much about LV trusting Severus)

Even if DD was/is only half as bright as he claims to be, there is absolutely no way that he wouldn't have expected LV to try and get the full version of that darn prophecy. One 'copy' of it is inside Trelawny who is quite safe at Hogwarts, LV might not even know the she made the prophecy. A second copy is inside DD as he has heard it and DD makes sure LV won't get at it by avoiding Harry . A third copy is in the Ministry, that's the possible target. Harry is surprisingly reluctant to follow Voldemorts lures into the Ministry. Severus gets a pretty clear idea of LVs lures during Occlumency (what kind of stunt was that, letting LV watch his distrusted spy through Harry?! If Severus is with Voldemort, why does he hide his memory of Lilly from him?!?!). All of LVs attempts to have a third person get it fail. This is what leads to the events at MOM.

Severus messages to the Order have been discussed at lenght. But of course Severus has to tell LV that Harry has finally gone to the MOM, he's LVs spy at Hogwarts, he most probably had orders to inform LV as soon as Harry took off. And DD must have been aware of this, too. Up to this point Severus could be with LV. But he definitely did not tell LV about the Order and DD being on their way, as the previous posts proove quite sufficiently.

For Severus being "on the right side for the wrong reasons" (T. Brightwater?) that may well be. There also is no proof that he is not acting according to his own plan. On some days I fancy this idea pretty much. Only thing is that I never could make it work smoothly, I always ended up adding way too many things that are not in the text, for my taste. But that might well be a problem of mine.

Also I doubt that DD would trust Severus for reasons of hatred. But a true will to destroy LV would do, I think. DD isn't just a funny old man, he isn't just a wise and gracious old wizard. He is a great warrior, cunning and calculating, as well! Why not use Severus if Severus wants too see LV gone. His story might be similar to Dracos or Regulus', it is strongly hinted that it's about Lily, somehow. No need for a debt, even, as it's Harry who has that 'power' and if Severus wants to see Voldemort destroyed he'd better help the boy along. I wondered if an obsessive love would qualify as reason for DDs trust, but this way around it doesn't matter much, it's all about the aim in the first place.
And I think his hatred for all things Potter has helped Severus a lot getting along with Voldemort - wether he is a true DE or a spy.

Done ;-)

See if I can catch up with the rest...


Vulture - Sep 3, 2005 7:19 am (#2701 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 8:19 am
I'm going to reply to various points made about my earlier posts, but am short on time right now.

Just posted this as #429 on the "Snape/Dumbledore puzzle or who sacrificed who??" thread, but I feel it's relevant here as well: Apologies if this point has been made before (I don't think it has):

A lot (perhaps not all) of the "Snape/Dumbledore puzzle or who sacrificed who??" discussion _ and indeed, questions over Snape in general _ are based on the assumption that the way the Dumbledore death seems right now (at Book 6's end) will be contradicted or, at least, greatly altered, in Book 7.

My point is this: do we have any previous example of Rowling getting us to see an event in one definite way, and then contradicting it, not in the same book, but in a later one ? I can't think of any, but I'm not saying one or more doesn't exist.

In fact, the only example of complete definite reversal I can think of is Sirius as villain and Pettigrew as hero in Book 3 _ this gets completely turned around, yes _ but in the same book, not a later one. A more woolly example is Book 1's atmosphere of suspicion of Snape (more woolly because many characters disagree with the Trio on this), which gets reversed when Quirrell turns out to be the villain and Snape is shown to have tried to save Harry. But again, this loose end is tied up in the same book.

If I'm right, and JKR doesn't go in for later-book turnarounds, it doesn't of course, stop her doing it now, for the first time. But I just feel that the odds are against it. Indeed, we're all putting so much energy into the possible labyrinthine subtleties of Severus Snape that the big surprise might end up being that his actions are exactly what they look like !!


T Vrana - Sep 3, 2005 7:56 am (#2702 of 2980)
Vulture- JK has said that books 6 and 7 are really more like one big book, so I think it is possible for her to still reveal what "really" happened without breaking her pattern.


Vulture - Sep 3, 2005 11:29 am (#2703 of 2980)
Hi, T Vrana: Could be, could be _ as I indicated, there's a first time for everything. But am I right about this ? _ I mean, about JKR never (up to now) having used later books to contradict important bits of earlier ones ?


Vulture - Sep 3, 2005 11:46 am (#2704 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 12:49 pm
Hi, wynnleaf - In reply to your post #2651 (Sep 1, 2005 4:35 pm). Good points, but here's what I think. (I'm putting it on the "Half-Blood Prince As A Piece Of Literature" thread as well.)

I knew perfectly well (DD having said so), that Snape's remorse about the Potters came well after he convinced DD he switched sides _ When did Dumbledore say that ? _ I've read Book 6 several times now (got it out of the library, didn't buy it), and never saw that. If I had seen it, it might help convince me of the plot point about Snape's loyalty, but it would not convince me that having him suddenly revealed as prophecy eavesdropper in Book 6, right on time to coincide with Harry's cave trip with Book-6-Dumbledore, is a good piece of writing.

Because I always "read" Book 6, even the first time, as DD and Snape working together, Snape's killing DD at the end didn't for me affect DD's credibility one whit. _ Whether they're together or not is not my point: in fact, if they are together it makes things even worse. Nor am I just thinking of Dumbledore's death when I say that "Book 6 does a hatchet job on Dumbledore's credibility". Perhaps I should have been more precise _ what I mean is that Book 6 does a hatchet job on the credibility of the depiction of Dumbledore as a character. It does so simply because the Dumbledore of Book 6 does things which are simply not consistent with his character in Books 1 to 5 _ what I call "the Real Dumbledore".

The "Real Dumbledore" does not bend the rules of right and wrong. Yes, he keeps secrets for valid reasons _ in Book 5, he revealed that he had kept quiet about why Voldemort wants to kill Harry because he felt that Harry was too young for the burden: now, Dumbledore regards this as a mistake. I don't believe for a moment that the "Real Dumbledore" would have kept the Snape-eavesdropper item secret. It doesn't have to mean blowing Snape's cover to Voldemort. Anyway, what cover ? _ the beauty of Snape's approach is that he covers up little and justifies what he does to both sides.

Also, I notice that your whole case for Dumbledore keeping this under raps fails to address the problem of a secret which depends on Trelawney, a weird old bat with a known drinking problem.

And because Dumbledore is so central _ not just a character, but (during Books 1 to 5) a sort of impartial 'voice of the writer', a final judge, as it were, what is done to his character in Book 6 affects many other characters, Snape not least. Which side Snape is "really" on, if any, is not the point. I find a lot of depth in Snape's character, in Books 1 to 5, the "Spinner's End" chapter of Book 6, and indeed, some of the other earlier parts of Book 6. But his image at the end is very Dungeons & Dragons _ all slavering and foaming, and now-you-see-me-on-your-side-now-you-don't. In fairness, the same effect can be seen, in one way or another, in all the characters (some far earlier than Snape), and a lot of it is down to the diminishing of Dumbledore's character.

Considering Harry lousy at occlumency ... Harry is only "lousy at occlumency" because they inflicted Snape on him as a (lousy) teacher _ and refused to tell him enough to convince him it was important (remember Harry's fireplace chat with Sirius and Lupin ?). In fact, even Snape admits (in the first lesson) that Harry is not inherently bad _ he doesn't progress for the two reasons I've given.

(For space reasons I have to continue in another post ...)


Vulture - Sep 3, 2005 11:48 am (#2705 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 12:51 pm
(Reply to wynnleaf's post #2651 (Sep 1, 2005 4:35 pm), continued:)

LV can get in his head whenever he wants if he so desires _ Really ? We must be reading different books. I seem to remember that the exact opposite (Harry getting into LV's head) is the case for most of Book 5, and that, the one time Lord V does try getting into Harry's head, he suffers mortal agony. And in Book 6, Lord V is so scared he uses Occlumency to keep Harry at bay.

Snape's life would be forfeit if his spying was revealed _ I wouldn't worry too much; both sides seem hell-bent on believing that Snape is their own, whatever he does. I mean, if you can kill your Commander-In-Chief and still have readers convinced you're on his side ...

Oooh, you mean DD should have let Harry know Snape was the eavesdropper E well, obviously Harry would have then totally hated Snape and would never have believed he was on the Order's side without learning the real reason (whatever that is). DD couldn't tell him the real reason, due to the occlumency problem above. Harry already hates Snape because Snape hates him, and doesn't usually believe he is on the Order's side _ the only times he seems ready to gamble that Snape is on the Order's side are (a) at the end of Book 4, after Dumbledore sends Snape off, saying "Severus, you know what I must ask you to do ...", and (b) when Harry has to gamble on Snape's help in Book 5, when he needs (as he thinks) to rescue Sirius. But none of this is the point _ the "Real Dumbledore" believes in right and wrong. Maybe you think it's right to have a young lad being bullied in class for 6 years by a teacher who was an accessory to the murder of the lad's parents, but I don't _ and the "Real Dumbledore" certainly wouldn't. It's just not Dumbledore _ it might be all strategically justifiable if you believe 'the end justifies the means', but it's just not Dumbledore. This is exactly what I mean by characterisation being thrown out the window for the sake of a momentary whizz-bang plot point (which doesn't come off).

And incidentally, I'm surprised that there aren't more Snape fans (I count myself as one, though an open-eyed one) complaining about the portrayal of him indulging in Wormtail-ish behaviour. The most successful spies don't crawl around locked doors and drawers (risking being caught) _ they build a mound of information in large part from what their targets let out openly. Don't take my word for it _ the KGB claimed that their greatest successes were based on openly available information which no-one else bothered to read.

Sirius dislikes Snape far more than Harry or anyone else does _ yet, in Book 4, after fulminating about, accusing, and denouncing Snape at length, even Sirius feels compelled to say "There's still the fact that Dumbledore trusts Snape ..." and that he can't see that being so if Snape had been a Death Eater. This carries immediate conviction (because of the writing, not the plot points), and the effect remains when we later learn that Snape was a Death Eater _ we have no hesitation in believing Dumbledore that Snape "is now no more a Death Eater than I am". I don't believe that the "Real Dumbledore" would say this if all he had to go on was Snape claiming remorse for the death of James; Dumbledore himself confirmed the enmity between the two in Book 1.

"Book-6-Dumbledore" makes a big issue of Snape having "no possible way of knowing which boy Voldemort would hunt from then onwards". The "Real Dumbledore" would regard setting up any boy for Voldemort as equally bad. If Snape's "remorse" was based on Voldemort's targets being people he knew, it's not worth much, even if they had been his friends, which they weren't. It's certainly not worth a job in Hogwarts teaching the child of the victims.


wynnleaf - Sep 3, 2005 1:03 pm (#2706 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 2:09 pm
Vulture,

I’m not going to comment on a good deal of your long posts. Here’s why. My post that you’re answering was to point out that views of Book 6, and how well it’s written, do seem to have a great deal to do with what one’s viewpoint on the various characters, plot, etc. were going into the book, and how well one’s expectations, etc. about those characters, the directions the plot went, etc.

Arguing about why this or that occurred or whether or not this or that character really was portrayed according to their previously portrayed character makes no difference. For me, the DD portrayed in Book 6 was a good development stemming from the character I’d already come to know – as I had come to know him. The same can be said for the other characters, plot lines, etc.

The fact that the characterizations, etc. didn’t ring true to you is a legitimate problem for you, based on your earlier “take’ on the characters, etc. I have no desire to try to convince you that the book is really better than you think by convincing you that the characters or plot lines are actually different from what you think. That’s not my intent. I was simply trying to point out that for some, the book was quite excellent, and DD and the other characters were quite satisfying.

I am happy to discuss various theories on the characters, plot lines, etc., just for the fun of trying to figure it all out and second guess JKR. But I don’t need to be “convinced” that the book isn’t as good as the rest because the characters, etc. are a particular way.

I do want to comment on a couple of your points.

“Maybe you think it's right to have a young lad being bullied in class for 6 years by a teacher who was an accessory to the murder of the lad's parents, but I don't _ and the "Real Dumbledore" certainly wouldn't. It's just not Dumbledore _ it might be all strategically justifiable if you believe 'the end justifies the means', but it's just not Dumbledore. This is exactly what I mean by characterization being thrown out the window for the sake of a momentary whizz-bang plot point (which doesn't come off).”

It is not your vision of DD. Obviously, since JKR has planned this rather intricately out for years, it is her vision. I did not find this out of line with DD – after all, only a few years prior to Snape’s telling LV the partial prophecy, Sirius had attempted to send Snape into Lupin/werewolf’s path. Yet it’s just fine that he gets to be (in JKR’s plotline) Harry’s godfather. Some sort of disconnect here??

“The most successful spies don't crawl around locked doors and drawers (risking being caught) _ they build a mound of information in large part from what their targets let out openly. Don't take my word for it _ the KGB claimed that their greatest successes were based on openly available information which no-one else bothered to read.”

Somehow, whatever Sirius and James did as teenagers is totally okay – completely forgivable for most readers – they were just teenagers. But Snape’s actions as a – what – about 19 year old – are obviously indicative of a totally evil person.

He’s supposed to be a KGB caliber spy at 19?? That’s what I mean by point of view, or “read” on a character. For you, Snape’s being a bad spy at that age, listening at keyholes, etc., shows us something about his spying ability. To me, his spying ability at 19 is practically irrelevant to his spying ability 16 years later.

As I said, I don’t want to argue all of your points in one post. I’m happy to do that on separate threads. I didn’t present my points as something to argue each one out point by point, but to give examples showing that a person’s “take” on the characters affects their “read” of Book 6.

Last, JKR was pretty clear that Books 6 and 7 work together more like 1 book. All of the books have the same basic characters, locations, time lines (school years), overall themes, and are all working toward the progress of Harry as he grows toward his ultimate confrontation with LV. What else would working together as 1 book mean since it clearly doesn’t mean the same kinds of similarities of the previous books? Hey, must mean plot. After all, if it was all one book, we’d expect the plot to work as one book, not be clearly divided in half. Why should we be surprised that she gives us a plotline that’s supposed to be finished in the second half of what’s basically one book?


T Vrana - Sep 3, 2005 1:29 pm (#2707 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 3:12 pm
Vulture- I can't think of any instances, but I also can't think of a book in which JK tells us exactly what is going to happen in the end, in chapter 2, and it does.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that she has kept her pattern and book 6 is part one, book 7 part 2. Especially since she has basically said this.


Sparrowhawk - Sep 3, 2005 1:52 pm (#2708 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 2:53 pm
Hi Wynnleaf, I just wanted to point out that it looks as if we are having very similar points of view, concerning JKR's handling of the HP series and its main characters (and apparently, the same could be said about RoseMorninStar and a few other people's views). Some details might well be interpreted in a slightly different way, but on the whole the resemblances are far more striking than the differences!

More than once, I've avoided sending a message because, after reading your own post on the same topic, I found that mine would look a little redundant, as well as expressed in a less luminous and tactful way. Thanks for all your contributions!


Ann - Sep 3, 2005 2:35 pm (#2709 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 3:50 pm
Okay, three points (I'll try not to be too long):

About the messages Snape sent to both the Order and LV on the night of the Ministry Battle: I wonder if Snape was actually tricky enough (he is a Slytherin) to wait for a bit--say a quarter hour after the estimated arrival of the Order at the Ministry--and then notify LV that the Order has been alerted, perhaps even implying that he's been asked to join them. This would give LV the chance to tell him to stay put to preserve his cover. (I really like this observation, greta!) Since he didn't tell LV that Dumbledore would be going as well, this alarming news may have been what sent Voldemort himself to the ministry (the threatened loss of 12 DEs and the prophecy would have been a very alarming prospect), which forced him out of the closet--which was probably the night's most important positive result for the Order.

Second, Vulture said "Book-6-Dumbledore" makes a big issue of Snape having "no possible way of knowing which boy Voldemort would hunt from then onwards". The "Real Dumbledore" would regard setting up any boy for Voldemort as equally bad. If Snape's "remorse" was based on Voldemort's targets being people he knew, it's not worth much, even if they had been his friends, which they weren't. It's certainly not worth a job in Hogwarts teaching the child of the victims.

I don't think you've understood this: Dumbledore would obviously be appalled at attacks on either Harry or Neville. His point is simply that because of his relationship with Lily and James (whatever it was), Snape was shaken out of the pattern of "mob behavior"/loyalty to Voldemort that he adopted as a DE. In other words, it was not Dumbledore to whom Voldemort's choice made a difference, but Snape.

My third point is really on the same question. We've discussed a lot on this thread and its predecessors the ways in which, although Harry looks like James, he has more in common in many ways with Snape. Snape is thus a real "anti-hero": he represents both similarities to the hero, but also his opposite. But the similarities are quite striking: Both have rather unpleasant childhoods, a highly developed sense of honor, and the clear (and correct) understanding that the sort of rule-breaking "pranks" Jams and Sirius get away with (for their own entertainment) are really destructive. Both are quite good at DADA. In HBP we have the further parallels of their treatment by Dumbledore: he forces both of them (I would argue) to hurt him quite badly, and both of them do so with great agony and reluctance. Harry also has a capacity for anger and hatred and a temptation to use Dark spells when he's angry that may show us what Snape was like as a teenager.

A last parallel may be the reason Dumbledore trusts them both. Dumbledore states in the Horcruxes chapter that Harry has never and will not be tempted to join Voldemort; and Harry says, sf course not, he killed my Mum and Dad. Dumbledore points out that it's his love for them that cuts him off from Voldemort, and protects him from him. I think that Voldemort's killing Lily and James (or maybe just Lily), inoculated Snape against a return to Voldemort in exactly the same way.

<Edit> And I think that Harry's recognizing these similarities between them (particularly the last) and learning to forgive and understand Snape is likely to be a major turning point of Book Seven.


irish flutterby - Sep 3, 2005 2:42 pm (#2710 of 2980)
"Also, I notice that your whole case for Dumbledore keeping this under raps fails to address the problem of a secret which depends on Trelawney, a weird old bat with a known drinking problem."

I'd like to respond to this arguement, if I may. Forgive me if my facts from the book are a bit cloudy as I waited a few months for my second reading to allow things to settle in my head. I am under the impression that Trelawney has no recollection of the prophecy that she made to Harry in PoA. This being said, it would be fair to state that she really has no conscious memory of the prophecy about LV and Harry. She simply thought that Snape was eavesdropping on her interview. As a matter of fact, I may be wrong, but I think she actually said in Book 6 that she think s he was spying out the competition or looking for pointers from her interview with DD. This is a perfectly acceptable explanation as to why she never let slip, and why DD never thought she would.


Sparrowhawk - Sep 3, 2005 2:42 pm (#2711 of 2980)
Very good points, Ann! There is a striking parallel, despite the obvious differences as far as personality is concerned - Harry apparently sharing many trait with his own mother, that make him significantly different from Snape when it comes to the ability to love and forgive.


T Vrana - Sep 3, 2005 2:56 pm (#2712 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 4:01 pm
vulture-

""Book-6-Dumbledore" makes a big issue of Snape having "no possible way of knowing which boy Voldemort would hunt from then onwards". The "Real Dumbledore" would regard setting up any boy for Voldemort as equally bad. If Snape's "remorse" was based on Voldemort's targets being people he knew, it's not worth much, even if they had been his friends, which they weren't. It's certainly not worth a job in Hogwarts teaching the child of the victims."

I want to comment on this one, because you are right, DD would not distinguish between one boy and another, and he isn't here. I think he is commenting on the EFFECT knowing the potential victims had on Snape, not the morality of Snape's actions. Once Snape was able to personalize what he had done (by knowing the potential victims)he was able to see just how wrong it was (with help from DD I'm sure). Should he have been able to determine this before? Yes, but Snape is an imperfect character, with many flaws. He was 19 and emotionally immature, (still is, in my opinion), and feeling for others, when he has had little love in his life (JK said he has known love but it seems he has had a childhood that left him feeling vulnerable and isolated), is not part of his emotional make-up at the time. It does not excuse it, but it does explain it.

But Snape's reaction to his actions gave DD a window to bring Snape back to the good side, and to try to influence Snape for the better. DD believes in second chances, love and redemption. I'm sure Snape's return wasn't a "boo-hoo I've been bad forgive me." "OK". I'm quite sure DD would have had some deeper conversations on good and evil, right and wrong, actions and consequences. I'm completely sure DD let Snape know he had much to atone for.

So, yes, Snape's remorse is worth a great deal if it is genuine and if DD can use it to bring a young man back to the right side. DD wasn't excusing Snape's behavior, but forgiving it. Keeping him at Hogwarts gives him the opportunity to keep an eye on him, and I think he also let Snape know that he now owed Harry for the actions that robbed him of his parents. Which is worse, letting Snape stay on the bad side, unpunished, and out there, or bringing him in and making him pay for his mistakes? (This is why I feel Snape feels trapped).

He's a mean, nasty teacher, but students learn from him, and he is an asset to the Order.

Just my take on this comment by DD...


Ana Cis - Sep 3, 2005 4:31 pm (#2713 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 3, 2005 6:07 pm
Vulture - Sep 3, 2005 12:46 pm (#2704 of 2707) and Sep 3, 2005 12:48 pm (#2705 of 2707)

Vulture, are you a lawyer or a professional mediator? Because you sure are a tremendous debater! First thing I would like to say is that I am not, and never have been a Snape fan. Furthermore, if I was Dumbledore I would not tolerate such a sadistic teacher as Snape to teach at my school, whatever the reason; and that's saying a lot because DD is my favorite character out the whole series.

In spite of that, I do trust Dumbledore in his view of Snape for the following reasons:

1) As far as the series goes, the only student that Dumbledore has blatantly shown favor to has been Harry; few will argue that when it comes to Harry, Dumbledore is as emotional and sentimental as any father or grandfather would be towards their son/grandson. For the most part, Dumbledore shows a certain cold blooded/detachment about everyone else, except maybe Hagrid. He's lived for 150 years, beaten Grindelwald, and has had a pretty accurate assessment of Tom Riddle, Hagrid, Fudge, Scrimgeour, Sirius, and Slughorn, and probably many more I've not mentioned. Bottom line - he's no slouch when it comes to figuring out people's attitudes and beliefs.
2) He's known Snape longer than any other of the characters in the series (Snape's mother and father haven't shown up, so they don't count in this case).
3) He's also probably had the closest relationship with Snape than anyone else in the series.
And 4)JKR has not told us the real reason DD trusts Snape.

I also take this into consideration - JKR: "Dumbledore often speaks for me." Ref - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Vulture this is how I see it on some of your point:

"Considering Harry lousy at occlumency ... Harry is only "lousy at occlumency" because they inflicted Snape on him as a (lousy) teacher _ and refused to tell him enough to convince him it was important (remember Harry's fireplace chat with Sirius and Lupin ?).

Harry is bad at Occlumency not only because he had a bad teacher, but because he can't compartmentalize or repress his emotions. This is Cannon. JKR: "...I think Draco would be very gifted in Occlumency, unlike Harry. Harry’s problem with it was always that his emotions were too near the surface and that he is in some ways too damaged. But he's also very in touch with his feelings about what's happened to him. He's not repressed, he's quite honest about facing them, and he couldn't suppress them, he couldn't suppress these memories." Ref - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"...the one time Lord V does try getting into Harry's head, he suffers mortal agony. And in Book 6, Lord V is so scared he uses Occlumency to keep Harry at bay." - Agree; I believe that's the reason DD hasn't bothered w/Occlumency lessons; he admitted that he was proven wrong about Harry's vital need for these lessons in Book 5.

Harry already hates Snape because Snape hates him, and doesn't usually believe he is on the Order's side _ the only times he seems ready to gamble that Snape is on the Order's side are (a) at the end of Book 4, after Dumbledore sends Snape off, saying "Severus, you know what I must ask you to do ...", and (b) when Harry has to gamble on Snape's help in Book 5, when he needs (as he thinks) to rescue Sirius.

I don’t agree completely. Harry refuses to find anything good about Snape as a way to deal with his own guilt over Sirius' death; he still can't even talk about Sirius death throughout most of the book.
1) In Book 5, when Harry saw what Sirius and his father had done to Snape, he felt sorry for Snape and began to realize that maybe his father wasn't so perfect after all. [More of this may come out in Book 7.]
2) In OOP37, Harry began to find any excuse to hate Snape after Sirius' death, as a way to lessen his guilt over Sirius death. Sirius had become a sort of saint and couldn't stand it when DD identified some of Sirius' flaws; so he started accusing DD (by implication) that DD never found fault w/Snape. When DD explained about Snape's behavior prior to and during the whole MOM event, and the fact that Snape gave fake Veritaserum to Umbridge when she wanted to know where Sirius was, Harry disregarded the argument. "Harry disregarded this; he felt a savage pleasure in blaming Snape, it seemed to easing his own sense of dreadful guilt, and he wanted Dumbledore to agree with him."
But none of this is the point _ the "Real Dumbledore" believes in right and wrong. Maybe you think it's right to have a young lad being bullied in class for 6 years by a teacher who was an accessory to the murder of the lad's parents, but I don't _ and the "Real Dumbledore" certainly wouldn't. It's just not Dumbledore _ it might be all strategically justifiable if you believe 'the end justifies the means', but it's just not Dumbledore. This is exactly what I mean by characterisation being thrown out the window for the sake of a momentary whizz-bang plot point (which doesn't come off).

I agree with you point on Snape's abuse of his students. However, JKR says this about it when asked, "Why does Professor Dumbledore allow Professor Snape to be so nasty to the students (especially to Harry, Hermione, and Neville)?" JKR: "Dumbledore believes there are all sorts of lessons in life ... horrible teachers like Snape are one of them!" . It goes to that certain detachment in DD's part that I addressed earlier in the post.

"Book-6-Dumbledore" makes a big issue of Snape having "no possible way of knowing which boy Voldemort would hunt from then onwards". The "Real Dumbledore" would regard setting up any boy for Voldemort as equally bad. If Snape's "remorse" was based on Voldemort's targets being people he knew, it's not worth much, even if they had been his friends, which they weren't. It's certainly not worth a job in Hogwarts teaching the child of the victims.

Vulture, I agree with you, but I don't believe that DD's trust is based on Snape's remorse as perceived by Harry. The truth is that we don't know the real reason for Snape's remorse or why DD trusts Snape now any more than we did back in Book 1. When Tonks said she'd like to know what Snape told DD to convince him of Snape's genuine repentance, Harry's answer was wrong. What DD told Harry needs to be seen under the context that DD was explaining about Snape's eavesdopping while he was still a DE; and that Snape was really sorry about passing the information LV, because he didn't know "which boy Voldermort would hunt down from then onward, or that the parents he would destroy were...people that Professor Snape knew..." Then Harry interrupted DD, and Harry (and we) didn't hear the rest of the story. We did even get to hear the real reason DD trusted Snape when Harry asked him. He thought about telling Harry, but decided against it... we don't know why.

Ssshheeessshh...my post's as long as yours!!!!


Ana Cis - Sep 3, 2005 5:02 pm (#2714 of 2980)
Sad, but I still have more to say,

I'm speculating that the reason that DD didn't tell Harry is that Harry was not ready to hear it at this time; not because he wasn't old enough, but because they had other priorities—-finding the Horcrux. I believe the reason will be critical because at the end, Harry will need to forgive Snape in order to defeat Voldemort. The key in defeating LV , as DD has stated and T Vrana has addressed in previous posts, is Harry's capacilty to love . And as much as we have been going round and round on this, whether Snape is DE or loyal to OOP, Harry will still need to find a way to forgive him. In post #2593, Septentrion asked a very insightful question, "What if it is Harry who will save Snape?" I wouldn’t be at all surprise if this is exactly what JKR has in mind when she said about making the choice because it's right and not because it's easy. Besides, JKR doesn't want to provide any concrete indication/hint on Sanpe's reason because she feels it'll give too much away.

So we'll be going round and round on this some more.


T Vrana - Sep 3, 2005 5:15 pm (#2715 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 6:20 pm
septentrion and ana cis- "What if it is Harry who will save Snape?"

I can definately see Harry trying to save Snape as part of the completion of his journey from the boy who lived to the chosen one (as in chosen by DD to take his place)(someday).

But I think Snape may have to die. His debt is huge.

(And Harry saving him just might put him over the edge :-))


Ana Cis - Sep 3, 2005 5:48 pm (#2716 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 3, 2005 6:56 pm
I know what you mean. Maybe Snape will die, killing Voldemort to save Harry's life because Harry's eyes reminds him of Lily, whom he loved. Then Snape'll get the Order of Merlin, First Class, a Statue and/or painting at Hogwarts and be buried next to Dumbledore in his own marble grave. One of life's irony, getting the recognition in death that he never got in life.


wynnleaf - Sep 3, 2005 7:00 pm (#2717 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 8:04 pm
I so appreciate all of the posts that followed my last post. You've all made many excellent points that I wish I'd made myself! I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed and didn't feel up to answering everything in Vulture's post.

There is an aspect to all of our "takes" on the characters that I want to point out. As I alluded to in my last post, JKR makes us accept and reject characters who may actually have very similar actions, pasts, etc. in their lives -- sometimes she paints characters so "reader friendly," that we like them in spite of whatever they've done, other's she portrays with such unlikable characteristics that we use pieces of their pasts or actions to support their villainy, even if some of the "good" characters have similar pasts or actions. Other posters have mentioned a few in recent posts. I've pointed a few of these out over several of the threads. All of the ones I'll mention involve a comparison between Snape and other characters.

For instance...

We accept that Umbridge and Filch are on the good side, even though they are horrible to students. But we use what is actually far less cruel, sadistic, or vindictive actions of Snape toward students as evidence to support how likely he is to be evil.

We accept without question that it's perfectly fine for JKR to make Sirius Harry's god-father, a person Harry looks up to, something of a mentor, etc.. Sirius is a case of - literally - arrested development from his very early 20's, which are only a very few years removed from some very arrogant bullying behavior and actions which greatly endangered another student just because Sirius hated him. Yet we not only forgive Sirius all of this, we all apparently find it perfectly acceptable for Sirius to play the role of godfather, mentor, etc. to Harry. On the other hand, Snape's behavior from his teens makes him highly suspect to the reader. His spying on DD, telling LV about the prophecy, being a DE, all are held as evidence for what side he's on 16 years later, regardless of how DD views him, or the evidence that we readers get of his actions to protect or support Harry, DD, the Order, etc.

We discuss Snape's background (coming to Hogwarts knowing so much dark magic, becoming a DE, etc.) and consider whether or not this makes him the type of person who's ever to be trusted at all -- maybe he never left LV's side! Regulas Black grew up in an as dark a family of wizards as one could get and, like Snape, joined the DE's and LV just after school. We are told he got cold feet, tried to back out and was killed. We're not told anything that would lead us to believe any better of him than as a cowardly bad guy. We know nothing better about him by the age he died than we know about Snape at that age. But the moment we see "R.A.B" we almost all think -- "wow, Regulas Black was out trying to destroy LV's horcruxes!" Suddenly we're almost all ready to believe he's a hero.

I think it's because we actually "see" Snape acting mean and nasty so often -- treating Harry unfairly, and saying all sorts of cruel things to Neville or Hermione. JKR shows us this for a reason. She wants us to be upset at the stuff Snape does. If she had shown us a lot of scenes like "Snape's Worst Memory," she might risk destroying our good opinion of Sirius and James, and she doesn't want to do that -- it doesn't fit what she needs us readers to feel.


Ana Cis - Sep 3, 2005 7:23 pm (#2718 of 2980)
I agree, wynnleaf, that she's influencing our views by the way she presents her characters. Stating the obvious, that's what she's supposed to do. What's more, she's presenting it from Harry's perspective vs. a third person's perspective. For the most part, we don't see or know anymore than Harry does, deliberately allowing us to identify/connect with Harry through his experiences. Consequently, in one book a character may seem more sympathetic, but less so in another because it all depends on Harry's perspective. A prime example was Mad Eye Moody/Barty Crouch Jr.; we thought he was a good guy...(weird!)...But still a good guy, until the very end. She could be doing this with the whole series.


T Brightwater - Sep 3, 2005 7:34 pm (#2719 of 2980)
I'm sorry, folks, I still have yet to be convinced that Snape was in love with Lily. I subscribed to that theory before OotP because JKR hadn't shown us any reason for Snape's savage hatred of James, but with the Pensieve scene, she gave us a very good reason - and a good reason to suppose that Snape didn't feel much of anything for Lily, at least at that moment.

I'm not saying it isn't possible, or even plausible, I'm just saying we don't have any real evcidence that it was so. The only interaction we have seen or heard about between Snape and Lily is in that Pensieve scene; she comes to his defense, but when James dangles Snape upside down and exposes his grey underwear, even she seems to find it at least slightly funny. Here's the exact wording: Lily, whose furious expression had twitched for an instant, as though she were about to smile, said "Let him down!" (American edition, p.648)

Shortly thereafter, Snape says "I don't need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her!"

Lily blinked. "Fine," she said coolly, "I won't bother in future. And I'd wash your pants if I were you, Snivellus."

To me, Snape's line sounds like something Draco would say about Hermione, not like something Ginny would have said about Harry. I gather "Mudblood" is about as inflammatory as using the "n-word" to describe someone of African descent. And even if a person is embarassed by having his underwear exposed in front of someone he is secretly in love with, I don't think he'd resort to using the vilest insult he knew to describe her when she had just stood up for him. I know Snape is twisted, but that really doesn't sound like a term of endearment to me.

As for Snape not criticizing Lily to Harry, Snape's policy seems to be "If you can't think of anything bad to say about someone, don't say anything at all." (Have we ever heard Snape compliment anyone, other than Draco in the very first lesson?) As far as we can tell, Lily was bright, attractive, popular, funny, fair-minded, and at least possibly better than Snape at Potions. What's Snape going to say, then?

I think we at least need to consider the possibility that Snape did not have a crush on Lily, and see if we can find some other motive for Snape switching sides. I've suggested one, that somehow LV hurt and humiliated Snape worse than James did, but I'm sure we can come up with others.


haymoni - Sep 3, 2005 7:46 pm (#2720 of 2980)
It's possible that while Snape came to school knowing a lot about the Dark Arts, since his father was a Muggle, he didn't have the racist views of his Slytherin counterparts.

I have suggested that maybe he was Lily's Neville - she wouldn't have known anyone on the train, just like Hermione didn't know anyone. She sits with this greasy, geeky kid. They end up in different houses, but they stay friendly. Friendly enough that he seeks her out on summer holiday - that's when Pet overhears the Dementor bit.

But year after year, he is more loyal to his house - she to hers. By the time they are 5th years & taking their OWLS, they hardly know each other.

Lily's willing to stick up for him because James is an idiot & Severus was her friend. Snape can take care of himself and doesn't need the help of a Gryffindor and throws out the "Mudblood" comment. After years of hanging out with kids that eventually became Death Eaters, it's possible that they used the "M Word" quite frequently to the point where it just came out of his mouth without him even thinking about it.

Thus, he did not have to be in love with her.



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RoseMorninStar - Sep 3, 2005 10:26 pm (#2721 of 2980)
Edited Sep 3, 2005 11:30 pm
It is interesting, I was just reading some old interviews of JKR's. She made up 'rules' of the Wizarding world before she wrote the books, so they would be consistent. She says that those with muggle parentage or muggle born (and this goes back to the grandparents) were not allowed to be Death Eaters. Ironic, since Voldemort, by his own 'rules' would himself be a muggle-born since his father was a muggle.

So, could this have something to do with why Snape is no longer a Death eater? Could he have been rejected by Voldemort at one time because of his family history (muggle father/witch mother) and then got angry enough to seek revenge against Voldemort...or at least 'prove' himself?

In other words, could Snape have been rejected (as unworthy of being a Death Eater)... then had a strong desire to 'prove' himself to Voldemort by (saying) he would be his #1 spy.. yet truly using his excuse as a 'spy' to eventually get back at Voldemort?

Snape does not seem to make much of the pure-blood/half-blood/mud-blood ancestory for someone who is head of Slytherin house.

If you ask me, I would think many of the Death Eaters would be/should be angry at this deception/hypocrisy of Voldemorts. After all, if he demands that only 'pure-bloods' attend to him as 'servants'...those are the types of pure-bloods that Sirius' mother would have been...downright bigots! I cannot imagine they would be happy to learn that their 'Lord' is a half-blood.


Celeste Tseng - Sep 4, 2005 12:36 am (#2722 of 2980)
No problem, Kage. (actually I didn't feel offended.) Thanks very much for all your opinions!


T Vrana - Sep 4, 2005 4:16 am (#2723 of 2980)
Edited Sep 4, 2005 5:20 am
T brightwater- I would have to say that what Snape was feeling when he was completely alone, outnumbered and bullied by the Marauders, and surrounded by a crowd that laughed, or at the very least did nothing, was probably much, much more than embarrassed. Picture for a moment being an adolescent, isolated in a large group willing to participate in your humiliation, either actively or passively by watching. Rage and humiliation I think are more accurate, especially for an adolescent male.

I agree with Haymoni that add on top of this the exposure to Slytherins who, like Draco, use it frequently, and I can see the comment becoming Snape's worst memory because he didn't really mean it.

Snape could comment of Lily's poor taste in husbands, or her foolishness at getting killed listening to James, and trusting Black etc. But he says absolutely nothing. At the very least I think Snape respected Lily's talent as a witch, and her willingness to step out of the crowd and say stop. That alone may have been enough for Snape to realize he was on the wrong side when it was brought home that LV was destroying wizards and witches like her.

I mentioned once before that Snape seems to be emotionally immature, and that we learn to love, as humans, over time. Our love at first is very selfish. Ask a very young child why they love their mommy, and they will list all the things she does for him/her (she feeds me, buys me toys etc.). This grows over time through stages that end up including empathy and the willingness to sacrifice for others.

I think Snape was able to remain emotionally detached from the evil LV was doing, until it became personal for him. This is an immature reaction, but it is a step toward more emotional maturity. Once he could feel this for Lily (not James, I think James was an obligation), he could begin to understand that this fear for her and, later, pain at her loss are felt by others who lose the "strangers" he was willing to put in harm's way. (The pain is not why he came back, that came later, but perhaps it is why he stayed and why DD believes his recovery is real).

Rose morning star- I don't think LV is muggle born. I am pretty sure muggle born refers to folks like Hermione who have two muggle parents.


wynnleaf - Sep 4, 2005 6:13 am (#2724 of 2980)
Edited Sep 4, 2005 7:23 am
Vulture, I’m glad so many people answered your post and I agree with almost all of the responses. There are a few comments you made that I don’t think anyone has responded to yet, so I’m going to try to catch those.

I had said much earlier: “I knew perfectly well (DD having said so), that Snape's remorse about the Potters came well after he convinced DD he switched sides “

To which you responded: “When did Dumbledore say that? _ I've read Book 6 several times now (got it out of the library, didn't buy it), and never saw that. If I had seen it, it might help convince me of the plot point about Snape's loyalty”

It’s not in Book 6. It’s in GoF in the pensieve scene. DD says in the pensieve that Snape became a spy for the Order before LV’s downfall (obviously therefore before the Potter’s deaths). Since I knew that before I read Book 6, it colored the way I viewed DD’s comments in Book 6 about Snape’s remorse over their deaths.

“Also, I notice that your whole case for Dumbledore keeping this under raps fails to address the problem of a secret which depends on Trelawney, a weird old bat with a known drinking problem.”

You feel that one reason DD should have known better than to keep Snape’s listening at the keyhole a secret is because Trelawney had a drinking problem and could spill the beans, as it were, at any time. Maybe I missed this in the rest of the books, but HBP is the first time I remember seeing her drinking – I assumed that maybe she was stressed out after Umbridge and the fact that LV was so clearly back. So her telling Harry (who spoke to her as rarely as was possible anyway), would have been little risk.

“LV can get in his head whenever he wants if he so desires _ Really ? We must be reading different books. I seem to remember that the exact opposite (Harry getting into LV's head) is the case for most of Book 5, and that, the one time Lord V does try getting into Harry's head, he suffers mortal agony.”

We obviously interpreted OOTP differently. As I read it, LV could plant the vision of Sirius kidnapped and being tortured in the MoM in Harry’s head with no agony at all. When LV sort of took possession of Harry’s body briefly at the MoM and spoke directly to DD through Harry’s voice, it was Harry that felt the excruciating pain, the “mortal agony,” not LV.

“Snape's life would be forfeit if his spying was revealed _ I wouldn't worry too much; both sides seem hell-bent on believing that Snape is their own, whatever he does. I mean, if you can kill your Commander-In-Chief and still have readers convinced you're on his side ..”

Whether I worry about it or not isn’t the point. Would DD worry about it and not want Snape killed? Yes, I think so.

“Maybe you think it's right to have a young lad being bullied in class for 6 years by a teacher who was an accessory to the murder of the lad's parents, but I don't _ and the "Real Dumbledore" certainly wouldn't.”

Hmm, well who’s the “real” DD? As I understand JKR’s characterization of DD, it makes sense that he would find it very possible to look at the mistakes of a teenager – who he believed had definitely turned away from his past wrongs – as something that could be forgiven. I don’t think he’d continue to hold Snape’s teenage mistakes against him as an adult. Remember, when Harry arrives at Hogwarts, it’s been about 12 years since Snape listened at that door. I don’t think it’s particularly terrible to keep this from Harry. And up until the end of OOTP, Harry didn’t even know there was a prophecy or informant. If DD was keeping that from him (admittedly a mistake, DD says), he'd naturally keep the informant part a secret, too.

“But his image at the end is very Dungeons & Dragons _ all slavering and foaming, and now-you-see-me-on-your-side-now-you-don't.”

If you think Snape in Book 6 has deteriorated to a cut-out villain, I suppose one might see the end chapters that way. If on the other hand, one sees Snape on the right side, but having to do this extraordinary thing that he hates doing, then he no longer seems like a D&D villain, but a trapped anti-hero of many dimensions. The guy AKing DD, running from Hogwarts with Draco, ordering the other DE’s out, easily deflecting Harry’s curses, trapped like the dog in the flaming house – based on what I knew about Snape, I would never have described his characterization in those chapters as D&Dish.

On occlumency : see post #2713

You mentioned that DD said Snape "is now no more a Death Eater than I am". And you said “I don't believe that the "Real Dumbledore" would say this if all he had to go on was Snape claiming remorse for the death of James;”

Well, of course, we’ve been discussing quite a lot that there are other reasons, but we don’t know what they are. We know at least some those reasons pre-dated the Potter’s deaths as I mentioned above. I can’t understand this criticism when the earlier books clearly told us that Snape was already a spy for DD, and therefore whatever reason DD had for trusting Snape, it must pre-date James and Lily’s deaths.

“The "Real Dumbledore" would regard setting up any boy for Voldemort as equally bad.”

Several others addressed this excellently.

Wow! Well, I think everything in your posts is finally covered by me or somebody else.


T Vrana - Sep 4, 2005 6:27 am (#2725 of 2980)
Edited Sep 4, 2005 7:30 am
"that Snape's remorse about the Potters came well after he convinced DD he switched sides"

I'm not sure this is true. Snape switched sides before the Potter's deaths, but I assumed the remorse was for putting them in harm's way by revealing the prophesy to LV. Once he realized who LV was going after, he switched and tried to prevent the actual deaths, and failed. I don't necessarily think DD was referring just to the remorse for their deaths.

I know there could be other reasons he switched, but I don't thnk we can rule out that he switched sides out of remorse for putting the Potter's in LV's path. We know DD is the only wizard LV feared, it makes sense to me that Snape would turn to DD if he indeed wanted to save the Potters, because of his debt to James, and/or respect for Lily.


wynnleaf - Sep 4, 2005 6:35 am (#2726 of 2980)
In the scene in PoA "The Marauder's Map" where Fudge and McGonagall tell Rosmerta about Sirius' supposed betrayal, they say that a spy of DD's told him that LV was targeting the Potters. They didn't say a disaffecting DE came and told DD that. I would take that to mean that Snape (almost certainly the spy in question), was already spying for DD when he came and told DD that LV had targeted the Potters.


T Vrana - Sep 4, 2005 6:55 am (#2727 of 2980)
Now Wynnleaf, do you really think Fudge would say disaffecting DE? They are talking about events from years before, and Fudge would only say what he knew, and briefly, spy covers any number of options (recently disaffected, long tern disaffected, recent plant, long term undercover agent). I don't see DD telling Fudge the whole story, just what he needed to know. "I have a spy close to LV...". How and when that spy came to DD would have been none of Fudge's business, IMO. DD kept the details between himself and Snape. From the moment Snape came to DD, asked for help, and agreed to spy, he would have been a spy. When did Fudge learn the story? At that time? Perhaps not. DD is careful to limit the number of people who know what is going on when LV is alive, so that his spies and knowledge are not compromised. It is actually quite likely, in my mind, that Fudge only heard all the details after LV seemed to be gone.


Weeny Owl - Sep 4, 2005 8:14 am (#2728 of 2980)
Trelawney was drunk when Umbridge fired her, but she might have started drinking that year with it continuing Harry's sixth year.

As for the whole blood thing, JKR said the following on her website:

Snape’s ancestry is hinted at. He was a Death Eater, so clearly he is no Muggle born, because Muggle borns are not allowed to be Death Eaters, except in rare circumstances.

We find out in HPB that Snape is a half-blood, and Hermione said something to the effect that there weren't enough purebloods left for all the Death Eaters to be pureblood, so some were trying to pass themselves off as purebloods when they weren't.


wynnleaf - Sep 4, 2005 8:29 am (#2729 of 2980)
T Vrana, that’s a valid point. I have been looking closely at the time line for more clues. I’ll start with the Potter’s deaths, in Oct., or according to the Lexicon timeline, October, 1981, and work backward from there.

In “The Marauder’s Map” chapter of POA, we’re told that after the Potters were warned that LV was after them, they went in hiding, getting a secret keeper. Only about a week after the Fidelius Charm (for the secret keeper) was performed, they were killed. Assuming they tried to go into hiding very, very soon after getting the warning, then I think we can conclude that the knowledge that LV was targeting the Potters occurred no earlier than late Sept., 1981.

Harry was born in July 1980. Trelawney would have made her prediction before his birth, but while applying for a position at Hogwarts for that year. Snape also was attempting to apply for a position at that time, heard part of the prophecy, and passed it on to LV.

In the Lexicon time line, Snape’s comments to Umbridge about how long he’s been at Hogwarts, puts him starting to teach at Hogwarts in 1981. The school year starts in August. That’s at least a couple of months before he would have been warning DD about LV targeting the Potters.

I tend to think DD wouldn’t have hired Snape immediately at the time he came to DD saying he wanted to leave LV’s side. This is my assumption, but I would think DD would have him spy for awhile first and be over to the good side for at least a little while before hiring him to teach at Hogwarts. So I would guess that Snape came to DD sometime during the 1980/81 school year – after Harry’s birth, but well before Snape heard that the Potters were to be targeted and told DD. You have to wonder why DD would hire a 20 year old to teach at Hogwarts, regardless of the DE stuff. It makes sense if Snape was currently spying for DD, and working at Hogwarts would make him more valuable to LV, giving him a better “in” with the bad side, as well as giving him an excuse to be in close proximity to DD so they could confer privately without LV’s knowledge.

The Lexicon notes say that it’s slightly possible, from various pieces of text, that Snape came to teach in Nov. or Dec., 1981. While that would be after the Potter’s deaths, it presents several implausible things. It would mean that Slughorn left Hogwarts very suddenly in the Fall of 1981. Since he appeared in good health, and hadn’t taken on another job, it’s a strange time to retire. It’s pretty rare for teachers to quit during the school year without some sort of major life changing event taking place in their lives – like a health crisis, etc. Also, if Snape didn’t come over to the good side until just prior to the Potter’s deaths, when he learned they’d been targeted, that would mean that DD hired him to be a teacher at a very youthful age, when there was no longer a need for Snape to have a close double spy relationship, and immediately after his disaffection from the bad side.


septentrion - Sep 4, 2005 9:13 am (#2730 of 2980)
The Lexicon notes say that it’s slightly possible, from various pieces of text, that Snape came to teach in Nov. or Dec., 1981

I don't believe it either because Snape says in Spinner's End he came to Hogwarts on LV's order.

About DD not telling Snape was the eavesdropper who reported the prophecy to LV, I wonder if it's one of DD's mistake : by telling it, Harry would have had time to come to term with that idea. On the other hand, DD insists on the fact that the reasons why Snape changed sides are between Snape and him, and the fact Snape was the eavesdropper may very well be one of them. When Harry confronted DD about it, it seemed to come as a blow to DD and he was very reluctant to elaborate.


Ana Cis - Sep 4, 2005 9:45 am (#2731 of 2980)
T Brightwater, post #2719

"I'm sorry, folks, I still have yet to be convinced that Snape was in love with Lily. I subscribed to that theory before OotP because JKR hadn't shown us any reason for Snape's savage hatred of James, but with the Pensieve scene, she gave us a very good reason - and a good reason to suppose that Snape didn't feel much of anything for Lily, at least at that moment.

I'm not saying it isn't possible, or even plausible, I'm just saying we don't have any real evcidence that it was so."

That's the whole point. Except for the Pensieve episode, JKR is very silent about the whole relationship. She could have easily said that Snape felt no attraction, or just respected her as a classmate, or even that he held he in contempt; it wouldn't have given anything away about the ending of the story. We would then be wracking our brains to find out what this remorse about, and still arguing on whether Snape is on the good side or bad side. Jo had no problem telling us about Lupin's feelings towards Lily. However, when it comes to Snape's feelings about Lily, there's a huge blank. IMO her silence tells me that Snape had strong feelings for Lily.

Wynnleaf,post 2724:

You're correct in the fact that prior to Voldemort's agony from his possession of Harry, LV could read Harry's emotion/thoughts thereby influence Harry. However, that's no longer possible for two reasons. *First, LV's search for immortality shows that his immense survival instincts; the agony he went through when he possessed Harry, and the defeats he's gone through every time he's confronted Harry have LV spooked. He's not going there again until he finds a way to clearly defend himself against Harry. *Second, Harry's survival instincts are also very strong; also, his senses have probably heightened significantly after that experience. Even if for some reason LV tries to access Harry's mind, Harry, since his emotions are always so close to the surface, will instinctively start thinking about Sirius or Dumbledore and his great love for them. IMO these emotions would immediately cause LV agony.


T Brightwater - Sep 4, 2005 4:37 pm (#2732 of 2980)
Ana Cis, and others, I'm not saying that it's impossible for Snape to have been in love with Lily, just that we don't have any direct evidence that he was. And more than once JKR has said that she doesn't like squashing theories unless they're really unproductive, like Snape being a vampire, so I don't think we can take her silence as consent either. If anything, she could be highly amused at the idea.

As for Snape not saying anything about Lily to Harry, we can't take that as evidence for anything except that he didn't hate her obsessively as he did James and Sirius. He doesn't say anything about anyone else's parents, after all. I think the fact that he doestalk about James so much is evidence of a scar that won't heal, largely because Snape keeps picking at it.

Frankly, there's better evidence for Stan Shunpike being a Death Eater. :-)


Ana Cis - Sep 4, 2005 5:31 pm (#2733 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 4, 2005 6:34 pm
T Brightwater, are you from Missouri, the show me state?

In seriousness, I understand your point and I respect it.

Buuttt, I like to make up all of these off the wall fantasies until Jo Rowling comes out with book 7. It's more fun!!!!


RoseMorninStar - Sep 4, 2005 6:49 pm (#2734 of 2980)
Edited Sep 4, 2005 7:49 pm
T Vrana, I'am sorry if I used the wrong term (regarding Voldemort's blood status). I had just finished reading a bunch of interviews that JKR had given on the subject and I guess I got them a bit mixed up. I thought she was implying (in the following piece*) that even one muggle-born grandparent would render one to have 'polluted blood' and therefore muggle born. As I re-read the interview I see that is not what it said/meant.

*The expressions 'pure-blood', 'half-blood' and 'Muggle-born' have been coined by people to whom these distinctions matter, and express their originators' prejudices. As far as somebody like Lucius Malfoy is concerned, for instance, a Muggle-born is as 'bad' as a Muggle. Therefore Harry would be considered only 'half' wizard, because of his mother's grandparents. If you think this is far-fetched, look at some of the real charts the Nazis used to show what constituted 'Aryan' or 'Jewish' blood. I saw one in the Holocaust Museum in Washington when I had already devised the 'pure-blood', 'half-blood' and 'Muggle-born' definitions, and was chilled to see that the Nazis used precisely the same warped logic as the Death Eaters. A single Jewish grandparent 'polluted' the blood, according to their propaganda.


kage - Sep 5, 2005 5:21 am (#2735 of 2980)
Edited Sep 5, 2005 6:28 am
34 post to catch up with, oh dear...

Vulture "...the Dumbledore of Book 6 does things which are simply not consistent with his character in Books 1 to 5 _ what I call "the Real Dumbledore."

It appears to me that we haven't seen much of the real Dumbledore before HBP. In books 1-5 he is mostly the headmaster with (grand-)fatherly feelings for Harry. Feelings that he might not even have expected to have or at least not expected that they'd run this deep. It wasn't before OOP that we learned about the existence of Order, that Snape was indeed a double-spy and that destroying Voldemort is really complex business. In HBP now this is carried further and we see the strategic Dumbledore whos first aim is to defeat Voldemort. A DD who not only gives shelter and second chances to people like Snape (and others), but also uses them, or rather puts them to good use in his fight against Voldemort.

T Brightwater, I have great difficulty in seeing Severus and Lilly holding hands or even snogging. And I'm still hesitant to believe Lilly is the one and only reason for Mr. Snapes return to DDs side and DD trusting him so much. But it's the amount of hints that makes me think that there must be something to it. Blacks prank doesn't explain Mr. Snapes boiling emotions for all things Potter-and-associates sufficiently. And how many completely new stories can be added to the mix? - Not so many, I guess/hope.

What I can see is a young Severus going obsessive about the only girl (person?) that has ever been friendly to him. And I can also see a Mr. Snape who is just as obsessive about hating the people who, from his point of view, got her killed. Especially when he himself was the one who set LV on their tracks and failed to save them.

If I go on with this assumption I come to the question "Why on earth can DD not just tell Harry right away so they can make peace?!" When Harry comes to Hogwarts he is only 11. You can't tell an 11 year old that his teacher was involved in his parents death but now feels remorse because he loved the mother and helps to get rid of the murderer. You just can't. But to defeat Voldemort DD needs both, Harry as the 'ultimate weapon' and Snape as spy. And he would want both of them at Hogwarts. Harry for educational reasons, that's simple. And Mr. Snape is already there and he can't kick him out because

LV sent him there and DD wants LV to believe he has a spy at Hogwarts
this way it's easy and unsuspicous for Mr. Snape to make contact with DD for reporting
at Hogwarts Mr. Snape is safe from Voldemort ordering him to do any more evil
This way it all makes a lot of sense to me.

DD really should have explained this to Harry, I admit in HBP, but well, he didn't. Maybe he wanted to but waited until it was too late.


Saracene - Sep 5, 2005 5:27 am (#2736 of 2980)
Regarding Snape and Neville: it´s true that he treats him with more nastiness than anyone else, but I wouldn´t necessarily put it to some deep hidden reasons. It´s not uncommon for a teacher with a nasty streak to simply pick out a soft-natured student who is the least capable of defending themselves.

Going back to the posts that talk about the whole Snape fandom thing, I definitely don´t -like- him even though he´s one of my favourite characters. He´s a pretty darn appalling individual and I wouldn´t want to actually meet anyone like him in real life. But what really draws me in I think is this potential for tremendous redemption story I´ve been sensing around him for a while. It´s really quite ridiculous to feel so invested in a fictional character when I think about it, but I just feel that Snape turning out to be evil after all would probably the most depressing turn the books could have taken.


Ann - Sep 5, 2005 6:12 am (#2737 of 2980)
kage, I think you're quite right that we haven't seen much of DD before this book. Actually, most of the adult characters are slowly emerging as Harry (and hence our viewpoint) becomes more mature and begins to understand their complexity. Snape is, however, a character who he does not--will not--see as a complex adult, because he is so fond of the 'cartoon villain' view of him that he had as a child. It satisfies many of his needs--he needs someone to blame for all the pain he's suffered, and Voldemort isn't there. JKR's skill as a writer is to give us a lot of the information/evidence that we need to construct a truer view of Snape (and some of the other characters--even Hermione, to some extent), but give it to us with Harry's views on its interpretation. This way, we are let to interpret it as he does, but when she shows us what's really going on (as she does with Snape and Quirrell in Book One and Moody in Book Four) it's clear that a lot of the evidence was there.

About the time-line for Snape's turning spy: We have only a little information at what point between hearing the prophecy and the Death of Voldemort Snape turned back to Dumbledore. Dumbledore said it was when he realized that Voldemort was going after the Potters. I would assume that this decision happened fairly quickly after he heard the prophecy. It was clearly an instinctive, personal decision--he felt that the half-blood was more threatening because he was a half-blood himself. Voldemort was probably quite aware of any witch or wizard who had defied him three times. The prophecy was made several months before Harry's birth ("shortly"; the cold wet night might have been June in Scotland, I know, but autumn or winter seems more likely from the tone of Dumbledore's account). I've wondered if Snape had perhaps had a run-in with the Longbottoms and was particularly pleased and eager to think that Voldemort would now go after them. (This would explain why he treats Neville so badly.) Even if he'd thought of the Potters, Snape was a half-blood in a movement that extolled pure-bloods, and he would assume that the Longbottom's child would be seen as more likely. I'm sure he didn't know that Voldemort himself was a half-blood--I think very few DEs know that. Or he may simply not have thought at all--he was simply an over-enthusiastic teenager with a (warped) cause. But I think he realized his mistake and was struck by remorse very soon indeed...perhaps the very night of the prophecy. Which would mean he'd be well established as a spy by the time, 15 to 24 months later, that the Potters were killed. Snape's "mistake" may have been partly responsible for the Potters' deaths, but his "remorse" probably gave Harry that crucial first year of their love (or even allowed him to be born at all).


kage - Sep 5, 2005 6:27 am (#2738 of 2980)
Edited Sep 5, 2005 7:27 am
Do we know at what time the Longbottoms have been tortured and who did it? Bellatrix was involved, I believe to remember...

"Voldemort was probably quite aware of any witch or wizard who had defied him three times." Shouldn't Mr. Snape have known that, too? Even if Snape hoped LV would go after the Longbottoms there still was the possibility of LV deciding on the Potters.


T Vrana - Sep 5, 2005 7:12 am (#2739 of 2980)
Wynnleaf and Ann- In looking at what DD tells Harry the night he reveals the prophesy:

1) it is June 1996, and DD tells Harry 16 years ago he heard the prophesy on a cold wet rainy night. This struck me as early spring because:

a)DD didn't say a little over 16 years ago (though he tells Harry, just short of 16 years ago the boy who could defeat LV was born)

b) I think of spring as rainy (though I am coming from a New England background, not Scotland)

c) When Trelawney refers to the 7th month, it seems to mean that year. She doesn't say the seventh month of the the 1980th year. If she were not in 1980, it seems a reference to a year would be there.

d)DD's reference to a boy born that year seems to mean that year 1980

e) Spring would seem the appropriate time to apply for a new school year position in the fall.

If this is true, Snape was listening at the door in Spring 1980.

Trelawney tells Umbridge she has been teaching nearly 16 years in the Fall of 95, so she started Fall 1980.

Snape tells Umbridge 14 years, that puts him at Fall 1981 (Wynnleaf, how was it determined it may have been other than the start of year? We have never seen a teacher change mid-year, so I've assumed he started teaching Sept. 1, 1981).

Fudge says the Potters went into hiding, but also that it was suspected that someone was telling LV about the Potters movements, and a Fidelius Charm was recommended. This tells me there was a lapse of time between the warning and the charm, in which the Potters were moving around (no need to do this after the charm). That their movements were being reported to LV would seem to be the reason for the Fidelius charm.

I don't think Snape could have known who the prophesy meant until Harry and Neville were born, boys. Earliest July 31, 1980. But knowing the prophesy, it would seem that the news of the two boys birth might have been kept quiet at the advice of DD. So it could take LV time to figure out who the families were. Pettigrew, of course, would have been able to leak this info.

Once LV determined there were two boys he had to pick. We still do not know why he picked Harry. Perhaps this picking process took some time.

Since Snape was unaware that Pettigrew was a DE, it is also possible he was left out of the Potter discussion until very late in the plan. It seems possible to me that Snape learned of the plan when he should not have and returned to DD, remorseful over what the prophesy was being used for.

He began teaching Sept, 1, 1981 (presumably at the start of term as always), the charm would have been performed Oct 24 or later (less than a week from Oct 31). If he approached DD in August, that would leave some time for the "movements" of the Potters being reported,and DD's advice to use a fidelius charm with DD as secret keeper. I would also think DD would take Snape in immediately if he beleived his remorse and story, not leave him out to test him.

Bit rambling, trying to do this quickly....


Vulture - Sep 5, 2005 7:49 am (#2740 of 2980)
Hi, wynnleaf - In reply to your post #2706 (Sep 3, 2005 2:03 pm), it sounds to me as if you're taking what I say personally; if you aren't, then fine, but anyway, it's not meant personally. I do get annoyed at bad writing, but I don't get annoyed at people just because they've different views. Refusing to debate valid points _ well, it doesn't invalidate them, for a start, and it seems to me a negation of what the Lexicon is all about.

I should say that anything I put in posts is simply my opinion, and I'm not asking anyone else to agree with me _ I've made this clear before.

views of Book 6, and how well it’s written, do seem to have a great deal to do with what one’s viewpoint on the various characters, plot, etc. were going into the book, and how well one’s expectations, etc. about those characters, the directions the plot went, etc. I disagree. I know it may seem like that sometimes, but I have no problem with JKR (or any writer) totally blowing my view of a character out of the water, if it's well written and convincing. This is not the case with several parts of Book 6, the Snape-eavesdropper passage being one of them. (Again, this is simply my opinion _ feel free to disagree.)

When blowing readers' expectations of a character out of the water, the difference between good and bad writing is that (1) though surprised, the reader is convinced, and (2) on re-reading the passage several times, one sees how, behind the initial surprise, there is an ultimate consistency in the character's depiction that causes him/her to develop in that way. (By the way, I am not, here, saying that a given character him/herself is necessarily a consistent person _ their inconsistency may be in their character.)

On specific points:

Somehow, whatever Sirius and James did as teenagers is totally okay - completely forgivable for most readers - they were just teenagers. But Snape's actions as a - what - about 19 year old - are obviously indicative of a totally evil person. OK, firstly _ I have never said that "whatever Sirius and James did as teenagers is totally okay", and in fairness to "most readers", I think most would agree with me in applauding Harry's reaction to what he sees done to Snape in the Pensieve. Secondly, you may have sharper eyes than I, but I see no evidence that Snape was as young as 19 when he eavesdropped on the prophecy. Thirdly, given that I'm against JKR's idea of depicting Snape as the eavesdropper, I'm surprised you don't agree with me, if you like Snape. (However, it's not like or dislike of Snape that made me object.)

It is not your vision of DD. Obviously, since JKR has planned this rather intricately out for years, it is her vision. I did not find this out of line with DD – after all, only a few years prior to Snape’s telling LV the partial prophecy, Sirius had attempted to send Snape into Lupin/werewolf’s path. Yet it’s just fine that he gets to be (in JKR’s plotline) Harry’s godfather. Some sort of disconnect here??

Well, on Dumbledore _ all you're saying is that you don't like what I'm saying; you haven't engaged with my specific points. On Sirius, James made him godfather a long time after school.


wynnleaf - Sep 5, 2005 8:34 am (#2741 of 2980)
Edited Sep 5, 2005 9:56 am
Vulture,

When I said “totally fine” with most readers, I don’t mean that most have no problem with what Sirius did as a teenager, but that practically no one sees his actions as particular evidence of a bad character. So for DD to trust Sirius is generally okay with most readers. DD can be wise and wonderful, trust Sirius, encourage his mentoring of Harry – and I have yet to see anyone consider this problematic or inconsistent with DD making wise decisions. Yet Sirius, even as an adult, when referring to his sending Snape into the jaws of a werewolf says, “it served him right,” and continued on to say that it served Snape right because Snape was spying on their school boy larks and might have gotten them expelled (POA, "Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs"). Wow! And that’s Sirius the adult talking! But we as readers still don’t mind DD encouraging Harry and Sirius’ relationship.

In other words, if it feels so consistent with DD’s character to forgive this character problem in Sirius, why would it feel so inconsistent to many readers for DD’s character to forgive Snape’s teenage transgressions?

Snape, by the way, was born around 1960, and eavesdropped on Trelawney and DD in about 1979, possibly spring of 1980. That made him about 19, possibly 20 at the time. He had apparently joined the DE’s immediately after Hogwarts, so he would have been about 18 when he joined. That means he was a teenager as a DE, and likely a teenager when he eavesdropped.

I wrote a post a while back where I pointed out how easily readers are lead to think well of one person and badly of another over evidence that is actually very similar. There’s a big contingent of readers who think R.A.B. is Regulas, which sort of makes him a bit of a hero. Regulas grew up in a very Dark family, joined LV right out of Hogwarts, and we don’t know a single good thing about him other than that he apparently tried to leave LV’s service and died. Yet despite this, there’s this great willingness to accept him as doing this heroic thing – all because of the initials. Yet Snape’s early interest in the Dark Arts, his joining the DEs right out of school, is held up as evidence for his being truly bad and his really leaving LV’s service is questioned extensively. That’s a lot of what I was trying to get at in my post to you. We bring to Book 6 what we’re willing to believe about various characters. If Book 6 played to what we’re willing to believe, it tends to seem stronger, if not, it feels like a weakness in the writing. Maybe it is a weakness in the writing that everyone didn’t “get” the same things out of it. But for me, it was a strong book and the characters worked based on my prior understanding of them from the previous books.

The reason I initially didn’t want to address your specific points – although if you read all of my posts, I eventually did address them – was because I did not write my original post (#2651) that you answered in order to present individual points for argument. I had hoped to be clear that those points I brought up were simply to give examples of the way another reader (me) could have a very different “take” on the characters, based on the things in the books that had stood out to me, and because of that, the book came across as quite strong. I presented those points simply as examples that differing observations of the text could produce different expectations in the characters. When you decided to argue each of my examples, as though the point of my post was to convince anyone of the individual examples, you completely missed the point of that post. That’s why I didn’t initially want to go back and argue the points – they had not initially been “points” I wanted to present, but examples of how people can view things differently.

When you argued each example as a point to be challenged, it seemed as though you were not solely challenging specific points, but challenging my view that the book was a strong book. In other words, it seemed that you were saying, “you’re not right about this being a good book. If you only realized how incorrect your “take” on the characters was, you’d see that it was a weak book.” Since my intent was not to argue the point, but simply show how different views of the strength of the book come about, arguing the points seemed well – in a word – pointless.

I have no problem debating theories, takes on character, clues in the books, etc. But that was not my intent in that post and I had attempted to make that clear. Perhaps I was extremely unclear in that.

I said, in #2651 “I won’t go on about each item. What I’m trying to point out is that it all depends on how you “read” what was going on. Many readers still are pretty sure Snape’s on the Order’s side and DD and Snape worked together, and as a result, probably found the book much more satisfying, even if many might agree to certain flaws. “

Surely you must see that there must be some reasons why many think it’s a strong book and others think it’s a weak book. I mean, it’s not because those of us who think it’s a strong book are just deluded and mis-read the characters in the first 5 books. I was trying to get at why I believe many were able to feel that the book was strong and that the characters were well portrayed. I was not trying to debate about whether or not any particular understandings of the characters or events were correct or incorrect.


T Vrana - Sep 5, 2005 9:09 am (#2742 of 2980)
vulture- on depicting Snape as an eavesdropper...

Snape was a DE and a very bad guy, when he was 18-20 ish. Among the bad things he did, eavesdropping (perhaps he did worse things we don't know about!) and this eavesdropping led to Harry's parents being killed. I think we all agree on this.

Where we seem to part ways is that those of us "on Snape's side" agree with DD that it is possible to do terrible things, repent and redeem oneself. DD thinks Snape did just that. We don't know if he did, but we have looked at Snape's actions and come up with more good stuff than bad stuff, in recent history. All of your examples are from the past, except his bullying of students which isn't really evidence of being a DE, just being nasty.

You may be right. Snape may still be a really sneaky bad guy and a DE, but there is plenty of evidence that Snape is torn, tormented and trapped by what he has done in the past, and while he is still nasty, he's trying to fix what he did.

I get the feeling from your posts that redemption is not part of the possibility for you for Snape, but I can't help but think this has to be a big part of Book 7, as will be forgiveness on Harry's part.

I would like to address the "real DD" but have to go.


T Brightwater - Sep 5, 2005 10:50 am (#2743 of 2980)
Edited Sep 5, 2005 11:50 am
Where we seem to part ways is that those of us "on Snape's side" agree with DD that it is possible to do terrible things, repent and redeem oneself. - T Vrana

You don't have to be "on Snape's side" to agree with the possibility of redemption. My current take on the enigmatic Professor is that he has not been redeemed up to this point, but that he will be in Book 7. I think heretofore he has been keeping his options open, and was leaning more towards DD because he thought he was the stronger, but now that circumstances have forced him into open support of Voldemort, he will realize he made the wrong choice in killing DD, and this time he really will feel remorse - and, with remorse, experience a true change of heart.

I don't see any evidence of metanoia in Snape up to this point. He is extremely sensitive of his dignity, and he does not seem ever to have experienced real joy, only malicious glee and the occasional satisfied smirk. For me, the transformation of Sirius's face when Harry said he would like to come and live with him, is evidence that, for all of his major flaws and arrested development, Sirius could feel love and joy; he was "recognizably the man who had laughed at Harry's parents' wedding" - another occasion of love and joy. I do not get that feeling from Snape; rather, like Voldemort, he seems to reject love and joy, willfully, because they are undignified. (Consider Snape at the Yule Ball. We don't see him dance; rather, he's prowling the rose garden looking for couples "snogging", so that he can punish and embarrass them.)

