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Lily, Severus and Albus

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Post  Lady Arabella Fri May 13, 2011 7:46 pm

The following is an archive of material originally posted on the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum, hosted by World Crossing, which ceased operation on April 15, 2011
Lady Arabella
Lady Arabella

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Lily, Severus and Albus Empty Posts 1 to 25

Post  Lady Arabella Fri May 13, 2011 7:54 pm

Lily, Severus, and Albus
Prefect Marcus - Aug 4, 2006 1:04 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Sep 10, 2006 6:32 am

There are a number of unanswered questions concerning Lily Potter, Severus Snape, and Prof. Dumbledore.

1. Why does Dumbledore trust Snape?
2. Why won't Dumbledore tell Harry why he trusts Snape?
3. Why do we know next to nothing about Lily?
4. What was it that the GoF movie came so close to that bothered Rowling so much?
5. What exactly was Lily's relationship with Snape?
6. What is the real reason for Snape's protecting care over Harry despite his obvious, unfeigned antipathy towards him?
7. What does Lily's charm ability got to do with anything?

Some have speculated that Lily and Severus were lovers, or that Severus was jealous of James. I don't hold too much to those. They seem overly melodramatic and un-necessarily convoluted. Plus they really can't get by the 'ick' factor.

Then there is the question of Dumbledore's faith in Snape. Why was he so sure of his loyality, or at least of his integrity? To me, one of the most haunting lines in all the books occurs at the end of GoF chap #30 The Pensieve when Harry asks Dumbledore point blank why he trusts him, and Dumbledore looks at him carefully and says, "That is between me and Professor Snape."

So try this theory on for size. Snape made an unbreakable vow with one of them to protect Harry, and the other administered it. Lily instigated it out of concern for Harry's life.

Suddenly those unanswered questions have plausible answers. Snape protects Harry because of the vow. Lily's compassion and charm skills helped bring it about. Dumbledore would be reluctant to tell Harry about his mother doing something that might not be entirely legal or ethical, and which tied together his mother and his most hated teacher.

I will be the first person to admit that this theory has plenty of holes. I certainly am not going to defend it as much as H/P, but I think it raises some intriguing possiblities, don't you?

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Madam Pince - Aug 4, 2006 1:16 pm (#1 of 98)
Edited Aug 4, 2006 2:17 pm

Indeed! I like it, Marcus. You certainly wasted no time getting this theory up and running!

I've been thinking about it since we talked about it in chat last night. One itsy bitsy thing that bothers me about it, is that it would be somewhat odd for JKR to have Snape bound by two Unbreakable Vows, both designed to protect a young boy that is his student. That doesn't make it impossible, of course, it just makes it kind of an awkward writing technique. People would find out about the "Harry Vow" in Book 7 and then say, "Hey, wait, she already did that back in HBP!" and might feel somewhat cheated.

It does answer a lot of crucial questions, though. And I am certain that there is some tie between Lily and Severus that we have yet to discover, and that tie (whatever it is) could very well be the mysterious thing that causes Dumbledore to trust Snape so implicitly.

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Prefect Marcus - Aug 4, 2006 1:21 pm (#2 of 98)

It wouldn't be the first time JKR has reused a plot device - unregistered animagus being just one.

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Madam Pince - Aug 4, 2006 1:26 pm (#3 of 98)
Edited Aug 4, 2006 2:27 pm

Yes, true. And I think she caught plenty of flak for that, too, which would make me think she might try to avoid doing it again. But then again, if this particular angle is how she had it in her mind from the very beginning, then I can see where it would be kind of hard to veer from the path much at this point. She almost had to intro the Unbreakable Vow with the Draco/Dumbledore storyline in HBP, and if she'd already "done" it (even if just in her head) with Harry/Snape/Lily, well... it'd be hard to get out of it now.

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Prefect Marcus - Aug 4, 2006 1:28 pm (#4 of 98)

My thoughts exactly.

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So Sirius - Aug 4, 2006 2:45 pm (#5 of 98)
Edited Aug 4, 2006 3:49 pm

Marcus, a while back I suggested that Snape and DD made an unbreakable vow, on another thread.

Nice to see it's been suggested since, many times ... glad a lot of us are on the same page with it.

My theory is that after DD and Aberforth caught Snape listening at the keyhole, doing the dirty work for LV, that Snape might have confided in DD that he had reservations and DD then sent his mother into hiding (Madam Pince) and made Snape make this vow, ensuring that he never tell the prophecy to anyone and to protect Harry, in exchange for not only the protection of his mom, but a new life for himself at Hogwarts.

Although, I do not believe the vow was made until Lily and James died and after LV lost his body. I think DD needed the ensurance from Snape, when the time was right.

After all, I believe Snape heard the whole prophecy, based on Trelawneys testimony of events... she'd have to have come out of her trance to know someone was at the door and she would have had to have finished the prophecy to come out of her trance... thus, Snape heard it all... but, only told LV part of it.

So, I think DD "trusts" Snape, because he knows he cannot break this vow.

Also, many times in the books, we've seen Snape, although wrestling with his demons, protect Harry. And when Snape guarded the kids from Lupin (as a werewolf) in the movies, that was nowhere in the books and very interesting. So, my answer to is Snape good or evil would be... YES. He is both. He's evil, but MUST do good, based on the bonds he made that cannot be broken.

Anyway... as I said long ago... I do think there was a vow made between them.

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Soul Search - Aug 4, 2006 3:03 pm (#6 of 98)

Prefect Marcus,

I like your list of "unanswered questions," but I can't accept the "Snape made an unbreakable vow ... to protect Harry" idea.

"Protect" is an active process. To maintain the Vow Snape would have had to be around Harry all the time. No evidence that Snape has ever been to Privet Drive or had set eyes on Harry before Harry came to Hogwarts.

Snape's true feelings toward Harry are hard to nail down, given everything we know, but "overprotective" would not come to mind.

I agree there is something going on there, but it isn't a vow.

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Deb Zawacki - Aug 4, 2006 3:24 pm (#7 of 98)

Sometimes even Snape's malevolent actions toward Harry have offered him some protection. I have thought that Snape made a vow to protect Harry--on the other threads people have disagreed with that notion but I see it as a REAL possibility-- I wonder if Snape's hand twitching when he made the vow with Narcissa had to do with the conflict of interest in having to protect two students on opposing sides.

The werewolf in the movie was one--the counterjinx on the broom--making sure to ask the question about the bezoar (possible coincidence) not ratting him out when Harry assaulted him in the shack--making the snake disappear in the duel---zapping him as he fled Hogwarts to keep him from leaving the grounds---believing that he had not caused the attacks in CS....the fake serum...believing him about the attacks at the MOM.... MANY instances....

Snape has only ever threatened Harry with "normal" punishments--detentions, loss of points--being expelled for breaking rules... we have never once seen seen or heard Snape pull Harry aside and threaten him with harm of any real kind-- he has allowed Malfoy to taunt Harry but he himself has never ordered any mistreatment that we know of.

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Thom Matheson - Aug 4, 2006 4:45 pm (#8 of 98)

Somehow I keep going back to Petunia and her "secrets", and wonder whether she is involved somehow with the Severus issues with Lily. Could she have visited Hogwarts as a child with Lily's parents and gotten a taste of the WW? Maybe met Severus and the rest? Did Lily bring home a classmate for the holidays so as not to make him be alone? Something here rings true for me and as this thread opens the door for the strange thoughts, I thought I would add this to the mix.

