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Old March 5th, 2011, 9:47 pm
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Join Date: 25th July 2007
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Originally Posted by ReelBigFish View Post
In the pensieve scenes he gave Harry we consistently see SNape describe Harry in a negative context - mediocre arrogant etc and at the end of HBP when Harry is doing detention Snape sneers at Harry about James and Sirius "It must be such a great comfort to think that though they are gone a record of their great achievements remain.
Harry isn't even mentioned until the ninth memory, then only because it is Harry who Voldemort is targeting and Severus, IMO, knows Lily will die trying to save him. He doesn't describe him, he just dismisses him...but, I think we need to remember that this is the 20-something DE Severus who has litltle concern for human life at this time.

In the Memory #10, Dumbledore makes it clear that he is sure the Dark Lord will return and he tells Severus that Harry will be in "terrible danger when he does." Severus agrees to protect Harry, but asks that Dumbledore not tell him...he does not want "Potter's son" to know that he is protecting him.

Memory #11 is the first time Severus mentions Harry's "faults." "--mediocre, arrogant as his father, a determined rule-breaker, delighted to find himself famous, attention-seeking and impertinent --" Dumbledore tells Severus that he sees what he wants to see -- IMO, meaning he is looking at Harry and seeing James. While none of the descriptions were overly flattering, a couple of them were true: determined rule-breaker" and "impertinent." Harry was both of those.

I find it telling that Dumbledore is not the least bit ruffled by Severus comments or demeanour during their discussion and continues to leaf through his Transfiguration book while talking to him. So, he wasn't all that concerned about what Severus was saying.

Harry is not mentioned again until Memory #14 when Severus asks about all of the evenings Dumbledore has been spending with Harry. The only thing Severus says Harry is "his father over again," that his magic is "mediocre," and that he is incapable of Occlumency and has a direct mental connection with the Dark Lord. The first two are almost word-for-word what he said in Memory #11 and the last two are true. So, IMO, Severus is basically parroting something he said before -- to me meaning that he really isn't giving it a lot of thought -- and he is expressing concern to Dumbledore about Harry's ability to block out Voldemort's invasion of his thoughts, and through Harry, access to other information.

Memory #15, Dumbledore tells Severus all of the information about why Voldemort has a connection to Harry and that in order to kill Voldemort the part of him that latched itself onto Harry must also be killed -- that Harry must die.

There are five memories after this one and Severus says nothing negative about Harry in any of them. So, as I see it, the worst thing Severus said about Harry was that he was an arrogant, rule breaker who enjoyed his fame, was impertinent, was like his father, his magic was mediocre and that he couldn't do Occlumency.

With the physical resemblance, IMO, it would have been difficult not to compare Harry to James, especially since he was very adept at rule-breaking and was impertinent (it can be argued that he was just taling back to Severus because of the way Severus talked to him, but, disrespect for a person in a positon of authority is impertanence).

It was James and Sirius (and Remus and Pettigrew) who racked up boxes and boxes and boxes of detention cards. Severus' snark at Harry about that was nasty, but, I think we've already agreed that he was a nasty person. IMO, copying the cards also gave Harry a bit of insight into exactly what the Marauders were up to during their years at Hogwarts. Was this necessary? Probably not. But, there were a lot worse things that could have happened to Harry for nearly killing another student.

I must diagree with you here - Snape most definitely IMO bears some responsibility for the Potters death and Harry being an orphan. He did not just carry part of an ambiguous prophecy to Voldemort - the prophecy clearly stated that a child to be born to those who thrice defied Voldemort and he would be the one to vanquish the Dark Lord - how is that ambigous? The interpretation and actions may be on Voldemort but he would never have known that the prophecy existed if Snape had not told him about it so to me that makes Snape totally culpable here. Snape may have gone to Dumbledore but he only cared about saving Lilys life not Harry or James. Peter betrayed Lily and James yes but Snape was the one who got the ball rolling reporting the phrophecy so he is also partly responsible.
Here is the Prophecy, word for word:

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ..."

It was ambiguous because it did not give specific information. We know there were at least two couples in the Wizarding World, possibly more, who "thrice defied the Dark Lord." How many of them were expecting in July? (The information about the Potters and Longbottoms was evidenatally carried by Mr. Pettigrew, as he was supposedly already spying on the Order for Voldemort.) The Prophecy also says that the Dark Lord would be the one to mark his vanquisher and would give him the power to do it. There is some question as to how much Severus actually heard before Aberforth caught him at the keyhole. My guess is that he did not hear it all or Voldemort wouldn't have needed to get hold of it so badly.

To carry that information was wrong, but, so was being a DE in the first place. Severus was doing his job. But, the carrying of the Prophecy does not, IMO opinion, make Severus responsible for Voldemort's interpretation of it anymore than a person who builds a sports car that goes 200 miles an hour is responsible when someone wraps that car around a tree.

we also see Snape during Harrys sixth year calling Harry a mediocre magician and incapable of occlumency. To me it does not matter if he knew Harry would not be expelled he still suggested it. In POA he tells Harry he is a nasty attention seeker just like his father who strutted around School. In Chamber of Secrets he tried to get Harry thrown off the Quidditch team. In HBP when Harry is late to the School because Draco has immobilised him and broken his nose Snape takes great delight in "I suppose you wanted to make an entrance Potter and with no flying car you decided thar bursting into the Great Hall halfway through the feast ought to create a dramatic effect.
no cloak you can walk in so that everyone sees you which is what you wanted I'm sure.
He mentioned the expulsion in PoA, but also mentioned that he thought the trio had been Confunded. IMO, not a real effort to get Harry expelled. In HBP he told him he would have expelled him for what he did to Draco, and McGonagall implies to Harry that he was very lucky he wasn't.