Having said that, I do not believe that he is doomed to remain forever loveless and joyless, because the series is all about choices. Snape still has the choice of letting go of his hatred of James, and, perhaps more importantly, of letting go of his own injured dignity. In fact, I want to see that. I want to see Snape transfigured by joy, really forgiving James and Sirius and being forgiven by Harry. Whatever he has to go through to get there will be worth it, for him and for us.


wynnleaf - Sep 5, 2005 10:59 am (#2744 of 2980)
T Vrana,

What clues or evidence are you using to base your understanding of James and Lily being in hiding for a number of weeks prior to performing the Fidelius Charm? I’m wondering if I’m missing some other clues. You said:

“Fudge says the Potters went into hiding, but also that it was suspected that someone was telling LV about the Potters movements, and a Fidelius Charm was recommended. This tells me there was a lapse of time between the warning and the charm, in which the Potters were moving around (no need to do this after the charm). That their movements were being reported to LV would seem to be the reason for the Fidelius charm.”

“He began teaching Sept, 1, 1981 (presumably at the start of term as always), the charm would have been performed Oct 24 or later (less than a week from Oct 31). If he approached DD in August, that would leave some time for the "movements" of the Potters being reported,and DD's advice to use a fidelius charm with DD as secret keeper. I would also think DD would take Snape in immediately if he beleived his remorse and story, not leave him out to test him.”

There’s certainly some room for discussion on this one. Here’s some of Fudge’s comments from POA, The Marauder’s Map:

“Not many people are aware that the Potter’s knew You Know Who was after them. Dumbledore, who was of course working tirelessly against You Know Who, had a number of useful spies. One of them tipped him off, and he alerted James and Lily at once. He advised them to go into hiding……Dumbledore told them that their best chance was the Fidelius Charm.”

At that point, my interpretation is that DD was recommending the Fidelius Charm at the same time that he was telling the Potters to go into hiding. There follows a bit of discussion on how James wanted to use Sirius as Secret Keeper, and Dumbledore was offering to do it. But then Fudge goes on:

“barely a week after the Fidelius Charm had been performed – “ That’s when they were betrayed and killed.

So if they were killed on Oct. 31, (is this canon?), then the charm was performed somewhere around Oct. 23. If DD was told by his spy (who we assume to be Snape) that the Potters were being targeted by LV all the way back before September 1, well that means they spent almost 8 weeks between being told both to hide and to use the Fidelius Charm, and actually choosing a Secret Keeper and performing the charm. I can’t find anything in Fudge’s narrative that indicates they spend a period of time in hiding (other than maybe a few days deciding who the Secret Keeper will be) before doing the Fidelius Charm.

Am I overlooking some other places in the books where more on the story of James and Lily’s going into hiding is discussed? I’m wondering if I’m missing something. Or are you reading the Fudge narrative a bit differently, maybe?

T Brightwater, I liked your post. "Having said that, I do not believe that he is doomed to remain forever loveless and joyless, because the series is all about choices. Snape still has the choice of letting go of his hatred of James, and, perhaps more importantly, of letting go of his own injured dignity. In fact, I want to see that. I want to see Snape transfigured by joy, really forgiving James and Sirius and being forgiven by Harry. Whatever he has to go through to get there will be worth it, for him and for us."

Although I think Snape's already on the Order's side, I'd love to see this, too. I can't see how it would happen if Snape dies in Book 7, which I fear he will.


T Vrana - Sep 5, 2005 11:55 am (#2745 of 2980)
Edited Sep 5, 2005 12:58 pm
Hi, Wynnleaf-

"He was sure that somebody close to the Potters had been keeping You-Know-Who informed of their movements.." (McGonogall, POA, same chapter).

It would seem to me that once the Fidleius Charm was used, the Potter's would have been stationary at Godric's Hollow, not moving around. I took this to mean they were moving around, hiding, but DD was told someone was telling LV where they were,and he recommended the Fidelius Charm.

You left out a key part of Fudge's quote!

"He advised them to go into hiding. WELL OF COURSE, YOU-KNOW-WHO WASN'T AN EASY PERSON TO HIDE FROM. DD told them that their best chance was the Fidelius Charm." (Caps to show the left out part, don't know how to change type to show any other way).

It seems to me the Potters were in hiding but moving around and news got back to DD that LV was getting info about their locations and movements and advised them to do the Fidelis Charm. At this point James would have said he was using Black, DD would have questioned this since it was someone close to the Potters telling LV where they were moving, but James said Black was his guy, they did the Fidelus Charm (but with Pettigrew). The rest is history.

If it was as you say, the Potters heard LV was after them and did the fidelis right away, why question using Black? There needed to be a space between learning LV was after the Potters and doing the charm in order for there to be a question about who was watching their movements and reporting back to LV.

Hope this makes sense, I have limited time today...

T Brightwater-

"I want to see that. I want to see Snape transfigured by joy"

I think Snape is way too damaged for this...I think the best he can hope for is redemption, and he may have to pay with his life for it.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 5, 2005 12:54 pm (#2746 of 2980)
Edited Sep 5, 2005 2:00 pm
Snape may still be a really sneaky bad guy and a DE, but there is plenty of evidence that Snape is torn, tormented and trapped by what he has done in the past, and while he is still nasty, he's trying to fix what he did. - T Vrana

I agree with this statement. Except I would say former DE. I think Snape is one of those people tormented (poisoned) by his own acerbic personality. He may be nasty, even a bit evil, but I cannot see him throwing himself wholeheartedly behind the 'pure-blood' cause.

As has been mentioned in the books, a lot of people thought Voldemort 'had the right idea' -at first- until they realized to what lengths he was willing to go to achieve his goals. Snape might have already belonged to the DE when he was still a student at Hogwarts (I would think Voldemort and his DE's would have no 'age' requirements as OotP has, especially since he had no problem using Draco). Perhaps Snape even had the same task as Draco when he was back in school but was unable to follow through on killing Dumbledore back then. Maybe that is why Dumbledore trusted Snape. Perhaps Snape told Dumbledore about the task..he knew Snape had the opportunity to kill him but they somehow cooked up the 'spy' idea.

Oh, I don't know. I just think it will be very interesting to see how the character of Snape plays out. But I cannot help but thinking he will die..just as we realize he was on Dumbledore's side and was protecting Harry.

T Vrana. I don't know how to do colors, but to bold, underline or italicize you need to type a 'b', 'u', or 'i' respectively at the begining of a sentence, then one space, type your message and it will continue to change the type until you have a paragraph/line break.


T Vrana - Sep 5, 2005 1:27 pm (#2747 of 2980)
Edited Sep 5, 2005 2:27 pm
thanks!


kage - Sep 6, 2005 12:35 am (#2748 of 2980)
My books are in cardboard boxes in the barn, so I'm depending on your cites at the moment.

"He was sure that somebody close to the Potters had been keeping You-Know-Who informed of their movements.."
It says 'had been keeping' LV informed (for a while), indeed, instead of 'informed LV once'. Only, what are these 'movements'? I always took it as dayly activities, but it might mean 'changing locations', alright.

"Not many people are aware that the Potter’s knew You Know Who was after them..."
How many people exactly? And for how long did the Potters know? Not much information from this, except that it was a very secret affair and that the Potters learned LV was after them at some point.

"He advised them to go into hiding. Well of course, You-Know-Who wasn't an easy person to hide from. DD told them that their best chance was the Fidelius Charm."
I think the 'not easy to hide from'-bit just says that it takes more than digging a hole to hide from LV, hence the Fidelius Charm.

But if the Potters are told to go into hiding it indicates that they have not been in hiding before. So I take it that there was a period in which the Potters were watched by someone (Pettygrew) who reported to LV. Which in return was reported to DD by someone (Snape?) on LVs side. It doesn't neccessarily mean that LV had already decided for the Potters. But when LV finally got decided DD got word of it and advised the Potters to hide away.

What I really do not understand is: If the Potters knew that someone close to them was giving information about them to Voldemoert, why on earth did they chose Pettygrew as secretkeeper?! Or wasn't he that close to them at all? Who else was close to them then?

T Brightwater, I loved your post!


rambkowalczyk - Sep 6, 2005 4:48 am (#2749 of 2980)
There is no "proof" that the Potters went into hiding, discovered that their whereabouts were still being tracked by Voldemort and then later decided to use the Fidelus Charm. I still think, however that it is a possibility mainly because I wonder why Voldemort waited 15 months after the babies were born before doing anything. Granted it's possible that Neville and Harry's birth were kept silent at the time, but the pregnancies before hand should have been common knowledge. At the very least Voldemort would have tried to kill all babies who were expected to be born in July or early August. Yet we have no evidence of this.


wynnleaf - Sep 6, 2005 5:05 am (#2750 of 2980)
Edited Sep 6, 2005 6:08 am
T Vrana, I understand now where you're getting your idea about James and Lily. How long the Potters were hiding is still questionable. James and Lily and come up against LV in other situations. He clearly knew them already as Order members. From some other comment (I'll have to look it up), I had the impression that DD had thought there was a spy for some time. I assumed that to mean a spy that was reported to LV on the movements of the Order in general and perhaps James and Lily specifically, due to their work with the Order. My thoughts on that are similar to Kage's last post.

I thought the comment about DD recommending the Fidelius Charm meant that he told them to do this at the same time as he told them that they were being specifically targeted by LV and to go into hiding. Therefore, I can't see why they'd wait around for weeks (actually 2 months we're talking about) just hiding in different places, without using the charm. I just can't see that. I do think they had to have learned about LV's targeting them after the first of September, meaning Snape would have come to DD with this news after DD had hired him at Hogwarts and therefore after DD had come to trust him.

In addition, Snape would only have been about 20, possibly 21 when he was hired at Hogwarts. It's hard to see DD hiring someone that young, who had only very recently -- days before? -- come to him ready to leave LV's service around the last days of August. It's one thing to start using Snape as a double agent once DD first was sure he really wanted to leave LV's service. It's another to immediately hire him to teach the students at Hogwarts, even though DD was sure he had turned from LV. So I find it difficult to believe DD hired Snape right away, although I guess according to the books, it's possible.
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Saracene - Sep 6, 2005 5:17 am (#2751 of 2980)
Edited Sep 6, 2005 6:25 am
I found interesting the point that it may be the case of Harry saving Snape rather than vice versa. Since I kinda feel that Snape´s cover, if he is indeed on the side of the Order, will be blown some time before the end of the next book and he´ll be in biiiig trouble.

I feel pretty certain that the spy who informed DD about the danger to Harry´s parents was Snape, and since DD says pretty explicitly that the prophecy affair was the biggest regret of Snape´s life and the reason he came back, I don´t see Snape being a spy for DD already before the prophecy came up. From Fudge´s words it looks like DD got his warning from an already-established spy, but I think it´s probable that no one in the Order apart from DD knew that Snape turned a spy for them and DD would simply say that he got the warning from "a spy" without specifying who it was to anyone.

I just wonder if that would be enough for DD to believe Snape´s switch of sides was genuine. There would have been a certain measure of risk for Snape to reveal himself as a Death Eater to DD - he´d have no 100% certainty that DD wouldn´t turn him over to the Aurors and Azkaban (which is probably what anyone else other than DD would have done). And giving a warning like that is an action that would give some actual weight to Snape´s regret, rather than him just turning up and saying, gosh I´m so sorry. But would that be enough?

Snape as man of honour: I don´t think of Snape as particularly honourable, or that he cares all that much about the Order; however I do feel that he´s deeply loyal to DD. He´s probably not very much unlike Mundungus in that respect - he´s a guy on your team whose morals are questionable and who nobody really likes but who nevertheless has his uses and is loyal to the Order´s leader. I´m sure that Snape preparing that potion for Lupin in PoA had nothing to do with his own initiative or sense of honour towards Lupin, but since the order undoubtedly came from DD Snape wouldn´t think of messing it up.


kage - Sep 6, 2005 5:56 am (#2752 of 2980)
Hmmm...young Mr. Snape first applies for the DADA job at the same time he overhears the prophecy. He does so on LVs orders and he reports about the prophecy. If the prophecy was made in June, this would be 1980, the year that Harry is born. The Lexicon says it's been 1979, though. Anyway, 1 or 2 years later, 1981 between June and August I'd guess, he again applies for the job, still on LVs orders. This time DD agrees, but puts him on the potions job. The job seems to have been vacant for reasons unknown (???).

Isn't it possible that DD saw a chance to turn around young Mr. Snape because he felt he needed a spy on LV? Saying something like 'Severus, I happen to know that you are a DE, why should I hire you?' If DD wasn't supposed to know this, it'd put young Mr. Snape in a somewhat embarassing situation as DD could easily get him into Azkaban. The slightest hint from DD in this direction could have caused Mr. Snape to rather accept to spy on LV. The remorse DD claims Mr. Snape felt and the reason to trust him so completely could come later, when it's clear that LV is going after the Potters.

Do I make sense? Dunno...


T Vrana - Sep 6, 2005 5:58 am (#2753 of 2980)
Edited Sep 6, 2005 7:09 am
wynnleaf- I would think the moment Snape expressed his regret and shared the info about LV hunting the Potters, DD would want to keep him nearby and would want give him a reason to be near, reporting on LV,(a cover, in other words, so Snape could report to DD without getting caught or looking suspicious) by hiring him as a teacher.


Saracene - Sep 6, 2005 8:08 am (#2754 of 2980)
I seriously don´t think that blackmailing someone into turning a spy for you is a good foundation for the sort of trust DD displays towards Snape.


kage - Sep 6, 2005 8:34 am (#2755 of 2980)
Saracene, I didn't mean to suggest blackmail or anything else that would mean forcing Mr. Snape on his side, that's not DD. But DD can be quite persuasive, as we have seen with Slughorn and Mrs. Ogden (?) lately. And what if young Mr. Snape was a bit...reluctant to go back to LV a second time without getting the job? Then DD only needed some Legillimency to sense it and suggest a possible way out.

Anyway, it's just a quick thought...


Saracene - Sep 6, 2005 8:57 am (#2756 of 2980)
Ok, I get your idea now. But I don´t really see how DD could be sure that Snape has really changed sides and was going to spy for him on LV, rather than faking and playing agreeable in front of DD. And that he wouldn´t just change his mind later and just go back to serving LV again.


kage - Sep 6, 2005 10:39 am (#2757 of 2980)
saracene, did you miss this little bit from my first post on this?

"The remorse DD claims Mr. Snape felt and the reason to trust him so completely could come later, when it's clear that LV is going after the Potters."

;-)


Vulture - Sep 6, 2005 10:49 am (#2758 of 2980)
I get the feeling from your posts that redemption is not part of the possibility for you for Snape (T Vrana [/b]- Sep 5, 2005 10:09 am (#2742))

(Not much time here, but) _ not true !! In fact, I had all sorts of hopes w.r.t. how Snape would develop redemption-wise after Book 5.

But anyway, my main prob is the writing, not which side he's on.


Linedhel - Sep 6, 2005 10:50 am (#2759 of 2980)
I just want to express a few thoughts about this very interesting and intriguing character without whom the HP books would not be the same(and Dumbledore not dead!). I somehow like Snape...he's intersting and mysterious and there's definitely more to him than meets the eye. I could be a bit naive, but I always believed and I will continue to believe that Snape might somehow be good. As much as it broke my heart that he killed Dumbledore, I want to hope there's even a small chance he could be not totally evil... He's also dead clever and cunning, and also calculated, which, I think, makes him more dangerous than Voldemort.Although he has moments when he seems to loose control, he usually is very calculated and thinks twice before acting. And he's also a VERY skilled Occlumens, which can enable him to hide what he's really up to from anybody...even Voldemort or Dumbledore. As probable as he could work for Dumbledore, he could also work for Voldemort...or for nobody...Snape seems too clever to be needing to work for someone...so he could be his own boss, in which case, he could be greater danger than we already think he is.


kj09 - Sep 6, 2005 11:16 am (#2760 of 2980)
Okay, I'm rereading HBP right now and I don't know if this has been discussed already, but I just have to know. When Harry finds out that the potions book is 50yrs old and says that it couldn't be his dad's or any of his friends he went to school with, then how can the book be Snapes? I just don't understand, regardless if Snape wasn't his dad's friend, he was there the same time James was, right?

Matt


T Brightwater - Sep 6, 2005 11:32 am (#2761 of 2980)
I think the idea was that it had been his mother's book.


kj09 - Sep 6, 2005 11:33 am (#2762 of 2980)
Okay, that's what I was thinking. But does it actually say either way if it was his or his mother's?


Maud Merryweather - Sep 6, 2005 11:50 am (#2763 of 2980)
Linedhel, there's no questioning Snape's Legilimency and Occlumency abilities, but I believe (although I may be totally wrong) that Dumbledore knew Snape a little better than Snape would have liked to. I completely trust Dumbledore's instinct about people, even if it may be said, that he "read" Snape wrongly, it still has worked wonders before. So, it's just my idea, but what if Snape could not hide so easily from Dumbledore as he does from Voldemort ? Maybe because Dumbledore made him think that he belives his story (whatever that was), even if, maybe he didn't. :-)


Rea - Sep 6, 2005 11:58 am (#2764 of 2980)
Maybe Snape can't hide easily from Dumbledore because Silente doesn't read his mind, but his heart... It would be a "Dubledore-fashioned" behaviour;)


T Brightwater - Sep 6, 2005 12:02 pm (#2765 of 2980)
kj09, no, it doesn't, but it seems chronologically likely. It may just have been second-hand.


Esther Rose - Sep 6, 2005 12:10 pm (#2766 of 2980)
My theory is that Snape is a disappointed skeptic or atleast was until his last night at Hogwarts. I think that Snape is well aware of the powers Voldemort possesses and is disappointed to see that from his perspective, Harry does not measure up to any of it. I think he is skeptic to the point of waiting to see if Harry can actually beat Voldemort.

Plus, I think he is suffering from the "Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!" syndrome.


Ann - Sep 6, 2005 12:38 pm (#2767 of 2980)
About the timing (again): If we assume that the information that the Potters were being targeted came from Snape (and I think it probably did), that would mean that that Snape learned of it, realized his mistake, and went to Dumbledore with the information very soon after Harry's birth in late July of 1980 (that is, over a year before he began teaching at Hogwarts in September 1981 and even longer before the Potters were killed, October 31, 1981). My evidence for this is from Jo's Edinburgh Book Fair Q & A, in answer to a question:

When Harry was born, it was at the very height of Voldemort fever last time so his christening was a very hurried, quiet affair with just Sirius, just the best friend. At that point it looked as if the Potters would have to go into hiding so obviously they could not do the big christening thing and invite lots of people.

So they already knew they'd have to go into hiding then. But I suspect that the initial information came immediately after the prophecy. As I said above, Voldemort's choice of the half-blood over the pure-blood child seems to me an instinctual one, not the result of long deliberation; and I find it hard to imagine he would have waited to see whether the child was a girl. (Why? To save himself the bother? I'm sure he thought it was no bother at all.)

I agree that it can be wet in Scotland in June, but somehow "cold, wet night" sounds a bit earlier to me--maybe April.


septentrion - Sep 6, 2005 12:57 pm (#2768 of 2980)
there's no questioning Snape's Legilimency and Occlumency abilities

I've begun to wonder that. Snape is undoubtedly a great occlumens but perhaps not a great legilimens. When he asks Draco about his actions, Harry overhears him say : "ah, I see your aunt Bellatrix has taught you occlumency". He seems blocked by Draco, a teenager who has learnt occlumency just the prior summer, and when Harry put his heart in it, he could repell Snape from his mind. That seems to mean to me he's not so skilled at legilimency.


T Vrana - Sep 6, 2005 1:41 pm (#2769 of 2980)
Edited Sep 6, 2005 2:43 pm
Ann- He would at the very least have to wait until the child was born. Predicted due dates can be off by several days. August 1 would have disqualified Harry. LV wouldn't go out after two aurors without confirmation, I don't think.

Could the date of Oct 31 have played into his plans to make a horcrux?

Now, did the Potters know they would probably need to go into hiding because they had confirmation that LV was after them, or was DD being careful?

On hiding vs fidelis charm. I take hiding as going off somewhere to live quietly. The fidelis charm seems to require staying shut up in one place (like poor Sirius). It would seem that the Potters might have tried hiding out in a new location, or multiple locations first, and resorted to the Fidelis only when they learned LV had someone tracking their movements. Clearly JK is telling us they knew they might need to go into hiding at Harry's Christening, but they didn't do the fidelis until months later.


wynnleaf - Sep 6, 2005 3:28 pm (#2770 of 2980)
Okay, especially with the JKR quote, this does sound mostly right.

They went into "hiding" in the sense that they moved around frequently and sort of "laid low," as the expression goes, for probably a number of months, maybe a year and several months. Then for some reason there was some sort of added warning -- maybe? -- and they went ahead with the Fidelius Charm, Pettigrew betrayed them, and they were dead in a week.

As far as Snape goes, this would mean that he would likely have told DD shortly after he'd passed the prophecy on to LV, because they even knew at the Christening that they had to be really quiet about it. Since even a public christening couldn't be done (how long is that after the birth usually?), it would seem to mean that they may have known even before Harry's birth, or at least just after his birth, that they were being targeted.

That also means that DD did wait quite a while after Snape left LV's side before he hired him to teach at Hogwarts, since Snape started at Hogwarts after Harry was already a year old, just a couple of months before the Potters died.

So I guess that makes T Vrana's theory likely correct -- that it was Snape's regret over his part in LV pursuing the Potters that caused him to turn to DD and the good side.


irish flutterby - Sep 6, 2005 4:43 pm (#2771 of 2980)
Edited Sep 6, 2005 5:44 pm
We cotinually refer to the need for Harry to have a change of heart with regard to Snape. I was wondering, though. What if there has to be a change of heart in Snape, as well. I know we've talked about Snape's redemption, yada, yada, yada. I mean it in a different way, though. What if Snape's life debt cannot be repaid until he means it. In other words, saving Harry from Quirrel didn't repay the life debt because he was doing it to repay the life debt. In order to repay the debt he will have to actually care about the survival and well being of the individual (Harry) and save his life without thought of his own advancement (for lack of a better word). The same would then apply to Wormtail, as well. What does this do to the characters' interaction in book 7?


kage - Sep 6, 2005 9:59 pm (#2772 of 2980)
Nods to Ann for providing this cite of JKR. So T Vranas timing is probably corect.

"it would seem to mean that they may have known even before Harry's birth, or at least just after his birth, that they were being targeted. " (wynnleaf)
So it seems, due to the prophecy, I'd think.

Now, do I get it right?: In the time between the Prophecy (autumn 1979 according to the lexicon and the 'cold, wet night') and the Potters going onto hiding (about oct. 24 1981) there must have been at least three warnings:
one that LV was taking the (incomplete) prophecy seriously
one that someone passed information about the Potters movements/changing locations to LV
and one that LV had decided to go after the Potters (first)

As much as I like to think it has been Snape all along, I see a very tiny possibility that the first warning came from Regulus Black, who left Voldemort and died 1980. (I think I'm getting better with timelines LOL)

Due to DDs precautions LV had some difficulty to determine which boy to 'chose'. Maybe he simply went for the half-blood Harry because he couldn't come up with a better idea, but it sounds a bit weak. So, as I don't want to search 30 cardboard boxes for my HP books now, I ask again: Do we know at what time the Longbottoms got tortured into the state they're in today and ever since? Is it possibly part of LVs determination progress? My memory just fails me, I'm sorry and ashamed to have to admit.

irish flutterby
You are certainly right, especially about the 'own advancement'. About the debt, I don't know - simply because I don't know how these things work. But Mr. Snape, other than Pettygrew, certainly has err...lost his 'leader'. DD isn't around to give wise advice and keep him on track anymore. So he'll have to carry on on his own, making his own decisions.


Celeste Tseng - Sep 7, 2005 12:48 am (#2773 of 2980)
Hmm, it seems like Snape is such a hot topic.

Like Saracene, I was really angry when I saw Snape kill Dumbledore, the one who trusted and protected him all through these years, without hesitation and even without a word.

To figure things out, I turned back to the crucial chapter2 and re-read it. In chapter2, I can see Snape's hesitation of killing Dumbledore from that "twitch" of hand and "a moment's silence" before he answered Narcissa. Besides, I also think that Narcissa kind of fooled Snape into making the Unbreakable Vow to kill DD, because Snape didn't know that in addition to ensuring Draco's safety, he had to promise to kill DD beforehand.

I've never liked Snape. I just think that he may not be that evil. There is no doubt that Snape is selfish and cold, and of course, nothing can justify his murder of DD, but at least, he is far better than Voldemort: he has friends(the Malfoys) and knows how to care and protect them.

P.S. I think Snape would prefer Narcissa, a 100% pure-blood and also blond.


rambkowalczyk - Sep 7, 2005 2:50 am (#2774 of 2980)
The only definate fact we know about the Longbottom's torture was that the motive was to find Voldemort. Bella and Co didn't believe that Voldemort was dead and perhaps there was a cover-up. This means the torture happened after Oct 31, but whether it happened in November or the following June is unknown. Also I think JKR said on her web site that the torture of the Longbottoms had nothing to do with the prophecy.


Ann - Sep 7, 2005 4:36 am (#2775 of 2980)
We also know when the torture of the Longbottoms took place: long enough after the murder of the Potters and Voldemort's resulting disappearance that people were beginning to feel safe again (DD in GoF).

Dumbledore makes it very clear in OotP that Voldemort's decision to go after Harry rather than Neville was based on the feeling that a half-blood child (like himself) was more likely to be dangerous to him than a pureblood. He makes it sound as if Voldemort simply assumed this, and dismissed the danger of Neville altogether. I've always thought it was weird that he didn't simply go after both, but it looks as if that's not what he did. He went after Harry from the moment of his birth, if not before. I also don't see why he would have bothered to wait--it's not like lives mean anything to him, and the Potters had already defied him three times. But maybe he thought that you had to deal with a prophecy that way--let it play out a bit before you take action.


kage - Sep 7, 2005 5:31 am (#2776 of 2980)
Edited Sep 7, 2005 6:34 am
Thank you rambkowalczyk and Ann.

Ann, I think you're right about LV assuming the half-blood to be the 'one'. He's such a psycho, he is. I think he would want to eliminate him as soon as possible, but DD and the Potters probably were one step ahead of him for over a year - until they made Pettigrew, the traitor, their secret keeper. (Why on earth did they?!?)

"no doubt that Snape is selfish and cold,"
Celeste Tseng, it's a nasty habit, I know, but I'd like to disagree on the 'cold' bit. His rare but impressive outburst show great emotional potential, which is usually tightly supressed. I think there is a great difference between a person who does not have emotions, due to physical and/or psychological defects (like Voldemort e.g.), and a person who has learned to suppress emotions (like Mr. Snape). *
(don't know how to say it better, hope you get the idea)

Edit: *: due to different psychological defects, I should maybe add ;-)


T Brightwater - Sep 7, 2005 6:27 am (#2777 of 2980)
kage, that's a good point. If Snape's capacity for love (however much he represses and denies it) is anywhere near as great as his capacity for hate and anger, then I think there's hope for him yet.


kage - Sep 7, 2005 6:31 am (#2778 of 2980)
If only he knew how many people are defending him in the Muggle world - it might help.

Hope he stays where he is, though...


T Brightwater - Sep 7, 2005 9:54 am (#2779 of 2980)
Hope he stays where he is, though...

Me too. I had someone a lot like him for Potions, er, Chemistry in college, and that has a lot to do with why I didn't continue in the sciences.


Vulture - Sep 7, 2005 11:26 am (#2780 of 2980)
Hi, All: It's going to take me a while to catch up on all posts since #2704 before I reply to them. Apart from that _

I daresay this has been said before, but how do we think Voldemort decided on the Potters as opposed to the Longbottoms ? (Indeed, why didn't he kill both ?) It occurs to me that he may have asked for advice from any Death Eaters who knew either family personally, and that Snape would thus have been asked about the Potters.

As far as I'm aware, there's no actual evidence that Snape liked Lily _ all we know for certain about his attitude to her is his "Mudblood" insult in Book 5. On the other hand, we do know that he detested James _ this is confirmed by Dumbledore himself in Book 1, quite apart from what we see in Book 5 and elsewhere.

Plus, I think he is suffering from the "Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!" syndrome. (Esther Rose - Sep 6, 2005 1:10 pm (#2766))

Sorry, Esther _ I know "Marsha!!" probably makes perfect obvious sense to Americans, but we're not all Americans in here (I'm not), and I don't have a clue what you mean. Actually, I notice that the Lexicon hosts have asked a few times that people refrain from jargon or figures of speech that aren't plain everyday English; thanks.

Somebody asked, a few posts back, when Bellatrix tortured the Longbottoms _ I don't know exactly, but it was after Voldemort's fall. (Maybe this has already been answered.)

If only he (Snape) knew how many people are defending him in the Muggle world - it might help. (kage - Sep 7, 2005 7:31 am (#2778))

Can I have people's opinions _ would Snape be such a popular character if he had been played in the movies by a less good actor than Alan Rickman ?!!

I had said much earlier: “I knew perfectly well (DD having said so), that Snape's remorse about the Potters came well after he convinced DD he switched sides" ... ... It’s not in Book 6. It’s in GoF in the pensieve scene. DD says in the pensieve that Snape became a spy for the Order before LV’s downfall (wynnleaf - Sep 4, 2005 7:13 am (#2724)

Yes, I knew about that passage in Book 4 _ I thought we were discussing Book 6 only, on the particular point. But anyway, if we're bringing in all books about it, there are still problems _ however, my problem just now is that I'm being logged out in about 3 minutes !! (So I'll reply fully later.)


T Brightwater - Sep 7, 2005 1:22 pm (#2781 of 2980)
I'm American and I didn't get "Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!" either.

Snape had his fans even before the movies came out, although Alan Rickman certainly doesn't hurt. :-) I think some people who were picked on as children/adolescents may identify with him. And then there's the anti-hero mystique - sort of a James Dean (American actor, 1950's, usually played a rebellious teenager/biker type) in black robes...


Esther Rose - Sep 7, 2005 1:31 pm (#2782 of 2980)
Sorry all,

Snape just seams like the Wizarding World equivalent of Jan Brady from the Brady Bunch.

A guy overshadowed by his rival. Not to mention once his rival dies he is then overshadowed by his rival's son.

So every once in a while when I see Snape taunting Harry and his friends, I see Jan Brady throwing a temper tandrum because once again Marsha has become the center of attention.

Not very much of Snape's work gets recognition or respect. To the point where Harry hasn't respected Snape.


T Brightwater - Sep 7, 2005 1:38 pm (#2783 of 2980)
It's okay, Esther Rose - I'd forgotten about the Brady Bunch.

I think Harry would have respected Snape if Snape hadn't hated him (and shown it) from him the moment he set foot in Hogwarts. Harry, who didn't even know he was a wizard until a month before he came to HW, had no reason for disliking, distrusting, or having any opinions at all about Snape. The bad feelings between them were entirely initiated by Snape, although since they got started, Harry has certainly kept up his part of the hostilities.


T Vrana - Sep 7, 2005 5:00 pm (#2784 of 2980)
Edited Sep 7, 2005 6:56 pm
A word about Snape, and why I "like" him:

1) I never "liked" him until Book 6

2) I wasn't picked on as a child

3) I really don't like the HP movies, so it hasn't anything to do with Rickman (nothing against Alan Rickman, or most of the cast. It is the directing that bugs me, but that's another thread).

4) And, though it wasn't mentioned, I am not a former DE trying to go straight

I "like" Snape now as a character because while most of the rest of the characters are either mostly good or mostly evil, (DD all good, LV all evil)and while I love these characters (well, the good guys), Snape is the only character who has been evil, unlikable, mean , nasty etc., but he may also turn out to be one of the good guys, who is also clever, brave, and a more accomplished wizard than I ever noticed. If he is really on the right side, he's done more for the Order and risked more than almost anyone.

It is his struggle to do what is right, when it may not be his "natural" inclination, that makes him interesting as a character, and his redemptive role (even if you have been evil, there is still room to come back to the right side) that has me rooting for him. It doesn't hurt either that he may be doing all this good, even while everyone thinks he's still bad. How hard is it to be good when your natural inclinations are to be good, and everyone likes you and thinks you are good? Now, how hard is it to stay good when you are not naturally nice, good or likable, and everyone suspects you are still a bad guy?

If it turns out he is still a DE all bets are off and I think a dementor's kiss is in order. I don't think he is.


T Vrana - Sep 7, 2005 6:01 pm (#2785 of 2980)
Edited Sep 7, 2005 7:20 pm
One thought on why LV waited so long between Harry's birth and trying to kill Harry. Harry was born July 31, and DD knew about the prophesy and we know the Potters were keeping a low profile.

DD also thinks LV was planning to use Harry for his final horcrux. Is it possible LV wanted to create that last horcux on Oct 31, Halloween, for some reason? He didn't have time to find Harry that first Halloween, so waited 'til the next.

vulture-

As far as I'm aware, there's no actual evidence that Snape liked Lily

What led to the Lily/Snape thought for me were DD's words:

1) Love is the only thing powerful enough to fight the lure of power like LV's

2) Snape's biggest regret was revealing the prophesy, and it leading to the Potters

Snape doesn't love James. Lily tried to stop James' bullying of Snape. Lily was an excellent potions student. I can see Snape respecting Lily's courage and talent. That mudblood comment was made during a moment of great humiliation. I think the real reason for Snape's Worst Memory.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 7, 2005 11:19 pm (#2786 of 2980)
Edited Sep 8, 2005 12:20 am
T Vrana.... great ideas in your last post! I think you may be on to something.

T Brightwater...LOL...about the Chemistry/potions comment.

Esther Rose...I understood the 'Marsha, Marsha, Marsha' comment! Very Happy But I can understand why others might not have.

It is possible that Voldemort had intentions about going after Harry and Neville.. both couples had obviously come across his path if they both had 'thrice defied' him. Perhaps James & Lily were just caught first and then Voldemort was reduced to next to nothing and was unable to carry out the rest of his plan.


kage - Sep 8, 2005 2:54 am (#2787 of 2980)
Vulture
JKR had me interested into Professor Snape from his very first entrance in the books. And actually Rickman doesn't do a good job on my personal image of Mr. Snape.

"As far as I'm aware, there's no actual evidence that Snape liked Lily..."
No, there's no evidence, there's only pieces of a puzzle. Aside from all 'why does DD trust Snape and why did he come back to DD if not because of Lilly'-arguments there is one piece of the puzzle that definitely makes more sense if I assume that young Severus was somehow loving Lilly. It's Mr. Snapes memory in the pensieve (OOP). First I thought Mr. Snape was hiding these memories from Harry, but somehow that wasn't satisfying. Now, DD suspects that Voldemort would try to spy onto him (through Harry) and therefore avoids Harry, but he lets Mr. Snape teach him Occlumency. That puts Mr. Snape into the same danger of being spyed upon by LV. I'm quite sure that Mr. Snape was hiding these memories from Voldemort in the first place. But why would he need to hide a reason to hate J. Potter and S. Black? That should be 'good' in Voldemorts eyes. But if young Severus loved Lilly and it was memories of her that he was hiding it all adds up nicely, doesn't it?

T Vrana
"DD also thinks LV was planning to use Harry for his final horcrux. Is it possible LV wanted to create that last horcux on Oct 31, Halloween, for some reason? He didn't have time to find Harry that first Halloween, so waited 'til the next."
I'd like to know what kind of thing that final Horcrux would be (if it's not Harry himself) and if it's still in his possession and what possible connection could there be with Halloween - but no idea at the moment.

T Brightwater
"I had someone a lot like him for Potions, er, Chemistry in college, and that has a lot to do with why I didn't continue in the sciences." Hm, I had a very nice teacher for chemistry and failed nevertheless, but I had rather severe teachers for english - they did use shampoo and toothpaste, though... ;-)


Abracapocus - Sep 8, 2005 4:05 am (#2788 of 2980)
Kage, I agree with you about Alan Rickman. I absolutely love him as an actor, but not as Snape. I also have a different image of Snape when I am reading the books and I still find the character intriguing. Did you know that Tim Roth was originally cast as Professor Snape, but he backed out at the last minute?


wynnleaf - Sep 8, 2005 4:55 am (#2789 of 2980)
Edited Sep 8, 2005 5:56 am
I started to enjoy the Severus Snape character in CoS, because I really liked the way he dealt with Lockhart. I loved the dueling part with Lockhart, and particularly toward the end when all the teachers start telling Lockhart, "now's your chance, Gildroy," -- Snape is the one that started that, and the other teachers follow along. In that book (I think) was when I noticed it was almost always Snape and McGonagall that would arrive with DD on any scene of crisis. Sometimes other teachers were around, but it started to look like those were the two who were going to always be there when there could be danger.

When I heard Rickman was to play Snape, I thought at first he'd be a great choice. Rickman can play intimidating and sometimes villainous people with a lot of depth. But I have never felt the direction lived up to either the character or what Rickman could have done with the character. Snape of the films always comes across so stiff. It's no wonder they left out Snape's emotional outburst -- complete loss of control -- at the end of POA. Based on the way the character had been portrayed in the films to that point, it wouldn't have made any sense.


irish flutterby - Sep 8, 2005 10:29 am (#2790 of 2980)
I think the depth of Snape's character is what makes him such an enjoyable character to read. No, I wouldn't say I "like" Snape, but I would say I love reading passages where he is involved. The general chemistry between he and Harry is just amazing. Their relationship also lets me live out a few fantasies of absolutely disrepectful, yet incredibly hillarious things that I would have loved to say to some of my professors. ("You don't have to call me sir, Professor.") Not to mention some of the remarks that Snape makes to some of the other teachers. He really is a great deal like Harry in his sense of humor.

IMO, Rickman does a great job portaying a Snape who has learned to supress his emotions. I agree that the directing (and possibly the editing and/or screenwriting leaves about a half ton to be desired), but the character itself is a brilliantly written piece.

I have a question. I am reading HBP again, and I'd just love to know if anyone else has noticed how often we read the phrase "As if reading Harry's mind...." and think nothing of it? I just noticed it when Snape and Harry were about to walk into the Great Hall and Harry was thinking about putting on his invisibility cloak til he got to the Gryffindor table. "As if reading Harry's mind..." Snape said, in effect, no cloak. You wanted to get noticed, so here's your chance. (not exact, I know) The point is this: Snape didn't have eye contact with Harry, but he DID manage to read his mind. How many other times in the previous books have we read that phrase and overlooked it, when, in fact, Snape was using Legilmency?


Esther Rose - Sep 8, 2005 10:48 am (#2791 of 2980)
You know what Irish Flutterby: I noticed that too and forgot about it at Snape's last scene in HBP. Do you think that Snape's look of pain was because he could read Harry's mind even at that moment and that was when Snape found out that Harry knows he was involved in his parent's deaths.


T Brightwater - Sep 8, 2005 11:16 am (#2792 of 2980)
In the duel between Snape and Lockhart, I was cheering for Snape all the way.

I agree that Snape is one of the most complex and interesting characters in the series, and it is fun to try to figure him out. I would say that the main reasons I don't like him are that he nurtures grudges to an obsessive degree and can't laugh at himself. I don't think he's hopeless or unredeemable; to see him have a real and convincing change of heart would be profoundly satisfying, though it would take some very skilful writing.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 8, 2005 11:51 am (#2793 of 2980)
I think it says Legilmency is used when eye contact can be made or close proximity.

As far as Lily/Snape being an item...I don't know. Perhaps it was one sided. JKR does say that Snape is more accountable because he 'has been loved by someone' and that the idea of Snape in love is a 'very horrible idea' and that there is more to Snape than meets the eye.

I was recently re-reading OotP and I happened to notice when Harry returns to Grimauld place (ch 23) that Phineas Nigellus says to Harry from his portrait in the bedroom: 'We Slytherins are brave, yes, but not stupid. For instance, given the choice, we will always choose to save our own necks.' Rather interesting seeing as Snape is head of Slytherin house.


T Vrana - Sep 8, 2005 11:55 am (#2794 of 2980)
But does Snape have a choice, or does he owe Harry? Is that why he feels trapped (like Fang)?


Sparrowhawk - Sep 8, 2005 1:27 pm (#2795 of 2980)
RoseMorninStar, actually I think that JKR phrased her answer in a slightly different way, and actually dodged the question with amazing skill. She had been asked about Snape's love life, and she answered with a very ambiguous "who could love Snape?" (or something to the same effect), therefore avoiding the real question: "could Snape have been (or be) in love with someone?"

Just my 2 knuts.


wynnleaf - Sep 8, 2005 3:59 pm (#2796 of 2980)
Edited Sep 8, 2005 5:04 pm
That's exactly what I thought about that quote. Has Snape ever been in love? (more or less) And instead of answering that yes or no, she just said something like "who would want Snape to love them?!" Actually, what that made me wonder is if he had indeed been in love with Lily and it had caused at least a little discomfort for her. Then later, Slughorn's comment about the dangers of obsessive love also made me wonder if this was some sort of foreshadowing of something we'd learn about Snape later.

Oh well, this is, as I think T Brightwater mentioned another thread, not really based on any specific quotes or real evidence from the books -- just all guessing, conjecture, etc. So I don't put too much stock in it, just enjoy the wondering.

By the way, something I was thinking about recently. Remember how DD says at the end of POA, when Snape throws such a fit of anger, that he's not unstable he's just suffered a "severe disappointment." If that was how Snape acted in a "severe disappointment," I wonder what he was like reacting to "the greatest regret of his life."


Ana Cis - Sep 8, 2005 5:13 pm (#2797 of 2980)
wynnleaf: Do you mean that Snape could have used a love potion on Lily, or the Snape's love for Lily was of an obsessive kind?


RoseMorninStar - Sep 8, 2005 5:31 pm (#2798 of 2980)
Edited Sep 8, 2005 6:32 pm
Here are JKR's exact quotes about Snape:

One of our internet correspondents wondered if Snape is going to fall in love. JKR: (JKR laughs) Who on earth would want Snape in love with them? That’s a very horrible idea.

_________________________________________

ES: Was James the only one who had romantic feelings for Lily?

JKR: No. [Pause.] She was like Ginny, she was a popular girl.

MA: Snape?

JKR: That is a theory that's been put to me repeatedly.

______________________________________________

MA: Oh, here’s one [from our forums] that I’ve really got to ask you. Has Snape ever been loved by anyone?

JKR: Yes, he has, which in some ways makes him more culpable even than Voldemort, who never has. Okay, one more each!


T Brightwater - Sep 8, 2005 5:55 pm (#2799 of 2980)
Unfortunately, like most things about Snape, you could read any of those in two different ways. :-)

JKR: That is a theory that's been put to me repeatedly. (and it's going to be important in the next book so I'm not going to tell you about it)

OR:

(and I find it really amusing so I don't want to ruin everyone's fun by denying it.)


wynnleaf - Sep 8, 2005 7:38 pm (#2800 of 2980)
Ana Cis, it made me wonder if that was a foreshadowing that someone would turn out to have loved someone with an obsessive love and it had proven dangerous. I don't mean that Slughorn was thinking of anyone in particular, but that JKR may have used that comment to foreshadow revelations to come. If there was someone who had loved obsessively, I would guess Snape, since it sort of fits my overall understanding of the character.

No, I don't think he'd ever use a potion for that.
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RoseMorninStar - Sep 8, 2005 8:09 pm (#2801 of 2980)
Edited Sep 8, 2005 9:10 pm
My original comment in post 2800:

As far as Lily/Snape being an item...I don't know. Perhaps it was one sided. JKR does say that Snape is more accountable because he 'has been loved by someone' and that the idea of Snape in love is a 'very horrible idea' and that there is more to Snape than meets the eye.

I did not suggest Snape loved anyone... just that Snape had been loved by someone, which is directly from JKR's quote (see #3 above) and that the idea of Snape in love is 'a very horrible idea'..see quote #1 above.


kage - Sep 8, 2005 9:12 pm (#2802 of 2980)
Abracapocus, yes, I knew about Tim Roth, and I doubt the he would have had an easier job satisfying all the different personal images of a few million people. But Movie-Snape does look a bit like acting under the Imperius Curse sometimes ;-)

irish flutterby ""As if reading Harry's mind..." Snape said, in effect, no cloak. You wanted to get noticed, so here's your chance. (not exact, I know) The point is this: Snape didn't have eye contact with Harry, but he DID manage to read his mind. How many other times in the previous books have we read that phrase and overlooked it, when, in fact, Snape was using Legilmency?"
I thought it only showed that Mr. Snape is a very good observer who he can put one and one together and that he knows Harry quite well. It doesn't always take explicit Legillimency to know what's on a persons mind, even Muggles can do it. And its easy with Harry who, in sharp contrast to Mr. Snape, wears his emotions on the surface.
I'Ve got to admit I do love Mr. Snapes sarcastic sense of humor. It's not correct to apply it on child, alright, but Harry just has to grow up to it, I guess ;-)

About Lilly and Snape
I just went back to HBP "A Very Frosty Christmas" for something completely different, but well. On the first reading I was so annoyed by that stupid Chirstmas broadcast by Celestine Warbeck that I never paid attention, but actually: two songs are embracing and interrupting Harrys conversation with Mr. Weasley and Lupin - about Mr. Snape. Harry has just very recently overheard Draco and Mr. Snape and that's what's on Harrys mind.

The first bit of song we get seems to be connected to Lupin who is staring into the fire:

"Oh, come and stir my cauldron,
And if you do it right
I'll boil you up some hot, strong love
To keep you warm tonight."
May I draw your attention to the word 'cauldron'?

Then Harry tells Mr. Weasley what he had overheard between Draco and Mr. Snape and before Mr. Weasley answers there's

"Oh, my poor heart, where has it gone?
It's left me for a spell..."

Soon Lupin joins talking about Snape and just before they change topic we get some more:

"...and now vou've torn it quite apart
I'll thank you to give back my heart. "

Maybe it's just that I haven't had enough sleep, but why do I have to endure these horrible songs?! Maybe it's just about Lupin who had feelings for Lilly and now makes up his mind about Tonks (all that snogging does get on my nerves, really). But maybe, just maybe, as Harrys thoughts and the talking are all about Mr. Snape, these songs do reveal something about... Severus , perhaps?


Lina - Sep 9, 2005 9:10 am (#2803 of 2980)
Edited Sep 9, 2005 10:14 am
I was wondering if I would manage to catch up with this thread before the new one starts. I might jump around the topics.

Vulture: I daresay this has been said before, but how do we think Voldemort decided on the Potters as opposed to the Longbottoms ? (Indeed, why didn't he kill both ?)
I'm just not sure that he chose the Potters. DD himself, made an assumption about the reason why did LV choose Harry, but I think that he chose Harry as the first one to kill. If he had succeeded in it, I'm pretty sure that he would have gone after Neville too. But he never made it. And after the AK rebounded, he had no choice but to keep going after Harry.

wynnleaf: As far as Snape goes, this would mean that he would likely have told DD shortly after he'd passed the prophecy on to LV, because they even knew at the Christening that they had to be really quiet about it. Since even a public christening couldn't be done (how long is that after the birth usually?), it would seem to mean that they may have known even before Harry's birth, or at least just after his birth, that they were being targeted.
I don't think that it was necessary for Snape to tell DD that LV is after the Potters at the time of Christening. DD knew that LV was informed about the prophecy because he saw the eavesdropper and he knew that he would inform the Dark Lord. I assume that he wanted to keep both boys as a secret as much as possible and that both Christenings were made really quiet.

Vulture, when I read the OotP, something was (and still is) bothering me. I find it difficult to understand that the 700-odd pages were written on Lord Voldemort trying to get the prophecy. Something is just missing there for me. On the other side, I found HBP very interesting and satisfying. When I came to the end, my husband asked me "Didn't you foresee the end?" Well, I didn't and that's what makes this book good in my eyes. If I should rank all the HP books, the HBP would be at the top and OotP would be at the bottom. That's my view. Your view has showed me just that not everybody share my view and that different people have different criteria, but I am not ready to say that some criteria are better than other.

And you asked why anybody of us like Snape.
T Vrana: It is his struggle to do what is right, when it may not be his "natural" inclination...
My reasons to like him are somewhere on this line. I have mentioned hundreds of posts ago that some people are nice without making an effort, while some other people need to make a great effort just to say "Good morning." I think that Snape fits in the other group and I think that his effort is much more admirable than of those people who are nice as easy as breathing the air. I think I started to like him at the end of GoF when he shows his dark mark to Fudge. Until then he was just a puzzle character to me, someone who you never know where will he turn next. But at that moment I saw in him the struggle to do the right thing.

That's all from me for now.

Interesting point, Kage, but I don't know what to say about it.

EDIT: just came to my mind this moment: what if Snape deliberately didn't tell LV the whole prophecy and that that is the reason why DD trusted him?


T Vrana - Sep 9, 2005 9:24 am (#2804 of 2980)
Edited Sep 9, 2005 10:34 am
There may be a really simple reason why LV picked to go after Harry first. JK said Neville was born on the 30th, Harry on the 31st. Both were born as the 7th month dies, but Harry was born closer to the end of the month. If I had to pick which fit the prophesy better, I would have to say Harry did, because he was closer to the dying of the 7th month.

I think those who have said LV would go after both but was foiled at Harry, are right.

Lina- I agree the actual fact that LV was pursuing the Potters could come much later. DD knew the prophesy would have been shared with LV and he would have taken precautions to protect Harry and Neville even without confirmation that LV had figured out who he wanted to target.

I think we can also question when Snape knew LV was planning to go after the Potters. If he didn't know about Pettigrew, he may not have known LV's plans regarding the Potters for some time. We have seen that LV tends to keep secrets and keep his followers in the dark about who knows what, and who is in on what plans.


Vulture - Sep 9, 2005 9:32 am (#2805 of 2980)
I'm just not sure that he chose the Potters. DD himself, made an assumption about the reason why did LV choose Harry, but I think that he chose Harry as the first one to kill. If he had succeeded in it, I'm pretty sure that he would have gone after Neville too. But he never made it. And after the AK rebounded, he had no choice but to keep going after Harry. (Lina [/b]- Sep 9, 2005 10:10 am (#2803))

Of course, you're right, sounds very logical. Dumbledore's assumption misled me.

Vulture, when I read the OotP, something was (and still is) bothering me. I find it difficult to understand that the 700-odd pages were written on Lord Voldemort trying to get the prophecy. (Lina - Sep 9, 2005 10:10 am (#2803))

I don't think Book 5 was all about that _ but it used (1) Umbridge and (2) Lord V's quest for the prophecy as central themes , which pulled others (like the developing tragedy of Sirius) along behind them.


Vulture - Sep 9, 2005 9:33 am (#2806 of 2980)
Edited Sep 9, 2005 10:34 am
Still have to catch up with various posts. In the meantime:

... only a few years prior to Snape’s telling LV the partial prophecy, Sirius had attempted to send Snape into Lupin/werewolf’s path. Yet it’s just fine that he gets to be (in JKR’s plotline) Harry’s godfather. Some sort of disconnect here?? (wynnleaf - Sep 3, 2005 2:03 pm (#2706))

In the context of that post (and the post of mine you were replying to), you're not comparing like with like. The situations would only be comparable if Dumbledore put Sirius in a position of total power over Snape _ he doesn't. As for the morality of Sirius's "joke" on Snape, I have never said that it was right. However, at least Sirius had the guts to confine his wrongdoing to his enemy , instead of targeting his enemy's innocent son. And we should bear in mind that Sirius, never the most patient of men, acted partly out of exasperation at being trailed around the place by a sneak who was trying to get him expelled. It's a fact (you may not approve, but it is) that more people agree on disapproval of sneaks and informers than agree on other wrong-doers. I know a lot of people will disagree _ in theory _ saying (rightly) that there are far worse crimes, but wait until you're being snooped on yourself: humans just hate it, and will almost forgive an attempt to murder them (if unsuccessful !!) before attempted prying. (Admittedly, Snape didn't _ yes, I know ye'll say that !!)

Actually, people are, in general, odd about their reactions to wrong: consider reactions to Voldemort and Umbridge. By any measure, Lord V wreaks far more misery _ yet, Umbridge, I believe, is the one we hate. (No coincidence that her style is much more about snooping and holier-than-thou lectures _ Lord V at least doesn't pretend to be doing it all for your health.) So, what makes us react with anger isn't what logically does us most wrong. So, I hope this offers some clue as to what it is about Snape that makes Sirius (courageous but hot-tempered) react the way he does _ but I am not trying to excuse Sirius when he does wrong.


T Vrana - Sep 9, 2005 9:40 am (#2807 of 2980)
Edited Sep 9, 2005 10:46 am
HMMMM...snooping is the bigger crime? Harry snooped into Snape's personal memory. Not nice, but Snape's reaction is often used by those who dislike him as another reason to show he's bad. Snape snooped, Sirius almost got him killed. Harry snooped, Snape threw a jar of cockroaches....

Snape did not target his enemy's innocent son. He gave LV the prophesy, and DD informs us he regretted it when he heard it was his enemy's family that LV was going after. Since then it seems to me he has been protecting Harry (grudgingly, yes). He's nasty to Harry, but he's never hurt him or tried to kill him.


Saracene - Sep 9, 2005 10:13 am (#2808 of 2980)
Well actually, Sirius didn´t confine his wrongdoing to his enemy. How do you imagine Lupin would have felt if come the next day he found out that, because of Sirius, he killed a human being while in wolf form? I just find it mind-boggling that Sirius never once considered, neither then nor later, how badly he would have screwed up his best friend´s life; that, to me, is by far the most deplorable aspect of Sirius´ prank.

For me, Lily/Snape connection, whatever it was, is a matter of simple elimination:

1) DD says quite clearly in HBP that Snape´s involvement in the prophecy and what it turned out to mean for Harry´s parents was the cause of Snape´s biggest regret in life and the reason he returned. I see no reason to doubt DD´s words unless he´s blatantly lying to Harry.

2) I for the life of me can´t see Snape´s regret having anything to do with James, whether he owed James anything or not.

3) Which leaves Lily.

For me, the whole character of Snape really took off in GoF, where his dark past as a Death Eater and DD´s iron-clad trust in him were revealed simultaneously. I was really impressed at the quiet, understated way Snape obeyed DD and the way he revealed his Dark Mark to Fudge. And DD´s trust intrigued the hell out of me; there seemed to be, outwardly, not one single reason why someone like Snape should be trusted, yet there it was, and I´m dying to find out why.

Regarding Legilimency/Occlumency thing: is there a passage anywhere in the books that suggests that a Legilimens can "break through" the Occlumency defense? Because if a person with stronger Legilimency skills can still read the emotions and memories a person with weaker Occlumency skills supresses and blocks, then I wonder what would be the use of Harry´s Occlumency lessons anyway? Was there really any chance of Harry´s Occlumency skills developing well enough to withstand Voldemort, who is hyped by Snape as the greatest Legilimens ever? I tend to think that Legilimency allows one to penetrate a person´s mind and memories, but perhaps not -ever- the memories and emotions that are deliberately blocked.


Lina - Sep 9, 2005 1:29 pm (#2809 of 2980)
Edited Sep 9, 2005 2:31 pm
Vulture, after posting your thoughts, you have around 30 minutes of time to edit them. By using this opportunity, you have one more post available to use (refering to the posts #2805 and #2806), since you appear not to be a premium member.

I agree with you about Umbridge - I haven't noticed any effort on her side to do anything right, everything she did had to serve the purpose she chose. While Snape seems to try to do what he thinks that DD thinks is right. That's my feeling. And it seems to be quite hard for him sometimes.

I agree with you, T Brightwater, that what makes Snape less excusable than Sirius is the lack of joy and happiness and any kind of positive feelings. That makes him look less human, so there is no need to forgive him. Yet, he seemed quite human to me at the end of GoF. Well, there is that part about Mourning Myrtle starting to like Malfoy because she saw him crying. If we saw Snape crying, maybe we would accept him easier.

There is another thought buzzing in my mind: Tom Riddle took for himself a title of lord, probably wanting to say that he is above average people. Snape took the title of prince which is above even Lord! He hasn't forced people to call him this way, ... just yet. The way I see all the evidence, there is no way that Snape could be working for LV. And I just think that DD had one more evidence that proved that Snape wants LV gone for good. BUT, that leaves other two possibilities: either he is working for DD, either for himself. And the fact that he is calling himself Prince might be one more evidence that he wants the power for himself after he gets rid of both most powerful wizards. I'm afraid that it is a possible option.


wynnleaf - Sep 9, 2005 1:38 pm (#2810 of 2980)
Edited Sep 9, 2005 2:41 pm
Actually, we don't have any evidence that Snape continued to call himself the Half Blood Prince after he left school almost 20 years from the time of Book 6.

When Snape told Harry he was the HBP, it was to tell him that he was the author of the spells Harry was using. Snape was obviously well aware that Harry had been using his old potions book and was using spells and techniques of "the Half Blood Prince." In telling Harry that he was the HBP, Snape is just saying that he's the author of those spells -- that Harry has been using his, Snape's inventions.

Edit for T Brightwater Hope you see this. You said "Dumbledore has been wrong about Snape before, most notably when he thought he could put aside his feelings about James enough to teach Harry Occlumency."

That's the "most notible." Are there others?


T Brightwater - Sep 9, 2005 1:39 pm (#2811 of 2980)
Dumbledore said "You have no idea of the remorse Professor Snape felt when he realized how Lord Voldemort had interpreted the prophecy, Harry. I believe it to be the greatest regret of his life and the reason that he returned--"

Here's Snape in ch. 2: "I have played my part well. And you overlook Dumbledore's greatest weakness: He has to believe the best of people. I spun him a tale of deepest remorse when I joined his staff...."

Dumbledore has been wrong about Snape before, most notably when he thought he could put aside his feelings about James enough to teach Harry Occlumency.

Possibilities include:

Snape's big secret and real remorse concerned Lily, as you say.

Snape was lying through his teeth about feeling remorse, and Dumbledore being the chronically polite individual he is didn't use Legilimency on him, or at least not enough to learn the truth.

DD was wrong about Snape's remorse over the Potters, but had another, deeper reason for trusting him.

In the hospital wing, after DD's death, Lupin says, incredulously: "Dumbledore believed Snape was sorry James was dead? Snape hated James..."

"And he didn't think my mother was worth a damn either," said Harry, "because she was Muggle-born...'Mudblood,' he called her..."

Surely, there's an ideal opportunity for a reaction from Lupin or McGonagall, even a double take, an odd look, an intake of breath. There's nothing. No reaction, no comment, just "Nobody asked how Harry knew this." There's been some sort of foreshadowing about every major plot development, hasn't there? Why don't we have anything about Snape and Lily?

If Snape could conceal his feelings about Lily that thoroughly, (and he really isn't all that good at concealing his feelings, at least not the negative ones) how would DD have known? Why would Snape tell him, or admit to it if DD guessed? Admitting to an unrequited crush on someone takes a certain amount of humility, and that's not one of Snape's virtues.


T Vrana - Sep 9, 2005 1:47 pm (#2812 of 2980)
Edited Sep 9, 2005 2:52 pm
"While Snape seems to try to do what he thinks that DD thinks is right"

I think he does what DD asks, but I don't think Snape thinks DD is always right. Just finished a reread of POA and Snape does a few things that show he thinks he's better at taking care of things at Hogwarts than DD is:

1) When he tries to get the Marauders Map to reveal itself, he calls himself "master of this school"

2) He reminds DD rather pointedly that Black tried to kill him (Snape)

3) He tells Fudge he thinks DD is way to easy on Harry and friends

4) He tells the Slytherins that Lupin is a werewolf, forcing Lupin out, I'm sure against DD's wishes


Weeny Owl - Sep 9, 2005 2:07 pm (#2813 of 2980)
1) When he tries to get the Marauders Map to reveal itself, he calls himself "master of this school"

This has been discussed before, and the consensus was that it's merely a term used to indicate a teacher. Snape is the Potions master, and one definition of "master" is that of a male teacher.


wynnleaf - Sep 9, 2005 4:54 pm (#2814 of 2980)
Edited Sep 9, 2005 5:55 pm
T Brightwater, you mentioned that DD's most notable example of being wrong about Snape was the expectation that he could put aside his hate for James in order to teach Harry occlumency. "Most notably" implies there are plenty of other examples, or at least some other examples, but I can't think of any. What are other examples where either DD learns he's been wrong about Snape, or we the readers know (for sure) he's wrong about Snape?

Also, I don't think DD being wrong about Snape being able to set aside his feelings for James in order to teach Harry occlumency well is evidence that Snape could just as easily be actively lying to DD about a variety of very important things.

Remember, even though Snape didn't teach Harry even adequately, it's not like he lied to DD about teaching him at all. In fact, he passed along to DD everything that he learned from Harry of his visions, and he evidently passed along to DD the fact that lessons had entirely broken down. So I don't think you can take Snape's failure to teach conscientiously and well as evidence that he might also be lying to and betraying DD and the Order.

"he really isn't all that good at concealing his feelings, at least not the negative ones"

If this is true, then we can stop wondering about whether or not DD is being fooled by Snape, because he can't conceal his negative feelings toward DD, the Order, mudbloods, or whatever a traitor Snape might have negative feelings toward.

T Vrana, those were good example of Snape being vindictive. I think his comments in those cases, while he specifically differs with DD, are primarily stemming from a vindictive attitude towards people he dislikes rather than an attitude of "I know better than DD."


T Brightwater - Sep 9, 2005 8:05 pm (#2815 of 2980)
I'm not sure this counts as being wrong, but I think DD really underestimated how upset Snape was when Sirius escaped. (I thought he had attributed Snape's hatred for James to jealousy of his Quidditch abilities, but somebody else said that - Lupin, maybe?)

If this is true, then we can stop wondering about whether or not DD is being fooled by Snape, because he can't conceal his negative feelings toward DD, the Order, mudbloods, or whatever a traitor Snape might have negative feelings toward.

Touché, wynnleaf! But if Snape is good at concealing his emotions (and, come to think of it, he's doing a terrific job of concealing something from either DD or Voldemort) then I repeat - how did DD find out out his feelings for Lily? It really doesn't seem like the sort of thing Snape would admit to. Next question - is Snape better at Occlumency than DD was at Legilimency?


Lina - Sep 9, 2005 11:05 pm (#2816 of 2980)
Wyneleaf, you are right. You must know that I have a difficult time assuming that Snape is a bad guy in the whole story. (You might search for some of my pre-HBP posts to see how much I stood up for him.) We indeed have no evidence that he thought about himself as about prince. But I think that there somewhere is a question on why is the fact that he nicknamed himself a prince so important that the book got such a title? So, I'm not really debating the title of the book, just seeing a possibility that he continued to see himself as a prince, but since he is such a good Occlumens, nobody else knew about that, and he might bring it out once that both of the most powerful wizards will be gone. Something like trying to "predict the future" and the way that the things might turn in the next book. Until the HBP I was quite sure that Snape is working for the good side. I read the HBP in that persuasion. But after reading the HBP and thinking about it, this sounds as a possibility that he is really a bad guy. I hope I made sense.

T Vrana, I agree with you about Snape not agreeing with DD on everything, that's why I used so many "thinking" words, because no better word came to my mind.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 9, 2005 11:05 pm (#2817 of 2980)
I have just been re-reading the series and am currently finishing OotP. It is just so obvious that Kreacher is a spy and is somehow tipping off either Voldemort or the Death Eaters. The question for this thread is, Does Snape know that Kreacher is the one tipping off the dark side? Is Snape a part of it?

Kreacher disappears for quite some time at Christmas after he learns of Harry's 'visions'. Shortly afterward, Voldemort becomes aware of Harry's ability to 'channel' his thoughts and emotions and he uses it to lure Harry into the Department of Mysteries. When Harry attempts to contact Sirius a second time using Floo powder in Umbridges office, Kreacher tells Harry Sirius is not home (which was a lie) and his hands are heavilly bandaged as if he had recently received severe injuries on both hands..yet he is still greatly pleased about something.

Snape knows that Voldemort learned about Harry's ability to channel his thoughts/feelings-he even tells Harry so duing an Occulemency lesson. But does Snape know how Voldemort found this out? If Kreacher is reporting to someone...wouldn't he be able to tell them where headquarters of OotP is? Would he be able to tell them what role Snape is playing?

I don't know...what do some of you think? I have yet to re-read HBP with this in mind.


Joanna S Lupin - Sep 10, 2005 12:54 am (#2818 of 2980)
Kreacher wouldn't be able to reveal the whereabouts of the Order headquarters because he was forbidden to do that. Also, during first Occlumency lesson Snape explains that Harry penetrated into Voldemort's thoughts so deeply that Voldemort sensed his presence. In Dumbledore's office, shortly after he had had his vision, Harry felt a serpent awakes in him. It implies that the Dark Lord indeed sensed Harry, and not was told about it.


septentrion - Sep 10, 2005 1:24 am (#2819 of 2980)
TB : Dumbledore said "You have no idea of the remorse Professor Snape felt when he realized how Lord Voldemort had interpreted the prophecy, Harry. I believe it to be the greatest regret of his life and the reason that he returned--"

Here's Snape in ch. 2: "I have played my part well. And you overlook Dumbledore's greatest weakness: He has to believe the best of people. I spun him a tale of deepest remorse when I joined his staff...."

Can we know for sure when Snape is lying ? Or perhaps he didn't lie, just omit to say to Bella his remorse was genuine ? And I noted he didn't precise the reason of his remorse to Bella, he just said : "I spun him a tale of deepest remorse when I joined his staff, fresh from my DE days". Note that Snape joined DD's staff two monthes before the attack on the Potters if we have our time line right, which would be a right time for LV to let his followers know he would go after the Potters. What strikes me as odd here is DD gives more specific reasons for Snape's remorse than Snape admits and so DD's version of events sounds more accurate. That's a clue for Snape's loyalties to DD for me.


T Vrana - Sep 10, 2005 4:12 am (#2820 of 2980)
septentrion- I agree.

T brightwater- "But if Snape is good at concealing his emotions (and, come to think of it, he's doing a terrific job of concealing something from either DD or Voldemort) then I repeat - how did DD find out out his feelings for Lily?"

Snape does not always hide his emotions well. The one issue that Snape loses control over is James and being called a coward. If you put all this together, I think it is very plausible that Snape could have been very emotional when he came to DD.

1) DD said love is the only lure stronger than LV's power

2) DD said revealing the prophesy, and it turning out to lead to the Potters, was Snape's biggest regret

3) Snape admits to this tale of regret, like all very good liars he uses bits of truth so his lies will ring true

4) Snape loses it when talking about James, especially if "coward" is part of the conversation.

Snape's emotions run very deep, but pop to the surface fairly easily, if it involves James. But we know Snape has no love for James, so if love was a factor in Snape's return, it has to be Lily. I still think the "coward" comment may incense Snape because he does feel like a coward for not doing more to save Lily, who (sorry to repeat myself), was the one person who stepped out of the crowd and said stop.


wynnleaf - Sep 10, 2005 7:43 am (#2821 of 2980)
Lately, I keep thinking of DD describing Snape's outburst at the end of POA as due to his having received a "severe disappointment." It does make me wonder what DD saw that made him think contributing to the Potter's deaths was "the greatest regret of his life."


irish flutterby - Sep 10, 2005 8:28 am (#2822 of 2980)
": is there a passage anywhere in the books that suggests that a Legilimens can "break through" the Occlumency defense?"

Yes, there is a passage that refers to this very thing. In OoP Snape is telling Harry about legilmency, and says, It is true, however, that those who have mastered Legilmency are able, under certain conditions, to delve into the minds of their victims and to interpret their findings correctly. The Dark Lord, for instance, almost always knows when somebody is lying to him. Only those skilled at Occlumency are able to shut down those feelings and memories that contradict the lie, and so utter falsehoods in his presence without detection."

A few comments on this subject. 1) I've said before that, IMO, this sounds as if Snape is speaking from experience. Which, to me, seems to indicate his being on the "good side."

2) Snape says LV "almost always knows" so there is a chance to shut down the Legilmense.

3) Snape also says it requires someone "skilled" at Occlumency. In other words, a general knowledge of the art, and mild ability might be enough to block an inexperienced Legilmense, but not a very accomplished one.

4) Snape says that one skilled at Occlumency can supress/block certain feelings and memories. In other words, you must target certain memories. Or, what I believe to be the case, when done correctly, one would actually force certain emotions and memories into the forefront of his or her mind. Memories or emotions that might seem to confirm the lie. For example, if Snape were talking about DD, he could force an image or memory of a disagreement with DD to the front of his mind, and perhaps draw on feelings of hate for Harry. When the hateful emotion is put together with that memory, it would seem to LV that Snape hates DD.

That's my two knuts.


septentrion - Sep 10, 2005 10:57 am (#2823 of 2980)
That's why Harry will probably always be a bad occlumens : he can't shut down his feelings or thoughts, unless he finally learn it in book 7.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 10, 2005 7:30 pm (#2824 of 2980)
Kreacher wouldn't be able to reveal the whereabouts of the Order headquarters because he was forbidden to do that. ~Joanna S Lupin

Joanna, Kreacher may be unable to say the address where the headquarters for OotP is, but if you remember Dobby's behavior at times, (I am thinking of when he warned Harry Potter and the DA that Delores Umbridge was coming to catch them in the Room of Requirement)that Dobby indeed could 'hint' or skirt around issues until Harry guessed what he meant. He might have to punish himself later..but he still did things that went against a direct order. He also left Malfoys residence when he wasn't allowed to. Kreacher is a spy. He reported to somebody. But who? And does Snape know? There are things that the Death Eaters seem to know.. like Stugis Podmore..even when he was wearing an invisibility cloak. Kreachers disappearances..and self-inflicted punishments are overwhelming evidence that that house-elf is up to something. Besides, he definitely lead Harry astray when Harry tried contacting Sirius before going to the Department of Mysteries in OotP. He said Sirius would not be coming back. At that time Sirius had not as yet left 12 Grimmauld place. Kreacher knew something about the plans to lure Harry into the room of prophecy's.


Ana Cis - Sep 10, 2005 9:38 pm (#2825 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 10, 2005 10:47 pm
I don't see the probability of Kreacher being a spy for Snape or any of the Death Eaters.

The OotP left the house when Sirius died, because Dumbledore saws the risk that Kreacher may report it to Bellatrix or Narcissa. Once they left, Kreacher wouldn't have the need to report it since they were no longer there. If the OotP returned--and we have no evidence that they have at this time—-it would have occurred after Kreacher was sent to Hogwarts; and he wouldn't have known that they were back.

On the topic of Dobby, his situation is different. He is a free elf; although it was still difficult for him, he still could disobey Umbridge. When he was the Malfoy's house elf, they would have had to have given him a direct order not to visit and warn Harry, nor provide him any hints about the plans, or order him not to leave the house, thereby, making it impossible for Dobby to disobey. But they didn't do that because their arrogance would not allow them to imagine that their house elf would behave in such a manner. As it was, Dobby did punish himself severely for showing disloyalty towards the Malfoys.

