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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10



View Poll Results: Why are you still discussing Snape's character?
In order to vindicate him. 30 28.30%
In order to prevent others from vindicating him. 9 8.49%
Snape makes me do it! 34 32.08%
What do you mean with 'still'? Every argument here is shiny and new and nothing is solved! 30 28.30%
If I stop HP will be truly over! *clings* 33 31.13%
Something completely different. 20 18.87%
NOBODY EXPECTS THE SNAPISH INQUISITION! 50 47.17%
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  #41  
Old February 18th, 2009, 6:33 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
I don't think Snape thought Harry was making something up with no basis at all. To me, he seemed interested in knowing what was going on, which would not be the case if he thought Harry was pulling his leg. But he might well have thought Harry was exaggerating.
I don't really understand how Harry could be exaggerating. He simply informed Snape that Crouch was sick or something in the forest. Snape knows the dangers of the forest and he understands what 'sick' is. Snape's response was "Dumbledore is busy". How does that show interest? To me, that shows that for Snape, the conversation was over. JKR gave us an example of the proper response in Dumbledore, imo. Upon hearing only a few words in explanation, he asked to be led to Crouch. JKR did many scenes in which someone showed the proper way to behave in the wake of Snape's behavior, imo, and this was another example of that.

There are a lot of suggestions made so far to help explain Snape's behavior, but in all of them we are left with a man suffering in the dangerous forest, and Snape doing nothing about it in the moment. Letting Dumbledore know down the line when it was convenient for Snape - or alerting Poppy at some future time (something he never indicated) or worrying about Voldemort or Kardikoff popping up in the forest (another worry he didn't voice) or already in the know about the situation (which the canon seems to negate altogether as Dumbledore didn't know until Harry told him) - well I would have to respectfully disagree with all of those suggestions although I feel they are very creative and of course, anything is possible as always. But based on the canon we have - and that which became known to us in later chapters and books - I feel that there was no excuse or justification for Snape's behavior because what actually did happen was that after finding out the problem, he did nothing at all except attempt to assert his authority with Harry and make the poor child squirm, imo.


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  #42  
Old February 18th, 2009, 6:46 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

I think it would be interesting to compare this interaction in GOF between Snape and Harry -outside DD's office to any other moment in the series where Harry ran up to someone shouting about something or someone in need. Rowling often likes to do repeat scenarios with different characters and I'll bet is someone looked- they could find a similar situation.

Also-again the issue of whether or not Snape "appeared" to "care" one way or the other about people is frankly just soooo moot IMO. I think it's a bit over reaching to suggest or even try to perceive what Snape cared about in re someone else- as many of his inner workings throughout the Novel were by necessity ambiguous and impenetrable. Tthe reason he is still being discussed here- is also a creative act: because Rowling built an ambigous nature into almost every aspect of this character.

One thing we know for sure - Voldemort - the man who can walk through a person's mind like the aisle and a grocery store- was coming back. Snape knew The DL was going to revisit each and every Death Eater to make them account for each and every indiscretion. Snape simple could not be SEEN by the BOY or anyone around the BOY to "care" about life or death of anyone. He simple had to appear be cold and antagonistic.


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  #43  
Old February 18th, 2009, 7:12 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
I think it would be interesting to compare this interaction in GOF between Snape and Harry -outside DD's office to any other moment in the series where Harry ran up to someone shouting about something or someone in need. Rowling often likes to do repeat scenarios with different characters and I'll bet is someone looked- they could find a similar situation.

Also-again the issue of whether or not Snape "appeared" to "care" one way or the other about people is frankly just soooo moot IMO. I think it's a bit over reaching to suggest or even try to perceive what Snape cared about in re someone else- as many of his inner workings throughout the Novel were by necessity ambiguous and impenetrable. Tthe reason he is still being discussed here- is also a creative act: because Rowling built an ambigous nature into almost every aspect of this character.

One thing we know for sure - Voldemort - the man who can walk through a person's mind like the aisle and a grocery store- was coming back. Snape knew The DL was going to revisit each and every Death Eater to make them account for each and every indiscretion. Snape simple could not be SEEN by the BOY or anyone around the BOY to "care" about life or death of anyone. He simple had to appear be cold and antagonistic.
Why? No one ever explains this idea. Snape was supposed to be pretending to be a goodsider - that is what Voldemort would want him to do in that situation so he would not be exposed as a Death Eater spy. I do not understand there being any need for Snape to pretend to be a Death Eater.


