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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6



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  #1021  
Old May 19th, 2013, 7:03 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I don't believe his actions were less wrong or trivial, I even made a very grave comparison (that wasn't allowed; I'm sorry for having brought it up!) which can't be interpreted as anything else but all-around wrong. He was very much in the wrong in joining a genocidal organisation because he was smart enough to know what it entailed. That does make his prolonged attempt to make amends all the more meaningful, in my opinion.

In my view, the beauty of Snape's character is that he can't bee seen as purely evil or purely good, even though more often than not, in a children's story these are the two forces pulling in two opposite directions. My idea of his character is - he started out abused, unloved and confused, he'd eagerly swallowed the pureblood pride nonsense I'm guessing his magical relatives fed into him as a boy because he'd only seen abuse from his Muggle father, then found a friend and there was a glimpse of hope for him, but then the war came and he made the wrong choice; then it all hit him home, personally, and it served as a wake-up call for him to see exactly what he was doing to other people by being a part of the murderous machine of the Death Eaters. After failing to save the only person he cared about, he starts a painful arc of forever trying to make amends for it, even though he knew he never could. I think it's a masterful character and story and easily one of the best things about the Harry Potter stories, in my humble opinion. The fact that he can't be safely claimed for the good or the evil side is what makes him so fascinating, to me.
At the risk of "cheerleading," I think this is one of the better summations of Severus' life that I've seen. It points out his flaws and shortcomings as well as his strengths and how his redemption story evolved.

As to the portraits: I think Severus had other things on his mind at the time he was Headmaster than sitting for a portrait, hiding it in a closet, and trying to "educate" it. Also, would it have been a risk to bring the thoughts forward that he'd need to teach the portrait? Would it have possibly left him more vulnerable to Voldemort's mind probing. As it was, he had pretty much shut out everything that he thought LV could use against him.

I think actions like stealing the Sword of Gryffindor and helping lead Harry to it were risks. And, I've wondered, at times, whether Voldemort may have caught a bit of the panic Severus was feeling when he knew he was about to die and wouldn't be able to get the information to Harry about what he needed to do. Was that possibly why LV set Nagini on him and made his death so horrific rather than just using a simple AK? Or, did he feel that it would give him more power over the Elder Wand if Severus death was as brutal as possible.

I would have thought that a direct curse would have given him more loyalty from the wand than using the snake. But, I digress.

My question is, in a moment of dispair, I wonder if Severus' Occlumency skills cracked just a bit? Not enough for Voldemort to know that Severus had not been loyal to him, but just enough to let him know that something was up?


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  #1022  
Old May 19th, 2013, 7:13 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Chocolate card portraits seem to be made from wizards who did not sit for those portraits, as many of them are long dead. So, I'd say a portrait could be made, it would just be a representation of what the artist thought of Snape, and probably act accordingly in a very limited fashion.
And there is always the possibilty that he just wasn't recognised as a Headmaster as the MOM was overthrown in an illegal attempt to take over the country. Snape wasn't appointed by any kind of legal authority so it could be that the magical enchanment's just didn't recognise him as a Headmaster. Hard to get a Headmaster's portrait when you have never been a proper Headmaster. And you left your post, no matter when your reason's were.


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  #1023  
Old May 19th, 2013, 7:24 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
Ok, I'm confused.

I thought JKR said there wasn't a portrait hanging there because he'd deserted his post, not because one was never created. He didn't desert his post until the very end of the year, so during that year as a Headmaster he still could have had one made and instructed it. Or am I misunderstanding?
Hmm, you do have a point there. JKR is rather vague about the portrait and Harry's intervention.

some interview I had to googleLaura Trego: Was the absence of snapes portrait in the headmasters office in the last scene innocent or deliberate
J.K. Rowling: It was deliberate. Snape had effectively abandoned his post before dying, so he had not merited inclusion in these august circles.
J.K. Rowling: However, I like to think that Harry would be instrumental in ensuring that Snape’s portrait would appear there in due course.


She says he would have made it "appear" there, which may suggest that it did exist, but refused to magically appear on the wall at first.

Which makes me wonder if there is a storeroom of forgotten headmaster portraits whose subjects left their posts.

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I think actions like stealing the Sword of Gryffindor and helping lead Harry to it were risks. And, I've wondered, at times, whether Voldemort may have caught a bit of the panic Severus was feeling when he knew he was about to die and wouldn't be able to get the information to Harry about what he needed to do. Was that possibly why LV set Nagini on him and made his death so horrific rather than just using a simple AK? Or, did he feel that it would give him more power over the Elder Wand if Severus death was as brutal as possible.

I would have thought that a direct curse would have given him more loyalty from the wand than using the snake. But, I digress.

My question is, in a moment of dispair, I wonder if Severus' Occlumency skills cracked just a bit? Not enough for Voldemort to know that Severus had not been loyal to him, but just enough to let him know that something was up?
Hmm...I think maybe Voldemort was worried that the EW wouldn't attack its master, and since he thought Snape was its master, attacking Snape directly with the wand might have been risky. As for the brutality...I don't even think it occurred to Voldemort how terrible it was, nor does he even seem to change his emotions. Rather than appearing angry, he seems to just think of it as losing a somewhat useful tool in the fight against the Order and Potter.

I think it's possible Snape's defenses fell at some point in the shack, but even then, Voldemort seemed to disbelieve Harry's later contention that Snape was DD's man. Voldemort may have either never broken through Sev's defenses, or he may have and simply denied to himself what he learned since he couldn't bear having been wrong.

I tend to think Voldemort was fooled all along and never broke into Sev's head, but that may be because I love the idea of Snape hoodwinking him to the last.


