Severus Snape

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Severus Snape  - Page 4 Empty Severus Snape Volume 3, (posts from Oct 22, 2004 to Sep 19, 2005)

Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 12:46 am

# Severus Snape (posts from Oct 22, 2004 to Sep 19, 2005)
Kip Carter [/b]- Oct 22, 2004 2:37 am
Edited Aug 30, 2007 5:53 am
Severus Snape is one of the most controversial characters in the Harry Potter series and because of this, the messages in his thread grow at a huge rate.

The first thread Severus Snape (posts from Aug 29, 2003 to Nov 6, 2003) accumulated 644 messages in the 74 days since our return to the World Crossing (WX) system. The original thread had 620 messages on November 10, 2003 with the last message that day being Post #620 by Ovate. In an effort to consolidate some similar messages on another thread, The vacancy Snape wished to fill... was moved to the end of the original thread and the 24 messages of that thread start at Post #621 and continue to the end where I have stopped any further posts.

The second thread started on November 11, 2003 and continued to October 22, 2004 when it was closed out with 2957 messages. The second thread was renamed Severus Snape (posts from Nov 11, 2003 to Oct 22, 2004).

The creation of this new thread allows those who care to look back and continue what was being discussed.

Some of you may find this tedious and some of you, I hope, will find this a good working solution to the previous huge thread. Regardless of how each of you handles this new thread depends on our working together. The nature of a forum is that new people come in and are faced with this huge number of messages to read and are somewhat intimidated by the amount that is needed to read before they can add their thoughts and ideas. This has caused many messages to start to rehash issues that some feel have already been discussed and problems occur. I hope my closing out the previous huge thread and providing the links in this new thread will allow a new peaceful discussion of Severus Snape to continue with new life and no preconceived ideas of what needs to be discussed.

The first message to this new thread will set the tone of the thread for future posters. Let try to make this work.

I have changed the status of the previous Severus Snape thread to Saved and Archived. The renamed Severus Snape (posts from Nov 11, 2003 to Oct 22, 2004) is now at the bottom of this folder for those who want to read those various posts.


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Last edited by Mona on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:56 am; edited 6 times in total
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Severus Snape  - Page 4 Empty Posts 1 to 50

Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 12:50 am

Potions Mistress - Oct 22, 2004 4:59 am (#1 of 2980)
Edited Oct 22, 2004 5:59 am
I think the questions that are on everybody's mind are:

1.) What is the extent of Snape's hatred and loathing for Harry?

2.) How far will he go in acting on said hatred and loathing?

I do believe that Snape is honourable and loyal to DD, and it is that loyalty to DD that keeps his actions in check. Yes, he is cruel and sarcastic to Harry, which I think is pretty damaging, but so far we have not seen Snape go so far as to physically harm/incapacitate Harry.

(Wow, first post on the thread. Oh, the pressure! Wink )


Lina - Oct 22, 2004 5:27 am (#2 of 2980)
Edited Oct 22, 2004 6:27 am
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, I was really surprised and disappointed coming to the forum and then seeing that there were no new messages for me to read on the Snape's thread!

It took a while until I understood that this is a whole new thread and there are more unread messages on the old one.

Do you see now, Gina, why I was expecting you? There a so few people on "my side" who want to interpret Snape's actions as actions of good will.

Solitaire, Gina said that expulsion would be the serious harm for Harry and that Snape wouldn't want any serous harm for Harry, not that Umbridge and Fudge wouldn't want it. As a meter of fact, at the beginning of the PoA, when Harry was almost certain that he would be expelled, Fudge, still thinking high of DD, didn't want to even mention it. Even Snape didn't mention the blowing up of aunt Marge.

I'm sure that now, that Voldemort is back, Snape wouldn't mention it neither.

And someone had to make Harry feel that he really couldn't do whatever he wishes to.

Kelly Kapaoski - Oct 22, 2004 6:23 am (#3 of 2980)
I was thinking about Severus being a spy for dumbledore; I wonder if Dumbledore saved Snapes life back in the day which made him turn traitor

therealscabbers - Oct 22, 2004 6:24 am (#4 of 2980)
Lina, I am with you on your opinion. Snape does harbor a dislike of the Marauders and passes that down to Harry, but he is loyal to DD and aware of the prophecy and Harry's importance but in his role of spy/DE he cannot be seen to like/favor Harry and Harry needs to be treated like any other pupil by all of the teachers and Snape is nasty to all but his own students to a lesser or greater degree in fact only favors the Death nibblers, so he would naturally be the same and even worse with Harry

Also I was chatting to an 8yr old friend of mine the other day and he was telling me that his favorite teacher at school was very strict and harsh, but still his favorite teacher. In fact some of the best teachers I know are very Snape like in behavior and they get good results - think Simon Cowell of pop idol fame, he is harsh and critical but gets good results. After all as far as we know Snape does have a NEWT class, and there are plenty of Healers, Arouras etc so several people must get an O in OWL potions so his teaching technique works!

Potions Mistress - Oct 22, 2004 6:27 am (#5 of 2980)
"There a so few people on "my side" who want to interpret Snape's actions as actions of good will."--Lina

I think Snape is honourable (esp. concerning DD), but I think many of his actions (esp. those against Harry) come from a mean and bitter personality. Of course, there are a number of reasons his personality is like this (abusive home, the Marauders, DE's, etc.), but I don't believe that many of his actions are meant for the use of "good" (as opposed to "evil").

(Aaaahhhh, love that "new thread" smell. Smile )


Kelly Kapaoski - Oct 22, 2004 6:31 am (#6 of 2980)
Neville probably won't be in snapes NEWT level potions course but he will probably be in professor Sprouts NEWT level Herbology course.

Gina R Snape - Oct 22, 2004 6:42 am (#7 of 2980)
Waaaaah. I didn't get to be first on the new Snape list. Waaaaaah.

Umbridge stated she was impressed by how advanced the students were in Snape's class, which was a hint to us readers that he is an effective teacher. I think once we find out how well Neville did on his Potions OWL, that might tell us something more.

I hadn't thought about all the people out there using Potions knowledge who were students under Snape. He has been teaching Potions for enough time to affect a significant portion of British wizarding society. If there were a serious problem with his overall teaching abilities, it would have been noticed by the OWLs and NEWTs examiners, as well as the Board members who oversee Dumbledore. And certainly, all those healers and potions makers in commercial and service professions who have graduated in the past 15 years would have had a terrible impact on wizarding society.

Oh, yes! I rather like this little road. It definitely demonstrates Snape's wider abilities and impact upon the wizarding world beyond having the occasional enjoyment at Potter and co.'s relatively harmless expense.

And I still stand 100% behind the thought that first made me love Snape waaay back when...that someone has to be tough on the kid as a way of guidance. Snape seems to be the only one willing and able to do it.

popkin - Oct 22, 2004 6:42 am (#8 of 2980)
I want to thank the moderators for starting a new Snape thread. It was such a joy to log in and find that I was almost completely caught up, instead of hopelessly behind (again).

To me, the greatest mystery about Snape is whether he's loyal to Dumbledore or to himself. I tend to think Snape will make a power grab when the time is right (and that Snape has led Lucius to believe that he has the upper hand in the power grab department, but is actually Snape's puppet) - either that, or he'll sacrifice himself to save Harry.

wolfgrl - Oct 22, 2004 6:53 am (#9 of 2980)
Edited Oct 22, 2004 7:54 am
Gina, I think those who posted 1-6 should delete themselves, as you should definatly get the first post.

As to Snape being a good potions teacher, I think that could have something to do with DD keeping him as the potions teacher, and not giving him the DADA Job. He is too good at it to replace, and so far he has been able to replace the DA DA teacher, though not very well for the most part.

MickeyCee3948 - Oct 22, 2004 6:58 am (#10 of 2980)
Considering the fate of most of the DADA teachers, he may just be trying to keep Snape alive.


Gina R Snape - Oct 22, 2004 8:02 am (#11 of 2980)
bwa ha ha ha. You may be right, Mickey!

Thank you, wolfgrl. How very thoughtful of you!!!!

Ann - Oct 22, 2004 8:38 am (#12 of 2980)
Gina, I like your point about the effect Snape has had on the quality of potions making in the British wizarding world. But if you take the same assumptions and apply them to the quality of the same population's skills in Defense against the Dark Arts, the results are very scary!

I disagree, however, that Snape is the only teacher who is tough enough on the kids to give them real guidance. They seem to regard McGonagall with respect, and not a little fear; and although Flitwick is more easy-going, he does seem able to punish those who don't work hard enough (for example, assigning Harry and Neville extra homework on Summoning Charms in GoF). On the whole, many of the Hogwarts staff seem to be quite good teachers, especially those who handle the basics (Charms, Transfiguration, Herbology, even Magical Creatures, and of course Potions). DADA is a huge hole, but Divination, for example, probably doesn't matter so much.

Potions Mistress - Oct 22, 2004 9:21 am (#13 of 2980)
I do agree that Snape has had an overall positive effect on those who practice potions in their careers--the man definitely knows his stuff. But I don't think he is "tough" as he is a bully, especially those who are not Slytherins. Comparing Snape to McG, I see her as being "tough," but who gets respect. If a student fears McG (or even Flitwick), it's probably because they know if they don't do well in their classes, they'll get a TON of extra homework. With Snape, I see it as mainly fear from his students (with the possible exception of the Slytherins)--fear that he will bully and humiliate them in front of everyone (and then give extra homework).


TomProffitt - Oct 22, 2004 9:36 am (#14 of 2980)
As a former infantry sergeant I fully understand the method of "tough teaching."

Being tough, cutting no slack, using caustic and blistering reprimands for inadequacies, are but tools in the sergeants arsenal for instilling discipline in the lazy, self-centered, over-confident mama's-boys slackers newly come to to the military.

The critical point to using these tools lies in the intelligent, equitable, passionless (even though you want them to think you're angry), and planned application of them. The sergeant must not allow his use of disciplinary measures to become personal or his effectiveness is degraded if not destroyed.

Yes, these are the tools that Severus Snape uses in his teaching. Yet, in his animosity towards Harry,in his inability to apply these tools uniformly and evenly he causes more harm than good. By singling out some students for inequitable treatment he damages his "favorites" nearly as much as those he attacks. If I were a commander and Snape was one of my sergeants I would relieve him.

Then why does Dumbledore keep him? Perhaps it is because his value as a spy outweighs his liabilities as a teacher. Perhaps there is a debt from Dumbledore to Snape as much as there is from Snape to Dumbledore. And perhaps Dumbledore has not yet given up in the complete healing of Severus Snape.

Gina R Snape - Oct 22, 2004 9:38 am (#15 of 2980)
Edited Oct 22, 2004 10:40 am
Well, I agree that the other professors don't shy away from applying extra homework or detentions. But in Harry's case, I think Snape is making a large effort to stamp out any sense of privilege Harry might have simply for being 'the boy who lived.'

The fact is, most of the wizarding world sees Harry as a novelty and a star for what happened. A smaller number of people see Harry as the enemy for what happened. But very very few see Harry as 'just Harry.' And in fact, Snape tells Fudge at one point (when they think Harry isn't listening) that he tries to unlike the rest of the wizarding world, Snape tries to treat Harry just like everybody else.

Now, you all may not like the way he treats all the students. I can't argue that opinion. But I argue he is striving harder than every other faculty member at Hogwarts to keep Harry's head from swelling. He may not be wholly successful, but I see it as his goal.

EDIT: Oh, thanks for reminding me Tom. I think his favouritism towards Slytherin puts those kids (especially Draco, Crabbe and Goyle) at an ultimate disadvantage. But then, I think that's one of Snape's slytherin ways of protecting Harry of the future, frankly.

TomProffitt - Oct 22, 2004 9:45 am (#16 of 2980)
"I think his favouritism towards Slytherin puts those kids (especially Draco, Crabbe and Goyle) at an ultimate disadvantage." --- Gina R Snape

This is one of my real problems with Snape. As head of their House, I think Snape should be striving to be a positive role model for them. As it is, Snape's public ill-treatment of Harry is seen by them as a license to pursue the worst values they have learned at home. I think Snape's leadership of Slytherin House did as much to create the Inquisitorial Squad as Umbridge herself accomplished.

haymoni - Oct 22, 2004 10:32 am (#17 of 2980)
He HAS to treat Harry terribly - how can he teach in front of Draco and not be terrible to Harry?

Paulus Maximus - Oct 22, 2004 12:29 pm (#18 of 2980)
Edited Oct 22, 2004 1:30 pm
"He HAS to treat Harry terribly - how can he teach in front of Draco and not be terrible to Harry?"

Good point... If Snape started being nice to Harry, Draco might get suspicious of Snape (and possibly blow his cover as an OP spy...)

Of course, Draco was there when Snape got the message about Padfoot, so Snape's cover might already be blown... It didn't look that way the last time we saw Harry, Draco, and Snape in the same room, but...

Lina - Oct 22, 2004 1:28 pm (#19 of 2980)
therealscabbers, Being strict is one thing - as many OTHER members in the previous posts mentioned, we can talk about McGonagal as a strict teacher and a teacher you love at the same time. I don't think that harsh is the right word (I had to check in the dictionary) because you can show love in the harsh way. I have to agree with all those people who say that he really likes to humiliate people. It is more than harsh.

PM, Honorable again is not the word I would mess with a good will and benevolent (I guess I lack the right word again) and I don't think you mess them either. I just think he is at least a little more then just honorable. I totally agree that his personality is bitter, but I don't agree with the mean part.

I have already mentioned my mother, she is a really good example. I don't think that she enjoys making people miserable, but she does. And more she loves somebody, more she makes the person miserable. She thinks that it is for their good. Some people tend to think that she is mean, but I know she isn't. With the time I learned to read her between the lines and to judge her more by her actions then by her words. And I can tell you it helped me a lot because that way I learned to read between the lines other people too. So when someone is bad to me, I don't feel miserable, I just feel sorry for the person. Perhaps it has come so much into me that I read the characters in the books the same way, and so I just can't see Snape as a bad or mean person. I just can't. Because only mean thing about him are his words, not the acts.

And, Gina, about his teaching abilities, I find it obvious that he did a really good work with Fred and George.

TomProffitt - Oct 22, 2004 5:19 pm (#20 of 2980)
"Good point... If Snape started being nice to Harry, Draco might get suspicious of Snape (and possibly blow his cover as an OP spy...)" --- Paulus Maximus

I think the converse is true. I would think think the Death Eaters would be expecting their spy at Hogwarts to be doing a bit of subterfuge of his own to deflect suspicion from himself being true to Voldemort.

This argument is not as effective when viewed in light of the first four books when Lord Voldemort had not yet rebodified. (rebodify - v. tr. - to join with a body after having been a disembodied soul or spirit. rebodified, rebodification, see also The Dark Arts)

I don't think Dumbledore keeps him around because he's such a good mentor for all the little Slytherin children.

Gina R Snape - Oct 22, 2004 6:04 pm (#21 of 2980)
Edited Oct 22, 2004 7:05 pm
No, I think Snape is in too difficult a position to openly be a mentor for Slytherin children to join against the Dark Lord. This much is most unfortunate. Then when you add Lucius Malfoy and his child into the mix, that really turns up the heat.

However, I think the Death Eaters probably knew Snape was a less-than-chipper bloke in his youth and would fully expect him to keep up his sarcastic demeanour while at Hogwarts.

Solitaire - Oct 22, 2004 9:52 pm (#22 of 2980)
TomProffitt: Perhaps there is a debt from Dumbledore to Snape as much as there is from Snape to Dumbledore. And perhaps Dumbledore has not yet given up in the complete healing of Severus Snape.

Another possibility may be that Dumbledore is keeping Snape at Hogwarts to protect him, which is the same reason I believe he is keeping Sybill there. I do agree with the last sentence. I do not believe Dumbledore ever gives up hope ...


Her-melanie - Oct 23, 2004 4:27 am (#23 of 2980)
I don't agree that Snape's treatment of Harry keeps him from getting a swelled head. I don't see that as a possible characteristic for Harry to develop; he underestimates or explains away his own talents too much. McGonagall, Sprout, Hagrid, and Lupin are not mean to Harry, and he doesn't seem to have a swelled head because of that. I think the whole wizarding world knowing who he is would give him a swelled head before Snape being nice to him would. I also don't think that being a "tough love" kind of teacher includes being totally unfair to any specific student. I always thought the part where Snape says he's always tried to treat Harry like any other student was completely ridiculous on Snape's part; he goes out of his way to be more nasty to Harry than any other student he teaches. At least he doesn't destroy Neville's potions and then give him a zero. I would say the biggest reason for Snape to hate Harry is that Harry's presence reduces Snape back to the stage of his childhood. He finds himself unable to overcome his hateful and angry emotions, which puts him right back to the part of his life he tried to get away from by becoming a Death Eater. He just makes it worse, though, by childishly singling out Harry, and letting his emotions get the better of him. It is just sad that as a grown man he can't be the bigger person and at least treat Harry fairly in class.

Gina R Snape - Oct 23, 2004 7:13 am (#24 of 2980)
Well, I didn't say that was the treatment Harry needs. I agree, Harry isnt particularly walking around with a swelled head. But Snape doesn't seem to see that. And his 'take' on things is always a bit different from everyone else's.

I guess that's part of what I like about him so much.

Abracapocus - Oct 23, 2004 7:31 am (#25 of 2980)
Edited Oct 23, 2004 8:54 am
Snape appears to have been prejudging Harry from the very beginning before he could have known anything about Harry’s character, behavior, etc. It was demonstrated in Harry’s first class in Potions when he began by saying sarcastically, “Harry Potter. Our new – celebrity”. He went on to ask questions of Harry that no one in the class was expected to know on the first day and used this to embarrass and discredit Harry -- “Tut, tut – fame clearly isn’t’ everything.”

In Chamber of Secrets, he wanted Harry expelled for using the flying Anglia. He knew Harry had been in Hogsmeade in Prisoner of Azkaban; he especially wanted him held accountable for aiding in Sirius’ escape. I loved the line to Fudge – “Oh, he’s not unbalanced,” said Dumbledore quietly. “He’s just suffered a severe disappointment.” Snape really wanted Sirius caught and punished. Snape also wanted to catch Harry breaking the rules, but I don’t think Snape ever intended physical harm to come to Harry.

Snape was cruel and bullying to the students in the first four books, but he seemed at his worst during GoF. Snape recognized the Marauder’s Map as Harry’s the night his office had been broken into, then he threatened Harry with Veritaserum to prove who had stolen the boomslang skin and gillyweed, again wanting to catch him breaking the rules. But I seethed with anger toward him regarding Hermione’s teeth when he said, “I see no difference” and when He seemed to enjoy stopping Harry from telling Dumbledore about Mr. Crouch at the edge of the forest – the last two seemed to have no other purpose but to cause pain.

But after Harry’s return from the graveyard, Snape appeared to me to have changed. Whether for Harry’s benefit or not, Snape did not try to discredit Harry or his story about Voldemort’s return at all. He even showed Fudge the dark mark burned in his arm. He bristled when Sirius showed himself, but overall he maintained himself quite admirably. I believe Snape set aside his prejudice and his trying to catch Harry in rule breaking at that point for the greater cause.

The only times in OotP when Snape seemed really angry directly toward Harry was when Harry did not pay attention in class (Draught of Peace [USOotP 234] or Strengthening Solution [USOotP 364]) or during Occlumency lessons. He did embarrass Harry to the class but it was in direct proportion to Harry’s negligence. Snape was less of a bully. When arguing with Sirius, his remarks seemed in defense of Harry - “he’s so arrogant that criticism simply bounces off him,” (remove the venom: he’s a tough kid, Sirius, he can handle it).

Snape could have used many of the children's acts of defiance against Umbridge for his own agenda, but he did not. Umbridge seemed to trust him, yet he supplied her with phony Veritaserum even though he had once threatened to use it on Harry himself.

He was never a “warm fuzzy” sort of guy, while remaining strict and demanding of respect, Snape still tried very diligently to teach Harry Occlumency and actually came close to a complement a time or two. If Harry had not been so angry and resentful toward him, I believe that Snape could have been successful – he wasn’t about to molly-coddle Harry. Whether as a natural result of just being Snape or by design he was going to give him everything he believed Voldemort would.

Then Harry broke into the pensieve. Harry disrespected Snape in a very serious, willful and destructive way and didn’t even try to apologize for it. He was only sorry that he got caught. It wasn’t until Harry deliberately violated Snape’s privacy that Snape retaliated by vengefully breaking Harry’s vial, “Whoops,” he said softly, “Another zero, then Potter” (USOotP 661) The old Snape made a reappearance and I feared the worst.

A man who meant malice as deeply as Snape has professed could have just as easily “misunderstood” Harry’s meaning and done nothing to find and warn Sirius or look for the children and no one would have been the wiser – even Dumbledore.

Through all his prejudice, attempts to catch Harry breaking rules, hatred for Sirius and justified anger for Harry having broken into the pensieve, I have to say one thing, he came through in the end. Well done, Professor Snape. Well done, sir.

Her-melanie - Oct 23, 2004 7:55 am (#26 of 2980)
I agree with you mostly, Abracapocus, but not with one point. I do believe Harry was sorry for more than being caught in Snape's memories. Harry honestly felt terrible and was trying to tell Snape he understood when Snape lost his mind completely (understandably). I think Snape's reaction to that disrespect on Harry's part was inevitable. And then Harry's reaction to Snape after Sirius died was also inevitable. Everything before that leading up to it I blame Snape for entirely. If he hadn't been so quick to be unfair to Harry for whatever reason, maybe they both could've gotten over each other. BUT as much as I dislike Snape's overall treatment of Harry, LITERARILY I think he is a necessary character. These books would not be half as good as they are if it weren't for this kind of character development. So, I guess you could say it's a love/hate relationship for me.

Elanor - Oct 23, 2004 8:12 am (#27 of 2980)
Edited Oct 23, 2004 9:14 am
Wow! Great post Abracapocus! Like you, I think that one of the key moments of the story concerning Snape is the Parting of the Ways chapter. First, he let Harry, DD and McGonagall try to convince Fudge that Voldemort is back and then, seeing they couldn't do it, he showed Fudge his Dark Mark. Knowing his pride, we can easily imagine what a painful step he must have taken for him to show it in front of all these witnesses, especially Harry and the Weasleys. After that, I quote :

" 'Severus', said Dumbledore, turning to Snape, 'you know what I must ask you to do. If you are ready... if you are prepared...' 'I am,' said Snape. He looked slightly paler than usual, and his cold, black eyes glittered strangely. 'Then, good luck,' said Dumbledore, and he watched, with a trace of apprehension on his face, as Snape swept wordlessly after Sirius'."

This passage always made me think that DD and Snape knew that Voldemort will come back and had a plan built for a long time for that moment. It also means that Snape has already accepted the possible consequences of his acts at DD's side, with courage and resolution. More, even after all this events so emotionally strong for him, Snape is still able to control himself and set his pride aside in real need.

I see him as a bitter man, who has been afraid to show his weaknesses since he was a child, what led him first to the dark arts : better be feared than pitied. And it took him a great part of his life to understand that dark arts won't give him what he was deprived of when he was a child, which, as far as we know, he learnt the hard way. He may not be THE teacher, that is certain, but someone resolute, skilled and really helpful for the Order yes.

So, may I say "Well done, Sir" with you?

Abracapocus - Oct 23, 2004 8:49 am (#28 of 2980)
Her-melanie, the fact remained that Harry knew how Snape would react if he were caught, Harry still did it. If he had not gone into the pensieve, I believe Snape would have continued Occlumency lessons. Harry has no one to blame for the discontinuing of this Occlumency lessons but himself.

Elanor, thank you. I also agree also with your further insight into what motivated Snape's behavior... his bitterness, fear of showing weakness, etc.

Her-melanie - Oct 23, 2004 9:18 am (#29 of 2980)
I disagree, Abracapocus; if other adults' reactions are any measure of what Snape COULD have done, we should look at what Lupin said. When Harry said Snape would no longer teach him, Lupin said nothing was more important than Occlumency lessons. Lupin seemed concerned but had a rational grasp on the situation. Snape knew full well how important the lessons were, not just to Harry, but also the Order. Granted, Lupin wouldn't be as angry as Snape was, but Snape is still an adult who should be more capable of putting his personal feelings aside for a greater cause. So I think Snape was partially responsible; Harry more so, but Snape also nonetheless.

Solitaire - Oct 23, 2004 9:36 am (#30 of 2980)
Snape may be an adult in age, but emotionally he is still an adolescent, trying to get revenge against Sirius and James. The death of Sirius has removed any possibility of Snape's ever coming to terms with what happened in the past--we have already seen that Lupin was unable to help Snape get past this--so I feel Snape will be "stuck" forever as far as his memories of James and Sirius go. Sadly, Harry is the one on whom he will continue to vent his anger for their ill treatment of him.

His behavior is as immature as Harry's in most of their encounters--which is why Harry continues to behave as he does with Snape. When Harry is with adults who BEHAVE like adults and treat him appropriately, he behaves better. When he is with Umbridge and Snape, who allow their emotions and personal hatred to direct their behavior and comments toward him, Harry is at his worst.

I believe that, at some point, it may be possible for the two of them to come to some grudging acceptance of each other--hopefully before one or both are dead. But I am not making book on it. I think the hatred--which was created by Snape for, presumably, his own reasons--may run too deeply in both to ever be completely erased.


TomProffitt - Oct 23, 2004 11:35 am (#31 of 2980)
I think by his nature Severus Snape is an evil and nasty man. He has also demonstrated a desire to try and do the right thing.

His problem is his inability to overcome his nature. Just when Severus is about to overcome a major hurdle Harry steps over the line and Snape falls back into the pit of his base nature.

I'm of the opinion that we are responsible not just for what we try to accomplish, but also for what actually ends up happening. I understand how Snape came to be what he is, but I will not give him a free pass just because he's trying.

I am of course similarly disappointed in the actions of Harry and the Marauders.

I will have to see more overt improvements in Severus Snape's behavior before I can consider him reformed.

"Tough love," needs to have the love behind it. All I see from Snape is the "tough."

MickeyCee3948 - Oct 23, 2004 1:28 pm (#32 of 2980)
I blame both Dumbeldore and Snape for Harry's failure at occlumency. It is one thing to tell a six year old that you have to learn this because I said so. It is another thing to tell a fifteen year old the same thing. Dumbledore should have had the talk from the end of OotP immediately after Harry saw the attack on Mr. Weasley. Should have told him what was happening in his head.

I think that if there is ever going to be a breakthrough between Harry and Snape, it will be Harry who shows the maturity and opens the link. I can never see Snape doing it.


Abracapocus - Oct 23, 2004 2:45 pm (#33 of 2980)
I certainly agree that the Occlumency lessons were important and that Snape "should" have handled the situation better. But to expect Snape to behave with as much maturity as one of the other adults, is expecting too much given what we know about Snape.

The bottom line for me is that as a 15-year-old Harry knew Snape and he knew what he was doing was wrong. You don't poke a stick at a snake and not expect to be bitten. I agree that Snape knew that stopping the lessons was also wrong and he "should" also be held accountable for his actions, that may be up to Dumbledore. But I still believe that Snape is behaving better than he has in the past and for now it is the best that Snape knows how. Life isn't always fair, it isn't as simple as black or white... and we are not all going to agree, but I am definitely enjoying this discussion. Thanks!

Gina R Snape - Oct 23, 2004 2:55 pm (#34 of 2980)
I think that with regards to the occlumency lessons, things went beyond a point that Snape could handle. I don't think he was trying specifically to hurt Harry or the Order by cancelling those lessons. I think he was protecting his own emotions and possibly even Harry's physical well-being because he knows his limits and Harry went beyond them. Harry put Snape in a position (unknowlingly) where his deepest vulnerabilities were exposed and Snape was simply too fragile to brush it off or even think of addressing it constructively. So better to end the lessons altogether and risk the repercussions (when the lessons didn't seem to be doing any good anyway), than to actively perpetuate harm toward Harry as an emotional response.

Does this make sense? I need to eat dinner!

Lina - Oct 23, 2004 3:14 pm (#35 of 2980)
Edited Oct 23, 2004 4:15 pm
Abracapocus, you did a really great emotionless analysis of Snape throughout the books! Bravo and thanx.
You missed just a little point at the CoS that I find interesting. When Ms. Norris was petrified, he suggests that Harry would be punished by not playing quiddich even though he himself said that it is probably that Harry didn't do it. I think that it shows his really childish nature because, if Harry didn't do it, why punish him? If he did it, than he needs a much greater punishment then this.

I must admit that I don't remember my feelings about him until the moment that he showed his dark mark to Fudge. I might have hated him as well as many other do. But after that moment I just can't do anything else but justify him. I enjoy rereading the first three books having that in mind.

TomProffitt - Oct 23, 2004 3:28 pm (#36 of 2980)
I know that I am over simplifying a bit, but Abra & Gina is the difference between us that I say "Trying isn't good enough?" and y'all are saying, "That given the circumstances, yes, it is good enough?"

This is a difference I can accept and politely remain in disagreement.

Gina R Snape - Oct 23, 2004 4:11 pm (#37 of 2980)
How diplomatic of you, Tom. I noticed you are a hufflepuff.

It's fun to argue. But we can still be polite about it.

TomProffitt - Oct 23, 2004 4:19 pm (#38 of 2980)
Yes, I am a Hufflepuff.

Hufflepuffs are about what they are doing right now. Slytherins are about what they intend to be doing in the future. Which is why Hufflepuffs don't get much recognition, they're too focused on the now to promote the past or to scheme for the future. It's kind of a "If I do the right things now, the future will take care of itself" kind of thing.

I take your post to mean, "Yes, your summation was essentially correct."

Gina R Snape - Oct 23, 2004 4:52 pm (#39 of 2980)
Well, I haven't the energy to bend you to my will tonight, so...

Abracapocus - Oct 23, 2004 5:24 pm (#40 of 2980)
I am still responding to #35 and #36. What house does a slow-poster belong to? ;-)

Lina, I missed that one. It is probably another case of Snape using whatever the situation is against Harry. Thanks for pointing it out. I will re-read.

Tom, I too remain politely, somewhat in disagreement.

It isn't about finger-pointing or excuses. It really about choices. Dumbledore chose not to tell Harry why Occlumency was necessary. Harry chose to go into the pensieve. Snape chose to stop the lessons. Harry chose to go on the rescue mission. Sirius chose to go after Harry.

But now that I think about it, although fun, it really doesn't matter what we think about Snape's behavior - well, except for Gina - she has to live with the man. Nor does it matter what we think about his stopping the Occlumency - What matters is what Dumbledore, Harry, Lupin and Snape think about it as they are the only ones we know who know about it.

Solitaire - Oct 23, 2004 6:06 pm (#41 of 2980)
Abra, I am thinking a slow poster would be a Slytherin from a very rich old wizarding family. He would be accustomed to having a House-elf around to do everything for him and would not be used to typing his own messages. **Sorry, I couldn't resist! I don't think you are a Slytherin.**

Then again, perhaps someone who disagrees with you (or wants you off the computer) has cast an Impedimenta Jinx on your fingers.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 23, 2004 9:22 pm (#42 of 2980)
Edited Oct 23, 2004 10:23 pm
I myself go where angels fear to tread. Now if I could just get my fingers ( the typing ones) to go there...

I think Abra's right, it is all about choices, good, bad, indifferent, wrong, they are still the choices of the individuals. That is the one thing to me that makes Snape, er, Professor Snape such an enigmia. The choices he seems to make for the "greater good" are right. The choices he makes in his personal life are not. And then again, sometimes they blend.

...toddles off for another butterbeer...

rambkowalczyk - Oct 24, 2004 10:23 am (#43 of 2980)
Lina, in COS when Snape wanted to prevent Harry from playing Quidditch because of Mrs Norris, it wasn't necessarily because he thought Harry was responsible, but that Harry knew more than he was telling. When Harry told Snape he and his friends were going back to the tower because they weren't hungry, Snape knew he was lying. (I also think Harry's stomach growled at the same time).

In this case Snape was right. IF Harry mentioned he heard voices coming from the walls perhaps Dumbledore or Snape would have eventually realized that a basilisk was creeping around the castle.

I liked your earlier post that emphasized what Snape does as opposed to what he says.

Gina R Snape - Oct 24, 2004 1:56 pm (#44 of 2980)
Completely breaking away from the current conversation...

I just wanted to point out that we are now under the Sun Sign of Scorpio. Many people think Snape is a Scorpio, and if he is, I'm willing to wager JKR would give him a birthday of Oct 31 (Halloween) or Nov 1 (All Saint's Day) for the pure torture and/or irony of it. So guess who will be checking onto the JKR website daily for the next four weeks.

Potions Mistress - Oct 24, 2004 10:14 pm (#45 of 2980)
If anybody knows a thing or two about astronomy, I would love to know if Scorpios and Slytherins share some significant traits. I'm a Scorpio and am curious (though I've been sorted into Ravenclaw). It might be one of those little things that could explain Snape (even if it's not actually written in the books). More thought-provoking posts tomorrow, I'm too tired right now.


Elanor - Oct 24, 2004 11:34 pm (#46 of 2980)
Edited Oct 25, 2004 12:36 am
Oh! Very interesting possibility! From a symbolical point of view, the scorpio represents lethal danger but it also the one who brings truth. To counterbalance its poison, it also has healing powers and symbolizes spiritual revival. Astrology also connects it to destruction, occultism and intuition. It fits rather well with Snape!

Alchemical symbols are great metaphors, symbols, for the characters too. On the alchemy thread, we also connected Snape with the alchemical symbol of "the Crow". He is described like this in the books: "greasy black hair, a hooked nose and sallow skin", wearing a "long black coat". It can be connected to the description of the Crow in the alchemical process which is often shown with a white head. The Crow is here the symbol of the blackened "materia prima" (raw material) which leads to the Philosopher's stone. Its white head symbolizes the purification through the alchemical transformation. The black materia prima, at the beginning of the work, is a fertile one from which the alchemist has to extract the hidden fecundity and spirit dwelt inside.

Here again, that fits pretty with what we know about Snape. At the beginning of the story-process, he seems to be only "black", but the further we advance in the story, we understand that there is more about him than meet the eye. As he becomes more complex we can see some kind of "purification work" inside him, from a metaphorical point of view. In "the parting of the ways" chapter, when he answered "I am" to DD asking him if he was ready, he agreed to leave some of his safety of course, but also his pride and hate out. That makes him on the way of the "purification" of the memories the time he was a DE left in him. That certainly makes him stronger too and "extracts" the spirit hidden in him.

In Snape's case, the alchemical symbol is the one of an inner journey to a lighter self. The main aim of alchemy was the ennoblement of the soul, symbolized by the philosopher's stone. Snape's way leads certainly to an "ennoblement of his soul", like some kind of redemption.

I love symbolism, and Jo uses it a lot, but please forgive me if you found this boring!

Weeny Owl - Oct 25, 2004 12:02 am (#47 of 2980)
I'm a Scorpio, and I've wondered if Snape wasn't one as well.

"Scorpios are the most intense, profound, powerful characters in the zodiac. Even when they appear self-controlled and calm there is a seething intensity of emotional energy under the placid exterior. They are like the volcano not far under the surface of a calm sea it may burst into eruption at any moment. But those of us who are particularly perceptive will be aware of the harnessed aggression, the immense forcefulness, magnetic intensity and often strangely hypnotic personality under the tranquil but watchful composure of the Scorpio."

That certainly describes Snape even if the placid exterior doesn't completely fit him.

"They sometimes possess penetrating eyes which make their shyer companions feel naked and defenceless before them. In their everyday behavior they give the appearance of being withdrawn from the center of activity, yet those who know them will recognize the watchfulness that is part of their character. They need great self-discipline, because they are able to recognize the qualities in themselves that make them different from other humans, and to know that their utterly conventional natures can be used for great good or great evil."

Sounds more and more like our Potions Master.

If he isn't a Scorpio he should be.

Jessalynn Quirky - Oct 25, 2004 2:44 am (#48 of 2980)
Very interesting about the Scorpio thing.......

Choices - Oct 25, 2004 7:48 am (#49 of 2980)
MickeyCee - "I blame both Dumbeldore and Snape for Harry's failure at occlumency".....

Yes, but I don't think we can let Harry off so easily. I think he was just as much to blame for his lack of learning.

MickeyCee3948 - Oct 25, 2004 8:43 am (#50 of 2980)
I agree Choices and I not trying to allieviate any blame from Harry but by not "filling him in" they allowed curiousity to take over. Harry wanted to know what was through that door and saw no harm in allowing the dreams to continue. Given the proper reason for training with a teacher he cannot stand, he may have applied himself differently.

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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 12:53 am

Potions Mistress - Oct 25, 2004 9:03 am (#51 of 2980)
First of all, if Snape is a Gemini (or any other sign), I'll be very surprised. That's a lot of good info. about Scorpios and how it relates to Snape. Thanks!

Second, there seems to be an unspoken question of whether it was fair of Snape to stop teaching Harry Occlumency. I believe that Snape did a disorder to Harry and to the Order by stopping the lessons, though he obviously had a very good reason to do so. What I've noticed in general about "fairness" is people complain about something being "unfair," when in fact it is fair (as in equitable, right--sorry don't have a dictionary)--it's just that people see something as being "fair" when it is unfair in their favor. So, the question still remains, was Snape fair or unfair in stopping the Occlumency lessons? I don't have an answer right now, because I can see both sides of the issues (defeating LV vs. a profound invasion of privacy). Something to ponder...


MickeyCee3948 - Oct 25, 2004 9:12 am (#52 of 2980)
I think what Harry did was wrong. Looking into someone elses inter most thoughts without permission is a grievious wrong. But Snape above everyone else knew the consequences of his actions and was not able to rise above what Harry had done. He should have continued the lessons but borrowed the toads quill.


Abracapocus - Oct 25, 2004 9:43 am (#53 of 2980)
I love Snape as a character, but I would not like Snape as a real person. Under the best of conditions, Snape has been too extreme, in my opinion, in being allowed to abuse the students no matter where his loyalties lie. Yes, there are nasty people in the world and the children need to understand that, but that doesn’t mean they have to be bullied and abused on a daily basis by someone entrusted with their care. There is no justification for Snape’s past behavior – not even childhood trauma – Harry has been through more trauma in his short life-time than Snape could have possibly endured yet Harry hasn’t been consistently nasty to everyone he encounters.

This is made worse by the fact that these are not the best of conditions. They are in a crisis and Harry’s energies should be focused on his role in this situation instead of being concerned with the behavior and the loyalties of a key Order member. It obviously isn’t enough that Dumbledore trusts Snape. The success of the Order ultimately depends on Harry. Harry should behave better, but he doesn’t. Snape should behave better, but he doesn’t. If this were real life, and Dumbledore feels Snape’s role is vital to the success of the Order then he should do everything in his power to bring Harry and Snape to an understanding. Dumbledore has allowed this to continue so far without consequences for Snape or a detailed explanation to Harry. I think both are in order.

Boy, it felt good to get that off my chest. Does it come as any surprise that I too am a Scorpio?

Solitaire - Oct 25, 2004 9:54 am (#54 of 2980)
I agree with MickeyCee about the Occlumency. As a teacher of adolescents, I have learned through experience that I get far better cooperation and "ownership" of a difficult project by the kids if I take the time to explain clearly to them why it is important for them to do it. Kids at that age are often rebellious and questioning. When they know you are being straight with them, however--because you have established that history--they are generally willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Over the period of a few months, Harry has gone through several terrifying experiences which no one has bothered to explain to him. While one may say that he has not gotten into trouble yet by following Dumbledore's advice, I can sympathize strongly with him.

This business of having his mind invaded was both scary and intriguing at the same time, and it should have been handled differently. If Dumbledore did not feel he could do it himself (for the reasons given), he could have asked Sirius and Lupin or even Mr. Weasley--someone Harry actually trusts--to explain all of this to Harry. Instead, Harry was left feeling bewildered, angry, and abandoned to the "tender mercies" of Snape, whom he has never liked or trusted. Whether or not Harry was abandoned isn't the issue; he felt abandoned, and he acted accordingly.


Gina R Snape - Oct 25, 2004 11:51 am (#55 of 2980)
I do think Snape was a poor choice when trust could be a vital component in learning occlumency. However, the choice to explain to Harry why he must learn occlumency was not Snape's to make. It was DD's decision. You can see in between many many many lines of dialogue where Snape is holding back from providing the whole truth at DD's orders. His hands were tied or I'm sure he would have loved to explain to Harry a thing or two about the Dark Lord and why Harry had better heed his direction regarding the lessons.

TomProffitt - Oct 25, 2004 12:31 pm (#56 of 2980)
"His hands were tied or I'm sure he would have loved to explain to Harry a thing or two about the Dark Lord and why Harry had better heed his direction regarding the lessons." --- Gina R Snape

Yes, we see this over and over in OotP. And not just from Snape. Even Ron and Hermione have been restricted on what they can tell Harry.

Dumbledore is obviously greatly concerned over what knowledge can be taken from Harry by Lord Voldemort. There are no easy choices for Dumbledore, there are things that Harry needs to know that they can't afford to let Lord Voldemort know. Those are hard enough to justify, the ones that would be nice for Harry to know probably rate less consideration under the circumstances. Difficult choices for Albus.

"As a teacher of adolescents, I have learned through experience that I get far better cooperation and "ownership" of a difficult project by the kids if I take the time to explain clearly to them why it is important for them to do it." --- Solitaire

As a trainer of adults, I find I get much better results if I can adequately explain to them why they need to learn something and how it affects their job. This is a part of training (and teaching) that I find too many trainers (and teachers) have a tendency to skip.

Elanor - Oct 25, 2004 1:25 pm (#57 of 2980)
Edited Oct 25, 2004 2:27 pm
It works with smaller children too! I teach in an elementary school and I often try to explain the children why we will learn this or that. Except that one of them (I call her Hermione) always answer: "yes, but why?" LOL!

I agree that Snape couldn't tell Harry all that he wanted to say and Harry wanted to hear because DD didn't want it. But, in fact, in that chapter, Snape tells Harry a lot. He could have only told him: DD wants me to teach you occlumency, there is nothing more you need to know. Knowing Snape, he did make an effort then!

Solitaire Whether or not Harry was abandoned isn't the issue; he felt abandoned, and he acted accordingly. I do agree with you!

Potions Mistress - Oct 25, 2004 2:13 pm (#58 of 2980)
I do agree with Gina and that Snape's hands (as well as many others) were tied regarding what he could and couldn't tell Harry, esp. concerning the Occlumency lessons. While I see the friction and tension between Harry and Snape being an impediment to the lessons (before the Pensieve, after which it was all over), I do believe that DD could have let Harry know at least some reasons as to why he had to take the lessons. I have to go look this up, but I thought Harry was only told that LV could enter his mind, or something to that effect. Also, I could swear that after Sirius' death, DD admitted that Snape's grudge (against James, and thus Harry) was too much for Snape to get over and effectively teach Harry. (Of course, I could just be imagining things, as I am wont to do. Wink )


hellocello3200 - Oct 25, 2004 4:15 pm (#59 of 2980)
Gina, you are probably right that "his hands were tied" I never really considered DD role in the failure of the Occulmency lessons other than his indirect influence by choosing Snape in the first place. I think DD is at fault here to a greater extent because he made a poor instructor selection and didn't allow Snape to reveal important information and also because he is the one in charge. It's like the saying "The buck stops here." I think that readers shy away from putting blame on DD because he is arguably the most likable character and usually gets it right.

Gina R Snape - Oct 25, 2004 5:32 pm (#60 of 2980)
Edited Oct 25, 2004 6:48 pm
Hi Hellocello. Nice to 'meet' you.

I'm going to go on a bit of a rant here (feeling inspired tonight).

DD makes some colossal mistakes in OoP, which lend credence to criticisms of him in every single book. And while I know people have examined his actions and decisions on many threads on this forum, this is the Snape thread...and I think he did a profound disservice to both Harry and Snape here.

I believe he set them both up for failure and torment.

In fact, I think he gave very little (if any) respect toward Snape and his struggles and emotional well-being. We all know how resentful Harry is as a result of being left out in the dark regarding soooo many things in OoP. But by assigning Snape to the occlumency lessons, he left Snape in an extremely vulnerable situation too.

Snape, who out of multiple strains of reason must be guarded, was put in a very bad position. He was set to teach Harry--a child who brings him pain--mind skills of the most intimate nature. Put aside the pensieve memory, if you will. We know for a fact that Snape harbours a level of emotionality towards the Marauders that he has been unable to shake well into adulthood. Add to that, it was inevitable that Harry would gain access to Snape's mind through these lessons. Snape, who strives hard to control his anger and not show emotion, forced into a room with a child who will see his childhood horrors, torments, sorrows.

Harry was inarguably a petulant teenager in OoP. Yes, he may have been justified in some of that. But it is well neigh impossible for anyone to teach such a child how to skilfully control his emotions. Snape, having the worst relationship with Harry, is in the worst position to do so. He is not a counselor. He is not a meditation expert. And he is lacking in both patience and understanding where Harry is concerned.

Add to that--by his own words DD underestimated the amount of feelings Snape has going on unresolved. Setting him up with Harry then borders on an act of thoughtless cruelty for both of them.

Harry is apprehensive from the start. He does not do the lessons because he cannot see how they are important. He does, however, see Snape as a black widow spider waiting to torture him and bite off his head at the slightest provocation. How is one to learn control of one's emotions when fear overpowers. Now, had Snape used that power skilfully, he could have emulated the Dark Lord's power to induce fear to replicate situations Harry may find himself in. But Snape is too caught up in a) following orders; b) minding very carefully what he says; c) possibly protecting himself for future interactions with the Dark Lord; and d) striving to protect his own emotions and memories. Add an unwilling pupil to the mix and I fail to see how they made it past the first lesson without one of them hexing the other to the moon and back. I mean, really. Did anyone not see this as a recipe for disaster?!

The irony here is that Snape is highly skilled at occlumency because he can control his emotions. But he seemed to have to work extra hard to do that with Harry. Harry perhaps possesses a power over Snape even stronger than the Dark Lord, in his associations with the Marauders and the mysterious chain of events that lead Snape back to Hogwarts as an adult. (Mental health professionals might call that transference).

I think it's just too easy to point fingers at Snape "Oh, he shouldn't have stopped the lessons. He's the adult here." But the way I see it, it is much harder to defend someone so many people find unlikeable. Snape has real problems and major emotional baggage. To understand his POV and show him a little empathy takes a little work but I think when we do we might understand why Snape stopped the lessons for his own self-preservation. Not that he wanted to hurt Harry, but that he wanted to keep from hurting Harry, himself, and everything he's worked for since switching sides.

/end drama queen soapbox rant

Gina R Snape - Oct 25, 2004 5:39 pm (#61 of 2980)
Edited Oct 25, 2004 6:40 pm
On a lighter note...someone created an 'inbox' for Snape and what it would look like if he had email. Really really funny.

Jessalynn Quirky - Oct 25, 2004 5:42 pm (#62 of 2980)
Edited Oct 25, 2004 6:45 pm
Nice rant, Gina. Actually made sense.

I know I find it a bit easier to blame Snape than DD, simply because DD is more likeable. Thanks for defending him.

EDIT: Darn, you beat me to posting.

EDIT: (again, never can get it right the first time) Snape's funny!!! Peeves with the ability to email people is not good, think of how much spam that is!

Abracapocus - Oct 25, 2004 7:08 pm (#63 of 2980)
Edited Oct 25, 2004 8:13 pm
Gina, your post does make a lot of sense. I can certainly understand your point of view. I also hold Dumbledore accountable for having put both Snape and Harry in the situation without first at least attempting some sort of resolution between them. It reminds me of when he forced Sirius and Snape to shake hands – “ I will settle in the short term,” said Dumbledore with a bit of impatience in his voice, “for a lack of open hostility.” How did what happened fit into Dumbledore’s plan for the long term?

Dumbledore knows that he made a huge mistake in putting Snape and Harry together for the Occlumency lessons. He also should know that the damage created from this will most likely intensify their hostility toward each other - a continuing vicious cycle without intervention. But really, what other choice did he have? Umbridge would have never allowed anyone else in Hogwarts to teach Harry Occlumency. Dumbledore had reason to believe it would put Harry in more danger to teach him himself. The only thing I can see that he could have done differently was to have someone already at Hogwarts “assist” in the lessons, perhaps McGonagall.

Dumbledore can be more empathetic to each person’s situation, but considering the limitations of the interesting individuals that comprise the Order and the fact that the Order itself isn’t very large, he really doesn’t have the time to personally evaluate every single potential issue that may crop up on a person-by-person basis each time he has a task to assign. This is war and they must do their jobs. The problem is NOW the situation is very real for everyone involved. There really aren’t many options – especially taking into consideration that because of each person’s recent choices Sirius no longer has any options.

P.S. The site you posted for Snape's email is apparently so flooded with hits, that I cannot access it. I am looking forward to reading it though. It sounds like it will be really funny!

Weeny Owl - Oct 25, 2004 7:12 pm (#64 of 2980)
In fact, I think he gave very little (if any) respect toward Snape and his struggles and emotional well-being.

Dumbledore seemed to do that in PoA as well. Whether or not he intended it, he set up Snape to appear to Fudge to be mentally unbalanced, and then sort of shrugged off Snape's reactions in the hospital wing. Granted Sirius was innocent, but Dumbledore seemed to almost enjoy watching Snape rant and rave. I would also like to know if Sirius was ever punished for almost getting Snape killed. We know Snape wasn't allowed to tell anyone what happened, but after such an experience, surely even Dumbledore would have done something to indicate to Sirius how much harm he nearly did, if not to Snape, then certainly to Lupin.

Abracapocus - Oct 25, 2004 7:29 pm (#65 of 2980)
Weeny Owl, I have wondered about that myself why Dumbledore made Snape remain quiet about what happened while allowing Sirius to get off easy. That could have easily cost two young men their lives and ruined his own which is one of the reasons Sirius was not one of my favorite characters.

Dumbledore's penchant for forgiveness of one person certainly does seem to hurt others in more than one case.

Gina R Snape - Oct 25, 2004 7:43 pm (#66 of 2980)
I think many of us have wondered about that. Did the Marauders get penalised for any of their shenanigans at Hogwarts? Sirius certainly didn't seem to reflect any real discipline. I doubt Snape would be quite so hard-nosed about rule breakers if his archnemeses had been punished for their rulebreaking.

but in PoA, Snape tells DD that Sirius Black proved himself capable of murder at a young age. DD shrugs this off. The way I see it, DD saw Snape as being overly dramatic, whereas Snape is to that day (in PoA) still trying to convince DD that what Sirius did was more than just a childish prank.

Potions Mistress - Oct 25, 2004 8:27 pm (#67 of 2980)
After reading "Snape's Worst Memory," I was definitely struck by the casual cruelness of James and Sirius. Looking at how much they hated Snape (and with little reason from how things stand now in OoP), I don't think that Sirius considered what he did to Snape in PoA as a childish prank, but in fact knew, and didn't care about Snape's life. Looked at from this angle, I can't say as I blame Snape for hating Sirius, though his grudge is doing him no good.

Abracapocus, just a little clarifacation about post 63: Umbridge didn't know about the Occlumency. Seeing as how she never would've allowed it, the cover for Harry was Remedial Potions.


PS: Gina, loved the "inbox!" LOL!

Solitaire - Oct 25, 2004 9:50 pm (#68 of 2980)
I should, perhaps, have been clearer. I agree with all who have said that it was not Snape's place to make the explanations to Harry. Even if he had tried, Harry would have been less receptive, I believe, than if Dumbledore had taken the time to talk to him. This may well turn out to be one of those areas where Dumbledore dropped the ball.

Solitaire - Oct 25, 2004 10:14 pm (#69 of 2980)
Gina, I thought your "rant" made very good sense. As Snape is the adult, it will always fall to him to take the high road when the child cannot. While I rarely dislike any student violently, I have been in a similar situation with a child I absolutely cannot stand, and it is not an easy thing to do.

In normal circumstances, I would probably be swift to criticize Harry, because I feel kids as old as he is do bear a certain amount of responsibility for their own education. However, the terrifying events that have plagued Harry this year have made him more tense and nervous--and more suspicious of Snape--than ever before.

I hate to criticize Dumbledore, because I love his character. But I feel he is largely to blame--and it would seem he is still withholding information. But I suppose it is easy to be a Monday Morning quarterback and second-guess everyone and every action.

The bottom line is that Harry and Snape are a volatile combination right now, and no amount of need on either side can overcome the blistering animosity (hatred?) each feels for the other--at least not for a while. They need some cooling down time, and Dumbledore needs to be more sensitive in how he handles the two of them in future situations that require them to work so closely in tandem.


CrazyMom - Oct 26, 2004 2:12 am (#70 of 2980)
Professor Snape is a definately complex person. He may be cruel to Harry, Ron, Neville, & Hermione because he wants to throw suspicion away from himself with regards to helping Dumbledore. His cruelty to Neville, however, does bother me alot. With the glimpse into his mind in "Snape's Worst Memory", of him zapping flies with his wand it suggests that he is frustrated with weakness. On the other hand, Snape has had some humiliating experiences and I felt that he may have connected with Harry during occulemency with regards to Harry's dog/tree memory. It is easier for Snape to dislike Harry if he thinks that Harry is like his father, but if Harry has had similiar embarrassing experiences, Snape may unwantedly feel some commanality. Professor Snape is very good at hiding his emotions, and doesn't like it whenever someone, like Harry, intrudes on them. It makes them more like equals instead of Master and student. Interesting when you think that DD keeps reminding Harry that it is "Professor" Snape, instead of just Snape. I think that DD knows that Professor Snape needs and deserves to feel respected for his talents and position.

Abracapocus - Oct 26, 2004 3:25 am (#71 of 2980)
Edited Oct 26, 2004 4:26 am
Abracapocus, just a little clarifacation about post 63: Umbridge didn't know about the Occlumency. Seeing as how she never would've allowed it, the cover for Harry was Remedial Potions. Potions Mistress

Thanks, that was a bit unclear. I don't think Umbridge would have accepted any reason for any outsider to come into the school unless it specifically fit her plans.

T Brightwater - Oct 26, 2004 5:43 am (#72 of 2980)
"Dumbledore is obviously greatly concerned over what knowledge can be taken from Harry by Lord Voldemort." -Tom Profitt

That's a good point, Tom. Dumbledore and Snape both could have made more of that.

Harry rightly points out that his access to Voldemort's mind saved Mr. Weasley; Snape should have explained that the reverse could also be true - that unless Harry learns to close his mind, Voldemort could start accessing Harry's thoughts and feelings, and use them against him and the Order. Harry was panicking when he thought LV was possessing him; if someone had explained that LV could use him without actually possessing him, I think Harry would have been more amenable to learning Occlumency, and also not as resentful about not being told everything.

What if DD or SS had said, up front, "Once you are good at Occlumency we can let you have more information"? I think Harry would have made Hermione look like a slacker.

haymoni - Oct 26, 2004 6:08 am (#73 of 2980)
I think he would have pulled a Veruka Salt - "I want it now!" - and he would have been even more resentful.

Dumbledore goofed - he should have told Harry everything after the Tournament. (Us too!)

Elanor - Oct 26, 2004 6:38 am (#74 of 2980)
I agree that DD and Snape could have explained more to Harry, but actually, Snape told him what Voldemort will do. I quote:

Snape says that Voldemort "as also deduced that the process is likely to work in reverse; that is to say, he has realised that he might be able to access your thoughts and feeling in return-'

'And he might try and make me do things?' asked Harry. 'Sir?' he added hurriedly.

'He might,' said Snape, sounding cold and unconcerned. 'Which brings us back to Occlumency." (Ootp, paperback edition, p.471)

As I read it, Snape did explain that Voldemort would be able to read his thoughts and feelings and that Occlumency would stop that. I guess he just thought Harry could understand by himself that what he knew could put the Order in danger. But Harry didn't really heard what Snape told him then.

Gina R Snape - Oct 26, 2004 7:29 am (#75 of 2980)
Oh, good point Elanor. Here Snape did explain what he could and Harry still disregarded it. Pity.

legolas - Oct 26, 2004 8:16 am (#76 of 2980)
Edited Oct 26, 2004 9:17 am
The first occulemency lesson was to fraught with antagonism that Harry only heard but did not listen. If it had been less antagonistic I am sure that Harry would have listened to the important information he was told. Although Snape told him what he wanted to know it was the manner in which he told him.

T Brightwater - Oct 26, 2004 11:29 am (#77 of 2980)
"I guess he just thought Harry could understand by himself that what he knew could put the Order in danger. But Harry didn't really heard what Snape told him then." - Elanor

Those who are particularly quick at making connections often overestimate other people's capabilities in that regard. Snape probably thought that Harry would be able to figure out the rest on his own, and actually at that point he needed it spelled out, calmly and without spite.

legolas - Oct 26, 2004 11:38 am (#78 of 2980)
Well snape said practically the same thing as lupin in POA but lupins message hit home because of the way it was said. Also he happend to like/listen to him. I agree with what T brighwater is saying about lessening the spite.

Weeny Owl - Oct 26, 2004 1:09 pm (#79 of 2980)
There is a great deal of negativity in the way some people say things, and depending on the situation, much harm can come from it.

Snape may be saying the things Harry needs to hear, but he isn't getting his message across because of his methods.

I do like him, but he should never have been placed in a situation where he and Harry had to work so closely together. After four years of knowing the situation, Dumbledore totally blew it.

Gina R Snape - Oct 26, 2004 1:20 pm (#80 of 2980)
A fandom friend of mine suggested that DD operates from an outlook of optimism. That he doesn't see the truth of Snape or other's capabilities, but what he'd like to believe they are capable of.

Another example of DD's faulty judgment/optimism was in trying to forge a working alliance between Snape and Sirius Black. Left alone in a room, those two couldn't go two minutes without having their wands at each other's throats.

Does anyone recall if Snape went to Sirius on his own, or at DD's command at the end of OoP to advise him to stay put?

Potions Mistress - Oct 26, 2004 1:25 pm (#81 of 2980)
I do like him [Snape], but he should never have been placed in a situation where he and Harry had to work so closely together. After four years of knowing the situation, Dumbledore totally blew it.--Weeny Owl

DD told Harry he avoided him to keep out of contact with LV. While I don't believe the book specifically states that DD is an Occlumens, that is the impression I got. So, knowing DD's reasons for avoiding Harry, what I wonder is if Snape was the only one who had the skills needed to teach Occlumency. While I do agree that the antagonism between Harry and Snape effectively made learning and understanding impossible in the end, perhaps DD thought that was the only way it could be done. (I'm also going to post this on the DD thread.)


legolas - Oct 26, 2004 1:39 pm (#82 of 2980)
I can see why your fandom friend thinks that Gina. I would probably saythat Dumbledore knows exactly what each person is capable of. His failing is the assumption that the sum of the parts is greater than the parts alone.

e.g Snape is a great occulumens and a good teacher (We could debate his methods endlessly) as his class are judged to be advanced for there level. Harry is good at mastering defence against the dark arts things quickly. Add a fair sprinkling of contempt, dislike and distrust to your potion and you get the worst outcome. The talents of each of the individuals is not used to the maximum.

I think that a book where everybody was nice to Harry would be very boring. I think that Snapes character is a lovely shade of Grey. There is obviously some very horrible things about him and his past (black) but at the same time Dumbledore trusts him and he works for the order (white). I think he is one of the most intriging characters in the book although I could not say that I like him as a person.

Grimber - Oct 26, 2004 2:14 pm (#83 of 2980)
DD, besides his supposed wanting to avoid Vold trying to possess Harry, I think had other motives for having Snape do the teaching to Harry instead of himself. Perhapes hopeing that by making them work togeather mabey get beyond some of thier conflicting personalities. Which of course failed.

Blame can be layed even on all three Snape, DD and Harry for Harrys failure at occulm. They all did things wrong in this area, but I still lay most the blame on harry for not only NOT trying, but actual WANTING to contiune that dream to see past that door.

Is allot more between Snape and DD as for why things seem to sometimes be so questionable as to their actions but we don't realy know the Snape/DD relationship to its fullist yet. I.E. why does DD trust Snape and HOW much is that trust? how loyal is Snape to DD? Exactly how is Snape spying for the order ( we only realy have assumptions as to Snapes sources/contacts).

Untill we can answer some of those questions correctly we can't realy know the whys of Snapes and DDs actions.

Not realy related to this thread, but I feel DDs biggest mistake was telling Harry the prophecy. All that struggle Voldmort did to try and get it from DoM, globe gets destroyed, then DD just spills it out to the one person that if Harry happens to be thinking about the prophecy when Vold is listening in to Harrys mind, Vold has a good chance to learn it as well. Of course the prophecy never tells Vold the information he wanted to get from it, so it may not matter. DD may have used that as an excuse to get Vold to reveil himself.

Wonder if Snape knows the prophecy and what he thinks of it ( may be another reason why SNape dislikes Harry, all these power wizards and they have to rely on this troublesome son of his biggest rival to beat the dark lord).

T Brightwater - Oct 26, 2004 5:29 pm (#84 of 2980)
"They all did things wrong in this area, but I still lay most the blame on harry for not only NOT trying, but actual WANTING to contiune that dream to see past that door." -Grimber

I can understand Harry's curiosity; if I'd been dreaming about a door for months and I was getting steadily closer to seeing what was behind it, I'd want to know, too. Unfortunately, nobody told him that he was seeing that door in his dreams because there was information behind it that Voldemort wanted badly. Even if DD didn't tell Harry about the prophecy, he could have at least told him that much, or had someone else do it. All through Harry's fifth year he was under the impression that people weren't telling him things because they thought he couldn't handle them, and he was understandably a little annoyed about that.

The bad relationship between Harry and Snape was started by Snape; when Harry got to Hogwarts he knew nothing about Snape and had no reason to dislike him until Snape started treating him so badly. Over the years Harry has made his own contributions to the situation, but he didn't come in with any bad feelings; he was too happy to be out of Privet Drive.

TomProffitt - Oct 26, 2004 6:00 pm (#85 of 2980)
"They all did things wrong in this area, but I still lay most the blame on harry for not only NOT trying, but actual WANTING to continue that dream to see past that door." --- Grimber

Dumbledore is the leader, the one with both authority and responsibility, ultimately the failure resides with him. This does not lessen the fact that both Severus and Harry must also accept a share of the failure, whose penalty was Sirius's life.

I wonder at the reaction of Severus Snape to the realization that his share of the failure in teaching Occlumency to Harry led to death of the one who had tried to kill him? Will Severus gloat of his "victory" in front of Harry? Or will he learn and be changed by it?

Ann - Oct 26, 2004 6:55 pm (#86 of 2980)
Edited Oct 26, 2004 7:59 pm
Wow, lots of interesting posts!

"...he might be able to access your thoughts and feeling in return-'

'And he might try and make me do things?' asked Harry. 'Sir?' he added hurriedly.

'He might,' said Snape, sounding cold and unconcerned.

I think Harry knows he is getting important information here--that's why he hurriedly adds the "sir" so Snape won't be distracted and stop giving it to him. He just is more curious about the door than he is worried about Voldemort controlling him. And that is his failure. He knows he shouldn't want it so much, just as he knew in PoA that his desire to hear his mother's voice was hindering his Patronus lessons. But this time, he can't controle it--could he actually be feeling Voldemort's curiosity? (That's it! The whole failure of the Occlumency project is Voldemort's fault!)

I do think Snape knows about the prophecy: I think it's why he's so mean to Neville: if only he'd got the lightning bolt scar, Harry wouldn't be "special"!

Finally, although I agree with you all that Dumbledore bears a good deal of responsibility for the failure of the Occlumency project, I think we need to cut him a bit of slack. He has seen Snape be childish about Harry in stressful situations (the end of PoA comes to mind), but he probably doesn't realize how childish he always is with him. After all, Dumbledore interacts with him as a responsible, usually reasonable, and very intelligent adult, so it must be hard (particularly in Dumbledore's case, since he seems to have so few inner demons himself) to imagine how Snape will react in these lessons. Dumbledore isn't good at sympathizing with extreme emotions: Snape's or Harry's.

I sometimes get the feeling in the books that, although we get Harry's viewpoint, which always assumes that Dumbledore is serene and omniscient, there are lots of little clues that he really isn't--he states his plans and conclusions calmly and dispassionately to Harry, but in fact he's juggling far too many balls, hanging on by his fingernails, whatever metaphor you like. He has no idea how this all will come out, and he's calculating, taking risky decisions, and using his resources as best he can.

Gina R Snape - Oct 26, 2004 7:23 pm (#87 of 2980)
I wonder at the reaction of Severus Snape to the realization that his share of the failure in teaching Occlumency to Harry led to death of the one who had tried to kill him? Will Severus gloat of his "victory" in front of Harry? Or will he learn and be changed by it?

On the contrary, I don't think Snape will make a connexion between the lessons and Sirius' death. The reason I say this is because Snape tried to mediate and keep Sirius from going to the MoM. He may gloat over Sirius' death as a measure of personal pleasure, but if he does think about causes, I predict he will gloat over Sirius' self-destructive tendencies, inability to follow orders, and blind Gryffindor impulsivity.

Yes, the occlumency lessons would have kept Harry from going to the MoM. But I think Sirius would have jumped at the chance to save Harry no matter what the situation. I suspect that had the occlumency lessons taken hold, the Dark Lord would have likely found another way to lure Harry there. Occlumency was both an immediate hinderance to the DL and a protective measure for future encounters, IMO. But I don't think the DL would have said "Oh well, can't get into Harry's mind. Think I'll forget all about that prophesy after all..."

Solitaire - Oct 26, 2004 8:01 pm (#88 of 2980)
I think how Snape does react to Sirius's death will give us some important insight into his character. Will he avoid mentioning it, because he knows it will wound Harry to the core? Or will he seize the first opportunity he can find to goad Harry about it in front of as many people as possible, in order to cause Harry as much pain as possible? He does seem to enjoy inflicting pain and embarrassment on Harry, doesn't he?

I'll never forget the slimy way Snape humiliated Harry in his very first potions lesson. He treated Harry as if he should have been able to rattle off all of the things Snape asked him on the spot. Surely Snape knew that, until a few weeks before, Harry had never even known that Wizards existed, let alone that he himself was the most famous boy wizard in the world!

Snape is responsible for creating the circumstances of Harry's animosity toward him, and he has done nothing but feed it since Harry arrived. He may well care what happens to Harry, but he certainly conceals it better than the most skilled actor could do. I can't decide whether he is supposed to show animosity to Harry and simply loves his work, or whether he would show animosity to Harry whether he was supposed to or not.


Elanor - Oct 26, 2004 11:08 pm (#89 of 2980)
Edited Oct 27, 2004 12:14 am
Good questions Solitaire! It reminds me of what a teacher said when I was at the teacher training college: a teacher can't be a good one if he is not a good actor too. And he was right: when you teach, you're "on stage", you need the kids to think you're angry for example (even if you're not really) and you need to "present" what you teach. Snape may be a good actor. He certainly hates Harry, or more precisely what Harry reminds him, but he may exaggerate it too.

The point is that, whatever his motives are, he wants him alive and, in that way, cares for him. In the "Occlumency" chapter again, the dialogue when Harry sees the corridor in the MoM is revealing:

Harry " looked up at Snape. 'What's in the Department of Mysteries?'

'What did you say?' Snapes asked quietly and Harry saw, with deep satisfaction, that Snape was unnerved.

'And why,' said Snape slowly, 'would you ask such a thing?'

'Because', said Harry, watching Snape's face closely, 'that corridor I've just seen - I've been dreaming about it for months - I've just recognised it - it leads to the Departement of Mysteries... and I think Voldemort wants something from-'

'I have told you not to say the Dark Lord's name!'

They glared at each other. Harry's scar seared again, but he did not care. Snape looked agitated; but when he spoke again he sounded as though he was trying to appear cool and unconcerned. 'There are many things in the Department of Mysteries, Potter, few of which you would understand and none of which concern you. Do I make myself plain?' "

As I read it, if Snape try "to appear cool and unconcerned", it is exactly because he is not cool at all and does feel concerned at that time. His reaction is interesting: twice, he tries to play for time, as to take the time to think to what he will answer Harry and not show him that this corridor is important. And, in his last sentences here, in my opinion, he tries to protect him but he is "in his role" again and does it in the "Snape way", the way that doesn't work with Harry.

But I wonder too what will be his reaction after Sirius death. I don't think he will goad Harry about it: after all he didn't after he saw all Harry's embarrassing memories. I agree with Gina: Snape will put the blame on Sirius alone. BTW, Harry will need to take it out on somebody and Snape may be the right man for that... He may even like that.

Solitaire - Oct 26, 2004 11:37 pm (#90 of 2980)
I agree that Snape will blame Sirius, but that won't be the right thing, either, for Harry. We have already seen an example of his feelings about Snape in Dumbledore's office at the end of OotP, and they are not pleasant or pretty.

Elanor, I agree about teachers being actors ... and yes, we are always "on."

Daioma Dumbledore - Oct 26, 2004 11:42 pm (#91 of 2980)
I really truly hope that Snape doesn't goad Harry about Sirius' death, that really is hitting below the belt.

That said, I'm sure Harry will, at first, put all the blame for Sirius' death on Snape, but I think that in time he will come to realise that it wasn't his fault & that he did try to help.

TomProffitt - Oct 27, 2004 3:32 am (#92 of 2980)
Good posts, y'all. I like the different view points on Snape's reaction to Sirius's death. (Gina's was the one nearest my own view I think.)

I imagine that the next time Snape is very angry at Harry (relatively early in HBP) he will compare Harry and Sirius's sticky end. And Harry will hate him even more.

Her-melanie - Oct 27, 2004 4:41 am (#93 of 2980)
I have to say, this forum has really spurred me on to think more about Snape as a real person, and what his human motivations are for his attitudes/actions. He does seem like an intelligent and able wizard in every instance we receive information about him from people other than Harry. He does honorable things, according to Dumbledore, when he discovers what's going on at the end of OotP, and everyone in the Order is excited to learn his info at the meetings, etc. It is mostly around Harry that we see him acting like a spiteful child. I was thinking of it like this: Snape hated the Marauders in school because he thought them arrogant and self-important. He probably told himself all along that they weren't as great as they thought they were. Can you imagine his reation upon discovering that James Potter's offspring is the only possible savior of the wizarding world???!!! I don't believe Snape could have felt anything apart from hatred for Harry at that point. I do wish he could have been a little more open-minded about Harry, but under the circumstances I don't think it was ever possible. I still don't let him off the hook, however. I just understand a little better, I think.

Potions Mistress - Oct 27, 2004 9:08 am (#94 of 2980)
Concerning Sirius's death, I think that Snape will blame Sirius for that, but I think with his aminosity for Harry, he will "twist the knife," and keep Sirius's death in the forefront of Harry's mind, I would imagine in some way to teach Harry a "lesson:" "Don't act in such a rash manner, Potter. Look where it got Black..."


Her-melanie - Oct 27, 2004 9:11 am (#95 of 2980)
I was thinking the same thing almost verbatim, Potions Mistress. I don't know if Snape could resist that jab.

Potions Mistress - Oct 27, 2004 10:02 am (#96 of 2980)
I doubt he could, Her-melanie, even if he were under orders from DD to be nice(r) to Harry.


TomProffitt - Oct 27, 2004 11:52 am (#97 of 2980)
Her-melanie & Potions Mistress, I agree very much. This is the trait of Severus Snape which most makes me hate him. I can see no excuse for that type of behavior.

Catherine - Oct 27, 2004 12:49 pm (#98 of 2980)
This is the trait of Severus Snape which most makes me hate him--Tom Proffitt

Interesting. I know that Snape can be vicious, grudging, surly, and antagonistic. **Sorry, Gina! **

But I don't hate him. He fascinates me more than any other character in the novels, and that is saying something.

I've enjoyed reading the past 30 posts or so about Snape and Occlumency, and Dumbledore's brushing aside of Snape's feelings. But, I must add that I think there is something more to it, at least in PoA. In PoA, Snape reminds Dumbledore that Sirius proved himself capable of murder, and Dumbledore comes back with a reminder that "my memory is as good as ever it was."

I think that something important was left unsaid here, and that Dumbledore is referring to something dark in Snape's past, or possibly reminding Snape about glass houses and throwing stones. It is possible, of course, that Dumbledore was shunting Snape's feelings aside, but I think that Dumbledore was, in a very subtle way, reminding Snape that he, too, has not always acted like an innocent man.

T Brightwater - Oct 27, 2004 2:09 pm (#99 of 2980)
"In PoA, Snape reminds Dumbledore that Sirius proved himself capable of murder, and Dumbledore comes back with a reminder that "my memory is as good as ever it was.""

Catherine, I'm glad you brought that up. It's as easy to feel sorry for Snape as it is to detest him (I do both) but I suspect he contributed at least his share to the feud with the Marauders.

Lina - Oct 27, 2004 2:27 pm (#100 of 2980)
Even though it was about 60 posts ago, I have to mention slow posting because I was absent 3 days (it makes 20 posts a day approximately) so I need to answer some "very old" of them now.

I'm not sure that someone who has a house elf would be a slow poster, such a person would be able to stay at the forum the whole day and answer all the posts immediately...

You see, Gina, Snape really looks like a Scorpio, now that you mention it. It doesn't have to have anything to do with slytherins (Malfoy is evil but I'm sure he can be kind when he find's it useful), but Snape, yes he definitely fits. My mum is Scorpio too. And my sister. I know all about it...

T Brightwater: What if DD or SS had said, up front, "Once you are good at Occlumency we can let you have more information"? I think Harry would have made Hermione look like a slacker.

I think these are exact and the only words that would make Harry cooperate.

rambkowalczyk, you are probably right that Snape knew that Harry was lying in that scene in CoS but it still seems to me that it was more important that he doesn't play quiddich than that he is punished.

Even though I was one of the first who tried to blame DD for the failing of the Oclumnency lessons and so many other things, after rethinking it all, I don't think that it was a mistake. I think that DD tried to make a connection between Harry and Snape and theoretically, mind reading would be the good way to do it. Harry didn't pull out his thoughts from his mind the way that Snape did, so it was the opportunity for Snape to see that he has misjudged him and that Harry is not the same as his father was. And I think that he did find it out, even though he doesn't show it. And I'm sure that he did teach Harry enough for him just to practice it on his own now. And I'm sure he will. And I think that the main reason for which Snape doesn't want to continue this lessons is that he doesn't want to see Harry feeling sorry for him while he tries to read his mind. And I think that Sirius's death is going to be the bond that will help both of them to overcome the animosity, I think that it is going to improve their relationship even though I don't know how. This might be one of the reasons why it was so important for Sirius to die.

I hope this all makes some sense. I know there are too many "And I think"s but it IS late, and I HAVE TO get up early in the morning, and I NEEDED TO say what I feel.
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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 5:41 am

Potions Mistress - Oct 27, 2004 3:21 pm (#101 of 2980)
Edited Oct 27, 2004 4:23 pm
I suspect he contributed at least his share to the feud with the Marauders. -T Brightwater

No doubt, TB. Didn't Lupin (or maybe it was Sirius) say that James and Snape were forever hexing each other at Hogwarts? But, I think what's important to remember here, is that Snape didn't start the feud. The Marauders picked on him because "he was there." This stupid school-boy feud is something that got way out of control (even while they were still at Hogwarts, IMO) and we see the consequences of it in the present, especially in Snape's dealings with Harry.


PS: Lina, I'm responding to how Harry would've responded to Occlumency lessons with the "reward" of being told info. on the Harry thread.

hellocello3200 - Oct 27, 2004 3:26 pm (#102 of 2980)
T Bightwater, the fact that Snape harbors a grudge against someone who almost killed them isn't really unreasonable. Although I do think that in the pre-wompingwillowincident days he probably worsened his own situation be retaliating against the marauders by getting them in trouble.

Potions Mistress - Oct 27, 2004 6:22 pm (#103 of 2980)
I can see how Snape could never forgive Sirius for almost getting him killed, but what I don't get is the grudge against James--the man's been dead for over a decade. I wonder if Snape hated him even more for not being around to take some of the already "established" hatred, and now Harry is now there to "pick up Jame's slack." This isn't very coherent, and I have to get back to class. More (better) posts later!


Daioma Dumbledore - Oct 27, 2004 7:37 pm (#104 of 2980)
Potions Mistress, how do we know that Snape didn't start the feud? Has this been stated somewhere & I just can't remember??

Grimber - Oct 28, 2004 1:58 am (#105 of 2980)
but what I don't get is the grudge against James--the man's been dead for over a decade

I think there is allot more behind the snape/james relationship then we know ( then the rivalry and James saving Snape from Lupin in WereWolf form)

the Snape/Lily possible past relationship theory...

and anotehr that I can think of:

what if the James saving Snapes life DD refers to is NOT the incident with Lupin?

We do know the maraders did allot of things DD didn't know about (Lupin says so and feels ashamed they betrayed DDs trust), the event with Snape/Lupin/James might also be one of those times DD had no idea it happend.

Instead the DD might be possibly refering that James later on ( around first Order timeframe ) saved Snape from Voldemort/DE's or from Snape being killed by other Order/ministry memebers out hunting down DE's. That would be a far bigger debt to James, saved from death by Voldemort or imprisonment in Azkaban.

Jessalynn Quirky - Oct 28, 2004 3:07 am (#106 of 2980)
That would make sense....*prays for HBP to come out very soon*

rambkowalczyk - Oct 28, 2004 4:37 am (#107 of 2980)
In the pensieve scene Harry is more focused on his father and Sirius,than on Snape. What if Snape was trying to spy on them, that he was deliberately following them around while making believe he was engrossed in his notes. Mind you this doesn't justify James' actions but just to point out that Snape may not have been completely innocent.

Potions Mistress - Oct 28, 2004 7:18 am (#108 of 2980)
Daioma, sorry--I forgot to state that I assumed that Snape did not start the feud, because James or Sirius stated they picked on Snape simply because "he was there." I took this to mean that from the day that feud started, Snape did not do anything (directly) to antagonize James and Sirius, but for whatever reason--his looks, his brains, his possible relationship with Lily (?), etc., etc.--made James and Sirius dislike (later, hate) Snape, and the feud began. Mind you, I don't see anything that Snape himself tried to stop the feud and in fact contributed to it. Hope I've explained myself well! :-)

Grimber, I'm intrigued by the idea that James saved Snape's life not from Remus as a werewolf, but in another manner (LV, MoM, etc.). It's frustrating--I'm on pins and needles for HBP!!


Choices - Oct 28, 2004 7:20 am (#109 of 2980)
Edited Oct 28, 2004 8:22 am
I can't forget the statement that is made when Lily asks what Snape has done to be hated so much and she is told - it's not so much what he has done, but just that he exists. That is pretty cruel. I can see being disliked for somethat that he did, but just for being? That is a bit excessive on the part of James and Sirius. This is definitely more than just a little dislike - this is hard core hatred.

Catherine - Oct 28, 2004 7:57 am (#110 of 2980)
That is a bit excessive on the part of James and Sirius. This is definitely more than just a little dislike - this is hard core hatred. --Choices

I really didn't like reading the "because he exists," either. But, while I cannot defend James or Sirius or their casual cruelty, I still think there is more to that scene.

James' reply, ending with "if you know what I mean," made me think that there is something about Snape that we still don't know. I am not suggesting in any waythat Snape deserved the vile treatment heaped upon him that day, but we know that Snape continually cursed James, and that the two of them took an instant dislike to one another. We really don't know who "started" the feud; it may have been a mutual thing in the beginning. While we see Snape as the victim here, there may well have been instances where he egged James on (we have seen him do that to Sirius), or started a fight outright.

Snape was "up to his eyeballs" in the Dark Arts, according to Sirius. Sirius seems to be the one who tells us about Snape's school days. In GoF, he tells the trio that Snape knew more curses when he came to Hogwarts than many 7th years. I have always wondered if Snape and Sirius could be related, or if they knew each other prior to beginning Hogwarts. In any case, while I don't think that Sirius should be trusted to give a completely balanced view of Snape, I do think there is something to his statement about James hating "the Dark Arts" and about Snape's alleged immersion in them.

It may have been a throw-away line, but I am still intrigued by the "if you know what I mean." I'm afraid I don't quite understand the "because he exists" line, and I really would like to tap James on the shoulder and say, "No, I don't know what you mean. Tell me!"

**Jo, if you read this, I sure would love to know the release date for HBP**

Her-melanie - Oct 28, 2004 8:23 am (#111 of 2980)
I have to say that as much as I hated reading about James and Sirius being so nasty towards Snape, I can remember quite clearly the terrible things everyone said to or about each other in high school. I think teens who don't make fun of ANYONE are in the minority. Kids can be horrible to one another, and though that doesn't make it right, it makes that pensieve scene VERY honest and accurate. It doesn't make James, Sirius, and Snape bad people - only normal kids.

Ann - Oct 28, 2004 9:19 am (#112 of 2980)
Edited Oct 28, 2004 10:25 am
Lily: "What's he done to you?"
James: "Well, it's more the fact that he exists, if you know what I mean"

Catherine, the emphasis you are putting on "if you know what I mean" here is interesting. There's been a lot of talk that Snape might be an illegitimate half-brother of either James or Sirius--although if it were James himself, that would make Harry a relative, and Dumbledore says he doesn't have any but the Dursleys. But perhaps we are over-reading here. I think he's just being nasty; but the fact that Snape may not have been a wanted child would have made the comment particularly hurtful.

Grimber, that's an interesting idea--that James might have saved Snape's life another time, and the life debt Dumbledore mentioned comes from that. But I don't think it works. We hear about James saving Snape from Lupin from Snape himself (not explicitly, but that is clearly what he's referring to), after Harry has brought up what Dumbledore told him. I can't believe Snape's view of himself (as the righteous, wronged one) would allow him to lie to Harry about that if there were a more recent occasion that would put James in a better light. If he defended himself to Harry by referring to a more minor incident, but actually knew he owed James for something else, he would know in his own mind that he'd been unfair, and I don't think Snape could bear that. He can be mean and petty, but I'm sure he always feels that his actions are justified.

MickeyCee3948 - Oct 28, 2004 10:59 am (#113 of 2980)
But you have to remember these are "Snape's" memories. It is what he perceived the events to be. Perhaps it happen exactly as he remembers it but perhaps he has allowed some of his hatred and disgust with James and Sirus to slip into how he remembers the events unfolding.


hellocello3200 - Oct 28, 2004 5:14 pm (#114 of 2980)
I always took the "fact that he exists" line to mean that Snape was one off those odd-ball kids in school who just get on your nerves after awhile, and his obsession with the dark arts could be likened to the fanaticism that some people have for Dungeons and Dragons, anime etc. that seems to outsiders to be weird. (I don't want to offend any D&D or anime fans out there, I mean were all a little obsessed in this site.) Just because he was odd however doesn't mean he should have been subjected to such cruel treatment.

Jessalynn Quirky - Oct 28, 2004 5:27 pm (#115 of 2980)
That's what I was thinking, hellocello, just couldn't think of the words to say it. Thanks.

Potions Mistress - Oct 28, 2004 6:57 pm (#116 of 2980)
I have the feeling that James and Snape took a dislike to each other almost instantly, sort of similar to Harry and Draco. I also think that part of the dislike on Snape's part was jealousy of James's popularity. As for James, I really don't know why he hated Snape--Dark Arts, perhaps, but I can't imagine eleven year olds knowing and understanding that the first time they lay eyes on each other.


TomProffitt - Oct 29, 2004 3:31 am (#117 of 2980)
There are people out there (y'all know the kind of person even if you won't admit it) that everyone dislikes within five minutes of meeting them. Just about everywhere I've gone in life there's been one (high school, college, basic training, work, you name it).

I think Snape was like that as a kid.

T Brightwater - Oct 29, 2004 5:18 am (#118 of 2980)
I know what you mean, Tom. I'm ashamed of myself when it happens, but it does happen.

JKR showed us Harry and Draco's first encounters, and laid plenty of groundwork for their mutual dislike, but there was also some instinct working on Harry's part. It was confirmed when Hagrid told him about Slytherin's reputation for turning out Dark wizards - including the one who had killed Harry's parents.

James came from a wizard family, and probably knew all about Slytherin from his parents. He'd be prejudiced against anyone from that house from the start. Also, James was probably used to being the smartest kid in the immediate area, and he might have seen Snape as an academic rival. Snape may have seen someone who was not only smart but cool, and a good Quidditch player as well.

Daioma Dumbledore - Oct 29, 2004 6:19 am (#119 of 2980)
Edited Oct 29, 2004 7:20 am
I think that Snape & James knew each other or at least knew of each others families before they arrived at Hogwarts, maybe it was something like, James' family was a well off wizarding family, that detested the dark arts and the pure blood racisism, and Snapes was exactly the opposite, and they are related. I do believe that Snape is somehow related to Harry. I'm sure it says in the books that the Dursleys are Harrys only living relatives on Lilys side, and the reason he had to stay with Lilys family was because she was the one that gave her life and therefore the protection.

Just my two knuts, fire at will

Ann - Oct 29, 2004 7:32 am (#120 of 2980)
Daioma, Dumbledore tells McGonagall he's bringing Harry to the Dursleys because "They're the only family he has left now." So unless he's lying to her (and why should he?), Harry has no surviving relations on the Potter side.

T Brightwater - Oct 29, 2004 12:03 pm (#121 of 2980)
It's possible Harry may have some _distant_ relatives (including Snape, Sirius, Neville, the Weasleys, the Malfoys...) on his father's side - second or third cousins at the closest, not really "family." The blood protection was from Lily, though, so he had to go to Petunia anyway.

Grimber - Oct 29, 2004 2:02 pm (#122 of 2980)
IF ( and its a big if) the Potters were a pure blood WW family then by Sirius own words Harry would have 'possibly' some distant relatives alive as all pure blood familys through intermarriages are somehow related to eachother.

but Im sure that any possible relation that could be alive on the Potter side would be so far distant it wouldn;t amount to much family wise. ( like great great aunt twice removed, or 5th cousin)

Gina R Snape - Oct 29, 2004 3:00 pm (#123 of 2980)
Edited Oct 29, 2004 4:00 pm
I agree with hellocello that it was probably a matter of Snape being an oddball, and not something more. If Snape is related to Sirius, well big deal. Most of the purebloods are related anyway. That doesn't mean such huge feuds arise.

What I find most interesting about that scene (other than the description of the way young Snape moved and his poor greying underpants) was that JKR deliberately put in a moment where the marauders looked bad and Snape looked good.

I think she did this for a few very important reasons. First, Harry's bubble needed bursting, that his father wasn't perfect. Second, I think JKR wanted to show what kind of relationship the Marauders had and how Lily acted before she and James were an item. Finally, I think she wanted to create a case where even those among you who completely hate Snape now would have a bit of sympathy for him.

I think this scene was very important and possibly crucial as one of those key moments that lead to Snape joining the DE's. And I feel pretty confident that JKR will fill in more of the details on the history of the relationship between the marauders and Snape as it does seem particularly crucial.

Solitaire - Oct 29, 2004 4:25 pm (#124 of 2980)
Interesting point about Snape hanging upside down and his underpants showing ... I remember reading a post or article about the Muggle torturing by DEs at the Quidditch World Cup. The wife of Mr. Roberts, the campground manager, was flipped upside down and floated along in mid-air, in just this fashion.

I can't remember where I read it (here, perhaps?), but someone on one of the sites suggested that the masked DE torturer was Snape. I don't suppose Snape would hang out with the DEs for "harmless pranks" like this, just to keep up a good "front" for the DEs ......?


MickeyCee3948 - Oct 29, 2004 7:25 pm (#125 of 2980)
Could have been Snape but considering how emotionally scarring the incident was for Snape I doubt that he would do it to someone else.


Her-melanie - Oct 29, 2004 7:41 pm (#126 of 2980)
I agree, Gina. I think there has been a conscious effort made by JKR to present the narrative of each book in way comparable to the maturity level of Harry himself. As Harry matures, so does the narrative of each book. So, in the beginning things are presented as more black and white, good and evil. Now that we are more than half-way through, Harry is much older, and things are becoming definitely gray. Snape's character is a good gauge of Harry's growing up. That pensieve seen of Snape and the Marauders is so effective, and it was great to see Harry responding with pity and understanding, even though Snape would probably never accept it as such.

Choices - Oct 30, 2004 7:24 am (#127 of 2980)
Snape does not strike me as someone who would do something "for the fun of it" - like turning Mrs. Roberts upside down. The group of DE's was shouting and laughing and this just doesn't fit Snape's character. He might do something evil, but definitely not for the fun of it. He would be deadly serious.

Ann - Oct 30, 2004 7:59 am (#128 of 2980)
Edited Oct 30, 2004 9:01 am
I agree that flipping Mrs. Roberts over at the QWC doesn't sound like Snape. I think that echo (subsequent to the Marauders' tricks in the story, though not in the books) is a fairly subtle clue pointing to Snape's discovery that the DEs were embodiments of what he hated in the Marauders: clique-y, scornful putting-down and humiliating of other people to entertain themselves and make themselves feel superior. JKR even emphasizes it by having Malfoy threaten Hermione with the same fate.

It is interesting, given what Snape must have gone through in his life, that that is his worst memory. Of course, it may have got even worse after Snape yanked Harry out of it. Still, its power over Snape indicates the intensity of the Hogwarts years.

Gina R Snape - Oct 30, 2004 8:31 am (#129 of 2980)
Edited Oct 30, 2004 9:31 am
That's a good point, Ann. I don't think he has any great love for some of the people in the Order. But seeing as how Rodolphus Black and the rest of the wizarding world initially had a different idea of what the DEs all about, it could definitely be the case that Snape saw worse examples of what he loathed, instead of a viable alternative, when the DEs got together.

