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Severus Snape Character Analysis: Undercover Hero

Severus Snape Character Analysis: Undercover Hero

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Severus Snape was the Potions Master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Before joining the school, he was a Death Eater. However, he betrayed Lord Voldemort when he realized that he had plans to kill his childhood friend Lily Evans.

From that time onwards he was a double agent working for Albus Dumbledore to undermine the Dark Lord. He made significant personal sacrifices to protect Harry Potter and ensure the final downfall of Lord Voldemort.

About Severus Snape

Born9 January 1960-2 May 1998
Blood StatusHalf-blood
Death Eater
Zodiac SignCapricorn

Severus Snape Early Life

Severus Snape was born on 9 January 1960 to an abusive muggle father Tobias Snape and a neglectful witch mother Eileen Prince. As a young boy, he dreamed of escaping his father and his family home at Spinner’s End near Cokeworth and joining the wizarding world. He made up a name for himself based on his mother’s surname, the half-blood prince.

When he was young, Severus’ parents did little to look after him. They left him unwashed and in ill-fitting clothing that were so mismatched that it looked deliberate. He was mostly left to himself, playing by the dirty river or in the disused factories in the area.

Young Severus Snape
Young Severus Snape

Severus Snape Meets Lily Evans

When Severus discovered that Lily Evans, a young girl that lived nearby in a better area of town, was also a witch, he became infatuated with her and started watching her. One day, when he saw her doing magic to entertain her sister Petunia, he finally introduced himself to Lily and revealed to her that she was a witch and that he was a wizard.

While Lily and Petunia initially ran away from Severus due to his strangeness, Severus and Lily soon struck up a friendship. They bonded over their magical abilities and Severus told her about the wizarding world.

Petunia resented the friendship between the two from which she was excluded as a muggle. Severus also resented the closeness between Petunia and Lily, as he quickly developed feelings for the young witch. It did not help that Petunia would often criticize Severus and that he was already wary of muggles due to the way that his father treated him.

Severus Snape Arrives at Hogwarts

Both Severus and Lily started at Hogwarts in 1971 and the friends sat on the train together. During the journey, they met James Potter and Sirius Black. The group disagreed on the best house at Hogwarts, with Severus advocating Slytherin, and James Gryffindor, the house of his father. This marked the beginning of hostility between the boys.

When they arrived at Hogwarts, Severus was sorted into Slytherin as he wished. However, he was disappointed when his friend Lily was sorted into Gryffindor. Nevertheless, the two managed to maintain their friendship for the first five years of their time at school. Snape also developed friendships with many of the other students in Slytherin including the Lestranges, Avery, and Mulciber.

Severus quickly showed a talent for potions and for the dark arts. According to Sirius Black, at the age of eleven Severus knew more curses and hexes than most seventh-year students. He was also creative, making many spells of his own, including Levicorpus, Liberacorpus, Muffliato, Langlock, and Sectumsempra. He wrote many of these spells in his textbooks.

Snape at School
Snape as a Hogwarts student

Severus Snape’s Rivalry with James and Sirius

Severus’ dislike for James Potter, Sirius Black, and their fellow Gryffindor friends Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew only grew during his time at school. He would often follow the boys to try and catch them making trouble and get them expelled.

On one occasion, Sirius tried to trick Severus into discovering their friend Lupin, who was a werewolf, in his dangerous wolf form at the full moon. James Potter discovered the plan and saved Severus. But Severus always insisted that Potter did this for his own selfish reasons and always resented him.

The Gryffindor gang also bullied Severus. They would often hex other students for their own entertainment, and Severus was often their preferred victim. James may have been particularly cruel to Severus because he had a crush on Lily and was jealous of Severus’ friendship with her.

James’ son Harry Potter would later see a memory of his father bullying Severus by turning him upside down and revealing his underwear in front of many other students.