Severus wanted to get Harry kicked off to help his House Win the Quidditch Cup. McGonagall gave Harry a broom to help her House win the Quidditch Cup. I don't think either was right, but evidentally in the Wizarding World, "all's fair in love and Quidditch."

As for what happened to Harry on the train, IMO, Draco should have at least been suspended if not expelled for attacking Harry and leaving him like that. As a matter of fact, I was surprised when he and the other proven DE's children were allowed back at school after the arrests at the Ministry. Really odd, IMO, to have the enemy's children in your school during a war.

Snape's comments were his usual snark. IMO, no more, no less. Just part of his nasty personality.

We know Harry was much better than "mediocre," which means "average," but, we also know he was incapable of Occlumency because he could not control his hatred for Severus.

If he could not control his hatred for Severus, under fairly well-controlled conditions, how would he have controlled his hatred for Voldemort (who, at that time he hated more than Severus) under less that controlled conditions? That was why Severus kept taunting him and trying to keep him off guard. He kept telling him that the Dark Lord wasn't going to cut him any slack, and that Harry had to try to control his emotions in order to protect the ones that Voldemort could use against him. Harry did not practice, did not try because of his hatred for Severus, and, in the end, Voldemort projected the thought of Sirius Black being held captive to lure Harry to the MoM to help retrieve the Prophecy. And, Sirius Black went to help save Harry and was killed.

I have no problem with Harry getting detention for what he did but it was what Snape said to him during that time about james and Sirius that bothered me. I think Snape was also covering his onw rear there because if Harry had been expelled he would have told them where he got the Spell and we all know that Snape invented it.
I'm not sure what difference that would have made. They weren't going to fire or expell Severus for inventing Sectum Sempra. I don't see that he ws covering anything. IMO, Severus taunted Harry because that's what he did, especially when the subject of the Marauders came up.

Could you please direct me to the Canon that states Snape stayed behind in the Forest after he sent the doe??
Yes. After Ron saves Harry from the pool of icy water and Ron tells him about watching Harry follow the Patronus:

"You didn't see anyone else?"
"No." said Ron. "I --"
But he hesitated, glancing at two trees growing close together some yards away.
"I did think I saw something move over there, but I was running to the pool at the time, because you'd gone in and you hadn't come up, so I wasn't going to make a detour to -- hey!"
Harry was already hurrying to the place Ron had indicated. The two oaks grew close together; there was a gap of only a few inches between the trunks at eye level, and ideal place to see but not be seen. (Deathly Hallows, US Edition p 372.)

It goes on to say there's no snow and Harry saw no footprints, but, to me, this was a lot of information for the author to put in and mean nothing. This to me, indicates the person who cast the Patronus was there watching from that space. We later find out that person was Severus. IMO, he was certainly a good enough wizard to literally "cover his tracks" after leaving.

Belltatrixs comments to me could mean anything - as in he did not get his hands dirty after Voldemorts return. To me it is fairly easy to see Snape getting his hands dirty he was after all a fully fledged Death Eater dark mark and all.
As I said in a previous post, we each come away with our own perceptions, and ours are obiviously different on this. But, that's what keeps life interesting. I see Severus as a young man who is a product of a very negative childhood who got into an organization that he really didn't know was as bad as it was. He was wrong to do that. He was guilty by association and he made himself useful by doing things like spying and carrying information, which were also wrong. He was guilty by complacancy, to the point that he did nothing to stop what was going on -- but, he was finally compelled to do something when he realized that Lily was in danger. Sometimes it takes an incident like this for impetus to change. IMO, he wanted out but it wasn't worth risking his life to get out until Lily's life depended on it. No, he didn't seem to care about Harry or James. He was focused on Lily. But, in order to keep Lily safe he agreed that they should all be safe...not perfect, but a step in the right direction.

I don't believe that Severus actually murdered or tortured anyone himself, and I feel he used this to salve his guilt while he hunkered down and did what he had to do to survive what he'd gotten into. I think he'd have eventually left the DEs, once he became a practiced enough wizard to feel he could do so and survive (after all, he was just out of school when he joined). But, similar to Regulus' situation, he was driven by his love for another to risk his life and leave the DEs. What was the best he could have hoped for going to Dumbledore with the information about the Potters? A stint in Azkaban? Not something very pleasant. I don't think he had any idea Dumbledore would do anything but arrest him or kill him.

Saying Peter betrayed the Potters is true but it does not mean Snape has no responsibility here - not to mention the fact that he had no problem with the prophecy meaning that a child would be killed until he realised who was targeted.
As I said, the 20-something Severus did not have the same concern and value for human life that the Severus we see later on did:

Dumbledore: How many men and women have you watched die?"
Severus: "Lately, only those whom I could not save..."

Bottom line for me is that Snape was in the wrong from the start in how he treated Harry and his other students. For all the people who insist Harry was primed to hate Snape right from the start - well I see it a bit differently and that it was Snape who hated Harry from the start - from birth until death because of who he was and what he represented. Snape hated Harry before he even walked into The Great Hall on Harrys first night and hated him until the day Snape died.
Again, IMO, a matter of interpretation. That's what keeps us here.


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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