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Madame Pomfrey - Aug 5, 2006 5:53 am (#9 of 98)

I am one of those who definitly think that Lily is the key to Dumbledore's trust in Snape. As for the vow,I also happen to believe that Snape is evil (this was confirmed,to me,when His Nastiness killed my sweet Dumbledore) but is bound to something that would prevent him from harming Harry.I think Marcus is heading in the right direction with this theory.

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rambkowalczyk - Aug 5, 2006 6:32 am (#10 of 98)

Even before I read HBP, I thought that Snape made some sort of promise to Dumbledore that he would protect Harry, mainly because Snape saving Harry seems to be a consistent thing in the series. In retrospect I saw it as a life debt sort of thing rather than a Vow made because Severus couldn't be trusted any other way.

On the Severus thread, posts 2418-2463 cover the possibility of a Lily-Snape relationship as well as the idea that Snape may or may not have made an Unbreakable Vow. The jist of a lot of people is that Dumbledore would never require an Unbreakable Vow to insure loyalty.

I'm undecided as to whether I agree with that assessment of Dumbledore's character. Tactically speaking it makes sense for Dumbledore to require an Unbreakable Vow from Severus to insure Harry's safety from Snape once and for all. On the other hand if the Unbreakable Vow is the only thing commanding Snape's loyalty then I think Dumbledore made a flawed decision.

If an Unbreakable Vow was made by Snape the relevant question is why. Did Dumbledore or Lily require it to insure Snape's loyalty, or did Snape offer it to prove his sincerity of changing sides?

I am providing links to posts that I made in June about the possibility of Snape making an Unbreakable Vow to Lily with James being the bonder.

rambkowalczyk, "+ Severus Snape" #2461, 13 Jun 2006 4:17 am rambkowalczyk, "+ Severus Snape" #2504, 14 Jun 2006 7:52 pm

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Veritaserum - Aug 5, 2006 8:19 am (#11 of 98)

Question: does a life debt actually magically bind the debtor into repaying it, or is it more of a personal honor thing?

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Choices - Aug 5, 2006 9:00 am (#12 of 98)

Maybe it was this that Snape and Dumbledore argued about in the forest. Dumbledore asked Snape to continue to look after Harry after he (Dumbledore) was gone. From Dumbledore's words, it does sound like Snape made a promise of some sort and Dumbledore was holding him to it.

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So Sirius - Aug 5, 2006 11:47 am (#13 of 98)

Veritaserum, I'm going to try to take a stab at answering that.

I think that, a life debt can be acquired two different ways. One, from an unbreakable vow, where there is no option, you must do what was vowed and the other debt would be like the circumstance with Wormtail, where Harry saved him and he owes Harry a life debt, but is under no bond to repay it.

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Solitaire - Aug 5, 2006 12:25 pm (#14 of 98)

If Snape made an Unbreakable Vow with Dumbledore or Lily to watch over and help Harry, and he does not fulfill it, he will die. Ron explains the nature of an UV to Harry on the very first pages of "A Very Frosty Christmas."

I wonder about the life debt, as well. How long does debtor have to fulfill it? Will the debtor die if he blows off a chance to save the one to whom he owes the debt ... or if he allows the person to die without lifting a finger (or a silver hand, in this case)? So many questions ...


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rambkowalczyk - Aug 5, 2006 1:57 pm (#15 of 98)

Another possibility to consider is that the life debt forces you to act in a way that you must save someone. In book 3 Dumbledore says "Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt.... When one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain bond between them ... and I'm much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter."

Granted this doesn't really explain the lack of action on Peter in the cemetary at Voldemort's rebirthing, unless one accepts that magic knew that Harry wasn't going to die and so therefore Peter wasn't forced to act.

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Solitaire - Aug 5, 2006 3:55 pm (#16 of 98)

I've thought about that, ramb. It also makes me wonder whether Voldemort might not owe a life debt to Wormtail. After all, Wormtail is the one who did his bidding in the graveyard and helped restore him to his body. If this is the case, it might be interesting to see what happens if Voldemort attempts to kill Wormtail.


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Madame Pomfrey - Aug 5, 2006 4:18 pm (#17 of 98)

Well,first of all I think we need to ask Jo if a vow is broken does the person die.I know this is what Ron said,but he was only 5 and when Harry told both Lupin and Dumbledore about the vow,neither seemed to be that stressed about it.That is the only thing that would keep Snape from letting Harry get killed,I think.If the end result from a broken vow is not death,I think we might need to look elsewhere because I think Snape hates Harry enough to kill him.Snape see's James,compares Harry to James,never to Lily,which is why I'd love for Snape to see Harry without his glasses.I'd like to see his reaction if he could perhaps see past James and see Lily.

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Choices - Aug 5, 2006 4:27 pm (#18 of 98)

I think there is a big difference between a life debt and an Unbreakable Vow. With the vow there is a bonder and the penalty is death for breaking the vow. I think a life debt is a matter of honor. The debt is owed to the one who saves your life - an honorable wizard will repay the debt, but there is no physical penalty for not doing so, only shame for not being honorable.

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Solitaire - Aug 5, 2006 5:11 pm (#19 of 98)

Ron was only five when Fred tried to trick him into making a Vow; he was not five when he told Harry about the consequence of breaking an Unbreakable Vow. Besides, just because Dumbledore and Remus were not too concerned that Snape had made the UV doesn't mean that death isn't the penalty for breaking one. Dumbledore probably already knew about Snape's UV, so it was not a surprise. Remus probably assumed that Dumbledore already knew what Snape was up to, so he wouldn't be that surprised, either.

Bella's surprise that Snape would be willing to make the Unbreakable Vow says a lot about its seriousness. After all, the vow is called Unbreakable for a reason. I am inclined to believe Ron was right on the money.


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haymoni - Aug 5, 2006 5:26 pm (#20 of 98)
Edited Aug 5, 2006 6:27 pm

I don't think Snape & Lily were lovers and I don't think an Unbreakable Vow was used.

I think they were friends, but Snape liked Lily a bit more than a friend, but never told her. Then he went and ruined any chance of moving beyond friendship with The Mudblood Comment.

I think Dumbledore's answer to Harry was basically true, except that Snape only cared about Lily's well-being.

Harry has only just found his parents. Dumbledore didn't want to ruin things for Harry by telling him that the Professor he hates was the cause of their deaths.

Once Harry found that out and expressed such anger about it, Dumbledore could not tell Harry the real reason that he trusts Snape.

Snape does have regret over what he did, but it is only regret over Lily.

And everytime he looks at that Potter brat, her eyes are staring back at him, reminding him of what he threw away and what he did to her.

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Madame Pomfrey - Aug 5, 2006 6:24 pm (#21 of 98)

Being that Ron was only 5 when it happened and he was recalling a childhood memory,there is a very good chance that he didn't recall everything concerning the vow.I'm not saying that death is not the outcome,it probably is,only we have yet to hear anyone else explain exactly how the vow works as well as why it's unbreakable.

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So Sirius - Aug 5, 2006 6:42 pm (#22 of 98)

I think at this point in the story, DD knew that Harry already possessed an anger and hatred towards Snape that if he was to tell him one more thing, it wouldn't have made any difference. Also, if he knew what was to come and how Snape would therefore be looked upon, after... then again, he must have known that mentioning one more detail, wouldn't have made much of a difference.

Therefore, I think his secret trust of Snape, is just that...a secret that he cannot share with anyone, or a vow.

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Solitaire - Aug 5, 2006 7:43 pm (#23 of 98)

Well, of course, I may be wrong ... but Ron's reaction when Harry mentioned the Unbreakable Vow--and his statement that this was the only time he'd ever seen his dad as angry as his mum--makes me think that Arthur took great pains to impress upon Ron the seriousness of an Unbreakable Vow. We know that Fred was severely punished for the attempt.

