Severus Snape

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Post  Mona on Sun May 22, 2011 11:38 am

Sharker11 - Jan 28, 2004 9:40 am (#451 of 2956)
Snape is a 35 year old man, who still holds a lot of grief about James, weather or not Harry's view changes, I can't see Snape's view 'magicaly' changing anytime soon, based on the events of OotP. That would make some pretty bad characterization. So, their relationship will probably get worse. Where was Harry's forget fullness, responsible for Padfoot's death, Albus mearly forgot he is in a school of teenager's in my view, I don't know of any normal teenager that would do the things Harry was asked to do with out being told why.


MrsGump - Jan 28, 2004 1:06 pm (#452 of 2956)
I've been trying to piece together clues about Snape and why JKR said to keep our eye on him, and a very random thought popped into my head. I haven't been able to find too much hard evidence for this, so I thought maybe those of you who post here most often could be of some help backing it up or proving it wrong (so it can leave my head). Here it goes:

What if Snape is Tom Riddle's son?

We like to try and make him (Snape related to Harry because of the black hair, but Tom has black hair, too. Snape's possible father in the Occlumency flash-back has black hair and is being none too nice. It would explain why LV takes Snape back and trusts him. That might mean that Snape might not be counted as either the one who left forever or the coward. He's his son (of course, LV might not care about that anyways) I can't remember any metion of where Riddle was between school and LV.

Help me out, what do you think?


Madame Librarian - Jan 28, 2004 3:00 pm (#453 of 2956)
MrsGump, intriguing idea. I can't say yes or no (or maybe) till I ponder a bit. What I will say is that it is somewhat surprising that you are the first Forum member ever to raise that possibility. Now, I have only been posting since mid-summer, but I'm a regular and keep up on things, so if this has been mentioned before, I would have thought I'd remember it because some long-term member would have referred to it. Or, did I completely miss a good, solid discussion on this that took place just before I joined?

At any rate, it's one of those shockingly simple ideas with complex ramifications. What was Tom Riddle up to just after leaving Hogwarts?

Ciao. Barb


Mad Madame Mim - Jan 28, 2004 4:29 pm (#454 of 2956)
MrsGump, It could work. It would explain Snapes's memory of parents fighting. Daddy wasn't too happy raising Dark Lord jr. And Snape would serve as a backup plan if Tommy boy couldn't achieve immortality. Somebody would have to take over the world; why not have your own blood do it. And since Lord Voldemort doesn't understand love, Snape's childhood wasn't filled with that nonsense. That would explain his luke warm teaching style. And, Snape came to Hogwarts knowing more curses than half the seven years. Dark Lord in training. The fly thing is a sadistic bonus, Score!

All we know is that Riddle is the last of the Slytherin line.

But then, there's that nasty bit of him switching sides... humm

EDIT: Looks like Gina and I posted the same time.


Gina R Snape - Jan 28, 2004 4:30 pm (#455 of 2956)
I've seen people speculate that Voldemort and Harry were related, but not Voldemort and Snape.

Tom Riddle would have been 33 or 34 when Severus was born. So, timeline-wise it's possible. And I could see him wanting to have a child as a way to achieve a form of immortality--though he probably wouldn't want to have to rear the actual child.

Snape new a lot of dark magic coming into Hogwarts at age 11. Learning it from Daddy Dark Lord would make a lot of sense. We don't know anything concrete about Snape's past, and we don't know what Voldemort was up to for many years.

But, if Snape were Voldy's child, why would he need to be Lucius' lapdog (if he in fact is)? Why would he take the abuse from the Marauders for so long? I'd think that having a father like Lord Voldemort would be enough to keep anyone from picking on you. And where would the Snape surname come from?

Somehow, even though it's a possibility, it just doesn't ring true to me. I can't put my finger on it. But I just somehow think it's not true.


Rich - Jan 28, 2004 5:03 pm (#456 of 2956)
Though it fits in with the timeline I have to agree with Gina, it just doesn't...fit. Voldemort is a selfish person, and I don't think he would be willing to hand down the title of Dark Lord to a successor.

But while I was reading the conversation a thought occured to me. What if Snape's father was a friend of Voldmemort's at Hogwarts. One of his first loyal supporters. Snape would have had an early introduction to the Dark Arts, and his father being involved with the Dark Arts would see no problem with violence. Growing up Snape's father had no time for his wife and Severus. When his wife questioned him where he was spending all his time he reacted violently. His mother tried to protect Snape from his father but eventually Snape became a very introverted child who did not want to share his emotions with other people. Eventually he fell in with the wrong crowd despite his mother's efforts. The rest we kind of know.

I know, it's all guess work. But it fits as well as the Voldemort being his father theory doesn't it? Now it's time for you to poke some holes in it.


Gina R Snape - Jan 20, 2004 2:23 pm (#457 of 2956)
Rich, your avatar is making me want to pick my nose!

Voldemort was at the height of his power when Snape defected. He spent a lot of years travelling to become the Dark Lord. So, if he was Snape's father then maybe that screaming scene was one of the only times Snape can remember seeing his father as a child.

I still don't like the whole idea, though...


MrsGump - Jan 28, 2004 6:27 pm (#458 of 2956)
I'm not sure if Snape is Lucius's lapdog; that sounded more like an insult than fact.

And I'm not sure it would be common knowledge if Snape was LV child. As for the name, his abused mother (if that's who and what she is) could've left him, re-married, been killed (knowing LV, that seems more likely) and Severus was fosted off on someone else. Orphans seem to pop up in this series.

If he was, I'm sure Dumbledore would know. And if Snape is truly on the good side, then he wouldn't want anyone else to know his parentage. It's hard enough getting people to trust you when you're a DE. Maybe he didn't recognize Tom Riddle as LV when he re-surfaced. Dumbledore did say most people never made the connection. Snape could've joined the DE, then found out who LV really was. Being a devoted follower of the man who hurt your mom might give you more incentive to change your ways and ask Dumbledore for help.... Something major had to happen that lets DD trust Snape, but still allow Snape to be a spy.

I'm kind of stretching here, so I guess it's time to go back to the books and look for more real facts/ clues. Rich, I do think his father being one of the first followers is a real possibility.

And I tried searching for any guesses for Snape's father on here and came up with nothing. That's why I thought I'd tried here and see what you think.


Mad Madame Mim - Jan 28, 2004 6:40 pm (#459 of 2956)
When it comes down to it, Voldemort would kill anyone once they were nolonger useful to him. I don't think it matters how loyal you are to Voldemort, as long as you are useful. If Bellatrix doesn't control herself, Voldemort will probably AK her too.


Madame Librarian - Jan 28, 2004 7:57 pm (#460 of 2956)
Here's another scenario. Snape's father dies when Snape is a baby. He's a little child living with his widowed mom. She's a bit of a dodgy witch who dabbles in the Dark Arts to supplement a meager income, though she is not out and out a bad sort. Riddle, during his post-Hogwarts years, seeks out to learn all that he can from so-called "specialists." He starts local and attaches himself to the little family with his false charm and phony romantic attentions to learn from the witch her special tricks, and to provide himself with an air of normalcy as he plans his grander travels to find master of the Dark Arts. The boy (little Severus) adores him and looks to him as a father figure and is drawn to the Dark Arts. Riddle, though committed to his evil purposes, has some feeling for the woman and her child, and if things had been different for him when he was younger, might have actually settled down and made a life with them. When Riddle feels the pull of this emotion (love?) he fights it, and becomes cold, indifferent and even cruel towards the woman and her son. When the time comes Riddle dumps mom and takes off for those dense forests to continue his studies abroad as it were. So, there we have poor little Severus left with a classic love-hate relationship with the closest thing he's ever had to a father. This results in the Snape we know now having a complex and unclear association with Voldemort. It could explain why Voldemort seems to hold off on going after Snape in a more direct way. Maybe.

Ciao. Barb


Gina R Snape - Jan 28, 2004 9:16 pm (#461 of 2956)
Ok, this is veering dangerously into bad melodramatic soapy fanfic, guys!

Change of subject. Does anyone happen to recall if Snape wore his green robes any other time besides the quidditch match he refereed in PS/SS? Did he wear them to the ball in GoF?

Also, I know I've been reading waaaaay too much fanfic. But does Snape have an actual blackboard in his classroom? Does he wave his wand to 'write' on the board?


mooncalf - Jan 28, 2004 11:06 pm (#462 of 2956)
"The ingredients and method" - Snape flicked his wand - "are on the blackboard" - (they appeared there) - "you will find everything you need" - he flicked his wand again - "in the store cupboard" - (the door of the said cupboard sprang open) - "you have an hour and a half . . . . . Start."

Order of the Phoenix (American Edition) pages 232-233. I think he does it again later in the book, too.


Tpujiko4444 - Jan 29, 2004 12:06 am (#463 of 2956)
Edited by Jan 29, 2004 12:14 am
No, I am pretty sure he only wore his green robes when he was cheering on his house during the game. Are you sure he wore green when he refereed? (I do not have my books on me now.) He dressed in his usual robes while the Yule Ball was going on, since he did not even go to the ball. But something tells me that if he ad gone, he probably would have worn his regular robes anyway.


Doris Crockford - Jan 29, 2004 9:27 am (#464 of 2956)
Ok, I'm going back a couple of posts. About Harry and Snape's relationship- I think it will take more than just the summer for Harry to stop hating Snape. That's why I think Harry won't take Potions next year. Since they won't be talking as often, and (if Snape is putting on an act for the students of the DEs) Snape won't have to be as rude to Harry for his(Snape's) own safety.

I also think that Harry is going to join the Order, and I think he'll do something important to, say, help Snape keep his double-agent role going. Then Snape might gain some respect for Harry and Harry might realize how important Snape is to the Order, and possibly respect him for that.

I also think that Snape will become DADA teacher in Book 7, so Harry might be able to take Potions ( with some actual Remedial Potions, so that he catches up to the rest of the class- since Harry is taking less classes, and I have a feeling Quidditch might be cancelled again, I think it's possible), or else he'll just give up being an Auror to become a professional Quidditch player. And if Snape is the DADA teacher, we could still see some of Severus' humour.


Mad Madame Mim - Jan 29, 2004 10:11 am (#465 of 2956)
Doris, I like the idea of Snape finally getting the DADA position. It would make things fun, just imagine if Snape did the thing that Lupin did with the boggart. I giggle just thinking about the possiblities.


Aimeé - Jan 30, 2004 7:54 pm (#466 of 2956)
Hey everyone! (Like in all my posts Razz) I don't know is this has already been discused, but there's this doubt I have, actually the only one which makes me wonder on which side Snape is. First of all, didn't all the DE know about the plan to lure Harry into the Ministry? They started to plan it around Xmas, when Kreacher went to the Malfoys, and it happened on June, that was plenty of time for Snape to hear about it. And wasn't he supposed (as he once told Harry) to be the one in charge to know what the DE were uo to? And isn't he supposed (well, that's how JKR describes it) to be quite close to Lucius? And if that's true, why didn't Snape know about that plan? Because, according to me, he should've known if that was his job. But, what if he knew but wouldn't tell, or he really didn't know?


Gina R Snape - Jan 30, 2004 8:11 pm (#467 of 2956)
What makes you think Snape didn't know? Harry was set up to learn Occlumency lessons from Snape to block out Voldemort. I think Snape and Dumbledore and maybe even the rest of the Order knew full and well there was a plan to lure Harry. But they didn't tell Harry that was why he needed to learn Occlumency, which was fatal mistake number one.

Fatal mistake number two was putting Snape and Harry alone in a room together. Dumbledore should have been teaching Harry occlumency lessons.

What really annoys me is that no one seemed to step in and either force Snape to continue the lessons or pick up the slack and get someone else to teach him.


septentrion - Jan 31, 2004 9:03 am (#468 of 2956)
I'm the opinion of Gina : Snape and the whole order knew about LV's plan to lure Harry in the MoM, but nobody told him nor his friends because they should have told him more about what there's in the DoM. DD, and therefore the order, wanted to protect Harry from his own curiosity or from a trap, but their silence leaded Harry right into the trap.


Aimeé - Jan 31, 2004 1:33 pm (#469 of 2956)
My mistake. What I meant on my post, about the plan, was about Sirius. I agree with you both, Gina and septentrion, I'm almost positive that Snape knew about the plan (that's the only thing that makes me think Snape isn't entirely truthful), but I didn't mean the part of luring Harry into the Ministry, but the one in which the DE were going to use Sirius as "bait". As I said, my mistake, now that I reread my post I realized I didn't mention Sirius at all! Razz

So, what I meant was that if Snape (because he was supposed to) knew about the plan, why didn't he warned Sirius? Kreacher contacted the Malfoys and that's when they came out with the idea of using Sirius, and asuming that Snape knew about it, why didn't he tell anyone about the fact that they were going to use Sirius? Well, now that I've made myself clear Razz, any coments?


Gina R Snape - Jan 31, 2004 4:07 pm (#470 of 2956)
Ah, big difference Aimee.

It seems that using Sirius as bait might have been a later addition to the plan. And in that case, I do think Snape didn't know. Does that mean he's not in with the death eaters? Possibly. What I think is that not all the death eaters know everything about every plan. Death eaters don't even all know each otehr, it seems. So, maybe Voldemort only clues in those he wants to know, who will be part of that particular mission.

If Snape was never intended to be part of the party to lure Harry, so he didn't need to know they were going to use Sirius as bait. Not even all the death eaters were at the DoM. It could be that Voldemort had other plans and assignments for Snape. Furthermore, if he demands secrecy, then even being friends with Lucius might not make a difference if Lucius is bound not to tell anyone.


septentrion - Feb 1, 2004 11:33 am (#471 of 2956)
Gina, I absolutely love your new avatar ! Where did you find it ?

By the way, I'm enclined to believe using Sirius as a bait to lure Harry was decided at least when it became obvious that Harry wasn't curious enough to go by himself to the DoM (what a change with PS where the trio tries by no means to know what Fluffy's hiding !). And I'm pretty sure Snape didn't know about this, if so he would have told DD and Harry would have been warned.


boop - Feb 2, 2004 7:54 am (#472 of 2956)
I totally agree Snape would not have left it go that far with the kids. Like putting them is danger, Snape just isn't that kind of person. Snape wouldn't want the blame for anything that happened at the MOM. After all he did let the order know that the kids were heading to the MOM, when they didn't return from the forest.


Gina R Snape - Feb 2, 2004 8:40 am (#473 of 2956)
Snape went into overdrive when he heard about Sirius and about Harry taking off. I just don't think he would have done that if he'd known about Sirius as bait. He would've sat back and said 'Potter is imagining things' or something else to cover his tracks.

septentrion, the info regarding the picture is under my name. Glad you like it!


popkin - Feb 4, 2004 1:40 am (#474 of 2956)
Edited by Feb 4, 2004 1:49 am
I've just read about Harry's first Occlumency lesson again (US, OotP, ch24), and there are a lot of things about it that bother me.

Snape gives Harry very little useful instruction in how to shield his mind from the Legilimens spell. In fact, when the lesson is over, Harry could not help feeling that his first foray into Occlumency had weakened his mind's resistance rather than strengthening it. (P.535)

Snape refers to LV as the Dark Lord, and not he-who-must-not-be-named. The Death Eaters (and I believe also the Unspeakables) use this title, but does anyone else? It could imply that Snape feels some loyalty to LV.

P.533, "I told you," said Snape, rigid in his chair, his eyes slits, "to call me 'sir'". Does any other character have eyes that are described using the word "slits" other than LV? Could this foreshadow Snape taking over LV's position? Or, could LV be using Snape's eyes?

P536, Snape says to Harry, "You are allowing me access to memories you fear, handing me weapons!" Have we considered that these are some of the weapons LV is seeking? Could Snape have turned these weapons over the LV following the lesson?

P. 536 Harry's scar does not begin to prickle until he sees the Door to the Department of Ministries and figures out that it's the same door he saw on the day of his hearing. From this point forward Harry's head feels worse and worse. Snape cuts Harry off before Harry can sever the connection himself. I doubt that Harry would have tried to break the connection, since he is so very curious about what is behind the door. Snape is now aware of Harry's curiousity about the door. Are LV and Snape in communication with one another, and is LV now aware of Harry's curiosity?

P. 541 By the time Harry gets to his dorm room, the pain in his head is so severe he thought that someone must have sliced into the top of his head. He did not know where he was, whether he was standing or lying down, he did not even know his own name. . . . Isn't that how Ginny describes being posessed? And maybe, metaphorically speaking, LV has sliced into the top of Harry's head to gain access.

P. 542 Harry realizes that LV is the happiest he had been in fourteen years, and that something he's been hoping for has happened. At the very beginning of the next chapter (25) Harry concludes that LV had been ecstatic about the breakout of 10 Death Eaters from Azkaban prison, and Ron later comes to the same conclusion. I'm having my doubts that that news would make LV the happiest he had been in 14 years. Surely he must have been happier about his successful rebirthing than he would be about the breakout. Maybe LV is happy that he believes he finally has the weapons he needs to win the battle that he lost fourteen years ago.

One last note: Augustus Rookwood is described on the first page of ch25 as a man with greasy hair who was leaning against the edge of his picture, looking bored, convicted of leaking Ministry of Magic Secrets to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Is that parallel meant to draw our attention to the possibility that Snape is also leaking secrets?

I got so tired that I actually fell asleep several times while trying to type this. I hope it all makes sense.


septentrion - Feb 4, 2004 3:03 am (#475 of 2956)
Popkin, I rather think that all the similarities between LV and Snape you point out are red herrings from JKR.

LV needn't the occlumency lessons for knowing about Harry's curiosity, he knew it through Harry's dreams. After the snake's attack, LV became conscious of his connection with Harry's mind, it was enough for him to know about the dreams and Harry's curiosity.

LV's happiness can be dued to the DE'escaping : not only he gained some supporters more but he also gained new supporters, ie the dementors. When we know how much these creatures are evil and feared, it's not a little to have them with him.

Popkin : Snape cuts Harry off before Harry can sever the connection himself. I doubt that Harry would have tried to break the connection, since he is so very curious about what is behind the door

Snape cuts Harry off to prevent Harry to go farther in his vision and to see what was behind the door, what DD and the order didn't want. If he really was LV's supporter, he wouldn't have cut the connection off because it would have served LV's plans.


Devika - Feb 4, 2004 5:49 am (#476 of 2956)
Popkin, the similarities that you have pointed out are quite interesting, but I think we are reading too deep into this because most of these can be explained in a different way more convincingly

- About Harry's mind feeling weakened after the lesson, as far as I understand it was quite natural. It seems legimency is something that can be done only with strength of the mind, and Snape did keep on telling Harry to keep his mind clear. Apart from that, Harry would be bound to feel like that if someone had repeatedly tried to penetrate his mind, if only to teach him to resist it.

- As far as Snape's reffering to Voldy as the Dark Lord is concerned, I don't think it indicates any Death Eater relation. There are others who do it too. The most notable to me is Trelawney who is supposedly quite neutral and is infact making predictions about Voldy's downfall. Mind you she doesn't only say that name in a trance. Even when she made the 2nd prediction, she tells Harry after that.."The Dark Lord??..." or something like that.

- I must admit, the point about the eye-slits is quite strange. Yes... it is LV who comes first to the mind, but I guess in case slits are meant to indicate that his eyes had really narrowed probably in anger or hatred. But I'm not too sure about this one myself. Can't say anything better!

- About the "handing me weapons" quote... It sounded to me that it was a typical reproach. In the case of a practical skill like legimency, Snape would have to tell Harry what someone who wishes to have access to his thoughts would get if Harry lets down his reserves. More to say... beware... stay vigilant or you may give something to your enemy to feed on.

- As Septentrion pointed out, LV would have known about the corridoor from the dreams. That was the crux of the story... Harry and LV's link through their dreams. LV wouldn't need a Snape to tell him about the corridoor. He would know about it the instant Harry dreamed it. Inn fact it seems he was making these plans to lure Harry into the Ministry long back.

- About the pain in his scar when he entered the dormitory... it was quite clearly because LV was really happy because of the breakout. There was no choice but for Harry's scar to pain then...

- I'm also not sure that just a weak rebirthing would have made LV the happiest he had been in 14 years. The recovery of a dozen followers would mean a lot more, since it would give him the needed support to implement his plans and begin his new round of take-overs again. Without most of his DEs he would have lacked some sting. There is only so much you can do being one powerful individual. The DEs would give him his full strength. Also the breakout of all his trusted followers would show him that they were still loyal to him. I don't imagine that Azkaban is only full of Dark Wizards and DEs. And if a dozen people break out and all of them are DEs then I'm sure it would make LV really happy. Also the dementors' support would mean a lot.

- I must confess that your observation about Rookwood is quite interesting and could mean something. This is one point which could have something behind it, though I'm not sure what. While it could mean that Snape is a traitor, it could also mean that Rookwood will turn against LV!!

Just my two knuts...and yes Popkin... your post did make a lot of sense and did seem very thought out .I'll never say never in JKR's world. In fact if I see some more convincing arguments for that point, I might just change my own stand! Of course my post is based purely on instict. Sorry to make it so long!


popkin - Feb 4, 2004 9:16 am (#477 of 2956)
Thanks for your replies, Septentrion and Devika. I want to clarify what I was trying to say about Harry seeing the door to the DOM, and LV becoming aware of it. Although LV had already become aware that he and Harry have a mental connection, and had reared against Dumbledore through Harry (while possessing/being a snake in the DOM), he may not have already known that Harry was aware of, and eager to gain access to, the door. If Snape were trying to pass information about what is in Harry's mind to LV, he would have to be very careful not to raise any suspicions on Harry's or Dumbledore's parts. He may not have allowed Harry to try to open the door because he wouldn't want Dumbledore to discover (through legilimens, perhaps) that Snape had not prevented Harry from exposing/discovering things he should not be involved in.

Also, Snape (and perhaps LV) does not know the circumstances under which Harry has seen that door. Through his questions, he finds out that Harry has dreamt about it. If LV did not understand, but wanted to know the nature of the connection between himself and Harry, finding out that Harry was seeing LV's thoughts in his dreams would be a very powerful weapon.


scully jones - Feb 4, 2004 5:03 pm (#478 of 2956)
I just think that occlumency is a skill Snape is really good at, and gets ticked off when Harry can't follow the "simplest" of directions..

This happens to me sometimes, when someone can't understand a simple solution to a problem... But I'm a little nicer about it.

So I understand the eye slits and everything, I'm actually quite proud of Snape for sticking to it for as long as he did. It's not his fault Harry's just really bad at it.

Man, when did I become a Snape fan???


Sharker11 - Feb 4, 2004 10:33 pm (#479 of 2956)
Well, we don't even know if he was even teaching him properly, nor that Harry is just bad at occumency. He didn't seem to do anything, but spell Harry. Nothing else, and we havn't seen magic being taught that way before. Frankly, I don't know any teenager who would so blindly spend time with Snape mearly because a headmaster who would not even talk to him, told him to. Nor, do I believe that we can hold Harry 100% at fault for curiosity, when so many people have tried very hard to make sure Harry only knows what they want him to know. What he did was normal teenage behavior for someone in his position.


Luanee - Feb 4, 2004 10:42 pm (#480 of 2956)
Actually I do not think Harry is so bad at Occlumency - remember Harry accidently sent a Stinging Hex to Snape when he was trying to prevent Snape from seeing the part about Cho? But Snape did not praise Harry at all. Instead he said Harry let him got in too far etc. I think Snape is not really keen to let Harry learn, as he simply detests Harry too much to pass him his special skill.


Sharker11 - Feb 4, 2004 11:28 pm (#481 of 2956)
Well, I think we can agree that at the end of OotP he is pretty bad at occlumency. Whose at fault their, and will it stay that way in HP6. Well...lets debate their.


Luanee - Feb 4, 2004 11:57 pm (#482 of 2956)
OK maybe I should say that Snape did not bother to teach Harry much about Occlumency - such as when he found Harry producing the stinging hex accidently, he did not bother to tell Harry he got it correct a little there and further guide Harry in the right direction. So that's why Harry was still bad at Occlumency at end of OoP.


Devika - Feb 5, 2004 1:38 am (#483 of 2956)
I don't think that Snape was a bad teacher of occlumency or Harry was a bad student. But it was just one of those things that the two of them should not have done together. They were both too overcome by their feelings for each other to be able to objectively apply themselves to the task - Snape to teaching and Harry to learning. Appointing Snape to teach Harry I thought was a mistake on DD's part. Occlumency is something which if it has to be taught, should be done with someone you have implicit trust in. Unfortunately, Harry couldn't bring himself to wholeheartedly trust Snape to not do anything wrong during their sessions and was therefore distracted. Snape himself was a victim of his hatred for Harry/James and the peculiarities of his own character and teaching style. So I guess it was no one's fault on purpose but both were victims of the failings of human nature and prejudices.


popkin - Feb 5, 2004 3:03 am (#484 of 2956)
Edited by Feb 5, 2004 3:05 am
Another quote on the same subject: OotP US Ch25 P553-555 In fact Harry would have given a great deal to be making as much progress at Occlumency as Neville was making during D.A. meetings. Harry's sessions with Snape, which had started badly enough, were not improving; on the contrary, Harry felt he was getting worse with every lesson.

Before he had started studying Occlumency, his scar had prickled occasionally, usually during the night, or else following one of those strange flashes of Voldemort's thoughts or moods that he experienced every now and then. Nowadays, however, his scar hardly ever stopped prickling, and he often felt lurches of annoyance or cheerfulness that were unrelated to what was happening to him at the time, which were always accompanied by a particularly painful twinge from his scar. He had the horrible impresion that he was slowly turning into a kind of aerial that was tuned in to tiny fluctuations in Voldemort's mood, and he was sure he could date this increased sensitivity firmly from his first Occlumency lesson with Snape. What was more, he was now dreaming about walking down the corridor toward the entrance to the Department of Mysteries almost every night, dreams that always culminated in him standing longingly in front of the plain black door.

HRH talk about the causes, and Harry concludes, "It's lessons with Snape that are making it worse."

Ron states, "Maybe he's actually trying to open Harry's mind a bit wider...make it easier for You-Know--"

Hermione interrupts, "How many times have you suspected Snape, and when have you ever been right? Dumbledore trusts him, he works for the Order, that ought to be enough."

"He used to be a Death Eater," said Ron stubbornly, "And we've never seen proof that he really swapped sides..."

"Dumbledore trusts him," Hermione repeated. "And if we can't trust Dumbledore, we can't trust anyone."

And that leaves me very open to either Ron or Hermione's conclusions.


Romana - Feb 5, 2004 4:44 am (#485 of 2956)
Just a quick slightly pointless note. Snape calls Voldemort 'The Dark Lord' so does Trelawney in Azkaban, after she makes her second prediction.


fidelio - Feb 5, 2004 7:01 am (#486 of 2956)
I think chiaojones has a good point--sometimes, when you're a 'natural' at something, it's hard to understand that others may find it difficult--also, if Snape is an almost instinctive Occlumens, it may be hard for him to explain how it's done, because he may do it almost without understanding exactly how it works. Also, if he learned it quite young, on his own, in self-defense [we've speculated about this before] he didn't really have someone teach him, or explain what goes on--he would just know that he reached the point where he could shut people out of his innermost thoughts, and feel that the best way about it was by trial and error, without any 'distracting' explanations--after all, it worked for him, didn't it?! His inability to praise Harry, or make what Harry can tell are constructive comments and suggestions [think of Lupin and the Patronus lessons here] also make the whole thing harder than it needs to be--but I don't think he's very comfortable with giving praise just because it's a helpful encouragement--he either has to be really impressed, or else he's using it as a tool to get what he wants from someone [flattery for direct or indirect gain--a Slytherin technique there!].

However, the whole thing does come across as very ambiguous, which is a habit of JKR's where Snape is concerned. Even if Snape is on the side of the angels here without reservations on his part, the distrust he inspires, and his contentiousness with his allies [Sirius, Harry] make things harder--which is often the case in the real world. How often do you find yourself working with someone you don't much like, or find irritating, but still have to deal with? Learning that you just have to cope is a big step in maturity--you're free to like or not like people, but you still have to manage to find a way to deal productively with them.


Madame Librarian - Feb 5, 2004 7:23 am (#487 of 2956)
fidelio, I very much like you last point about learning to cope even with people you find difficult or worse.

There was a high school history teacher at my son's school who was notorious for his incredibly high standards. Over half the freshman history class asked to transfer out after two weeks with him. He wasn't a nasty person, just very, very demanding. Most of the students who stuck it out (even those who normally got A's--highest grade--and just did so-so with C's) said that no teacher or professor would ever present them with anything as hard again. Supposedly tough classes they took later in high school or college seemed like a breeze to them. And, they were sometimes disappointed as how little they learned from other teachers after the superior quality of this guy's class.

So, even though Snape is definately on the nastier side with regard to students he doesn't like, Harry may come out of his classroom ordeals all the stronger and smarter.

Ciao. Barb


Weeny Owl - Feb 5, 2004 9:04 am (#488 of 2956)
One thing Harry wasn't doing that Snape told him to do was to empty his mind each night before he went to sleep. Granted, that is a difficult thing to do even without the threat of an evil wizard invading your mind, but Harry didn't even really try. Part of that was his curiosity and part was probably just worry about everything that was going on.

Snape was not the ideal person to teach Harry, and if Harry wasn't improving after two months' worth of lessons, Snape should have tried something else. Both are too hard-headed to let their guard down and discuss something calmly, and Snape is not known for his patience.

I think fidelio's comments are on target. Snape may be able to explain potions but something as convoluted as Occlumency may be something that has to be practiced until it just clicks.

I don't believe Snape was opening Harry's mind deliberately, but that Harry and Snape are just oil and water, and the two of them together didn't mix.


Mad Madame Mim - Feb 5, 2004 9:08 am (#489 of 2956)
I like to think of Harry and Snape as Hydrogen and Fire. Its best to keep them apart, or everything around them goes boom.


Madam Pince - Feb 5, 2004 2:16 pm (#490 of 2956)
Gina, I've been back-reading some older posts, and came across a mention of your thread "My Theory on Snape and the Prophecy." I think it's been auto-mulched. Did you by any chance save your post somewhere? Or could you re-post a quick summation again? I did a search but I don't think I found what you were referring to, and it was critical to the thread I was following. (something about Snape and where he was on the night of the Godric's Hollow attack, etc.) Thanks bunches! (Posting this here because I'm sure you'll probably see it here -- sorry to interrupt the flow of posts!)

edit: Never mind....I just found what I was looking for -- you re-did it recently on the Does Voldemort Know? thread. So thanks anyway!


HP Fan - Feb 6, 2004 1:20 pm (#491 of 2956)
I think one of the main reasons Harry didn't do well with Occulmency is as many of you have said that he and Snape just do not get on. I know when I was reading the Occulmency lesson's in the book I felt sympathy for both of them. If I was in Harry's shoes and had to learn Occulmency even if my best mate was teaching me I would be very, very uncomfortable, if I was being taught by someone I feared and or hated it would make it even harder to concentrate. Snape is as we've seen in all the books reluctant to praise people least of all Harry and I don't think it would have been realistic if Harry had managed to clear his mind on the few occasions he tried - after all OWLS are the roughly equivalent of GCSE's and I know from my own experience the GCSE year was frantic from start to finish [especially after Christmas] and my mind often refused to shut down when I went to bed. Add someone like Umbridge and all the events at Hogwarts during the year to the mix and I'm not surprised he struggled. I'm not sure who suggested that Snape might have developed his own skill at Occulmency through trial and error a a child in self-defence but I think it is a valid idea. Also we don';t know who easily Occulmency came to Snape - from his attitude and from Lupin's comment that he is a "Superb Occlumens" [not sure if that's exact haven't got my book with me at the moment.]I think he must have found it relatively easy. So the further suggestion made earlier [sorry can't remember who made it] that Snape can't understand how difficult it is for others because it came to him "naturally" so to speak also holds water. It might also explain why he seems to give Harry so little guidance as to how to defend himself. I don't think that in the first lesson Snape went that far wrong I think he was merely trying to see what natural defences Harry had towards Legilmency, so that he had an idea of what level Harry was at so to speak. After all he had been told that Harry could fight and throw off the Imperious Curse and he says it needs similar force of character - if that's the case then perhaps he was expecting Harry to do better than he did. Also in Snape's defence when Harry did apply himself during the lessons [to prevent him seeing the memory of Cho and again when he broke into his memory after using the shield charm] Harry did succeed in stopping the spell. Albeit with his wand rather than his mind. Even though his fear of Snape got the better of him after he managed to reverse the spell, and so he didn't do as well the next time. Think I've started to ramble will stop here while I am still making sense.


Gina R Snape - Feb 8, 2004 12:03 pm (#492 of 2956)
HP Fan, may I suggest you separate your posts with paragraphs? You have some good ideas, but it's hard to follow. My eyes keep dancing.

This topic has come up before and I really really love the Occlumenc lessons. I do not see any ambiguity in them with Snape and a possible DE allegiance. What I see is Snape attempting to maintain a level of control for a few very particular reasons.

One--he has the unpleasant task of meeting with Potter every week to teach him something that is a very intimate skill;

Two--He is trying to answer Harry's questions whilst staying true to Dumbledore's orders. You can see where he stops short or says things to lead Harry astray. "You are neither important nor special" he says at one point, knowing full well Harry is important and special. But if Harry believes that, he won't want to give up seeing behind the door.

Three--when he sees in Harry's mind, he's able to see what Voldemort is doing. It doesn't serve the DE for Snape to stop Harry from gaining entry to the door. Nor does it serve Voldemort for Harry to see him torturing one of his DEs. But it does serve DD to see what Voldemort is up to and how far Harry is progressing or not.

But Harry and Snape together are like flint and steel. Harry will never be able to calm himself around Snape. It is an impossible task. However, Harry will have to learn to control himself around Voldemort without the benefit of "time to relax." Snape's educational approach has always been one of accomplishment through adversity. I see no reason why he would change that approach here. It is what he knows. And Harry will have to learn to shut his mind under extreme duress anyway.

I think Snape refers to Voldemort as the Dark Lord for two very specific reasons. One, he has been trained to do so, and as such it is a habit. Were he to let that habit slip, it could prove deadly. Ths of course, because I assume Snape is still thought of by Voldemort as a death eater.

Secondly, if Voldemort were to pop in and hear what's going on, Snape can keep his cover. This scene is cleverly set up so that Snape could report trying to do something for the Dark Lord, when in reality he is not.

I think Ron and Hermione argue about Snape to keep readers' suspicions up. But I think it's a red herring. Snape is a spy and JKR wants to keep us reminded of his precarious status. It adds an element of edginess to the character as we sit at the edge of our seats waiting to see what he does next.

On a separate note, Harry treated Occlumency the same way he treated he Patronus lessons in one very specific way. He did not want the "bad thing" to stop even as he said he did. Harry did not like the feeling of coldness from the Dementors, but he liked hearing his parents' voices. Similarly, Harry does not want to be a pawn of Voldemort, but he does have insatiable curiosity about what's behind the door. He's just too dim to realise it is Voldemort putting him there.


HP Fan - Feb 10, 2004 1:25 pm (#493 of 2956)
Sorry Gina and everyone else whose struggled to read my above post. I thought I had paragraphhed it I have just read it now and gone Oops! I was really tired when I wrote that last post - don't know what I was doing!

Good point about the occulumency and patronus lessons - I'd not noticed that!

I was tring to say something similar to you about Harry needing to be able to clear his mind under stressful situations so Snape's lessons were giving him the right atmosphere to practise [in the same way as the Boggart in the Patronus lessons with Lupin which from your above point I have just realised]. But you worded it much better than me. I really must stop posting when a] tired b] rushed or c] both!

Though I do feel that the first Occulmency lessons takes the form it does for Snape to assess Harry's natural defences against Legilmency

I think you make a good point about Snape's use of the Dark Lord title, apart from preventing lapses in Voldemort's presence. I like the idea of Voldemort possibly popping up during the lessons. In fact you could argue he might have done. After Harry has broken into Snape's memory because of the Shield Charm - he sees the Department of Mysteries Corridor when they try again and the door OPENS when it has never done so before. Is it so far out to wonder if Voldemort perhaps sensing weakness in Harry's mind at the time seized his chance to try luring Harry there through rousing his curiosity? After all Harry thinks Snape is angrier then than when he broke into Snape's Memory [I can't remember page numbers am posting without book AGAIN - another bad habit I must break] Couldn't Snape's anger stem from fear that Voldemort may now know he's teaching Occulmency and may question his allegiance?

Or am I just clutching at straws? Possibly but Gina's post sparked off an idea so I thought I'd throw it out on the wind to see if it'll fly or be shot down.

Hope this makes easier reading and better sense than my last post. Sorry again!


Gina R Snape - Feb 10, 2004 5:03 pm (#494 of 2956)
I think Snape is angry that Harry saw the door open because that is what he is charged with preventing. It is a mark of his allegiance to Dumbledore. If he were on the side of the Dark Lord, he would get Harry to go further, not get angry make him stop.


Psychedelic Enchantress - Feb 12, 2004 3:12 am (#495 of 2956)
I doubt he is angrier with him for the dream than for Snape's Worst Memory. And he's quite justified in his anger. It's the equivalent to reading someone's diary just because you "happened to find it lying around"- a breach of trust, even if it's someone you dislike.


septentrion - Feb 12, 2004 4:12 am (#496 of 2956)
I don't agree with you, psychedelic enchantress, Snape isn't angry because Harry broke into his mind : it was the risk of the job and he made sure Harry won't be able to see certain things by removing them into the pensieve. But he's angry because Harry seeing the door is the proof Harry is still in danger, doesn't understand it (refuses to understand it in Snape's mind) and doesn't make any effort to improve in occlumency.


Devika - Feb 12, 2004 8:35 am (#497 of 2956)
I'm not sure Septentrion. I'm more with Psychadelic Enchantress on this one. To me it seemed that Snape could never keep his personal feelings out of the way during his lessons. I agree that Snape being in the Order and on the good side and all, would have Harry's welfare in mind. At the same time I feel that his real feelings for Harry are always lurking on the surface. When Harry saw the scene in the pensieve, I think it perturbed him to know that some of his innermost memories had been exposed to a student he didn't really like much and who happened to be the son of a protagonist in that vary memory. Snape has alsways come across as a very private person, and I'm sure it was a case of a 'private diary' kind of thing as mentioned above.


Gina R Snape - Feb 12, 2004 4:02 pm (#498 of 2956)
I think perhaps septentrion is confused.

Harry broke into Snape's mind...yes. Annoying, but not the end of the world.
Harry ALSO went into Snape's pensieve.

The whole point of the pensieve was so that in the event Harry broke into Snape's mind, he wouldn't see the memories specifically placed in the pensieve. But he went into the pensieve anyway, ruining the slimmest of slim measures of trust and angering Snape beyond repair--to the point where Snape refuses to continue lessons.


Devika - Feb 13, 2004 12:02 am (#499 of 2956)
Gina, you've put it well. After all... you know Snape much better!


septentrion - Feb 13, 2004 1:58 am (#500 of 2956)
I'm sorry if I seemed confused ! Gina, I think you however understood what I meant : Snape was prepared with Harry breaking into his mind during the lessons but not with Harry breaking into the pensieve. So, if Harry saw Snape's memories during the lesson, it was due to happen (even if not agreable) and was a sign of improvement from Harry. Yet Harry showed just after that he was still thinking, dreaming of the door which he was not supposed to do anymore : that is the very point which make Snape angry. And of course what happened with the pensieve was beyond anything Snape could bear.


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popkin - Feb 13, 2004 2:05 am (#501 of 2956)
I know we've discussed it before, but it bugs me. It's still really remarkable to me that that is Snape's worst memory. He's been a Death Eater, has seen all kinds of horrible mayhem, has almost certainly betrayed people he loved (did he do it the first time in his worst memory when he called Lily a mudblood?), and has probably watched people he loved die. Why would a memory of school pranks, even terrible ones, be his worst memory?


septentrion - Feb 13, 2004 3:10 am (#502 of 2956)
oh Popkin, i've never thought of this like that ! And I'm not sure this issue has been discussed in the way you tell it.


Madame Librarian - Feb 13, 2004 5:10 am (#503 of 2956)
popkin, I may not be able to articulate exactly what I mean here, but I understood that chapter heading "worst" memory to mean most humiliating. I made that leap since it is such a human response to awful treatment by one's peers--an almost universally recognized bane of childhood. Personally, I have had many sad events in my life (as we all probably do), I have experienced a scary brush with a serious illness, and behaved in some ways that I am ashamed of now--but--when I'm feeling particularly low and wallowing in self pity, the very first thing that pops into my head and produces a feeling of absolute negativity is a totally trivial episode of poor judgement involving me as a 17-year old and a total jerk who with Ken-doll good looks and plastic for brains and morals. Not rational for sure, but that's the way it is. I suspect I'm not alone in this quirk of emotion/memory. I think the same thing is going on here with dear Professor Snape.

Ciao. Barb


fidelio - Feb 13, 2004 7:13 am (#504 of 2956)
I have also wondered if one of the reasons Snape hid this memory was because it progresses all the way through to the moment James saves his life--after Snape performs the unbelievably stupid act of following Lupin through the tunnel, just as he's turning into a werewolf. You'd have memories of losing a fight, being humiliated in front of most of the school, being rude to someone who was standing up for you [who, in addition, later died in circumstances you perhaps failed to prevent, or may have even enabled--if Snape was the one who overheard the prophecy that night in the Hog's Head], stupidly following up on a tip from someone who was not your friend and wanted to see you humiliated at the very least, and dead at the worst, and certainly scared spitless, encountering an agitated werewolf, and then having your life saved by someone you detested. Plus, possibly, being told by Dumbledore that you should have been a bit smarter, and no, he wasn't going to expel the guy who set you up for the close encounter with a werewolf. This whole chain of events may even have been what sent Snape off to join the DEs. So, yeah, I can see what Harry saw being part of a larger whole that adds up to one of the worst periods of Snape's life. It may very well fall in the short list of "If I had it all to do over again" items for Snape--if he'd done something different in all this, he might not have become a DE, be dependent on Dumbledore's good will to stay alive and out of Azkaban, and not be teaching unappreciative little brats. [Do I win the prize for run-on sentences and disjointed chain of thoughts here?]

Also, he may not have wanted Harry to see the scene for two simple reasons. First, he was in a vulnerable position [bad for maintaining the proper respect and discipline among the students, when they've seen you look so stupid and helpless] and he was really rude to Lily. Mothers are a fairly sacred item for these people--ever notice how insults to someone's mother always call for a fight in the books? Even a rotter like young Malfoy feels he must stand up for his, when Harry says something slighting about her in GoF--and I think Snape may have felt he couldn't afford to have Harry see the young Snape call the young Lily names, whether he could verbalize this or not. Of course, this doesn't negate the need to avoid being seen as vulnerable, or the whole "This was the worst day in the worst week of my life" thing. It's just an additional motive for hiding the whole episode.


popkin - Feb 13, 2004 7:47 am (#505 of 2956)
fidelio, I like run-on sentences, and yours made a lot of sense.


fidelio - Feb 13, 2004 7:57 am (#506 of 2956)
Thanks--I'm never sure if my thoughts have been trapped in the thicket of words!


Weeny Owl - Feb 13, 2004 9:58 am (#507 of 2956)
It could have been Snape's worst memory because of what happened after Snape pulled Harry out of the Pensieve.

The memory was continuing when Harry was pulled out, and James was threatening to remove Snape's underwear. If that did happen, and with the entire scene that had already unfolded, I can see how humiliating it would be.

Our worst memories aren't always of the horrible things that happen in and of themselves. If this was part of the reason Snape became a Death Eater, then that may be why it was his worst.


Gina R Snape - Feb 13, 2004 10:57 am (#508 of 2956)
Worst memory of a single event ever? Probably not worse than some of his death eater activities. But yes, Weeny, what you wrote is a big part of what I think. It is a turning point memory. He says "Just you wait" to the Marauders. And, I think he meant it. So, years later he can look back on that memory with fresh anger and regret, knowing what happened as a result.

Nonetheless, it is not a memory he'd want Harry Potter to see under any circumstances.

Let's don't forget also, that there were two other memories in the pensieve as well. We can only guess what other horrors he didn't want Harry to see.

And, there is only so much humiliation one can catalogue at a time. Perhaps humiliation is highest up on Snape's list of unforgivable emotions.


fidelio - Feb 13, 2004 11:06 am (#509 of 2956)
He does remind me of some cats I've had--ones that would glare at you after they had cleared the too-narrow shelf of bric-a-brac and landed on the floor in the midst of the debris: "Don't-say-a-word! This DID NOT happen. If you EVER mention this, especially to the dog, you WILL die, I promise."


timrew - Feb 13, 2004 3:14 pm (#510 of 2956)
Maybe Snape doesn't want the memories of his time as a Death Eater locking up in a Pensieve. He probably saw (and possibly did) some frightful things at that time; and, who knows, maybe it isn't something that he wants to forget.

Perhaps he's reminding himself to never to go down that road again.....


MTW - Feb 13, 2004 5:20 pm (#511 of 2956)
I'm sure there was other Snape memories in the Pensieve. Harry just didn't have the time to see them all.


Gina R Snape - Feb 13, 2004 7:57 pm (#512 of 2956)
Oooh, Tim. Very interesting idea!

Yes, it makes total sense. Something like the Marauders' taunt and torture scene he'd want to forget for a myriad of reasons. But the things he did as a DE--never forget lest he be tempted again.

Still, I am aching to know what those other two memories were!!!


Mad Madame Mim - Feb 13, 2004 8:35 pm (#513 of 2956)
Gina, I think you are on track by saying "there is so much humiliation one can catalogue at one time."

When you have fallen victim to humiliation of that degree its hard not to forget but at the same time some do you want to forget it. Think along the lines of "forgive and forget." I don't think Snape will ever let himself forgive the Marauders for that, and that is why he saves that memory.

Yes, he has probably done some terrible things as a Death Eater, but did those things make him feel vulnerable, exposed and humiliated? Probably not. The things he did as a Death Eater he may have enjoyed to some degree. It was his revenge, it empowered him. In those things he had control of the situation. Does he regret doing them? I think he does.

Sometimes what makes your memory the worst, is not the actual event, but how that event made you feel.


Madam Pince - Feb 14, 2004 12:45 am (#514 of 2956)
I'm in fidelio's camp on this one. I believe it was his "worst" memory because it was the first step down a very dangerous path -- one that he wishes he had never taken. I think it was part of a chain of events that ended up with Snape becoming a Death Eater, which he now seriously regrets.


septentrion - Feb 14, 2004 6:48 am (#515 of 2956)
I join with madam pince and fidelio : if this memory was presented as Snape's worst one in the book, then it is. It may be the first step to "deatheatry" but I also think of it in another way. If James went until the end of what he wanted to do (take off Snape's pants), it could have been enough to drive anybody to the worse, especially when silence is made about it. Well, a lot of students witnessed the scene but it seemed there were no consequences for James. I wondered what I'd done if I had been in Snape's place and I assume that I'd have wanted the culprit to be put on trial for that! You must add the shrieking shack incident to Snape's humiliations : to keep silent about Lupin ! What's wonderful is Snape didn't let "slip" what Lupin was at that time ! But to keep silent about those kind of feelings is like putting them in a pressure cooker, nothing good can come out of it.

BTW does anyone have an idea of when the shrieking shack incident take place ? I know I'm going off topic but if there's a place when it has been discussed, please tell me.


Gina R Snape - Feb 14, 2004 7:38 am (#516 of 2956)
I'm fairly certain the shrieking shack incident also takes place in their 5th year. But I can't check my book right now to be sure.

Oh, wait. According to the Lexicon, it was in their 6th year at Hogwarts.


septentrion - Feb 14, 2004 12:06 pm (#517 of 2956)
I've thought of it in the day, I've reread some parts of PoA (end of ch.18) and I think the Lexicon is right : Snape was always "sneaking around" the marauders to find out what they were up to, it means he had a good reason for it, and what better reason would be than his humiliation at the end of 5th year ? And James saved Snape's life at great risks for his own life in the shrieking shack incident because he may have felt some remorse after what he did to Snape. Plus, it can mean that James' head have begun to "deflat" at that time and we know it wasn't before his 6th year.


Gina R Snape - Feb 14, 2004 6:10 pm (#518 of 2956)
Excellent point, septentrion. That makes a lot of sense.


Devika - Feb 15, 2004 4:25 am (#519 of 2956)
I thought the OWLs were taken in the 5th year. How would it make the memory a 6th year memory then??


Gina R Snape - Feb 15, 2004 6:34 am (#520 of 2956)
The pensieve memory was 5th year. The shrieking shack incident was 6th year.


firebird - Feb 18, 2004 3:53 am (#521 of 2956)
Hi everyone! This is my first post... You all know what this is like... I've never belonged to a forum before and I never thought I would join one... but the Lexicon's really thorough and provokes some intriguing thoughts. Besides I have been obsessing about the HP books lately, esp OP, and I thought it would be good to discuss it with others...

Anyway. My post is concerning Severus Snape. Does anyone else feel that he is the most interesting character in HP? I'm really quite fond of his character. Granted, I sometimes have a tendency to identify more with evil characters than good, but Snape's not evil. Although he's strict and biased, IMO, he's more respectable than little Flitwick or Trelawney or a lot of other teachers. You can kind of admire the way Snape can effortlessly keep his class quiet. Even MacGonagall has that piercing strictness that you can respect. (And neither of them broke down and gave in to Umbridge during the inspections - ha!) But that's only one small reason.

I think Snape's coldness and meanness comes more from a desire to keep anyone else from ever making a fool of him again, than anything else. I felt so sorry for him, in his worst memory, just like Harry did 'cause he identified with Snape being tormented and humiliated in front of a crowd. I was really disgusted at James Potter's behaviour that day in the Penseive and I found Sirius' explanation totally bogus that 'fifteen year-olds can be childish that way' or something..

Not just that. You know, I think it was a tremendously powerful moment when Snape marched up to Cornelius Fudge and revealed the Dark Mark on his arm. He didn't have to do that. Just like he didn't have to save Harry's life or turn spy for DD. Mainly I like him 'cause he's such a multi-faceted character. Not just Pure Good or Pure Evil. I think he's going to become a very significant character in the next books...

Sorry my first post is so long.. I'm sure you've read similar ones before and are getting sick of the same topic. >=)

PS. Umbridge is Pure Cloying Sugar-coated Evil, her and her foul kittens


Devika - Feb 18, 2004 5:36 am (#522 of 2956)
Not at all Firebird. We are seldom sick of good ol' Snape, who happens to be a hot favourite on the forum (ask Gina). You have given quite a good take on his character. Apart from not wanting someone to take advantage of him again, I have alwas gotten the impression that his cold attitude stems from his being a very private person. I guess that will come back to vulnerability, but I can easily imagine Snape as someone who doesn't feel comfortable with people knowing his past. I also think that he knows that as long as he is an impersonal enigma, he will be feared and respected. That's one of the reasons why I think he dislikes Harry. Because Harry knows a lot more about him than the average student. From his 1st year, Harry has known about his father saving Snape and by his 3rd year he knew much more about his schooldays. Now with the whole pensieve episode, I can imagine Snape being highly uncomfortable around Harry. This will undoubtedly translate into more dislike. But then again... one can never be sure which was JKR leads us!


Gina R Snape - Feb 18, 2004 6:25 pm (#523 of 2956)
Firebird wrote: Does anyone else feel that he is the most interesting character in HP?

I'm undecided.

Welcome to the forum, Firebird. You might find it useful to use the search function to see if prior discussions hold interest for you.

I don't think Snape is a cold person. I think he is not a nice person, but there is a difference. He has warmed up to McGonagall in his own way. And he's shown a great deal of anger and his own brand of humour in the series as well.


popkin - Feb 18, 2004 9:33 pm (#524 of 2956)
Gina, I did notice that Professor Snape seemed genuinely pleased to have MacGonagall back to school after her stay at St. Mungo's. I hadn't noticed that the first two times I read through OotP.


SHEla WOLFsbane - Feb 18, 2004 10:57 pm (#525 of 2956)
Okay, long time reader of the forum (well, since Oct 2003), third time writer on any type of forum, chat thing (first time was to give praise to a HP fan fic) Anyway, YES Snape is by FAR my most favorite charator... You JUST KNOW there is a whole lot more going on under the surface... Still waters run deep anyone??? Personally I think Prof. Snape has a right to be hard on Harry. How often has he been wrong??? Let me explain... no, there is too much, let me sum up: It's been awhile since I've read the books so please bare with me... Okay, we know JKR has certain threads running through all of the books, right? That being said, doesn't Snape catch Harry right before H/R/H are about to sneak past fluffy? PoA Snape was right when he says "Potter" had something to do with Siruis getting away. And it's "Potter" again in GoF when they find the egg. Like I said it's been awhile since I've read the books, but those are the ones that still stand out in my mind. I'm sure those of you who have read them lately would be able to fill in more instances where our favorite professor has been right thinking Harry has stepped out of line. And Harry still gets away with his stunts while DD smiles to himself. I'd have it out for Harry too, even with out knowing his father, but that most certainly doesn't help... James got away with his stunts, and so does Harry. Like father, like son. Sorry if this is just a tad too long, but like I said, long time reader who is just starting to get over my almost phobic fear of computers to say this stuff... Thanks much!!! Oh, one more thing: Who do I have to hit with a spell to get detention too???


HP Fan - Feb 19, 2004 7:35 am (#526 of 2956)
I think that scene with McGonagall at the end of OoP is giving us a little hint at a softer side of Severus Snape. He seems genuinely pleased that she is okay and back in action. Just my two knuts worth any thoughts anyone where JKR might take this?

SHEla WOLFsbane - I think the answer to your last question is any Slytherin in front of Snape or Malfoy anywhere - he'll go running to Snape anyway. Welcome to the detention club by the way!


Gina R Snape - Feb 19, 2004 9:11 am (#527 of 2956)
Heee. Welcome to the Detention with Snape! club Shela and congratulations on getting over your fear!

JKR hinted there was comraderie between Snape and McGonagall in PS/SS. So, I see this as a continuation of that, and also a chance for people who may have missed it to see he has another side. I suspect Snape and McGonagall will be working much more closely in the future, and perhaps Harry is just noticing interactions differently as well. If we are lucky, Harry will there is more to Snape than the 'greasy git' who is 'mean' to Harry.


firebird - Feb 19, 2004 11:01 am (#528 of 2956)
Yes, that's true Gina, MacGonagall and Snape don't seem as distant as you would expect at first glance, considering the enmity between Gryff. and Slyth. It's definitely in PS and even in PoA I think... There's this sort of good-natured teasing, especially about the Quidditch Cup.

I didn't really like Harry much until OoP, to tell the truth. I don't think he seemed quite real until then (IMO anyway) because he's a lot more mature in his reactions to things. Like when Neville learns spells quickly in DA, Harry feels a surge of pride. And when he sees his dad bullying Snape, he thinks, Does he really want to be like James anymore? And definitely, there will be a great deal of discomfort for Harry and Snape from now on... You're right, SHEla - Harry can be really nosy and it's justifiable for Snape to get annoyed... but then the books wouldn't be as interesting if he were a good little mini-Percy!


SHEla WOLFsbane - Feb 19, 2004 10:59 pm (#529 of 2956)
firebird: As much as Harry being nosy may grate on me- I do still say thank you- because I LOVED the pensive scene! I just don't blame Snape for how he reacted.

I also liked the scene between Snape and McGonagall. (okay, so I can't think of a scene with Snape in it that I didn't like) It showed a more playful side to McGonagall as well. Hmmm, how many other teachers would Snape banter back, and forth with? I can't think of any. I find it interesting that it's McGonagall who can get by with this... They both have a very commanding, and ridged presents, at least to the students.


Madam Pince - Feb 19, 2004 11:39 pm (#530 of 2956)
It was nice that we finally had that little scene with the two of them, especially since all the other "hints" we had before about them having a sort of teasing/playful competition about Quidditch, etc. came solely from McGonnagal. Snape gave no hint of it whatsoever; it was only in her few comments that we got the clue.

By the way, Shela -- you're a "Princess Bride" fan as well? I caught your reference in your earlier post! Gotta love Inigo Montoya!


Lagniappe - Feb 23, 2004 1:31 pm (#531 of 2956)
The building tension between Snape and Harry is one of my favorite aspects of the book. When you read the exchanges between these two, you can almost FEEL their mutual loathing, and I expect something dramatic to eventually happen between them. At least, I hope that is what this is building to!


Romana - Feb 23, 2004 2:06 pm (#532 of 2956)
Something occurred to me whist reading the many posts that have have occurred since my last look in, Snape's worst memory may seem a little odd when compared to the horros he must have committed whilst working as a death eater, but he was (at least for a short while) doing them willingly, so in retrospect they may seem bad to him now (though I personally doubt this, I think Snape wants revenge from Voldemort) but not so bad as the orginal humilliation of his worst memory. That memory may have had some running time left before Snape pulled Harry out.

I hope this makes some sense. (Note to self, don't post when ill)


SHEla WOLFsbane - Feb 24, 2004 12:50 am (#533 of 2956)
Yes, Madam Pince I sure am a fan of The Princess Bride... (I posted on Recommended viewing) Funny thought that tickles my funny bone, "Ello' my name is Harry potter, you killed my father, prepare to die."

I don't want Harry to get to take potions just because Dumbledore pulls some strings, but I really don't think Harry is going to get a high enough grade to take potions with Snape as teacher either. So, that leaves me hoping that Snape gets the DADA position, because I too, LOVE the tension between Snape, and Harry. In a strange, and twisted sort of way, I think that they are good for each other.


Gina R Snape - Feb 24, 2004 7:02 am (#534 of 2956)
Has anyone here heard that theory that it's Snape who jinxed the DADA position?

I got to thinking yesterday that maybe Snape told the slytherins Lupin was a werewolf wasn't just to "out" him as one. Maybe it was the most effective way to get rid of Lupin, since Lupin was the first effective DADA teacher Hogwarts had in ages who didn't die or lose his memory, etc. So Snape had to find some way of getting him fired.


septentrion - Feb 24, 2004 12:16 pm (#535 of 2956)
I don't think Snape let slip Lupin was a werewolf just to have him fired. I think he also wanted revenge for what happened in the shriecking shack : him shot down by students who appeared to believe the criminal Sirius Black. It was a humiliation more for Snape ! In fact he killed two birds with one stone : he got Lupin sacked and he hurt Harry, whom he knew to like Lupin.


Kapi - Feb 25, 2004 2:19 pm (#536 of 2956)
I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but maybe Snape compares Harry to his father so much because he doesn't want to believe that James is really dead. What I mean is that even though he knows that James is dead, he might want James to live on in (or as) Harry. I don't know why he would feel this way, but it's just a thought. Maybe Snape feels responsible for James's death (and maybe he actually was responsible for James dying) or maybe it has to do with the life-debt thing. If he sees Harry as James, then saving Harry is like saving James. Or something.

I'm not sure if I made myself very clear.


Mad Madame Mim - Feb 25, 2004 5:04 pm (#537 of 2956)
At the same time it would justify why Snape is so hard on Harry. Snape can't get past what James did to him. When Snape sees Harry, he sees James. Old wounds are reopened.

On another note, I need some detention with Snape. Humm... what to do... dung bombs? I wonder if he has a privet toilet, maybe I could make flush in reverse. That would get me at least a few weeks worth. Wink


hopping hessian - Feb 25, 2004 7:26 pm (#538 of 2956)
When Snape sees Harry, he sees James

Perhaps he doesn't see James per se, he sees the same things in Harry that he hated in James:

James was popular, Harry is a hero. James got away with rule breaking, Harry ditto. James was a favorite with Dumbledore, Harry ditto.

I don't think that Snape hates Harry because of what James did to him, at least I hope not, that would be too cheesy. Rather, he just hates the same things about both.

PS: I'm very happy to know that I'm not the only one who fantasizes about detention with Snape Wink


alexa - Feb 25, 2004 7:48 pm (#539 of 2956)
Mad Madame Mim and Hopping Hessien, not trying to be a wet blanket, but why do you fantasize a detention with Snape? He won't be there when you are serving your detention, right? Or are you referring to serving a detention together with Snape? Sorry, really quite confused.


Gina R Snape - Feb 25, 2004 7:57 pm (#540 of 2956)
Oh, Alexa, you weren't there for the birth of the Detention with Snape! Club. The idea being, some of us are 'odd' or 'twisted' or 'intrigued' or whatever... enough to want to serve detention WITH Snape. 2 hours in the dungeons with canon Snape. :sigh: But to go any further would remand this to the fanfiction forum...

As for how/why Snape sees and dislikes Harry, I think it's very complicated. I do think he hates all the same things he hated about James. And I strongly suspect he 'sees' James when he looks at Harry because they look so much alike, making the comparison all that much stronger. But I don't think he confuses Harry for James at quite the same level that Sirius did. Sirius' interactions with Harry were limited. Snape has watched Harry grow up for 5 years. And let's not mention everything he knows about efforts on Harry's behalf. Sirius was not privy to much of that information for a long time. Snape's job and "extra-curricular" activites centre around protecting Harry. I think this would be enough to erase any genuine confusion over the boy's identity.


Mad Madame Mim - Feb 25, 2004 8:46 pm (#541 of 2956)
Alexa,

For me, JKR has made such a fascinating character in regards to Snape. He has depth, dimension, angst to name a few. He has well over a 1000 post to his honor on this forum and is considered only a supporting character. So little we know about him and yet there are some many possibilities. He is the part actors want to play, the character that will be remember not because his name was in the title. He is Iago (Othello), Tybalt (Romeo and Juliet),Polonius (Hamlet). He may not share actual character traits with them, but has their lasting impression. He is darkly human. He shows that worst in us can also be a saving grace. Truly an enigma.

Okay, now that my count thy ways is over on to topic. Wink

I almost think that Snape's interaction is not fueled by bad blood or that he is projecting James onto Harry, but that he really doesn't like to be told what to do. He has to interact with Harry and seems to be bucking everytime someone makes him do so. But I still like the psychology spin on bullying too.


alexa - Feb 25, 2004 9:03 pm (#542 of 2956)
Oh, I didn't know there is a Detention with Snape! Club. Thanks for your clarification, Mad Madame Mim and Gina!

I think it may be good for Harry to have a teacher who dislike him, life can't be a bed of roses. All the teachers have always been quite lenient with Harry, considering that he has broke many school rules. The way Snape treated Harry may make Harry a much better person, maybe it make him a little better in handling relationships as he grows older.


Rod Beecham - Feb 26, 2004 2:53 am (#543 of 2956)
Hi! My name is Rod Beecham, and this is my first posting. I believe my theory has been floated before, but perhaps not with the detail I propose to give it. I believe Severus Snape was - and still is - in love with Lily Potter. Let''s see whether this idea fits with what we know. In OoP we glimpse Snape's childhood for the first time, and it looks very unpleasant. A fearful, lonely, isolated boy. But clever. How likely that he would compensate for his fear and loneliness through an exaggerated pride in the purity of his wizarding blood and in his intellectual abilities. At Hogwarts he is an unattractive loner. He is fascinated by the Dark Arts because they offer power, power to someone who feels utterly powerless in his personal and emotional life. Of course, as such characters do, he falls passionately in love. How complicated he must feel that the object of his passion is Muggle-born. How bitter he must feel that his rival (I use the term loosely, for Snape's passion would have been a fiercely-guarded secret) is the careless, arrogant, talented James Potter. Yes, he speaks furiously and brutally to Lily when she intervenes on his behalf, but receiving help from the person you most want to impress would be, for such a young man in such circumstances, the most exquisite humiliation possible. He would have been consumed with rage, and with hatred for James. Which brings me to the Whomping Willow incident. Why would Sirius Black - no angel, but certainly no sadist - play such an incredibly irresponsible and potentially lethal trick on Snape? Because Snape, in his bitterness and evil, planned or perhaps even carried out some REALLY VILE act of revenge on James, which Sirius discovered. Sirius, furious in his turn, sent Snape to the Shrieking Shack. James found out and, at great personal risk, rescued Snape. The next question is why Snape deserted Voldemort. Might it not have been when he learned of Voldemort's intention to kill Harry? For Harry himself, Snape cared nothing, but he knew that this would cause terrible pain to the woman he loved. So he switched sides. I suspect he loathes Harry because he blames him for Lily's death (hardly Harry's fault, of course, but I wouldn't expect a man like Snape to look at the thing with calm detachment). It is because of his inner volvano that Snape has become so proficient at Occlumency. As he says, "savagely", to Harry in OoP: "Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions, who wallow in sad memories and allow themselves to be provoked so easily - weak people, in other words . . !" I'd be interested in others' thoughts.


fidelio - Feb 26, 2004 7:50 am (#544 of 2956)
Rod, youre right, this theory has been posted before, if not on one of the two Snape threads in this section, then in the archived threads, and you might want to look there to see what sort of arguments they came up with there. I ran a search just now using Snape Lily loved as the keywords and came up with far more posts that I could link you to here, so we've chewed this on over off and on quite a bit. Your outline has some of the best insight into Snape psychology I've seen dealing with this particular twist, and thanks for giving us your take on it.

I have to say, though, the best I can say is "It's possible." I know of nothing that we have in canon that really rules this out--there's no proof that Snape disliked Lily--as you note, in the one interaction we saw between the two, he was pretty nasty, but your point that this was not the time when an unhappy young man like Snape would appreciate the intervention of his object of adoration is only too true. I can see Sirius acting in a hasty manner to 'protect' James, too. [The one thing I've never understood about that whole business of sending Snape into the Shrieking Shack was the consequences for Lupin--how could Sirius have been so blind to those--but that's not a topic for this thread.] Of course, there's nothing in canon that comes right out and says Snape had a thing for Lily, either--but since it hasn't been ruled out, that means we can speculate as much as we like, right?

The only point that I'd argue with is that this is why Snape is soo good at Occlumency. I'd say, instead, that it's one of the reasons he's so good at it. I think Snape started in with that skill at an early age, because of stresses at home. We've discussed that Snape's childhood wasn't the happiest, based on the little that JKR has shown us, and quite a few of us think thst he may have been abused as a child. Of course, people in the Wizarding World are sble to produce some types of abuse that mere Muggles have no access to--including Legilemency. [Think about it--for an abusive, controlling spouse or parent, being able to see into the mind of your victim--what an advantage--and what an excuse for further abuse. If Snape couldn't even call his thoughts his own, what an excellent motivation for becoming very good indeed at closing that door to further suffering!] However, a DE hopelessly loving a muggleborn witch would certainly be desperate to conceal that fact!

We've also debated if the spy in the Hog's Head who revealed the first part of the prophecy to Voldemort might have been Snape--and if he didn't realize at first that the child mentioned in it could be Lily's until he'd already told Voldemort, there would be another layer of regret, remorse, and self-hatred layered in on top of everything else.

Of course, everyone else is going to have quite a bit to say, too--just because we've been over this before doesn't mean we won't consider it again, if someone brings in an interesting new angle!


Surtseystwin - Feb 26, 2004 10:04 am (#545 of 2956)
Gina wrote:

Has anyone here heard that theory that it's Snape who jinxed the DADA position?<


I don't believe that the job is jinxed, only that it truly is very difficult to find a competant professor for the position. Having intimate experience with the dark arts, Snape would obviously be capable, and I believe he really does want the job.

For Dumbledore to give the DADA position to a former DE, he would have to trust that person implicitly. He may trust Snape in that capacity (I believe he does), but if Voldemort saw that level of trust demonstrated, he would KNOW that Snape had defected. Dumbledore is no fool: he will exercise caution where it is necessary, and Voldy knows that.

Dumbledore's refusal to grant Snape the DADA position despite Snape's great desire for it, protects Snape, and by implying that Dumbledore still has his reservations about our favorite Potions Master, reinforces to Voldemort that Snape is still an operative DE.


fidelio - Feb 26, 2004 11:43 am (#546 of 2956)
If Snape is upsetting and intimidating to some of the shyer and less capable students in Potions [think of Neville], he probably would be just as unsettling in DADA--possibly worse, since his experience would make him even more intense [think of what the faux Moody was like, and then ratchet it up some]. People who aren't fairly good at potion-making can usually find a way around the problem--buy 'em ready-made, trade favors with someone who's better at it than you are, and so on. However, you can't really delegate self-defense, whether it's from small inconveniences like hinkypunks, or evildoers ready to use an Unforgivable curse. In the Wizarding World, you really do need to be able to distinguish a werewolf from a real wolf, and do it fast. Turning out students who are either closed-minded about a subject, or paralysed by it, because of an unsettling experience with a teacher isn't good, but in the case of DADA, it's got the potential to be fatal. It makes senses, therefore, that Dumbledore fears teaching DADA might brng out the worst in Snape--he'd be risking turning out incapable students, and the temptation to explore unsavory angles of the subject while working with the advanced students would be another risk. However, I don't know that Snape would be spiteful and resentful enough to jinx the job. He's capable of a great deal of meanness, but his more extreme actions against people are usually the result of a reasonable fear [spilling the beans on Lupin, for example--however pleasant he may be, is it a good idea to have a werewolf on the faculty at a boarding school?], and he seems fairly committed, despite his own shortcomings as a teacher, to maintaining Hogwarts as a stable learning environment.


Rod Beecham - Feb 26, 2004 7:19 pm (#547 of 2956)
Thank you, Fidelio, for your response to my first posting. I agree that a passion for Lily would not be the sole reason for Snape's interest and proficiency in Occlumency. (I didn't mean to imply that: I think I got a bit tangled up in my psychoanalysis!) Like you, I think the origins of the Occlumency reside in Snape's childhood. Your suggestion that his father may have made abusive use of Legilimency is truly chilling. I would hope not. But I think that an unhappy and intimidating domestic atmosphere would be quite sufficient to drive a child deep into him/herself, displaying only the faces and the learned behaviours calculated to draw least attention to him/herself.

As to why Dumbledore resists giving Snape the Dark Arts job he craves, my feeling is that the Dark Arts would provide Snape with too many opportunities to indulge the bitterness and evil in his nature - and there's a good deal of both - in ways that could cause serious harm to students and, therefore, to the school. In Potions, Snape's less attractive attributes - especially his twin desires for power and to be superior to others - can be channelled relatively harmlessly. "You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion making . . . I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses . . . I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death - if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."

This is a most revealing speech. Snape's interest in power is starkly apparent (we link this with Voldemort's temptation of Quirrell: "There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it." Cf. also Snape's speech in OoP about disciplining the mind, quoted in my first posting). His pride in his intellectual attainments and wizarding skill is apparent here, also. His subtlety (something Rowling emphasizes, not least by a consistent employment of sibilant adverbs when describing Snape's speech) is indicated by the switching of adjectives describing "science" and "art". The conventional pairing would be, "exact science" and "subtle art". That Snape reverses these is characteristic.

Finally, I think it is noteworthy, and consistent with feelings of fear and inadequacy before one's father, that Snape's respect is reserved for the powerful: Dumbledore, Voldemort, McGonagall. Only powerful and accomplished wizards and witches are spared his contempt.


septentrion - Feb 27, 2004 11:45 am (#548 of 2956)
Welcome to the forum, Rod, and thank you for you thoughts !

What I've read about snape's ability at occlumency due to a hard childhood is reinforced by the fact that all we learn about his childhood is shown during the occlumency lessons.

And about "subtle science" instead of "exact science" and "exact art" instead of "subtle art" (how is it that nobody noticed before ?) shows us one more time JKR's writing talent.


Rod Beecham - Feb 27, 2004 2:37 pm (#549 of 2956)
Thank you, Septentrion, for your warm welcome.

Yes, good point about us only seeing anything of Snape's childhood during Occlumency lessons. I think you're right: it does seem to reinforce a connection between the two.

Something I meant to add in my little analysis of Snape's first speech (on potion-making in PS) is that his notably sensual description of the business of making potions indicates to me a highly-developed aesthetic sense. Snape is in important respects an artist, with a strong feeling for and appreciation of beauty. I take this as indirect evidence that an intense love for Lily would be consistent with his character.

Two further thoughts occur. When talking to Harry about what he saw in the Pensieve in OoP, Lupin says that by his seventh year James "stopped hexing people just for the fun of it." Then, "slowly" (i.e. in a manner that suggests he is choosing his words with care), Lupin says: "Snape was a special case. I mean, he never lost an opportunity to curse James . . . "

I am struck by Lupin's evidence (which I trust, because I trust Lupin) that James used hexes but Snape used curses. Snape was "up to his neck in the Dark Arts" at school. Does Lupin mean that Snape employed Unforgiveable Curses against James? I cannot imagine Snape going so far as to try the Killing Curse, and I find it hard to believe - because Snape is a bully, not a sadist, and there's a difference - that he would have attempted the Cruciatus Curse. But I can imagine him trying out the Imperius Curse on James, because the Imperius Curse represents the most sophisticated demonstration of power over another. Did Snape place or attempt to place James under the Imperius Curse with the intention of destroying his (James') chances with Lily (e.g. by making James behave in some rude and offensive manner to her)? Did Sirius discover this and, in a transport of rage, send Snape to the Whomping Willow? We don't know, of course, but I find the idea plausible. What do others think?

My other thought relates to the duelling episode in CS. Snape intervenes to pair Harry with Malfoy. Snape whispers instructions to Malfoy that result in a spell producing a live snake. Why? Was this just another example of Snape's casual bullying of Harry, or was he acting with more deliberation? I ask this because Snape's choice of a snake-producing spell seems too coincidental. Did he suspect Harry of being a Parselmouth and want to put the matter to the test? After removing the snake, Snape "was looking at Harry in an unexpected way: it was a shrewd and calculating look . . . " I'd be grateful for others' thoughts on this.

Finally, a last word regarding the Snape-loves-Lily theory. Harry's appearance. We are told repeatedly of Harry's extraordinary physical resemblance to his father, with one exception: his eyes. He has Lily's eyes. How would Snape feel, seeing his beloved's eyes looking at him out of the body of his hated rival?


SHEla WOLFsbane - Feb 28, 2004 12:11 am (#550 of 2956)
Hmmm, real quick- I couldn't tell you were in the books the thought first came to me (must read the books again), but I too, thought that Snape may have liked Lily. I do wonder though, just how much of Snapes' animosity toward Harry is only because of a James- Lily- Severus triangle? What I mean is, I had teachers (more than I will admit to) tell me that they liked me as a person, just not as a student. Until they told me that, I had felt that they were out to get me. ME as a PERSON, not a STUDENT. So, I would try to buck the system, because I was taking them doing there job personally. They would in turn make things harder on me (as a student) to try to get me to toe the line. Round, and round it would go. Since I was taking things to the personal level, I delt them out on the personal level also. Example: "I hate Mr. So, and so." Rather than, "I hate what ever class." Or, "Mr. So, and so gave me detention again!" not, "Yeh, I have detention for talking during what ever class." I see Harry doing a lot of the same things with regards to Snape. He personalizes, being called on if he doesn't know the answer a great deal more with Snape over McGonagall. Harry sees Snape as out to get him, if Snape catches Harry out in the halls when he's not supposed to be. Okay, Probably more info than necessary, and the long way to go about saying... Maybe Snape truly disliked Harry as a student, but did he start out not caring for Harry as a person? Or with each consecutive year of putting up with Harrys' crap, Snape is fast reaching the point of not liking Harry as a student, OR a person? Just thought I'd throw that out there?

Next: Snape is a very calculating person. (I'd think you'd have to be, to be potions master) So, tying in my little rant, I think the whole setting up, Harry to have Malfoy send the snake at him was a sort of test to see where Harry was at- skill wise. I say that, also because I don't believe that Snape does ANYTHING for just ONE reason. That makes me wonder though, has Snape been in the loop to keep Harry safe since his first year? We're led to believe Snape steps in because of the whole life debt thing, but how much of that was Snape, and how much of that, was Dumbledore's doing? If any.

Gina, I have not heard about Snape Jinxing the DADA job. Where did you hear/ read that?


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septentrion - Feb 28, 2004 9:57 am (#551 of 2956)
Rod and Shela, you rise new points of view in Snape's debate. Just my two knuts to answer you :

-I can't imagine Snape using an unforgivable curse on James, he's a kind of I-respect-the-rules man and was surely that kind of child too. Plus he's a calculating man : to use an unforgivable curse costs too much regarding his aim = spoiling James and the marauders' life.

-when Sirius convinced Snape how to go to the schrieking shack he was of course helped by Snape's curiosity but Sirius wasn't in a transport of rage at that time, if so he wouldn't have convinced Snape to try and discover what Lupin was doing. And how did Sirius convince Snape to try ? If Snape and Sirius disliked each other, Snape would be very mistrustful towards Sirius.

-about the serpensortia curse in the duelling club, I think I've read something about it in the forum. What I could say is that curse was perhaps just because Snape wanted Harry to be defeated by the Slytherin house's symbol. I don't think he expected Harry to be a parselmouth, but this choice serves the plot so well !

-Can Snape dislike Harry as a student and not dislike him (I dare not say like) as a person ? He can come to some respect for Harry but I see it difficult for him to stop disliking Harry, there's too much between them. Of course Snape shot first (remember the first potions class) but Harry made it worse particularly inthe pensieve scene.


Rod Beecham - Feb 28, 2004 9:23 pm (#552 of 2956)
Septentrion, thanks for your response to my post.

I can't agree with you that Snape is a "by-the-book" man. Such a man would not cold-bloodedly smash Harry's work at the end of a Potions class, as he does in OoP, and then say, "with a look of gloating pleasure, 'Whoops. Another zero, then, Potter.'"

Nor do I see that my conjecture as to Sirius' actions are inconsistent with his being enraged. I don't imagine he would have informed Snape directly: I think it far more likely that he would have engineered a conversation or dropped a note that Snape felt he had discovered by accident. He must have been enraged, it seems to me, otherwise he would not, as Fidelio has very shrewdly noted, been blind to the consequences for his friend Lupin, whose prospects would hardly have been improved by the murder or infection of Snape.

(Sorry, my language seems cold. It's not intended to be: I have a rather forensic prose-style which has irritated many people. It's not meant to sound superior. Imagine we're barristers . . ?)


magepeachtree - Feb 29, 2004 1:01 am (#553 of 2956)
Everyone on this forum is so smart, and so well educated, and I personally feel the same way Pinky does; as in that I feel I'm in a room full of "Brains." At the same time, I can't help but wonder, if we all aren't reading too much into "Snape's Worst Memory."

I wouldn't be surprised at all, if Dumbledore himself, hadn't asked Snape to use the Penseive when he was teaching Harry Occlumency, to keep Snape's memories of James out of his mind while he was teaching Harry.

Maybe I'm wrong, but more than anything, that particular memory seems to be something one wouldn't want in one's head, when one was trying to teach someone something that required my full attention.


SHEla WOLFsbane - Feb 29, 2004 1:36 am (#554 of 2956)
magepeachtree: I felt the same way when I started reading the forum. All the ideas that people have- WOW! It seems that the ideas can feed off of each other sometimes, and get tweaked as they go...

Case in point: That is an interesting thought about Dumbledore telling Snape to use the pensive, but didn't Dumbledore have to pull Harry out of his own pensive already by that point in time? When I first started reading your post I thought that you ment, Dumbledore knew that Harry would look sooner, or later if given the chance... Hmmm, How many times do we see Snape 'putting his memories away' in front of Harry? I'm sure it had to be more than once... Hmmm... So, what do I do? I start reading too much into it... irony, of irony s.

Septentrion: Like Rod; I thank you for your response, and your ideas. I also have to disagree that Snape is a 'by the books' kind of guy. I suppose it DOES depend upon the book though... hee, hee, hee!!! That being said, yeh, I think that you're right: I don't think that Snape will go so far as to like Harry, but maybe he won't dislike him either by the end of the books...

Oh, I must send my apologies out to anyone who may have been offended by my CAPS at any time. I still need to work on that whole italics, underline, bold thing. So I use caps lock instead- interchangeably since I know how to do THAT (insert frustrated italics there) Thanks much for your understanding.


Little Ginny - Feb 29, 2004 8:26 am (#555 of 2956)
Shela, just write the thing you want to italicize (do you say so?) in a line of their own and begin the line with a minor i and a free space. That should work (it's the only thing I know how to do).

I thought that maybe Sirius told Snape not to go into the Shrieking Shack, which of course caused Snape to go. I imgaine it to be perhaps like that:

Snape: So, you have been out of dormitory again last night, Black?

Sirius: And what if I have?

Snape: I don't think Professor McGonagall would like to hear about it, would she?

Sirius: It's not your business what she knows about me!

Snape: Well, tell me what you do in the nights, and she'll never know a single thing.

Sirius: What? Tell you anything, Snivellus?

Snape: Well, I hear you have been around that Shrieking Shack. You shouldn't go there, it's haunted.

Sirius: Ooow, is Snivellus afriad of nasty ghosties?? What would you know about it, you're too much a coward to press the knod on the Whomping Willow with a stick and enter the secret tunnel to the Shrieking Shack to find out what the ghosts do! Better go and grease your hair again, it looks almost clean today!

Of course, there was only one thing for Snape to do after that.

(I think JKR could have done it more elegant, but I hope you got the point.)


septentrion - Feb 29, 2004 12:22 pm (#556 of 2956)
Little Ginny I completely got the point ! and a good point !

Maybe Snape isn't so "by-the-book" as I imagine him yet I don't think he used an unforgivable curse on James or anyone else when he was at school because it'd be too difficult to hide. Of course he could have used a memory charm but a student who would have lost one's memory would have been too suspiscious.


Rod Beecham - Feb 29, 2004 1:09 pm (#557 of 2956)
Great dialogue, Little Ginny! Black employing some reverse psychology on Snape sounds very persuausive: I can just hear them talking to one another like that.


Gina R Snape - Mar 4, 2004 7:33 am (#558 of 2956)
Egads. I go away for a few days and it gets very exciting again round here!

I am one who believes the theory that Snape made it his business to be part of the Dueling Club to keep control as everyone knew Lockhart to be incapable of this. And, I do think he told Malfoy to use serpensortia. For Malfoy, it's a nice Slytherin symbol to use against his enemy. But I also think the portraits overheard Harry say he was hearing voices. So Snape (possibly in planning with DD but not necessarily) devised a way to 'test' this theory that Harry was a parselmouth, and as such hearing the basilisk and not voices due to psychosis.

I have long loved Snape's initial speech, as many here know! The subtle science and exact art, along with other things he says and doesn't say in that speech, reveal so much about the man it's mind-boggling. I will post my thoughts later, as I haven't got the time for a proper one now.

But what I really wanted to pop in here to say was...this little ditty appeared in the JKR chat today. And pthpt!! I WAS RIGHT!!!!!

Megan: Is there a link between Snape and vampires?
JK Rowling replies -> Erm... I don't think so.


Mare - Mar 4, 2004 7:37 am (#559 of 2956)
Well Gina, she says she doesn't think so. So basically, she doesn't know for sure...


Gina R Snape - Mar 4, 2004 8:54 am (#560 of 2956)
Nice try, Mare!!!!!!!


septentrion - Mar 4, 2004 9:17 am (#561 of 2956)
I noticed it too Gina !

"So Snape (possibly in planning with DD but not necessarily) devised a way to 'test' this theory that Harry was a parselmouth, and as such hearing the basilisk and not voices due to psychosis."

Writing this supposes you believe Snape knew about the monster to be a basilisk sneaking in the pipes ! Or at least being suspiscious about its nature ! So why didn't he tell to DD who could have taken precautions to spare the muggle born students ? You don't want to mean that ! But the theory according to which the portraits could have told somebody about Harry hearing voices is very plausible though I think they'd tell DD instead of Snape. And I think they did it indeed, that's why DD asked Harry : "are you sure you have nothing you'd like to tell me ?" (paraphrasing). Of course DD is a legilimens and could have guessed by this means something was worrying Harry but it's easier when you have a clue


Gina R Snape - Mar 4, 2004 10:10 am (#562 of 2956)
Yes, well, DD could have then turned to Snape to handle the problem. Snape dealt with it in an ultimately very Slytherin way!

I suspect DD, Snape and McG knew about the basilisk. They've known about the chamber and that it was possibly reopened at this point. Remember, the monster had escaped some fifty years earlier, and DD suspected Tom Riddle. So, I don't think Snape would have information to hide. If anything, DD probably informed Snape it was a basilisk.

And, oh oh oh, I am soooooo dying after today's chat!!!! I think at this point there should be no doubt that Snape is entirely crucial to the story. She is so unwilling to tell us even the smallest things regarding him that there's no way we aren't all going to be picking our jaws up from the floor after reading the next two books as his backstory and role are divulged.

And, once again Snape is NOT a vampire!!!


Diagon Nilly - Mar 4, 2004 12:23 pm (#563 of 2956)
I'm apprehensive about this part of the transcript:

"Ali: Why specifically does Dumbledore trust Snape? JK Rowling replies -> Another excellent and non-answerable question. I shall merely say that Snape has given Dumbledore his story and Dumbledore believes it. "

Is she implying Snape is a bad guy after all? I would honestly hate that, being that Snape acting evil but working on behalf of the "good side" is part of that characters appeal... To actually make him a bad guy takes away a dimension on a character that's wonderfully layered (like a cake, or an onion, or a parfait) to begin with.

Thoughts?


Gina R Snape - Mar 4, 2004 5:17 pm (#564 of 2956)
Diagon Nilly! Is that really you?!?! I just mentioned you in a post the other day! (Well, you and your avatar). Where ya been?

I know a lot of people who are up in arms about that quote. But, the same thing could be said for Sirius. And DD was (more or less) right about him.

I imagine there is one heck of a story to be told, and I'm just excited to hear it.


Luanee - Mar 4, 2004 10:00 pm (#565 of 2956)
Gina don't worry, Snape is definitely not a vampire. You have my support.


Diagon Nilly - Mar 4, 2004 10:25 pm (#566 of 2956)
Thanks Gina...I've been around and about. Actually, I don't have much to add during the lulls between books/movies. Until something new pops up, I have no questions. I have no bananas either.

And since this is supposed to be a thread about Snape, I'm glad JK added that all questions about people's pasts will be answered by the end of the series. I just hope that includes seeing Snape's boggart/animagus/patronus....perhaps his boggart is a...erm....vampire?


SHEla WOLFsbane - Mar 5, 2004 12:32 am (#567 of 2956)
I'm so glad the vampire thing came up again... I whole heartedly agree that Snape is NOT a vampire. In case I do end up being wrong, I (hesitantly) want to go on record and say that, regardless, it has no bearings on wether or not Snape is a 'good guy' playing up the bad guy act, or if he really is a 'bad guy'- which of coarse he's not!

I'm a little worried though... Why did she have to add that Dumbledore believes him, couldn't she have just said, 'because he has good reason too.' and left it at that... Oh noooo, she answers the questions in such a way we still have room to question, and doubt, and ponder- Oh, SHE IS GOOD!!! I say all that because Dumbledore's little mistakes, have gotten bigger as the books go along... Please don't be wrong about Snape, please don't be wrong about Snape...


Rod Beecham - Mar 5, 2004 2:25 am (#568 of 2956)
Snape's not a bad guy or a good guy: he's ambiguous!

I think he's someone who has a lot of reasons to be a bad guy, but who has chosen (Dumbledore and those choices!) to be on the right side.

But he's not someone to admire. He's a flawed and rather unpleasant man, but he's not evil.


Romana - Mar 5, 2004 3:04 am (#569 of 2956)
May I ask where this interview with JK Rowiling is? I would like to read it.

I agree with Rod Beecham, I don't think he is good or evil, just on Dumbledore side. It seems to me that he always does exactly what Dumbledore tells him to do, at least after PoA.

Dumbledore has not made that many mistakes. The only real mistake he has made was asuming Harry would do what he is told.

Oh yes, I read an article about POA yesterday, and in it Daniel Radcliff (sorry about spelling I am dylexic) says that the only person that JK Rowling has told about their character was Alan Rickman. I have been dying to know whether that rumour was true for ages!

Also, I agree with Gina. Snape is not a vampire.


firebird - Mar 5, 2004 6:02 am (#570 of 2956)
Romana, it's here: <http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/JKRWorldBookDay2004.html> I found it on another thread, I can't remember where. And the interview did nothing to quell my anxiety... Ah, I detest waiting! JKR herself knows that the only concrete piece of info she gave us was that Fudge will no longer be Minister for Magic! And Rod, I don't think Snape is, beneath it all, very unpleasant. Well actually I suppose he is towards people he knows, but to readers, he is surrounded a very sad and wonderful pathos and enigma that one can chew on and obsess over and sadly ponder forever. And everyone is flawed to some extent! Smile

edit: Bilius! hahaha


firebird - Mar 5, 2004 6:37 am (#571 of 2956)
I think another reason for Snape's unpleasantness has to do with a paradoxical feeling of superiority - probably intellectual - over others... He's not a snob (arrogant like James with his inflated head) but he has a biting sarcasm and aloof disdain for others (his ever-curling lip). Paradoxical because there's definitely an inferiority complex at work too - he is intensely private and becomes furious when anyone discovers his secrets - remember the penseive incident (which I can't forget!)?

Maybe the former (disdain) is overcompensation for the latter (fear of discovery of his deepest inner secrets). Or a way to acquire the dignity he has rarely known.

And when he became a DE he was trying to use his blood status (if indeed it is pure) as another excuse for convincing himself of his worth.


Denise P. - Mar 5, 2004 7:57 am (#572 of 2956)
Sorry but I don't think JKR has put to rest the Snape is a Vampire theory. She never said he was NOT a vampire. She was asked if there was a connection between Snape and vampires. Her answer was "I don't think so" This is ambigious at best. How does she define a connection, how did the questioner define a connection? Snape could very well BE a vampire and have no connection with any other vampires.

JKR is the master of shadows, she is not going to give anything away and those who think that she gave a definate answer are mistaken, in my opinion.


Gina R Snape - Mar 5, 2004 9:48 am (#573 of 2956)
Denise, I'm sorry to say I think that's a bit of a stretch!

If he were a vampire, I think she would have said "I can't comment on that" like she does with other things. This comment to me severs any possible link--familial, political, or actual.

I was extremely relieved to have this whole vampire idea put to rest, so I guess we are just going to have to disagree about as much as is politely possible on that one!

It's not that I have some major distaste for vampires per se. It's just that I think it would be ridiculous and pointless to introduce him as one, to have yet another mixed-type person on staff. I also like to think that Snape is, in the end, just a man like other men. There is something deeper about his actions, his decisions, his likes and dislikes, his morality, etc. that is taken away from him if he's something other than human in my opinion.

Phew!


Psychedelic Enchantress - Mar 5, 2004 10:27 am (#574 of 2956)
Edited by Mar 5, 2004 10:29 am
I agree with Gina. Snape being revealed as yet another 'Dark' creature would be tiresome to say the least; not to mention all the canon evidence against it (i.e. he can go out in direct light, also he would never risk jeopardising his own position- if he really had been a vampire, he wouldn't have brought attention to Lupin being a werewolf, incase of retaliation).

Also, what is Voldemort's opinion on creatures such as vampires? He has shown vampiric qualities himself, such as drinking unicorn blood, but would he heartily (!- can't imagine him doing anything 'heartily') enlist them on the side of evil, or see them as freaks that ought to be wiped out?

If his attitude of pureblood prejudice extends here, as it may well do, there is very little chance he would have accepted Snape as a Death Eater, however gifted he might be. And I'm pretty sure non-human creatures cannot carry wands.

The human monster is much more interesting than the 'made monster'. I much prefer Snape to be characterised as a passionate, misguided and deeply flawed man who is gradually coming round.


haymoni - Mar 5, 2004 10:57 am (#575 of 2956)
Vampires feed on others.

Maybe when Lupin assigned the vampire essay, he wasn't implying that Snape was a literally vampire. Instead, he would be someone who "preys" on others - Snape seems to enjoy tormenting Harry and Neville, he is insulting to Hermione, he obviously used Lupin's identity against him.

Sort of a play on words, which JKR certainly has used before.



Rod Beecham - Mar 5, 2004 1:33 pm (#576 of 2956)
I won't repeat my earlier pronouncements on the subject of Snape, but I don 't think he is changing, or "coming round".

Whatever choices Snape has made were made years ago. He is who he is, and will remain so.

The teaser for us is to discover why he is who he is. (And I've already said my piece on that.)


Rich - Mar 5, 2004 9:04 pm (#577 of 2956)
I don't think there is any chance that Snape is a Vampire. Fair enough if the surprise was introduced (or even hinted at, for that matter) in the first, second or third book, but if we haven't found out about it by now I don't think it's going to happen.

"I don't think so", is it possible that that was JKR's response because the question was absurd. Also because by the sound of it the person who asked the question sounds as if they have complete faith in that theory, JKR is letting them down slowly, "I don't think so, now if you'll just take your pills and sit down...that's right."

Becuase he has pale skin and dark hair doesn't mean he's a Vampire...it means he should get out more.


Gina R Snape - Mar 5, 2004 9:42 pm (#578 of 2956)
I agree, Rich. I mean, the answer came off as a bit condescending/dismissive. "Er, I don't think so..." When I read it, I visualize her making a 'that's ridiculous' face and having a bit of a mocking tone in her voice.

Becuase he has pale skin and dark hair doesn't mean he's a Vampire...it means he should get out more. Heeee. Too funny. Somehow, I can't ever imagine Snape getting highlights and a tan!


Caput Draconis - Mar 6, 2004 3:10 am (#579 of 2956)
Yeah, and the vampire question is the only one she answered with that kind of tone. It seemed to me like she hadn't heard that idea thrown around before, she answered some other questions with 'some fansites' and 'people have asked me that before', etc. For me it was 'erm' as in 'huh?' not as in 'wait while I figure out how to be tricky and keep hope alive for the vampire crowd'. Shame, that.