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  #1024  
Old May 19th, 2013, 7:35 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
As to the portraits: I think Severus had other things on his mind at the time he was Headmaster than sitting for a portrait, hiding it in a closet, and trying to "educate" it. Also, would it have been a risk to bring the thoughts forward that he'd need to teach the portrait? Would it have possibly left him more vulnerable to Voldemort's mind probing. As it was, he had pretty much shut out everything that he thought LV could use against him.
I think this makes the most sense to me. The average Headmaster's focus is simply on running Hogwarts. Dumbledore himself had years when Voldemort wasn't an active threat and he didn't have to mastermind winning a war. Snape had less than 1 year, and during that year he not only had to be a Headmaster, he had to deal with the students, Order members who thought he'd betrayed them, and Voldemort and that crowd. Working with a portrait would seem trivial and he'd most likely never have the time, I think.

Quote:
I think actions like stealing the Sword of Gryffindor and helping lead Harry to it were risks. And, I've wondered, at times, whether Voldemort may have caught a bit of the panic Severus was feeling when he knew he was about to die and wouldn't be able to get the information to Harry about what he needed to do. Was that possibly why LV set Nagini on him and made his death so horrific rather than just using a simple AK? Or, did he feel that it would give him more power over the Elder Wand if Severus death was as brutal as possible.

I would have thought that a direct curse would have given him more loyalty from the wand than using the snake. But, I digress.
I think Voldemort thought the Elder Wand would not kill its rightful owner and he needed another method. I suppose he'd gotten rid of Lucius' old wand, and Lucius was the last person he spoke to once he'd made up his mind to kill Severus, and Lucius was wandless.

I guess since Voldemort possessed and controlled the snake via horcrux, the wand would give him credit. Similar to killing someone with poison.

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My question is, in a moment of dispair, I wonder if Severus' Occlumency skills cracked just a bit? Not enough for Voldemort to know that Severus had not been loyal to him, but just enough to let him know that something was up?
Good question! I'd say he was annoyed, but i got the impression that Voldemort was completely convinced of his loyalty and never had a clue, based on what he told Harry, and how he almost apologized to Severus for killing him (as close as Voldemort comes to an apology, anyway).

Severus was a brave man who held on to the very end, i think. He never waivered.


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  #1025  
Old May 19th, 2013, 7:41 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
Hmm, you do have a point there. JKR is rather vague about the portrait and Harry's intervention.

some interview I had to googleLaura Trego: Was the absence of snapes portrait in the headmasters office in the last scene innocent or deliberate
J.K. Rowling: It was deliberate. Snape had effectively abandoned his post before dying, so he had not merited inclusion in these august circles.
J.K. Rowling: However, I like to think that Harry would be instrumental in ensuring that Snape’s portrait would appear there in due course.


She says he would have made it "appear" there, which may suggest that it did exist, but refused to magically appear on the wall at first.

Which makes me wonder if there is a storeroom of forgotten headmaster portraits whose subjects left their posts.
When I think about how Phinius Nigellus carried on as Hermione was carrying his portrait around in her beaded bag, I can imagine a whole room full of disgruntled Headmasters chatting away Sev's portrait wouldn't have gotten a word in edgewise.

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Hmm...I think maybe Voldemort was worried that the EW wouldn't attack its master, and since he thought Snape was its master, attacking Snape directly with the wand might have been risky. As for the brutality...I don't even think it occurred to Voldemort how terrible it was, nor does he even seem to change his emotions. Rather than appearing angry, he seems to just think of it as losing a somewhat useful tool in the fight against the Order and Potter.
I think I have to agree with this. He probably was more frightened that the wand would not attack it's master. Look what happened when he tried to use it on Harry. And, he his demeanor didn't change as Nagini attacked and killed Severus. As you said, it just seemed that he was losing someone who'd been useful but was now in the way.

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I think it's possible Snape's defenses fell at some point in the shack, but even then, Voldemort seemed to disbelieve Harry's later contention that Snape was DD's man. Voldemort may have either never broken through Sev's defenses, or he may have and simply denied to himself what he learned since he couldn't bear having been wrong.

I tend to think Voldemort was fooled all along and never broke into Sev's head, but that may be because I love the idea of Snape hoodwinking him to the last.
Severus was undergoing so many emotions in those final moments: fear and dispair, I would think, being two of the strongest. It had to be so difficult to keep up his defenses. Like you, though, I do like the idea that he kept his cover to the very end and Harry's revelation during his duel with LV was a total surprise.


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  #1026  
Old May 19th, 2013, 8:54 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
When I think about how Phinius Nigellus carried on as Hermione was carrying his portrait around in her beaded bag, I can imagine a whole room full of disgruntled Headmasters chatting away Sev's portrait wouldn't have gotten a word in edgewise.
So, Severus' portrait is trapped in The Cupboard with the other unwanted Headmaster's portraits, until Harry gets him moved to the Headmaster's office.

Hmmm....Umbridge was appointed Headmaster by the Ministry for a year (even though, unlike Severus, Hogwarts Castle never recognized her and she couldn't even get into the Headmaster's office). I suspect she'd definitely have a portrait made. Her portrait would wind up in The Cupboard and once she died, it would awaken. If she'd died before Harry intervened and moved Severus' portrait, Severus' portrait would be trapped in a cupboard with Umbridge's portrait.

No offense to any Umbridge fans, but to me, that would be a worse fate than death by a horcruxed Nagini Assuming Severus did take the time to work with a portrait, I think the portrait would not have been amused, as I get the impression Severus didn't like Umbridge all that much.....


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  #1027  
Old May 19th, 2013, 10:16 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Severus knew, after it happened, that he'd caused it and tried to cover it up because he didn't want Lily mad at him.
And he took offence to Lily being concerned for her injured sister. He objected to not being the only person that mattered to Lily.

