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17 November 2005 @ 07:33 pm
The Reason Dumbledore Trusts Severus Snape  

Here is my long awaited arguement (complete with quotes) as to why Snape turned from Voldemort, and why he always will.

        I know that Dumbledore can be a little over trusting sometimes, but he seemed pretty firm in the belief that Snape was on The Order’s side. I have also come to this conclusion based on the reasons I am about to give.

We have to start at the very beginning. If we don’t discuss why Snape became a Death Eater, we will never know why he turned. That said, when do we see Snape at his youngest? Yes, we see him in a memory, but not due to a pensive. The youngest we ever see Snape, is when Harry pushes back and sees some of Snape’s memories in one of his Occlumency lessons.

 

“…a hook-nosed man was shouting at a cowering woman while a small dark-haired boy cried in a corner…” (Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26, pg. 521, U.K hardback edition)

 

I believe these people are Snape (the boy), his father (the hook-nosed man) and his mother (the woman). This is a very important memory because I believe it to be the key to Snape becoming a Death Eater. We learn in HBP that Snape’s father was a muggle. We learn from this memory that he wasn’t the nicest of men, and he verbally (if not physically) abused Snape and his mother. Obviously Snape’s mother wasn’t a pure-blood fanatic, because she married a muggle, so where has this muggle-born and muggle hating attitude of Snape’s come from? The simple answer is his father. From a young age, Snape has associated abuse and misuse of power with muggles. This isn’t a true representation, as we know, but in a young mind generalisations can be made, and stereotypes formed. He has grown up being frightened and angry at his father and has associated all of his father’s bad characteristics with muggles. With his mother, however, he doesn’t associate these things, I think he loves (or loved) his mother and because of this, he associated good feelings with her, and thus with pure-bloods.

The next step in Snape’s life is that he attends Hogwarts and he is confronted by a different array of people. Snape is sorted into Slytherin, and if my time-line is correct, in his first year, Lucius Malfoy was in his last. As we know, Snape was disliked, both in his own house, and others. He was bullied by James Potter and Sirius Black (both pure-bloods, but also Gryffindors). Here, there is no problem, he can see both simply as ‘blood-traitors’, much like the Slytherins of 1997-8 see the Weasleys. However, he is also confronted with a witch, by the name of Lily Evans. Lily is a bright girl, she is favoured by Slughorn in Potions class (one of the two subjects we know that Snape is brilliant at), she is resourceful, she is quick-witted, she defends Snape against her own house, she is popular, she is beautiful, but she is also a muggle-born. Lily has sent Snape’s stereotype crashing and burning to the ground.

And I believe, that Snape did in fact, fall in love with Lily.

Now before you start screaming at me, and calling me a shipper, I have to tell you, that I have never shipped Snape with anyone, much less a muggle-born. The major point here is that this was unrequited love, and she obviously didn’t reciprocate the feeling. Snape himself didn’t want to admit that he had feelings for her either. This is why he was so horrible to her; he was trying to prove to himself, and everyone else, that he didn’t feel anything.

Because this is the main point of this editorial, it is important to convince you that Snape falling in love with Lily was not only possible, but canon. To support this theory here is a quote from the MuggleNet/Leaky interview with J.K. Rowling:


ES: Was James the only one who had romantic feelings for Lily?

JKR: No. [Pause.] She was like Ginny, she was a popular girl.

MA: Snape?

JKR: That is a theory that's been put to me repeatedly.

ES: What about Lupin?

JKR: I can answer either one.

ES: How about both? One at a time.

JKR: I can't answer, can I, really?

…Lupin was very fond of Lily, we'll put it like that, but I wouldn't want anyone to run around thinking that he competed with James for her. She was a popular girl, and that is relevant. But I think you've seen that already. She was a bit of a catch.” (Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. "The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three," The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005)

 

Notice that J.K has answered the Lupin question, but not the Snape one? And why “I can’t answer, can I, really?” Why couldn’t she answer them both? More importantly, why could she answer the Lupin question, but not the Snape one? Surely if it wasn’t relevant or if Snape wasn’t in love with Lily she would be able to say “no”.