It could be a case of empathy, in fact. Perhaps joining the DEs and seeing their hatred in action forced him to examine his own prejudices in reflection of those who had hated and wronged him as a child on some level. It didn't make him a warm and fuzzy lovey-dovey guy. But it perhaps got him to think about things on a larger level and his part in the world.

Solitaire - Oct 30, 2004 8:33 am (#130 of 2980)
We don't really know that what Harry saw in the Pensieve was Snape's worst memory, do we? I thought he just put it into the Pensieve so Harry could not access Snape's memories of James.

Ann: I think that echo (subsequent to the Marauders' tricks in the story, though not in the books) is a fairly subtle clue pointing to Snape's discovery that the DEs were embodiments of what he hated in the Marauders: clique-y, scornful putting-down and humiliating of other people to entertain themselves and make themselves feel superior.

I'll buy that. How odd, then, that Snape himself so often scorns, puts down, and humiliates his students (particularly Harry and Neville ... and once even Hermione).


Gina R Snape - Oct 30, 2004 9:07 am (#131 of 2980)
Oh, it's been debated why JKR would title that chapter 'Snape's Worst Memory.' I'm still not convinced it is his absolute worst memory ever of all time. But if it is, then my hunch is that memory represents both an ultimate humiliation for him and the trigger for bad decisions to come (i.e. what helped him make up his mind to join the DEs).

septentrion - Oct 30, 2004 9:10 am (#132 of 2980)
Edited Oct 30, 2004 10:12 am
Solitaire :We don't really know that what Harry saw in the Pensieve was Snape's worst memory, do we?

We know it is because JKR stated it in the chapter title. Harry doesn't know it Snape's worst memory, he only knows it's a terrible one. WE know it's Snape's worst memory because the "narrator" told us.

Ann: I think that echo (subsequent to the Marauders' tricks in the story, though not in the books) is a fairly subtle clue pointing to Snape's discovery that the DEs were embodiments of what he hated in the Marauders: clique-y, scornful putting-down and humiliating of other people to entertain themselves and make themselves feel superior.
Solitaire :I'll buy that. How odd, then, that Snape himself so often scorns, puts down, and humiliates his students (particularly Harry and Neville ... and once even Hermione).

Maybe there's more in his attitude than entertainment. I'm inclined to think he wants them not to feel "superior" and to prepare them to face with success what he himself faced : being despised, humiliated, not popular...Just he doesn't see the way he learnt things isn't generally a good way.

edit : cross-posted with Gina. Memories are subjective and this one could be his worst, even if we wouldn't think it is.

Tessa's Dad - Oct 30, 2004 9:21 am (#133 of 2980)
It could have been his worst simply because it showed him how much the DE were like his hated enemies the Marauders. He could have invested several years in the Dark Arts and the DE, and this event could have shown him connections between the things he detested in the Marauders and the acts being done by the DE.

Ann - Oct 30, 2004 9:39 am (#134 of 2980)
Edited Oct 30, 2004 10:40 am
Gina and Tessa's dad, I like these ideas: that it is Snape's worst memory because it both got him into the DEs and reminded him that the group he escaped to was just like the group he was escaping. That would be a fairly horrifying thought.

As for why he would treat others as he hated being treated himself, I think that is fairly common. People always end up taking on the characteristics that annoy them the most in their parents. (I often find myself mimicking my mother's crippling shyness and her annoying habit of singing tuneless little songs rather than her grace and acceptance of others, which I only wish I could achieve.) And a therapist told me once that therapists can only really cure the people who have the same sort of problems that the therapists had, and that they tend to advocate the solutions that worked for them. (I suspect this is not an accepted view in the therapeutic professions--but I also suspect it is often true!)

Solitaire - Oct 30, 2004 10:13 am (#135 of 2980)
Septentrion: Maybe there's more in his attitude than entertainment. I'm inclined to think he wants them not to feel "superior" and to prepare them to face with success what he himself faced : being despised, humiliated, not popular...Just he doesn't see the way he learnt things isn't generally a good way.

Which leads me, once again, to restate my belief that, however brilliant he may be, Snape has no business around kids--at least not the younger ones who do not understand his history or realize the extent of his emotional problems. And yes, I think he has them in abundance.

We can see how scarred Snape is by his past experiences when we realize that he continues to inflict upon his students the very behavior and attitudes he supposedly hated. Is he creating another generation of Snapes who will go on to hurt and humiliate the generation that follows them ... thus perpetuating the vicious cycle? While I suppose that is one way to achieve immortality, it can't be a very satisfying one.


Catherine - Oct 30, 2004 4:07 pm (#136 of 2980)
But seeing as how Rodolphus Black and the rest of the wizarding world initially had a different idea of what the DEs all about, it could definitely be the case that Snape saw worse examples of what he loathed, instead of a viable alternative, when the DEs got together. --Gina

I always thought that Sirius' brother was named Regulus. We know that there is a LeStrange with the name "Rodolphus."

Gina R Snape - Oct 30, 2004 6:45 pm (#137 of 2980)
Ooops, you are correct Catherine. The names are so similar I just got them mixed up.

Loony Loopy Larissa - Oct 31, 2004 4:00 pm (#138 of 2980)
Perhaps you would all allow me to ramble a bit on a topic that has been bugging me. Arguably, Harry's worst trait is his curiosity. It gets him in to trouble all the time, such as in Snape's Worst Memory. When he was growing up, he was never allowed to ask questions. Now that he has entered the wizarding world, his curiosity hasn't been punished; in some cases, it has actually been rewarded (Dumbledore's comment about Harry doing the thing properly by knowing about Flamel). He sees the Dursleys' hindering as completely unreasonable. Hagrid makes one comment about him sticking his nose in other people's business. This is one of the only rebukes he has received from someone he respects. It was his curiosity that got him into trouble in Order of the Pheonix. During the summer, he wanted to know what was going on so badly that he hurt his friends and lost his temper more than once. Throughout the year he was preoccupied with the door and why Dumbledore didn't look at him. It was this intense inquisitiveness (I am getting tired of the word "curiosity") that led him to intrude on Snape's privacy.

It is very interesting that Snape showed this same trait when he was younger. He followed around the Marauders to find out what they were up to. This almost killed him; it took his greatest enemy to save him from his own curiosity. This is one way that Snape and Harry are more similar than they would like to believe.

This might be a little off topic, but, as it involves Snape, I thought I would put it here. I don't have the time to read the Harry thread (isn't is about 1,000 posts long?).

Solitaire - Oct 31, 2004 5:08 pm (#139 of 2980)
Larissa, I will admit that Harry has a bad habit of sticking his nose into other people's Pensieves. I think that is bad form, and I believe Dumbledore needs to address the problem with him--although perhaps he learned his lesson after the last trip down Snape's Memory Lane.

The one mitigating factor I can see in most of Harry's other "escapades" is that all of the secrecy is about him. It must be incredibly frustrating to realize people all around you know all of these secrets about YOU ... but they won't tell YOU what is going on. Sirius had it right on that score. Informing Harry of what was happening around him might have stopped one or two fiascoes before the began. Instead, in his desperate search for information, he continued to thrash around, grabbing at whatever sources came within his reach--and often they were not the most reliable.

Snape, on the other hand, was guilty of doing exactly what Harry did to him--poking his nose into other people's business. The difference between Snape and Harry was--according to Sirius--that Snape wanted to use the information to get the Marauders expelled. Harry was just curious, and he really was more interested in his dad than in Snape.


Loony Loopy Larissa - Nov 1, 2004 7:26 pm (#140 of 2980)
Very true, Solitaire. Harry certainly has the right to want to know more about the madman who is trying to kill him.

TomProffitt - Nov 1, 2004 8:34 pm (#141 of 2980)
"The difference between Snape and Harry was--according to Sirius--that Snape wanted to use the information to get the Marauders expelled. Harry was just curious, and he really was more interested in his dad than in Snape." --- Solitaire

As much as I dislike Snape, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt here. Sirius is not exactly an unbiased observer where Snape is concerned.

Potions Mistress [/b]- Nov 3, 2004 10:53 am (#142 of 2980)
On a different subject, I wonder how we view Snape: is he an angry and bitter person from the blows life has dealt him, but there is hope that one day he might be happy? Or, is he happy being angry and bitter? And what about everything in between (which I'm sure will have many different interpretations)?


TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 3, 2004 11:27 am (#143 of 2980)
A smiling Snape? Now thats a scary thought!

Her-melanie - Nov 3, 2004 11:31 am (#144 of 2980)
Maybe Felix Felicis is Stubby Boardman's band mate in the Hobgoblins, and their real identities are Severus Snape and Sirius Black (who are actually happy go lucky friends!) Smile

Gina R Snape - Nov 3, 2004 2:13 pm (#145 of 2980)
Wow Her-melanie. Now that is definitely one for the fanfiction side!

Margaret Richardson - Nov 3, 2004 3:18 pm (#146 of 2980)
I'm new to this forum, So forgive me if this theory has already been discussed to the ninth degree. But I have been thinking about Severus' background and why he might hate James (and thus Harry) so much. What if Severus is Harry's half uncle, and he had the same father as James, but was never acknowledge by his father. Instead having to be raised by an abusive man who knew he was not Severus' real biological father. How about if Snape senior tortured Severus with this knowledge right up until he went off to Hogwarts and then he met James. A boy who was sure of himself, had Severus' real father name and rejected Severus' suggestions that they were brothers. Then to top it off, James and Lily ask Sirius Black to be Harry's godfather. So poor Severus is abondoned by every member of his family, in ever sense of the word. Now that would make him so angry and would probably account for why he joined the Death Eaters, and why, deep down when it came to him carrying out Voldermort's wishes, he turned from him to Dumbledore! It's an interesting therory. I'm also toying with the idea that Snape could well be the 'Half-Blood prince' of the 6th book. Any thoughts on this? Smile)

This is my theory (which is probably totally wrong) as to why Snape may hate Harry so much.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 3, 2004 3:49 pm (#147 of 2980)
Potions Mistress - Nov 3, 2004 10:53 am (#142 of 146) On a different subject, I wonder how we view Snape: is he an angry and bitter person from the blows life has dealt him, but there is hope that one day he might be happy? Or, is he happy being angry and bitter? And what about everything in between (which I'm sure will have many different interpretations)?

I feel he should end up happy. I would like to see that. he has been a pivotal part of the stories and there does seem to be more than meets the eye with this character. I don't believe he is just bitter and twisted and has no redeeming qualities! I hope not anyway.

dizzy lizzy - Nov 3, 2004 6:01 pm (#148 of 2980)
Snape has always been a favourite due to movie contamination. But I do want to make a point in line with the above posts.

Like Snape I was bullied mercilessly at school because of my differences and I spent many years afterwards learning how to stop all the anger (and hate) at my classmates from flowing over and contaminating the rest of my life.

Snape to give him his due, may not know or understand how corrupted (bitter and angry)he's becomes. I had someone who told me over and over to get over it and that I wasn't worthless.

Also it ties all back in to one of Jo's themes of the books; choices and we are what we choose (to a certain extent) and if you are not given/offered choices, how can you choose.

Needless to say I found the bullying scene of Snape in OoP distressing. Although some comments on this forum of Snape deliberately leaving thses memories in the pensive to unsettle Harry are really making me dizzy!

Hope it makes sense to all

Many grins to all


Potions Mistress - Nov 3, 2004 6:09 pm (#149 of 2980)
Hello Margaret, welcome to the Forum! I doubt that Snape is related to Harry in any way--JKR has said the Dursleys are his only living relatives. But, I too would like to see Snape find some sort of happiness in his life--I think he does have some redeeming qualities because of how DD trusts him. It may be as dizzy lizzy said: he may not know how deep those feelings of anger and bitterness run. Well gotta run!


Weeny Owl - Nov 3, 2004 10:28 pm (#150 of 2980)
if Severus is Harry's half uncle, and he had the same father as James, but was never acknowledge by his father.

This has been discussed on an archived thread.

My view is that JKR wouldn't introduce a sensitive subject such as an illegitimate child into this series. While it may be entirely possible if this series were aimed toward adults only, I just cannot see her introducing this into the books as they are now.

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Tomoé - Nov 3, 2004 11:39 pm (#151 of 2980)
Like you, dizzy lizzy, I had pretty bad time back to school and in fact, my very worst memory come back to that period of my life. It took me very long to trust people again and get my social skill back (I'm still a bit behind though).

Back to Snape, I had a teacher when I was 15, a math teacher, who make anyone fell stupid whenever they ask a question with his very cold and "you dare disturb my lesson for that stupid question" attitude. I didn't reacted well to his ways and my marks sink lower and lower until I reached 22% (which fortunately didn't count, we re-sit the test I a get a 33% instead). I had no choice but to take remedial math with that very prof. The experience turned out to be much better than I expect, the teacher was civil, helpful and patient in his remedial lessons. I understood that he didn't want to lose control of his class, but he let his guard down in the remedial math as he knew the people weren't there to fool around but to learn and he felt safe enough to pass in civilian teacher mode. He was never warm, but was a good teacher in remedial.

I think Snape too fear to loose control of his class and that's why he bullied Harry on the very first day. He feared the authority the kid could instantly get, he feared James, he made sure he stroke first and give himself ammunitions in case Harry try to get witty. The same goes for Hermione, he make sure she won't try to discredit him, especially when he replaced Lupin (he did mess Mongolia and Japan when he corrected the homework about Kappa). Neville, he have nothing against him really, but the kid do disturb his class, which should not be tolerated or the other kids will get the idea they can do anything in his class. There's a lack of self-confidence in Snape.

That's also why he only take outstanding OWL students in his NEWT class, he want to be sure to ones who make it to the NEWT are really interested. Really interested 16 years old students use to stay in control and, who knows, maybe they do play games in his NEWT class (which mean he would adopt Harry soon according to the narrator in GoF, ch.22 ^_~).

By the way, I did manage to pass my math, my 80-90% in the final term making it for my 30/40% of the middle of the year.

septentrion - Nov 4, 2004 1:58 am (#152 of 2980)
Dizzy Lizzy : Also it ties all back in to one of Jo's themes of the books; choices and we are what we choose (to a certain extent) and if you are not given/offered choices, how can you choose.

What if the very first choice Snape did in his life was to leave Voldemort and to turn spy for the order ?

Tomoé : I think Snape too fear to loose control of his class... He feared the authority the kid could instantly get, ... he stroke first and give himself ammunitions in case Harry try to get witty. The same goes for Hermione, he make sure she won't try to discredit him... Neville, he have nothing against him really, but the kid do disturb his class, which should not be tolerated or the other kids will get the idea they can do anything in his class. There's a lack of self-confidence in Snape.

The lack of self-confidence of Snape has of course already been thoroughly discussed but this gives a new light. I've never thought of Snape's bullying as a "I-strike-before-being-stricken" attitude.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 4, 2004 4:09 am (#153 of 2980)
Septentrion: The lack of self-confidence of Snape has of course already been thoroughly discussed but this gives a new light. I've never thought of Snape's bullying as a "I-strike-before-being-stricken" attitude.

Yes, this would make sense. The first thing he does upon seeing Harry in his class is to test him to see if he knows all about potions. He dips his toe in the water so to speak. By doing this, he also gets the measure of Hermione as she tries so hard to answer all the questions put to Harry. I don't see him being so hard on Ron, he only seems to take a shot at him because he's Harry's and Hermione friend. Doesn't seem to see him as much of a threat. Now Neville he knows he has power over him, so I think it gives his ego a boost to pick faults with poor Neville. He is so timid and unsure of himself. Maybe Snape's sees something in Neville that reminds him of himself and how he was with his father? It's a idea.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 4, 2004 4:36 am (#154 of 2980)
I also don't think Snape sees Malfoy as being a threat to anyone but himself. Malfoy is such a Billy Bunter type character. Shoots himself in the foot every time.

I know people think Snape is just bitter and twisted, but I can't help feeling that we are going to get more information on him and his tragic past in the next two books. I still think there is something dark and painful in his past that has left such bitterness. JKR writes such round characters, that their attitudes and responses are not superficial. So I can't believe its just being bullied by the Marauders that's at the heart of it. But then, it is a children's series of books. But children do think very deeply about why people do things and behave the way they do. I doubt that Snapes message is, 'don't worry about being bullied as a kid, cos you can get your own back when you're an adult'. That doesn't seem her style!

Well, I have to go to work. bye for now.

Tomoé - Nov 4, 2004 8:54 am (#155 of 2980)
Nice to know I did bring something new and didn't waste any parchement (not really easy to achieve in this thread).

Right Margaret, I forgot to add the Slytherins in the picture. Slytherin is his house and he know them well. In PS we can read in the Potions Master chapter : "[Snape] swept around in his long black cloak, watching them weigh dried nettles and crush snake fangs, critising almost everyone except Malfoy". In those days Draco was almost the only one he trusted, he likely knew him from outside the school. As time passed he learned to know the ones he didn't already knew. It doesn't seem the Slytherin fool around though, it seems Snape succeed to keep control over them even if he allow them some license. Maybe he does a special speech to his house the first night, explainning what he expect from them, what he'll do if they screw up with him and what he'll do if they do as he tell.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 4, 2004 3:30 pm (#156 of 2980)
Yes, maybe Snape has marked their cards from the beginning. I never thought of that. Maybe Snape speaks differently to the boys in his house. I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine sort of speech.

Solitaire - Nov 4, 2004 10:17 pm (#157 of 2980)
Septentrion: What if the very first choice Snape did in his life was to leave Voldemort and to turn spy for the order ?

Well, the second, perhaps. He made at least one choice before that--the choice to join Voldemort's forces.


Ann - Nov 5, 2004 6:50 am (#158 of 2980)
I'm not sure that Snape really did choose to join the Death Eaters. If he came from a DE family with an overbearing father (as we can, I think, assume from the pensieve scene and the fact that he arrived at Hogwarts already knowing a lot of Dark Arts), it may be that he was not given much of a choice. I'm wondering if such a history might explain his fondness for that little twerp Draco Malfoy. I don't mean that Draco is unwilling or wouldn't choose to be a DE on his own, just that Snape may be projecting his own feelings onto Draco.

septentrion - Nov 5, 2004 7:18 am (#159 of 2980)
I really wonder if Snape's first real choice in life wasn't to leave LV for the reasons Ann mentioned : he may have had no choice in joining the DE, like some people just follow the "line of their life", for instance become what their parents want them to be. Leaving the DE may have been like a conversion for him, the same kind of things which happen for people who decide to embrace a religion. What do you think of it ?

ogregirl - Nov 5, 2004 8:19 am (#160 of 2980)
Sorry if I am going of the beaten path here, but I read somewhere about Snape and his relation to the DE's and the OoP and what had happened in the graveyard, and whether he was there or not. I went over the scene again and counted 5 that were mentioned directely, and "some that he passed over in silence", two that were in Azkaban (Bellatrix and her husband, 3 dead in service, one too cowardly to return (Karkaroff), one who was gone, but reentered service (Crouch, Jr.) and one who has left forever "he will be killed, of course"...Now is that one Snape? But, we must remembe that Snape is a superb Occlumens and pg 531, US edition, "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 presnce without detection." And so, with that, is he one of the Death Eaters he passed in silence? Being there in the graveyard would not give away his spying position, to the Dark Lord or to the other DE's(which I personally think he is doing for Dumbledore and the OoP).

Amilia Smith - Nov 5, 2004 4:24 pm (#161 of 2980)
I like that theory, Ogregirl. It has always bothered me that Snape would be so readily excepted back into the circle after Voldemort's callous, offhand remark, "he will be killed, of course."


Choices - Nov 5, 2004 5:47 pm (#162 of 2980)
If Snape is the "one who has left forever" and he was there in the graveyard at the rebirthing, then why didn't Voldemort just kill him then and there? He certainly has no compunction about killing people. And, if Voldemort made that statement about him being killed (assuming it is Snape he is talking about) and Snape knew of the threat, then he showed a lot of bravery in doing as Dumbledore asked him at the end of GOF - I think it is likely that the task involved being in contact with Voldemort in some way. There is definitely a lot more going on with Snape than we have been told thus far - hopefully books 6 and 7 will enlighten us as to just what he is doing for the Order and how he came to be the delightfully mysterious Potions Master we all love to hate.

Amilia Smith - Nov 5, 2004 6:25 pm (#163 of 2980)
As I am not Ogregirl I could be totally off on my interpretation, but I think Ogregirl meant that Snape was in the graveyard, and the person whose place was missing in the circle, the "one who has left forever," is a totally different person.

That said, I am also looking forward to seeing what exactly Snape is doing for the Order.


Solitaire - Nov 5, 2004 7:24 pm (#164 of 2980)
I can't see Snape being forced to do anything by anyone else--not once he was old enough to leave Hogwarts. I get the idea that Snape has always been a powerful Wizard. It's just that home and school put constraints on how he could exercise that power. Joining the DE would have given him more or less free reign to exercise power over some of those who had tormented him for so many years--James, Sirius, and perhaps even his own father. Snape had always been denied respect--by the Marauders, and apparently by his own father. Becoming a DE would certainly put him into a position of being--if not respected, then at least feared. I think Snape enjoys intimidating and being feared by people. He certainly cultivates it among his students in his position at Hogwarts.

Additionally, Snape seems to speak of Voldemort with a lot of deference for someone who is no longer a DE. I do not think we should assume just yet that Snape was forced to be a DE--or even that his father was a DE. Despite the fact that Snape is now on Dumbledore's side, he does seem to retain a certain amount of respect and admiration for Voldemort and his abilities. I do not see hatred of Voldemort in him at all.

Yes, I know ... he can't appear to hate Voldemort, since Voldemort is reading his thoughts and feelings. It may be so, but I still think that, despite his change of loyalties, he feels some admiration for Voldemort.


Mrs Brisbee - Nov 5, 2004 7:32 pm (#165 of 2980)
Well, that would work if Snape could get to the graveyard, but he would have a job of it getting off Hogwarts grounds so he could Apparate, and then managing to get back without being seen. I think Snape was the "coward" and Karkaroff was the betrayer who would be killed. I think the descriptions fit them better that way.

You don't have to look at Snape as a hide-under-the-bed-whimpering sort of coward. From Voldemort's point of view a coward could be someone who balks at doing something despicable, like murdering muggles for sport, or killing children.

Weeny Owl - Nov 6, 2004 1:23 am (#166 of 2980)
The whole "who is a coward and who will be killed" has been discussed over and over on the archived Snape threads, so check them out. There are quite a few interesting viewpoints stated.

Ann - Nov 6, 2004 9:35 am (#167 of 2980)
Solitaire, I think we can assume that Snape's father was a DE, probably long before he became one. Snape already knew a lot of Dark Arts when he arrived at Hogwarts (per Sirius in GoF), and I can't believe that his cringing mother was the expert that taught them to him. Where else would he learn them? Almost certainly his father (and surely he was taught at home--can't imagine him in a Muggle school). While I agree that being a pureblood or Slytherin (if Snape's father was those things) doesn't necessarily imply that a person will become a DE, I think that those things in combination with an intense interest in the Dark Arts, at least in the period we're talking about, does.

Solitaire - Nov 6, 2004 10:03 am (#168 of 2980)
Not necessarily, Ann. Didn't Sirius say his parents were into Dark Arts but were not DEs? More to the point ... since Snape would have been a graduate of Hogwarts when he joined the DEs, he would have been old enough to make up his own mind.

I am afraid I will have to be told in the story (or by JKR in an interview) that Snape was forced by his father to become a DE before I buy it. A far more realistic scenario--to my pea-brain--is that he was "ushered" into the movement by the smooth, suave, slightly older and (for some odd reason) well-respected Lucius Malfoy and his group of friends. Since they were probably upperclassmen when Snape entered Hogwarts, they would have seen and known his penchant for the Dark Arts and his talent in them.

I can see Snape being lured into Voldemort's Inner Circle by promises of greatness and power, and--ultimately--an opportunity to strike back at those who'd always victimized and humiliated him. To my mind, this is a far more believable reason for his joining Voldemort's forces.



septentrion - Nov 6, 2004 10:12 am (#169 of 2980)
you're right Solitaire. But if some people are strong-minded enough not to be what their environment lead them to(for instance Sirius), I'm not sure those people are a majority. You often need to mature to think differently, which isn't quite the case with Snape. Hope I make sense.

Annika - Nov 6, 2004 3:50 pm (#170 of 2980)
I have often wondered if Snape didn't join the Death Eaters for the Order as a spy and not originally on his own accord. If his parents were DEs or associated with the Dark Arts, his joining would not bring about much suspicion. But once he joined the Death Eaters, he was easily corrupted. In OP (Occlumency), he mentions that if you wear your heart on your sleeve that you will be easy prey for the Dark Lord. It is possible he was speaking not only about Harry, but about his past experience. This may explain why, though Dumbledore trusts Snape, he believes that the DADA position would bring out the worst in him.


rambkowalczyk - Nov 6, 2004 5:00 pm (#171 of 2980)
Annika, another bit of proof-- In the pensieve scene Dumbledore says something to the effect that Snape was a deatheater before rejoining our side.

Annika - Nov 6, 2004 5:05 pm (#172 of 2980)
Thank you Rambk, sorry, I missed that. I was truly hoping for a little bit of Snape redemption, but alas, earwax.


Ann - Nov 6, 2004 6:07 pm (#173 of 2980)
Rambkowalczyk's quote supports your idea, Annika. Dumbledore said "rejoining our side," not joining it!

Annika - Nov 6, 2004 7:04 pm (#174 of 2980)
Excellent. I should probably cut down on the butterbeer when reading through posts. Thanks to both Ann and Rabkowalczyk!


Potions Mistress - Nov 6, 2004 10:17 pm (#175 of 2980)
Solitaire, I think you might be on to something when you stated a few posts back that perhaps Malfoy and his gang ushered and "groomed" Snape to be a DE. I would imagine when you're in a position such as Snape, peer pressure would be at its most difficult to resist (and its no easy task to do so in the first place!).


Grimber - Nov 6, 2004 10:42 pm (#176 of 2980)
I think it was Sirus or Lupin that stated at that time ( while they were still hogwarts students) voldemort hadn't shown his 'true' intentions yet. The same time they also stated Snape hung around those intending to join the Death Eaters.

So as I see it Voldemort was on a political/idealistic recruitment crusader to turn as many pure blood familes to his 'side' with not many knowing his real true intentions of muggle/muggle born extermination. Instead sounds allot like he 'preached' power for the pure blood sentaments very much like Hitler did during his rise to power ( arian superority(sp?) sentiments), to rally support to his side then once in and they knew the truth they couldn't back out under threat of death. In fact much of the early voldemort seems reflective of Hitler as a source of insperation ( Hitler was in fact a half jew as well and resented his family because of it)

Snape I feel is one of those youths who was attracted by the sounds of 'power to the pure bloods' but after getting into it found out thier insperational leader was a monster, but backing out was not a safe option without help, like Sirus brother or karkaroff who also wanted out but eitehr died tring or too scared to try.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 7, 2004 2:31 am (#177 of 2980)
I'm just wondering about the graveyard scene and 'the one who will be killed.' What bother's me about Snape being at the graveyard, and knowing that one of the DE's is marked for death, is that Snape showed his true colours to Quirrell (sorry if that's spelt wrong)and we all know that Voldermort was attached to him and would have been present at every effort Snape made to thwart Q's effort to get the stone. He mentions to Harry that Snape has been watching him. So Voldermort already knows Snape is on Dumbledore's side. I'm of the opinion that Snape has a way of infiltrating the DE's that we don't know about yet.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 7, 2004 2:38 am (#178 of 2980)
What if Snape is also an unregistered Anamagus? I wonder what kind of animal he would be? Probably a black cat, or Leopard! it's a thought.

TomProffitt - Nov 7, 2004 6:56 am (#179 of 2980)
"What if Snape is also an unregistered Anamagus?" --- Margaret Richardson

There has been quite a bit of discussion on this at different times. You may find some interesting things on the archived thread.

Personally, I hope Severus is not an animagus. I think any more use of the unregistered animagi would be too much. Jo is an original thinker, I don't see her falling back on this idea again.

Grimber - Nov 7, 2004 8:36 am (#180 of 2980)
doubt hes an animagus. 7 registered ones in the past century and shes already had 4 unregistered ones in the past 20ish years. THink another would be irrispossible as an author to hap hazardly toss out a 5th unregistered one at book 6/7.

I agree that Snape is most likely the 'marked for death' deatheater. his attitude cannot hide his actions. his attitude towards harry, other students and other WW may cast a dark shadow on him, but push comes to shove he's always been on DD's side of things and in his own way looked out for Harrys wellbeing ( life, not reputation). Snape doen't have to go before Voldemort inorder to spy on what hes doing. Snape definatly has connections/confidance with other DEs and people closely associated to those DE's. He would have far asier time of it getting information out of DEs like Crabbe, Goyle, Avery, McNair with far less risk then standing in front of the dark lord.

He also has malfoy in good or at least acceptable standings considering Draco looks up to snape and snape favors him, keeps Snape on Lucious's good side by watching out for his son.

I also hold still to the idea that Snape left the DEs not just because he disagreed with what the Dark Lord was all about. Snape could have tried to run anyplace, to escape Vold. but Snape went directly to DD, the one wizard strong enough to oppose Voldemort. If we accept that Snape is the 'marked for death' DE, then Voldemort obviously didn't know of Snapes turning against him prior to at least SS/PS. 'IF' snape was a loyal DE then, he wouldn't have anything realy to fear from Voldemort so wouldn't had had to run to DD. So only 2 surmisable reasons Snape would have turned to DD during that time.

1. To spy on DD and the order for Voldemort. 2. Snape knew something that DID put him in danger from Voldemort IF vold ever found out.

Looking at the spy theory, Snape could have used a story to convice DD that he was turning on the darklord. But infact was initialy spying for Vold. Snape would have had to feed DD some trueful information to solidify his claming of working against Voldemort, so Vold would have to have some 'sacrifce' plans in the works to establish Snapes possition and credability. would be nothing to Voldemort to sacrifce some of his followers if he could get a credible spy into DDs camp. Snape also could have been working as a double agent, playing things very carefuly so that he was never brought into question by either side. So no matter the outcome(winner) Snape would have a chance to survive.

On the other possability, what sort of information would Snape know that would put him in danger of Vold? IT can't be Voldemorts true nature ( half-blood). Vold doesn't seem to have a problem talking about his muggle father in front of followers ( wormtail in the graveyard) and other DEs already know of this as well ( but obviously not ALL of them do, like those that went to Azkaban). Malfoy had Riddles old School things afterall, wouldn't be hard for him to findout who the riddle family was since its not a known pureblood family. This leads me to the possible DE plot against Voldemort. Lead by Malfoy and with other DEs that do know the true background ( these DEs I associate with those that escaped being sent to Azkaban after Volds first rein of terror) on Voldemort didn't want to bow and kiss the hem of a half blood wizard, no matter how powerful he may be. But how do they plot against Voldemort when hes so powerful and getting the truth from their minds? by a secret keeper that can protect his mind (Snape). this would put allot of trust by the other DEs in Snape and would put him in danger if Voldemort ever found out. Not only in danger from Voldemort but from the other DE's. By keeping thier secret safe, he can retain his connections/contacts with the present day DE's because he never betrayed thier trust, even when hes known to be loyal to DD.

Being such a secret keeper, and working to overthrow Voldemort, Snape would be the ideal person to send to DD for protection from Voldemort and to work with the order and DD to find a way to bring Voldemort down. Of course not all DEs are involved, so the Order takes losses to those that are loyal to Vold.

Of course Malfoy and the Riddle diary seems to toss a monkey wrench into this idea ( why would malfoy try to bring out of the diary the 16 year old Vodlemort if he opposed him?). Unless we consider it may have been one of the DEs plans of possibly destroying Voldemort with his younger, MORTAL self contained in the diary.

rambkowalczyk - Nov 7, 2004 8:38 am (#181 of 2980)
Snape doesn't necessarily have to be unregistered. Hermione never said who the animagus were when she looked it up. It would also mean that Hermione knows what his animagus is.

Grimber - Nov 7, 2004 11:32 am (#182 of 2980)
It would also mean that Hermione knows what his animagus is.

I think she would have said so if she seen his name on the registered animagus list, considering how the trio are usualy intrested in Snape.

Solitaire - Nov 7, 2004 11:41 am (#183 of 2980)
I would think anyone as talented as Snape would certainly have the ability to transform. Of the five animagi we know--McGonagall, Skeeter, James, Sirius, and Wormtail--only one was registered. This leads me to wonder how many unregistered animagi are out there in the WW.

As rambkowalczyk says, we do not know that Snape isn't a registered animagus ... although I can't see Hermione omitting that juicy little detail, if she'd seen it. I suppose she could have overlooked the other registered animagi, however, if she was only concentrating on Rita Skeeter. Just a thought ...


Ann - Nov 7, 2004 12:24 pm (#184 of 2980)
I don't think Snape is a registered animagus. If it were a list of McGonagall and 50 others, Hermione might have overlooked Snape, but even then I would think the name of another Hogwarts teacher would have jumped out at her. But there were only six other registered animagi, and the first time (PoA) she was looking it up out of curiosity (after they'd been mentioned in class), not just to make sure Rita wasn't one of them, as in GoF, so another familiar name in the six would have struck her forcibly. And if she did notice, she would surely have mentioned it, since it clearly isn't a secret.

So if Snape is an animagus, he'd be unregistered, and he wouldn't be telling anyone. But if he were one, I would have thought that he'd more likely to think along those lines when he encounters Snuffles in Harry's hospital room in the scene at the end of GoF. Though perhaps he was distracted by the drama of the occasion (McGonagall was practically chewing the scenery) and Harry's outing of his friend Lucius Malfoy as a Death Eater. (Now there's an unregistered animagus if ever I saw one: "Lucius, my slippery friend...," says Voldemort.)

Solitaire - Nov 7, 2004 12:55 pm (#185 of 2980)
Now there's an unregistered animagus if ever I saw one ... (referring to Lucius Malfoy)

I'll certainly agree with you there, Ann! I don't think we should discount Snape just yet as being an animagus--for a couple of reasons.

First, remember Harry's response to Ron(chapter 29, GoF) about whether Snape could have beaten him and Dumbledore down to the forest where Mr. Crouch was: "Not unless he can turn himself into a bat or something." Could this be a hint?

Second, Snape's abilities and knowledge of the Dark Arts really lead me to believe he has abilities we may not yet have seen.

Assuming Snape is not actually an animagus, are there other means he could use to transform--potions, for example? If anyone would be able to do this, I should think it is Snape. He must have many secret ways to "bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses," if he is infiltrating and spying on the DEs for the Order.


Ann - Nov 7, 2004 1:11 pm (#186 of 2980)
Ah, Solitaire, you've given me the reference that was nagging at the back of my mind: Hermione was also present, I think, when Ron made the suggestion that Snape could turn into a bat; surely then she would have mentioned it if he was properly listed. ("No, not a bat; his animagus form is a crocodile.") So he definitely isn't.

It would be interesting if he were a bat. You can sort of seem him hanging around upside down in the dungeons. But I think if he were, JKR would have made the hint a bit more subtle. I don't think becoming an animagus is considered a Dark Art; I can't see James and McGonagall doing it if it were.

And while I have no doubt Snape could turn into an animagus if he wanted to, why would he want to? I'm sure Hermione could as well, and she's shown no interest in trying it out. (She'd be registered, of course.) The Marauders and Rita Skeeter had special reasons for doing it, and while some forms might turn out to be useful for spying, it's sort of a toss up: what if his animagus form turned out to be a giraffe, for example? What good would that do? A huge amount of trouble for nothing.

The idea that he uses potions, just as McGonagall uses transformation, seems more likely to me. Is there a potion of invisibility? What about that stuff that Mad-Eye uses to turn Harry into a human chameleon at the start of OotP? Maybe he got that from Snape?

Solitaire - Nov 7, 2004 1:18 pm (#187 of 2980)
Mad-Eye used a Disillusionment Charm on Harry. But you've given me another reason to consider Snape as a bat. You say the following: "You can sort of seem him hanging around upside down in the dungeons."

Hm ... Snape hanging upside down ... think back to the Pensieve scene and Snape's worst memory ... It would be an interesting twist on that incident, wouldn't it?


Edit: Do you suppose a Disillusionment Charm is how Dumbledore manages to be invisible without an invisibility cloak?

Margaret Richardson - Nov 7, 2004 2:05 pm (#188 of 2980)
what if his animagus form turned out to be a giraffe, for example? What good would that do? Ann I liked this, really, really very funny. I now have a picture in my mind of a giraffe with greasy hair. Classic!

That kind of brings new light on Snape posing the question to Lupin's class 'what's the difference between an animagus and a werewolf?' Is he toying with them! Maybe not, but I have the feeling that he has a fair few spying tricks up his sleeve. If he's not an animagus (boy could we have fun trying to imagine which animal Snape would turn into!!! hehehe) then I'd think he would be able to turn himself into something by way of a potion. Plus his ability to block his emotions and thoughts would protect him from being detected by Voldermort or any of the other DE's. Am I just imagining it, or was there mention of an animal in the gaveyard scene. I'll have to take a look. Mind you, it would be rather funny if he turned out to be Voldermort's snake friend. Interesting, only one letter difference in the spelling. 'Snape' 'Snake' it's a thougth!

Actually, Severus Snape has quite an onomatopoeic sound to it. very slivery, snake like. Maybe that his cover. He's a snake!!!

Solitaire - Nov 7, 2004 2:49 pm (#189 of 2980)
Margaret, I think some sort of snake or serpent is another good possibility. Bats, snakes, panthers, crows--all have been suggested as possible animagus and/or Patronus forms, and they all seem plausible for Snape. He's a tough one to nail down.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 7, 2004 3:45 pm (#190 of 2980)
Does the name Nagini come to mind? Someone somewhere stirred my interest in that snake, but I have no idea right now which thread it was. In the graveyard battle, Nagini circled, hmm, the idea was protectivly. Wouldn't it be odd if Snape (the snake) and Dumbledore NEED to keep Voldamort alive in some form, "until he's ready"? To forfill the Prophecy?

Maybe this is why Dumbledore trusts Snape?

Yeah, yeah...toddles off for another butterbeer...

LOL...can just see Snape being "milked"! No wonder he's not a happy camper!

Potions Mistress - Nov 7, 2004 4:09 pm (#191 of 2980)
LOL, Twinkles! Being milked...hehehe!! The thing about Snape is, as Solitaire said, he's tough to nail down. Is he or isn't an Animagus? There's good arguments from both sides. What would he be is he is? Yet another million possibities. When will we find out? Hopefully in HBP (please, please, please, Jo!). And what will we do about it? Pick it apart and drive ourselves crazy analyzing it. Smile

Oh, BTW Twinkles, I love your quote.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 7, 2004 4:16 pm (#192 of 2980)
Thank you very much, I kind of liked it myself. :-) You are quite right, Severus is a hard critter to pin down. After a few months of my mind running in circles I decided to take off on a tangent. And look where I ended up, rofl, Snape milked!

Oh My! I see my pass from St Mungo's has expired!

...toddles off somewhere...

Margaret Richardson - Nov 7, 2004 4:41 pm (#193 of 2980)
The thought of Snape as the trusted snake is interesting. I wonder if he'll end up swallowing old Wormtail? Don't snake's eat rats? I can just see Snape with terrible indigetion, and Wormtails's tail sticking out of his mouth like Garfield. he,he,he. 'Excuse me prof. DD, it must have been something I ate!'.

Now if he were the snake, then that would be why DD made him head of Slytherin House! Takes a real snake in the grass to pull that one out of the hat!!!

TomProffitt - Nov 7, 2004 4:48 pm (#194 of 2980)
If Severus Snape were an animagus (and I doubt he is) his form would be some sort of carrion fowl.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 7, 2004 5:10 pm (#195 of 2980)
If Severus Snape were an animagus (and I doubt he is) his form would be some sort of carrion fowl TomProffitt

Why would that be?

Abracapocus - Nov 7, 2004 5:15 pm (#196 of 2980)
Death Eater, TomProffitt?

MickeyCee3948 - Nov 7, 2004 5:29 pm (#197 of 2980)
Margaret Richardson - A Vulture comes to mind.


TomProffitt - Nov 7, 2004 6:03 pm (#198 of 2980)
I was thinking "turkey buzzard," but I don't know what y'all have in the British Isles.

Potions Mistress - Nov 7, 2004 7:24 pm (#199 of 2980)
I thought it was Madam Pince (the librarian) who was described as a vulture (an under-fed one if I remember correctly). Wink I do have my doubts if Snape is an animagus, because as has been stated, JKR has already done that. So, the question now is, how is Snape spying on the DE's? That brings on another question, that being is Snape one of the DE's who LV is out to kill (the coward, the one who has left forever...)? Arrggghhhh, I really want HBP to come out!!

Oh, Twinkles, I just wanted to say that I bet you keep the staff at St. Mungo's on their toes! Heehee!


TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 7, 2004 7:32 pm (#200 of 2980)
Tis quite alright PM, thank you very much. Those nice young men are here now. Oh my! I get to model the newest fashion in fall jackets. They sure seem to have funny sleeve fashions this year.

I really do like my off the wall idea though! Accio BOOK 6! You do have to admit, it was an "original"!

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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 5:59 am

Potions Mistress - Nov 7, 2004 8:47 pm (#201 of 2980)
Very off the wall indeed. LOL. Hmm...maybe Snape's animagus is actually a playful kitten. Wink (BTW, Twinkles, those jackets do you warm though, plus you'll always feel loved when you are giving yourself a hug for hours on end!)


Adamo Lateramen - Nov 7, 2004 10:59 pm (#202 of 2980)
My first post on this thread, Severus is a fascinating dark character and i am very interested in everyones insights on him, his reactions to the occlumency, his relationship with harry, DD, Voldemort, and the Marauders.

I have had a slight thought. Peoples minds, when exposed to traumatic events sometimes make the event worse (in their head) than it actually was. Im sure this makes sense in my own head, but if you cant understand what I mean I will explain it more thouroughly later. What if the events Harry saw in the Pensieve were not as bad as what really happened? Siruis and Lupin both verified small facts and the marauders did bully Severus a little, but what if it was all blown out of proportion in Snapes head? Then what Harry saw was years of looking back and changing the event to be worse than it actually was.

Makes sense to me, what do you all think? A man who is consumed by school taunts would often look back on them, possibly making them bigger and worse.

septentrion - Nov 8, 2004 1:59 am (#203 of 2980)
Margaret, you wrote a few posts earlier about Snape asking in the DADA class (in PoA) about the difference between werewolves and animagi. But I thought it was in the movie, if I remember well, in the book, he asked the difference between a real wolf and a werewolf. I don't have my book handy to check it but I'm rather sure of it.

Adamo, I understand what you mean, but here raises the question about how works a pensieve. Is the memory objectively recorded in the pensieve or is it tainted by the feelings of the person ?

Margaret Richardson - Nov 8, 2004 3:38 am (#204 of 2980)
Septentrion - it may well have been that the book had real wolf and werewolf, it's hard to separate the books and films sometimes.

I've wondered about the pensive and Snape's worst memory. I found it interesting that Sirius and Lupin had forgotten the incident with James turning Snape upside down (I just hate this scene, Snape having dirty underwear makes me feel so sorry for him and makes me think he is so unloved. Sentimental I know, but he brings out the maternal instinct in me.) I once saw a chat show where people whom had been bullied at school and had had someone say horrible things to them met up with their tormentor years later on the show, and the tormentors had no recollection of doing or saying such hurtful things. It just goes to show how we can do things to others that can scar them for life, but not touch us in a conscious way. Doesn't DD say to Harry after Sirius is killed that he under estimated the power of hate, when he asked Snape to teach Harry to block his thoughts, and stop the dreams. There are some very deep scars in Snapes psyche.

I've also been thinking about the animagus idea. It may well be that Snape is not an animagus, but then there is always the Polyjuice potion, or something similar. If there is a potion to allow you to take on someone else's persona, then there must be one that allows you to change your appearance. Snape, the master of disguise!!

On the idea of Snape being some kind of fowl, or bird. Maybe a black crow, since he loves black so much. But he'd better stay clear of the whomping willow, or he could find his feathers plucked!!!!

Jessalynn Quirky - Nov 8, 2004 3:56 am (#205 of 2980)
Snape could be using the Polyjuice Potion to look like a DE, then using Occlemency to hide who he really is from Voldemort.

T Brightwater - Nov 8, 2004 6:26 am (#206 of 2980)
"Snape could be using the Polyjuice Potion to look like a DE, then using Occlemency to hide who he really is from Voldemort."

Whose place would he be taking, though? Unless he's keeping a stunned and Imperio'd Death Eater in a trunk somewhere, it might be little difficult for him both to get a bit of whoever he's changing into _and_ make sure that that person didn't show up at any meetings himself. Also, unless that person were an Occlumens also, Voldemort might be suspicious as running into a barrier where none had existed before.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 8, 2004 6:40 am (#207 of 2980)
That's true Jessalynn, I have thought of that. But then what would he do to stop the real DE turning up at the same time as him, if he were using the Polyjuice Potion? That's why I thought it might be a similar potion, but one that doesn't rely on him having to dispose of someone in order to take their place.

rambkowalczyk - Nov 8, 2004 7:25 am (#208 of 2980)
For the polyjuice potion to work you have to change into another human. There could very well be a potion that allows you to change into an animal.

A while back I suggested that Snape could be a registered animagus and that only Hermione would know about it. I thought it would be just like Hermione not to tell Ron and Harry because sometimes she prefers to have them do for themselves instead of always relying on her. Unfortunately (For me)the argument that Hermione said nothing in GOF when they were discussing whether Snape could get to the forest quick enough.

D'you reckon he could've beaten you and Dumbledore there? Not unless he can turn himself into a bat or something,

Hermione should have an least implied that she knew what his animagus form was.

Unless maybe his animagus is not a flying animal. It's unlikely that Snape is a registered animagus. If he's an unregistered animagus do you think Dumbledore knows?

Ann - Nov 8, 2004 8:36 am (#209 of 2980)
I like the idea that Snape might be Nagini (because of the milking scene!), but alas, I don't think it works. It is only after the rebirthing and Harry's return that Dumbledore asks Snape to do what he needs to do, presumably go back and pretend to be a loyal DE again.

I think he was the one that Voldemort thought had left him forever, and that what he went to do at the end of GoF was to try to talk his way back into Voldie's good graces. Otherwise, if he was only spying through "contacts," why would he need to use his occlumency? And why would he recognize the room where Harry saw Rookwood?

Then he comes back to Hogwarts, and at the end of term banquet in GoF, Harry notices him looking at Harry speculatively, not positively but not hatefully as he has in the past. The beginnings of a grudging respect, now that he's heard (from the losing side) about Harry's duel with Voldemort?

Margaret Richardson - Nov 8, 2004 8:55 am (#210 of 2980)
I'm beginning to think that Snape being an animagus isn't the answer. As many others have said here, it's unlikely that JKR would have yet another unregistered animagus rear its head. (been done to death now) And I very much doubt that Hermione would keep that from Ron and Harry if Snape were registered. She wouldn't really have any reason not to tell them. I like the idea of him being such a man of mystery, makes him all the more cool as a character.

Snape, too cool for school!

Choices - Nov 8, 2004 9:10 am (#211 of 2980)
I noticed something last night in reading Snape's worst memory that I have not noticed before in 10 readings - during the confrontation with James, Sirius, Lupin and Wormtail after the exam, Snape actually fires off a curse at James that cuts his face and causes him to bleed. Don't know why it has escaped my notice before and it is never mentioned again, but I thought it was interesting. I don't remember another event where a curse draws blood. Does anyone else??

Grimber - Nov 8, 2004 11:01 am (#212 of 2980)
I don't remember another event where a curse draws blood. Does anyone else??

not that i've seen a curse that actualy cuts flesh, and I've been re reading from book 1 for working on a Hogwarts map.

LooneyLuna - Nov 8, 2004 2:09 pm (#213 of 2980)
A curse that draws blood...Interesting, my first thought was a dueling scar. Then I thought that kind of made James a "marked man" as well. Harry is a marked man and so is Snape (via his DE tattoo).

Not to change the subject, but we've been having some good discussions about Snape on the Occlumency/Leglimency thread. I had mentioned the way Snape shows emotions through his eyes. His eyes "glitter" when excited or "flash" when he's mad. But other than losing it after Harry dipped into his worst memory, Snape keeps his emotions under tight control, which is why I think he makes such as good Occlumens.

T Brightwater - Nov 8, 2004 2:20 pm (#214 of 2980)
The other time we've seen Snape really lose it is in PoA, after Sirius's escape.

Liz Mann - Nov 8, 2004 3:38 pm (#215 of 2980)
Choises - don't forget Snape knew more Dark Curses when he first came to Hogwarts than most of the seventh years. The curse that cut James's face was probably of the type. Which might be partly what caused James to react like that. He's strongly opposed to the Dark Arts.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 8, 2004 3:48 pm (#216 of 2980)
The other time we've seen Snape really lose it is in PoA, after Sirius's escape.

Yes T, he was especially vehement then. The Marauders seem to bring out a very nasty emotional response in him.

Choices - Nov 8, 2004 5:06 pm (#217 of 2980)
True Liz - I figured it was probably a curse not commonly used by "decent" wizards and certainly not by students at Hogwarts.

T Brightwater - Nov 8, 2004 7:29 pm (#218 of 2980)
I have a question for any of you who have studied psychology: If you had to do an evaluation of Snape, what would be your diagnosis, and why?

Potions Mistress - Nov 8, 2004 8:03 pm (#219 of 2980)
This in response to Adamo's thought that Snape might be looking back at the torment from the Marauders and seeing them in a worse light. IMO, it doesn't matter whether or not the Marauders were as bad as Snape (possibly) makes them out to be. This is how he saw them and it is this view that has affected his entire life since he was a student at Hogwarts. I remember in high school, reading an essay from a student, who described the hell she endured from elementary school on, because she didn't fit in. I'm sorry to say that I was one of those who teased and even belittled her--actions that I did not realize were so painful at the time. But after reading that essay, it made realize just how deep some of those old school days wounds go, as well as how long it takes for them to heal--if they are able to be healed at all, which I think in Snape's case, they are still very fresh (and Harry's presence is kind of like rubbing salt in the wound).


dizzy lizzy - Nov 8, 2004 9:18 pm (#220 of 2980)
And the salt is making the wound hurt even more and unable to heal?

popkin - Nov 9, 2004 12:54 am (#221 of 2980)
Choices - Nov 8, 2004 9:10 am (#211 of 220) ...Snape actually fires off a curse at James that cuts his face and causes him to bleed. Don't know why it has escaped my notice before and it is never mentioned again, but I thought it was interesting. I don't remember another event where a curse draws blood. Does anyone else??

I thought one of the death eaters used the same, or a similar, curse in the battle in the DOM. It may have been blocked. It's been a while since I read the fifth book.

LooneyLuna's comment is interesting. I wonder if the curse left a scar on James' face, and if the scar had any properties like Harry's scar.

T Brightwater - Nov 9, 2004 5:59 am (#222 of 2980)
Potions Mistress, I agree that the way Snape saw the Marauders and experienced their taunting is the important thing. It's not fair to challenge someone else's experience - he felt what he felt, even if an objective observer may have seen things differently.

I also agree that childhood persecution can leave very deep wounds. I have some myself, which is why I also know they can be healed. What worked for me was to stop brooding on (and analyzing) the past and to think about myself as little as possible. I don't mean not looking after myself, I mean not obsessing about myself or how people see me or why they don't like me. When I was able to stop doing that, I realized that quite a lot of people _did_ like me, and I even liked myself better. It helped to have other things to think about: music, weaving, gardening, a challenging but rewarding job, and a great marriage, which I still don't quite know how I lucked into - but I'm not going to analyze that either!

Snape tends to rub salt into his own wounds quite a bit. As many people have commented before, Harry didn't come to Hogwarts hating Snape, he didn't even know who Snape was! Snape, on the other hand, hated Harry right from the start, not because of anything that he did, but just because he was James's son. And yes, I think he genuinely does hate Harry; he may be also using it as part of his cover with the DE's, but more likely he's using his cover as an excuse to indulge his hate. If Snape hadn't started bullying Harry from his first day in class, Harry would have had no reason at all to dislike him.

Her-melanie - Nov 9, 2004 6:00 am (#223 of 2980)
I have a feeling that unregistered Animagi are alot more numerous than anyone in the WW realizes. Why register when, clearly, it must be somewhat difficult for the Ministry to find out? Rather like claiming tips when you work in a restaurant in the U.S. - you're supposed to claim them all, but most people don't. As much as I would love a scene in HBP where Hermione says something like, "Oh, I've known Snape was an Animagus for years. I just assumed you two knew as well. After all, he's in the registry." , I don't think she would have kept it a secret when Harry says things like, "Unless he can turn himself into a bat or something...".

LooneyLuna - Nov 9, 2004 6:01 am (#224 of 2980)
Popkin, even if it left no visable scar on James' face, I feel he was still marked (and if the scar was visable, it wouldn't have the same properties of Harry's scar which is unique). But I do think that moment changed James. James took that scene and grew from it, growing into the man that Lily eventually would love. Snape nursed his hatred for the Marauders. Snape's growth was stunted.

Snuffles - Nov 9, 2004 8:17 am (#225 of 2980)
Solitaire - you quoted a passage from gof chapter 29 where Harry turns to Ron and says "Not unless he can turn himself into a bat or something" could this be a hint?

On re-reading ps/ss British edition. Chapter 17 page 209 Harry has just entered the last chamber and realises it is Quirrell after the stone not snape. it says '"severus?" Quirrell laughed and it wasn't his usual quivering treble, either, but cold and sharp "Yes, Severus does seem the type, doesn't he? So useful to have him swooping around like an overgrown bat"'.

So thats at least twice that Snape is referred to as being like a bat. Hmmm..............

Margaret Richardson - Nov 9, 2004 12:44 pm (#226 of 2980)
Now here's a thought! What if Snape believes that the only way to make Harry stronger, is to treat him meanly? (Like Snape's own father treated him.) Looking at it from a psychological point of view. Maybe he feels that treating him nice, will make him weak. Let's face it, Snape may well believe that his angry father did him a favour by toughening him up to face the real world. Maybe Snape thinks he's not doing any harm to Harry, but he's nice to Malfoy because he sees him as a spoiled kid who will always be unworthy!!!

What do others think?

Liz Mann - Nov 9, 2004 12:54 pm (#227 of 2980)
I have a question for any of you who have studied psychology: If you had to do an evaluation of Snape, what would be your diagnosis, and why?

I think Snape's real problem is displacement. That and extreme prejudice. He takes his anger of James out on Harry. Plus he never even gave Harry a chance to show that he was different from his father. Snape just assumed he was exactly the same from the moment he saw that they looked alike.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 9, 2004 12:58 pm (#228 of 2980)
Snuffles, there do seem to be a lot of references to bat's and Snape. It would be really cool if he turned out to be able to turn into a bat. Dracula is quite an attractive character, and part of that has to do with his bat like appearance. Sleek and mysterious. If he were an animagus, then a bat would be my guess at his appearance. It would have been really cool if JKR had incorporated an scene in GoF where Snape revealed his patronus. That says's a lot about a wizard's animagus animal.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 9, 2004 1:01 pm (#229 of 2980)
I think Snape's real problem is displacement. That and extreme prejudice. He takes his anger of James out on Harry. Plus he never even gave Harry a chance to show that he was different from his father. Snape just assumed he was exactly the same from the moment he saw that they looked alike.

Snape isn't the only one who's guilty of that! Sirius is just as guilty. Molly has to keep reminding Sirius that Harry is not his father.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 9, 2004 1:11 pm (#230 of 2980)
I re-read Snape's worst memory last night, and Snape's reaction to James hailing him is to reach for his wand. Now that smacks of an instinct for self preservation. I feel it is really sad that Snape felt he had to defend himself against the Marauder's at all costs. I have to say, I really liked James until I read this scene in the book, and then my view of him changed. the bubble was shattered in some way, much as it was for Harry. I would really love to know what went on before this event. Sirius and Lupin do say Snape was a special case, so why was he a special case and why does James tell Lily that he picks on Snape just because he exists!!!!!

Annika - Nov 9, 2004 1:19 pm (#231 of 2980)
Margaret, I too reread that same passage from OP last night. Though I was disappointed by James and Sirius in this situation, the overwhelming emotion I felt when reading this was pity for Snape (even after his snide comment to Lily). I find it amazing, and a credit to Snapes character, that he joined the Order. It must have been hard to join the "good guys" when the "good guys" treated you worse than the enemy.


T Brightwater - Nov 9, 2004 1:31 pm (#232 of 2980)
I keep coming back to my theory that Voldemort or one of the DEs somehow hurt him even worse than the Marauders did.

Weeny Owl - Nov 9, 2004 1:53 pm (#233 of 2980)
I don't think Snape is being mean to Harry to toughen him up, nor is he being mean to Neville or Hermione to toughen them up.

Snape is not a nice person. JKR has said that he is a sadistic teacher, but that Dumbledore lets him teach that way because it's one of life's lessons... mean people exist, and everyone needs to know how to deal with them.

I don't think James and Sirius were at all nice during "Snape's Worst Memory," and the whole thing of sending Snape to confront a werewolf was horrid. On the other hand, we don't know what Snape may have done to them before that scene ever took place. I did feel such sadness for Snape to have been so humiliated, but at the same time, I wondered what he had done to them through the previous years before that took place. I cannot imagine he would just sit back and take it without retaliating.

JKR has shown us that Snape has been mistreated and that Harry's father and godfather aren't perfect. She is showing Harry (and us) that life is rarely black and white, and that there are often more sides to stories than just one or two. I hope she lets us see a better side of Snape in the next books... not necessarily a kinder Snape, but a better one.

Margaret Richardson - Nov 9, 2004 1:56 pm (#234 of 2980)
It must have been hard to join the "good guys" when the "good guys" treated you worse than the enemy.

But did the good guys treat him worse? I'm also of the opinion that Snape isn't as black as he would have people think he is. I also think that once James saved Snape's life, by stopping him from confronting Lupin as a werewolf, then maybe James became less of threat. Maybe this was a mark of James growing up and becoming a real good guy. But, Snape's ability to forgive him is a whole different ball game.

Annika - Nov 9, 2004 2:03 pm (#235 of 2980)
Though I agree that the scene was a turning point for James, a sort of coming of age, I don't believe Snape saw it that way. He remembers that James and his pals almost got him killed playing a ruthless prank that was only unsuccessful because James didn't follow through. (This is how I see Snapes point of view, not necessarily mine:) I can understand a harbored resentment following such an incident.


Weeny Owl - Nov 9, 2004 2:12 pm (#236 of 2980)
He remembers that James and his pals almost got him killed playing a ruthless prank that was only unsuccessful because James didn't follow through.

I think he sees it this way as well. Snape isn't a trusting person, and even after what he heard in the Shrieking Shack, he would still believe that James chose to save the day only so he and his friends wouldn't get expelled, or something similar. I doubt if he would think that James truly didn't want to see him killed or turned into a werewolf.

Lina - Nov 9, 2004 2:54 pm (#237 of 2980)
Well, maybe James was not saving Snape, but he was saving Lupin of being poisoned by biting Snape...

O.K. - For those who don't know me, I'm kidding. Those who know me, know that I love Snape. Gina, don't be jealous, I'm not going to steel him, I love him, as Margaret said earlier, in a motherly way.

I'd like to add some sensible stuff too, but I'm off to sleep right now.

Good night!

Ydnam96 - Nov 9, 2004 2:57 pm (#238 of 2980)
I have a theory (not well thought through at this point) but what if Snapes father was/is a death eater? We know that Snape was abused in some way by his father (as was his mom). Maybe he was "forced" either by physical force or emotional force to join DE the first time? Then his father continued to bully and push him around within the group of DE and Snape finally snapped, turning to Dumbeldore to get back at his father? Now he is playing the spy so he can teach his father a lesson?

Just a thought...

Potions Mistress - Nov 9, 2004 3:11 pm (#239 of 2980)
He remembers that James and his pals almost got him killed playing a ruthless prank that was only unsuccessful because James didn't follow through.--Weeny Owl

Not to mention all the other stuff they probably did to him.


MickeyCee3948 - Nov 9, 2004 6:26 pm (#240 of 2980)
Margaret I must agree with Weeny Owl in that Snape only wants to be mean and cruel to Harry and the others. I don't think he believes one moment that he is toughening them up. He has emotionally never gone beyond the mauraders and when he looks at Harry all he sees it James at the same age. The only difference is now he is the boss and can get by with almost anything.


edit-I have another question which has been bothering me. Why was Snape out on the lawn alone that afternoon in the pensieve. Seems like most Slytherin students like to pal around together to keep from being taken on one on one. What happen to all of Snape's friends.

TomProffitt - Nov 9, 2004 6:55 pm (#241 of 2980)
"What happen to all of Snape's friends[?]" --- MickeyCee

He didn't have any.

I don't think "hanging around with a Slytherin crowd ..." means the same thing has being friends with them. I doubt if Severus has ever had any true friends.

dizzy lizzy - Nov 9, 2004 7:15 pm (#242 of 2980)
If he doesn't have any(friends), does that excuse his behaviour or explain it?

Annika - Nov 9, 2004 7:25 pm (#243 of 2980)
Snape was abused (emotionally and physically) since childhood. Between his parents, what he had to endure in school at the hands of the Marauders and the weight of what he has to do for the Order, not to mention the disappointment of not being able to teach DADA, it is no wonder he has grown up to be a rather spiteful individual. And according to Madame Pomfrey "thoughts could leave deeper scarring than almost anything else."

I wouldn't exactly call Snape a delightful character, nor one I'd rush to invite for tea, but after OotP, I am beginning to understand why he is who he is.


dizzy lizzy - Nov 9, 2004 7:54 pm (#244 of 2980)
Annika. Hi. I understand perfectly what you are saying in your post. I have a vague impression of JKR's last interview that Jo seems to have intended us to understand Snape - not necessarily outright adoration of him. Not that outright adoration is inappropriate either...

Solitaire - Nov 9, 2004 11:22 pm (#245 of 2980)
Brightwater: Harry didn't come to Hogwarts hating Snape, he didn't even know who Snape was! Snape, on the other hand, hated Harry right from the start, not because of anything that he did, but just because he was James's son. And yes, I think he genuinely does hate Harry; he may be also using it as part of his cover with the DE's, but more likely he's using his cover as an excuse to indulge his hate.

I completely agree with this!

Snuffles, thanks for that other bat reference. I knew I'd seen a reference to Snape "swooping around like a bat," but I couldn't remember in which book or by what character. I also liked the connection someone made yesterday about him hanging upside down like a bat--like he did in the Pensieve, perhaps?

Mikie, regarding your post about why Snape was around the Marauders rather than his own "gang of Slytherins" ... Sirius told Harry that Snape was always following them around, trying to find out what they were up to and get them expelled. They were being rather careless talking about Remus being a werewolf in the first part of that scene.

Perhaps Snape was trying to get the goods on them ... because it seemed to me the very first time I read the scene that Snape was eavesdropping (or trying to) on the Marauders--even before Sirius mentioned it. Just my take on it ...

Weeny, I like what you had to say in post #233, too. Nice job.


Denise S. - Nov 10, 2004 12:27 am (#246 of 2980)
MickeyCee: Margaret I must agree with Weeny Owl in that Snape only wants to be mean and cruel to Harry and the others. I don't think he believes one moment that he is toughening them up.

To blur the line a little bit, do you think it's possible that he's only telling himself that he's treating some of his students cruelly because it's for their own good when, in fact, it's just an excuse because he truly enjoys doing it? (Was that clear?)

Weeny Owl - Nov 10, 2004 2:48 am (#247 of 2980)
To blur the line a little bit, do you think it's possible that he's only telling himself that he's treating some of his students cruelly because it's for their own good when, in fact, it's just an excuse because he truly enjoys doing it?

Possibly, but he did tell Fudge that he treated all of his students the same way, and that he didn't think bending the rules for Harry was good for him. I think when he sees Harry getting by with things he decides to let Harry know that there will be no special favors from him.

I'm not sure he actually sees that he could be doing as much harm to some students (Neville, for instance) as was done to him.

T Brightwater - Nov 10, 2004 6:25 am (#248 of 2980)
"Possibly, but he did tell Fudge that he treated all of his students the same way, and that he didn't think bending the rules for Harry was good for him."

But he doesn't treat all of his students the same way. He lets Malfoy in particular get away with anything (and all of the Slytherins are allowed more slack than Harry) and he never loses an opportunity to nail Harry for something - even, in the very first lesson, something that _another_ student does.

Potions Mistress - Nov 10, 2004 9:12 am (#249 of 2980)
I think Snape treats Harry as he does because he genuinely hates him. He also definitely plays favorites with the Slytherins and seems to find excuses to take points away from other houses (like when Hermione helped Neville with a potion--sorry, don't remember which book). I suppose whether he realizes that he's doing this on a conscious level is up to debate, though. Thoughts, anyone?


Weeny Owl - Nov 10, 2004 9:32 am (#250 of 2980)
But he doesn't treat all of his students the same way

No, he doesn't, but he may think he does. He may not see what he's doing because he has a blind spot where Harry is concerned. He's reacting to a situation he perceives to be true (Harry being just like James, arrogant, etc.) instead of looking at it logically. He came down hard on Harry the first lesson because he was seeing someone else and reacting to events that were traumatic for him.

That isn't an excuse for his behavior, but he may think he's being just as fair to Harry as he is to anyone.

His Slytherins are different, of course, and he might think that the other Heads of House favor their own students, so he'll treat his the same way and favor them.

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Severus Snape  - Page 4 Empty Posts 251 to 300

Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 6:08 am

Annika - Nov 10, 2004 9:55 am (#251 of 2980)
Is Snape's favoritism towards Draco and his apparent contempt for Harry a ploy to keep up appearances for Lucius and the other DEs. We have met another character, also associated with bats, who on first appearance was little more than a nuisance, but ended up helping Harry (Figgy). Could Snapes treatment also be a way to look out for him without arrousing suspision.

As I am typing this, I am not sure I have even sold myself, but I can think of no other reason for Snape to have "muttered the counter-curse" in SS/PS. Why did he try to help Harry?

Weeny Owl - Nov 10, 2004 10:04 am (#252 of 2980)
Is Snape's favoritism towards Draco and his apparent contempt for Harry a ploy to keep up appearances for Lucius and the other DEs.

If Snape were mean to Harry only when others were present, I might think that, but in PoA he had Harry in his office and was saying things to him about how much he's like his father as far as arrogance and strutting. He either honestly dislikes Harry or just can't see Harry as anyone other than a James Potter clone.

As for Draco, he is the only one we've seen Snape call by a first name. There could be a lot of reasons why, but he seems to deal with Draco in a more familiar manner, as if they have known each other outside of school.

Ann - Nov 10, 2004 12:16 pm (#253 of 2980)
Annika, GREAT connection, between Severus and Mrs. Figg.

I've been thinking about Solitaire's connection about the pensieve scene, where Severus is made to hang upside down like a bat. (Actually it was me that mentioned the image of his hanging upside down in the dungeons, but I was just trying to be silly and didn't actually make the connection with the pensieve scene.) In combination with the two other mentions of Snape in connection with bats (Ron in OotP, Quirrell at the end of SS/PS), I really begin to think you folks are right--there must be something to it.

And now Annika mentions Mrs. Figg, who is ALWAYS referred to as a batty old lady.... Hmmmm.... (Someone else connected her with McGonagall, since she wears a tartan of some sort, but I find this more convincing.)

On another Snape-ish topic: one factor that hasn't been considered in dealing with him is that he is so much younger than the other heads of houses, or so I assume. Surely he must have been a student of McGonagall, and I would suspect of Flitwick as well. Sprout might be a bit younger, but not as young as Snape, I suspect. It would be rather odd for him to be in that position, when you think about it.

T Brightwater - Nov 10, 2004 2:01 pm (#254 of 2980)
Minerva remembers teaching James and Sirius, and Snape was in the same year as them.

I observed on another thread that all of the teachers whom Umbridge went after in some way were hired by Dumbledore. She didn't try to get rid of Snape, but she did stick the knife in a few times. I wonder, does this imply that all the other teachers were hired before DD became Headmaster?

Potions Mistress - Nov 10, 2004 4:06 pm (#255 of 2980)
There's speculation that Snape is horrible to Harry as a cover. I disagree with this--I think Snape truly hates Harry because of his connection with James. However, I also believe that Snape knows of the Prophecy (to an extent, anyway). He's no idiot--he may loath Harry but sees him as the WW only hope against LV. THAT'S why he saved him in PS/SS, THAT'S why he didn't give Umbridge more Veritaserum in OP. He's let his hatred get the best of him at times (when threatening to slip Harry Veritaserum in GF--I think), but all in all, is able to master his hatred enough for the greater good.


mooncalf - Nov 10, 2004 4:07 pm (#256 of 2980)
Hmmm - the only teachers that we know were hired by Dumbledore are Snape, Trelawney and Hagrid. Although she certainly went after Hagrid and Trelawney, I don't think she treated Snape any worse than she did McGonagall, and we have no idea how she treated Professors Sprout, Binns or Sinistra.

T Brightwater - Nov 10, 2004 4:23 pm (#257 of 2980)
Dolores pretty much ignored the older teachers, and as for Minerva, she resented her but there wasn't much she could do about it. However, she was pretty snide to Snape about his applying for the DADA job and not getting it. She didn't try to have him sacked, but I got the feeling that it was only because she thought he might be useful - look at her reaction to him when he told her he couldn't give her any Veritaserum the second time she asked.

LooneyLuna - Nov 10, 2004 4:44 pm (#258 of 2980)
I think Umbridge knew about Snape's DE past and that's why she made some snide commments to him. After all, Umbridge was/is Fudge's littly toady. Fudge would have told her to watch out for Snape, since Snape showed his DE mark to Fudge the previous Spring.

T Brightwater - Nov 10, 2004 6:58 pm (#259 of 2980)
Taking that a step further, LooneyLuna, I wonder if she was laying the groundwork for a little blackmail - co-operate with me, or I'll tell everybody about that little tattoo on your arm...

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 10, 2004 8:11 pm (#260 of 2980)
Ah! The great "put you on probation" threat? Snape's reaction was interesting!

Potions Mistress - Nov 10, 2004 8:29 pm (#261 of 2980)
I don't see Umbridge as taking the same tack with Snape as she did with Hagrid and Trelawney. When comparing H. and T. to Snape, there is no comparison. I like Hagrid and I suppose Trelawney is not without her charms (no pun intended), but Snape is much more clever and adept in dealing with Umbridge--something I think she knows. T Brightwater, I think you might be on to something about the "blackmail" issue, although I think when Snape refused to make another dose of Veritaserum, he showed Umbridge that he would not be her little toady.


PS: (For those who might argue that Snape couldn't make the potion, and didn't necessarily refuse, I believe that he tends to keep a bit of Veritaserum with him at all times, as indicated when he threatened Harry with it in GoF.)

mooncalf - Nov 10, 2004 11:56 pm (#262 of 2980)
Edited by Nov 10, 2004 11:57 pm
Umbridge is a bully, and she enjoys using her power over others. Poor Trelawney was a made to be a victim, and Hagrid was prepared to leave rather than become a victim. But Snape is made of different stuff. He is much more adept at hiding his vulnerabilities, making it harder for Umbridge to intimidate him. Like all bullies, she succeeds by exploiting weaknesses, and though she certainly tried, she wasn't able to get under Snape's skin and make him afraid of her.

Grimber - Nov 11, 2004 12:37 am (#263 of 2980)
Doubt Umbridge was going to 'blackmail' Snape about being a DE. It's rather somewhat public knowlage since Snape stood trial as a DE.

Because he was let off for his 'spying' against Voldemort, that being the reason he got off may not be public knowlage. DD may have requested the minisry report a differnt reason publicy to keep that knowlage secret since DD always suspected Vold might not be realy gone, he may need Snape to spy again in the future, which we know by OotP he does.

Snape knows just how important Harry is to the Witch/Wizarding world, I almost think its safe to assume Snapes knows of or at least something of the prophacy ( I think DD may have even told him and others of Hogwarts staff or the Order, those he trusts. Just look at the conversations with differnt Order memebers, especialy Mollys motherly protection of Harry. They all seem to KNOW Harrys destiny, what he will eventualy face).

Being that, feelings aside (Giving harry a hard time, hating him, threating him), IF Snape was loyal to DD as DD claims, Snape would be there to protect Harry, as we have seen Snape do, in his own way. Snapes being in a unique sitation of helping guide and protect Harry, knows his destiny, and knows first hand what Harry will have to utlimatly face in Voldemort, may very well be making things a bit tough for Harry on purpose. Doesn't mean Snape can't take a bit of personal satisfaction from doing so in the process.

Most all the time we see Snape hounding Harry is about breaking rules, not paying attention, not following instructions, doing things on his own against what those protecting him don't want him to do. In otherwords, all the things a Heroic personalty would do, things that would lead a reckless person into trouble. The very same attitude that leads Harry into the Forbidden Forest ( more than once), to find the Chameber of Secrets, to fly an enchanted car to school, to run away from the Dursleys, to sneak around the school after hours, Sneak into Hogsmead when he was forbidden, to take it on himself to rescue Sirius from the DoM. All of which are the very things that could lead Harry into danger, even death before he can fulfill his destiny against Voldemort. The very SAME attitude that Voldemort used against Harry to trick him into going to the DoM. IMO Snape is trying to ground a bit of personal control into Harrys brain before Harry gets himself killed, of course the personal attitudes/problems between Harry and Snape get in the way of this.

Snape, being the anti-hero, he creates the quandry of just what side is he on. Compaired to the hero ( in this case Harry) the anti-hero looks like a bad guy. But when the anti-hero is compaired to the real villan (Voldemort) the anti-hero looks more like a hero or someone on the good side of things. IMO JKR pulls off the anti-hero role far better than I've seen other authors try to do with Snape.

Elanor - Nov 11, 2004 1:16 am (#264 of 2980)
Wow Grimber, great analysis! I do agree with it!

BTW, I don't think Umbridge could have "blackmailed" Snape. First, as it was already said, she knew he may be useful for her with his potion and, second, I don't think she's tough enough to match with him: that wouldn't have worked. This man is used to hide his thoughts to Voldemort and lived too many dangerous situations to be scared by the toad. But he certainly despised her and enjoyed fooling her with the fake veritaserum.

It reminds me of Harry at the end of OotP, when Malfoy threatens him and that he says :" 'Well, I'm terrified now,' sais Harry sarcastically. 'I s'pose Lord Voldemort's just a warm up act compared to you three- " In a way, that's exactly what I see Snape telling to Umbridge if she had tried to blackmail him.

Grimber - Nov 11, 2004 1:17 am (#265 of 2980)
As to the Snape Draco relationship...

Some suggestions of a prior relationship between Snape and Dracos mother. Not sure on that myself. I think they may be of the same or near same age range. If we could have seen the Black family tree tapestry more, I would have no doubt Snape would have been on it someplace ( afterall, Sirius said himself most pureblood familys are related from so many inter marriages and so few left). Snape could well be a cousin of the Blacks.

I do think Snape may have known the Malfoys for years, may be related to that side of the family more than the Black side. Snapes attitude towards Draco could be the result of wanting to keep Dracos parents in good standing with him, but it seems Snape takes a more personal level intrest in Draco than that. Almost a protective, uncle like role.

My thinking is that Snape may very well be Dracos godfather. Snape seems to have a similar attitude towards Draco as Sirius did to Harry. It would also fit in well to the story line... Sirius sees his friend James in his godson Harry. Snape sees himself in his godson Draco.

Snape being overshadowed by James when they were students in Hogwarts, doesn't want the same thing to happen to Draco with 'famous Harry Potter' in school as well.

Nearly Legless Mick - Nov 11, 2004 5:21 am (#266 of 2980)
This has probably been discussed before SOMEWHERE (?) on the Snape threads........

I think Snape has had to do a lot of acting all through the books which makes it hard to know for sure about a lot of things. This is because of his secret work for the Order, and his position as Head of Slytherin

Because he is head of Slytherin, he has to interact with the Malfoys. He knows Lucius from the old days, and probably knows Lucius is still up to no good and also that Draco is reporting back to Lucius.

Presuming Lucius and the DEs don't know that Snape has changed sides (or are uncertain, though they may suspect it), he has to put on a show as an exemplary Slytherin, and not do or say anything that will give the game away.

I'm sure his dislike of Harry is genuine, and he'd be on his case anyway, but I think this factor probably has made things even worse. He also seems to pick on Gryffindors in particular, with lots of cutting remarks about Hermione and Neville, and this too is probably a mixture of his natural inclinations, and the Gryffindor / Slytherin rivalry. As head of Slytherin he can't just ignore it.

I think it's very interesting that Snape can generally be so horrible to everyone, but still do important work for the Order and justify DD's faith in him. Even when he is causing Harry problems, I think we can see that he is trying to do the right thing from the Order's point of view, even if his approach to Harry is very different from the others. Of course sometimes personal feelings get in the way, but I think he manages his dual role quite well on the whole.

Although JKR has never shown us these scenes, I'd be fascinated to read one of the conversations betweem Snape and Lucius Malfoy from times in the first five books. There'd be so much bluffing and so many leading remarks, they'd probably need many, many re-readings for intepretation.

T Brightwater - Nov 11, 2004 6:31 am (#267 of 2980)
Skipping back a couple of posts, I think Umbridge was trying to find a weak spot when she was "examining" Snape's class. First she criticized his curriculum (the MoM didn't approve of the Strengthening Solution), then she needled him about not getting the DADA job. She realized pretty quickly that she wasn't going to be able to intimidate, discredit, or fluster him as she did Hagrid and Trelawney. Good thing she didn't know enough to mention James and Sirius.

That's an interesting idea, Grimber, about Snape being Draco's godfather; I could see it. He obviously has a better relationship with him (for whatever reason) than any of the other students. Also interesting is that Snape sees in Draco the kid who would be tops in his class and the Big Man On Campus, if it weren't for that horrible Potter boy and that know-it-all Miss Granger. I rather get the impression that Snape might have been the brightest in _his_ class, if it weren't for James and Sirius.

Mick, I like your take on Snape - he's acting but he's using his own real feelings as part of the act, as Barty Crouch did in his Oscar-worthy performance as Mad-Eye Moody.

Solitaire - Nov 11, 2004 7:22 am (#268 of 2980)
It reminds me of Harry at the end of OotP, when Malfoy threatens him and that he says:" 'Well, I'm terrified now,' sais Harry sarcastically. 'I s'pose Lord Voldemort's just a warm up act compared to you three- " In a way, that's exactly what I see Snape telling to Umbridge if she had tried to blackmail him. ?

LOL Elanor! That is exactly how I think Snape would react to any attempt by Umbridge to blackmail him! Snape is such a powerful Wizard that I just do not see him being threatened by Her Royal Toadiness. I think he is like McGonagall, in that he doesn't particularly care what she thinks of him.

As for Snape not being able to make the Veritaserum, I find that pretty difficult to buy. In GoF, Dumbledore tells Snape to fetch a bottle of the "strongest Truth Potion you possess." I realize that isn't proof that Snape can make it, but it seems that Dumbledore would tell someone to get it from his own stash or from Madam Pomfrey otherwise. I get the idea from that comment that there is more than one kind or strength of truth potion, and I'm sure Snape is capable of making them all.

Snape is not my favorite character, but somehow I get the idea that he can brew just about anything he wants. He seems to have a special affinity for potions, given his little talk on Harry's first day at Hogwarts. He is also capable of brewing the Wolfsbane potion, which many feel is quite complicated. The fact that Umbridge did not realize a full lunar cycle (isn't that what he said?) was needed to brew Veritaserum makes me wonder if she was truly qualified to inspect Snape. Shouldn't the inspector know more than the inspectee?


T Brightwater - Nov 11, 2004 7:52 am (#269 of 2980)
I think Snape is quite capable of making Veritaserum, and probably keeps a supply on hand. He gave Umbridge a fake potion the first time she asked him for it, and put her off the second time. Perhaps it does take a month to make, but Umbridge wouldn't know one way or another. Anyway, he knew what would happen if Umbridge gave Harry the stuff, and wasn't about to let her do it. (The fact that he put her off the way he did should have been a clue to Harry that he was playing a role, but Harry didn't pick up on it.)

"Shouldn't the inspector know more than the inspectee?"

In an ideal world, yes, but not necessarily in the Potterverse _or_ the real world. I think when it came to their subjects, _all_ the teachers at Hogwarts, including Trelawney, knew more than Umbridge did.

Potions Mistress - Nov 11, 2004 8:00 am (#270 of 2980)
All right, I can see how any of Umbridge's attempts to blackmail Snape would most likely fail miserably. I should probably go iron my fingers. ;-)

T Brightwater, whatever Snape's true feelings are for Harry (IMO, I think he does hate him, but that's just me), I agree that Harry should've picked up on Snape lying to Umbridge about the Veritaserum. I've just always kind of figured that Snape keeps some of those types of potions always on hand and could've easily given some of the real stuff to Dolores. (Once again, I'm making this assumption based on the conservation with Harry about the Veritaserum in GoF.)

Solitaire, as for Umbridge "the inspector" not having more knowledge (or even knowledge in general) compared to Snape "the inspectee"...well, who needs knowledge when you have power? ;-) (Would you mind putting that on the Umbridge thread too?)


Solitaire - Nov 11, 2004 8:01 am (#271 of 2980)
I think when it came to their subjects, _all_ the teachers at Hogwarts, including Trelawney, knew more than Umbridge did.

So do I. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that McGonagall, Snape, Sprout, and Flitwick are the tops in their subjects among the entire Wizarding World--all schools!

PM, there is nothing wrong with suggesting that Umbridge might try to blackmail Snape. It sounds exactly like something she would attempt. I was simply suggesting that I doubt it would succeed. Since I can't believe he thinks she knows anything worth telling (that probably isn't already known), I just find it difficult to believe that such an attempt would work ... that's all.


Ann - Nov 11, 2004 8:28 am (#272 of 2980)
I really agree with Grimber's post in which he says that Snape invariably does the right thing. He saves Harry from Quirrell, he tries to teach Harry to work with patience and care, to impress in him the importance of stopping and thinking before he acts, and to get him to realize that he is not always the only, or even the best person to take action. Snape is a very thoughtful person, and I think that, to his core, he is also a highly moral person, who thinks constantly and seriously about what the right is and who is unflinchingly courageous in doing what is right. (How he got into the DEs is a question, but I think he considered it carefully, and thought at the time that it was the right thing to do. And I think he got out after equally careful consideration and for reasons of morality, not because they teased him as badly as the Marauders did.)

It is the way that he does these things that is so hurtful. What Snape is not is self-aware, and this can often be more damaging to others than inconsiderate or even morally wrong behavior. He does not realize his own ulterior motives and how they might affect his reflections; he does not acknowledge his own prejudices and rationalizations. I think that part of this is his comparative youth with respect to the other professors. Unlike them, he has not got past the allegiance to one's house that was such a prominent part of his life as a student. (McGonagall takes huge amounts of points from Gryffindor without a qualm; Snape favors the Slytherins, although he probably rationalizes his decisions here.)

Another aspect of his comparative youth is one I've often noticed in people in their late 30s these days (and in myself when I was in my late 30s!); they still see themselves as young, they know that they still have much to learn, and they feel that they have not quite worked it all out yet. As a result, they often make remarks and do things that can be quite hurtful to younger people who look up to them as adult authorities. They don't realized the weight that their opinions have with others. (This mistake is more common with people who, like Snape, have no children; parents know they are the grown-ups!) Again, he needs to have a bit more awareness of the effects his actions and words have. The way he taunts the Gryffindors is probably exactly the same way he taunted them when he was a student; but it was less hurtful then than it is now, of course.

Sorry to be so long-winded about all this. I just shows what an amazing writer JKR is, that her characters can be so complex, yet consistent and believable.

Potions Mistress - Nov 11, 2004 8:39 am (#273 of 2980)
Solitaire, I thought I should iron my fingers for suggesting that Snape might actually go along with the punishment, but thank you for clarifying your position--I guess I'll hold off on the punishment for now. ;-)

Ann, I like how you said that at his core, Snape is probably a moral person, but it how he goes about doing things that make him have the personality of a viper. (Hmm...maybe that's his Animagus, but that's for a different discussion! ;-) ) While I agree that his youth (especially compared to many of the other teachers) plays a role in how he acts toward others (especially his students), I also think the fact that Snape has still not moved on from his past is a major reason for his actions. I have to admit, that I'm holding out hope for Snape that he'll be able to find some way to get over what the Marauders did to him, and probably the DE's as well.


T Brightwater - Nov 11, 2004 9:11 am (#274 of 2980)
"I also think the fact that Snape has still not moved on from his past is a major reason for his actions. I have to admit, that I'm holding out hope for Snape that he'll be able to find some way to get over what the Marauders did to him, and probably the DE's as well."

I'm right with you there. In one of Jo's online chats or public appearances someone brought up the idea of a "redemptive pattern" in connection with Snape (Can't recall the exact wording, sorry.) I got the feeling from her reaction that the questioner had scored a direct hit. I think Snape will have an "aha!" moment and realize what he's been doing to himself and everyone around him for all these years - I just hope he lives long enough to enjoy the effects!

SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 11, 2004 9:30 am (#275 of 2980)
Snape walks in gray. I used to hold to the camp that Snape is just misunderstood. Perhaps he is, but then again I don't think he fully realizes the ramifications of his actions or words- as they relate to other people. Since his days as a DE, I'm sure he is aware of how things effect him, but not how he effects others. Example: When he tells Fudge that he treats all of his students equal, I think he believes that. (For the most part) Harry, and gang the obvious exception. Though, we can see where he possibly rationalizes his actions. He has to keep Potter alive, and still Harry does stupid things when told not to in a nice way by other teachers. If nice doesn't work, lets try it this way! Also even out the odds a little. Potter gets points for breaking the rules, even if he got 'lucky' in saving the day he still broke the rules, so Snape finds ways to take points off when he breaks small rules. I don't know how much sense this is making, sorry if it's not much.

Frankly, I think Snape is starting to see Harry as his own person. I don't think that it's helping much... but none the less, there are moments where Harry is Harry, and James is James.

Grimber said something along the lines of even if Snape is just playing a role, it doesn't mean that he can't enjoy it. I agree with that. For the most part, Snape has been rather patient with Harry. More so than I would have been more than likely. I'm kind of backwards to most people, and maybe that's why I relate to Snape. Bare with me: Say I trip over shoes someone left in the middle of the floor. 8 times out of 10, I'll say something snide, or make a point of tossing them were they belong in front of who's ever they belong to. Just a quick little burst of anger, then I'm all better, as long as I think they realized it upset me! Now lets say that I get a call from someone who was drunk at a party instead of at work or something. I would be calm-ish, find out what where they were, pick them up, and over all be rational. Yet of the two I should be spitting tacks over the second... Now Snape- when the trio knock Snape out in PoA, he makes excuses for them, but when Hermione helps Neville fix a potion, he takes points off... Just a thought, not sure if any of this makes much sense. Sorry if I'm babbling a bit today in my explanations.


Edit: Wow, it took me so long to post I had to read what I missed while typing. I've always wanted to read other people besides Dumbledore see the redemptive qualitys that Snape has. Here's to hope! NO matter what though, I'll always like Snape. He's the charator who got me hooked on HP, and looking into web sites that could tell me more about him.

LooneyLuna - Nov 11, 2004 10:52 am (#276 of 2980)
Going back several posts to the Umbridge/blackmail Snape thought. Snape was cleared of all charges against him. When he showed Fudge his dark mark, Snape was essentially saying that the charges were true. Fudge told his little toady lady all about it. Which is why Dolores mentioned something about doing a thorough background investigation if Snape were to apply for the DADA job.

Shewolf - I understand what you are saying perfectly. Example: Snape couldn't prevent Harry from competing in the TriWizard Tournament, but he could take points off of him and encouraged Draco to make those anti-Potter badges.

SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 11, 2004 11:25 am (#277 of 2980)
Whew, I'm glad that my earlier ramblings made sense to someone. Thanks! Hope this one makes sense too. I can't wait to find out more about Snape. Man, Rickman must love playing Snape! What's his motivation for anything??? Where does the spy end, and Snape begin. (Not that I think if someone is a spy that part of them ever really ends, but I hope you know what I mean.)

I think with the whole Umbridge Snape thing it was kind of a 'If you can't beat them, have them join you thing. Once Umbridge realized she couldn't get the better of Snape, she shifted how she delt with him. Malfoy speaks highly of you, blah, blah, blah. Once Snape couldn't/ didn't jump when she said, we got to see her 'turn' on Snape much like how she delt with the other teachers. That scene kind of makes me smile. Could Snape have cared any less over what Umbridge was saying? I really don't think so. Part of the reason why I like Snape so much are his subtle little digs. I don't have the book with me right now, but he basically just shrugs, and keeps walking out the door, and then continues to play the teacher when telling Goyle(?) to loosen up on Ron's neck, because he doesn't like paper work- as a no longer going to be teacher he wouldn't have to worry about paper work. Then ties that in with giving him a reference later on. You'd think a reference from a teacher that got sacked wouldn't be a good thing. Now, Goyle might have missed that, but I'm willing to bet that Umbridge didn't.

When he showed Fudge his dark mark, Snape was essentially saying that the charges were true. Looney, you think so??? I always took that as more of a 'I think we aught to know what we're talking about here. See, I've been living with this getting worse through out the year. Look at the proof under your nose! MY DARK MARK!'

