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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8



View Poll Results: Snape's main feeling for James would be...
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Envy 27 16.77%
Hatred 17 10.56%
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  #661  
Old June 18th, 2008, 3:39 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

I'm pretty sure Snape wanted to get out of there ASAP because Sirius grated on his nerves.


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  #662  
Old June 18th, 2008, 5:18 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousMoon View Post
No, I disagree. I think Voldemort would understand that fairness is just part of the job - Snape could have said Dumbledore might think he was relapsing in behaviour and could get suspicious. There are ways around it. Plus JKR called Snape sadistic, which means that he wasn't only doing it because it was "part of the job" (which I disagree on), but because he enjoyed it. He enjoyed being cruel according to JKR.
Well, I differ from JKR, even though the books are hers, and the character are hers as well, the way I see them is all mine. While I very much respect JKR and love her for what she’s given us, I am not in any kind of agreement with her on everything. I see many, many things different from her, having been brought up in a world totally different from hers, and so what she may see as good, bad, ugly or sadistic is not the way I would. I may perceive them very differently IMO.

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In that situation I think Snape was angry and mortified and seeing Harry again, especially alone in a one on one detention was probably the last thing on his mind. I think Snape just wanted Harry to get out of there. Smashing the kid on the wall wasn't the right thing to do IMO.
Yes, but when we are very angry that someone has witnessed our worst humiliation I think the right and wrong generally don't occur to us. And I respectfully disagree that Snape smashed Harry against the wall. I think he shoved Harry in an anger that I think harry deserved that day IMO.

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She said he deserved it, but she's the only one who has the power to expel him (as head of Gryffindor house) and she didn't. Snape does not have that "happy" power (he laments about it in COS).
She said Harry deserved it, meaning that the action of Harry was something that deserved expulsion. But it was not her who was in charge of assigning Harry’s punishment, like in COS, because a Slytherin was hurt, and Snape was in charge of handing out his detention. And IMO Snape did not expel him, he gave detentions which were very boring, but extremely mild IMO.

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So you don't think McGonagall would have done something if she'd noticed Quirrel? I think she would have. It's hard to notice one face in a huge crowd though IMO.
The point is, she did not notice Quirrell. Snape did. Both of them were on the same pitch and both of them were following the game avidly. But Snape was the person who was observant enough to spot something was wrong and he not only spotted something wrong, he recognised it and also started chanting the counter curse. McGonagall also noticed as did many other students that Harry’s broom was buckling. She did not do anything then. Only Snape did. Now I am not accusing McGonagall of deliberately ignoring Harry’s plight or anything, what I’m saying here is Snape has been looking out for Harry since day one IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
I have disagree with your conclusions. I;m going to take them point by point
Point 1
IMO he was a teacher, a teacher of many years standing. He was not spying when Harry first came to Hogwarts, he was as it was biding his time.
Yes, I agree he was biding his time. For what? For Voldemort to return and Snape could not go from a pleasant man who loved kids to a death eater who wants to kill the same kids if they are muggleborns all in one day IMO.

And it is very clear from the Spinner’s End chapter in HBP that there we death eaters who were around and watching. Snape could not be fair to Gryffindors and nor could he be pleasant to those other than Slytherin IMO.

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Point 2
Now this is where I very definitely disagree. IMO it would have been the easiest thing in the world for Snape to be fair in his treatment of Harry and his other students. He talks about it to Bellatrix and Narcissa at the beginning of the HBP. He was keeping well in with Dumbledore, he could have easily have extended that premise to Harry and actually have done his best to befriend Harry and gain his trust. This is what Barty Crouch Jr does in GOF to great effect. Snape's nastiness is uncalled for and unnecessary. If I'd been Voldemort I might have questioned him about that along the lines of "Why don't you befriend him and them you can take him to me?"
Sure! Snape could have befriended Harry and all Voldemort has to do was to tell Snape, *you have gained his trust; now bring him to me, using that*. Snape by making sure Harry would never like him, made Harry safe. Draco and the other Slytherins knew hoe it was between Snape and Harry. And neither Voldemort nor anybody else could tell Snape to simply hand over the boy, because Snape could tell Voldemort that Harry hated him and would never trust him enough to come along with him IMO.

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Point 3
I think McGonagall is very strict in her class, she just not nasty with it. She has compassion and it underlines all that she does.

Point 4

"What would he have said to McGonagall, I'm training him and he saw too much of what I want to keep secret." He should not have left Harry alone with the Pensive containing his memories. Harry it is true should not have looked, but he is a curious child in the scene. Who wouldn't have looked?
And I think Snape has it too. He showed compassion when he did not talk and taunt Harry about what he saw in the Occlumency lessons. He never told Harry that he cheated by using the Prince’s book to become best at potions. He never harmed Harry in any way. Yes, I would agree with you that he never showed that he cared for Harry, but just because he never showed it, I cannot say he never did.

Well, I respectfully disagree with you that anyone can see a teacher’s private things. In a muggle school, Harry would have been expelled for poking and seeing into his teachers possessions IMO. Was Snape wrong then, you feel, in trusting Harry? Was he wrong to think Harry would respect him by not peeping into his things? Well, he did and Harry was certainly not in the right that time? But we never criticise Harry or indeed anybody else for their mistakes mainly because we see everything through Harry’s eyes and in Harry’s eyes until the TPT, Snape was a mean, vindictive, nasty bully. But we don’t see through Harry’s eyes when he, after knowing the whole story, calls Snape the bravest man he ever knew IMO.

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Point 5
Again, what was he going to say to McGonagall, "He used my old potions book that I carelessly left in the Potions classroom cupboard. I had an illegal Dark Magic spell written in it that I worked on when I was in 6th year." No, I dont think so.
Sure! Why not? He did tell McGonagall the whole story. She knew Harry used a dark spell. It was not Snape's fault that she was not interested enough to ask Harry from where he got hold of the spell and not IMO Snape's fault if Harry did not tell her the truth.

