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Old October 26th, 2011, 4:31 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Noleme View Post
And I'd add Ron, simply because he was hanging out with Harry and not a particularly studious type with a fondness for quidditch (which again might have been reminiscent of Sirius and James to Snape)
Severus didn't seem to single out Ron in the books, more in the movies. It was Harry, Hermione, and Neville who usually got the brunt of his snark.


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As much as I like Snape, I don't believe he was trying to toughen up Neville or help him in any way. He really seems to be using him as a catalyst for his bad mood. My impression is that Neville's fear and clumsiness for potions was something he scorned and was irked by. It takes only little to set off a choleric person, which Snape definitely seems to be outside his spying life.
As for the Pettigrew reminiscence in Snape's eyes - I don't recall now if Pettigrew was particularly awkward/clumsy as student, but maybe there was the fact that both Gryffindors were 'ragtagging' the more popular ones (in his eyes). I don't think that the Peter reminiscence was the main reason why Snape singled Neville out, though.
I really don't think that all of his jibes at Neville can be blamed on his being in a bad mood most of the time. I'm sure he got frustrated with Neville because he was so inept at potions, and Severus didn't seem to be able to understand that the more he went at him the more nervous and inept Neville seemed to become.

We do know that Pettigrew was not the most talented of students as it took Sirius and James sometime to teach him Animagus transformation even though he was in his Fifth Year. This is what leads me to believe he is way below average in his abilities, not just average or a bit below it, as he would have caught on quicker. Neville learned to cast a corporeal Patronus in his Fifth Year, which was very advanced magic, as well. I see this as another parallel/comparison by Ms. Rowling.

As a class member, Severus saw Pettigrew throw his lot in with the Marauders, who offered him protection. (Then, later he turned on them and joined Voldemort, IMO, for the same reason, IMO, -- protection. (But, Severus wouldn't have known that until after PoA.) I just wondered if he saw Neville becoming part of the Harry/Ron/(and a bit later) Hermione group and would just become a follower, as Pettigrew seems to have done. Did he want Neville to succeed on his own, which is why he discouraged Hermione from helping him?

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I don't think Snape's intentions were nice in Hermione's case, either. My impression was that he disliked her know-it-all-ishness from the first lesson on. Truth be told, a teacher myself, I know how annoying this behaviour can be (count in the fact that the rest of the class will likely stop trying if they have such a person in their midst). So in a way, I understand why Hermione infuriates Snape so much; at the same time, that does not condone some of his conduct towards her (the 'no difference' scene, or taking points from Gryffindor whne she cannot contain herself and blurts out the answer)
Having also taught for several years, I can second that. But, I don't think Severus had anything personal against Hermione. I think he wanted her to stop interrupting and shouting out answers, but, I also think he admired her amount of knowledge and was frustrated that she did not take it to another level as he'd done himself (as we see in HBP).

As for the "no difference" scene: there is debate as to whether he meant Hermione's teeth or that she and Crabbe or Goyle (they're almost interchangable) had both cast hexes at each other an both had suffered from the others' hex.

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Again I don't think so. I think he kept silent only because he didn't have enough evidence. He correctly suspected Harry (I guess his 'innocent' face would be easy to read for an experienced teacher, not to mention a legilimens). He'd be more or less sure of the Trio's intent after Hermione appeared in the Infirmary as a half-cat, and after he learned about Crabbe and Goyle's condition (if he ever did). But he never had direct evidence to support his claim.
I'd say Hermione turning herself into a part-cat was pretty good evidence she'd been fooling around with something, and Severus knew enough, I'm sure, to realize it was polyjuice potion. He could have turned her, alone, in and she'd have been in trouble for stealing supplies at the very least. But, I think he held back on purpose.

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I definitely don't think he acted out of any noble sentiments towards anyone in the Trio. I'd go as far as to say that my impression of Snape was that he wanted quiet, obedient and studious students, but not such brilliant ones who would present a challenge to himself or be better than him in a subject he excelled in (Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts). He doesn't seem to me to be the type to wish them success, and Hermione's endeavours seem to me to be triggering a need in him to show everyone who the best expert in the class is (himself). Even at the cost of bringing the person down with nasty remarks. Feeling 'threatened' by a (pre-)teenager is not a mature thing to do, but then, Snape is not a very mature person, mostly.
I have to disagree with this. Any good teacher -- which I think Severus was, discounting his personal grudge against Harry and his shortcomings with Neville, only two of hundreds of students he'd taught over the years -- any good teacher not only wants their students to succeed, but wants them to exceed their own accomplishments. That is the mark of a really good teacher: to be able to impart your own knowledge to a student and have them take that and make something even better of it. If teachers only wanted their students to remain at the same level that they (the teachers) are at, then there is no hope for progress or improvement.

Severus did not teach from the book, but from his own lessons. As we see in HBP, he'd taken the book and improved on procedures and instructions. This is what he was handing down to his students, not just "book learning." I think he expected them to move on with that. Look at what the Weasley twins did. All of their jokes and "skivving snack boxes" and such were mostly things they'd learned in Potions and elaborated on.

And, as far as being pains in the neck in class, I'd think if anyone would have had Severus' wrath come down on them or would have had anything bad to say about him it would have been them. I can just imagine what some of their Potions lessons were like.


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Last edited by MinervasCat; October 26th, 2011 at 4:40 pm.
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