Back to Kreacher, when Dumbledore used Legilimency and questioned Kreacher about the time he had visited the Malfoys, he told Dumbledore everything that he had done and was even proud about it—laughing fit to burst. He would have told Dumbledore if he was still spying for the Malfoys.

In Book 5, Kreacher could lead Harry astray and lie to him as much as Kreacher wanted to because Harry was not his master at that time. However, Harry is his master now, and though Kreacher hates him and complains and insults him as much as Kreacher wants, he must obey Harry.

When Dumbledore recommended that Kreacher be sent to Hogwarts so that the house elves could keep an eye on him, he knew that if Kreacher would have shown any indication that he was spying, the house elves would have caught him and reported it to Dumbledore. I have no doubt of that since we read how happy they are to work at Hogwarts and consider themselves the luckiest elves in the world. That means that they're totally loyal to Dumbledore, and he knows it. Therefore, I don't believe that Kreacher has had the opportunity to spy for the other side—although he would love to have the chance.

When Harry ordered Kreacher to spy on Draco but could not report any of actions except to Harry himself, Kreacher had to obey, and Dobby made sure that Kreacher didn't betray Harry if there was even the slight chance of it. Dobby's sincere and deep adoration for Harry is something we can't underestimate. I believe it'll become a significant point in Book 7.


Joanna S Lupin - Sep 11, 2005 4:20 am (#2826 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 11, 2005 5:21 am
Doesn't Dumbledore say that Kreacher couldn't reveal any confidential info about the Order because he was given a direct order not to repeat any of it? That the only thing Kreacher revealed was that Harry is the only person Sirius cares about, because Sirius didn't forbid him repeating that?

Also, even if he wasn't forbidden to speak of whereabouts of the Order he wouldn't be able to reveal it because he wasn't a Secret Keeper to the Order. Even Snape couldn't say the name of the place.

Magic


Vulture - Sep 11, 2005 9:07 am (#2827 of 2980)
Edited Sep 11, 2005 10:20 am
Doesn't Dumbledore say that Kreacher couldn't reveal any confidential info about the Order because he was given a direct order not to repeat any of it? That the only thing Kreacher revealed was that Harry is the only person Sirius cares about, because Sirius didn't forbid him repeating that? (Joanna S Lupin [/b]- Sep 11, 2005 5:20 am (#2826))

I agree. In the final conversation between Dumbledore and Harry in Book 5, Dumbledore says that Kreacher could lie to Harry because Harry was "not his master, he could lie to you without needing to punish himself". He explains how he (Dumbledore) warned Sirius about the dangers of Kreacher when the Order first started using 12 Grimmauld Place as HQ. Kreacher could not, in the normal way of things, contact the Dark Side _ he was able to do so by interpreting a "Get OUT !!" roar from Sirius as an order to leave the house. (Dobby, in Book 2, must have similarly found a loophole.) Even then, Kreacher could not divulge any information which he had been specifically been ordered to keep secret. "But", says Dumbledore, "he gave Narcissa information of the sort that is very useful to Voldemort, but must have seemed too trivial for Sirius to think of banning him from repeating it ... Like the fact that the person Sirius cared for most was you (Harry)".


RoseMorninStar - Sep 11, 2005 9:22 am (#2828 of 2980)
Edited Sep 11, 2005 10:23 am
I guess my point was, that in OotP Kreacher was reporting to the Malfoys. House elves are not supposed to leave the house without the express consent of their owners. But Dobby did it and so did Kreacher. We know that Kreacher may have been unable to give some information to the Malfoys by direct order, but by error of omission, Kreacher could give lots of information to the Malfoys...or hint until the Malfoys were able to deduce the correct answer. For example, the Malfoys knew that Sirius accompanied Harry to the train disguised as a large black dog. When Harry tried to contact Sirius Kreacher did some creative manipulating of the situation to get Sirus and the rest of the order members out of the way so he could mislead Harry. JKR also mentions that Kreachers hands were bandaged, indicating he must have done something against his direct orders and had to punish himself.

This thread is about Snape, so the point am I trying to make is not one of Kreacher being a spy. He obviously was and he obviously was doing things that he knew he was not supposed to be doing and that would make Sirius very displeased. The point is, really, did Snape know that Kreacher was in contact with the Malfoys and not warn the order? Did Snape know that there was a spy among them and not inform Dumbledore and the rest of the group? Is the reason Snape never stayed long/ate at 12 Grimmauld place because he knew Kreacher was in contact with Malfoys and didn't want to give any impression of being too close to members of the order?


septentrion - Sep 11, 2005 9:25 am (#2829 of 2980)
if the sort of information which is useful to Voldemort is about people's relationship, I understand now why Snape would have hidden his memory while giving occlumency lessons to Harry : if Harry had seen the interaction between Snape, the marauders and Lily, LV would have been able to see them and it was information Snape would rather not give to LV because LV knows how to use it against people.


Ana Cis - Sep 11, 2005 10:13 am (#2830 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 11, 2005 11:15 am
I doubt the motive behind removing those memories was about hiding any of activities that LV may use against him.

I believe it helps to keep the analysis within in the context of what was presented in the book, to have a cohesive assumption. The title of that chapter was (I believe since I don't have the book in front of me) Snape's Worst Memories ; they were intimate memories showing him being humiliated by what the marauders did to him. Dumbledore said it best, they're still unhealed wounds, and Snape couldn't bear for Harry to see them. I don't see this scenario as one where Snape was being stoic and logical about it, but just the reverse—it was a subconsciously emotional level decision.

IMO, this is what makes Snape such an interesting and difficult character. He's full of contradictions. He can be very logical and unemotional, and at certain times explosively and completely emotional to the level of irrationality. IMO, this happens because he tries to repress his emotions too much.


T Vrana - Sep 11, 2005 11:01 am (#2831 of 2980)
Kreacher did not leave the house without permission. Sirius told him to "Get out!" of a room, Kreacher conveniently took it as an order to leave the house.

Since Bella doesn't trust Snape, and Narcissa only comes to Snape when she is totally desperate, I can see the Malfoys keeping Kreacher's help quiet. This was Lucius's task to get done.


irish flutterby - Sep 11, 2005 12:27 pm (#2832 of 2980)
I agree. I know that some of Draco's opinions in HBP come from his lessons with Bella that were alluded to by Snape; however, I could see that, while Lucius may have been a friend of Snape's, he may also have had questions about Snape's motives. I don't think Lucius questioned Snape's loyalty as Bella did, but he may have wondered if Snape didn't do things for his own benefit.

I think this because we all see more of our friends than we usually admit, and we often know things about our friends that don't come out until we are in a tight spot or are at odds with them for some reason. I think Bella's influence would have led Draco to say things emphasizing the question of Snape's loyalty. Therefore, I think it was Lucius' influence that made Draco say that Snape wanted the glory for himself. I think Lucius kept the ministry thing quiet from Snape to a large degree.

Perhaps, Lucius had made the mistake of taking Snape in his confidence on another occasion that led to Snape allowing LV to praise Snape rather than Lucius. Perhaps it somehow involved the Potters.


Ana Cis - Sep 11, 2005 1:30 pm (#2833 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 11, 2005 2:38 pm
I've been taking notes and analyzing Snape's behavior throughout the Series and have found out an interesting pattern to Snape's behavior. ...analyzing? I know kind of scary.

First observation: When Snape is doing something that he believes is going his way, he always shows an evil smiling sneer. Some examples:

In SS and OotP: When he's humiliating Harry in front of the class
In CS: When Harry and Ron show up late and were caught flying Mr. Weasley's Ford Anglia
In POA: When he caught Sirius and is looking forward to the dementors taking Sirius' soul
In OotP: When he's insulting Sirius about being a coward
In HBP: When he ridicules Tonk about her Patronus; when Harry shows up late to Hogwarts, not wearing his robes; and when he punishes Harry for injuring Malfoy with Sectumsempra spell.

Second observation: When things are not going Snape's way, he shows a furious, disgusted, hateful look.
Throughout the books: When Harry argues with him or gets the best of him in front of the class or people
In CS: When Dumbledore decides not to expel Ron or Harry for the Ford Anglia incident
In GOF: When the decision was made that Harry would participate in the TriWizard Tournament
In POA: When Sirius escapes
In OotP: When Harry is able to penetrate his mind during Occlumency lessons; and of course when Harry sees some of his worst memories
In HBP: When Harry tells Snape that he doesn't have to call him "sir" (BTW, I really enjoyed that one! )

Consequently, based on this analysis, this is my conclusion of what Snape was feeling in HBP23 when he AK'd Dumbledore... Things were not going Snape's way and didn't want to AK Dumbledore-- he did not have an evil smiling sneer. HBP23, p.595, U.S. Ed: "Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face."

Now does this show that he's on LV's side? Not a clue.

Actually, I due believe he was loyal to Dumbledore. He could have been upset that his cover was now blown (I totally believe that he knew Harry was witnessing the whole scene). However, if he was truly loyal to LV, he wouldn't have been able to control his evil joyful sneer in accomplishing the Dark Lord's wishes, thereby, remaining his favorite Death Eater and getting the recognition for it. This would have been consistent with his behavior throughout the Series.

Please provide your comments, but be gentle w/you disagreements.


wynnleaf - Sep 11, 2005 1:39 pm (#2834 of 2980)
Edited Sep 11, 2005 2:40 pm
You're right. For whatever it means about Snape's loyalties, that smiling sneer is there for any example I can think of when Snape gets his way. Although, I don't think we see it in Snape Victorius -- remember the cool raising of a hand to acknowledge the applause of the Slytherins? (Sorry, no book at hand to check). Of course, that could mean that Snape knew getting the DADA job wasn't going to be the fun he'd once hoped, since it would be accompanied by his leaving Hogwarts at the end of the year.

Anyway -- yes, I agree. No smiling sneer when he AK's DD. Snape can't seem to help, but do that whenever he's getting his way. Therefore, AKing DD isn't Snape "getting his way."


Ana Cis - Sep 11, 2005 2:03 pm (#2835 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 11, 2005 3:05 pm
wynnleaf, it says that Harry "was sure he could see a look of triumph on the features he hated so much." However, that may just be Harry's interpretation which could be showing his own bias against Snape. JKR can be so tricky in the way she presents a scene.!


irish flutterby - Sep 11, 2005 2:23 pm (#2836 of 2980)
Well, as I am firmly planted in the Snape's a really nasty good guy camp, I think you are absolutely right. Great observations.


T Vrana - Sep 11, 2005 5:02 pm (#2837 of 2980)
Ana Cis- good observations and analysis, the scene on the tower was very short of triumphant for Snape. If he was working for LV this should have been one of his sneering moments.

Looking at HBP I think JK gives us many clues that Harry's veiw is not to be trusted entirely when it comes to Snape, but one in particular stands out, (HBP, page 603, US edition, Scholastic), Harry is hit by Crucio

"...Snape was going to torture him to death or madness..."

This is Harry's thought when the hex hits him. But it wasn't Snape, in fact, Snape stops it. But Harry had assumed it was Snape. What else is he assuming incorrectly? Quite a lot, I think.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 11, 2005 8:14 pm (#2838 of 2980)
Ana Cis....all I can say is WOW. No, that's not all I can say! Razz Wow, that is some great reasoning. It's one of those things I can get a feel for but hard to analyse exactly why I feel the way I do. But you are right. Snape should have been victorius. He should have been gloating. He should have been on Cloud 9. Snape, if he is truly on the 'good' side, is now in a very precarious position. His life will be exceptionally difficult and that is not the stuff of cowards.

Irish Flutterby.. I know what you mean about (especially children) repeating attitudes and comments they have learned from parents and other influential adults. That could very well be in the case of Draco.

There are a few examples of where Harry is mistaken about Snape. Unfortunately I am not as organized as Ana Cis and do not have a list!! I think there are so many times where Snape is so nasty and unfair to Harry we tend to overlook the times when Harry has unfairly assumed the worst of Snape.


Lina - Sep 12, 2005 12:15 am (#2839 of 2980)
A very good observation, Ana Cis! I like it.

T Vrana: But Harry had assumed it was Snape. What else is he assuming incorrectly? Quite a lot, I think.
When it comes to Snape, I'd say constantly!


septentrion - Sep 12, 2005 12:25 am (#2840 of 2980)
Good job Ana Cis. After all, HBP23 is called "the lightning-struck tower" and not "Snape victorious".
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Ana Cis - Sep 12, 2005 6:33 am (#2841 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 12, 2005 8:07 am
T Vrana - "Looking at HBP I think JK gives us many clues that Harry's veiw is not to be trusted entirely when it comes to Snape, but one in particular stands out, (HBP, page 603, US edition, Scholastic), Harry is hit by Crucio"

You're correct. However, there's a point that needs clarification. I normally accept what Harry sees, but I tend to question the accuracy of how he interprets what he sees. Since this section is about Snape, I'll just make a sort of small reference about this.(Although I can go on for hours about Harry. )

While doing this analysis I also noticed this about Harry. That's his uncanny ability to notice things (though Ginny seems to be even better at it). What he sees is usually quite accurate, but how he interprets what he sees is where he makes his mistakes. In one of her interviews, JKR talks about his tendency to react without taking time to analyze what he sees. I think that's why she has Hermione and Ginny there to help him sort out this shortfall in many instances.

In HBP7, we can see a scenario where he does analyze his observations. He "pondered" about what he saw of Draco's activities in Diagon Alley, and his conclusion was right on target. However, he didn't bother to do the same with Snape. IMO his defensive mechanisms (mental and emotional) prevent him from distancing himself and analyzing what's going on with Snape - 1) he's still looking for scapegoat for his guilt over Sirius' death, 2) finding out that one's parents/guardians (specifically Harry's father and godfather) are imperfect human beings is very hard to accept and deal with when one is a teenager, and 3) Snape's tormenting behavior towards him doesn't help.

A case where he overreacts, is the scene about Snape eavesdropping. One can see how emotionally upset he was when he found out that Snape was the one that overheard the prophecy. It took all his energy to remain halfway rational. However, he is trying and he is maturing quite well. I think that Dumbledore totally understood this about Harry, and that's one of the main reasons he's so patient with Harry's outbursts. He sees the potential in Harry after all the heartache and loneliness he has experienced. Dumbledore's in awe of how well Harry has been able to cope with it all. I believe that's why he tells Harry, in his compassiante way, that Harry needs his friends to help him cope with the future heartaches he'll be experiencing.

By the way, thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. I had fun researching and rereading the passages. I'm finding out that it's easy to miss things as there's a wealth of information and subtleties in Jo's books.


irish flutterby - Sep 12, 2005 6:41 am (#2842 of 2980)
"2) finding out the your parent specifically his father and godfather) weren't perfect but are imperfect humans being like the rest of us is very hard to accept and deal with when one is a teenager"

With any other teenager who had grown up with their parents, I would tend to disagree. Most teenagers are all to ready to believe, at least in part, that their parents are fallible. Harry situation is different, though. He has idealized his parents and Sirius. To have the one person you knew those people disliked continually make obnoxious remarks about the people you have placed on a pedestal could only lead to greater bitterness.

I agree that Harry has some blinders on toward Snape, but I believe there are blinders on about others, also. Namely, James and Sirius.


wynnleaf - Sep 12, 2005 7:04 am (#2843 of 2980)
Edited Sep 12, 2005 8:05 am
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Snape made any disparaging remarks to Harry about Sirius in HBP. Even while Sirius was alive, I seem to recall most of Snape's nasty remarks regarding Sirius to be directed at Sirius, not toward Harry. Of course, Harry heard some of those remarks at 12GP. I don't include remarks Snape may have made in POA when he thought Sirius was a murderer.

I find something strange in Harry's hatred and other accompanying negative emotions towards those who either killed his parents or had a hand in it somehow (LV, Pettigrew, Snape and Sirius when he thought Sirius was the betrayer). The more books we have to read, the more Harry's emotions about his parent's deaths and those involved seem, to be frank, very self-centered. You'd expect that some of course - he has no real memories of them as individuals. When Harry exhibits such a startling lack of curiousity to learn anything about what his parents were really like, but then acts extremely angry, displaying all sorts of hate, etc. toward those that were involved in their deaths -- well, it just doesn't add up. I guess this is a Harry comment, but I tend to think all that hatred of Snape is primarily because of their own extremely negative relationship. When Harry hears that Snape was the eavesdropper, he's very, very angry. But all of his anger -- the more we see this lack of real curiousity about his parents as people -- seems more and more like a person latching on to any evidence he can find to hate someone that he already wants to hate. Not because he's discovered that Snape has done something that lead to the deaths of people Harry has some sort of personal real interest in - as people.

Hope that makes sense. I'm not anti-Harry or anything, I'm just not seeing all this anger toward the bad guys - including Snape - as "look what they did to my parents."

Look how Harry was quick to say Snape hated his mother because she was a mudblood. He proclaims this as though it was this terrible evidence he had. But why does it upset him so much? Because he has this special care and interest in the memory of Lily? Because he doesn't. He's got Slughorn ready and willing to talk about Lily for hours to him, but he never asks a thing -- just as he never asks anyone else about her, McGonagall, DD, Hagrid, Lupin or Sirius when he was alive. But he's so upset that Snape called her a mudblood? No. I think he just draws upon anything possible to build his hate for Snape.


Ana Cis - Sep 12, 2005 7:57 am (#2844 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 12, 2005 9:01 am
irish flutterby, when we're children, we tend to believe our parents are infallible. As we become teenagers we begin to realize that they're not. It's a process that occurs throughout one's teenage years. In Harry's case, he has idolized his parents, and came to idolize Sirius. Then all a sudden, through Snape's memory, he finds out differently. Then Snape makes him sort through school records about James and Sirius' transgressions. There's been little time to process all these shocks. It makes his resentment towards Snape grow.

Wynnleaf, I don't totally agree. When Harry first met Hagrid, all he heard was how wonderful and noble his parents were. Then he hears similar things from Dumbledore, who tells him about his mother's sacrifice. After that, Lupin and Sirius do the same thing. These are people he trust and respect. However, Harry does begin to ask questions about his father after he sees Snape's memories, but remember he's one very busy young man who has gone through many serious traumas—-e.g., LV trying to kill him, and Cedric's death in GOF; Sirius' death, learning about the prophecy and learning that you have fight one of the most powerful and evil wizard of all times in OotP and HBP; and also coping with being a wizard and all the rules that goes with this new world. I'd say that Harry hasn't had much time to ponder about his parents. Nonetheless, at the end of HBP, he's finally realized that he needs to find out more about his parents, and plans to go to Godric Hollow to begin his journey of discovery.

As far as his hate for Snape, we need to see it from Harry's perspective: Here's this man I have never met in my life that hates my guts from the first time we meet, and sadistically torments me in school whenever he has the opportunity. I find out that my father saved his life and he hates my father and me for it. Then as we find out that my godfather may not be guilty of betraying my parents, this man doesn't care; all he wants to do is send my godfather to be killed by the dementors regardless of the fact that he is innocent. This terrible and hateful man also gets Lupin, a wonderful teacher, in trouble forcing him to resign. Furthermore, this sadist is trying to get me and my friends expelled from school. And on top of it all, he eavesdrops and betrays my parents. Snape is scum and needs to die!

That's a pretty deep emotional wound that Snape has created, throughout six years, towards a child/you adult. Of course, Harry will draw any excuse to hate Snape, especially when you see him killing your father figure, Dumbledore. What I see is young man full of pain, using his hate to cope with the person he sees as the cause of most of that pain. IMO, right or wrong that's what Harry experiences.


wynnleaf - Sep 12, 2005 9:47 am (#2845 of 2980)
Edited Sep 12, 2005 10:50 am
Ana Cis,

Actually, I agree with everything you said except for one thing and that is that Harry really has not shown evidence much curiosity about who his parents were as individuals. Practically everything he's learned has come to him unsolicited. And even that's not really much - certainly not enough to slake the curiosity of someone who really wants info. Harry rarely even asks follow-up questions when other characters bring up memories about his parents. And after 6 solid years of never asking anyone, including people who are comfortable and easy to talk to, like Hagrid or Lupin or Sirius, well I just don't think he was that terribly curious. It's not like that's some sort of blot on Harry's character. After all, he never really knew his parents at all.

As regards his hatred of Snape, I didn't mean to say it wasn't warranted. You're quite right. In the first book, he's a kid 11 years old, in a new and strange place, who's never had any friends or anyone really friendly toward him other than the past few days, and is suddenly confronted by this nasty, mean teacher who clearly hates him. Everything about Snape's treatment of Harry for 6 years does nothing, but reinforce that hatred.

What I was trying to get at though is that Harry's hatred of Snape in particular, and also to a certain extent some of the other characters, is built far more on what those characters have done to him, even though those characters were responsible in part or whole for his parent's deaths. Harry builds his hatred of certain characters by focusing on the part(s) he knows Snape, LV and others have played in his parents deaths. But I don't think that's where the emotion comes from. I think it's a much more personal hatred in the sense of stemming from his own personal injuries, rather than from the injuries that these people did to his parents.

That's why, deep down, I think Harry hates Snape far more than LV, even though he knows that LV is the most major and important evil player that he's got to deal with.


T Brightwater - Sep 12, 2005 10:16 am (#2846 of 2980)
Ana Cis, good catch on Snape's facial expressions! I think you've spotted a consistent pattern there, and I'd like to add a couple of observations.

In CoS, when Malfoy conjures the snake (on Snape's directions) and Harry speaks Parseltongue to it: "Snape, too, was looking at Harry in an unexpected way: It was a shrewd and calculating look, and Harry didn't like it."

Then, at the end of GoF, there's the "sudden movement" as Harry mentions Lucius Malfoy's name; his look when Dumbledore sent him on his mission: "He looked slightly paler than usual, and his cold, black eyes glittered strangely"; and at the Leaving Feast: "His eyes lingered on Harry for a moment as Harry looked at him. His expression was difficult to read. He looked as sour and unpleasant as ever."

Since these are exceptions to the pattern, they're likely to be significant.


Saracene - Sep 12, 2005 10:29 am (#2847 of 2980)
Edited Sep 12, 2005 11:37 am
Re: Snape´s explanation of Legilimency/Occlumency - the way I read it, Snape basically confirms the idea that it -is- possible to lie in the presence of Voldemort without being detected, even with Voldemort´s highly developed Legilimency skills. Therefore, your success depends on your own skill at hiding emotions and memories, rather than how well it stacks up against your opponent´s Legilimency skills (if that makes sense).

Re: Snape´s facial expressions - don´t know if it´s a pattern or not, but the moments when his expression is described as "unfathomable" or "unreadable" tend to crop up quite frequently at important moments, such as when Narcissa´s asking him to make an Unbreakable Vow. They often feel as if some very important decisions are going on inside.


Ana Cis - Sep 12, 2005 10:42 am (#2848 of 2980)
I agree w/you, wynnleaf. JKR says that the conflict between Harry and Snape is more personal now. After all, Harry was too young to remember what Voldemort did to his parents. With Snape, he's experienced six years of personal torment.

I understand what you mean about his lack of curiosity towards his parents. That's because Harry has a problem dealing with this loss; thus, he's not as curious as normal child would be. I recommend that you read OotP9, p. 173, in U.S. Ed. Moody is showing him a picture of the previous Order of the Phoenix, and I believe you'll get to understand that he still can't handle learning about his parents. Here's a group of folks who could have given him any information he wanted, but what does Harry do, he excuses himself. It's still way too painful. However, this is beginning to change. What we see, at the end of HBP, is that he's becoming emotionally stronger (though JKR doesn't go into much detail, she hints that his relationship w/Ginny has helped in this aspect); therefore, he's ready to find out more about his parents. JKR is not explicitly telling us this, but the inference is there when Harry says, "I thought I might go back to Godric's Hollow....For me, it started there, all of it....And I can visit my parent's graves, I'd like that." Hence, he's now ready to face his fears and his grief.


Ana Cis - Sep 12, 2005 11:16 am (#2849 of 2980)
T Brightwater, I agree. These are expectation patterns--times when Snape's emotions don't overcome his reason. When Malfoy conjures the snake, Snape doesn't know what's going to happen; it's as if he was checking out to see if Harry was going to be as powerful a wizard as it's been rumored.

In GOF, Snape had to go into survival mode, and has to empty himself of his feelings and thoughts so that he could face Voldemort. He knew he was going to through a horribly painful experience. I don't think his feelings for Harry were his priority at the moment.

Saracene: I agree w/you there also. The patterns I was showing were the ones where Snape couldn't control his emotions and how they came through. There are many cases where it shows that he is very much in control of his emotions and is reasoning things out. Snape is an extremely intelligent person and very knowledgeable wizard. I wouldn't be surprised if he did well in most of his O.W.L.s, and N.E.W.Ts. However, he's not very perceptive in what I would call emotional intelligence. His weakness lies in his insecurity, in his belief that one needs recognition to have value. This is ironic, because Harry detests all his fame and recognition and would give anything just to be treated as normal person. He's always surprised when he's told how he fascinates people. He doesn't need fame to feel important; he just wants an honest loving relationship with his family and friends. Snape has absolutely no understanding of Harry, nor Harry of Snape. Each others life views just don't fit within the same frame.


T Brightwater - Sep 12, 2005 1:12 pm (#2850 of 2980)
More good points, Ana! First, that Harry has only just got to the point where he wants to learn more about his parents. I think his relationship with Ginny has given him some emotional maturity, but I also think that DD had a subtle hand in it. His lessons with Harry were mostly about Voldemort's family and background. Might Harry have started to realize that knowing about his own family might prove just as important, if not more?

I wonder if conjuring the snake was a set-up on Snape's part. He may have thought it likely that someone was being possessed by Voldemort, and the snake may have been a test to see if he could startle a response out of someone. He gives the impression that Harry speaking Parseltongue was of some significance to him. (sorry if this was discussed to death a few hundred posts ago.) However, it also supports his claim to Bella that he was watching Harry to see if "the Boy Who Lived" would turn out to be a great Dark wizard himself.

wynnleaf - Sep 12, 2005 1:37 pm (#2851 of 2980)
T Brightwater, I'm glad you mentioned that about conjuring the snake. I always thought Snape did that for some sort of purpose, but never really thought about what it would be. I guess it was probably discussed a long time back, but it is interesting that Snape would do that. Is there something far back in the thread about it?


Lina - Sep 12, 2005 2:02 pm (#2852 of 2980)
Edited Sep 12, 2005 3:04 pm
Ana Cis: This terrible and hateful man also gets Lupin, a wonderful teacher, in trouble forcing him to resign.
What you said, made me think of something else: Knowing that a DADA job was cursed, didn't Snape try to save Lupin's life by exposing the fact that he is a werewolf, so that he could be forced to resign instead to get hurt and have to leave the school for health reasons? Look at what happened to the DADA teachers we know: dead, kissed by Dementors, St. Mungus hospital... Who knows what happened to the DADA teachers we didn't meet? Maybe it was a part of Snape's job, to try to avoid the death of the DADA teachers. Maybe he knew he had to leave Hogwarts at the end of the year, and DD wanted him just to stay alive. Because, I do believe that no one can help Harry to find and destroy the horcruxes better than Snape. And I do have the feeling that Snape knows much more that any of the members of the OotP, and much more than we can imagine.

Wyneleaf, I can just understand that Harry was just too confused to ask questions about his parents. In the PS/SS we learn, thanks to the mirror of Erised, that the deepest wish of his heart is to meet his parents. For one thing, I think that it is natural for a child of his age to be a little selfish. He might wish to meet them just to feel their love that he was deprived of and everybody tells him that they had plenty of. On the other side, whenever he wanted to find out something about them at the Dursleys, he would even get punished, so he might have developed a sort of instinct that stopped him from asking questions about them. And, as last, I have the feeling that he reckoned he should find out about his parents in his own way. Actually, he didn't always feel comfortable when other people would want to talk to him about them. But, uuuuuups, I slipped from the path. And yes, I think you are right when you say that Harry seems to hate Snape more than LV. He sees LV just as a danger for him and for the world, But Snape, him he hates.


T Brightwater - Sep 12, 2005 5:13 pm (#2853 of 2980)
Lina, I agree that Snape would probably be Harry's best resource for finding and destroying the other Horcruxes, but if he wants Harry to trust him he's gone about it in all the wrong ways. I'm also afraid that Snape might prove a distraction from Harry's true goal of defeating Voldemort.


kage - Sep 13, 2005 1:11 am (#2854 of 2980)
You really give me a hard time reading up, but it's worth it!

On Harry hating Snape and Voldemort
Harry has to cope with so many things (beeing a wizard, Voldemort, Snape, adolescense, school business, the various 'small' adventures, ...), it seems quite natural to me that he can't deal with everything at the same time. Quite naturally, Harrys curiosity ends when things become too painful, like, after Dumbledores death, he isn't curious who R.A.B. might be at all, because he's full of pain and grief about DDs death/his recent loss. So of course he tries - unconciously - to keep the most painful matter, his parents death, away from him. But he still carries a sack full of unsorted emotions about it that keep biting him somewhere inside. Mr. Snape does the same to Harry from the outside with his nasty remarks etc., making himself a more then welcome target for a serious blow of that unsorted emotions coming out as hate. I think Mr. Snape is much of a 'crash-test-dummy' for Harry in his process of sorting out his real feelings and learning that hate will not help him to defeat Voldemort, but rather will pull him over to the bad side and make him Voldemorts equal. Which makes it so important that Harry finally gets ready to face the truth about his parents and their deaths now (end of HBP).

"His (Mr. Snapes) weakness lies in his insecurity, in his belief that one needs recognition to have value." Ana Cis I thought that Mr. Snape is much into recognition and acknowledgement, too. I still haven't put it aside, but I have my doubts. He's so seclusive I don't think he'd really enjoy standing in the spotlight. He doesn't even stand up in "Snape Victorious" to have himself celebrated by the Slytherins for the DADA job.

"Knowing that a DADA job was cursed, didn't Snape try to save Lupin's life by exposing the fact that he is a werewolf, so that he could be forced to resign instead to get hurt and have to leave the school for health reasons?" Lina I like to read it that way, although I'm not sure if it's anywhere near the truth. Sigh.


Trints - Sep 13, 2005 1:49 am (#2855 of 2980)
Am I the only one who thinks that Snape's hatred towards Harry is a bit too strong to be reasonable? OK, James bullied him using hexes invented by himself and James was popular and good at Quiddich. And then, when Sirius sent Snape to the werewolf James saved his life (as we learn from book 3). But is that enough for lifelong hatred? After all, Snape had him killed by Voldemort, and now he still cannot even look at James's son without hatred shining from his eyes. And then, Dumbledore says that the deaths of James and Lily were 'the greatest remorse of Snape's life'? There's got to be something else. What do the others think?


T Vrana - Sep 13, 2005 4:23 am (#2856 of 2980)
James was a bully who attacked Snape, with fellow bullies to help, for fun and humiliated Snape in front of a large crowd that watched and laughed. I would imagine Snape felt rage and isolation at a rather emotional time of life (adolescent male). From Snape's reaction, going for his wand right away, I would say this was not a one time event. I think this kind of rage and humilaition does last, the emotional scars do run deep.

Lily was the one person who stepped out of the crowd and said stop. I think Snape may regret her death. She was talented and brave, not a bully and a showoff.


rambkowalczyk - Sep 13, 2005 4:38 am (#2857 of 2980)
I think Snape finds it convenient to focus all of his hate on James. I think that there are alot of people that Snape hates but for various reasons can't express it, so rather than bottling up his anger completely he let's it out on James and Harry.

Who can't he express anger towards. Voldemort has to be high on the list if we assume Snape is good. (Or Dumbledore if Snape is evil). He could be angry at his mother or his father because they had no money. If the hook-nose man that Harry saw in the pensieve isn't his father but an uncle or wizard grandfather, he's a definate candidate. He probably has alot of anger against Lucius because he's an obnoxious pureblood and wealthy.


T Vrana - Sep 13, 2005 5:16 am (#2858 of 2980)
Edited Sep 13, 2005 6:21 am
Sources of anger:

1) Marauders break rules and get away with it

2) Marauders bully and humiliate him and get away with it, most everyone stands around, watches, laughs

3) Sirius nearly gets him killed, James saves Snape, now Snape owes a life debt to a man he loathes

4)Snape returns to DD, regretful (I think because of Lily), and warns that LV has a spy, suggests the change away from Black, James ignores the warning and gets killed. Snape already owed a life debt to James, now his info got James killed, and Lily, who he owed for being the one person who didn't laugh or ignore the bullying, but actually said stop.

5) So life debt squared. I'm sure DD made Snape aware he has lots to pay back. I think part of his "penance" is to help the boy he helped to orphan (though he tried to prevent it, if only that arrogant James had listened!), who looks just like the guy he loathed, who he owed a debt because his friends nearly got him killed...then there's Lily's eyes...

I think Snape blames James for his current predicament, still owing Harry. This is the reason he feels trapped. Snape's "disappointment" in POA, I think, was that the life debt went unfulfilled when Black got away. Good thing, too, as he had the wrong man.


wynnleaf - Sep 13, 2005 6:49 am (#2859 of 2980)
Edited Sep 13, 2005 7:52 am
You know, T Vrana, your thoughts make a lot of sense and I agree with them overall, except that I just don't think the life debt to James and perhaps a kind of debt to Lily can really account for the depth of Snape's emotion about the whole predicament he's in. Frustration is one thing, but this is soooo far beyond frustration of an unfulfilled debt.

I agree that a lot of Snape's hatred of James goes back to events in school. Although even with that as a basis for hatred, it doesn't make sense to still have so much emotion from school age events toward someone who's been dead for about 15 years. And the life debt alone can't account for the supposed degree of regret that DD said Snape had over James and Lily's deaths. As Trints said, there's got to be something more.

We're not really given a whole lot of information on how a life debt binds a person. Harry has saved some lives and I haven't seen anything in the books where other characters are described as having particular ongoing awareness of a debt they owe Harry -- friends yes, but reflections on a debt owed, no. In fact, Harry did a lot more to save some lives -- like Ginny's -- than James, who as an animagas was in little danger when he went to rescue Snape. If Lupin the werewolf had actually attacked, James could have become Prongs. Harry saved Ginny while facing what appeared to be practically certain death.

Snape obviously did owe James a life debt. He probably still owes it to James' son, Harry. But I don't think that's where the depth of hate and other emotions come from. I don't think it was debts owed that made Snape's part in James and Lily's deaths the "greatest regret of his life."

Did he care for Lily? No way to tell -- that could be it, but the evidence is almost only in what's not said. There's got to be some strong reasons for Snape's regret. The way DD described it, it seems to have been far beyond the "severe disappointment" Snape received when Sirius escaped in POA.


T Vrana - Sep 13, 2005 8:20 am (#2860 of 2980)
Edited Sep 13, 2005 9:31 am
The life debt alone would not explain it, but what happens when you become part of the reason someone you owe, dies? I would think the life debt becomes something far more serious and binding, when you contribute to that person's death.

DD said of this "This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable"

He also says "...I'm much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter."

Last time one his servants (Snape) was in the debt of a Potter (James), look what happened!!!!

Snape betrayed LV and LV got zapped. Now the zap wasn't due to the debt, but I think the return of Snape/betrayal of LV was. DD certainly gave life debts a great deal of weight when describing it to Harry.

No one Harry has saved has contributed to his death...

It is not the life debt itself that trapped Snape, but his breaking of the magical bond between himself and James.

DD "When one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain bond between them..."

All quotes from POA US edition page 427


T Brightwater - Sep 13, 2005 9:14 am (#2861 of 2980)
Edited Sep 13, 2005 10:16 am
Trints, I'm glad you brought that up. I can understand Snape's hatred for the Marauders (who, by the way, did not always break rules and get away with it; they seem to have spent a fair amount of time in detention) but not for Harry, who wasn't even born when all of that happened, and who is the son of the person who stood up for Snape (and much thanks she got for it) as well as one of the people who bullied him.

Here's one possibility: Snape wants to be the one who defeats Voldemort himself. It's consistent with that need for recognition that we've been discussing. Here's a powerful, intelligent wizard with a strong background in the Dark Arts, and all of a sudden he hears that this child not even born is the one with "the power to defeat the Dark Lord" I wouldn't be surprised if he really hoped LV woud manage to kill the child. Instead, Harry survives, the person to who Snape owes a life debt gets killed (as well as someone who, at the very least, never did him any harm) and now Snape is not only deprived of the renown he hoped to have, he has to teach the little upstart.

I don't know if this is right, but it is consistent. Snape has all the signs of someone who is eaten up not only by hatred but Envy. (Pride, Envy, Wrath - Snape's got all the worst of the Seven Deadlies) He wanted to be the one who protected the Stone - instead Harry saved it. In CoS, he wasn't about to let Lockhart make the Mandrake Restorative, (not that Lockhart could have done it) and this is the one book where we didn't see Snape after the Rescue - I wonder if he didn't have ideas about defeating the monster himself? In PoA, he wanted to be the one who caught Sirius, but not only did Sirius escape but DD was amused by it, and maybe DD was right about his disappointment at losing the Order of Merlin.

This also explains the Foe-Glass - Snape really is Crouch's enemy. It explains his contempt for Harry and his abilities - even to that first Potions lesson - who does this little squirt think he is? He knows nothing, he's got no chance against Voldemort, why him, why not ME? It explains his unceasing attempts to get Harry expelled - he doesn't want him trained, doesn't want him to have the power and knowledge to defeat Voldemort. It explains why he was so upset about Harry's unintentional eavesdropping on Voldemort's conversations - as he tells Harry, that is his job. It explains his satisfaction in needling Sirius - Snape is the one doing the dangerous important work, and Sirius is stuck cleaning house.

In fact, with this sort of a pattern, maybe there wasn't anything in particular that Voldemort did to him, he just wants the grateful appreciation of the entire WW for ridding them of their worst scourge. Then maybe he'll feel like somebody; then he can relax and get on with his life, maybe even let people like him, because he'll be worthy, and everyone will know it.

And Harry is the person who actually has all that recognition and fame, without asking, and wishes he didn't. (Consider the scorn with which Snape said "our new celebrity.")

Maybe Draco sees something we haven't - "You just want to steal my glory!" and that explains Snape going instantly cold and distant with him; Draco's not right in this case, but he's struck too close to home.

And at the end, he's just done the unthinkable, the hardest thing he's ever done; he's just killed DD, who is possibly as close as he has ever had to a friend or even a father figure, so that he can be the knife at Voldemort's heart, and the "Chosen One," DD's pampered pet, calls him a coward? Yikes!

Sorry about the long post. So, does this seem plausible or should I book a bed in St. Mungo's?


haymoni - Sep 13, 2005 9:33 am (#2862 of 2980)
T - I like it. I think this makes a lot of sense. He can hate Harry and still help the Order. He can treat Harry like garbage and still save him when he has to. He can slash at him with a spell but still teach him in the end.

Yep, I like it.


T Vrana - Sep 13, 2005 9:46 am (#2863 of 2980)
T brightwater- I do see all this in Snape, but this can't be the whole answer, or DD was fooled. I don't think Snape could fool DD. I also don't think Snape will be redeemed if he is only motivated by his own quest for glory.

So I do see all these emotions and thoughts in Snape, but I also think there is a Lily/James/life debt/ Harry connection, because DD saw something more there.


Soul Search - Sep 13, 2005 10:35 am (#2864 of 2980)
T brightwater -- You have nailed it! Snape wants to be the one who defeats Voldemort himself. Exactly right.

Question remains, however ... "Why."

From what we can tell, Snape was destined to make an exemplary death eater. Large capability for hate, good at dark arts, sneaky, etc.

We have kicked "why" around on this and other topics. Maybe kicked to death. I have nothing new.


irish flutterby - Sep 13, 2005 10:42 am (#2865 of 2980)
I have been wondering if Snape's acitons toward Harry haven't been due to the fact the LV is one of the greatest Legilmense ever. If Snape is trying ot convince LV that he (Snape) is on LV's side, he could be dwelling on and accentuating his feelings of loathing toward Harry (possibly drawing from his hatred of James) so that when LV does use Legilmense (which I am sure he does regularly) Snape can bring up memories of torturing Harry and emotions of hate. Just a thought.


haymoni - Sep 13, 2005 10:43 am (#2866 of 2980)
"With a thirst to prove yourself" - perhaps Harry was not the only one to be described in this way.


T Brightwater - Sep 13, 2005 10:46 am (#2867 of 2980)
I think DD was positive (and right in being so) that Snape wanted Voldemort defeated, but perhaps not the real reason why. DD is comfortable with himself, he can deal with the spotlight but he doesn't seek it out; he knows his strengths and some of his weaknesses and doesn't take himself too seriously. He can't really, deep down, understand Snape's need to prove himself, to be somebody, but he knows, on some level, that that sort of thing never works.

What I like about this is that it makes sense out of a lot of things. Snape could be telling the truth to Bella, that his remorse was a story he made up to deceive DD, because it is exactly the sort of thing DD would understand - and fall for. It would explain why Snape became a DE in the first place - his whole idea was to work his way close to Voldemort and learn how to defeat him. Being caught snooping gives him the perfect set-up to apparently change sides, get in with DD and give himself that much more opportunity to defeat Voldemort - now he knows _all_ the moves that are being made, he's in the best possible position. Except that expletive-deleted Potter kid keeps getting in the way, knowing things he shouldn't, doing things he shouldn't be able to do, with the help of "luck and more talented friends" (i.e. Hermione - not just an insufferable know-it-all, but in league with Potter!)

And it even partly explains his bullying of Neville - just in case LV got it wrong and Neville should have been the "Chosen One."

Remember what DD said to Fudge at the end of GoF: "The only one against whom I intend to work is Lord Voldemort. If you are against him, then we remain, Cornelius, on the same side." Snape was there, and if my theory is correct, those words applied even more strongly to him than to Fudge.

Furthermore, it doesn't rely on any major revelation in Book Seven to solve the mystery of Snape's behavior - the clues started showing up in Book 1. That's my main problem with the theories centering around Lily - the lack of real clues. This way, it doesn't really matter what his feelings about Lily were. Maybe he did love her - maybe she was one of the ones he wanted to impress; this would make what he told DD even more convincing. But those feelings aren't the root of the matter.

I think it also ties in with Ana Cis's observation about facial expressions - he didn't want to kill DD, quite the contrary; he wanted DD to be alive to congratulate him, even give him the Order of Merlin - maybe even if it was posthumously. But there was no way he could maintain his carefully nurtured cover against all those witnesses if he didn't at least appear to kill DD - and if he did know Harry was there, even worse.

Even if DD isn't really dead, Snape is now being vilified by the whole Order. Dumbledore doesn't really care what people think of him, but Snape certainly does.

This makes Snape a really nasty guy on the right side for the wrong reason - but also someone to be pitied. His aching need for recognition and approval can never be satisfied, even if he does defeat Voldemort, because the emptiness is inside him, and the harder he tries the more he's going to find himself frustrated and humiliated. (I see him a bit like Salieri in the movie "Amadeus.") He thinks he can redeem himself by destroying LV, but in fact the only way he can really be redeemed is to let go of the need that drives him, and do the job for its own sake.


T Vrana - Sep 13, 2005 11:33 am (#2868 of 2980)
Edited Sep 13, 2005 1:10 pm
Snape could be telling the truth to Bella, that his remorse was a story he made up to deceive DD, because it is exactly the sort of thing DD would understand - and fall for.

True, it would appeal to DD, but I don't think Snape could pull off the emotion DD would be reading. The words would mean nothing to DD, and I don't think Snape, if he didn't regret his actions, if it was all an act, has the emotional experience to pull it off. DD may need to see the best in people, but he's not a fool. Tom Riddle certainly didn't fool him.

On the other hand, he does have the emotional experience of hate to fool LV.

I do think the need for recognition is there, but I still think that DD was right about Snape's regret.


wynnleaf - Sep 13, 2005 11:37 am (#2869 of 2980)
T Brightwater,

There’s a lot there that rings true to the character. Especially the envy and sense of insecurity, wanting to prove himself, and so on.

I am not sure, though, where the real evidence is that Snape wants outward, public, recognition from the WW. It was not DD that said he thought Snape was sorry to miss out on the Order of Merlin, it was Lupin. Lupin really doesn’t know Snape well at all, so his opinion is pretty questionable.

Further, we never really see Snape bragging or trying to make himself “look good” or look important to others. He comes and goes from 12GP rather quietly, not staying to sit with the group over dinner and play the cool and important spy. Other than his one comment to Harry, when pushed about “isn’t that your job?” does he say yes, it is. He never makes any emphasis of the added danger his job holds compared to others.

Snape is always there when there’s crisis at Hogwarts, but you don’t see him trying to take the lead in how to deal with it, even if DD’s away at the time. He works with the other teachers, especially McGonagall.

Some comment occasionally on the emphasis (mainly by others) on calling him “professor,” but since Harry does call the rest of the faculty “professor,” his not using a title for Snape is disrespectful. Other adults know and sense that, so they remind Harry to call him professor.

But I still like your post. Thing is, I think it’s very possible to envy someone else’s reputation or celebrity status without actually wanting that same status for yourself. Yes, I think there probably is a large part of Snape that wants to prove himself. But actually, he doesn’t try to use any of things he’s done, that do show him to be a powerful and pretty brave wizard, to show anyone else how great he is. My guess is it’s a proving for himself, not for others, and it would never end unless, as you say, he lets it go.


Saracene - Sep 13, 2005 12:00 pm (#2870 of 2980)
Edited Sep 13, 2005 1:13 pm
T Vrana, I agree. Negative emotions - hatred, envy, loathing, gloating etc. - seem to come very easily to Snape, but soul-baring regret and remorse would be very hard for him to fake (especially since we haven´t seen him express any remorse, ever, unless it had some nastiness in it).

As for Snape´s hatred for Harry, it may seem irrational, but who says that people are "rational". Snape is a highly intelligent person, but his emotional maturity, on some issues at least, seems to have stuck on a black-and-white adolescent level. And it probably doesn´t help also that Harry looks like an almost perfect copy of James. And if Snape carries all that guilt about the role he played in Harry´s parents´ deaths, lashing out against the person who reminds you of your crimes and guilt is a pretty common defense mechanism for many people.

Regarding Snape´s ambitions: while I think that he enjoys his position as the Head of the House, I don´t really think that power and world-wide recognition is something he´d die for. I think in CoS there´s a bit where Draco suggests, rather excitedly, that perhaps Snape could be appointed Headmaster instead of DD. Snape´s reaction is pretty much indifferent and he says something to the effect of, I´m sure DD will be back in the position soon.


T Brightwater - Sep 13, 2005 12:04 pm (#2871 of 2980)
My guess is it’s a proving for himself, not for others, and it would never end unless, as you say, he lets it go.

Exactly.

It's fairly easy to be offhanded about winning even if you're a bad loser. (Look at Hermione, who seems almost embarassed by being best in the class - until she loses that position in Potions.) I can see Snape being very gracious and blasé about being the one who defeated Voldemort - unless someone else were to suggest that he had a lot of help, or wasn't really the one who did the work. Then we might see a tantrum that would make the scenes in PoA look like mild disappointment.

In that scene in the Shrieking Shack, what really lights his fuse is Harry saying "You're pathetic! Just because they made a fool of you at school you won't even listen--" (all caps in the book.) His response: "Silence! I will not be spoken to like that!"(injured dignity again, and also all caps) "Like father, like son, Potter! I have just saved your neck; you should be thanking me on bended knee!" Sounds to me like his real grudge with the world is never being appreciated.


Saracene - Sep 13, 2005 12:18 pm (#2872 of 2980)
I thought that "they made fun of you at school" is what makes Snape lose it, rather than the fact that Harry was speaking to him disrespectfully. Harry at that point has no idea just what sort of "fun" James and Sirius had with Snape.


Lina - Sep 13, 2005 12:41 pm (#2873 of 2980)
Actually, Trints, I think you are right. Snape does overreact. That's why everybody is trying to find a reason or an explanation for the way he acts.

One of the explanations that I like would be that he does not like James, but he feels guilty for his death and that would be the reason why he overreacts. Just like in the Pensieve scene, when Lily stands up for him, he should be thankful to her, but he feels humiliated and in the moments like that he attacks and he seems not to care who is the aim of the attack. When he feels bad, he attacks - the first victim that is by the hand. If the presence of Harry keeps reminding him of his guilt, he might keep attacking the first person that is near, just not to think about his guilt. That is just one of the visions and might be the wrong one, but I like it.

The problem with Snape is that he does some good things. That's something that used to bother Gina, how everybody sees the things that he does in the bad way, and nobody sees things that he does for the good side. I do agree with her on this, although her silence recently might be suspicious. I know she is probably busy at the moment, but it might be because she hasn't found yet the way to explain how killing DD was a good thing to do. (Gina, feel free to take it as a provocation! )

Now, it depends on how deep in psychology is JKR willing to dive.

She might explain the reason of his overreacting without adding new facts
She might show us the real reason of Snape's hatred, something we don't know about yet
She might make him a good guy with just a bad character
She might make him a really nasty guy, working just for himself (The Dark Prince), and then all the hatred is only natural

To be honest, I was so sure that he is a good guy until the HBP, now I'm not sure any more.


Soul Search - Sep 13, 2005 1:35 pm (#2874 of 2980)
T Brightwater -- I support your contention that Snape really wants, just by himself, to defeat Voldemort. I can't fully support that he orginally joined the death eaters to get closer to Voldemort so as to defeat him. He would have been quite young when he became a death eater.

I still think something, some act of Voldemort's, even some insult or slight, started him thinking in the direction of his destruction of Voldemort. I also think, while there must be some truth to it, that Dumbledore's explanation for Snape's switching sides is lame and incomplete.

Either way, will Snape be motivated to help Harry, so he can at least have a role in Voldemort's destruction, or will Snape hinder Harry so Snape can take full credit after Harry fails?

I think Snape will help Harry, critizing all the way.


Wizadora - Sep 13, 2005 2:18 pm (#2875 of 2980)
I just heard the audio book of Spinners End and it has got me all confused again. In my head the good Snape sounded so different. Jim Dale's Snape sounds like a death eater to me. I just can't decide.


Soul Search - Sep 13, 2005 3:37 pm (#2876 of 2980)
Wizadora -- I like Jim Dale's interpretation. He adds more drama than the movies.

I find I catch things listening to Jim Dale that I missed, even upon a second reading.


T Vrana - Sep 13, 2005 3:59 pm (#2877 of 2980)
Edited Sep 13, 2005 5:52 pm
Wizadora- I hope he sounded like a DE, or Bella and Narcissa would have been even more suspicious! :-)


K Stahl - Sep 13, 2005 4:15 pm (#2878 of 2980)
Edited Sep 13, 2005 5:19 pm
I believe that it was mentioned above but I will mention it again. Snape acts the way he does so that it will be easier to deceive Voldemort. There is something else. The question of why Dumbledore had such confidence in Snape's loyalty. One thing that seems constant is that Harry's conclusions about Snape are almost always wrong. I believe it to be a red herring when Harry comments, after he learns that Snape's father was a muggle, that Snape would emphasize his wizard side. I think that the important point may just be the fact that his father was a muggle. We know nothing about Snape's family life. What happened to his father, or mother for that matter? Snape's apparent torment, as evidenced by his reaction to being called a coward, may be a result of the love he had for his mother and father and the hatred that could have resulted from learning what happened to them. Consider the attitude of the Death Eaters toward muggles.


Ana Cis - Sep 13, 2005 6:09 pm (#2879 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 13, 2005 7:17 pm
I'm sorry, but this another long post. I believe that JKR has given us some clues behind Snape's hate towards Harry, and also she presents us with a main character that gives us insight into Snape's character. It all starts in SS17, Harry asks DD if Quirrell was correct that Snape hates Harry because Snape hated Harry's father. DD's answer provides the first clue. "...they did rather detest each other." But she includes another phrase: "Not unlike yourself and Mr. Malfoy." Hence, JKR draws a parallel between Severus and James' relationship and that of Draco and Harry, where each detests the other.

Here's an interview where JKR discusses Harry and Draco's relationship. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

JKR on Draco and Harry's relationship: Well, if you notice the very first time that Malfoy meets Harry and knows that it’s Harry, he makes an effort to be his friend. He does actually want to be associated with Harry because he knows that it would be cool to turn up at the school being Harry Potter’s friend because Harry’s so famous. Well Harry rebuffs him because Malfoy is being so rude about Hagrid and about Ron who Harry likes so much and it’s at that point that Malfoy turns against him...he wanted to be Harry’s friend, Harry didn’t want him as a friend and that made him bitter. That‘s the starting point [of their hatred for one another]

Here's a background about James and Snape's relationship: Sirius talks about Snape and James in OotP 29: "James and Snape hated each other from the moment they set eyes on each other, it was just one of those things, you can understand that, can't you? I think James was everything Snape wanted to be—he was popular, he was good at Quidditch, good at pretty much everything. And Snape was just this little oddball who was up to his eyes in the Dark Arts and James—whatever else he may have appeared to you, Harry—always hated the Dark Arts."

I also see parallels between James and Harry. Just as James loved to jinx people including Snape, Harry does similar things; he jinxes Crabbe and Doyle, Argus Filch, and does something as very irresponsible and nasty to Draco with the Sectumsempra spell as Sirius did to Snape. Jo shows us that neither of the side can be called "angels": both sides are quick to judge, quick to harass, and quick to draw their wands. Hence drawing an interesting parallel of how two sets of schoolmates grow to hate each other. It's interesting that in Snape's memory, Lily accuses James of being as bad as Snape.

However, this is not to say that Draco and Snape are nice people. I paraphrase JKR's comments to present her views about Draco and Severus' that show similar personalities: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Draco is a bully, a bigot, and a snob. He's jealous of Harry. He knows how to hurt people emotionally. He's gifted in Occlumency because he can compartmentalize his feelings and memories—he can shut down his compassion; and has become a Death Eater. However, when it came down to killing Dumbledore, he couldn't do it.

Now, we have Severus, who's a deeply horrible and sadistic person that nobody would care to love. I also find Snape to be a snob by the way he treats his students. However JKR won't say he's evil because it would give too much away...hhmmm. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

A view of Severus as a student: In POA18, Sirius calls him a sneak that was trying to get the Marauders expelled. In GOF27 Sirius says that Severus was fascinated by the Dark Arts and was part of a Slytherin gang that almost all turned out to be Death Eaters. Again in OotP29, Sirius comments that Severus, who was into the Dark Arts, was jealous of James who was popular.

Now, here's where I find another parallel between Draco and Severus: Severus was a Death Eater; he eavesdropped on Dumbledore and Trelawney, and then reported the prophecy to Voldemort. Voldemort now plans to hunt down the Potters. IMO, Snape was upset over Voldemort's plans. He may hate James, but now he's responsible for the death of a fellow student, whom he owes a life debt. Just as Draco can't handle killing Dumbledore, Snape could not handle the Potters' murder. He does feel great remorse over it and decides to join with Dumbledore.

This is what Dumbledore says to Harry about a life debt: "Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt....When one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain bond between them... and I'm much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter" "This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable, Harry. But trust me... the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew's life." (POA22) This life debt magic sounds as formidable as the magic of love. Dumbledore uses similar words for both types of magic, e.g., ancient, most mysterious, impenetrable. This tells me the Dumbledore knows something about this magic that allows him to believe that Snape is to be trusted because of the life debt.

Still, we need to look further of how this life debt causes Snape such severe torment. He owes his life to one of the two people that he hates most, James (the other being Sirius); Furthermore, he is significantly responsible for James murder. I believe that Dumbledore saw Snape's tormented soul, and the fact that he subconsciously hates himself. To makes matters worse, Harry Potter comes into his life, constantly reminding him of this torment. So in his own misguided way, seeks a way to escape his torment, and projects it at Harry at every opportunity.

One additional comment: As much as he hates Harry, Snape will do anything, even die or kill Dumbledore, to save Potter, because he failed to save James. POA23: "SILENCE! I WILL NOT BE SPOKEN TO LIKE THAT!" Snape shrieked, looking madder than ever. "Just like father, like son, Potter! I have just saved your neck; you should be thanking me on bended knees! You would have been well served if he'd killed you! You'd have died like you father, too arrogant to believe you be mistaken in Black..." IMO Snape is obsessed in saving Harry.


T Vrana - Sep 13, 2005 6:55 pm (#2880 of 2980)
Edited Sep 13, 2005 8:36 pm
Ana Cis- really great! I agree with much of this, but I would say that the parallels are not quite right. James and Sirius, and sort of Pettigrew, attack Snape without provocation, for fun because they are bored, more like Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle. While Harry may have hexed Crabbe and Goyle, it was always a response to their advances.

I have a hard time trusting Sirius' impression of Snape. Maybe because of the above, maybe because he just gets carried away, enough to risk Snape's life, and as someone pointed out (Wynnleaf?) Lupin's life at Hogwarts, DD's trust etc. Plus, was Snape jealous of James because he was good at quidditch and popular, or did he hate him because he was a bully and a showoff. Even Harry was repulsed by his dad in the pensieve scene.

Having said that, it is clear James grew up to be a decent guy, or Lily wouldn't have bothered with him, and Snape is, well, rather nasty.

But I agree that Snape does seem obsessed with saving Harry's life, and that DD thinks the life debt is a big deal.
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Post  Mona on Fri May 27, 2011 12:08 am

irish flutterby - Sep 13, 2005 7:02 pm (#2881 of 2980)
I've recently wondered exactly when the rivalry between JAmes and Severus began. Does DD, Sirius or Lupin mention whether they just hated each other from the first sight. Was it just because they were Slytherine and Gryffindor at first, but then progressed. If so, what began the motion of their relationship toward sincere loathing?


Ana Cis - Sep 13, 2005 7:41 pm (#2882 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 13, 2005 8:48 pm
T Vrana, Harry jinxed Crabbe, Goyle and Filch to see how the Prince's jinxes worked; and Harry got a kick out of it...not because they provoked him. I agree w/Hermione; it was irresponsible of Harry to check out jinxes and/or hexes when he didn't know what the outcomes were. However, that is part of being young—-not realizing the consequences until it's too late.

I do believe Snape was jealous of James; he always keeps harping at Harry about how James thought he was such hot stuff, and about how good he thought himself at Quidditch. Both James' and Harry's popularity really irritates Snape. Draco also has the same problem with harry. That's where I draw the parallel.

That doesn't mean that Snape didn't have a reason to hate the marauders with their magical bullying tactics. I have no doubt that Snape resented all of them, including Dumbledore, for making keep Lupin's problem a secret. I also see Snape's maturity level just as "arrested" (JKR's word) as Sirius's. I probably didn't present it correctly, but the point is that none of them were angels. Harry almost killed Draco even if it was unintentionally. Being the loser of that encounter, Draco's not going to look at the situation objectively; the pain and humiliation would get in the way. Hence the hate continues.

EDIT: In SS Dumbledore comments that Snape and Jame's hatred were similar, Harry and Malfoy's. Sirius in OotP states that Snape and James detested each other from first sight, which support DD's comparison to Harry and Malfoy's.


T Vrana - Sep 13, 2005 7:55 pm (#2883 of 2980)
Good point, but Harry's hexes were a bit less hostile, as I remember. Snape was surrounded by a crowd that clearly saw James and Sirius in control and Snape as a victim. And they laughed. And it was just Harry, not so much an attack as a little hex in the hall, which I'm sure happened between many students. Picking on Filch seemed beneath him, not a good sign....

The pensieve scene strikes me as much nastier because Snape was alone, minding his own business, and then James makes a point of publically humiliating him, backed up by friends. Three on one. It is different from what Harry does. Though I am concerned that Harry is doing more slightly nasty things, and really nasty things, unforgivables.

Though DD sees Harry's ability to love, Harry is also beginning to store up some hate. Got a little LV going on...


T Brightwater - Sep 13, 2005 8:03 pm (#2884 of 2980)
I can't fully support that he orginally joined the death eaters to get closer to Voldemort so as to defeat him. He would have been quite young when he became a death eater.

I still think something, some act of Voldemort's, even some insult or slight, started him thinking in the direction of his destruction of Voldemort. I also think, while there must be some truth to it, that Dumbledore's explanation for Snape's switching sides is lame and incomplete.

Soul Search, this makes a lot of sense, and in fact I've thought for a long time that LV must have done something to Snape: humiliated him in some way, or perhaps killed someone he was close to - his mother, perhaps? (He changed sides, according to DD, before the Potters' deaths, so I don't think Lily's death was the original cause, though the threat to her may have been a factor.) Or could Snape have possibly been friends with Regulus?

It's possible that DD saw through Snape's "remorse" and guessed what he really wanted. He would still have trusted Snape, because anyone who is against Voldemort is on DD's side, but he would also know that Harry was the real key to defeating Voldemort, because it isn't an ego thing for him, it's a job he has to do for its own sake.


T Vrana - Sep 13, 2005 8:08 pm (#2885 of 2980)
T brightwater- It's possible that DD saw through Snape's "remorse" and guessed what he really wanted. He would still have trusted Snape

But I don't think DD would lie to Harry. DD seemed to believe Snape's remorse was genuine.


Ana Cis - Sep 13, 2005 8:11 pm (#2886 of 2980)
Good question....Could also be a lot of pent up grief. On the positive side, he feels remorse and holds himself accountable. LV never does...

As far as James and his crowd, they probably were not evil so much as thoughtless, unaware of how much pain they were causing. JKR says that James was an only child of a pure-blood family; and he was born late in their life. So he was probably pretty spoiled. After all, to befriend Lupin, a werewolf, and care for him; it showed that he had the capacity to care. I still feel we'll have some more surprises in book 7 about James and Snapes' relationships. Harry may have to comfront that his father wasn't as perfect as imagines him to be. Where he'll be pleasantly surprised is probably w/his mother.


Matrona - Sep 13, 2005 11:09 pm (#2887 of 2980)
Edited Sep 14, 2005 12:10 am
wynnleaf: He never makes any emphasis of the added danger his job holds compared to others.

I agree with all of your post except this line. While he doesn't mention the specific dangers of his own job, Snape did taunt Sirius about staying at Grimmauld Place while others (including himself) risked their lives and livelihoods in serving the Order (Arthur Weasley, Sturgis Podmore, etc.)

Although I'm a firm believer in Good!Snape, I must say it's difficult to defend a teacher who taunts an orphan about his dead father. However, relatively speaking, it does say something for Snape's character that he never taunted Harry about the murders of Sirius or Cedric Diggory. In fact--Snape is fond of accusing Harry of being an attention-seeking brat, but if I remember correctly, he doesn't do this during OotP, does he? Doing it then would have hurt Harry the most. Snape could have sent the Daily Prophet a whole pile of dirt on Harry... but he doesn't. If he'd only held off because of Dumbledore, he could have sent it anonymously or done it while Umbridge was in charge. Either way, he had the power to twist Harry's knife, and didn't.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 14, 2005 12:41 am (#2888 of 2980)
Edited Sep 14, 2005 1:51 am
Lots of great thoughts in here.

I had been wondering why Harry has not been more curious about his parents..especially now that he knows more people who knew them.

As I was reading through this thread I began to think that, as almost any child in his position would have done, Harry romanticized his parents and the life he felt like he should have lived-especially in comparison to the life he lives(?!) at the Dursleys. He assumes his life would have been perfect - pure heaven, had his parents lived. Then, when he sees that awful scene with Snape in the pensieve, he is not sure he wants to know more-it would shatter the beautiful image he has grown accustomed to believing all his life. And that is one more fantasy (as far as Harry can see from his viewpoint) that Snape has ruined for him. As Harry matures he will come to accept his parents for who they were, much as Neville's grandmother needs to come to accept the wonderful things about Neville.

Snape on the other hand would need a bevy of psychoanalyists to figure him out. JKR made a funny comment once, when someone asked why the one with Voldemort in a turban on his head wasn't Snape, and JKR says something to the effect of, 'Because I know all about Snape and he isn't about to put a turban on his head.'. Another cryptic comment that we love so much!! (And find endlessly frustrating!) And although I still like to think that Snape was loyal to Dumbledore, I cannot completely explain why even to myself! I do think the whole 'pure-blood' / 'half-blood' thing will come into play somehow. I am pretty sure that some of Voldemorts followers (namely Bellatrix LeStrange) do not know that Voldemort is a half-blood. What if Snape, after doing Voldemorts dirty work-knowing that Voldemort holds 'pure-blood' status in the highest esteem, knows Voldemort is trying to imply pure-blood 'lordship' leads the young Snape to build resentment, 'Hey, you're no better/different than I am' and it could have caused a lot of animosity.

One comment just came to my mind... it is a comment that Hermione makes in HBP ...something about how she wishes there were no Quiddich or that Quiddich did not separate the houses. Snape (and McGonagal) are fiercely competitive when it comes to Quiddich. It does not help the unity of the school. It does set up a lot of animosity between houses. Maybe that is why none will be played next year at Hogwarts. They will need to focus all of their energy on unity...and not dividing themselves in Sport.


Trints - Sep 14, 2005 4:55 am (#2889 of 2980)
Nice to read your thoughts. Actually, the thought crossed my mind that maybe Snape was secretly in love with Lily. That would make his hatred towards James perfectly understandable. That would also be a good explanation to the fact that he turned against Voldemort when he killed her and James (assuming that he did come back to the right side). If Dumbledore knew about it, it would explain why he trusted Snape so much and also, why he couldn't tell anyone the real reason of his trust. Because the end of his last conversation with Harry on the subject seems to hint that he didn't tell the real reason even to Harry ('Dumbledore did not speak for a moment; he looked as though he was trying to make up his ming about something. At last he said, 'I am sure. I trust Severus Snape completely.')


T Vrana - Sep 14, 2005 5:16 am (#2890 of 2980)
Trints- I think you are right, but Snape returned to DD before LV killed the Potters. I think he learned that LV was going after the Potters and came back to the right side to try to save them (James because of the life debt, Lily because he cared for her). I think this is why the "coward" comment bothers Snape so much. He may feel he did not do enough, that while he warned DD and James, he didn't physically stop LV, probably because he was afraid of LV.


Esther Rose - Sep 14, 2005 5:38 am (#2891 of 2980)
Edited Sep 14, 2005 6:38 am
Do we know if there are any other Half-Blood Death Eaters other than Voldemort and Snape. I think that there might have been a Hierarchy among the Death Eaters. Possibly making Snape the joke DE. No source to support this but it seems that if a muggleborn is intolerable then a half-muggleborn might not be completely acceptable.


T Vrana - Sep 14, 2005 6:10 am (#2892 of 2980)
Ana Cis- JKR says that James was an only child of a pure-blood family; and he was born late in their life. So he was probably pretty spoiled

Once again, sounds like Malfoy...

I'm not saying James is completely like Malfoy, but there were some similarities...


Esther Rose - Sep 14, 2005 6:12 am (#2893 of 2980)
T Vrana, but that would make Blaise Zabini like Wormtail. (The traitor.)


T Vrana - Sep 14, 2005 6:19 am (#2894 of 2980)
Hmmmm...so he'll turn on Malfoy?


Ana Cis - Sep 14, 2005 7:04 am (#2895 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 14, 2005 8:06 am
T Vrana, James was probably a bit like Malfoy, and that's probably why Lily was irritated with him. The difference is that Draco has a jealousy streak, shuts down his compassionate side, and likes the Dark Arts. I don't see James having those traits or he wouldn't have cared for Lupin and his problem.

Esther Rose, you must be reading my mind . I got the impression that Zabini doesn't care for Malfoy, and i've been thinking that he may side against the DEs and Voldemort.

One thing I can't emphasize enough is the life debt theme. I really believe that it's extremely significant. So significant that like the Horcruxes, Dumbledore doesn't want to give it away. He's hinted about it to Harry, the same way he did about the Room of Requirements. I believe he's done that because he knows of Harry's curiosity streak.


T Vrana - Sep 14, 2005 7:21 am (#2896 of 2980)
Edited Sep 14, 2005 8:53 am
Ana Cis- I agree that James is not Malfoy, he's sort of a "good" Malfoy. Has some of his outward faults, spoiled bully showoff, but is at heart a good guy.

I also strongly agree the life debt is a big deal. Oddly enough, Snape's biggest regret may just be the consequences of the life debt, it may not be Lily at all. Could it be possible that whatever deep magic is involved forced Snape to come back, so his regret over revealing the prophesy is still completely selfish? That his regret wasn't because he cared about James or Lily, but regret that his actions forced him to come back to DD? So instead of "I can't believe what I did put the Potters in danger." "I can't believe I'm stuck back here working for you." I can picture Snape's frustration...then James dies anyway...now he's really stuck...then Black escapes...will this ever end...

I tend to hope not. I like the idea that Snape could actually care for someone and come back to the right side becasue he realized how wrong LV's side is. Plus DD could have revealed this. Harry knew about the life debt, DD could have explained more how it works. So I still think there is a Lily connection, but that the life debt plays a role in Snape feeling trapped.


Ana Cis - Sep 14, 2005 7:31 am (#2897 of 2980)
T Vrana, We're both seeing it the same way. Like you I'm hoping that Snape is redeemable. However, he's going to have to find the courage to deal with his emotional wounds, accept that James and Lupin were not in the plot to get him killed, and forgive them for their "idiocy" as Sirius stated. I'm hoping that as this is a children series, JKR will go that route. I'm a sucker for happy ending stories.


Soul Search - Sep 14, 2005 9:36 am (#2898 of 2980)
Pardon, but I ran out of posts and this is catch up.

Ana Cis -- I like your 2879 post. Good analysis. Couple of minor points.

I don't think Draco wanted Harry to be a "friend." Draco wanted the famous Harry Potter a devoted "follower," like Crabbe and Goyle. Draco doesn't know how to have a friend.

In the shack scene in PoA, Snape exhibited a passion for getting Sirius and Lupin dead or demented. He didn't care that Sirius may be innocent nor that Lupin was a fellow teacher and guilty of nothing. Suggests his hate was even more severe than you describe, and festering for a long time. Hate does not fade with time for Snape.

T Brightwater -- I think it makes more sense that something triggered Snape's desire to destroy Voldemort, but I don't rule out that it was early, say before he overheard the prophesy. It may not have been one thing, but a building of things.

Voldemort would not have treated "newby" death eater Snape with anything near the respect Snape would have wanted and expected. Snape could not have given Voldemort the devotion Voldemort required from his death eaters. That relationship could have started wrong from its beginning.