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Point 6
There were a lot of teachers around, McGonagall was not the only one who didn't noticed. Snape had been told by Dumbledore to keep an eye on Quirrell, McGonagall had not, as far as I can tell.
And yet it was only Snape who even attempted to try and save Harry IMO.

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IMO opinion Snape is a fascinating character who has endless facets. He is not a nice man, but then he is not trying to be nice. He is honest though. He doesn't like Harry, in fact he detests him. Unfairly perhaps, but then Snape is not interested in justifying himself. He does not wear false colours and he is not interested in sympathy or understanding. That is what I find fascinating about him. That lonely bitterness that doesn't want or need apologies. He did what he did and the only person who's understanding he wanted, ie. Dumbledore gave it. He is perhaps the loneliest character I have ever read about. And the most stubborn one

I don’t think he even wanted Dumbledore’s understanding. He agreed to work for Dumbledore and right all his wrongs and he slowly evolved from calling everyone *Mudblood* to remonstrating with Phineas when he called Hermione one.

I also think he cared for Harry very much. A private man like Snape, one who like you said did not want or need apologies, a man who does not justify to anyone and who cares for nothing, and yet is honest and content in his loneliness and who was such a private man, so private that even Dumbledore never suspected (and that was after closely working with him for over 18 years) that Snape still loved Lily. That was how much Snape hid from everyone IMO.

That man gave memories of such a personal nature, memories that showed his darkness, his inadequacies and his faults to a boy he hates?

I don’t think so. He cared and that was why I think for the first and last time, Snape actually justified to this boy, why he was the way he was all these years IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatifically View Post
Yes, as a teacher he was. However I do not think he had the right to favour the Slytherin house. As a teacher he should have been fair and punished the Slytherin house the same punishment if they did something like what Harry did. Harry remarks in PoA that when Draco came in late Snape didn't do anything about it. I do not think that is fair at all.
With Draco and the Slytherins, I think Snape could not do anything, because he was in the position of a death eater and therefore on their side.

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Or that he purposely destroyed Harry's work and put the blame on him by giving him a zero when it was his fault?
I think that was the actual punishment for the peeping IMO. Though I don't have canon on this.

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Or that when Hermione's teeth were enlarged he said he couldn't see a difference? All of those happened in canon and I find no excuse for his behaviour. I do not think of it as fair, especially since I had a teacher just like him.
I think he said that, because he was in the middle of a group of Slytherins and hermione was a muggleborn and his mark was getting darker, meaning he had to return to Voldemort anytime. He could not have been seen being kind, and concerned to a muggleborn Gryffindor witch IMO.

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McGonagall demonstrated a much more fair treatment to wards her students than Snape did, IMO. When Harry, Hermione and Neville got in trouble in PS/SS, she gave them the same punishment that she gave to Draco. When they behaved poorly, she gave them detentions. She didn't let her house preference get in the way of her job, and that is something that I think was lacking in Snape's teaching methods.
She was a teacher first and foremost. She did not have to watch out for death eater kids who would write to their fathers and who had to be prepared to go and serve Voldemort as a loyal death eater in the future. Snape had so much on his head, and I think he was brilliant.

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How could she not have noticed? Apparently everyone in the school noticed. She may have thought that something was tampered with the broom rather than someone preforming a jinx. If she knew that Quirrel was doing something to Harry, I'm sure she would have attempted to prevent that. I can't blame her for not knowing since the other teachers didn't know either.
And yet as I said before, it was Snape who tried to counter the jinx, not anyone else IMO.

The entire post is my opinion.


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  #663  
Old June 18th, 2008, 5:20 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I agree with Cathy on this. While Snape should not have taken Sirius' bait, Sirius was the one to start the fight.
Asking somebody to sit down is the prelude to most conversations. It is about as normal as Harry walking into Dumbledore's office and Dumbledore telling him to take a seat. No malice was intended when Snape said that. He simply wanted to impart some news and leave.

He indicates as much by his reaction to Sirius. When Sirius first speaks to him, Snape makes short work of him before returning his attention back to Harry.

'Sit down, Potter.'

'You know,' said Sirius loudly, leaning back on his rear chair legs and speaking to the ceiling, 'I think I'd prefer it if you didn't give orders here, Snape. It's my house, you see.'

An ugly flush suffused Snape's pallid face. Harry sat down in a chair beside Sirius, facing Snape across the table.
I respect your view, however, this is generally the juncture where I would expect Sirius to refer to Snape as Snivelus and make a nasty remark. I do not feel Snape asked Harry to sit down, he ordered him to sit down, imo. I feel Sirius did not take the bait, but instead he called him Snape which I think is very significant for Sirius and then in extremely polite terms, he told Snape not to give orders in his home. I believe that while the language was polite, and Sirius had every right to demand it of the visiting Order member, it was stated with Sirius' normal cheek. I felt it was not how Sirius said it, but what Sirius said that angered Snape, because he knew Sirius had every right to say it and he had no direct rebuttal to make. In my judgment, Snape could hardly demand that he had any right to give orders in Sirius' home and he did not do so as your quote indicates.

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'I was supposed to see you alone, Potter,' said Snape, the familiar sneer curling his mouth, 'but Black -'

'I'm his godfather,' said Sirius, louder than ever.

'I am here on Dumbledore's orders,' said Snape, whose voice, by contrast, was becoming more and more quietly waspish, 'but by all means stay, Black, I know you like to feel… involved.'

'What's that supposed to mean?' said Sirius, letting his chair fall back on to all four legs with a loud bang.

'Merely that I am sure you must feel - ah - frustrated by the fact that you can do nothing useful,' Snape laid a delicate stress on the word, 'for the Order.'

