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Snape Clues

by David Haber

These are the clues contained in the pages of Harry Pottter and the Half-Blood Prince which support the possibility that Snape is not really a Death Eater, has remained loyal to Dumbledore, and all through the book, Snape is working on Dumbledore's Orders.

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Reader Comments: (Page 17)

Heather, I'm a big Snape fan too. Mainly because I always back the underdog, and right now, there is no bigger 'dog than Snape. Always bet the 'dog..

Elizabeth, I think the charm is just broken. So Bellatrix and Narcissa may suddenly remember where thier Aunt and Uncle's house is. But I'm not sure how it works.

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 17, 2007 06:38 AM

About the Fidelius Charm:
"When a Secret-Keeper s, their secret s with them, or to put it another way, the status of their secret remain as it was at the moment of their . Everybody in whom they confided continue to know the hidden information, but nobody else..." says JKR, but I don't know where.
I am yet another Snape fan, but I wouldn't mind if he'd turn up evil. I am loyal to him, and I don't care whom he s:) He has Vol's trust and protection, therefore he isn't that much of an underdog, I think.

Posted by Enelas from Saku, Estonia on January 17, 2007 10:33 AM

On the subject what happens when the Secret Keeper s. Here is what Jo said on her poll: When a "Secret Keeper" s, nothing changes about the secret they were keeping.

By the way, if I am correct in this assumption, Bellatrix and Narcissa have no problems in finding 12 Grimmauld Place. Weren't they relatives of the Black Family? The ingenious plan is that THEY don't know it is the "Order of the Phoenix's" hiding place, because it is under the "Fidelius Charm." At least that is the way I understood it. Am I right with this?

Returning to the question who betrayed the Potter's first, I believe it was Snape.

We don't know what Pettigrew and Snape did in those five years after they left Hogwarts. I guess that Wormtail lived with his Mother and was a welcomed guest at the Potter's house.

Of Snape we know that he joined Voldemort's Eater Clan. What he did for a living we have no idea. What we know is that Voldemort sent him to apply for a job at Hogwarts, so he could spy for him. As is known to all, he overheard half of the "Prophecy" which he told his Master. That momentous moment happened seven months before Neville and Harry were born.

Since when Pettigrew was "persuaded" to work for Voldemort we cannot figure out. The relevant information was brought to Voldemort through Snape, the Eater! Unfortunately it was Snape's information which brought the wheel in motion!

In my eyes Pettigrew's betrayal is worse than Snape's. While Snape did not know about whom the Prophecy was talking about,Pettigrew betrayed his friends in cold blood!

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on January 17, 2007 10:50 AM

I agree that Pettigrew is lower than pond scum, and thanks for helping me out with the Fidelius Charm.

what I was wondering though was who turned first.
did Morty already know where to find the Potters when Snape joined Dumbledore (because Pettigrew turned traitor) or did Snape find out Morty was looking for the Potters, but hadn't found them yet (before the rat scumbag betrayed his friends) and Snape joined Dumbledore hoping he'd never find them?

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 17, 2007 1:30 PM

All I'll say is Ghosts.....
JK has said that more is revealed in Bk 7 about why certain wizards become ghosts when they . What if Dumbledore wanted to (and Snape helped him to do this) so that he could become a ghost and would be better able to help Harry that way.

Posted by Gramsci from Ireland on January 17, 2007 2:42 PM

Maybe another reason Dumbledore planned his own was because Voldemort was beginning to suspect Snape and he was Dumbledore's best spy. Also he could protect Malfoy. I think this because Dumbledore knows stuff about Voldemort's current actions and he must have a spy. I believe it is in chapter 3 of HBP (I dont have my copy handy at the moment), Dumbledore says to Harry that he was informed by a very reliable source that Voldemort is taking lessons in Occlumency against Harry.

Posted by Marc Silverman from Arizona on January 17, 2007 7:24 PM

Hey before i say anything i believe in most of the stuff you say here Snape is the most complex character but he is good. I think Dumbledore may not be but i think its better for the stories sake if he is that way. Harry has to work things out on his own in the seventh book.
If JKR really did plot all of her books before making them then she probably plotted names as well.
i love logic puzzles and whilst i believe your idea of severus please with Dumbledore pleading with Snape to him, on rereading that chapter i noticed that Severus Please can be changed to Sever Us Please! any thoughts is JKR really that smart and prepared?

Posted by Stephen Dodd from Australia, WA Perth on January 17, 2007 11:37 PM

Kevin, this is a thorny question, about who turned traitor first. Snape or Pettigrew?

I admit that I had to check the HP Lexicon for this and must now adjust some of my words!
Here is my revised version, which turned traitor first.

Peter Pettigrew:
It comes down to it, that Peter Pettigrew was first of all, the culprit and mole! It�s Sirius Black who supply's the evidence in PoA Chapter nineteen: I quote

"You'd been passing information to him for a year BEFORE Lily and James d! You were his spy." (Voldemort's)

Until the 31st October 1981, Pettigrew was one of the closest friends of Lily and James. He had all the possibilities to overhear what went on in the Potter household! When Dumbledore begins to suspect (in 1979)that they had a spy in their midst, Peter is NOT suspected. Approximately a week before Harry's parents get ed, the Fidelius Charm is cast and Sirius switches places with Peter at the last minute as the Secret Keeper! A fact not even Dumbledore knew! The scum traitor informs Voldemort of the Potter's hideout...