Okay, the Snape bat thing... I don't buy into him being a vampire, but I am curious how many times, and where vampires have been mentioned. Also curious about physical similaritys between Snape, and Sirius. Reason being is the only place I can think of a Vampire being mentioned is when Harry is looking at the newspaper picture of Sirius, and thinks that is what a vampire would look like. Something in there just doesn't mesh with me. I couldn't tell you how many times I missed that. It wasn't until I read some of the Snape is a vampire stuff that it stuck out in my mind.

septentrion - Nov 11, 2004 12:38 pm (#278 of 2980)
PM : I agree that Harry should've picked up on Snape lying to Umbridge about the Veritaserum

When Umbridge presented Harry with "veritaserumed" drink, Harry didn't drink so he couldn't know Snape has given a fake potion to her. When she asked Snape more veritaserum and when Snape told he had no more, he just believed it. Maybe he should've picked up the truth but his mind was concentrated about saving his nek and the neck of his friends.

LooneyLuna - Nov 11, 2004 12:49 pm (#279 of 2980)
That whole fake veritaserum/Harry not drinking it scenario is a classic example of Snape and Harry underestimating each other. Harry didn't think Snape would ever provide a counterfeit potion, and Snape didn't think that Harry had the smarts to not drink something from Umbridge.

I hope Harry and Snape can learn to work together, because together, they would be rather formidable.

SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 11, 2004 1:13 pm (#280 of 2980)
That whole fake veritaserum/Harry not drinking it scenario is a classic example of Snape and Harry underestimating each other. That is said beautifully! Man- if they ever figure out how to work together... Look out!

Ann - Nov 11, 2004 1:30 pm (#281 of 2980)
T Brightwater said: "In one of Jo's online chats or public appearances someone brought up the idea of a "redemptive pattern" in connection with Snape....I got the feeling from her reaction that the questioner had scored a direct hit. I think Snape will have an "aha!" moment and realize what he's been doing to himself and everyone around him for all these years - I just hope he lives long enough to enjoy the effects!"

The actual quote is from October 1999 (between PoA and Gof):
"There’s an important kind of redemptive pattern to Snape...."
--He, um, there’s so much I wish I could say to you, and I can’t because it would ruin. I promise you, whoever asked that question, can I just say to you that I’m slightly stunned that you’ve said that and you’ll find out why I’m so stunned if you read Book 7. That’s all I’m going to say.

This sounds bigger to me than just his realization of how mean he's been being to Harry. I think he's going to die--or come awfully, awfully close. But most likely, I think, he's going to die, probably saving Harry.

Weeny Owl - Nov 11, 2004 1:38 pm (#282 of 2980)
I think he's going to die--or come awfully, awfully close. But most likely, I think, he's going to die, probably saving Harry.

I hope he doesn't die saving Harry because that would be just too much of a cliche, at least to me.

Her being stunned at a redemptive pattern for Snape could mean that he dies in the end because he never was actually redeemed in the first place. He could have been working for Voldemort all along. I don't think he is, but being stunned could work either way.

He hates Harry, he detests Neville, and he called Lily a Mudblood, as well as making a derogatory comment about Hermione's personal appearance. If he were to die saving someone, I would rather he save Neville or Hermione, and my preference is Hermione because of the whole blood thing. At fifteen he used a nasty racial slur, but in his late thirties he saves a young girl who has been called the same nasty racial slur seems more redemptive than him saving Harry.

T Brightwater - Nov 11, 2004 1:42 pm (#283 of 2980)
Thanks for tracking that down, Ann, and I agree with your take on it. It has occurred to me before that Snape might end up dying to save Harry (and even that Harry might risk his life to save Snape.) I've also wondered, if the blood of a mother who died because of her love for Harry is such a powerful protection, what might happen if someone who genuinely hates him gives his life? (Not for Harry as such, but for the good of the whole community.)

I know it's hard to believe, but I could see Snape doing something like that.

LooneyLuna - Nov 11, 2004 2:29 pm (#284 of 2980)
I don't know if this has been discussed, but do you think Snape put a *stopper* in Voldemort's death? If so, is there a life debt between Snape and Voldemort?

Just rambling thoughts here. I apologize. <toddles off for a butterbeer with a fire whisky chaser>

Potions Mistress - Nov 11, 2004 3:31 pm (#285 of 2980)
All right, I think this might be at the crux of Snape: he seems to be capable of loyalty (esp. to DD), but is he capable of love? Can he ever truly care for another person (or even himself) or is his past from early childhood to Hogwarts to DEs too much to overcome?


SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 11, 2004 8:59 pm (#286 of 2980)
Oooh, so many ideas here. Looney, the *stopper* idea is a very interesting one. The possibilitys...

Redemptive qualitys, hmmm??? What I'd like to believe, and how I *read* Jo's responce are two different things. ...can I just say to you that I’m slightly stunned that you’ve said that. I don't get a real positive vibe off of that. I'd like too, and really hope that I'm wrong, I'm just not so sure though. That struck me as more of a 'I'm at a bit of a loss as to how you came up with that.' I really like the idea of Snape coming full circle with his words, and actions. Being honest with himself, about what he's done, and had done to him. Maybe he has already, and we just don't see it, but I don't think so. Here's to hope...

Her saying, you’ll find out why I’m so stunned if you read Book 7 tells me that at least Snape will be around that long, and that he is a, if not major charator, he is a pivotal one. What ever she does with Snape, I'm just glad that she's keeping him around at least that long. Yay!

septentrion - Nov 12, 2004 1:11 am (#287 of 2980)
LooneyLuna : I don't know if this has been discussed, but do you think Snape put a *stopper* in Voldemort's death?

I relate your idea to what Jo said on August 15th about the questions people should have asked for a long time, one is : what did Voldemort do not to die ?

About the redemption pattern and Jo's answer, I don't feel good vibes from it too. I find it difficult to think Snape could have been a real traitor to the Order all along and thus fools DD. But on the other hand, if he can fool LV... I rather hope he won't be a traitor, even if I'm sure he'll be shown as a nice man (except with Gina of course )

LooneyLuna - Nov 12, 2004 7:23 am (#288 of 2980)
Regarding Snape's traitor status (which side is he betraying). I agree with you septentrion, that if Snape can fool Voldemort, he can also fool Dumbledore. I also think that if Snape is the one that Voldemort referred to as the *one that has gone forever*, what did Snape do or say to get back into Voldemort's good graces?

It would be interesting if Harry has been right all along in not trusting Snape.

I am starting to think that the rebounded avada curse didn't kill Voldemort because of a potion that Snape has brewed or something that Snape did to Voldemort. Therefore, I think that Voldemort owes Snape. Interesting possibility.

septentrion - Nov 12, 2004 8:08 am (#289 of 2980)
correction : even if I'm sure he'll not be shown as a nice man

On a previous Snape thread, chemyst had a nice theory in which Snape was at LV's rebirth. I don't remember his arguments but it was believable. Gina has her own theory in which Snape she states that Snape, in LV's point of view, is the coward and not the one who has left. I'm not sure about Chemyst's theory but I've bought Gina's theory at 95 %. Anyway, if Snape is the coward, he had all the same to do something to get Voldemort's good graces, but what ? **expression of frustration : I want HBP !!!**

LooneyLuna - Nov 12, 2004 9:56 am (#290 of 2980)
Oh, I firmly believe that Snape was in the graveyard after Voldemort's rebirth. BUT in case Snape wasn't there, what did he have to do in order to get back in Voldemort's inner circle?

The only thing that comes to my mind is that Snape enabled Voldemort to pierce Harry's mind more readily through the Occlumency lessons. I know it's not a popular theory, but I don't think it is a coincidence that Voldemort found it easier to access Harry's mind after the lessons. If Dumbledore was aware of this plan, it makes sense that he did not teach Occlumency to Harry. Harry needed to fail at Occlumency in order for Snape to be trusted by Voldemort.

I know, dung bomb away!

Tessa's Dad - Nov 12, 2004 10:35 am (#291 of 2980)
That’s not a bad idea LooneyLuna. In chess sometimes even the most powerful pieces have to be put in jeopardy.

I'll save my dung bombs for the Marietta thread.

Weeny Owl - Nov 12, 2004 10:56 am (#292 of 2980)
I know it's not a popular theory, but I don't think it is a coincidence that Voldemort found it easier to access Harry's mind after the lessons.

I don't think it's a coincidence, but it isn't Snape doing anything wrong. Rather, it seems that it's a side effect of Occlumency.

Dumbledore said, "I have already said that it was a mistake for me not to teach you myself, though I was sure, at the time, that nothing could have been more dangerous than to open your mind even further to Voldemort while in my presence-"

It would appear that Dumbledore would have opened Harry's mind just the same as Snape did.

Catherine - Nov 12, 2004 3:59 pm (#293 of 2980)
Thank you for the quote, Weeny Owl. **waves to the weeny one!**

I think JKR has let us know, and through an authority like Dumbledore, that Occlumency may have the mind-opening effect, and that Snape is not to blame for that.

hellocello3200 - Nov 12, 2004 6:06 pm (#294 of 2980)
Sorry to start another topic, but about fifty posts back someone mentioned something about Snape's father. I had always assumed that he was dead, but Snape is isn't that old. (Late thirtys I believe) and his father should still be alive, especially in the potter-verse where people can live much longer than normal. So, either papa Snape is still running around, possibly as a DE or he died of unnatural causes, and if that's the case, I'm willing to bet that it was related to LV.

Ydnam96 - Nov 12, 2004 6:16 pm (#295 of 2980)

That was me, I posted a theory (of sorts) that it was Snape's dad who "forced" him to join the Death Eaters (either by physical or emotional force) and then continued to harrass him while they were BOTH members. Snape gets fed up after a lifetime of abuse decides he's had enough, turns to DD for help to get back at his father. His dad could be dead now...or he could be alive and an active member of the DE.

Just my thoughts...

Of course, I could be way off (but deep down i want to believe that Snape has had a raw deal all his life, had a horrible family life, acted out in school to get attention- but was still the outcast, and the place he got recognition was in Slytherin. I mean he might have learned all the Dark arts from his dad at home, just by being there, and figured why not use that to fit in? He just got in over his head and got fed up and turned aside) he could just be out for himself in it all as well..

hellocello3200 - Nov 12, 2004 6:25 pm (#296 of 2980)
I agree with you Ydnam that Snape wasn't dealt the best hand and it would have been easy for him to have become really evil, as opposed to the only annoying person he turned out to be. I also think that DD had a hand in this. I think he saw a kid with a nasty attitude and alot of dark arts spells up his sleeve and decided to steer him in the right direction to prevent another Tom Riddle. I think that Snape sees DD as a father figure. Perhaps DD was the only one to really punish the marauders when the picked on Snape. That could lead to additional resentment of Harry if Snape sees him as a rival for DD attention, like a sibling gets jealous of a brother.

Ydnam96 - Nov 12, 2004 6:27 pm (#297 of 2980)
Oh, I hadn't thought of that. Jealous of the role they played in DD's eyes. Interesting. That would make it very difficult for him, being that Harry looks so much like James. Great observation!

LooneyLuna - Nov 12, 2004 6:33 pm (#298 of 2980)
"It would appear that Dumbledore would have opened Harry's mind just the same as Snape did." Weeny Owl

I told you it wasn't a popular theory. LOL! Also, after Harry told Dumbledore that he always felt worse after the lessons, Dumbledore put his face in his hands - Dumbledore knew he had made a mistake entrusting Snape to that task.

Who is to say if Harry's mind would have been more open or closed after lessons with Dumbledore, we won't ever know (unless Harry continues lessons with Dumbledore).

T Brightwater - Nov 12, 2004 7:30 pm (#299 of 2980)
Hm, interesting catch, LooneyLuna. I wonder if Dumbledore's reaction to Harry telling him about feeling worse after lessons was because DD had hoped the lessons would bring about some sort of truce or even rapport between Harry and Snape, and instead they became another source of resentment between them.

DD probably knew that Snape would be able to see some of Harry's memories at first. Perhaps he hoped that Snape would realize that Harry's childhood was no happier than his own, and stop treating him as James reincarnate.

Potions Mistress
- Nov 12, 2004 7:45 pm (#300 of 2980)
Perhaps he hoped that Snape would realize that Harry's childhood was no happier than his own, and stop treating him as James reincarnate. T Brightwater

Alas, Snape's hatred for James has thus far been too much for him to overcome. However, being the eternal optimist, I do hold out hope for a cessation of open hostilities between Snape and Harry (at the very least).


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Weeny Owl - Nov 12, 2004 9:09 pm (#301 of 2980)
This is the only line I can find where Dumbledore put his face in his hands: "People don't like being locked up!" Harry said furiously, rounding on him. "You did it to me all last summer-" Dumbledore closed his eyes and buried his face in his long-fingered hands.

That was about Sirius and not about Snape and the Occlumency lessons. Is there another place Dumbledore does that that I've missed?

**waving to Catherine!**

Solitaire - Nov 12, 2004 9:18 pm (#302 of 2980)
I don't wonder that Harry felt horrible after the Occlumency lessons. In addition to the difficulty of closing one's mind to intrusion, there is the physical pain.

Consider how often Harry winds up on the floor, etc., in pain. He managed to zing Snape a few times with a shield charm and a stinging hex ... but Harry usually got the worst of it. Then we have to consider WHO is causing the pain--one of the people he hates most.

I'd say that even if Snape is doing exactly what he is supposed to do, Harry is going to experience emotional stress and physical pain--which makes me wonder how he is supposed to close his mind after a painful session. It kind of seems like a vicious cycle, to me.


LooneyLuna - Nov 13, 2004 8:28 am (#303 of 2980)
Weeny, you are correct. But Dumbledore still admitted he was wrong during that exchange. Dumbledore does bury his face in his hands a page or so later - I think we can conclude that Dumbledore realized that too many of his decisions ended up being mistakes.

T.Brightwater - I think Dumbledore does want Harry and Snape to see the other's point of view (disadvantaged childhoods) and was hoping for a better outcome from the lessons. After seeing Snape's worst memory, it seems that Harry is developing some empathy, we don't know if Snape is developing any empathy for Harry.

SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 13, 2004 12:13 pm (#304 of 2980)
I want to add a bit to what Solitaire was saying, if I may? This just came to me while reading that, so bare with me... I think Occlumency can kind of be like crying. Being a person who hates to cry, when I do end up having a good crying jig (usually over things that I thought long buried), I will end up having a screaming headache, sore muscles, and joints, not to mention feeling plain ol' whipped the next day. Everything that Snape is seeing of Harry's past, Harry is reliving again. Kind of a crash coarse down memory lane. Look at how Snape reacted when he, and Harry shared some of his memorys. Didn't he end the lesson shortly after that? Add to that like Solitaire was saying it was Harry who ended up on the floor, he is bound to feel weak.

I've wanted to say this for awhile. Now, I love Snape as a charator but he was truly being dense when he continually put his thoughts into the Pensive while Harry could see. In NO way, am I saying Harry should have looked in there. I just don't think that Snape should have been quite so surprised. He knows about Harry's curiosity, that's why Harry was learning Occlumency! Just had to toss that out there- Thanks!

Potions Mistress - Nov 13, 2004 1:16 pm (#305 of 2980)
Snape strikes me as being emotionally repressed, so maybe in the end, Harry knowing how the Marauders treated Snape will lead to some sort of catharsis. Just a thought...


hellocello3200 - Nov 13, 2004 2:33 pm (#306 of 2980)
I think that seeing causes at least some sympathy in the most anti-Snape reader. I for one had always detested Snape and but that segment along with the other childhood memories we saw from Snape gave me a knew outlook on him and when I reread the previous books I see the reason behind what seemed the first time around as unexplainable and unreasonable ill will towards Harry and co. It also changed how I saw the shrieking shack incident. Now I lay more blame on the marauders then I used to.

I think the memory might do the same for Harry. Up until then all he heard from the adults who were kind to him about his father was what a great guy he was. The only person whose opinion differed was someone who was cruel to him and his friends, so obviously Harry believed only the positive views of his father. Only after he witnessed his father in action did he admit to himself that Snape was right all along.

I think that the only way that Snape will let go his grudge will be if during some confrontation Harry tells Snape that " My dad might have been a jerk but I'm not him." and Snape will listen and say "Hmm.. I never really thought about that, your name isn't James it's Harry so I guess you are indeed a different person. Silly me. I've thought you two were the same person all these years."

On a serious note, I think that Snape has become increasing nasty to Harry because he is embarrassed and that makes him defensive. He was humiliated in the worst memory and because he felt so embarrassed, he lashed out at the closest thing he had to an ally in that situation (Lily) causing her to abandon him when she could have helped him. The same thing is happening again. His pride was hurt again when Harry saw the memory and he probably is worried that Harry told all his friends and that they are laughing at him behind his back. (Even though we know Harry would never do that, Snape think that Harry is cruel like James, who did get a kick out of it.)

LooneyLuna - Nov 13, 2004 3:28 pm (#307 of 2980)
Excellent observations, hellocello. What always struck me is with all Snape has seen with being a DE (and I'm assuming that he did his fair share of torture and or killing), his worst memory is a situation where he was humiliated in school.

Potions Mistress, I think that the reason Snape is such a good Occlumens is because he represses his emotions. When he loses his cool - he really erupts. Watch out, Mount Snape is gonna blow! hee hee

Grimber - Nov 13, 2004 4:59 pm (#308 of 2980)
Problem with Snape seeing Harry as Harry, and not a munchkin James, is Harrys own actions. Harry also has a "flagrent disregaurd for the rules" and acting as the "hero". Aspects Snape didn't like about James. Much like Ron after Harrys trial in MoM in OotP "I knew it! You get away with everything!".

Being punishments for thier actions seems to roll off them as water off a ducks back. Anyone else would have the book, even the whole library, thrown at them. An aspect about the Potters that many would be very jelous of and a source of anger towards them. Harry with his feelings towards Snape, probably gives Snape just as many nasty looking faces as Snape does to Harry. Snape may also have been 'feeling' Harrys surface emotions since the first year which we know how harry felt, didn't give Snape much of a chance to prove himself as a possible good rolemodel.

haymoni - Nov 13, 2004 5:05 pm (#309 of 2980)
Yes, and Harry's feelings about Snape have not gotten any better. If anything, he hates Snape even more.

Snape will have to continue his hatred of Harry, especially if Draco and the Nibblers are still in school. Year 6 should be awful for Harry.

Solitaire - Nov 13, 2004 5:20 pm (#310 of 2980)
SHEla WOLFsbane, I agree with you about Snape and the Pensieve. I think it was horribly invasive and unethical for Harry to look into it. However, knowing Harry's propensity for sticking his nose where it has no business being--as he certainly should after five years--I can't understand Snape leaving it unguarded.

I realize he left the room quickly, but it wouldn't have taken a second to restore that memory to his own head. Or he could have put the memories in it before Harry arrived and locked them away in a cupboard, so that Harry was unaware of them at all.

Sometimes, when I've thought about that passage, I've wondered if Snape may have intended Harry to see it ... so that he would lose his opinion of his father as someone worthy of admiration and emulation. No dungbombs, please ... I'm not saying it was so ... necessarily.


MickeyCee3948 - Nov 13, 2004 5:28 pm (#311 of 2980)
Grimber - I don't think that Harry has gotten away with that much. Yea, the incident with the Ford in CoS was pretty bad but that was mostly Ron's fault. But other than that I think most of the WW is being pretty hard on Harry and not giving him any slack. Probably because of his parents. I doubt that any other student who had been forced to use magic to chase off dementors in a dark alley would have faced the full Wizengamot.


SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 13, 2004 5:39 pm (#312 of 2980)
Something Hellocello said, got me thinking... When did you guys stop suspecting Snape? I can't really answer that for myself since even in SS I flipped back n' forth. Sorry that, that doesn't really fit with the flow, but I had to ask.

Much like Ron after Harrys trial in MoM in OotP "I knew it! You get away with everything!". And that is Harrys best friend saying it. If someone other than Ron or Hermione said that, it would give Harry reason to stop and pause.

Snape may also have been 'feeling' Harrys surface emotions since the first year. I tend to agree with that. I just started to reread CoS, and found something interesting: "He missed the castle, with it's secret passageways and ghost, his classes (though perhaps not Snape, the Potions master)..." He seems to be only just aprehensive here. He doesn't seem to have that deep hate yet... That gets stronger with each book.

haymoni - Nov 13, 2004 6:19 pm (#313 of 2980)
Yes - I think Harry's hatred for Snape has grown each year. I really thought that knowing Snape had alerted the Order to Harry's disappearance would have softened Harry's feelings, but it is very clear when Harry sees Snape in the entrance hall that his hatred has grown to its worst.

Harry blames Snape for Sirius's death - he has to blame someone, even though deep down he knows it is his fault that Sirius came to rescue him.

Solitaire - Nov 13, 2004 11:14 pm (#314 of 2980)
I don't believe it's Harry's fault that Sirius is dead. I also do not believe Snape is to blame. Voldemort lured Harry to the Ministry using Sirius as bait, and Bella killed Sirius. I realize many will say, "Well, if Harry had done his Occlumency training and practiced properly, blah, blah, blah ..."

I also realize Harry will lay the blame at Snape's feet for a couple of reasons. He will blame Snape for taunting Sirius about being useless to the Order--a taunt which really did lead to his going to the Ministry to help find Harry. Others, including Harry, may blame Snape for not taking his warning in Umbridge's office seriously enough and alerting the Order at once.

I disagree on all counts. I think the issues at hand are far too complex to write them off so easily. The very nature of what was happening--coupled with the secretive way everything was handled as far as Harry was concerned--practically ensured that Harry was not going to close his mind to the dreams. Here he was, at the center of all kinds of chaos and intrigue, and as far as he could tell, those dreams were the only way he was ever going to find out anything about what was going on.

We talk about Snape having known Harry for five years. Well, Dumbledore has known him for the same five years, and he has seen Harry rush headlong into harm's way more than once. In his first year, Harry led Ron and Hermione on their quest to save the Sorcerer's Stone. In his second year, he walked brazenly into the Chamber of Secrets to do battle with Riddle and the Basilisk and save Ginny Weasley.

In his third year, Harry followed the man he believed responsible for the murder of his parents in order to save Ron. He and Hermione subsequently went back in time, risking their future selves to set that man free from the threat of the Dementor's kiss.

In his fourth year, he battled hazards of all kinds in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, ultimately facing and escaping a rebodified Voldemort and graveyard full of Death Eaters. Dumbledore must have known by Harry's fifth year that he was not going to sit idly and wait, if Voldemort attempted to lure him to the Ministry ... and they all seem to have been expecting this to happen.

The bottom line is that a lot of damage--including Sirius's death--might have been avoided if the adults in Harry's world had treated him with a little more respect and filled him in a bit more fully about what was being guarded and what they expected might happen.

At the very least, I think Harry should also have been warned about how the Occlumency might affect him following a training/practice session, so that he knew what to expect and why. Yet no one told him much of anything. They simply expected him to remain quitely obedient and follow orders witout question, while they did all of the worrying and plotting. Many more people than Harry or Snape had a hand in Sirius's death. Well, that's how I see it, anyway.


SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 13, 2004 11:37 pm (#315 of 2980)
Yet, outside of Sirius (When Harry first gets to #12), Snape was the one who seemed most willing to give Harry some information. Harry didn't seem to see that though. He only saw what Snape wasn't telling him, not what he was. Grrr! I'll blame that on youth.

Many more people than Harry or Snape had a hand in Sirius's death. Well, that's how I see it, anyway. I agree, but lets not forget that Sirius had a hand in his own death too. NO, he didn't choose to die, but like Harry he did choose to not listen to Dumbledore.

Sorry if I come across as argumenitive sometimes ya' all. But I will sometimes argue against something I believe just so I can see it more clearly. Hope that helps :? (That's supposed to be a sheepish grin... I really need to figure out how to do those smilely faces)

Grimber - Nov 14, 2004 8:32 am (#316 of 2980)
Sirus death was the ultimate result of Harrys and Sirius own actions. DD though warning Sirius to stay put, ignored his warning. Harry has been time and again warned by Snape that Harry has the same reckless attitude his father had.

Though at the end of OotP Harry while talking with DD tried to make excuses to blame Snape I belive utimatly Harry will blame himself for being so easily duped by Voldemort and his own rush in to be the hero attitude.

Sirius loss also leaves Harry with only 2 possible father figures that are closely associated to his parents. Both I suspect he will turn to now Sirius is gone. The first, most obviously is Lupin someone he already trusts from his being DADA teacher.

The other, and i think some will disagree with me here, is Snape. Snape is one of the few that realy knew much about the Potters besides the Sirius & Lupin even if his view is very opinionated. Snape also has always been the voice of reason and self control for Harry that Harry has up till now ignored. The events in the DoM may start changing Harrys mind about listening to Snape. Snape has skills and knowlage Harry needs to defend himself against Voldemort. I lay most the blame for the failed Occum lessons on Harry and harry knows its partly his own fualt for not doing as Snape instructed him, as he wouldn't then had his dreams, he wouldn't have been fooled thinking Sirius was in the DoM. He wouldn't have ran to the DoM to try and save sirius if he listen to Snape about his heroic attitude how how voldemort will use it agaisnt him.

No, eventualy Harry is going to wake up and realise he needs to get past his feelings towards Snape and learn from him if he intends to survive against Voldemort now that he knows he is the one that has to defeat Vodlemort. In fact Harry will have to trust Snape, attitude and all.

Ann - Nov 14, 2004 8:45 am (#317 of 2980)
Grimber: No, eventualy Harry is going to wake up and realise he needs to get past his feelings towards Snape and learn from him if he intends to survive against Voldemort now that he knows he is the one that has to defeat Vodlemort. In fact Harry will have to trust Snape, attitude and all.

And, of course, the interesting thing is that if he does, there may be a major change in Snape's attitude (as you so kindly call it; "dislike," "scorn," "hatred" might work as well). If you are really convinced that the adversary is basically a decent person, unilateral disarmament can work miracles. But while I'm convinced about Snape, I'm not sure Harry will ever be.

Grimber - Nov 14, 2004 9:46 am (#318 of 2980)
This turniong may take a bit more prodding on JKRs part. Someone else has to suffer/die because of Harry that directly effects Harry. Either from an action Harry does of his own or from protecting Harry.

As I see it, it might come about if Lupin dies or is taken out of the picture ( in Mungos like the Longbottems?). Especialy if Snape yet again berates or warns Harry about his attitude/heroic behavior just before Lupin is falls.

Solitaire - Nov 14, 2004 11:25 am (#319 of 2980)
Grimber, I think you may need an Immobilus! curse on your fingers for even suggesting that Remus dies! Grrrrrrrrrr! I don't want to read things like that!

As far as the Snape/Harry hostilities go, I can't help how I feel. Yes, Harry has been reckless, but I still say that Snape, as the adult, bears more responsibility for the mutual antagonism than Harry. Snape created it, after all.

Harry arrived at Hogwarts completely ignorant and barren of any "issues" with anyone--apart from Voldemort and what he'd discovered of Draco in Diagon Alley and en route to Hogwarts. Snape initiated the hostilities with Harry during his first potions class, and he has stoked them generously every day since then.

I agree that Harry is old enough to be able to look at Snape as the pathetic individual that he is, with regard to what his resentments and bitterness have made him. He is also old enough to bear responsibility for his own actions and not attempt to lay the blame on Snape. Snape is also MORE than old enough to get past his resentments, too, but we haven't seen any evidence of his ability or desire to do so. Can we expect any better of Harry at this point? I don't know.

As far as a cessation of hostilities between Harry and Snape, I doubt it will happen any time soon. It is one of the "engines" that drives the story, and I believe we have a long way to go before we see the climax and resolution of the Harry-Snape story arc. Eventually, I suspect, one or both will realize he has/they have been wrong about the other. Sadly, I believe it will come too late to repair the damage and forge a partnership. JMHO ...


Grimber - Nov 14, 2004 4:38 pm (#320 of 2980)
Smile I know. Of all the characters, only 2 i feel deserve to survive (Lupin and Hagrid) being the 2 good at heart TRUE survivers of a life time of struggling to be accepted.

But these 2 also are very important to Harry, in fact the only 2 left that are that close to Harry and play a fatherly/close uncle like role. Arthur Weasly also fills part of this but not like the previous 2.

This put both of them in line for the emotional attachment chopping block for JKR. With them around the Harry/Snape emotional conflic may never be resolved unless Snape does something totaly unexpected in front of Harry that makes Harry change his views.

Unless of course it happens the other way around, Harry saves Snape from certain doom.

Aud Duck - Nov 14, 2004 5:18 pm (#321 of 2980)
I think that the only way Harry and Snape would start getting along is if Snape stops unjustly blaming Harry of qualities he doesn't have. Harry did not come to Hogwarts with a big head. Harry does not push the limits of the rules. He breaks the rules when he feels there is good reason to do so, or if he can see no reason not to. The only questionable thing I can think of is Hogsmeade, and his peers did get to go. If Harry had had a guardian that was willing to let him go, he would have been allowed to. It was something a lot of kids Harry's age would have done. The flying car incident isn't really what Snape made it out to be, either. Harry really didn't see another option. It was silly of him not to, but the fact remains that he didn't. With Snape accusing Harry of having qualities he doesn't have, it's no wonder Harry doesn't take Snape's appraisal of him very seriously.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 14, 2004 5:29 pm (#322 of 2980)
"Of all the characters, only 2 i feel deserve to survive"

S'plain please?

Grimber - Nov 14, 2004 9:23 pm (#323 of 2980)
Of all the characters that could possibly die by the end of book 7, only Hagrid and Lupin remain of any WW that has suffered and endured so much at both societies, Muggle and WW, truely not accepted by either pretty much thier entire lives ( we can't count Harry because JKR already said he survives).

Though Dobby would be considered a surviver outcast like Hagrid and Lupin, hes not as critical to Harrys emotions as the former are and harrys emotions always tend to be a key element throughout all the books so far ( and I suspect will be to the very end with Vold downfall). Dobbys role since CoS has been to pop up when a problem arises that Hermonie can't fill in a blank.

Far as deaths go, there will be some, some that are only names to Harry or people he may have met only once or twice briefly. I expect few if only 1 or 2 student deaths at most. Just to keep us grounded with Mrytle and Cedric that children arn't outside of this conflict, but JKR won't litter her books with childrens corpses. Something that won't be too well accepted by readers, so we will can expect little in the way of students ultimate loss.

Other Hogwarts staff, including DD and McGonigal are realy all expendable. In fact I ( and i know some others) expect DD to pass on at least by the end of book 7. Riddle being DDs one true failure i belive hes just hanging on just to see that failure resolved, which he probably had the opertunity 50 years ago and didn't act.

Snape though a hard life obiously , has provided enough fuel for readers to accept if he's lost, if not for some, down right happy about it.

Ministry members, well since we know so few of them most are just namelss faces and those we do know we don't know well enough to care one way or the other.

Other Order memebers, pretty much expendable by thier own violation to volinteer to risk their lives against Voldemort, they expect they can die, so should we. Plus we also have little connection to most of them other than a name, face or a few words in passing.

DEs and Voldemort - :p don't think anyone would cry over thier loss Smile

brings me to Weasly family and Dursleys.

Weaslys -- too many warning signs that something bad WILL happen in the family, beyond what has happend to them so far. Though could possibly be any of them, I expect the most, Bill or Charlie.

Dursleys - don't think many would cry over any of this familes loss. I do think they will fall into great danger and they will play a pivital roll in the end, but they won't die, but be seriously changed from thier ordeal.

In the end I think its all about the emotional bonds with Harry that are crucial to the story. Those with little to no bond ( even if the bond is hatred, its a bond) are more expendable in terms of the story.

Those with VERY strong emotional bonds to harry though are in the prime chopping block for the most emotional story impact ( not many of these people left Hagrid and Lupin being 2 of them) and with a high conflict level such as we can expect in the last 2 books, JKR stirring emotions in the readers will more important than ever to keep suspense and danger levels high. SO expect several adult characters close to harry either dieing or being greviously harmed.

So why Hagrid and Lupin deserve to survive? Because of all the characters, they are the only ones fighting for freedom and rights that they themselves have not realy had during thier lives. Even Dobby now has freedom.

Solitaire - Nov 14, 2004 11:22 pm (#324 of 2980)
Grimber, didn't JKR say Harry survives until the seventh book? That is very different from surviving through the seventh book. The first way means he could be alive at the beginning of the book but dead by its end. I'm hoping he and all our heroes survive ... but I doubt that is a realistic hope, given what we already have seen and know to expect.

I'd like to pursue this, but it doesn't really fit this thread.


Grimber - Nov 15, 2004 4:45 am (#325 of 2980)
Solitaire ... Nope it doesn't belong here, was just trying to answer TwinklingBlueEyes question. just so not to be totaly off topic I snuck a direct Snape referance in Wink

In the end though with Snape, I still think hes one of the better written characters I've seen in some time because even after 5 books, you can't totaly tell which way the wind blows with this guy. Will he eventualy side with the heros side, fall over to the DarkLords side, or just do what ever he has to to survive the good/evil conflict.

T Brightwater - Nov 15, 2004 6:27 am (#326 of 2980)
" I think that the only way Harry and Snape would start getting along is if Snape stops unjustly blaming Harry of qualities he doesn't have."

Yes, Aud Duck, that would be a great start. I think at the end of Gof Harry was starting to see Snape in a different light, but his first day back at class in fifth year, Snape was being his old self - every student in the class, except for Hermione of course, had some sort of trouble with the potion, but Snape only Vanished Harry's. So much for any goodwill there.

I wonder if Snape knows that HRH suspected him of trying to steal the Philosopher's Stone, and holds that against them.

I also wonder if Snape has ever considered what would have happened if Harry had not ever broken any rules. Hermione and Ginny (at least) would be dead, Voldemort would be much stronger, the basilisk would still be at large, etc, etc. Snape is probably thinking only of Sirius's escape in PoA, but if HRH hadn't been out of bounds that night, Snape wouldn't have found Sirius either.

Solitaire - Nov 15, 2004 7:16 am (#327 of 2980)
Grimber: ... hes one of the better written characters I've seen in some time because even after 5 books, you can't totaly tell which way the wind blows with this guy

I agree with this one. I don't always like the ambivalent characters as people, but I must agree that Snape's moral ambiguity--coupled with his DE past and his apparent respect for and devotion to Dumbledore--certainly puts him in the company of some of the more interesting and compelling characters in literature.


Madame Pomfrey - Nov 15, 2004 7:54 am (#328 of 2980)
If Harry was to continue occlumency with Snape perhaps Snape would realize that Harry is not so much like James.Through the occlumency lessons Snape has learned that Harry has suffered some of the same bullying and mistreatment that he himself had to endure.In this aspect they really should be able to identify with each other.If the occlumency lessons had continued I think Snape would have seen how Harry despised being stared at,center of attention etc. Also he would have seen how upset Harry was about James treatment of Snape.

MickeyCee3948 - Nov 15, 2004 5:14 pm (#329 of 2980)
I hope something can be done but I think DD's going to have to use some MAJOR diplomatic tact to get those two together and have them act civilly towards each other.


Gina R Snape - Nov 15, 2004 5:22 pm (#330 of 2980)
About 100 posts back, T Brightwater asked: I have a question for any of you who have studied psychology: If you had to do an evaluation of Snape, what would be your diagnosis, and why?

As a matter of fact...I did write something up two summers ago. I've dug it up and will repost it here for your amusement... (and btw, thank S.E. Jones for reposting it here as it was originally on our fallout shelter:

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.

Potions Mistress - Nov 16, 2004 5:33 pm (#331 of 2980)
Gina, I'm sure you could cure Snape. ;-)


Gina R Snape - Nov 16, 2004 5:58 pm (#332 of 2980)
Thanks, darlin'

hellocello3200 - Nov 16, 2004 6:22 pm (#333 of 2980)
Sounds like Snape to me Gina. I'm not a psychiatrist either, but the third edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders happens to sit next to the computer (A family member is a psychologist) and I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night. The description that I thought sound most like Snape was Paranoia. How some of the descriptions of characteristic behavior are a little extreme, even for Snape so I'd say he is only mildly afflicted.

"Common associated features include resentment and anger, which may lead to violence. (Well Snape's got resentful written on his forehead, though he isn't usually violent.) Grandiosity and ideas or delusions of reference are common.(That doesn't fit) Often there is social isolation, seclusiveness, or eccentricities of behavior. ( You can't say he's eccentric, but I'd say he's pretty isolated) Suspiciousness, either generalized or focused on certain individuals, is common. (I'd say he is pretty darn suspicious and his suspicion defiantly focus on an individual, I seem to recall that he immediately assumed Harry had broken into his office on GoF, Sorry don't have my book with me.) Letter writing, complaining about various injustices and instigation of legal action are frequent. (Can't say this fits either.) These individuals rarely seek treatment, and often are brought for care by associates....(Perhaps the Hogwarts staff will have an intervention and send him off to St. Mungos for awhile.)" Parenthesis were my own thoughts obviously.

It also says that "Impairment in daily functioning is rare. Intellectual and occupational functioning are usually preserved, even when the disorder is chronic." ( That describes Snape, he certainly isn't intellectually impaired.)

The diagnostic criteria for Paranoia are: A. Persistent persecutory delusions or delusional jealousy. (If unreasonable hatred and suspicion toward someone because their dad was a jerk to you in school counts then Yes) B. Emotion and behavior appropriate to the content of the delusional system.(Yes) C. A chronic and stable persecutory delusional system of at least six month's duration. (BIG YES) D. None of the symptoms of criterion A of schizophrenia such as bizarre delusions, incoherence, or marked loosening of associations. ( Yes,Well not yet at least ; P ) E. No prominent hallucinations. (Yes) F. The full depressive or manic syndrome is either not present, developed after any psychotic symptoms, or was brief in duration relative to the duration of the psychotic symptoms. (Umm...) G. Not due to an Organic Mental Disorder. (As far as we know, Yes)

Gina R Snape - Nov 16, 2004 6:56 pm (#334 of 2980)
Diagnosing Snape is fun, isn't it?

I thought about paranoia, and might recheck the DSM-IV tomorrow. But I didn't consider it as a diagnosis because Snape is usually close to the truth and it is his job to be on the lookout anyway.

I thought it was very very interesting that in the PoA movie Sirius taunts Snape for putting all the pieces together and coming to exactly the wrong conclusion.

He is seldom completely wrong in his suspicions, but also sometimes not quite right. For example, he assumed it was Potter who took things out of his stores. Potter was involved, but not the actual one. He knew it was Potter's egg on the stairs and sensed his presence both in this scene and I believe also in PS/SS when Harry first wore the invisibility cloak (unless that's just movie contamination). He knew Potter was somehow involved in Sirius Black escaping at the end of PoA. His suspicions of others are based on something, whereas paranoia is totally irrational. He has been described as someone who puts things together 'as only he can' which suggests a strong sense of intuition coupled with exemplary skills of observation.

Of course, honing those skills of observation could very well lie in a deep-seeded generalised paranoia. But in my mind, it comes from years of practise owing to the need to watch his back around his father and the marauders and who knows who else.

Also, the clients I've worked with who are paranoid or have paranoid traits frequently draw completely wrong conclusions with no proof of any sort of wrongdoing against them.

But you raise an interesting train of thought!

hellocello3200 - Nov 16, 2004 7:06 pm (#335 of 2980)
Well Snape's negative feelings about Harry were there before he really knew him, so I would say that that is irrational, but I can't say I've ever met a person diagnosed with Paranoia like you, Gina. Perhaps he is not afflicted with Paranoia, but is still paranoid, if that makes any sense. I think he is not "crazy" for lack of a better word or illogical in his thinking, but has a slanted view of things, so some times he draws the wrong conclusions. I think it is safe to say he worried that Harry would think his worst memory was funny and that he'd tell everybody what he saw and have a good laugh at his exspense, which we know is very far from the truth.

Gina R Snape - Nov 16, 2004 7:30 pm (#336 of 2980)
Yes, I agree there is a less-than-healthy preoccupation with and dislike for Harry. I just don't know if I'd label it paranoia. But you raise a very good argument for discussion.

Now, WHERE IS EVERYONE ELSE tonight to debate these ideas?!?! Waaaaaaah.

dizzy lizzy - Nov 16, 2004 8:23 pm (#337 of 2980)
We are having a real quiet day that's why. I'm so out of it I'm suprised I'm writing a proper sentence.

Besides what's snape going to do with himself if he and harry come to a compromise? Hate and dislike have been such a large part of his life for so long. Will the removal of that really send Snape over the line into a full blown Psychatric illness.?

MickeyCee3948 - Nov 16, 2004 8:31 pm (#338 of 2980)
I lived with a paranoid schizophrenic for 13 years and Snape has very few characteristics of paranoia or schizophrenia. He appears to me to have a classic schizoid personality.

1. Rejects any close or intimate relationships.

2. Almost always chooses solitary activities

3. Takes pleasure in few, if any, activities

4. Lacks close friends or confidants

5. Shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity

At least that is my view of his personality.


Ydnam96 - Nov 16, 2004 8:36 pm (#339 of 2980)
Mikie, I think you got Snape dead-on!

It's sad though, cause I think underneath it all Snape really does want to be liked, respected, to belong, etc.

Gina R Snape - Nov 16, 2004 8:48 pm (#340 of 2980)
See, I think he does take pleasure in certain activities. And I think he has close relations with DD and McGonagall. In fact, I think he and McG are quite close.

In truth, we don't know what he does with his personal time. All we know is what Harry sees, and can surmise by filling in a few gaps here and there.

MickeyCee3948 - Nov 16, 2004 8:53 pm (#341 of 2980)
Gina you are the truest of the true fans of Snape. WOW! What activities does he take pleasure in other than harassment of Harry and poor Neville.


Solitaire - Nov 16, 2004 9:50 pm (#342 of 2980)
Mikie, I'm surprised at you! You know very well Snape has a hobby! He takes GREAT PLEASURE in making Harry's life miserable and humiliating him and Neville every chance he gets! In fact, I'd say he pursues at least part of his hobby with such ferocity that he might even be a bit obsessed with it!

Weeny Owl - Nov 17, 2004 2:35 am (#343 of 2980)
I agree with Gina that Snape and McGonagall have a close relationship even if they're rivals. I think they love to tease each other over Quidditch and the House Cup. I'm sure there are some serious feelings about wanting to win both Quidditch and the House Cup, but they've never seemed to be at odds with each other in a serious way.

Snape likes Quidditch well enough to root for his house, but even if that's expected, he still knew enough to referee a match. That's an interest, anyway.

I don't think Snape will ever be a ray of sunshine, but if he lives after Voldemort's defeat (I hope he does), then at least some stress would be gone and he might not feel the need to be quite so vindictive when it comes to taking house points. I see him as still favoring Slytherin, but blasting rose bushes and such might be a thing of the past if he doesn't have impending doom hovering over his head.

Solitaire - Nov 17, 2004 3:19 am (#344 of 2980)
I don't know if I would go far as to say Snape and McGonagall have a close relationship. I think Snape certainly treats her with more respect than he appears to show others. Perhaps she has been, if not a mother figure, at least a strong female role model.

McGonagall is a woman who is capable of fierce loyalties and who occasionally betrays very strong feelings and emotions--yet we never see her get "sappy" like Trelawney. I think that would probably go a long way toward garnering the respect of someone like Snape, who appears to see the full expression of one's emotional range (something we often see Sirius and Harry do) as weak.

Snape appears to come from a background where shielding his emotions has allowed him to survive. Both Sirius and Harry have been in their own "prisons" and are relatively young when it comes to learning to control rash and reckless emotions. Snape does not really allow for their circumstances when he treats their outbursts with disdain. Given time--and vindication of his honor--I believe Sirius would have matured. I hope and believe Harry will, too, when he understands things fully.

I think the common thing that unites Snape and McGonagall is their apparent respect and admiration of Dumbledore. Both appear to be staunch and able supporters. Hopefully, this will bring Snape and Harry to a point of truce.


Her-melanie - Nov 17, 2004 6:05 am (#345 of 2980)
I believe McGonagall was teaching at Hogwart's while Snape was there. (She must have been, right?) I think we have seen McGonagall show a soft side for kids with troubled lives (she gets upset when Harry says he is going to visit Hermione in the hospital wing during SS/PS, for example). I think McGonagall would have had a soft spot for Snape since he was clearly a good student, but also clearly not very popular or happy. I can see Snape and McGonagall having a close teaching relationship because of their past student/teacher relationship. I can't remember the exact passage, but I do remember something that made me think Snape and McGonagall got along well. I'll look for it. As for Snape's mental diagnosis, he just seems emotionally stunted and distrustful to me. I don't think he has any certifiable mental/emotional disorder. (Gina, read as: "He just needs some lovin'.")

Solitaire - Nov 17, 2004 7:27 am (#346 of 2980)
I don't doubt they got on well, and as I said above, I believe McGonagall has and betrays strong emotions on occasion. I see a difference between feeling/showing strong emotion and becoming sappy and unglued. I also think McGonagall would have been interested in the young Snape's welfare when he was a student--although, as he was a Slytherin, I doubt she would have had as much interaction with him as she has with the Trio.

As for the current time, I simply do not see such a close relationship as some might see, due largely to Snape's secretiveness and loner tendencies. While I can certainly see them discussing certain issues and maintaining a relationship of mutual respect, I really do find it almost impossible to picture Snape seeking out McGonagall--or anyone, for that matter--for a heart-to-heart. Flitwick or Sprout, on the other hand--maybe even Hagrid--I can see sitting down to "chew the fat" with McGonagall regarding students and other issues. I just do not see Snape as an "up close and personal" kind of guy.


Ann - Nov 17, 2004 10:46 am (#347 of 2980)
Gina said, apropos Snape's possible paranoia: "Of course, honing those skills of observation could very well lie in a deep-seeded generalised paranoia. But in my mind, it comes from years of practise owing to the need to watch his back around his father and the marauders and who knows who else."

Actually, we do know who else: You-Know-Who. Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean no one is after you, and I think his relationship with Voldemort is likely to be a bit adversarial, which is not wise. Snape can have very few friends, because, strategically, the more people who really know what side you are on, the more dangerous it is to be a spy. So he is probably deeply suspected by everyone on both sides. I would suspect that only Dumbledore and, perhaps, McGonagall have unwavering trust in him. Most of the Order probably wouldn't be surprised to have him betray them. (Sirius and Mad Eye, in particular.)

I agree, Gina, that he's more likely to be depressed than paranoid. I can't believe Snape ever got along very well with Voldemort, at least as an adult, since he's far too clear-seeing to put up with that sort of petty, self-aggrandizing tyranny. He's basically an extremely moral person--insofar as he can see the effects of his actions--and it is puzzling to me that he could ever have got involved with the DEs, who scorn that sort of philosophizing.

I've wondered if in his DE past, he was involved in some really reprehensible activities involving women, possibly in late adolescence, that Voldemort knew about (set up?), and perhaps has tormented him with quite cruelly. (Even with JKR's carefully sanitized rendition of it, there are some very weird sexual overtones in Voldemort's relationships with his DEs, particularly Bella of course. I do wonder what he's like with Narcissa!) If Snape loathes his own sexuality, and has--partly as a result--a very limited experience with women, that may explain a lot of his depression. It would also further explain why he's so awful to Hermione.

McGonagall would be a different story. She's in a more maternal role, and I agree that they are probably far closer friends than Harry thinks. It is a simple line, but JKR describes him as "striding forward" when McGonagall returns to Hogwarts at the end of OotP. It sounds to me an enthusiastic, and almost involuntary, reaction to her reappearance. At last, someone Snape is truly glad to see.

Elanor - Nov 17, 2004 12:47 pm (#348 of 2980)
Great post, Ann! I read the end of OotP just like you do. It seems to me that here, for once, Snapes acts spontaneously and that reveals a kind of affection he has for McGonagall. He certainly respects her and, though he was a Slytherin, I think we can be pretty sure that she was fair with him when he was a student as she ever is. If she had caught the Marauders tormenting him sometimes, Gryffindors or not, she would have punished them just the same which could have earned her Snape's esteem and confidence.

Gina, it was a great analysis BTW! I agree with Ann, Snape's behaviour with women may explain a lot of things too. I can very well see Voldemort tormenting Snape with that. It could even be one of the things that opened his eyes about Voldemort.

But, I see Snape as someone whose worst fear is to be weak and he certainly sees love as a weakness. His sentence during the first occlumency lesson "Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions [...] they stand no chance against his powers" (OotP p.473) could well apply to him when he was facing Voldemort when he was younger. This sentence as also for me a curious echo in DD's words "we fools who love.(p.739). That's why Snape can't allow himself to love anyone, even not maybe himself.

hellocello3200 - Nov 17, 2004 12:56 pm (#349 of 2980)
I agree with Solitare that Snape may not be buddies with McGonagall, but has alot of respect. I don't think it is in his nature to make friends but it seems that if someone is intelligent, rule-abiding, and doesn't get too emotional, he respects them at least.

Ann, Freud seemed to think that everything had to do with sex (Although I'm not an expert on psychology), so that may very well be a reason for what ever issues he has, but in the Harry Potter world, things that are not suitable for eight-year olds don't happen. I do agree that the whole Bella/LV thing is weird.

Weeny Owl's comments on Quidditch got me wondering. Something doesn't jibe for me. In order to referee for quidditch, a person would probably have to have taken the time to learn the rules either on there own or through some certification program, seeing as there are seven hundred kind of fouls. So we can assume that Snape knows a good deal about Quidditch. The question then arises; Why would he go to the trouble to learn how to ref in the first place? He probably didn't think one day: "Well I'd better learn this just in case some other teacher is trying to kill a student, I can ref to protect them" so the reason he learned how to ref is probably due to a love of the game. Here is what doesn't seem right to me. Snape doesn't strike me as a "Jock". In the books, his no-nonsense attitude in shown by his preference for practical and precise magic (Potions). During his school days, he was tormented by a Quidditch star. I during elementary school I was picked on by a soccer clique and consequently I dislike soccer. I can't see Snape liking a sport that gave James such popularity and recognition. Even if Snape did play Quidditch, I think it is reasonable to assume that James was better and therefore received more attention because of it. Unless of course Snape was better than James and that's why James picked on him in the first place. Sorry if I'm rambling. I hope that made some sense.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 17, 2004 5:59 pm (#350 of 2980)
"Even if Snape did play Quidditch, I think it is reasonable to assume that James was better and therefore received more attention because of it."

That could be a part of it. Although since Quidditch plays such a part in the inter-house rivals, I suspect Snape, being the Slytherin he is to learn everything he can about the game to benefit his House, even if he never played. The thought of James being a better player than Snape does have it's merits. Sorta like comparing Harry and Ron as players. Harry feels born on a broom, Ron just feels he has to do better than he can to beat his peers (brothers).

Miss Mc? I see their relationship as a big sister type of thing. Although Snape would rather die than admit it. She is his moral beacon. Whatever Snape may be he is still human. Even though he, hm, can't reach out, he does.

Dumbledore is also his moral beacon. But it is easier to banter with a guide than someone you owe.

...just my thoughts ...toddling off towards St. Mungo's....

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Severus Snape  - Page 4 Empty Posts 351 to 400

Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 7:08 am

Denise S. - Nov 17, 2004 9:58 pm (#351 of 2980)
I also agree with Solitaire that Snape might be able to talk with McGonagall on a less-guarded level than he does with most people, but I suspect that part of it is due to how fiercely loyal she is to Dumbledore. The point raised about his respect for her not "wearing her heart on her sleeve" also has something to do with it, in my opinion.

Elanor: But, I see Snape as someone whose worst fear is to be weak and he certainly sees love as a weakness...[Dumbledore says] "we fools who love"(p.739). That's why Snape can't allow himself to love anyone.

I think that right there is the reason why I can't imagine him being "buddy-buddy" with DD or McGonagall. That would require letting his guard down and displaying his inner-workings and private thoughts. In order to become friends (not just good colleagues) with someone, you have to give them a part of yourself, and that is not the kind of person I imagine Snape being at all (That's probably why he's lasted as a spy for as long as he has!).

Grimber - Nov 18, 2004 3:41 am (#352 of 2980)
For the Snape Quittitch discussion.

Actualy I think Snape must be fairly proficiant with the game, afterall besides Madem Hooch he's the only other Hogwarts teacher we see allowed to referee a match. I'm sure she and Prof McGonigal would have argued against his refereeing unless he showed/had proof he was competent enough with not just the rules of the game but experaince playing as well.

Then why didn't he play when a student? Well we don't know for sure that he didn't. He could have for at least part of his school career been slytherin seeker ( im thinking of his physical discription from his memory at school seems scrawny enough for that possition), which would be another cause for his rivalry with James. Might have lost enough games against James to get him kicked off the Slytherin team.

Anotehr possible thought.. if he didn't play in school, he may have wanted to but his parents( or particulary father?) may not have allowed it ( keep your nose in your books and not in 'silly sports'). Snape seems to have a serious intrest in the sport, probably from a young age ( memory we seen again of him trying to ride a broom?), resentment towards family for not being allowed, and hatred towards James for being so good at the one thing Snape can't compeate in?

Snape obviously was better at studies and school work that the mauraders. How would things turned out if Snape had played Quidditch, was better than James in school work AND quidditch? Snape then be BMoC? gets the girls (Lily)? and Potters gnag would have been nothing but a bunch of troublemaking bullies?

Grimber - Nov 18, 2004 4:08 am (#353 of 2980)
Another thought came to mind on.

Why did James Hate Snape so much ' look at who he is' isn't a good excuse.. UNLESS James was jelous. Snape better at schoolwork, probably a favorite student for many teachers. A bit like Hermonie (an 'insufferable know-it-all' wink, wink) makes others students dislike him for always having the answer and ready to turn in anyone breaking the rules ( like Hermonie was ready to turn Ron and Harry in for thier rule breaking ).

Lets assume (for the moment) Snape did play Quidditch too for Slytherin AND mabey WAS better than James. Taking in James and the mauraders attitudes for Snape, could they have set Snape up to get him kicked out of playing Quidditch? Afterall, Snape seems to try and get Harry removed from Griffindor team more than once. Wonder if it was an earlier suggestion on Snapes part, to Umbridge, that the only real punishment that would work on Harry is ban him from quidditch, which she used after his fight on the pitch, since her writting lines punishment didn't seem to be working to her desired effect.

T Brightwater - Nov 18, 2004 6:55 am (#354 of 2980)
Dumbledore told Harry in PS/SS, when asked about Snape's hatred for James, something like "jealous of his prowess at Quidditch" (sorry, haven't got the book handy.) Also, there's the memory Harry saw during an Occlumency lesson, which rather looks like flying didn't come naturally to him.

I could see Snape as being a sports geek, someone who knows the whole rule book, the entire history of the game, and the stats on every player in the last 50 years. That doesn't necessarily mean he was ever a good player himself, but it might make him a good referee.

I think you're right about Snape having been very like Hermione when he was a student. James and Sirius, in the little we know of them as students, seemed to take it for granted that they were brilliant and didn't have to work too hard.

Solitaire - Nov 18, 2004 7:35 am (#355 of 2980)
It sounds from OotP (p. 670, US ed. hardcover) like Snape played Quidditch, but James was just better. Perhaps that is where Harry gets his "natural" skill.

Sirius tells Harry, "... I think James was everything Snape wanted to be--he was popular, he was good at Quidditch, good at pretty much everything. And Snape was just this little oddball who was up to his eyes in the Dark Arts ..."

Of course, I realize this is Sirius talking, but it seemed he and Remus were being honest with Harry at that moment, since Harry was so upset about what he'd seen in Snape's Pensieve and what had happened. And hasn't Harry heard from others that his father was a gifted flyer and Quidditch player?

Snape could be good and James could still be better. There are some people who are just natural athletes ... or musicians or artists. There are others who are good--great, even--because they work so hard at it. But even with all of their work, they just don't have that "extra something" that the gifted ones have. Perhaps that is how it was with Snape and James.

Haven't you ever worked your tail off for something to be the very best ... only to be bested by someone who is natural at it and does it with zero effort at all? Sometimes it is difficult not to be envious in such situations. Just because James was gifted doesn't have to mean that Snape was only mediocre. (Yes, Ann ... I'm giving Snape a compliment again! hehe)


LooneyLuna - Nov 18, 2004 10:35 am (#356 of 2980)
I agree with you Solitaire. My brother was a natural athelete, and I was not. Smile

I don't know why I think this, but I'm thinking if Snape did play Quidditch, he was a Keeper. That would have made him and James more bitter rivals because James could score against Snape or Snape could block James' attempts to score.

I don't know why I associate the Keeper position with being a Secret Keeper, but I do, and Snape has loads of secrets that he is good at keeping.

If that makes any sense...

Solitaire - Nov 18, 2004 10:54 am (#357 of 2980)
Whoa, Looney! You're good. I agree that Snape would be a great keeper ... AND Secret Keeper!

hellocello3200 - Nov 18, 2004 1:05 pm (#358 of 2980)
I agree that I see Snape as a keeper more than a seeker, but maybe JKR will shook us all and reveal that he was the most talented beater the school as ever seen. Just kidding.

Ann - Nov 18, 2004 4:02 pm (#359 of 2980)
Grimber: "Wonder if it was an earlier suggestion on Snape's part, to Umbridge, that the only real punishment that would work on Harry is ban him from quidditch, which she used after his fight on the pitch, since her writting lines punishment didn't seem to be working to her desired effect."

EXCELLENT catch there! Brilliant! I'm sure you're right!

LooneyLuna - Nov 18, 2004 5:00 pm (#360 of 2980)
<blushes> awe shucks...Solitaire Smile

hellocello600 - Now that is funny, Snape as a beater! He would always be pelting the bludger at James, even if James wasn't playing. hee hee

Potions Mistress - Nov 18, 2004 7:21 pm (#361 of 2980)
I can definitely see part of the James/Severus rivalry stemming from Quidditch--I think that Snape probably did play; it would make him more able to referee (but that's just my opinion).

Also, might I add that the "diagnoses" of Snape were really fascinating--a different way of looking at Snape.

Oh, BTW, if anybody participates in the forums over at MuggleNet, there's a very fun (and funny) thread on the Quidditch Pitch called "Ask Snape." I highly recommend it. ;-)


Solitaire - Nov 19, 2004 10:33 am (#362 of 2980)
Somehow, despite their rivalry, I don't really see Snape as a "thug-ish" Marcus Flint type, bashing bludgers at people (even James). I think he has more subtlety. In fact, he berates Harry at some point for a lack of it. I think finesse is something Snape appreciates, in whatever form it appears.


hellocello3200 - Nov 19, 2004 2:15 pm (#363 of 2980)
I agree solitare, I suggested it as a joke, because the idea of Snape tring to hit bludgers amused me.

Elanor - Nov 19, 2004 2:38 pm (#364 of 2980)
Solitaire, I agree : finesse is a great word for describing Snape. If he was once a quidditch player, I see him spending hours on diagrams and subtle tactics as Oliver Wood did. And I'm sure Flint's lack of subtlety really had to get on his nerves!

Choices - Nov 19, 2004 5:20 pm (#365 of 2980)
Great point Solitaire - I agree that Snape would do things with finesse. In potions, being heavy handed would be a drawback. Adding ingredients would have to be done with finesse and precision for the potion to turn out properly. Being a Potion's Master, Snape would definitely appreciate the value of doing things with finesse.

Solitaire - Nov 19, 2004 6:27 pm (#366 of 2980)
Gosh, Elanor, I hadn't even thought about Marcus and Snape in that respect! While I am sure Snape likes to win, I bet Marcus did get on Snape's nerves.

It makes one wonder ... how does he feel about Crabbe and Goyle as Quidditch players? How does he feel about a lot of the Slytherins in general? Most of those we have met from Harry's year (at least those I can remember) don't seem to have much subtlety or finesse, do they?

I really hope we get to meet some interesting Slytherins in the next two books.


Aud Duck - Nov 19, 2004 6:51 pm (#367 of 2980)
For some reason, I just don't see Snape as an athlete, though I can certainly see the rivalry coming from quidditch. In my high school, at least, athletes were the most popular people there. The rest of us resented them for it. I think it's possible that something similar happened at Hogwarts. Then, assume that Snape loved quidditch, but was not all that athletic. That's even more reason to hate James for being good at what he really wants to be able to do, but can't. The usual revenge for us non-athletic types is to best all the athletes in our classes. But Snape couldn't really do that, either. He might well have been just as good in school as James, but being as good as does not quite satisfy one's need to best one's rival.

Edit: Solitaire, I would say that Snape is slightly embarrased by those that are representing his house. But if they can win, it's all right. This might explain his apparent predisposition to like Malfoy. Malfoy himself doesn't have much subtlety, but his father does. And Dumbledore certainly does. He is very well summed up by Phineas Nigellus: "I disagree with Dumbledore on many points, but you can't deny he's got style."(quote from memory, and therefore not verbatim). You can see why someone like Snape would respect Dumbledore.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 19, 2004 8:16 pm (#368 of 2980)
Methinks Snape has finesse in most areas, with the exception of James and Harry Potter. Yes his snide verbal taunts are sorta subtle, but, just like he tries to bring up to Dumbledore when Sirius attacked the portrait of the Fat Lady, and Dumbledore's reaction:

"You remember the conversation we had, Headmaster, just before -- ah -- the start of term?" said Snape, who was barely opening his lips, as though trying to block Percy out of the conversation. "I do, Severus," said Dumbledore, and there was something like warning in his voice. "It seems -- almost impossible -- that Black could have entered the school without inside help. I did express my concerns when, you appointed --" "I do not believe a single person inside this castle would have helped Black enter it," said Dumbledore, and his tone made it so clear that the subject was closed that Snape didn't reply.

Not so smooth there huh? Lets not even go to the loss of Merlin, First Class...

Snape seems to have it altogether was far as controlling students, dancing around Voldemort, and even trying to "handle" Dumbledore goes, but he certainly misses the apple cart when it come to something as emotional as James or Harry, or for that matter the Mauraders.

Methinks Snape's inability to handle that small irritating detail is going to cost him dearly...

...goes into trance here and see this and my welcome mat at St. Mungo's. :-)

Edit: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to change the subject.

Solitaire - Nov 19, 2004 11:57 pm (#369 of 2980)
Twinkles, I think Dumbledore was very subtle in the way that he used a matter-of-fact tone of voice, yet he managed to communicate to Snape, Harry, and anyone else just exactly how things were. He never had to resort to screaming or put-downs to achieve his ends. He was always in control of the situation.

I liked the way he stopped Snape from pursuing the idea that Remus was helping Sirius--with a simple, straightforward statement of faith--without starting a big brouhaha in front of the kids. Snape surely must have been able to make the connection that this was how Dumbledore would have handled any "doubts" about Snape's own fitness to be on the Hogwarts campus after having been a DE.

Dumbledore has a rather, "I've said it, I believe it, that settles it" kind of mentality. It has to make those he supports feel secure.


MickeyCee3948 - Nov 20, 2004 9:29 am (#370 of 2980)
Aud Duck-I agree and cannot see Snape as an athlete. I agree that Quidditch could have added to the antagonism between James and Snape, but I believe there were far deeper reasons for the dislike between the two and we don't know those reasons.


haymoni - Nov 20, 2004 9:32 am (#371 of 2980)
I can't see it either. I don't think Snape hated him because he was good at Quidditch - he didn't like James because of how he acted. "Strutting" and all.

Choices - Nov 20, 2004 10:49 am (#372 of 2980)
Snape is very much more a mental man than a physical one. James was both and thus resented, and yes, hated by Snape for his well-rounded abilities and for his tormenting ways. Snape was perhaps a Quidditch fan and knowledgable of the game, but not a player.

Weeny Owl - Nov 20, 2004 4:08 pm (#373 of 2980)
Snape is very much more a mental man than a physical one.

Except he could be both. That would depend on how physical dueling can be. He showed from his deuling scenes with Lockhart that he was experienced. While he tried to downplay Snape's expertise, it seemed obvious that Lockhart was vastly inferior.

Ann - Nov 20, 2004 4:29 pm (#374 of 2980)
Weeny Owl, I think you are likely to be correct, not just because of the dueling (though that is a good clue), but because of the way he keeps his classes' attention. He has presence, which is an important part of doing that, and presence is usually at least partly physical, being comfortable with and in control of, himself. I suspect he keeps himself pretty fit, what with teaching and Death-Eater-ing (bowing and scraping) and all.

(I don't think this is contamination--Rickman is actually a little more awkward than I see Snape being.)

My question is, how athletic is Quidditch, actually? I mean, they're sitting down. Sure, swooping around and balancing on the brooms does involve some motion, but with all the talk about how perfectly balanced and responsive Harry's broom is, it would seem to require less physical coordination than, say, polo. I've always assumed it is more a game of strategy, perception, and knowing when to duck.

haymoni - Nov 20, 2004 4:38 pm (#375 of 2980)
If my son's Quidditch World Cup video game is supposed to be ANYTHING like Jo imagined - it's pretty athletic!

I'm just wondering if the memory about the girl laughing at him while he got bucked around on a broom is any indication of his flying ability.

"Go play with your chemistry set!!"

rambkowalczyk - Nov 20, 2004 5:11 pm (#376 of 2980)
but I believe there were far deeper reasons for the dislike between the two and we don't know those reasons. Mikie

This is borrowing a little from a fan fiction story I read. Suppose Snape's parents were known to be Dark Wizards, maybe they were Grindelwald supporters. Or maybe they really weren't but everyone thought they were. If we assume that someone in the Potter family died as a result of Grindelwald then it would explain why James hates the Dark Arts. James would accuse Snapes parents of doing something horrible. Whether it's true or not Snape would feel obligated to defend them. The fact that Snape knew many curses in his first fear would just reinforce James' prejudice.

hellocello3200 - Nov 20, 2004 5:16 pm (#377 of 2980)
I think that Quidditch does require athletic ability. Obviously catching and throwing skills are important. Also, at such high speeds, even a slight mistake in steering could send a person off in the wrong direction, which could be the ground. I have heard that race car drivers need really strong arms because the speeds they travel at push there arms backward, so just steering is difficult when your going really fast.

I see Snape as being a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to coordination. I think that Snape was like alot of adolescent boys are during and after growth spurts, they haven't quite had time to grow accustomed to there new bodies and are therefore awkward.

Marie E. - Nov 20, 2004 5:26 pm (#378 of 2980)
I am trying to imagine Snape going through an awkward age.

rambkowalczyk - Nov 20, 2004 6:26 pm (#379 of 2980)
I don't really think of Snape as an athletic person or particularly coordinated especially when he was a teenager. In the pensieve scene Snape is described as pale as if hidden under a rock. Either Sirius or Lupin describe him as someone on the outside looking in -jealous of James' natural ease and skill.

Snape may have known many curses as a first year, but I suspect it didn't take James all that long to catch up. What Snape lacked that James had plenty of was social skills the ability to make friends and influence people in a positive way. If both Snape and James did a full body bind on an unsuspecting student, James would have been able to sweet-talk his way out of a severe punishment at least for the first offense. Snape would have no clue how to do this at first.

I wonder if now if Snape has the confidence in himself that James would have had if he were still alive. Although in some ways Snape seems confident and cool under pressure-is it a facade that can be easily shattered? I'm thinking how he reacted at the end of book 3 and other incidents where things seem to get under his skin. (such as how he and Sirius both lost it the night he told Harry he was teaching him occlumency.)

Marie E is trying to imagine he going through an awkward age. I wonder did he ever leave it.

mooncalf - Nov 20, 2004 10:26 pm (#380 of 2980)
I would say that Snape is still very insecure. He attaches such great importance to being given outward signs of respect: getting the Order of Merlin, being called "sir:" that he must to be desperate to know that others respect him.

Elanor - Nov 20, 2004 11:59 pm (#381 of 2980)
I agree Mooncalf and I think that the respect he always wanted the others to have for him may be one of the reasons that led him to the DE first. DE were feared and wizards knew they were powerful. Snape may have tried to join that "gang" to feel recognized for the talented wizard he is. I can perfectly see Voldemort playing on that feeling to make him join them. Until Snape realized what the DE were really doing and that he was nothing but a pawn in that game.

We certainly see the insecure child he was resurfacing from time to time but I think (but it is only my feeling) that the day he decided he was to think by himself and he came to DD in whom he found at last the real trust and support he always wanted, he became more self assured. DD believes in him and I think it is the best thing that ever happened to him.

Aud Duck - Nov 21, 2004 12:01 pm (#382 of 2980)
DD believes in him and I think it is the best thing that ever happened to him. --Elanor

Spot on!

I don't think Snape's presence necessarily comes from any self-confidence, and I think it might be a thin facade, as someone suggested earlier. I speak from personal experience. I am socially inept and entirely unathletic. But I do very well in front of people. I cannot carry on a conversation with soemone I don't know. I prefer to sit in corners and read. But I am very good at giving presentations. As soon as I get in front of a group of people, I can feel my anxiety ebbing away. Despite the way I normally am, I am self-confident in those situations. I think it's possible that Snape is that way with his classes.

hellocello3200 - Nov 21, 2004 4:30 pm (#383 of 2980)
Elanor, I also agree that DD faith in Snape is important. I would go so far as to say that DD probably was one of the first decent people to be kind to Snape and because of that, Snape felt guilty about letting him down and left the DEs. I also think that Snape resents the attention DD gives Harry. While Snape has been risking his life for the order for years Harry just appeared and everyone felt sorry for the poor little orphan and praised him for saving the PS, while Snape had been on to Quirell for a while.

Potions Mistress - Nov 21, 2004 4:34 pm (#384 of 2980)
Add what hellocello just wrote about to Snape's antipathy toward James (and thus Harry)...well, I think his confidence is severely shaken. I also believe that his self-confidence is probably shakey in the first place--looking at his past, I'd imagine that it would take a lot to get over that. Okay, I'm rambling now, so I'll check back later.


Gina R Snape - Nov 21, 2004 4:52 pm (#385 of 2980)
hellocello wrote: I see Snape as being a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to coordination. I think that Snape was like alot of adolescent boys are during and after growth spurts, they haven't quite had time to grow accustomed to there new bodies and are therefore awkward.

I absolutely agree, and in fact it's because JKR does such a marvelous and subtle job of demonstrating this.

She shows a very young Severus as a small boy crying in the corner. Then at school (age 10 perhaps?) he was awkward and uncoordinated on a broom.

During the pensieve scene, she describes Snape is skinny and again awkward, with movement something like a spider. But when he pulls Harry out of the pensieve, Harry is struck with a kind of cognitive dissonance, as he goes from seeing a young lanky ungraceful Severus to a strong full-grown man who has physically filled out in adulthood.

Adult Snape has a degree of grace as he swoops and slides. He is smooth. Frankly, I wonder if he had ballet lessons somewhere along the way to develop such grace when one compares that to his youth.

I've never really thought about this before, but now that I consider it, being a Death Eater may have forced him out from behind a book. It could be that his young adult activities with the Dark Lord may have built him up physically. Plus, potions making is a physical activity. Even with the use of a wand, I am sure there were times when he has to pick up cauldrons or ingredients, stand over them, stirring, etc. Finally, spying activity required him to develop some stealth and tracking abilities. Maybe Dumbledore put him through some sort of training!

As for quidditch, it seems nearly every boy in the wizarding world knows all about quidditch. I don't see why he, as a very bright child, didn't just pick up all the rules from watching the games and hearing the other kids at school and maybe a little bit of reading on the side. He does confiscate that book on quidditch from Harry. Maybe he read it in preparation! I really don't see him as ever having been on the slytherin team. But that's not to say he wasn't made to play in 'gym' class (if they had one) or with other children in another setting. We don't know if he had siblings, for example (though again, I really get the impression he was an only child).

hellocello3200 - Nov 21, 2004 5:02 pm (#386 of 2980)
Wow Gina now I have an image of Snape in a tutu, probably the funniest thing so-far today. (Yes I know that guys in ballet don't wear tutus, but the picture is staying with me just the same.) I never really thought about it but potions is a very physical activity compared to the other subject which just involve waving a wand. Well except Care of Magical Creatures. I still think that Snape would prefer to levitate heavy objects than lift them.

Gina R Snape - Nov 21, 2004 5:06 pm (#387 of 2980)
Yes, I think most people would rather lift something with a wand. But I think it's not inconceivable that he'd wind up doing some heavy lifting after a point. Maybe, for example, if his wand is 'busy' ordering knives to chop ingredients or stir something, etc.

Gina R Snape - Nov 23, 2004 7:01 am (#388 of 2980)
So, the other day I read they were shooting a scene with Snape doing the tango with McGonagall. Not to make this a 'movie thread' discussion, but how do people feel about the idea of BOOK Snape dancing the tango in front of a room full of school children? Is it out of character?

Tessa's Dad - Nov 23, 2004 7:43 am (#389 of 2980)
Doesn’t Harry have a dream about someone dancing?

It could be that Snape, Professor Snape, is a Tango Instructor during the summer. I read that a man taught the actor Robert Duval how to dance the Tango. Snape seems to be described as moving in very graceful ways. It would add an interesting side to his personality and could be the reason for the friendship between Minerva and Snape.

I can see Snape having a very macho attitude about the Tango. It is a very difficult dance. Not just anyone can master the intricate moves. The precise movements are very difficult to master. I believe the problem; Gina R. is that you lack subtlety.

Just kidding, Gina. Starts packing for life in exile in the Albanian Forests.

Gina R Snape - Nov 23, 2004 8:35 am (#390 of 2980)

Actually, you may note I posed it as a discussion question without giving my opinion.

I do think Snape would be very good at Tango. I could easily see him as a kind of 'alpha male' who enjoyed leading in the Tango, which is a very, er, gender-emphasizing dance.

I wonder, though, if he'd be so eager to dance with Minerva McGonagall at the Yule Ball...

Tessa's Dad - Nov 23, 2004 8:50 am (#391 of 2980)

Dumbledore: Harry it’s important that you take Tango lessons. Tom can’t dance and it would make him green with envy.

Harry: If you want me to, I will. Who’s going to teach me?

Gina R Snape - Nov 23, 2004 9:16 am (#392 of 2980)
ROFL. I wonder if that would be any better or worse for him than occlumency lessons!

Choices - Nov 23, 2004 9:32 am (#393 of 2980)
Gina - You have me drooling at the very idea of our dignified, reserved Professor Snape dancing the Tango. I think he would be spectacular - graceful, aloof, but smoldering underneath it all. Sorry, must sign off - cold shower time. LOL

Weeny Owl - Nov 23, 2004 11:12 am (#394 of 2980)
I think Snape would be excellent at formal dancing such as the Tango or a waltz or something like that. I can't see him dancing the way people do in clubs, though.

While I think he'd be good, I can't see him dancing in front of the students the way Dumbledore did.

There are so many times JKR could have added a sentence or two about what Snape was doing. I know she'll have a lot of him in the next two books, but I doubt if she'll have enough of him to satisfy me.

hellocello3200 - Nov 23, 2004 12:51 pm (#395 of 2980)
I think it is a little out of character. I see him more as the teacher that walks around breaking up couples that are having a little too much fun. (The tutu image has just returned however.)

It will be interesting if in the movie he looks like he is enjoying himself or if he acts like it is something he is doing to be polite. It would be a little weird for anyone to tango with a former teacher of theirs and I see Snape as allot more reserved than most people, especially in front of students. I do agree that he would know every step, even if he didn't like it, because he certainly has perfectionist tendencies.

T Brightwater - Nov 23, 2004 2:05 pm (#396 of 2980)
I imagine that Snape could be an excellent dancer. However, he'd have to learn, which would mean there would be at least a short period of time when he would be awkward and uncertain, and I can't imagine the adult Snape allowing anyone, ever, to see him being awkward and uncertain. You have to take yourself a lot less seriously than Snape does to allow yourself to look ridiculous.

rambkowalczyk - Nov 23, 2004 2:34 pm (#397 of 2980)
Book Snape doing the tango seems out of character. He's always described as cold and sneering not what I expect to see in a Tango dancer.

hellocello3200 - Nov 23, 2004 2:49 pm (#398 of 2980)
Well, real people act "out of character" sometimes. I bet everyone can think of a time when someone they knew did something completely unexpected.

We don't really know anything about the circumstances that lead to the Tango. If it wasn't a kid's movie, I'd bet that Snape might of had one too many fire-whiskeys and even McGonagall started to look good. Just joking, but seriously, if he is coerced into it somehow and looks irritated, that would fit with the Snape we know. (I don't think he would be too visibly unhappy, out of respect for McGonagall.)

Gina R Snape - Nov 23, 2004 3:15 pm (#399 of 2980)
I don't think it's too far off to imagine DD pulling Snape aside and telling him he has to dance at least once at the Yule Ball as a representative of the Hogwarts faculty. And even though McGonagall was Snape's teacher as a child, she is now his colleague at Hogwarts and in the Order. Their relationship has substantially changed from that of teacher-student.

Now that I think about it, if Snape was told he had to dance, then tango would be a perhaps the only dance for Snape to do, appearing angry. All those forceful moves, hard steps...

(You ok there, Choices? )

Potions Mistress - Nov 23, 2004 3:32 pm (#400 of 2980)
Snape dancing the tango...hmm...I can imagine Snape dancing, but that could be from too much fanfic. ;-) Seriously, I think if he were told by DD to do it, he would. I also think he'd be very good at it.

I can't see him dancing the way people do in clubs, though. --Weeny Owl Oh, c'mon now, you can't see Snape "getting jiggy with it"? ;-) (Yes, I know that phrase is "so nineties," but I don't keep up with a lot of the pop culture that is out there.)


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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 7:12 am

Choices - Nov 23, 2004 5:09 pm (#401 of 2980)
LOL Thanks for asking Gina - other than a slight case of the "vapors", I'm fine. I still have that image of Snape dancing running through my head. :-)

MickeyCee3948 - Nov 23, 2004 5:14 pm (#402 of 2980)
I think Professor Snape would be a very good dancer and the tango would fit his image. However, I cannot for the life of me image straight laced, rigid Professor Snape dancing in front of any students. Teachers maybe, students no.


Potions Mistress - Nov 23, 2004 5:45 pm (#403 of 2980)
Hee hee! I think it'd be even funnier to see Minerva dance "club style."


MickeyCee3948 - Nov 23, 2004 5:54 pm (#404 of 2980)
I don't know if this has been discussed before but could Snape have turned spy for DD because he saw his DE father torture and kill his mother. Just read a discussion and this came up.


hellocello3200 - Nov 23, 2004 5:58 pm (#405 of 2980)
Well, if anyone's been to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] (Sorry, I don't know how to link) they would understand why the idea of DD dancing really makes me smile.

So, I guess I have to say something about Snape... I don't read fan-fic anymore Potions Mistress for that reason, characters often aren't true to the books, especially Snape. Have we ever seen Snape do anything or even heard of him doing something for entertainment that wasn't job or order related? We've never even gotten wind that he likes to play chess or raise vipers in his spare time or anything like that about how he spend his free time. That is why the idea of dancing Snape is hard to picture.

Edit: crossed posted with Mickycee, I think that that is very possible. I think that Snape was disgusted by the torture and murder that went on amongst the DE and that is why he left. I also think we will find out more about his father, who I think might still be alive and could come back some time in the books. (If I were Harry, I'd use this as an opportunity to point out that people don't always turn out like there parents.)

Potions Mistress - Nov 23, 2004 6:04 pm (#406 of 2980)
All right, I guess I can MOVIE Snape dancing the tango with Minerva, but BOOK Snape is a totally different story. He's an interesting character, in part, because I think we know so little about him. We don't know if he dances or plays chess or whatever--perhaps because he is a spy? How far does that extend to his personal life? Personally, I can see Snape reading, probably Potions stuff, for entertainment, but that's just my opinion. Well, have class now. Gotta go.


Rosie - Nov 24, 2004 5:42 am (#407 of 2980)
I come across something interesting in a music mag that may have a bearing on Snape. I found out that Benjamin Britten wrote his 'Serenade', "his own kind of shadowed pastoralism,... a place in which the worm finds the bud and a darker side of medieval experience is explored." at a place called Snape. The mag then goes on to link the Serenade to Peter Grimes, a nasty character who is wrongly accursed of the murder of an orphan (more like accidental death it seems to me). Could this be an clue to Snape's character and what has happened/going to happen to him?

Gina R Snape - Nov 24, 2004 7:06 am (#408 of 2980)
The only time I can recall a reference to Snape's private life/free time is in OoTP. He says to Harry something along the lines of 'occlumency lessons eating into my free time'. But to be honest, I don't think Snape, McGonagall or DD get much free time. Both Snape and McG are heads of house and they oversee detentions. Plus, now they are Order members which probably eats into even more of their free time.

I think McG blushes in GoF when someone asks her to dance. I am going to have to check that one during my reread (just started a few days ago and Harry hasn't made it to Hogwarts yet).

And no, I cannot imagine Snape dancing club style. If he dances at all, it's definitely formal!

Ann - Nov 24, 2004 7:20 am (#409 of 2980)
I can very much see book-Snape dancing the tango, particularly with McGonagall. He would look angry, because one does when dancing the tango, but I think he'd enjoy it quite a lot nonetheless. Particularly if there were an audience of amazed students, standing around with dropped jaws. As Gina says, it's a dance of forceful moves and hard steps; in the tango, the man acts out dominance, seduction, and borderline cruelty. Right up his alley!

And McGonagall would love it, too! (It would be good for her heart.)

Hollywand - Nov 24, 2004 8:21 am (#410 of 2980)
I love the idea of the two wizards dancing. Snape/Sltherin and McGonagall/Gryffindor, as cooperation of the two houses. Snape is often described in sweeping, flowing movements. Not that I think Snape is a vampyr, I don't, but Gary Oldman's dracula certainly has his charming, dashing, moments. I envision Minerva and Severus ignoring gravity and tangoing right up the wall of the Great Hall....the students would be so impressed.....

Potions Mistress - Nov 24, 2004 12:54 pm (#411 of 2980)
Okay, after I've thought about it, I think I can see book Snape dancing the tango (or something equally forceful and formal). Here's why: in GoF (the movie), he dances the tango w/ McGonagall (or that's the rumor anyway--does anyone know for certain if this is confirmed?). Yes, the movies do differ from the books, but not so much where you get two completely different characters, storylines, etc. (a la Disney's "The Little Mermaid," for example). JKR also has input in the movies, so even if the movies differ from the books, it's not messing around with the main storyline, plot, theme, etc. So, I'm assuming that if Snape and McGonagall dance the tango, JKR probably had her input and said that yes, if Snape were dance, it would be the tango or something similar. Hope this makes sense!


Elanor - Nov 24, 2004 2:03 pm (#412 of 2980)
I love the idea of Snape dancing tango and had a lot of fun reading your posts about it!

He would definitely be a great dancer though I think the only person who would have dared telling him he had to dance would be DD because I don't see him wanting to dance in front of the students by himself.

The idea really makes me smile because tango reminds me of the movie "Some like it hot" when "Daphné" and the old millionaire are dancing tango ("Daphné, you're leading again!") and I imagine the musicians wearing blindfolds while Snape and McGonagall are dancing... (ok, my ambulance for St Mungo is on his way...)

Ydnam96 - Nov 24, 2004 6:16 pm (#413 of 2980)
I'm sorry, I just don't see Snape (book or movie) dancing. It just does not fit with the character traits we have seen thus far in the books (or the movies). Yes we saw him dressed up as Neville's grandma, but it wasn't really him, it was the boggart. He glides around yes, but I see that as more of a slinking not necessarily graceful in a dancing kind of way. I'm not even sure I see him attending the ball at all, if he was there I see him scowling over at the side as he ruminates how stupid it all is. In fact, in GoF wasn't he outside in the garden area catching couples in the bushes and taking points from their houses? I think he was. I mean, it's just my opinion though. Don't want to be an insufferable know it all Wink

SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 24, 2004 10:35 pm (#414 of 2980)
Ah, but here is the thing- Snape is unpredictable. That is why we like him. (I think he likes it that way too) I was talking earlier with a friend of mine on how people are predictable. He claims that part of being unpredictable is leaving an air of mystery about you. That is done, in part, by the words a person uses, and how they use them. It seems to me that Snape is aware of what he is saying, and how he is saying it, at almost all times.

Hmmm, this isn't making as much sense as I was hoping it would. To try to sum this up- I believe that Snape would dance with McGonagall, IF it servered some purpose, or was the means to end of something whether Dumbledore told him to or not. Or course I don't think that Severus would look happy about it, but just the same might get some twisted joy at seeing how many people flip out at the sight.

dizzy lizzy - Nov 24, 2004 11:06 pm (#415 of 2980)
In other words he'd dance for the shock value???

SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 24, 2004 11:45 pm (#416 of 2980)
I don't think he'd dance for the shock value, but rather that it would be an added bonus. I don't believe that he would dance for the sake of dancing. but he would have to have an alterier motive, something other than Dumbledore told him to. Snape strikes me as the sort of charator/ person who doesn't do things only half way. He is very thorough. His choice of words, and actions always seem to be working on multiple levels at the same time. I don't see him dancing to be any different. It would serve more than one purpose. (Well, at least that's my guess anyway)

Potions Mistress - Nov 25, 2004 9:42 am (#417 of 2980)
.In other words he'd dance for the shock value???--dizzy lizzy

Well...maybe if it was "club style" dancing (just kidding!). ;-)

I've told this to some friends and the jury is still out as to whether or not Snape would dance the tango. Right now it's divided as to whether Book Snape would, but I think we all agreed that for movie purposes, it would make a great scene. :-)


PS: A happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I know that I'm thankful for this forum, where I can have fun and interesting conversations/debates about Harry Potter, et. al.

Gina R Snape - Nov 25, 2004 9:50 am (#418 of 2980)
Ydnam96, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' answer to this question because JKR hasn't ever said Snape would/would not dance. So you couldn't be an insufferable know-it-all in this case (says an admitted self-proclaimed insufferable know-it-all ).

Yes, Snape was out blasting rose bushes and being annoyed by Karkaroff (and just how did he know kids would be snogging in the rose bushes? ). But he may very well have been patrolling inside and outside the castle during the Ball. For the life of me, I cannot imagine DD allowing him to never set foot inside the Great Hall for such a major event. Yet, knowing that the Yule Ball could have been a vulnerable time (as would any such event), it's more than conceivable that Snape was patrolling for more than just snogging teenagers. What do you think?

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

mooncalf - Nov 25, 2004 10:13 am (#419 of 2980)
Good point, Gina, he could have been on the lookout for any number of things; it's even possible that the order members were taking it in turns to patrol the grounds. Or he could have just gone out to talk with Karkaroff where no one else could hear. But I am sure that all staff would be required to at least make an appearance at the ball. Tangoing would be optional.

Potions Mistress - Nov 25, 2004 10:14 am (#420 of 2980)
Well, it seems that the Dark Mark had been growing stronger, so it is most definitely possible that Snape was looking for more than hormonal teenagers--I think that was an added "bonus."


Ydnam96 - Nov 25, 2004 1:23 pm (#421 of 2980)
Too true, Snape is a mystery and he is contsantly doing suprising things Smile I for one never expected that he would consider teaching Harry anything after normal class hours. But it seems DD does have quite an influence on him. So I suppose that if DD comanded or asked very very nicely that Snape might dance.

I still have a very hard time picturing it though. It would make me laugh, could you see him dancing with Trewlany? THat would be a riot.

SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 25, 2004 9:06 pm (#422 of 2980)
Potions Mistress- Indeed!

Ydnam96- Snape is a mystery and he is constantly doing surprising things Smile Glad that you agree. I still have a very hard time picturing it though... could you see him dancing with Trewlany? That would be a riot. Now that I agree with! By the way, I'm glad that I wasn't drinking anything when I read that bit about dancing with Trewlany! A riot in more than one way, I think!

Hope that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

Solitaire - Nov 25, 2004 11:32 pm (#423 of 2980)
Whew! This thread really piles up when I don't get to look at it every day!

Weighing in on the Snape/tango issue ... I can definitely see Snape as a tango czar. He would be positively deadly! To be really in character when dancing the tango, one must be able to look bored, angry, or both. I think Snape is certainly a master of both expressions (and their accompanying emotions). The tango is a macho, masterful dance where the man must be in control. I think this would suit Snape to a T.

It will be interesting to see if McGonagall allows herself to be dragged--as I've seen done in the tango--and puts her foot upon his shoulder at the end. Question: Does anyone besides me feel that Wizard robes would impede the performance of a really deadly tango?

As an aside ... I tried considering Snape as an Apache dancer at first ... but I believe that style of dance requires too much emoting on the floor. I'm not sure Snape would consider it appropriate to "let go" that violently in front of students.


Choices - Nov 26, 2004 9:13 am (#424 of 2980)
I definitely think the robes would impede the performance of the tango - I'd like to see Snape swirl his cape off and sweep around the dance floor in that snug black suit. **Is it just me or is it hot in here?**

Gina R Snape - Nov 26, 2004 9:39 am (#425 of 2980)
Heh, heh. What a lovely image Choices!

I think McGonagall's robes would prohibit the leg-on-shoulder move. But somehow I doubt she'd take it that far anyway.

Potions Mistress - Nov 26, 2004 9:40 am (#426 of 2980)
LOL Choices!! BTW, I wholeheartedly agree! :-)


hellocello3200 - Nov 26, 2004 1:08 pm (#427 of 2980)
I think that that would really contradict Harry's thought that "Professor McGonagall, with her hair in a tight bun, looked as though she had never let her hair down in any sense." ; )

Potions Mistress - Nov 26, 2004 4:04 pm (#428 of 2980)
LOL, hellocello! I can imagine Snape dancing the tango much more easily than McGonagall.


haymoni - Nov 27, 2004 4:48 pm (#429 of 2980)
I'm picturing Gomez and Morticia Adams...

