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Submitted on
November 26, 2012


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Now that I have probably angered a bunch of Snape fans, let me explain.

I love Snape and his death broke my heart, and of course I wanted him to live! I wanted him to live because I felt he deserved better than dying the way he did, never having a chance to really make his own life, as he was always bound to his dead love, his guilt, mistakes, and his masters.

However when I really think about it in a canon sense, and more detached from my Snape-love, it really makes perfect sense to me that he died and it seems right that he did.

If Snape had survived the war, what sort of life would he have had after? Fanfictions deal with this a lot, and in many varying ways. I love to read about "Snape survived" fanfictions because the possibilities are interesting and endless. Does Snape get away from it all in a quiet cottage in the Orkneys? Does he stay at Hogwarts and take up his old post as Potions Master? Does he spend the rest of his life with effects from Nagini's bite? Does he finally move on, and by some strange fluke, a relationship begins to build with someone? Does he fall in love again, and finally get closure to his past with Lily? Does he have children, and become a wonderful father? Does he start a mail order potions service? Does he serve time in Azkaban? Is he pardoned for the Mark on his arm, and lauded a hero?

The list is really endless of 'what ifs'. But when canon comes into play, I really don't think any of those good things would have happened, or could have happened.

I do like reading other Snape pairings, but the TRUTH is that Snape loved Lily, and he would ALWAYS love Lily. I don't think he would ever stop, and I think allowing himself to even have a hint of romantic feelings to someone else would have felt like a betrayal to her. Snape does not half-ass things, he does them head on, fervently, with obsession. Snape's torch for Lily is one big ass torch and I don't think he would allow anything to put the smallest damper on it.

If Snape had survived, what would he have really done after the war? He spent his life first serving Voldemort, Dumbledore, and his lost love. He was always driven and chained by his love, passion, and guilt. Snape and Lily is not a pretty love story at all, and Snape is a very tragic figure. We like to emphasize how hard Snape loved, how fully he loved, but it really is a sad and miserable sort of love. As a result of his actions he had driven most likely the one person who had ever cared for him away. If that wasn't enough that he ruined a relationship that meant so much to him, his actions later result in her death. In my mind Snape doesn't ever think to himself 'Voldemort killed Lily' I feel like he would always think 'I KILLED LILY'. Like I said, Snape does something, he does not half ass it. I think this would include self-blame. When he was with Dumbledore after her death, he was practically suicidal.

After the war Snape would no longer be indebted to a master, and he would have served his purpose to protect Harry. What would there be left for Snape to do? He had basically spent his entire life since the age of nine (minus the part in between where he lost his head, called her a Mudblood, and got a ridiculous tattoo) being a willing slave to his love for Lily. When it was all done, what was really left? What purpose would Snape's life now have? He never seemed to like teaching much, so I doubt he would have found much in returning to teach, unless it was just routine and familiarity...which are both good things.

I think his life would be strange to him having nothing to really be dedicated to any longer. I don't really think he would have felt closure, as even if Lily forgave him, I really don't think Snape would ever find it in himself to forgive himself. He is a man who holds grudges, and don't think he makes an exception for himself. His life would be lonely, because he would not find someone else to share it with. I think he would just continue to be miserable, lonely, and dissatisfied with his life, and that really saddens me.

Snape's death was good for him. His life was the ultimate price he could have given for his love, and I think he had no problem dying for Lily. I think if needed, he would have died for her over, and over, and over again. I don't think anything else would have ever been enough, in his mind. No amount of service, dedication, protection, spying, risk-taking, years, decades, just none of it would have ever been enough in his mind, I think.

I think Snape also finds a kind of peace and closure in his death: and ability to maybe finally move on.

Why do I say this? Here's why.