It was Sirius's turn to flush. Snape's lip curled in triumph as he turned to Harry.
I feel that the above quote indicates that Snape did immediately respond to Sirius, in a taunting manner. This is actually the original point I was attempting to make. Sirius told Snape not to give orders in his home, that has no bearing on Snape personally - he has a home as well and I daresay Spinner's End was in far better condition than Sirius' run down #12 G. I believe Snape would never allow Sirius to come into Spinner's end barking orders, to Draco if the boy was in his charge. So I don't feel that Snape was personally injured by the comment, merely incensed that his wrongful behavior had been pointed out by Black. But I feel that Snape's comment was a personal taunt, using something against Sirius that he knew was a sore spot and I feel that characteristically, and in my judgment, that is what Snape does on a fairly regular basis when he is taunting others. The context states that Snape's voice was becoming more quietly waspish, which is snappish or petulantly spiteful in tone after Sirius' declarations of authority and at the close Snape's lip curled in triumph after his own taunt - in my opinion that too is indicative that Snape wished to strike back at Sirius for his statement that had no rebuttal.

Quote:
As Snape says, he is "rather in a hurry". He would have left far earlier if Sirius had not frequently interrupted him.
In fact, Snape seems almost civil to Harry until Sirius keeps pushing it:

The Headmaster has sent me to tell you, Potter, that it is his wish for you to study Occlumency this term.'

'Study what?' said Harry blankly.

Snape's sneer became more pronounced.

'Occlumency, Potter. The magical defence of the mind against external penetration. An obscure branch of magic, but a highly useful one.'

[snip]

'Because the Headmaster thinks it a good idea,' said Snape smoothly. 'You will receive private lessons once a week, but you will not tell anybody what you are doing, least of all Dolores Umbridge. You understand?'

'Yes,' said Harry. 'Who's going to be teaching me?'

Snape raised an eyebrow.

'I am,' he said.

[snip]

'Why can't Dumbledore teach Harry?' asked Sirius aggressively. 'Why you?'
I respect your view, but I do not see how Sirius asking why Snape is teaching Harry is 'pushing it'. He spoke aggressively, but Harry had looked to his godfather in support in the portion you snipped and based on the things that Harry shared with Sirius about Snape, I feel it would be normal for Sirius to feel aggressive at that point. This is OOTP and Snape had already been behaving in a greatly negative fashion toward Harry for 4.5 years. If Harry only told Sirius a portion of those events, I don't believe he would wish for Snape to teach Harry anything at all - ever. So contextually, imo, Sirius' aggressive voice is justified. Nonetheless, Snape knew that Dumbledore had given him the task and he therefore had a firmly established and justified answer that could not be debated and I feel that for that reason, the aggressiveness in Sirius' voice would only make him feel better because he knew he could meet it with a dead end answer.

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'I suppose because it is a headmaster's privilege to delegate less enjoyable tasks,' said Snape silkily. 'I assure you I did not beg for the job.' He got to his feet. 'I will expect you at six o'clock on Monday evening, Potter. My office. If anybody asks, you are taking remedial Potions. Nobody who has seen you in my classes could deny you need them.'

Looks like Snape is losing his patience...and his self-control, as later we see him take Sirius' bait entirely.
I respect your interpretation, however, in my opinion, Snape was deriding Harry, indicating that it was a great burgen for him to teach the child and in my judgment, that comment made it seem as if Harry was a horrible kid or unteachable or something negative that would prevent a person from wanting to teach him (despite its importance to the Order). I feel Snape goes on to directly deride Harry by calling him slow in potions and at the point of being on the remedial level, which imo, is not true, beyond the fact that it is not a nice thing to say.

Your quote ends there, but Snape did not. Sirius did not respond to this and in my opinion it was because he was beyond Snape's jabs taken both at him and at Harry. When Snape finished the above comment the following took place:

"Wait a moment," said Sirius, sitting up straighter in his chair.

Snape turned back to face them, sneering. "I am in rather a hurry, Black. Unlike you, I do not have unlimited leisure time.'

I feel this was yet another jab at Sirius' having to be stuck at #12 G, but Sirius ignores that jab as well as he had the others and spoke about what was on his mind:

"I'll get to the point, then,' said Sirius, standing up. He was rather taller than Snape who, Harry noticed, balled his fist in the pocket of his cloak over what harry was sure was the handle of his wand. "If I hear you're using these Occlumency lessons to give Hary a hard time, you'll have me to answer to.'

Here I feel Sirius was getting to the point of why he remained in the first place. I believe he did not want Snape to mistreat Harry during the lessons as he had in previous regular classes and he wanted to threaten Snape away from doing so. As I mentioned before, no one was standing up for Harry against Snape at this time and his Godfather was the appropriate party to do it, imo.

Snape responds:

"How touching,' Snape sneered. "But surely you have noticed that Potter is very like his father?'

"Yes I have,' said Sirius proudly.

'Well then, you'll know he's so arrogant that criticim simply bounces off him, ' Snape said sleekly.

In my opinion, here again, Snape uses something very crucial and important to Sirius - very close to his heart. His friend James who was like a brother and now dead. Snape knew that - and he also knew he'd had a hand in that death and I believe, under those circumstances, Snape was showing both a lack of remorse and a desire to hurt Sirius. Snape together with everyone else knew how Sirius felt about James, imo - but in my judgment, Snape displayed another aspect of his character here because I feel he was using the man who he'd had a hand in killing as a weapon to hurt someone else (which he also did with Harry on many occassions, imo). I believe it reveals a lack of emotion for Snape's past act as well as devaluing a human life in doing this and I feel that points to a lack of remorse and regret on his part for his act that resulted in James death (although I do believe he felt remorse and regret for that act as it pertained to Lily). This too I feel was revealed in light of DH TPT.

Reading through this section, I feel that JKR carefully wrote her characters to reflect their personalities and she elected to make Snape use five taunting statements of a personal nature to Sirius. I believe all of them of them were of the type that cut deeply as the topics were himself and his forced situation, deriding Harry and James.

Sirius did not respond to any of them until Snape hit upon the one that cut the deepest and at that point he lost it. He called him Snivelus, told him his true feelings (Snape was a death eater) and after Snape made his 4th dig about Sirius being stuck in #12G, he called him Lucius' lapdog (Occulmency). Snape responds advising Sirius that he'd exposed himself as the dog - and finishes that off with a 5th taunt about Sirius being stuck at #12 G.

