ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

Has there ever been a more distressing case of a man being persecuted for staying true to his heart than ? In the tragic story which shadowed 's own throughout all seven books, the unwavering adoration of Severus for Lily Potter, Harry's mother, was the unsung heroic tale of the Hogwarts series and ultimately, ended up saving Harry's life on more than one occasion.

Now, in honor of both Snape's birthday and the anniversary of Alan Rickman's (who immortalized Snape in the Harry Potter movies) death, both of which take place this week, Pottermore has released a Series of excerpts explaining what each of the Harry Potter books would look like if told from Snape's perspective. Get those tissues ready as they're Severus-ly heartbreaking.

Prologue: Severus Snape, The Half-Blood Prince

  • A Teenage Boy With A Huge Heart
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

To tell the true tale of Severus Snape we have to start at the beginning — the very beginning. Once, like Harry, Severus was an awkward young Hogwarts student with greasy hair, a bucket load of crippling insecurities and a huge crush on fellow Hogwarts classmate, Lily Evans. Even when Lily went on to marry James Potter, his Hogwarts tormentor, even when Snape became a Death Eater and even after she was murdered by Voldemort himself, Severus never stopped fiercely loving Lily.

  • From Death Eater To Savior

So great was Severus's love for Lily that after her death, and under Dumbledore's protection, he took a job at Hogwarts as the resident Potions Master to begin what would become his greatest legacy: to secretly protect the only thing left of Lily in the world, her son with a lightning scar upon his forehead.

1. Severus Snape And The Philosopher's Stone

  • Snape, Harry And The Two-Faced Villain

Frustratingly, however, when Harry arrived at Hogwarts he looked rather like his father, a man who had bullied Snape throughout his student years which, while never distracting him from his plan to protect him, made it difficult for Snape to like him. However, during Harry's first year at Hogwarts, Dumbledore and Snape had bigger shrake to fry: Professor Quirrell was out to steal The Philosopher's Stone.

After thwarting Quirrell's robbery attempts which saw him jinxing Harry's broom during a Quidditch match and setting some trolls loose in the dungeons, Snape helped to shut the literally two faced traitor down — although Harry took all the glory.

2. Severus Snape And The Chamber Of Secrets

  • While Keeping A Low Profile, Snape Still Manages To Impart Vital Wisdom

This year, Snape managed to take more of a backseat in Harry Potter's life, however he never kept him far from his watchful gaze. However, he did encourage Hermione and Harry to discover these two essential magical phenomena:

  • Polyjuice Potion
  • Expelliarmus

3. Severus Snape And The Prisoner Of Azkaban

  • Snape Must Confront The Childhood Bullies Of His Past

Like something out of a twisted nightmare, in Harry Potter's third year at Hogwarts Snape had to confront the bullies of his adolescence: Sirius Black, Petter Pettigrew, Remus Lupin and, to a certain extent, James Potter. After Lupin (a werewolf) snatched Snape's dream job as Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Snape was not best pleased and may have inadvertently taught his class in a cover lesson how to detect a werewolf, for strictly educational reasons, of course.

  • Sirius Is Finally Held Accountable For His Years Of Bullying
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban [Credit: Warner Bros.]
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban [Credit: Warner Bros.]

While all this was going on, Harry's godfather Sirius Black was on the run after escaping from Azkaban. Exacting his adolescent revenge upon him, Snape made sure Sirius was brought to justice and after discovering him in the Shrieking Shack, and was hailed as a hero by Cornelius Fudge. All in all, not a bad year for Severus.

4. Severus Snape And The Goblet Of Fire

  • The Triwizard Tournament & The Rise Of The Dark Lord

While Hogwarts was distracted with hosting the Triwizard Tournament, Snape was busy struggling with the fact that his Dark Mark was becoming increasingly pronounced, confirming his greatest fear that the Tournament had inadvertently allowed the Dark Lord to return in relative secrecy. It is here that Snape undertook the most dangerous mission of his life under the request of Dumbledore, and aimed to once again join the Death Eaters and fashion himself as a double agent to covertly protect Harry.

5. Severus Snape And The Order Of The Phoenix

  • In Which Snape Is A Secret Hero, But Brandished A Villain

While juggling being a Death Eater double agent on one hand, with the other he set out to teach Harry Potter the art of 'Occlumency,' which enables one to defend ones mind against external intrusion — here's looking at your Lordy V. He also covertly helped Harry numerous times all the while everyone still believed him to be an awful human being. Here's how he secretly aided Harry in this, the fifth Potter installment:

  • He gave Dolores Umbridge fake Veritaserum
  • When asked if he had any, he lied and said he didn't
  • He passed on Harry's message that Sirius had been captured to the Order of the Phoenix

6. Severus Snape And The Half-Blood Prince

  • Snape Kills What He Loves To Save Who He Is Protecting

After Dumbledore reveals to Snape that he is dying, it is further discovered that Draco Malfoy had been assigned by Voldemort to kill Dumbledore, but Dumbledore asks Snape to kill him instead, and asks him to look after Hogwarts in his stead. Upon further discovering that Harry is a Horcrux, Snape demonstrates his undying love for Lily by conjuring her patronus, a doe, and whispering the words "always." However, after completing his duty and killing Dumbledore, his closest friend, he was branded an irredeemable evil cretin by all not tainted by the Dark Lord.

7. Severus Snape And The Deathly Hallows

  • Hogwarts' First Death Eater, Double Agent Headmaster
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 [Credit: Warner Bros.]
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 [Credit: Warner Bros.]

Finding himself in perhaps one of the most anxiety inducing situations imaginable, at once having to appear loyal to Voldermort, take over Hogwarts as headmaster while trying to protect Harry who's in hiding for a good while, Snape finds this final chapter in his life particularly trying.

  • In His Final Moments, He Made The Ultimate Sacrifice For The Woman That He Loved

After sending Lily's doe patronus to guide Harry to the Horcrux-destroying Sword of Gryffindor, when Harry finally returns to Hogwarts for the final battle, Snape finds himself cast out of Hogwarts by his fellow teachers who believed him to be wholly evil. Upon checking in with Voldermort, Snape soon realized that he was on to his double agent bluff — but just a moment too late, with the Dark Lord's snake Nagini giving him a fatal bite to the neck.

However, all was not to be lost for the tragic hero. In his final moments Snape was able to complete his mission, passing on his memories to Harry who was secretly hiding nearby, which contained the key to destroying Voldermort and acting as his final gesture to the woman that he loved eternally.

  • But His Legacy Lives On

Although few ever knew the true sacrifice that Severus made for Lily and Harry, it made a great impact on Potter, so much so that 19 years later Harry would name his song 'Albus Severus Potter' after both Dumbledore and Snape, referring to Severus as:

"The bravest man I ever knew"



Is Severus Snape the true hero of Harry Potter?


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