'Harry, dear,' said Mrs Weasley, poking her head into his and Ron's bedroom, where the pair of them were playing wizard chess watched by Hermione, Ginny and Crookshanks, 'could you come down to the kitchen? Professor Snape would like a word with you.'
Harry did not immediately register what she had said; one of his castles was engaged in a violent tussle with a pawn of Rons and he was egging it on enthusiastically.
'Squash him - squash him, he's only a pawn, you idiot. Sorry, Mrs Weasley, what did you say?'
'Professor Snape, dear. In the kitchen. He'd like a word.'
Harry's mouth fell open in horror. He looked around at Ron, Hermione and Ginny, all of whom were gaping back at him. Crookshanks, whom Hermione had been restraining with difficulty for the past quarter of an hour, leapt gleefully on to the board and set the pieces running for cover, squealing at the top of their voices.
'Snape?' said Harry blankly.
'Professor Snape, dear,' said Mrs Weasley reprovingly. 'Now come on, quickly, he says he can't stay long.'
'What's he want with you?' said Ron, looking unnerved as Mrs Weasley withdrew from the room. 'You haven't done anything, have you?'
'No!' said Harry indignantly, racking his brains to think what he could have done that would make Snape pursue him to Grimmauld Place. Had his last piece of homework perhaps earned a T?
way Mrs Weasley bring out the subject somehow makes
it obvisous how she has no hard feelings about Snape.
Imagine for a second that she would have had to say
the same, but for Lucius Malfoy or the Minister of Magic.
I do not believe her voice would have sounded
as sweet and normal as she did just now. Quite revealing
of how she believes in Severus, especially if she's
willing to allow her own children to be under his authority.
even reminds Harry to always refer to him with his proper
Do you reckon he can't stay long because
he cannot endure being under the same roof as both Sirius
and Harry for too long?! May be that he has to
be extra careful of course, but wouldn't that be the
best Slytherin tactic ever to make sure he did not have
to suffer both for extended periods of time? If it were
me, then that is absolutely one fact I would use to
my own personal advantage.
how Harry would believe Snape may pursue him all the
way there for a "T-roll" marked paper. If
so, then it may prove that Professor Snape regards academics
very highly and so much is obvious to his students.
We were shown only a tiny bit of Snape's study habits,
but I always reckoned he was quite Hermione-maniac like
in his younger days. The Pensieve Scene will prove that
much later on. What is interesting here is that Harry
may even think of the possibility of Snape wasting his
time to pursue him for a bad grade. Maybe also to ridicule
him in front of others, but then again, he would have
waited for all to be down to dinner if that was the
case. So Harry definitely knows that studies and grades
are held in high regard by Snape for him to even believe
he would go all the way up there for that. Also proves
that Snape, even though he berates his students, will
still care for each of them as far as grades are concerned.
If not, why assign essays as punishment or I'd rather
say, coping device to their own ignorance and laziness.
As in the thrid movie, essays are a great antidote to
ignorance : )
A minute or two later, he pushed open the kitchen door to find Sirius and Snape both seated at the long kitchen table, glaring in opposite directions. The silence between them was heavy with mutual dislike. A letter lay open on the table in front of Sirius.
'Er,' said Harry, to announce his presence.
Snape looked around at him, his face framed between curtains of greasy black hair.
'Sit down, Potter.'
'You know,' said Sirius loudly, leaning back on his rear chair legs and speaking to the ceiling, 'I think I'd prefer it if you didn't give orders here, Snape. It's my house, you see.'
An ugly flush suffused Snape's pallid face. Harry sat down in a chair beside Sirius, facing Snape across the table.
'I was supposed to see you alone, Potter,' said Snape, the familiar sneer curling his mouth, 'but Black -'
'I'm his godfather,' said Sirius, louder than ever.
fun begins! Well, at least it doesn't seem like they
cannot stop insulting each other for they were silent
when Harry arrived. However, they can't able to stop
loathing each other even in thoughts.
of greasy black hair
oh! Bad move. Of course Sirius could not let it go,
not when Snape is offering any crumbs for him to leep
at, and vice versa. Notice Sirius' position. It
struck me right away. Being a teacher I can tell
you that those who do that are either children or teenagers...
or, if I might, teenagers who turned adults but never
realised it. When I read that the first time, I was
less than surprised actually.
Still, Sirius seems able to request
instead of demanding though of course, if he had not
scolded Snape for just ordering Harry to sit down, he
may as well have done so himself. But that would have
been an ironically thing to do and Snape would have
jumped at this wonderful opportunity to call the teapot
well. The master of emotional control could be described
as quite "livid" if his flush was visible
enough it could be called "ugly". Notice
how Snape is facing Sirius (and now Potter) across the
table and how Snape therefore (unless I'm very much
mistaken) chose the chair nearest to the door. Had this
been anyone else wanting to talk to Harry, surely the
person would have taken a chair next to or in front
of Harry/Sirius. But of course that would never do for
Snape. That and also Snape's habits I reckon. I somehow
don't see him as the kind to choose the middle chair
anywhere. More like the chair nearest to the door and/or
not facing the mob (in a restaurant for example). If
I mention this here, it's mainly to point out how Rowling
is careful of such details, consciously or not.
Notice the sneer.
A sneer that expresses, by definition, scorn and contempt
(disdain) towards Sirius, in this case. Which would
account for his sudden outburst. However, do remember
that Rowling mentioned it was his "usual sneer",
not the special one he reserves only for those he loathes.
Well, not at that moment at least.
love this! This teenager outburst as if he were
saying: "I have a right to be there because I'm
his godfather and I don't care what orders were, blablabla"
It's revealing for me, especially since he was still
balancing himself on his chair instead of looking at
the situation from an appropriate position on four legs.
He doesn't even let Snape finish what he was supposed
to tell Potter because it seems he's more bound on being
there than for what is to be said. He wants his place
to be recognised so when Snape seems to ignore him while
directly addressing himself to Potter while in a very
Slytherin way, still sneering at Sirius, the latter couldn't
contain himself somehow. But of course, I believe Snape
is using his Slytherin skills to make sure that
happens as well.
'I am here on Dumbledore's orders,' said Snape, whose voice, by contrast, was becoming more and more quietly waspish, 'but by all means stay, Black, I know you like to feel… involved.'
'What's that supposed to mean?' said Sirius, letting his chair fall back on to all four legs with a loud bang.
'Merely that I am sure you must feel - ah - frustrated by the fact that you can do nothing useful,' Snape laid a delicate stress on the word, 'for the Order.'
It was Sirius's turn to flush. Snape's lip curled in triumph as he turned to Harry.
voice by contrast becomes quiet and waspish, hence,
quietly snappish. That is, for me, a personal characteristic
of Snape. When faced with shouting and insults, he will
usually do this and try to control his voice as if he
were very instrospective while keeping the venom to
himself, binding his time for the strike. Very Slytherin
again. But surely Snape learned how to deal with such
aggressions time and time again in his life. However,
with Sirius who had him humiliated, but still being
a reachable target (unlike Voldemort for example) it
may be another story... which is why, I reckon, Snape
couldn't hold up his normal defence mechanism towards
the end of this scene. However much control he tries
to achieve, it seems like his "hurt inner-child",
the one who studied at Hogwarts and whom we witnessed
through the pensieve, is doomed to lose his composure
when faced with Sirius. He tries though and I think
it's commendable how long he was able to hold out before
he let his anger loose.
at the master manipulator: Snape goes on to explain
only to Potter that if he's there, it's specifically
on Dumbledore's orders, hence also explaining that the
idea of seeing him alone as mentioned a minute ago was
not his idea. Therefore, he pushes the responsibility
of having to talk to Potter alone and hence, getting
rid of Sirius on Dumbledore's shoulders. If that is
not a Slytherin tactic, tell me what it is! Interesting
how Snape will try to prove his points even to Potter,
And then BANG, he allows Sirius
to stay but out of pity since he resents being
useless. Ouch! That's got to hurt! Coming from Snape,
it's even worst. For Sirius, it's Snivellus allowing
him to stay. Eek! That's one snake' strike! Snape
hits where it most hurts, but so does Sirius all the
time. By doing this however, it's hard to decern
if Snape also fell for those "teenager-like"
jibes or not. Are they only jibes or teenager jibes?
I wonder because Snape still controls himself quite
well up to that point.
like this "ah", so snappish!! And his delicate
stress on the word "useful". A Snappish
it is, he's still in control while Sirius lost his composure
already. However, this new jibe from Snape sounds more
like retaliation. His subsequent lip curling could
tell you that indeed, he is acting like a teenager himself.
But at the very least, he doesn't lose his focus on
his mission instead of going on. That's why I
believe Snape is only acting his sarcastic and bastard
self right now. When I say "teenager", I refer
to how they lose control of their emotions quite rapidly
and jump at you/retreat to pout. So, no, Snape is not
up to that point yet, I don't think so. He will when
he'll brandish his wand, but not yet.
The Headmaster has sent me to tell you, Potter, that it is his wish for you to study Occlumency this term.'
'Study what?' said Harry blankly.
Snape's sneer became more pronounced.
'Occlumency, Potter. The magical defence of the mind against external penetration. An obscure branch of magic, but a highly useful one.'
Harry's heart began to pump very fast indeed. Defence against external penetration? But he was not being possessed, they had all agreed on that…
'Why do I have to study Occlu— thing?' he blurted out.
'Because the Headmaster thinks it a good idea,' said Snape smoothly. 'You will receive private lessons once a week, but you will not tell anybody what you are doing, least of all Dolores Umbridge. You understand?'
'Yes,' said Harry. 'Who's going to be teaching me?'
Snape raised an eyebrow.
'I am,' he said.
like the way Snape is honest and direct. He won't tell
Potter he wishes to teach him, on the contrary, he will
make sure he knows exactly why he was appointed to the
task and that he doesn't enjoy it in the least, but
that it's his duty and that he won't back up from it.
That's is one of the main qualities I adore in Snape...
though of course, some would say it's a flaw. Yes, his
crude honesty will lead him to horrible dead-ends at
times, but I still prefer a person who is honest in
this sense than someone who tries to convince you all
is well in Fairy land!
course he would sneer more, but I do not believe
it's from Harry's ignorance, more his tone. Snape tells
him it's an obscure branch of magic, hence, surely not
on your ordinary school curriculum. Even Granger doesn't
know! What ticks off Snape here is Harry's lack of tact.
Imagine Granger in the same situation. She would have
said: "Occlumency, sir?" Whom do you believe
Snape would have sneered at more? Harry of course.
He's the more disdained by his lack of manners (which
will be a major point on the first lesson when Snape
will require him to call him with proper respect) and
also, I reckon, his blank expression.
have to mention something about this. Many of
you out there have suggested that Snape fell into the
Death Eater ranks thanks to his lust for knowledge and
his interest in the Dark Arts, be it that he wanted
to use them for good or bad purposes. Couple that with
his anger against being rejected all his life (hypothetically)
and you get someone who likes to study darker sides
of magic. But to get to the dark arts, you usually have
to know about the more obsure ones first. Hence, has
Snape known of Occlumency for a long time? Is this why
he's so good at it? Or are his skills just very good
in that respect towards darker magic and emotion filthering?
I hope we'll get some answers in the following
wondering if Snape also believes this to be a good idea
and if he's just trying to convince Potter that the
Headmaster only thinks so. Why would he do that? If
he were to say: "Both the Headmaster and I agreed
that this would be best for you", do you reckon
Harry would have felt any better? I don't think so.
