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Book 2 - The Chamber of Secrets

Severus Snape's Analysis 
through each Snape moment or reference in the book!!

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Spoilers
 on all five books!!!

Warning: In absolutely no case must this text be used for other things than evaluation, fan or inspiration purposes.  I do this only to allow other fans to appreciate the delightful work of JK Rowling and make a full character analysis of one of her creations.  
No money is being made, keep it that way! 

Original text Analysis

He missed Hogwarts so much it was like having a constant stomachache. He missed the castle, with its secret passageways and ghosts, his classes (though perhaps not Snape, the Potions master), the mail arriving by owl, eating banquets in the Great Hall, sleeping in his four-poster bed in the tower dormitory, visiting the gamekeeper, Hagrid, in his cabin next to the Forbidden Forest in the grounds, and, especially, Quidditch, the most popular sport in the wizarding world (six tall goal posts, four flying balls, and fourteen players on broomsticks).

 

Harry doesn't miss Snape!  Wow!  Talk about analysis!!

"Hang on. . . " Harry muttered to Ron. "There's an empty chair at the staff table .... Where's Snape?" Professor Severus Snape was Harry's least favorite teacher. Harry also happened to be Snape's least favorite student. Cruel, sarcastic, and disliked by everybody except the students from his own house (Slytherin), Snape taught Potions.

"Maybe he's ill!" said Ron hopefully.

"Maybe he's left," said Harry, "because he missed out on the Defense Against Dark Arts job again!"

"Or he might have been sacked!" said Ron enthusiastically. "I mean, everyone hates him -"

 

 

 

"Or maybe," said a very cold voice right behind them, "he's waiting to hear why you two didn't arrive on the school train."

 

 

Harry spun around. There, his black robes rippling in a cold breeze, stood Severus Snape. He was a thin man with sallow skin, a hooked nose, and greasy, shoulder-length black hair, and at this moment, he was smiling in a way that told Harry he and Ron were in very deep trouble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Follow me," said Snape.

Not daring even to look at each other, Harry and Ron followed Snape up the steps into the vast, echoing entrance hall, which was lit with flaming torches. A delicious smell of food was wafting from the Great Hall, but Snape led them away from the warmth and light, down a narrow stone staircase that led into the dungeons.

"In!" he said, opening a door halfway down the cold passageway and pointing.

They entered Snape's office, shivering. The shadowy walls were lined with shelves of large glass jars, in which floated all manner of revolting things Harry didn't really want to know the name of at the moment. The fireplace was dark and empty. Snape closed the door and turned to look at them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"So," he said softly, "the train isn't good enough for the famous Harry Potter and his faithful sidekick Weasley. Wanted to arrive with a bang, did we, boys?"

"No, sir, it was the barrier at King's Cross, it -"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Silence!" said Snape coldly. "What have you done with the car?" Ron gulped. This wasn't the first time Snape had given Harry the impression of being able to read minds. But a moment later, he understood, as Snape unrolled today's issue of the Evening Prophet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"You were seen," he hissed, showing them the headline: FLYING FORD ANGLIA MYSTIFIES MUGGLES. He began to read aloud: "Two Muggles in London, convinced they saw an old car flying over the Post Office tower ... at noon in Norfolk, Mrs. Hetty Bayliss, while hanging out her washing ... Mr. Angus Fleet, of Peebles, reported to police ... Six or seven Muggles in all. I believe your father works in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office?" he said, looking up at Ron and smiling still more nastily. "Dear, dear ... his own son. . . " he said, looking up at Ron and smiling still more nastily. Harry felt as though he'd just been walloped in the stomach by one of the mad tree's larger branches. If anyone found out Mr. Weasley had bewitched the car ... he hadn't thought of that .... "I noticed, in my search of the park, that considerable damage seems to have been done to a very valuable Whomping Willow," Snape went on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"That tree did more damage to us than we -" Ron blurted out.

 

 

"Silence!" snapped Snape again. "Most unfortunately, you are not in my House and the decision to expel you does not rest with me. I shall go and fetch the people who do have that happy power. You will wait here."

 

 

 

 

 

Harry and Ron stared at each other, white-faced. Harry didn't feel hungry any more. He now felt extremely sick. He tried not to look at a large, slimy something suspended in green liquid on a shelf behind Snape's desk. If Snape had gone to fetch Professor McGonagall, head of Gryffindor House, they were hardly any better off. She might be fairer than Snape, but she was still extremely strict.

 

 

 

Ten minutes later, Snape returned, and sure enough it was Professor McGonagall who accompanied him. Harry had seen Professor McGonagall angry on several occasions, but either he had forgotten just how thin her mouth could go, or he had never seen her this angry before. She raised her wand the moment she entered; Harry and Ron both flinched, but she merely pointed it at the empty fireplace, where flames suddenly erupted.

"Sit," she said, and they both backed into chairs by the fire.

"Explain," she said, her glasses glinting ominously.

Ron launched into the story, starting with the barrier at the station refusing to let them through.

"-so we had no choice, Professor, we couldn't get on the train."

"Why didn't you send us a letter by owl? I believe you have an owl?" Professor McGonagall said coldly to Harry. Harry gaped at her. Now she said it, that seemed the obvious thing to have done.

"I - I didn't think -"

"That," said Professor McGonagall, "is obvious."

There was a knock on the office door and Snape, now looking happier than ever, opened it. There stood the headmaster, Professor Dumbledore.

 

Harry's whole body went numb. Dumbledore was looking unusually grave. He stared down his very crooked nose at them, and Harry suddenly found himself wishing he and Ron were still being beaten up by the Whomping Willow.

There was a long silence. Then Dumbledore said, "Please explain why you did this."

It would have been better if he had shouted. Harry hated the disappointment in his voice. For some reason, he was unable to look Dumbledore in the eyes, and spoke instead to his knees. He told Dumbledore everything except that Mr. Weasley owned the bewitched car, making it sound as though he and Ron had happened to find a flying car parked outside the station. He knew Dumbledore would see through this at once, but Dumbledore asked no questions about the car. When Harry had finished, he merely continued to peer at them through his spectacles.

"We'll go and get our stuff," said Ron in a hopeless sort of voice.

"What are you talking about, Weasley?" barked Professor McGonagall.

"Well, you're expelling us, aren't you?" said Ron.

Harry looked quickly at Dumbledore.

"Not today, Mr. Weasley," said Dumbledore. "But I must impress upon both of you the seriousness of what you have done. I will be writing to both your families tonight. I must also warn you that if you do anything like this again, I will have no choice but to expel you."

Snape looked as though Christmas had been canceled. He cleared his throat and said, "Professor Dumbledore, these boys have flouted the Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardry, caused serious damage to an old and valuable tree - surely acts of this nature -"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"It will be for Professor McGonagall to decide on these boys' punishments, Severus," said Dumbledore calmly. "They are in her House and are therefore her responsibility." He turned to Professor McGonagall. "I must go back to the feast, Minerva, I've got to give out a few notices. Come, Severus, there's a delicious-looking custard tart I want to sample -"

Snape shot a look of pure venom at Harry and Ron as he allowed himself to be swept out of his office, leaving them alone with Professor McGonagall, who was still eyeing them like a wrathful eagle.