Throughout all the books Snape loathes Harry. Over and over again it is because Harry is like his father. Always, Harry is like James. I think Snape asking Harry to look at him in the end, is not just a sadly romantic sort of thing that JKR stuck in there. I think it is a very deep symbol. When has Snape ever looked past the James in Harry? As Snape has surrendered his most private memories to Harry, as Snape is dying, he is finally able to look past his grudges, his anger, his bitterness, his pain, and to see the good in see how like his mother he is. I think this moment is so powerful for both Snape and Harry, because in that gaze they both come to terms with who the other really is.

I think Snape has finally found a peace, and that maybe he is ready to go, knowing he has done all he can and there will be no more crucifying himself for his mistakes.

It is done.

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H-A-Cooke Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Why Severus' Death is Not Deliverance

If Severus survived Nagini's bite I still feel there would have been a moment when he believed he was dying. I feel the "Look at me" moment would still exist. Harry would still have Severus' memories to look through, and Harry would share those memories, not just through verbal retelling, but by showing the memories to others.

I imagined, that in the moment that Harry sees Severus bitten he rushed in after to save him. I feel he would send a Patronus to somebody, Kingsley asking for help. The only reason J.K. R didn't construct the moment that way was, as you said, for symbolic effect and to create a cyclical purpose for Severus' actions.

:bulletred: If Snape had survived the war, what sort of life would he have had after?

I believe, that with his knowledge of the Dark Arts, fundamental spell theory, spells, and Potions that he could either:

1) Return and teach Advanced Potions

2) Become an Unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries, as he has invented his own spells.

3) Return and teach The Theory of Dark Magic, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and another class about The History of Dark Magic to give students and adult wizards a better understanding of the evolution of Dark Magic and its uses.

:bulletorange: The list is really endless of 'what ifs'. But when canon comes into play, I really don't think any of those good things would have happened, or could have happened.

In Canon, if Severus had survived, I believe he would have been allowed to get his strength back before being tried for his actions. However, as evidence of his role as a Double Agent, Severus' memories would be extracted and carefully dissected. The truth of his decisions would be weighed, and under Kingsley's Ministry Severus would be given a punishment, House Arrest or Term in Azkaban (non-Demontor guarded) equal the the severity of his individual actions.

So, in a way his life would not be happy. I believe, due to his self-blame and self-loathing, in terms of blaming himself for Lily's death, he would insist upon serving time. However, his memories being taken into account, and Harry having seen them (as I think in Canon, had Severus survived, there would still be a moment he thought he was dying), he would be viewed in a positive light for taking responsibility for his actions.

After his prison term Severus would choose a life out of the lime light. But, I don't believe that Harry would leave him alone, having witnessed his memories. Severus, although he would act surly and aloof, would find a secret part of himself enjoying being around Harry and his family, although there would be that "much suffered" attitude toward it. Because he was a double agent I believe he would be viewed as having repented and gain status as a war hero.

:bulletyellow: I don't think he would ever stop, and I think allowing himself to even have a hint of romantic feelings to someone else would have felt like a betrayal to her.

Severus would never stop loving Lily. He would also never stop blaming himself for her death. However, in Canon, if he survived I believe he would at least allow friends into his life. I don't think he would be capable to trusting a woman with his heart, as the only woman he loved ex-communicated him from her life.

I do think, that despite this self-blame, Severus could let another person become a close friend and confidant, someone to lift his spirits and understand him. But, I agree he would not fall in love.

:bulletgreen: If Snape had survived, what would he have really done after the war?

I believe, added to the prison term, that he would return to Spinner's End, not for sentimental reasons, but because he owned it. He would live his life out of the lime light and in relative seclusion, although Minerva and a few other people may refuse to let him be alone. As I've already said that his memories would still be knowledge people would have due to the trial.

:bulletblue: What would there be left for Snape to do?

Severus vowed to protect Harry. No matter what misplaced grudge or misplaced anger he may have demonstrated. Voldemort is gone. But Pure-Bloodists aren't, and certainly not every Death Eater or Death Eater in training would have been caught after the final battle. There would still be raids to go on and Harry would face dangers.

