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Severus Snape v. The Ministry of Magic

by J.K. Rich

After reading Book Six in the Harry Potter saga, millions of Harry Potter fans were devastated to learn that after it all�after all the warnings and signs�Severus Snape is, in fact, evil. And, even more devastating�he had killed Professor Dumbledore right in front of The Boy That Lived. Or did he?

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Reader Comments: (Page 10)

I don't think he can sacrifice himself for hogwarts. I mean lilly loved harry and her love runs in his veins, I don't think dumbledore can protect hogwarts by sacrificing himself.

Posted by Claudia on May 13, 2007 05:53 AM

As I was reading all these comments I got this idea... Maybe during the final fight between Voldmort and Harry, Snape gets a chance for the last time, to choose which side he wants to be on: Harry's or Voldemort. The side that he chooses be the one who lives... Voldmort is trying to talk Snape into his side, but in the nick of time, he sees Harry in the eyes, which reminds him of lily, and thus he finally chooses to take Harry�s side and finish of Voldemort. (This kinda makes sense as JKR told us lily�s eyes are going to play a major role).

Posted by Smanvi from windsor, canada on May 13, 2007 4:00 PM

In JK Rowling's books, it seems like everything that seems obvious is not right.

In the first book, it was quirrel who was evil, not snape.

In the second book, Ginny (of all people) was the one that opens the chamber of secret.

In the fourth book, mad-eye moody was the one that was helping voldemort (well, not technically, but still).

Everything is exactly different from what we are told to believe. But Rowling leaves one clue in the beginning of the book that has a direct explanation to the end of the book.

1st. Quirrel not shaking Harry's Hand, and at the end, Harry touching Quirrel is what gets him out of the situation. 2nd Malfoy picks up Ginny's books and puts them back into her cauldron while they were in diagon alley. 4th Mad-Eye Moody's trash cans "attack" him, but it is actually Crouch kidnapping Moody.

But through the book, we are made to feel pity for the character that actually is bad in the end- 1st quirrel, 2nd ginny, 4th crouch, while we don't like the character who is actually innocent in the end- 1st- Snape, 2nd- Malfoy.

Similarly, in the 6th book, we are told that Dumbledore actually trusts snape, next we are made to feel pity towards malfoy in the book (moaning myrtle, the scene with dumbledore on the lightning-struck tower), and so, doesn't it fall to reason that although snape is shown in bad light throughout the entire book, he is actually right?

Posted by dc from atlanta, GA on May 13, 2007 10:59 PM

The AK curse that Snape gave to Dumbledore is described almost the same as the Stunner Spells that were piled onto McGonagall in OOP. Except the stunners were red. But the reaction McGonagall had was identical to the reaction Dumbledore had to Snapes "AK". So is it possible that Snape "thought" a stunner?

Posted by Sharon from Michigan on May 14, 2007 10:14 AM

i agree with you smanvi from windsor
that is very good, but i want to add snape could have let harry ron and hermione in PoA but he guarded them in the movie he pushed them behind his back so i think that proves he picked harry's side.

Posted by laura from dayton ohio on May 14, 2007 10:36 AM

Dark Prophet, I'm with you. There is a lot that was unsaid between Snape and Dumbledore. They are both very powerful wizards and it seems likely that they were communicating with Legilimency. It also seems likely that Dumbledore could perform magic without his wand--and non-verbally.

If Malfoy was able to assess the tower when he arrived--noting the 2 brooms--I'm sure Snape did too. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Snape unfroze Harry nonverbally as he was leaving.

Last night I was rereading the chapter in HBP where Harry obtains the memory form Slughorn. When he returns he is locked out of the Gryffindor common room. Nearly Headless Nick tells Harry that Dumbledore has returned. He claims heard it from The Bloody Baron who was "groaning and clanking up on the Astronomy Tower" (p493 HBP, US) Did anybody else catch that? It kind of goes along with Dobby's comment about throwing himself off the highest tower. Is JKR just toying with us? Or do these characters know what's going to happen between Snape and Dumbledore? Again, I go on the assumption that this "" was all pre-planned and faked.