"I shall merely say that Snape has given Dumbledore his story and Dumbledore believes it." Ack, why did she have to answer like that? Is that 'Snape has fed Dumbledore his story and Dumbledore has fallen for it'? Or is it "Snape has given Dumbledore his story and Dumbledore believes it and the trust of Dumbledore should be enough for you people"? The woman is pure evil.

And at least now we can safely say that Severus is not Lord Voldemort's son. That's about all she gave us. The woman is pure evil.

This is the greatest thread in the entire world. Night.


Dr Filibuster - Mar 6, 2004 4:23 am (#580 of 2956)
Remember that Dumbledore says he Knows if somebody is telling the truth. Oh dear...so does Voldemort.


Little Ginny - Mar 6, 2004 9:35 am (#581 of 2956)
They say they know.

Perhaps that's only because none of them has yet found out they've been deceived because Snape must have lied to one of them.

(Hope it's Voldie who doesn't know the real story!!)


SHEla WOLFsbane - Mar 6, 2004 10:33 am (#582 of 2956)
I also hope it's Voldie who doesn't know. Like I said earlier, Dumbledore's mistakes/ oversights have gotten bigger as the books go along. He didn't think Voldie would figure out how to get around Lilys love/blood in Harrys blood. Not telling Harry info that he should have known- painful or not. (I know it's because he loves Harry, but he played into Voldies hand with that one) Then, there is the thinking that Harry would listen to him, because Harry should know that he wants what's best for Harry. We have heard so often that Dumbledore trust Snape... I really hope that she ment that answer like, "Dumbledore trusts him, that should be enough for you people." Just like Caput Draconis said.


timrew - Mar 6, 2004 4:12 pm (#583 of 2956)
Doc Filibuster, "Remember that Dumbledore says he Knows if somebody is telling the truth. Oh dear...so does Voldemort."

Little Ginny, "They say they know"

Have they both forgotten about Legilimens? Is Snape telling the truth to Dumbledore, to Voldemort, or to neither?

The plot thickens......and so does the gravy!


MTW - Mar 7, 2004 7:54 am (#584 of 2956)
If Snape fed a story to be the mole in the Order, He doing a very bad job of it. Compare how Crouch Jr./Mad eye treated Harry and Neville to the way Snape acts toward them. Then compare Snape reaction to when Ginny disappeared. Snape can be trusted because he doesn't pretend to like Harry.


Gina R Snape - Mar 7, 2004 9:52 am (#585 of 2956)
Yes, Snape doesn't pretend to like Harry. And when Ginny was taken into the chamber, he gripped a chair until his knuckles turned white. That really showed he had fear for the child. Plus, that was in the teacher's lounge, not in front of children. So I'm guessing he is more prone to show emotion in front of staff.

As for him telling the truth...it is entirely possible that he's telling the truth to the Dark Lord and to Dumbledore, but they are not asking the right questions...


Romana - Mar 8, 2004 2:49 am (#586 of 2956)
Gina, I really like that. I think Snape would do something just like that.


HP Fan - Mar 8, 2004 12:58 pm (#587 of 2956)
Gina I think you are right with Snape showing more emotion in front of the staff than in front of students. I also like the idea of him telling both DD and Voldemort the truth because they're not asking the right questions.

One thing I've just thought of though - yes both DD and Voldemort are Leglimens but don't forget Snape's and Occlumens and the indications are that he's a good one especially if he's lying to Voldemort - He's still alive! So he could conceivably be lying to either or both of them! I hope he's lying to Voldemort and telling DD the truth - I'll cry if its the other way round!


Peregrine - Mar 8, 2004 8:16 pm (#588 of 2956)
I'm curious to know what Snape's relationship with McGonagall was like when he was a student. To be able to kid (for lack of a better word) with her about the Quidditch cup and to show that emotion if front of her makes it seem as though he must have respected her for some good reason when he was young.


septentrion - Mar 9, 2004 2:43 am (#589 of 2956)
McGonagall is a fair teacher, she treats equally each student, wanting them to give the best of themselves. Maybe she punished James for his mistreating of Snape...or maybe she punished the marauders so often that Snape could consider her a very respectable person.


Romana - Mar 9, 2004 3:36 am (#590 of 2956)
I think McGonagall and Snape have a love/hate but friendly(ish) bantar relationship. Remember the time when Snape reminded her of how many quidditch matches Gryfindor had lost in PS? And the sharp looks she gives him whenever he is about to put Harry down, or potenially get him into trouble. I am thinking cheifly of GoF of course.


fidelio - Mar 9, 2004 7:09 am (#591 of 2956)
I keep thinking in a way that Snape has found in McGonagall and Dumbledore a sort of set of surrogate parents--I'm not trying to say that McG and DD are an item here, just that that's part of how they interact with him. Part of this is the age difference, of course, but I think this is an area where Snape was, um, underserved by fate, and DD and McG are making up for what he didn't get at home when he was younger. Minerva will let him go on with something up to a point--but then she let's him know he's gone, or is about to go, too far--not openly, not obviously, but I think it's plain enough to him. Dumbledore does the same--remember the bit in PoA when Sirius has broken into the Gryffindor dorm and all the students end up sleeping in the Great Hall? Snape has a try at dragging Lupin into this, hinting to DD that Lupin could be an accomplice for Sirius Black, and DD puts him down--gently, oh, so gently--but he seems to suggest he had hoped for better from Snape. I also got the feeling that Snape, who had been DD's special project problem child, felt that to some degree he'd been replaced in this position by Lupin, and resented it. Of course, that's what I'm reading into it, and may not be what JKR had in mind at all! However, I do keep feeling that this is an undercurrent in their relationship--not that he's being mothered by Minerva McGonagall the way Molly Weasley mothers Harry! It's more of a tough-love proposition--I expect the best from you; I expected better from you, and so on.

Is this reading between the lines to excess, or what!?


Gina R Snape - Mar 9, 2004 8:13 am (#592 of 2956)
I think if anyone could 'mother' Severus, it would be McGonagall. He'd never accept the overbearing lovey-dovey-huggy warmth of someone like Molly Weasley.

I see his relationship with her, though, as a complex one of peer, respected higher up and maybe part mother figure. They have a playful rivalry, but work together seamlessly when needed. I think he cares about her deeply. But we cannot forget that Snape is 3rd in command and McGonagall is 2nd in command. If she tells him to shut up, he will if for no other reason than she is technically his boss. (Though I also think they've had private discussions with DD about Snape's anger, boundaries and reactions to things. Only she and DD can keep him in 'check' really). But I think she only reserves that for 'correcting' him during particularly touchy situations, not on a daily basis.

I'd also like to think their friendship includes hanging out now and again. Maybe they have a glass of Ogden's at the end of a particularly rough day, to provide some mutual support. But that's purely my own, with no evidence in canon.


fidelio - Mar 9, 2004 8:49 am (#593 of 2956)
I believe you're right about their relationship having more than one dimension. The age difference alone would have some effect, but then, Snape's brians and drive have another one. Also, although Snape's unfortunate personal quirks in teaching aren't a problem of McGonagall's [we don't see her playing favorites, or bullying her students, although it may be that the Slytherin/Gryffindor combination we see, with Harry and Draco, plus the immense ineptitude of Neville, brings out Snape's worst side], they both believe [and manage to be] in complete control of the classroom, set high academic standards for their students, and expect their students to deliver their very best, so this makes a bond between them as well.

On the other hand, I now have this image floating to the surface every now and then: "Have a biscuit, Severus."

I think if you have a decent relationship with your parents as an adult, it does get to be pretty complex--you're an adult, you manage to live and work on your own, they manage to acknowledge this--and there is also still an amount of respect [for them] and expectation [from them] that never quite goes away, no matter how old you become. If there is a mother-child aspect there [and it may just be me], it's very much that sort of thing--and it's very subtly done. But then, it may be that it's one of the things Our Sev needs in order to be more than just another angry Dark Wizard--the feeling that there is someone there watching, who has higher expectations of him, and who believes that he can truly accomplish not just great, but good things as well. That is one of the things parents do, after all. If you don't get that at home, then I think you need to get it somewhere, otherwise you're just living down to low expectations.


Madame Librarian - Mar 9, 2004 9:02 am (#594 of 2956)
fidelio, very apt comments about Snape, I think.

"who has higher expectations of him,"--this one especially strikes me as spot on for Sev. He's is tempted by the dark side, but knowing that two very important people in his life (DD and McG) have shown him trust and repsect, and have charged him with a critical mission (keeping Harry safe, etc.) prevents him from tipping over that boundary between good and evil. He's like a recovering addict with two mentors/advisors who believe in him.

Ciao. Barb


fidelio - Mar 9, 2004 9:53 am (#595 of 2956)
That's an interesting analogy--now I have this vision of a t-shirt: "Recovering Death Eater" or should that be "I used to be a Death Eater, but now I'm in recovery". Of course, that trivializes the issue, but my imagination is pretty undisciplined today! Maybe I'm in closer touch with my inner Tim than usual.


rambkowalczyk - Mar 9, 2004 10:24 am (#596 of 2956)
A few thoughts on Snape and Lily.

There are 3 possibilities. 1 Lily is just a mudblood to Severus whose opinion doesn't matter. Somewhere between 15 and adulthood he may have modified his opinion but at 15 he was merely repeating the Slytherin party line.

2 Severus had an unreqited crush on Lily. He never told her. This seems the most unlikely as I can't reconcile anyone insulting the object of his/her desire. My guess is that if he had a love for her it was because of her strong opinions plus the fact that she was turned off by the golden boys James and Sirius. I bet that Severus was not the only one they tormented.

3 There was a prior relationship between Lily and Severus but Lily broke it off -- gently but as firmly as she could. This prior relationship may have been nothing more than spending the day at Hogmeade together. My guess is that Severus wanted more and she just wanted to be just friends. This would explain his anger towards her as she tried to defend him.


Gina R Snape - Mar 9, 2004 10:42 am (#597 of 2956)
"Have a biscuit, Severus." :wipes tear from eye:

That's the funniest thing I've heard all day!!!! Thanks fidelio.


fidelio - Mar 9, 2004 11:42 am (#598 of 2956)
By now he probably cringes whenever he hears that: "Oh,no, what have I done this time?!"


Rod Beecham - Mar 9, 2004 12:31 pm (#599 of 2956)
I just wanted to say that I think Fidelio's Snape-McGonagall-Dumbledore analysis is absolutely superb. Makes perfect psychological sense and explains a lot.

I will have to re-read the books, though. I didn't pick up any warmth between Snape and McGonagall first time around: only an absence of hostility.


septentrion - Mar 9, 2004 12:55 pm (#600 of 2956)
"who has higher expectations of him" : like Barb, this struck me. Snape expects a lot from his students but needs to be expected a lot too from other people.

I think I'm going to be post 600. Gina, we're coming next to 666 !


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Post  Mona on Sun May 22, 2011 11:46 am

Gina R Snape - Mar 9, 2004 1:34 pm (#601 of 2956)
Thanks for the heads up, septentrion. I've been eyeing the number since around 582.

I don't remember where I heard this, but someone suggested that one reason DD doesn't give Snape the DADA position is so Snape can continue trying to prove himself in the hopes of getting the position one day. That it is one way to not just prevent potential disaster, but to keep 'ol Sev motivated and in line. I thought it made good management sense, except after 14 years he might just give up. But Snape doesn't strike me as the type to give up on something he really wants.


mooncalf - Mar 11, 2004 10:57 pm (#602 of 2956)
No, It's not as though he could put in for a transfer to another school. :-) What would he do for a living if he weren't at Hogwarts?


haymoni - Mar 12, 2004 5:30 am (#603 of 2956)
I think he could be a sort of pharmacist - brewing potions for werewolves for example.


Psychedelic Enchantress - Mar 12, 2004 6:37 am (#604 of 2956)
A man of many talents... I wonder whether he's ever dabbled in alchemy, since it's such a complicated procedure. The sort of thing that would appeal to a stickler for detail like Snape.

Can't see him wanting the Philosopher's Stone though, considering how tortured he is. A millenia of angst...


Romana - Mar 12, 2004 7:27 am (#605 of 2956)
Psychedelic Enchantress wrote: "A millenia of angst..."

I don't think he's that old...


Gina R Snape - Mar 12, 2004 7:55 am (#606 of 2956)
No, I think she meant Snape wouldn't want to live to be that old, seeing as he's had such a tortured life so far. Who would want to extend it indefinitely...?


Gina R Snape - Mar 12, 2004 9:11 pm (#607 of 2956)
Here's some food for thought...

In the recent JKR interview, she wouldn't tell us what is Snape's patronus/animagus or boggart. So of course the Snape groups all went wild with speculation. One person came up with the thought that perhaps Snape's animagus is a thestral. Her reasoning (paraphrasing here) was that a person can only see a thestral if s/he has seen death. Similarly, only those who truly understand suffering and humiliation and certain kinds of horrors can see Snape for who he 'really is' (i.e. the goodness beneath the harsh exterior).

I'm not sure I buy it, because we don't exactly know when someone's animagus form is set (At birth? At the age s/he accomplishes becoming one?) and this theory hinges upon Snape having experienced certain things he only did as an adult (even if his homelife was not ideal and he was tortured at school).

What do you all think?


SHEla WOLFsbane - Mar 12, 2004 11:39 pm (#608 of 2956)
I like it, if only for the reason that Harry once thought something along the lines of, "How could I have ever thought the thestrals ugly"? It'd be nice if Harry had a moment like that where Snape is concerned. Not that I see it happening any time soon, but I tell ya, sometime I want to knock there heads together... Did JKR tell us if we will ever find out???


mooncalf - Mar 13, 2004 12:05 am (#609 of 2956)
Edited by Mar 13, 2004 12:06 am
I think that the thestral idea is really interesting, Gina, and it is one I had not thought of before. The explanation makes a lot of sense, given the many layers of his character. I don't know that I object to it on the grounds that you've given; the patronuses and animagi we have seen so far seem to reflect current character as we know it. That is, would James have been a stag even as a baby or would he have been a fawn? :-)Was Rita Skeeter always the pesky, annoying creature she is now? The answer in both cases is probably no, but their animagi suit them. I think that it is enough to know what the character is now, and poor Professor Snape does seem to have been a tortured soul for a very long time.

As to the potions master, there are a lot of references to bats in regard to Professor Snape, but somehow that never seemed right for the form of his animagus/patronus; it's too obvious. There are also a few references to hawks, mostly in describing the shape of his nose, and I could easily see him as a bird of prey, but I like the thestral idea even better.

Did JKR give any indication whether we would find out later? Now I'm really curious.


Rod Beecham - Mar 13, 2004 4:38 am (#610 of 2956)
Aren't we all getting a little too fond of Snape?

I think he's on Dumbledore's side and will remain on Dumbledore's side, but I don't think he's a very nice man.

(I am a HUGE Alan Rickman fan, by the way, and I need to remind myself often that Snape is not Alan!)

I think there are powerful reasons why Snape is the way he is and, like everyone else, I'm beside myself with eagerness to find out from JKR what they are, but there can be no shifting of responsibility for his disastrous relationship with Harry: that is Snape's fault, and Snape's alone. We can feel sympathy for Snape, as it appears that his childhood was unpleasant, but Harry is not his father and Harry is not James. Snape's abuse of his teacher's power over Harry is cowardice, no more, no less.


Psychedelic Enchantress - Mar 13, 2004 4:45 am (#611 of 2956)
Snape as Thestral? Now that really is an idea worth developing...

Maybe Patronuses (if that's even a word) and/or Animagi prefigure what the character is to become. We know that Dumbledore is vocal on the subject of choices, but going directly against that is prophecies, whether Ron's tongue-in-cheek ones that later become true or Trelawney's handful of accurate ones. It would seem that if we go with that idea, the form they/their Patronus takes foreshadows their later actions etc. Which still raises the question of why anyone would trust someone who is foreshadowed to be a rat, but never mind.

So Snape's 'Thestral' point towards his later suffering- being possibly the cause of deaths, but having to overcome evil like someone seeing Thestrals has overcome their grief?

And another thing...

When Harry first heard about the Patronus, he envisaged "a Hagrid sized figure holding a club"- interesting that he ties in the idea of safety/protection with Hagrid, as he was the one "father figure" he had up until that point; Sirius later taking over the role to some extent. So it makes sense that his Patronus (which is very unusual, as Dumbledore tells him later) takes his dad's Animagus form.

Which begs the question... what would tormented Snape, who, if his childhood memories have anything to go by, was pretty unfortunate in his parents, see?

And lastly... can magical creatures be someone's Animagus/Patronus? I can sort of see how they might be the latter, since a 'protector' can be, by definition, anything the wizard likes and/or makes them feel safe, but surely real Magical Creatures would object to fakes running around... Would real Thestrals be able to see Snape if he's in Animagus form as a Thestral? Would people be able to see him?

Sorry for the rambling!


Romana - Mar 13, 2004 6:10 am (#612 of 2956)
Rod Beecham I don't think anyone can get too fond of Snape!

I like the thestral idea. Although when I first read of Animangi I couldn't help but think that a snake might suit Snape better. Not only because of his name, Snape, snake (in the same way JKR uses other names, Sirus the dog, Lupin werewolf) but snakes can camouflage themselves, they have paitience, and most of all, they get severly annoyed and bite when prevoked.

I am so curious to know what Snape's Patronus and Bogart are. I had a thought on the Patronus, what if Snape can't do one? Having had no particularly happy memories in his life. After all you need a very happy memory in order to do one, and I think Snape would be hard pushed to find it.


Gina R Snape - Mar 13, 2004 8:57 am (#613 of 2956)
Rod Beecham wrote: Aren't we all getting a little too fond of Snape? "

My answer: NO! But of course, my answer comes as no surprise to anyone here!

It is a very good question, though, whether wizards can have a magical animal for their form. I hadn't even thought about that.


Weeny Owl - Mar 13, 2004 10:35 am (#614 of 2956)
I'm not sure what form Snape's Patronus might take, but even with all of the bad memories he has, he also has to have happy ones. He is a powerful wizard and could probably conjure up a Patronus quite easily just from the talent perspective.

We've seen him only as he is from Harry's eyes and the scenes during Occlumency, but after Voldie disappeared, Snape had ten years or so with no Voldie and no Potters to deal with.

I'm sure he's never a bundle of joy while teaching, but he has had some happy moments even if they're only Hogwarts Quidditch wins.

As for his Boggart, what he may fear most is being discovered as a spy, regardless of which side he's spying for. Hermione's fear was Professor McGonagall telling her she'd failed, and Snape may fear being outed more than anything else. Maybe that's what JKR meant about it giving away too much.


Peregrine - Mar 13, 2004 10:46 pm (#615 of 2956)
Wouldn't it be interesting if Snape's Boggart was a 15 year old James Potter pointing a wand at him? I wonder how much of the hatred he had for James was mingled with fear--fear that James was lurking around the corner ready to hex him and make him look like a fool.


S.E. Jones - Mar 13, 2004 11:15 pm (#616 of 2956)
Weeny Owl: As for his Boggart, what he may fear most is being discovered as a spy, regardless of which side he's spying for.

Or, thinking along the same lines, maybe it would be him dressed up as a Death Eater, either to represent him as a spy or to represent his past which he fears returning to....


Rod Beecham - Mar 13, 2004 11:16 pm (#617 of 2956)
Calling all Snapers,

This may be a misplaced post, as I think there's a "Does Voldemort Know about Snape" thread somewhere, but it struck me this morning that Snape was having intense conversations with Quirrell about whose side he (Quirrell) was on. Given that, in Harry's memorable phrase, Quirrell had Lord Voldemort sticking out of the back of his head at the time, surely Snape cannot be functioning as a double agent? He may, of course, be acting as a spy, but Voldemort must know that Snape is lost to his cause? Or have I missed something?


S.E. Jones - Mar 13, 2004 11:51 pm (#618 of 2956)
Actually, all Harry hears is Snape drilling Quirrel about whether or not he's figured out how to get past Fluffy. It sounds to Harry each time like Snape is trying to get Quirrel to agree to be on his (Snape's) side, so maybe that's the way Snape approached it. He pretended he wanted the stone for himself and then later told Voldemort that he had no idea that he (Voldie) was there.....


Rod Beecham - Mar 14, 2004 1:17 am (#619 of 2956)
Okay, we'll reserve judgement on that one . . .

Another thought occurs. Gina R. used - was it 26 pt? - to emphasize that one could not get too fond of Snape. Does anyone think he's a little like Richard III? We know he must have killed the princes, but there are attractive aspects to him - good government, steadfast loyalty to his brother - that make us reluctant to believe it. I think Snape's ambiguity is of a similar kind.


Gina R Snape - Mar 14, 2004 10:07 am (#620 of 2956)
I wrote 'font size=5' on that, fyi.

Without going into detail (as I haven't the time nor energy at this particular moment) I don't doubt for a second Snape did some unseemly things as a DE. But the good things he does now are what make him an interesting/attractive character. His redemption without being 'nice' and all the secrets of his past, his intelligence and cunning, etc. make him the most complex of all the HP characters.

I wonder, though, if Snape has a brother Edmund Blackadder like Richard III did.


Peregrine - Mar 14, 2004 5:21 pm (#621 of 2956)
Only if this brother changed his name to Evans and has a child living in Harry's neighborhood.


Mad Madame Mim - Mar 14, 2004 8:00 pm (#622 of 2956)
Rod,

I agree with the Richard III thing. I would love to see Mr. Rickman bring his edge to the role. The one difference with Richard is that wee know he is evil; Richard tells us so repeatedly in dialogue. Yet we doubt that he would do such monstrosities and are appalled when he does. We don't know where Snape really stands nor what his motivations are.


Rod Beecham - Mar 15, 2004 3:46 am (#623 of 2956)
True, Mad Madame Mim, although I was thinking more of the historical Richard III than of Shakepeare's version. As you say, Shakespeare's Tudor version of Richard is an avowed villain with wicked charm: the historical Richard is more puzzling and elusive (and therefore, I thought, more Snape-like).


Mad Madame Mim - Mar 15, 2004 5:55 am (#624 of 2956)
Rod, (smiling sheepishly while blushing)

I just naturally assumed you meant literary figures. As for the historical Richard III comparison, I must take your word for I haven't studied him.


Romana - Mar 17, 2004 1:52 pm (#625 of 2956)
Comparing Snape to Richard III? Now I am getting worried.

That aside, I wonder if Snapes greatest fear is seeing Harry killed before he can properly fulfill the 'bond' that he has with James Potter. If you think about it, once you start saving someone's life you would probably start feeling reposible for them. Snape has already saved Harry's life once, but it seems to me that regardless of the way Harry sees him, he is still worried for his (Harry's) safety. He might also fear that Harry might die before he can 'deal' with Voldemort. Snape is clearly still scared of him.


timrew - Mar 17, 2004 2:29 pm (#626 of 2956)
I just thought of something ("Wonders will never cease!" I hear you cry...)

When Snape is giving Harry his Occlumens lesson, he is genuinely surprised (on delving into Harry's mind) that Harry has had a cruel upbringing.

What struck me was, therefore, that Snape had never tried to enter Harry's mind before, or he would have already known this. I think what I'm trying to say (in a roundabout way) is that, by default, Snape cannot be a double-agent Death Eater. Otherwise he would have tried to probe Harry's weaknesses before.


Gina R Snape - Mar 17, 2004 2:35 pm (#627 of 2956)
Ooooh, interesting point Tim.

Someone made a listing of all the times someone stared into Harry's eyes, that in retrospect might be interpreted as Legilimency. And your comments would certainly negate Snape's intrusion into Harry's mind.

I would like to add to that all the times Snape said he suspected Harry of something. If I recall correctly, there were a few moments (maybe in GoF?) where he seemed to still suspect Harry of things (primarily stealing) in prior years/books. He would have no reason to suspect if he'd read Harry's mind.

I wouldn't doubt, though, if DD instructed Snape not to look for certain things when giving the Occlumency lessons. He seemed to be rooting around, but not in a way that suggested he was looking for proof of prior misdeeds.


Prefect Marcus - Mar 17, 2004 4:23 pm (#628 of 2956)
I get the impression that there are two levels of Legilimency. You have the "offical" level and you have the "unoffical" level, for lack of better terms.

The "Offical" level is characterized by using spells, incantations, and a wand. The "Unoffical" level is characterized by none of the above. The "Offical" level probes a great deal deeper than the "Unoffical" level.

Snape had only used the "Unoffical" level up to OoP. So he did not have many details of Harry's mind. Once he started using the "Offical" level in his Occlumens lessons, he got a lot deeper.

Gina, yes Snape thought Harry was stealing potion ingrediants during GoF. Of course, it was mainly psuedo-Moody.


Gina R Snape - Mar 17, 2004 6:31 pm (#629 of 2956)
Marcus, I don't just mean the gillyweed stolen by Dobby. I got the impression he was recalling other stolen items from prior years. But that might have just been Harry's paranoia, not Snape's. Memory is a bit fuzzy today...


S.E. Jones - Mar 17, 2004 8:42 pm (#630 of 2956)
There was also the stuff Hermione stole for the Polyjuice potion.


haymoni - Mar 18, 2004 5:18 am (#631 of 2956)
I think Snape thought that Harry would have had an easy go of it like he thought James had had. It probably never occurred to him that Harry would have been teased as he himself had been.

If he used Legilimency on Harry before, it was to serve an immediate purpose - why was the trio inside on such a beautiful day, who took the gillyweed, etc. - not what sort of life did Harry lead before coming to Hogwarts.

I'm sure he was secretly pleased that Harry had suffered a bit.


Gina R Snape - Mar 18, 2004 8:35 am (#632 of 2956)
Well, it was interesting, his reaction. He asked about the dog. It wasn't like he was genuinely about Harry's feelings, more like he was curious. I think he found it interesting that Harry had some very terrible memories, like some sort of discovery he wanted to study. When I read that line, I sensed surprise and could almost see the clockworks in his brain as he was analysing the situation. I did not think that he was gleeful. It was as though his mind was trying to reconcile the memories with his personal notions.

but I suppose he could have lain down that night and drifted off to sleep a little pleased at Harry's suffering. That we'll likely never know.


haymoni - Mar 18, 2004 8:43 am (#633 of 2956)
Gina - I know that you are Mrs. Snape, not Mrs. Rickman but I thought of you as I read a fan's report of her visit to the POA set with Alan Rickman. It's on The Leaky Cauldron from a couple of days ago.


Gina R Snape - Mar 18, 2004 10:48 am (#634 of 2956)
Heh heh. Yeah, I read that too and would gladly be Mrs. Rickman if given the chance. I had an encounter with the enigmatic Mr. Rickman in November, as some Lex members may recall. But this would better be suited on the Chat thread, not the Snape thread. But thanks for thinking of me.

And, to stay on-topic... Someone posted this recently on a LJ. Anyone interested in discussing?


fidelio - Mar 18, 2004 12:15 pm (#635 of 2956)
Well, Gina, that's a very interesting angle on the thought that Our Sev just doesn't fit in, wherever he goes and whatever he does.

Chants, incantations, verses, and verse-like things have a long history in association with magic, and I'm not just talking about the little incantations JKR has invented and scattered through her books, but with the long tradition of magical history. There's an amazing amount of versified constructions used in connection with magic-making, and it's one of the reasons a poet was, in many early societies, regarded with awe. Not because they were able to produce art, but because they had power over words. The Irish poetic tradition includes a great deal of poetic satire, which was reputed to have an actual physical effect on its targets; an early bishop is supposed to have returned from a mission of mercy to find his dinner had been eaten by rats; in his irritation, he uttered the epigram "Rats have sharp snouts but are poor fighters," which was so embarrassing to the rats that several fell over dead. [Not perhaps an effective method of vermin control nowadays, alas!] I can see how this tradition might apply in the Wizarding World of JKR, and I can also see how Snape, verbally effective and inventive though he is, might be less than adept at it. Committing verse, and especially poetry, requires a certain flexibility of mind, and even willingness to play with both word and thought. Do the words "flexibility" and "playfulness" really come to mind when one's speaks of Snape? As one of the respondents to the post noted, Lucius Malfoy could be very good at that sort of thing--he's almost feline in the games he plays. But Snape is not a good game player. He's too anxious to win to be able to step back and see something, whether it's Wizard's chess or a political situation, as a game, with one move playing off another, and he takes everything with far too deadly a level of seriousness to be light-hearted about anything. Wit he has, and a sound grasp of logic and process, I can't dispute that. He probably pinches Dumbledore's Muggle newspapers to get his hands on the puzzles. But he's both too logical and too dour to make a poet, or even a mere versifier.


Romana - Mar 19, 2004 2:27 am (#636 of 2956)
I didn't think the poem was that bad, as a logic puzzle it certainly works, as most wizards aren't that good at logic. I found it interesting that although he is a powerful wizard, rather than choose a spell to protect the Philosopher's stone, he choose a logic puzzle and two potions.

Another thought though. if we assume that Snape is hiding something, his true chacacter, who side he is actually on or whatever, then perhaps these slips of eloquence are a glimpse of his true character?

On a completely different note, I suddenly thought of tsomething that would make DD trust Snape instantly. The Truth Poition! If Snape came to DD saying he wanted to change sides, to make sure he was honest, I'm sure DD would have fed it to him to make sure. Logical?


Molly Weasly Wannabe - Mar 19, 2004 4:07 pm (#637 of 2956)
I think the reason Snape calls Vold "The Dark Lord" is because he use to be a follower of Vold. This is just something he got use to calling him. Just like there are some couples who may divorce, but still call their ex in-laws "Mom and Dad". It's just something they are use to calling them. I know Snape is a mean char in the books, but I sure hope he doesn't betray Dumbeldore's trust.


firebird - Mar 20, 2004 2:51 pm (#638 of 2956)
Snape, though, isn't the only person who calls him the Dark Lord. I think Harry was just a little ticked off and lashed out at Snape saying 'I've only ever heard DEs call him that.' The Daily Prophet calls him that sometimes, and other 'good' people too. The Prophecy was labelled 'The Dark Lord' and Trelawney called him that when she was making her second Prophecy. I think people use it because You-Know-Who seems a bit puerile and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is too long! And Snape, we know, NEVER sounds childish when he speaks. Though you're right Molly, about Snape probably being used to it.


Rod Beecham - Mar 20, 2004 3:42 pm (#639 of 2956)
Hi, all.

I apologize in advance if this is boring - things that interest me are often boring to others! - but I just wanted to clarify my Snape-Richard III analogy.

As I said, I'm not thnking of Shakepeare's Richard III. He's a masterpiece of characterization and dominates the great play that bears his name, but I don't think he resembles Snape at all. Not in Shakespeare's text, not in Laurence Olivier's unforgettable, panther-like interpretation, not in the very interesting 30s-fascist interpretation of Ian McKellan.

The historical Richard is a different matter. We know that he was short, dark and slight (it is almost certain that he possessed none of the physical deformities attributed to him by the Tudors). We know that he was intelligent. We know that he was steadfastly loyal to his elder brother, Edward, during Edward's lifetime. We know that he was a capable ruler (the people of his northern English domains publicly mourned for him after his fall in 1485).

We also know, however, that he executed his nephews' relatives on his mother's side, Rivers, Grey and Vaughan, in treacherous circumstances for no valid reason. We know that he executed his brother's most faithful supporter, Lord Hastings, for no valid reason. And while direct evidence is lacking, it is a fact that his brother's children, the princes Edward and Richard, were never seen alive after July 1483, and it is overwhelmingly probable that they were murdered on their uncle's orders.

So Richard is a puzzle: clear ability, attractive qualities on the one hand, appalling villainy on the other. I'm simply suggesting that, in structural terms, his enigma is similar to the enigma of Severus Snape.


septentrion - Mar 21, 2004 1:02 pm (#640 of 2956)
I think I understand what you mean Rod but I don't agree with "appalling villainy" ! IMO Snape isn't a saint but isn't evil either. Or maybe that's what you mean ?


Gina R Snape - Mar 21, 2004 5:05 pm (#641 of 2956)
I thought of something else today. In PoA, Snape reminds DD that Sirius Black proved himself capable of murder as a teenager. That's not the kind of statement another murderer would make. Snape may have done some horrible things in his past, but I'm doubting he ever intentionally or even inadvertently killed anyone. Further, DD would probably not have hesitated to say something to remind Snape of his own transgression had that been the case.


Rod Beecham - Mar 21, 2004 5:23 pm (#642 of 2956)
I agree with both Septentrion and Gina R Snape: Severus is not a murderer, and he could not reasonably be described as an appalling villain. Richard III is not an exact analogy, but he keeps coming into my mind as a puzzle with a family resemblance to the puzzle of Snape.

I suppose I'm casting about for parallels because I can't reconcile my conviction that Snape is on Dumbledore's side and will remain so with the vindictiveness of his behaviour towards anyone associated with James Potter. Of course, there's nothing illogical about the two things in themselves, but the violence of Snape's hostility is disturbing. He runs down a fellow-teacher (Lupin) in front of students (a fundamental no-no: deeply unprofessional and, in any case, unjustified), he is prepared to let Black be kissed by a Dementor, although, if Snape has any intelligence at all (which he most certainly has) he must know that Black is not a murderer - yet he (Snape) is prepared to let Black's soul be sucked out simply because he dislikes him. He systematically bullies and torments Harry and Neville. These may not constitute appalling villainy, but they seem to me deeply unattractive manifestations of a severely damaged personality.


Chemyst - Mar 21, 2004 6:37 pm (#643 of 2956)
Ooo. I'm not fond of the Richard III comparison. He was the last English king to die on the battlefield (1485, at the battle of Bosworth Field, the last major battle of the Wars of the Roses.)

britannia.com says this - "One thing is for certain, however: Richard's defeat and the cessation of the Wars of the Roses allowed the stability England required to heal, consolidate, and push into the modern era."

If we jump a little over five centuries and substitute Snape & VWII we get- One thing is for certain, however: Snape's defeat and the cessation of VWII allowed the stability the WW required to heal, consolidate, and push into the modern era.

Snape dead on the battlefield! That is a rather revolting thought! Then modern era laptops at Hogwarts!!!! That is just not right.


Gina R Snape - Mar 21, 2004 6:42 pm (#644 of 2956)
Well, Rod. I contend that he had every reason to believe Sirius Black was out to get Harry. He had no reason to believe a word Sirius said, from the positions of both contemporary wizarding attitude/belief and a history of Sirius' ability to do wrong (from Snape's perspective). Any joe shmoe in the wizarding world would have made sure Sirius Black received a dementor's kiss. For Snape, it being a personal matter was just icing on the cake.

I think the fact that Snape chose the side of good despite his horrid history is a deeper sign of his moral convictions. He chooses the side of good despite his distaste for those supposedly on the same side, despite the fact that he is protecting the child of a lifelong enemy. But I think he knows about the prophesy and as such he is thinking more about the larger wizarding world than a single child.

As for Lupin, that little remark about "having a kiss for you too" was extremely chilling. But he was not about to really do it. Consider, he had every opportunity to deliver Sirius Black directly to a dementor. But he chose to bring him to DD instead. I think that says a lot about his loyalty to DD and, frankly, his ability to exercise self-control in the face of immense personal satisfaction/ultimate revenge.


Romana - Mar 22, 2004 5:07 am (#645 of 2956)
I think would have delievered tham both up to the Dementors, but unfortunatly he was unconscious at the time, and when he woke up the Dementors had been driven off by Harry. Tempting though it must have been to summon the dementors back he couldn't because he knew that they would instantly go for Harry, Ron and Hermionie as well.

What I found rather surprising when I first read the book, was the fact that Snape didn't claim he had driven the dementors off himself. He tells Fudge that he had no idea what drove them off. From what I'd seen of Snape's character, I would have expected him to claim all the priase for himself. Which shows that although he can be extremly nasty and evil, he is honest.


rambkowalczyk - Mar 22, 2004 8:40 am (#646 of 2956)
A few clues from book 1

When Harry is talking to Hagrid saying that Snape hates him, Hagrid says something to the effect "Why would he hate you?" but he doesn't look Harry in the eye when he says this. After the Quidditch match when Harry's broomstick was obviously jinxed, Hagrid has no problem asserting "Snape wouldn' try an' kill a student!"

At the end of the book Quirrel says "Oh, he does" (hate Harry)"Heavens,yes. He was at Hogwarts with your father, didn't you know? They loathed each other. But he never wanted you dead." (JKR has the word dead in italics)

This implies that it was common knowledge among the staff that Snape and James Potter hated each other. I think it also implies that Snape could not or would not kill any student.

Also in Book 2 he seems just as upset as the other teachers at the announcement of Ginny's capture. In Book 5 he looks "paler than usual and angrier" after he sees through Harry's mind Cedric dead in the graveyard. Although he is a mean and nasty person I don't think he is capable of killing.


Weeny Owl - Mar 22, 2004 9:10 am (#647 of 2956)
I think Snape is capable of killing, but not of cold-blooded murder.

Snape isn't a nice guy. He has his own demons to deal with, and while he doesn't always make the best decisions possible, some of them are understandable after the revelations in OotP.

He really cannot truly justify his hatred of Harry because of what Harry's father did, and I think he fights it even though he doesn't always win the fight. He seems to content himself with petty vengeance such as his comments after finding out Harry was in Hogsmeade in PoA, and his attitude during Occlumency lessons. Besides throwing Harry after the Pensieve scene, he hasn't done anything that would result in actual injury.

He's had plenty of opportunities to get rid of Harry if he really wanted to. He could have given Umbridge real Veritaserum, if not the first time, then definitely the second time. He didn't, though. He was still protecting the Order and the good guys even if it involved Harry.


Prefect Marcus - Mar 22, 2004 11:24 am (#648 of 2956)
I think the best line to describe Snape is the one that Rambkowalczyk quoted from the first book, "Oh he does (hate you). But he never wanted you Dead!"

Snape is not a nice man. He is not misunderstood. He is not pretending. What he is is a mean, ugly shnook. He chooses to be the person that he is.

But in spite of all his bad traits, he has tremendous strength of character. He actively protects Harry, even though he would like nothing better than to see Harry expelled in disgrace. On at least one occasion (the Shrieking Shack), he protected Harry at some personal risk to himself (in his POV). If you read the chapter "Snape's Grudge" in PoA, you see a man who is genuinely concerned with Harry's flagrant violation of the rules that were designed to protect him from a very dangerous criminal. He says the same thing to Harry as Lupin does a few pages later. Lupin does it a whole lot better, though.

I love what Snape says to Karkaroff in GoF. "If you want to flee, flee! I'm staying here."

He unmasks himself to Fudge as a former DeathEater in a vain attempt to convince the minister that Voldemort had returned.

I think his last altercation with Harry is very revealing. When Snape came upon Harry holding Draco and his cronies at wand-point; Harry bluntly, truthfully, and in total disregard to the consequences stated that he was about to curse them. Snape's response was interesting, was it not? Taking a lousy 10 points off when he could have easily gotten Harry into serious trouble.

No, Snape is one of the most interesting characters to come along in a long time. He is one of the main reasons I enjoy the books so much.

Marcus


Rod Beecham - Mar 22, 2004 1:16 pm (#649 of 2956)
I agree, Marcus. I'm not Snape-bashing - I don't like him personally but, as you say, he is a terrific character - but I really want to understand him, which is why I keep floating incendiary posts about him!

There's no doubt about his courage (any more than there is about Richard III's - heh, heh!). I see a strong link between his courage and his personal pride which, as I've indicated earlier, seems in turn to be linked with his subtlety of mind. But that, I think, is the source of his dysfunction: too much mind, too little relational feeling (a very common way that people who are sensitive learn to protect themselves - which, of course, brings us back to the abusive childhood, to the idea, to which I subscribe, that he was (is?) in love with Lily, etc.).

He's a great source of interesting conversation, at any rate!


Chemyst - Mar 22, 2004 1:42 pm (#650 of 2956)
I disagree on several points, Marcus.

What he is is a mean, ugly shnook. Mean? OK Ugly? Before the films, I'd imagined him as very plain, but now... Alan Rickman IS Snape, and well, "ugly" doesn't work. Schnook? Encarta dictionary says - an offensive term for somebody who is regarded as easily duped or unimportant. So, no, I don't think so.

...he would like nothing better than to see Harry expelled in disgrace. No Way! The word for Snape is ?schadenfreude.? It?s spiteful delight at seeing someone else flounder and secret joy in seeing them mess up. (OK, in his case maybe it is not-so-secret!) But he does not want Harry expelled. He wants Harry to treat him like DD and McG do, with trust and respect-- and I don't think he'd mind having Harry be greatly indebted to him, which is easier if Harry stays in school.

But I do agree on this - Snape is one of the most interesting characters to come along in a long time. He is one of the main reasons I enjoy the books so much. Yes.


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MrsGump - Mar 22, 2004 2:15 pm (#651 of 2956)
Book Snape should be ugly. Check out JKR's own drawings of how she pictures him sometimes (Of course, Alan Rickman doesn't fit, but why wouldn't you want him in your movie?)

I also can't get over how cruel he is. The line that sticks in my mind is from GoF, when Hermione has teeth past her chin and he says "I don't see any difference". There's no way around that being mean and nasty.

I'm also very bothered by the look he gives Harry in the hospital wing as Harry starts naming the DE from the graveyard, and again the pale, shaken thing after the same scence from Occlumency. Something is just not right.


Emily - Mar 22, 2004 2:27 pm (#652 of 2956)
On the could/would Snape kill someone topic a few posts back:

I think he both could and would, in certain situations. If he were in a duel with, say Sirius, he would have no problem, as long as Sirius was putting in his fair share of shots too. If, however he was faced with a decision like Harry was at the beginning of the Shrieking Shack scene (I've got him cornered, he's down, he's defenseless, and I'm standing over him with a wand) I don't think he'd kill. I see taunting, threats, show of power, he might ruff him up a bit,but not murder when his opponent was down.

Now, pretend Snape's true loyalties have been revealed to Voldie and he's fighting openly on DD's side. If he sees a DE there, either firing at him or down, I see Snape as either killing them (if it was the only way) or stupefying them.

In either case, I can't imagine him killing someone accidently. Snape's just not that careless.

Anyway, those are my takes on his values of fair play. Anyone think differently?


firebird - Mar 22, 2004 4:07 pm (#653 of 2956)
His intense loathing could be caused by a secret love for Lily (which I doubt even he would have admitted to himself if it were true - which I'm not sure it is, though it would explain a lot). Or maybe the humiliation he endured was much much worse than what we saw in the Pensieve. The Marauders could have inflicted something else on him that he was never able to forgive - other than the Shrieking Shack incident of course.

Another thing that would almost certainly come into play is the pureblood superiority complex. He probably is a pureblood since he was accepted both into Slytherin and into the Death Eaters. I know Tom was a half-blood too, but I somehow don't see Snape as one (also, he did call Lily a mudblood). Anyway, he must have convinced himself - in overcompensation for his feeling of inferiority (caused by abuse in both his childhood and schooldays), especially around the Marauders - that pureblood is best and deserves to be favoured above the nasty mudbloods and halfbloods.

This combined with his extremely high intelligence and other qualities. I can only imagine the extent of injustice - and therefore hatred - he must have felt towards the Marauders, him with his great pride. We know his humour consists of sarcastic wit and not much self-deprecation. He can't laugh at himself. He evidently believes there is something about himself that makes him superior to others - a combination of pure blood, intelligence, subtlety, and many of the Snapish qualities we've gone through on this thead - and he can't stand that others (who are so far below him) could receive so much of the privilege and attention that they don't deserve.

And his cruelty towards the students - well, this might be a mixture of loathing for their resemblances to the Marauders, a dislike of their Gryffindorish qualities, annoyance at the way they snub the rules (his rules too) and perhaps a feeling that all their little woes and tragedies are trivial compared to his own...?

So when Hermione was hexed to grow beaver-teeth, he would have thought, 'Oh God, learn to deal with it. There are worse things that happen in life, and children whining about little hexes is the most trivial and irritating thing I have to endure.'

Same way he taunts Harry about flouting the rules and visiting Hogsmeade, thinking the brats can't appreciate the big picture, that they think a visit to Honeydukes is worth risking their lives and snubbing all the teachers who try to save Famous Potter from the Big Bad Escaped Prisoner... Is this clear?

I'm trying to say that he is full of pride, like Joyce's Stephen Dedalus, who thinks he is an artist (or something else for Snape) and therefore looks down at the lowly souls of those around him, especially in Snape's case, those who annoy him.

Sleepy me, sorry if none of that made sense. Smile


Gina R Snape - Mar 22, 2004 5:23 pm (#654 of 2956)
All of it made sense, firebird, as the prior excellent post by Chemyst explaining Shadenfreude. I love it!

In PoA, Snape gave the same speech to Harry that Lupin did. Only, Lupin is good with the guilt. He's warm and fuzzy and likeable and his message got through. But the fact remains, Snape was affronted that the whole wizarding world is looking after little Harry Potter and this is the way he shows his appreciation.

Emily, you raise a point we all must remember when reading about the wizarding world. Killing someone as a murderer or for sport or for revenge is never acceptable in this or JKR's world and I couldn't for a second imagine Snape doing it. But they are at war and he might just be faced with offing someone for the sake of the cause.

I don't see Snape as an inherently battle-happy person. So I keep wondering if we will see him in the 'front lines' as it were. Something tells me we won't.

As for the "I see no difference' comment. Aye, here we go again! Yes, it was cruel. But it was also very catty in the style of Snape's humour. He didn't give her detention and he didn't deduct house points for her crying or storming off to the nurse. On the other hand, as Potter's friend, she was bound to find herself in the limelight (as indeed she was in GoF) and he might very well be preparing her for negative attention. Just an idea...

btw, we are getting CLOSE to the 'magic number' eh? Very interesting discussion going on here! So nice to see 'new' posters to this thread.


Madame Librarian - Mar 22, 2004 6:21 pm (#655 of 2956)
A curious thought about Snape's motivations (I hope I don't mangle it in trying to explain myself):

Snape is happily (well, sort of) going along being involved in the Dark arts and becoming attracted to the DE philosophy. Perhaps even at Hogwarts he had been a junior recruit (didn't we dub them the Death Nibblers?). After graduation, he sees himself with a brilliant career in Voldie's inner circle. But his vision is narrow and selfish since he really never deeply ponders what their goal is...until...ta d-a-a-h...the attack on the Potters and Harry's survival. This event completely shocks Snape out of his belief in a "New World Order"--an idea touted by Voldie that yes, things must be severe and cruel for a while in order to cleanse the Wizarding World, but then it will be a peaceful and perfect society, a paradise of magical people united because we are all the same.

Snape's perverse hope for a future of acclaim is destroyed. His hero is vulnerable! His hero is a coward! Maybe a remnant of feeling he might have had for Lily arouses his pity, and generates rage at a leader who had to resort to killing mothers and babies. He also sees that Voldie may not be the genius he was cracked up to be, or never will be again. So, he switches sides. He's thoroughly committed now to the good guy side, not necessarily for altruistic reasons, merely his personal reasons, but still resents the fact that it was those Potters again who messed up his tidy plans. It was Harry, especially.

This could explain why he has a protect/despise relationship with Harry. Here's the kid who caused Snape's world to come crashing down, but now he must do everything to keep him safe and alive.

I don't know....

Ciao. Barb


Prefect Marcus - Mar 22, 2004 8:16 pm (#656 of 2956)
Snape turned against Voldemort before the Potters. We learn this both in the Pensieve, and in the Three Broomsticks when he overheard the adults talking.


Romana - Mar 23, 2004 4:45 am (#657 of 2956)
And I'll lay odds that it was Snape that alerted Dumbledore that Voldemort was after the Potters.

As for Snape being in love with Lily, I can't see him falling for a 'mudblood'. Besides JKR has said that he wasn't in love with her.


Gina R Snape - Mar 23, 2004 5:32 am (#658 of 2956)
Pardon, Romana. JKR has never said Snape was or wasn't in love with Lily. All she ever said was 'Interesting question. And you'll see why..." and something along lines of "Ick, who would want to be have Snape in love with them?" I'm paraphrasing, of course, because it's 8:30am and I haven't had my morning coffee yet!

BTW, I was rereading GoF last night, and at Karkaroff's trial DD definitely specifically says that Snape turned spy. It has renewed my belief that Snape must be playing 'double-agent' or he'd be dead already.


Emily - Mar 23, 2004 5:26 pm (#659 of 2956)
I think we on the forum can answer 'Who would want to have Snape in love with them?'


Gina R Snape - Mar 23, 2004 5:47 pm (#660 of 2956)


Indeed, Emily. As a matter of fact, there is a queue forming behind me as we speak...

So, has anybody thought about whether Snape has office hours? I mean, aside from detention and careers advice, do the heads of houses ever sit with students? Does he go to the Slytherin common room to dispell mischief and warn students who are at risk of failing, for example. I recall Draco barging into Snape's office during one of Harry's occlumency lessons in OoP. But do we have any evidence of other interactions?


Emily - Mar 23, 2004 6:33 pm (#661 of 2956)
Since McG doesn't (as far as I can tell), I don't see Snape doing it.


Denise P. - Mar 23, 2004 9:31 pm (#662 of 2956)
Marcus, I think you summed up Snape nicely. I agree, he is a very interesting and compelling character...albeit a not very nice one.

Alan Rickman aside, JKR doesn't describe an attractive person and this is JKR's drawing of Snape..click on it to see the full size (this is a screen capture from the biography of her)


You can also see by this drawing just why so many are fond of the Snape is a vampire theory.


Chemyst - Mar 23, 2004 10:07 pm (#663 of 2956)
Thanks for the picture. It does make the vampire thing more understandable. If you'd shave the eyebrow & beard, that is pretty nearly how I'd pictured him before the movies. 'Sort of a tall greasy Moe from The Three Stooges. (Just the looks, not the antics.) But when I read the books now, I see only the Alan Rickman Snape.


Neville Longbottom - Mar 24, 2004 3:29 am (#664 of 2956)
On this picture he reminds me of Rasputin.


Gina R Snape - Mar 24, 2004 6:56 am (#665 of 2956)
I think it's so funny how we all go back to that drawing JKR did. Yes, it is pretty sinister, and yes he does look rather vampirelike. But lots of people look vampirelike and yet aren't vampires.

Neville thinks he looks like Rasputin. Yet Rasputin was a known womanizer. Some of the evilist, nastiest looking men in history knew how to turn on the charm. Severus Snape knows how to use what he has to great effect too. His voice can take on various tones to instill fear or control a classroom under the utmost control, sometimes with barely a whisper. Were he to choose another effect/goal, I'm sure he'd be more than capable.


Gina R Snape - Mar 24, 2004 7:00 am (#666 of 2956)
Woohoo!!! I finally get to be post #666!!! Yippee!!! Yahoo!!!

So, to add to my above comment, I would again like to reiterate that many of us Snape fans do not confuse Rickman with Snape. Though there can be no doubt that Rickman as Snape is a piece of cinematic heaven, the character himself is interesting enough to warrant 2 threads. And this whole discussion caps off the anti-hero appeal. Snape is not one of the sunshine boys. He is not the sportsman, popular, overtly handsom, smug man on campus. And that is why I like him. He is his own man, with his own way of doing things, and his own sensibilities and his own sense of style.

Yippee!!! Post #666. Don't ask me why, but it's been a 'posting goal' for me for almost a year now. BTW, thanks Mrs. Sirius for the heads-up. That was very sweet of you!


septentrion - Mar 24, 2004 7:36 am (#667 of 2956)
Gina this time you achieved it


rambkowalczyk - Mar 24, 2004 7:47 am (#668 of 2956)
Like many others who have posted here, I too have been trying to figure what makes Snape tick. I've been going through the books highlighting things about him. I'm almost finished with book 3. One thing that I've noticed is that Harry isn't the only one with a hero complex.

In Book 1 Dumbledore, Snape, and most likely McGonagall know that Voldemort is in the vicinity. Who is the first to suspect Quirrel? Who persists after Quirrel by getting him to share the Sorcerer's Stone with him? Snape's hatred of Harry may be in part because he suspects that Harry is doing what he wants to do - that is save the Sorceror's Stone for Dumbledore. Unlike Harry he has a better idea of the dangers involved. In the first Quidditch match he sees that Harry's broom is jinxed and tries to counterjinx it. In the second Quidditch match, Snape is angry because Dumbledore is there. He realizes with Dumbledore there he can't be the hero. Then Harry goes into a dive to get the snitch but perhaps Snape is thinking someone once again bewitched Harry's broomstick. Not until Harry pulls out of the dive with the snitch does Snape realize that Harry was in no danger. Fortunately he didn't embarrass himself by somehow preventing Harry from getting the snitch! He is angry at himself for what he almost did. He has Filch alerting him looking for wanderers at night. He's not necessarily looking for Harry, but is on the lookout for Voldemort or Quirrel acting suspiciously. In the days after the Quidditch match Harry keeps running into Snape. Snape is keeping an eye on Harry because Voldemort may try to hurt Harry again or is he concerned Harry will try to get the stone. He knows that Harry is friendly with Hagrid and might figure out how to get past Fluffy. On the day that Dumbledore is called away, Snape is aware that Quirrel may try for the stone. He also knows that Harry may try to stop him and that Harry may not survive the fight. This is why he threatens Harry with expulsion for any night time wanderings. Snape's hatred of Harry may be because Harry saved the stone where he couldn't. Harry figured out how to get past Fluffy something he had not yet done.

In the third book Snape's desire to be hero is more evident. It's also been discussed before. The only thing I'll add is that he isn't only trying to save Harry from Sirius Black but also from Lupin who he believes is helping Black. He asks Lupin indirectly if Lupin gave Harry the map? This explains why it bothers him that the school prefers Lupin to him (aside from the obvious reasons).

Oddly in the second book I find surprising that neither Snape nor Dumbledore figured out that it was a basilisk petrifying everyone. How many petrifyers can there be in the wizarding world controlled by the heir of Slytherin? So the question is why wasn't Snape actively trying to stop this menace? He knew Harry was parseltongue and was at the very least a prime suspect. The only thing he did was at the beginning he knew Harry wasn't telling everything he knew. but no evidence of Snape following Harry around, no silky warnings about what he's doing in his free time. Personally I think this is a flaw in the book but I would be interested to hear other ideas.


Gina R Snape - Mar 24, 2004 8:10 am (#669 of 2956)
ramb, may I call you ramb? Well, I agree that Snape definitely has a hero complex of his own. He is ambitious and wants acknowledgement. He just doesn't want warm fuzzy displays. But he does tell Harry that Harry should be thanking him on bended knee at one point.

I think, in CoS, Snape stepped in as Lockhart's 'assistant' to keep an eye on the incompetent boob. But I also think he was testing a theory. I've posted this before, but shall again. I think Snape told Draco to use the serpensortia curse to see what would happen. Harry was hearing voices, and the portraits knew that, which means DD knew that... Perhaps they were not 100% certain yet if the 'monster' was a basilisk. But confirming that Harry could speak parseltongue meant Harry wasn't just hearing a disembodied voice.

We don't know what all else was going on behind the scenes in CoS because Harry and Ron were busy playing detective with Hagrid and the spiders. In PS/SS, they were playing spy on the staff. So that is where we are at our biggest disadvantage in analysing staff actions.

Also, it could be the case that Snape knows when to pick his battles. Yes, he wants to be a hero, save the day. But if he's no match for a basilisk, why bother? Oh, and that also explains why he resents Potter's 'fame' from the get-go. The kid didn't have to do anything to vanquish the Dark Lord. Here's Snape, with years and years of experience and knowledge, and this stupid kid gets born and POOF he's got both a prophesy and protection on his side and vanquishes the dark lord without lifting a finger. He's even too young to hold a wand when it happens!

If I were Snape, I'd be a little miffed too.


Lisaren - Mar 24, 2004 8:42 am (#670 of 2956)
I do not understand that it could be ok in any way for Professor Snape to hate a child for something he had no control over. He hates Harry because his father was James Potter or maybe because he defeated the Dark Lord and gets famous but his parents get killed. To me that is the same as despising a child born out of wedlock (which has gone on and still does in some families).

You can say he hates Harry for breaking school rules, but his hatred of Harry is shown clearly in the look at the very first day of school. Of course, Harry could have misinterpreted this look, but then in the first potions class (before Harry had broken one school rule), we get Professor Snape's question asking and the statement about fame not being all. In Harry's mind he is not famous and he really does not yet understand his position in the Wizarding World.

Snape is an interesting and vital character in the Harry Potter Series, but his character is also a vindictive, mean-spirited git who can not grow up enough to judge people for themselves instead of their situation of birth.


Padfoot - Mar 24, 2004 11:55 am (#671 of 2956)
I think Snape is a character that we love to hate. He is actually one of my favorites. Yes, he is unreasonable, unfair and mean. I think he and Harry really need to sit down and talk. Snape obviously has some issues that need to be resolved. I still feel kind of sorry for him though. I guess I can relate to being picked on in school. There would obviously be resentment over that. Of course picking on Harry, who had nothing to do with Snape as a child, is taking it to the extreme. I still feel sorry for Snape and hope something will be resolved by the end of book 7.


Rich - Mar 24, 2004 10:40 pm (#672 of 2956)
Snape is pretty much deprived of recognition. He is a very highly skilled Potions Master and Occlumens, a capable Legilimens, he has a very great knowledge of Wizardry etc. and he is managing to spy on Voldemort for DD (or vice versa?) along with a lot of other talents/skills.

He will try to gain that recognition and respect for which he has always longed. When a kid comes along who is recognised and respected for surviving an AK and therefore bringing about the downfall of the most evil wizard of the century Snape is pretty annoyed. He will try anything to drag Harry down and show all those who will listen that he is just like any other person.

Snape has an excuse for doing this in some cases. He can say he is only doing it so that the likes of Malfoy will report back to Lucius and tell him what a good job Snape is doing. He will receive recognition from Lucius, which is why I believe Sirius referred to Snape as Lucius' lap-dog. Because Lucius is not afraid to tell Snape what a great job he is doing, Snape will then come back to Lucius for more of the praise that he so badly seems to covet.


S.E. Jones - Mar 25, 2004 1:49 am (#673 of 2956)
rambkowalczyk: Oddly in the second book I find surprising that neither Snape nor Dumbledore figured out that it was a basilisk petrifying everyone. How many petrifyers can there be in the wizarding world controlled by the heir of Slytherin? So the question is why wasn't Snape actively trying to stop this menace? He knew Harry was parseltongue and was at the very least a prime suspect.

I agree with Gina that they may not have been 100% sure. Also, how do you find something that can hide in a Chamber only the Heir of Slytherin can open? I don't know if Snape was testing a theory, I think he was surprised, but started thinking things through quickly upon finding out Potter was a Parseltongue. I think the reason we don't see him actively following Harry, though, is because he comes to the conclusion that he isn't the Heir of Slytherin and wouldn't be attacking Muggle-borns. I always thought it was odd that people accused him of the attacks but seemed to overlook the fact that his mother was a Muggle-born and so is one of his best friends (you'll notice most people changed their minds about Harry after Hermione was attacked because they know he'd never hurt her). I think Snape picked up on those two things right away and so, combining them with Harry's personality, etc, ruled him out as a candidate.


Romana - Mar 25, 2004 7:36 am (#674 of 2956)
Gina R Snape wrote: Pardon, Romana. JKR has never said Snape was or wasn't in love with Lily.

I probably have got it wrong, but I got this quote from another Snape website.

"J.K has confirmed that Snape was NOT in love with Lily Potter"

I don't know where that site got it's info wrong or is making it up. So I apologise. But if your are interested in the website ( which I recommend for it's humour), I'll put it up next post if asked.


Gina R Snape - Mar 25, 2004 8:50 am (#675 of 2956)
Hey, Romana. Yes, I'd be interested in the website. But I think it's no secret that I've read every known interview out there and combed them all for tidbits on our Potions Master.

So, I was rereading the pensieve scene in GoF last night and there was a bit that really stuck out to me again. Bertha Jorkins says something about following someone into the greenhouse, and teasing 'him' about snogging someone named Florence. Then DD regretfully asks why she had to follow 'him' in the first place.

I feel very strong that it was Snape she followed. It seems likely he would, as a kid, hex someone badly for teasing him about something like that. And I have a feeling Bertha Jorkins will reappear (in memory) in one of the next books. It was the only pensieve scene not fully explained in GoF or by the end of OoP and strikes me as a piece of history that will come back. Especially, JKR has said we will learn more about Snape's past. I feel very strongly we will learn the circumstances of him becoming a DE and then leaving. This thing with Bertha could have been another one of those 'last straws' for him.


Rod Beecham - Mar 25, 2004 2:13 pm (#676 of 2956)
Dear Gina,

You and I have crossed swords a couple of times on the subject of Severus, and I was wondering whether there are some key earlier postings of yours I could have a look at to get a complete picture of your take on him. You've obviously studied him deeply (and I agree completely that he is a most interesting character).

My own most considered Snape postings, for what they're worth, are Nos. 543 and 547.

Your friendly disputant, Rod


Gina R Snape - Mar 25, 2004 6:37 pm (#677 of 2956)
Heh, heh.
Well, Rod, all I can say is read through all the Snape threads. I've contributed--probably a little too much--to all of them...

There is the recently archived Snape thread; there are threads about specific aspects of Snape; and of course, there are the older archived threads. But since I have been a member of the forum since November 2002, it would be nie well impossible to list them all!

But I am honoured at your request and attention!!!!!


Romana - Mar 26, 2004 2:06 am (#678 of 2956)
Gina, The website I was refering to was : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

It looks at the funny side of liking our favourite poitions master. I think my favourite section is 'Snape wouldn't say'

In the pensive scene in GoF, it is heavily implied that it is Snape she followed, and he is prime suspect for hexing... well anybody! But still, from what we know of Bertha Jorkins, she was the biggest gossip, and she would have followed anyone for a juicy bit of gossip. So I think it could easily have been Sirius she folowed, after all we know nothing about his potenial girlfriends at Hogwarts. I agree with Gina though, I think it was Snape. If so, do you think we will see her in future books? I just hope it wasn't because of her, he either became a Death Eater or quit being one, that would be far too cheesy for me.


Mare - Mar 26, 2004 2:34 am (#679 of 2956)
"The significance of Bertha & Florence. Condensed thread." 11/18/03 1:30pm

For those of you interested in discussion about Bertha, Florence and "him". Maybe by reading the thread you'll come up with new and brilliant ideas to post about why it has to be Snape.


HP Fan - Mar 26, 2004 1:53 pm (#680 of 2956)
You go away for a few days and what happens - nearly 40 new posts to trawl through! I can't believe it - I was thinking over Snape a coupe of weeks ago and thinking about the dueling club in Chamber of Secrets and whether or not the teachers suspected what was in the Chamber. I come online ready to post my little 'what do you all think' theory and find someone has beaten me to it! Oh well that's life.

I've always suspected that Snape told Malfoy to use the Serpensortia curse and after DD's line "I have watched you more closely than you could have imagined" in OoP [not sure of exact quote haven't got book with me - yes I know that's a bad habit I'm trying to break it] I've wondered whether DD asked Snape to find some way of finding out is Harry could speak Parseltongue. After all he suspected the scar might be a sign of a connection and knew the prophecy about 'marking as his equal' I think DD and possibly McG and Snape would have suspected what the monster was. But were at a loss as how to find it and how to kill it without getting themselves killed.

Snape either on DD's request to find out or saw what he thought was a good opportunity to find out tells Malfoy to throw a Snake at Harry and watches to see what happens. Then his calculating look after he vanishes the snake could be down to his realizing that Potter is probably the only one who has any chance of getting into the Chamber.

Sorry if this doesn't make sense - I'm tired and only have a limited amount of time online tonight. Does what I've said make sense?


firebird - Mar 26, 2004 2:33 pm (#681 of 2956)
I don't think Snape or any of the teachers knew - or even really considered - that it could be a Basilisk. There could have been many things they could have done to make the school safer. It did say in the piece of paper Hermione was clutching that a rooster's cry would kill it. I think this would be a commonly known piece of information, or at least it could be looked up in other reference books. Maybe Snape had a feeling that Parseltongue was needed somehow, (since Salazar spoke it) to open the chamber, not that there was actually a Basilisk inside. He might have thought Voldemort's powers might have been transferred to Harry and was testing out that theory by serpensortia...? Or he might have even suspected Harry of being the heir of Slytherin. Yes, he did know Harry's best friend and mother were Muggle-born, but perhaps he thought that Harry could be unwittingly opening the chamber, in a trance or something, like Possessed-Ginny was doing.

rambkowalczyk: Oddly in the second book I find surprising that neither Snape nor Dumbledore figured out that it was a basilisk petrifying everyone. How many petrifyers can there be in the wizarding world controlled by the heir of Slytherin?

Exactly. I agree. It's bizarre.

Lisaren, I don't agree with your post. Whether Snape has reason to hate Harry or not, hatred isn't exactly something you decide on logically. I think in his case it's simply uncontrollable.

He did act very mean-spirited and biased in the first Potions class, picking on Harry for his fame - which he can't help - but maybe the reason is that he hates children? He loves Potions and maybe even teaching people, but he gets really irritated with children, especially immature imbecilic first years. Yes, he did favour the Slyths because he probably prefers the cautious, ambitious and more subtle nature of Slytherins to the idiotic -in his opinion- reckless 'bravery' of Gryffindors. Whatever, we know, that Harry is not the only child he torments. Children have none of the subtlety, intelligence or cunning of adults, and perhaps he despises their naivety and wide-eyed-innocence, as well as their completely wrong and trivial priorities.

He is a mean-spirited git perhaps, and that is also part of his anti-hero charm. Though he is an anti-hero, he's not exactly a villain either. I think he feels that his 'good' and 'brave' actions - of which there are many - and the goodness of his motives make up for his day-to-day unpleasantness. And I agree with him. Smile

Perhaps he has no empathy for others' trivial miseries (caused by him of course... heheh), or at least for the children's, he has principles that he would not break. He does make their lives a living hell, but this also protects them, and toughens them up a bit for the far greater misery to come.


Gina R Snape - Mar 26, 2004 3:12 pm (#682 of 2956)
firebird, I've long thought that Snape doesn't particularly like children. But I do think he enjoys teaching to a small extent. Particularly, I think he gets a certain satisfaction out of showing what he knows. And if he didn't care about the kids' level of learning (they were advanced according to Umbridge), then he wouldn't make the classes so difficult. Further, his assignments seem very purposeful and thought out. I am referring in particular to the essays we hear him assign now and again.

Testing out antidotes to poisons on the kids, for example, might seem very very drastic; but I rather suspect it was an idle threat and it did get the kids to study! And he did have the antidote for poor Trevor on hand, thus demonstrating no real intent to harm. That sounds to me like someone who enjoys teaching, but puts his own 'twist' or 'style' on it. Some might call it torture, but I find it amusing because a) he doesn't intend to hurt them; b) no one ever actually does get hurt; c)his methods are in the end extremely effective; and d) I like it when Snape finds ways to amuse himself.

Edit: I nearly forgot to mention! Thank you, Mare, for the link to that other thread about Bertha and Florence. I will try to get to it this weekend and respond when I've had a thorough chance to read and think it through.


rambkowalczyk - Mar 26, 2004 4:55 pm (#683 of 2956)
In Book 1 Dumbledore compares the hatred of James Potter and Severius Snape to that of Harry and Draco. Then we had the pensieve scene where we see James bullying Severius because he was bored. At this point Harry identifies with Severius and so therefore we think Malfoy is like James: someone who bullies because he's bored and wants to amuse his friends. So the rhetorical question is "Why does Snape favor Draco rather than Harry when they fight? The answer has to go beyond Draco is Lucius's son etc etc. Then it occurred to me whenever Harry and Draco fight Draco seems to get the worse end of it. At the end of year 4 and 5, Draco and cohorts are found by their parents pretty much in non human form on the Hogwarts express. At the end of Quidditch when Draco insulted Ron and Harry's family Harry tackled him to the ground and got in a few punches--all without magic. Mostly what Draco does is use words to hurt and he does it effectively. Does Snape identify with Draco because as a student at Hogwarts Snape was the type of person who could make the other person start fights because of well chosen words? I'm suggesting that the pensieve scene may not accurately represent Snape's student life. Perhaps like Draco he bullied kids more defenseless than him. In much the same way Draco bullies Neville perhaps Severus bullied Remus Lupin. (This would have happened before James and Sirius discovered he was a werewolf).

Somewhere JKR says something to the effect not to get too fond of him yet. I'm looking for explanations other than he's secretly working for Lord Voldemort. By the way ramb is an ok name to call me by. Technically I am just the "a" in the name.


Mad Madame Mim - Mar 26, 2004 8:48 pm (#684 of 2956)
Its not uncommon that bullier is/has been bullied. If this is true for Draco, who has bullied him? Harry? I don't think so.Harry usually reacts to Draco taunts. So who bullies/bullied Draco?

Prefect Marcus [/b]- Mar 26, 2004 8:53 pm (#685 of 2956)
Mim,

I suspect it was dear old dad.


Mad Madame Mim - Mar 26, 2004 10:54 pm (#686 of 2956)
And so Draco follows daddy's lead.

AS for Snape and James, I see them more as rivals. They took turns at playing the victim. Snape and James were evenly matched. However Snape does bully his students, Neville and Harry imparticular. There have been lots of Theories thrown out to as why Snape does it. I truly believe he bullies his students because he can.


SHEla WOLFsbane - Mar 27, 2004 1:10 am (#687 of 2956)
ramb- interesting idea... that they both (Snape, and Harry) see themselves as the victim, without seeing the roll they played. I don't neccessarly buy into that idea too much though. For a few reasons: 1)Even after all we have seen Snape go through, some people still don't see him as a victim while growing up. 2)We can't just ignore two very important points (Lucius and his son- Draco, and Snape being an ex DE, and {possible} spy) just because we have heard them before. The frequency, makes them no less valid. I still like the spin on the thought process... Maybe when it's not 3A.M. everything will sink in a little better, and make more sense when I post. Sorry if this got a little jumbled.

Gina, I think you might be interested in checking out Post #17 by Blast on the thread, 'Letters to Rowling' on the FFF... (Hope I'm right...)


Rod Beecham - Mar 27, 2004 2:51 pm (#688 of 2956)
It struck me last night that JKR's talent - amounting, in my humble opinion, to genius - for nomenclature may give us some clues about Snape.

Snape is an English village (I've actually been there, although I can't remember anything about it). But I think it's the sound of the word rather than its origin that is important.

"Snape" is one consonant away from "snake". Obviously appropriate for the Head of Slytherin house, but suggestive, too, of sinuous movement (he is quiet and almost stealthy in his gait), cold-bloodedness (he values intellect, not emotion), solitude (he has no real friends), and venom (he is often waspish and cruel).

Remove the final vowel and you have "snap", which is suggestive of the violent closure of a sprung trap. This implies an immense inner tension, held in check by a concentrated act of will. A dangerous man to get close to: you may at any time unwittingly spring the trap.

I referred to Snape's "inner volcano" in an earlier post. To mix my metaphors yet again, I believe JKR wants us to feel a great inner pressure in Snape. I said in an earlier post that she almost invariably employs sibilant letters to describe his speech (he whispers, he snarls, he spits, he says things "silkily", he speaks "smoothly"). This is onomatopeia: we are hearing the steam leaking from the boiling cauldron within.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Mar 27, 2004 4:40 pm (#689 of 2956)
Rod, interesting that you should change the consonant. In my head, I'm always changing the vowel. Instead of Snape, I think Snipe. And since I'm addicted to my dictionary, there are two definitions which apply: as a verb--to aim a carping or snide remark (how often this applies to our Potions Master), and as a noun--a contemptible person (with apologies to Gina, only too true I'm afraid (at least in the opinion of Harry and Company)).


Madame Librarian - Mar 28, 2004 8:58 am (#690 of 2956)
Rod and Kim, ages ago I posted the various definitions I found for some of the names in the series. I've done a thorough search and can't resurrect that post, so I'll try to go over what I found for "Snape." I originally looked the word up at work where we have the "Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (love that book!), but as I am at home, I checked my "Webster's Unabridged" which has a slightly different take, though similar enough to the OED. Here's what I found (paraphrased):

SNAPE--dialectic variety of "sneap": verb--to taper; to bevel, as in to bevel the end of a timber. (Well, not much of interest there.)

SNEAP--from old Scandinavian languages to Middle English: verb--to dishonor; disgrace. From later English usage--to chide; to snub; to rebuke. (Here's what JKR was probably looking at when naming the character, IMO.)
One very astonishing definition from Old Swedish is...hem, hem...to castrate! (Let's not even go there.)

Now, in the OED at work, I do not recall any business about snape being a dialectic variety of sneap, just direct meanings for snape are listed, but that may be a variation between an American English dictionary and a British English one. I can check this on Tuesday when I'm back at the library.

Hope this helps to fill in the puzzle of the ever more mysterious professor named Snape.

Ciao. Barb


Accio Sirius - Mar 28, 2004 10:06 am (#691 of 2956)
I posed this question in the middle of another thread (Parting of the ways of MWPP), but think it is more appropriate here. I apologize if this was covered earlier, but the thread is so huge. I'm curious: If you like Snape, does it follow that you hate Sirius? And if you hate Sirius because of the Snape dynamic, how do Snape fans feel about James Potter? I know he saved his life, but in Snape's worst memory, I think James comes off worse than Sirius. And when Harry talks to Lupin and Sirius in the fire in OoP, it seems that the Snape/James rivalry continued for a long time. Are we assuming the animosity ended with Whomping Willow incident(At least for James)? I am fascinated by Snape and think there will be a big pay-off for the character one way or the other. I just thought I detected a trend on some anti-Sirius sentiments--not that there's anything wrong with that! LOL. Just would like to hear some rationale.


septentrion - Mar 28, 2004 10:56 am (#692 of 2956)
As for me, I don't hate Sirius because I'm a Snape fan. In fact, I even think they're rather similar in some points : harsh childhood, meanness for those they hate and ready for everything to achieve their aim. If Snape became a DE for a still unknown reason, don't forget Sirius tried to stab the Fat Lady because she didn't let him get into Gryffindor tower.

But I'd like to go some posts ago about the basilisk story. It'd have been strange that DD wouldn't have any clue about the nature of the monster sneaking in Hogwarts but in my mind the problem wasn't how to kill it (to buy a new rooster and to keep it safe in DD's office until you corner the basilisk would've been enough and efficient) but when and where to catch it. The monster was unpredictable in its actions and nobody had ever found the Chamber built by Salazar Slytherin. It'd also have been too dangerous to use a student as a bait. DD and the staff could just wait. Maybe things would have been different if DD hadn't been suspended because he knew the culprit and was probably thinking of how LV could be acting in Hogwarts and in Albania in the same time. I still wonder too if Harry had a place in DD's plans against the monster, Had DD guessed it was a basilisk. I don't know if Snape intentionnally prompted Draco with the serpensortia curse to check if Harry was a parselmouth but the fact is that from that moment everybody knew in the school Harry is a parselmouth, a very useful quality against a basilisk.


Prefect Marcus - Mar 28, 2004 5:04 pm (#693 of 2956)
I do not think liking Sirius and liking Snape is mutually exclusive. I agree with Septentrion. They are very, very similar in many ways. That is likely why they hate each other so intently.

Marcus


Chemyst - Mar 28, 2004 5:12 pm (#694 of 2956)
I'm curious: If you like Snape, does it follow that you hate Sirius? ~ Accio Sirius

No! This question is so far out of my realm of normal thought and reason that I had to go back years & years to a schoolyard incident to even relate to it. I didn't let others choose my friends (or enemies) for me then. And even in a fictitious world, why would I let my opinion of Snape dictate my feelings about Sirius? Is this what cliques do? I suppose the Sorting hat was right on the mark when he said: Though condemned I am to split you, Still I worry that it's wrong.

I think the question is a good one to ask though, because it is one of the developing themes of the story: That of letting feelings for one person or house mislead our judgments of others. (Pfft! even my spell check allows both British and American spellings of judgements. I guess it agrees with the Sorting Hat's notion of acceptance.)


firebird - Mar 28, 2004 5:21 pm (#695 of 2956)
Hmm... That's an interesting question, Accio. I am a Snape fan and I'm not that fond of Sirius, but I don't think the two opinions necessarily have to be linked.

I think their personalities are more different than similar. I suppose since I admire Snape's subtlety, his atypical anti-hero character, and his 'silkiness' -shall we say- there's something about Sirius' personality (rash hot-headed arrogant) that I dislike, since it IS for the most part very different from Snape's.

And another thing: the essence of Sirius is IMO sort of... glaringly obvious, and Snape has that intriguing enigma we all keep wondering about. Also, we did meet Snape in the first book, and some of us have probably gotten fond of him through what we've all heard of him. Sirius has been nonexistent, in our minds, for two books and in hiding for another two. I really didn't want him to die though Sad I wish we could have known more about him. I don't think we know enough about him and his past - except that he was wrongly convicted - but none of his courageous actions. Snape though: we know he saved Harry's life, turned spy for the Order, showed the Dark Mark to Fudge... I'm sure we could wax eloquent on this subject forever.

My point is that it's not because Snape and Sirius are RIVALS that some Snape-fans -me at least- don't like Sirius. (I mean, I don't hate Draco although he is Harry's rival. I don't hate Harry or Ron though they both detest Snape! I think Lupin is really interesting too even though he is sort of a rival to Snape.) It's more to do with what we like of their personalities and what we know of them.

septentrion, I suppose they could have let roosters loose around Hogwarts - OK having their droppings everywhere and being woken up early by their squawks might not be pleasant - since it's a matter of life and death. Yes Ginny did kill Hagrid's roosters but one person - the Heir - can't kill a hundred roosters around the castle, especially if they are protected. Or you could make all Muggle-borns carry around roosters... Smile


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Mar 29, 2004 7:36 am (#696 of 2956)
This discussion puts me in mind of Sirius' quote from OOTF14 when discussing Umbridge with HRH, "'Yes, but the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters,' said Sirius with a wry smile. 'I know she's a nasty piece of work, though--you should hear Remus talk about her.'" Isn't it unusual for Sirius, who seems to have such strong feelings about everything (and really, isn't he entitled?)to see shades of gray? And yet he and Snape are so trapped in their adolescent perceptions of each other they can't possibly entertain the idea that the other one has changed/grown. Even when Sirius speaks so bluntly to Harry about how his father was an idiot ("'Of course he was a bit of an idiot!' said Sirius bracingly. 'We were all idiots!...'Look,' he said, 'your father was the best friend I ever had, and he was a good person. A lot of people are idiots at the age of fifteen. He grew out of it.'" OOTF29) he is unable to see the possibility of change in someone else. Moreover, everyone is aware of the sacrifices Sirius has made for Harry and in the fight against Voldemort and I'm sure he is given a certain amount of respect for that. Yet Snape, we(the reader) assume, has made sacrifices also--perhaps terrible ones that we only have glimpses of-- and he is loathed by almost everyone. It's no wonder he feels resentment. He must wonder if anyone will ever appreciate what he's given up to fight for this cause. And for people who are not even comfortable in his company.

As an aside, isn't it lovely to have a glimpse of Lupin speaking disparagingly of someone? I must say, it warmed my heart.

And to Barb, thank you for the information. The OED is on my wishlist (how pathetic am I?) so I'm reduced to my Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Hence, my etymological research suffers.


Padfoot - Mar 29, 2004 9:35 am (#697 of 2956)
I agree with the others above, you can like both Snape and Sirius. I like Sirius a lot more, but there is something about Snape that is interesting. We seem to care about him despite the fact that he acts like a git. Remember at the end of PoA when DD and Fudge are talking? DD says that Snape is severely dissapointed. I see that through his actions in all books. He lashes out because he is frustrated, dissapointed and confined to his role as a Hogwarts teacher. Now saying that, I think he likes being a teacher, but misses those good/bad old days when he was a DE and he had some power.


Weeny Owl - Mar 29, 2004 11:02 am (#698 of 2956)
There are things I like and dislike about all the characters.

Snape has definite issues, and the one thing I can't quite understand about him is his hatred of Harry from the first potions class on. Harry hadn't broken any rules at that point, wasn't responsible for his fame, and had done nothing to Snape. Either there's much more JKR hasn't revealed about this or Snape needs to finally realize that Harry isn't James.

The relationship between Sirius and Snape is based on what happened during school. Sirius could have killed Snape and used his own friend as the weapon. Snape has reasons to dislike Sirius and not to trust him, but at the same time, not knowing more of the details about their school years, perhaps Sirius had good reasons not to trust Snape.

I know JKR said we'll learn more about the Marauders and what happened during their school years, so maybe something will finally be explained.


Rod Beecham - Mar 29, 2004 2:17 pm (#699 of 2956)
I've been very critical of Snape, and I still maintain strongly that there's no possible excuse for some of his actions - especially the ones that involve psychological cruelty to children in his care - but I thought I'd write to throw in what I consider to be his finest moment in the series to date.

It is in OoP, and we are in Umbridge's office, where Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Luna and Neville are in the grip of the Slytherin goons. Snape has just stonewalled Umbridge's request for more Veritaserum and has received her punishment - being put on probation - impassively. As he turns to leave, Harry yells out: "He's got Padfoot!" Umbridge asks eagerly what Harry means. Now read on . . .

"I have no idea," said Snape coldly. "Potter, when I want nonsense shouted at me I shall give you a Babbling Beverage. And Crabbe, loosen your hold a little. If Longbottom suffocates it will mean a lot of tedious paperwork and I am afraid I shall have to mention it on your reference if ever you apply for a job."

He closed the door behind him with a snap . . . [and, as we know, goes straight to his office to check on Sirius' whereabouts.]

Magnificent. Cool, quick-witted, and even, dare I say it, a flash of mordant humour. Bravo, Severus!


Dr Filibuster - Mar 29, 2004 2:42 pm (#700 of 2956)
Rod, you forgot the ironic bow. Didn't Snape bow ironically to Umbridge when she put him on probation?


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Prefect Marcus - Mar 29, 2004 3:33 pm (#701 of 2956)
"I have no idea," said Snape coldly. "Potter, when I want nonsense shouted at me I shall give you a Babbling Beverage. And Crabbe, loosen your hold a little. If Longbottom suffocates it will mean a lot of tedious paperwork and I am afraid I shall have to mention it on your reference if ever you apply for a job."

Hmmmm. You don't suppose that that little comment led to Neville, Luna, Ron, and Ginny's escape?


Romana - Mar 30, 2004 2:22 am (#702 of 2956)
One of the reasons I like Snape was his twisted sense of humour. In Chamber for example when Harry and Ron were dicussing variuos reasons for Snape not being at the Feast when they arrive and Snape reply 'Or maybe he's standing right behind you wondering why you two weren't on the train?' Apart from making me laugh hysterically, I wondered why it was that Snape of all people should be on the look out for them, shouldn't it have been McGonagall? She is their head of house after all.

And in OoTP as many people have pointed out that scene in Umbridges office, when she askes Snape to make more truth serum. 'Certainly, it will take a month.' When he knew full well as soon as he gave her the first lot that she would use it all. He is very good at manipulating situations to his own advantage, as well as reading people (though he does seem to have a bit of a problem with Harry). Those skills are easily overlooked as they are a passive, clever sort of heroism, rather than active, 'Tally-ho' heroism, Harry for example. The major difference between Harry and Snape, is that Harry leaps before he thinks, and Snape deosn't.


Catherine - Mar 30, 2004 4:23 am (#703 of 2956)
I like your thoughts here, Romana, but I think Snape is even more manipulative than what you described.

I think it's perfectly possible that he did have more Veritaserum, but his ability in Occlumency allows him to lie smoothly. In addition, the potion he provided her in the first place was not really Veritaserum.

He's such a great character.


haymoni - Mar 30, 2004 5:27 am (#704 of 2956)
I think most of his character that we see - especially in front of Draco et al - is the double agent.

His hatred for Harry is petty, yes, but he does try to save him from falling off the broom and he did check on Sirius after the "Padfoot" warning.

He is a complex, interesting character and I can't wait to read more in Book 6.


Chemyst - Mar 30, 2004 12:51 pm (#705 of 2956)
I wondered why it was that Snape of all people should be on the look out for them, shouldn't it have been McGonagall? She is their head of house after all. - Romana

Yes, but as second in authority after DD, she always leads the first-years in. Since she was otherwise occupied, I'd always figured that being caught by Snape, as third in command, made sense.


Romana - Mar 31, 2004 2:22 am (#706 of 2956)
But in Azkanban, it is McGonagall that 'looks after' Harry and Hermionie after the Dementor incident on the train, she misses leading the first years into the feast. But your right, Snape is the 'third' in command.

It suggests to me that Snape has a very specific reason for looking out for Harry, which isn't covered by the life debt. I am only saying this because of Wormtail's behaviour at Voldemort's rebirthing ceremony. If the wands had not been brother's, then Harry would be dead, (ahh wishfull thinking)with Wormtail not having done much to save him. This menas Snape, all those years ago, as a Death Eater, would have been in the same position, but he did do something about it. Sorry at this point I am rather assuming that it was Snape that warned DD that Voldemort was after the Potter's. (admitadely, I do think I'm right Smile, but everyone entitled to an opinon aren't they?)


rambkowalczyk - Mar 31, 2004 10:51 am (#707 of 2956)
I too think it was Snape who told Dumbledore that Voldemort was going to kill baby Harry and James. I also think it may have helped convince Dumbledore than Snape was sincere about changing sides. (along with a dose of veritaserum). On another level it explains why he hates Sirius Black so much: he interfered with his plans to be a hero who saved the Potters.


Accio Sirius - Mar 31, 2004 12:58 pm (#708 of 2956)
Rambkowalczyk,

I'm not sure I follow you on why Snape would think Sirius interfered with his plans to be the hero. I imagine Snape delighted in the fact that Sirius was sent to Azkaban and generally regarded as a turncoat. Later I know he was unhappy to lose the Order of Merlin, etc. I do think it would be quite interesting if it was Snape who told Dumbledore about Voldermort targeting the Potters. I think Snape is very interesting. He is so cool and collected under stress. In the Occulmency scene in Grimmauld Place in OoP, he came off so much better than Sirius because he could keep his temper. I look forward to learning the whole Snape story.


mooncalf - Apr 4, 2004 12:05 am (#709 of 2956)
Maybe this is a stupid question, but I can't recall ever having seen it in canon. Where does it say that Snape is third in command?


septentrion - Apr 4, 2004 5:41 am (#710 of 2956)
I think it's said nowhere but the way he often, if not always, appears next to Dumbledore and McGonagall clearly shows he's the third in Hogwarts.


Emily - Apr 4, 2004 4:02 pm (#711 of 2956)
Also, Snape seems to have been there the third longest, next to Trelawney, who would probably not want any post like third-in-command. We know DD's been teaching there for over 50 years (CoS) and McG had a very high number also. Snape had something like 14, and I think Trelawney was 16. (the last three from OotP) We don't know about most of the other teachers, though, so this could be completely wrong.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 4, 2004 4:47 pm (#712 of 2956)
You are correct. It says nowhere that Snape is 3rd in charge. However, Dumbledore seems to rely upon him and McGonagall far more than any of the other teachers.

I do not recall where it says that either Sprout or Flitwick (the other two househeads) are members of the Order, but we know that Snape and McGogagall are.


Neville Longbottom - Apr 5, 2004 2:11 am (#713 of 2956)
McGonagall is there for since 39 years or something like this. And Flitwick was already there during Snape's OWLs. We don't know about the others, though.


rambkowalczyk - Apr 5, 2004 6:34 am (#714 of 2956)
To answer Accio Sirius (post 708). If Snape wanted to pay back the life debt owed to James,then giving the warning to Dumbledore that Voldemort was going to kill the Potters would be a good way to do it. In Snape's mind Sirius Black nullified this. Now he is force to do something for Harry to pay James back. Yes, he's happy that Sirius is in Azkaban for it showed the world what he knew at 16: that Black was capable of killing. Any clearer?


Accio Sirius - Apr 5, 2004 1:36 pm (#715 of 2956)
Ramblkowalczyk, Thanks. That is a very interesting way to think of it and something I never considered. Snape is oddly driven to protect Harry and aside from doing the right thing for the good guys, he does it with such a reluctant sense of duty. Carrying the burden of trying to pay back a life debt would explain that. Of course, there is always the idea that he's like Barty Crouch Jr. and keeping Harry alive just to hand him over to Voldermort. At this point, I'm not inclined to believe that, although hasn't JKR hinted that fans are getting too soft on Snape? Just my two knuts, I'm sure Snape believes/believed Sirius was capable of killing, but I don't think Padfoot ever intended for Snape to die. It's just too mean a thing to do for a character that JKR so obviously wanted people to like.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 5, 2004 1:54 pm (#716 of 2956)
I suspect Rowling's comment about keeping an eye on Snape likely has to do with not spoiling the series.

One of the great things about Snape is the constant question one has in one's mind as to whether or not we can trust him. Speaking for myself, I would be terribly disappointed if before the final book, Rowling were to say, "Yes, Snape is a good guy. You can trust him."

Bam! There goes half the fun.

Marcus


rambkowalczyk - Apr 5, 2004 3:31 pm (#717 of 2956)
I do think if, and its a big if on my part, Snape goes bad it will be a spur of the moment thing and would most likely happen in Book 7. I don't think there will be anything in books 1 through 6 that will predict it. I suppose if it happens it will probably be because Snape thinks Dumbledore has betrayed him.


Gina R Snape - Apr 5, 2004 6:45 pm (#718 of 2956)
Regarding the Snape v. Sirius question a few posts back...

I do have to say that a number of Snape fans I know all despise Sirius. It could very well be that Snape fans hate Sirius because Snape hates Sirius. But I don't think it's that simple.

I don't like Sirius, and siding with Snape on issues is a fun happy coincidence. McGonagall put it best (in PoA was it?) when she said that for an innocent man Sirius was certainly not acting like one. He acted like a murderer all year in his antics (slashing the portrait for example). I think he's done a disservice to Harry by his behavior in OoP. Yet I don't think it's a coincidence that we are told he's mistaking Harry for James--with the inference that Snape might be doing the same.

But Sirius' little popularity clique with James was just the kind of thing I would have despised as a teenager, and Snape was just the kind of geeky intelligent outsider kid I would have liked as a teenager. The fact that Sirius pulled that prank shows a disregard for his own friend Lupin as much as for Snape's safety. The fact that James stopped it shows a growth in maturity Sirius never managed to make.

It just seems to me that, as adults, everything Snape has done for Harry has been for Harry. Largely selfless (if with style) and beyond average expectations. Everything Sirius has done has in some way been for himself--to assuage his guilt, to have a pal, to make up for letting down James, etc. But where is Harry in all this? So, I do have very little respect for Sirius. And though I did not wish him dead, I only feel sorry for Harry's loss (and Lupin's), not for Sirius himself.


SHEla WOLFsbane - Apr 5, 2004 11:43 pm (#719 of 2956)
I liked Sirius. He was not, my favorite charator, but I was able to separate Snapes dislike for him, and form my own likes, and dislikes separate from Snapes. Even though we may have agreed on a few points. Like basically, Sirius being hot headed. That is not something that Harry needs to learn! I believe Severus saw this, but because of his past experiences with Sirius he went about pointing this out the wrong way (not that it would have done any good, no matter how he pointed it out, because Sirius still had a lot of growing up to do yet).

rambkowalczyk: Interesting point that you bring up about the possibility of Snape 'going bad' as a result of feeling that Dumbledore betrayed him. I have kicked around the idea that Dumbledore may be using Snape as his 'beast of burden' in regards to letting Harry be mad at Snape instead of himself for different mistakes he has made... Just thought that I'd throw that one out there.


Accio Sirius - Apr 6, 2004 5:39 am (#720 of 2956)
Edited by Apr 6, 2004 6:40 am
I have to say this forum has definitely made me think harder and longer about a lot of characters, Snape especially. I respect the way he can keep such a cool demeanor when those around him do not. That is something Harry can definitely benefit from and I would love to see Snape's influence on Harry come into play. But I think Rambkowalczyk brings up an important issue in that Dumbledore should start giving more credit to Snape for the things he's done because even though Snape doesn't care whether he's popular or not, I do think constant lack of recognition could wear anyone down. And Voldermort certainly knows how to play to people's strengths and weakness, so that could be exploited. And interestingly enough, that seems to be a weak point of Dumbledore's-- not recognizing certain emotional needs--Harry especially and Dumbledore does tend to treat Snape like a workhorse. However, I never get the feeling that Snape is doing this just for Harry. Snape is very good at seeing the forest for the trees--he sees the bigger picture and IMO, part of the reason he resents Harry is that he keeps cleaning up Harry's messes and constantly works behind the scenes while someone else gets the glory. I have always wondered and hoped that Harry would at least recognize what Snape has done--approach him man to man and say, "Look we don't like each other but I respect you and your talents." Probably won't ever happen because few teenagers are able to look that deeply at someone. Which explains the bad behavior all around for Snape and the Marauders as teenagers. I wouldn't have liked any of the Marauders in high school (except maybe Lupin)and while my friends and I were somewhere in the middle of the social strata, I don't know if I would have necessarily liked Snape. He had his own mean streak justified or not. And there is plenty of evidence in the real world (the US especially) that the alienated youth can be just as mean and dangerous as the conceited popular ones. What eventually won me over with Sirius is that here is this conceited guy who didn't want to be bothered with the mundane ("I'm bored") but when push comes to shove, was willing to take the responsibility of raising a child on his own no questions asked. He's not great at being a father figure, but he is passionate about it and isn't willing to pawn off the responsibility to Molly or even Dumbledore. But I don't want to go into Sirius stuff on a Snape thread. Snape's track record with children is less admirable and while I take into consideration his horrible childhood and the fact that he is, in his own way, teaching them life lessons, I just can't get past his treatment of kids. Snape's bullying of Neville for example, seems just as bad what was done to him (with the exception of the Shrieking Shack incident and I don't think we know the whole story). Maybe that's JKR showing that the oppressed become the oppressors, but I would be far more convinced of Snape's "selflessness" if he would just ease up on the kids.

