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Old November 3rd, 2011, 3:00 pm
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Join Date: 25th July 2007
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I don't think it matters a jot that he didn't know who would die because of the prophecy. It's enough that he knew it would put someone in the line of fire from Voldemort. IMO, Snape is responsible for putting Lily, James and Harry in mortal peril, because he knew that someone would be in danger because of the prophecy. It doesn't become any less of an evil thing to do because he didn't know who the victims would be. Snape didn't get to play god, and decide who was worthy of life or death, which IMO, was what he tried to do.

We've discussed this point several times and I think it is still a matter of opinion as to Severus' "evil" intent.

He was sent to get a job at Hogwarts and, being caught spying at the keyhole kind of put an end to that. So, he took the only thing he had to offer back to Voldemort: a portion of a prophecy. It was kind of an, "I didn't get the job, but, listen to this..." thing, IMO. I don't think he gave a lot of thought to what was in it or who it endangered. That was definitely wrong, but, IMO, not evil. There was no actual "intent" to hurt anyone when he carried the prophecy, just the intent, as I see it, to save his own behind.

I don't think it was a matter of finding the courage to go to Dumbledore. Snape went to Dumbledore because he was going to be hurt (as a consequence of his own evil deed), not because of a conscience that went against families in general being murdered, as the DEs had been doing all along. Snape needed a personal motivation to act against Voldemort. I don't think he would have felt any reason to act against Voldemort if Lily had not been in danger.

I find this, also, a matter of opinion. IMO, Severus risked his freedom and his life in going to Dumbledore, not because of a selfish reason, but because of a selfless one: to save Lily's life. Of course he would have been hurt if she'd died, but I don't see that as his prime concern. His concern, to me, seemed to be that she was going to die, that she was going to lose her life, not him. He had no contact with her, so it wasn't like he was going to miss her anymore than he already did. He despised James, so it would have been a real evil way to get back at him, having him lose Lily, as well.

But, IMO, his concern was for Lily dying. Period.

As for having a "conscience" about a family in general, I think he was so consumed with his concern for Lily he didn't give them a thought until Dumbledore verbally gobsmacked him about it. Then he did ask for their safety as well. But, James and Harry were nothing that he was going to risk his life for as he would Lily. They were an afterthought. While, again, this may not be a totally generous and wonderful thing, it is pretty human to think of ones you love in peril before thinking of others.

In the end, though, he did agree to "anything" to save them all.

I agree with yorkiedoodle that Severus might not have left the DEs without the impetus of Lily's being in danger. First, he didn't have an opportunity to do so. He sure hadn't been invited to leave or come over to the "good side" by anyone that we see. Second, as pointed out and learned by Regulus Black, you don't just turn in your two-week notice and walk away quietly. Without all of the events coming together the way they did, I think Severus would have remained as inactive a DE as he could possibly be and still stay alive.

I do think, had he secured the position at Hogwarts the day he heard the prophecy that two things would have happened: 1) he wouldn't have needed to carry the prophecy because he'd have succeeded in his charge to get into Hogwarts to spy on Dumbledore; 2) once at Hogwarts and under Dumbledore's protection, Severus would have left the DEs and turned to the good side, because I don't think his heart was ever in being a DE. I think his being the "good little DE" was strictly an act, due to his being a spy and having to earn Voldemort's trust.


I held you in my arms, although I knew that death
Had already taken you. I held you close, hoping for a faint heartbeat or breath
To prove me wrong.
But, you were still, and could not hear or see
My grief, my tears, my heartbreak knowing that the rest of my life would be
Spent without you.
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