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Assuming Snape is Working for the Order - What are the Implications for Book 7?



 
 
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  #21  
Old September 4th, 2006, 5:18 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

I think that Dumbledore probably trusts Severus enough to tell him about the Horcruxes. However, I'm not sure he did tell him. There are many dangers about it without being doubtful of Snape's loyalties. Voldemort is a master Legilimens. If Snape were unprepared, Voldemort may break into his mind and discover that Dumbledore and Snape know about the horcruxes. That would but Severus in danger, as I doubt Voldemort wants to keep a servant who knows his main weakness alive.

But, knowing Snape, he probably knows anyway. Dumbledore was wearing that ring around in public a couple times, and Snape had to save him from the powers of it. Snape the DADA nut would probably know what a horcrux is, and from there on, I'm sure he could have deduced what Dumbledore was doing.


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  #22  
Old September 4th, 2006, 5:19 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

1. What do you think the reasons behind Snape's killing of Dumbledore were?

I think that Snape had to kill Dumbledore, and that when Dumbledore says 'Please, Severus,' he means ' please kill me'. I think DUmbledore had to die, so that Harry could go on alone, and that the only person who Dumbledore could bear to see split their soul was Snape. I think that was Snape's punishment for his trechery.

2. Does Snape know about the horcruxes and will he help Harry in his destruction of them?

I think Snape will know what a horcrux is and may have deduces that Voldemort has created them, but I dont think that he was specifically told by either Voldemort or Dumbeldore that Voldemort had made any.

I don'tknow about question three

4. Why didn't Snape work harder to help Harry learn Occlumency?

I think that Snape is better than anyone realises at Occlumency and Legilimancy, and that is what gives him such confidence as a spy. My evidence for this is:
" ...the greatest wizard, the most accomplished Legilimens the world has ever seen?" p31 UK hardback edition HP6
I propose that no-one knows how good Snape is, as he wouldn't parade the fact that he was better than both Voldemort and Dumbledore at something. Therefore, I think that Snape knew that Harry would never be able to match Voldemort's skill, or be able to block him out. So, i think Snape deliberately tried to sabotage Harry's efforts at Occlumency. I think he thought it was pointless for him to try, but didn't want to tell Dumbledore how good he really was in case it compromised his trust for him.

5. How will Snape as a good guy fit into the plot of the final book?

I think that he will make some kind of sacrifice or prove himself somehow, but i have no specific ideas


  #23  
Old September 4th, 2006, 5:29 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedagogue
I don't think Snape knows about the Horcruxes. Dumbldeore's unwavering trust in Snape suggests that perhaps he told Snape about them, but I doubt it. I think the private lessons about the Horcruxes in HBP are intimate moments between Harry and Dumbledore. I don't think Dumbledore would have confided them in anyone save for Harry.
I suspect Snape knows about the horcruxes. He was the one who stopped the ring curse, and I'm sure that required rather specific information. Snape is very intelligent, and very familiar with the Dark Arts. Simply put, if Slughorn knew about horcruxes, why wouldn't Professor Snape, who seems to be a much deeper thinker? I do doubt that Dumbledore and Snape had indepth discussions about Voldemort's horcruxes, because of Snape's role as a double-agent. If Snape didn't even want Harry speaking Voldemort's name during the Occlumency lessons, why would Dumbledore want to burden Snape with the details of the horcrux hunt? Dumbledore seems very calculated in his choices of whom to tell what, and I think he cared enough for Snape to avoid burdening Snape with Order information Snape didn't absolutely need to know.


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  #24  
Old September 4th, 2006, 5:34 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mugglesrock
1. What do you think the reasons behind Snape's killing of Dumbledore were?
I think Snape killed our beloved Headmaster under Dumbledore's orders itself.
Mind you, the "hatred" etched on his face as Harry saw it : I interpret that as Snape hating himself for actually murdering the only person who trusted him and also hatred towards Dumbledore for making him do that.
I think part of Snape's expression is that you have to really mean it to do it. You need hatred in you to cast an Avada Kedavra that actually does something, hence the look on Snape's face.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zgirnius
2. I am not sure. I suspect the answer is yes to both. At the very least Snape (DADA nerd that he is) knows what a Horcrux is. Voldemort's failure to die in a final way will have made Snape suspect he had one. The question is, would he work out for himself that the Diary and Ring were Horcruxes? I think he might. If not, would Dumbledore tell him? Well, he is a uniquely well-placed spy, so maybe. But that position also makes him uniquely vulnerable should he slip up, so the risk miht outweigh the benefit.
I don't know if Snape could have worked out what's a horcrux, but I'd be surprised if he didn't know what they were. And from that and his knowledge of Voldy's actions comes the likely possibility that he knows, or at least has a strong inclination about what's going on.