Edit: I understand why people like one character and not the other, but I definitely think you can reconcile appreciating them both. : )


Elizabeth Cooper - Apr 6, 2004 6:05 am (#721 of 2956)
Gina, it was good to read your take on Sirius. When I was reading the books (POA and OoP), I was feeling a little guilty about not liking Sirius since he was suppose to be a "good guy". But I just couldn't get past his serious lack of maturity and responsibility.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 6, 2004 9:45 am (#722 of 2956)
I do take issue with the idea that Dumbledore neglects Snape, or doesn't give him credit for what he has done.

Snape joined a hate group when he left school. While they confined themselves to acts of cruelty, he loved the sense of power. But when the murderings started, he was horrified. Quirrel said it best. "Oh he DOES hate you. But he never wanted you DEAD!"

So what could Snape do? He was caught in a trap. Any Deatheater that tried to escape lost their life. One of these was Sirius's brother. At great personal risk, he went to Dumbledore and helped bring down Voldemort. Dumbledore gave Snape a job. More importantly, he gave him back his self-respect.

Dumbledore has always respected Snape. He insists the students show him respect as well. For the most part Dumbledore allows Sanpe free reign over his affairs. The few times where Dumbledore has intravened, Snape has had to admit it was justified.

Snape holds a position of honor and respect at Hogwarts. He has the total confidence and trust of his superior and his peers. It is true that he would rather be teaching DADA, but he has made Potions his. Nobody watching Snape can doubt his utter dedication and professionalism when in comes to potions. Teaching is another matter. He is a bully. But he manages to teach a difficult subject in spite of it.

Snape is no fool. He knows that if it weren't for Dumbledore, he would be a pariah. He is not about to louse that up!



HP Fan - Apr 6, 2004 10:57 am (#723 of 2956)
Perfect Marcus - I have to agree with you there - I think Quirell's comment was/is perhaps a clue from JKR to the real Snape. Yes he's not the most pleasant person but has his own limits etc that he won't cross. Whenever I've though about why he would become a spy or what caused him to become a spy I always get the feeling he was between a rock and a hard place. Back out openly - get killed. Spy - if you get caught you get killed. If you get away with it you help the good side and will earn their respect. When Voldemort's gone - you'll have regained self-respect and the respect of others.

His position at Hogwarts points not only to trust on DD's part but respect. He's not just a teacher - he's a head of house and [seemingly] is third in the chain of command judging by the fact he is involved in all the major scenes within the school. If DD didn't trust and respect him there's no way he'd be that influential within the school environment.


Accio Sirius - Apr 6, 2004 11:56 am (#724 of 2956)
Edited by Apr 6, 2004 12:59 pm
I don't doubt for a minute that Dumbledore respects Snape. As pointed out in the two previous posts, DD's actions definitely reinforce that. I just think DD misses out of some of the subtleties of interpersonal relationships. True, Dumbledore does try to instill some respect for Snape (trying to get Harry to call him Professor Snape), but it seems sort of passive. He is aware of all of the old animosities between James and Snape and Snape and Sirius, Snape and Harry and Harry and Malfoy. And I'm sure as headmaster he's much too busy to get too into personal lives, but Dumbledore admits he underestimated the damage that these grudges can do. So why let things get out of hand again? I think it is up to DD to try and bridge the gap between Snape and Harry. Letting Snape stew over losing the Order of Merlin, for instance, probably wasn't the smartest idea. It seems like it wasn't until the end of GoF that Snape new the real story of what happened that night so for a year, false truths probably fed the animosity between Snape and Harry. I know Snape doesn't need a ticker tape parade, but why not give him DADA? I guess if Snape is really a spy, he doesn't want too much public attention from DD. Just BTW, I am relatively new to the Potter universe (less than 3 months), so if I sound like I contradict myself, it's just because I haven't formed solid opinions on everything. It's kind of nice because I am always finding new ways to look at the books.


Padfoot - Apr 6, 2004 12:07 pm (#725 of 2956)
Several people remind Harry that it's "Professor Snape". I think Lupin, DD and Molly all remind him.

And I've wondered why DD doesn't let Snape, excuse me Professor Snape, teach DADA instead of Potions. Would potions master be equally hard to fill? Or does DD think Prof. Snape is lousy at DADA?


Prefect Marcus - Apr 6, 2004 12:09 pm (#726 of 2956)
Rowling answered that somewhat. She said that Dumbledore is afraid that DADA would bring out the worst in Snape.

There is more to it than that, but she is playing her cards close to her chest, as per usual for her.


Neville Longbottom - Apr 6, 2004 2:50 pm (#727 of 2956)
Yes. That's why I am convinced Snape will finally get the DADA post in book 7, even if it was always someone new so far. I mean, until GoF every book started with the Dursleys, and this pattern was stopped in GoF, too, so why not the one with the DADA teachers?

I must admit, that I don't really understand why Dumbledore didn't give the post to Snape. I mean, surely Snape can't be worse than Umbridge? And yet Dumbledore allowed the ministry to send a spy to Hogwarts in not hiring Snape.


timrew - Apr 6, 2004 3:56 pm (#728 of 2956)
I don't understand this either, Neville. Snape or Umbridge? Kids get educated or terrorised? Okay, in Snape's case it would probably be educated and terrorised!

But Umbridge (much as I loved her character) was a total waste of space when it came down to DADA (or anything else apart from self-promotion, come to think of it!)

But no doubt JKR has something planned for Snape that we lesser mortals know not yet what of.....or where.....or why......


Chemyst - Apr 6, 2004 4:20 pm (#729 of 2956)
While I think in a fair debate, one could knock the stuffing out of Prefect Marcus's statement, "Dumbledore has always respected Snape," I do agree with the other points of his post #722. I particularly liked the insight that Dumbledore generally allows Snape free reign over his affairs, and where Dumbledore did intervene, Snape recognized it was justified. This highlights the fact that as readers who must rely on Harry's observations for the bulk of our information, we are pretty much in the dark about how much and what nature of recognition Snape receives. Dumbledore obviously keeps a lot of information from Harry, so our supply is similarly restricted. Also, and Accio Sirius touched on this lightly, too much public praise form Dumbledore could seriously hobble Snape's role of (as is generally assumed) secret/double agent.

Just as we "lesser mortals" don't know what kind or how many warm fuzzies Snape gets when Harry isn't around, we don't know the details of filling the DADA position either. Umbridge-- well, I think Fudge wanted the space wasted (Luna is of the opinion he has his own private army, remember,) so he could hamstring Hogwarts and keep his job.

But from what we do know, potions seems perfect for Snape's temperament. Can you imagine Snape Unleashed?


timrew - Apr 6, 2004 4:55 pm (#730 of 2956)
I can see Snape Unplugged. Would be a great gig.


DJ Evans - Apr 6, 2004 5:21 pm (#731 of 2956)
But does Snape really want the job of DADA? As far as I know, we only have Percy's word for it that he does. And that was in SS/PS when Harry had asked Percy who the teacher was sitting next to Prof. Quirrel at the head table during the opening cermonies. After that I can only remember the students confirming it, never DD, etc.. Can anyone give me some help here and point out where we have someone else's view/opinion but Percy's?

Later, Deb


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 6, 2004 5:34 pm (#732 of 2956)
Deb, I believe in OOTP, when Umbridge is observing Snape's class, she mentions the DADA position to Snape who confirms that he has applied for it but that Umbridge will have to ask DD if she wants more information about that. Sorry, that was a bit of a run-on, wasn't it?


DJ Evans - Apr 6, 2004 5:38 pm (#733 of 2956)
Thanks Kim!!! There is just SO much information in the HP series, that I easily loose track of it all sometimes. Again, appreciate the help!!!

Later, Deb


Denise P. - Apr 6, 2004 5:59 pm (#734 of 2956)
I yelped outloud while reading OoP when Snape confirmed that he applied for the DADA position. I was just positive that Percy was a gossip hound spreading rumors. Boy, was I wrong (at least on the DADA position, not sure about Percy)


Prefect Marcus - Apr 6, 2004 6:01 pm (#735 of 2956)
Edited by Apr 6, 2004 7:10 pm
So did I, Denise.

EDIT: But in Percy's defense, it was common rumor throughout the school. (I must standup for my fellow Prefect.)


Prefect Marcus - Apr 6, 2004 6:09 pm (#736 of 2956)
Chemyst - While I think in a fair debate, one could knock the stuffing out of Prefect Marcus's statement, "Dumbledore has always respected Snape,"

Very well, Chemyst, I accept your challenge. :-)

When has Dumbledore NOT respected him?

Marcus


Gina R Snape - Apr 6, 2004 7:10 pm (#737 of 2956)
I think it's unfair to assume what DD has and has not done to respect Snape in the salutory dept. because we don't get to see them in private.

However, I do suspect something of a fatherly/mentoring role between them. And I don't see Snape as the kind to outwardly enjoy gushing praise. And then there are the general british habits regarding display of emotions. All told, I think Snape is the kind of man who knows DD respects and appreciates him, but who gets immense enjoyment out of the subtlest pats on the back. Oh, and I suspect DD gave Snape the go ahead to reveal Lupin's secret at the end of PoA.

As for Umbridge, I rather suspect it was a choice of the worst of two evils. Umbridge was determined to get inside Hogwarts. Rather she be teaching DADA than Potions, for Snape's sake was, I imagine, DD's thinking.


Accio Sirius - Apr 7, 2004 4:24 am (#738 of 2956)
Gina, Good point about "the general British habits regarding display of emotions."

I get so frustrated that no body hugs and kisses! I guess that's the sappy American in me.


septentrion - Apr 7, 2004 8:11 am (#739 of 2956)
I should add that DD perhaps didn't know exactly what could happen with Umbridge. He knew she was a spy but did he know she was such a woman ?

Gina, I feel uneasy with your suspicion according to which DD could have given Snape the go ahead to let "slip" that Lupin was a werewolf. One one hand he could have done because Severus needed an outlet to his missed order of Merlin, Sirius's escape..., but on the other hand I can't imagine him letting anyone doing so. I rather think that Snape did it without DD's permission, knowing DD wouldn't do anything against that or him.


Gina R Snape - Apr 7, 2004 9:58 am (#740 of 2956)
Well, the way I see it, there was going to be a need for explanation as to why such an otherwise wonderful professor would be sacked at end of term. I do think it was a mutual decision on DD's and Lupin's part for Lupin to leave. (What happened in the shrieking shack incident was bound to get out anyway).

Once that was settled, I don't imagine DD going to Snape and saying "Please go tell the Slytherins this bit of gossip, will you old man?"

More likely, Snape was bursting at the seams for more than one reason, and DD took one look at him and said "Go ahead" without further question or discussion. It was the easiest form of compensation he could possibly 'offer' before Snape did some damage to himself or someone else!


Padfoot - Apr 7, 2004 10:05 am (#741 of 2956)
I never considered DD giving Snape permission to tell Lupin's secret. I would hope he didn't, as that has affected Lupin getting a job outside the school. Snape certainly doesn't get many triumphs in his life and DD might have felt sorry for him. I'm just not sure.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 7, 2004 10:43 am (#742 of 2956)
I agree with Padfoot. I think Snape outted Lupin on his own hook. Dumbledore didn't make a fuss because Lupin was determined to go. Lupin might have bitten someone that night, all because he was careless. Could he take a chance and stay at the school when it might happen again?

I think Lupin took that night as a warning. It is too easy for him to slip up and endanger children's lives. Once is two times too many. If (perish the thought) he had biten someone that night, he could have justify it as an accident. If he should tempt fate by remaining at Hogwarts, how could he justify it if it happens again and a student gets bit? He can't. So he left.

Marcus


Vern Afanofhp - Apr 7, 2004 7:53 pm (#743 of 2956)
Just a thought about Snapes treatment of some of his students---Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville. And Draco and his group..

Draco and his group--I think Snape has allowed them to coast--maybe giving them a higher grade than they deserve. Just for their parents.

Neville--I think Snape is aware of Neville's low self esteem (his grandmother)so I think he picks on Neville a little ( at least in Snapes' veiw) so that Neville will be able to brew a potion by himself..

Harry--Snape has a problem with Harry's father- Hermonie--She is his equal-( I think she is) Ron--Well, Ron is friends with both Harry & Hermonie-

And yes we must remember - HRH bounced Snape off a wall--at end of POA--If I were Snape, I would remember this!! NOT to mention losing the Order or Merlin.


septentrion - Apr 8, 2004 7:56 am (#744 of 2956)
Gina I understand better now what you meant and I prefer the way you state it in post 740. Considering things from that point of view I agree with your opinion.

Vern, most of us probably think that Snape should remember having been bounced off a wall by 3 students but what's strange is that Snape never mentions it. Though when he has a grudge we all know that he stews it again and again. Do you think his fainting made him forget what happened that night in the shrieking shack ?


Padfoot - Apr 8, 2004 8:01 am (#745 of 2956)
I don't think Snape wants to let everyone know that he was knocked out by three students. Especially as he makes fun of those students all year long. I doubt he has forgotten about it. He might have told DD, but no one else. Snape doesn't seem to have any close friends he can share that information with. Actually, does Snape have friends?


rambkowalczyk - Apr 8, 2004 8:03 am (#746 of 2956)
a response to Vern Afanofhp:

Behaviour wise Slytherins are not penalized as much as the Gryffindors. Grade wise I think they are treated more equally. Draco probably does well in potions. I don't think Neville's grades are any worse than Crabbe or Goyles. I also think Hermione is also getting top marks.

I'm not sure what you are implying about Neville. If you are saying that you think Snape is somehow encouraging Neville, then I agree partially. As it been said many times before Snape is going about it the wrong way. What I think is that Snape recognized that Neville might be a powerful wizard and if he doesn't learn to control himself, or pay attention better he can cause disasters. Witness the cauldron meltdown in Book 1. Most of the stuff he nags the kids about is their inability to read and follow directions.

regarding HRH. Obviously it doesn't help that Harry looks like his father and seems to have the same disregard for the rules. Someone mentioned, maybe in the Hermione thread, that Hermione may remind Snape of Lily in that they are both outspoken Mudbloods. As for Ron remember he has two brothers Fred and George. Another reason to be prejudicial to Ron.

being slammed against the wall in POA. Snape admits to Fudge that it was HRH that gave him the nasty cut instead of lying and saying it was Sirius himself. He does save face by concluding that Sirius put a Confundus Charm on the three. Although it took 3 students to knock him out, it is possible he's carrying a little resentment.

As I was rereading Snape's conversation to Fudge in POA, it struck me how it seemed he wanted Potter suspended for leading his friends into danger. It makes me wonder if Potter and Black were suspended after the werewolf incident. All Snape seems to remember is that he wasn't allowed to tell anyone that Lupin was a werewolf.


vball man - Apr 8, 2004 8:36 am (#747 of 2956)
But you have to admit that in OoP, Snape clearly gades differently in potions. He "accidentally" ruins one of Harry's potions. Then he gives Harry a zero.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 8, 2004 8:56 am (#748 of 2956)
I've wondered about that, Vball. Then I remembered that the students took their OWLs that year. So their class grades really didn't matter much, did they?


vball man - Apr 8, 2004 9:02 am (#749 of 2956)
Right - hopefully OWLs will vindicate Harry and Neville.


Gina R Snape - Apr 8, 2004 11:15 am (#750 of 2956)
We know Draco didn't do as well as Hermione end of first year. But there is a comment in one of the books that Harry wonders if DD forced Snape to give him a passing grade. I suspect that was Harry's paranoia. Because there is no canon evidence that Snape gives failing final grades out of spite or I would guess someone would have mentioned it by now. He can get away with detentions and smart remarks, but I doubt he'd get away with something that spiteful.

It will be very interesting to see what they get on their OWLs. Snape sounded fairly certain Harry would not get top marks on his Potions OWL. But c'mon, we all *know* Harry will wind up taking Potions again...

As for being knocked out, well, he did tell the truth to Fudge. I rather suspect he really did believe the children were under a Confundus charm. And that just goes further to prove he has a measure of protective instinct for the kids.
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Chemyst - Apr 8, 2004 11:57 am (#751 of 2956)
From post #736 - Very well, Chemyst, I accept your challenge. :-) When has Dumbledore NOT respected him? -Prefect Marcus

Oh dear. I have a life outside this forum-- especially with added activities for Easter, so I'm not going to take the time to look up all the quotes & notes, but I'll outline the gist. Well, here goes:

"Dumbledore has always respected Snape" The Challenge

I don't disagree that Dumbledore has great over-all respect for Snape. However, you used the word always, so even if DD respects Snape 99.99% of the time, 0.01% failure to respect negates the use of "always."

It is fairly easy to establish that there are attributes of Snape's temperament and comportment that do not merit respect. From the greasy hair, to the holier-than-thou speech on the first day of potions, to the blatant favoritism, to the hypocritical disbursement of house points; none of these earn respect. Dumbledore seems willing to overlook these, but one questions whether DD could respect them. In aftermath of Mrs. Norris's petrification, Dumbledore only appears to treat Snape respectfully, even though it is clear DD has no regard for Snape's opinion. Here, Snape accuses Potter of lying, demands he be kicked off the Quidditch team, and proceeds to be testy about who will make the mandrake antidote potion. DD handles it professionally, but that speaks more to DD's personal integrity than to his showing respect for Snape.

By the end of the next book, we are given another example where Dumbledore's show of respect in tenuous at best. Sirius has just escaped and Snape is again accusing Harry of being the culprit. And this time, Snape is right! In an odd role reversal, Dumbledore assumes a persona more befitting the disrespect of the Marauders or of Fred and George-- DD practically gloats at pulling one over on Snape right under his (hooked) nose! Even if Dumbledore is privately impressed with Snape's keen instinct and brilliant detective skill, he still allows Snape to look like an unstable, paranoid crazy person in front of Minister Fudge and even taunts him with a comment about, 'Unless you're telling me Harry was in two places at once...' Dumbledore did not treat Snape with respect in this case.

You may insist on rationalizing away these examples by excusing them with "mitigating circumstances," but even Dumbledore has to admit that he messed up in the case of the Occlumency lessons. DD respected Snape's skill as an occlumens, but he did not respect Snape's feelings about Harry, nor did he respect the depth of Snape's emotional wounds. DD callously expected Snape to make himself vulnerable in a way Dumbledore was unwilling to do himself. The result was a fiasco. Dumbledore definitely crossed the line of disrespect by taking Snape's loyalty for granted, by playing on Snape's desire to do the right thing, and by expecting Snape would get cooperation from Harry.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 8, 2004 12:51 pm (#752 of 2956)
Chemyst, I think we have confusing definitions of the word 'respect'. Respect means you have a high opinion of someone, that you give serious weight to matters where they are concerned. It does not mean that you will always kowtow to them, that you will always defer to them, that you will always intervene in their behalf; in short, that you surrender your free will to them.

Respect has to do with the weight you give someone's concerns in your decision making. The higher the weight, the higher the respect.

Dumbledore always respects Snape. His thoughts and actions carry a great deal of weight with Dumbledore. But that does not mean that Dumbledore can't decide against Snape in a given situation.

I think that deals with your first two examples. As for the last one, are you so sure that Dumbledore forced Snape to teach Harry Occlumency? I can't help but assume that Dumbledore discussed the whole situation with Snape, including why Dumbledore was reluctant to teach Harry himself. Snape and Dumbledore both knew that Harry needed the lessons. They both knew the dangers of Dumbledore teaching Harry. I do not see any lack of respect here. On the contrary, Dumbledore was well aware of Snape's feelings and was concerned about them. This was too important not to consider. So in the end they both agreed that Snape should do it.

Snape did put forth an honest try. Looking back through those chapters, I really can't fault Snape's performance much. Sure, he could have been more supportive like Lupin was, but he did his best trying to teach Harry. He did not bully and try to intimidate him nearly as much as when they were in Potions.

The blame lies almost entirely with Harry, not Snape. Harry went out of his way to foil Snape's teaching, and in the end committed a gross invasion of Snape's privacy. Harry, in his selfish disregard for Snape's feelings, seriously violated Snape's trust. There is NO excuse for what Harry did. It was totally and completely beyond the pale. Surely neither Snape nor Dumbledore could have predicted that! The fact that Harry has never even attempted to apologize for it puts him in the same class as his father at 15.


Padfoot - Apr 8, 2004 1:10 pm (#753 of 2956)
I think Harry was too scared of Snape then to apologize. Harry knows what he did was wrong. He considered what would happen if Snape caught him, and yet he did it anyway. Harry was out of line and I could totally see why Snape would be so angry. However, I did not compare Harry to James there. Harry empathized with Snape, although he did not tell Snape that. James would not have related to Snape and probably would have teased Snape about what he saw.

I am really hoping that Snape and Harry will sit down and talk things over in the next book. Of course their mutual loathing isn't going to help matters any.


Catherine - Apr 8, 2004 1:19 pm (#754 of 2956)
Wow. The dueling posts between Marcus and Chemyst are juicy and full of ideas to consider. I love those kinds of posts.

Until Fudge started blundering everything, I would have said that Dumbledore "usually" shows respect toward everyone. It's part of what makes him so respected himself.

As for whether Dumbledore "always" shows respect to Snape, I'm leaning toward Chemyst on the quite excellent example in the hospital wing in PoA. Frankly, Snape was not acting in a manner that truly deserved respect, and while Dumbledore was not unkind (he never is), Snape was put in his place.

I do think that Dumbledore does in general respect Snape (he does insist that Harry adress Snape respectfully as "Professor"), and Snape is in Dumbledore's inner circle. I'm not sure that Dumbledore meant any disrespect to Snape by asking to school Harry in Occlumency, but the end result COULD be called "disrespectful" all the same. Dumbledore is quite noble himself, and may have thought that Snape could rise above his resentment, but was mistaken. Even if accidentally, Snape's feelings were not respected.

Marcus, I do think you quite overstate the case when you said that Harry is just like James at 15. Harry has never behaved as thoughtlessly. He did throw mud on Malfoy in PoA, but that was after Malfoy and Company started taunting Ron first, and it was not done in front of all their classmates. Most importantly, Harry felt "horrified and unhappy" because he knew "exactly" how Snape had felt. Harry never had a chance to aplogize because Snape was shaking him, throwing him to the floor, and throwing a jar of cockroaches at him! Harry had a bruise--that constitutes abuse by some people

Harry was wrong to peek in the Pensieve. But Snape is the adult. Snape sneered and taunted Harry during the lessons. To put all of the blame on Harry is quite ridiculous, in my opinion.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 8, 2004 2:04 pm (#755 of 2956)
First point: We are not privledged to the inner most thoughts of James, nor have we seen the whole of his history in respect to Snape, so we cannot not fully judge James as much as we can Harry.

Whether Harry's motives were as pure as the driven snow, or even if he was wracked and tormented night and day with guilt afterwards, the fact remains that he has never attempted to apologize to Snape for a severe violation of trust and privacy. Harry...was...WRONG!!! Snape was the victim here.

Yes, Harry was bothered by what happened, but it seems that he is bother more by what he saw than by what he did.

As to being frightened of Snape, he didn't seem that scared of him when McGonagall returned. What excuse does Harry have now for not apologizing? "What is right is not necessarily what is easy."

Second Point. The hospital wing. Once again it gets back to the definition of respect. It is the amount of weight someone places upon the concerns of another. Dumbledore respected Snape's feelings. He also respected the right to life of an innocent man. Which one carried more weight? Just because Dumbledore respects innocent life more than Snape's feelings at the moment does not mean that Dumbledore doesn't respect him. Not even Snape would agree to that!

Snape put his life on the line to protect innocent blood. At great personal risk he turned against Voldemort and began helping Dumbledore. We assume he is still doing it. So are you saying that in order to make Snape feel good for the moment, Dumbledore should reveal all and possibly cause the death of two innocents, and maybe even the expulsion from Hogwarts of Dumbledore himself? What kind of respect would that be showing Snape? Would Snape even want that kind of respect?


Catherine - Apr 8, 2004 2:27 pm (#756 of 2956)
Marcus,

I do not want to get off topic, but I must repond. If you read my post, you will note that I said that Harry was wrong! BUT, nothing that Harry did could justify Snape's manhandling of Harry. Dumbledore, had he been there, would not have allowed it. I'm not sure he would have "respected" Snape's decision to hurt Harry, even if he understood it.

You said Harry was just like James at 15. Your second post sounds like you backed off of this idea without admitting that you are wrong. It may not be "easy," but perhaps you could admit that you overstated things. I maintain my previous opinion; I do not see Harry tormenting anyone like James tormented Snape. We know that Harry has empathetic feelings for Neville, Luna, and yes, Snape. Harry knew how Snape felt, and felt terrible. That's empathy. Just because he's upset that Snape is right about his father does not negate the empathy he felt.

As to apologizing to Snape, fuhgeddabout it! Snape is the adult! He has made it virtually impossible for Harry to approach him. The next time they meet, Snape made sure Harry received a zero for his potion.

I'm not sure that very many people have ever apologized to Harry. Dumbledore does at the end of OotP, and Ron tries to in GoF, but certainly in his family life, Harry never experienced much forgiveness and understanding. To expect him to be "the bigger person" here is too much. Snape, by physically threatening Harry, overstepped the bounds as badly as Harry did by peeking in the Pensieve, and because he's an adult, he is more accountable for his actions.

I'm not sure that Snape knows much of forgiveness, either. But to hold Harry to a higher standard than Snape is too much. In Harry's mind, in the scene you mention, it is partly Snape's fault that Sirius is dead. We as readers know this is not true, but Harry believes it. Why would Harry even think of apologizing to someone he believes he hates?


Gina R Snape - Apr 8, 2004 3:26 pm (#757 of 2956)
See, now, I don't think Snape manhandled Harry. He pulled him out of the pensieve, screaming, and threw a jar of cockroaches at him. Frankly, knowing a bit about Snape, I'd call that great restraint coming from him.

Harry was wrong and he should apologise. Not at that moment, but later on. Unfortunately, at the end of OoP any empathy Harry had for Snape seems to have vanished.

Of course, I think Harry should be apologising to Snape for a few things over the years, or at least thankiing the man for his efforts at protection. But we know that will never happen.

As for respect, well, I think we are perhaps caught in some semantics. Being an absolute geek here, I went to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and looked up respect:

1. To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.
2. To avoid violation of or interference with: respect the speed limit.
3. To relate or refer to; concern.


I'd say DD has a great deal of regard and esteem for Snape and has shown the above definitions of respect toward him in a number of ways--hiring Snape in the first place; not embarrassing him publicly when they disagree or Snape otherwise 'acts out'; allowing him to conduct himself in a more 'Slytherin' manner with housepoints and preferential treatment etc; consulting Snape and entrusting him in the war against Voldemort; showing concern for Snape's emotional well-being,.

DD does not always make the right decisions with Snape (e.g. Occlumency lessons), but that is more of a miscalculation than a disregard for Snape's feelings in my opinion.

Indeed, this is quite an interesting question to examine! I suspect strongly that no matter the danger, Snape would not work for someone this long if he did not feel a great deal of respect for them and from whom he did not receive it back. This may even be a small part of why he left the DEs in the first place.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 8, 2004 3:30 pm (#758 of 2956)
Edited by Apr 8, 2004 4:35 pm
Two wrongs don't make a right, Catherine. No, I am not justifying Snape's manhandling Harry. By the same token, I'm not justifying Marietta's turning snitch on the DA either.

Neither one has any bearing on the fact that Harry did something grossly wrong to Snape and should at least try to apologize. If Snape refuses to accept it, then that is HIS problem now, not Harry's.

Yes Snape should apologize for manhandling Harry. Snape needs to apologize for a whole lot more than just that! But whether he does or not has no bearing on what Harry should do.

I am not backing down one bit from saying what Harry did matched the worst of what the 15-year-old James Potter did. Of course James seems to have made a habit of doing it, which makes him far worse than Harry. Bear in mind that this is the same Harry Potter that tried using the Crucio curse on Bellatrix. This is the same Harry Potter that refuses to forgive Snape or trust him at the end of OoP. We seem to have a little Dark Lord in the making here.

Am I being too harsh on Harry? No, I don't think so. Harry made a mistake. We all make mistakes. He needs to face up to it and deal with it. He cannot justify his bad behaviour (or lack of good behaviour in this case) on someone else's bad behaviour. Isn't that what Snape is doing to him?

To bring this back to topic, maybe this is the key to the series. Maybe in order to defeat Voldemort, Harry has to come to terms with Snape. In some way Harry burying the hatchet with (not in) Snape will bring the series full circle and allow Voldemort to be defeated once and for all.

Edit: Thanks for your input, Gina. I agree with all points. I think Snape DID manhandle Harry, but at least he was trying to drive him out of his office, not hurt him.


Catherine - Apr 8, 2004 3:45 pm (#759 of 2956)
Gina,

I agree totally with your thoughts about the semantics involved, and am happy you posted that.

I also completely agree that Harry wronged Snape, but I think that Snape's subsequent actions deserve an apology as well, as Snape really DID manhandle Harry!

The passages from pages 649-650 made that plain to me. Snape shook Harry hard enough to make his glasses "slip down his nose;" he made Harry's arm go numb with his grip, and bruised it; and he threw Harry to the floor "with all of his might" onto a hard dungeon floor. Snape is a full grown man, and Harry is a skinny teenager. Even as Harry "hurtled" toward the door (presumably with his back to Snape), Snape threw a jar over his head. Every time during the encounter when Harry tried to speak, Snape interrupted him. Snape lost control, and he did something wrong, too.

Dumbledore didn't let Umbridge continue to shake Marietta, and Umbridge didn't get nearly as carried away (at least as the scene was described) as Snape did.

I think Snape is a fabulous character, but I still think he made a big mistake in that scene.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 8, 2004 4:07 pm (#760 of 2956)
Although I think good points have been made by all, I'm with Catherine on this. And Marcus, I think you overstate your case. Snape is the adult and I don't think he was simply trying to drive Harry out of his room. I think he was fully intent on venting some anger on Harry and if he had been hit I don't think that would have bothered him one bit. But more to the point, as Catherine said, Snape is the adult. And not by just a few years. He's old enough to be Harry's father and has been surrounded by the antics of children for, what did he say, 14 years. He's had a wealth of life experiences that should allow for him to show some empathy for a person Harry's age. And in this situation, the only one who shows empathy is Harry. I would say that speaks volumes for Harry's character. Snape is the one acting like an adolescent. And how can you expect Harry to apologize to Snape when he's pulled out of the pensieve to face a Snape seething with anger? How can you expect Harry to apologize to Snape in the face of Sirius' death, with Harry still raw with the pain of it all. And despite what DD has told Harry, Snape's continued mistreatment of Harry and his overall horrid attitude (and let's not even talk about his total irrationality in the Shrieking Shack)has done nothing to win Harry's trust. I think Harry is completely justified in his feelings towards Snape. And let's not forget the little memory of Snape shooting down flies with his wand. He's no prize either. And certainly if anyone shows a little bit of the dark lord in the making it was Snape in that memory.

And to suggest that Harry did something unforgivable to Bellatrix by using the Crucio curse on her--you really blame him for that? Even she called it a righteous anger.

But to bring this back around to Snape (I am still on the Snape thread, right Smile

Snape needs to start leading by example. Again, he is the adult, he's the one in a position of authority and he's the one who initially threw down the gauntlet. I think that with few exceptions Harry's been justified in his behavior towards Snape and anything less would have been a sign of weakness.

Lastly, to Chemyst and Prefect Marcus, thank you for your strong takes on both sides of this issue, the posts have made for lively reading.

EDIT: I was writing this as Catherine was posting hers, so I apologize for repeating points she's just made.


Gina R Snape - Apr 8, 2004 4:48 pm (#761 of 2956)
Ok, I had a look at the scene to refresh my memory. btw, pages 572-573 in the British edition. 649-650 must be the US edition.

I do agree Snape was rather hard on Harry, but not to the point of serious physical abuse. He yanked him out of the pensieve in a rage, probably overestimatiing his own grip. But shaking him and throwing him to the ground was definitely not right. Were he at a muggle school, he'd be sacked or warned and suspended for that. For all we know DD did do something about it.

The cockroaches exploded over Harry's head, which leads me to believe Snape meant the jar to hit the wall.

As inappropriate as this treatment was, it was brief, not prolonged torture or some kind of major beating. And I still think it was a measure of restrait for what Snape might be fully capable of. We know that at that moment he must've forgotten he was the teacher, and relived that memory. Looking at Harry, seeing James' face, must have been something of an emotional timeturner for him. Not an excuse, but at least an explanation for his explosion.

I'd always interpreted that scene from Snape's perspective. Get this kid out of my pensieve and out of my office as quickly as possible before I do some serious damage.

And Harry never should have gone into that pensieve in the first place.


vball man - Apr 8, 2004 5:12 pm (#762 of 2956)
Its irrelevant, but I thought that the Jar was on the shelf near the door, or over the door and Snape hit it with a spell, breaking it.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 8, 2004 5:51 pm (#763 of 2956)
Perhaps I need to expound upon me feelings towards Harry's gross behaviour.

Yes, Harry is young. You can expect him to make mistakes. For that you excercise patience with him and tolerance of his youth. That is different from tolerating the mistake, however.

Harry needs to learn that when you hurt someone, you have to try to make it better. That is part of taking reponsibility for your actions. In my opinion, this is what separates the child from the adult more than anything else.

But this is the Snape thread, not Harry Potter. So, let's look at this from Snape's POV. Has Harry done anything to make Dnape think he isn't as bad as his father? No. At the present time, Snape feels fully justified in thinking he is. If Harry apologized and expressed some reqret, Snape would have to find some other reason to hate Harry.

Love thine enemies. It will drive them crazy. ;-)


Gina R Snape - Apr 8, 2004 6:14 pm (#764 of 2956)
Well said, Marcus. I couldn't agree more.


Dumbly-dorr - Apr 8, 2004 6:41 pm (#765 of 2956)
I think about what other reaction Snape could have had. Compare it to the account when Dumbledore caught Harry peeking into his, DD's, memories. DD calmly retrieved Harry back to reality, granting that DD's memory wasn't personally emotional. But the point is that it was a far more mature perspective in how he handled Harry. Could Snape have done the same thing? Snape is shown (in the scene at 12 Grim Place in the kitchen arguing with Sirius) as becoming more calculatingly in control of himself while Sirius is just the opposite. Snape also, himself, speaks about how only a fool wears his heart on his sleeve showing his weakness to his 'enemy', giving him ammunition to use against him (when he's teaching Harry about the reasons for occlumency).

If Snape is so in control of himself, even when he's with Voldemort, why did he go so balistic with Harry. Wouldn't it have been more shrewd to calmly bring Harry out of the pensieve and then ask Harry "Wonderful example your father was for you, wasn't he? What do you thing about your hero dad, now?" This would have made Harry feel even worse, even more empathetic towards Snape and also served Snape's true purpose of teaching Harry that James was an "arrogant horrible person" without letting Harry know that Snape had shown a weakness.

Perhaps these are the same wounds Dumbledore thought Snape could overcome when really he couldn't.


Dumbly-dorr - Apr 8, 2004 7:31 pm (#766 of 2956)
I also had another thought about the discussion about respect of Snape by Dumbledore. In several posts the scene where Dumbledore says to Snape something like "unless you think they could be in two places at once", was Dumbledore giving Snape a clue? Snape is smart, he could have immediately remembered that Hermione had the time-turner and knew 'respected' Dumbledore enough to know that Dumbledore was communicating to him a secret to be discussed at a later time.


Chemyst - Apr 9, 2004 5:23 am (#767 of 2956)
Marcus, with all due respect,

Respect is, according to the dictionary: noun - a feeling or attitude of admiration and deference toward somebody or something, the state of being admired deferentially; verb - to feel or show admiration and deference toward somebody or something, to pay due attention to and refrain from violating something. While I agree that Dumbledore usually shows consideration or thoughtfulness in relations with Snape, he does not always show admiration and deference to him.

...are you so sure that Dumbledore forced Snape to teach Harry Occlumency? I can't help but assume that Dumbledore discussed the whole situation... I don't really want to come off as testy, but if you are assuming, then you aren't so sure either. What we do have from cannon is that DD did ask Snape and then later regretted this decision because he had forgotten how deep Snape's old wounds are. Cannon also refutes your statement that Dumbledore was well aware of Snape's feelings, because later DD pointedly tells Harry he'd forgotten. If anything can be interpreted from this, it would tend more toward Dumbledore not discussing the whole thing with Snape because otherwise, Snape would have reminded him. If Snape had had the opportunity to remind DD, then either DD would have respected Snape's objection to teaching Harry and found someone else, or he would have not respected Snape's objection to teaching Harry. We do know for sure that the first did not happen. We are left with either the second possibility of DD not respecting Snape's objection - or - that Snape had just felt too intimidated to raise an objection (and how likely is that!) - or- that DD failed to "pay due attention to and refrain from" putting Snape in a vulnerable position, which means DD did not respect Snape's weakness. Dumbledore does not always fulfill the dictionary definition of 'respect' when it comes to Snape. Now, I'm going to go eat a chocolate egg as preventative medicine just incase you try to send a dementor after me.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 9, 2004 6:30 am (#768 of 2956)
Edited by Apr 9, 2004 7:38 am
Perhaps I should have used extrapolate instead of assume. Though we are not privy to much of Dumbledore's day, what we do see in his interaction with Harry is a man who discusses things. Dumbledore is not an imperious leader. He does upon occasion issue direct orders, but generally only for simple, immediate tasks.

Anyway, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that if Dumbledore had shown any respect for Snape's feelings, he would not have asked him to teach Harry. Let's look at another instance where Dumbledore asks Snape to do something he didn't want to do.

"Severus, you know what I must ask you to do. If you are ready...if you are prepared..."

Snape is being asked to put his life on the line. Are you saying that Dumbledore is showing little or no respect for Snape's life for asking him to do that? You cannot argue on the one hand that asking someone to put their feelings on the line for the greater good is showing disrespect for those feelings, without arguing that asking someone to put their life on the line for the greater good is showing disrespect for that life.

Moving on; canon says, "But I forgot -- another old man's mistake -- that some wounds run too deep for healing. I thought Professor Snape (again the respect) could overcome his feelings about your father. I was wrong."

It was not the feelings that Dumbledore forgot. It borders on the incredulous to think that. It was the effects of those feelings Dumbledore was claiming to forget. Dumbledore was blaming himself for the lesson failure.

If Snape had died in his aforementioned mission, would not Dumbledore have blamed himself and his "old man's mistakes" for Snape's death? Would he not then claim to have forgotten that...(fill in the blank with at least one reason that caused the mission to fail)? Since he was taking the blame for Sirius's death under similar circumstances, we can only assume he would.

And so we see the-buck-stops-here Dumbledore accepting responsibility for the lesson failure with an all too human "if only...". I see no disrespect for Snape in all this.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 9, 2004 6:58 am (#769 of 2956)
I'm going to nitpick a little of what Chemyst just said. Since deference is only a portion of the meaning of respect, I think we can say that DD does respect Snape even if he does not always defer to Snape. After all, DD is the one in charge. But the other nuances of the word, regard, esteem, admiration--I think hold true for DD's attitude towards Snape. DD holds Snape in high esteem for whatever it was that won him DD's trust. But that doesn't mean that DD is unaware of Snape's failings and weaknesses. Which brings me to the point I want to make:

One, if not the greatest, of Snape's failings is his failure to realize what he is NOT capable of doing. He wants the DADA position even though DD feels it will bring out the worst in him. He holds on to his grudge against the Marauders and is unwilling to reexamine those events of their shared past through the prism of experience and maturity. His unwillingness to admit that he might be wrong leads to a nearly disastrous outcome in POA. Lastly, his failure to be honest enough with himself, to be self-reflective and self-critical lead to those dismally fated Occlumency lessons. And here I'll leave canon and put forth my own theory: I think that if Snape had been honest with DD ("Headmaster, I would like to do this for you but I don't think I can get past my feelings for Potter" or phrase it however you will ) DD might have reconsidered teaching Harry himself. But Snape never considers that he is incapable of doing what he sets out to do. This is not a "failure isn't an option" moment but an inability to acknowledge one's own limitations.

But I don't want to leave Snape on a bad note. Snape wants to do good. He wants to be on the right side. And even though I think he's fated to never fully embrace it because of his natural inclination to distrust others there is an admirable pathos about him.

EDIT: Again, I was writing while Marcus was posting, so I apologize if this appears not to take into account Marcus' most recent post.


Gina R Snape - Apr 9, 2004 7:26 am (#770 of 2956)
So, here's a debate that raged on my Snape group last week. Do you all think Snape has killed and tortured via unforgiveable curses, potions, or both during his time as an active DE? I have my thoughts on the subject, but put it out to you all first.


Denise P. - Apr 9, 2004 7:31 am (#771 of 2956)
Ooooh, good question! My initial reaction is that no, he did not. At least not directly. I don't think he took an active part in those kinds of activities but do see where he would have mixed up the potions and looked the other way. I think, if Snape had done these things, that DD would not be so willing to trust him and hold him in the esteem that he appears to. We have seen that Snape is an unforgiving, immature jerk but beyond being snide, hateful and rude, he has never actually done any lasting harm to anyone.

Now, having said that, it would not surprise me to find that he HAS done those things. I would be more surprised to find he did them and that DD still trusts him. I think that is one thing DD would not forgive him of.


Madame Librarian - Apr 9, 2004 7:49 am (#772 of 2956)
Aaaah, wartime. It does strange things to people and to our interpretations of one's actions. If we look at Voldie's original rise to power as a war, the forces on his side are fighting for their cause, too. In their own minds, the deeds committed are heroic and righteous (just as the Nazis--or insert name of classic bad guys here--felt that God was on their side). So if Snape was caught up in this, any killing that took place might, in his mind, be explained away as his belief in the cause.

But, here's a wrinkle that just occurred to me: what if Snape, thoroughly dedicated to whatever it was about Voldie's vision of Wizarding society that originally drew him in, simply found that he couldn't kill (or perform any of the Unforgiveables) in stealth or in battle? Failure of nerve? A deep-seated sense of fairness he never dreamt was there? We don't know (and may never if this is even remotely close to what happened). Regardless of the reason he couldn't keep up with his fellow DEs, he knew that even a teeny kernel of goodness meant he had to get out of the DE realm. DD, in his usual perceptive, possibly magically enhanced, awareness, stepped in at the right moment to offer Snape the position at Hogwarts. Beyond that, the two developed some relationship, or had one already based on Snape's schooldays, that served to solidify a mutual trust and respect (oooh, there's that word, again).

Just a possibility, not sure about it at all. Does make an complex character even more interesting and enigmatic.

Ciao. Barb


Prefect Marcus - Apr 9, 2004 9:00 am (#773 of 2956)
Edited by Apr 9, 2004 10:02 am
Good question Gina,

No, I am convinced that Snape never killed anyone. It was the murders that drove him out of the DEs, in my opinion. "Oh he does hate you. But he never wanted you DEAD!"

I wouldn't be surprised if he did do some Crucio curses. He had a lot of hate to get out of his system, after all. Even Harry tried it. (I like to think that Harry was horrified by what he did and will never try that again!) But Snape draws the line at murder. Hopefully he was repulsed by torture as well, though I don't hold out much hope. We know that Snape is a bully. There isn't a whole lot of difference between bullying someone and torturing them. It's only a matter of degrees.


Accio Sirius - Apr 9, 2004 11:36 am (#774 of 2956)
We seem to have a little Dark Lord in the making here. --Prefect Marcus

I just had a thought. Harry has been given a taste of the dark side so to speak and his anger righteous or not has caused him to do many questionable things--the Pensieve peeking and unforgivable curse to name a few. What if to defeat Voldermort he has to become more like him? Not intentionally mind you, but as he works through his issues he travels an even darker road in book six and it takes someone who's been there and back (Snape) to bring him back and help him ultimately triumph. I do think it is important to the series that Harry and Snape reconcile in some way. And as far as love thine enemy, look at how much it irks Voldermort when DD calmly talks to him and calls him Tom!

As for the question posed earlier. I don't think Snape killed people. I think he left the DE's before then. There are some things you just can't ever recover from.


dobbyiscool - Apr 9, 2004 12:13 pm (#775 of 2956)
I never thought of Snape actually kiling anyone. That would be pure evil. I always thought of him as being along for the ride with the DE's, or a spy. Never an assasign.


haymoni - Apr 9, 2004 12:25 pm (#776 of 2956)
I am reminded of what Sirius said about Voldemort's rise to power - many people agreed with him at first but when it came to actually killing, people backed down.

Maybe Snape was more like Regulus.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 9, 2004 1:07 pm (#777 of 2956)
I like your idea, Accio Sirius. I've always assumed that the worse of Harry's mental torture is over and it is now just a matter of building up his knowledge and strength in order to confront Voldemort.

But what if he has to go even further down the road to the dark side? It would take someone like Snape to lead him back out. Maybe in that way he and Snape are finally reconciled. I don't see them ever being friends. But they will finally come to understand each other.

Marcus


Loopy Lupin - Apr 9, 2004 1:14 pm (#778 of 2956)
That is an interesting idea Marcus. I do hope we're past the more adolescent angst. But, the latest loss could work a fundamental change in Harry's point of view of the world. It could get worse before it gets better.


Mad Madame Mim - Apr 9, 2004 8:36 pm (#779 of 2956)
That would be interesting, Snape taking on a father role to stop Harry form traveling down a road that Snape knows all to well.


SHEla WOLFsbane - Apr 10, 2004 2:31 am (#780 of 2956)
Alright Gina, let's hear what you think...

For me, I tend to think that maybe Snape did the potions thing, and look away. Now, bare with me on this, it's late where I'm at: Two reasons. 1) If Snape is doing the spy thing (of coarse he is) potions is the best, most natural place for him to be. Hiding in the open and all that. 2) This could also help to explain why Snape wants out of potions so bad as well. 'It's a part of my past that I wanted to leave behind.' Yet he still has to face it every day. It is a reminder every day of what he was, what he did/didn't do... I don't have any canon off the top of my head to support this, just a hunch.

Oooh, I know I've said it before, but I still think that Harry, and Snape need each other in some sort of twisted way. I mean at the end of the series they have to get something positive out of the all the 'torture' they gave each other. Personally, I think those two are more alike than what either of them would like to admit. I like the idea of Snape showing Harry the way back from that dark road he seems to be heading toward...


Elizabeth Cooper - Apr 10, 2004 7:32 pm (#781 of 2956)
We don't know what sent Snape to Voldemort and turned him back, but Snape was only 21 or 22 when he started working at Hogwarts. The Lexicon timeline has him graduating Hogwarts in June 1978 and applying for a job at Hogwarts in 1981 (Sept/Oct?) before Voldemort's downfall on October 31. We don't know if Snape had career plans after leaving Hogwarts but if he did attempt a career, it would shorten even more the length of time he spent as a DE. I think this was just enough time for Snape to become fascinated and maybe tempted by Voldemort's power before turning away. But not tempted enough to kill. My husband just offered me his idea that Snape started out joining the DEs as a spy for Dumbledore, which means he would do just what he had to, short of killing, to maintain his cover.


Accio Sirius - Apr 11, 2004 4:33 am (#782 of 2956)
Was DD just a teacher or Headmaster while Snape et al were in school? An interesting thought that Snape was a spy from the get go. We don't know what Snape and DD talked about in addition to Lupin after the Shrieking Shack. There could have been a soul-searching discussion.


Chemyst - Apr 11, 2004 5:19 am (#783 of 2956)
Elizabeth, I like the way your husband thinks! It's so simple an idea that I'm conking my noggin for not thinking of it myself! That totally explains the trust issues. (And it could even feed into the, probably misguided, unrequited love theories.) It makes future "redemption" almost unnecessary (except for excessive nastiness.) But mostly, it would really do a number on Harry's assumptions and carefully-nursed prejudices. (That's the part I like best.)


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 11, 2004 5:55 am (#784 of 2956)
Accio Sirius, Dumbledore was Headmaster at Hogwarts when Snape attended. If you recall, in POA Lupin explains how he had no hope of going to school but then DD became Headmaster and decided that with a few precautions (ie the Shrieking Shack), Lupin could attend.

Although I think the spy idea could be possible, I can't imagine Snape wanting to be on the side of Potter & Co., especially after Sirius almost got him killed. That (and DD's admonition to Snape not to tell anyone) might have been what finally sent Snape over to the dark side in the first place.


Elizabeth Cooper - Apr 11, 2004 6:32 am (#785 of 2956)
I can't see Snape wanting to help James et al either, but he might have had a very high regard for Dumbledore even then and would have wanted to help him. And even if he didn't want to help James et al, he might have wanted to do the right thing, just like he tried to save Harry even though he doesn't like him. So who he likes and what he does are not necessarily connected. I'm still curious about the actual amount of time Snape spent as an active DE, whether as a spy or for real. Dumbledore says Snape had been a spy for them before Voldemort's downfall (we're not told how long before); and, if not from the beginning, it still would have had to be before starting his teaching career at Hogwarts. And it would have had to be for a long enough time to provide worthwhile information to Dumbledore so it was probably for more than a month or two. I know time is not really a factor when it comes to the capacity for killing, but I don't feel Snape was a killer before leaving Hogwarts so I'd like to think (maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part) that 2 years is too short a time to turn so far to the dark side to kill and then do a complete about face. I don't think Snape did any killing. But what he did and for how long is a really good mystery. And I love mysteries. And Snape is one of the most mysterious characters in the series. This is so much fun!


Madame Librarian - Apr 11, 2004 8:05 am (#786 of 2956)
This line of theorizing--that Snape was always a spy for DD--leads me to further speculate on another topsy-turvy idea. OK--don't all throw turnips at me at once--what if the Maurauders dabbled with the DE group for a bit while at Hogwarts or just after. Crazy, yes? But, I worry that buried below the "accepted" history of their young adulthood--issues that may tie into those worrisome questions such as where was James actually during the Godric's Hollow attack, how much (and why) Petunia knows, where's that motorbike, the 24-hr. missing day of Harry's rescue, why the MWPP were really bullying Snape, what did James and Lily do after Hogwarts, and other anomolies--are answers that are shocking and dismaying.

In other words, Snape may not be the only one who is not what he seems...now or earlier. Arrrggghhh! I want book 6 NOW!

Ciao. Barb


Gina R Snape - Apr 11, 2004 9:23 am (#787 of 2956)
Ok, my answer to the question is 'no' I do not believe Snape actually killed anyone.

First, Snape was known for hexes, not potions in school. I think he developed the reputation as Potions Master and the skills to back it up during his tenure as Hogwarts professor. You just can't teach one subject for that long without learning a thing or two yourself. So I think the "Voldemort employs Snape to concoct the perfect potion" is a fandom phenomenon not grounded in canon.

As for murder in general, in PoA Snape reminds DD that Sirius proved himself 'capable of murder at the age of 15.' I just don't see Snape throwing out this kind of accusation if he could not withstand such a light upon himself.

Regarding unforgiveable curses, in OoP, Bellatrix laughs at Harry's attempts to use an unforgiveable curse. She informs him that one must have true intent to harm, not righteous anger. Could it be that while Snape is fully capable of killing a loathed enemy like Sirius, he doesn't have it in him to use the unforgiveables on just any random 'enemy of Voldy' (auror, random muggle or muggleborn, etc). He might have joined full of anger, then found himself knee deep in a situation he was incapable of participating in (such as Regalus Black might have also experienced).

Now, I've come across those who think Snape must have proved himself worthy of being a DE by killing or otherwise seriously harming someone upon approaching LV. I do believe the DL has some kind of highly ritualised initation ceremony including vows and the tattoo, etc. But something tells me he was happy to accept all who pledged themselves, and let them pay the consequences if they can't do what's required.

Dark revels like the muggle sporting show at the Quidditch World Cup in GoF did not require the active wand participation of all the DEs. So, conceivably Snape could follow the herd without really using his wand. (This is not to say Snape was at the World Cup, just an example).

The test would be Voldemort directly ordering Snape to do something to prove his allegiance. Yet, though it's a fanfic theme ad nauseum in fandom, we don't see these kinds of arbitrary acts on LV's part in canon. Everything he has his DEs do is purposeful (if often ineffective).

Now, I found a very interesting essay on LJ as to why the pensieve scene of Snape's worst memory *is* in fact his worst memory. If you are interested, read this and let me know what you think.


Catherine - Apr 11, 2004 10:09 am (#788 of 2956)
Gina R Snape,

I have too much to think about to actively respond the the article you linked, but thanks for posting it.

Catherine


septentrion - Apr 11, 2004 12:01 pm (#789 of 2956)
Oooooh this thread has been so active while real life got the best of me ! I'll read the essay later (I still have so much to read in the forum) but about the fact if Snape has already killed I'd say it's possible. I can imagine he has killed someone but not on purpose, more likely by accident and that was a traumatism to him. Or maybe he didn't kill but did something evil which he regrets. DD could have helped him to overcome his traumatism and that would explain their mutual trust. Of course this just speculation and more likely did Snape never kill anyone.


HP Fan - Apr 11, 2004 12:56 pm (#790 of 2956)
Thanks for the link Gina - It's got some really good points in there especially about Snape "owning" the death eater memories even if they are painful and he's ashamed of them. But the 'worst memory' being the worst simply because he was not in control and was humiliated.


Gina R Snape - Apr 11, 2004 1:18 pm (#791 of 2956)
Yes, this was a point I hadn't considered before.

I do buy her premise that Snape would sacrifice love for respect, as Draco would the opposite. To that end, the underwear incident in the pensieve might have been the ultimate humiliation for him. Or, at least one that he's never been able to heal emotionally from. I wonder, now that both James and Sirius are dead, if he might in some way be able to put it behind him, or if the need to have respect and control are so ingrained into his whole being that he will never heal.


Weeny Owl - Apr 12, 2004 12:11 am (#792 of 2956)
I agree with the author that many of our worst moments aren't necessarily the big ones. The point about Draco's possible worst memory being Lucius telling him to shut up or go away fits with my view of their father-son relationship. Lucius is cold and unavailable emotionally, but I just don't see him as physically abusive with Draco or Narcissa. House elves are another matter entirely.

Dignity may be the one thing Snape has received through Dumbledore and through teaching. Anyone who is a teacher or who has a teacher for a parent knows that the darling students can be little horrors, but Snape probably isn't looking for dignity or willing respect in the classroom. He demands respect in the classroom, of course, but he receives willing respect through his colleagues and through his mastery of potions. Dumbledore wouldn't have given Snape the job of being a head of house unless there was respect present.

I can imagine that being a Death Eater is not a dignified occupation, what with having to kiss Voldie's robes and call him master.

As for the Pensieve incident, I do hope Harry keeps his promise and never mentions what happened to anyone except Lupin. Since Lupin was there, discussing it wouldn't be a violation of Snape's privacy.

Humiliation can stick with someone far longer than many other things, and what occurs with the Marauders and Lily is fraught with embarrassment. It isn't just the matter of Snape's undies, but that does highlight how incredibly painful such a personal embarrassment can be.

I wonder the same thing, Gina... how will Sirius dying affect Snape? Good, bad, or no change at all?


rambkowalczyk - Apr 12, 2004 12:09 pm (#793 of 2956)
I've been reading the last 45 or so posts and I am little overwhelmed. Even though it's a little late I wanted to compliment Dumbly-Dorr on Post 765. It was a very interesting Why didn't Snape do this after the pensive scene instead of losing it completely. To nit-pick; Dumbledore used his pensieve to help sort out thoughts. His pensieve consisted of transcripts of previous court cases. I wonder if Dumbledore would have been a little more perturbed if his pensieve contained memories he did not want to share. As to whether Snape killed anyone while a death eater. I have to say probably not. It's just that I think it's possible that when you are surrounded by death eaters and their mindset that it might be possible to lose your resistance to killing. In GOF, during Karkaroff's hearing Dumbledore does say something to the effect that Snape was a Death Eater but "rejoined" our side before Voldemort's downfall. Maybe Snape was originally a spy for Dumbledore, got tempted by the dark side, and then came back.


Fawkes Egg - Apr 12, 2004 12:57 pm (#794 of 2956)
This IS a good question - but Denise P., what about Snape's refusal to listen during the Shrieking Shack scene in PoA? Had he been reasonable, he might not have ended up getting knocked out by the trio, and would have seen Wormtail transform. The outcome for Harry and Sirius would then have been very different: exoneration for Sirius would have meant he no longer had to be on the run or cooped up in hiding. I think Snape's actions here DID cause lasting harm, at least in Harry's eyes.

Another question: what do you think Snape would have done if he had seen Wormtail transformed that night?


dobbyiscool - Apr 12, 2004 1:11 pm (#795 of 2956)
Fainted. Or at least, he may have then been civil to Sirius. EDIT: At least from that point forward.


Chemyst - Apr 12, 2004 2:37 pm (#796 of 2956)
In reference to Magpie's article on Snape's worst memory--

First thought: Eww... I'd just as soon skip the fan fic she references.

Second thought: "Draco appears to be able to give over some personal respect to get the affection (he appears to be the only clown in canon--the twins, it should never be forgotten, make fun of other people)." She's right about the true clown trading in respect to reap attention and - hopefully- love. (...and is why I couldn't support for F&G for funniest on the Vote thread.)

Third thought: Ah Ha! She'd agree that DD doesn't always respect Snape. "... Dumbledore who, imo, humiliated him further by not taking the incident as seriously as Snape needed him to take it."

Fourth thought: Gee, I really ought to get around to answering Gina's question. So yes, when I originally read the pensieve scene, and before my personal thoughts became colored by other's opinions, I remember thinking how "real" (realistic) the memories seemed. I also wondered if it was Snape's worst-ever-regardless-of-who-is-looking memory, or if it was his worst-humiliation-in-front-of-Harry memory, or if they are the same. Anyway, Rowling got it right when she took it the extra steps-- the memory had been bad enough to begin with, and then Lily made it worse when she basically used Snape's circumstance as a weapon against James, and then JKR pushed it into worst by pulling Harry out until we can only imagine what came next.

As to Fawkes Egg's question-- I'd guess Snape would have stayed in character and continued to be a complex mystery because then, in addition to everything else, he'd be dealing with his feeling of jealousy that Sirius had been exonerated, when it had been so much simpler to hate him before.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 12, 2004 2:45 pm (#797 of 2956)
It seems most people feel that Snape did not kill anyone while a DE. So I'll pose a different question: How many of you think he performed the Crucio curse while a DE? I, for one, can see him performing the curse in the heat of emotion but regretting it at leisure. Thoughts anyone?


Prefect Marcus - Apr 12, 2004 2:51 pm (#798 of 2956)
How many of you think he performed the Crucio curse while a DE?

As I said before, I think he did do the Crucio. There is little difference between bullying and torturing people. It is only a matter of degrees.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 12, 2004 3:11 pm (#799 of 2956)
Yes, I do recall Marcus, your saying that. I'm sorry I didn't credit you when I posed the question. No doubt it was your post that was rumbling around in my head when I asked it. However, the question still stands for everyone else, would Snape have performed the Crucio while a DE and further would he have performed it with relish?


Mad Madame Mim - Apr 12, 2004 3:17 pm (#800 of 2956)
Without a doubt he would have. He had/has a lot of anger in him. He might have even enjoyed it at the time, payback time. But later on he probably resented it. He probably saw as a lose of control, nad that he is better than that.
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Prefect Marcus - Apr 12, 2004 3:38 pm (#801 of 2956)
Edited by Apr 12, 2004 4:38 pm
... would he have performed it with relish?

Snape, being the hot dog that he is, not only performed it with relish, but likely with mustard, some chopped onions, and a little sauerkraut as well!

:-D

Marcus


Mad Madame Mim - Apr 12, 2004 3:50 pm (#802 of 2956)
Score 20 points for you Marcus!


HP Fan - Apr 13, 2004 11:38 am (#803 of 2956)
I was listening to the audio tape of OoP today and something caught my attention and got me thinking.

You know the Occulmency lesson after Harry has had the dream that he was Voldemort and saw Rookwood. Where Snape tells Harry it's not up to him to find out what Voldemort's saying to the death eaters and Harry retorts no that's your job - or something along those lines. Harry breaks into Snape's memory and then when they try again and Harry get's further into the department of mysteries and say's the doors never opened before. He then notice's that Snape seems angrier than when he'd accidently reversed the spell on him and broke into his memories.

[Yes I'm just getting to my point now - sorry I took the long winded way to describe the scene! :-) ]

It struck me that he might seem more angry because he's scared - he's just declared to Harry that his job is to find out what Voldemort's planning and to pass it onto the Order. Then less than five minutes later Voldemort's trying to manipulate Harry's mind and take's him further inside the ministry. Five minute's earlier and he could have blown his own cover!

Am I just suffering from over active imagination here or does anyone else think that could be a possibility?

What do you all think?


Gina R Snape - Apr 13, 2004 11:53 am (#804 of 2956)
I do think that could be a possibility HP Fan. Snape is in great danger giving those lessons.

However, my general take on it was that Snape knew Harry was failing at his occlumency lessons by being able to go further in the ministry. He might be upset that Harry broke into his mind, but that was expected to a certain degree. But the Dark Lord continuing to have access to Harry is exactly what the occlumency lessons were supposed to prevent. As such, it is to Snape's great credit that he becomes upset upon failing at this mission. He does not want his efforts to be wasted, and does not want Harry to be in danger.


Molly Weasly Wannabe - Apr 13, 2004 12:38 pm (#805 of 2956)
I could of read it wrong.....but are you saying that Snape was mad because he thought that maybe Harry would of seen him (Snape) knowing what Voldemort is up to, because Harry thinks that he is still working for the Dark Lord? I think the reason Snape doesn't want Harry to see into this memories is because of the stuff that has happened to him in the past. It would show him as being weak and an easy target to get picked on (ex:Seeing Snapes memories with James and Snape). Instead, Snape tries to come across to the students that he is to be feared and a "strong" wizard. I am sure if they (the students) know that Snape got picked on when he was younger, and what a sad life he had, that they wouldn't have any sort of respect at all for Snape. He doesn't want the students or anyone for that matter to not respect him.


Elizabeth Cooper - Apr 13, 2004 1:32 pm (#806 of 2956)
I think Snape would have taken any really important memories, whether working for the Order or for Voldemort, and put them into the Pensieve before starting the lessons with Harry. In fact, doesn't he do this? We're just not shown which ones for certain. Like Gina said, any other memories he retains he would, or should, do so with the knowledge and acceptance that Harry's seeing them is a possibility. I think, too, that his anger is directed at Harry's failure to be more successful at these lessons.


DJ Evans - Apr 13, 2004 5:30 pm (#807 of 2956)
Here's a thought: Maybe Snape removed those particular memories just so Harry would see them? DD and Snape could have had a previous discussion where DD told Snape about Harry getting into his Pensieve & seeing some things. Given this prime opportunity that Snape had with Harry, he could have set it all up just so Harry would see what his Dad was really like--that is according to Snape? It very well could have been Snape's way of showing Harry that James wasn't the person that he (Harry) had built him into.

Later Days, Deb


Gina R Snape - Apr 13, 2004 5:35 pm (#808 of 2956)
I've seen that theory before. But I just don't buy it. Sorry!


DJ Evans - Apr 13, 2004 5:45 pm (#809 of 2956)
Sorry about that Gina (the theory being on here before)--but it was just a thought that had popped in my head and was wondering if it might have any weight to it.

Some days a person can come up with a decent thought/theory and others--not so good. That's what good about the forum--a chance try them all out & I just missed on that one. Oh well, maybe next time!!!

Later Days, Deb


Gina R Snape - Apr 13, 2004 6:54 pm (#810 of 2956)
Don't apologise Deb. Repeats of stuff happen all the time. I was just posting my thoughts on this particular idea is all.


SHEla WOLFsbane - Apr 14, 2004 1:39 am (#811 of 2956)
Okay, question for you all... When did Snape become so proficient at potions? I guess I always thought it was while he was with the DE's. Granted he knew a lot more coming into the school than most, but as Gina (I think) pointed out weren't hexes, and curses his strong(er) suit? So, did he become a master as he went? (I truly feel he is one now) He learnt as he went along? Hmmm... Regarding the link that Gina shared...

Some valid points were made, whether I liked how we got there or not. The importance of respect for Severus always seemed to be right there. It just seemed to be a given for me. Maybe just because of his commanding presents, his knowledge, I don't know... I'm starting to babble now


haymoni - Apr 14, 2004 4:11 am (#812 of 2956)
Sirius made a comment that Snape showed up at Hogwarts already knowing a lot of spells and dark magic. Maybe he was able to concentrate on his Potions classes since he already knew some of the other subjects.


Chemyst - Apr 14, 2004 5:39 am (#813 of 2956)
I'd agree that Haymoni is on the right track. Not everything has to be uber-mysterious. It seems very likely that Snape became proficient at potions while he was a student at Hogwarts. He seems to have a natural aptitude for the requisite subtlety when he tries. Even though he does sometimes display a temper toward others, potions is a very personal discipline; one needn't be a team player or work on group projects to succeed.


rambkowalczyk - Apr 14, 2004 11:34 am (#814 of 2956)
At [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] this particular author sort of argues that Snape's parents were apothocarys living in Diagon Alley. This isn't canon just an interesting speculation. Also it has been discussed earlier either in this Snape thread or the archived one that Potion Master is more a title of respect, not of expertise. It is not the equivalent of a Ph.D.


Gina R Snape - Apr 14, 2004 12:52 pm (#815 of 2956)
I still say he learned potions well at school, but perfected the art and science of it from teaching the same subject for 10+ years. No mystery there.

My earlier comment on the subject was more in responses to 'fanon' because there are so many stories out there where the Dark Lord summons Snape to create some kind of potion to kill/maim/restore or otherwise wreak evil upon the world. And I think that is an overemphasis on his "Potions Master" title.


Prefect Marcus - Apr 14, 2004 1:22 pm (#816 of 2956)
I am inclined to agree with you, Gina. Having said that, I expect he did extremely well in Potions at school, likely getting 'O's in OWL and NEWT.


Catherine - Apr 14, 2004 1:26 pm (#817 of 2956)
I think Marcus has a good point. Snape isn't the sort to let standards slip; it makes sense that HE achieved an O, and expects anyone going on to N..E.W.T. level to do so as well.


vball man - Apr 14, 2004 7:48 pm (#818 of 2956)
Right, I think that his hiring was for reasons other than that he was a potions pro. I think that DD needed to bring him into Hogarts and had to give him a job. We'll find out.


SHEla WOLFsbane - Apr 14, 2004 11:50 pm (#819 of 2956)
I forgot that the title 'Master' and 'Professor' could be used interchangeably. Now that you guys mentioned it, I do remember seeing that somewhere. That being said, it doesn't change that it seems to me that Snape is ment to be set apart from the other teachers with him being referred to as the potions master instead of professor. Maybe this belongs on the red herring thread, but who else has a title like 'Lord' or 'Master'? Voldie is the first to come to my mind...

As for my last question, I phrased that rather poorly. I ment it more as a: Did Snape learn the finer points of potions while teaching for x many years, or while still a student at Hogwarts, or else where? But you guys have already answered mostly like that anyway, so I'll stop now before I dig myself a bigger hole...

Edit: What is 'fanon'? Sorry Sad


Madame Librarian - Apr 15, 2004 6:14 am (#820 of 2956)
Way back when we first meet Snape in PS and hear his wonderful speech about how important the potions class is, (ch. 8, pg. 137, US hardcover) and how much more powerful the skill can be than "foolish wand-waving," I think he was attempting to make a couple of key points--

1--(Sour grapes.) I'm really quite satisfied being the Master in this class since I can be as "dark" or defensive as in DADA.

2)--(I'm no mere professor, I am a Master.) My mysterious past and the hint that I might be associated with keeping Voldie from dying through my potions skills ("stopper death" or stop death?) is exactly what I want everyone to think.

Upon considering this scene--which, BTW, is one of the most brilliant character introducing ones I've read--I am starting to think there is something about the resolution of the story that will depend more on "stoppering death" than on "foolish wand-waving." Just a feeling.

Ciao. Barb


Gina R Snape - Apr 15, 2004 6:16 am (#821 of 2956)
Canon is what officially happens in the books. Fanon is, for lack of a better definition, commonly held beliefs/understandings among the fandom regarding something. For example, it is canon that Snape is a skilled enough potions maker to brew wolfsbane, which is a very difficult potion to brew. It is fanon that Snape has such brewing skills that he is one of the top (if not THE top) potions brewers in the wizarding world.

Edit: Just saw your post, Barb. It is my longheld belief that Snape brewing the draught of living death will play a part somehow in the last confrontation, or the lead-up to it. Maybe he'll brew it for Harry to drink, so the DL will think Harry is dead, and then the Order can sneak attack. Further, people will think Snape killed Harry (people who don't know about the prophesy, obviously) furthering the consistent sleight of hand good guy/bad guy pattern regarding Snape's involvement in things.


Accio Sirius - Apr 15, 2004 10:28 am (#822 of 2956)
Gina,

If that theory stands, does that mean that Snape might have to die or go to Azkaban for Harry if people believed he killed him? That would certainly repay any life debts, since no one has taken into account Snape's ongoing efforts so far.


HP Fan - Apr 15, 2004 10:29 am (#823 of 2956)
Molly Weasley Wannabe --> Sorry I wasn't very clear when I last posted I was very tired.

I was meaning more along the lines that Snape tells Harry it's not up to him to find out what Voldemort is saying to the death eaters, and Harry retorts no it's your job isn't it. Or something along those lines. Then not five minutes later - Harry is suddenly getting further into the department of mysteries than he has ever got before in his dreams. Meaning that Voldemort is trying at that precise moment to break into and manipulate Harry's mind.

As such apart from being angry that Harry is not improving at Occulmency - some of Snape's anger could be coming from FRIGHT that if Voldemort had tried a few minute's earlier it's possible he could have seen what was going on in the office and heard Harry's question ad Snape's satisfied answer of 'Yes Potter that is my job.' Rather like Harry seeing the attack on Mr Weasley through the Snake's eyes. Which would have blown his cover as a spy.

Does that make more sense? I wasn't very coherent last time


Gina R Snape - Apr 15, 2004 12:26 pm (#824 of 2956)
Well, technically, it would be Snape's job to find out what the DL is saying to his DEs if he WAS a DE, and not a spy.

Accio, I hesitate to turn my pet theory into a fanfiction on this thread (which I am apt to do...). I don't foresee Snape going to Azkaban. I meant, JKR will use her sleight of hand, like she did in PS/SS. I am willing to bet Snape will administer the draught of living death and later we will see it was for the Order, and not to kill Harry, etc. His involvement would be another red herring that some characters and some doubtful readers will think he really harmed Potter but by the end of the book we know he really saved the day (or at least used his Slytherin ways and potions skills for the good of the Order).


Prefect Marcus - Apr 15, 2004 4:48 pm (#825 of 2956)
Blast postulated that Snape was an Aries. I, myself, would assume he was a Scorpio. I think that fits his personality better.

Marcus


Blast - Apr 15, 2004 5:34 pm (#826 of 2956)
Well as Snape being independant, doesn't like to follow,quick thinking, confident, quick tempered( when having things not go his own way) a loner, and besides it could be his Birthday this week Smile


LyndaLou - Apr 18, 2004 4:58 am (#827 of 2956)
Hi, This is my first post here, although I've been reading for months. As someone who has studied astrology for over 20 years I would say: Snape is NOT an aries. Aries are rash and quick to anger. Aries do not tend to hold on to anger. They blow up and it is over. Aries tend to be warm & outgoing types--This isn't Snape.

Snape IS a scorpion. Scorpions are passionate, (his potions speech) private, perceptive, and tend to hold on to their anger & grudges. They can be cold, cruel and dark.


Joanna S Lupin - Apr 18, 2004 12:16 pm (#828 of 2956)
I wholly agree having two scorpio siblings - that is Snape


Gina R Snape - Apr 18, 2004 1:53 pm (#829 of 2956)
LyndaLou Hi! Great to have another new face on the Snape thread.

What do you think of my theory that he is really a Pisces with Scorpio rising and moon in Cancer. Because he does have all those Scorpio traits but I think they are a bit tempered by other things we can see that Harry can't (or won't) if we look beyond Harry's POV of Snape when analysing Snape's character.


LyndaLou - Apr 18, 2004 5:48 pm (#830 of 2956)
Snape seems a bit too strong willed to be a Pieces. But I do think a Grand Trine in water is entirely possible. Maybe Pieces Rising as that could put his sun in the 8th house which is Scorpio's home.

I do agree that as we see Snape through Harry's eyes we do get a rather distorted view. For example, I am not sure Snape really broke his vile of potion to get even with Harry. I am sure he was quite amused it broke--but as Harry didn't really see it; I question if he Really broke it.


Gina R Snape - Apr 18, 2004 7:22 pm (#831 of 2956)
Well, I thought Pisces in sun because all the Pisces I know (3 exes, dad and one brother) all have a few deep secrets, and have a lot more going on under the surface than anyone would think. Deep thinking, purposeful people with many hidden feelings, and that's how I see Snape.

They sure can be strong-willed too!

But Pisces rising or a Grand Trine in water could work too. Thanks for your ideas!

I hope I'm not the only one interested in this line of query.

As for that broken phial. I dunno. I do think Snape dropped it 'accidentally on purpose' if only for how self-satisfied he looked to Harry.


rambkowalczyk - Apr 19, 2004 7:54 am (#832 of 2956)
Draco Malfoy was nearby and he laughed when the potion broke. Maybe he was the cause of it.


Romana - Apr 19, 2004 9:08 am (#833 of 2956)
Snape could well be an aries. The aries I know tends to hold on to her anger for a long time, brood about it then explode. Which in my opinon explains what happened in PoA. Snape had been slowly building up his anger and grudges for the past twevle years. The calalyst of seeing not just one but two of his old tormentors was just that bit too much and he choose that specific moment to explode. You have got to admit, by GoF he seemed to calm down a fair bit.


S.E. Jones - Apr 19, 2004 12:19 pm (#834 of 2956)
Interesting theory, Gina, about Snape giving Harry the draught of sleeping death to drink, but I don't know if Harry'd take it, though. If Harry took it, we would be out part of the book because we see everything through his eyes. What if Snape gave it to Dumbledore instead (on his orders, of course, but unbeknownst to us)? Then Voldy and Harry would think he was dead and one would be spurred into doing something that he wouldn't normally do (Voldemort wouldn't attack Hogwarts with Dumbledore there, and it would solve the problem of the hero needing to step out away from the master, who usually dies ala Yoda, to defeat the villian because then Dumbledore would be temporarily out of the way but still able to come back at the end). There would still be those who'd think Snape went back over to Voldemort's side and killed Dumbledore, etc.... What do you think?


Gina R Snape - Apr 19, 2004 12:40 pm (#835 of 2956)
It's possible Snape could make the draught to give to someone else.

I hadn't thought about the problem with not knowing what's going on if Harry were out cold, though! Thanks for thinking of that.

It just strikes me as odd that JKR would make a big deal about such a potion in Harry's first Potions class, and then drops it completely. It's more her style to make these little mentions, move on, then bring it back several books later if not in the same book.

Unfortunately for JKR, we are now onto some of these little tricks! Plus, the Snape fandom has wondered about the use of this interesting little potion too.


Padfoot - Apr 19, 2004 12:47 pm (#836 of 2956)
Could Harry use the time turner somehow and be both asleep and an active participant? Or maybe DD would tell him what happened while he was asleep? There are so many clues and red herrings alike that it is hard to decide which is which.


Kerstin - Apr 20, 2004 2:43 am (#837 of 2956)
Hello to you all.

Padfoot, I don't think, the time-turner will appear again, it has done its duty and is gone, like the Griffyndor sword or the Mirror of Erised.

I neither think, that Harry will be asleep for a longer while, when something really important is going on, like fighting Voldy. Harry has to see it, if Snape is acting somehow heroic, that's a big difference from being told by someone else.


Accio Sirius - Apr 20, 2004 10:21 am (#838 of 2956)
Got a question I'm not sure has been addressed yet. Has Snape ever said anything about Lily? I know there are theories that Snape was in love with her, but is there any canon with him even talking about her? I don't have all of my books handy, but I can't recall any occasion off the top of my head. I just find it interesting because even Lucias says things to Harry like "your meddlesome parents." We know Snape knew her and I just get the feeling it speaks volumes that he doesn't mention her. Not that I necessarily buy into the love story, but he if didn't like her, I don't see why he wouldn't taunt Harry about her too.


Gina R Snape - Apr 20, 2004 3:16 pm (#839 of 2956)
Snape has only ever mentioned James to Harry. He's never once mentioned Lily.

I too don't buy into the Snape-loves-Lily theory. But the pensieve scene sure made me pay attention!


fidelio - Apr 23, 2004 6:14 am (#840 of 2956)
I commented elsewhere fidelio "Remus Lupin" 9/17/03 7:03am that perhaps the reason Sirius and Lupin didn't talk much about Lily was the rather old-fashioned tendency for well-bred men not to discuss other men's wives and girlfriends--especially those attached to their close friends. It may be that Snape is following this rule as well. I realize that while it isn't too hard to make the case that Sirius and Lupin were raised to be gentlemen, many will have difficulty fitting Severus Snape, chronic outsider, into that picture. However, while Our Sev often has trouble accomplishing things like Being Considerate of Others' Feelings, he knows from rules. Rules he can do. This is a Rule, and it concerns Respect, a concept he has Serious Issues about.

Therefore, I can see Snape not saying much about Lily for this reason, especially since she was married to someone he couldn't stand, which, under the rules of that game, would not only make him a cad [for talking about a lady] but a cad² [for bringing the lady into his feud with James]. There's also the whole Mother thing--insult someone's mother, and you have crossed the line between bickering, and a fight that must end in bloodshed [even if only a bloody nose]--take note of the fights between Ron, Harry, and Draco and his gang. There's the usual bickering, and then there's the brawl that starts with Mum gets brought up--even Draco can't stand to have his mother dissed. Saying anything to Harry about Lily [especially since he's been so vocal about James = rotter], would just raise him all the way to cad³. [Since he is an adult, and a teacher, which should limit Harry's ability to respond--Snape knows the rules, even if Harry doesn't--this would up the ante as well]. Not only does Our Sev understand rules, he knows when he's dealing with a game he can't win, and he does his best not to play those, if he can avoid it. By not mentioning Lily, he demonstrates both to people who are either neutral/on his side [Dumbledore, McGonagall, the other staff], but also to people prejudiced against him [Sirius Black, anyone?] that he knows The Rules.

While Harry's partisans may not like the way Snape behaves towards Harry, there are others who either don't care, or haven't bothered to pay any attention to it. If he dragged Lily into it, though [especially with Lily's identity as a heroic mother dying to protect her child], he'd have crossed a line most people in the WW couldn't overlook, however they felt about Harry Potter himself. To dredge up an analogy, you can dislike dogs as much as you like--people will come to terms with that. If you kick a dog, it's unforgivable.

This has nothing to do with whether or not Snape ever had a thing for Lily--if he did, it just adds another reason why he isn't going to talk about her. Just because Snape spent at least half of his life as a social misfit doesn't mean he's clueless about The Rules--in fact, it may have made him more acutely aware of them. Unless he either has a lot to gain, and not much to lose, or simply can't control himself, Our Sev will play by The Rules, however odd those rules look to us at times.


Catherine - Apr 23, 2004 8:41 am (#841 of 2956)
Interesting post, Fidelio. You've given me a lot to think about Snape never discussing Lily. I think the rule here is "Don't speak ill of the dead."

I wondered if perhaps one reason that Snape does not discuss Lily with Harry is that he is ashamed of himself. Snape doesn't seem to mind violating the "don't speak ill of the dead" rule as it concerns James, as Snape has real cause to feel anger and resentment toward him. But Lily didn't deserve the "filthy mudblood" epithet thrown at her, and seems to have been a decent person. Snape might not like to think of how he called her names.

I've always thought Snape was like a Mimbulus Mimbletonia in that scene. He'd been antagonized, and decided to use a defense mechanism--spewing filth--against anyone who was there, rather like the Stinksap scene on the Hogwarts Express.


haymoni - Apr 23, 2004 9:06 am (#842 of 2956)
I think it is possible to be prejudiced without wanting that particular group of people dead.

Sirius said that some people thought Voldy was on the right track with all of his "pure-blood" stuff. Once people actually started dying though, they had a change of heart.

Maybe Snape really does have a problem with Mudbloods, i.e. Lily, so he doesn't talk about her. Could be why he joined the DE's in the first place, just like Regulus did. Snape came to his senses when he found out what Voldy was really up to and came back to Dumbledore.


Catherine - Apr 23, 2004 9:32 am (#843 of 2956)
I think we have some new insight into Snape when the Legilmens spell Snape was using gave Harry some of Snape's memories. They seemed to show someone who was lonely and neglected.

Perhaps the "mudblood" prejudice Snape seems to evince in the Pensieve scene is how he compensates. He is criticized for his appearance and he isn't popular with his fellow students. But he can bring a beautiful and (I'm assuming this because Lily was Head Girl) successful, and intelligent girl "down" to his level by referring to her as a mudblood. He's trying to "level the playing field," so to speak.

I've noticed that irrational prejudice seems to come from people who don't have anything else to give them importance.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 23, 2004 10:08 am (#844 of 2956)
I agree with you Catherine. But I think it is still unclear whether Snape himself is pureblood. I know he is Slytherin's Head of House, but Riddle was in Slytherin and he wasn't a pureblood. I always thought that part of his striking out at Lily was striking out at a part of himself that he hated. Obviously, those Pensieve scenes give not only Harry, but the reader, something new to contemplate about Snape. Snape grew up in a troubled home and must have had some serious doubts about his own self-worth. How he must have hated James for being so comfortable in his place in society while Snape was still struggling to find his own niche. And although I'm not suggesting Snape carries a torch for Lily, I can see that she (as that Golden Girl) must have represented an unattainable level of social hierarchy (and yet still be a Mudblood) of which Snape could never be a part. The fact that James could is simply more fuel on the fire of his hatred.


DJ Evans - Apr 23, 2004 11:49 am (#845 of 2956)
But you know if Snape was carrying a torch for Lily, that could explain his actions toward Harry. In one sense he can't bring himself to like Harry because Harry is the evidence of the love that Lily had for James. Then again, Snape can't just ignore Harry, because Harry is Lily's child--a part of her living on through Harry. In short, Snape sees so much of what he hated and loved back when he looks at Harry. So basically it puts Snape in a no-win situation in his dealings with Harry.

To Snape, Harry represents so much of what Snape hated and loved back then. Like I said--a no-win situation.

I'm not saying that I think Snape did have a crush on Lily back then, just that if he did it would explain a lot.

Later days, Deb


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 23, 2004 12:26 pm (#846 of 2956)
Oh, I agree Deb. It could explain a lot. I'm just hoping JKR comes up with something more original. I want to be blown away. Smile


DJ Evans - Apr 23, 2004 5:13 pm (#847 of 2956)
Me too Kim!!! As good as a writer that JKR is, I'm sure she won't let us down. Though I hate to see the end of the Harry Potter books, it will be so interesting to see how close any of us were in all of our thoughts/ideas/theories, won't it?

Later days, Deb


Accio Sirius - Apr 23, 2004 5:28 pm (#848 of 2956)
--I can see that she (as that Golden Girl) must have represented an unattainable level of social hierarchy (and yet still be a Mudblood) of which Snape could never be a part. The fact that James could is simply more fuel on the fire of his hatred.--Kim Manion

Wow Kim. Well said. I think that really speaks to the psychological depths of JKR's characters. I know one of her main themes is about discrimination and your theory looks at its possible genesis and evolution.

Catherine, your point about having the power to hurt Lily with words also brings up a good point. People take their power where they can get and, after all, according to his childhood memories, Snape learned the power of verbal abuse from his father.


Chemyst - Apr 23, 2004 6:18 pm (#849 of 2956)
Snape learned the power of verbal abuse from his father. That seems to be a near-consensus belief of fact. But is it true? If JKR is going to pull off an ending that blows us away, she'll have to obliterate some of our assumptions. Snape's father could turn out to be a traveling salesman and the guy from the memory was someone who harassed his mother when his dad was gone, so little Severus learned hexes to protect her??? OK that is unlikely, but if we do get that surprise ending that gives answers to the nature of any Snape/Lily relationship and why Dumbledore trusts Snape, then some of our assumptions must be wrong. If that glimpse of memory was supposed to make us/Harry more sympathetic toward Snape, then we are being manipulated. The real test of Snape's character must lie in what he does, not in what was done to him.


Rich - Apr 23, 2004 6:38 pm (#850 of 2956)
If JKR is going to pull off an ending that blows us away, she'll have to obliterate some of our assumptions.

No doubt about it, she will. But I think you've got to take into account the fact that we only saw what the person was doing. We don't know who, where, when(well, we kind of do) and most importantly why. So our assumptions are, at the moment, easily blown away.

The real test of Snape's character must lie in what he does, not in what was done to him.

I agree, but there's no doubting that what was done to him will affect the way he does what he has to. Does it all come back to "Snape's redemptive pattern" (or whatever) when considering how Severus will finish the series? Will he do something really bad then redeem himself? As he has done before, after coming from the DE's to DD.
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Gina R Snape - Apr 23, 2004 7:05 pm (#851 of 2956)
I think what was done to him might be just as important as what he does. If he comes from a terribly abusive home where hatred and violence are bred then turns around and abandons those beliefs and practices to be a better person (higher moral development) then we are compelled to take his past into consideration.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 23, 2004 7:22 pm (#852 of 2956)
I agree, Gina.

By the way, thanks Accio Sirius. Yippee! I've been quoted!


Chemyst - Apr 24, 2004 4:20 am (#853 of 2956)
I think you've got to take into account the fact that we only saw what the person was doing. We don't know who, where, when(well, we kind of do) and most importantly why. ~ rich Exactly! I went back and reread that scene so I wouldn't look like a complete doofus posting here. It does seem to be a genuine memory. Yet the interpretation could easily be that the hook-nosed man could have been yelling at the woman for teaching hexes to the boy. The boy could have been cowering, not in fear of the man, but because he thought he'd done something wrong by practicing hexes.

If this were the case, all our assumptions about child abuse could be totally off the mark. Some of the greatest abuse is hidden in sweet deceit, not in loud shoutings of honest protest. - I am not saying this is how it happened. I'm saying we are being intentionally mislead about Snape.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 24, 2004 6:35 am (#854 of 2956)
I think, for the basis of this dispute, the origins of that scene are irrelevant. The broader picture, that Snape as a young child was exposed to some very ugly scenes (I think we can go out on a short limb and say it was probably one in a series of such incidents) is more to the point. Juxtaposing that image with the image of him, as a sullen teenager, shooting flies down in his room, was meant, I think, to give a framework for his mental/emotional development.

The patterns set for us as young children are extremely difficult to overcome. I think Snape struggles to be better than his upbringing would have him, to overcome the unfortunate choices he made (ie. becoming a Death Eater) based on the skewed perspective of his childhood and teenage years.

I desperately want Snape to overcome his limits. I just don't think he has the emotional wellspring to do so.

EDIT: And in overcoming, be able to embrace what's there.


Accio Sirius - Apr 24, 2004 12:51 pm (#855 of 2956)
Chemyst, You're right in that I did just assume that was Snape's father in his memory. Sorry for that. Whoever it was though, it was a very powerful scene and it made me think of verbal abuse as a learned behavior because Snape does have a way with words. As powerful as he is with magic, it seems he does some of his best work with cutting remarks.


rambkowalczyk - Apr 24, 2004 3:20 pm (#856 of 2956)
The reason I assumed it was his father was because the older man was described with a hooked nose.


Catherine - Apr 24, 2004 4:07 pm (#857 of 2956)
Ala Viktor and his father!

But all joking aside, I did assume it was his father.


Rich - Apr 24, 2004 8:45 pm (#858 of 2956)
I think it is fair to make the assumption that it was Snape's father. Snape is described as, recognised for and insulted for having a hooked nose and JKR most probably put the hooked nose in to let us know it was Snape Senior. It's just that we only got a very cropped view of what was going on in Snape's childhood/adolescence.


Chris. - Apr 25, 2004 7:28 am (#859 of 2956)
Do you think it's Severus' bad childhood that has made him the untrusting, expect to Dumbledore; and evil Potions Master he is today?


Gina R Snape - Apr 25, 2004 8:04 am (#860 of 2956)
I think Snape Sr. created an unpleasant and unsupportive environment for his family. I suspect that Snape grew up witnessing and being the recipient of abuse. I think he learned a lot of hexes before arriving at Hogwarts as a combination of his father inflicting them on Severus and his mum and as a way to protect himself.

Snape's behaviours definitely show that of a man who grew up abused. It's just a pity, in my opinion, that he was not better protected from that abuse while at Hogwarts.


The giant squid - Apr 26, 2004 12:03 am (#861 of 2956)
Gina, that could be another reason he hates Harry so much--the fact that their home life is so similar. Let's face it, the Dursleys might not actually hit Harry, but you can be sure that how they treat him would be considered abuse in any court of law.

Severus was abused, he gets nothing. Harry is abused, he's everyone's hero. Seems obvious why he'd want to take The Boy Who Lived down a peg or two, doesn't it?

--Mike


Romana - Apr 26, 2004 4:28 am (#862 of 2956)
It seems that as everyone has been saying that Snape grew up in an abusive home. Everyday there was arguements, people shouting, so Snape hid and practised hexing, to releive some of the anger by taking it out on flies. Then suddenly he gets the letter from Hogwarts, and he thinks there will be an escape from everything, parents he dislikes, all the arguements and abuse, and what happens? He gets more when he arrives at Hogwarts! No escape. And being the quiet reclusive and above all proud (read arrogant if you like) person he was he told no-one of his home life, so no-one saw that the bullying he was getting from James and the others reflected in some small way to the abuse/bullying he was used to at home.

But (and here's a pet theory) pehaps someone did take pity, and he confided in them, and they were sympathic. The 'shoudler to cry on' he desperately needed? I am thinking of Lilly Evans. Hence she stood up for him when he was being tormented by James and Sirius, she knew what he was going through. Snape reaction being, in my opion, typical of a seventeen year old boy who is scared that people will think he needs a girl to stand up for him. Her schocked reaction being the result of talked to like that by someone she had helped. Perhaps that's why he doesn't talk about her?


Chris. - Apr 26, 2004 7:39 am (#863 of 2956)
It would be quite interesting to read about, if Harry confronted Snape about how Lily stood up for him.


Denise P. - Apr 26, 2004 7:42 am (#864 of 2956)
After the reaction Harry got when Snape discovered he had seen what was in the Pensieve, I somehow doubt Harry will be in any great hurry to confront Snape about anything he saw there. I think both of them are going to do their best to ignore one another and ignore that they both are aware of what happened.


Gina R Snape - Apr 26, 2004 7:54 am (#865 of 2956)
Until the occlumency lessons, I don't think Snape knew Harry grew up in such an abusive environment. Harry received the hero's welcome at Hogwarts; my guess is he assumed Harry grew up thinking he was a hero, and Snape saw his job was to take Harry down a notch or two so he would concentrate on his studies and not the attention he was receiving; I do think that the whole 'fame isn't everything' speech demonstrates this point of view.

Snape does seem to take a brief interest in Harry's past when he asks about the dog and it's just such a shame Harry had to go into the pensieve because I really do believe they could have made some progress in their relationship otherwise.

I think Lily as confidante is a plausible one; but would young Snape trust a Gryffindor?


Chris. - Apr 26, 2004 8:07 am (#866 of 2956)
Gina, I like the idea that Snape thought Harry had been treated as the hero, unlike himself when he was young.

I don't know if Snape would trust a Gryffindor. If he was desperate, yes perhaps he would.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 26, 2004 9:19 am (#867 of 2956)
Gina, I agree with your take on Snape's attitude toward Harry. And it would allow for what I consider one of Snape's weaknesses: the right motivation but the wrong strategy.

As for whether Snape would trust Lily as a Gryffindor, I don't mean to come off as too superficial, but a neglected, marginalized 15 year old boy is going to be affected strongly by a pretty face and a sympathetic ear.


Loopy Lupin - Apr 26, 2004 10:41 am (#868 of 2956)
Lily as confidante? I don't know about that. At least we know at the age of 15, his reaction to attempted help from her was to call her a mudblood. I think her shocked reaction was nothing more than a reaction to being called something horrible by someone she was trying to help.

Well, he does ask about the dog, but other than that passing interest, I didn't see any indication that he was going to soften his attitude.

Snape is deeply complex, I'd agree, but his hatred seems to run so deep, I don't think there is much chance of him reconciling with Harry. Maybe at some point, we could settle for a "lack of open hostility," but I think that would be about it.


Gina R Snape - Apr 26, 2004 11:01 am (#869 of 2956)
He surely didn't seem capable of a lack of open hostility with Sirius. I hope that doesn't turn out to be the case with Harry, when the stakes are so high for the wizarding world.


Loopy Lupin - Apr 26, 2004 11:10 am (#870 of 2956)
Well, I believe that when it comes down to it, he, Snape, will be able to do what is right for the wizarding world. In the meantime, however, he has some real issues to work through.