I like the Snape/Regulus connection. Regulus would have been younger, but they would have been death eaters at some of the same time. What might be really interesting if Snape and Regulus were both involved with whatever got Regulus killed. Something related to horcruxes, perhaps?

RoseMorninStar -- Did JKR say there wouldn't be any Quiddich, or just that she wouldn't be describing the matches?

T Vrana -- I think we will discover that Draco isn't quite as bad as all that. He grew up the son of two pure-blood death eaters, yet he didn't kill Dumbledore, even though it meant he and his parents would die. This is a serious change of soul; Draco had a epiphany, there on the Lighting-Struck Tower.

We saw the true Draco; I think we are going to see some changes in Draco. (My "Malfoys will help Harry" theory.")


T Brightwater - Sep 14, 2005 9:50 am (#2899 of 2980)
Edited Sep 14, 2005 10:55 am
By the way, welcome Trints! Just so you know, I'm the resident sceptic about Snape having a crush on Lily, because if it was going to be that important Jo would have given us some kind of clue already, and she hasn't. Sometimes the dog doesn't bark in the nighttime because there's nothing to bark at! (I have a jar of chocolate sauce ready in case I have to eat my words after Book 7.)

I think the life debt is important, but I also think that Snape has his own reasons for wanting LV dead that have nothing to do with the Potters. Possibilities include (but are not limited to):

1) When Snape reported back to LV with the part of the prophecy he was able to overhear, instead of being grateful for the news LV berated him for being stupid and getting caught before he heard the whole thing. We know how Snape feels about thinking he's doing someone a favor and not having it appreciated! (See Shrieking Shack scene.)

2) When it became clear that there were two babies to whom the prophecy might have referred, Snape tried to steer LV toward the Longbottoms and away from the Potters (life debt) but LV taunted him with having feelings for Lily. If it was true he was furious at having his secret discovered, and if it wasn't he was mortally offended. This would explain why he was so insistent about telling Narcissa there was no way to change LV's mind and he wasn't stupid enough to try.

3) Snape was a friend of Regulus (the Half-Blood Prince and the "little king" which is what Regulus means in Latin - how appropriate!) and was devastated at his death and/or possibly aware of his reasons for turning against LV. Maybe he accidentally betrayed him, in which case the remorse that DD saw was quite genuine, only not over the people Snape claimed it was. If Regulus died in part because the potion in the cave weakened him, that would really make DD's death painful for Snape. Sirius didn't include Regulus among the list of Slytherins that Snape hung out with, but I can see him not wanting to mention his brother in that context. We know that Regulus was a Slytherin (from Slughorn) and that he did become a DE (from Sirius and Remus) so he could have been in the same crowd; not all the people Sirius did mention were in the same year.

Edit: Soul Search, I'm glad this idea appeals to you, and I also wonder if Snape had anything to do with the Horcrux business.


T Vrana - Sep 14, 2005 10:00 am (#2900 of 2980)
Soul Search- Snape did want to take out both Black and Lupin (this was a little shocking), but at the time he still thought Black had betrayed the Potters, and Lupin was helping him get into Hogwarts.


Spursgirl79 - Sep 14, 2005 12:25 pm (#2901 of 2980)
T Brightwater: I think JKR HAS given us clues about Snape having a crush on Lily (never reciprocated I am sure). The very OMISSION of any insulting comments about Lily to Harry is an important hint I think. Of course, you could argue that Snape simply had no feelings one way or the other about Lily, which is why he never mentions her. However, the introduction of the idea of the 'Slug Club' changes this in my opinion: I think we'll find that Lily and Seveus were both members, and so became friends this way. The 'blink' from Lily in 'Snape's Worst Memory' is also a hint. Indeed, the chapter title 'Snape's Worst Memory' could be one: why is this particular bullying by James, Sirius etc any worse than the dozens of others I'm sure Snape endured? Because Lily was involved??

Sorry if I am going over old ground, I've been out of the loop for a while Smile


Saracene - Sep 14, 2005 12:36 pm (#2902 of 2980)
Going back to the discussion of facial expressions, there´s one bit in the Pensieve scene that always strikes me as odd: just after James casts a spell on Snape that makes him dangle in the air upside down, Lily is described as suppressing a smile. I find it hard to believe that she would smile because she found the sight amusing - Lily was clearly disgusted with the way James treated Snape. So why would she smile?

I still can´t say I find the life debt to James a powerful enough reason for Snape to switch sides and risk so much, or at least not the life debt on its own. What kinda reinforces it for me is that throughout the series, and the sixth book especially, the idea of love is reinforced powerfully again and again, much more than the idea of life debt (which is just as well, since if you kept count of all the characters saving each other´s lives your head would spin, Smile And if life debt is the reason why Snape switched sides, then why wouldn´t DD mention it when he tells Harry of Snape´s remorse? Harry knows about it already, so DD wouldn´t be revealing anything new that could potentially endanger Snape´s position. I just think that Snape´s ultimate motivation would be of a much bigger secret than something we´ve known since book one.


T Brightwater - Sep 14, 2005 12:46 pm (#2903 of 2980)
The very OMISSION of any insulting comments about Lily to Harry is an important hint I think.

Snape's grudge is against James and Sirius, not against Lily. Why should he say anything about her? Yes, it could be that he Doesn't Say Anything about Lily because he had a passionate secret crush on her. It also could be that he doesn't say anything about Lily because he hasn't particularly got anything to say.

Snape having a secret crush on Lily is a reasonable theory, it explains a lot, but it isn't the only theory that explains a lot. Also, Snape's "filthy little Mudblood" remark really doesn't sound like an endearment to me - and that's the only time we've seen them together.


Saracene - Sep 14, 2005 12:51 pm (#2904 of 2980)
On the other hand, if the only time we´ve seen James and Lily together was the same Pensieve memory, you´d never think these two would ever get married and have a kid.


T Brightwater - Sep 14, 2005 12:56 pm (#2905 of 2980)
Not on her part, Saracene, but it was fairly obvious in that scene that James had a crush on Lily. I didn't see any feelings on Snape's part except contempt.


Lina - Sep 14, 2005 1:33 pm (#2906 of 2980)
The idea of Snape being in love with Lily, does indeed reinforce the DD's theory about love being the most powerful magic. But still, JKR did say "Who would want to be loved by Snape?" (this one really bothers me and makes me reconsider the idea of Snape being a good guy) Why on Earth would JKR do something like that to Lily (make her be loved by Snape)?

Soul Search:
I like the Snape/Regulus connection. Regulus would have been younger, but they would have been death eaters at some of the same time. What might be really interesting if Snape and Regulus were both involved with whatever got Regulus killed. Something related to horcruxes, perhaps?
Thank you, Soul Search! I've been trying to bring this idea (about Snape knowing more about the horcruxes than anybody else in the Order) on the surface, but wasn't succesfull yet.
RoseMorninStar -- Did JKR say there wouldn't be any Quiddich, or just that she wouldn't be describing the matches?
I had the impression that she would not be writing about them.


wynnleaf - Sep 14, 2005 2:27 pm (#2907 of 2980)
Edited Sep 14, 2005 3:28 pm
Spursgirl79 mentioned something I've been thinking about. In the scene of Slughorn's Christmas party, Snape and Trelawne are there, but I don't think other faculty are there. Since the other adults are either Slughorn's Slug Club "alumni," or their friends (the vampire fellow), it made me wonder if Snape was part of the Slug Club when he was in school. He doesn't seem like the type, but on the other hand, why was he at the party? Just an interesting note, particularly since Lily was certainly one of Slughorn's favorites and almost certainly part of the Slub Club.


T Brightwater - Sep 14, 2005 2:57 pm (#2908 of 2980)
I agree that love has been, is, and will be important in the series, but it doesn't have to be romantic love. The love of parent and child, the love of friends, and the more abstract love of goodness - the love that makes a person do the right thing even for someone he doesn't like - are all important. Harry, like Voldemort, was deprived of the love of his parents, though Sirius, Molly, and Dumbledore have been surrogates of a kind, but he has plenty of the others - It was his idea that he and Ron should look for Hermione when the troll was on the loose, even though neither of them could stand her; he protected Dudley from the Dementors; Ginny didn't mean nearly as much to him when he saved her as she does now. (Harry's no saint, but he does have some of that basic goodness that Dumbledore has in abundance and Voldemort completely lacks.)

I don't know if Snape loves anybody, least of all himself, but if I'm right that he wants to kill Voldemort himself, it could as easily be a friend or a parent he wants to avenge, or an insult to himself. As I see it (at the moment) the problem with him is that he's not working disinterestedly for LV's defeat, as DD and Harry are; his ego is on the line. It has to be him who defeats LV.

Why? Maybe it's the only way he can figure to justify his existence to himself, to "be somebody." One side of his tragedy is that, even if he destroyed LV all by himself, he'd still be Snape - he wouldn't be magically transformed into a charming, lovable hero with a happy life. The reverse of the coin is that he already is somebody and he doesn't need to justify his existence. I hope he realizes that; he'll be a lot happier, more effective, and more pleasant to be around. (I speak from personal experience.)


irish flutterby - Sep 14, 2005 3:38 pm (#2909 of 2980)
"accept that James and Lupin were not in the plot to get him killed,"

I don't think it was really Sirius' intent to get Snape killed. Just to teach him a lesson. I think if Sirius had gotten Snape killed, he might have been a little remorseful, but maybe more over the effect it would have on his (Sirius') life.

Here's a thought (probably way off base). What it LV finds out soon after the end of book 6 that DD got to one of the horcrux's. DD said that LV would want the person to live long enough to find out how and why they found out about the horcux and went after it. If that is so, and if LV finds out that DD had gone after it and was dying from the potion in the basin, won't he be a little bit miffed that he didn't get to find anything out before Snape AK'd him? Granted Snape supposedly wouldn't have known about the Horcrux's (though I think he does) and so couldn't have known not to kill DD, but LV doesn't seem to let minor things like the facts keep him from torturing someone who interfere's with his plans.


Ana Cis - Sep 14, 2005 4:17 pm (#2910 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 14, 2005 5:17 pm
Soul Search, "Severus Snape" #2898, 14 Sep 2005 10:36 am "I don't think Draco wanted Harry to be a "friend." Draco wanted the famous Harry Potter a devoted "follower," like Crabbe and Goyle. Draco doesn't know how to have a friend."

Just want to clarify a point. Those were not my words, but JKR's. Draco didn't want Harry to be his follower, but there was self-interest. Something like, "I have connections, 'cause this rock star is my friend!" When Harry rebuffed him, Draco had to save face; hence the start of their conflict.

As far as with Sirius and Lupin, I agree with you. I see Snape totally loosing to the point that he was psychotic.

irish flutterby, "Severus Snape" #2909, 14 Sep 2005 4:38 pm Madame flutterby, I like your Post name.

You give Sirius more credit than I do. I don't see the joke in having Snape come face to face w/a werewolf. And he wasn't remorseful at all. Sirius' comment, "It served him right." When it comes to Snape, Sirius is just about as psychotic as Snape is about him. The hate between those two is visceral.


T Vrana - Sep 14, 2005 6:53 pm (#2911 of 2980)
Edited Sep 14, 2005 7:55 pm
saracene- I still can´t say I find the life debt to James a powerful enough reason for Snape to switch sides and risk so much

I'm really surprised by how many posters say this. DD's words:

"....When one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain bond between them..."

"This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable, Harry."

DD doesn't take this lightly. What would Snape have risked if he had broken that magical bond by allowing his information to lead to the murder of a wizard he owes his life debt to? It isn't the debt, so much as the breaking of the magical bond created by the debt that would be worrisome. As most wizards who have been saved probably do not turn around and take part in their saviour's murder, keeping track of life debts is not an issue.

I do still think there is a Lily link, too, though.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 14, 2005 8:44 pm (#2912 of 2980)
Edited Sep 14, 2005 9:47 pm
Soul Search, Here is JKR's quote about quidditch from her interview with Melissa and Emerson. Note the first line: You know, that was the last Quidditch match. I knew as I wrote it that it was the last time I was going to be doing a Quidditch match. To be honest with you, Quidditch matches have been the bane of my life in the Harry Potter books. They are necessary in that people expect Harry to play Quidditch, but there is a limit to how many ways you can have them play Quidditch together and for something new to happen. And then I had this moment of blinding inspiration. I thought, Luna’s going to commentate, and that was just a gift. It’s the kind of commentary I’d do on a sports match because I'm — [laughs]. Anyway yeah, it was that.

I find it a bit...I don't know...uncomfortable? to think that Snape loved Lily. That just seems a bit bizaare. And icky. That said however, hasn't it been mentioned a couple of times how destructive obsessive love is and how dangerous/disasterous love potions are? I cannot help but wonder if something like that won't come into play in the last book.

Perhaps Lily was the brilliant one in potions and Snape took notes on Lily's successes. If Lily were succeeding on Snapes efforts, you would think that Slughorn would have been aware, if not of the sharing of information, but also of the brilliance of Snapes' potion making.

I think, like Harry, Snape has a hunger to prove himself. When he was arrived at Hogwarts, for whatever reason, he was already well schooled in the Dark Arts. Perhaps he considered himself a 'runner-up' to 'Lord' Voldemort.. he would be his 'Prince'.

I kind of had a funny feeling Snape had tender feelings for Narcissa. At least he treated her as tenderly as I have ever seen him treat anyone.


irish flutterby - Sep 14, 2005 8:49 pm (#2913 of 2980)
I think Snape treats Narcissa the way he does, because of the way Narcissa treats Severus. I also think that she treats him the way Lily treated him and probably would have continued to treat him if he hadn't so gracefully rammed his entire foot in his wide open trap and called her such a nasty name.


Trints - Sep 15, 2005 3:12 am (#2914 of 2980)
Good point, Saracene -- life debt as a reason of Snape's return would maybe have been something DD would not have had to hide so strictly from everyone. After all, Harry wasn't the only one who suspected Snape. DD said, You have no idea of the remorse prof Snape felt.. I believe it to be the greatest regret of his life and the reason that he returned.' The words of DD seem to show that Snape did not know how LV had interpreted the prophecy until Lily and James were already dead. (T Vrana, why do you think that Snape returned before their death? I may have missed some clue) I agree that feelings towards Lily is not the only theoly that would explain much, but in any case it had to be something extreme that made Snape return. If he really was a devoted DE he wouldn't mind innocent people getting killed, he may even have killed a few himself on LV's orders (killing DD didn't seem to be his first time to use the AK), so just two people he knew being killed would not have been enough. Turning against LV surely meant lot of trouble for him, not to mention the threat to his life.

To T Brightwater -- if Snape did have a crush on Lily then his 'filthy little mudblood' remark to her seems perfectly logical to me in the given situation (at least in terms of teenagers' logic:). Snape must have been really determined to hide his feelings, he must have been sure they wouldn't be returned. He didn't seem to be a kid with the strongest self-esteem.

And I agree with RoseMorninStar about the hints on the importance of love. Actually, when I read Slughorn's remark in the first Potions class of Y6 (about underestimating the power of obsessive love) I waited all along the book for something to happen that would be connected to love (something more important than Romilda Vane trying to slip love potion to Harry)

Anyway, if Snape does turn out to be good in the end then there probably wouldn't be any great forgiveness and friendship between him and Harry. It seems more likely that Snape would die in some heroic way, maybe saving Harry's life and helping him to get rid of LV..

what a long post, but I only come here once a day.


rambkowalczyk - Sep 15, 2005 4:00 am (#2915 of 2980)
Suppose Lily is the type of person who always sticks up for the underdog.

I am thinking suppose that James and Sirius' behavior (Snape's worse memory) to Snape was in retaliation to something Snape did to Peter or Lupin. Maybe Peter was caught alone by Snape and his friends and they did something to Peter until Lily stopped them.

Therefore when she sees Snape upside down she is of two minds-one this is a horrible thing for James to do and Snape "deserves" it. She lets her better instincts guide her and she tells off James. She probably thinks James and Snape are equally obnoxious. Snape on the other hand sees Lily as a busybody continually interfering in everybody's business, hence the Mudblood comment.


Soul Search - Sep 15, 2005 4:06 am (#2916 of 2980)
RoseMorninStar -- Thanks for the quote. I think there won't be any more matches. I guess I assumed from the SS Mirror scene that Ron would fulfill his fondest wish and become Quiddich captain.

Maybe Ron will, at least, be head boy. Harry will, of course, have too much to be getting on with. So should Ron and Hermione, for that matter.

No more Quiddich could mean anything from Hogwarts doesn't open to everyone is too busy to play.

Quiddich has been a mainstay of the books and a vehicle for the Harry/Draco rivalry to play out, but I think things have moved on.

I guess now, upon further thought, I am suprised that Quiddich was played in HBP, what with Draco not playing.


T Vrana - Sep 15, 2005 4:34 am (#2917 of 2980)
trints- DD testifies that Snape returned before LV's downfall, therefore before Lily and James were killed, in the Pensieve scene in GoF

rambkowalczyk - But they never say it is retaliation or even hint at it. They say they are bored.


wynnleaf - Sep 15, 2005 5:06 am (#2918 of 2980)
Edited Sep 15, 2005 6:07 am
When asked in a recent interview if anyone had ever loved Snape, JKR said yes. But when asked earlier if Snape had ever been in love with someone, she did not say yes or no, but with a question of who would want Snape in love with them? She basically asked why would anyone want Snape in love with them because that would be really unpleasant. Of course, that’s not a clear answer, but compared to the relatively clear answer to the first question, it makes me think JKR didn’t want to answer it.

But her answer does bring up the question of why, if Snape loved someone, it would be so unpleasant for the recipient of that love? Even before HBP brought up the dangers of obsessive love, I tended to assume from JKR’s comment that Snape’s love (if there was any) would be obsessive.

So while we don’t know about Lily except the “dog in the night” evidence of what isn’t said, I think it’s a good guess that if Snape did love Lily, it was obsessive love.

T Vrana, I think the life debt is sufficient reason for many of Snape’s motivations, but not all of his emotions. It’s sufficient for frustration, but for as little burden as it appears to be on Harry’s friends, it’s hard to see the breaking of that bond causing the degree of emotional response that Snape seems to have – the huge amounts of hate and bitterness, as well as the “greatest regret” part.

I just thought of something. Snape’s got Pettigrew at Spinner’s End. They’re apparently both living there, at least briefly. Snape is acting pretty nasty to Pettigrew, but he’s not at his throat with hate, even though he knows for sure that Pettigrew was the secret keeper who betrayed James and Lily – and also murdered all those muggles.

So for all of us who have defended Snape’s vitriolic hate of Sirius in the Shrieking Shack with “he thought Sirius was a murderer at the time,” why is Snape able to tolerate Pettigrew’s presence? Yes, I know he’s got to in order to play his part as a DE. But still, it’s interesting. If the plot had been that Sirius really was a DE and the secret keeper, I don’t think Snape would have been able to play this part around him – his hatred would be too powerful, don’t you think?


T Brightwater - Sep 15, 2005 5:18 am (#2919 of 2980)
Good catch, wynnleaf - Pettigrew is the one who betrayed the Potters. If Snape really was obsessed by Lily, you'd think he couldn't stand Wormtail anywhere near him. And if he's a good enough actor to keep that hidden, then I'd say he's good enough to fool DD, especially by saying something that DD really wants to hear.

See you in a few weeks!


T Vrana - Sep 15, 2005 5:34 am (#2920 of 2980)
Edited Sep 15, 2005 6:38 am
Snape has to maintain his cover now. He was ready to kill Black before LV was back. With LV back his spying is more important than his revenge, for now...

Or Snape really is evil and was ready to kill Black and Lupin for the Marauder stuff. James is already dead, DD was headmaster during the bullying, he's "dead". BUT, Pettigrew was a marauder, too, so we're back to Snape needing to be patient.

I don't think Snape is totally evil.

wynnleaf- but for as little burden as it appears to be on Harry’s friends, it’s hard to see the breaking of that bond causing the degree of emotional response that Snape seems to have

None of his friends have any intention of hurting, contributitng to his death or killing him. I don't think a life debt is a big burden, I think breaking it, by getting the person you owe killed, is.

But I agree that there seems to be a Lily connection.


Soul Search - Sep 15, 2005 6:19 am (#2921 of 2980)
T Vrana -- But I agree that there seems to be a Lily connection.

I don't see any canon evidence. Even in the OotP pensive scene Snape is dismissing her concern and issuing a severe insult by calling her a mudblood. Not a good response if he had any feelings at all for her.

The only reason I suspect Lily, is I can't come up with any other canon that suggests a reason for Snape switching sides.


T Vrana - Sep 15, 2005 6:36 am (#2922 of 2980)
soul search-

The reason I see the possibility- Harry looks like James, but has Lily's eyes.

If Snape has, at the least, some respect for Lily, this would explain Snape's bizarre "pop quiz" in Harry's first potions lesson. The questions were more 6th year than first class for a kid raised by muggles. Lily we know was great at potions. I think Snape was trying in his own odd way, to determine if this boy who looks just like James, but has Lily's eyes, is more James or Lily. He decides James, but is clearly wrong.

The mudblood comment did come at a very humiliating moment for an adolescent male, I would not say this reveals Snape's true emotions.

Snape never says anything about Lily, not even as a way to insult James again, such as questioning her taste in husbands.

No proof, I know, but a possibility...


wynnleaf - Sep 15, 2005 6:36 am (#2923 of 2980)
Edited Sep 15, 2005 7:38 am
If there is a connection with Lily, the only "evidence" is what isn't said. That is, that Snape never uses any kind of criticism of Lily, or any sort of remark, even as to her choice of husband, to disparage her with Harry. Add to that DD's comment that their betrayal and deaths were the greatest regret of his life and (since we know he had no positive feelings toward James), that seems to leave Lily as the primary person to regret her death. (yes, I know, T Vrana - life debts) None of that "evidence" necessarily leads toward a romantic interest, of course, so even if there were a connection, it could be friends only.

As to why, if such a connection existed, we see no one mention anything about it -- well, who would know??

Snape, being Snape, would almost certainly not let many people know if he had a more hidden obsession with Lily - least of all the Marauders. Most teachers probably wouldn't notice such an interest either. They'd notice a dating relationship, but not necessarily an obsession from afar.

Even a good friendship might not be noticed by many teachers. And who is around in the books who would have or could have noticed? Not the Maruaders. The Weasley's were at Hogwarts earlier. The only teachers we are sure were at Hogwarts at the time would have been Hagrid, DD, McGonagall, hmm, anyone else?? Binns. I don't know about Flitwick. The only one among those who might tell Harry anything about such a thing would be Hagrid. But I doubt if Snape was close to Hagrid when he was in school, so Hagrid probably wouldn't know about it.

The only other person who would be likely to know would be Slughorn. I wondered, after the Christmas party, if Snape was in the Slug Club. The party seemed to mostly include present and past "alumni" of the club. If they were both around Slughorn a lot (and he was head of Slytherins, too), he'd likely have an idea. But in HBP, we only see Slughorn and Snape together during that party, and the subject wouldn't necessarily have come up then.

So if there was any such relationship, I wouldn't be surprised if in Book 7 Slughorn turns out to know about it with a willingness to mention it... just a guess.

Oh, by the way and on another note, during the party Slughorn does say twice "even Severus" and "even you" speaking of Snape's ability at potions. Both times the "even you" implied that Snape was one of his best students. "never had a student produce finer on a first attempt, I don't think even you, Severus -- " That seems to mean that Slughorn saw Harry as an even better student than Snape, which was really saying something.


T Vrana - Sep 15, 2005 7:03 am (#2924 of 2980)
Edited Sep 15, 2005 8:11 am
wynnleaf- I agree with the Lily connection. But I also think folks are underplaying the seriousness of the....you guessed it... life debt .

Also, remember DD said love is the only lure powerful enough to resist the lure of power like LV's. So you are right, life debt can't be the only thing. Love, not for James, surely...

Snape's biggest regret can have two parts, one obligatory, one emotional...

I also think Snape's feeling of being trapped relates more to the life debt broken (owes Harry now), and the accusation of coward relates to both....love and life debt.

Last time I'll mention it...

maybe... :-)


HungarianHorntail11 - Sep 15, 2005 7:51 am (#2925 of 2980)
Edited Sep 15, 2005 9:50 am
wynnleaf, the information in your last paragraph is what I thought of when others were questioning whether or not Snape was in the Slug Club. I can't imagine Slughorn would recognize Snape's talent and use him as a basis of comparison without including him in his club.

T Vrana, it seems as though what is being questioned is not whether or not it is one factor over another, but rather, what would evoke such deep remorse and/or regret from someone like Snape. The only plausible idea naturally leads one towards love, since it can cause such a broad spectrum of (powerful) emotion that might possibly move Snape to such an action as that of abandoning his DE beliefs in Big V.

Edit: Ana Cis, I really like your observations regarding Snape's responses to certain situations. I am sure JKR didn't remain consistent accidentally.


HogwartsExpress5972 - Sep 15, 2005 9:11 am (#2926 of 2980)
I believe that Snape was good at potions for the same reasons that Harry was in HBP. They both used the same book. The book is said to be 50 years old, so Snape was not the first to use it. This book I believe was LV's perhaps the first "Half Blood Prince", then Snape got the book used, found its powers and adopted the HBP name as his own.

As far as Snape's ability to hide his thoughts from DD and LV he only had to extract his thoughts with the pensieve and his mind would be clear of any thoughts he didn't want either of them to see.


kage - Sep 15, 2005 10:20 am (#2927 of 2980)
Edited Sep 15, 2005 11:22 am
I' ve been pondering that Lily-Severus thing for quite a while now. No, I definitely can't see them holding hands, but:
Severus comes to Hogwarts from a home where he learned all that Dark Arts stuff (where else?). Maybe even for protection. A rather cruel home without warmth and love but with lots of solitude, that's the image I get from the memories Harry pulls off Mr. Snape during occlumency. A rather ugly boy, unable to ride a broom and with some serious lack of abilities in social interaction, as he's never learned that at home. If he had managed to build some self-esteem at home, it wouldn't have lasted long at school. He finds a first-sight-enemy in James. He doesn't manage to make friends, instead assossiates himself with that Slytherin gang that became DEs later. He's good at potions and maybe not bad or even good with the rest, but nowhere near James. He starts to

think of himself as the Half-Blood-Prince, reassuring himself with a made-up title, I doubt he'd dare call himself that. All he's got to prove 'strenght'/himself is his Dark Arts stuff, but the only ones he can impress with that are those Slytherins. I'd even grant him great sensitivity and emotional potential, though the last isn't developed/grown up. All in all, he's got the opposite end of James and Sirius popularity. James and Sirius even turn his own spell(s), sectumsempra, at least, against him.

And there's Lily, bright, talented and friendly - friendly to him. For the first time Severus is 'touched' by love, meaning the general love for (human) beings, much like DDs or Hagrids (toward beasts etc.). No way he can handle that and Lily becomes Severus 'everything', but he'd never dare to openly approach her and admit it, not to Lily or anybody else. [takes a deep breath]

In the pensieve scene Severus is caught in an embarassing and terrible situation: He has no chance against James, who in the end has him dangling in the air with his own spell, people gather round and laugh, and all that in front of Lily. In such a situation I find it quite understandeble if one spits and slashes at just anybody, especially at those who want to help. So Severus calls Lily mudblood and Lily slashes back and calls him Snivellus , which, I think, must have hurt just as much. James and Sirius call him Snivellus, makes me think they've caught him crying once (about what I have no idea, his miserable existance in general would be reason enough). No way Severus was able to get that one straight with Lily. End of Lilys friendlyness for Severus, loss of 'love', major regret/self-humilation and accusation of James who got him in that situation in the first place. There's two more years to stew in this poisonous mix of unresolved emotion at school with Lily around and, on top of everything, with having to see Lily dating James. Sirius prank could well have been because Severus didn't stop following Lily - maybe he even slipped her a Love Potion, or just because Severus was following the Marauders, or simply because Sirius was bored and Severus still existed. Hard to tell.

The fact that Severus himself was the one who initially set Voldemort on Lilys tracks can only have made it worse. He must have felt like someone shoved him into a cauldon full of boiling oil. And when Dumbledore speaks of 'one of his greates regrets' it might be a major understatement. And I bet it's still boiling. I don't think that Severus really hates Harry, he just can't stand to see him: not only does Harry look like James, he also has Lilys eyes - like a permanent reminder of his mistakes and a permanent accusation for his failure to save her. To me it seems that it's not that Severus doesn't speak of Lily, it's like Severus can't speak of Lily. - To me the life dept looks like minor trouble compared to the pain Severus inflicted on himsef.

The adult Professor Snape is bitter and poisonous as much as poisoned by himself. I think he has retired from life and all he wants is to see Voldemort dead. He had his share of 'fame and glory' with Voldemort, which he had probably been searching there, and it got Lily killed. I think he's got enough of that, too.

All that should be enough to convince Dumbledore (and only Dumbledore) and how many other major reasons for Mr. Snapes remorse and return to Dumbedore could JKR give us in just one more book?

That's probably enough, got carried away, sorry.


wynnleaf - Sep 15, 2005 10:41 am (#2928 of 2980)
Edited Sep 15, 2005 11:42 am
Yes, kage, exactly.

I think life debt is also a big piece, but primarily in the way it traps Snape - Severus, that is - into a bond with James who he hates, but then makes him (Severus) the betrayer of that bond. Oh what a trap that is! -- this combination of bond/betrayal/trap plus huge emotional guilt and hate.

And most of all, my gut feeling has been, as you mention, that Severus cannot speak of Lily, not that he will not.


T Vrana - Sep 15, 2005 10:52 am (#2929 of 2980)
kage

Very well stated, though I agree with wynnleaf that owing that thing I said I wouldn't talk about to James compounds his misery and sense of being trapped.


kage - Sep 15, 2005 11:31 am (#2930 of 2980)
I'm not sure about that trap-thing. But maybe I just missed something. If Severus was really so upset about Lilys (possible) death, what would that debt matter? I doubt that the debt was the first thing on his mind and probably not a reason to return to Dumbledore. And even if it does bother him, it just adds to the pain, but doesn't change much. If he wants to see Voldemort dead he has to help Harry anyway - wether he likes it or not - as Harry is the 'Chosen One'. He even wanted to see Harry expelled - that could have get Harry killed. It could have meant no further education and 24/7 protection at Hogwarts and a life with the Dursleys for Harry, no preparation the way he had it. Easy prey for Voldemort. So how much does the debt bother him? Not that much is my guess.

[Are we only allowed to type 'dept' 10 times a day? I think I've had 4 now in one post... ;-) ]


Matrona - Sep 15, 2005 1:32 pm (#2931 of 2980)
Edited Sep 15, 2005 2:39 pm
Kage: He even wanted to see Harry expelled - that could have get Harry killed. It could have meant no further education and 24/7 protection at Hogwarts and a life with the Dursleys for Harry, no preparation the way he had it. Easy prey for Voldemort.

My theory on that is that Snape wanted to see Harry expelled because Harry kept pulling stupid stunts that put himself and others in danger--like flying a car to school, wandering around school at night, and so forth. I think Snape, having known all along about the prophecy, knows that if Harry continues to act the way he does, he'll be easy prey for LV, and has tried to force him to toughen up, even if it means having to get him expelled. Snape knows that it is vital that Harry learns all he can from Hogwarts. If Harry cheats on his homework and classwork, doesn't learn things for himself, and flouts important rules (the statute of secrecy and restrictions on underage magic)... how can he expect to conquer a wizard that most adult wizards would not last three minutes with? So, Snape would rather have Harry learn his lesson by being expelled, than have him breeze through school and face Voldemort only to find himself hopelessly unprepared.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my theory on Hogwarts expulsions is that most expelled students would be allowed to come back after sitting out for a year or so. (Hagrid would be an exception, since his alleged transgression killed a fellow student, they dealt with him much more strictly than normal, snapped his wand, and forbade him from doing magic, etc.) So if Harry had been expelled, he would have spent a year at Privet Drive before being able to come back--a year, in Snape's mind, he could reflect on what he did and so forth, and then hopefully take his education more seriously. Remember, at Privet Drive, Harry cannot be harmed by LV until he comes of age.

Just my two knuts. Smile


T Vrana - Sep 15, 2005 1:55 pm (#2932 of 2980)
kage-

I tried, I really did, but I have to talk life debt....

DD "Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt...When one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain bond between them...and I'm much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter."

"This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable, Harry. But trust me...the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew's life."

1) DD thinks life debts are pretty heavy magic

2) Last time LV had a servant (Snape) with a life debt to a Potter (James), things did not turn out well for him.

This doesn't negate the Lily/love (some form) theory, but when DD speaks, I listen. I think the life debt and the breaking of it, does play a major role in Snape's decisions and torment. Otherwise, what is the big deal and why bring it up to Harry?

Magic at its deepest...


wynnleaf - Sep 15, 2005 2:23 pm (#2933 of 2980)
On wanting Harry expelled... Please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Snape has suggested that Harry be expelled since LV came back in GOF.


irish flutterby - Sep 15, 2005 2:29 pm (#2934 of 2980)
Other than his mention to Bella that he tried to get Harry expelled, I believe you are correct.


timrew - Sep 15, 2005 2:53 pm (#2935 of 2980)
kage:- I don't think that Severus really hates Harry, he just can't stand to see him: not only does Harry look like James, he also has Lilys eyes - like a permanent reminder of his mistakes and a permanent accusation for his failure to save her.

Good point, kage! Snape must beat himself up mentally every time he sees Harry.

I don't ever expect them to be friends, or to have Snape appear with a puppy for Harry at Christmas; but I think, in book 7, it'll all come out; and Snape and Harry will end up 'grudgingly respecting' each other.


Ana Cis - Sep 15, 2005 5:15 pm (#2936 of 2980)
Harry will still need to deal w/the issue of James and Snape's hostility for each other. He's put it out of his mind in Book 5 because he wasn't ready to deal with it. He couldn't even discuss it w/his two best friends. This will be a key issue in the next book. Dumbledore's comment about some wounds running too deep for the healing means that we haven't learned all of what James and Sirius did to Snape. I don't believe that JKR wrote this just to leave it hanging there without some resolution. Facing this issue is going to be part of his growing up, thereby, learning to deal w/his own emotions in order to deal with Voldemort. There may be a point where he's going to have to admit to Snape that what Sirius and his dad did were wrong...even if they weren't evil in the same sense as Voldemort was evil.


T Vrana - Sep 15, 2005 5:32 pm (#2937 of 2980)
Edited Sep 15, 2005 6:51 pm
Ana Cis- I think you are right.

Reading your post I was reminded that Snape heals Malfoy's literal deep wounds with a song of sorts, wiping Malfoy's face in between, it was an almost maternal moment. It was the closest we ever see Snape to being caring...

Is it possible we will see a similar scene in Book 7, with Harry and Snape? Who will be the healer...?


Ana Cis - Sep 15, 2005 6:52 pm (#2938 of 2980)
Edited by Sep 15, 2005 7:55 pm
I believe that whatever Harry learns about Lily will have to a lot to do with that healing. You may have noticed that whenever you hear discussions about James it's generally about his physical courage. Although, Lily's courage is also mentioned frequently, as well as how smart she was, it's a different king of courage--a moral courage. It's directly connected with her love for Harry, and he's inherited that kind of courage from her (...the difference between doing what is right vs. what is easy). We see Lily's compassion as she takes James on inside Snape's memory. When Harry learns about Lily's love and compassion, it'll have a big impact on how he perceives Snape, Malfoy, and Voldemort. In just about every book, we hear about how her love saved Harry's life. It probably will again. He still doesn't comprehend its value or implication...and since we see things through his eyes, we don't get to identify with it either. Who will be the healer...? Lily is the key, even when it comes to Snape. It's implied....


RoseMorninStar - Sep 15, 2005 7:48 pm (#2939 of 2980)
Edited Sep 15, 2005 8:55 pm
Just a thought here as I was reading the posts (and some very good posts too!) There is something....some mystery... that is a vital part of the puzzle that we are either missing or don't know about yet. What if, the life debt Snape owes was not to James, but to Lily? What if it was Lily that found out about Sirius's plan and made James warn Snape? Then would the life debt be to Lily? Would that be why Voldemort had not planned on killing Lily?

I don't know about the 'love connection'. There is something-I don't know what-and I think it has something to do with the mention of obsessive love, but I don't know exactly what that would be. When JKR said that Snape is more culpable because he had been loved by someone...she could have been refering to his mother. Snape could be the kind of person only a mother could love! ;D


kage - Sep 16, 2005 2:32 am (#2940 of 2980)
Edited Sep 16, 2005 3:33 am
T Vrana
I don't want to diminish the weight and meaning of a life dept. And in the James - Severus scenario it must be annoying and frustrating for Severus. But if that Severus-Lily relationship I pictured is anywhere near true (it doesn't have to be, I admit), it's nothing compared to the frenzy Severus is in about Lilys death. Also we don't know for sure that that debt is still in effect. It might be and I like the idea. But it might be done with just as well. The life debt "creates a certain bond between them" - between wizard A and wizard B, nobody ever explicitly said it could be inherited if it isn't fulfilled, or at least I can't remember. Other than the Unbreakable Vow it's (ancient ?) "magic at its deepest", but not Dark Magic, so I think it won't kill you if you don't fulfill it. If it's ancient magic, that seems to operate on the emotional side rather than on skills and a lot of "stupid wandwaving", it might have effects on your emotional side. What does it do? I can't figure that at the moment, but I've only used the d-word twice so far, so we can go on about this later ;-).

“Otherwise, what is the big deal and why bring it (the debt) up to Harry?”
DD is relating to Pettigrew at that time - and Harry wanted to bring him back to the castle and give him over to justice. If he had been able to do that and convince people that Pettigrew was the traitor and murderer, Pettigrew would have been due for the Dementors Kiss. Pettigrew rather saved his life himself, Harry only made it possible. I must admit that I don't understand that owing-stuff at all.

Also I can't remember anybody saying that Mr. Snape owes Harry, although my memory might betray me here. And as nobody has stated that Mr. Snape was mad for Lily it's not much of evidence either, I know.

Which leads us to Mr. Snape having Pettigrew at Spinners End as "assistant" - assistant for what?. Like someone has mentioned before: If he really was so mad about Lilys death how come he can be so cool with Pettigrew? Hm, he just can't allow himself without blowing his cover, I guess. Is Mr. Snape keeping an eye on Pettigrew for Dumbledore? What's the Snape-Pettigrew connection, after all?

wynnleaf
"I don't think Snape has suggested that Harry be expelled since LV came back in GOF. "
You're perfectly right in this. Why is it so? Possibilities I can think of at the moment
1) DD told him off - he could (and should) have done that before
2) He only wanted to get see Harry expelled to force some extra education on him, similar to what Matrona suggested - not impossible, but what's the benefit for the story?
3) He changed his mind when Voldemort was back - Ugh, why that? Did he not (want to) believe Voldemort would come back to power?
...?

And why did he want to see Harry expelled? Just to not having to see him anymore or to get rid of him and therefore proof that he's not the 'Chosen One'?

Oh dear, it's too confusing...that darn chameleon Severus Snape!

Ana Cis
"There may be a point where he's going to have to admit to Snape that what Sirius and his dad did were wrong...even if they weren't evil in the same sense as Voldemort was evil."
You're certainly right about Harry, though I can only hope that Mr. Snape will live long enough to hear that.

RoseMorninStar
"When JKR said that Snape is more culpable because he had been loved by someone...she could have been refering to his mother. Snape could be the kind of person only a mother could love!"
From the description of Eileen Prince I don't get the impression of a loving and caring woman - but hey, I might well be too prejudiced. She isn't introduced for no reason, after all.
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Post  Mona on Fri May 27, 2011 12:16 am

Vulture - Sep 16, 2005 7:06 am (#2941 of 2980)
Edited Sep 16, 2005 8:11 am
Last, JKR was pretty clear that Books 6 and 7 work together more like 1 book. All of the books have the same basic characters, locations, time lines (school years), overall themes, and are all working toward the progress of Harry as he grows toward his ultimate confrontation with LV. What else would working together as 1 book mean since it clearly doesn't mean the same kinds of similarities of the previous books? Hey, must mean plot. After all, if it was all one book, we'd expect the plot to work as one book, not be clearly divided in half. Why should we be surprised that she gives us a plotline that's supposed to be finished in the second half of what's basically one book? (wynnleaf)

I'm not sure what the above proves about my opinions, because I'm quite happy to concede that Books 6 & 7 are one plot, if that's what JKR says. In any case, plot is not a big issue for me in Harry Potter books, simply because I personally don't find plot to be JKR's strongest point (anyone is free to disagree) _ charcter is. And my problem with Book 6 is that (in my opinion) JKR messes around with some strong character points that didn't need messing with. It's a problem for any author, of course _ if you're a good enough writer that your characters "come alive", part and parcel of that is that the tables get turned a bit _ i.e. the character starts to have some say over what the author does !!

Second, Vulture said "Book-6-Dumbledore" makes a big issue of Snape having "no possible way of knowing which boy Voldemort would hunt from then onwards". The "Real Dumbledore" would regard setting up any boy for Voldemort as equally bad. .... ... I don't think you've understood this: Dumbledore would obviously be appalled at attacks on either Harry or Neville. His point is simply that because of his relationship with Lily and James (whatever it was), Snape was shaken out of the pattern of "mob behavior"/loyalty to Voldemort that he adopted as a DE. In other words, it was not Dumbledore to whom Voldemort's choice made a difference, but Snape. (Ann)

Good point, Ann (and in fact, yes, it had occurred to me) but my problem with it is this: the exact wording of Dumbledore's paragraph beginning "Professor Snape made a terrible mistake ...". It's the way it's worded that troubles me. For example, what comes across is that the "terrible mistake" consisted in the endangering of "people Professor Snape knew".

What impresses it so forcibly on me is the contrast with Book 5, where Dumbledore criticises himself for allowing his desire for Harry's happiness to divert him from caring about "nameless and faceless" people who would be "slaughtered in the future".

I know this seems like the most microscopic nit-picking. But you see, for me, Dumbledore in Books 1 to 5 had emerged as very much THE voice of what epitomises right and wrong. That's not to say that he's a perfect person, but just that he has a greater awareness than any other character of the moral rightness that all should aspire to. And incidentally, his death, and consequent absence of that moral voice, is going to create (for me) a gaping void in Book 7 _ unless, perhaps, his portrait takes an active part.

Snape is thus a real "anti-hero": he represents both similarities to the hero, but also his opposite. But the similarities are quite striking: Both have rather unpleasant childhoods, a highly developed sense of honor, and the clear (and correct) understanding that the sort of rule-breaking "pranks" Jams and Sirius get away with (for their own entertainment) are really destructive. (Ann)

Just my opinion, but I'm afraid I don't agree with this. I especially don't agree that Snape has "a highly developed sense of honor" _ though he's well able to use the language of honour for his own purposes. Without getting into more wrangles about Book 6, what I feel about Snape in Books 1 to 5 is that he has been made into such an enigma that it's impossible to judge him categorically. (I would have liked to see Book 6 build on the theme of what Harry saw in Snape's Pensieve memory, but I suppose that's irrelevant now.)

Vulture, are you a lawyer or a professional mediator? Because you sure are a tremendous debater! (Ana Cis)

Thank you, Ana !! No, I'm a historian !! And a musician (of sorts !!). And a hopelessly compulsive Harry Potter addict (though I think Book 6 was a serious cure !!).

Many of you are saying that Snape was 19 when he eavesdropped on the prophecy. I know that ye probably get this from the Timeline, and indeed, from calculating that Sirius died at around age 36, that seems right, but I'm a bit foggy as to why people are so sure of Sirius's age. Also, I find it a bit strange that Snape can be considered for a job when precisely one year older than Tom Riddle was when Armando Dippet told him he was too young (though I know ye are all going to say that it was all because Dumbledore would sooner blow up Hogwarts along with himself rather than let Voldemort teach in it).

Have to log out; more replies soon (ye'll all be horrified to hear !!).


Esther Rose - Sep 16, 2005 7:34 am (#2942 of 2980)
Edited Sep 16, 2005 8:39 am
I saw the Snape-Pettigrew connection very clearly. Especially when Bellatrix did not believe Snapes return to the DEs.

In GOF Voldemort points out three people that were not in attendance at DE reunion with their master.

One Loyal Servant: Crouch Jr. One Coward that will pay and one that has left the group forever that will soon be dead.

We find out that Karkaroff was killed in HBP. Karkaroff paid with his life which (to me) means that he must have been the DE that had left the group forever. This would make Snape the "Coward" that will pay.

Voldemort is not a being (what ever he is now since he is not quite human) of forgiveness, pardons, or excuses. So the fact that Voldemort would confide in Snape about anything seems problematic to me. I don't believe for a minute that Voldemort bought Snape's story whether it was true or not. This means that Voldemort is buying time for the repayment of Snape's cowardliness. He might be looking for one Emily Prince and Tobias Snape perhaps?

If Voldemort doesn't believe Snape's story than he would trust Snape even less. This is where Pettigrew comes in. Peter is what he is. One stinking sneaky little rat! He would be quick to rat on Snape to Voldemort should Snape fall out of line of being a DE and do something that would hamper Voldemort's plans. Snape treats Pettigrew like a servant when really Pettigrew is there to spy on Snape.

I think that, Voldemort is using Snape, Draco, and perhaps Pettigrew as well as pawns. They are weak to him and therefore they are disposable. So, this is why he sends them to the front line of the war. If they succeed, great Voldemort can send them on another deadly almost impossible task, if not, not a huge loss.


irish flutterby - Sep 16, 2005 7:42 am (#2943 of 2980)
I have absolutely no doubt that Snape is aware that LV sent Wormtail to him to spy on him. Snape's not that stupid. He's a smart man. A man who is holding mroe cards than he lets on. He also knows just when to play those cards, how high to bid, and when to call.


HungarianHorntail11 - Sep 16, 2005 8:09 am (#2944 of 2980)
I believe that Big V is/was suspicious of Snape, but then again, he doesn't trust anyone. Of course, all of the DEs are his pawns, certainly nothing more - he has been treating living creatures/people as dispensable all of his life. The problem is that he needs someone to do his dirty work, so he must assign tasks to those who seem to be the most talented, i.e. Snape.

Some other things I wanted to bring up.

Regarding Snape's worst memory, judging by the way his enemy James went after Snape unprovoked (seemingly), James must have kept an eye on him. Perhaps he noticed that Snape was friendly, if not smitten with Lily. In that scene, James was trying to get Lily to notice him, which could mean that he had not yet worked up the nerve to approach her. I believe this scene to be where they "met" and first started speaking to each other. If Snape was even remotely friendly with Lily, as on speaking terms, or excelling in a Potions class together, wouldn't his thought be, 'oh no, anyone but him' (meaning James). And now imagine that this guy also saves him and ends up marrying Lily because of that memory where she and James met. Their first meeting would suffice as a worst memory, wouldn't it?

On another note, the consensus seems to be that Snape went easy on Harry considering the outcome of the Sectumsempra spell and Snape's fondness for Draco. Could it be that he did so because he knew Harry would soon be losing DD and that was punishment enough?


kage - Sep 16, 2005 8:28 am (#2945 of 2980)
HH11
And I thought I was good at worst-case-scenarios ;-)

Just to turn things upside down: What if someone slipped a Love Potion on Severus?


HungarianHorntail11 - Sep 16, 2005 9:48 am (#2946 of 2980)
kage, Slughorn was the Potions teacher at the time, so it would make sense that he had a pot brewing, as he did in HBP. Ugh, poor Lily! All in all, I don't think that was the case, though - but fun to ponder.


wynnleaf - Sep 16, 2005 10:43 am (#2947 of 2980)
"Also, I find it a bit strange that Snape can be considered for a job when precisely one year older than Tom Riddle was when Armando Dippet told him he was too young (though I know ye are all going to say that it was all because Dumbledore would sooner blow up Hogwarts along with himself rather than let Voldemort teach in it). "

LOL, that's great Vulture!

"Have to log out; more replies soon (ye'll all be horrified to hear !!). "

LOL! What fun! I'll look forward to it!

HH11

On the punishment for the Sectumsempra use...your idea is certainly a possibility. I wonder also if it might be because Severus knew that was his potions book he'd left lying around with what he describes as a Dark curse in it. I wonder if he recognized that Harry had been just messing around with spells and possibilities - a bit as he had done in creating them - and the sectumsempra was a real shock to Harry. Nothing so mild as rapidly growing toenails or turning a person upside down!

Severus is extremely angry at first, when confronted with a seriously injured and bleeding Draco. But later, the detention is long in duration, but quite mild, and seems to indicate his decision after he had a chance to reflect on how Harry's action came about.


T Vrana - Sep 16, 2005 11:02 am (#2948 of 2980)
Edited Sep 16, 2005 1:16 pm
vulture-For example, what comes across is that the "terrible mistake" consisted in the endangering of "people Professor Snape knew".

You have to look at the entire situation to fully understand what DD is saying. He is actually addressing Harry's outburst:

"AND YOU LET HIM TEACH HERE AND HE TOLD VOLDEMORT TO GO AFTER MY MUM AND DAD!"

DD is answering this when he comments that Snape did not know who LV would go after. We know DD would consider it a terrible thing no matter who LV went after, but DD is addressing Harry's outrage at the moment. It is Harry who framed this personally, and DD responds by telling Harry Snape didn't send LV after his parents, and that it was one of his biggest regrets in life.

I have no doubt that DD and Snape had a very long talk regarding how wrong Snape was to do what he did, no matter who the victim was. But that is between Snape and DD. This moment is between Harry and DD, and DD is trying to answer Harry's accusation that Snape specifically sent LV after his parents. He's not judging Snape's actions in general.

Also, I find it a bit strange that Snape can be considered for a job when precisely one year older than Tom Riddle was when Armando Dippet told him he was too young

Once Snape returned to DD, DD would have hired him to keep an eye on him (remember JK said the conversation about the DADA job would have been something like, let's try potions for a while and see how it goes), so DD doesn't totally trust Snape has returned for good at first. Or at the very least, thinks he's too newly returned to resist the lure to the dark DADA might provide. Also, this gives Snape cover to report to DD without raising LV's suspicion. If Snape is "good", he also would have told DD that LV wanted him to take the job. Perfect fit all around.


Saracene - Sep 16, 2005 11:52 am (#2949 of 2980)
The reason I have trouble with life debt being responsible for Snape´s turn is that, as far as I remember, no one actually said anywhere that the bond obliges the person whose life has been saved to try and save the life of their rescuer. Or that the bond will have some serious and grievous consequences of any kind if unanswered. Or in fact any specifics at all other than that "it´s the magic at its deepest", which is pretty vague and could have referred to some sort of emotional bond, rather than something tangible like the Unbreakable Vow. And even if it does go further than just emotional obligation, it still does not explain Snape´s remorse and regret when in fact his actions towards James would have been mostly out of self-interest.


wynnleaf - Sep 16, 2005 12:07 pm (#2950 of 2980)
I did notice that DD says to Harry in SS that he thought that Severus was trying to pay back his debt to James by saving Harry, so that he could return to hating James in peace. I think it's in the last chapter?


Netherlandic - Sep 16, 2005 12:24 pm (#2951 of 2980)
Wynnleaf, that is true but it also sounds too easy an answer.

I think a life debt cannot be strong enough to have Severus do all the things he does, (double spying, being alert constantly, not being able to relay on anyone, not having people trust him, betraying his former friends and allies, risking his life), in fact, all the energy it must cost him. Surely there is more than a life debt toward James/Harry...


T Vrana - Sep 16, 2005 12:32 pm (#2952 of 2980)
netherlandic- I agree that there is more to explain Snape's return, (and I really like the Lily connection) but the life debt must play some role, it has been mentioned more than once in the series.

It would seem that the life debt doesn't force one to try to save the life of someone you owe, Pettigrew does not help Harry in the graveyard (or does he, about to reread and look for any signs Pettigrew did something...). And Pettigrew does almost contribute to Harry's death by restoring LV.

Hmmmmm.....

This requires more thought....


wynnleaf - Sep 16, 2005 12:33 pm (#2953 of 2980)
Netherlandic,

I agree and I've written about that a number of times in past posts. My last post was just to point out a place where DD actually did tie the life debt to James with Severus' actions toward Harry. Somebody had asked earlier or maybe just mentioned, that we may not know for sure whether or not the life debt binds someone even to the extent of needing to pay back the debt of a broken bond to a descendent. DD's comment doesn't indicate whether or not Snape was obligated to protect Harry, but he did indicate that the life debt could have played a part in Severus' protecting Harry.


Netherlandic - Sep 16, 2005 1:09 pm (#2954 of 2980)
T. Vrana, I know you like the life debt. LOL Actually, I think it is up to the one who has to pay to choose his own moment to step in. (I compare it to the film "Prince of thieves" where a similar situation occurs). By the way, I too like the Lily connection though I wouldn't be surprised by a Narcissa connection either. Perhaps it was she who loved Severus but chose to marry a pureblood instead.

Wynnleaf, again true, but I always wondered wether DD came up with that explanation because Harry wasn't ready for "real" truth. And I have read your posts, but all your (and others') long posts mean that I can't put in anything else. LOL. All of you seem to have gone through everything. LOL. And great thinking you all have been doing. (I will drink a butterbeer to your good health).


irish flutterby - Sep 16, 2005 1:12 pm (#2955 of 2980)
"Just to turn things upside down: What if someone slipped a Love Potion on Severus?"

I thought of that, also, but was afraid of being brutally pelted with dung bombs. My thought was that Lily may have slipped snape Amortensia. She could have misinterpretted her admiration of his ability to be a crush. Maybe she actually had a crush on the school geek early on. She could have slipped him some potion, then realized. Ick. This guy is nasty. Fortunatly, love potions (as we learn from DD about Merope and Tom, Sr.) can wear off. The blink in Snape's worst memory may be because she thought. I actually had a crush on this guy once. I think he may have had feelings for her of one sort or another, also. Maybe just a respect for her talents.


Netherlandic - Sep 16, 2005 1:24 pm (#2956 of 2980)
If anyone has slipped Snape a love potion, it is Narcissa

(no evidence to proof this at all).


Weeny Owl - Sep 16, 2005 9:32 pm (#2957 of 2980)
I was reading the second chapter again, and I noticed something I thought was a bit odd.

Bella gets all bent out of shape when Snape is talking to her about her time in Azkaban and his time teaching, and she says something about him not having a reason to complain about not being allowed to teach his favorite subject (something like that, anyway... my book isn't handy right now).

His favorite subject is Defense Against the Dark Arts? Not the Dark Arts themselves, but Defense Against them?

I could see JKR having Bella say something like, "You weren't allowed to teach the subject you wanted" or "You're upset because you were stuck teaching potions," but for JKR to have Bella say Snape's favorite subject is Defense Against the Dark Arts seems pertinent.

Granted, she didn't actually SAY Defense Against the Dark Arts, but Snape did, and then she mentioned that it was his favorite subject.

Am I putting too much into this? I just thought it was odd.


kage - Sep 16, 2005 9:35 pm (#2958 of 2980)
Edited Sep 16, 2005 10:40 pm
wynnleaf
"I thought of that, also, but was afraid of being brutally pelted with dung bombs"
Glad to take the risk for you ;-)
Although I was thinking about James and/or Sirius doing that to young Severus. Remember what the love potion did to Ron? It would have been really embarassing for him, if Harry hadn't (helped to) stop it. For young Severus it would have been humilating beyond cure, I guess. Would be a convienient explanation for Mr. Snapes hate towards James and Sirius, too. Haven't been able to tie it in with the rest of the story, though...

EDIT weeny owl
" His favorite subject is Defense Against the Dark Arts? Not the Dark Arts themselves, but Defense Against them?"
It's still about Dark Arts. But this would go nicely with the songlike countercourse for Sectumsempra.


T Vrana - Sep 17, 2005 7:05 am (#2959 of 2980)
netherlandic- "T. Vrana, I know you like the life debt."

I don't know (it's the life debt) what you're talking about (life debt).

I'm completely behind the (life debt) Lily connection ( life debt ).

There may be something else there ( life debt), but I'm still trying to decide what it could be ( life debt).

:-)

Reading GoF again. Pettigrew does try to get LV to use someone other than Harry, but it is a lame attempt. But that may be because Pettigrew is a gutless, sneaky rat. Perhaps the life debt affects everyone differently. If you are basically honorable (and I think in his own way Snape is) you are more affected.

I really do think there is a Lily connection with Snape coming back to DD.


Madame Pomfrey - Sep 17, 2005 7:12 am (#2960 of 2980)
Weeny Owl,I have thought about that too.Harry makes a comment in DADA about Snape talking about the Dark Arts with a loving caress in his voice.But what if its really revenge(defense against the dark arts) that he loves.I mean,I get this sneaky suspision that Snape has lost a loved one to Voldemort and wants revenge.Besides his childhood,maybe the loss of someone he loved made him so bitter,which brings me to Lily,I think it could be possible that Snape did have a fondness for Lily.JKR said Harry having his mothers eyes is important.Will Snape see Lily through Harry eventually and forget his hatred for James?


wynnleaf - Sep 17, 2005 7:41 am (#2961 of 2980)
T Brightwater has mentioned several times that there isn't any evidence, other than what isn't said, to support a Snape/Lily connection as a reason for Snape's leaving LV's side.

However, I'd like to point out that the same could be said for any reason we can come up with other than the small number of references to the life debt reason. Yet I think that most of us believe that while the life debt reason is part of the explanation, there has to be something else to explain the huge amount of emotion involved, especially the hate.

So I guess what I'm getting at is that I think we can expect that whatever the reason is that will be revealed in Book 7, it won't be anything for which we've been given any clues. And if we discover that we have been given clues, I'll bet they'll be very, very obscure. Severus Snape is one of the most intensely explored characters, after all.

I must admit, too, that I think the fact that we have so few clues about Severus' motivations makes the Prince=Pince theory even more believable. At least there are some clues there, scattered through the books.

Anyway, while I agree that there aren't any solid clues about a Lily/Severus connection, it doesn't concern me to theorize about it, because I think JKR's intentionally making sure we have almost no clues about whatever the real reasons are of his turning from LV.


Weeny Owl - Sep 17, 2005 11:21 am (#2962 of 2980)
It's still about Dark Arts. But this would go nicely with the songlike countercourse for Sectumsempra.

Yes, but I was thinking that it might be JKR's way of telling the reader that Snape is still all about being on the good side since she's usually so careful with words. She might have had Bella state it that way so that it would be a hint that what Snape really cares about in adulthood is Defense and not just the Dark Arts themselves.

But what if its really revenge(defense against the dark arts) that he loves.

I could see that. Snape certainly isn't one to let go of a grudge.


Saracene - Sep 17, 2005 12:11 pm (#2963 of 2980)
With life debt and its magic, perhaps it´s more to do with the karma sort of thing, where a person in debt ends up paying the debt despite themselves and perhaps against their wishes or actions. Rather than a conscious decision on their part to try and rescue their rescuer.

Personally, I´d just find it more powerful if Snape´s decision to go over to the good guys and put his life at risk came from Snape himself, rather than him being forced by some sort of magical bond. I resist the idea of Snape making an Unbreakable Vow with DD or anyone else on the good side for pretty much the same reason.

Regarding DD´s explanation to Harry about Snape and his debt to James: I think he gave him a much simpler story to explain why Snape´s been so protective towards him while at the same time hating him. Obviously he couldn´t tell him the whole story, and he also preferred to give him a much simplified view of James and Snape´s relationship at school, omitting, for example, the less palatable side of James.

BTW, I always thought it was strange for DD to blame himself for underestimating Snape´s feelings about James, when the reason for Harry´s cancelled Occlumency lessons lie squarely on Harry´s shoulders. Snape was perfectly willing to give him the lessons until Harry went snooping around where he wasn´t supposed to, but does Harry stop and think, gosh, I really shouldn´t have done that? Noooo.


Vulture - Sep 17, 2005 12:41 pm (#2964 of 2980)
Edited Sep 17, 2005 1:58 pm
I agree with your point on Snape's abuse of his students. However, JKR says this about it when asked, "Why does Professor Dumbledore allow Professor Snape to be so nasty to the students (especially to Harry, Hermione, and Neville)?" JKR: "Dumbledore believes there are all sorts of lessons in life ... horrible teachers like Snape are one of them!" . It goes to that certain detachment in DD's part that I addressed earlier in the post. (Ana Cis - Sep 3, 2005 5:31 pm (#2713))

But is that JKR quote before or after Book 6 came out ? You see, I can well believe that the Real Dumbledore would let a "horrible teacher" teach his students _ if it just was about things like unfairness, petty favouritism (towards Draco and other Slytherins) and hostility to Harry & Co., and exquisitely horrible forms of detention. What I can't believe is that he would let the accessory to the murder of a student's parents teach that student, or indeed any student.

We didn't even get to hear the real reason DD trusted Snape when Harry asked him. (Ana Cis - Sep 3, 2005 5:31 pm (#2713))

Well, we get the ambiguous line from Dumbledore that "I believe it to be the greatest regret of his life and the reason that he returned ..." _ then Harry interrupts. That line allows us to believe (if we wish) that it meant "returned to our side", or maybe "returned to Hogwarts". So it may be the "cast-iron reason" McGonagall refers to at the end (Harry believes so, and he _ and Lupin _ think it's absolutely nuts), or it may not be.

I can definately see Harry trying to save Snape as part of the completion of his journey from the boy who lived to the chosen one (as in chosen by DD to take his place)(someday). But I think Snape may have to die. His debt is huge. (And Harry saving him just might put him over the edge :-)) (T Vrana - Sep 3, 2005 6:15 pm (#2715))

Yeah, that'd be a good laugh. However, it assumes Snape having a certain personality which he may have, but which I'm not sure he does.

We accept that Umbridge and Filch are on the good side, even though they are horrible to students. But we use what is actually far less cruel, sadistic, or vindictive actions of Snape toward students as evidence to support how likely he is to be evil. (wynnleaf - Sep 3, 2005 8:00 pm (#2717))

Not quite. Actually, Sirius, from time to time, makes comments that hit the nail right on the head _ in this context, "the world isn't divided into good people and Death Eaters" is the one. Umbridge is not on the good side _ she's on the anti-Voldemort side. Filch ? _ we assume he's anti-Voldemort, but really, he's too weak to count much at all. The "good side" is, mainly, the Order _ so you could choose to see Snape as part of it !!

We accept without question that it's perfectly fine for JKR to make Sirius Harry's god-father, a person Harry looks up to, something of a mentor, etc.. Sirius is a case of - literally - arrested development from his very early 20's, which are only a very few years removed from some very arrogant bullying behavior and actions which greatly endangered another student just because Sirius hated him. Yet we not only forgive Sirius all of this, we all apparently find it perfectly acceptable for Sirius to play the role of godfather, mentor, etc. to Harry. On the other hand, Snape's behavior from his teens makes him highly suspect to the reader. His spying on DD, telling LV about the prophecy, being a DE, all are held as evidence for what side he's on 16 years later, regardless of how DD views him, or the evidence that we readers get of his actions to protect or support Harry, DD, the Order, etc. (wynnleaf - Sep 3, 2005 8:00 pm (#2717))

No.

Firstly, when Sirius becomes Harry's godfather, the only negative point about him we know is about nearly sending Snape into the Shrieking Shack. I've explained elsewhere that people often find being spied on and sneaked on (as the Marauders are, by Snape) intensely irritating, and are apt to lash out against it sooner than against offences we might logically regard as worse. This is human nature. All the more so if the victim of spying and sneaking is hot-tempered and impetuous, which I feel Sirius is: it's the flip side, if you like, of his bravery and warm-hearted loyalty to friends.

Secondly, to choose the good side, Sirius has to turn his back on his own family, including his mother. This issue isn't analysed in the books, but there is no way that turning against one's mother can be a painless choice. I think it's fair to say that Sirius finds it very hard to hate the sin but not the sinner _ one gets the feeling that James (who, of course, has had a more comfortable childhood) would find it a bit easier. Certainly, Sirius is like a fierce hound (Padfoot !!) in his reactions to those he sees as being on the Dark Side. And he almost seems less wrathful against Dark wizards who stand and fight face-to-face (Bellatrix, whom he laughs at) than against those who hide, sneak, spy and whose loyalty is all enigma and maybe/maybe not (Wormtail, Snape).

Thirdly, when Harry sees James and Sirius bullying Snape in the Pensieve, he is utterly appalled and revolted _ and we support him in this. (This is actually one of Harry's greatest moments _ though he, of course, would not feel so !!) I think it's too simplistic to say "Yet we not only forgive Sirius all of this, we all apparently find it perfectly acceptable for Sirius to play the role of godfather, mentor, etc. to Harry". It's all more complex than that. I don't think that Harry or the reader condones what Sirius does for one moment _ there's a difference between condoning and forgiving. When Harry confronts Sirius about it, Sirius's gut response is "I'm not proud of it", and later, he corrects Lupin's gloss about him and James getting "carried away" to "if we were sometimes arrogant little berks, you mean". This from a man who is still in a hate-hate relation with Snape, and who is trapped in a Dark wizard house with Kreacher getting taunted about cowardice (the worst insult you can say to Sirius) by Snape every other night. In short, we forgive Sirius because he repents _ the whole problem with Snape (as this thread and others so brilliantly demonstrate) is that we do not know whether Snape has truly repented of his Death Eater past, and we never see him repent of his bullying of Neville and others. We don't know enough about Snape, and what we do know hasn't enough good points (yet).

Fourthly, I think we always should keep in mind that, from James's and Sirius's first days at school, Voldemort was becoming extremely powerful, and several of their Slytherin schoolmates went on to become Death Eaters. Lupin's first reaction when Harry recounts the Pensieve scene is to mention how Snape "was up to his eyes in the Dark Arts" and how James "always hated the Dark Arts". Of course, Harry is absolutely right, in the context, to brush this aside as irrelevant, but my point here is to highlight the fact that it was the first reaction in Lupin's mind. I feel that the Marauders and Snape were at school in a time unlike (most of) Harry's schooldays, when the war outside would have been ever-present to students' minds. We know from Lupin (Book 5) that James, before he went out with Lily, was often "hexing people for the fun of it" and that Snape "never lost an opportunity to curse James". I'm not saying that the school was in a state of civil war, but it may have been something close to that _ closer than Harry's day, anyway.


Saracene - Sep 17, 2005 1:07 pm (#2965 of 2980)
Actually, I never got the impression that Sirius repented any of his past behaviour towards Snape. However irritated he may have been with Snape for sneaking around, sending someone to what was a nearly-certain death is at the very best an astonishingly thoughtless and cruel act. Especially since it would also have had catastrophic consequences for Lupin as well as Snape. Yet all these years later, Sirius has the same serves him right attitude as he had before. It's understandable of people to act rashly, but the refusal to consider the consequences and complete lack of regret is another thing.

Furthermore, Sirius only admits that he's not proud of his behaviour in the Pensieve when Harry really presses the point, and he and Lupin really spend most of the conversation defending James anyway. Saying "ah, weren't we all idiots" is not the same as saying, "what we did was wrong".


T Vrana - Sep 17, 2005 1:30 pm (#2966 of 2980)
Edited Sep 17, 2005 3:47 pm
vultureWhat I can't believe is that he would let the accessory to the murder of a student's parents teach that student, or indeed any student.

Even if his remorse is genuine?!? Snape made a very big mistake at a very young age.

Why would DD let him teach?

1) To keep an eye on this newly reformed DE

2) To give him a cover to be around DD and report to him

3) To fulfill LV's wish he be at Hogwarts, cementing LV's need for Snape. Snape is very valuable as a "spy" for LV if he is at Hogwarts spying on the wizard LV fears most. This keeps him in place to spy on LV.

I think it is clear that DD's #1 priority is to protect the WW from LV (even though he got sidetracked with Harry for a bit), and he has use for Snape. If this means the students have to put up with some nastiness from Snape, I think he's ok with this. DD believes Snape has reformed many years ago and has him working to repay the damage he did.

I think you said once DD should have told Harry. Absolutely not. If Snape did repent and has been working to correct what he did, his confession is between himself and DD. What use is it to bring it up to Harry? What's done is done, and rehashing the mistakes of a 19 or 20 year old serves no positive purpose. When DD feels Harry is ready to hear the prophesy, Snape's "crime" is at least 15 years old. Telling Harry will not bring back his parents, and Snape, if he has repented, should be able to put this behind him and not have it brought back up.


Ana Cis - Sep 17, 2005 2:05 pm (#2967 of 2980)
Vulture, "Severus Snape" #2964, 17 Sep 2005 1:41 pm Vulture, the key point to the accessory is whether it was intentional or not. Remember Snape was only 19 or 20 years old. Draco thought that being a Death Eater and killing Dumbledore would bring glory. He experienced something differently. Like Draco, maybe Snape didn't realize the implications until it was too late; maybe Dumbledore understood this about young Snape the same way he understood that Draco wasn't capable of killing him, therefore, realizing the accessory was not intentional. We don't know what Snape's intentions were. The only possible hints that that some of us have seen, indicating that his remorse may have been sincere, are Dumbledore's discussions about the life debt he owed to James, and impenetrable ancient magic of a life debt. T Vrana and I have written several posts on the subject. It's possible, even probable that its magic is as powerful as that which protected Harry from Volemort's AK curse. Again, how it works, we won't know until Book 7.

There's another theme that Dumbledore alludes to in POA 22 is about time and the consequences of one's actions and how they're so complicated and diverse that it makes it difficult to predict the future. This tells me that Dumbledore is letting Snape's life debt play out by trusting in Snape's remorse. It may be the biggest gamble and mistake of his life. The frustration is that we won't know until Book 7. So until then it all comes to whether we trust or don't trust in Dumbledore. JKR says two things 1) Dumbledore's guesses are never very far wide of the target, but 2) when he makes a mistake they're huge ones. I'm gambling on the former.


wynnleaf - Sep 17, 2005 3:18 pm (#2968 of 2980)
Edited Sep 17, 2005 4:20 pm
Vulture,

I hope no one thinks that by comparing what Snape has done to what Sirius has done means that I'm condoning or even making light of the actions of either one. What I've tried to point out is that we feel differently about similar actions from 2 different characters because JKR makes most readers like Sirius, while she seems to expect most readers to dislike Snape. At least, she seems surprised that so many do like Snape. Those readers that dislike Snape tend to bring up actions that he's done as "evidence" of his being a bad guy, but the same readers often (I'm guessing here since most readers do), like Sirius regardless of his having done his share of highly questionable (to say the least) actions.

