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Thread: Severus Snape

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  1. #1
    little_kitty
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    Severus Snape

    I checked every page in this forum, and I didn't see anything about Snape, so I figured I'd start this thread. If I happened to have missed the existing thread for Snape, please let me know.

    So I have a question about Severus Snape. We know that his mother, Eileen Prince, was a witch, and Snape made himself a nickname based on her last name. Snape was probably ashamed that his father, Tobias, was a Muggle. I'm not under the impression that he was an abused child - it seems more like his father just abused his mother. Do you think that Snape loved his parents when he was about sixteen? Do you think he would love his mother more than his father? If his mother sent him a letter and told him that she was very ill and going to die, would he cry? Would he feel sad at all? Oh, and please do correct me if any of my assumptions are wrong.

    --Little Kitty

  2. #2
    Seventh Year Ravenclaw
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    I know there is a thread in the General Fanfiction Forum, but seeing as this is a character question, I think (hope) its probably just fine discussing it here.

    I have several questions about Snape. First of all, do you think he killed anyone before HBP? Would it seem out of character for a young Severus Snape to refuse to kill someone?

    My second question is when do you think Snape learned Occlumency? I think he had to be relatively powerful Occulemns by the time he turned spy for Dumbledore. How long did it take him to develop his skills?

    My last question is how powerful do you think Snape truly is? If someone he cared about were injured or killed, would it seem out of character for Snape to be violently and powerfully upset?

    Thanks much for the help looking into our enigmatic potions professor!
    ~Gina

  3. #3
    cmwinters
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    There's an extensive discussion on Snape here: http://fanfiction.mugglenet.com/foru...ead.php?t=2018 and while I do recommend reading it, it won't answer all your questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Kitty
    We know that his mother, Eileen Prince, was a witch, and Snape made himself a nickname based on her last name.
    We know *A* nickname was made for him. Whether it was made for him by his mother, by his father, by a friend, by himself or by an enemy (to taunt him), we don't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Kitty
    Snape was probably ashamed that his father, Tobias, was a Muggle.
    Pure inferrence. Not entirely unfounded given that he's A) a Death Eater; B) head of Slytherin house (and was sorted into Slytherin himself) and even C) because he called Lily Evans a Mudblood in a moment of extreme duress, but then again, most people thought he was a pureblood by virtue of those same qualifications. And we all know how well that worked out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Kitty
    I'm not under the impression that he was an abused child - it seems more like his father just abused his mother.
    We can look at that scene in a number of ways. First off, we don't know *for sure* who the players are. Even if we assume one is Eileen, there's no guarantee that the other is Tobias. It could be her brother, it could be her father, it could be someone else entirely. Two, even if it was Eileen and Tobias, we don't know the context. He may have just found out they were magical and been shouting in fear, Severus may have done something with his display of magical ability that broke something valuable (like, say, the roof, or the car, or killed the family pet), or perhaps they just found out the Death Eaters were pursuing them and he realised his son was in danger - who knows.

    I think it's important to realise that Snape didn't see that scene as pivotal enough to protect it by putting it in a Pensieve, so whether it's a routine occurrence or a one-time event is purely up for speculation.

    As are, quite frankly, the players, but the age of the child would seem to indicate that at least one of those people is PROBABLY a relative or caregiver.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Kitty
    Do you think that Snape loved his parents when he was about sixteen?
    I think Snape is an intense and very emotional man, and he keeps his emotions under a vise-like grip. I don't think he actively disliked them or hated them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Kitty
    Do you think he would love his mother more than his father?
    Hm. Not necessarily. It may depend on how well he knew them. If, for example, Tobias left them when he was very young, he might not be as attached to his father - if his mother died when he was young,

