Character Name: Severus Tobias Snape
PB: Goran Visnjic
Birthday: 9 January, 1960
Wand: Hazel (symbolizes intelligence, inspiration, and wrath) and Phoenix Feather core.
House in School: Slytherin as a student, Head of Slytherin House as Professor
Political View: Severus Snape is the consummate Slytherin. His political view is always coloured by that which will benefit himself. However, he is also one to be cautious and look at the ‘big picture’. In his youth he made a somewhat rash decision to join the Death Eaters in his quest for power, recognition and vengeance. Later he learnt that power was merely an illusion, and what he had really gained was slavery. In the process, he inadvertently caused the demise of one of the few people he had ever considered a true friend at that point in his life. His relationship with Lily Evans (whom he NEVER refers to as Lily Potter) was one of platonic friendship based on deep respect for a kindred intellectual spirit.
The Dark Lord’s determination to kill her child, which Severus learned of shortly after the child was born, is what brought Severus to Dumbledore, desperate to try and save her from his actions. No matter what outward appearance has been or continues to be, he has always been Dumbledore’s Man—even when he disagreed with the old man’s methods or opinions. In many ways, at the darkest point in his life, Dumbledore saved him from himself.
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 160 pounds
Eyes: Very, very dark brown.
Hair: Pitch black, shoulder length, lank
Build: Exceedingly thin
Basic Physical Description:
Severus Snape is tall and lanky. Actually scrawny, often too absorbed in his project of the moment or the stress of the war to pause for proper meals. He could not be considered ‘muscular’ by even the kindest observer. What muscle he has is wiry and well defined because there is little if any actual ‘fat’ on his thin frame—but not because of anything like exercise.
He wears his straight, black hair long, just brushing his shoulders. No grey interrupts the lank ebony locks. His skin and scalp are naturally oily, which is then exacerbated by his passion for potions and his tendency to linger over the simmering brews. He is naturally very fair in complexion, which often appears sallow or sickly in the sorts of yellow-gold fire-based lighting that wizards use.
His nose has been described in a variety of ways. Beaky. Aristocratic. Hooked. Roman. Regardless of the adjective used, it is impossible to deny that it is an impressive proboscis, long and rather slender, but with a pronounced ridge. High cheek bones, a high forehead, and a strong jaw ending in a rather pointed chin allow the nose to appear suitable to his face—but only just. It is still invariably one of the first things one notices, perhaps because one is avoiding peering into the glittering black eyes.
Thin but well-shaped lips might appear warm in a smile—if anyone ever saw a genuine smile there. He lost the habit of smiling in his youth when other school children took the mickey out of his slightly crooked teeth. Now those teeth have the added insult of the light stain common amongst tea-drinkers—and Severus is fond of his tea. It would be a lie to say that Severus never smiles, but it is indeed a rare occurrence, and is usually of the wicked or malicious variety. The rest of his expressive repertoire consists mostly of a wide selection of sneers, scowls, glares, and the occasional haughty smirk.
He is not particularly hirsute. His arms and legs are covered with a thin smattering of the coarse ebony hair. A similar sprinkling covers his chest. He is always clean-shaven.
Dress Style: Classical wizarding attire. He is not wealthy, but seventeen years of a decent job and no living expenses to speak of, allowed him to acquire enough finery to continue to move in the upper echelons of society, even if he has not true birthright to be there. His robes are always primarily black, though he occasionally wears dress robes accented with rich, dark colours—generally green or very, very dark purple. He never wears anything which might be considered ‘Gryffindor Scarlet’.
Unlike the school uniforms of his student days, he does dress in trousers beneath his tightly-buttoned frock-coat and billowing outer-robes. Indeed, he unconsciously wears his layers of clothing and multitudinous buttons as an outward expression of the massive mental and emotional walls he places between himself and the entire world around him.
Defining Marks: Numerous scars on his back from belt-lashes from his father and later magical lashes from his grandfather as a child with additional ‘punishments’ from his ‘Lord’ in his years as a Death Eater. Most of these are quite faded, leaving only fine-line tracings against his fair skin.
Severus Snape has had a hard life and the map of his skin reveals it.
A six inch scar runs across his right upper chest where he was hit with a curse in the final battle. His few days in Azkaban, awaiting the Ministry decision on the information provided by Albus’ Pensieve, allowed this wound to become infected before he was given proper medical treatment. It has left a more jagged, deeper scar with wider borders, and the puckered skin has not yet faded from pale pink to the white of the other, older scars. This curse left similar scars as it zigzagged across his abdomen running to the left, and then again across his left thigh and right knee.
