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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 35)

Right when I finished reading HP7 I wasn't convinced Snape had really turned to the dark side, mostly because of the repetition of Dumbledore saying "I trust severus completley" (especially in the last couple books). This site just ties up all the lose ends I had to my theory!

Remeber in the hospital wing McGonagall and Lupin say there was some reason Dumbledore had complete trust in Snape and I think we have yet to find that reason out.

Also, Snape's hatred towards Harry might be because he not only feels guilt for being the cause of Harry's parent's but also because he could relate so well to Harry's unfortunate situation growing up. And I bet Snape wanted no reason to sympathize with the son of a man who tourtered him growing up, so he turned his pity into hate.

I do think Dumbledore is though...there is no way around that.

Posted by Kate M. from USA on June 5, 2007 3:37 PM

The plot has many other hints pointing to Snape's true loyalties. My opinion is that Snape is actually ingly working as a double agent in order to land safely on the winning side when the conflict is over. But, he has become a double agent more by circumstance than by choice. He has played his cards so complexly that he is trapped in cross fire.

Some avenues are:

1.Although he denies it, Snape owes James Potter his life by preventing him to enter the Shrieking Shack when Lupin was transformed. As has been mentioned elsewhere, this may have created a magical bond, he otherwise could have ed Harry many times.

2. In the first book Snape -arguably- saves Harry's life in the quidditch match, a fact that was later confirmed by Voldemort himself. But should we take Voldemort's word for it? Perhaps Voldemort said that it was Quirrel and not Snape jinxing the broom. Voldemort said that Snape saved Harry's life to protect Snape's identity as a Eater. The Quidditch incident was never questioned or clarified later on who actually jixed the broom by any other character. So Voldemort gets away by hiding Snape in the School. In the movie as well as in the book, Snape is the only one making gesticulations at Harry, and Voldemort is the only one that speaks about the incident.

Perhaps, Snape made an unbreakable vow to Dumbledore in order to hunt Voldemort until the end. However, he also made one to Nacissa Malfoy. Therefore, he consciously and ingly placed himself in the middle. The unbreakable vow he made to Dumbledore included ing him if necessary.

In light of the assumptions above, Snape cannot Harry nor Draco nor Voldemort (he knows about the prophecy adn Snape knows Voldemort must face Harry in the end). However, he can and did Dumbledore.

3. The "don't call me coward!" shouted to Harry before Snape disappears in the final pages of the HBP, refers to the fact that Snape is indeed trapped in cross fire, but he would not be uning to Harry if Snape wasn't trapped by his own choices. He hated being called coward because that is the antithesis of what he wants to be called when the war is over: brave.

4. Harry once ruined Snape's opportunity to get a First class wizarding Order of Merlin, and he was upset. If he was really a Eater, serving only Voldemort, he couldn't care less about awards presented by the MoM. If he was not a Eater, he would much desire to get this award. This hints that Snape only aspires for recognition and does have any true loyalties but to himself.

In the end, Snape be defeated by not taking sides. Snape is an extremely cunning and powerful wizard. But he be defeated by his own personal ambition.

Posted by Sergio from Mexico DF on June 6, 2007 12:30 AM

I think most of your last post is excellent. Except for #3.
In GOF when Voldemort comes back and he is seeing which Eaters came back, he says his most faithful is at Hogwarts (Barty Crouch Jr.), one is lost and never return, one be ed (Karkaroff), and one is a coward (Snape). You can bet that Snape had the Crucatius Curse used on him a bunch while Voldemort called him a coward for not returning at once. Only after torturing and Snape finally convincing Voldemort that he was trying to make Dumbledore think he was faithful, that way would Voldemort have stopped the torture. That's why Snape shudders when he tells Harry not to call him a coward at the end of HBP. He is re-living the torture from Voldemort. That is another thing that proves he is good. Who would put up with that and still remain loyal to Dumbledore after torture like Snape endured?

Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico on June 6, 2007 3:13 PM

I agree with you. Point 3 is way out there, but that is just another possible avenue for the plot. I can't wait for the next book.

A question arises if we think Snape is good... he be forgiven by the others (included Harry) in the end?

Posted by Sergio from Mexico DF on June 6, 2007 7:44 PM

Firstly, there is no evidence really of an Unbreakable Vow made between Albus and Severus. This is purely speculation, and I don't know about anyone else, but I, for one, do not think Albus would stoop as low as making a threat to Severus to assure his loyalty. That's more in the order of Voldemort/ Eater mentality: "Obey me or ."