    I do think it's probable that he felt *DIFFERENTLY* for them. He may well have idolised his witch mother but loved his father all the same, but not in the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Kitty
    If his mother sent him a letter and told him that she was very ill and going to die, would he cry?
    It may depend on how old he was. Older than about 13, not publically (maybe privately in his quarters or something) - older than about 19, maybe not at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Kitty
    Would he feel sad at all?
    Sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmariam
    First of all, do you think he killed anyone before HBP?
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmariam
    ould it seem out of character for a young Severus Snape to refuse to kill someone?
    Hm. I think that depends on how you qualify "refuse". Would he refuse outright? I doubt it. Would he smooth-talk his way out of it? Possibly, if he thought he could get away with it. I can see him, say, for example, having a Muggle girlfriend, and then the Dark Lord finding out and ordering him to kill her, and Snape saying "pfeh, why bother, but if you insist, but I really have more important things to do and I already Oblivated her besides so it's really a waste of time" or whatever, but if he were ordered to kill, say Caradoc Dearborn, I can see him doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmariam
    My second question is when do you think Snape learned Occlumency?
    We have straight from Jo that to some people this is a somewhat natural talent. I think Snape is one of them. The ability to compartmentalise your emotions is not something everyone can do (I can, but most people I know can't), and I think if you have that ability to start with, the ability to extend it to visualising yourself concealing specific memories and thoughts or whatever is probably fairly simple. Further, Snape seems at a COMPLETE LOSS when trying to explain to Harry how to do this during Harry's Occlumency training, and I think this is because beyond "Just do it" he doesn't really *understand* how it's done, because Snape's brain and Harry's brain are not wired the same way, and that's not necessarily a bad thing or indicative that Snape doesn't possess the academic fortitude to understand or instruct.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmariam
    I think he had to be relatively powerful Occulemns by the time he turned spy for Dumbledore.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmariam
    How long did it take him to develop his skills?
    I think he was BORN able to compartmentalise, and that his being a working-class half-blood in Slytherin house really perfected this ability, and by the time he joined the Death Eaters, he was probably quite good at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmariam
    My last question is how powerful do you think Snape truly is?
    Well, he killed Albus Dumbledore, widely renowned as the most powerful wizard of the age . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by gmariam
    If someone he cared about were injured or killed, would it seem out of character for Snape to be violently and powerfully upset?
    Not in the least.

    HOWEVER.

    Depending on the situation, he'd play his cards close to the chest.

    Let's just say that he were *best friends* with Evan Rosier. I can see him being TRULY devastated at Evan's death - but I don't think he'd let the other Death Eaters see it. I don't think Snape is married or has children, because he can't currently afford himself the luxury and he wouldn't make his wife and kids a target like that, but if at the end of the car and he's still alive and he gets married and has kids and lives happily ever after and his kid gets hit by a bus or whatever, I can see him coming COMPLETELY (and dangerously) UNGLUED.

  4. #4
    Potions Mistress Hufflepuff
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    Gina -

    I have to believe that Snape likely killed someone prior to Dumbledore. I don't think he killed for sport or anything, and I don't see him wandering about torturing and killing Muggles, but I would bet that he has been in a situation where his options were kill or be killed.

    As far as refusal to kill someone, that's tricky. I could see the Dark Lord requiring him to kill someone to prove his loyalty and him doing so, but if some random Slytherin dared him to kill, I don't think it would be OOC for him to refuse. There would really have to be something in it for him.

    I think that as an Occlumens, he probably was educated at home. There's a line somewhere about him being rather immersed in the Dark Arts prior to his arrival at Hogwarts, and based on what we have seen of his home life, I would guess he had at least the basics down as a young teen. Given his personality and nature, I do agree that he was probably somewhat of a natural.

    Do you know the quote about there being a fine line between genius and insanity? To me, nobody embodies this more than Snape. If someone were able to get through that rough exterior enough that he really cared for them, it would most certainly not be OOC for him to grieve, and to do so violently. I can see him throwing things, destroying the potions lab, attempting revenge on the murderer or any other outward rage which would keep him from dealing with the actual hurt inside him.