He would have pushed his inner panic-button saying:
"Emergency! Snape thinks I should learn something,
but what if he's not on our side?!" Indeed.
I like that note about Dolores Umbridge.
Surely Snape didn't trust her the second he knew she
was going to be appointed at Hogwarts, regardless of
what she would teach. Snape is surely not stupid enough
to not realise when pawns are being placed in strategic
places by his enemies! Of course not.
ha! I couldn't keep grinning when he raised his eyebrow!
: D Let me translate this gesture of Snape for you:
"Duh! The boy is sooooo slow. I wonder how he made
it so far. But let's still indulge him and tell him
who exactly is going to be his teacher! (evil inner
laugh)" Just joking, but that may not be
far from the truth ; )
Harry had the horrible sensation that his insides were melting.Extra lessons with Snape - what on earth had he done to deserve this? He looked quickly round at Sirius for support.
'Why can't Dumbledore teach Harry?' asked Sirius aggressively. 'Why you?'
'I suppose because it is a headmaster's privilege to delegate less enjoyable tasks,' said Snape silkily. 'I assure you I did not beg for the job.' He got to his feet. 'I will expect you at six o'clock on Monday evening, Potter. My office. If anybody asks, you are taking remedial Potions. Nobody who has seen you in my classes could deny you need them.'
He turned to leave, his black travelling cloak billowing behind him.
'Wait a moment,' said Sirius, sitting up straighter in his chair.
Snape turned back to face them, sneering.
'I am in rather a hurry, Black. Unlike you, I do not have unlimited leisure time.'
Til get to the point, then,' said Sirius, standing up. He was rather taller than Snape who, Harry noticed, balled his fist in the pocket of his cloak over what Harry was sure was the handle of his wand. 'If I hear you're using these Occlumency lessons to give Harry a hard time, you'll have me to answer to.'
could name a couple of things!
can't we get another babysitter?! I want another one"
Wining, nagging... Sorry, I had to say it. But of course,
I understand that in no way Sirius would have allowed
Snape to be chosen to teach this to Harry if someone
else had been available. Parents don't usually enjoy
seeing their precious ones being taken care of by people
they hate, do they! The same goes for poor Sirius, and
I do really feel his pain. The same could be said for
me if I had to leave my child in the hands of Umbridge,
for example. But the fact here is that Snape is not
Umbrigde, however incredible that may sound to Sirius
and Harry. That is, again, what I believe is sad in
this story, seems to be Snape's constant problem with
Snape humour, I love it! Do you reckon Snape has the
secret ambition of becoming Headmaster one day to be
able to delegate the less enjoyable tasks! ; )
only he had been able to leave right there... but then
we would not have witnessed this great scene between
Sirius and Snape. I also like the fact that Snape
always thinks of everything. Place, time, reason. He
won't let a detail escape him. Except to reassure Sirius
that he will not hurt the boy which he should have done,
but that's not really something Snape is used to think
about, is it! But Snape would not have thought of that
because, I reckon, he does not intend to do any harm
to Harry at all, it did not cross his mind. Had
this been Lucius convincing Harry's godfather, I am
quite sure he would have said: "Of course, rest
assured that your young protégé will be
safe in my hands and that no harm shall come to him"
He would because that would not have been his intention
at all, so he would have needed to reassure people he
would not molest Harry. But since Snape is not thinking
about what he could do to Potter, from my point of view
and surely not all Harry Potter fans's) that would explain
why he thought of everything but this tiny detail that
turned into a fight.
wears a black billowing travelling cloak!
wonder where he's going? I want to know! Argh!
(sorry for this outburst!!) Is he really in a
hurry or is that only an excuse to get out of there?!
But it's just like him to throw an insult in his
face while he still can! For Snape, all is settled and
I'm pretty sure Sirius' last minute question is grating
on his nerves. His instincts tell him that whatever
it is, it can't be good surely. Indeed!
is rather taller than Snape. Snape keeps
his wand at the ready in the pocket of his cloak while
you Snape thought nothing good of this last minute "wait
a moment" from Sirius. Or else, why would he have
balled his fish over is wand! Good instincts he has!!
'How touching,' Snape sneered. 'But surely you have noticed that Potter is very like his father?'
'Yes, I have,' said Sirius proudly.
'Well then, you'll know he's so arrogant that criticism simply bounces off him,' Snape said sleekly.
Sirius pushed his chair roughly aside and strode around the table towards Snape, pulling out his wand as he went. Snape whipped out his own. They were squaring up to each other, Sirius looking livid, Snape calculating, his eyes darting from Sirius's wand-tip to his face.
'Sirius!' said Harry loudly, but Sirius appeared not to hear him.
I believe Snape meant is "How touching and how
I hate you for misreading my intentions in this matter,
Black!" He knows what Sirius is referring
to, his renown teaching methods which is why, while
he has just been attacked, Snape somehow feels compelled
to answer with an insult. That is when I believe
Snape snaped event though he will keep his countenance
and speak with his low silky venemous voice, he still
lost his control by allowing that insult out. And
hence the teenager jibes are being thrown on both sides.
How Slytherin to throw in an insult that looks like
a compliment to his enemy!
that is not so far from the truth, the second part at
least. Not that Harry is arrogant, but it's true that
criticism most often bounces off him for he wants to
solve issues alone and will not listen to other people's
advice. But then again, we would not have such thrilling
books if he did! Still, Snape made a mistake by attacking
Harry in this way because he let his emotions show,
his loathing for James as well. That's one of Snape's
greatest flaw: being incapable to understand that Harry
is arrogant because of his ways with him. It's
a vicious circle.
must have pulled out his wand at about the same time
I reckon. Or else he would be dead by now. I like
how Rowling described both their attitude in one word:
Sirius was livid while Snape calculating. Gryffindor
against Slytherin in all its glory! Notice how Snape
acts like a real soldier while Sirius is not quite up
to that point. Snape calculates
and reads off his enemy like we often imagined he would.
Indeed, he is evaluating which will act first: the wand
or the face. Snape will have a split second to react
to either move. I hope we'll see that in
a movie some day!! I can just imagine it!! Wow!
'I've warned you, Snivellus,' said Sirius, his face barely a foot from Snape's, 'I don't care if Dumbledore thinks you've reformed, I know better -'
'Oh, but why don't you tell him so?' whispered Snape. 'Or are you afraid he might not take very seriously the advice of a man who has been hiding inside his mother's house for six months?'
Tell me, how is Lucius Malfoy these days? I expect he's delighted his lapdog's working at Hogwarts, isn't he?'
'Speaking of dogs,' said Snape softly, 'did you know that Lucius Malfoy recognised you last time you risked a little jaunt outside? Clever idea, Black, getting yourself seen on a safe station platform… gave you a cast-iron excuse not to leave your hidey-hole in future, didn't it?'
Sirius raised his wand.
oh! Capital offense!! For those who didn't check out
here is a link. Did Sirius
have a conversation with Moody?! To think that in Book4,
Harry called Sirius especially to ask him about Snape
and the possiblity of him being a Death Eater, which
he had thought very unlikely. That makes me wonder how
Snape's nickname actually meant more snivelling then
an insult about his nose. Was Snape whining, snivelling,
sniffling, tearful, weak?! That much could be
answered with the pensieve scene, so I'm going a bit
ahead now. I believe it it a combination of both. After
all, in the pensieve, Snape retreated to a calm isolated
corner on the grounds and it looked as if he was protecting
himself in the way he was sitting. I don't believe Snape
would cry in front of people, no, but he surely looked
hurt somehow, hurt the Marauders took for silent whining
I believe Sirius is unconsciously
trying to project his guilt over his bullying of Snape
when he was young upon Severus' shoulders entirely.
It sounds like something he won't admit, that he will
not admit that he had a hand in pushing Snape over to
the Death Eaters because he couldn't find it in himself
to stop bullying him. Sirius never acknowledged he had
been very wrong, he did a bit, but for James more than
for himself when Harry called him after seeing the pensieve.
It's also as if Sirius was trying to convince himself
that it was right for him to bully Snape since he turned
up a Death Eater in the end, but he won't back track
and see how he hurt Snape before. So how could Snape
react to Black throwing his Death Eater fate in his
face just now?...
had to insult him where it hurt the most of course!
Sirius having been a prisoner for so long, do you reckon
he's happy and mentally healthy where he is now? I don't
think so. Hence, it's as much of a low blow from Sirius
than from Snape because he knows it's not his fault
he's stranded there. That's what I meant by "teen
Also, Severus seems pretty confident that Albus will
defend him which is quite something. Or maybe he's jesting
so he sees the anger in Black's eyes because he can
"hide" behind Albus. Like with Moody in Book4,
Snape reiterates how Albus trusts him which I believe
is totally true.
Notice how Snape still uses his low whispering
voice. The lowest, the angrier he is.
seems innofensive, but it truly is revealing of how
little Sirius actually thinks of Snape. If he considers
him a mere lapdog of a foul person such as Lucius, surely
that represents a clue to how Snape was at school. Did
he have to remain with certain people to make sure he
was not bullied? Was he so desperate for attention
and so lonely he would stay with bad Slytherins even
if that meant he had to lick boots from time to time
until he could prove his own worth? So many important
questions! No answers ! Argh!
notice how Snape does not rise to the bait while Sirius
does. It's the opposite of the Shrieking Shack incident
in Book3. Interesting!!
Of course, another essential information
is how Lucius is in direct communication with Snape.
I believe Lucius trusts him enough to tell him that
he saw Black at the very least. Lucius knows that Black
is on the Light side, yet, Snape was able to get that
bit of information. Directly or indirectly, we are not
sure, but we do know from this that Snape can get vital
information that could save lives. In this case, ironically,
Black's! So again, does Snape think that Black
is stupid because he has not been able to piece out
that if Snape wanted to, he simply had to not tell him
such information which are vital to Black's survival?!
I would be! If I were risking my neck and got
so little gratitude from Black while I brought home
information that could save his neck, I would also be
enraged at some point. And that's exactly where Severus
is standing now.
'NO!' Harry yelled, vaulting over the table and trying to get in between them. 'Sirius, don't!'
'Are you calling me a coward?' roared Sirius, trying to push Harry out of the way, but Harry would not budge.
'Why, yes, I suppose 1 am,' said Snape.
'Harry - get - out - of - it!' snarled Sirius, pushing him aside with his free hand.
So, what do we have here? "Snivellus" calling
Black a coward? Indeed, that has got to hurt Sirius
to be called what he certainly branded Snape for so
long ago. Ouch! However, what is Snape trying to accomplish?
I do not believe he is trying to inflame Sirius
enough so that he will get out of the house on a suicidal
attempt to prove he's not a coward. No, he's just insulting
him where it hurts most like he was just insulted where
it hurts most: being called Snivellus and not being
trusted because he turned a Death Eater at one point.
Next to that, being called a coward and being
told he was careless while he showed off at the train
station is not so important, don't you think so?
So if Snape is merely insulting him like he was
freely insulted back in the old days, I believe it's
a shame Harry, at the end of this book, will blame Snape
for that. Very human, but sad nonetheless. Snape
just told him to be careful because he was seen, he's
warning Black that he may not go out anymore unless
he wants to end up dead, and yet, Harry will take it
against Snape that Sirius died. Hate does blind us all.