The Unbreakable Vow seems pretty clear to me ... don't take it unless you mean business.


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smurf - Aug 6, 2006 3:33 am (#24 of 98)
Edited Aug 6, 2006 4:35 am

If Snape Vowed he would protect Harry, why won't Dumbledore just tell Harry?

Haymoni - And everytime he looks at that Potter brat, her eyes are staring back at him, reminding him of what he threw away and what he did to her.

I like this idea, that rather than Snape despising Harry because he is reminded of Harry's arrogant father, Snape is reminded of Lily, whom he cared for. He doesn't really hate Harry, he hates himself for what he's done.

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Madame Pomfrey - Aug 6, 2006 4:51 am (#25 of 98)
Edited Aug 6, 2006 5:59 am

Oh,no,Soli. I think you are right only I wish we had more proof.

He doesn't really hate Harry, he hates himself for what he's done... Smurf.

This makes me wonder if this is why Snape saw himself in the Foe glass.He is his own worst enemy.Especially since he's a double agent.

Am I the only one or does anyone think Dumbledore may have been mistaken in Snape? If he did trust Snape because of something having to do with Lily,this would bring in the love factor(whether it be friendship or more)that Dumbledore thinks is so powerful but many DE do not.
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Lily, Severus and Albus Empty Posts 26 to 50

Post  Lady Arabella Fri May 13, 2011 8:03 pm

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Madam Pince - Aug 6, 2006 8:22 am (#26 of 98)

Haymoni, I agree with what you said about Snape constantly seeing Lily in Harry, because of the eyes. There is going to be some major reason that we keep getting reminded that he "has his mother's eyes," and I think that Snape's problem with Lily (whatever it was) it going to turn out to be the reason. Harry's eyes remind Snape of something pretty dreadful from Snape's past...

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wynnleaf - Aug 6, 2006 1:49 pm (#27 of 98)
Edited Aug 6, 2006 2:56 pm

Objections to Snape making unbreakable vow to protect Harry.

1. Being confident that someone is forced to do something through a vow does not sound like "trust" to me, and I don't think it would be "trust" to Dumbledore.

2. Without a relationship of some kind already existing, why would Lily want Snape to make a Vow to protect Harry? Narcissa, remember, was counting on Snape's pre-existing care for their family. I realize that Snape himself could have wanted to prove his loyalty to the Order, but why would i Lily be interested in Snape, in particular, protecting Harry?

3. Protection is a broad concept. If the Vow is as demanding as everyone thinks, Snape would have died by now. Harry's been in an incredible amount of danger that Snape did not protect him from (mostly because he didn't know about it). But not knowing doesn't appear to count in the case of Snape and Draco -- Snape had to fulfill the vow. He had to find out what Draco was doing. If Snape was Vow-bound to protect Harry, one would think he'd be pretty aggressively protective.

4. Snape seems to have no problem with Draco knowing he'd made a UV to Narcissa. Why won't DD tell Harry, if that's the main reason he "trusts" Snape?

5. DD ties his confidence in Snape to something related to Snape's regret over taking the prophecy to LV. Yet he stops there and won't go on. Why not, if all he has to reveal is a Vow?

6. DD repeatedly seems to imply that the reasons for trust are particularly private.

Okay, enough of that.

Now about Lily. We know that DD trusts Snape in part because of his regret over taking the prophecy to LV. Snape hates James intensely. Pettigrew gives us a picture of a life-debt in progress, yet it didn't move him to either attempt to protect Harry in the graveyard, or -- apparently -- to regret his actions to the point of turning away. However, Snape did regret to that extent (assuming he's DDM). Since we know that the life debt didn't move Peter to the extent that he'd actually leave LV and help Harry, I think we have to assume that a life debt wouldn't force Snape to make that move either.

Yet something moved Snape to regret his actions so much that he'd leave LV and want to help the Order. If it's not the life debt, it's certainly not regret over James. That really just leaves Lily.

Lily is the big regret. The next question is why. Was it friendship or love? I think there was at least friendship on both sides. I believe that we'll discover that Petunia's "awful boy" reference was about Snape (it apparently isn't James and it's also, according to JKR, somehow important to book 7). I guess it could be something else, but I'd bet on Snape.

So Lily's the regret, and there's at least friendship. I don't think it has to be more than that. In fact, I think it's more likely since a strong teenage friendship can be a lot more long lasting than a teenage crush.

After that, all else falls into place. Snape hates James in part because he got Lily killed through his "arrogance" of trusting in another Marauder as a secret keeper, when Snape brought the warning that one of them might be betraying them. It explains also Snape's focus on the "arrogance" of James, more than practically any other supposed character flaw.

Snape hates Harry because Harry is the immediate reason for Lily's death. She was given a choice. She could have lived. She died to save Harry. Was it worth it? Snape would look at Harry and think "she died to save him." And Harry looks just like James. So Snape thinks of Lily dying to save a James clone. So he hates him.

But on the other hand, in order to get revenge on LV, in order to make Lily's sacrifice worthwhile, and to fulfill his life debt to James, Snape has to protect Harry (when he's around and seeing Harry in danger), and Snape has to serve the Order.

Last -- and this is I think my biggest speculation -- somehow DD learned that Lily was given a choice by LV. That means somebody was probably there. I doubt it there were portraits in the nursery, or that Lily was holding one of those magical mirrors, or whatever. I'd bet on Snape, although it's possible it was another DE who somehow passed the info along.

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rambkowalczyk - Aug 6, 2006 2:45 pm (#28 of 98)

THe question is did Dumbledore demand the Unbreakable Vow or did Snape offer it. If Snape offered it then it shows how serious he was about changing. Perhaps in his mind life was not worth living if he couldn't somehow make amends for what he did. What I'm talking about is the possibility that Snape really regretted what he did and that it had nothing to do with Voldemort's plans to put a spy on the Hogwart's faculty. Although Snape is a Slytherin, he doesn't always have to be conniving. If Dumbledore can occasionally show a Slytherin side, certainly Snape can show a more noble side.

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TheSaint - Aug 6, 2006 3:42 pm (#29 of 98)

Wouldn't the requirement of an Unbreakable Vow sort of negate DD's view that the choices we make form us? You have the choice to make the vow...but I think the choice at the crucial moment would be the one that counted, and I don't see DD messing with that.

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Solitaire - Aug 6, 2006 7:16 pm (#30 of 98)
Edited Aug 6, 2006 8:18 pm

That is a pretty good argument, TheSaint, against a UV. Once locked into a Vow, a lot of good options--maybe even the best ones--may no longer be options ... unless one is willing to die for them ... if that makes sense.

Edit: It would seem foolish almost to the point of being a death wish to make a second UV with Narcissa if Snape were already bound by a first one to either Dumbledore or Lily. The goals Narcissa and Dumbledore/Lily would seem to be in complete opposition!


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Soul Search - Aug 7, 2006 5:39 am (#31 of 98)

I have been thinking about life debts. We have two examples, Snape for James and Wormtail for Harry. So far, however, we have no examples of their use. Yet, their mention suggests that, at least, the Wormtail/Harry life debt will come into play in book seven.

We have wondered why the Wormtail/Harry life debt did not come into play in the GoF graveyard scene. Clearly, had the brother wands effect not occurred, Voldemort would have killed Harry. Yet, Wormtail did nothing. The life debt did not force Wormtail to do something to protect Harry.

My thought is that a life debt has to be called. That is, Harry will have to call the life debt to force Wormtail to to something.