His most defining mark, in his opinion, is the gaping void of pristine, pale flesh where once the Dark Mark was branded hideously into his flesh, reflecting the deeper branding of his soul.
It is unfortunate his life could not be made as whole and new as the flesh beneath that travesty.
Severus Malcom Kane Snape is exceedingly intelligent, suspicious, sarcastic, intolerant of idiocy, very, very intense in whatever ignites his true passion, and utterly disdainful of most things which do not. He is not a man to do things by halves. He has an intense, ingrained sense of honour but admittedly dubious morals. His first rule of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘evil’ is to apply one key test above all others: How will it affect ME? However, his word, once given, is set in stone. He would die before willingly breaking it—even if not under the onus of an Unbreakable Vow.
In spite of all appearances to the contrary, Severus did enjoy teaching to an extent. He even enjoyed teaching Potions. He knew, at the time he arrived at Hogwarts, that the Defence position was cursed. The Dark Lord was nothing if not a Narcissist, and often bragged of his deeds. He was quite proud that it was his curse which prevented competent teaching in that position.
The rumour that Severus wanted that position for all those years was a ruse, a means by which he could continue to feign disgruntlement with Albus so as not to appear ‘too comfortable’ at Hogwarts.
Though he did enjoy teaching it the final year of his time there.
Privately, he loathes incompetence and would have cheerfully used a time-turner to teach both classes, always, because he is quite certain that no one could teach either subject as well as he could do.
Most of his more severe and unfair punishments and favouritism were for the benefit of the children of the Death Eaters, as it was always necessary for those still at large to at least suspect that Severus was ‘loyal’.
Then again, even without the impetus of the war and his spy role, Severus would be a very, very harsh taskmaster. Perhaps slightly more fair, but certainly not more lenient. Anyone who dares say they passed his N.E.W.T. was nothing short of brilliant at Potions—or they did not pass.
Habits: Severus is a man of consistency and routine. Very much of his life has always been utterly outside of his control—so he rigidly controls everything he can. Tea is at the same time every day. His possessions are always in their precise locations—even if he isn’t especially tidy. A layer of dust might be found covering the various furnishings of his house, depending on what portion of his two-week cleaning cycle one was looking.
Not that many people are permitted within the small abode.
Defining Likes and Dislikes:
Severus likes quiet. He likes books. He is very, very fond of playing wizards chess when the opponent is a worthy one. Contrary to popular belief, his love of learning did translate into a love of teaching. However, he only loved teaching those who loved learning as much as he did. Teaching anyone else was simply casting pearls before swine. He loves brewing Potions. Loves. It. He likes classical music, though years of being Head of Slytherin forced him to be familiar with much of what passed for 'music' amongst the children as well, and he learned to tolerate it, if not to enjoy it.
He hates idiocy in all its many manifestations. He genuinely loathed James Potter and Sirius Black for far too many reasons than it is possible to enumerate here. He had managed just enough maturity by the time the Dark Lord returned, to stop actively wishing for Black's death... barely. But, he never managed to find enough 'charity' in his heart to feel any level of sympathy that the git was dead.
He hates being humiliated, or when someone gets the better of him. He hates being laughed at, and so has never learnt to laugh at himself.
Most of all, he hates all the sacrifices he has made in his life for some ethereal concept like the 'greater good' without ever receiving a drop of true recognition or appreciation for those sacrifices.
Often…: Makes routine rounds of all the various book stores in Britain and occasionally other areas of Europe. Outside his home, for continued security reasons, these excursions are random and carefully planned before hand. There are still those who would believe the world a much better place without Severus Snape within it.
Basic Strengths: His intelligence bordering on sheer genius (just ask him). Supreme confidence and ability to react well under the pressure of combat and emergency situations of all sorts. With the death of Albus Dumbledore and the Dark Lord, it might be reasonably argued that Severus Snape is the most skilled Occlumens and Legilimens currently living.
Basic Weaknesses: Tendency to ‘lose it’ when truly upset. Being frightened manifests itself in rage, as does being emotionally ‘hurt’ in some way, or even basic anger. Rage is Severus’ standard defence mechanism, and he is very, very good at it. Severus in a true rage is a frightening spectre.
