And what was the nature of Snape’s relationship with Lily Potter? One would have thought they were best friends, but how could Snape expect to have kept that friendship alive with his deteriorating attitude and his dwelling into the dark arts?
As readers delve into the seven novels outlining the story of Harry Potter and his quest to find his past and destroy Lord Voldemort, we also find ourselves being shown a more dynamic picture of how it all began. At first we are all given sight into the prophecy unknowingly given by Professor Trelawney and overheard by Snape who then brandished this information to Lord Voldemort. But Snape had not heard the entire prophecy and thus his error led to the killing of Lily Potter and her husband James whom Snape despised.
Now there are many speculations into why Snape had done this. Into Why Lord Voldemort had chosen to go after Harry instead of Neville Longbottom who was also born around the same time and could have also been the “chosen one”.
The obsession Snape had with Lily was not only uncomfortable but fatally fanatic. He never read the signs in all his years of knowing Lily that she would despise anyone who delved into the dark arts. He never took her kind and delicate nature into consideration, only seeing what he himself wanted to see. His obsession soon became emotionally battering as his jealousy of James Potter turned him against Lily. So one, seeing as how he always reacted when James was around, could conclude that with the announcement of their marriage and having bore James’s son, Snape would seek revenge not only on James Potter, his son Harry, but Lily as well.
Could Snape, in such an obsessive rage have set up his beloved in a moment of fury as he had once done when he called her a Mudblood? Had he told Lord Voldemort about Harry in his peak of rage, and then felt terribly guilty later about what he had done?
But then Snape turned a new leaf. Upon the death of his beloved Lily, he promised Dumbledore he would help protect Harry should Lord Voldemort rise again. But that promise didn’t stop Snape from making every moment spent in Harry’s company a pleasant occurrence. In fact, Snape made a point to bully Harry, encouraging Harry to snap back in order to give him detention or remove points from the Gryffindor house.
So how could one truly believe that Snape had anything but hate towards Harry Potter?
There were so many contradicting instances where the reader, had they not paid close attention, could undoubtedly become confused.
Snape hated Harry but kept a close eye on Professor Quirrell in the “sorcerer’s Stone” at the bequest of Dumbledore. Snape trained Harry with Occlumency, a strengthening of the mind in order to keep Lord Voldemort out, at the instructions of Dumbledore. Yet during each lesson, he disdainfully chastised Harry so much the boy nearly broke. It was Snape who made sure Harry could retrieve the sword of Gryffindor, it was Snape who worked as a double agent between Lord Voldemort and Dumbledore & the order of the phoenix in order to help the order stay one step ahead of Voldemort, and to keep Snape as his most informative so as not to suspect fraud.
Even as we looked into Snape’s memories, we found that he had a peculiar way of showing his feelings. So much so that readers have to decide for them selves if they believe Snape really cared for Lily and that her death had really destroyed his resolve to entertain dark magic.
We follow Snape as he relives the reasons for his hatred of James Potter a man that bullied him and stole the love of his life. We find that Snape, so much like Voldemort, blamed others for his misfortune instead of looking at the clear picture in front of them.
Snape, being that he had known Lily the longest, had ample opportunity to show his care of her. He knew her better than Potter and yet he chose to explore the dark arts, chose to become a death eater, chose to work alongside the Dark Lord instead of following a better path with the love of his life.
One can only speculate if Snape somehow had the ambition to be an evil ruler himself, as he named himself the half-blood Prince. I had no doubt it wasn’t just his lineage that brought on this name. He must have had ambitions to conquer the magic & muggle world.
He should have known that walking this path would put off Lily so much so that the bullying from James Potter and his friends seemed innocent at best. Why then, didn’t Snape prove his love? Why didn’t he do more than stand outside the Gryffindor Portrait hole refusing to leave? He should have done more than say “sorry”.
Instead at the breaking of their friendship, he delved more into the dark arts. And from there the history of his misdeeds continued. Until that is, he became the sole source of information that caused the death of the woman he so called loved.
This also led me to wonder, if the horrible way in which Snape died, was poetic justice for his misdeeds throughout his life. It also puzzled me, if the manner of his death was the reason Harry so quickly forgave him.
After all the way in which we followed Snape throughout the series was a little misleading. He was almost like two personalities; struggling with his grief while being more humbled, and the wicked Snape we knew from the beginning; a bully, a liar and a conniving miscreant.
While this behavior can be justified, he was in fact working against Voldemort, I still wonder if he had really changed. Had he really somewhere in his duty to watch over Potter, began to love the boy as if he was his own? Had he cared? Had the purity of his acts of good finally broken through to him and he changed for good?
One can only Ponder the musings of Severus Snape a man who once coveted the dark arts like a blanket, but loved to a point of obsession a woman so far out of his reach it was devastating. And one must wonder, had Snape not been the one to tell Lord Voldemort about the prophecy setting off a chain of events leading up to the death of Lily Potter, if he would eventually have changed his ways for the better.
I would like to hope so.