Since Severus doesn't "half ass" anything he would still protect Harry. And even Harry's children, as Lily's grandchildren. I can see him having a (much denied) soft spot for Lily Luna. Severus wouldn't be forgiven right away, it takes Harry 19 years to come to terms with who Severus is, in Canon after he dies. But, there would be a mutual respect between the two.

:bulletpurple: When it was all done, what was really left? What purpose would Snape's life now have?

Just because Voldemort is gone doesn't mean that Severus never had goals for himself. He'l have to spend every moment of his remaining life repairing the view people have of him. He'll have to work twice as hard to gain trust and be known as a reliable person. But, I believe that he could be an Auror or as I've said an UnSpeakable, or return to teaching as he is a "creature of habit."

:bulletpink: I think he would just continue to be miserable, lonely, and dissatisfied with his life, and that really saddens me.

Severus, who does all things will a fervent, obsessive approach, does not Trust easily. He trusted Lily, who ultimately pushed him away. He loved Lily. He lost Lily.

All these life-changing moments happen between the ages of 9 and Early-20s. That shows how easily a young person's mind can be molded or influenced by life-threatening and life-changing moments. Lily was a life-changing moment. Being stuck in Slytherin, due to him ambition, was life-threatening (as a Half-blood he faced physical, emotional and mental harm). It just so happened that life-threatening overruled life-changing.

I don't think that other people: Harry, Minerva, Hermione would allow him to be miserable, having found out about his memories and the situations that he went through as a young person. He obviously did not personally buy into Pure-Bloodism. He felt guilty, tried to back track and repair what went wrong.

Because of this, I don't think he would live totally isolated and miserable, but it would take him a long time to be able to understand why someone would be genuinely nice to him, forgive him when he can't forgive himself.

:bulletblack: When has Snape ever looked past the James in Harry?

Harry has Lily's eyes. That fact did not escape Severus the first time he laid eyes on Harry during Harry's first year. Dumbledore constantly reminded Severus that Harry was Lily's son. Severus, even though Harry visually reminded him of James, spent his time attempting, in his abrasive, vinidictive manner, to teach Harry important life lessons.

But, to reiterate a known fact, Harry reminded Severus of his pre-teen and adolescent years, the most prevalent years of a person's life. Pre-teens and teenagers are extremely easy to mold in terms of beliefs, friend groups, and first impressions - whether that impression be positive (as Severus' was of Lily) or negative (as was his view of James).

To be fair to Severus, James ridiculed him and was, in Severus' memory, aside from saving his life, the one person Severus associated with humiliation. And Harry, resembling James physically and somewhat personality wise, became the source for Severus' pent up anger. That does not justify Severus' treatment of Harry.

However, there are plenty of times when Harry's eyes come in handy as reminders of who his mother is. So, Severus is dealing with a huge struggle, to reconcile who Harry reminds him of: Lily, sweet, accepting, kind friend (who later refused to accept his apology or dissuade him from being a Death Eater) and James: arrogant, belittling rich bully with Harry-the-Indvidiual - a.k.a. the Harry that Ron and Hermione know.

Severus would not have protected Harry all those years if he truly only saw James in him.
AllOutOfBubblegum Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
I think he would have protected him anyway, regarding the very last thing you said. He wasn't protecting Harry FOR Harry, or because he cared. He was protecting Harry for Lily.
H-A-Cooke Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
However, I don't think, after many years passed, that he was only doing it for Lily. If that were the case he wouldn't have chosen to bind himself to Dubmbledore and become a double agent. He didn't originally agree to Dubmledore's proposal for Lily's sake, he did it to earn himself redemption in his own eyes for the role he believed he played in Lily's death.

