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Old March 3rd, 2011, 9:27 pm
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ignisia  Female.gif ignisia is offline
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Join Date: 30th May 2006
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
But I think Snape knew (and felt) the difference between a boy and a pig, hence his shock at the very idea of Harry having to sacrifice himself. I think he was just using a metaphor to express his disgust with Dumbledore's announcement. JMO
I think Snape is expressing horror at the thought of dehumanizing a person by treating their death as a small matter. I believe this turn of phrase indicates that Snape feels sympathy for Harry at this moment, regardless of whether or not he likes the boy.

I was thinking about this particular scene and a few ideas came to me regarding how this new knowledge might make Snape feel.
DD has revealed a secret that compromises the very promise Snape made the DD all those years ago, the promise that turned his life around. And on top of that, the nullification of that promise means the death of someone who was, at the time, not even an adult-- "Lately, only those I could not save," emphasizing the personal horror of it: he has to stand by and watch a death he can prevent (in fact, he has to set the events in motion by telling Harry). When was the last time that happened, and what does the Snape of '96 think of the person he once was? I can see why he was so upset! This is a fourfold nightmare for him, IMHO:

1) DD has revealed himself to have known this news and is giving Snape yet another terrible task. Combined with his earlier questioning of DD's trust in him, and his faith in the old man would have been severely damaged. Considering how he's put his life and duty in this man's hands, I can see why this would be troubling.
2) He's made a promise to protect Lily's son in order to uphold her sacrifice. This promise gave him a new purpose in life and helped him live a more productive life. And now that purpose is gone.
3) He is twice this year being put in a position where he must cause death: First, to DD, and then to Harry by telling him the identity of the final Horcrux. For him, this must hold terrible memories: he was, after all, once someone who at least condoned senseless killing. He has been spending over a decade trying to atone for these crimes.
4) A kid is going to die. Think what you will of Snape, I don't believe he likes this at all.

When it comes to the reasons Snape is so upset here, I don't think it can be boiled down to one motive. He brings up the promise, he brings up his past, he heatedly speaks of what he perceives as DD's casual acceptance of this death, and the previous scene seems to give us an idea that he is questioning his mentor. But even with all these factors at work, I think the scene shows that Snape does care about Harry. He may not like him much, and may hold false ideas of him, but I do not believe he treats Harry as an exception to the idea that all people deserve to live. I think he is very much aware that Harry is a human being, and that this is part of why he reacts so strongly to the news that the kid must die.

I am incapable of hating someone who, instead of using a spell to guard the Sorcerer's Stone, uses a logic puzzle.
I'm sorry.

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