Best Personality Features (Virtues): I’m sure there has to be one somewhere.
All joking aside, Severus is extremely, soul-immersingly intense in anything and everything which ignites his passion. When he set his mind to bringing about Voldemort’s downfall, no sacrifice was too great to achieve that end. Yes, he had some road-bumps along the way, and in the end he received no recognition for his crucial role in the process—but HE knows.
He is passionate about the Dark Arts—once in learning and growing them, later in fighting and defending against them, but he knows them and loves them.
He is passionate about Potions. There is a beauty and a subtlety to the softly simmering cauldron and its ephemeral swirling colours within… he can truly lose himself in the depths of a complex potion.
In the rare, rare occasions when his affections are touched, he is a loyal and true friend. He would have laid down his own life for Dumbledore. Indeed, it would have been preferable in many ways to his existence which followed. He was able to see the ‘bigger picture’ and the need to do what he did. He was able to love Dumbledore, in the end, enough to do the horrid act—even as he hated everyone in the world for bringing him to that point.
Severus knows his own intensity, and it is another reason he fears to allow himself to ‘love’.
Worst Personality Features (Vices): Long-term grudge holding. Severus has taken grudge-holding to new and heretofore unparalleled heights. Forgiving those who have ‘slighted’ him would force him to look at his own actions in need of forgiveness.
In that path lies nothing but despair.
It is comforting, in a twisted sense, for Severus to hold onto flawed and worst-possible beliefs of others in order to not feel quite so wretched about himself.
Introvert/Extrovert Even in this, Severus is the perfect dichotomy, as he is in nearly everything he does. He is the classic, consummate introvert—who is able to play the role of extrovert to the surrounding world. Not that he is ever friendly or outgoing! Careful self-instruction of all the important refinements of higher society enables him to move gracefully amongst his equals and superiors.
He is supremely self-confident in his formidable intelligence (just ask him), his unparalleled (in his mind) skill with Potions, and his skill as a tactician. The Dark Lord never broke his Occlumency, though he believes that perhaps Albus Dumbledore could have broken him had he wished. That great wizard never made the attempt at such a violation.
Pride and hauteur are as much a part of Severus Snape as his lank hair and prodigious nose. No one else could have endured what he endured in his role as a spy, or carried it off to such success.
Needless to say, this has also increased his bitterness, for he has never received recognition for the hideous sacrifices he has been forced to make for the ‘good’ of the wizarding world—a world which has always held him in distrust and disdain.
Self-loathing then steps in to allow him to wallow in masochistic angst. Why should he deserve recognition or praise for what he has done? Most of his sacrifices have been a poor and often unsuccessful attempt to remedy the ramifications of his prior actions!
It is very suiting that he is now utterly alone and despised by all (in his perspective). All his machinations for respect, power, prestige… brought nothing but pain and suffering to himself and all those around him.
Severus is a teeming mass of conflicting emotions, narcissism and insecurities, which would be expected of any human being who had endured what he has endured. Severus prefers to think of himself as better than any ‘normal’ human being, and generally attempts to stifle any emotions with rigid self-control.
When that control snaps, the rage which inevitably results is very often just as much internally directed as externally—though those external to him are generally too busy fighting for their very lives to give this thought much consideration.
Boggart Would Be: Voldemort returned yet again. It would mean that everything he tried to do to atone for his actions was for naught, and that he had truly and utterly failed in the end. Besides the simple fact that Voldemort was completely terrifying when alive. Anyone who claims to have ever stood before the Dark Lord in his strength without abject terror lurking somewhere in their soul, is a bloody LIAR!
Patronus Would Be: Severus does not have a strong enough ‘happy’ memory to produce a corporeal Patronus. He does have strong enough magic and formidable force of will to produce a substantial enough mist to be able to accomplish Order communications when necessary, but his Patronus has never held a from.
If and when he ever produces one, it will be a Phoenix.
Ambiguous. Honestly, even Severus is unsure. He suspects that he must be bisexual, if not wholly homosexual, simply because he has never yet met a woman for whom he felt any romantic inclination—aside from the few, brief yet obligatory adolescent snogs while still in school. Females are utterly foreign creatures, prone to emotional swings and tears at odd moments—he finds them more than a little frightening.