Admittedly, the last portion of the scene in the above paragraph shows both men going eye for eye, however, I found it interesting that Snape continued to use the same digs again and again, which were in my judgment, personal and hurtful, but Sirius stuck to expressing his feeling that Snape was a death eater, which I do not believe bothered Snape in the same way - and imo, Sirius knew it would not because Dumbledore trusted Snape and there was nothing Sirius could do about that and imo, Sirius did not believe that Snape valued his opinion of him in any case . In addition, Snape told Sirius that if he felt that way he should go talk to Dumbledore about it, and I felt that made it clear to Sirius that refering to him as a Death Eater was not hurtful to him. Nonetheless, Sirius reiterated it because in my judgment, that is how Sirius truly felt and was more interested in expressing his opinion tauntingly, than taunting Snape in a hurtful manner.

In my judgment, my careful analysis of this scene led me to belive that Snape was baiting Sirius througout the conversation and that Sirius ignored or allowed Snape's taunts to pass until the fifth one which cut most deeply. Snape did not bring up James again, and I feel that is also an interesting aspect of this scene. I feel that Snape understood that he'd gone too far and he back tracked, using the taunt that Sirius didn't get quite as violent about (the 4th and 5th times he taunted him about being stuck at #12G). I feel Snape's purpose was to hurt Sirius and imo, he suceeded in doing so. In my honest opinion, 5 taunts on the same topic indicates to me that Snape did not select this topic at random, but rather I believe he intentionally used this particular jab - in my judgment, it is too frequently repeated to be unintentional - and in my opinion it is a comment meant to hurt and bait Sirius because Snape knows this is a sore spot for Sirius, imo (as the whole Order does imo, and even the kids not in the Order due to Sirius' very morose and heated complaining.)

However, in the end it was not Sirius who ceased the Occlumency lessons, but Harry and interestingly, that was due to his seeing something that cut Snape quite deeply and personally, imo. I feel that might have been deliberate on JKR's part because reading through the above Sirius/Snape confrontation, I was left wondering what Snape would do if someone cut him as deeply over something close to his heart - how he would feel. In DH it was confirmed that Harry had done that in peeping into the pensieve, imo and I recalled Snape's reaction at that time. I felt Snape responded with equal if not more aggression than Sirius had when he'd been cut that deeply. In my view, the distinction is that Harry did it unknowingly, whereas I feel that Snape used things that would cut others deeply intentionally.

I respect your interpretation as well, but that was how I interpreted it.

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I do wonder, though...where was Snape off to in such a hurry? I'd love to know!
I would agree with Zara, Snape was probably involved in spying on Voldemort during that time. However, imo, I don't feel Snape was actually in a large hurry at the time he as speaking, because I felt he merely said it as a prelude for his 4th jab about not having leisure time like Sirius. Nonetheless, I do believe that Snape had assignments for the Order going on in general because all of the members were busy in those days - and he also had to answer to Voldemort.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; June 18th, 2008 at 7:13 pm.
  #664  
Old June 18th, 2008, 5:39 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I respect your view, however, this is generally the juncture where I would expect Sirius to refer to Snape as Snivelus and make a nasty remark. I do not feel Snape asked Harry to sit down, he ordered him to sit down, imo.
I think as Harry's professor, his mannerisms were correct. He was there to meet Harry on Dumbledore's Orders and for lessons that would be conducted in School and he was, basically doing something outside his normal class routine for one boy. I think he had the right to order Harry to sit down IMO.


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  #665  
Old June 18th, 2008, 7:38 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I respect your view, however, this is generally the juncture where I would expect Sirius to refer to Snape as Snivelus and make a nasty remark. I do not feel Snape asked Harry to sit down, he ordered him to sit down, imo. I feel Sirius did not take the bait, but instead he called him Snape which I think is very significant for Sirius and then in extremely polite terms, he told Snape not to give orders in his home. I believe that while the language was polite, and Sirius had every right to demand it of the visiting Order member, it was stated with Sirius' normal cheek. I felt it was not how Sirius said it, but what Sirius said that angered Snape, because he knew Sirius had every right to say it and he had no direct rebuttal to make. In my judgment, Snape could hardly demand that he had any right to give orders in Sirius' home and he did not do so as your quote indicates.
Look at Sirius' body language:

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'You know,' said Sirius loudly, leaning back on his rear chair legs and speaking to the ceiling, 'I think I'd prefer it if you didn't give orders here, Snape. It's my house, you see.'
This is not polite body language. After Snape speaks, Sirius leans back in his chair and does not speak to the person he is addressing. His words are spoken in a polite fashion, but his bearing shows us that he has no intention of being courteous.

As for orders, Snape is Harry's teacher. He is not going to treat Harry informally, and a "please" is not necessary. It is true that there are things he can and cannot do in the other man's house (insulting James, for instance, is sort of crossing that line, considering who is present), but ordering Harry to sit down is not a capital offense.

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I believe Snape would never allow Sirius to come into Spinner's end barking orders, to Draco if the boy was in his charge.
Sure. But Snape wasn't "barking" anything. There is nothing tacked onto his "Sit down, Potter" to indicate that he is raising his voice.
Now, if Sirius had some sort of authority over Draco and simply said to him "Sit down, Malfoy", I think Snape and most other people would be fine with that. Sirius would have had the authority to ask this of Draco.


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The context states that Snape's voice was becoming more quietly waspish, which is snappish or petulantly spiteful in tone after Sirius' declarations of authority
This, right here. This is why I love literature. It's amazing how one person can see things one way, and another person can see the same thing a totally different way.
The way I read the scene, Snape is growing quieter and quieter, while Sirius is raising his voice and becoming more and more petulant. Both men are angry, but react to these feelings differently.


