Do Snape and Harry have to Reconcile?
“I say to you all, once again — in the light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” (Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, pg. 723 US Edition)
Do Snape and Harry have to reconcile? It sounds crazy. Snape loathes Harry, and Harry loathes Snape. In fact, when Book Five ends it is clear that Harry is using Snape as an scapegoat. He has decided to blame Snape for everything that occurred in Book Five, and he would not be wrong that at least some of the blame is rightfully Snape’s. Yet, I do think that Harry and Snape have to reconcile. In fact, the way that Book Five ends tells us something of the rift that their enmity causes. Remember, Dumbledore warned that “we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” The more that Snape and Harry create rifts between each other, the more divisions that cause weaknesses in the Order.
Voldemort feeds off of enmity, and he uses this enmity to destroy his enemies. Harry’s greatest power is love, but love is weakened by hatred such as the hatred that he carries for Snape. Therefore, I firmly believe that these two will have to reconcile for the good of the Order. If they do not, it can only mean trouble for both of them.
The enmity between Harry and Snape has already proved itself a problem. When Harry thinks that Sirius is in danger, he tries to seek out members of the Order to help. He looks for McGonagall, only to find out that she is in St. Mungo’s. Dumbledore has gone to fulfill some unknown plan. Yet, Harry does not think to seek out Snape. Why? Harry knows Snape is a member of the Order; he just doesn’t think about him. Why? Simple, because Snape is not a good guy. He treats Harry horribly, he acts evil, and he holds such hatred that who could ever think about him when needing help? Even though Snape is a “good” character through helping the Order, Harry cannot see past Snape’s hatred. The little actions we do affect who we are just as much as the large actions we do. Dumbledore may trust Snape with large Order matters, but as long as Snape holds hatred in his heart he is a target for Voldemort and a rift in the Order.
Other ways that their enmity has affected the major plot include Snape not getting the DADA (Defense Against the Dark Arts) job. I believe that Dumbledore recognizes the wounds that Snape still carries in his heart and sees that the DADA job would be a temptation for Snape to overuse his power or return to the dark arts. He trusts Snape fully, but he also knows that hatred can lead a person down the wrong road. Also, Snape holds much of Harry’s future in his hands. Remember, for Harry to become an Auror, he must take Potions. Will Snape accept him in his class? Undoubtebly Dumbledore will force him to. Yet, will Snape allow Harry to succeed or hinder his progress in Potions?
Also, the enmity between Harry and Snape is a good example of the lack of forgiveness. Harry blames Snape, Snape blames Harry (another paper topic). Neither forgives. Where there is no forgiveness there is a discord, a rift. Again, another place where Voldemort can find weakness within the Order.
Despite all of this, we know that Snape and Harry do not let enmity hold them back. Snape still saves Harry’s life or searches the forest for him. Snape is true to the Order, putting himself at great personal risk for whatever Dumbledore has up his sleeves. However, their enmity is still a rift that can be manipulated. Just as Harry did not think about Snape as a member of the Order, thus leading to the events that led to Sirius’ death, enmity can cause accidents — lethal accidents.
Forgiveness, hope of healed wounds, all of this is love. Love is the one power that can defeat Voldemort. Therefore, Harry and Snape must forgive, and they must learn to heal all wounds. For, if Dumbledore is correct that some wounds cannot be healed, that means that there is no hope. I personally believe that Dumbledore will have to eat his words. ALL wounds can be healed when the bearers of those wounds opens themselves up enough to be healed. Harry and Snape must heal their wounds by healing the rifts between them.
This is not to say that things will be great and they will be nice to each other; it is to say that they will not loathe each other. It is to say that they will forgive and be able to work together in trust. In many ways, the rift that lies between Harry and Snape is representative of rifts within the Order itself. This is similar to the fights between the houses representing rifts within Hogwarts itself.
The Sorting Hat is right; unification must occur or the rifts will bring about destruction. I believe the unification in the Order (ALL its members trusting ALL its members) and the unification of the houses will start to occur at the same time. When the unification occurs, then Snape will be DADA teacher. If we believe that the DADA teacher represents what each story is about (theory from Harry Potter Prognostications), then Snape will represent reconciliation, forgiveness, healing, and hope. If Rowling doesn’t have the two reconcile, I am sure that she will show a large number of problems and discords that come from their inability to forgive.
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