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Thread: How does teenage Snape shoot down flies?

  1. #11
    apollo13
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    I think he got into trouble for using the Imperious curse, but not for killing and torturing insects. I think that the Imperious curse is less frowned upon in the wizarding society.

    ~Evie

  2. #12
    SeverusSempra
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    I should have clarified in my response to KCharles-- the Ministry was always right on top of Harry as soon as he did anything at the Dursley's or in other non-Wizarding territory. He did use Crucio at the Ministry on Bellatrix, and I think he used it and/or Imperius at Hogwarts on Carrow when he threatened McGonagall, if I remember rightly. (Sorry-- no access to DH right now.)

    I get the impression that they weren't monitoring underage wizardry (or any kind of wizardry) anywhere that was actually part of the Wizarding world, and that Moody getting in any kind of trouble for using Imperius would probably happen the way any Muggle teacher would get in trouble for, say, showing a rated-R film to younger students without getting permission slips from the parents: the students would talk about it, and someone would catch on. It almost seems more like the Reasonable Restriction on Underage Wizardry is a way of enforcing the statute of secrecy thing, so that kids aren't being stupid on their summer break and using magic out in the streets, or with their Muggle friends, or in Muggle homes like Harry's or Hermione's. Of course, it's obviously expected that parents restrict their own kids' underage wizardry, which Mrs. Weasley mostly does. I guess it's just a lot easier to enforce in Muggle locations, and probably near impossible to enforce anywhere else.

    Someone pointed out that the timing would be important (that he probably wouldn't AK anything while still friends with Lily), and I totally agree-- sorry I'm not using names, but I can't write this and open the thread to read everyone's posts at the same time. Another person (Snape's Talon, I think) brought in a useful definition of Unforgivables from the Lexicon-- so basically, if these are not Unforgivable if used on non-humans (let's not even get into house-elves and other sentient beings, etc.-- that's a whole new thread unto itself and a major philosophy question), the issue is, would he be angry enough at life in general to be able to AK a fly? My guess is that, post-Lily, he was probably really depressed, and depression often shows up in men and boys more as anger than sadness so... I think he could, although I would guess that later, her death would put him off any casual use of such a spell. But regarding whether this is AK or not, there's a really good argument either way.

    Sandy, heading into beta stuff in case you're reading this: I'm going to say that early in that summer, this could be AK, but after he takes the AU detour that the canon Snape didn't and decides to do/become whatever it takes to get Lily back, I don't think he'd let himself. So THAT is where the scene will go.

    Thank you all so much for helping me think this out. I'm new at this (this is my first fic), so I'm not sure whether to close the post when there is still an interesting debate going on that's helping me with writing this-- I'll probably just check back tonight when it's had 24 hours and ask them to close it then. Thank you again!

    Anya

  3. #13
    cmwinters
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    I don't think he used Avada Kedavra or Stupefy because the jets of light weren't noted by Harry and I *guarantee* if Harry saw a teenaged Snape casting an Unforgiveable for ANY reason he'd have made note of it.

    Actually, shooting flies is a good way to improve your aim and accuracy, and Snape's quite good at that, at least as an adult.

    And after HBP . . . I assumed it was Sectumsempra.

  4. #14
    AurorKeefy
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by cmwinters
    I don't think he used Avada Kedavra or Stupefy because the jets of light weren't noted by Harry and I *guarantee* if Harry saw a teenaged Snape casting an Unforgiveable for ANY reason he'd have made note of it.

    And after HBP . . . I assumed it was Sectumsempra.
    Personally I had assumed it was Avada Kedavra, based upon my own assumptions of Snape's personality at the time. I might have backed this up with the suggestion that the extremely competent Severus might have been able to cast similar spells to Hermione and Harry (in book seven) to mask his curses against Ministry interference. That said, the argument that Harry would remember those green jets of light killing flies is an extremely persuasive one.

    That said, the nature of Sectumsempra suggests to me that it is a cut of defined force, rather than an arbitrary effect. Snape's Sectumsempra would have been enough to leave bits of fly hitting the floor, which I don't feel is implied in the passage. Of the options suggested, I suppose stupefy is the greatest bet. Unless, of course, Severus has a specialised "fly-swatting" spell, though that seems rather beneath his ability to bother creating, personally.

  5. #15
    Kcharles
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    I don't recall Harry being caught for using Crucio while within the Ministry (OotP). Yes, it was on Bella, but any use of an Unforgivable is, well, unforgivable. Let's not even mention Harry using Imperio in DH.

    According to the Lexicon, "Three curses in particular are known as Unforgivable because using them on another human being can result in a life term in Azkaban."
    Well, I think that the Ministry might have still given him a warning at least, because an unforgivable is a Unforgiveable, IMO.

    And the Ministry was so cocky at that time that they might not think to monitor the spells being cast within their own building.
    I agree with that.

  6. #16
    Snape's Talon
    Guest
    A warning? On the contrary, it doesn't matter who you use the Unforgivable curse on or the circumstances. The books are rather clear on that point. So long as the target is another human, you've crossed the line. The idea they'd give him a little warning is a bit too Gary Stu-ish, in my opinion.

    I will, however, concede to cmwinters' flawless logic regarding the lack of green light in that scene. She's right - Harry would have noticed. Plus, the idea that he would practice Sectumsempra has a certain appeal.

  7. #17
    Kcharles
    Guest
    A warning? On the contrary, it doesn't matter who you use the Unforgivable curse on or the circumstances. The books are rather clear on that point. So long as the target is another human, you've crossed the line. The idea they'd give him a little warning is a bit too Gary Stu-ish.
    That's sort of the point I'm making, that he couldn't have used AK because he would have been punished.

  8. #18
    Snape's Talon
    Guest
    Again, Severus was using it on flies. Not a human. Slightly different target, one that many would consider insignificant since we're talking about insects. By circumstances, I meant it didn't matter if the wizard in question was defending his life or simply running around murdering innocents.


  9. #19
    Azhure
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by leahsm2
    That, to me doesn't make any sense, because we are talking about less than 240 people* (not counting those few who went abroad to school.) Does anyone know where this is stated? I thought there was an underage thread thing that would be different from detecting adult magical use.
    I believe this is covered in DH when the trio are discussing whether Harry has the 'trace' on him or not. I could be wrong though - I don't have access to the books at the moment.

    I am fairly sure that it said that the MoM detects all magic but only pays attention to spells cast in Muggle areas (unless there is evidence that it's accidental magic cast by a child not yet attending Hogwarts). It is discussed somewhere...grr, wish I had the books!

    ~~Azhure~~

  10. #20
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
    I See Dead People... In Mirrors
    butter_beer_drinker's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    234
    Are you sure it wasn't StupeFLY? sorry I couldn't resist.

    Actually as I read through this post I was thinking he might have been using Sectumsempra. At this point, lets assume he is 16, he might have been working on creating the spell. Granted it would be a messy way to get rid of the flies, but they were an easy target and he would have to have somthing to practice on. Since the book belonging to Snape that inadvertantly ended up in Harry's hands was a 6th year book, I think this is a possibility. The books never say when he created it, only that he did.
    ~Kristy


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