‘But,’ I hear you say, ‘she doesn’t like shutting down theories’. True. But again, she could have said something about not wanting to shut down theories, and her reluctance to comment on Snape at all, is a bit of a giveaway. Another quote on Snape in love:


One of our internet correspondents wondered if Snape is going to fall in love.

JKR: (JKR laughs) Who on earth would want Snape in love with them? That’s a very horrible idea.

There’s an important kind of redemptive pattern to Snape

JKR: He, um, there’s so much I wish I could say to you, and I can’t because it would ruin. I promise you, whoever asked that question, can I just say to you that I’m slightly stunned that you’ve said that and you’ll find out why I’m so stunned if you read Book 7. That’s all I’m going to say.” (J.K. Rowling interview transcript, The Connection (WBUR Radio), 12 October, 1999)

 

Notice again that J.K says it would be horrible for Snape to be in love with them (you), and you wouldn’t want him in love with you, not: ‘he hasn’t ever been in love’. J.K. is stunned by the question (remembering this is 1999 before Goblet of Fire came out), perhaps because this is a main plot point that has surfaced so early? And, surprisingly, we’ll find out about it all in: Book 7, the book where we will almost definitely discover the reason as to why Snape turned.  Coincidence? I think not.

So, getting back to the time-line (which is also very important) Snape, apparently, was “part of a gang of Slytherins who nearly all turned out to be Death Eaters” (Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27, pg. 461, UK paperback edition). However, I suspect that this gang of Slytherins existed only during the first years of Snape’s education at Hogwarts, and most of them left around his 3rd year. After-all, where are these friends to defend him in “Snape’s Worst Memory”? And when Sirius tells Harry, Ron and Hermione that Snape was a part of this gang, he is referring to when Snape first attended Hogwarts. This is important to remember, because Snape was still quite young at the time, and when he started falling for Lily (about his 5th year), there were no future Death Eaters to ‘guide’ him (excluding Regulus Black, who was somewhere between 1-3 years younger than Snape). In addition, if there is one thing that we know about Snape, it’s that he doesn’t like revealing his feelings to anyone. He has no one to talk to, and tries to ignore his feelings.

Then, Snape joined the Death Eaters, and while he was under the service of the Dark Lord Voldemort, Snape overheard part of a certain prophecy:

 

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…” (Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 36, pg. 741, U.K. hardback edition)

 

Although not knowing it was only part of the prophecy, this was a major boost for Snape. He was fresh out of Hogwarts, and probably not too far up in the ranks of Death Eaters.

So, the prophecy seems pretty straight forward, simple answer is to kill the “one with the power”. The prophecy is also anonymous; there is no mention of a name at all. So, when he takes word of the prophecy to Voldemort, Snape would have no qualms as to who it implicates.

Then Voldemort decides to go after the Potters.

Since leaving Hogwarts, Lily Evans has married James Potter, someone who Snape obviously loathed, and someone who is fighting against Voldemort. Snape now has even more reasons to hate James Potter. Not only did he torment Snape at school and marry the woman that Snape loves, but they now have a baby. Snape has no problem with the killing of James, and probably Harry, but what to do about Lily? No matter how hard he tried to bottle his feelings, no matter how much self convincing Snape did, he was still in love with Lily, and couldn’t let her be killed.

By this stage, Dumbledore has also heard the Prophecy, but to its fullest extent. He knows that Voldemort is going to go after either Frank and Alice Longbottom, or James and Lily Potter, and this is where the timeline of events is very important.

·Sybil Trelawney goes into a trance and creates “The Prophecy”, which is witnessed by Albus Dumbledore and (partially) Severus Snape

·Dumbledore realises that the only two parties applicable are the Longbottoms and the Potters

·Snape dutifully reports the prophecy back to Voldemort and receives a pat on the head, and (probably) a promotion into the Death Eaters inner circle

·Voldemort comes to the same conclusion as Dumbledore; it’s the Longbottoms or the Potters

·Voldemort decides to go after the Potters

·Snape finds out, and is distraught. He discovers that Voldemort is going to kill Lily

When Harry finds out that it was Snape who overheard the prophecy, he is extremely angry. Dumbledore’s answer is the most important one in this entire editorial:

 

“‘Professor Snape made a terrible mistake. He was still in Lord Voldemort’s employ on the night he heard the first half of Professor Trelawney’s prophecy. Naturally, he hastened to tell his master what he had heard, for it concerned his master most deeply. But he did not know – he had no possible way of knowing – which boy Voldemort would hunt from then onwards, or that the parents he would destroy in his murderous quest were people that Professor Snape knew, that they were your mother and father-’

…‘He hated my dad like he hated Sirius! Haven’t you noticed, Professor, how the people Snape hates tend to end up dead?’