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  5. #5
    Seventh Year Ravenclaw
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    Thanks so much for the replies!!
    cmwinters - I have read a bit of that discussion, as well as your great posts on Snape. I believe you are the one who referenced the Red Hen essays? They have influenced my current story, in a most delightful way. Thank you for your indepth answers about Snape.

    Phoenix5225 - thank you for your answers as well! I am tempted to continue with them but I think I would be better off posting in Skele-Gro in that case, as it would relate more directly to my story.

    The problem is, I've already written the chapter, and I'm rather happy with it. I'm not sure if I want to lose that and go back to the drawing board. I'm reasonably confident it works, but keep an eye out for me in Skele-Gro just in case.

    I will ask a more general question . . . when it comes to Snape's background, particularly his early years post-Hogwarts, what sort of history would you consider completely out-of-character??

    *hopes she hasn't already written it into her story*
    ~Gina

  6. #6
    GreyLady
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    Hi, Gina! Well, that's a bit too general for me to give a very good answer. Could you maybe give us a more specific scenario? Or would that completely spoil your story? *feels bad* I promise to come back if you give me more to work with.

    But I'll attempt an answer anyway. I really think that Snape had joined the Death Eater ranks before or shortly after he graduated school. He seems like he would have been easy prey for the Dark Lord; an intense, angry, highly unpopular adolescent who seems to have had an unpleasant home life with a muggle father to blame and an unacknowledged brilliance to boot. I don't think he would have spent a long amount of time out of LV's employ.

    As his home life wasn't the best, it can be reasonably assumed that he did not go back to his parents. Snape seems like a very independent person, so he wouldn't go to them for help of any sort. I also can't see him seeking reconciliation with his father or coming back to say goodbye to his mother. His philosophy would be "It's the past, it's over with, move on." Spinner's End is probably a house he bought or is renting himself, rather than the home he grew up in; he wouldn't want a constant reminder of his childhood.

    As for his lifestyle outside of Death Eater activities, Snape would have sunk deeper and deeper into the Dark Arts as Voldemort had done, reading clandestine books and experimenting more and more, and spending time in the company of the more dangerous low-lifes in search of information. He doesn't seem to hold other people very high in esteem, so I can't picture him spending much time with anyone on a consistant basis.

    And that's all I have...if you find it sufficient, you don't have to post with more info, but I'd love to continue this if you decide to.

  7. #7
    _Levicorpus_
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    Snape's past

    Quote Originally Posted by Gmariam
    First of all, do you think he [snape] killed anyone before HBP? Would it seem out of character for a young Severus Snape to refuse to kill someone?
    Snape, at this point in the series at least (pre- book 7) is and has been a double agent. Working for Voldemort after having such horrific schooldays would imply that he was attracted to power and protection. I think he would have done anything for either.

    The need for protection is further established by his servitude of Albus Dumbledore and the Order. An attraction to protection, to me at least, would likely infer a troubled or even abusive childhood. The brain forms many habits during development, and the idea that snape favored his mother's heritage would make sense (thus devoloping the nickname, "The Half-Blood Prince). Snape himself is a crossover; born from a hypothesized abusive father and a mother whom writers have assumed either had no backbone and allowed her son to be beaten or protected him as often as she could.

    A split reputation of origins would foster an adult who would be a prime candidate for being a double agent, having a portion of the brain that would generally be united spilt by opposing forces raising him. Therefore, the theory of an abusive father fits snape's reputation perfectly. His adult mind still feeds off of the two forces he had as a child, an abusive master-- Voldemort, and a kind, loving one. But since his father seemed to dominate over his mother snape would likely think Voldemort had more power-- that being his experience.

    This disconnect from his parents would make him an individual, hence his lonliness in school and ability to float without attatchment --hence killing Dumbledore-- as an adult.

    I apologize if this didn't make any sense, I just got back from a science test... haha.