The reasons why I think Severus was good based on all the lies he tells Bellatrix, with cannon, quotes, and psychology to support my theories, goes on for 6 pages, but in (relatively) short:

1) Eaters don't trust Severus: if Voldemort believes him, why would Severus care what the Eaters thought? He needs their trust in order to spy on them, though.
2) Voldemort believes him: because Voldemort is a good Legilimens, but we know Severus is a good Occulmens, and he has even said that "those sed in Occlumency can... utter falsehood in his presence."
3) When the Potters were attacked Severus was: almost undoubtedly at Hogwarts attending the Halloween Feast, but who told him to be there?
4) He stayed at Hogwarts because: Albus was protecting him, not only from the Ministry, but from the other Eaters, too.
5) His sacrifice for Voldemort was not to teach DADA: DADA is jinxed, has been for almost 40 years, and Severus would have known since this is well within both Severus� school days and his 15 year career.
6) Severus never looked for Voldemort because: if Albus trusted his so much, he would have shared the opinion that Voldemort was not with Severus, so he knew Voldemort was not gone.
7) Severus prevented VoldeQuirrell from getting the Philosopher's Stone because: �when you�ve had time to decide where your loyalties lie.� Loyalty to oneself is called conviction; the word loyalty would not be used if he were acting on his own. (from a writer�s perspective, I thought that odd.)
8) When Voldemort came back, Severus waited two hours because: knew he would Albus would ask him to spy, and in the meantime, shows the Minister of Magic the nice little tattoo on his left arm.
9) Two months ago, when the Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix battled, Severus was: nowhere to be found. Albus says �he intended to look for [Harry] in the forest.� �Intended to�, not �did.�
10) Useful information that Severus has given the Eaters: lead to Sirius and Emmeline�s s? See the Emmeline article, and in the meantime, Kreature�s information passed on through Narcissa, not Severus�, led to Sirius� .
11) Harry is still alive because: he didn�t want to him. And he was mean to him as soon as he clapped eyes on him, so his statement that he thought Harry was another dark wizard seems to be untrue as well.
12) Albus believes him because: of this reason we don�t yet know. I read somewhere else someone�s opinion that yes, Severus felt remorse and Albus trusted him because of what Severus did about it.

And, yes, there were 12 issues that Bellatrix has with Severus, I did not stop there on purpose.

Posted by Monkeeshrines from orlando, fl on June 7, 2007 09:55 AM

I agree with many of your points above, but I don't buy the argument that Snape has remorse. As you well said he is a gifted occlumens and he can hide his true thoughts to both Voldemort and Dumbledore. However, I am a loyal Dumbeldore's man and if he trusted him I trust him too.

Posted by Serge from Mexico on June 8, 2007 12:08 AM

Sergio, paisano,

I do think that remorse is the word because if, as I think is the case, Severus was in love with Lily, and it was his information about the prophesy what made The Dark Lord target her, it would be Remorse what he would be feeling. Remorse, because in an indirect way he was the cause of his love's .

There are some cues that point to this theory.

Lily and Severus had potions together, and both where very good at the subject, they might even have been friends from their early days at school.

When Harry is trying to explain about the Dementor attack to Vernon and Petunia, it is Petunia who recognizes the word, and tells Vernon that they are real. When Vernon asks how she knows about them she only tells him that he overheard �that awful boy� telling her (Lily) about them. At first I did think it was James, but nobody could say that James was an �awful boy�, but it could be said about Snape, and James in NEVER referred in such a way throughout the series.

Snape�s father was a muggle, and they lived in a muggle neighborhood, so Snape knew how to travel as a muggle, and would have no problems to get to Lily�s place unaided.

In the oclumency lessons, when Harry shouts PROTEGO, he enters Snapes mind and among other things he sees a girl (I believe it is Lily) laughing as a young boy (Snape) tries to mount a bucking broom, prove that they where friends.

I feel that that is Snape�s Worst Memory, not because he was humiliated in front of others, but because it might have been what ended his friendship with Lily, and in ending the friendship he also ended all hope of her ever being with him.

