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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 22)

Also thanks for reminding me what Ron had to say about Unbreakable vows. I'm really reaching with that part of my speculation. I'm just looking for that iron-clad reason Dumbledore had for trusting Snape.

Posted by Mikey from New Jersey on February 13, 2007 06:37 AM

Mikey, glad I could help with the Unbreakable Vow info. As for Snape and Lily we know there is going to be a significant back story on them. Many of us have given great thought to Snape being in love with Lily. It may go deeper then that. We've been told that Lily can find the good in others, so I suppose she could have had a tight early childhood friendship with Snape. At this point, any theory is stil up for grabs.

We have seen his early memories when Harry invades his thoughts during Occlumency.
OoTP p592 US
"a hook-nosed man was shouting at a cowering woman, while a small dark-haired boy cried in the corner....A greasy-haired teenager sat alone in a dark bedroom, pointing his wand at the ceiling, shooting down flies...A girl was laughing as a scrawwny boy tried to mount a bucking broomstick--"
I'm sure these are important. Who was that girl? Lily? Petunia? If Lily and Snape were friends, living in the same neighborhood, wouldn't Petunia know him too? I could see Petunia laughing at him.

Posted by Heather from NJ on February 13, 2007 2:39 PM

I have a hard time thinking Snape was in love or friends with Lily. I think the scenerio of Snape and Lily being cousins would be more significant than early child hood friends, or Snape having a crush.

On the flip side: Slughorn did make that comment of do not underestimate the power of obsessive love. Though this could be a direct hint at Voldemort's mom, rather than a foreshadowing of Snape love's Lily. But then again why was Snape so jealous of James?
I am very confused!

Posted by Asidi from Ak on February 13, 2007 7:29 PM

Asidi, My theory was that if Snape was to fall in love with any one it would have been some one more like Narcissa. As far as Snape hating James I think Sirius said it best, James was everything Snape wasn't...good looking, popular, lots of friends...

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on February 14, 2007 11:50 AM

The idea of Snape and Lily being childhood friends is excellent. I have always considered that Snapes worst memory was not his being teased as Harry assumed, but the fact he called Lily a 'mudblood', but I thought it was because he fancied her. The idea of them being childhood friends though has a greater depth.

I don't believe Snape can be labelled as good or evil, he is far too complex. I do believe that Snape's goal in life is to bring about the destruction of Voldemort, although I don't think it has much to do with saving the wizarding world. I suspect that Snape became a Eater to learn how to destroy Voldemort, and I suspect he signed up with the Order as it assisted Snape's needs rather than him being a help to others.
I think Snape's motivation is revenge, a revenge possibly greater since Lily d. I guess the only person Snape has ever truly loved was his mother Eileen Prince.

Eileen Prince was at school with Tom Riddle, and Moaning Myrtle. Eileen Prince was younger than Riddle, when the Chamber reopened it was after a 50 year gap and Harry was in Year 2 (Tom was in year 5 when it happened originally). Harry then gets the NEWT level potion book that was 50 years old when he was in Year 6. This means (if my math is correct) Eileen Prince was in her second year at Hogwarts when the chamber was opened and would have spent 4 years in school with Tom Riddle. What did he do to her? Was Tom Riddle so mean to her that she married the first muggle she found?

I have no 'evidence' to support this theory, only the link that Riddle and Eileen Prince were at Hogwarts in the same era.
But it may also explain why Snape looks after Harry whilst hating him for being James Potter's son. Snape needs Harry to Voldemort.

Posted by Orlando from England on February 14, 2007 4:03 PM

Maybe because we are adults that scene between Narcissa and Snape could have been viewed a different way. I find it very strange that a grown woman goes to a man's house in the middle of the night. Narcissa even tells Bella there is nothing she wouldn't do to protect her son Unfortunatly, I can't see JKR going in this direction, though it would make an entertaining side plot.

As a male - could you be so jealous of another male to hate them? Enough for Snape to hate James? Perhaps, it was James that was jealous of Snape(playing devil's advocate).James did say he hated Snape because he exists. The readers get info from Seruis, but I am hesitant to believe Serius because he seems just as unstable as Snape.