 Snape is described as cruel, sarcastic and disliked by everybody but Slytherins.   I wonder who is talking?  Harry or the author?   Anyway, it is true I think, whomever is talking.  Snape is cruel alright!  He is cruel with students when other teachers are not.  Sarcastic is another synonym for him, and as a result, nobody likes him!!  Except of course the Slytherins who much be in love with him because of his favouritism.  I think they must also like him because he must look like a parental figure to a lot of Slytherins!  I'm thinking about Draco.
See my other analysis (Book1 and 5) for more details about the DADA job. However, why imply that he might have left the school because he didn't get the DADA job, again?  In the students' mind, Snape's only ambition is to be the DADA teacher, hence, it seems highly probable to them that he would leave had he not achieved his goal. Why would he stay? It's simplistic thinking for students: you don't like it, you go away. But in reality, life is more complicated than that. And Severus has responsibilities there, too: Slytherins, spying, Potions... And what about the "he's been sacked" thing?! He's been there for 15 years, and now that he tried to save Harry's butt in Book1, he would get sacked?! Come on!
Oh, I love this part!  He was worried about Harry!  How cute!!  No really!  It's stylish the way he uses their "or"s and "maybes". After saying such things, I doubt Snape will be the more indulgent! Oh no! But yet again, we see the extraordinary "Snape' sixth sense" in action.  He learned about the flying machine in the newspaper, and added 2 + 2 when he noticed the boys weren't there!  Very clever indeed! Nobody else knew it was them after all, which means their pictures didn't appear in the print. I mean, he even skipped dinner.  Not that he must really enjoy it, with all the children and festivities, but still.
Same physical description as in Book 1 except that there's more emphasis on his thinness. His voice is also described as "very cold". No wonder! Very theatrical, his robes : )  
Snape always seems to smile when he is right, no?  Here, Snape looks like a vulture, which must not help his popularity towards Harry-Potter readers!  However, if a vulture feeds itself upon injured animals, Snape is not that kind. I rather think he hates to see "animals" do stupid things that endanger and injure them, so that's why he feels he must "clean" and help the food chain by getting rid of them!! In a word, he has a very harsh judgment. But isn't that weird from someone who has once been a Death Eater?  Not so much. Your ethics can be high and still, you get yourself so entangle in them that you end up doing the opposite of what you intended to do or you thought one way was the best while it was the worst of all. We all are humans, and by definition, humans don't see themselves.  However, when they do recognise their faults, they usually always try to impose it on others. Your rules, your way of thinking, it all adds up to you wanting it for others as well, because that's what works for you, that's what makes you not a horrible person, you think. So, it's very human to do so. Hence, Snape (before and/or after his Death Eater days) imposed not only himself but also others the same harsh judgment.  I myself know a lot about harsh judgment, it's my worst fault. It's a protection mechanism, a way to do the right thing, and a way to avoid people who are not really redempted from their wrongs. I believe Snape uses such a harsh judgment. However, maybe more strongly than I (and that's saying much) because he won't allow others to hurt him or be weak. Pride also has a lot to do with it. Pride is in fact how much you give others' opinions importance. For someone like Snape, who was bullied and neglicted as a child, pride becomes a dangerous protective and charging weapon. It's all very sad and eats you up as well as it isolates you. But you are harsh or you give up. Loosening up is quite difficult for perfectionists, bullied or unpopular people. You have to stay righteous at all times. And if you ever do something wrong, if you wake up knowing you did something wrong, then, it's a nightmare of guilt, even more for harsh people with a conscience as I suspect Severus of owning. But still, you cannot stop yourself from being harsh to others, especially those who hurt you, but even more towards yourself. That kind of self-inflicted pain is one reason why I like Snape so much, why I can identify to him.  
Snape's never lost himself in long phrasing now, has he? "Follow me" is just enough. It is often the same for Dumbledore and Minerva, though you see when he says : "In" that Snape's even more precious of his words. He doesn't believe in false niceties in such contexts I reckon.

 

Snape's office description!  From what I read, his office is located in the middle of the stairs towards the Potions classroom. Notice how different this description is from the movie: shadowy with a dark empty fireplace. I would be very tempted to associate this description with Snape, as authors often do. This is his working environment, it's who he is somehow: dark, shadowy and empty. Also, he owns unrecognisable potions ingredients up on his shelves, though I believe Hermione would be better than the two boys in identifying them! Still, they must be precious. In the movie (see image section), we also see that Snape has a small laboratory and work table down there too. I think it's realistic. And lots of books, too.
Again, we see how Snape loves or is used to the cold of the dungeons!  That reminds me of a theory some people have upon the subject: they believe Snape would be used to cold because he would come from around Durmstrang.  However, his name, as I checked, is definitely British. I don't think he ever went to Durmstrang. I just believe he is used to cold conditions because he was brought up like that or because he likes it empty (I'm mainly referring to his dislike of fireplaces where people can apparate or talk) or he uses warming spells to be warm. After all, potions ingredients must require appropriate handling and temperature. That's also another solution to the riddle!  

 
The faintful sidekick!  How cute!
Now that we know two of the worst things the Marauders ever did to Snape (public humiliation (see Snape's Worst Memory in Book5) and putting him through a life-threatening situation (see the Werewolf incident in Book3)), it is even clearer why Snape really hates Harry because he thinks the boy only wants fame, to disobey rules and that said rules are below him! His statement about the train much expresses these. IIt parallels much with James Potter who said, by Sirius and Lupin in Book5, to adore fame, showing off, bending rules, etc. Which, of course, seemed to make Snape sick! I cannot say I disagree with him. Even Harry, after looking in Snape's pensieve in Book5, thought the same about his own father. Imagine for a second being on the receiving end of such pranks? And having no one to help you, which seemed Snape's case. Oh sure, for popular fellows like James, it's only a matter of time...allowing people to forget. However, in Snape's case, it may have disastrous repercussions such as associating with the wrong people,  becoming a Death Eater, becoming a git/bastard, loosing faith in others, building up protective walls around himself... Lupin himself moralized Sirius in Book5 about these taunts, mentioning the fact that had they not overdone it, Snape might be quite different today. You may think: Oh, but Harry was bullied, too, and he never became a git!" No, but he became something else, he has other faults due to bullying. And let's not forget that Harry is still young, bullying and loneliness was over at 11, while Snape's never been popular at all in his young days.And when bullying or ignoring Harry was the school's trend, Harry still had friends, he still knew he was right.  In Snape's case, it is not such a happy story. I doubt the same could ever occur in Slytherins or at Hogwarts. For more on this issue, see Book5 analysis.
Mind reading?  Not bad, but logic and a sharp wit are Snape's real weapons!  Again, Snape is ahead of himself and talks in riddle for anyone who doesn't know what happened before!!  He often does this, like I said in Book 1: he will never tell you what you did, he will tell you what he knows about what you did because he is sure of the answer.  So here, instead of saying : "I know you took a flying car to school this afternoon. I saw it in the Daily Prophet!", he will rather say "Where's the car?".  He always does this knowing the others are aware of what he is talking about.  He did it on more than one occasion with Quirrell. I think it's really Slytherin-like!  Exactly like when Malfoy says "You should watch out for that muggle, she might be hurt" (Book4) instead of "Death Eaters are running among us and killing Mudblood, you should take care of Granger because she's a potential victim". This is also what, in the normal world, we call manipulation/counter-manipulation. In Slytherin, lies run amok, so you need to develop manipulative skills, but also skills to counter such manipulation. Snape knows what he's doing. Other ways to counter-manipulate is to ask the person: what did you do? Then, when the person lies (because you are sure of the truth), you may ask: "I am 100% certain of the answer, so I will give you another chance, what did you do?" That way, you do not reveal how you discovered the truth. It's a very useful and powerful tool, one that I'm pretty sure Snape uses with his Slytherins. However, in this case, with Gryffindors, such drastic interrogation manners are not needed. He just needs to present them with what he knows, to have them doubt the safety of their minds.
Can you guess where Hogwarts is now?
Here, Snape is really cruel! He turns the knight in the open wound. Ouch! I think he really wants to make a point: and impress the gravity of the situation upon them. Unlike Dumbledore, Snape always does this. Dumbledore leaves the inner-consternation up to his interlocutors. However, Snape attacks, he speaks out and loud. In this case, what he means by torturing them like he does, especially Weasley is: "You boys are so undisciplined and without consideration for consequences and others, and might I add for the sole purpose of bringing fame upon your holy heads, that you don't even stop to think about what might happen after those glorious moments of fame and cunning!! You are short-sighted, have no consideration for consequences to you or others, you are obnoxious and empty-headed." Of course, "FAME" was not their purpose at all, but still, wasn't that the stupidest thing to do?  Why would one want to do that but to arrive with a BANG!? Unless, according to normal logic, the boys would have attempted to call for help. Maybe Snape can understand that there was a problem at the King Cross's Gate, but he dismisses it at once because even though that might be true, it was absolutely not a good reason to do something so stupid, egoistic and foolish!  
I also think that in Slytherin, family honour is even more important and sacred than anywhere else.  Therefore, to see Potter' sidekick dishonour his own family must be very gratifying for Snape because it only proves him that he was right about them being headless and unconsiderate!
Snape really cares about the Whomping Willow!  Brings out nice souvenirs I guess!! Ha, ha!  No, really! It's more the fact that, while he's at it, Snape wants to impress each and every damage they imposed on others or things!  Not to mention that Snape wanted them to know that way before they arrived, he was already looking for them! Quite a warning indeed!  
 The "happy power" to expel them!  I just love this expression!  It's so much like Snape's overall behaviour towards Harry! Strange how the decision to expel a student rests with the Head of House, don't you think? It's a considerable power, isn't it? It means Snape has power over what is acceptable or not within Slytherin, right? Wow!  Dumbledore must have a say in it of course, but still, this statement is quite powerful. Therefore, it also means that Dumbledore also trusts Snape with students's fate, in a way. Of course, Snape always seems to favor them, so it's not a big deal. However, that's only compared to other houses. From within Slytherins, Snape's ways are pretty much unknown, except for his relationship to Draco with looks closer. But then again, I still say that's only because of politics and the fact that people usually don't help Slytherins.
The fact that McGonagall is as strict as Snape explains well why the two of them don't do well together! I think that they are so strict, but in such a different way, that they can't manage to be together for long or work together for that matter.  It's true that two strict people cannot work well (and for long) together unless they value the same things, which is not the case here!  Hence, not only does their respective Houses separates them, but also their ways of being strict.  Notice how the boys still expect someone to help them out of this because they still expect fairness from McGonagall. It's as if they don't get the seriousness of it all. Well, in fact, they do because they have not realised yet how they could have done it differently!
At least, Snape trusts them enough to leave them alone in his office for ten minutes!  I say it's because he's sure he scared them so much that they won't think about doing anything else!  Oh yes!  Oh! And it means that the Dungeons are not so far off from the Great Hall, too.
Notice how McGonagall instantly lights a fire.  The more to prove that Snape is used and/or likes the cold.  If her first reaction to the room is to light a fire, it must be quite cold indeed. I'm also thinking about the darkness of the room, but then again, don't they have chandeliers or torches to that effect. Which is why I'm more fond of the "cold" theory.
There are chairs by the fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think at this point, Snape is happy because he just proved to dear McGonagall that her cherished Gryffindors are nothing but stupid and unable to think!  It's also, as I often mentioned before, that Snape's craving for recognition.  and proving that he was right is also an important cause for his momentary happiness.
Dumbledore's nose is VERY crooked?!  I never noticed that before!  In a sense, it means that Snape's nose is not so hooked because she didn't say a "very hooked nose".  