Snape has mixed feelings about Harry. Harry is the spitting image of his father, whom Severus hated more than anything, because he was all that he was not (popular, good in flying, good looking, pure blood, etc.), and because he ended up with Lily, but every time that he sees James� face he also sees Lily�s eyes, the eyes of the only person he has ever loved.

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on June 12, 2007 3:37 PM

I have a completely different outlook on Dumbledore and Snape. We don't really know what happend to Dumbledore when he was young. For all we know he might have been evil, and he may have created a horcrux for himself... you never know.

As for Snape... if something like that exists then there is a possibility that maybe, just maybe Dumbledore told him where it is. But of course if Dumbledore had one that would obviously have to mean that he ed someone, which could be quite possible.

Posted by lena from Kitchener, Ontario on June 12, 2007 7:09 PM

Thinking back to Voldemort and his eaters in the grave yard...I don't believe Snape is the coward... I think Kararoff is the coward and Snape is the one who is lost never to return...he says as much in his conversation with Bellatrix at the beginning of HBP...some feat then that he has managed to convince Voldemort of his continuing loyalty.

Snape says don't call me coward to Harry because he is actually being very brave on Harry's behalf unbeknownst to Harry...I think Snape is putting his neck on the line big time for Harry but can't tell him...Harry has no idea...hence his overreaction when Harry calls him coward.

I like the idea that Snape's worst memory is such because he denounces Lily in public...insults her in the worst way and thus loses either her friendship...or any chance of ever being with her (remembering that this scene is at the end of their fifth year at Hogwarts and before the intimacy of NEWT potions). Snape was in with Lucius Malfoy and the others who became eaters when he was at school. He could never have admitted openly to loving a muggle born witch like Lily. I think Snape insulting Lily is the worst bit of the memory because it is framed with Lily's eyes...Harry says "His mother's eyes" and then follows the description of Snape and James jinxing each other and Snape insulting Lily..the last bit of the worst memory is closed with "Lily blinked".

Snape always wears black...the colour of mourning. Is he mourning for Lily? What happened to Snape's mother? Is Dumbledore hiding her and is this why he trusts Snape?

One last question...who kissed Florence behind the green houses and jinxed the young Bertha Jorkins? Probably not related but....Snape?

Posted by Joe from England on June 13, 2007 07:57 AM

Emilio - You make some very good points about Severus being able to get to Lily and warn her about Dementors, and it is entirely possible that he was "that awful boy". However, we know Petunia never liked James, and while he is never referred in that way anywhere else, she also rarely talks about him, so it's just as possible that she was indeed talking about him.

I also fail to see how a girl laughing at a boy proves they were friends. I know I wasn't friends with everyone who laughed at me at an embarrassing moment. But, all the same, it also doesn't prove they were "enemies." We aren't told the nature of the laugh. I do think it's possibly Lily, but I don't think she was laughing because he was her friend. And the fact that they were both proficient at Potions doesn't really either, as there is no mention whether Gryfindors and Slytherins had Potions together when Severus and Lily were in school. I�m not saying that they definitely weren�t friends; it�s still quite a possibility. I just don�t think we can take these "clues" as evidence.

Posted by Monkeeshrines from orlando fl on June 13, 2007 08:04 AM

People keep saying that Snape needs to prove his allegiance to Voldemort by ing Dumbledore. But what's the use of a spy if they have no one to report to? The entire Order thinks that Snape is evil.

Posted by Geoffrey from Seattle, WA on June 13, 2007 9:50 PM

Monkeeshrines from orlando,

You are right; there are not definite clues, but possibilities, or other views on the same text. I just feel that we should consider them.

It is true that we do not know the nature of the laugh, but when I first read it I took it as a friendly laugh. Some of my best friends have laughed at me on embarrassing moments, as I have laughed about theirs, but not making fun of the other, but having fun WITH them.

Geoffrey from Seattle,

Albus would like MOST of the Order and Faculty members to think that Snape was evil, just in case that there was a spy among them, but would make sure that there was at least one that he fully trusted who knew Snape's true alliances. I believe this person to be Aberforth, Albus' brother.

There is another thread in this wonderful Site that discuses Aberforth, which I think you might find interesting.

Abeforth is a virtually unknown character, the few things that we know is that, after a lot of deduction, he is the barman at the Hog�s Head and is a former Order member (I believe he is still active in the order, but much more undercover). He be important in DH.

I hope this clears things a little.

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on June 14, 2007 12:00 PM

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