Potions Mistress - Nov 27, 2004 8:55 pm (#430 of 2980)
Me too, Haymoni. Glad I'm not the only one! (Snap-snap!)


Chemyst - Nov 28, 2004 4:48 pm (#431 of 2980)
It is easy to imagine book-Snape doing the tango– he wouldn't do it in front of students unless he could do it to perfection, which of course, he could. (The Snape that Lupin & Sirius described to Harry was one who wanted to excel.) And book-Snape seems to take his chief pleasure in doing difficult things better than anyone else.

It is almost harder to imagine that intense-perfection kind of a tango in the movies– I'd assume they'd be trying to avoid an R rating.

SHEla WOLFsbane - Nov 28, 2004 10:26 pm (#432 of 2980)
I think I asked this once before, but, then again with my memory maybe not... When did you stop suspecting Snape for everything? If you have. If you haven't, why not?

My first read through of SS, I flipped back and forth- A LOT! CoS, I think is where I first started to see Snape as someone other than the scape goat, or bad guy. First with Lockhart, and the dueling thing. Then when Harry, and Ron are hiding in the teachers lounge when they find out Ginny has been taken, and Snape is grabbing the back of the chair so hard his knuckles are turning white. That was most defiantly an eye opener for me.

dizzy lizzy - Nov 28, 2004 10:59 pm (#433 of 2980)
If I remember correctly, JKR said that she enjoyed writing Snape. I wonder whether it's because of Snape's ambiguity. There are so many good and bad things about Snape as SHEla WOLFsbane pointed out in the post above, that it's hard to find let alone draw the line between good and evil (or good points vs bad points) in Snape's character. Snape is interesting purely because he appears to richochet between both opposing views (good/bad) faster than we can keep up with him.

It certainly adds to his character and I for one am watching with interest to see where Jo takes him next.


mooncalf - Nov 29, 2004 12:07 am (#434 of 2980)
As I remember it, she said that she enjoyed thinking up terrible things for him to do. That's not quite the same as moral complexity, but it probably is a lot of fun to write. :-)

Caput Draconis - Nov 29, 2004 2:33 am (#435 of 2980)
Edited by Nov 29, 2004 2:34 am
*hugs the Snape thread, and all who reside within*

He's gotta be wicked fun to write - I suppose a big part of why so many fanfic types try to make him their own. For the record, I never had the pleasure of reading PS independantly of the film, I was corrupted (in a very nice way ) thus didn't experience the full effect of that very cool chapter start; "It was Quirrel." after the rollercoaster of Snape related suspicion. Anyhoo, there's been no suspicions (of voldemortishness) on my part since 'there, there the dark mark'. Best scene ever.

Ann - Nov 29, 2004 7:13 am (#436 of 2980)
I agree with Caput Draconis. For a long time, I thought that the scene where Snape appeared in Moody's mirror along with Dumbledore and McGonagall was the moment it became clear that he was truly on Dumbledore's side, but someone (another thread) suggested that he would have been Crouch Jr.'s enemy even if he had still been on Voldemort's side, since Crouch Jr. hated all the DEs who didn't go to Azkaban. (In fact, Jr. apparently hated everyone in the world except Voldemort himself and perhaps Winky--interesting pair!)

But the bedside scene with Fudge, despite the "sudden movement" that Snape made when Malfoy was mentioned, is convincing. The one thing Voldemort does not want at that moment is for the Ministry to recognize that he has returned. And Snape does his very best to convince Fudge that he has returned. One might argue that he failed (intentionally), or that Fudge is a DE too, so Snape knew it didn't matter, but I think the passion he showed there was perfectly genuine. Even if JKR says it wasn't, I won't believe her; but she won't.

Potions Mistress - Nov 29, 2004 7:48 am (#437 of 2980)
I like Snape as a character, though I doubt that I'd like him in real life. He's such an interesting read because you simply cannot pin the guy down as purely "good" or "bad." I wholeheartedly believe that Snape has turned his back on LV and is now fighting for DD and the Order, but he still has some very nasty qualities about him--in short, he is fighting on the side of "good" while not necessarily being "good" himself.


Choices - Nov 29, 2004 10:47 am (#438 of 2980)
Yes, I thought that Snape appearing in Barty Crouch, Jr's foe glass with Dumbledore and McGonagall was a sure sign that he is a good guy (I want desperately for that to be true), but then someone (Harry I think) made the statement that a foe glass can be fooled. Now, I'm not so sure anymore. Arrggghhhh! yourself for what you really are!! Please!! You're driving us nuts trying to figure you out.

Gina R Snape - Nov 29, 2004 11:40 am (#439 of 2980)
Choices, I do not recall anyone in canon ever saying a foe glass can be fooled. I can, though, think of plenty of times where someone thought the sneak-o-scope was faulty (and in fact it wasn't).

For me, it was apparant from the start that Snape was on the side of good. There was never a single moment, though some have reinforced my belief--whitening of the knuckles as he grabbed the chair in CoS, foe glass, showing of the dark mark, etc.

I do have a friend in RL, though, who (despite my heavy protestation) didn't really believe Snape was on the side of good until OoTP, when he told Crabbe to ease up on Neville's throat.

Elanor - Nov 29, 2004 12:15 pm (#440 of 2980)
One step forward and two steps back, I doubted about Snape till "The parting of the ways" chapter in GoF, but the way he showed his mark to Fudge really staggered me then. When I reread the first three books afterwards, I saw him from a very different point of view and found it amazing how all was already there, right under my nose! Well, I see him to be still in danger, maybe because of DD's "trace of apprehension on his face" and his greatest enemy is certainly himself. But the man is tough, talented and clever, he will succeed (at least I hope so...).

About the movie Snape now, I have to say that my respect for him as a teacher really increased while watching the PoA movie: I just loved the way he made Ron's book open at the right page! The dream of all teacher tired of saying "open your book page 25" for the 5th time to kids who don't pay attention... You can trust me on that one.

hellocello3200 - Nov 29, 2004 12:49 pm (#441 of 2980)
I think the line when he saves Neville from strangulation sums up Snape. He might save your life, but he manages to prevent you from liking him.

Elanor, I agree that rereading the early books after GoF and OotP defently is different from the first time through. When I read the parts in PoA that are about how the marauders almost got him killed, my attitude is that that was a horrible thing to do and I am really angry at them, but the first time I read it, I thought that Snape was asking for it and that he really should be grateful to James.

Potions Mistress - Nov 29, 2004 1:22 pm (#442 of 2980)
I think the line when he saves Neville from strangulation sums up Snape. He might save your life, but he manages to prevent you from liking him.--hellocello

I agree. Snape does many things that help in the fight against LV, but how he goes about doing them make him rather "disagreeable," shall we say?

However, I do have to admit that I'm disgusted with Harry and his attitude toward Snape at the moment. After re-reading OotP, I didn't see any evidence that Snape in any way, shape, or form got Sirius killed. DD agrees on that account and yet Harry vows that he will never forgive Snape when it wasn't even his fault!! I see no good coming from this grudge--Harry will be even less receptive to what Snape will have to teach him. There is also the fact that we see Snape certainly knows how to hold a grudge and I think that has made him extremely bitter and angry--makes me wonder what else this grudge will do to Harry...


T Brightwater - Nov 29, 2004 3:45 pm (#443 of 2980)
At this point, Harry's attitude toward Snape just about matches Snape's attitude towards Harry. Snape has done his best to hurt and humiliate Harry since his first Potions class, in revenge for James hurting and humiliating him, for which Harry was certainly not responsible. Harry now hates Snape because of Sirius's death, for which Snape was not responsible.

It's alarming that Harry in OotP has started to resemble the people he most dislikes: Dudley (when he punches out Malfoy after the Quidditch game) and Snape. I hope Lupin or DD is able to make him understand that this is not good for him or anyone else. I don't know what it would take for Snape to have a change of heart.

rambkowalczyk - Nov 29, 2004 4:35 pm (#444 of 2980)
I suppose I will sound like an insufferable know-it-all, but I never suspected Snape of being the bad guy. When I read the first book I recognized that Snape was deliberately being made to look like the bad guy although I had no clue that Quirrel was behind everything. What was surprising was that JKR has managed to keep Snape looking like the bad guy throughout the series. I thought for sure Harry would have a better relationship with him by book 2.

Choices - Nov 29, 2004 5:20 pm (#445 of 2980)
Gina - I will try to remember where it says about the foe glass can be fooled and will post it here.

septentrion - Nov 30, 2004 2:40 am (#446 of 2980)
think it's in OoTP, in the requirement room during Harry's lessons. There are foe glasses there and Harry thinks they can be unreliable because they were "created" for the purpose of these lessons.

T Brightwater - Nov 30, 2004 6:46 am (#447 of 2980)
I seem to remember that there were several Dark Detectors (Sneakoscopes amd Secrecy Sensors) as well as the Foe Glass, and Harry said that they could be fooled, referring to the whole group. I'm not sure he was right about that, though. Fake-Moody said that he had to disable his Secrecy Sensor because it was reacting to students lying about their homework, but in fact the device was responding to _him_. Harry's Sneakoscope would have been a clue about Scabbers if he could have made the connection.

Remember that it wasn't just Snape who appeared in fake-Moody's Foe-Glass; DD and McG were there too. They wouldn't have been there if the Foe-Glass were "set" for the real Alastor Moody.

Choices - Nov 30, 2004 9:14 am (#448 of 2980)
Thanks to the previous posters for the foe glass reference. It is indeed in OotP. The kids have come into the Room of Requirement for the first time and are looking around.

"Hey, Harry, what's this stuff?" asked Dean from the rear of the room, indicating the Sneakoscopes and the Foe-Glass. "Dark Detectors," said Harry, stepping between the cushions to reach them. "Basically they all show when Dark wizards or enemies are around, but you don't want to rely on them too much, they can be fooled...." He gazed for a moment into the cracked Foe-Glass; shadowy figures were moving around inside it, though none was recognizable. He turned his back on it. (Dumbledore's Army chapter of OotP)

How Harry knew that they could be fooled I do not know. To my knowledge, Harry has not had any experience with a Foe-Glass being wrong about what it shows, so whether or not he is right in saying they can be fooled is questionable.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 30, 2004 12:28 pm (#449 of 2980)
Interesting the Foe Glass in the ROR is cracked whereas there is no reference to a crack in the Foe Glass in Moody's (Barty Jr's) office when Snape sees himself...

Edit: Er, Professor Snape...

Gina R Snape - Nov 30, 2004 1:45 pm (#450 of 2980)

Well, Harry suspects the foe glass was Crouch!Moody's. Could be that it was mishandled when they cleared out his stuff.

But if you are implying that the mirror cracked when Snape looked in it...them's fightin' woirds!!!

I still wouldn't take Harry's word for it that dark detectors don't work. Maybe if Hermione had said it...

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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 7:15 am

Solitaire - Nov 30, 2004 4:59 pm (#451 of 2980)
Harry's own pocket sneakoscope kept going off all the time on the train and in the dorm, but that was because Scabbers was around. Remember when Ron gave it to Harry? He told Harry that Bill had said it was because it wasn't any good. But the truth is that the Sneakoscope was right on target. The twins had put a beetle in Bill's soup (I think), and the Sneakoscope had really detected that Scabbers was not to be trusted (Crookshanks, the feline sneakoscope, had already figured it out).

Is it possible that Harry has forgotten to connect his supposedly faulty Sneakoscope with the fact that Scabbers was really Peter Pettigrew?

Solitaire (Sorry, this sounds kind of jumbled!)

KWeldon - Nov 30, 2004 6:28 pm (#452 of 2980)
If I may interrupt and also beg forgiveness for my ignorance, is it known when Snape left the DEs? I have a theory contingent on that timing. Sorry if this has already been discussed.

Gina R Snape - Nov 30, 2004 6:53 pm (#453 of 2980)
Sorry, KWeldon. All we know is Snape came over to DD's side shortly before the Dark Lord's downfall. We know he was hired at Hogwarts, but we don't know if he started before or after Voldy got zapped by his own AK curse.

We're all dying to know something more specific!

KWeldon - Nov 30, 2004 7:16 pm (#454 of 2980)

Again, forgive my ignorance, but what is your theory on why he changed sides (assuming he actually did)? I consider you a Snape expert, but I don't keep up with most Snape theories, and, again, I'm sorry to make you repeat yourself.

Thanks, KWeldon

Gina R Snape - Nov 30, 2004 7:23 pm (#455 of 2980)
KWeldon, I believe Snape was the DE who overheard the prophesy.

I encourage you to use the search function. I have definitely posted my theory on this thread and on the thread about which DE overheard the prophesy...

Thanks for the compliment.

Rosie - Dec 1, 2004 3:16 am (#456 of 2980)
To find out when Snape left the DD's, try reading OotP again; I am sure there is part where Umbridge askes Snape how long he has been teaching, and he answers and looks at Harry. I believe from this that there is a connection between Snape starting teaching (at Hogwarts) and joining the Order. Unfortunately I cannot remender how many years he said and I currently do not have the book.

T Brightwater - Dec 1, 2004 6:10 am (#457 of 2980)
He said "Fourteen years." If he started at the beginning of the school year, then he was hired at least two months before the Potters were killed. However, he wasn't necessarily there for the whole year - I think McGonagall said she began teaching in December.

It would be interesting to find out who his predecessor was and why he or she left.

rambkowalczyk - Dec 1, 2004 6:53 am (#458 of 2980)
In GOF Dumbledore says Snape "rejoined our side before Lord Voldemort's downfall and turned spy for us at great personal risk." I think he was on Dumbledore's side even before he was on the Hogwarts staff.

If Snape was the one who heard the prophecy (and I don't think he was)then he would have been working for Dumbledore before Harry was born, that would be a year before he was working at Hogwarts.

Prophecy -anytime before July 1980

Harry born July 31,1980

Snape starts work at Hogwarts Sept 1981

Harrys parents die Oct 31, 1981.

Chemyst - Dec 1, 2004 7:33 am (#459 of 2980)
My guess has been that Voldemort wanted someone to spy on his archenemy, Dumbledore, and so Voldemort sent DE Snape to interview for a position at Hogwarts in order to spy for him. BUT, something came up during that interview, (Snape had wanted out?) and DD offered him the position to counter-spy. This timing is not contradicted by any known facts. Canon gives so many mixed clues that I can't really "prove" this, but I think it explains why Voldemort isn't a lot more suspicious of Snape, why he'd accept Snape's interaction with Quirrel; It would be because Voldemort believes he assigned Snape to Hogwarts in the first place.

Elanor - Dec 1, 2004 9:49 am (#460 of 2980)
I like that theory Chemyst!

Your posts made me realize that when Snape began to teach at Hogwarts, he was very young indeed, about 22 years old, and that some of the students he had to teach at that time already knew him as a student, or their brothers and sisters did. Not the perfect way of starting a teacher job. When you teach you need to show a certain authority and, knowing some students, being tough with them all was certainly Snape's only way of having control over them.

If you add to that all that he just lived as a DE, what has made him changing sides, what he was doing for DD at the same time and a personal tendancy to seek nothing but perfection, there is no way to be surprised he became the Snape we know. Does it make sense?

Ann - Dec 1, 2004 10:10 am (#461 of 2980)
Snape's age when he started at Hogwarts certainly might explain (but not excuse) the rather high-handed way he deals with his students and even his harshness. I taught my first class of college students at 23, in a commuter school where most of them were much older than I was. My insecurity must have been laughably obvious: I was ridiculously formal, strict, inflexible, and demanding. (Of course, I still am, but I'm nicer about it these days.)

Interesting to think that, if he graduated from Hogwarts in spring 1978 (per the Lexicon) and became a DE immediately, and then became a spy for Dumbledore when Voldemort was at the height of his powers, perhaps as early as the time of the prophecy--fall 1979--as Gina suggests, he might have been a dedicated DE for only about 18 months.

Gina R Snape - Dec 1, 2004 2:54 pm (#462 of 2980)
ramb: If Snape was the one who heard the prophecy (and I don't think he was)then he would have been working for Dumbledore before Harry was born, that would be a year before he was working at Hogwarts.

I do think Snape overheard the prophesy, but was not yet working for DD. Rather, I think he overheard the prophesy, then ran back to the Dark Lord to tell him. Later on he switched sides, as the DEs were planning on rooting out Harry and Neville.

And yes, Snape was definitely a young enough teacher to be near-peers with some of the students. I like this idea though, that he learned to be so stone-faced as one early way to garner respect.

Potions Mistress - Dec 1, 2004 5:37 pm (#463 of 2980)
All right, this discussion is going on over the Harry thread, but seeing as how it applies to Snape as well...

The question concerns the Pensieve: In "Snape's Worst Memory," are we seeing Snape's memory as he remembers it, with his biases and "coloring" of events. Or does the magic of the Pensieve allow the viewer to see things in an objective manner--as things really took place, with no biases of the viewer? I'm still mulling over this one, there are good arguements on both sides. Thoughts anyone?


rambkowalczyk - Dec 1, 2004 6:00 pm (#464 of 2980)
rambkowalczyk "Harry Potter" 12/1/04 1:41pm

The above link was what I posted in Harry Potter. I think the pensieve scene was an accurate representation of what happened. That is the scene is not biased towards Snape's point of view. What may be biased is Harry's selective attention to his father and friends and that if Snape did anything to provoke the attack (by eavesdropping) Harry never noticed it.

If James were alive and also put his memory into his pensieve what Harry would see would be the same thing. This isn't proof. It really doesn't say whether pensieve scenes are biased or objective. The only clue we have is that Harry saw his father's doodles and it is unlikely this came from Snape's imagination.

mrweasley - Dec 2, 2004 7:41 am (#465 of 2980)
Um... maybe this is old news to you, and I'm sorry to bring it up if it is. But I've just read through a few old JKR interviews on the quick-quote-quill-page, and read the following in an interview of the "connection" with JKR in October 1999:

Q: One of our internet correspondents wondered if Snape is going to fall in love.

(JKR laughs) Who on earth would want Snape in love with them? That’s a very horrible idea.

Q: There’s an important kind of redemptive pattern to Snape.

He, um, there’s so much I wish I could say to you, and I can’t because it would ruin. I promise you, whoever asked that question, can I just say to you that I’m slightly stunned that you’ve said that and you’ll find out why I’m so stunned if you read Book 7. That’s all I’m going to say.

To me, this is a strong indication that all those people, who have suspected Snape to having been in love with Lily, and that this added to the conflict between Snape and James, have been right. It would also explain Snape's strong negative feelings against Harry much more convincingly.

Choices - Dec 2, 2004 9:28 am (#466 of 2980)
But.....if Snape did love Lily, and I do not agree with that theory, but if he did.....I can see him hating James for winning Lily, but I can't see him hating the child of the woman he loved. If he loved her deeply, then he would probably still be carrying the torch for her and how could he hate so much the child that is a part of her? I just can't see Snape, who seems so tightly in control of his emotions, being so head over heels in love with Lily that he would carry such hatred for James and Harry all these years. No, I think it is something more than possibly being jilted that drives Snapes feelings. A teenage "crush" surely wouldn't engender such deep and long lasting hatred. I'm not sure what, but I think it is definitely something else that motivates his anger.

Potions Mistress - Dec 2, 2004 11:16 am (#467 of 2980)
I agree with Choices. I doubt that Snape truly loved Lily--quite frankly, given Snape's personality and upbringing, I don't know if he is capable to truly loving anyone. That would mean letting go of his emotions, being vulnerable, and exposing himself to rejection (something akin to the kind of rejection I see him have experienced in school). I think Snape's grudge against James goes back to James being a Marauder and then saving Snape's life. Snape owed (or at least felt he owed) a life debt to the man he despised. When Harry comes along, I think that grudge and hatred is rekindled and Snape sees Harry as kind of a "mini-me" of James, and he takes his anger out on Harry.


mooncalf - Dec 2, 2004 1:59 pm (#468 of 2980)
Edited by Dec 2, 2004 2:01 pm
While I don't buy into the Snape-Loved-Lily thing, I have to disagree with your reasoning, P.M. It seems to me that people who build walls around themselves, those who never allow anyone to come close emotionally, are those who have been hurt very badly by someone they loved - that at some point they were vulnerable and exposed themselves to rejection and were rejected. It needn't necessarily be a romantic thing, with Snape perhaps it was his parents or a close friend, but I get the impression that someone, somewhere in his past has wounded him badly. To assume that Snape is incapable of loving is to assume that there is no more to him than what we see on the outside, and what makes Snape so interesting is the fact that there is so much more to him than we can see.

Choices - Dec 2, 2004 5:23 pm (#469 of 2980)
I don't think Snape is incapable of loving, I think he refuses to let himself love because of the possibility of being hurt - possibly again. I think at one time he was vulnerable and did love someone (not necessarily a romantic love) and was terribly hurt - enough so that he has built a wall around his emotions and will not risk being hurt again. He has all the signs of someone who has been burned once and will not risk it happening again.

hellocello3200 - Dec 2, 2004 5:43 pm (#470 of 2980)
I also think Snape is capable of love, but inorder for him to show any affection, and not just in the romantic sense, the other person would have to make him feel secure first. From what we've seen Lily was the type of person who might talk to a bit of a social regect like Snape and he might misinterperate that. If the whole Snape/Lily thing is true, then Lily probably made him feel comfortable and he let his guard down too much, and he ended up embarrassed because Lily didn't feel that way about him.

Potions Mistress, there was a discussion about the accuracy of the pensieve scene, but it was on the pensieve thread which I belive was mulched.

MickeyCee3948 - Dec 2, 2004 6:51 pm (#471 of 2980)
I don't believe that Snape is capable of physical love because of the physical and mental pain he feels. My theory is that his father was a DE and that Snape became a DE in order to gain his father's favor. He then saw his father either kill or seriously injure his mother. I believe he could have killed his father and then turned aganist the Voldemort and began spying on the DE's.

No proof to support any of this it is just my 2 knuts. I believe that part of the reason that he hates Harry so much(besides his hatred of James)is that Harry's parents loved him so much that they died for him. Total Hatred.


Aud Duck - Dec 2, 2004 8:03 pm (#472 of 2980)
In discussing whether Snape is capable of love, it is important to remember that love does not necessarily need to be expressed in order to exist. I do agree with people that have said that Snape is unlikely to let his guard down that much unless he feels truly comfortable. But being able to admit you love someone is not by any means a prerequisite for loving that person.

Is Snape capable of showing love for someone? Probably not.

Is he capable of deeply loving someone? Others may disagree, but my opinion is a resounding yes.

Weeny Owl - Dec 2, 2004 9:38 pm (#473 of 2980)
Is Snape capable of showing love for someone? Probably not.

Is he capable of deeply loving someone? Others may disagree, but my opinion is a resounding yes.

That's a very good way of phrasing it, Aud Duck, and I would agree with you.

Whatever Snape is feeling I doubt he shows to the world, so even if he has tender feelings for someone, he probably wouldn't feel comfortable expressing them.

mrweasley - Dec 3, 2004 2:38 am (#474 of 2980)
I agree, Aud Duck and Weeny Owl. Indeed, it doesn't seem very likely that Snape showed any signs of affection towards Lily. But that doesn't mean that he might have been in love with her and that it hurt him particularly that James Potter should be the one to win her heart.

Choices - Dec 3, 2004 9:27 am (#475 of 2980)
Mickey - Interesting theory that Snape might have become a DE to please his father. A definite possibility. He might also have quit the DE's because of his father. Can't wait for JKR to give us the story on Snape.

Aurora Gubbins - Dec 3, 2004 11:03 am (#476 of 2980)
Hello all, New to this thread so please forgive me if I speak that which has already been spoken.

Does anyone else think that Snape made a potion that put the stopper in LV's death? This could be because he was under the control of LV or because, under instruction of DD, he had to protect the child in the prophecy from being killed by LV ("...neither can live while the other survives").

As for Snape becoming a DE to please his father, There are thousands and thousands of people in this world who have followed the career path chosen by their parents. Many doctors are doctors because one or both parents are, for instance. With a bully of a father we think he had - yeah - that sounds very plausible!

Aurora xx

Elanor - Dec 3, 2004 12:11 pm (#477 of 2980)
That sounds plausible to me too!

I was thinking to the young Snape, at the time he became a spy for DD, and I was wondering if part of DD's influence on Snape could come from the fact that he knew Snape's father well from the time the latter was himself a Hogwarts student.

Snape was born about 1960, so his father was probably born about the 1930s, that is to say that he was contemporary of Tom Riddle or very close to his time. Since DD taught Riddle in the 1940s, we may assume he taught Snape Senior as well (and maybe Severus' mother too if she was a witch). If Snape Senior became a DE, it might come from the years he spent at Hogwarts with Tom Riddle and that led him to follow Voldemort afterwards.

In that case, DD would be aware of a great part of the story of the Snape family and he could have been able to explain Severus what he knew about that time. He could have won a part of Severus' trust and respect from that.

Does it make sense?

Gina R Snape - Dec 3, 2004 12:21 pm (#478 of 2980)
That makes complete sense, Elanor. And it's very interesting. It never occurred to me to think about the relationship DD might have had with Snape's father.

dizzy lizzy - Dec 3, 2004 2:43 pm (#479 of 2980)
I'd forgotten that Snape had parent's .


Aurora Gubbins - Dec 3, 2004 3:17 pm (#480 of 2980)
Dizzy Lizzy: I, too, forget that people like Snape are just that - people - and they come from parents and grandparents and so on.

Elanor: Snape's mother is bound to be a witch. Remember the song of the Sorting Hat (OOTP) when he says that only pure-bloods are taken into Slytherin house - though Tom Riddle still stumps me on that one. JKR obviously has some kind of explanation on that somehow.

Aurora xx

Chemyst - Dec 3, 2004 5:35 pm (#481 of 2980)
With a bully of a father we think he had... - Aurora
It never occurred to me to think about the relationship DD might have had with Snape's father. -Gina

These last few posts have been interesting, but, but, but...
I think that of all we've seen via the Pensieve, at least one of the scenes is a deliberate red herring. IF, for example, the hooked-nose man was Snape's dad yelling at Snape's mom because he'd just found out she'd been teaching little Severus dark hexes, then everything could be reversed. Maybe Snape was trying to please his mum and thought his Dad was wrong for trying to keep him away from dark arts. Maybe DD remembers it was Severus's mother who was friendly with Tom Riddle. We really need another book, don't we?

MickeyCee3948 - Dec 3, 2004 5:50 pm (#482 of 2980)
Chemyst - I agree that the roles could be changed easily looking at it from a male position I guess. Man do we need another book. Can't believe some of the questions we have been discussing.


Choices - Dec 3, 2004 6:05 pm (#483 of 2980)
Aurora - I do think it possible that Snape brewed a potion to help Voldemort put a stopper in death, but I think that is only one of the many things Voldemort has utilized to achieve immortality.

Gina R Snape - Dec 3, 2004 6:19 pm (#484 of 2980)
Chemyst, your avatar is so festive!

But I don't think those scenes were red herrings. I can't think of a time when she's used a memory or other 'snippet' as a red herring from one book to another. As far as I can tell, all her red herrings are self-contained per book.

True, though, that we don't know the context of the yelling. I just think the idea was to give us a few 'snapshots' of what his childhood was like. If that's the case, then witnessing parental arguments, crying, and public humiliation were regular events in young Severus' life.

Aud Duck - Dec 3, 2004 8:18 pm (#485 of 2980)
I just think the idea was to give us a few 'snapshots' of what his childhood was like.

I think that's true, Gina. I doubt that JK was intentionally setting up a red herring. But I think it's entirely possible that we ourselves have created a few. When you analyze things as much as we do, you are always prone to looking for clues and meanings in things that are really very straightforward. Don't get me wrong: the nitpicking and overanalysis are what I love about this forum. But, keeping Mark Evans in mind, we do need to be cautious. We are making an awful lot of assumptions based on what we saw in those memories, and a great many of those assumptions may be wrong.

Caput Draconis - Dec 3, 2004 8:33 pm (#486 of 2980)
Edited by Dec 3, 2004 8:35 pm
Love the thought that Dumbledore taught Snape Senior. I also tend to think that the memory of the hook nosed guy (we assume, again, his dad) is one of those things we get astonishingly excited about, then it's never heard of again. There's so much Snapestory that could be told, we're obviously not going to get all we want. The thing this 'snapshot' did was make me allign Snape and Harry's childhood, a part of the whole thing where Harry identifies more with Snape than his own kinda jerky father.

Anyhoo, I think it's neat that the already somewhat mysterious relationship between Severus and Albus (what with the second chances and loyalty issues and whatnot) could have Dumbledore's firsthand knowledge of Snape's family and upbringing at its heart, or at least as a subtantial factor...particularly concerning why Severus joined the DE's in the first place, I think. It's all very exciting.

Gina R Snape - Dec 3, 2004 8:59 pm (#487 of 2980)
It strikes me how incredibly powerful a teacher could be in such a small society. When wizards live to such advanced years, if one has a very good memory, watching generation after generation grow up would be an incredible experience.

Just the same way DD could try to help certain children generation after generation, Snape could conceivably carry a grudge from generation to generation!

Ann - Dec 4, 2004 6:26 am (#488 of 2980)
Just the same way DD could try to help certain children generation after generation, Snape could conceivably carry a grudge from generation to generation!

Conceivably? Surely you jest, Gina!

Gina R Snape - Dec 4, 2004 6:38 am (#489 of 2980)
Well, from James Potter to Harry Potter, to Harry's children and grandchildren, etc. (should he live to have any). I don't mean the current grudge.

Aurora Gubbins - Dec 4, 2004 2:52 pm (#490 of 2980)
There was one enormous issue about the pensieve that struck me as I read them: Memories are often not factually accurate. How many times have we talked about something in the past with someone who shared that experience, only to find that they remember things differently? We see Snape leaving the hall after the end of an exam, he leaves while looking down, reading something. It is very difficult to walk and read without bumping into things. What I'm getting at is that Snape's memories are as he remembers things happening, Lily's memories of the same incident would be somewhat different, as would James' and everyone else's.

Just a thought! Aurora xx

KWeldon - Dec 4, 2004 2:56 pm (#491 of 2980)

I understand what you are saying, but if Snape's Pensieve showed James' scribbles on James' own paper, how could it be anything but a factual account? How would Snape know about the scribbles any other way?


Solitaire - Dec 4, 2004 3:48 pm (#492 of 2980)
I tend to think like you do, Aurora ... I know it is not a belief commonly held, but it has certainly been my experience that 5 people who witness an event will often remember it 5 somewhat different ways. People focus on different things, according to what interests them, and they tend to filter out other stuff.

Choices - Dec 4, 2004 5:06 pm (#493 of 2980)
I tend to think if it was just Snape's recollections, the scene would have centered on Snape and just what he was doing and what he might have overheard. But, we saw the scene from all angles.... what Harry saw and what James, Sirius, Peter and Lupin did and said and what happened when Lily came into the scene.... so that seems to be more factual because we saw and heard things that probably Snape did not. We got a well rounded view and not just Snape's view.

Potions Mistress - Dec 4, 2004 10:09 pm (#494 of 2980)
I agree with Choices. I think the pensieve's magical ability allows one to look at a memory from an omniscient/outsider's point of view--hence, in "Snape's Worst Memory," we get a reconstructed event from the past--not just Snape and what he saw, heard, felt, etc., but the examination, the scribbles, etc. Also, when Harry looked at, he focused on James. I'd imagine (though I've no concrete proof, only conjecture), that had the memory been completely biased toward Snape, it would've focused more on Snape, how he saw things (incl. the Marauders). Okay, I'm not sure if this will be clear to everyone, so if it's not, let me know and I'll try to clarify.


Aurora Gubbins - Dec 5, 2004 3:44 am (#495 of 2980)
Think about this: When listening to someone using the telephone, you only hear what the one person is saying. It's very easy sometines to imagine what the other one is saying, sometimes coming to the wrong conclusion. This could be represented in Snape's memory as "I'll bet he's written..." insert drawing or words to suit one's mood. We've all made errors of judgement. Think about one massive error of judgement - the 'murder' of Peter Pettigrew. Only two people were party to the conversation, everyone else made up opinions based on what they saw, not what they heard. See what I mean?

Aurora xx

Ann - Dec 5, 2004 6:17 am (#496 of 2980)
Aurora, I understand what you mean, but I don't think that's what's happening.

The way Harry sees his father actually fits the picture that he's been given in subtle ways all through the books, not just by Snape but by Sirius and to some extent by Lupin--even McGonagall and Madame Rosmerta in that conversation in PoA. Think of the illegal animagus business, where Lupin might easily have killed someone; think of the fact that Dumbledore didn't make him a prefect; think of the Marauders' Map. James, at least until he was about 17, was someone who liked to break rules, who was clever enough to do so with impunity, and who loathed Snape for no particular reason from the start.

I think the reason this unattractive picture of his father bothers Harry so much is that it fits so well with all the other information he's been given. Since it's been given by people who loved and admired his father, it's been given in a loving, somewhat rueful, way; Harry heard the love and the admiration, and didn't really think too much about what the stories implied. But when Harry sees James in action, as someone his own age, he judges him according to his own standards, and James falls very short.

Aud Duck - Dec 5, 2004 9:08 am (#497 of 2980)
I think that part of what a pensieve is for is to help a person look at a memory without the bias. This is just conjecture, but I think that there is enough canon there that the possibility can't be dismissed offhand. When Dumbledore uses the pensieve to show Harry the prophecy, the pensieve remembers every word. I doubt that even Dumbledore was able to remember it that accurately after hearing it only once. Then there is also the fact that, as others have If, as Aurora suggested, his memory were to try to fill in the blank spaces, I am not sure that he would have supplied it so impartially. What the marauders are doing reflects actual personalities, not the highly demonized personalities that one bestows on one's former enemies. When we first see the marauders, they are pretty appealing, and I doubt that Snape's bias would have allowed them to appear that way.

As Ann mentioned, this is not the first clue we've been given as to James's personality. When Lupin confiscates the map in PoA, he tells Harry that "these mapmakers would have wanted to lure you out of school. They'd think it extremely entertaining." I always thought that was a bit odd, especially since Lupin does not explain it away adequately later on. But it does tally precisely of what we saw of the marauders in the pensieve. That makes me think that the pensieve's version of Snape's memory is pretty accurate in its depiction of the marauders. And if it's accurate in that respect, I see no reason to doubt it on any other grounds. I think we (and Harry) just wish that James et al had been the heroes we had been told they were, and we would rather blame Snape's memory than the hitherto loveable marauders.

Potions Mistress - Dec 5, 2004 10:44 am (#498 of 2980)
Well stated Aud Duck.


Chemyst - Dec 5, 2004 12:55 pm (#499 of 2980)
...I see no reason to doubt it on any other grounds. -Aud Duck
Yes, I think the sieve in Pensieve filters out emotional bias. But even though we can see the mechanics of what Snape & Co. did, we still can't see the motives behind the action or know if they were appropriate. So there remains room for misinterpretation. Anyone viewing a Pensive will add their own bias to the scene.

Aurora Gubbins - Dec 5, 2004 1:01 pm (#500 of 2980)
Yes, I have to agree with both Aud Duck and Chemyst. But with my own slant on their words Wink

Aurora xx
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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 7:19 am

Solitaire - Dec 5, 2004 2:05 pm (#501 of 2980)
Ann: You say that James "loathed Snape for no particular reason from the start"

Ann, I don't really think there was "no particular reason" for the mutual hatred between James and Snape. And it was mutual. Sirius said that they hated each other from the moment they set eyes on each other. He also said that whatever else he may have appeared, James always hated the Dark Arts, and Snape was "up to his eyeballs" in the Dark Arts from the day he walked into Hogwarts.

Lupin has also gone on record as saying that Snape took every opportunity to curse James, and James couldn't be expected to take it lying down. It seems a pretty mutual antagonism, to me. I'm not saying that excuses what the Marauders did, but I think there was a reason for the hatred between them.


LooneyLuna - Dec 5, 2004 2:47 pm (#502 of 2980)
Straying from the Pensieve.....

Reading about Snape and theories as to his personality, I remember a meeting that I attended (long ago) with a bunch of lawyers. One lawyer dropped a bombshell of a statement and everyone sat there stony-faced. Another lawyer said, "Gee, I'd hate to play poker with you guys."

Snape is like that - he always has his game face on. I'd hate to play poker with him too! Professional poker players rarely show any emotion, even when they win big - the most you'd get is a small smile (I saw that on Discovery Channel).

I hope that when all this Voldemort business is said and done, that Snape can let down his hair - so to speak. Smile

Ann - Dec 5, 2004 7:14 pm (#503 of 2980)
Solitaire, I think the mutual antagonism "from the moment they set eyes on one another" implies that there was no rational reason for it--they just didn't like each other's looks or style or name or friends. (Sort of like love at first sight in reverse; it isn't a rational reaction.) Then, as they acted on this mutual antipathy, of course, each gave the other reasons for dislike.

I'm not saying James is more to blame than Severus--just that they are both equally to blame. James wouldn't have known about Snape's fondness for the Dark Arts initially, but either that reinforced his dislike for Snape or (always a possibility) his dislike for Snape reinforced his dislike for the Dark Arts!

T Brightwater - Dec 6, 2004 9:53 am (#504 of 2980)
Consider that DD compared James/Snape to Harry/Draco. The latter wasn't exactly loathing at first sight, but the first things we find out about Draco are that he's a snob, he thinks rather well of himself, he has no sympathy for other people, and his family has a tradition of being in Slytherin. The first three things alienate Harry from the start, and as soon as he finds out from Hagrid that Slytherin is Voldemort's former house, he has another reason for not exactly warming up to Draco. Between the two meetings Draco also manages to insult the only people who have ever been nice to Harry (Hagrid and the Weasleys) and it's quite obvious that in the second meeting Draco is making a superficial overture of friendship because Harry's famous. When Harry makes it clear that he's not going to play by Malfoy's rules, the groundwork is already laid for their intense mutual dislike.

We haven't seen the first meeting of James and Snape, so we don't know what either said to the other. Their mutual loathing may have as much rational ground as Harry and Draco's.

constant vigilance - Dec 6, 2004 5:57 pm (#505 of 2980)
Brightwater, you pretty much took my exact thoughts and put them into words. It's totally natural to form an impression of someone when you first meet them, and very human to maintain that opinion even after you've been proven wrong. That doesn't make it "right," but it is natural, and when the person actually lives up to that first impression it becomes even more difficult to change your mind. Jumping to conclusions about people can be very destructive, and it takes a certain maturity to revise your opinion when you discover that your first impression was wrong.

Harry was not inclined to like Draco from their first meeting, and he was proven right about that. He also was not so inclined towards Hermione, but with her he changed his mind. Severus and James probably had more of a Harry-Draco sort of relationship, and most likely neither of them was interested in giving the other a chance.

EbonyRebel - Dec 7, 2004 9:48 am (#506 of 2980)
Straying back to the Pensieve....

What if DD gave Snape a lend of his Pensieve so that Snape could look at his memories of James and the Marauders without bias? DD did say that he had hoped that Snape would get over his old grudges in order to teach Harry Occlumency successfully. Maybe he hoped that Snape would take the opportunity to try to reconstruct his thinking towards James and co.

I think that there are three different reasons why DD gave Snape a lend of the Pensieve:

1)so that Snape wouldn't accidentally reveal any secrets if Harry broke through his mind

2)so that he could get rid of memories of James and co. from his head while he was teaching Harry - this could help Snape to think more clearly about teaching Occlumency, as his mind wouldn't be so cluttered up with hatred and bitterness

3)As mentioned above - perhaps DD wanted to tackle the problem from the roots, and to do this he advised Snape to look at his grudge from all angles, not just his own, in the hope that Snape may be a bit more objective and understanding in his views of WHY the Marauders acted the way they did. When Snape thinks about the memory when it's in his head, he probably can't help feeling all the feelings he felt back then. however, if he watches the memory played outside his head, he may be able to think about it without becoming overwhelmed by his old hatred.

I think that the Pensieve is a much more powerful magical object than has been previously let on. Otherwise, why would they be so rare? In all his five years in the wizarding world, Harry has only come across Pensieves twice - DD's one, and in the Department of Mysteries.

Of course, DD's theory falled flat because Snape doesn't have the largeness of mind to change his warped thinking. Snape likes to hate, to feel bitter, to hold grudges. The more I think about his character, the less I like it.

Aud Duck - Dec 7, 2004 3:20 pm (#507 of 2980)
I think you're being a bit unfair about Snape. Even Harry got rather sour on the marauders when he saw that scene in the pensieve. It didn't really need Snape's bias to make the marauders look like Draco Malfoy-ish, bullying gits. If Harry, who has been told how wonderful his parents were ever since he entered the magical world, draws that conclusion from the pensieve scene, how can we blame Snape for feeling that way?

T Brightwater - Dec 7, 2004 3:30 pm (#508 of 2980)
I don't blame him for feeling what he felt at the time, but this is about twenty years later! Time to let go, don't you think?

Gina R Snape - Dec 7, 2004 3:52 pm (#509 of 2980)
Now, see, I view this not simply as an adolescent grudge for him to 'get over'. I think Snape has major deep-seeded emotional wounds that he has not been able to heal. He's found a way to survive in the world, but he isn't particularly happy because of his struggles with reconciling his past and his present life. I think he grew up being abused at home and picked on at school, with no relief until he joined the DEs when he discovered he was out of the frying pan and into the fire. Oddly enough, that probably gave him the biggest positive-leaning purpose in life, leaving the DEs and joining up with Dumbledore.

Potions Mistress - Dec 7, 2004 3:53 pm (#510 of 2980)
I agree T Brightwater--two of his four tormentors are dead, one for 14 years. One has matured and the other is a pathetic lackey looking for the next big power (and I'd imagine will probably be killed). Snape is a very bitter and angry man, but I wonder if he likes it that way, if he is "happy" being angry, if only because happiness and kindness, etc. were foreign to him as a child and young man, and he has not learned how to deal with those more positive feelings.


Choices - Dec 7, 2004 5:34 pm (#511 of 2980)
I wonder.....if one takes a memory from out of one's head and places it in the Pensieve, does one retain any bit of that memory or is it totally gone until such time as it is placed back in one's head? What if ....say Snape.... just never took back those bad memories? Do you think he would still be the way he is and still hate Harry? He opts to take the memories back, so he must not want to forget. I wonder if he just left them floating there, is there any way they could be wiped out or destroyed? I guess Snape wouldn't want to just leave them because then Dumbledore could view them when the Pensieve is returned to him. If someone took memories out of their head and placed them in a Pensieve and then died, what would happen to those memories? Curious!

Gina R Snape - Dec 7, 2004 5:51 pm (#512 of 2980)
There seems to be a lot of interest in the pensieve lately. Might I suggest someone start a new pensieve thread?

T Brightwater - Dec 8, 2004 6:17 am (#513 of 2980)
Gina, I agree that Snape has some deep-seated emotional wounds, but, like physical wounds, picking at them only makes things worse. He's been deliberately and consistently nursing his hatred of James for all these years, and has even extended that hatred to include Harry, who at their first meeting had never done anything to him and had never even known anything about Snape _or_ his father.

Snape's main barrier to healing is his own pride. It seems as though letting go of his resentment would mean admitting that he has spent a great deal of mental energy on something that wasn't worth it, and that takes a certain amount of humility.

"Stop thinking about it" is fairly useless advice; "Think about something else" is quite effective. I'd prescribe a small daily dose of strong dark chocolate and a demanding research project for starters.

Phoenix song - Dec 8, 2004 7:43 am (#514 of 2980)
"'Stop thinking about it' is fairly useless advice; 'Think about something else' is quite effective. I'd prescribe a small daily dose of strong dark chocolate and a demanding research project for starters." T Brightwater

Considering that this is Snape, it might be beneficial to also prescribe a nice, strong, tranquilizer as well. (Let's face it, it couldn't hurt, even if it is a "muggle" medicine.)


Aurora Gubbins - Dec 8, 2004 7:52 am (#515 of 2980)
Gina: I absolutely luuuurve the Severus Claus! It's even better than the boggart!

Aurora xx

Ann - Dec 8, 2004 10:12 am (#516 of 2980)
T Brightwater: "Gina, I agree that Snape has some deep-seated emotional wounds, but, like physical wounds, picking at them only makes things worse."

It's been suggested, I think, that the "picking at them" is intentional; that Snape focuses on painful memories in order to be able to project his hatreds when he's with Voldemort. It seems to me that he is considerably more cruel and abusive in OotP than he was in the earlier books. But I suppose that could be because Harry is growing up (and growing more annoying), or possibly JKR is just getting even better at writing him.

I love Gina's new avatar--but the name "Severus Claus" is even better!

Gina R Snape - Dec 8, 2004 10:36 am (#517 of 2980)
Thanks! I must confess I did not make this avatar, I found it on LJ (someone posted it to rickman_daily).

Severus Claus Hmmmm. Has a ring to it! How about Santa Snape?

Potions Mistress - Dec 8, 2004 4:35 pm (#518 of 2980)
Does anyone else here think that at the end of it all, assuming both live through the War, that Harry and Snape will find some respect for one another? I don't think that they'll ever like each other, but perhaps they could concede that both are powerful wizards in their own right? Or anything else along the lines of "respect"?


Tomoé - Dec 8, 2004 5:44 pm (#519 of 2980)
I'd like to back track a little, and add my two knuts worth on the possibility that Snape to brew a stopper of death for Voldemort. I believe he didn't, don't and won't, Voldemort's greatest fear is to die and I don't see him trusting enough to give anyone else than himself the responsability to keep his live safe. And Voldemort was one of the most brilliant student of Hogwarts, so I believe he's quite competent enough to brew his own stopper of death.

Back on a more recent topic, I believe Harry and Snape, if they both live, will get more respectuous of each other. I believe it will be easier now that Sirius is dead and that Harry will be the problem for now on. After the Pensieve incident, Snape did smash Harry's at least E Invigoration Draught, but beside that, he had a neutral attitude all the time (ignoring Harry) and was even fair when he found Harry about to hex Malfoy in the Entrance Hall (I mean only 10 points and no detention).

I think Snape attitude towards Harry have already changed.

Choices - Dec 8, 2004 5:58 pm (#520 of 2980)
Does anyone have any thoughts on why Snape never eats when he goes to 12 Grimmauld Place? Is he just anti-social or is he on some sort of special diet? Everyone else seems to sit down and eat together, but not Snape. Curious!

mooncalf - Dec 8, 2004 6:12 pm (#521 of 2980)
I think that you're right, Tomoe, I think that Harry and Snape will come to a mutual, if grudging respect. They may never say anything about it aloud to each other or to anyone else, but as they learn more about each other, I think some respect will follow.

And Choices, I always assumed that Snape was just being anti-social. He doesn't like the people at Grimmauld Place, he certainly wouldn't have been welcomed by its owner, and he is not the sort to stay because he feels a social obligation. He's just not a social guy. :-)

Tomoé - Dec 8, 2004 6:16 pm (#522 of 2980)
I don't think Snape would like to eat with Sirius on any circonstances, or even stay in the same room (if not house). So the soner he get out the better. Maybe he'll stay now.

Ann - Dec 8, 2004 7:24 pm (#523 of 2980)
Snape, eating with kids? at the same table? with no distinctions in status?

Doesn't sound likely to me. I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed to eat if he visit Grimauld Place during the term, when kids aren't around. He might get on quite well with Molly.

SHEla WOLFsbane - Dec 8, 2004 9:26 pm (#524 of 2980)
Does anyone else here think that at the end of it all, assuming both live through the War, that Harry and Snape will find some respect for one another? Think? NO! Hope? Oh, yes!

Kerrie-Louise - Dec 9, 2004 12:31 am (#525 of 2980)
I'm sorry but I think Snape will die in the last book if not in the next one. Snape is a man well set in his ways, he's an adult and adults don't grow in the same way as children do. Snape also has a natural mean streak, (look how he treats Nevil - that's more than Slytheryn Bias.) I think we all want Snape to redeem himself and his past makes us feel sorry for him. I think however his only redemption will be in death (probably saving someones life) and through that Harry will forgive him!

Tomoé - Dec 9, 2004 12:58 am (#526 of 2980)
Adults don't grow up unless some extraordinary stuff happen to them. If Snape survive, he will be able to put his DE era behind and with Harry out of Hogwarts, he may finally find peace with his past.

If he lives, that is.

Weeny Owl - Dec 9, 2004 1:10 am (#527 of 2980)
I don't want Snape to die. I've said it before, but if he dies saving Harry I'll find that to be too much of a cliche.

I did mention earlier that him saving Neville or Hermione would be different. A Death Eater, reformed or otherwise, saving a Muggle-born would be redemption to the max. Him saving Neville, knowing that he's what Neville is most frightened of (at least at one point) is also a good way of showing redemption. I still don't want him to have to prove himself redeemed by dying.

I did have another thought, and that is that he might save Lupin, and that would be an amazing scene if JKR were to write it. If he could save Lupin from Wormtail, for instance, that would certainly show redemption.

As for Harry and Snape respecting each other after the war is over (and both of them living and not being ghosts), I can see them forming respect, but never being friends or really liking each other. I do think they need to have a confrontation of some sort and work out the whole thing with Sirius dying and with Harry intruding on Snape's privacy with the Pensieve.

Gina R Snape - Dec 9, 2004 7:02 am (#528 of 2980)
I think Snape did not stay at 12GP because first and foremost it is Sirius' home and one does not eat in the home of one's enemy.

I love the idea of Snape saving Neville's life. I do think there will come a time in the story where Snape will same someone's life. But of course, he's already protected Neville from being choked in his own, slytherin way.

I can't see him saving Hermione's life. It just sounds too much like a SS/HG fanfic to me.

But it would be interesting to see one of the kids--maybe even Neville--saving Snape's life! How about that?

T Brightwater - Dec 9, 2004 7:36 am (#529 of 2980)
Yes, we know how Snape enjoys feeling grateful or obligated... :-)

Weeny Owl - Dec 9, 2004 9:10 am (#530 of 2980)
I can't see him saving Hermione's life. It just sounds too much like a SS/HG fanfic to me.

It could sound like a fanfic, but I was thinking more of the redemption side of things because he had called Lily a Mudblood, and by saving a Muggle-born (Hermione or one of the Creeveys even), it would show that he truly doesn't follow Voldemort's pure-blood propaganda.

MickeyCee3948 - Dec 9, 2004 10:07 am (#531 of 2980)
I to believe that Snape is going to die in the end. He will probably meet his end saving one of the students. The most likely would be Neville or Harry. Saving either would be a really, really swell thing to do and he could earn the respect and admiration of both Harry and the gang.


Weeny Owl - Dec 9, 2004 10:13 am (#532 of 2980)
Saving either would be a really, really swell thing to do and he could earn the respect and admiration of both Harry and the gang.

Saving someone would be a fine thing, but Snape having to earn respect and admiration by dying somehow seems wrong. I would hope he could earn both by saving someone and living through it, or even earning both by his actions as a spy for the Order.

LooneyLuna - Dec 9, 2004 10:39 am (#533 of 2980)
My two knuts about Snape not eating at 12 GP is that the whole family-oriented environment would be too much for him. Plus, he has more *important* things to do.

Ann - Dec 9, 2004 12:13 pm (#534 of 2980)
Weeny Owl: "I was thinking more of the redemption side of things because he had called Lily a Mudblood, and by saving a Muggle-born (Hermione or one of the Creeveys even), it would show that he truly doesn't follow Voldemort's pure-blood propaganda."

But most of us think he does follow Voldemort's pure-blood propaganda. I think he has got to change to redeem himself. If he dies to save Harry or Neville or Lupin or Hermione, still despising and denigrating them, I don't think it's really a redemption. (I think the saving of Neville in OotP was clever, but not really redemptive, for example.) If he still loathed them, he'd be doing it to win Dumbledore's admiration or because he hates Voldemort more. To make it truly redemptive, he'd have to make it clear that he was willing to die because he wanted whoever it was to live. Something positive rather than negative.

Gina R Snape - Dec 9, 2004 2:01 pm (#535 of 2980)
We don't entirely know the motivation behind Snape helping Neville in OoTP other than, for example, those of us who believe he is really good, just not nice about it.

But I think it's pretty fair to say that risking (and losing) one's own life is proof enough of being on the side of good. At that point, admiration isn't the point of it. The saving of another's life is the point of it. Because you won't be around to appreciate any potential admiration (unless you become a ghost and I really don't see Snape wanting to spend an eternity at Hogwarts or anywhere else as a ghost).

EDIT: But of course I don't want Snape to die!!!

Elanor - Dec 9, 2004 2:24 pm (#536 of 2980)
I agree with you Gina, Snape has not to die for redeeming himself. He has to be ready to give his life, and make something that could kill him, but he has not to die in the process necesseraly. And I hope he won't!

BTW, I was just picturing a Snape ghost haunting the donjons and scaring the students... He would make the Bloody Baron out to be a mere amateur... LOL!

Phoenix song - Dec 9, 2004 4:42 pm (#537 of 2980)
"BTW, I was just picturing a Snape ghost haunting the donjons and scaring the students... He would make the Bloody Baron out to be a mere amateur... LOL!"-Elanor

That was definitely a spew moment, Elanor. I can hear him now forcing his way through the crowded school corridors, "Stand aside, you silly girl, or I shall glide right through you!"


Gina R Snape - Dec 9, 2004 8:18 pm (#538 of 2980)
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha.

Definitely would bring new meaning to Snape bringing chills down your spine!

And think of the lengths he could go to spying on the kids and monitoring the hallways after dark! If you think he doesn't seem to get any sleep now...

Weeny Owl - Dec 9, 2004 8:40 pm (#539 of 2980)
I agree with you Gina, Snape has not to die for redeeming himself. He has to be ready to give his life, and make something that could kill him, but he has not to die in the process necesseraly. And I hope he won't!

Snape being willing and ready to give his life would be a good thing, and it would definitely show that he's on the side of the angels. I just don't see that the only way he can show his good side is through death. Granted the PoA movie isn't canon, but if he protected the trio or someone else from a werewolf, a dementor, a giant, or even a vampire, that would show his true nature and he would still be alive.

I really don't want Gina to be a widow since I plan on stealing her hubby when she's not looking. Now, I'm off to hide in a safe location so Gina can't hex me into oblivion.

Gina R Snape - Dec 9, 2004 9:09 pm (#540 of 2980)

You know, a lot of Snape fans I know didn't like how protective Snape came across in the PoA movie. He does not come off this way in the books. And I can't help but wonder what surprises are in store for us in the next two books.

Snape seems to get meaner and meaner in every book, but he also becomes more and more sympathetic in every book. Or is that just me?

septentrion - Dec 10, 2004 12:42 am (#541 of 2980)
I don't find Snape is getting meaner in each book, he's just even in meanness (right word ?) for me. But he appears more complex in each book. And I agree that movie Snape is more protective than in books, but I can't help to wonder if it isn't one of these things who gave Jo goosebumps about what Cuaron foreshadowed in his film.

Weeny Owl - Dec 10, 2004 1:35 am (#542 of 2980)
It isn't just you, Gina, but I agree with septentrion's wording... he is more complex. I keep reading various parts to see if what he's saying and doing can be interpreted other ways. Most of the time they can.

I wondered myself if Snape's behavior with protecting the trio was part of what JKR foreshadowed.

Gina R Snape - Dec 10, 2004 7:55 am (#543 of 2980)
Of course, the biggest problem I have with reading Snape is Harry. There's so much of his bias and absence of key information to filter through. Snape seems more complex because Harry is growing and learning about the past and understanding more of the complexities.

This is what I most look forward to in the next two books---more key information!

Ann - Dec 10, 2004 7:59 am (#544 of 2980)
Like Gina, I very much hope Snape isn't going to die. He's had such a miserable life so far, and he has made a few really good decisions despite that. I'd like to see him rewarded with at least a small piece of happiness after Voldemort is defeated. But it's clear he's going to make some sort of huge sacrifice before the end--it will be something that's really important to him, but perhaps it will be something less than his life.

Maybe he'll have to wash his hair.

Amilia Smith - Dec 10, 2004 8:45 am (#545 of 2980)
Maybe he'll have to wash his hair.

I'm not sure washing his hair would help. I always kind of thought that Snape's hair was somewhat like Harry's. It doesn't matter how often Harry gets a haircut, flattens his hair or tries to comb it, it is still messy and sticking up everywhere. IMHO, I think Snape would have greasy hair no matter how many times he tried to wash it.

But I love the idea that washing his hair would be his great redemptive moment. Smile


Elanor - Dec 10, 2004 9:27 am (#546 of 2980)
Our dear potion master never does things by halves, when he studies, when he works, when he hates... When he loves? If one day he haunts? Most probably. When he has life debts? Certainly.

He will repay James, through Harry, what painful step he has to take for that. So, but this is only my opinion, if he would give his life it would be in that aim, or maybe for saving DD if he could because he knows what he owes to him.

There is a saying I like, that I don't know how to translate without betraying it, something like: "Perfection isn't in men, but sometimes in their intentions" or "Men are not perfect but their intentions can be." I thought to that saying when I read the different and good arguments about Snape having to die or not for redeeming himself. And I think his intention of protecting or saving someone, even if he has to die doing it, is enough for him being redeemed. But the other arguments make sense too!

Choices - Dec 11, 2004 9:10 am (#547 of 2980)
I have seen it suggested that the reason Snape isn't given the DADA position is because it would be like giving an alcoholic a drink. Snape probably belongs to Forbidden Curses Anonymous and teaching DADA would be too great a temptation for him to get back into the Dark Arts.

Gina R Snape - Dec 11, 2004 10:23 am (#548 of 2980)
Forbidden Curses Anonymous


But you know, that is a good way of thinking about it. Given the temptation, it would be a genuine struggle for him to resist.

Makes him all the more brave and sympathetic, IMO.

Choices - Dec 11, 2004 5:40 pm (#549 of 2980)
No doubt about it Gina.....Snape is "da man"!!! LOL

TwinklingBlueEyes - Dec 11, 2004 7:59 pm (#550 of 2980)
"Given the temptation, it would be a genuine struggle for him to resist."

I have quite another reason for Snape not to get the DADA position, and I think it has nothing to turning on Snape to the Dark Arts again and leading him onto a path he has aready (seemingly) rejected.

Snape already knows a lot about the "Dark Arts", and as Prof. Binns said, "Just because a wizard doesn't use Dark Magic doesn't mean he can't, Miss Pennyfeather," snapped Professor Binns. "I repeat, if the likes of Dumbledore -"

Snape already knows the dark arts, much more than most others the spells and their effects...and I think it was a literary device to throw a doubtful shadow over Snape. From appearances Snape has not only turned away from, similar to a reformed addict, or someone who has suddenly seen another way to live (something similar to a religious transformation maybe coming from Dumbledore's trust and confidence in him.) Defense Against the Dark Arts implies that the teacher not only knows the dark arts, but also knows how to defend against them. I think if Snape were to teach defense, he would be opening his mind to LV as opposed to keeping him shut out. Much the same as Harry and Ron wondered about Occulcamey lowering the minds defenses and allowing LV easier access. Dumbledore's reasoning for not teaching Harry stands out in my mind as reinforcing this idea, not so much "opening" DD's mind to LV, but LV "spying" on Dumbledore.

I don't think Dumbledore's refusal to appoint Snape as DADA teacher has anything to do with Snape slipping back into the dark arts influence, but that Professor Snape will be more, hmm, useful to keep focused on what he does best. After all, there is a reason he is Potions Master. I realise that I am looking at this from the advantage of reading book 5, which of course is an advantage over some that would say that they'd worry that because Dumbledore underestimated Snape's inability to get over his hate of James that we learned in book 5.

Long story short, I think there is another reason that Dumbledore keeps denying what "rumor" says Snape wants. As I typed that, the only canon I have seen regarding Snape wanting the position is Hagid's, Percy, and others second hand info ( what Harry hears and HRRY's lasting impressions). Nothing concrete. If there is please point it out to me.

So much for my rambling...toddling off to another thread now... if this makes any sense, please let me know, because it almost makes sense to me. I don't think I worded it well...

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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 7:26 am

Weeny Owl - Dec 11, 2004 8:21 pm (#551 of 2980)
In her Albert Hall interview, when asked why Dumbledore won't let Snape get the Defense Against the Dark Arts job, JKR replies, "That is an excellent question and the reason is that, I have to be careful what I say here, the reason is that to answer it fully would give and awful lot away about the remaining two books but when Professor Dumbledore took Professor Snape on to the staff and Professor Snape said I'd like to teach defence against the darks arts please and Professor Dumbledore felt that that might bring out the worst in Professor Snape

<laughs> Somewhat

JKR: So he said I think we'll let you teach potions and see how you get along there" ========================================= It sounds to me as if Dumbledore didn't want to tempt him to be any worse than he might be on a daily basis.

Potions Mistress - Dec 11, 2004 10:02 pm (#552 of 2980)
Twinkles, I thought we got firsthand info. regarding Snape's desire to teach DADA during that "audit" with Toady Umbridge--doesn't she mention that he's continually turned down for the position?


Marie E. - Nov 18, 2004 8:25 pm (#553 of 2980)
Yes, during Umbridge's observation of his class he admitted to wanting the position and being turned down every year. I can't imagine Snape's anger at being turned down in favor of Lockhart.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Dec 11, 2004 10:21 pm (#554 of 2980)
Granted, I retract the "Long story short, I think there is another reason that Dumbledore keeps denying what "rumor" says Snape wants. As I typed that, the only canon I have seen regarding Snape wanting the position is Hagid's, Percy, and others second hand info ( what Harry hears and HRRY's lasting impressions). Nothing concrete. If there is please point it out to me." Point taken.

I still stand by my statements and reasons above it if for no other reason than gut feelings, and the afore mentioned reasons. :-)

Caput Draconis - Dec 11, 2004 11:29 pm (#555 of 2980)
TBE - is it that Snape being in a position where he must show expertise at defending the dark arts, could potentially mess up his work as a spy when he must practice dark arts under Voldemort? So rather than bringing out the worst in Snape (being around dark arts = temptation of a return to death eater ways) teaching DADA will hinder his ability to keep up the guise of a loyal DE? (if that's even what his work for the order involves). ?

So pre OoP my gut very firmly told me that Snape didn't want the DADA position, that it was all rumour and speculation. Yes, I did read the Umbridge/Snape evaluation scene several times the first read through, so sure was I that he hadn't really applied for the position for 14 years. Ha. Anyway, I think why I was so set on this was the idea of Severus having pride in what he does with potions, I think him knowing that he's the best at such a subtle science (*pauses for those who just involuntarily flashed to the movie scene *) fits with his character. I don't like the idea that Dumbledore just stuck him in that discipline as a distraction from DADA. I think Snape would probably be good at everything, but the many, many ways potion making fits his character have been discussed at length before. I'd like to think DD not giving Snape the DADA position is a nice mixture of some dark mysterious secret linked to Severus' past (yay) and the fact he's really good at bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses etc etc etc.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Dec 11, 2004 11:58 pm (#556 of 2980)
"TBE - is it that Snape being in a position where he must show expertise at defending the dark arts, could potentially mess up his work as a spy when he must practice dark arts under Voldemort? So rather than bringing out the worst in Snape (being around dark arts = temptation of a return to death eater ways) teaching DADA will hinder his ability to keep up the guise of a loyal DE? (if that's even what his work for the order involves). ?"

Thank you, thank you...those were the words I was searching for!

Knowing how people can add 2+2 and come up with 3 makes me wonder. As you say, Snape will excel at anything he applies himself to. Given we get second-hand suggestions as to Snape wanting the DADA position, there is never any word from Snape regarding this. It may has to do with Severus's past, Dumbledore's knowledge, all or none of the above. I think Dumbledore has a very good reason to (retain or restrain Snape). As with Harry, Dumbledore will reveal his reasons in his own good time, if at all.

Caput Draconis - Dec 12, 2004 2:51 am (#557 of 2980)
Edited by Dec 12, 2004 2:53 am
I mean, reading the inspection scene, I think Umbridge makes it clear in her underhanded way that she thinks Snape's DE past is why Dumbledore has reservations about letting him teach DADA:

(after much quietness and lip curling)

' "Do you have any idea why DD has constantly refused to appoint you?" asked Umbridge.

"I suggest you ask him," said Snape, jerkily.

"Oh I shall," said Professor Umbridge, with a sweet smile. (gag)

"I suppose this is relevant?" Snape asked, his black eyes narrowed.

"Oh yes," said Professor Umbridge, "yes, the Ministry wants a thorough understanding of teachers' - er - backgrounds."'

Obviously, with her little pause, she's not just talking about his teaching background. His only word on the subject is for her to ask DD, although I guess we can tell from his reaction that it's a touchy area. I don't know...I like the idea of DD being wary of putting Snape in the position of blowing his cover vs Snape's desire to prove himself at what seems to be his pet subject (it was the DADA exam we saw him poring over in the pensieve, yeah?), but I think the 'bringing out the worst in him' business fits better with the temptation angle.

Btw, I wonder what DD's explanation to Snape is each year? Maybe it's something along the lines of 'when you're ready, Severus' as opposed to 'snowball in hell, Severus', considering he has consistently applied over his 14 years. Gah. At least we know that the answer to this question is important to the next 2 books, surely she won't leave us hanging on this one.

Edit: Judgemental italics were mine...that sweet smile, grrrrr.

hellocello3200 - Dec 12, 2004 8:00 am (#558 of 2980)
I think that DD tell Snape that he needed a potions teacher, and that someone as good as Snape would be hard to replace. It wouldn't really be a lie, but it would be closer to a compliment than "Are you nuts! The DADA is supposed to prepare students for danger, not expose them to the wrath of one seriously resentful teacher."

I think that Snape does want the DADA position, he does not deny that he has applied for it over the years in the "inspection" scene. I also think that if he can be so antagonizing in potions, he would be much worse in DADA. I could see him hexing people as part of his instruction and having no sympathy if they were unable to block the curse. Granted, this mode of teacher would be alot more effective than the Toad or Lockhart's style of teaching, but he might lose some students during the year.

MickeyCee3948 - Dec 12, 2004 9:39 am (#559 of 2980)
Isn't it possible that DD & Snape have been using an alleged refusal on DD's part to make Snape the DADA teacher as a ruse to make Voldemort and the other DE's(mainly Lucius)think that while Snape continues to work for Hogwart's and DD he really isn't very happy with DD.


Choices - Dec 12, 2004 10:04 am (#560 of 2980)
I know that Dumbledore says he trusts Snape and I suppose Snape is grateful to Dumbledore for his job and his escape from being a DE (if indeed he has left their ranks), but I have gotten the impression several times that Snape and Dumbledore do not exactly see eye to eye about some things. I think Dumbledore constantly has to temper Snape and keep him from being more severe than is necessary. I know that Snape is the third in charge at Hogwarts - it is Dumbledore, McGonagall and then Snape - but do you think Dumbledore elevated him to that position or did Snape work to elevate himself into that position?

Gina R Snape - Dec 12, 2004 1:23 pm (#561 of 2980)
I'd like to add that I think keeping Snape asking for the DADA position every year is also a keen management tool. Snape will always have to prove himself so long as he hasn't got what he so dearly wants.

It is plain that Snape and DD do not always see eye to eye. Yet in spite of that, we see Snape's unwavering devotion. And when DD gives Snape a directive for something really important, Snape does not waver in getting it done.

The only time we have seen Snape back away was the occlumency lessons. And of course, it is my belief that Snape was pushed past his limits and emotionally could not continue them. And so Dumbledore realised the error of his ways in putting those two together for this task.

Aurora Gubbins - Dec 12, 2004 3:30 pm (#562 of 2980)
I quite like the idea of Snape getting the DADA job in book 7 - won't that be interesting!

Aurora xx

Gina R Snape - Dec 12, 2004 4:14 pm (#563 of 2980)
Oh, maybe at the end of the series after the Dark Lord has been vanquished forever!

In the post-script, even.

"And as a reward for a job well done, for all his hard work, Dumbledore finally gave Snape the DADA position, which he took up upon return from his honeymoon with Gina."

hellocello3200 - Dec 12, 2004 5:59 pm (#564 of 2980)
"...and they all lived happily ever after, except those students who got on Snape's bad side of course."

Choices - Dec 12, 2004 6:32 pm (#565 of 2980)
It is odd how Snape keeps applying for the DADA position. Obviously Dumbledore has told him that there is hope he might get it one day. Surely, if Dumbledore had just said when Snape first applied, "Sorry, don't waste you time applying for this job cause you will never get it," then Snape would have quit. Dumbledore must have given him some reason to keep asking for the position. Snape is just too smart to continue to persue the DADA job if it's hopeless.

Weeny Owl - Dec 12, 2004 8:14 pm (#566 of 2980)
I like that ending, Gina, except for who is going on the honeymoon with Snape. (Taunting Gina is a dangerous thing, I know, but I'm an owl and I can fly faster than she can.)

When JKR said Dumbledore thought it might bring out the worst in Snape, I'm not so sure it was from the perspective of a reformed alcoholic. It could be that Snape has more patience with dunderheaded potion makers than he would with students casting hexes and him having to deal wtih the aftermath. Of course, maybe Dumbledore was afraid that if Snape tried to show his classes a boggart all of them would have a Boggart Snape popping up and Severus would hex the entire school out of existence.

Potions Mistress - Dec 12, 2004 9:40 pm (#567 of 2980)
LOL, Weeny. Better fly fast!

I can see Snape having more patience in Potions relative to DADA--in Potions class, the results are not as..."direct", shall we say? Meaning that one does not suffer the same chance of seriously harming themselves in potions (unless someone is throwing firecrackers around of course--hee hee) vs. practice curses and countercurses in DADA (unless of course your Trevor the toad, but that's a different story. :-) ). Hope this makes sense, if not, I'll try to clarify.


Hollywand - Dec 12, 2004 9:42 pm (#568 of 2980)
Rowling may be holding out for one of the last two books to show us what dark powers Severus has at his command.

I'm so curious about the circumstances that alienated Severus from Voldemort, and how that particular relationship will resolve itself.

Kerrie-Louise - Dec 13, 2004 1:26 am (#569 of 2980)
I have a query that is off the subject a little - although concerning Professor Snape. I've just finished listening to GOF and noticed that when LV was talking to the DE he was specific about those who were missing. The LeStranges he pointed out were in Azkaban, Three were dead, 1 was too cowardly to return which I assume was Karkeroff (Sorry if my spelling is bad). ! remains the most faithful which is safe to suggest as being Bartemious Crouch Jr and the final one has left forever and will be killed for it. Now unless Snape was in that circle (which is highly unlikely) it would reasonably mean that he was the later one referred to here. If that is the case what is the work that Snape is doing for the Order? We assume it is undercover work and that Snape is strong enough to lie to LV but given the above information surely LV wouldn't trust him? Just wondering!

Gina R Snape - Dec 13, 2004 7:18 am (#570 of 2980)
:ignores Weeny's comment:

Well, what do you guys think of the theory that Snape has put a hex on the DADA position so that it always has to be filled every year?

I do like the idea that Snape would be harder on his DADA students than Potions students. Despite some people's thoughts that he is abusive, I think he actually cares about his students and wants them to learn. At least, he wants them to take the subject as seriously as he does.

Tessa's Dad - Dec 13, 2004 8:38 am (#571 of 2980)
Edited by Dec 13, 2004 8:41 am
I think Snape, excuse me, Professor Snape has seen the worst side of the Dark Arts. He understands the need for the students to understand and be prepared to withstand the power of the Dark Side. I think he loves potion making and it may stand as his over riding passion. If allowed to be the next DADA Instructor, he could make Moody look like a wimp. When it came to teaching the DADA class, I think he’d even yell at Draco.

As a recovering alcoholic I was a terror for anyone that drank during my first few months of recovery. I knew the dangers, the pain, and the loss. I was out to reform the world. I see Professor Snape behaving as I did in those first months; nobody was safe from my point of view! I’ve found a safe middle ground and “allow” other people to live their lives as they wish. I can’t see Snape backing off for any reason.

hellocello3200 - Dec 13, 2004 8:40 am (#572 of 2980)
I think being taught DADA by Snape would also be worse because the worst he can do in potions is give you a bad grade and be verbally abusive, while in DADA, he might put students in situations that they had to use their DADA skills to get out of. I can't see him putting anyone's life in danger, but that doesn't mean students wouldn't experience pain if they messed up.

I know I'm getting off subject but, putting a hex on a position is starting to sound more like Voodoo, than the magic were used to in the series. DD did mention that at least one other form of magic exists. (The kind that Lily used to save Harry.) Both the ancient magic and Voodoo aren't short lived burst of energy, but long lasting. If Voodoo does exist in the Harry Potter world, or something like it, Snape would know about it.

Hollywand - Dec 13, 2004 8:56 am (#573 of 2980)
Hi Kerrie-Louise: In reply to your query on Severus and the Death Eater Circle, just type in a "Search Discussion" of this thread, or the previously archived Snape thread at the bottom of the threads list, and you will find a couple of very involved discussions on this moment in Potter history. Try a couple of the Death Eater's names to narrow the search and you will get a lot of recent comments. I hope this information is helpful.

T Brightwater - Dec 13, 2004 9:54 am (#574 of 2980)
I like the idea that Snape apparently wanting the DADA job and not getting it is part of his cover - it does give him an official and understandable (by Voldemort) reason to resent DD.

Someone brought up a while ago that DADA is probably the job Voldemort _wants_ Snape to have, since he could do the most damage there. It would be a lot harder for him to maintain his double-agent balance in that position. Voldemort would want to see results.

Also, contrast Lupin's handling of the Boggart class with how Snape probably would have done it. Forget the hospital wing; at least half the class would have ended up in St. Mungo's!

Weeny Owl - Dec 13, 2004 10:46 am (#575 of 2980)
I can see Snape applying each year both wanting the job and not wanting it depending on the Voldemort situation, but I can't see him hexing the job itself.

In GoF Barty Crouch, Jr. told the Defense class that they wouldn't normally be studying Dark Arts spells until sixth year, but that Dumbledore thought they could handle it. Something like that, anyway.

If Snape is the Defense teacher when Harry begins his sixth year, and if Dart Arts are studied then, Snape has a great opportunity to complain to Voldemort about not getting the job and not being able to do anything significant to Harry. We know about the Imperius Curse, but there are probably other similar spells that aren't quite as strong and aren't Unforgivables. If Snape were to teach the class with Harry in it, he'd have a very difficult time explaining to Voldemort why Harry is staying alive and well.

Gina R Snape - Dec 13, 2004 11:39 am (#576 of 2980)
Well, Weeny. I don't think the Dark Lord would be mad at Severus for not killing Harry in class. If that were the case, he'd be angry at the tune of five years' worth. No, I think the Dark Lord wants to hold the exclusive 'privilege' of killing Harry Potter. So I don't see the DADA position as a problem in this regard.

Choices - Dec 13, 2004 11:48 am (#577 of 2980)
Just as Harry must be the one to kill Voldemort, I think Voldemort must be the one to kill Harry.

Weeny Owl - Dec 13, 2004 11:54 am (#578 of 2980)
Well, Weeny. I don't think the Dark Lord would be mad at Severus for not killing Harry in class. If that were the case, he'd be angry at the tune of five years' worth. No, I think the Dark Lord wants to hold the exclusive 'privilege' of killing Harry Potter. So I don't see the DADA position as a problem in this regard.

I don't mean killing him, really, but giving him more reasons to act rashly, similar to what Voldemort did to entice him to the Ministry. There's just no way of knowing what spells could be placed on someone that could affect behavior, or even if it isn't a spell, just keeping him off balance enough to where he wouldn't be learning anything about defense and would be more vulnerable.

I think Voldemort definitely wants to be the one to kill Harry, but I don't think he'd be too upset if someone else managed it.

Ann - Dec 13, 2004 4:08 pm (#579 of 2980)
Choices: "Just as Harry must be the one to kill Voldemort, I think Voldemort must be the one to kill Harry."

Yes, Dumbledore knows that and now Harry knows that and consequently so do we, but Voldemort doesn't know the prophecy. I think that he wanted to kill Harry in GoF, so that he could prove to his DEs that he was only defeated by a fluke; but he's less enthusiastic about that now. He's allowed his DEs to kill Harry after they get the prophecy, I think ("Be gentle with Potter until we've got the prophecy; you can kill the others..."). And when he himself tries to kill him, it is when they are alone in the great hall with only Bellatrix (and Dumbledore, it turns out) watching. He's not trying to show off his mastery any more; he just wants to be rid of him.

So Voldemort could order Snape to kill him, if Snape was in a position to do so. The question, I suppose, is whether there are other things he thinks Snape might do for him at Hogwarts that are "more important."

Caput Draconis - Dec 13, 2004 6:49 pm (#580 of 2980)
I think if I was Voldemort and had Snape inside Hogwarts, I'd be extremely aware of how valuable he is in terms of being close to Dumbledore and the Order, as well as having daily access to Harry. If it ever became necessary to kill Harry immediately, perhaps Voldemort would sacrifice Snape's cover. I know if I was a Dark Lord I'd want Severus to stay undercover as long as possible, for the information as well as the subtle influence Weeny was talking about.

Of course Snape would never do any of these things, for he is a fine, upstanding and productive member of the good guy club.

Choices - Dec 14, 2004 8:49 am (#581 of 2980)
"Of course Snape would never do any of these things, for he is a fine, upstanding and productive member of the good guy club."

Oh, I really, really hope so. I will be crushed if Snape turns out to be a rat-fink!! When we read the last word of the last book, I want desperately for us all to want to give Snape a big hug!!

Gina R Snape - Dec 14, 2004 9:29 am (#582 of 2980)
Detention for Caput! Your reward for being such a wonderful, unwavering Snape supporter. You go, girl!

Potions Mistress - Dec 14, 2004 1:47 pm (#583 of 2980)
When we read the last word of the last book, I want desperately for us all to want to give Snape a big hug!! --Choices

No doubt he would give us all detentions for "wearing our hearts on our sleeves." ;-)


Choices - Dec 14, 2004 5:30 pm (#584 of 2980)
Hey, how come Caput gets detention with Professor Snape? I think I should have that pleasure! LOL

Caput Draconis - Dec 14, 2004 9:31 pm (#585 of 2980)
Edited by Dec 14, 2004 9:31 pm
*grins smugly from detention*

When I read the last word of the last book...hmmm.

1) I want Snape alive.

2) I want Snape and Harry to have had a nice long discussion about everything, and come to some understanding of each other. Not skipping around in a circle of love, or anything, but some dialogue where one's not being snide and one's not being arrogant would be good.

3) I want to feel like I don't have to run to JKR and crucio Snape information out of her. We want answers, woman.

Gina R Snape - Dec 15, 2004 4:15 pm (#586 of 2980)
Yes, I agree Caput. She keeps telling us in interviews that by the end of book seven we will 'know all that we need to know.' But I'm not convinced she understands how important it is that we know everything about Snape!

Maybe we'll know everything for Harry's story. But I want Snape's story!!!!! </end tantrum>

Choices - Dec 15, 2004 6:33 pm (#587 of 2980)
If JKR only understood what a following she would have if she wrote a series featuring our favorite Potion's Master. The publisher wouldn't be able to print them fast enough! LOL

Weeny Owl - Dec 15, 2004 8:17 pm (#588 of 2980)

Perhaps JKR needs a bit of an incentive to tell us all we want to know about Snape.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Dec 15, 2004 8:54 pm (#589 of 2980)
LOL Weeny! Ok, my memory is not what it used to be and I don't have time to glance through ninty million posts. Can someone give me a condensed version of Snape's behavior when he stalled and taunted Harry when Harry was trying to reach Dumbledore to tell him about Barty Crouch?

Aud Duck - Dec 15, 2004 9:13 pm (#590 of 2980)
This all of the dialogue. I've just deleted the bits in between lines. Harry has just given up on getting the gargoyle in front of Dumbledore's door to move and is off to the staff room at top speed when:

'POTTER!'...'What are you doing here, Potter?'

'I need to see Professor Dumbledore!'...'It's Mr Crouch...he's just turned up...he's in the Forest...he's asking-'

'What is this rubbish?'...'What are you talking about?'

'Mr Crouch!'...'From the Ministry! He's ill or something-he's in the Forest, he wants to see Dumbledore! Just give me the password up to-'

'The Headmaster is busy, Potter.'

'I've got to tell Dumbledore!'

'Didn't you hear me, Potter?'

'Look'...'Crouch isn't right-he's-he's out of his mind-he says he wants to warn-'

"The stone wall behind Sanpe slid open. Dumbledore was standing there, wearing long green robes, and a mildly curious expression."

--pg. 484 British hardback

TwinklingBlueEyes - Dec 15, 2004 10:30 pm (#591 of 2980)
Aud Duck, thank you very much for looking it up. I mis-worded my question. I had just re-read.

Condensed version of WHY Snape behaved as he did. He can pick up on small clues (Harry to Snape in Umbridge's office), but Harry jumping up and down trying to get to Dumbledore he taunts? That is what I am trying to understand.

Prefect Marcus - Dec 15, 2004 11:34 pm (#592 of 2980)
he could taunt Harry with impunity in GoF because Voldemort has not risen yet, and the Order was inactive. He had to take Harry seriously in Umbridge's office because Voldemort was back, the Order had bee reactivated, and Harry was sort of an unoffical member of the Order.

Choices - Dec 16, 2004 9:12 am (#593 of 2980)
It has been preposed that Snape kept Harry from wasting time by running to the Staff Room - he detained him knowing that Dumbledore would hear the ruckus and come down to see what was going on.

Prefect Marcus - Dec 16, 2004 10:26 am (#594 of 2980)
Choices - It has been preposed that Snape kept Harry from wasting time by running to the Staff Room - he detained him knowing that Dumbledore would hear the ruckus and come down to see what was going on.

I have never understood the strong urge in some people to make Snape 'nice'. "It is all an act!" they cry. Well if that be the case, then he is the world's greatest actor. He has proven his true nature in far too many unguarded, unscripted moments.

I happen to like Snape. He is a fascinating character. I have a great deal of respect for his strength of character. He has great loyalty towards Dumbledore. He has the respect of his peers. But just as his courage, loyality, and integrity are part of him, so is his bullying and refusal to let go of grudges.

We have to take the bad with the good, I'm afraid. In the final analysis, it makes Snape the most human of all Rowling's characters.

Ann - Dec 16, 2004 11:35 am (#595 of 2980)
Prefect Marcus, I don't think that explanation makes Snape nice. It makes him an effective man, who manipulates events so they go the way he wants them to without giving anything away.

Telling Harry politely not to bother going to the staff room and giving him a password would have been nice. But it would not have been much more effective than sneering at him and bringing Dumbledore down to investigate his panic. And if anyone had been watching (and I think Snape is very aware that someone might always be watching), the sneering would make it look unlikely that he was actually doing anything to help Harry. He always helps Harry (as he sees his actions), but he does it in a way that makes it unlikely anyone will recognize that he is helping. The meanness is real, but it is also a good cover, and the combination works well until the occlumency lessons, where Harry's reactions to his manner undercuts the lessons Snape is trying (desperately, I think) to teach him.

Prefect Marcus - Dec 16, 2004 1:46 pm (#596 of 2980)
How likely is this? Snape sees Harry is in desperate need to see Dumbledore. He knows (an iffy point this) that Dumbledore is coming. Even if he did, Dumbledore might delay coming down. He was hardly on Snape's heels, was he?

So Snape knowing how desperate the times are (who better than he) and that any delay might cost people's lives -- deliberately delays, taunts, and frustrates Harry. Why? To keep up the 'act'? Well the 'act' likely cost Crouch his life. In the very least, it helped give Psuedo-Moody the time to finish the deed. Precious seconds ticked by while P-Moody was commiting the crime and covering his tracks.

If Snape really did take Harry seriously, why didn't Snape just step aside and make some snide comment as Harry barrels past him? He could have bowed low sarcastically saying, "Oh course. Make way for the great Harry Potter!", as he stepped aside and opened the door. He could even have had a good loud laugh at the stupidity of Harry running headlong into Dumbledore. Anybody watching would have been duly impressed. But he didn't.

I still think it is far easier to believe that Snape was just being his usual nasty self to Harry with no thought of 'helping' him.


Weeny Owl - Dec 16, 2004 2:41 pm (#597 of 2980)
So Snape knowing how desperate the times are (who better than he) and that any delay might cost people's lives -- deliberately delays, taunts, and frustrates Harry. Why? To keep up the 'act'? Well the 'act' likely cost Crouch his life. In the very least, it helped give Psuedo-Moody the time to finish the deed. Precious seconds ticked by while P-Moody was commiting the crime and covering his tracks.

On the other hand, why didn't Harry and Krum just take Crouch with them to the castle? That would definitely have saved Crouch's life.

But that aside, I do tend to agree with you, Marcus. (Glad to see you again, by the way; you've been missed.) JKR has said Snape is not a nice person, but as has been discussed over and over, having a nasty disposition doesn't have to equate with being on the side of Voldemort. I think Snape truly enjoys being hateful.

Potions Mistress - Dec 16, 2004 2:55 pm (#598 of 2980)
Marcus, while Snape definitely knew something was up concerning LV (i.e. the Dark Mark), I don't believe he knew exactly what was going on--at that point his knowledge was probably more akin to uneasiness and apprehension than specific knowledge concerning LV and his followers. That may be why he taunted Harry at DD's office--he didn't know that Pseudo-Moody was killing Crouch Sr. and working on carrying out LV's bidding. Yes, Snape has the disposition of a viper (though perhaps not a Basilisk, haha!) but since he is working for the good guys (which I firmly believe he is), I can't imagine him letting someone be harmed/killed if he possessed such knowledge. My guess is he didn't take Harry seriously (due to his antipathy) and saw it as an opportunity to get in a few digs. I don't think he knew DD was coming down the stairs and was right behind the door, but that's just one interpretation.


Choices - Dec 16, 2004 5:44 pm (#599 of 2980)
I wasn't trying to say that what Snape did he did to be helpful or nice. I just meant it was another way to look at what he did. I actually assumed (uh oh) the first time I read it that Snape was being hateful on purpose - giving Harry a hard time. But, then I realized there was another way to look at what he did. JKR is a master at giving us the wrong impression - or shall I say, letting us come to the wrong conclusions to make the mystery more interesting and the surprise greater when we do find out the truth. Snape is a prime example of her teasing us - first he is hateful and mean, then he does something good and helpful - so, is he evil or good? JKR wants us to wonder and question Snape's motives. He is indeed one of her more fascinating characters and a definite challenge to try to figure out.

Kerrie-Louise - Dec 17, 2004 12:32 am (#600 of 2980)
Another view might be that whilst Snape is working for DD he is not inherently a nice person. Snape has spent a great deal of his time protecting Harry and whilst he is not nice to the boy none of his actions have ever led him to harm. I don't believe Snape knew about the Crouch / Moody thing but I think he sensed trouble and what better way to protect Harry than to delay him. What does it matter if Crouch died if it meant keeping the only person believed to be able to destroy LV, alive?
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rambkowalczyk - Dec 17, 2004 5:20 am (#601 of 2980)
I often wondered if the real reason of Snape's meanness had nothing to do with Harry (in this instance only) but everything with Crouch Sr. It was Crouch Sr who authorized using the Unforgivables against Deatheaters. Not that the Deatheaters didn't deserve it but maybe a more "innocent" Deatheater was killed by Crouch.

Rosie - Dec 17, 2004 6:23 am (#602 of 2980)
Did Crouch or his orders kill one of Snape's friends? I off to read PoA and GoF again to see if there is any info. If he or his orders did it may explain why Snape did not want any help to come to Crouch. It could be that though he believed Harry about Crouch he did not think he (Crouch) was in any particular danger and delayed Harry not just to taut him but make Crouch suffer more before help come.

Gina R Snape - Dec 17, 2004 6:51 am (#603 of 2980)
Or it could be that DD had someone in his office (or was doing something crucial) and Snape was there, and DD sent Snape to delay Harry until he could leave his office. I always got the strong sense that Snape was detaining Harry, and that Harry's frustration was just an 'added bonus' for Snape.

Choices - Dec 17, 2004 9:23 am (#604 of 2980)
Rosie - "Did Crouch or his orders kill one of Snape's friends?"

If Snape has any "friends" we sure haven't been told about them. I think he has associates and acquaintances, but I can't see Snape being really close and friendly with anyone. Poor Severus - I'd love to be proved wrong about that.

hellocello3200 - Dec 17, 2004 2:33 pm (#605 of 2980)
Well Choices, the loss of one friend would be much more painfull if he didn't have many to begin with.

Choices - Dec 17, 2004 5:15 pm (#606 of 2980)
I can't argue with that! LOL

Chemyst - Dec 22, 2004 8:38 pm (#607 of 2980)
What! No Snape posts in 5 days??? 'Guess the Rowling site was updated & everyone went there!
Snape's an agent looking for info, right? So taunting Harry is one way of getting him so agitated that Harry runs his mouth off and spills information that he'd never normally give to Snape freely. 'What is this rubbish?'...'What are you talking about?' If Snape finds the agitation pleasurable, well, that is merely one of the perks of the job.

Gina R Snape - Dec 22, 2004 8:53 pm (#608 of 2980)
Ooooh. Brilliant, Chemyst!

Nathan Zimmermann - Dec 22, 2004 10:38 pm (#609 of 2980)
I have a question oncerning Snape. If both Dumbledore and McGonagall are killed is possible that Snape would assume headmastership of Hogwarts?

septentrion - Dec 23, 2004 1:21 am (#610 of 2980)
Well, he seems the most likely person to take the job.

