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Old March 4th, 2011, 7:46 am
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Join Date: 25th July 2007
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
I think Potions was more like Chemistry, which can go sideways in a second if the wrong things are combined the wrong way. Severus was teaching a no-nonsense subject, and demanded respect for the subject and the materials.
IMO, Neville was good in one subject: Herbology. It wouldn't have mattered if the Good Witch of the North was teaching Potions, I don't think Neville would have done well. He finally learned several spells under Harry's tutledge in OotP, but, it still took him quite some time. It wasn't as though he was all of a sudden amazingly talented in spells just because a friend was teaching him. So, IMO, Severus teaching methods good or bad, had no direct effect on Neville's abilities. The time that Neville produced a proper potion was when he was responsible for Trevor's safety. IMO, he did the same in DH when he led the rebel student group. People he cared for were depending on him and he reacted accordingly. So, maybe Severus was onto something after all?

His methods may not have suited Neville, but I believe Neville came to Hogwarts already nervous and bullied by his grandmother. If I'm not mistaken, he's also frightened by McGonagall (although, given, not to the degree he is frightened by Snape). Any strict, non-touchy-feely style of teaching would have scared Neville, IMHO.
I think Neville had a lot of emotional baggage from what happened to his parents and also from being a late bloomer. IMO, when he started at Hogwarts, until he reached the subject he really liked and understood, he was not going to do well. Look at flying. Neville was off to a bad start there from the get-go, and Madam Hooch wasn't nearly as scary as Severus. Same with McGonagall in Transfiguration. He just wasn't good at them and being nice or being nasty wasn't what was going to change that. (See my paragraph above about people/things he cared about.)

I don't agree with this at all. The one time we know of that Neville produced a passable potion was when he had the motivation of Trevor being dosed with whatever he produced. Fear can be a huge motivator, and if that's what it took to get Neville to perform, then so be it.

What's a pity is that Neville didn't take away from the experience the realization that yes, he could brew a correct potion.

I personally think there is no evidence Snape cared for Harry at all in fact all the canon points to is that he hated Harry consistently and was only protecting Harry for Lily's sake. I have always found it sad that Snape could never see Harry for the person he truly was - he only saw James and treated Harry accordingly. Where is the evidence Snape cared for James child at all?? Given the fact he spoke bitterly and nastily about James to Harry how does that mean he cares for Harry?
I agree he started out hating the image of James he saw in front of him and even looked for reasons to continue to do so. I do think there was a point, however, where Severus started to care for Harry and was able to separate him from James and from Lily.

IMO, it started during the Occlumency lessons, when he saw the similarities in their childhoods: suffering bullying and humiliation, being ignored and neglected, even the too-large clothes, all of these were things Severus had in common with Harry. And, he saw these over and over again. Severus was not a totally unfeeling person, as we know. I don't think he could have watched this over again and not felt some sympathy and connection to Harry.

But, Harry didn't really try to get his own emotions under control so that he could fight Severus' Legilimency off. He admitted that he didn't practice and, IMO, Harry naievely thought that he could somehow handle the mind connection between himself and Voldemort. I also think that, in a way, Harry actually enjoyed hating Severus. It was someone he could driect all of his negative feeling toward.

But, unfortunately, Harry let his hatred for Severus overwhelm him. What Severus kept trying to get across to him, though, was that, whatever emotions he felt at that time (and I think he knew how much Harry hated him), his hatred for Voldemort was deeper and that Voldemort would use these emotions, and any others he could, against Harry...which eventually happened and resulted in Sirius' death.

I think Severus wanted Harry to succeed in Occlumency. I think he taunted him because he knew Voldemort's methods and wanted Harry to become as capable as he could be at blocking anything Voldemort could try. But, IMO, Harry didn't want to learn because it was Severus teaching. I don't think he wanted Severus to be successful at teaching him. That would have taken away part of the negativity between them. What Harry didn't understand that it had to be someone who aroused strong emotions so he could learn to fingt them. It would be like trying to be a body-builder using 1-lb weights all the time. You never get any stronger. Unless there were emotions to fight back, Harry was never going to progress.

Once Harry looked into the Pensieve, however, I think Severus was rightfully outraged at this invasion of his privacy and at what Harry saw, and also knew that he was now at greater risk for Voldemort to be able to see these memories when he invaded Harry's mind. So, the lessons were ended because they were useless.

Back to why I think Severus grew to care for Harry:

Watching Harry grow over the seven years that he knew him, I don't think Severus could help but begin to have feelings for him. He was protecting him and, the sense of being a protector in itself is an emotional one, knowing that the life of another depends on you.

IMO, since Severus was guarding Harry pretty much night and day, he more than likely knew about Harry and Ginny, and that Harry was capable of loving and being loved. He also knew what a fierce and loyal friend he was to Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Luna.

As I've said before, I think he became angry when Harry risked his life time and again because I think he saw it as a disrespect for Lily. I think this frustrated him, but, unlike Lupin, he couldn't say anything to Harry about it --and, probably wouldn't have if he could. It would be like digging a knife into an open wound, IMO. It would have been too painful. Especially if Harry had thrown back at him that he was the cause of Lily's death in the first place. So, he just kept shut about it.