‘You have no idea of the remorse Professor Snape felt when he realised how Lord Voldemort had interpreted the prophecy, Harry. I believe it to be the greatest regret of his life and the reason that he returned-’

…‘I am sure. I trust Severus Snape completely.’” (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 25, pg/s 512-513, UK hardback edition)

 

Let us look at the facts of this conversation:

·Snape was still in the employ of Voldemort when he heard the prophecy, ergo he hadn’t come to Dumbledore yet

·Dumbledore’s main point is that Snape didn’t know who Voldemort was going to go after. Now, he could have just left this at Snape didn’t know that Voldemort was going to go after Harry, but then he adds in Harry’s parents

·Harry prattles on about how Snape hated James and Sirius. Yes. But he loved Lily

·Snape then obviously came to Dumbledore and told him everything

·Since then, Dumbledore has trusted Snape completely

Snape has now, apparently, turned to the light. But, at this stage I don’t think that Snape had fully turned. Snape confessed his feelings for Lily to Dumbledore and asked Dumbledore to do all he could in protecting the Potters. Dumbledore was, in effect, a safe gate; double protection for Lily. Snape wanted to protect her as much as he could. He knew that he could not change Voldemort’s mind about killing Harry, but by informing Dumbledore, there was a chance that the Potters could be protected to the extent that Voldemort would never find them. Remember also that Voldemort has ordered Snape to go to Hogwarts, so talking to Dumbledore wouldn’t be suspicious.

Then, he went to Voldemort and asked for a favour. Remember, Snape was the one that has told Voldemort about the prophecy in the first place and is now Voldemort’s ‘blue eyed boy’. So, when Snape says to Voldemort that if he is going after the Potters that he spare Lily, Voldemort obliges. Snape is very young at this stage (about 20) and Voldemort could probably put this request down to a sad infatuation. After all, he only needs to kill Harry for this plan to work. What would it matter if they spared the Mudblood and gave her to Snape?

Here is another piece of the MuggleNet/Leaky interview that compliments my theory:

 
“ES: This is one of my burning questions since the third book - why did Voldemort offer Lily so many chances to live? Would he actually have let her live?

JKR: Mmhm.

ES: Why?

JKR: [silence] Can't tell you. But he did offer, you're absolutely right. Don't you want to ask me why James's death didn't protect Lily and Harry? There’s your answer, you've just answered your own question, because she could have lived and chose to die … She did very consciously lay down her life. She had a clear choice -” (Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. "The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three," The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005)

 

So, Lily was definitely given a choice as to whether she died or not. Interesting. Why would the most feared wizard of all time give Lily a choice as to whether she dies or not? Why didn’t he simply kill her, like he did James? Let’s hear again exactly what Lily and James said that night:


“‘Lily, take Harry and go! It’s him! Go! Run! I’ll hold him off-’

The sounds of someone stumbling from a room – a door bursting open – a cackle of high-pitched laughter-” (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 12, pg. 178, UK paperback edition)

“‘Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!’

‘Stand aside, you silly girl… stand aside now…’

…‘Not Harry! Please… have mercy… have mercy…’

A shrill voice was laughing, the woman was screaming, and Harry new no more.” (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 9, pg. 134, UK paperback edition)

 

Clear evidence that Voldemort was willing to let Lily live. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Snape was actually present in Godric’s Hollow at the time.

MA: Was there anyone else present in Godric’s Hollow the night Harry’s parents were killed?