Tomoé - Dec 23, 2004 3:56 am (#611 of 2980)
It seems to depend of the board of Governors, mabe will find out somewhere in the next two books, but Snape is likely on his way. And it doesn't mean McGonagall want the post, or Snape for all we know (but I suspect Voldemort won't take "no, thanks you very much, my Lord" for an answer.edit : Headmaster seems to be a important position in the wizarding world, or maybe it's just Dumbledore ...).

Gina R Snape - Dec 23, 2004 6:50 am (#612 of 2980)
I've always gotten the very strong sense that McG was second in command, and Snape 3rd in command. But this may be a working hierarchy that gets reevaluated when a position is vacated permanently. Umbridge threw a kink in the works that has me wondering about the role of the Board.

But I have long suspected that Snape does NOT really want the Headmaster's position. For all his slytherin cunning and seeming ambition, he strikes me ultimately as a loner who prefers to work in the shadows. This is not the kind of person who enjoys such a visible leadership position.

LooneyLuna - Dec 23, 2004 7:07 am (#613 of 2980)
If Snape did become Headmaster, he'd knock Phineaus Nigellus off of the throne of "Least Favorite Headmaster" at Hogwarts. Smile

Tomoé - Dec 23, 2004 7:29 am (#614 of 2980)
I believe Snape won't even try to become Headmaster before he get the DADA teacher's post. ^_~

scoop2172000 - Dec 23, 2004 8:46 am (#615 of 2980)
I think that Professor Flitwick, head of Ravenclaw, would be next in line after McGonagle, for headmaster. I get the impression (but can't find it in canon) that Flitwick's been teaching much longer than Snape. Too, there doesn't seem to be any skeletons in Flitwick's closet

By contrast, I think it that the Board of Governors would frown upon Snape's status as a former Death Eater. Remember, a current Death Eater, Lucius Malfoy, threatened them in CoS in order to coerce them into signing the order for Dumbledore's suspension.

hellocello3200 - Dec 23, 2004 2:01 pm (#616 of 2980)
I think that Flitwick has probably been teaching longer than McGonagall, but just isn't the right type for a position of power and he knows it and allows McGonagall to take over in DD's absence. I also have trouble seeing JKR ending the series with Snape as headmaster, with no one to keep him in check, he could really makes the lives of students miserable. All this indirectly leads me to the conclusion that JKR might kill off DD or have him retire before the end of the series, but McGonagall won't leave because there isn't anyone else who would be a suitable Headmaster to end the series on.

Potions Mistress - Dec 23, 2004 5:11 pm (#617 of 2980)
I can't see Snape becoming Headmaster, because he really doesn't seem as the kind who would want the job. True, in CoS, Draco did some serious sucking up when he said that he would speak to his father about getting Snape the job. Snape's reply was something along the lines of "Now, now Draco," which I didn't see as Snape seriously considering Draco's offer, but something more like "Yes Draco, your sucking up has been duly noted, 10 points for Slytherin."

On a different note, I have an open-ended question concerning Snape's redemptive qualities: in the spirit of Christmas, does anybody see Snape making a complete turn-around, a la Ebenezer Scrooge, or he is more likely to take points from anyone who says "And God bless us everyone?" :-)


Prefect Marcus - Dec 23, 2004 6:37 pm (#618 of 2980)

Snape is Snape. He is not going to change.

dizzy lizzy - Dec 23, 2004 6:45 pm (#619 of 2980)
If there are redemptive qualities in Snape, they are already there. We just haven't seen them becuase either Snape hasn't shown them or he himself doesn't know he's got them.

Therefore I don't think he'll change - what redemptive qualities he does have (and Jo is very vague on this score if I remember correctly) are already in existence. And this is what we will see in the next two books.

I also don't see Snape as headmaster - he doesn't strike me as someone with temperment to be a headmaster, like someone said earlier, he's a bit of a loner.


Ann - Dec 23, 2004 8:11 pm (#620 of 2980)
Lizza: "If there are redemptive qualities in Snape, they are already there. We just haven't seen them becuase either Snape hasn't shown them or he himself doesn't know he's got them."

I think that if we haven't seen them, it's because Harry hasn't seen them (and won't anytime soon). I think the hints are quite clear, though. Actions speak louder than words, nasty and hurtful though those are.

scoop2172000 - Dec 24, 2004 6:02 am (#621 of 2980)
Snape does have redeeming qualities.

He saw the error of his Death Eater ways, and at great risk to himself, he turned spy. He's loyal to Dumbledore and to the Order of the Phoenix. And though he may bully students, he tries to save them from real harm.

Let's not forget he saved Harry's neck in PS/SS when Quirrell was jinxing Harry's broom. He may resent Harry's celebrity status and skill as a Quidditch player, both painful memories of how popular and talented James Potter had been, but he saved Harry nonetheless.

Now, all that said ... On the surface, Snape's a jerk, plain and simple.

His unhappy homelife as a child and his being picked on at school are explanations, but they're not excuses.

Harry has had a horrible homelife. Harry's been bullied and at times ostracised at school. Harry's not a jerk -- in fact Harry's not the "arrogant berk" James and Sirius both were at age 15.

Gina R. Snape, in her defense of Snape, reminds me of Lupin's description of Lily in the PoA movie: how Lily was uncommonly kind and could see the beauty in anyone.

It still rankles me though, that when Lily came to his defense the day James was bullying him, Snape's response was to hurl a racist slur at her.

(Ducks dungbombs and maybe a Howler or two from Snape supporters.)

Weeny Owl - Dec 24, 2004 10:47 am (#622 of 2980)
It still rankles me though, that when Lily came to his defense the day James was bullying him, Snape's response was to hurl a racist slur at her.

(Ducks dungbombs and maybe a Howler or two from Snape supporters.)

You'll find that most Snape supporters understand what he is like and support him in spite of his demeanor. He isn't a nice person. He's nasty, sarcastic, rather sadistic, and could do with a bit of attention to his personal hygiene, but I truly believe he is one of the good guys and is honestly on the side of the Order.

As for what he called Lily, the way I see it is that if it had been any other girl who was saving him, even if it had been a pureblood, he would have come up with something insulting to say to her. He was a fifteen-year-old young man who was already embarrassed, and the person who was trying to help him was a pretty young lady. I think he reacted the way almost any young man would in a similar situation and said something cruel because he was lashing out over being humiliated.

I really don't think he went around calling Lily names the way Draco calls Hermione names.

mooncalf - Dec 24, 2004 12:04 pm (#623 of 2980)
Edited by Dec 24, 2004 12:06 pm
I agree with you, Weeny Owl. I don't think that Snape's reaction was personal, and may not have even been typical. Fifteen year olds can be pretty hot-headed, and nothing hurts more at that age than embarrassment. The humiliation was probably intensified when a girl tried to help him; it brought attention to both his own helplessness and the fact that the whole school was watching. Snape's reaction to his humiliation was to lash out at any convenient target, the way a cat will scratch at anyone within reach when the vet gives it a shot. Lily just happened to be within reach. Was it a stupid thing to do? Of course, but we all do stupid things, and often say things we regret, when we are upset.

septentrion - Dec 25, 2004 4:00 am (#624 of 2980)
It's also a common attitude from humiliated people to humiliate someone else to be able to bear their own humiliation. I mean, it's kind of the same thing when your boss humiliates you because he's himself humiliated by his own boss.

Gina R Snape - Dec 25, 2004 8:35 am (#625 of 2980)
Yes, being saved by Lily was almost adding insult to injury. Poor Severus simply couldn't get any lower than to be taunted by the Marauders and saved by a girl.

scoop, I believe that was a compliment so thank you. But it's not so much that I can see the good in anyone so much as it is waaay to easy to pick on Snape. Someone has to be on his side, believe in him as a good person, and see the good things in him that may take a little more work to do. But I believe they are there.

Writing him off as a 'bad guy' without appreciating his complexity, struggles and redeeming qualities just seems to happen way too easily in the fandom. I feel as though people have walked into JKR's trap, and that if you take a moment you can see through the facade. But then, that's just my opinion. Snape's fandom is huge and strong, so I'm definitely not the only one.

And, I sort of disagree with Weeny Owl. Furthermore, so many of the thing people see as 'negativities to be ignored' are IMO not ignored but celebrated. For example, his 'abnormally large nose' could be seen as aquiline (some of us do like men with large noses). His nasty demeanor is often fiercely sarcastic and extremely strategic--which belies his inner motives and high intelligence.

I always insist that we are seeing him through Harry's eyes. And when we see him in other contexts, or upon rereads, we can see much much more than what is on the surface.

Anyway, enough of that. Happy Christmas everone.

hellocello3200 - Dec 25, 2004 8:44 am (#626 of 2980)
Merry Christmas! (or happy holidays if you prefer)

I agree with Weeny Owl that Snape couldn't have been as nasty as Draco. I think that Lily didn't expect his reaction and wasn't used to having him call here derogatory names or else she wouldn't have helped him or at least wouldn't have been taken aback by the insult.

Choices - Dec 25, 2004 9:13 am (#627 of 2980)
As usual, I love what you have to say about Snape, Gina. I so agree. Happy Christmas to you too!

Weeny Owl - Dec 25, 2004 3:47 pm (#628 of 2980)
Actually, Gina, I love large noses. I just think he might do something with his hair and his teeth.

I do appreciate his sarcasm, though, and my favorite line of his was in CoS when he sneaked up behind Harry and Ron and said, "Or maybe he's wondering why you two weren't on the train." That was one huge disappointment when I saw the movie and that scene wasn't in it.

The other part I laughed at was in PoA when Snape confronts Harry about being in Hogsmeade and says something to the effect of "No part of your body has permission to be in Hogsmeade." That made me actually laugh out loud.

Happy Christmas to my fellow Snapeaholics.

Solitaire - Dec 25, 2004 4:40 pm (#629 of 2980)
Snape reminds me of that old chestnut that goes something like this: "On the other hand, if Snape weren't mean, rotten, sarcastic, cantankerous, and thoroughly disagreeable, he wouldn't have any personality at all."

As for Snape's redeeming qualities, I believe we have seen them. His "redeeming qualities" (IMO) are that he appears to have been (1) intelligent enough to finally realize what Voldemort was and (2) brave enough to leave him. He also seems to be (3) loyal to Dumbledore. He certainly (4) possesses various magical talents and skills and (5) is willing to share them with his students--although I can't say much for his method of imparting his wisdom.

I know this will probably earn me curses and dungbombs (and on Christmas Day, too), but I can't help having doubts about Snape. If he is skilled enough to lie to Voldemort about serving Dumbledore, why can't it also be the other way around? Isn't it even remotely possible that he could be deceiving Dumbledore in the same way that Order members believe he is deceiving Voldemort? We have already seen that however skilled and wonderful Dumbledore is, he has made mistakes. And there is no denying that Snape is gifted ... he could have the wool firmly pulled over Dumbledore's eyes.

As for Snape as Headmaster, I am afraid I must agree with LooneyLuna: If Snape did become Headmaster, he'd knock Phineaus Nigellus off of the throne of "Least Favorite Headmaster" at Hogwarts. Oops! Scratch that ... I forgot Umbridge. I don't think even Snape--on his worst behavior, in his foulest possible mood, on the lousiest day of his life--could rival her for the dubious honor of the most hated Head.


Choices - Dec 25, 2004 4:57 pm (#630 of 2980)
I seriously doubt that Snape could pull the wool over Dumbledore's eyes. I believe it was Harry who commented to Tom Riddle ...."I'll bet he (Dumbledore) saw right through you!" Dumbledore may make mistakes, but I don't believe he can be fooled very easily when it comes to people. (Yes, I know Barty Crouch, Jr. did, but he was on polyjuice and that made a difference I'm sure.)

Choices - Dec 25, 2004 5:21 pm (#631 of 2980)
I posted this in the 3rd Movie thread, but I think it might also go in this thread too......

While watching one of my favorite HP movies this afternoon - of course, I have three favorite HP movies, but I'm referring to POA - I remembered JKR making the comment that something the director put in the movie gave her chill bumps because it foreshadowed something to come in the next book/books. After the Shrieking Shack scene, when Snape comes out of the tunnel and Lupin/werewolf is about to attack the kids and Snape throws himself in front of them to protect made me wonder if this is foreshadowing that Snape will prove himself a hero somehow in protecting the kids during the conflict with Voldemort. I know he has done a bit to protect Harry in the past, but, without hesitation, he shields all three of them from harm......could this be the thing that gave her chill bumps because we are going to see Snape in a new light in book 6 or 7? In his past attempts to "help" Harry, he has not had to put himself in personal danger like this. Lupin/werewolf could have easily bitten him or killed him. Any thoughts?

Ydnam96 - Dec 25, 2004 5:53 pm (#632 of 2980)
I love that line about no part of Harry's body having permission to be in Hogsmeade! Haha.

Snape is one of my favorite characters, due to his complexities and his potential. I love thinking that there's so much more there than we can see. I would love to see if the foreshadowing was the part where he protected HRH from Lupin.

I also hope we get to learn what it is that Snape did that makes DD trust him. It must have been something drastic or significant. SOmething that is quite a large personal sacrifice. I even wonder if he will one day *gasp* might now sacrifice himself for Harry.

Tessa's Dad - Dec 25, 2004 5:59 pm (#633 of 2980)
I’m signing up for Occlumency Lessons with Professor Snape. Choices has been reading my mind. Tessa and I were watching PoA Thursday and that scene jumped out. I’m leery of claiming the Trio owes Snape a life debt since it was not in the book, but it sure set my mind to grinding.

Evidently movie Snape woke and followed everyone out of the passage ready to continue his quest of placing all of them in the hands of the MOM. As we know from the book Snape would have been more than happy to have the Trio expelled, Lupin fired, and Sirius kissed. Movie Snape bravely leaped in front of the Trio and tried to protect them with his own body. This is not the move of a Wizard looking out for himself. Movie Snape has some pretty good redeeming qualities and deserves to be placed in Gryffindor!

hellocello3200 - Dec 25, 2004 7:49 pm (#634 of 2980)
I think that Snape does have the admirable quality feeling a sense of duty. I think as a teacher and an Order member, he feels that it is his responsibilty to protect students that are in danger. I think Snape is a rule follower, and while he might be nasty, he wouldn't break a concrete rule, even if it was a standard he had set for himself.

Solitaire - Dec 25, 2004 8:22 pm (#635 of 2980)
I agree about the sense of duty issue, hellocello. However, I don't know if it is so much admirable as simply required, given Dumbledore's implicit trust in him. The issue of responsibility for the safety of one's students is certainly an issue. I'm glad Snape at least sees the need for this, even if he isn't exactly a candidate for Teacher of the Year.

Interestingly, if Voldemort is defeated/vanquished and Snape is still alive at the end of the series, I can see him leaving Hogwarts. I don't really think Snape likes being around kids or is cut out for teaching. Unless some major conversion occurs in the next two books, I can see him escaping this type of work to something more suitable, just as soon as it is safe and feasible for him to do so.

You see, I believe Snape is at Hogwarts at Dumbledore's choosing, rather like Sibyll. I think it provides one of the few ways he can actually be on the side of the Order and yet seem to be spying for Voldemort--at the same time making a living and having a place to live in a safe environment for one who has turned against Voldemort. Of course, the converse could also be true. (See, I can argue both sides of the Snape issue.) JM2K ...


Gina R Snape - Dec 25, 2004 8:31 pm (#636 of 2980)
I definitely think Snape started out at Hogwarts as a means of survival. But he's Head of House now, entrenched as the Potions Master and on of Dumbledore's most trusted aides (next to McG). Like it or not, I think he's carved a life for himself there. Once he survives the downfall of the Dark Lord (oh, beloved Severus must NOT die...) Snape might find it harder to leave than he thinks. . .

Rod Beecham - Dec 26, 2004 2:42 am (#637 of 2980)
Hi Gina and Snape fans,

I'm back after a many-month absence. You will recall that I don't like Severus, although I find him extremely interesting. I keep trying to make sense of his actions. He hates Harry - and "hate" really isn't too strong a word - but, as we know, he protects him, too. He felt positively murderous towards Sirius - a feeling that was fully reciprocated! - but he did say in the Shrieking Snack: "Give me a reason." I've probably underestimated the significance of that line. Someone said once in this thread that Snape is a "by-the-book" man, and I'm starting to see the insight in that observation. He would love to have killed Sirius, but only if the killing could be justified.

My biggest problem with Snape, as Gina knows, is his cruelty to children. For example, when Hermione is hit accidentally by Malfoy's tooth-growing hex in GoF (Chapter 18):

Hermione's front teeth - already larger than average - were now growing at an alarming rate; she was looking more and more like a beaver as her teeth elongated, past her bottom lip, towards her chin - panic-stricken, she felt them, and let out a terrified cry . . . .

"Malfoy got Hermione!" Ron said. "Look!"

He forced Hermione to show Snape her teeth - she was doing her best to hide them with her hands, though this was difficult as they had now grown down past her collar. Pansy Parkinson and the other Slytherin girls were doubled up with silent giggles, pointing at Hermione from behind Snape's back.

Snape looked coldly at Hermione, then said, "I see no difference."

Hermione let out a whimper; her eyes filled with tears, she turned on her heel and ran, ran all they way up the corridor and out of sight.

Hmmm . . .

Solitaire - Dec 26, 2004 7:35 am (#638 of 2980)
Rod Beecham: He would love to have killed Sirius, but only if the killing could be justified.

I see that, possibly, as a reason for his having flown Voldemort's coop. It isn't that Snape necessarily disliked the killing; he simply preferred to have the law on his side. This opens up a whole new career path for Snape, if you ask me.

We all realize Snape hates having to feign pleasantness and simple human courtesy. He loves the verbal joust--or should I say assault--and I would suspect he is just itching to cast an occasional Unforgiveable Curse and not get tossed into Azkaban for it. What better way for him to realize his dreams than to be placed in charge of Azkaban? There he could be as mean and nasty as he liked, and who would possibly care? He could have a big dungeon and mix potions, which he could "try out" on the prisoners. Who knows? He might actually become famous for inventing something useful, and then he would receive that Order of Merlin that slipped through his fingers when Sirius escaped!

Of course, all his worldly dreams would be realized, if Harry were to be arrested and tossed into Azkaban. He could torture him as he saw fit and have dementors all around his cell ... Oh, just think of the Snapely possibilities! Sorry, Gina ... I hope you like cold, damp weather! But I'm sure you could fix up the Warden's quarters beautifully!


hellocello3200 - Dec 26, 2004 7:56 am (#639 of 2980)
I would be sort of sad if Snape left Hogwarts. He's like the teacher in school that everybody has to have once, and after you've had him or her, you shake your head in sympathy at the underclassmen when their name appears on there schedule. Having their class isn't fun, but it's a right of passage and after you've had them, you are stronger and anyone else's course seems easy by comparison.

I do agree that the verbal abuse towards some students is not beneficial. I don't think it hurts Harry that much because he is generally confident, but both Neville and Hermione are insecure in certain ways and I think that his comments are harmful to them. Hopefully he will back off the vulnerable kids in the future.

Ann - Dec 26, 2004 8:39 am (#640 of 2980)
I think the reason many of us like Snape (rather than just find him interesting) is that he is very, very clever. I suspect that among equals, he would be a scintillating conversationalist: wry, funny, sarcastic about people like Umbridge (I would love to hear what he says about her in the staff room), and probably even scathing about his own limitations. Most adults can handle occasionally being made fun of, it's wittily done by someone in whose affection one has some confidence, and who is willing to admit his own limitations.

The problem is that, like all teachers, he is in a position of power--and, in his case, over people for whom he does not have much respect--children and non-pure-bloods. And he is, I suspect, considerably younger than the other heads of houses, at least, and probably most of the other professors. This means he is probably to some extent unaware of how hurtful his comments are. Having never been a parent or (I suspect) in a stable relationship of any duration (Gina has yet to have had much of an effect, I fear), his attitude is still to some extent that of a child: he takes care of himself, he follows the rules, and he does what he is supposed to do. He is, essentially, selfish.

I don't think he's an admirable person, but I think he'd be a lot of fun at a dinner party (assuming he washed his hair first).

septentrion - Dec 26, 2004 8:53 am (#641 of 2980)
As far as we know, he doesn't really have a sense of self-derision. He didn't seem to appreciate DD's jokes at Christmas lunch in PoA. But still, there were students there so he may not have apreciated being laughed at in front of them. Yet I suspect he doens't like being laughed at at all, even in a friendly way. DD must have been very near of the limitation (for lack of a better word) that time.

Choices - Dec 26, 2004 9:04 am (#642 of 2980)
But, but, but.....maybe when Snape said to Hermione ..."I see no difference", he was just trying to say that her teeth weren't so bad and he could hardly tell a difference. Maybe she just took it the wrong way and was being overly sensative. See, there are different ways to interpret things - Snape may just be "misunderstood". LOL Then again......

Weeny Owl - Dec 26, 2004 9:32 am (#643 of 2980)
But, but, but.....maybe when Snape said to Hermione ..."I see no difference", he was just trying to say that her teeth weren't so bad and he could hardly tell a difference. Maybe she just took it the wrong way and was being overly sensative. See, there are different ways to interpret things - Snape may just be "misunderstood". LOL Then again......

There's been a lot of speculation about that line and what he meant by it.

Some think he said it deliberately to have everyone's attention on him and not on trying to hex each other in revenge. Some think he said it because he doesn't like Muggle-borns in general and Hermione in particular because of her constant hand-waving. Some think he really didn't see a difference because of what Choices said. Some think he really didn't see a difference because his eyesight isn't that good (him nearly having his nose on his test paper in the Pensieve scene in OotP). Some think he was just annoyed at the situation and she was a convenient target.

There are a lot of possible explanations, so who knows which one is right. Well, JKR does, but she won't say yet.

Personally, I think it was that he was annoyed and Hermione was a convenient target. After she ran off he didn't deduct points from her which he probably would have if he were being vindictive.

Solitaire - Dec 26, 2004 11:44 am (#644 of 2980)
Choices: maybe when Snape said to Hermione ..."I see no difference", he was just trying to say that her teeth weren't so bad and he could hardly tell a difference. Maybe she just took it the wrong way and was being overly sensitive.

Considering Hermione's teeth were longer than her collar by the time Ron forced her to show Snape what had happened (GoF, US ed., Ch. 13, p. 299), I can't see how she could possibly have taken his comments the wrong way. I doubt anyone could have taken his comment as an attempt to minimize the situation. Snape was being about as cruel as he possibly could in the situation. Snape, of all people, should have understood how words can hurt. Then again, that was obviously his intent.

What is so odd about Snape's treatment of Hermione is that she continually supports and stands up for him, even when Ron and Harry suggest that he might be supporting "the other side." In addition, Snape purports to appreciate intelligence and hard work, both of which Hermione exhibits in great degree. Yet he seeks and seizes every available opportunity to deride and humiliate her. Is his hatred of Muggle-borns so deep--and his own sense of self-importance (or perhaps self-loathing) so great--that he must emotionally batter a young girl?

It's odd ... just when I begin to see a glimmer of hope for Snape as a human being, someone reminds me of incidents like these. I then remember why I find him such a thoroughly hateful and despicable character. I cannot deny he is interesting ... but his heart is a compassion-free zone.


septentrion - Dec 26, 2004 1:06 pm (#645 of 2980)
I'm sure Snape told Hermione that "I see no difference" on purpose. The trouble is I can't conceive what that purpose is... What if he was just sarcastic, even humourous but noone except him caught it was humour ? It has already happened to me to try and make humour but nobody got the point, they even felt insulted. I came to this hypothesis because Snape took no point to Gryffindor for this incident, which means, from a certain point of view, he didn't intend to let Hermione with her too long teeth. He sometimes took points for far less than that.

Solitaire - Dec 26, 2004 1:50 pm (#646 of 2980)
I agree he told it to her on purpose ... on purpose to humiliate her. When Snape said he saw no difference, it was as if he were saying to her that she always looked like an ugly beaver.

I find it interesting that, while Snape insulted Hermione--after Malfoy had called her a Mudblood, which is what provoked the incident in the first place--he sent Goyle to the hospital wing. He also took NO points from Slytherin but took 50 from Gryffindor AND gave Harry and Ron detentions.

I don't blame Harry for all the nasty things he was thinking he'd like to do to Snape. It's just one more example of Snape playing favorites where Slytherins are concerned and being unjust to the Gryffindors. I wonder if he treats the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws as despicably as he treats the Gryffindors.

Too bad they don't have psychiatrists in the Wizarding World. Snape's head is in dire need of a good "shrinking." He needs to wear a label: Dangerous: Keep away from children.


Rod Beecham - Dec 26, 2004 2:32 pm (#647 of 2980)
I'm with you, Solitaire.

It is a common human weakness to be seduced by cleverness: quickness of wit, displays of learning.

Such things are worse than meaningless when detached from feeling. I take this to be JKR's principal theme. All the evil characters are the slaves of abstract ideas. All the good characters show loyalty, sympathy, compassion, generosity - they are in relationship with others.

"Books! And cleverness! There are more important things - friendship and bravery and - oh Harry, be careful!" [Hermione to Harry, PS Chapter 16]

"There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those to weak to seek it" [Quirrell to Harry, PS Chapter 17]

"You know my goal - to conquer death" [Voldemort to the Death Eaters, GoF Chapter 33]

There are many more quotations, but Voldemort and his followers are all denying life as it is lived in favour of a puerile - and profoundly fear-based - fantasy of making themselves superior to life. (Evil, in the theological sense, means "anti-life".)

Snape is interesting because he displays impulses towards both of these extremes - the fear-based, life-denying fatuities of Voldemort (which, in Snape's case, take the form of sarcasm and verbal cruelty towards those who cannot defend themselves) - and the courageous, life-affirming position of Dumbledore (spying on the Death Eaters, protecting Hogwarts' students).

Probably JKR's most exasperatingly enigmatic line so far occurs when Harry asks Dumbledore why he believes Snape no longer follows Voldemort [GoF Chapter 30]:

"That, Harry, is a matter between Professor Snape and myself."

Dumbledore tells Harry quite a lot in the course of this and other conversations. Does he remain silent here because the reason for Snape's change of sides is something profoundly personal between Snape and Dumbledore himself?

I wonder . . .

hellocello3200 - Dec 26, 2004 2:43 pm (#648 of 2980)
I think DD is mum about Snape's past for several reasons. It wouldn't be proper for him to give personal information to a student about a teacher. I also think that JKR left that information out to keep our interest. I personally find the parts of the books where she reveals information about character's pasts the most interesting. I think she plans to give only bits of backstory along the way to keep things interesting.

Solitaire - Dec 26, 2004 4:18 pm (#649 of 2980)
I'm confident that whatever Dumbledore knows about Snape, it's a doozy. Otherwise, he would not keep a person such as Snape around. I am certain he knows Snape's attitude and behavior toward the kids and does not like it. I can only assume some extraordinary thing keeps him loyal to Snape, because Dumbledore is far too cognizant of the need for treating everyone--even students--with dignity, something which seems foreign to Snape.

On the other hand, I suppose it is possible that Snape's vitriol--for such it must be called--is hurled only at the Gryffindors of Harry's year. To be sure Snape is never what could be called pleasant with anyone; he does, however, manage a sort of civility with the other students. His true poison seems to be reserved for Harry's classmates, particularly our trio and Neville. I can't help feeling there is something significant in this, too.

I do not believe we will understand Snape fully until the bitter end ... and maybe not even then.


Prefect Marcus - Dec 26, 2004 6:01 pm (#650 of 2980)
Edited by Dec 26, 2004 6:02 pm
I do not believe we will understand Snape fully until the bitter end ... and maybe not even then.

I am hoping we never do. Why spoil a good thing?
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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 7:34 am

Potions Mistress - Dec 26, 2004 6:02 pm (#651 of 2980)
Solitaire, you caught something that I hadn't realized before: Gryffindors in (esp. the Trio and Neville) seem to bear the brunt of Snape's anger. Now Harry, I can see why, what with the history with James. (This doesn't excuse Snape's behavior, but it does help explain a lot of it.) But the others? Is it "guilt by association?" Pureblood prejudices? (Hermione is Muggle-born, Ron and his family are not caught up with the whole "Pureblood" thing, and poor Neville is almost a Squib.) Hmm...more things to ponder. I have to get a new calendar to start counting down the days til July 16, though I fear that it will all be "Alas, earwax! Now when does Book 7 come out?" ;-)

BTW, this was brought up a couple dozen posts ago (don't remember who), but I most definitely agree that if Snape became Headmaster (and that's a pretty big "if"), then he'd most definitely knock Phineas Nigellus off the throne of most hated headmaster. Umbridge doesn't count, because I don't think anyone or anything at Hogwarts ever recognized her "authority."


Solitaire - Dec 26, 2004 7:05 pm (#652 of 2980)
PM, LooneyLuna made the point about Snape vs. Phineas Nigellus in her post #613.

Gina R Snape - Dec 26, 2004 8:49 pm (#653 of 2980)
Well, not for nothing but Hermione turns out to be in for some pretty heavy duty derision in GoF and beyond. I prefer to think that he's not coddling her. She is a muggleborn in the midst of a war, who stands out as a know-it-all and who is best friends with Harry Potter. The way I see it, Snape figures she'd better learn to deal with some nasty hexes and mean-spiritedness now or she'll never make it when it really counts.

Weeny Owl - Dec 26, 2004 9:00 pm (#654 of 2980)
I don't see Snape being that nasty with Ron. There were a few instances when he received a detention, but for the most part Ron seems to slide by more than the others or I'm just not remembering a lot of it. There was the detention in PoA after the comment about Hermione, and there was the detention in GoF after the fight in the hallway, but has Snape been mean to Ron other times?

Hermione is a unique case in some ways because she just can't quite keep that hand down or her lips zipped. She was warned in PoA when Snape had the Defense class, but she just had to keep going with her knowledge and was called an insufferable know-it-all for her troubles. She wasn't targeted any more or any less in GoF besides the teeth thing and the reading out loud of the article, but that wasn't really that bad considering what she had already experienced by owl post. I don't remember Snape being harsh with Hermione in OotP.

Neville is also a unique case, and he is the one who has my curiosity aroused more than any of the other students. I get the feeling that there's much more to what Snape knows about Neville than we've been shown. Plus in OotP he did save Neville from being choked to death by Crabbe. He wasn't all compassionate and empathetic about it, naturally, but he was effective.

Ginny doesn't like Snape and said that Bill doesn't like him either, and we know the twins don't care for him. We've never been told of any particular vindictiveness with them, though.

MickeyCee3948 - Dec 26, 2004 10:21 pm (#655 of 2980)
I look at Snape's attitude towards HRH & Neville as a more vindictive version of his attitude towards the Marauders. There he was the blunt of the ridicule but now he can dish it out and as a teacher no one(except DD)can stop him.


Solitaire - Dec 27, 2004 1:02 am (#656 of 2980)
Gina: Snape figures she'd better learn to deal with some nasty hexes and mean-spiritedness now or she'll never make it when it really counts

Gina, I think you are adding an altruistic twist to Snape's actions that was never intended. I think he is just plain nasty. I believe his prejudices are showing through, and Hermione is a convenient vent. I believe he is just as contemptuous of her Muggle-born heritage as the Malfoys are. It's just as ugly but far more shocking coming from him, because he is a teacher and should be fair.

Further, I think he resents all that intelligence and ability residing in a Muggle-born. I think Snape was probably just like Hermione in school--an intelligent, detail-oriented perfectionist who sees value in doing things properly. He is punishing her for being like himself in that respect.


scoop2172000 - Dec 27, 2004 5:40 am (#657 of 2980)
I wonder if one of the reasons Snape is increasingly mean to Hermione is that he thinks she's Harry's girlfriend -- and that history is repeating itself when a muggle-born witch (Lily) ended up with James.

Let me caution here that I am NOT a Harry/Hermione 'shipper.

That said, I find it interesting that Snape read aloud Rita Skeeter's story suggesting that Hermione was toying with the affections of Harry and Victor Krum. Snape went to great legnths to humiliate her in front of the fourth-year Slytherins and her fourth-year Gryffindor classmates, including Harry himself.

Ann - Dec 27, 2004 6:30 am (#658 of 2980)
I'm wondering whether some of Snape's meanness to Hermione in the GoF case might not be the result of a slight attraction to her. (There is, I believe, lots of fan fiction suggesting an affinity, which is obviously not evidence, but may be based on evidence.) She's a lot like McGonagall, whom Snape seems to like a lot (I still find his unguardedly pleased reception of her return at the end of OotP interesting). He can't belittle Hermione's abilities or her lack of diligence as he can so many of the rest. And, of course, the fact that she is Muggle-born would make him that much more unhappy if he really felt such an attraction. And the personal nature of the attack would fit as a kind of over-reaction, if he felt he had "suffered from her charms" as they say.

The interesting thing about the tooth episode, by the way, is that Hermione came out of it more attractive (at least to those who like smaller teeth), not less.

Gina R Snape - Dec 27, 2004 7:45 am (#659 of 2980)
Ann, there is a--how do I put this?---MASSIVELY HUGE segment of the Snape fandom that reads and writes SS/HG fanfiction based on a grown up Hermione. While I don't see his reaction as an overcompensation from attraction, you would not be alone in asserting this idea.

As for making Snape kinder than he really is, I'm afraid we shall have to disagree. I think pretty much everything Snape does has a double or triple purpose. I firmly believe he is trying to toughen up the kids who need it, and soften up/spoil those particular slytherin kids who have grown up privileged while at the same time giving the Slytherins what appears to be an advantage. See, I doubt even the Slytherin kids find Snape the kind of head of house they can go to when needing a shoulder to cry on. He has other things to offer besides niceties and fluffiness.

As for Snape being prejudiced against muggleborns, I can see how that could be argued. However, I would just like to point out that until the pensieve incident in OoTP, Snape has NEVER uttered the words mudblood, muggle or muggleborn except when reading to Ron from the Daily Prophet.

As for Hermione being a know-it-all, she is disruptive to the classroom. It is impossible to gauge how much other students know (or don't know) when one student is constantly shouting out all the answers. Hermione is praised for this elsewhere in the school. I highly doubt the adverse reaction of one teacher will irrevocably ruin her self-esteem. He offers a counter-balance, even if it doesn't *feel* like something constructive. JKR herself has said DD wants the kids to experience all kinds of lessons. People like Snape and the way he deliberately treats them is one kind of lesson. And I well think Snape knows it. Because again, I don't see him treating his peers quite this way.

Ann - Dec 27, 2004 9:23 am (#660 of 2980)
"Kind" is not a word I would ever use of Snape in relation to his verbal treatment of students, although I think he is capable of kindness. (I can see him being physically quite gentle and caring to someone who was physically hurt, for example; but it is hard to imagine him soothing someone who was frightened.)

I also think his prejudice against Muggle-borns is probably fairly deep-rooted; it's hard to imagine that he could ever have become a Death Eater otherwise. But I also think it is an opinion that he no longer agrees with intellectually. So he may think "mud-blood" from time to time, but he probably corrects himself, even mentally. This is not exactly an uncommon situation.

I find the idea that he is being mean in order to "toughen up" the Gryffindors (and favoring the Slytherins for the opposite reason) a bit hard to imagine, though. I don't think he's quite that controlled. His meanness to Harry et al. seems genuine, and I can't believe Dumbledore is really happy about it, though he tolerates it because Snape is so skilled in his field. I wonder if part of his problem isn't that he just doesn't know how to deal with children--he evaluates them as if they were adults, and of course they don't measure up. I wonder if he'll be better with his older students.

But the whole point of Snape is the disconnect between what he says and what he does. He is cruel verbally, but when push comes to shove, he protects the students. In some ways, he's the opposite of Umbridge (and Bellatrix?), whose verbal treatment of students is sweet, patient, and seemingly kind, but who is cruel and mean in what she actually does.

Solitaire - Dec 27, 2004 9:27 am (#661 of 2980)
I didn't realize she was shouting out the answers. I thought she just waved her hand a lot and looked like she was going to fly out of her seat. No? If so, Snape could do what I (as a junior high teacher) do in the SAME EXACT SITUATION: I smile at the student and say, "Yes, Hermione, I know you know the answer ... but other students need an opportunity to earn points, too. It isn't fair if I only call on you."

Usually the student settles down when he knows that I know he knows the answers. And yes, I usually have to do this at least once a day--with one or more students in EACH of my classes--but it hasn't appeared to harm our student-teacher relationships at all. Most of these kids are the ones who linger after class and want to discuss something or tell me some story ... or find me out on yard duty and just chat.

My point is that the same thing can be accomplished with humor and some gentle reminders. The teacher doesn't have to totally strip students of all dignity and self-worth in order to maintain order in a classroom. If he does, then he isn't much of a teacher, IMO, no matter how brilliant he is!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Edit: Perhaps, as a teacher, I take offense to the despicable way Snape treats his students. Over the past 19 years, I've seen the kind of damage a "Snapely" teacher can do to some students. Even as an outspoken advocate for public education, I would probably choose to homeschool my own wizard child in potions rather than subject him to "the Snape treatment." There is NEVER an excuse for the way he belittles his students. "Toughening them up" is a ridiculous excuse.

hellocello3200 - Dec 27, 2004 9:33 am (#662 of 2980)
I think that it might not be a bad thing if Hermione was a little less cocky in class. Other students might resent her and think she is a show off. (I think that she is actually insecure in other ways and that is her way of compensating but this isn't the Hermione thread... ).

Having said that, I think that there are betters ways to solve the problem. Snape could have pulled her aside and told her something along the lines of "You are a very bright student, but you don't need to answer every question. If I don't call on you, it is because I want other students to have a chance to answer. I also don't want people to thin you're showing-off. This issue hits close to home with me because when I was in fourth grade I had a teacher tell me in front of other classmates that I shouldn't give such long answers in class to try to seem smart. Perhaps I was out of line but the way he went about it was not right because for the rest of my grade school career I was made fun of because of that incident and it was a long time before I ever raised my hand in class. To this day I won't tell people if I got a good grade on a test or assignment.

As to why Snape is mean to Neville, I agree with whoever said that he sees the marauders and Lily in the trio+Neville. Of course it is possible that he knows something about Neville or Neville's parents that we don't. It would make a good humorous fan-fic to have Snape actually be his uncle or something and have Neville stay with him because something happened to his grandmother, ok I'm rambling so I'll stop.

Edit: Cross posted with solitare, Yes thats exactly what I mean. Snape may do the right thing, but he always does it in a way that keeps you from liking him. I don't think there is any other motive, that's just the way he is.

rambkowalczyk - Dec 27, 2004 9:56 am (#663 of 2980)
Like Rod Beecham I find Snape's remark to Hermione in GOF (about her teeth growing) rather cruel. In other instances Snapes cruelness can be explained (which isn't necessarily justified). Harry reminds him too much of James, Neville is spectacularly inept, he was somewhat provoked. etc.

Choices and Weeny Owl suggest that his comments were misinterpreted. The Snape lover in me wishes to believe that but it also implies that Snape was in his own clumsy way trying to comfort Hermione. I can't think of an incident where Snape comforted anybody so why would he want to comfort Hermione? I don't see it similar to the way he saved Neville from being strangled by Crabbe in OOP. It's been shown that Snape cares if someone's life is in danger but not if someone's pride or feelings are hurt.

The other explanation is that this is Snape's tough love program, that if Hermione is expected to survive Voldemort she better be able to handle a few insults that come her way. This may be plausible but I don't think he is deliberately doing for that reason.

I think JKR put this in to show us that Snape just plain mean. This is what he has to struggle with. Maybe he joined the DeathEaters because it gave him a free license to be mean. He may have stopped because he has a conscience but it doesn't change the fact that he still wants to hurt people. The question we have to ask was at the end of that day was he proud of what he said to Hermione or did he regret it.

Solitaire - Dec 27, 2004 10:01 am (#664 of 2980)
at the end of that day was he proud of what he said to Hermione or did he regret it

I doubt he remembered it. I don't think the feelings of others are too important to Snape. He may obsess about James and the Marauders and getting even, but obsessing about someone isn't really the same as giving them serious and considered thought. I think your comment that he is just plain mean is more to the point.


Choices - Dec 27, 2004 10:17 am (#665 of 2980)
Reading these posts is fascinating....just like Snape himself. There is so much more going on with him than just what we see and hear on the surface. See what diverse things we each think about him? One person sees him as one thing and someone else sees him as another thing. He is, to say the very least, complex and mysterious. I can't wait to hear his backstory and find out what motivates him.

Miriam Huber - Dec 27, 2004 10:26 am (#666 of 2980)
I am not a Snape specialist, I just have been reading this thread for some days. So, sorry if my idea is completely rubbish (or if somebody already posted it):

What if some part of Snape´s complexity (not everything! I do not want to explain everything Snape said or did) stems from an internal struggle?

Assuming he was a Death Eater because he liked power, he had the usual prejudices about Muggle-borns (because it made him, a pure-blood, "better"), he hated a lot of people who were on the "good" side (the Marauders, for example), and, if you understand what I want to say, being bad looked just "cool". Not being nice, not being patient with the weaker ones, but proud and cold and cruel...

Then the "great something" happened and Snape realized, perhaps, something like that being bad is just - bad, and not really cool. In any case, something happened that made him very, very loyal to Dumbledore and ready to work for the good side (I assume).

BUT: He realized all this with his INTELLECT. But in his HEART, he despises Muggle-borns as before, he dislikes teachers who are patient with pupils like Neville, and he hates many of the people he now has to work with: Sirius, Lupin, Moody, to begin with. And he has to protect Harry Potter, because he is the most valuable "weapon" for the good side, but he hates him as well, "our celebrity" and the son of hated James Potter...

I don´t know if I am able to express properly what I mean: What if Snape´s intellect (plus his loyalty to Dumbledore) on the one side and his heart on the other side are in constant battle? And he manages to control his heart to save Harry and to work for the Order and all, but "lets off steam" in all the many sarcastic and cruel ways we have seen?

What do you think?

Weeny Owl - Dec 27, 2004 10:48 am (#667 of 2980)
I didn't realize she was shouting out the answers.

I'm not sure she was shouting, but she spoke twice in PoA when he wouldn't call on her. If she had sat there and not blurted out the answers, he would have had no reason to call her an insufferable know-it-all and a show-off.

Choices and Weeny Owl suggest that his comments were misinterpreted.

I didn't exactly suggest that. I just said that those are interpretations other people have had about his comments. I don't think there was anything in his comments except annoyance at the entire situation in the first place.

As for him being attracted to Hermione, while there are some well-written fanfics out there that I've enjoyed with them as a pairing, I don't see any of that in the books at all. I've also read a couple (coughginacough) of excellent stories with him paired with Tonks, but I don't see that in the books either. What I enjoy in fanon is completely opposite of how I view canon.

Frankly, if Hermione would be a bit less insistent that she be the one giving the answers, and if she weren't friends with Harry, I doubt if Snape would even notice her.

I don't see him trying to toughen up his students, but I also don't see much of anything regarding Hermione as personal except that she's friends with Harry.

As for Snape reading the article outloud in class, I see it more as embarrassing Gryffindors in general and Harry in particular, plus the added bonus of shutting up Hermione who was talking instead of working on her potions. Snape put Harry up front and basically threatened him over missing potions ingredients, and he just stuck Hermione with Pansy. His focus was on Harry and the ingredients, and it didn't seem as if he cared about the article except that if they hadn't been discussing it, that whole scene wouldn't have happened.

I don't view Snape with the same altruistic purposes that Gina does, perhaps, but I also don't see him as quite as sadistic as Solitaire sees him.

Choices - Dec 27, 2004 10:52 am (#668 of 2980)
I see what you are saying - Snape is in conflict - his head vs his heart. He has said it isn't good to wear your heart on your sleeve. Maybe he sees as weak those who let their emotions rule them and he hates weakness. Thus he bullies and punishes them for their weakness. He maybe wishes to force them to use their heads and not let their emotions get in the way.

Solitaire - Dec 27, 2004 11:09 am (#669 of 2980)
He maybe wishes to force them to use their heads and not let their emotions get in the way

That may be true, but I think he enjoys the tormenting and emotional torture he is able to inflict on them all in the process.

When I stop to think of it, the Slytherin/Gryffindor issues come into play mightily here. Gryffindors are really "all heart," aren't they?

I suppose it is natural that this fierce Gryffindor loyalty would be completely lost on--or at least disdained by--cold, calculating, Slytherin-y Snape. He really is the "odd man out" in the Order, which seems to be composed primarily of former Gryffindors who wear their hearts and loyalties bravely "on their sleeves," as Snape would say. No wonder he doesn't like to join in their dinnertimes. Too much warmth and mutual affection among them all. It probably makes his skin crawl!


Potions Mistress - Dec 27, 2004 2:19 pm (#670 of 2980)
LOL, Solitaire. (BTW, thanks for that post link.) Yes, Snape is most definitely "the odd man out" in the Order--I don't see a lot of Slytherin-y people in it (at least as far as the main players are concerned).

Miriam, I like your idea about Snape having an internal struggle between intellect and heart. Other than his loyalty to DD, I don't see a lot of "heart" in Snape, which I'm sure is in constant conflict with the Slytherin ideal of "look out for Number One." Something to ponder...


Gina R Snape - Dec 27, 2004 2:22 pm (#671 of 2980)
For the record, I don't see anything in canon that specifically supports a Snape/Tonks pairing. There is no instance where we see them actually interacting. But I see a great potential there.

I really hope we get some glimpses of Snape interacting with other adults when Harry isnt known to be around (since we always see Harrys PoV). The few instances we have seen, Snape certainly shows more concern for others and a wider range in general than registers in Harry's realisation.

Elanor - Dec 27, 2004 3:10 pm (#672 of 2980)
I agree that being mean with students has become a second nature for Snape. He likes to be feared and to make the students feel he has power upon them. He is also always searching for respect and he craves recognition for his skills.

He was certainly wrong and unnecessarily cruel with some students, especially Hermione and Neville, but I think it is because they remind him of himself and he doesn't like to see what he was at all. Hermione reminds him the student he was at Hogwarts and he sees Neville as a weak boy, his worst fear. That doesn't excuse his attitude, but it can explain it.

But I do think that, though he is not nice, he is good. He has proved DD and the Order could count on him when it becomes really important. Then, his acts often refute his words, or hide carefully what could be seen as a proof of interest for Harry or his friends (as when he saves Neville from being stangled). Just intolerable for him to think that people may believe he could care, wouldn't it be?

BTW, I agree Gina, his behavior with adults (the marauders excluded) is certainly most interesting. As someone said recently (Ann, I think), the way he welcomes back McGonagall is very revealing.

Rod Beecham - Dec 27, 2004 5:02 pm (#673 of 2980)
I think Miriam Huber (post #666) is on to something, but I would put it around the other way.

Snape's heart (yes, I think he has one!) is a terribly weak and underdeveloped thing. Remember how JKR describes the teenage Snape as a plant that has been kept in the dark (OotP)? His natural side - his "organic" side, if you like - is deformed (the small boy cowering as his father shouts at his mother, the lonely teenager in his dismal room . . . ).

His self-control is his defence: no wonder he is "a superb occlumens". How else could an abused child defend himself? He has learned to use his mind to protect his feelings.

Sadly, however, the abused child has become the abusing adult (the usual pattern). Snape's nature, I think, is a passionate one, but his passions only emerge in distorted form (remember how he looks "deranged" in the Shrieking Shack (PoA) and how he is shaking and becomes physically violent when he catches Harry with the pensieve in OotP?).

I'm a Snape-loved-Lily man, and I am struck by the idea that Snape may actually like Hermione. It would explain why he is so motivelessly cruel to her. Snape's childhood has taught him to fear emotional vulnerability like nothing else, so those who make him emotionally vulnerable (Lily - and Hermione?) arouse, paradoxically, his bitterest animosity.

Solitaire - Dec 27, 2004 6:11 pm (#674 of 2980)
Sadly, however, the abused child has become the abusing adult (the usual pattern).

That is probably true, but I still believe that Snape is old enough to own his own actions and stop trying to exact revenge on Sirius and James, who are DEAD, for Pete's sake! I find it sad that he has a role model like Dumbledore before him, yet he remains blind to the fact that TRUE power comes not from making people fear you but from behaving in such a way that people RESPECT you. Dumbledore is beloved by many and remains one of the most powerful wizards of the age, yet his humility is quite disarming.

Snape, on the other hand, seems arrogant to me. (I put the qualifier in because that is how I see him; I don't expect others to agree.) The result is that, while the kids may fear Snape, they do not respect him. They know he can hurt them, so they try to follow the rules (Well, most of them do, except the Trio, on occasion), do as he says, and stay below his "Snape-dar" (that's Snape radar for short). That isn't the same thing as respect.


Choices - Dec 27, 2004 6:16 pm (#675 of 2980)
Very interesting comments Rod. I like your thinking and can see Snape from your point of view. Especially the last part. Even though I don't believed he liked Lily (although it is certainly a possibility), I do think he would fight hard not to like someone and belittling them could be his way of keeping his distance.

Potions Mistress - Dec 27, 2004 6:52 pm (#676 of 2980)
I think in Snape's case, actions tend to speak louder than words. I do think that most of the time he is cruel beyond reason, though in many cases, this can be explained, if not excused. Rod, I too agree that Snape does have a heart, even if it rather underdeveloped. Two instances spring immediately to mind: first, he did tell Goyle (or was it Crabbe, they seem to be pretty interchangeable) to stop strangling Neville. True, it was not in the most compassionate or "heroic" way, but he did keep Neville (whom he seems to despise) from being hurt. Second, and I believe even more telling, is in CoS, when the teachers learn that Ginny has been taken: "Snape gripped the back of a chair very hard..." (Ch. 16, 293, Am. hardback). Subtle, yes, but I do think that it shows his concern and worry. However, I should probably say that I don't believe that this makes Snape nice in general, but that he is not as unfeeling as he probably wants himself to be (for whatever reason). Thoughts?


Ydnam96 - Dec 27, 2004 8:04 pm (#677 of 2980)
Wow...I just read a lot of posts very quickly. There has been a lot of great conversation about Snape over the last few days.

I have to say I think I agree more with Gina. Although, I do see Snape as being very cruel to the kids in Gryfindor. But, if he is being told to play the part of spy for VM then he will want to be convincing (and I think it's easy for him given his history with James and Sirius) so treating the Gryfindors badly is easy for him. Especially Harry's class.

I liked the theory about Snape being in conflict. I definetly think he is fighting for the good side in all of this. But it must be very hard for him. Whatever it was that he did to make DD trust him had to have been something of a great personal sacrifice. Also, if you think about him it's all Harry's fault (in Snapes head you see, someone who was hurt and damaged by things in his past including the way James treated him). If Harry did not exist, he would not have to pick a side in this war, he would not have had to sacrifice anything and he could just be miserable in peace.

(it's a theory anyway...might not work in the "real" world...but for the moment that's what I'm choosing to believe).

Weeny Owl - Dec 27, 2004 8:17 pm (#678 of 2980)
I don't see Snape as unfeeling at all, and the line about wearing hearts on sleeves is one I've always thought he was saying about himself even if he said it to Harry.

I think Snape can be depended on to do the right thing, but his methods might not be what most people would think were right. Some people have a way of being empathetic and compassionate, sending thank-you notes at the right time, saying the right thing, and being as nearly perfect as is humanly possible. Others plod along trying to do the right thing, many times doing it begrudgingly, but still managing to accomplish the goal. I can see Snape and Petunia being somewhat alike in how they treat Harry. Vernon is another story, of course, but Petunia did take Harry in, has seen to his general welfare, and kept him at Privet Drive when Vernon wanted him gone. That sounds more like how Snape operates.

For the record, I don't see anything in canon that specifically supports a Snape/Tonks pairing. There is no instance where we see them actually interacting. But I see a great potential there.

I agree with you there, Gina. It would be nice to have Snape with someone as quirky as Tonks. She'd probably loosen him up quite a bit.

LooneyLuna - Dec 28, 2004 6:48 am (#679 of 2980)
Solitare - I view Snape as arrogant too. He's an insufferable know-it-all, strutting about the school, in my opinion, which is why he is so horrendous to Hermione, Harry and Neville.

Don't we all have people we hate because they exhibit traits we hate about ourselves?

Snape hates Harry for numerous reasons, but arrogance seems to be a big beef. Snape hates Hermione because of her lack of control when sharing knowledge in his class. Snape hates Neville because of his weakness and lack of self confidence. These are all traits that Snape exhibits at times.

Great discussions, everyone!

Ann - Dec 28, 2004 7:24 am (#680 of 2980)
Just a query that I'm sure someone (perhaps everyone) on this thread can answer:

Some months ago, I read a collection someone had made of all the times we hear Snape interacting with his colleagues when no kids are thought to be present (although they often are). I thought it was on the predecessor of this thread but several searches failed to turn it up. Perhaps it was a link? Can anyone tell me where to find it?

Gina R Snape - Dec 28, 2004 8:18 am (#681 of 2980)
Yes, I was the one who posted it. It was a link to someone's LiveJournal page. Let me see if I can track it down again.

EDIT: It was posted to the snapesupport community. And it does not include OoTP (check the comments for some missing bits from the other four books, though).

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

Solitaire - Dec 28, 2004 9:16 am (#682 of 2980)
With the exception of PS/SS--which is told from Uncle Vernon's perspective in the very beginning--the books appear to be told in Limited Omniscient point of view, from Harry's perspective. If this point of view continues to be used throughout the series, then Harry will always be present, and we will always see Snape's behavior through Harry's eyes.

If Jo should change the point of view to Omniscient, we would then get to listen to and observe other characters--and know what they are thinking and feeling. We would still probably have the "taint" of Harry's feelings and opinions, but we would know the opinions and feelings of the others, as well. This might give us a more accurate picture of what is really going on; but it would change how we view things considerably.

I suppose the Objective point of view could also be used to allow us glimpses of others without the benefit of Harry's perspective; but then we would not be privy to ANY character's feelings or thoughts. I think the Objective point of view would tend to disengage the readers and kind of ruin the experience. Well, it would ruin it for me. I like to identify with the hero ... don't you?


Edited to correct an error

Prefect Marcus - Dec 28, 2004 9:52 am (#683 of 2980)
Actually, Solitaire, the first chapter of GoF is not from Harry's POV either. (Please forgive the nitpick, but this IS the Lexicon Forum after all.) :-)

Solitaire - Dec 28, 2004 10:06 am (#684 of 2980)
Sorry, Marcus. I was speaking about the bulk of the books ... Of course, you are correct about the first chapter in GoF. **hanging head in shame** Truthfully, I probably would have forgotten about PS/SS, too, if I hadn't just read that chapter the other day!

Actually, I find it interesting that Jo changes the point of view within her books--although I certainly see the reason for her doing so. I have read a lot of books in my life, and this shift in PoV within a novel seems unusual to me.


Gina R Snape - Dec 28, 2004 11:50 am (#685 of 2980)
Well, one of my major critiques regarding Snape is that we are only seeing him through Harry's eyes. You have to read between the lines to see what else is going on, even as Harry views something and doesn't read between the lines. Some of this is possible when rereading a book, as you now have the benefit if hindsight.

The actions Snape takes when Harry isn't known to be around are telling because even though we have Harry's POV, we have Snape behaving as he would when Harry isn't around. So at least ONE layer is stripped away, as it were.

loopy4loopin - Dec 29, 2004 1:32 am (#686 of 2980)
Hi All,

Please let me know if I am being repetitive, as I don't think that I have totally caught up on all of the Snape posts ever written (there are lots Smile.

I have noticed that perspective comes up a lot in these posts as we really do see Snape from Harry's perspective. I find it intriguing to try and separate the real Snape from the Snape Harry sees.

I think that Snape was a miserable, angry child and the class nerd. He was an easy target for the popular James and Sirius. As we all know, that kind of thing happens at school ALL THE TIME.

It seems to me that what Snape hated the most about the J&S show was the way they broke school rules and got away with it. He talks about it all the time. He sees Harry as following closely in his father's footsteps. He also has seemingly old-fashioned conservative ideas which on the surface agree with Voldemorts about things like pure bloods and half-breeds. I think that the chapter in OTP is very relevant here, especially the part that talks about Sirius's brother, who was killed by Voldemort for wanting out. I think that this is exactly what happenned to Snape and I think that the reason that passage was put in was to give an explanation of Snape's actions.

I think that Snape, still angry and miserable about his childhood and his time at Hogwarts watching J&S seemingly getting away with murder (just about) supported Voldemort in the same way that many Germans initially supported Hitler (this comparison has been made before and i think it is very apt). He thought that Voldy had the right kind of idea about all sorts of things.

I think that when Snape realised that "It's a lifetime of service or death" he either taught himself occlumency or had possibly already mastered it and then became a double agent. He made a choice and to me HP is all about choice (much like LOTR). The choice that he made has made his life dangerous and stressful but its a choice that he can live with - for now.

I think that at some point Snape will ultimately have to choose to let go of his hatred of the marauders. The awesome passages that have Snape and Harry alone together show just how much he hates Harry for being like his father. I don't think that that kind of hatred can co-exist with fighting the good fight.



librarian314 - Dec 29, 2004 7:46 am (#687 of 2980)
Hey all!

It’s taken me a while to venture over here (the old Snape thread with over 1500 posts when I arrived was just too daunting :-)), mostly because it took me quite a while to form a coherent opinion of the dread Potions Master.

I have to say that he is one of my favorite literary characters ever. He is really fun to read. In PS/SS I was certain that he was going to be the stock evil teacher, the one that was unmercifully hard on our hero and the rest of the students, whom everyone hated. Surprisingly, he’s turned out to be much more. His got a messy history, of which we’ve only seen snippets. He also supposedly works for the side of good but is really unpleasant towards the more sympathetic characters. It’s nice to see such an ambiguous character written as well as he is.

I would really like to know what other people, especially students other than Harry’s class, think about him. Seeing the Potions Master only as Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Moody, Remus, Lily, Sirius, and James see him, gives us a very slanted view. All of these people have personal issues with Prof. Snape and vice versa. Is the dread professor as loathed by Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws or even by Gryffyndors in years other than Harry’s? What do the twins think of him? They certainly learned a lot from him, as their Skiving Snackboxes attest. (My guess is that potions was one of their 3 O.W.L.S.)

I’ve left Slytherins out of the above as he is their head of house and he has shown active favoritism towards certain of them, especially Draco Malfoy. Just because he’s the head of house, doesn’t mean they like him. Does he favor Draco because he is a Slytherin, hates Harry, or to please Lucius? (Or any combo of these.)

The adults give us an even more contradictory view of the Potions Master. He and Prof. McGonagall seem to have some sort of friendly rivalry concerning quidditch. Dumbledore behaves rather paternally towards him. Karkaroff treats him as a former colleague with the ability to help him out of a tight spot. Quirrell is scared of him. There seems to be some sort of cordial relationship between Lucius and the dread professor but whether it’s a relationship of equals or that of a patron and his client is unknown. (We have no real indication of Prof. Snape’s socio-economic background.)

I hope the next book gives us a bit more insight into his character, as it is hard to form an opinion about a character when he is as enigmatic as the Potions Master.

Gina, thanks for posting the link; I'm looking forward to perusing the quotes to further my education concerning the dread Potions Master. :-)

*michelle the librarian**

Ann - Dec 29, 2004 8:08 am (#688 of 2980)
Gina, many thanks for the link! I knew I could depend on you!

Solitaire - Dec 29, 2004 12:03 pm (#689 of 2980)
Tania: I think that at some point Snape will ultimately have to choose to let go of his hatred of the marauders. The awesome passages that have Snape and Harry alone together show just how much he hates Harry for being like his father. I don't think that that kind of hatred can co-exist with fighting the good fight.

I sometimes wonder just exactly how much Harry is like James. He certainly bears a physical resemblance so strong that Harry thought he was seeing James rather than himself produce the Patronus that saved Sirius in PoA.

I know Sirius has pointed out character similarities, too; but he has also pointed out some differences. I think that Harry's physical likeness to his dad is so strong Snape can't really get past that, and he puts all of James's flaws onto Harry, deserved or not.

Yes, I will agree that Harry breaks rules, and sometimes for silly and selfish reasons--like the trip to Hogsmeade in PoA. Most of the time, however, Harry's intent is not just to wantonly break rules (as James and Sirius often seemed to do) but to work out some part of the puzzle he is trying to solve that is his life.

I fully agree with you, Tania, about Snape's ability to "fight the good fight" while harboring that deep hatred in his heart. Either the hatred must go, or I do not see Snape successfully holding out against Voldemort for much longer. Voldemort sows seeds of enmity, and if he can keep that hatred of Snape's alive, he can really use it to undermine the Order's efforts to take him out. JM2K ...


hellocello3200 - Dec 30, 2004 7:09 am (#690 of 2980)
I think that Harry might appear like James because of the physical similarities and because both are popular ( well unless the whole thinks Harry's Sytherin's heir or mad.) and probably confident. I bet after winning a quidditch match for Griffendor, both probably appear to Snape as full of themselves. I also think that a whispering invisibility cloak looks pretty much the same if it is full of marauders or the trio. I think Snape sees those similarities and assumes that they are similar in other ways as well, even though we know that Harry would humiliate someone like James did in a million years. (Ok well maybe Dudley or Draco, but they deserve it.)

Ann - Dec 30, 2004 11:17 am (#691 of 2980)
hellocello: (Ok well maybe Dudley or Draco, but they deserve it.)

That's more or less what James thought about Snape, isn't it? (And Harry actually says pretty much the same thing.)

scoop2172000 - Dec 30, 2004 12:34 pm (#692 of 2980)
Goes to show that Harry's human in his inclination to want to get back at Dudley and Draco.

As we saw in the opening chapter of OotP, Harry's not above taunting Dudley, knowing the power he (Harry) holds over Dudley (i.e. his ability to perform magic.)

James was only human when he picked on Snape. I don't think Snape being a nerd had as much to do with it as the fact that Snape was up to his eyeballs in the Dark Arts, and James despised the Dark Arts.

Gina R Snape - Dec 30, 2004 12:46 pm (#693 of 2980)
And Snape is only human in wanting to get back at others too...

But despite that, he still devotes his life to protecting the boy who lived. And that's why he's my husband hero in the story.

loopy4loopin - Dec 30, 2004 1:55 pm (#694 of 2980)
Hi Hellocello,

I'll go back at some stage and find the quotes to back this up, but I was definitely left with the impression that its the rule breaking and GETTING AWAY WITH IT that Snape hates the most. He thinks that James got away with it and in fact was rewarded for it (in Snapes eyes). I think that his hatred does not allow him to rationalise that Harry is breaking rules because he has to (or feels he has to). He just sees a pattern repeating itself.


Potions Mistress - Dec 30, 2004 2:13 pm (#695 of 2980)
LOL Gina! Husband, hero, it's all the same. :-)

Anyway, Tania, I think you're right at the heart of the problem between Harry and Snape: Snape AND Harry must let go of their hatred for each other and all that it stems from to fight the fight against LV. IMO, overcoming this hatred will be key to LV's downfall, but it will also be one of the biggest obstacles.

Snape sees Harry as James, especially with rule-breaking, and hates Harry for it. Admittedly, the pensieve scene did not help Harry any in this aspect.

Harry now loathes Snape (instead of just a general dislike as seen in the other books) because he blames him for Sirius' death.

Both must realize that their hatred is going to get them nowhere and will probably only contribute to LV's vision/power. And it's going to have be a mutual conclusion, not like when DD told Sirius and Snape to at least set aside open hostilities. I think it's going to have to be REAL--not necessarily liking each other, but respecting each other for who they (actually) are and what they can contribute to the fight.


loopy4loopin - Dec 30, 2004 2:41 pm (#696 of 2980)
Absolutely PM!!!!

Weeny Owl - Dec 30, 2004 3:09 pm (#697 of 2980)
Snape has never been fair to Harry, not from the first class until the last book. That is one of his blind spots, but it seems to be a blind spot with others, that Harry is all too often compared to James.

As for James being only human and hating the Dark Arts, that doesn't give him cause to pick on Snape. Snape's feelings don't give him cause to pick on James either.

Both were fifteen when we saw them in the Pensieve, but their ages aside, they don't have any more right to abuse someone than Draco has calling Hermione a Mudblood. Wrong is wrong.

Having said that, if James is human, so is Snape, and while he should have given Harry a chance, it isn't surprising that he reacted the way he did... sad, but not surprising.

I'm one person who feels that the two of them need to come together for a common cause, even if they never truly like each other.

timrew - Dec 30, 2004 4:19 pm (#698 of 2980)
Weeny Owl:- I'm one person who feels that the two of them need to come together for a common cause, even if they never truly like each other.

That's as long as Snape stays on the Order's side......

JKR has told us to watch out for him......

Nathan Zimmermann - Dec 30, 2004 4:33 pm (#699 of 2980)
Heh there distaste for each other reminds me of dumbledore's statement near the end of GoF about recognizing people for what they are, I think Harry and Snape need to take a good hard look at each other.

hellocello3200 - Dec 30, 2004 4:52 pm (#700 of 2980)
I was kind of joking, but I do think they deserve to be put in there place more than Snape did. Dudley picks on people smaller than he is, and that is why Harry gives him a hard time when he can. He understands what it's like to be Mark Evans or any other of Dudley's victims because that used to be him. As for Draco, I would only see him going after him if he said something bad about one of his friends or something. Snape was just sitting there, and while he had done things in the past that the marauders didn't like, at the moment he wasn't bothering anybody.

The exact quote I think Ann is referring to on pg 653 of OotP reads "...and Harry could not imagine Fred and George dangling someone upside down just for the dun of it... not unless they really loathed them... Perhaps Malfoy, or somebody who really deserved it..." Harry isn't even thinking in terms of what he would do, but Fred and George, who have much more of a mean streak than he does.

I agree with Loopy4Lupin that on the surface, Harry appears the same as James (Popular, athletic, good-looking, and rule-breaking) but there are fundamental differences. You could say Harry is the new and improved James. Snape fails to see that.

I am another person who foresees some kind of reconciliation between Harry and Snape. I personally think that Harry will have to trust Snape sometime in the future.
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Severus Snape  - Page 4 Empty Posts 701 to 750

Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 11:24 am

Caput Draconis - Dec 30, 2004 7:52 pm (#701 of 2980)
What I think bothers Snape a whole lot is not only the fact that Harry is James' son, but that James' son is special. I'd imagine on a personal level the former is bad enough. From the night James and Lily died Snape had 11 years without an immediate reminder of that part of his past, although I'd imagine his bitterness was never far from the surface. Then Harry, mini-James, turns up, not only a student but the boy-who-lived, the saviour of the wizarding world Snape risks his life day-after-day to protect (he's a good guy, he's a good guy ). Then not only is he here, not only is he 'special', he ignores rules and struts about like his father. I don't think any amount of rationalising (not Snape's strong point at the best of times) would change how he would have felt during that first year (and has continued to feel) considering the depth of his bitterness toward James et al. Tis why I've thought Snape telling Harry quite plainly that he's not special in OoP somewhere is central to his whole attitude.

I think Snape has a point with Harry's rule breaking, btw. I'm reminded of Lupin admonishing Harry after he snuck out to Hogsmeade ('a poor way to repay them (J&L), gambling their sacrifice for a bag of magic tricks' or somesuch). Lupin and Snape are making the same point - it's just that when Lupin sees Harry he's reminded of love, Snape only of hate, and that affects the way they make their point.

septentrion - Dec 31, 2004 1:43 am (#702 of 2980)
I've put it in Harry's thread but it fits here too : Snape should be the one to take the first step for a kind of reconciliation with Harry. Yet, he isn't able to do it because he cna't master his emotions, so Harry should do it because he has the ability to overcome his emotions for the greater good. I firmly believe that if Harry was persuaded it'd be necessary to defeat LV to reconcile with Snape, he'd do it, not for Snape's sake but for saving the Wizarding World.

T Brightwater - Dec 31, 2004 11:03 am (#703 of 2980)
septentrion, you've brought up one of the things that has always bothered me about Snape. He tells Harry forcefully about the need to master his emotions - yet Snape can't master his own emotions. He may not be foaming at the mouth all the time the way he is at the end of PoA, but he's remarkably easy to provoke for someone who claims to value passionless objectivity.

It seems to me that Snape's efforts to conceal or rid himself of the "weakness" of caring or affection has left him even more open to the negative emotions of hatred and anger.

Sirius is far from being the only character in HP who can't live up to his own words.

(BTW, Happy New Year, all!)

Solitaire - Dec 31, 2004 11:54 am (#704 of 2980)
He tells Harry forcefully about the need to master his emotions - yet Snape can't master his own emotions

I agree, Brightwater, and posted similar sentiments this morning on Harry's thread. Snape is a perfect example of the old cliche about "the pot calling the kettle black."


loopy4loopin - Dec 31, 2004 2:16 pm (#705 of 2980)
Yes, but it seems that Snape only has trouble mastering his emotions around Harry


Solitaire - Dec 31, 2004 3:41 pm (#706 of 2980)
If he has trouble mastering them around anyone, then he has not truly mastered them, has he?

T Brightwater - Dec 31, 2004 4:03 pm (#707 of 2980)
Actually, Tania, it seems that Sirius sets him off as badly as Harry does. Snape completely lost it when Sirius escaped at the end of PoA, though his suspicion that Harry was involved probably made it worse.

loopy4loopin - Dec 31, 2004 4:23 pm (#708 of 2980)
Oh yeah, forgot about that. He's not overly fond of Remus either, now that you mention it Smile


Rod Beecham - Dec 31, 2004 11:25 pm (#709 of 2980)
It's what I meant when I said that Snape is passionate - he's a passionate hater, and a passionate artist (his potion-making is his art, which he speaks of memorably).

It's about control, too, isn't it? Snape can command his cauldron and his ingredients, and the more skilful he becomes with them, the more powerful he feels. But he can't control other people's feelings: the best he can do is to protect his own (occlumency).

I do not accept that he has any excuse for the way he treats Harry. He is abominable towards Harry from their first encounter in class. And why does he seem to like Malfoy? From memory, Malfoy is the only student in any of the five books whom Snape addresses by his/her first name ("What is it, Draco?" - OotP).

By the way, the chair-gripping in CS and the encounter with McGonagall at the end of OotP have been over-interpreted, I think. The chair-gripping could indicate almost anything, while "out of St Mungo's, I see" is an utterly trite greeting that could be said in a variety of tones of voice - and JKR does not tell us how Snape sounded when he said it.

hellocello3200 - Jan 1, 2005 9:39 am (#710 of 2980)
When I first read it I felt that he was slightly startled, like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar by a parent. He was enjoying taking points away from Gryffindor unchecked, but when McGonagoll came back she balanced out the injustice somewhat by awarding fifty points for all the students who went to the DoM for alerting the world to the return of LV. I still think he respects her, and was glad that she was O.K, but like Rod Beecham said, it could be interperated different ways. Maybe after all the books are out we will see this and other incidents differently. I know I interperate things in the early books differently now after the last two came out than when I read them the first time through.

Solitaire - Jan 1, 2005 10:19 am (#711 of 2980)
Rod Beecham: "out of St Mungo's, I see" is an utterly trite greeting that could be said in a variety of tones of voice

I couldn't agree more, Rod. In fact, I can see it pronounced in the very snide, Snape-ish tone we've come to associate with our favorite Potions Master--more an insult than a greeting. Perhaps he was hoping she would become a permanent resident ... maybe even in the Longbottoms' ward. Personally, I think Snape was irritated that McGonagall showed up when she did and caught him in the act of performing his favorite pasttime--being unfair to Gryffindors.


T Brightwater - Jan 1, 2005 11:19 am (#712 of 2980)
It's possible, Rod and Solitaire, but the fact that Jo describes Snape as "striding forward" makes me think it might be just the faintest hint of some positive response in the guy. If he had sneered when he said it, he could have stayed where he was. I'd at least like to think that for one moment, something gave him a bit more enjoyment than taking points away from Gryffindor.

Maybe it's just because I'm a Hufflepuff (according to and a Libra on top of that. :-)

septentrion - Jan 1, 2005 12:12 pm (#713 of 2980)
I agree with you T Brightwater : McGonagall's return distracted Snape to take points away from Gryffindor. Of course he wasn't very pleased when she added points to Gryffindor and Ravenclaw and couldn't contradict her, but she went his way and she took herself the ten points Snape intented to take away from Gryffindors. All that conversation sounds like usual taunting between co-workers to me.

Prefect Marcus - Jan 1, 2005 1:40 pm (#714 of 2980)
Snape couldn't take points away from Gryffindor because Gryffindor didn't have any points to be taken away. The Inquisitorial Squad had seen to that.

Rod Beecham - Jan 1, 2005 2:15 pm (#715 of 2980)
T. Brightwater's point about Snape "striding forward" to greet McGonagall is well made - striding forward is an unambiguously positive movement. I like hellocello600's "hand in the cookie jar" analogy, too - I think it's a very apt way to describe the moment.

Thinking about it further, while we don't know what the inscrutable Professor Snape thinks of McGonagall, McGonagall seems to have a soft spot for him. I seem to remember her smiling faintly at Harry's reaction to compulsory Potions during the careers advice section of OotP, as if the Harry-Snape antagonism were a bit of a joke. Her remark to Wood and Harry in PS about the previous year's Quidditch final - "I couldn't look Severus Snape in the face for weeks" - too doesn't seem like the sort of thing one teacher would say about another in front of students if she didn't like that other teacher.

Prefect Marcus - Jan 1, 2005 3:23 pm (#716 of 2980)
There can be little doubt that McGonagall respects Snape. The same can be said for Dumbledore. And since I have the highest respect for those two adults in Harry's life, I can't help but respect Snape, as well.

For that reason, I have great difficulty accepting the theories that try to excuse his behaviour as 'an act'. No, he is a bully for honest reasons. We have seen far too many unguarded moments to believe otherwise.

Lina - Jan 1, 2005 3:48 pm (#717 of 2980)
Hello everyone! I've been busy for a while, then I had to read all the posts on this thread that have been posted meanwhile.

I found the post No 663 very interesting: rambkowalczyk: I think JKR put this in to show us that Snape just plain mean. This is what he has to struggle with. Maybe he joined the DeathEaters because it gave him a free license to be mean. He may have stopped because he has a conscience but it doesn't change the fact that he still wants to hurt people.

I would like to be able to extract all the places in JKR's interviews and live chats where she speaks about Snape, but I'm afraid I don't have the time. At one point she said that she knew some teachers as mean as him, at the other point she said "Who would want to be loved by him?" which was discussed so many times. I'm afraid that only us who have close persons or used to be ourselves alike him, are able to understand him. Because we had to find the ways to see behind someone's facade to find the love and caring that do exist there. So we are used to look that way all the people and we see Snape the same way. But I'm afraid that JKR was not forced in her life to know this kind of people deeper, she can not understand the circumstances that made them so cold and unpleasant (because the same circumstances would not make her so cold and unpleasant) and I don't expect those circumstances to be explained by the end of the seventh book. I believe that he is going to remain cold and mean (hopefully alive), doing the right things anyway right to the end. The only thing about him that I expect to be explained is WHY DD trusts him so much?

Rod Beecham: It's about control, too, isn't it? Snape can command his cauldron and his ingredients, and the more skilful he becomes with them, the more powerful he feels. But he can't control other people's feelings: the best he can do is to protect his own (occlumency).

This sounds like describing an anorexic person to me. And whenever I think of similar problems, I always come to same conclusion: lack of self-confidence. This is the place I see DD failed - he didn't help him build the self-confidence and self-esteem which Harry definitely can't lack or loose since he is leo in horoscope. Does it mean that Snape is pisces? Even though I don't see pisces to be mean, but lacking the self-confidence...

Ann - Jan 1, 2005 6:42 pm (#718 of 2980)
I liked Rod's comment about control, too. As well as Lina's about Dumbledore having failed to build Snape's self confidence.

I was reading around a bit on the chat site Gina put me on to, where those "adult conversations" of Snape's are listed. A lot of people there seemed to argue that Dumbledore was really mean and nasty to Snape--gave him all sorts of tasks he hated (occlumency lessons with Harry, making Wolfsbane potion for Lupin, making him shake hands with Sirius) and not letting him teach DADA (while obviously unqualified people like Lockhart and Umbridge, are allowed to--as is one of his worst enemies, Lupin). And then Snape does everything his is asked to and remains fiercely loyal to Dumbledore (which I think he is).

I don't quite see Dumbledore as being intentionally mean to him, but I thought it was an interesting viewpoint that I hadn't seen here. What do you folks think?

Solitaire - Jan 1, 2005 6:48 pm (#719 of 2980)
Oh, my, yes! That really was nasty of Dumbledore to make Snape train Harry. Just think of all those extra nasty insults he had to think up! It was probably hard enough to come up with enough of them to torment Harry in potions class.

And how could Dumbledore be so insensitive as to force the Potions Master to brew a monthly potion for a staff member! Heavens, I hope he got plenty of overtime pay!

I suppose the worst part is forcing Severus to act like an adult and shake hands with Sirius. I'm sure he could sue Dumbledore for mental cruelty. Poor Snape!


Ydnam96 - Jan 1, 2005 6:52 pm (#720 of 2980)
See I don't think of those things as nasty. I think that DD sees Snape as an adult. One who is expected to act as an adult, control his emotions, behave well, treat people fairly, etc. Snape doesn't always live up to those expectations, but DD is a trusting and forgiving person, and I think he respects Snape as well, which is why he continues to treat Snape as an adult, whom he trusts and expects to behave correctly.

Not sure if that came across as I intended it. BUt I don't think DD is being mean, maybe naive, but not mean.

Ann - Jan 1, 2005 7:21 pm (#721 of 2980)
Okay, you guys are quite right. I was just struck by the fact that five or six people seemed to be assuming this, and it was a viewpoint I'd never seen here, so I thought it might spur some interesting discussion.

I agree, Solitaire, that he ought not to have a problem doing these things, but the point is, he does have problems with them, as Dumbledore is surely aware, but he does them nonetheless.

Sorry if the suggestion was offensive.

Solitaire - Jan 1, 2005 7:31 pm (#722 of 2980)
Ann, you were not being offensive. I was just being a "smart-astronaut"! You may not have noticed **cough! cough!** but I don't like Snape very much. I try to hide it well, though, and I think I am about as successful at it as Snape is at hiding his feelings for Harry. ;-)


Rod Beecham - Jan 1, 2005 8:04 pm (#723 of 2980)
Okay, here's my latest ingredient for the Snape-potion we're brewing . . .

Why, in PS, is Snape alone with Filch (of all people!) in the staff room after his encounter with Fluffy, having his leg bandaged up, Muggle-style?

This is the wizarding world: I'm sure Madam Pomfrey could fix a dog bite much more efficiently. Has JKR been uncharacteristically clumsy (i.e. her plot requires Harry to discover that Snape has been on the third floor, so she sets up a scene accordingly, forgetting that it's inconsistent)? Or does Snape not want Madam Pomfrey to know? Or any of the other teachers? But, then again, why should he mind? All the Hogwarts teachers know about the Philosopher's Stone, as we see when Harry, Ron and Hermione encounter the various magical chambers that guard it.

So why is Snape alone with Filch being, as it were, manually repaired?

Gina R Snape - Jan 1, 2005 8:07 pm (#724 of 2980)
Actually, I don't think DD is deliberately mean to Snape. But I do think he is completely insensitive to some of his emotions.

Yes, it was reasonable to ask Snape to make the wolfsbane potion every month. But asking him to shake hands with Sirius underestimated the feelings of both Snape and Sirius. DD was annoyed at the both of them. I can understand him wanting them to realise they were working on the same side. But I just don't see how he could expect them to put their past totally aside.

When DD set Snape to teach Harry occlumency, he was thinking of the bigger picture. But even DD admits at the end of OoTP that he underestimated the extent of Snape's emotional injuries.

DD provides a great deal of corrective supervision to Snape, tempering his lesser impulses and providing a certain degree of perspective. But I suspect DD never took Snape's feelings into great concern when youg Severus was 15. He more or less rolls his eyes at the notion that Sirius was guilty of attempted murder by setting up Snape to see Lupin in werewolf form. But I think Sirius was cruel to both Severus and Remus when he did that. And just as Snape must learn to come to terms with some things, DD might benefit from a reexamination of how he sees and treats people sometimes too.

EDIT: Just saw Rod's post. I think more than anything else, Snape wanted to vent to someone 'in the know' and did not want to be seen by the children. If it really was a superficial wound, he didn't need anything more than a washing up and small bandage anyway. Of course, seeing as how he's the potions master, I don't know why he didn't apply a potion to the wound, frankly.

Weeny Owl - Jan 1, 2005 8:24 pm (#725 of 2980)
I don't quite see Dumbledore as being intentionally mean to him, but I thought it was an interesting viewpoint that I hadn't seen here. What do you folks think?

I don't see Dumbledore being intentionally mean, but as Gina said, Dumbledore is insensitive to other people's feelings and needs.

Think about what Snape might have become if Dumbledore hadn't just shrugged off what Sirius did. Snape could have died, yet what happened? Nothing that we know of, except Dumbledore wouldn't let Snape say anything to anyone about it. It seems as if Sirius nearly killed someone using one of his best friends as a weapon, yet did Sirius get expelled? Nope, not that we know of.

If that hadn't happened, or if Dumbledore had taken a different approach, would Snape be so bitter and angry? Would Snape have hated James quite so much? Would Snape hate Harry? Would Snape have become a Death Eater in the first place? Anything is possible, of course, but a teen was nearly killed and the headmaster tole the victim to keep his mouth shut about the whole thing.

Frankly, I'm surprised Snape isn't more bitter than we've seen so far. How many times did Dumbledore favor Gryffindors over other students? How many times is he still favoring Gryffindors over other students?

Potions Mistress - Jan 1, 2005 8:56 pm (#726 of 2980)
Rod, you raise an interesting question. Why Filch? Why not tell DD his suscipions (sp?)? Also, I know in GoF (the bath/egg/Harry stuck in the stairs scene) Snape and Filch are together, but I don't remember the extent of it. Was this significant or merely a way for JKR to further the plot?


Gina R Snape - Jan 1, 2005 9:02 pm (#727 of 2980)
I think Filch and Snape might have a comradarie of sorts, based on the fact that they both patrol the corridors at night.

loopy4loopin - Jan 2, 2005 12:04 am (#728 of 2980)
Hi All,

I realise that this thread is about Snape not Dumbledore but I think that this is relevant to Snape in particular. My opinion is that Dumbledore is very Gandalf-like in the way that he chooses whom he will trust and the general path that he would like events to take and then entrusts the rest to fate. He very much stands back and allows the characters to make their own choices. They are not Dumbledore's puppets. He only steps in when he absolutely has to and even then his approach is to be as unintrusive as possible. He seems to think - and to me this is important - that chance events will occur beyond what he can foresee. Those he loves and cares for must rise to challenges beyond what he can imagine and he has to trust their ability to do so.

So with Snape and the gang, we don't yet know the full story. We don't know how Sirius was disciplined or even exactly what he did. Snape very obviously respects Dumbledore. Part of this is his innate love of heirarchy and rules but I think that a part of the way he feels is also due to the way Dumbledore treats him. Dumbledore appreciates Snape efforts and respects his abilities. I don't think that he treats Snape badly or ever has, but he definitely does expect Snape to the challenges that he encounters. I guess we will see if he does, but if he doesn't that isn't Dumbledore's fault. Dumbledore can only provide Snape with the opportunity to become a better, happier person. He can't actually make him one - only Snape can do that.

Sorry this turned out so long.


Weeny Owl - Jan 2, 2005 12:16 am (#729 of 2980)
We don't know how Sirius was disciplined or even exactly what he did. Snape very obviously respects Dumbledore.

That's true, we don't know how (or if) Sirius was disciplined, and I think Snape respects Dumbledore for the most part, but he wasn't too happy in PoA when Dumbledore pretty much ignored his concerns about Lupin. Granted, Lupin wasn't helping Sirius into the castle, but at the same time, he was holding back information from Dumbledore. Regardless, though, Dumbledore just shrugged off Snape's concerns and Snape wasn't happy about it, naturally.

It isn't that I dislike Dumbledore, but I do think that he has definite Slytherin tendencies in that he seems to be of the mindset that the end justifies the means. Not always, granted, but more than usual. I wonder just how much Snape feels bitter at times when Dumbledore is dealing with him.

loopy4loopin - Jan 2, 2005 12:22 am (#730 of 2980)
Hi Weeny Owl

I understand what you are saying, but I think I just see it from a different perspective. I think that Dumbledore listened carefully to Snape's concerns, but ultimately chose to give Lupin the benefit of the doubt. Snape was angry at Lupin, not at the headmaster as to me is evident in the 'tame werewolf' jibe. He saw Lupin as having failed Dumbledore rather than Dumbeldore as having ignored his concerns.


Magical Me - Jan 2, 2005 4:31 am (#731 of 2980)
I'm sure this has received lots of coverage, but I searched for the likely words and didn't come up with much.

Has anyone developed theories for *why* Dumbledore refuses to make Snape the DADA teacher? Presumably it would be much easier to find a new Potions master than a new DADA master...

(If this is old-hat, maybe just give me a few message numbers? -- Thanks)

Choices - Jan 2, 2005 9:19 am (#732 of 2980)
I definitely sense resentment towards Dumbledore on Snape's part from time to time. He respects Dumbledore, but it is obvious that Snape doesn't always see eye to eye with him.

Magical Me - I think that is the question most of us would love to have answered - why won't Dumbledore give Snape the position of DADA teacher? He must have a really good reason and hopefully we will find out in the next two books.

Gina R Snape - Jan 2, 2005 9:53 am (#733 of 2980)
I think DD accepted Lupin and did not entertain Snape's concerns because of their old rivalry. However, just because Snape didn't trust Lupin doesn't mean Lupin was 100% trustworthy. Lupin withheld very important information out of a mislaid sense of loyalty to the past. The only thing that made his action of withholding information ok in the end was the fact that Black wasn't actually guilty, and wasn't trying to kill Harry. So, Snape was right to raise his concerns. And both Snape and Lupin were living in the past, just in different ways.

Magical Me, JKR informed us at the OoTP reading in London (whwere she was interviewed by Stephen Frye) that DD fears that DADA will 'bring out the worst' in Snape.

Weeny Owl - Jan 2, 2005 10:32 am (#734 of 2980)
So, Snape was right to raise his concerns. And both Snape and Lupin were living in the past, just in different ways.

That's a very good way of putting it, Gina. In a lot of ways, they're still living in the past.

Snape was definitely right in raising his concerns because if Sirius had been guilty, a lot of people could have died. No one knew at the time that anyone other than Sirius had been involved in killing Lily and James and the twelve Muggles.

I can sense a lot of resentment on Snape's part, including Harry and Ron not being expelled after the Ford Anglia incident. He even told Fudge in PoA that Harry got away with too much. Granted, Snape is way too harsh with Harry, but seeing him get away with things other students would get into trouble over probably brings back all sorts of bad memories.

Choices - Jan 2, 2005 10:48 am (#735 of 2980)
I don't understand Snape wanting Harry expelled. Surely if he knows that Harry is "the One" who is to vanquish Voldemort and save the Wizard World, he should realize that it would not be in the best interests of everyone for Harry to be kicked out of school and not be under Dumbledore's guidance and protection. Can it be that Snape doesn't know Harry's destiny? How can he be in the Order and not know?

septentrion - Jan 2, 2005 11:09 am (#736 of 2980)
Does Snape really want Harry expelled ? Isn't it just a threat to give woes to Harry ? Snape has seen Sirius not being expelled after the Shrieking Shack incident, so he knows it'd take a lot of conditions for a student being expelled. Even the Ministry didn't achieve to expell Harry in OoTP, not that they didn't try. Snape must know Harry isn't "expellable" whatever he does, so my conclusion is Snape's just trying to scare Harry. For what purpose is another question...

hellocello3200 - Jan 2, 2005 11:38 am (#737 of 2980)
I think you're right septentrion. I think his purpose would be for Harry to behave himself more, which might indeed be the safer route, but of course that will never happen. What would a HP book be without a few after-hour excursions.

Gina R Snape - Jan 2, 2005 12:01 pm (#738 of 2980)
I absolutely agree. Expulsion is truly an empty threat. But if Harry knew that, it could not be used as a method for keeping Harry in line. In fact, I worry for Harry in book 6. House points no longer mean anything to him. He can't be expelled. He may assume that he can only die at the hands of the Dark Lord. He knows his purpose in life.

So Snape and the rest of the Hogwarts team (and other influential adults) will have to take a much different approach at this point in order to reign in some of Harry's impulsivity. The biggest hope we can have for him is that he internalises some of this and doesn't continue to get distracted by stupid things like he did when he was younger (such as sneaking off to Hogsmeade).

It will be very interesting to see how Snape deals with this turn of events. He has laboured to treat Harry as though he is nothing special, because the rest of the world does treat him differently. Now Harry will know his lot in life. Perhaps Snape will use that to his advantage, drilling into Harry his 'irresponsibility' every time he doesn't pay attention to something important.

For the record, I think he is harsh on Harry and Neville and some of the others precisely because he knows exactly how serious things are going to get. He grows frustrated when the little dunderheads don't follow through because the longterm consequences can be so dire. And he's been working for YEARS for this, behind the scenes. And of course, he can't TELL any of them this... So his frustration grows.

Solitaire - Jan 2, 2005 1:41 pm (#739 of 2980)
Frankly, I hope Snape stops his "drilling." I think Snape's methods of "instruction" are at the root of a lot of Harry's trouble. We have already seen that Harry responds far better to the disciplinary styles of McGonagall, who relies on a sense of justice and fair play, and Remus, who makes Harry understand that by disregarding the cautions of the adults he can trust, he is holding rather cheaply the sacrifice his parents made to keep him alive. That particular lesson had a HUGE impact on Harry--much more than all of Snape's snide and snotty bullying.