Ana Cis' comments above made me think to try comparing Severus' actions as a 19 year old to Draco's actions as an almost 17 year old. Actually, Draco is, in my opinion, far more culpable.

Even if Snape and DD are working together in a plan on the tower, Draco has no idea of that. What has he done? Almost killed 2 students, attempted murder several times, brought DE's into Hogwarts, and his actions lead to the murder (as far as he knows) of DD. Yes, he may have been ready to back out at the last minute -- but the damage was well done already.

Compared to that, Severus' eavesdropping at a door and passing along a partial prophecy to LV, without any idea who may be harmed by it, pales by comparison.

Yet DD is clearly willing to forgive Draco. In fact, although he knows Draco certainly qualifies as having already committed attempted murder, he allows him to continue on at Hogwarts.

And I think this is very consistent with what we've seen of DD throughout the books. He forgives a great deal and gives second chances. He was apparently proved correct in Draco. I'm practically certain he was correct about Severus.


HungarianHorntail11 - Sep 18, 2005 12:30 pm (#2969 of 2980)
Edited Sep 18, 2005 1:33 pm
wynnleaf, On the punishment for the Sectumsempra use...your idea is certainly a possibility. I wonder also if it might be because Severus knew that was his potions book he'd left lying around with what he describes as a Dark curse in it. I wonder if he recognized that Harry had been just messing around with spells and possibilities - a bit as he had done in creating them - and the sectumsempra was a real shock to Harry. Nothing so mild as rapidly growing toenails or turning a person upside down!

I don't think Snape became suspicious until Slughorn started going on about Harry's potion's abilities in front of Snape. I also don't think Snape would be so forgiving if he thought Harry was messing around with toenail spells and used Sectumsempra not realizing its ramifications.

I think it would take a lot more than just that for Snape to be as forgiving as he was and knowing DD's impending doom may just be it - for me, anyway.


Vulture - Sep 19, 2005 7:57 am (#2970 of 2980)
Actually, I never got the impression that Sirius repented any of his past behaviour towards Snape. However irritated he may have been with Snape for sneaking around, sending someone to what was a nearly-certain death is at the very best an astonishingly thoughtless and cruel act. Especially since it would also have had catastrophic consequences for Lupin as well as Snape. Yet all these years later, Sirius has the same serves him right attitude as he had before. It's understandable of people to act rashly, but the refusal to consider the consequences and complete lack of regret is another thing. (Saracene - Sep 17, 2005 2:07 pm (#2965))

Not quite fair. When Sirius says "serves him right", it's in Book 3, when he has just escaped from 12 years in a hell on earth and is in a resulting psychological state I hope none of us ever have to visit _ he is lashing out right, left, and centre at everything, earning Dumbledore's comment that he "has not behaved like an innocent man". He attacks the Fat Lady when he can't get at Scabbers, breaks Ron's leg in his rush to get hold of the rat (rat in both senses) and later, it's all Lupin can do to prevent him killing Scabbers on the spot (which many of us now wish he had done). I just wonder how generous Snape would be to his enemies straight after 12 years in Azkaban ?

If you're going to judge Sirius fairly, against Snape or anyone else, you have to compare as close to like with like as you can get. In that case, you can only compare Sirius to Snape when he is, like Snape, in a comfortable lifestyle _ i.e. when he's off relaxing with the parrots in Book 4. Every other time we see him, he's under severe strain of one kind or another _ and let's not forget that he volunteers for this to save Harry.

Snape fans cannot have it both ways. If their hero really does turn out to be, not only on the anti-Voldemort side, but on the "good side" as well (the first does not automatically imply the second), it will be because he has done a great job of spying on Voldemort, and it is therefore essential for his cover that he comes across to all and sundry as one of the Darkest of Dark wizards. If he turns out to be really on Voldemort's side, he's a Dark wizard anyway. In either case, Sirius is going to think of him as an enemy, and as a sneaking, tale-bearing, cowardly enemy at that (unlike the straight-fighting Bellatrix). Sirius is not going to be nicey-nicey or politically correct about this. But, within his lights, Sirius does show regret when he's confronted with his wrongdoings.

I guess we have to agree to differ.


Saracene - Sep 19, 2005 9:34 am (#2971 of 2980)
Sirius may not have been a happy camper, true. However we never heard any regret from him about the Shrieking Shack incident at any time later on. And his lashing out in PoA, judging by your own examples, are all to do with Scabbers, who is responsible for his long years of misery and death of his best friend. Snape was not the one who sent him to Azkaban; they haven´t crossed ways for years and years, their enmity is in the past, so why would Sirius lash hotly against him? I think his attitude to Snape stems 100% from their days together in school, and it hasn´t changed one bit, either.

I guess our definitions of a "good side" differ somewhat, because IMO one does not necessarily need to be a good person and believe fervently in the cause of the good to be on the good side. Many people are bound to the good side for deeply personal reasons, like loyalty, love, blood ties, etc. Which are often much more powerful than any abstract moral ideals.


Vulture - Sep 19, 2005 12:02 pm (#2972 of 2980)
Edited Sep 19, 2005 1:09 pm
And his lashing out in PoA, judging by your own examples, are all to do with Scabbers, who is responsible for his long years of misery and death of his best friend. (Saracene)

It may be all to do with Scabbers, but it results in a ferocious attack on the Fat Lady and the breaking of Ron's leg. I really don't think it's a context you can justly judge Sirius. At least, if you're going to do so, you must also judge Snape when he's under exactly that amount of horrific pressure _ but surprise, surprise, our ol' buddy Severus never gets into probs like that, does he ? He certainly never volunteers for them to help someone else _ I'll change my mind when he endures something similar to help Draco.

I know that this can only be my own belief and isn't proveable as such, but my feeling is that, if Sirius was shown clear incontrovertible proof that Snape had tried to save Lily and James, or had saved Harry, or anyone else on the "good side", he would change his attitude to Snape, and would change it even more emphatically if he had clear incontrovertible proof that Snape risked his life to do so. In other words, on this particular point, Sirius is in roughly the same position as the reader _ all he and we really have is Dumbledore's word and a lot of 'maybes'.


Vulture - Sep 19, 2005 12:21 pm (#2973 of 2980)
I think you said once DD should have told Harry. Absolutely not. If Snape did repent and has been working to correct what he did, his confession is between himself and DD. What use is it to bring it up to Harry? (T Vrana)

What "use" it is, is not the issue. Harry's rights are.

What you're suggesting is that the child of murder victims has no right to know the identity of an accessory to the murder. Interesting. I wonder how many other Snape thread regulars believe this. Gives me a whole new angle on things. I also wonder if they'd feel this about covering up Sirius, if he'd been guilty.

If Dumbledore had indeed been tempted to do cover-ups of this kind, what he saw in Harry's 3rd Year would surely have changed his mind: the problem with cover-ups is that they get blown _ when Harry found out about Sirius being (as he then thought) the betrayer of James, it was devastating.

We have to agree to differ, but I just don't feel that the Real Dumbledore would have gone down this road, and in fact, I don't think it was in JKR's mind before Book 6. (Before I get howled at, let me make clear that that last sentence is simply my opinion, and not a categorical statement.)


Saracene - Sep 19, 2005 12:38 pm (#2974 of 2980)
But Snape -had- saved Harry, in the very first book. He may not have risked his life to do so, but the act was there. Of course it´s totally unlikely that Harry would mention this to Sirius.

And I think it would have to be a pretty horrific pressure to be a double agent for the Order. If Snape is ever found out by Voldemort, the remainder of his life would be short and very painful. And Snape would be a pretty poor double agent if he allowed himself to get into problems like Sirius´ and let himself be reckless.

It´s true that Sirius wasn´t given any incontrovertible truth about Snape, but neither has anyone else in the Order. Yet, although no one in the Order is sorry when Snape doesn´t stay over for dinner, no one in the Order regards Snape with such animosity and vitriol as Sirius does. For me the contrast really comes to light when you look at the difference between Lupin and Sirius´s attitudes to Snape. Lupin was the best friend of both James and Sirius, he loves Harry who Snape is fond of tormenting, and has every reason to hold a personal grudge against Snape - yet he doesn´t hate him.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 19, 2005 2:07 pm (#2975 of 2980)
We cannot (or should not) make too many assumptions here either way. We really don't know what Snapes' backstory is. We don't know why he was so tormented by James & Sirius. Was Snape obnoxious? I doubt (although I do not know) that he was a bully. He seemed more like a loner. We do know that James (and Sirius) disliked Snape from the get-go because he was 'up to his eyeballs' in the Dark Arts. As it has been mentioned before, was that the 'dark arts' or the 'Defense against Dark Arts'? Although I am not sure how much difference there is between the two... learning wise. If you learn how to defend yourself, you are going to learn about what it is and how it is used. The real test would come in when a person would decide ( choose ) how they were going to put their knowledge to use.

Were James & Sirius obnoxious prats? Was Snape deserving of their hate? We also do not know what turned Snape around (if he indeed did). We do not know how much he knew or surmised from the part of the prophecy he heard. Dumbledore never told Snape the rest of the prophecy. We all do things that turn out far differently than we imagined they would at first. We have no idea how culpable (if at all) Snape was in the murders of James & Lily.

I am taking a wait and see attitude. If I trust (grudgingly) Snape, it is because, as Lupin says, I trust Dumbledore. Sometimes it is better not to know the whole story, and sometimes there is an appropriate time to hear the whole story. I assume Dumbledore has a very good reason for not divulging all he knows to Harry. Wouldn't it be a kicker if whatever Snape's secret is, it is being kept because James asked him to?


wynnleaf - Sep 19, 2005 2:42 pm (#2976 of 2980)
Edited Sep 19, 2005 3:44 pm
Vulture,

I'm not sure that what Snape did really qualifies as "accessory to murder."

He heard part of a prophecy and passed that information on to LV. We don't know that he passed on any accompanying commentary, "gosh, boss, I guess you'll have to kill the kid," or whatever. We don't know that he had any knowledge of the importance of what he passed on to LV. We don't know that, at about 19, he ever even thought about the implications of the part of the prophecy he heard. He knew it was about the Dark Lord and something a loyal servant of LV should pass along. But did he know or have any idea that such a prophecy would provoke LV to search out a baby with the intent to kill it, and in the process kill the parents?

Does passing along that information make him an accessory to murder when LV attempted to kill the baby a year or so later and in the process wound up killing the parents? If Snape had neither the intention of causing a murder, or even the intention of giving LV the idea of murder, or perhaps not even the knowledge that LV would consider murdering a baby much less its parents, does that still mean he's an accessory to murder?

I don't know legally whether it qualifies or not. Morally, I'm not so sure either. Yes it's very bad. I'm just not sure about accessory.

Further, we've got a situation where not only did Snape probably not know the damage passing along the partial prophecy would cause, he seems to have actively tried to prevent that damage -- spying on LV for the Order and warning that someone was betraying the Potters. Yet you're still considering his part in this primarily as an "accessory to murder."

I'm not so sure.


Soul Search - Sep 19, 2005 2:51 pm (#2977 of 2980)
Snape murdered Dumbledore. It doesn't matter that Dumbledore had asked him to, Snape performed the "unforgivable" AK.


T Vrana - Sep 19, 2005 6:41 pm (#2978 of 2980)
vulture-

I agree with Wynnleaf. Snape's passing along the part of the prophesy he heard is far from accessory to murder. At 19 he made a horrible mistake, and it appears, once he knew how LV intended to use this info, he risked his life to fix it. We know that others who try to leave LV are killed. What would he do to a spy? LV decided to act on the information by seeking out and killing the Potters, and trying to kill Harry. LV murdered the Potters, not Snape. It appears Snape tried to stop him.

DD's #1 responsibility is to protect the WW from LV, ultimately by getting Harry to the point he can defeat him. It is clear DD thinks Snape is crucial to this plan. Harry's right to know Snape made a big mistake at 19 comes second to DD's plan to save the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands.

If Snape did return to the right side 17 years ago, at the age of 20 or so, and tried to warn DD and save the Potters, and has been on the right side ever since, at what point has he paid for his mistake? At what point is it part of his past?

It is hardly possible to give someone a second chance if no matter what they do they are never allowed to put their mistake behind them.

I am surprised that you defend Sirius' actions, which would have killed Snape or turned him into a werewolf, AND SIRIUS KNEW THIS WOULD BE THE RESULT, and this would have also resulted in Lupin being chucked out of Hogwarts, but this is ok, because Sirius was annoyed that Snape was following them around?

I do not dislike Sirius, but he was a flawed character. So was James. So is Snape.

Yes, Snape was into the dark arts, and Black and James hated the dark arts, but they weren't trying to save the world from the dark arts when they attacked Snape, two against one, they were bored.

Does this make them bullies forever? No, I'm sure James turned out to be a great guy. Sirius did his best to be a great godfather to Harry while he could. Why can't Snape move beyond his youthful mistakes?

Sirius intended grave harm to Snape. We have been told by DD, Snape did not intend to harm James, who certainly did worse to Snape than just sneak around following him.


wynnleaf - Sep 19, 2005 6:58 pm (#2979 of 2980)
Soul Search: Snape murdered Dumbledore. It doesn't matter that Dumbledore had asked him to, Snape performed the "unforgivable" AK.

This is indeed a crucial point. I am concerned if JKR actually wrote in a children's book that the ultimate good wizard asked or told any person to kill him -- I don't care what the motivations were.

But I also think that DD was clearly working from a plan and Snape with him on it.

Therefore, with both of those perspectives I'm pretty much left with either DD was about to die from something other than the AK, or he's not dead.


Kip Carter - Sep 19, 2005 7:02 pm (#2980 of 2980)
Edited Sep 19, 2005 8:15 pm
This thread has reached the maximum number of messages. Due to some deletions, the number is less than the three thousand posts that a thread may contain.

Clicking on this Severus Snape link should transfer your browser to the new thread.
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Severus Snape, Volume 4 (posts from Sep 19, 2005 to Aug 12, 2006)

Post  Mona on Fri May 27, 2011 1:32 am

# Severus Snape (posts from Sep 19, 2005 to Aug 12, 2006)
Kip Carter [/b]- Sep 19, 2005 8:01 pm
Edited Aug 30, 2007 5:55 am
This is the fourth thread for Severus Snape, who is one of the most controversial characters in the Harry Potter series, and because of this controversy, the messages in his thread grow at a huge rate. Please check the preceding thread for the on-going discussion. Do Not Post unless you are adding to the discussion!

The first thread Severus Snape (posts from Aug 29, 2003 to Nov 6, 2003) accumulated 644 messages in the 74 days since our return to the World Crossing (WX) system. The original thread had 620 messages on November 10, 2003 with the last message that day being Post #620 by Ovate. In an effort to consolidate some similar messages on another thread, The vacancy Snape wished to fill... was moved to the end of the original thread and the 24 messages of that thread start at Post #621 and continue to the end where I have stopped any further posts.

The second thread started on November 11, 2003 and continued to October 22, 2004 when it was closed out with 2957 messages. The second thread was renamed Severus Snape (posts from Nov 11, 2003 to Oct 22, 2004).

The third thread started on October 22, 2004 and continued to September 19, 2005 when it was closed with 2980 messages. The third thread was renamed Severus Snape (posts from Oct 22, 2004 to Sep 19, 2005).

The creation of this new thread allows those who care to look back and continue what was being discussed. Below I repeat part of my advice on the previous thread.

Regardless of how each of you handles this new thread depends on our working together. The nature of a forum is that new people come in and are faced with this huge number of messages to read and are somewhat intimidated by the amount that is needed to read before they can add their thoughts and ideas. This has caused many messages to start to rehash issues that some feel have already been discussed and problems occur. I hope my closing out the previous huge thread and providing the links in this new thread will allow a new peaceful discussion of Severus Snape to continue with new life and no preconceived ideas of what needs to be discussed.

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Last edited by Mona on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:17 am; edited 5 times in total
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Post  Mona on Fri May 27, 2011 2:17 am

T Vrana - Sep 19, 2005 7:58 pm (#1 of 2969)
I want to take another shot at the life debt idea, as part of the reason Snape came back. Not because it is key to his return, but perhaps key to his character. I still think there is a Lily connection, but consider that the life debt does not force anyone to do anything. It is magic at it deepest, but like love, it is about what you are willing to do. Lily was willing to sacrifice for her son. She didn't have to.

When Pettigrew, who owes Harry a life debt, gets a chance to protect Harry if GOF, he makes a half hearted attempt at talking LV out of using Harry. He could leave and let LV sink back into his near death existence. When Harry gets to the graveyard, and Pettigrew sees him, he could have reconsidered and kept LV from returning. This, I think is a reflection on his character and his unwillingness to honor the life debt, becasue he is a coward.

I think Snape, for being a nasty guy, does have a sense of honor, and that the life debt did not force his return, but his desire to honor it did contribute. He is not a coward.

But the deep regret may rest with the death of Lily...


Chemyst - Sep 20, 2005 3:33 am (#2 of 2969)
Edited Sep 20, 2005 4:37 am
It is magic at it deepest, but like love, it is about what you are willing to do.

Are you speculating that Snape honored his life debt to James and thereby (as an unintended and unforeseen consequence,) put Lily in the place where she had "the opportunity" to sacrifice herself?


T Vrana - Sep 20, 2005 4:07 am (#3 of 2969)
Edited Sep 20, 2005 5:08 am
No, hadn't thought about that. In honoring the life debt Snape would have been trying to save James and Lily (though I think saving Lily was a separate concern, not just part of the life debt). I think though he tried, he may feel he should have done more. Perhaps actually physically stopped LV. But he was afraid, and that is why being called a coward really gets to him.

I was commenting more on the various thoughts here about what kind of magic a life debt entails. Some have wondered if it forces the debtor to save the life of the person they are in debt to. I think not. I think it more a matter of honor. Those who are honorable would act upon the life debt. Pettigrew, as a coward and sneak, does not honor the debt he has to Harry, except with a really lame attempt at talking LV out of using Harry to regenerate.

I compared it to Lily's sacrifice because DD talks about love in similar terms as the life debt. Like the life debt, love only "worked" to protect Harry because Lily was willing to sacrifice for him. It was her character and her willingness to sacrifice that enabled her love to work as a shield. If she loved him, but was unwilling to sacrifice herself, Harry would have died.

It is Snape's character and willingness to act on it that empowers the life debt. Without that, the life debt seems to have little power. It certainly has little effect on Pettigrew,

Hope that makes sense...


wynnleaf - Sep 20, 2005 5:24 am (#4 of 2969)
This might belong in the Harry Potter thread, but I thought I'd post here for a little less risk.

Last night I wrote this in the Sirius thread and it made me think:

“Sirius thinks of Harry practically like his best friend James and treats him accordingly. Severus thinks of Harry practically like his hated enemy James and treats him accordingly. Harry loves Sirius and hates Severus.”

Here’s what I arrived at later after considering this a bit.

Sirius is immediately attached to Harry primarily because he was so close to James. Sirius sees James’ son, who looks so much like him, and almost treats Harry as though he is James. Harry responds very positively to this and likes Sirius quite a lot. However, in the one opportunity that he’s had to see what Sirius was like as a teenager, Harry doesn’t really care for what he sees. He sees Sirius (and James, but I’m not discussing James), as acting in an unprovoked bullying manner mainly to show off. The teenage Sirius that he sees in the pensieve is really not anything like the kind of kids Harry gravitates toward in school.

On Sirius’ side, he originally really likes Harry because of his connection with James (he’s James’ son and looks just like him). But there are scenes in OOTP where you get the impression that Harry really doesn’t react the way Sirius would think, because Sirius sort of expects Harry to be like James.

Now the flip side.

Severus immediately dislikes Harry. I’m guessing he immediately dislikes him for the exact same reasons Sirius likes Harry – because he’s James’ son and because he looks just like James. He treats Harry almost as though he is James. He takes advantage of his position in authority over Harry to torment him just like he wishes he could have tormented James. He does this because he’s thinking of Harry as though he was James. Harry naturally responds very negatively to this and hates Snape. However, in all of the opportunities that Harry’s had to see glimpses of Severus’ life as a kid and teenager, he tends to see Severus in a much more sympathetic light. While he doesn’t exactly think that through a great deal, it does seem to make Harry uncomfortable with those past glimpses that he sees, because they don’t “fit” with the Snape he hates.

Then Harry gets an entirely new glimpse of Severus from his teenage years – the potions book of the HBP. Without knowing who the HBP is, Harry actually likes him. He feels like he’s learning a lot from this person. He enjoys all the creative stuff the HBP is putting into the book. And he finds himself so much liking the unknown person behind the book that he wants to defend the HBP, even in the face of the Sectumsempra curse.

On Severus’ side, we aren’t shown (I don’t think) that he’s “seen” beyond Harry’s looks and realized that he’s really not that much like James.

What’s going on here?

Harry looks like James, but he’s actually more like Lily. Sirius likes Harry because he thinks he’s like James, but is a bit uncomfortable or disconcerted when Harry turns out to not be just like James. Harry responds with affection to Sirius, but because he’s not really like James, he doesn’t respond to Sirius like James would have.

Meanwhile, Severus also responds to Harry as though he’s James. He has yet to see that Harry is more like Lily (who I tend to suspect Severus liked a lot). Harry responds with hatred toward Snape – except for when he doesn’t know it’s Snape. When he doesn’t know it’s Snape, he likes him.

Get the picture? I think that if it were just based on personalities, and Harry were not James’ son and didn’t look like him, Sirius would never have paid much more interest in him than anyone else and Harry would have developed no particular interest in Sirius – might have even been a bit turned off by his attitudes. And if Severus’ personality were not so imbued with bitterness, resentment and hatred, and Harry hadn’t looked just like a person Severus hated, their personalities might have found a far greater affinity for each other than they would ever expect.


T Vrana - Sep 20, 2005 5:32 am (#5 of 2969)
wynnleaf-well thought out and well said.


wynnleaf - Sep 20, 2005 5:43 am (#6 of 2969)
Thanks, T Vrana.

I like your somewhat revised explanation of the life debt motivation. The life debt obviously creates a bond which even a rat like Pettigrew can't help, but respond to. But there's also an element of choice that's involved so that the bond has a greater effect on a person with a greater sense of duty or honor.


Soul Search - Sep 20, 2005 5:45 am (#7 of 2969)
wynnleaf -- Good observation and well stated! You have nailed the relationships, and, I think, have described the Harry/Snape relationship that will become pivotal in book seven.

For your statement "... we aren’t shown (I don’t think) that he’s 'seen' beyond Harry’s looks ... ," in the occulmency scenes, Snape sees examples of Harry being tormented. For one scene, Snape even asks "who's dog was it" relating to Harry being treed by Aunt Marge's dog.


T Vrana - Sep 20, 2005 5:52 am (#8 of 2969)
wynnleaf- I like this explanation of life debt better because it fits Pettigrew's reaction, and is all about choice still, not magical obligation.


popkin - Sep 20, 2005 6:40 am (#9 of 2969)
Edited by Sep 20, 2005 7:44 am
wynnleaf, your post is interesting, but even if Snape hadn't had an instant hatred for Harry, I don't think Harry would ever have liked him. Snape always tortured Harry's fellow students - especially Neville and Hermione. That torture had nothing to do with Snape's feelings for Harry, but is an ingrained part of Snape's character. Harry's always on the side of the underdog, and hates bullying of any kind. Perhaps Harry could have liked young Severus, but the man he became could never, under any circumstances, have been Harry's friend.


wynnleaf - Sep 20, 2005 6:50 am (#10 of 2969)
Edited Sep 20, 2005 7:52 am
popkin, I think you misunderstood a bit of my last paragraph.

I said, "And if Severus’ personality were not so imbued with bitterness, resentment and hatred, and Harry hadn’t looked just like a person Severus hated, their personalities might have found a far greater affinity for each other than they would ever expect."

I meant Severus' bitterness, resentment, and hatred overall -- not just where it is directed to Harry. I'm assuming that Snape's bitterness and hatred affects his nastiness toward others in general, not solely Harry.

And Harry did seem to like the HBP, who, after all, is Severus Snape.


Hollywand - Sep 20, 2005 6:50 am (#11 of 2969)
I agree with Popkin; I think Snape feels that a bit of abuse is good medicine to develop character. I also think that Snape values Harry's strategic importance to the war, and will place this strategic value above his personal feelings.

I wonder what feelings Harry will have after the Flight of the Prince toward the Half Blood Prince book. Hmm.

Wynnleaf, your comments about Sirius' expectations of Harry are well articulated. The expectation that Sirius has that Harry will be a James surrogate is really laid out in Order of the Phoenix.

Lupin seems much more capable of seeing Harry for his own personality.


popkin - Sep 20, 2005 7:03 am (#12 of 2969)
I see what you mean, wynnleaf. Harry did like certain aspects of Severus' character - when he did not know who he was. However, now that he knows who the HBP is, he will realize that Hermione was prudent to distrust him. Harry should have listened to her counsel.


T Vrana - Sep 20, 2005 7:12 am (#13 of 2969)
Edited Sep 20, 2005 8:14 am
popkin- And yet, Harry learned a great deal and saved Ron. I think the message is that Snape has much to teach him, but beware what you learn. Do not learn to hate,(sectumsempra was for enemies), but learn the the other things Snape can teach. Snape is very accomplished, even DD needed him.


Vulture - Sep 20, 2005 7:35 am (#14 of 2969)
As far as the series goes, the only student that Dumbledore has blatantly shown favor to has been Harry (Ana Cis - Sep 3, 2005 5:31 pm (#2713))

Hi, Ana Cis:

I wouldn't agree _ remember that (as Snape thread regulars often point out) most of the story is (supposedly) told through Harry's eyes. I think it would be more accurate to say that Dumbledore is one of those people who can make anyone feel that they're special to him (unless they themselves decide to be hostile). Oddly enough, the other person I've seen this quality attributed to was Elvis Presley !!

Look at how Lupin talks about Dumbledore in Book 3, look at how Ron hero-worships him (and, in his first year, Dumbledore already knows how Ron feels "overshadowed by his brothers" _ he wouldn't deduce that simply from what Ron sees in the Mirror).

It's true that Dumbledore has given Harry special attention, but this is not blatant favouring, it's proportionate to Harry's situation vis-a-vis Voldemort. And yes, a special friendship does evolve out of this. Hmmm .... perhaps I'm splitting hairs after all.

Harry refuses to find anything good about Snape as a way to deal with his own guilt over Sirius' death; he still can't even talk about Sirius death throughout most of the book. (Ana Cis - Sep 3, 2005 5:31 pm (#2713))

I keep coming back to this post of yours !! _ lots of good points. Anyway, my feeling on this one is another of my quarrels with Book 6. I felt that, when he saw "Snape's worst memory" in Book 5, it was a (potentially) major moment for Harry's character in relation to Snape, but JKR didn't develop it. What you say _ about going back to hating Snape just after Sirius's death _ need not have prevented such development: an understandable reaction just after Sirius's death, despite Dumbledore's explanations to Harry. But in Book 6, JKR has Harry sticking to this view, having thought about it in the summer. This isn't unbelievable, but it's disappointing, and if she had had Harry being more even-handed (after considering (a) Dumbledore's explanations, and (b) Sirius's own impetuosity _ which even affects his concentration with Bellatrix), that wouldn't have been implausible either _ even as early as Book 2, we've seen plenty of evidence that Harry can give enemies credit where it's due, or feel sorry for them. So she had a choice. Of course, the end of Book 6 is bound to vindicate Harry's dislike of Snape in his own eyes, and make him push any legitimate grievances Snape might have to one side.


Vulture - Sep 20, 2005 7:38 am (#15 of 2969)
vulture- I agree with Wynnleaf. Snape's passing along the part of the prophesy he heard is far from accessory to murder. At 19 he made a horrible mistake, and it appears, once he knew how LV intended to use this info, he risked his life to fix it. (T Vrana - Sep 19, 2005 7:41 pm (#2978))

Oh please _ "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ..." _ what did he think Lord V would do ?

Being logged out !!...


Weeny Owl - Sep 20, 2005 8:21 am (#16 of 2969)
With all this talk about how Snape reacts to Harry, I was wondering about the Sorting Hat. It said Harry would have done well in Slytherin, and it repeated this in CoS.

I was thinking about this, and wondered how well Harry would have done having Snape as his Head of House. Would Snape have gotten to know Harry as an individual and not as a James clone?

Snape wouldn't have put Harry on the spot in the first class. Many of the detentions probably wouldn't have happened. The points deductions probably would have happened, but would Snape see Harry as Harry if he'd been in Slytherin?


Soul Search - Sep 20, 2005 8:27 am (#17 of 2969)
Ana Cis/Vulture -- I agree with your response to the statement: "As far as the series goes, the only student that Dumbledore has blatantly shown favor to has been Harry."

It is in Dumbledore's nature to be kind and forgiving. While we have seen Dumbledore mostly through Harry's eyes, there are other examples: Tom Riddle, Hagrid, Lupin, Sirius (PoA), Marietta, and, especially, Draco.

I am not sure Dumbledore's relationship with Snape falls, exactly, into the same category, but he must have been receptive to Snape's overture for switching sides. Clearly, Dumbledore was willing to see the positive in Snape, even though he was a death eater and a potential double agent.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 20, 2005 8:29 am (#18 of 2969)
Edited Sep 20, 2005 9:37 am
It will be interesting not only to see how Harry reacts to the HBP potions book but also to see how Hermione reacts to Snape now that she knows it was his-and what she thinks of the book. She was so convinced that HBP was evil, but did not feel that way about Snape, as far as I know. After all, as nasty as Snape can be, he had few moments that were as bad as Delores Umbridge and her sick sense of righteous 'justice'.

I also think that Dumbledore, although he admits he has a very special place in his heart for Harry also has also show some special care to other students. I think Hagrid is a great example. Also with mercy with Lupin and Snape. Draco too. I think he also thought about Ron when he made him a prefect. I think he knew Ron needed to have some successes/triumphs on his own to overcome Harry & Hermione's strong characters and to overcome the 'second hand' syndrome he inherited from being the youngest son of 5 older accomplished brothers.


Lina - Sep 20, 2005 12:51 pm (#19 of 2969)
I don't know any more who mentioned it, but I like the idea that Snape's questions at the first class were to determine if Harry was more like his father or like his mother. If Harry were more like Hermione, who knows what would Snape's reaction be? We have no idea! (and this frustrates me at the moment) Maybe he even wouldn't torture Neville if Harry knew the answers to those questions? Well, I know it's a speculation, but interesting one for me. Maybe he would make a comment on Lily in that case, and say something positive? Well, it doesn't sound possible to me either, but it is a fact that we don't know what would have happened if Harry knew the answers (Hermione did, so it wasn't impossible).

I do think that Snape felt respect for Lily. I don't think that his feelings for her will play a role in the last book, but he must have respected her (I guess this is the reason why Slughorn mentions her so much). Maybe they even talked about potions and their beauty. Someone mentioned before - how is it possible that Snape was so willing to make experiments with potions and doesn't tolerate when students don't follow the instructions precisely? Well, to me, Snape seams to be the person of logic. In PS/SS he protects the stone with the logic puzzle. One would think that he is not good at all with the "silly wand waving", but Levicorpus and sectumsempra show the opposite. The enhancements he makes with the potions must have come out of logic and knowledge. He combined the facts he knew in a logical way and that led him to his discoveries. I doubt that he would mind if he saw some of the students using logic in his classes. If it were some Griffindor, he most certainly wouldn't praise them, but he wouldn't punish them either.

The fact that Harry learned a lot from the HBP's book shows that it was not at all a bad choice to make Snape teach him Occlumency. Yet, they had this emotional barrier, both of them, that made those lessons unsuccessful.

I doubt that JKR is going to explain much more the causes of Snape's bitterness. As much as I understood some of her comments, she knew some people, and which is worse, some teachers with the same bitterness and she was not able to understand their actions. There are so many people with a worse childhood (as Harry) that never developed this kind of bitterness and I doubt she will ever justify it even if it turns out that he is working for the good side.


wynnleaf - Sep 20, 2005 1:14 pm (#20 of 2969)
Edited Sep 20, 2005 2:16 pm
Lina,

I agree with much of your post and particularly your long paragraph on Snape and logic.

You were asking I think, earlier, that if Snape had "seen" Lily in Harry, perhaps he wouldn't have treated Harry, or his friends, so horribly. I don't really think that it was ever a question, though. Given Snape's bitterness, hatred, etc., I think he was practically bound to see James in Harry. That doesn't mean that he won't eventually see other aspects of Harry, but I really don't think there was any initial possibility of Snape getting past all that hatred to seeing Harry as he was.

But while I don't think JKR necessarily has to explain much more about Severus' bitterness for the reader's sake, she's almost certainly going to have to give Harry some explanations if he's going to have any degree of peace between himself and Snape -- assuming, that is, that such a peace is necessary for the plot. I therefore would not be at all surprised if more info on Severus' motivations comes in the 7th book.

"As much as I understood some of her comments, she knew some people, and which is worse, some teachers with the same bitterness and she was not able to understand their actions."

As I recall, when JKR said that no way was Snape going to wear a turban, she also said that she knew all about him. So while she may not have understood the motivations of real people she's known that had similar levels of bitterness and hate, I think she does know exactly where Snape's hate comes from.


T Vrana - Sep 20, 2005 1:38 pm (#21 of 2969)
Edited Sep 20, 2005 2:51 pm
wynnleaf- I disagree that Snape never gave Harry a chance. I think the first potions lesson when Snape asked Harry the questions that seemed more appropriate for a sixth year (though Hermione knew the answers), he was actaully testing to see if Harry was more like James or Lily. Not a fair test, really, but I can see Snape doing this, especially if he did respect Lily, then moving on to loathe Harry/James in peace.

Vulture- Oh please _ "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ..." _ what did he think Lord V would do ?

I actually don't think he thought it through at all. As an impulsive 19 year old (like Sirius who did not consider that Lupin and DD would also suffer when he decided to play his little trick on Snape), I think he reported to his master like a good little DE. Once he realized how LV would use the information, he decided he was not really DE material. Like Malfoy, who brags on the train, but can't kill DD, Snape could have realized spying and talking like a DE, and loving the dark arts, is different than being a DE(Regulus had a similar experience).


Lina - Sep 20, 2005 1:40 pm (#22 of 2969)
Edited Sep 20, 2005 2:44 pm
Well, maybe yes, where does it come from, but still no way to justify it. I have a little problem in expressing myself here, I can feel it but I am not able to put it into words. Maybe it would be too much to say compassion. I think that most people who defend Snape feel compassion for him, but she doesn't. That just my feeling, I don't expect anybody to agree.

Edit: cross posted with T Vrana. That's exactly my point. We don't know what would happen if Harry knew the answers. And there is no way of redoing the history, is there?


T Vrana - Sep 20, 2005 2:05 pm (#23 of 2969)
Edited Sep 20, 2005 4:07 pm
I think if he had known the answers it would have led to more 'tests', and in the end Harry would have failed because he is not exactly like Lily, and Snape would be looking for him to fail so he could go on hating this James look alike in peace.

Plus, Harry does have some James-like disregard for rules...Snape just hates that!


wynnleaf - Sep 20, 2005 2:12 pm (#24 of 2969)
Edited Sep 20, 2005 3:13 pm
T Vrana said: wynnleaf- I disagree that Snape never gave Harry a chance. I think the first potions lesson when Snape asked Harry the questions that seemed more appropriate for a sixth year (though Hermione knew the answers), he was actaully testing to see if Harry was more like James or Lily. Not a fair test, really, but I can see Snape doing this, especially if he did respect Lily, then moving on to loathe Harry/James in peace.

Well, I don't disagree with you. But I think that kind of "chance" that Snape may have given Harry isn't really a chance at all. It's so impossible a "test" that it's not a true test, just a semblance of giving someone a chance. That in itself is indicative of greatly disliking Harry from the start -- or why set such a ridiculous test?

When I said Snape was practically "bound" to hate Harry initially (though not necessarily forever), I didn't mean he never gave Harry even a semblance of a chance, but that even in giving such a ridiculous "test" he was displaying his immediate dislike of Harry/James.


T Vrana - Sep 20, 2005 2:14 pm (#25 of 2969)
I think we agree. See above, we cross posted.


wynnleaf - Sep 20, 2005 2:47 pm (#26 of 2969)
I meant to answer this one from Vulture

Vulture: Oh please _ "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ..." _ what did he think Lord V would do ?

Well, your assumption then is that on hearing that part of the prophecy anyone would naturally automatically assume that LV should go figure out which is the baby to be born and kill it? No, I don't think that a 19 year old is going to automatically think that -- even a 19 year old who's into the Dark Arts.

See, the thing is, I can see a 19 year old automatically thinking that LV would kill the baby, and going to tell LV assuming that he'd kill the baby. But the type of person I picture who would think that through and still tell LV, actually not caring whether or not LV murders the baby or its parents, isn't -- as I picture it -- also the kind of person who very shortly afterward not only repents of that action, but actually risks his life to correct that action.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 20, 2005 7:31 pm (#27 of 2969)
This discussion brings to mind JKR's comments about how Lily's green eyes are still important. I cannot help but wonder why. If, as many of us here seem to think, Snape was determined to hate Harry and see only James in him, will, at some point, Snape (or someone else of consequence) be forced into seeing that he was Lily's son too? And that it will make a difference?

JKR also makes a comment in an interview about dememtors and Azkaban that Petunia overhears between Lily and 'someone else' whom Petunia refers to as 'that awful boy'. From what I have read, I tend to believe that the 'someone else/awful boy' was not James...could it have been Snape?

JKR also says: You’ll find out a lot more about her (Lily) in Book 5, or you’ll find out something very significant about her in Book 5, then you’ll find out something incredibly important about her in Book 7. But I can’t tell you what those things are so I’m sorry, but yes, you will find out more about her because both of them are very important in what Harry ends up having to do.

Does that above quote have to do with Lily's eyes? Does it perhaps have to do with her occupation (I think she might have worked in the Department of Mysteries and was an unspeakable). And how cryptic is it when JKR says that both things we learn about Lily are '...very important in what Harry ends up having to do."

Also, it was not only James who found some disregard for the rules. This is what JKR says about Lily: When Aunt Petunia said Lily turned teacups into rats, she was exaggerating a little, although "just like her son, Lily was not averse to testing the limits of the Statute of Secrecy, so you can safely assume she will have had a few warning letters – nothing too serious, though."


Lina - Sep 20, 2005 11:44 pm (#28 of 2969)
T Vrana: I think we agree. See above, we cross posted.
I must say that you both make sense to me and you made me believe that Snape would have continued with the questions until he would find one that Harry didn't know. Harry just made that easier for him.


Honour - Sep 21, 2005 2:41 am (#29 of 2969)
Just to sort of change the pace for a moment or two ...

I have been wondering about whether there was at any time a relationship between Severus and Narcissa? In HBP they seem to share a comfortable air about them, do you think mayhaps they were friendly at school but their friendship was discouraged by the Black family (Bella and maybe Sirius?) because of Severus' parentage?

and ... Does Severus pick on Neville because he sees himself in Neville?


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 21, 2005 4:23 am (#30 of 2969)
Oh please _ "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ..." _ what did he think Lord V would do ? --Vulture

I agree. We have seen what the wizarding world is like with Voldemort's open return in HBP. Fear, disappearances, murder, the Dark Mark in the sky... the same Dark Mark Snape has branded on his arm. I find it a stretch to believe that Snape-- who doesn't at all strike me as stupid-- couldn't have known that the guy he was working for was a megalomaniacal mass murderer.


wynnleaf - Sep 21, 2005 5:08 am (#31 of 2969)
Edited Sep 21, 2005 6:08 am
Honour,

In Spinners End, Narcissa makes her way to the house through a confusing, run down area of town, as though she knew exactly where she was going, making it look like the way to the house was very familiar to her. So, yes, I'd assume she and Snape had some sort of closer relationship at one time -- friends? Seems likely. She mentions his friendship with Lucius. If she'd had a past romantic relationship with Severus, would she have attempted to make use of that in her pleas? I tend to think friendship is more likely, because she didn't refer to anything closer.

Mrs Brisbee,

To reiterate what I said earlier and state it a little differently...

What kind of person at 19 would knowingly and (I assume) uncaringly contribute to the murder of an infant? Certainly there are people who have practically zero conscience who would do such a thing. But would this sort of person also be the kind of person who -- only a very short time later -- would not only regret what he'd done, but be willing to risk his life every day for months and years in order to reverse the wrong? I just can't see that.

Yes, Severus is a very smart person. So it's natural to assume that a smart person would know what LV would do with that information. But the reality is that smart people delude themselves all the time. Smart people often are blinded to what one would think should be obvious. Smart people tell themselves one thing when the truth is staring them in the face. Being smart isn't insurance against the age old problem of seeing what you want to see. And 19 year old smart kids do it even more. I get to see that on an ongoing basis...yep, daily in fact. I can't believe the dunderheaded (to use a Snape word) things very smart college age kids can do and they'll ruin their lives over stuff when you'd think that their innate intelligence would show them how completely they're misjudging a situation, another person, or even themselves. Even at this moment I worry about what responsibility I have in helping a very, very intelligent 20 year old see how blind they are being to the utterly misjudged idea they have of another person's character. This is so common! I have no problem at all in imagining a 19 year old very intelligent Severus completely blind to what LV would do with that prophecy.


T Vrana - Sep 21, 2005 5:14 am (#32 of 2969)
Edited Sep 21, 2005 6:17 am
Mrs. Brisbee- Do we know that a 19 year old really thought it through? Or rather, really digested exactly what his actions woudl lead to. Males at this age are impulsive, and not know for fully thinking through consequences.

Snape was 19 and new as a DE, and presumably thought he had found a place he could fit in. He hung out at school with a bunch of older Slytherins, but when we see him as an older student himself, he seems to be a loner. He is bullied. Post Hogwarts he joins his friends as a DE. He agrees to spy on DD, so goes to apply for a job, but hears the prophesy. Bingo, first day on the job (for LV) he has something to share with his new found master (mentor/father figure?). But soon enough he discovers what being a DE really means. It means people are going to die because of what he did. To make matters worse, people he knows. He returns to DD for help.

This all counts on Snape actually returning in earnest. I think he did.

Should he have realized what he was getting into? Yes. Should he have cared if anyone was murdered? Yes. But he was 19 and damaged emotionally and he made a huge mistake.

The big question is whether someone can return from terrible choices like this, and make better choices and be forgiven and redeemed. I think yes.


rambkowalczyk - Sep 21, 2005 6:01 am (#33 of 2969)
Edited Sep 21, 2005 7:30 am
I had assumed that Snape was a bully but not as much as James. I could see Snape getting back at James not by attacking James but by attacking his weaker friends Lupin and Pettigrew. I previously speculated that Snape may have been hexing Pettigrew when Lily stopped him. This would explain why Lily seems ambivalent towards Snape in the Pensieve memory. (One one hand she is furious at James on the other hands she is hiding a smile because of his underwear).

But someone pointed out that in that particular incident there seemed to be no reason to torment Snape other than boredom. Also during Harry's detention when he was going through Filch's files I think we can assume Harry did not come across any incidents where Snape was disciplined. (He found many references to James, Sirius, Remus and Peter though)

Does this mean Snape never got caught? Or that Snape wasn't as bad as James? Or that Snape didn't start fighting back until his 6th and 7th year? Sirius does say James and Snape hexed each other back and forth but not when Lily was around.

Re 19 year old Snape--I think it's possible when he first heard the prophecy the full meaning of it didn't hit him at first. What would he care if some nameless baby got killed by Voldemort. It was only after when the baby had a name that Snape realised his error.

On Mugglenet, Maline of the North Tower speculates that Snape heard the whole prophecy but only told Voldemort just the first part. This was proof to Dumbledore that Snape had switched sides. I don't fully agree with the reasoning that gives this conclusion, but the idea is interesting.

Also (sorry for so many diverse ideas here) I posted this on Dumbledore but feel it also belongs here as well:

Snape didn't know Voldemort's plans when he was talking to Narcissa. When he makes the Unbreakable Vow it was a gamble that he lost. When he tells Dumbledore, he is afraid to die. In his desperation he tells Dumbledore that if he (Snape) kills him he would be Voldemort's right hand man and in a perfect position to help Harry. Clever as this plan is, Dumbledore knows that Snape's soul is in no condition to survive a splitting if Snape kills. Dumbledore tells Snape that he has to do his duty and die. Snape's overheard comments by Hagrid make more sense with this type of plot rather than if Dumbledore suggested that Snape kill him.

When Snape then appears at the tower, Dumbledore's Please is a request for Snape to save his soul not Dumbledore's life. Snape however a coward at heart is afraid not only for himself but even if he dies Draco will die as well, so he kills Dumbledore.


Vulture - Sep 21, 2005 7:11 am (#34 of 2969)
It's possible that while Snape came to school knowing a lot about the Dark Arts, since his father was a Muggle, he didn't have the racist views of his Slytherin counterparts.

I have suggested that maybe he was Lily's Neville - she wouldn't have known anyone on the train, just like Hermione didn't know anyone. She sits with this greasy, geeky kid. They end up in different houses, but they stay friendly. Friendly enough that he seeks her out on summer holiday - that's when Pet overhears the Dementor bit. ...

Lily's willing to stick up for him because James is an idiot & Severus was her friend. (haymoni - Sep 3, 2005 8:46 pm (#2720))

(1) If "he didn't have the racist views of his Slytherin counterparts", to start with, he certainly made up for lost time later on. Even by Harry's day, when he has to stay within certain bounds as a teacher, he cannot stand Hermione doing well _ indeed, he can't stand Hermione full stop.

(2) Petunia overhears the Dementor info from James.

(3) This gives Lily less credit than she's due. Whether Snape was her friend or not is beside the point _ what James & Co. were doing to him was wrong , and I believe that it's the wrongness that Lily reacts to. I would feel that Slughorn's comments about her in Book 6 reinforce this view of Lily.

Snape could comment of Lily's poor taste in husbands, or her foolishness at getting killed listening to James, and trusting Black etc. (T Vrana - Sep 4, 2005 5:16 am (#2723))

WHAT ?!! Am I missing something here ?!! She got killed from "listening to James, and trusting Black" ?!! Am I the only one who still thinks they were betrayed by Pettigrew ?!! (And Snape, if you include Book 6 _ but I have to admit that I wish JKR had never written that bit.)

The worst you can say about Sirius on this point is his half-witted idea of switching to Pettigrew _ but a mistake made ( with good intent _ before anyone brings up Snape's "terrible mistake" !!), however foolish, is not the same as an evil deed.

You feel that one reason DD should have known better than to keep Snape’s listening at the keyhole a secret is because Trelawney had a drinking problem and could spill the beans, as it were, at any time. Maybe I missed this in the rest of the books, but HBP is the first time I remember seeing her drinking – I assumed that maybe she was stressed out after Umbridge and the fact that LV was so clearly back. So her telling Harry (who spoke to her as rarely as was possible anyway), would have been little risk. (wynnleaf - Sep 4, 2005 7:13 am (#2724))

No, Trelawney was drinking in Book 5 _ I looked it up. And I may be wrong, but I think that the whiff of "cooking sherry" was around in Book 3 (I won't swear to that, though).

However, your point is well made, if she wasn't a drinker to begin with. Nevertheless, I feel that, given her role as regards the prophecy, Dumbledore would have kept a close eye on her (that, as I gather, is why he changed his mind and employed her), partly for her own protection. I believe that, if not at first, then very soon, he would come to see her as the weak link in the chain as regards keeping the secret of Snape as eavesdropper. She wouldn't have to blurt it out drunkenly to Harry _ if it cropped up in chats with favourites like Parvati and Lavender, it would be far, far worse.

I recognise that there's a case for keeping Harry in the dark when he first arrives at Hogwarts _ well, a similar case to the one we know Dumbledore adopts about Voldemort's reasons for targeting Harry. But, just as Dumbledore comes to realise that Harry is ready to be burdened with knowledge of the latter, so I believe he would confront him with the former. Yes, Harry's first reaction would be great anger (as it is in any case), but he would obey Dumbledore and keep quiet about it. Of course, we're then into the case about Lord V and Occlumency _ well, (a) by Book 6, that case is redundant, and Dumbledore knows this, as his first Book 6 comments to Harry show; and (b) the organising of Harry's training in Occlumency was utterly shambolic in any case _ excusable with Umbridge breathing down everyone's necks, but it could (and, I feel, should) have been put right in Harry's 6th Year.

But as usual, I guess we all have to agree to differ !!


T Vrana - Sep 21, 2005 7:11 am (#35 of 2969)
Edited Sep 21, 2005 9:21 am
rambkowalczyk -Hmmmm. I don't think Snape is a coward at heart. If he has been spying for DD, he has been very brave, indeed. Just returning to LV late, on DD's orders, I'm sure earned him a little "crucio" time. But he went, and continues to risk being discovered as a spy and killed.

I can't picture Snape telling DD, just let me kill you and this will all work out. I also can't see DD asking Snape to just die. Among other things, DD has needed him all year (perhaps longer), and Harry will need him. Nor can I see DD asking Snape to tear his soul. This all leads me back to fake death.

As I think about Snape's greasy hair I have always felt this describes a teenager more than a man. We have discussed that Snape seems emotionally frozen as a teenager. I think his greasy hair is the outward manifestation of his inward adolescence.

WHAT ?!! Am I missing something here ?!! She got killed from "listening to James, and trusting Black" ?!! Am I the only one who still thinks they were betrayed by Pettigrew ?!!

Vulture- Relax! It's only a book! :-)

From Snape's point of view, pre-POA, James and Lily would have survived if James had listened to the warnings and changed secret keepers. In reality, this is also true even though Black was a good guy. Changing to Pettigrew was a deadly mistake. No ones fault, but it is true that if James had made DD secret keeper, they probably would have survived. I wasn't blaming James or Black for the Potters' deaths, I was commenting on Snape's point of view. He says this much in POA in the Shrieking Shack.

So, yes, in Snape's mind, James' arrogance got he and his wife killed.

We do not know that Petunia heard about dementors from James. She says she heard about them from "That awful boy", not your father, that Potter boy, James etc. This has led some to believe that awful boy was Snape. Does fit. Imagine greasy Snape talking about dementors. Petunia, clean freak, would have thought him awful. James would have been more likely to talk quidditch.


wynnleaf - Sep 21, 2005 8:22 am (#36 of 2969)
rambkowalczyk

Check out my answer on the Albus Dumbledore thread, #2046.


kage - Sep 21, 2005 9:14 am (#37 of 2969)
Edited Sep 21, 2005 10:56 am
vulture / about DD not telling Harry the complete truth about Mr. Snape's role in his parents death
I more and more come to think that Mr. Snape has more to do with the Potter's deaths than just telling Voldemort about the prophecy - because DD is so reluctant to tell about it. If all there is to this matter was half a prophecy that unfortunately found it's way to Voldemort (which DD could have prevented, I'm almost sure) and later unfortunately led to James and Lilys deaths, he could have told Harry at the end of HBP, as Mr. Snape would have been gone at the end of the year - due to the DADA job jinx. But not before. I still think it quite impossible to tell a student that his teacher played a role in his parents deaths, no matter how tiny and excusable this role may occur to a neutral person. But the fact that DD still doesn't seem to tell the complete truth at the end of HBP makes me suspect that Mr. Snape had a more vital part in this than just delivering the prophecy and quickly return to DD. And that in the end the secrect is not so much between DD and Mr. Snape but between Mr. Snape and Harry.

T Vrana I can't picture Snape telling DD, just let me kill you and this will all work out. I also can't see DD asking Snape to just die. Among other things, DD has needed him all year (perhaps longer), and Harry will need him... Agreed ...Nor can I see DD asking Snape to tear his soul. This all leads me back to fake death.
Here I have my doubts: What if there's not much left of Mr. Snape's soul? Not because he made a dozen Horcruxes himself, but because of broken-heart-syndrome similar to Meraupe Gaunt's? Or because he's more guilty than we've been told so far and is convinced he's no longer worth living. Both may come as a bundle.
So if
a) DD wants to die in the tower scene, because of the potion Harry forced into him and because it's too late to do anything against it anymore (certainly not because he planned to die before) and
b) Mr. Snape's soul isn't anything to care much about,
there is, from a strategically point of view, not much of a problem in asking Mr. Snape to do the last possible thing and AK him. This way enabling Mr. Snape to go on with whatever plan of DD's, only 'slightly' changed due to something gone wrong.

Maybe I'm getting a bit severe in the way I'm looking at things and maybe I will see things differently again in a couple of days... ;-)


Weeny Owl - Sep 21, 2005 11:31 am (#38 of 2969)
Mrs. Brisbee- Do we know that a 19 year old really thought it through? Or rather, really digested exactly what his actions woudl lead to. Males at this age are impulsive, and not know for fully thinking through consequences.

While this is Snape's thread, I must jump in and say that it isn't just males at that age.

Does this mean Snape never got caught? Or that Snape wasn't as bad as James? Or that Snape didn't start fighting back until his 6th and 7th year?

Or that Snape made sure that anything involving his own detentions had already been removed before Harry started going through the files. Or that when Snape became a teacher, his files were removed and placed somewhere separately which could be something that is standard operating procedure for Hogwarts staff files.

(2) Petunia overhears the Dementor info from James.

We don't know that. All Petunia said was that that awful boy was telling Lily about dementors and Petunia overheard the conversation. That awful boy could be James, Sirius, Snape, Pettigrew, or someone we haven't heard about yet.

As for Snape's soul, we don't know what he's done or hasn't done, but JKR did say he could see Thestrals, so even if he hasn't killed anyone, he's been around when someone died. It could be from natural causes, but with Death Eater history being what it is, chances are it's something much worse.

Snape called Lily a Mudblood. Are we supposed to think that he's similar to Draco in that Draco calls Hermione names but doesn't actually do anything to her? Could be, but with the history Snape has of hating Harry so much, why would he never make the same type of comments about Lily as he does about James? Lily probably never did anything to him, but Snape is much too fond of tormenting Harry not to use anything he can. He could very easily say very nasty things about Lily just to goad Harry but he doesn't. Harry having his mother's eyes is mentioned over and over, and if Slughorn can see it, so can Snape. That could be one reason Snape hates Harry so much more than is normal.


T Vrana - Sep 21, 2005 11:42 am (#39 of 2969)
Edited Sep 21, 2005 12:53 pm
Someone (vulture?) said Snape is horrible to Hermione and this was proof Snape is like DEs regarding muggleborns etc. But is he? He is annoyed when he's "quizzing" Harry and Hermione nearly "screams" call on me. He is nasty when she helps Neville, even though he, Snape, the teacher told no one to help him. And I think he calls her an insufferable know it all, but Harry and Ron thought the same thing, and still sorta do at times. I think he also said something about Hermione's teeth, not nice, but Neville's a pureblood and he's much worse to him. I think he's just nasty, and the fact that Hermione is one of Harry's friends is enough. I don't think this proves Snape meant the mudblood comment, or has any prejudices against non-purebloods.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 21, 2005 11:56 am (#40 of 2969)
Yes, Severus is a very smart person. So it's natural to assume that a smart person would know what LV would do with that information. But the reality is that smart people delude themselves all the time. Smart people often are blinded to what one would think should be obvious. Smart people tell themselves one thing when the truth is staring them in the face. Being smart isn't insurance against the age old problem of seeing what you want to see. And 19 year old smart kids do it even more. --T Vrana

Yes, I have seen teenagers and young adults do stupid and cruel things. Even older people. And there are cases of people who have done terrible crimes and regretting it, and becoming informants or turning state evidence.

They are still responsible for their crimes, though.

Snape belonged to an organization known for casting up a neon sign over houses they'd committed murders in to say, "Look, we've killed people here!" I think Voldemort's and the Death Eaters' crimes were public knowledge. I find it hard to shrug off what he did as youthful folly, or mere blindness to what was going on.

If he regrets what he did, that's great. If he is trying to make up for his past evil ways, even better. But he is still responsible for the things he did even if he does regret them, or pleads stupidity for landing himself in such a mess.

Can he be redeemed? I think we might need a definition of "redemption", but I don't have one to provide.


HungarianHorntail11 - Sep 21, 2005 12:15 pm (#41 of 2969)
I still think it quite impossible to tell a student that his teacher played a role in his parents deaths, no matter how tiny and excusable this role may occur to a neutral person. But the fact that DD still doesn't seem to tell the complete truth at the end of HBP makes me suspect that Mr. Snape had a more vital part in this than just delivering the prophecy and quickly return to DD.

You've given me some food for thought, kage. Let's assume some situations we may agree on: 1) DD didn't give Harry the full story (not exactly canon, but we can deduce that he was skirting around the subject) about Snape. 2)DD has indeed been getting his affairs in order since he picked up Harry (once again, I will point out the subtle clue that this chapter comes AFTER Spinner's End which leads me to believe that Snape is keeping DD informed)

If he has kept Harry in the dark about Snape, I believe it is because DD is concerned that Harry needs to work with Snape somewhere down the road (Book 7) when he may not be around to keep Harry trusting Snape and did not want to fuel his hatred more by revealing some pertinent information that may have contributed to James and Lily's deaths.


T Vrana - Sep 21, 2005 12:15 pm (#42 of 2969)
mrs brisbee- That quote isn't mine, but it is similar to mine.

I'm not saying Snape was totally innocent or ignorant of what he was getting into. I just think that at 19 the full reality of what it actually takes to be a DE probably didn't occur to him. Like Malfoy, thinking you can kill and killing are two different things. Giving the info to LV and then the reality of how it was going to be used, two different things for Snape. It may have been because he knew the victims, and yes, it should have bothered him no matter who the victim was going to be. But the fact that he decided at some point that he made a mistake and tried to fix it, has to count for something. He does appear to have returned post prophesy but pre-Godric Hollow.

It also appears he tried to stop the murder by telling DD someone close to the Potters was passing info to LV, so accessory to murder seems a very harsh charge. Is Snape partially responsible for the Potters deaths? Absolutely. But his efforts to save them has to be taken into account before we can call him an accessory.


Saracene - Sep 21, 2005 12:42 pm (#43 of 2969)
Re: Snape testing Harry's knowledge of Potions to see whether he's more like Lily or James: I'm rather sceptical about that. For one thing, a person might have a natural inclination to potions, and might even inherit it from a parent, but unless one grows up in an environment that encourages the talent, it's pretty unreasonable to expect someone to possess the technical knowledge far advanced beyond their years. Had Harry actually grown up with Lily and got interested in potions because of her, that could be a different situation.

Plus, surely Lily's talent at Potion was not what made her a different person to James. Judging from the Pensieve memory, it was her compassion and empathy.


Lina - Sep 21, 2005 2:42 pm (#44 of 2969)
I like your idea, Honour, about Snape picking on Neville because he reminds him himself. But Snape seems to have a different approach. We saw him in his memories being quite inept with the broom, but it seems to me that he continued practicing until he was able to fly, and to be a referee, as a matter of fact. He is not a kind that surrenders. Most of people like to avoid things that are difficult for them but not him. He concentrates even more with things that he is not comfortable with. Maybe that's the way that he mastered Occlumency, because he had a Legilymens in the family and he was annoyed that that someone always knew what he thought (the way that mothers understand their children that don't speak well yet). Maybe that's even how he became a potions master, because it was difficult for him at the beginning? It is just my feeling, I am not able to back it up, but I got the impression that his mother was a nice and a loving person. So, I'm wondering, was there an evil uncle or a grandfather who thought him the Dark Arts?

About Snape killing DD, well, it could have been a "fake death" and some other death a "real one". There might be a possibility that DD was dying because of the potion, Snape had no way of saving him with the DEs in the school, and DD didn't want Harry to think that he is responsible for his death. So he needed a fake AK to prevent Harry feeling guilty.

Hermione and Lily both grew up in a place without magic, and yet, Lily was great at Potions and Hermione knew all the answers.


Mrs Brisbee - Sep 21, 2005 2:47 pm (#45 of 2969)
Sorry about the misattribution, T Vrana. That quote actually came from wynnleaf. All that scrolling through long posts got me confused, I guess.


T Vrana - Sep 21, 2005 4:31 pm (#46 of 2969)
Saracene- I agree the test was unreasonable, but Snape wasn't trying for a fair, reasonable test. He really wants to hate the James he sees before him, but has to get past Lily's eyes. So he gives Harry this preposterous test and concludes he was right, Harry is just like James.

While Lily's compassion is key, we also know she was great at potions. Snape didn't have a way to test Harry's compassion in that first meeting. So he tested on potions. I think Snape would have admired the Potions talent more than the compassion, as well. He may even have seen compassion as a weakness, and perhaps this is why he can't see this quality of Lily's in Harry.


wynnleaf - Sep 21, 2005 6:28 pm (#47 of 2969)
If Snape was "testing" Harry with those questions in the first potions class, it wouldn't be because he really wanted to find out what Harry was like, or if he was like Lily. That's the kind of thing a person might do if he already believed Harry was probably just like James (Snape's view of James of course), and nothing like Lily. So to "prove" to himself what he already believed, he asked Harry questions that Lily wouldn't have known the answers to until a 6th year student. The point wouldn't be to find out anything about Harry. The point would be to give himself (Snape that is) an excuse for saying "he's just like James."


RoseMorninStar - Sep 21, 2005 10:00 pm (#48 of 2969)
To comment of Snapes accountability for the information that lead to the death of James and Lily Potter... Yes, Snape should (and if we believe his story) does, take some responisbility and feels guilt over the roll he played in that situation. And not that it absolves him of any responsibility, but if you recall Sirius tells Harry that many people thought Voldemort had the right idea in the begining but then when they found out what he was up to / what they were being asked to do some backed out (as did Regulus). There are people who back evil dictators all of the time and who cannot see the 'big picture' of what is really going on until it hits close to home. If we could all see how we contributed to the rise of a tyrant/or a war perhaps more awful things could be prevented. But hindsight is 20/20.


kage - Sep 22, 2005 12:08 am (#49 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 1:43 am
HH11, you're right in asuming we can agree on 1) and 2).

If he has kept Harry in the dark about Snape, I believe it is because DD is concerned that Harry needs to work with Snape somewhere down the road (Book 7) when he may not be around to keep Harry trusting Snape and did not want to fuel his hatred more by revealing some pertinent information that may have contributed to James and Lily's deaths.
Well, if that was the idea DD didn't succeed, as now (end of HBP) Harry hates Severus more than ever. Another reason for me to belief that things went terribly wrong on the Lightning Struck Tower. I'm also missing DD's usual explanation of the events and I suspect that he had originally planned to bring Harry and Severus together, that either DD was going to tell Harry the full truth or/and have Severus tell it. Which might be exactly what Severus didn't want to do anymore (the piece of conversation Hagrid overheard). Why not? Just bringing the piece of prophecy to Voldemort with DDs permission may be hard but not too terrible and painful a thing to admit. What else did Severus do, or omit, or fail at?

--------------------- Edit
As I think about Snape's greasy hair I have always felt this describes a teenager more than a man. We have discussed that Snape seems emotionally frozen as a teenager. I think his greasy hair is the outward manifestation of his inward adolescence.
T Vrana, I really liked that one, it just took a while to sink in. I'd like to go even further; I always took the greasy hair as self-neglect, but didn't pay further attention: You'd think that someone with a minimum of self esteem would care about his outer appearance and do something about that greasy hair, like you'd do something about about spots or scales (?? or whatever you call the small pieces of skin that fall from your head onto your shoulders). But as Severus doesn't seem to care much about these things - like someone suffering a severe depression.


Lina - Sep 22, 2005 12:37 am (#50 of 2969)
Oh, Kage, you are a genius! This piece is fitting in the story very well - DD wanting Snape to tell Harry the whole truth. I like it. It is something that Snape wouldn't want to do because he should admit that he did something wrong and admit that he regrets. Admitting it to DD was painful enough, but admitting it to this arrogant kid, that was too much. It was easier to kill DD than to be modest in front of Harry. I like it.
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wynnleaf - Sep 22, 2005 5:09 am (#51 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 6:09 am
Kage, I can buy the idea that some things went wrong in the plan for events on the tower. But I'm not sure that it "works" for the original plans for the tower to be too, well..complex, or convoluted. Assuming there was a plan of some sort, whether it went wrong or not, at some point in Book 7, JKR will have to explain it. I don't think that plan, what happened, what went wrong, etc. can be too complex or confusing because it's got to be clear to the reader and not take forever to explain. We've been rehashing the scene step, by step, by individual step. I don't think JKR will want to do that in Book 7. If the "answer" to what went on can only be understood by reviewing it slowly and carefully, then I don't think that's going to work in Book 7 and therefore probably isn't the "answer."

So an answer that depends on going back and remembering that DD meant to send Harry to get Snape, but Draco got up the stairs first, and then the surprise of a werewolf being there messed up events downstairs and therefore DE's got to the tower ahead of Snape -- well, see I just think that's to difficult to explain in Book 7, so I tend to doubt it's really part of the answer to what happened. Yes, it works well when you write it out, and it could fit the clues and the scene we saw, and it's also a good one to think on. But I think it's too dependent on reviewing lots of details of the night to really work as an explanation in Book 7.


T Vrana - Sep 22, 2005 5:47 am (#52 of 2969)
I disagree. JK has never had a problem ending with long explanations. Barty Crouch jr, for instance. Your explanation took less than a paragraph, end of GoF was several pages. End of OotP, several pages of DD talking about his plan, etc.

JK works it in as a conversation with Harry, answering his questions, and ours. In every book, really.


Lina - Sep 22, 2005 5:58 am (#53 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 6:58 am
Yes, but it's not really imaginable Harry having such a long chat with Snape. Someone else is going to have to explain it to Harry. And who, beside DD and Snape, would be able to understand it? Probably Hermione.

What I ment was that the disagreement between DD and Snape that Hagrid overheard was about telling Harry the truth and nothing about killing anybody.


T Vrana - Sep 22, 2005 6:00 am (#54 of 2969)
I still think DD will explain it, in the end.


kage - Sep 22, 2005 6:27 am (#55 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 7:30 am
So an answer that depends on going back and remembering that DD meant to send Harry to get Snape, but Draco got up the stairs first, and then the surprise of a werewolf being there messed up events downstairs and therefore DE's got to the tower ahead of Snape -- well, see I just think that's to difficult to explain in Book 7...
wynnleaf, you've just done it in one sentence ;-)

T Vrana, I obviously agree.

Today I finally got the my books from the barn and went back to a scene in POA at the very end of chapter 30, 'The Pensieve': When Harry asks DD about Severus "What made you think he's really stopped supporting Voldemort, Professor" DD answers that it is "a matter between Professor Snape and myself". Than DD tells Harry to keep shut about the Longbottoms and says "He (Neville) has the right to let people know when he's ready". From memory I would have sworn that both sentences were said about Severus, like 'It is a matter between Professor Snape and myself...He (Snape) has the right to let people know when he's ready.' I'd shake it off as being completely wrong if there weren't some other tiny details to the scene that make me dare to think that JKR maybe wanted people to get it that way:
1) during this piece of conversation Severus face was swimming on the surface in the pensieve
2)when Harry already turns to go DD starts "And -" while standing over the pensieve again, but never finishes that sentence.

DD could have wanted to say anything from 'And don't forget to brush your teeth' to 'And same goes for Snape', I know, I just happen to fancy the latter.

Don't hold back the Dungbombs, my shield cloak arrived this morning and I'm curious to see how good it works ;-)

Edit :
Lina Yes, but it's not really imaginable Harry having such a long chat with Snape.
Well, they have to meet at some point and it would only take Severus a few sentences to explain his role in the Potters deaths and add that DD had wanted him to tell Harry at the end of HBP.


Vulture - Sep 22, 2005 7:04 am (#56 of 2969)
T Vrana [/b]- Sep 21, 2005 8:11 am (#35):

Vulture- Relax! It's only a book! :-) Yes indeed _ you see the perils of Pottermania !! :-)

From Snape's point of view, pre-POA, James and Lily would have survived if James had listened to the warnings and changed secret keepers. In reality, this is also true even though Black was a good guy. Changing to Pettigrew was a deadly mistake. No ones fault, but it is true that if James had made DD secret keeper, they probably would have survived. I wasn't blaming James or Black for the Potters' deaths, I was commenting on Snape's point of view. He says this much in POA in the Shrieking Shack. Which warnings ? _ you mean about there being a spy among the Order ? I know there was debate about changing to Dumbledore. As for what Snape said in the Shrieking Shack, I took his words as coming from one who was convinced of Sirius's guilt ("too arrogant to think he might have been mistaken in Black"). I also took them as sounding (possibly) as if he (Snape) had had a conversation with James about this, where Snape voiced suspicions about Sirius. From all we've since learned (both their personal history, and Snape's Death-Eater past), it's understandable that James would reject such a notion coming from Snape _ and, like a lot of reformed liars who are speaking the truth for a change, equally understandable that Snape's pride would be injured by this.


T Vrana - Sep 22, 2005 7:19 am (#57 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 8:21 am
Vulture- It was about Black, but Snape seemed to have a personal interest, and as you said, perhaps because he talked to James himself. I also see the possibility that Snape talked to DD who talked to James, to keep Snape's spying a secret. With LV being good at legilimency, I can see DD keeping Snape's spy status really quiet.

It was Snape's stress on the arrogance of James not listening and the level of emotion that led me to believe it was Snape's info James didn't act on.

So, Snape can conclude, partially out of guilt for his own involvement, it is really James' fault that he and Lily died. (Sorta like Harry blaming Snape for Sirius' death, out of guilt for his part).

I'm not blaming James for not listening, but I sure think Snape is...


Vulture - Sep 22, 2005 7:25 am (#58 of 2969)
An issue which may have been raised before (but I missed it, if so):

Assuming (for the moment) that Snape is , in fact, a spy for the Order, and that Dumbledore's death was not as it appears _ regardless of all this, Snape is now considered by all on the anti-Voldemort side to be definitely a servant of Voldemort, and murderer of Dumbledore.

So _ now that Dumbledore is dead _ who is he reporting to ? Did Dumbledore appoint someone to take over from him as spy-controller if he died ? If there is such a person (McGonagall ?), they must have been lying at the end of Book 6 when all and sundry were reacting with shock and horror to what Snape did.

If there is no such person, Snape would be left out on his own as a good-side spy with no-one to report back to _ this is an illogical notion if Dumbledore's death was a deliberate set-up: there's no point in a perfect spy if the spy's information won't be accepted by anyone on his own side, and if his own side will kill or capture him on sight _ UNLESS the spy's only function is to act as a "sleeper", to pull an operation "behind the lines" (helping to kill Lord V ?) at a crucial moment.