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Solitaire - Aug 7, 2006 9:39 am (#32 of 98)

Do you think he would do this, Soul Search?

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Madame Pomfrey - Aug 7, 2006 9:55 am (#33 of 98)

I thought the life debt is more like a code of honor,while I don't think of Wormtail as being honorable at all,he did try to persuede Voldemort to use someone besides Harry at the rebirthing,having done this,he may try to repay Harry in book 7 especially if Harry does call him on it.Knowing our Harry,he probably has already forgotten the life debt.

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Soul Search - Aug 7, 2006 10:15 am (#34 of 98)
Edited Aug 7, 2006 11:17 am

Good question, Solitaire. Worthy of discussion.

We still need to know more about life debts. For example, should Harry call the life debt, and Wormtail fulfills it, does Harry then owe a life debt to Wormtail?

So far, Harry only knows as much about life debts as we do. How will he know that he has to call it? Maybe he will learn more about the life debt Snape owed James, and how Snape fulfilled it.

We know that Harry doesn't want to be in any way in debt to the wizard who betrayed his parents. In PoA he says to Dumbledore:

"I don't want a connection with Pettigrew!" said Harry. "He betrayed my parents!"

So, it might depend on how dire the circumstances. I think Harry would call the life debt if it meant saving Ron or Hermione, for example. He might also if it were the only way for him to defeat Voldemort.

So, the question becomes will there be dire circumstances, with Wormtail around, and that Wormtail can help? There are too many clues to suggest otherwise. The life debt, Wormtail's still alive, not thrilled with Voldemort, Voldemort isn't particularly thrilled with Wormtail, and Wormtail has that silver hand. (Hand of the other?)

Will Wormtail survive the life debt act? Probably not.

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Deb Zawacki - Aug 7, 2006 6:36 pm (#35 of 98)

Ron being 5 and the twins being 7--how much actual power would they have in casting an unbreakable vow binder spell? Even if they "tried" it probably wouldn't have taken-

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Solitaire - Aug 7, 2006 9:41 pm (#36 of 98)

I don't think their power was the point, Deb. I think Arthur wanted to impress upon the kids the fact that an Unbreakable Vow is not something undertaken lightly ... certainly not by children. Ron appears to remember the incident quite clearly. He didn't hem and haw around for what the term meant, the way he usually does. He got right to the heart of it! It sounds to me like Arthur made his point quite effectively.


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Deb Zawacki - Aug 8, 2006 5:30 pm (#37 of 98)

Well where do you s'pose a couple of 7 year olds--even crafty types like Fred and George would have learned about such a spell? Since apparently wizards don't watch television or movies and only READ or are told by family members, who would put a notion in their heads that they could kill off their brother if he broke a promise?

I bet some of their more seedy relatives gave them the idea!

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Solitaire - Aug 8, 2006 6:32 pm (#38 of 98)
Edited Aug 8, 2006 7:37 pm

I think F&G are actually incredibly gifted Wizards. Alas, they use their talents more for entertainment and enjoyment than for the more humanitarian reasons like the good of Wizardkind. For this reason, I think their talents may not be realized by most of the Wizarding community. As they are inherently good and love Harry, however, I look for something truly helpful to come from them in the next book.

Edit: Remember that F&G have three older brothers. It is not unlikely that they took the opportunity to check out their books. We do not think of F&G as the studious, Hermione-with-her-nose-in-a-book types ... but they might be willing to read up on something if they thought they could use it to enslave Ron to them forever. LOL


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legolas returns - Aug 9, 2006 1:16 pm (#39 of 98)

I have been reading through the books again for the 100th time and am going to list a few things. Please bear with me I will come to a theory (eventually). Sorry for length.

Snape is described as knowing more curses that the 7th years and being really into Dark arts-admittedly this is a comment from Sirius so it may be an exaggeration. He did seem engrossed in his exam and did manage to slash James face (see snapes worst memory).

When Harry breaks through into Snapes memories in Occulumeny he gets snap shots of young snape. Particularly the one where a young boy is crying and a women is cowering. Could this be Snapes abussive muggle father? This may be a reason why he hates muggles.

When he and Sirius are trading insults Sirius calls Snape "Lucius Malfoys lap dog". There is a five year gap in ages (if you look on the Lexicon). Why would they hang out together at school? It would be seen as unusual. Could it be that the socially inept Snape felt he needed protection at school? Or does this refer to after his school days or was Sirius just trying to annoy SNape?

In the chapter Snapes worst memory why does Snape extract memories in front of Harry. Snape leaves these memories twice ungarded. Considering he has prior knowledge of Harry why does he do this when he should expect Harry to be curious/nosy See leaky cauldron for an essay on this topic. Why is the memory where he shows his pants the worst one? I am sure there would be many more memories of a similar type.

Why does Dumbledore think that Snape could get over any hurt he had as a student? He lends Snape his pensieve to deposit memories in. He later says that some hurts cant heal.

Ok. This is my theory

Snape told Dumbledore that he was in love with Lily and he was sorry that giving Voldemort the information that lead to her death. Dumbledore would possibly believe this because of his widely expressed views on love and give Snape a second chance. Dumbledore described the information that Snape gave to Voldemort and his subsequent interpretation as the biggest regret of his life (p513 uk). This is a very vague cover all statement by Dumbledore that could mean anything. He did not explain properly because Harry would be able to counter the argument with Snapes memory in the Pensieve.

Harry going into the pensieve was a plot device to get over the information that Snape called Lily a mudblood. This would suggest that he was already into purity of blood and as such would not have loved her. His hatred of muggles/muggleborn wizards/witches may have begun at a much younger age.

I thought that they wanted to put the graveyard in GOF very near to Hogwarts. THis possibly bothered JKR as there was a graveyard by the end of HBP. Does Dumbledores grave count as a graveyard?

Protecting Harry at school while Voldemort is not powerfull would assure Dumbledore of Snapes loyalty. After Voldemorts return I cant imagine why he still protected Harry. Is the life debt he had with James enough to keep him protecting Harry or was he wanting to ensure that his is safe for Voldemort? You could argue why did he not attack harry e.g stun him and then take him to Voldemort at the end of HBP. I imagine that he was going to have to side along aparte with Draco becuase he was not of age. This may mean that he could not take Harry.

As an aside do people think that Snape was in the Slug club? Was he better than Lily at potions. Or did he complain to his mother about teachers having favourites-e.g she got much better marks than him (similar to Draco/father conversation in COS).

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Solitaire - Aug 9, 2006 1:36 pm (#40 of 98)

Was [Snape] better than Lily at potions. Or did he complain to his mother about teachers having favourites-e.g she got much better marks than him (similar to Draco/father conversation in COS).

Interesting idea to ponder, Legolas. The prevailing climate seems to be that Snape and Lily were friends, possibly lab partners in Potions. Some believe he took an Unbreakable Vow, at Lily's request, to protect Harry.


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legolas returns - Aug 9, 2006 1:43 pm (#41 of 98)

I am far from convinced that they would be friends. Slytherin and Gryfindor just do not mix.

I cant see him being friends with a person and then insulting them by calling them a mudblood.

I could see them spending time together if they were both in the Slug club.

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Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 9, 2006 3:19 pm (#42 of 98)
Edited Aug 9, 2006 4:23 pm

Legolas Returns, that is a most interesting line of thought and gives me much to ponder. Especially, the point on Slytherin's not mixing with members of other houses. I would argue that their are instances of it.

You'll be in Gryffindor like her, I suppose? Yes, it usually goes in families. Not always though. . . . . The whole Black family had been in my House, but Sirius ended up in Gryffindor! (HBP Large Print Edition Page 98).