Remus will now have another tool at his disposal to help Harry understand the importance of more circumspect and rational behavior: Sirius's death. I do not believe Remus will blame Harry for this event; I do, however, believe he will use it to illustrate the importance of taking every possible step to make sure he has all the facts and information necessary before proceeding on any given course of action. As Harry loves and respects Remus--and knows the reverse is true--I think Remus may succeed where Snape has consistently failed.


Hollywand - Jan 2, 2005 2:02 pm (#740 of 2980)
On a slightly different note, I was wondering anew about the possibility that Snape may be spying for the Order/Dumbledore, and it may have been right there under our hooked noses and our greasy hair the whole time in the books.

Severus may be using his mind enhancement skills to look into the dealings of the Malfoys, both Lucius and Draco, since Lucius gives Draco so much information.

I could see Dumbledore sending Severus off to Azkaban to 'visit' Lucius in prison, comfort him with a friendly visit, and have a look at the dealings of the Death Eaters.

Solitaire - Jan 2, 2005 2:22 pm (#741 of 2980)
It has been suggested on Lucius's thread that Lucius has been using Occlumency on Voldemort. If so, wouldn't he use it on Snape, too, if he considered Snape truly loyal to Voldemort? Also, if Lucius were an Occlumens, would he know that Snape was trying to penetrate his mind? Just wondering ...


Edit: Draco's mind would probably be much easier to probe--unless he has been receiving Occlumency/Legilimency training from Lucius ... or Snape.

Rod Beecham - Jan 2, 2005 2:39 pm (#742 of 2980)
Man, it's hard to maintain a "discussion thread" - so many different and interesting ideas keep popping up!

If Snape's childhood was blighted by a bullying father, he may - whether he's conscious of it or not - like Malfoy because he feels compassion for him (Lucius appears to be a bullying father).

You see, my feeling about Snape is that his emotions spill out everywhere, the icy demeanour (which frequently cracks) and the insistence on intellect being the walls of the dam he has built to try to contain his feelings.

He needs to have a massive, primal cry about his schooldays (the love of a good woman would help, Gina!). He hates Harry and Neville and the others because they remind him of everything he didn't have as a child and of childhood memories that torment him: they are popular, he was an outcast; they break rules and get away with it, he obeyed the letter of the law (I suspect) and was never recognized for it; they lack his intellectual fierceness and dedication but the teachers like them (I bet the teachers didn't like Snape), etc., etc.

Snape's smiles are invariably "twisted", have you noticed? It is as if it is physically impossible for him to express uncomplicated happiness. If he does die, I can imagine it being through saving Harry's life - not as a simple act of self-sacrifice, but through a fanatical devotion to duty, spiced by the fact that Harry would hate to be eternally in his debt - a perverse, final act of spite!

Gina R Snape - Jan 2, 2005 3:07 pm (#743 of 2980)
He needs to have a massive, primal cry about his schooldays (the love of a good woman would help, Gina!)

I try my best, Rod!

Solitaire, I don't see Snape suddenly and miraculously figuring out how to get through to Harry. It's part of his eternal frustration. But I do think we can make guesses on how things will likely change in the next book. If Snape suddenly becomes Mister Sensitve and Understanding, he won't be Snape. And that would be a great loss IMO.

loopy4loopin - Jan 2, 2005 3:17 pm (#744 of 2980)
Hi Gina,

I totally agree with you about Snape. I think that the strain of a miserable childhood and all those years under-cover really shows. No one has worked as hard as Snape against LV and he is under such immense pressue - the smallest slip-up could cost him his life. Imagine if when the Crouch-moody was at Hogwarts if Snape had let something out. That would have been the end of him. He really lives on a knife's edge and has done for years. No wonder he loses it in private with Harry.


loopy4loopin - Jan 2, 2005 3:19 pm (#745 of 2980)
Hi Gina,

If Snape suddenly becomes Mister Sensitve and Understanding, he won't be Snape

Thanks for the laugh - that I'd like to see! Or maybe not.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Jan 2, 2005 3:36 pm (#746 of 2980)
"If Snape suddenly becomes Mister Sensitve and Understanding, he won't be Snape".

Talk about an understatement! As much as it would be nice for Snape to get all the warm fuzzies that everyone deserves, it ain't gonna happen. Without Snape being Snape there wouldn't be the Harry Potter series we know and love.

Going back a few posts, I do see Snape, Lupin, and Sirius all as living in the past, a past they can't out-grow. Then again, it's one of them there choices thangs. Lets hope Harry doesn't make the same choice.

Choices - Jan 2, 2005 4:29 pm (#747 of 2980)
Here is something I have thought about - we are told in Snape's worst memory about a hooknosed man yelling at a cowering woman. Now, the logical conclusion is that the man is Snape's father and the woman is his mother. But, what if they aren't? Or what if it's his father and some other woman - like an aunt or a sister? Are we falling for what JKR wants us to believe about this scene? Is something else going on or is it just as it appears to be? If the man and woman aren't his parents, who else could they be?

Solitaire - Jan 2, 2005 5:45 pm (#748 of 2980)
Frankly, Gina, I agree with you. Just because I'd like something to occur--well, I've been alive long enough to know that most of the things of this nature that I'd like to see happen rarely do.

I will admit I take Snape's bullying, abusive treatment of his students--Harry in particular--far too personally. You see, I taught with someone like this a few years back. I saw the damage she did to kids, the way she destroyed morale and self-worth in some. I think it's better for me to skip this thread in the future.


MickeyCee3948 - Jan 2, 2005 9:01 pm (#749 of 2980)
Solitaire don't stop this thread unless you feel you are becoming to emotional about it. I don't believe any of your posts have been out of line or argumentative. You just have strong emotions about teachers being one yourself. I wish I had a few more teachers with the passion for teaching that you seem to have. My daughter is and my sister was a teacher. I understand your feelings.


Weeny Owl - Jan 3, 2005 12:09 am (#750 of 2980)
If the man and woman aren't his parents, who else could they be?

They probably are his parents, since that seems to be the simplest explanation and there are probably much more crucial things to plot out for the next two books.

Even if they aren't his parents, would it matter that much? Let's say it's an uncle and aunt who raised him. Would that change anything, really? He would still have been subjected to an abusive environment.

I think that regardless of who was in that scene, JKR was showing us that Snape is not a happy person for a reason, and that while being in an abusive environment doesn't give anyone the right to be abusive himeself, it can go a long way toward explaining why eh is the way he is.
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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 11:40 am

Choices - Jan 3, 2005 9:27 am (#751 of 2980)
I am reading a book called the Ultimate Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter and it offers some great suggestions or rules about things to look for when reading the books. Rule 1 - If JKR reinforces something, she means it and wants us to remember it. Rule 2 - If JKR suddenly interrupts something, she is hiding a key clue. Rule 3 - There's no such thing as a coincidence, and Rule 4 - Don't take a characters word for it......Hermione is usually right unless she get emotional and Ron is usually wrong except when he's joking. Anyway, JKR loves to tease readers and sometimes she presents us with scenerios that seem straight forward, but are not at all what they appear to be. When I read that Snape worst memory scene, I just had to question whether or not it was as it appeared. JKR wanted us to assume that they were Snape's parents - and maybe they were - but, what if they weren't? Then who could they be? I'm just grasping for any clues to Snape's past.

librarian314 - Jan 3, 2005 12:12 pm (#752 of 2980)
Hey all!

If those aren't the professor's parents, I thought that perhaps they were his maternal grandfather and his mother or, perhaps, Snape's father and elder sister. It could also be a step-parent arguing with one of his natural parents or a brother/sister pair (father/father's sister or sister-in-law or mom/mom's brother or brother-in-law). We just don't have enough info to be able to assume much of anything about the relation. The only thing that memory really tells us is that the adults around young Severus argued in front of him and it made him upset.

It would be nice to have some more background on the dread professor so that he could be better understood. Even after five books, I've no idea how I would feel about him, were I to meet him, as he reacts so differently, in so many situations.

Y'all take care and Happy New Year!

*michelle the librarian**

Chemyst - Jan 3, 2005 5:57 pm (#753 of 2980)
When I read that Snape worst memory scene, I just had to question whether or not it was as it appeared. - Choices
I am inclined to believe it is not as it appears. I'll be very surprised if there is no twist to it. My pet theory, as I've mentioned a while ago, is that the man's yelling because he just discovered the woman was teaching Severus the dark arts. It could have been an attempt to "protect" young Snape from dark magic. Even if I'm wrong on that guess, JKR has gone to the length of naming the title of that chapter his "worst" memory, which I think just about guarantees that all is not as it appears.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Jan 3, 2005 7:09 pm (#754 of 2980)
I agree Chemyst, as is true with JKR, all is not as it seems. Otherwise there would not be as many following Harry. Makes me wonder. Pampered prince...comes to mind. From what I have seen of Professor Snape, he loathes Harry for who he is, can't get over it.

When Snape loses control, as in losing the Order of Merlin...oh, oh, new thought, about the origins of the Order. The Order of Merlin...

I'll be back if St Mumgo's doesen't keep me...again...

Edit: Sorry for the jumbled thoughts...igonore them, they just important to me. Added reminder: Soli: don't ignore this thread. Your ideas and feelings are great. And I had a thought that venting your feelings about Snape may actually help? Forgive me if I am over-stepping. But, it is something to think about. Release some of the poision?

Ann - Jan 3, 2005 9:34 pm (#755 of 2980)
Snape's Worst Memory isn't the woman and the man with the hooked nose yelling. It's the pensieve scene, isn't it?

Gina, I agree that a warm & fuzzy Snape, a Snape without snide & snarky would make for a very dull book.

And...Solitaire...come back! We miss you already! Sorry if I teased you about despising Snape so much! I do understand. It's your right! And I half agree with you, you know!

I'm not sure why I find the wit and intelligence in Snape's nastiness so very amusing. I really don't approve of nastiness. I have had nasty teachers in my time (and haven't we all), and it isn't pretty. It's pretty hateful, actually. But I have also had sarcastic, rather scary teachers (and later colleagues) who turned out to be generally good people--not saints, of course, way too defensive for that, but basically people who tried to do the right thing while defending themselves from the world with their sarcastic shell and rapier wit. And once you get that, and they get that you get it, the meanness gets dismissed as the accident it is, and the person can be great fun.

Not that Snape's meanness is accidental--he clearly means a lot of it--but there are elements of a better person there. I find it hard to believe that Jo would make him wholly evil, since she's given him such clever, funny, and even caring scenes. His scenes with Umbridge in OotP are such tours de force. Perhaps it's just a matter of different personal experiences that we are all sticking on these wonderfully individual but also universal characters she's created for us. (Thanks Jo!)

Aurora Gubbins - Jan 4, 2005 1:03 am (#756 of 2980)
I sometimes wonder about Snape being a DE. We know that there are those who went willingly to LV and pretended they were under a curse of one sort or another, and those who were genuinely under a curse. We know Snape is a Legilimens, so maybe he was aware that someone was trying to control him (he knew Harry was seeing something in him during Occlumency classes) and so offered himself up as a spy. There are too many hints about Snape being able to read minds to ignore it. He knows when someone is reading his mind and is able, for the most part, to perform Occlumency.

This brings us to the bitterness in him. If you can read people's minds, and those people kept thinking about your hooked nose and greasy hair, you wouldn't want to be friends with too many people, would you? Legilimency can only highlight how untrustworthy people can be! I still wish I could do it though...

Aurora xx

Weeny Owl - Jan 4, 2005 3:29 am (#757 of 2980)
Snape's Worst Memory isn't the woman and the man with the hooked nose yelling. It's the pensieve scene, isn't it?

Yes, it is. The scene with the woman and the hook-nosed man was during an earlier Occlumency lesson.

As for reading people's minds wtih Legilimency, Snape explained it this way: "The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing... 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." He goes on to say that the Dark Lord can almost always when someone is lying to him. That doesn't sound as if Snape can truly read minds or would know beyond any doubt what someone was thinking of him, although he would probably have a general idea.

Elanor - Jan 4, 2005 9:35 am (#758 of 2980)
Just an odd thought that came to me while reading your post Weeny Owl : aren't we all trying to use Legilimency with the HP books? I mean, if you replace "thoughts" by "clues" and "minds/skulls" by "books" in this quote, you have something like:

"Clues are not etched on the inside of books, to be perused by any invaders. The books are complex and many-layered things... It is true however, that those who have mastered Legilimency are able, under certain conditions, to delve into the books and to interpret their findings correctly."

Some of the meanings of the Latin root "lego,is" are "to look closely at something", "to read for yourself" and "to pick". So, in a way, we're all trying to be some legilimens here, don't you think so?

Please forgive a mind tired by an entire day of teaching, it makes you think funny things sometimes... Anyway, I wish Professor Snape could tell us more about it. I, for instance, would take Legilimency remedials with him with pleasure!

septentrion - Jan 4, 2005 11:37 am (#759 of 2980)
Elanor : I, for instance, would take Legilimency remedials with him with pleasure!

In the line, please ! BTW, I love your rewriting of that passage ! I sent an owl to Saint Mungo to book you a ward

Choices - Jan 4, 2005 1:15 pm (#760 of 2980)
Yeah, get in line and no shoving! LOL ;-)

Gina R Snape - Jan 4, 2005 1:37 pm (#761 of 2980)
Oye. So now will the Detention with Snape club be replaced by the Occlumency Lessons with Snape club? Heh, heh.

Lina - Jan 4, 2005 1:41 pm (#762 of 2980)
Aurora, I like your idea of Snape practicing legilimency while he was a student! The citation you gave us, Weeny Owl, is not in contradiction with it. On the contrary, it might be showing the way Snape went through learning it. I mean, maybe he hoped he would be able to read minds as open books. Then he found out that he gets a lot of confusing ideas and eventually he found out that he successfully misinterpreted some of them. Than he started hoping that all these remarks about his hair and nature were misinterpretations too. I really don't think that it is a magic that has to be performed with the wand and aloud. I believe that he did it with Harry to help him be prepared for defence. I can imagine Snape as a student sitting alone somewhere and practicing his legilimency with the students passing by, since we know his love for dark magic. This might even explain why the pensieve scene seems to be more objective then we expected, I mean, we can see some things that Snape really couldn't at the time.

And Solitaire, I hope you still take some looks at this thread because I wanted to tell you some things:
You wrote
I saw the damage she did to kids, the way she destroyed morale and self-worth in some.
Well, if those children become abusing tomorrow, will you hate them the same way you hate her, or will you feel sorry for them as you feel now?
The second thing is that I am just persuaded that there is no way any teacher could ruin or repair the feelings and attitudes children get from their parents.

What I'm trying to say is that SOMEONE VERY CLOSE to Snape destroyed his self-confidence and we are not even sure if we can blame that person or just feel sorry for them. And seeing things that way, it seems that there is not much that Dumbledore could do to prevent him feeling like that. Yet, he could to something not to improve these feelings which seems he hadn't, but we really don't know the whole picture.

Elanor - Jan 4, 2005 2:12 pm (#763 of 2980)
LOL! Okay, I will wait my turn... You will find me in the ward reserved for stressed teachers...

Occlumency Lessons with Snape Club, that sounds good!

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 4, 2005 3:03 pm (#764 of 2980)
Snape could not have been very good at Legilimency as a student or he would have seen through Sirius's plan at the Whooping Willow.


Weeny Owl - Jan 4, 2005 3:19 pm (#765 of 2980)
"Clues are not etched on the inside of books, to be perused by any invaders. The books are complex and many-layered things... It is true however, that those who have mastered Legilimency are able, under certain conditions, to delve into the books and to interpret their findings correctly."

Oh, I absolutely LOVE this!

Gina, your new Occlumency with Snape club has excellent possibilities. I'll sign up!

Mickey? You made me actually giggle with the "Whooping" Willow. I can picture the Whomping Willow laughing every time it gets a chance to whack some who wanders too close.

Ann - Jan 4, 2005 4:26 pm (#766 of 2980)
Occlumency lessons with Snape? Where do we register?

I just snickered to myself, thinking how disconcerted he'd be to show up for it and find an entire class full of women. I must say, I do get the feeling he isn't too much of a his shame.

Come back Solitaire! We'll let you register, too!

Prefect Marcus - Jan 4, 2005 4:31 pm (#767 of 2980)

And you complain when I suggest Harry and Pansy will get together.


Potions Mistress - Jan 4, 2005 6:40 pm (#768 of 2980)
I just snickered to myself, thinking how disconcerted he'd be to show up for it and find an entire class full of women. I must say, I do get the feeling he isn't too much of a his shame.--Ann

Really Ann? I see him more as an equal opportunity git: he hates you regardless of race, gender, religion, or creed. ;-)


loopy4loopin - Jan 4, 2005 7:39 pm (#769 of 2980)
he hates you regardless of race, gender, religion, or creed

Thanks for the laugh PM. If that's the case (and I agree that it is) then I'd like to sign up too please.


Julia. - Jan 4, 2005 7:44 pm (#770 of 2980)
Oh, sign me up for the Occlumency Lessons With Snape Club.!!!

I spent a great portion of my afternoon today rererererere-reading PoA. By the time I finished with the chapter in which Snape stepped in for Lupin who was 'ill,' I was reminded about just why I can't stand Snape. For all his fascinating intricies, he is still not a nice guy, and JKR had better have a darn good reason for this!

Weeny Owl - Jan 4, 2005 8:16 pm (#771 of 2980)

And you complain when I suggest Harry and Pansy will get together.


Yes, but Marcus, Pansy and Harry together are just wrong, some how.

Snape, on the other hand, is a man of mystery who happens to be on the good side... or at least it seems that way.

Hollywand - Jan 4, 2005 8:36 pm (#772 of 2980)
On Jo's website, it's interesting that she objects to the notion put forward by fansites that "With a little therapy, Voldy would be a real sweetheart", and I would wager that her logic would extend to Severus as well. He is a "gift" of a character in his ambiguity, and he may have a redemptive role to play, but I doubt that she intends him as a character deserving of a "little tenderness to cure him".

And whilst I find him essential to moving the plot forward, and I'm hoping he will offer real support to unite the Wizarding, I'd much rather have Dumbledore as a mentor any day of the week that Occulmency lessons for me from Professor Snape, thanks very much.....

loopy4loopin - Jan 4, 2005 11:07 pm (#773 of 2980)
Hi Hollywand,

I reckon Dumbledore teaching occlumency may be slightly safer and more pleasant, but it would also be a lot less electric....


Rod Beecham - Jan 5, 2005 2:51 am (#774 of 2980)
Isn't the point about Occlumency that you have to master your feelings? Therefore, the best person to teach you would be someone for whom you have strong feelings, whether positive or negative. Learning to overcome your feelings for your teacher would be how you learn to be an Occlumens (rather in the way the psychiatric patient's relationship with the therapist is pivotal).

Harry failed Occlumency with Snape because he couldn't hear what Snape was telling him: he was too busy hating Snape to realize that he needed to control his hatred.

"Get up!" said Snape sharply. [Another sibilant adverb for Snape's speech! - RB] "Get up! You are not trying, you are making no effort. You are allowing me access to memories you fear, handing me weapons!" . . . .

"I told you to empty yourself of emotion!"

"Yeah? Well, I'm finding that hard at the moment," Harry snarled.

"Then you will find yourself easy prey for the Dark Lord!" said Snape savagely. [Another sibilant adverb! - RB] "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 - they stand no chance against his powers! He will penetrate your mind with absurd ease, Potter!"

Eponine - Jan 5, 2005 4:45 am (#775 of 2980)
That's a good point, Rod. If Harry can control his emotions around Snape, he would probably have a much easier time learning occlumency.

frogface - Jan 5, 2005 5:06 am (#776 of 2980)
Then again wouldn't it be easier to learn occulmency if you were first faced with a smaller challenge? By that I mean being taught by someone for who you have less feelings so that you can master the basics, and then move up to bigger challenges such as people you really hate, like in the Harry-Snape relationship. I also wonder how Snape manages to be so good at Occumency. For all his talk about mastering emotions he's not very good at keeping his anger and pain under control is he? So what is it that makes him so good at Occumency?

Gina R Snape - Jan 5, 2005 5:31 am (#777 of 2980)
I think he can do it when it really counts. It's too mentally exhausting to control his emotions 24/7. And I would even guess that DD advises him not to.

But I bet if you put him to task at a particularly crucial moment, his eyes would turn to dark tunnels, and then he's allllll business.

librarian314 - Jan 5, 2005 5:51 am (#778 of 2980)
Hey all!

I think that Prof. Snape is able to keep his emotions in check around every one except Sirius, Harry, Hermione, and Neville; those four people just push his buttons. He's even able to keep himself in check when dealing with Lupin; he's not nice nor even civil but at least he doesn't attack our dear werewolf with the same venom that he shows the four mentioned above.

Then there's also the fact that for the most part the dread professor could vent his spleen at those listed above with impunity. The students have no real recourse; if they attempt to match his ire, he takes points and assigns detention. With Sirius, it was a lot like bear baiting. Snape enjoyed poking the confined Sirius with various proverbial sticks to see if he could get Sirius to loose control and then have a justifiable reason for hexing Black into next week. Because they were both adults, the adults around them expected them to act their age and behave.

With the DEs and Voldemort, he's in control because he knows he has to be or else he'll be dead. Avoiding death is a strong motivation.

In a perverse way, it also may show that he trusts Hogwarts' staff and students. People are more likely to show strong emotions in places and environments where they feel safe, where they know the people around them aren't going to look, point, laugh,, etc. At Hogwarts and to a lesser extent Grimmauld Place, the Potions Master is around people who if nothing else put up with him but more importantly won't kill him if he rages in their general (or specific) direction.

*michelle the librarian**

T Brightwater - Jan 5, 2005 5:55 am (#779 of 2980)
I think I'd rather have extra lessons from just about any other teacher currently at Hogwarts - even Trelawney (if only for the slight chance of hearing an important prophecy.) This excludes, of course, Lockhart and Umbridge.

I don't hate Snape, but life's too short to spend any more time than necessary around snide, abusive people.

Hollywand - Jan 5, 2005 8:46 am (#780 of 2980)
Dumbledore asked Snape to do the task instead of teaching Harry because Voldemort emerged at his strongest in Harry's mind in the presence of Dumbledore. I have every confidence that Dumbledore also has the power to read other's minds.

Rowling set up the lesson in the book as a tension/hatred filled incedent, but I don't think that means one must learn the ability from someone you despise. Snape's Occlumency lesson was desperate measures for desperate conditions.

As much as I think Severus is competent, he is not able to control his own emotions very well at all around a number of people. The fact that he decided on his own to end the Occulmency lessons when the school was at a critical juncture further shows his internal weakness, not talent. He's a bit of a hypocrite in his teaching style.

Lina - Jan 5, 2005 8:46 am (#781 of 2980)
Gina R Snape: I think he can do it when it really counts. It's too mentally exhausting to control his emotions 24/7. And I would even guess that DD advises him not to.

librarian314: I think that Prof. Snape is able to keep his emotions in check around every one except Sirius, Harry, Hermione, and Neville; those four people just push his buttons. (...) In a perverse way, it also may show that he trusts Hogwarts' staff and students.

I find it really interesting, specially in combination. This means that even though he hates them, he doesn't fear them. He feels secure when they are around, so he doesn't have to hide his feelings. I wouldn't apply this to all the students, because I'm sure he has to beware some students coming from the DE families. I don't think that he has to hide his emotions from DD neither, it is just that he doesn't hate him, so he is able to behave well with him.

Gina R Snape - Jan 5, 2005 9:36 am (#782 of 2980)
I agree with Michelle the Librarian. He not only feels safe at Hogwarts (and 12 GP), he also has an important role there so he probably feels more confident than anywhere else.

Hollywand, I also agree that stopping the Occlumency lessons was a case of weakness, and not betrayal. Everyone has a point where they can go no further. When Harry invaded the pensieve, it pushed Severus beyond his emotional capabilities. I'd even go so far as to say he used great restraint in his explosiveness when he tossed Harry out of his office--out of fear that he might do something far worse than grab him and throw a jar of cockroaches at him. A lot of people found unforgiveable fault with Snape for this. But I felt the deepest compassion, for it really shined a light on just how much pain he carries with him on a daily basis and how much he actively struggles with a past he cannot leave behind so long as the war goes on and his very home and profession provide fresh, daily reminders of that past.

T Brightwater - Jan 5, 2005 12:54 pm (#783 of 2980)
Dang, it's hard to keep up with this thread. So many interesting things to think about!

I 'd like to go back to something Gina said a while ago:

"If Snape suddenly becomes Mister Sensitive and Understanding, he won't be Snape. And that would be a great loss IMO."

I agree that he wouldn't be filling his assigned role in the Potterverse, but as a person he would be _more_ himself if he weren't distorted by anger and hatred. (I think something similar gets in the way of a lot of people getting help for depression - as if to say, "If I stop feeling bad, I won't be _me_ anymore.")

As I imagine him, he'd still be demanding precision from his students, but he'd be using his critical faculties to help students figure out where they were going wrong and help them correct it, instead of insulting and intimidating them. He wouldn't be so concerned about his dignity, and could maybe even laugh at himself occasionally.

I keep thinking about Sirius's moment of transfiguration when Harry tells him that he'd like to come and live with him. I'd love to see that happen to Snape.

Lina - Jan 5, 2005 2:13 pm (#784 of 2980)
I really understand your wish Brightwater, but, as I said several times, I don't see it possible. This transfiguration is very painful and therefore very oscillating (it doesn't happen at once, it is a hard fight with the moments when a person thinks that it is not worth it), very avoided and happens very rarely. So, I'm not sure that JKR knows anybody who went through that transfiguration successfully and I don't believe she is going to describe it.

IMO, it would be great that once, when she finishes the seventh book about Harry Potter, she writes at least one book about Snape where we could get more answers about him specifically. Maybe even with a bit of a love story, probably with Gina...

Choices - Jan 5, 2005 2:26 pm (#785 of 2980)
"she writes at least one book about Snape where we could get more answers about him specifically. Maybe even with a bit of a love story"

Oh, that is devoutly to be wished. **sigh**

loopy4loopin - Jan 5, 2005 2:47 pm (#786 of 2980)
Hi Michelle,

I loved your post so much I'm going to file it away for future re-reading. I agree very strongly with everything you said - its exactly the way I see it, but put so much more eloquently Smile


Potions Mistress - Jan 5, 2005 3:03 pm (#787 of 2980)
Lina, I agree that IF a transfiguration (so to speak) of Snape is possible (and that's a mighty big IF), then it will be slow, with two steps forward and one step back. However, as you said, it's pretty rare in general, and improbable, if not downright impossible in Snape's case. I'm okay with this though; as a literary character, I do enjoy reading Snape (even though I wouldn't be overly-fond of him in real life).

Personally, I would love to see the HP series told from Snape's POV.


Gina R Snape - Jan 5, 2005 3:34 pm (#788 of 2980)
:hem, hem: Choices, you left out the end of that sentence!!!!

I've been saying since day one that I'd love to read The Snape Chronicles. What a story his life would make! Drama, action, romance, tragedy, evildoing, good-doing, betrayal, humiliation, potions, and, er, teaching dunderheads. (In no particular order)

Ann - Jan 5, 2005 5:20 pm (#789 of 2980)
Interesting questions! I particularly like the question about what Snape would be like without the horrible depression. I think he'd still be very demanding, snide and sarcastic, but with more of it (both demands and sarcasm) aimed humorously at himself and more consideration for the limitations of his younger audience. The real evil of Snape is his abuse of the power relations of a classroom situation. With equals, the snideness is (or should be) either annoying or funny. Dumbledore himself says "Sirius was much too old and clever to have allowed such feeble taunts to hurt him." It is ridiculous for Dumbledore to think this, of course, but it is the fact that they share adolescent vulnerabilities that makes their conflict so painful to them. Sirius ought to have been much too old and clever. I bet if Snape taunts Flitwick or Sprout, they just stick out their tongues at him and move on. And then there's Lupin's method of trying to get Snape to take himself less seriously....

As for the Pensieve scene, I agree with Gina that, given his sense of violation (and possibly what other things were in the pensieve that might have been seen by Potter), and given Snape's rather desperate fear of being made fun of, anything less than a Cruciatus curse was a personal triumph of self control (though not, of course, any more excusable in an absolute sense). I think the reason he was so very physical was that he was trying so hard not to grab his wand.

Choices - Jan 5, 2005 5:33 pm (#790 of 2980)
:hem, hem: Choices, you left out the end of that sentence - Gina

Gosh Gina....ummmm, I was sort of hoping you wouldn't notice. LOL

librarian314 - Jan 5, 2005 7:49 pm (#791 of 2980)
Hey all!

Thanks loopy4loopin! (I pretty fond of the werewolf, myself ;-) ) Glad I've made some sort of sense concerning the dread professor. It's taken me quite a while (a year, my husband started reading me the books about this time last year.) to get my head around the Potions Master.

A thought occurred to me whilst I was out for my evening walk; I apologize if this has been discussed before. Could some of Prof. Snape's teaching demeanor be directly attributable to having to teach students he used to be in school with, some of whom could have witnessed the scene from Snape's Worst Memory in OotP?

His first few years must have been real doozies as a teacher, especially since the upperclassmen were his class and house mates (He started teaching only three years after he finished Hogwarts himself.) and knew not only about his altercations with MWPP but that most of his running buddies were dead or imprisoned DEs. Almost half of the students at school were there when he was a student. The seventh years were old enough to remember the attack by the lake. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for him to face his NEWT classes knowing they knew all about that. (Thank goodness I wasn't in that class!)

Y'all take care!

*michelle the librarian**

Ann - Jan 5, 2005 7:55 pm (#792 of 2980)
Michelle, I've thought that, too. The Snape we see today is probably pretty mellow compared to what the kids had to deal with when he was..oh, like 26.

Weeny Owl - Jan 5, 2005 10:38 pm (#793 of 2980)
Spmehow I just can't picture Snape as the Grinch and his heart suddenly growing three sizes. I'm also not sure I would want to read "The Snape Chronicles" because they would have to be full of horrors or Snape wouldn't be what he is today.

That's an interesting point, Michelle, and a lot of it would depend on what happened his last two years at Hogwarts and exactly how much time passed until he came back as a teacher. You said it's three years, but JKR said Sirius was 21 or 22 when he went to Azkaban, so that would be more around four or five years since Snape and the Marauders are around the same age. Snape was a fifth year during the "Snape's Worst Memory" scene, so by the time he left Hogwarts, first years who witnessed that scene would be finishing their third year. If it was as much as five years before he came back, no one would still be at school who had witnessed it, but if it were less than five years, it's definitely possible. That's a question I'd love to have JKR answer.

Solitaire - Jan 5, 2005 10:43 pm (#794 of 2980)
Following my post about taking a break from this thread, several of you have hidden little messages in other threads encouraging me not to forsake the Snape thread altogether. I feel I must respond and thank you all so much for caring what I have to say. I am very touched.

Please be assured, I do check here from time to time. I may even post. I just think that, for a while, I will avoid the heavier, more emotional "Snape issues" that seem to get me so wound up. I'm sure, however, that I won't be able to resist a zinger now and then! Smile


Lina - Jan 6, 2005 12:38 am (#795 of 2980)
Soli, it's much better feeling to write, knowing that you will read it...

Ann, I really liked some of your remarks: I bet if Snape taunts Flitwick or Sprout, they just stick out their tongues at him and move on. (...) Snape's rather desperate fear of being made fun of, (...) The Snape we see today is probably pretty mellow compared to what the kids had to deal with when he was..oh, like 26.

I really think that it is all about feeling insecure, expecting some attack from somewhere all the time (which is not so unreal when it comes to Snape, unfortunately). And it is a fact that this kind of insecureness comes in many shapes. Not all insecure people become abusive, but some of them really like the position of power.

I look at some teachers in my children's school, how they are scared of the students, especially elder students. And I feel sorry for them. I don't think that someone who is able to be afraid of children should be a teacher. I had a quarrel at my children's school few weeks ago and I am happy because most of professors stepped on my side (not because they stepped on my side, but because that shows that most of them ARE NORMAL), except for one thing: they kept saying how my daughter was a good girl and a good pupil and I tried to tell them that NOBODY deserves such treatment. Well, it is truth that it is much easier for the parents to stand up for their child if he/she is a good pupil.

I'm just thinking how would it be if Hermione's parents came to Hogwarts to say that it is not right that Snape behave this way (I know why they didn't come, because she never told them about it) or at least if they sent the howler to prof. Snape and the headmaster, both...

librarian314 - Jan 6, 2005 10:14 am (#796 of 2980)
Hey Weenie Owl, et al.!

The info concerning dates I took directly from the Lexicon's Timeline ( lines/main/time line_1970-1990.html). It states that MWPP and Severus finished Hogwarts in June 1978 and that he started teaching in the fall of 1981. As most people turn 18 sometime during their 7th year, Prof. Snape would most likely have been 21 when he started teaching. The attack by the lake happened June 1976, during their 5th year but some of them were undoubtedly already 16. Perhaps James was a summer baby like his son and was still 15. He certainly acted like an immature git. :-[

As to what happened Severus' last two years at Hogwarts, we know that Sirius set him up to see Remus as a wolf, so it's safe to assume that the animosity felt between the five of them didn't lessen. After the "prank/attempted murder" (sometime during 6th year/1976), I think they settled down some but not because they stopped hating each other. I think that whole episode scared the snot of them. They realized just how close they'd come to ruining several peoples lives and decided that keeping a lower profile was probably for the best.

Severus probably spent much of his last two years seething from the injustice of not seeing Sirius expelled and honestly, it was justified. As much as I like MPP,(I can't stand Wormtail; Crookshanks, Mrs. Norris, or Prof. McGonagall should've eaten the blasted beast when they had the chance!) Padfoot and Prongs were first class weenies and really deserved more punishment than they got.

*michelle the librarian**

Hollywand - Jan 6, 2005 10:28 am (#797 of 2980)
My, there certainly are some passionate Snape defenders here! Severus was unwise to follow an entire group of very talented Gryffindors who actively disliked him, trying to get them expelled----Sirius' trick was cruel, to be sure, but Severus put himself in that situation.

For Severus, as an adult, to hurl glass objects at a student, bully them during classes where he is in a position of power, to look forward to Sirius having his soul extracted, to cost Lupin his job at Hogwarts---he's inflicting a tangible amount of misery on others.

Dumbledore has shown Severus a lot of compassion by taking him underwing, especially with his Death Eater past. Severus could recognize this bit of mercy, and extend it to others.

Everyone requires forgiveness at some point in their lives, wizarding houses aside.

Solitaire - Jan 6, 2005 11:05 am (#798 of 2980)
I'm going to try and not get too wound up here--as this is stuff that tends to bug me a lot--but I noticed something last night as I was flipping through CoS and PoA. Snape takes the opportunity at least twice to belittle Neville to the new DADA teachers. I don't have my books handy, but I think these are correct.

First, when Lockhart suggests that Neville and--I think it's Justin, but I'm not sure--demonstrate a disarming (I think) spell in the dueling club, Snape volunteers to Lockhart that Neville causes devastation with the simplest of spells. Second, when Remus takes the kids into the staff room to teach them the Riddikulus! spell on the boggart, Snape quickly takes the opportunity to tell Remus not to call on Neville, unless Hermione is standing beside him hissing instructions in his ear.

I understand that Snape is beyond reason where Harry is concerned ... but what did Neville ever do to him? Snape is terribly unprofessional here.


Nathan Zimmermann - Jan 6, 2005 11:22 am (#799 of 2980)
Solitaire, I think it is not what Neville did to him it is more I think of what he failed to for Neville. I think that Snape's horrid attitude toward Neville is in part a mask with which he can hide his guilt for not being able to prevent the torture of the Longbottoms. Also, I think that the idea of maintaining his reputation also plays a part in his treatment of non-slytherins because, if he showed anything but contempt and derision for non-Slytherins he would lose the ability to effectively govern Slytherin house because, they would view it as a sign of weakness on the part of Snape and attempt to take advantage of Snape. Any sign of weakness or shift in Snape's personality would be doubly dangerous for Snape as a Death Eater because any change in snape's personality or habits would be relayed to Lucius Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe Sr. Gregory Goyle Sr. and Nott who in turn would relay the information to Voldemort.

Miriam Huber - Jan 6, 2005 12:23 pm (#800 of 2980)
All you Snape-defender would get me into thinking that perhaps, Snape is a really, really good guy, only acting the bad to blind Voldemort and his supporters to be able to spy for Dumbledore; and a bit tough to students because of a horrible childhood. (I am exaggerating a bit...) But what do you make out of that (JKR in the Royal Albert Hall, as far as I know, I found it at Madam Scoop´s):

"You shouldn't think [Snape is] too nice. Let me just say that. It is worth keeping an eye on old Severus Snape, definitely“. ?
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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 11:48 am

Potions Mistress - Jan 6, 2005 1:42 pm (#801 of 2980)
I think blinding LV is probably a nice side-benefit to being mean and even cruel to many students. Yes, I think that Snape's home life and school life help explain why he is the way he is, but it certainly doesn't excuse his behavior. He jerk, but I also think he's probably a useful "good" jerk.


Gina R Snape - Jan 6, 2005 1:43 pm (#802 of 2980)
Wasn't Neville having problems with his wand before the dueling club? Snape has a habit of saying one thing, and intending another. That's part of what makes him so fascinating and slytherin-y. I think he really was trying to keep someone from returning home 'in a matchbox.'

I also 110% agree that no amount of snooping on Snape's part deserved being set up for possibly being murdered. Sirius was wrong. Don't even get me started on how wrong he was--to his friend for using him and to Snape for attempted murder.

JKR wants people to continue to question Snape. He won't work as a literary device (and for whatever spectacular ending she has in store) if everyone is wise to his ways.

No doubt, there are times when he does or says mean things just for pleasure. But more often than not, I find he is tactical more than anything else. Careful of how he treats certain people, careful of how he appears to watching eyes, working behind the scenes, and always winding up doing what's right.

Like I keep saying...he is NOT a nice person...but he is on the side of good.

Hollywand - Jan 6, 2005 1:57 pm (#803 of 2980)
Gina, I could see your argument that Sirius was completely to blame if Sirius tied Severus up physically and left him to being attacked, but Severus was tricked. Tricked by someone who didn't like him one bit, so you'd think if Severus was so incredibly clever, he would have doubted the source a bit.

Humilitating students in front of the class as admirable political strategy? There would be other ways to achieve solidarity without maiming the students. Not admirable.

Gina R Snape - Jan 6, 2005 2:18 pm (#804 of 2980)
I do agree, Snape should've known better than to listen to Sirius. But then, maybe Sirius was clever enough to find a way to get Snape to go down that tunnel while feigning an attempt to prevent him. Alas, we have not seen the whole scene.

Maybe this was the event that led to Snape finally figuring out how to be an effective spy and not a nosy teenager. In that case, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise.

And, I didn't say Snape's strategies are admirable. His intentions are. His methods are deliberately unpleasant for some. Take that for what it's worth.

I do think if the kids never faced unpleasantries, they wouldn't be prepared for real life. And I think that is also why Snape is there.

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 6, 2005 2:25 pm (#805 of 2980)
Gina - I figure that is another lesson JKR is trying to teach. After all life is not a bed of roses.


Weeny Owl - Jan 6, 2005 2:46 pm (#806 of 2980)
Severus probably spent much of his last two years seething from the injustice of not seeing Sirius expelled and honestly, it was justified. As much as I like MPP,(I can't stand Wormtail; Crookshanks, Mrs. Norris, or Prof. McGonagall should've eaten the blasted beast when they had the chance!) Padfoot and Prongs were first class weenies and really deserved more punishment than they got.

Hey, what's wrong with being weeny?

Seriously, though, I'm not arguing with your supposition about times, but with the oddness of how some of the times work out, there's no way of knowing right now if Snape was affected by anyone who might have witnessed his worst memory scene and tried to create problems for him when he first started teaching.

James, at least, saved Snape from being killed or turned into a werewolf, but Sirius is the one I have a problem with. Regardless of his feelings for Snape, he set up one of his best friends to be either a murderer or at least the cause of someone else suffering from being a werewolf.

I don't think Snape is mean to students to prepare them for life ahead or as a cover for his spying activities. I truly believe he enjoys being mean, but at the same time, being mean to someone and having people die because they aren't pure blood or don't support Voldemort is something else entirely. I think Snape knows just how horrible life would be under Voldemort and doesn't want it to happen.

Basically, I believe Snape enjoys the nasty comments he makes, but I don't believe he would do any physical harm to a student. As has been mentioned before, if he were truly that awful, he would have had Filch using his whips on any number of students, Harry in particular, but he satisfied himself with knocking Harry's potion sample off the desk and not having Harry physically scarred.

Students may have to be concerned with being cut by his sharp tongue, but they don't have to worry about being killed or maimed.

Lina - Jan 6, 2005 3:05 pm (#807 of 2980)
I think there are two Snapes:

One is a character in the books. He has his place in a plot and a purpose to exist. Since the books are a sort of the picture of a real life, he represents almost all nasty teachers (we have to leave some of them to Umbridge) that we love to hate and despise in the real life. We can't know what is going to happen with him, it depends on JKR's plans about the plot. I'm just sure that it is going to sound realistic.

The other Snape is the personification of some persons we know. It is not difficult to give him a face of someone we know, because the books are really written greatly. Well, it is easy to hate him if he represents a person as a teacher that you really don't have to be involved with or just someone who could be your friend but you just don't want to have such a friend. But it becomes difficult when he is alike a very close person, such as a family for example. You sometimes know that you love that person and that person loves you, he/she just have problems with showing that love.

I could mention my mother. She used to be really harsh with her words. She really made me feel worthless sometimes. I was 18 when she hugged me for the first time after a long time and I was shocked. Then I started to listen her better and I found out that she is really proud of me, but she would never tell me that directly. (O.K., I forced her after some time. In some situations I just feel more mature than she is and as a person who should take care of her.) But, at the same time, when somebody is in trouble, she doesn't wait a second, she jumps immediately to help. And most of the times it is a real help, almost a life debt. And she doesn't ask herself in those moments who is the person that needs her help. she might be very brusque on that person the next moment when there is not any more danger, but in the moment of need she is there and you know you can count on her. Not just me, but her worst enemies too.

And, sorry, but that's the way I see Snape. Unlike Umbridge, he's done a lot of good things. And I've met a lot of people who speak in a very compassionate way, but never help when you need them - something like Lochart. Snape might turn out to be a real DE, real Voldemort's spy, but it doesn't make all the good that he's done any less good. I wish him not to feel attacked all the time, because it would make him even more pleasant, it did help to my mum, but I don't believe that it is the way JKR sees him or any other unpleasant teacher.

Aurora Gubbins - Jan 6, 2005 4:08 pm (#808 of 2980)
I can't believe I was so blind to something so obvious!!!

On the GOAP thread I've been saying that Petunia Dursley is the flip side of the same coin as Lucius Malfoy (Muggle hates wizards/wazard hates Muggles). I now see that Snape is the flipside of Umbridge; Bad guy on the good side vs. good guy (woman) on the bad side.

I've been trying to work out exactly how many times Snape has been seen to save Harry in the series. PS/SS Keep Harry on the broom during Quiddich and hinting about a "...stopper in death", CoS Destroy Malfoy's snake during the duelling match (small but not insignificant) PoA Protect Harry and the others from Lupin (film version). Currently re-reading GoF so haven't got to anything yet...Any other ideas anyone?

I still think the "Putting a stopper in death" is a massive, massive clue for the rest (end?) of the series. After all, he dropped a big hint later on by setting an essay on werewolves when Lupin was DADA teacher - only Hermione 'got it' then.

Aurora xx

Hollywand - Jan 6, 2005 4:42 pm (#809 of 2980)
Aurora, you could add the Riddles to your parallel to the Malfoys. Tom Riddles father and grandparents are snooty wealthy Muggles that want nothing to do with wizard riff raff, and they get the bill in the mail, don't they?

In Goblet of Fire, the foe glass is Severus' litmus test. He is there the whole time, a true, um,uh, foe, of um, uh, the Death Eaters.

I find an interesting detail here----Barty Crouch, Jr was frantically looking for something he never found in Severus' office----was it a bottle of "Eau de Voldie", Codswallop reserve?

Choices - Jan 6, 2005 5:14 pm (#810 of 2980)
Wasn't he in Snape's office looking for ingredients for his Polyjuice Potion? Or am I thinking of another time? I'll have to get my book out and reread.

Gina R Snape - Jan 6, 2005 8:03 pm (#811 of 2980)
Crouch!Moody claimed to have access to everyone's private quarters for searching. But I don't know how true that was. I think it's a clever idea that he was looking for Potions ingredients, and it certainly would be practical but for the meticulous records I'm sure Snape keeps of his stores.

I think Crouch!Moody was looking for clues as to which side Snape was on. "Some marks never come out" he said (more or less), on the stairs. He was definitely giving Snape the "Once a DE, always a DE" warning, which was particularly interesting since it worked as Moody and it worked as Crouch Jr, like opposite sides of the same coin.

Nathan Zimmermann - Jan 6, 2005 8:13 pm (#812 of 2980)
I agree Gina, I also think Crouch may well have been aware if Dumbledore's testimony before the Wizengamot regarding Snape as well as privileged information that his Father as Head of Magical Lawe Enforcement may have been privvy to.

Gina R Snape - Jan 6, 2005 9:15 pm (#813 of 2980)
He certainly seemed up on who went to Azkaban and who 'walked away.' Bt then, he might have heard some of that information/gossip while in Azkaban.

Anyway, this isn't the Crouch Jr. thread. . .

But it certainly is interesting to observe Snape's behaviour around him. Wary and walking-on-eggshells doesn't begin to describe it! I guess a part of Snape might wonder how 'off the hook' he really is with the MoM. If it weren't for DD, would Snape be in Azkaban? Even after all this time?

Lina - Jan 6, 2005 10:30 pm (#814 of 2980)
Didn't Snape accuse Harry for stealing some ingredients needed for the polyjuice potion from his office and Harry was confused because they did steel those ingredients two years ago and not this year?

Rod Beecham - Jan 7, 2005 1:31 am (#815 of 2980)
Yes, Lina, I think that's right.

Just have to get my bit in here about justifying Snape's behaviour on the grounds that "life isn't nice so kids need to learn".

Without trying to start a fight, I think that's an iniquitous - indeed, evil - argument.

Children are not adults. It is by protecting children - not by molly-coddling them but by providing them with a safe and trustable environment - that you allow them to become secure in themselves and internally robust so that they can deal with whatever life throws at them. Love, dependability and consistency are what create a strong person. Harshness, caprice and unfairness create an angry and deformed person - like Snape!

Lina - Jan 7, 2005 4:08 am (#816 of 2980)
Rod Beecham: Just have to get my bit in here about justifying Snape's behaviour on the grounds that "life isn't nice so kids need to learn". (...)

Well, it was not me who made that statement, so I might be wrong and please, correct me if so, but I understood it this way:

Real life isn't nice, so the kids who read this fairy tale need to learn. To learn through the book that there is evil in the world and not to feel the evil before they know it exists. That's why every fairy tale has at least one evil character. And that's how I see it. It is not justification for Snape, but for putting Snape into the series.

Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

T Brightwater - Jan 7, 2005 6:13 am (#817 of 2980)
Lina, I agree with you, and I'm glad you brought up the difference between Snape as a character in a book ostensibly for kids and Snape as a real person with whom we've all come in contact at some point. (Your mother, my lab instructor in freshman chemistry...)

Children often aren't protected in the real world, and not in JKR's world either. Actually, it's one of the things I like about the series; it's full of problems that kids actually have to face: both overprotective and abusive parents/guardians; bullies, a know-it-all classmate, and gossip; teachers who think more about themselves than their subjects (or don't actually know their subjects, or take out their general frustrations on their students); a kind person with a drinking problem; people one loves and respects becoming unavailable for some reason or other; incompetent people in positions of power, etc.

The kids make kid mistakes, too. Sirius wasn't a deliberately evil person, but he didn't take time to think through the consequences of his actions, and, as JKR points out, he didn't have much of a chance to grow up, either. Harry and Ron often have the same problem.

As a balance, you have some terrific teachers; a person who has overcome prejudice and handicaps to become a compassionate and thoughtful adult; an initially annoying person who becomes a true friend; a fellow-student who is fair even at potentially great cost to himself; adults who still have a childlike sense of fun and joy (which a lot of kids seem to lose at a distressingly early age).

Snape as a character is doing exactly what JKR intends him to do (though he seems to have run away with the story a bit); Snape as a real person needs to let go of his anger and grow up, though I can't imagine what it would take for this to happen.

Weeny Owl - Jan 7, 2005 6:39 am (#818 of 2980)
I really like what you've said, T.

There are all sorts of nasty people in the world, whether they're adults or children.

I had an absolutely horrendous art teacher in fifth grade, and she was similar in some ways to Snape. She was hateful, nasty, sarcastic, and should never have been teaching art to children. She expected each and every one of us to perform as if we were in college and majoring in art. I doubt if I'll ever forget her, and I learned absolutely nothing about art.

Regardless of what the best atmosphere is for learning, JKR has written characters that are believable in how they conduct themselves while teaching. Flitwick is fun, McGonagall is strict but kind, Sprout is practical, and Snape is mean. If they were all the same, or even close to being the same, the books would probably be good, but so much would be missing.

As Lina said, real life isn't nice. School, work, politics... all sorts of nasty stuff happens.

Nathan Zimmermann - Jan 7, 2005 7:06 am (#819 of 2980)
Gina, the reason I was wondering about the behavior of Crouch Jr. as the fake Moody toward Snape and the amount of information he posessed is because, I wondered whether we as readers were only focused on a part of his assignment, as it related to Harry Potter. I wonder if Voldemort also, had a second pupose for sending Crouch Jr. to Hogwarts namely to determine where Snape's loyalties actually lie, thereby determining Snape's fate in books six and seven. Snape's position at the end of GoF and throughout OotP was I would contend extremely precarious and has stablilized with the failure of the Minisitry's appeasement-like stance. Snape is entering HBP in a safer position because, the revelation that both Dumbledore and Potter were indeed telling the truth when they said Voldemort had returned shifted the view of the wizarding community and ensured Dumbledore's reinstatement as Headmaster of Hogwarts thus restoring Snape's sanctuary.

Gina R Snape - Jan 7, 2005 7:46 am (#820 of 2980)
Nathan, I agree completely. I think Crouch!Moody made it plain that he was there to check up on things at Hogwarts, not just on Harry. The ingenious thing of it was that he could fulfill this DE role as an auror. Who better to impersonate than Moody? What I want to know is, how did he find out that Moody was slated to come to Hogwarts in the first place? But that's for another thread.

Unfortunately, we don't know what Crouch!Moody told the Dark Lord. My suspicion is that Snape played his cards close enough to his chest that there wasn't enough information to provide. Snape steered clear of Moody, and made sure not to look him in the eye. He showed a general contempt, but behaved precariously polite. His goal, I believe, was to remain 'under the radar' as it were. He didn't look guilty, but he sure didn't look totally innocent either.

Nathan Zimmermann - Jan 7, 2005 8:07 am (#821 of 2980)
I agree Gina, although, I think it is also possible Snape may have played too close to his chest and aroused Voldemort's suspiscions without intending to do so.

T Brightwater - Jan 7, 2005 8:36 am (#822 of 2980)
"What I want to know is, how did he find out that Moody was slated to come to Hogwarts in the first place?"

I believe this was one of the things Voldemort learned from Bertha Jorkins.

And yes, Moody was a perfect cover for Crouch Jr, not only in his dealing with Snape but others as well (including the son of that arch-slimeball, Lucius Malfoy.)

librarian314 - Jan 7, 2005 10:15 am (#823 of 2980)
Hey all!

Sorry to backtrack a bit...

It's not so much that Prof. Snape was certain that any of his students had seen the incident by the lake during his 5th year but extremely worried that they had and that they would think he was weak and easily manipulated. To keep his students from misbehaving and taking advantage of him, especially his upperclassmen, who may have remembered his treatment at the hands of MWPP, he was harsh to all of them, to prove that he was not to be messed with.

Weeny owl - It's in fact quite wonderful to be weeny with a y; I'm barely 5 feet tall and too light to give blood so I too am weeny. Luckily, I've yet to meet anyone on the forum whom I'd describe as a weenie with an ie. (Really a polite term; the stronger language I was thinking is unacceptable coming from the fingers of a lady. ;-))

*michelle the librarian**

Lina - Jan 7, 2005 1:56 pm (#824 of 2980)
Brightwater, you phrased my thoughts perfectly, as perfect as JKR puts the real life in her novels!

Elanor - Jan 8, 2005 2:29 pm (#825 of 2980)
On the alchemy thread, we were discussing about the symbolism of masks and hoods about the DEs and a curious parallel involving Snape came to me that I thought I should post here. Please forgive me if you find it crazy!

First, the mask symbolism is very interesting. It was worn by executioners once, as for Charles the 1rst beheading, because it took every human face off death. It can also hide the identity of someone for ever, as for the "man with the iron mask" enigma or, on the opposite, keep it for ever if it is a death mask as Greeks used to use.

Etymologically, the word "masque" in French, and most certainly "mask" in English as well, can be connected to the Italian word "maschera" which means "false face" and "maska", which means black but also the witch and the spectre.

Executioners, hidden identity, false faces (and two-faced persons as well), black souls and a specter for chief, this is quite appropriate for DEs, isn't it?

So, it reminded me that some times ago, on other threads, there were parallels drawn between some HP characters and some characters of "The Three Musketeers" and speaking about executioners reminded me of the Béthune's executioner in "the Three Musketeers" because it is a very unusual one. Executioner because his father was, hating his job, living alone, keeping out of the way of the others, feared. A learned man too, working in secret on plants and jars full of dead snakes or lizards in his house. A sad man as well, carrying a deep grief from the past who accepts to come back to his former job, executioner, because he knows what he has to do at the end of "The three musketeers".

I couldn't help but think to Snape, former DE/executioner, living with the weigh of his past, lonely, feared, taking refuge in science and potions but ready to "resume the DE hood" when needed.


Potions Mistress - Jan 8, 2005 3:12 pm (#826 of 2980)
Wow Elanor! That's an awesome parallel! Assuming that Snape is on the side of good (which I think he is), but also a former DE now turned spy...yes, I very much like that comparison and I think it helps describe a lot of Snape very well.


Hollywand - Jan 8, 2005 3:39 pm (#827 of 2980)
Great analogy Elanor!

Neville Longbottom - Jan 8, 2005 4:17 pm (#828 of 2980)
Happy Birthday Severus Snape (see JKR's website calendar).

hellocello3200 - Jan 8, 2005 4:34 pm (#829 of 2980)
Shoot, you beat me to it Neville! Happy Birthday Snape!

I liked the analogy too Elanor. I think we may find out that what ever DD asked Snape to do, it is more unpleasant than we imagined. I think that Snape has a tendency to get annoyed over small things, but he stays silent about the big stuff. I think he doesn't want to appear weak or vulnerable. Some people would have said right off the bat that James had been horrible to him in order to make Harry lose his faith in his father. Snape instead criticized James for being reckless and bigheaded but never mentioned James ever wronging him.

Gina R Snape - Jan 8, 2005 5:15 pm (#830 of 2980)

Damn damn damn. I was soooo sure he was a Pisces. Better run off and get a cake before it's too late...

btw, excellent post Elanor. Beautiful.

hellocello3200 - Jan 8, 2005 5:22 pm (#831 of 2980)
He's a Capricorn, same as me actually. Just for fun I ran a birthday reading for Snape at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ( Yes I know McGonagall and Hermione would disapprove and I don't hold much to this sort of thing, but this really sound like Snape.) Here most of it is (any thing in parenthesis is mine:

Your personal ruling planet is Saturn. Because you are born on the 8th, Saturn has a double rulership in your case that accentuates the influence of this very intensely sobering and balancing number. at times you mat appear pessimistic (That's an understatement), and you need to settle your mind with more joy, optimism and inner sunshine. ( Heehee, inner sunshine) Try to remove some of the cynicism towards your own life processes and by softening your cautious nature, you will no doubt begin to see better results in your life.

You are very good with money, highly resourcefull and prudent in all of your dealings. You have strong ambition with a solid sense of purpose (sound very Slytheriny to me) -all of the important ingredients that make for success.

In love you may find yourself beset with some delays and possibly may prefer your own company to that of others. This part of your nature must also be considered as you do have a lot to offer friends family and the world at large.

Your lucky colors are deep blue and black. (It said mine were electric blue and electric white. Come on I don't think that electric white is a color I've ever seen. Sorry for the rant.)

And has a final note he has the same birthday as Elvis Presley.

Ann - Jan 8, 2005 5:43 pm (#832 of 2980)
"And as a final note he has the same birthday as Elvis Presley."

Well, that answers all our questions, then, doesn't it! Except (I hate to say this!), Snape's birthday is on the 9th.

Gina R Snape - Jan 8, 2005 5:48 pm (#833 of 2980)
Pity it didn't say his lucky colours were deep GREEN and black. That would've been some coincidence!

TwinklingBlueEyes - Jan 8, 2005 7:15 pm (#834 of 2980)
Hem, hem...09/01/05 Same as my hubby's!

LOL, Sorry Ann, I typed this, then stopped to show hubby who shares his birthday, then hit send. :-) i totally missed your post because I hadn't refreshed page. Of course, I had to show him some more of JKR's site ;-)

Edited 3x for laughing too hard.

KWeldon - Jan 8, 2005 8:11 pm (#835 of 2980)

I can't believe this coincidence. MY husband's birthday is also January 9!!!! I was coming to this thread to tease Gina and then noted your post, TWB!!!

Happy birthday hubbies all!!

Gina R Snape - Jan 8, 2005 8:28 pm (#836 of 2980)
:clink, clink: Happy birthday to all!

Weeny Owl - Jan 8, 2005 8:43 pm (#837 of 2980)
Wow, Gina's sweetie is a Capricorn, born on January 9th. I'm not sure that fits him... I'll have to ponder it for a bit.

Caput Draconis - Jan 8, 2005 9:59 pm (#838 of 2980)
Yay, a Severus birthday! Detention party, I say! *hugs Snape*

Teehee. I'm happy she told us, glad he wasn't skipped in the birthday list. I'm not sure why, I've never really pondered his starsign...I think it's just cool to know.

Gina R Snape - Jan 8, 2005 10:04 pm (#839 of 2980)
There are Snape birthday celebrations going on ALL OVER the 'net tonight! I can only imagine how JKR would react to Hogwart's 'meanest greasy git' being the subject of so much merrymaking.

btw, Caput, who is that spewing in your avatar?

Nathan Zimmermann - Jan 8, 2005 10:20 pm (#840 of 2980)
Severus Snape's birthday being in January has some notable connotations.

The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus. Janus, is the ancient Roman god of doors, gates and beginnings and endings. He is often depicted as having two heads one looking forward and one backward.

Snape reminds me of a Janus like figure because of his role a double agent and spy during the first war with Voldemort. He is also a Janus like figure because, he treats Harry horridly in general and yet he saved Harry's life at least twice.

Caput Draconis - Jan 8, 2005 10:36 pm (#841 of 2980)
LOL, I'm sure JKR would be thrilled about the merrymaking.

Gina, he who is spitting water is the delightful Jason Isaacs. I am shocked and appalled you don't recognise him, so much so that when I return from holidays (I'll be gone for 10 days, bye everyone *hugs* ) I'm going to change back to non-spitting Jas. Or Alan. Someone British, anyway.

Elanor - Jan 8, 2005 11:18 pm (#842 of 2980)
Thank you so much everyone for your kind words about "The Three Musketeers" parallel!

Nathan, that is a great analogy to notice with the Janus figure and there is more about it. I've searched for the symbolism of Capricorn and this is what I found:

Capricorn is bound to Saturn and, of course, lead, and to the colour black. Saturn is the melancholy planet, bound to ideas of sullenness, old men, orphans, heirs, deep researches, perfect memory, dungeons (yes!), great loneliness but also inclination for works that demand painstaking attention to detail, patience. It is bound to destruction but also to rebirth.

Lead can be turned into gold thanks to the Philosopher's stone! In other words, Snape can be redeemed because of Harry (for more details see the alchemy thread!).

Now the numbers are interesting as well: 9 is the essence of the 3, the perfect number, and 1 the unity of the macrocosm and the microcosm. 9+1= 10, the ouroboros number again ("the snake that bites his own tail", that is to say redemption as well, here again, everything on the ouroboros can be found on the alchemy thread!).

So, Snape's birthday could well confirm that there are redemptive qualities in him.

Weeny Owl - Jan 9, 2005 12:30 am (#843 of 2980)
Hmmm... I do think Snape fits Capricorn (bold is mine):

"For all their concern with legality or the propriety of things, Capricorns can be guilty of making or enforcing rules they themselves do not follow. Blinded by their own ambition, and obsessed with their goals, they adopt the philosophy that the end justifies the means."

"They aspire to positions of power and authority, and they admire others who attain such positions. Initiative and willingness to accept responsibilities are keys to their success. Wanting to be admired and respected, they do not want to appear weak or ineffective. This false pride makes it hard for them to admit when they are wrong or to ask others for help. Though they aggressively compete for what they want with apparent sureness, they harbor inner lack of confidence which makes them defensive. Viewing insecurity and fear as weaknesses, they attempt to hide such feelings, making it hard for others to get close to them."

" They have a good sense of humor but will not tolerate being ridiculed or teased on a personal level. Those who set out to so abuse a Capricorn, will soon learn the error of their ways."

"Capricorn colors are chocolate brown, royal and navy blue, dark green, charcoal gray, and red. Vulnerable parts of the body are the bones and joints (especially the knees), teeth, and skin."

septentrion - Jan 9, 2005 2:00 am (#844 of 2980)
Happy birthday Severus ! ***joining in the detention party***

I don't think there's any coincidence in Snape being a Capricorn because my husband is capricorn, I'm taurus and taurus are said to be the best to pair a capricorn all the description about capricorns fit well.

Bravo Elanor for the analogy with masks !

Lina - Jan 9, 2005 7:41 am (#845 of 2980)
Happy (?), maybe better: non bitter birthday, Severus!

I have to say one thing: after spending a lot of my time on this thread, I started to tell one of my daughters: "Oh, you are just like Snape, you show no emotions, a person should be a legilymens to know what are you thinking!" And guess what? She is a Capricorn!

Well there are some other characteristics of her that don't fit Snape or the Weeny Owl's description (that I haven't met until now): total lack of ambition and no problem with showing fears (specially by night).
Yet, we should know what time was he born to know his ascendent... (Probably Scorpio)

Catherine - Jan 9, 2005 8:12 am (#846 of 2980)
What fun to finally know Snape's birthday.

I did some pondering about his sign of Capricorn, the goat, which is ruled by Saturn. Remember Trelawney's predictions about Harry in GoF, and her dire warnings about "the baleful influence of Saturn?" While they don't hold true for Harry, (who was born in July, after all) I wonder if they are true about Severus? The "mean stature" and "early losses?"

Also, on a more humorous note, I was reminded of Aberforth and his goats, and how the very first time we see Snape in SS, he quizzes Harry about a bezoar, which comes from the stomach of a goat.

Goats do have particular associations that may have some relevance for Snape. I'm reminded of the proverbial "scapegoat," the one held to blame, however unfairly. Also, goats have a link to sacrifice, and expiation of sin. That could fit with Snape's current role as reformed Death Eater-turned-spy for the Order.

I found this little essay about the symbolism of Capricorn, and it does seem to fit with much that we know about Snape:

The sign is ruled by Saturn. himself associated with all that is hard, harsh. dark and gloomy. He is the remorseless god of time who crystallizes in human hearts their loftiest ambitions - when be does not doom them to their loss or renunciation. A Capricornian nature bears the marks of this cold, silent and still universe. It is built upon an original movement of self-withdrawal and concentration. Externally this character appears lifeless and often dulled to gray sobriety and self-effacement. However, life retreats to the depths of being and it is the slow upsurge of these deep forces, often long ignored by the person him- or herself, which permits the affirmation of personal qualities by the full exercise of self- control. This self-command is the fruit of long training of the will, exercised to demonstrate mastery of instinct and feeling. Hence these chilly qualities predominate, that is unless self-realization receives a check which diverts it to taciturnity, pessimism or melancholia.

Specifically, I was drawn to the qualities of self-mastery of emotion and ambition mentioned here.

Choices - Jan 9, 2005 9:03 am (#847 of 2980)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEVERUS. Well, go ahead, open your present......... What do you mean, what is it? It's called shampoo, you greasy git!

Just kidding, Severus. You know I love you and wish you many happy birthdays to come!!

hellocello3200 - Jan 9, 2005 9:06 am (#848 of 2980)
Shoot, all that typing for the wrong day. I feel so stupid. It would have been cool for Elvis and Snape to share a B-day. what a pity.

Edit: He does share a birthday with Richard Nixon.

Gina R Snape - Jan 9, 2005 10:09 am (#849 of 2980)
Ooooh, now that IS interesting.

Oh, all this astrology talk is soooo exciting. I don't really have anything to add at the moment. I'm still too busy celebrating.

I do have a friend, though, who is in the process of casting a professional chart for him (based on a 12noon GMT birth time standard). When it's finished, I"ll post the link.

Solitaire - Jan 9, 2005 11:48 am (#850 of 2980)
Catherine: Also, on a more humorous note, I was reminded of Aberforth and his goats, and how the very first time we see Snape in SS, he quizzes Harry about a bezoar, which comes from the stomach of a goat.

Catherine, I thought of exactly this scene the moment I read Snape was a Capricorn! I also wondered ... will we learn that Aberforth, too, is a Capricorn? hehe

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Potions Mistress - Jan 10, 2005 7:08 pm (#851 of 2980)
Oops, I missed this yesterday--Happy (belated) Birthday, Professor Snape!! (Hope he doesn't take points from my house for being late!)


Tomoé - Jan 13, 2005 10:16 am (#852 of 2980)
No message in three days? What are you doing Gina, there still a while before the next batch of exam, right?

I take the oppotunity to change the current topic (not Snape topic, but the capricorn/Elvis/Nixon one).

It seems pretty clear through Snape's acts that he's loyal to Dumbledore and will do his best to help the "everyone should get a fair chance" camp. It also seems Snape is still in touch with the DE and Voldemort who don't think he's a traitor. So, if something is to happen to Dumbledore, will he switch back to Voldemort's camp to save his own hide, or will he make his camp win or will die trying?

Potions Mistress - Jan 13, 2005 1:04 pm (#853 of 2980)
Snape is cruel and nasty, but I think that he is loyal to DD--and in turn, to the Order/"the good guys." Should DD fall, I still think that Snape would remain loyal to the Order because of that loyalty to DD and because should Snape return to the DE's as a genuine DE, there is a good chance that LV will find out about his spying and make Snape pay dearly. I'd imagine that he figures his chances of dying are probably equal no matter what side he's on, so I doubt that plays a role into which side he chooses. I'm of the opinion that LV will somehow be defeated in the end , so, yes, Snape is probably looking out for Number One, but it would seem that in the long run, remaining loyal to DD and the Order is his best shot.


Elanor - Jan 13, 2005 1:10 pm (#854 of 2980)
I think he will remain faithful to DD. We don't know for sure what made him come to DD's side in the first place, but one thing is certain, this was a pretty serious reason. He is not a perfect man, he is even not a nice man, but he knows what is really important because he most probably learnt it the hard way. I don't see him changing his mind depending on which way the wind is blowing. As we say here, "he is not a weather vane".

On a side note, on the alchemy thread, Solitaire was talking about Snape as a possible vampire and something came to my mind that I thought I would post here as well:

I rather see Snape as a crow but a bat could fit, though I'm not convinced he is a vampire (poor boy, he has enough on his plate like that! ). But bats make me think to the saying "as blind as a bat" and Snape is nearsighted in a lot of ways: about the marauders, about Harry, about his own feelings. This is another connection with Harry BTW: Harry is physically nearsighted, but Snape is emotionally nearsighted. What do you think?

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 13, 2005 1:12 pm (#855 of 2980)
I still don't buy that the DE's and Voldemort don't think he's a traitor. The Snape we saw in PS/SS & GoF was very clearly working for Dumbledore and since Voldemort was on the back of Professor Q's head then I think he would know this. I also doubt if Barry Jr. kept it a secret how close DD & Snape were. I think they are using him and when he serve no further function. ZAP! No more Snape. I agree with you Tomoe that Snape has played both ends of the street and could be waiting to see whose side would benefit his true Slytherin personality.


T Brightwater - Jan 13, 2005 1:14 pm (#856 of 2980)
I think "emotionally nearsighted" is a great way to describe Snape. I think Harry has a much better idea of what it feels like to be Snape than the other way around. And if Snape honestly thinks he isn't ruled by his emotions, then he really is blind to himself.

Ann - Jan 13, 2005 1:22 pm (#857 of 2980)
Elanor, I think Snape is physically nearsighted, too. Remember in the pensieve scene when he's writing his exam with his nose almost touching the paper? I used to do that. (Still do, actually, though now I write the questions rather than the answer.) Perhaps he is as nearsighted as James, but doesn't wear his glasses because he doesn't want to look like him. (Or perhaps he's just vain, which, however, would only make sense if he really did look like Alan Rickman.)

I didn't think vampires could go outside in the daytime, and there are several places where Snape does that (Quidditch games, for example). I had always discounted the idea that he's an unregistered animagus (too many of them running around already for my taste), but someone pointed out that Snape is compared to a bat at least twice, and then there's the bit in the pensieve scene where the Marauders turn him upside down.

scoop2172000 - Jan 13, 2005 1:29 pm (#858 of 2980)
About Snape's birthday .....

I can't help but laugh thinking about the Divination lesson in GoF where Trewlawney thought Harry was born "under the baleful influence of Saturn" and was born in mid-winter. Obviously, she thought Harry was a Capricorn.

Tomoé - Jan 13, 2005 1:50 pm (#859 of 2980)
Snape's writing was minuscule and cramped on the DADA OWL paper, the smaller you wrote the closer you get to the paper (just give it a try, you'll see). So I don't think he needs glasses.

Yes scoop, snape fit the bill. ^_^

Gina R Snape - Jan 13, 2005 1:50 pm (#860 of 2980)
Sorry if I disappointed you, Tomoe. I was too busy celebrating.

I have often wondered if Snape were nearsighted after the way he kept his nose to the paper during his OWL. But I never thought about whether Harry were near- or farsighted. I see no reason why Severus wouldn't be vain in his own way. Maybe wearing glasses would be an open invitation for one MORE way to torture/make fun of him.

I think it's entirely possible that Snape is 'pulling a Slytherin' by wading out both sides, but my heart and my gut say he's on the side of good, in for the duration. I would be very interested, though, to see how he'll react if DD gets killed. If the Order puts Harry in charge, will he be able to take Order orders from Harry and be his teacher in school? Maybe McG will take over in this case.

In any event, it will be very interesting to see how Snape reacts to Harry becoming more and more in the frontlines. My guess is his temper will become even fouler at school. But then, if he's to give the impression of being a DE, it would fit anyway.

scoop, there has been SO MUCH CHATTER about that scene with Trelawney! My opinion is that she was channelling Tom Riddle's energy through Harry.

Ann - Jan 13, 2005 1:54 pm (#861 of 2980)
I'd assume that if something happened to Dumbledore, someone like Mad-eye or one of the Aurors would take over the Order. Snape or McGonagall would be possibilities for Hogwarts, but they might also bring in an outsider. I don't really think either of them would want to run the school. McGonagall would have to leave her students and Snape would have to leave his potions.

Elanor - Jan 13, 2005 2:17 pm (#862 of 2980)
I am very nearsighted and I always assumed that Harry was as well because the way JKR describes the way he sees without glasses fits with what I see without mine (for example, the scene in the changing room in OotP "the changing room was blurred because he was not wearing his glasses, but he could still tell that everyone's face was turned towards him"p.337). Would it have been me, this is all I could have told as well!

As for Snape being physically nearsighted, that's true that his nose nearly touching the paper would fit but how could he use legilimency if he needs glasses but don't wear them? Eye contact is essential, he told us that, and if he is nearsighted, he would have to be very, very close to the one he wants to use legilimens on for being able to peer into his eyes. But it may help the use of occlumency on the contrary, so...

Anrui Kadarin - Jan 13, 2005 2:32 pm (#863 of 2980)
1. Snape vs. Remus. Ok. Here, I don't think Severus is so much prejudiced as he is scared. Since being afraid of Remus when he isn't transformed is irrational, Severus responds to that fear by being snarkier than usual. Using sarcasm as a defense mechanism is extremely common, even Harry does it sometimes. When he let slip that Remus was a werewolf, He'd just been knocked unconscious ON A FULL MOON NIGHT. The fact that he was unable to defend himself in the presence of someone he feared, probably unnerved him quite a bit.

2. Snape vs. Harry Obviously, James's torture of him is one of Severus's worst memories. It might even be what pushed him over. Now, every time he sees Harry, he is reminded of that memory, and also that he failed to repay James the life debt. Severus does not strike me as the kind of person who can handle failure that well. Severus is also the only one who doesn't hero worship Harry. Personally I think Severus and Lily were on at least amiable terms. Severus probably knows that Harry survived because Lily died and resents that Harry's given all the credit.

3.Is Snape a vampire? I think it's very possible that he has vampire blood at least. For example, maybe his grandfather was a vampire. That would explain his many vampiric traits. It would also explain why he doesn't seem to be affected by sunlight or garlic. This supports my first theory, because in Van Helsing, a werewolf is the only thing that can kill a vampire.

Gina R Snape - Jan 13, 2005 2:33 pm (#864 of 2980)
Maybe he was nearsighted in his youth and had his vision corrected as an adult!

Tomoé - Jan 13, 2005 2:54 pm (#865 of 2980)
Celebrating for 3 days, Gina? You're more a party girl than I'm. ^_~

I never thought Harry could be the Head of the Order (well, in fact I did, but I dismiss the idea pretty soon, Harry is still studying and need to get ready to fight Voldemort, especially if DD is out of comission and Hermione is much better with that kind of stuff than Harry). Sure, Harry will have his influence in a post Dumbledore Order, but the head, never. Unless there are only an half-dozen of members left ...

I would more readily consider Sanpe, as one of the few who stick to DD's position, in charge of the Order, as cautionous as Moody (well, let's say nearly so) and Harry tired of seeing him around 24/7.

I'm very no expert of Snape behavior and never meet any Snape for long enough to get exactly how these people's mind works, so I could be light-year away from a probable senario. ^_^

Lina - Jan 13, 2005 3:39 pm (#866 of 2980)
Tomoé: Snape's writing was minuscule and cramped on the DADA OWL paper, the smaller you wrote the closer you get to the paper (just give it a try, you'll see). So I don't think he needs glasses.

Well, I'm nearsighted and my handwriting is minuscule, my dad was much more nearsighted and his handwriting was even more minuscule (unreadable), so I've always assumed that these two things are connected even though I don't see the great meaning of this for Snape. I don't even see why should wizards wear glasses, couldn't they treat it with magic? And yes, I thing that glasses could be very helpful in occlumency... (slightly darkened... hmmm)

Gina R Snape: scoop, there has been SO MUCH CHATTER about that scene with Trelawney! My opinion is that she was channelling Tom Riddle's energy through Harry.

I like this idea! I wouldn't expect JKR to put the "Happy birthday Lord Voldemort" on her site, but Tom Riddle... I like the idea...

I have a problem about vampires: as far as I can remember, except in Lockhart's book, we haven't met any in the series, have we?

And about turning sides: there is the problem of having "Snapes" around us. The several "Snapes" I know, would never turn on Voldemort's side even though they are really nasty and like the power, but that means that they would never have been DEs in the first place. And he was. So it seems really impredictible to me.

Choices - Jan 13, 2005 6:18 pm (#867 of 2980)
I think Van Helsing is wrong - there are other things that can kill a vampire besides a werewolf. I've never heard that one before. Silver bullets, stakes through the heart, yes, but a werewolf???? I don't think so.

Prefect Marcus - Jan 13, 2005 7:10 pm (#868 of 2980)
Edited by Jan 13, 2005 7:10 pm
Actually a silver bullet only kills werewolves -- and enemies of the Lone Ranger. :-)

But yes, an Eastern European Vanpire can be killed by a wooden stake through the heart, and by exposure to sunlight. There are likely other ways, but I am not usually a big fan of Horror movies.

I did see Van Helsing. I laughed through the entire show. Is that good or bad?

I Am Used Vlad - Jan 13, 2005 8:03 pm (#869 of 2980)
If it was derisive laughter, Marcus, it was good.

Ann - Jan 14, 2005 5:50 am (#870 of 2980)
Isn't it a holly stake that has to be driven through the heart of a vampire? I'd thought of this in connection with Harry's wand, but it seems unlikely. And they're put off by garlic and crosses. If Snape were a vampire, I think Jo is more likely to go with Bram Stoker than Van Helsing.

But I don't see why he should be a vampire. Other than the rather tenuous bat connection, the only other common traits I see are dark clothes and a scary manner, and that is not so uncommon among a lot of scary types. Besides, Snape is far too busy with the ridiculous Hogwarts teaching schedule to have much energy for going out at night seeking fresh blood.

And I'm inclined to see his relationship to crosses as something altogether different. He seems to me to embrace the crosses he has to bear, rather than fleeing them.

LooneyLuna - Jan 14, 2005 6:27 am (#871 of 2980)
Oh Ann, you made me laugh with that last comment.

I had a vision of Harry saying to Snape, "Get off your cross already, Professor." With a huge eyeroll, of course.

"Detention, Potter!"

Ah...only in my dreams. Smile

Gina R Snape - Jan 14, 2005 7:16 am (#872 of 2980)
Gee, Ann's comment didn't make me laugh at all. I do see him as 'bearing his crosses' as it were. Every day. Is it no wonder he seems so dour and depressed at times?

Other than blood flavour lollipops, we don't see vampires in the wizarding world. We don't even read about them in Fantastic Beasts.

And, nobody in the wizarding world has been seen wearing a cross or putting one up in their home. Anyway, I'm rather partial to the idea that Snape is jewish.

LooneyLuna - Jan 14, 2005 7:37 am (#873 of 2980)
I'm sorry to have offended you Gina.

To "get off your cross" is to stop broadcasting your sacrifices and get over it. He's not the only one who has made sacrifices or has suffered in this series, but boy, he sure acts like it and won't let you forget it. That's my take on it, anyway.

Gina R Snape - Jan 14, 2005 7:54 am (#874 of 2980)
Oh, you didn't offend me LooneyLuna. We've got two different takes on Ann's reply. Of course, mine will always come to the defence of Severus.

LooneyLuna - Jan 14, 2005 7:56 am (#875 of 2980)
Ah, love. :-) Severus is so lucky to have you!

Amilia Smith - Jan 14, 2005 9:53 am (#876 of 2980)
I thought the whole Snape is a vampire theory got squashed with the World Book Day chat last year.

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

Are there other interpretations on this answer?


Gina R Snape - Jan 14, 2005 10:41 am (#877 of 2980)
Amilia, the best I can say is that there will always be those who for whatever reason don't find that answer good enough.

As you might have guessed, I am not one of those people!

Ann - Jan 14, 2005 12:33 pm (#878 of 2980)
I meant my "crosses" comment as Gina took it, although I was also thinking about her remarks about redemption. Jo said something (I think in connection with a question with those who argue that her preoccupation with witches and wizards is un-Christian), that she is a Christian and that she was rather surprised that no one seemed to make much of that. (I couldn't find whatever quote I'm remembering on Quick Quotes, though, so I may be wrong.)

Interesting idea that Snape might be Jewish, Gina. Though the "hooked nose" would be pretty stereotypical and cliche for JKR. But the books tend to shy away from religion in general. There is one interview I found where she said she'd only be able to discuss the religious meaning/interpretation of the books after Book Seven was out. I'm not sure that means whether there will be some or not, but I'm inclined to think the former--though nothing so unsubtle as Narnia.

hellocello3200 - Jan 14, 2005 1:09 pm (#879 of 2980)
I couldn't see JKR revealing that Snape was Jewish. For one thing, having a character with a big nose turn out to be Jewish could be seen as anti-Semitic, or at least politically incorrect. I also think that in the wizarding world race, ethnicity and nationality take a back seat to muggle, squib, half-blood/breed and muggle-born classification when it comes to issues normally associated with race etc.

Gina R Snape - Jan 14, 2005 2:08 pm (#880 of 2980)
Well, I'm just having a bit of fun at 'ol Sev there. His appearance could suggest it--and not just the nose. But you're right, a non-Jewish person saying such things would be accused of being anti-semetic. And I don't wish to open a can of worms. But being half-Jewish and Severus' wife I can say such things.

Now, what about this discussion on another thread as to whether Snape knew Hermione had the time turner? Does anyone else think he knew for sure that the Trio had used it in PoA and DD was trying to shut him up?

LooneyLuna - Jan 14, 2005 4:15 pm (#881 of 2980)
What's interesting about that is Snape didn't question Hermione. He was all over Harry, shouting. If Snape knew Hermione had the time turner, then he assumed (wrongly) that she would never break the rules in regards to its use.

So yes, I think Snape knew Hermione had the time turner, but didn't think she would go back in time herself to save Sirius and Buckbeak. Snape probably assumed that Harry took the time turner from Hermione and did it all by himself. That's my guess.

Nathan Zimmermann - Jan 14, 2005 6:26 pm (#882 of 2980)
There was an idea posited in the Marauders Map thread that raised a thought provoking question.

During the time Peter spent at Hogwarts in the guise of Scabbers how much information was Peter able to obtain regarding Snape and others that he could give Voldemort in the event of his return?

Gina R Snape - Jan 14, 2005 8:19 pm (#883 of 2980)
Oh, I shudder at the thought of information about Snape passing to the Dark Lord through that little, um, vermin. But I dare say, if Snape noticed a rat wandering about his dungeons, it wouldn't live for long!

Snuffles - Jan 15, 2005 1:27 am (#884 of 2980)
Just a thought, please bare with me. Do we know if Severus was working for the DE's before Dumbledore? What if he was already on the side of 'good' with Dumbledore but it was DD who suggested he turn spy on LV so Severus joined the DE's who in turn wanted him to spy on DD so he got a job at Hogwarts. That is why DD trusts him because Severus only joined the DE's on his suggestion? You may aim the dungbombs............ You may throw the dungbombs.......... OUCH!!

Anrui Kadarin - Jan 15, 2005 3:25 am (#885 of 2980)
I agree with Luna. Hermione isn't one to break the law, after all. As for the whole Van Hellsing thing, that was pretty specious, I admit. I just like vampires and Severus and was trying to come up with an idea to connect the two. Wink And to be specific, a werewolf is the only thing that can kill a vampire that became a vampire by making a deal with Lucifer. Since there's absolutely no way Severus would do that, my argument there is completely useless. I do think Severus is afraid of Remus though.

Ann - Jan 15, 2005 7:18 am (#886 of 2980)
Snuffles, I think DD says pretty clearly that Snape was a DE and then he came back to the anti-Voldemort side and agreed to act as a spy, when Voldemort was at the height of his power.

LooneyLuna - Jan 15, 2005 7:44 am (#887 of 2980)
After rereading that end-scene in POA, Snape does say, "They" pointing to Harry and Hermione, but he then shifts his focus to just Harry. It is not clear if Snape looks Harry in the eyes, but my impression is Snape knew that at least Harry helped Sirius to escape. After a slight admonishment from Dumbledore, "Unless you are suggesting that Harry and Hermione can be in two places at once..." Snape looks at Dumbledore then turns and leaves.

I think at first Snape thought that Hermione had just given the time turner to Harry, but after Dumbledore's comment, he knew for sure tha both of them had helped Sirius.

Toddles off to St. Mugos. Tea, anyone?

Snuffles - Jan 15, 2005 1:17 pm (#888 of 2980)
Thanks Ann. Oh well another idea shot down in flames. That'll teach me to re-read the books before posting. * Ouch those oven doors get hot!*

Amilia Smith - Jan 15, 2005 5:12 pm (#889 of 2980)
Snuffles: My brother and I have been thinking along those lines, but like Ann said, there's not a whole lot of evidence in the books to back it up. Just my brother's gut feeling. And the fact that Dumbledore trusts Snape completely. Therefore, I have never dared post this theory here. If you come across any evidence in your reread, be sure to post it. I'd be interested.


Ann - Jan 15, 2005 8:26 pm (#890 of 2980)
Mills, there's also the fact that, when someone asked JKR in an interview/book chat why Dumbledore trusts Snape, she said that Snape had told Dumbledore his story, and Dumbledore had believed it. Again, that sounds like Snape was coming back after having had some DE experience on his own. If it had all been under Dumbledore's guidance or at his direction, he wouldn't have a "story," and it would have not required any particular trust for Dumbledore to believe him.

Aud Duck - Jan 16, 2005 11:09 am (#891 of 2980)
In the Edinburgh book festival interview on her website, JKR said Snape had been a Death Eater when she was asked whether or not he was a pureblood.

He was a Death Eater, so clearly he is no muggle-born...But you must not forget that Snape was a Death Eater.

I think that proves conclusively that he was a Death Eater.

Michael Franz - Jan 16, 2005 1:26 pm (#892 of 2980)
Why did Professor Snape search the forest for Harry after alerting the Order of the Phoenix about Harry's vision of Sirius in the DoM? Professor Snape should have known Harry well enough to know that he would have immediately have gone charging to Sirius's rescue -- especially since Voldemort knew this and was counting on it. Could it be that our dear professor just wanted a feeble excuse to bow out of actually going to the DoM? Of course, if he did go, he'd be revealing his true colors as a "good guy" to the Death Eaters, but how can they not already know this? How can Voldemort not know that Snape was opposing Quirrel in the first book? Harry and others have speculated that Snape is working as a double agent in the Death Eaters, but Snape never actually said he was. (Snape said it was "his job" to find out what the DEs were doing, but that doesn't mean they thought he still was one.)

Catherine - Jan 16, 2005 1:32 pm (#893 of 2980)
I have assumed that perhaps Malfoy, pursued by giant bat-bogeys, or one of the students under the Impediment jinx, which wears off, ran to tattle about the events to Snape, and to get help for the stunned students. He was their Head of House, after all, and a logical choice. We saw that Draco, when Montague was in difficulty after the toilet incident, went to Snape.

The students would have told Snape where Umbridge went with Harry and Hermione.

Aud Duck - Jan 16, 2005 1:45 pm (#894 of 2980)
It's also possible that Snape watched to see where they were going. Neville, Ginny, and Luna clearly knew that they had gone into the forest. It must have been pretty easy to look out of the window and see where they were going. In The Lost Prophecy, Dumbledore explains that it is only after Harry and Hermione didn't return from the forest that Snape got worried they had gone to the Department of Mysteries. That seems to suggest that Snape did know that they had gone in, and had been watching the forest, waiting for them to come back out again.

Michael Franz - Jan 16, 2005 1:58 pm (#895 of 2980)
Nope. Professor Snape was going to search the forest after he'd gotten in contact with the other Order members and they went to the DoM. He was the only Order member who didn't go.

Catherine - Jan 16, 2005 2:09 pm (#896 of 2980)
I got the sense that Snape's search was a "just in case" measure. There are, after all, real dangers in the Forest. Keep in mind that Umbridge did not come out, either.

Perhaps Snape was trying to make sure that Umbridge hadn't hurt the students? Perhaps he was looking after his own skin by making sure that Umbridge wasn't really hurt, but he didn't find her, or was unwilling to challenge the Centaurs for her. Maybe he thought she would reward him if he saved her.

In the end, though, Snape could not very well go charging off to the MoM to save Harry. It would definitely have blown his cover, yes?

And it is not really accurate to say that Snape was the only Order member who didn't go to the MoM. Molly, Arthur, Bill, Charlie, Hestia Jones, Dedalus Diggle, Professor McGonagall, Elphias Doge, Emmeline Vance, and Sturgis Podmore were all absent from the MoM.

Ann - Jan 16, 2005 2:12 pm (#897 of 2980)
Michael, he didn't know for sure that they'd gone to the DoM. It sounds logical to me that he'd send a message to Grimauld Place saying that they might have done, and that they would probably need help if they had. On the hand, he didn't know for sure, and given the mood of the centaurs, he probably thought they might need help there as well, if they hadn't managed to get off to London. And given that he was by himself, and how scary the centaurs were, it seems to me like he was probably risking at least as much danger as the DoM party.

I agree with Aud Duck. The forest seems to be pretty visible from Umbridge's office, and I suspect Snape would have been called to deal with the injured IS members.

Ann - Jan 16, 2005 2:40 pm (#898 of 2980)
I'll put this in a separate post, since it's on a quite separate topic than my last (though dealing with the same day):

Snape had rather trickily arranged to release Neville from Crabbe's possibly suffocating grip earlier that day. Then he sent off a message that prompted the Order members to go to the assistance of Harry and his friends at the DoM. Who is in the most danger there, being tortured by Bella, who was prevented from doing him further harm by their arrival? Neville.

Rather odd, given Snape's dislike for Neville that he ended up saving his life twice in the same day.

Weeny Owl - Jan 16, 2005 3:51 pm (#899 of 2980)
Could it be that our dear professor just wanted a feeble excuse to bow out of actually going to the DoM? Of course, if he did go, he'd be revealing his true colors as a "good guy" to the Death Eaters, but how can they not already know this? How can Voldemort not know that Snape was opposing Quirrel in the first book?

