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Old November 5th, 2011, 6:50 pm
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Join Date: 25th July 2007
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

This was a very interesting twist to contemplate and took a good bit of thought. It also helped reading some of the other ideas before I posted this.

To start, one thing that makes me think Severus knew the child would be born to a pair of the "good guys" is that I don't think any DEs would have "thrice defied" Voldy and lived. And, with all that was going on at the moment he was accosted by Aberforth, I don't think Severus gave the whole prophecy itself that much thought, other than it pertained to the vanquishing of Voldmort.

This is my idea of what happened with Severus, the Prophecy, and the aftermath:

Severus was a young DE who hadn't "made his bones" as they say. I don't think he'd done anything outstanding enough to be on the in with LV, where it was reasonably safe, rather than being just one of the rank and file DEs who were like canon fodder to LV. But, Voldemort saw something in him that made him think Severus would make a good candidate for a position at Hogwarts. This is another reason I don't think Severus had a very "tarnished" background, as the more "active" DEs seemed to be well know and their faces on wanted posters. While Dumbledore knew, somehow, that Severus was a DE when he met with him on the hilltop, it seems that fact was not known to anyone else on the "good side".

(I wonder how Severus contacted Dumbledore to meet with him, as the meeting was obviously prearranged? I doubt if he sent an owl, as it might be intercepted...any ideas on this?)

I think that being sent to secure a place at Hogwarts as a spy was his ticket to a "better life." As a spy, he would be expected to blend in and I doubt he'd be used as a "soldier" and sent off to torture and kill anymore. LV would want him to be above suspicion. IMO, it was an out for him from the regular jaunts that the DEs seemed to carry out so regularly, and it would please Voldemort that he was on the inside where he could keep an eye on Dumbledore. It was kind of a win/win for Severus

I agree with Iggy that he was very impulsive as a young man, and I think that's one of the reasons that he worked so hard later to change that -- to gain and maintain such control of himself (except when it came to Harry and Neville). And I think it was this impulsiveness that led to him being careless while eavesdropping.

As I imagine it, he was waiting his turn, and, it seems logical that he heard the change in Sybil's voice as she was reciting the Prophecy, and may have even heard enough to know it pertained to the Dark Lord. So, he became curious as to what she was saying, and that was what he was listening to when Aberforth caught him.

Dragged before Dumbledore, exposed as an eavesdropper, now, he'd lost the opportunity to get inside Hogwarts, which wasn't going to make the DL very happy, and, he would have to continue to try to avoid taking part in the activities of Bella and crew. He might have even been faced with being sent to the "front" as punishment for his failure and it would be pretty difficult to find a "hole to slither into" when the going got too bad.

But, he did have one thing, that portion of the Prophecy, that he could offer to assuage LV's anger a bit. So, I think he hurried back with that in order to save his butt. I don't think he thought who it was about or the consequences of relating it to Voldemort -- I think he was just trying to cover his failure as best he could.

Once it became clear that Voldemort was hunting for Lily and her child, his love for her overshadowed his fear of Voldemort enough to give him the courage to ask for her to be spared. He went along with LV's thinking he just wanted her for himself, and, he sure couldn't have asked him to spare James, if he'd wanted to, as that would have made Voldy very suspicious. LV could understand lechery, but if Severus asked for the husband's life, too, that would mean a whole different thing -- that would be compassion, which was beyond his comprehension. And, would probably assured that, not only would Lily be given no chance, Severus would have been putting his own neck on the block for asking for something like that. So he asked for what he thought he could get.

I think something in LV's manner, or the fact that Severus knew he really couldn't be trusted, made him rethink this, and he decided to go to Dumbledore and beg for Lily's safety. Maybe LV made it clear he was just going to offer her a chance to step aside while he killed the child and Severus knew she would never do that.

When Severus went to Dumbledore there was pretty much a shoot on sight policy for DEs, and he knew he was risking his life, and, at the very least, his freedom. He more than likely thought there was a one-way ticket to Azkaban waiting for him once he'd finished making his request. That's what he was risking just to ask for Lily's safety -- he had no assurance that it could or would be provided, although, knowing Dumbledore, I'm sure he figured there was a good chance.

When sternly admonished for not requesting the safety of the husband and child, Severus did quickly, and with no argument, agree to do "anything" to protect them all. And, he had no idea at the time what that "anything" might have been. But, he was willing to do it.

That's why I don't see his act as selfish and being done because of the pain Lily's death would cause him. There was too much else in store for him: being killed on sight, going to Azkaban, having Voldemort find out he'd betrayed him...any of these would have been things I think he'd have wanted to avoid, and would have done so if he was only acting for selfish reasons. I see this act as "selfless" and the first step in his redemption, the second being his realization that he was going to allow two other people to die when he could save them, too, with just one word: "anything."

So, that's my take on the "Prophecy Incident." It is, of course my own opinion and perception, but is based on several readings of the books and many, many discussions of this portion.

And, while it was mentioned to Bella at Spinner's End, I don't think the idea that Harry might be a Dark Wizard developed until after Voldy had been zapped by Harry's protection (provided by his mother sacrifice out of love).


I held you in my arms, although I knew that death
Had already taken you. I held you close, hoping for a faint heartbeat or breath
To prove me wrong.
But, you were still, and could not hear or see
My grief, my tears, my heartbreak knowing that the rest of my life would be
Spent without you.
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