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  #44  
Old February 18th, 2009, 7:55 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
[b]

Reading the whole scene, where Snape apparently kept Harry from Dumbledore, I see it this way. One like others have said, it was to keep Harry right where he was instead of rushing off to the staff room.

I think Snape was in a meeting with Dumbledore, when Dumbledore may have felt the wards of Hogwarts go off, right at the time when Barty Crouch Sr, entered Hogwarts through the Forest. He must have told Snape that he felt the wards were breeched so he needed to go and check them, ending the meeting, and Snape coming down first, seeing Harry speak about the very thing Dumbledore had ended the meeting for, kept Harry right there, until Dumbledore came dowm, which was almost immediately after Snape.

There was no question of Snape keeping Harry from Dumbledore or not caring about Barty Crouch Sr. I think it was because he knew Dumbledore was coming down and since Harry had information about why the wards were breeched, kept him there, until Dumbledore came down.
The problem with this is, it is not canon. If it isn't on page, it did not happen. There is nothing about a meeting at this time between Dumbledore and Snape. We can surmise there was one but we could also surmise Snape had just been strolling along the corridor whistling a happy tune and one supposition is as good as the other. I feel we have to go with what is on page, Snape was being difficult and he was being nasty to Harry. We will never know for sure either way. It does serve to make Snape a lot of fun though.

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Why? No one ever explains this idea. Snape was supposed to be pretending to be a goodsider - that is what Voldemort would want him to do in that situation so he would not be exposed as a Death Eater spy. I do not understand there being any need for Snape to pretend to be a Death Eater.
I find this puzzling as well. There is simply no reason for Snape to be so nastly. It is in many ways counter-productive to his purpose as a double-agent.


  #45  
Old February 18th, 2009, 8:54 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
There is nothing about a meeting at this time between Dumbledore and Snape. We can surmise there was one but we could also surmise Snape had just been strolling along the corridor whistling a happy tune and one supposition is as good as the other.
I think we can assume there was a meeting between Snape and Dumbledore, as Snape is seen emerging from the gargoyle that conceals the stairs leading up to Dumbledore's office.

Snape had just emerged from the hidden staircase behind the stone gargoyle. The wall was sliding shut behind him even as he beckoned Harry back toward him.


  #46  
Old February 18th, 2009, 9:52 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
The problem with this is, it is not canon. If it isn't on page, it did not happen. There is nothing about a meeting at this time between Dumbledore and Snape. We can surmise there was one but we could also surmise Snape had just been strolling along the corridor whistling a happy tune and one supposition is as good as the other. I feel we have to go with what is on page, Snape was being difficult and he was being nasty to Harry. We will never know for sure either way. It does serve to make Snape a lot of fun though.
TT has given the quote; Snape was coming out of the hidden staircase. It is not unreasonable, I presume, that as Headmaster, Dumbledore would know when and if someone entered the School. In POA Hermione says that there are enchantments of all sorts to prevent people from entering the School and I suppose if they do, Dumbledore as Headmaster would know about it.

POA - Grim Defeat"Because the castle is protected by more than walls, you know," said Hermione. There are all sorts of enchantments on it, to stop people entering by stealth...."


But Barty Crouch was able to enter. Barty Crouch met Harry and Co. near Hagrid's hut. That is also canon. Which means he met them inside the School and Dumbledore who was with Snape would have known that someone had entered the School.

I think that was reason the meeting ended and Snape came out just as Harry was about to take off to the staff room.

Snape asks a couple of questions, before Dumbledore comes down, which IMO would not have taken more than a minute.

GOF - The Madness of Mr. Crouch"POTTER!"

Harry skidded to a halt and looked around. Snape had just emerged from the hidden staircase behind the stone gargoyle. The wall was sliding shut behind him even as he beckoned Harry back toward him.

"What are you doing here, Potter?"

"I need to see Professor Dumbledore!" said Harry, running back up the corridor and skidding to a standstill in front of Snape instead. "It's Mr. Crouch . . . he's just turned up ... he's in the forest... he's asking -"

"What is this rubbish?" said Snape, his black eyes glittering. "What are you talking about?"

