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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 28)

To add to the clues that Snape and Dumbledore had his fake planned.... When Harry and Dumbledore apparated back to the Hogshead, Harry suggests getting Madame Pomfrey the school nurse. Dumbledore instantly says no that he needs Severus. He would not need Severus unless it were to follow through with the plan of the fake . 1. It probably would have been easier if they faked the in Hogsmead because Snape would have been able to Apparate then and there without trying to escape the school grounds giving Harry even less of a chance to fight back because Snape wouldn't have to run away he could just leave.

Also the thing that goes against the theory that Dumbledore isn't occurs up in the Astronomy tower. Dumbledore uses expeliarmus to either a. stop from fumbling the plan of the fake or b. to stop him from fighting and getting himself. However he performs the spell and Harry is frozen. The only problem is the second Snape performs Avada Kedavra, Harry is instantly free from the freezing charm because now the person who did the freezing is now . The only thing i could think of is Dumbledore while faking his uses a non verbal spell to release Harry of the freezing charm to make it more convincing.

Posted by Courtney on March 19, 2007 1:17 PM

There are two problems with the second paragraph of your comment.
First, Dumbledore didn't use the Expelliarmus at all; that was Draco, so that Dumbledore didn't have any power to fight back.
Second, when Snivellus performed the AK, Dumbledore didn't have his wand; therefore, Dumbledore couldn't have unfrozen Harry because he didn't have his wand.
I have this theory about that, so if you have already read this then I am sorry to waste your time.
Dumbledore freezes Harry with a non-verbal spell, correct? But no one knows what Dumbledore was thinking. Instead of thinking of the Stunning Spell, which freezes your target for as long as you want, he thought the incantation for the Impediment Jinx (which I have noticed is also called the Impediment CURSE, odd..). The Impediment Jinx wears off on its own, unlike the Stunning Spell.
If you have questions, ask them, but I don't remember all the details right now

Posted by Ashley from Missouri on March 19, 2007 3:57 PM

In GOF, Voldemort refers to the Horcruxes as his "experiments" when he tells the Eaters that they worked. He also expressed his disappointment that the Eaters, who had known of the steps Voldemort had taken long ago toward preventing his , hadn't bothered to look for him after his disappearance. He believed that they should have known he wasn't really .
Surely Snape would have been aware of the Horcruxes, if Voldemort had made it common knowledge among the Eaters. However, Dumbledore himself didn't seem to know for sure what was going on by the end of GOF. He indicated to Harry that he might have an idea, but he had to wait until HBP to be certain.
Why would Snape withold such crucial information about the Horcruxes from Dumbledore?

Posted by Nancy from Virginia on March 19, 2007 4:58 PM

Nancy, I've wondered about that too. And I came to a less than exciting conclusion. When writing a book, or series of books, sometimes an author doesn't quite see the implications of every last word. When s/he is dealing with one book, that's not a problem. It's possible to go back over it and catch any little glitches like that. This is what editors and copy editors are paid for. But when it involves later books, it's not so easy.
For example in GOF when Harry forces Voldemort's wand to regurgitate spells, in my edition Lily appears before James. In later editions this has been corrected because Voldemort ed James first.
In PS/SS Hagrid says he has to get going and return the motorbike to Sirius. Yet in POA Hagrid says that Sirius had told him not to bother, that he wouldn't be needing it anymore. Perhaps in PS/SS JKR had not quite seen the significance of the name Sirius Black.
Possibly, in having Voldemort imply that the eaters knew what he had done to achieve immortality, JKR did not quite she had to account for Snape not knowing or not telling Dumbledore. Or it might be that only a very few favoured eaters knew. Bellatrix for example. In fact Voldemort might be very careful about what Snape knew since he was to be close to Dumbledore, and Dumbledore is a great Legilimens. It's hard to say one way or another, but problems of continuity can arise and the answer might be that simple.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 19, 2007 10:00 PM

I am really disturbed about one thing regarding Snape being on the "good" side. When Hermione explains to Harry about her guarding infront of Snape's office (in madam Pomfrey's room), we can hear that Snape curses "Charm Master" Flitwick before he leaves his office to join Dumbledore and eaters. Now, why would he possibly do that if Flitwick could really be of assistance fighting against eaters helping the "good" side. Any explanations to this riddle? After all, Flitwick was the Charms Master.

Posted by njok on March 21, 2007 1:49 PM

Thanks, Elizabeth! What you've said makes a lot of sense, especially if Voldemort decided telling Snape might be risky because of his association with Dumbledore. And I agree that sometimes it's hard for an author to foresee future implications--one of the most GLARING blunders shows up in GOF when the horseless carriages are taking the students from Hogwarts to the train to go home for the summer: Harry had just seen Cedric ed; however, he does NOT see the thestrels! Of course, you don't realize that he should until well into OotP, but when you reread GOF, OOPS! As for revising GOF to "correct" the order of Lily and James appearing from Voldemort's wand--Lily SHOULD have appeared first, since the victims were coming from the wand in REVERSE ORDER, thus Lily before James, who had DIED first. (Looks like the publishers outsmarted themselves on that one!)

And to Njok: I believe that Snape was attempting to protect Flitwick by Stunning him, and he told Hermione and Luna to help Flitwick to keep them out of harm's way, too. As gifted a wizard as Flitwick may be, I honestly don't see him as being combat-trained. He's not been shown as an active member of the Order, though he could be working somewhere behind the scenes. The most telling explanation shows up in how often Flitwick is knocked off his feet by students' misaimed spells--Snape is probably afraid Flitwick couldn't hold his own against the Eaters and tries to keep him safe and away from the battle.