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Other than Voldemort, I didn't see any other wizards "oppressing" Muggles. They looked down on them, but, if I could do magic like that I might feel a bit superior to someone who couldn't perform magic at all. Many Muggles who are talented in one way or another look down on those who aren't. You don't have to be a wizard or witch to feel that way.
IMO, each and every DE also oppressed Muggles. These criminals murdered Muggles for fun - I'd consider that oppression.

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It doesn't take much imagination to know that LV wouldn't be a happy camper about that news and Severus would pay a price.
That goes with the territory of serving a homicidal maniac. Shame that others had to pay the price. Wasn't that the plan of the Carrows in DH? To pass the blame off on some children so that Voldemort would take it out on them instead?

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I doubt that he really gave that much thought to any part of the Prophecy except the part referring to someone who would be able to vanquish the Dark Lord.
It would not take a great deal of thought and reflection to figure out that Voldemort would want to murder this person.

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That he didn't care someone might get killed was wrong. But, there is nothing that says Severus actually helped Voldemort plan or carry out a murder.
He passed on a prophecy knowing that Voldemort would want to murder someone because of it. I see that as building a bomb and giving it to a bomber. You don't get to be surprised when the bomber wants it to murder people. You do not get to be offended if the intended target is someone you care about. It's a bit rich to feel wronged when the bomb you yourself built hurts someone you care about.

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I don't think, if a group of people are in danger, it would be unusual for someone to think of their loved one first and that would be their key focus.
However, it is unusual to be an accessory to murder, to help get people killed. It's unusual, IMO, to be the one that put that loved one in peril in the first place. It is unusual to be unable to see that the loved one might have loved ones of their own. It is unusual to expect the authorities to only protect your loved one, and let other innocent victims suffer.

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Even more so for someone as withdrawn as Severus, who doesn't have a lot of concern for other peoples' feelings through most of the books. Lily was his primary concern.
Not even Lily's feelings mattered to Snape, IMO.

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We know he had a pretty stormy history with James, and it doesn't strike me as odd that he wouldn't give a tinker's damn about him. Not having been very loved as a child himself, Harry wouldn't have garnered much thought either. But, DD took care of that and Severus, himself, seemed ashamed that he'd not considered Lily's loved ones
.

I don't think Snape was ashamed that he hadn't considered Lily's family. I don't think Snape ever came to see that he was wrong in not considering Lily's family. I certainly don't think he came to see it that night on the hill. I think he was surprised that Dumbledore had called him on his selfishness. I think he was surprised that someone else took a different view, and refused to applaud his selfishness.

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Their emphasis was probably on a sense of power and having control of one's life.
And the lives and deaths of others. These were the charming people who murdered Muggles for fun. The left a calling card at their crime scenes - they cast the Dark Mark in the air when they murdered people. The wizarding world knew what they were doing, and nobody thought they were a harmless self-help group.

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Again, Bella implies he was not a very enthusiastic member of the group and taunts him for it.
Bella considers anyone who did not do time for Voldemort as sub-par.


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The only other "friends" he had were his Housemates. McGonagall told firsties that their House would be like their family. So, if his "family" members are telling him all of this good stuff that's going to happen if he joins up with Voldemort, and, possibly that the stories going around about him were exaggerated and that he wasn't that bad, Severus might have believed it. Smart people frequently fall for stupid come-ons. And, because they are smart they're less likely to admit to themselves that they were wrong in the first place.
The entire House was not full of bigots. And for Snape, or anyone, to believe that the DEs were misunderstood little darlings who just wanted to be smart and important and appreciated would require a level of stupidity the level of a flobberworm, i.e. not Severus Snape. I don't think anyone was that stupid. Snape was at school during the war - Snape would have known students whose family members had been murdered. Snape would have seen the newspapers. Snape was not an idiot. Snape knew what he was doing in joining the DEs. He knew it was not some gentleman's club where they would smoke cigars, sip firewhisky and discuss magical theory. He knew it was not some back-scratching club where he could be important just by being his delightful self and showing off how clever he was.

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The Prophecy says that the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord "approaches." It could have been interpreted that it was a wizard who was about to come of age and come into his own powers at that time. I'm pretty sure, in all of the years that Voldemort was rising to power there were many people who defied him thrice. Slughorn was one. He turned down LV's recruiters repeatedly. There more than likely had to be others. The only thing that is really clear in the Prophecy is that it is a wizard and that his birthday is the end of July. Once Voldemort decided who his target was, he, himself marked him and gave him equal powers.
Once again, I fail to see how it matters. Why does it matter who Voldemort chose? No matter who was chosen, it was wrong to pass on the prophecy. Contrary to Snape's belief, it did not just become wrong when Voldemort chose Lily's family.

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I don't believe his actions were less wrong or trivial, I even made a very grave comparison (that wasn't allowed; I'm sorry for having brought it up!) which can't be interpreted as anything else but all-around wrong. He was very much in the wrong in joining a genocidal organisation because he was smart enough to know what it entailed. That does make his prolonged attempt to make amends all the more meaningful, in my opinion.
I'm not suggesting that you were. I was referring to the discussion that has been going on about alternative interpretations of the prophecy. This discussion makes it seem to me as if his actions are being trivialised. It does not matter who Snape thought would be targeted. It was wrong, no matter who the target would be. So why does it matter who Snape thought it referred to?

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I don't know what opinion Severus formed of the baby after he heard the half-Prophecy. Dumbledore noted that Snape did not know "which" family would be the object of Voldemort's murderous quest when he gave the half-Prophecy to Voldemort, so I am of the opinion that at that time Snape did not care what the baby was like.
I agree. Snape did not care who he hurt. He was going to profit from the information he passed on. It did not matter to him that someone would be murdered, that others would be bereaved. All that mattered was what he wanted.