After awhile, I think, aside from the purposeful one-dimension we saw him through in the series, that Snape found himself caring for Harry, although he would never admit it.
JulesDrenages Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
Sorry to butt in: it's clearly stated in The Prince's Tale that, when Severus goes mad at Dumbledore for revealing that Harry has been protected so he can die at the proper moment ("Like a pig for slaughter"), and Albus asks him if Severus has come to care for the boy at last, Snape evokes the Doe and there comes the famous "Always" exchange. I think it's made pretty clear that, at this point of the story (sixth year, more or less?) Snape does not care for Harry as an individual.
I can agree with the fact that, in the end, he learned to value life for what it is: he saves Lupin at the end of DH, for example; he would probably have saved Harry (if he wasn't Lily's son) so much as Ron or another student, because at the end of his life he understood that all lives are meaningful, not only those of the one he loves. But he never cared for Harry personally, because his grudges didn't let him see the boy for who he really was: a person much more similar to his beloved Lily than James.
H-A-Cooke Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:bulllebule: "Care for the boy" versus "Doe."

I would beg to differ. Severus has held onto his love for Lily, and that, I do concede, fuels his choice to protect Harry.

However, Rowling has also stated in interviews that she's painted characters in a pretty one-dimensional way for the advancement of the plot. No, Severus wouldn't "love Harry as his own son," but I think there would be inklings of some sort of emotion toward Harry, whether or not Severus attempts to deny the fact.
JulesDrenages Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
Oh, I do think there is emotion there, though probably not the one you meant.
dporgasmatron Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I agree- I can't imagine Snape having a good life after the war. I think it would be an amazingly awkward life, almost like hell- because there would be no purpose. I don't even think he would try! Knowing that he'd be one day swarmed with ass tons of Weasley-Potter children would be enough for him to run head long for the Astronomy Tower and over the edge.

I think he should have had a way better death though. An epic death. A worthy death, gone out in the heat of battle, or something. Or maybe the same death in a better setting. God. The Shrieking Shack should be razed.
H-A-Cooke Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I disagree. In terms of his role as a Double Agent, and the importance of keeping his work for the Order a secret, Severus has to be alongside Voldemort in his final scene. It makes sense, with the Shrieking Shack's significance in the series, that Voldemort would choose the Shack as a respite and safe haven to protect Nagini.

None of the inhabitants of Hogsmede would investigate goings on in the Shrieking Shack, as they believe that the Shack is haunted.

In terms of the Shrieking Shack itself, the house itself did nothing to Severus. It was Sirius Black who lured Severus to the Whomping Willow where he discovered Remus' secret. That memory, and Jame's actions being lauded as heroic, were negative memories associated with the Shack. Not to mention that the second time he traveled to the Shack in Harry's third year was also the doing of Sirius and Remus.

In terms of his death, I don't believe Severus would have ever preferred the Swashbuckling heoric end. His Asocial personality and prickly attitude wouldn't have been suited to a "out with a big bang" end.

I think, in his own way, Severus was always in more danger than any of the other characters, even Sirius, whose main fault was being reckless in the face of danger.

Severus died at Voldemort's hand, a fitting end for his work as a double agent, as he was the one responsible for handicapping Voldemort's rise to power by not being honest about whose allegiance the Elder Wand held. He died at the mercy of the one person he truly betrayed.

In that way, dying in relative isolation, and giving his memories to Harry, was very fitting. Although, I disagreed with the Order not retrieving his body from the Shack to give him a proper burial.
AllOutOfBubblegum Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
YES the stupid Shrieking Shack. It had it in for Sev from early on.

Also I must mention...Dad and I watched The Expendables II and there was so much badass going on. It made me miss Abraxas. So much badassery in one small wizard!

How are you doing? We need to chat again.
dporgasmatron Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Oh god, I know. He's like many action movies packed into one pint-sized frame. XD I miss him too, even though he occasionally pushes things over in my head.

We do need to chat! I apologize for being so MIA. I'm just exhausted from working so much with no down time :( When is good for you?
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