You might want to read the archived Snape threads. Anything and everything Snape-related has been discussed thoroughly.

As to the whole Quirrell thing, the simplest explanation without a lot of discussion is that Snape didn't know Voldemort was on the back of Quirrell's head, so he was protecting the stone from Quirrell only. If asked by Voldemort about what happened that year, he can easily reply, "If I knew it was you who wanted the stone, I would have helped you, but Quirrell had no business getting it for himself."

Nathan Zimmermann - Jan 16, 2005 3:54 pm (#900 of 2980)
As I have read through the series I have been struck by how similar Snape is to the ancient Greek god Hephaestus. There are three similarities I see in their characters.

First, both are masters of their arts and take pride in their work. Hephaestus takes pride in the Golden throne fashioned for his mother Hera and the bed fashioned for Aphrodite while, Snape's pride is demonstrated by his introductory speech during Harry's first Potions class and his ability to brew the Wolfsbane potion.

Second, both are isolated individuals who delight in the suffering of others and have a spiteful nature. Also, their physical unattractiveness mere adds to their isolation.

Third, It has long been postulated that Snape suffered from some form of abuse or neglect at the hands of his parents. If this proves to be accurate then it would be another similarity because, Hephaestus was neglected by his parents.
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Ann - Jan 16, 2005 4:20 pm (#901 of 2980)
And Hephaestus was married to Aphrodite (Venus), the goddess of love. A bit hard to reconcile with Snape in the literal sense, but perhaps in a more abstract way.... He certainly loves Dumbledore and (I suspect) Professor McGonagall.

Nathan Zimmermann - Jan 16, 2005 4:37 pm (#902 of 2980)
Ann, there is another version of his legend that asserts he loved Athena instead of Aphrodite. The following excerpt is contained the Encyclopedia Mythica

One particular legend says that Hephaestus wished to marry Athena, who was also a patron of smiths, but she refused because she found him ugly.

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

Ann - Jan 16, 2005 5:11 pm (#903 of 2980)
Interesting. And Athena, of course, is the Greek version of the Roman Minerva. (!)

Gina R Snape - Jan 16, 2005 5:24 pm (#904 of 2980)
And Hephaestus was married to Aphrodite (Venus), the goddess of love. A bit hard to reconcile with Snape in the literal sense, but perhaps in a more abstract way.... He certainly loves Dumbledore and (I suspect) Professor McGonagall.

Who else but the Goddess of Love to appreciate the finer points of such a man? :bats eyelashes:

septentrion - Jan 17, 2005 1:15 am (#905 of 2980)
about Snape not going to the DoM, I'm also of the opinion Snape staid at Hogwarts because : -he couldn't know the Ministry will at least aknowledge LV's return and he needed his cover as a servant of the Ministry, given the fact he was the last Order member at Hogwarts -he had to deal with the hurt members of the Inquisitorial Squad, as someone said -he made sure at once Sirius was safe, after Harry gave him his cryptic warning. He then deduced Harry had gone to London when he didn't see the students coming back from the forest and alerted the Order at once. He didn't search them sooner probably because he couldn't imagine the kids would find a way to go to London in the forest (my interpretation). Yet he searched the forest as an extra precaution (my interpretation too). The members of the Order present at 12GP at that moment headed to the DoM immediately after Snape alerted them, and DD joined them as soon as he found out. That is the way DD reports things in the chapter "the lost prophecy". I wonder if Snape could have done more without blowing his cover for the Ministry.

About LV knowing where Snape's true loyalties lie, I have no doubt LV knows Snape is devoted to DD. The fake Crouch must have seen how DD trusts Snape and reported it to his master. How much do the Death Eaters know about that subject is yet questionable. Malfoy seemed to have esteem for Snape and I don't think he could have some if he knew about Snape's loyalties. Unless he was pretending having esteem for Snape, whether on personal purpose or on LV's order I can't say.

LooneyLuna - Jan 17, 2005 7:40 am (#906 of 2980)
I think there is a much simpler reason that Snape didn't go to the DOM. With Dumbledore out of the picture, MacGonagell (spelling it wrong) in the hospital, and Umbridge in the forest, he couldn't leave the school. Really, with all of those people gone (Hagrid too), he probably was next in the chain of command. Sure there are other teachers there, but Snape is more of a leader (I think) and the students fear him, so they are more inclined to follow his orders.

Just my 2 knuts.

Gina R Snape - Jan 17, 2005 8:31 am (#907 of 2980)
LooneyLuna, I absolutely agree. It was vital for Snape to stay at Hogwarts as he really was the next in charge. Even though DD was never very far away and WE know those two were in touch, you can't completely abandon the castle during a moment of crisis.

It amazes me that anyone can find fault with Snape during this part of the book. DD goes so far as to tell Harry what Snape did, in order to defend Snape. It's just a shame Harry decided not to listen. So, one thing I found striking towards the end of the book was how for Snape it was 'business as usual' whereas for Harry everything 'usual' now seemed trivial or otherwise unimportant because his view of the world and his place in it had changed so radically in the course of a few minutes with Dumbledore.

I think it will take time for that to sink in with Snape and anyone else dealing with Harry.

Snuffles - Jan 17, 2005 8:36 am (#908 of 2980)
Gina, did you mean to defend Sirius? If so i agree, what Snape did in the latter part of book 5 he did for Harry, Sirius and the good of the school. He stayed because that was where he should be not because he was afraid of going to the MOM. He was probably told by DD that whatever happened he must not leave the school unattended.

LooneyLuna - Jan 17, 2005 8:46 am (#909 of 2980)
I just had a feeling that Snape's loyalties at that time were to Hogwarts. He did what he could to alert the order and Dumbledore, then (returned?) to the school to keep an eye on things. If anything else had happened at Hogwarts while the DOM battle was going on, Snape would have been on top of it.

Possibly Dumbledore had told him, no matter what happens, stay at Hogwarts. Hogwarts *needs* you.

Aud Duck - Jan 17, 2005 10:16 am (#910 of 2980)
Possibly Dumbledore had told him, no matter what happens, stay at Hogwarts. Hogwarts *needs* you.

I think he almost certainly did, LooneyLuna. It's what he told McGonagall when she said she would fight the aurors with him. At the time, Hogwarts was not in nearly as much crisis as it was when Harry went to the Department of Mysteries. If it was important for McGonagall to stay at Hogwarts when Hagrid and Snape still remained, it must have been doubly important that Snape stay now that the rest were gone. It's not that Flitwick and Sprout aren't loyal to Dumbledore: they are. But, as far as we know, they are not Order members.

mrweasley - Jan 17, 2005 12:20 pm (#911 of 2980)
Edited by Jan 17, 2005 12:21 pm
Another possibility why Snape avoided going to the DoM is that he as a spy must not be seen in places where he can't explain what he came there for.

I am sure that he knew about Lucius Malfoy running in and out of the Ministry, and a certain remark of Sirius' in OotP("Tell me how is Lucius Malfoy these days? I expect he's delighted his lapdog's working at Hogwarts, isn't he?") makes me think that the relationship between Malfoy and Snape used to be something of a master / servant kind of friendship - maybe Snape worshipped Malfoy, and now still pretends to do so.
His favoring not only Slytherins, but particularly Malfoy's son Draco could be part of Snape's strategy to make it seem as if his friendship towards Malfoy never ceased...

Choices - Jan 17, 2005 2:50 pm (#912 of 2980)
I can surely see why Snape did not go to the MOM, but something occured to me - why did Sirius risk going? He was still a wanted man, but he threw caution to the winds to go help Harry. I wonder, had he not died, how he would have escaped the MOM after the battle and made it back to the safety of 12 Grimmauld Place? I imagine he could have apparated, but still he took a great personal risk in going there.

Gina R Snape - Jan 17, 2005 3:01 pm (#913 of 2980)
I'm sorry, I was afraid that sentence would not be clear. What I meant to say was the DD was coming to Snape's defence in telling Harry what Snape did during the time period.

There are loads of reasons why Snape did not go to the Ministry, and in my mind at least, few reasons why he ought to have gone.

Sirius risked going because he's a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants Gryffindor who was worried about Harry and wanted to be in on the action. I can't help but wonder if he also bristled at the notion of Snape or anyone else telling him to stay put, and so he defied DD's orders on purpose and to his ultimate peril. But that belongs on the Sirius thread.

I do wonder, however, if Snape was fairly straightforward ("DD says you are to STAY PUT") or taunting ("Pity DD told you to stay put, I know how you love to feel involved") and so baited Sirius into leaving 12GP. I know either scenario is likely. But the way DD tells the story, I get the feeling this was one time Snape didn't play games because it was such a serious situation at hand.

Snuffles - Jan 17, 2005 3:17 pm (#914 of 2980)
Sirius would risk anything for Harry. He thought with his heart and not with his head in this situation. I dont suppose he had thought far enough ahead to think about after the battle. His main purpose was to save Harry from the DE's or LV. He was impulsive and loved the action especially after being locked up in 12GP for all that time. in POA p275 UK edition he says to Peter "THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!" roared Black "DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!" He was just practising what he preached and we know what happened next. *Sniff*

Solitaire - Jan 17, 2005 3:43 pm (#915 of 2980)
I responded to you over on Sirius's thread, Gina.

Mrs Brisbee - Jan 17, 2005 7:35 pm (#916 of 2980)
I've always wondered what was with the time delay between the students leaving the school and Snape alerting the Order they had gone. The six flew off on the Thestrals at sunset, and it must have taken many hours to fly all the way to London, as Harry didn't arrive back at school until just before sunrise. That's a lot of hours not to realize the kids are missing.

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 17, 2005 9:35 pm (#917 of 2980)
Mrs Brisbee-I have asked myself the same question. I also have a few other interesting ones. If Snape went into the forest to look for the kids why didn't he find Umbridge? Why didn't he run into Grawp? And considering how mad the Centaur's were how did they not see Snape? Heck if Snape was watching the forest why didn't he see the kids take off from the forest upon the invisible thestrals?

Sorry, Gina but I just can't accept that Snape is loyal to anyone but Snape. I know that DD trusts him but as we know DD has made mistakes.


septentrion - Jan 18, 2005 1:45 am (#918 of 2980)
Let's not forget sunset in June is around 9/10 pm, so the kids took off rather late. We don't know how quickly the thestrals flies. It seems they didn't took too much time for a flight from Scotland to London. It would have been enough for Snape being distracted a few seconds with his Slytherin students to miss their taking-off.

I believe Snape searched the forest as an extra precaution and so didn't do it thouroughly. When he didn't see the kids coming back, he guessed they have gone or they would have come back to the castle. Come to think of it : he left Umbridge's office before she took Harry and Hermione in the forest. In fact, he was making contact with Sirius when Umbridge and the kids went out. Then it took say a quarter, mostly half an hour for the others to get free from the inquisitorial squad. The time the IS informed Snape, the kids were away. Then Snape maybe didn't worry before another half hour was past. The time he raised the alarm and the Order arrived in the DoM, Harry and his friends were in serious trouble. That scene in the Ministry didn't last too long when you think of it. So Snape's behaviour isn't suspect to me at the end of OoTP.

rambkowalczyk - Jan 18, 2005 7:41 am (#919 of 2980)
I wonder if Voldemort also, had a second pupose for sending Crouch Jr. to Hogwarts namely to determine where Snape's loyalties actually lie, thereby determining Snape's fate in books six and seven. Nathan Zimmerman.

At the end of GOF, Snape is with Fudge when he brought the Dementer in to kill Barty Crouch. Snape says, "...he seemed to feel his personal safety was in question. He insisted on summoning a Dementor to accompany him into the castle..." I originally wondered if it was the way Snape told Fudge about Barty JR that prompted Fudge to want a Dementor. Was there a private battle that Snape was fighting without Dumbledore's knowledge. Was there a reason that Snape did not want Barty Crouch to have any potential to report back to Voldemort?

However careful reading of that scene shows that McGonagall was there the whole while. Since she says nothing against Snape it makes this scenario less likely.

Choices - Jan 18, 2005 9:06 am (#920 of 2980)
We don't know how big that forest is that Snape had to search. It's probably huge - big enough to hide Ford Anglia's, giant spiders, thestrals, unicorns, Grawp, mountain trolls, centaurs, hippogriffs, and heaven only knows what else. One man trying to search that big an area thoroughly would take days. Snape didn't have that much time, so I think he just gave it a quick look. No telling in what secret place the centaurs were holding Umbridge.

Potions Mistress - Jan 18, 2005 1:44 pm (#921 of 2980)
Considering how Umbridge went on her power-trip, I wonder if Snape would've bothered saving her had he found her. (Or if anyone else in Snape's position would've done the same.) ;-)


Edit: I was over at the Mugglenet CoS Forum and came across this thread in the Quidditch Pitch: I Was Bullied Too But I Got Over It And So Should Snape Society - the I.W.B.T.B.I.G.O.I.A.S.S.S.S. for short. I think there are quite a few members who would laugh at this thread, if for different reasons. Enjoy!

Lina - Jan 18, 2005 1:47 pm (#922 of 2980)
rambkowalczyk, I like your idea about Snape talking Fudge into taking dementors. Is it really impossible that Snape and Fudge were alone at least for a second? Because, if Crouch Jr. went to Azkaban, he would have escaped at the end of the OotP, as well as the other DEs, and that would be really dangerous for Snape. It is truth.

Gina R Snape - Jan 18, 2005 2:33 pm (#923 of 2980)
Potions Mistress, I was thinking the SAME thing. I doubt any of the Hogwarts faculty would bat an eye and extend a hand to help her.

I love the idea of Snape using his slytherin wiles to get a dementor to suck out the soul of Barty Crouch Jr. But at the same time, there was plenty to gain by him being alive and kept out of commission---information from interrogation for example---before administering a dementor's kiss. I did not get the impression that Snape was happy about the situation. But then, he might have had ambivalent feelings about it---greater good and the good of Snape. Which would benefit him more? We don't know.

In any event, there's not reason to believe Crouch!Moody wasn't in contact with the Dark Lord all year round, reporting on Snape and everything else he saw throughout the year.

Ann - Jan 18, 2005 3:46 pm (#924 of 2980)
I don't think Crouch/Moody would have seen any indication of where Snape's true loyalties lay. The man is just too careful. I'm sure he was careful all the years when Voldemort was in exile; he'd be doubly so once he noticed his dark mark coming back.

And I suspect Snape avoided the centaurs when he searched the Forest. He probably just asked around. Once he'd learned the children had left, he'd have no reason to rescue Umbridge, particularly after what she'd done to McGonagall (and Hagrid). I can't believe that her attack wasn't causing all sorts of trouble for her among the other faculty members that day. McGonagall is clearly popular, as is Hagrid. And why take aurors, simply to sack Hagrid? Dawlish was there, and one assumes Shacklebolt, since the number of stunners is one less than the wizards still standing at the time. Who were the others, I wonder. Not Filch, since all six can throw spells. I can't believe that any of the other faculty would take part in that group, and they would never have let the IS take part, so I suppose they were all aurors. It's a very odd scene. McGonagall is right: they have no cause to attack anyone.

(Ann wanders wildly off topic here. Sorry)

Aud Duck - Jan 18, 2005 3:59 pm (#925 of 2980)
I'm not sure Snape would have been so guarded around Crouch, though. Do remember that he was Mad-Eye Moody, and that no one seems to have questioned this. Snape could have figured that if he was safe showing his true colours around anyone besides Dumbledore and McGonagall, it would be Mad-Eye. Actually, if I were Snape, I would probably be extra virtuous, knowing that Mad-Eye doesn't believe in giving second chances. He would have wanted to prove that he did deserve a second chance. I'm not saying this is necessarily the case, but I think it is definitely a possibility.

I am sure that Voldemort knows where Snape's loyalties lie, from whatever source. As Gina said, Crouch was probably keeping Voldemort informed all year. Plus his fight to keep Harry safe in PS/SS. That was far above what was asked of him. McGonagall, for example, didn't go that far. I think Snape already has too much explaining to do to be a truly trusted Death Eater, if he is still trusted at all.

Potions Mistress - Jan 18, 2005 4:53 pm (#926 of 2980)
But if Snape thought Crouch was actually Moody, I don't believe that would work as an effective spy-tool for LV. Snape would be acting extra-virtuous to throw Moody off his track, wouldn't he? He wouldn't act like a DE around the most paranoid auror around. Just my opinion...


PS: Gina, I think everybody was rather glad to get rid of Umbridge, even if some might not have been particularly pleased with "how" of it (although didn't it say that she didn't have a mark on her from the centaurs? Oh, well. That's another thread!) ;-)

Gina R Snape - Jan 18, 2005 5:12 pm (#927 of 2980)
I think Snape was just as wary of Moody as he would have been of Crouch Jr. Snape never looked Moody in the eye, and walked around him like eggshells in GoF, by Harry's account. My guess is, he simply kept an extremely low profile.

Ydnam96 - Jan 18, 2005 9:06 pm (#928 of 2980)
Ummmm...Does the book actually say that Snape searched to the forest for the kids?

My understanding was that he waited for them to return, but after a while, when they did not come back he then checked on Sirius and all that. I think, given his dislike for Harry and all them that he probably waited a bit, seeing as they kinda like hanging out in the forest (well, in Snapes mind anyway).

I don't personally have a problem with the seeming time lapse. I think that it can be understood by DD's explination to Harry at the end of the book. Maybe I'm naive.

septentrion - Jan 19, 2005 2:23 am (#929 of 2980)
Ydnam96, DD told Snape checked if Sirius was alive right after Harry's warning. That information should be easy to check, even if Sirius is dead and can't confirm it. Snape alerted the Order only when he didn't see the kids coming back from the forest. Then he went to search the forest.

I also think Snape kept a low profile in front of Moody/Crouch but his loyalties were clearly expressed. And DD didn't suspect Moody was a fake one, he probably gave him valuable informations which I don't doubt were at once given to LV.

Weeny Owl - Jan 19, 2005 8:04 am (#930 of 2980)
I think Snape and Crouch, Jr. both avoided the other, and Crouch, Jr. probably didn't spend a lot of time with Dumbledore either.

It can't be easy impersonating someone you don't know well. Harry and Ron came close a couple of times to outing themselves in CoS, and the stakes were far greater for Crouch, Jr.

When Snape suggested to Crouch, Jr. that Harry was the one out after curfew, I think it showed that Snape really hates Harry, and that would be reported to Voldemort.

If Voldemort confronted Snape about anything that happened that might have made Crouch, Jr. suspicious, all Snape would have to do would be to tell the truth... he thought he was dealing with Moody and didn't want to make Moody suspicious so he said and did what the thought Moody would want to see and hear.

Lina - Jan 19, 2005 1:10 pm (#931 of 2980)
I can't imagine Snape going around and begging for second chance. I think Snape had his own reason for leaving DEs and that reason is why DD trusts him, not because of the second chance. In the same way I can't imagine Snape to try to please Moody. No way. He trusts nobody except DD. Maybe he trusts someone else too, but it doesn't mean he likes the person and therefore, he doesn't get close to anybody. I don't think Moody/Crouch had any real evidence to report to his Lord during the year. It is the very end, the moment that Snape brought to DD the real Veritaserum, and one of the strongest. Remember, when Umbridge asked him the Veritaserum, he brought the fake one. If his loyalty have been with Voldemort, he would have done the same, and Crouch would have known it and would have modified his story probably. That is the little thing that shouldn't have been reported to the Dark Lord.

The other possibility, that I don't believe, but still a possibility, is that Crouch could have given DD some strong evidence about him being wrong to trust Snape.

Either way, it seems really convincing to me that Snape would like not to se Crouch any more around. And he could have made it the way that it seems that he wanted to stop Fudge doing it and that Fudge was sure that it was his own idea.

It was Dumbledore who obviously overestimated the possibility to keep DEs under control now that Voldemort is back.

rambkowalczyk - Jan 19, 2005 2:46 pm (#932 of 2980)
Lina, I rechecked GOF. Dumbledore left McGonagall to stand guard over Crouch. He then sent Snape to get Fudge so he could question Crouch. So it turns out that Snape was alone with Fudge while escorting him from the Tournament to Moody's office.

Bathilda - Jan 19, 2005 4:33 pm (#933 of 2980)
It seems that Snape is only loyal to Snape right now, but we got to see a glimpse or two of his past in OOP. They are that he was at least a witness to if not a victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father: and that he was bullied and unpopular at school. I think these items are planted by Rowling to give us some seeds of sympathy for Snape. I don't think that he will prove to be a one dimensional character until the end. As an aside, the actor playing Snape in the movies steals every scene. (I'm not a big fan of the movies)

Choices - Jan 19, 2005 6:45 pm (#934 of 2980)
You are right Ginerva - if the character of Snape were played by someone other than Alan Rickman we would have an entirely different take on the potion master. I think Rickman is perfect as Snape and he is a superb actor and has made the role his own, but if Snape were played by someone less appealing, some ugly git, we would better see his meaness, his greasyness and his general lack of appeal. Rickman is great as Snape, but he has certainly made Snape far "hotter" than he was meant to least to the female audience.

Weeny Owl - Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm (#935 of 2980)
JKR had to have a reason for writing what she did in the Occlumency lessons and the Pensieve scene. It might be to make us (and Harry) feel less hostile toward Snape, or it might be pertinent as to why he went to Dumbledore and switched sides.

It's been said before, but I've wondered if Snape's mother was killed by Voldemort or a Death Eater (possibly Snape's father). JKR said Snape can see thestrals, and I wonder if that all ties in together.

When I think of Snape, I don't see Alan Rickman. I see Wormtongue in LotR, and with the exception of the blue eyes, the rest seems to be exactly how I picture Snape... long greasy hair, yucky teeth, sallow skin.

We can't get into a discussion of actors or we'll get our hands (or wings) smacked, but when I read the books, I don't picture anyone from the movies.

Catherine - Jan 20, 2005 7:29 am (#936 of 2980)
I agree, Weeny.

JKR has indicated that Snape is an unpleasant person, and I think his physical appearance is meant to repulse us. I do think that Alan Rickman is so very charismatic that he imbues Snape's character with traits that JKR hasn't really written. **indulges in brief girlie sigh for Alan Rickman** Ahem, back to business....

That said, I do think that we are meant to look beyond physical appearance and see what is really there. As Hermione said, only half-seriously about the Skrewts, that just because something isn't pretty to look at doesn't mean that it can't be really magical or useful. I've taken that to heart about the Mimbulus Mimbletonia and about Snape, among other things.

I will keep my eye on Snape, just as JKR suggests, but I am not expecting him to become someone I'd like to sit across from at the dinner table.

Potions Mistress - Jan 20, 2005 9:02 am (#937 of 2980)
I will keep my eye on Snape, just as JKR suggests, but I am not expecting him to become someone I'd like to sit across from at the dinner table. --Catherine

I think what Catherine said is the point of Snape: he is not a nice person, it's very, very doubtful he will become a nice person, and yet he is fighting on the side of good (for reasons unknown as of yet), so there is more to Snape than meets the eye--especially at first glance (or even third, fourth, one-hundredth glance, as I'm sure Harry will start to figure out!).


Ann - Jan 20, 2005 1:59 pm (#938 of 2980)
Catherine and pm, I just posted something on this topic the Draco Malfoy, thread where Rickman's depiction of Snape has also been raised. But I think that what Rickman has done is make Snape slightly less physically repellant (hair still disgusting, teeth less so), and allowed us to see the actual character JKR has written a bit better. In the books, we're distracted by Harry's prejudice; in the film, we see him for ourselves.

He is not a nice person, true; but I think that he is a good person, in that his intentions are to do the right thing and take responsibility for his actions. He's aware that he's made wrong choices in the past, and he is trying not to do that again. Obviously his viewpoint is still warped by his past in ways that he's not aware of, but he knows he has choices and he's trying to make the right ones (look at the way he does life debts). The fact that he's extremely mean and hurtful is I think somewhat inadvertent--he just has so much rage and bitterness inside him that it seeps out.

Lina - Jan 20, 2005 2:45 pm (#939 of 2980)
I need to repeat: it were not the films, it was not Rickman who changed my view of Snape. I was the end of the GoF (thanks rambkowalczyk for checking it ), the point when he shows Fudge the dark mark. Until that point, I didn't care too much about him. He was a nasty and negative character in the book, something every good book needs. It was not him who tried to kill Harry, it was Quirrel, true, but it was just a pure coincidence, it could have been him as well. But after the scene with Fudge, I started to see him as a child, that every class has, who tries to pick a teachers attention by being nasty because he/she can't do it any other way. Someone I feel pity for and I feel the need to help, to make him feel accepted so he would become less nasty. And when I was rereading CoS after that, I saw him in a totally different light. He became much more interesting, I started to like his being smart and so on. He is still nasty, but I find him more attractive, not in a physical way, but actually, a person I would like to talk to from time to time.

Catherine - Jan 20, 2005 4:14 pm (#940 of 2980)
Oh, I don't disagree about Snape.

I have always found him fascinating, and he, if he is really spying on Death Eaters and Voldemort, has more courage than I can imagine. Since he is a Slytherin, it is an amusing intellectual exercise to imagine why does so. We all want to know why Dumbledore believes so firmly in his change of heart.

Snape had a real reason to convince Fudge that Voldemort was really back, and a real threat. Based on what Voldemort said in the cemetary, Snape is targeted. So, he'd like Fudge to act quickly, and contain the threat quickly, no doubt.

I've always wondered how true Ron's words about how "poisonous toadstools don't change their spots." I may be ducking overripe tomatoes and dungbombs, but I can see how JKR could be setting up Snape as a poisonous toadstool. VERY unpleasant people, in my 35 years on the planet, do not suddenly go from poisonous toadstool to sweet daisy, but I am happy to be wrong in this instance.

We shall have to see. This is one case where I'd really love to be wrong.

Bathilda - Jan 20, 2005 4:39 pm (#941 of 2980)
I don't want Snape to go to sweet butterfly, that wouldn't be interesting. But if we could see him become even a bit less hostile towards the memory of James Potter because of an alliance of some sort with Harry...then THAT would be good.

Part of Snape's charm, if you will, is that he's really repressed. He never shows joy--only joyful malice. He can't let go, even for a minute. He's always uncomfortable in spontaneous situations--Christmas, etc. Lips eternally pursed and always too cool for whatever silliness Dumbledore is up for, Snape is, if nothing else, consistently a killjoy. A really smart killjoy.

Wand Maker - Jan 20, 2005 5:34 pm (#942 of 2980)
While I would doubt it would happen, it would be interesting to see Snape's reaction and if his attitude would change if Harry did some selfless for Snape, or gave Snape something of value to Snape.

Prefect Marcus - Jan 20, 2005 5:55 pm (#943 of 2980)
Wand Maker - While I would doubt it would happen, it would be interesting to see Snape's reaction and if his attitude would change if Harry did some selfless for Snape, or gave Snape something of value to Snape.

Ah yes, the ol' "Love thine enemies. It'll drive them crazy."

Hollywand - Jan 22, 2005 5:11 pm (#944 of 2980)
Wand Maker, your comment about Harry offering something of value to Severus has interesting potential in the text. Every time Harry shows an affinity for controlling or speaking to snakes, Severus shows a lot of interest. The "serpensortia" duel with Draco is an example.

Severus also seems unnerved but intrigued by Harry's mental connection with Voldemort. The exercise of teaching Harry Occlumency evidences Severus' loyalty to Dumbledore and courage, as Severus is potentially exposing himself to a mental encounter with the Dark Lord through Harry.

Gina R Snape - Jan 22, 2005 6:22 pm (#945 of 2980)
I think Snape was very interested from a 'magical scientific' PoV with how Harry seems to be an exception to the rule regarding his mental connexion with the Dark Lord. The way he says 'the usual rules do not seem to apply' has a tone of a kind of scientific curiosity to it. I could almost hear him saying it like Dr. Spock would.

Wand Maker - Jan 22, 2005 6:33 pm (#946 of 2980)
Ugh. Ran into the daily posting limit for regular members. Now that I am a premium member, I need to create an avatar.

Hollywand, The only problem I have with Harry offering something to Snape would be Snape's reaction. If it were in the heat of battle or stressful situation, I would see no problem. Snape would really want what was being offered for him to not sneer and berate Harry.

Gift of parseltongue? Knowledge that Lilly did have feelings for Snape back in school (before Gina knew him).

Hollywand - Jan 22, 2005 7:20 pm (#947 of 2980)
I think Lily just didn't like to see anyone, even Snape, being bullied when they were minding their own business; this is also how Harry feels. Harry doesn't love Snape, clearly, but he does feel his mother's compassion for an unfair situation.

I can't imagine Snape's interest in Harry's Slytherin side to be dispassionate and purely observational. Severus is too emotional, has a past deeply connected with Voldemort, and is head of the Slytherin house. All these connections add up to an amibiguous and intriguing connection with Harry's struggle with Voldemort.

Wand Maker - Jan 22, 2005 7:31 pm (#948 of 2980)
It is difficult to see Snape changing his attitude toward Harry, or for that matter anyone else. He does seem better with Dumbledore and the other faculty members. Perhaps his attitude to Harry would change when Harry exhibits some magic far exceeding his own. He will have to respect Harry more because of his abilities. I'm not saying that Harry would use them against Snape mind you.

I believe that Jo has created Snape the way for a specific reason. Dumbledore, also allowing Snape to be the way he is to students is also there for a reason. Live is not peaches and cream. Degrees of goodness and evilness exist throughout the series. The characters have to deal with them, just like in real life.

Hollywand - Jan 22, 2005 7:41 pm (#949 of 2980)
Severus did undergo a big personal epiphany when he decided to turn against the Death Eaters and support Dumbledore.

Severus may have a few surprises tucked in his robes. ;-)

Solitaire - Jan 22, 2005 7:56 pm (#950 of 2980)
Is Snape jealous of Harry? Could that be why he bullies him ... because he envies some of Harry's abilities? Perhaps he resents the fact that Harry seems to be able to do things that he may have had to work much harder to master ...

Or maybe Snape is simply angered that someone he has consistently tried to hold down is constantly being brought forward ... through being a natural flyer and Quidditch player, saving the Sorcerer's Stone, killing the Basilisk, freeing Sirius out from under his nose, being entered in and winning the Triwizard Tournament ...

If Snape determined at the outset to see that Harry was not allowed to excel or "shine" at Hogwarts--as James seems to have done--then it must really stick in his craw every time Harry has done something that brings him the notice and gratitude of the WW. I mean Snape apparently did something that won Dumbledore's trust and possibly his gratitude ... yet no one seems to know exactly what it was. That could seriously bug him!

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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 11:58 am

Wand Maker - Jan 22, 2005 8:02 pm (#951 of 2980)
Yes. I think that Snape sees so much of James Potter in Harry like so many other do. He must be transfering some of his hatred for James to Harry, the same way Sirius seemed to start treating Harry like a best friend.

Snape probably has a ready supply of calming draught in his office for each time Harry's name is brought up by someone.

dizzy lizzy - Jan 22, 2005 8:12 pm (#952 of 2980)
lol wandmaker:) I would hope he has made it doesn't seem to be working so far!


Solitaire - Jan 22, 2005 8:37 pm (#953 of 2980)
I think Snape likes to be upset and angry. Well, maybe like is not the word; maybe he finds some sort of grim satisfaction in it. Some people really seem to thrive on discord and misery. If it doesn't find them out, they go looking for it. They make sure to try and spread it around as much as possible, so others are as miserable as they are. Perhaps Snape is such a person.

In a way, Snape reminds me a lot of the Mrs. Norris character in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. She took fiendish delight in making Fanny's life miserable. She really used her as a "whipping boy," because she was angry at Fanny's mother. She lost no opportunity to tell Fanny she was a nothing, a nobody, and that Mrs. Norris herself was the one responsible for seeing to it that Fanny was able to escape her life of poverty and come to the Bertrams. Mrs. Norris could not bear it when anything good came to Fanny. She tried her best to destroy any little thing that brought her happiness.

I find Snape to be a lot like this. From the moment Harry arrived at Hogwarts, Snape singled him out to be mocked, tormented, and treated unfairly. He has stood by throughout five books while Draco has attempted to bully and harass Harry, and when Harry has attempted to defend himself, he has been rewarded with detentions and lost points, while Draco has escaped any warning or punishment.

Snape may not be a DE anymore, but I would hardly call him a "good person," as some have said. He is unreasonably mean and vindictive where Harry is concerned. He is also far past the age when he should have gotten over it, yet he remains completely blinded by hatred of James--which he daily takes out on Harry. If there are psychiatrists in the Wizard World, Snape needs some intensive psychotherapy. Perhaps a stay in St. Mungo's is in order.


Hollywand - Jan 22, 2005 9:25 pm (#954 of 2980)
Hmmm, Severus is boiling in a cauldron of Snape Oil tonight. ;-)

I have to admit in rereading the series, I was pretty annoyed with Snape for the way he treated Lupin, Hermione and Harry.

Rowling does linger on Snape's nastier elements, then describes his redeeming moments in a very understated fashion. Severus often seems to be a key element in the progression forward. He does put aside his personal agenda long enough to assist Harry in his long term goal to defeat Voldemort.

Ann - Jan 23, 2005 7:39 am (#955 of 2980)
Snape is obviously a person with self-control problems and a good deal (okay, huge, huge quantities) of suppressed hatreds. But I also think he is intelligent enough to know this and is dealing with it as best he can. He uses verbal attacks and his skill with words to prevent himself from the physical attacks his emotions inspire, and I think when he does attack Harry physically, after the pensieve incident in OotP, it is to prevent himself from using an unforgivable curse.

Someone said something about his being jealous of Harry. I don't think he is (except possibly of Dumbledore's affection for him). But I think he was really, really jealous of James--of all the Marauders, really, but James most of all. First of all, of their friendship. Notice how alone Snape is in the pensieve scene: the only person in the whole crowd who comes to his aid is Lily, and that seems to be more because she knows that James is acting in a cruel way and that he has the potential to be better. It has nothing to do with Snape and everything to do with James--just like everything else at Hogwarts.

James, even more than the other Marauders, has everything Snape doesn't have: friends, loving family, quidditch skills and the consequent fame, magical abilities and recognition for them, wealth, and good looks. And James despised Snape (perhaps because he made him feel a little guilty about all those blessings--though I can't imagine that James was aware of this). So they acted on their feelings and built up a huge antagonism. And now, long after James has died, Snape is faced with someone who looks just like him. But this time, Snape is in a position of power. I think he probably knows it is wrong to abuse that power, but his method of self control--substituting verbal for physical abuse--is not as harmless as he thinks it is.

Sorry to rant on, but everyone's posts are so thought-provoking!

Wand Maker - Jan 23, 2005 8:16 am (#956 of 2980)
I don't know that Snape necessarily likes to be upset and angry (and mean). I got the impression that he has never really been exposed to anything else so that is all he really knows. That peek Harry took into Snape's memory using the Protego charm(?) appears to show that he did not have a good childhood, actually one of a perpetually frightened child.

That is the kind of person who gives me chills, at what they might do if they finally snapped.

I haven't found Jo's response to an early question asked of her. The question went something like "Will Snape fall in love?". Jo's response was something like shock. I don't know if it was from surprise at figuring out that it might happen or it was that the asker was way off track. If Snape was indeed to fall in love (and it was returned), his attitude would probably change dramatically.

Ann - Jan 23, 2005 8:26 am (#957 of 2980)
Actually, Jo's response to the question is a bit enigmatic (J.K. Rowling interview transcript, The Connection (WBUR Radio), 12 October, 1999):

Q: One of our internet correspondents wondered if Snape is going to fall in love.

JKR: (JKR laughs) Who on earth would want Snape in love with them? That’s a very horrible idea.

Incidentally, Madam Scoop's summary of this is a bit deceptive. What Jo actually says is that she's stunned that the (next) questioner says there's a redemptive pattern about Snape, and we'll find out why she's stunned about that in book 7.

Wand Maker - Jan 23, 2005 8:49 am (#958 of 2980)
Thanks for finding it Ann. More suspense.

Gina R Snape - Jan 23, 2005 5:07 pm (#959 of 2980)
But we don't neeeeeeeeeed more suspense! We neeeeeeeeeeed the next book!!!!!

Wand Maker - Jan 23, 2005 5:19 pm (#960 of 2980)
Gina, Your tellin' me.

I'm hoping that joining the Lexicon will make the time go quicker with being able to chat about the books.

What do you think will happen with Snape in the next two books? The quotes Ann found didn't make it any clearer for me to tell what direction Snape's character might go.

Gina R Snape - Jan 23, 2005 6:20 pm (#961 of 2980)
What do I think?

Well, I think a lot of things. But the first few off the top of my head. . .

Harry will not do as well as he needs to on his Potions OWL, but DD will make an exception and he will be in Advanced Potions. Snape will be livid that Harry got to bend the rules, and that he has to see Harry every week in class. This will be a source of entertainment for us.

I think we will learn some more about Snape's past, as we will learn more about the past in general. And I believe we will learn more about what he's been up to with his spying. And that he's got a few more magical tricks up his sleeve (like there was with occlumency in OOtP).

I don't think we will learn why DD trusts Snape until the last book, and possibly not until it's almost too late and Harry nearly makes a crucial mistake. I also don't see us learning something more substantial about his relationship with Lucius Malfoy until the last book, although I do foresee a glimpse of something from the past.

I have a hunch we will learn some of Snape's involvement with the DEs, maybe why and/or how he joined, and what he did before coming to DD. But JKR is going to leave the most mindblowing stuff regarding his past, his future, his thoughts and desires and fears, and his most horrific past acts and future spectacular saves for part of the climax of the last book. I honestly think Snape plays a more crucial role than most people realise, and that there is something in his karma that keeps him intertwined with the Potter bloodline. And I do foresee a spectacular mindblowing 'you didn't see that coming' for Snape. This will especially hit hard his detractors in the fandom.

Heh, heh. I feel like Trelawney! (Only hopefully much more accurate )

Weeny Owl - Jan 23, 2005 8:45 pm (#962 of 2980)
Gina, do you see him stopping or somehow circumventing a possible plan for murder and mayhem from Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle?

Draco seemed very intent about killing Harry. I don't believe it was just one of Draco's outrageous remarks. I think he does truly plan something awful.

How much of a teacher's pet is Draco? How far would Snape let him go before stepping in?

I was reading the first book again and the part about how perfectly Draco stewed his horned slugs just royally ticked me off. I so wanted to smack the smirk off Draco's face.

I think my feelings for Snape would be much less ambivalent if it were not for the favortism he shows to Draco.

I do still feel Snape genuinely wants Voldemort gone, but as to the rest of what he might want, I'm not that sure.

Ydnam96 - Jan 23, 2005 10:29 pm (#963 of 2980)
Gina, love your ideas. I think you are right on most of them. I think JK could (and should!) write an entire book about Snape. I for one would read it! To comment on whether Snape enjoys being mean, bitter, cynical, etc... I'm not sure he "likes" it but I'll tell you what. It's a lot easier to be angry, sad, bitter, mean, cynical, and a know-it-all than it is to be vulnerable, nice, caring, and admit shortcomings. I have a feeling Snape has had a worse life than we can imagine. It may be all he can do to muster the amount of human decency he does. It can be extreemly emotionally exhausting if you are dealing with a lot of emotional baggage. Holding grudges takes a lot out of you. Holding on to hurts does as well.

And, I think that he sees being emotional and "soft" as a weakness as he has to be "strong" to survive. So he does what he thinks he must. I could go into a long diatribe of psychobabble but I'll spare you. *the only one who would probably care would be Gina, cause I know she loves him just the way he is*

Solitaire - Jan 24, 2005 12:08 am (#964 of 2980)
How much of a teacher's pet is Draco? How far would Snape let him go before stepping in

I feel Snape is responsible in at least in part for Draco's attitude and behavior toward not only Harry but others. The way Snape treats Harry and Neville in particular--but also Hermione and, to some extent, Ron--speaks very loudly. It says that it is okay for others to demean them, as well. And Snape never reprimands or even cautions Draco and the other Slytherins about their attitudes or behavior.

As a teacher, Snape should encourage his students to treat others with respect. The only way to do that is to treat one's students with a modicum of respect and dignity. Snape fails miserably here.


Catherine - Jan 24, 2005 5:01 am (#965 of 2980)
Harry will not do as well as he needs to on his Potions OWL, but DD will make an exception and he will be in Advanced Potions. Snape will be livid that Harry got to bend the rules, and that he has to see Harry every week in class. This will be a source of entertainment for us. --Gina

I quite agree on all counts. I can see Harry pulling off an E in Potions, but not an O. The Polyjuice Potion question can't be worth enough points to make up for five years of being a dunderhead in Snape's class. **just kidding about the dunderhead, folks!**

It will gall Snape no end to have to make an exception for Harry, and Harry won't want to be in the class except to pursue being an Auror. I've wondered if Snape will be required to allow Harry into his class so as to have a "cover" for "Remedial Potions," as though the "Remedial Potions" worked, and Harry pulled off a high score on his O.W.L. Doubly galling, that.

Very entertaining.

Choices - Jan 24, 2005 9:34 am (#966 of 2980)
I agree about the dunderhead part Catherine......I love Harry, but I do get outdone with him in Potions because he is careless and doesn't pay attention to instructions - thus he messes up.

I am not at all sure that Snape really favors Draco - It could all be a cover-up - he wants Lucius and others to think he favors them. I believe he comes down hard on the Gryffindors because he wants them to learn and be proficient in Potions so they are prepared for the war that is coming. He lets the Slytherins/Draco slid and get away with murder because he really doesn't care whether they do well or not. OK, he's a teacher and maybe he does care, but he knows how much more important it is for Harry/Gryffindors to learn and be prepared for what faces them. I think of all the houses, Snape knows that the brave Gryffindors will be foremost in fighting Voldemort.

Gina R Snape - Jan 24, 2005 9:37 am (#967 of 2980)
:nods head in agreement with Choices, per usual:

Choices - Jan 24, 2005 9:40 am (#968 of 2980)
Thanks Gina....I'm honored!! :-)

Ann - Jan 24, 2005 1:48 pm (#969 of 2980)
It will interesting to see (as I suppose we will in July) how many of the Slytherins make it into NEWTs Potion classes with Snape. After all, the examiners are presumably objective. But one would assume that if he regularly gave Slytherins false confidence and thus didn't teach them as well as he does the others that this would have been noticed and complained about some time ago. Parents are apt to complain when their kids have been given to understand that they're doing well and then they do badly.

And Umbridge (though heaven only knows what she knew about the matter) seemed to think his students were generally working at a very high level. I would assume, given her bureaucratic orientation, that her evaluation was based on test scores.

I actually think that Snape teaches all of them fairly well, though Gryffindors probably become better at making potions in difficult or distracting situations. I wonder if he's better with his NEWTs classes, where the students are presumably more motivated. Having taught required classes to aggressively bored students I can sympathize with Snape in his bitterness (though I agree with those who say that he's doing the students more harm than he thinks he is).

Wand Maker - Jan 25, 2005 5:40 am (#970 of 2980)
Posting to Serverus Snape

Gina: I agree with most of your 'crystal gazings'. In particular, of Snape's upcoming role. That's why I think that in book six, Snape will get the opportunity to teach DADA. Dumbledore will not have to make an exception for Harry. Snape won't have to make exceptions for Crabbe, Goyle, and other Slytherins. The DADA classes will be a different environment that Harry, will have to contend with his Slytherin classmates and Snape. Harry's strongest subject is DADA, so Snape's attitude towards Harry should only bolster Harry's abilities.

Snape is sadistic. He despises Harry and likely relishes in Draco's constant taunts as another means to perpetuate his anger of the Marauders. Mind you, Snape only takes things so far. He did give fake veritisserum to Umbridge. That was showing his restraint, that deep down, they are connected and on the same side. But he still would rather not have that bond.

I am somewhat surprised that more practical jokes aren't played on Snape in an attempt to make the 'crime fit the punishment'.

Chemyst - Jan 25, 2005 6:24 am (#971 of 2980)
And I do foresee a spectacular mind-blowing 'you didn't see that coming' for Snape. - Gina

I do hope so! Because I don't think it is too hard to foresee a Snape death that paves the way for a Harry victory. So I would be very happy to have that idea put to a mind-blowing twist that spares him!

Gina R Snape - Jan 25, 2005 8:54 am (#972 of 2980)
Nooooooooooooooooooo! I don't wanna be a widow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weeny Owl - Jan 25, 2005 10:15 am (#973 of 2980)
I don't believe Snape with teach Defense Against the Dark Arts because JKR said Dumbledore thought it would bring out the worst in Snape, and with the war heating up, it might not be a good idea to have him anywhere but Potions.

Even if he does teach Defense, I don't think he would have a class with the Slytherins. There will probably be a lot of students wanting to take N.E.W.T. Defense in sixth year, and since Harry's house has always had their Defense classes without another house present, it will probably stay the same way.

On the other hand, if Snape does get the Defense job, and if the class is with Slytherin, Snape might not be able to be so protective of Draco. If Draco and Harry ever dueled again, Harry would clean his clock in no time, and Snape would have to accept that.

Bathilda - Jan 25, 2005 10:19 am (#974 of 2980)
Okay, I admit, I was growing just a WEE bit soft for Snape because of his backgroud...his mother was too busy being beaten to love him, etc... HOWEVER, I am re-reading GoF, and I had forgotten about the scene where Harry and Malfoy curse each other and they ricochet off each other and Hermione's teeth grow out past her chin. Snape says that he sees no difference, and takes tons of points off Gryfindor. I feel sick to my stomach every time Snape is so grossly unjust. Snape is a jerk. Sorry Gina Snape, you're married to a heel. He can just get some therapy and get over himself. Well, I guess he may need some Crest Whitestrips, too. If he does ever change his spots, he's going to have a lot of 'splanin' to do.

p.s. I don't think he'll change because of love.

also, Lily is the only one who stuck up for him, but it made him even more humiliated to have a Mud-Blood taking up for him.

Choices - Jan 25, 2005 10:42 am (#975 of 2980)
Ahhhh, Snape. The man we all hate. Poor Severus! LOL {{hugs}}

Potions Mistress - Jan 25, 2005 11:02 am (#976 of 2980)
I am somewhat surprised that more practical jokes aren't played on Snape in an attempt to make the 'crime fit the punishment. --Wand Maker

I'm actually not surprised. I think most students fear (if not know for certain) that if they did play a prank on Snape, they would be caught (they may not know Snape is a Occlumens, but I think that most students all have the gut feeling/fear that he does have some way of knowing) and the consequences would be dire indeed. Look at Gred and Forge--if anybody would've had the guts and equipment to prank Snape, it's those two. And yet we never see them doing such a thing. Comparing Snape to Umbridge, the students know that Umbridge has no ability to relatiate, while Snape would probably hex them into the next century (or worse!).


Choices - Jan 25, 2005 11:14 am (#977 of 2980)
"Umbridge has no ability to relatiate" - I have to disagree - how about "I will not tell lies" carved into the back of Harry's hand?

Gina R Snape - Jan 25, 2005 2:18 pm (#978 of 2980)
Umbridge could not retaliate because the boys left the school.

Wand Maker - Jan 25, 2005 5:06 pm (#979 of 2980)
Umbridge's retaliations were far more vindictive and longer lasting than Snape's.

Gina don't worry. I think that Snape will survive the series. He is such a good antagonist.

Ann - Jan 25, 2005 5:15 pm (#980 of 2980)
I don't know. I'd like to see what Snape's like post-Voldemort, but JKR's statement to the woman who said she thought she saw "redemptive pattern" in Snape sounded pretty bad.

Q: There’s an important kind of redemptive pattern to Snape

JKR: He, um, there’s so much I wish I could say to you, and I can’t because it would ruin. I promise you, whoever asked that question, can I just say to you that I’m slightly stunned that you’ve said that and you’ll find out why I’m so stunned if you read Book 7. That’s all I’m going to say.

WBUR radio, October 1999

I suppose he could just be really badly hurt, but.... Redemptive sounds pretty serious (Sirius?) to me.

Bathilda - Jan 26, 2005 8:20 am (#981 of 2980)
I think that I read furhter back in this discussion, Wand Maker, that you think Snape will finally get the DADA position in the next book. I believe it was in response to someone pondering Harry in Snape's NEWT potions class. My two knuts worth: I think you may be onto something with Snape as DADA next year. DD will DEFINATELY want someone in the order now that the war is on. Snape is the perfect fit because he's in the order, but DE's don't know it. L. Malfoy may be pleased it's Snape, for instance. I think too, that Snape won't bully the NEWTs as much because they are hand picked by him. If Harry were to be accepted, it would take some heavy persuasion by DD to get him in. Snape resents the lower school kids--remember how he says that most of his students are "Dunderheads". His NEWT people will be his darlings. At least the Slytherin NEWTs.

However, Rowling has used the DADA position to introduce new characters each time, and I don't know how devoted to formula she is.

Wand Maker - Jan 26, 2005 5:30 pm (#982 of 2980)
I feel that giving Snape the DADA position satisfies a number of clues that Jo has put in. I should be far easier for Dumbledore to find a new potions master instead of another new DADA master. Snape refuses to take anyone in NEWT potions who hasn't gotten an O in their potions OWL. Harry is very good in DADA, and is now old enought to not be too intimidated of Snape.

Jo says that getting the DADA position might bring out the worst in Snape. That may very well be just what happens. I can see Jo saying this to try to throw us off, otherwise we would all figure that was the case.

Bathilda - Jan 27, 2005 7:44 am (#983 of 2980)
I have to admit, I haven't really read any "Jo" interviews. Just bits and pieces from these threads. I saw part of a Katie Couric interview on TV once, but I had to change it because Katie Couric is HORRIBLE at interviewing! UGH! I can't believe she has a job--Really. The best part was that Jo was clearly unimpressed with Katie, and seemed to be irritated at the elementary nature of her questions. Ah, but I digress yet again, and I am sorry for polluting this thread with the likes of Katie Couric! The DADA position bringing out the worst in Snape....Maybe he'll show all of the Dark things he's capable of doing, and then show the Defense? Smile Too easy. I think it would be great. I think that Snape, with his obvious Harry envy, would use it as an arena in which to fight Harry "legally".

Ann - Jan 27, 2005 7:48 am (#984 of 2980)
I think Snape would be perfect for DADA, but only if his cover were blown and he was not trying to be a DE any more. In such a case, he could really teach the students what they were up against.

Otherwise, I think it would be way too dangerous for him. You can just imagine what would get back to the parents of Draco and Crabbe and Goyle if Snape started teaching everyone at Hogwarts about how to defeat dark wizards.

So, if it turns out that Voldemort blames Snape for the fact that the Order showed up at the ministry to rescue Harry (and how else could they have known?), he might finally end up teaching DADA.

Gina R Snape - Jan 27, 2005 9:18 am (#985 of 2980)
Snape showed an incredible interest in the Dark Arts and Defence agains the Dark Arts as a youth. As an adult, I think that geeky obsessive part of him would likely come out and he'd start demonstrating things in class, throwing out obscure theories, and otherwise becoming so enraptured in the subject that he'd: a)forget he's teaching children and go over their heads; b)forget he's teaching defence; c)inadvertently wind up teaching Dark Arts he's not supposed to teach.

Weeny Owl - Jan 27, 2005 9:54 am (#986 of 2980)
So, if it turns out that Voldemort blames Snape for the fact that the Order showed up at the ministry to rescue Harry (and how else could they have known?), he might finally end up teaching DADA.

There's more than one way the Order could have known.

Voldemort can't know for sure just which teachers at Hogwarts are part of the Order, so it stands to reason that Sprout, Flitwick, or one of the more obscure teachers could be a member.

Then there are the portraits. Considering how gossipy they are, one of them could have overheard the Inquisitorial Squad discussing what happened in Umbridge's office, and eventually passing along the information until a portrait near an Order member finally found out.

Even if Filch watches the hidden passageways, he can't watch them twenty-four hours a day, and an Order member could have sneaked into Hogwarts wearing an invisibility cloak and eventually overheard what had happened in Umbridge's office, then checked the Forbidden Forest, and finally called in other Order members to go to the Ministry.

If Snape is questioned by Voldemort, he can truthfully say that when Umbridge, Harry, and Hermione didn't come back from the forest, he went in to search for them. He could also say that knowing how important Umbridge is to the cause, he knew he needed to find her, but was hoping that something had taken care of Potter and the Mudblood, but that there was no sign of anyone.

Ann - Jan 27, 2005 10:33 am (#987 of 2980)
Maybe you're right Weeny Owl. I hope so.

Gina, I'm rather surprised you don't think Snape could control his fascination with the Dark Arts. I'd sort of thought that was what he was all about these days (control of his own violent, dark urges). I'd have thought instead that his disillusionment with them, plus his tremendous experience, combined with a much greater motivation to ensure that students actually learned to defend themselves, would make him a far better teacher of DADA than he is of potions--not that he's half bad at potions, either.

Whatever turned Snape against Voldemort was clearly something BIG. I can't see him sliding back into that now--nor, apparently, can Dumbledore. The question, I've always thought, is whether he could maintain his role as a loyal DE if he was really teaching DADA as well as he could. (I realize that goes against what JKR said in the interview that's been cited on the subject, but I still think it's possible that she was just giving Dumbledore's ostensible explanation, not the real one. I think the interview was before we knew he was a spy.)

Gina R Snape - Jan 27, 2005 1:46 pm (#988 of 2980)
I don't think Snape would start teaching DADA, then pick up and rejoin the DEs. I think he'd get excited about the subject and go over the kids' heads and get all dramatic and scare them even more than he does now.

Which might be fun...but not what DD is looking for.

Weeny Owl - Jan 27, 2005 1:54 pm (#989 of 2980)
Which might be fun...but not what DD is looking for.

ROFL, Gina, but you do crack me up.

I agree, though. After Umbridge, I doubt if Dumbledore would want anyone who would actually scare the students even more.

Bathilda - Jan 27, 2005 1:55 pm (#990 of 2980)
Can you just see poor Neville in a DADA class with Snape? Although a great scene would be the new and improved Neville kicking his butt!

Ann - Jan 27, 2005 2:07 pm (#991 of 2980)
"After Umbridge, I doubt if Dumbledore would want anyone who would actually scare the students even more."

But Weeny Owl, I thought the whole point of Umbridge's DADA instruction was that students shouldn't be subjected to seeing dark spells or dark creatures or using any spells to protect themselves. The results of a purely theoretical approach might have been scary (as was Umbridge herself), but intention was supposed to be to protect them from too much scariness.

Snape would be exactly the opposite as a DADA teacher, I'd think. Very hands on!

Eponine - Jan 27, 2005 2:34 pm (#992 of 2980)
Actually, I think the intention of the theoretical approach was to prevent the students from learning anything the ministry considered to be "inappropriate" and to prevent Dumbledore from training his army of students to overthrow the ministry.

Weeny Owl - Jan 27, 2005 3:51 pm (#993 of 2980)
I didn't mean her teaching was scary or what she taught was, but that she was herself, and after being subjected to her for a year, having the King of Sarcasm terrorizing them might be a bit much. Not his teaching either, or what he teaches, but his own physical presence. It's scary enough in Potions, but in Defense?

Choices - Jan 27, 2005 5:23 pm (#994 of 2980)
I sometimes wonder if Dumbledore doesn't think that Snape might have too much of a hair-trigger to trust him with a wand before a bunch of students. With Potions, all he could do if he got really angry is try to poison someone, but with a wand in his hand, who knows what havoc he could cause if provoked. I know Dumbledore generally trusts Snape, but also I think he knows him well enough to keep him (and the students) out of potentially volatile situations which might arise were Snape to be made the DADA teacher. Yes, I know Snape carries a wand, but it is usually safely tucked away and not out demonstrating dark curses to a bunch of less than attentive students - some of which aggravate the stew out of Snape and some of which he hates. I can just see the letter home from Dumbledore ---Dear Mr. and Mrs. So and So, Sorry to inform you that Professor Snape, you son's DADA teacher, lost it in class today and blasted him to smithereens. Little Bobby should never have called Professor Snape a "greasy git" to his face. A partial refund will be sent to you for the remainder of the term that Bobby unfortunately will not be here to finish. Speaking of remains....what is left of Bobby will of course be enclosed in the envelope too. Sincerely, A. Dumbledore, Headmaster

Potions Mistress - Jan 27, 2005 7:47 pm (#995 of 2980)
ROFL Choices!! Poor little Bobby...


hellocello3200 - Jan 28, 2005 11:50 am (#996 of 2980)
While Choice's fictional letter made me laugh out loud, I don't really agree with the thought that he would do lasting physical damage. I do think he would be more scary and would probably make the students believe he didn't have and qualms about hurting them seriously. Even at his most livid (After he caught Harry in the Pensieve) all he did was throw things at Harry.

Gina R Snape - Jan 28, 2005 12:19 pm (#997 of 2980)
Yes, well, that is precisely what makes him different from Umbridge and puts him on the side of good.

Ann - Jan 28, 2005 1:48 pm (#998 of 2980)
"all he did was throw things at Harry."

Well, he did throw Harry, too. Snape can clearly do quite a lot of damage (mental and physical) even without a wand. But I agree that he was doing his best to restrain himself and not to hurt Harry as badly as he probably wanted to. (I've always wondered what happened in that scene after Harry left--it may have been more what he almost saw than what he actually saw.)

Bathilda - Jan 28, 2005 2:52 pm (#999 of 2980)
DD also says in OoP that he thought that Snape would be able to get over his school grudge against James and teach Harry. Snape couldn't, and DD says that's another one of his "old man's mistakes". Or something to that effect.

T Brightwater - Jan 28, 2005 3:48 pm (#1000 of 2980)
It seems that DD should have had plenty of warning that Snape's hatred of Harry went past his residual resentment of James. There was that scene at the beginning of CoS, for example, where Snape is looking gleefully forward to Harry and Ron being expelled. There isn't anyone else around who needs an act - no Slytherins or ex-Slytherins or MoM people - just Snape, Harry and Ron, McGonagall and Dumbledore. The only time in the series that I dislike Snape more than at this moment is his tantrum after Sirius's escape.

post 1000? w00t!
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Severus Snape  - Page 4 Empty Posts 1001 to 1050

Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 12:35 pm

Hollywand - Jan 28, 2005 4:52 pm (#1001 of 2980)
Gosh, Ann, considering Snape's anger options after Harry left is oddly hilarious.

What's a dark wizard to do? Put those ugly, embarrassing memories back into the old cranium? Yuck. Have the memories swirling there in the effluvia, confronting you in the face? Yuck. Add to them the memory of a nosy teenager who invaded your privacy? Yikes.

I see an large, angry, green, black and silver tarantula with greasy hair, scurrying about his office, trying to decide..... ;-)

Choices, the bit about Snape smoking poor little Bobby was wonderful!

Ann - Jan 28, 2005 4:56 pm (#1002 of 2980)
Hollywand, I bet it didn't take him an instant to decide! I bet he put those hideous memories right back into his head immediately just in case some other annoying student should run across them and decide to take a swim!

Prefect Marcus - Jan 28, 2005 5:50 pm (#1003 of 2980)
Snape does have a wand with him in Potions class. He used it to create writing on the board. He also used it to clean away messes.

Verschwinden Sie - Jan 29, 2005 6:48 pm (#1004 of 2980)
Okay, this is another one of those "just something I happened to notice while I was looking at things" kind of posts, but I thought I'd throw it out there because it's doing absolutely no good banging around idly inside my brain trying to find a good towel and hitch a ride on the nearest passing flying saucer.

Anyway, the thought goes something like this. J.K. Rowling recently said the question no one had asked was "Why didn't Voldemort die?" and I thought suddenly all the way back to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone where Snape says "I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death". It seems in recent times that Voldemort is fond of potions (he concocted one to keep himself alive in Goblet of Fire, and to resurrect himself as well).

I was just thinking about that and wondered a) just what it was that Snape DID for Voldemort while he was in his service, and b) if that has something to do with the reason Dumbledore seems so intent on keeping Snape in charge of potions at the castle (it certainly keeps him in practice having to constantly teach others potions and deal with the tasks a potions master would deal with... rather than allowing Snape to do DADA, which is what he wants to do).

Just idle musings, but it would be interesting to get another point of view, if this hasn't been already discussed to death.

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 29, 2005 9:07 pm (#1005 of 2980)
Andrew Buchanan - I think just about everything that we know from the five books, all of the interviews, all of the JKR web site updates and all of the research we have all done has been discussed to death. But I am sure we will continue to discuss this and everything else that anyone can think about at least until more tidbits of information are provided by JKR in the next update or until July 16th. When I expect that everything will quiet down for several days.


Hollywand - Jan 29, 2005 9:31 pm (#1006 of 2980)
Hi Andrew. If you are still out theory we have discussed on the Alchemy thead involves Snape and "Codswallop".

"Codswallop" refers to a bottle kept under pressure with a marble.

Remember the red and green marble on Jo's website that was a portkey/easter egg?

Kids would smash the bottle in order to play with the marble, which is the stopper to keep the pressure in the bottle.

Hagrid says "Codswallop" as an answer to a query about Voldemort's death.

Snape's remark that he knows how to "stopper death" could be a reference to him storing part of Voldemort's life essence.

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 29, 2005 9:40 pm (#1007 of 2980)
That could be the reason Snape hasn't been punished by Voldemort for his treasonous actions aganist the Dark Lord.


Potions Mistress - Jan 30, 2005 7:54 am (#1008 of 2980)
But I am sure we will continue to discuss this and everything else that anyone can think about at least until more tidbits of information are provided by JKR in the next update or until July 16th. When I expect that everything will quiet down for several days. --Mikie

Well, I think this forum will be fairly quiet for about 24 hours after the release of HBP, but after that (after we all read it in one sitting!) this forum is going to explode with things we have already discussed to death and will continue to discuss to death (probably even after Book 7) as well as new things to be discussed to death. I can't wait!


Kajsa - Jan 30, 2005 3:38 pm (#1009 of 2980)
Oh, I suppose we are just doomed to discuss these things to death - our death. :-) After reading and discussing "The Adventures of Harry Potter" for years and years and years - what else can happen to us?

And after loving the particular Potions master for such a long time, loving for no clear reason (what seems to be a feature of a true love) - how can you forget him? The life is nor enough. Very Happy

Er... I'm bit sentimental... but that's nearly 2 a.m., best time to be sentimental. Hope you don't mind.

Solitaire - Jan 30, 2005 4:27 pm (#1010 of 2980)
I think that should read ... "after loving or hating the particular Potions master ..." You see, some of us don't actually love him. Some of us think he is an arrogant, cruel, sadistic, hateful, bullying jerk. Ah, well ... if we all loved him, Gina would be jealous anyway.


Kajsa - Jan 30, 2005 4:43 pm (#1011 of 2980)
Loving, hating - not indifference anyway. What is essnetial for remembering.

What I really like about Snape - I learned (and still learning) many new words through his character, starting with "git". Since the common dictionaries (of 50,000 words or so) don't even offer the translations - I find it very useful, sort of advanced level. :-D

Gina R Snape - Jan 30, 2005 4:49 pm (#1012 of 2980)
:snort: I wouldn't be jealous unless someone tried moving in on my spot. Then I might use an unforgiveable when no one was looking. But I am all for the pro-Snape contingent, which has in the past (or maybe just when I was more energetic with my posts) been much larger.

As for the topic at hand, I do believe Snape has 'stoppered death' and, because of this, he and DD know how to unstopper it. DD was well pleased to hear about the potion used for his revival. He is also well versed in the 87(?) uses of dragon's blood. Methinks he is well versed in the power of Harry's blood to combat the potion the Dark Lord took many years ago.

I also strongly suspect the Draught of Living Death that Snape so casually mentions in book one will come of use in the end. Snape makes a point of mentioning to the kids that they may not think of potions as magic because it does not involve 'silly wand waving.' But creep in human veins it does, and magic it has.

Snape set an essay to the kids in one book which was given nothing more than a passing reference---How To Detect Them. In other words, how to tell if your drink has been tampered with. I am still waiting for that essay to come of use.

Solitaire - Jan 30, 2005 8:08 pm (#1013 of 2980)
Gina, if Snape turns out to be truly wonderful in the end--and we find out that all of his arrogance, cruelty, sadism, hatefulness, bullying, and nastiness have been a big act and he really loves Harry--no one will be happier than I to eat my words, smothered with stoat gravy! LOL I have no trouble admitting when I am wrong. I have had TONS of practice!


Gina R Snape - Jan 30, 2005 8:31 pm (#1014 of 2980)
Duly noted

Ann - Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am (#1015 of 2980)
Gina: the 87(?) uses of dragon's blood.

Are we thinking of ketchup here? No, that's 57 varieties, isn't it? Anyway, it's twelve (of course--everything is twelve). And she's said in interviews that the twelfth is as oven cleaner. I think some of the earlier ones may be more profound, since she refused to divulge them, but perhaps not.

Also, I really think the "stopper death" line has been much misinterpreted. I don't think it means to put a stopper in death itself, but to put death (in the form of a potion) in a bottle and seal the bottle. Like you might say "to cork wine" meaning to put the cork into a bottle of wine. It is the last stage in the process of creating a potion and is used by extension to mean the entire process.

But count me as one of Snape's supporters. I think it's probably because I'm a mean teacher myself, or so I've occasionally been told. I've had students complain to my chair, for example, that I call on them when they haven't put their hands up--it's apparently considered highly unfair to embarrass them that way. I've also been told that my courses are far too demanding (though I'm not sure how the young man who said this could judge, since he cut more than half of the classes and didn't do any of the assignments). I just wish I had Snape's ability to terrify my students enough that they wouldn't bother me with such silliness. It would be so wonderful. Sigh.

I wonder if there's a correlation: so many of those of us who like Snape seem to teach at the university level, while those who hate him teach at the secondary school level.

Hollywand - Jan 31, 2005 8:52 am (#1016 of 2980)
Rowling herself doesn't seem to like Snape much, Ann, and your last remark about secondary versus university is condescending. Ick. For the record, I teach at a university level and while I think Snape moves the plot forward and serves his purpose, he is not an admirable teacher.

Ann - Jan 31, 2005 9:13 am (#1017 of 2980)
Hollywand, I didn't mean at all to be condescending. Re-reading what I said, I think it could only be taken as condescending if one believes that university professors are somehow better than high school teachers--which I certainly don't. I could never do what they do! But if any secondary teachers were offended I apologize sincerely.

What I meant was that, those of us who are most familiar with classroom situations involving older kids and adults might be more responsive to the way that Snape handles his class--his methods are more appropriate to the environments we teach in (and, as I said, fulfill certain fantasies about getting some students at that level to show some respect). Those who actually teach the same grade levels Snape does may be more forcibly struck by the inappropriateness of his demeanor and treatment of the students in the settings with which they are most familiar. And I acknowledge that they are appropriate at this level!

Sorry not to have been clearer.

Hollywand - Jan 31, 2005 9:38 am (#1018 of 2980)
I don't think Rowling intends Snape's character as a guide to teaching.

Potions Mistress - Jan 31, 2005 9:55 am (#1019 of 2980)
Hollywand, I don't know if you intended me to giggle or not, but the university I attend has an accredited teaching program for primary (elementary school) and secondary (high school) education. I can just imagine a degree requirement: EDU 301--Severus Snape Teaching Style for All Grade Levels. (Luckily, I'm a Political Science major and so wouldn't have to take it! ;-) )

I don't think Snape's teaching style (arrogant, bullying git) works well at any level of education--it's just plain harmful to younger students and at the university level, many times your students just find you to be insufferable. I've had a professor like that in the past (who also seemed to suffer from some Lockhart-itis as well). While his mandatory classes will have full enrollment, those that he teaches as his "pet projects" don't get off the ground simply because nobody wants to deal with him more than they have to.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love reading Snape as a literary character, but I'm not overly fond of him as a person.


PS: Ann, I don't teach, but I can still relate to being irritated students who never come to class and then complain about the workload and how the instructor is "unfair." IMO, it's unfair for the students who attend class regularly and do the work to have to deal with some of these people. (Sorry if that seems harsh.)

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 31, 2005 11:25 am (#1020 of 2980)
Ann-I don't think that at any time it is proper to intimidate, harass or scare students into learning. That doesn't work. It makes the students hate the teacher and the subject being taught. Education must be a positive learning experience, teaching the way Snape does is totally negative and detrimental to everyone involved.


Choices - Jan 31, 2005 11:50 am (#1021 of 2980)
Well, I grudgingly have to agree Mickey, but deep in the most secret area of your mind, wouldn't you just love to have Snape's control over students....have them quaking in their boots? Not the good students, but the bad ones that drive you mad. I'm not a teacher - I'm the child of two teachers and both my daughters are teachers - but if I were one, I'd want that power.

Elanor - Jan 31, 2005 12:43 pm (#1022 of 2980)
LOL! I'm a teacher as well, in an elementary school (you forgot us Ann! ), and I have a soft spot for Snape as well. I would never teach the way he does but, sometimes, I can't help but think that it would feel good to do so (especially with the "bright one" that tries to play with your nerves...). Actually, the low and dangerous voice effects work really well on kids, it's far more impressive than yelling (I use that one a lot...).

I think that our feelings towards the characters depend a lot of our own story and the way our story reacts with theirs. Personally, I found Snape's childhood memories very moving. Let's say that it reminded me some memories I wish I wouldn't have. I felt some empathy with him then and understood far better what he must have felt when he was a student. That is true for Snape and for every other HP character. I think it is the great talent of JKR, to create characters so "living" that it is impossible they can't touch us.

Snape is a strong character and our feelings towards him are strong to match. We may love him, or hate him but it is impossible to remain indifferent to him. It's a feature of a great literary character, and of a brilliant writer.

Ann - Jan 31, 2005 1:07 pm (#1023 of 2980)
Elanor, hmmm. Maybe that's because elementary school students and college students have so much in common.... The secondary school kids always seem so much more sensitive, well-mannered, and self aware.

Mikie, I don't really think that belittling or scaring students is a good way to teach them either, and needless to say I don't do it. (I like to think my style is more McGonagall.) But I think Choices and Elanor are right--what I'm really envying is the control. I can do the single raised eyebrow bit fairly well, but the soft, low, silky threatening voice eludes me.

I just had what I am coming to think of as a "Snape moment" when a young woman's cell phone went off in the middle of my lecture, and she calmly finished the notes she was taking before reaching for her bag to fumble around, look at who was calling, and turn it off. We got halfway through the William Tell Overture. I just stood there trying to remember what on earth I was supposed to be talking about, and wishing I had a wand.... Or maybe a dungbomb....

Hollywand - Jan 31, 2005 3:02 pm (#1024 of 2980)
Hello Potions Mistress---Your reply to my last post on Severus made me laugh! Mugglenet has a thread called "Ask Snape"; needless to say, any question you put forward gets a very acerbic reply.

People often take the kindness of others for granted, and I think both Severus and Draco are examples of this behaviour. Their social strategy is to attack or sucker punch, yet they are shocked or complain when others don't extend courtesy to them.

I will close with this excerpt from a radio show here in Hollywood that exemplifies this sort of narcissitic behaviour:

"And then, (sob) I got cut off by someone who had an SUV that was bigger than mine.....(sob) and I got so upset....(sob)...I accidently took a drink of tap water.....(sob)"

Hehe ;-) Go Lady MacBeth.

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 31, 2005 6:09 pm (#1025 of 2980)
I am not a teacher but I have 5 in my family. They teach from 4th grade thru high school.

I understand the desire to have control over the students you teach and really I can see your point. My daughter tells me the parents of 3rd & 4th graders are more than a match for any grad student. She was a grad student 2 years ago.

But I believe that control can be achieved in a positive way exactly as McGonagall does it. You do not have to berate, degrade or abuse your students to achieve control. A thorough knowledge of your subject and confidence in your own ability will go along way towards controlling most students and parents.

I know that I have never experienced teaching and have very little room to talk about the subject. But I cannot condone or accept that there is anything that Snape does in teaching his classes that any other teacher should believe is desirable.

I am sorry if I have offended any teachers out there but that is my 2 knuts worth.


Solitaire - Jan 31, 2005 10:46 pm (#1026 of 2980)
Those who actually teach the same grade levels Snape does may be more forcibly struck by the inappropriateness of his demeanor and treatment of the students

As one who teaches adolescents, I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. Snape's teaching style would probably merit frequent visits by CPS--assuming he ever got past the initial screening process for teachers.


Cornelia - Feb 1, 2005 4:06 am (#1027 of 2980)
I think, Prof. Snape is not a good teacher (educational) but very good in making potions and ( I am not sure)in DADA. Maybe he never wanted to be a teacher but had to join the staff at Hogwarts after the Dark Lords fall because Dumbledore wanted him secure and under his control? He might be doing his best, at least he is not hanging the pupils on their on their ankles from the ceiling or putting them in chains... And the children are learning the things in his classes they should learn, the high levels in his OWL and NEWT courses speak for themselves. And it could be even worse, imagine a teacher with Snapes behaviour and Lockhards knowledge of the subject! I personally think he is doing the best he can...I can somehow understand him... And I have a question about him: Why was he trying not to smile when the cat Mrs. Norris got petrified in the second book? When Ginny got locked up in the chamber he was worried or was it only because Ginny is a pure-blood?! Cornelia

Solitaire - Feb 1, 2005 7:25 am (#1028 of 2980)
I don't know about wanting him under his control, but I believe Dumbledore felt that keeping Snape in the castle would probably keep him alive. As for being a bad teacher ... yeah, I think he is. He is probably brilliant, but many brilliant people make terrible teachers. Things come easily to them, so they have little or no patience with kids who do not "catch on" quickly. Kids do learn from Snape, but I believe they learn in spite of him rather than because of him.

I'm not sure about the Mrs. Norris part of things--no book handy--but I suspect that Snape knew what was happening and who was behind it ... and that is why he was concerned about Ginny. He probably figured she was a gonner. I would not be surprised to learn that Voldemort's closest followers--his inner circle--knew of the Chamber as more than just a rumor. Lucius must have known about the Chamber, even if he did not know its exact whereabouts.

On another thread, someone said yesterday that the castle was unimportant. I'm not so sure about that. Is it possible that Hogwarts is sitting on something further--some other "Secret" contained in the Chamber--that Voldemort needs or wants?


Bathilda - Feb 1, 2005 7:44 am (#1029 of 2980)
No, Snape is not a teaching model for youngsters with his nastiness. However, if he was a bit friendlier, I like his no-nonsense approach and his high expectations. Especially in such a precise branch of magic. There's no "silly wand waving". Either it's right, or it's wrong; and the consequences can be deadly. As for the Voldemort/Stopper Death issue. Voldemort somewhere says (I'm paraphrasing here) "I wasn't dead, not completely, I had taken too many steps to prevent a mortal death." Or something like that. I think it's in GoF when he's telling the DE what happened after the AK curse backfired off Harry's head. The stopper death part, imo, is just Snape Drama. Or it's referring to death in a bottle. Poisonous Potions in lieu of Potable Potions, if you will. (Not really funny, I know)

librarian314 - Feb 1, 2005 8:07 am (#1030 of 2980)
Hey all!

In general, I think that Prof. Snape's teaching style is abysmal. He publicly humiliates, belittles, and sabotages numerous of his students. Yet, somehow, they learn.

What I would really like to see, for comparison's sake is a class without Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle. We know that he hates Harry for numerous reasons. He can't stand Neville because of his incompetence. Ron gets in trouble because he is Harry's friend. Does he hate Hermione because she is a know-it-all, a girl, a Muggle, Harry's friend, or any/all of the above?

Maybe, he's less insufferable in a class of Ravenclaws/Hufflepuffs. Maybe he's a bit more mellow with his NEWT classes. (I had a professor in grad school that was similar in some aspects to Snape, who was said to be a much better teacher with her higher level classes. I never found out as I didn't take any more classes from her.)

I would rather have Snape than Umbrage, though any day. Snape knows his subject, and commands respect from his students. His classes seem to be ones where you could actually get work done as opposed to ones run by wild students, who fling frog guts across the room (my 10th grade advanced biology class (these were supposed to be the smart kids)).

I think there are probably a minority of students (and not just Slytherins) that actually don't mind his classes. They are challenging and interesting and demand that you put forth some sort of effort. (I hated classes that I could show up for and get good grades. I much preferred classes where I had to work for my grade. They were more interesting and especially in college and grad school, I felt like I was getting my money's worth.)

*michelle the librarian**

Bathilda [/b]- Feb 1, 2005 8:19 am (#1031 of 2980)
I don't think he's much better to others. Note his venom toward the students necking in the rose bushes at the Yule Ball... However, I think he saves his best hate for Harry.

Kajsa - Feb 1, 2005 9:03 am (#1032 of 2980)
I think he is doing very good for a Death Eater. :-)

I remember JKR said that Dumbledore thinks it is useful for children to have such the experience. I quite agree. I mean - it's a boarding school, their whole world for ten month. They must learn to interact with all sorts of people.

Denise P. - Feb 1, 2005 9:06 am (#1033 of 2980)
Having gone to a boarding school for two years, I can say that no teacher who treated students the way Snape does would have been tolerated.

He walks a very fine line and often falls on the wrong side of the line with his behavior. He is not behaving this way as an object lesson, this is who he is.

Prefect Marcus - Feb 1, 2005 9:25 am (#1034 of 2980)
Edited by Feb 1, 2005 9:25 am
In defense of Good ol' Snape, I have to point out that we are seeing him mainly through Harry's eyes. This does NOT excuse him from his pettiness and bullying, which he is obviously is guilty of.

Kajsa - Feb 1, 2005 9:38 am (#1035 of 2980)
I agree, Denise, that to be the example (whatever) is probably the last thing he cares about. But that must be Dumbledore's point - kids learn what people may be like. Since Hogwarts is the only school for wizards they really must have someone like this.

I find it useful but it may be just my personal experience. I managed to get through 11 years of secondary education with NO nasty teachers (or nasty fellow students) at all. They were all of McGonagall-Flitwick-Sprout sort. Well, lucky me, of course, but ever since I have problems when interacting with evil and nasty people when there is no chance to avoid them. I mean I don't know how really far such people can go. What saves me from constant shocks is that I am a cold and indifferent person.

So I think it is useful to have Snape-like teacher at the teen age. But, of course, one Snape is more than enough, no more of them, please. :-)

Potions Mistress - Feb 1, 2005 9:49 am (#1036 of 2980)
What strikes me about Snape is he acts out on his a lot of the anger he had as a teenager. He has switched places--no longer the bullied, he is now the bullying.


PS: Hollywand, I LOVE the "Ask Snape" thread over on Mugglenet! LOL

T Brightwater - Feb 1, 2005 11:37 am (#1037 of 2980)
I get the feeling that some of the teachers on this forum occasionally fantasize about being able to use some of Snape's lines or methods on particular students (and get away with it) but I think you're all too decent to actually do it. :-) The head of Reference in a library I used to work at had a poster in her office that said "An evil mind is a great comfort."

It'll be interesting to see how he is in his NEWT class, assuming Harry somehow manages to get into it.

I wonder how Snape would react to Hermione if she were a pureblood and a Slytherin.

MoonRider - Feb 1, 2005 11:51 am (#1038 of 2980)
I agree with those who think Snape's a good teacher-----but, I also agree with the person who said they'd like t'see a class without Harry, and others. I think in one of the books it actually says something like: when Snape entered the room, everyone went silent----just like when Professor McGonagall enters a room.

The other thing I wanted to mention, is: I think Snape is a bat animagus. There's lots of mention of bats----but the one that sealed it for me was that bit about Ron askin' Harry if Snape could've beaten him and DD to the forest, and Harry said not unless he could turn himself into a bat or something.

I'm thinkin', maybe the Blood Lollipops (or, whatever they're called) play into it, somehow....

like, maybe, Snape goin' over to the good side at great personal risk is somethin' like, if he chose the good side he wouldn't be able to drink blood anymore-----or, maybe/also, he wouldn't be able to turn into a vampire, either-----so he eats those lollipops instead-----because one never does, totally get over needing the taste of blood, or something like that.

I never have been able t'figure-out, though, why there is constant mention of him having greasey hair. What's that about?

Solitaire - Feb 1, 2005 12:34 pm (#1039 of 2980)
I, too, believe that Snape is a bat animagus and have said so on numerous occasions. There are too many bat-like references to him. He has been described as "swooping" around the castle at night; as a large, malevolent bat in the dueling scene with Lockhart; and of course the reference you mention above. Sorry no reference pages ... no books handy!


Snuffles - Feb 1, 2005 12:45 pm (#1040 of 2980)
There is also the mention is PS/SS when Harry finds out is is Quirrell after the stone and not Snape. Quirrell says "Yes, Severus does seem the type, doesn't he? So useful to have him swooping around like an overgrown bat."

Choices - Feb 1, 2005 1:48 pm (#1041 of 2980)
Yes, Snape swoopes around LIKE an overgrown bat, not necessarily AS an overgrown bat. JKR usually mentions things that are hanging around - like Rita as the beetle - she mentioned that several times. When have we ever seen a scene where there was a big bat hanging around taking in the action? I think if he was a bat animagus, we would have been told about a bat being seen at some important meeting or event. I will be very surprised if we find out Snape is an animagus - likely an unregistered animagus at that. If Hermione had seen his name on the list of registered animagi, I do believe she would have spilled the beans by now. The animagus thing has been done enough.

Ann - Feb 1, 2005 2:18 pm (#1042 of 2980)
I am really fairly tired of unregistered animagi at this point--I think Jo's been there and done that. The bat references for Snape may be like the kitten references for Ginny, just a way of characterizing him. On the other hand, in the pensieve scene, we do see him hanging upside down, and that may not be an accident....

T Brightwater: "I get the feeling that some of the teachers on this forum occasionally fantasize about being able to use some of Snape's lines or methods on particular students (and get away with it) but I think you're all too decent to actually do it. :-)"

Only because we don't have wands and we aren't allowed to take house points. (I do have a pointer, though, and I swear if the guy in the second row one of my classes blows one more humongous bubble while I'm trying to talk, I'm going to use that pointer and the kid will be getting bubble gum out of his hair until next Christmas. How's that for Snape-ish?)

Catherine - Feb 1, 2005 2:26 pm (#1043 of 2980)
I haven't decided if we've seen the last of the Animagus trick. I'm thinking we might see it again before Book 7 is finished.

It is funny that we are so attuned to clues that we read very literally the similes Jo uses to describe her characters.

Besides a bat Animagus, I've considered a vulture and cockroach as well.

**Aside to Ann: my husband, a college prof, indulges his "inner Snape" by threatening to "burn out your retina" with a laser pointer if he catches them cheating. **

Prefect Marcus - Feb 1, 2005 3:27 pm (#1044 of 2980)
Edited by Feb 1, 2005 3:27 pm
I suspect that Rowling knows that her readers are clued into any unexplained animals that just might be accidently hanging around. So it would surprise me to discover any more secret animagi.

Now I think it very likely that we will discover an unknown Metamorphmagus. Tonks can't be the only one.

"Fooled me once, shame on you. Fooled me twice, shame on me."

Potions Mistress - Feb 1, 2005 4:54 pm (#1045 of 2980)
Ginerva's post (1029) got me thinking about Hogwart's classes in general: most of the classes there seem to be "practical classes"--you're either right or you're not (along the lines of math in the Muggle world). There don't seem to be many classes that are more "abstract"--the only one that I can think of at the moment that might qualify is History of Magic (along the lines of Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, etc.). I can definitely see the need for the practical classes--wouldn't want to accidently nail someone with a bad charm--but is there a place in the Hogwart's curriculum for the more "abstract" classes? (Feel free to move this thread if you feel it is more appropriate elsewhere.)


Wand Maker - Feb 1, 2005 6:24 pm (#1046 of 2980)
Snape is a skilled potions maker. This is highly useful in a teaching position. Snaps is not nice. This is also useful in a teaching position. It shows to the students that not everyone is benevolent. They can be in positions of power, and this is something that people need to be exposed to in order to gain valuable experience about people. I think that both of these reasons are why Dumbledore Keeps Snape around and doesn't interfere (much).

MickeyCee3948 - Feb 1, 2005 7:51 pm (#1047 of 2980)
I don't believe Snape is any different with other students. Remember that none of the Weasley boys thought very highly of his teaching skills. We really don't get any feedback from anyone else such as Ginny or Luna so we are left to draw our own conclusions. I really think he is frustrated and needs a long visit from Gina.

Ann, I didn't think you pointer comment was very Snape'ish. If you have warned the showoff and he continues to blow bubbles, you have my permission. When I was in school just chewing gum was grounds for 3 licks from the coach or assistant principal. AND I don't mean from his dog.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Feb 1, 2005 9:48 pm (#1048 of 2980)
"I have to point out that we are seeing him mainly through Harry's eyes." Very good point Marcus!

"I really think he is frustrated and needs a long visit from Gina." Thank you Mickey for prompting me to share my mouthful of dinner with my keyboard!

I do think both are excellent points though, (pushing potatoes and such aside). Professor Snape has been teaching for a good while now, not just during Harry's tenure at Hogwarts. I do believe if Snape was as bad as Harry, or most other students make out, he would not have been teaching at Hogwarts long enough to encounter Harry. Not to mention if the line of sucession follows at Hogwarts, he'd never be third. Just something to chew on, as I am picking out pieces of steak from between keys....

Kerrie-Louise - Feb 2, 2005 12:24 am (#1049 of 2980)
I used to have a Science teacher who was very much like Snape. If you worked hard but didn't show off you could be his favourite student. If you made silly remarks, interrupted or broke any of his very strict class rules you would find that your life in class was a hell. I really got on well with him and I happened to be in his tutor group which probably helped. He was actually one of the best teachers in the school because no one dared not do their homework or not listen in class. Whilst Snape is obviously worse than my Science teacher was it is probably worth remembering that the class do learn the potions and probably would be petrified of forgetting to do their homework! This doesn't make him a good teacher of course. Sorry for the long post!

dizzy lizzy - Feb 2, 2005 1:16 am (#1050 of 2980)
Kerri-Louise, I had a teacher like that in High School. He made his rules and his expectations VERY clear at the beginning of the school year. As a result all classes were quiet and well behaved (phew!).

But then I've had teachers who talked to the ceiling (and not to the class) and others who lost their temper and yelled loud enough at the class (due to being egged on by the ratbaggy boys) that other teachers would come to see what was going on.

While I would not have appreciated or liked being in a class like Snape's, I know (in hindsight) I would have learnt what I was supposed to learn. And again I agree that Snape really doesn't deserve to be a teacher.

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Post  Mona on Wed May 25, 2011 2:36 pm

Bathilda - Feb 2, 2005 7:13 am (#1051 of 2980)
I think that perhaps Snape's character is used to illustrate and satirize a stereotype of British Education. Especially that in Boarding schools. Movies, books, etc. show this system as kind of bullying and as pushing an agenda. (Think: We don't need no Education!!) That's how it's seen from the American perspective anyway. Most of these references are from media representing the past though. (still 20th century) However, wizards are portrayed in a kind of present in the past way. I.e. Wizards listen to the "wireless", they don't watch television. They use candles, fires, torches (in the DA room, not flashlights), etc. I think there needs to be an antagonist, and in a work as long as the HP series, there needs to be several. Snape is the faculty antagonist, Draco is the peer antagonist, Lucius is the parental antagonist, and Voldy is the mother of all antagonists. (the Dursleys are the Muggle antagonists) I think that Rowling is just having some fun with Snape as a teacher. Maybe from a past experience?

As for Snape being a bat--I've caught the references, and I think that they are mainly red herrings for those of us who are trying to read between the lines. I'd be surprised if he was a bat, but I think that the animagus thing might return. However, I think it will take the form of the trio trying to become animagus themselves. I know it took the Mauraders years, but it might not have if they had started when they were in their 6th year. Hermione is up for it brains wise, and Harry has shown himself a powerful enough wizard talent wise to pull it off. I think Hermy will be the next self-taught unregistered surprise animagi, not Snape.

By the way, Potions Mistress, I have always wondered where the core subjects of writing, literature, art, music, etc. are in these books. Wizards are artisic, and think what they could create! Isn't Dean good at drawing, and he makes all the drawings of Harry flying by the Horntail? Sorry, OT...

T Brightwater - Feb 2, 2005 9:23 am (#1052 of 2980)
I suspect Snape learned a lot of what he does know about teaching from Professor McGonagall, who seems to be the best kind of strict and demanding teacher, but he can't suppress his own nastiness and prejudices.

I don't think Snape is an Animagus. Jo seems to make a habit of thwarting the expectation that things happen in threes. Plot devices she's used twice include unregistered Animagi (the Marauders in PoA, Rita Skeeter in GoF), supposedly dead people reappearing (Peter Pettigrew, Barty Crouch), the Pensieve (GoF and OotP), Dumbledore being removed as Headmaster (CoS, OotP), Polyjuice Potion (Cos, GoF), Squibs (Filch and Mrs. Figg), a major character turning out to be part-human (Hagrid, Remus), and DADA teachers who are agents of Voldemort in some way (Quirrell, Crouch/Moody). I don't know if we should expect any of these to happen again.

Choices - Feb 2, 2005 9:28 am (#1053 of 2980)
Good observations there, T. Brightwater!

Brianna Wing - Feb 2, 2005 1:03 pm (#1054 of 2980)


I know this isn't really following the way this thread is going but I have seen this discussed, briefly, on earlier Severus Snape threads.

People have talked about why Snape doesn't eat at 12 Grimauld Place (usually in defense of him being a vampire). And to me it seems like he is only there if he has to be. The other day I was just sitting around and an idea hit me. We know Kreacher was unfaithful to Sirius. That most likely he went to the Malfoys and that is how Lord Voldemort found out about Sirius and Harry's relationship. Snape is a spy for the order. So wouldn't it make sense that he would try not to be around Kreacher any more then he has to so that the Malfoy's won't find out that he is hanging around with Dumbledore, Potter, Weasleys, and crew?