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So I think Snape changed from someone who would watch people die even when he had the ability to save them, to someone who would not watch someone die when he could do something about it.
Well, considering that most people would not sit and let someone die if they can help, most people would not be an accessory (at the very least) to murder, I don't consider that amazing, I just consider it a step in the direction of being a decent human being.


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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
As for whether or not he'd sit for it and teach it...well, I think if it was part of the process of becoming headmaster, he'd endure it.
Why does everything for Snape have to be about enduring? I think that was one of his problems as a person - utter pessimism and misanthropy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Chocolate card portraits seem to be made from wizards who did not sit for those portraits, as many of them are long dead. So, I'd say a portrait could be made, it would just be a representation of what the artist thought of Snape, and probably act accordingly in a very limited fashion.

I agree. JKR said that Harry arranged for Snape's portrait to be placed in the Head's office. That doesn't mean it was a magical portrait, or that it was of the same level of sentience as the others. When would Snape have sat for the portrait? Would Voldemort actually have given a fig about his minion Headmaster sitting for a portrait when he was supposed to be oppressing students who had the conscience and courage to oppose the DEs?



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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Severus was undergoing so many emotions in those final moments: fear and dispair, I would think, being two of the strongest. It had to be so difficult to keep up his defenses. Like you, though, I do like the idea that he kept his cover to the very end and Harry's revelation during his duel with LV was a total surprise.
Or maybe Voldemort just wasn't that interested in trying to use Legilimency on a dying man he believed was his.


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  #1028  
Old May 20th, 2013, 1:26 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
So, Severus' portrait is trapped in The Cupboard with the other unwanted Headmaster's portraits, until Harry gets him moved to the Headmaster's office.

Hmmm....Umbridge was appointed Headmaster by the Ministry for a year (even though, unlike Severus, Hogwarts Castle never recognized her and she couldn't even get into the Headmaster's office). I suspect she'd definitely have a portrait made. Her portrait would wind up in The Cupboard and once she died, it would awaken. If she'd died before Harry intervened and moved Severus' portrait, Severus' portrait would be trapped in a cupboard with Umbridge's portrait.

No offense to any Umbridge fans, but to me, that would be a worse fate than death by a horcruxed Nagini Assuming Severus did take the time to work with a portrait, I think the portrait would not have been amused, as I get the impression Severus didn't like Umbridge all that much.....

*imagining the expression on Snape's portrait if it was locked in a cupboard with Umbridges *

I don't think having a portrait was important to Severus. He was working hard to carry out Dumbledore's plan and see that Voldemort was Vanquished. He was trying to maintain the safety of the students at Hogwarts without blowing his cover, so he was walking a fine line there. He was trying to keep Voldemort from seeing any of this in his thoughts whenever he was with him and vulnerable to Occlumency. It must have been difficult to try to carry all of this out and to also try to keep it from being in your thoughts enough to be picked up by an LV brain scan.


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  #1029  
Old May 20th, 2013, 9:04 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
And there is always the possibilty that he just wasn't recognised as a Headmaster as the MOM was overthrown in an illegal attempt to take over the country. Snape wasn't appointed by any kind of legal authority so it could be that the magical enchanment's just didn't recognise him as a Headmaster. Hard to get a Headmaster's portrait when you have never been a proper Headmaster. And you left your post, no matter when your reason's were.
When Umbridge was appointed Head she couldn't access the Head's office. This was very different to Snape, who could access the office. IMHO this tells me that Hogwarts recognised Snape as it's Head.

In the year that he was Head, Snape was under the most intense pressure of all his years he worked at Hogwarts. Dumbledore was dead and he was to blame, yet he held it together doing his best to protect the students from the Carrows. I don't know if he would have had the time/energy to talk to a portrait...


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  #1030  
Old May 20th, 2013, 9:41 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by yorkiedoodle View Post
When Umbridge was appointed Head she couldn't access the Head's office. This was very different to Snape, who could access the office. IMHO this tells me that Hogwarts recognised Snape as it's Head.

In the year that he was Head, Snape was under the most intense pressure of all his years he worked at Hogwarts. Dumbledore was dead and he was to blame, yet he held it together doing his best to protect the students from the Carrows. I don't know if he would have had the time/energy to talk to a portrait...
Dumbledore gave him the password didn't he? After all Harry got into the office and he wasn't the Headmaster.


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  #1031  
Old May 20th, 2013, 10:33 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by yorkiedoodle View Post
When Umbridge was appointed Head she couldn't access the Head's office. This was very different to Snape, who could access the office. IMHO this tells me that Hogwarts recognised Snape as it's Head.
Ernie MacMillan tells Harry, 'The Head's Office has sealed itself against her.' (OotP, Snape's Worst Memory) I'm guessing the school didn't recognise Umbridge as the rightful Head, being as she was appointed by the MoM, and as Lucius Malfoy reminds, Fudge, such appointments are the sole decision of the school govenors, not the MoM....'The appointment - or suspension - of the Headmaster is a matter for the govenors, Fudge,..' (CoS, Cornelius Fudge)

Also, the portraits in the Headmasters office are honour bound to give service to the present Headmaster, and in DH we see Phineas Nigellus' portrait recognising Snape as Headmaster and helping him to find, Harry. Also Dumbledore's portrait gives him advice. So it seems to me that the Hogwarts portraits recognised Snape as the rightful Headmaster.