Oh, does anyone know where Flitwick comes in the chain of command at Hogwarts? I'd wondered if he might be directly behind McGonagall, which would be an added incentive for Snape to protect him. Snape knows that McGonagall would be in the midst of the fight against the Eaters, and if the moment has come where Snape has to Dumbledore, Snape may be trying to preserve the chain of command by protecting Flitwick, in case McGonagall herself doesn't survive the fight.

Posted by Nancy from Virginia on March 21, 2007 3:59 PM

Sorry, Nancy, it's me who got the Lily/James order around the wrong way! In my edition James appears before Lily, which as you say, is wrong because they have to appear in reverse order of . In later editions Lily appears first. Sorry about that.

I've spotted a few blips in continuity through the series, but all very minor stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if one day she revises the entire set to catch them all. Authors don't often get that sort of opportunity, but I'm sure Bloomsbury would be more than happy to do it.

I'm not sure about the Thestrals though. Yes, Harry has just seen Cedric ed, but he is still in shock I think and hasn't really taken it on board. By the time he returns after the summer holiday it's different. He'd been having nightmares about it, it is constantly on his mind, and he has absorbed it.

As for Snape, I've no idea where Flitwick is in the chain of command, but I think Snape was simply protecting him, period. Just as he protected Hermione and Luna. I'm wondering how long it take for someone like Remus Lupin, who is nothing if not rational and perceptive, to pick up on all these anomalies in Snape's behaviour.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 21, 2007 5:30 PM

I agree with both Elizabeth and Nancy regarding Flitwick. We have never seen Flitwick teach any student a spell or charm that would be much use in a fight. It could be that Flitwick is a pacifist at heart but one who would try to fight if it came down to it. If he tried to take on a eater, he would probably be ed faster than the fox at the beginning of HBP. He has never been seen using a curse or disarming spell. Maybe he does not know how. Snape wanted Flitwick safe in his office. Another theory is maybe Flitwick knew the perfect spell or charm to get past any barrier including the one the eaters put up. Snape and Dumbledore could not afford to have anyone interfere.

Posted by Marc Silverman from Arizona on March 22, 2007 07:56 AM

Wikikpedia describes Flitwick this way:

"Hermione Granger tells that Filius Flitwick was once a duelling champion, very intelligent, and quite handsome when he was younger. He taught at Hogwarts when James Potter and his contemporaries were there. J.K Rowling mentions on her official website that Flitwick is human, with "a dash of goblin ancestry".

I am not sure about authenticity of this comment, but it does make me a bit sceptic... duelling champion (which in my opinion had to include a fight, i'd say they didnt compete in playing cards). It would be natural to assume that Severus had no time to think about consequences of letting him go so he just reacted fastly. However, I am sure that Hermione and Luna don't think so.

Posted by njok on March 23, 2007 05:54 AM

From the first time I read HBP, I believed Snape was a good guy. I was suspicious of it after reading in OotP that Lily went to bat for Snape (stood up for him when James and Lupin were taunting him). Bottom line...Snape was in love with Lily. He hated James for several reasons, but most of all because James ended up with Lily. I think Snape overheard Trelawney's prophecy and may have made a deal with Voldemort...'I'll tell you what I know & if you have to, James, but spare Lily.' When Voldemort ed Lily, that's what caused Snape to go over to the good side.

Remember, Dumbledore said Lily saved Harry with "old magic", meaning love. Love for Lily was Snape's redeeming quality & the reason Dumbledore knows he can trust him.

Also, remember in GOF when Voldemort reappears in the graveyard and calls the eaters back to him, he says on page 651-652, he says, "Six missing eaters. Three in my service, one too cowardly to return (meaning Karkaroff). He pay. One, who I believe has left me forever (meaning Snape). He be ed, of course. And one who remains my most faithful servant and who has already re-entered my service...he is at Hogwarts (meaning Bartie Crouch Jr.)"

Dumbledore & Snape knew they'd have to pull off something drastic to get Snape back on Voldemort's good side. Because Snape is so good at Occlumency, he is the obvious person to be the mole & work for OotP from the inside.

I think Snape end up sacrificing himself in book 7 to save Harry & Snape tell Harry the truth about his love for Lily with his last breath.

Posted by Barbi Smith from Anderson, IN on March 23, 2007 6:47 PM

Barbi, while I think you are absolutely right about Snape's ultimate loyalty to the Order, Dumbledore testified that Snape turned spy AGAINST Voldemort. That is before Voldemort fell. Also I don't think Snape is fool enough to put any trust in a promise from Voldemort about Lily's safety. Any suggestion from Snape that he had the least feeling for any member of the Order, let alone one in Voldemort's firing line, and it would have sealed his own warrant. Voldemort would have the clue to his motivation and loyalty. I think it's because Voldemort has never had the slightest idea that Snape loved Lily that Snape has been able to lie so successfully. During the Occlumency lessons Snape warns Harry about exactly that, not wearing one's heart on one's sleeve. That those who do are easy prey for Voldemort. The least hint of that and Snape's cover would be blown. Rowling is a very sed writer. Most scenes have at least two functions dramtically. They frequently push the story forward, develop one or more characters and a relationship and sneak clues in at the same time. The Occlumency lessons are a prime example of this. Harry needs them for the plot. They also give us further insight into Snape, his background and motivation, as well as his relationship with Harry, and I think with Voldemort. He KNOWS the knife edge he's walking with his supposed master. It's no wonder he reacts so violently when Harry calls him a coward at the end of HBP.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 24, 2007 02:42 AM

Barbi: Couldn't Voldemort be referring to Snape and not Barty Crouch Jr as his most faithful servant? I don't have the book in front of me so I don't know if there is anything that specifically refers to Barty Crouch Jr or not...

Posted by Jennie from Beachwood NJ on March 24, 2007 10:44 AM

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