Snape didn't lure him out, on the contrary, he
tried to stop him and warn him, but he did so while
insulting him as well which is the only thing Harry
remembers, unfortunately. Harry doesn't understand
that both Sirius and Snape insult each other by bending
reality so much it is distorted. They both do it, yet,
if Snape goes back to the Death Eater, will Harry blame
Sirius? I don't think so. Hence it's a highly
and primarly emotional matter here!
The kitchen door opened and the entire Weasley family, plus Hermione, came inside, all looking very happy, with Mr Weasley walking proudly in their midst dressed in a pair of striped pyjamas covered by a mackintosh.
'Cured!' he announced brightly to the kitchen at large. 'Completely cured!'
He and all the other Weasleys froze on the threshold, gazing at the scene in front of them, which was also suspended in mid-action, both Sirius and Snape looking towards the door with their wands pointing into each other's faces and Harry immobile between them, a hand stretched out to each, trying to force them apart.
'Merlin's beard,' said Mr Weasley, the smile sliding off his face, 'what's going on here?'
Both Sirius and Snape lowered their wands. Harry looked from one to the other. Each wore an expression of utmost contempt, yet the unexpected entrance of so many witnesses seemed to have brought them to their senses. Snape pocketed his wand, turned on his heel and swept back across the kitchen, passing the Weasleys without comment. At the door he looked back.
'Six o'clock, Monday evening, Potter.'
And he was gone. Sirius glared after him, his wand at his side.
'What's been going on?' asked Mr Weasley again.
'Nothing, Arthur,' said Sirius, who was breathing heavily as though he had just run a long distance. 'Just a friendly little chat between two old school friends.' With what looked like an enormous effort, he smiled. 'So… you're cured? That's great news, really great.'
how Snape didn't back off when Harry touched him, apparently.
Must have been too concentrated on reading out Black's
next move to notice.
Indeed, so many witnesses would make this quite impersonal
would it not! Like Sirius said afterwards, though quite
sarcastically, this was something between two
old school "enemies" but when everyone came
in, it was not so anymore, it was Snape against Sirius
in the present, and strangely that sounded weird even
to them, unless they really hated to fight in front
of so many people. Thankfully they came back to
their senses and resumed their "adult" mental
state once again.
how Snape does not feel the need to explain himself
at all, and that implies that he doesn't care what Sirius
will tell about him in his back either. That's quite
an important fact if you ask me. To me, it proves how
Snape will not allow others' opinions to speak louder
than what he believes in and what truly happened. He
doesn't care for gossip as long as he knows what truly
No kidding! Sirius proves as sarcastic as Snape in this
one though Severus, if he had uttered something, would
have said: "Nothing, good day" in an innocent
air and be gone.
By six o'clock that evening, however, even the glow of having successfully asked out Cho Chang could not lighten the ominous feelings that intensified with every step Harry took towards Snape's office.
He paused outside the door when he reached it, wishing he were almost anywhere else, then, taking a deep breath, he knocked and entered.
The shadowy room was lined with shelves bearing hundreds of glass jars in which slimy bits of animals and plants were suspended in variously coloured potions. In one corner stood the cupboard full of ingredients that Snape had once accused Harry - not without reason - of robbing. Harry's attention was drawn towards the desk, however, where a shallow stone basin engraved with runes and symbols lay in a pool of candlelight. Harry recognised it at once - it was Dumbledore's Pensieve. Wondering what on earth it was doing there, he jumped when Snape's cold voice came out of the shadows.
'Shut the door behind you, Potter.'
Harry did as he was told, with the horrible feeling that he was imprisoning himself. When he turned back into the room, Snape had moved into the light and was pointing silently at the chair opposite his desk. Harry sat down and so did Snape, his cold black eyes fixed unblinkingly upon Harry, dislike etched in every line of his face.
did I just mention? Harry fears Snape because his main
references do not approve of him, namely Sirius. It
doesn't help the situation and both get angry at each
other on the spot because of their hard feelings...
I hope we will see at least one scene where Harry will
finally come to trust Snape a bit. Or the opposite
would be as much satisfying. Who will make the first
move, if first move there is?
Snape's office, once again for our hungry eyes : D
- Shadowy room
- Lined with shelves upon
which stands hundreds of glass jars of all
- In one corner stands a
cupboard full of ingredients (the one Hermione robbed)
which is therefore where a door to the classroom
must stand so that Hermione could slip in and out
of his office
- There's a desk (of course)
though in the movie it looked like a heavy oak table
- There's a pool of candlelight
on his desk. Sounds like the Phantom of the Opera
- Snape's office is large
enough so he can "hide" undetected in
a corner, which I believe to be the corner opposite
the one next to the door so that Potter never saw
him when he entered.
- There's a chair opposite
to his desk
says : "Snape had once accused Harry - not without
reason" of robbing." Interesting how even
Potter is not dim enough to believe this was not stealing,
even though it was for a "good cause". Still,
he seems to be able to recognise when he did a faux-pas,
and that was one and how he was lucky never to get caught.
that feeling that he is trapped and in danger whenever
he's near Snape even though he saved his hide so many
times! This is surely not caused by Hermione,
rather by his friends and lately, Sirius of course.
I just wish this to disappear in the coming books or
for Hermione's voice to be heard louder than all the
others'. But that may be wishful thinking!
Snape has cold black eyes and his face can easily be etched
with feelings of dislike.
Well, Potter, you know why you are here,' he said. The Headmaster has asked me to teach you Occlumency. I can only hope that you prove more adept at it than at Potions.'
'Right,' said Harry tersely.
This may not be an ordinary class, Potter,' said Snape, his eyes narrowed malevolently, 'but I am still your teacher and you will therefore call me "sir" or "Professor" at all times.'
'Yes… sir,' said Harry.
Snape continued to survey him through narrowed eyes for a moment, then said, 'Now, Occlumency. As I told you back in your dear godfather's kitchen, this branch of magic seals the mind against magical intrusion and influence.'
'And why does Professor Dumbledore think I need it, sir?' said Harry, looking directly into Snape's eyes and wondering whether Snape would answer.
Snape looked back at him for a moment and then said contemptuously, 'Surely even you could have worked that out by now, Potter? The Dark Lord is highly skilled at Legilimency -'
'What's that? Sir?'
'It is the ability to extract feelings and memories from another persons mind -'
'He can read minds?' said Harry quickly, his worst fears confirmed.
'You have no subtlety, Potter,' said Snape, his dark eyes glittering. 'You do not understand fine distinctions. It is one of the shortcomings that makes you such a lamentable potion-maker.'
sure the boy knows what he's up to. It's very Slytherin-like
to make sure all the finer prints of a contract are
understood by both parties prior to indulging in a new
activity from that point of view. Also, he reiterates
how this is not his wish and therefore, how he does
not wish to associate with him in any way other than
to serve his own cause, not Potter's.
What I like here is that he is not so venomous, not
as much as he could be anyway. He does want Potter to
be good at it even though he throws a back hand comment
at him. For Snape, this may be a motivation form,
but to Harry of course, it's far from it. I reckon that
with a Slytherin, this would have proved a useful tactic
to make sure the student gave his best... so is Snape
too Slytherin with the Gryffindors and hence, all end
up like dogs and cats? I wonder...
has got a point there, but it's also his need for recognition,
his thrist for acceptance that makes him, I believe,
so adamant about this one issue. Snape hates irrespect,
who would not if they had been treated like he was when
he was young? Potter ironically represents both
Snape and Sirius/James and neither reflection are pleasing.
Self-reflection and projection arise feelings
which everybody would rather keep tamed inside, but
when Snape and Potter come into contact, it's like they
reflect each other's fears and hurt so much they can't
keep the images they project towards each other out...
so hate ensues. I reckon Albus knows of this and
therefore encourages those two to confront their inner
demons so they can one day live in peace with themselves,
and consequently, with each other.
admire how Snape can immediately go back to his Adult
Teacher persona even though he is ticked off very often
by Potter. His Slytherin qualities are more helpful
to him than Harry's Gryffindors' qualities in this case.
Gryffindors set themselves on fire much more easily
and quickly while Slytherins bind their time and know
how to be more patient. But of course, if Harry clashes
too often in Snape's walls... they'll end up in a fight.
A fight which is coming...
you'll see at the end of this analysis, what I love
about this teacher/pupil relationship between those
two opposite characters is how, in the end, Harry is
more and more attentive to what Snape has to say, and
not because he's a villain this time. And somehow, throughout
the first lesson, Snape also seems more three-dimensional
in his teacher's role. He will end up giving tips and
explaining the goals and reasons for the lessons like
we've never before been able to witness. And the very
fact that it was with Harry confirms, in my mind, that
even though Snape is biased in class, he is a good teacher!
Harry is not deluded enough to think Snape will answer
all his questions, as proven here, and that is good
because he remains faithful to himself... just as Snape
is not lenient towards Harry even though he is 'nice'
enough to teach Harry the best he can.
would personally have reacted in the same way. Hermione
told him didn't she!! Why ask such a reckless question?
Well, Harry wants to make sure of Albus's intentions,
true. But it also proves that somehow, Harry is relunctant
to acknowledge what may be good for him. In his mind,
he saved Arthur thanks to that and it therefore cannot
be dangerous a skill, on the contrary, his visions could
be a powerful tool Potter doesn't plan ahead however,
and that much unnerves Snape even now. Someone as planful
as Severus would look down on someone as reckless as
Potter. Hence, the comtemptuous look he gives him.
I also discern a
bit of disappointment or rather plain factuality when
Snape ponders on Harry's question which he should have
worked out by then. Indeed, why did he ask something
so obvious? But unlike Snape and Hermione, Harry
doesn't care so much for asking "stupid" or
obvious questions, however, when it comes to his relationship
with Snape, Harry does not understand how detrimental
it is towards him. He hands him many opportunities to
get back at him without even knowing it. That's exactly
what Snape refers, two replys later as having no subtlety.
can hear Snape's mind going : "Duh!" Well,
actually you can sense from his truthful yet insulting
comment that Harry does indeed lack subtlety not to
mention the power to listen to others. He will cut in
while you talk, be it his most hated teacher or his
friends. Harry is impulsive, something Snape highly
despises of course and leads to more insults.
Snape paused for a moment, apparently to savour the pleasure of insulting Harry, before continuing.
'Only Muggles talk of "mind-reading". The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader.
The mind is a complex and many-layered thing, Potter - or at least, most minds are.' He smirked.
'It is true, however, that those who have mastered Legilimency are able, under certain conditions, to delve into the minds of their victims and to interpret their findings correctly. The Dark Lord, for instance, almost always knows when somebody is lying to him. Only those skilled at Occlumency are able to shut down those feelings and memories that contradict the lie, and so can utter falsehoods in his presence without detection.'
Whatever Snape said, Legilimency sounded like mind-reading to Harry, and he didn't like the sound of it at all.
'So he could know what we're thinking right now? Sir?'
The Dark Lord is at a considerable distance and the walls and grounds of Hogwarts are guarded by many ancient spells and charms to ensure the bodily and mental safety of those who dwell within them,' said Snape. Time and space matter in magic, Potter. Eye contact is often essential to Legilimency.'
'Well then, why do I have to learn Occlumency?'
Snape eyed Harry, tracing his mouth with one long, thin finger as he did so.