Presupposing Professor Slughorn is correct. This would seemingly imply that Arcturus Black, the paternal grandfather of Sirius and Regulus Black was a member of Slytherin House an yet he married Melania Macmillan, raising the possibility that he married in to the line of Helga Hufflepuff. So I would argue that while it is preferable for Slytherins to mix with Slytherins, that for certain Slytherin families such as the Blacks, the name and house allegiance is unimportant so long as the family bloodline is pure-blooded wizard.

The question then becomes what views the Prince's especially Eileen hold regarding blood status, and how did this affect Severus?

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legolas returns - Aug 9, 2006 10:28 pm (#43 of 98)

Eileen married a muggle and so did Voldermorts mum. You saw Voldemorts Grandfathers/uncles reaction to muggles. It depends on how pure blood fanatic is. There is no evidence in the book about Snapes matrilineal line.

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darien - Aug 10, 2006 1:01 am (#44 of 98)
Edited Aug 10, 2006 2:02 am

I think that what legolas says is right, Snape's father hitting his mother would have caused him to detest muggles and believe it is unfair for a witch who has magic to allow such things to happen , so he learned as much as he could and joined the little muggle detesters group in his school.

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Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 10, 2006 4:04 am (#45 of 98)
Edited Aug 10, 2006 5:07 am

Legolas Returns you articulated the point I was trying to make quite concisely about the need to know more about Snape's history before before his attitude toward Lily and the root causes of it are judged one way or the other. Although I do admit that the point about Eileen's choices is invalid because, I had forgotten that it was mentioned that Tobias Snape was a Muggle.

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Soul Search - Aug 10, 2006 5:05 am (#46 of 98)

I wonder how much last names mean to pure-blood fanatics and the wizarding world, in general. Pure-blood family names would be well known; there was even a book about them at #12 Grimmauld Place (OotP.)

Snape's father was a muggle, meaning "Snape" was a muggle last name, and not a wizarding family name. Snape was sorted into Slytherin, where there are many pure-blood fanatics. His last name would have been a red flag to them. Snape could have had to endure a lot of muggle-born and even mudblood comments from pure-blood Slytherins. Slytherins would hear "Snape" as a last name and, not knowing/caring that his maternal line was a wizarding family name, Prince, assume Snape was a mudblood. Indeed, to some it wouldn't make any difference.

Snape seemed to favor his maternal family name, "Prince," which must have been, at least, a known wizarding family name. His use, perhaps only to himself, of "Half-Blood Prince" could have been a response to disparaging remarks about his muggle last name.

Likewise, Lily Evans would have been a muggle name, announcing that she was muggle born. She may not have had similar problems from Gryffindors, but still there would have been some comments. In the pensive scene, Snape seemed to be announcing to the marauders that Lily was muggle born.

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wynnleaf - Aug 10, 2006 6:23 am (#47 of 98)
Edited Aug 10, 2006 7:23 am

I always felt that the name Snape chose for himself is far more revealing than a name he called Lily in a moment of high stress. I would never judge anyone by a single word -- regardless how nasty -- that they might make at such a moment. On the other hand, his name for himself could be considered much more revealing.

To me, the name Half-Blood Prince does not reveal an attitude that leans more either way -- either toward the half-blood aspect, or the Prince family. Certainly Riddle would never have proclaimed his half-blood status. Yet Snape picked a name that accentuated both his muggle background and his wizarding background. Rather than showing a rejection of his muggle background (such as, for instance, a name like The Wizard Prince), it seems to accept it.

As regards embracing the Prince name -- well, I have a different attitude toward that perhaps. The "wynn" in wynnleaf comes from my mother's family. I love the name and use it a lot, but it has absolutely no bearing on how I view the other side of my family. So I just don't see using "Prince" -- a cool name after all, to a teenager -- as some sort of indication of rejection of his muggle background.

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rambkowalczyk - Aug 10, 2006 6:23 am (#48 of 98)

Although it is likely that the man yelling at the woman while a child cries is Snape's father yelling at his mother,(it is the simplest explanation) causing Snape to hate Muggles and be a likely candidate to be a Death Eater, it is not the only possibility.

The man is described with a hooked nose. It could be Eileen's brother or father. Eileen and Tobias could have been in love. Eileen could have defied her Pureblood loving father and married Tobias. The relationship between Tobias and Severus could have been one marked with love not abuse. Maybe Snape is bitter because his father was killed by Pureblood fanatics who worked for Voldemort.

Perhaps his desire for revenge made him join the Death Eaters as an undercover agent. Maybe Voldemort was powerful to tempt Snape to be a true Death Eater and to make Snape forget his original intentions. So after he gives Voldemort the prophecy and realizes what Voldemort is going to do, he doubly regrets his actions. (betraying Lily and his father's memory).

My point is that there really is no proof one way or another that Tobias was abusive.

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legolas returns - Aug 10, 2006 10:20 am (#49 of 98)

We have to assume that the little boy was Snape in the memory. If his mothers family had disowed her for marrying a muggle they probably would not be having an argument after he was born.

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journeymom - Aug 10, 2006 10:23 am (#50 of 98)

"The man is described with a hooked nose. It could be Eileen's brother or father. Eileen and Tobias could have been in love."

As far as literary patterns are concerned, this makes sense, because it partly mirrors what happened with Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle Sr. Merope was in love with Riddle Sr and her pure blood father and brother both gave her a hard time about it.

This explanation alone doesn't explain the scene in the pensieve, because why would Eileen's father or uncle or whomever be yelling at her enough to threaten her and make little Severus cry at that point in time? I can see her father blowing up upon finding she married a muggle or finding she was pregnant by a muggle. But Severus was already born.

But I think the idea has merit.
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Lily, Severus and Albus Empty Posts 51 to 76

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journeymom - Aug 10, 2006 10:29 am (#51 of 98)

Lol! Legolas beat me to it.

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Solitaire - Aug 10, 2006 7:26 pm (#52 of 98)
Edited Aug 10, 2006 8:27 pm

I still wonder if the Half-blood Prince could have been Eileen. Remember that Hermione (Jo's alter-ego?) thought it might have been a girl. On the tower Draco refers to Hermione as "the Mud-blood Granger." Isn't it possible that someone referred to Snape's mother as "the Half-blood Prince"? If so, she may have taken a perverse pride in the "nickname" and decided to write it in her book. When Snape saw it, years later, perhaps he adopted it for himself. Really ... do we know for certain that Eileen was a Pure-blood?


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rambkowalczyk - Aug 11, 2006 6:23 am (#53 of 98)

I can see her father blowing up upon finding she married a muggle or finding she was pregnant by a muggle. But Severus was already born.

I guess I thought that Eileen could have run away from home but the family didn't bother to look for her and then they found her after several years after Severus was born. But that might be stretching it.

Solitaire, there is no canon that Eileen was a pureblood; it is speculation.

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haymoni - Aug 11, 2006 8:21 am (#54 of 98)

But why would there be an announcement in the paper?

If Eileen was uncertain how her family would react, she wouldn't put it in the paper.


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Choices - Aug 11, 2006 10:42 am (#55 of 98)

I agree with your idea Solitaire. Snape may have adopted the nickname, but I think Eileen used it first - she was a Prince and she may well have been a half-blood.

I also agree with Haymoni - putting the announcement in the paper does not seem to denote embarrassment over the marriage.

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legolas returns - Aug 11, 2006 10:45 am (#56 of 98)

Announcments may be automatically put in the paper as the wizarding population is very small.

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journeymom - Aug 11, 2006 11:57 am (#57 of 98)

"But why would there be an announcement in the paper?

