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Debunking the Snape is Good Theories

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Old August 8th, 2005, 6:43 am
blaqlives  Female.gif blaqlives is offline
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Debunking the Snape is Good Theories

Discussion of the editorial Debunking the Snape is Good Theories by Eric Mortensen.

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Old August 8th, 2005, 6:52 am
Arwen1957  Female.gif Arwen1957 is offline
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Very well written. I fear all you have written will prove to be all too true after the seventh book comes out

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Old August 8th, 2005, 7:01 am
Thayli  Male.gif Thayli is offline
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good points but jkr tends to surprise us, this may just be hpoing but i think the truth about snape will be something no one could have predicted

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Old August 8th, 2005, 7:13 am
Shaniquoi  Female.gif Shaniquoi is offline
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I agree with you on (almost) every account. I am a believer in loyal Death Eater Snape. However, I must ask: what are your feelings on the argument Hagrid overheard with Snape and Dumbledore? Hagrid's eavesdropping on the pair of them was undoubtedly included for a reason, and a huge reason at that. I do want to believe that Snape is sincerely sided with the Dark Lord... But the thought of this argument looms unpleasantly at the back of my mind...

EDIT: After careful consideration I must conclude that Snape not wanting to do "it" in the argument was his reluctance to spy on the Death Eaters any longer. It was not a plan for Dumby's demise.

Therefore my only issue is with Dumbledore being fully aware of the curse on the DADA position. Why then would he appoint Severus as the DADA professor with this in mind? He might have appointed him because he knew that Snape would have to kill him before the year expired. Or else what's the reason? Snape was conveniently DADA because Harry had to continue his potions studies? JKR could have just made Harry "Outstanding" at it if such was the case.

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Last edited by Shaniquoi; August 8th, 2005 at 6:37 pm.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 7:36 am
ptrut12345  Undisclosed.gif ptrut12345 is offline
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Thank you for this editorial. I've been arguing with people for weeks that snape is evil. the problem is that people see dumbledore as the smartest and bravest character in the series. people are too loyal to dumbledore. they can't except the fact that he makes mistakes, and they tend to be huge. Through the whole book, everybody was trying to tell harry that dumbledore trusts snape and that should be enough for everybody else. that was the twist. dumbledore trusted everyone and eventually paid for it. besides, if snape was good, i don't see how he could help the order now as everyone(for good reason) believes he's a murderer. do you expect him to walk up to Lupin and say, "It's ok dumbledore told me to kill him." Also, what harry said is very true. Hasn't anybody noticed that everyone Snape hates ends up dead? Snape is evil. Period.

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Old August 8th, 2005, 7:37 am
muggle2005  Female.gif muggle2005 is offline
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The war has begun

The war has just begun, and it looks like, in one corner, we have, Snape is evil, in another, Snape is evil and will be redeemed, and the other, Snape is good, and in the other, Snape works for himself. You can combine some of these corners, (making a Square- Snape the Square hmmm....) like Snape is for himself/evil and will be redeemed. Ultimatly it comes down to the fact that he is suppose to represent grey. (greying underpants anyone???)

Harry- Angel

Snape- an ungodly human who has done good and bad in his life and works only to better himself. He may infact be confused, and until the defining moment when he's not confused, he has to protect himself, so he can help his "final" side.

I have a feeling we're going to see a lot of these editorials. Battle Stations everybody.


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Old August 8th, 2005, 7:48 am
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Many of the points are well taken but the scene where Dumbledore is pleading with Snape is slighltly vague. When Dumbledore says "Severus.... please", those words can be indicative to the fact that Snape is on the good side. JK Rowling, purposely i think, didnt say what what Dumbledore was requesting. There are two ways to interpret those words. One, please kill me although I know you dont want to. Or two, please dont kill me. Now i think the first option is correct for the following reason. Dumbledore, being the most intellegent character in the series, realized that the only person that could possibly cure him from the potion he just drank was in front of him, surrounded by death eaters, so there would be no way he could be cured, and after this realization hit him, he accepted the fact that death was his fate, so he pleaded with Snape to kill him, knowing that Snape didnt want to. And i think when Harry called Snape a coward he became enraged because Harry didnt know that killing Dumbledore was not his wish but he had no choice. I accept this as true but some of the other points are pointing in the other direction. (Sorry for the run ons and grammer errors, grammer's just not my thing.)