Posted by Asidi from Ak on February 14, 2007 9:25 PM

There are three things that stand out to me in the chapter Spinner's End in HBP.
The article mentioned one, when Snape strode to the window to look out at the deserted street. He is so in control during the rest of the scene, why did he lose control of his emotions then? Was he shocked at the threat to Dumbledore's life? I don't think so. He had not yet been asked to make the Unbreakable Vow, so he could not have been dismayed at being put in the postion of promising to Dumbledore. There are two reasons he would have looked out into the street. One was to seek direction from Dumbledore by Legilimency. Another would be to block his thoughts from Bellatrix by Occlumency and avoiding eye contact while he thought of how to best use the situation. We know Bellatrix was teaching Draco Occlumency, so I think this was the reason Snape stepped away from her at that time.
The second thing I thought was odd was when Snape's hand twitched during the Unbreakable Vow. Maybe he tried to modify it to his advantage. He was still avoiding eye contact with Bella at that time. The book states "Beneath Bellatrix's astonished gaze, they grasped right hands." Whether or not he was able to, be remain to be seen. This could be the loop hole that allows Dumbledore to fake his .
The third thing I did not notice the first time I read the chapter,Bellatrix puts a series of questions to Snape accusing him of being a traitor, starting with "Where were you when the Dark Lord fell?"... and ending with And why, Snape, is Harry Potter still alive when you have had him at your mercy for the last five years?".
Snape methodically answers every question except one, which Bella does not notice. He does not answer "What have you been doing all these years that years that you have lived in Dumbledore's pocket?". I think that unanswered question is a clue to us that what he did would not have met Bella's approval.
I think Snape and Dumbledore had a plan. Maybe it went wrong and Dumbledore had not intended to . Snape was unaware of the Dark Mark until the battle was well under way. If he had left his office sooner, he could have intercepted Draco before the facedown on the tower without revealing himself as spy, but once in front of the Eaters he had no choice but to sacrifice Dumbledore in the fight against Voldemort, or blow his cover. If he managed to modify the Unbreakable Vow, Dumbledore could still be alive.

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on February 16, 2007 06:26 AM

While I find the theory that Snape and Lilly had some sort of relationship, pre-Hogwarts interesting, I think that something Snape said to Lilly may nix the idea. When Lilly comes to Snape's rescue, Snape calls her a Mudblood. If they knew each other so well, wouldn't she throw back in his face that he was a half-blood? I mean it does seem to be an instance of the pot calling the kettle black. While Voldemort is also a half-blood, like Hitler with his probable Jewish ancestry (one of his grandparents may have been Jewish), Voldemort and his followers ignore this. Their theme is purifying the wizarding community. I may have gone a bit off track here, but what I'm saying is, isn't one as bad as the other (half-blood/mudblood), and if so, wouldn't Lilly throw that up to Snape if she knew him so well?

Posted by Kim Davis from Princeton West Virginia on February 16, 2007 06:29 AM


I don't think they were best buds, but I am sticking with the idea they may be cousins or Snape was "in love" (how much love does a 15/16 yr old boy feel for a girl is a debatable topic).
Lily's rebuttle seems just as ruthless to both Snape and James. She basically tells both of them off, as if she had some sort of awareness of their existence. She say "your just as bad as he is." to James.
Ha, maybe that is Snape's worst memory, beautiful Lily Evans telling Snape he is just like James. That may of been enough for him to join the Eaters.

I like your points. Snape does answer Bella methodically. He must of rehearesed those lines 100 times! But I think Dumbledore told Snape to wait in the office until Harry or he got back that evening. This could have been why Dumbledore tells Harry to meet him. I agree with you Snape had to decide what was right and what was easy. He could have chosen to , but Dumbledore would have d, and possibly Harry, Draco, and other students. Snape did his job, and got all the Eaters out of the castle. I can't imagine that Voldemort is to pleased with Snape. Voldemort is an ego maniac, he may feel threatened by these turn of events.

Posted by Asidi from Ak on February 16, 2007 11:43 AM

Patty, I like your points, most of which we have discussed throughout this site in various forms. I don't recall reading anything about the fact that Sanpe did not answer the quesiton "What have you been doing all these years that years that you have lived in Dumbledore's pocket?". Great observation. I'm sure it was not answered purposefully.

I agree that Snape and Dumbledore had a plan, but I would argue that it did NOT go wrong at all. It went entirely according to plan. I feel that Dumbledore's (or maybe even his fake depending on your views) was very much intended. Perhaps, this was why the two had the agrument overheard by Hagrid when Snape said that Dumbledore took too much regranted (or something like that).

Posted by Heather from NJ on February 16, 2007 5:21 PM

We are all assuming that the argument pertained to ing Dumbledore. What if that is just what JKR wants us to think. I don't know how convinced I am anymore that Dumbledore planned to .

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on February 17, 2007 12:09 PM

Hey Patty,

How did you feel the first time you read that part of the book? I was so upset with Draco.

Posted by Asidi from Ak on February 17, 2007 3:29 PM

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