Book 5 - The Order of the Phoenix

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

 Chapter 24

May 4th, 2005 - Done!! Finally!  Dedicated to my dear Lupin lady friend!

   Chapter 4 to 23    Chapter 25 to 27  Chapter 28 & 29   Chapter 30 to 38    


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Long black spaces: intentional spacing to give me more space for analysis!
gold - physical description
red - personality, personal taste
white - character analysis
mauve/purple - facts


 on all five books!!!

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

Chapter 24

'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?

 The 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.










Indeed, even reminds Harry to always refer to him with his proper title.

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.

Funny 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.

 The 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.



Curtain of greasy black hair

Uh 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 black.


Well, 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.

I 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.

 His 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.    

Look 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, isn't it!

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.

I like this "ah", so snappish!! And his delicate stress on the word "useful".  A Snappish chef-d'oeuvre!

Here 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.

 I 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!

Of 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.

I 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 books!



I'm 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 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.'

 I could name a couple of things!



"Why 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 people.

Some 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! ; )

IF 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.

He wears a black billowing travelling cloak!


I 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!

Sirius is rather taller than Snape.   Snape keeps his wand at the ready in the pocket of his cloak while outside.

Told 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.

 What 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!

Now 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.

Snape 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.

 Uh oh! Capital offense!! For those who didn't check out the dictionary, 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 perhaps.

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?...

He 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 fights".

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.

This 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!

 However, 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.

 Clever boy!

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.'






Interesting 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.  

Interesting 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 happened.

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.

That night's meal should have been a cheerful one, with Mr Weasley back amongst them. Harry could tell Sirius was trying to make it so, yet when his godfather was not forcing himself to laugh loudly at Fred and George's jokes or offering everyone more food, his face fell back into a moody, brooding expression. Harry was separated from him by Mundungus and Mad-Eye, who had dropped in to offer Mr Weasley their congratulations. He wanted to talk to Sirius, to tell him he shouldn't listen to a word Snape said, that Snape was goading him deliberately and that the rest of them didn't think Sirius was a coward for doing as Dumbledore told him and remaining in Grimmauld Place. But he had no opportunity to do so, and, eyeing the ugly look on Sirius's face, Harry wondered occasionally whether he would have dared to mention it even if he had the chance. Instead, he told Ron and Hermione under his voice about having to take Occlumency lessons with Snape.'Dumbledore wants to stop you having those dreams about Voldemort,' said Hermione at once. 'Well, you won't be sorry not to have them any more, will you?'

'Extra lessons with Snape?' said Ron, sounding aghast. 'I'd rather have the nightmares!'





 I'm going to make a very important point here: I  believe Harry has it all wrong.  If Snape believes Sirius to be a coward, it's certainly not because of what is happening now. Or else, why would have Snape told him he had to remain careful and out of Lucius' sight!?  No, Snape was only goading him, but not in the way Harry understands it. I don't think so, it doesn't make sense.  What Snape is rather trying to say is that it was foolish of Sirius to lose his chance at being unrecognisable to the Death Eaters on something as stupid as accompaning his godson to the train station. In one useless act for the war, he blew up his cover. And to me, that is exactly why Snape is nagging Sirius about: "You blew up your cover, now you have to sit home like a good dog and not be useful anymore. What a pity! If only you had more brains and were less reckless, you could still be of help like I am. Poor Black, a step behind the man he once called Snivellus!  Tut tut!"  See what I mean?  Snape wants him to be safe, but he will not lose the occasion to rub salt on Sirius' mistake of having blown up his animagus cover!  And it's so easy to read Sirius' fears that others will think less highly of him if he can't go out of the house that Snape uses it as his best weapon against all Black throws at him. Snape is only human, and particularly emotional when it comes to Black. He didn't say that directly, but all the other elements of the story point towards it. It's almost like the return of a pendulum: while Black used to sabotage Snape's student years by bullying and calling him names, hence destroying him little by little and even perpetrating the idea that Severus was worthless, Snape is giving him a taste of his own medicine.  What I believe, and I hope it is, is that Sirius is now pondering about  how he should not have treated Snape the way he did because he is now the useless one in this story. Maybe, had he lived longer, Sirius would have understood that, but he was not given the opportunity. Harry, however, will be given more time to settle accounts, and I do hope he will.