In truth, he finds the thought of that level of intimacy with anyone more than a little frightening, To say Severus has issues with trust would be an understatement of prodigious proportions. It is impossible for him to consider being intimate with someone he does not fully trust, and it seems quite unlikely that there is anyone with whom he would ever develop that level of trust.
Severus Snape is a virgin in every sense of the word. He is not asexual—he indulges in self-pleasure when his body’s needs refuse to be ignored, but he has never been physically intimate with another person.
Occupation: He considers his role as ‘spy’ as his most important occupation. Reluctant bodyguard of one Harry James Potter is a close second. He also has a personal agenda—if others of ‘his’ Snakelets might be protected or ‘redeemed’, he will try to make certain they have that opportunity.
However, as far as his ‘official’ occupation, Severus still considers himself a Potions master and a Professor, first and foremost—though for the last three years he has been a Death Eater of the highest standing. Only two living people know that he has still been spying for the Order—Remus Lupin and Aberforth Dumbledore.
His years as a spy—and a very skilled one at that—have enabled him to be able to blend in almost anywhere. His youthful upbringing amongst Muggles and the fact he continued to reside in that house during the summer holidays during his teaching years, means Severus can even blend in amongst Muggles when the situation requires it, however distasteful it might be. He even owns a Muggle auto, though he seldom uses it.
Residence: Spinner’s End through the war, though often he was a ‘guest’ at his Master’s home when brewing difficult potions, and expects to live out the rest of his very short days in Azkaban.
Finacial Status: Well enough. Severus is exceedingly frugal from his impoverished youth. Years of being a Professor, with no living expenses to speak of, enabled him to save a tidy sum. After leaving Hogwarts and being forced to go into hiding, he earnt his living these last three years selling questionable potions via owl-order using a pseudonym and a post-office box.
Father: Tobias Snape. Muggle. Drunk. Common laborer in the Mill. Dead, dead, dead. Severus has never discussed with anyone how his father died. Even Albus did not know. The truth, of course, is that Tobias' murder was Severus' 'test' to earn him admittance into the Death Eaters. Voldemort has never been accused of being terribly original.
Mother: Eileen Prince. Pureblood from a relatively poor line. Gradually lost her magic in despair as she came to realise that her husband did not love her as she loved him, and disowned by her family upon her marriage to a mere Muggle, leaving her nowhere to turn when she finally thought to attempt to escape the misery.
The beatings increased in frequency and severity when Severus’ magic began to manifest itself in odd explosions and fiery eruptions. Severus believed himself to be a Muggle until after his mother’s death—indeed, he did not know of ‘magic’ and did not know there was an alternate state of being!
When his father’s drunken rages turned their focus upon him, odd things would happen—intensifying the drunken man’s anger and Severus’ fear, as he did not understand what was happening to him. Eileen would attempt to come between her monstrous husband and young son, but usually only served to get them both beaten savagely.
Sister/Brother: None, thank Merlin.
Others: Malcom Prince, grandfather, well-known shop-keeper of an apothecary in Knockturn Alley, now deceased.
Severus was just nine years old when his mother died from one of the more severe beatings. She had scarcely drawn her last breath when a strange, dark man arrived at the filthy Yorkshire house in which Severus had dwelled, and without a word to his father, Malcom grabbed Severus by the upper arm and suddenly the world tilted on its axis. When it had righted itself again, they were on a small path leading to the strangest shop he had ever seen.
The Apothecary in Knockturn Alley owned and run by the Prince family.
Eileen had been Malcom’s only child, as is true for many pureblood families, and their only hope for continuance of that branch of the Prince line, even if the name did not follow her
They were not wealthy, but they were very skilled. Severus was quickly immersed in the world in which he ought to have been born. He was given his mother’s old school books and devoured them hungrily. Severus was only ten at the time. The work was hard, the hours interminable, and the ‘love’ from this new ‘family’ nonexistent. Beatings were still a routine part of his existence, but they were now purposeful and could be avoided. A ruined potion was worth ten lashes with the strop. Remaking the batch before morning’s shop opening meant he would be allowed meals.
He was not averse to hard work, and had long since learnt to ignore physical pain. His innate, burning ambition served him well, and the Prince patriarch decided he was proved ‘useful enough’ to warrant further education. Valuable resources were spent to provide the young Severus with proper tutors to rid him of his coarse Yorkshire accent—lessons that Severus practised religiously.
|History from student days at Hogwarts to the present time|
Student days at Hogwarts: Severus Snape's student days at Hogwarts were nothing short of hell. He was homely. He was poor. He was a half-blood in Slytherin House at a time when Pureblood Power was all the rage. Inside his House or out, he had to claw and fight for every drop of recognition and respect he could get. His intellectual brilliance served him well—many of his Housemates soon found use for him in aiding in their lessons.
