If you’ve read the “about me” section of this blog, you know that one interesting topic has already risen from the ashes: Severus Snape. As you know, Harry Potter is one of my strong suits and if you don’t know anything about this Snape dude, well, you’re about to learn. Down to the basics: Severus Snape was our least favorite potions master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At times, you wanted HIM to die more than Voldemort himself!! He was biased to every Slytherin to walk the planet, he graded unfairly to all his students, and, let’s be honest, the whole “I’m in love with my enemy’s dead mom” thing can get a little out of hand. But was any of that really his fault?
According to J.K. Rowling, Snape’s past wasn’t all that great. His father was abusive, he didn’t have any friends, he was hated by everyone in his schooling, and he dabbled in the dark arts because of it. In his teenage years, James Potter, Harry’s dad, and his Marauders were the BIGGEST jerks. James was just as arrogant as Snape always said he was, proving so when he literally levitated Snape from his feet and mocked poor “Snivilus” when he was powerless. Not to mention the time he almost killed Snape by setting Remus Lupin in his werewolf form after him in a thirst for blood. Sure, he ended up saving Snape in the end, but Snape himself acknowledged that it was only to save his own neck! The biggest reason for Snape to hate James was his love for Lily. Both had an eye for the girl, and Lily was friends with Snape for a while before his Slytherin side really acted up. (I’m not prejudiced against Slytherins, by the way, but they do have the highest ratings of dark witches and wizards so…) Then, unfortunately, the friendless young man lost the girl to, surprise surprise, the sport playing wonder-boy. No wonder Snape went rouge.
In adult years, Snape’s life didn’t get much better. He turned to what he thought was the only help he could get: Voldemort. Funny how people yearn for what they know is not good for them. One of his final acts as a Death Eater was eavesdropping on a job interview between Albus Dumbledore and Sybill Trelawney. Trelawney’s grandmother was talented in the arts of divination (fortune telling) and claimed to have the gift herself. Dumbledore was not impressed until she spouted out what happened to be the first of two prophecies she had ever said. It was about The Chosen One who was the only one with power to vanquish the Dark Lord. Snape overheard this snippet of their conversation and immediately turned to his master to tell the news. Too late he realized that he led Voldemort to the only person he could ever love: Lily Potter. In telling the Dark Lord of this prophecy, he concluded that the “Chosen One” was Lily and James’ only son, Harry James Potter. Voldemort set out to kill the boy, and we all know what happened next. Snape went back to Dumbledore and begged for his forgiveness and for the protection of the Potters, and in return, he promised to kill Dumbledore when the time was right. The Potters had an early and sad ending to life, not including young Harry, who went to Hogwarts himself and gained the same hate for Snape as his father did.
Who could blame Harry, either?
Snape kept true to his promise, being a very convincing spy for Voldemort, gaining his complete trust, as Dumbledore predicted, by actually killing Dumbledore himself. Snape was a double agent, doubted by both sides of his true allegiance and being as slippery as ever, the greasy old git. To the end, he fought, and his death was untimely and cruel. (sorry, sweety. spoilers)
So, was Snape ever really a good guy? Depends on who you ask. He had true intentions, no doubt, and a good heart. He just didn’t treat those he loved with the kindness they deserved. Yes, he had a right to be biased against Harry, but really? Finding pleasure in his pain?! Not cool, man. So, yes. Snape was an ok guy. He just didn’t show it very well. But that’s just my sight on things.