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Discussions on Chamber of Secrets "In my fifth year, The Chamber of Secrets was opened ..."

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Old 28-06-2005, 18:14   #1
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Why Does Snape Want Harry Expelled?

I know I'm behind on my HP reading schedule, but I was reading CoS today and was thinking about the scene when Ron and Harry arrive at school in the flying car. They are met at the door by Snape who was apparently looking for them. He brings them to his office and tells them that they did something terrible, etc. and that he cannot expel them himself as that is up to the Head of House to do. He fetches McGonagall and brings her to his office where Harry and Ron explain what happened at the station.

After the story, Dumbledore knocks on the office door and Snape is described as "looking happier than ever." Harry then explains the whole story again and after Ron says they'll go get their trunks, Dumbledore tells them that they will not be expelled.

At this point, Snape is described looking "as though Christmas had been canceled." He even tries to fight for them to get expelled by appealing to Dumbledore about the Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardry, and the damage to the Whomping Willow. Dumbledore brings Snape with him when he leaves the office and Snape glares at Harry and Ron as he is leaving.

****

So, I know that Snape hates Harry, but this got me thinking - even if he hates Harry, shouldn't he understand that Harry needs to be at Hogwarts in order to learn magic so he can defeat Voldemort? He needs to be strong, learn what he can, etc. If he is expelled, he would never be able to learn what he needs to in order to defeat Voldemort.

Why would Snape want Harry to leave the very place where he is learning what he needs to so that he will prevail in the battle with Voldemort?

Is there something sinister behind his actions?

Does Snape know about the diary that Malfoy was sending to the school and the potential hazard for Harry? Was he trying to save Harry in the same way Dobby was?

Or, was Snape simply blinded by his hatred of Harry for a moment and didn't realize the ramifications of Harry being expelled?



Would love to hear your thoughts!!
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Old 28-06-2005, 19:26   #2
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Re: Why Does Snape Want Harry Expelled?

Well, my first thought on this is that Voldemort wasn't even back to power by this point, so it isn't exactly urgent that Harry learn magic to fight him. Then, it probably didn't even seem all that likely that Voldemort would come back, and Snape would probably just prefer not to put up with Harry if he didn't have to..

We know that James and Snape had quite a nice relationship and this sort of family hatred could have just continued.. Harry learns that in SS/PS that Snape fought so hard to save his life because then he could go back to hating James in peace - that year was now over, and now that he was back to hating James, I bet he just went back to hating Harry at the same time..

Surpisingly, I don't really think there is anything all that sinister behind Snape's actions here. He doesn't know for sure that Voldemort is coming back, although he probably should keep it in mind, and so i dont really think he is deliberately trying to keep Harry from learning magic. I don't think he is really trying to "save" Harry either - I doubt Malfoy would have told him about putting the diary in Ginny's book, and he probably wouldn't have learned so early on before term even started.

Basically, overall yes, I think Snape was pretty blinded by his hatred for Harry and didn't realize what could happen in the far future if Harry was then expelled.

At the same time, I have to wonder whether this is one of the reasons Dumbledore never even came close to expelling Harry - he knew he was going to have to learn everything to be able to fight Voldemort when the time came.
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Old 28-06-2005, 22:13   #3
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Re: Why Does Snape Want Harry Expelled?

I think Snape would know about the protection Harry has at the Dursley's, so he knows Harry wouldn't be harmed there if he was expelled. And I agree- the reason for Snape wanting him expelled would be for his own satisfaction, a sort of revenge for his father being such a prat to him during their school days.
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Old 29-06-2005, 02:07   #4
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Re: Why Does Snape Want Harry Expelled?

Snape was a very pitiful person. In a way, he's like Wormtail. He was shunned at school by everyone because he was basically a geek, which probably sent him even deeper into the Dark Arts. He spent his seven years at Hogwarts watching James and Sirius rise in popularity; James because of his Quidditch skills and Sirius because he was a hottie and both of them were extremely smart. The view of Snape's worst memory in the Pensieve showed us what his days at school were like and showed a little of his character.

Harry came along - popular even before anyone had ever met him. Harry did all the things his father did and more he was picked for the Gryffindor Quidditch team in his first year; something that hadn't happened in a hundred years; Harry's name was in several books about Voldemort before he was eleven (that would be really hard for someone who once thought himself to be Voldemort's most loyal supporter) - but I think one of the biggest things that ticks Snape off about Harry is how much Dumbledore seems to respect him. Dumbledore treats Snape more like a child at times then he does Harry, and the fact that Harry has such a free hand around the school just infuriates Snape.

At the end of PoA, Snape does and says all he can to influence some type of action against Harry by Cornelius Fudge by making Harry seem like a real brat, and all Fudge said was, well, its Harry Potter after all; we all have a soft spot for him. Snape about busted a spleen over that.

Even though his quest might be to get Harry expelled, I don't think it has anything to do with subversion - it's just jealously and a strong desire for revenge against James. I always wondered how an adult in Snape's position at Hogwarts could openly show hate towards a child --- but JKR has used this from the beginning to show the animosity that existed between James and Snape, and Harry was simply getting the backlash of Snape's hatred for James.
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Old 29-06-2005, 03:44   #5
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Re: Why Does Snape Want Harry Expelled?