Bottom line--Snape is good.

Posted by Heather from NJ on May 14, 2007 5:48 PM

During the chase at the end of the book, Snape kept on saying, "do not (Harry)! He belongs to the dark lord!" Then uh, why didn't he just kidnap harry? If he was really evil, his cover would have been blown, and well, he really wouldn't have cared if people saw him kidnap Harry.

Posted by dave from Atlanta, GA on May 14, 2007 10:18 PM

dc: You're right about the fact that Jo often leads us on the wrong track, just like Asimov did in the Foundation trilogy, and Agatha Christie used to do almost everytime in her books. What's more, we see people through the eyes of Harry. Harry hates Snape, fears Filch. Then we are lead to consider Snape and Filch as the bad guys. Barty Crouch attacks Malfoy, we feel sympathy for him. The same for Quirrel. Three major couterexamples though, up to now: Dumbledore and Hagrid are really nice people, Umbridge is really a terrible witch.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on May 15, 2007 12:54 AM


I have to add that Snape keeps reminding people on the 'Hogwarts Raid' not to Harry because it is their 'instructions'... This would make sense if Snape had been informed of the raid/plot and what 'instructions' there are for the raid.

So often it goes undiscussed that Snape did not even know the date and time or other details of the 'raid'. He had to be awakened by Flitwick or he would have missed it altogether. Snape was never briefed or given 'instructions' about this event. Snape cannot possibly know if what is to happen to Potter has changed or not. I have always seen the 'flight of the prince' as containing clue after clue to Snape's 'goodness'. He gives Harry clear instructions and warnings about fighting Voldemort, he saves Harry.. by passing on 'instructions' to Eaters that he was not given. (yes, these could be 'standing orders' but Snape cannot be certain of that. He chooses to save Harry.. and, as pointed out above, chooses not to kidnap him either. )

It is, after all, our 'choices' which define who and what we are...

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on May 15, 2007 07:25 AM

Even if we see them trhough harry's eyes, we still know what they do. It is not like harry makes these things up.

Posted by Claudia on May 15, 2007 07:37 AM

I haven't even seen it in this regard. You gave me the ultimate reason why Snape is good. It is so true what you say.

Posted by claudia on May 15, 2007 08:20 AM

I really enjoyed reading this article. I think that J. K. Rich made a very intelligent argument and found the lawyer's perspective especially interesting.

The fact that a person can only perform an Unforgivable Curse if they mean it indeed a very important factor to consider. Did Snape "want" to Dumbledore? There's always the argument that if Dumbledore planned his and told Snape to him, Snape may "want" to Dumbledore, not to help Voldemort but to help Dumbledore. Although Snape would not want Dumbledore to be , he may want Dumbledore's plan to succeed, which may have provided the necessary intenet to perform the ing curse. That's just a theory, of course.

I have to admit that I've always believed Rowling's statements that no one can come back from the , but this article made me think. Of course, there are lots of fans out there -- including myself -- who hope that this statement isn't true, because we want our favorite characters, such as Sirius and Dumbledore, to come back. J. K. Rowling has surprised us before in each book, so it is not unreasonable to think that there may be some tricky wording in her statements to lead us off-track. Also, it would make for an important message in the book if Dumbledore is able to "conquer from the other side of the veil."

An especially good point, I thought, was the fact that Snape has to appear to be a Eater so that he can continue spying for the Order. While Dumbledore's may not be necessary, it would help his plan. Snape made the unbreakable vow. Snape has to be alive to continue his work, so therefore he had to Dumbledore. Also, Dumbledore appearing may make Voldemort feel safe, since Voldemort fears Dumbledore.

While I can't, of course, know whether or not Dumbledore come back from the , I think it's possible, since the unbreakable vow was fulfilled when Snape ed Dumbledore. Snape is not in danger if Dumbledore comes back from the , since Snape upheld his promise.

Anyway, great article!

Posted by Sharmin on May 15, 2007 08:48 AM

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