 

 

 

Notice how Dumbledore, the all-knowing, too, doesn't question the property of the car, just like Snape.  He knows who's car it is alright.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Here it goes again: Snape cannot support disobedience!  Especially when it was done out of stupidity!!  Or, for what he believes to be "a bang". He must see red. And I mean, Hell Red! Snape thought he had finally found a way to show what he has been saying for so long: Harry Potter is a showy brat like his father! What a disappointment! I think that for him, the expelling of these boys would make his inner-most desire of seeing James expelled when he was young. Sirius wasn't when they almost got Snape killed, and this must have been quite a blow for Snape. I now imagine that it was the start of his Death Eater days, don't you think so? Injustice. Now, another extreme situation presents itself, but Dumbledore won't expel them, just like with the Marauders. Of course, expelling them would be quite severe for children who honestly didn't foresee the consequences. So that's why I think, Snape is blinded by his strictness, but also by the emotions he associates with Potters. Along with the Decree, he blames Potter for his father's mistakes, too, I reckon. I say so because, surely, some Slytherins must do very bad things like them, but they must not be expelled, right? Second chances!  Rowling believes in that indeed. And you would think that Snape, being on his second chance, would be more lenient. But no, he is a human and therefore, blinded by his past scars.  James got his first chance, and it's as if Harry is therefore, on his second chance already. But last year, he disobeyed to so many rules and all. Hence, Snape may consider that, already, as a third chance, don't you think?
As I said, it's up to the Head of House to expel students or not.
Here, we see the power Dumbledore has over Severus when it comes to making him quit!  To what extend Snape feels he must refrain himself in front of Dumbledore is unknown, but we surely see how he respects Albus.  And how he cannot argue with him once he's set his mind on something like sweets!!  Unless, he would never ever leave his office like this!!  Is Albus trying Snape's nerve or only changing the subject because he knows Snape will not see his point anyway?  Why talk of custard to Snape if not to say "subject closed Severus!" Snape must know that it's no use arguing now!  He knows Albus!
Oh! I'm happy they kept that venomous look in the movie!   
Did you notice how Snape always seems to sweep out of a place when he is very angry?  A bat indeed!!  It's dramatic, but effective.

"Ah," said Flint. "But I've got a specially signed note here from Snape. `I, Professor S. Snape, give the Slytherin team permission to practice today on the Quidditch field owing to the need to train their new Seeker."'

 Funny he signs with his name like this!  Is it normal when you're a professor?  I mean, to sign Professor S. instead of Severus Snape?  Thanks to a fan who reminded me that Minerva also signed that way!!
Oh, oh, oh!!  I didn't notice before: even Slytherins also refer to Professor Snape as simply, Snape.  Not in front of him of course! It seems normal for everyone to do that for all teachers, I guess!
 

The silent crowd parted to let them pass. Lockhart, looking excited and important, hurried after Dumbledore; so did Professors McGonagall and Snape.

As they entered Lockhart's darkened office there was a flurry of movement across the walls; Harry saw several of the Lockharts in the pictures dodging out of sight, their hair in rollers. The real Lockhart lit the candles on his desk and stood back. Dumbledore lay Mrs. Norris on the polished surface and began to examine her. Harry, Ron, and Hermione exchanged tense looks and sank into chairs outside the pool of candlelight, watching.

The tip of Dumbledore's long, crooked nose was barely an inch from Mrs. Norris's fur. He was looking at her closely through his half-moon spectacles, his long fingers gently prodding and poking. Professor McGonagall was bent almost as close, her eyes narrowed. Snape loomed behind them, half in shadow, wearing a most peculiar expression: It was as though he was trying hard not to smile. And Lockhart was hovering around all of them, making suggestions.

 "It was definitely a curse that killed her - probably the Transmogrifian Torture - I've seen it used many times, so unlucky I wasn't there, I know the very countercurse that would have saved her . .....

Lockhart's comments were punctuated by Filch's dry, racking sobs.

He was slumped in a chair by the desk, unable to look at Mrs. Norris, his face in his hands. Much as he detested Filch, Harry couldn't help feeling a bit sorry for him, though not nearly as sorry as he felt for himself If Dumbledore believed Filch, he would be expelled for sure.

Dumbledore was now muttering strange words under his breath and tapping Mrs. Norris with his wand but nothing happened: She continued to look as though she had been recently stuffed.

". . . I remember something very similar happening in Ouagadogou," said Lockhart, "a series of attacks, the full story's in my autobiography, I was able to provide the townsfolk with various amulets, which cleared the matter up at once ......

The photographs of Lockhart on the walls were all nodding in agreement as he talked. One of them had forgotten to remove his hair net.

 I think it's nice Snape is one of the third most important teachers at Hogwarts!  He's always there when it comes to big trouble or important matters!
I sense Snape is getting sick here or can't help "smiling" at the ridiculousness of Lockhart's office. It could be! (see below)

 

 

 Very Snapish: half in shadow, looming over a scene like he knows exactly what is going on. The question is: Is Snape smiling (or almost) because he thinks Potter is hiding a prank or information yet again? And that consequently, his theories about the boy's uncanny impulsion to look for trouble will yet again permit to lead to his expulsion or punishment? And if they are able to prove that this incident is Harry's fault, then Snape could be happy because he was right about the boy the whole time, and Snape might even be thinking that if they had listened to him in the first place (for Harry's expulsion) they wouldn't be having Mrs. Norris frozen. Or, while we are at it, is Snape trying to stifle his hilarity caused by the sight of  Lockhart's office. Of course, Snape is looming over McGonagall and Dumbledore, so I doubt it's because of that, but it could be part of the reason why as well.
Rowling describes Snape's expression as peculiar. Why? We have to remember that, usually, Snape smiles in situations where he has the upper-hand or has proofs against someone, like when he caught the boys at the beginning of the book (also see below when he smiles to Ron).  But why would he try so hard to hide it? Is it a smile of contempt? I am also thinking: Rowling really likes to use Snape as an alibi, she still does in Book5 I mean, even after all the stuff Snape did for the Trio and Hogwarts. Therefore, is she trying to make us doubt of his innocence once again? I wouldn't let it pass her!  Also, at this point, nobody knows that Mrs. Norris has been petrified by Dark Magic.
Ever wonder why Snape never cursed Lockhart right on the spot?! I think I would have.  But I guess Snape respects Dumbledore enough and has enough self-control to resist doing so.

At last Dumbledore straightened up.

"She's not dead, Argus," he said softly.

Lockhart stopped abruptly in the middle of counting the number of murders he had prevented.

"Not dead?" choked Filch, looking through his fingers at Mrs. Norris.

"But why's she all - all stiff and frozen?"

"She has been Petrified," said Dumbledore ("Ah! I thought so!" said Lockhart). "But how, I cannot say . . . ."

"Ask him!" shrieked Filch, turning his blotched and tearstained face to Harry.

"No second year could have done this," said Dumbledore firmly. "it would take Dark Magic of the most advanced -"

"He did it, he did it!" Filch spat, his pouchy face purpling. "You saw what he wrote on the wall! He found - in my office - he knows I'm a - I'm a -" Filch's face worked horribly. "He knows I'm a Squib!" he finished.

"I never touched Mrs. Norris!" Harry said loudly, uncomfortably aware of everyone looking at him, including all the Lockharts on the walls. "And I don't even know what a Squib is."