The usual rules do not seem to apply with you, Potter. The curse that failed to kill you seems to have forged some kind of connection between you and the Dark Lord. The evidence suggests that at times, when your mind is most relaxed and vulnerable - when you are asleep, for instance - you are sharing the Dark Lord's thoughts and emotions. The Headmaster thinks it inadvisable for this to continue. He wishes me to teach you how to close your mind to the Dark Lord.'
don't know if he's really enjoying himself and his insults,
but surely he appreciates the silence of Harry on this
rare occasion. That's enough to smile! No retaliation?!
Has the Boy-Who-Lived finally understood that he has
flaws which might get in the way of his skills?!
Wow! So of course Snape will savour that moment,
not only the insult which he feels is only reality anyway.
Not to mention he thinks poorly of Harry who refers
to Legilimens as "mind-reading", a concept
surely Oh so Muggle to Severus.
about Muggles, if Snape knows of mind-reading, do you
reckon he knows more about them than most pure-blood
wizards? Knowing of Snape's thrist for knowledge
and his military mind, I believe he would know as much
as possible for his own purposes. Especially as a spy
who may end up in a difficult situation. You never
here is a real insult, unlike the others!
I would love to hear what those "certain conditions"
are. Snape mentions some not long afterwards,
but are they complete?! We have no clue. At least we
know the result: being able to delve into the minds
of anyone and interpret their thoughts. But I draw your
attention on the word "interpret". Rowling
did not say understand, she said that the one entering
another's mind had to interpret for himself what he
had found there. This may be of some importance later
on. It may also explain why it doesn't seem impossible
to give Harry lessons which could be discovered by the
Dark Lord. Do you think he'd be thrilled to know that
Snape was giving Harry Occlumency lessons?! Not in the
least. But the fact that Legilimency asks for
interpretation may help their cause so that, if the
need ever arose, Snape might be able to come up with
a good explanation.
Also, it's important to note that the
Dark Lord almost always knows when somebody is lying
and that only skilled Occlumency users can shut down
their feelings and memories. No wonder Snape is so good
at it! He's got that military mind which is also an
asset to his skills I reckon. What I liked about
this paragraph is that Rowling finally revealed how
Snape is able to lie to him so well and remain undetected.
He knows how to shut off those images and memories
which contradict his lies. However, we do not know whether
he is able to come up with false images/memories for
the Dark Lord to see himself. It doesn't sound so. Snape
talked about uttering falsehoods, not showing. The
important word: without detection!
am so not surprised that Harry cannot seem to grasp
the concept differently like Snape told him. Again,
he tries to solve things by himself instead of simply
listening and trying to understand what he's just been
told. Hermione's reflect, for example, would have been
to try to detach herself from her Muggle conceptions
and aboard the subject from the new perspective Snape
was allowing her to see.
- Time and space
- Ancient spells and wards act as safety charms
- Eye contact is often essential
uses his fingers instead of facial movement to express
his thoughts which I believe to be his trying to
understand the puzzle of Harry's connection to the Dark
Lord. Very interesting! Rowling could have written that
he had narrowed his eyes at the same time that I would
not have been surprised. We'll have to watch out
if he ever does that again which would point at his
mind is trying to decipher something important, a puzzle
or riddle that he has yet to understand. That's characteristic
of him somehow: he doesn't like to be left in the dark,
he likes answers. One more reason why I do believe
he worked hard when a student himself.
And before I get
some e-mails about it, yes, he has long thin fingers!
Surely plenty of ladies are quite happy with the
news, are they not?!
love the way Snape talks from his inner-adult persona
here. He doesn't belittle Harry, he merely explains
what is happening. I also believe Harry's last question
to have been spoken without any "Harry-arrogance"
or in any particular spiteful tone of voice either.
Snape, when spoken to in that manner, will forget about
his prejudices and anger and will truly focus on the
point of the question, finding a solution. The mere
fact that he is standing in front of Potter, yet speaking
like a responsible adult without any frustration, tends
to reveal how Snape is also much more interested in
solving mysteries. It denotes much about his scientific
mind for another person who is not interested in finding
answers would have said: "Well, we're not sure
really. Maybe this, maybe that. We'll know one day"
But Snape approaches the subject from another point
of view, especially because of that gesture with his
fingers over his mouth right before answering. He's
thinking, pondering, calculating. He even uses
the word "evidence" as if that case was, for
him, a new potion ingredient to discover the properties
of. He shares the facts with Potter in a scientific
way, not like a therapist at all.
And then he goes on about Dumbledore
being the one thinking it is inadvisable. Now my question
is: is it only the Headmaster who thinks so? I
believe not, but Snape is hiding behind Albus so that
Potter doesn't blame him in any way or start thinking
what Ron already thinks: that Snape is intending to
use Harry's mind against the Order. Duh! There has been
Oh how many such occasions! Yet, Snape never jumped
on any of them. No, I believe Snape needs not
his secret be discovered through Harry's mind by the
Dark Lord. What if he saw an Order meeting at Grimmauld
Place Snape was attending?! It would be escapable for
Snape, but it would ensue much trouble nonetheless if
Voldemort was able to reach those times Snape saved
Harry at the same time. Hence, I do believe Snape
is just making sure Harry thinks it's only the Headmaster's
idea, not his and that he's very displeased to have
to teach him. Slytherins!!
Harry's heart was pumping fast again. None of this added up.
'But why does Professor Dumbledore want to stop it?' he asked abruptly. 'I don't like it much, but it's been useful, hasn't it? I mean… I saw that snake attack Mr Weasley and if I hadn't, Professor Dumbledore wouldn't have been able to save him, would he? Sir?'
Snape stared at Harry for a few moments, still tracing his mouth with his finger.
When he spoke again, it was slowly and deliberately, as though he weighed every word.
'It appears that the Dark Lord has been unaware of the connection between you and himself until very recently. Up till now it seems that you have been experiencing his emotions, and sharing his thoughts, without his being any the wiser. However, the vision you had shortly before Christmas -'
The one with the snake and Mr Weasley?'
'Do not interrupt me, Potter,' said Snape in a dangerous voice. 'As I was saying, the vision you had shortly before Christmas represented such a powerful incursion upon the Dark Lord's thoughts -'
'I saw inside the snake's head, not his!'
'1 thought I just told you not to interrupt me, Potter?'
But Harry did not care if Snape was angry; at last he seemed to be getting to the bottom of this business; he had moved forwards in his chair so that, without realising it, he was perched on the very edge, tense as though poised for flight.'
how Snape does not react snappishly to this outburst
of Potter in judging the Headmaster's request kind of
stupid since it could also serve some positive goals.
And there you have it:
Snape stares still tracing his mouth with his finger.
Still thinking, pondering. Now remember that whenever
Harry refutes a fact Snape deeply believes in, he snaps
back at him right away. Yet he did not, even through
Potter's abrupt speech. We could easily reckon that
if he does not at this particular moment, it entails
that Severus is also on to something and that he does,
after all, not agree totally with the Headmaster himself.
Being a spy and a Slytherin, I do not let it pass his
also wanting some advantage from Potter's connection
with the Dark Lord. Imagine for a second if Snape
indeed understood the dangers which could befall him
were Potter to unveil some hidden traits of Snape to
Voldemort, but at the same time, imagine him thinking
of other ways than Occlumency to help Harry... and him
too of course. Even the Dark Arts in this case, I wouldn't
let it pass Snape resulting to the Dark Arts if it meant
greater good could be brought forth towards their ends.
That we may never know! But what we may glimpse at however
is the fact that Snape is thinking and weighting his
every word with the boy again instead of telling him
right off that nothing good can come out of his connection
with the Dark Lord. Snape has not much to lose really,
so he may be much more tempted to use Harry's "gift"
towards their common goal. Soif another solution was
possible that allowed Harry to spy for Snape's own benefits
but that option having been utterly refused by Albus,
surely, it would explain a lot. Unfortunately, we again
may never know!
about a man well informed! He knows of Harry's experiencing
the Dark Lord's feelings and thoughts even though Harry
a lot about it. Also, the way he presents the
facts to the boy leads the reader to believe he is again
in close enough vinicity of the Dark Lord as to be able
to get such intelligence. Or at least, to have someone
there (most potentially Lucius Malfoy) to inform him
of such facts. If Snape knows the Dark Lord only
discovered but recently his link to Potter, than how
did he learn this?! Through a direct speech from the
evil doer himself or one of his near Death Eater. My
theory is that he is both well informed on both sides,
not only the Order's. Is Voldemort only playing with
him? I wish we knew!! If Snape is as good at Occlumency
as others pretend him to be, then there is no doubt
he could have came back, crawling to the Dark Lord,
suffer his punishment and rejoin them "easily"
or in other words, without a dead warrant upon his head!
In such a position, wouldn't anybody be tempted
to use all available means to reach their goals while
more delaying may lead to more self-suffering? Let's
not forget that all through the series, Snape was depicted
with, more often than not, soldier manners. This is
a real war for him, he's up front seeing all the horror
of it while his superiors are, as in any war, securily
behind the front lines. No wonder he surely wishes
they could act otherwise and take advantage over the
Dark Lord like the latter is taking advantage of Harry's
mind. If they knew his secrets instead of waiting for
the maniac to uncover them! Wouldn't that be something
extraordinary for our dear Potions Master! But
no, he has to play safe thanks to Dumbledore. I am sure
Snape (his profesional side) understands that part,
however, Severus (his personal side) may not be so willing
to do so. Duality?! I wonder.
Will he let him finish or what?! One thing about this: is Snape angry
only because he was interrupted by the boy who hates
(but surely he is not surprise he did) or does it also
have something to do with the fact that Snape hates
being cut off while pondering on something? Some
people, when having their train of thoughts cut off,
will become quite irrascible after all. It's certainly
part because of Harry's interruption at the very least.
But I reckon Snape is not one whom you can easily cut
off without reacting to it.
dear! Harry is proving as selfish, inconsiderate and
reckless as his father, from Snape's point of view,
is he not? His teenage arrogance is quite
at its highest here though normal due to all the
stress he is under. Unfortunately, I doubt Snape
is even considering the matter as such. This is war
remember! So for him, Harry is once again proving what
Snape has thought of him all along. Uh oh! When
a Potter is up on a flight, who knows what can result!
In this case we do: they start fabulating about
their own experiences and explanations until someone
brings them back to earth, which does not please them
very well. Of course he is worried, but again another
characteristic of Potters: they like to take matters
into their own hands. Wrong answer with Snape!!
Rowling writes "Harry
did not care if Snape was angry" but does he ever
mind a lot? Potter and Snape are anti-thesis, like magnets
of the same polarity. So of course their respective
manners are bound to bring forth arguments of all sort.
Snape hates carelessness and sloppiness for some
reason, be it from personal taste and/or because we
was raised so, but Potter keeps putting his foot into
his mouth in front of him. Therefore, this relationship
is bound to be chaotic: while Snape's pet peeves is
sloppiness, Harry's is abusive authority. Both
characters see the other as the epitome of their pet
peeves, opinions which are often biased on both parts
as well, and there cannot be any truce until one decides
to concede a point to the other. Will that ever
happen?! I wonder!
How come I saw through the snakes eyes if it's Voldemort's thoughts I'm sharing?'
'Do not say the Dark Lord's name!' spat Snape.
There was a nasty silence. They glared at each other across the Pensieve.
'Professor Dumbledore says his name,' said Harry quietly.
'Dumbledore is an extremely powerful wizard,' Snape muttered. 'While he may feel secure enough to use the name… the rest of us…' He rubbed his left forearm, apparently unconsciously, on the spot where Harry knew the Dark Mark was burned into his skin.