If McGonagall is the new controller, she's a damn good actress _ her questions to Harry at the end of Book 6 seem to show that she knows nothing of any set-up. Not that a new controller would have to know where Harry had been with Dumbledore, but simply by being let in on the secret of the Dumbledore/Snape set-up, he/she would know enough not to question what Dumbledore had kept from him/her.


Snuffles - Sep 22, 2005 7:34 am (#59 of 2969)
I think, if DD really is dead, then he will have explained to Snape what he has to do. Snape won't have anyone to report to but will have been given all the information by DD for the final outcome. He will have to act on his own until the end when he can explain to the rest of the order.

OR

If Dumbly is still alive, then maybe Snape is the only one who knows of his whereabouts and can still report back to him and then act accordingly.


T Vrana - Sep 22, 2005 7:41 am (#60 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 8:48 am
vulture- UNLESS the spy's only function is to act as a "sleeper", to pull an operation "behind the lines" (helping to kill Lord V ?) at a crucial moment.

I think this is it.

Snuffles- ditto, same idea


Lina - Sep 22, 2005 8:55 am (#61 of 2969)
kage: Well, they have to meet at some point and it would only take Severus a few sentences to explain his role in the Potters deaths and add that DD had wanted him to tell Harry at the end of HBP.
I agree with that, but how long would Harry be ready to listen and how much to believe? If Snape is on the good side, what will be necessary for Harry to accept it? Or is he going to kill him at the first sight (I hope not) while Snape will be concentrated on what to tell him instead of protecting himself? I can't imagine that, but yet..

"too arrogant to think he might have been mistaken in Black" This has been brought up so often lately. But actually, the Potters did take Snape's advice (with the assumption that it was his advice) and changed their secret keeper. They didn't choose DD, but they didn't choose Sirius either. Now, Snape could only feel even more guilty (or victorious) because it was his doubt that handed the Potters right to the traitor.

Vulture: So _ now that Dumbledore is dead _ who is he reporting to ? Did Dumbledore appoint someone to take over from him as spy-controller if he died ? If there is such a person (McGonnagall ?), they must have been lying at the end of Book 6 when all and sundry were reacting with shock and horror to what Snape did.
My own idea (I haven't found anybody to share it yet) is that Snape's spying job was to find out as much on the horcruxes as possible. In that case, he doesn't have to report to anybody from the Order, he just has to find the way to let Harry know what has he found out and, if possible, in a way that Harry is not aware that the information is coming from Snape. I have the feeling that DD didn't want to share the information about the horcruxes with anybody from the Order. Why?

did he not trust them?
was he afraid that that information would hurt their feelings? (why it was O. K. then to tell it to Ron and Hermione?)
was he afraid of LV's Legilimence skills?
or something else?

If there is no such person, Snape would be left out on his own as a good-side spy with no-one to report back to _ this is an illogical notion if Dumbledore's death was a deliberate set-up: there's no point in a perfect spy if the spy's information won't be accepted by anyone on his own side, and if his own side will kill or capture him on sight _ UNLESS the spy's only function is to act as a "sleeper", to pull an operation "behind the lines" (helping to kill Lord V ?) at a crucial moment.
I don't think that DD's death was planned. If Snape is on good side, then it was probably the least bad of several bad options at the moment.


T Vrana - Sep 22, 2005 9:08 am (#62 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 10:14 am
I don't think James chose to change, I think Sirius did this on his own, he thought it would make the Potters safer since he was a more obvious choice.

So, in a way, it was a mistake to keep Black, just not for the reason anyone thought.


Matrona - Sep 22, 2005 9:36 am (#63 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 10:37 am
Lina: My own idea (I haven't found anybody to share it yet) is that Snape's spying job was to find out as much on the horcruxes as possible. In that case, he doesn't have to report to anybody from the Order, he just has to find the way to let Harry know what has he found out and, if possible, in a way that Harry is not aware that the information is coming from Snape. I have the feeling that DD didn't want to share the information about the horcruxes with anybody from the Order. Why?

did he not trust them? was he afraid that that information would hurt their feelings? (why it was O. K. then to tell it to Ron and Hermione?) was he afraid of LV's Legilimence skills? or something else?

I think you've been reading my mind, Lina. Smile I also think Snape's spying job is to find out as much horcrux information as possible, but I have a hypothesis on why Dumbledore didn't want anyone to know... I think that Dumbledore at least suspected that he would die before the end of the war, and someone else would have to help Harry find horcruxes. He assigned Snape the task of finding as much horcrux info as possible and, in DD's absence, pass it to Harry.

If Snape were really a bad guy, he would have told LV that Harry was going after the horcruxes, but if Snape is good, LV won't know his horcruxes are gone. As long as LV is kept in the dark about Harry destroying his horcruxes, and therefore can't do anything to protect them, that would be solid proof (even to Harry) that Snape is good.

Now, the question arises of why Dumbledore wouldn't tell any other Order members about the horcruxes or this plan. I think it was so that Harry would know anyone approaching him with info on the horcruxes would have had to find out about them from Dumbledore himself. Ron and Hermione don't factor in here since they're not in the Order, and Snape couldn't have found out from his "spying" on the Order. And if that person looks for all the world like a Death Eater yet LV still doesn't know about the horcrux plans, then that is solid proof that the person is good!


sunshine for the soul - Sep 22, 2005 11:30 am (#64 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 12:32 pm
Is this not bothering anyone else?

When Snape leaves Hogwarts with Draco and the other DE, why does he not take Harry along with him for LV's use? He does mention to the other DE not to touch him because he belongs to LV. But why not put him under a body bind curse and hand him right over to LV???

Anyone???

IMO this shows that Snape is on DD's side and that DD's death was necessary and part of the plan.


wynnleaf - Sep 22, 2005 12:21 pm (#65 of 2969)
"If there is no such person, Snape would be left out on his own as a good-side spy with no-one to report back to _ this is an illogical notion if Dumbledore's death was a deliberate set-up: there's no point in a perfect spy if the spy's information won't be accepted by anyone on his own side, and if his own side will kill or capture him on sight _ UNLESS the spy's only function is to act as a "sleeper", to pull an operation "behind the lines" (helping to kill Lord V ?) at a crucial moment. "

Yep, sounds right to me. Oh, and Lina, I agree -- I think Snape's role is to deal with horcruxes. Mostly finding them, but also maybe being around in case Harry ends up in as bad a state as DD in the previous summer and needs somebody really expert in the Dark Arts to help out.

And while I think that some things went wrong on the tower, I don't think DD and/or Snape were planning to "reveal all" to Harry that night. I think a good deal of the focus was to be Draco and they weren't going to be revealing a lot in front of Draco, even if he did decide to come over to the Order's side.

On Snape not carrying Harry along with him -- yes, why not? LV wouldn't have to have a specific immediate use for Harry to be glad for someone to bring him along as a captive.


Valfunde - Sep 22, 2005 12:59 pm (#66 of 2969)
Thank you for bringing this up Sunshine for the Soul and wynnleaf. My husband and I think that Snape is on the right side because of the simple fact that he did not cart Harry off to LV at the end of HBP. (There are other reasons, of course!)But, this is one of the main reasons for me and one I keep coming back to - Snape's whole demeanor after killing DD is so interesting.

So, I found something pretty telling about this in re-reading POA the other day. There is a line that Sirius says to Peter in the Shrieking Shack once Sirius and Lupin confront Peter about the Potters' betrayal. I don't have the book with me right now for the exact quote, but it goes something like this - Sirius says - "I've been watching you, Peter, to make sure you didn't play the good little DE and bundle off Harry to take right to LV..." So basically it is assumed that a loyal DE WOULD do this and take Harry to Voldy as a wonderful gift the first chance one would get and even would put a bow on Harry's head! Belliatrix would have done this in a heartbeat, so why not Snape?! Because he's on the right side, that's why.


T Vrana - Sep 22, 2005 1:02 pm (#67 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 2:10 pm
On why Snape didn't take Harry...

There's still that power Harry has that LV knows not. I think LV is taking his time this time and getting everything in place before he makes another go at Harry. LV to do list:

1) Find out why my wand acted funny, perhaps get new one (Ollivander for both)

2) Get DD out of the way

3) Get that danged prophesy

4) Get Harry

Good guy or not, if LV didn't say, leave Harry for me, Snape would be in trouble with LV for leaving empty handed.

But I still think Snape is on the right side.


wynnleaf - Sep 22, 2005 1:17 pm (#68 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 2:19 pm
T Vrana,

While I agree that those are all things that would stand in the way of LV trying to kill Harry at the first possible chance, I don't see why he'd not be quite happy to have Harry stashed away somewhere until he was ready to try to kill him. If Crouch Jr. could keep Mad Eye as a captive for 9 months, why can't LV just hide Harry away somewhere?

So I'd think a good DE would still take Harry along captive if the possibility presented itself.


T Vrana - Sep 22, 2005 1:25 pm (#69 of 2969)
Not if LV said not to. LV's orders seem pretty clear and most are afraid to disobey. So why would LV tell them to leave Harry?

Mad Eye was not foretold as the wizard who could take out LV,and Harry has caused LV lots of trouble. I think he's going to be really careful this time...

Could be something else entirely....


wynnleaf - Sep 22, 2005 1:30 pm (#70 of 2969)
Oh, I'm sorry, I must be forgetting things. I didn't have the book in front of me. I was thinking that LV had told the DE's not to kill Harry, but I didn't realize he'd said anything about leaving Harry at Hogwarts or telling the DE's not to try to bring him to LV. Did he? Or are you thinking it was implied?


T Vrana - Sep 22, 2005 2:12 pm (#71 of 2969)
"Have you forgotten our orders? Potter belongs to the Dark Lord--we are to leave him!.." HBP, page 603, US

Snape could be lying, but that would be very dangerous.


Matrona - Sep 22, 2005 2:24 pm (#72 of 2969)
T Vrana: Not if LV said not to. LV's orders seem pretty clear and most are afraid to disobey. So why would LV tell them to leave Harry?

I don't believe LV specifically ordered them to leave Harry or bring Harry one way or the other.

I wonder if Snape had figured out that Harry witnessed the tower scene (Draco had, hadn't he?), and so Snape ordered the DE's to leave Harry as a witness. In that event, leaving Harry as a witness to Dumbledore's murder would seem to confirm to all and sundry on the good side that Snape is evil.

This is probably what Snape would have told LV later as his justification for leaving Harry behind, and it's a good justification--what better way to rub salt in the Order's wound? Leaving them not only with Dumbledore dead, but one of their own having betrayed them in their darkest hour? LV has a thirst for that sort of human misery and discord. Plus, LV probably reckons he can go after Harry with relative ease once Harry is seventeen, so losing the chance to abduct him that night, is no big loss. Harry has lost his greatest protector of all, and he will soon have no more safe havens.

(If it hadn't been for Harry, the good side wouldn't have known which DE had actually killed Dumbledore. Hagrid was all set to believe that Snape was good and had only left with the DE's in order to keep his cover, until Harry told him that Snape had murdered Dumbledore.)

Thoughts?


Lina - Sep 22, 2005 2:30 pm (#73 of 2969)
T Vrana: 1) Find out why my wand acted funny, perhaps get new one (Ollivander for both)
I haven't thought of that (stupid woman). I like it!

Thank you all, who think that Snape should help Harry find the horcruxes, for making me feeling less lonely in my ideas. But the fact is we don't know if Snape is aware of the horcruxes. We may assume he is, I do, but there is no proof in the book that he knows. DD seems to keep it secret from everybody (which is understandable, the sound of the word "horcrux" must be much worse for DD than "Voldemort" is for most of the WW), why not keep it from Snape too? Why would he confide with Snape, who is trusted only by him and nobody else, with things that he doesn't confide with anyone else? I'm just not sure that Snape knows any more.

Except, there is that Bella's line in the Spinners' end "The Dark Lord has, in the past, entrusted me with his most precious - if Lucius hadn't-" that might mean horcrux-diary, but it might mean not.

And while wondering about why Snape didn't take Harry to LV, I'm still wondering where did Draco and Snape go after leaving Hogwarts? Did they go straight to their master, or did Snape put Draco into hiding first?


T Vrana - Sep 22, 2005 2:35 pm (#74 of 2969)
Matrona- but Snape said "Have you forgotten our orders...we are to leave him..."

It sounded as if they had orders, and the other DEs had heard them, too.


wynnleaf - Sep 22, 2005 2:49 pm (#75 of 2969)
Why would he confide with Snape, who is trusted only by him and nobody else, with things that he doesn't confide with anyone else?

Need to know basis, only. Snape needs to know to help with the Dark magic surrounding the horcruxes. That would be the main reason.

T Vrana, -- once again, no book -- but I do remember the quote. I thought that quote was when a DE was using the Crucio curse on Harry. So I thought Snape meant:

"Have you forgotten our orders? Potter belongs to the Dark Lord [as in, don't kill him, LV is to kill him personally.] --we are to leave him!." That last part I thought was a combination of "leave him alone" and also Snape's own spin. The DE wasn't trying to bring Harry along, he was using using the Cruciatus curse.


Ana Cis - Sep 22, 2005 3:49 pm (#76 of 2969)
IMO, Snape was being truthful, or else he wouldn't have stated. "Have you forgotten our orders? Potter belongs to the Dark Lord—we are to leave him!" I believe that's consistent with what occurred in GOF. LV didn't want the DEs to interfere; he wanted to personally kill Harry. It seems like a matter of honor to him. If he lets someone else kill him, it might show him as being weak. He can't afford for his image as the most powerful wizard to be challenged by a mere boy. .


Matrona - Sep 22, 2005 4:39 pm (#77 of 2969)
T Vrana: Matrona- but Snape said "Have you forgotten our orders...we are to leave him..."

It sounded as if they had orders, and the other DEs had heard them, too.

Oops, good point. Smile


Ana Cis - Sep 22, 2005 4:41 pm (#78 of 2969)
Edited by Sep 22, 2005 5:43 pm
Vulture, "Severus Snape" #14, 20 Sep 2005 8:35 am "I wouldn't agree _ remember that (as Snape thread regulars often point out) most of the story is (supposedly) told through Harry's eyes. I think it would be more accurate to say that Dumbledore is one of those people who can make anyone feel that they're special to him (unless they themselves decide to be hostile). Oddly enough, the other person I've seen this quality attributed to was Elvis Presley !!"

Soul Search, "Severus Snape" #17, 20 Sep 2005 9:27 am "It is in Dumbledore's nature to be kind and forgiving. While we have seen Dumbledore mostly through Harry's eyes, there are other examples: Tom Riddle, Hagrid, Lupin, Sirius (PoA), Marietta, and, especially, Draco."

Gentlemen, I have to defend my point even though it's in Snape's thread.

I totally agree with you both that Dumbledore's nature is to be kind and forgiving to all; I would even go far as to say that he would give Voldemort a chance if there was one. However, when I said that Harry is the only student he shows a blatant favor to, it is within the context of what JKR has presented to us, her readers. In OotP, Dumbledore completely opened his heart and feelings towards Harry, by telling Harry how he (DD) has watched over him, and overprotected him at whatever the cost:

"I cared about you too much," said Dumbledore simply." I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth, mor for your peace of mind than my plans, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act.

"Is there a defense? I defy anyone who has watched you as I have—and I have watched you more closely than you can have imagined—not want to save you more pain than you had already suffered. What did I care if numbers of nameless and faceless people and creatures were slaughtered in the vague future, if in the here and now you were alive, and well, and happy? I never dreamed that I would have such a person on my hands... etc."

Sorry for the long quote, but it deserves to be repeated. If this doesn't show blatant favoritism (because of his deep love for Harry), nothing would! This from a man that JKR says is distant, who keeps to his own council. This declaration of his feelings with complete openness of his vulnerability and mistakes because of those feelings shows me that Harry means more to him than the entire world, and even his own life. I may have used the wrong word when stating favoritism (because it indicates unfair side with one person over another). However, that's exactly what he's confessing to Harry, that his feelings were so biased, he let it surpassed his logic toward his plans for the destruction of Voldemort. You may still disagree with me, and that's OK. However, I still stand by my statement. I confess that I still tear up when I read this. After the declaration, is it any wonder that Harry is Dumbledore's man through and through.


Accio Sirius - Sep 22, 2005 5:01 pm (#79 of 2969)
I have a question here. In the Lightning Struck Tower, when Harry is chasing Draco and Snape, Harry calls Snape a coward and Snape comes back to yell "Do not call me a coward."

Why is he so compelled to quibble with Harry at this point in time, when escape is so crucial? For me that seemed to sort of come out of no where. I'm assuming that conspiracy theorists speculate that Snape just had to kill DD for the good of the Order, which is pretty much as gutsy as it gets, although not necessarily brave. Just curious what reactions others had to that little passage and how revealing or important is it? Any thoughts?


T Vrana - Sep 22, 2005 5:54 pm (#80 of 2969)
Edited Sep 22, 2005 6:55 pm
The funny thing is, Harry calls him a coward twice in that scene. The first time he just taunts Harry that his father only attacked Snape when he (James) was in a group of 3 or 4.

The second coward comes when they have just been talking about James . Harry says kill me like you killed him. Harry is talking about DD, but if you read that scene (page 604, US), they were just talking about James, and it seems that Snape still thinks they are.

The second coward sends Snape into one of his rages, similar to Shrieking Shack in POA. They were talking about James' death there as well.

I think Snape does feel responsible for James' and Lily's deaths and like a coward because he did not do more to save them.


Soul Search - Sep 22, 2005 6:05 pm (#81 of 2969)
Ana Cis -- You are right. Dumbledore has shown more concern for Harry than any one else we have met.

Dumbledore has known Harry for Harry's whole life and has had to keep close track of him. He has had to, since Harry is so important to the wizarding world.

And, Dumbledore has had to watch Harry knowing that Harry is fated to meet Voldemort in a final confrontation.

Harry's fate could well have contributed to Dumbledore's emotional involvement.


Ana Cis - Sep 22, 2005 6:09 pm (#82 of 2969)
Edited by Sep 22, 2005 7:15 pm
Vulture – "Anyway, my feeling on this one is another of my quarrels with Book 6. I felt that, when he saw "Snape's worst memory" in Book 5, it was a (potentially) major moment for Harry's character in relation to Snape, but JKR didn't develop it. What you say _ about going back to hating Snape just after Sirius's death _ need not have prevented such development: an understandable reaction just after Sirius's death, despite Dumbledore's explanations to Harry. But in Book 6, JKR has Harry sticking to this view, having thought about it in the summer."

Vulture, it sounds like your frustration, when it comes to Harry and Snape's relationship in Book 6, is with the fact that JKR is sticking to her timetable and not yours. I feel your pain. I believe most of us feel the same way, even if we don't express in the same way.

Still, we have to keep in mind that JKR's characterization of Harry's path towards becoming an adult is within a realistic time interval. Harry was a 15yr old young man whose emotions are pretty raw; and his wound at the loss of his godfather is very deep. Let's take a look at what Dumbledore says to Harry about two to three weeks after Sirius' death. DD tells Harry that Sirius would have been proud of him, and then goes on to say, "Sirius represented much to you that you have never known before....Naturally, the loss is devastating ..." Remember Harry's character type, he's got to play the hero and save those he cares for. He feels that he not only failed to keep his godfather from danger, but was responsible for putting him in danger, and wasn't able to save him. That's way too much responsibility for a 15 yr old to bear.

That type of guilt and wound is so deep that it takes time for the mind and the emotions to deal with. A year is not enough time for this kind of trauma to heal. Hence, laying the blame on Snape is the mind's way of coping until it's ready to confront the pain. Notice that Harry interrupted Dumbledore and that DD allowed the interruption because he understood that it was too soon to address it. Therefore, Harry's angst works itself into Book 6's plot: whatever Snape does is bad and he's guilty. To have shown an internal resolution within Harry in this book would have been an unrealistic portrayal of her principal character. IMO, characterization is where JKR shows her strength, more so than in the actions of her characters. I feel that JKR did a formidable job in laying out the duality of Harry's character, where he takes time to ponder over what Draco's doing and comes up with correct conclusion; and he ponders and analyzes the HBP text and comes to realize that, overall, this person is pretty cool, and a good teacher to boot. Look at the irony of it all. It's Snape's book. By studying the notes that Snape wrote in the text, it shows a character that studied, analyzed, and presented the process for properly preparing potions. Harry learns to appreciate this character, (who was probably less bitter person at that time than he is as an adult). Was this character perfect? Of course not. However, neither is Harry who tries hexes without thinking about their ramifications. Then here's where the duality of his character hit us. Throughout the whole book, Harry never takes time to consider whether there's more to Snape's actions, but instead he reacts, jumping to the conclusion that Snape is evil no matter what he does. Then look at the climax. Snape kills Dumbledore; hence, Snape is a vicious murderer (he may be, but I doubt it). JKR is wonderful in exacting every feeling out this climax. Then things start to change subtly. In HBP30, "The White Tomb," Harry's thoughts shows his anger at Dumbledore and at himself, again... but in a less raw and more introspective manner than in Book 5. "He [Harry] could not stop himself dwelling upon Dumbledore's inexcusable trust in Snape...but as Hermione had just inadvertently reminded him, he, Harry, had been taken in just the same..." Wow! Harry is beginning to taking time to think things through. Sorry Vulture, we all have to wait until Book 7. However, T Vrana and I are thinking of taking up a collection or come w/a group of volunteers to help take care of Jo's kids so she can get on with her writing.

EDIT: Thanks, Soul Search. I agree.

T Vrana, I see it the same way. To me, Snape is still in torment over James death, and hasn't been able to resove it within himself. Harry's comment hit home, from Snape's viewpoint.


Ann - Sep 22, 2005 8:24 pm (#83 of 2969)
A couple of thoughts, mostly based on comments in the early part of this thread. (I've not been keeping up--sometimes life gets in the way.)

There's been a lot of discussion about how stupid Snape would have had to be not to realize what Voldemort would do with the information about the prophecy. Some feel that, at 19, even an intelligent person can be stupid about reading people sometimes. (I would agree, but I can add from personal experience that this is also true of an intelligent person of 50.)

But I'm not so sure that it would have been that obvious that Voldemort would . The prophecy was made when Snape was only about two years out of Hogwarts. Regulus Black was probably about two years younger than Snape (since he was Sirius's younger brother, and kids tend to be separated by about that amount). Sirius says that Black joined up not quite realizing what would be asked of him; could Voldemort have still been deluding his followers by pretending to be less violent and bloodthirsty than he was? Dumbledore says in PS/SS that his disappearance in 1981 ends 11 years of fear, so this isn't terribly consistent, but I thought it might be worth mentioning. After all, Snape is pretty good at Potions and Dark Arts: if he joined up right out of Hogwarts, Voldemort may have kept him pretty busy and he might not have quite realized how bad things were. And they may not have been quite so bad until towards the end. Remember that the picture Moody shows Harry early in OotP included his parents and their friends, so probably dates after their graduation from Hogwarts in 1978; all the deaths Moody recounts took place within the last three years of Voldemort's first reign of terror.

Second, unrelated, thought. As Soul Search pointed out at the beginning of this this thread, Snape asks a really weird question during the Harry's first occlumancy lesson in OotP, I mean, "to whom did the dog belong?" is really an odd thing to say, when you think about it. Any thoughts? Was he just trying to show that the view of Harry's trauma hadn't affected him? Or was there something to it? Could Snape have actually met Ripper?


kage - Sep 22, 2005 10:43 pm (#84 of 2969)
T Vrana The second coward sends Snape into one of his rages, similar to Shrieking Shack in POA. They were talking about James' death there as well.
Yep!
I think Snape does feel responsible for James' and Lily's deaths and like a coward because he did not do more to save them.
Or because he tried to do more and failed...?

Ann Could Snape have actually met Ripper?
Muggle dogs don't get that old, 8 to 15 years max. He could have met him as a puppy, only that Ripper didn't seem to be a very old dog. There's still the possibility that he met one of Aunt Marge's dogs (if I'm right in remembering her having a couple of dogs, assumingly for a long time)

There's been a lot of discussion about how stupid Snape would have had to be not to realize what Voldemort would do with the information about the prophecy. ...
Severus might be many things but not stupid. And after 1 or 2 years in Voldemorts service he should have known pretty well what Voldemorts business is about and like. So even without thinking about it, he must have known that Voldemort would do anything but send those people flowers and gratulations and just resign. After all, it appears that Severus and Lucius were/are kind of buddys and Lucius was leading the muggle torture [GOF, LV's little 'reunion' party'] (oh, it says 'torture', not 'killing' - interesting in context with Draco inability to kill 'eye to eye'?). Serving Voldemort is either like , don't bother or being appalled by it, I'd say. Being given the 'right' to torture or even kill gives certain people a feeling of being superior, somthing that young Severus seems to have been likely to have fallen for. Sorry, but I can't belief that Severus has been anywhere near innocent those days.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 22, 2005 11:38 pm (#85 of 2969)
I don't know if this is an error in the book or some type of clue, but in HBP when Harry finds out from Professor Trelawney that Snape was the one who listened in on the prophecy we are originally told that 'a spy' heard the 'first half' of the prophecy and was caught by the barman and thrown out. Yet, when we hear Sybil recount the incident she tells of the door flying open and there was Snape and 'that rather uncouth barman'. Now, if she had been in a trance (giving the prophecy) she should not have recalled this if it happened in the middle of the prophecy. So, did Snape hear the entire prophecy? Is this a small error? Or is it something else?

Another thing just occured to me.. although I am really hoping that Snape is loyal to Dumbledore, does anyone think Snape may have made Harry serve Saturday morning detentions for the rest of the school year (after the SectumSempra curse) so that Harry would not get in the way of what Draco's plans in the Room of Requirement?

Although this is a bit off topic, there has been discussion if and how much Snape would be accountable for the deaths of James and Lily for passing along whatever he heard about the prophecy. It has been discussed how culpable he was/whether or not a 19 year old would understand the full ramifications of what Voldemort might do. It is interesting to note, that Slughorn understood those ramifications at once when Harry was trying to obtain the memory of his conversation with Tom Riddle about the Horcruxes. He realizes that the only reason one could want that memory would be to defeat Voldemort by killing him. And Harry confirms that. Slughorn, to his horror, acknowledges his accessory-ness to the (future) possible crime.

But we do not know exactly what Snape heard or exactly what he passed on to Voldemort, nor do we know if he understood what he heard or if, like Regulus, he understood at what lengths Voldemort would go to obtain power. According to Sirius, a lot of people thought that Voldemort had the 'right idea' until they found out how far he was willing to go to carry out his plan.


kage - Sep 22, 2005 11:53 pm (#86 of 2969)
On Severus overhearing the prophecy: Someone explained it quite well elsewhere: Severus is caught at the door by the barkeeper halfway through the prophecy who pulls him off the door, while they struggle the second half of the prophecy is told, which takes only a few seconds. Then the barman comes in with Severus when Trelawny is back from her Trance.

Another thing just occured to me.. although I am really hoping that Snape is loyal to Dumbledore, does anyone think Snape may have made Harry serve Saturday morning detentions for the rest of the school year (after the SectumSempra curse) so that Harry would not get in the way of what Draco's plans in the Room of Requirement?
I can't see why keeping Harry from Draco would automatically make Severus disloyal. DD idea is clearly to not get Draco cought for his safety.


Honour - Sep 23, 2005 1:05 am (#87 of 2969)
Just finished reading a whole swag of posts on this thread, a couple of points came to mind and I would like to note: (1) The discussion about Severus supposedly being an undercover DE so that he can find out about Horcurxes and pass the information back to Harry, I totally disagree. Knowing the Harry Potter character as we do, there is no way, no how, Harry would ever ever believe anything Severus would say. Yes Severus maybe a plant, and yes his placement may give him the opportunity to find out about Voldermorts plans and on the outside, even the whereabouts of the remaining Horcuxes. But, in order for Harry to be receptive to any suggestions put by Severus, they would have to come to Harry via someone he absolutley trusts, like maybe Remus, then passed onto Moody to run his eye over it, then Prof. Flitwick would have to check it out for hidden hexes, then it would have to be disected, and given the once, twice, thrice over by Hermione, Ron would have to give it a couple of strategic kicks and lastly Crookshanks would have to give it a sniff or two ... so really the odds on Harry even wanting to listen to anything Severus had to say would be a big fact 0.

I think Harry was made to do detentions every Saturday by Severus because (a) I think Severus got a kick out of the emotional turmoil he knew Harry would experience whilst sorting (reading) the cards full of his dead fathers' and god-fathers' misdemeanours, (b) I also think Severus wanted to prove to Harry that James and Sirius were everything he, Severus had said they were, arrogant bullies blah blah blah, But, (the part of me who too, hopes that Severus is a good guy also believes that)(c) Severus was also trying to help Harry in some way, ( Will have to re-read this passage), maybe there is a hidden explanation, clue in amongst these cards? A red flag is fluttering in the breeze, just hope after further investigation its not a red herring ....


T Vrana - Sep 23, 2005 3:50 am (#88 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 5:12 am
T Vrana-I think Snape does feel responsible for James' and Lily's deaths and like a coward because he did not do more to save them.

kage-Or because he tried to do more and failed...?

Yes and no. I think he did quite a lot by returning to DD and risking LV's wrath if he was caught. But, he did not challenge LV physically. So, on the the one hand:

1) I am not a coward, look what I risked to save your arrogant father!

2) Some small part of him, to himself, I should have done more, I should have killed LV, but I was afraid.

Sorry, but I can't belief that Severus has been anywhere near innocent those days

This whole discussion started when Snape's passing on the prophesy to LV was said to make Snape an accessory to murder. I don't think Snape was innocent, but I question if he fully thought through what passing on the prophesy would really mean. I think not at 19. I think he was excited to have something to tell LV (look at Malfoy's desire to please LV and replace Snape), but when he realized exactly what he had done, he tried to stop it. Did he in some vague way know what LV was likely to do? Perhaps, but the full reality of it seems not to have sunk in until after he shared the prophesy.

Just a thought....

Rose Mornin Star- Snape was listening at the keyhole which would have required he be stooping down. The barman (Aberforth) saw this partway through the prophesy and would have asked him what he was doing. Snape would have stood up and given his lame alibi that he was just looking for DD. Aberforth decides to remove him.

The second part of the prophesy, if read slowly, only takes about 20 seconds. So as Aberforth is removing Snape, DD opens the door to see what all the noise is, and Trelawney comes out of her trance in time to see Snape.


Soul Search - Sep 23, 2005 4:44 am (#89 of 2969)
Snape can't help Harry with horcruxes.

Snape can't even hint to Voldemort that he knows anything about horcruxes, or Harry's job of finding them becomes impossible. Voldemort will do anything to protect his horcruxes.

Who knows about Voldemort's multiple horcruxes?

Dumbledore, but he didn't tell many. Maybe only Harry knows everything.

Maybe Snape knows a little, since he helped Dumbledore after the ring. Snape would have to know of the concept, that is, destroy all the horcruxes before destroying Voldemort, but not necessarily any details.

Who saw the ring on Dumbledore? Dumbledore wore it at Slughorn's, who clearly recognized it, but may not have known that it was a horcrux. Possibly Molly and Tonks saw it. Obviously, Snape saw it and probably had to know that Dumbledore's injuries were from protections placed on it.

Slughorn knows Tom Riddle was interested in seven horcruxes, but not much more. Slughorn does know that Harry was interested in horcruxes, which is dangerous knowledge.

Ron and Hermione, from Harry.

I don't think Harry can let on, at all, that he is interested in horcruxes or any of the horcrux objects.

No, Snape's role won't come into play until the very end.


Ana Cis - Sep 23, 2005 5:08 am (#90 of 2969)
Edited by Sep 23, 2005 6:09 am
Soul Search, I agree with you. Dumbledore would not take the risk of letting Snape know about the Horcruxes when he has to deal w/Voldemort all the time. One small slip from Snape by subconsciously letting his guard down, Voldemort gets an inkling that Snape's even knows about Horcruxes, Dumbledore's plans would be ruined.

I believe the Order works in the same that the French Underground worked against the Nazis. People only knew what they needed to know, that's all. If they got caught by the Nazis, they couldn't provide information they didn't know when they were tortured. Same rules would apply if the Voldemort and/or his cohorts get a hold of some one from the order. As far as Snape, Dumbledore would only tell him so much, just to ensure the Snape is able to keep his cover. I'm very doubtful that Snape knows anything of what DD's being teaching Harry. When Harry keeps asking DD why he trusts Snape, I believe that DD doesn't tell him for the same reason I stated above. It's on need to know basis only.

After they're at war..


rambkowalczyk - Sep 23, 2005 5:27 am (#91 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 6:28 am
Comments on some of the last 30 posts

1 Why Snape overreacts to being called a coward.

a, If you believe this is a plan between Dumbledore and Snape, then Snape had to show great courage to kill Dumbledore. (much like what Harry had to do when he forced DD to drink the potion. He's therefore angry because he's misunderstood.

b, If you believe Snape is a flawed character--that is he killed Dumbledore because he was afraid of dying himself then Harry's comment to him hits him where it really hurts, his conscience.

Snape as a coward seems to be a minor theme. He meets a werewolf at 16 and has to be saved by his enemy. Voldemort might have referred to him as the coward at his rebirthing ceremony because in chap 2 he tells Bella he wasn't a coward.

2 Snape overhearing prophecy. My version. Snape under the pretext of job searching (Voldemort's orders) eavesdrops on Dumbledore and Trelawney. He hears the first part of the prophecy. Aberforth sees him doing something suspicious and with his wand blasts him from the hallway. Snape Apparates back into the hallway trying to explain that he wasn't doing anything. Snape figures the best defense is an offense so he gets angry at Aberforth for overreacting. Snape misses the second half of the prophecy when he was blasted off, but returned by the time she finished the prophecy.

3 Lina post 61, Snape being a secret helper to Harry. I agree. I think it will be something like that.

4 The idea that Harry was left behind so that Harry could announce to everyone that Snape killed Dumbledore. --I would think Voldemort would prefer that no one knew that Snape did it because then Snape could stay at Hogwarts and still spy on Harry.

5 To those who theorize that Dumbledore isn't dead and that Snape knows this. (referring to post 59 by Snuffles)--Would Snape have "killed with such hatred on his face? Is he that good of an actor?

To change the subject a little. Does any one have any ideas what town or city Spinners End could be referring to? It seems like a poor town that may have seen better days.


wynnleaf - Sep 23, 2005 5:31 am (#92 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 6:36 am
After reading lots of threads here’s some thoughts.

On horcruxes. Yes, Snape has to know something about them in order to have helped DD. Since Snape probably knows every bit as much or more about the Dark Arts than Slughorn, he’s probably well aware how they’re made and work. So really, once he knew whatever amount he had to learn to help DD, there’d be almost no reason for DD not to tell him whatever else there was to know.

But even if we looked at it from the perspective of DD not telling Severus anything about the horcruxes, I’d guess that Severus would still figure it out from helping DD in the previous summer with the Dark Magic surrounding the ring horcrux. As I said, Severus almost certainly knows just as much or more than Slughorn about horcruxes. And, by the way, I think Slughorn knew what the ring was. After all, he knew LV probably made horcruxes and he knew DD was looking into that.

One small slip from Snape by subconsciously letting his guard down, Voldemort gets an inkling that Snape's even knows about Horcruxes, Dumbledore's plans would be ruined.

This is true, but DD still needed Severus’ help in dealing with the dangerous Dark Magic of the horcruxes. Severus was waiting dressed in his room for DD to return on the night of the Cave events. When DD tried to send Harry to Severus, he said to get him and tell him what happened and bring him. Telling Harry to tell Severus what happened is an important clue that he already knew about horcruxes. I don’t think DD meant that Harry would need to explain everything about horcruxes to Severus between his rooms and getting him to DD on the tower. It sounds more like Harry just needed to fill Severus in on the evening’s events. The implication, to me, is that Severus wouldn’t need a full run down on horcruxes, because he already knew about them.

In Book 7, Harry would obviously reject any information on horcruxes that he knew came from Snape. However, there are probably some creative ways of putting information conveniently in Harry’s way without him knowing how it got there. I really don’t think that’s an insurmountable obstacle for Severus' helping Harry find and destroy the horcruxes.

passing on the prophecy and accessory to murder

Serving Voldemort is either like , don't bother or being appalled by it, I'd say. Being given the 'right' to torture or even kill gives certain people a feeling of being superior, something that young Severus seems to have been likely to have fallen for. Sorry, but I can't belief that Severus has been anywhere near innocent those days.

Kage, in my view the type of person who can knowingly and uncaringly engage in an action that will result in the death of a baby and perhaps its parents is unlikely to also be the kind of person who will shortly thereafter not only have a change of heart, but place his own life in mortal danger on a daily basis for months or years in order to attempt and reverse the damage. Since I don’t think the two things are compatible or believable in the same character, and since I think Severus did turn away from LV and try to reverse the damage he (Severus) had caused at the ongoing risk of his life, then I don’t believe he was also the type of person who would have knowingly and willingly put those people’s lives in jeopardy in the first place. Of course, I could be wrong.

The Saturday detentions. While a pretty mild detention for performing the Sectumsempra curse and almost killing Draco, I think the particular punishment is more reflective of Severus’ ongoing anger and hate toward James and Sirius than anything else. He seems to want to prove their overall unworthiness to Harry, but I think it’s more to satisfy his own hate of James than anything else.

To those who theorize that Dumbledore isn't dead and that Snape knows this. (referring to post 59 by Snuffles)--Would Snape have "killed with such hatred on his face? Is he that good of an actor?

Good point, rambkowalczyk.


kage - Sep 23, 2005 5:56 am (#93 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 7:08 am
Honour ...so really the odds on Harry even wanting to listen to anything Severus had to say would be a big fact
But Hary already did listen to Severus! Not eye to eye, though, but Harry did listen to the Half-Blood Prince/Severus' potions book ;-)
About the detentions I think that RoseMorningStar has come up with the best explanation so far (keeping Harry off Draco), making Harry go through these cards is a nice side effect, though. Very efficient, I really like it.

T Vrana I think not at 19. I think he was excited to have something to tell LV (look at Malfoy's desire to please LV and replace Snape), but when he realized exactly what he had done, he tried to stop it.
I perfectly agree up that point. But my momentary personal view is this that Severus was deeper involved than just telling that prophecy. How come? 1) I don't think that telling the prophecy is neither enough reason to loose temper as badly as we've seen when it comes to the Potters, nor for DD not to tell Harry. 2) By now I'm deeply convinced that DD let young Severus back to LV on purpose, to allow the prophecy to come true. 3) I've come to see Severus as a rather self-concerned and cold person with a severe lack of sympathy/compassion/love (somehow I seem to lack better words, hope you get the picture) combined with a low self esteem, but intelligent and capable of logic,intrigues and Occlumency. 4) in Spinners End we find Severus and Pettigrew sharing one house, probably keeping an eye on each other for LV. Especially 1) and 4) make me suspicous that
either Pettigrew and Severus might have been in on the Potters betrayal together somehow with Lily as a possible shared interest and one trying to rat out the other
or that Severus hoped to get rid of James and claim Lily for himself.

I'm still not entirely convinced that working for DD and 'the big repent' neccessarily had to come at the same time. Severus might have been informing DD only because DD err... persuaded him or because of that life dept he owed James - and with that it's also possible that he only tried to pay it back half-heartedly. And if Severus managed to be at Godric's Hollow at a certain night, the point of repent would be when Voldemort killed Lily, only seconds before Voldemorts downfall - and there's a possibility that it wasn't LV's AK that rebounded on him but that somebody else AK'ed Voldemort.

I know it's pure speculation, so you're welcome to disagree or ignore as you like...

Edit: I've missed some posts while typing... ... Edit
wynnleaf, I agree on Snape knowing about the Horcuxes, he isn't that thick, afterall.

in my view the type of person who can knowingly and uncaringly engage in an action that will result in the death of a baby and perhaps its parents is unlikely to also be the kind of person who will shortly thereafter not only have a change of heart
This is where I see things differently. I think it's complety possible for certain persons to not even flinch at unknown or hated people get killed, but get outrageous when it comes to a person they think they love.


wynnleaf - Sep 23, 2005 6:54 am (#94 of 2969)
Just noticed in the Melissa and Emerson interview with JKR that one of them asked JKR if Ginny had a life debt to Harry for his saving her life in Book 2. JKR said no, not really, but she implied that Pettigrew's life debt to Harry was somewhat different. She didn't say why. But still, this makes me wonder about life debts and their importance and power. She's definitely shown in the books that Severus has a life debt to James, but just how can a life debt be that important when Ginny doesn't have one with Harry, who did far more in risking his life to save her than James ever did for Severus?


kage - Sep 23, 2005 7:10 am (#95 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 8:24 am
wynleaf, maybe a life dept is created when you safe someon who you are not 'naturally' obliged to save? Ginny is like a part of family and a friend at that time, while Pettigrew is err...a rat, a traitor and a murderer...

Maybe we need a life dept thread? EDIT: Just created that thread - Life Depts - how do they work?


T Vrana - Sep 23, 2005 7:36 am (#96 of 2969)
DD let young Severus back to LV on purpose, to allow the prophecy to come true.

Are you saying DD let LV kill the Potters to fulfil the prophecy? I can't buy that. DD is willing to sacrifice for the greater good, but it has its limits. And, he doesn't put that much power into the prophesy. He tells Harry it is only true because Harry will follow through, not because he has to, but because he chooses to. In addition, the prophesy was too vague for DD to know that killing the Potters would help fulfil it.


wynnleaf - Sep 23, 2005 7:49 am (#97 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 8:52 am
Well, T Vrana, I'd expect that the very least we could say is that DD is bound to have seen at least as much about the importance of that prophecy as 19 yr old Severus.

Sure, DD doesn't put as much stock in prophecies, but he'd likely be able to guess what LV would make of it, wouldn't he? Maybe he's so willing to let others make their own choices that he'd never have considered doing anything to stop Snape from taking the prophecy to LV. But I can't believe that he didn't know it was a possibility. So that means DD let Snape go, knowing he'd heard the partial prophecy, and probably guessing he'd take it to LV.

If, indeed, the prophecy is too vague to know what LV might make of it -- attempting to kill a baby, etc. -- then both DD and Snape are sort of "let off the hook" of responsibility for the prophecy leading to the Potter's deaths.

But if the prophecy is not so vague, than at least someone who had no "blinders" on about what LV was capable of would be aware that LV could kill somebody over the prophecy.


T Vrana - Sep 23, 2005 8:16 am (#98 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 9:17 am
wynnleaf- I wasn't clear. I was saying DD would not have planned to let anyone die just to fulfil the prophesy. And the vagueness wasn't what LV would do with the info, but what it would take to fulfil the prophesy. While he could predict LV would try to kill the someone, he would not know that the attempt would fulfill the prophesy. No one knew what it meant exactly, or who. So for DD to let Snape go back to LV to make the prophesy come true seems off.

DD did let Snape go, but did he know he heard the prophesy? Snape could have said he didn't hear anything. On what grounds would DD detain him? Eavesdropping? He may not have known what Snape heard until Snape returned and confessed.


wynnleaf - Sep 23, 2005 8:25 am (#99 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 9:26 am
That's a good point and, by the way, possibly another one in favor of Snape being sincere about his return. If DD didn't know that Snape had actually heard some of the prophecy, then there'd be no reason not to let him go. Then, if DD only learned through Severus that the prophecy had been passed along to LV, that in itself is pretty strong evidence that Severus' "turn" away from LV was the real thing. (not that we're arguing that at the moment.) Smile


HungarianHorntail11 - Sep 23, 2005 8:32 am (#100 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 10:05 am
Who saw the ring on Dumbledore? Dumbledore wore it at Slughorn's, who clearly recognized it, but may not have known that it was a horcrux. Possibly Molly and Tonks saw it. Obviously, Snape saw it and probably had to know that Dumbledore's injuries were from protections placed on it.

Soul Search, that makes me wonder. . . if DD wanted to keep this pursuit of Big V's horcruxes a secret, why does he wear the ring? I am not intimating that DD wants others to know, but rather, what am I missing in those references to DD wearing the ring in front of others?

Edit to reply to T Vrana:

I still think he could have disguised it better - several people noticed that ring, as Soul Search pointed out.

T Vrana, it seems as though it is the protection surrounding the horcrux that caused the harm, judging by the cave incident, but I am not taking anything for granted, since we have not yet witnessed the destruction of a horcrux. What if the soul inhabits the one destroying it (perhaps encapsulated, slowly creeping into its host)? That would explain DD's hand - Big V's corrupted soul bearing its mark on DD, slowly killing him. What of the locket, then - the heart?

Actually, I just remembered the destruction of the diary. Thank God It's Friday.
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T Vrana - Sep 23, 2005 8:41 am (#101 of 2969)
I had the impression DD was injured retreiving the ring, not destroying it. It was the protection around the ring (like the potions in the cave), not the horcrux that hurt him. I had originally thought he was keeping it safe, with him, until he could destroy it. I assumed the crack occured either when the horcrux was made or when DD was injured retrieving it. Once DD destroyed the horcrux, the ring was gone.


Vulture - Sep 23, 2005 8:54 am (#102 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 9:56 am
Hi, all: I know this is a really stupid question, but why are you all so sure about Snape being precisely 19 when he did the eavesdropping ? I've been wrestling with the Timelines, and I can't get his age (or Sirius's, James's, Lily's or Lupin's, who were all in his Year) to a precise year. (Of course, I assume the year of the prophecy and eavesdropping was the year Harry was born, so that part is OK.)

The Timeline gives the following dates (Y = Harry's birth, which Book 2, Nick's Deathday Party, indicates is 1980), but I can't find where it got them from (obviously, for the purpose of Snape's age, "James and Lily first attend Hogwarts" is the one I'm most interested in):

birth of Hagrid: Y-52

Hagrid expelled from Hogwarts: Y-38

Tom Riddle kills his father and grandparents: Y-36

James and Lily first attend Hogwarts: approximately Y-10


T Vrana - Sep 23, 2005 9:04 am (#103 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 10:04 am
We know that Lily was born 1960, died 1981 according to the lexicon. She was the same basic age as Snape, being in the same year. So Snape was about 21 when the Potter's were killed. He could have been 20. So, Snape came back to DD before the deaths of the Potters, he would be 19 or 20 when he heard the prophesy depending on when his birthday is.


rambkowalczyk - Sep 23, 2005 9:38 am (#104 of 2969)
Snape was born in 1960 in Jan. (Last Jan it was on JKR's calender). He would have started Hogwarts in 1971 when he was 11. (James, Lily,Remus, and Peter were most likely born in 1960 and started Hogwarts the same year.

Harry was born in July 1980. His parents were killed Halloween 1981. His parents were about 21 when they died. (Assumes parents birthday before November.)

Trelawneys prophecy happened before Harry was born, somewhere between Halloween of 1979 and the summer of 1980. Harry was 15 years and 10+ months when Dumbledore said he visited Sybil at the Hoghead 16 years ago. I used Halloween as an endpoint date because that would be about the time Lily discovers she's expecting a child.

Snape at the end of 1979 would be 19. Snape after Jan 1980 would be 20.

I hope this isn't too confusing.


wynnleaf - Sep 23, 2005 9:47 am (#105 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 10:49 am
HH11, my impression of the scene where DD and Harry go to talk to Slughorn is that DD wanted Slughorn to see the ring. Maybe not.

We have seen a horcrux destroyed. In CoS, Harry destroys the diary. At the point of plunging the snakes tooth into the diary, no harm comes to Harry. Of course, Harry's already been injured, but not by any action of destroying the horcrux.

On Snape's age at the time of the prophecy: He's probably just turned 20 when he hears the prophecy. Since his birthday is in January, then he turned 20 seven months before Harry was born. If Trelawney was interviewed during a cooler time of year, that could be early spring.

rambkowalczyk,

Why between Halloween and the summer of the next year? I wasn't putting it any further back before early spring, but you're saying possibly all the way back to the Halloween before Harry was born. Why? Just curious.


Lina - Sep 23, 2005 9:48 am (#106 of 2969)
rambkowalczyk: Voldemort might have referred to him as the coward at his rebirthing ceremony because in chap 2 he tells Bella he wasn't a coward.

That is very interesting. We have discussed a lot on who is the coward and who is the one that is gone forever? It didn't occur to me that actually, DEs were not sure who was LV thinking of in that scene. It seems that they have been wondering too, and that even Snape was not sure if LV addressed him as a coward or as the one who has left him forever. It seems that Karakoff's death describes him as a coward. He needs to persuade everybody that it was him who LV believed left him forever and found out eventually that he was wrong. I like it.

Ana Cis: I believe the Order works in the same that the French Underground worked against the Nazis. People only knew what they needed to know, that's all. If they got caught by the Nazis, they couldn't provide information they didn't know when they were tortured. Same rules would apply if the Voldemort and/or his cohorts get a hold of some one from the order. As far as Snape, Dumbledore would only tell him so much, just to ensure the Snape is able to keep his cover. I'm very doubtful that Snape knows anything of what DD's being teaching Harry. When Harry keeps asking DD why he trusts Snape, I believe that DD doesn't tell him for the same reason I stated above. It's on need to know basis only.

I agree with you that members of the order were allowed to know only as much as needed and that would apply to Snape as well unless it was Snape who told DD about more than one horcrux. One of the possible scenarios would be that Snape came to LV telling him about the prophecy and LV's reaction would be "Oh, great! I could use this baby for my last horcrux." (I could imagine his soul being already like a sand and it was not enough any more to kill to make a horcrux, but killing a baby would help.) Now, everybody could expect LV to make a horcrux, but making more of them was probably unimaginable even for the wizards deep in Dark Arts. I think that this was shocking enough for Snape that he decided to turn to the good side. And he didn't have to pretend in front of LV that he didn't know about multiple horcruxes because it was him who told him. He just didn't tell him how many, and that is the information that maybe even DD didn't give him. Well, this is just my theory. It is not perfect, I know. There is still the question why DD didn't tell this to Harry, but it might be for the same French Underground reason.

Wynnleaf, your arguments are quite persuading. Now I'm even more sure that Snape knows about horcruxes.


HungarianHorntail11 - Sep 23, 2005 9:58 am (#107 of 2969)
Lots of good ideas going around. wynnleaf, I realized all too late about the diary. Thanks


wynnleaf - Sep 23, 2005 9:59 am (#108 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 11:02 am
Lina, thanks.

By the way, the quote I mentioned earlier where DD tells Harry to get Severus is

"Go and wake Severus." said Dumbledore faintly, but clearly. "Tell him what has happened and bring him to me."

As I said earlier, that doesn't sound like Harry's got to tell Severus a whole lot about horcruxes, but just fill him in on the night's events. DD wouldn't need Harry to explain all about horcruxes, because Severus (not asleep, but waiting fully dressed in his rooms) already knows about that part. Or, if one wanted to argue that DD only wanted Harry to tell Severus about the Dark Mark, or that DD was injured, wouldn't DD have specified exactly what he wanted Harry to tell Severus? Instead, he just says, "tell him what has happened."


T Vrana - Sep 23, 2005 10:01 am (#109 of 2969)
I don't think LV would trust anyone with the horcrux info. He is terrified of death and trusts no one completely. He knows his control over his followers is based on fear (except Bella), not loyalty, and fear is an imperfect hold. Cowards, whom fear would work on, will turn on him if they fear something else more (Azkaban, death, pain). So I would think he keeps the Horcux info to himself.


siliconsmiley - Sep 23, 2005 10:16 am (#110 of 2969)
Edited by Sep 23, 2005 11:17 am
Too many posts. Lots of good discussion.

I find it most interesting that Snape still got the job at Hogwarts. I believe that Snape was sent to apply for the job on Voldemort's orders as others have mentioned.

If he was discovered and thrown out of the bar, at what point did he interview for the job?

Edit: And why would Dumbledore give him the job at 19?


rambkowalczyk - Sep 23, 2005 10:30 am (#111 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 11:36 am
Why between Halloween and the summer of the next year? I wasn't putting it any further back before early spring, but you're saying possibly all the way back to the Halloween before Harry was born. Why? Just curious. --wynnleaf

It was someone else's idea. It had to do with the fact that it was a cold rainy night and that particular poster felt that it happened on Halloween. The only other reason would be is that October would have been the earliest Lily was pregnant. Until I started reading other theories I just assumed it was the June before Harry was born.

Edit: I tried doing a quick search to see where it was I saw this but I came up with nothing.

Also I think Snape was hired afterwards Sept of 1981 when he would have been 21. This would be after Snape convinced him he no longer wished to be a Death Eater.


Ann - Sep 23, 2005 11:09 am (#112 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 12:11 pm
I suspect, too, that Trelawney's prophecy at the Hogs Head occurred in fall 1979 or winter 1980 rather than later in Lily's pregnancy. I don't think Snape realized it would apply to Lily and James, because he didn't know that Lily was pregnant. And he would probably have known if she had been close to delivery. They were, after all, classmates, and involved in what seems to have been a rather personal war; and if he was in love with Lily or had been a close friend in the past, as many of us think, he'd have even more reason to be paying attention. I think he went to Dumbledore and confessed as soon as he realized Lily was a target, so presumably as soon as she was visibly pregnant: April or May of 1980 at the latest. Certainly JKR has said that the Potters were aware that they would soon go into hiding by the time of Harry's christening.


greta - Sep 23, 2005 11:42 am (#113 of 2969)
In Britain a cold and rainy night could be applied to almost any time of the year!!

T Vrana - I completely agree that LV would trust no one else with his Horcrux info. however i also believe that DD would trust no one with his findings, not even Snape. Snape may have deduced that DD is on a horcrux destroying mission but I believe this would be Snape own deduction rather than direct information from DD. The fact that DD tells harry to go "wake Severus" indicates that DD does not expect Snape to be on duty awaiting to attend to any evil curses. Now Snape may be using his own initiative , he realises that DD has left the castle therefore is prepared to be of assistance, he may have done this each time DD left, upon no instruction from DD but based on his own suspicions as to what DD is up to. On the other hand Snape could have been oblivious to everything - tucked up in bed with a hot chocolate before Flitwick barged in - I'm sure it doesn't take a wizard that long to dress in a crisis.

Lina [/b]- Sep 23, 2005 12:49 pm (#114 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 1:52 pm
T Vrana: I don't think LV would trust anyone with the horcrux info. He is terrified of death and trusts no one completely. He knows his control over his followers is based on fear (except Bella), not loyalty, and fear is an imperfect hold. Cowards, whom fear would work on, will turn on him if they fear something else more (Azkaban, death, pain). So I would think he keeps the Horcrux info to himself.
Well, he did talk to Slughorn about horcruxes and he even told him the number of them at the time that Slughorn most certainly was not his follower. Maybe that is the reason why he was after Slughorn, because he was afraid that he would pass on the information. How did DD come to the idea to question Slughorn about Tom Riddle and the horcruxes? I got the impression that Tom already knew how to make a horcrux at that time, was just trying to get some advice about the number of them. According to the Slughorn's memory, Slughorn didn't explain him how to make it or where he could find more informations. Out of the Bella's line that I cited earlier, I came to conclusion that Bella knew that Diary was the horcrux but she probably thought that it was the only one. Somehow, R.A.B. found out about at least one of them, probably he thought it was the only one too. So, my feeling is that LV didn't hide the fact that he makes horcruxes, just their number. This is just my feeling and it could be wrong.
The other thing that bothers me is why DD assumes that LV didn't succeed to make the last horcrux and that he planned to make it by killing Harry? There is a long period of time since Tom Riddle decides to make 6 horcruxes until he hears the prophecy. He couldn't expect that there would be a prophecy on the boy who would be able to defeat him. He made his first few horcruxes in a short period of time - last few years of Hogwarts and first few after it, before he became LV. What was preventing him from making the last one much before he heard about the prophecy? Why did DD assume that he waited for such a long time to make the last one? I wouldn't (assume it). Well, my guess is that someone told him so, and you already know who I think that that someone was.


Soul Search - Sep 23, 2005 5:34 pm (#115 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 6:38 pm
wynnleaf -- You're right (#92 post). Snape must know more about horcruxes than I suggested in my #89 post. He must also know that Harry knows.

HungarianHorntail11 -- (Your #100, my #89 posts) My read was that Dumbledore intentionally wore the ring at Slughorn's to remind him, perhaps make him feel guilty, about the memory he wouldn't share. There was no mention of it at the Weasley's, so he may have taken it off. Otherwise, we only saw it in his office, with Harry, after Harry knew what it meant from the Morfin (Tom Riddle visit) memory.

Clearly, Dumbledore wanted Harry to know that the ring horcrux had been destroyed, and that that's how Dumbledore got his injured hand.

Lina -- (Your #106 post) In HBP, Dumbledore tells harry that he first suspected multiple horcruxes because Voldemort was willing to risk a horcrux with the diary. Voldemort would only do that if there were multiple horcruxes. Apparently, Dumbledore started the multiple horcrux research after CoS.

(your #114 post) The Horcruxes topic has explored this rather well. Since it is so long, I will summarize.

It was about 30 years from Voldemort's fifth horcrux to Godric's Hollow. Only reason seems to be finding an appropriate Gryffindor trophy object ... the sword now in Dumbledore's office.

The sword was at the Potter's. Dumbledore retrieved it, like the cloak, and that's how he knew it was not a horcrux!

T Vrana -- (your #109 post) I agree that Voldemort doesn't want anyone to know about his horcruxes. There is a hint that Bellatrix might know something about Voldemort's horcruxes, suggested by her statement in "Spinner's End."


HungarianHorntail11 - Sep 23, 2005 6:48 pm (#116 of 2969)
How did DD come to the idea to question Slughorn about Tom Riddle and the horcruxes?

Lina, I agree that DD heard about it from Snape, which is one of the reasons why he trusts Snape. Why would you give away such valuable information about someone you support?


wynnleaf - Sep 23, 2005 7:06 pm (#117 of 2969)
I don't know. He may have just figured it out himself. I think it was in OOTP when DD seems to be doing some experiments with his instruments (or was this GOF?). Anyway, it's when he's wondering about LV being in essence divided? After all, DD certianly knew what horcruxes were long before LV. He had the evidence of the diary and certainly wondered what LV had done to put part of himself in the diary. Then he had the evidence of Nagini and Harry "seeing" things through the snake's eyes, yet it's LV. All those would be excellent clues for a wizard who already knows about horcruxes.

Now as to how he knew where to find the locket or the ring, yes he may have got that info from another person, which could be Snape.


T Vrana - Sep 23, 2005 7:49 pm (#118 of 2969)
Edited Sep 23, 2005 9:00 pm
I had the impression, I think DD said it, that DD was tracking down everyone he could think of that had contact with Riddle. Certainly as head of Slytherin and Slug Club, Sluggy would have been high on the list. When DD asked about horcruxes, I'm sure Sluggy reacted, then provided that absurd memory....

I'll try to find the quote...

Edit- here's one, but I'm not sure if is is the one,

"Well, as you now know, for many years, I have made it my business to discover as much as I can about Lord Voldemort's pat life."

I'm sure there is another quote dealing with DD tracking dwon people, and their unwillingness to talk...


Ana Cis - Sep 23, 2005 9:25 pm (#119 of 2969)
Edited by Sep 23, 2005 10:31 pm
Wynnleaf, Lina, Soul Search:

I believe this is one where we have to agree to disagree.

I believe that Dumbledore has been conducting his investigation without telling anyone, except for Harry, about his exploits. He tells Harry that he can tell Ron and Hermione, but that none of them is to repeat it because it wouldn't be a good idea if it got around how much he knew or suspected about LV's secrets. When he discussed the destruction of the ring and his hand injury, that section is very carefully worded in HBP23: "The ring, Harry, Marvolo's ring. And a terrible curse there was upon it too. Had it not been—forgive me the lack of seemly modesty—for my prodigious skill, and for Snape's time action when I returned to Hogwarts, desperately injured, I might not have lived to tell the tale."

When he was healed, Snape may have asked him how he was injured. Knowing DD, I could see him telling Snape that for his own safety, it is better for him not to know how the injury occurred, except that he had encountered a trap full of Dark Magic.

Also, the following quote tells me that DD has been working on his own: "As well you know, for many years, I have made it my business to discover as much as I can about Voldemort's past life. I stumbled across the ring hidden in the ruin of Gaunt's house...[Voldemort] never guessing that I might one day take the trouble to visit, or that I might be keeping an eye open for traces of magical concealments."

For some 50 years, DD has been collecting people's memories, picking up clues and searching special locations to track Voldemort's activities, trying to locate his hidden Horcruxes. Besides, DD, Ron, Hermione, and Harry, the only other person that may know or suspect what Dumbledore is up to is Slughorn. He's the only one that has any knowledge about Voldermort's plans; this knowledge has scared him so much that he preferred to modify his memories than let anybody know.

Just like DD withholds his reason from Harry on why he trusts Snape, I believe his has withheld his knowledge about Voldemort's plans and Horcruxes from Snape. Snape doesn't even have complete knowledge about the prophecy. As Dumbledore stated: the truth "is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution." Dumbledore is a cautious man. I've noticed that everyone is always perplexed with many of Dumbledore's exploits...including us, readers.


greta - Sep 24, 2005 12:28 am (#120 of 2969)
Ana Cis - excellent summary! I agree withevery word, DD made it clear through all his lessons with Harry that he has researched LV thoroughly and this is what led him to the ring, the cave etc. I stated earlier that if snape suspects about the horcruxes and DD mission it his own suspicions rather thtan information from LV or DD.


Vulture - Sep 24, 2005 5:34 am (#121 of 2969)
In the Lexicon time line, Snape's comments to Umbridge about how long he's been at Hogwarts, puts him starting to teach at Hogwarts in 1981. (wynnleaf [/b]- Sep 4, 2005 9:29 am (#2729))

_ But in Book 6, Snape says that he had "sixteen years of valuable information" to welcome Lord V back _ in Harry's 4th Year. So that would seem to imply he started teaching in Y-2 (if Y=Harry's birth year), which most reckonings would put at 1978.

T Vrana & rambkowalczyk _ thanks very much for the info on Snape's (and Lily's, and by implication, James & Co.'s) age. What's the birth year 1960 based on, though ? Is there something in the books I've missed, or is it from a JKR interview ?

Talking of JKR interviews, can we go 100% on what she says outside the books ? (I'm risking a blast of wrath for sacrilege here !!) I say this because, in her website, in answering a Flitwick question ("Is Flitwick a short human or is he some other type of being?"), she says "he did say in ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ that he was very fond of Lily, thus establishing that he was not prejudiced against Muggle-borns". There's no such incident, at least not in my copy of "Philosopher’s Stone". Mind you, this answer does sound quite close to the content of Slughorn's first conversation with Harry in Book 6. Could she have got mixed up ? Or perhaps started out writing the incident for Flitwick and later switched to Slughorn ?

To see the extract I refer to, click [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


irish flutterby - Sep 24, 2005 5:38 am (#122 of 2969)
Edited Sep 24, 2005 6:40 am
I don't think DD has shared his quest with anyone but Harry; however, DD does say in HBP that he tried to talk to people about LV, but those who knew him were all too scared to talk. I don't think he came right out and asked, " Hey, do you know anything about the Horcruxes that LV has created?" I think he probably eased into the subject, but people who knew his power probably clammed up nearly immediately at the mention of his name.

I am also willing to bet that DD has a few bottled memories of Snape in his collection. Memories that would provide some insight into the Dark Lord's habits and possibly clues about other Horcruxes.


jose043 - Sep 24, 2005 5:39 am (#123 of 2969)
Edited Sep 24, 2005 6:40 am
Hi All

I know most of you have an opinion in relation to Snape. But we do not agree with you in relation to James and Sirius been the one's doing all the hexing, Snape was just as bad as James and Sirius when ever Snape could get an opportunity he would try and hex James and Sirius.

From the Bloomsbury publication of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on page 591. When Harry is talking to Lupin and Sirius from the fire in Umbridge's office.

Well, said Lupin slowly, 'Snape was a special case. I mean, he never lost an opportunity to curse James so you couldn't really expect James to take that lying down, could you?'

So we feel that the three of them where as bad as each other for hexing.

Also we feel that Snape is a fence sitter, as if he was a true DD supporter he would have sacrificed himself for DD not killed DD. As Harry calls him a coward, which we both agree with.

Josephine and daughter Anne


wynnleaf - Sep 24, 2005 7:17 am (#124 of 2969)
Edited Sep 24, 2005 8:20 am
So we feel that the three of them where as bad as each other for hexing.

That could be. It's just that it's only on the word of the Marauders that we're told they were all just as bad at hexing each other. But the only actual scene we're shown where this happens is where James and Sirius attack Snape even though (as far as we know), it's completely unprovoked.

Also we feel that Snape is a fence sitter, as if he was a true DD supporter he would have sacrificed himself for DD not killed DD. As Harry calls him a coward, which we both agree with.

One of the major questions discussed lately on the forum is whether or not DD planned many or most of the events on the tower. If he planned them and he and Snape were working together, then Snape was using the AK on DD's orders. Basically, arguments often seem to boil down to this: if readers think up until the tower scene that Snape is firmly on the side of the Order, readers seem more likely to think Snape was acting on DD's instructions. If readers thought Snape was a pretty bad guy anyway and probably not trustworthy, then they seem a lot more likely to think Snape was not acting on DD's orders and DD's murder was the ultimate betrayal, Snape's a coward, etc. Of course, some people completely switched their opinion after the tower scene.

I think that's why we debate other evidence of Snape's loyalty or disloyalty.

Vulture,

I tend to think what JKR has put into the website is probably given quite a bit of consideration before she puts it there, so it's likely to be "true" to her plan for HP and the WW. It's possible that in interviews she could "mis-speak" a bit, but even there, I think she goes into interviews knowing what the questions are likely to be and with a good idea of what she won't answer, and how she will respond to the questions that she will answer.


T Vrana - Sep 24, 2005 8:21 am (#125 of 2969)
jose043- That they all hexed each other is one issue. Bullying Snape out of boredom, 3 on one, is another.


irish flutterby - Sep 24, 2005 10:16 am (#126 of 2969)
I can't remember and don't have my book handy, was it Sirius of Lupin that referred to Snape as aspecial case. I think we could take a good deal of what Lupin has to say at face value. He didn't approve of the way that James and Sirius showed out. He didn't do anything to stop it, granted, but I get the impression that Lupin was a bit more mature than the other two, and probably can see a little bit more clearly now that the adolescent wave has passed and they are all in the "grown-up" world.


Weeny Owl - Sep 24, 2005 11:06 am (#127 of 2969)
irish, it was Lupin who referred to Snape as a special case.

I agree with those who have said that Snape doesn't necessarily know about the Horcruxes. He knows Dumbledore was injured, but that doesn't mean he was told what was going on at the time.

I also agree with those who said that collecting a Horcrux and destroying one aren't one and the same. As was mentioned, Harry destroyed a Horcrux without any injury. It was trying to collect the locket that hurt Dumbledore, and we found out later that the locket wasn't even a Horcrux.

The piece of soul in a Horcrux can't leak into someone else, because JKR said that the piece of soul in the diary was destroyed. It didn't attach itself to Harry or Ginny.

I'm not sure Dumbledore would tell Snape about the quest for Horcruxes anyway. Not because of a lack of trust, but because Snape can continue behaving as he normally would in front of Voldemort, but if he knew about the Horcrux search, in a vulnerable moment, that information might leak out and Voldemort would know. Dumbeldore might not tell Snape because Snape would be safer not knowing.

As for the ages, JKR said in an interview before GoF came out that Snape was 34 or 35, so he would have been 34 at the beginning of GoF, but would turn 35 in January of GoF.


HungarianHorntail11 - Sep 24, 2005 11:07 am (#128 of 2969)
I think that since Snape came to Hogwarts, seeming a little creepy and deeply interested/advanced in the Dark Arts, he probably attracted a certain amount of attention; however, I don't think it was until James had a fondness for Lily that he actually started picking on Snape. If Lily and Snape both had potions classes together and got along well, James would pick up on this. Think of the comment Snape makes to Tonks regarding her new patronus, he states that it is "weak". Lupin was not only a Marauder who could have used his influence (as a friend of James and Sirius) to stop their behavior, but also the authority to stop them but chose to do nothing. He was looking to Lupin for help (albeit, he probably didn't ask) and didn't get it. He would probably feel as though he must deal with this on his own - what better way than to retaliate with some of his dark curses/spells? I could see someone like Snape gravitating toward the DEs in an effort to seem more powerful, although I think his involvement was primarily because of something to do with his family.


wynnleaf - Sep 24, 2005 11:50 am (#129 of 2969)
Edited Sep 24, 2005 12:53 pm
HH11, you made me think of something in your last post that I hadn't considered before.

First -- disclaimer -- this is not an "excuse" for Snape's behavior, but it might be some of the reason for some of his attitudes.

Suppose you're in Slytherin, supposedly the "bad guys," and you're always getting attacked by this group of several Gryffindors, supposedly the "good, brave guys." You see the attacks as unprovoked and cowardly in that they're several guys to one. And you see the supposed authority figure -- the Gryffindor prefect -- of those supposedly brave good guys, not standing up for what you see as justice, not standing up against these cowardly actions, a weak guy with no real interest in justice. And you strike back with your own personal arsenal of curses and hexes. Some of the curses are stuff you made up yourself from whatever background (family?) you've got in Dark Arts. You use your wits -- whether it's logic or the spells you create. The other guys -- those so called brave, good guys on the "right" side -- act like you're so bad because you're into the Dark Arts. But look at them? Who's the cowards? Who's unjust? Who won't stand up for fairness? Yep, it's those supposedly brave, good guy Gryffindors.

You know, even if Severus was doing his own share of unprovoked hexing, I'd bet he's the type who would see things about like I described it above. Imagine the sort of bitterness toward the supposedly "good side" that would foster?

I don't think Snape's interest in LV had anything to do with the "racial purity" angle. I think he was proud of being half-blood, making his way by his wits, not dependant on doting parents (James) or a pure-blood heritage (Sirius). Self-sufficient.

LV, as Snape said himself, can use a person's emotions and weaknesses to his own advantage. I bet he really did that with Snape.


Weeny Owl - Sep 24, 2005 11:59 am (#130 of 2969)
I think he was proud of being half-blood, making his way by his wits, not dependant on doting parents (James) or a pure-blood heritage (Sirius).