"Rubbish!" snarled Filch. "He saw my Kwikspell letter!"

Now it's certain, Snape knows Harry could never have done such a spell. Snape is an expert in the Dark Arts and Potions, therefore, I suggest that he knows the boy couldn't have done it unless a very specific spell or potion had the same effect, which Dumbledore just dismissed. On the other hand, what Snape is certain of is that Potter is holding back something. (See below) It must be apparent in their Gryffindor faces just as it would be concealed in any Slytherin's face. Not to mention that the three of them were found up a corridor, alone, when everybody else was having dinner. Afterall, Snape knows his stuff about spying and being with Slytherins all the time, so his brain is trained to find the missing links.

"If I might speak, Headmaster," said Snape from the shadows, and Harry's sense of foreboding increased; he was sure nothing Snape had to say was going to do him any good.

"Potter and his friends may have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said, a slight sneer curling his mouth as though he doubted it. "But we do have a set of suspicious circumstances here. Why was he in the upstairs corridor at all? Why wasn't he at the Halloween feast?"

Harry, Ron and Hermione all launched into an explanation about the deathday party. ". . . there were hundreds of ghosts, they'll tell you we were there -"

"But why not join the feast afterward?" said Snape, his black eyes glittering in the candlelight. "Why go up to that corridor?"

Ron and Hermione looked at Harry.

"Because - because -" Harry said, his heart thumping very fast; something told him it would sound very far-fetched if he told them he had been led there by a bodiless voice no one but he could hear, "because we were tired and wanted to go to bed," he said.

"Without any supper?" said Snape, a triumphant smile flickering across his gaunt face. "I didn't think ghosts provided food fit for living people at their parties."

"We weren't hungry," said Ron loudly as his stomach gave a huge rumble. Snape's nasty smile widened.

"I suggest, Headmaster, that Potter is not being entirely truthful," he said. "It might be a good idea if he were deprived of certain privileges until he is ready to tell us the whole story. I personally feel he should be taken off the Gryffindor Quidditch team until he is ready to be honest."

"Really, Severus," said Professor McGonagall sharply, "I see no reason to stop the boy playing Quidditch. This cat wasn't hit over the head with a broomstick. There is no evidence at all that Potter has done anything wrong."

Dumbledore was giving Harry a searching look. His twinkling lightblue gaze made Harry feel as though he were being X-rayed. "Innocent until proven guilty, Severus," he said firmly.

Snape looked furious. So did Filch.

"My cat has been Petrified!" he shrieked, his eyes popping. "I want to see some punishment!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"We will be able to cure her, Argus," said Dumbledore patiently. "Professor Sprout recently managed to procure some Mandrakes. As soon as they have reached their full size, I will have a potion made that will revive Mrs. Norris."

 

"I'll make it," Lockhart butted in. "I must have done it a hundred times. I could whip up a Mandrake Restorative Draught in my sleep -"

"Excuse me," said Snape icily. "But I believe I am the Potions master at this school."

There was a very awkward pause.

"You may go," Dumbledore said to Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

 

 We have yet another proof of  how Snape automatically sees Harry as a troublemaker. He always includes a theory where the boy is at fault.
This is a very good strategy in philosophical debates: concede points, but then, put in some more of your arguments to prove that their weight don't equal each other. Find other possibilities, but don't give in on your idea!
See how soon Snape realised Potter was not at the feast? Maybe he noticed their absence even before the incident.  What's suspicious here is the place and time.

 

Suspicious indeed!  Snape's mind works so fast!  
Oh!  The faithful Gryffindors just gave Harry away!!  Don't turn to the one responsible of their coming up to that specific corridor in front of Snape like that!!  You just gave yourself away!  Slytherins, I'm sure, would not even look at each other. Or if they did, it would be to give themselves "I don't get it" looks!

 

 

So fast isn't he!! Notice the smile again. Snape smiles when he knows something or has the upper-hand against someone.

 

 

See what I said before: Snape knows they are holding something back. Also notice how he doesn't say "Let's punish them all until they feel compelled to tell the truth", he just mentions Harry because, I reckon, of that look they both gave Harry a minute ago!  They sold him away as the "information withholder!!  Poor Gryffindors!  
Also, at first, people may think Snape only wants an occasion to take Harry off Quidditch so that Slytherins may have a chance. However, I don't think that was the goal at all here. If Potter won't speak because he has nothing to loose, let him loose something he cares about. Then he might reconsider his position. And knowing Harry, Quidditch is his favourite activity and therefore, the worst punishment.  Not detentions, Quidditch, the right to do something or not. It also tells us about possible ways Snape deals with his Slytherins when they are hiding something.  This technique also works on the spot, I mean, without having to actually do it because students may understand that they will have to talk or be deprived of certain rights. It's a powerful persuasive way indeed. The pressure is too strong for a lot of people to withhold, and therefore, they speak the truth. However, McGonagall's argument destroys all that., especially in the reader's mind. She doesn't understand that by depriving someone of his most important pastime, they will more easily comply to tell the truth. And Snape is sure Potter is not telling the whole thing, be it related to the present case or not. McGonagall is only thinking about House rivalry. Also, she thinks Snape is accusing Potter of damaging the cat. I don't think so. Snape's accusing the boy of not telling the whole truth and wants to get that information out of him so that the mystery looks clearer.  However, Dumbledore understands Snape's technique I reckon. On the other hand, Albus usually relies on people's honesty, not on forced honesty.  I think Snape may have replied to McGonagall, but Dumbledore was faster to say that Harry was innocent until proven guilty. Of course, after saying that in a firm tone, Snape knew the discussion was over, and therefore, he looked furious that a good chance was wasted away!  
Notice how both Minerva and Albus refer to him as Severus, even in front of the students. Interesting!  
Ah! See how Dumbledore knows what kind of potion is needed to restore the cat to life?!  It means Snape knows it, too, and therefore, that he is indeed not really accusing Potter of the feat.
"Snape's Most Wanted List". Dead or Alive (but preferably dead):
  1. Voldemort
  2. Sirius Black
  3. Lockhart (New addition as of now!)

This is sooo good!!  Just like Rowling to write something like that!  Why not have Snape agree and give Harry a big "forgive me"-hug while we're at it!?  Haha!  

Do you reckon the "awkward" pause was due to everyone holding their breath and waiting for Snape to curse Lockhart  into oblivion?! Haha!  I would have liked to see that!!  But in fact, we will later on though not the oblivion part!

A clock chimed somewhere.

"Midnight," said Harry. "We'd better get to bed before Snape comes along and tries to frame us for something else."

 

 Nice thinking, Mr. Potter!  A lot of people believe Snape is resting very little at night.  I think so too because he loves to be alone and night is always welcoming to any loner.  Somehow, night and darkness suit Snape perfectly thanks to Rowling's nicknaming him "bat".  Watching over mischievous students is too! 

Harry had been held back in Potions, where Snape had made him stay behind to scrape tubeworms off the desks. 

 Good old detentions!!  Snape seems to like having his students do horrible chores!  May be part of his own education when he was a child!  That wouldn't surprise me!  Not to mention that wizards must truly hate doing so when they could easily do so with magic. It's like asking someone to shovel by hand outside instead of using a snowplow! Or like laboring a field the old way when tractors are so efficient!   

"No, it's not," said Hermione. "All we'd need would be some Polyjuice Potion."

"What's that?" said Ron and Harry together.

"Snape mentioned it in class a few weeks ago -"

"D'you think we've got nothing better to do in Potions than listen to Snape?" muttered Ron.

 

 If after reading this you still don't understand why Snape calls his students dumderheads and treats them as such, I don't know what will ever make you!  I think Snape is the victim of every teacher's nightmare: inattention in class!  Well, of course, you will say that if Snape was nicer, people would listen more.  NOt necessarily! From my experience as a student (I'm pretty much like Hermione when it comes to school), even though a class is fun, students will not listen anyway and find working boring! People, usually pragmatists and aesthetes don't like school because it doesn't reach them, because they don't have rational intelligence. I have a rational type of intelligence, which is not so common compared to the other two types of intelligence. And since I liked working in a rational way, seriously, I always worked alone, unless a serious classmate teamed up with me. This is not set in stone of course but unless, we never got anything well done except for idle chatting! Whew!! In Snape's case, he always asks his students attention, carefulness, precision and rationality. It's hard for a lot of them, hence, they don't feel like listening, along with their hatred for the teacher. Personally, I have never let that stop me from learning. On the contrary, I listened even more to nasty teachers so I could answer or pick up mistakes. However, I remember that most students didn't care anymore. That's how it goes for nasty teachers. However, everyone worked harder in such classes.
 Also, being a teacher myself, I know that when you start a game with students nowadays, they can't control themselves anymore. I teach English as a second language, so when I try fun activities, the kids get so excited that they don't speak in English anymore! And I'm not the only one to whom it happens. Of course, I'm talking about average North American public schools, and could not vouch for other parts of the world.   When I was young, however, it was not so difficult though. I miss those days when the teacher could leave the class for 5 minutes and when it didn't turn into a zoo!  Sniff!  As for teenagers, there's always something more interesting to do than study hard subjects!  In this context, it must be boring for normal students, especially since it doesn't involve "foolish wand waving"!