'I just wanted to know,' Harry began again, forcing his voice back to politeness, 'why -'
'You seem to have visited the snake's mind because that was where the Dark Lord was at that particular moment,' snarled Snape. 'He was possessing the snake at the time and so you dreamed you were inside it, too.'
'And Vol— he - realised I was there?'
'It seems so,' said Snape coolly.
There we are, the famous quote! Snape's reaction
is quite astonishing. Why? Because while all the
other wizards and witches of the world fear saying his
name out loud, Snape's reaction to it is by far more
vehement. He spat his anger, his fear and his agony
all in that sentence somehow. It's not only fear as
with the other wizards, it's more than that because
we know how brave and fearless Snape is with everyone.
He deals with the sorts of Lucius Malfoy, he used to
befriend MacNair and company, yet he finds it the most
revolting, back shiver-giving word in the entire world.
Now doesn't that give you the creep?! To imagine
how such a man can affect Severus! His reply to
Potter, as quick as lighting I imagine, speaks of unspoken
horrors, lies, terror and so much we can't fathom. This
is the first time we witness how someone who's actually
worked for him reacts to his real name. Is there some
hidden magic in it? Some painful horror his servants
were promised were they to deliver the fatal word from
their own lips? A horror they witnessed? To me, this reaction of our Slytherin
master speaks volumes! Never has Snape been so
serious about anything else before, you can feel it.
It's as if he were waiting for the curse to fall if
Potter repeats it. And I believe it's not far from the
takes quite a bit of self-control still for Harry to
say that quietly. He's speaking in a matter-of-fact
tone I believe because Dumbledore is his reference.
right there he says more: he's not powerful enough to
dare call him by his name! He dares not utter
the name of the man who branded his mark on his arm.
There is an automatism in Snape's reaction here which
is quite interesting. Notice how he says: "While
he may feel" while accentuating the 'he'
for Dumbledore. He's teaching Potter a lesson,
yes, that without power you should be careful of your
wording, but it's not only that. Snape speaks through
his body more than anything else at times like this
one. Yet, he's very cunning in hiding it all the time. But he cannot
seem to be able to do so here. Just as he couldn't do
it when Moody accused him of "spots that never
come off" in Book4. Snape had this automatism then
and he has it now. When Rowling wrote that Snape rubbed
his left forearm apparently unconsciously, I do believe
her! Indeed, do you reckon Snape would do so in
front of Potter and Moody while being conscious of what
he was doing?! That would be quite ridiculous. You
don't spend years being the Head of Slytherins without
being able to control yourself for long. Only
utter fear, despair, agony, torture and such will make
you uncover your secret habits in public! Hence,
even though Snape suggests that the rest of them
are not powerful enough to have the leisure to say Voldemort
at will, he also suggests by his rubbing his arm that
there is more to it than just 'the rest of us'. He's
taking this personally, he's talking about his own powerlessness
towards the Dark Mark, the strongest symbol of Lord
Voldemort himself. Is Snape protecting his mark
as if he were afraid Potter's words would reach the
maniac? Is he rubbing it because it's a constant
reminder of his worst fears? I believe this reaction
is like that of those people who were once hot-wired
branded in the past like prostitutes who were branded
to mark them as such or just like someone who's fallen
victim to a physical attack. All will tend to rub their
wounds, and in Snape's case, he may consider it a wound
or a mark of his past folly.
knows what Harry wants to know, he's not daft. On the
contrary. He's also so analytical, it's no wonder he
won't let the boy finish his sentence. That's
a characteristic of Snape: logic and deduction. And
did you notice how Snape let go of Harry's quasi impolite
tone of voice? Snape also knows that Harry reacts
this way because of distress, he's therefore not blind
or he would never have deigned answer Harry in that
case. Yes, even though he snarled his answer back. But
I believe he did it more because Harry sounds too daft,
in Severus' opinion, to understand such a simple thing,
again in Snape's opinion. It's true that, had
this been Hermione, she would at least have offered
my question: is this 100% deduction from having heard
the whole story by Potter and/or further discussing
the topic with Albus or did Snape also acquired information
from another source?! Snape knows that Voldemort
was possessing the snake then, does he know the Dark
Lord can easily do that? Has he witnessed it? So many
unanswerable questions!! Argh! I'd wager that
he could have guessed it all from Harry's retelling,
but I do not like the idea of dismissing the possibility
that Severus did not become aware of the whole process
by other means as well. Still, he says "you
seem" so that suggests a deduction. And then,
he adds the "it seems so", but see below:
'How do you know?' said Harry urgently. 'Is this just Professor Dumbledore guessing, or -?'
'I told you,' said Snape, rigid in his chair, his eyes slits, 'to call me "sir".'
'Yes, sir,' said Harry impatiently, 'but how do you know -?'
'It is enough that we know,' said Snape repressively. The important point is that the Dark Lord is now aware that you are gaining access to his thoughts and feelings. He has also deduced that the process is likely to work in reverse; that is to say, he has realised that he might be able to access your thoughts and feelings in return -'
'And he might try and make me do things?' asked Harry. 'Sir?' he added hurriedly.
'He might,' said Snape, sounding cold and unconcerned. 'Which brings us back to Occlumency.'
is enough that they know?! Snape is hiding something!!
Doesn't want to reveal who exactly guessed or acknowledge
those hypothesis. Harry tries to wiggle it out
of Snape but without much success of course since he
forgot to call him 'sir' first! Big mistake!
how Snape will dismiss a question until making sure
the kid 'respects' him as he wishes to be respected!
That's our Snape!! Being a teacher, I also do that:
when there's a problem with a student, no matter the
question, I will always ask the student to correct his
behaviour (ex: throwing away his gum, sitting properly,
raising his/her hand, etc) before I offer him/her to
repeat the question. I've always done that,
but I didn't know what it entailed until I read in a
psychology book that this meant that, above all, I take
care of discipline first and then content (which was
said to be good by the way). And so, by addressing
discipline first, then you'll be able to make sure that's
what comes to your pupils' mind before asking something
or a privilege. It's a bit like: show me that you've
listened to what I told you, and then I shall give you
your answer. So for those of you who thought it silly
or vengeful for Snape to address the 'sir calling' issue
first, this is your answer!
back to the "it is enough that we know" which
Snape throws at Harry repressively, the latter word
tells you exactly what he thinks of informing him about
the subject: he's too young and should not have anything
to do in the matter!! But that's a point on which Snape
was always very clear on though he pretty much never
utters a single word about it, directly of course. Read
the important point: "the Dark Lord is now aware"
that Harry can access his thoughts and feelings. How
would Snape know that but by first hand or second hand?!
I doubt Dumbledore came up with that one. Only
an insider, a spy in this case, would know that the
Dark Lord had suddenly become aware of his connection
with Harry. What's more, Snape even knows that
Voldemort deduced that the process could be reversed!
boy!!! I wish I'd known what the cold and unconcerned
attitude of Snape means!! It would reveal so much! Is
he trying to delude Potter, giving him the impression
he doesn't care while he does? Is he trying to
drop the "he might" as a threat the boy should
take for a huge flashing hint that he must control himself?
Is he pissed off that Potter just interrupted
him and is punishing Potter by not volunteering more
information? Or is Snape only sounding like that because
he loathes the job that's befell him? If only
Snape pulled out his wand from an inside pocket of his robes and Harry tensed in his chair, but Snape merely raised the wand to his temple and placed its tip into the greasy roots of his hair. When he withdrew it, some silvery substance came away, stretching from temple to wand like a thick gossamer strand, which broke as he pulled the wand away from it and fell gracefully into the Pensieve, where it swirled silvery-white, neither gas nor liquid. Twice more, Snape raised the wand to his temple and deposited the silvery substance into the stone basin, then, without offering any explanation of his behaviour, he picked up the Pensieve carefully, removed it to a shelf out of their way and returned to face Harry with his wand held at the ready.
'Stand up and take out your wand, Potter.'
Harry got to his feet, feeling nervous. They faced each other with the desk between them.
'You may use your wand to attempt to disarm me, or defend yourself in any other way you can think of,' said Snape.
'And what are you going to do?' Harry asked, eyeing Snape's wand apprehensively.
'I am about to attempt to break into your mind,' said Snape softly. 'We are going to see how well you resist. I have been told that you have already shown aptitude at resisting the Imperius Curse. You will find that similar powers are needed for this… brace yourself, now. Legilimens!'
Snape had struck before Harry was ready, before he had even begun to summon any force of resistance. The office swam in front of his eyes and vanished; image after image was racing through his mind like a flickering film so vivid it blinded him to his surroundings.
keeps his wand in an inside pocket of his robes. Hence
he has more than one inside pocket (sounds silly
an affirmation, but it's still a canon affirmation!)
Snape's hair roots are greasy
(nothing new there except the fact that we now know all
his hair is greasy hence supporting the popular rumour
that his hair is naturally so)
ha!! Knowing Rowling, we may yet have a chance to know
exactly what those two other memories are since she
took the trouble to mention it. If not, then it
means his single memory could not be withdrawn in a
single silver shred. But I rather like to believe there
are two more deep secrets Snape never wishes to share
with Potter, especially since the three strands fell
independently into the Pensieve. There may be
evidence that it's important to keep the Pensieve intact
since Rowling added "out of their way" instead
of "he put it away". Maybe!
Note how Snape is careful of
the Pensieve. We never saw such concern from Albus with
his. There's so much mystery hidden in that single
paragraph! I'm itching to know! Were it broken,
would the memories run rampant and risk entering Harry's
head instead? What if it breaks and they vanish?
Does a Pensieve mean that once the memory is out,
you can't access it anymore? I believe the latter
is true or else Snape would not have taken care of ridding
his head from the thoughts beforehand.
And does that not tell you that
he believed in Harry's capabilities?! I believe
that was quite an honour to Harry that Snape would do
that. He removed his memories in case Potter succeeded!
On their very first lesson together! Maybe
this is over caution from Snape but still, there's something
Snappish Language, that would mean: "Stand up and
be ready, Potter." Why? Because of the way he immediately
attacked Harry using Legilimens! He only explained
shortly and Bang! he was doing it. Reminds us, yet again,
of how many small details such as those Rowling included
that speak of military fashion when it comes to Snape.
Severus sounds ready, all the time, pretty much like
a soldier. You never have time to truly prepare for
battle as a soldier, you act when it happens. That's
how Snape's mind thinks I believe. Of course, our dear
Potter would see it as a sly attack, and so would his
Gryffindor counterparts. But not a Slytherin,
I believe one would have been ready when Snape hit the
Notice how Snape stands behind his desk!
Isn't that weird?! It's supposed to be a 'fight'
of some sort, yet Snape is behind his desk. My guess
is that he is trying to put a barrier, a psychological
barrier between him and Harry, for his knows what's
coming. He knows he will witness Harry's thoughts. Does
Snape need a barrier between the teacher and the student?
Or does he need one between professionalism and intimacy?
A bit of both maybe. But standing behind
one's desk as a teacher tells us, up front, how much
he desires to remain in control and to remain the teacher
no matter what.
was mixed up at first because when later
on Harry uses Protego against his attack, Snape tells
him that he didn't mention using such a spell. I didn't
get it until I came back to read this part: He may use
his wand to disarm Snape, not to protect himself. He
may defend himself without his wand using any other
way, but Snape never mentioned that he could defend
himself using a self-protecting spell. Hence, the anger
Snape showed when he was attacked by Potter later on.
point: Snape did tell him that this would be like resisting
the Imperius Curse, therefore, Harry should know what
to expect and how to fight back! Yet, he seems clueless
and later shouts at Snape that he didn't tell him how
to repel it. Sounds like Potter needs reviewing!!