Regarding Snape's portrait,I also think he had more pressing tasks during his year as Headmaster than to spend time posing for a portrait and chat to it. It may also have compromised his position as spy, depending on what information he shared with it. Although, it might have been rather thereputic to get off his chest some of the stuff he buried deep inside himself.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; May 20th, 2013 at 10:36 am.
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  #1032  
Old May 20th, 2013, 12:40 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
Ernie MacMillan tells Harry, 'The Head's Office has sealed itself against her.' (OotP, Snape's Worst Memory) I'm guessing the school didn't recognise Umbridge as the rightful Head, being as she was appointed by the MoM, and as Lucius Malfoy reminds, Fudge, such appointments are the sole decision of the school governors, not the MoM....'The appointment - or suspension - of the Headmaster is a matter for the govenors, Fudge,..' (CoS, Cornelius Fudge)

Also, the portraits in the Headmasters office are honour bound to give service to the present Headmaster, and in DH we see Phineas Nigellus' portrait recognising Snape as Headmaster and helping him to find, Harry. Also Dumbledore's portrait gives him advice. So it seems to me that the Hogwarts portraits recognised Snape as the rightful Headmaster.


Regarding Snape's portrait,I also think he had more pressing tasks during his year as Headmaster than to spend time posing for a portrait and chat to it. It may also have compromised his position as spy, depending on what information he shared with it. Although, it might have been rather thereputic to get off his chest some of the stuff he buried deep inside himself.
Dumbledore's portrait was in the office and it was giving the orders, to Snape and to the other portraits. My point is still viable, Snape had the password and Dumbledore's endorsment. After all the other portraits were hanging on the wall when he was talking to Snape before the Ministry fell. The other portraits knew what Dumbledore was planning and went along with him. Umbridge was completely different. The office and those portraits had a certain degree of sencience, and that sencience was directly tied into the school's ethos. I think they all went along with Dumbledore's decsions. And let's face it, Snape had other things to worry about than sitting for a portrait. He had to explain to the parents why their kids were being beat up and tortured by the Carrows, while pretending to the Carrows that Voldemort would not back him up a lot sooner than he would them.


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  #1033  
Old May 20th, 2013, 2:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
Ernie MacMillan tells Harry, 'The Head's Office has sealed itself against her.' (OotP, Snape's Worst Memory) I'm guessing the school didn't recognise Umbridge as the rightful Head, being as she was appointed by the MoM, and as Lucius Malfoy reminds, Fudge, such appointments are the sole decision of the school govenors, not the MoM....'The appointment - or suspension - of the Headmaster is a matter for the govenors, Fudge,..' (CoS, Cornelius Fudge)

Also, the portraits in the Headmasters office are honour bound to give service to the present Headmaster, and in DH we see Phineas Nigellus' portrait recognising Snape as Headmaster and helping him to find, Harry. Also Dumbledore's portrait gives him advice. So it seems to me that the Hogwarts portraits recognised Snape as the rightful Headmaster.
Remember Hermione's statement in OotP that the Ministry was getting involved in Hogwarts? That seems to support the theory that, until then, the Ministry had little direct control over the school. Umbridge usurped the position of Headmistress by way of the MoM instead of being duly elected by the Board of Governors.

Also, one of the reasons Dumbledore wanted Severus to be the one to kill him was to secure Voldemort's trust so that he would be the next logical Headmaster for Hogwarts. Dumbledore wanted him there and told him to protect the students, which Severus did. He knew about the Room of Requirement. It's not much of a stretch to think that he knew that's where the "rebels" were hiding out. If he'd wanted to find them he could have pulled an Umbridge and broken in. I liked that he sent Ginny and her group to Hagrid for punishment. That was funny. Even Hagrid should have caught on with that one.

And, Phineas' portrait was about half-miffed most of the time, but was still following orders, actually helping to locate Harry and Hermione. And, Severus dresses him down for calling Hermione a "Mudblood." IMO, another indication that there had been a change in Severus' way of thinking.

I doubt, being a Black and a Slytherin, that Phineas was very happy being part of helping to bring down Voldemort. He, as well as the other portraits, had to be able to hear Severus' conversations with Dumbledore's portrait. So, he must have been under some "pact," as a former Headmaster, to keep the confidences of what was said in the Headmaster's office. In order to do that, I think he, and any other portraits that might have been "non-sympathetic" to what was going on, had to have recognized Severus as Headmaster.

After Dumbledore's death, McGonagall and Harry were still able to get into Dumbledore's office using his old password. Severus must have changed the password to "Dumbledore." Since he didn't know that he was going to be killed and have to pass on the information he needed to get to Harry through the Pensieve, it seems he must have set the password so that any of Dumbledore's loyal followers could access the office, if they'd really wanted to. All they had to do was say his name while standing near the gargoyle. Just seems like none of them thought about it.

Quote:
Regarding Snape's portrait,I also think he had more pressing tasks during his year as Headmaster than to spend time posing for a portrait and chat to it. It may also have compromised his position as spy, depending on what information he shared with it. Although, it might have been rather thereputic to get off his chest some of the stuff he buried deep inside himself.
I don't know how long it would take a wizard to paint a portrait, but, I think Severus would not have wanted one, anyway, because of the way he had to go about becoming Headmaster. I think he was still feeling the effects of having to kill a man he cared for and admired. I think he, personally, felt more like a "stand-in" for Dumbledore than a true Headmaster because of that. But, however it came about, Hogwarts recognized him and he was able to access the office and use the powers of a Headmaster to muster the aid of the portraits.


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  #1034  
Old May 20th, 2013, 6:19 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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=MinervasCat;6071591]Remember Hermione's statement in OotP that the Ministry was getting involved in Hogwarts? That seems to support the theory that, until then, the Ministry had little direct control over the school. Umbridge usurped the position of Headmistress by way of the MoM instead of being duly elected by the Board of Governors.