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Old August 8th, 2005, 7:56 am
astaire  Female.gif astaire is offline
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Finally! Someone who believes the way I do! In no way do I think that Dumbledore intended to die. It wasn't a secret plan between them. I mean, what would be gained by Dumbledore allowing himself to die? I disagree with you on one point, though. I don't believe Snape's truly loyal to the dark side; he's not completely evil. I think he felt somewhat torn between Voldemort and Dumbledore. He looked a bit unsure when he made the vow to kill Dumbledore. Still, he did it and he made his choice. I think he reacted badly about being called a coward because, on some level, he knew he was. He chose what was easy rather than what was right. JKR has said that her characters aren't just black and white. Snape's not pure evil, but he made his choices and he'll have to live with them.

I don't think Snape was completely on the dark side the whole time he was at Hogwarts. He was torn, and I think that Narcissa Malfoy and Draco were part of why he finally committed himself to one side and made his loyalty clear. I wonder if Narcissa is the person he falls in love with? Didn't JKR say something about him falling in love in one of her interviews?

Anyway, I think Snape's not as sure of himself as he pretends. He was a bit of a fence sitter at times (probably closer to Voldemort than to Dumbledore, though). He's a very complex character and I can't wait to see what he does next.

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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:04 am
belsito  Female.gif belsito is offline
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It would have been so easy for Snape not to have got himself into the unbreakable vow with Narcissa. He was not even supposed to have discussed the matter with her in the first place. He didn't make the vow because of Voldemort but inspite of him - it would have been easy for him to plead Voldemort's displeasure to get out of it. He hesitated on the last words of the vow, not through any internal struggle for the task he would have to perform but for the fact that if he openly killed Dumbledore he would have to show his true allegience at last. It meant that he would have to get off his comfortable position on top of the fence he had been straddling for so long. It would signal a point of no return for him.

I am a bit annoyed with people thinking that Dumbledore put so little value on life, albeit his own. He loved and respected life. Although he was not afraid of death, he was not willing to throw it away so pointlessly. Dumbledore is definitely intelligent and has more insight than most, but he had no way of knowing how things would turn out and therefore I cannot possibly imagine him instructing Snape to kill him beforehand.
The hate and revulsion on Snape's face reflected his pent up anger for all the years he had been obliged to dance to Dumbledore's fiddle.

As to the argument between Snape and Dumbledore, although important, could really have been about anything! People immediately jumped to the conclusion that Dumbledore had given Snape the task of killing him, even though at that time Dumbledore could have had no idea of what was going to happen. But the vow with Narcissa had been made months before, so how could Snape have argued with Dumbledore about killing him - he already knew that he was going to have to do it since he did not think Draco's efforts were going to be successful. I had thought that perhaps their argument was about Dumbledore asking Snape to accompany him to get the horcrux from the cave and Snape refusing to help him but I hope I'm wrong on this one because it would mean that Voldemort would get to know that Dumbledore was onto his secret of immortality and what if he simply made more horcruxes to replace the ones he had lost? It could also have been the fact that Snape had made so little progress (or so Dumbledore thought) to find what Draco was up to. There is no way of telling what the argument was really about and definitely cannot be used as indicative of Snape's innocence.

A lot has also been said about Snape not killing Flitwick or Hermione. At the time, Snape did not know exactly what was happening since Drago did not want to share his glory with him. It would have been unwise for him to have shown his hand at that point because he was not sure if his time of revelation had arrived or not. Even the fact that he attacked Flitwick at all bodes ill for Snape's innocence - Flitwick is a very able wizard despite his miniscular size and would have been useful to defend Hogwarts and so would Hermione have been.

There is really nothing plausible to be said to allow for Snape's still being on the side of good at this point.

Last edited by belsito; August 8th, 2005 at 10:08 am.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:04 am
sorrows  Female.gif sorrows is offline
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Occam's Razor. Harry's used this in most of the previous books, deducing that Snape was the evil git trying to bring Harry down. Harry was wrong on all of those accounts.