Accio Sirius - Apr 26, 2004 11:26 am (#871 of 2956)
Edited by Apr 26, 2004 12:26 pm
I think it's pretty obvious from his worst memory that Snape didn't want any protection from abuse. I'm sure he could have lived without the harassment, but I don't see him allowing himself to become the victim again. He's too cool for that. In fact, I was always of the opinion that Snape came into Hogwarts on the defensive. He knew more hexes than anyone else, even the Marauders, at least in the beginning. I think he could dish it out as well as he could get it. He was outnumbered in the Pensieve scene, but then later, Sirius talks about James and Snape always hexing each other in the halls. It made it sound to me like they were of equal talent. Also, one of the reasons I have a problem reconciling the Shrieking Shack incident is that even though Snape openly hates Sirius, it doesn't seem to match Snape's hatred of James. Why would Snape hate someone who saved his life more than the person who (supposedly) tried to jeopardize it? If I recall, the way Snape tells it, it was all James' fault to begin with.


Catherine - Apr 26, 2004 12:23 pm (#872 of 2956)
I've been wondering if somehow Snape is behind the Dursleys being taken to task for their treatment of Harry.

Snape has more detailed information than anyone else regarding Harry's treatment at Privet Drive. I have imagined that Snape could have shared with Dumbledore or someone else from the Order how terrible Harry has it there. Granted, the Weasley parents know a lot, but Snape knows more.

Is it possible? Or the Arthur, Tonks, Lupin, and Mad Eye take matters into their own hands?


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 26, 2004 12:24 pm (#873 of 2956)
To clarify my previous post, I don't necessarily buy into the Lily as Snape's confidante theory, but was putting forth my argument for how it could be justified.

Accio Sirius (I love you're screen name, btw), I think I can agree with you that Snape and James were equally talented coming into school but James had the advantage of a group of mates. My impression is that Snape never had any. No one to watch his back (as in Sirius' warning to James "OY!"as Snape attacks in the pensieve scene), no one to lend him importance in the halls, and no one to back him up with firepower no matter what scrape he fell into. Moreover, let's not forget appearances here. I'm under the impression that James is good looking although not in the same category as Sirius. But he has a huge advantage over Snape whose greasy hair and dingy clothing would make him a pariah among teenagers. Not to mention, that James had the confidence that a solid upbringing in a happy home can provide.

Lastly, isn't it the great mystery as to why Snape hates James so? You would think his feelings for Sirius would be stronger (although in POA he tells Sirius to just give him one reason to do it (ie Avada Kedavra) while pointing his wand at him. (Sorry I don't have the quote. Can you believe I lent the book to someone? What was I thinking?) I think Lupin hit it on the head, Snape was jealous. Snape probably didn't want to be Sirius (for whatever reason, maybe because of Sirius' lousy homelife) but he must have found James' life appealing, although I'm sure he would never want to admit it to himself. Snape has too much pride. I wonder what it was about James that caused such jealousy in Snape. His success at Quidditch? His popularity? James would seem to have lead a charmed, unblemished life all through their school years. Why should James be so lucky when Snape has had to struggle?

EDIT: I was typing while Catherine was posting. I love that idea Catherine! I think Snape has a heart but he would never want it revealed openly. However, I think everyone is aware of how lousy life is with the Dursleys and want to make sure that Harry, in his grief, is treated fairly. But still....maybe Snape did put a bug in their ear. I like the thought of that.


rambkowalczyk - Apr 26, 2004 12:34 pm (#874 of 2956)
My explanation why Snape hates James more than Sirius. I think Snape's motive for following Lupin under the Whomping Willow was to get him expelled or suspended for wandering outside of Hogwarts. When James tried to prevent him from following Lupin James would have been in a tight spot. He didn't want to reveal Lupin is a werewolf. But he had to because I think it was the only way James could stop him. I don't think Snape encountered Lupin as a werewolf because the only way James could have saved him was to transform himself into Prongs and get between them. But Dumbledore didn't know that James was an animagus (not until Sirius tells him in Flitwicks office). Therefore Snape didn't know James was an animagus because tattletale that he probably was, he would have told Dumbledore. Snape's hatred of Sirius would have been greater had he met Lupin man to wolf. I guess what I'm saying is that the shrieking shack incident wasn't a traumatic experience for Snape because he never encountered Lupin as a wolf. James prevented this. His hatred of James increased because he was thwarted in his plans to expels a student, Dumbledore made him keep quiet about Lupin's secret, and he now owed a life debt to someone who publically humiliated him.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 26, 2004 12:50 pm (#875 of 2956)
But he did see Lupin as a werewolf. Lupin himself says so in the Shrieking Shack. Besides, Snape hated James long before that incident. Or I should say they hated each other. In SS, Dumbledore says:

Well, they did rather detest each other. Not unlike yourself and Mr. Malfoy. And then, you father did something Snape could never forgive...He saved his life.

I don't think James transformed into Prongs, but he would have had to had Snape gotten much closer to the werewolf.


Verbina - Apr 26, 2004 8:44 pm (#876 of 2956)
Hmmm many angles all very good!!!

Personally I have to agree that it is a jealousy issue. We really don't know much about James home life so it may be that James had a much happier home than Snape did growing up. Plus it was said that Snape was always sort of skulking about the Marauders like he was trying to catch them at something. If he was jealous of them and their close friendship, he would hang about the fringes trying to either get into the circle or to find out something about the circle to break it apart. Lupin being a werewolf would have been the perfect thing!

And since the dislike of James and Snape is compared to the dislike of Draco and Harry, we could look to them for hints. Draco is everything Harry cannot stand, having had to deal with it with Dudley all those years. Draco attempted to use his name and family to get into Harry's circle of friends in book 1 but failed. If you ask me, there is a bit of jealousy on Draco's part as well. He can't stand the idea of Harry being famous and getting the spot light. He wants it but keeps getting it for the wrong things.


Rich - Apr 27, 2004 3:24 am (#877 of 2956)
Just going back to Catherine Allen's post:

Snape has more detailed information than anyone else regarding Harry's treatment at Privet Drive. I have imagined that Snape could have shared with Dumbledore or someone else from the Order how terrible Harry has it there. Granted, the Weasley parents know a lot, but Snape knows more.

I must have missed something. Can you give me some examples where he seems to know more, I'm probably not paying attention. Thanks


Catherine - Apr 27, 2004 3:42 am (#878 of 2956)
Rich, I was referring to the Occlumency lessons.

Snape "saw" the many times that Harry was slighted, bullied, neglected, or humiliated. He literally saw inside Harry's head, and accessed memories that Harry wasn't aware he had anymore. He saw them from Harry's perspective, rather than from the perspective of an outsider observing the house.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Apr 27, 2004 4:58 am (#879 of 2956)
Verbina, I like what you said about Snape's motivation being to break up the Marauders. I always thought he'd be perfectly happy just getting them expelled but the darker reason of harming that circle of friendship is appealing.


Verbina - Apr 27, 2004 8:46 am (#880 of 2956)
Thanks Kim. It just seems like something that a jealous teen could do. Break up the circle of friendship that aggrivates you the most. Especially if you are denied "membership", which he was denied. Plus it didn't help with the teasing and bullying that was going on in Snape's mind. For all we know it wasn't really as bad as it seemed in the Pensieve but to Snape, it was horrible.

And yes it would seem that Snape would know more about his treatment at Privet Drive. We have to remember that he does still essentially owe a debt to James and through Harry he can fulfill it. It may be a small way of doing so without seeming to.


rambkowalczyk - Apr 28, 2004 12:06 pm (#881 of 2956)
Sorry for nitpicking. In POA Lupin says "if he got as far as this house, he'd have met a fully grown werewolf-but your father, who'd heard what Sirius had done, went after Snape and pulled him back, at great risk to his life... Snape glimpsed me, though, at the end of the tunnel." The point I wanted to make was that seeing the werewolf may not have been the traumatic experience we think it was for Snape. It's even possible the great risk to James' life was not Lupin but one of Snape's curses. I'm sure until he saw the werewolf he had no desire to be "saved" by James. Even then Snape probably thought James was behind the whole thing.

About Draco: in the first book he offers Harry his friendship by saying some wizard families are more worth knowing than others and Harry rejects it. That was probably the first time he's been rejected.


Gina R Snape - Apr 28, 2004 8:35 pm (#882 of 2956)
This is a good point Ramb. Snape did think James was behind the whole thing too. So not only was James Potter a preening popular pretty boy, but he also managed to put Snape in his debt. Surely, not a good combination for a slytherin like young Severus to find himself in.


septentrion - Apr 29, 2004 4:15 am (#883 of 2956)
Ramb, I can agree with the fact that seeing Lupin as a werewolf wasn't such a trauma for Snape, meaning that the real trauma would have been being fooled to death by his enemies (in Snape's opinion). I can also agree with the fact that Snape's curses could have been dangerous for James but I disagree with the fact that Snape's curses could have killed James. When I imagine the scene, I see James catching Severus but Severus didn't know yet the real danger he was heading to. So Snape would have sneered, or said things like : "leave me alone, I'll found out what you're up to and have you expelled !". He could even have cast a curse at James but not a mortal one, more like the ones Harry and his friends cast at Malfoy and his gang on the Hogwarts express. But at least Snape glimpsed the werewolf and recognized it for what it was at once. I think James was with Snape, glimpsed the werewolf too but they had time to retreat without damage. Of course Snape had good reasons to think James was behing the trick, if not, how could they get out of the tunnel without being hurt ? So, I'd say Snape wouldn't have killed James or intentionally hurt him badly, but, come to think of it, if he had stunned or prevent James from moving with a curse, it could have been James' death. Well, it seems I demonstrate the contrary of what I wanted to say first !


rambkowalczyk - Apr 29, 2004 4:32 am (#884 of 2956)
When I looked up the reference in POA I was surprized to see Lupin say at "great risk" to James life forcing me to conclude it would have to be at risk to Snape's life as well. I have to agree with Septentrion that it is unlikely that Snape's curse would have killed James. The other danger is that Snape and James would have been so caught up in fighting each other they would be oblivious to the werewolf attack.


Romana - Apr 30, 2004 12:18 am (#885 of 2956)
Personally I've alway seen that scene where Snape reaches the tree and gets inside it with James closely at his heels, James follows Snape into the tree and have a small verbal tiff (maybe with Snape pulling out his wand) before both Snape and James glimpse Lupin, at this point James pushes Snape out of the tree, probably to a waiting Dumbledore on the other side. But I don't think there would have been much time for curses in that situation.


Loopy Lupin - Apr 30, 2004 10:59 am (#886 of 2956)
Sorry this is not on topic, but OH MY GOD!! Gina that avatar is hysterical.


Gina R Snape - Apr 30, 2004 11:40 am (#887 of 2956)
Thanks, LL!

So, anyone want to speculate on Snape's association with Lucius Malfoy? Also, do you think Snape was made head of Slytherin house when he first got the job? Or did he earn it as part of a promotion package after a few years?


Loopy Lupin - Apr 30, 2004 12:20 pm (#888 of 2956)
Yes, I noticed that Umbridge says Lucius always speaks highly of Snape during the scene when he, Snape, won't give her anymore veritaserum.

I think it obvious that Snape is a sort of double (double-double?) agent. He's spying on Voldemort for DD, but Voldie thinks he's still loyal to him and spying on DD. His skill at occlumency prevents Voldie from detecting the lie. Anyway, I imagine that it is not often easy or wise to report directly to Voldie. So, Snape probably deals with Lucius more often than not. We have no basis to say that Lucius is a legilimens so Snape can probably lie with abandon to him all the while making Lucius think that they are great friends.

Unless there was another Slytherin type there when Snape started, he's probably the only one on staff who would have wanted to head Slytherin.


rambkowalczyk - Apr 30, 2004 12:25 pm (#889 of 2956)
I have to admit I wonder about it. Lucius is about 6 years older than Snape so how much of a relationship could they have at school. What 6 year student is going to hang out with a first year student. I've always felt that Lucius did a lot of recruiting for Voldemort and convinced Snape to join. Snape probably joined to get revenge on James or to get some sort of recognition/respect from other people. Consider what Bagman got for being a Death Eater (this assumes certain theories are correct) a job at the MOM. The question is does Snape like Lucius now or is he faking it for the order. Sirius tries to insult him by calling him his lapdog but I don't think the comment bothered him that much. I sometimes get the feeling Snape hates Lucius maybe not as much as Black or Potter and his patiently biding his time till Malfoy's downfall. On the other hand he could be torn between a genuine friendship for Lucius (that has nothing to do with him being a death eater) and loyalty to Dumbledore and there fore is torn at the prospect of his friend being arrested as a Voldemort supporter. It seems as though JKR has been very careful not to shed any light on this at all.


Gina R Snape - Apr 30, 2004 12:41 pm (#890 of 2956)
It seems as though JKR has been very careful not to shed any light on this at all.

Yes, and that is what I find so intriguing. She's dropped hints from the very beginning, but they are maddeningly subtle and vague. Only now in OoP does she 'kick it up a notch' as Emeril would say. I find it extremely telling, that this relationship will be very important but equally subtle in the next two books. JKR has something up her sleeve here. No doubt about it.


Verbina - Apr 30, 2004 4:48 pm (#891 of 2956)
But...how could Snape be a spy for DD and Voldie not know after the incidents of PS/SS? He was ont he back of Quirrel's head for goodness sake! He had to notice Quirrel talking to Snape and what they were talking about!

I dont think he is spying for DD amongst the Deatheaters. I do however think that he has associations that he gained while a Deatheater that are serving a purpose now.


Chris. - Apr 30, 2004 5:06 pm (#892 of 2956)
Verbina, yes, Voldy must know about Snape by now. Even if he didn't know if PS/SS, Lucius must have updated him.

Check the 'Does Voldemort Know About Snape?' thread

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


Chemyst - Apr 30, 2004 8:31 pm (#893 of 2956)
Sorry, but nothing I've read on the What does Voldemort know thread has convinced me that Voldemort has a real clue about anything beyond a belief that Snape is just pretending to go along with DD while Snape is still being his DE self. Any suspicion Voldemort may have about Snape is no greater than his natural fears of being betrayed by any of the other DEs. If V didn't have enough power to activate the dark mark when he was hitching a ride on Quirrell's noggin, Snape has a perfect out. "Dark Lord, I was trying to protect the stone until you returned! How was I supposed to know Quirrell didn't want it for himself! I was working on being perfectly positioned so I could hand it over to you when you came back!" Just what could Lucius tell the DL? From Voldemort's point of view, Snape is better than Lucius any day. Why, Snape is such a crafty spy that he's got archenemy DD trusting him! But Lucius, well, he disappointed Voldemort by running from the Mark at the World Cup. (GF chapter 33 ) Granted, Lucius has been working hard to rebuild V's trust during OP, but Snape's been able to pull things off (or over) so far.


Verbina - Apr 30, 2004 9:47 pm (#894 of 2956)
But in GoF, when the Deatheaters were in the cemetery, LV mentioned that one was not going to return to them as he had turned away from them. I always thought that was Snape. The others were all accounted for.

I have got to find that book back from my daughter!!


Gina R Snape - Apr 30, 2004 9:52 pm (#895 of 2956)
Oye. This again!!!!! Heh, heh.

Verbina, I invite you to use the lovely search feature of the forum. There are a few wonderful and interesting discussions/debates regarding the topic of the cemetary and the missing death eaters. You will enjoy it, I am certain.


Weeny Owl - Apr 30, 2004 11:57 pm (#896 of 2956)
The subject of the graveyard scene has been discussed with all possibilities as to who is the coward and who has left forever. Any of the theories work, but since JKR is such a crafty and sneaky writer, I doubt if she would make Snape the one who has left forever since it's too obvious.

Great avatar, Gina... pull my finger. Poor Severus.


S.E. Jones - May 1, 2004 12:51 pm (#897 of 2956)
This, as usual, has been a wonderful and thought provoking thread. Cudos to everyone!

About the Shrieking Shack thing, I always assumed that the scene we saw in the pensieve was just prior to the Shack incident. I'm guessing so because of Harry's observation that Lupin looks so very pale that a full moon must be approaching. Also, after being depantsed in a crowd of onlookers, I'm sure Snape would've wanted some revenge. I've always wondered just what made Sirius send Snape down the Willow after Lupin because, while Sirius is very brash, he isn't rash (for instance, he was brash enough to think he could talk the Fat Lady into letting him get into Gryffindor tower to get to Scabbers, but he wasn't so rash that he couldn't wait 2 full months for Halloween so he wouldn't be spotted). The way I see it, if Snape had done something, or was planning to do something, against James, then Sirius, the deathly loyal friend that he was, would've been willing to do anything to protect him, thus sending him after Lupin. So my question is this, what do you all think Snape was planning to do to James that would make Sirius react in such a way?


Verbina - May 1, 2004 2:15 pm (#898 of 2956)
To James or to Lupin? Either I think would have caused Sirius to react in such a way. More so if it were James, yes but ti might have been Lupin.

Snape was looking for a way to get them in trouble. To get them expelled or break up their friendship. Anything at all. He tended to hang about them in school, making them annoyed with him. Is it possible that Snape, who is not the least bit dense, figured out what hermione did? That Lupin was a werewfolf and was threatening to trun him in? Dumbledore would have backed Lupin but I am not so sure the board would have. But to just go and tell them Lupin was a werwolf was not enough. He had to have proof. Sirius was worried that he would find the proof and so set him up? Okay it is a bit weak in spots but it's all I can come up with right now.

What sort of dark secret could James have that Snape would be able to harm him over?


S.E. Jones - May 1, 2004 3:24 pm (#899 of 2956)
A secret? I hadn't thought of that... I figured it was something against James because of how fierce the steps were Sirius took. Harry commented in the Pensieve scene that he had the feeling Sirius was the only one for whom James would've stopped showing off for Lily and I think the feeling was probably mutual. Sirius may have been relying on Snape finding Lupin to blame his disappearance. I mean, he can't help it if the kid saw Lupin going across the lawn and followed him into the Willow can he? It's a bit ruthless, true, but again it goes back to my 'brash but not rash' argument. But again, what could Snape have had on James that would have pushed Sirius to act so protectively?


Verbina - May 1, 2004 3:32 pm (#900 of 2956)
This may be way off base but...could Snape have found out that James and Sirius were Animagus? If I remember correctly to be one without being registered is illegal. And the punishment must be rather harsh. I don't know if it would have pushed Sirius to that extreme but it would be something that they would want to avoid.
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Gina R Snape - May 1, 2004 4:56 pm (#901 of 2956)
I think if Snape knew they were animagi he would definitely have told DD (if not as kids then definitely in PoA). Then they would have known to look out for a strange animal entering the castle. Since DD didn't know, I'd say it's safe to assume Snape didn't know.

Snape wanted to know where Lupin was running off to every month. I don't think he was after James. He was after what James' gang was hiding, which was probably just as good.


Kerstin - May 2, 2004 11:26 am (#902 of 2956)
If Snape had known about the animagus thing, he wouldn't have been surprised at the end of GOF, when DD said, "...it ist time for two of our number to recognise each other...".


Verbina - May 3, 2004 10:07 am (#903 of 2956)
True very true. He had something over James though.

I was wondering one thing though. When Harry was having lessons with Snape, it almost seems as if Snape was almost trying to hide from Harry the fact that his dad was a bit of jerk. True, Snape would not want to be humiliated by revealing as much as Harry saw in the Pensieve but I would have thought, if he hated James and Harry as he seems to, he would have been willing to at least mention some of it to Harry, especially after events in PoA. But Snape seemed to want to shelter Harry from that.

Sorry if this seems weird or obvious to many of you. I am bit slow today from lack of sleep.


Hagsquid - May 3, 2004 11:07 am (#904 of 2956)
He did say things to Harry on many occasions. Not specifics, just "your father strutted around" etc...


Kerstin - May 3, 2004 11:13 am (#905 of 2956)
I think, what Snape tries to hide from Harry in the first place is the humiliation because it reveals, that James and his gang had so much control over Snape. Yes, he wanted to show this aspect of James' character, but maybe not by showing himself so pathetic. (Does this make sense?)


Hagsquid - May 3, 2004 11:28 am (#906 of 2956)
Or, maybe he really is trying to sheild Harry from it. He does owe James a life debt after all.


Catherine - May 3, 2004 11:39 am (#907 of 2956)
There are still so many secrets--Snape could have a number of reasons for putting certain thoughts away into the Pensieve. I'm not sure that any of the reasons include consideration for Harry's feelings.

Snape has accused Harry of "lacking subtlety." Perhaps there was something in the Pensieve scene that Harry didn't notice, or count as important that was the "real" reason that Snape removed the memory. But I think that's a long shot, although I keep rereading that scene to see if I spot important clues for the last two books.

I wondered if Snape removed the memory just so that he could get past his hatred of James to teach Harry. I thought maybe it was the only way he could fulfill Dumbledore's request, if he literally emptied his mind of bad memories of James.


septentrion - May 3, 2004 12:44 pm (#908 of 2956)
You have a very interesting idea Catherine about Snape having to empty his bad memories of James to be able to teach occlumency to Harry.


Accio Sirius - May 3, 2004 12:55 pm (#909 of 2956)
I'm curious to see if Snape is portrayed sympathetically in the new movie (as I believe he has been in the previous two). I just re-read the book and Snape comes off particularly bad in PoA IMO--more stubborn and hot-headed than in other books.


S.E. Jones - May 3, 2004 8:41 pm (#910 of 2956)
I think the reason Snape removed the memory is because it is somehow directly connected to two other memories, at least one of which is very horrible or traumatic for Snape and that he didn't want Harry to see. The one we saw was just excluded by association. (I always figured the thing Snape was hiding was the Shrieking Shack incident and the clues to it in that scene are those that I've already mentioned in previous posts....)


Romana - May 4, 2004 4:58 am (#911 of 2956)
The thing is Snape removes two memories, and then put them back after he has finished the lesson with Harry. When harry saw that scene in the pensive, it might not have been the memories he removed earlier, as it is probably in there all the time. I don't think Snape would carry around that memory all the time, just a hunch. The fact that he actually put memories back in his head means that they are relevant to what he is doing; either spying for DD, or something.

Weeny Owl, you wrote earlier that you doubted if JKR would make Snape the one who has left forever since it's too obvious. I don't think it is all that obvious as there has been a lot of debate whether he is the one who left forever or the coward.

Personally I would go for the 'Left forever' option, as there are a lot of references to Karkaroff being a coward, after V's speech.


Gina R Snape - May 4, 2004 5:34 am (#912 of 2956)
Well, if it's DD's pensieve that he is borrowing, then he has to put the memories back in order to give the pensieve back.

Also, it seems to me a pensieve is less safe than one's own head for storing memories! Most people don't know legilimency, but anyone can find a pensieve and jump inside it.


septentrion - May 4, 2004 5:50 am (#913 of 2956)
and even your worst memories are part of yourself. It may be convenient to put them aside for a moment but then you're incomplete.


Verbina - May 4, 2004 6:11 am (#914 of 2956)
Makes one wonder then if Snape put all his memories of James in the Pensieve, would he still have his animosity to Harry?


Weeny Owl - May 4, 2004 8:34 am (#915 of 2956)
Romana:

Yes, Karkaroff is seen to be a coward, but who actually left? He did.

Also, Voldie said the one who had left forever would be killed. No one knows where Karkaroff is, but Snape is at Hogwarts. We know he leaves Hogwarts from time to time because of what we saw in OotP, and Lucius Malfoy still speaks highly of him. If Voldie wanted Snape dead, it wouldn't be that difficult to find him and kill him. If Snape is the one who left forever, chances are Voldie would let the Death Eaters know so they could help bring him in or kill him themselves. I doubt if Lucius Malfoy would still be speaking highly of Snape if Snape has left forever.


S.E. Jones - May 4, 2004 12:45 pm (#916 of 2956)
On the 'coward/left forever' issue, I see Snape as the "coward" and Karkaroff as the one who Voldemort believes has left him forever because when he first touches Pettigrew's mark in the graveyard in GoF he says, "How many will be brave enough to return when they feel it? And how many will be foolish enough to stay away?" (GoF, ch33) Well, if Snape stayed at the Quidditch pitch with Dumbledore when all, er, chaos was breaking loose and didn't Apparate to Voldemort's side until after the Hospital Wing scene where he runs off to do something dangerous for Dumbledore then he would not have been "brave enought to return" in Voldemort's eyes, or, in other words, a coward who would then have to kiss some serious, er, toes to get back into Voldemort's good graces (i.e. "he will pay"). Karkaroff, on the other hand, was captured, sent to Azkaban, and was released for giving the names of his fellow Death Eaters. It must've been known that he cut some deal with the MoM to get out of prison. Also, the fact that he felt he had to go to another country to start his life over makes me think he didn't feel that he was exactly safe there in England (I think he's English or at least went to Hogwarts because he said "Dear old Hogwarts... How good it is to be here, how good...." upon entering the school in GoF and Dumbledore didn't feel the need to welcome him to the castle, as if for the first time, as he did with Madame Maxime). So, if Karkaroff were a known backstabber, he'd be the one who Voldemort "[believes] has left [him] for forever" and since, as Sirius pointed out, there is no handing in a resignation to Voldemort, "will be killed." Just my two knuts on the matter anyway....

Romana: The thing is Snape removes two memories, and then put them back after he has finished the lesson with Harry. When harry saw that scene in the pensive, it might not have been the memories he removed earlier, as it is probably in there all the time. I don't think Snape would carry around that memory all the time, just a hunch.

As has already been said, he was, according to Harry, borrowing Dumbledore's pensieve, so he'd have to put the memories back into his head at the end of each session. I'm assuming that the memory we saw was one of the three memories he always removes at the start of an Occlumency lesson as Harry was starting a lesson when Draco came in. Snape probably would've normally put the three back, had the lesson ended per usual....


Weeny Owl - May 4, 2004 12:57 pm (#917 of 2956)
I basically see the "coward/left forever" scene the way you do, Sarah, especially considering Karkaroff named names.

I've wondered about the Occlumency lesson when Draco comes in. I don't have OotP handy, but weren't Snape and Harry standing up holding their wands? While it's Snape's usual snottiness, it's also quick thinking on his part to say Harry was there for remedial Potions. That distracted Draco from anything he might have seen that could have appeared to be unusual for a Potions lesson. Of course it also says something about Draco since it was so easy to distract him.


S.E. Jones - May 4, 2004 1:55 pm (#918 of 2956)
Yeah. Plus Draco doesn't have any reason not to trust Snape completely when he tells him Harry's there for Remedial Potions and to just let it stay at that. Also, you have Snape and Harry's equal animosity. Maybe Draco figured they were about the hex each other or each had their wands drawn in case the other tried to hex first. It would be interesting to see if Draco ever remembers the drawn wands after starting to doubt Snape for some reason, though....


Chemyst - May 4, 2004 3:38 pm (#919 of 2956)
"How many will be brave enough to return when they feel it? And how many will be foolish enough to stay away?"

Snape is brave. Snape is not foolish. I don't think he could be either of the two Voldemort was speaking about.


S.E. Jones - May 4, 2004 3:44 pm (#920 of 2956)
We know he is brave and not foolish, but how would Voldemort view him? He didn't come when he was called but came crawling in hours (?) later, probably begging for forgiveness because he couldn't Apparate while on Hogwarts grounds....


Chemyst - May 4, 2004 3:59 pm (#921 of 2956)
He didn't come when he was called... We can't know this from the text. I'd given my explanation on the What does Dumbledore hope to gain with Snape? thread in post # 76 and more thoroughly accounted on post #85.


S.E. Jones - May 4, 2004 4:53 pm (#922 of 2956)
I have to disagree with your assumptions in that post you linked to, Chemyst, though I can see why you made them. The thing is, I don't think Snape would have had time to get there and back before he had to arrive in the castle with Dumbledore and McGonagall. I agree that the Quidditch field is at most 30 minutes from Harry's dorm room, but the distance between the field and the boundary is different. Also, I still don't see why Dumbledore would want Snape gone from the Triward Tournament. If he saw it as a possible target, wouldn't he want Snape there to help control any situation that may erupt? He had no way of knowing that Voldemort was about to come back to life and so no need to send him away from the school so Voldemort could call Snape to him... So, if Snape was present and felt the Mark burn, he'd have to leave the tournament and walk/run to the edge of the school's boundary to Apparate which would have taken some time, I think. (Here is a map of Hogwarts from the Lexicon.) The scene in the graveyard, from the time Voldemort touches Pettigrew's Mark to the time he starts dueling with Harry, is far, far less than 30 minutes. Also, we know that no one could see what was going on inside the maze (from Ron and Hermione, OotP), so Dumbledore would've had no reason to assume that something horrible had happened to Harry, who he thought was in the maze. I expect that Snape, loyal to Dumbledore as ever, went straight to Dumbledore when his Mark burned black and then was sent into the maze to search for Harry (this is speculation). When Harry returned outside the maze, Snape and McGonagall were probably called directly to Dumbledore as soon as he realized the fake Moody had taken Harry and they then follow him to Moody's office (we can conclude this because they are seen in the mirror walking with Dumbledore and then arriving with Dumbledore at Moody's office), so Snape must've been present when Harry returned. Therefore, Snape wouldn't have had enough time to get to the graveyard and back....


Chemyst - May 5, 2004 5:15 am (#923 of 2956)
I'm so sorry, Sarah. You are so right about the post I linked to! It should have been post #98 This is the one that explains why I think there was enough time. In any case, I don't believe there is enough information given in the books to say that Snape was either of the two DEs Voldemort was referring to. One was Karkaroff, but he is both a coward and he left -- so it is a mystery that could go either way. The other most likely is Ludo, who also left as a coward. We will probably have to wait until the end of book 7 to know for sure. But this is a Snape thread, and since Snape is not a coward, and since he is still around, I don't think he was either of the two people Voldemort was talking about in the graveyard.


S.E. Jones - May 5, 2004 11:50 am (#924 of 2956)
But you are still assuming that Voldemort views Snape as we do, as a brave, intelligent character. I seriously doubt he does. I'm just saying you should take into consideration how Voldemort would see him. He already views most everyone else beneath him, as inferior in intelligence and guile.

As for your arguments, I still proffer my counterpoints above with the addition that the Dementors were not noticed because everyone was intent on watching the Quidditch match and so simply didn't see them, this doesn't indicate that the field is any closer to the boundary line than several minutes. And, again, there is the assumption that Dumbledore knew, somehow, that Voldemort was about to come back and had Snape ready, which he couldn't have.....


Padfoot - May 5, 2004 11:55 am (#925 of 2956)
Voldy might still see Snape the same way we saw him in the pensieve. Basically someone without a lot of power but with lots of rage and desire for power.


Gina R Snape - May 5, 2004 12:51 pm (#926 of 2956)
But Sarah, DD and co. were waiting the whole time for Voldemort to do something. The minute Harry's name showed up in the goblet, the staff were on high alert.

What cinches it for me, though, that Snape did not attend the Dark Lord's rebirth is your last point. Snape would have immediately apparated back and ran to DD's side to tell him everything. But that didn't happen. DD had to ask Harry what happened, and quickly figured out Moody wasn't Moody and gave him veritaserum for the rest of the details.


haymoni - May 5, 2004 5:42 pm (#927 of 2956)
I hadn't noticed it at first but when Harry starts to name the Death Eaters that were at the graveyard, Snape looks at him or moves toward him or something - can't remember - is it because Snape was there & he thinks that Harry will say his name?


Chemyst - May 6, 2004 4:28 am (#928 of 2956)
Harry shouting- "'I saw the Death Eaters! I can give you their names! Lucius Malfoy--' Snape made a sudden movement, but as Harry looked at him, Snapes's eyes flew back to Fudge."

Haymoni, if this is the passage you mean, then yes, those of us who think Snape was probably at the graveyard would interpret this to mean that Snape was concerned that perhaps, even though he was hooded, Harry had seen him and might blow his cover. If Snape was not at the graveyard, you'll need another explanation, possibly one involving breaking eye contact.

There is also the possibility that since Snape's eyes "flew back to Fudge," Snape was trying to manipulate Fudge's thoughts and response. If so, the slim proof is that Fudge proceeds to discredit what Harry is saying. So if Harry had been able to name Snape, Fudge would dismiss that the way he dismissed the naming of the others, (that Harry was merely repeating the names of those who had been acquitted years ago.) This has a rather sinister implication because it could mean that Snape was part of getting Lucius and the others "off the hook" and contributed support to Fudge's denial that Voldemort had returned. (And Snape could take then credit for sparing the DE's, which should help him gain Voldemort's confidence in whose side Snape is really on!)


septentrion - May 6, 2004 5:26 am (#929 of 2956)
Chemyst, I personnally don't know how to understand Snape's movement. I barely think he was at the graveyard because of lack of time but I don't think either he tried to manipulate Fudge's thoughts. I'm not even sure you can manipulate someone's thoughts in the WW. Plus Snape showed Fudge his dark mark, taking the risk to attract the ministry suspiscion. Perhaps his movement was made under stress, like the one he did when Moody/Crouch taunted him the night Harry went in the prefects' bathroom (sorry, don't have my books here to check the reference).


Verbina - May 6, 2004 8:14 am (#930 of 2956)
Hmmmm I took the look from Snape to Fudge after Lucius was mentioned had something to do with Lucius being named. Snape and Lucius are never shown together anywhere in the books yet one gets the feeling that they know each other well. And not just through the DE's Just a feeling I guess.

It is possible though to manipulate a person's memories or at least their words. Kingsley does it in OoP in Dumbledore's office with the girl that ratted out the DA. (Sorry can't recall her name)


Prefect Marcus - May 6, 2004 8:16 am (#931 of 2956)
I don't understand his movement either. But then, it took two more books before I understood his conversation with Lupin in POA "Snape's Grudge". Perhaps he was thinking, "Oh no, am I going to have to put my life on the line AGAIN?!? Is Fudge going to do something about this so I won't have to?"

I am one that doubts very much that Snape was at the graveyard. It really serves little purpose in the plot one way of the other.


Hagsquid - May 6, 2004 8:34 am (#932 of 2956)
Edited by May 6, 2004 9:35 am
Snape is well tallented with occulemency though, and we know that Voldemort can cause Harry to dream about certain things, which is controlling his thoughts.

"It is possible though to manipulate a person's memories or at least their words. Kingsley does it in OoP in Dumbledore's office with the girl that ratted out the DA. (Sorry can't recall her name)"

I understood this as he cast a memory charm on her (obliviate.)

Edit: Now I'll have to go read that bit again. heh.


Verbina - May 6, 2004 9:30 am (#933 of 2956)
No she had a glassy look on her face (what could be seen of it) and she was answering questions with the opposite of what Umbridge was saying. If she her memory wiped, she wouldn't have been able to give any answer.

Or do I have that completely wrong again???


Hagsquid - May 6, 2004 9:43 am (#934 of 2956)
I thought she just said she didn't remember....

Let me go check. Smile

I'll be darned. It sure does seem like he gave her a new set of memories. Now the question is: was he controlling her? did he change her memories? Is this somehow connected to "obliviate?"

In any case, I think we can assume that Snape might be able to control what Fudge was thinking.


Loopy Lupin - May 6, 2004 9:46 am (#935 of 2956)
Well, does "obliviate" necessarily have to obliviate the mind completely? The groundskeeper at the World Cup didn't become catatonic after being oblivated although he did say "Merry Christmas" in the middle of summer. Smile


Verbina - May 6, 2004 10:00 am (#936 of 2956)
hehe That's right he did!!!!

A little further on, after the huge ruckus in Dumbldroes' office, while Dumbledore is talking to Harry and McGonagall, DD mentions something about Kingsley doing it. Essentially giving her new memories. And the glassy eyed look seems to point to that while she was being questioned, Kingsley was creating the memories for her to answer with, sicne he really didn't know what the questions would be ahead of time.

Have to admire him for that one!

As for obliviate, I don't think it would erase everything. But with Lockhart it did. He intended for the memories of Harry and Ron to wiped clean so they would be "insane from grief over seeing her mangled body" (not exact but pretty close I think.) We have to remember though that he was messing with Ron's wand and it wasn't the best right then. ^_^


Padfoot - May 6, 2004 11:20 am (#937 of 2956)
When Kingsley was controlling Marietta (sp?), I don't think he changed her memories. I think he put some spell on her to make her "out of it". Then he controlled her body's movements (such as nodding or shaking of her head). Her eyes were glazed over. However when Lockheart's memory was erased, his eyes weren't glazed over. He asked plenty of questions too. Whereas Marietta didn't say anything.

Snape could have done this with Fudge, I think he is powerful enough to do so. However Fudge's eyes weren't glazed over. Nor did he ask the type of questions Lockheart asked (when his memory was affected). I don't have an answer for Snape's movement either. Very odd.


HP Fan - May 6, 2004 11:29 am (#938 of 2956)
Wow spend a few days away from the computer and look how things grow 59 messages to read!

Dumbledore say's Kingsley modified her memory, the glassy look is like what has been described before when someone's memory has been modified.

As for Snape manipulating Fudge's thoughts and whether it's possible in the Wizarding world. Voldemort uses Legilmency to manipulate Harry's thoughts, that's why they want Harry to learn Occulmency. As for Snape's movement it could just be a reaction to hearing a suspicion confirmed - he was perhaps wondering if Malfoy would have returned or not. After all if they know each other and Snape knows Malfoy fled from the mark at the world cup he might have wondered would he have gone back. I honestly don't think he could have been at the graveyard unless he used a time turner later in the evening to establish his presence.


Romana - May 7, 2004 5:50 am (#939 of 2956)
To echo Snape own words, "You can't apparate or dissaparate inside the school grounds" so I really don't think that Snape was at the graveyard.

As for Snape reaction to Malfoys name, I think it was surpirse. Perhaps Malfoy had convinced Snape that he had rejected Voldemort for good. Hearing his name from Harry would have been a surprise. What I quite like though is that Snape instantly accepts that Harry is telling the truth and does not question it or pick on him about it, as Fudge does.

Going briefly back to Karkaroff, he gave names of Death Eaters at the trail to escape Azkaban. I always wondered, does Snape? At his trial, (I think it is implied he had one, or at least a hearing) did he give names of Death Eaters? Just curious to see what you think.


Gina R Snape - May 7, 2004 6:23 am (#940 of 2956)
We don't know the details of Snape's DE discovery. All we know is that DD spoke on his behalf, which implies there was some kind of hearing. But I hope we get a pensieve scene of that some time in the next two books!

You make a really good point, Romana, about Snape immediately accepting Harry's story as truth. Snape is a very smart man who knows when people are 'up to something.' I don't think this case was a matter of Snape trusting Harry per se. I think he could just 'tell' that Harry was speaking the truth. He's spent enough years knowing what happens at DE meetings, and what the Dark Lord is like, to instinctively know what a likely story would be. He knows the dark mark is back on his arm. He knows what Harry is like when he's trying to cover or lie about something. And DD believes Harry.

By contrast, in PoA Snape knew there was something fishy going on...and he was right! It doesn't mean Snape's solution to the problem was the best or right one. But he knows a tricky mess when he sees one. Snape is seldom wrong when he puts two and two together as only he can. But it is what he thinks ought to happen as a result that sometimes misses the mark. This is what makes him an excellent spy but not a leader, which is fine. He doesn't strike me as particularly wanting to be a leader anyway.


Accio Sirius - May 7, 2004 8:33 am (#941 of 2956)
Gina, Very insightful! You definitely have a good read on dear old Snape. You're right in that he is an excellent spy but would be a poor choice for say, headmaster. I was wondering the other night, what would he be like if he ever got the DADA job? He seems so well suited for Potions. I apologize in advance if this was covered before somewhere.


Choices - May 7, 2004 9:21 am (#942 of 2956)
Dear Gina - Put me down for the Detention with Snape group. I recently watched Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves and I am hopelessly and desperately smitten. If I looked into the Mirror of Erised, I would see me and AR (as the Sheriff).


Gina R Snape - May 7, 2004 10:02 am (#943 of 2956)
Woohoo! Another one for the Detention with Snape club!!! You're on, darlin.


Padfoot - May 7, 2004 11:01 am (#944 of 2956)
That voice alone....mmmm.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, I really do like that Snape is so quick to catch on to mischief. I think he could be a leader if only he would master his emotions better. I am glad he is on our side (the good side). I think he is far more cunning than Lucius, which is saying something.


Hagsquid - May 7, 2004 2:27 pm (#945 of 2956)
So, occulemency... Snape can use this to see if someone is lying to him or not, right?

Is that why he always belives Malfoy when Malfoy lies to him about what just happened--usually after Harry and himself get in a fight.

Maybe Malfoy picked up his dear old dad's ability of being able to lie to even an experianced occulemency like Snape or Voldie? (Assuming Lucius has that ability at all...)


Padfoot - May 7, 2004 2:30 pm (#946 of 2956)
Snape might know that Draco is lying, but he wants to look the other way. It's a good excuse to keep Harry down.


Gina R Snape - May 7, 2004 7:42 pm (#947 of 2956)
Yes, that's what I think. In fact, I think Snape encourages this behaviour in Draco.

Maybe if he let's Draco believe he's a good liar, the kid will put his foot in his mouth when it really counts.


Psyche - May 8, 2004 12:21 am (#948 of 2956)
Something about Snape being such an excellent Occlumens has bothered me for a while now ... Harry, who has no idea how to perform Legilimency, manages to break into Snape's mind accidentally (I mean when he uses Protego and sees scenes from Snape's childhood). Then how is it possible that Snape can lie to Voldemort, who is a skilled Legilimes? If a fifteeen-year-old kid can break through his defences, wouldn't it be more than easy for a wizard as powerful as Voldemort?

Psyche


septentrion - May 8, 2004 12:42 am (#949 of 2956)
but maybe LV doesn't use the spell "legilimens" on Snape, maybe he just uses his abilities to know if he's told lies or not. Plus, in front of LV, Snape is prepared to defend himself and probably clears his mind before every meeting, if those meetings exist which isn't proved.


Romana - May 8, 2004 1:13 am (#950 of 2956)
Also, in OoTP Dimbledore says that harry has a power inside him that Voldemort doesn't. Pehaps this power makes him more powerful than Voldemort but he does not know it yet. When breaking through Snapes defenses perhaps he was using this power accidentally.

In the same book doesn't it say that Snape is skilled in Occulmens, I don't think it mentions legimens, perhaps whereas DD and Voldemort don't have to say the words in order to use the spell, Snape does. Hence Lucius fooling Snape (you never know!!!!) Smile
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Verbina - May 8, 2004 7:48 am (#951 of 2956)
It could be too that Snape underestimated Harry and really didn't think he could do that. He was after all teaching Harry how to protect his mind, not delve into someone elses. Harry just happened on a spell that protected him and dove into Snape mind. A fluke that Snape did not expect.


Prefect Marcus - May 8, 2004 8:46 am (#952 of 2956)
Yeah, that episode intrigued me too.

My working hypothesis is that Snape had opened a channel between their two minds. It has been one way. With the shock of the Protego spell, it started flowing the other way until Snape put an end to it.

Don't forget that Voldemort gave Harry some of his powers. We would have to be fools to assume that Parseltongue was the only one. Voldemort is a skilled Legilimens. Does it not make sense that a bit of that ended up in Harry, as well?


septentrion - May 8, 2004 10:17 am (#953 of 2956)
I on the contrary think that Snape has expected Harry to break in his mind because he used the pensieve to take some memories away.


Gina R Snape - May 8, 2004 10:49 am (#954 of 2956)
I definitely think Harry has powers he's only coming into realising. I also think Snape expected the possibility that Harry would gain access to his mind, but only took out 3 memories in the unlikely event that it did happen. He did seem surprised, I think, when it did happen. He was panting and shaken, but kept on with the lesson nonetheless.

Also, perhaps there is a limit to the number of memories one can take out and place in a pensieve before being "out of one's mind" so to speak. Hmmm, I think I'll go post that last though on the pensieve thread!


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - May 8, 2004 3:23 pm (#955 of 2956)
Also, I think Snape was surprised at the memories Harry was able to find. When Snape broke into Harry's mind he was able to recall things that even Harry had forgotten. Maybe that is the case here as well. Perhaps Snape had forgotten that scene with the hook-nosed man or one of the others and was more shaken by the remembering than by Harry's ability to reverse the spell.


vball man - May 8, 2004 6:27 pm (#956 of 2956)
psyche: Something about Snape being such an excellent Occlumens has bothered me for a while now ... Harry, who has no idea how to perform Legilimency, manages to break into Snape's mind accidentally (I mean when he uses Protego and sees scenes from Snape's childhood). Then how is it possible that Snape can lie to Voldemort, who is a skilled Legilimes? If a fifteeen-year-old kid can break through his defences, wouldn't it be more than easy for a wizard as powerful as Voldemort?

Remember that the legillimens spell was cast by Snape. Harry only deflected it back at him. So the quality of the spell would be according to the one who made it: Snape.


Chemyst - May 9, 2004 4:04 am (#957 of 2956)
Excellent point, vball guy. A shield would merely deflect, not create. Harry obtained germs of power from Voldemort, but he is going to have to work to develop them. I believe Snape is truly fascinated to watch this and sometimes treats Harry a bit like a lab mouse-- giving him little challenges just to see how he'll react. One scene from the books that supports this notion is the time Snape said that the usual rules don't seem to apply to you, Potter.


S.E. Jones - May 9, 2004 6:56 pm (#958 of 2956)
Vball man: Remember that the legillimens spell was cast by Snape. Harry only deflected it back at him.

I think you've hit on the very thing that allowed Harry access to Snape's mind -- the Shield Charm. Voldemort wouldn't be using Snape's own spell against him when trying to read his mind but would be using his own Legilimens spell. Also, can you do both at once? I mean, can Snape cast the Legilimens spell and use his Occlumency to guard against Harry trying to break into his thoughts at the same time? Maybe you have to use all your concentration for one or the other. Snape's supposed to be breaking into Harry's head, after all, not the other way around, so maybe he hadn't really worried about it but, as Gina said, put certain memories in the pensieve just in case.


The giant squid - May 10, 2004 12:13 am (#959 of 2956)
can Snape cast the Legilimens spell and use his Occlumency to guard against Harry trying to break into his thoughts at the same time?

I think he could. The way it's described, Occlumency isn't so much a spell as a trained ability. You have a point about the level of concentration required, which may account for the fact that Harry managed to break through. The bulk of Snape's concentration was on his spell rather than Occlumency because he wasn't expecting an attack at that moment.

If Snape were in a "meeting" with LV he'd be putting all the will he had into Occlumenting himself instead.

--Mike


S.E. Jones - May 10, 2004 12:45 am (#960 of 2956)
That was my point exactly, Mike. Thanks for phrasing it so much better than I....


The giant squid - May 10, 2004 12:48 am (#961 of 2956)
Well, it was about time. Usually I'm the one phrasing it badly & Sherbie Lemon has to come in & clean it up. Very Happy


Padfoot - Jul 18, 2004 7:04 pm (#962 of 2956)
I wonder if there is a way to detect someone is using Occlumency? Is there any way for Voldemort to discover Snape is using this? I mean other than Snape not concentrating and Voldy going inside his mind.


Detail Seeker - May 10, 2004 11:32 am (#963 of 2956)
I think, things are a bit more complicated. If Voldemort realizes, he cannot enter Snape´s mind at all, he will have to become suspicious -because this shows, that occlumency could be used. A good base for a repenting Snape coming to "his master", begging for mercy.

So, much more difficult, Snape will have to organize his mind in such a way, that there is an accessable area and an unaccessable kernel. Both must be logically consistent. No thought, no memory, that might betray Snape is allowed to remain in the accessable area - quite a task, if you ask me.

The Pensieve might be helpful to do the organizing (perhaps the main reaon, why Dumbledore lent it to Snape) and to secure the most reveiling memories, while encountering Voldemort.

As Snape has done this successfully (as we may believe, though I would not take this for granted), my respect for his powers is increasing quite a bit.


septentrion - May 10, 2004 12:01 pm (#964 of 2956)
yeah, Snape seems to have greater powers than we could expect regarding the informations we had till now.

I've finished rereading PoA today and I was struck by the fact than Sirius showed no remorse for having spent Snape to a werewolf, which is equal to a murder. But if I remember well, he told Harry in OoTP that he wasn't very proud of the attitude we saw in the pensieve. Why that difference ? Did something happen , or did Snape do anything, between the 2 events that made Sirius think Snape deserved a date with a werewolf ? (I think the pensieve incident happened before the werewolf incident). I know we have already discussed this topic but this question is rambling around my head tonight.


S.E. Jones - May 10, 2004 2:10 pm (#965 of 2956)
Yeah, I noticed that coldness in Sirius too, septentrion. It's part of the reason I thought maybe Snape had done something against James, leading to Sirius taking revenge or feeling like he had to protect him somehow by getting rid of Snape (we all know Sirius is willing to die for James and I'm betting he's just as willing to kill for him).

Detail Seeker, wonderfully put. In fact, I think Snape says something similar in OotP about using Occlumency to only allow Voldemort access to unincriminating memories while blocking those memories that give him away as a spy. Bravo!....


Choices - May 10, 2004 5:47 pm (#966 of 2956)
Perhaps in the past Snape has used the pensieve to store....shall we say "incriminating memories", so that there is no possibility of detection should someone try to enter his mind. What simply isn't there, can't be discovered.


S.E. Jones - May 10, 2004 7:45 pm (#967 of 2956)
I doubt it since it is supposed to be Dumbledore's pensieve (from what we can tell via Harry) and it has it's own cabinet in his office. Snape apparently only had access to it for the Occlumency lessons.

I found the comment I mentioned earlier that supported what Detail Seeker said: "It is true, however, that those who have mastered Legilimency 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." (Snape describing Legilimency and Occlumency - OotP, ch24, pg530-531, US).


Verbina - May 10, 2004 8:15 pm (#968 of 2956)
But that sort of leads us to something else. Is there a chance that Snape has not been entirly truthful with Dumbeldore? Unless he took that truth potion, there would really be no way to know.

I'm not trying to say he is a traitor or anything. Just that it is something that he could possibly do.


S.E. Jones - May 10, 2004 8:37 pm (#969 of 2956)
Good question... Unless maybe there was some situation, not some memory or thought but an actual physical cercumstance, that told Dumbledore where Snape's loyalties lie? Still...

From the World Day Chat, March 4, 2004:
Ali: Why specifically does Dumbledore trust Snape?
JK Rowling replies -> Another excellent and non-answerable question. I shall merely say that Snape has given Dumbledore his story and Dumbledore believes it.


Weeny Owl - May 10, 2004 10:53 pm (#970 of 2956)
I know it's been mentioned that Snape put three memories into the Pensieve, but those three are what Harry saw. It's possible that before Harry entered, Snape had put tons more in.

I do find it interesting that Snape can shut down his feelings so Voldie won't know he's lying, but he can't quite shut them down where Harry is concerned. What could possibly have happened to make Snape react with such extremes with Harry? If Voldie, Harry, and Snape were in the same room together, I wonder if Snape's ability with Occlumency might not be up to par because he's too busy fuming about Harry.


Choices - May 11, 2004 8:50 am (#971 of 2956)
Even if the pensieve belonged to Dumbledore, he would most certainly lend it to Snape if Snape were going on some secret mission for Dumbledore where he might encounter someone who would try to read his thoughts and could possible discover where Snape's loyalties lie.


Accio Sirius - May 11, 2004 12:19 pm (#972 of 2956)
Weeny Owl, I don't think it ever crossed Snape's mind that Harry had the power to get into his mind. I think Snape believes Harry has gotten by on luck and fame and doesn't (or didn't at that point) recognize his burgeoning powers. I think that Harry's emerging talents and Snapes influence and guidance may provide a bridge between the two characters in future books--or at least I hope.


Dumbly-dorr - May 11, 2004 6:54 pm (#973 of 2956)
I was thinking about the discussion a few posts back about Snape's ability to use occlumency to keep Voldemort out of his mind, specifically with what Detail Seeker said in post 963. Snape does seem powerful, at least that's the impression that JKR gives through the students. They are all afraid of him, specifically in PS/SS, when the characters are being built for us. The thought occured to me how, whenever anyone is in Voldemort's presence they are always bowing to him, never looking at him directly, and eye contact is essential for legilemency. The quote is that The Dark Lord, for instance, almost always knows when somebody is lying to him. In the 1970's people always talked about 'vibes' they received from other people. Is there a certain 'vibe' that Voldemort senses when someone is lying? Kind of like a polygraph machine that detects increased heart rate, persperation, etc. Can Voldemort, perhaps, detect something along these lines? Not necessarily through muggle means but maybe through magical means? Does this question even make sense? Snape goes to some lengths to berate Harry for thinking that legilemency is as crude as mind-reading, that the mind is not to be simply opened and read as a book. So, perhaps Snape is initially able to keep Voldemort from sensing he is lying by intentionally not giving off those lying 'vibes' that would alert Voldemort that he is lying or even hiding information. Actually, that would also fit into something else Snape said about heroes (or was it fools) who always wear their heart's on their sleeves, leaving themselves open to showing their enemies their weaknesses. And Snape seems proud that he was able to harness his emotions. Can anyone make sense of what I've just said. Just unorganized thoughts that haven't come together yet.


S.E. Jones - May 11, 2004 7:17 pm (#974 of 2956)
Actually, the "vibe" thing kind of makes sense, Dumbly-dorr. It certainly would explain how Snape, Dumbledore, and Lupin could apparently "read" Harry's mind (I'm referring here to those references of 'as if he'd read Harry's mind' that are associated with these three characters) in some situations without having to actually utter "Legilimens". For instance, when Snape knew he was lying about stealing potion ingredients in GoF but didn't know that Harry was thinking of the time Hermione stole them and when Dobby stole them for him.... (I think that made sense...)


Chemyst - May 12, 2004 4:50 am (#975 of 2956)
Yet Harry never had to enter Snape's office to steal the ingredients since others stole them for him: Hermione in CS, and Dobby in GF. Didn't Snape make the accusation in OP? And wasn't Harry was looking right at Snape when he denied stealing? (I've already spent too long looking for that reference.) Anyway, Snape must have been very confused by the "vibes" he'd get from that denial since the truth was not matching the evidence. If Snape "read Harry's mind," then he knew Harry hadn't taken anything from his office, even though he'd as-good-as-stolen them himself since he willingly accepted the stolen goods.


Romana - May 12, 2004 6:25 am (#976 of 2956)
I don@t think Lupin can 'read' peoples minds, I just think he is shrewd enough to guess what is going on in the mind of a kid, having been a bit of a tearaway himself. Smile

Also I would like to point out that just because Harry thinks it is Dumbledore's pensive Snape is using, doesn't mean it is. I think Snape has his own pensive.


Tomoé - May 12, 2004 8:26 am (#977 of 2956)
The scene you are looking for is in GoF, chapter 27, Chemyst. I won't copy the scene here, it last almost a page long.


Choices - May 12, 2004 8:28 am (#978 of 2956)
We don't know much about pensieves or how rare they are and Dumbledore is the only one we know of that has one for sure. It is possible, of course, that Snape could have one, but I am more inclined to think that it is Dumbledore's that he uses.


Romana - May 12, 2004 9:18 am (#979 of 2956)
Why?


Prefect Marcus - May 12, 2004 10:06 am (#980 of 2956)
Edited by May 12, 2004 11:07 am
Romana,

Because the book says it is. To put the onus back on you, why would it NOT be Dumbledore's? In other words, what reason is there for Harry to be mistaken in thinking that the pensieve Snape is using belongs to Dumbledore? What useful purpose would it serve?

Marcus


Choices - May 12, 2004 12:16 pm (#981 of 2956)
Thank you, Prefect Marcus. Well said.


Chemyst - May 12, 2004 2:52 pm (#982 of 2956)
Thanks, Tomoé. That was the place! The line I wanted was, "Harry stared back at Snape, determined not to blink..." So he definitely had eye contact. Snape wouldn't be able to detect a lie about Harry being his office, but he may have known Harry was lying when he claimed to not know anything about it. I figure Snape was getting mixed signals and that is when he threatened to put veritaserum in the pumpkin juice.

As for the Pensieve ~ I have two reasons for believing that Dumbledore's is one-of-a-kind. First, Harry recognized the runes; even if he can't read runes well, that would be distinctive. Secondly, Pensieve is always CAPITALIZED in the books, even though most don't follow that here on the forum. But that makes it a proper noun, and like a named individual, that would distinguish it as a particular item.


S.E. Jones - May 12, 2004 3:35 pm (#983 of 2956)
That's kind of what I meant, as far as getting the mixed signals/vibes. Harry never hears him say "Legilimens" so he isn't seeing the scenes play in Harry's head of Hermione slipping around the corner into Snape's office or of Dobby handing him the Gillyweed but he can still tell Harry isn't being completely honest with him about not knowing anything about the missing ingredients (Snape's probably thinking more along the lines of Crouch, Jr. stealing the ingredients for his polyjuice potion).... Thus Snape's feeling "vibes" but not using the full Legilimency spell. That's what I meant....


Choices - May 12, 2004 4:20 pm (#984 of 2956)
Good observations about the Pensieve, Chemyst! I believe if it is not one of a kind, it is one of very few.


Little Ginny - May 13, 2004 4:43 am (#985 of 2956)
This is a slightly different topic, but as it is also part of the Pensieve action, I will place this idea here nonetheless.

I have been wondering whether JKR perhaps wanted to mislead us about the kind of memories Snape stored in the Pensieve. She called the chapter with the Pensieve scene "Snape's worst memory", although neither Snape nor Harry say that it is indeed Snape's worst memory. To me, this was a bit too obvious, it was almost crying "Red Herring!".

So I thought that maybe the memories Snape really stored in the Pensieve were not those that were most painful to him, but those that were most dangerous, like perhaps, him plotting with Dumbledore against Voldemort or such stuff.

Admittedly, there was no really "dangerous" memory in the scene we and Harry watched in the Pensieve, but we do not know how that episode ended so that it is possible that in the end Snape began to contact Dark magicians like Voldemort or his followers for the first time because he wanted revenge so deeply. This would certainly be a memory that could have consequences for him if it was known.

By the way, if Snape stores "dangerous" thoughts rather than painful thoughts in the Pensieve, he might do this every time before he goes to see Voldemort (if he does), so that Volders won't find any memories of Snape being friendly with Dumbledore or meeting Order members if he should happen to break through Snape's defence.

I don't know if this is very likely to be, so just tell me what you think about it.


Choices - May 13, 2004 8:23 am (#986 of 2956)
Little Ginny - I, too, think Snape stores dangerous memories in the Pensieve - ones he would not want Voldemort to discover should he be able to break into Snape's mind. When he was with Harry though, in the lessons, I think he stored other memories that pertained to his relationship with James and the Mauraders when they were at Hogwarts and perhaps painful childhood memories he wished not to share with Harry.


haymoni - May 13, 2004 9:16 am (#987 of 2956)
I think he also may have stored Voldy memories in the Pensieve.

If Harry knew the extent of Snape's spydom, Snape's cover could be blown if Voldy was getting Harry's thoughts.


Choices - May 13, 2004 4:50 pm (#988 of 2956)
Good thought Haymoni - Voldy memories would be a must for storage.


septentrion - May 20, 2004 6:09 am (#989 of 2956)
I don't know if it's relevant, but when rewatching PS once again, I noticed Snape frowned particularly at Harry in the "up to something" scene. He first looks at Hermione who tries to find something to tell, has a quick look at Ron, and you know he guesses they're looking for a lie. But when he comes to Harry, Snape really frowns hard and I couldn't help to think he used legilimency at that moment. I've read that JKR gave Alan Rickman some Snape's background to help him play the character and I wondered if legilimency wasn't in that background information. Anyway Snape's words are carefully chosen, he says "people would think you are up to something" because he really thinks they're up to something, he's seen it in Harry's eyes but can't figure out what it was. I think he just tried HRH to do something stupid and dangerous. What do you think of it ?


Gina R Snape - May 20, 2004 7:37 am (#990 of 2956)
Well, I think it's not terribly difficult to psych kids out sometimes. He definitely was trying to scare them and let them know he was watching. But, he was in a way also preparing them for their snooping. This is the funny thing about Snape. In his own way both movie and canon Snape point out that the kids get caught doing things. No Slytherin worth his salt would get caught doing anything wrong. He may, in addition to trying to protect Harry, also be trying to prepare him for the Order down the line. Thoughts?

P.S. Gawd I love that scene! Makes me laugh every time, and cheer when he 'appears out of thin air' because his in actuality his robes had merely blended in with the door down the hallway. I could totally see canon Snape blending in with dark corners as a spy technique.


haymoni - May 20, 2004 8:43 am (#991 of 2956)
Gina - and yes, I know I'm supposed to use the Chat thing, but this was too good - Alan Rickman's fall in "Die Hard" was voted the #4 greatest movie death of all time in some critics' poll. I read it in an article that was listed on Yahoo today. (#1 was the "Psycho" shower scene.)

Anyway - I love that scene too, but mostly because I remember the line in the book where Harry says he feels that Snape can read minds. Was Harry just intuitive or did he actually feel Snape trying to access his memories?


Gina R Snape - May 20, 2004 10:40 am (#992 of 2956)
There's a number if instances where one might deduce legilimency in retrospect. It was on another thread. You might want to do a search and see if it didn't get mulched.

I tend to think Snape did not use legilimency, that he merely has a good handle on kids. I mean, how many parents on this forum know, without magical aid, when their kids are lying? Snape's been teaching eleven (ten?) years by the time Harry shows up. And he's a Slytherin, which means his internal 'BS meter' as I call it is tuned waaaaay high anyway. Had he used legilimency in GoF, for instance, he would have known it wasn't Harry who pinched the gillyweed from his stores.

As for the Die Hard scene, yeah I think I heard that somewhere. Tres cool!


septentrion - May 20, 2004 11:05 am (#993 of 2956)
Excuse me folks for the blank line in my post above, I didn't intend it. But if you highlight it, you'll see what I've written.


Gina R Snape - May 20, 2004 12:06 pm (#994 of 2956)
Eh? I didn't see a blank line.


septentrion - May 20, 2004 12:11 pm (#995 of 2956)
the blank line has disappeared ! My computer is cursed !


LyndaLou - May 20, 2004 1:26 pm (#996 of 2956)
I think that Snape, while able to keep his own feelings under wraps, is very intuitive about the feelings of others. So he seems to know what is going on because he picks up on what the kids are up to. Did that make sense?


S.E. Jones - May 20, 2004 1:38 pm (#997 of 2956)
Had he used legilimency in GoF, for instance, he would have known it wasn't Harry who pinched the gillyweed from his stores.

I've heard the suggestion that there are two levels of legilimency. One where you just sort of skim the surface and get a sense of emotions (being able to read when someone's lying, when they're worried or scared, etc.), giving you a sense of the situation, and one where you actually say "Legilimens" and can access the actual memory that tells you exactly what you want to know. If that theory is true, Snape could've been using the first level when talking to Harry in GoF. "I don't know what you're talking about," Harry lied coldy. (GoF, ch27, pg516, US). Of course, Harry was thinking of Hermione breaking into Snape's office for the Polyjuice Potion ingredients and Dobby for the Gillyweed, but Snape may have been reading that Harry was lying and interpretted it as Harry lying about himself being in the office. Without using the second level of Legilimency, he couldn't be sure. When he threatens him with the Veritaserum, I think it is only to clarify things for himself. Harry is worried when he hears the threat because he doesn't want to disclose Sirius's position. Snape might have read this worry and interpretted it to mean that he was on the right track, that Harry was indeed lying about stealing the ingredients. In other words, the serum was nothing more than a simple way of proving a hypothesis to Snape without using the full Legilimency spell. It also serves to introduce the potion to us, the readers, for later use in the story. Just my two knuts anyway....


Weeny Owl - May 20, 2004 2:25 pm (#998 of 2956)
I agree that with Harry worried about Hermione and Dobby, his visceral reaction might suggest that he's lying. He does know ingredients were stolen, he knows who stole them, and he probably is exuding guilt even if he himself didn't do the stealing.

Of course, with the Polyjuice ingredients, he was the one who disrupted the class, and that would cause some guilt feelings as well.


Accio Sirius - May 20, 2004 4:22 pm (#999 of 2956)
There's a great speech from Christopher Walken in True Romance where he talks about the number of giveaways people have when they are lying. Men have something like 23, women have more. I don't know if it's true or not, but I agree that Snape probably has some inherent skills in reading behavior as well as legilimency.

Gina, just out of curiosity, where you an Alan Rickman fan who became an HP/Snape fan because of him or did you read the books/watch movies and become an Alan Rickman fan? Just wondering which side of Snape you came from--you know what I mean? ; )


Gina R Snape - May 20, 2004 6:57 pm (#1000 of 2956)
I was a Snape fan before I knew who Alan Rickman was. After I connected with Rickman's Snape, I went back and discovered the rest of his body of works.

As for the legilimency, Snape does say one must interpret what they find correctly. As such, this multiple levels of legilimency idea does make some sense. But even without it, the notion of the 'tell' is more than just a poker concept. Some people are better at 'reading people' than others. And being a spy and a Slytherin, again, I say he's learned a lot about how to detect if someone is lying before even including magical ability.
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Post  Mona on Mon May 23, 2011 12:04 am

eggplant - May 23, 2004 5:21 am (#1001 of 2956)
If you want to understand Professor Snape I strongly advise you visit:

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

If you have a slow dial up it might take about a minute to load but I guarantee you patience will be rewarded. It?s a real education, for the first time I fell like I know what makes Snape tick.

Eggplant


Chemyst - May 23, 2004 5:26 am (#1002 of 2956)
Very insightful, Eggplant. That nails it.


Gina R Snape - May 23, 2004 6:05 am (#1003 of 2956)
Oh, Eggplant, I love that one!!!! Heeeeee.


Choices - May 23, 2004 8:56 am (#1004 of 2956)
Sorry, but I don't like to see Snape looking foolish. It somehow demeans him and makes him look less formidable - not at all how I like to picture him, even in fun.


Gina R Snape - May 24, 2004 10:30 am (#1005 of 2956)
Well, Choices. The fandom has loads of stuff like that. But, I surely think if Severus Snape himself could, he would hex anyone who did that to his image from here to the next galaxy!


Catherine - May 24, 2004 11:08 am (#1006 of 2956)
I felt guilty laughing at the "I'm Too Sexy" Snape, but I did anyway. I agree with Gina that Snape would probably have a choice hex (or poison) for anyone who made him look foolish!


Prefect Marcus - May 24, 2004 11:34 am (#1007 of 2956)
Edited by May 24, 2004 12:34 pm
No, I don't think he would hex them. He would make their lives miserable in Potions, though. That's what he did to Neville after the boggart incident. :-)

I still laugh at the Yule Feast that year when he and Dumbledore pull a cracker and out pops a witches hat with a stuffed vulture! That scene has so many choice bits in it, I hope they don't cut it. The dialogue between Trelawney and McGonagall is priceless!


Emily - May 24, 2004 3:36 pm (#1008 of 2956)
I couldn't get there. Is it just my computer?

I think Snape didn't hex Neville because DD doesn't allow the staff to use spells on the students.


Chemyst - May 24, 2004 3:41 pm (#1009 of 2956)
Choices, I understand where you are coming from and respect your opinion. On the other hand, I think Harry Potter and most Hogwarts residents would react a lot like Catherine Allen and feel a little guilty, but laugh anyway.

So, no one thinks Snape might be secretly flattered at being thought of as sexy? Hm... No, 'guess not.


Choices - May 24, 2004 4:53 pm (#1010 of 2956)
Chemyst: So, no one thinks Snape might be secretly flattered at being thought of as sexy?

I think that's a part of his appeal, he is above that sort of thing. He just exudes power and confidence. It was very difficult for me to read his "worst memory" because it showed him vulnerable and weak and that is not how I want to see my favorite Potions Master.


Iverson Godfrey - May 24, 2004 10:21 pm (#1011 of 2956)
I think he would assume it to be a prank and would be insulted. I think he still carries around a lot of the insecurity and vulnerability that we see in the Snape's worst memory chapter and that is part of the reason he is so nasty and condesending. He doesn't want to expose his weakness.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - May 25, 2004 11:41 am (#1012 of 2956)
Well, I think for a man, who as a boy, was ridiculed in school, a little adoration of his sex appeal would be greatly appreciated. He just probably wouldn't admit it. ; )


Gina R Snape - May 25, 2004 12:13 pm (#1013 of 2956)
LOL. I completely agree, Kim.

I have to add, I feel a kippendo on the way for this string of comments...


Tomoé - May 25, 2004 5:06 pm (#1014 of 2956)
"I have been told that you have already shown aptitude at resisting the Imperius Curse. You will find that similar powers are needed for [Occlumency]..."

Does that mean Severus is also able to easily overthrow the imperius curse?


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - May 25, 2004 5:17 pm (#1015 of 2956)
Good catch Tomoe! So, if in the future, Snape betrays the Order can we assume he did it through his own free will?

Gina, a kippendo? For shame, Snape deserves some props for his undeniable appeal. Kip can't deny him that, can he? ; )


haymoni - May 25, 2004 5:42 pm (#1016 of 2956)
Yes - how would Severus know that similar talents are needed for Occlumency unless he was able to throw off the Imperius Curse himself.

Wonder if that's what he's been doing - faking the Imperius Curse - "Lucius Malfoy's lapdog" - Lucius could have "Imperio'd" him long ago. Although, why would Umbridge have said that Lucius spoke highly of Snape? Maybe so she would trust Severus and then the DEs would have another Ministry connection? Hmm..

All I know is that Professor Snape is one great "double nought" spy.


Tomoé - May 25, 2004 5:51 pm (#1017 of 2956)
Maybe that's one of the reason Dumbledore trust him so much, he can't be tricked to do think he doesn't mean.

P. S. : Good point haymoni, how could Snape know if he didn't experience it first hand.


Catherine - May 26, 2004 2:05 pm (#1018 of 2956)
Maybe we shouldn't use Kip's name when we talk about Snape's, er, appeal. Perhaps that is similar to the fear inspired by "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Perhaps that would attract him to this thread and cause a kippendo.

Oops, I just used Kip's name twice now. I mean, the "Big K."

Back to Snape, so that this thread has at least a tiny bit of relevancy, I would agree with anyone who finds him fascinating and appealing in a way I can't quite identify.

Prefect Marcus [/b]- May 26, 2004 2:38 pm (#1019 of 2956)
The reason he is so intriguing is that he is not a standard cookie-cutter character. He has so many facets. He is an evil good guy.


Dumbledore - May 26, 2004 3:06 pm (#1020 of 2956)
I agree with you Tomoe! The fact that Snape is known as a "superb Occlumens" must mean that he has at least SOME power to resist the Imperius Curse. I have always thought of Snape as a fairly powerful wizard (more powerful than he lets on, at least) so I wouldn't be surprised if he could throw off the Imperius Curse completely.


Tomoé - May 26, 2004 7:00 pm (#1021 of 2956)
Does that mean, in the end, Snape and Dumbledore (if he live long enough, that is) will be the only persons Harry could trust because all the other could be imperiused.


S.E. Jones - May 27, 2004 1:19 am (#1022 of 2956)
I came across an old text document on my computer the other night while searching for something and, after sweeping away some dust and cobwebs, found that it contained some excellent posts about Snape from some of members that was posted on the EZboards some time ago. It contains, among other things, some interesting psychological insights, especially the analysis done by Gina (I always love hearing Gina's psychological character analyses. I'd love to hear more on other characters. *hint hint* ). Anyway, I can post pieces or something if anyone wants to hear any of the posts....


Accio Sirius - May 27, 2004 4:06 am (#1023 of 2956)
I would love to read them Sarah!


Chemyst - May 27, 2004 4:15 am (#1024 of 2956)
Go for it, Sarah! --- and thanks.


Gina R Snape - May 27, 2004 7:44 am (#1025 of 2956)
Oh, Sarah. You are too kind.

Go ahead, please do post some of our old posts. It would be fun to read (or read again as the case may be...).

I do like this idea, Tomoe, regarding the Imperius curse. It may well turn out that DD, Snape (and perhaps McGonagall since they are a team of 3) will be the only ones beyond imperius. JKR has the potential to make this a very very very paranoid world for Harry to live in. I hope she doesn't go that route completely, as it will be too unnerving I think, and could border on the ridiculous if all of a sudden everyone is being controlled by a death eater.

But Harry never trusts what Snape is up to. So, it would be a double-edged sword in this case. Yes, he's not being imperiod. But, what is he up to? I hope one day Harry does come to trust and depend upon Snape to some extent. They need not be 'buddies' but certainly to find a way to work together.


mike miller - May 27, 2004 8:33 am (#1026 of 2956)
Harry will never trust Professor Snape on his own. Trust has to be earned; and, from Harry's perspective Severus has done nothing to change Harry's opinion. Severus has somehow earned DD's trust; but, he will have to take the first steps with Harry.


Diagon Nilly - May 27, 2004 8:47 am (#1027 of 2956)
I *still* don't understand why Harry will suddenly never "forgive" Snape at the end of OOP. What did Snape do that was SO terrible...aside from being his usual cantankerous self?


haymoni - May 27, 2004 9:02 am (#1028 of 2956)
He needled Sirius.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - May 27, 2004 9:02 am (#1029 of 2956)
Edited by Denise P. May 27, 2004 6:42 pm
Snape is Harry's scapegoat.

Harry can think to himself, if Snape had given me some indication that he was going to contact Sirius, I would have checked back with him before going to the MOM.

Snape has been less than kind to Harry from the get-go, and certainly in the very beginning, without any provocation. Just as Snape has blamed Harry for the sins of his father, so has Harry blamed Snape for his ties to Voldemort. Neither can see the other in an unblemished light.

It is easier for Harry to blame Snape for the circumstances which lead up to Sirius' death than for Harry to accept his responsibility in them. And although I think he was getting there by the end, it mollifies his guilty feelings somewhat to be able to say, if Snape had handled things differently, then so would have I. Also, if Snape hadn't been such a total git to him his whole time at Hogwarts, Harry would have been more inclined to believe that he was faithfully fighting for the Order rather than always questioning his loyalty.

Likewise, if Snape could see his way clear to separating the reality of Harry from his memories of James, perhaps he could forge a relationship that could be mutually beneficial to both, or at least to the Order, which they are both so committed to.


Prefect Marcus - May 27, 2004 10:35 am (#1030 of 2956)
Very profound, Kim. I think you hit the nail on the head.


S.E. Jones - May 27, 2004 10:51 am (#1031 of 2956)
Okay, you guys asked and I shall deliver. Be warned, though, there's a few of them. Here's the first one:

Brockenhexe (7/12/03 7:11 pm)
Re: Ah, but don't forget
Ah,well, since you asked, Gina. Here is my theory:
I don't think, that yelling was all his father did. Severus came to Hogwarts knowing all kinds of Hexes and Dark Curses,that should have been well above his skill level. There is always the probability, that he was not exactly taught those curses, but that it was something he picked up, when they were done to him or his mother. (J.K. doesn't have to go into detail here with vivid descriptions. There are younger readers of the books, that would be greatly disturbed.) Children that come from an abusive home (especially physically abusive) are generally very withdrawn and don't make friends easily (-and if it's only to hide the disfunction in their family). Sounds like someone we know?
Most seriously abused children don't exactly behave like little angels and are seriously rebellious in their youth. Snape probably joined Voldemort for a number of reasons. He fit in with his abilities; he hoped to gain power over his abusive father and make him stop; he probably used the secrecy and closed ranks of the DE's as a kind of surrogate family and maybe he saw in Tom Riddle someone that was like him,someone that would finally understand what he went through. Given these eventualities, it would have been a miracle for him NOT to get involved with the Dark Lord, especially with him being in Slytherin and being tormented by those horrible morons (sorry, James Gang lovers) during his school days.
I guess he left the organization when he felt in some way betrayed by Voldemort or someone he considered a close friend.
Dumbledore probably only then realized, what Severus went through and tried to replace the positive "father figure" that Severus was looking for. (I sometimes wonder if he uses Severus on some level, much the same way Voldemort probably had, as an informant and spy. Which begs the question if Severus thinks along the same lines, and worries about being used?)
And for those that argue along the lines of "Well, Harry turned out o.k." Harry was being neglected. It states nowhere that he was physically abused by Mr. or Mrs. Dursley. Dudders doesn't really count, being a child himself. Besides, the Dursleys were Harry's relatives, not his parents. He always had the mental refuge, that his parents loved him (or love him still), and that on some level, he believed he was lovable.
Severus probably never had the experience of feeling "lovable". That's probably why he doesn't care for his appearance very much.
Deep down he believes, that something is fundamentally wrong with him, something a good shampoo won't cure.


Padfoot - May 27, 2004 11:05 am (#1032 of 2956)
I agree with Kim regarding why Harry blames Snape. I get mad at Harry when he doesn't try to fix the relationship between the two. And likewise do the same at Snape.

As to Snape's background, I figured he was abused physically besides just verbally. So Brockenhexe makes a lot of sense. After reading the lines: Severus probably never had the experience of feeling "lovable". That's probably why he doesn't care for his appearance very much. Deep down he believes, that something is fundamentally wrong with him, something a good shampoo won't cure. I just want to give Severus a big hug now.


S.E. Jones - May 27, 2004 11:14 am (#1033 of 2956)
Okay, here's another one, this time from Gina:

Gina R Snape (7/13/03 10:48 pm)
Re: Severus Snape
Bluenote wrote: "Look, the way Snape is written, up until the end of book 4 when he went to do what Dumbledore asked him to do, I thought he was a pretty evil guy. Yes, he protected Harry from Quirell in the first book, but outside of that one incident (which could have been becasue he owed James and never had a chance to repay him) we had seen NOTHING in CoS, PoA and GoF to show that he was a redeeming character."

I'd like to offer something of my POV regarding Snape, not the lust-after-Rickman portrayal. But an honest examination of his character. So, please bear with me.

Snape does something for Harry's benefit in every single book. And he shows unprecedented loyalty to Dumbledore and the side of good.

The Snape I see is a complex and fascinating man. Snape has the feel of a man who's been around the block a few times and has the scars to show it... but he's not yet reached an age where the tell-tale signs of wisdom, thoughtful reflection and patience start kicking in. He's clearly had a hard life, even if we only know a smattering of details (we can make respectable guesses)...and he's been around long enough to become hardened, cynical and embittered.

Yet there's still those traces of an angry young man: He harbours a lot of rage, resentment and jealousy...and has a nasty, often childish and petty, vindictive streak running through him. There's an underlying hint of an insecure person desperately seeking respect, who's unsure of his mark and his worth in the world and is seemingly disappointed that he hasn't become more than he has.

He is extremely intelligent. His comments are seen as mean by the kids, but are often quite funny and sharp. And his interactions with McGonagall, for example, are biting but actually quite playful. However, children do not understand sarcasm, and these books are written from Harry's POV. Which is why so many readers see him as a bad guy. But he is not. He is complicated. He is on the side of good, but he is not nice. Like Sirius says in OoP, the world is not made up of good people and death eaters.

Snape teaches a kind of tough love. He is not kind to the kids. But he is strategic. He makes sure they learn what he thinks they need to learn to ready themselves for what's out there. It was Snape who taught Harry Expelliarmus in book two. Which wound up saving his life in book 4. It is Snape who loses it in book 3 because -- and he tells Harry this-- so many people are working on his benefit to protect his life. He is frustrated with Harry because he and so many others are doing so much for his benefit. In fact, in PoA, Lupin tells Harry the same exact message as Snape, only Lupin is nice so Harry actually listens to him.

Snape has been watching over Harry and trying to get him to follow rules and learn how to think strategically (eg. when to keep his mouth shut) for five years for Harry's own protection. He just isn't nice about doing it, so people think he's an evil, greasy git.

What makes him attractive as a character is this combination of dark inner struggle, difficult past, extreme intelligence, snarkiness, committment to good, and battling his inner deamons and urges on what frankly seems like a daily basis. I want to know what horrors he faced as a death eater. It will make his turn-around all that more dramatic. Brave. Romantic. Heroic. Tragic. And funny. I laugh out loud at many of his "lines" in the book. It's a kind of black humour not everyone gets. I want to see how dark he has been and can become. It makes his struggle against it all the more real. All the more fascinating. It adds a depth to his character beyond many others in HP in my opinion.


Gina R Snape - May 27, 2004 12:46 pm (#1034 of 2956)
Damn. I think I've lost my edge somewhere in the past year, spending all my time squeeing like a fangirl these days.

btw, Brochenhexe's thoughts (aka Ari) inspired me to consider a fanfiction about it. And have totally shaped my view of his childhood. Having worked with abused children in therapeutic settings, I kick myself for not having thought of it first!


S.E. Jones - May 27, 2004 1:13 pm (#1035 of 2956)
Wait, I'm not done yet. We haven't even gotten to the best ones yet....

Ariadne Severine (7/31/03 4:09 pm)
Re: Get Over it Snape & everything else
This is the thing, though, it isn't easy to get over being bullied, especially when you feel that you didn't truly deserve it - as Snape may be feeling, rightly or wrongly - and everyone reacts to it in a different way. However, what is clear is that no one has truly appreciated it's affect on him. Dumbledore managed to forget that some scars are too deep for healing, Sirius and Remus insisted that James was everything Snape wanted to be - rather self-obssessed, I must say, and that assumption, again, whether true or not, is rather silly - and Remus, in the third book, assumed that the only reason Snape still disliked him, was because of the werewolf prank. He managed to forget about everything else the others put him through.

Now, why did he keep that memory? There's no such thing as forgive and forget; you can forgive, but it takes a bit more to forget. In most cases, it's not even possible to forget. So, he may still remember it. He has every right to do so. That doesn't mean he's still bitter about it - even though he is, as we can see from various reactions.

And the grey underwear... when I was that age, I used to be terrified of getting changed in school because all my underwear was old. The whites had turned a weird sort of grey and the pinks had turned into the colour of bloody blubber. We weren't exactly poor, but stuff like underwear had to wait in line for more important stuff like schoolbooks and food etc.

Greasy Hair: result of making so many potions? I have a friend with silky hair (I'm of African descent, so I wouldn't know) who makes a lot of jam and used to boil calf's foot jelly every winter for colds. Believe me, her hair would just be like... ewwwwww... it's breathing... it's producing toxic waste...

As for his getting his wand out first. It was an immediate reaction to James' calling out 'Snivellus!' and he must have expected something from experience. And following them around? Hanging around a bunch of people who all turned out to be DeathEaters...? I'm sorry, I hope I'm not the only one who's realised that that was all from Sirius and Remus' POV. It may well be true, but we do need to take into account who even said what it in the first place. Because he was interested in the Dark Arts, James and Sirius - James in particular - took it to mean that Snape is therefore evil/nasty/bleargh etc. I mean, pretty closet minded. It reminds me of how people used to react to a girl I once was aware of, shall we say, who came from Haiti. Everyone assumed her to be into Voudou - which was the religion she was brought up with - and therefore evil. Not nice.

Snape hexing them at every opportunity... Remus made it sound like he only started doing that after that particular incident. Wrong perception? Snape probably did do something like that but when you come to think of it, it's understandable.

It's true, though, I would like to know how it all began. However, from my experience, it was probably something of a wrongly interpretated look or statement. I truly think it's all down to a little misunderstanding and a few wrong perceptions and reactions. I doubt it's something like with Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter, you know, family baiting etc.

Yes, I'm a Snape fan and yes, it does feel good to finally have something to feel sorry for him for, but now, as always, my motto in the case of Snape is 'Understandable, but perhaps not Forgiveable'.



S.E. Jones - May 27, 2004 1:15 pm (#1036 of 2956)
Okay, these next two are my favorites. Gina and Fidelio did such a wonderful job!

fidelio (8/1/03 10:47 am)
Re: Me again, now Snapely psychology
Istari wanted a volunteer to analyze Snape, and I'll try and rise to the challenge. Let me begin by stating that I am not a trained psychologist or therapist. However, I've worked for a state welfare department for 20 years, and my duties have included reviewing disability claims, often on both adults and children with mental issues. I work with psychologists and psychiatrists on a regular basis, and have some familiarity with the common diagnoses and symptoms. You could call me a well-informed amateur in this area. I have no business diagnosing or treating a living human, but I hope we all agree that we're talking about a fictional character here. A compelling, well-drawn one, but still--not alive in this plane of existence.

Snape does show a lot of symptoms typical of a depressed individual. However, to dismiss him as just this is probably a dangerous over-simplification. He shows a lot of characteristics common to childhood abuse survivors, and may indeed be one, if we take the snippet of memory Harry saw in OotP [chapter 24?] as typical of life chez Snape, and not an exceptional incident.

These characteristics include lack of self-worth and poor self-image, difficulty coping with emotions in a constructive manner, angery and violent outbursts in stressful situations [and that means stressful by the victim's definition, which is not necessarily what many of us would consider stressful], as well as feelings of insecurity and unusual vulnerability and overreaction to these feelings. Depression is a common component, as is emotional withdrawal, in an effort to avoid the potential for further distress. In children, one often sees as a resultant behavior what psychologists call "Conduct Disorders", which may range from conflict with adult authority figures, to almost compulsive rule-breaking, to violent, random outbursts, all the way to violenc specifically directed against others. Some, but not all of the adults and adolescents diagnosed as anti-social personality disorders started out with a background of child abuse. Many of the chronic criminal offenders in society have such backgrounds, and this is why they are so hard to rehabilitate. So do many in the "chronic homeless" [as opposed to the temporarily homeless category] group. In males, there is a often a tendency to direct all this acting-out at others, while females tend to direct this inwardly, at themselves, but this is not a hard and fast rule.

Treating and resolving these problems is very difficult and takes a very long time. There is a lot of truth in the old saying "as the twig is bent, so's the tree inclined"--was it St. Augustine who said give him the child until he was seven, and it didn't matter who had him next? The earlier and longer the abusive situation began and lasted, the worse the damage, and the more intensive the abuse was, the worse the damage. "Abuse and neglect" is a piece of blanket terminology, and in psychological terms, can cover everything from parents who are mostly loving and supportive, but are prone to violent, explosive outbursts or have the confused idea that the disciplinary tactics used in Marine Cops basic training are appropriate for children and adolescents, and emotionally distant, hypercritical parents, all the way through the sort of thing that ends up on the late news with an shocked announcer warning you that the next episode will be extremely distressing and may include highly upsetting graphic images. One influential factor is who the abusive parent was. In cases where both parents were abusive, there's not much hope. In cases where there is a frequently to entirely absent father figure, and the mother is the abuser, the situation is pretty dire as well. If the father is the abuser [or stepfather], and the mother is even a little protective, or if she is not very effectively protective but is a fellow-victim, there is often a better prognosis. In all cases, early intervention and the introduction of a stable, safe environment is extremely important. As you all may have guessed, both the early intervention and the improved environment don't happen nearly often or consistently enough.

Interestingly enough, in the cases of victims with protective or fellow-victim mothers, there is often a tendency to strong revenge fantasies against the father/abuser, and to try and be protective of the mother, if she is abused as well. This is usually [but not always] more marked in male than in female victims.

Mother-child attachment and identification issues are a highly controverial topic among the psychological community. Poor mother-child attachment has been blamed for both schizophrenia and autism, and while most no longer think this is the case, such things as self-worth and emotional security can be highly affected by early childhood nurturing. A child from an emotionally secure home environment who is teased/bullied at school handles it better than one who was off to a bad start already. For an example of the first, consider Luna Lovegood. I think Snape was off to a bad start by the time he got to Hogwarts.

Since this is so long a post already, I'll let you all contemplate the generalities and comment on them, before I get around to specifically getting psychological on Our Sev. However, the patterns have seemed to be present to me since GoF, and possibly since PoA.

However, Ariadne was right. It may explain a lot of things, but it doesn't excuse them.


S.E. Jones - May 27, 2004 1:52 pm (#1037 of 2956)
Gina R Snape (8/1/03 1:05 pm) Re: Psychological analysis
Well, I am not a Psychiatrist. But I am an MSW (Master's in Social Work) and have worked for many years with homeless adults and families in shelters, and also provided therapy to children in foster care. It is of course impossible to come up with a "real" diagnosis of a fictional character when we cannot "observe" his everyday behaviour nor interview him for subjective data. That doesn't mean we can't have fun with this... I apologise in advance for the length of this post.

But I can tell you flat out that Severus does not appear to have a Conduct Disorder (a childhood dx) or the adult equivalent of Antisocial Personality Disorder. He expresses remorse. He expresses sympathy (just not for Harry and co!). He doesn't provoke physical fights (Sirius fans may argue this one). And he *is* able to control his emotions and actions at will. Otherwise he would never listen to Dumbledore's orders, and he would not be any good at Occlumency. He also does not present with mood swings typical of Bipolar disorder. The DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) lists specific criteria for mental health diagnoses (dx), in case anyone is interested. I didn't want to post all the criteria for the various dx suggestions. But I think Disthymic Disorder (your garden variety non-episodic depression) might fit the bill.

"Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated either by subjective account or observation by others, for at least 2 years. Note: In children and adolescents, mood can be irritable and duration must be at least 1 year."

Presence, while depressed, of two (or more) of the following:

1. poor appetite or overeating (he is very thin)
2. insomnia or hypersomnia (he does prowl the castle at night)
3. low energy or fatigue (we can't know this one)
4. low self-esteem (quite apparent in our little Severus)
5. poor concentration or difficulty making decisions (n/a)
6. feelings of hopelessness (again, we can't know, but I wouldn't be surprised).


If we take into account his assumed abusive history (familial and peers), and I think zapping flies alone in a room sounds pretty depressing besides, we have a very good candidate with this one. Anger and severe sarcasm are often outward manifestations of depression and insecurity. Good call on that one. While the greasy hair comments are debatable, they could be a sign of neglected self-care (hygiene) typical of depression and low self-esteem. Also, social workers look at the person in his/her environment. Severus has plenty of reasons to be depressed! Need I list them all?

He might also have some mild features of an Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. While I would never say full-blown,the tendencies are there. Of the 7 or 8 features in the DSM, I think he seems to present with include:

1. preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost (on an occasional basis he will be rigid about rules and such, but it seems more manipulative than obssessive IMO, so it's highly debatable so I thought I'd throw it in anyway)

2. is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)

3. is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)

4. adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes (to me he seems particular about his clothes, but is not extravagant. Greying pants may be a reluctance to purchase new ones, but we don't really know how he spends his money)

5. shows rigidity and stubbornness (e.g. insists on being called Sir or Professor)

I would recommend an anti-depressant, self-esteem building exercises (an Order of Merlin *would* help), therapy, and a LOT of TLC from yours truly.


Weeny Owl - May 27, 2004 2:54 pm (#1038 of 2956)
One thing that's always bothered me about the whole Shrieking Shack incident during the Marauder era is that as far as we know there were no repercussions for Sirius. Maybe there were some, but we don't have that information yet.

As far as some scars run too deep for healing, well, yes. What scars were they, though? Were they just because of the Marauders in general and James in particular or were they because of how Dumbledore handled things?

In PoA Snape was right about Harry and Hermione being responsible for Sirius escaping. While I don't feel that Dumbledore announcing the truth in front of Snape and Fudge would have been a good idea, he did seem to be having a great deal of fun at Snape's expense.

Also in PoA Snape reminds Dumbledore that at the age of sixteen Sirius was pretty much a potential murderer. Dumbledore knows this, of course, but he continues to brush off Snape's concerns.

I do feel that Snape reacts much too strongly at times, and on more than one occasion, I've wanted to sit him down and get it through his thick skull that he needs to grow up, but at the same time, his scars just from how he's been treated by Dumbledore are obvious.

Dumbledore may have been referring to a multitude of things between Snape and James when he said that about scars, but he is just as much at fault for that as he is for not letting Harry know various things.

I would love for Snape to realize that Harry isn't James, but I wonder if part of his reactions aren't necessarily that as much as they're how Dumbledore relates to Harry in the same way he related to James. In many ways, Snape gets a raw deal.


S.E. Jones - May 27, 2004 3:23 pm (#1039 of 2956)
Whew! Why do I feel like I'm posting a 10 page essay or something.... Just remember, you did all ask.....

fidelio (8/1/03 5:51 pm)
Re: Psychological Analysis
Ariadne, you're too kind--I was too concise, because I ended up making a confusing post. I wanted to explain some things that are typically seen in childhood abuse survivors, and didn't want to imply that all of these things are seen in Snape.

Thanks for your input, Gina--it's good to have someone with more training rein me in when I get too carried away. And I do--I know I do.

I suspect that Snape may have been a Conduct Disorder candidate while at Hogwarts. We don't have a lot to go on--just snippets from Remus, Sirius, DD, and Snape himself, as well as the scene in the Pensieve in OotP. But the accounts of knowing so many curses and hexes, and his apparent willingness to use them is suggestive. For folks in the wizarding world, these things are another form of personal violence, even if they aren't directly physical. [which leads me to note that the possiblities for an abuse wizard parent are pretty scary, even without the use of legilimens -- did Snape start leaning to hide his thoughts and feelings a little too early?]. However, my old copy of the DSM notes that milder cases of Conduct Disorders often do get better. Snape's not an antisocial disorder sort now, even if he's not Mr. Sweetness and Light. I can't imagine an antisocial type teaching for over 14 years and not taking advantage of the position of trust. He's also willing to place himself at risk and incovenience for the greater good, as witness his work as a spy in VWI, his current efforts in the Order, and his efforts to protect Harry since he arrived at Hogwarts. He doesn't seem to have Sirius' thrill-seeking tendencies, so he doesn't do it for kicks; it needs doing, so he does it, whether he likes it or not.

I think Gina's dead-on target with the Dysthymic Disorder suggestion, and he does have a lot of traits of the obsessive-compulsive sort, although I think he copes too well with surprises to be a true full-blown case. But a lot of these things would be very comforting to an insecure person with an unstable home environment--they're his coccoon of safety, perhaps.

