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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:43 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Well in answer to your question, I would say the first example is in Dumbledore's office when the request was made. Snape declared that Harry didn't need any protection because Voldemort was dead. Then he reluctantly agreed to do it, illiciting a promise from Dumbledore in return.
Well I would like to start by saying all these examples are instances of a Snape/Harry confrontation where one is goading the other (Snape) and the other is extremely defiant and disobedient in not following the rules and the teacher. (Harry)

In Dumbledore's office Snape had no reason to believe Voldemort was alive in any way. Harry has miraculously survived the AK and not only had he survived, but had rebounded the curse on Voldemort who was dead to all intent and purpose. Snape did not know about the horcruxes and he had no way of knowing that Harry would need protection from Voldemort in any way.

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After that, Snape kept his promise, but I believe that the way Snape treated Harry in general and even at times when he was supposed to be protecting him, evidences his distaste for the job.
Once Dumbledore told him that he believed Voldemort would return, Snape agrees and in fact does not want Harry to know about his forthcoming help at all.

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Example: Snape suspects Harry went to Hogsmeade. In an effort to protect him, he begins a tirade during which he belittles Harry and his father, setting Harry's back up completely and Harry feels only anger. Lesson not learned. Lupin steps in and takes over - lesson learned.
There is a killer on the street; a man who was the cause Harry's parents were no longer alive, a death eater, a traitor. Harry has been forbidden to leave the School premises on those grounds. But does Harry listen? NO, he runs off and is also foolish enough IMO to get seen by Malfoy of all people who tells Snape. I think Snape is well within his rights to scold Harry and inspect an old parchment Harry has on him and one he clearly does not wish to leave with Snape.

I think Snape read that in his mind, though and he checks the paper to see if its safe and wen he sees the insults which he may have heard from the Marauders, I don't know about that, but to Snape those words make him turn to the floo and call Lupin.

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Example 2: Snape is called upon to protect Harry specifically against Voldemort by teaching him occulmency - Snape, the adult in the sitution, allows his emotions to once again rule him and fails at enabling this particular protection.
Here I think Dumbledore and Harry share the blame. Snape started well enough, but if Harry was never going to practise, because he kind of liked seeing the black door and was wanting to see what would lay beyond it, that was not going to help Occluding his mind any IMO. Snape also did not know about the scar, while I think Dumbledore had already begun suspecting.

Harry did not know why his scar hurt so much and why he could see as Nagini. Snape did not know the scar was actually a part of Voldemort. So both of them were a bit in the dark there.

Snape showed his impatience with Harry, especially as Harry kept coming out with memories of Voldemort meeting his death eaters. In fact when Harry breaks into Snape's mind, Snape is not angry nor does he shout at him. He seems shocked and surprised. So Harry not leaning Occlumency at that time is not Snape's fault IMO.

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Example 3: Snape is fleeing Hogwarts after killing Dumbledore, the DEs attack Harry and Snape calls them off. Then he proceeds to knock Harry about, taunt him and belittle his father, loses control and viciously whips Harry (protection over). Buckbeak had to come in and rescue Harry from Snape himself.
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posted by zigirnius
...and most especially, from the moment he agreed to kill Dumbledore at the start of HBP, is the single most impressive demonstration of self-sacrifice in a series that is littered with it.
This is her post from the Snape's death V.2 thread in the Stone. This is so aptly expressed, I found it amazing.

Snape has just killed Dumbledore and taken upon his head as the second most despicable man in the WW, next only to Voldemort, for the sake of the Light, Order, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy IMO. An act that even Moody and Remus and Kinglesy would not agree to do for the repercussions that would follow.

It is at this time Harry chases him and taunts him. Snape's mind at that time must have been terrible and yet, he merely counters Harry's curses, teaches him, shouts to the other death eaters to leave him alone until Harry calls him a coward; a coward at the time he had committed the most courageous act. Snape hexed him and ran away. I cannot see anything wrong in this.

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Examples for 4: Harry was in danger in CoS in the chamber, in PS/SS in association with the stone, in OOTP at the DOM - and not in one of those incidents was Snape on the scene to help - despite being a good spy and able to trace Harry's every step if he so desired (note this was not during school class time). The DOM incident, Snape even knew about first hand. Now I am not saying that Snape should have rushed in, but the fact is, if he felt a need or desire to protect Harry that was based on a genuine feeling of need to do so, he would have spied and followed the child and he would have gone to the DOM at all costs. But Snape did not. He only did what Dumbledore asked him to do unless Harry was in trouble before him.
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Example 5: In GoF, Snape did not run up to Harry when he came out of the maze, hurt and carrying the dead Cedric - Snape did not bend down to assure himself that Harry was all right. If one is proactively protecting someone because they have a real desire to do so and they care, that would be the normal reaction.
Well you answered it yourself. Snape could hardly come out into the open. It was he who alerted the Order memebers in OOTP, without which, Harry and the others would have surely died that day. In GoF too, Snape was feeling the mark burn as Voldemort had just called to his death eaters and until Harry returned, no one really knew where he had gone. With Voldemort having returned, Snape was at the threshold of going back as a spy. He could hardly come to Harry's assistance openly at that time IMO.

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What is missing is any evidence that Snape protected Harry because he wanted to rather than because Dumbledore asked him to. I would be interested in any canon that showed Snape protected Harry because he had a fervent desire to do so, or because he cared.
Snape protected Harry because he wanted to and because he wanted to, he agreed to, is what I think and, I think he did it exceedingly well.


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The man who, in my opinion, won the war against Voldemort for Harry Potter and the Light! Severus Snape!

There is nothing of which every man is so afraid, as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming - Soren Kierkegaard

Spotlight on Snape and Molly

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Last edited by The_Green_Woods; January 16th, 2008 at 10:48 am.
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