I think one of Rowling's main themes of the book is that people and the choices that they have to make *aren't* simple. There is a lot of grey area. Appealing to Occam's Razor, in my opinion, is just an excuse not to think of the possibilities when dealing with literature. The simplist path is not often chosen by the author of an adventure/mystery novel.

Last edited by sorrows; August 8th, 2005 at 10:06 am.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:08 am
Mad_madeye  Male.gif Mad_madeye is offline
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Great editorial. You've summed up many of the points that have also led me to the definite conclusion that Snape is evil (or at least, Dumbledore's death was not planned and he's not on the Order's side). Though, I personally think that Severus is on his own side, rather than a fully devoted Death Eater, and is awaiting his own chance to stab Voldemort in the back (I've actually sent in an editorial of my own on that very matter yesterday; hope it gets posted soon). Another thought has struck me, pondering on the death and the whole issue regarding Snivellus: wouldn't it be slightly stupid of Jo's if Dumbledore's death turns out to be planned? It would make the death itself and Snape's betrayal so much less powerful and meaningful. I think the best point you've made was to debunk the Snape-is-good-theories was the Unbreakable Vow: you're right, Snape could've slithered out of it in front of Bellatrix and Narcissa and surely, if he's a good guy, he wouldn't oblige to kill Dumbledore just to keep his cover up?


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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:09 am
Oceania  Female.gif Oceania is offline
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This was an excellent editorial. Though, (there's always a catch isn't there? LOL) you seem to be doing the same thing as the "Snape is good" people are doing...that is, basing much too much on circumstancial evidence. To the very observant reader, the answer about Snape is clear; we have no answer yet. We are meant to be pondering his loyalties and his actions on every level; yet no one has come up with rock hard, solid evidence for either side of the debate. And if we have learned anything from the Hp series by now, it is that things are not always as they appear to be.

I would like to see an editorial that includes the argument between Snape and Dumbledore, as well.

As a side note, I am going with the idea that Snape is a grey character; meaning he is both evil and good, depending on many factors. But I will say this; and I think this is a very important point---IF Snape and Dumbledore had some conspiracy between them, that would eventually result in DD's death, then they could have told NO ONE. Whomever they told would be at high risk, being that Voldemort could extract it from anyone's mind. (Except for Snape's...curious)


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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:25 am
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Debunking the Debunking

Eric, I'm sorry, don't take this personally, but this editorial is very poorly reasoned. Granted, the Pro-Snape editorials on the site haven't been brilliant either, but you're missing a good deal here. I'll try to point out some of what I think you've missed.

"However, to me, the Unbreakable Vow is not evidence of Snape’s good intentions, but of his true allegiance to evil. It is far more telling to focus on the actual making of the vow than the completion of it. Consider this: Snape had the choice of whether or not to actually make the vow. Now refer to Dumbledore’s quote, which seems to be the heart of the stories:

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Please note that Snape willfully made the choice to enter in to the Unbreakable Vow."

There are two utterly important pieces of evidence that you haven't considered.
1. You make it sound like Dumbledore wouldn't want to save Draco by having Snape kill him - and this is regardless of the unbreakable vow. Because Draco would have been killed, vow or not, if no one had helped him.
2. Voldemort explicitly told Snape not to help Draco. And as Snape says, the Dark Lord's word is law. And yet, it takes very little convincing on the part of Narcissa to utterly break it (and at great risk, because he was in front of a devoted follower). It is obvious to everyone that Draco's mission is Voldemort's revenge on Lucious, and very little more. If he happens to kill Dumbledore (which probably hadn't even enterted into his mind, it's such an absurd idea), then good for him, but if he doesn't, Lucious has been dutifully paid back.

Draco's mission was a win-win situation for the Voldy, and whatever's a win-win situation for him is a lose-lose situation for Dumbledore. So what does he do? Give in and let Draco die? Hardly. Dumbledore's priorities are two-fold,
1. Insure the survival of every single student at Hogwarts
2. Keep up the anti-Voldemort fight.

You can see why Draco's life won out over his own.

It’s been argued that Snape could have used Avada Kedavra on Harry at that moment.

What would have stopped him from using Crucio? He was in intense anger, he hates Harry more than anyone (except Sirius/James, and maybe Draco...?), and Crucio would not have harmed Harry physically, so he would have remained unspoiled for the Dark Lord.