JKR: No comment.” (Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. "The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three," The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005)

 

Personally, I’m going to take that “no comment” as a “yes”. What I believe happened was that, despite Snape’s best efforts in protecting James, Lily and Harry (informing Dumbledore and having him protect the Potters), the Potters, unfortunately, chose a Secret Keeper who was a Death Eater and could not be trusted, and as a result, Dumbledore’s (and Snape’s) carefully planned protection became invalid. But, there was still hope. Snape had managed to get Voldemort to spare Lily. Snape was now an inner circle Death Eater (as demonstrated in Goblet of Fire), and since the prophecy was largely due to Snape, Voldemort let Snape come along. We see no indication that would suggest that someone else was there, other than a “no comment” from J.K, but that “no comment” could be the pivotal point of Snape’s life.

Voldemort, as we know, didn’t spare Lily. Certainly, he gave her the opportunity, but he didn’t follow through, much to Snape’s despair. I believe that when Snape saw Voldemort kill Lily this was the point that he truly turned to Dumbledore’s side. “Killing is not nearly as easy as the innocent believe” (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27, pg/s 547-548, UK hardback edition). Neither is watching the one you love get killed by a master you’re meant to be serving. Especially, when, ultimately, you were the one who brought him the reason for the attack.

I think that this chain of events could be described as a “terrible mistake”, and that because of these reasons, Snape has, and never will, turn back to Voldemort.

Yes, he loathed James and Sirius, but he loved Lily. Yes, he was a Death Eater, but he became a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Yes, his character has always been shrouded in darkness, but he turned to the light of his own free will.

 

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18, pg. 245, UK paperback edition)

 

Snape chose to become a member of the Order of the Phoenix. He chose to go to Dumbledore. He chose to acknowledge his feelings for Lily and go to both Dumbledore and Voldemort to ensure her protection. He chose to turn his back on Voldemort. He chose to put his life on the line so that he could spy on Voldemort.

All throughout the books, it is clear that Snape hates Harry. This is now definitely understandable. Not only is he forced to teach a miniature look-a-like of James Potter, Harry is a constant reminder of his actions to tell Voldemort about the prophecy, and as a result of this, aid in Lily Evans' death. The one he loved died because of his actions.

“‘Kill me, then,’ panted Harry, who felt no fear at all, but only rage and contempt. ‘Kill me like you killed [Dumbledore], you coward-’

‘DON’T-’ screamed Snape, and his face was suddenly demented, inhuman, as though he was in as much pain as the yelping, howling dog stuck in the burning house behind them, ‘-CALL ME COWARD!’” (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28, pg. 564, UK hardback edition [bold added])


Opinions?

Peace,
Rotae
 
 
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Had A Bad Day
 
 
 
imhilien: SnapePuff!imhilien on November 17th, 2005 09:01 am (UTC)
A good essay - it certainly sounds plausible to me...
Nobody tells me anythingkatiemorris on November 17th, 2005 09:32 am (UTC)
Oh yes, yes, YES. I agree absolutely with everything you wrote above. I've had this idea of Snape falling for Lilly in an unrequited way ever since I read HBP. It explains so much. And Harry's eyes are Lilly's eyes, remember. How must Snape have felt looking into Lilly's eyes and knowing the boy in front of him was the reason she died, that she gave her life for her son, who looks so like his arch-enemy James Potter. Except for his eyes.

Those eyes must have haunted Snape and made the bitter, unhappy man so much more bitter and unhappy. Poor bastard.

JKR is the past master of misdirection as shown in your interview clips - she deftly fielded the "who was in love with Lilly" question and threw the two balls (Snape and Lupin) in the air and then only caught the Lupin one, leaving the interviewers with the impression she had answered the question and go on to other things. Clever lady. But I think you've sussed her out.

You've probably seen these, but just in case anyone out there hasn't, these are two ficlets by the wonderful junediamanti which are a must for those who are intrigued by "That Riddle, Snape".

A Little Prince

and my especial favourite

An Unbreakable Promise
Rotaerotae on November 17th, 2005 12:08 pm (UTC)
I haven't read them. Thanks for the tip!