Sorry if someone already had this idea but I'm new.

"Pain is just weakness leaving the body."

Brianna Wing


Bathilda - Feb 2, 2005 3:30 pm (#1055 of 2980)
Interesting bit about Snape and Kreacher. Kreacher would have HAD to see Snape at Grimmauld Place, right? If he told the Malfoys Snape was part of the order, I guess Snape could just say that he is spying for the DE... He's a double agent, and he has to be a skilled liar. If he's contacted Voldy since his return, I don't know how he gets away with lying to him... Although, I think that it was said that he ALMOST always knows when someone is lying to him. (voldy, that is) Whoops, brain drain..didn't DD say that Kreacher is not permitted to betray the Order, or something to that effect? going away to check now...

Potions Mistress - Feb 2, 2005 4:42 pm (#1056 of 2980)
Well, I think he was under orders not to betray the Order, but don't remember for sure. (No book with me.) However, for the sake of argument, let's assume for the moment that he's not. Word could've got back to Voldy that Snape is working for the Order, which Snape would have to lie to Voldy, which means that his skills as an Occlumens (assuming they're up to par with Voldy's) would've come in especially handy. Even if Kreacher didn't tell anybody (DE's that is), it is possible that Snape would have to lie about his actions for the Order, etc. to Voldy anyway. (I take the position that Snape is working for the good guys, even if he is a world-class git.)

Oh, BTW, Ginerva, Pink Floyd's "The Wall" does seem to find it's way onto the Snape threads. (LOL) I think the line "No dark sarcasm in the classrooms" is great for Snape! :-)


Brianna Wing - Feb 2, 2005 4:55 pm (#1057 of 2980)


I don't actually have the books with me but I think that Kreacher was not able to tell that the order was there because of the charm and Dumbledore being the secret keeper. Even if Kreacher couldn't say outright he could hint at it like Dobby did in COS. Also I think it would be okay for Kreacher to see Severus as long as Severus made it seem like he really didn't want to be there but he had to for work stuff so Dumbledore didn't get suspisous.

In elementary school we use to play this wierd war game. There were two sides and they wouldn't fight about anything serious just like boyfriends/girlfriends and other school things. But I had friends on both sides. I told them that I was working for them and then I told the other side the same exact thing( I am a very good liar). I told enough of the truth so that I wasn't questioned but I still controled everything the other side heard since they rarely met face-to-face.

The point I'm trying to make is that being a double agent you really can control what is going on. I think Severus has 'friends' on both sides but is working for himself. If Voldemort wins he tells Dumbledore he was working for Voldemort the whole time. If Dumbledore wins he tells Voldemort he was working for Dumbledore the whole time. Does that make any sense?

'Pain is weakness leaving the body."

Brianna Wing


Ann - Feb 2, 2005 7:03 pm (#1058 of 2980)
I think Kreacher can't disobey a direct order from Sirius, and he can't betray any of the Order's secrets because Sirius has told him not to. Dumbledore says he can only tell Narcissa about apparently unimportant things that Sirius hasn't forbidden him to reveal, like Harry & Sirius's mutual affection.

septentrion - Feb 3, 2005 3:13 am (#1059 of 2980)
It's possible that Snape works for Snape. DD could know it and using it for the Order's sake. Yet I don't completely buy this theory because when DD asks Severus to do something at the end GoF, DD has an anxious look. It probably means he asked Severus to do something dangerous : would Snape accept to do something dangerous if he were working for himself ? It doesn't sound as if he was just trying to save his neck playing both sides.

Ann - Feb 3, 2005 6:48 am (#1060 of 2980)
I think Snape is working for Dumbledore, and that he is almost desperately loyal to him. He does so many things that must be hard and painful for him, even in our (Harry's) sight, and one can assume that he's suffering a good deal more off stage (when he visits Voldemort and pretends to be a loyal DE).

I agree that knowing what goes on on both sides gives a person a good deal of power and control over what each side hears and knows, and while it is in some cases possible to play both sides against the middle and come out on top, I don't think that is what Snape is doing. He is not a leader, and I think he's intelligent enough to know that. Lucius, I think, may be playing that sort of game, but my impression is that Snape is actually a rather punctiliously moral and thoughtful person who got caught up in the DE thing because he got angry and acted rashly--or possibly because of pressure from his father or both. (Think of how uncontrolled his temper is now, sometimes, and imagine him as an adolescent.)

Now, I think, all he wants is some sort of peace with himself, but his conscience won't give him that until he expiates his crimes. And I suspect that what he has to do to expiate them may involve him in other crimes. His nastiness and bitterness as a teacher means that Harry (and we) see him initially as an evil person. I think the more Harry matures and begins to see the larger picture, the more he'll understand Snape. He's not a nice man--don't get me wrong--but I think he is a profoundly moral man. He is the kind of man who pays his debts, all of them; and he will pay them down to the last penny.

Bathilda - Feb 3, 2005 7:26 am (#1061 of 2980)
Ann, I'm with you up to the "moral" part. Snape is a bigot. He calls Lily a "mudblood" and seems to prefer bullying by the marauders rather than to be helped by a mudblood. We haven't been shown (yet) that he is over his prejudice against all who are not pureblood. To me a moral person is also a tolerant person. But you're right on about seeing Snape as Harry matures. He, and consequently we, can only see him from the perspective of child/adult. When his perspective is adult/adult, it will be different. For me at least, the biggest life lesson has been that EVERYONE has a story, and that you don't really know much about anyone. It's cliche, but you really do have to walk a mile in another's shoes to know what it's like. I think that Harry, and indeed the trio, will learn this lesson through Snape. But back to the text: Phineas Nigellus (sp?) says to Harry that Slytherin's will ALWAYS save their own necks first. Will Snape be the exception to this? I doubt it. I don't think that Rowling would be so formulaic with the sacrifice thing. She did it with Harry's Mother. That was good, and believable. If Snape would sacrifice himself for wouldn't make sense, and it would be sappy. Maybe his shoes are three sizes too the Grinch.

Weeny Owl - Feb 3, 2005 11:39 am (#1062 of 2980)
I don't think that Rowling would be so formulaic with the sacrifice thing. She did it with Harry's Mother. That was good, and believable. If Snape would sacrifice himself for wouldn't make sense, and it would be sappy.

I agree totally with that. I do hope JKR doesn't have Snape sacrifice himself for Harry. If he is to sacrifice himself at all, and since he called Lily a "mudblood," if he were to save another Muggle-born, that would be much less sappy.

What I'd really like to see is Snape alive and well at the end of the series with his coveted Order of Merlin, and making peace with Harry, even if they're never actually friends.

Kajsa - Feb 3, 2005 2:15 pm (#1063 of 2980)
Yeah, you are right, Weeny, some piece will be good for them both, Snape and Harry. Something that will bring silence and light in the heart - whatever it may be.

Ann, I too think Snape is extremely loyal to Dumbledore (and McGonagall) even if he doesn't show it in Hagrid's way. Dumbledore, being all wise and kind, has one great feature - he believes people. He believes Snape and believes in Snape and together with the rest attitude it must be a treasure for Snape. It would be a treasure for anyone, but especially for someone as lonely and nasty as Snape. Double agent after all - people almost never believe those who change sides. And it looks like no one has ever really supported him. The second chance given to him by Dumbledore is the second chance truly given by heart - it is a very special thing.

Bathilda - Feb 3, 2005 2:50 pm (#1064 of 2980)
Kajsa, you are a wise one. I think you may have pinned down why Snape, double agent that he is, will end on the side of Good. Because it feels good to be trusted/believed/loved. Voldy treats his friends as poorly as his enemies. He has nothing to offer but seething hatred and power. That amounts to nothing, if you don't have a friend to your name. Snape knows--or will come to know this. I think he already knows, but it's hard to change those poisonous toadstool spots.

The Weaslys - Feb 3, 2005 2:54 pm (#1065 of 2980)
Hello all, I had a funny thought that came back to me as I was scanning these posts about Snape. There always seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding Snape. I too would like to see he and Harry make piece. I have noticed that in the movie Prisoner of A he steps in front of the students protectively when they are threatened by Lupin as a werewolf. Assuming that Jo has alot of influence over how things like that appear in the movie it would be a good sign that inside he has a good spot.But.....the thought I had.....In GoF at Voldy's rebirthing thingy as Voldy is looking around the circle of DEs he says how he has a loyal servent at Hogwarts and how one servant will never return. Well, I always assumed the loyal servant at Hogwarts was Crouch and that Snape is the servant who will never return and that Voldy is on to him. What if Snape is the loyal one (for real) and Crouch is the one who will never return because Voldy figures he will die. Now that I see it in print it sounds kind of iffy I guess. Oh well!

Weeny Owl - Feb 3, 2005 3:48 pm (#1066 of 2980)
Hi, The Weaslys

You might want to explore this forum a bit and find the old Snape threads. The entire "coward/left forever" topic is discussed and dissected thoroughly. There are some interesting bits of evidence that can support nearly any side, but since it is so in-depth, you might find a lot of things that will either change your mind or will support the theories you already have.

hellocello3200 - Feb 5, 2005 9:18 am (#1067 of 2980)
I do think Snape looks out for himself, but I don't think that straddling the fence in this situation would accomplish anything for him because I see the metaphorical fence as being one with a great deal of barbed wire and possibly and electric current.

As for Snape sacrificing himself, I wouldn't rule it out, but if it did happen I would expect Snape to use his last breath to make it very clear that he still couldn't stand Harry.

septentrion - Feb 5, 2005 11:48 am (#1068 of 2980)
Some recent editorials on mugglenet have made my head spinning. Remember the Snape's worst memory ? They both suggest this was the worst memory for Harry and not for Snape, but they draw different conclusions from this idea :
- one says Snape retired this memory from his brain because he knew Harry could break into his mind during the occlumency lessons and he didn't want him to be hurt
-the other says he wanted Harry to be hurt and kind of made sure Harry would peek into the Pensieve one day or another. This theory is supported by the fact than Snape seems rather self-controlled in OoTP in comparison with his tantrum at the end of PoA.

I've always thought that Snape just didn't want Harry to see some memories of his, so took them from his brain. The day Harry sneaked in Snape's pensieve, the potions master left quickly his office because he was told they found a missing Slytherin student, hence his aim wasn't Harry saw the memories. But these essays were rather convincing. What do you think ?

pottermom34 - Feb 5, 2005 1:37 pm (#1069 of 2980)
Hi I'm new here. I wonder if it would've helped if Harry were to use the penseive for his own thoughts just to learn occlumency. Snape should've offered it to Harry, he got to empty his own thoughts into it, it's only fair that Harry try it.

Weeny Owl - Feb 5, 2005 2:00 pm (#1070 of 2980)
I like it being the worst memory of Snape's for Harry, but I agree with you that what happened happened only because Snape left his office so fast. Snape was barely controlled, and him seething with so much anger seemed much more serious to me than his tantrum in PoA.

I would think anyone teaching someone Occlumency would remove certain memories he or she just didn't want the other person seeing, or memories that might make it more difficult to teach that person. I think that memory being removed was more for Snape's benefit than Harry's.

Ydnam96 - Feb 5, 2005 4:04 pm (#1071 of 2980)
septentrion, I have recently read those editorials as well...I have to admit that they make a lot of sense. Snape (whether on the side of good or not) likes to torture Harry. He also seems to have a great desire to break Harry's belief that his father was so wonderful. I think it is entirely possible that Snape knew Harry would see him put his thoughts in the Pensive and would want to see them.

Potions Mistress - Feb 5, 2005 5:16 pm (#1072 of 2980)
Regarding Snape's anger after the Pensieve incident, I agree that this was much more dangerous. In PoA, he threw a world-class tantrum, but everyone pretty much knew where he stood. I don't think his anger was so much controlled as bottled up--that is, things probably would've worked out sort of better in the end if Snape had just truly exploded. Instead, he let that anger eat away at him and then seeks revenge on Harry, like "accidently" dropping Harry's potion and then failing him. I don't think we've seen the last effects of the Pensieve incident (and Snape's hatred toward Harry in general).


Solitaire - Feb 5, 2005 5:21 pm (#1073 of 2980)
Nicely said, PM.

Ann - Feb 5, 2005 5:50 pm (#1074 of 2980)
I certainly don't think Snape intended Harry to see his memories in the Pensieve, mainly because of his reaction afterwards. He clearly has no idea that Harry will be made unhappy by the memories--it's pretty obvious that he expects Harry to join Sirius and James and Peter in laughing at his pain, and also that he expects Harry to tell Ron and Hermione and perhaps others about what he's seen. I also think his anger is much worse than it was at the end of PoA: he actually hurts Harry, which is far more unforgivable than just screaming at him.

Of course, I haven't read the editorials yet, so perhaps I'll be convinced, but I just can't see it as likely.

<EDIT> Okay, now I've read the North Tower essay, and I'm even less convinced. First, it depends on the assumption that Snape sees Harry as an individual different from his father and understands how he will react to the scene. But it is very clear that Snape simply equates James and Harry, and has no true sense of Harry's character at all. And second, it depends on the assumption that someone who yells bloody murder is necessarily more angry than someone who is tight lipped and sarcastic and throwing things. My take on that entire scene is that Snape is using every ounce of control in his body to prevent himself from casting a Cruciatus or even an AK. Third, it assumes that the pensieve was left purposely for Harry to investigate, whereas I think the author is underestimating the panic of a teacher/head of house's reaction to the the reappearance in dangerous circumstances of a student who has been missing for over 24 hours.

Weeny Owl - Feb 5, 2005 8:19 pm (#1075 of 2980)
I agree with that assessment, Ann.

Snape wouldn't want Harry to see that memory, not because of how it showed James and Sirius, but because of the humiliation Snape felt. He wouldn't want to give Harry any ammunition or anything at all that might be used later.

I'm not sure he would go so far as using an Unforgivable, but I do think that if he didn't have the control he does, Harry would truly have been injured instead of just being thrown across the room.

If Snape had wanted harry to venture into the Pensieve, he could have arranged it at any point in those two months' worth of lessons. He could have had a house-elf interrupt him, he could have said he had to meet with a student and for Harry to wait, he could have said he had to tend a potion... anything, really. I don't see at all how that was deliberate on Snape's part.

Choices - Feb 6, 2005 9:14 am (#1076 of 2980)
I agree - I think it would send Snape over the edge to think that Harry "felt sorry" for him. Snape would loathe having Harry (of all people) pity him.

hellocello3200 - Feb 6, 2005 9:34 am (#1077 of 2980)
I don't think Snape would want Harry to see the memory for the same reason as Ann. He doesn't see Harry as any different from his father, even though we know that Harry would never do that to someone, or even find it amusing even if he cant stand the person. I'm sure Snape was worried that Harry would repeat what he saw to all his friends and Snape would loose some of the fear/respect that they have for him.

Solitaire - Feb 6, 2005 9:52 am (#1078 of 2980)
Snape would loose some of the fear/respect that they have for him

While Snape himself may have feared this result, I doubt it would have happened. First, I do not believe Harry and his friends respect Snape much--if at all. He is indeed a brilliant Wizard and potions master; however, it is difficult to feel much respect for a teacher who treats his students with such blatant contempt and unfairness as Snape does. As for causing them to lose some of their fear, I don't see this as particularly likely, either. The Trio would then know that Snape had a powerful motive for being even more vindictive and unfair--and would probably make their lives even more miserable, if that were possible--and it would increase their fear and dislike of him. Well, that's my opinion, anyway.


hellocello3200 - Feb 6, 2005 1:17 pm (#1079 of 2980)
I mean respect in the same way you should respect the power of mother nature, your car and other people's cars and gravity, not the type of respect you have for your parents. I think that the pensieve scene shows a very vulnerable Snape, and Snape trys very hard to maintain an a indifferent and in control demeanor and wouldn't want to ruin that.

potterfan8 - Feb 7, 2005 6:50 am (#1080 of 2980)
HI, I am new to the forum and I have never posted anything before, and I dont know if this has been brought up already (I am sure it has and I may just be behind)-- but didn't James Potter save Snape's life- so doesn't he owe a debt to James- could this be the reason he hates yet secretly helps Harry all the time?

I think that Snape's behavior has something to do with James Potter- not Dumbledore. Snape may be a connection a character which is used to connect Harry to his parents- even though he is arguably mean to Harry (I actually think on some level he may even care about Harry)

Snape must have worked with the original Order, as James and Lilly did- I dont have it worked out yet- but it does seem like a viable possiblity. We know that James and Snape hated each other- yet they must have communicated at some point and on some sort of level besides hate- they had to have worked together.

Catherine - Feb 7, 2005 7:04 am (#1081 of 2980)
Potterfan8, welcome to the Forum and to your first post.

We've had lots of posts about Snape and James. I realize that it is hard to reread so many old posts. Using the Search function here on the Forum may help you find the discussions you are really looking for.

Choices - Feb 7, 2005 8:31 am (#1082 of 2980)
"Snape must have worked with the original Order" - Potterfan8

I may be wrong, but I think at the time of the original Order, Snape was either still a DE or was so newly out of that group that he wouldn't have jumped right into being in the Order. That would have been quite a drastic change in such a short time.

Gina R Snape - Feb 7, 2005 8:33 am (#1083 of 2980)
Well, I've read the Mugglenet essay and I can't say I agree.

I did like the first part, about Snape's control and about addressing people in a proper, formal manner. But I do not think he set up the pensieve for Harry to see.

I think, first of all, that Snape would have been well capable of finding another way of getting out of teaching occlumency without having to resort to allowing Harry witness a major childhood humiliation. Also, I am quite certain he could get fired or worse for using Obliviate on any student...let alone Harry Potter. There are restrictions on what teachers can do to students and I am strongly willing to believe Obliviate is on the list of no-nos. And I don't see Snape wishing to risk his job for the sake of a very bad memory. Also, JKR would have clued us in if that was her intention. When you reread the books, she has certain 'tells' that can be picked up. This theory simply strikes me as an overanalysis. A very good, well thought out theory, but beyond what I think JKR does.

Snape at the end of PoA was angry and stomping his feet. But he was angry at a whole host of people, Harry included. I think he knew Hermione had the time turner, and I think DD's admonition of 'unless you were saying they were in two places at once' was meant to immediately shut Snape up in front of Fudge and let him know in no uncertain terms that he was not going to get his way. So Snape had to let off some steam.

In OOtP, on the other hand, Snape is directly angry with Harry. He has Harry at his immediate disposal, and the capability of doing real harm to the boy. He had to gather every ounce of self-control to keep from doing that. Snape angry in this case was much scarier because of a)his proximity to Harry; b) the level of his anger; c)the fact that he HAD to control himself. I've argued this before, but I will again. Snape threw Harry out of his classroom as a measure of self-control. It was, in effect, the best he could do keep from doing far, far worse.

I think Snape is one of those people who bottles things up and explodes. The explosion isn't pretty. But when that veers into the kind of scary restraint he demonstrated in OOtP, the anger is beyond venting and into calculated danger.

Ultimately, his petty classroom acts of dropping Harry's potions and taking away marks in class was a safe outlet that also further endeared him to the slytherins. There was no way DD would allow Harry to fail potions and Snape knows this full well. Just like there is no way DD would allow Harry to be expelled from the school and Snape knows it. Only Harry does not seem to know this, which is good because it does offer a form of external control with the potential risks any student might have.

On another note, I've been thinking about the pensieve scene and the irony of it, but I don't remember if I posted my thoughts here. In the scene, Snape completes his DADA exam and it is clear that he knows a LOT because his writing is TINY and takes up the whole scroll. Then he leaves the exam and is ultimately unable to defend himself against the Marauders. This is a very strong case of irony. The boy who knows so much about Dark Arts defense on paper loses in battle. I think Snape learned once and for all from this, to strike first and ask questions later. It becomes his modus operandi in life, and the only way he can be assured to remain in control and on top of situations (or feel in control). He is hypervigilant about a lot of things, but most of all about Harry.

He is stuck in a situation where he sees the face of his childhood nemesis (one of them, anyway), and at the same time the face of the only person in the wizarding world capable of bringing the downfall of Lord Voldemort. It is a tenuous position at best to balance two conflicting interests on Snape's part. But he cannot erase his past, he risks his life for the Order, and he lives a daily life he probably would prefer to spend alone in a potions lab somewhere (or on holiday with me...).

The more conflicts he has, and the more responsibilities he has, and the higher the stakes become with each book, the more irritable he will seem and the more important his role will be.

Those who argue he is out of control, I say the exact opposite. I think he is granted certain outlets that are mean and unfair, but ultimately harmless. DD wants the kids to grow up seeing that not everybody is nice and that the world isn't fair. Snape's actions are always within certain bounds.

And I can't wait for HbP because it will mean MORE SNAPE!!!!

Choices - Feb 7, 2005 9:03 am (#1084 of 2980)
Bravo Gina - great post and great insight into Snape as usual. Always a pleasure to read what you have to say!

Gina R Snape - Feb 7, 2005 9:09 am (#1085 of 2980)
Thank you, Choices!

Weeny Owl - Feb 7, 2005 10:44 am (#1086 of 2980)
Those who argue he is out of control, I say the exact opposite. I think he is granted certain outlets that are mean and unfair, but ultimately harmless. DD wants the kids to grow up seeing that not everybody is nice and that the world isn't fair. Snape's actions are always within certain bounds.

Oh, that was superb, Gina... the whole analysis was, but especially the above paragraph.

Waiting for July 16th is getting truly stressful. I hope JKR includes a ton of Snape in HBP.

Solitaire - Feb 7, 2005 10:52 am (#1087 of 2980)
Well, I wouldn't mind enough to answer my questions. But a ton of Snape? Please, noooooooooooooo ...

septentrion - Feb 7, 2005 11:42 am (#1088 of 2980)
Great analysis as usual Gina !

dizzy lizzy - Feb 7, 2005 2:30 pm (#1089 of 2980)
But when that veers into the kind of scary restraint he demonstrated in OOtP, the anger is beyond venting and into calculated danger. - Gina

I think in that scene alone, we came far closer to seeing Snape's real side than we ever had. Perhaps Harry not only got thrown out of the room because he "saw too much" but also to protect him from seeing and hearing too much more.

How much more scary do we need Snape to be??


Fawkes Egg - Feb 7, 2005 2:37 pm (#1090 of 2980)
"A ton of Snape"?

Not another firework in the Swelling Solution, surely!

Gina R Snape - Feb 7, 2005 8:01 pm (#1091 of 2980)
How much more scary do we need Snape to be??

You know, a looooong time ago Kip asked me this question once (sort of). He didn't believe I loved canon-Snape, just Rickman-Snape and kept throwing out "would you love him ifs..."

My response is that we need to see just how awful Snape can be. What terrible things did he do as a DE? How scary can he/did he get? Only then can we truly appreciate the measure of the man, the efforts he makes, and the turn around he has made in his life.

Delightful Task! - Feb 8, 2005 1:49 am (#1092 of 2980)
I agree with you Gina, I think that's why Snape is such a wonderful character! If he suddenly turned into a nice man, I think I'd be a bit disappointed.

I think there will be a moment in book six or seven when we really won't know where Snape stands... A moment when we'll have the feeling he's betraying DD and Harry... We'll all think "I can't believe it, Snape was really bad after all!" I really hope there will be such a moment... I know this has happened several times already in the previous books, but I think it's because JKR was preparing us to something really worse! JKR is such a great writer, I hope even you Gina will be baffled!

She doesn't want us to like Snape too much because of that, and that's one of the lessons of the series... for Harry but also for us reader! All Good people are not nice, all nice people are not Good... We must not judge people on their physical appearance, and we must not judge them either on their "correctness"... Most of her "good" characters are people we would mistrust in our everyday muggle life... People who are often rejected... (I've been a kind of Hermione myself and definitely wasn't the most popular girl of the school!) Snape of course is one of them... He isn't nice, but I want to believe he's Good!

Rosie - Feb 8, 2005 5:30 am (#1093 of 2980)
Yes, I agree Delightful Task there be 'a moment when we'll have the feeling he's betraying DD and Harry... We'll all think "I can't believe it, Snape was really bad after all!"'

I believe that Snape IS confusing Harry with James and is trying to see some 'good' in him; unfortunately all he sees is Harry going along the same lines of James (just think of all the situations that Snape and Harry have met - especially outside of class.

I believe that this 'evidence' of Harry being like James will drive Snape to betray Harry to Voldemort, as he will come to believe that there is no way an 'arrogant big-headed heart-on-sleeve type' could ever win against the Dark Lord.

HOWEVER, right at the end, he will somehow redeem himself and save Harry (I not sure how or why!). What do you think?

Snuffles - Feb 8, 2005 6:21 am (#1094 of 2980)
Im sure we will be led to believe that Snape has betrayed DD in some way but i think this will be book 7. With Snape mentioning in PS/SS about a stopper in death im sure he will have protected himself with this and will somehow save Harry without dying himself.

Gina R Snape - Feb 8, 2005 7:13 am (#1095 of 2980)
Delightful Task, nice to 'meet' you. In every book Snape has done something to benefit the kids/Harry/the Order while not appearing to be doing so. Yet when the book is finished, (at least some of us see) there was a reason for what he did and how he did it.

I do like this idea that he will appear truly, scarily ambiguous at a crucial moment. But Snape has such a sense of style about him that people will be left standing in his dust as he pulls off something great. I've no doubt in my mind that he is a deliciously nasty hero.

librarian314 - Feb 8, 2005 8:27 am (#1096 of 2980)
Hey all!

One of the things I think that Snape was involved in was creating one of the things that Voldemort did to ensure his immortality. I think he brewed a very dark potion with lots of scary/creepy ingredients, along the lines of what we saw in the graveyard resurrection scene in GoF. Perhaps, he even developed that particular method (the "potion"/ritual used to bring Voldy back) as a back-up plan, just in case.

Ever since some comments in one of her more recent interviews (Can't remember which one though) I've thought that JKR has had Snape do something really awful (worse than being a run of the mill DE) that directly related to Voldemort and his return, i.e. if he hadn't done whatever it was, Voldy wouldn't be here now. The big reveal will be what that thing was.

I also think that whatever it was that he did when he switched sides was big enough to expiate a good portion of his sins for whatever he did as a DE.

I do think that Snape has a code of ethics that he follows to the letter. Many others would find huge flaws in his ethos. Is it better to conform to a flawed ethos or be a hypocrite?

I think that the one way that the movies do a disservice to the books is that they have edited out the worst of Snape's rages. In the movies we see snarky Snape, ("Enjoying a walk in the moonlight, Lupin?"), righteous anger (the scene after Ron & Harry crash the car in the Whomping Willow), and general nastiness. They have left out his meltdowns in the infirmary at the end of PoA and at the end of one Quidditch game in one of the first three books.

Through the movies he seems to be sarcastic, mean, and a teacher that one ought not cross but not someone that you think just might physically harm you if pushed far enough. His rages make him seem much more dangerous and creepy.

Y'all take care!

*michelle the librarian**

Weeny Owl - Feb 8, 2005 10:21 am (#1097 of 2980)
All Good people are not nice, all nice people are not Good... We must not judge people on their physical appearance, and we must not judge them either on their "correctness"... Most of her "good" characters are people we would mistrust in our everyday muggle life... People who are often rejected...

I agree with that.

That led me to think of a problem in the current Muggle world and how it relates to the books, and that is specific diseases that are a problem in this world and that cause controversy. That makes me think of Lupin and how he has something contagious, yet is a good, kind, and caring person.

Snape is easy to dislike, yet through all the books, he hasn't really physically hurt anyone. He was totally out of control in PoA, yet I don't believe he really planned on calling the dementors. I think he would have taken Sirius and Lupin to Dumbledore's office so that he could rub Dumbledore's nose in the alleged fact that Lupin had been helping Sirius into the castle.

Just as his behavior in PS/SS led us to believe he was the bad guy, I think his overall behavior is supposed to do the same, but just as he wasn't the bad guy in PS/SS, he won't be in any of them.

I just hope JKR doesn't kill him off. I would love to see an epilogue where new Weasleys, Potters, and Longbottoms are being sorted, and Snape's reactions. Poor guy, but he would have Gina to soothe his troubled brow.

septentrion - Feb 8, 2005 11:57 am (#1098 of 2980)
He was totally out of control in PoA, yet I don't believe he really planned on calling the dementors.

I on the contrary believe he would have done it, his hatred seemed out of control.

Weeny Owl - Feb 8, 2005 12:16 pm (#1099 of 2980)
Yes, it did, septentrion, but after his chat with Dumbledore in the Great Hall, I think he would want even more to prove Dumbledore's trust in Lupin to be false.

After all, if he had been right and Lupin had been helping Sirius into the castle, he might have been able to watch both of them receiving the kiss, and in front of the one man who trusted Lupin.

Delightful Task! - Feb 8, 2005 1:50 pm (#1100 of 2980)
Nice to 'meet' you too Gina! I had been reading your posts for so long I thought it was high time I shared a bit of my ideas with you (and the others!)!

I think Snape has really switched sides, and I think that's because he realized at some point that even if he hated James Lily and the others, even if he was fascinated by the Dark Arts, that didn't mean he agreed with Voldemort and his methods... I don't think he was scared, I don't think he ever apologized for being a DE... I mean he never changed his mind and said "I was wrong and what I believed in was bad"... But now I realize my English is too poor to explain what I really mean! Anyway, I think there was one day when he realized he was not a DE, that their values were not his... That doesn't mean he changed his mind though... Sorry if this isn't very clear!

Anyway, I think that when we know Snape's story though, it will mean book seven is almost finished, and I don't want that to happen too quickly!

Weeny Owl, I had not thought about Lupin when I was writing but of course you are right...

Moreover, when you think about it, many evil characters from the book are frighteningly "normal"... I mean they're quite "muggle like" in a way... Umbridge, the Malfoys... I'm sure that if Vernon met them he would find them really decent people! That's something reassuring about Snape... I don't think Vernon would like him much!
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Ann - Feb 8, 2005 3:11 pm (#1101 of 2980)
Gina, I really like your point (far, far back now--I've been working) about the irony of someone so fascinated with and obviously obsessive about DADA being unable to defend himself from James and Sirius in the pensieve scene. I think it's also really interesting in that scene that when Snape finally does get in a spell, he draws blood, while James and Sirius are doing little jokey spells (soap in the mouth, turning him upside down) that make him look stupid and in their humiliation are far more painful than the physical attack Snape does. It does sort of make me wonder how conscious he is about the psychological damage he is doing in his classes. I've always assumed that he uses words to vent his anger and prevent himself from attacking physically as he did in the pensieve, and doesn't really understand the effects. But I wonder.

Snape is almost cartoonishly mean in the first few books--like the villain in a melodrama. But he's become increasingly more human (and scary) since book 3. I think that as Harry grows more sophisticated and knowledgeable about Snape's history and activities, he (and we readers) will come to see the man in a much more rounded way--we'll see both much better and much worse than we have so far. And I'm really looking forward to it! What an amazing character!

Weeny Owl - Feb 8, 2005 3:42 pm (#1102 of 2980)
Moreover, when you think about it, many evil characters from the book are frighteningly "normal"... I mean they're quite "muggle like" in a way... Umbridge, the Malfoys...

I agree with you about some of the evil characters seeming to be normal, but I wouldn't use Umbridge as an example. She has pointed teeth, and her wardrobe would send Petunia into hysterics.

I do agree, though, that while the Dursleys would probably be horrified by Snape's appearance, they would most likely feel that Lucius was a very nice person and quite the gentleman. That would be right before he Avada Kedavraed them, of course.

Snuffles - Feb 8, 2005 3:45 pm (#1103 of 2980)
Hmm im not sure Vernon would like Lucius, he would probably think that he has long girly hair!

TwinklingBlueEyes - Feb 8, 2005 4:51 pm (#1104 of 2980)
"Ever since some comments in one of her more recent interviews (Can't remember which one though) I've thought that JKR has had Snape do something really awful (worse than being a run of the mill DE) that directly related to Voldemort and his return, i.e. if he hadn't done whatever it was, Voldy wouldn't be here now. The big reveal will be what that thing was."

May haps it was the Drought of Living Death. I have seen most assume that potion was like a sleeping potion, but I don't think so. Living death seems to tie in too much with the cursed half-life from the unicorn blood. Think in terms of "half-life" and cursed. Our potions master sure seems able to do this, perhaps brewing and giving Voldemort the potion, but maybe not letting Voldemort know there is a counter potion or such, therefore allowing him to switch sides?

Wand Maker - Feb 8, 2005 6:49 pm (#1105 of 2980)
Every time I don't read for a a few days, great posts are added.

Gina - Great posts as usual.

I can't remember where I read it, but I think that it was that Snape has very strong convictions, and believes in the rules. I think that this is why he ends up doing good deeds in the end. It is also why he wants to punish Harry every time he catches Harry breaking rules. Granted, Snape does pushes rules to the limit with his personality.

Based on the current status of Sirius in the wizarding world, Snape was perfectly correct to want to give Sirius to the dementors the moment they got out of the shrieking shack tunnel.

I think that the bullying of Neville and others in his potions classes might even be a (bit twisted) effort to spur them into doing better.

Weeny Owl - Feb 8, 2005 8:20 pm (#1106 of 2980)
Hmm im not sure Vernon would like Lucius, he would probably think that he has long girly hair!

Except we don't know Lucius has long hair; it's never been described in the books except as white blonde. Draco and Lucius have pale pointed faces, white blonde hair, and gray eyes... that's as far as the book descriptions go. The long hair thing is movie contamination.

I was thinking about Snape knocking Harry's potion sample off the desk, and Harry going back to get another one when he finds out that Hermione has cleaned up already. I was thinking that maybe Snape wasn't going to destroy the sample until he noticed Hermione had already cleaned up, and that gave him his chance.

Gina R Snape - Feb 8, 2005 8:49 pm (#1107 of 2980)
Oh, Weeny Owl. That's just brilliant! I've got to remember that one for a fanfic.

I think the draught of living death is a sleeping potion, not a poison. It puts one into a sleep that mimics death. So there would be no point in using a bezoar against it. I do think, though, that it might play a part in the last book. Maybe Snape and Dumbledore plan for Harry to fake his own death (or fake his murder by Snape)? Who knows.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Feb 8, 2005 9:14 pm (#1108 of 2980)
Gina, I'm curious to know why, "I think the drought of living death is a sleeping potion,". It reminds me of Sleeping Beauty in that context and that seems a bit mushy to a full blown war. Why not the Drought of Dreamless Sleep, or the Drought of Endless Sleep? Why did JKR chose "Living Death"? Is that not essentially what Lord Voldemort has become? Living death?

I do think JKR's wording of that particular spell has a lot of meaning and I do believe it will come into play with our potions master.

Weeny Owl - Feb 8, 2005 9:56 pm (#1109 of 2980)
Maybe Snape and Dumbledore plan for Harry to fake his own death (or fake his murder by Snape)? Who knows.

I like that quite a bit, Gina.

Even if it isn't Snape and Harry, I think it could be Snape and someone else... Lupin, one of the students from the Department of Mysteries battle, maybe. I do think you're on to something, though, in that Snape will be using it somehow to fake someone's death.

Elanor - Feb 8, 2005 10:16 pm (#1110 of 2980)
Great posts indeed!

The Draught of Living Death is certainly interesting, especially if we remember what other plants and potions Snape mentioned in that first lesson. I've searched a little and this is what I found and posted some time ago on the alchemy thread:

"* "the Draught of Living Death", made with powdered root of Asphodel and an infusion of wormwood. Asphodel is connected to Saturn and was meant to grow on meadows of the underworld for the deads. It was meant to cure some poisons and to make evil spirits flee. It is a liliaceous plant, as are lily, moly (the magic plant we talked about) and... garlic! Wormwood is Artemis' plant and is connected to Venus and Mars. It was also an ingredient for absinth liquor, the one romantic poets used to drink for reaching "artificial heavens", the one that drove them crazy as well and made them die early. Explosive mixture if there is one!
* "a bezoar", used against poisons.
* "monkhood and wolfsbane, also called aconite". This a very powerful poison as well."

So, we have a real and lethal poison, a powerful sleeping potion that gives the appearance of death, and a counter poison, the 3 of them mentioned together. Something tells me it is not a coincidence...

Choices - Feb 9, 2005 9:36 am (#1111 of 2980)
LOL There are no coincidences where JKR is concerned - you can bet on that.

Gina R Snape - Feb 9, 2005 10:48 am (#1112 of 2980)
Well, TBE, if we turn to our texts... Snape says in PS/SS (Chapter The Potions Master): "For your information, Potter, asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death."

So there you have it. NOT a poison, but a sleeping potion.

On an entirely different train of thought, apropos of nothing, I was thinking today that perhaps McGonagall, Snape, Sprout and Flitwick (as Heads of House) are tenured and as such cannot really be fired. There is no real basis for this except that they seem to have the kind of security one finds in tenured professors. Well, at least Snape McG and Flitwick do.

Snuffles - Feb 10, 2005 12:22 am (#1113 of 2980)
You're right Weeny Owl. Darn those movie contaminations. *hangs head in shame*

Weeny Owl - Feb 10, 2005 12:34 am (#1114 of 2980)
You're right Weeny Owl. Darn those movie contaminations. *hangs head in shame*

It's easy to do after you've read and/or seen them about twenty million times each. I keep having to read the chapter with Snape's first class to remember what he said, when he said it, and to whom.

Delightful Task! - Feb 10, 2005 1:40 am (#1115 of 2980)
When I said I found Umbridge or the Malfoys muggle like, I realize I didn't mean "physically", but rather... I meant I thought Vernon would agree with their opinions and methods... As for Umbridge, I'm sure I've seen her somewhere!!! But I may have thought she was an awful w...itch then!!

Sleeping potions can be more dangerous than in Sleeping Beauty though! Remember poor Romeo and Juliet as Feb 14 is approaching!

T Brightwater - Feb 10, 2005 4:13 pm (#1116 of 2980)
"On an entirely different train of thought, apropos of nothing, I was thinking today that perhaps McGonagall, Snape, Sprout and Flitwick (as Heads of House) are tenured and as such cannot really be fired. There is no real basis for this except that they seem to have the kind of security one finds in tenured professors. Well, at least Snape McG and Flitwick do."

On the other hand, Umbridge did put Snape on probation - almost the last thing she did as "Headmistress".

TwinklingBlueEyes - Feb 10, 2005 9:09 pm (#1117 of 2980)
Gina, I'm curious to know why, "I think the drought of living death is a sleeping potion,". It reminds me of Sleeping Beauty in that context and that seems a bit mushy to a full blown war. Why not the Drought of Dreamless Sleep, or the Drought of Endless Sleep? Why did JKR chose "Living Death"? Is that not essentially what Lord Voldemort has become? Living death?

Gina, I'm sorry, I phrased that question wrong. I do know what the text says, but thank you for looking it up and refreshing my memory.

What I was wondering was, why JKR chose that particular spell name, mentioned once and as yet unheard of again.

"Living death" Were not those who were petrified in a state of "living death"? Hermione's spell on Neville, is not a state of inability to move a state of "living death"? I was just curious about the name and how it might tie in with our potions master.

Edited for a keyboard that has been SPEWED on a time or two.

dizzy lizzy - Feb 10, 2005 10:30 pm (#1118 of 2980)
The phrase "living death" reminds me of the movie (and book) written by Oliver Sachs (lives in US) about the people who contracted a blood disorder/disease. Alive, but not alive. Also the image in my mind is a "calmer" version of Alice Longbottom.

I sincerely hope that if Snape has the skills to create this draught of living death; that he has the antidote to it.


Tomoé - Feb 10, 2005 10:33 pm (#1119 of 2980)
I'd say it's a kudo to Sheakspeare, after all, there's a Montague in Slytherin and he's even a Quidditch player. I wonder if he'll found a Juliet for himself. ^_~

Edit: I just re-read the play (Act 4, scene 1), that could definitely be it. You have no pulse, you don't breath, you're getting cold and lost your color. Your alive but every vital sign say you're dead.

Re-edit: And it could be Snow-White's poison as well.

Chemyst - Feb 11, 2005 5:39 am (#1120 of 2980)
It reminds me of Sleeping Beauty in that context and that seems a bit mushy to a full blown war. TBE

Like Tomoé, I always associated this with being a Romeo & Juliet kind of potion. When you said "a bit mushy" I immediately thought 'All's fair in love and war.' And even in Sleeping Beauty, (more-so in Basile's, Perrault's or Grimms' older tales than in Disney's romance version,) the power of love comes through.
But beyond that, Snape's two comments, one about stoppering death and the other about the Draught of Living Death, reinforce an ominous strength that define his character.

I find it fascinating that anyone could put "a bit mushy" and "Snape" in the same thought, (but perhaps Gina knows better than I.)

TwinklingBlueEyes - Feb 11, 2005 5:49 am (#1121 of 2980)
"I find it fascinating that anyone could put "a bit mushy" and "Snape" in the same thought,"

LOL Chemyst! That was mild compared to some of the thoughts that pass through my head from time to time, esp. ones concerning our potions master. ;-)

T Brightwater - Feb 11, 2005 7:04 am (#1122 of 2980)
Phineas Nigellus reminds me rather a lot of Snape - I wonder if Snape is a descendant of his. Anyway, at the end of OotP, Phineas, who has been very derogatory about his "worthless great-great-grandson" through the whole book, finds out that Sirius is dead, and immediately goes into the first stage of grief. I wonder if grief will be the crack in Snape's armor as well.

Gina R Snape - Feb 11, 2005 7:16 am (#1123 of 2980)
T Brightwater, that's a good question. Snape will have to face the death of his arch-nemesis and have some kinds of feelings about it. Relief? Anger? Denial? I doubt he'll be sad, exactly. But it would be interesting if we were privy to his emotional reactions.

As for the Draught of Living Death, I exactly think it is a sleeping potion designed to make others think the ingestor is dead. As I think I've said before, I think it's plausible that Harry will be given this draught to mimic death so the Dark Lord will act in some way that will lead to his downfall when Harry is revived.

In my gut, I just feel Snape plays a central role somehow and that his potions ability will come into play during a crucial moment, in a plan we won't know is in progress until it's explained at the end (so we can go back and reread the last book and say "OH MERLIN! THAT'S what he was up to!!!" Pretty much like we do when we reread all of the books and know what's going on.

"I find it fascinating that anyone could put "a bit mushy" and "Snape" in the same thought,"

LOL Chemyst! That was mild compared to some of the thoughts that pass through my head from time to time, esp. ones concerning our potions master. ;-)

Do I really need to add to that?

Tomoé - Feb 11, 2005 7:38 am (#1124 of 2980)
I don't think he will feel anger or denial, Sirius's death alone kind of make him right and the marauders wrong. And anyway, there's still Peter and Remus left to hate. Both their leaders are death, while he's still alive. I mean he even told Sirius not to go (though I believe Sirius's contribution was essential for the DoM victory, Tonks and Moddy were out of commission before DD came, remove Sirius from the picture and there would have been more than just 1 death. But that's for another thread).

Sure, he will understand his lost for the order, Sirius was standing by 12GP so there was always someone for emergencies and he was the one who took care of buckbeak, someone will have to take his place, while their time would have been more usefully employed elsewhere.

T Brightwater - Feb 11, 2005 9:33 am (#1125 of 2980)
Gina, I wasn't thinking so much of Sirius's death, though you're right, Snape will have to some to terms with that too. It's at least possible that Dumbledore will die, (though I keep telling myself it's too Gandalf/Obi-Wan, too obvious, and surely Jo won't do it) and that would probably tear Severus apart.

Gina R Snape - Feb 11, 2005 9:49 am (#1126 of 2980)
Well, count me in on the count of those who believe DD will die before the end of the series.

Septentrion: And anyway, there's still Peter and Remus left to hate.

True, true. So he at least has something to look forward to!

EDIT: I feel fairly certain Snape will have a certain degree of righteous self-satisfaction at the how and why Sirius died. But even still, seeing them go one-by-one might make him think a bit more about his own mortality, and do something to somehow heal the little boy Severus inside of the man.

septentrion - Feb 11, 2005 11:54 am (#1127 of 2980)
The quote is exact Gina but not mine, although I don't remember who wrote it.

Choices - Feb 11, 2005 1:26 pm (#1128 of 2980)
I think it is not Voldemort's death that will shock Snape, but Dumbledore's. I think Dumbledore is the closest thing to a real father that Snape has ever had and I think Dumbledore's death will really hit Snape hard. Of course, this is just supposition on my part - I can't wait to see if it works out that way. Needless to say, Dumbledore's death will hit me hard too. I love that man!! When (if) I read about his death there better be a big box of kleenex handy - I'll need it. :-(

Tomoé - Feb 11, 2005 1:52 pm (#1129 of 2980)
Wrong French Speaker Gina, it was my line. ^_~

I do agree Dumbledore's death will shake Snape much harder than Voldemort's, let alone Sirius's. I also believe Dumbledore will get toasted in HBP, not only Harry but everyone is relying too much on him.

That would be a hardest time for Snape since he switched side, maybe his hardest time ever. What does he want to achieve, how can he do that now, who is safe enough to help him, who will be strong enough, shouldn't he switch back to Voldemort side and save his life? That will be hard time indeed.

Gina R Snape - Feb 11, 2005 4:55 pm (#1130 of 2980)
Oh, sorry Tomoé!

Yes, I think Snape would be totally devastated by the loss of Dumbledore. But I know he would not be alone. The question would he act and what would he do? If McG, as Deputy Headmistress, also became the next leader of the Order he'd probably keep going as he has. But if there is a major upheaval then Snape and everyone else will be scrambling to figure out what to do and where to go.

Then again, it also depends on how DD dies. And, now that I think about it, contigency plans are likely already in place. But it won't erase the tremendous emotional impact.

Ok, clearly I need to eat dinner as my brain is going all over the place!

Tomoé - Feb 11, 2005 5:25 pm (#1131 of 2980)
Totally devastated, that's pretty much my feeling.

Another question is how many will die with Dumbledore? If he die alone, cornered by Voldemort, it will be hard on everyone but contingency plans will ensure to keep the Order in order. But, if Dumbledore die in a massive battle with half of the Order, the chaos will be overwhelming.

There's also the question of who will stay and who will left, I can't see a guy like Dung staying after DD's death. I'm not sure Hagrid will stay, he'll more likely shut himself in his cabin and cry his eyes out, getting defeatist again, saying "DD's dead, everythin's lost" (well, he'll come back before the end, but meanwhile, it'll be very hard on Harry who will be left pretty much on his own). In those condition I can see Snape as one of the few who'll stay by Harry's side.

Choices - Feb 11, 2005 5:32 pm (#1132 of 2980)
I can see Hagrid going after the one who kills Dumbledore - he would personally want to get revenge I think.

Weeny Owl - Feb 12, 2005 1:31 pm (#1133 of 2980)
Just out of curiosity, how vindictive does everyone think Rita Skeeter is?

I was reading the hospital scene in GoF when Snape shows Fudge the Dark Mark, and it was shortly after that that Hermione captured Rita. Could Rita do something to harm him because she's so annoyed with Hermione, or is she all wrapped up in current events so that she's not that interested in Snape?

Solitaire - Feb 12, 2005 1:35 pm (#1134 of 2980)
I doubt Sirius's death will affect Snape, except that it means the grudge Snape has been nursing for years--like his grudge against James--will never truly be appropriately resolved. James has been dead for 16 years, but Snape still clings to those old resentments and anger.

It's hard for Harry to respond to Snape's insults about James, because Harry has not had the experience of knowing his father personally. But Harry has known Sirius, and if Snape starts in there, Harry will know what is and isn't true. This may make him re-examine things Snape has said--and continues to say--about James. This may give him comfort, or it may force him to address things he finds difficult.

As for Snape himself ... I do believe Voldemort's death would free him to leave Hogwarts and pursue things that are more in line with his interests. I suppose Dumbledore's death might devastate him, if anything were capable of doing that. I've wondered if it might cause him to return to Voldemort's fold, if Dumbledore is no longer there to hold his allegiance. I think Snape's Slytherin-y instinct for self-preservation would dictate in that instance ... unless McGonagall were there to help him hang on. I do believe he respects her almost as much as Dumbledore.

Boy, that'll teach me to ignore the Snape thread for so many days in a row. Yuck! I had 46 Snape posts to read.


Potions Mistress - Feb 12, 2005 4:39 pm (#1135 of 2980)
Assuming that Snape lives to see LV's death, I wonder whether or not he'll stay at Hogwarts. Right now, it seems to be along the lines of necessity for him to be there, but I don't know if he'll continue to teach. If he does leave, what will he do?


Boy, that'll teach me to ignore the Snape thread for so many days in a row. Yuck! I had 46 Snape posts to read. --Solitaire

Ditto! ;-)

Wand Maker - Feb 12, 2005 5:40 pm (#1136 of 2980)
I don't know if Harry will have any problem responding to Snape's, er, comments about James. Harry has heard Snape's point of view about so many different situations that Harry himself knows about, that he will not have to realize that Snape picks his words to benefit his own position over others.

At the end of OOP when Harry and Draco have words in the front hall and Snape appears, Harry seems to have gotten over any apprehension of being the brunt of Snape's comments. Harry is becoming far more powerful and Snape knows it. In the next two books, I don't think that Harry will have as difficult a time (emotionally) with Snape as he has been having.

haymoni - Feb 12, 2005 5:46 pm (#1137 of 2980)
I've often wondered if Snape was there to protect Draco or to protect Harry.

I could see Dumbledore warning Snape that it wouldn't be prudent to let Draco and Harry near one another.

It just seemed too convenient that Snape arrives just in the nick of time.

Solitaire - Feb 12, 2005 7:12 pm (#1138 of 2980)
Harry is becoming far more powerful and Snape knows it. In the next two books, I don't think that Harry will have as difficult a time (emotionally) with Snape as he has been having.

I hope you are right, Wand Maker. Harry could make his own life so much easier if he would just focus on his potion-making and ignore Snape's rude, irritating, personally insulting jabs--which he should know by now are calculated to enrage him emotionally and undermine his ability to function. (Extra added bonus to Harry? Blowing off Snape's irritating remarks would have the added benefit of totally irritating--and possibly unnerving--Snape because he would have lost his power to nettle Harry in the way he once did. Does this make sense?)

Haymoni, I honestly believe Snape is at Hogwarts for a couple of reasons. First, I believe he is there for his own safety, at Dumbledore's request. Second, he can spy FOR the Order while pretending to be spying ON Dumbledore. This would be far more difficult if he were out on his own; at Hogwarts, everything he does MUST appear to be pro-Dumbledore, so he has a built-in excuse if confronted by DEs who think he is a traitor. If he truly is a "good guy," as many believe, I suppose he has to at least appear to protect Draco--the little magical brat!


pottermom34 - Feb 12, 2005 7:29 pm (#1139 of 2980)
Snape always seems to arrive in the nick of time whether Draco is around or not. He seems to "pop up" or just happen to be there whenever Harry is trying to do something (i.e, looking for Pettigrew) or when HRH are together talking or planning, it's as if he has a sixth sense or something.

Solitaire - Feb 12, 2005 7:39 pm (#1140 of 2980)
Yeah ... one would think he is a bat or something, the way he is always swooping around the castle in the middle of the night!


haymoni - Feb 12, 2005 8:40 pm (#1141 of 2980)
Or that he can read minds!

Gina R Snape - Feb 12, 2005 8:46 pm (#1142 of 2980)
Heh, heh.

Ann - Feb 13, 2005 6:42 am (#1143 of 2980)
I think Snape is going to be very bothered by Sirius's death. It seems to me that he's always resented James and Sirius because they seemed to be such golden boys--rich, popular, happy, etc. And after PoA, its clear that James and Sirius were both on the right side from the beginning. Now they're both dead, so there's really no point in envying them any more. And Snape, who I think really sees himself as a martyr at this point, is still alive. Must be a bit weird for him. I don't think he'll be particularly sad about Sirius--he'll be relieved that he doesn't have to deal with someone who makes him angry and petty--but I think it will bother him that Sirius has died trying to save Harry.

Potions Mistress - Feb 13, 2005 7:49 am (#1144 of 2980)
Now they're [James and Sirius] both dead, so there's really no point in envying them any more.--Ann

While as outsiders, we can see that, I doubt that Snape will ever get over James and Sirius--he has nursed those grudges too long for him to get over it easily or even at all.


Ydnam96 - Feb 13, 2005 7:57 am (#1145 of 2980)
In a way I think it might make it worse, he still has this grude and unresolved angst towards Sirius and James, but has no way to resolve it now. No outlet (ie, no one to actually yell at or provoke). It could send our dear Snape into a tailspin!

Gina R Snape - Feb 13, 2005 8:24 am (#1146 of 2980)
I think I've said this before, but what the heck...

I do think he will be angry that Sirius didn't follow DD's (and his) orders to stay put. There were certain advantages to having Sirius be alive, if annoying to have to see face-to-face from Snape's POV.

I think Sirius' defying DD and running off to the Ministry will breed a degree of self-righteousness on Snape's part. The stupid hot-headed Gryffindor didn't listen and now he is dead. He, the clever Slytherin watched his back and is smart and superior enough to stay alive. It offers just enough of a fine line that he can both hate Sirius for getting killed and feel good about him being dead. But the primary emotion would still be anger, not sorrow.

I suspect Snape was also in on the plan before James died. So he probably hates it that they decided not to choose DD as the secret keeper. Another stupid move that wound up with James dead and Snape facing a long time of watching after Harry (in a manner of speaking).

Solitaire - Feb 13, 2005 5:16 pm (#1147 of 2980)
I tend to agree with Ann, Mandy, and PM. I don't really think Snape cares that James and Sirius are dead. The only down side for him is that his "issues" with the two of them can now never be properly resolved. This will just give him one more reason to sulk and be unpleasant.

Frankly, I don't really believe he cares that Sirius did not follow Dumbledore's advice and therefore died. Rather, Sirius's actions--and fate--provide him with the perfect excuse to criticize and belittle Sirius to Harry. I see this as big "bonus present" for Snape. I believe he will attempt to use it every time he gets the chance--under the guise of attempting to "teach" Harry, but really doing it to hurt him and make him miserable.

Actually, I believe the entire tragedy of Harry's loved ones provides Snape with the opportunities to derive some perverse pleasure from grinding his figurative bootheel in Harry's misery. I only hope Harry will come to realize that Snape is a bitter, twisted soul and pity him rather than get angry every time Snape attempts to wound him emotionally. Sorry, Gina. I hope you can convince your husband to seek some competent therapy.


Wand Maker - Feb 13, 2005 6:44 pm (#1148 of 2980)
If Snape's attitude to Harry becomes anymore antigonistic, it will be because he has to take is comments to a new level to try to affect Harry. The real test for Harry is to either not rise by reacting, but to either dismiss his comments or come back with his own comments. Comebacks during school will likely result in points or detentions, but I wonder if Harry will have words with Snape out of school.

Sirius's Death will not affect Snape, except perhaps some satisfaction that Sirius will no longer be a thorin in his side. Gina, I don't know that Sirius defied Dumbledore by going to the Ministry after Harry. Yes, Dumbledore did want Sirus to stay at 12GP, but that was to prevent him from being seen and getting caught. Going to the Ministry was really more of a battle, and the order members really needed him there as they were outnumbered 2 to 1.

Gina R Snape - Feb 13, 2005 7:07 pm (#1149 of 2980)
Well, I stand slightly corrected. I've just had a look in OOtP to refresh my memory.

DD told Sirius to stay at 12GP for his own protection during the course of the book. The Order knew that Voldemort would be using Sirius as bait to get Harry to the Ministry because of Kreacher, after Kreacher popped over to Malfoy Mansion over Christmas.

At the end of OOtP (Chapter 37), DD tells Harry that Snape contacted the Order members at headquarters and alerted them all to what was going down. Snape requested that Sirius remain behind to tell DD what had happened as he was due to arrive shortly. But Sirius didn't want to stay, so he left it up to Kreacher to inform DD of what transpired.

So, basically Sirius did what was in his nature to do, and jumped at the chance to go into battle. Snape, knowing Sirius would be a target and knowing DD wanted him to stay, requested Sirius to remain behind. Of course, we don't know if he was even remotely concerned about Sirius' safety, but he was worried about Harry's. I do think he was being both faithful to DD's prior wishes and trying to be strategic about who went and who stayed. I'm sure Snape would never have trusted Kreacher to deliver a message to DD and Sirius seemed like the logical choice to remain behind.

I am sure that Snape will blame Sirius' death squarely on Sirius (as do I). But I think he will be angry that Sirius did not take Snape's request to remain behind. The man is not totally devoid of feeling. He is FULL of feelings, just not many pleasant ones.

Solitaire - Feb 13, 2005 7:25 pm (#1150 of 2980)
Gina, you are such a loyal spouse!
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Gina R Snape - Feb 13, 2005 7:46 pm (#1151 of 2980)
Aaaah dooo my best.

Weeny Owl - Feb 13, 2005 8:23 pm (#1152 of 2980)
Speaking of Harry hating Snape because he feels Snape taunted Sirius into going to the Department of Mysteries, I was reading the scene in OotP where Harry witnesses Arthur being attacked by Nagini, and after they're Portkeyed to Grimmauld Place, one of the twins says something to Sirius about how he wasn't exactly risking his neck for the Order, and I was wondering if Harry is going to transfer some of his anger to the twins or continue blaming Snape.

I have a feeling that regardless of how ticked off Sirius was at Snape's taunting, what was said by one of the twins hit him even harder.

By the way, no one responded to my question about Rita Skeeter outing Snape... any opinions?

Solitaire - Feb 13, 2005 9:54 pm (#1153 of 2980)
If she has that information, Weeny, I suppose she could attempt to make trouble for Snape. Then again, Snape is not exactly a Wizard she would want to tick off. I'm sure he can think of many potions that probably use powdered beetle. That is much worse than being kept in a jar for a few months.

Remember that once Fudge leaves, Dumbledore sends Sirius to alert the "old crowd." He then talks to Snape and asks him to do whatever it is he does. He wishes Snape good luck, and Snape leaves. Then ...

It was several minutes before Dumbledore spoke again. He then tells them he must speak to the Diggorys, and he leaves. Harry takes his sleeping potion, and there are a few exchanges before Hermione captures Rita. I suppose it is possible that she had not yet arrived on the windowsill when Snape showed Fudge the Dark Mark. Maybe ...


Weeny Owl - Feb 13, 2005 10:34 pm (#1154 of 2980)
hehehe, Solitaire... good point.

She was listening in the hospital wing, but we didn't know she was there until Hermione captured her, so there's no way of knowing for sure if she saw and/or heard him when he showed his Dark Mark or not.

It could be that Hermione just hadn't noticed her yet.

I hope she doesn't cause problems in the next two books. She might out of vengeance, but maybe not.

Gina R Snape - Feb 14, 2005 6:49 am (#1155 of 2980)
I don't know that Rita would have much information worthy of exploiting regarding Snape. It is in the records that Snape was a death eater and that he was cleared of all charges by Dumbledore's testimony. Fudge was being daft, in denial of the Dark Lord's return and repulsed by the sight of the dark mark on Snape's arm. But that doesn't mean he didn't know Snape was once a Death Eater.

Since it's over a year later, that little scene might not hold much weight and fascination unless Rita wants to discredit Fudge. But I do think she'd think twice about crossing Snape to get at Fudge. Like Solitaire said, there are plenty of potions that use powdered beetle. And something tells me Rita chooses her battles wisely.

Potions Mistress - Feb 14, 2005 8:37 am (#1156 of 2980)
I doubt Rita will go after Fudge--he's done a remarkably well job of screwing things up himself. I also doubt she'd go after Snape--I don't see any real reason for her too. If she does go after anybody, it would be Hermione--revenge and whatnot.


Weeny Owl - Feb 14, 2005 11:10 am (#1157 of 2980)
I hope she doesn't cause a problem for him, but when I was reading that part of GoF, it just struck me that she may know he's a Death Eater while most of the population probably doesn't.

Potions Mistress - Feb 14, 2005 11:52 am (#1158 of 2980)
I've assumed that Snape's trial was a matter of public record and so if anybody wanted to, they could go back and look at those records. So, if people did freak out over the fact that Snape was a DE, DD could just say, "Well, it is a matter of public record. We're not trying to hide anything here." Granted, I don't think one goes around telling the whole world they were a DE, but it does make a difference whether that information is public or sealed.

Although, looking at how Crouch, Sr. handled things, I suppose it's possible that such records are sealed. Then, we have a whole new ball game on our hands.

Either way, I still don't see Rita causing trouble for Snape, since as has been stated before, he would have no qualms about mixing her into one of his potions.


Choices - Feb 14, 2005 5:21 pm (#1159 of 2980)
Rita was definitely at the trial of Ludo Bagman as Harry saw it in Dumbledore's pensieve, so it would not surprise me if Rita doesn't routinely cover trials at the MOM - especially trials of interest to the wizarding public. I would bet a few knuts that she knows about Snape being a DE.

Ydnam96 - Feb 14, 2005 7:14 pm (#1160 of 2980)
LOL, could you see Snape if Rita wrote an article about him? She would have to be daft to get Snape mad.

I'm sure that Snape as lots of rather interesting ways of letting Rita know where she can keep her article.

Snape is NOT someone I would want to have as an enemy.

Choices - Feb 15, 2005 8:59 am (#1161 of 2980)
Ydnam96 - "Snape is NOT someone I would want to have as an enemy."

And having him as a friend would be "iffy". LOL

Snape is a fantastic character - so much fun to speculate about.

librarian314 - Feb 15, 2005 11:01 am (#1162 of 2980)
Hey all!

I tend to think that Snape's past as a Death Eater is not part of the public record. I'm not certain that the wizarding world has something akin to "the public record" besides whatever gets published in the Daily Prophet or the Quibbler.

I got the impression that Fudge was really surprised when Snape showed him his Dark Mark. That it was out of the realm of possibility that a former Death Eater that he didn't know about was walking around loose. There's also the fact that he and Lucius Malfoy still seem to be close and have been for some time. Karkaroff also approaches him about returning to Voldemort. I don't think that either of these people would have anything to do with the Potions Master if they knew he was a spy for DD.

I think the fact that Snape spied against Voldemort is known only to those who were in the room at the time of DD's testimony. That's a goodly number of people but it wouldn't surprised me if they vowed to keep their knowledge to themselves.

I'm kinda worried for Snape that he may get outed as a former DE and there'll be really awful consequences.

*michelle the librarian**

hellocello3200 - Feb 15, 2005 1:09 pm (#1163 of 2980)
I think if it was public that Snape was a DE, more students would comment on it. It's not like most of them feel any loyalty to him. Correct me if I'm wrong, but excluding the circle of Harry's friends, I don't think any student has ever mentioned it.

Rita could really do damage even if it wasn't a secret. She could make him out to be a sadistic and unfair teacher (because he is) and also imply that he only switched side to save his own skin and that his true loyalties lie with LV.

MickeyCee3948 - Feb 15, 2005 4:07 pm (#1164 of 2980)
As others have said "Don't Mess with Snape", the results would be very ugly. Rita could find herself wishing she was back in Hermione's glass jar. HRH also still holds the knowledge of her illegal activities to hold over Rita's head. Althought they would be reluctant to save Snape, if it was causing trouble for DD then I am sure they would let DD know their secret if he(DD) doesn't already know.


Choices - Feb 15, 2005 5:36 pm (#1165 of 2980)
I still have this gut feeling that there is some "family" connection between Snape and Lucius Malfoy. Otherwise, I can't figure why they would be "close". I know they are both DE's (hopefully one former and one present) and former Slytherins, but I just feel there is more to their connection than just that.

Cornelia - Feb 17, 2005 8:15 am (#1166 of 2980)
If Lucius and Severus are really related then Severus and Sirius are related.

Sirius:"The pure-blood families are all interrelated. 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..."

But on is an interesting article that says Snapes family maybe worked for the Malfoys or that they were running a pharmacy in the town where the Malfoys were predominant. And that this is the beginning of Snapes loyalty. Something like that.

On the other hand: you can´t choose your relatives and blood is thicker than water(not a nice outlook) maybe they are indeed familyconnected.

Or Snape has a dept to Malfoy and he is more connected than he wants to be?

Ann - Feb 17, 2005 8:30 am (#1167 of 2980)
Well, we know (from Rowling's statement that Muggle-borns are accepted into the Death Eaters only under exceptional circumstances) that Snape is at least half-blood, which would mean that at least one of his parents comes from a pure-blood family. And since they're all connected, that probably means he's connected (however distantly) to the Potters and the Weasleys as well as the Blacks and the Malfoys.

I've always thought that the descriptions of Snape and Sirius Black sounded quite similar--the differences (greasy hair, bad teeth, and bad posture in childhood) are more a result of behavior than genetics. So they might be quite closely related, and family history might factor into their hatred for each other.

As for Snape's Dark Mark, it has always seemed to be a bit of a plot flaw to me that the existence of Dark Marks on DE's arms wasn't better known. Snape has one, so Dumbledore knows, and you'd expect the Ministry to know, too. So why wasn't it a bit trickier for Malfoy to get off saying it was all an Imperius Curse? The mark seems limited to the really serious DEs (you just know that Voldemort had some sort of silly, violent, evil initiation); it's not put on people along with Imperius curses. So why doesn't the Ministry simply check? Well, because that would make things too easy....

Catherine - Feb 17, 2005 8:46 am (#1168 of 2980)
As for Snape's Dark Mark, it has always seemed to be a bit of a plot flaw to me that the existence of Dark Marks on DE's arms wasn't better known. --Ann

Didn't the Marks fade after Voldemort's downfall? I inferred this because Karkaroff seemed frightened in GoF that the Mark was becoming clearer. So if questionings and trials were taking place after Voldemort's downfall, perhaps the Mark could not easily be seen.

Also, if Karkaroff is to be believed, Voldemort operated in stealth and secrecy. So I can see that the Mark would not be known to very many. For Sirius to be in the original Order, had a Death Eater brother, been locked up in Azkaban with known Death Eaters and still not known about the Dark Mark, it would show that Voldemort really can operate in utter secrecy.

Or, it could be a weak plot point. I like to think that Snape would have to be an amazing double agent to keep his Mark and this thoughts to himself while Voldemort was powerful.

Gina R Snape - Feb 17, 2005 9:21 am (#1169 of 2980)
Well, I agree that the dark marks must have become invisible after the Dark Lord's downfall. I suppose it's also possible that Voldemort was able to control the visibility level of the dark marks as he saw fit. It was specificaly used as a summoning device for him after all, and not just a 'gang' tattoo for identification.

We did not get to see the whole Black family tree and that made some of us nuts! I'm sure Snape is on there somewhere.

Mrs Brisbee - Feb 17, 2005 12:20 pm (#1170 of 2980)
Speaking of Dark Marks, I have always wondered about why Snape didn't alert Dumbledore about his during the third task. Voldemort touched the one on Pettigrew's arm to call all the Death Eaters to him. Possibly Hogwarts dampens the effect of the Dark Mark, since Snape did tell once Harry that the castle had ancient magics to protect the physical and mental well-being of its occupants, but it was strong enough to make Karkarof flee.

Chemyst - Feb 17, 2005 1:05 pm (#1171 of 2980)
I have always wondered about why Snape didn't alert Dumbledore about his (Dark Mark) during the third task.
This is another maddening mystery, but... maybe he did. Since the story is told from Harry's point of view, and since Snape is highly unlikely to tell DD information of such nature in front of Harry, it remains possible that DD did know and even encouraged Snape to go check it out.

I think it is highly probable that DD did know, thus reinforcing his trust in Snape. As readers, we don't know because DD was still keeping Harry in the dark at that point.

Weeny Owl - Feb 17, 2005 1:25 pm (#1172 of 2980)
I think Snape might have alerted Dumbledore during the third task since he had been keeping Dumbledore updated during the year. In Dumbledore's office, when some of the memories surfaced, one was Snape discussing the Dark Mark returning, and Dumbledore said something about a connection he could have made without assistance. That made me suspicious of Dumbledore for the longest time.

haymoni - Feb 17, 2005 4:19 pm (#1173 of 2980)
Since Snape, Minerva and Dumbledore arrived at Moody's door together, I figured Snape went straight to Dumbledore.

If Snape was one of the teachers appointed to assist with the Maze, it may have taken a bit of time to get to Dumbledore, if he was seated with the Judges.

Remember so much was going on. I pictured the seating to be above the Maze so the audience could see what the Champions were doing. They see Cedric and Harry go for the Cup at the same time and then see them both disappear.

Dumbledore must have been scared out of his wits. I'm sure he knew instantly what had happened. Shortly thereafter, Snape feels the burn and tells Dumbledore. Harry returns with Cedric's body and then Fake Moody carts him off to the castle.

Looking back, Fake Moody makes a classic villian mistake. He tells everyone who would care how Harry's name "could have" gotten into the Goblet. I'm sure Dumbledore put 2 & 2 together and came up with 20!

Dumbledore had been watching the signs all year. He wondered about Frank Bryce - pretty coincidental that the caretaker of the Riddle House is killed NOW. He didn't need Snape to tell him that his tattoo was getting darker - he knew trouble was afoot already.

Potions Mistress - Feb 17, 2005 5:07 pm (#1174 of 2980)
About the Black family tree: assuming that Snape and Black are related (and admittedly, that is a pretty big assumption at the moment), would it be possible that Snape's name was burned off? And if so, how would this affect his role as a double-agent? I admit, I can't see Harry looking at the tree, seeing Snape's name (assuming it's on there and visible), and not saying or doing something. Aaaarrrggghhhh! Gina, you're right, it is maddening!


Mrs Brisbee - Feb 17, 2005 5:30 pm (#1175 of 2980)
I don't know that anyone saw Cedric and Harry disappear. I know it makes no sense to have stands there so everyone can stare at the outside of a giant hedge all evening, but apparently no one noticed Krum use the Crutiatus Curse on Cedric either, so we can at least be sure there are blind spots. I think if Dumbledore had seen the boys disappear and then Snape came and told him about his Dark Mark, Dumbledore would have sprung into action right then.

How much time passed between Voldemort activating the Dark Mark and Harry's return to the school? First the Death Eaters had to disengage from whatever they were currently doing, then change into their DE costumes, Apparate to the graveyard, assemble and kowtow to Voldy. Then Voldy blathers on for quite a while, tortures Harry, and then they duel. I'm not sure how many minutes this would translate into, but all this could take a while.

I suppose it is possible Snape alerted Dumbledore when his Dark Mark burned. He would have known he could have Apparated to Voldy's location, but if the DEs are Apparating without knowing where they are going exactly, just homing in on the Mark, then there would be no way of knowing where Voldemort was unless Snape went personally to check it out. Perhaps that was deemed too risky at the moment. I don't know. It just seemed odd.

Choices - Feb 17, 2005 6:40 pm (#1176 of 2980)
I doubt the champions could be seen - at least not all the time - perhaps the table with the cup on it was visible. Harry said that the moment they entered the maze they could no longer hear the noise of the crowd, so if the crowd could see into the maze, they couldn't warn the champions in any way of what was ahead of them. If the hedges were indeed 20 feet tall, it would be very difficult for the spectators to see down into it unless they were up very high and practically on top of the maze.

I also think that Snape did tell Dumbledore of the Dark Mark growing more vivid on his arm. He does confide in Dumbledore because he mentions in POA how he spoke with Dumbledore before the start of first term when he found out Lupin was the new DADA teacher. He voiced his concerns at that time about Lupin possibly aiding Sirius Black in getting into the castle. I firmly believe he would have warned Dumbledore about the Dark Mark becoming more visible.

Cornelia - Feb 18, 2005 1:33 am (#1177 of 2980)
If they could be seen all the time, there hadn´t be the need of the advice to send sparks because everybody could have seen if a champion is in trouble.

When Snape felt the mark burning and told DD why didn´t DD tell him to apparate to the graveyard, or did he? Leeds to the old question who was Voldemort speaking of when he said, who I believe has left me forever...and was Snape there?

When DD knew Snape was there at the graveyard, why did he ask him in such a strange way in the parting of the ways chapter? Did he tell him earlier just to go and asked afterwards if he was willing to spy further? But why doesn´t DD tell Fudge that Snape witnessed Voldemorts return if he was there? Because...why?

But as Mrs. Brisbee said, maybe he wasn´t there because it was to risky.

Accio HBP!!!!!!!

T Brightwater - Feb 18, 2005 5:39 am (#1178 of 2980)
As Hermione tells us at every opportunity, you can't Apparate or Disapparate on the Hogwarts grounds. Voldemort must know this about Hogwarts, so Snape had a perfect excuse for not being at the graveyard. I've seen a few hypotheses for how he could have gotten there, with a Time Turner, but unless and until Jo tells us otherwise I'm inclined to the simple explanation - he wasn't there.

Chemyst - Feb 18, 2005 5:51 am (#1179 of 2980)
Snape was not officiating at the tourney; all teachers who did wore red stars, and Snape, (who under normal circumstances would have made a very capable referee,) did not. I think this was intentional, that DD and Snape were expecting 'something' to happen. Therefore, Snape was not assigned to patrol the maze so he would be free to react to any potential Voldemort appearance or summons.

When Snape felt the mark burning and told DD why didn´t DD tell him to apparate to the graveyard, or did he? Leeds to the old question who was Voldemort speaking of when he said, who I believe has left me forever...and was Snape there? - Cornelia
For the following questions, let us assume Snape was at the graveyard and Voldemort's comments were about other DEs. A time-turner was not needed, the maze was only a very short walk from the edge of Hogwarts grounds as I showed with two "proofs" in an earlier post on a retired thread.

When DD knew Snape was there at the graveyard, why did he ask him in such a strange way in the parting of the ways chapter? Did he tell him earlier just to go and asked afterwards if he was willing to spy further? - Cornelia
At the point DD asked this, they had simply confirmed that Voldemort did now have a corporeal body. The question he put to Snape was more about putting a risky pre-determined plan into action, not about Snape's commitment.

But why doesn´t DD tell Fudge that Snape witnessed Voldemorts return if he was there? Because...why? - Cornelia
Fudge would have blown Snape's cover. They told Fudge as much as they could, short of putting Snape's life in even further danger.

Gina R Snape - Feb 18, 2005 7:55 am (#1180 of 2980)
Chemyst did indeed give a very compelling argument for how Snape could have been at Voldemort's rebirthing party.

I was not convinced, but that is not to detract from Chemyst. I think Snape was directly as DD's side the whole time and they were on the alert. But none of them counted on the cup being a portkey. I think you probably could see inside the maze from the stands but it was too far to communicate anything or to get inside the maze quickly. So they had a team patrolling outside the maze in order to get to them quickly. I think nobody knew Moody put the Imperio on Krum and Krum put the Crucio on Fleur because it would be too difficult to hear exactly what spell a person was using. You could just see them waving their wands and fighting stuff off.

If I recall correctly, Harry appeared outside the maze with the cup and Cedric and DD ran toward him after Harry had slammed into the ground. He must have been waiting for Harry's return, and put a plan into motion for the moment of his return, all the while working out a plan to find where Harry had gone (which included sending Fawkes because Harry heard the phoenix song during his duel with Voldemort). I estimate Harry and Cedric were gone for quite a while--three quarters of an hour maybe? After all, there was the binding of Harry, the making of the potion, the revivial of the Dark Lord, the summoning of the DEs, Voldemort's whinging for a while, the dueling and finally the escape.

The fact remains, we don't get sufficient details about the POV of the people watching. And it's doubtful we ever will unless JKR specifically tells us in an interview.

I still believe at the end of GoF, that DD sent Snape to prostrate himself before the Dark Lord and beg his forgiveness for not attending the rebirthing party because he could not disapparate off the Hogwarts grounds. The dark lord knew exactly where Snape, Karkaroff and Crouch!Moody were (along with everyone else who did not appear). The only way for Snape to not be dead would be to explain himself to the dark lord and curry his favour.

Unless you believe Snape was there.

Ann - Feb 18, 2005 8:12 am (#1181 of 2980)
I agree with Gina about Snape's not being at the re-birthing party. If he had been, I don't think DD would have been so worried when he sent him off after the confrontation in the Infirmary. And I doubt that, without a time turner, he could have got back in time to join DD and McGonagall in Crouch/Moody's office. (I do wonder a lot about what happened at the party after Harry's disappearance, however. I can see Voldemort wanting to Crucio every one in sight, but I can also see him simply wanting them all to go away. Maybe it was like Snape's occasional throwing everyone out of his classroom?)

But I don't think the crowd could see anything inside the maze. The Triwizard events do not seem to have been very compelling as spectator sports: after all, the crowd seems to have simply looked at the lake for an hour in the second task; otherwise, the merpeople would not have had to tell Dumbledore what happened under the water. And although the first task seems to have been more dramatic, given the distance that the dragons could shoot fire, the spectators must not have been too close to the action.

I'd forgotten about the Dark Mark getting clearer throughout GoF. I had just assumed that it never disappeared entirely. After all, it was said to be there partly so the DEs could identify each other.

Cornelia - Feb 18, 2005 9:27 am (#1182 of 2980)
If he had to beg for forgiveness it would explain why he was so pale when he was leaving the hospital wing. I would be pale too if I had to ask Voldemort for forgiveness...

Elanor - Feb 18, 2005 9:44 am (#1183 of 2980)
LOL Cornelia! Voldemort is a "crucio trigger-happy" when it comes to forgiveness indeed, and Snape knows it...

I think Snape was with DD when his dark mark burnt and that they both knew at once what that meant. DD certainly needed no explanation, a simple looks exchange with Snape was certainly enough if Snape first did something as grabbing his arm when it happened. But it is only my opinion.

PS: forgive me for the "crucio trigger-happy", I made it up but I'm not sure it sounds very English...

T Brightwater - Feb 18, 2005 10:07 am (#1184 of 2980)
If Voldemort didn't buy Snape's story, the best Snape could hope for was a quick AK. He and DD both knew he might never return alive; I think that best accounts for their reactions.

(Don't worry, Elanor, English-speakers make up constructions like that all the time!)

Chemyst - Feb 18, 2005 2:59 pm (#1185 of 2980)
And I doubt that, without a time turner, he (Snape) could have got back in time to join DD and McGonagall in Crouch/Moody's office. - Ann
The way I see this, we have to "guess" that (1) Snape is a double agent and that (2) Voldemort would want an immediate report on what was going on back at Hogwarts after Harry grabbed the portkey back with Cedric. If we can assume those two things, then Voldemort sent Snape back to Hogwarts almost immediately. DD was slowed down by having to meet with Cedric's parents. McGonagall was most likely finishing up duties related to her assignment to patrol the maze. Crouch/Moody always walked with a limp and Harry had a badly injured leg, so those two could not have made good time crossing the field back up to the castle. With everyone else slowed down, Snape had the advantage in catching up.

I know it is guessing, but I think it is reasonable guessing.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Feb 18, 2005 7:40 pm (#1186 of 2980)
PS: forgive me for the "crucio trigger-happy", I made it up but I'm not sure it sounds very English..."

Sounded very American English to me :-)

Solitaire - Feb 19, 2005 10:24 am (#1187 of 2980)
I believe Snape did tell Dumbledore about the Mark burning--and being summoned--as soon as it happened. I think this is why Dumbledore immediately believed Harry about the rebirthing. I also believe that if Snape had revealed this info in the hospital and had not previously told Dumbledore, Dumbledore would not have continued to trust Snape, and he obviously does.

It makes sense that the fans who were up in the "rafters" could see what was going on in the maze--but they were too far away to do anything. Remember that the maze was in the Quidditch pitch, which is probably why they didn't have Quidditch all year; I guess they had to prepare the maze. Anyway, those stands are pretty high. Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, etc., were outside the maze and level with the kids--but they would need the sparks, because they would not be able to see through the maze. The only one who knew what was going on in the maze was Barty Jr., because he had Moody's magical eye and could see through the maze hedges. And Moody was busy stunning Fleur, making Krum attack Cedric, etc., and trying to get Harry to the center of the maze to grab the Cup/Portkey.

Snape's position now that the second VWar has officially begun is more precarious. Eventually he is going to find himself in a situation which must force him to show his true loyalties in front of a DE or a DE's kid (Draco, perhaps?). He is already responsible for alerting the Order to go to the Ministry and aid the kids (particularly Harry). Think how Lucius will react, if and when he learns of Snape's role in his own capture and the loss of the prophecy. Will Snape be toast?


haymoni - Feb 19, 2005 8:49 pm (#1188 of 2980)
I don't know that Lucius will find out about Snape's role.

Snape did his bit in Umbridge's office. He didn't go to the Ministry Battle. He even saved Draco from Harry.

I don't know that Snape's cover is blown.

TomProffitt - Feb 19, 2005 9:08 pm (#1189 of 2980)
I think Snape's cover rests on the fact that he is playing the double agent to both sides. Both Dumbledore and Voldemort believe that Snape is their spy.

Right now I believe that Snape is working for DD, but it would be very much like Jo for Snape to have really been working for Voldemort all along.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Feb 19, 2005 9:11 pm (#1190 of 2980)
Tom? "Right now I believe that Snape is working for DD, but it would be very much like Jo for Snape to have really been working for Voldemort all along."

After 13 years in the making, what makes you think it will be as simple as that? Knowing JKR as we do, I am just curious.

Solitaire - Feb 19, 2005 9:55 pm (#1191 of 2980)
I didn't say his cover was blown ... yet. However, I see it as likely in the future. The Wizarding World is at war, and at some point in the next two books, Snape is probably going to find himself in a situation where his true loyalties are going to determine what actions he takes--and when these actions are observed by DEs, they will know he is acting against them (assuming he is).

If and when this does occur, Lucius may begin to wonder whether Snape has acted against the DE interests before at critical junctures. If he starts connecting dots, he must eventually work out that it was Snape who alerted the Order to Harry's flight to the Ministry. Who else could have done it? McGonagall, Hagrid and Dumbledore were all gone ... Snape alone knew that Harry had been in Umbridge's office with Draco and the IS, and he would certainly have been the one Draco told (once he got free of the Bat-Bogeys) about Harry and Hermione heading to the forest with Umbridge. Then again, maybe I am giving Lucius credit for more "smarts" than he has. Maybe he won't figure it out.

Is it possible that Voldemort already knows of Snape's defection? If the one to whom he referred as his "most faithful servant" at Hogwarts was Barty, then he must know it isn't Snape. Otherwise, wouldn't he have mentioned two faithful servants at Hogwarts? Or did he assume Barty would be killed in this mission and everyone would continue to believe Snape was the "most faithful servant at Hogwarts"?

If Harry told Dumbledore and Snape of Voldemort's comment about "One, too cowardly to return ... One, whom I believe has left me forever ... and one, who remains my most faithful servant ... he is at Hogwarts"--and they realized it was Barty and not Snape to whom that one referred--then they had to know Voldemort did not consider Snape to be faithful. Would Dumbledore hazard sending Snape back to him as a spy under those conditions? I wonder ... is that really what he was being asked to do?


TwinklingBlueEyes - Feb 19, 2005 10:08 pm (#1192 of 2980)
"--and they realized it was Barty and not Snape to whom that one referred--then they had to know Voldemort did not consider Snape to be faithful."

That was my take on it.

"Would Dumbledore hazard sending Snape back to him as a spy under those conditions? I wonder ... is that really what he was being asked to do? I believe something along those lines...

...butterbeer on me, lets mull this. Mulled wine or mulled anything else digests better :-)

Good Evans - Feb 20, 2005 2:16 am (#1193 of 2980)
I really dont know what to make of the Snape role in the Order.

Is the whole thing a smokescreen - we dont know what info he has or who he has contacted. Harry has confronted Snape in the heat of the moment and Snape with his wry smile has confirmed he is a spy. Snape may not be a spy directly in with the death eaters, maybe he has links with someone who is a death eater or is in with the death eaters and this is the route of the info. We know he is doing something, but the question is what? Maybe he is pumping Lucius Malfoy( or another) for answers / info through legilimency, rather than by trying to pass himself off as a death eater once more.

I am also uneasy about him being accepted back in to the DE ring after the grave yard scene in GoF. I cannot believe that Voldemort can trust him, unless he was the "most trusted at Hogwarts" - but that would appear to have been Barty Crouch jr. Yes we know Snape is an accomplished occulems, but he says himself that Voldemort also excels in legilimency.

I know it sounds far fetched - but we have nothing to confirm that Snape is in contact with Death Eaters except what Harry, Ron and Hermione are supposing, we also know their suppositions tend to be wrong more than right where Snape is concerned.

I am trying not to jump to any conclusions as to excatly what Snape does or does not do, as I think Jo has been somewhat secretive about this, to lead us down the path that she wished us to.

I dont know which side of the fence Snape is playing, I agree with the earlier post that the he may well be trying to play both sides (he is after all a sneaky slytherin, maybe he doesnt even know himself which "side" he is really on), at some point he will need to jump one way or t'other. I will be surprised if this is in book 6, as it has been the most tantalsing and consistent thread throughout all books, is Snape a bad guy?????

sorry for rambling..........need butterbeer!!!

Fred Cringe - Feb 20, 2005 5:33 am (#1194 of 2980)
Snape could also be playing out a very complicated charade.

For instance, Snape could be in contact with DE spies/sympathisers. These spies may have had their cover blown but are unaware of it. DD sends Snape to meet with these spies where he says something like - The Dark Lord has sent me to collect what information you may have. He is very pleased with your work and wants you to continue. Being a skilled occlumens would give him a decided edge in this work. He could even pass on selected/false information to the *genuine* information collector so that Voldemort is none the wiser.

Snape could have inserted himself into the chain without either end knowing that he's really working for DD.

Choices - Feb 20, 2005 8:59 am (#1195 of 2980)
Snape is such a mystery. I want very much to believe he is on the good side, but it bothers me that he sometimes seems to get outdone with Dumbledore. In contrast, Hagrid always seems to be defending Dumbledore, thinks he is a great man and obviously loves and respects Dumbledore. If Dumbledore has done as much for Snape as he has for Hagrid, then why does Snape not show him the adoration and respect that Hagrid does? Sometimes Snape seems to more tolerate Dumbledore, than to admire and idolize him the way Hagrid does. Maybe it is just the differences between the two men - Hagrid and Snape - but Snape's attitude towards Dumbledore makes me suspicious. Has anyone else noticed this or am I just imagining things?

Ydnam96 - Feb 20, 2005 9:12 am (#1196 of 2980)
Snape is for Snape, just as the Dwarves were for the Dwarves in the Chronicles of Narnia. I wouldn't put it past him to be working only for himself.

But I do hope he ends up deciding that the side of good is the side for him.

haymoni - Feb 20, 2005 11:18 am (#1197 of 2980)
I don't think it is in Snape's nature to adore anyone - except Gina, of course.

Voldy said he THOUGHT that one had left him forever.

It wouldn't take much for Snape, if he is as good at Occlumency as he claims, to convince Voldy, just as Lucius did, that had there been ANY sign of his return, blah, blah, blah...bother, bother, bother.

Voldy hasn't AK'd any of his followers yet - crucio'd, yes, but not AK because he needs bodies.

Even if he thought that Snape really had left him, I think Voldy would take Snape back and use him for the info that he has, thinking that he was one step ahead of Dumbledore.

Weeny Owl - Feb 20, 2005 11:56 am (#1198 of 2980)
Maybe it is just the differences between the two men - Hagrid and Snape - but Snape's attitude towards Dumbledore makes me suspicious. Has anyone else noticed this or am I just imagining things?

I've noticed it, Choices. Especially in PoA during the scene in the Great Hall where everyone was camping out. He looked at Dumbledore with resentment.

I don't see it as a problem, necessarily. Hagrid, as kind and caring as he is, doesn't always get how to deal with people. The whole Monster Book of Monsters thing, the blast-ended skrewts, not quite understanding the dangers of Umbridge, and opening his big mouth in the very first book about how to get past Fluffy are all things that can make him more of a liability in some situations.

Snape, on the other hand, is not kind and caring, but he is also not able to go about life as blithely as Hagrid.

Snape said his job was to find out what the Dark Lord was saying to his Death Eaters. While Hagrid has had his own crosses to bear, and while he tangled with and lost to Tom Riddle in his youth, his position isn't one where he needs to meet with Death Eaters or Voldemort and try to discover something that could be significant to the cause.

Admiring Dumbledore and feeling that he can do no wrong aren't quite one and the same. Snape has reasons to resent Dumbledore that Hagrid doesn't have, but that makes him seem even better in some ways because heh realizes that Dumbledore isn't omnipotent, but is human. I think Snape knows that while Dumbledore is a good person, he will still make wrong decisions. Hagrid hasn't been put in that position that we know of.

Snape does have legitimate reasons to resent Dumbledore, but Dumbledore isn't the only person involved in this upcoming war. Snape is intelligent enough to realize that you don't always have to like someone in order to work together for the common good.

Gina R Snape - Feb 20, 2005 12:55 pm (#1199 of 2980)
Oooh, well said Weeny!

Also, Snape may not appear warm to Dumbledore, but he follows orders/directives. Hagrid, on the other hand, frequently slips up in doing what he is told and often needs redirecting. So, which is better? I'd prefer a dependable if crotchety Snape over a gushing but faulty Hagrid.

Oh, and thanks Haymoni.

Choices - Feb 20, 2005 4:26 pm (#1200 of 2980)
I agree Gina - Hagrid in many ways reminds me of a really big kid....not completely mature in many ways. Very kind hearted, but still a tad childish and sometimes irresponsible. Snape on the other hand seems as if he has been grown up forever. It is hard for me to picture him as ever being a kid. I guess it is a sense of "fun" (for lack of a better word) that Hagrid has, that is completely missing from Snape.
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