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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 32)

I've just finished HP6 and the 1st time I read it I was shocked, but now I think Snape is on the good side. There are suggestions throughout the dumbledore knew he was going to and I think he froze harry in the tower so harry could witness Malfoy's struggle and snape's 'betrayal'.

I was also wondering about the chapter names for they are important. In HP5 the chapter Snape's Worst Memory essentially shows snape pushing lily away. I believe that snape liked lily and later regretted this incident as it alienated them, perhaps it somehow even lead to his Eater involvement as he really thought he was alone. It would also tie in with Dumbledore saying snape's biggest regret is telling voldemort about the prophesy. As we know dumbledore said snape only heard the begining, but Trelawney remembers snape being chucked out. As Trelawney doesn't doesn't remember giving prophesies, then snape must have heard the whole thing. Perhaps it is his biggest regret as he ultimately lead the lily's , which my not have happened had pettigrew not betrayed them. Surely this is reason enough for Dumbledore to trust snape with no doubt, for as he says, love is very powerful, and Voldemort underestimates this, and in a way Harry does as well, like dumbledore said, he's not quite old enough yet.

dumbledore said it was important that harry was still pure at heart. would performing an unforgivable curse make him less pure? is this, along with the unbreakable vow, the reason why snape ed dumbledore? Also, despite being , harry still obeys dumbledore, throughout HP6 harry obeys him, despite wanting to argue, perhaps dumbledore affected snape in a similar way...

Posted by mmc from sa on April 23, 2007 5:54 PM

I dont think anyone has even given a thought to the chapter names so that was a very good point. Most people probably just assumed that "Snape's worst memory" was being so embarrassed in front of everyone. But that would be his most embarrassing memory, not necessarily the worst. So I have to agree with the theory that you said. Maybe it was his worst memory because he had to push her away. There have been many stories throughout history of people pushing away the ones they care most about in order to keep them safe. We dont know what kind of dangers Snape was facing at that time,if any. We dont know if he was like Harry is now where he basically does go looking for trouble.

Posted by Marc Silverman from Arizona on April 25, 2007 07:58 AM

Although Snape is supposed to be into the dark arts... all the magic we see him perform, especially in the HBP, is to heal those who have been attacked by the dark arts...

I think the idea that Dumbledore is pleading with Snape to save Harry is a brilliant one....Dumbledore was very careful to make sure that no-one knew Harry was with him when he went looking for the horcrux...this must have been crucial. Although rumours leak out afterwards, no-one on the dark side knows for sure where they went or that Harry was with Dumbledore.

Posted by Joe from England on April 27, 2007 07:51 AM

Yes, i do believe that Snape is good. I think he might sacrifice himself for someone. I think Draco turn too.

Posted by Jojo from Minnesota on April 29, 2007 07:05 AM

Interesting comment on the chapter names...but if Snape indeed came back over to the good side because he loved Lily and betrayed her by getting her ed, wouldn't that be his worst memory?

Posted by Jennie from Beachwood NJ on April 29, 2007 6:03 PM

Looking at the Sectumsempra scene, I've concluded that Snape never punished Harry for harming Malfoy with the curse. During the interrogation, Snape performs Legilimency twice; the second time, we never see what Snape sees, but immediately after, he tells Harry, "I think that you are a liar and a cheat and that you deserve detention with me every Saturday until the end of term" (HBP 528). Snape NEVER says Harry's being punished for what he did to Draco. Why?

From the moment Snape makes the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa, Draco's subsequent behavior constantly puts Snape's life at risk. At Slughorn's Christmas party, Harry notices that Snape seems slightly afraid of Draco (HBP 321). Malfoy's attitude during the overheard conversation with Snape shows that he's out of control--not only is Draco totally focused on revenge and achieving personal glory, he doesn't care in the least that his actions are endangering Snape (HBP 322-324).

Snape may have seen his worst fears realized when he performs Legilimency on Harry. We don't know what Draco told Snape about what happened in the bathroom, but Snape is determined to learn the truth before assigning detention. Imagine Snape's shock at seeing
Malfoy's "contorted" face and his mouth forming the word "Cruci--" (HBP 522). Snape realizes if Harry hadn't countered with Sectumsempra, Draco would have succeeded in using an Unforgiveable Curse; Harry would have screamed the castle down; Draco inevitably would have been expelled, arrested, and sent to Azkaban; and Snape believes he himself could have d because of the Vow.