Which is one thing that's always made me wonder how Snape can stand Draco. Even with Draco being in Slytherin, I can't imagine Snape actually liking the little snot, yet in OotP, Snape calls Draco by his first name.

Narcissa said Snape was Lucius's old friend, and Narcissa seems to have a certain familiarity with Snape, but even if he's been friends with the Malfoys for ages, how could he tolerate that nasty little idiot? He may feel he has to be nice to children of Death Eaters, but he doesn't seem to be quite as tolerant of Crabbe and Goyle.


Lina - Sep 24, 2005 1:25 pm (#131 of 2969)
Soul Search, thank you for providing me the conclusion from the Horcruxes thread, it was just too long for me to read it carefully. I'm sure that DD has been investigating everything on Tom Riddle ever since the Myrtle's death or even before. I can imagine Slughorn trying to hint him about the horcruxes without giving up too much about his involvement. Is it possible that DD knew nothing about multiple horcruxes before the CoS?

All I can say is that you all people make sense, but everywhere there is something missing. I can't wait to read all the explanations in the 7th book (LBDI). I'm almost certain we will all be surprised and it will look so logical and as if it could be no other way.

I'm just too dizzy at the moment to do any more thinking.

Weeny Owl, I have found myself to like the children of my good friends and not to even try to know better the children of people I don't like. If Snape is really feeling any positive feelings for Malfoys, that would make sense. Now, why would he have positive feelings, I'm still confused.


wynnleaf - Oct 14, 2005 8:25 pm (#132 of 2969)
Edited Sep 24, 2005 3:05 pm
I can't recall any scenes where Severus and Lucius interact. I was always struck with -- is it Sirius? -- calling Severus Lucius' "lapdog." That has sort of colored my gut "take" on their relationship, perhaps incorrectly. I wondered if Lucius were a little older than Severus and was the sort of older leader of a group of cooler, popular Slytherins (popular in their own house anyway) and that Severus, as a definite outsider type, would appreciate it if he was accepted as a member.

We have seen an example of his interaction with Narcissa and there seems to be a friendship of sorts, although Narcissa appears to emphasize Severus' friendship with Lucius (rather than her) as a reason for him to feel sympathy for Draco's situation.

I have thought that Severus' willingness to risk his life to protect Draco was a point in favor of his character -- such as it is. ;-)


Accio Sirius - Sep 24, 2005 4:01 pm (#133 of 2969)
Wherever Snape's loyalty lies, it has been my impression that his affection for the Malfoys was genuine. I can't say why for certain, but as far as Lucius, maybe it was as wynnleaf proposes--that Lucius was the leader of a gang of Slytherins and he respected him or perhaps it was the calm, cool control with which he executes his plans. Of the many things Snape dislikes about Harry, his lack of control seems to stick out. I always assumed that maybe Snape fancied Narcissa, but I could also by into the Lily fascination.

As for the Horcruxes, I would assume that if DD didn't tell Snape, it was so there was plausible deniability. We know Snape is an expert at Occlumens, but why risk it?

I'll have to look back and see what Bellatrix said at the Spinner's End. I missed that. And I didn't even think back to the passage in OoP when DD was saying, "in essence divided," that that could have been about horcruxes. Both excellent notions.

Can anybody explain to me their thoughts on the look of hatred on Snape's face when he killed DD? That just sticks in my head when I try to think of him doing it on DD's orders. What was that about?


Ana Cis - Sep 24, 2005 7:57 pm (#134 of 2969)
Accio Sirius, any opinion about the look of hatred is pure speculation. It could be self hatred for what he's about to do; or it could truly be hatred for Dumbledore. However, if it hatred for Dumbledore, there was not triumphant look afterward. Also, why stick around and deflect all of Harry's hexes in the next chapter? Though he was being his usual sarcastic self, he was totally non-violent against Harry until he called Snape a coward. Additionally,it doesn't seem like he hurt any one when he was escaping with DRACO. Therefore, it seems to leave the impression that his look might have been self hatred for what he was going to have to do; just like Harry hated it when he had to make Dumbledore drink all of the content from the basin in the cave.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 24, 2005 11:20 pm (#135 of 2969)
I think, like any good spy...the less you know the better. I think that, as a member of the OotP there are probably often times when people are given assignments or asked to do something 'no questions asked'. It is just simply safer that way. It is not a matter of trust or distrust. It is a matter of safety.

Dumbledore may have been attempting to collect information / memories from those who knew Voldemort/Tom Riddle for a long time, but he has only suspected horcruxes since the end of SS when Harry told him about the circumstances surrounding the diary.

Snape knows a lot about dark magic. He has always been fascinated by it. He may suspect what Dumbledore is up to but I would imagine he does not ask questions. He would be the type to realize that he is told information on a need-to-know basis and not otherwise. That way he also has no lies to tell or cover up.

It will be interesting to see who takes over as the head of OotP because it seems as if Dumbledore (wisely) operated it as the 'all knowing leader' and everyone else had their roles that did not include knowing what everyone else was up to.


jose043 - Sep 25, 2005 4:49 am (#136 of 2969)
Edited Sep 25, 2005 5:52 am
T. Vrana - we understand it was out of boredom, and "Sirius did say that they where 15 year old arrogant little berks."

But the memory Harry saw was from Snape recollection of his time at school. When Harry asked Lupin and Sirius they were talking from their point of view from their school days.

But is it OK for Snape to bully Neville and Harry for 5 years in potions as a teacher, because of his dislike for Harry's father and friends?

With what other people have been posting in relation to the Horcruxes, we don't think that DD had told Snape about the Horcruxes, the only people that new were Harry, Ron, Hermione and DD himself.


T Vrana - Sep 25, 2005 5:31 am (#137 of 2969)
JK said memories in the pensieve are what happened without any coloring from point of view. So if we looked at Lily's, James' or Lupin's memory of the same event, it would be exactly the same.

Not just out of boredom, but 3 on 1 and with the intent of humiliating Snape in front of a large crowd. Mean.

I do not approve of Snape's bullying of Harry, Neville or Hermione. Also mean.

Does Snape ever bully Ron? I can't at the moment think of an example.


Steve Newton - Sep 25, 2005 5:34 am (#138 of 2969)
It wasn't actually 3 on 1. Lupin did not take part. He didn't try to stop it either.


T Vrana - Sep 25, 2005 5:38 am (#139 of 2969)
Edited Sep 25, 2005 7:17 am
I think Wormtail was standing by, eager and encouraging. He didn't participate with his wand, but he rose to his feet, I think. I'm sure he would have joined in if James and Sirius hadn't had it under control. Lupin remained seated and out of it, unfortunately. He should have intervened.

EDIT-Thinking about it, Wormtail is such a coward, he may not have used his wand to join in, but by getting to his feet, with eager anticipation, he involves himself in the bullying.


wynnleaf - Sep 25, 2005 5:48 am (#140 of 2969)
Edited Sep 25, 2005 6:50 am
jose049,

You might like to check out my posts #2085, 2089, and 2095 on the Albus Dumbledore thread.

I comment quite a bit and answer questions on my post concerning DD telling Harry on the tower to "go and wake Severus," and "tell him what has happened." I think that's a very crucial thing to tell Harry and indicates that DD intended Harry to give Severus a quick rundown on the nights events which would naturally include horcruxes. Because DD wanted Harry to tell Severus, but since it would have to be a quick telling of events, I wouldn't think DD expected Severus would need a lot to be brought "up to speed."

Some speculate that DD only meant to tell about the Dark Mark, but this doesn't work since DD wanted Snape even before he saw the Dark Mark. He doesn't want Snape primarily because of the Mark, and Harry knew that.

Then there's the possibility that DD meant for Harry to not tell about the horcruxes. But DD didn't say that. He said to tell him what happened, regarding an evening of events where the horcruxes were primary to those events. Yet DD gave absolutely no communication that Harry should leave out anything when he talked to Snape. Therefore, DD put no parameters on his instruction to Harry, so he expected Harry to relate all the events of the evening to Snape.

Since DD also expected Harry to be able to fill Snape in between coming from Snape's rooms to the tower, that looks like Snape would already know about DD's quest for the horcruxes.


Soul Search - Sep 25, 2005 5:52 am (#141 of 2969)
The question of Snape's relationship with the Malfoys has always been a minor puzzle. Its importance is raised a bit with "Spinner's End." I have a feeling that the question will be even more important in book seven.

From the first potions class in SS, I have thought that Snape and Draco had known each other before Draco came to Hogwarts. There seemed to be a mutual comfort between them. Clearly, Snape favored DRaco even above other Slytherins. Little snippets here and there have reenforced the thought. The graveyard scene in GoF (with later clarification in HBP) establishes that Snape and Lucius were not only DEs together, but in Voldemort's top circle. "Spinner's End" confirms that Snape and Narcissa have known each other.

Yet, the Malfoys are depicted as moving in the top wizarding circles. Lucius puts down the Weazleys in CoS. Lucius acknowledges that Fudge knows Narcissa in the GoF "Top Box" scene (but not, it appears, Draco.) Why would the Malfoys associate with Snape? He is not from any "top" wizarding family. He is even "half-blood." And, he is not particularly likable. Snape would never be "the life of the party."

After GoF, Snape could be using Draco to find out about Lucius or as support for his double role. But, he had been friendly with Draco before Voldemort's return.

So, there it is. No clear answers to what might be an important question.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 25, 2005 1:25 pm (#142 of 2969)
As I have said on another thread, I think that good leaders & good spies in such a situation know that it is best and safest if very few people are completely filled in on any given situation. I think that it is best & safest to treat each situation on a 'need-to-know' basis and to be on a 'do as I ask - no questions asked basis'. That way, if they are caught or questioned, they do not have to lie.

For example, Dumbledore may have asked Snape to help him from time to time with some very tricky situations because he is a very skilled wizard and knows a lot about dark magic. But both Snape & Dumbledore know that the less said the better. Snape even warns Narcissa not to say anything about the Dark Lord's plans if she was told not to. Dumbledore was the master planner for the order,it will be interesting to see who can possibly take his place.


Saracene - Sep 25, 2005 8:25 pm (#143 of 2969)
Re: Snape's look of hatred when he kills DD - the interesting thing about it IMO is that it is coupled with revulsion. If Snape is truly evil, hatred would be pretty understandable, but where does revulsion bit fit in? On the other hand, JKR uses precisely the same descriptions when writing about how Harry felt making DD drink what was obviously a dodgy and dangerous potion: he hated himself and was revolted by what he had to do.

I'm sure Snape did his fair bit of hexing Marauders back at school, but I think it's easy to overlook the fact that the worst thing about the Pensieve incident for Snape would be not the actual hexings or even verbal insults, but the public humiliation (especially if James did remove his pants, which I rather hope he didn't), and that most of their fellow students looked on with obvious approval. I really, really doubt that Sirius and James had to suffer something similar from Snape, who by the looks of it was a friendless unpopular loner with no public consent or adoration backing him up.

Snape knowing about Horcruxes: hard to say. If he's as loyal to DD as I think he is, he'd know not to ask questions and understand that DD may not tell him everything.

I think that if there're any deeper truths about Snape, his return to the good side and happenings in HBP for Harry to discover, he's most likely to learn it from DD, either directly or in a more roundabout way. It looks like DD was the only person who was a witness to Snape's remorse - which would be a pretty major feat of opening up for Snape he's not likely to repeat for anyone else IMO, given his aversion for displaying emotions that don't have any underlinings of hatred or nastiness to them.


kage - Sep 26, 2005 1:58 am (#144 of 2969)
Edited Sep 26, 2005 2:58 am
On Severus knowing about the Horcruxes
Call Severus whatever you want, mean, cold, evil, weak, sadisdic...anything but thick (he can take care of the 'coward' himself, I think ;-) )
1) It seems that LV wasn't holding back that he has made himself 'immortal', he's very proud of that, and it puts a certain pressure onto his followers, too. How many possibilities are there to do that?
2) We only know about the Philosophers Stone and Horcruxes, with the latter probably being the No. 1 choice for a Dark Wizard
3) LV's body has been destroyed once and has come back to power. To a man with some logic and Dark knowledge it must be clear that there has been at least one Horcrux.
4) We don't know if Severus knew about the diary and that it was destroyed, OK, so he might think of only one Horcrux. But...
5) ...we've seen how making the Horcruxes affected Voldemorts appearance. By the time Severus joined the DE's Voldemort probably looked pretty bad, much worse then creating only one Horcrux would have done. No proof, but enough to make another Dark Artist suspicous.
6) DD makes no attempt to get at Voldemort directly, there's a couple of other reasons, of course, but once you know about Horcruxes it's suspicous.
7) Then Severus has to help DD with the effects of some really bad Dark Magic, where would DD meet that if not in the course of fighting LV?
Cool And DD isn't exactly hiding the ring, either, although I can't tell if Severus has ever seen it. But...
9) ...it is possible that, as it's DD's hand that's affected by the curse, that DD has (had to) put the ring on his finger and that Severus had to help get it off.
There's LV being so sure about his immortality, and there's DD being so careful about not attacking LV directly/physically and meeting that Magic at it's Darkest/M.a.i.D (TM) So even without that last assumption it's more than likely that Severus knew about the Horcrux business and at least suspects that there's more than one, although life probably would be easier for him if he didn't.

*******************

wynnleaf, thanks for your post #129! Made me come round for a more friendly view on Severus again...
*******************

vulture (post #121) _ But in Book 6, Snape says that he had "sixteen years of valuable information" to welcome Lord V back _ in Harry's 4th Year. So that would seem to imply he started teaching in Y-2 (if Y=Harry's birth year), which most reckonings would put at 1978.
You gave me something to think about over the weekend: When Severus returns to LV in Harrys 4th year (that started sept. 1994/Y14) it's summer (June) 1995, so we're already in Y15. Subtracting "sixteen years of valuable information" results in Y-1/1979, about june/summer. While "16 years of information" doen't necessarily mean "16 years teaching at Hogwarts" (we know he started teaching in 1981), it indicates that Severus has been informing LV about DD since (summer) 1979. Merlin, how could he have done that?! OK, if the prophecy was made in (autumn) 1979 that might be all there is to those "16 years". But what if Severus has accidentially revealed some very valuable information and there's more to it?!

Like after overhearing the prophecy DD lets Severus return to Voldemort on the condition that he gets information about Voldemort in turn?!

Or, another old and much beloved pet theory of mine (you don't have to read any further ), Severus has been spying on LV for DD all the time: When DD said that 'Severus returned to our side before LVs downfall', he could have ment it literally, meaning that he sent Severus to Voldemort, Severus fell for the Dark Side, but, whith a little bit of ...help (from DD or fate or life debt bond) made it back to the good side/DD. That way the 'DADA might bring back the worst in Severus' sentence makes some sense, too.

Such a long post again, Lord!


wynnleaf - Sep 26, 2005 2:13 am (#145 of 2969)
Edited Sep 26, 2005 3:19 am
4) We don't know if Severus knew about the diary and that it was destroyed, OK, so he might think of only one Horcrux.

Kage, I think we do know. In HBP, DD tells Harry that he'd been told (must have been by Severus) about how incredibly angry LV got when he discovered that Lucius' actions had led to the destruction of the diary. For one thing, that seems to indicate that Severus tells practically everything to DD. But it also seems to indicate they probably had a discussion about the diary, even if DD didn't say specifically that it was a horcrux.

Severus obviously knows more than Slughorn about the Dark Arts. Slughorn knows about horcruxes. And DD seemed to expect Slughorn to know what the ring was. I'm practically certain Severus knows, too -- whether DD told him or he just worked it out himself.

Also, kage, good thinking on the 16 years part.


Saracene - Sep 26, 2005 2:14 am (#146 of 2969)
Given Snape's lifelong obsession with Dark Arts, I doubt anyone would have thought it a good idea to let him go and mingle with LV and his band of merry men in the first place. I mean, it would be like sending a gambler to Las Vegas, Smile


kage - Sep 26, 2005 3:04 am (#147 of 2969)
Thanks, wynnleaf

Saracene, I do get your point, sure. But DD sends Hagrid to the giants and Remus is sent to the werewolfes. And that's only what comes to my mind quickly now. I think there can be a huge difference between knowing about/playing around with the Dark Arts (home education, self-protection etc.) and really being evil. It seems that DD experienced some difficulties in defeating LV, so sending a spy to him would make some sense. If DD wanted to send someone to LV, he wouldn't have sent James or Sirius with their reputation for hating the Dark Arts, right?


Pixie - Sep 26, 2005 3:56 am (#148 of 2969)
I think Snape knows about the horcruxes (plural), because:

1) as kage pointed out, he is definitely not an idiot, and he knows lots about the dark arts, and as Voldemort boasted about the steps he took to become immortal I think Snape guessed what these steps were

2) Dumbledore trusted Snape so he probably told him if he had not guessed before

3) Dumbledore relied on Snape after whatever happened with the ring, but Snape may have needed to know how Dumbledore was injured to know how he was supposed to help; so Dumbledore probably told him then if he had not told him before

4) he is now (if he is indeed a good-guy-pretending-to-be-baaaad as I think he is) in an ideal position to guess what the remaining horcruxes are. He will now mix with the DEs and Voldemort every day...A little observation, maybe with a little bit of Legilimency on other DEs he might be able to discover what objects are more meaningful to Voldemort.I believe this was Dumbledore's plan from the beginning, sending Snape back to Voldemort "full-time" and in a position where his loyalty to the Dark Lord could not be questioned any more, by anybody, to discover what the horcruxes are.

5) I suspect that all the DEs know about the horcruxes, or at least they all know of their existence, because Voldemort himself said: "And then I ask myself, but how could they have believed I would not rise again? They, who knew the steps I took, long ago, to guard myself against mortal death?" Hence, they knew. Some DEs might even have guessed what particular objects Voldemort chose to make horcruxes. And we get back to my point No 4: that's exactly why Snape is back among them.

Another idea: Dumbledore said the messenger who told Voldemort about the prophecy could not tell him about the second half of it because he had not heard it. But what if it was intentional? Snape might have been voluntarily directing LV in a trap, something he knew would lead to his downfall...Hem... Does this make sense?


rambkowalczyk - Sep 26, 2005 4:38 am (#149 of 2969)
Vulture, (regarding timelines)

At the end of GOF, JKR said Snape was about 35 or 36 (or was it 34 or 35?). I believe it was this statement that allowed the Lexicon to conclude that Snape was born in 1960. At the end of GOF it is 1995 so it would make sense that Snape was born in either 1960 or 1959. I can't remember if there were other clues that pointed to 1960 as opposed to 1959. The main reason I use 1960 is because the Lexicon chooses that. I think the lexicon admits a margin of error.

When Snape returns to Voldemort at the end of GOF, he says he has 16 years worth of information. Voldemort returns in June of 1995. Exactly 16 years ago would be June 1979. If Sybil's prophecy occured on Halloween of 1979 (9 months before Harry was born) then Snape's statement of 16 years of spying is consistant with these facts.

Someone else suggested that Snape may have been spying on Dumbledore before he overheard Sybil's prophecy. This is also possible.


Saracene - Sep 26, 2005 4:45 am (#150 of 2969)
kage: I don't really think that the comparisons with Lupin and Hagrid work. They can't help being what they are and they have shown every sign of actively shunning the more gruesome and sinister aspects of their respective kinds. Whereas Snape's obsession with Dark Arts is voluntary and he frankly shows no sign of having a strong moral core or sense of right and wrong to his character like Lupin or Hagrid do to theirs. And the fact that Snape did join the Dark Side obviously shows that you don't have to be really evil to join LV - perhaps it's just enough to have more interest in Dark Arts than what is healthy for a person.
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kage - Sep 26, 2005 5:07 am (#151 of 2969)
Edited Sep 26, 2005 6:50 am
Saracene, let's joyfully disagree ;-) They can't help being what they are...
Same might apply to Severus, only in a less physical way. He seems to be predestinated to follow Voldemort (by his upbringing, behavior, etc.), but doesn't necessarily have to be at core. Looks like a bad guy, talks like bad guy, smells like a bad guy - but isn't. (May I mention prejudice once more?)

Whereas Snape's obsession with Dark Arts is voluntary and he frankly shows no sign of having a strong moral core or sense of right and wrong to his character like Lupin or Hagrid do to theirs.
No? The way he speaks to Harry about using curses seems to indicate quite the opposite. He knows, uses and maybe even invented the countercourse to Sectumsempra.

Edit
Pixie
They, who knew the steps I took, long ago, to guard myself against mortal death?
Thanks for that one.

Snape might have been voluntarily directing LV in a trap, something he knew would lead to his downfall...Hem... Does this make sense?
Uh, to me it does ;-)


RoseMorninStar - Sep 26, 2005 7:28 am (#152 of 2969)
Pixie, I think that the DE might know something about the horcruxes, but not a lot. For example, Lucius Malfoy had the diary of Tom Riddle in his possession but he did not know it was a horcrux. He knew that it was a diary that would somehow bring about the opening of the Chamber of Secrets once again and he had hoped to Open the Chamber and pin the blame on Mr. Weasley. Voldemort was very angry when he found out that Lucius had handled the diary so lightly.

Voldemort may have his DE about some of his plans but I doubt he would have told all of them all of his secrets. That would be unwise, and Voldemort is too calculating to be that foolish. He's not the kind of Dark Lord who lays everything on the table. If Snape is on the 'good' side and he had known about the Horcruxes from his death eater days, then Dumbledore would have known about the horcruxes long before Harry put the basilisk fang through the diary. Dumbledore would also be able to ask Severus where and what the remaining horcruxes are.

I would say, on both sides of a double-spy situation... most information is on a 'need-to-know' basis.


Ana Cis - Sep 26, 2005 10:16 am (#153 of 2969)
Kage, I don't judge Snape's interest in the Dark Arts. However, I can't accept that Snape's sadistic treatment of Harry and Neville, his nastiness and belittlement of the other students, and his fury with Remus and Sirius are not inside Snape's core, and that it's basically an act. I find that hard to believe. Harry's judgments/conclusions can be highly questionable at times, but his senses are very, very accurate.

Otherwise, your points about Snape being very smart and has probably picked up on LV's use of Horcrux/Horcruxes are quite cogent. However, there's a big difference between surmising what's going on and teaming up with Dumbledore in a search and destroy mission of the Horcruxes. Furthermore, Snape was not present when Harry discusses the diary contents with Dumbledore; and he wasn't present when LV made his speech to the Death Eaters about making himself immortal. I find it interesting the when Dumbledore questions Harry asking him to go over the whole incident about LV's return, he makes sure that he's alone w/Harry.

For me, this is not a question of whether Dumbledore trusts Snape, but an issue about the most critical and sensitive information that Dumbledore has about Voldemort. It's too risky to share with anyone. Harry understood this and wouldn't even broach the subject with the new headmistress, Prof. McGonagall.


irish flutterby - Sep 26, 2005 10:28 am (#154 of 2969)
Is it possible that the sorting hat or one of the previous headmasters' portraits is aware of the situation involving Snape's returrn to DD, and could fill Harry in on why DD trusts him. We know that the Sorting Hat is able to take information in from what goes on in DD office due to the Sorting Hat's song in (I think) OoP.


Weeny Owl - Sep 26, 2005 11:34 am (#155 of 2969)
I don't see the comparison between Hagrid and the giants and Lupin and the werewolves quite the same as Snape and the Dark Arts.

Hagrid isn't going to be tempted by visiting with giants. He isn't going to become violent and viscious the way they are. We already know Hagrid has a gentle nature and would never be someone to be feared.

It's the same with Lupin. Lupin is a kind person who would never deliberately attack someone. He isn't the type of werewolf to be feared, and being around other werewolves won't tempt him into changing himself.

Snape, on the other hand, has had a lifelong fascination with the Dark Arts, and that might be a problem if he gets into too deep.

Snape probably does know about Horcruxes... what they are, how they're made ... but that doesn't mean Dumbledore has told him much about the quest.

For me, this is not a question of whether Dumbledore trusts Snape, but an issue about the most critical and sensitive information that Dumbledore has about Voldemort. It's too risky to share with anyone. Harry understood this and wouldn't even broach the subject with the new headmistress, Prof. McGonagall.

That's why I feel that Snape might not have been told too much. Dumbledore didn't share the prophecy with anyone else, and the Horcrux quest is at least as important.


HungarianHorntail11 - Sep 26, 2005 1:53 pm (#156 of 2969)
Edited Sep 26, 2005 2:53 pm
The best guideline for me was always the fact that JKR lumped Draco and Snape together as "bad guys". When Book 6 revealed that, although Draco is an annoying (as Weeny Owl so charmingly puts it ) snot, he lowered his wand in the end and could not kill. For JKR to have stated this so long ago (Edinburgh Book Festival), she had all of her characters storylines thought out and may have inadvertently grouped the two together in an effort to make a point to young girls about going for someone kind versus someone nasty. To me this says a lot overall, skipping all of the details.


Lina - Sep 26, 2005 2:05 pm (#157 of 2969)
RoseMorninStar: For example, Lucius Malfoy had the diary of Tom Riddle in his possession but he did not know it was a horcrux. He knew that it was a diary that would somehow bring about the opening of the Chamber of Secrets once again and he had hoped to Open the Chamber and pin the blame on Mr. Weasley. Voldemort was very angry when he found out that Lucius had handled the diary so lightly.

I need to say this: my point would be that LV didn't hand the Diary to Lucius, but to Bella! I will repeat her line from the Spinners' End: "The Dark Lord has, in the past, entrusted me with his most precious - if Lucius hadn't-" It is completely my opinion and I might be wrong, but I read it as if she is talking about the Diary. When she went to Azkaban, she probably handed it to her sister (the one she knew was on the dark side) saying something like "Take care of it" and not saying what it was. Lucius might have researched it and found out about the bit that would help in opening the CoS (but he didn't want his son to be that hero that would open it, interesting, I think there is too much love in the Malfoy family to be completely on the Dark side, but that is not the topic). His wife might have even not know that he gave it away or she discovered it too late. And by the way that Bella speaks of it, even though she doesn't finish the sentence, I assume that she knew it was a horcrux and that she was aware that Snape knows it too.

Now, she might have thought it was the only horcrux at the time, but by now, I think she knows there are more of them. I don't think that any DE knows how many of them there might be. But she most certainly didn't know what she was supposed to do once that her master disappears, because she went around asking aurors where they have hidden him (now I'm exaggerating a bit ). If Snape knew for that one horcrux, it is not impossible that somebody else confided with him (R.A.B.?) about the same thing and even if LV didn't tell him that, he might have known. I think just that the fact of several horcruxes is shocking enough to make a person change the sides.

Harry should not know what made DD trust Snape so much. The story that Snape tells to the DEs is the remorse, and DD should stick with it for the safety reasons as it was mentioned so many times.

Young Severus, in my view, is very much like young Draco. He likes the sense of fear that his Dark Mark makes in other people, he feels important, he is too happy to be a DE to think about the consequences.


irish flutterby - Sep 26, 2005 2:28 pm (#158 of 2969)
"Hagrid has a gentle nature and would never be someone to be feared. "

Tell that to the DE's he was attacking at the end of HBP.

"Lucius might have researched it and found out about the bit that would help in opening the CoS "

All Lucius would have to do is write in the thing. I'm sure if he told diary Tom that he was pure-blood and a loyal follower, Diary Tom could have told him he was created to bring re-open the Chamber.


Pixie - Sep 26, 2005 3:21 pm (#159 of 2969)
RoseMorninStar: maybe I went a little too far indeed when I said the DE knew about the horcruxes... What I do think is that some of them - the earliest faithful ones - know about their existence, and that some of them might even know about one or two particular horcruxes. But as you say Voldemort is far too clever to let every DE know about the whereabouts of every horcrux... and maybe Snape, being a raw recruit, was not let into the secret and had to guess by himself.

I know, I change theories a least 4 times a day.

But I stick to the one about Snape being "sent" to inquire about the horcruxes among the DEs!


RoseMorninStar - Sep 26, 2005 5:30 pm (#160 of 2969)
Lina, you bring up an interesting point. We really don't know if Bella was refering to the (diary) horcrux or if she were referring to what happened at the Ministry of Magic with the prophecy (that is what I had presumed at the time I read it). Something more to ponder I suppose!


Weeny Owl - Sep 26, 2005 8:27 pm (#161 of 2969)
Draco is an annoying (as Weeny Owl so charmingly puts it ) snot, he lowered his wand in the end and could not kill.

Ah, the things I really WANTED to say, Hungarian.

I was wondering today how much this might change Snape's opinion of Draco, or if not his opinion, then his behavior toward Draco. We saw when Snape confronted Draco that there was a defiance that we'd never seen before. Draco was always respectful with Snape, but that changed quickly. Snape had to clean up after the little snot when Draco couldn't kill Dumbledore. As much as Snape detests Harry, I would think he wouldn't be too fond of the ferret right about now.

Tell that to the DE's he was attacking at the end of HBP.

Good point, irish. I should have said that Hagrid has a gentle nature when he isn't encountering enemies, but still... him interacting with giants and Snape back into the Dark Arts can't be compared, in my opinion.

It must irk the living daylights out of Bella for Snape to be the favored one. I'm not sure how I feel about what Bella said, but Horcrux, prophecy, or something else, she isn't quite where she was in the heirarchy these days. She's probably going to keep trying to get Snape out of his favored position, but she'll have even more dificulty now. Even if Voldemort is angry that Draco didn't kill Dumbledore, he'll most likely be quite pleased that Dumbledore is gone, and Snape might just be in a perfect position to wreak havoc with the Death Eaters.


wynnleaf - Sep 27, 2005 4:55 am (#162 of 2969)
Edited Sep 27, 2005 5:56 am
Hope everyone will excuse a completely different thought...

I'm reading HBP aloud one chapter a night (to one of the kids). You notice stuff sometimes reading out loud that you might not otherwise. Anyway, in "After the Burial" Harry is in potions class and they're supposed to brew up "something amusing." Harry searches through the text and finds "a heavily corrected Half-Blood Prince's version of "An Elixir to Induce Euphoria." He thinks it might put Slughorn in a good mood if he can get Slughorn to drink it. Slughorn later notes that the particular brew Harry uses (the "heavily corrected" HBP version) has peppermint to counterbalance "side effects of excessive singing and nose-tweaking" as Slughorn puts it. That is, the added ingredient of peppermint counter balances the obvious outward manifestations of the potion.

I just thought this was a bit interesting. Of course, some speculate that these are Lily's potion recipes. But what if they're just HBP stuff, like it says? Interesting that Severus would "heavily correct" such a potion, and in particular add ingredients to remove outward silly behavior. Did he alter it for his own use?


greta - Sep 27, 2005 6:25 am (#163 of 2969)
Wynleaf - that is an excellent thought. Snape does not stike me as the happiest teenager, maybe he brewed this as a little pick me up, but did not want any outward signs of his euphoria, just wanted to feel happy on the inside. If he did concoct it for has own use I wander how often he used it? Would there be side effects if taken too frequently? Withdrawal symptons if he ceased to use it?


T Vrana - Sep 27, 2005 7:01 am (#164 of 2969)
Edited Sep 27, 2005 8:36 am
Wynnleaf- Interesting point. I had been of the thought that perhaps Snape copied some of the potions stuff from Lily, but this pushes me over the other way. I don't see Lily needing a pick me up. Snape, without the silliness, definitely.

I am rereading GoF and was suddenly quite sad for Severus last night. I was noticing how much help Harry gets. Much of Harry's success throughout the books comes from the fact that he is brave and a really nice guy and a huge number of people like and help him (Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Fred and George, DD, Lupin, Dobby, Cedric, Moaning Myrtle, Nearly Headless Nick, etc.)

Contrast this with Severus, a lonely child raised in an unhappy home, apparently with a somewhat weak mom. That he arrived at Hogwarts knowing lots of Dark Magic is no indication what his character is like, he's 11 and would only know what he has been taught. But Snape is not a likable kid. He's greasy, into the dark arts, likely not very confident. He ends up in Slyhterin, perhaps not so much because of the dark stuff, but out of a desire to prove himself and succeed. He falls in with Malfoy and the rest.

By the time we see the pensieve scene he is a loner. Whatever successes Snape has, and he does seem to be a very accomplished wizard, he had to do on his own. Was he jealous of James and Sirius? I think yes. They are popular, not for their skill in magic, but because they are attractive, likable, and James is talented in Quidditch. What do they do with this popularity? Pick on greasy, unlikable Snape.

So, Snape works hard, is proud of his halfblood accomplishments, and is still all these years later, lonely and miserable, though now enjoying his position of power with LV, DD and in his classroom. But I think he is bitter and lonely. Harry is not always the hardest working kid when it comes to homework etc., but he's popular and helped by so many people. I can see this really getting to Snape.

I'm not excusing any of the really awful things Snape did. This is still about choices and he is responsible for the choices he made. But I do think it was easier for him to make bad choices because of his childhood and his very different experience at Hogwarts. I don't think he was ever evil the way Malfoy, Bellatrix etc. are. I think when he joined the DEs he was angry and wanted a place to fit in, but discovered rather quickly that he doesn't fit in anywhere.

Just a thought...


Ydnam96 - Sep 27, 2005 7:31 am (#165 of 2969)
T Vrana, I have thought basically the same thing about Snape. You are correct about it not being an excuse...but it none-the-less does explain why Snape is the way he is. He is a sad story (rather Gollum like in a way).


kage - Sep 27, 2005 7:58 am (#166 of 2969)
Edited Sep 27, 2005 8:59 am
So many different views, and all good points. I love it.

Let's see if I can explain my thoughts a little better...

I don't see the comparison between Hagrid and the giants and Lupin and the werewolves quite the same as Snape and the Dark Arts. - weeny owl (and others)
I rather meant it as a parallel, not a comparison.

My point is that LV had been mighty throughout the whole 70s and DD had not been able to end his evil doing. We do not know what DD tried to fight LV, alright, but maybe we can agree that neither did he just sit and watch nor did he he succeed? So I think it's possible that DD was looking out for someone to spy directly on Voldemort (you've got to know your enemy!). It's also possible that he had someone before and lost him or her. [stops before dropping completely off planet canon]
Given the above it is not impossible that DD choose Severus to spy on LV right when he left Hogwarts in June 1978 (according to Lexicon) and yes, that would have been quite a risk. This idea stems solely from DD saying that Severus returned to him. Which might only mean that as long as you're not explicitly with LV (because you're still a student at Hogwarts), you're on the right side. Or it might mean that as long you're 'human' enough you're still on the right side even when you're a DE. Or anything... It only indicates that, wether Severus was sent to LV or nor, he at some point fell for his dark side - and returned for reasons subject of many speculations.

We do not know why Severus became a DE. But there's no evidence that Severus' motivation wasn't to get rid of Voldemort himself right from the start.

The best guideline for me was always the fact that JKR lumped Draco and Snape together as "bad guys". - HH11
Still, after HBP, there are some cracks in the picture of 'bad Draco'. And DD thinks he's worth trying to be rescued. (I don't bother JKRs advice to young girls much, I'm old enough and already have a very nice guy at my side. Had a not so nice one before, too)

So: How dark is Severus' dark side? Ugh, we're left in the dark...
And what does 'bad to the core' mean? DD roughly says that someone who doesn't care anymore is a hopeless case. And that once you killed your soul is damaged and will not heal (which doesn't say that you can't put yourself to good use). A person truly bad to the bone to me is someone who is selfish through and through, who is psychologically and/or physically cruel, who doesn't hesitate to inflict pain of either kind to others but rather enjoys it, who'd go to any lenghts to get to their aims without the slightest hesitation or regret, who hasn't any love and respect for beings other then himself. How much of that is valid for Severus? I don't know any better than anybody else, my personal approach is to change points of view often and see what bits stay the same in different light.

Severus is nasty and, from what we/Harry see(s), qualifies for a bad guy. But it doesn't tell anything about the quality of this 'badness' or the motivation behind it. It's just generally bad, which doens't lead anywhere.

So today I say Severus, the boy as much as the man, is aggressive. If Severus was a dog, I'd now have to determine what kind of aggression he shows, what triggers the agressive outbursts and what degree of aggression is shown.
To keep things simple let's just distinguish between offensive and defensive aggression - from what we see in Severus's memories (marauders, home) I'd go for defensive aggression (not that this would make him less dangerous).
The only trigger I've recognized is all-things-Potter-and-associates'.
The degree of Severus aggression? Let's start at the bottom of the scale: Porlonged eye contact, snarling, growling, making himself look bigger, snapping - all yes. But does he bite? Not that I have seen...oh yes, the gash on James, still that's just a scratch, nowhere near biting to the bone and shaking the victim. No doubt he would bite if he felt cornered and couldn't see another way out. See the difference?

pixie I know, I change theories a least 4 times a day.
That's perfectly well with me, maybe we can corner him one day ;-)

wynnleaf "a heavily corrected Half-Blood Prince's version of "An Elixir to Induce Euphoria."... Did he alter it for his own use?
I told you the guy's a bit depressive! ;-)

On the Horcrux thing, I perfectly agree that DD wouldn't have (wanted to) told Severus more than necessary (met an awful piece of Dark Magic). Nor would I think that Voldemort told his DEs about the number, the actual objects or the hiding places of his Horcruxes, maybe not even the exact reason for his 'immortality'. But I do think it possible that Severus made his own conclusions and that Dumbledore did not have to tell him explicitly, because Severus already knew enough and possibly more than is good for him: "Horcruxes, probably more than one".

Fine - let's see how many posts I've missed while typing


Pixie - Sep 27, 2005 9:31 am (#167 of 2969)
kage: ...*twitches*...corner who? ... *twitches again*

About the degree of Severus' aggressivity... He has not bitten anyone that we know of, sure. But I don't think he was kidding in PoA when he said he would have the Dementors kiss Sirius right away without a trial. That sort of kiss is far worse than a bite...


kage - Sep 27, 2005 11:14 am (#168 of 2969)
Pixie, good point, no, he wasn't kidding. But aside from the freak show Severus put on, most people in the WW would have taken a traitor and mass murderer receiving the Dementors Kiss as justice. Now that you mention it... he wasn't kidding either when he told Sirius to "give me a reason"... well, he's had some really bad experiences with Sirius, and even that might have been accepted as (lynch) justice by many in the WW (doen't make hime better, alright).

Well, as I said, corner a dog and it might bite, the motivation is the clue, I guess. I'll stick with 'defensive aggression' for a while, I think.


T Vrana - Sep 27, 2005 3:37 pm (#169 of 2969)
Snape thought Black was an escaped mass murderer. Moments later when Pettigrew was discovered to be the real culprit, Sirius and Lupin were ready to snuff Pettigrew, no trial...


wynnleaf - Sep 27, 2005 3:53 pm (#170 of 2969)
T Vrana, excellent point. If Lupin (who had, after all, just learned that Pettigrew wasn't the innocent victim), and Sirius' willingness to AK Pettigrew doesn't amount to points in favor of them being bad guys (which they're not of course), then one can't necessarily say that Snape's willingness to act similarly to Sirius or Lupin was indicative of his being a bad guy either.

Of course, Severus' fit of anger is pretty unequaled in the books!


T Vrana - Sep 27, 2005 3:59 pm (#171 of 2969)
Thanks!

It's that "c" word that gets Snape going every time...


irish flutterby - Sep 27, 2005 5:48 pm (#172 of 2969)
"I don't see Lily needing a pick me up"

If we still wanted to cling with desperation to the theory of most of the potions in HBP being Lily's maybe she got fed up with Severus's moaning and dreariness and handed him a vile of this and said something like, "Oh, for Merlin's sake, cheer up, would you?"

Snape could have used the process that Harry was supposed to use during the "shove a Bezoar down his throat" Potions class to figure out what was in it. Just a thought.


Saracene - Sep 27, 2005 7:22 pm (#173 of 2969)
I gotta say, it never occured to me to think that Snape might have copied the HBP spells and ideas from Lily. I've seen no reason to doubt his abilities at Potions (or his overall skills as a wizard - he in fact looks to me one of the most competent ones in the series). He teaches the subject after all, and Lupin says that not many have the skill to brew the potion Snape made for him in PoA. Whereas with Lily and her potions skills, we only have Slughorn's word for it and no real practical evidence. Not that I doubt him; there's no reason why both Snape and Lily couldn't have been brilliant students, but then Slughorn thinks that Harry is a potions god, Smile

If DD sent Snape to spy on LV and Snape then fell for the lure of the Dark Arts, then this suggests that Snape was working for the Order or at least DD, and was on the good side. Whereas my strong impression is that, given Snape's experiences, he'd be more likely to gravitate to Death Eaters by his own will, without making the detour for the good side first. Not because I think he was eeevil, or that his interest in Dark Arts automatically makes him evil. It's just that this falling with the wrong crowd is the sort of thing that troubled, insecure, alienated young men with undeniable mean-spirited streak and giant chip on their shoulders against the world sometimes do. They'd look for the group to belong to and something that makes them feel powerful and important.


kage - Sep 27, 2005 10:02 pm (#174 of 2969)
Edited Sep 27, 2005 11:12 pm
Although the WW would probably have thought it just if Pettigrew had been AK'ed by any of the three, it still would have been an unforgibable curse...

Again, the motivation is the key: Remus'or Sirius' willingness to AK Pettigrew can easily be taken as a rightuous anger, he betrayed their friends which lead to their deaths. (Still, after so many years one should be a bit more controlled and able to give the culprit over to justice, Remus at least. Emotions seem to run pretty high on all sides.)

(Mis-) Guided by the general impression of Severus' (that JKR shows us through Harrys eyes), it takes some effort to imagine that the same rightous anger is what directs Severus' actions in this scene. There's so much personal loathing between Severus and Sirius. It seems so likely that he's simlpy glad to have a chance to make Sirius pay, too likely maybe. I suspect that all that mutual loathing obstructs our view.

saracene
It's just that this falling with the wrong crowd is the sort of thing that troubled, insecure, alienated young men with undeniable mean-spirited streak and giant chip on their shoulders against the world sometimes do.
While this makes perfect sense - it's so obvious. Especially with Severus, I think, we should be very careful with the obvious. His motivation to join Voldemort might have been something completely different. Something we don't know about yet.

We've been told so much about Severus in the last two books and then JKR tosses in his mother's name - without much further info. Maybe something about her is the reason why Severus went to Voldemort...and DD might know...

One more thought on the difference between sending Hagid/Lupin to the giants/werewolfes and sending Severus to LV: They way we readers see Hagrid the half-giant and Remus the werewolf is the way Harry (or DD) sees them. For big parts of the WW they are dangerous creatures and they would think it a very risky thing to send them to their folks, too.

...the process that Harry was supposed to use during the "shove a Bezoar down his throat" Potions class...
Isn't that lesson saying that a potion is more than the sum of it's ingredients?

EDIT
The Half-Blood Prince : As far as I remember, in the fairytales the prince is usually the one who fights the bad king (together with the fair maiden), isn't it?
This is a very quick shot and I haven't been reading any fairytales lately...


Ydnam96 - Sep 27, 2005 10:53 pm (#175 of 2969)
Yes, Kage, I believe it was that lesson. The students were supposed to use a spell that would make the potion reveal the poinsons in it so that they could develop and adequate antidote to conteract all of the various poinsons in the potion.


T Vrana - Sep 28, 2005 4:19 am (#176 of 2969)
Edited Sep 28, 2005 5:20 am
"it takes some effort to imagine that the same rightous anger is what directs Severus' actions in this scene"

And yet there is an anger there that seems to have nothing to do with Snape's personal hatred of Sirius. Snape's outburst at Harry,

"Like father, like son, Potter! I have just saved your neck; you should be thanking me on bended knee! You would have been well served if he'd killed you! You'd have died like your father, too arrogant to believe you might be mistaken in Black..."

Snape is over the top at this point. It seems to me he was involved in the efforts to save the Potters, and blames James and Black for the Potters deaths. But we now know Snape was the sneak who told LV the prophesy. But we also know it appears he came back to DD and tried to fix his terrible mistake. But the Potters die anyway, thanks, in Snape's mind, to James' arrogance, and Black's treachery. There is also the possibility that Snape was trying to save Lily because they have some kind of connection (I think respect and a possible early friendship, others have speculated an obsessive love on Snape's side).

Either way, Snape has more going on in this scene than just a hatred of Sirius...


T Vrana - Sep 28, 2005 7:55 am (#177 of 2969)
I asked this question a couple of days ago, and still have found no examples, does Snape ever pick on Ron? Don't count anything that a strict teacher would do, I think Ron gets a detention for fighting, but do count the kind of taunting he does to Harry, Neville, Hermione.

Anyone?


Elanor - Sep 28, 2005 8:18 am (#178 of 2969)
Edited Sep 28, 2005 9:40 am
In chapter 21 of the HBP, Snape says to Ron, who just told him Harry was right about ghosts and Inferi: "I would expect nothing more sophisticated from you, Ronald Weasley, the boy so solid he cannot Apparate half an inch across a room." (p.431)

Does it help?


T Vrana - Sep 28, 2005 8:39 am (#179 of 2969)
elanor- yes, thanks.

This is borderline. Ron was being sarcastic, and Snape's comment was retaliatory, childish, but not the out and out venom he usually saves for the other three, many times without provocation.

Any others?


wynnleaf - Sep 28, 2005 10:07 am (#180 of 2969)
T Vrana,

Sounds like you're formulating a theory. Wink

Let us know when you've got it!

I can think of reasons why Severus would be worse toward Harry and Neville, but not so toward Hermoine without a similar degree of nastiness toward Ron. Can you?


irish flutterby - Sep 28, 2005 10:42 am (#181 of 2969)
If, as some of us surmise, Snape was really close to/ loved/respected Lily, maybe he sees a bit of Lily's spirit in Hermione. If he resents the fact that Lily ended up hanging out with James, etal; maybe he is reacting out of a kind of "it figures" attitude. Sort of resentment projection from his frustration with Lily. On the other hand, maybe he just doesn't like Hermione being a know it all. Lily may have been extremely bright, but not "shown off" the way that Hermione does. We also know that Snape was/is very intelligent also. He never seems to seek attention for his intelligence. Maybe he resents that characteristic in others.


Lina - Sep 28, 2005 12:03 pm (#182 of 2969)
Maybe he sees himself in Hermione and remembers other children taunting him for being know-it-all and waving with his hand all the time. I remember a girl like this in my class and we used to call her "Hands up" and singing this song around her. If James used to taunt him for that maybe he can't understand how can Harry be so friend with Hermione. Maybe he learnt from Lily how not to show up?


wynnleaf - Sep 28, 2005 4:11 pm (#183 of 2969)
Edited Sep 28, 2005 5:12 pm
Irish flutterby said:

On the other hand, maybe he just doesn't like Hermione being a know it all. Lily may have been extremely bright, but not "shown off" the way that Hermione does. We also know that Snape was/is very intelligent also. He never seems to seek attention for his intelligence. Maybe he resents that characteristic in others.

I was in a discussion awhile back and hearing some very bright parents talk about dealing with very bright children. A number of people really, really didn't like what they'd see as "showing off" in bright kids, or what they felt came across as being a "know it all." Some admitted to actually finding themselves wanting to "put down" kids that did that -- sort of "trump" the kid's comments a lot or other tactics to bascially communicate "you're not as smart as you think you are." Other parents wanted to build up the very bright child and encourage an attitude that it's "okay" to be smart, by catering to and encouraging the sort of "first hand up" kind of thing. Irish flutterby, your comment above would be similar to those adults who I mentioned first. Of course, they'd never advocate the kind of nastiness and cruelty Severus uses, but these were generally very nice people, not bitter, resentful people.


T Vrana - Sep 28, 2005 4:25 pm (#184 of 2969)
wynnleaf- no fully formed theory, yet. I'm in the middle of a re-read of all the books, just about to finish GoF, and it suddenly occurred that Snape doesn't seem to really harass Ron.

I can't finalize where I think this is going until I get through OotP, which I'm starting tonight. But I do see a difference between Snape's treatment of Ron and Hermione, so it isn't just a Harry's friend issue.


T Vrana - Sep 28, 2005 5:40 pm (#185 of 2969)
Edited Sep 28, 2005 7:26 pm
Different topic. Guess who thought the following:

"...He'd love to vent some of his frustration on the boys who once made his life a hell--"

Sounds like revenge. Sounds like a bitter, frustrated character.

Guesses?

There are many similarities between Snape and Harry. This is Harry's thought, regarding Dudley and friends.

I'm not totally comparing Snape to Harry, just pointing out some of Harry's weaknesses, that some love to hate in Snape. Snape seems stuck at this age (this would be OWLS year, when we see Snape humiliated).

Harry will overcome his "faults" in book 7. Hagrid, on unicorns, they turn pure white year 7. DD was pure white (well, is, in my opinion).

Starting to babble...

EDIT- Chapter 1- OotP- the quote above, regarding venting of frustration, is from this chapter. The whole chapter Harry is actually rather nasty. He enjoys his power (wand) over Dudley, and taunts him. He intentionally vents his frustration on Dudley, and really enjoys it. But when it comes down to it, he instantly protects Dudley from the dementors. He loathes Dudley, but doesn't want him dead. Sounds like Snape/Harry, and I think , Snape/James.


wynnleaf - Sep 28, 2005 8:19 pm (#186 of 2969)
Edited Sep 28, 2005 9:33 pm
This may sound like a weird one but,

Since JKR said that Severus had been loved, I had assumed it must mean his mom. While I thought there was some connection between him and Lily, I certainly never thought she'd care for him. If anything, it might be the other way around.

But I just thought of something. Do we know when Narcissa was born? Do we know if she is Lucius' age? or somewhere closer to Severus' age? What if the person who loved Severus was Narcissa, but it went quite unrequited, although he was still friends with her.

We know Narcissa is very familiar with how to get to Severus' house, even though for Bellatrix, the Spinners End visit was clearly a first time call. I've been wondering why Narcissa would go to Severus for help. Yes, she uses his friendship with Lucius to try to get his attention. But naturally, if she had cared for Severus and it was unrequited, she wouldn't use that as a reason for him to help Draco. Nevertheless, it could be a reason why Severus would feel some sort of concern for how Narcissa felt and be a little more willing to help her, than he might another person.

Just some thoughts. I'll have to think about it some more. Anyone with any ideas pro or con for this one?

Oh, and T Vrana, I loved that quote you pulled out. And that was great the way you laid it out on the page. I couldn't see the lower sentences on my screen until I'd had a chance to guess for a few seconds.

These examples of how if we see things through Harry's eyes, people look one way, but if we can only pull out of Harry and look a bit more objectively, there are often similarities between characters we originally think quite disparit. Remember my pointing out how I think there'd probably be more natural affinity (if one could remove Severus' bitterness and nastiness, and remove Harry's many tragedies) between Severus and Harry than one would ever expect given Harry's perspective in Book 1-6 and Severus' great anger and bitterness?

I think JKR makes wonderful use of hiding many clues behind the one-person perspective (what's the technical name for that?). Since we only see through Harry's perspective, our view is usually colored by his view. He sees Dudley and his gang as cruel and mean, and wishes he could get back at them. The reader is comfortable with that because, through Harry's eyes, we see them as cruel and mean, too. But the reader sees James and Sirius through Harry's eyes, so even though we can objectively know that some of their actions may have been cruel or mean, we're not comfortable with the object of their cruelty wanting to get back at them, especially when the object of their mean actions was the person we practically only see through Harry's eyes as another mean and cruel person. Oh, I'm getting too convoluted! Sorry!


loopy4loopin - Sep 29, 2005 6:24 pm (#187 of 2969)
Hi Wynnleaf,

I think that Narcissa is closer to Snapes age, with Bella being quite a bit older. In GOF she is described as being good looking, not as being older and good looking, if you know what I mean. My guess would be under 40.

More on the perspective thing, has anyone ever noticed how in HBP when Harry feeds Dumbledore the liquid that hides the horcrux, he is described as feeling hatred and revulsion for himself and we know that he feels this towards himself and not Dumbledore........well, when Snape AKs Dumbledore he is described with a look of hatred and revulsion on his face, same emotions. I always took that as meaning that Snape felt those emotions towards himself, just as Harry did when he made DD drink the potion, but of course it could be taken the other way too. Point being, that when you see Snape through Harry's eyes, what you see is really one-sided.

Also, how many times has Snape saved Harry? At least once per book. how many times has Harry thanked him?


T Vrana - Sep 29, 2005 7:06 pm (#188 of 2969)
Wynnleaf- I actually thought it might go the other way. Snape had a thing for Narcissa, but she went pureblood when it came down to marriage. Now that she needs something she's back and begging...

loopy4loopin- Good point about Harry's point of view vs. reality, and Snape saving Harry, no thanks. But, Snape is really nasty to Harry, and Harry is just a kid. Snape is a bit immature emotionally, as well.

I think they both need to grow up. Harry will get there, I'm sure, will Snape?


kage - Sep 29, 2005 8:36 pm (#189 of 2969)
Edited Sep 29, 2005 10:00 pm
T Vrana, was it you who asked if and when Severus is mean to Ron? I belief to remember that somehwere in the books Severus says something like 'empty expression, empty (head ???)' - must be a Weasly'. Haven't found the exact line, yet, and it might be nothing but imagination.

Narcissa...well. According to the Lexicon Lucius is only about 6 years older than Severus, so we're not talking about centuries. [born c.1954 (formula: he was 41 years old in the fall of 1995, which means he was probably born in 1954 [OP15]).] I feel Narcissa is a bit younger than Lucius without having anything to prove it, too. But from the view of a teenager there's not much difference between the way a 38 year old woman looks good and the way a 40 year old woman looks good.

All we (seem to) have to support the idea of some kind of relationship is in "Spinners End": She knows where he lives and how to get there, she knows Severus well enough to ask hím or help and he treats here kindly.

Is JKR really telling us that Cissy (Argh, that hurt!) uses to visit her teenage love when her husband is in Azkaban? I dare to doubt it. Maybe she frequently came to Severus - as a member of their 'club', 'friend' of the family and teacher of her son - to ask him to help Draco in general, have an eye on him at Hogwarts. She strikes me as the kind of woman who'd use her connections to make sure that her little pampered ferret boy won't have to 'suffer' at school.

Yes, Severus is rather kind to her: 1) he's not talking to Harry, that might make some of the difference. 2) she's in the DE club, too (same goes bor Bellatrix and he's not exactly friendly with her, though) 3)Narcissa treats him with respect, or rather flatters him, and he responds well to that (not being looked at with open disgust, animosity, contempt, suspicion).

I also think that Narcissas love (for anybody) is highly questionable. But she knows how to treat people to make them do what she wants. Hope Severus isn't really falling for that.

EDIT
A note on Severus' mum: She's described as " a skinny girl...She was not pretty; she looked simoultanously cross and sullen, with heavy brows and a long pallid face...Captain of the Gobstones team." Doesn't strike me as the happy loving mum, but what do I know. Maybe Severus improved the Euphoria potion for her (sullen implies a silent ill humor and a refusal to be sociable)? Who else has a long face and/or heavy eyebrows in the WW? Any connections?


Saracene - Sep 29, 2005 11:42 pm (#190 of 2969)
Snape does seem unusually relaxed, and friendly towards Narcissa, in the Spinner's End chapter. But if he is indeed working for the Order to spy on LV and his Death Eaters, there's a good reason IMO to suspect that his friendliness is rather feigned. Especially if he wanted to get more information out of Narcissa about Draco's plans.

I definitely think that Harry will get out of his tunnel vision of Snape at some point. Snape, I'm not sure. He seems too damaged and set in his ways; even if he could bring himself to acknowledge that Harry is -not- his father, I very much doubt he will ever get over his hatred of James and Sirius. But then I think the point to remember is that ultimately this is Harry's story, not Snape's.

BTW, I've just finished re-reading PoA and I agree with the view that Snape's actions towards Sirius are motivated by more than just leftover resentment of their old school days (which of course does play its part too). I do think he wanted him Dementor-kissed so fervently because he had some personal interest in the whole affair with Harry's parents and believed Black responsible for their deaths. His rant about how Harry would have died just like his father did suggests that he knew what, according to Fudge, very few people in the world did - that Sirius was supposed to have been Potter's Secret Keeper. Plus, even if Snape had a chance to hear everything that was said in the Shack until the moment he walked in, he was knocked out cold before the actual solid proof of Sirius' innocence was revealed. He didn't see Scabbers transformed into Pettigrew or hear Pettigrew's confession. He'd see no reason to listen to anything Lupin had to say since he firmly believed all that year that Lupin was in league with Sirius.

And I also think Snape's behaviour towards Sirius in later books is a bit different. He still loathes him to the nth degree of course and taunts him at every given opportunity. But to me his reaction to seeing Sirius at the end of GoF is practically subdued compared to PoA; for one thing he's not screaming and spitting about how Black is really a murderer and a traitor and DD is foolish to trust him, etc. And I think that if he really, really wanted Sirius dead no matter what, he could have devised a sneaky way for Sirius to be captured by the MoM, who were still out for him.


kage - Sep 29, 2005 11:53 pm (#191 of 2969)
Edited Sep 30, 2005 1:04 am
Saracene, I agree, for a change

But then I think the point to remember is that ultimately this is Harry's story, not Snape's.
Unfortunately that's the truth... ;-)

EDIT
I was just wondering if the writing in the potions book is really Severus'. It fits with his handwriting, I know. But what if it's actually Eileens writing? He might feel like he rightfully inherited the spells and recipies as much as the 'title' Half-Blood Prince? Would that lead anywhere? Also we haven't seen all that's in that book, yet. ...well, just wondering...


wynnleaf - Sep 30, 2005 5:03 am (#192 of 2969)
Edited Sep 30, 2005 6:09 am
I'm certainly not sold on my Narcissa theory, by any means. I tossed out this love interest theory mainly because we know from JKR that somebody has loved Snape. Like kage's comments above, I just can't see anything we know of his mom as sounding like a loving mom. If MPISM is correct, then I really find find it hard to envision the "loving mom" picture.

I certainly don't think it could be Lily, so I was left with trying to think of anyone else it could possibly be. Narcissa was the only choice left, and her visit to Spinners End presented us with such a completely different picture of someone interacting with Severus, that I thought it was worth considering that she might be the person who had loved him (in the past , I'm thinking).

Kage, the birth dates in the Black Tree on the Lexicon are for Lucius (as her husband), not Narcissa -- I don't think the Lexicon has her dates. I made the same mistake when I first looked at the tree.

Narcissa knowing the complicated path to Snape's door probably set the stage for me to come up with this idea. Bella had never been there and seemed not to realize that Narcissa knew the way so well (Bella thinks they're the first of their kind to go there).

I read through Spinners End a couple of times yesterday - veeerrry sloooowly. Here's what I noticed (and posted some on the Narcissa thread).

I noticed something very different in their interaction. Severus' nastier smile only starts when he looks at Bellatrix. Bellatrix calls him Snape, Narcissa calls him Severus. Narcissa speaks to him with a great deal more familiarity than if he were only the friend of her husband. She speaks to him as a friend, but does not ask him for help for the sake of her friendship, but the sake of his friendship with Lucius. She talks to him as though she trusts him. Given his acknowledged skill at being a spy (and liar), and that other DE's don't appear to trust him, it's interesting that she seems to have so much trust in what he says, his ability, his friendship, etc.

Bellatrix reacts to Narcissa's pleas and comments, not like she sees her sister saying whatever's necessary to flatter or get Snape on her side, but as though she thinks Narcissa is completely sincere. I think Bella (being Bella), would really approve if she thought Narcissa were flattering Snape, using an allure of her's to get his help, or otherwise manipulating Snape. It seems to be Narcissa's sincere trust and pleas to Snape that disgust Bellatrix. She's angry at the thought that Narcissa might trust Severus. Point being -- Bellatrix, who as Narcissa's sister presumably knows her fairly well, doesn't think Narcissa is "doing whatever it takes" to manipulate Snape into helping. She thinks Narcissa is sincerely pleading with Snape and trusts him.

I don't consider Narcissa's comments really much flattery. She says that Severus was Lucius' friend (apparently true) and Draco's favorite teacher (certainly true) and both of these she would naturally appeal to when asking for help. She said a couple of times that LV trusts Snape, his "favorite, his most trusted advisor" and she says this is her reasoning in asking Snape to try to change LV's mind. Last, she says that Snape could "do it instead of Draco.." "You would succeed, or course you would," which certainly makes sense for her to say since she'd rather anyone do this mission other than Draco. I don't call the appeals to friendship "compliments." The others are explanations for her requests for Snape to try to change LV's mind, or to take the mission himself. Overall, it's much more full of pleas than compliments or flattery.

It might not be Narcissa who loved Severus. If not, I guess we're just left with his mom -- what if she's Madam Pince!!??? She doesn't seem to me like anybody that'd be particularly loving. Or maybe Eileen (not Pince) was loving in spite of the abusive situation she was likely in. Still, I just thought the "mother's love" angle might not really be what JKR was referring to.


frogface - Sep 30, 2005 5:23 am (#193 of 2969)
I'm going to make a very simple arguement and say that just because someone doesn't appear to be a loving person, it doesn't mean that they aren't capable of love. Eileen Prince may have not appeared a loving person in that photo, but that doesn't mean she didn't love her son.


kage - Sep 30, 2005 5:23 am (#194 of 2969)
wynnleaf, I was referring to Lucius' age... The more I think about it, the more I come to the conlusion that what we saw in Spinners end is what kind of treatment Severus reacts positivly to. Narcissa, dear, sorry, I don't have one friendly word for her. And she knows how to play Severus, she's clearly pushing his buttons, so Draco and her precious self won't have to die.

If Narcissa's not an option we might go back to Florence... ;-)

Otherwise we're back at wondering what it is about the Potters deaths that causes Severus to loose his cool. Now that we've seen how he reacts to some respect and kindness...


wynnleaf - Sep 30, 2005 7:14 am (#195 of 2969)
Otherwise we're back at wondering what it is about the Potters deaths that causes Severus to loose his cool. Now that we've seen how he reacts to some respect and kindness...

Getting away from what Narcissa thought of Severus, but looking at his reactions, I think it's pretty interesting. I get no impression that he's enjoying her begging, rather, he seems uncomfortable with it. Nor do we see any particular reaction to her comments of how much LV trusts him, or anything that could be seen as compliments. There's nothing in the chapter to shows us that Severus reacted well to Narcissa because she was pleading or complimenting. His demeanor toward her was different from his demeanor toward Bellatrix from the moment they entered the door. And I don't think his reaction to Narcissa had anything to do with having once been in love with her.

Of course, I always thought he was just fine with McGonagall, too.


Vulture - Sep 30, 2005 11:22 am (#196 of 2969)
Edited Sep 30, 2005 12:39 pm
What I really do not understand is: If the Potters knew that someone close to them was giving information about them to Voldemoert, why on earth did they chose Pettygrew as secretkeeper?! (kage - Sep 6, 2005 1:35 am (#2748))

Well, they chose Sirius, really _ or at least, James did (probably his idea more than Lily's). Then poor ol' Sirius, like a genius, had A Really Cunning Plan (in best Baldric of "Blackadder" (a UK TV comedy) tradition) and talked them (or James, anyway) into switching to Pettigrew and letting Lord V come after him (Sirius). (He was brave, at least _ you've got to give him that.)

I myself thought that the Sirius-Pettigrew swap was the weakest idea in Book 3, a book I otherwise thought excellent, except for the over-melodramatic tantrums it made Snape do, near the end _ a mistake repeated in Book 6. (It's not that Snape being angry doesn't work _ his fury after the Sectumsempra in the toilet was very well depicted.) My hunch (I've no proof of this) is that, after assembling a lot of other jigsaw pieces that work really well, JKR simply didn't have any other way to fit Sirius turning out innocent and Pettigrew turning out to be Scabbers, guilty, and alive.

Mind you, I wouldn't base your assessment of Pettigrew too much on Sirius's snarl about a "weak, talentless thing like you". That scene in the Shrieking Shack is thick with the eruption of raw emotions held in check for 12 years. When Lupin says "Enough of this. Ron _ give me that rat ", there is death in his voice. When Lupin and Sirius yell at Pettigrew, it's as much in pain as in anger.

True, McGonagall did say (referring to James, Sirius,and Lupin) that Pettigrew "wasn't quite in their league"; I don't dispute that. In Book 5, we see Sirius being quite sharp to him in the Pensive scene. But nevertheless, I would say that they regarded him as one of their best friends _ after all, Lupin says in book 3 that they would have died for him. But I think they took him for granted and joked about his weaknesses, and that he often felt humiliated.

I seriously don´t think that blackmailing someone into turning a spy for you is a good foundation for the sort of trust DD displays towards Snape. (Saracene [/b]- Sep 6, 2005 9:08 am (#2754))

I agree, but in Book 6, when Dumbledore appeals to Malfoy to "come over to the right side", it's not about appealing to his better nature (assuming him to have one). If Malfoy had accepted his offer at that point, they both would have known he was only doing it out of self-preservation. So Dumbledore isn't above accepting defections on this basis _ at least according to Book 6.

What if there has to be a change of heart in Snape, as well. I know we've talked about Snape's redemption, yada, yada, yada. I mean it in a different way, though. What if Snape's life debt cannot be repaid until he means it. In other words, saving Harry from Quirrel didn't repay the life debt because he was doing it to repay the life debt. In order to repay the debt he will have to actually care about the survival and well being of the individual (Harry) and save his life without thought of his own advancement (for lack of a better word). The same would then apply to Wormtail, as well. What does this do to the characters' interaction in book 7? (irish flutterby - Sep 6, 2005 5:43 pm (#2771))

I'm not sure either way about your main point (a good idea), but in fact, through no fault of his own, Snape didn't save Harry from Quirrell _ Hermione did (though not the way she intended). (Actually, this is not the only time we see Snape trying to perform a significant action, only to have it thwarted into irrelevance.) In fairness, I suppose you could argue that Harry mightn't still have been on the broom to save if Quirrell had been able to curse him without the interference of Snape's counter-curse.

Not having attended Hogwarts myself (!!), I don't know exactly how these bits of magic interact, or how they affect a life debt. I get the feeling, though, that wizards of all sides are agreed on regarding certain things as a big, big deal, regardless of their loyalties _ Avda Kedavra seems to be something that few (even on the Dark Side) want to do just off the top of their head (though of course, the DEs will when ordered), life debts are taken seriously, and murder splits the soul. Money and property, too, seem very independent of laws _ criminals on the run can own and inherit property (e.g. the fears about Bellatrix and Grimmauld Place in Book 6).

To figure things out, I turned back to the crucial chapter2 and re-read it. In chapter2, I can see Snape's hesitation of killing Dumbledore from that "twitch" of hand and "a moment's silence" before he answered Narcissa. (Celeste Tseng - Sep 7, 2005 1:48 am (#2773))

Well, his hand's twitch and moment's silence came after Narcissa asked "If it seems that Draco will fail ... will you do the deed the Dark Lord has asked Draco to perform ?". Earlier, Snape had told Narcissa, "It so happens that I know of the plan", after stopping her from telling it (and thus betraying Lord V). So, the hesitation on question 3 of the Unbreakable Vow leaves JKR with a number of options (as usual !!): if Snape hasn't a clue of the plan, but was trying to figure it out from the sisters' talk, it means "Drats, why couldn't the ****** woman be more specific ?!!". If he does know of the plan, it means "Oooohhhhh _ **** !!". Either way, he could be on either side.

I'm doing my best to catch up with all the posts in this thread, but I'm not sure it's working !!


wynnleaf - Sep 30, 2005 12:03 pm (#197 of 2969)
Vulture!!

What's wrong?? I don't have anything to dispute?? Very Happy

Oh, I think I can find one teeny, tiny detail: Draco, unlike Severus was not being recruited as a spy, only to come over to the side of the Order. Not nearly as big a need for trust there.

Cheers!


Saracene - Sep 30, 2005 4:23 pm (#198 of 2969)
Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. All DD was offering Draco was a chance for him and his family to go into hiding from LV.

I also agree that we really know nothing about Eileen Prince and what sort of mother she was; just because she looks sullen and unattractive in her school photo doesn't mean she wouldn't love her own child.

With Narcissa, it's hard to say whether she really loves her husband (although she undoubtedly loves their son), but I think she derives a lot of satisfaction from having made such a stellar pure-blood marriage to a person of great influence and power in the wizard world. I personally didn't see anything in Narcissa's behaviour towards Snape that would suggest that she sees him more than an old friend of her husband, her precious son's favoruite teacher, and someone that she perhaps personally likes and trusts. And she didn't come there just to see Snape; she came because she needed something from him and felt she couldn't turn to anyone else. I do wonder though if Narcissa's gratitude to Snape for protecting her son would be of any importance somehow in the next book.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 30, 2005 11:39 pm (#199 of 2969)
And who knows... even though we have no evidence that Narcissa is a Death Eater (she did not appear nor was she commented upon at Voldemort's rebirthing ceremony/has not been seen at any of the battles/is cast as a more stay-at-home-rich-witch-type than her sister Bellatrix) but could she have been sent to Snapes on the order of Voldemort to see if she could test Snapes loyalty? Obviously, Bella couldn't have gotten anywhere with Snape... but perhaps Voldemort knew there was some softness/weakness for Narcissa...or that there was a friendship there. Maybe Snape & Lucius are better friends than we know and he feels for her & Draco because Lucius is in Azkaban.

I am not saying this is correct. It was just a passing thought.


irish flutterby - Oct 1, 2005 5:45 am (#200 of 2969)
"I'm not sure either way about your main point (a good idea), but in fact, through no fault of his own, Snape didn't save Harry from Quirrell _ Hermione did (though not the way she intended). (Actually, this is not the only time we see Snape trying to perform a significant action, only to have it thwarted into irrelevance.) In fairness, I suppose you could argue that Harry mightn't still have been on the broom to save if Quirrell had been able to curse him without the interference of Snape's counter-curse."

But, in fact, he did save Harry's life. As best he could at the moment. It took Hermione a solid period of time to see Snape muttering, get over to the Slytherine side of the stands, and knock sQuirrel over. Had Snape not been muttering the counter-curse, Harry would have fallen off his broom. On the other hand, in several other cases, Harry has fallen off his broom, and survuved. Once because DD does some fancy wand-work and Harry is saved. Why could Snape not have done the same bit of spell casting after Harry fell? I can only assume that he isn't very practiced in that spell. Snape didn't go to the shreiking Shack to save Harry. He went to catch Lupin and Sirius. My point is that the life debt is there to teach a lesson., and unti lthe lesson is learned, the debtor canot repay his debt.