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I respect your view, but I do not see how Sirius asking why Snape is teaching Harry is 'pushing it'. He spoke aggressively, but Harry had looked to his godfather in support in the portion you snipped and based on the things that Harry shared with Sirius about Snape, I feel it would be normal for Sirius to feel aggressive at that point.
Feel aggressive, sure. Everyone has a right to feel how they feel. But Sirius acts on this.

This is not the way a parental figure should react in such a situation. Sirius directs his questions to Snape in an aggressive way. It is fine for him to have concerns, and he has every right to speak to Harry or Dumbledore about it, but he should not attack Snape for something he merely suspects Snape will do.

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Sirius did not respond to any of them until Snape hit upon the one that cut the deepest and at that point he lost it.
Take a closer look:

Quote:
I am here on Dumbledore's orders,' said Snape, whose voice, by contrast, was becoming more and more quietly waspish, 'but by all means stay, Black, I know you like to feel… involved.'

'What's that supposed to mean?' said Sirius, letting his chair fall back on to all four legs with a loud bang.
Quote:
Harry had the horrible sensation that his insides were melting.Extra lessons with Snape - what on earth had he done to deserve this? He looked quickly round at Sirius for support.

'Why can't Dumbledore teach Harry?' asked Sirius aggressively. 'Why you?'
Quote:
He turned to leave, his black travelling cloak billowing behind him.

'Wait a moment,' said Sirius, sitting up straighter in his chair.
Sirius is most definitely responding to most aspects of the situation. He is quite obviously not ignoring Snape or Harry or the impending argument. In fact, he is welcoming said argument by calling Snape back instead of letting the man leave so Sirius could have a talk with Harry.

If Sirius truly wanted to be the better man, he would consider Snape not worth the trouble, and would instead go to Dumbledore or speak to Harry himself. That is how adults normally do these things.

Quote:
I feel that might have been deliberate on JKR's part because reading through the above Sirius/Snape confrontation, I was left wondering what Snape would do if someone cut him as deeply over something close to his heart - how he would feel.
I highly doubt that. JKR does not appear that vindictive.


I'm not going to touch the James thing with 39-and-a-half foot pole. Suffice it to say that I do not believe Snape's remarks about James are in any way indicative of a lack of remorse or regard for the other man's right to live.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Z
It was Christmas break. We know summer seems to have been prime spying on the DEs/passing misinformation to Voldemort time...I'm guessing Christmas might have been as well.
Good point. That would also be the time when Voldemort would be able to see Snape more often. I wonder if he was on the way to a pre-arranged meeting or something...


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Last edited by ignisia; June 18th, 2008 at 7:48 pm.
  #666  
Old June 18th, 2008, 7:40 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think he shoved Harry in an anger that I think harry deserved that day IMO.
I disagree. I don't think any teacher has a right to throw a student against a wall.

Quote:
And IMO Snape did not expel him, he gave detentions which were very boring, but extremely mild IMO.
He made Harry file his father's old cards, knowing what that sort of reminder would do to Harry.

Quote:
The point is, she did not notice Quirrell. Snape did. Both of them were on the same pitch and both of them were following the game avidly. But Snape was the person who was observant enough to spot something was wrong and he not only spotted something wrong, he recognised it and also started chanting the counter curse. McGonagall also noticed as did many other students that Harry’s broom was buckling. She did not do anything then. Only Snape did. Now I am not accusing McGonagall of deliberately ignoring Harry’s plight or anything, what I’m saying here is Snape has been looking out for Harry since day one IMO.
Snape was actually asked to keep an eye on Quirrel though, Mcgonagall was not. This is an advantage - Snape knew what to look for, McGonagall probably thought there was something wrong with the broom itself, like everyone else.


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  #667  
Old June 18th, 2008, 7:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
It is fine for him to have concerns, and he has every right to speak to Harry or Dumbledore about it, but he should not attack Snape for something he merely suspects Snape will do.
In fact I think Sirius should have voiced his concerns with Dumbledore, because it was he who sent Snape to Grimmauld Place. There was the letter from Dumbledore right on the table before Sirius. Snape was there merely on Dumbledore's orders and IMO there was no need for Sirius to take this issue with Snape.

In OOTP itself, in the end Dumbledore explains that it was after Sirius told him about the vision with Nagini that he arranged for Occlumency. So Sirius may have also known about the Occlumency lessons, though he may not have known about who would be teaching Harry IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousMoon View Post
Snape was actually asked to keep an eye on Quirrel though, McGonagall was not. This is an advantage - Snape knew what to look for, McGonagall probably thought there was something wrong with the broom itself, like everyone else.
I agree with McGonagall not knowing about Quirrell and that Snape did (though did this happen before or after Dumbledore asked Snape to keep an eye on Quirrell, I don't know), but the fact remains that Snape did do his utmost to protect Harry from year 1 IMO and he saw Harry's plight, judged it correctly and started the counter curse. McGonagall on the other hand did not do so, and I am sure she would have known that Harry's buckling broomstick was trouble, because broomsticks don't behave that way unless they are tampered with IMO.

BTW I like McGonagall and all I'm trying to say here is Snape exhibited great presence of mind at that moment, something even Harry's Head of House did not IMO.


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Last edited by The_Green_Woods; June 18th, 2008 at 8:01 pm.
  #668  
Old June 18th, 2008, 8:16 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
Look at Sirius' body language:
This is not polite body language. After Snape speaks, Sirius leans back in his chair and does not speak to the person he is addressing. His words are spoken in a polite fashion, but his bearing shows us that he has no intention of being courteous.
I agreed with you on this, I said despite his polite tone, imo he was speaking with cheek. However, my point was that it was not a personal, deep cutting remark, imo.