Yes, I agree with the eyes. A constant reminder of the one he lost. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Peace,
Rotae
unlikely2unlikely2 on November 17th, 2005 10:15 am (UTC)
Well reasoned.
accioslashaccioslash on November 17th, 2005 10:20 am (UTC)
I agree with you that Snape had feelings for Lily. That's why his Pensieve memory was his worst. Not because of what James did to him, but because of what he said to Lily. It was likely the end of their friendship, though he still had strong feelings for her. I also believe he deeply regretted telling Voldemort the Prophesy and I think you're right about him being at Godric's Hollow that night, though I think he came there to warn James and Lily that Black had betrayed them to Voldemort. James knew Black wasn't the Secret Keeper so he ignored Snape and Voldemort arrived before Snape could explain things.

But as for who else loved Lily, I think Jo was deliberately misleading. She makes it sound like it was either Snape or Lupin. And she already said it wasn't Lupin. Lily was a popular girl. Snape liked her. But I think the person who had romantic feelings for her was Peter. It's the reason he betrayed James to Voldemort. In exchange for the betrayal Voldemort promised him Lily.
Chris (tine)such_things on November 17th, 2005 11:18 am (UTC)
Maybe Peter AND Severus were madly in love with Lilly... i've always had that "wtf is peter's problem?" floating around every time i think about him.
(no subject) - accioslash on November 17th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - rotae on November 18th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
saracene on November 17th, 2005 11:11 am (UTC)
I agree with you on pretty much everything, except the bit where Snape asks Voldemort to spare Lily. I agree that Voldemort offering to let Lily live is very much out of character, but I just can't see Voldemort doing any favours for his followers, nor that he'd tolerate a favour being asked of him. Also, if Voldemort knew about Snape's feelings for Lily, he'd have to be really stupid to take him back into his circle of Death Eaters after he killed Lily. Plus, how would a leader of a movement that hunts muggles for fun would react to one of his followers admitting feelings for a muggle-born?

And I don't believe that Snape was actually present at the Godric's Hollow when Voldemort was killing Lily (although I probably wouldn't exclude the possibility that he came there a short time -after- Lily and James were killed - i.e., when it was too late).
Rotaerotae on November 17th, 2005 12:22 pm (UTC)
It's not just out of character, it's almost unbelievable that Voldemort would spare someone for no reason. What you've also got to remember, is that he does reward his followers who are loyal and do as he asks. Snape has just brought him a prophecy which (he thinks) holds the key to erradicating any possible downfall on his part.
As for Voldemort, just remember he was almost dead for 13 years, and he WAS going to kill Snape, because he hadn't returned. When Snape did return, I imagine that he probably told Voldemort that the 'silly infactuation' was over and that he had no feelings for a woman who had died 13 years previously.
Voldemort is, a half-blood, just like Snape. He knows that Snape hates muggles, and he chose the half-blood (Harry) as the boy in the Prophecy. For someone who wants to erradicate the world of muggles, and muggleborns, he seems to have an affinity with their families. As I said in the essay, I think that he was so pleased with Snape that at that stage, he was willing to give Snape this one thing.

The point about when Snape actually arrived at the Potters, I'm open to. I just think he was there because of her comment. :)

Thanks for the ideas and the deep thought I had to put in to write this comment! lol.

Peace,
Rotae
(no subject) - mbmargarita on November 17th, 2005 02:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rotae on November 17th, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - notlefthanded on November 17th, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Chris (tine)such_things on November 17th, 2005 11:25 am (UTC)
I agree with everything you said and more. Voldemort killing Lilly anyway probably would give Severus a good reason to hate him forever. And he probably is a "horrible person" because he would have never changed sides had it not been for this.

Besides, I think the most valuable piece of evidence is that if JK makes Snape evil, the whole series would then suck. ;)
timorous beastiejackieohno on November 17th, 2005 12:34 pm (UTC)
Excellent essay; it makes a lot of sense.
Melora98: Art By Mousemelora98 on November 17th, 2005 01:26 pm (UTC)
*nods happily*
Yes yes yes, and yes! You've put into words very nicely what I've been believing since reading HBP.

and I'd like to add that in book 7, we are likely to see Snape's full "redemption". Snape is a Byronic Hero; a dark, loner character that is misunderstood and has committed a terrible crime for which he gives his life to repay. Harry won't be able to defeat Voldemort alone; I think it will be Snape who finally helps him the most, and will probably die in the process. BUT he will be redeemed for being the cause of Harry's parent's deaths.