Also, one of the reasons Dumbledore wanted Severus to be the one to kill him was to secure Voldemort's trust so that he would be the next logical Headmaster for Hogwarts. Dumbledore wanted him there and told him to protect the students, which Severus did. He knew about the Room of Requirement. It's not much of a stretch to think that he knew that's where the "rebels" were hiding out. If he'd wanted to find them he could have pulled an Umbridge and broken in. I liked that he sent Ginny and her group to Hagrid for punishment. That was funny. Even Hagrid should have caught on with that one.
That doesn't mean that Snape was the legal Headmaster while he was there. Does anyone really feel for more than half a second that Voldemort would consult with the school governors. And yes, he did send Ginny to Hagrid's so Hagrid could take her into a forest full of dangerous giant spiders that did not obey him. Very safe. And then there was the fact that Ginny was a Weasley and the Weasleys were part of the Order. Neville and Seamus didn't have parents in the Order so I guess it was OK for the Carrows to sharpen their skills on them.



Quote:
And, Phineas' portrait was about half-miffed most of the time, but was still following orders, actually helping to locate Harry and Hermione. And, Severus dresses him down for calling Hermione a "Mudblood." IMO, another indication that there had been a change in Severus' way of thinking.
Yup, Phineus followed every order Dumbledore's portrait gave him.

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I doubt, being a Black and a Slytherin, that Phineas was very happy being part of helping to bring down Voldemort. He, as well as the other portraits, had to be able to hear Severus' conversations with Dumbledore's portrait. So, he must have been under some "pact," as a former Headmaster, to keep the confidences of what was said in the Headmaster's office. In order to do that, I think he, and any other portraits that might have been "non-sympathetic" to what was going on, had to have recognized Severus as Headmaster.
Well he was just a portrait and he followed the strongest will there, Dumbledore's portrait.

Quote:
After Dumbledore's death, McGonagall and Harry were still able to get into Dumbledore's office using his old password. Severus must have changed the password to "Dumbledore." Since he didn't know that he was going to be killed and have to pass on the information he needed to get to Harry through the Pensieve, it seems he must have set the password so that any of Dumbledore's loyal followers could access the office, if they'd really wanted to. All they had to do was say his name while standing near the gargoyle. Just seems like none of them thought about it.
We don't know that. McGonagall could just as easily changed it, she was a legal Headmaster.


Quote:
I don't know how long it would take a wizard to paint a portrait, but, I think Severus would not have wanted one, anyway, because of the way he had to go about becoming Headmaster. I think he was still feeling the effects of having to kill a man he cared for and admired. I think he, personally, felt more like a "stand-in" for Dumbledore than a true Headmaster because of that. But, however it came about, Hogwarts recognized him and he was able to access the office and use the powers of a Headmaster to muster the aid of the portraits.
It was the tradition of the school. All legal Headmasters had their portrait done. Guess that says something about Snape being a legal Headmaster.


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  #1035  
Old May 20th, 2013, 9:57 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Remember Hermione's statement in OotP that the Ministry was getting involved in Hogwarts? That seems to support the theory that, until then, the Ministry had little direct control over the school.
Yes, it seems that the MoM were only responsible for approving the curriculum. I suspect Voldemort had someone "persuade" the Board of Govenors to appoint Snape, as Voldemort didn't want it known that he had taken over the MoM.

'The coup has been smooth an virtually silent,' said Lupin.(DH, The Bribe)

Further on Lupin says:

'Yes, Voldemort is playing a very clever game. Declaring himself might have provoked open rebellion, remaining masked has created confusion, uncertainty and fear.'

So Voldemort openly appointing Snape would have given the game away.

Quote:
I liked that he sent Ginny and her group to Hagrid for punishment. That was funny.
Yes, I think Snape knew that they would be ok with Hagrid. Harry found it amusing too.

'Snape might have thought that was a punishment, said Harry, 'but Ginny, Neville and Luna probably had a good laugh with Hagrid. The Forbidden Forest...they've faced plenty worse than the Forbidden Forest, big deal.'(DH, The Goblin's Revenge)

I think this was yet another clue by JKR as to Snape's true loyalties.


Quote:
I doubt, being a Black and a Slytherin, that Phineas was very happy being part of helping to bring down Voldemort. He, as well as the other portraits, had to be able to hear Severus' conversations with Dumbledore's portrait. So, he must have been under some "pact," as a former Headmaster, to keep the confidences of what was said in the Headmaster's office.
The portraits in the Headmaster's Office are all bound to serve the current Headmaster. When Phineas Nigellus tries to shirk his duty to Dumbledore, the portrait of Armando Dippet says:

"We are honour-bound to give service to the present Headmaster of Hogwarts! Shame on you, Phineas!" (OotP,St Mungo's Hospital)

And we see Phineas Nigellus reporting directly to Snape about the whereabouts of Harry, addressing him as Headmaster. Actually Phineas may have been happier serving a Slytherin Head than a Gryffindor one.

Quote:
After Dumbledore's death, McGonagall and Harry were still able to get into Dumbledore's office using his old password. Severus must have changed the password to "Dumbledore." Since he didn't know that he was going to be killed and have to pass on the information he needed to get to Harry through the Pensieve, it seems he must have set the password so that any of Dumbledore's loyal followers could access the office, if they'd really wanted to. All they had to do was say his name while standing near the gargoyle. Just seems like none of them thought about it.
As the last person to leave the office I assume he must have set the password. It was a good choice imo, as everyone probably thought he chose it to gloat over his defeat of Dumbledore, but like so much about Snape imo, all is not what it seems.