Quote:
As for orders, Snape is Harry's teacher. He is not going to treat Harry informally, and a "please" is not necessary. It is true that there are things he can and cannot do in the other man's house (insulting James, for instance, is sort of crossing that line, considering who is present), but ordering Harry to sit down is not a capital offense.
I respect your view and even if I conceded that Snape's remark was on the edge, but all right, then I would have to say the exact same thing about Sirius' response. Both were certainly cheeky, imo, at least. But my point was, I feel Snape should not have been cheeky if he really meant to "get down to business like a professor or Order member". In my judgment, Snape knew he was dealing with Sirius and he knew what that meant - straightforward no snide remarks and everything would go fine.

Quote:
This, right here. This is why I love literature. It's amazing how one person can see things one way, and another person can see the same thing a totally different way. The way I read the scene, Snape is growing quieter and quieter, while Sirius is raising his voice and becoming more and more petulant. Both men are angry, but react to these feelings differently.
I respect your view, but what does "waspish" mean in your opinion? I fully agree that Sirius was annoyed here; I believe Snape had used his sore spot to taunt him about having to stay at #12 G and that annoyed him very much - or worse, imo.

Quote:
Feel aggressive, sure. Everyone has a right to feel how they feel. But Sirius acts on this. This is not the way a parental figure should react in such a situation. Sirius directs his questions to Snape in an aggressive way. It is fine for him to have concerns, and he has every right to speak to Harry or Dumbledore about it, but he should not attack Snape for something he merely suspects Snape will do.
I respect your view, but I would not agree that Sirius suspected Snape might behave in a negative manner with Harry, I feel he was certain of it - based on 4.5 years of Snape having done so in the past. I believe that is why his voice was aggressive.

Quote:
Sirius is most definitely responding to most aspects of the situation. He is quite obviously not ignoring Snape or Harry or the impending argument. In fact, he is welcoming said argument by calling Snape back instead of letting the man leave so Sirius could have a talk with Harry.
Sirius responded to Snape's initial taunt (if we do not count the Sit Down) and then did not respond again until the next page where he asked an aggressive question, which I do not believe is taunting Snape in a deriding manner, imo, but rather truly desiring an answer using an aggressive voice to make his request.

One point I added which you did not address was that Snape taunted Sirius 5 times with the same taunt, which was a very sore point for Sirius and once about James, another very sore point, as I pointed out in my above post. If he was not trying to bait and hurt Sirius by doing so, what was he doing in your opinion?

Quote:
If Sirius truly wanted to be the better man, he would consider Snape not worth the trouble, and would instead go to Dumbledore or speak to Harry himself. That is how adults normally do these things.
I respect your view, however, I believe that Snape hit upon Sirius #1 sore spot when he derided James - intentionally, imo. Do you feel that Sirius could ignore that? Do you feel that Snape thought he would ignore it? I respect your view if you believe the answer is yes, but in my judgment, the answer would be no to both questions.

I turn the tables in my mind and imagine that Sirius knew Snape's secret and in a private conversation said "Harry is like his mother; he despises people who befriend him and end up being Death Eaters whose actions will likely end up killing him.' I mean that would cut Snape to the core and be rotten of Sirius to say, imo, if he said it knowing how Snape felt about Lily and all the remorse he had. That is why I do not believe it is righteous at all for Snape to make negative statements about James before those who loved him - and Sirius was as angsty over James as Snape was over Lily, imo and I feel Snape knew that.

Quote:
I highly doubt that. JKR does not appear that vindictive.
I agree it may have been unintentional, but it was interesting that it turned out that way.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; June 18th, 2008 at 8:22 pm.
  #669  
Old June 18th, 2008, 8:39 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy
Sirius is most definitely responding to most aspects of the situation. He is quite obviously not ignoring Snape or Harry or the impending argument. In fact, he is welcoming said argument by calling Snape back instead of letting the man leave so Sirius could have a talk with Harry.

If Sirius truly wanted to be the better man, he would consider Snape not worth the trouble, and would instead go to Dumbledore or speak to Harry himself. That is how adults normally do these things.
This is exactly what I was trying to say. I have children of my own at school and have had to sort out issues with teachers. Needless to say I did not behave as Sirius did here. As I said before in this scene Sirius is being unnecessarily and deliberately rude to Severus. IMO he is trying to prove somethig to Harry - that he has the upper hand when it comes to Snape, but the fact is that though that may have been the case when they were students the truth of it now is that Severus has the upper hand. He is now the one doing the taunting and Sirius is the one getting angry. If Sirius's main concern had really been Harry and Harry's welfare during the occlumency lessons then IMO he would have behaved differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
I agreed with you on this, I said despite his polite tone, imo he was speaking with cheek.
The word cheek implies that Sirius is inferior to Severus or that Severus has authority over him in some way which quite clearly isn't the case. I prefer to say that Sirius was being rude. If someone spoke to me while leaning back in their chair and staring at the ceiling I would consider it very rude. If there were children present I would also consider that they were trying to undermine any respect or authority I had.

The way I see this exchange is that Sirius thought he could push Severus around as he did in their school days, but he can't. Verbally Severus has the beating of him. Sirius is rude and undermines Severus's authority, so Severus responds by taunting Sirius where he know it will hurt. As the Hogwarts motto says "Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titilandus" - well Sirius tickles the sleeping dragon - and got burnt. Purely because he did not respect said dragon.


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  #670  
Old June 18th, 2008, 8:44 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
As for orders, Snape is Harry's teacher. He is not going to treat Harry informally, and a "please" is not necessary. It is true that there are things he can and cannot do in the other man's house (insulting James, for instance, is sort of crossing that line, considering who is present), but ordering Harry to sit down is not a capital offense.
In formal, old-fashioned manners - it would be rude for Harry (a child/student) to sit unless invited by the adults to do so. I'm not even sure I would call what Snape did an "order" - it could equally be construed as a curt invitation to sit.


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  #671  
Old June 18th, 2008, 9:05 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
In formal, old-fashioned manners - it would be rude for Harry (a child/student) to sit unless invited by the adults to do so. I'm not even sure I would call what Snape did an "order" - it could equally be construed as a curt invitation to sit.
I think that, while Snape gave invitations in a manner that would have been taken as an order, I agree that sometimes, it would have just been an invitation, where he might have had a tone of voice that said otherwise, just because he doesn't really ever want to see someone that looks like James as much as Harry does.