"But getting hold of the recipe will be very difficult. Snape said it was in a book called Moste Potente Potions and it's bound to be in the Restricted Section of the library."

There was only one way to get out a book from the Restricted Section: You needed a signed note of permission from a teacher. 

 Interesting fact: Snape gives out the exact location and name of the book.  Why?  I think it was to save students time trying to look around for the recipe since it's only in the restricted section!  As for telling it's name, I think Snape maybe just wanted to show how much he knew his stuff, even book names and all!  Bad Snape! Or maybe because he likes the book!!

Shredded skin of a boomslang, that's definitely not in the students' cupboard. What're we going to do, break into Snape's private stores? I don't know if this is a good idea ......

 

 Do you?  Yes!!  Let's go to our doom!!!  Hurray!! : )  These kids surely won "Snape's Dunderhead Award" at least once!! He, he!!  ; )

Unfortunately, the potion was only half finished. They still needed the bicorn horn and the boomslang skin, and the only place they were going to get them was from Snape's private stores. Harry privately felt he'd rather face Slytherin's legendary monster than let Snape catch him robbing his office.

 

 That would be quite a site, no?  Snape catching Harry robbing him!  Ouch!  That would hurt so much even his ancestors would be in pain!  But actually, we did see what would happen in Book5 after the pensieve incident: he was furious, beyond angry I mean. Then, he shouted at him, maybe not to loose to the temptation of strangling the boy. And then in class, he ignored him, told him to never come back to his office (private rooms) ever again, he lost all confidence in him (the little he had anyway), etc. Not a happy end now is it!?

"What we need," said Hermione briskly as Thursday afternoon's double Potions lesson loomed nearer, "is a diversion. Then one of us can sneak into Snape's office and take what we need."

Harry and Ron looked at her nervously. 

"I think Id better do the actual stealing," Hermione continued in a matter-of-fact tone. "You two will be expelled if you get into any more trouble, and I've got a clean record. So all you need to do is cause enough mayhem to keep Snape busy for five minutes or so.

 

 

 

Harry smiled feebly. Deliberately causing mayhem in Snape's Potions class was about as safe as poking a sleeping dragon in the eye. Potions lessons took place in one of the large dungeons. Thursday afternoon's lesson proceeded in the usual way. Twenty cauldrons stood steaming between the wooden desks, on which stood brass scales and jars of ingredients. Snape prowled through the fumes, making waspish remarks about the Gryffindors' work while the Slytherins sniggered appreciatively. Draco Malfoy, who was Snape's favorite student, kept flicking puffer-fish eyes at Ron and Harry, who knew that if they retaliated they would get detention faster than you could say "Unfair."

 

 

 

Harry's Swelling Solution was far too runny, but he had his mind on more important things. He was waiting for Hermione's signal, and he hardly listened as Snape paused to sneer at his watery potion. When Snape turned and walked off to bully Neville, Hermione caught Harry's eye and nodded.

Harry ducked swiftly down behind his cauldron, pulled one of Fred's Filibuster fireworks out of his pocket, and gave it a quick prod with his wand. The firework began to fizz and sputter. Knowing he had only seconds, Harry straightened up, took aim, and lobbed it into the air; it landed right on target in Goyle's cauldron.

Goyle's potion exploded, showering the whole class. People shrieked as splashes of the Swelling Solution hit them. Malfoy got a faceful and his nose began to swell like a balloon; Goyle blundered around, his hands over his eyes, which had expanded to the size of a dinner plate -

Snape was trying to restore calm and find out what had happened. Through the confusion, Harry saw Hermione slip quietly into Snape's office.

"Silence! SILENCE!" Snape roared. "Anyone who has been splashed, come here for a Deflating Draft - when I find out who did this -"

Harry tried not to laugh as he watched Malfoy hurry forward, his head drooping with the weight of a nose like a small melon. As half the class lumbered up to Snape's desk, some weighted down with arms like clubs, others unable to talk through gigantic puffedup lips, Harry saw Hermione slide back into the dungeon, the front of her robes bulging.

When everyone had taken a swig of antidote and the various swellings had subsided, Snape swept over to Goyle's cauldron and scooped out the twisted black remains of the firework. There was a sudden hush.

"If I ever find out who threw this," Snape whispered, "I shall make sure that person is expelled."

Harry arranged his face into what he hoped was a puzzled expression. Snape was looking right at him, and the bell that rang ten minutes later could not have been more welcome.

"He knew it was me," Harry told Ron and Hermione as they hurried back to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. "I could tell."

Hermione threw the new ingredients into the cauldron and began to stir feverishly.

"It'll be ready in two weeks," she said happily.

"Snape can't prove it was you," said Ron reassuringly to Harry.

"What can he do?"

"Knowing Snape, something foul," said Harry as the potion frothed and bubbled.

 

 I think this proves how near Snape's office is from his classroom.  And that there's a direct connection between the two. Because at the beginning of the book, it said that his office was in the middle of the stairs leading to the Dungeons, as if near the Potions classroom which would make sense if Snape needed to keep precious ingredients close at hand. Since it's in the middle of the stairs, I would suggest that, between his office and classroom, there are some steps to climb, unless, it would mean they were both on the same level, and that would be incoherent with what Rowling has been writing. Hermione did travel from the classroom to his office through the back of the classroom. It never said so but judging that Snape was at his desk in front, even in the commotion, Hermione wouldn't have been able to get to the office easily had it not been in the back. Therefore, that's where the entry is. The entry and the steps towards it!
I think Hermione is ahead of herself here!  What do you think Snape would think the second he would see her?  Harry Potter of course!  Who else could be so low as to engage perfect Miss Granger into stealing?  That's what he would think, I'm pretty sure of it!  
I love this comparison too!  Quite demonstrative of Snape's angry power!!!  Scary isn't it!  
Make the count: double potion, 20 students: about 10 of each house!  That means about only 40 students are allowed in Hogwarts per year!! There may be this class twice though. Multiply by seven years and that gives you the approximate amount of students in all!  I should try to count in the movie!  : )
Here, it says Draco is Snape's favourite student.  How much of that is true, we don't know yet.  But like I said before, I doubt that this has anything to do beyond politics!  After all, Draco's a Death Eater to be and Snape has put a cross on that a long time ago! But he has to deal with Death Eater parents and pure-blood parents as well. Angry parents are enough to allow more lenient rules. AND we don't know about inner-house rules!   
Again, Snape "prowls" around!  Very characteristic!
See, Snape does not always say bad comments!  (Kidding!)  No, really, Snape is as expressive with his sneers than with his sarcasm!

 

 

 

 

I wished they had done it in the movie!! It would have been fun to see the swelling arranged by Hollywood producers AND Snape's anger!!  
I sincerely hope the Know-it-all assured them that this particular potion was not too dangerous if meddled with!  
Oh!! That must have calmed them down alright!
Is it me or did Snape actually said there would be problems for the one responsible for this mess?  Does it mean Goyle too? I mean, Snape didn't seem to know right away what could have caused this, so it also means that even a Slytherin wouldn't be able to get away with it, right?  However, maybe Snape knew that such a potion could not explode even if ingredients were put in the wrong order. That's pushing it quite far though.

 

 Again, Snape knows who did this.  It's his sense of logic that always wins: he knew it was Harry because 1) It's Slytherin against Gryffindors 2) Harry & Co hate Draco & Co 3) A firework from Fred must be known to Snape by now 4) Ron and Harry are acquainted with Fred! 5) Most important: Harry was not splashed! How can you not suspect Harry?
Notice how Snape whispers. He usually does so when he is very angry and almost want to kill someone!  And what about the "expelling"?  Expelled for disturbing his class? Not only that. I rather think for thinking that this might be funny while endangering students!!  So, like I said, I'm not sure they knew the effect the exploding potion would have, right?!

 

 

 

This makes me wonder... I guess Snape tends to find other ways to punish students he knows are hiding the truth!  Well, that's my opinion but I'm pretty sure Snape, when he can't prove that someone's guilty, finds "unfair excuses" to make it up for it. In a sense it works because we know that students usually avoid doing stupid things or against the rules stuff because Snape will get them.  We just saw an example when the Trio said that it was already midnight and should not venture much longer when Snape was out "hunting"!