Quote:
I don't know how long it would take a wizard to paint a portrait, but, I think Severus would not have wanted one, anyway, because of the way he had to go about becoming Headmaster. I think he was still feeling the effects of having to kill a man he cared for and admired. I think he, personally, felt more like a "stand-in" for Dumbledore than a true Headmaster because of that. But, however it came about, Hogwarts recognized him and he was able to access the office and use the powers of a Headmaster to muster the aid of the portraits.
As the castle seems to be partially sentient and it accepted Snape's portrait after the war, then it must have recognised him as Headmaster imo. Afterall all the portraits in the Headmaster's office are all of past Headmasters.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; May 20th, 2013 at 11:00 pm.
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  #1036  
Old May 20th, 2013, 11:27 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
And we see Phineas Nigellus reporting directly to Snape about the whereabouts of Harry, addressing him as Headmaster. Actually Phineas may have been happier serving a Slytherin Head than a Gryffindor one.



As the last person to leave the office I assume he must have set the password. It was a good choice imo, as everyone probably thought he chose it to gloat over his defeat of Dumbledore, but like so much about Snape imo, all is not what it seems.




As the castle seems to be partially sentient and it accepted Snape's portrait after the war, then it must have recognised him as Headmaster imo. Afterall all the portraits in the Headmaster's office are all of past Headmasters.
Phineus reported back to the 'Headmaster', Snape simply tells him not to use the word Mudblood in front of him. Phineus doesn't argue, h just switched to Hermione's name. Dumbledore's then tells Snape what to do, but not why . So it seems from that, that Dumbledore's portrait is the Headmaster. We don't know who set the password, it could as easily have been McGonagall.

And the castle accepted Harry, that's made plain in the last scene's after the battle IMO. I kinda think anything Harry wanted would have been OK. After all, he was the one who defeated Voldemort.


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Old May 21st, 2013, 12:12 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Here is what Harry Potter says on the question of whether Severus Snape was or was not Headmaster during the year in which he functioned formally in that capacity:

"Albus Severus... you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew."

So according to Harry, his child is named for two headmasters. One of those headmasters is Severus Snape.


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  #1038  
Old May 21st, 2013, 12:20 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Here is what Harry Potter says on the question of whether Severus Snape was or was not Headmaster during the year in which he functioned formally in that capacity:

"Albus Severus... you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew."

So according to Harry, his child is named for two headmasters. One of those headmasters is Severus Snape.
I definitely agree.

JKR in an interview says the reason Snape didn't have a Portrait wasn't because he wasn't a Headmaster - it was because he deserted his post. I don't think she was referring to a portrait hung along the hallway, because the question to her was about the Headmaster's portrait. I also suspect Harry didn't make sure Snape's portrait was later hung in a hallway.


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  #1039  
Old May 21st, 2013, 12:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Here is what Harry Potter says on the question of whether Severus Snape was or was not Headmaster during the year in which he functioned formally in that capacity:

"Albus Severus... you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew."

So according to Harry, his child is named for two headmasters. One of those headmasters is Severus Snape.
Harry's statement about his son being named after two Headmasters is a huge support for Severus' case of being a true and legitimate Headmaster.

Another is that, while he was being counselled by Dumbledore's portrait, Phineus' portrait addressed Severus as "Headmaster." We do not see the two portraits address each other or interact in any way, only Phineus and Severus. As for Dumbledore pulling all the strings, I think Severus' statement as he's leaving with the Sword of Gryffindor, "I have a plan.." shows that, while trying to carry out Dumbledore's basic plan, he was still acting independently.


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Old May 21st, 2013, 3:50 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
Petunia is at fault for judging based on status, yes. I don't think I've ever seen anyone excuse her for this; she's very clearly judgemental about Snape's appearance, and that is definitely wrong, but this is a completely separate issue. The thing is, Snape was aware of an entirely different world, one where Muggles were seen as lesser, even by the well-meaning types like the Weasleys. The magical world was aware of Muggles, but Muggles were not aware of wizards--wizard who oppressed Muggles in a lot of ways. Muggles could not oppress wizards by default of not even knowing of their existence.
From what I understand of the HP history, there wasn't any oppression of Muggles going on when Severus was nine years old (1969). When Harry meets Hagrid on his 11th birthday (1991) Hagrid says that LV began recruiting followers 20 years previous (1971) and it's not clear when he actually began attacking Muggles (and wizardkind for that matter.)

So where did he get his apparent dislike of Muggles? It's unlikely that it came from his mother - she had married a Muggle which would indicate she harbored no bigotry toward them. If her wizarding relatives hated Muggles, they probably didn't have much contact with the Snape family. I think Severus began thinking "them" and "us" due to his own experience. His Muggle father was an abusive man and didn't like magic. Since he was alone in the park before he met Lily, it was probable that he was shunned by his Muggle schoolmates as well and possibly persecuted for being different.

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I think the reason people give Harry more of a break here is because Harry was being viciously provoked by Aunt Marge; she was repeatedly insulting his dead parents, who were an obviously emotional point in his life as he was an orphan, and the readers knew how much of a horrible childhood he had to endure at the hands of the Dursleys. On the other hand, Snape hurt Petunia because she was listening in on a conversation, and mocked his clothing (and it was pretty obvious Petunia was jealous and hurt at being left out, there).
Harry is thirteen; Severus is nine. Severus had as horrible a childhood as Harry did (being one of the "abandoned boys" that Harry refers to.) Snape causes a branch to fall on Petunia's shoulder, most likely by accident, and there is no information as to how large that branch was or even if Petunia was hurt (Lily thought she might have been, but that was not confirmed.) Harry blew his aunt up so that she floated up into the air; if the magic had suddenly ceased, she could have plummeted to her death. Older Harry did not Stun Stan Shunpike for exactly that reason.