There's also the notion of "now" that we know about Severus from this
sentence. Being a teacher, I know that everyone has
a personal definition of what 'now' entices. For some
'now' is when they are finished, for others 'now' is
in a minute, for some 'now' means having to hurry while
for some rarer ones these days 'now' means this very
second! If you've been observant of kids nowadays,
you'll notice how there is a great gap between their
conception of 'now' and their grandparents'. Oh
yes!! And so it could easily explain why Snape
attacked within the next second of saying the word.
Having been brought up to consider 'now' as the next
second, I would immediately have taken the defensive
pose. But Harry, nah! Now seems like when
he's ready. There can be quite a lot of hard feelings
from both parties because of such notions of time. Notice
this tomorrow when you are at work, you'll see what
I mean! Try using "do this now" or "could
you do this now" to a couple of workmates and see
the results. You may actually know it already without
realising it, too. Also, personalities can make
the difference: I'm a perfectionist, hence I learned
to please others by being ready seconds later, while
my brother who had the same education is just naturally
slow and doesn't care as much. In this case however,
I'm just trying to demonstrate that Snape's attack was
legitimate! 'Now' also differs from a culture
to another after all!
He was five, watching Dudley riding a new red bicycle, and his heart was bursting with jealousy… he was nine, and Ripper the bulldog was chasing him up a tree and the Dursleys were laughing below on the lawn… he was sitting under the Sorting Hat, and it was telling him he would do well in Slytherin… Hermione was lying in the hospital wing, her face covered with thick black hair… a hundred Dementors were closing in on him beside the dark lake… Cho Chang was drawing nearer to him under the mistletoe…
No, said a voice inside Harry's head, as the memory of Cho drew nearer, you're not watching that, you're not watching it, it's private -
He felt a sharp pain in his knee. Snape's office had come back into view and he realised that he had fallen to the floor; one of his knees had collided painfully with the leg of Snape's desk. He looked up at Snape, who had lowered his wand and was rubbing his wrist. There was an angry weal there, like a scorch mark.
'Did you mean to produce a Stinging Hex?' asked Snape coolly.
'No,' said Harry bitterly, getting up from the floor.
Snape may care and identify with Harry if he also felt
the same when younger
-Bulldog: may also appeal to
Snape's sense of pity... or be a mirror back to himself
which he may not be able to deal with yet! Especially
people laughing at Harry. Not to mention that these
thoughts may destroy the Wonderboy's image in Severus'
-Sorting into Slytherin: now here's
a thought that may keep Severus wondering for a while!
May give him a hint of how Harry shares with the Dark
Lord or simply how much they share together, another
thought that may not please him though.
covered with hair thanks to the Polyjuice... surely
Snape knew that one but now Rowling made sure he was
aware of exactly what had happened to her in their second
year! If Snape had been kept totally in the dark up
until now, then now he knows what happened!
doesn't matter for Snape I reckon
-Cho Chang: may
be used against Harry, yes, but I believe that Snape
having not told anyone anything about Harry's memories
up to the last Occlumency lesson, he would not use it
against him. He did not use it against him which shows
quite some professionalism in him while so many, after
throwing out Harry after the Pensieve incident, thought
he was to blame. But were he so loathing against the
boy, he would have spread the news, wouldn't he?! He
would have used his memories to say bad things about
Harry before he looked into his Pensieve. However, Snape
never did that! And that is why I believe this
is one important element in proving he's not a 'bad'
(For non-English natives) Weal = welt/lump/ridge raised on the body by a blow"
Yep! Harry touched Snape though unintentionally. Poor
Harry!! For once in his life he was able to hurt Snape
and he was not even aware of it!! Ah!! Irony! Ha
Notice how Snape coolly reacts to the whole thing:
he's just witnessed memories he could use against the
boy, he's been stung by him and yet he retains his cool
demeanour. That's our dear Snappish teacher ! And
then again that "military like manner" of
suffering the blow: he just lowered his wand and rubbed
his wrist. A Gryffindor would have shouted something
maybe, but Snape took it all in even though it's mentioned
the weal was 'an angry' one. In a way, it must have
stung enough for him to react to it like anyone would
for a minor burn. Yet he didn't move until Potter was
on the floor. Also, Snape is so cool about it, shows
how he will get through a bit of discomfort so that
the boy may learn. He knows it's part of the game and
doesn't bother with it. Sounds like nothing but it is
of relevance. This is only the beginning, yet
Snape is ready to take in the blows so Harry can learn.
'I thought not,' said Snape, watching him closely. 'You let me get in too far. You lost control.'
'Did you see everything I saw?' Harry asked, unsure whether he wanted to hear the answer.
'Flashes of it,' said Snape, his lip curling. 'To whom did the dog belong?'
'My Aunt Marge,' Harry muttered, hating Snape.
'Well, for a first attempt that was not as poor as it might have been,' said Snape, raising his wand once more. 'You managed to stop me eventually, though you wasted time and energy shouting. You must remain focused. Repel me with your brain and you will not need to resort to your wand.'
believe Snape is referring to the fact that Harry did
not use a Stinging spell from deduction of his injury
to his arm. I don't believe he's trying to say
that Potter isn't strong enough to have done it. On
the contrary. But is Snape talking from a berating point
of view or an objective one?! Hard to say. Rowling
mentions he's watching Harry closely which, to me, relates
to the latter. At first, I thought he was being his
scornful professor self, but then I began to wonder
if he were not only observing and stating facts: "One:
you let me in too far and therefore should keep me out
way ahead. Two: you lost control hence explaining how
far I got (and why it was painful?)" Yes,
I believe that's more like it, or else Potter might
have shouted: "Yeah! Try it yourself! I wasn't
even ready. Blablabla" But he didn't, hence the
theory that Snape is not being snarky here.
of it. Interesting! So even though
one sees memories when being struck by Legilimens, the
attacker will NOT witness everything. Therefore
a lot of interpretation can be drawn from anyone using
this. Maybe, in Snape's case, (and often hypothesised
by fan-fiction authors) it saved his life when confronted
with the Dark Lord. If Snape can either control or block
these images (I'd rather say control, or else he'd gain
access to vital information and would be suspicious
of Snape blocking him off entirely!), then it means
that the Dark Lord can also only see flashes and therefore,
if Snape slips something, it could be argued that it
was only a flash and not the entire scene. If that were
the case, then a compromising situation for Snape could
be retold using his cunningness. He'd invent some
lie to make the compromising event sound favourable.
Therefore, Occlumency is
saving Snape, but so is the way Legilimens works!
important point: Harry hates Snape right there for mentioning
the dog, which is to prove that he indeed saw flashes
of Harry's memories. And humiliating ones at that. He
also curled his lips as in his "Snape enjoying
himself" pose. However, notice that Snape did NOT
use Cho Chang against Harry! I know it says that
Harry told himself that Snape wouldn't be watching that
one memory, but it was so fast, Snape must have seen
a part of it but he's no fool, mistletoe + pretty girl
= fancy! Even so, Snape did not mention it. He mentioned
the dog and asked whose it was. But could he have said
something else? More humiliating like "You do like
climbing up trees, don't you?", "And here
I thought you were a courageous little Gryffindor!"
, "So did Miss Chow slap you in the face or did
she get a sloppy first kiss from the Boy who lived to
annoy the hell out of people?" , etc. I could think
of some more vicious ones, too. But did Snape mention
any of those? No! He just asked to whom was that
dog! And did he bring back the memory afterwards? Nope!
So for those of you who believe poor little Harry suffered
greatly under the Slytherin Head of House, think twice!
more, he's even complimenting Harry. It is a compliment
however backhanded it sounds coming from him. And
then he goes on being the teacher which I really appreciate.
Snape is all business. Nice! Is Potter waiting
for flowers though?! Snape did mention that it was good
enough that he had repelled him eventually. So it was
pretty brave (or foolish) of Harry to shout back. Tut
tut! Especially since Snape had just explained to him
what to do: focus, don't waste time nor energy on shouting,
repel using your brain not your wand! Snape also
mentioned above that it was a bit like repelling the
'I'm trying,' said Harry angrily, 'but you're not telling me how!'
'Manners, Potter,' said Snape dangerously. 'Now, I want you to close your eyes.'
Harry threw him a filthy look before doing as he was told. He did not like the idea of standing there with his eyes shut while Snape faced him, carrying a wand.
'Clear your mind, Potter,' said Snape's cold voice. 'Let go of all emotion…"
But Harry's anger at Snape continued to pound through his veins like venom. Let go of his anger? He could as easily detach his legs…
'You're not doing it, Potter… you will need more discipline than this… focus, now…"
Harry tried to empty his mind, tried not to think, or remember, or feel…
'Let's go again… on the count of three… one - two - three -Legilimens!'
dearest, he did tell you... you just don't seem to be
able to reason what he tells you on your own however.
Pity! So here, now listen to Professor Snape while he
explains in details what you should do!! Manners
indeed!! Believe me, as a teacher there is nothing more
insulting than being told this by a student who's got
no notion of patience and timing! Therefore, let
me assure you that Snape is being very clement in this
instance!! Oh yes! You don't tell Snape how to tell
his job without entering a mine field. No wonder he
used his dangerous voice, he exudes self-control like
never before! Even more when you think of the filthy
look Harry just threw his way. Did he just not
ask for that?! @_@
here: Snape teaching. Harry not concentrating. Snape
observing that Harry is not doing it and providing the
reason why (lack of discipline in this case) .
However, Harry was good enough not to be insulted
by Snape revealing his lack of discipline, a flaw which
he often condemned in the boy who in his turn never
acknowledged. Is Potter learning that there are
some advantages to self-control?! Wow!
Snape sounds like he allows Potter enough time, he's
not in 'military mode' anymore. Maybe he's just realised
he's not teaching a Slythering who would decipher a
lot from his words while Potter, a typical Gryffindor,
is clueless to his hidden hints. And here we are, taking
things more slowly now. There's a good improvement from
both parties! : )
A great black dragon was rearing in front of him… his father and mother were waving at him out of an enchanted mirror… Cedric Diggory was lying on the ground with blank eyes staring at him…
Harry was on his knees again, his face buried in his hands, his brain aching as though someone had been trying to pull it from his skull.'Get up!' said Snape sharply. 'Get up! You are not trying, you are making no effort. You are allowing me access to memories you fear, handing me weapons!'
Harry stood up again, his heart thumping wildly as though he had reallyjust seen Cedric dead in the graveyard. Snape looked paler than usual, and angrier, though not nearly as angry as Harry was.
'I - am - making - an - effort,' he said through clenched teeth.
'I told you to empty yourself of emotion!'
'Yeah? Well, I'm finding that hard at the moment,' Harry snarled.
Then you will find yourself easy prey for the Dark Lord!' said Snape savagely. 'Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions, who wallow in sad memories and allow themselves to be provoked so easily - weak people, in other words - they stand no chance against his powers! He will penetrate your mind with absurd ease, Potter!'
Failure is not something Snape answers kindly to, is
it! The scene where Snape grabs Malfoy by the collar
to put him back on his foot in the second movie pops
to mind. Though he was silent in the movie, his countenance
spoke volumes: Get up and make me proud! And don't repeat
the same mistake or you'll have to answer to my temper"
You could say this is what's going on here: Snape is
furious for Harry's lack of control and effort. I mean,
this is not the Imperius Curse, yet he was able to fight
it off in DADA class only a year before. And now he
can't get hold of himself when faced with Legilimens?!