Severus Snape Chooses Between Lily and the Death Eaters

On one occasion of bullying, Lily Evans stepped in and told James Potter to leave Severus alone. But Severus was so humiliated that he reacted badly to her help and proclaimed that he did not need the help of a mudblood. This is a very offensive term for a muggle-born witch or wizard.

James demanded that Severus apologize. But Lily told him not to bother since he was just as bad as Severus with his bullying. Nevertheless, she also responded coldly to her friend.

Later Severus tried to apologize to Lily. While she was willing to accept that he was stressed, she felt that his use of the term reflected the fact that he was now spending time with fellow Slytherins sympathetic to the Death Eater cause.

She asked Severus whether he intended to become a Death Eater. When he did not reply with a no, she ended their friendship. Lily went on to date and then marry James Potter.

Severus Snape the Death Eater

After school, Snape did indeed join many of his fellow Slytherins in the Death Eater camp. What exactly he did for the Dark Lord during the First Wizarding War is unknown. But Lord Voldemort would likely have seen the potential in the talented and damaged young wizard.

In early 1980, Severus applied for a job as a teacher at Hogwarts, potentially at the bidding of Lord Voldemort to act as a spy. He was scheduled to be interviewed at the Hogs’ Head Inn in Hogsmeade after Sybill Trelawney, who was being interviewed for the position of Divination professor.

During her interview, Trelawney unexpectedly revealed a prophecy about the Dark Lord and a young boy born at the end of July 1980 to Albus Dumbledore. Severus, waiting for his own interview, overheard part of the prophecy before he was caught eavesdropping. He immediately reported what he had heard to his master.

Severus Snape Changes Sides

The wording of the prophecy meant that it could have referred to either of two newborn boys, Harry Potter or Neville Longbottom. But Lord Voldemort decided that it was Harry, and decided to track down and kill the boy, therefore putting the prophecy in motion. Of course, Harry was the son of Snape’s childhood friend Lily.

Severus quickly realized the danger that Lily was in and begged Lord Voldemort to spare her. While the Dark Lord agreed, Severus knew that he could not trust him to spare Lily if she stood in his way, and he also knew that she would defy the Dark Lord.

Instead, Snape sought out Albus Dumbledore, as perhaps the only wizard more powerful than Lord Voldemort, and begged him to save her. Dumbledore agreed, but only if Severus agreed to act as a spy for him among the Death Eaters.

Despite the best efforts of Dumbledore, James Potter, and his friends, Lord Voldemort did eventually track down Harry Potter. He killed both James and Lily. When he tried to kill Harry, the act of Lily sacrificing herself for her son protected him and caused Lord Voldemort to lose his physical form. But he survived in a greatly diminished form thanks to his Horcruxes.

Severus Snape Becomes Harry’s Protector

Severus was devastated by Lily’s death and wished himself dead. However, Dumbledore convinced him that he should take on the role of protecting her son. Severus knew as well as Dumbledore that the Dark Lord would return.

Severus agreed but insisted that Dumbledore never tell anyone what had happened or speak of his role in protecting Harry.

Dumbledore spoke on Severus’ behalf in the many trials that followed the first downfall of Lord Voldemort. He convinced the Wizengamot that Snape had changed sides. Therefore, Severus was never sent to Azkaban. He maintained face among his fellow Death Eaters by claiming that he was a double agent working for Voldemort at the end of the war. He said he was now using this to his advantage to avoid punishment.

Severus Snape: Potions Master

To facilitate Snape’s protection of Harry, Dumbledore made him the Potions master at Hogwarts in 1981. He was an exacting teacher that demanded near perfection from his students and had no problem playing favorites. He would often show preferential treatment to students from his own house, Slytherin. At some point, he was also made Head of Slytherin house.

You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making. As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses… I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even put a stopper in death — if you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.

Severus Snape, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Snape would only accept N.E.W.T. students who achieved Outstanding (top marks) in their O.W.L. potions exams.

When starting his career at Hogwarts, Snape had wanted to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts. Dumbledore denied him the role. Many suspected that this was because Dumbledore wanted to steer him clear of temptation and prevent him from returning to his old ways. But Dumbledore knew that the post was cursed since he had denied it to Lord Voldemort some years earlier.