If Eileen was uncertain how her family would react, she wouldn't put it in the paper.

Strange... "

Ah, there is that. I'd forgotten that. Aren't announcements in the paper called wedding bands?

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haymoni - Aug 11, 2006 2:19 pm (#58 of 98)

If the hooked-nosed man is Snape's father, perhaps the argument was about Snape doing magic.

"You've got to stop teaching him magic, Eileen! If he gets me with one more Jelly-Legs Curse, I'll snap that wand of his and tell the whole world about you and your family!"

The argument certainly seems more serious than that, but Snape appears to be fairly young.

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legolas returns - Aug 11, 2006 2:22 pm (#59 of 98)

It might have been a "squash the magic out of him" conversation. Mistreat him and hope he shows no magical ability.

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Deb Zawacki - Aug 11, 2006 2:31 pm (#60 of 98)

Then perhaps Tobias Snape is a relative of Vernon Dursely!

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legolas returns - Aug 11, 2006 2:41 pm (#61 of 98)

How about Eileen not telling Tobias Snape that she was a Witch. Little Snape could have done accidental/emotional magic and got into a whole lot of trouble from his father. His mother tells his father that she is a witch. Result-one huge confrontation.

I know this is all speculation but there have been similar examples in earlier books.

Seamus' mum did not tell her husband until she had married him that she was a witch.

Riddle Sr. left Merope Riddle saying he was hoodwinked.

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Solitaire - Aug 11, 2006 11:40 pm (#62 of 98)
Edited Aug 12, 2006 12:43 am

Aren't announcements in the paper called wedding bands

I think what you mean is called "publishing the banns." Bartleby.com says the following: To announce the intention is called “Publishing the banns,” from the words “I publish the banns of marriage between … .” (Anglo-Saxon, ge-bannan, to proclaim, to announce). I think this was done to give anyone who wished to do so the opportunity to object to the marriage before the couple got to the altar ... but I could be wrong on that.

perhaps Tobias Snape is a relative of Vernon Dursely!

Wouldn't that just be so weird! Of course, given Snape's sentiments about Harry, Uncle Vernon would probably consider him a Wizard of uncommon perceptiveness. LOL


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Madame Pomfrey - Aug 15, 2006 5:47 am (#63 of 98)

What gets me in that scene is Snape's mother(?) cowering.She is the witch.Why cower from a mere muggle?

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journeymom - Aug 15, 2006 10:12 am (#64 of 98)

Yes, that is questionable. But maybe that's what mirrors Merope's marriage. She gave up her magic from a broken heart. Maybe Eileen Prince did that to a lesser degree.

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Choices - Aug 15, 2006 10:15 am (#65 of 98)

We know that Merope Gaunt Riddle became so beaten down that she lost/gave up her powers. We saw Tonks's powers diminish due to unrequited love for Lupin. Maybe Eileen Snape was abused by her husband to the point that she lost her magical abilities and could not defend herself in that manner.

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legolas returns - Aug 15, 2006 12:15 pm (#66 of 98)

She may not have been strong enough emotionally to leave him either.

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Madame Pomfrey - Aug 15, 2006 1:39 pm (#67 of 98)

Well,that makes sense. I hope we find out what was going on in that memory of Snapes.

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Madame Pomfrey - Aug 17, 2006 6:05 am (#68 of 98)

I borrowed the following from another thread,so I might comment on it.

I don't think Snape was sinking to a new low to make a slur against Sirius while Tonks was mourning him. If he'd been willing to do that to Tonks -- who as far as we know he has no particular ill-will toward -- he'd have not hesitated to make nasty comments about Sirius to Harry. Yet Snape does not make any nasty comments to Harry about Sirius after Sirius' death. Wynnleaf

I find this interesting.Why doesn't Snape torment Harry with Sirius as he does James? After finding out from Trelawney that Snape was the one that told Voldemort of the prophecy,the following conversation took place.

"You have no idea of the remorse Professor Snape felt when he realized how Voldemort interpreted the prophecy,Harry.I believe it to be the greatest regret of his life and the reason he returned---"

Harry:"How can you be sure Snapes on our side?" Dumbledoredid not speak for a moment;he looked as though he was trying to make up his mind about something.At last he said,"I am sure.I trust Severus Snape completely."

Being that Snape continues to torment Harry about his dead father who picked on Snape no more than Sirius did,I feel that there is a deeper wound here,one which will not heal and that there is more to it than just James hanging him upside down with his undies showing.Why is James'(who Snape hates) death the greatest regret of Snapes life? I really think that Snape had feelings for Lily and maybe that was what Dumbledore was trying to make up his mind about telling Harry.

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Mrs Brisbee - Aug 17, 2006 7:13 am (#69 of 98)
Edited Aug 17, 2006 8:18 am

I really think that Snape had feelings for Lily and maybe that was what Dumbledore was trying to make up his mind about telling Harry.

I was very much behind the Snape Loved Lily theory before HBP came out, but now I really don't see it.

The biggest problem I have is that while Lily is a fabulous plot device, she is a very weak character, and Rowling has made little effort to flesh her out. I think a bigger effort to give her depth should have been made in HBP if she is to become a big Snape plot point. But we learn barely enough about her to make Slughorn's regret and actions plausible.

James we know from his friends Lupin and Sirius, and his enemies Snape and Wormtail, plus comments by former teachers. We can see a person with great strengths and flaws.

Lily? Aunt Petunia gives the best description during her tirade in PS/SS, but not much else do we learn about Lily through six books. Slughorn's information about Lily in HBP was rather dry. She was good at potions, but what did that mean to her? What did she do with her skill? We are told she was charming, but we don't get an anecdote to show how she was charming.

It's possible Rowling will flesh her out substantially in the final book, but as it sits now I don't think she can support a major plot element without looking even more like a mere plot device than she does now.

Edited to add: Snape's Worst Memory in OotP was good for Lily's character, too, so I should mention that. Though it's never been explained how she went from being her own person to completely subsumed by the Marauders. I think Lily needs some explaining to make her character work.

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Mediwitch - Aug 17, 2006 7:24 am (#70 of 98)
Edited Aug 17, 2006 8:25 am

Mrs. Brisbee, I don't think Lily necessarily became "completely subsumed" by the Marauders. The only canon I can point to for this is the comment Sirius (I think) made when Harry asked why she went out with James if she hated him so. Sirius responded by saying something like "once James deflated his head and stopped hexing people for the fun of it". Sounds to me more like James rose to a higher level rather than Lily stooping to his level.

That said, I absolutely agree that we need more information about Lily. But I am anticipating it in Book 7 as Jo once said we would learn something big about Lily and we haven't had that yet.

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Mrs Brisbee - Aug 17, 2006 7:43 am (#71 of 98)
Edited Aug 17, 2006 8:47 am

Mediwitch, sorry, what I meant by "subsumed" wasn't that Lily stooped to James's and the Marauders' level, but that once she and James hooked up she is shown by Rowling only as an appendage of James and the Marauders. Her own Hogwarts friends have disappeared in adulthood, and it's all about James and his friends, who are apparently her best friends now too for reasons Rowling doesn't explain. Lily offers no one for Harry's godmother-- James's best friend Sirius as godfather is all that is needed. Secret Keeper troubles? Again, it's all about the Marauders, and no old friend of Lily's emerges as trustworthy enough for the position.

I think there is a big unexplained gap in how Lily is described as a child and the adult she became.

Yeah, I need a lot more information!

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Mediwitch - Aug 17, 2006 1:49 pm (#72 of 98)
Edited Aug 17, 2006 2:50 pm

Aha! I see, Mrs. Brisbee. That makes sense. I do think we're in for more about Lily in Book 7. I can't wait!!