edit- As ignisia says, Snape helped save Dumbledore's hand after the ring was destroyed. Snape may not know the full scope of it all, but he certainly knows at least a part of what's going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica
5. How will Snape as a good guy fit into the plot of the final book?
I don't think anyone other than Snape and Dumbledore knew what the two of them were up to. I don't think any of the other Order members were in on this. Therefore Snape will have to break ranks with Voldy and provide great assistance to the Order or Harry and Co. at some point.

I'd like to pose an additional question that I've seen bandied about in other threads: How can Snape be good if he killed somebody? Slughorn tells young Tom that murder is the supreme act of evil, that killing rips the soul apart.

HBP, page 488-489, US Hardcover"How do you split your soul?"
"Well," said Slughorn uncomfortably, "you must understand that the soul is supposed to remain intact and whole. Splitting it is an act of violation, it is against nature."
"But how do you do it?"
"By an act of evil -- the supreme act of evil. By committing murder. Killing rips the soul apart..."


How do we reconcile this with Snape's actions? Purely as a point of comparison and not to go on a tangent, how do we reconcile this with the Ministry's actions of having the Dementor's Kiss as a punishment? Does this imply that, under certain circumstances, killing is justified to some extent in the wizarding world? If Snape is innocent, mustn't this be the case? I'm afraid I don't have the reference on me (maybe it's in OotP?) but Aurors were authorized to use Unforgivable Curses on DEs during Voldy's original reign of terror, correct? I think this all points to the idea that, in the wizarding world, killing is abhorred yet possibly resorted to if the circumstances are dire enough.



Last edited by Hermeneutic; September 4th, 2006 at 5:37 pm.
  #25  
Old September 4th, 2006, 5:36 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia
I think that Dumbledore probably trusts Severus enough to tell him about the Horcruxes. However, I'm not sure he did tell him. There are many dangers about it without being doubtful of Snape's loyalties. Voldemort is a master Legilimens. If Snape were unprepared, Voldemort may break into his mind and discover that Dumbledore and Snape know about the horcruxes. That would but Severus in danger, as I doubt Voldemort wants to keep a servant who knows his main weakness alive.

But, knowing Snape, he probably knows anyway. Dumbledore was wearing that ring around in public a couple times, and Snape had to save him from the powers of it. Snape the DADA nut would probably know what a horcrux is, and from there on, I'm sure he could have deduced what Dumbledore was doing.
I don't think Dumbledore would tell Snape about the Horcruxes for the same reason you stated above. Just consider what would happen IF Snape changed sides? Or if Voldemort found out what Dumbledore was planning? It would be a total loss of the whole year and Harry's job will just be harder. Dumbledore was atleast that knowledgable not to risk something important like that. Then again the reason Dumbledore trusted Snape is still not clear, maybe it was something really huge but I can't imagine Dumbledore risking everything he planned for Harry to do just like that.

Yeah Snape is known for putting two and two together throughout the series. As he was a Potions teacher and he is so interested in the Dark Arts, I won't be surprised if he found out what a Horcrux meant himself. I like this idea better than Dumbledore telling Snape himself.


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  #26  
Old September 4th, 2006, 5:37 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruplover
He was the one who stopped the ring curse, and I'm sure that required rather specific information.
I never thought of that, but I like this theory, I change what I said before then, and think that Dumbledore told Snape about the Horcrux, but just the singular, i dont think he would have confessed his theory of there being more than one. Also, i think Snape could have worked it out before, but i now htink Dumbledore cofirmed Snape's idea.