Snape had to walk a fine line to maintain his image with the Death Eaters and ensure that Dumbledore’s allies also trusted him. Many of the latter did not like Snape but trusted him at Dumbledore’s word.

Snape Potions Master
Snape as Potions Master

Severus Snape meets Harry Potter

When Harry Potter turned up at Hogwarts in 1991, Snape appeared to take an immediate dislike to the boy. Part of this may have been genuine, as Harry looked very much like his father James, whom Severus had hated. Part of this was probably to maintain his reputation among the Death Eaters.

He would often humiliate Harry and criticize him. He claimed that the boy was seeking celebrity and was just as arrogant and self-entitled as his father. But Snape was always working, in his own way, to protect the boy.

Severus Snape and the Philosopher’s Stone

In 1991, the same year that Harry started at Hogwarts, Dumbledore brought the Philosopher’s Stone to Hogwarts for protection. He trusted Snape to contribute to its protection. The Potions Master added a potions riddle that would later be solved by Hermione Granger.

Snape soon realized that Defence Against the Dark Arts professor Quirinus Quirrell was after the stone, and in some way connected with Lord Voldemort. He kept a close eye on Quirrell to discover what he was up to, probably in consultation with Dumbledore. At one point he confronted Quirrell in the Forbidden Forest to learn why he wanted the stone. But Quirrell, controlled by the Dark Lord, no longer trusted Snape.

Snape’s Behaviour led Harry, Hermione, and Ron to believe that it was Snape who was after the stone. They kept a close eye on him. On one occasion, when Quirrell tried to kill Harry by jinxing his broomstick during a Quidditch match, Snape performed a counter-curse to protect the boy. Hermione saw him and assumed that he was the one cursing Harry. She set fire to his robes to distract him. While this worked, she also accidentally knocked Quirrell over in the process, saving Harry.

Severus Snape and the Chamber of Secrets

It was Snape who first encountered Harry and Ron when they drove an enchanted car to school and crashed into the Whomping Willow. He wanted the two boys expelled, but was disappointed when Minerva McGonagall, their head of House, only gave them detention.

While Snape was the head of Slytherin, he seemed just as shocked as the other teachers when someone released Slytherin’s monster from the Chamber of Secrets and it started attacking muggle-born students. He also shared their contempt for new teacher Gilderoy Lockhart, who was a fame-hungry fraud.

He helped Lockhart run his dueling club, probably mostly to ensure that no students were hurt and to have an opportunity to humiliate Lockhart. During the club, he pitted Harry against Draco Malfoy in an example duel. It was this duel that revealed to the school that Harry could speak to snakes, just like Slytherin and Lord Voldemort. This information was probably quite shocking for Snape.

Snape was furious when he realized that someone had stolen ingredients from his potions cupboard. This was Harry, Hermione, and Ron taking the ingredients for Polyjuice Potion. While he suspected them and may have gotten confirmation by using Legilimency on Harry, he did nothing to punish them.

Severus Snape and the Prisoner of Azkaban

In 1993, Remus Lupin arrived at Hogwarts as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Snape disliked Lupin from their time at school. Nevertheless, he agreed to keep this secret and to brew Wolfsbane potion for him to keep him safe during the full moon.

Snape also substituted for Lupin when he was unable to teach at the full moon. He set Lupin’s third-year students homework on werewolves, hoping that they would figure out the secret of their new teacher. The only student who seems to have figured it out was Hermione Granger.

Snape also suspected that Lupin might be helping his old friend Sirius Black, who had just escaped from Azkaban. Black had been framed for revealing the location of James and Lily Potter to Lord Voldemort. This would have upset Snape, who also hated Sirius from their time at school.

However, it was in fact Peter Pettigrew who had revealed their location, framed Black, and faked his own death. He was now hiding in plain sight. An unregistered Animagus, Pettigrew was living as Ron’s pet rat Scabbers.