  8. #8
    Pepper Imp
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    I'm sorry if this is considered 'bumping' this thread, but I thought that it would be a good idea to post here instead of creating a new thread.

    Would Snape lash out if he was under a lot of pressure? Or he had just got back from meeting with Voldemort? I know that is is universally agreed that he is a tightly coiled spring just waiting to boing (where did that example come from? XD. I mean that he's just bottled up all his emotions), but what if he had just had a rough day? Or a meeting with Voldemort that didn't go very well?

    Thanks,
    Cammie!

  9. #9
    cmwinters
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper Imp
    Would Snape lash out if he was under a lot of pressure? Or he had just got back from meeting with Voldemort? I know that is is universally agreed that he is a tightly coiled spring just waiting to boing (where did that example come from? XD. I mean that he's just bottled up all his emotions), but what if he had just had a rough day? Or a meeting with Voldemort that didn't go very well?
    Yes, actually I go into this in some detail a couple of replies up. We've seen him completely lose it at least three times - first in the Shrieking Shack, then later when Sirius Black escapes, and finally during Harry's Occlumency lessons.

    In the first two examples, though, it was because he appeared to genuinely feel that Sirius was culpbable for the murders of the Potters, and nevermind his OWN history with the man.

    In the last example, well, I am of the opinion that aside from the torment by the Marauders, the other two memories in that Pensieve were Snape hearing the ENTIRE prophecy, and Snape being at Godric's Hollow, trying to get them to leave. With the Dark Lord in Harry's head, Harry knowing that would ASSUREDLY be a death sentence for Snape.

    So yes, but he'd have to be pushed pretty hard. I don't ever think he has *good* days, so "just having a bad day" probably wouldn't cut it, but if it were a really rotten horrid day, yes.

  10. #10
    bertiebott12
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    These are just some of my input from early questions.Do you think that Snape loved his parents when he was about sixteen? Do you think he would love his mother more than his father? If his mother sent him a letter and told him that she was very ill and going to die, would he cry? Would he feel sad at all? I think that he wouldnít have loved them by the time he was 16. That was the year when there was the incident with the prank Whomping Willow. That seems to still effect him today, so it must have been a big deal, correct? Then that mood for that yr. Might effect his feelings toward his parents. It didnít seem like he was living a very happy life at that time period. I think that he would prefer his mother. Snape feels like he feels more comfortable with women at that age(Lily) than men, plus, his father was the abuser.

    I think that he would cry, but try to conceal it. Heís not the type of guy that would show his feelings. He would keep them bundled up inside. I think he would feel very sad, but, as I said, not show it.


    First of all, do you think he killed anyone before HBP? Would it seem out of character for a young Severus Snape to refuse to kill someone?

    My second question is when do you think Snape learned Occlumency? I think he had to be relatively powerful Occulemns by the time he turned spy for Dumbledore. How long did it take him to develop his skills?

    My last question is how powerful do you think Snape truly is? If someone he cared about were injured or killed, would it seem out of character for Snape to be violently and powerfully upset?


    1) What a great question, Gina! I do think that heíd killed someone before that. Remember, he wasnít always good, was he? I think that before he turned to the good side, he was like any of the other Death Eaters, killing and torturing.
    2) I think that Dumbledore taught it to him so about the fall/winter of 1789 or the spring of 1980, maybe a bit later. Who else would have taught it to him? Letís look at the people who seem to know it. Voldie, Dumbledore, and Belletrix are the only ones. Now, I doubt that Voldie would have taught him because he wanted to be the most powerful. The only reason I can think that he might have would have been that when he went to spy on the prophecy reading, Dumbledore might have used it on him, and he needed to protect his mind. Bellatrix didnít. She just flat out didnít. I donít think that it took him that long, maybe a month or two. He was very intelligent.
    3) I think that he is very powerful, and people donít respect him enough. I think that, if he wanted, he could take the place of Dumbledore for Harry. Great questions Gina!!!1

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