Severus Snape
Snape finishes School at Hogwarts and soon afterwards (we don't know this for sure..) joins Voldemort and his ous crew of Eaters. What he exactly did until Voldemort sent him to apply as a teacher at Hogwarts, we are not told so far. Sometime in the year 1980 he is sent to Hogwarts on Lord Voldemort�s order, to apply for a teaching job. From Professor Trewlaney�s story, we know that he was outside her door in the Hogsmeade Inn, eavesdropping! He overhears half of the �Prophecy�, is thrown from the Inn and returns to Voldemort�s lair, informing him of the Prophecy.

So far so good.
We don�t know if Snape and Wormtail met while working for Voldemort. We have a telling remark from IGOR KARKAROFF while he was brought before the "Wizengamot", answering Barty Crouch Sen. I quote: �He who must not be named operated always in the greatest secrecy�.he preferred that we � I meant to say, his supporters � we never knew the names of every one of our fellows � he alone knew exactly who we all were �

It struck me as important to remember, that Snape and Wormtail must have hated each other from their school days. Should they have been aware of each others doing, would Snape really have trusted Pettigrew? I am now convinced, (I do hope for Snape�s sake that I am right) that Snape did not know that Pettigrew also spied for Voldemort! Why I am so sure? I almost believe I found a consequent CLUE in PoA Chapter Nineteen:

Snape to Harry in the Shreiking Shack: �You would have been well served if he�d ed you! (talking about Sirius) You�d have d like your father, too arrogant to believe you might be mistaken in Black �

That statement sounds to me as if Snape was convinced of Sirius Black�s quilt. Why would he cover up for Wormtail, not knowing that the same was alive and in the very same room?

So yes, Voldemort knew already where the Potter�s lived, before Snape applied for a job, thanks to that rat Wormtail. Had not Voldemort thrice tried to Lily and James? Something the whole Wizarding World was aware of! If we believe the �Snape loved Lily� story, it is the plausible reason Snape turned spy against Voldemort!

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on January 18, 2007 06:54 AM

To go into the matter what Dumbledore and Snape were arguing about in the Forrest:

In HBP Chapter Twenty-Five �The Seer Overheard� is a dialogue, moments before Dumbledore and Harry leave Hogwarts on their search for a Horcrux. I quote:

�Be sure to understand me, Harry, I mean that you must follow even such orders as �run�, �hide� or �go back�. Do I have your word?�
�I � yes, of course,�
�If I tell you to hide, you do so?�
�If I tell you to flee, you obey?�
�If I tell you to leave me, and save yourself, you do as I tell you?�
�I � �
They looked at each other for a moment.
�Yes, sir.�

After re-reading this paragraph, it struck me all of a sudden that Dumbledore/JO is making his wish to be obeyed more than abundantly clear! Why asking him to have his word after each sentence? Would it not have been enough to have his word simply and safely that he obey?

We know that Jo chooses her words very carefully; hiding �clues� in all her books and that nothing is a coincidence. What if this dialogue is hinting at the �secret conversation� Hagrid overheard in the Forbidden Forrest! Especially �they looked at each other for a moment� sounds to me just like the scene, before Snape cast the Avada Kedavra curse, two chapters later.

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on January 20, 2007 07:49 AM

I think this is significant, Mistral. Dumbledore knows perfectly well how much Harry loves him. He must also know that Harry would ingly to save him, and that he cannot allow this to happen. The only way to ensure Harry's safety is for him to close any loopholes, by insisting on his obence in all situations. Much the same way Harry does with Kreacher when he asks the house elf to shadow Draco Malfoy.
I also suspect that Dumbledore was ing to , not only to save Harry but also to ensure that Snape's credentials with Voldemort were assured. I'm sure Bellatrix has been warning her master constantly that she doesn't trust Snape.
Just as I believe Snape's love for Lily was the thing that made Dumbledore trust Snape's repentance - remember what Slughorn said "love cannot be manufactured or imitated" - I think the idea of someone embracing their own ingly would be unimaginable to Voldemort. Even with the example of Lily Potter, I doubt that he would suspect that Dumbledore might use his own as a trap.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 20, 2007 7:34 PM

I tend to think Snape in the end is a good one [although if I,m wrong I won't be surprised]. I was just musing how this might be revealed in D.H.

I imagined a scene toward the end of the book where there is a huge battle; Harry and co., Voldemort, eaters, inferi, goblins, dementors, house elves, Snape, the works.

Snape produces a patronus to ward off a dementor, saving somebody's life. Harry notises the Patornus as a ghostly winged creature. It looks like a bat, No wait. It's not a bat. It's a PHOENIX.

It's at this point that Harry knows to trust Snape and it becomes the turning point to the plot; this connection to Dumbledore.

This leads to a question in my mind. Could Snape love Dumbledore? As one has love for someone who shows you trust and respect when perhaps you don't deserve it?

It seems that Snape is loveless to me.

Posted by Mikey from New Jersey on January 21, 2007 07:45 AM

"It seems that Snape is loveless to me."

He always seemed that way to me as well, Mikey, but do you remember the scene in OoP when Professor McGonagall returns to Hogwarts from St Mungo's? Snape strides forward to greet her, and although Rowling doesn't say so specifically, perhaps not wishing to draw too much attention to it, I've always seen his reaction as unguarded pleasure. I think he IS capable of affection still, even though he is bitter. I'm sure his bitterness and his loyalty stem from the same cause; Lily's . If he cared about Lily he is going to hate himself for betraying her and while he hates himself he never be able to really accept affection or give it fully. I think he redeem himself by helping Harry to Voldemort, although I suspect he doing it.

One thing, although it is a generalisation, women - and remember Rowling is a woman - tend to be interested in relationships and character. Men tend to be more interested in action. Obviously there is room for a lot of variation here and one needs both action and character to write a good book, but I think a lot of the solutions to the various mysteries in Harry Potter are played out in terms of relationships and character.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 21, 2007 5:32 PM

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