A Look Back at “What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7”: Chapter 10: “Snape” Part 1
It’s time for us to look back on MuggleNet’s book What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7. This time, we’ll be talking about Snape. Severus Snape is one of the most interesting and complex characters in the Harry Potter series. He’s a bully with a tragic past and an uncertain future. What’s going to happen to him in Deathly Hallows? That’s what MuggleNet wanted to know back in 2006 when they published this book. This chapter is the longest one in the book because there is so much to talk on the subject of Snape. Since this chapter is so long, I’ve decided to split this into two parts so that we can really discuss this. Let’s go through the first half of the chapter and see which predictions the book got right and which ones it got wrong. If you’ve missed any of the chapter discussions, feel free to catch up. So far we’ve done chapters 1 & 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
Snape’s Double Life
The first section in this chapter talks about Snape’s role as a double agent. It also brings us to the first prediction. There was a common theory that Snape was just in it for himself. He was playing both sides to make sure that he would come out on top. The writers of this book decided that Snape killing Dumbledore proved that he was not wavering between sides. He was smart enough to know that killing Dumbledore would not permit him to play both sides. We now know that Snape had picked one side, so the prediction that this theory could be thrown out was correct.
Snape and Lily
The main topic of this section is whether or not Snape loved Lily. At this point in time, we only saw an interaction between the two in “Snape’s Worst Memory” when he calls her a Mudblood. Why would Snape choose to hide this memory in the Pensieve? Was it because he was embarrassed that James Potter got the best of him, or was it because he was ashamed of his treatment of Lily?
Lily was popular, pretty, and vivacious, and people like Snape simply aren’t used to that sort of girl being kind to them. It was only to be expected, then, that Snape would fall in love with her. Lily never intended this to happen, and she may not even have been aware that it was happening, but happen it did” (What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7 111).
We found out in Deathly Hallows that this is true, and Snape loved Lily until he died. They were childhood friends who grew apart when they got older. Lily fell in love with James, and Severus remained in love with her. Most of Snape’s actions in the series have something to do with his love for her, including his protection of Harry Potter.
Snape and Lucius
We found out in Half-Blood Prince that Severus and Lucius were friends at Hogwarts. This seems a little unlikely because Lucius is five years older than Severus. Why were they friends? We find out a little in Deathly Hallows, but not much.
And Severus Snape moved off to the other side of the Hall, away from Lily, to where the Slytherins were cheering him, to where Lucius Malfoy, a prefect badge gleaming upon his chest, patted Snape on the back as he sat down beside him…” (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 673)
So Lucius was one of the first people to welcome Severus into Slytherin. Maybe he was a mentor to Severus, but we never really find out. I really wish that we could have seen more interaction between the two in the series.
So why did Snape join the Death Eaters, then? If Severus was friends with Lucius, then it would make sense to him to fall in with the people who would become Death Eaters once they left Hogwarts. After insulting Lily, they are the only friends that he has left, so he follows them to Voldemort. This prediction was 100% correct. This is exactly what happened.
A Genuine Defection?
Severus Snape became a Death Eater after he left Hogwarts. Somehow he ended up hearing half of Trelawney’s prophecy about Harry Potter and Voldemort. Severus gets this information to his master, who works out that the child in the prophecy is Harry Potter. Voldemort begins planning to kill Harry Potter. How does this affect Snape? He knew that Lily would be in trouble if Voldemort were after her son. The book predicted that this would be why Snape switched sides, and it was correct. Severus asked Voldemort to spare Lily, and he does try to spare her. Snape also goes to Dumbledore and lets him know that Voldemort is going to try to kill the Potters. Severus traded his loyalty to Dumbledore for the promise that the Potters would be hidden and kept safe. Severus Snape’s love for Lily caused his defection from the Death Eaters and somehow made Dumbledore trust him, but more on that next time.
What are your thoughts on Snape? Are you rereading this book with us? Let us know in the comments.