"Mr. Crouch!" Harry shouted. "From the Ministry! He's ill or something - he's in the forest, he wants to see Dumbledore! Just give me the password up to -"

"The headmaster is busy, Potter," said Snape, his thin mouth curling into an unpleasant smile.

"I've got to tell Dumbledore!" Harry yelled.

"Didn't you hear me. Potter?"

Harry could tell Snape was thoroughly enjoying himself, denying Harry the thing he wanted when he was so panicky.

"Look," said Harry angrily, "Crouch isn't right - he's - he's out of his mind - he says he wants to warn -"

The stone wall behind Snape slid open. Dumbledore was standing there, wearing long green robes and a mildly curious expression. "Is there a problem?" he said, looking between Harry and Snape.


This was what happened before Dumbledore came out. The whole conversation IMO would not have taken more than a minute.


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  #47  
Old February 18th, 2009, 11:10 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

But in PoA the protection of the castle does not work, Sirius was able to enter the grounds undetected through the forest. IMO the fact that Harry met Crouch at the edge of the forest indicates that he entered via the forest too. The extra security Dumbledore added in HBP was not yet in place, and from PoA I got the impression that the forest was seen as a safe enough barrier.


  #48  
Old February 18th, 2009, 11:47 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

In POA Sirius was able to enter the castle as an animagus. Not as Sirius, for Dumbledore would have warded Hogwarts against him and the dementors were there too IMO.

Here, Snape was in a meeting with Dumbledore, both Snape and Dumbledore come out around the same time Harry comes running, makes me feel that a few minutes before Harry came to the Headmaster's office, Dumbledore would have been alerted of an intruder crossing the wards. Dumbledore would have finished the meeting with Snape and sent him along, before coming down himself to meet Harry and go with him.

The conversation Snape has with Harry shows he is not surprised about the information Harry brought and nor was he alarmed. Snape knew Dumbledore was going to check and he simply kept Harry right there until Dumbledore came down IMO.


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Last edited by The_Green_Woods; February 18th, 2009 at 11:50 am.
  #49  
Old February 18th, 2009, 12:10 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
I think we can assume there was a meeting between Snape and Dumbledore, as Snape is seen emerging from the gargoyle that conceals the stairs leading up to Dumbledore's office.

Snape had just emerged from the hidden staircase behind the stone gargoyle. The wall was sliding shut behind him even as he beckoned Harry back toward him.
Okay, I will assume Snape was strolling along the corridor whistling his happy tune and came to the gargoyle and thought 'I'll just pop up and see Dumbledore.' He goes through the gargoyle has his foot on the first step and remembers that he has left the kettle on in the Potions classroom and turns around and comes out quickly when he sees Harry running hell for leather down the corridor and then speaks to him. That's the problem with assumptions, any scenario can be made to fit. IMO it's better to stick with what is on the page and what is on the page is Snape being nasty and difficult, just how I like him.


  #50  
Old February 18th, 2009, 12:14 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
Okay, I will assume Snape was strolling along the corridor whistling his happy tune and came to the gargoyle and thought 'I'll just pop up and see Dumbledore.' He goes through the gargoyle has his foot on the first step and remembers that he has left the kettle on in the Potions classroom and turns around and comes out quickly when he sees Harry running hell for leather down the corridor and then speaks to him. That's the problem with assumptions, any scenario can be made to fit. IMO it's better to stick with what is on the page and what is on the page is Snape being nasty and difficult, just how I like him.
It doesn't really work this way. Fiction is not life, and anything mentioned in a book has some purpose. If Snape emerged from the staircase leading to Dumbledore's office, I think you will agree that the most logical (in the context of this being a work of fiction, and not real life where anything is possible) assumption would be that he had been in Dumbledore's office, where he was coming from.


  #51  
Old February 18th, 2009, 12:37 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

I agree with Yoana and the word "emerged" makes me feel he came out of Dumbledore's office rather than anything else. If Snape was strolling and thought to pop in and see Dumbledore, the word emerged would not be used (of course I may be wrong; usage of words in the Englinsh language is not my strong point) but still if Snape had stepped inside the staircase and came out because he forgot something, I think "emerged" would not be used.