While it was assumed that Sirius was making his way to Hogwarts to kill Harry, he was actually there to find Peter and exact his revenge. Eventually Black, Lupin, Pettigrew, Harry, Ron, and Hermione found themselves in the Shrieking Shack, where the truth of what happened was revealed.

Severus Snape Confronts Sirius Black

Snape coincidentally realized that they were there thanks to an unexpected glimpse at the Marauder’s Map. He followed them there and ambushed the group just as the truth of what had happened to Harry’s parents was revealed. He refused to listen to their story because he wanted to see the hated Sirius turned over to the Dementors.

The group was able to incapacitate Snape. However, shortly after Lupin turned into a werewolf. When Snape came to, he tried to protect the students. Nevertheless, with the help of a time-turner, Harry and Hermione were able to stop Sirius from being sent back to Azkaban. While Dumbledore no doubt explained to Snape the reality of the situation, he was furious that his old tormentor got away.

Snape Protecting the Students
Snape protecting students from Werewolf Lupin

Severus Snape and the Goblet of Fire

The 1994-1995 school year was an eventful one at Hogwarts as it hosted the Triwizard Tournament.

The year was also challenging for Snape personally as Alastor Moody was appointed as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. The ex-Auror never made it to Hogwarts. He was kidnapped as his identity was stolen by the Death Eater Barty Crouch Jnr. But Snape was unaware of this and assumed that an ex-Auror with a grudge was now at Hogwarts.

Crouch as Moody did his best to make Snape uncomfortable. He made it clear that he did not trust the former Death Eater. He even searched Snape’s office at the start of the year claiming that it was an “Auror’s privilege”.

Snape was also very upset when Harry’s name unexpectedly emerged from the Goblet of Fire. While it may have seemed to others that he was frustrated that the boy would receive yet more attention, he was probably worried about Harry’s safety.

Severus Snape and the Dark Mark

The events around Harry entering the Tournament were very suspicious. At the same time, Snape’s Dark Mark was getting stronger, which suggested that the Dark Lord was returning. The Dark Mark was given to Death Eaters by Lord Voldemort.

Igor Karkaroff, the Headmaster of one of the rival schools, also had a Dark Mark. He often wanted to speak to Snape about what the strengthening of the mark meant.

Snape must have received the call to join the Dark Lord at the cemetery at Little Hangleton when he kidnapped Harry from the Tournament. But Snape did not go. He was still at Hogwarts when Harry returned with the dead body of Cedric Diggory and the tale of Lord Voldemort’s return. Snape was with Dumbledore when they discovered that Moody was really Barty Crouch Jnr. Snape gave him Veritas serum to get the full story from him.

Only later would Snape go to the Dark Lord. He claimed that he did not come sooner in order to maintain his position at Hogwarts so that he could continue to be a valuable spy for Lord Voldemort. The Dark Lord seems to have believed him. Probably because Snape willingly shared important information about Dumbledore, Hogwarts, and the Order of the Phoenix.

Severus Snape and the Order of the Phoenix

When Lord Voldemort returned, the Ministry of Magic decided to deny this possibility and instead claim that Dumbledore was pushing this agenda for his own purposes. Consequently, the Order of the Phoenix, which was created in the First Wizarding War, had to meet in secret. They set up headquarters at Grimmauld Place, the family home of Sirius Black.

Snape visited the headquarters on occasion. He always used the opportunity to antagonize Sirius Black, whose status as a wanted man meant that he was forced to stay in hiding and not contribute to the effort.

Back at Hogwarts, the Ministry was trying to keep a closer eye on Dumbledore and his activities. It sent Dolores Umbridge as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and High Inquisitor of Hogwarts. Like the other teachers, Snape resented Umbridge and her interference at Hogwarts. He was generally uncooperative with her attempts to restrict activities at the school.