I'd like to say it is plain and simple, Snape's a prat. But, I think there is something that goes both ways. DD wants Harry to respect Snape, but gives no more reason than he is a professor, and DD trusts him. Well, what if DD wants Snape to respect Harry, and trust in DD knowing why Harry is so important, but can't tell Snape everything either?
Snape wants him out of there without realising Harry's true importance, for all the reasons mentioned above.
He sees Harry as someone who 'struts' and as he hated James, and that hatred was never cured, then it has to be channelled somewhere
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Old 29-06-2005, 12:29   #6
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Re: Why Does Snape Want Harry Expelled?

I'm of the thinking that points towards the safety of the Dursley's and knowing that Harry would be safe there no matter what.
If Harry was suspended - he would have had to go back to the Dursley's and eek out his teen existance living with them and being their slave - but one thing he would have been was safe!
I think this is a consideration in Snapes mind when he decides how Harry should be dealt with.

Then of course we also know Snape knows a bit about Potter - and that he is destine to be a great Wizard - it would probably scare Snape to have someone so powerful around - especially when you live the life Snape does - no-one knowing exactly what you are up to and why ...
Then as well noted above - his hatred of James just added the relish and polish to seeing Harry being removed from the school - all around Snape couldnt loose out with Harry being expelled!
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Old 29-06-2005, 12:55   #7
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Re: Why Does Snape Want Harry Expelled?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaise
I'm of the thinking that points towards the safety of the Dursley's and knowing that Harry would be safe there no matter what.
If Harry was suspended - he would have had to go back to the Dursley's and eek out his teen existance living with them and being their slave - but one thing he would have been was safe!
If Snape did want Harry to be expelled just so he'd be safe at the Dursley's - this theory would go along with mine that involves Snape protecting Harry because he knows that if Harry doesn't defeat Voldemort, Snape's pretty much dead. Harry is his only hope of being forever free of Voldemort and his Dark Mark.
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Old 29-06-2005, 18:54   #8
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Re: Why Does Snape Want Harry Expelled?

Boing, I really like you're description about Snape getting upset about the fact that Harry and Ron were not expelled. He "looked like Christmas had been cancelled". Couldn't have said it better myself. Anyone who has seen Alan Rickman playing the infamous sherrif of Nottingham in the movie 'Robin Hood' with Kevin Costner knows his sarcastic, and sometimes dry sense of humor. Yes, if Harry was expelled, he would have had to have gone to the Dursley's, but, am I correct in surmising that Harry is safe from Voldemort at the Dursley's residence? Perhaps there is some creedence there, because Dobby tried with all his might to make Harry stay there because he'd be out of harms way. Another odd thing. If Severus Snape hates Harry so much, why did he cast a spell to counteract the one that was thrown at him in the quidditch field in 'The Sorcerers Stone'? Hermione thought that it was Snape that was trying to do harm to Harry so she snuck under the stadium and set light to his cloak. Also remember the confrontation in the school between Snape and (darn, I can't remember the name for the life of me) was it professor Quirrel? My apologies if I've spelled that incorrectly, but it appeared that Snape knew far more about him than he was letting on. I still have the tendency to believe that there is good in Severus Snape under that hard exterior. I think it will come more to the fore as the story unfolds.

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Old 30-06-2005, 04:00   #9
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Re: Why Does Snape Want Harry Expelled?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaise
I'm of the thinking that points towards the safety of the Dursley's and knowing that Harry would be safe there no matter what.
If Harry was suspended - he would have had to go back to the Dursley's and eek out his teen existance living with them and being their slave - but one thing he would have been was safe!
I think this is a consideration in Snapes mind when he decides how Harry should be dealt with.
Another thing I thought of in regards to Snape's possible motivation, that is if there is any subversion in his quest to get Harry expelled. If Harry is at the Dursley's, he is protected from Voldemort, but not the Death Eaters. The charm Dumbledore placed on Harry and Petunia doesn't protect them from Death Eaters. So Harry would be no more safe at the Dursley's then anywhere else, and actually he is safer at Hogwarts simply because Dumbledore is there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaise
Then of course we also know Snape knows a bit about Potter - and that he is destine to be a great Wizard - it would probably scare Snape to have someone so powerful around - especially when you live the life Snape does - no-one knowing exactly what you are up to and why ...
Then as well noted above - his hatred of James just added the relish and polish to seeing Harry being removed from the school - all around Snape couldnt loose out with Harry being expelled!
Back again to my theory that Snape's only salvation is Harry defeating Voldemort. Snape was at one time in James's debt, however grudglingly, for him saving Snape's life from Lupin. That debt has been paid because he saved Harry in PS/SS.

If you look at the fact that Snape will never be free of Voldemort unless Harry kills him, Snape could also view that as owing Harry a life-debt. That would obviously make him a sour person --- and he would know this fact that he would owe Harry a life-debt, and Dumbledore would know this too. So actually, getting Harry expelled would be a detriment to Harry as I believe he is actually safer at Hogwarts then at the Dursley's.
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Old 30-06-2005, 05:26   #10
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Re: Why Does Snape Want Harry Expelled?

Haley's Comet - thanks, but that credit belongs to JKR - that's where the quote came from!

I think Fortescue summed it up in her post - Harry is safe from Voldemort, but we're not sure if he's safe from the DEs when he is at the Dursleys. We don't know much about the protection except that Dumbledore said as long as he is welcome at the home where his blood-relatives live, he will still have the protection from the charm Dumbledore placed on him when he left him on the doorstep.

Fortescue - I really like that theory of yours about Snape needing Harry to be free of Voldemort. That would make anyone angry, especially after how much he hated James. Yeah, that's a good one!
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