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  #52  
Old February 18th, 2009, 2:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Snape was definitely completely inside the gargoyle, and had been for some time. Harry was in front of it before Snape even emerged, trying to guess the password. And as Snape's not the sort of person who pops by for a quick gossip session, I think it is most likely that what he and Dumbledore were discussing had at least some importance, whether it was academic or war-related.


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  #53  
Old February 18th, 2009, 2:20 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
It doesn't really work this way. Fiction is not life, and anything mentioned in a book has some purpose. If Snape emerged from the staircase leading to Dumbledore's office, I think you will agree that the most logical (in the context of this being a work of fiction, and not real life where anything is possible) assumption would be that he had been in Dumbledore's office, where he was coming from.
I agree, but I don't think that was the point. Snape had likely been talking with Dumbledore because he said the man was busy and came from his office. But what does that have to do with Snape's treatment of Harry?

I feel that is where Eliza's point becomes relevant because people are going on to try to justify Snape's behavior based on what went on in that office and they haven't a clue. I opine Dumbledore was up there balling Snape out for his behavior with one of the children - or it may have been the scene where Snape was going on about Harry being mediocre and Dumbledore was all but dissing him by reading the paper which left him in that foul mood. But my guess is as good as anyone else's.

I don't feel Dumbledore knew about Crouch - nor was he discussing it with Snape, or he would not have had to have Harry explain it to him, nor gone with Harry instead of Snape to the forest. Plus, I give Snape the benefit of the doubt because if Snape did know that Dumbledore already knew about it - then his words to Harry are even more bullying in nature, imo. That is because Snape could have simply said that Dumbledore knew about it and was planning to take care of it instead of standing there watching the child suffer and grow more panicky by the minute, imo. Although granted I give him no benefit when it comes to his evidently not caring about sick Crouch in the dangerous forest - so technically is stands as a rather backhand benefit because Snape comes out looking bad either way.


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  #54  
Old February 18th, 2009, 2:23 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

The staircase is not accessible unless one gives the password to the gargoyle. (Harry tried yelling at it instead, this did not work any better with the gargoyle than it did with Snape). The gargoyle then moves out of the way and the moving, spiral staircase up to the office appears. So for Snape to emerge from the staircase, he must have given the password and stepped onto the staircase, which would immediately have started to move him up to the office.

I think it is most likely he rode the staircase to the top, met with Albus, who was undeniably in his office, and was leaving when Harry came by.

Alternatively, he ran the wrong way down the stairs at the start of his visit, and emerged, something I can only see him doing in reaction to Harry's yelling. I would also imagine this would have provoked Albus's interest - someone coming up to his office via the magic staircase, and failing to show up. Snape was not merely hiding behind the statue, because that's not a matter of interpretation - it is stated that he emerged from the staircase, not "from behind the statue".


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  #55  
Old February 18th, 2009, 2:25 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I agree, but I don't think that was the point. Snape had likely been talking with Dumbledore because he said the man was busy and came from his office. But what does that have to do with Snape's treatment of Harry?

I feel that is where Eliza's point becomes relevant because people are going on to try to justify Snape's behavior based on what went on in that office and they haven't a clue.
I haven't been a part of that discussion. I was only pointing out that assuming that Snape had just been with Dumbledore and assuming that Snape was passing by, stepped in and then immediately popped out again do not hold the same weight.


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Old February 18th, 2009, 2:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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I haven't been a part of that discussion. I was only pointing out that assuming that Snape had just been with Dumbledore and assuming that Snape was passing by, stepped in and then immediately popped out again do not hold the same weight.
Ah, well I agree with you on that part and I stand corrected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
Alternatively, he ran the wrong way down the stairs at the start of his visit, and emerged, something I can only see him doing in reaction to Harry's yelling. I would also imagine this would have provoked Albus's interest - someone coming up to his office via the magic staircase, and failing to show up. Snape was not merely hiding behind the statue, because that's not a matter of interpretation - it is stated that he emerged from the staircase, not "from behind the statue".
I don't think this occurred because otherwise Snape was lying by omission when he demanded Dumbledore was busy (rather than opine or suggest it was true because in his opinion Dumbledore was always busy or whatever.) I think he had been dismissed from the office because Dumbledore indicated he was on to something else - and I feel whatever their discussion had been about left Snape feeling vindictive (which is why I think he was balled out or in a conversation like that we saw in the memories when Dumbledore read the paper while Snape prattled on about Harry and his dad) and subsequently Snape took it out on Harry.