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journeymom - Aug 17, 2006 9:56 pm (#73 of 98)

I've often thought that the lack of information about Lily was on purpose. Why Jo would do that, I don't know. But perhaps making Lily a relative blank slate will prove important in Book 7.

JKR has explained why Harry doesn't have a Godmother; it was a war situation, they were in a hurry, Sirius wasn't married, they wanted to get it over with. This is one of those times where I suspect Jo simply wanted Harry to have a godparent, and that godparent needed to be a member of this Marauders group she'd created.

I'd like to know more about Lily's friends, but JKR would probably say that's got nothing, or not much to do with the story of Harry. Her stories are already Dickensien in breadth, so sadly we'll have to do without much info about Lily Evans.

I'll agree, she still hasn't demonstrated how Lily could marry James. The explanation given just doesn't suffice. Perhaps if we are supposed to compare James to Severus, maybe that shows how James grew up but Severus didn't. James grew up enough that Lily could fall in love with him.

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haymoni - Aug 18, 2006 4:57 am (#74 of 98)

For them to defy Voldy 3 times yet still die at such a young age, I've always suspected that the first time happened while they were still at school.

Perhaps it was an experience like the troll for the Trio.

It was something that connected them - especially if they were already dating.

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Soul Search - Aug 18, 2006 7:30 am (#75 of 98)


Your previous post has inspired some vague thoughts.

We have hints that Petunia has been withholding some pertinent information from Harry. Dumbledore probably knew it too.

Why did Dumbledore leave Harry with the Dursleys? Yes, we have mother's blood thing, but did Dumbledore even know Petunia? He did know Lily, probably rather well since she was in the Order. We have little to go on, just some hints, but I am guessing that Dumbledore knew Petunia, or more importantly, Petunia knew Dumbledore before Godric's Hollow.

The explanation of Lily deciding to date James is a bit weak.

What if one of the "defy three times" events was James saving Lily, and Petunia was involved as well. This would have occurred sometime before or during their seventh year at Hogwarts.

Now we have Lily seeing James in a new light and Petunia frightened out of her wits ... and quite fearful of the wizarding world.

Any thoughts?
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Lily, Severus and Albus Empty Posts 76 to 98

Post  Lady Arabella Fri May 13, 2011 8:22 pm

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haymoni - Aug 18, 2006 8:41 am (#76 of 98)

I like that.

The Mysterious Petunia has been a carrot that Jo has been dangling since Book 1.

I'm dying to know what she knows!

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Mrs Brisbee - Aug 18, 2006 9:34 am (#77 of 98)
Edited Aug 18, 2006 10:43 am

What if one of the "defy three times" events was James saving Lily, and Petunia was involved as well. This would have occurred sometime before or during their seventh year at Hogwarts.

Now we have Lily seeing James in a new light and Petunia frightened out of her wits ... and quite fearful of the wizarding world. --Soul Search

I really like the idea of Petunia having been involved in one of these instances, and it's firsthand experience that has made her so against the magical world.

I'm afraid James rescuing damsel-in-distress Lily doesn't work for me (I'm getting a mental image of a redhead swooning over an Ace Rimmer-like character: "What a guy!"). The "thrice defied" sounds more like a team-up rather than one rescuing the other. Though I do think that if Lily saw James rescuing or protecting others that might have made a positive impression, especially if they were people who weren't his usual friends or the pretty girl he's been trying to impress.

I've often thought that the lack of information about Lily was on purpose. Why Jo would do that, I don't know. But perhaps making Lily a relative blank slate will prove important in Book 7. --journeymom

Perhaps. Maybe Rowling has something totally amazing and unexpected planned for Lily. I'm not sure how it will work out without buildup for the character in the previous six books, but I'll hope that it will be good. Maybe book 7 will be Lily's book.

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Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 18, 2006 11:14 pm (#78 of 98)
Edited Aug 19, 2006 12:31 am

A thought occurred to me. Could the anger Severus demonstrated toward Lily in the Pensieve scene in OotP stem from the fact that Lily Evans, a Muggle-Born witch from Gryffindor was included in the Slug Club, while, Severus Snape a Half-Blood from Slytherin could possibly not have been a member of the club.

I believe it can be inferred that Slughorn exercised little influence over Severus because, in chapter eleven of HBP Slughorn attempts to have Severus reschedule Harry's detention so that Harry may attend the gathering but, the response given by Severus to this request is as follows: "He says you're to come to his office at half-past-eight tonight to do your detention - er - no matter how many party invitations you've received. . . ." ( Page 306 HBP large print edition printed by Thorndike Press)

Or alternatively it could possibly be argued that Severus did not want wish to concede his authority and power as a Professor or have them contravened by giving way to Slughorn, the former head of Slytherin House.

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wynnleaf - Aug 19, 2006 4:36 am (#79 of 98)
Edited Aug 19, 2006 5:38 am


My guess is it was more that Snape didn't want Harry to get out of whatever he (Snape) had planned for him. A similar example might be Snape's decision to respond to Draco differently from Slughorn's forgiving attitude at the Christmas party. I don't read that as any sort of comment about Slughorn's decision to be forgiving, Snape asserting his right as current head of house, etc., but simply that it wasn't going to stop Snape from responding to Draco's action as he saw fit. Snape, after all, isn't hesitant to disagree openly with Dumbledore. I don't think it means anything special that he'd openly disagree with Slughorn's decisions.

Further, we have no evidence for or against Snape having been in the Slug Club except for one thing -- Snape was invited to Slughorn's Christmas party. Of course, that could simply be a courtesy, since Snape is another staff member, but we don't see many other staff members there and I don't think of a Christmas party as being something that Snape would normally be inclined to attend. So I think his being there is evidence that 1. Slughorn invited Snape in particular, not just because he was a staff member and 2. Snape went because he wanted to, not because he had to. That makes me feel that there's more weight toward his being in the Slug Club than his not being in it.

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Ann - Aug 19, 2006 6:45 am (#80 of 98)

Good point about the Slug Club, wynnleaf (although Trelawney was there, and it's hard to believe that Slughorn saw her as a future mover and shaker.) Slughorn also seems devastated by Snape's apparent betrayal of Dumbledore--Harry notes that he seemed "the most shaken"--and he says "I thought I knew him!" I think he probably was a member (and I think that Slughorn knew about his love for Lily, but that's still speculation, I know, until Book 7 comes out, at which point I'm sure it will become canon).

I rather like the idea that Petunia was involved in one of the times that Lily and James defied Voldemort, which would explain her fear and hatred of the wizarding world (which is even stronger than Vernon's, as is clear from the first chapter of PS/SS) and her terror when she learns that Voldemort is back. But Dumbledore can't have been involved too closely. He says at the start of HBP that they've never met, though they have corresponded.

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Solitaire - Aug 19, 2006 8:00 pm (#81 of 98)

once she and James hooked up she is shown by Rowling only as an appendage of James and the Marauders

The fact that James and Lily managed to "defy" Voldemort three times leads me to believe that she must have been a fairly powerful witch even at a young age. We know from Remus, in PoA, that she was a pretty special young woman.

As for why she married James when she hated him at age 15, I don't understand why people are so puzzled about this. People change a lot during their teens. Perhaps James was smart enough to realize Lily was someone special, and he paid attention to her comments and cleaned up his act. If he was truly in love with her--genuine, unselfish love and not simply an obsession with "possessing" her--for any length of time before they married, she probably grew to love him over time. I don't find it that hard to believe.