Hence, Snape's reaction is not so out of proportion
as it first seems. Harry is indeed not trying
to fight it off, he's only being brought down by his
memories, good or bad. Is it that Occlumency requires
tight discipline prior to trying to learn the skill
so as to avoid such discomfort? Maybe.
Here it is: different points of view! Snape wants
Harry to put effort on emptying himself of all
emotions while Harry makes an effort into surviving
the ordeal and to stop fearing his memories, getting
a hold on his emotions for one of the first times. Eek!
They were bound to clash because Snape (so it seems)
always controlled his emotions, even in drastic events.
Hence, controlling his thoughts and emotions of his
memories (therefore surely less vivid than the real
thing) is not so problematic. On the other hand, Harry
is not one to control his emotions on the spot nor to
hide it. That's of course a weakness here and in Snape's
opinion. No wonder he's livid against the boy.
For Harry, doing that is really difficult while
for Snape, seeing such things may be horror lesser than
other horrors he's witnessed, still without showing
is described as paler than usual, so he is normally
also described as being angrier than usual. Funny!!
love this for it holds a first hand view into Snape's
values and experiences! Wow!! Those kind of paragraphs
are real gold for me!! Look at how Snape draws on savagely
at Harry. He's livid, vibrant, he's alive with first
hand experience, and strangely for me, that is as much
as wearing his heart on his sleeve because Snape is
rarely so explicit! : )
of fools and weak people:
- Those who wear their hearts
on their sleeves
(Iago, Shakespeare) (no surprise there, he
is a Slytherin, but it may also indicate more
about his upbringing)
- Those who can't control
their emotions (Again
control in the pureblood, Slytherin and Death
Eater society must be vital and therefore essential
to Snape who can't even fathom how this child
ever made it without doing so!)
- Those who are proud
to show their emotions
(There's an insult to Gryffindors. They are
proud of showing up their emotions and recklessness
and courage, but in this case, Snape knows for
sure, and must like to be proven right, that
it is quite a bad idea to do so. Survival
is more important.)
- Those who wallow
in sad memories (Snape
has sad memories, we know he does, however here
is what he does with them: he doesn't allow
himself to wallow in them. Only weak and foolish
people do in his opinion. Now this also sound
like a motto from his childhood since he so
strongly believe in this. But most importantly,
this would explain so well why Snape holds grudges:
he never analyses his memories, doesn't allow
himself to feel the pain truly and then let
go. He won't wallow he says, he can't wallow
for he won't be weak. But then does he not realise
that not wallowing, under therapeutical circumstances
leads him to lose his control at times, like
with Black and Potter. Maybe Albus hinted at
this once, but surely not a lot of people are
brave enough to tell him that! )
- Those who allow themselves
to be provoked easily
(now here's a touchy subject. Yes, Snape
is not easily provoked because he has the upper
hand with students and he knows it. He is annoyed,
that's different. He won't be baited, like Malfoy
Jr for example. But Gryffindors in general are
easily provoked, so again Severus is insulting
Gryffindors. However, it proves that he does
not allow of Draco's girly precious attitudes
- Those are bound
to be easily mind invaded!
(This is a warning or rather a fact. Snape
is warning Harry, yet again, of the impending
dangers he faces. Will Harry listen! Nope! Snape
is warning him about how the Dark Lord and Slytherins
may take advantage of him. If Harry only had
one lesson to remember from Snape, this should
be it! Snape is not asking Harry to stop being
himself, he's asking him to control himself.
There is a huge difference there. Being a teacher,
I know what it means in the lives of many children
and control is good for them and does not restraint
their identity. Unfortunately, people nowadays
mix up the two elements and just let go of control
to life (as per deduction):
- If you can't control
yourself, than you're other people's food.
- If you have no control,
you are weak and a fool for allowing others
to take advantage of you
- Stop wallowing and get
on with life
- Only you can hand over
or not control of your emotions to others (provocation)
- Being proud can bring
one to over estimate their capacities and believe
everyone will react the same way
'I am not weak,' said Harry in a low voice, fury now pumping through him so that he thought he might attack Snape in a moment.
Then prove it! Master yourself!' spat Snape. 'Control your anger, discipline your mind! We shall try again! Get ready, now! Legilimens!'
He was watching Uncle Vernon hammering the letterbox shut… a hundred Dementors were drifting across the lake in the grounds towards him… he was running along a windowless passage with Mr Weasley… they were drawing nearer to the plain black door at the end of the corridor… Harry expected to go through it… but Mr Weasley led him off to the left, down a flight of stone steps…
'I KNOW! 1 KNOW!'
He was on all fours again on Snape's office floor, his scar was prickling unpleasantly, but the voice that had just issued from his mouth was triumphant. He pushed himself up again to find Snape staring at him, his wand raised. It looked as though, this time, Snape had lifted the spell before Harry had even tried to fight back.
'What happened then, Potter?' he asked, eyeing Harry intently.
'I saw - I remembered,' Harry panted. 'I've just realised…'
'Realised what?' asked Snape sharply.
wonder he's saying that in a low voice, Snape has just
told him the opposite of what he believes in! Oh dear!
The problem is that the two cannot find a good balance
and a middle ground where they could understand each
other's point of view. In this case however, I
agree that Harry needs to follow Snape's indications
for he is battling against the worst Slytherin of all.
Snape is trying to help him survive a man he himself
fears so much he won't say his name, imagine that! How
infuriated would you be if you were to teach a teenager
how to survive a psychopath you've known for quite some
time and the teenager would not want to listen! Argh!
Anyone would get on their high horses, much more
if your character differed so greatly from your 'ward'!
love this replica!! Prove it and master yourself, Potter!
Wow! So full of energy and anger at the same time! Snape
is no fool, he knows Harry is full of fear but he's
also aware of his anger and his inability to rid himself
of such emotions. But isn't that what Snape has been
trying for years to teach Harry: master himself, his
impulse, his vindictiveness, his recklessness when it
comes to magic and adult affairs?! Discipline is what
allowed Snape to survive for so long, of that I have
little doubt, and therefore, he would likely (knowing
his perfectionism) require it of his pupils. Even more
from Potter for he's witness first hand how Gryffindors
easily fall prey to the Dark Lord. I am actually very
curious as to exactly what brought about the Potters'
demise, but we can at least say that it was feelings
and emotions and trust that allowed it. Their
faith in Pettigrew, living in a house easily broken
in by the Dark Lord and what more.
rest is of no use, only repetition. The real focus here
is on Harry's scar: how come it prickled like that?
We've known that whenever Voldemort connected with Harry
in the past or was nearby, his scar would hurt. Is Voldemort
witnessing the lessons as we speak now?! Is he
trying to enter Potter's mind as we speak or as he succeeded?
I'd say he did not but he is trying which would account
for both the scar and the fact that Snape returned alive
afterwards, hence Voldemort must not be privy to their
more perplexing: Snape still has his wand raised. Did
he feel something was amiss? Is he preparing for some
threat (after all, if Harry could penetrate the Dark
Lord's mind, why could the opposite not occur? Or
is this just because he lifted the spell? My best guess
is that Snape, hearing Harry shout so triumphantly,
would instantly smell something fishy. "Why is
the boy sounding so sure of himself? Why does he say
'I know'? Better stay alert and brace myself for any
eventuality!", it sounds as something Snape may
be telling himself. It doesn't seem that
Harry has touched his scar since he was on all fours,
so Snape could not so easily fear a direct connection
with the Dark Lord, though he may, as our Snape always
is, weary a bit.
point: it looked as though Snape lifted the spell BEFORE
Harry tried anything. This is important for it proves
Snape's theory that Harry is not even trying from the
start, not to mention it will further his idea that
the boy just isn't trying and cares only for pushing
his visions as much as possible while he should do the
contrary. That is important to understand why Snape
will be even more tough on the boy later on I reckon.
We see this story from Harry's point of view mainly,
hence Snape is presented in such a way that the reader
will accuse him of being harsh with the poor little
boy. But it is not so, Snape has his reasons, and now
Potter has just proved he had cause to worry so much!
is impatient, he's sharp. He wants to know what this
has got to do with anything, especially since he must
also be acquainted with that corridor and know what
lurks there. Snape is intelligent enough to make
the quick connection: Harry knows about this corridor
and he's on to something. So spit it out now, boy!
Harry did not answer at once; he was still savouring the moment of blinding realisation as he rubbed his forehead…
He had been dreaming about a windowless corridor ending in a locked door for months, without once realising that it was a real place. Now, seeing the memory again, he knew that all along he had been dreaming about the corridor down which he had run with Mr Weasley on the twelfth of August as they hurried to the courtrooms in the Ministry; it was the corridor leading to the Department of Mysteries and Mr Weasley had been there the night that he had been attacked by Voldemort's snake.
He looked up at Snape.
'What's in the Department of Mysteries?'
'What did you say?' Snape asked quietly and Harry saw, with deep satisfaction, that Snape was unnerved.
'I said, what's in the Department of Mysteries, sir?' Harry said.
'And why,' said Snape slowly, 'would you ask such a thing?'
Now there's no doubt Snape will further understand what
is going on. Harry is rubbing his scar hence the Dark
Lord is not far behind, is he!
is so blunt! That is exactly what Snape was berating
him for a minute ago! In this case, Harry proves quite
reckless in handing out such details to Snape, but Harry
will be Harry and there's no time like the present for
him. Hence he wants to know, now! Even forgetting formalities...
Indeed, even Snape is too concerned, taken aback
or finally making the connection that he does not care
for this lack of manner. I'd bet on the latter:
Snape is wise enough to realise that by actually identifying
the obscure corridor as the Department of Mysteries,
Harry is on to something and is privy to more information
than he volunteered ever before. Warning bells
go off in Snape's head as we speak!
how Harry is satisfied to have unnerved the man so much.
Still, it's interesting to wonder if
Potter doesn't know whether Snape is reacting that way
out of spite for having been disrespectfully addressed
to or if that's got anything to do with Snape knowing
exactly what Harry is referring to. I believe a bit
now unless Harry is a moron, he will understand how
he's just hit the bull's eye! Snape slowly talking
that way is like saying: Touché, Potter! It's
very obvious. However, what Harry does not realise is
that Snape is volunteering information from him without
Harry knowing he only does to get the boy to unveil
his secrets. Gryffindors are so easy to manipulate!
'Because,' said Harry, watching Snape's face closely, 'that corridor I've just seen - I've been dreaming about it for months — I've just recognised it - it leads to the Department of Mysteries… and I think Voldemort wants something from —'
'I have told you not to say the Dark Lord's name!'
They glared at each other. Harrys scar seared again, but he did not care. Snape looked agitated; but when he spoke again he sounded as though he was trying to appear cool and unconcerned.
'There are many things in the Department of Mysteries, Potter, few of which you would understand and none of which concern you. Do I make myself plain?'
'Yes,' Harry said, still rubbing his prickling scar, which was becoming more painful.
Potter, watch him closely... though with your subtlety,
I wonder how you'll ever be able to read out Snape's
face and emotions! No wonder he didn't believe Snape
got the message later on when they were in Umbridge's
I think it's strange though that
he would mention that corridor to Snape. I mean that
I can't decide why he does it: is he only curious and
wants to get to the end of things, or does he want to
help the Order? Knowing Harry, both of those apply.