As a teacher, Snape is caught in an awkward situation: he's OBLIGATED to mete out punishment appropriate to Harry's offense against Malfoy. However, since Harry's curse had actually SAVED Snape's life, Snape makes a fine distinction (which Harry doesn't understand, due to the sheer number of detentions) by stating that he's being punished for lying and cheating. Snape acknowledges Harry's actions obliquely by NOT stating that the punishment has anything to do with Sectumsempra or Malfoy--it's the best Snape can do under the circumstances. (Besides, Snape may feel Draco got what he deserved!) Furthermore, Snape is aware that by saving his life, Harry has also repaid a life .

Posted by Nancy from Virginia on April 30, 2007 10:18 AM

Interesting and probably correct line of thinking as to what happened between Harry and Snape after the semptumsempra incident. But would Malfoy have been able to actually "mean" the curse & cause Harry pain, or would it have deflected, like Harry trying to do the curse on Bellatrix at the ministry?

Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico on April 30, 2007 7:59 PM

I did think about that, Dave, and I believe that Draco was capable of carrying out the Cruciatus Curse. Not only does he come from a Dark family, he was FURIOUS with Harry at that moment--Yes, I think he could have done it. I've also looked at Harry's fury when he was pursuing Snape after Dumbledore's , and I think Harry could have actually cast the curse on Snape at point, had not Snape been more accomplished than Harry at dueling. Harry certainly meant to cause Snape pain, just as Malfoy fully intended to blast Harry. Bottom line: SNAPE believed Malfoy could have done it, and Snape's close acquaintance with the Malfoy family probably lent him insight into Draco's true abilities.

Posted by Nancy from Virginia on May 1, 2007 3:51 PM

good point jennie from beachwood. snape's biggest regret is telling Voldemort the prophesy. I assume had Peter remained on the goodside, Voldemort would've been stopped or battled, at the Potter's, however the plan went wrong. I'd still say the memory of his being teased is his worst as not only was it embarrassing, but lily probably never spoke to him again, he'd know had he not called her a mudblood things would be different. Maybe his regret is not his worst memory, as everyone in the Order knew there was a chance they'd , and the ultimate goal of keeping Harry, and even Neville,safe, had been acheived, despite the loss of their parents.

Posted by mmc from sa on May 1, 2007 9:55 PM

someone somewhere said JKR doesn't change her characters. Those shown to be good are, those bad, are too. Snape is shown as a bitter person who dislikes Harry because of his feelings towards James. He is shown to be on Dumbledore's side, despite our lack of information. He could've made things alot worse for harry, surely Voldemort would not mind if Harry never became a wizard, or was expelled, it would make ing him easier. Snape makes empty threats of expulsion, but isn't more than a hated teacher and distraction for harry. perhaps snape's bad treatment is somehow preparation for Voldemort's bad treatment in final battle, or maybe like the hate in his voice when he ed dumbledore, snape has hate in his eyes for harry, as harry has lily's is hate for himself, making him a sorry figure as shown in memories of his youth.

Posted by mmc from sa on May 1, 2007 10:03 PM

Right at the end of HBP, Harry thinks he won't get a good mark on an essay he has done for Snape because he disagreed with him about the best way to deal with dementors. Will their difference of opinion be put to the test in ly Hallows?

Is Snapes worst memory actually that he thought he'd done well on his Defence against the dark arts OWL when actually he hadn't? Dumbledore says to Harry "don't count your OWLs before they are delivered? Perhaps James et al did better than Snape...wouldn't this have riled him?

Posted by Joe from England on May 2, 2007 05:14 AM

I keep looking at the Snape/Draco angle, and there's one thing in the Christmas party scene that isn't explained by Draco's careless recklessness: Harry notices that Draco looks unhappy after Slughorn tells him he can stay and won't be punished.

In HBP, in Draco's eyes, Snape goes from being his father's supposed friend and Draco's respected teacher to being Draco's number one rival for Voldemort's attention. With that in mind, is it beyond the realm of possibility that Draco crashes Slughorn's party HOPING to be caught and punished? Does that explain Draco's unhappiness? Is that what the scene is actually showing us--Draco's DELIBERATE attempt to get Snape ed via the Vow?

Posted by Nancy from Virginia on May 2, 2007 4:04 PM

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