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Transcript of SEVERUS SNAPE
ABOUT THE CHARACTER
Throughout the "Harry Potter" series, many different characters are portrayed as the villain or antagonist. It isn't until the end of the very last book that Severus Snape can be seen as anything more than a man filled with hatred, malice, and bitterness.
Born to Eileen (Prince) Snape and Tobias Snape in 1960, Severus grew up with an unhappy home-life and an abusive father. He did not know how to properly care for or love a person until he met Lily Evans, a girl that lived in his neighborhood and the later-to-be mother of Harry Potter. They became friends once Severus witnessed Lily's magical abilities, and deduced that she was a witch. He told her everything he could about Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, eager to go to school with a friend.
On September 1st of 1971, he arrived to school on the Hogwarts Express with his close friend Lily Evans (later, Potter) in tow, not knowing that they would be separated in a way he would never imagine. Lily was sorted into Gryffindor - the house of the brave. Severus finds himself in Slytherin - a house of cunning folk unafraid to achieve their means.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Severus Snape is a character in the world-famous book series "Harry Potter" by J.K. Rowling - a collection of seven installments that follow the main character, Harry, as he proceeds through his schooling years and escapades at "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry"
Severus is a teacher at "Hogwarts" - a school of wizardry that Harry Potter attends. He is the professor of potions class, and later on in the series; defense against the dark arts.
He is known for his hatred of the protagonist of the series, Harry Potter.
“I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter’s son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter —”
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
As their school years went on, Severus and Lily found themselves drifting apart. Still hopelessly in love with her, Severus struggled with himself to remain her friend. Torn by his need to feel included within the house of Slytherin, but desperate to keep Lily's trust - his every-day life at Hogwarts was made miserable by members of the Gryffindor house, who targeted and bullied him. One boy in particular, James Potter, was the future father of Harry Potter, and had his eyes on Severus' best friend, Lily.
In his sixth year at Hogwarts, Severus had a falling-out with Lily. They drifted apart and soon enough he had left Hogwarts to join the regime of Lord Voldemort, an extremely powerful dark wizard that planned to dominate over the world.
He returned to Hogwarts in 1980, seeking a job. Accidentally stumbling upon a dire meeting with Albus Dumbledore (headmaster at Hogwarts until book seven) and Sybill Trelawney, he ease dropped on their conversation. Sybill - who was a teacher of Divination and a psychic - recited the first part of a prophecy pertaining to Lord Voldemort, the maniacal dark wizard that was rising to power in their world. He only heard the first half, and ran off before he could listen in on the rest.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ..."
- The Prophecy
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
Eventually, Severus shared this information with Voldemort. On July 31st, Harry Potter was born to James and Lily Potter. Once Voldemort heard word of Harry's birth, he planned to murder the Potters. Severus begged him to spare Lily, but Voldemort refused. Despite their falling-out, Severus still loved her. He went to Dumbledore once more, warning him of the dark wizard's plans.
" "What request could a Death Eater make of me?"
"The -- the prophecy... the prediction... Trelawney..."
"Ah, yes." said Dumbledore. "How much did you relay to Lord Voldemort?"
"Everything -- everything I heard!" said Snape. "That is why -- it is for that reason -- he thinks it means Lily Evans!"
"The prophecy did not refer to a woman." said Dumbledore. "It spoke of a boy born at the end of July --"
"You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down -- kill them all --"
"If she means so much to you," said Dumbledore, "surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?"
"I have -- I have asked him --"
"You disgust me." said Dumbledore, and Harry had never heard so much contempt in his voice. Snape seemed to shrink a little. "You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?"
Snape said nothing, but merely looked up at Dumbledore.
"Hide them all, then," he croaked. "Keep her -- them -- safe. Please."
"And what will you give me in return, Severus?"
"In -- in return?" Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to protest, but after a long moment he said, "Anything." "
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pages 677-678
(This scene takes place in the memories of Severus Snape, which he allows Harry Potter to look through in the brief moments before his death.)
(After the last memory, comes this one:)
" "I thought... you were going... to keep her... safe..."
"She and James put her faith in the wrong person," said Dumbledore. "Rather like you, Severus. Weren't you hoping that Lord Voldemort would spare her?"
Snape's breathing was shallow.
"Her boy survives." said Dumbledore.
With a tiny jerk of head, Snape seemed to flick off an irksome fly.
"Her son lives. He has her eyes, precisely her eyes. You remember the shape and color of Lily Evan's eyes, I am sure?"
"DON'T!" bellowed Snape. "Gone... dead..."
"Is this remorse, Severus?"
"I wish... I wish
"And what use would that be to anyone?" said Dumbledore coldly. "If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear."
Snape seemed to peer through a haze of pain, and Dumbledore's words appeared to take a long time to reach him.
"What -- what do you mean?"
"You know how and why she died. Make sure it was not in vain. Help me protect Lily's son."
"He does not need protection. The Dark Lord has gone --"
"The Dark Lord will return, and Harry Potter will be in terrible danger when he does."
There was a long pause, and slowly Snape regained control of himself, mastered his own breathing. At last he said, "Very well. Very well. But never -- never tell, Dumbledore! This must be between us! Swear it! I cannot bear... especially Potter's son... I want your word!"
"My word, Severus, that I shall never reveal the best of you?" Dumbledore sighed, looking down into Snape's ferocious, anguished face. "If you insist..." "
From the moment Harry Potter enters Hogwarts, Severus is constantly keeping track of Harry and his safety. It is hard for him to have him as a student as well, because although he has his mother's eyes, Harry looks almost identical to his father. Severus is constantly reminded of his childhood tormenter, James Potter, thus making it hard for him to be in Harry's presence.
He saves Harry's life many times throughout the series, but still seems to loathe Harry, who dislikes him in turn as well. Harry sees him as untrustworthy, cruel, and at one point a murderer. What he doesn't know is that Snape is a double spy, which means that Voldemort believed he was spying on the Order of the Phoenix, (an organization created by Dumbledore himself) when in reality he had been loyal to the Order and Lily Evans for all those years since her death.
As time goes on and the atmosphere of the book begins to darken, what Severus does becomes less from guilt and more for the "greater good" He does not agree with Voldemort's outlook on the world. He still cannot control the hatred he has for Harry's deceased doppelganger. But he was pure at heart.
Dumbledore also began to see their movement against Voldemort as less about Harry himself, but what was best for the future and safety of all wizards and witches. Severus began to realize in the end of the war against Voldemort that Dumbledore wanted to sacrifice Harry's safety and life for the survival of their species.
As a character, Snape's moral compass is intact, but there are actions and events he is willing to participate in - this is so Voldmort will not question his loyalty.
To protect Harry, fulfill his debt, and protect the Order, he is willing to:
- be despised by almost everyone whom he is protecting
- be a fugitive
- participate in illegal activities
- betray people he may care about when faking his loyalty to the "Dark Lord"
- harm others
Qualities he possesses:
- calculating, precise
- noble and brave, perhaps even a
"Gryffindor at heart"
It's quite obvious that Severus Snape, at heart, is a hero.