He is a very curious and reckless Gryffindor who wants
to help no matter what. He also seeks personal
recognition and/or some kind of love and a feeling of
belonging through his actions as well. Like his friends
said in this book, he does 'play' the hero's part for
those unconscious reasons often.
So you may be disrespectful to the teacher while revealing
important information as above, but you may not mention
Voldemort's name while doing so! Interesting for
we see how Snape puts that 'not saying the name out
loud' thing on the top of his list!
like this sentence: Snape looks agitated, yet he wanted
to sound cool and unconcerned. But then again, Rowling
said "he was trying to appear" so which makes
a whole difference! How powerful is Voldemort
to allow Snape to slip his mask so much!? Again, I shiver
just thinking about it!! No wonder he calls Potter a
reckless dunderhead for not fearing the Dark Lord like
he does! If such a man can frighten Snape enough
to agitate him to such a level of nervosity that Snape
will slip in front of a boy he hates, I want in NO WAY
to meet such a man ever! Sounds more terrifying than
Hitler though we know exactly of his deeds while we
have not so many clues of the Dark Lord's. Creepy!
AND again I reiterate
my hypothesis: what if saying the Dark Lord's name in
front of a Death Eater triggered some kind of connection
of some sort. After all, it is written that Harry's
scar was becoming more painful right after. Therefore
let's not dismiss this!
for what Snape answered: I can imagine him trying to
look unconcerned and cool since he is revealing important
advice to Potter while trying to cover up the fact that
Potter has just unveiled a part of the Dark Lord's plans,
getting the Prophecy! Pretty difficult to do so, even
for a Slytherin, a Slytherin who's been pushed up to
the wall by a certain Potter who keeps being an arse
(in Snape's view).
As for Snape being 'plain', surely he's
not deluded by Potter answering his pitiful 'yes'. Snape
is aware of the boy's tendency to involve into matters
which do not concern him directly or want to solve by
himself without external help. He's been telling so
to whomever would hear him for years now, without success,
poor Severus! Therefore, as of now on, I reckon Snape
will indeed make sure the boy practises even more does
not allow himself to be strayed by curiosity again...
though that's a hard endeavour from where he stands.
How will he achieve this?! Through Slytherin means of
course, he's been doing that so often and he cares so
little for Gryffindor tactics that he wouldn't be caught
dead acting like, say Lupin, in this matter. Therefore,
I reckon this is the very reason he will keep Potter
in check and will provide 'adequate' punishment when
Potter will prove that he has not practised. Call
it negative reinforcement. Works well with Slytherins,
surely, but with Potter?! He's so stubborn! Yet,
Snape will not let him off the hook... until he catches
Harry perusing his Pensieve that is...
'I want you back here same time on Wednesday. We will continue work then.'
Fine,' said Harry. He was desperate to get out of Snape's office and find Ron and Hermione.
'You are to rid your mind of all emotion every night before sleep; empty it, make it blank and calm, you understand?'
'Yes,' said Harry, who was barely listening.
'And be warned, Potter… I shall know if you have not practised
'Right,' Harry mumbled. He picked up his schoolbag, swung it over his shoulder and hurried towards the office door. As he opened it, he glanced back at Snape, who had his back to Harry and was scooping his own thoughts out of the Pensieve with the tip of his wand and replacing them carefully inside his own head. Harry left without another word, closing the door carefully behind him, his scar still throbbing painfully.
you remember well, Snape approached Harry in Grimmauld
Place with this: "'Because the Headmaster thinks it a good idea,' said Snape smoothly. 'You will receive private lessons once a week"
And now Harry is to come back two days later!
Interesting! That's exactly why I am sure Snape
understands perfectly well how the boy needs to be monitored
very closely thanks to his providing such information
about his exploration of the corridors of the Ministry
through his dreams. He senses that Harry doesn't understand
the importance of his role and his collaboration. Hence
what's Snape to do but to monitor the boy and teach
him as often as possible to make sure he doesn't hand
over vital information about the Order and, at the same
time, learn to control his emotions which have so often
lend him into trouble. Were Snape only trying to hand
over Harry's mind to the Dark Lord, surely he would
not care to see the boy again in two days!! And that's
all I had to say to those who categorize Snape in the
"bad characters" of the HP world!
dear! Snape knows exactly the boy is not trying
enough and not serious at all. Snape hands him all the
answers, yet Harry is too selfish to even think about
considering them! All he wants is to be out of there.
How's that for the super hero?! No wonder Snape
issued that warning right after Harry's 'yes'. I
would have done the same.
It's also lucky he ever got out after such one-word
answers, Snape was quite lenient.
we have it: Snape retrieving his thoughts. My question
though is: were they left there, would Snape be able
to remember these? My answer is: yes or else how
could Snape have been so precise about what Harry saw
when he had his head in the Pensieve later on if the
memory was inside?! Or Dumbledore know what Harry had
just witnessed the first time we saw the Pensieve?!
would be impossible, hence it seems that the use of
a Pensieve will forbid access to those chosen memories
to any one who tries to peruse the brain of the Pensieve's
owner. But, the owner of said memory still remembers
it. The memory is unreachable for outsiders, but not
for the owner though, apparently if left in the Pensieve,
the owner would not be able to transfer them to another
Pensieve. The string of memories sounds like a unique
entity. Therefore, the Pensieve truly is
something that allows reflection and the possibility
for one person to step back and view some events from
afar, as hinted by Dumbledore in the last book.
Chapter 25 to 27
Here is an answer to part of my
analysis written by my dear Italian friend, whom I like
to call my Italian Lady
Lupin, Lapisniger, and
I thought it would really fit well here. It really much
reflects in few words my own views of Snape
as a teacher in this chapter. It's also a good
summary of what I also believe to be the difference
between Minerva and Severus. It also broadens on some
subjects covered in my analysis which I also agree to.
I have added bold fonts myself:
"I love the conversation Snape and Harry have before they begin Occlumency
practice. I read and re-read those pages several times and I especially like to
see how Harry gets more and more interested in Snape’s explanations. He starts
with his usual hostile attitude towards his professor, feeling sceptical that
Snape would pay any attention to his questions (“wondering whether Snape would
answer”) but ends so much involved in the conversation that even his body,
“tense as though poised for flight”, speaks of the extreme care he is listening
to Snape’s words with. Rowling tells us that “at last he seemed to be getting at
the bottom of this business” and here we have, in my opinion, an indirect homage
to Snape’s teaching skills. Logical, plain, clear and consequential in his
speech, Snape can capture the audience’s attention with amazing ease and could
really make an excellent teacher were he able to let go of his prejudices and
By the way, I remember you and Afictionado drew the following
arithmetic expression: Snape – (minus) Favouritism to Slytherins = Mc Gonagall. I myself
agree to this scheme because Severus and Minerva have much in common as
teachers, they’re both strict, exigent and very professional in their job, plus
they always keep themselves at some distance from the students, sounding stern
and unapproachable, both being very far from Lupin’s playful attitude in
As for the favouritism, however, I often wonder whether Mc Gonagall is
indeed the impartial teacher we are given the impression her to be or if this
idea comes once again from a misrepresentation of the readers’ due to the fact
the story is told from Harry’s point of view. Of course Harry is ready to stamp
any Snape’s behaviour as unfair but maybe he’s not as keen as well to admit his
own Head of House might have a soft spot for her Gryffindors. For instance when
first year Harry is admitted into the Gryffindor Quidditch team contrary to the
usual rules, I believe Albus to be the one who decided to do an exception to the
rules but Mc Gonagall to be the one who asked for it (I don’t remember if
Rowling states that clear or not, sorry). Now, had this “special treatment” been
obtained by Snape for the benefit of a Slytherin student surely Harry’s mind
would have registered it as a horrible injustice but since the exception turned
to his own advantage it was not perceived as unfairness by him (and consequently
by us readers). Hence I suspect Mc Gonagall is not completely free of
favouritism, though Snape’s appears far more blatant than Minerva’s (and why
exactly Snape acts like that is still a mystery to me, especially because I
reckon he does so on purpose, not at his thoughtlessness, for I can’t believe a
master of control like him to be totally unable to refrain himself from using
such childish tactics). How much Snape’s favouritism to Slytherins is a multiple
of Mc Gonagall’s to Gryffindors is a variable I am not able to determine (we’d
need an opinion poll in Hogwarts, he he!), so I’ll write down my personal
equation in the following form: Snape – Slytherin favouritism = Mc Gonagall – X Gryffindor
favouritism. [Lady Claudia: indeed, I agree to this new version of our original
But back to chapter 24 of OoTP. My impression is Harry’s unconsciously
grateful to Snape for allowing him a bit of that information he's been denied
from any adult around him (Dumbledore, Mc Gonagall, Sirius, Lupin, the
Weasleys). Harry’s questions until this moment have been dismissed with generic
answers, like Sirius’s “You need to sleep” or “Stop worrying about this”. Okay,
Mc Gonagall, Sirius, Lupin and the Weasleys may not be as well acquainted as
Snape is with Voldemort’s techniques in possessing minds but surely they have
been informed by Albus of the dangers the boy is being exposed to and they could
have warned him a little more precisely. Albus, on his part, deliberately
chooses to keep Harry unaware of the dangers. In this situation Albus, acting
more like a grand-father than a Headmaster to Harry, is overprotective of the
boy and, in my opinion, too secretive. He wants the boy to enjoy his time at
Hogwarts like any other “normal” student and let him have a bit of the fun he
was denied in his childhood at the Dursleys’.
I understand that, it’s a very
human feeling. So it’s Sirius’s dismissal at Harry’s worries: loving his godson,
he wants to protect the boy and his serenity. But is all this keeping Harry
unaware of Voldemort’s plans the correct way of protecting him? Or disclosing
him the truth (at least part of it) would rather be? Is a love which denies
answers the best form of love? That’s a big issue indeed. Harry is tired of being
so well protected because he realises his ignorance of risk can endanger his own
life and others’ (he blurts out all his disappoint when he shouts at Phineas
Nigellus), hence he’s desperately looking for someone to tell him the truth.
Unexpectedly to him, that source of truth turns out to be Snape. I don’t know
whether Snape is willing to inform Harry about what’s going on or he just tells
him what he is allowed by Dumbledore to inform the boy, what’s certain is that
Snape represents, in this particular moment, the “best” interlocutor Harry can
find to get some answers, first because he’s not as deeply emotionally involved
with him as the other adults are and also because Snape, as long as he can,
always prefers to tell the bare truth instead of feeding the boy with
sugarcoated explanations. [Lady Claudia: indeed,
hiding the truth and withholding information
has always been a problem for Harry. So
no I don't blame him, I blame those sugarcoating
people around him! As for Snape, I don't
reckon he likes the boy knowing too many things,
but he sounds like he is the one who is ready
to hand out the most information, as incredible
as that sounds. But he knows the most I believe
and he knows what Harry should be intimate with...
but it seems no one will offer Snape this chance
but through Occlumency lessons. ]
Such appreciation for truth and things stated plain seems to me one of the
few traits Harry and Severus have in common, besides the absolute lack of
diplomacy which they share as well. Those Occlumency lessons could have been a very good start for both Harry
and Severus understand a little more of each other, unfortunately everything was
ruined by the Pensieve incident.
Wow! I’ve been writing a lot about Snape and Harry, but I really like
seeing them together and the way their relation will develop is actually the
main reason which I read the books for.