"As long as it's not -" Harry began, but he ended on a groan: Gilderoy Lockhart was walking onto the stage, resplendent in robes of deep plum and accompanied by none other than Snape, wearing his usual black.

Lockhart waved an arm for silence and called ' "Gather round, gather round! Can everyone see me? Can you all hear me? Excellent! "Now, Professor Dumbledore has granted me permission to start this little dueling club, to train you all in case you ever need to defend yourselves as I myself have done on countless occasions - for full details, see my published works.

"Let me introduce my assistant, Professor Snape," said Lockhart, flashing a wide smile. "He tells me he knows a tiny little bit about dueling himself and has sportingly agreed to help me with a short demonstration before we begin. Now, I don't want any of you youngsters to worry - you'll still have your Potions master when I'm through with him, never fear!"

 

 

 

 

 

"Wouldn't it be good if they finished each other off?" Ron muttered in Harry's ear.

Snape's upper lip was curling. Harry wondered why Lockhart was still smiling; if Snape had been looking at him like that he'd have been running as fast as he could in the opposite direction.

 

 

 

Lockhart and Snape turned to face each other and bowed; at least, Lockhart did, with much twirling of his hands, whereas Snape jerked his head irritably. Then they raised their wands like swords in front of them.

 

 

 

"As you see, we are holding our wands in the accepted combative position," Lockhart told the silent crowd. "On the count of three, we will cast our first spells. Neither of us will be aiming to kill, of course."

"I wouldn't bet on that," Harry murmured, watching Snape baring his teeth.

"One - two - three -"

Both of them swung their wands above their heads and pointed them at their opponent; Snape cried: "Expelliarmus!" There was a dazzling flash of scarlet light and Lockhart was blasted off his feet: He flew backward off the stage, smashed into the wall, and slid down it to sprawl on the floor.

 

 

Malfoy and some of the other Slytherins cheered. Hermione was dancing on tiptoes. "Do you think he's all right?" she squealed through her fingers.

 


 

"Who cares?" said Harry and Ron together.

Lockhart was getting unsteadily to his feet. His hat had fallen off and his wavy hair was standing on end.

"Well, there you have it!" he said, tottering back onto the platform.

"That was a Disarming Charm - as you see, I've lost my wand - ah, thank you, Miss Brown - yes, an excellent idea to show them that, Professor Snape, but if you don't mind my saying so, it was very obvious what you were about to do. If I had wanted to stop you it would have been only too easy - however, I felt it would be instructive to let them see . . ."

Snape was looking murderous. Possibly Lockhart had noticed, because said, "Enough demonstrating! I'm going to come amongst you now and put you all into pairs. Professor Snape, if you'd like to help me -"

 

 

They moved through the crowd, matching up partners. Lockhart teamed Neville with Justin Finch-Fletchley, but Snape reached Harry and Ron first.

"Time to split up the dream team, I think," he sneered. "Weasley, you can partner Finnigan. Potter -"

 

Harry moved automatically toward Hermione.

"I don't think so," said Snape, smiling coldly. "Mr. Malfoy, come over here. Let's see what you make of the famous Potter. And you, Miss Granger - you can partner Miss Bulstrode."

 

For other details on this scene, also see the second movie section
 The Dueling Club!!  Hummm...?  Wonder why Snape volunteered to this?  To get the only chance he had to kick Lockhart's butt?  To humiliate him in public?  To show students how a real duel was properly done?  Maybe all of the above!  My favourite is the first one though!

 Snape is wearing is "usual" black.


Oh my!  Assistant!  Wonder why Snape didn't use a more powerful spell on Lockhart after this?  Yes, why?  I guess because Snape's more focused on showing and teaching then anything else. He could have pulled out a real incredible spell, but instead, he showed Expelliarmus, a useful one!  
Snape says he knows a  tiny little about dueling I don't buy that!  He must know a lot about it unless he wouldn't have volunteered to humiliate himself in front of the students, I mean, in the event that Lockhart did know about it and Snape only a bit!  And I also wonder... is it Lockhart who says Snape knows a tiny little bit or Snape who told him? In both cases, it's a way to have Snape appear in a weak way, but he's not!!
My! Snape's angry-o-meter must be getting off the scale by now!!

 

No! That would not!  Lockhart yes, Snape no!  What is nice though is that Ron, at least, credits Snape with enough power to be able to finish another "supposed" powerful wizard!  It could even be a compliment!
Look at this: Snape planning to give Lockhart a lesson!!  Sure thing, Snape's only apparent external feelings are when he's thinking of something nasty! Harry sure knows about this himself!! It's also strange how Harry, who has faced Voldemort, would still run if Snape smiled that way at him. He knows his Snape too!  Snape curls his lips when he has something nasty in his head.

 

You'd hoped, dear ladies, that he would rather do a gentleman's bow instead, but at the same time, a gentleman or any self-respecting man would never go as far as bowing over a stupid guy like Lockhart!  I think this was quite deliberate on Snape's part because it says he "jerked his head irritably". So I reckon Snape bows according to his interlocutor. With Umbridge in Book5, Snape bowed ironically to the "all-mighty Umbridge"!! Therefore, in this case,  Snape bows to a clown who irritates him!  "Bowing to a clown! How fitting for this audience", he was maybe thinking. Haha!
Snape sure knows how to hold his wand even though he has a "tiny little bit" of knowledge about duels!
I really think Lockhart gave Snape a good idea there!  But since he can't really do it, it may explains why Snape bared his teeth for a moment there! No, just kidding! Actually, I think this is more because Snape is getting ready. He's serious about it and won't be taken by surprise! I don't think you can survive Slytherins and still be incautious when faced with a raised wand, however stupid its owner may prove!
In the movie, the light in yellow! And Lockhart didn't end up in the wall as well.
Right on!!  I think Snape wanted to do three things here: kick Lockhart's butt, and show how easily that stupid guy could be taken care off, and of course teach a very effective spell to the children which, no doubt, Snape knows that with such a buffoon, the kids never got near learning it!!
Very important point that I missed before: Malfoy and some of the other Slytherins cheered. Does it mean that not all of them were happy with Snape's performance? Were there Lockhart fans in Slytherins as well? Maybe or maybe Snape's not so appreciated as we may think he is from his own House. However, in other places in the book, such an idea is contradictory. Therefore, our best option would be Lockhart fans or the fear that it is impolite to cheer in such a situation or just the general element of surprise that the Legendary Lockhart!  Hahaha!!  I like it!!
Wow!! Is it the first time the boys are actually happy of one of Snape's actions!  : )

Oh!! The joy in Snape's heart!  Lockhart even through in a compliment... because endangering his own life...Luckily for his survival, Lockhart was standing at the complete opposite of the platform when he said that!  Now really, don't ever tell Snape that you were expecting what he did!  Not if you value life at least or you are Albus Dumbledore. Unless, skip it or prove to the world your idiocy!
 

What!! Practice is over already!! Oh no!!  Of course Lockhart has enough self-preservation left in him to know when the next hit will be lethal!  He knows if he goes on with this demonstration, he'll end up in oblivion.  Snape was surely already preparing his next move when Lockhart, with his only brain cell, decided to move on to the students! Wise decision!

In the movie, I really liked the part where Snape got back at him through wit and cunning.  He acted like if he were stupid to manipulate the buffoon. Rickman did a good job in that scene!!! See movie section for more.
How clever can you get?  Of course he would know they would team up! Snape's always on the watch, that's for sure.  He never seems to miss an occasion at all!  Never.  Each time he can get at Potter and his "fans", he does it!  He also wants to kick his ass, if possible!
"Dream team" : Another synonym for "sidekick"!
Again the smile. He has a very clear idea of who he wants to team Harry up with, so once more, it proves that Snape smiles when he is right or has the upper-hand.
Here, Snape definetely wants Draco to show Potter the strenght of Slytherin. Also, by matching him with the person he hates most, Snape can make Harry madder!  I'm sure he is hoping that dear Harry Potter will be put to shame in front of the whole school! Reminds you of a certain episode of Snape's life?

"Stop! Stop!" screamed Lockhart, but Snape took charge.

"Finite Incantatem!" he shouted; Harry's feet stopped dancing, Malfoy stopped laughing, and they were able to look up.

 

 Not surprising that Snape took charge.  I guess this was also one of the reasons he accepted to participate in the event: he wanted to be sure someone competent was there in case of emergency!  I think Snape has a knack for security.  He hates students making mistakes like exploding cauldrons or breaking up rules that may lead them to dangerous situations.Hence, he developed a rapidity and sensitivity for security that allows him to act rapidly when a problem arises.