I've always felt that Seveus intentionally tried not to like Harry, and didn't realize how much he had come to like him until Dumbledore told him he would have to die. That's why I think the change from being "Potter's son," which was like being a part of something he despised, to being "Potter," a person on his own, but still related to someone he despised and was therefore tainted by that, to being "the boy," an individual human being not associated with anyone but himslef. IMO, coming from Severus, this was the equivalent of Dudley's thanking Harry as they were leaving Little Whinging.

I think Treacle Tartlet had a good analysis on the scene where Dumbledore asks if he's grown fond of Harry and Severus does everything he can to deny it and to divert the conversation, going so far as to cast his Patronus as a final bit of diversion. Maybe one of the reasons Dumbledore got so emotional was not only the "Always," for Severus love of Lily, but, being a Legilimens, maybe Dumbledore was able to see Severus had grown fond of Harry and was not only going to have to kill him, but also was going to have to direct Harry to his own death. JMHO. That may have been part of what brought tears to his eyes.

The clincher for me, again, is the number and selection of memories given to Harry and the plea, "" Not, "Harry, you'll need these," or, "Look at me!" or, "These are from Dumbledore..." or any other number of things that the author could have written for Severus to get Harry's attention to give him the memories and look into Harry's (Lily's) eyes. There were just too many things there that were way too personal to share with someone you hate, no matter how much you're trying to gain their trust. The scene in Sirius room where Severus is crying over Lily's picture, the scenes of his childhood (so similar to Harry's), the meeting with Dumbledore, and all the rest. Only a few of them would have been necessary to gain Harry's trust and get the message across.

But, IMO, Severus was saying he was sorry for the wrongs he'd done, showing Harry that he was truly remorseful, and that he'd done everything that he could...everything he was asked to make up for it and to help Harry defeat Voldemort.

Nor is there any evidence in canon that he was comfortable with it. I am of the opinion, given Severus' personal ethical code, that he probably would have gone the way of Regulus Black and eventually left when things got too insane.
I agree, Sadira. I see Severus a bit like Draco going into the DEs. Mabye even that cocky, thinking he was going to be something special. He'd probably never seen anyone tortured or killed before. He didn't have a great respect for human life at that time. So, like Draco, he marched into the DEs thinking he was going some place.

But, also like Draco -- and Regulus, when the reality hit him, it was a different story. That's why I think he always made sure he was away when there was torturing or killing going on. I think he wanted out, but, once in, you just don't give Voldy your two-week notice and leave. IMO, Severus assuaged his own guilt by not taking direct part in the "dirty stuff," so he could tell himself he wasn't as bad as Bella and her ilk.

But, he was, in a way, because he was a part of it, directly or indirectly. IMO he was able to push this to the back of his mind and go on, keeping favor by carrying a bit of useful information here and there, including the Prophecy. Then, when someone he loved was in danger, he, like Regulus, turned on Voldemort. And, we all know the story from there.

Originally Posted by RealBigFish
Actually according to the book Neville only produced an acceptable potion because he had help from Hermione and Snape took points off Gryffindor for her helping him so it was not Neville brewing the correct potion. I also think it is tellimg that Neville did not get an O or even EE for potions in his Owls.
I must have missed where we find out what Neville gets on his O.W.L.S. for Potions. Could you cite that in canon for me?

The evidence in Canon that Snape was confortable with his Death Eater duties are that he willingly went to Voldemort and spied for him and related the prophecy from Trelawaney and seemed to have no qualms about condemning a child and possibly their parents to die until Snape realised that Voldemort was after Lily. JKR herself has said Snape would have remained a Death Eater if not for this. Also the other issue is he was quite unmoved by the prospect of James and harry dying just so long as Lily was spared.
No. The 21-22 year old Severus did become a DE, but, I'm not sure what canon states that he is comfortable with being a DE. Again, we have Bella's taunting about what a lousy DE he was and how he was always missing when the action happened. She was certainly not the least impressed by him.

We've already admitted that he was at a low point in his life when he was a DE, and, as I said, there wasn't any going back once he joined. So, IMO he did what he could that did not get his hands dirty. This was his was of salving his conscience -- which I think he still had.

No, he didn't care if James died and even offered Harry if Voldemort would spare Lily. That was when Dumbledore admonished him about being disgusting, and, IMO, that was when he realized just how disgusting he had become...spying at keyholes, not caring about human life, not caring if a child died as long as he got what he wanted, which was Lily's safety.

It's my opinion that Dumbledore's words were like being hit with cold water. Severus came to himself and realized what a low-life he had become. He'd sunk to the bottom of the pond and even under the pond scum. That was when he agreed to do "Anything," to see that not only Lily, but James and Harry, were all protected. Had it not been for the betrayal of Pettigrew, the Secret Keeper, he would probably succeeded.

It is there, on the hilltop, that, IMO, Severus redemption began. He felt true remorse then and later when he found out that Lily had been killed. He continued to feel that for the rest of his life. He worked and did what he had to, and, even Dumbledore acknowledges it was at great risk to his own life that he did so.

IMO, the Severus we see when Harry starts at Hogwarts might have been aloof and snarky, but he did value human life and he was capable of loving. As a matter of fact, I think it was his capacity to love that saved him the same as it saved Harry later on, for that was something that Voldemort did not have and could not understand.


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.

Last edited by MinervasCat; March 4th, 2011 at 8:07 am.
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