If he delved into the Dark Arts when at home with his grandfather more than a student strictly ought to have done... well, can he be blamed for wanting to defend himself? Or perhaps gain a touch of vengeance in the defence? If he rapidly became known for knowing more Dark Spells in his first year than most knew in their seventh... can he be blamed if his brilliance allowed him to intuitively understand how to manipulate the magic into spells of his own creation?
He wanted friends. When he arrived at school, he was an eleven-year-old child, like everyone else. He wanted acceptance. He wanted to laugh and joke and play.
Severus learned very, very early in life that what he wanted was never relevant.
He even liked Remus Lupin at the first. Does that surprise you? Remus was likeable enough. Quiet. Intelligent. Friendly.
Too bad he was also a monster.
That might not even have been the death blow of the friendship-that-never-was, had he not tried to KILL Severus.
Okay. Severus Snape is now an adult. Mostly. Intellectually, he realises that Lupin was not really involved in that attack.
However, he also remained friends with the bastard who was.
It is easier for Severus to hold the grudge against the whole lot of them, than to have to look closely at his own choices at that time in his life which drove him inevitably toward the Death Eaters. In a way, it is convenient to blame 'the Marauders' for a great many things, rather than shoulder any personal responsibility in that entire series of events.
When he could absorb himself in learning—of any sort—he was at peace. He read so voraciously and rapidly that Madam Pince often exclaimed that he might succeed in reading the entire Library before he finished school.
He took that as a personal challenge, and did make the attempt. He was unsuccessful as a student, but once he returned as a Professor he took it up again, and within five years had, indeed, read every book in the place.
Many of them were excruciatingly boring.
His only true friend at school was Lily Evans—again, another surprise. However, she was even more frightened and shy than he was when he first met her on the train, and in that quiet train-journey to school, they discovered a kindred similarity in love of learning and books. Once Severus realised what a difficulty his own blood-status was going to cause him, he took care to conceal his friendship with Lily, or to convey it as ‘using her’ for ‘study assistance’ when they were seen studying together in the library or on the grounds. They would snicker in shared disgust at Potter’s showing off and antics to try and get her attention, and plot new ‘lines’ she could throw at him whenever he was bold enough to actually accost her. It was Severus’ friendship with Lily which added to Potter’s dislike of him and increased Severus’ status as ‘target practise’ whenever Potter had a new prank to try out.
This friendship ended in Severus’ sixth year, though it had been getting uncomfortably rocky prior to that point. Severus was beginning to truly desire the power and influence his Slytherin Housemates spoke of, and his sharp intelligence had brought him to the attention of influential students in his House right from the start. Lucius Malfoy, several years Severus’ senior, had made note of Severus in the two years they were in school together, and made a point to speak with him during the summer holidays when he was in Knockturn Alley. The promise of power was very seductive. Lily tried to get Severus to see the falsehood in that promise—but her betrayal in siding with Potter, Black and Lupin after Black tried to kill Severus caused Severus to end all voluntary contact with her, from his side.
Lily, who was truly a good person in more ways than Severus could ever enumerate, never stopped trying to be Severus’ friend, trying to bring Severus ‘back’ to the ‘light’, never stopped sending him occasional letters, even after school was over, encouraging him to ‘change his ways’.
It was this abiding compassion for him, even after he had sunk to depths even he would not have thought possible, which did, indeed, eventually bring him back to Albus Dumbledore, quite literally on his knees. Severus had no idea which unborn child was indicated in the Prophecy. Indeed, he, himself, holds little stock in such nonsense, and had no idea Lily was even pregnant at the time.
However, when he found out who it was, or at least which child Voldemort had chosen to attempt to eliminate, Severus was spurred to action. Fear of what was going to happen to Lily, the attempt which was going to be made on the life of her child, brought Severus to Dumbledore, broken, remorseful, terrified of that which he was powerless to stop—and that which HE started! The baby was going to be killed because of information Severus provided—and Severus knew Lily well enough, even then, to know she would do whatever she could to protect her child. The Dark Lord would not be able to kill the child without killing Lily first.