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  #672  
Old June 18th, 2008, 10:02 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Change of topic!

change-of-topic excerpt from OotP:    


  Malfoy's hand flew towards his wand, but Harry was too quick for him; he had drawn his own wand before Malfoy's fingers had even entered the pocket of his robes.

`Potter!'

The voice rang across the Entrance Hall. Snape had emerged from the staircase leading down to his office and at the sight of him Harry felt a great rush of hatred beyond anything he felt towards Malloy… whatever Dumbledore said, he would never forgive Snape… never…

`What are you doing, Potter?' said Snape, as coldly as ever, as he strode over to the four of them.

'1'm trying to decide what curse to use on Malloy, sir,' said Harry fiercely.

Snape stared at him.

`Put that wand away at once,' he said curtly. `Ten points from Gryff-'

Snape looked towards the giant hour-glasses on the walls and gave a sneering smile.

`Ah. I see there are no longer any points left in the Gryffindor hour-glass to take away. In that case, Potter, we will simply have to -

`Add some more?'

Professor McGonagall had just stumped up the stone steps into the castle; she was carrying a tartan carpetbag in one hand and leaning heavily on a walking stick with her other, but otherwise looked quite well.

`Professor McGonagall!' said Snape, striding forwards. `Out of St Mungo's, I see!'

`Yes, Professor Snape,' said Professor McGonagall, shrugging off her travelling cloak, `I'm quite as good as new. You two - Crabbe - Goyle =

She beckoned them forwards imperiously and they came, shuffling their large feet and looking awkward.

`Here,' said Professor McGonagall, thrusting her carpetbag into Crabbe's chest and her cloak into Goyle's; `take these up to my office for me.'

They turned and stumped away up the marble staircase.

`Right then,' said Professor McGonagall, looking up at the hourglasses on the wall. `Well, I think Potter and his friends ought to have fifty points apiece for alerting the world to the return of YouKnow-Who! What say you, Professor Snape?'

What?' snapped Snape, though Harry knew he had heard perfectly well. `Oh - well - I suppose…'

`So that's fifty each for Potter, the two Weasleys, Longbottom and Miss Granger,' said Professor McGanagall, and a shower of rubies fell down into the bottom bulb of Gryffindor's hour-glass as she spoke. `Oh - and fifty for Miss Lovegood, I suppose,' she added, and a number of sapphires fell into Ravenclaw's glass. `Now, you wanted to take ten from Mr Potter, I think, Professor Snape - so there we are…'
  



Analyse and discuss at your leisure.


  #673  
Old June 18th, 2008, 10:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
The way I see this exchange is that Sirius thought he could push Severus around as he did in their school days, but he can't. Verbally Severus has the beating of him. Sirius is rude and undermines Severus's authority, so Severus responds by taunting Sirius where he know it will hurt. As the Hogwarts motto says "Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titilandus" - well Sirius tickles the sleeping dragon - and got burnt. Purely because he did not respect said dragon.
I respect your view, however, in my judgment, this was a character trait of Snape's because I feel he behaved in a similar manner with many people that he taunted; which was my original point. If the justification for Snape here is that Sirius was attempting to push him around and be rude; what is the justification for Snape's behavior when he uses the sore spots of others while speaking in a taunting manner? For example, Tonks as she left Hogwarts (HBP)? Or with Harry when he belittled James before him (POA-HBP)? Or with Neville, when he belittled him in class in PS/SS and before Lupin in POA? Or with Hermione declaring he saw no difference with her overgrown teeth? Or with Draco, remarking his father was in Azkaban (HBP)? Or with Lupin when he bound him, allowed him to hit the ground and claimed he would drag the werewolf (POA)? I do not believe that these individuals were attempting to push Snape around or be rude to him. In my judgment, this was a characteristic of Snape's and he resorted to exhibiting it on all of these occassions.

I am happy to agree to disagree in the specific case of Sirius where I believe Snape started off rudely in an effort to bait Sirius and continued to do so throughout the conversation as I attempted to show in my above post. However, I realize interpretations vary and I respect them all, though they are not in agreement with mine. But independent of which explanation is proffered, I believe Snape's characteristic behavior in these instances (taunting using the sore points of others) remains a valid assessment of this aspect of his character.


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  #674  
Old June 18th, 2008, 10:15 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

I agree that Snape was taunting Sirius and I wasn't attempting to justify that. I was just saying that IMO Sirius's behaviour was worse because his rudeness and interruptions triggered the situation.


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  #675  
Old June 18th, 2008, 10:26 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
Change of topic!

change-of-topic excerpt from OotP:    


  Malfoy's hand flew towards his wand, but Harry was too quick for him; he had drawn his own wand before Malfoy's fingers had even entered the pocket of his robes.

`Potter!'

The voice rang across the Entrance Hall. Snape had emerged from the staircase leading down to his office and at the sight of him Harry felt a great rush of hatred beyond anything he felt towards Malloy… whatever Dumbledore said, he would never forgive Snape… never…

`What are you doing, Potter?' said Snape, as coldly as ever, as he strode over to the four of them.

'1'm trying to decide what curse to use on Malloy, sir,' said Harry fiercely.

Snape stared at him.

`Put that wand away at once,' he said curtly. `Ten points from Gryff-'

Snape looked towards the giant hour-glasses on the walls and gave a sneering smile.

`Ah. I see there are no longer any points left in the Gryffindor hour-glass to take away. In that case, Potter, we will simply have to -

`Add some more?'

Professor McGonagall had just stumped up the stone steps into the castle; she was carrying a tartan carpetbag in one hand and leaning heavily on a walking stick with her other, but otherwise looked quite well.

`Professor McGonagall!' said Snape, striding forwards. `Out of St Mungo's, I see!'