  #27  
Old September 4th, 2006, 5:53 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

I think it makes sense that Dumbledore would have told Snape. He trust Snape completely, he's said it on numerous occassions. As far as not wanting to tell him for fear of Voldemort using legilimens, if that was an issue then they couldn't tell Snape anything about the Order for that reason. Snape is too gifted for that to be a concern.


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  #28  
Old September 4th, 2006, 6:05 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Re: Snape's reason for AKing DD.

OK, you're Snape and you work for the Order as a spy. You have also taken a carefully worded Unbreakable Curse to protect Draco and accomplish his task for him.

1. DD, severely weakened, possibly dying.
2. Draco Malfoy, hands shaking as he points his wand at DD.
3. TWO broomsticks, recently landed.
4. Some angry, nasty Death Eaters.

What are your options?

1. Attack the DE's
2. Join the DE's and egg on Draco.
3. Kill DD (Mercy killing?)

Consequences:

1. Attacking the DE's blow your carefully constructed cover as a spy. Also, odds of 4:1 are never good. You also risk Draco's life and your own.

2. Draco becomes a murderer. Brilliant. Or he can't do it and you fail the Oath.

3. You maintain your undercover status and build up Voldy's trust at the same time. You prevent Draco from becoming a murderer AND fulfill the terms of the Oath.

Conclusions:

OK, Snape's not stupid. He saw the 2 brooms and guessed that Harry was also there. He had to act fast, and I'm betting DD told him to pull the trigger if the situation was dire enough. To me this is a no-brainer. The Evil Snape would have certainly been more vociferous in his defeat of DD.


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  #29  
Old September 4th, 2006, 6:15 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

I love what LockhartsGuru said. It all proves Snape is good but since we're assuming Snape is good in this thread, I'll just say what I think Snape's role is going to be in Book 7.

As much as I don't want it to happen, I think Snape will have to die in the end. His role: Well, Harry doesn't trust Snape so he is going to have a hard time persuading Harry. And how he is going to do that, I have no clue. I believe Dumbledore never told Snape about the Horcruxes but I like the theory that Snape put two and two together and figured out what Harry's job is now. I don't know how he'll help Harry. I think he'll just have to guide Harry and make sure he isn't harmed in any way along with protection Draco. It's a very hard job. In the end, Snape's true colors will be shown and I think he has to die by Voldemort's hands


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  #30  
Old September 4th, 2006, 6:16 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Posted by Hermeneutic: I think part of Snape's expression is that you have to really mean it to do it. You need hatred in you to cast an Avada Kedavra that actually does something, hence the look on Snape's face.
Quote:
Snape gazed at Dumbledore for a moment, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face.
"Severus ...please..."
Two things are interesting about this passage from Chapter 27:
1. Snape looks at Dumbledore with "revulsion and hatred" Someone who hates someone enough to kill him would most likely have a look of triumph or glee, but not revulsion. This position of the two words in this passage seems to indicate that Snape was first revolted by what he knew he had to do, and then summoned the hatred to do it. Dumbledore pleads again, and he does it.

2.
Quote:
Hating himself, repulsed by what he is doing Harry forced the goblet back towards Dumbledore's mouth and tipped it, so that Dumbledore drank the remainder of the potion inside
Snape's look of revulsion and hatred echo Harry's look of revulsion and hatred in the cave when Dumbledore made him feed him the green potion. This is an interesting link, and one that seems intentionally made.


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Last edited by Olwen; September 4th, 2006 at 6:23 pm.
  #31  
Old September 4th, 2006, 6:19 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

I certainly want Snape to live, and think that he deserves it in the same way that Harry deserves to live: He needs some quiet after all this hullaballoo.

However, I agree with mugglesrock that Snape is probably going to have to kick it. I just can't see how he could possibly survive Voldemort's ire.
I have my fingers crossed for him, though! Let's keep on hoping!


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  #32  
Old September 4th, 2006, 6:29 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olwen
Two things are interesting about this passage from Chapter 27:
1. Snape looks at Dumbledore with "revulsion and hatred" Someone who hates someone enough to kill him would most likely have a look of triumph or glee, but not revulsion. This position of the two words in this passage seems to indicate that Snape was revolted by what he knew he had to do, and then summoned the anger to do it. Dumbledore pleads again, and he does it.