Nobody else on that tower could see Snape’s face besides Dumbledore (and possibly Harry). Why else would there be "hatred" on Snape’s face if he did not truly hate the man he was about to murder? Hatred of oneself for an action does not manifest itself thus. If indeed Snape was supposed to be loathing himself, Rowling would have chosen to describe Snape’s face as "anguished" or "tormented."

Sorry to rag on you, but this is a big slip up on your part. As you mention, diction is important when thinking about literary works, but a slightly more advanced concept that you've completely ignored is Point of View. These stories are being told from Harry's perspective (albeit 3rd-person), not an omnipotent narrator's. Harry is simply reading Snape's features wrong - it is entirely possible that Snape is feeling anguish, but Harry doesn't realize it. And for that matter, it would completely remove JKR's central mystery of the story, and JKR is at least part-mystery writer.
For that matter, how do you know Snape isn't feeling hatred at Dumbledore? Hatred at making him perform an act so despicable, and yet also so necessary. Remember their fight in the forest (as overheard by Hagrid?). Snape was clearly having a hard time going about with his mission, and he needed forceful encouragement from Dumbledore. Forceful encouragement (and killing your mentor) often breeds fierce resentment, even when both parties are on the same side.

We are presented with two seemingly valid choices: Snape is on Voldemort’s side or Snape is on Dumbledore’s side. What’s the simpler choice? Is it that Snape played a highly intricate game of cat and mouse with the Death Eaters, successfully lied to the Dark Lord (a powerful Legilimens himself) about his intentions, had a secret plot with Dumbledore to kill him at a given time, and that Dumbledore sacrificed himself even though the war with Voldemort is far, far from being over? Or that Snape was never on the good side, surprised Dumbledore with his true loyalty and killed him? I think it is painfully clear that the latter is simpler, and therefore, the correct choice.

Just like it was painfully clear that Snape was stealing the sorcerer's stone, Tom was good, Sirius was trying to kill Harry, Moody was Moody, Sirius was in danger, and......Snape was the villain? Sorry, if Occam's Razor is useless for one thing in the whole world, it's the Potter books.

Last edited by standingman; August 8th, 2005 at 10:31 am.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:33 am
Tuiereol  Female.gif Tuiereol is offline
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This was a very well-written editorial, and a nice chance to offer more views.

But in my opinion, Snape isn't "on" the good side or the evil side. He's on his own side. He says this to nearly everyone, without even realizing it. His whole game isn't about loyalty to the Dark Lord or to Dumbledore; it's about his protection and the need to feel a sense of importance, put very simply. Yes, he does impossibly crucial for the bad side, but also for the good side. He is as much on both sides as it is possible to be. But his truest highest loyalty lies with one Severus Snape. I suspect he'd never die for Voldemort, he'd find some way to cleverly hide himself without a trace.

As for the Unbreakable Vow, I have some theories, though I'm not exactly sure where they place Snape in the scheme of things. Our one source for details on the Vow come from Ron, and I suspect he might harbor slight misconceptions about death being the alternative to honoring the Vow. Maybe you just can't go against it. It's "Unbreakable" for a reason, and magic contains some pretty binding laws. Perhaps he used Occlumency against the effects of the Vow, and he was free from it the entire time.

I just think that if we take *all* of the information, the circumstances, and everything, into perspective, it's most apparent that Snape is on his own side, rather than good or evil. It just seems like there are so many people trying to peg him with one or the other, when really he's more complex than all that.

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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:36 am
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First of all this is from my point of view. I still feel that Snape is in Dumbledore's side when he killed him.

Dumbledore is a great wizard and protector of the Order specially of Harry. But I didn't cry when I read the part that Dumbledoreis dead. Why? I'm not heartless, I just figured out that it would be better if Dumbledore is already gone. Why again? Because as it was said, Voldemort only fears Dumbledore. If Dumbledore is still alive until Harry faces Voldemort, Dumbledore might as well just finish Voldemort himself.Second, the Order will never learn to stand on their own as well as Harry. The Book 6 because of Dumbledore'sdeath, showed that it was time for Harry to make a choice whether to fight Voldemort or go hide. Now that Dumbledore is dead, he made a final decision to face the Dark Lord and finish the war Voldemort started. So this explain, I guess, Dumbledore's "death wish" or something like that. And he choose Snape to do it because Snape made the Unbreakable Vow, it was convinient that the "wish" will be fulfilled. Second is that he trusted Snape, he must have known alot about Snape. He had his reasons for trusting him. As I have said earlier that Dumbledore is a great wizard,I don't think that someone like Snape can fool him.