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
But he would have also had evidence that Dumbledore was just as powerful, and he only used "good" magic. It was well known that Dumbledore was the one person Voldemort ever feared. So why would Snape have found it so hard to believe that someone from Dumbledore's side could've possibly defeated Voldemort? If the biggest threat at the time was someone so noble as Dumbledore, why would "the chosen one" have to be dark?
Harry was a favored student of DD's and spent more time with him than any other student we are aware of and under exceptional circumstances. Yet how often do we see DD perform magic? Hardly ever, the exceptions being the duel with Voldemort and when they went horcrux hunting - neither of which took place at Hogwarts. What would Severus had seen? Even less than Harry, I suspect. At the time that Severus graduated, DD was about 94 years old - not as spry as when he was younger, even for a wizard. Would LV have noised it about that he was afraid of DD? His propaganda would have been quite the contrary, I think. If Severus viewed DD as being more powerful, I think he would have joined the good side. Since he did not, it is very probable Severus believed Dark magic and Dark wizards were more powerful and so his first impression about the vanquisher in the prophecy may well have been that it had to be a Dark wizard.

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No one is accusing Snape of "figuring out" the prophecy in any which way. I don't think it matters much what he decided the prophecy meant, though I think it's a big stretch to say that in the short amount of time between when he heard the prophecy and when he handed the info over to Voldemort, he analyzed the words in such a way as to interpret it as referring to an adult, dark wizard. I think he took it at the most obvious meaning, much like Dumbledore and Voldemort did. In the end I think it all comes down to the fact that Snape did not care about the loss of life unless it involved Lily.
Although we do not know how much time passed between Severus hearing part of the prophecy and delivering that portion to Voldemort, I agree it was probably a short time. So what could have been his immediate impressions of the prophecy? I think he was so convinced of the superiority of the power of Dark Magic that it is very resonable that he could assume the vanquisher would have been a Dark wizard - just as he actually tells us in HBP: Spinner's End.

But let's say Snape's first impressions were that "the one" would be a baby, on the "good" side and whose parents were members of the Order (though I think that would have put the Potters at the top of the list of candidates for LV to go after and I don't think Snape would have passed on the prophcy if he thought it would endanger Lily - which is an agrument for the fact that he was not thinking that way.)

What if Snape had become fed up with LV and his DE's? (He switches side awfully fast when DD asks him to.) The prophecy also said ". . . the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches . . . " The part that Severus had does not say the Dark Lord might be able to vanquish the vanquisher. What if he gave LV the prophecy in order to destroy him? And that is actually what happened.

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
If Snape was not plotting in the murder of someone who had just been born as the seventh month died when he told Voldemort about the prophecy, what was he doing? He was a Deatheater, the clue is in the name.
"Eating" death seems to symbolize overcoming death, not causing it. JKR's original name for LV's cohorts was to have been Knights of Walpurgis. Walpurgis is a festival, exactly six month's before All Hallow's Eve, that celebrates Spring, which is the renewal of life. I think LV's naming his followers Death Eaters was supposed to have somewhat religious connotations about his own quest for eternal life.

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
He isn't speaking about saving anyone, he only says he doesn't like seeing them die anymore. And we don't know in canon anyone who's life he did save. The closest he came to saving anyone is his attempt to save Remus in the 7 Potters. And as what happened shows very clearly, hitting a moving target is hard and there was no guarantee that Remus was going to be hit in the first place. But he tried, he just nearly killed George, instead of hitting the Deatheater.
I recall him saving Harry's life in PS/SS by countering Quirrellmort's curse at Harry's first Quidditch match.

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Whoa there. I do not have a double standard, and I am not even sure what the heck you are referencing from posts here to even make that claim.
My apologies! I was musing, not accusing, though I can see (now, *facepalm*) that it could have been interpreted that way simply by juxtaposition.

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Was being bullied by "blood traitors" causing his growing bigotries? It seems that by fifth year he was clearly unpopular within his class at school, and he was calling Muggleborns "Mudblood", but its hard to see a causal relationship because if "blood traitors" were targeting him than the the reasons they were targeting him would need to come first, not second. With a lack of evidence in the books about any bullying prior to fifth year against Severus, I just can't see bullying by blood traitors--or anyone, really-- as being the cause of Severus's bigotry. He seems to come to school with a disdain for Muggles, and I think his desire for power and its promise from the Death Eater junior gang is what led to Severus pursuing that course.
Severus comes to Hogwarts with a disdain for Muggles - not Mudbloods. I think he picks up that lovely little idea from his house mates. As an impressionable child, lacking in parental guidance and apparently friendless, once accepted by his new "family" (as McGonagall says), how does he learn to choose right from wrong? Does he accept the viewpoint of those who take him in or those who bully him? I do not think he is being disingenuous when he expresses to Lily that he can see no difference between the pranks that Avery and Mulciber pull compared to Potter and his mates. The fact that he found a home at Hogwarts and was accepted as family by Slytherin house had a powerful effect on his perspective. That he was bullied by what Slytherins considered "blood traitors" would only strengthen everything they had told him was true.

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Originally Posted by yorkiedoodle View Post
When Umbridge was appointed Head she couldn't access the Head's office. This was very different to Snape, who could access the office. IMHO this tells me that Hogwarts recognised Snape as it's Head.
And Umbridge knew the password to DD's office too (Fizzing Whizbee.) She takes Harry to DD just before Fudge tries to arrest him and DD flees the school. Right after that, the school does not allow her entrance to the Headmaster's office, password or no password.

When DD sends Harry to his office after Sirius is killed, Phineas says:
OotP: The Lost Prophecy"This office is supposed to be barred to all but the rightful headmaster."
However, we know that Snape talks to DD's portrait before Voldemort appoints him as headmaster because we see the portrait advising him about the Seven Potters scenario - which scenario occurred a week before Harry's birthday and before the Ministry had fallen into LV's hands. Snape was indeed Headmaster of Hogwarts.

And if LV had known that bit of information about the castle, Snape would have been toast.


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