2. Snape's look of revulsion and hatred echo Harry's look of revulsion and hatred in the cave when Dumbledore made him feed him the green potion. This is an interesting link, and one that seems intentionally made.
Olwen, it was the similarities of those two passages that brought me back to CoS (after a long absence). I do think it's possible that had Snape not killed Dumbledore, Harry could have been left wondering if he was the murderer, if continued delays had allowed the potion to keep weakening Dumbledore.

I'm unsure of the implications to Snape's soul. Is *ALL* killing soul-splitting? If so, there are some Aurors walking around with torn souls too. I am certain that neither Snape nor Dumbledore glossed over this tragic consequence, but given LockhartsGuru's list, the two old soldiers did what had to be done to advance their cause in hopes of winning the war.

Snape isn't a happily ever after kind of guy. Would I like to see him be transformed by Harry's forgiveness/acceptance and live out the remainder of a long life as a beloved Hogwarts Headmaster? Sure, but I don't look for it to happen. I try not to dwell on the deaths we know are coming in book 7, and I most certainly don't care to attach names to them, at least not in ink. I just hope that *IF* Snape dies, it is a noble, fitting sacrifice and Harry recognizes it as such.


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  #33  
Old September 4th, 2006, 6:47 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermeneutic
How do we reconcile this with Snape's actions? Purely as a point of comparison and not to go on a tangent, how do we reconcile this with the Ministry's actions of having the Dementor's Kiss as a punishment? Does this imply that, under certain circumstances, killing is justified to some extent in the wizarding world? If Snape is innocent, mustn't this be the case? I'm afraid I don't have the reference on me (maybe it's in OotP?) but Aurors were authorized to use Unforgivable Curses on DEs during Voldy's original reign of terror, correct? I think this all points to the idea that, in the wizarding world, killing is abhorred yet possibly resorted to if the circumstances are dire enough.
I think that is the biggest problem that a "good Snape" scenario faces. And if it is true that Snape is good, it will be the hardest thing that JK Rowling will have to do to resolve the book.


  #34  
Old September 4th, 2006, 6:50 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

About the Occlumency lessons--Snape's approach to teaching was really very little different from Lupin's method of teaching Harry the Patronus spell, only with less encouragement and coddling, and with a worse attitude from Harry.

But I am beginning to wonder if Dumbledore wasn't intentionally increasing the dislike between Harry and Snape at that point or at least setting up the lessons to fail.

After all, if Voldemort was potentially watching through Harry's eyes (the stated reason that Dumbledore was not able to teach Harry himself) wouldn't it cement his trust of Snape to see him teaching Harry rather viciously and unsuccessfully? And seeing that Harry was failing, wouldn't that increase Voldemort's confidence? And Dumbledore by now should have realized that Harry wasn't really the type to be a good occlumens. Maybe he was hoping Voldemort would see some of Harry's hard past, the same way he showed Harry Voldemort's past.

(Only, if you can get your head around this, why didn't Voldemort ask himself, "Dumbledore is afraid to teach Harry himself...but he thinks Snape is his spy...so why is he risking exposing his spy by having him teach Harry to defy me? Something's fishy here..." )

So, were the Occlumency lessons actually for Voldemort's benefit/confusion/education, rather than in any hope that Harry would learn the skill?

As to the possibility that Dumbledore was by then increasing the rift between Harry and Snape: he had tried for four years to make Harry respect Snape, with no success...even though Snape had saved Harry's life directly once and indirectly other times. Knowing that Snape had to remain undercover, might Dumbledore have decided that he could use the enmity, if friendship was impossible? I mean, Harry pretty much sat on his hands and waited for other people to give him the answers in Books 5 & 6. Even in the Triwizard Tournament, he had help from Fake-Moody, Sirius and Cedric. Dumbledore's death/murder not only removed Harry's biggest comfort-cushion, but his hatred for Snape is going to get his buns in gear.

That was one reason I suspected that Dumbledore had a hand in setting up (or even faking--I'm still not totally convinced, but that's off-topic) his own Murder-By-Snape.