Snape, on the other hand, I see as someone who might have become obsessed with Lily. He strikes me as the type who might be a scary admirer, who might misinterpret kindness and friendship as something more on the part of his "love object" ... But that is just my personal impression; there is no canon for it.

Given a choice between James and Snape, James does seem to have had a distinct edge--good looks, talent (according to McGonagall in PoA), athletic ability, an outgoing personality, a lack of interest in the Dark Arts ... I can understand Lily falling in love with him once he got his act together.


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Socius Dobbiae - Sep 1, 2006 9:35 am (#82 of 98)

++1st post++ (please be lenient) It seems to me that the character of Snape will be absolutely crucial in book 7 and the denouement of the entire series. Rowling has developed such a suspensfully taut and unresolved aura of mystery about the circumstances surrounding Snape's true nature. Personally, I am of the camp that believes Snape loved Lily in some deep capacity, and that this was, in some way, what compelled him to renounce his evil allegiance (which I believe he indeed did).

One point that I believe is vital is the painstakingly obvious way in which Rowling presents the case for Snape, allegedly, showing his 'true' evil colors at the end of HBP. I just get the strong intuitive sense that the climax in the Lightning-Struck Tower was designed, as have been many deceptive instances in the series, to convincingly mislead readers in the opposite direction. For many, it seems to reconcile Snape's murder of DD, and his flocking with the Death Eaters, with a portrait of an ultimately 'good Snape' is impossible. I believe, however, that the bounty of evidence Rowling presents for evil Snape at the end of HBP only points more strongly to the contrary being dramtically revealed as true in the final book.

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painting sheila - Sep 3, 2006 5:19 pm (#83 of 98)

Welcome Socius Dobbiae!

I agree with everything you said - even though I would love to be able to hate Sape without regret!

I am not in the camp of Snape loved Lily. I think he respected her and maybe had tutoring help from her - or some sort of relationship. I just can't see him loving anyone.

A life debt or something that Dumbledore knew about?

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Deb Zawacki - Sep 8, 2006 5:50 pm (#84 of 98)

So then what would have been Snape's reaction to Harry had he shown up with red hair and green eyes and was outstanding in potions....rather than looking like James.

Seems like from day one Snape expected Harry to like his father, arrogant and mischievious....

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legolas returns - Sep 9, 2006 4:49 am (#85 of 98)

I still don't Snape and Harry would be boosom buddies somehow.

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Madame Pomfrey - Sep 9, 2006 5:02 am (#86 of 98)

When Snape was teaching Occlumency to Harry Snape saw an image of James and Lily.Snape was described as more pale than usual.Was the paleness because he was partially responsible for their deaths or because he had just seen Lily?

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Die Zimtzicke - Sep 9, 2006 6:05 am (#87 of 98)

Snape was sort of reflecting Harry's own feelings. Harry tends to forget that it is his mother who saved him. He focused more on his father, and their similiarities. That's perhaps why it was such a shock to him to find out James could be such a prat. Dumbledore let Snape and Harry carry on with that. Now with Dumbledore gone, Harry might need to focus on being his mother's son. He's part muggle. Maybe it will turn out to be the best part.

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painting sheila - Sep 10, 2006 5:34 pm (#88 of 98)

There is a fine line between love and hate. I have seen it in relationships - the people "hate" and torment one another and the next thing you know they are a couple.

I think the energy or force of the emotions catch them off gaurd and they respond negatively at first. Once that wears off - the attraction moves forward past the negative. I think that may be where Lily and james were - at first the attraction caught her off gaurd and she loathed him. Once time past and the edges softened she saw the attraction for what it was.

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Madam Pince - Sep 11, 2006 7:17 pm (#89 of 98)

I am sure looking forward to Book 7 telling us something wonderful about James, or how he turned over a new leaf or whatever, because as of right now, I'm not very enthralled with him. Surely something must've changed drastically, because Lily is waaaayyy too good for him as of all the information we have right now.

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wynnleaf - Sep 11, 2006 7:48 pm (#90 of 98)

I am sure looking forward to Book 7 telling us something wonderful about James, or how he turned over a new leaf or whatever, because as of right now, I'm not very enthralled with him. Surely something must've changed drastically, because Lily is waaaayyy too good for him as of all the information we have right now.

Madam Pince, I agree entirely. My problem with the backstory as far as we know it is that Lily seems really good and brave and totally admirable. But the one major scene where we actually see James in action, he just seems awful. I have a hard time with the way James is depicted in that scene, because I tend to think from my experience a guy who feels so free to act that way at age 15, isn't going to be hugely different in only a couple of years. Yet Lily started dating James in 7th year -- less than 2 years from the time in Snape's Worst Memory.

I'm hoping we learn something that makes such a dramatic change in James believable -- maybe some specific reasons for why and how he changed.

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journeymom - Sep 12, 2006 10:05 am (#91 of 98)

Dang it all, I can't remember where I read it. It seems to me JKR addressed this very issue (and her answer was unsatisfactory) in an interview. When asked how Lily could marry James after saying he would be the last man in the world she'd date, etc, she said well, you know how it is, Ladies. James was sharp, charming and good looking. I think she simply implied that James changed.

My impression is that JKR thinks she's adequately addressed the issue and won't visit it again.

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haymoni - Sep 12, 2006 10:13 am (#92 of 98)

I think it has to do with the 3 times defying Voldy.

If Hagrid is to be believed, James had to do something to make him Head Boy. I have always thought that something happened during their 6th year or over the following summer where Voldy tried to recruit the two of them and he failed. He may not have tried to recruit them at the same time - they could have each had their own experience with him. This shared experience - much like the troll & the Trio - could have made them friends which turned into something more later.

Perhaps this bravery at defying Voldy made James eligible to be Head Boy.

Or...Hagrid has it all wrong and just meant that they were really popular kids. They could have been popular for their looks or because they had already shown their bravery by defying Voldy.

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Soul Search - Sep 12, 2006 10:30 am (#93 of 98)

JKR has said that Lily's and James' parents deaths were not important to the storyline. This doesn't mean their deaths are not part of the storyline, at all. Could be something to it.

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haymoni - Sep 12, 2006 10:56 am (#94 of 98)

I thought she said that Mr. & Mrs. Potter just died - nothing mysterious, they just died. I can't recall if she said anything specific about Mr. & Mrs. Evans.

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Ann - Sep 13, 2006 2:55 am (#95 of 98)

haymoni, I don't think Voldemort would have tried to recruit Lily--with James or without him. She was a Muggle-born, and Muggle-borns don't become Death Eaters except under very special circumstances (as JKR told someone who asked about Snape's parentage before HBP). And while I think that probably means that there is at least one Muggle-born amongst the Death Eaters we know, it seems unlikely that she was referring to Lily (since Lily didn't become a Death Eater).

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haymoni - Sep 13, 2006 5:40 am (#96 of 98)

She had to defy him three times - it wasn't just that she fought him 3 times - she had to not go along with whatever he was suggesting.

If she & James were really Head Girl & Head Boy, what a coup for Voldy if one of his goals is to overtake Hogwarts.

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Thom Matheson - Sep 13, 2006 7:31 pm (#97 of 98)

Haymoni, are you talking about just Lily? The prophecy said that both parents escaped 3 times not just one or the other.

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haymoni - Sep 14, 2006 4:31 am (#98 of 98)

I was responding to Ann's post - why would Voldy want a Muggle-born? I don't think he cared at that point. He wants the school. If he could have "converted" the Head Boy & Head Girl, he could have had "Voldemort's Army" at Hogwarts.

James & Lily were so young when they died, this "defying of Voldy", and 3 times no less, had to have started early, so my theory is that it started when they were still at school.
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