Lily’s last letter to him contained a photo of her, beaming radiantly and holding her smiling baby. He still carries it. It is THIS which was the reason Dumbledore trusted Severus all those years.
Severus, I knew you weren't one of them! Not really. Not in your heart. We’re safe. Albus warned us and we’ve gone to hiding. I won’t say how or where, but rest easy that we’re safe. Sirius helped us… I had wanted to ask Remus, but you know how close James and Sirius are. We haven’t seen Remus in quite some time.
Don’t worry over me. I have to fight, you know that. I’m not afraid. But if the worst should happen… please, for the sake of our friendship… watch over my son? Always your friend, Lily
The beautiful young woman and the smiling baby still wave up at him from the worn and creased photograph, mocking him.
Harry Bloody Potter represents both the best and the worst of Severus’ life—his mother’s eyes accuse him of every horrific crime Severus has ever committed—causing her own demise tops on that list. His father’s features remind him of the arrogant prat and all the torment Severus suffered at Potter’s hand. Severus blames himself for Lily’s death—but he blames James, Sirius and Harry just as much!
Severus lived only three years of his adult life outside of Hogwarts, between completing his time as a student and beginning his time as professor. During those three years, he descended into a sort of hedonistic orgy of power and lies. He would like to believe there had been some noble purpose to what he did—but Severus never knowingly permits self-deception.
Even after Lily’s death, Dumbledore refused to turn Severus over to the Dementors in spite of his pleading for him to do just that. Dumbledore saved him from himself, allowed him a position at the school where he held something like prestige, gave him a purpose and a means to attempt some level of atonement for his actions. Dumbledore gave him a fresh start in a life that ought to have been forfeit for a myriad of reasons.
Dumbledore gave him the chance to actively attempt to save other students from his same fate. Does this surprise you? Oh, yes, Severus Snape felt a distinct sense of proprietary protectionism when it came to his Snakelets. He had to be cautious—he could never tip his hand or jeopardize his role as spy. But he never deliberately led his Slytherins to the Dark Lord and occasionally succeeded in subtly nudging them away.
Even at the bitter end.
Not the war’s end—Dumbledore’s end.
At that moment, Severus thought it was indeed the end of his own life as well. What use was it to live on? Yes, he was then deeply imbedded into the Dark Lord’s ranks, to be sure—but to what purpose?
It was, indeed, the hardest, bravest, most hideous thing he had ever done in his life—to level that wand at that man and utter those words as though they were ripped from his very soul… ’Avada Kedavra!’
That action saved Draco from irrevocably shattering his own soul. Dumbledore’s insistence that he do so, that Severus be the one to do it in the end, if it came to that, placed the choice and the power in Dumbledore’s hands, protecting what withered portion of Severus’ own soul might still remain.
Dumbledore’s sacrifice was made in love—love of his students and his school and the world he was striving with his last breath to save—and love of Severus. Severus’ ability to do it, was also out of love, in the end, though Severus himself would never admit such a thing. Deep, abiding love and respect for Albus, and lifelong fondness for Draco, enabled him to do the thing—in spite of the rage at being placed in such a situation or the self-loathing which enveloped him that he could be capable of doing such a thing to such a man.
The purpose, of course, was to be the ultimate spy. Utterly above suspicion, even from Bellatrix.
In this way, Severus was gradually able to learn clues as to the locations of the remaining Horcruxes, though he could not actively seek them. He fed the information he was able to find to Remus Lupin and Aberforth Dumbledore during the war, and these two individuals passed it to Harry and his friends. Severus was adamant that no one else learn of his duplicity—his own life and ability to complete the task depended on the Dark Lord not learning of it, and few could be trusted to have strength, skill, or cunning enough to keep the information concealed.
Severus had not expected to survive the end of the war. He was Slytherin to the core. In spite of the deepest depths of his own despair and grief at killing the only person he had ever truly loved like a father, he had continued to perform as he was intended. That, of course, was to secretly feed information to the Order so subtlety, even they did not know its source.
Severus is nothing, if not a survivor, first, foremost and always.
|Snape Specific Information as Professor at Hogwarts|
Please make note of this for former students role-playing with this character, especially Slytherins.