"With Narcissa, it's hard to say whether she really loves her husband..."

I think she does in the best way she knows how. She gets very defensive when Harry insults Lucius in HBP. I'm sure she's pampered and spoiled, but I think Lucius helps with that; and, I think she really does care about her family. That's why part of me can see her turning sides to help Harry defeat LV. Because LV poses a threat to her family...Lucius, Draco, and Bella. As we see in Lily and Molly, very few things can stop a mother protecting those she loves.
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Post  Mona on Sat May 28, 2011 3:53 am

wynnleaf - Oct 1, 2005 5:57 am (#201 of 2969)
Edited Oct 1, 2005 7:00 am
I never meant to suggest that Narcissa loves Severus in HBP. I was simply suggesting that perhaps, if she is as much or almost as much younger than Lucius as Severus is, she might have had a thing for Severus while in school. At a younger age, a 4, 5, or 6 year difference is quite a lot, so if she was that much younger, she might not have got to know Lucius well until she was out of school.

I don't think Narcissa was "sent" to Severus by anyone in order to trap him or test him. If that was the case Bellatrix didn't know about it. The other thing is that Bellatrix, as her sister, presumably knows her fairly well. I think she'd be able to tell if Narcissa was acting, playing up to Severus' soft spot (whatever that is!), or otherwise attempting to manipulate him. I don't think Bellatrix would have been nearly so irritated with Narcissa if she thought it was a manipulative action. Bellatrix would have approved that. It was the sense that Narcissa actually thought Severus might be inclined to help, or could be trusted, that seemed to have Bellatrix so disgusted and scoffing at Narcissa's attempts. Yes, Bellatrix thought Narcissa shouldn't be sharing the mission with anyone else. But she was also scoffing at Narcissa's notion that Severus might help.

So that brings me back to part of what interested me. Narcissa seemed to think Severus could be trusted.


irish flutterby - Oct 1, 2005 6:01 am (#202 of 2969)
"I never meant to suggest that Narcissa loves Severus in HBP."

I took it to mean that you were suggesting she had a thing for him in school. I think it could be a possibility.


It's Tonks - Oct 1, 2005 4:43 pm (#203 of 2969)
I don't mean to change the subject, but I was just thinking about this as I read the DD thread. Sorry if it was already discussed, I don't remember reading about it.

I wonder if Snape actually knew what he was agreeing to do when he made the Unbreakable Vow? He stops Narcissa from telling him exactly what it is that Draco must do and then later agrees to carry it out.

What if he assumed the wrong thing. He was trying to find out what Draco was sent to do, but then he was backed into a corner and had to agree to do it since he already said he knew what it was. If he later realized that he was agreeing to do something else, would that nullify the vow? What if he did what he thought he was supposed to do, would that satisfy the vow? (Let's say Snape thought he was agreeing to help Draco get the DE's into the castle and then he helped Draco fix the vanishing cabinet without Draco knowing and Snape honestly felt he carried out his part of the vow?? Does that count? I know there is no canon for that, but I'm just using it as an example.) Could DD and Snape have used this as a loophole to get Snape off the hook and then later used it to their advantage to plan DD's "death"? It is never clearly stated at Spinners End as to what Snape is agreeing to carry out for Draco.

I know I'm not being very clear on this, sorry. I guess my question is this -- since it is never clearly stated what Draco is to do, then what will satisfy the vow? What Snape thinks it is -- or -- what Narcissa knows it is??


T Vrana - Oct 1, 2005 5:09 pm (#204 of 2969)
It's Tonks- I think the vow is the biggest loophole JK has going, while presenting it as the one thing that seals Snape's/DD's fate. As you point out, we don't know what it entails, how it works or if Snape knew what he was vowing to. It is the one piece of 'evidence' that would seem to require DD to be dead and Snape to have killed him. But we have no idea what it means, and that is its beauty (from JK's point of view...)


Saracene - Oct 1, 2005 5:30 pm (#205 of 2969)
I think that since it is Narcissa who's dictating the terms of the Vow, Snape would have to satisfy them and not his own assumptions. And Narcissa is very specific about it, as well: "Will you carry out the deed that the Dark Lord had ordered Draco to perform?" So that means that whatever LV had ordered Draco to do, Snape would have to do - whether or not he himself knows the specifics.

The thing about that whole chapter is, the most important reason why Draco's task is never mentioned there is IMO purely literary. We the readers must be kept in the dark and kept guessing about Draco's plans, otherwise there'd be little tension and drama to the story.


irish flutterby - Oct 1, 2005 5:55 pm (#206 of 2969)
I agree. I think if Snape was really, really out of the loop, he'd be forced at that point to say "Wait a minute! What is it you want me to do, again."

Since he couldn't do that and maintain his convincing arguement that he was LV's closest confidant in front of Bella, that may have led to his seeming desperation to "help" Draco. That could be why he was so ansty to have Draco give him all the details.

I'm think either way he would have to do what Narcissa expected of him.


Ann - Oct 2, 2005 7:26 am (#207 of 2969)
If Snape hadn't been told Draco's task by LV, when and how would he have figured it out? Draco is clearly not talking to him about it, and Bella and Narcissa don't mention the specifics either. Snape presumably knows what the task is by the time Hagrid overhears him telling Dumbledore that he doesn't want to do it. Yet there's been no clue who the intended recipient of the necklace was.

There's also the way he discusses the task with Bella and Narcissa in Chapter Two. Bella seems to think Draco can do it, and Narcissa thinks he won't be able to. Rather than simply reassuring Narcissa about her son's competence (which in fact, untrue though it is, would probably have been a wiser move), he tells her that he thinks LV probably wants him to be the one to do it in the end. And he says that if Draco succeeded, he would be able to stay on at Hogwarts and continue spying for a bit longer. So he's clearly aware that if he did Draco's task, he would not be able to stay. (Minerva would probably only let him stay if he had a very good alibi. It's clear in HBP that she only trusts him because DD does.)

My first reaction to the idea that he didn't know was that if so it would be suicidal to tell Bellatrix and Narcissa that he did, since they might mention to LV that he'd said LV had told him, catching him in a lie. Of course, they couldn't mention that without letting on that they discussed the task with him (even if they didn't tell him), which he'd forbidden them to do. But they might have been able to do so after it had been done. I still think it would be taking a huge risk, for little reason.

Finally, who else does LV have to confide in these days? Lucius and Rookwood, the only other apparently intelligent DEs, are in prison, and he's angry with Bellatrix. Of course he's going to tell Snape stuff. So, I think he knows.


Vulture - Oct 2, 2005 7:29 am (#208 of 2969)
Edited Oct 2, 2005 8:34 am
When I heard Rickman was to play Snape, I thought at first he'd be a great choice. Rickman can play intimidating and sometimes villainous people with a lot of depth. But I have never felt the direction lived up to either the character or what Rickman could have done with the character. Snape of the films always comes across so stiff. It's no wonder they left out Snape's emotional outburst -- complete loss of control -- at the end of POA. Based on the way the character had been portrayed in the films to that point, it wouldn't have made any sense. (wynnleaf - Sep 8, 2005 5:55 am (#2789))

I can't pronounce on Rickman, because, though I did see the film of Book 1, I didn't pay enough attention, being up to my neck in Christmas turkey at the time (as well as reading the book for the first time). Mind you, I notice that there are a lot of Slytherin and Snape fan websites around, which use Rickman's picture.

Also, I found Snape's loss of control at the end of Book 3 (in fact, his two episodes of it _ i.e. in the Shack and later in the hospital) rather melodramatic and over-the-top. Not that I've a problem about him getting angry _ he has moments of fury in the books that are very well depicted.

====================================================================

I wonder if Snape actually knew what he was agreeing to do when he made the Unbreakable Vow? (It's Tonks - Oct 1, 2005 5:43 pm (#203))

A good point, and an important question _ the answer is a major element in debates about Snape's loyalty. In fact, we don't know (until, hopefully, Book 7). You can choose to read the "Spinner's End" chapter either way _ either Snape knows of the plot to kill Dumbledore (as he claims), or he doesn't.

If he doesn't, he's taking a slight risk in telling Narcissa he does _ but if put on the spot by Lord V, he could always claim he said it to stop Narcissa committing treachery. (And of course, the sisters are unlikely, to say the least, to compare notes with Lord V on this point !!)

Anyway, Snape's hesitation on the last part of the Vow can be made to fit in with his knowing the plot, or not. (I think I went into this in detail somewhere else.)

====================================================================

Snape presumably knows what the task is by the time Hagrid overhears him telling Dumbledore that he doesn't want to do it. (Ann - Oct 2, 2005 8:26 am (#207))

Does he ? I wouldn't take anything for granted from the argument Hagrid overheard _ it's so ambiguous that it could mean anything.

====================================================================

wynnleaf & Saracene, re your posts 197 and 198: I'm not sure that you're getting my point. Of course I'm aware of the differences between Draco and Snape _ if you noticed, I began my point about Draco's recruitment by accepting Saracene's point (#2754, Sep 6) about trust. All I'm saying is that, if someone, anyone, offered to "come over to the right side", Dumbledore would accept their offer, even if their motives weren't the purest (at least, at the time of offering _ motives can change, of course). Certainly, simply proclaiming allegiance to the "right side", and offering to actively spy for it, are two very different things: the trust issue, though not absent from the former, would be far more important in the latter.


rambkowalczyk - Oct 2, 2005 8:51 am (#209 of 2969)
If we compare the Unbreakable Vow with a Wizard's contract, I would have to conclude that Snape's intent is irrelevant. (that is because he thought that Draco's task was getting Death Eaters in the castle would spare him the burdon of dying if it turned out the task was something else). In Goblet of Fire Harry was clearly tricked into the triwizard tournament, yet Dumbledore said he had to fulfill the magical contract. For what it's worth, I believe Snape knew what he was getting into.


Ydnam96 - Oct 2, 2005 8:55 am (#210 of 2969)
I agree rambkowalczk. I think Snape knew what Draco had to do, just not how he was going about doing it, which is why he cornered Draco asking questions.

I also think you are correct about the vow. It does appear that in the wizarding world (not unlike ours) that when you enter into a contract you are responsible for knowing what you are getting yourself into and if you don't, well then it's your own fault.


HungarianHorntail11 - Oct 2, 2005 11:47 am (#211 of 2969)
Edited Oct 2, 2005 12:49 pm
frogface [/b]- Sep 30, 2005 6:23 am (#193 of 210) I'm going to make a very simple argument and say that just because someone doesn't appear to be a loving person, it doesn't mean that they aren't capable of love. Eileen Prince may have not appeared a loving person in that photo, but that doesn't mean she didn't love her son.

I, too, think that a snapshot of a situation makes it difficult to tell the entire story. We can surmise, but the truth is, we have nothing to go on with regard to Eileen's mothering abilities.

T Vrana, regarding Post #185 great ideas, I like your train of thought. Harry also experienced a period of time in the beginning of OotP when he didn't groom himself properly: He felt very conscious of the fact that he hadn't combed his hair for four days. (OotP, Ch. 3, The Advance Guard)

So, what moved Snape so much that led him to the type of exasperation that Harry experienced when being locked up with only a cat door?

wynnleaf, someone once alluded to the idea that the trio (Lucius, Severus, Narcissa) was similar to James, Lily & Sirius. I can see Sirius acting towards Lily in a similar manner to that of Severus & Narcissa. The exception is that Narcissa didn't attend Hogwarts.

My apologies if these responses seem dated, it took me several days to catch up on this thread!


wynnleaf - Oct 2, 2005 12:01 pm (#212 of 2969)
Edited Oct 2, 2005 1:04 pm
Narcissa didn't attend Hogwarts? Ahh, thanks for that piece of info. Where do we learn that?

Hmm, I just posted on the Lucius Malfoy thread and was speculating about how they became friends. I had speculated that perhaps Narcissa was the link, since she could conceivably be closer in age to Severus than Lucius. But at that point, I thought she'd gone to Hogwarts.

So now I'm even more curious. They almost certainly wouldn't have known each other before school -- Severus is from a poorer background, run-down part of a town, and a muggle father. Lucius is from pureblood wealth and prestige. The Lexicon says Lucius is 6 years older than Severus. That means he'd have been a 7th year when Severus' started at Hogwarts. So they didn't get to know each other at Hogwarts.

So when did they get to know each other??

Maybe it was more after LV's fall than before. Yes, Lucius was a DE, too. But Severus was only probably a DE for 2-3 years. So even if they'd gotten to know each other during that time, could they really have developed a strong friendship during a time of such turmoil? Maybe so. But perhaps their friendship was cemented during the time after LV's fall, when many fellow DE's were in Azkaban. Soul Search was speculating on the Lucius Malfoy thread that probably Lucius would rather LV be out of the picture -- Lucius being in a pretty good position without LV around.

Here's a quote of mine from that thread:

He (Lucius) has got all the nastiness of a good DE, but working with LV is too risky, especially when you've already got wealth and prestige on your side, why take on the risk of working with LV? On the other hand, while LV was quite powerful (before Godric's Hollow), there was also the risk of not being on LV's side. Since Lucius probably had no objections to LV's basic agenda, he'd be willing to be on LV's side as long as the balance of risks made that the better option. But, all in all, he'd probably much rather LV be gone.

Suppose after LV's fall (maybe before), Lucius and Severus got to be better friends and Severus learned that Lucius was really pretty glad LV had been destroyed. That, and his friendship with Lucius, might account for part of Severus' "start" at the end of GOF when he learned that Lucius was at the graveyard rebirthing event.

Lucius may have been aware that Severus was glad LV was gone, too, but I doubt that Lucius has any knowledge of Severus' spying for DD, or the reasons why DD trusts Severus.


Pixie - Oct 2, 2005 12:23 pm (#213 of 2969)
Edited Oct 2, 2005 1:24 pm
I agree rambkowalczyk & Ydnam96. I think Snape knew what Draco had to do and that it was indeed LV who told him what the task was. Lying to Narcissa and Bellatrix about this would have been too huge a risk, in my opinion. Even if "the sisters are unlikely to compare notes about this with LV", as Vulture said, I think LV has means to discover what's on his DEs' minds, especially what they would try to hide from him. In front of a legilimens like him, the back of your own mind is not a safe place, and the back of others' minds even less...

What I believe is that Snape knew before he took the vow that Draco was to kill DD and that LV had already told him that if Draco were to fail, then he would be the one to do it. I guess LV wanted to test Snape's loyalty. Assuming Snape knew of this plan, discussing it with Narcissa and promising a little protection for her son would be only a minor and "forgivable" treachery to LV.

Being caught trying to drag information from Narcissa and Bella about a VERY important project, on the other hand... that would have made LV VERY angry. I don't think LV trusted Snape 100% before he killed DD - after all, he'd already thought Severus had turned away from him before. Trust is easy to lose, not easy at all to regain. Suspicion lingers.

So I think it happened this way:

LV: "16 years of information, my my my, thank you Severus, but all I really want is Dumbledore dead. I'll tell the Malfoy boy to try to kill him first, that'll be fun. But when he fails, YOU'll try. That surely wouldn't bother you, hmmmmm? You surely did not get too fond of your dear headmaster, or did you? I dare you to do murder him!"

Snape (not given a choice, anyway...): "You're on!"


irish flutterby - Oct 2, 2005 12:23 pm (#214 of 2969)
I agree. There would be no reason for Severus to divulge any info as to his (Snape's) relationship with DD. We see that even after LV's downfall, Lucius has no great love for DD, to say the least. I don't think it would be to Severus's advantage to discuss his relationship with any former DE.

Additionally, it may be that he "forged" a friendship with Lucius after LV's downfall to keep an eye on the Malfoys for DD. Forged used in multiple senses in this case. He may have taken certain steps to be sure that Lucius would confide in him. Any secrets Lucius might have kept could have proven useful to DD.


RoseMorninStar - Oct 2, 2005 1:13 pm (#215 of 2969)
I don't know, is it just me or am I the only one who thinks that Voldemort doesn't confide in anyone? He gives orders and expects those orders to be carried out... or else. I think that is one reason Narcissa / Snape feel fairly secure that Voldemort won't find out about their discussion. Unless Wormtail says something. I think one of the reasons I feel this way is at one point doesn't Bella claim to be Voldemort's confidant and then someone else (Snape?)says 'oh really?' Voldemort is yanking all of their chains and using them. They are all one mistake away from a zapping.

I think Snape realizes this, I do not think Bella does. Another reason I think Snape may be on Dumbledore's side is...if he were really on Voldemort's side, wouldn't he have been nicer to Harry? After all, he tells Draco that one has to 'play the game' so as to not be suspected. If Snape really believes that, he is really throwing caution to the wind everytime he harrasses Harry.


irish flutterby - Oct 2, 2005 2:12 pm (#216 of 2969)
" I don't know, is it just me or am I the only one who thinks that Voldemort doesn't confide in anyone? "

Apparently not. DD said that very thing in HBP. Something like lots of DE's think they are his closest most trusted, yada, yada, yada; but Voldemort has always worked alone, and will always do so. Those who believe they are his friends are diluted.

I think Snape is well aware of that. Who knows, maybe that's why he turned. Snape may have come to think that he was finally going to have someone take him seriously and be able to get some reknown in the DE's with LV. LV tells him he sees his potential, he's a talented wizard, etc. I'll let you in on a secret that I haven't told anyone else...Then Snape finds out that LV has told about a dozen other people (legilmency, maybe), hears others say they are his confidant, loses faith. Again, someone he trusts lets him down.


wynnleaf - Oct 2, 2005 2:16 pm (#217 of 2969)
I think Snape is well aware of that. Who knows, maybe that's why he turned. Snape may have come to think that he was finally going to have someone take him seriously and be able to get some reknown in the DE's with LV. LV tells him he sees his potential, he's a talented wizard, etc. I'll let you in on a secret that I haven't told anyone else...Then Snape finds out that LV has told about a dozen other people (legilmency, maybe), hears others say they are his confidant, loses faith. Again, someone he trusts lets him down.

irish flutterby, that could certainly be one thing that helped turn Severus off to LV. But I don't think that would actually motivate him to risk his life trying to stop LV. The Big Reason(s), whatever they are, are probably Big.


Saracene - Oct 2, 2005 4:05 pm (#218 of 2969)
Whether Snape knew about LV's orders to Draco prior to the sisters' visit, and whether he knew about them when he was taking the Vow, is indeed interesting. I can see at least three possibilities there:

1) Snape knew about LV's order to Draco all along. 2) He didn't know about the order before the visit and made the Vow still not knowing what he agreed to do. 3) He didn't know about the order before the visit, but was able to figure out what it is that LV wants Draco to do from the conversation with Narcissa, and made the Vow knowing that he was agreeing to kill DD.

Personally I find the third scenario the most interesting one; for one thing it would continue the theme of motherly love screwing up LV's plans, Smile I haven't made up my mind though if Snape would be able to figure out LV's orders in the course of the conversation, even though he's certainly shown that he's able to think and connect the dots quickly. I don't think that it would have required a great leap of logic to deduce that if Narcissa secretly came to him for help it's most likely to concern her precious son. But after that, all that Narcissa reveals is that what Draco's been ordered to do is likely to get him killed, and that it's something LV himself wasn't able to do so far.

What makes me feel unsure that LV had already discussed killing DD with Snape before and told him that he'd have to do it if Draco fails is Snape's choice of words when he talks to Narcissa. If memory serves me right, he says, "I think he wants me to do it at the end" - which suggests that he's making a guess as to what LV wants him to do, rather than repeating concrete orders that had already been given to him.

I think that if LV had means to find out what's on his Death Eaters' minds, there would have been no possibility of Snape being a double agent for the Order. Furthermore, there'd be absolutely no point for DD to send Snape over to LV at the end of GoF unless he was sure that Snape would be able to withstand LV's Legilimency - otherwise he'd be sending him to certain death. Regarding the sisters: Narcissa could certainly be vulnerable to Legilimency, but I don't think it was ever suggested that she is a Death Eater along with her husband. It is very likely that she doesn't actually have much direct contact with LV. Bellatrix on the other hand is obviously skilled at Occlumency since she taught Draco Occlumency, and obviously Snape is aware about her skills since he himself brings it up when he's unable to break into Draco's mind. So I think that if Bellatrix wished to withold something from LV, she'd be able to.


wynnleaf - Oct 2, 2005 4:36 pm (#219 of 2969)
I lean a lot more to Saracene's point of view. I felt it really stood out that Severus was "fishing" for information. If he already knew what the plan was, I don't think it makes sense for him to prolong the conversation in the "fishing" kind of manner. I suppose he could have been fishing for more info on how the plan worked, but if LV was the one that told him in the first place, along with a command that Severus kill DD if Draco was unable to, wouldn't LV have also told him how Draco was planning to accomplish it?

I don't think LV tells his plans to other DE's. Severus appears to tell DD practically everything that goes on with LV. For instance, he told DD all the details of Harry's dreams in OOTP. And when DD mentions LV thinking something, or acting a particular way (like acting alone), the current information is almost certainly coming from Severus. So if DD thinks LV acts alone and doesn't tell his DE's stuff, that's being backed up by what Severus tells him.

So that leaves Saracene's #2 and #3. #3 makes sense. If Severus really did think that LV was going to want him to kill DD "in the end," I would expect he and DD had already discussed that. You know, they'd discuss "what do we do if LV tells Severus to kill DD?" They were bound to know such a possibility could arise.

Good point that Severus is well aware of Bellatrix' ability at occlumency. Wonder if that means he's tried legilimency on her?


Ana Cis - Oct 2, 2005 4:52 pm (#220 of 2969)
I believe that like a true Slytherin—smart but self-serving, Snape would not commit to an unbreakable vow without knowing the situation.

Sorry for the slight change of subject. As I was reading these threads, I began to wonder if Snape was really that close to LV. Something just wasn't connecting. Bellatrix accuses Snape of not being present at the MOM when the DE's met w/Harry and his friends. However, in Book 5, Dumbledore states that Snape understood Harry's message and checked to see if Sirius was still in 12 GP, then informed the order that Harry was heading to the MOM. This means that Snape was not aware of LV's intentions to deceive Harry. The other DE's knew, but he didn't. This raises the question. Does LV not trust Snape enough to tell him about the plan, and he's faking his reason to Bellatrix, telling her he was following LV's orders to stay behind? If he was a spy for LV, he could have played ignorant and let Harry and his classmates get killed; or maybe knowing well and that he would pick up on Snape's deception, he decided to play it safe (the Slytherin way of doing things) and betray the DE's by telling the Order about Harry. Since LV didn't inform him on his plans, he wouldn't get caught betraying him.

On the other hand, maybe LV didn't trust Snape until after the whole fiasco in the Ministry. LV may have changed his mind, thinking that the only one that hasn't failed him has been Snape. Consequently, LV tells Snape about Draco, and asks him to follow up to ensure that Draco doesn't fail thereby implying that Snape would need to succeed if Draco fails. However, we still don't actually know what those orders were.


T Vrana - Oct 2, 2005 5:01 pm (#221 of 2969)
Edited Oct 2, 2005 6:07 pm
I haven't made up my mind though if Snape would be able to figure out LV's orders in the course of the conversation

Narcissa stares into his eyes a few times in this scene, I'm sure he could use legilimency on her. It is foremost in her mind at this moment, after all.

Who knows, maybe that's why he turned. Snape may have come to think that he was finally going to have someone take him seriously and be able to get some reknown in the DE's with LV. LV tells him he sees his potential, he's a talented wizard, etc. I'll let you in on a secret that I haven't told anyone else...Then Snape finds out that LV has told about a dozen other people (legilimency, maybe), hears others say they are his confidant, loses faith. Again, someone he trusts lets him down.

I think you have the beginnings of something here, but it goes deeper. Snape didn't fit in at Hogwarts, despite being talented in potions. He's into the dark arts and a loner. He had a gang of Slytherins at some point, but by OWLS year we see him alone and he's bullied by a couple of purebloods. He leaves Hogwarts, most of his gang are DEs so he joins up. But not only is he not special to LV, they are a bunch of purebloods. It seems from the title he took, Half Blood Prince, he takes pride in his abilities, a savage pride in being a talented halfblood. Now he gets into the DEs and finds he's still not appreciated for his abilities, he's still second to a bunch of purebloods. From what we've seen, many of the DEs are snobbish (Malfoy), dumb (Crabbe, Goyle) cowards (Karakoff) and losers (Amyscus and Alecto). Snape feels he's better than all of them, but gets no respect because of his halfblood status. So he's no better off than he was at Hogwarts with purebloods James and Sirius. He still isn't appreciated.

I still want to think he also returned to DD because he felt he could not contribute to James' and Lily's deaths, but Snape does have a very pronounced pride factor that can't be ignored.

EDIT- Ana Cis- Is it possible Snape helped stop Lucius at the MoM so he, Lucius, the pureblood, would fail LV. Now, he, Snape, the halfblood, is #1?

Of the two, LV and DD, it seems Snape was more appreciated by DD, and we know DD doesn't have prejudices against anyone. Is it possible Snape is serving two masters? DD and himself. In helping DD, he gets back at all those pureblood DEs who looked down on the greasy Halfblood Prince?

Just a thought...


RoseMorninStar - Oct 2, 2005 5:28 pm (#222 of 2969)
Good questions posed by all.

Ana Cis good catch as usual. When I read your post about the battle in the MoM in OotP, the only thing I could think of is that Snape may have known about the general plan but not the 'when'. I would think that Voldemort, like Dumbledore, would tell people things only on an 'as needed' basis. To prevent too much information getting around. Perhaps Voldemort wanted him around awhile longer to spy and didn't want him involved. Voldemort knows that Dumbledore is also a legilimens, and he probably figures the less he tells Snape, that he doesn't need to know, the better. He is a spy..for which side I cannot really be sure. I am hoping it is for the good side!


T Vrana - Oct 2, 2005 5:34 pm (#223 of 2969)
Karakoff, when he tries to get off by naming other DEs, confirmed that LV kept the DEs in the dark so they can't bring down the whole organization if caught...


Saracene - Oct 2, 2005 6:23 pm (#224 of 2969)
I think that Snape may have known that LV would try and lure Harry out. I think at some point during their Occlumency lessons Harry asks him whether LV would use his connection to Harry to make Harry do something, and Snape says that it's probable (or something along those lines). However, he may not have necessarily have known that LV would use Sirius as a means to make Harry come to MoM, or -when- exactly LV would make his move. Using Sirius, after all, is something that LV had decided upon quite recently. Snape, as a non-participant, may have just received a generic order to stay behind.

With Snape and his warning to the Order: the bottom line is, because of Snape's warning LV's plan at the MoM went horribly off the rails. I'm sure that if LV ever found out what caused his fiasco, he wouldn't give a damn about Snape's motives and reasons - his fury would be unimaginable. On the other hand, Snape acted his ignorance so convincingly in Umbridge's class that I in fact was left totally sure that he didn't get Harry's message. Even if someone later thought it suspicious, suspicion would be all they'd have. In any case, I think Snape risks much more by warning the Order and hoping that LV never finds out about it, than -not- warning the Order, with reasonable doubt and DD's adamantine trust behind him.


wynnleaf - Oct 2, 2005 6:50 pm (#225 of 2969)
As I've pointed out before, Severus sent two messages to 12 GP that night. The first was just to see if Sirius was there and okay. When he found out Sirius was okay and at home, there was no reason to send another message (other than to stop the DE's mission, that is). Severus could have later said that he'd touched base with Sirius and Harry's warning was a false alarm. He could say that after Harry and Hermoine went with Umbridge to the forest, as far as he knew, that's where they were, and that he never would have suspected Harry could get to the MoM, without a broom, the flu-network, or other methods of transport. Instead, he did notify 12 GP and the Order again, sending them to the MoM and asking that they get DD, too.

It's pretty clear then that Severus was not in the loop as to LV's plans for that night. Since he was obviously willing to destroy the DE's mission that night, he could have even more effectively stopped it if he'd had prior knowledge. So he didn't have that prior knowledge.

However, I agree that Severus had with DD a concern that LV would use his connection with Harry to try to get him to do something that would reveal the prophecy to LV.

I got the impression from Bellatrix' remarks that perhaps Severus was growing in LV's favor, and that maybe that was particularly recent since the MoM "fiasco."


Saracene - Oct 2, 2005 8:25 pm (#226 of 2969)
I also think that although quite a few people heard Harry shout out his message to Snape, Harry, Hermione and Ron are the only people present in the class who know what the message actually -means-. Who else in the class would know, for example, what "Padfoot" refers to, or "the place where it's hidden"? And unless I'm mistaken, who else in the class is actually aware that Snape is a member of the Order and Harry was hoping that he'd pass on the message to the rest? To the rest of the class, Harry's words would have sounded like a total gobbledygook. If Snape didn't act and Harry, Hermione and Ron all went and got killed, no one in the Order would even be aware how exactly LV managed to lure Harry into MoM.

None of that is a 100% proof that Snape's on the good side, of course, but I'm at the very least convinced that he's not the loyal Death Eater he makes himself to be to Bellatrix.


kage - Oct 3, 2005 12:20 am (#227 of 2969)
Edited Oct 3, 2005 1:24 am
PS was on TV last night; the worst about movie-Severus is that he doesn't look thin, but rather bloated (?wording), like someone who drinks or is on heavy medicamentation (many anti-depressiva do that, for example)

To me the Lucius/Severus relationship isn't what one would call a frienship, but rather a use-use kind of thing.

I began to wonder if Snape was really that close to LV - Ana Cis
I've been doubting that all the time. Nobody is close to LV, we know that much. But he makes people think they are, makes them feel important. Only problem with that is that the more important your jobs with LV are, the worse is your punishment if you fail (look at the Malfoys)
Severus delivers only half of the prophecy, which results in LV loosing his body at Godric's Hollow. Like the other DEs, Severus doesn't go searching for his Master, instead he stays at Hogwarts, home of LVs greatest enemy. He's late for the rebirthing party, whith some information on DD, OK, but still... Plus LV must wonder how the Order and DD knew to go to the MOM.
Who else in the class would know, for example, what "Padfoot" refers to, or "the place where it's hidden"? - saracene
But Draco will have wondered since when Harry gives cryptic messages to Severus, he's not exactly stupid either, and if that ever made it to LV it would look a bit suspicous.

Now how much did Severus know of LVs plans in OotP? Hm, in Spinners End Severus claims that he helped with Sirus death and that he had orders to stay at Hogwarts. He lies a lot in that scene, but the latter might be true, as he couldn't have returned to Hogwarts had he joined the DEs at the MOM. I think it depends on wether LV felt he could rely on his connection to Harry to tell him when the boy leaves for the MOM or not. If he didn't, he would have needed Severus to tell him about Harry's departure - as the 'when' depends on Harry.

Did Severus know about Draco's task? I strongly tend to agree with Saracene's favoured possibility that he didn't know but was able to guess: Lucius supreme failure at the MOM was screaming for severe punishment. It hasn't been a secret that LV considers DD to be his most powerful enemy and that he'd prefer him to be out of the way. Even more so after the MOM events. Draco's task will have it's target at Hogwarts, because not only that's where Draco will be most of the time, but also because otherwise Narcissa wouldn't have had to ask Severus, she could have asked Bellatrix who already was in on the plan. The two people LV wants to see gone at Hogwarts are DD and Harry, and it seems that LV would prefer to take care of Harry personally. Given all that it seems pretty easy to conclude that the task had the intention of getting rid of DD - so only the how is a question.

LV wants Draco to fail so he can kill the Malfoys. To be able to determine whether Draco fails to kill DD himself or not - and also to know what Severus is doing in that situation - he will need witnesses (that can try to kill DD, too). So letting DEs into the castle was probably part of the plan, though not the ultimate aim. Draco has some difficulty with repairing the Vanishing Cabinet and to me it seems that with the necklace and the poisoned wine he's trying to accomplish his task on his own, that way deviating (?wording) from the original plan and making it harder for Severus to guess what he's up to.


Saracene - Oct 3, 2005 3:39 am (#228 of 2969)
I'm not sure about the idea that the Death Eaters' fiasco at MoM would somehow elevate Snape in LV's favour. Ok, he didn't disgrace himself like Lucius, Bellatrix, etc. did, but he didn't really do anything commendable either, and it's not like Voldemort's -entire- posse was the MoM that night, so why would he single out Snape for "promotion"? Plus I actually got the impression from Spinner's End that Wormtail was placed there to watch over Snape as well as help him... LV would definitely have to wonder I think how come all those pesky Order members showed up at MoM.


Sparrowhawk - Oct 3, 2005 3:48 am (#229 of 2969)
I agree with you, Saracene, but now that Snape has killed DD the situation is entirely different, of course. All doubts will have vanished, and in book 7 Snape should appear as LV's most trusted servant - until the final showdown, in all likelihood...


wynnleaf - Oct 3, 2005 5:40 am (#230 of 2969)
Edited Oct 3, 2005 6:40 am
I suppose there's the possibility that Severus could have alerted both LV and the Order. Once he found that Sirius was really at 12GP, and after Harry and Hermoine didn't return from the forest, he deduced that they could have gone on to the MoM. At that point, it's possible that he could have alerted LV that Harry was likely to be on his way to the MoM. At the same time, he alerted the Order to go there, too, as well as DD. If that were all the case, then the question would be if he did that because 1. DD wanted to confront the DE's at that time (LV was not originally intending to be at the MOM, as I understand it), or 2. it was on his own initiative, because he, Severus, wanted to force a confrontation between the two groups, or 3. he may have alerted LV about Harry's coming to keep his cover simply because that's what his orders from LV had been ("let me know if Harry leaves Hogwarts")and then he alerted the Order and DD to go meet them.

As regards Draco's mission, when Severus tell Bellatrix that he thinks LV wants him to do it "in the end," my guess is that's the truth. LV didn't specifically command him to kill DD, but had perhaps made comments that led Severus to believe he'd be told to do it sooner or later. Even if LV had not yet said anything of the kind, I'd think Severus and DD would have discussed this possibility from the start -- that is, right after GOF final events.


irish flutterby - Oct 3, 2005 5:57 am (#231 of 2969)
"wouldn't LV have also told him how Draco was planning to accomplish it?"

I think LV was leaving that bit up to Draco. I think that was part of the test. I'm sure Draco would have to give some reports to LV (possibly through Rosemerta), so it may haev been left up to Draco to find a way. I don't thin Draco would step out and attempt to use the necklace and wine if LV had directly ordered him to do it a certain way. just my two knuts.

Also, I think Severus knew the plan to get Harry to the MoM. I think he knew LV woudl use Legilmency (or whatever you want to call it.) I think he may have not been sure about the timing because LV would have to wait for the right moment. Harry would likely have to be asleep, and be weakened mentally (tests! Sheesh!) I think he alerted both groups to keep his cover. I don't think he was looking for a confrontation between the two groups, I think he had to tell LV, but he let DD and the Order know so that LV's plan would be thwarted. But I'm a firm Snape's a good guy fan.


RoseMorninStar - Oct 3, 2005 6:33 am (#232 of 2969)
I just had a kinda freaky thought. What if Snape IS spying for both sides hoping that they (the leaders on each the good and bad sides) finish each other off and then when he has them out of the way he can finally take over!!! YIKES!

I know that's kind of way out there..but it just popped into my head after reading wynnleafs post.


wynnleaf - Oct 3, 2005 7:16 am (#233 of 2969)
Yes, I thought of it, too, as I wrote that post. But the biggest thing against that -- at least for me -- is that I don't see anything in Severus' actions over the past 6 books that indicates anyone seeking a large amount of power. Sure, he misuses his authority as a teacher in a really bad way. But that's not the same as seeking great power over the WW. Severus is more of a loner, sort of a reclusive person. On the Marauder's Map, whenever he's mentioned, he seems to in his rooms. Sometimes he's reading in the teacher's lounge (or whatever they call it). He just doesn't ever seem to be searching for power. If he was, why did he stay at stay teaching at Hogwarts for so many years after LV's downfall? LV's not exactly a loner, even though he keeps his secrets to himself and doesn't really trust anyone with his plans. He's the type that gathers a group of followers around himself, holding and using a lot of influence over them. Severus never does that kind of thing.


Diagon Nilly - Oct 3, 2005 9:45 am (#234 of 2969)
Just had a thought (sorry if not an original one - I simply can't read through 200-something posts). I'd love to cling to the hope that Snape isn't a bad guy, but things don't look good for it. I'm thinking the ONLY reason a tried to save James, Lily, & Baby Harry by telling DD wasn't a rush of conscienceness, but the life debt he owed James for being saved from wereLupin. I don't think he had a choice in the matter...of course, I don't know how binding life debts are nor the repercussions for breaking it. Plus JKR described him as a "truly horrible person." As such, I think his intentions (when he has control - which excludes life debts and unbreakable vows)are probably pretty foul when left to his own devices.

By, do I hate saying/thinking that since Snape is still my favorite character. I'd like him to have some sort of redemption for him, but I'd be surprised if there were.


irish flutterby - Oct 3, 2005 10:08 am (#235 of 2969)
Snape remains probably the most controvesial character in the books. He's so well written, that there are clues to lead us to either belief.

After reading your last post, RoseMorningStar, I think perhaps you could be partly right. Maybe Snape doesn't want to be a part of a weak operation. That being the case, he gives each side equal advantages from his knowledge. This way when one side loses and the other wins, he can claim to have been working for the winning side all along, and he knows he's a part of the stronger of the two groups.


Vulture - Oct 3, 2005 10:43 am (#236 of 2969)
Edited Oct 3, 2005 11:48 am
I am surprised that you defend Sirius' actions, which would have killed Snape or turned him into a werewolf, AND SIRIUS KNEW THIS WOULD BE THE RESULT, and this would have also resulted in Lupin being chucked out of Hogwarts, but this is ok, because Sirius was annoyed that Snape was following them around? (T Vrana - Sep 19, 2005 7:41 pm (#2978))

I think I've said this before _ I did not defend Sirius's actions. If you say I did, you are simply arguing against stuff I did not say.

I have gone into all this very precisely, and I can only assume that you did not read the following posts (of the 3rd thread) carefully enough _ Sep 17, 2005 1:41 pm (#2964), Sep 19, 2005 8:57 am (#2970), Sep 19, 2005 1:02 pm (#2972), and Sep 19, 2005 1:21 pm (#2973). These posts are worded very carefully, and I don't want to have to explain what my posts say, when they actually say it.

=======================================================================

I'm not sure that what Snape did really qualifies as "accessory to murder." (wynnleaf - Sep 19, 2005 3:42 pm (#2976))

YES IT DOES. Full stop _ that's my opinion.

I think we're all agreed (especially after seeing his schoolbook in Book 6) that young Mr. Snape was not a stupid boy. At 19 years of age, he had come of age in wizard terms and was therefore responsible for his actions. In the wizard world, the only way to be unaware of Lord Voldemort's methods in dealing with enemies is to spend your entire life with your head upside down in a vat of cement. Why else is everyone except Dumbledore scared to say his name ?!!

So, if an adult wizard runs off to His Evilness and tells him about a prophecy that begins "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born as the seventh month dies" , that young adult wizard knows that Lord V is not going to run off to the newborn and sing "Happy Birthday". This goes double if the young adult wizard is a Death Eater.

For goodness' sake, _ "power to vanquish the Dark Lord" _ that's not just any enemy for Lord V (and any Death Eater who hears it): that's Enemy No.1.

What reduces me to spluttering exasperation about all this, is that if it was 19-year-old Sirius who had done this, all the Snape fans would happily consign him to a roomful of Dementors and throw away the key.


haymoni - Oct 3, 2005 11:21 am (#237 of 2969)
Until we know for absolute certain that Snape TOLD Voldy what he heard, we can't condemn him just yet.

It could be that Snape NOT telling Voldy the info is why Dumbledore trusted him.

If someone close to the Potters had been giving info for about a year, it could very well have been Peter who was giving Voldy the info about the Prophesy and then later aided Voldy by telling him the Potters' exact location.

We've only seen 1 interaction between James & Snape. I think that makes it difficult for us to understand how annoying Snape was or how full of themselves James & Company were.

Sirius is a very rash person. He almost seems to look for trouble. He is the one who points out Snape walking alone. He doesn't seem to have much to lose, especially once he decided to leave home. Perhaps Snape reminded him too much of home, with all the snakey, Slytheriny stuff there.

It was stupid for Sirius to send Snape after Lupin, but it was stupid for Snape to trust Sirius in the first place.


wynnleaf - Oct 3, 2005 11:49 am (#238 of 2969)
Edited Oct 3, 2005 12:53 pm
No Vulture, I think you're getting thoughts on Sirius mixed up. It's not that I (or I think some other posters) think that if Sirius had heard the prophecy it would be worse, or he'd be worse for it. What I at least have been saying is that I think they should be judged with the same measure. If Sirius sending another person who he knows/sees/interacts with daily down a path toward a werewolf that he will certainly meet within moments can somehow end up not being a huge mark on his character -- whether because of his age, thoughtlessness, whatever -- then Severus' taking that prophecy about an unknown person he has no clue who it is, and the future results being somewhere in the unknown, not-necessarily dependable future, to LV, should not be an irrevocable mark on his character. If it is, well, Vulture, that's not judging the two people's actions with the same measure.

What I just said is not a comment about which person is better or worse, or which action was better or worse. I am simply saying that the above method of judgement is not equal. Note I don't mean the actions were the same or equal, but that the judgement is not against the same measure.

Further, please note that it was not Sirius that decided he'd made a bad decision and went to save Severus. But it was Severus who decided he'd made a bad decision and put his life on the line many, many times first in an effort to save the Potters, and later to try to bring their killer down. As far as I can see in the books, Sirius never said the slightest thing about regertting his decision to send Severus into the werewolf's path. We have no evidence that he regretted it in the slightest -- in fact, we have only his later comment (yes, in the heat of emotion), that Severus deserved it. We have never heard anything remotely like that from Severus concerning what happened to the Potters.

Third, your comments imply that very bright people cannot be deluded. Vulture, I know several very bright young people at this very moment who delude themselves regarding the intentions of others, even with ample proof staring them in the face. It happens every day.

Last, accessory to murder. I did some research on this and while I'm sure the exact definitions are different depending on the jurisdiction, basically to be an accessory to murder before the fact, the person must be proven to have had actual knowledge that a crime was going to be committed, and that his action/inaction would help the criminal commit the crime. A person may also become an accessory if they simply fail to report the crime (or upcoming crime) to the proper authority.

Now in Severus' case, you'd have to prove that he knew turning the prophecy over to LV was going to get someone killed. As far as I can tell, you're only evidence for this is that Severus was intelligent and LV had a reputation for evil. But that doesn't mean that Severus couldn't have been deluded about what would happen with the prophecy.

But a key element here is that Severus did in fact report the upcoming crime to the "proper authority." He told DD, who he knew held all sort of titles, not just headmaster at Hogwarts. And he not only told DD about LV's initial intentions regarding the baby, but he went on to spy on LV and report LV's continued intentions as they developed.

So 1. we could argue whether or not Severus knew someone would be targeted for death because of the prophecy. Simply being smart isn't the only evidence needed. 2. We could argue that as soon as Severus realized that LV was targeting someone for death, he reported the upcoming crime to the proper authorities.

That removes the accessory to murder proof, as I understand the term legally. Of course, you may feel it still applies morally.


RoseMorninStar - Oct 3, 2005 12:55 pm (#239 of 2969)
I was thinking (dangerous I know) but what if Snape reported to Voldemort but told him something else...or not all that he heard, but Voldemort used Legilimency on Snape and found out the truth? Perhaps that spurred Snape on to become a superb Occulemens. Perhaps when he found out Snape was less than honest with him, he was punished..or someone else was punished. Could this have caused Snape to turn? We really do not know who or exactly what was told to Voldemort about the prophecy.


irish flutterby - Oct 3, 2005 2:16 pm (#240 of 2969)
Edited Oct 3, 2005 3:16 pm
Is it getting warm in here to anyone else? Maybe it's just me.

I think if Severus told all he knew of the prophecy to LV, he knew what was in store for the child. I also think, if he told LV all he knew, that his sonscience got the better of him. Guilt is a powerful thing, and I think that may be why he told DD about the whole thing.

Do we have a quote from DD saying that Snape was actually the one who told LV the prophecy?


me and my shadow 813 - Oct 3, 2005 3:04 pm (#241 of 2969)
Edited Oct 3, 2005 4:13 pm
Hello, i'm new here so if i'm rehashing a long lost tangent please forgive.

First, to add to the discussion, it does state in the seer overheard chapter that Snape "hastened to tell his master what he had heard", quoted from DD.

On a slight tangent now, I feel JK would absolutely positively want to have a redemption character in the story. DD and Snape together are the ultimate symbol for the light transmuting the dark. JK's got plenty of 'baddies' so i truly believe this one will be a hero.

PS - just this one quote in flight of the prince chapter speaks volumes to remind us whose 'side' Snape is on: "Blocked again and again and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, Potter!" (read as "you must master silent spells and occlumency if you're gonna survive!")


wynnleaf - Oct 3, 2005 3:31 pm (#242 of 2969)
Irish flutterby has made me think maybe I'm getting too emphatic. Sorry if I have been too strong in tone -- particularly to you, Vulture.


T Vrana - Oct 3, 2005 4:35 pm (#243 of 2969)
Vulture- Firstly, when Sirius becomes Harry's godfather, the only negative point about him we know is about nearly sending Snape into the Shrieking Shack. I've explained elsewhere that people often find being spied on and sneaked on (as the Marauders are, by Snape) intensely irritating, and are apt to lash out against it sooner than against offences we might logically regard as worse. This is human nature. All the more so if the victim of spying and sneaking is hot-tempered and impetuous, which I feel Sirius is: it's the flip side, if you like, of his bravery and warm-hearted loyalty to friends.

This is the post I was responding to, and I did read it carefully. My point is that while you say it was a negative thing he did, you seem to go on to basically say it was really Snape's fault for being so annoying, that Sirius's reaction was just human nature. But I do not recall you ever cutting Snape any slack. I think it is also human nature for a loner who feels left out and picked on, to try to find a way to feel less vulnerable, to feel more powerful and to find a place to fit in.

My point is not that Sirius is bad and Snape is good. My point is they have both have (well, had for Sirius) faults, but Snape's "human nature" is not forgiven by those who dislike him, because he is not a likable character. Sirius is more likable, so his faults are brushed over.

Did he nearly send Snape, or did he send him, and James stopped Snape at the last moment? The quote above would seem to indicate he didn't send him, he changed his mind. Is that true?


Saracene - Oct 3, 2005 8:18 pm (#244 of 2969)
The main reason I don't really believe that Snape's playing two sides aganist each other so that he can come and take over is, it's impossible for anyone to be the big bully like LV without having supporters, admirers and followers in general. And I can't see any reason why anyone would follow Snape or have the sort of awe and fear for him that LV's Death Eaters have for their master. Snape lords over his House and many students fear him, but these are kids who have no choice about being placed under his authority - which was ultimately given to him by someone above him. He's shown himself a very capable wizard, but I doubt he's anywhere LV or DD's league; his origins are humble without even the glamour of descending from Slytherin; he's not the sort of person who naturally attracts people around him. Snape I think makes an excellent right-hand man to a powerful leader, but he doesn't have the stuff IMO to -be- the powerful leader himself.

Re: Snape and life debt - if it somehow trapped Snape into attempting to save his much-hated former classmate and his family, it still doesn't explain his -remorse-, and why DD would think it genuine. When IMO Snape's natural reaction to having to rescue James would be even deeper resentment and annoyance.

With Sirius, it may have been a "human" thing for Sirius to play the prank on Snape. However, Sirius acting without total disregard to what his prank would have done to his supposed friend is a lot harder to gloss over IMO. In the worst-case scenario, it would have made a murderer out of Lupin and in the best it revealed his friend's secret that DD tried so hard to protect. That's really the thing Sirius should have been mostly sorry about IMO.


irish flutterby - Oct 4, 2005 3:32 am (#245 of 2969)
Edited Oct 4, 2005 4:33 am
wynnleaf -"Irish flutterby has made me think maybe I'm getting too emphatic. Sorry if I have been too strong in tone -- particularly to you, Vulture."

I said it partly in jest, and it was not directed at you specifically. Just noticing the rise of intensity.

me and my shadow813 - "First, to add to the discussion, it does state in the seer overheard chapter that Snape "hastened to tell his master what he had heard", quoted from DD."

Thanks for that quote. Someone else had mentioned that Snape may not have been the one to tell LV (I think Wormtail was suggested as an alternative). I couldn't place my hand on a book to confirm.

I think Sirius and Snape are actually two very different people. I think Sirius is the type of person who lives by the "no regrets" philosophy. He refuses to dwell on past mistakes, and therefore comes off as uncaring, or unremorseful (maybe he is), but I think Snape is exactly the opposite. I think Snape broods over things. And, I think he particularly berates himself for his past. That's a major difference in character and makes a major difference in the way they live(d) their lives.


Vulture - Oct 4, 2005 8:37 am (#246 of 2969)
Hi, Folks: Hope I didn't sound too vehement yesterday _ I hadn't eaten all day !! I would have preferred to make the same points, but more diplomatically !!

On the whole eavesdropping episode, I think I may be, in a sense, debating in circles with a lot of ye. As I understand it, ye take this episode to be as good a piece of writing as the average in the books, and your concern is to defend Snape (though not his actual action, I assume).

I, on the other hand, start from the other end, as it were _ I found the linking of Snape to the eavesdropping to be weak and contrived. Taking the episode for itself, I do feel it makes him an accessory _ morally at least, if not legally. But I don't feel it should have been written, so what I want for Snape is not too far from what ye do.


T Vrana - Oct 4, 2005 9:08 am (#247 of 2969)
Edited Oct 4, 2005 10:12 am
Vulture- I found the linking of Snape to the eavesdropping to be weak and contrived

I didn't find it weak or contrived, and actually see, perhaps, why it has to be there. (And it always was there, I believe, JK hasn't changed anything, just revealed something she always knew). Snape had to do something really awful in order to be the redemptive character. Up til now he hated James, hates Harry and was a DE and a nasty guy. That doesn't make him much different from someone like Lucius who is nasty, hates Harry and is a DE.

In HBP he is revealed to have a much closer and more powerful connection to Harry, and Harry now has a solid reason to really hate him, and want him dead, not just 'I hate him cause he hates me and he's a mean teacher, and maybe still a DE'. This closer connection is vital I think for what Harry will have to do in book 7 if he really is to become the chosen one, forgive Snape.

Just a thought...


wynnleaf - Oct 4, 2005 9:23 am (#248 of 2969)
Vulture,

T Vrana had a point about the eavesdropping being weak and contrived. One might argue whether or not the writing concerning that plot point was weak. But JKR has had most of the plot points of the story mapped out for years. Severus being the one that took the prophecy to LV is definitely a major point, and therefore one she must have had in mind all along.


HungarianHorntail11 - Oct 4, 2005 12:37 pm (#249 of 2969)
Vulture: Taking the episode for itself, I do feel it makes him an accessory _ morally at least, if not legally.

I think JKR wanted to accomplish more than one thing by naming Snape as the eavesdropper. First, she seemed to have spent the entire book framing Snape into a dark character on outward appearance. However, when you read between the lines, he was actually helpful in many ways, esp. to Harry. I can only follow T Vrana's lead to help explain in another way. In the beginning of the series, Hermoine seemed to be a snooty, rule-abiding know-it-all, but ended up quite the contrary - down to earth and helpful at the expense of even putting herself at risk. The troll scene was funny, but seemed a bit lame; but when JKR spoke of the troll scene in Book 1, she said she needed something strong to bring those three together. That makes sense to me, and if you apply the same process to Snape, it fits. At the risk of sounding redundant, JKR seems to be trying very hard to make Snape out to be quite insufferable himself. It would be just due for him to come out of this clean in some way, after all the dirt has been removed.

In no way is this a gang-up, Vulture, I just wanted you to think about the idea that you may have taken it the way she has indeed, meant for it to be taken.


rambkowalczyk - Oct 4, 2005 2:14 pm (#250 of 2969)
Vulture, I must admit I was extremely surprised that it was Snape who overheard the Prophecy. Prior to book 6, I would have swore that there was no way in h-- that this type of behavior fit Snape's personality. But now HPB does make us evaluate our opinions about him. Apparantly he is the type of person who would sneak around and listen through keyholes. When Sirius said he was always sneaking around where he shouldn't be, Sirius was more on the side of truth and not just insulting him.
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wynnleaf - Oct 4, 2005 3:03 pm (#251 of 2969)
We don't know that it was necessarily part of his normal disposition at the time to listen at keyholes. As DD said, at the time he was working for LV, and apparently -- since we know LV told him to apply for a position at Hogwarts -- it was part of his job to spy on DD. Spies do things like that -- listen at keyholes if the opportunity arises.

I would imagine that as a spy for the Order, he wouldn't be beyond eavesdropping on DE's, either. And it doesn't sound that bad if we knew Severus was eavesdropping on DE's -- or Malfoy perhaps, while trying to figure out what Malfoy was doing. But it obviously sounds a lot different when he was doing it for LV. Well, of course, it is different. But in terms of typical spy activity, it isn't.


Saracene - Oct 4, 2005 6:04 pm (#252 of 2969)
I haven't really seen the reason to believe that eavesdropping at the door would have been out of Snape's character. Listening at keyholes is practically part of the job description as far as spying is concerned; and I never saw any reason to disbelieve Sirius when he describes how Snape was sneaking around trying to get them expelled. Sirius hated him, for sure, but Snape -is- extremely vindictive.

And the way we look at eavesdropping and sneaking depends I think a lot on which character does it. Harry peeking at Snape's memories IMO definitely qualifies under sticking your nose where it doesn't belong, yet nobody in the book, including Harry himself, seems to think that Harry did something inappropriate. Which leads me to think BTW that there is a grain of truth to Snape's often-stated belief that Harry is cut too much slack at times.

I wouldn't go as far as say that Sirius doesn't dwell on past mistakes; the mistake he made with Pettigrew was clearly a horrible burden for him, for many years. I do think however that he wasn't very much inclined to think over his actions and their repercussions when they concerned someone he personally disliked, or to dwell to much on their feelings and emotions. He ultimately operates on a deeply personal level, very much like Snape.


Ana Cis - Oct 4, 2005 8:12 pm (#253 of 2969)
Edited by Oct 4, 2005 9:13 pm
Vulture, you just love a good debate, don't you?

On some of your main points about Snape:

1. He's not stupid – I agree that he's highly intelligent, but is he wise?
2. He was an accessory, morally, if not legally – I say yes, morally, he was an accessory to murder. However, if he had not told Voldemort about the prophecy, there would be no story. Because of him Voldemort killed Harry's parents; one of them being James whom he owed a life debt to.
3. You say that his eaves dropping seem weak and contrived. I would ask why...in what way. As Saracene says, it's consistent with his character. That's what caused Sirius to set him up to meet up with Lupin as a werewolf. Throughout the series Snape's loved to spy on Harry...trying to catch him doing something wrong so that he could be expelled. So this side of Snape is not a surprise.
4. In one of your previous points, you implied that Snape was pretty much aware of the ramifications once he told Voldemort about the prophecy. I would say if he thought about it, he probably would. But maybe he was so excited that he heard something significant, and thought to himself, "I can make points w/the Dark Lord when I tell him what I found out" that he may not have stopped to think about the ramifications until it was too late. Our emotions overcoming our thought process is a very common human failing. The smartest people are not necessarily the ones with the greatest common sense. Does that excuse him? Probably not. However, if you're DD, and have a way of truly knowing that Snape is sincerely remorseful to the point that he's willing to put his life on the line and spy on Voldemort as a way to make up for his criminal recklessness, do seek revenge and place him in Azkaban, or use him to keep tabs on "the most evil wizard of all times"? You may disagree w/Jo's plotline, but IMO, it fits within the characters she's presented us in her story.

In any case, he may wind up being a nasty piece of work having fooled Dumbledore while we've all been hoping that he has a chance to redeem himself. As JKR would say, is all in the choices he'll (or she'll make ) in Book 7.


Solitaire - Oct 4, 2005 9:44 pm (#254 of 2969)
I believe that having Snape be the eavesdropper in the Hog's Head lines up perfectly with what we know of his earlier behavior with the Marauders. He was continually sneaking around and spying on them--as we see from the Pensieve scene--trying to find out what they were up to each month with Remus.

I agree with Saracene that Sirius and Snape both dwell on the past. Where disasters occur, I believe Sirius tends to look back on his actions and second-guess himself. He plays the "if only" game. Snape dwells on the past, too, but in a different way. He tends to focus on how he has been wronged and by whom. Both men harbor deep resentments and are unable to get past old baggage where each other is concerned. Where Sirius and Snape differ, IMO, is that Sirius tends to act rashly, in the heat of the moment, without stopping to think things through and consider the consequences. Snape, on the other hand, tends to plot and connive, carefully weighing his options and considering all angles (a true Slytherin). JM2K, of course ...

Solitaire


RoseMorninStar - Oct 4, 2005 10:15 pm (#255 of 2969)
Edited Oct 4, 2005 11:15 pm
I think it is in Snapes character to be sneaky/curious/nosy...however you want to look at it. He is the suspicious type. Think about Harry. He's pretty 'nosy' too!!

I suppose any death eater would be considered an accessory to murder to some degree. I do think the age of the person should be taken into consideration...and also how many such incidents they were involved in.

Who said (was it, Sirius?) when he was talking about a lot of people thinking that Voldemort 'had the right idea' until they realized just what he was capable of doing or how far he was willing to go to gain power. I do think some people were taken by surprise. Some people might have thought a good imperious curse would be in order or some 'sport' ... sort of like what the death eaters did at the Quiddich world cup... but murder is something altogether different. It will be interesting ...now that the final book is being written.. to have all of these burning questions answered!

Solitare..I agree with you about the differences between Sirius and Snape.


Vulture - Oct 5, 2005 10:48 am (#256 of 2969)
Edited Oct 5, 2005 11:49 am
When Sirius said he was always sneaking around where he shouldn't be, Sirius was more on the side of truth and not just insulting him. (rambkowalczyk [/b]- Oct 4, 2005 3:14 pm (#250))

(I would agree, but I think I know a few people who wouldn't !!) But aside from that _ it always intrigued me that Snape would actually have fallen for Sirius' Whomping Willow "joke" in the first place. I mean, I just can't imagine either Snape or Sirius ever doing anything that the other suggested, so why on earth would Snape go down a long secret passage because Sirius told him to ? My guess is there's more to that (possibly stuff that JKR never got around to) than meets the eye.

Actually, this also connects to an idea I had about Book 5 ( before I read Book 6): Dumbledore said that Snape contacted Grimmauld Place about Harry not having returned from the Forest, and _ among other things _ wanted Sirius to wait at G Place to brief Dumbledore. (Of course, this may be only Snape's unverified account to Dumbledore, but that's not my point.) My point is _ isn't it possible that Sirius reacted with the most intense suspicion when Snape, for the first time, urgently wanted Sirius to do the very thing (i.e. stay at home) that he (Snape) had always taunted him with doing ? I visualize Snape in a real dilemna _ being suddenly polite to Sirius would look really suspicious, but taunting him as usual would have the effect that Sirius would refuse to stay behind.

(This all assumes Snape to be on the "good side", of course _ but even if he wasn't, I think he would have played the "good" role throughout, in this case _ for reasons I remember explaining in some post ages ago.)

As regards everyone else's posts _ sorry I'm on such limited log-in time, in general. I must take a whole Saturday and look over things more carefully, sometime !!


Diagon Nilly - Oct 5, 2005 12:31 pm (#257 of 2969)
A thought...

Perhaps Snape didn't want to kill Dumbledore and voiced this concern to Dumbledore. In order to help Snape facilitate the hate and desire needed to make the killing curse work, Dumbledore gave him DADA to "bring out the worst in him." I can't think of any other reason Dumbledore would suddenly go against his better judgement and give Snape DADA after so many years. I can only speculate Dumbledore knew DADA would make Snape more aggressive - just enough to carry out the Unbreakable Vow when needed.


Ann - Oct 5, 2005 4:33 pm (#258 of 2969)
Edited Oct 5, 2005 5:36 pm
A bit of a change of subject here (I've been catching up on old posts): There seems to be an assumption that Snape is in quite regular contact with Voldemort during the school year. I've read some fan fiction, and most stories assume he's out at one or more nights every week at revels, getting beat up for not bringing enough info from Hogwarts, etc. This assumption has led some people, several pages back, to agree that Voldemort must suspect Snape because he didn't tell him about the attempt to lure Harry to the Ministry and because he didn't tell him Draco's plan.

But suppose that Snape is pretty much left to himself during the academic year. There need be only occasional communication, with Snape sending Voldemort some sort of information by letter. They must meet occasionally (since Snape says he returned to Voldemort on Dumbledore's orders--both sides think he's spying for them, so he has to get information from the DEs from time to time), but the information he gives Dumbledore may be based on what he learns during the summer and on occasional DE meetings, say once every three months or so.

If this is the case, his ignorance of such things doesn't indicate that he isn't fully trusted, but only that he's not there when things are planned, and he has no reason to know them. (Voldemort must know that Dumbledore is a Legilimens--why should he tempt fate?) This would also mean that his life is going to change in a much more major way with the murder of Dumbledore. And, if he's still spying for the Order, he will be able to get far, far more information than he did before, although his ability as an Occlumens is going to be tested to the utmost.

What do you think?


Saracene - Oct 5, 2005 9:33 pm (#259 of 2969)
I rather agree with the idea that Snape wouldn't have all that much direct contact with LV throughout the academic year. He's got hundreds of essays to mark after all! Smile Seriously though, because the nature of his work keeps him so isolated from the rest of the world during the school year, and because there's a need for him, as far as both sides are concerned, to stay out of situations where his cover might potentially be blown, I can see that he wouldn't necessarily be informed about everything that's going on.

With Sirius and his prank, I think that perhaps Snape did not necessarily believe Sirius when he told him about the Willow, but decided to go and have a look anyway, just in case.

I also don't think that Snape needed to be nice or polite to Sirius when he requested that he stays behind. He didn't need to pretend that he was asking Sirius to stay because he was concerned for his safety - he only wanted him to stay to brief DD. And I don't think it was said explicitly that it was Sirius Snape was talking to when making a contact with Order members - there were several of them at Grimmauld at the time. Anyway, I think that what ultimately made Sirius leave was the fact that Harry was in mortal danger and there was no way he was going to stay behind and wait. Even if he didn't have all that pent-up frustration from being locked in the house and being taunted by Snape, I believe 100% that he'd still rush off to Harry's help.


T Brightwater - Oct 6, 2005 6:42 am (#260 of 2969)
Yikes - 400+ posts? That'll teach me to go out of town - it's taken me three days to catch up! Somebody hand me a butterbeer...

I don't think Snape has plans for ruling the WW, but he might be a bit like the Vicar of Bray (character in an English folk song who keeps his post through six different reigns by altering his sermons to fit the current monarch's religious views): Whoever wins, he'll survive. I had an idea earlier that he might have wanted the admiration and acceptance of the WW, but I think now that, although he does want respect, he needs it mainly from himself.

So far I haven't seen anything to disprove my theory that Snape wants to be the one who kills LV himself. It makes sense of his ambivalent attitude towards Harry (he doesn't really want Harry to do the job, hates him for being "the Chosen One," but he keeps him alive just in case he has to be the one who does it.) It further explains DD's trust in him. It explains both the vow and the killing of DD - in each case, it's the only thing he can do under the circumstances, and it certainly puts him in a better position with LV, but he really didn't want to do it. (assuming DD is dead, that is.)

I agree it would have taken something big to turn Snape against LV. What if Snape was forced to commit murder on LV's orders? If he does have a core of decency somewhere (as I hope) he would be revolted by this and his guilt might drive him to change sides in order to redeem himself and destroy the thing ("man" hardly applies to LV anymore) who forced him to be a murderer.

Two possible candidates for the victim:

1) James. Snape would have had to use LV's wand, but I can imagine that happening; we've seen LV pull that stunt himself, using Morfin's wand to kill the Riddles. Perhaps he was reluctant at first, and then LV called him a coward. That could easily account for his outburst at Harry at the end of HBP. It would also help account for his extreme reactions over anything to do with James - hatred mixed with guilt is a really volatile combination, and then add the life-debt to that...It would certainly be something DD would never want to tell Harry or anyone else.

It also means that DD was telling the truth about Snape's remorse, only concealing the fact that Snape had a more personal role in James' death. And it accounts for Snape never mentioning Lily - he didn't hate her, and Voldemort killed her himself; he doesn't feel the same kind of personal guilt over her, so he doesn't pick at that sore the way he does with James.

His attempts to put the blame on James' own arrogance or Sirius as the betrayer - either directly or indirectly, by proposing Wormtail as the Secret-Keeper - would also fit, and provde a neat parallel to Sirius's "Served him right" and Harry blaming Snape for Sirius's death.

2) Regulus. If Snape was delegated to kill him, and Regulus tried to change his mind before he did so, the combined effect of the murder and what he learned about LV might be enough to send him to DD. If Regulus was a friend, even more so. This one fits the timing better, that Snape changed sides before LV's downfall, but there aren't as many other ramifications.

Going back to some earlier discussions, I think Snape does know about Horcruxes, either from his own research in the Dark Arts, from Regulus if they were friends, or from DD. It's even possible LV told his followers about the theory, but not the process itself, or anything about his own Horcruxes.


Snuffles - Oct 6, 2005 6:56 am (#261 of 2969)

**Hands T Brightwater 2 butterbeers***

You can drink the first quickly then sip the second!!


Vulture - Oct 6, 2005 7:29 am (#262 of 2969)
If Sirius sending another person who he knows/sees/interacts with daily down a path toward a werewolf that he will certainly meet within moments can somehow end up not being a huge mark on his character -- whether because of his age, thoughtlessness, whatever -- then Severus' taking that prophecy about an unknown person he has no clue who it is, and the future results being somewhere in the unknown, not-necessarily dependable future, to LV, should not be an irrevocable mark on his character. (wynnleaf - Oct 3, 2005 12:49 pm (#238))

I hear you. However, I don't think I used the word "irrevocable" anywhere (did I ?). Also, Sirius was probably (6 chances out of seven) under-age at the time of the Shack "joke" (or was his age at that time mentioned ?), whereas you all seem to be sure that Snape was at least 19 when he passed his partial version of the prophecy to Voldemort. Also, Sirius was not being considered as a teacher for Snape, Snape's son, or any relative. Also, Harry (whom Snape was being considered as a teacher for) is not just any boy, but The Boy Who Lived, a crucial figure in both Dumbledore's and Voldemort's strategies. You see, I'm not saying that Snape should never be forgiven for what he did _ I'm just saying that (Dumbledore's) trust doesn't need to part company with caution and common sense.

But once more, I should reiterate that I wish that JKR had never put Snape in the frame as the eavesdropper, for various reasons ....

PS - just this one quote in flight of the prince chapter speaks volumes to remind us whose 'side' Snape is on: "Blocked again and again and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, Potter!" (read as "you must master silent spells and occlumency if you're gonna survive!") (me and my shadow 813 - Oct 3, 2005 4:04 pm (#241))

No, I'm afraid it doesn't, unless you're already sure Snape is on the anti-Voldemort side. It's common enough, in the HP books, for characters to start declaring personal manifestoes at climactic moments near the end, even in the middle of fights !! (It's rather like the way characters go on in Homer's "Iliad" _ and JKR is a bit of a Classical fan.) In Book 5, Bellatrix _ in mid-combat _ takes time to boast about her value to Lord V, and give Harry a kindly lesson in Unforgiveables.

=========================================================

By the way, Snape fans, I just started a blog: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Ye are all most welcome !!


T Vrana - Oct 6, 2005 7:59 am (#263 of 2969)
Edited Oct 6, 2005 9:00 am
It appears DD hired Snape before the Potters died. At that point he was guilty of being a DE and telling LV the prophesy. If he truly tried to stop LV and save the Potters, if he truly repented and was remorseful for his mistake, I see no conflict in keeping him on as teacher, especially if DD knows he wants Snape around to help when LV returns, and it seems even Hagrid was sure LV was coming back.

I don't think DD parted with caution and common sense (though caution is not his trademark, he is a risk taker). I think DD is focused on getting LV and having a useful spy like Snape nearby is part of the big picture. For DD, this isn't just about Harry, it is about the safety of the WW (though DD did get distracted by his love for Harry, for a bit). Consider that if Snape was not kept on as teacher, DD could have died of his hand injury. Quirrel could have killed Harry in SS/PS (though Hermione may have noticed it was Quirrel hexing Harry's broom without Snape there, I suppose).

I still trust DD knew what was going on and what he was doing in regards to Snape.


haymoni - Oct 6, 2005 8:30 am (#264 of 2969)
I really want to trust Dumbledore, but his comments about his mistakes being big ones make me nervous.


T Vrana - Oct 6, 2005 8:48 am (#265 of 2969)
Me, too! What makes me a little more confident here is that I think Snape will be JK's redemptive character. We have, so far, good guys and bad guys. Snape is the only possible redemptive character, (alive, Regulus is dead). Malfoy could not kill DD, but he's still in the bad guy camp in my book.

So we are left with Snape. If Snape turns out to be a faithful DE I'll be very surprised. DD, the epitome of goodness, most brilliant wizard ever, fooled and killed by a DE he trusted would be an odd message. DD is the one person who truly trusted Snape. Forgiveness and redemption would be put in question. Once a DE always a DE? Nah, Harry needs to put aside his hate and forgive, can't do that if Snape is really just another bad guy.


HungarianHorntail11 - Oct 6, 2005 9:02 am (#266 of 2969)
Edited Oct 6, 2005 10:09 am
You see, I'm not saying that Snape should never be forgiven for what he did _ I'm just saying that (Dumbledore's) trust doesn't need to part company with caution and common sense.

Maybe he hasn't parted with his common sense. Perhaps the mistake Snape made was BIG. We really don't have the full story behind Snape (or GH for that matter) and what events led this return to DD. It has to be big enough to have motivated Snape to go against LV and also put himself at risk, as well as slink back to DD. (Remember, Snape has a pride factor and had to go back, in essence admitting he was wrong.)

It was so big that he had to agree/vow to DD that he would protect the boy he helped to orphan? (Could this be because he had a life debt to James and realized he is primarily responsible for Harry's parents' deaths and would possibly die himself because of the life debt? Possibly but I still think there's more tied to this.) Snape could have realized that DD is the only wizard powerful enough to come up wi