Dumbledore also asked Snape to give Harry Occlumency lessons during the year. It had become clear that Harry and the Dark Lord shared some kind of mental connection. Dumbledore wanted Harry to be able to shut him out. Snape insisted that Harry tell other people that he was taking remedial potions lessons.

The mutual hostility between the two made the classes very difficult. Snape would always remove certain memories and store them in a pensive before giving Harry classes in order to protect those memories. One time, Harry was left alone in Snape’s office, and he saw Snape being bullied by his father. This breach of trust marked the end of their classes.

Severus Snape and the Battle of the Department of Mysteries

After Dumbledore was forced out of the school, Umbridge caught Harry breaking school rules and wanted to use Veritas serum to question him. She summoned Snape to provide the potion. He claimed that she had already used his full supply and that it would take a considerable time for him to make any more. It later turned out that Snape had previously supplied her with a fake potion.

As Snape went to leave, Harry gave him a cryptic message indicating that he had seen Sirius in the Department of Mysteries through his connection with Lord Voldemort. Due to Umbridge’s presence, Snape pretended that he had no idea what Harry was talking about. But Harry was also unsure if his message had gotten through. Harry made his own way to the Department of Mysteries with his friends.

Fortunately, Snape did pass on the message to the Order of the Phoenix. They were able to send a team to the Department to help the students, who had been ambushed by Death Eaters. The conflict that followed exposed the return of Lord Voldemort to the wizarding world.

Severus Snape and the Plot to Kill Albus Dumbledore

Before the start of the school year, Albus Dumbledore tracked down one of Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes, a ring that was made from the Resurrection Stone. Dumbledore put the ring on his finger, resulting in a terrible curse. When he returned to the school, Snape was able to slow the spread of the curse. But it became clear that Dumbledore’s time was limited. He had about a year.

At the same time, Lord Voldemort had given Draco Malfoy the task of killing Dumbledore. In order to save the boy’s soul and cement Snape’s false role with the Dark Lord, they agreed that Snape would need to be the one seen to kill the already dying Dumbledore. Snape was reluctant, pointing out that he had his own soul to worry about, but eventually agreed.

Later in the year, Snape would become frustrated by this promise. During the school year, Dumbledore gave Harry private lessons and Snape wanted to know what he was teaching the boy. When Dumbledore would not tell him, he complained that he trusted the boy more than him. He also suggested he might no longer wish to follow through with the plan. But Dumbledore reminded him that Snape had given him his word.

Since they had agreed on this plan, when Draco’s mother Narcissa asked Snape to help and protect her son and complete the task if he was unable, Snape was able to give an Unbreakable Vow.

Severus Snape and the Half Blood Prince

At the start of the school year, Dumbledore announced that Snape was finally taking up the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, with Horace Slughorn returning as potions master. While this shocked many of the students, it was a clear sign that Dumbledore believed that they were at the “end game”.

While Snape tried to convince Draco to confide in him about his plans, Malfoy no longer trusted the teacher. This was a combination of the stress the task placed on his shoulders, and not wanting Snape to swoop in and steal his glory.

Throughout the school year, Harry was using an old potions textbook full of tips that had helped him excel in that class. It turns out that the book had been Snape’s, and that he had written many of his personal spells in it. When Harry used the Sectumsempra spell on Draco Malfoy, seriously injuring him, Snape rushed to the scene to heal Draco and realized that Harry must have his book. He demanded that Harry hand over the book, but instead Harry hid it in the Room of Requirement.

Before the end of the school year, Dumbledore revealed to Snape that Harry himself would have to die for Lord Voldemort to be defeated. He needed Snape to pass this information to Harry at the right time. Snape was outraged that his years of work to protect the boy were all so that he could sacrifice himself.

Before leaving with Dumbledore to retrieve a Horcrux, Harry learned from Sybill Trelawney that it was Snape who had overheard the prophecy about him and Lord Voldemort and passed on the information, stoking his anger against Snape. While he tried to confront Dumbledore about this, the headmaster insisted that he trusted Snape.