Dear Hermione! I wonder if she knew what it was beforehand, but we are not given much clue to that. It looks like she knew however since it says "said Hermione at once". If so, then maybe Snape's sneer when Potter asked him "Study what?" with a blank stare must have underved him for another reason: not being as good a student as Hermione. For I must repeat, I believe Snape trusts everyone capable of giving their very best even though most let their emotions and laziness get in the way. Still, that won't stop Snape from being harsh on them so that they achieve at least a modicum of excellence in his class.

It's so much like Ron to say he'd rather have the nightmares, however dangerous they may be if that could stop his present fears of Snape.  The two boys have always thought about the present, not the future like Hermione does. It's a shame they don't.  

After a hurried breakfast, they all pulled on jackets and scarves . against the chilly grey January morning. Harry had an unpleasant constricted sensation in his chest; he did not want to say goodbye to Sirius. He had a bad feeling about this parting; he didn't know . When they would next see each other and he felt it was incumbent upon him to say something to Sirius to stop him doing anything stupid - Harry was worried that Snape's accusation of cowardice had stung Sirius so badly he might even now be planning some foolhardy trip beyond Grimmauld Place. Before he could think of what to say, however, Sirius had beckoned him to his side.

'1 want you to take this,' he said quietly, thrusting a badly wrapped package roughly the size of a paperback book into Harry's hands.

'What is it?' Harry asked.

'A way of letting me know if Snape's giving you a hard time.r No, don't open it in here!' said Sirius, with a wary look at Mrs Weasley, who was trying to persuade the twins to wear hand-knitted mittens. 'I doubt Molly would approve - but I want you to use it if you need me, all right?'

'OK,' said Harry, stowing the package away in the inside pocket of his jacket, but he knew he would never use whatever it was. It would not be he, Harry, who lured Sirius from his place of safety, no matter how foully Snape treated him in their forthcoming Occlumency classes.




This is somehow not so healthy for the boy. You can worry about friends doing something stupid and want to stop them, but adults when you are a teenager is another matter. However, I do believe Harry is right in his intuitions. The problem is that Black should be able to act more like a mature person than he is now.  






Again the Gryffindors are plotting. That is exactly how you get a messed up ending.  Also, it will further allow Harry to disaprove of Snape because his closest living relative tells him that he is not to be trusted entirely. I do not know how much Sirius trusts Snape, but when it comes to his godson, very little it seems. Also, the way Sirius does this, in Molly's back, is not helping the boy keeping a straight record with the other adults, which will eventually lead to more problems.  His approach is very unlike Lupin's, for example, whom I judge much more better than this. By doing this, Black puts doubts in Harry's mind about Molly, Albus, Lupin and of course, Snape. Bad!!

At least, Harry seems to understand that this would be wasted if he'd only use it for being mistreated by Snape. That's reassuring though again, he implants the fact that there is no way Snape could be "nicer" to him in those upcoming lessons which is again, bad, for Potter will come to those with a defient air about him. He'll be fighting it, just like we'll say later on.

Look after yourselves,' said Lupin, shaking hands all round and reaching Harry last. 'And listen…" he lowered his voice while the rest of them exchanged last-minute goodbyes with Tonks, 'Harry, I know you don't like Snape, but he is a superb Occlumens and we all - Sirius included - want you to learn to protect yourself, so work hard, all right?'

'Yeah, all right,' said Harry heavily, looking up into Lupin's prematurely lined face. 'See you, then.'