Another reason was what Dumbledore had said in the very first book. Remember what he said when he awarded Neville 10 points for Griffindor for standing up to his friends (Ron, Hermione & Harry). He said it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies but it also takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your friends, or something like that. Killing someone takes a great deal of courage believe me. I know I haven't killed anyone yet but imagine yourself killing enemies. Facing them,thinking who they really are to you. You would never want your enimies dead do you? Same goes with friends, especially friends who have trusted you. Even if your inches from death you would never have the courage and strength to kill your friend. Harry called Snape a coward, which to my point of view again is not true for the reasons I have said earlier.

But will know never till we have read Book 7. And until then this is my stand! Peace out!!!!

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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:37 am
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Norbertha  Female.gif Norbertha is offline
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Well written, but I disagree - but that's okay, isn't it?

The biggest problem I will have if Snape turns out to be a "baddie" in the end, is about the morality of the series. So far, I have admired JKR for her lessons in good morality, without being preachy. However, making Snape evil will shatter this. Are young readers meant to learn the following?:

1) Trust no one. It's a mistake to trust. It will turn against you.

2) Forget about "the world is not divided into good people and Death Eaters" - it is.

3) People who are ugly and unlikeable are also evil.

4) It is okay to bully the weird guy, because he will turn out to be evil anyway, so he deserves all he gets.

Is this what children are meant to learn from reading the Harry Potter series????


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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:40 am
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Trusting no one makes you weak like Voldemort have been. Trusting someone is not a mistake but it is rather a test of strength of heart. My opinion by the way. Cause I'm a very trusting person, and I don't think its wrong at all.

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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:42 am
belsito  Female.gif belsito is offline
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I'm sick and tired of hearing about Snape saving Harry 'so many times'. When exactly did he save Harry when he could have got away with not saving him? How would it have looked to Dumbledore if Snape had let Quirrel kill Harry without lifting a finger to help? In 'Prisoner of Azkaban', Snape had a good reason to cover up for Harry by saying that Harry had been confuddled by Sirius because he did not want anyone to listen to Harry's account of what happened in the Shrieking Shack - he just wanted his revenge on Sirius and Lupin. In Book 5, Snape more than took his time to warn the Order of Harry's intended trip to the ministry. There was the scene in the forest with the centaurs, then a long flight from the north of Scotland to London, the time taken to find the room where the prophecies were kept, the ensuing battle with the Death Eaters - it must have been hours from the time Harry gave the message to Snape to the arrival of the members of the Order to help out. Snape never really helped Harry - he always helped himself. It's fine to try and read between the lines but as I've said many times before, you must also read the lines. And an unnecessarily complicated plot does not make better literature. I think Dumbledore once said, "You see the simplicity, yet the brilliance of the plan ..." or something very similar to that. Although there have been several twists in the plot so far, they have never been very complicated really.

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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:51 am
Leilani  Female.gif Leilani is offline
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finally. some reason. thank you.

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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:52 am
sheero  Female.gif sheero is offline
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Good editorial. I'm honestly getting a bit frustrated with other people that it was "rightful" for Snape to kill Dumbledore, forgettting the fact that by itself, killing is the ultimate evil.

I agree with you that Dumbledore valued life, even though he is not afraid of death. As such, I don't think Dumbledore would have ordered Snape to "tear his soul apart" by killing him.

I hope you'll be making another editorial on this subject soon... and when you do, I hope you would include the subject of Avada Kadevra on it. I would have gladly written it myself, but I honestly am too busy with work. Because for me, the fact that the AK was used tells a lot about Snape's intentions. This spell seems to have some uniqueness about it, something that will need "intention" as a driving force just like Crucio. It's something that must be meant to actually work. The fact that murder is the ultimate act of evil would be a great argument too, and that Dumbledore wouldn't have wanted Snape to tear his soul apart.

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