It's a lovely little twist J.K.R. has set up here; yes Snape is horrible, but he's also capable of great love, and that is why Dumbledore trusted him so completely (because, as he says, "love is the greatest power of all"). And his hatred of Potter stems from so many things; he looks like James, whom Snape hated and "lost" Lily to (even if he never really had a chance with her, he would see it this way), but Harry also represents the love with Lily that he could never have, the child he probably feels he SHOULD have had with her. He resents Harry on multiple levels. And yet... yet he still protects him and saves him whenever he can, not just because Dumbledore wants him to, but because he's Lily's child. Conflicting emotions! Complicated character!! *loves Snape!*

Excellent essay, wonderfully written!
Rotaerotae on November 17th, 2005 03:44 pm (UTC)
Interesting thought about Snape dying... I don't actually think he will. I think that you're on the right track... but I'd put my money on Peter doing something heroic and stupid (typical Gryffindor lol), and dying. Because, I mean, he had to be in Gryffindor for a reason.
I have this theory that J.K. only says "Happy Birthday" to characters who make it through all of the seven books. There's no "Happy Birthday" to Dumbledore, James, Lily, Sirius, Peter... so I'm hoping that Snape will be safe. (Obviously the trio are excepted because she HAS to say happy birthday to them lol.)

I totally agree with your last paragraph. It's EXACTLY the way I feel about him too!

Thanks for reading!

Peace,
Rotae
(no subject) - lunadeath02 on November 18th, 2005 04:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Anne-Elisaetrangere on November 17th, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC)
That's the scenario I dread. It's likely, and it would be SO CHEESY. Not to mention that making a moral decision like that as being all about loving the girl cheapens it concirably.
Rotaerotae on November 17th, 2005 03:45 pm (UTC)
What scenario are you hoping for?

Peace,
Rotae
(no subject) - etrangere on November 17th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Singing at La Fenice...psychic_serpent on November 17th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
I was rather gratified to learn, in OotP, that I was right about Lucius Malfoy's age (b. 1954). JKR said that Sirius was 21 when he went to prison (1981), so he was born in 1960.

she obviously didn’t reciprocate the feeling

I'm not sure her not reciprocating is completely obvious; it could have gone either way. I think that if she did reciprocate it was VERY brief. Her reaction to his calling her a Mudblood in the Pensieve scene in OotP is complete surprise, as though she had a reason to expect him to behave more civilly toward her, which implies SOME sort of reciprocal relationship (not necessarily romantic).

It always seemed to me that she had broken an agreement they had not to defend him in public, to avoid giving away their relationship, whatever that consisted of. Snape was probably worried about the Gryffindors discovering their relationship, so he insulted her, to throw them off. (He seemed angry with her for potentially blowing their cover.) He had every right to expect even worse bullying, IMO, if it was discovered that they were friends (which might have been the extent of it, with hope on Snape's part for more). She seemed like someone who had a modicum of respect for Snape before that insult and afterward decided to reassess. Since James saving Snape's life seems like a good candidate for the event that pulled her into the Potter camp permanently it's no wonder that is the reason why Snape is said to hate James; it wasn't because he saved his life, it was because he permanently ruined any chance Snape thought he had with Lily (even if his chances were nil).

JKR actually shoots down theories left, right and center. She LEAPT to shoot down the theory--which M. & E. were not even proposing--that Remus competed with James for Lily. She shot down Knight to King, the idea that Remus is James in disguise, the Neville/Luna ship, Luna being Snape's daughter, etc., etc. She has no aversion to shooting down theories, IMO. I was pleased to see that you have the bit where she asks, "Who on earth would want Snape in love with them?" She answered a question with a question (another sidestep). Perhaps Lily DID think it was horrible that Snape was in love with her because she only thought they were good friends (less so, I should think, after he called her a Mudblood). But it is telling that JKR says she was "slightly stunned". I believe Book 7 will give the complete Snape/Lily backstory.

