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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 8)

When asked, "Why did you make Quirrell the bad guy instead of Snape?" JKR replied, "Because I know all about Snape, and he wasn't about to put on a turban".

I thought this was a good question. Aside from the fact that it was the first book, and therefore would have changed Snape's role in the story, surely he would've been a good option if really a bad guy.

What exactly does JKR mean "he wasn't about to put on a turban"? Why would Snape not take the risk as other Eaters would?

Posted by mmc from sa on May 8, 2007 10:05 PM

mmc: I think she was sort of kidding when she said that.

But even way back then she knew it would be wrong to have Snape playing the part of an active Eater, because, from all the clues now, 6 books later, the evidence is overwhelming that Snape really is a good guy.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on May 8, 2007 10:13 PM

On the same token as mmc's comment (Page 7, May 8th, 12-ish am), Harry's may be a long-awaited peace to a life filled with tragedy, sorrow, and grief. He already had the grasp of the "things worse than " concept even before Albus started teaching it to him, since Philosopher�s Stone. He says to Firenze after being told what drinking unicorn blood does, "If you're going to be cursed for the rest of your life, 's better, isn't it?"

Cheers, Charlie Tarbox! I agree with why Albus probably won't come back to life. We have to look at Jo's philosophy and what happens in her life as a guideline to how the story turn out. It's the reason that we had to include biographical information in our book reports in school; the author's works often reflect his/her life.

Emilio - I also think that Remus could be a Legilimens. I think he be able to help Harry learn to master Occlumency, since he has already proved himself a good teacher to him via the Patronus.

Posted by Monkeeshrines from Orlando, FL on May 9, 2007 07:20 AM

i dont agree with you cadell. snape called harry's mother a mudblood in the pensive in OotP, remember, when she defended him. And he said he has his mothers cheek.

Posted by lorraine from dayton ohio on May 9, 2007 10:18 AM

ok the phoenix can only heal the living but dumbledore's hand was described as . the horcrux was designed to anyone who wore it because of what it contained and because voldemort jinxed it. only snape saved dumbledore's body but not his hand. and i think snape only called lilly a mudblood because he was embarassed that she saw his underwear. i think you were partially right, but she didn't love him, she only liked everyone, but she loved james.

Posted by willow from dayton ohio on May 9, 2007 10:31 AM

Very nice article. It clearly shows that Snape is on the good side.

I agree pretty much with the first posts from Gregg and Patty (april 30).

First, it's clear that green light is not enough to ensure Avada Kedavra. This curse also produces a strong gust of wind. Nothing such is quoted in the astronomy tower's scene. Then, I'm sure that Dumbledore d when he hit the ground, and not before. Therefore, Dumbledore accepted his , Snape helped Malfoy getting rid of Dumbledore, but he's not a er. If this is true, it seems to me very clever.

Second, Dumbledore is really . Jo fouls us by her wording in the books, but she's always very clear in her interviews. When she doesn't want to answer, she just says "no comment". If she wanted us to wonder whether AD was or not, she would have answered "no comment". For most of fans, doing a Gandalf means bringing back in the story, as a living person, someone who apparently d.

On the other side, I can't believe that Dumbledore accepted to without knowing the end of the story. Dumbledore's aim in his old life is defeating Voldemort. I can only see one good reason for this : Dumbledore alredy lived the end of Voldemort, and came back with a time-turner. There be a Dumbledore in book 7, a younger one. He appear under a false identity (probably a poor guy with few powers), and nobody, including Harry and us, be able to recognize him. He help Harry in a very subtle way. And that won't be "putting a Gandalf".

Two clues for that: in PS, Dumbledore's sentence "Nitwit! Blubber!... Thank you!" seems to refer to four persons who helped Dumbledore. Nobody talked about them before, I bet they are in book 7.
And Fudge telling about a "-and-bull story" including time-reversal: it looks like a story that Dumbledore would have told him (and certainly not the use of time-turner in PoA, that Fudge can't know of).

Posted by herve from strasbourg on May 9, 2007 10:32 AM

Tergel, back to your comment on the previous page regarding Dumbledore as a human phoenix--you suggested that Dumbeldore would not be of much use as a baby. I too have questioned that on other articles on this site.

However, I have been thinking of this for a while because i DO think that Dumbledore may be a phoenix. Here is my solution. When he transforms into a phoenix he assumes the lifespan of the phoenix. During the first 6 books we have witnessed Fawkes' /rebirth numerous times. It appears that this happpens each year, or fairly close to that. I would suggest it probably happens within a years (books) time--therefore, Fawkes ages within a years time. So, once Dumbledore assumes the form of the phoenix he would age as the phoenix ages. By the end of book 7 (a year) he would be an older phoenix/Dumbledore and then reappear to Harry and ourselves as the older Dumbledore we have come to know.

Back to this article about Snape...I really think that there is something very important about Snape's hand twitching during the Unbreakable Vow. Splinching is brought up later in the book---how students trying to apparate may do it accidentally. But Snape is a master wizard--I am suggesting that he did it INTENTIONALLY during the UV (splinching his hand and then reconnecting it within a split second), thus made the UV null and void from the beginning. Once again, this plays into the "staged" of Dumbledore by a good Snape!