`Yes, Professor Snape,' said Professor McGonagall, shrugging off her travelling cloak, `I'm quite as good as new. You two - Crabbe - Goyle =

She beckoned them forwards imperiously and they came, shuffling their large feet and looking awkward.

`Here,' said Professor McGonagall, thrusting her carpetbag into Crabbe's chest and her cloak into Goyle's; `take these up to my office for me.'

They turned and stumped away up the marble staircase.

`Right then,' said Professor McGonagall, looking up at the hourglasses on the wall. `Well, I think Potter and his friends ought to have fifty points apiece for alerting the world to the return of YouKnow-Who! What say you, Professor Snape?'

What?' snapped Snape, though Harry knew he had heard perfectly well. `Oh - well - I suppose…'

`So that's fifty each for Potter, the two Weasleys, Longbottom and Miss Granger,' said Professor McGanagall, and a shower of rubies fell down into the bottom bulb of Gryffindor's hour-glass as she spoke. `Oh - and fifty for Miss Lovegood, I suppose,' she added, and a number of sapphires fell into Ravenclaw's glass. `Now, you wanted to take ten from Mr Potter, I think, Professor Snape - so there we are…'
  



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  #676  
Old June 18th, 2008, 10:34 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Oh, oh, ooh! *raises hand, a la Hermione*

I wrote an alternative POV fanfic of this one. I would say the excerpt should include a bit more than this does. Snape interrupts the following scene:

OotPMalfoy glanced around - Harry knew he was checking for signs of teachers - then he looked back at Harry and said in a low voice, `You're dead, Potter.'
Harry raised his eyebrows. Funny' he said, `you'd think I'd have stopped walking around…'
Malfoy looked angrier than Harry had ever seen him; he felt a kind of detached satisfaction at the sight of his pale, pointed face contorted with rage.
'You're going to pay,' said Malloy in a voice barely louder than a whisper. `I'm going to make you pay for what you've done to my father…'
`Well, I'm terrified now,' said Harry sarcastically. `I s'pose Lord Voldemort's just a warm-up act compared to you three - what's the matter?' he added, for Malfoy Crabbe and Goyle had all looked stricken at the sound of the name. `He's a mate of your dad, isn't he? Not scared of him, are you?'
'You think you're such a big man, Potter,' said Malfoy, advancing now, Crabbe and Goyle flanking him. `You wait. I'll have you. You can't land my father in prison
`I thought 1 just had,' said Harry.
`The Dementors have left Azkaban,' said Malfoy quietly. `Dad and the others'll be out in no time…'
`Yeah, I expect they will,' said Harry `Still, at least everyone knows what scumbags they are now."


We can feel confident that Snape did not see or hear the start of this, as Draco took the precaution of looking around before starting it. It also seems likely that Snape heard only Harry's final line of dialogue, and may not have heard anything out of Draco that would in any way explain Harry's decision to draw his wand, since Draco is described as speaking very quietly throughout, and Snape, when he steps in, does so by calling out across the Entrance Hall.

Snape responds by taking points from Harry, who would seem, by all appearances, to be the aggressor.

Then Minerva shows up. I think Snape's surprised reaction to her proposal that Harry and others get House Points for their role in the Ministry debacle is honest and unfeigned. Their actions could have led to a disaster.


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  #677  
Old June 18th, 2008, 10:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
Snape responds by taking points from Harry, who would seem, by all appearances, to be the aggressor.

Then Minerva shows up. I think Snape's surprised reaction to her proposal that Harry and others get House Points for their role in the Ministry debacle is honest and unfeigned. Their actions could have led to a disaster.
I felt that McGonagall was being sensitive to what Harry was feeling because Sirius had just died; he'd just been possessed by Voldemort and managed to eject him from his body; he'd fought a large group of Death Eaters in which some of his friends were harmed, in addition to his getting out the news that Voldemort was back. In my judgment, Harry merited compassion at that time. I feel too that Draco, despite his father being a Death Eater, also merited compassion as a child because his father had been imprisoned.

I don't believe that Snape took all of that into consideration, but I feel that McGonagall did, in terms of Harry and thus the distinction in their responses. I don't believe Draco had done anything to merit house points, but she didn't thrust any of her things into his hands to take to her rooms and that may have been her concession for the emotions she figured he was feeling.


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  #678  
Old June 18th, 2008, 11:05 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by Z
Then Minerva shows up. I think Snape's surprised reaction to her proposal that Harry and others get House Points for their role in the Ministry debacle is honest and unfeigned. Their actions could have led to a disaster.
That's a good point, and it makes it all the more surprising that Snape doesn't protest. He could very easily point out that what happened outside of school should not affect the distribution of House Points. That is, after all, how Harry and Ron got out of losing points in CoS for the car incident.

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`What are you doing, Potter?' said Snape, as coldly as ever, as he strode over to the four of them.

'1'm trying to decide what curse to use on Malloy, sir,' said Harry fiercely.

Snape stared at him.
I've always found this part funny. Snape's probably expecting Harry to lie and try to get out of being punished, but is floored when Harry tells the truth. And with a "sir" added in.


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Last edited by ignisia; June 18th, 2008 at 11:09 pm. Reason: Overuse of pronouns
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Old June 19th, 2008, 2:02 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I've always found this part funny. Snape's probably expecting Harry to lie and try to get out of being punished, but is floored when Harry tells the truth. And with a "sir" added in.
That's one of my favorite moments in the series. It's like "Go Harry! See, Snape?? Harry's great and you just got a glimpse of it."

McGonagall's the best for still taking the ten points away.


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Old June 19th, 2008, 11:07 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by Iggy
I've always found this part funny. Snape's probably expecting Harry to lie and try to get out of being punished, but is floored when Harry tells the truth. And with a "sir" added in.
I wondering whether Snape is reminded of James or Lily here. The boldness of his reply does eem to have a certain Jamesness about it, but then we also know that Lily was cheeky, so it makes me wonder if this reply is more like the kind of thing Lily said than the kind of thing James said.


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