  My appreciation for the werewolf was improved by this single exchange. Short but very revealing. He trusts Snape and he wants Harry to do his best to learn. Also, note how he does not say : "I know Snape doesn't like you..." No, he starts from Harry's point of view instead of Snape's which gives a lot more effect to his words of wisdom.  

Funny how Lupin mentions that Sirius also wants him to learn.  He knows Harry is now very attached to Black so he tries to help Harry understand how important this is, not only for him, but for everyone.   

Harry spent most of the next day dreading the evening. His morning double-Potions lesson did nothing to dispel his trepidation, as Snape was as unpleasant as ever. His mood was further lowered by the DA members constantly approaching him in the corridors between classes, asking hopefully if there would be a meeting that night.

Til let you know in the usual way when the next one is,' Harry said over and over again, 'but I can't do it tonight, I've got to go to - er - remedial Potions.'

'You take remedial Potions!' asked Zacharias Smith superciliously, having cornered Harry in the Entrance Hall after lunch. 'Good Lord, you must be terrible. Snape doesn't usually give extra lessons, does he?'


  See what I meant?  Harry dreads having to spend anytime with Snape, and Sirius having showed how much he was also sure Snape would not behave, unconsciously added to his dread.  So how is Harry going to react tonight? Surely not in the best of way, he'll rather be on the defensive instead of trying to work things out for himself. And this is exactly when "criticism bounces off his back".  I am not saying Snape is innocent, he has as much to do in the mood when those 2 are together, but as I said, they are both equally responsible while, usually, most people will say Snape is to blame.  I don't think so.  



Snape does not usually offer remedial Potions (are we surprised?) And why not? Does that denote he's a teacher who cares little for his students' success?  No, I reckon it's again that belief he has that all have the capacity (if they try) to succeed, hence, why give remedial Potions to someone who is not trying hard enough in normal class anyway? Always following a Snappish logic of course. This is why I believe Snape would never, except under extreme circumstances such as these, give remedial Potions. And even now, it's not really a course.

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.

What 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 colours
  • 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

Notice it 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.

Again 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.'

Making 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...

Snape 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.

I 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...

As 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.


I 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. I agree.

I 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.'

 I 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.

Talking 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 know!

Now 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!

I 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.  

The conditions:

  • Distance
  • Time and space
  • Ancient spells and wards act as safety charms
  • Eye contact is often essential

 Snape 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?!

I 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.'

 Strange 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!

Talk about a man well informed! He knows of Harry's experiencing the Dark Lord's feelings and thoughts even though Harry never babbled 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.

 Oh 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.


Ah!! 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 truth.
It 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.

And 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.

Severus 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 an explanation!

Now 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.'

 It 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!

Funny 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!

But 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! Eek!!

Oh 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 we knew!

 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.

 Snape 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)

Ah 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 there!

In 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 first time.

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.

I 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.

Another important 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.


 -Bicycle: 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' mind!  
-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.
-Hermione 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!
-Dementors: 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' character.

(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 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.'

I 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.

Flashes 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!

Very 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!

What's 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 Imperius Curse.

 '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!'

 Harry, 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?! @_@

See 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!




Here 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!'




Problem! 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.  

Ah! 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 his emotions.

Snape is described as paler than usual, so he is normally pale. He's also described as being angrier than usual. Funny!! : D

I 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! : )  

Snape's definition 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 as well.)
  • 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 altogether...)

Snape's guidelines 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…


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.


  No 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'!  

I 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.  

The 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 lessons.

Even 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.

Other essential 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!

Snape 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?'

 Ah! 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!






Harry 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!

Funny 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 of both.

Well, 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.

 Yes, 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 office!

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.

Ah! 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!

I 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!

Now 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.








 If 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!

Oh 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.  

There 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?!  That 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.

To Chapter 25 to 27

End addition:

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 Slytherin favouritism.

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 teaching.

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 equation]

    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.