Severus Snape and the Astronomy Tower

While Dumbledore and Harry were off retrieving the Horcrux, Draco Malfoy finally succeeded in smuggling a group of Death Eaters into the school. They battled with the teachers, members of the DA, and members of the Order of the Phoenix that were at Hogwarts.

Minerva McGonagall sent Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood to get Snape to join the fight. But instead of joining the fight, he went to the Astronomy Tower where Draco Malfoy and some of the Death Eaters had cornered Dumbledore, who had returned to the school. Dumbledore was greatly weakened by the potion of despair that he was forced to drink to acquire the Horcrux. Harry was under his invisibility cloak, immobilized by Dumbledore for his own protection.

When Snape arrived and saw the situation, he killed the headmaster himself, as they had agreed.

Harry chased Snape in his rage and anger and fired many curses at him that Snape easily blocked. He also jeered at Harry’s many mistakes and refused to fight back. This left Harry so frustrated that he threw the Sectrumspemra spell at Snape. The teacher knocked him down and revealed that he was the half-blood Prince and that this was his spell.

Snape was able to leave Hogwarts grounds and Disapparate to join Lord Voldemort. His position among the Dark Lord’s supporters was secured.

Snape Killing Dumbledore
Snape kills Albus Dumbledore

Severus Snape: The Inside Man

Snape appeared to join the Death Eaters full time after the death of Albus Dumbledore. But he was still working to protect Harry Potter.

For example, Lord Voldemort wanted to attack Harry on the day that he would be moved from the house of the Dursleys. The protection that Harry’s mother gave him with her death would expire at this time. Snape told the Death Eaters the correct date for the move to prove his loyalty to the Death Eaters.

However, at the same time, he used Mundungus Fletcher to give the Order of the Phoenix the idea of using decoy Harrys to protect the boy and did not provide that information, giving the Order an edge.

Snape participated in the Battle of the Seven Potters himself. He hit George Weasley with a Sectumsempra curse which caused him to lose his ear. However, he had been aiming the curse at a Death Eater who was about to use the Killing Curse on George disguised as Harry.

Nevertheless, at this time, everyone in the Order of the Phoenix believed that Snape had betrayed them.

Headmaster Severus Snape

When the Ministry of Magic fell to the Death Eaters in 1997, so did Hogwarts. Severus Snape was installed as the new headmaster, much to the anger of the other teachers. Nevertheless, the teachers also returned in order to ensure the protection of the students, who were now legally required to attend Hogwarts. They did not realize that Snape was pursuing the same goal.

He was forced to appoint Amycus and Alecto Carrow, vicious Death Eaters, as teachers and Deputy Heads responsible for discipline. He protected students from them when he could by giving them detention in the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid, rather than punishment sessions with the Death Eaters.

Nevertheless, Snape was deeply disliked by most of the students. Neville Longbottom reformed Dumbledore’s Army in order to mount resistance to Snape and the Carrows. The group caused so much trouble that many of them needed to hide permanently in the Room of Requirement. While Snape probably knew about the room, he did nothing to try and stop the students.

Snape as Headmaster
Snape the Headmaster

Severus Snape and Gryffindor’s Sword

When Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour wanted to remove Gryffindor’s Sword from the Headmaster’s office after Dumbledore bequeathed it to Harry in his will, Snape ensured that he had a fake. This means that he could hold the sword for Harry and pass it to him at the right time.

Snape consulted with the portrait of Dumbledore that hung in the Headmaster’s office, and also used the portrait of Phineas Nigellus to keep tabs on Harry. Hermione had taken the other portrait of the former Headmaster than hung in Grimmauld Place with them when they started hunting Horcruxes.

Snape hid the sword in a frozen pool near Harry’s campsite and used his Patronus to call the boy’s attention to the location of the sword.

Severus Snape Leaves Hogwarts

When Harry, Hermione, and Ron returned to Hogwarts in search of the Horcrux associated with Rowena Ravenclaw, they soon ran into Professor McGonagall. She realized that this was the moment to take back control of the school.