  #35  
Old September 4th, 2006, 7:02 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruplover
I suspect Snape knows about the horcruxes. He was the one who stopped the ring curse, and I'm sure that required rather specific information. Snape is very intelligent, and very familiar with the Dark Arts. Simply put, if Slughorn knew about horcruxes, why wouldn't Professor Snape, who seems to be a much deeper thinker? I do doubt that Dumbledore and Snape had indepth discussions about Voldemort's horcruxes, because of Snape's role as a double-agent. If Snape didn't even want Harry speaking Voldemort's name during the Occlumency lessons, why would Dumbledore want to burden Snape with the details of the horcrux hunt? Dumbledore seems very calculated in his choices of whom to tell what, and I think he cared enough for Snape to avoid burdening Snape with Order information Snape didn't absolutely need to know.
Hmmm. . . on second thought, you're probably right . . . Snape probably does know . . . but him knowing and Dumbledore telling him are two different things. Given your statement about burdening Snape with info he doesn't need to know, cruplover, you don't believe that Dumbledore told Snape about the Horcruxes, right? And you bring up the very reason why I believe neither Harry nor his scar is Horcrux--"Dumbledore seems very calculated in his choices of whom to tell what, and I think he cared enough for Snape . . ." I think if Dumbledore entertained the slightest notion that Harry were a Horcrux, he would have told him.

Going along with cruplover's statement, I want some opinions about something. In "The Seer Overheard" in HBP, after Harry learns of Snape's role in Voldemort tracking down his parents, he rants at Dumbledore. Dumbledore's response:

Quote:
Dumbledore did not speak for a moment; he looked as though he was trying to make up his mind about something. At last he said, "I am sure. I trust Severus Snape completely."
Was Dumbledore making up his mind as to whether or not he really trusted Snape, or was his making up his mind as to whether or not he was going to tell Harry why he trusted Snape? I think it's the latter rather than the former. If you agree with me, why do you think Dumbledore didn't tell him right then and there?


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  #36  
Old September 4th, 2006, 7:12 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedagogue
Was Dumbledore making up his mind as to whether or not he really trusted Snape, or was his making up his mind as to whether or not he was going to tell Harry why he trusted Snape? I think it's the latter rather than the former. If you agree with me, why do you think Dumbledore didn't tell him right then and there?
I know the question's for cruplover, but I want to put my opinion in too. I take it that it's almost like the Prophecy: Dumbledore doesn't want to burden Harry with more big news to think about, especially right before they have a Horcrux hunt, where Harry has to keep his wits about him.


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  #37  
Old September 4th, 2006, 7:18 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia
I know the question's for cruplover, but I want to put my opinion in too. I take it that it's almost like the Prophecy: Dumbledore doesn't want to burden Harry with more big news to think about, especially right before they have a Horcrux hunt, where Harry has to keep his wits about him.
The question was for all, ignisia, so your opinion is most welcome. So, you believe, as I, that Dumbledore was making up his mind as to tell Harry why he trusted Snape?


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  #38  
Old September 4th, 2006, 7:18 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkwolf
But I am beginning to wonder if Dumbledore wasn't intentionally increasing the dislike between Harry and Snape at that point or at least setting up the lessons to fail.

After all, if Voldemort was potentially watching through Harry's eyes (the stated reason that Dumbledore was not able to teach Harry himself) wouldn't it cement his trust of Snape to see him teaching Harry rather viciously and unsuccessfully? And seeing that Harry was failing, wouldn't that increase Voldemort's confidence? And Dumbledore by now should have realized that Harry wasn't really the type to be a good occlumens. Maybe he was hoping Voldemort would see some of Harry's hard past, the same way he showed Harry Voldemort's past.

(Only, if you can get your head around this, why didn't Voldemort ask himself, "Dumbledore is afraid to teach Harry himself...but he thinks Snape is his spy...so why is he risking exposing his spy by having him teach Harry to defy me? Something's fishy here..." )

So, were the Occlumency lessons actually for Voldemort's benefit/confusion/education, rather than in any hope that Harry would learn the skill?