Posted by Heather from NJ on May 9, 2007 6:32 PM

interesting comments by HERVE and HEATHER. i agree with herve that ing curse is produced with a rushing sound of wind. the examples are in GOF where first voldemort ed frank bryce and than later on cedric. so i also thought that dumbledore d by falling on the ground. but i cannot see how dumbledore can come back by using a time turner.
now heather has a good point as dumbledore being a human phoenix. i'll take it another way. we know about dumbledore's philosophy about fire and with this philosophy he can be related with fawkes. dumbledore might re-born as a human not as phoenix. and there is another important point on this. if voldemort can be re-born why couldn't dumbledore?
adding about snape i think he is good because if he were a eater, he would have enjoyed ing dumbledore. no, we saw revulsion hatred on snape's face which i have no doubt was due the action he was going to perform.

Posted by hassan from pakistan on May 10, 2007 01:05 AM

Hassan: how could Dumbledore come back with a time-turner?

Imagine that Dumbledore got somehow to fell asleep (using a special potion) just before Harry came at Hogwarts. Six years later, Dumbledore wakes up - or most probably the one that gave Dumbledore the potion wakes him up. This brings us to the end of HBP. Dumbledore is there, assists his own , and goes on, hidden under a false identity (he is the one who conjures a phoenix patronus to give tribute to himself, while the centaurs throw their arrows). Then, he is there all the way through book 7.

At the end of book 7, Voldemort is vanquished. Dumbledore has nothing more to do in this world. He uses his time-turner to go back six years earlier. He appears at Hogwarts (in SS/PS), thanks "Nitwit", "Blubber", "Oddment" and "Tweak", and starts educating Harry.

Almost six years later, he has to get away: he can't afford meeting his younger self. Snape tells him that he could still live, somewhere, hidden. Dumbledore considers it as being too dangerous. Maybe, in his memory, someone checked the tomb and saw Dumbledore's body. Anyway, he tells Snape that he must , because he knows he d. They argue, but eventually, Dumbledore s.

I know that seems pretty much complicated, but I'm sure Jo can write something like that in nice words and make it credible. And that would explain why she said she had a hard time dealing with Dumbledore: when asked why she had hard time dealing with a person, she said it wasn't as simple. I don't think that portraits and memories would be that difficult to handle for Jo.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on May 10, 2007 08:57 AM

Heather from NJ,

If your theory about an animagus taking the form of the animal includes acquiring its lifespan, then Peter Petigrew should have d a long time ago.

I�d like to point out this conversation in the shrieking shack in PoA:

Ron �he has been with my family for��
Sirius �Twelve years, a very long time for a common garden rat, don�t you think?�

As Peter Petigrew spent twelve years as a rat (Scabbers), we can safely assume that when they turn into their animal form, they DO NOT assume their life span.

Another example of this is Rita Skeeter, as an inect, in your theory, she could not last more than a few days in her animal form, but Hermione had her in a glass or jar for at least a day, and she does not seem to have aged according to the insect�s life span.

Sirius had the abilities of a dog while as Padfoot, so assuming that Albus Dumbledore could turn into a Phoenix, in order to have his rebirthing powers, he should have been ed while a phoenix.

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on May 10, 2007 10:31 AM

personally, i think that is is possible that dumbledore is NOT and i think that snape is good.

However, with regard to the snape/dumbledore conversation in the forest, it would be a clue to why snape really did dumbledore but has it not been mentioned before that to follow through with the Avada Kedavra curse that you really have to mean it. I dont think that snape needed to be evil to follow through with the curse, but he needed to mean it.

Also, if dumbledore did , and is sacrificing himself for harry, then isnt that exactly what lily did at the very beginning? It is known that in the first 3 books that voldemort cannot touch harry because of the protection of his mothers love, but then in the 4th book voldemort goes on to stop this protection by including harry's blood when he is coming back to human life. so the protection of lily's love isnt worth as much anymore, but if dumbledore made this same sacrifice for harry, the protection not be (for want of a better word)renewed?

Even though Harry was not the target, dumbledore still made the sacrifice. Harry be the final target, and Dumbledore was only being ed so voldemort could get a better go at harry. Dumbledore could have easily saved himself, but knew that the only way harry would ever be able to face up to and voldemort himself was if he, dumbledore, was .

Posted by Catherine from Belfast on May 10, 2007 11:53 AM

Emilio, excellent point. I suppose i still feel that there is a way for Dumbledore to be reborn. We never did see his appearance at the . Prehaps he transformed into a phoenix at the . He could then pull a Fawkes maneuver with all that fire and smoke prior to the tomb.

I'm still not convinced he's "DEAD" permanently. Using this phoenix thoery, JKR can say he's without lying to us. In the next book he be reborn and very much alive. But thanks for the commment Emilio.

Posted by Heather from NJ on May 10, 2007 2:32 PM

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