One diagnosis I do suspect [and it's possible to have more than one mental problem at once, just Our Sev's luck!] is Avoidant Personality Disorder. My old copy of the DSM begins the description with: "The essential feature is a Personality Dosorder in which there are hypersensitivity to rejection, humiliation, or shame; and unwllingness to enter into relationships unless given unusually strong guarantees of uncritical acceptance; social withdrawal in spite of a desire for affection and acceptance; and low self-esteem." It goes on as follows: "Individuals with this disorder are exquisitely sensitive to rejection, humiliation, or shame...these individuals are devastated by the slightest hint of disapproval."

I also wonder if the arrival of Harry and Neville at Hogwarts has triggered some sort of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder for him. There's what he went through at school, his experiences as a DE [both whatever he did, and whatever was done to him], whatever triggered his change of heart and decision to spy for DD, and possibly the death of the Potters and the attack on the Longbottoms. It's often suggested that he was the spy who warned DD about the danger to the Potters--having this fall through must have been painful--and he may have tried to warn people about Bellatrix and her quest, only to be brushed off--"The war's over. Calm down. The danger is gone." I have a friend who was a helicopter crew chief in Vietnam, and he claims that the missions where they failed to get people out in time haunt him the worst--a success, no matter how dangerous, was a victory; it's the failures that torment him.

consider these things:

His distress and resentment when DD dismisses an idea or opinion of his--it's like a persoanl rejection.

His reaction to the arrival of "Moody" to teach DADA and possibly keep an eye out for Karkaroff. This may have been fear of Moody's reaction to him, but it seemed to me to go beyond that.

His difficulty trusting/accepting praise, such as Remus Lupin's praise of his potion-making skills in PoA [the wolfsbane scene]

His emotional volatility. An outburst of bad temper is always just around the corner, it seems like. It may just be his reaction to Harry [who, per the testimony of others, as well as the Pensieve scene, is scarily like James physically], as well as other stressful things, but the boy lives on his nerves. He doesn't seem to handle losing it effectively either. He can't back down or apologize, work around it or even rationalize it. [We did not see a scene in OotP where he hunts Harry down, grabs him by the collar, and drags him to the dungeon, snarling, "You will learn this, even if I have to lose my own mind in the process.."]I wouldn't be surprised if, after an outburst, he slips into a vicious circle where he blames himself for losing his grip, can't get beyond the incident to figure out why he lost it, and simply ratchets himself up to a new level of self-loathing and stress that leads him to lose his cool all over again.

I have to wonder if the past 14 years or so have been Severus Snape's advanced training in being a good human being, with DD as chief trainer, and McGonnagall, Flitwick, Sprout, and others assisting. He isn't a favorite pet of DD's--more of a foster child taken in by the extended Hogwarts family. Once he decided to sell out Moldywarts, and hooked up with DD, did express the wish that he was a better person? We've seen DD's philosophy, in his talk with Harry at the end of CoS. it's not who you are, what or who your family was, or even what you've done in the past. It's what you choose now.

I think Snape deserves some credit for this. he could have stuck with Moldywarts and the DE. He could have died fighting the aurors, or been sent to Azkaban, or being lying in a drunken stupor in the gutters of Knockturn Alley. He's carrying out repsonsible and productive work instead, and trying to climb into the light. Even when I want to smack him over the head and yell "NO!", I have to give him credit for trying to be better. The world's full of broken people who can't or won't make the effort [the hard and painful effort, usually] to put themselves back together that those who try deserve some support. [Am I preachy or what?]


S.E. Jones - May 27, 2004 3:28 pm (#1040 of 2956)
Okay, darn it, I'm making a post of my own. Expanding a bit on what Weeny Owl said about not hearing about any consequences for Sirius, I find it a little odd that Snape hated James so much more than Sirius, and apparently vise-a-versa, even though he was the one who tried to kill Severus. Why does everyone think that is? All we've seen James do thus far to him is bully him (which isn't to be underestimated), to be great at Quidditch, and to save him life (and to date Lily depending on whether you buy into the whole Snape/Lily thing). Why would Snape still hate James more than Sirius, even, apparently, after the Shack incident?


Tomoé - May 27, 2004 4:50 pm (#1041 of 2956)
I don't know, maybe James hated Snape since day one because he was so deep in dark magic and the Potter family was anti-Dark Arts?


Weeny Owl - May 27, 2004 9:29 pm (#1042 of 2956)
I've wondered that very thing, Sarah.

Granted, being a fifteen-year-old boy who has been humiliated would be more than enough to never like someone, and having it be in front of girls and having a girl try to stop it would add to the trauma, but you're right... Sirius is the one who nearly killed Snape, and while we know there's no love lost between the two, why is James (and by proxy James's son) the one who brings such loathing to Snape?


FCBarca - May 28, 2004 1:40 am (#1043 of 2956)
Well, it's probably because James was the one who insulted him all the time, and made the first move all the time. Also, can we be certain Sirius tried to kill Snape? I mean, maybe Sirius's aim was to scare Snape, or maybe just let him get beat up a bit? Lupin said Sirius played a trick on Snape which nearly got him killed. Sirius then says 'it serves him right'. That tells me the aim wasn't to kill him, but if he died, he wouldn't care. I know you could say that the risk of dying was high, and that means in a way he did try to kill him, but I believe there is a difference.


septentrion - May 28, 2004 3:59 am (#1044 of 2956)
Some things are worse than death, and in Snape's POV, being humiliated could be worse than being killed. And when you hate someone, you can hate that person even more if they save your life. To try to make myself clear, I'll use a tale from the Arabian nights : a genie was closed up in a bottle. At the beginning of his imprisonment, he wanted to reward whoever would set him free. But after several centuries, he was so angry that he decided he'd kill whoever would set him free. Being saved by James was just one more humiliation for Snape (even if he was glad to have his neck saved).


mike miller - May 28, 2004 4:55 am (#1045 of 2956)
Just a couple of comments coming from this very insightful dicussion of our friend Severus Snape.

First, Sirius' comment "it serves him right" makes me think there was some preceeding event that we do not yet know about. My guess is there had been a long running "quid pro quo" between James and Severus; and, Sirius was reacting to the most recent episode. I would love to know the full details.

Second, mental scars often go much deeper than physical ones. The tormenting Severus took from James and Sirius, building on top of the apparent abuse from Severus' father, cause very deep emotional scars as we have seen well covered by the re-posts from Sarah (Thanks!)

Third, and this one is my person feeling, I love having a deeply complex character like Severus in this story. He adds so much to the telling of the tale. My basic problem with Severus is his inequity. He is an intelligent man who has failed to learn from his own experiences. He perpetuates the same experiences that caused him pain on others beyond just Harry (thinking of Neville).

I hope we see some growing up from many characters in books 6 & 7, both those who are still growing phyiscally and those who need to continue growing mentally/emotionally.


Weeny Owl - May 28, 2004 8:48 am (#1046 of 2956)
I understand that emotional scars are often deeper than physical ones, but taking only the Occlumency lessons and their failure, I still wonder how much Dumbledore's treatment of Snape led to those scars never healing.

As for Snape nearly being killed... Sirius's motives aside, sometimes close calls can be more frightening than something actually happening. I don't mean to say Snape would have been a happy little ghost had he been killed, but nearly being attacked by something can bring a lifetime of fear.

mike: My basic problem with Severus is his inequity. He is an intelligent man who has failed to learn from his own experiences. He perpetuates the same experiences that caused him pain on others beyond just Harry (thinking of Neville).

Snape is one of my favorite characters, but I've frequently felt the way you do. To our knowledge Harry had done nothing to Snape, yet from the first, Snape went out of his way to torment HIS tormentor's son. Odd for such an intelligent man.


Accio Sirius - May 28, 2004 8:59 am (#1047 of 2956)
JKR has promised more insight (at least to the Shrieking Shack incident) and while I would love to see some sort of understanding between Harry and Snape, I don't see JKR as the "let's wrap things up neatly with a bow" type of writer. Some sort of obvious and manufactured redemption for Snape would feel kind of icky to me. I have complex feelings about the guy because he is such a complex character. To make it all tidy and neat would seem like a disservice. I want to know more about him, but I don't think it is necessary for everyone to love him. I like to think Snape doesn't think so either... : )


S.E. Jones - May 28, 2004 11:00 am (#1048 of 2956)
I guess I'll finish posting those old posts. There's only two more left. I promise.

Gina R Snape (8/2/03 12:06 am)
Re: Etc Etc (I'm terrible with subject titles)
Istari, I agree with you 100%. Dumbledore represents the rare kind of understanding, forgiveness and foresight without naive stupidity that is rare in people.

fidelio, I am very impressed! You are definitely an exciting addition to our forum family. I thought about the Avoidant Personality D.O. too. But I ruled it out for one very fundamental reason. I don't think he could function as head of Slytherin house if he were AP. It requires too much interaction with students. For that matter, teaching requires too much interaction with students. And staff meetings would be a struggle as well. It's difficult to explain. I know he endeavors to have complete control in his classroom, which supports your theory. But AP really brings out an overpowering isolation. If he were solely a researcher, for example, that might work. He is also not afraid to insult people he hates in front of others (Lupin for example). This is a sign of anger and insecurity, but not the kind of overpowering disconcerting social insecurity that comes with AP, in my opinion. But you have a very good case. If only we could interview him one-on-one.


S.E. Jones - May 28, 2004 11:01 am (#1049 of 2956)
Ariadne Severine (8/2/03 5:49 am)
Etc. Etc. blah blah
JKR said somewhere before that Dumbledore thinks that having teachers like Snape all adds up to the life experience and is good for them. Or something like that.

If I were to look at the whole thing unsympathetically, I would say, who cares? The students have all the other teachers going ga-ga over them, caring for them and thinking that they're absolutely wonderful. One teacher is hardly going to make much of a difference. And, if Snape does think like this, it could add to his lack of self-worth in the fact that his attitudes towards them barely make any difference to the students.

But, one teacher could make all the difference, I guess.

Another thing. I think Snape has a problem with relating to other people. Perhaps not full-blown (well, obviously not) but it is still there. I said before how the rivalry with the Marauders probably started from a wrongly interpretated glance or dialogue, and that was from experience.

When I first started secondary school, being rather shy and unable to put myself forward to socialise, I always assumed that everyone else didn't like me, as they didn't seem to acknowledge me (which they wouldn't, of course, if you just sit by yourself quietly and read...). This was a presumption that I had built around myself and it wasn't until another student asked what was wrong, that I realised that they hadn't even thought of hurting me that way at all.

Later on, my friends would always joke about the fact that I seemed so aloof and distant. That was because I was absolutely terrible with talking to people (something used to happen with my phrasing and the pitch of my voice) and people would always misunderstand me, thinking I was rude or trying to be a little too funny etc.

I doubt Snape has too much of a problem with that, as he seems pretty able to lash out at someone with a sarcastic comment at will, but maybe he did and his skill at quickly responding by hurling insults was something that he had to work at *shrugs*

It's interesting how everything he says in classes seems to be reproachful or nasty. Could very well be a slight misunderstanding (or not, most likely, though I did have an RS teacher who used to call any one of us 'idiot girl' whenever we did something randomly stupid, but that was all in good fun and it does seem to me that the students of Hogwarts a) don't understand sarcasm and b) need humour spelt out for them).


mike miller - May 28, 2004 11:21 am (#1050 of 2956)
Accio - I don't know about "redemption" but I'd like to know why DD trusts Severus. It has been mentioned several times when characters question Severus' actions that DD trust him, why?

I do think there needs to be some kind of reconciliation between Severus and Harry. Prior to OotP, I had thought it would take the Marauders with Harry taking James' place AND Severus to bring down Voldemort. Sirius passing into the veil and the prophecy took care of that idea. However, the whole idea of second chances and choices makes me think there is a strong value statement to be made with Severus and Harry "burying the hatchet" (preferably in Voldemort's head).



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Padfoot - May 28, 2004 11:47 am (#1051 of 2956)
Even though JKR may not wrap everything up neatly in a bow, I think she will resolve the animosity between Severus and Harry. There is just such a mystery about Snape's past that is affecting Harry that we need to know. I don't expect Snape to adopt Harry or anything that wild, but I do think there will be some mutual respect shared between the two. All this speculation of Snape's past and how it has affected him is really interesting. I would really like to see Snape help Harry in some way to defeat Voldemort.


Mellilot Flower. - May 29, 2004 5:54 am (#1052 of 2956)
hmmm... haven't read every single one of these threads (you're all gonna hear a lot of that from me for a while I'm afraid I don't have time at the moment to go through everything) but I did a quick search and would be very glad if some one could direct me to any past discussions of what I'm gonna bring up.

the Evanasco charm that Snape uses to clear Harry's cauldrons in book 5 was used earlier in the book to clear a table of parchments left over from an order of the pheonix meeting (the first night harry is at No. 12). You'd have thought that all of those bits of parchment would be wanted again, and so have just been put out of sight- and so the same would have happened to all of Harry's potions... If Snape did just want to clear the potion he would have used the scourgify charm, not evanasco. If my speculations are correct about that, then it presents another interesting side note about Snapes treatment of Harry.

Sorry if this is in the wrong place or a repetition of an earlier post.


Gina R Snape - May 29, 2004 7:26 am (#1053 of 2956)
Chloe, I have never heard anyone think of that before. It's brilliant! Very nice catch.

If it is the case that evanesco sets things aside, then that is the single most subtle example of him minding after Potter I've heard yet! I hope you're right.

The lexicon says "It is quite evident, then, that anything Vanished does not cease to exist. The potions both Snape and Hermione made Vanish must have ended up in a drain or other disposal location then."

But your version lends credence to the notion of Snape being genuinely interested in Potter's education whilst looking as though he doesn't. So, I like your version better!


septentrion - May 29, 2004 7:42 am (#1054 of 2956)
The same with Gina, your've noticed something very interesting Chloe. Did JKR notice it herself ?


Mellilot Flower. - May 29, 2004 10:05 am (#1055 of 2956)
I think she must have, because the most well known cleaning spell is scourgify, which we know cleans liquids of similar viscosity as Harry's potions since it was used to clean the sinksap earlier in the book.


Choices - May 29, 2004 6:35 pm (#1056 of 2956)
Wow, those are some absolutely fascinating revelations concerning Snape's psyche and what motivates him to be the way he is. Thanks for all the interesting thoughts and insights into this very complex and mysterious character. Most of those posts make me very sad for Severus and I just want to give him a big hug and tell him it's OK!! He is one person I certainly look forward to learning more about in the coming books.


Essidji - May 31, 2004 4:01 am (#1057 of 2956)
Each time someone explains a theory, I always say to myself : "HOW could I miss that one?" it's terribly frustrating. But good job, Chloe, it's a really interesting point.


HP Fan - May 31, 2004 10:03 am (#1058 of 2956)
Wow - go away for a couple of days and everyone goes posting mad. Some interesting ideas about Snape's personality. Interesting point Chloe - you could be on to something there - to the children of the death eaters it would look like he was being a good death eater tormenting Voldemort's nightmare. Yet he could still be taking an interest - and making someone do an essay about how to make something and where they went wrong isn't unreasonable really - it's a way of making sure they learn from mistakes.

I can't remember who put it forward about Snape treating Harry the way he does to teach him patience and control - but it defiantly is a possibility


popkin - May 31, 2004 1:51 pm (#1059 of 2956)
Edited by May 31, 2004 3:04 pm
Groan..... I think I had to read 600 posts to catch up. And a lot of them were really long! That's what happens when you take lent off, and then battle for two weeks with a debilitating computer virus.

Sorry for the abrupt change in subject, but..... have you considered that Snape could be part muggle? The logic puzzle got me to thinking about about it - Hermione says that simple logic which is easy for muggles is beyond most wizards. Yet, Snape is apparently quite good at it, since he chose to protect the Sorcerer's Stone with it. Also, the scene where (I assume) his Dad is yelling at his Mom reminds me of the behavior of a muggle who doesn't like being married to a witch (as in Riddle's parents or Seamus's parents).

For the Snape is a vampire fans: I'm not giving up even though JKR said it isn't so. He could be part vampire. Then what JKR said would be true, but it still might explain some of the clues that hint at the connection.

A thought about Snape tracing his mouth during occlumency lessons: It seemed to me that the tracing was not connected directly to Harry's thoughts, but the fact that Snape has Harry alone in his office. It occurred to me that perhaps Snape was simply relishing the thought of sinking his teeth (fangs) into Harry's neck (sorry, Gina - I'm not trying to offend).

Another vampiric thought: Could Snape have been trying to surreptitiously give Florence a vampire's kiss? I don't know if I'm too fond of that theory (even though it is my own) - I'm still in the camp that it was Bagman who got caught and hexed Bertha.

If Snape were part vampire, I think he would be able to change into animals in order to spy on Voldemort (and others), and would not be another unregistered animagus.

Okay, now you can tear my post apart.


Gina R Snape - May 31, 2004 2:16 pm (#1060 of 2956)
Oh, funny popkin. Some people never give up... So be it. If Snape is a vampire, then he can make me one too!

As for being part-muggle. I know this won't come out sounding right, but...it's a bit insulting! What I mean is, I think Hermione is making a statement about how impressed she is with Snape, as most wizards aren't good at logic. But making Snape part muggle, it brings him down a peg in his accomplishments/mental abilities.

Also, if he were part muggle-I don't think he would have called Lily a 'filthy little mudblood.'

EDIT: By the way, welcome back!


popkin - May 31, 2004 5:39 pm (#1061 of 2956)
Edited by May 31, 2004 6:44 pm
Thanks, Gina. Actually, I came back right after Easter, but a computer virus (or several) knocked me out again, and we just now got things up and running.

As for calling Lily a 'filthy little mudblood', I don't think that would be inconsistent with Snape's character even if he were half muggle. If his mother were abused by his father because she was a witch, then I think it could at least partly explain why Snape feels antagonistic toward muggles.

NOTE to Gina: I wish the avatars would not change throughout history when you get a new one. I guess I missed a really funny one. Yours are always great.


Gina R Snape - May 31, 2004 7:29 pm (#1062 of 2956)
Thanks, popkin.

Hmmm, so are you saying Snape has internalized mudblood-phobia?


popkin - May 31, 2004 7:48 pm (#1063 of 2956)
Edited by May 31, 2004 8:48 pm
I'm saying it's likely that he hates his father and that hate could be manifested in many ways - including denying his paternal heritage to the point of denigrating those who have a share in it.


S.E. Jones - May 31, 2004 10:06 pm (#1064 of 2956)
Much like Voldemort? Hmm....


rambkowalczyk - Jun 1, 2004 2:21 am (#1065 of 2956)
If Snape were part muggle (I think you are suggesting he is a half blood) Hogwarts must have been a trial. Not only was he teased by James and Company, but also by Slytherins who really take pure bloodness seriously. If he were part of the gang of Slytherins who became death eaters that had to have been one heck of an initiation ritual.


Gina R Snape - Jun 1, 2004 5:57 am (#1066 of 2956)
Well, I wonder of the Dark Lord would allow anyone but purebloods to become a death eater. Otherwise, I would say it's possible Snape is of mixed-blood status, though my hunch is he is pureblood.


Mare - Jun 1, 2004 6:30 am (#1067 of 2956)
What if the Dark lord accepts halfbloods like himself? People who have a muggleparent or halfbloodparent but look down on them. Maybe even prove it to the DL by killing their own parent(s).
Snape could be a halfblood then. Off course I picture a halfblood DE as a DE that would be treated as a "lesser" member by the rest. And I don't get that vibe from snape.


Diagon Nilly - Jun 1, 2004 6:33 am (#1068 of 2956)
Also, The Snape family didn't appear anywhere on The Black family tapestry. Sirius did say the almost all pureblood families are related to each other (which gives me the impression that halfblood families outnumber pureblood families anyway - that and Hagrid's comment in PS/SS about there isn't a wizard family that's halfblood or less and wizarding-folk would have died out otherwise). So, I don't know about Snape himself directly being halfblood, but I'm sure a family member of more recent generations most likely married muggle.


popkin - Jun 1, 2004 6:40 am (#1069 of 2956)
If Snape were a halfblood wizard, would it necessarily be common knowledge? I still like the Severus Snape was originally named Perseus Evans theory. If he changed his name before attending Hogwarts, who would know?


rambkowalczyk - Jun 1, 2004 10:13 am (#1070 of 2956)
I wish I could easily discount the Snape's father is a muggle theory. I don't want it to be true.

If his father was a muggle and his mother a pureblood witch, how long can this be kept a secret? If the wizarding community is small so that everyone knows everyone else the only strangers would be the muggle borns. If Snape changed his name, that would be suspicious in itself. Who is this unknown being sorted into Slytherin?

To change the subject. Snape tracing his mouth during Harry's first occlumency lesson. This is a rather unusual mannerism for Snape. It could imply nervousness or a subconscious means of blocking the truth. (If you tell a lie you touch your mouth as if to prevent the lie from coming out). But in books 1-4 Snape has never shown any nervous habits so therefore this explanation can be ruled out. Upon rereading this I picked up 2 possible explanations. The first is that this is some idiosyncrasy that Snape usually has under control. The reason it wasn't under control was that Snape let his guard down in front of Harry with out even knowing it. Had he known it he would have been embarrassed or angry or something. The other reason which is related to this is that he got lost in thought while wondering why Harry and the Dark Lord can influence each other. He came upon a problem worthy of him to solve.

Or it could be a subconscious gesture to remind him not to tell Harry too much information.


Gina R Snape - Jun 1, 2004 10:21 am (#1071 of 2956)
Ramb wrote: "The other reason which is related to this is that he got lost in thought while wondering why Harry and the Dark Lord can influence each other. He came upon a problem worthy of him to solve.

Or it could be a subconscious gesture to remind him not to tell Harry too much information."

Both of these are how I interpreted that gesture. He is genuinely trying to figure out how Harry and the Dark Lord have this connexion others haven't got.

But if you read between the lines in their lessons, Snape seems to be going to great pains to keep certain information from Harry, and one can almost hear DD's voice in the background. As we know, all the Order members were instructed not to tell Harry too much. The occlumency lessons proved a trickier situation than most in this case. Snape becomes highly upset when Harry interrupts him. I think this is because he is trying very hard to maintain a high level of control, lest Harry find something out he isn't meant to.


rambkowalczyk - Jun 1, 2004 10:57 am (#1072 of 2956)
I agree


popkin - Jun 1, 2004 5:05 pm (#1073 of 2956)
I just reread that passage, and I can see your point - especially about Snape trying to control exactly which words come out of his mouth. He first begins tracing his mouth when he is explaining to Harry why he must take Occlumency lessons.

Still, Snape has never looked more like a vampire to me than he does during Occlumency lessons. Especially when he startles Harry at the beginning of the first lesson - hidden in the shadowy corner of his office, placing his thoughts in the pensieve.


popkin - Jun 2, 2004 11:44 am (#1074 of 2956)
I've been thinking (dangerous, I know) that Harry's sixth year could be Snape's year for becoming the DADA teacher. Since he won't take NEWT students who achieve less than an O in their potions OWLs, it would clear the way for Harry to take all the classes he needs for auror training. It would also provide a tremendous opportunity for some interesting conflicts.


Liz - Jun 2, 2004 5:08 pm (#1075 of 2956)
Interesting indeed.

Beth


justme - Jun 3, 2004 8:40 am (#1076 of 2956)
I just finished re-reading Goblet of Fire, and noticed something. In the Pensieve chapter, Dumledore admits that Snape was a spy after Karkaroff had named him as a death eater. How many people in the room might have passed that information on to others, possible "reformed" Death Eaters?

Rosmerta [/b]- Jun 3, 2004 9:42 am (#1077 of 2956)
Well even if it was passed onto other death eaters that he had been a spy, there are still ways he could have easily gotten around it. He could tell the DEs he did it to try to get Dumbledore's trust so that he could give Voldemore more inside information, or that he was feeding Dumbledore false information in order to stall his progress in the fight against the Death Eaters. He obviously hasn't fallen that far out of favor if he is still providing key information to the Order in OOP.


Liz - Jun 3, 2004 1:08 pm (#1078 of 2956)
I wonder which DEs are sliping Snape Information?

Beth


Padfoot - Jun 3, 2004 1:22 pm (#1079 of 2956)
We know Karkaroff went to Snape when he was afraid in GoF. And there has been mention of Lucius Malfoy being on good terms with Snape. Other than Voldemort, we don't know of other DE's he talks to (not that Voldy is a DE, I just lump them all together). Unless I am missing someone?


popkin - Jun 3, 2004 1:35 pm (#1080 of 2956)
Rosmerta [/b]- Jun 3, 2004 10:42 am (#1077 of 1079) He obviously hasn't fallen that far out of favor if he is still providing key information to the Order in OOP.

That's not necessarily true. We don't know exactly how Snape gathers information. He could attend meetings invisibly, in another form, with extendable ears, etc... etc... etc...


Liz - Jun 3, 2004 2:18 pm (#1081 of 2956)
Then again it could be someone else other than Snape. They probably have spies that even the Order doesn't know of in case there is a rat(mole) get it?.

Beth


Catherine - Jun 4, 2004 4:30 am (#1082 of 2956)
OK, I know the "Snape as vampire" theory has been discussed at length.

But I was rereading OoP and in Chapter 12, when Dolores is criticizing how the DADA class has been taught, she says that the class has been exposed to "extremely dangerous half-breeds" (p. 243).

She doesn't say "half-breed," as referring to just Lupin. She uses the plural. Assuming that this is even significant, there are only four other people that we have met in this position: Quirrell, Lockhart, Moody, and Snape (when he substituted for Lupin during illness). Or perhaps she is referring to a teacher that taught before Harry's first year.

Percy alludes to vampires in GoF as "part-humans," so maybe vampires qualify as a half-breed.

Or, perhaps Dolores is referring to some other kind of "half-breed" who taught the class.

So, could Snape qualify as a possible "half-breed," assuming that no other teacher besides Lupin is considered as such?


Psyche - Jun 4, 2004 5:18 am (#1083 of 2956)
Well, Hagrid is half giant, and I think that qualifies him, in Umbridge's mind, as a half-breed. And yes, I know that he didn't teach DADA, but I always thought the remark meant 'teachers in general', not just DADA. And one more thing, JK herself said that there is no connection between Snape and vampires....if he is one, she couldn't really say that and get away with it, right? ^_^

Psyche


Catherine - Jun 4, 2004 6:03 am (#1084 of 2956)
Thanks for the update, Psyche; I didn't know that JKR said that he wasn't a vamire.

Well, that shoots a hole in THAT one, doesn't it?

Although Umbridge does specifically refer to "this class" when she talks about the exposure to irresponsible wizards and "half-breeds."

So--does anyone think that Snape qualifies as a half-breed in any other way? Perhaps Umbridge's statement is not trustworthy, and she was exaggerating.


Denise P. - Jun 4, 2004 6:12 am (#1085 of 2956)
I am in the camp that thinks JKR did not put to rest the Vampire theory. What she said was:

Megan: Is there a link between Snape and vampires?
JK Rowling replies -> Erm... I don't think so.

That is not a flat out denial. JKR doesn't think so, that doesn't mean it can't be.


Emily - Jun 4, 2004 8:19 am (#1086 of 2956)
I think that when she said 'this class' she was talking about the group of students that made up the class. That would qualify Hagrid for the position of a 'dangerous half-breed' teacher.


Gina R Snape - Jun 4, 2004 10:06 am (#1087 of 2956)
:groan:

I do, though, think Umbridge was referring to Lupin and Hagrid, and possibly Flitwick. But not Snape...


Padfoot - Jun 4, 2004 11:26 am (#1088 of 2956)
I never thought she was talking about Snape either. As far as she (or we for that matter) know, Snape is not a half breed in any way.

I don't think he is a vampire either. Although I wouldn't mind seeing a vampire character enter into the story somewhere.


Iverson Godfrey - Jun 4, 2004 2:34 pm (#1089 of 2956)
If Umbridge had thought of Snape as a halfbreed, I think she would have had a different attitude toward him. We never saw her talking down to him the way she did to Hagrid or Trelawney and I even got the impression that she gave him more credit that most of the other teachers (Lucius Malfoy spoke highly of him) until he couldn't produce veratiserum at a moments notice. I doubt she would have asked him for Veratiserum in the first place if she thought he was a "halfbreed" because she wouldn't have believed he was capable of making it.


Catherine - Jun 4, 2004 2:49 pm (#1090 of 2956)
Umbridge says:

"but you have been exposed to some very irresponsible wizards in this class, very irresponsible indeed--not to mention," she gave a nasty little laugh,"extremely dangerous half-breeds." (OoP, Scholastic hardback p 243)

She seems to be referring to the DADA class in particular, but she refers to the plural "breeds" instead of saying "a dangerous half-breed."

I thought it was interesting, and connected it with Snape only because he is so mysterious, and there's so much speculation about him. She doesn't seem to be talking about Hogwarts in general, in which case I would automatically assume that half-breeds means Hagrid and Lupin.

It could, and probably is, just a throwaway line, and I am reading too much into it. But Rowling knows at this point that we dissect every little phrase for every ounce of meaning, so I thought perhaps it had significance.

Forgive me if I brought up a tiresome and timeworn topic.


Weeny Owl - Jun 4, 2004 8:13 pm (#1091 of 2956)
Werewolves and vampires aren't half-breeds, though, are they? They're humans who have undergone a transformation due to the influence of another creature.

Lupin is still human, although he does transform during full moons, and if Snape were a vampire, he still wouldn't be a half-breed. Also, he wouldn't be allowed a wand, would he?

I don't think Snape is a vampire, but Hermione never said who the people were who became Animagi. Perhaps Snape is one and his Animagus form is a bat.


LyndaLou - Jun 4, 2004 9:25 pm (#1092 of 2956)
OK--I've wanted to post this for a while, but was worried I would start up that whole: "Is Snape a Vampire?" discussion. Now that it has popped up again.

Here goes.

According to JK Rowling a person's animagi form is linked to their personality. In Native American totem a bat represents: rebirth, secrets and initiation. I have no idea if this holds true in other cultures--but thought it fit for Snape.

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


Madame Librarian - Jun 5, 2004 5:31 am (#1093 of 2956)
I think two key statements are much more important to figuring out Snape (and practically all other characters, and the plot) than this vampire question.

Sirius's family tree scene--he says that all pureblood wizards being related one way or another (not an exact rendition--see OoP, ch. 6, pg. 113, US). There's a slight implication that it's really tough to find a suitable spouse if you're only looking at the pureblood wizards, and that for a couple of generations back, it probably hasn't been as strict an observance as families may claim. I know, heavy interpretation on my part.

Ron's throwaway line in CoS (ch. 7, pg. 116, US pbk.)--"It's a digusting thing to call someone," said Ron, wiping his sweaty brow with a shaking hand. "Dirty blood, see. Common blood. It's ridiculous. Most wizards these days are half-blood anyway. If we hadn't married Muggles we'd've died out." (Emphasis mine.)

With these two comments I think we may have the key to a lot of secrets and unkowns about characters' pasts, including dear Snape. I like the idea (someone suggested a bit further back) that Snape called Lily a 'mudblood' (pensieve scene, OoP) to deflect any suspicion about his own parentage or grandparentage. The pot calling the kettle black, so to speak.

IMO, the whole business of inter-relatedness and connections to Muggle ancestors is going to be unraveled and solve some of the mysteries driving the plot and the prophecies. Snape will be just one of the characters to be 'explained.'

Ciao. Barb


Laurelin - Jun 5, 2004 5:34 am (#1094 of 2956)
Isn't it possible to read Umbridge's plural of "half breeds" just as an exaggeration? A plural sounds always more impressive than a singular if you want to make a point and lack really qualified arguments (anyone know this: "You never clean up your room!"???) I doubt she's even informed that Snape substituted for Lupin and she clearly thinks well of him, thanks to L. Malfoy. Furthermore "this class" can also very well refer to the assembly of students, couldn't it? If indeed we want to read the plural as a plural, meaning "several teachers", this then could include Hagrid. I've never been a supporter of the "Vampire"-theory (too many arguments against it) ... and a vampire would not be a half-breed imo, btw.... since they are not considered wizards, are they allowed wands? I try to remember, there was a passage about creatures allowed wands somewhere, but I cannot recall whether Vampires were excluded from that list or not.


Chemyst - Jun 5, 2004 5:55 am (#1095 of 2956)
After rereading, I think "half-breeds" is used as a general classification-- a "those kind" instead of "that one."

I was resistant against the idea that Barb brought up-- of Snape deflecting suspicion about his own ancestry-- when I read a similar idea a while back. But as time goes on, the more that seems possible, and even likely. If Voldemort, the ultimate bad guy, and Harry, the ultimate hero, both get to be half-bloods, well, golly gee, Snape can be an ultimate half-blood too, don't you think?


popkin - Jun 5, 2004 8:11 pm (#1096 of 2956)
That was me, suggesting that Snape could be half muggle - supporting the suggestion by the argument scene between Snape's mother and father, when Harry breaks into Snape's thoughts during occlumency lessons.

I also suggested that Snape could be part vampire - one parent a vampire and the other a witch or wizard. I'm more inclined to think that if this theory proved true it would be a father vampire and a mother witch, because the vampire would likely be the more abusive of the two. However, it could be the other way around because of the purity of blood factor. I know these theories don't align with Bram Stoker's version of the world, but I think they could work out in JKR's.

In Bram Stoker's world, a vampire can turn into any animal. JKR makes connections between Snape and at least two animals - the wasp and the bat. He frequently speaks "waspishly", and is described as resembling a bat in his movements. He also "hisses" like a snake, and his eyes are described as "slits" (although anyone reading the passages would know that they are horizontal, and not vertical, slits).

If Snape were a vampire/part-vampire, perhaps he would use the ability to change into other animals to secret his way into Voldemort's presence and spy on him and other death eaters. It could also explain his aptitude with potions - mastering complicated potions to control his vampiric tendencies.

At any rate, he's still the most complicated, and most intriguing, character in the series. That's why it's so fun to speculate about his background, his loyalties, and his future.


mooncalf - Jun 7, 2004 8:02 am (#1097 of 2956)
One more animal is mentioned frequently in assocciation with Snape - the hawk. Most of the references are to his hawk-like nose, but still, I can see him as a bird of prey.


Catherine - Jun 7, 2004 8:19 am (#1098 of 2956)
I tend to picture Snape more like a vulture. It fits with the Death Eater image, and it also conveys the sense of how he may be underappreciated. You know, he's doing the dirty work of spying, the kind of work that is important, but that you don't get credit for, just as the vulture is reviled, but does important work in cleaning up carrion. Also, vultures are smelly and ugly, and that fits with Snape's lack of physical appeal (as he's written, not as he's played by Rickman!)


mooncalf - Jun 7, 2004 8:56 am (#1099 of 2956)
Good analogy, Catherine. Poor, misunderstood fellow.

Of course, some birds of prey also eat carrion, but they have much better press agents. And wouldn't it make Snape mad to see them get away with it!


Mellilot Flower. - Jun 7, 2004 1:17 pm (#1100 of 2956)
Many others are mentioned as hawk like, or at least Minerva is, yet Minerva has a cat animagus. I think that this is very revealing (sorry slight side note... won't be long) about her character, it shows that despite the frequent mentioning of her hawklike appearance her personality is cat-like. On this grounds I don't think that there is necassarily a connection between snapes batlike appearance or hawklike appearance and any character traits.
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Ff3girl - Jun 7, 2004 3:44 pm (#1101 of 2956)
Speaking of comparing peoples' traits with their animagi...

In "Snapes Worst Memory", it says that when Sirius spots Snape he looks like a dog that has spotted a rabbit. Does this mean he might be a .... BUM BUM BUM... BUNNY?!


popkin - Jun 7, 2004 6:30 pm (#1102 of 2956)
A Bunny with an Easter egg for Voldemort....


Romana - Jun 8, 2004 12:10 am (#1103 of 2956)
I may be mis remembering, but doesn't it say in one of the books that vampires are something along the lines of 'part-human non magical'? that would bar Snape from being one instantly!


Elizabeth Cooper - Jun 8, 2004 4:37 am (#1104 of 2956)
And in POA, when Harry sees a picture of Sirius Black (on the Knight Bus), he thinks he looks just like the pictures of vampires he's seen in his DADA classes. While there might be a reason for Harry not to mention a comparison to Snape, it would seem more likely that he would since he dislikes Snape so much. Even with Harry's growing animosity toward Snape through Book 5, he never makes such an accusation.


Catherine - Jun 8, 2004 5:18 am (#1105 of 2956)
Romana, I don't think you are mis-remembering. Percy Weasley in GoF refers to legislation concerning "non-wizarding part-humans." I'm not sure that this means that ALL vampires would be considered such. I could see a situation where someone could be part vampire, but also be part wizard or part muggle, perhaps.

I wouldn't be surprised if Snape has some secrets to hide about his background. What they are...I do not know!


Accio Sirius - Jun 9, 2004 2:03 pm (#1106 of 2956)
I think the hints in the movie(s) may be more simple than the stuff we've been looking for. I remember when some of the first pictures of PoA came out and we were speculating on why the one of Snape guarding the trio made him look like the hero and Gina stated it very plainly--he is the hero. And while that may or not be entirely true, I think we can probably guess that JKR wouldn't let Rickman be soooo appealing as Snape if he wouldn't eventually turn out to be the good guy. I would love to see Harry and Lupin forge a stronger connection (at least in the books as I wasn't all that fond of Thewliss), but the more I think about it, the more I see Snape and Harry coming to some sort of begrudging partnership. Or at the very least, I see Snape redeemed somehow in Harry's eyes. Am I being too hopeful?


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 9, 2004 3:07 pm (#1107 of 2956)
While I think Harry and Snape will have to forge some kind of alliance, I'd prefer it if they still really didn't like each other that much. It would be too tidy if Snape revealed some forgivable reason for his abominable treatment of Harry. Better to let them stew in their poisonous feelings for one another and still have to work around them. If Snape or Harry dies in the end for the good of the Order, I'd like to see the one left standing (if they both don't bite the big one) struggle to respect the sacrifice while not being altogether unhappy that the other is gone.

But then again, I've been under the weather for over a week and perhaps I'm just feeling a bit cranky ; )


Ff3girl - Jun 9, 2004 3:14 pm (#1108 of 2956)
I still think Snape is a bunny... ^_^ Wouldn't that be funny if that was how he was spying on Voldemort the whole time??

"The hairs on Harry's neck stiffened as Voldemort turned around to face him, and was caught by surprise at the fluffy white bunny that was resting in his arms and twitching his nose at him. Harry was sure he could see hatred in that bunny's eyes."

hahahahaha...


The PhantomOtaku - Jun 9, 2004 3:41 pm (#1109 of 2956)
Did Voldie name the bunny Mr. Bigglesworth? ^_^


Chemyst - Jun 9, 2004 9:15 pm (#1110 of 2956)
In "Snapes Worst Memory", it says that when Sirius spots Snape he looks like a dog that has spotted a rabbit. Does this mean he might be a ...... BUNNY?! ~ Ff3girl Does it really say that? I want to get on to other things, so I won't take the time to look it up. I don't think anyone would ever mistake Severus Snape for a bunny, at least not more than once. But joking aside, that might be a good point to discuss on the Sirius Black thread because it says a lot about what he considers to be sport.

...at the very least, I see Snape redeemed somehow in Harry's eyes. Am I being too hopeful? ~ Accio

Nah, I have the same hope. I think some form of redemption is almost mandatory. Ever since Harry's first potions class, even earlier at the opening banquet when his scar burned under Snape's stare, (well, it was constructed so that we'd think it was Snape, although we later learned the more likely cause was Quirrell) Rowling has built a deliberate layering of mistrust between Harry and Snape. It builds higher in every subsequent book. As bits and pieces of the past are revealed, the mistrust deepens as well. And all along we are continually reminded that Dumbledore has placed great trust in Snape. And if the reader dismisses DD as a bit eccentric, JKR employs support from McGonagall. This no nonsense schoolmarm has a respect for Snape, even though he's certainly young enough to be her son; and she is a reliable judge of character. This deliberate plotting of tension and contrast are just screaming for a climatic redemption.

But as Kim said, it would be too tidy if Snape revealed some forgivable reason and they all lived happily ever after. So we are being driven to some form of sacrifice as well. I think that has been foreshadowed by references to Lily's sacrifice and to life debts. By the end of the series, Harry will have to come to his own understanding of these issues if the books are going to have an apocalyptic ending that makes sense. So I think we will see both sacrifice and redemption, but as for how that will play out, um.... I don't know. I keep running the questions in my head: How does the power of love figure into this? Who will sacrifice for whom? Which makes the better story? No answers.


Gina R Snape - Jun 9, 2004 9:59 pm (#1111 of 2956)
I still say it's the matter of Snape being good, but not necessarily nice. Harry is still learning that people can be complicated that way. Even Sirius reminds him that the world 'isn't split into good people and death eaters.'

I am putting my money on Snape and Harry never liking each other, but learning to have a working respect for one another. My strongest hope is that Harry doesn't get a perfect score on his OWLs, but DD forces Snape to take Harry anyway. Snape can ridicule Harry about his remedial potions skills' (regardless of his actual skill level) and taunt him. But he'll be faced with recognising that Harry is in fact a powerful wizard.

In the most recent PoA movie, Hermione tells Harry that Snape reported "only a really powerful wizard could have conjured that patronus." We know for a fact that JKR has been pounding it into us that Harry is exceptionally advanced at DADA. Snape will have to face the fact that Harry is in fact not James Potter, but a powerful young wizard with a prophesy to fulfill. To continue working by DD's side will mean accepting this fact.

Snape likes to hold over Harry's head the breaking of rules and talking back. But let's not forget that Harry needs to learn how to control his temper. He has put his foot in his mouth more than once...especially in OoP. Snape's apparent animosity is a wonderful cover for actually trying to get certain messages through to Harry, in a Slytherin way so as not to rouse suspicion among the Death Nibblers. I don't see this changing at all in any of the books.

But I do see Snape standing back at some point and allowing Harry to do 'his thing' as it were when the big showdown comes. Snape's job is part of a team to prepare Harry. He may not like it, but he's definitely doing it.


Gina R Snape - Jun 9, 2004 10:33 pm (#1112 of 2956)
Oooh! Just realised I was post number 1111. Pretty cool, eh?


rambkowalczyk - Jun 10, 2004 4:54 am (#1113 of 2956)
I should state at the beginning that I want Snape to remain on Dumbledore's side. The question is will JKR let him. I suppose at this point I'm playing devil's advocate. I am wondering if JKR is just using the Slytherin house as the place where all the bad guys start. Looking at her website, she was going to create a Weasley cousin who was going to be pretty nasty. What house was she putting her in? Slytherin. My mind is blank now, but it seems in her interviews she doesn't understand why everyone is so fascinated with the Slytherin house.

Sometimes I have this sneaky feeling that Snape will turn against Dumbledore in a moment of weakness. I hope I'm wrong.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 10, 2004 5:26 am (#1114 of 2956)
Poor Snape, he has such serious trust issues, he seems forever to be making the wrong move, or jumping to the wrong conclusion for all the right reasons. I would hate for him to betray DD and the Order in the mistaken belief that he was doing the right thing. But I fear that may be what happens.

Oh, and Gina--someone many years ago brought my attention to 11:11 on a digital clock (not 10:10, not 12:12, just 11:11) and it's been stuck in my head ever since. And now you draw attention to it in your post...how strange.


Madame Librarian - Jun 10, 2004 7:29 am (#1115 of 2956)
This could also be apt for the Harry thread, or the DD one, but here goes.

Is there a sub-theme (yes, there are so many) that JKR is showing us here in the Snape-Harry and DD-Harry relationships that deals with trust?

What I'm getting at is this--is the hard and true (in our own world) message that sometimes you have to develop trust in those you dislike (detest, even) and take the information from those you might naturally and wholeheartedly trust with a grain of salt. Will the stuff Harry learns from Snape, though hard to swallow, prove to be the facts, while the sugar-coated (or incomplete) things DD tells Harry turn out to be unreliable.

Now I'm not proposing that Snape's or DD's essential characters are the opposite of what they seem, but rather that Harry must learn to trust what is true and the source of that truth (i.e., the person), and not allow his feelings about the source to be in the way.

Among the many lessons Harry has learned and will learn, this will prove to be one of the most difficult, I think.

Ciao. Barb


Diagon Nilly - Jun 10, 2004 8:55 am (#1116 of 2956)
I really want to agree with what everyone is saying, but one nagging thing keeps going through my head. It was the Royal Albert Hall interview after OoP came out and JKR said something to the effect of "Don't feel too bad for Snape yet" in reference to his worst memory. I just can't help but think he's got something really mean and evil up his sleeve. For example (and this is JUST an example) if he were to betray Dumbledore in a way that would ultimately lead to Dumbledore's death, I would have to hate Snape, and everything above would me moot for me (and I'd go in a cage match with Gina over who's the biggest Snape fan). I just hope that what JKR's implying isn't as horrible as all that.

Accio Sirius [/b]- Jun 10, 2004 10:01 am (#1117 of 2956)
Barb,

I think that's a brilliant theory, especially since it is one of those tough, life lessons. Sirius' death was one, learning to trust Snape could be even harder for Harry.


Ff3girl - Jun 10, 2004 10:12 am (#1118 of 2956)
"In "Snapes Worst Memory", it says that when Sirius spots Snape he looks like a dog that has spotted a rabbit. Does this mean he might be a ...... BUNNY?! ~ Ff3girl Does it really say that? I want to get on to other things, so I won't take the time to look it up. "

Of course I don't really believe he's a bunny... I just laughed the first time I read that because it was such an absurd thought to pop into my mind. And yes, it DOES say that!!

Snapes Worst Memory, chapter 28, pg 645 (American ed.)

"'This'll liven you up, Padfoot,' said James quietly. 'Look who it is...'

Sirius's head turned. He had become very still, like a DOG that had scented a RABBIT.

'Excellent,' he said softly. 'Snivellus.'"


Laurelin - Jun 10, 2004 10:23 am (#1119 of 2956)
Diagon Nilly wrote: "Don't feel too bad for Snape yet" in reference to his worst memory. I just can't help but think he's got something really mean and evil up his sleeve.

... or she simply means that Snape knew very well how to be mean to James, Sirius and Lupin also... He probably played tricks on them too... and I imagine they were pretty nasty.... after all, already as a school-kid he was very well versed in the Dark Spells....

I don't really think that Snape will betray Dumbledore, he turned to spy for the Order at the time when Voldemort's power was at it's hight and there was nothing to be gained fighting him... the Order was failing... people were killed all the time... (I estimate that he was a spy for almost a year (6-12 months) judging by the fact that Sirius knew that there was a traitor in the Order who had passed information to Voldemort for almost a year... which of course Snape could have told in retrospect, but I cling to what I've got.... Very Happy ) Anyhow... he had nothing to loose.... and I suppose nothing to gain now.... because what has changed in his situation of life that would suddenly make Voldemort look like the better choice?!?!?! Not much I'd say. (Still I'd really love to find out what made Snape change his opinion on Voldemort and his goals... but it must have been something really significant if it made him a spy for the side so many of his sworn enemies belonged to...)

He and Harry will probably never be best friends... I suppose he still sees the father in the son and Harry being the carbon copy (at least in appearance with the exception of the eyes) of his father, certainly doesn't help...I really cannot understand why Snape wasn't made to continue teaching Harry Occlumency, Dumbledore must have been informed by Sirius or Lupin... when Dumbledore talks about it, it sounds really as if he blames Snape's animosity towards Harry on the past experiences Severus had with James... some people are just like that I suppose, they just cannot let go of the past...

For the 6th year I assume that Harry will take Potions with Snape, but I really think that he'll get in by "pure talent"... I think he underestimates his talents and since he could work on his potion without Snape sneering at him and what is more important, it won't be Snape who'll mark him, I believe that he stands a very good chance to achieve an "O".


Ff3girl - Jun 10, 2004 10:41 am (#1120 of 2956)
<<For the 6th year I assume that Harry will take Potions with Snape, but I really think that he'll get in by "pure talent"... I think he underestimates his talents and since he could work on his potion without Snape sneering at him and what is more important, it won't be Snape who'll mark him, I believe that he stands a very good chance to achieve an "O".>> -Laurelin

I used to think that way too, but remember in the OWLs chapter, it says that Harry had a hard time on the written part of the exam. Maybe admission into the NEWT level potions depends only on the practical, but if its a weighted grade then... I think that hurts his chances a lot.


Catherine - Jun 10, 2004 10:47 am (#1121 of 2956)
Well, it did say that Harry found the written test "difficult," but I am wondering if his answer about Polyjuice Potion will win him some needed points.


popkin - Jun 10, 2004 11:02 am (#1122 of 2956)
I still think that 6th year will be Snape's year for the DADA position. We know Harry got an "O" in his DADA OWL. If Snape were teaching the class, he would have no reason to refuse Harry admission. And Harry would be able to take potions with a more lenient, and hopefully just as talented, potions master.

Regardless of the fact that Snape has wanted the DADA position since he first began teaching at Hogwarts, I can't see him relinquishing the title or status of Potions Master without some conflict. I think he will have an especially hard time with the switch if he sees Harry excelling in the subject under the instruction of another professor.


Laurelin - Jun 10, 2004 11:17 am (#1123 of 2956)
Finding a paper "difficult" does not mean that one cannot achieve full marks for it... it's simply not easy ... I don't think that's a reason to think that he did other than well on this exam. Smile

I cannot see Snape as DADA-teacher. For all these years Dumbledore had denied Snape that post and I feel Snape only applied for it "pro forma" so that he could say that Dumbledore wouldn't give him that post... If either Dumbledore or Snape had to teach DADA, my money would be on Dumbledore, but I hope for a new teacher (lol, yet another one...) maybe someone from that Order. Smile


Weeny Owl - Jun 10, 2004 11:42 am (#1124 of 2956)
Perhaps Dumbledore realized that Snape's animosity would not be conducive to Harry actually learning Occlumency.

Regardless of how much I like Harry, what he did was completely wrong. He invaded someone's private memories even though he knew it was something he shouldn't have done.

It would be no different than a real-life student nosing around a teacher's desk and reading a private journal.

Knowing Harry pried into something so incredibly personal only made Snape dislike Harry even more, but the main difference is that Harry actually did something to Snape instead of it just being Snape's dislike of James.

As has been said before, Snape will never been sweet and fluffy, but any progress that might have been made toward a relatively non-confrontational relationship between the two was severely damaged by Harry's actions.

Besides, if I were Harry and had angered Snape that much, I would probably stay as far away from him as possible.


Padfoot - Jun 10, 2004 11:57 am (#1125 of 2956)
For Harry to trust Snape, or vice versa, something incredible will need to happen. Whatever reason DD has to trust Snape will not be enough to convince Harry to believe he (Snape) is working for the good side. I think Snape will have to do something to gain Harry's trust, like save his life directly. Snape won't betray to Order unless he has been all along. (Which I don't think he is doing) Now for Snape to trust Harry is going to take a lot on Harry's part too. I'm not sure what he could do to repair that invasion of privacy. In that scene, I totally sympathize with Snape. What was Harry thinking?


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 10, 2004 1:00 pm (#1126 of 2956)
I can't believe how much Harry gets beamed for this. So he went into the pensieve? So what? Snape has made it his mission to make Harry's life miserable from day one. I know he may have his reasons and very good ones at that, but Harry doesn't know this. All Harry knows is that Snape's a jerk and Harry doesn't trust him. Their mutual dislike of each other is underscored by Harry's deep-seated mistrust of Snape. And let's face it, this kid has to rely on his wits and his instinct more than most. If he felt a compelling reason to invade Snape's privacy maybe we should consider the validity of that. What if the memory had confirmed all of Harry's suspicions? What if it had revealed Snape was still working on behalf of Voldemort? Would we be blaming Harry now? I see no reason why Harry should trust Snape more than Snape trusts Harry. And frankly, Snape has more information, thus more power, than Harry in this relationship. Why shouldn't Harry try to even out the balance of power when he can? For all he knows, it's information that could save his life down the road.


Lady Nagini - Jun 10, 2004 1:26 pm (#1127 of 2956)
If he felt a compelling reason to invade Snape's privacy maybe we should consider the validity of that.

"Could it possibly be information about the Department of Mysteries that Snape was determined to keep from him?" (OotP American 637)

So there was no "valid" reason. At this point, Harry hates Snape just because Snape hates him; I don't think he truly thinks Snape is working for Voldemort any longer. If he did, why would he confide in Snape in Umbridge's office about Snuffles?

Harry was simply being nosy - going into other people's private business in order to further his own ends (in this case, finding the Dept of Mysteries). He was wrong, no matter how nasty Snape was to him.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 10, 2004 1:36 pm (#1128 of 2956)
Information about the DOM seems a compelling reason to me. He's being haunted by his dreams of this place and no one is telling him why--but Snape knows. I think this is a perfectly valid reason and frankly excuses him from mere nosiness. He was shocked to find a deeply personal memory in the pensieve. And as to furthering his own ends--his own ends often means saving the lives of others or thwarting Voldemort. He isn't engaging in childish pranks.

As to confiding to Snape in Umbridge's office--he was desperate. He had been told repeatedly that Snape was trustworthy and had no other option but to test that theory. Well, Snape didn't exactly put Harry's mind at ease, did he? Moreover, that takes place after the pensieve scene.


Padfoot - Jun 10, 2004 1:36 pm (#1129 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 10, 2004 2:37 pm
Kim, If you put yourself in Snape's shoes, wouldn't you feel upset that someone you don't like has seen you in an embarrassing moment? Plus a teenager saw it, so it will likely be spread throughout the school, Snape might be thinking, in no time. Snape wants respect not ridicule. Especially at the hands of the son of his high school bully. Now we know Harry isn't going to do that, but Snape doesn't know that. I am not saying Snape handled it all that well, but I can certainly see why he was upset.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 10, 2004 1:43 pm (#1130 of 2956)
I can absolutely see why Snape was upset. I'm not disputing that. I am however, disputing the portrayal of Harry as some nosy busybody. And again, if Snape could see his way clear to trusting someone as deeply concerned in this cause as he is himself, he would recognize that Harry is the last person to spread such humiliating information.


Padfoot - Jun 10, 2004 1:50 pm (#1131 of 2956)
I like Harry and would never even compare Aunt Pet (a real nosy busybody) to him. However I will say that Harry went into the Pensive(s) more than once. He went into DD's thoughts too. And I'm pretty sure that Harry believes DD is working for the good side.

I want Harry and Snape to trust each other and I think it will happen in time. Something major will have to happen to make it so.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 10, 2004 1:57 pm (#1132 of 2956)
Yes, Padfoot, Harry did go into DD's pensieve, but he didn't know what it was at the time, did he? And do you really blame him for taking the ride once it sucked him in?

And I'm not implying that Harry's motives were absolutely pure when he went into Snape's memory. Let's face it, wouldn't it be nice to have a little personal information on Snape since Snape's been passing the evening digging through Harry's mind? Accessing all of his embarrassing moments. But it wasn't simply idle curiosity. Everyone was banded against his knowing more. But even without the prophecy, Harry's knows it's his fight. Did you really expect him not to find out more if given the opportunity?


Lady Nagini - Jun 10, 2004 2:09 pm (#1133 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 10, 2004 3:10 pm
I didn't mean to imply that Harry is a nosy busybody in general, just that in this instance, he acted like one. He was told over and over that he needed to block his mind to the dreams, since opening it up and finding the DOM is exactly what Voldemort wanted (maybe not in so many words - if someone can find the quote...?) He needs to learn to respect other people's privacy.

Wanting to know more about the DOM is not a valid reason to go through Snape's private memories, especially not when he already knows that Snape would flay him alive if he were caught.

Harry doesn't stop to think about the consequences of his actions; we've already talked about this on the Harry thread, I think. This is just a prime example of that.

So, yes, to get back to Snape...he should have locked the door or whatever to prevent Harry from getting into the Pensieve, but Harry shouldn't have snooped in the first place.

EDIT: I think Kim posted while I was typing.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 10, 2004 2:17 pm (#1134 of 2956)
Well, since it is so often Harry's life on the line and since the DOM is what Voldemort is trying to get information on I think Harry is perfectly justified in trying to ascertain whatever it is that no one else seems ready to trust him with. All he knows is that when it comes down to it, it's always him against Voldemort. As to being flayed alive by Snape--Harry's brooked more trouble than that in his time. And that alone is no reason not to go looking. In fact, it's a mark of Harry's courage that he risks Snape's wrath to get the information he needs.

But yes, back to Snape. He should have locked the door. He shouldn't have waved a very tempting opportunity in Harry's face--not when Harry had to turn around and let him have free access to his own thoughts. Makes you wonder--did Snape, subconsciously, want Harry to see this? Did he want Harry to find out what a lout James was?

EDIT: I seem to be posting when everyone is typing : ) I apologize if I sound cranky and inflexible, I'm home sick and seem to be venting my spleen on this thread. Poor Snape, he really does take a beating, doesn't he?


Padfoot - Jun 10, 2004 2:30 pm (#1135 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 10, 2004 3:31 pm
Did he want Harry to find out what a lout James was? I would guess that yes, he wanted Harry to understand how horrible James was. I doubt he was consciously wanting him to find out the way he did though.

In fact, it's a mark of Harry's courage that he risks Snape's wrath to get the information he needs. Um, Harry knew it was wrong and thought he could get away with it before Snape got back. That doesn't seem to be courage to me. Snape going back to Voldemort to act as a spy is courageous to me. Harry going to help Sirius was courageous in his own way. But sneaking a look into someone else's private thoughts is not courageous to me. Just my two knuts.


Chemyst - Jun 10, 2004 2:31 pm (#1136 of 2956)
...did Snape, subconsciously, want Harry to see this? Did he want Harry to find out what a lout James was?

If so, it's a pretty crafty move on Snape's part. Not only does he get to prove to Harry what his dad was really like, he also gets to make Harry look equally bad for snooping. And what did Snape actually lose? Very little. Harry could hardly dislike him any more than he already does, no love loss there. Snape embarrassed? No worse than Neville's boggart! In the end, Harry understood a lot more. That is a plus. Snape's biggest risk was that Harry might pity him the way Lily had. 'Probably worth it.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 10, 2004 2:37 pm (#1137 of 2956)
Well, I was just responding to Lady Nagini's comment that it was wrong because Snape would flay him alive if caught. He took a risk to gain information. It took courage to take that risk, even if it wasn't a noble enterprise. Remember, Harry's being given very few options here. He's been shutout of the loop, information-wise, yet he's suppose to suffer the intrusion of Snape.

While waiting for a response to my last post, I wondered what would Snape have done in similar circumstances. Snape would hate to be out of the loop himself. I think he might take some unsavory steps to get information if he felt it was being kept from him.

EDIT: Posted the same time as Chemyst. Actually, Chemyst, Snape's biggest risk was that Harry would spread this embarrassing memory, but since it cast James in such an unflattering light it's unlikely that he would do so. And, although I like your premise that it was a crafty move on Snape's part (doesn't he just ooze crafty), I think, if true, it was an unconscious move on his part.


Weeny Owl - Jun 10, 2004 2:49 pm (#1138 of 2956)
I doubt if any of this would be deliberate on Snape's part because he had no way of knowing he would ever have to leave the room with Harry there alone.

Harry was already told by Dumbledore that he should exercise caution with his curiosity.

Harry was interested in knowing what was going on in the Department of Mysteries. He was curious. He didn't practice Occlumency.

Snape is justified in being angry, although since he is an adult, he could have tried a bit more to set aside his personal feelings in favor of the big picture.

I'm surprised Harry got off as lightly as he did. A jar of cockroaches and a potion sample knocked off the desk really don't seem to be indications of Snape's ability for vindictiveness. Snape could have done much more to Harry, after all.


Lady Nagini - Jun 10, 2004 2:49 pm (#1139 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 10, 2004 3:50 pm
I can't imagine Snape ever doing something like that. Yes, he "lost very little," but he's such an intensely private person that an intrusion of privacy like that would be horrible, not anything to do on purpose.

EDIT: Weeny Owl and I cross-posted. Uh..yeah, I agree with what you're saying.


rambkowalczyk - Jun 10, 2004 3:04 pm (#1140 of 2956)
I feel compelled to say the reason Snape didn't want Harry to know what was in the department of mysteries was because he was under Dumbledore's orders not to say anything. Previous to the pensieve scene Snape had one major reason to be angry at Harry. Harry wasn't practising in spite of being told to by Dumbledore,Lupin and Sirius. As a result of not practicing, Harry was finding out about stuff Dumbledore didn't want him to know about.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 10, 2004 3:14 pm (#1141 of 2956)
Yes, but as DD later admits, Harry should have been told. He was old enough to know. Harry himself knew this. Can he be blamed for taking matters into his own hands?

While Snape was angry with Harry for not practising, Snape never needs much of an excuse, does he? And although he may taunt Harry as a means of forcing Harry to control his emotions, it has backfired more than once. For me, this falls into Snape doing the wrong thing for the right reason category.


Lady Nagini - Jun 10, 2004 4:21 pm (#1142 of 2956)
Yes, but as DD later admits, Harry should have been told. He was old enough to know. Harry himself knew this. Can he be blamed for taking matters into his own hands?

Yes. Yes, he was old enough to know some things, but just that alone does not give him the right to go snooping through Snape's things. He was being hotheaded about not speaking to DD in the first place; if he had really wanted to know, he should have gone to DD, not intruded on Snape's privacy. Snape was not the one entirely at fault here.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 10, 2004 4:31 pm (#1143 of 2956)
But DD was avoiding Harry. Again, Harry was on his own for information. And DD, as DD admitted to Harry, he should have been told about the prophecy, then he should have been told about everything else as well. He has passed over the point at which information can be reasonably kept from him.

Snape was the only Order member Harry was having regular contact with. And Snape wasn't exactly being sympathetic towards Harry's plight, was he? Snape seemed to enjoy having more information than Harry. Snape can't complain if Harry refused to sit idly by.


mooncalf - Jun 11, 2004 12:06 am (#1144 of 2956)



Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 10, 2004 5:15 pm (#1145 of 2956)
Why thanks, Mooncalf. Been waiting half the day for someone to agree with me ; )


mooncalf - Jun 10, 2004 5:16 pm (#1146 of 2956)
Yes, it sounded like it. :-)


Lady Nagini - Jun 10, 2004 6:59 pm (#1147 of 2956)
Edited by Denise P. Jun 10, 2004 8:17 pm
I'm afraid I'm coming off anti-Harry. I'm not trying to - I just think Harry was the one who bears most of the blame in this case.

Sorry if I'm being cranky or touchy - I'm bored out of my mind now that summer's here and all the stuff I have planned doesn't start for another couple of weeks.

Edit: I changed your wink since it showed up as an Angelfire logo rather than a wink Denise


Weeny Owl - Jun 10, 2004 7:26 pm (#1148 of 2956)
Does the end justify the means?

Harry didn't find out anything he was actually looking for, but what he did find out was something not too great about his father and how Snape was treated.

I'm sure Snape gave as good as he got where James and Sirius were concerned, but the fact remains, what is stored in a Pensieve is no different than a diary or a private journal, and Harry was old enough at fifteen to know that what he was doing was wrong.

That isn't to say that Harry isn't usually the injured party in a confrontation with Snape, but in this particular instance what he did to Snape was wrong.

Harry knew he wasn't practicing Occlumency. Harry was merely curious as to what could be found in the Department of Mysteries. I sympathize with Harry 99.99 percent of the time, but in this one instance he did more to ruin any possible working relationship with Snape than he had in his first four years at Hogwarts.


Lady Nagini - Jun 10, 2004 8:48 pm (#1149 of 2956)
Thank you, Weeny Owl! You said what I wanted to say...but much better.


Gina R Snape - Jun 10, 2004 9:33 pm (#1150 of 2956)
I don't see how Harry entering Snape's pensieve could possibly be seen as bravery. He was hoping to catch a glimpse of Snape's thoughts, and to get out in time. But I don't think this was to gain information on what's going on. I think he was specifically drawn to what private thought of Snape's might warrant hiding from Harry.

I don't expect a 15 year old to have perfect impulse control. Harry, especially, has exceedingly poor impulse control. But what he did was wrong. Still, Chemyst raising a good point and I too have to wonder of Snape subconsciously wanted Harry to see what happened, to show James Potter in a bad light. One thing is for sure, though, JKR wanted us and Harry to see James in a not-so-perfect light. Probably, to show Harry the world is yet more complex all the time. But, it did raise some sympathies for Severus Snape along the way.

And I'm still upset no one in the fandom thought up the nickname "Snivellus" before it came out in OoP!
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Ff3girl - Jun 10, 2004 10:27 pm (#1151 of 2956)
What a coincidence... I was reading this just the other day, and now it is what the topic of conversation has steered toward!

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

This person actually has lots of other really interesting essays...


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 11, 2004 4:45 am (#1152 of 2956)
Well, Harry might not have good impulse control, and it's certainly gotten him into a heap of scrapes, but it's those same instinctual actions, his letting his heart lead his head, that have saved him many a time too. (And I'll give or take on the bravery/pensieve issue, but I still think it took a certain amount of guts to go in there and risk Snape finding out, which in my book, equals courage. So maybe I'm not willing to give or take there after all. Oh well : )

Compare to Snape, who is always trying to master his emotions--what a noble pursuit. But, poor man, his idea of trying to master his emotions is to excise them which renders him such an unsympathetic character to his students. I realize he just can't let himself be vulnerable again, but I suspect he'll have to before book 7 finishes. Snape and Harry are opposites of the same coin--Harry needs to find his head and Snape needs to find his heart.


mike miller - Jun 11, 2004 5:17 am (#1153 of 2956)
First off, I don't think Snape left the Pensieve so Harry could find out more about James. Harry was overcome by curiousity. In fact, does Harry even know how to extracate himself from a Pensieve? The only other time he was inside a Pensieve's thoughts, DD had to "pull" him out. Harry's getting caught by Snape was a given once he entered the Pensieve. Harry just wasn't thinking; his lack of information was driving him crazy.

Second, Snape is the one who must take the first step in spite of the personal violation. Harry has been the recipient of Snape's wrath from day one. Harry shares blame, but Snape as the adult has to get over his feud with James and deal with Harry.

Edit: I hope when Severus and Harry finally "bury the hatchet" it's in Voldemort's snakey head!


Padfoot - Jun 11, 2004 8:31 am (#1154 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 11, 2004 9:31 am
Good question Mike regarding whether Harry can get out of a Pensive. I would guess he would figure it out eventually. I wonder what happens once the memory is over?

Kim, I would say that it took guts to go into Snape's thoughts in the Pensieve. But I wouldn't say that's the same as courage. The moral part is what makes the difference to me.

Here is what Merriam-Webster says about Courage: Etymology: Middle English corage, from Old French, from cuer heart, from Latin cor -- more at HEART : mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty


Lady Nagini - Jun 11, 2004 8:51 am (#1155 of 2956)
Yes, it was his instincts that led him to defeat Voldemort on a number of occasions, but that isn't a good enough excuse to snoop through another person's things, especially not a professor's equivalent of a deeply personal diary. Harry doesn't think when he acts on impulse, and that is where he erred.

As for the Red Hen essay, it is essentially claiming that Snape is a coward (trying to protect his backside from both DD and Voldemort instead of teaching Harry) as well as a triple agent - going behind Voldemort's back for DD, then double crossing DD for Voldemort yet again.

The essay can't postulate that he is a coward and a triple agent. The two are mutually exclusive. Being a spy of that sort takes either extreme courage or extreme stupidity; we already know that Snape is not stupid.

And if he is not consciously trying to get Harry thrown out of lessons, he would be firmly on DD's side, no? Why would he be teaching Harry to protect himself against Voldemort if he was working for Voldemort.

Hope that makes sense.


The PhantomOtaku - Jun 11, 2004 1:59 pm (#1156 of 2956)
You know, I've always wondered about how the Pensive works. It seems too much a coincedense that it gives memories that're important to the story-line. My sister suggested to me that it gives you memories that have to do with something you're thinking about at the time, but that wouldn't work because when Harry took a dive into Snapes Pensive he was looking for info about the Order but was given one of Snapes school memories... Any thoughts on this?

Lupin is Lupin. Natch. [/b]- Jun 11, 2004 2:20 pm (#1157 of 2956)
Padfoot, are we going to play Dueling Dictionaries? Really, I'm not feeling up to it. But suffice to say that I think entering Snape's pensieve qualifies as mental strength to withstand the fear of being caught. ; )

Moreover, (because I love to play Dueling Dictionaries and I am feeling slightly better), strictly speaking, guts is a synonym for courage. I employed it specifically to bridge the courage debate. But, that said, I agree Padfoot, guts implies a rougher, seat-of-your-pants action that may require overcoming one's fear but not for a necessarily noble endeavor.

Lady Nagini, Harry does think when he acts on impulse, he just doesn't think enough : )

Also, Lady Nagini, I don't see why one can't be both stupid and courageous. Didn't Bertha Jorkins suffer a bit from this?

I feel the need to bring this back to Snape (I hear the sound of Thumper in the wings): although I first floated it a couple of posts back, I've just reread the pensieve scene and I don't think Snape intended for Harry to find that memory--even unconsciously. The physical manifestation of his reaction seems too convincing to be anything but genuine and genuinely shocked.


Padfoot - Jun 11, 2004 2:36 pm (#1158 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 11, 2004 3:48 pm
Dueling Dictionaries! Everyone always beats me to it. So I rushed to get the definition in this time. I will concede that it took mental strength to withstand the fear of being caught on Harry's part. But I still say it was wrong and he should not have done it. It was too much of an invasion of privacy to Snape.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 11, 2004 2:44 pm (#1159 of 2956)
Oh it was wrong, Padfoot, I don't dispute it. But I think it's wrongness was tempered by Harry's need for information. What do you expect if you back a 15-year-old hero into a corner and then blindfold him?


Padfoot - Jun 11, 2004 2:50 pm (#1160 of 2956)
Must have high standards for Harry I guess. That scene, I sympathized with Snape more than Harry.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 11, 2004 2:50 pm (#1161 of 2956)
Can't I sympathize for both?

EDIT: Actually Padfoot, I might be able to squeeze out a little bit more sympathy for Snape. After this incident, Harry could talk to Hermione and Ron (if he so chose), or Dumbledore (if Dumbledore was giving him any face time) or Sirius and Lupin (as he did). Who did Snape have to confide in? His is a very lonely existence. Oh wait, what's that noise? Oh, it's only Gina rushing to comfort Severus and provide a willing ear : )


DJ Evans - Jun 11, 2004 4:27 pm (#1162 of 2956)
After giving this some thought, I'm just wondering if Snape "knew" that Harry had any past experiences with a Pensieve. Most likely Snape felt pretty safe in putting his thoughts/memories into the Pensieve that evening. Figures Harry wouldn't know how it worked and felt confident of putting them in there.

And not to excuse Harry, by any means, for looking into the Pensieve, but I can kinda see the situation from his side too. Here he has a teacher who has openly shown his strong dislike for him from day one. Though he has been told somewhat where that dislike comes from, does it completely explain it? Likely not enough for Harry, so I can see him seeing the Pensieve sitting there with some of Snape's thoughts/memories in it. Here's his chance of maybe of finally getting a read on Snape & what makes him "tick"? Something more to explain Snape's hatred for him &/or why he acts like he does toward him & others too maybe.

Later days, Deb


Tomoé - Jun 11, 2004 4:55 pm (#1163 of 2956)
I do sympathize for both of them.

On the one hand, you have Harry who knows he's kept on the dark. He have only two sources of informations, the Daily Prophet and Voldemort. Dumbledore, who doesn't seem to want to talk to him anymore, want Harry to learn to close his mind and loose the informations that Tom can give him. The only teacher DD can provide is Professor Snape, who showed pure hatred for him for five years now. He's still curious about his corridor dreams and want to know how it end, but no one is as curious as he is, he lie to Hermione about it, he lie to Ron, he lie to Snape. If no one want to be his ally in his curiosity, fine, he'll be curious on his own, he's used to do things on his own and be by his own. Then come the pensieve, he was hoping to find the answers he was looking for, because no one will tell him even Sirius. And if you can't have answers from other people, you have to find an other way to get them.

On the other hand, you have Snape who have to teach Harry how to close his mind, but cannot give him the whole picture of why he should learn it and learn it fast because he's forbidden to tell too much. Plus, he have to be careful because Voldemort could be watching through Harry's mind the whole time. The kid doesn't progress, it's very frustrating because that's time consuming, for one thing, and he has extra time with mini-James, he don't like the kid and I assume he took Harry's lack of progress personal, he was the bad teacher, he was the one who's not as good as Dumbledore expected.

He did leave Harry alone with the pensieve when Trelawney was sacked, and Harry leave the office without peering inside. Maybe Snape wrongly felt safe to leave Harry alone again when Montague get out of the vanishing cabinet. As he found Harry peering in his most personal thought, weeks of frustration vent out, but he still stay surprisingly under control.

In conclusion, Dumbledore messed it up thoroughfully this time.


Lady Nagini - Jun 11, 2004 6:21 pm (#1164 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 11, 2004 7:22 pm
Kim, as far as I know...Bertha Jorkins was of the stupid sort. Plus, she wasn't a triple agent; she was a lowly Minstry official poking around in other people's business.

Ahhh. Okay, Snape. I promise...we will drop this now. If you want to continue this on the Harry thread, I'd be happy to.

Snape definitely should have locked the cabinet door (although as DJ said, he might not have known that Harry even knew what a Pensieve was). He is not doublecrossing Voldemort for DD for Voldemort. Eeep, I get a headache just thinking about it.


Gina R Snape - Jun 11, 2004 10:35 pm (#1165 of 2956)
Kim (Lupin is Lupin) wrote: Who did Snape have to confide in? His is a very lonely existence. Oh wait, what's that noise? Oh, it's only Gina rushing to comfort Severus and provide a willing ear : )

Oh how I chuckle when people on the forum drop my name like that... You'd be surprised what threads I find my name on sometimes!

But anyway, one can only imagine what Snape said to DD. Probably a roaring earful enough to make DD regret his choice on Snape's and Harry's behalves. One has to wonder what other thankless tasks lie ahead for Snape, and whether DD will flinch in giving them.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jun 12, 2004 4:51 am (#1166 of 2956)
Lady Nagini, yes, you're right. I had that reference wrong. I was thinking of when Sirius said, "Very nosy, but no brains, none at all. It's not a good combination." In my mind I see Bertha screwing up her courage if it meant she could find out a good bit of gossip. Either way, I still say you can be dumb and brave. I just don't recommend it.

Gina, glad you liked the reference. I had actually meant to put something like that in an earlier post but overlooked it.

Lastly, do you really see Snape confiding in DD about such a thing? Perhaps he'd use the opportunity to point out how reckless Harry can be, but I don't think Snape would have revealed the nature of the memory or that he was no longer giving Harry lessons. I've always been under the impression that DD was unaware of that until the end of OotP.


rambkowalczyk - Jun 12, 2004 6:23 am (#1167 of 2956)
I think after Snape threw Harry out of his office, he did not tell Dumbledore. Maybe he was waiting for Harry to apologize for his actions. Harry did owe him that. When Harry didn't, that put Snape in a quandary. What could he do? He already kicked him out of occlumency. His social skills couldn't handle this situation. Dumbledore found out when Sirius and Remus told him. Then Dumbledore may have confronted Snape.

regarding the RedHen publication Pensive Gambit, I too have to disagree with the basic premise: That Snape engineered it so that Harry would look inside the pensieve get caught so Snape could stop teaching him.

Snape is certainly capable of this kind of planning, but I don't think the book supports it. It would imply that Snape knew of Montague's whereabout and deliberately waited until "Umbridge discovered him in the toilet" and had to call him for help. That's putting a student's health in danger and I don't think Snape would do this.

As to whether Snape subconsciously wanted Harry to see this memories that's a maybe.

What I wonder is what were the other two memories? One is most likely when he was 16 and encounters werewolf Lupin. Madam Pince in Post 128 of Godric's Hollow gave another theory which might be the third memory-that of Snape going to Godric's Hollow to warn James and Lily of Voldemort's attack and not succeeding.

How would he have known? I don't think Snape knows what is in Sybil's prophecy. He didn't know Peter Pettigrew worked for Voldemort. What I suspect is that Voldemort somehow convinced Snape that Sirius Black was working for him. Maybe Voldemort transfigured little Peter to look and sound like Black so from the distance where Snape was "eavesdropping", he heard "Black" give Voldemort the secret keeper info as to how to find James and Lily and Harry. Voldemort fully expected Snape to tell Dumbledore but it would be too late. Then Dumbledore would be convinced that it was Sirius who was the spy and not Peter.


Gina R Snape - Jun 12, 2004 8:45 am (#1168 of 2956)
Well, I don't think Snape ran off to DD crying like a baby. I think when DD found out about the occlumency lessons ceasing he and Snape must have had a little chat. And whenever that happened (don't know who told him, I never thought about it), Snape must have just...gone off. Yelled like there was no tomorrow. I suspect Snape felt angry and justified, not sad and apologetic. Considering how he always follows DD's orders, even grudgingly at times, this was really the first time Snape didn't follow through with orders--but again, not for lack of trying. He just met his limits.

Don't forget, Phineas Nigellus said Slytherins will always take care of themselves first. That's exactly what Snape did here. Which is why I must wonder whether DD will hesitate to ask Snape again to do something directly involving Harry.

DD wasn't around Hogwarts at the time, but we know he was still 'around' and conducting Order meetings. Snape didn't abandon the Order entirely. We know he tried to keep Sirius Black safe and to watch after Potter at the end of the book (even though Harry, being bloody-minded didnt hear any of that!).

Anyway, all I'm saying is Snape wasn't waiting for an apology. It would've been nice. But I think occlumency lessons are...over.

Hey, Ramb, I have a theory that it was Snape who overheard the prophesy in the Hog's Head. It would have been interesting if that were one of the memories. JKR doesn't even begin to hint what the other two might be. So, it's pure conjecture on our parts. But I wouldn't be surprised if it were something important about the night the Potters were killed, or the prophesy, or something like that. Of course, it could just be something deeply personal like Snape's first time kissing a girl or crying after being picked on...but I doubt it. The fact is, there are things in his head Harry should *not* see. It just adds another layer of mystery to the man!


rambkowalczyk - Jun 12, 2004 9:46 am (#1169 of 2956)
Snape certainly wasn't expecting Harry to apologize, for if he did he would have to forgive him and resume lessons. I was wondering if he would try to have a face saving excuse to give Dumbledore.

I had considered that possibility (that it was Snape who overhead the prophecy). It would give a Slytherin like reason to join Dumbledore: saving his own skin while there was time. There are 2 reasons which make me doubt it. One,Dumbledore says Snape rejoined our side at the height of Voldemort's powers. This could be around the time of the prophecy, but Dumbledore's statement doesn't imply that Snape was jumping a ship that didn't know it was sinking. It implied courage or something similar. The second is that eavesdropper "was thrown from the building". I took this to mean Dumbledore knew who the eavesdropper was and chose not to tell Harry. It still could have been Snape before he switched sides, but I think Lucius Malfoy would have been a more likelier candidate.


S.E. Jones - Jun 13, 2004 11:12 pm (#1170 of 2956)
Do you realize that if all the Houses doubled on classes (i.e. two houses to a class) and classes were an average of an hour and a half long, then Snape would teach 54 hours a week (assuming all classes meet three times a week and 6th and 7th years all fit into one class meeting three times a week).... Could this be the reason for Snape's, er, "snapeness", he hasn't slept in 14 years? One has to wonder why Snape hates himself enough to continuously assign homework that he's going to have to grade when he already doesn't have enough time in the day.... Or maybe he's just one heck of a dedicated teacher! .....


The giant squid - Jun 13, 2004 11:53 pm (#1171 of 2956)
Yeah, dedicated...that's the word for it... ;-)


Lady Nagini - Jun 13, 2004 11:54 pm (#1172 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 14, 2004 12:55 am
Dedicated...deranged...they sound similar.

I think I'm going to go hide from Gina now...


Romana - Jun 14, 2004 3:38 am (#1173 of 2956)
Ahh....That what the time turner is for. That is why he can give lots of homework, do his 54 hours, and still find time to be unpleasant to Harry! Of course, that is another reason why he keeps appearing out of thin air! He has to keep moving in order to prevent himself from meeting himself! Smile


rambkowalczyk - Jun 14, 2004 5:04 am (#1174 of 2956)
Gryffindor and the Slytherins meet twice a week each class being 1 &1/2 hours long. Thats 3 hours a week. Assume Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff do the same. Thats 6 hours a week for for each year. that means Snape does 30 hours a week for years one through 5. At the most he teaches 42 hours a week. But I'm assuming he will be teaching all 4 classes in year 6 and 7 as they are smaller.

In the US 3 hours a week is standard for a typical college course. Granted this is a lab course and probably would be longer. I don't see any indication that Harry has potions more than 2 times a week.


S.E. Jones - Jun 14, 2004 2:30 pm (#1175 of 2956)
Actually, they usually meet 2.5 times a week... It's either three times or one normal class with a double class, depending on the year (though first year was just one double class).....


rambkowalczyk - Jun 15, 2004 8:37 am (#1176 of 2956)
Can you provide evidence of this? It seems in book 5 Harry only has it two days a week- Monday and Thursday three hours total. (I took this from the Lexicon calender of Events). Am I misunderstanding S E Jones' post?


Prefect Marcus - Jun 15, 2004 9:14 am (#1177 of 2956)
Here is another way to look at Snape's schedule. Each day seems to be broken into four class periods of 1.5 hours each. That gives him 20 class periods in a week. Even if we assume only two periods a week, that completely fills up Snape's schedule. (2 periods a week/class * 2 classes/year * 5 years = 20 periods a week) This does not include double classes and NEWT classes.

Harry and Ron seem to have double Potions in every year, so the number of periods a week should be 3. Assuming there is only one NEWT class and it too has 3 periods per week, Snape needs 33 periods in a week. That is more periods than a seven day week can provide, let alone a five day week.

Rowling isn't good at maths. She has said so herself.


S.E. Jones - Jun 15, 2004 6:46 pm (#1178 of 2956)
Yr1: d.Potions on Friday (PS, pg135, US)

Yr2: Potions on Wed (CS, pg146),
d.Potions on Thurs (CS, pg186),
there is another Potions class that is most probably on Tuesday (pg266); it is first thing in the morning, followed by Herbology and DADA but these are not the same classes that we are told they have on Wed.

Yr3: d.Potions on Thurs (PA, pg123),
there seems to be another Potions class on Tues (pg185)

Yr4: Potions on Friday,
there seems to be another Potions class on Wed

Yr5: d.Potions on Monday,
there seems to be another Potions class on Thurs (pg270)

Unfortunately, I can't find my citations for Yrs 4-5, so I'll have to go back through those books and double check. I've already spent the last week going through 1-3 digging up the citations for Harry's schedule (Yes, I've been very, very bored!).....



Chemyst - Jun 16, 2004 5:11 am (#1179 of 2956)
Oh No! You mustn't forget the detention schedule times!


Gina R Snape - Jun 16, 2004 5:55 am (#1180 of 2956)
:snicker:

Monday: Gina, Caput, Sherbie, rest of Detention with Snape! Club
Tuesday: Students actually in need of detention
Wednesday: Gina, Harry Potter & Co (just on general principle), rest of Detention with Snape! Club
Thursday: Break
Friday: Students actually in need of detention, then weekend 'detention' with Gina


Thanks for the reminder, Chemyst!


septentrion - Jun 16, 2004 6:17 am (#1181 of 2956)
Are you sure that the students need so much detention ? I need more than twice a week !


Gina R Snape - Jun 16, 2004 6:27 am (#1182 of 2956)
Well, looks like I just ran out of time to edit... But this is what I meant to put...

EDIT: Septentrion, I wrote you in, and for being the first to speak up, you get a special Friday pass.

Now, let's hope that doesn't warrant a kippendo...


Weeny Owl - Jun 16, 2004 8:35 am (#1183 of 2956)
I'm going to have to have my own detention on Thursday, Gina.

None of the teachers can have too many class hours because of all the essays they assign, but Snape has potion samples to grade in addition to all of the homework to check over.


septentrion - Jun 16, 2004 8:56 am (#1184 of 2956)
yep, yep, yep ! my fridays with Severus !


Gina R Snape - Jun 16, 2004 9:19 am (#1185 of 2956)
Well, anyone who has ever taught knows the work is never restricted to the classroom time. I've lost many a night to grading papers...

Even more reason for Snape to be annoyed about giving up his Wednesday evenings to tutor Harry in occlumency!


Padfoot - Jun 17, 2004 11:35 am (#1186 of 2956)
I want to be a member of the Detention with Snape! Club. Gina, I assume you are the president. Where do I sign up?


popkin - Jun 17, 2004 11:43 am (#1187 of 2956)
Have any of the kids who've been given detention by Snape ever actually served it with Snape? It seems like he assigns people to serve their detentions with other personell - like polishing trophies with Filch, going into the Dark Forest with Hagrid or replying to fan mail with Lockhart. I can't remember anyone ever serving detention with Professor Snape.


Julia. - Jun 17, 2004 1:07 pm (#1188 of 2956)
I believe Ron did at some point, but my books are not handy and I wouldn't evin begin to know where to look for it. I deffinatly recall Ron comming back from being set a deteion by Snape, and being non too pleased about it, but if memory serves, he was made to scrub all the bedpans in the hospital wing.

EDIT: I just checked the Lexicon, quite amazing that they have a page issued for such things. Neville was made to disembowel a barrel full of horned toads, Ron was made to pickel rats brains in the dungeon. Our dear potions master issued bothe of these detentions. It is never outright stated, but I assume these detetions took place with Snape.


Sir Tornado - Jun 17, 2004 1:28 pm (#1189 of 2956)
I think even Harry serves a detention with Snape in GoF.I think Ron serves the detention with Harry and I have a feeling it was something to do with pickling some Brains(It happens after Draco hits Hermione with the curse and increases the size of her teeth)


Doris Crockford - Jun 18, 2004 5:21 am (#1190 of 2956)
Yeah, in GOF, when Harry and Ron weren't speaking, they had a detention with Snape because they yelled at Snape for not caring about the size of Hermione's teeth. "Harry had half hoped that they would make things upduring the two hours they were forced to pickle rats' brains in Snape's dungeon" (The Hungarian Horntail, p.277 Canadian edition). Since it took place in Snape's dungeon, I assumed that Snape was there. Not many other teachers seem to go down there. And I think that Snape would be rather protective of all of his Potions ingredients. He probably noticed that Ron and Harry weren't talking, and he probably wouldn't leave them alone together with all of those rats' brains that they could throw at each other if they were arguing (wouldn't want to waste them ).


Gina R Snape - Jun 18, 2004 7:31 am (#1191 of 2956)
I've always been under the impression that detentions are to be useful (even if not in fanfiction). So when Snape assigns detentions, if he's got unpleasant potions tasks to be done, he just uses the kids. Or if he can't be bothered, hands the kids off to Filch who could always use a hand.

Glad the Lexicon has specific incidents. But we can fill in the blanks that certain things need to get done. I don't doubt that older students might be assigned to make pepper up potion, for example, as a detention duty... Unless you're in the Detention with Snape! Club, of course. And you are now an official member, Padfoot.


popkin - Jun 18, 2004 7:46 am (#1192 of 2956)
Well, the Detention with Snape! Club was certain to know the answer to that question. Thanks for your answers.


Julia. - Jun 18, 2004 9:22 am (#1193 of 2956)
Our pleasure Popkin.


Caput Draconis - Jun 18, 2004 5:13 pm (#1194 of 2956)
Lol, once again I fell behind, once again there's no better way to spend 3 hours of a Saturday morning than with Severus - especially when you catch up to find you're still listed in the DWSC. I am honoured.

Going back over all the old character analysis was great. I just hope JKR gives us the detail we sooo crave. Reading this stuff made me realise how much I'd like to see a scene between Lucius and Snape, the passing references drive me nuts. I see Lucius as believing he has Snape wrapped around his aristocratic finger, not a true friendship but just using him in the same way he seems to use everyone. I'd love to see the moment when/if the tables are turned, when Lucius realises that his 'inferior' is actually the one who held the power in their relationship, that he is the one being manipulated. I also love the idea that Draco could recall the Occlumency lessons should any suspicion ever arise concerning Snape's loyalties...I'll bet Severus was thrilled when mini-Lucius arrived on the scene to further complicate his life.

Super interesting that it was Lucius' name that provoked the 'sudden movement' - although I've always read it as Snape worried for Harry, that it puts Harry in further danger to reveal he knows the ID of the highest ranking servants of a newly risen Dark Lord. Just me though.


popkin - Jun 18, 2004 5:25 pm (#1195 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 18, 2004 6:29 pm
Caput Draconis [/b]- Jun 18, 2004 6:13 pm (#1194 of 1194) Reading this stuff made me realise how much I'd like to see a scene between Lucius and Snape....I'd love to see the moment when/if the tables are turned, when Lucius realises that his 'inferior' is actually the one who held the power in their relationship, that he is the one being manipulated.....

Super interesting that it was Lucius' name that provoked the 'sudden movement' - although I've always read it as Snape worried for Harry, that it puts Harry in further danger to reveal he knows the ID of the highest ranking servants of a newly risen Dark Lord.

As I read your post, CD, it occurred to me that Snape could very well be concerned about what Lucius will reveal about our opaque professor when he is put on the trial before the Wisengamot. Lucy will certainly try to wriggle out of Azkaban, and if pointing the finger at Snape will help his cause even just a little bit, he won't hesitate to do so. And, how will Professor Snape defend himself? Anything he says in his defense will make him a target for LV and the DEs, and will also reveal Order secrets. Forgoing a defense will put him at risk for a stay in prison. That's what happened to Sturgis, isn't it?

Will year six start out with a substitute potions teacher?


Gina R Snape - Jun 18, 2004 8:39 pm (#1196 of 2956)
Oooh, Popkin, you have got a good point! I think we were meant to wonder about Sturgis on a few levels. But 'ambiguous' Snape is in exactly the kind of situation that could get him in real trouble.

Of course, if he's playing double-agent and Voldemort thinks Snape is there at Hogwarts on his orders, then being defended by DD will not be disastrous. But it is sticky indeed...

Hmmm, I suppose I ought to make a 'real' list of Detention members. Seems to be getting bigger and bigger.


Laurelin - Jun 19, 2004 2:26 am (#1197 of 2956)
Popkin wrote: (...) it occurred to me that Snape could very well be concerned about what Lucius will reveal about our opaque professor when he is put on the trial before the Wisengamot. Lucy (=Lucius???) will certainly try to wriggle out of Azkaban, and if pointing the finger at Snape will help his cause even just a little bit, he won't hesitate to do so. And, how will Professor Snape defend himself? Anything he says in his defense will make him a target for LV and the DEs, and will also reveal Order secrets.

There will be no hearing in front of the Wizengamot(WG) I expect... aren't Malfoy & co already in Azkaban and aren't they expected to break out soon because the Dementors are no longer guarding that prison? Also, please consider that while Voldemort has powers, no DE would ever dare to accuse others of being DEs in front of the WG!!!


Gina R Snape - Jun 19, 2004 8:23 am (#1198 of 2956)
I think if Lucius thought ratting out Snape would save his own hide, he'd do it in a flash. Especially if there are doubts in the DE community about dear old Sev.

Lucius might push for a post-prison trial. He could have the right to lawyer visits in Azkaban for all we know.


S.E. Jones - Jun 19, 2004 11:38 pm (#1199 of 2956)
I think if Lucius thought ratting out Snape would save his own hide, he'd do it in a flash.

I don't think Lucius would rat out any DE. Not now anyway. Before, when Karkaroff gave names, the Dark Lord had disappeared, his power broken, but now he's back. If Lucius really wanted to save his hide, he'd keep his mouth shut and wait. Voldemort was able to free his 10 DEs in Azkaban and remove the Dementors from the place, recruiting them to his side. He's certainly proven that he's got his power back in full force and I can't see Lucius doubting it....


popkin - Jun 20, 2004 4:51 am (#1200 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 20, 2004 5:54 am
Lucius could rat out Snape to Voldemort to avoid incurring LV's wrath and punishment. Also, Snape might not even appear to Lucius to be an active DE, so ratting him out to the Ministry might be delightful to Voldemort. That's one of the most interesting things about Snape's character. We don't know what he's doing in his private time or who he's doing it with. At any rate, Snape appears to be concerned that Lucius was one of the DEs captured in the DOM. There must be a reason for his telling look. What made Snape lose a bit of his cool when Lucius name was mentioned? He already knew Lucius was a DE. He must surely know that Lucius has it out for Harry; what DE doesn't? He must also know that Lucius wants to stay on LV's top ten favorites list. So why did Snape react to finding out Lucius was caught? I don't think it's because they're "best friends". He must be worried about the consequences, and they will probably be personal.
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septentrion - Jun 20, 2004 6:45 am (#1201 of 2956)
Where is it stated that snape is concerned because of Malfoy being caught ? I can't find it in OoTP. thanks for the answer.


Weeny Owl - Jun 20, 2004 7:37 am (#1202 of 2956)
septentrion, I believe the reference is to the hospital scene at the end of GoF where Snape makes a sudden movement when Lucius Malfoy's name is mentioned.

Is Snape surprised, worried, annoyed, or something else entirely when Harry tells Fudge about Lucius?


Gina R Snape - Jun 20, 2004 7:46 am (#1203 of 2956)
I think perhaps popkin just got confused. Snape gave a telling look in GoF when Harry mentions Lucius being at the DE meeting. But nowhere in OoP do we see Snape's reaction to the imprisonment of the DEs who showed up at the Ministry.