It's also true that Snape's "friends" didn't seem to be there when he needed them. But it seems equally likely that he didn't MAKE friends until he threw in his lot with Voldemort, so perhaps these people being his friends after his OWLs is more likely.

You have no idea of the remorse Professor Snape felt when he realised how Lord Voldemort had interpreted the prophecy, Harry. I believe it to be the greatest regret of his life and the reason that he returned-’

Harry's really being a bit thick not to realize that Snape's remorse was because of his mother, isn't he? Of course, JKR gets a lot of mileage out of Harry being thick at times like this. I think you are absolutely correct that Snape asked Voldemort to spare Lily. I used to think Peter might have asked when he revealed their location but Snape seems bolder and more likely (and Peter might have used this as a defense in the Shrieking Shack if he'd done it). I always thought Snape was in Godric's Hollow; I think that Peter was probably also there, if only because JKR needs someone to retrieve and save Voldemort's wand. (Peter gave it back to Voldemort in GoF.) That's assuming that she thought of the wand issue, of course, which she might not have.

I've long thought this is what happened, even before I knew about Snape and the prophecy, but you've assembled the evidence and arguments very concisely. It really does make the most sense and Snape being evil makes no sense at all. Good job!
Rotaerotae on November 17th, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC)
It's an interesting point you bring up about Lily's feelings. I suppose it is possible that at some stage she could have had feelings for Snape, but I've always seen her as the type of girl who likes everyone. I say this because, I think that she would make the effort to be Snape's friend because nobody else would, and I think that to her, it was just a friendship if anything.
I agree with you about the 'public' friendship idea. Good one.
Yeah, she does do it, doesn't she. I just wanted to defend my point from any people who might catch onto it. lol. And it is indeed no coincidence that we will hear why Snape turned in the 7th book, and why love is so important in the same book. ;)
...the reason I believe that his friends were before his OWL's, was that if he hung around with "a group of Slytherins who almost all turned out to be Death Eaters", after them, well, that doesn't really fit, because Sirius lists them, The Lestranges, Avery, Rosier... they are all too old to be in Snape's year group, aren't they?
That's true... how DID he get his wand back? Hmm... interesting.
Yeah, I started suspecting this when I read OotP, then in HBP it all just fell into place.

Thanks for the good read!

Peace,
Rotae
lucksong on November 17th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
I totally agree... been thinking on similar lines for a long time.
Wings~wings13 on November 17th, 2005 02:35 pm (UTC)
Well argued, and I agree. It's a good bet that we'll find out in book 7 that Snape was in love with Lily, and it's the perfect reason to explain his turning away from Voldemort. The theme of love has been emphasized throughout the series, so it makes sense that this would be the reason for Snape to come to the side of the light. It may well be that Snape will turn into the tragic figure another reader mentioned above, giving his life to help Harry defeat Voldemort in book 7.
Terry L. James: HP Snape's to-do listterrylj on November 17th, 2005 02:44 pm (UTC)
Awesome essay! I have been thinking the same thing for a while, and HBP just made everything more clear to me. However, I've never been able to put my thoughts down so coherently. :)
Rotaerotae on November 17th, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC)
Same here. It took me a bloody long time to get motivated and just GET IT DOWN! lol. But now that I have done, I feel much better for it. I'm thinking about posting it on MuggleNet. I kept looking there when I was between writing to make sure that no one else had wrote it... what do you think? Should I send it in? They're not very forgiving when it comes to essay structure and alike...

Peace,
Rotae
Kelleycopperbeech on November 17th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
entirely compelling and supports my own thoughts. i'm with you. i'll print the t-shirts.

thanks for a great essay!
Rotaerotae on November 18th, 2005 02:17 am (UTC)
Excellent! Can't wait for the t-shirt. I actually make t-shirts... so I probably will end up making one!! lol. I'll send you a picture lmao.

You're very welcome *hug:

Peace,
Rotae
(Deleted comment)
Rotaerotae on November 18th, 2005 02:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, I read an essay where they said that because of Draco's interrupting, we didn't know whether Dumbledore knew about the Unbreakable Vow, and how it was so infuriating. But, I found Harry interrupting Dumbledore there to me much more infuriating! lol.

You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed it!

Peace,
Rotae