McGonagall confronted Snape, and the two dueled. She soon overwhelmed him, or he at least let her believe so and he fled from Hogwarts. He was able to fly away from the school without a broom. It was commented that he must have learned this trick from the Dark Lord.

Death of Severus Snape

When the Battle of Hogwarts began in earnest, Lord Voldemort summoned Snape to meet him in the Shrieking Shack. Severus soon realized that he was in trouble, and repeatedly asked the Dark Lord to let him join the battle and bring him Harry Potter.

But Lord Voldemort had decided to kill Snape in order to gain control of the Elder Wand that he had taken from the body of Albus Dumbledore. He complained that the wand did not work properly for him because he had not conquered the wand’s master. He assumed that Severus had when he killed Dumbledore, and therefore that he in turn had to kill Snape.

Lord Voldemort did not realize that it was Draco Malfoy who had won the loyalty of the wand when he disarmed Dumbledore, and that its loyalty had since passed to Harry when he disarmed Draco at Malfoy Manor.

Voldemort ordered his snake Nagini to bite Snape, killing him with her poison. He did not wait to see his old servant die.

However, Harry had followed Snape to the meeting under his invisibility cloak. He revealed himself after Lord Voldemort left. Snape, now unable to speak, released a cloud of memories through his tears for Harry to take.

Snape's Death
Death of Severus Snape

The Memories of Severus Snape

During the break in the battle, Harry took Snape’s memories to the pensieve in Dumbledore’s office.

He saw how Snape and Lily had become friends when they were just nine years old and how they had remained friends for a number of years at Hogwarts. She also saw the two driven apart by Snape’s interest in the Dark Arts.

Next, Harry saw Snape desperately begging Dumbledore to hide Lily from Lord Voldemort and protect her. He also saw Snape agreeing to become a double agent and his devastation following Lily’s death.

Snape shared how he had stopped the spread of the curse from the ring Horcrux and how he agreed with Dumbledore that it should be Snape who kills him.

Finally, he saw the memory in which Dumbledore told Snape that Harry would have to die, giving Harry this vital piece of information at exactly the right moment.

Severus Snape’s Legacy

When Harry engaged with Lord Voldemort in their final duel, he informed the Dark Lord that Snape had never been his and that he had always worked for Dumbledore and the instrumental role that he had played in the Dark Lord’s demise.

Harry then informed others of Snape’s true heroics in the long battle against Lord Voldemort. As a result, Minerva McGonagall ensured that his portrait was hung alongside those of the other ex-Hogwarts headmasters.

Harry would eventually name his second son Albus Severus, after the two headmasters of Hogwarts who had helped him greatly.

Severus Snape Patronus

Severus Snape’s Patronus was a doe, which seems to have been the animal of Lily Potter. When Dumbledore revealed to Snape that Harry would have to die, Snape showed his Patronus to Dumbledore to show him that his love for Lily had not waned, even after all these years.

Snape Patronus Doe with Dumbledore
Snape’s Patronus

Severus Snape Personality Type & Traits

While Snape is eventually a hero in the Harry Potter books, he is not selfless. He turns away from the Dark Lord and commits to protecting Harry because of his love for Lily. If someone else had been targeted by Lord Voldemort, it seems likely that he would have done nothing.

While he is defined by his love for Lily, he is cold and calculating. It takes that kind of discipline to maintain a double life for almost 20 years and hide your thoughts and emotions from others. It also took that kind of discipline to be able to kill his friend and ally Albus Dumbledore, despite his own deep misgivings.

Severus Snape Zodiac Sign & Birthday

Severus Snape was born on 9 January 1960, which means that his zodiac sign is Capricorn, the same as Lord Voldemort. People born under this sign tend to be methodical and meticulous. They are also very focused on their own goals and aspirations to the exclusions of all others. This gives the ability to be ruthless.

Capricorns are good at keeping their emotions hidden, but they are always bubbling under the surface. This results in an intensity that is often clearly visible to others, though difficult to understand.