Severus Snape, as a Professor, was rigidly strict with his students. His genius in Potions was well established, but he had very little patience for students who did not take their work seriously. ((ooc: I can give you a mountain of canon evidence for this if you like. I will find myself very annoyed if someone tries to play a former-student of the good Professor as being better at Potions than he is—or even remotely close in skill without a good deal of canon evidence to back your claim—just fyi.)) He could tell at a glance precisely which step or ingredient had been botched—and generally made certain every other student in the class was aware of it as well.
He did, indeed, favour Slytherin House when it came to House points, both in awarding and deducting—but the worst favouritism occurred in the classes with Harry Bloody Potter in attendance. While Snape would be the first to tell you that he genuinely despised the boy’s ‘hero’ status and general adulation of the rest of the wizarding world, it is also true that he was deliberately harsher to the miscreant in his class than he was normally prone to being. This, of course, was because of the numerous children of Death Eater parents also in attendance—Draco Malfoy and cronies to be specific.
Severus never doubted the Dark Lord’s eventual return. His Dark Mark did not vanish after the attack on the infant Potter, it merely faded. He and Dumbledore had long agreed that it was vital that Severus maintain his connections with the Death Eaters and keep all appearances of being still ‘in the fold’.
As proof of this, one might consider the Filibuster’s firework in a cauldron in Potter’s second year of school. Do you really believe that Severus, an accomplished Legilimens, staring the twelve-year-old-boy down in the class, couldn’t easily see the guilty truth on the surface of his thoughts?
It only took a moment’s consideration to decide how to address the situation. No one else knew for certain that it was Potter, so giving the incident a ‘pass’ would not harm his standing in the eyes of the Slytherins. It also would not do, at that point in time, to allow Potter to know how easily he was ‘read’. Never reveal all your strengths to your opponents. He ‘pretended’ not to know who was responsible, but also attempted to keep a closer eye on Potter after that—with limited success—that bloody cloak!
There were many such occasions when he could have gotten the boy in more trouble than he did, but chose not to. Mostly this was out of respect for Dumbledore and recognition that the boy would be crucial in the eventual defeat of the Dark Lord. If a tiny bit of this ‘leniency’ was for the fact that the boy’s mother had once called him ‘friend’… well, he wasn’t about to let anyone know THAT.
In spite of his unpleasant mannerisms and harsh techniques, the fact remains that Severus was very skilled at his subject. Students who were willing to apply themselves would learn a great deal. There were student labs, which were free to use outside of class hours, and he even made a point to monitor the use of these labs. He was even ‘accidentally’ available for questions if a student was struggling. If they were genuinely trying, and asked intelligent questions, he would stay and assist them until they grasped the concept at hand.
The rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin was well established long before he took the post. If he gleefully took up the challenge… well… one could hardly expect anything less. In general the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw students found him to be a very strict teacher and hard task-master, but they rarely saw him in the extremes that the Slytherins and Gryffindors witnessed.
It was not by accident that all his classes were in that specific combination.
As Head of House
Severus was also especially protective of his Slytherins. His ‘snakelets’ he would refer to them fondly. (Or what passed as ‘fondly’ for Severus!) They were the most disliked House in the school, for no other reason than the historical past of their House founder. In many ways, they were the ‘underdogs’—even the wealthiest purebloods among them.
They fought against a sort of reverse-prejudice even before they had the opportunity to decide their political loyalties for themselves. Did his House produce the most Death Eaters because the children entering it were genuinely disposed to be ‘evil’? Or because they received outside parental pressure to follow in the family ‘footsteps’? Or did they make that choice because the prejudice of the world around them made them feel as though they had no other options?
They were the most obvious targets for Death Eater recruitment, but there were many students he was able to surreptitiously steer away from that path without revealing his motivations. Helping this or that student get an apprenticeship with this or that shopkeeper often went far toward that end—for the less wealthy families at least. While he was Head of House, they were at least given the information that there were other options.
He took his duties as Head of House extremely seriously. Every portrait in the entire Slytherin Dorm was charmed to report directly to him—it is likely the other Heads had the same things in their dorms. The Bloody Baron was a useful source of information, and he kept a great number of surveillance charms active through out the dormitory.
Undoubtedly, there were things his Slytherins got ‘up to’ outside the realm of their dormitory, of which he was unaware. It is exceedingly unlikely that anything occurred within the walls of that sanctuary, which he did not know about. This is not to say he intervened or prevented much of the activity—but he did monitor it closely. Even down to the more ‘minor’ things like ensuring contraceptive potions were easy to ‘steal’ from his store cupboards—and were always in plentiful supply.
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