"I think Id better teach you how to block unfriendly spells," said Lockhart, standing flustered in the midst of the hall. He glanced at Snape, whose black eyes glinted, and looked quickly away. "Let's have a volunteer pair - Longbottom and Finch-Fletchley, how about you -"

"A bad idea, Professor Lockhart," said Snape, gliding over like a large and malevolent bat. "Longbottom causes devastation with the simplest spells. We'll be sending what's left of Finch-Fletchley up to the hospital wing in a matchbox." Neville's round, pink face went pinker.

 

 

"How about Malfoy and Potter?" said Snape with a twisted smile. "Excellent idea!" said Lockhart, gesturing Harry and Malfoy into the middle of the hall as the crowd backed away to give them room.

"Now, Harry," said Lockhart. "When Draco points his wand at you, you do this."

He raised his own wand, attempted a complicated sort of wiggling action, and dropped it. Snape smirked as Lockhart quickly picked it up, saying, "Whoops -my wand is a little overexcited -"

Snape moved closer to Malfoy, bent down, and whispered something in his ear. Malfoy smirked, too. Harry looked up nervously at Lockhart and said, "Professor, could you show me that blocking thing again?"

"Scared?" muttered Malfoy, so that Lockhart couldn't hear him.

"You wish," said Harry out of the corner of his mouth.

Lockhart cuffed Harry merrily on the shoulder. "Just do what I did, Harry!"

"What, drop my wand?"

But Lockhart wasn't listening.

"Three - two - one - go!" he shouted.

Malfoy raised his wand quickly and bellowed, "Serpensortia!"

The end of his wand exploded. Harry watched, aghast, as a long black snake shot out of it, fell heavily onto the floor between them, and raised itself, ready to strike. There were screams as the crowd backed swiftly away, clearing the floor.

"Don't move, Potter," said Snape lazily, clearly enjoying the sight of Harry standing motionless, eye to eye with the angry snake. "I'll get rid of it ......

 

 

 

 

 

"Allow me!" shouted Lockhart. He brandished his wand at the snake and there was a loud bang; the snake, instead of vanishing, flew ten feet into the air and fell back to the floor with a loud smack. Enraged, hissing furiously, it slithered straight toward Justin Finch-Fletchley and raised itself again, fangs exposed, poised to strike.

Harry wasn't sure what made him do it. He wasn't even aware of deciding to do it. All he knew was that his legs were carrying him forward as though he was on casters and that he had shouted stupidly at the snake, "Leave him alone!" And miraculously - inexplicably - the snake slumped to the floor, docile as a thick, black garden hose, its eyes now on Harry. Harry felt the fear drain out of him. He knew the snake wouldn't attack anyone now, though how he knew it, he couldn't have explained.

He looked up at Justin, grinning, expecting to see Justin looking relieved, or puzzled, or even grateful - but certainly not angry and scared.

"What do you think you're playing at?" he shouted, and before Harry could say anything, Justin had turned and stormed out of the hall. Snape stepped forward, waved his wand, and the snake vanished in a small puff of black smoke. Snape, too, was looking at Harry in an unexpected way: It was a shrewd and calculating look, and Harry didn't like it. He was also dimly aware of an ominous muttering all around the walls. Then he felt a tugging on the back of his robes.

"Come on," said Rods voice in his ear. "Move - come on -"

Before, I thought Snape didn't want to volunteer anymore, but I don't know how I ever came up with such a blinded-view. Snape wants it so much!!  He wants to kick Lockhart's ass so bad, that's why he has this glint in his eyes and that Lockhart looks away.  Lockhart doesn't want to be on the receiving end of Snape's attacking spell because he knows he won't be able to protect himself !  No sir!
Once again Snape is compared to a bat, a large and malevolent one at that!
Now Snape seems to be in his element: showing how bad Neville can be!  That proves how Snape has a pet peeve about incompetence!!  But it's not only about Neville, Snape cares about security and order. And when you mix Neville to that well... it's hard to have both in sufficient amount, right!
Sly!  There's no other name for it!  In addition, it's like he was controlling Lockhart because the guy is such a simpleton that he has not foreseen the reason why Snape wants Harry to demonstrate: just to get one more chance to make him ashame in public!  The first time didn't work well because Malfoy ended up laughing himself out. What's more, Snape knows he'll be the one tutoring Draco and that Lockhart will be "tutoring" Harry!  That's quick thinking indeed!  Two for the price of one!

 

Who wouldn't smirk at that?  But the smirk is also because Snape's long-time wish to humiliate and/or teach a lesson to a Potter has finally come. He knows the spell he is about to teach Draco will be too hard for Harry to cope with.

 

 

 

This was quite different in the movie, wasn't it? Draco waited until "go" to cast his spell. In the movie, it looked as though Draco was very sly though it doesn't appear so in the book. I also remember the contempt look on Snape's face in the movie. I don't think because Draco moved before but rather the sight of Potter upside-down!
Surely this was not what everybody expected, right!  
Now that is sooooooo Slytherin like!  That quite fits the idea that Snape always wants to show how Slytherins, if not cheating, can be a strong and powerful house! It's a shame Draco cheated in the movie 
I think the snake is a kind of personification of Snape. After all, Rowling did want Snape's name to inspire us with the idea of a snake. (See Interview page) Snape is always like that to Harry anyway, but he just can't show how.  Therefore, this spell was an excellent choice to show Potter what he is up against!  It's like saying : "Don't move anymore Potter, or I'll strike!"  Remember the firework incident with the potion?  This could very much be Snape's way to get back at Harry and inform him that he is in danger, that he mustn't move or else he'll end up bitten!!

 

Lockhart will never learn not to get in Snape's way will he? I truly loved Rickman's face in the movie when Lockhart said it! Priceless!

 

 

This part is quite different in the movie. In this case, everyone is afraid of Harry because he can speak Parseltongue, not because it looked like the snake would attack Justin.

 

 

 

Of course, Snape had to take it into his own hands. The way he did it in the movie was cool!
Snape's look tells a lot about his own train of thoughts.  I think Snape is beginning to think Potter might very well be the heir of Slytherins or related to these events anyway since he can speak parsle tongue.  Snape must have been thinking a lot at that moment because he was not enraged that Potter had "heroically" tried to save Justin like a good Gryffindor.  No, Snape was intrigued by Potter's relation to the incidents at school or his relation to Slytherin. 

"Is Lockhart the smarmiest bloke you've ever met, or what?" Ron said to Harry as they left the infirmary and started up the stairs toward Gryffindor Tower. Snape had given them so much homework, Harry thought he was likely to be in the sixth year before he finished it. Ron was just saying he wished he had asked Hermione how many rat tails you were supposed to add to a HairRaising Potion when an angry outburst from the floor above reached their ears.

 

 This is just to show how Snape's views of teaching and learning are perfectionist: he is exigent with his students.  He gives them a lot of homework, a lot to think about when they are not in class, as if he knew they wouldn't make efforts unless or that they need the extra work. I think it's Snape's way to give students enough tools to perform well in Potions.  I don't think he does so just to annoy them, only to prepare them and teach them better. In Book3, when he taught the DADA class, he mentioned how far in the curriculum they all were and automatically gave them more work to do.   

Ron pointed to the teachers' table, apparently too disgusted to speak. Lockhart, wearing lurid pink robes to match the decorations, was waving for silence. The teachers on either side of him were looking stony-faced. From where he sat, Harry could see a muscle going in Professor McGonagall's cheek. Snape looked as though someone had just fed him a large beaker of Skele-Gro.

"Happy Valentine's Day!" Lockhart shouted. "And may I thank the forty-six people who have so far sent me cards! Yes, I have taken the liberty of arranging this little surprise for you all - and it doesn't end here!"

Lockhart clapped his hands and through the doors to the entrance hall marched a dozen surly-looking dwarfs. Not just any dwarfs, however. Lockhart had them all wearing golden wings and carrying harps. "My friendly, card-carrying cupids!" beamed Lockhart. "They will be roving around the school today delivering your valentines! And the fun doesn't stop here! I'm sure my colleagues will want to enter into the spirit of the occasion! Why not ask Professor Snape to show you how to whip up a Love Potion! And while you're at it, Professor Flitwick knows more about Entrancing Enchantments than any wizard I've ever met, the sly old dog!"

Professor Flitwick buried his face in his hands. Snape was looking as though the first person to ask him for a Love Potion would be force-fed poison.

 



Here are the described effect of Skele-Gro :"You're in for a rough night,"  "Regrowing bones is a nasty business.

So was taking the Skele-Gro. It burned Harry's mouth and throat as it went down, making him cough and splutter.  
Therefore, Snape must have looked quite dreadful indeed!  

 

 

Now, really!  After all I have said about Lockhart, doesn't he know when to stop annoying Snape? 