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  #57  
Old February 18th, 2009, 2:37 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I think he had been dismissed from the office because Dumbledore indicated he was on to something else - and I feel whatever their discussion had been about left Snape feeling vindictive (which is why I think he was balled out or in a conversation like that we saw in the memories when Dumbledore read the paper while Snape prattled on about Harry and his dad) and subsequently Snape took it out on Harry.
I though Snape was always feeling vindictive when it came to Harry?


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Old February 18th, 2009, 2:44 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I though Snape was always feeling vindictive when it came to Harry?
I agree with that also. I have actually never given my opinion on what occurred in the office, but I did so only in light of Eliza's comment to show that my subsequent interpretation can be backed up by that office meeting as well as anyone else's interpretation.

That is why I felt the meeting was largely irrelevant. If it didn't leave Snape feeling vindictive, then he merely grew vindictive upon spotting Harry which is in line with his normal treatment of the child, imo.


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Old February 18th, 2009, 2:49 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Quote:
Originally Posted by zgirnius
I don't think Snape thought Harry was making something up with no basis at all. To me, he seemed interested in knowing what was going on, which would not be the case if he thought Harry was pulling his leg. But he might well have thought Harry was exaggerating.
This, to me, makes no sense. If Snape believed Harry was telling the truth then he IMO should have sprang into action, especially knowing that a senior member of the Ministry, who'd been missing since March and hadn't been heard from since - he being the second one to go missing in a year BTW, was now suddenly making an appearance in May while raving like a loon in the Dark Forest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
TT has given the quote; Snape was coming out of the hidden staircase. It is not unreasonable, I presume, that as Headmaster, Dumbledore would know when and if someone entered the School.
The Forest is not under the same protections. The map ends as the grounds end and forest begins, which means that it was a clue that Moody summoned the Map and still saw nothing - besides the fact that Moody has a magical eye that can see through solid objects like skulls, stone walls, and trees. Did Crouch ever step out of the Forest? Not that we see, that I'm aware. He remains in the forest talking to the Weaselby-tree. Hagrid's Hut and where Maxime coach was, and also the Whomping Willow are all on Hogwarts grounds.



Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
In POA Sirius was able to enter the castle as an animagus. Not as Sirius, for Dumbledore would have warded Hogwarts against him and the dementors were there too IMO.
Sirius got in through the witch's hump, but once there he was very much 'Sirius' and not 'Padfoot' evidenced by the Fat Lady attack and his giving the password to Cadogan and then entering the boys dormitory to kill Peter-the-rat. To get out via the witch's hump he had to speak the incantation, which means he was still in human form. The Halloween attack on the Fat Lady was followed by new measures being put in place and Flitwick can be seen to be teaching the castle doors to recognize a picture of Black. Sorry, while Black snuck onto the grounds as Padfoot, he still got into and out of the castle as Sirius and there did not appear to be any massive spells that Dumbledore used to identify those intrusions. But again, Crouch didn't officially enter the grounds, he remained just on the cusp of the Forest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
There is nothing about a meeting at this time between Dumbledore and Snape. We can surmise there was one but we could also surmise Snape had just been strolling along the corridor
Right. It's not like the films. There's the stone gargoyle standing sentinel in front of a solid stone wall which conceals a moving spiral staircase leading to the Headmaster's office. Isn't that the only thing down that empty corridor, too?

So I don't see how Snape could have heard Harry through the stone wall that he's shown stepping out of or just wondered by, either.


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Old February 18th, 2009, 2:49 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Snape didn't really appear too angry when he came down the steps. In fact, he doesn't appear angry at all throughout the scene (unless you count Snape looking as ugly as the gargoyle, but that could just be a jab at the man, and not a description of his expression), which leads me to believe that the meeting itself did not anger him. Harry's yelling, however, could have, but apparently didn't. In fact, Snape seems somewhat amused.

I have to say, I think that Snape did genuinely want to help, and knew Dumbledore was coming down anyway. But on the other hand, Harry was so panicky, I think Snape was really just enjoying stalling him until Dumbledore came down because it provoked Harry and made the boy go even more crazy.


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