EDIT: Ooops. Looks like Weeny and I posted at the same time. ::waves frantically:: Hi Weeny!


septentrion - Jun 20, 2004 8:05 am (#1204 of 2956)
thanks for the quick answer Weeny and Gina !


Weeny Owl - Jun 20, 2004 8:07 am (#1205 of 2956)
hehehe... Hi, Gina!

At the end of Ootp, however, I would like to know what Snape planned to do to Harry since all of Gryffindor's points were gone. Professor McGonagall interrupts him with "add some more," but what would he have done had she not been there? It's the end of the year, but would he have given Harry a detention? A ton of homework for the summer?


Gina R Snape - Jun 20, 2004 8:23 am (#1206 of 2956)
Knowing Snape, he would've held one of his famous grudges, waited until next September and taken the points then!


popkin - Jun 20, 2004 8:47 am (#1207 of 2956)
And I just finished a reread of OotP last night. Oh, well.... I still think Lucius could cause Snape trouble.


Gina R Snape - Jun 20, 2004 9:36 am (#1208 of 2956)
Oh, I've no doubt Lucius could cause trouble for Snape. And vice versa. It's just agonisingly frustrating that we aren't privy to their 'off-screen' interactions! But I guess that's what fanfiction is for...


Prefect Marcus - Jun 20, 2004 10:58 am (#1209 of 2956)
Do you recall Ron's reaction when he learned Scabber's true nature? He took it very personally.

I see the same sort of reaction against Lucius Malfoy. Here was a guy right in with the Minister and his highest officals, and he turns out to be a D.E. all the time. There are going to be some very upset people. I doubt "turning state's evidence" is going to be an option for our beloved Mr. Malfoy.


Weeny Owl - Jun 20, 2004 2:13 pm (#1210 of 2956)
That applies to Snape as well, Marcus, because most people don't know he's a reformed Death Eater. At least that's my understanding from what we saw in GoF.

If Snape is actually on the side of Dumbledore and the Order, then if he's outed as a spy, I'm sure every Death Eater loyal to Voldie will be out to get him.

On the other hand, if he's loyal to Voldie, every member of the Order will be out to get him.

Poor Snape seems to be in a Catch-22.

<snickering at Gina's comment... I have no doubt that he'll be eager to take points in September. >


Liz - Jun 20, 2004 4:34 pm (#1211 of 2956)
So he would pose as a spy for DD and a double agent for Voldie, the question is which side is Snape on. There must be evidence that DD thanks Snape on his side so perhaps JKR will reveal that in the up coming books.


Padfoot - Jun 21, 2004 11:54 am (#1212 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 21, 2004 12:55 pm
I think that Severus and Lucius both feel they can manipulate each other. Yet they still act friendly, pretending to be best friends perhaps? I doubt that Lucius will rat out Severus as he has nothing to gain doing so. If he doesn't break out of Azkaban, Voldy will break him out.

Aahh Elizabeth, that is the question. Which side is Snape on? I think he is on DD's side, despite what Harry and Ron think.


Potions Mistress - Jun 21, 2004 2:05 pm (#1213 of 2956)
Hello all. I'm new, but am definitely intrigued by what Snape's role is: is he w/ TOoP or is going to re-side w/ Voldemort? Personally, I think he'll always side w/ DD--he's the only one to ever really give Snape a chance.


popkin - Jun 21, 2004 2:28 pm (#1214 of 2956)
Edited by Jun 21, 2004 3:28 pm
And, if Dumbledore dies? Whose side will Snape be on then? I think he could just be on Snape's side - meaning he wants a title and some recognition, and if he doesn't get some soon he could go into the take-over business for himself. I don't know, though. So far Snape has come through on the side of right in every book. Maybe he has truly reformed forever.


Prefect Marcus - Jun 21, 2004 4:50 pm (#1215 of 2956)
ooooo, good point Popkin!

Yes, what happens to Snape if Dumbledore dies?


Chemyst - Jun 21, 2004 8:28 pm (#1216 of 2956)
Snape is first and foremost, Snape. Snape will be Snape. With or without Dumbledore. Now, he may have issues with whoever would take over the leadership of the Order --if the Order continued and if Snape wasn't named the new leader -- but Snape is not so shallow that he'd switch sides. And Voldemort is not about to offer him unconditional love! (Which is ultimately the strongest form of power.)


Gina R Snape - Jun 21, 2004 8:32 pm (#1217 of 2956)
Yes, but he may make an internal wager as to who has the winning side. Without Dumbledore, he might reconsider his options.

But I doubt it...


Tomoé - Jun 21, 2004 8:38 pm (#1218 of 2956)
I do think Snape believe Voldemort as the supreme ruler of the universe doesn't serve Snape's best interest. If Dumbledore is to die, Snape will make sure Harry is ready to fight Voldemort, even against Harry's will. ^_^


The giant squid - Jun 21, 2004 9:53 pm (#1219 of 2956)
Yes, we hav to remember that Snape is not only in Slytherin House, he's the head of Slytherin House. By definition he would haveto exhibit the traits of Slytherin in great quantity.

Snape is out for Snape and Snape alone, as Chemyst said. He was a DE when Voldie was big, he's siding with DD now that he has the upper hand. I honestly have no idea which side Severus will take in the final showdown--and I find that I like that. Moral ambiguity is so...tasty. Smile

--Mike


Prefect Marcus - Jun 22, 2004 11:20 am (#1220 of 2956)
No, I think Snape is intensely loyal to Dumbledore. In many ways, Snape owes his life to Dumbledore. He certainly owes Dumbledore something even more valuable, his self-respect. So as long as Dumbledore is alive, Snape can be counted on to support him.

If Dumbledore were to die, I doubt he would return to Voldemort. Once burned, twice shy. He doesn't wish to stick his foot into that beartrap again.

However, if he is spying on Voldemort pretending to be a repentent DE, and Dumbledore dies, who's left to clear his name?


Tomoé - Jun 22, 2004 12:02 pm (#1221 of 2956)
Harry Potter. How ironic! ^_^


Padfoot - Jun 22, 2004 2:01 pm (#1222 of 2956)
Oh I like that. Harry Potter clearing Snape's name. Although the other members of the Order should vouch for Snape too. At least right now they think he is working for the good side.


Caput Draconis - Jun 22, 2004 4:58 pm (#1223 of 2956)
I wonder how Snape's story would wrap up should Dumbledore die? I believe Snape is fiercely loyal to Dumbledore, the latter having offered him the help, trust and respect (yes, go back some posts for a respect discussion, heh) he so needed to turn against The Dark Lord. Not escape. But Dumbledore's hand is also one of restraint, and control, and maybe in the only form Snape will tolerate. Snape won't return to TDL, I believe what Dumbledore did for him is too powerful to ever be betrayed, even if Albus is gone.

We've talked of how Snape does the wrong things for the right reasons. I think to some extent Dumbledore keeps these 'wrong things' from going too far. Snape would never have shaken Sirius' hand in GoF were it not for Dumbledore, perhaps he wouldn't have made Remus' Wolfsbane...the schoolboy bitterness is still there, but he grudgingly overcomes it for the greater good, a good to a large extent dictated by Albus. Without Dumbledore, would he continue to overcome, or would his animosity toward Lupin and Harry/James become all the more pronounced, and impact his continued work for the Order?

When Voldemort is defeated (), assuming Snape lives...then what? Can he and Harry come to respect each other without Dumbledore as mediator? If Harry was to clear Sev's name, all I think that would do is peeve Snape off even more ('I don't need help from Potter blah de blah'). Ditto Lupin. So how does it wrap up? I suppose he could fall in glorious, billowing sacrifice at the very end of Book 7...the very end...


Gina R Snape - Jun 22, 2004 6:30 pm (#1224 of 2956)
"I suppose he could fall in glorious, billowing sacrifice..." Lovely turn of phrase, Lauren!

I wonder of Snape will even survive to the end of book 7. I hope he does. I will cry like nobody's business if JKR kills him off.

But I do agree that DD adds a kind of tempering element to Snape, bringing out the best in him. That's what makes DD a great leader, not Snape a great man.

I could see Snape respecting McGonagall in the same way. But I can't help but wonder how Sirius Black's death will affect Snape. After all, only Lupin (and Wormtail..) left of the marauders. Snape suffers knowing he owed James Potter a life debt. What if he develops a case of survivors guilt too?

I think Snape is the kind of person who is happy to be a little bit miserable. But he gloats at being 'right' so he will likely always need to prove something to someone. And so, in this sense, I think he wouldn't be likely to run off to some secluded island somewhere, or split with the pack and take a job as some potions maker for an apothocary or something when it's all over. If DD is the only one who likes and appreciates him, he might stick around the Order just to prove his usefulness, and to lord it over any poor plans. Fight over leadership. Question the authority of whomever steps up. Make the wolfsbane as a measure of spite... In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's still brewing wolfsbane for Lupin as an Order member.


Caput Draconis - Jun 22, 2004 7:30 pm (#1225 of 2956)
I like that, brewing it out of spite, and to prove how much more useful he is. Although I'd like to think that at some point his bitterness toward Lupin will decline a little. I get the tired vibe from Remus in all aspects of his being, with Snape I think he's just tired of old rivalries further complicating his life, and would just as soon move on. I wonder if Snape can ever look past the fact that Remus was a part of 'that group', or even recognise how much pain Sirius death must cause his best friend...

I'm not sure Snape would feel guilty for even a second at being a survivor. It seems like more proof that his way is right - that the two who prided themselves on 'strutting' around met their downfall by the cocky and arrogant nature they displayed during those never to be forgotten schoolboy years.

I do wonder (lots of wondering today...) if he'll ever talk to - or taunt - Harry about Sirius, and what that will do to the fabulously understanding relationship they already have...


Gina R Snape - Jun 22, 2004 7:58 pm (#1226 of 2956)
Oh, it's nice to see you posting, Lauren.

I definitely got the sense that Lupin was tired of fighting with Snape. He needles Snape in PoA, but is also quite concilliatory towards him. And by OoP, we don't see any overt hostility between Snape and Lupin, only between Snape and Sirius.

As for Snape taunting Harry about Black's death...that would be a very ugly (but potentially very exciting) scene to read!


Tomoé - Jun 22, 2004 10:18 pm (#1227 of 2956)
I've been wondering for months what will Snape's do about Harry losing Sirius. Will he tell Harry it's all his (Harry's) fault if Sirius die, that he should have come to him before trying stupidly to use Umbridge fire, that he should have learn Occlumency, that he (Harry) is unreliable as a friend, as a godson, as a student and as a world savior as well. Or will Snape surprise everyone by telling Harry he is quite sorry for what he go through and share with him how he lost people dear to him in his own time (Wilkes and Rosier, perhaps).


Weeny Owl - Jun 22, 2004 10:36 pm (#1228 of 2956)
I really can't picture Snape doing any sharing with Harry about losses.

I don't see him actively taunting Harry or talking to him about Sirius.

I imagine Snape will ignore the whole sordid mess unless something happens that brings it out between the two of them.


mooncalf - Jun 22, 2004 11:10 pm (#1229 of 2956)
I can see him taunting Harry if the moment presents itself. He's never been one to shy away from pointing out other people's mistakes just because it might cause them pain.


The giant squid - Jun 22, 2004 11:14 pm (#1230 of 2956)
That's what I was thinking, Mooncalf. He won't go out of his way to bring up Sirius (he has so many *other* ways to taunt Harry at school), but if it comes out some other way he'd have no qualms about pouring lemon juice in the wound.

--Mike


Weeny Owl - Jun 22, 2004 11:42 pm (#1231 of 2956)
That's pretty much what I meant... he won't actively seek Harry to taunt him and will ignore it unless something happens that sets him off.


popkin - Jun 23, 2004 12:11 am (#1232 of 2956)
If anyone brings up the subject, it will be Harry. Then Snape will say something true but in the worst possible way, and Harry will either explode or have a more grown-up reaction to Snape's comments (than he has had in the past). At any rate, the outcome of the next round between them is in Harry's hands.


Caput Draconis - Jun 23, 2004 4:13 am (#1233 of 2956)
And it's not like Snape's adverse to the idea of rubbing salt in even so painful a wound as the death of a loved one. He's never minded taunting Harry about James, James the schoolyard enemy personified in the kid standing in front of him. But James is also the father the kid in front of him never knew, the father who was one of two parents murdered by the man Snape used to call Lord. No problems getting into Harry about his foolish 'godfather', should the occasion arise.

Gina, the pleasure is all mine. God bless uni breaks.


Weeny Owl - Jun 23, 2004 8:52 am (#1234 of 2956)
I agree with that, popkin. If such a situation should arise, there is potential to drive a further wedge between them or for them to finally come to terms with each other and realize that there is an entire Wizarding World at stake.

Considering how Harry was feeling during the scene with Draco when Snape appeared, I doubt if JKR will let them ignore each other for too long.


Padfoot - Jun 23, 2004 9:01 am (#1235 of 2956)
If Snape does taunt Harry about Sirius, I can easily see Harry getting out his wand and cursing Snape. Or at least trying to. I don't see Snape going out of his way to bring the subject up.


Potions Mistress - Jun 23, 2004 10:33 am (#1236 of 2956)
Interesting...While I really don't see Snape going out of is way to bring up Sirius's death, if the opportunity presents itself, I can definitely see him using it as a way to hurt Harry. The schoolboy grudges definitely exist--Snape has no problem bringing up James to needle Harry, but I think with Sirius, the pain it'll cause Harry will be even greater: Harry didn't know his parents and seems to mourn that fact more than anything. But, he knew Sirius, and that pain has got to cut deep...and I'm sure Snape wouldn't mind giving the knife a twist should it come up.


Potions Mistress - Jun 23, 2004 11:45 am (#1237 of 2956)
If Snape did make the ultimate sacrifice and give up his own life to save someone else's, I have serious doubts it would be for anyone but DD. With Lupin and Harry, I think the old grudges still hold strong, and with the rest of the OoP, the ties aren't strong enough, or in the case of Moody, there is an overt hatred.


Diagon Nilly - Jun 24, 2004 12:12 pm (#1238 of 2956)
"I do think Snape believe Voldemort as the supreme ruler of the universe doesn't serve Snape's best interest. If Dumbledore is to die, Snape will make sure Harry is ready to fight Voldemort, even against Harry's will"

I love this idea, Tomoe! That would be very interesting to see how that would play out.

I just had a (somewhat unrelated) thought:

In interviews it's been said that Alan Rickman was the only actor given backstory on his character by JKR. Alan Rickman has also agreed to the discription that he plays Snape tensely (pulled tight, like a drum). JKR also said that DD won't give Snape the DADA job because it would bring out the worst in him. My thought was that perhaps DD exercises a bit of control over Snape to keep Snape from getting himself into an evil he can't undo. Not an Imperius curse, but more of a series of checks and balances...a sort of positive magical influence. I though of this because someone posed the question of what Snape would do if Dumbledore dies. Likewise, I wondered myself what would happen to Snape's personality should DD die.


Gina R Snape - Jun 24, 2004 4:57 pm (#1239 of 2956)
Yes, I think DD keeping the DADA position from Snape serves several purposes. It does keep him from a potentially dangerous situation, as teaching DADA could bring out the worst in him. But it also forces Snape to keep trying to prove himself year after year, which is a good thing.

I wonder if the DADA position would be so important to Snape if DD died. Then again, maybe he told Voldemort he'd get a job at Hogwarts teaching DADA so the little runts would grow up unprepared, with every intention of them really learning about the dark arts and how to defend against them.


popkin - Jun 24, 2004 5:32 pm (#1240 of 2956)
Gina R Snape [/b]- Jun 24, 2004 5:57 pm (#1239 of 1239) Then again, maybe he told Voldemort he'd get a job at Hogwarts teaching DADA so the little runts would grow up unprepared, with every intention of them really learning about the dark arts and how to defend against them.

What if Snape really wants the DADA job so he can build up the army that Fudge should have feared - one to defeat Voldemort and move himself into a position of real power? Or, maybe his only motivation (other than a bit of well-deserved praise) is to defeat Voldemort, but his army would become a monster that's not really under his control.


S.E. Jones - Jun 26, 2004 11:38 pm (#1241 of 2956)
Gina R Snape: But it also forces Snape to keep trying to prove himself year after year, which is a good thing.

I like that statement. Keeping the position from him kind of forces him to be a better man all the time than he is so that he can grow as a person to prove to Dumbledore he's ready for the job. As long as Dumbledore doesn't give it to him, he's still growing....

Hm, sounded a bit sappy, didn't it?


rosi reef - Jun 27, 2004 2:47 am (#1242 of 2956)
I haven't been able to read all of the messages now, so if you discussed this already, please tell me so. Maybe the father of Snape was in some way a servant to Lucius's father? Because Sirius called Snape Malfoy's lapdog. His father could also have been a Death Eater, maybe he did something to his wife, that made Snape realise the wrong way and so he turned to Dumbledore?


Dumbledore - Jun 29, 2004 12:01 pm (#1243 of 2956)
Sorry to interrupt the current discussion, but I just had a thought. Maybe the reason why Dumbledore let Snape borrow his Pensieve and use it to store his thoughts is because when Snape meets with Voldemort (which he probably does) he needs his mind to be clear and without thoughts that may contradict whatever lie he wants to tell Voldemort.


popkin - Jun 30, 2004 4:46 am (#1244 of 2956)
I don't think Snape is meeting with Voldemort face to face, unless he is polyjuiced into Barty Crouch, Jr. or something. I don't see how Voldemort could trust Snape enough to allow him into his company. It's much more likely that Snape is spying on Voldemort and his Death Eaters in secret. I also can't see how Lucius and Snape can be friends. Both must have something to gain from each other - Snape gets information from Lucius, and Lucius gets special treatment for Draco from Snape, I suppose. But I would think Lucius could gain so much more from turning Snape over to Lord Voldemort.


Potions Mistress - Jun 30, 2004 1:50 pm (#1245 of 2956)
Popkin: "It's much more likely that Snape is spying on Voldemort and his Death Eaters in secret."

I don't think JKR has ever explained just exactly how Snape is spying on Voldemort and his minions (and somebody please let me know if I'm wrong on this!) I think it could either way: Snape is either secretely spying on them or is a double-agent of sorts. Hmmm...wonder if any of this will be revealed in Books 6 and 7...


Ff3girl - Jun 30, 2004 3:32 pm (#1246 of 2956)
We better get more info on Snape sometimes before it ends! Otherwise, I will be extremely... ... ... dissatisfied. I'm pretty sure we will, otherwise JKR will have left us with the biggest cliff hanger I could ever think possible.


Gina R Snape - Jun 30, 2004 5:48 pm (#1247 of 2956)
I'm fairly certain that if she does not tell us Snape's story, someone will find a way to conjure Avada Kedavra. Possibly many...


Ponine - Jul 3, 2004 9:08 am (#1248 of 2956)
Ok - I apologize in advance for perhaps repeating old thoughts in here - As much as I would love to, I do not have the patience to read through all the 1200 some posts before I think out loud with you guys - this is way too interesting Smile Yey - Happy to be here Smile Snape, Snape, Snape. Hmm. Where to begin. Well, first of all, I do not think I am as well versed as some of you are in the books - please prove me right or wrong using the text whenever possible! First, I think that Snape has been reduced to a shrivel of what he deserves to be in the movies. He is such a juicy character, and practically written for the Brilliant Mr. Rickman (with a capital B!). In the movies, however, he is reduced to a two dimensional backdrop that simply serves as 'the one who really can't stand Harry'.

As far as Severus goes, I think that he is in essence not a bad/mad/horrible man/wizard. In PoA, I do seem to remember someone (Fudge?) referring to Snape as mad, while Dumbledore calmly replies that he is merely very disappointed. I think this happens to Snape quite a bit. His feelings, no matter how much he tries to keep them to himself, seep out, and are interpreted by his surroundings, more often incorrectly than not.

Obviously DD knows Snape well, to express such complete faith in him, ans I think DD knows that Snape needs this confidence. We get the impression that Snape grew up in a relatively volatile home, and can only deduce that this has marked him like it does most children. Already vulnerable, he begins school at Hogwarts, where James, Sirius and Remus 'rule'. These 'noble Gryffindors' can't stand him, and mock and ridicule him, something that clearly still bothers him today, as he bothers to remove these memories so that Harry cannot see him dangling exposed in the air. Although one could argue that he could have done this to prevent Harry from seeing his father like that, I doubt that Severus is emotionally mature enough to do so; rather, he revels in telling Harry how horrible his father was. If James had dangled someone else up in the air, I am certain that Snape had shared this memory in all its glory with Harry from the get go.

Sigh - this is too much for me - Going to try a different approach. - Snape is angry. Very angry. This is why he does not get the DADA position; DD knows that until Snape is more stabile and volatile (reconciled with his past and the people in it?), he could, however excellent at it, be disastrous in the DADA position. Snape, I think, knows this, and may sort of understand DD's reasoning, although he may not agree. Nonetheless, I think he would have left Hogwarts unless he felt that DD had a point. Plus, he may repent his previous stint with Voldemort, and take whatever is given him. I think Harry coming to school is a tremendous setback for Snape, and that Harry is a vivid reminder of how small and socially isolated Snape used to feel. Although never a charmer, Harry brings back feelings and memories Snape thought he never had to deal with again, being extremely good at what he does (Surely started as overcompensating as a youngster, alone in his room...). ALso note that Snape's expertise is in Potions, a very solitary branch of magic, and DADA - an 'aggressive' one. While particularly Harry and Hermione often has practiced spells together, Potions is something you can do and excel at alone... The fact that Harry, the son of James (who even married the only one but DD we have ever seen stick up for Snape) also gets so much attention, admiration and even praise for the things he do (some of which, let's face it - he honestly could have kept his nose out of), drives Snape absolutely nuts. Clearly, there is no justice in this world, where werewolves are catered to, jerks are considered handsome and talented, and gets the girl. Snape is thus on a mission (knowlingly or not) to sprinkle some justice onto this little world of his. If he thinks Harry gets too much attention - let's bring him right back down. If Neville is a little slow - let's show him that you'd better respect me enough to be prepared in MY classes. Hermione 'shows off' - don't think you are good, you are not, and I will personally make this painfully clear to you.

Snape's anger practically runs and ruins his life, causing him to be a hated teacher, merely a tolerated colleague, a loner, always on the defense, and with such a frail self-image that he has no humor or self-irony.

There is SO much more I would love to say about Snape, and I hope this makes some sense, and that you are not all asleep yet, and that it does not seem as though I think he is merely a whiny victim - I do not.

I do believe though, that he does know fundamental right from wrong, and is man enough to do it even when he does not personally want to. Furthermore, I think that Snape will soon receive some sort of major validation (DADA position? Headmaster? Saving someone?) which will cause him to lighten up a tad (not too much Wink, and really shine... If Snape loses some of his grudges and anger, he will truly be a force to be reckoned with, and earn the respect of all around him, even Harry.

As far as for Snape being a Death eater - I am thinking he was a young man hating the world, and seeing this as a way to get back at all the ones that had hurt him. However, seeing evil, he realized that although he may have wanted to, as it would be easier for him, he was not. Snape may be invaluable to the good side as Snape may not care too much about himself and his own life - thus not really fearing the danger doublecrossing entails. The fact that he is chronically unkept also indicates to me that he does not care how he looks on the outside, as he is used to being regarded as unattractive and unappealing. The only things Snape has are his skills and his position at Hogwarts, and when he perceives any of these to be challenged, he will go for the jugular.

I am going to be quiet now....


Choices - Jul 3, 2004 12:43 pm (#1249 of 2956)
Ponine - I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I am also a big Snape fan and agree that Alan Rickman was born to play this character. Who else would be so superb and make us love Snape as we do? I hope we see a bigger part for Snape in the coming books.....do we dare to hope that he might be the "half blood prince" and book six would center around our dear Potion's Master? **gets goosebumps at the thought** LOL


Accio Sirius - Jul 3, 2004 3:29 pm (#1250 of 2956)
Ponine, Very thoughtful post. Well done. I would say though that none of the characters in the movie get the time they deserve--it's just the nature of the beast. But I would be willing to go on record saying that I think Alan Rickman's Snape gives him the most appeal possible in such short of time. His performance has made me reexamine Snape, along with some pretty zealous discussion on this thread. He is an extremely fascinating character. And the anger/disappointment is probably a big motivational force in his life.
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haymoni - Jul 3, 2004 4:34 pm (#1251 of 2956)
Ponine - I think you've got Severus down pat. I just love that character.


Ponine - Jul 3, 2004 4:37 pm (#1252 of 2956)
Thank you for your comments! It would make sense to me if Snape was indeed the 'half blood prince'. And what cruel fate may await Voldemort's fallen prince? Snape surely MUST be a focus of the next books, and I can't wait... Smile Looking forward to more Alan Rickman already.. Smile


Caput Draconis - Jul 3, 2004 6:59 pm (#1253 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 3, 2004 8:00 pm
Ponine, no-one here is ever going to sleep through a Snape discussion, hehe.

I think that any outcome of the half blood prince thing will let us see more of Snape's background, even if he's not actually the one the title refers to. All convincing arguments on that one tend to get messed up by the whole Book 2 connection thus far. Anyway:

"DD knows that until Snape is more stabile and volatile (reconciled with his past and the people in it?), he could, however excellent at it, be disastrous in the DADA position."

Interesting thought about reconciling with his past - I guess both the schoolboy bitterness and the Death Eater thing. Rereading OoP I've become more and more hopeful that he and Lupin can come to some sort of understanding...I'd like to think that as the last remaining (non-evil) marauder Remus holds the key to that old rivalry. Does that need to be adressed, do we reckon? Like can Book 7 (assuming he lives ) end with Snape still holding the same grudges that have so influenced his actions, his whole life, even?

The Death Eater past has to be explored before the series ends. Not only for us crazy people drooling (nothing to do with AR) for a mere hint of his backstory, but for Snape himself. The very nature of his spy work means he's stranded between these two worlds, never really fitting into either of them. Before this thing wraps up he needs to go one way or another (we all know which way...), come out in the open for whatever side he's on, openly fight against his old master. This is after we've been told every detail of his DE past by JKR, to, y'know, enhance the drama and all.

And Snape, as Gina so oft points out, has a sense of humour. It's black, and directed at others, but it's there...


Gina R Snape - Jul 3, 2004 7:08 pm (#1254 of 2956)
Gee, do I point that out so oft? Well, he is a funny guy to me.

Ponine, welcome to the discussion! I do think Snape tries to mete out a little of his own version of justice (some might call it petty revenge but I like your term better). But I do also think he genuinely wants those children to learn and be useful adults. So he addresses the 'problem' as he defines it. Harry runs the risk of hubris clouding his judgment. Hermione runs the risk of being too smart for her own good (I could explain further but won't). Neville is afraid of his own shadow, which renders him ineffective in a pinch. I call it 'tough love' of a sort.

I strongly suspect JKR will keep Snape seemingly ambiguous throughout. I have no doubt, personally, that he is on the side of good. It gets proven over and over again. It's a measure of the poor man's lot in life that he doesn't get the respect and justice he deserves and in some ways seeks.


Leila 2X4B - Jul 3, 2004 7:15 pm (#1255 of 2956)
Snape has the goods on quite a few people. It is harsh, but he probably is right about Harry. Harry is arrogant. Most people are at that age. Snape is one of those teachers that you hate when you have them, but respect the way the were when you are older. He can be vindictive, however. I think that bitterness plays a huge part in the way he treats those who do not respect him. His treatment of Harry may actually prove useful. Harry and Draco share classes and Draco's got a death eater for a father. How would it appear if Draco came home and spouted about how nice Snape was to Harry. His ill treatment of all students but Slytherins probably gave him an easier in with the Death Eaters once Voldy returned. I believe that eventually Snape and Harry will reach an understanding with each other. I honestly do not believe they will ever like each other.


Weeny Owl - Jul 3, 2004 7:42 pm (#1256 of 2956)
Gina, would you explain what you meant on Hermione's thread or e-mail me. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I'm not so sure his ill treatment of all students but Slytherins is completely related to the Death Eaters. Some of it probably is, but I think Snape likes taking students down a peg or two because for one thing, he can :sllygrin:, and for another, he might feel that it helps build character regardless of whether or not Voldie is around.

I don't think Snape is the Half-Blood Prince, but I do want much more of him in the sixth book than we've had so far in the series. I'm looking forward to the first time he and Harry see each other... will each ignore the other or will there be fireworks?


Gina R Snape - Jul 3, 2004 8:06 pm (#1257 of 2956)
Heeee, nice fireworks Jill!

Well, Hermione runs the risk of a)alienating people by being a know-it-all; b) stealing the spotlight; c) knowing so much she doesn't find fault with herself (hubris much like Harry); d) missing something important because she is so focused on the 'facts' with something (i.e. human emotion, intuition, etc). Not to mention the dreaded speaking out of turn, and the fact that people simply don't like know-it-alls.

I have a strong suspicion that Snape was something of an insufferable know-it-all in his own youth and suffered for it.


Leila 2X4B - Jul 3, 2004 8:15 pm (#1258 of 2956)
Long live the insufferable little know-it-alls. Snape of course was a know-it-all. However, unlike our precocious Hermione, he had no friends that we know of. That is what made him susceptible to falling into a crowd which finds killing Muggles fun.


Ponine - Jul 4, 2004 4:43 am (#1259 of 2956)
I see that in my ranting earlier, I misspoke. I stated that Snape had no humor, which has been pointed out that he does indeed have. I could not agree more, I love his wicked sense of humor, and cynicism. However, I have yet to see the guy exhibit even the smallest shred of ability to laugh at himself, even when warranted.

I do admire your devotion Gina, but I am somewhat hesitant to agree with you in that Snape really wants these kids to learn and be productive adults. Again, I would see nothing intrinsic in his motives for doing so, but rather - if anything - to build up the Order, and to reflect his own imminent teaching skills... Yes?? No??


popkin - Jul 4, 2004 9:44 am (#1260 of 2956)
I think there's as good a case for Snape being the HBP as there is for any other character. As has been pointed out in previous posts, there is a pretty good case for Snape being a half blood wizard - his parents in the pensieve scene reminded me of Tom Riddle's mom and dad. We know that he is not a descendant of Slytherin, because Riddle was the last. So, what royalty would Snape be descended from? Are we looking at Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, or someone else? Also, if he is a "prince", then he would have to have an older brother or a parent living, wouldn't he? Otherwise, he would be the half-blood-king, right?


Gina R Snape - Jul 4, 2004 10:19 am (#1261 of 2956)
Well, Ponine, I do have to agree with you that Snape doesn't seem to be able to laugh at himself. But I find it an endearing form of insecurity in him. Probably wouldn't like it so much in real life, but certainly in his character.

I think Snape wants those kids to learn, yes to be part of the Order possibly, but in general to just be prepared for a difficult life. But he's not a warm fuzzy person about it. So I guess we shall just have to agree to disagree!

And, long live the insufferable know-it-alls (as Snape is definitely included).


Weeny Owl - Jul 4, 2004 10:38 am (#1262 of 2956)
Good explanation of Hermione, Gina.

I can see why she would annoy the living daylights out of him, but I still think he was going too far in GoF with the comment about her teeth. Then again, I'm surprised he didn't get more vindictive than he did when Hermione was talking about the Daily Prophet article. Reading it out loud in class wasn't a kind and loving thing to do, but he seemed almost restrained in his reaction. He could have done much more than that. He separated them but didn't give any detentions. Rather surprising for him, really.


Gina R Snape - Jul 4, 2004 11:33 am (#1263 of 2956)
I think the sheer pleasure of embarrassing them and making an example in front of the rest of the class was probably enough for him!


Ponine - Jul 4, 2004 3:17 pm (#1264 of 2956)
Gina - I could not agree more - I do find his insecurities to be endearing, and helps shape the character into a three-dimensional person. If you do not mind, however, I would prefer not to agree, but to (pleasantly, of course) disagree about as much as possible - I enjoy picking your brain so much and appreciate your guys' input and thoughts Smile

Popkin - I have also been thinking about Snape's role in the HBP quite a bit, even more so as I just finished rereading GOB tonight. I am sorry if you guys have discussed this at great length already, but does anyone have an inkling as to what DD wanted him to do after CD's death? Maybe a thread, if you do not want to get into it again?

As far as the HBP goes - Being the Queen of Procrastination myself, I have sort of assumed - perhaps wrongfully so - that this title may not necessarily indicated any form of royalty per se, but merely as a title of significance, given by someone of importance - thus - TECHNICALLY - could someone (like our Snape) be 'crowned' Voldemort's little prince, a next in command or - well - someone special? My first reaction was that it referred to Tom Riddle, as Rowling's comment reminded me of Dobby's chryptic 'It is NOT about he-who-must-not-be-named (or similar), as he tried to give Harry the hint that is was not Voldemort, but Tom Riddle. But I think and hope we are approaching the Era of Snape... Smile


Choices - Jul 4, 2004 4:23 pm (#1265 of 2956)
The dictionary states that a prince may also be simply a man of high rank or high standing in his class or profession. It also says it may be someone likened to a prince. I,too, hope we are entering the "Era of Snape".


Ponine - Jul 4, 2004 4:50 pm (#1266 of 2956)
Help!! I have been meandering around the various forums, and I feel increasingly ignorant. Was Perseus Evans ever mentioned in any of the books?!?! If so, why can't I remember ever reading about him?? Where can I read more about P. Evans? What is the whole deal?

Confused Ponine*


Diagon Nilly - Jul 4, 2004 5:40 pm (#1267 of 2956)
Perseus Evans is simply an anagram of "Severus Snape"...it ties into one of those "Lily's related to Snape" theory thingies.

...funny how you should bring that up in the Snape thread when you didn't know what it was...


Just snooping - Jul 5, 2004 5:31 am (#1268 of 2956)
Popkin: "So, what royalty would Snape be descended from?"

Well, you know recently I learned that one of Henry VIII wives, Catherine Parr, was the lady of the huge house of Snape Hall in Yorkshire.

Wonder if there is some royalty in him?


septentrion - Jul 5, 2004 6:33 am (#1269 of 2956)
Well, JKR may not have planned more than seven HP books but maybe she could do a Snape series ? 1st book : Severus Snape and the Marauders.


Elizabeth Cooper - Jul 5, 2004 11:47 am (#1270 of 2956)
Harry coming to Hogwarts, though, should not have been a setback for Snape. Perhaps Snape just refused to think about the possibility, but he should have been expecting Harry to attend Hogwarts. Harry was known to be alive by all the wizarding world and, according to Hagrid, had his name on the Hogwarts list since he was born. Maybe Snape thought he would be able to deal with his feelings but they were so deep and strong that when he actually saw Harry he reacted accordingly. My personal feeling is that Dumbledore should have forestalled some of this by discussing it with Snape very directly rather than assume that the wounds were not that deep. I, too, hope the last 2 books have more Snape...and a Snape series would be great!


Ponine - Jul 5, 2004 1:29 pm (#1271 of 2956)
Elizabeth - I could not agree more. Do you think that DD assumed that the wounds were not as deep as they are, or do you think that he did indeed discuss it in advance with Snape, and that what we see is Snape on his best behavior with Harry? After all, even in the middle of everything that is going on in the OoP, and after DD addresses the issue, Snape snipes (love saying that out loud...) pretty harshly on Sirius. I know that he is a man, Harry a boy and there should be a difference in how you treat the two, I just mean to illustrate to what extent DD can influence Snape when there is a lot of emotion involved...

- Diagon Nilly - So, does that mean that Rowling herself never discussed or wrote anything about anyone named Perseus Evans? It is all - speculation? I guess I am not grasping the concept, and I would love to understand...


Choices - Jul 5, 2004 1:48 pm (#1272 of 2956)
Yes Ponine - It was just someone doing anagrams of Snape's name trying to come up with a workable theory about Snape being related to Lily in some way.


Gina R Snape - Jul 5, 2004 3:37 pm (#1273 of 2956)
Septentrion wrote: Well, JKR may not have planned more than seven HP books but maybe she could do a Snape series ? 1st book : Severus Snape and the Marauders. .

Oh, from your lips to G-d's (or JKR's) ears, my frenchie friend...


MadelineRock - Jul 5, 2004 4:32 pm (#1274 of 2956)
Ok, I'm sure I could find the answer to this somewhere if I looked hard enough, but this thread is SO long and I don't have lots of time right now. Anyways, do we know if Snape is pure-blood? Thanks!!!


Gina R Snape - Jul 5, 2004 6:58 pm (#1275 of 2956)
We suspect, but don't know for sure Madeline.


MadelineRock - Jul 5, 2004 9:43 pm (#1276 of 2956)
I just have a quick reply to to Popkin's post #1260:

Popkin: Also, if he is a "prince", then he would have to have an older brother or a parent living, wouldn't he? Otherwise, he would be the half-blood-king, right?

Ok, earlier I did an internet search for "principality" as I was thinking about who the HBP could be and my french teacher told me this past spring that a principality (we were referring to Monaco and Andorra) was a soverign state or nation ruled by a prince and I wondered if the HBP could be a real prince but still be widely unknown (which is would explain why we haven't heard about him in the first five books). So I looked it up because honestly I still don't understand the concept at all and though my search really just confused me more, I can tell you that in the principality of Monaco, there are no kings or queens but there are princes and princesses. For example, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace (Kelly) had three children: Princess Caroline, Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie. Prince Rainier is the current ruler of Monaco. So, it could be possible for Snape to be a prince without a living older brother or parent as king and without being called king himself. Oh and by the way, Monaco is a whole .7 sq miles.

Oh and on a side note, has there been any mention of dolphins at all, like as a patronus, animagi, boggart, or someone who just likes them? Because in French history, the dauphin (le dauphin) was the heir apparent to the throne of France (this is only under the Bourbon and Valois dynasties, but collectively these dynasties spanned almost 500 years including the reign of Louis XIV and Louis XVI). In addition the dauphin would usually reside in an area of southern France until they're called to the throne (this was done to protect the dauphin). The French would refer to this region as the dauphin region. Interestingly enough, this dauphin region was usually in the area of Provence, and Monaco is located in Provence. JKR did study French and lived there for a year.


**I checked the scene in OotP where the DA members were practicing Patronuses (the very last meeting) and no one had a dolphin patronus. Seamus wasn't sure what his was, but he said it was definately hairy, so that rules out a dolphin. But I think that if a dolphin is mentioned at some point in the books, that could tell us who the HBP is!


popkin - Jul 6, 2004 7:00 am (#1277 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 6, 2004 8:01 am
Madeline, this is way off subject, but Hagrid had shoes the size of baby dolphins. I think that description is somewhere in the Keeper of the Keys chapter or the next chapter in PS/SS.

Also, thanks for the answer about the prince question. I didn't realize that a prince could be the ruler of a country.

MadelineRock [/b]- Jul 5, 2004 5:32 pm (#1274 of 1276) Ok, I'm sure I could find the answer to this somewhere if I looked hard enough, but this thread is SO long and I don't have lots of time right now. Anyways, do we know if Snape is pure-blood? Thanks!!!

Although many Forum members do strongly suspect Snape to be pureblood, I am convinced that he is not. JKR has not made any statement to clarify Snape's heritage, either in the books or in any interviews, that I am aware of. The possibilities I have considered for Snape's mixed heritage include (1.)a wizard mother and muggle father (like Riddle's), (2.) a vampire parent (or even grandparent), or (3.) muggle grandparents (like Harry's). I'm not sure that everyone would consider a wizard to be of mixed blood if both parents are wizards, but one set of grandparents is muggle; I'm sure that some purists would (like the Malfoys or Mrs. Black).

My arguements for possibilities (1.) and (3.) are higher up in this thread. There is a whole thread on "Snape is a Vampire" (it might be archived), and there is a discussion about mixed-blood vampires in the "Vampires" thread.


Elizabeth Cooper - Jul 6, 2004 3:51 pm (#1278 of 2956)
It's possible that Dumbledore spoke to Snape about his feelings towards Harry (or his father), but at the end of OoTP Dumbledore says he didn't anticipate just how deep Snape's wounds were when he asked him to teach Harry occlumency. But perhaps Snape is doing his best to control his treatment of Harry; it seems more so in OoTP when Snape tries to help Harry even though Harry doesn't realize it.


Romana - Jul 7, 2004 6:10 am (#1279 of 2956)
His behaviour does seem more controled when he is teaching Harry, pehaps he was removing some of the more painful memories concerning the Marauders, so he could teach Harry without sucombing to the temptation to curse him into oblivion.

As for the DADA postion, Snape keeps applying for it and he keeps getting turned down. It is just a thought, but perhaps he doesn't stay out of respect for Dumbledore, or accept he has a point not giving him the job, but he had nowhere else to go. He does appear to live at Hogwarts, and like Lupin, does not appear to have ever had much money, and probably teaching in the wizarding world is just and highly paid (not) in the muggle world.

As for HBP, I would love it to be Snape! What a twist! But I suspect it is very very very very unlikely. In fact Snape would probably choke on the thought.


Gina R Snape - Jul 7, 2004 10:01 am (#1280 of 2956)
See, I suspect Snape and DD struck a deal. That is why Snape stays at Hogwarts. When he first got there, he told DD his story, but also proved himself valuable. So I think Snape provides things for which DD needs him at his side. And Snape is getting not just a job, but protection of a sort and a sense of purpose which has nothing to do with teaching.

I also have an inkling that the Dark Lord thinks Snape is at Hogwarts under his direction, as part of Snape's double-agent status. But I'm not 100% convinced of this particular theory.


mike miller - Jul 7, 2004 10:31 am (#1281 of 2956)
Gina - I agree that Voldemort knows where Snape is; and, believes he's working on his behalf. Snape and Dumbledore probably decide what informaiton for Severus to "leak" to Voldmeort so that it turns out to be true but not damaging to the work of the order. Voldemort would likely tire of Snape always providing outdated or inaccurate information.


I Am Used Vlad - Jul 7, 2004 11:03 am (#1282 of 2956)
I've always liked the double-agent theory about Snape. But if it is true, Voldemort would know that Snape couldn't just leave anytime the Dark Mark appears. It would blow his cover. That would leave us with a mystery missing Death Eater at the end of GoF.


haymoni - Jul 7, 2004 11:53 am (#1283 of 2956)
I always thought that's what Dumbledore asks Severus to do at the end of GOF. He had to explain to Voldy why he couldn't leave when he was burned by the Dark Mark. He was scared because he knew he would probably face a bit of "Crucio" for not apparating instantly. He also knew that he had to lie like a lilac rug "in the presence of the Dark Lord". No wonder he was paler than usual!


Choices - Jul 7, 2004 12:52 pm (#1284 of 2956)
"And here we have six missing Death Eaters......three dead in my service. One, too cowardly to return....he will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever.....he will be killed of course.....and one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already reentered my service.".

I think the coward is Karkaroff, the faithful is Barty Crouch, Jr. and the one who has left forever is Snape....."and he will be killed of course..." Voldemort has made a threat here and I do not believe he makes idle threats, so it remains for him to attempt to carry it out in book 6 or 7 (it was not mentioned in book 5). This gives me hope that Snape will play a larger role in the remaining books and hopefully he will escape Voldemort's attempts to kill him.


justme - Jul 7, 2004 1:14 pm (#1285 of 2956)
What if Voldemort is referring to Snape as the one to cowardly to return, and Karakoff as the one that has left?


Gina R Snape - Jul 7, 2004 3:42 pm (#1286 of 2956)
Oh nooooooooooooooooooooo. Here we go again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I won't be jumping into this discussion a third/ fourth /fifth /twentieth umpteenth time... But I will say I think Snape is the one too cowardly to return, and leave it at that.

Enjoy the debate!


Dumbledore - Jul 7, 2004 4:40 pm (#1287 of 2956)
I think that Snape is the one who has left Voldy forever, and Karkaroff was the DE too cowardly to return. Karkaroff was the one who was all "jumpy" when the Dark Mark was getting clearer, and he was the one who fled when Voldy summoned the DE's to apparate. I think that Voldy had an inkling that Snape had left him forever and made the threat, but I think that if Snape is playing the double agent role, that he has somehow convinced Voldy that he really is on their side, and the only reason he appears to have allied hismelf with Dumbledore is to receive information that is useful to the Dark Lord's cause.

There are holes in this theory, however. Like: when Dumbledore told the Wizengamot that Snape was acting as a spy for our side. Voldemort would surely have discovered this information or had heard it from Lucius or another death eater, surely?


Choices - Jul 7, 2004 4:58 pm (#1288 of 2956)
I can't see Snape as a coward. It takes real bravery to do the right thing, even when you want to do just the opposite. I think whatever it is he is doing for Dumbledore takes real courage and when he showed Fudge the Dark Mark on his arm at the end of GOF, that also took courage. I think (hope) books 6 and 7 will show us just how brave Snape has been since he left Voldemort's service for good.


haymoni - Jul 7, 2004 5:14 pm (#1289 of 2956)
It doesn't matter what WE think/read/know - at the graveyard scene, it only matters what Voldy thinks HE knows.

To him, Snape didn't show, so he must be a coward not to leave Dumbledore's side. Snape must have done some great work to convince Voldy of his loyalty. Even if Voldy doubted him, I think he would take him back because he needs the numbers.


Dumbledore - Jul 7, 2004 5:16 pm (#1290 of 2956)
Karkaroff was evn more cowardly, though, because he not only didn't show but fled. And we received clues all year in book 4 that Karkaroff was afraid of Voldemort and his return.


Chemyst - Jul 7, 2004 5:47 pm (#1291 of 2956)
I hear you Gina! I'm not up for much of a debate either. But I really wish that before it got mulched, I'd copied my old time-table that showed Snape had both enough time and opportunity to be one of the DEs who was at the graveyard, and therefore was 'none-of-the-above' in the coward/gone/faithful question.
The reason, under this theory, that Snape looked a bit pale when DD told him he knew what he had to do, is that this was the first time in years that he's be having eye-contact with the re-birthed Voldemort, (at the crowded graveyard, Voldemort would have had Snape remain under his hood to protect his spy status). Snape was pale because for the first time in years, he'd be forced to have eye contact which is so essential in legilimacy, -- and Voldemort is very good at that. He knew Voldemort would be trying to probe his mind.


Gina R Snape - Jul 7, 2004 6:15 pm (#1292 of 2956)
Yes, that was impressive Chemyst. I still don't think he was there, but you offered a beautiful and compelling argument.


colbow - Jul 7, 2004 6:17 pm (#1293 of 2956)
Chemyst wrote-Snape was pale because for the first time in years, he'd be forced to have eye contact which is so essential in legilimacy, -- and Voldemort is very good at that. He knew Voldemort would be trying to probe his mind.

Yes!...He knew Harry was lieing in PS/SS...Snape must have to work hard to keep V-mort out of his mind


I Am Used Vlad - Jul 7, 2004 6:21 pm (#1294 of 2956)
Sorry, Gina.


Gina R Snape - Jul 7, 2004 7:17 pm (#1295 of 2956)
Eh? Sorry for what? Why are you apologising?


I Am Used Vlad - Jul 7, 2004 7:45 pm (#1296 of 2956)
Gina, I brought up the missing Death Eaters question. Your response was "Oh nooooooooooooooooooooo. Here we go again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I was apologizing for bringing the question up.


Weeny Owl - Jul 7, 2004 8:02 pm (#1297 of 2956)
I agree with Gina... Snape is the one Voldemort sees as too cowardly to return.

Karkaroff not only has fled, but he's the one who named names to the Wizengamot. If that isn't leaving forever, then I don't see how else Karkaroff could be classified.

At the time of the rebirthing Snape hadn't shown up that we know of, although everyone who has been a student at Hogwarts or who has attended Hogwarts since Snape became a teacher would know where he is. Wormtail spent three years at Hogwarts, after all. If Snape didn't show up, then what else could Voldemort think but that he had been too cowardly to return?

In the hospital wing, Dumbledore sent Snape on a mission. Did Snape go to Voldemort, grovel for a bit, be Crucioed a few times, and explain that he couldn't leave without drawing suspicion to himself? Fudge was there, Dumbledore was there, other Ministry people were there. Then after Harry returned wtih Cedric's body, Snape would have to remain so he could tell Voldemort what happened. Perhaps Voldemort might forgive him for not showing up immediately, or at least forgive him enough not to Crucio him to the point of insanity.

It's been said before... the one who has left will be killed. Everyone in the Wizarding World knows where Snape is. He does leave Hhogwarts on occasion. He is still spoken highly of by Lucius Malfoy. If he were the one who was to be killed, it's highly unlikely Malfoy would be saying nice things to Umbridge about him. There would be a price on his head, and any Death Eater who wanted to suck up to Voldemort would love to be the one to kill Snape.


Diagon Nilly - Jul 7, 2004 10:45 pm (#1298 of 2956)
I got a different take on the DEs. I got Karkaroff as the cowardly, Ludo Bagman as the one who left forever (as I'm still not entirely convinced we was never a DE. We saw that scene of him specifically in the pensieve for a REASON...otherwise, it could have been anybody). And Snape as the faithful servent. I don't know if Voldy would consider Crouch "missing" at the rebirthing because Crouch was technically "on the job" at the time being and therefore not really "mssing."


S.E. Jones - Jul 7, 2004 11:07 pm (#1299 of 2956)
Here's what I wrote in my post 916 of this thread concerning this issue:

On the 'coward/left forever' issue, I see Snape as the "coward" and Karkaroff as the one who Voldemort believes has left him forever because when he first touches Pettigrew's mark in the graveyard in GoF he says, "How many will be brave enough to return when they feel it? And how many will be foolish enough to stay away?" (GoF, ch33) Well, if Snape stayed at the Quidditch pitch with Dumbledore when all, er, chaos was breaking loose and didn't Apparate to Voldemort's side until after the Hospital Wing scene where he runs off to do something dangerous for Dumbledore then he would not have been "brave enought to return" in Voldemort's eyes, or, in other words, a coward who would then have to kiss some serious, er, toes to get back into Voldemort's good graces (i.e. "he will pay"). Karkaroff, on the other hand, was captured, sent to Azkaban, and was released for giving the names of his fellow Death Eaters. It must've been known that he cut some deal with the MoM to get out of prison. Also, the fact that he felt he had to go to another country to start his life over makes me think he didn't feel that he was exactly safe there in England (I think he's English or at least went to Hogwarts because he said "Dear old Hogwarts... How good it is to be here, how good...." upon entering the school in GoF and Dumbledore didn't feel the need to welcome him to the castle, as if for the first time, as he did with Madame Maxime). So, if Karkaroff were a known backstabber, he'd be the one who Voldemort "[believes] has left [him] for forever" and since, as Sirius pointed out, there is no handing in a resignation to Voldemort, "will be killed." Just my two knuts on the matter anyway....

I know people have said and will say that Snape isn't at all cowardly (which is true), but this is with knowing everything that he does. However, Voldemort doesn't know everything, only what he sees and is told from others; this line is Voldemort talking and from Voldemort's point of view, Snape would appear to be a coward because he stayed away (initially). Anyway, that's my point of view.


Weeny Owl - Jul 7, 2004 11:17 pm (#1300 of 2956)
Very well put, Sarah.

You're right... it doesn't matter if Snape is a coward or not if that's how Voldemort sees him, and not coming to the rebirth would, in Voldemort's eyes, be a cowardly thing.
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popkin - Jul 8, 2004 6:00 am (#1301 of 2956)
Diagon Nilly, my take has been the same as yours at times. But then I read Gina's posts, and I don't know. With your take, Snape can operate in both worlds and is not Voldemort's target. It helps to explain how Snape can be a friend of Lucius Malfoy's and a loyal servant of Dumbledore's at the same time. The only way that works is if both Malfoy (and Voldemort) and Dumbledore believe Snape to be loyal to them and to their cause.

Sigh, I really just want to read books six and seven so that I can move on.


justme - Jul 8, 2004 7:04 am (#1302 of 2956)
I did not realize my post would cause so much activity. I was under the impression from my first few readings of GOF that, obviuosly, Karkaroff was the coward, and Snape would be killed. However, after reading some of this thread, I thought that if Voldemort wanted Snape dead, it could have been done when he began spying for Dumbledore again.

Unless Voldemort knows Snape is a spy, and is just waiting for the right moment to kill him...


Choices - Jul 8, 2004 9:29 am (#1303 of 2956)
I have another question about Snape.....We are told that when Snape arrived at Hogwarts as a student, he knew more spells and dark magic than most older students. Where did young Severus learn all this dark magic? We have seen no evidence that even the children of known Death Eaters at Hogwarts are well versed in dark magic. Severus' father abused him, did he also teach him the dark arts? Or was it his mother or some other family member who taught him? I find it difficult to believe it was his mother, because if she were that powerful, then I believe she would have prevented his father from abusing him.....unless she took part in the abuse. I tend to think the dark power came from his father's side of the family. But, who were they and how did they come by the knowledge they passed on to this small boy? So many questions about Severus' past and present that hopefully the last two books will answer.


Prefect Marcus - Jul 8, 2004 10:02 am (#1304 of 2956)
Choices,

We only have Sirius's word on that. Rowling has shown over and over again that you cannot take the word of any character as 100% accurate. They might be lying, mistaken, shading the truth, exaggerating, or teasing.

Marcus


schoff - Jul 8, 2004 10:17 am (#1305 of 2956)
I am still in the camp that Snape is not doing anything near the Dark Lord. All the DEs know that Snape turned traitor not long after Voldemort was vanquished the first time. Dumbledore testified to this fact in open court, in front of many wizards that this was the case--during Karkaroff's trial. That had to have gotten out to the wizards who got out of punishment (ie Lucius). This makes Snape's relationship with Malfoy even stranger.

This also doesn't mention that Voldemort is also completely aware of Snape's loyalty to DD during the year Voldemort spent on the back of Quirrel's head. Voldemort is not forgiving, as shown in the graveyard scene. Voldemort's pointing everyone out to Harry, including Lucius. He had no reason to think Harry would survive to tell anyone. If Snape was there I really don't think Voldemort would have skipped over him.

And my two knuts is that Bagman's the coward. He was a coward throughout the entire 4th book, and ran away at the end (during the Maze/graveyard scene). Pretty coincidental if you ask me. We only have Fred and George's reason why he left. If Bagman was a DE, and had a Mark, then I think it fits.


Dumbledore - Jul 8, 2004 11:33 am (#1306 of 2956)
I still believe that Snape was the one who was lost forever and Karkaroff is the coward. I really don't think there is any way that Voldemort would not have heard from one or more death eaters that Dumbledore, himself, testified and said that Snape had turned spy for the Order. At that point, Voldy probably thought that Snape was the one who was lost forever, and like someone posted, after some serious groveling, possibly a few bouts of the cruciatus curse and some sucking up, Voldemort probably welcomed him back to the ranks, unaware that Snape was back to playing double agent.


septentrion - Jul 8, 2004 11:43 am (#1307 of 2956)
Choices, even if Snape really knew that much in dark arts when he came at Hogwarts, he hadn't necessarily learnt it in his family, or near family. He could have been taught by a neighbour, or anyone else who happened to give him a non abusive company.


Weeny Owl - Jul 8, 2004 12:19 pm (#1308 of 2956)
We don't know that Dumbledore's testifying ever became public. Even if it did, I suscribe to the theory that it was Voldemort himself who wanted Snape at Hogwarts.

Hagrid said that even Voldemort hadn't tried to break into Hogwarts, but who can say whether or not that was his ultimate plan. Get a Death Eater into Hogwarts, have said Death Eater arrange to get others in, do away with Dumbledore and those loyal to him, take over Hogwarts, turn the Defense Against the Dark Arts class into Dark Arts instead, get rid of Muggleborns, and rule the entire Wizarding World.

Voldemort would be pleased that his nefarious plan worked if he ever hears about Dumbledore's testimony. He would chuckle maniacally knowing he had pulled one over on old Dumbledore. He and Snape both have Dumbledore fooled into thinking Snape is on the side of good. Of course, we know Dumbledore and Snape are the ones who have Voldemort fooled.

As for Quirrel, Snape never said anything that we know about that would in any way not be easily explained. He had no idea Voldemort was directing Quirrel to get the Phlisopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone. As far as Snape was concerned, here was a teacher trying to get the stone for himself only. "Master, if you had just told me you were possessing Quirrel, I would have helped you, but I thought he was trying to get the stone for himself." What could Voldemort say? He might be irritated enough to Crucio Snape a few times, but if Snape wasn't made aware of Voldemort's presence, then his actions are perfectly understandable.

As for Voldemort pointing everyone out, he didn't. He named some Death Eaters, and others he just passed by. Harry stated that he was outnumbered by about 30 to 1, and Voldemort didn't name thirty Death Eaters. I don't think Snape was there, but it's possible.


schoff - Jul 8, 2004 12:42 pm (#1309 of 2956)
Weeney Owl: We don't know that Dumbledore's testifying ever became public. Even if it did, I suscribe to the theory that it was Voldemort himself who wanted Snape at Hogwarts.

Whether his testimony was public or not, Dumbledore reiterated it at Karkaroff's trial. That trial had at least two hundred wizards and witches watching it (GF 30 585 US).

Snape started working at Hogwarts right before Voldemort's fall. Either he was put in place by Voldemort, or he'd already betrayed Voldemort to Dumbledore and DD was protecting him (like Trelawney). I think the latter is the more reasonable answer.


Gina R Snape - Jul 8, 2004 12:53 pm (#1310 of 2956)
Well, loads of DEs came up with excuses to stay out of Azkaban. Whose not to say Snape got the granddaddy of all excuses? For all we know, Snape and Lucius Malfoy could've had a nice hearty chuckle after everything died down and toasted to their slytherin cunning in getting out of serving time. In fact, if Malfoy believes that's what Snape did, then it's even more impressive than crying 'imperio' because Snape would have convinced Malfoy and the DE community at large that he managed to fool 'ol Dumbledore--enough to get him to testify. And that would be a most impressive feat.


Weeny Owl - Jul 8, 2004 1:10 pm (#1311 of 2956)
Either he was put in place by Voldemort, or he'd already betrayed Voldemort to Dumbledore and DD was protecting him (like Trelawney).

I could agree with that except for Umbridge telling Snape that Malfoy speaks most highly of him. If Snape were hiding out at Hogwarts, I doubt if Malfoy would do anything but try to kill him. I'm sure that whoever has left forever is going to be hunted down and killed, and I doubt if Voldemort is keeping the identity of the traitor to himself.

Gina, I can see something like that happening. Snape is sneaky, and getting Voldemort and the Death Eaters to believe that sounds entirely convincing.


Anna Osipova - Jul 8, 2004 1:13 pm (#1312 of 2956)
Snape has a very comfortable (but dangerous) position. Both the men he works for are extremely powerful. Either way the tables turn, Snape has an escape. It seems to me that Snape is someone who will twist a situation to fit his needs. Could he be playing these circumstances to his benefit as well?


Prefect Marcus - Jul 8, 2004 1:24 pm (#1313 of 2956)
No, I do not see Snape as sneaky. He is mean, ugly, cruel, petty, and hateful; but sneaky he is not.

He is very honorable. He honors his life-debt to James Potter by interceding for Harry's safety, a boy he despises. He tells Karkaroff to flee if he wants. He's staying.

No, I think Snape is trustworthy and loyal to Dumbledore.


Courtney22 - Jul 8, 2004 2:14 pm (#1314 of 2956)
I almost want to believe that Snape is the one that is "lost forever" but isn't that an obvious connection? One thing these books don't seem to do is make it easy to follow the clues. It would almost be cliche to have Snape be the Lost DE.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 8, 2004 3:06 pm (#1315 of 2956)
I guess I am one of the few who believe Snape was at the graveyard scene. (Karkaroff betrayed him and Bagman was the coward.) He did not however apparate there when Voldemort first summoned the deatheaters. I think when Harry came back with Cedric's body Dumbledore suggested to Snape to use a time turner to respond to Voldemort's summons. They wait until they can get all the facts from Harry and Crouch Jr. (I'm assuming Crouch did something else that was suspicious besides take Harry alone to the castle.)

Then Dumbledore says to Snape "You know what I want you to do now" Snape is pale as he is not sure whether he can pull it off. He understands the risk of of using time turners. Snape verifies the truth of what Harry told Dumbledore and gets in good with Voldemort. (or as good as any death eater who didn't try to find him can get in good with Voldemort.)

To me the main flaw is does Dumbledore have spare timeturners? On the other hand one doesn't need to worry about whether Snape had time to apparate to the graveyard and come back without anyone missing him. It also avoids the question of why Snape did nothing when Voldemort was going to kill Harry. Having used the timeturner Snape knows that Harry survived this.

What I will concede is that the facts in the book also seem to argue Snape as coward.


Anna Osipova - Jul 8, 2004 3:54 pm (#1316 of 2956)
Well, what happened to Hermione's old time-turner? Does she still use it? Or maybe Dumbledore has it for safe-keeping and he loans it to Snape?


schoff - Jul 8, 2004 4:38 pm (#1317 of 2956)
I think it's more likely Snape's doing some sort of spy work on Malfoy, but not on Voldemort. It's too dangerous, and I don't think the Dork Lard would let him get away with it. Snape's betrayed too much.

I think DD put Snape at Hogwarts (2 months before Lily and James' death), because Snape was the one to let DD know that Voldemort was after Harry, and his parents by extension. That would have been around the time Lily and James went into hiding.


Weeny Owl - Jul 8, 2004 7:05 pm (#1318 of 2956)
How could Snape spy on Malfoy if he's the one who will be killed? Malfoy would do anything to please Voldemort, and killing the one who left forever would be just his style. Malfoy isn't going to be speaking highly of Snape if Snape is on Voldemort's hit list.

Even if Snape was the one who heard the Prophecy and let Dumbledore know, it doesn't mean that Voldemort wasn't in on the plan to have a Death Eater at Hogwarts in the first place.


Anna Osipova - Jul 8, 2004 7:10 pm (#1319 of 2956)
Doesn't Dumbledore specifically say that he heard that prophecy? He was in the Hog's Head (?) when Trelawny suddenly revealed it.


schoff - Jul 8, 2004 7:35 pm (#1320 of 2956)
Even if Snape was the one who heard the Prophecy and let Dumbledore know, it doesn't mean that Voldemort wasn't in on the plan to have a Death Eater at Hogwarts in the first place.

Just to clarify, I don't think Snape overheard the prophecy. I said I think Snape told DD that Voldie was going after the Potters. Currently we, the readers, have no confirmation on who overheard the prophecy at Hog's Head, but I'm betting DD knows who it is.

Voldemort waited an awfully long time before going after the Potters, at minimum 16 months. Snape owes a life debt to James. He may have tried to cash it in when he found out about Voldie's plans. It didn't work, so Snape is now transferring that debt to Harry.

Snape may be a lot of things, but I honestly think he's loyal to DD, and DD only. He seems a character in want of redemption to me. People who want that aren't backstabbers to the people they want forgiveness from.


Chemyst - Jul 8, 2004 8:06 pm (#1321 of 2956)
Either he was put in place by Voldemort, or he'd already betrayed Voldemort to Dumbledore ~ schoff
Both could be true if Snape is a double or triple agent. Voldemort tells Snape to try to get an insider's position at Hogwarts. Snape goes in for the interview, tells his story, is believed, and gets his job with DD.


Weeny Owl - Jul 8, 2004 8:21 pm (#1322 of 2956)
Anna, you're right. What I meant was that Snape could have been the one who warned Dumbledore that Voldemort was going after the Potters, but still, Voldemort could have planned on having a Death Eater at Hogwarts anyway.

After the Potters were killed, he could have planned on his takeover of the Wizarding World by tackling Hogwarts first.


rosi reef - Jul 9, 2004 8:46 am (#1323 of 2956)
In POA Snape says in the Shrieking Shack Scene to Harry: "...You'd have died like your father, too arogant to believe you might be mistaken in Black..." Well, that's sounds if Snape really was the one who warned DD that Voldemort was behind the Potters, but he did not know enough of the identity of the Secretkeeper. So he may not have been in the innermost circle of the DE's.


Choices - Jul 9, 2004 9:12 am (#1324 of 2956)
If Snape does come from a family of dark wizards, perhaps that is why Malfoy speaks highly of him - the Malfoy family might have been close with Snape's family when they were children. I have always had a gut feeling that somehow Snape and Malfoy are connected.


Dumbledore - Jul 9, 2004 10:11 am (#1325 of 2956)
I don't think Snape used a time turner to go back to the graveyard scene, because Harry would have seen him. In PoA, Harry saw himself performing the Patronus charm, so Harry would have seen Snape in the graveyard, unless he was hiding, which I don't think is likely.

And Weeny Owl, I don't think that Voldy's plan was to take over Hogwarts because I believe it was Hagrid that said Voldy knew he could never take Hogwarts (because Dumbledore was there), and that was why Hogwarts was a safehaven in VWI. Of course, Hagrid's word is known to be taken with a grain of salt...


Gina R Snape - Jul 9, 2004 10:14 am (#1326 of 2956)
Ok, for the 'benefit' of those who never heard this before...I believe Snape was the DE who overheard the prophesy in the Hog's Head.

I think it took Voldemort and co. quite a few months to figure out who were the potential targets, and then needed to plan their attack. I think Snape and the Dark Lord figured out at roughly the same time that the Potters were one of the two families in question. And I suspect that Snape, honouring his life debt, went to DD and told him everything. Told him about his involvement in the DEs, about their plans, and about his desire to switch sides. I think quite possibly no one but the Dark Lord himself knew that Peter Pettigrew was the informant.

Snape acts Gryffindor-ish, but with a Slytherin sense of style and priority. He loathes James Potter's arrogance for its inherent foolishness. We know he resents James 'saving his life' in the shrieking shack incident. But I also think he resents James messing up the best-laid-plans to protect his own life. That Snape was assisting DD in those plans, but few (perhaps none) at the time knew this. This double-agent play put Snape at great personal risk, because he was defying the Dark Lord and had none on DD's side to trust for help. I believe he and McGonagall are the ONLY two in on DD's plans to the fullest. And I think alot of this will come out in the next book.


Dumbledore - Jul 9, 2004 10:17 am (#1327 of 2956)
Gina, are you saying that the reason Snape turned spy for Dumbledore was because in doing so he would repay his life debt to James?


popkin - Jul 9, 2004 10:21 am (#1328 of 2956)
Dumbledore, Harry would not have seen Snape in the graveyard if Snape had been wearing a hood like all the other DEs. Harry didn't actually see them either, but recognized some of their voices or shapes and heard some of their names. So, if Voldemort didn't name Snape and Snape did not say anything in the circle, Harry wouldn't know he was there.


Dumbledore - Jul 9, 2004 10:23 am (#1329 of 2956)
That's a good point...


Weeny Owl - Jul 9, 2004 11:01 am (#1330 of 2956)
And Weeny Owl, I don't think that Voldy's plan was to take over Hogwarts because I believe it was Hagrid that said Voldy knew he could never take Hogwarts (because Dumbledore was there), and that was why Hogwarts was a safehaven in VWI. Of course, Hagrid's word is known to be taken with a grain of salt...

That's the whole point I was making. Voldemort wanted Snape there so that after he found and defeated the Potters, he could have his loyal Death Eater help him conquer the school. With Snape at Hogwarts, he could help sneak in other Death Eaters, have them kill teachers loyal to Dumbledore, kill students who are Muggle-born, and kill Dumbledore as well. Then Voldemort could become the Headmaster or have another Death Eater as Headmaster, and he would be well on his way to conquering the entire Wizarding World.

This isn't fact but a theory, but it's an explanation of why Snape started teaching at Hogwarts when he did, and why Voldemort is pleased to keep him there. Voldemort needs someone in the enemy camp, and who better than Snape to keep him informed as to what Dumbledore is up to? Of course, we know Snape is actually spying on Voldemort for Dumbledore, but no one else would know that.

That's why Snape has to be sneaky and walk a fine line so that he won't be found out as being loyal to Dumbledore.


Gina R Snape - Jul 9, 2004 11:12 am (#1331 of 2956)
I suspect Snape was considering switching sides for some time, and the life debt repayment happened to be a good opportunity to use for that purpose.


Accio Sirius - Jul 9, 2004 11:31 am (#1332 of 2956)
I like the idea of Snape having Griffyndor traits as well--something he probably resents much like Harry resents his links to Slytherin. Interesting.


schoff - Jul 9, 2004 11:35 am (#1333 of 2956)
Choices: I have always had a gut feeling that somehow Snape and Malfoy are connected.

I wonder if they have some sort of family connection.

Gina: I believe Snape was the DE who overheard the prophesy in the Hog's Head.

While I believe Snape was on Voldemort's side at the time of the prophecy, I don't think he's the one who overheard it. (I think Dung is a far better candidate.) Other than that, we're fairly much in agreement. Snape may have been working his way up, so that by the time Voldemort was ready to go after the Potters (16 months later), Snape was privy to that info (or he figured it out). He finds out that James is in danger, and because of his life-debt (and possible disillusionment with Voldie) he goes to Dumbledore and spills all. Dumbledore warns Lily and James, and they go into hiding.

Meanwhile, Voldie finds out about the Potters going into hiding, and probably notices Snape is missing. Snape's in danger and to protect him, Dumbledore sets him up as Potions teacher to keep him at Hogwarts. Same as he did for Trelawney.


Steve Newton - Jul 9, 2004 2:16 pm (#1334 of 2956)
I was thinking today about the POA movie. Particularly the scene with Lupin and Harry on the bridge. Lupin says that Lily was an exceptional woman who could see the good in anyone. (Obviously, not an exact quote.) I got the impression that Lupin had been in love with Lily. (Maybe why he was not in the wedding picture.)

I thought about this and then got the idea that maybe Lily had seen the good in other people. Perhaps even Severus Snape. Perhaps Snape was also in love with Lily.

In POA, the book, Lupin says that Snape was jealous of James' quidditch skills. I now think that he was jealous of James and Lily. Maybe Lupin, too.

If this is the case then the reason that Dumbledore trusts Snape is that Voldemort killed Lily and Severus wants revenge.


Lord Montemort - Jul 11, 2004 1:32 pm (#1335 of 2956)
Regardless I think Snape and Karkaroff will be shot on sight if they stray into the path of any death eater.


Paulus Maximus - Jul 11, 2004 4:44 pm (#1336 of 2956)
Malfoy thinks highly of Snape, and Voldemort promised hell to the coward and the deserter.

Either Snape is a good enough Occlumens to change a Death Eater's mind completely, or he cannot be the coward or the deserter.

Of course, Lupin said that Snape was a superb Occlumens, so the former is quite possible.


Alianora - Jul 11, 2004 4:54 pm (#1337 of 2956)
I found this interesting in the March interview:

"Ernie: I wonder if you can let us know what form will Professor Snape's Boggart and Patronus take? I am very curious.

JK Rowling replies -> Well, I'm not going to tell you Ernie, but that's because it would give so much away."

Since Rowling didn't answer, this seems to be an important part of the plot. What do you think it may be?


Ponine - Jul 11, 2004 5:18 pm (#1338 of 2956)
As far as Snape being 'saved' by James, I am not sure I think it really runs very deep in the whole debt-connection-relationship, (although I find myself reconsidering it as I type it out). I mean - If Fred and George were to fix the brakes on my car, then right before I fastened my seatbelt changed their minds and got me out of the car, yes, they did perhaps save my life - technically - but nothing to really inspire me to go out of my way to return the 'favor'. The way I 'know' Snape, the slightest notion of being indebted to ANY of the Marauders revolts him beyond belief, and I think it gives him an immense satisfaction to 'pay it back' by saving Harry, in his mind evening the scores. I don't see Severus switching from a DE to a 'DA' just because the Potters were/ could be in danger.

I somehow feel quite certain that Snape is not Pureblood by any means, and I do believe that the complete lack of mentioning of any Snapes (as well as other Potters!) is not only an indication of the fact that he is half at best, but also of interesting things to come...

Steve: I too can see Snape having a thing for Lily. When Lupin spoke of Snape being jealous of James, I think that is young Lupin talking, as I don't see even a young Snape caring much for a simple sport. Good friends, good looks and attention from Lily, on the other hand...

Alianora: I can see Snape's boggart in the same family as Hermione's, for instance a saaad, disappointed, tired Dumbledore peering over his glasses at Snape, saying 'Severus, you failed me. I had faith in you, but you could not come through. I am so disappointed in you.' Not that this really sounds like DD, but, you know.

As far as his patronus - could he have a phoenix??


Courtney22 - Jul 11, 2004 6:41 pm (#1339 of 2956)
Could his patronous be a Snake. I know they have an evil connotation in the books but not all Slytherins are evil so maybe all snakes aren't either. Snape also seems proud of the house he came from.

As far as his Bogart perhaps it would take on a figure from the past...perhaps his father whom he is ashamed/scared of because of all the years of abuse. Snape seemed very mad at Harry when he saw into his childhood. Perhaps the secrets of his childhood are what he's most afraid of.


Tomoé - Jul 11, 2004 6:59 pm (#1340 of 2956)
I believe Snape's boggart is Harry's dead body, as I believe he fear above everything else the advent of Voldemort's world. I also believe he is pureblood or at least that his mother and Mr Snape are pureblood (maybe that's why he was crying, his father was shouting at his mother, yelling he knew Severus was the illegitimate son of some disgusting mudblood, that he was tired to see the living proof of his wife's betrayal hanging around the house all day). Maybe Voldemort know that fact, but the other DE don't and believe Severus's father is Mr Snape. Maybe he also know Voldemort will kill him after he will become useless. Maybe he hated James for being a pureblood among many other thing.


Choices - Jul 12, 2004 9:48 am (#1341 of 2956)
I don't really think Snape's dubious parentage would be appropriate for a kids book. There must have been another reason why his father abused him.


drippan - Jul 12, 2004 1:30 pm (#1342 of 2956)
Hey everyone,

First time posting in this thread. After reading about Snape and everyone's ideas, here are a couple counterpoints.

1. Snape could not be in the graveyard because he could not apparate. As Hermoine would say, "How many times do I have to tell you that nobody can apparate from Hogwarts. It's in Hogwarts, A History! Am I the only one who read that book?"

2. Snape could be the HBP. Why? Because he is not full blood. Remember in OotP, when Harry and Serious are looking at the family curtain. It was said that all pure bloods are related in one way or another. Weasleys were on there, Malfoys, etc. If that is true, then Snape's name would have been on there. I think Harry would have picked up on that....IMO. (I really don't think Snape is the HBP though).

3. Someone said that Snape is not a sneak. Sorry, got to disagree with you. He uses truth serums and threatens to poison one of the students in GoF. Remember Harry was scared it would be him on the last day before the holiday but he got called from class to have his wand weighed. These are the ways of spies and counterspies. Also, I suspect that he was spying for the 1st OotP long before Voldemort got out of power. Spying is another word for sneaking, it just depends on who side your on if it's good or bad! This is why he makes a great potion teacher.

4. What I'm curious about is how strong of a wizard is Snape when it comes to his Dark Arts or DADA wizarding powers? Is he as strong a wizard when it comes to this? He lost battles with Serious and James in school, he backed down from Lupin and Mad Eye, and he got knocked out by HRH in the Shreiking Shack and that was only when they were 3rd year students. The only one he has won was against Lockhart in CoS which any baby (muggle or wizard) could have beat him!

Don't take it like I hate Snape, because I don't. Every war has different types of people. The only way to win a war is to use everyone's abilities (good and bad) against what they are fighting for. Snape is very instrumental in what he is doing for the Order.

DripPan


Ladybug220 - Jul 12, 2004 2:51 pm (#1343 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 12, 2004 3:52 pm
Drippan,

We don't know that Snape is half-blooded. We know hardly anything about his background. As far as we know, Snape is not on that tapestry (Harry would have mentioned it otherwise) but also the Crouch family is not on that tapestry (that we know of) and they were purebloods.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 12, 2004 3:01 pm (#1344 of 2956)
Snape could apparate to the graveyard by leaving Hogwarts. If you go with my timeturner theory he has plenty of time to go someplace where he can Apparate. If you don't buy the timeturner idea, but believe Snape originally went when summoned, all Snape would have to do is go to Hogsmeade (which is within running distance) and then Apparate. Of course there are other things that need to be explained such as Did Dumbledore know, Did anyone else see him leave, would he have gotten back in time after Harry reappeared.

I find it difficult believing he was the coward although I will admit the facts presented make it possible. Snape says he is risking his life (this is Sirius quoting him in chap 5 in OOP). I believe the risk is that Voldemort is continually doing legilimens and there is a chance that he might see what Snape is really thinking. If Snape were the "coward" would he have access to any information worth stealing. I can't see how Voldemort would trust him.

If Snape is a half blood it goes back a couple of generations. I suppose it is telling that we have no info on Snape's relatives. But he just as easily could be related to Alastor Moody or even James Potter or (shudder the thought) it doesn't matter.

The pensieve memory shows only one fight between Snape and James. Snape was clearly ambushed and outnumbered. Even so he did manage to cut James face. Even if Snape wasn't as powerful a wizard as James was when at Hogwarts, I believe Snape knew how to choose his battles so that he could come out the winner. When did he back down from Lupin? I think he may have backed off from Moody out of respect for Dumbledore. Snape knew Moody was a friend of Dumbledores and doesn't want Moody saying bad things about him to Dumbledore. There's obviously more to it but this is my first attempt to explain this.

By the way I like the idea of Snape's boggart being Dumbledore's disappointment.



Gina R Snape - Jul 12, 2004 3:14 pm (#1345 of 2956)
Snape used finite incantatum to end the spells of a large group of students, don't forget. I was rather impressed with that, even if they were 2nd years.

I am in the camp that Snape is a pureblood, just not closely enough related to the Blacks to show up in the tiny bit of tapestry Harry got to see.


Hollywand - Jul 12, 2004 3:24 pm (#1346 of 2956)
Don't you lot think Snape's Boggart would surely be a vengeful Voldemort rather than a disappointed Dumbledore since he was once a Death Eater? And what if his Patronus is a Boomslang or Cobra. That would be awesome.


Gina R Snape - Jul 12, 2004 3:40 pm (#1347 of 2956)
Well, I like whoever said Snape's boggart might be a dead Harry.

What if Snape's animagus form were an owl? Now wouldn't that be a handy form for a spy to take in the wizarding world?!


Choices - Jul 12, 2004 5:52 pm (#1348 of 2956)
I think Snape is a powerful wizard - it was said he came to Hogwarts as an 11 year old knowing more dark magic than most older students. I also think he is a very self controlled wizard because we have never heard tell of him using that dark magic....even to get even with his tormentors.

I think if Snape were an animagus, he would assume the form of a bat. His boggart is difficult to figure, but I think it would be something from his past.....possibly his father, or Voldemort.


Tomoé - Jul 12, 2004 6:01 pm (#1349 of 2956)
Choice -> I don't really think Snape's dubious parentage would be appropriate for a kids book. There must have been another reason why his father abused him.

I wasn't looking for a reason why his father abused him, I was looking for a way for Severus to be halfblood and still have Lucius esteem. That was the only answer I could find. I believe there's nothing that complicated and Snape is definitely a pure-blood. Maybe not one from one of the most important families, but something like the Goyles or the Crabbes (with much more brain, that is).

I like Gina idea of an owl animagus, which wizard in his right mind will suspect an owl! ^_^ Plus, Snape could post his own mail!

The dead Harry boggart was mine, because that's definitely something JKR couldn't reveal in an interview as it will reveal Snape's true loyalty, whereas Vengeful Voldemort could work for either and Disappointed Dumbledore, if we don't know what he say, could work for either as well.


Ponine - Jul 12, 2004 6:03 pm (#1350 of 2956)
Poor Snape - Watch his animagus be a pixie or something equally - wrong... *giggling*.... Being an owl would be quite nifty - of course, a wasp and bat could also be the case, although I have a hard time seeing him buzz about with Skeeter... A bat though, or simply utilizing any Animagus form may have gotten him to the grave yard in a timely matter, right?

Hollywand said - Don't you lot think Snape's Boggart would surely be a vengeful Voldemort rather than a disappointed Dumbledore since he was once a Death Eater? No, not at all. And that is one of the aspects of Snape that I appreciate. I don't think Snape is overly concerned with his own life, for many reasons. I do however, think that he does have a very special connection to DD, and that DD is one of the few, if not the only one, who knows him, trusts him, accepts him and treats him with respect. I am confident that losing this would be Snape's worst fear. Of course, I could be way off, but I certainly enjoy contemplating these things Smile
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Ponine - Jul 12, 2004 6:10 pm (#1351 of 2956)
Tomoe - Are the Death Eaters not aware that Voldemort is not pureblood either? And could Luscius merely appreciate what Severus is about, or appears to be about or pretends to be about?

And to everyone - again, I hope I am not repeating history here, but Is the fact that Snape failed to realize Moody Crouch was not Mad-Eye, but in fact young Barty? Had they never met, does he usually not dig into people's heads (but I am SURE he would...) Am I just supposed to think that DD did not appear to get it either, and leave it be?


haymoni - Jul 12, 2004 6:49 pm (#1352 of 2956)
I wondered about that part when Harry loses the egg. Filch finds it and shows it to Snape. Snape realizes Harry's around but Barty/Moody shows up and saves Harry. Barty/Moody says something about marks that don't disappear and Snape grabs his arm - I believe the word was "convulsively".

Did Barty/Moody make the mark burn? Why didn't Snape figure out that something was wrong?


Gina R Snape - Jul 12, 2004 7:08 pm (#1353 of 2956)
Moody knew that Snape was a Death Eater, and obviously so did Crouch Jr... So it's reasonable to assume he was just reminding Snape that he still bore the mark.

It was a convenient double-entendre that worked 'in character' for Moody, leaving Snape none the wiser that Moody was really Crouch Jr. I think the point was to put Snape 'in his place' in that scene---which it did. But I seriously doubt Snape was feeling any physical pain from the mark, or he would have suspected something.

EDIT: I think it was also to serve the purpose of getting us the readers to wonder if that mark didn't fade in the metaphorical sense. For people (not me of course ) to wonder which side Snape is really on. Once a DE, always a DE? Or can he be strong enough to withstand/ignore/defy the pull of the dark mark forever burned into his skin?


Tomoé - Jul 12, 2004 7:23 pm (#1354 of 2956)
Maybe Crouch was 100% in character and didn't let his personal thought 24/7 in the surface of his mind.

As for Voldemort, "very few people know that Lord Voldemort was once called Tom Riddle" (UK CoS ch.18 p.242) and it seems the DE didn't knew who he was. I can help myself not to copy Andrew Buchanan's lines about this :

Andrew Buchanan, Book 6: the Half Blood Prince, #257
It's very EASY for [Voldemort] to say he's a pure blood because no one recognizes him as anything other than the grotesque entity of Lord Voldemort. In any case, would YOU argue with Lord Voldemort if he told you he was a pure-blood? I don't think most wizards would argue with him if he said he was a pure-blooded MOOSE. I think most of them would probably say "Yes, sir... nice rack of antlers. Just don't kill us like you did those guys over there. The look of horror frozen on their faces is telling us you're right."

Plus, Snape didn't apparate out of the thin air, people knows who his parents were, there's no mystery about his identity, as Sirius said, "if you're only going to let your sons and daughters marry pure-bloods your choice is very limited; there are hardly any of us left." (UK OoP ch.6 p.105). So, a pure-blood maniac just have too remember the few who are still pure-blood, all the rest should be inferior. Not really hard to keep track.

Edit : haymoni, maybe the dark mark didn't hurt, that just the more logical explanation Harry could find in the middle of the night trapped in a tricked staircase, hearring things he shouldn't. Moody's words just reminded Snape he still have some spot that never fade.


Weeny Owl - Jul 12, 2004 7:35 pm (#1355 of 2956)
As far as who the coward is, it isn't OUR interpretation of Snape and his actions, but Voldemort's interpretation of who showed up and who didn't.

He sees one missing Death Eater as being too cowardly to return. That doesn't mean said Death Eater is actually a coward, though. I think that's why Dumbledore was worried when he sent Snape off later... just how angry would Voldemort be at Snape for not showing up when he was called? As for the one who left forever, it could be Karkaroff since he definitely fled, and it's possible that regardless of Bagman's relationship with the Goblins that he actually was a Death Eater and he fled.

I think Snape is a pure blood, and what we saw on the Black family tree doesn't really mean that much. How many wizards and witches are there in the British Wizarding World? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? We didn't see Crabbe, Goyle, Nott, Parkinson, most of the Death Eaters who have been named, people in the Ministry who could be pure bloods, staff at Hogwarts, and anyone else Harry has encountered. Harry didn't look at the entire family tree. Even if Snape were a half blood, he could still be on the Black family tree because one parent would be a pure blood.


Verschwinden Sie - Jul 12, 2004 10:44 pm (#1356 of 2956)
I doubt if Snape would be on the Black family tree if he were a half-blood because Blacks who married muggle-borns, muggles, etc... were blasted off the family tree and their offspring weren't listed (remember that Andromeda Black was removed for marrying Ted Tonks, and Nymphadora Tonks wasn't listed on the Black family tree, even though she's a member of the Black family).

I can't see where they'd say "You are BANISHED from our sight, you unworthy vermin!!!" concerning Andromeda and the Tonks's, but look up and go "Oh, but it's all right for you, Snapie-poo..." and leave him on there.


schoff - Jul 12, 2004 11:05 pm (#1357 of 2956)
I still can't imagine Voldemort seeing Snape as a coward--especially after the events in P/SS. Traitor, yes. But Voldie strikes me as someone who admires courage even when it's directed against him.

As to Snape not being on the Tapestry, am I the only one who thought Harry really didn't get that good of a look at it to begin with? The Tapestry's huge--it hung the length of the wall--and Harry was only looking at the bottom where Sirius was pointing out his family. Snape easily could have been farther off. James too.


Tomoé - Jul 12, 2004 11:47 pm (#1358 of 2956)
You are not the only one to think Harry didn't get a good enough look at the Tapestry (it was hidden behind a big Christmas next time we were with Harry in that room). And even if he wasn't on it, Snape could still be from a pure-blood blood-traitor family like the Weasley who weren't on the tapestry but were still pure-blood.


Weeny Owl - Jul 13, 2004 8:37 am (#1359 of 2956)
I doubt if Snape would be on the Black family tree if he were a half-blood because Blacks who married muggle-borns, muggles, etc... were blasted off the family tree and their offspring weren't listed

Assuming Snape is a half-blood, then one relative would be a pure blood, and THAT Snape would be on the family tree. But since Harry didn't examine the family tree that closely, who knows what else it could show.


popkin - Jul 13, 2004 8:47 am (#1360 of 2956)
Since the tapestry only shows purebloods who are related to the Black family, Snape could still be a pureblood, not be related to the Blacks, and therefore not be on the tapestry. That being said, I still don't think his blood is all that pure.


Chemyst - Jul 13, 2004 10:08 am (#1361 of 2956)
Or another theory --
The hook nosed man yelling at the cowering woman while a small boy cried in the corner was Snape's muggle father --not abusing little Severus but vocally angry at his pure-blood witch wife for teaching their son hexes. He was giving her an "it's either me or magic" ultimatum. Little Severus cried because he wanted to learn the hexes and his dad didn't want him to, and because he knew this was breaking up his family.
Since the wife was the pureblood, only she, under her maiden name would have any possibility of being on the tapestry-- and Harry would not have recognized Snape's mother's maiden name even if he had seen it there. ('Just trying to make it all fit.)


Gina R Snape - Jul 13, 2004 11:10 am (#1362 of 2956)
Weeeeeeeee, we are a creative lot!

Well, hands up...how many of us were reading with baited breath, at the edges of our seats, waiting to read Snape's name on the tapestry during that first read? I know I was. And I think that's exactly what JKR wants.

She left of that scene with us feeling frustrated, because we knew there was more on the tapestry which Harry didn't look at. We saw one tiny little glimpse, and never went back for more. Aaarrrggghhhh!!!!

I am 100% convinced that Snape is a pureblood, just as I am sure he is on the side of good, just as I am sure he is NOT a vampire. Why? Because being a reformed DE pureblood adds to his nobility. Makes him that much more honourable as a human being for eschewing the pureblood orthodoxy.


haymoni - Jul 13, 2004 11:19 am (#1363 of 2956)
Chemyst - I didn't have my books with me so I didn't want to comment earlier. I never got the impression that Snape's dad abused HIM. I thought Snape was the victim of hearing the Mr. & Mrs. Snape argue all the time.

Whether it was the usual marriage stuff or a Muggle/Wizard argument, that I don't know. One thing is for certain - If Mr. Snape was a Muggle, he would be risking an awful lot taking on a witch!

I figured they were both wizards and hexed one another so often that Severus knew the hexes already when he came to school.


Padfoot - Jul 13, 2004 12:06 pm (#1364 of 2956)
I think Snape is a pure blood just because Lucius holds him in such high esteem. And we know the Malfoys do not care for half bloods. Of course Snape could have lied to him. But I get the feeling that Lucius and Severus were friends before Voldy appeared in their lives.

As to Snape being an animagus, I do think he is an unregistered one (but DD knows) and whatever animal it is, it is fast and powerful.

I think Severus was not in the circle of DE's, that is why he had that look on his face when DD told him he knew what he had to do. I think Snape was afraid to go back and face Voldemort (and with good reason) but did so because he is a double agent working for DD. I do not think he is a triple agent as that would be way to convoluted.

Of course Severus might have thought Harry did see him in the circle of DE's (time turner scenario)and would blurt this out in front of Fudge. That could be why he was so startled when Harry was naming the DE's he saw there. Though I see this as a possibility I still think Severus was not in the circle originally.


Tomoé - Jul 13, 2004 12:29 pm (#1365 of 2956)
Gina -> I am 100% convinced that Snape is a pureblood, just as I am sure he is on the side of good, just as I am sure he is NOT a vampire. Why? Because being a reformed DE pureblood adds to his nobility. Makes him that much more honourable as a human being for eschewing the pureblood orthodoxy.

You sum my position perfectly. ^_^

haymoni -> I figured they were both wizards and hexed one another so often that Severus knew the hexes already when he came to school.

Oooh! I like that!


Chemyst - Jul 13, 2004 2:18 pm (#1366 of 2956)
... being a reformed DE pureblood [...] (m)akes him that much more honourable as a human being for eschewing the pureblood orthodoxy. - Gina
That would certainly be my favorite way for this to play out. But in Harry's eyes, instead of shunning the pureblood orthodoxy, Snape currently seems, to use Sirius's words, to be a lapdog to it. That is sort of to be expected, because a good spy has to play to the other side a little. At least for now.

Another thing that Harry couldn't know --so we don't either-- is if Snape knows any secret weakness of Voldemort, but has to wait until the time is right before he could exploit/implement it. I really like Tomoé's idea that Snape's boggart could be a dead Harry. If Snape fears the loss of the war more than he fears for himself, he must be holding some very good secrets.


Tomoé - Jul 13, 2004 2:33 pm (#1367 of 2956)
And he must hate Harry for not taking a page out of Hermione's book and apply himself decently, so Snape won't have worked all these years in vain. Maybe "You are not working hard enough!", "You are lazy and sloppy, Potter" doesn't only apply to Occlumency ...


Accio Sirius - Jul 13, 2004 5:10 pm (#1368 of 2956)
I've always assumed Snape kind of bought into the pureblood orthodoxy--or more appropriately, enjoyed the perks that came with it--not so much as a racial preference but more of an idiosyncrasy--a desire for the status he feels he deserves. I always got the feeling that he doesn't particularly like Malfoy, but thinks that Malfoy should do a better job of representing Slytherin. More of a Harvard versus Yale type of mentality, not necessarily pureblood versus halfblood. Does that make sense?


Gina R Snape - Jul 13, 2004 5:17 pm (#1369 of 2956)
Yes, that makes perfect sense. I think he genuinely enjoys the wizarding world and having an important place in it. It's nothing 'against' others, just he likes what he's got.


haymoni - Jul 13, 2004 5:18 pm (#1370 of 2956)
Why was Severus alone after the OWL test? I would have thought there would have been SOMEONE from his house that would have stepped up to the plate.

I realize that James & Sirius were "the height of cool" but what about House loyalty? Where were the other Slytherins?


THE HAND OF GLORY - Jul 13, 2004 5:34 pm (#1371 of 2956)
Hello... my first post! A few responses to previous posts. I totally agree with the idea of Snape wishing Harry was an academic student. I think it frustrates Snape that he can only do so much as a spy, and that Harry is the only one that can vanquish Voldemort. I bet Snape would use the Imperius Curse on Harry to make Harry apply himself more if it wasn't illegal. Also, I like the post about a dead harry being Snape's boggart.I would imagine that Dumbledore would also have a similar boggart.I mean if there is no Harry, the Dark Lord would have no fear of being defeated. Dark Powers would reign.As to why Severus was alone, maybe Snape didn't like the other Slytherins in his year, or maybe he befriended elder Slytherins when he came to Hogwarts and they had already left( perhaps the connection to Malfoy?). I can see him as being the type who would be fine off by himself, studying or rather plotting... Actually kind of similar to Hermione, at least intellectually .


Tomoé - Jul 13, 2004 6:05 pm (#1372 of 2956)
Snape and Licius could have shared one, maybe two years in Hogwarts, so I don't think they met there. Outside the school through family business is more likely in my opinion. (Licius being 41 in the begining of OoP and Severus being born circa 1960)


doodle's mom - Jul 13, 2004 6:55 pm (#1373 of 2956)
Has any one thought about Snape's heritage? Is he pure blood or half blood? I am pretty sure I have read something about it, but can't remember what it was.

Could he be the HBP?

How do you become a vampire? Could LV have "tested" Snape in some way and he ended up a vampire? Could that be why he is a spy against Voldemort? How dod Lupin become a werewolf?