As to the possibility that Dumbledore was by then increasing the rift between Harry and Snape: he had tried for four years to make Harry respect Snape, with no success...even though Snape had saved Harry's life directly once and indirectly other times. Knowing that Snape had to remain undercover, might Dumbledore have decided that he could use the enmity, if friendship was impossible? I mean, Harry pretty much sat on his hands and waited for other people to give him the answers in Books 5 & 6. Even in the Triwizard Tournament, he had help from Fake-Moody, Sirius and Cedric. Dumbledore's death/murder not only removed Harry's biggest comfort-cushion, but his hatred for Snape is going to get his buns in gear.

That was one reason I suspected that Dumbledore had a hand in setting up (or even faking--I'm still not totally convinced, but that's off-topic) his own Murder-By-Snape.
Inkwolf, I was just wondering about this. I re-read the chapter where Snape mets Harry at Hogwarts gates and goes with him to the castle. He's unbelivably, but also a bit stupidly mean to the boy. I have rather Snape's than Harry's age, and I can't imagine myself being so nasty to a sixteen-yerar-old, even if it would be a student I dislike. And, above all, to be nasty that way, especially waiting for him at the gate and using the walk to taunt him all the way. Every time I look at this, I tell myself: this is rather strange.


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Old September 4th, 2006, 7:22 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedagogue
The question was for all, ignisia, so your opinion is most welcome. So, you believe, as I, that Dumbledore was making up his mind as to tell Harry why he trusted Snape?
Yes. I'm pretty sure Dumbledore made up his mind much earlier than this.

UCM- Are we thinking of the same scene? The one in HBP? Because I don't really see Snape as being that nasty there. At least not compared to some other instances.


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Old September 4th, 2006, 7:29 pm
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Re: Assuming Snape is Good - What are the Implications for Book 7?

1. What do you think the reasons behind Snape's killing of Dumbledore were?

I think one of Dumbledore's strongest feelings in his life was his vocation to teach and nurture young people - remember he several times turned down the post of Minister of Magic to remain a teacher and later headmaster at Hogwarts.
I think the adults in the Order of the Phoenix knew that Dumbledore wanted Hogwarts and its students protected at all costs. And so I think Dumbledore was reminding Snape of this, and forced Snape to kill him in order to save Draco from either becoming a murderer or from being killed by Voldemort for failing in his task.
I think the look of hatred on Snape's face was in fact the emotion he needed to summon to perform the curse, in the same way that Harry needed to summon happy thoughts to perform the Patronus charm (I believe the Patronus and the AK are exact opposites). So in killing Dumbledore Snape was in fact protecting that most dear to Dumbledore.

2. Does Snape know about the horcruxes and will he help Harry in his destruction of them?
I don't believe Snape does know of them, or at least I don't believe Dumbledore told him. I think Dumbledore made sure that nobody, not even anyody in the order, knew everything he knew, but that various people knew various things according to Dumbledore's own judgement.
Basically, he's running a resistence cell, and nobody should know everything in case they find themselves in a situation where they are forced to tell all they know. This is basic leadership in such circumstances.
However, with Snape's knowledge of the Black Arts and sharp mind, I'm sure he knows about horcruxes and I think he suspects Voldemort has made at least one.

3. Did Snape know about Voldemort's plan to kill the Potters and if so, why did he not try to prevent this?
I would be inclined to accept Dumbledore's view of this (that Snape found out too late to be able to prevent it), largely because I don't know what might be gained from having yet another version of this story.

4. Why didn't Snape work harder to help Harry learn Occlumency?
I think, again, that Dumbledore was right and Snape's feelings about James were just too strong for him to be able to overcome.
However I would point out that although Harry could not disguise his thoughts from Snape (for example, he could not pretend he was thinking something else), he was beginning to be able to drive Snape out of his thoughts. While this is not true occlumency (as he would never be able to convincingly lie to a legilimens) it is definitely a useful skill!

5. How will Snape as a good guy fit into the plot of the final book?
Obviously (I think) he'll be crucial in the final showdown, but Harry will have to struggle to overcome his hatred and bring himself to work with him (much as Snape had to struggle to overcome his hatred of James in order to help Harry).
In fact I think we'll all be left in some doubt (or fear?) as to Snape's true loyalties right up until the end. But that we will finally find out he is definitely a (flawed but) good guy.


 
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