 

Ever wondered if those potions and enchantments were legal?! Do you really think anyone would be stupid enough, except Lockhart of course, to do such a suicidal attempt?  Of course, Snape would never poison one of his students, no!  He would rather  give them a potion likely to cause horrible deformations, pain or public humiliation! 

See my mini-Valentine short story!  

Teachers, prefects, and ghosts were marching the corridors in pairs, staring around for any unusual activity. Their Invisibility Cloak didn't stop them making any noise, and there was a particularly tense moment when Ron stubbed his toe only yards from the spot where Snape stood standing guard. Thankfully, Snape sneezed almost exactly the moment Ron swore. It was with relief that they reached the oak front doors and eased them open. 

 Oh! Has Snape caught a cold?  You know, in Japan, when a person sneezes for no apparent reason, it means that someone is talking about you in your back!  If JK Rowling were Japanese, we'd know right away that someone was talking about Snape in bad terms!  However, since Snape has not been described as the "sneezing" type, I reckon this example has not been inspired from this Japanese belief!! Ha, ha!

One person, however, seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the atmosphere of terror and suspicion. Draco Malfoy was strutting around the school as though he had just been appointed Head Boy. Harry didn't realize what he was so pleased about until the Potions lesson about two weeks after Dumbledore and Hagrid had left, when, sitting right behind Malfoy, Harry overheard him gloating to Crabbe and Goyle.

"I always thought Father might be the one who got rid of Dumbledore," he said, not troubling to keep his voice down. "I told you he thinks Dumbledore's the worst headmaster the school's ever had. Maybe we'll get a decent headmaster now. Someone who won't want the Chamber of Secrets closed. McGonagall won't last long, she's only filling in ......

Snape swept past Harry, making no comment about Hermione's empty seat and cauldron.

"Sir," said Malfoy loudly. "Sir, why don't you apply for the headmaster's job?"

"Now, now, Malfoy," said Snape, though he couldn't suppress a thin-lipped smile. "Professor Dumbledore has only been suspended by the governors. I daresay he'll be back with us soon enough."

"Yeah, right," said Malfoy, smirking. "I expect you'd have Father's vote, sir, if you wanted to apply for the job - I'll tell Father you're the best teacher here, sir -"

Snape smirked as he swept off around the dungeon, fortunately not spotting Seamus Finnigan, who was pretending to vomit into his cauldron. 

 

 

 

 

Here, we irrevocably see how Snape deals with Malfoy.  Because the latter, in making no attempts whatsoever at hiding his positions towards Dumbledore, proves how much he trusts Snape.  Think of what McGonagall would say to such a thing in her class!  But not Snape.  There seems to be an unknown agreement between the Malfoys and Snape so that Draco can say whatever he thinks to him.  However, we have to remember Snape's incredible hidden trust and loyalty to Dumbledore.  Therefore, if Snape was not faking with Malfoy because of politics, I bet the boy would get a rather nasty detention and a slap across the face
I think Snape' smile shows how much he is amused by the boy's thickness and/or at Snape's own talent in hiding his true loyalties.  Yes, I think Snape is proud of his acting here because Malfoy trusts him so much. For Malfoy, Snape' smile indicates that he agrees with him, but like I just said, Snape likes Dumbledore too much for that. OR that and added to the fact that for once, someone is thinking of him as something else than a bastard. For the first time in years maybe, someone is acknowledging that he has some skills other than being a Potions Master. He is the Head of Slytherins which is not too bad in a curriculum! Of course, Snape would be quite a difficult Headmaster, but I believe he still would be good... if he were free of restrictions from old Death Eaters such as Lucius that is.  Right now, such an option is impossible.  And let's admit it, who never smiled when one got a compliment?!   
Here we see how politics is an important issue for Malfoy and Slytherins as well.  And we even get to see how much Malfoy appreciates Snape!  Cute! That's why a lot of fanfictions decide to make Draco turn to the Good side through Snape's influence. I believe, if it were to happen, Snape would indeed be the only one to truly help him.

"It has happened," she told the silent staff room. "A student has been taken by the monster. Right into the Chamber itself."

Professor Flitwick let out a squeal. Professor Sprout clapped her hands over her mouth. Snape gripped the back of a chair very hard and said, "How can you be sure?"

"The Heir of Slytherin," said Professor McGonagall, who was very white, "left another message. Right underneath the first one. `Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever. "'Professor Flitwick burst into tears.

"Who is it?" said Madam Hooch, who had sunk, weak-kneed, into a chair. "Which student?"

"Ginny Weasley," said Professor McGonagall.

Harry felt Ron slide silently down onto the wardrobe floor beside him.

"We shall have to send all the students home tomorrow," said Professor McGonagall. "This is the end of Hogwarts. Dumbledore always said. . ."

 
 
I rather like Snape's reaction here.  The way he grips the back of the chair shows how much he cares for the security of all Hogwarts residents.  I don't think Snape is afraid, rather taken aback that it has happened or frustrated that he couldn't find a way to help at all. Already, he's on the move, asking for more details.  
Notice how Flitwick is crying.  I wonder if Snape has a nice relationship with him or not?!  He seems very much emotional, doesn't he. Therefore, would it be a good thing to Snape? Would he be able to cope with such an emotional man? I think on an academic level, yes. In intimacy, I dare not say.

 

I'm wondering how Snape took this. I'm pretty sure he felt like he would loose his home in a way if not only a job. From what I reckon (thanks to Umbridge in Book5), Dumbledore is one of the only one to see pass his dark past.  However, Snape must have some ways to survive well outside of Hogwarts. He's no bloke!  But then, why stay there? Why stay at Hogwarts? I guess he likes it there then. Hence, he must be quite alarmed that the school will indeed be closed and therefore will not waste anytime looking for the Chamber of Secrets from then on. NOT leave it to Lockhart, that was only a diversion!

The staffroom door banged open again. For one wild moment, Harry was sure it would be Dumbledore. But it was Lockhart, and he was beaming.

"So sorry - dozed off - what have I missed?" He didn't seem to notice that the other teachers were looking at him with something remarkably like hatred. Snape stepped forward.

"Just the man," he said. "The very man. A girl has been snatched by the monster, Lockhart. Taken into the Chamber of Secrets itself. Your moment has come at last."

Lockhart blanched.

"That's right, Gilderoy," chipped in Professor Sprout. "Weren't you saying just last night that you've known all along where the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets is?"

"I - well, I -"sputtered Lockhart.

"Yes, didn't you tell me you were sure you knew what was inside it?" piped up Professor Flitwick.

"D-did I? I don't recall -"

"I certainly remember you saying you were sorry you hadn't had a crack at the monster before Hagrid was arrested," said Snape. "Didn't you say that the whole affair had been bungled, and that you should have been given a free rein from the first?"

Lockhart stared around at his stony-faced colleagues.

"I - I really never - you may have misunderstood -"

"We'll leave it to you, then, Gilderoy," said Professor McGonagall.

"Tonight will be an excellent time to do it. We'll make sure everyone's out of your way. You'll be able to tackle the monster all by youself. A free rein at last."

 

 

 

Oh yes!  Go Snape and use your Slytherin slyness to bring that pretty-excuse-for-a-man down!  
How sly can you get?  I'm sure Snape just thought of that in matters of seconds!  Tthis sissy is unworthy of anything pass stupidity so might as well get rid of him. I think Snape is also refering to "his moment" as his moment to show the world how Lockhart is nothing more than a fake! For once though, it's nice that everyone is on Snape's side!  

 

 

 

 


Surely Snape must have an incredible memory, especially when it comes to retaining vital information that could bring the downfall of an enemy!  How very Slytherin of him!  Snape has it to take one's words and manipulate them to get what he wants! 
From then on, I believe Snape will try to find the chamber himself while Lockhart is certainly running away or making up excuses.  And since Snape knows Lockhart doesn't have a clue about the location of the Chamber of Secrets, Snape must see this as an excellent occasion to have a free rein himself and not be disturbed by Lockhart!  The only thing is, Snape didn't know Harry knew anything about the Chamber to begin with!  Because, I'd bet my hand he would have gone directly to him if he had!  

Harry reached his wand just in time. Lockhart had barely raised his, when Harry bellowed, "Expelliarmus!"

Lockhart was blasted backward, falling over his trunk; his wand flew high into the air; Ron caught it, and flung it out of the open window.

"Shouldn't have let Professor Snape teach us that one," said Harry furiously, kicking Lockhart's trunk aside. Lockhart was looking up at him, feeble once more. Harry was still pointing his wand at him.

 

 

 

 

Harry getting Lockhart with Snape's trick?  How ironic!  At least, this shows how Potter and Snape, even though they hate each other, stand for the right thing! What's more, he even admits he learned something useful from Snape!  

On to Book 3