Sorry if these are things you have already discussed, but there HAS to e some thing bigger between Harry and Snape. Something besides pranks and a missed love.


Alianora - Jul 13, 2004 7:30 pm (#1374 of 2956)
Megan: Is there a link between Snape and vampires? JK Rowling replies -> Erm... I don't think so.

To me that says, "No, he's not a vampire."

I don't think that Snape's boggart is a dead Harry, simply because that was Mrs. Weasley's boggart (among other things) and I don't think Rowling would "redo" it. I think whatever the boggart, it will be something newly introduced, and will tell us a lot about Snape.

Potions Mistress [/b]- Jul 14, 2004 11:36 am (#1375 of 2956)
Why was Severus alone after the OWL test?...Where were the other Slytherins? --haymoni

I thought this brought up something that I've figured out after re-reading the books--Snape strikes me as a very lonely person, who never really had many, if any, real friends. (I don't really think Lucius Malfoy was a real friend, rather just "friendly" with Snape.) Maybe Snape alienated people even as a student. I think it was in PoA that Remus or Sirius (sorry, I don't have the book with me!) said that Snape came to Hogwarts knowing more hexes, etc. than many upperclassmen. Maybe he was like Hermione in that aspect--knowing more than everyone else. (That might also explain his intense dislike of her--it reminds him of himself...)


Potions Mistress - Jul 14, 2004 11:50 am (#1376 of 2956)
I just wanted to ask everybody this question: As I've said before, Snape seems to be a very lonely person. Maybe he needs a girlfriend? I'm thinking Rita Skeeter! Wink


Padfoot - Jul 14, 2004 12:16 pm (#1377 of 2956)
Have to ask Gina about that.

Potions Mistress, why don't you post the question above on the 'Ship thread? I don't think I've heard that pairing before. But I'm sure that those who follow the 'shipping thread will love to discuss it.


Potions Mistress - Jul 14, 2004 1:09 pm (#1378 of 2956)
Thanks for the advice Padfoot, will do! Smile


Hollywand - Jul 14, 2004 1:13 pm (#1379 of 2956)
Potions Mistress, a suggestion on Snape: if Severus is a very gifted Legilimens, and his father was very hostile, he probably has a guard rail around him the size of Mount St Michele. If he can see the contempt that James and the other popular boys have for him, and the contempt Lucius has because he is not wealthy..... might encourage solace, no? And why he has bonded with Dumbledore as an alternative to Voldemort.


Potions Mistress - Jul 14, 2004 1:16 pm (#1380 of 2956)
Interesting point Hollywand. I think that he has a bond with DD because DD is the only one to have given him a chance (and second chance, for that matter). On an irrelevant side-note, I'm from Colorado and am not familiar with Mount St. Michele. Is that anything like our 14,000+ mountains?


drippan - Jul 14, 2004 1:59 pm (#1381 of 2956)
Potions Mistress, "Snape strikes me as a very lonely person, who never really had many, if any, real friends. (I don't really think Lucius Malfoy was a real friend, rather just "friendly" with Snape.) Maybe Snape alienated people even as a student."

How about this for a reason to alienate people and to be alienated against: Snape was in Slytheran. He felt like he didn't belong there, so kept himself a loner in there. Then, the other Houses see that he is alienated from his fellow housemates and decide to alienate him too.

We see it all the time. How many times has Harry been alienated by his friends, his house and/or all the other houses? It drives Harry crazy when stuff like that happens.....

He joined the DE's because he had no where else to turn. Seeing that he didn't belong there and with DD's belief in him, he turned towards the "good" side as a spy.

Now, the life of a spy is very, very lonely. If you do your job right as a spy, nobody will ever know. If you do your job wrong, everyone will know because you are probably dead. I think very few in the OotP (I'm thinking it's alot bigger organization than what is at their headquarters) knew that he was a spy (he wasn't in the pictures in OotP). I think some of the teachers at Hogwarts knows what he did during the first war but most accept him because they trust Dumbledore.

I don't think Snape will ever change. He will always be a loner. Life sucks and Snape life proofs it. Of the many things that touched me in the book is when asked why he picked on Snape, Sirius replied, "Because he exists".

Whatever his story is, it's a very, very sad story.

DripPan


Hollywand - Jul 14, 2004 3:00 pm (#1382 of 2956)
Apologies, Potions Mistress. Mont St Michele is on the coast of Normandy, a monastery with the higest tides in the world. It's lovely, yet so isolated. A little kingdom unto itself during the Dark Ages when rules were a precarious thing. I'm sure there are lovely photos of the monastery on the net. Also, I've seen quick time photography of the tides isolating the site that are stunning. Regarding Snape's ability to read minds, imagine being at the side of Voldemort for a few years and wallowing in hatred until you don't want to see any more. An admirable choice to turn from the Death Eaters I'm sure Dumbledore can appreciate, and maybe Harry, too, eventually. Oh gosh, I want my to enroll in Potions, now! ;-)


drippan - Jul 14, 2004 5:14 pm (#1383 of 2956)
OMG, I just had a brain fart about Snapes.

What if Snape was married and LV killed his wife?

Any thoughts?

DripPan


Gina R Snape - Jul 14, 2004 7:04 pm (#1384 of 2956)
Thank you, Padfoot!

I do agree that Snape is a very lonely person. It is part of what makes him so interesting, fascinating, complex. Perhaps he has grown used to so much rejection and poor treatment that he hardly realises it.

drippan, I think your idea sounds like a wonderful foray into fanfiction. Go for it! But I can't think of a shred of canon evidence to support such an idea.

(and I am very much alive!)


Weeny Owl - Jul 14, 2004 8:12 pm (#1385 of 2956)
If he can see the contempt that James and the other popular boys have for him, and the contempt Lucius has because he is not wealthy...

I've never seen anything in the books that would suggest Lucius has any contempt for Snape or that Snape isn't wealthy. It wouldn't seem as if he is, but there's no way of knowing that just from the books so far.

Even if Lucius looks down on people who don't have the same level of wealth that he has, he still has two things in common with Snape... being in Slytherin and being a Death Eater. He did speak highly of Snape to Umbridge, so I just can't see any contempt.


therealscabbers - Jul 15, 2004 7:59 am (#1386 of 2956)
Weeny Owl: He sees one missing Death Eater as being too cowardly to return. That doesn't mean said Death Eater is actually a coward, though. I think that's why Dumbledore was worried when he sent Snape off later... just how angry would Voldemort be at Snape for not showing up when he was called? As for the one who left forever, it could be Karkaroff since he definitely fled, and it's possible that regardless of Bagman's relationship with the Goblins that he actually was a Death Eater and he fled"

Personally I think that Karkakoff was the one too cowardly to return - beacuse of his betrayal of other DE's and Snape is the one who had left for ever - as he had switched sides and Voldie would have known this. But he came back and somehow ingratiated himself back into the fold either by offering to be a double agent for Voldie (as a ploy not reality) or repentance with backing from the Slytherin Dad's esp Malfoy.

However both Kark and Snape would have the excuse that since they were in the grounds of Hogwarts they couldnt apperate anywhere Honeslty havnt you read hogwarts a history!!!!!(oops got a touch of the Hermionies then!)


haymoni - Jul 15, 2004 8:06 am (#1387 of 2956)
I don't think Voldy would kill any of his former Death Eaters, even if he thought there might be an inkling of unloyalty.

The guy needs bodies! He needs numbers!

He tortured the one DE to remind the others of his power. If Snape &/or Karkaroff returned to him, I think he would "Crucio!" them a bit and then take them back into the fold.

After the MOM battle, he has even fewer DEs and now the whole Wizarding World is convinced that he is back. For 15 years, wizards have been telling the stories of who was killed, who was tortured, who was Imperio'd. It will take a lot of convincing to get wizards on Voldy's side. That's why he he has to go after the Dementors and the Giants.

He'll use Snape like he used Bertha Jorkins. He'll play along with Snape's little game until Snape has to make the ultimate decision. If he follows Voldy, fine. If not, it's "AK" time.


Weeny Owl - Jul 15, 2004 9:02 am (#1388 of 2956)
Personally I think that Karkakoff was the one too cowardly to return - beacuse of his betrayal of other DE's and Snape is the one who had left for ever - as he had switched sides and Voldie would have known this.

Karkaroff is the one who actually left, though. He's nowhere to be found. He named names to the Wizengamot.

Snape is still around. Everyone knows where he is. Malfoy still speaks highly of him. If he is the one who has left forever and is to be killed, it wouldn't take that much effort to do him in. He did something when he left the hospital wing that worried Dumbledore, and what could be more worrying than going to Voldemort to explain why he hadn't shown up?


Potions Mistress - Jul 15, 2004 1:34 pm (#1389 of 2956)
Drippan, "How about this for a reason to alienate people and to be alienated against: Snape was in Slytheran. He felt like he didn't belong there, so kept himself a loner in there. Then, the other Houses see that he is alienated from his fellow housemates and decide to alienate him too.

We see it all the time. How many times has Harry been alienated by his friends, his house and/or all the other houses? It drives Harry crazy when stuff like that happens....."

I've never thought of it that way before. Wow, when looked at from that angle, Harry and Snape have pretty significant similarities! (And I'm sure both would just love that...)


LyndaLou - Jul 15, 2004 4:57 pm (#1390 of 2956)
I think Gina said a few dozen post back that she thought Snape had some very Griffindor-type traits. I would agree, & I have always pictured a scene similar to Harry being sorted. After meeting James, Siruis, Lupin & Peter on the Hogwarts Express; & seeing them sorted into Griffendor says to the sorting hat: "Not Griffendor!"


septentrion - Jul 16, 2004 1:33 am (#1391 of 2956)
You could also say that many students have traits of other houses : Hermione was nealy sorted in Ravenclaw e.g., or why was Luna sorted in Ravenclaw ? She could have been a Hufflepuff, and so on...


timrew - Jul 17, 2004 3:34 pm (#1392 of 2956)
I don't think Snape is a half-blood or a pure blood. I think he's a Full-of-blood after flying round in his bat animagus form and sucking it out of people!

Only kidding, Gina!


Gina R Snape - Jul 17, 2004 4:41 pm (#1393 of 2956)
:snort: Good one, Tim!

I think we are alll in agreement that any person could have traits of any or all of the houses. But the point, perhaps, is that Snape and Harry are more alike than either would care to admit.

The way I see Snape, he does some very brave things, but he does them all on the down low, in a very slytherin way. His is about getting things done with some sleight of hand, about not getting attention about it, and about thinking stragetically. Were he a Gryffindor, I'd wager a bet he would not be successful as an undercover double-agent. But though he is a slytherin, it doesn't make him any less brave.

The similarities I see between Snape and Harry are that they are both from unhappy childhoods, they are both brave, are both headstrong, and both project a different image to the outside world than what is going on inside.


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 17, 2004 5:14 pm (#1394 of 2956)
I see that Snape is still a bad guy, even if he fights for the good side. The fact is, he risked killing Harry by not helping with Legilimency, he has threatened to poison people's pets, and he's racist and cruel to people.

This does disappoint me, though; being a nerd myself, I have sympathy for people who were picked on in school, and I must say that James and Sirius almost justify what Snape did. I do really hate James.


haymoni - Jul 17, 2004 5:58 pm (#1395 of 2956)
Severus seems almost sympathetic after he sees some of Harry's memories.

Harry is so angry at him at the end of OotP. I wonder if he will be able to let go of some of that anger and actually learn something from Snape.


Paulus Maximus - Jul 18, 2004 12:33 am (#1396 of 2956)
Is the anger that Harry feels toward Snape his own, or Voldemort's?

If Snape is either the coward or the deserter, and he successfully hoodwinked Voldemort and-or his strongest supporters...


Hollywand - Jul 18, 2004 5:51 am (#1397 of 2956)
I'm very anxious to learn exactly why Snape turned his back on the Death Eaters. I think (hope) "he is the one who has left me (Voldemort) forever." I'm anxious to learn why Snape gained Dumbledore's trust.

I do think that Snape is sadly cruel to the trio in public, and yet, paradoxically, protects them in private. It seems to me that both Snape and Harry emerged from their mind melding lesson with more compassion for each other, an angry sort of compassion. That Dumbledore is a clever guy.....


hells456 - Jul 19, 2004 5:17 am (#1398 of 2956)
I think Snape was a spy from the beginning. My theory is a bit involved...

On the day he was lead to the shrieking shack by James/Sirius, Snape was actually bitten by Lupin.

Snape's life was saved by Dumbledore, but he couldn't prevent him from becoming a vampire. (apparently you can become a vampire/half vampire after a werewolf bite)

Snape was always dabbling in the dark arts at school, so now that he owes Dumbledore a 'life debt' he is in a perfect position to infiltrate the death eaters. He probably would have joined them after leaving school anyway, but now he joined as a spy from the beginning.


ShelterGirl - Jul 19, 2004 8:56 am (#1399 of 2956)
Ok, first post. Be kind. Smile

I have always pitied Snape. He seems to have so much talent, and yet undermines it with his childish behavior. I feel that he has what people call "arrested development" emotionally, and so is often on a level with his students or below them, such as when he completely loses control and throws tantrums. After reading his memories in OoP and making the assumption that the man yelling was his father, I thought that perhaps he sees Dumbledore as a father figure, one who does not judge, or holler, or abuse. I can see him originally drawn to Voldemort because many abuse victims seek relationships with abusers out of habit, and make no mistake, Snape was abused. Even if he was not the direct recipient of it, witnessing what he did constitutes abuse of a major sort. The fact that he is always described as "greasy haired" leads me to believe that he does not take care of himself. I always imagine him full of self hatred, and over-compensating for it. I had thought that one of the main reasons he hated James, apart from the very cruel things James did to him, was that James gave the outward appearance of self-confidence. Snape breaks my heart. I have more, but in an attempt to keep from being too wordy, I'll leave it at that.

Thanks for the great Forum.


Potions Mistress - Jul 19, 2004 9:09 am (#1400 of 2956)
ShelterGirl, I find your take on Snape's abuse as a small child (whatever that may have consisted of) interesting. I can imagine, that since abused have a statistically higher chance of becoming abusers, his homelife and the torment he suffered at the hands of James and Sirius, he is now doing the abusing--looking at his past, perhaps that is the only way he knows how to interact with people...
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Padfoot - Jul 19, 2004 12:51 pm (#1401 of 2956)
(apparently you can become a vampire/half vampire after a werewolf bite) -lixxie

Ok, you need to explain that one to me. I do not remember reading that anywhere. JKR has not mentioned much about vampires (or even that much about werewolves), so I am assuming you read about this somewhere else? Oh, not a fan of the Snape is a vampire theory but it sure is fun to read about.


S.E. Jones - Jul 19, 2004 10:28 pm (#1402 of 2956)
lixxie: (apparently you can become a vampire/half vampire after a werewolf bite)

I am very familiar with Vampire and Werewolf legends, but have never heard that one. Traditionally, you could become a Vampire if you were a Werewolf and were not killed properly. This is why Vampires traditionally control wolves, because they "evolve" from the same "spirit", if you will. However, the Werewolf form always came first.


Eponine - Jul 20, 2004 4:22 am (#1403 of 2956)
I'm a little curious about that as well. The only place I've ever seen that referenced is in the movie Underworld. Is there somewhere other than that its talked about?


drippan - Jul 20, 2004 4:33 am (#1404 of 2956)
The thread has been talking about werewolves and vampires which is really weird.

The only truth we know is about Lupin and being a werewolf. JKR has not touched on how people become vampires.

If you read different books or watch movies or tv shows, they all have their individual views. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer had vampires turning to dust after a stacking. In most movie, they just lay their with a stake through the heart.

JKR will never has to say how to become a vampire if Snape is not one and if she does, then she will have to come up with her own ideas of what a vampire is.......

Just my opinion,

DripPan


Caput Draconis - Jul 20, 2004 4:52 am (#1405 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 20, 2004 5:54 am
Snape's not a vampire, so it's OK. It just helps all that is Severus to have him swooping around like an overgrown bat, as Quirrel said.

Just back to the loneliness thing for a sec...I think this, the solitary nature of his profession, his necessary demenour as a spy, they're all things that add to the wall he has up around him, and that's what makes him such a cool character to read. On the surface he's this mean, bitter guy, but then there's layer after layer of mysterious motivation, a much deeper level beyond him just being the obligatory nasty teacher. Loneliness is just...the most perfect and moving trait JKR could give him.

On Lucius, I can't picture them as friends in the proper way, as equals. I've kind of always seen it as Lucius thinking he was above Snape, maybe just because Malfoy saw how much of an outcast Severus was at school. In fact, I think Lucius could have used Snape's discontent to lure him to the DE's in the first place. Although this is how all Lucius' relationships work, huh? Nothing true, just manipulating anyone who could be useful. Hmmm.

For the record, Snape's the coward (to the DL, not me ) Karkaroff is gone and Crouch Jr is faithful. I'm too sleepy to elaborate...plus I don't want to run the risk of changing my mind halfway through, heh.


Gina R Snape - Jul 20, 2004 6:52 am (#1406 of 2956)
I agree with you about the relationship between Snape and Lucius. In fact, it will be quite enjoyable to read if and when the day comes that Lucius is depending upon Snape for something during the war, and Snape pulls the rug out from under him.


Emiko - Jul 20, 2004 12:21 pm (#1407 of 2956)
First post- be nice!

Touching on Snape's bloodlines: I was always under the impression that Snape was pureblood because, in his memory (when Lily defends him) he calls her a "filthy little mudblood." That just sounds like a pureblood phrase to me (look at Malfoy). Besides the fact that he was in Slytherin, and it's the big pureblood house, it seems that he would be. (although we all know that JKR almost never says what she means!) I think that it's important, plotwise, to have a Slytherin (i.e. "evil" in Harry's sense) and a pureblood in the OotP because it puts a different perspective on their cause of fighting, not just Voldemort, but the whole "pureblood is superior" thing that LV's pushing.


Mundane Madness - Jul 20, 2004 7:08 pm (#1408 of 2956)
First off, Snape is my favorite character, followed by Ron. I agree with the idea that the abusie one who is abused became the abuser. He joined Voldemort's gang to be the abuser, but he did it out of blind anger and once he saw what Voldemort did to people, even own supporters, he turned spy. Anyway, I believe that Snape is the one who left forever and will be killed. Karakaroff is the coward because he is afraid of returning after his betrayal. Also, I have never seen Snape being racist. Perhaps he hates mudbloods, but that can have good reason. That might deal with his parents, we saw what they were like in OOTP. Also, I think Snape and James hate each other because they are dead opposites, and are jealous of each other.(?) Snape is clearly more focused on his studies, we see that in his OWLs. James is cool, and popular, he has Quiditich talent. Snape wants that. James subconsciously want's Snape's academic success?

Snapes problem with Harry stems from that Dumbledore was kind to Snape, he was accepting and trustworthy. However, Harry turns Dumbledore against Snape a few times, and Snape still seems to believe that Harry is his father's replica, and he thinks Harry does this to torture Snape.

This is my opinion, and even though I wrote it to sound like fact, I just have a habit to write opinions as facts because they are to me...


Susurro Notities - Jul 20, 2004 7:53 pm (#1409 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 20, 2004 8:54 pm
Luke E.A. Lockhart and I were having a bit of a discussion about Snape on the Neville thread - thought I would move it here:

"Just one more comment is that Voldemort and the Death Eaters are not really "anti-heroes". An anti-hero is a dark hero - someone the readers root for who isn't a traditional hero. There isn't really such an archetype in HP." (Luke E.A. Lockhart - Neville thread #445)

"Anti-hero - Snape - possibly?" (Susurro Notities - Neville thread #446)

"Until book five, I would have said Snape was an anti-hero - but his actions with regard to the Occlumency class after Harry went into the Pensieve have pushed him into the 'villain' category in my mind - but he's definitely the closest thing." (Luke E.A. Lockhart - Neville thread #447)

Although I think he was overly punitive and unable to see how his actions could jeopardize Harry and benefit Voldemort I do not see him as villainous. I think he was legitimately angry yet childish and shortsighted in his response.


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 20, 2004 7:57 pm (#1410 of 2956)
Perhaps villainous is the wrong word. But an anti-hero is someone who is:

A. An immoral but cool person with a dark side whom people root for - i.e. a bank robber or hitman in a mafia/criminal type movie.

B. A truly good person who is darker than most heroes.

Snape doesn't really fit into either category - he's still stuck on his (perfectly justified) grudge.


Susurro Notities - Jul 20, 2004 8:12 pm (#1411 of 2956)
I don't believe we know enough about Snape to include or exclude him as an Anti-hero. We do seem to agree that he has Anti-hero potential.


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 20, 2004 8:15 pm (#1412 of 2956)
"We do seem to agree that he has Anti-hero potential."

Definately! I personally find Snape to be one of my favorite characters in the book, perhaps my favorite. He's the only person even slightly protagonistic-ish who's shown any sign of darkness. It's not that I'm obsessed with characters being dark, it's just that the HP universe seems so clear-cut sometimes...


MadelineRock - Jul 20, 2004 8:27 pm (#1413 of 2956)
WHY WHY WHY do people insist on theories that JKR has told us are not possible? Snape is NOT a vampire, he NEVER was a vampire, he'll NEVER be a vampire and NO ONE in his family was a vampire. How do I know this? Because JKR told us that there is NO connection between Snape and vampires. Why do some people refuse to believe this?

Megan: Is there a link between Snape and vampires? JK Rowling replies -> Erm... I don't think so.

(I'm sorry if I have offended anyone, but everytime I read through the Lexicon, I see all kinds of posts about things that can't be possible and I just finally had to say something. I understand if anyone is mad at me).

Oh, and I personally think that Snape's loyalties lie with Dumbledore, and the only reason why he joined the Death Eaters is because they accepted him when no one else would and because he would finally have the oppurtunity to be the bully instead of the kid who is always picked on. I have a whole little theory/explanation for this, but I'm sleepy and I doubt anyone else wants to hear it.


schoff - Jul 20, 2004 8:34 pm (#1414 of 2956)
Whether she's said he's a Vampire or not, there is still a large amount of evidence linking him to bats.


MadelineRock - Jul 20, 2004 9:26 pm (#1415 of 2956)
I agree with you Schoff, there is a lot of evidence linking Snape to bats. But JKR has said that there is no connection between Snape and vampires, so maybe maybe all the evidence linking Snape to bats is just that, linking him to bats. I think JKR links him to bats for a completely different reason than to imply he's a vampire, and its actually makes sense. Anyways, I really need to go to bed, so if anyone actually wants to hear why I think Snape has a connection with bats without any connection to vampires, let me know, I would love to share it when I am more awake.


Leila 2X4B - Jul 20, 2004 9:46 pm (#1416 of 2956)
Maybe he is an animagus Bat.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 21, 2004 5:37 am (#1417 of 2956)


Megan: Is there a link between Snape and vampires? JK Rowling replies -> Erm... I don't think so.

It doesn't matter to me whether Snape is a vampire or not, although I don't think he is. That just seems a little too...commonplace for JKR. However, I don't think the quote cited in any way confirms that Snape is not a vampire. There's enough ambiguity in her response to fuel that pro-vampire horde who want to see this theory proven.


Gina R Snape - Jul 21, 2004 6:32 am (#1418 of 2956)
Well, I agree with Madeline about the vampire thing. But, I think just about everyone here knows by now that the "Snape is a vampire" theory drives me batty to no end...

B. A truly good person who is darker than most heroes. Why can't that be true of Snape? I think it is. He has his flaws, but good and flawless are not the same thing. Also, good and nice are not the same thing. Snape is good. He is not nice. He just goes about things his own way.


Safia - Jul 21, 2004 8:03 am (#1419 of 2956)
Hi, I tend to agree that Snape isn't a vampire, it just sounds a little too... un-JK Rowlingish and well she's said he isn't. I'd like to know what he is though. We know so little about him and she always seems a little cagey about Snape so I gather that whatever it is she's hiding is going to be massive. He's pale with greasy hair and skinny. Sounds like he's sick, sounds more like he's actually dead then anything else. An Egyptian Mummy unwrapped? *kidding*

Why is his hair so greasy anyway? I guess it might have something to do with concocting so many potions, but JKR seems to go on about it so much. To me grease is dirt, so Snape is dirt or he comes from the dirt?


rambkowalczyk - Jul 21, 2004 9:55 am (#1420 of 2956)
MadelineRock: You will find that it is in the nature for various people to nit-pick JKR's answers instead of taking them at face value. Consider not just the vampire question, but Hermione's "ship",is the HBP Tom Riddle? I'm a little surprised that there isn't that lone person who thinks Mark Evans might matter.

In short JKR is noted for her play on words, therefore we the fans have become hypersensitive.

I have never thought that Snape was a vampire but if he turns into one by the end of the book it would be hysterically funny.

As far as the greasy hair goes I can identify a bit. I have what is called very fine hair. It doesn't curl and tends to hang limp if it grows too long. It very easily got greasy. It had to be washed everyday which as a lazy teenager I never did. The standing joke was What did you do to your hair? It looks great. --I washed it.

It is true that JKR does seem to go on about about how greasy his hair is: "Snape-the-teenager had a stringy, pallid look about him, like a plant kept in the dark. His hair was lank and greasy and was flopping onto the table" Later as he leaves the exam she writes "Round shouldered yet angular, he walked in a twitchy manner that recalled a spider, his oily hair swinging about his face."

I think Snape is described like this to show how he doesn't fit in. Perhaps his parent kept him isolated as a youth so that his emotional growth can be compared to a stunted plant. Lack of sunshine=lack of love.


Potions Mistress - Jul 21, 2004 11:56 am (#1421 of 2956)
I find the whole of issue of whether or not Snape is a vampire to be extremely funny. I'll say that I don't think he is, because (to me anyway) that would complicate an already complicated plot and I don't really see how Snape and vampirism would really fit in. (Also, it would make kissing a very dangerous thing, eh Gina...Wink )


Gina R Snape - Jul 21, 2004 1:07 pm (#1422 of 2956)
Indeed it would, Potions Mistress.

There seem to be as many ideas about Snape's hair as there are Snape fans. I know when I read that description of him as a plant left in the dark I just wanted to give him a hug. Is there any character in HP that could use a hug as much as Snape? (Even if it meant being hexed to oblivion in response).


Courtney22 - Jul 21, 2004 1:08 pm (#1423 of 2956)
Safia I love the picture/avatar Smile just wanted to share that


drippan - Jul 21, 2004 1:30 pm (#1424 of 2956)
Gina R Snape, "Is there any character in HP that could use a hug as much as Snape? (Even if it meant being hexed to oblivion in response)."

How about Lord Voldemort? He'd feed you to Nagini....

DripPan


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 21, 2004 1:44 pm (#1425 of 2956)
Is there any character in HP that could use a hug as much as Snape?--Gina R Snape

As a matter of fact, there is. I think Lupin could use a hug just as much and he actually deserves it. *ducks to avoid hatchet Gina hurls my way*

Just kidding Gina, well, kind of.

EDIT: Oops, posted same time as drippan.


Caput Draconis - Jul 21, 2004 4:03 pm (#1426 of 2956)
Oh, I so totally agree with that. Lupin needs a hug more than any character in anything ever.

I think Snape needs...a kind of respect. Maybe not so much in terms of acknowledgment of what he does, because it's all covert and whatnot. What he needs is for people to stop messing around and get on with what needs to be done, for them to work as hard as he does. He obviously has little tolerance for incompetence. I'd reckon that's a huge part of what made him not want to waste his Monday nights, that he kind of knew Harry's track record at being taught anything (at least by Snape) was pretty dodgy.


Safia - Jul 22, 2004 12:51 am (#1427 of 2956)
Thanks Courtney22! Took me ages to get it down to the right size.

Lupin would be the only one who'd hug you back, lol. I can't imagine how Snape wuld react to having a hug forced on him, hexing and cursing might cover his emotions. I wonder if he's ever been hugged in his life, rather a sad thought really.

Love seems to be an important aspect ok JKR's world - who loved Snape?


ShelterGirl - Jul 22, 2004 4:47 am (#1428 of 2956)
In my rather humble, newbie opinion, I believe that the only person who truly loves/d Snape is Albus Dumbledore. I feel that DD's capacity for forgiveness and love is quite huge, and I am convinced that this is the reason Snape is so loyal to him. I have more about this, but it might be best placed in the Dumbledore thread.

And regarding Snape receiving a hug, well (laughs), the mental picture I get is absolutely hysterical. Especially if I imagine Lupin being the giver of said hug..."Severus, we were stupid gits in school. Let's bury the hatchet..." Nope. Never happen. Smile

ShelterGirl


Emiko - Jul 22, 2004 8:05 am (#1429 of 2956)
Speaking about hugs, I can't see Hermione giving him a hug, somehow, but so far in the books, of all the students (Slytherin's excepted, of course) Hermione's the only one who constantly believes Snape's not at fault. While Harry and Ron are always quick to jump to the conclusion that it's Snape (even after he proved himself in P/SS) Hermione gives him more credit than that- and I think that some of it's starting to rub off on Harry, possibly even Ron. When he's trapped in Umbridge's office and realizes that "There was still a member of the Order of the Phoenix at Hogwarts- Snape" and he trusts Snape enough to will him to read his mind and finally shout of the message. I'm willing to bet a lot that a year ago, Harry could never have done that. And later, in HBP, I think Harry will come to realize that Snape saved his life, indirectly, of course. I don't know if the relationship in the classroom between Snape and the Harry, Hermione, and Ron will improve, but I get the feeling that Snape's going to get the respect that he's wanted, even if he never knows it.


Gina R Snape - Jul 22, 2004 8:44 am (#1430 of 2956)
I think you're right about Hermione and Harry, Emiko. But I don't see Ron budging an inch in respecting Snape.

It would be nice if Snape got some acknowledgement. He may be too angry to recognise it when it's in front of him, though. But then again, I still think he needs a hug. Perhaps Dumbledore (and maybe McGonagall?) are the only ones to ever really give him what he needs.


JK Powers - Jul 22, 2004 9:49 am (#1431 of 2956)
Is Neville going to get any respect from Snape after Snape learns how much Neville has learned lately?


Padfoot - Jul 22, 2004 9:57 am (#1432 of 2956)
Probably not. Harry does well in his other classes, especially in DADA. However Snape does not respect him in potions for his skill level. Unless Neville learns a lot about potions and his skills in that class improve, I see Snape treating him the same as ever.


Prefect Marcus - Jul 22, 2004 10:14 am (#1433 of 2956)
I doubt showing respect for a student is even possible for Snape. He might have respect for one or more of them, but he would die before he showed any respect to any of them.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 22, 2004 10:25 am (#1434 of 2956)
but he would die before he showed any respect to any of them.--Prefect Marcus

Well, Marcus, the way things are going, that's not such an unlikely idea.


Ponine - Jul 22, 2004 3:48 pm (#1435 of 2956)
I enjoy reading all your guys' input, and am so frustrated as my 'mouse arm' is acting up pretty bad - thus, I barely get to spend time with one of my most cherished friends (my puter... Wink Watching the dvds, however, one thing struck me - and I can't understand quite why - why is it that Harry's scar hurt when he first saw/was seen by Snape? And considering JKR's extensive talk to Rickman prior to the movies, can this be seen in context with the fact that Snape really does not have an evil or cruel aura, as much as haunted or pained somehow... Or am I way off? And, I really agree with you skelter girl, in feeling that DD is the only one who truly has loved Snape, and thus saved him. Earlier, it was mentioned something about JKR saying something to the effect of not feeling too bad for Snape, as we had not seen half of it yet, and this statement has been discussed earlier on this thread, if I am not mistaken. As a Non-native speaker of English, I interpreted her statement to mean something like (and I am sorry I do not have her exact words - maybe someone else does?) if you think Snape is getting it now, you just wait and see how miserable he will become/have suffered/endure/have endured, sort of like Harry - if you think he has gone through a lot, you just wait and see what the poor kid will have to face. Can someone clarify this for me? Is there simply a language thing causing me to misunderstand? Have a great day, all!


MrsGump - Jul 22, 2004 4:11 pm (#1436 of 2956)
Here is the quote I think you are talking about. It was from the book reading at King Albert Hall (?) when OotP came out:

"SF: Where as most of the character, like Snape for example, are very hard to love but there's a sort of ambiguity I think is probably the best word you can't quite decide, there's something rather sad about Snape as well, something very lonely and you kind of, although he turns out to of course have such a wicked past and it's fascinating to watch how he you know, in the first book we thought he was the evil one and a aprt form Voldemort the most evil and in the second we thought that and slowly we just get this idea that maybe he's not so bad after all

JKR: Yeees. You shouldn't think he's too nice, let me just say that.

SF: Right I shall bear that in mind. Worth watching Serverus Snape

JKR: He's worth keeping and eye on, definitely"

If this is what you are looking for, I don't think JKR is saying that life will get harder for Snape, just that we shouldn't feel too sorry for him.

And in the SS/PS movie (and book), look at who is sitting next to Snape. Quirrell has his back to Harry (I think you can see the purple turban in the movie) so basically the scar hurt because Voldemort was facing Harry from the back of Quirrell's head.


green shoes - Jul 22, 2004 9:20 pm (#1437 of 2956)
"In OoP we see Harry have negative emotions about Dumbledore, and when he's possessed by V., Harry experiences a hate so strong toward DD that he could kill him. So there you have someone Harry loves becoming someone Harry hates (at least temporarily). I wonder if in book 6 or 7, a similar flip-flop will happen with Harry's feelings toward Snape. It could be JKR's way of getting across the idea that love and hate are such powerful emotions, and they are not very far removed from each other."

I LOVE this idea, madame librarian!!! and I agree with it completely, I think Harry will start to come around with snape in the next book, and indeed, I think Snape will eventually come around with the harry situation! I am hoping actually that he will ultimately prove himself, by protecting harry from danger, or by saving him, what I REALLY want to happen--and I don't think I'm alone--is for Snape to apologize to Harry!! maybe even a hug? smiles? SMILES!


Ff3girl - Jul 22, 2004 9:42 pm (#1438 of 2956)
You think Harry's attitude toward Snape will improve in the next book? I don't really think so...

"...Snape emerged from the staircase leading down to his office, and at the sight of him Harry felt a great rush of hatred beyond anything he felt towrad Malfoy... Whatever Dumbledore said, he would never forgive Snape... never..." -Am. Ed. pg 851 OotP

I would love nothing more than to see Snape and Harry stop hating each other. I think it could be possible to happen in the next book, but Snape would probably have to do something miraculous (like personally save him from death at the hands of Voldie). Harry doesn't even seem to care about everything else that Snape has done.


Chemyst - Jul 23, 2004 7:39 am (#1439 of 2956)
Thank you Mrs. Gump, for the interview quote a few posts back. I remember reading it and thinking, 'JKR's answer is that Snape is not too nice? Duh?' But after rereading it just now, I'm far more dismayed with the interviewer. It is a poorly constructed, wishy-washy observation, not even a question, that is nine times longer than the answer. Whoever SF is, they sound too busy being star-struck to have turned on their own brain.

Anyway, from the way the character of Snape has been constructed so far, it looks as if his future is limited to either death or redemption; and in either of those he will still be nasty, but respected at last. Either way he remains a tragic figure. Never having received respect, he had none to give, except between DD. Somehow, Harry needs to be added to that short list.

(I am, of course, talking about respect that is actually worth respecting, not the Malfoy & Umbridge-accolades kind of respect.)


MrsGump - Jul 23, 2004 8:18 am (#1440 of 2956)
SF is Stephen Fry, and it wasn't really an interview. He was hosting JKR answering children's questions, and just chatting away in between. You can read the whole thing here:

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


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 23, 2004 10:24 am (#1441 of 2956)
it looks as if his future is limited to either death or redemption--Chemyst

Why is this an either/or Chemyst? I'm thinking it will be redemption through death.


Gina R Snape - Jul 23, 2004 10:44 am (#1442 of 2956)
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't think Snape has to die to be redeemed. True, I just don't want to think about the possibility that he could die. But also think he might cunning enough to avoid death and I really want him to reap the rewards of his hard work! To make him a martyr would be too cliched in my opinion. She's already made Sirius Black something of a martyr.

As for that quote, I think JKR is simply saying that Snape has things up his sleeve the way he's always had things up his sleeve. She doesn't want us to be too fond of him because then her red herring ploys won't work. His character isn't clear cut and she wants to keep it that way. But it is very clear to ME that Snape is on the side of good, just goes about it in his own way.

But this still doesn't answer the question of his redemption. Of why he chose to be a DE, why he chose to leave, and where his moral and emotional stirrings belong in the picture.

And I still say that JKR doesn't 'get it' with regards to the Snape fans because Snape quite simply isn't her type. She crushes on her own character Sirius, who held limited appeal for me and who I know I would not have liked had I known him at school.


Prefect Marcus - Jul 23, 2004 10:53 am (#1443 of 2956)
Really, Gina, you need to express your feelings more. Don't keep them bottled up like that!

In point of fact, I agree with you. Is Rowling going to say, "Yes, you can trust Snape" Bang, there goes a great deal of the tension for her next two books.

Nor do I think he has to die. He has already redeemed himself, IMO. Why does he have to die to prove it?


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 23, 2004 11:43 am (#1444 of 2956)
Nor do I think he has to die. He has already redeemed himself, IMO. Why does he have to die to prove it?--Prefect Marcus

To restore order to the universe? To secure harmony for mankind? To balance the negative and positive chi?

I kind of thought his death was a given. Didn't mean to send Gina into a tailspin. But I think you should get your affairs in order, update the life insurance policy and all that, because his days are numbered. Then again, I was positive Mark Evans was the HBP soooo--there you go.


Weeny Owl - Jul 23, 2004 1:08 pm (#1445 of 2956)
It's possible Snape will die, but then again, JKR won't confirm or deny whether or not Harry will live or die.

I can see it going either way, but if he is to be killed off, I hope it isn't something cliched, such as throwing himself in front of an Avada Kedavra to save our hero.


Padfoot - Jul 23, 2004 1:17 pm (#1446 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 23, 2004 2:17 pm
I see Harry relying on Snape at the end of book 7, for some bit of information perhaps, in order to defeat Voldy. Hopefully Snape will not die. I would really like to see he and Harry patch things up. I do not see them being good friends or anything, just mutual respect. Even though I don't want him to die, that thought has been crossing my mind more and more lately. Just a weird suspicion that I hope will not happen.

And I still say that JKR doesn't 'get it' with regards to the Snape fans because Snape quite simply isn't her type. She crushes on her own character Sirius, who held limited appeal for me and who I know I would not have liked had I known him at school. -Gina

Well if Jo has been to this site, she might suspect the warm fuzzy feelings some people feel. I still have a hard time seeing why we should choose to like Sirius or Severus. I like them both, they are great characters. Although if I had to choose one, Sirius would win every time. *runs out of room before tomatoes are thrown at me*


Catherine - Jul 23, 2004 2:12 pm (#1447 of 2956)
Hello, Gina, didn't recognize your dulcet tones there!

I don't think Snape has to, or will, die.

It seems clear to me that Snape has "done" whatever it is that he needs to do. He is on the right side, whether we as individuals like him or not (I'm sighing about the lack of spaces in the "Detention with Snape Club"). He's not going to be eating family dinner with the Weasleys any time soon, but that's okay with me. I think that Snape has honor, but he doesn't have anyone to share that with (well, except for Gina, but you know)...


TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 23, 2004 2:21 pm (#1448 of 2956)
Maybe ya'll should move Snape's detention to the Great Hall, there would be room for more :-)


Gina R Snape - Jul 23, 2004 2:36 pm (#1449 of 2956)
Actually, I think JKR is fascinated by the fandom. She's remarked on more than one occasion her surprise at the number of Snape fans, Draco fans, self-identified slytherins, etc.

One of my co-workers who I introduced the books to always remarks how Sirius is 'da man' because he is 'so ghetto' (his words). And we have a good laugh over taking sides. JKR's books are based on a value system, and I do think she made the innocent mistake early on of assuming everyone would subscribe to the same values and methods. Or at least, she seems surprised to me that there are those who can see value in the things and people she's marked as 'bad' (so to speak). Of course, those of you who remember Slytherin Prefect will recall all the debates we on the board had about all slytherins being 'bad' but I digress...

Kim, I never thought his death was a given. I think the only balance to be restored in the universe is the instability created by Voldemort's enormous magical strength. In fact, I'd say there will always be good and evil in the world, but maybe Voldemort tipped the scales too much and so Harry Potter was needed to be born to put the balance right again.

If this is so, then Snape's death would be inconsequential to such a balance. The question then, is how and if his death would serve the story. Sirius Black's death served the story in a few ways. But his role was vastly different from Snape's in terms of the wizarding world and in terms of Harry's life.

As a matter of fact, Sirius held enormous emotional power for Harry. But Snape has actually been around Harry and guiding him (in a manner of speaking) on a near daily basis for 5 years.

Snape has taught (or tried and failed to teach) Harry a number of things, but Harry doesn't have the capacity (or perhaps just willingness) to reflect upon it. Yes, there's potions. And expelliarmus. But there's also ugly truths. Humility. Respect. How to hold one's tongue. How to hold oneself when faced with someone you don't like. How to watch your back. How not to get caught when doing something you oughtn't. Not to take things at face value. And so on...

Fun? No. Important? Yes.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 23, 2004 2:42 pm (#1450 of 2956)
Gee Gina, so serious. And I was just being a bit cheeky. Well, your response deserves one more thoughtful than I am able to give right now--there's a rather pushy 5-year-old at my elbow--so when I have the opportunity I will respond further.

But I still think he's a goner.
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Gina R Snape - Jul 23, 2004 3:00 pm (#1451 of 2956)
Well, Kim, only one of us is correct, and neither of us will know until the end!

Guess I'm just in that sort of mood today. I don't have a 5 year old at my elbow, but I frequently have a four-legged 12 month old at my heels.


Weeny Owl - Jul 23, 2004 7:15 pm (#1452 of 2956)
Nymphadora, Gina?

When JKR said not to think Snape too nice, I believe she was telling it like it is. He is not a nice person, and while many of the people who know him may not want to socialize with him, his primary function isn't to be popular.

Lockhart was nice, but he was also willing to Obliviate two twelve-year-old boys and leave an eleven-year-old girl to die. Barty Crouch, Jr. was nice (gruff, yes, but nice), but he not only turned Harry over to Voldie, he also wanted to kill Harry himself.

Snape may be a complete and total sadistic jerk. He may love tormenting students, especially Gryffindors. He may sneer, be sarcastic, and generally be the type of person you cross the street to avoid.

But...I don't think he's going to betray Dumbledore and the Order. I think he'll do his best to see that that nasty little Potter kid lives long enough to defeat the Dark Lord, and while he might say horrible things to a certain know-it-all and a particular red-headed pain in the neck, I think Snape will continue to do his best to see that they live to tell their children about their horrible Potions professor.


Emiko - Jul 23, 2004 7:34 pm (#1453 of 2956)
Gina- A little late in responding, sorry. I half agree about Ron not coming around to liking Snape. But, Ron doesn't seem to have a clear cut reason to dislike Snape, other than the fact that he isn't very nice to him in class, but Snape doesn't seem to act different towards Ron than towards any of the other students. I think part of the reason that Ron hates Snape is because he's so awful to Harry and Hermione. If both of them come around to not completly hating Snape, I can see Ron finally agreeing with them. I think Harry saying he'd never forgive Snape, ever, was just that he was emotional about Sirius, and blaming Snape, someone he had always hated, made it easier (didn't he say something like that in the book.) I still believe Harry will "come round" to Snape, without Snape having to die.


Prefect Marcus - Jul 23, 2004 7:40 pm (#1454 of 2956)
Very well put, Weeny Owl.

:-)


Weeny Owl - Jul 23, 2004 7:44 pm (#1455 of 2956)
Thank you, Marcus.

Perhaps we should pair up Snape with Pansy... two peas in the proverbial pod. (Just kidding!)


Emiko - Jul 23, 2004 8:05 pm (#1456 of 2956)
"Snape has taught (or tried and failed to teach) Harry a number of things" Wow, I never thought of it that way. In that case, were Snape to die (even though I don't really prescribe to that school of thought) his death would be a big loss to Harry, sometimes the loss of an enemy can do as much, or more, as the death of a loved one. And to Harry, right now, Snape is the enemy. Although, I think that Snape will have to be more defined, to Harry and to us, as readers, before he can die, if he ever does.

The giant squid [/b]- Jul 23, 2004 10:48 pm (#1457 of 2956)
I don't think Snape will die, simply from a literary standpoint. If Snape goes down, you all know Harry's response will be one of muted (or outright) glee. Then we'd have to waste a chapter or so with DD explaining to Harry why he wasn't so bad after all, why he should feel bad, etc. Better to just let Snape show that he's a worthwhile person (while still being an oily, evil git) in action.

--Mike


Hollywand - Jul 24, 2004 5:17 am (#1458 of 2956)
I am intrigued by the possibility that Snape and Harry may make a venture into some very challenging moral territory together. They both have a very present dark side, but have chosen the light with some ambivalence remaining. Perhaps some of Harry's residual hatred and scar burning is Voldemort's anger, not Harry's. If Snape abandoned Voldy, LV must be livid when he glimpses Severus through Harry. Severus seems very aware of all Harry's snake dealings: speaking, memories, the Voldy within. It would be interesting if, in their student/teacher capacity they travel far into the dark, and must resolve to step back from the abyss. Together.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 24, 2004 6:20 am (#1459 of 2956)
As to whether Snape dies or not, I've never really thought about it. The arguement of him dying to save Harry would probably make a good story. It may even convince Harry Snape was on Dumbledore's side.

On the other hand, wouldn't it be ironic if at the end of this all of Harry's friends die and Snape is the survivor? More likely Lupin will die but Snape won't.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 24, 2004 6:22 am (#1460 of 2956)
Bite your tongue, rambkowalczyk.


Prefect Marcus - Jul 24, 2004 7:13 am (#1461 of 2956)
Ramb -

This is not a Shakespearean Tragedy.

Marcus


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 24, 2004 8:53 am (#1462 of 2956)
"This is not a Shakespearean Tragedy."

Unfortunately. It would be nice if there was a little more tragedy - but then again, if Snape dies, that would be tragedy enough for most of us.


Gina R Snape - Jul 24, 2004 9:37 am (#1463 of 2956)
::sobs uncontrollably::

How many more must die?! Something tells me a lot...

:crosses fingers and squeezes eyes shut: PLEASE JKR don't kill off Snape!

haymoni [/b]- Jul 24, 2004 10:13 am (#1464 of 2956)
I did not like that bit about Harry feeling so angry when he saw Snape at the end of OotP...that he would never forgive him. It was too familiar...he would NEVER use the gift that Sirius gave him - we all know what happened after that!


Weeny Owl - Jul 24, 2004 10:20 am (#1465 of 2956)
I think Dumbledore will die. He is 150 years old, after all. When he dies, McGonagall will be Headmistress (I hope), and I'm thinking JKR will keep Snape around to be Deputy Headmaster. As often as he is with Dumbledore and McGonagall, it seems that he's really third in command even if it isn't actually stated that way.

There, there, Gina... we'll hope he lives because we all have to have our detentions, right?


Chemyst - Jul 24, 2004 11:17 am (#1466 of 2956)
If Snape goes down, you all know Harry's response will be one of muted (or outright) glee. -Mike Interesting. I'd imagined something more along the line of Snape dies trying to keep Harry alive and Harry is wracked with guilt for never having forgiven him.. With the set-up we've had in the first five books, this has to be a possibility. BUT... Sirius's death could be a good thing for Snape when it comes to storytelling strategy. Harry is currently doing the guilt thing over Sirius which will become a 'been there & done that' thing; so why recapitulate with Snape. Therefore, I think things are looking pretty good for some surprise twist that leads to Snape's redemption while Harry is left being thankful that he is still around and able to eat crow.


Gina R Snape - Jul 24, 2004 1:07 pm (#1467 of 2956)
But Chemyst, Harry isn't doing the guilt thing over Sirius. He decided to blame Snape for Sirius' death.


mrweasley - Jul 24, 2004 3:17 pm (#1468 of 2956)
He tried to, Gina. But I don't think I was able to even convince himself... no, he knows that Sirius would probably be still alive if he'd learned Occlumency better...


Accio Sirius - Jul 24, 2004 3:47 pm (#1469 of 2956)
I blame Harry for Sirius' death for sure (and in fact probably identified most with Snape after that because I could finally understand his irritation at Harry's reckless and self-involved behavior) And I think Harry's anger at Snape for Sirius' death was a short, misplaced guilt thing. I see Snape stepping in as the guiding force for Harry in the next books--in his usual tough love/hate style with Harry resenting it and eventually respecting it. And I don't think Snape will die. At this point, it wouldn't elicit enough emotion from the trio or propel them in an interesting plot direction (although we have a glimpse of what it would do to poor Gina).


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 24, 2004 3:48 pm (#1470 of 2956)
I agree, Mr. Weasley. I think if Harry honestly blamed Snape, he wouldn't be feeling so much guilt. I've expressed my feelings on this before, but I'm posting them again because I was surprised to see Gina's post about Harry blaming Snape.

Post 1029:

Snape is Harry's scapegoat.

Harry can think to himself, if Snape had given me some indication that he was going to contact Sirius, I would have checked back with him before going to the MOM.

Snape has been less than kind to Harry from the get-go, and certainly in the very beginning, without any provocation. Just as Snape has blamed Harry for the sins of his father, so has Harry blamed Snape for his ties to Voldemort. Neither can see the other in an unblemished light.

It is easier for Harry to blame Snape for the circumstances which lead up to Sirius' death than for Harry to accept his responsibility in them. And although I think he was getting there by the end, it mollifies his guilty feelings somewhat to be able to say, if Snape had handled things differently, then so would have I. Also, if Snape hadn't been such a total git to him his whole time at Hogwarts, Harry would have been more inclined to believe that he was faithfully fighting for the Order rather than always questioning his loyalty.

Likewise, if Snape could see his way clear to separating the reality of Harry from his memories of James, perhaps he could forge a relationship that could be mutually beneficial to both, or at least to the Order, which they are both so committed to.

End of Post

Harry is going to blame Snape if and until, he is able to accept the burden of his own tremendous guilt. Harry is aware of the role he played in Sirius' death--just look at the breakdown he had in Dumbledore's office, that wasn't grief alone--he just hasn't been able to process it yet.

Oh, and Gina, I'm still working on the other response.

EDIT: Posted the same time as Accio Sirius. *waves to Accio*


Accio Sirius - Jul 24, 2004 4:00 pm (#1471 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 24, 2004 5:01 pm
Well said Kim! *waves back enthusiastically*

It's funny that Harry and Snape would share this same Achillies heel, so to speak. It's easy to maintain certain thought patterns than try to look at someone in a different light, so why would either of them give the other the benefit of the doubt? I'm not sure if Snape will be able to overcome his prejudices about Harry, but for Harry to ultimately triumph, he's going to have to think a little more outside of the box--or at least to take a good hard look at himself--and maybe that is how Snape will help him--intentionally or not.


Ponine - Jul 24, 2004 4:35 pm (#1472 of 2956)
I really enjoyed your post, Lupin is Lupin (# 1471), particularly the part regarding how their perception of the other is clouded by the past. I think a point worth remembering here though, is that Harry is a child. Snape is not. He is an adult in a position of great authority and power, and he is down right abusive to not only Harry but most of the other kids as well. Any dysfunctionaly home may teach them the exact same things about life, but we still opt for functional caregivers and alternative ways to educate the young ones. I am interested to see if Rowling will go into DD's reasoning for not addressing his treatment of - say - Neville. I guess I see Snape as an excellent, tragic, (heroic??) (still hoping... Wink semi-villain/hero in a book, but he would be considered a real *ss in real life, at least in my book.


Hollywand - Jul 24, 2004 4:55 pm (#1473 of 2956)
Yikes. It seemed clear to me that Sirius was responsible for his own death. Particularly the point where he taunted Bellatrix to "do better than that" and gave her a second shot at him. It seemed depressing that Sirius didn't learn to have more humility, and now Harry blames Snape. Back to the books for me.....


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 24, 2004 5:00 pm (#1474 of 2956)
Thank you Ponine.

Your point is well-noted and has been discussed on this thread before, I believe. If not this one, then on the Harry thread. And I agree with you. Snape, as the adult, bears more responsibility for the tatters of his relationship with Harry.

However, in Snape's defense--*nods to Gina*--this isn't a child's game for which Snape is preparing Harry. This is, quite literally, life and death. And not just Harry's death, or Snape's, or Dumbledore's or any other individual's. Snape, unlike Harry, is aware of the huge ramifications should Voldemort again rise to power. Harry, until OotP, has been more concerned with getting out of each confrontation with his heart still beating, and understandably so.

But Sirius' death has turned the prism for Harry. Through the death of that one he will now understand the threat to everyone else. It has become real. Up until now, Harry really has been a child with a child's perception. Snape, as the adult, has always been aware of the far reaching impact of Voldemort's return, should it happen. Although it might have been better for Harry had he been more Lupin-like in his approach, Snape has his limitations and has done the best he could under the circumstances.


Gina R Snape - Jul 24, 2004 7:21 pm (#1475 of 2956)
Two excellent posts,Kim.

I think as time goes on, Harry might blame Snape less and himself and Dumbledore more. He may come to recognise some of Sirius' arrogance. He's really only seen it in action in the pensieve. And he needs time to reflect upon everything as the pieces come together.

But the fact that Snape has always known what's at stake is the crux of my entire position regarding him. From the moment Harry stepped foot inside Hogwarts, it became part of Snape's job description to prepare this child for the fate of the wizarding world. So, if he seems humourless at the task, he ought be forgiven. Of everyone on the staff, he alone knows the worst horrors of serving under the Dark Lord. Not even Dumbledore can know what it's really like.


Weeny Owl - Jul 24, 2004 10:36 pm (#1476 of 2956)
It isn't Harry's fault Sirius died but it isn't Snape's fault either.

There are a whole bunch of people who share in what happened to Sirius, including Sirius himself.

I think eventually Harry will stop blaming both himself and Snape and blame the true culprit... Voldemort.


Accio Sirius - Jul 25, 2004 5:11 am (#1477 of 2956)
There is a lot of blame to go around for Sirius' death (which has been discussed on his thread) but my emotional response leans towards Harry and DD. And while I'm sure Snape isn't saddened by Sirius' death, he will most likely use it as a harsh but effective learning tool for Harry (The fact that he might get some joy from the pain it causes is just a bonus). Even though DD is a big influence on Harry, he doesn't teach him as much as Snape, at least not obviously. Harry's actions up to the MoM were well-meaning but impetuous and he has an annoying tendancy to dismiss others (Hermoine, who knew it was a trap) too quickly. Snape, for better or worse, recognizes Harry's faults and spells them out for him. Maybe his methods aren't the best, but it's something Harry will evenutally have to hear and process if he wants to become a real leader. I like Harry. I am intrigued by Snape. I feel uneasy about his treatment of kids, especially Neville, but in the WW, even DD is apt to let kids get hurt in order to learn. I think JKR was showing us in OoP that overprotectiveness can be just as destructive as Snape's harsh realities. Look what it cost Harry.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 25, 2004 6:19 am (#1478 of 2956)
I think JKR was showing us in OoP that overprotectiveness can be just as destructive as Snape's harsh realities. --Accio Sirius

I couldn't agree more.


Gina R Snape - Jul 25, 2004 8:28 am (#1479 of 2956)
I was chatting with a friend last night and she had an idea we bounced around which I hope she doesn't mind me posting here (she sometimes lurks...::waves to M:Smile.

Was JKR showing us the pensieve scene and occlumency memories in part to show us how much Snape has changed? All the references we have of him in childhood are that he was scrawny, an outsider, small, weak, awkard, uncoordinated and not as quick a draw with the wand.

Now he is considerably larger and stronger (Harry notes this in his cognitive dissonance when being pulled out of the pensieve), his reflexes are honed, he is part of DD's inner circle (and presumably was in the DL's inner DE circle), and his movements and speech are usually quite fluid, smooth and calculated. His comments are even witty at times, whereas we get the impression he was much more rash and overtly hateful without 'style' in his youth.

Are we to assume all of this is just the normal maturation process of a boy to a man? Perhaps not. Perhaps it really is a subtle demonstration of the fact that Snape really has changed quite a lot over the years as he's learned to protect himself and be his own man.

Thoughts?


Choices - Jul 25, 2004 10:04 am (#1480 of 2956)
I agree Gina, although I must add that I think much of Snape's style as an adult is due to Alan Rickman!! LOL


Hollywand - Jul 25, 2004 11:02 am (#1481 of 2956)
Hi Gina, to add to your remarks about Snape: it's true JKR uses some very heavy examples about adult/child relationships in the Potter series. But the reality is that a lot of kids do face adults, sometimes parents, that don't welcome them into the world. Snape's example follows a much discussed pattern in that: Snape grows up with an abusive father, adopts some of the pattern as a method for surviving in a world that is set against him from birth. Drawn to Voldy as surrogate abusive father, because it feels so, well, familiar. What I love about Snape's figure is that he seems to reject Voldy (I will be devestated if he turns on Dumbledore) and chooses Dumbledore as an alternative father figure to Voldy. I'm curious about the reasons for his choices, and I'm sure JKR will give us that. In Snape is the hope that one can overcome obstacles by choosing a different pathway. I think (hope) DD's Occlumency experiment is gently awakening the more compassionate side of Harry and Severus. Major psychological paradigm shifts don't happen overnight. Anyway, that's my hopelessly PollyAnna Hollywand interpretation.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 25, 2004 11:52 am (#1482 of 2956)
I'm sorry to break into this worthy and serious discussion with something so silly but the menfolk have gone to Maine for a science and nature camp, so my equilibrium is a little shot.

In discussing Snape's animagus with someone else **waves to Solitaire**, I got to thinking of his Boggart/Patronus. I'll assume Snape's is Voldemort. I know, it could be a host of other things, but I just picture Voldemort whispering to Snape, "come back to the dark side."

Back to the Patronus: well, a Patronus is always an animal, correct? People are animals, aren't they? Well, wouldn't it be just amazing if Snape, facing a Dementor, had to yell "Expecto Patronum" and young Harry Potter comes bursting out of his wand? The look on Snape's face would be priceless.

Alright, alright, just hold on to those rotten tomatoes, I'm leaving...


TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 25, 2004 12:18 pm (#1483 of 2956)
"and young Harry Potter comes bursting out of his wand? The look on Snape's face would be priceless."

Thank you Lupin, I think I just joined SPEW, because that's what I did when I pictured that.


Hollywand - Jul 25, 2004 12:55 pm (#1484 of 2956)
LupinSquare, the "Harry as Boggart" has been suggested earlier in the thread, very similar to the patronus suggestion. **Throwing a nightshade fruit**. I'm hoping for a cobra patronus or boomslang or other snakey thing. Accio tomatoe..... :-)


mrweasley - Jul 25, 2004 3:02 pm (#1485 of 2956)
Gina and Hollywand, I want to follow you into the depths of Snapes' psyche... :-D

Somehow the Pensieve scene as well as the little memory fragments from both Harry's and Snape's childhood that we witnessed during the occlumency lessons - they seem to me like JKR trying to show us how people who've had similar negative childhood experiences, have developed in different ways.

I know, I have to explain: Both, Snape and Harry had a tough time when they were kids. Snape however was lonely and an outsider even at Hogwarts, whereas Harry was able to overcome his negative childhood experiences when he entered the magic world. Snape's experience with his social environment made him bitter and cynical towards people in general, but Harry found friends and - for two years - a godfather who trusted and appreciated him.

Do I sound like Woody Allen? I know. I just thought that, with JKR repeatedly mentioning Lily Potters' love for being Harry's strongest protection, she probably explains the way Snape turned out by showing us that his "social competence" just never really had a chance to develop...


Hollywand - Jul 25, 2004 3:45 pm (#1486 of 2956)
I agree with your reasoning Mr. Weasley. The Potter series is a love letter to children who are growing up, and especially to those that have not had an easy time. I'm thinking that's why Jo puts the two parallel histories of Harry and Snape in and brings them together.


Ponine - Jul 25, 2004 4:16 pm (#1487 of 2956)
Hollywand - I have really appreciated your recent posts - and not only because I agree Smile One of the more challenging, but interesting interpersonal aspects Rowling brings into her books is the nuances of the human psyche. Through Harry, Rowling gently reminds us that people are not simply good or bad. Percy is not a bad guy, (as far as we know) and someone Harry feels he knows, yet taking a completely different perspective on events. Umbridge is pretty much the devil incarnate, but still no death eater (as far as we know), Dumbledore is allmighty, but he too, makes mistakes. Sirius, the hero Godfather, is blatantly less than perfect, Severus is cruel, unattractive and a painfully easy person to hate, but through Occlumency Harry is forced to realize that Snape was someone's young son, a lonely boy, and a student scorned by class mates, something Harry has no choice but to recognize. I guess I sort of lost direction again (hate it when I do that) but GOSH Rowling is a remarkable painter of people who are not only believable and 'real', but lovable as much as because of as in spite of their flaws. (maybe not Umbridge, tho...)


Caput Draconis - Jul 25, 2004 4:18 pm (#1488 of 2956)
I just wanted to go back to Mike for a sec, on wasting a chapter with DD explaining Snape?s death to Harry. I think it?s a good literary point - and what?s the most we?d get out of that? Harry going, oh yeah, maybe Snape wasn?t so bad after all, gee, whaddayaknow. Then probably feeling guilty. Gah. I want them to talk to each other, and it doesn?t have to be nice, just a little more truthful and open. One of the most delicious parts in the whole series for me is the little exchange they have in OoP regarding Snape calling Voldy the Dark Lord. It?s just giving us a taste of something beyond vindictiveness, it?s cutting a little deeper into characters. I think we?d need more of this kind of interaction/understanding for Snape?s death () to have an effect. Well?an effect on those who may just see Severus as the cookie-cutter-bad-guy and kind of have to live the emotion through Harry, not those of us who are *glances back a few posts* ?sobbing uncontrollably? at the mere thought of it.

There?ve been some awesome posts from Kim?s very neat 1474 (not that it isn?t always good reading ). Yeah, if Snape was more like Lupin he might have got further with Harry, but he also would lose so much of what makes him?Snape. I think, as many have said, both he and Harry have gone about things the wrong way. As to why Harry doesn?t just spend more time with actual Lupin?that?s a whole other thing that I hope is ?fixed? in B6.

Good point about adult Severus and school Severus, too. I?d never really thought about identifying the differences between the two Snapes, only the obvious parallels; greasy hair, hating James, and of course the similarities to Harry, and him subsequently identifying with Severus, not his dad. But yeah, from the time we see him in memory he?s lived through all the assumed horrors of the Dark Lord on both sides of a war, and outlived the two who do much of the tormenting?maybe we are meant to consider how that may have changed him. Maybe we?re meant to see traces of that schoolboy in adult Snape, and draw on that to explain some of his motivations, but not use it to define his entire character?


Hollywand - Jul 25, 2004 5:39 pm (#1489 of 2956)
Thanks, Ponine and welcome to you. Great observations on your part, and I think gets to the heart of Jo's writing beyond the fun of the puzzles.

Umbridge was such an annoying character, but I must admit I was rolling on the floor laughing as all the kids resisted her by taking the Weasley twins' inventions. The image of painful "Dolores Umbrige" trying to control a classroom full of vomiting and fainting kids had me crying with laughter. And Fred and George "kick-starting" their way out of Hogwarts was a triumph. :-)


Emiko - Jul 25, 2004 6:29 pm (#1490 of 2956)
Did Snape wish Sirius would die? Yes, Sirius tormented him, yes, they hated eachother... but did he hate him to the point where he would be gleeful when he dies in OotP? I'm not really sure (would love to hear opinions!) I don't think so, only because Snape is a "good guy" and however mean and harsh he can be I can't imagine him being glad that a member of the Order died. I'm not saying that he will be sobbing with grief (ha. yeah, right) but will he really use that to torment Harry as much as people seem to think he will? For one, does the wizarding world know of Sirius' innocence and his true alliance? Because unless they all do (and I don't believe JKR mentioned anything of the sort in the end of OotP) then Snape can't say too much, except when he catches Harry alone. Besides, wouldn't the loss of an adversary be unnerving to him? But then, he never stopped hating James, and Sirius seemed to be was much worse than James, so maybe I'm changing my mind mid-post! I hate it when that happens! Oh, well. I guess the question still is: Is Snape happy that Sirius is dead?


Hollywand - Jul 25, 2004 7:19 pm (#1491 of 2956)
Hi Emiko, welcome. A couple of thoughts that might be helpful in discovering the answer to your questions:

The Order meets at Grimauld Place, Sirus' house, and Snape is allowed entrance to Grimauld, so Snape must realize by now that even though he thought Sirius was a traitor, that has been proven untrue.

We can't know Snape's personal feelings about the loss of Sirius from the text, but if Snape is a good strategic Slytherin thinker that wants to survive Voldemort's attack, he would not welcome the loss of a powerful wizard like Sirius to the Order.

I hope these suggestions are a little helpful!


Leila 2X4B - Jul 25, 2004 7:21 pm (#1492 of 2956)
I think he is happy in the way that when most people hear of the passing of a former bully that they do not buy flowers for the bereaved. It is a sort of freedom for Snape. His former tormentors are no longer around and he is still there and strong. It is Snape's victory to have done better than the Maurader's.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 25, 2004 8:25 pm (#1493 of 2956)
Think back to Prisoner of Azkaban when he confronted Sirius Black in the shrieking Shack. His line to Sirius "Give me a reason" (to kill you now) kind of reminds me of Clint Eastwood's "Make my day". He believes with all his heart that Sirius tried to kill him when he was 16 and no one really believes him. Or in Dumbledore's case forgive him too readily.

It seems as though we would all like to see a serious conversation between Harry and Snape. Although Lupin is Lupin gave some very good reasons as to why Harry was angry at Snape it also seemed to me that JKR did not want Harry to start liking Snape yet-- that whatever plot development that happens in book 6 requires Harry to hate Snape.

One scenario I can imagine is that Harry's Owls in Potions don't reach Snape's standards and as much as McGonagall wants to help, Dumbledore won't let her. He thinks Harry should ask Snape personally to be in his NEWT level class. Harry needs to take responsibility for his own career choices. The thing I wonder is can Snape accept an apology? I suppose whether or not Harry can apologize belongs on the Harry thread. The conversation between them should be interesting.


mrweasley - Jul 25, 2004 10:11 pm (#1494 of 2956)
I agree, ramb. JKR seems to have deliberately made the ice between Snape and Harry melt very slowly, and it'll be a desperate situation - whether it's Harry's potion grades or a "stand united" necessity in times of the Second War - that will somehow force them to cooperate. And I guess this cooperation could be the first step for a mutual recognition, or maybe more.


rosi reef - Jul 26, 2004 1:10 am (#1495 of 2956)
Hi, I found that at the site of Convention Alley. It's an abstract of one of the presenters there. Maybe you all already know, but I like it very much, because for me Snape is the most interesting person and I don't want him to betray DD or die at the end.

"Opening Statement, R.J. Anderson:

I discovered a wonderful quote from J.K. Rowling the other day while looking up references for my presentation. Rowling has gone on record many times as a great fan of C.S. Lewis's Narnia books; she calls Lewis a "genius", and says that even now if she finds herself in the same room as one of the Narnia series she can't resist picking it up for a re-read. I think it's safe to say that the Narnia books had an enormous influence on JKR. In any case, here's the quote I enjoyed so much:

"I really like Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis? He is a very unlikeable character who turns good."

That's from JKR's chat on the Barnes and Noble website, March 1999. Now, JKR is my age, and British, and therefore she must have grown up looking at Pauline Baynes's illustrations every time she read the Narnia books. And in those illustrations Eustace, when we first meet him, is a skinny kid with flat, greasy-looking dark hair, drab clothes, and a sour expression. He's also given to cruel, bullying behavior at times.

And hey -- JKR says she "really likes" this guy, and that although he's unlikeable, he turns good. Really good, in fact. He even gets to be the hero in the sixth and seventh Narnia books, though he's still got a temper and a pretty sharp tongue at times. Then there's that name of his? Eustace Scrubb. Sibilant first name, brusque-sounding last name. Hmmm? sound like anybody we know?"


Ponine - Jul 26, 2004 4:32 am (#1496 of 2956)
Rosi - That is fascinating! It makes sense in my book, and certainly better than Snape's other alternative.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 26, 2004 4:38 am (#1497 of 2956)
Is Snape happy that Sirius is dead?--Emiko

I think perhaps the more telling question is "Does Harry think Snape is happy that Sirius is dead?". For the purpose of the story, does it really matter how Snape feels about Sirius' death? I can't imagine Snape "sharing" his feelings. Oh well, alright, maybe Gina can.

But, we assume, Snape still has much to teach Harry. One of Snape's biggest issues with Harry is his supposed arrogance. Arrogance much like Sirius'--which ended up getting him killed. Above all else, Snape wants Harry to live. Not due to sentimental reasons, but for the good of the Order and the Wizarding World. I can imagine Snape, quite brutally, using Sirius' death in order to illustrate the disastrous effects of allowing arrogance to cloud one's judgement. Can you imagine Harry's hatred of Snape in such a moment? How important will it be to Harry that Snape acknowledges Sirius' worth as a person as well as a wizard? How hard will Snape push to make Harry see Sirius' faults? For the purposes of Book 6, does their relationship have anywhere to go but down?


rambkowalczyk - Jul 26, 2004 4:39 am (#1498 of 2956)
Something to keep the hope alive. (for Snape being on Dumbledore's side) Sometimes in my more pessimistic days I feel that as far as JKR is concerned,Snape made his choice when he chose to be Slytherin and that he will ultimately betray Dumbledore.


Accio Sirius - Jul 26, 2004 4:50 am (#1499 of 2956)
I always got the feeling that despite everything, Snape hated James more than Sirius. Maybe there is something more psychologically complicated about that--but with Sirius it seemed like pure dislike but otherwise ambivalence. Snape's feelings for James seemed to haunt him, while his problems with Sirius did not. I think Snape would see Sirius' death as one less person in the OoP ranks or else one less person he could toy with. Judging from the scene in Grimmauld Place, Snape knew how to push Sirius' buttons and that was sort of sport for him. Kind of like what he does with Harry.


Gina R Snape - Jul 26, 2004 6:23 am (#1500 of 2956)
Oh, Rosi you make my heart go pitter-patter with such talk!

Accio, I do think Snape supremely enjoyed pushing Sirius' buttons. But it's hard for me to tell if he loathed James or Sirius more. James is a dead enemy, reborn in the face of Harry. But Sirius was a live opponent with whom he was forced to consort (of sorts). Whatever he felt towards James, it was all reflection. Sirius, however, provided fresh 'opportunity' for rivalry which might have assisted in keeping those wounds fresher.

And no, I cannot imagine Snape sitting down and saying "I feel such and such" about Sirius' death. But I think it's fairly reasonable that little side comments will betray his inner feelings. That seems to me how he operates.

It would be nice to see a little heart-to-heart between Snape and Dumbledore, though.
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Padfoot - Jul 26, 2004 9:45 am (#1501 of 2956)
I think perhaps the more telling question is "Does Harry think Snape is happy that Sirius is dead?". For the purpose of the story, does it really matter how Snape feels about Sirius' death? I can't imagine Snape "sharing" his feelings. -Kim

Harry will assume that Snape is happy that Sirius died. I do not think Sirius will be grieving or jubilant, he will be somewhere in between. I do think his feelings towards Sirius will come up at some point. But not a heart to heart with Harry certainly. Maybe Severus will make some comments to Harry about acting rashly like his godfather did.

I would like to see more conversation between Harry and Severus, not just biting comments and sneers. I can see that sort of thing continuing with Draco, but Severus is much more complex and interesting. I think a real conversation (where they actually listen to each other) between them would be very helpful.


Potions Mistress - Jul 26, 2004 10:52 am (#1502 of 2956)
Regarding the relationship between Harry and Snape, I think things will get worse before they get better. Looking at Sirius' death, I would imagine any comment Snape would make, whether it would be to try to teach Harry something or to just to be cruel ( or both) I can't imagine Harry taking anything Snape says to heart--he's too angry for that right now. I think further down the road Harry will start listening (maybe because he'll have no choice in the matter), but for the time being, I see Harry as needing someone to be angry with and Snape makes for a pretty good target (and vice versa).


T Brightwater - Jul 26, 2004 11:18 am (#1503 of 2956)
I think Potions Mistress is right. Harry has a lot of anger to work through, and right now he sees Snape's taunting of Sirius as part of what caused Sirius's death. He knows that his unwillingness to work on Occlumency is also part of it, and he blames a lot of that on Snape as well. Snape really didn't give him a lot of help in those lessons - just insults and a tirade about showing emotion, and considering Snape's tantrum in PoA, he's one to talk.

If there's any hope of reconciliation, I think it's Lupin. In PoA he was genuinely trying to show Snape that he respected him and was willing to let bygones be bygones, at least until Snape gloated over the prospect of Sirius undergoing the Dementor's Kiss. Lupin's the one in OoP who tells Harry, in effect, "I know you don't like Snape but he is really good at what he does," and he offers to talk to Snape about Harry resuming Occlumency lessons. And Snape doesn't seem to dislike Lupin as much as he did Sirius and James, although he didn't trust him in PoA.


Potions Mistress - Jul 26, 2004 12:07 pm (#1504 of 2956)
T Brightwater made me think of something else (Thanks!!). You said that Lupin (in OotP) basically said that Harry may not like Snape, but Snape is good at what he does. What I'm seeing right now is neither one likes each other, but moreover, they don't respect each other. Both have a lot to offer in VWII, but have a total disregard and disrespect of each other abilities. And (I think) that without a mutual respect, that's going to cause a lot of trouble...


Richard !!!Reid - Jul 26, 2004 12:31 pm (#1505 of 2956)
I think Harry reminds Snape of James and because of that, I doubt Snape would have taken to Harry even if he was in Slytherin, however he does have his best interests at heart - or should I say, he does not want the WW's only hope, destroyed (Harry) and LV to have total power. However - I think this is another reason Snape dislikes Harry. Snape constantly risks his own life to Spy on Voldemort and probably has to work hard at it, fully knowing the consequences. Harry on the other hand is practically oblivious to his importance and seems naturally good at most things. Snape is jellous of Harry just as he was jellous of James. Although Snape is very smart and calculating, I don't think he can hide his feelings towards Harry. I wonder what Harry will do if Snape taunts him about Sirius (which he is capable of doing). It would be very interesting to see a Snape/Harry duel. I suppose it could happen as at the end of OotP, they were on their worst terms yet.



T Brightwater - Jul 26, 2004 12:48 pm (#1506 of 2956)
Good point, Richard Reid. This brings up the thing which makes me most uneasy about Snape - his capacity for holding grudges. Snape already hates Harry when he arrives at Hogwarts - at a point when Harry hardly knows who he himself is, much less knows anything about his father or his father's dislike or mistreatment of Snape. Why should anyone treat an eleven-year-old boy like that over something that happened before he was even born? If only he could have realized how horrified Harry was after his experience in the Pensieve, and how much he sympathized with Snape at that moment, perhaps they could have started talking to one another.


TomProffitt - Jul 26, 2004 12:54 pm (#1507 of 2956)
Lot's to think about, y'all. You've sparked a lot of thougthts, here are just a few.

"Is Snape happy Sirius is dead?"

"I know you don't like him, but he's good at what he does."

Snape, like all Slytherins, is worried about what's good for Severus Snape.

- He doesn't regret the death of Sirius, he wasn't doing anything useful for the order anyway. - Lupin's a good dog, but he's got rabies, so we ought to put him down. - I'll keep Potter on that broom so he'll live to kill the Dark Lord. - I'll make Draco my pet student to get in good with Lucius, so I can stay in touch with the Death Eaters.

Severus doesn't like anyone. He doesn't wish anyone well. He probably doesn't even like Severus.


Potions Mistress - Jul 26, 2004 1:12 pm (#1508 of 2956)
"Severus doesn't like anyone. He doesn't wish anyone well. He probably doesn't even like Severus."--TomProffitt

I think you're right, Tom. But I think it's also sad. I've said before and I'll say it again, Snape is a very lonely man. And the idea that he thinks of people as "useful" or "useless" just reinforces that opinion.


T Brightwater - Jul 26, 2004 1:20 pm (#1509 of 2956)
"He probably doesn't even like Severus. "

That's fairly obvious. The only times we see Snape looking remotely happy are when he's making someone else miserable, and that is not a sign of someone who's comfortable with himself. Why should he still be jealous of the Marauders? At the time of PS/SS, two of them were dead (as far as anyone knew), one in Azkaban, and the other an outcast, while Snape was a respected if not beloved professor at Hogwarts.

He does seem to respect, if not like, Dumbledore, and appears to be rather pleased when Professor McGonagall returns from the hospital.


Accio Sirius - Jul 26, 2004 1:34 pm (#1510 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 26, 2004 2:35 pm
The fact that McGonagall seems to truly like Snape is really what nails it for me as far as questioning whose side is he really on. For some reason, I trust Minerva's judgment. LOL. And Gina, among others here, has provided a very astute analysis of the man. : )


Gina R Snape - Jul 26, 2004 2:53 pm (#1511 of 2956)
:blush: Thank you Accio Sirius!

I do think Snape and McGonagall are friends as well as colleagues. And I do think we are only seeing one side of Snape, through Harry's eyes.


Prefect Marcus - Jul 26, 2004 2:57 pm (#1512 of 2956)
Gina - I do think Snape and McGonagall are friends as well as colleagues.

You know, Gina, I think you are right. Even though there is little canon evidence that there is much friendship between them, they at least have a high degree of mutual respect for each other.

And I fully agree that since McGonagall obviously trusts Snape, that speaks volumes on his character.


Richard !!!Reid - Jul 26, 2004 3:03 pm (#1513 of 2956)
I wonder if they got along when Snape was still at school - after all, she would have been his teacher then. Was Snape a good student - I think he must of been after all, he is a legilimens.


Gina R Snape - Jul 26, 2004 3:15 pm (#1514 of 2956)
Oh, I wish we knew who were Snape's teachers when he was at school, and how they reacted when he came on board as a Professor.

Wizards live such a long time. But I can't escape the idea that it feels a bit odd to see a small child become your colleague. Then again, I guess people who live in small communities are very used to this. In Snape's case, though, it was probably the last thing they'd imagined would happen!


rambkowalczyk - Jul 26, 2004 3:23 pm (#1515 of 2956)
McGonagall was a teacher when Snape and the Gryffindor 4 were there. She's taught 39 years and in POA she talks about James and Sirius as students. Although she remembers them fondly I'm sure she was very upset with them when she found about the werewolf incident.

Although the is no canon for this I expect Flitwick and Sprout were there as well.


TomProffitt - Jul 26, 2004 4:19 pm (#1516 of 2956)
I think I have to disagree on Snape and McGonagall being friends.

One thing JKR has been very consistent on is the character of the members of the various Houses.

There are lots of things Hermione has done to earn the respect of her piers, but the Ravenclaws are impressed that she can do a Proteus Charm (is that the correct name?)

Harry and Ron are concerned about their OWLs, yet it's a Hufflepuff doing ten hours of study a day. That's probably more than Hermione does.

All of the Griffindors, even seemingly shallow characters like Lavender Brown (what color exactly is lavender-brown?) and Parvati Patil, will stand up for others.

Is there any Slytherin who is not shallow and self absorbed? Are any of them going to fool Minerva McGonagall? I doubt it. Occlumens or no, Severus Snape won't be fooling our dear Minerva. I have no doubt she respects him as a member of the Order. Yet, when you consider how he treats Neville and Harry, there is no way that McGonagall will respect Severus Snape as a teacher. I can't imagine a loving and caring person like Minerva being friends with a cruel, cold, self-centered egotist like Severus Snape.

( I did't over do it, did I?)


Hollywand - Jul 26, 2004 4:50 pm (#1517 of 2956)
My goodness, poor Severus is being burnt at the stake today! ;-) Tom, you should head over to some of the other Slytherin threads and play "Voldy's Advocate". Try the "Pansy Parkinson" or "Draco Malfoy" or "Harry's Ship Unites the Houses". Have your wand at the ready.


TomProffitt - Jul 26, 2004 5:02 pm (#1518 of 2956)
I already slammed Draco on his thread today, Hollywand. JKR's consistency in characters behaving as sorted connected with her despair over people identifying themselves as Slytherins has given me a severe distrust of any Slytherin character. (Still need to figure out what's up with Pettigrew, he just doesn't fit the Griffyndor mold)

I had a thought reading a different thread, but figured this was the best place to post.

You'd think that Severus the spy would have taken Harry's Occlumens a little more seriously. After all, Harry knows that Severus is a spy. Which could also be why Severus is so angry, hateful, and abusive to Harry. Harry's intransigence about practice is threatening Severus' life.

How would you like for your life to depend on teaching a teenager to control his emotions?


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 26, 2004 5:07 pm (#1519 of 2956)
How would you like for your life to depend on teaching a teenager to control his emotions? --TomProffitt

I'm laughing just thinking about it.


Susurro Notities - Jul 26, 2004 6:52 pm (#1520 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 26, 2004 7:53 pm
Lavender Brown (what color exactly is lavender-brown?) (TomProffitt, post#1516 this thread) Oh you really must watch Trading Spaces more often!

"Harry's intransigence about practice is threatening Severus' life." ( TomProffitt, post #1518 this thread) Yes one would think Severus would try a bit harder with Harry.


Gina R Snape - Jul 26, 2004 6:57 pm (#1521 of 2956)
One might wonder that Snape made it this far, with such a situation as relying upon Harry! Yes, we love him. But let's face it, he's more than a bit daft at times.

As for McGonagall and Snape being friends, I base this on a few things. First, McGonagall's comment about Snape ribbing her regarding the house cup on PS/SS; secondly the way he goes towards her at the end of OoP; thirdly the fact that they work so close together.

I stand by my opinion that we are only seeing a very small slice of Snape, through the eyes of Harry Potter and some others who dislike him (e.g. Sirius Black).


Susurro Notities - Jul 26, 2004 8:10 pm (#1522 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 26, 2004 9:13 pm
I hope you are right Gina - Severus must have much more to him than what we see through the students view if Dumbledore and McGonagall trust him.

I had a bit of a thought when I was posting on the Harry/Pansy ship uniting the houses thread. I thought maybe it wasn't a ship but a relationship that unites the houses. Possibly the relationship between Harry and Snape.

Now this may have been discussed before - I am certainly no coniseur of Snape. Please forgive me if this is redundant


Leila 2X4B - Jul 26, 2004 8:13 pm (#1523 of 2956)
I think that Snape could even find someone who loves him *winks at Gina*

Leila


Gina R Snape - Jul 26, 2004 8:53 pm (#1524 of 2956)
Who knows. Perhaps the Order is a good place to meet available women! Heh, heh.

After all, there's Nymphadora Tonks to start with. I think she and Snape would make a fine pair.


Caput Draconis - Jul 26, 2004 9:23 pm (#1525 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 26, 2004 10:32 pm
I have nothing credible to say about Snape and Tonks, hehe, but I definitely think that he and McGonagall are friends. I know that personally, it's the little snippets of information about the way they interact that makes me like Snape - at least like him more than I already would from his own story and humour. Look at McGonagall's reaction to Umbridge - if she doesn't like someone, or their methods, she doesn't tolerate them and certainly doesn't bow to them. At the same time, we've seen her display emotion, anger, humour, concern. And I think that's the perfect person to befriend Snape, she can understand his past and respect his work, while not being intimitaded or totally put off by his often charming demeanour. And I think the Quiddich thing is the telling factor that they've become friends beyond their work - maybe there's just something about good natured (but deadly serious ) sporting rivalry that I identify with. Not all friendships have to be cuddly love fests - although Minerva is my prime candidate to give Severus his much needed hug.

EDIT: Just to clarify I think they're friends, that's all. Hehe. I actually think it'd be hard to write (in canon, at least) a credible romantic Snape thing. Too many emotions flying about. Maybe a bitterness at a lost love, but no present happiness. My, I'm so optimistic for the poor guy.


Leila 2X4B - Jul 26, 2004 9:26 pm (#1526 of 2956)
I actually was afraid to suggest that Minerva and Severus would make a good match, but they are so severe. They could be severe together.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 27, 2004 4:53 am (#1527 of 2956)
Tom, What do you think of a head of house that would forbid giving a student a password and making him wait outside his entranceway till someone else was going in. Snape didn't do this, Mcgonagall did in POA. Point is I think Mcgonagall understands how exasperating kids can be and cuts Snape some slack.

Of course she also has no problem standing up to him when she thinks he's wrong. Witness Harry's defense in GOF after the goblet spit out Harry's name.


Gina R Snape - Jul 27, 2004 5:38 am (#1528 of 2956)
Excellent points, Ramb. And I think that is a show of respect. That you can understand and joke with but also confront and support at various times in various ways. That's what I see happening with Snape and McGonagall. Their working relationship seems seamless. Never an indication of genuine strife.


Richard !!!Reid - Jul 27, 2004 5:41 am (#1529 of 2956)
MM and Snape are my favorite characters because they are so much alike as they are so similar. I do think they like each other as MM kindly reminds Harry that she is not too keen to hand over the Quiditch cup to Snape - in a playful sort of tone. She is however not quite as biased as Snape. She has no problems disaplining a Gryffindor student - look at neville, whereas Snape favours his own house immensively. However, lets face it, i'd rather have MM as my teacher any day


mrweasley - Jul 27, 2004 6:42 am (#1530 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 27, 2004 7:43 am
It's funny, isn't it? There seems to be a large consensus (which includes myself) that Snape and McGonagall respect each other and seem to have some kind of a relationship beyond the mere professional necessities.

I guess one thing they have in common is that kids get on their nerves a lot - a tricky thing when you're a teacher. I hope that the next two books will show some more interactions between those two stone-faces.


TomProffitt - Jul 27, 2004 12:10 pm (#1531 of 2956)
I see I have a few things to respond to here.

In regards to the cruelty of Our Dear Minerva's punishments of Neville compared to the punishments of That Git Severus. Mr. Longbottom's carelessness allowed a convicted mass murderer entrance to the Griffyndor dormitories. Rather a serious error in my view, but not criminal. His punishment fits the crime. He merely has to wait for his fellow House Members to let him in the common room. Embarrassing and inconvenient, but not cruel.

Severus on the other hand gives out detentions and other punishments in a biased way. Harry and Ron get detention for a bit of jinxing in the corridors, but Malfoy gets nothing. Thirteen witnesses are insufficient to convict a Slytherin Quidditch player. Harry's potions are repeatedly given zeroes when other students are obviously doing worse. I'm certain there are many more instances.

Minerva McGonagall delivers quality lessons in a fair and unbiased manner. (I very seriously doubt she gave the Slytherins homework when she let the Griffyndors off.) She administers discipline in fair, but strict, manner to those who need it.

Severus Snape delivers quality lessons (he does know his stuff) in a biased manner. He administers punishment to some of those who need it, some who don't, and routinely allows his favorites to get off.

I can easily imagine large numbers of students over the years going to McGonagall in tears because of the words or actions of Severus Snape. I can easily see her giving them comfort and love. I can't see a student going to Snape unless they think they're going to get revenge.

While the two may behave towards one another in a friendly and respectful manner I cannot see the two being friends. I frankly have a lot of trouble seeing them as having genuine mutual respect.

Perhaps, they are opposite sides of the same coin.


rambkowalczyk - Jul 27, 2004 6:15 pm (#1532 of 2956)
Tom, you may be 80-90% correct in your assessment. There are a few things I wish to point out. In Sorcerer's Stone Neville was very uneasy waiting in the corridors. (This is after his broomstick accident and he was sleeping in the corridor because he forgot the password. He had no desire to go to the Trophy room with Harry and Ron.) I still think that in the third year he wasn't too crazy about being in the corridors alone at night.

I have no problem thinking that McGonagall gave the Slytherins homework before Quidditch especially when Snape didn't do anything to the Slytherin student who hexed one of the Gryffindor girl players.

As to Snape singling Harry for zeros. Yes he's generally unfair. On the other hand Harry isn't always focused in that class. Alot of times instead of paying attention to the potion he's making he is eavesdropping on Snape and Umbridges conversation or in book 4 Snape and Karkaroff's conversation.

This may be Snapes way of trying to get Harry to pay attention to his studies more. The consequences in the real world are worse than a couple of zeros.


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 27, 2004 6:23 pm (#1533 of 2956)
Yes, I don't even think McGonagall let anyone except Gryffindor Quidditch players off of homework - another example of the pro-athlete bias that pervades both real and fictional schools across this planet.


Loony Loopy Larissa - Jul 27, 2004 6:33 pm (#1534 of 2956)
SJ Rand [/b]- Nov 20, 2003 6:34 pm (#77 of 1533) When I went to school we had several teachers that were somewhere between McGonagall and Snape. We even had one who liked to bounce bits of chalk off the heads of students who nodded off during his class (he taught algebra, so it wasn't uncommon).

Even the chalk hurler, though, never snatched a page of poorly done calculations off a student's desk, destroyed the work, and crowed "No Marks!!! HeHeHe! 500 points from...", um, well we had nothing to take points from, but you get the idea.

Alright, I also had an Algebra teacher (also a male) who used to throw chalk at those caught napping in his class. Is this just a coincidence? Do you happen to be from Ohio, SJ Rand? (I only wanted to say this before I forgot; I am still in the process of reading this thread. I'm only on number 77 now, so you can see I have a long way to go)


Leila 2X4B - Jul 27, 2004 6:41 pm (#1535 of 2956)
Another thing in defence of McGonnagal is that Neville's punishment(for the password deal) was because it put everybody's life in danger. At that time Black was still thought to be a murderer. Snape, on the otherhand, is semi-fair. Sometimes I think Harry deserves what he gets, at other times not. He doesn't pay attention in class. However, his denial of Hermione's teeth was way over the line.


Hollywand - Jul 27, 2004 7:14 pm (#1536 of 2956)
For all the favoritism Snape shows Draco, it doesn't seem as though they have any sort of emotional bond. It seems like a calculated alliance. Harry seems to have a greater bond with McGonnagal, and of course with Dumbledore. Harry even seems to have a negative but more lively connection with Snape than Draco does.

Some teachers, unfortunately, feel that if they are mean to students, they are developing character. This is true for art classes in my experience. My students expect me to be unkind to them, as if it's going to make them a better artist somehow. Tragically funny. ;-) I tell them that I've never met anyone who was treated so badly they became a great artist!


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 27, 2004 7:40 pm (#1537 of 2956)
Severus on the other hand gives out detentions and other punishments in a biased way. Harry and Ron get detention for a bit of jinxing in the corridors, but Malfoy gets nothing. Thirteen witnesses are insufficient to convict a Slytherin Quidditch player. Harry's potions are repeatedly given zeroes when other students are obviously doing worse. I'm certain there are many more instances.--TomProffitt

Tom, you've got to remember, Snape has a different agenda than anyone else. He could very well treat Harry this way so as to build a tolerance for those things which could impact him negatively. He wants Harry to see the bigger picture. To be able to concentrate and focus in any confrontation with Voldemort. By constantly throwing speed bumps into his life, he could be hoping to channel Harry's energies into rising above these challenges. It may not be the way others would choose to train Harry, but it has its merits. Dumbledore is aware of how Snape treats Harry and takes no obvious steps to change it. He too may see that Snape's treatment has a place in Harry's education. Remember, unlike everyone else, Harry's getting more than a simple education in magic. He's being trained for battle.

I can easily imagine large numbers of students over the years going to McGonagall in tears because of the words or actions of Severus Snape. I can easily see her giving them comfort and love. I can't see a student going to Snape unless they think they're going to get revenge.--TomProffitt

I can't imagine anyone in their right mind going to McGonagall in such a state. I'd rather eat my head than have her see me so without dignity. I think McGonagall would gather her staunch, Scots pride and tell the complaining student to get a grip on themselves. McGonagall does have a softer side, but I think she saves it for truly heart-rending moments: Trelawney's breakdown in the entrance hall at the hands of a hateful Umbridge, Harry's pitiful request to have his Hogsmeade form signed. Anything less, I think, she would categorize as "character building".


Hollywand - Jul 27, 2004 8:01 pm (#1538 of 2956)
Lupin/Lupin, I would submit that Harry has had plenty of that sort of practice dining with the Dursleys. As Minerva would say, "Have a biscuit, Potter."

Severus' cruelty is not a helpful thing for any of the trio. That's probably exactly why Dumbledore has not let Severus teach DADA yet. He's not kind enough yet. I'm hoping he will get there. Severus brewing a potion to help Lupin was a draught of hope for healing.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 27, 2004 8:19 pm (#1539 of 2956)
Lupin/Lupin, I would submit that Harry has had plenty of that sort of practice dining with the Dursleys. As Minerva would say, "Have a biscuit, Potter." --Hollywand

Yes, Hollywand, Harry's had more than his fair share, hasn't he? But I don't believe for one moment that Snape would equate any mistreatment at the hands of Muggles to what awaits him should Voldemort attack. With the Dursleys, Harry has to control his temper. Within Hogwarts, Harry has to harness and focus his power. Two sides of the same coin. EDIT: Or perhaps, he's still vaulting off the horse, but with a higher degree of difficulty.

Severus' cruelty is not a helpful thing for any of the trio.--Hollywand

I disagree. It may not be helpful in the way Snape means it to be--a trial through fire and all that--but it may provide a very real benefit: it helps to create a bond among three friends who have to be there for one another. Before they have to deal with Voldemort, they have to deal with Snape. Their mutual dislike of him helps cement the bond of friendship. A common enemy is a powerful unifier. Remember the troll.


rosi reef - Jul 28, 2004 12:24 am (#1540 of 2956)
Severus' cruelty is not a helpful thing for any of the trio.--Hollywand

I agree with Hollywand, I always wondered how someone behaving like Snape can stay as a teacher at Hogwarts (maybe DD doesn't want to reject him and drive him therefore back to Voldemort). It's known to be the best school in the WW. He is a pedagogical nightmare. Treating children like this is in no way justifiable. I don't see any other purpose behind his actions, as to get some revenge. And there's no good side to it, like preparing Harry for some battle against Voldemort, because these are two different things. Also through his action he breeds such enormous hate in Harry and that's definitely wrong, because nobody should experienced such emotions, particularly young schoolchildren.


mrweasley - Jul 28, 2004 1:49 am (#1541 of 2956)
For all the favoritism Snape shows Draco, it doesn't seem as though they have any sort of emotional bond. It seems like a calculated alliance. - Hollywand.

I was always wondering about that, Hollywand. Somehow, I have the feeling that Snape - working undercover and as a spy for the Order (at least that's what I think he does) - is doing many cruel and unfair things at school because that's part of his "role".
He is favoring Draco because he needs everybody to think that he's in favor of those who have DE parents, and people who sympathize with former Voldemort supporters. Although his dislike for Harry seems to be convincingly natural. He must be an extremely good actor if it isn't... :-)


T Brightwater - Jul 28, 2004 4:53 am (#1542 of 2956)
I'm with you, MrWeasley. I think he uses and exaggerates his natural nastiness to keep up his cover. (sorry, Gina) That could explain why Dumbledore hasn't restrained him. I do think (well, hope, anyway) that he's on the right side.

One of Snape's most often-repeated messages to Harry is "You are not special, you are not important." I wonder, is this something Snape always wanted to say to James, or is it something his own father was always telling him?


rosi reef - Jul 28, 2004 6:10 am (#1543 of 2956)
Somehow, I have the feeling that Snape - working undercover and as a spy for the Order (at least that's what I think he does) - is doing many cruel and unfair things at school because that's part of his "role". Mr. Weasley

Surely it's a good disguise, but he started doing the cruel and unfair things right from the first lesson. There was no sign of Voldemort being alive or the OotP starting again.

I think Draco does like Snape, but the feeling is not mutual. But until we don't know more about the background of the Snape/Lucius connection, we can't rank the Snape/Draco relationship.


haymoni - Jul 28, 2004 6:30 am (#1544 of 2956)
rosi reef - I disagree. I think a number of wizards believed that Voldy was out there waiting for the opportune moment. Plus we know via Dumbledore that Snape had been a spy before.

Dumbledore certainly was concerned. Gringotts wasn't safe enough for the Stone. Severus knew why the Stone was moved to Hogwarts.

If he was indeed Lucius's lapdog, Snape could have been given the order to keep an eye out for Harry. If Draco came home and told Lucius that Snape was favoring "St. Potter", his cover is blown.

The fact that he hated James et al just made his job easier.


rosi reef - Jul 28, 2004 6:40 am (#1545 of 2956)
Yeah, you might be right about this. Constant vigilance for (ex-)spies ;-)


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 6:57 am (#1546 of 2956)
In OoP, he tells Harry he is not special. In PS/SS he tells Potter that 'fame isn't everything.' I think he is trying to a)instill some humility from the beginning; and b)keep Harry off the track of the truth as per Dumbledore's directive.

I think Draco is quite quite fond of Snape. But I suspect Snape pampers Draco and co. to keep them weak. They are not expected to work as hard, and are taught they can get away with anything. This will only bite them in the arse as adults when they learn the world doesn't quite work that way. Draco especially will suffer, I'd say, as his position in the world changes with his father 'outed' as an active DE. He has always relied upon saying 'my father' this and that...and being a bully. He won't be able to do that quite so easily anymore.

Plus, with his spoilt attitude, he'd be zapped by the Dark Lord in two seconds flat if he ever gave some lip. So, I'd argue very strongly that Snape is trying to prepare Harry for the worst, and un-prepare Draco at the same time, all while keeping his cover.

Darn, I wish I had more energy. It's been my mission on this board to convince others of Snape's worth, and I was so good at it for awhile...


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 28, 2004 7:03 am (#1547 of 2956)
This just gives me a new idea, inspired by previous posters. Perhaps Snape is doing the old thing that you see in military movies and the like, where the students he wants to succeed he is mean to, because he feels they need to be prepared. Students he doesn't see going anywhere or who he wants to fail (Malfoy?) he pampers, because he knows this will hurt them when they get into the "real world".

The main evidence against this is Snape's reaction with the Pensieve, though.


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 7:16 am (#1548 of 2956)
Well, I think the Pensieve experience was an extreme reaction to an unusual situation in which Snape was genuinely shaken.

He was prepared to do those lessons so long as certain memories were protected. He may be a teacher, but he is also a deeply wounded man. Harry crossed the line and Snape responded as a man, not as a teacher. Everyone has their limits, and this, plainly and absolutely, was Snape's. Even DD acknowledged he'd pushed Snape's abilities too far.

I'd like to think Harry harbours some shame over the incident. He didn't go around bragging, but also didn't even admit to what he'd done except in seeking clarification on the incident from Sirius and Remus.


Hollywand - Jul 28, 2004 7:35 am (#1549 of 2956)
What a great discussion!!! Gosh, great points all around. On an earlier observation from Mr. Weasley about Draco/Snape, perhaps it's a metaphor that the Slytherin connections are based strategically rather than on bonds of affections as would be Gryffindor, ie, Snakes by nature are somewhat "cold-blooded" and "silver/hard hearted" vs Gryffindor "warm-blooded" and "gold/soft hearted" Silver a harded metal, but less highly prized than gold.

Dumbledore does not intervene on Harry's behalf unless he asks for it. So perhaps he allows many of the tribulations to take place to judge Harry's character.

Snape's opinions also offer us the opportunity to see a different side of Harry: he is intrusive (I didn't think his journey into the Pensieve was fair to Snape or Dumbledore), Harry's a bit of a slacker, as Ron can be as well.

Do those of you that think Snape's rough treatment was a benefit to Harry also think Umbridge's detention was befneficial to him?

Motivating a student, giving them information, having high standards, fairly enforcing the rules---Minerva does all this (as one of the Members of the Order of the Lexicon points out in the thread above) and equitably. Minerva, to me, is a model of a tough but fair teacher.

I think Severus is extremely talented, but has residual personality wounds to overcome. Harry's just a naive kid and makes a lot of mistakes adolescents make. Dumbldore realizes that he's got to work with the Slytherins, or Hogwarts will fall apart. Severus has that leadership potential, as he has denied Voldemort. Look what Severus was able to do for Remus with his potion, and he didn't exactly love Remus. Snape never questions Dumbledore, even though Dumbledore doesn't give Severus what he deeply desires, isn't that interesting?


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 28, 2004 7:43 am (#1550 of 2956)
He didn't go around bragging, but also didn't even admit to what he'd done except in seeking clarification on the incident from Sirius and Remus. --Gina R. Snape

What would you have had Harry do, Gina? I'd say admitting to Sirius and Remus what he did showed maturity. He could have fudged that story a bit to make himself look better. Do you think Snape would have wanted Harry going to Dumbledore and spilling this story? I think Harry felt ashamed--but it was overshadowed by the extreme disappointment he felt at seeing his father behave in such a disgraceful manner.
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Weeny Owl - Jul 28, 2004 7:49 am (#1551 of 2956)
It's been my mission on this board to convince others of Snape's worth, and I was so good at it for awhile...

Well, you certainly convinced me, Gina.

There's a huge difference in thinking Snape is truly on the Order's side and thinking he's faking being nasty. Snape may actually be a nasty person who is somewhat sadistic, and why he's that way may have to do with the glimpses of his childhood in the Pensieve scene or may just be his natural "sunny" disposition.

I think he genuinely likes Draco at least a little. In that Pensieve scene, when Draco interrupts the Occlumency lesson, Snape calls him by his first name... no Malfoy or Mr. Malfoy, but Draco.

Snape's reactions to Hermione are interesting. He may want to nip her attitude in the bud, hence the know-it-all comment and the comment about her teeth, or he may genuinely dislike Muggle-borns. If he does dislike Muggle-borns, that doesn't mean he buys into the Death Eater's creed of ridding the Wizarding World of them, but just that he would prefer having only pure-bloods at Hogwarts. Of course, the comment about her teeth could be revenge on what happened in the Shrieking Shack scene.

Snape is nasty to Harry during all of OotP, yet he also protected Harry, and by that, he also protected the Order, when he gave Umbridge fake Verituserum and told her it would take a month to make more. He also protected Harry after his outburst about Padfoot, but he was also protecting himself since he knew who Padfoot was.

He was nasty to Harry throughout GoF, yet he helped Dumbledore and McGonagall save Harry when Crouch, Jr. was going to kill him.

He was nasty to Harry throughout PoA, yet told Fudge that the trio's behavior was due to a Confundus Charm.

His personal feelings for his students would seem to be at odds with his professional behavior. To him, it seems that it's perfectly okay to inflict verbal barbs, but when they're actually in danger, he comes through.

He's a strange person. It isn't easy to like him, and quite often I don't, but he's a powerful wizard, and I do believe him to be trustworthy.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 28, 2004 7:57 am (#1552 of 2956)
Do those of you that think Snape's rough treatment was a benefit to Harry also think Umbridge's detention was befneficial to him? --Hollywand

The difference here is that Umbridge had no desire to educate Harry. She simply wanted to break his spirit. As that Chinese expression says, "The nail that sticks up, gets hammered down."

Snape employs his educational tactics because he's trying to train a champion and an army. They may not be the best tactics, others may do a better job, but Snape's doing the best that he can given his personal well-spring of resources.


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 8:37 am (#1553 of 2956)
Thank you, Kim. That was my thinking as well regarding the difference between Snape and Umbridge.

As for the pensieve scene, I thought it was very telling that he did not make a single mention of it to Hermione (or Ron). He knew what he did was wrong, and had he told Hermione I think she would have personally marched him into Snape's office to apologise. He also knew that he'd have to tell Ron what he saw in the pensieve, and somehow had it in him to hold that as sacred information. This is the only thing that gives me hope for Harry's moral maturity and specifically any ounce of respect he might gain from Snape. I do think Harry held a degree of shame for what he did. He should have apologised to Snape himself, if not in person than at least by owl.

Also, Snape responded with lightening quickness to Harry's urgency at the end (even if Harry didn't realise it), which again demonstrates that he is capable of putting aside his feelings for Harry and Sirius when it really counts.

Now, on a completely different note (no pun intended). For all interested, here is a lovely fan video of Snape someone pointed me to, to the tune of "I Am A Rock" by Simon and Garfunkle. I liked it. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] You will have to right click to download the "I Am A Rock" link and watch it on your computer.


mrweasley - Jul 28, 2004 9:11 am (#1554 of 2956)
Let me jump on that train of thought of yours, Gina.
I think that the "Snape's Worst Memory" scene will turn out to have been the turning point in the relationship between Harry and Snape. It's here where Harry intrudes on Snape's privacy, but without exploiting this experience (telling everybody about it). During the Occlumency meetings before, both have - always involuntarily - exchanged other always intimate and embarrassing memories. Thus, even though that wasn't the intend of neither Harry nor Snape, they intensified their relationship.

As for the apology that Harry owes Snape, Gina: I always imagine this to be happening in book 6. Like Harry writing an owl to Snape, after he's overcome the worst and has accepted that Snape wasn't responsible for Sirius' death after all.


Hollywand - Jul 28, 2004 9:12 am (#1555 of 2956)
Lupin/Lupin: Dolores has the same deluded intentions that could be argued for Snape: that her punishment is beneficial and not harmful. She thinks she is providing some much-need MoM direction.

If Snape is training an army, he's not been authorized to do it by Dumbledore. If Dumbledore felt Snape were the best candidate, he would have appointed Severus directly to the post.

I don't think Harry looks back on Snape or Umbridge at this point and says, "Wow, those wizards really had my best interests at heart".

Regarding the Pensieve, Harry sneaks into Dumbledore's memory, but Dumbledore does not throw a hissy fit; he does stop Harry. As a literary device, it's wonderful: Harry goes into Snape's memory expecting to convict Severus of some crime, and emerges realizing that his father's a bit arrogant. This demonstrates that Harry has Lilly's compassion. Conversely, Snape is convinced that Harry is arrogant like his father, and approaches Harry from the getgo with his wand at the ready without really giving Harry a chance. Snape learns, grudgingly, that hey, Harry's a lot more compassionate than his father. They both learn that people may not be a diabolical as you're convinced they are. It's a wonderful literary device, one of my favorites in the series. ;-) ps just saw your post Authur, and I think you are correct!


T Brightwater - Jul 28, 2004 9:39 am (#1556 of 2956)
Gina, I am convinced of Snape's worth, but I don't think _he_ is. He's very good at what he does, both as a potion maker and a double agent, and he's capable of respecting, if not actually liking, some of his colleagues. I like the scene between him and Lupin in PoA when he brings the Wolfsbane Potion. (and of course the duel between him and Lockhart in CoS!)

I don't think, however, that he's a very nice person who's just pretending to be hateful. I think he really is hateful, because he hasn't let himself be anything else. Partially that's to support his cover, but partially it's because he as an adult has not let go of his childhood/adolescent anger at his father (inferred from one of the memories Harry broke into) and the Marauders (made explicit in the Pensieve memory.)

I don't think he's consciously being cruel to teach Harry anything about life, I think he's being cruel because he still wants to get back at James, who apparently _did_ think he was someone special. He doesn't want Harry dead because he doesn't want Voldemort to win, but also because once people are dead you can't hurt them anymore. For the same reason, I don't think he wanted Sirius dead - he'd rather have had him alive and miserable.

I still have hope for him, though. As I've mentioned before, I think Lupin will be the peacemaker.


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 28, 2004 9:40 am (#1557 of 2956)
Lupin/Lupin: Dolores has the same deluded intentions that could be argued for Snape: that her punishment is beneficial and not harmful. She thinks she is providing some much-need MoM direction. --Hollywand

That's not true, Hollywand. Umbridge sets the needs of an institution above the needs of an individual. Her own success is attached to the success of that institution. Did I hear someone say fascism???

Snape is trying to secure the freedom of individuals by training a champion. Harry is the Wizarding World's Cuchulainn, their Hercules--Snape's trials are minor compared to what he faces against Voldemort.


Elizabeth Cooper - Jul 28, 2004 9:45 am (#1558 of 2956)
Gina, thanks for the link. It was great! Do I dare say...it rocks!


haymoni - Jul 28, 2004 9:52 am (#1559 of 2956)
Gina - loved the Snape video! I've never been a Snape/Lily fan but I got goosebumps when I saw the shots of Lily!

...and an island never cries...oh, poor Severus!


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 28, 2004 9:55 am (#1560 of 2956)
What I don't get is why Snape is so embarassed about the Pensieve memories. Having people know about it would explain why he's such a jerk, and gain him a lot more respect among most people - not Harry, maybe, but other people who are more reasonable.

The person who really comes off looking bad in the Pensieve is James - yes, Snape acts like a racist jerk, but James acts like an evil popular person, and Snape only says these things after being picked on - Snape does it for no reason.

The fact is, when in school, the Marauders were evil. They were cruel, popular, attempted murderers, and Snape's hatred of them was completely justified.


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 10:14 am (#1561 of 2956)
I think feeling humiliated might overpower any pleasant feelings associated with being 'right' in this case Luke.

I must say, I like my Potions Master a bit mean, a bit snarky, a bit dark, a bit witty. I don't really see a problem with this. It takes all kinds. JKR says as much in an interview, when asked why DD allows said treatment.


Kasse - Jul 28, 2004 10:34 am (#1562 of 2956)
Hey Gina - I finally made it on here.

OK I agree with the theory feeling humiliated might overpower any pleasant feelings associated with being 'right, maybe Snape thinks Harry will tell Ron and Hermione and they will all joke about it thus loosing the respect/fear that they have towards him.....does that make sense?


T Brightwater - Jul 28, 2004 10:45 am (#1563 of 2956)
Are there any adult participants on this forum who can honestly say they never did anything hurtful or mean when they were kids, things they regret doing and wouldn't do now? I certainly did.

Luke, the Marauders, especially Sirius and James, were arrogant, immature, thoughtless jerks, and I'm not in any way defending what they did, but I wouldn't say they were evil. (Wormtail, who wasn't directly involved in tormenting Snape, chose evil later in his life.) James, Lupin, and to a lesser extent Sirius, matured. Snape didn't. (Sirius at least had the grace to say "I'm not proud of it." when Harry confronted him, but he had some growing up to do. He won't have the chance now, but I still hope that Snape will.)

Yes, he was badly hurt, and probably by more people than just Sirius and James, and he had good reason to be angry, but sooner or later a person has to let go of that. Instead of doing that, Snape has deliberately let his anger build up and fester, and has been taking it out on someone who wasn't even alive when he was hurt. Harry had no reason to dislike Snape when he first came to Hogwarts; how often does he ask himself and others in PS/SS why Snape hates him so much?

I've known people like that - people who were hurt, and clutched at that hurt with a death grip. Sometimes it seemed that they were holding themselves hostage, refusing to feel better until the world (or their families, or whoever) apologized to them. I was like that a bit myself, but finally realized that dwelling on the way people treated me at school wasn't hurting anyone but me. Snape needs to realize that too.


Padfoot - Jul 28, 2004 11:00 am (#1564 of 2956)
He's a strange person. It isn't easy to like him, and quite often I don't, but he's a powerful wizard, and I do believe him to be trustworthy. -Weeny Owl

I totally agree with that statement. He was a fun character to hate until OotP. Then his character became more complex to me. I have thought throughout the books that he is working for DD and will continue to do so on the side of good. Snape's treatment of Harry is not a good teaching skill. I think there is a lot of resentment in there against James. However I do think that is in combination with Snape really wanting Harry to become stronger.

When I read the pensive scene for the first time, I could totally understand why Snape hated James so much. I could relate to Snape then and felt he was totally justified being angry with Harry for that invasion of privacy. I really would love to see Harry apologize to Snape AND see Snape accept his apology with good graces. It will not be easy for either of them, but they need to do it.

What I don't get is why Snape is so embarrassed about the Pensieve memories. Snape is not looking at the pensieve scene as we are. He is looking at it from his point of view. And that comes with all the embarrassment and feelings of helplessness that went along with the original event. Snape probably feels that Harry will use this information against him. We know Harry wouldn't do this, but Snape does not know Harry like we do.


haymoni - Jul 28, 2004 11:11 am (#1565 of 2956)
I didn't do anything to anyone, but I didn't stick up for anyone either and that makes me feel pretty bad. Some of those kids were damaged for life. I have questioned my son several times about how some of his classmates are treated. It is a never-ending cycle.

Snape had already made up his mind that Harry = James. He did not take the Dursley factor into account. He may think about that next time, though.


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 28, 2004 11:17 am (#1566 of 2956)
Yes, Harry and Snape both have in common that they were raised by abusive people and have been picked on. There are many things that they don't have in common, but hopefully they'll be able to at least seize that as a commonality. I'm hoping that in Book 6, Harry gets over his anti-Snape problem.

In response to the person who asked if anyone hasn't done jerky things in their life, I agree that the Marauders were no worse than a ton of other people for picking on Snape. But I hope that most members of this forum have never tried to murder someone or result in their death. This is Sirius, so I would say that Sirius, at least, was evil. And this makes sense - he was always the darkest of the Marauders - the quickest to want to kill Pettigrew, the most likely to use violence, and the most ambitious and reckless.


Padfoot - Jul 28, 2004 11:29 am (#1567 of 2956)
Ok, I have got to stick up for Sirius here. He is not evil nor was he ever. He was a stupid git at the age of 15. Was he unjustifiably mean to Severus? Yes he was. Do I think his behavior was normal? No! Sirius did grow up and become a much better person. If he had not changed, I would not like him in the least. He was very reckless and to some extent never totally grew out of that (as can clearly be seen a the battle in the DoM). But I do not think he was evil.

The only two characters I can call truly evil are Voldemort and Umbridge. There are plenty of others who's actions I strongly disapprove of. But I hesitate to call them evil.


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 11:41 am (#1568 of 2956)
See, I don't think Sirius grew up to be much better at all. I think his behaviours were limited externally by others and his situation; but left to his own devices he is reckless at best. To his credit, I think 12 years in Azkaban stunted this growth.

But this is the Snape thread, so enough of that mangy mongrel...

I agree that Snape, like Sirius, has the tendency to 'see James' when looking at Harry at times. But I also think Snape had the mistaken impression that Harry grew up knowing of his own legend and didn't want Harry to inherit his father's arrogance. So, the occlumency lessons were very interesting in that regard.


T Brightwater - Jul 28, 2004 11:48 am (#1569 of 2956)
I wouldn't even say that Sirius was evil; I don't think he really thought it through. After all, he ran around with wolf-Lupin quite a lot, and had probably stopped thinking of him as dangerous. What he _did_ was wrong, but evil is more than just doing something wrong - it involves making a conscious, informed choice. (One of Terry Pratchett's characters defined it as "treating people as things," which sums it up pretty well.)

What bothers me most about Sirius in PoA is that he was still trying to justify his actions ("It served him right.") instead of just admitting that he shouldn't have done it. I think he was heading in the right direction, though. Already in Gof he was trying to be fair to Snape, telling Harry that he didn't think Snape had really been a Death Eater. Given time and some help from Lupin and Harry, I think Sirius would have apologized and I hope Snape would have accepted it.

Harry, who at least thought he had more reason to hate Sirius than anyone, reluctantly gave him a chance to tell his side of the story. Sirius, who had understandable reasons for wanting to kill Peter (not that that was right either) allowed Harry to talk him out of it. Snape - an adult, morally aware human being - wanted Sirius to have his soul sucked out, (which, as Lupin says, is worse than death,) wasn't going to listen to anything from anyone, and had a hurricane-force tantrum when it didn't happen.


Padfoot - Jul 28, 2004 11:51 am (#1570 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 28, 2004 12:54 pm
Oh Sirius grew up to be much better! He is loyal, protective and loving towards Harry. He does give Harry some mature advice and admits he was far from perfect when he was a teenager. He works for the Order and DD seems to value him, he admitted him in the Order in the first place. I think DD is a good judge of character, so if he trusts Sirius (and Snape) so should we. Besides, I like Sirius, so there!

But as this is a Snape thread... Yes, I would agree that Snape probably thinks that Harry grew up as the "Famous Potter". So he knocks him down a few pegs. Of course Harry doesn't need that, as Snape should have figured out by now. He will figure it out eventually.


T Brightwater - Jul 28, 2004 12:01 pm (#1571 of 2956)
Mostly I feel sorry for Snape, and I think Gina's right, he is very lonely. I hope someday he'll let someone help him, because he does have a lot going for him. (Just for the record, Padfoot, I like Sirius too.)


Potions Mistress - Jul 28, 2004 12:17 pm (#1572 of 2956)
T Brightwater, I too hope that Snape will let someone help him, but I have some serious doubts about it actually happening. He's held a grudge against people who are now dead for 20-some odd years, and takes that grudge out on someone who has no idea what is behind it all (Harry in SS/PS). Yes, Snape deals with Remus and Sirius on a (barely) more civilized basis in OoP, but I think that stems from his loyalty to DD, not any sort of emotional maturity. But, I do hold a tiny glimmer of hope that Snape will open up, and I would imagine that it would be DD to help him (like I've said before, DD has given Snape a 2nd chance.)


TomProffitt - Jul 28, 2004 12:42 pm (#1573 of 2956)
Seems like I disagree with an awfully large number of folks here.

My last posts were intended to refute the idea that Snape and McGonagall were friends, just can't see it.

Where I disagree with most of the recent posts goes to Severus Snape's motivation (and why I don't see he and McGonagall being friends). Jo tells a lot about her view of life and of people when she has Sirius say, "The world is not divided into good wizards and Death Eaters." I think it fair to conclude from that that the Order of the Phoenix is not composed solely of good wizards. Severus Snape's reasons for joining and supporting the order are entirely different from those of Molly Weasley or Minerva McGonagall. Yes, he's helping the good guys, but he doesn't want to be a good guy. Being noble is a character flaw, just ask Phineas.


T Brightwater - Jul 28, 2004 12:59 pm (#1574 of 2956)
Tom, what do you think his motivations are? Or do you think he's a double agent on the wrong side?

I don't think he and McGonagall are exactly buddies - you don't have to be very close to a colleague to be glad she's out of the hospital - but I do think he has more respect for her than he does for most people, except Dumbledore.

I wonder: is Snape, too, a descendant of Phineas Nigellus? If he's a pure-blood, he's connected to the Black family somewhere.


TomProffitt - Jul 28, 2004 1:17 pm (#1575 of 2956)
T,

Severus Snape is too smart to work for He Who Must Not Be Named. There are probably more than a few Death Eaters who would rather they had never joined. Severus Snape is smart enough to see that the victory of Lord ... Thingy would be bad for him. Or perhaps even less nobly, staying in the Death Eaters makes Severus Snape a pawn of He Who Must Not Be Named. Crabbe and Goyle may be willing to be pawns, but it's not something for Lucius Malfoy or Severus Snape.

No, Snape is not an agent for the Dark Lord. He is a self-serving git whose only chance at regaining control of his own life was to to join Dumbledore. He has not become more noble, more loving, or more fair because of it. He has instead placed himself in a position to make his life his own.

Yes, Snape's actions serve the cause of the good, but that's not why he chose them. I think of him as Regulus Black with enough sense not to turn in his membership card. Snape may be at great personal risk being a spy, but there is no safe way for him to do otherwise, he will never be completely free until He Who Must Not Be Named is defeated.

Snape could care less about all the people he is helping, and likely would rather not be helping most of them, but it is a side-effect of Snape helping himself.


Padfoot - Jul 28, 2004 1:24 pm (#1576 of 2956)
Snape could care less about all the people he is helping, and likely would rather not be helping most of them, but it is a side-effect of Snape helping himself.

So why would DD trust someone so selfish if that were true? Sorry, I just don't buy it. Snape does care and has done something to prove how much he cares, at his personal risk.


TomProffitt - Jul 28, 2004 1:33 pm (#1577 of 2956)
Dumbledore understands that there are varying degrees of trust which can be placed on different individuals. He understands why Severus has left the DE, this is why he trusts him as a spy, but why he doesn't trust him enough to have him teach DADA (I believe Jo has made some statements about this on her web site, but I may have seen it in an interview). Some people don't speed because it's against the law, Severus can't afford to pay the ticket. Dumbledore understands that and is able to use it to the advantage of the good. If Dumbledore locks out all of the people who have less than noble intentions he leaves himself with a very small group of allies and would never have sent an envoy to the giants.


Kasse - Jul 28, 2004 1:42 pm (#1578 of 2956)
Padfoot I have to agree. Snape does care - It is just not so obvious. I know he is far from perfrect but he is on the good side. Besides Dumbledore trusts him and in all honesty is that not enough?


Potions Mistress - Jul 28, 2004 1:47 pm (#1579 of 2956)
I'm on the fence as to whether Snape cares or not--there are good arguments on both sides. While Snape definitely has some immature qualties (like holding 20 year grudges) and looking out for Number One, I can also see that Snape might care enough to help DD, because DD helped him. Augghh!! I just don't know. I really wish Book 6 would come out and help clarify the matter. (Although knowing JKR, it might just make it even more confusing...Smile ).


TomProffitt - Jul 28, 2004 1:49 pm (#1580 of 2956)
Bah, y'all are starting to make me feel like a mean old man.

Am I the only one on this thread that thinks Severus Snape is the moral equal of Lucius Malfoy and Dolores Umbridge?


Prefect Marcus - Jul 28, 2004 1:50 pm (#1581 of 2956)
I think Snape has true loyalty to Dumbledore. Snape, through some stupid decisions in his youth, got involved with the Deatheaters. He wanted to get out, but not suffer the fate of Sirius's brother. Dumbledore provided that way out.

So Dumbledore gives Snape trust, responsibility, and a job. Most important, he gives to Snape his self-respect.

Even when Umbridge and the Ministry had taken over Hogwarts and had driven Dumbledore away, Snape remained loyal.

I agree with Dumbledore. "I trust Severus Snape."

It doesn't prevent him from being a real pain in the neck sometimes, but we all have our faults.


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 28, 2004 1:59 pm (#1582 of 2956)
There is no way that Snape is as bad as Voldemort or Umbridge. First, a caveat - his being on the "good side" does not make him a "good guy". I do think that Snape has some serious moral problems, but I have recently been persuaded that he is a good guy. Here's why:

1. He was seriously abused as a child by his father and his peers.

This alone does not excuse him; this happened to Voldie, too.

2. He undertakes risky and dangerous missions to protect the Wizarding World from Voldemort and the Death Eaters.

3. He has never been seen doing anything truly evil. Kicking Harry out of Occlumency came close, but it was not thought through enough to be evil. He torments people, but he doesn't do anything that the Marauders didn't do to him, and so unless you want to consider the Marauders evil, he's not evil either.

I'd say on the Good-Neutral-Evil scale of one to one hundred, he's about a sixty-five or so - still neutral, but leaning towards good. And I think there's a significant probability that his standing on that scale will be raised by something we find out in a future book.


mrweasley - Jul 28, 2004 2:26 pm (#1583 of 2956)
Mhm... it's always a bit dangerous to talk about psychological aspects when you're not an expert, I guess, but somehow the previous posts seem to suggest that the only way to understand Snape is to look at what we know about his past, his difficult situations as a child, his loneliness, the outsider at school...

I think it's true that his getting involved with people who all turned out to be DEs could've been what he saw as the only way to gain recognition, to find "friends". And I guess DD had enough background knowledge and wisdom to see that, and to offer him his support, because DD knew that Snape isn't Malfoy, not even close.


Caput Draconis - Jul 28, 2004 4:50 pm (#1584 of 2956)
I wonder if Dumbledore regrets not being able to offer Snape the support or help he needed at school, before he joined the DE's? Perhaps he did - maybe Snape was faced with an explicit choice between Voldemort and Dumbledore, and chose the bad guys?

On the 20 year grudge...I often think people picture Snape as spending every waking moment from the Pensieve days to now actively hating James/Sirius, and I think that's true up to the night James and Lily died, Sirius went to Azkaban. In the 12 years before Harry came to Hogwarts he didn't have to hear about them all the time, certainly didn't have to work with them (assuming Lupin wasn't around). I'd reckon he just worked, enhanced his potions skills, tried to get the DADA job, whatever. Then Harry arrives, and all the those memories come back and hit him, and he reacts with hate. And once he does, he can't stop. I don't know, I just think that 12 years of a relative lack of anything James related, coupled with his notion that Harry thinks he's special, only enhanced Snape's hate and took his grudge to all new levels.


ShelterGirl - Jul 28, 2004 4:59 pm (#1585 of 2956)
Wow. You folks have been busy today. Smile Ok. I agree with a great many posts here, and disagree with probably half as much. I really couldn't say that you can compare Snape with Umbridge. Umbridge employs torture as her primary form of detention. If I remember correctly, after a "Detention Weasley!" issued by Snape, Ron only had to scrub bedpans. Yes, Snape can be mean, and petty, and nasty, and childish, but excepting his glee at the idea of Sirius having his soul sucked out, I can't think of anything that smacked of true evil. Even that instance to me seemed like it was more of an ectstatic fugue over the thought of one of his tormenters finally being punished. I can't see Snape setting dementors on children who are going about their business during the summer holidays. Even Harry. Ever.

I also argue the fact that some of Snape's behaviors are only exaggerations of some of Harry's own. The pleasure Harry took upon hurting his friends after he had been "ignored" for 4 weeks in OotP was not too far removed in its core from how Snape seems to feel when one of his nasty comments affects a student. Harry was pleased to see the blood on the hands of the people who hurt his feelings, he was pleased and then later ashamed of his sarcasm hurting them as well. The thing about Snape is, as far as I can tell, he didn't have the base of love and true friendship to fall back on and so hasn't developed real shame or the maturity to notice it.

I don't like Snape, yet. But I do feel for him and also have faith that DD knows what he's doing.

And Gina, I don't begrudge you your affections for him one bit. Smile


Potions Mistress - Jul 28, 2004 5:08 pm (#1586 of 2956)
"Am I the only one on this thread that thinks Severus Snape is the moral equal of Lucius Malfoy and Dolores Umbridge?"--Tom Proffitt

Judging from the posts, I think you stand, Tom. (That's okay, you support your position well.) I have to agree w/ everyone else: Snape is a petty, mean, childish...uh, jerk (family forum, everyone!), but definitely not on the level with Voldy or Umbridge (though they're evil in different ways, too. But that's a different thread.) Well, gotta go. What does everyone else think: Is Snape an evil person or just stupid git?


Steve Newton - Jul 28, 2004 5:08 pm (#1587 of 2956)
Caput,

I can't recall Harry acting as though he was special. I guess that would be for another forum, though.


MrsGump - Jul 28, 2004 5:20 pm (#1588 of 2956)
Tom Proffitt-

You're not the only one who doesn't trust Snape. I don't trust him and I don't like him. (My mother, on the other hand, feels the same way as most of the people on this thread :-) Makes for interesting conversations.)

All I can say about DD trusting Snape is "Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer"


Caput Draconis - Jul 28, 2004 5:28 pm (#1589 of 2956)
Hiya Steve. He doesn't, because until Hagrid walked into his life he had no idea of his past. Snape (I was assuming) doesn't know his Dursley upbringing in PS, and believing that Harry grew up thinking he was special for ridding the world of Voldemort would only enhance his hatred. It's just more 'in the mind of Snape' stuff. Couple that with Harry's capacity to ignore the rules, and I can see why Severus would be thrust unpleasantly back to his school days with the arrival of young Mr Potter.


TomProffitt - Jul 28, 2004 5:35 pm (#1590 of 2956)
Thank you, MrsGump,

Yet, for me it's almost less a thing of trust and more a thing of understanding his nature.

You can trust Severus Snape with quite a lot if you ask him to do something for his benefit. Occlumency lessons for example, can't let the Dark Lord find out you're a spy through Potter.

You can trust Severus Snape somewhat over things that are neutral, offering no benefit or penalty. Teaching, is the best example that comes to mind right now, here he has a mixed track record.

Thirdly, you can not trust Severus Snape at all if you're asking him to do something that not only does not benefit him, but puts him at risk. Severus Snape is not going to be an envoy to giants or drop what he's doing to fight Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries. (I wish I could think of better examples here, it's hard to come up of examples of things that haven't happened.)

Severus Snape is not altruistic. I don't think any Slytherin would be.


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 6:03 pm (#1591 of 2956)
Well, my love of Snape has nothing to do with him being a pure altruist. I do agree that a major aspect of his personality is in saving his own hide. But I don't see anything wrong with that. However, I also think somewhere deep down he figured out that what the DL and co. were doing was wrong. I seriously doubt he likes most of the people he is working so hard to save/protect.

He took great personal risk to turn against the Dark Lord. He does brave things in the name of the side he has chosen. That is honourable---even by JKR's anti-slytherin bias.

I think we *must* look closely at how Snape does things. He is a man of actions more than words. His tongue is biting, but his deeds speak volumes for his true character. And that is his slytherin way of interacting in the world. And something I respect far more than platitudes or niceties and big-heartedness that does nothing to genuinely protect and in some cases brings more harm(*koffHagridkoff*).

Caput, I have long held the belief that Snape had a breather of 11 years to sort a few things out, with the dreaded knowledge that Harry Potter would walk through the door one day. That once Harry came to Hogwarts, memories and feelings would come to the fore once more. But more importantly, his true mission would begin. I dare say neither he, DD nor McGonagall have had a truly sleepless night from the moment Harry got on the train.

EDIT: And my apologies to Kasse...I forgot to wave to you earlier!


Caput Draconis - Jul 28, 2004 6:17 pm (#1592 of 2956)
I completely agree on him saving his own hide, and the point that he doesn't necessarily like the people he protects certainly doesn't detract from his honour. I think he'd be far more reluctant in his duties if the only one he was working for was himself. For me he could be doing far less and still keep himself safe, and ensure Dumbledore's trust. It's an issue of taking pride in being useful, as well, I think. Of working hard for what he has chosen to work for.

And that 'dreaded knowledge' would only add to his resentment when Harry arrives, and his 'true mission'(lovely ) begins. It's a very neat mixture of his bitterness and duty.


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 6:21 pm (#1593 of 2956)
Well said, Lauren.

Snape enjoys doing a job well done. He takes pride in his work. In being useful, and good at what he does. It is part of what he dislikes about Harry, who seems careless and wrapped up in himself (in Snape's eyes) even without the 'benefit' of having known his father.


Leila 2X4B - Jul 28, 2004 6:23 pm (#1594 of 2956)
It is like watching Snape have rousing conversation with himself. (look at the avatars). Snape is the best thing for Harry in the long run.


TomProffitt - Jul 28, 2004 6:23 pm (#1595 of 2956)
Well, Gina, I've been doing a lot of Snape bashing in this thread, and other threads, and Slytherin bashing.

I reckon I had better set Honor Harrington aside do some research on Severus and see if I can see him and his action in your light.


Weeny Owl - Jul 28, 2004 6:30 pm (#1596 of 2956)
When I read the pensive scene for the first time, I could totally understand why Snape hated James so much. I could relate to Snape then and felt he was totally justified being angry with Harry for that invasion of privacy. I really would love to see Harry apologize to Snape AND see Snape accept his apology with good graces. It will not be easy for either of them, but they need to do it.

I agree completely with this. I wanted to smack James and Sirius so hard they landed in the lake with the giant squid. Snape may have done things just as mean to them, but in this one instance, he was minding his own business.

Snape definitely deserves an apology from Harry. That invasion of privacy cannot be defended.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating... out of all the things Snape has done that have made me cringe, in OotP he wasn't the one wanting the Weasley twins whipped, nor was he the one signing the permission form. If he were truly as evil as some think, he could have had Harry in manacles being attended to by Filch. Snape has lines he won't cross, and physical abuse is one of them.


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 6:36 pm (#1597 of 2956)
True, Weeny. He did have Goyle (Crabbe?) loosen his grip on Neville Longbottom even.

Tom, what can I say? I am truly deeply honoured by your decision to reconsider your position on Snape. Rather, to consider viewing him in another light. I hope you didn't feel attacked on this thread. And if you still don't see the light change your mind, well at least you thought about it...


Caput Draconis - Jul 28, 2004 6:37 pm (#1598 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 28, 2004 7:46 pm
Gina, our evil avatar plan is suceeding, mwhahahaha.

And Tom, yay! Reasearch away! Seems you haven't lost your touch, Gina my dear.

On Umbridge, the thing I always go back to is her willingness to crucio a student. I'm not excluding Snape from having the ability to torture someone, but his percieved 'evil' toward the kids has nothing on Delores.


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 6:40 pm (#1599 of 2956)
mwahahaha!!!! Alan avatars shall take over!!!!!!


Emiko - Jul 28, 2004 6:53 pm (#1600 of 2956)
Sheesh you peoples have been busy! Firstly, Hollywand, thanks for your comments a zillion years ago about people knowing about Sirius in the wizarding world. I totally agree about Snape and Sirius, but what I meant was, do others know about Sirius' innocence? Lupin/Lupin, I really like the idea of Snape using Sirius' death to teach Harry, something that seems to be something that everyone here agrees on. But, I can't help wondering how much of Snape's attitude is "teaching" and how much of it is genuine dislike? Because, while I do see how Snape is teaching Harry, I can't help being somewhat skeptical of him going , for example, "Hmmm.... Potter thinks he's so important. I guess I'll have to do this, and this, and this, to bring his ego down to size." That.... Just doesn't seem like Snape. He acts really well in the moment, but he doesn't seem to plan his actions in advance. (correct me if I'm wrong here.)
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Emiko - Jul 28, 2004 6:55 pm (#1601 of 2956)
(Sorry, forgot to put this in there) And addressing the question "Is Snape an evil person or just stupid git?" I definitly don't believe Snape is evil. That's just.... not Snape. Evil is Voldemort. I'd even be loath to say Umbridge was Evil, per se, because at least her motives were well intentioned. But true Evil, in my book, has bad intentions, and bad (horrible, terrible, menancing) methods of executing them. Being a Slytherin doesn't mean that you're Evil, it means and I quote the sorting hat: "cunning folk [who] use any means to achieve their ends." Which is definitly Snape. But being in Slytherin doesn't define what those "ends" are. For some, like Tom Riddle or Malfoy, those ends could be defined as Evil, but for others, and here's where I think Snape fits, the ends are....not evil. You could even say the ends are good. Slytherin's just go about different methods (possibly more ruthless) methods of achieving those ends than the other houses. (Phew! Sorry that took so long!)


Kasse - Jul 28, 2004 6:58 pm (#1602 of 2956)
Perfect Marcus when you said...

I agree with Dumbledore. "I trust Severus Snape."

It doesn't prevent him from being a real pain in the neck sometimes, but we all have our faults.

I could not have siad it better myself


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 28, 2004 6:59 pm (#1603 of 2956)
Yes, I agree about Slytherins. Slytherins are not evil. They are cunning, intelligent schemers who are ambitious. This is the classic evil mastermind - but it's also the classic "heroic thief" and "master spy" archetype. Slytherin gets way too much bad press.


Kasse - Jul 28, 2004 7:04 pm (#1604 of 2956)
I have to agree there is definately a bias against Slytherins, I refuse to believe that they are evil otherwise wouldn't Dumbledore have just gotten rid of the house all together?


Weeny Owl - Jul 28, 2004 7:08 pm (#1605 of 2956)
He did have Goyle (Crabbe?) loosen his grip on Neville Longbottom even.

Oooooh, Gina, another excellent point.

I had totally forgottent that, but keeping true to his deceptive personality, he kept Neville from being choked to death, while at the same time, he was still perfectly in character.


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 7:11 pm (#1606 of 2956)
Well, I think if it is in the Founders' wishes to have four houses, neither Dumbledore nor any other Headmaster would be capable of removing the house altogether.

That said, I doubt DD would want to anyway. The sorting hat message reminded people that all four houses needed to come together. To find commonalities, despite their differences. But I guess this train of thought belongs on another thread...

EDIT: Posted at the same time as Jill. Thanks Jill! You know, that single comment was the deciding factor for a friend of mine?! Despite my protestations, endless conversations, and subjecting her to my fanfiction, it wasn't until she read that line in OoP that she was convinced Snape was really on the side of good.


Emiko - Jul 28, 2004 7:21 pm (#1607 of 2956)
Luke, I like the reference to the master theif, although, I definitly can't imagine Snape a master theif (haha! I know, I know, you weren't even suggesting it!)

Here's a new question: Why is Snape so horrid to Neville? Is it just because he lacks what Snape prizes most (precision, in a word) or is it more? Because Neville wouldn't be nearly as horrible at potions as he is if he wasn't so afraid of Snape. Does Snape realize that, and is that why he's always picking on Neville? Because, Neville could be said to be a minor copy of Snape. Challenged in the looks department, picked on all the time, even by Snape himself, and until Harry and co. came along, he really had no friends. They both share a rigid determination and really can't be deterred once they've made up their minds, they're smart (look at Neville in herbology) and quick on the uptake (why was it, in P/SS Snape was the only one to know what Quirrel was up to, and Neville was the only one to know what Harry and co. were up to?) AND, they both came from not so great families. Neville's Grandmother seems to pick on him a lot to be as great as his parents, and they're insane, while Snape... well, we know what his family life was like.

This got a lot longer than I intended, but I still wonder why Snape's so horrid to Neville. And, now that I've realized the similarities between them, I wonder if that's another literary device of JKR, and what that could mean for both of them...


Hollywand - Jul 28, 2004 7:29 pm (#1608 of 2956)
Hi Emiko, I'd like to further your great comments on evil.

To me, labelling another human being "evil" is a very serious matter. Emiko gives great conditions: intentions, actions, persistence in evil. Evil implies unredeemable. I hate it that people use the label evil so casually these days; it's very black and white thinking, especially to say about someone you may just dislike or disagree with. If you can get a group of people to begin casting an individual as evil, you have the roots of true persecution.

In classic studies of witch trials, a community or individual has a series of calamities, and they feel out of control of their lives. It makes them feel more secure to locate an individual who caused the problem. Ususally, the person is isolated and relatively powerless. Harry and Snape both have elements of these conditions: good witch/bad witch, if you will. Of course there's Rowling's social analogy to Hitler: Bad economy? Blame an ethnic group, (ie Hitler's unifying Germany in a very evil way). Powerful? yes. Great? No. No one with any credibility remembers Hitler as a leader to be admired.

Snape has not gone to Azkaban that we know, and Dumbledore trusts him enough to be an instructor, and to me he does save Harry at moments when he doesn't have to, so no, I would not call him evil. I also think that people have a very difficult time seeing beyond their own personal persective and changing their actions, even when they want to, and Severus perhaps suffers from that. But so does Harry and the rest of the human race.

One other case in point is the surprising amount of venom directed at Hermione for being a "know it all". Is it a crime to be knowledgeable? Muggle-born and capable? This example reminds me of Joan of Arc. Seventeen? Female? Capable of unifying France to route England? Must be from the devil! Burn her at the stake! Off with her head! Yikes.

I remember an incident from childhood I still cringe over. My cousins, my siblings and I all hung out in a gang. There was an old woman in a large, gated house with an empty flower bed in her front yard. We all decided through suggestion and rumour that this poor woman was a witch and taunted her. We decided she had murdered her husband and buried him in the empty flower bed.

My mother was horrified when she discovered we were torturing poor Mrs. Mitchell, a widow. Mom took us all over there and made us humbly, tearfully apologise. Mrs. Mitchell made us a batch of chocolate chip cookies; the fact that she was so wonderful when we got to know her made it even worse. Isn't that awful what we did? I still can't get over humiliating another person like that (even though it's been many years).

Kids, and adults, once they get into group thinking do really stupid stuff.


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 28, 2004 7:33 pm (#1609 of 2956)
I think Snape hates Hermione because he sees someone who is just as nerdy as he was in school, but somehow manages social acceptance when he couldn't get that.


Gina R Snape - Jul 28, 2004 7:45 pm (#1610 of 2956)
Yes, I think Snape was just as much of an insufferable know-it-all, and knows firsthand (only too well) that no one likes insufferable know-it-alls...


Hollywand - Jul 28, 2004 7:49 pm (#1611 of 2956)
Who knows? It's probably just petty personal jealousy, seems like a lame criticism lodged against Hermione on Snapes part and makes him seem really childish.


Susurro Notities - Jul 28, 2004 8:45 pm (#1612 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 28, 2004 9:50 pm
"To me, labelling another human being 'evil' is a very serious matter." (Hollywand, post 1608, Severus Snape thread) Absolutely. JKR tells us that when she says through Sirius"Yes, but the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters."(OoP, p.302, USA)
No, Severus is not evil nor is he nice.
JKR shows us the pensive scene to illustrate that James is not perfect although he appears to have had a good life and that Severus is doing the best with what he has been given. Severus is what one would hope all who have had a disadvantaged youth would do - overcome. No excuses - just reality.


T Brightwater - Jul 28, 2004 9:25 pm (#1613 of 2956)
Tom, what I most dislike about your arguments is that I have a hard time finding evidence to refute them. :-)

We've just seen in OoP that Dumbledore can be fallible. Whether he's calculating enough to use someone as dangerous as Snape in the way that Tom thinks he is, I don't know. Snape is certainly calculating enough to decide to throw his lot in with the only wizard Voldemort is afraid of, though that makes me wonder why he became a Death Eater in the first place. Surely the safest route would have been to keep his head down and see who came out on top?

I'll fall back on Harry's conversation with DD after he sees Karkaroff's trial in the Pensieve (GoF). At the end, he blurts out something like "What makes you so sure that Snape had stopped supporting Voldemort?" DD tells him that that's a matter between Snape and himself. So, DD knows something we don't. It may be that for some reason Snape hates Voldemort, or Bellatrix, or some other DE even more than he does Sirius and James.

Excuse the LOTR reference, but at one point Gandalf says of Gollum that there is very little hope for him - yet not no hope; he is not wholly ruined. And in the end, even though Gollum didn't repent, (though there was one moment when he might have,) without him the Ring would not have been destroyed.

On a slightly different angle, I'd like to point out that at the beginning of OoP, Harry could have saved himself and let the Dementors get Dudley, who had continually made his life miserable for years. He didn't. He used his Patronus to protect Dudley as well, and then all but carried him home. For all his faults, he's more mature and moral than his father and godfather were at his age, and Snape could learn a few things from _him_.


S.E. Jones - Jul 28, 2004 9:51 pm (#1614 of 2956)
Luke EA Lockhart: I think Snape hates Hermione because he sees someone who is just as nerdy as he was in school

JKR has said many times before that Voldemort hates Muggle-borns/Muggles so much because he is taking what he sees as a defect in himself and projecting that anger toward others who share those characteristics. He's "[attempting] to exterminate in them what he hates in himself." (Canadian Broadcasting Co, 2000). I've often wondered if Snape doesn't have such malace for Hermione and Neville for the same reasons, he sees his own defects (as a child) in them and seeks to exterminate those faults. We know he took tests as seriously as Hermione does (we see him writing everything he can possibly get onto his DADA OWL paper, then re-reading over the test afterward); we also know that he had trouble with some things like flying (the bucking broomstick) which may be due to low self-confidence (Neville just screams "no self-confidence here"). He was also alone when he came out of the DADA OWL, so, though we know he hung out with Slytherins (were they older than himself?), he didn't go sit with friends as the other kids did. Neville, though being liked by most of Gryffindor House, doesn't have any best buddies in his year that he routinely sits with.

I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself very well here but perhaps someone will understand that mess of random thoughts....


Hollywand - Jul 28, 2004 9:51 pm (#1615 of 2956)
Well said, Susurro. Or should I say whispered? :-) Obstacles.

And Brightwater, I had not thought of that detail about Harry, Dudley and the Dementors. Powerful addition to the discussion.


haymoni - Jul 29, 2004 4:29 am (#1616 of 2956)
I think Snape is horrible to anyone who isn't a Slytherin.

Ron warns Harry in the first year that Snape is horrible. I'm assuming he's heard it from all of his older brothers.

It is possible he only picks on Gryffindors - his experiences with the Marauders would certainly "justify" that. We haven't really seen him with any other house.


T Brightwater - Jul 29, 2004 8:17 am (#1617 of 2956)
Emiko and Hollywand, great stuff there!

Hollywand, your comment about "group thinking" and your description of your experience are very relevant. I think that's exactly what went on with the Marauders. There's an essay (originally given as a speech) by C.S. Lewis called "The Inner Ring." (in _The Weight of Glory_, Eerdmans, 1966; published in UK as _Transposition and Other Essays_) The whole essay is a very powerful analysis of the hazards of the desire to be "in with the in crowd," but one line in particular stands out:

"Of all passions, the passion for the Inner Ring is most skilful at making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things."

I wonder if this doesn't account for Snape's presence in the Death Eaters. Finally, he's "in" with a group of cool, dangerous, powerful people who are going to make things happen - and who are going to hurt people like Sirius and James.

Then, why did he leave? Tom suggests that he weighed his options dispassionately and decided his chances of survival were greater if he switched sides. That's quite possible, but what we've seen of him is not necessarily consistent with someone that detached. (That tantrum he threw when Sirius escaped, for example.)

I suggested in an earlier post that maybe Voldemort or one of the Death Eaters did something to him even worse than what Sirius and James did. It had to have been something pretty bad. Maybe he had a crush on Bellatrix and he heard her laughing about it to her friends.

And there's the possibility that, once the glamour of being in the Inner Ring wore off, he had a rude awakening about what the group was really like and some long-buried streak of moral responsibility surfaced. Only, unlike Regulus, he was cool-headed and smart enough, as Tom said, not to turn in his membership card, and brave enough to offer his talents and knowledge to the other side.

sorry about the long ramble.


Richard !!!Reid - Jul 29, 2004 9:10 am (#1618 of 2956)
Firstly, I believe the reason Snape dislikes Hermione is because of her muggle parentage. Snapes dislikes muggles - he calls Lily a "mudblood", even when she tried to help him. Secondly, the fact the Hermione is the top student in the school probably bothers him - he maybe feels pure-bloods should be smarter.

However, the only person he treats as bad as Harry is Neville. I have a couple of theories about this. The first is that the longbottoms were in the order and he would not want to show face for Neville - Lucius could find out. My other theory is that we know the longbottoms were very popular - like the potters - and this may anger Snape. We know he was not popular and takes a grudge to this.


Diagon Nilly - Jul 29, 2004 9:22 am (#1619 of 2956)
I also don't believe Snape has a nice, lovable side waiting to come out. And let me preface the rest by saying I LOVE Snape. He's my favorite character and I'd love to see good things happen for him. However, I think he's inherently not a nice person. Part of the reason is something JKR said in an interview. When asked if Snape will ever fall in love (or get married or something to that effect) she replied, "why would anyone want to [be in a relationship with him]?" She wouldn't say this if there was a loving side to the man...and she's the great, omniscent, omnipotent giver of life of the HP book world, so she KNOWS Snape. So, if she can;t figure out why anyone would like him, then there must be a very VERY good reason.


Richard !!!Reid - Jul 29, 2004 9:38 am (#1620 of 2956)
There is something else I have just noticed on a JK interview concerning his reasons for "turning good and why he is trusted". When asked, JK replied Snape gave Dumbledore his reasons for defecting the DE and Dumbledore accepted then. Now, we know Snape is a master Legillimens and he is supposedly able to keep his true intentions unclear to LV. Is it so unbelievable that Snape could do this to Dumbledore. The only weakness I can see in Dumbledore is his trust. Although that can been seen as a strong point, can we put it past Snape to take advantage of that trust.

I feel that the whole pensieve chapter has merely intensified that hate between Snape and Harry and at the end of Oop, Harry makes it quite clear that he blames Snape for Sirius' death. Somehow, I just envisage Snape turning on Harry and therefore on Dumbledore in the future. However, I think he will die from this from LV. Remember, "Lord Voldemort does not forgive", and "Lord Voldemort does not forget." I feel he is/will use Snape to get to Harry, then kill him still in the end. - Hopefully I am wrong because I like Snape.


Hollywand - Jul 29, 2004 10:15 am (#1621 of 2956)
Stunning post, Brightwater, my wizard hat is off, and I owe you a butterbeer. ;-)


Gina R Snape - Jul 29, 2004 10:56 am (#1622 of 2956)
JKR did say that DD believes him. But DD also said he spied at great personal risk to himself. So, either he's telling the truth and he is taking risks, or he is lying and his Order spying was not a risk.

So I guess it all boils down to what you choose to believe.

What keeps me convinced is that he keeps taking risks, keeping protecting Potter, and last but not least his image appeared in the foe glass along with DD and McG. And he's much more compelling and interesting and attractive as a 'bad' good guy with morality than a generic baddy in a plumb location.


T Brightwater - Jul 29, 2004 11:27 am (#1623 of 2956)
Cheers, Hollywand, and the next one's on me!


Accio Sirius - Jul 29, 2004 11:29 am (#1624 of 2956)
Like Sirius said, the world is not divided between good people and death eaters and I think that is one of the themes that JKR drives home, especially with Snape. I've said it in a post way long ago that I saw the first two movies before I read the books and was surprised to learn how much more maligned he was in the text. Snape has many layers and I find him fascinating. I agree that to label him as evil is a big disservice. The same goes for Sirius--not evil just complex for very different reasons. I do love Alan Rickman and I am intrigued by Snape. I think that the fact that Rickman makes him so appealing in the movies is a big clue. He's the great mystery part of the books/movies for me. Given the choice, I would still spend my time with Sirius. But I don't think you have to like one and hate the other, although that's not uncommon around here. Of course, I tend to be sort of an all-inclusive type (I guess I was sorted into Hufflepuff for a reason). But reading this thread has been fun, insightful and has kept my Potter enthusiasm at a very high pitch. I'm glad Snape is around to keep things interesting!


Catherine - Jul 29, 2004 11:54 am (#1625 of 2956)
Snape has many layers and I find him fascinating. --Accio Sirius

Yes. Depending on how you see him, Snape is an onion, or a parfait. :-D

I have enjoyed these posts about our favorite Potions Master. It's been a pleasure.


Padfoot - Jul 29, 2004 12:10 pm (#1626 of 2956)
He is a parfait of course! I think it is interesting how this one teacher generates so much discussion. He is very mysterious, our Severus.


Gina R Snape - Jul 29, 2004 12:10 pm (#1627 of 2956)
ROFL. Onion or parfait. Too funny, Catherine!


Emiko - Jul 29, 2004 12:17 pm (#1628 of 2956)
"Snapes dislikes muggles - he calls Lily a "mudblood", even when she tried to help him." I've been thinking about that, because the mudblood thing has come up as a bit of a counter argument before. But, Snape doesn't seem the type to discriminate because of... something someone can't control. He seems to hone in on the personality of people and discriminate from there. For example, Neville (By the way, S.E. Jones, I totally get what you said about Snape and Neville, and I agree. I think I tried and list the Snape/Neville similarities several posts earlier!). Neville's pureblood, but Snapes even crueler to him than he is to Hermione, a "mudblood". Snape discriminates against anyone who's not a Slytherin (a fact still up for debate, I think), and the houses are sorted into personalities, not bloodtype. I think Snape doesn't really care either way about pureblood/mudblood. Which comes back to the Lilly/mudblood thing. Someone mentioned a while back about the possibility that Snape was in love with Lily (I think they were trying to come up with a reason for why Snape changed sides). The more I think about that, the more sense his mudblood comment makes. I know this happens a lot in the movies, and it happens a lot in real life, how when someone's in love, they tend to be meaner to the person they're in love with... Snape could have that... complexity. Besides, I'm sure that Snape would rather die than have James and Sirius (and the whole school) find out that he's in love with Lily Evans, and that could be a cover. Which would also explain why he hates James more than Sirius, when Sirius seems to have been so much meaner to him. Another idea (possibly another part of the same idea) is that Lily insulted Snape's independence, something he prides himself on. And it was less of an idea that a "mudblood" had to come to Snape's defense, but that someone else (the girl he's in love with?) had to try and protect him. Snape doesn't seems to be used to protection, he would rather see the worst in everything.


TomProffitt - Jul 29, 2004 12:19 pm (#1629 of 2956)
"Tom, what I most dislike about your arguments is that I have a hard time finding evidence to refute them. :-)" --- T Brightwater

The thing about my arguments is that they are the same as Gina's. We have made different assumptions about Severus Snape's motivations. My assumptions are based on the Sorting Hat's descriptions of the Houses and on a few comments Jo has made in interviews.

That's why I have stated I will go back and research Snape. I want to see the implications Gina has found in the text (canon) for her assumptions of Snape's motivations. I doubt I'll find them, but I want to see for myself. (It would be rude not to.)

After all, in the Potterverse there is only one character who has motivations we can see for certain.


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 29, 2004 12:26 pm (#1630 of 2956)
I personally don't think Snape insulting Lily really has to do with her heritage; I think he just felt embarrased that she basically saved him...


Kasse - Jul 29, 2004 12:34 pm (#1631 of 2956)
Snape has many layers and I find him fascinating. --Accio Sirius

It is like you read my mind I feel the exact same way. He is decinately one of the most complex charachters!


T Brightwater - Jul 29, 2004 12:43 pm (#1632 of 2956)
"I personally don't think Snape insulting Lily really has to do with her heritage; I think he just felt embarrased that she basically saved him..."

I think it was James saying "It's a good thing for you Evans was here," that provoked him.


Potions Mistress - Jul 29, 2004 2:51 pm (#1633 of 2956)
"For those who have read my rants against Severus Snape in his thread, Potion Mistress' comparison of Stalin/Russia and Dolores is how I see Severus."--Tom Proffitt

Just for clarification, I pointed out that during WWII, Russia switched sides and won the war w/ the allies. I see Umbridge doing the same thing, not because it's good and moral, but will somehow help her personally.

Sorry Tom, but I just don't see Snape that way. Yes, I do admit that by fighting with the OoP and DD, it (will probably) help Snape personally, but I still think the main reason he stays is because he's loyal to DD.


Gina R Snape - Jul 29, 2004 3:52 pm (#1634 of 2956)
Never in all five books does Snape utter the word 'muggle' or 'mudblood' or 'halfblood' EXCEPT when he's insulting Lilly, and reading a Daily Prophet article to Ron and Harry about their little flight in CoS.

He treats Neville far worse than Hermione.

From this I strongly suspect he doesn't really have issues with anyone based on blood status alone. I agree with Emiko that it's an individualised thing. Perhaps that's one reason he left the DL's side. His issues weren't being served, and he was serving a cause he didn't believe in.


Accio Sirius - Jul 29, 2004 4:01 pm (#1635 of 2956)
I love parfaits! ; )


Prefect Marcus - Jul 29, 2004 4:13 pm (#1636 of 2956)
Gina - Perhaps that's one reason he left the DL's side. His issues weren't being served, and he was serving a cause he didn't believe in.

To quote Quirrell, "Oh, he does [hate you]. But he never wanted you dead!"

To this day, I think that that line sums Snape up better than anything else.


TomProffitt - Jul 29, 2004 4:30 pm (#1637 of 2956)
I want to respond, but I'm not bashing Snape any more until I do my promised research.


Emiko - Jul 29, 2004 5:01 pm (#1638 of 2956)
Tom- I'm not sure, if you look through the books, how much you're going to find saying Snape's as good and noble as Gina, and the rest of us, like to believe he is. For me, it's rather the LACK of "Snape is good and noble" in the books, that convinces me. Because, if it did say that, chances are that he'd turn out like Quirrell. I would say the best thing to do would be to take a look at Snape situations and ask yourself what he could have done that would have been easier and possibly more profitable. Oh, and before you can "bash" Snape from PoA, where he definitly is pushing his personal motives, just remember that he thought Sirius was a murderer and supporter of LV. (Or did he? I just had a thought, ya'll. Wouldn't Snape have known that Sirius wasn't a DE, since he was a DE himself? Or could it have been like Karkoff said, that they didn't know who the others were? And if he did know, what does that mean?) Good luck with your research!


Gina R Snape - Jul 29, 2004 5:10 pm (#1639 of 2956)
TomProffitt wrote: I want to respond, but I'm not bashing Snape any more until I do my promised research.

Aaawwww, poor poor Tom. Go on. Say what you want to say... A great deal of this is just a matter of intuition. But Emiko makes a good point.

If you add up the times he does something rotten, and compare that to the times he does something good, you will likely still be left with the same basic debate.

I say, ask yourself why he goes above and beyond for a 'cover'? Why is it all the seemingly horrible things he does are in the open, but all the good things he does are in secret. Then come back to this thread!

Gee, it's fun having blood flowing on this thread again!


TomProffitt - Jul 29, 2004 5:24 pm (#1640 of 2956)
It's not a matter of keeping score on good things and bad things, Gina. It's about understanding his motivation. Does he do good things because they are the right thing to do or because they are the best option at the moment?

Aside from my ethical views about joining the death eaters, I think you would have to be very stupid to join. Snape is not stupid. Did he leave because they are evil or because it was the smart thing to do?

That's why I want to research keeping your views in mind. I don't believe I'll see what you see, but that's hardly rational argument. I've got the week-end off, I'll skim the series and read Severus' scenes.


Ff3girl - Jul 29, 2004 5:30 pm (#1641 of 2956)
Goodness! You skip two days reading the forum and you miss all this... what a great discussion.

A waaaaaay back, people were discussing how Snape's abuse to the students could possible be a good thing for them. I was instantly reminded of my favorite Snape moment.

"Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions, who wallow in sad memories and allow themselves to be provoked this easily--weak people, in other words--they stand no change against his powers! He will penetrate your mind with absurd ease, Potter!

"I am not weak," said Harry in a low voice, fury now pumping through him so that he thought he might attack Snape in a moment.

"Then prove it! Master yourself!" spat Snape. "Control your anger, discipline your mind!"

OOtP Am. Ed. pg 536

I think this a good example of how he is acually trying to help. He knows Harry isn't weak, but he's challenging Harry to prove that he isn't. Would he ever do anything like that for the Slytherins, namely Malfoy? I doubt it.

And I think Dumbledore approves of Snape's actions. While Dumbledore might not know everything that is happenening in the castle, he is pretty dang close, and he has said that he has watched Harry closer than Harry even knows. He knows how Snape treats students, but he doesn't stop him. Why? Because sometimes being picked on a little can be good for you. IMHO


Lupin is Lupin. Natch. - Jul 29, 2004 5:38 pm (#1642 of 2956)
Ff3girl--my point exactly! Thank you for putting it so succinctly.


Caput Draconis - Jul 29, 2004 5:38 pm (#1643 of 2956)
Edited by Jul 29, 2004 6:40 pm
Oooh, that sounds like a fun weekend.

Anyway, I'm not so sure that you'd have to be stupid to join the DE's. I think that maybe now that's true, taking up with Voldemort for his second attempt at inflicting his regime on the world. But...Snape was straight out of school. He's young, he craves respect, perhaps acceptance, perhaps revenge. Voldemort offers a power (although on his own terms) that seduces Severus - less stupidity than weakness, or desire? So then somehow or other he realises his error, that's where his cunning Slytherin ways kick in. You're right though, he's definitely not stupid, our Snape. Quite the opposite.

EDIT: Gah, too much Snape action. That was a response to Tom.


Hollywand - Jul 29, 2004 5:39 pm (#1644 of 2956)
MMMMMmmmmmm. Carmelized onion parfait. Catherine dear, do you have that recipie handy?

Just a friendly reminder that it is always love that ulimately saves the little Potter guy and not his curses he learned from Snape Factor.

Have a nice day. :-)

Hey Tom I admire your researching spirit, and if you learn of any full time jobs analyzing the Harry Potter series, I'm sure some of us would be interested! Go Tom Prophet.


Emiko - Jul 29, 2004 6:40 pm (#1645 of 2956)
That's a really good point, Hollywand, about Harry (and love) saving him rather than Snape's Occulemency. And while it doesn't change Snape's personality, his motives were still good (if helping Harry was his motives), but then that sort of means that Snape's work to get Potter to control his emotions and occulemency wasn't needed, right? Well, if Harry hadn't freaked out over Sirius in the first place... But, Snape's trying to "train" Harry to fight LV, and so far, he hasn't used anything Snape's taught him. Is that going to come up in the 6th book, or is that saying something (yet again) about Snape's role, and what's he going to do when (if) he figures that out?


Catherine - Jul 29, 2004 6:47 pm (#1646 of 2956)
Hollywand, sorry I don't have an "onion parfait" receipe handy, but it's always possible.

A lovely pre-detention appetizer, perhaps? Maybe Gina has ideas! Smile


Hollywand - Jul 29, 2004 6:50 pm (#1647 of 2956)
Hi Emiko, You argue some great points, and your input is very much appreciated. On the Snape question, I have wondered from the suggestions above, if Voldemort and Snape had a major Occlumency/Legilimens lesson that tore Snape from Voldy forever. Hmmm. I also wonder if Snape may use Harry as a mental gateway to the Dark Lord, and Harry would be trapped in the middle. A creepy thought.

Harry and Snape may form a connection from the Occlumency lesson that will unite them against Voldy, or, conversely, take them into the Shadowlands..... Bwwwahaaahaaaa. ;-)

Hi Catherine!


Weeny Owl - Jul 29, 2004 6:56 pm (#1648 of 2956)
Not to bring up the "one who has left me forever" debate, but to add another thought to my it-isn't-Snape-it's-Karkaroff theory... in the Pensieve scene where he says he'll name names, he also says that he is renouncing the Dark Lord. I would bet a few galleons that openly renouncing Voldemort is asking for a death sentence. Between what Sirius said about what he heard in Azkaban about Karkaroff and what Snape said about Karkaroff not being sure of a welcome back into the fold, I'm more and more convinced that Karkaroff is the one with a bull's-eye on his forehead and not Snape.


Ff3girl - Jul 29, 2004 7:09 pm (#1649 of 2956)
Hollywand:Just a friendly reminder that it is always love that ulimately saves the little Potter guy and not his curses he learned from Snape Factor.

Remember what spell our little Potter guy used that started the priori incantatem? Remember who he learned it from?

Emiko: But, Snape's trying to "train" Harry to fight LV, and so far, he hasn't used anything Snape's taught him.

I don't know if I agree with that, though. We know that in the first half of the year, Harry lost his temper with Umbridge... uhm... I don't know how many times. During the 2nd half of the year, after he started receiving Occlumency lessons, I think he starts to be able to control his emotions a lot better. Coincidence! I think not! (Sorry about the cliché, but I love that one!)


Gina R Snape - Jul 29, 2004 7:30 pm (#1650 of 2956)
Hmmmm. Ff3girl, are you suggesting that Snape's lessons were working on some level? Even I am doubtful of this one. I think once he had an outlet for his anger (the DA), things started calming down for him a bit more. Snape's lessons might've made Harry feel guilty or might've gotten him to think a bit. But I don't think he learned to handle his emotions.

Oh, and let's not forget McGonagall's 'have a biscuit' speech.
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Ff3girl - Jul 29, 2004 8:49 pm (#1651 of 2956)
You know, you're probably right, Gina. Now that I think about it, he didn't neccessarily learn to control his emotions, but I think he at least learned to control his outbursts at Umbridge. Of course, now that I think about this again, McGonagall's speech was probably a lot more of the reason for that...

I guess what I'm trying to say is you changed my mind. ^_^;


Diagon Nilly - Jul 29, 2004 10:47 pm (#1652 of 2956)
I was thinking about the mystery DE's the other day and I wondered about the possibility of Snape not being included in the verbal roundup. In other words, perhaps Karkaroff=coward, Bagman=left forever, Crouch=faithful. Voldy didn't mention Snape because he knew Snape was at Hogwarts, knew Snape wouldn't be apparating to keep up appearances at Hogwarts and therefore wouldn't include Snape on the list as he's already accounted for. Not that I want to bring up an old debate....

Also, cakes have layers.


Gina R Snape - Jul 30, 2004 6:01 am (#1653 of 2956)
Onions...parfaits...cakes... There's also lasagna!

Any more edible metaphors we can find?

Ff3girl, it must be first for me. I've actually talked someone out of giving Severus Snape credit! Well, he may be a lot of things, but a miracle worker isn't one of them...


Steve Newton - Jul 30, 2004 6:31 am (#1654 of 2956)
Well, hens are layers.


Accio Sirius - Jul 30, 2004 7:49 am (#1655 of 2956)
Guys, you've brought up an interesting thought. Harry hates Umbridge and Snape. Why could he control his emotions with Umbridge? Can he handle physical pain as opposed to the mental anguish that the lessons may have been causing him? Is it because maybe Harry knows that Snape is not evil so fighting him as determinedly as he did Umbridge was not possible?


Safia - Jul 30, 2004 10:19 am (#1656 of 2956)
He associates Snape with evil and Voldemort, he can't trust him but I think there is more respect for him then he could ever have for Umbridge because she seems to be just a bumbling complete idiot who can just about figure out one end from her wand to the other. Harry at least knows Snape isn't a complete idiot. Perhaps it's because he doesn't know who Snape is that he can't control his anger and emotions towards him, and also because he knows he's linked to his father.

Umbridge is just a twit from the Ministry and very annoying to boot, but he thinks he knows who she is and he knows that no one else, even the teachers don't much like/respect her. Besides, she didn't make his scar hurt nor does she say nasty comments to him and seem to hate him for obscure Snapey-reasons.

I don't know whether this has been mentioned before - I have read through most of this thread but every time I read one hundred posts after reading that 1000 another 500 is added onto the end *pant puff* I'm still trying to make my way down all of it.

I know the discussion that Snape loved/had a major crush on Lilly has been mentioned before, but= this is something my Mum has just come up with. (she's just read Snape's Worst Memory). Harry's eyes are green right, like his others. Snape sees James in Harry all over but in his eyes, which are Lilly's. Perhaps he is protecting Harry because of Lilly, perhaps he doesn't hate Harry but hates the fact that he's James' son.

Sorry if this has come up before. >_<


Richard !!!Reid - Jul 30, 2004 10:22 am (#1657 of 2956)
Could be a possibility. JK has actually stated that Harry's eyes are very important along with his scar.


Gina R Snape - Jul 30, 2004 10:35 am (#1658 of 2956)
Safia, I commend you most heartily (sp?) for taking the time to read both Snape threads through.

I'm sure Snape detested seeing James' little face walking in the door on Harry's first day. But he's never made mention of Lily to Harry--only his father. It would be interesting to know if he sees Lily's eyes, or only noticed James' face.

I wonder if Snape would dislike Harry less if he looked more like his mother!



TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 30, 2004 1:02 pm (#1659 of 2956)
"Besides, she didn't make his scar hurt". Ah, but she does..."She moved towards him, stretching out her short ringed fingers for his arm. And then, as she took hold of him to examine the words now cut into his skin, pain seared, not across the back of his hand, but across the scar on his forehead."


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 30, 2004 2:32 pm (#1660 of 2956)
I thought it was made clear later on that Harry did that because of Voldie was mad at the moment and it was a coincidence?


Gina R Snape - Jul 30, 2004 5:53 pm (#1661 of 2956)
Yes, but it is parallel to the time Snape looked at him and his scar hurt, when it was really the Dark Lord peering through the turbin on Quirrell's head. In both cases, it seemed like one but it was the other. And I think in both cases Harry had a difficult (and possibly unsuccessful) time separating the pain from the person he suspected.


Hollywand - Jul 30, 2004 7:51 pm (#1662 of 2956)
Umbridge's "flesh inscription" on Harry's hand is very similar to Franz Kafka's story "In the Penal Colony". The protagonist is trapped in a prison like institution, and his punishment is to have the laws written on his flesh. Rowling seems to be making a comparsion between Umbrige and this image of fascism written on the body.

Dumbledore and/or McGonagall do not stay Harry's disrespect of Umbridge, but nurture his resentment. Both DD and Minerva require Harry to address Professor Snape with respect. This insistence on respect add to my feeling that these two people of very high integrity respect Severus, and lends credibility to his character for me as the reader.

It's also very curious that I cannot recall Severus making a single disparaging comment about Dumbledore, even though Dumbledore has asked him to do some tasks he surely would not relish, ie, Occulmency for Harry and potions for Remus. Snape certainly suffers well in silence if he is a true Death Eater and despises Dumbledore.


Prefect Marcus - Jul 31, 2004 11:00 am (#1663 of 2956)
If memory serves, Snape does look somewhat pleased in CoS when Draco was telling him that Lucius Malfoy would like to make him Headmaster. That is about as close to being disloyal to Dumbledore that our beloved Potions Master gets.


Luke E.A. Lockhart - Jul 31, 2004 12:03 pm (#1664 of 2956)
So Snape had a thought along the lines of, "Well, my friend has been defeated, which is too bad," but then realized he could profit from it. It may not be the most heroic thought, but it doesn't mean it's evil, or even if it would have been wrong for him to be Headmaster.


Gina R Snape - Jul 31, 2004 12:11 pm (#1665 of 2956)
I dunno. I think if little Draco Malfoy started mouthing off how his father could make me headmaster, I'd have a chuckle too. I don't think it's any real indication of unfaithfulness.


ShelterGirl - Jul 31, 2004 3:37 pm (#1666 of 2956)
Besides... We don't know that Snape wasn't actually thinking when he smiled, "Sycophantic Prat..."


TomProffitt - Jul 31, 2004 4:49 pm (#1667 of 2956)
"obsequious twerp"

edit: And you know, Draco really is an obsequious twerp.


Gina R Snape - Jul 31, 2004 5:37 pm (#1668 of 2956)
Absolutely!


Prefect Marcus - Aug 1, 2004 9:13 am (#1669 of 2956)
I will certainly admit that Snape's actions at the Headmaster-ship suggestion are open to interpretation, but he has shown no signs anywhere else of disparaging Draco, has he? On the contrary, he is normally backing him up all the way.


T Brightwater - Aug 2, 2004 6:17 am (#1670 of 2956)
Favoring Malfoy could be part of his cover, or it could just be that he's the brightest of his year in Slytherin, not that it would take much.


Gina R Snape - Aug 2, 2004 7:46 am (#1671 of 2956)
Unfortunately, the only slytherins we see are Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, Pansy Parkinson, Millicent Bulstrode and (presumably) Theodore Nott. Of those, it would seem Malfoy and maybe Nott are the smartest. But Snape was a slytherin and clearly very booksmart in his youth. So I find it hard to imagine there aren't other Ravenclaw-like Slytherins we simply aren't seeing.

I think Draco provides two things (at least) for Snape. One, he has a kid through whom to live vicariously in acting rotten to others; and Two, it is part of his cover. I wouldn't doubt if Lucius Malfoy pads Snape's income to keep his little boy out of trouble too...


Kasse - Aug 2, 2004 7:49 am (#1672 of 2956)
I wouldn't doubt if Lucius Malfoy pads Snape's income to keep his little boy out of trouble too... - Gina

Never thought about that but now you mention it, yes I wouldn'd doubt it either.


T Brightwater - Aug 2, 2004 8:03 am (#1673 of 2956)
I wonder if Snape sees Draco as the kid he would have liked to have been when he was a student. Perhaps, too, he dislikes Hermione because she reminds him of the kid he actually was.

Snape is complex enough that he could envy Draco, be a bit flattered by his apparent admiration, use him as part of his cover, and _still_ know that he's an obsequious twerp. (good description, Tom!)


Richard !!!Reid - Aug 2, 2004 2:17 pm (#1674 of 2956)
I've been reading OotP - again - and I noticed Snape say something on the lines of "You'l pay" in the pensieve chapter when he is dueling with James. Is it possible that Snape was an acomplise in the Potter's demise. He clearly loaths James, and even lily. Worse than Malfoy and Harry.


Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 2, 2004 3:12 pm (#1675 of 2956)
Richard, I think that when James saved Snape's life that commentary Snape made about making James pay could have been negated.

On another note, I have long wondered if the scene in Snape's Worst Memory and the prank followed in rapid succession.

Best Regards, Nathan


TomProffitt - Aug 2, 2004 3:18 pm (#1676 of 2956)
I have often wondered if "Snape's Worst Memory" is, strictly speaking, true.

Is what we, through Harry, saw in the pensieve what actually happened, or is it what Severus remembers happening?

The reactions of Sirius and Lupin as the scene is described to them seem to negate this idea, but I still think it plausible.


Gina R Snape - Aug 2, 2004 5:01 pm (#1677 of 2956)
And I've often wondered if "you'll pay" was Snape making up his mind to join the Death Eaters.


T Brightwater - Aug 2, 2004 5:18 pm (#1678 of 2956)
Interesting idea, Tom. I think it's probably accurate at least in outline; I can't imagine him making something like that up out of whole cloth. Details are another matter. I wonder how much of the Marauders' conversation Snape actually heard.

On a different topic, I've mentioned in a couple of posts that Snape is good at what he does. I'd like to qualify that. He's apparently a very skilled potion-brewer, a superb Occlumens (both of these courtesy of Remus Lupin) and a clever double-agent, but I don't think much of him as a teacher.

Do we ever see him actually showing anybody how to do something? Mostly it seems that he waits till someone makes a mistake and then criticizes. (With Draco Malfoy, he waits until the little twerp does something right and then praises him for it.) He takes points from Harry in PS/SS for "allowing" Neville to make a mistake - and then takes points from Hermione in PoA because she _does_ help Neville.

When he's trying to teach Harry Occlumency, the same thing happens. Harry says "I'm trying, but you're not telling me how" and I'd say he's right.


TomProffitt - Aug 2, 2004 5:24 pm (#1679 of 2956)
There's a lot more to Severus than meets the eye. I'm two books into the research I promised Gina and one thing really sticks out right now.

He almost has two selves. The one that hates, cheats , and revels in causing pain.

The other that respects authority and values life.

At the end of the Griffyndor/Hufflepuff match in PS/SS does Severus spits on the ground in disgust. Why?

Is he angry that he couldn't influence the match in Slytherin's favor, or angry that he was unable to find evidence against Quirrel?


Elanor - Aug 2, 2004 10:56 pm (#1680 of 2956)
Hi ! I've just joined this thread, so first, do forgive me if I say something that has already been said (I didn't have the time to read all the previous posts...). But what I've read of them is really interesting. Snape is one of the most complex characters of the books and that is why he is really interesting.

About his teaching abilities, I don't think he is as bad as you say T Brightwater. Well, he is really unfair with Gryffindors and he is not the teacher who can give students self-confidence, in that way, you're right. But the fact that he doesn't show anybody how to do something doesn't mean he is a bad teacher. Concerning education, there are a lot of theories (sometimes really boring, you can trust me, I had to study them to become a teacher : it is the dullest subject of all).

But, one of these theories is that you can't really "teach" something to somebody. The student has to understand by himself, he has to construct his own learning : if you just give it to him, he won't be able to really assimilate it. What you have to do is give him the possibility to make his own tries, tell him his mistakes so he could learn from them till he understands how it works ! Well, I do agree, Snape is doing it the hard way : more diplomacy would certainly be efficient, but still he is sometimes right, for exemple when Harry doesn't read the instructions properly...

And I think he is doing the same when he teaches occlumency : Harry has certainly to understand by himself how to defend himself, he just can't really show him but he gives him occasions to practice it "safely". And it worked when Harry succeed in sending back his attack.


septentrion - Aug 3, 2004 1:35 am (#1681 of 2956)
Hi Elanor ! glad to see you here ! Plus, you just say what I wanted to put in about learning by experience. I sometimes help people to choose a profession and the best way to do it is to allow them to try their ideas. For instance, if someone want to be a nurse, to spend a few days in a hospital is a good way to be sure they can learn the job. And I think the best way to learn potion is by making them.


T Brightwater - Aug 3, 2004 5:12 am (#1682 of 2956)
I agree with you up to a point, Elanor. It depends on what you're teaching. Good technique in music (my field) has to be demonstrated; I've had teachers who just let me get on with it on my own, and I ended up not only choosing repertoire that was way too hard for me, but developing a lot of bad habits.

Admittedly, Potions is mostly following recipes, but when I took Chemistry we learned theory; we didn't just do experiments. In any case, expecting someone to know everything on the first day of class is unrealistic. A teacher has to give at least a few basic principles. Expecting a student to know everything on the first day of class is a little unrealistic, to put it mildly!

Mistakes are to be expected from beginners. Humiliating a student in front of his/her classmates may make some people try harder, but others will just wilt and make more mistakes. Snape should have figured out early on that Neville responds better to encouragement than to criticism.

McGonagall is a tough teacher, but at least she gives credit where it is due. An unfair teacher is about the worst thing a student can have.


septentrion - Aug 3, 2004 5:24 am (#1683 of 2956)
I can assure that an incompetent teacher, although fair, is a bad thing too.

T Brightwater [/b]- Aug 3, 2004 5:34 am (#1684 of 2956)
Absolutely, septentrion.


Richard !!!Reid - Aug 3, 2004 6:07 am (#1685 of 2956)
I just noticed another thing in OotP. When Umbridge is questioning Snape and ask's him how long he has worked at Hogwarts, he replied "16 years." That would have been just before the potters died, or maybe even the same time. Is it a coincidence???


rambkowalczyk - Aug 3, 2004 6:40 am (#1686 of 2956)
Concerning Snape's teaching style-is it really all that different than Lupin's. Yes Lupin is kind,understanding,patient etc. But as far as details in fighting a dementer all he says is think of a happy thought. Snape tells Harry to control his emotions.

The actual length of Snape's employment is 14 years. This means he started in the same year Harry's parents were killed. Snape would have started in Sept, the Potters were killed in Oct. Harry was a year old. Trelawney was at Hogwarts for 16 years. This implies she started the September before Harry was born. The actual prophecy was probably given in August 11 month before Harry was born. I think I have the time line right.


Elanor - Aug 3, 2004 7:26 am (#1687 of 2956)
I agree with you T Brightwater that humiliating a student in front of his classmates isn't a good idea at all, but I have tested out that a touch of irony and humour is really efficient in some cases. Well, I suppose Snape has a peculiar sense of humour...

I agree you don't expect a student to know everything on the first day, but, at that time, let him experiment all alone can be very useful for the teacher, because you can see representations he has concerning what he has to do. So, after that, the teacher is more able to know what the student already knows, what he doesn't, and see what work he has to give to make him progress. But, of course, after that, the teacher has to show the right way to do it. And, then, he can give the students what we call a "problem situation", to make them try, maybe make mistakes and then learn from them. Obviously, besides his unfairness and his curtly aspect, Snapes most defect as a teacher is that he never explains why he gives a certain work.

And, as far as we know, most of the other Hogwarts teachers have the same method : they give the students the incantation, show them, that's true, but then let them try. But to show them is not what makes them do it, they only see the result. And, if I'm not mistaken, in potions students always know what the result may looks like, don't they? Well, I didn't say Snape is the best teacher, not at all, but he is not that bad if you just look at the work he asks them to do. Students may hate him, fear him, want to curse him, but they will certainly learn something.


Chemyst - Aug 3, 2004 9:12 am (#1688 of 2956)
Regarding Professor Snape's teaching technique during Occlumency, he had one bright & shining moment-- when he compared it to using powers similar to resisting the Imperius Curse. Introducing something new by building on something familiar is good teaching. During the rest of the lesson, Snape actually did explain a lot, he just didn't do it in a manner that would motivate most people to want to bother. He explains the difference between Occlumency and muggle mind-reading, he explained that time & space matter and the importance of eye contact. He also gave Harry a little information about "naming" Voldemort (which has always seemed like half of a clue to something else related to empowerment.)

There is one curious part that on first-read I'd taken as being typically nasty Snape. But on rereading, it seemed to be Snape trying to follow DD's orders. The line is "It is enough that we know," said Snape repressively. (OP 24, p. 533 Scholastic) It seems Sirius was the only person who objected to Harry being kept in the dark, and he was the one who paid the greatest price for Harry's lack of understanding. Snape was never able to convince Harry that Occlumency was important, and his failure to convey this appreciation was the weak point of his teaching. Which fits hand-in-glove with the not-properly-appreciated way Snape sees himself. A truly great teacher would be able to give a student an appreciation of their art or science, even if the student never masters the subject.


Safia - Aug 3, 2004 9:13 am (#1689 of 2956)
I can't see Snape teaching anyhting else but potions. I can't see him as a DADA teacher somehow, I wonder what he'd be like...


Chemyst - Aug 3, 2004 9:27 am (#1690 of 2956)
I can't see Snape teaching anyhting else but potions. But he substituted for Lupin's DADA class.
A teacher's style will remain fairly consistent, even if the subject changes.


Gina R Snape - Aug 3, 2004 9:32 am (#1691 of 2956)
I agree, Chemyst. There were so many times in the Occlumency lessons where it was painfully clear Snape was toeing the line in not providing information Dumbledore wanted kept from Harry. But he did explain a lot.

In Potions classes, just like the other classes, we don't see the whole lecture. Snape give the class an assignment every time, in addition to creating the potion. I think it's assumed that they are doing readings, and the potions themselves are to complement the readings. We know he comments on the student papers. And in the first ever class, he did explain elemental properties of a bezoar and so on. I suspect he does spend time going over properties of ingredients, but JKR can't be bothered to write too much of it.

I might also add that when Umbridge reviewed his work, the students were advanced for their grade.

I see a lot of new faces and want to welcome you to the Snape thread. There has been a lot of really interesting discussions on this and the first Snape threads. I strongly encourage you to read them in addition to posting. You won't be disappointed, and it will certainly be a labour of love I promise you!


Solitaire - Aug 3, 2004 11:57 am (#1692 of 2956)
Gina R Snape, you seem to be kind of the Snape expert at the forum, from what I've been observed in the few weeks I've been here. This is my first post on this thread, so please forgive me if I'm posting something that has been settled already. Also, feel free to point me to the appropriate place for the info, if you can.

First, has the Perseus Evans=Severus Snape anagram/issue been discussed already? Is it possible that Snape and Lily are related (if not siblings, then cousins)? I find his name rather interesting. Severus=Sever us ... indicating that he has severed himself from anyone and everyone in his past. And Snape ... sounds a lot like snake ... doesn't it?

Second point ... has Snape been put forth as a possible HBP? I know he was a Slytherin, but do we know for certain whether or not he is a pure-blood? If not, he would seem as good a candidate for HBP as any of the others put forth thus far.

That's all for now. *preparing to be shot down*

Solitaire

Edited


Solitaire - Aug 3, 2004 12:13 pm (#1693 of 2956)
Yikes!! It doesn't look like I edited very well ... "from what I've been observed." *hanging my head in shame* That should read "from what I've observed."

Solitaire


Padfoot - Aug 3, 2004 12:23 pm (#1694 of 2956)
I have not considered Severus and Lily to be related. What makes you think they might be Solitaire?


Richard !!!Reid - Aug 3, 2004 1:01 pm (#1695 of 2956)
Firstly, the Snape thread, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting threads in the forum because of the in-depth discussions that take place. Thanks everyone. Now, onto business.

On the idea that Snape is related to Lily, I seriously doubt it (sorry solitaire). Snape clearly hates Lily and I'm assuming that is because of her muggle heritage. However, I suppose it's possible that she reminds him of his former family. There is no mention of any other wizard relative in the Evans family (Aunt Marge called her a bad egg in an otherwise good family). I also think that the anagram was just a coincidence and made to fit the name.

On the matter of Snape's teaching, I think he probably is an excellent teacher, however his methods are somewhat unorthodox. In Snape's mind, he is probably preparing for later life (not everyone is nice and friendly)and Harry is kind of lazy in potions.


T Brightwater - Aug 3, 2004 1:26 pm (#1696 of 2956)
My Latin Dictionary gives this for "severus"

strict, stern; severe, austere; grim, terrible.

Need we look any farther? :-) (my apologies if this has come up before.)

I had a chemistry(!) teacher who was a bit like Snape. Personally, I didn't think he had any business teaching undergraduates, let alone freshmen. but if he was there to discourage would-be pre-meds, he did a very good job. (It worked on me, fortunately.)

Since Potions is a required class for the first five years at Hogwarts, he has plenty of time to weed out people who aren't up to N.E.W.T.'s. What he does in class is a bit like putting raw recruits into combat situations before they've even been through basic training; it's a good way to find out who's already expert in the subject, but not a good way of helping those who aren't. I think he's feeding his own ego at his students' expense.

As for other Hogwarts teachers, McGonagall is as strict as Snape, but not nasty, though she does get exasperated at Neville. Flitwick actually does demonstrate a wand movement at least once, (in the "Wingardium leviosa" lesson,) and he doesn't even yell at Neville when Neville sends him flying up on to his own file cabinet. Sprout demonstrates in her class. Lupin has a systematic approach to Boggart banishing and gives the students a few minutes to prepare themselves. Snape's idea of teaching that class would probably be to let the Boggart out without warning and then sneer at everyone for being frightened and not knowing what to do.


Richard !!!Reid - Aug 3, 2004 1:30 pm (#1697 of 2956)
Had a good laugh with that one. I can just imagine Neville's expression when he has to Snapes to deal with at once.


Solitaire - Aug 3, 2004 2:03 pm (#1698 of 2956)
It's okay, Richard. I'm not married to my theory. I just like speculating. Smile I did, however, think that Lily's reaction to Snape's response--"I don't need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her!"--seemed one of surprise. Perhaps she was surprised, not because he called her a Mudblood but because they were related and he was one, too. Or maybe Lily knew that Snape himself was not a pure-blood. Have we ever been told that he IS?

The fact that he came to school knowing all kinds of Dark Arts is not proof of pure-bloodedness to me. Hermione is the most talented witch of her age--even Remus says this in the Shrieking Shack--and she is Muggle-born. If Snape had been ignored, tormented, or neglected before Hogwarts (Muggle or not), a deep knowledge and understanding of Dark Arts would certainly have granted him stature in school, wouldn't it?

As for the Evans family, I don't really think Aunt Marge's opinion is much of an indicator. If Snape were, say, a cousin, she wouldn't know about him anyway, would she? I'm curious exactly how much she knows about Petunia's family in general. I'm also wondering if Petunia isn't a kind of Mrs. Black in reverse ... she sort of "erases" anyone magical from the family history.

Padfoot, I don't have any compelling reason for thinking Snape and Lily might be related. I still think those two anagrams that can be made from Snape's name are interesting. But last night, a line from YA-YA SISTERHOOD bonked me on the head: "Sometimes you can tell what people are trying to hide by the WAY they are trying to hide it." When I heard this, for some reason it reminded me of Snape's Mudblood comment to Lily. Why?

Solitaire


contess lillein asend - Aug 3, 2004 2:05 pm (#1699 of 2956)
I posted this on another thread, don't know if it has been discussed here on not as I don't feel like reading 1600 posts, just the recent if you don't mind. If covered already, excuse moi.

I read somewhere that someone thought Snape might be James illigitemate brother. Started me thinking.

There is the story of King Arthur being seduced by his step - half (I don't know which) sister, Morgan Lefey and producing a son, Modred, who killed Artur.

What if James' father is Snape's father (the man we saw Harry's Occulmency lessons yelling at Snape's mother). That would explain James' hatred and the comment "he exists".

Maybe he was even in on how thier father died. Saw the error of his ways and DD is giving him "his second chance". He would really hate Harry, as he is a proper heir, but feels he has to keep him safe to make up for his previous error. Maybe if occulmency continues he will realize that he and Harry were raised alike.


Solitaire - Aug 3, 2004 2:07 pm (#1700 of 2956)
Hm ... yet another interesting theory, Contess. Makes sense.
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