Happy Birthday, Professor, Sir!

Today is Professor Snape’s birthday. If he had survived the Battle of Hogwarts (and the intervening years), he would have been 51 years old today.

Last year, when I inserted the Silver Doe graphic for the Professor’s 50th birthday, I was still excited about discussing the Harry Potter series, and still very excited about talking about Severus Snape.

In the year since, I have participated in debates on the Chamber of Secrets forum and have grown weary of being told that if I like Snape, it means that I am confusing him with Alan Rickman. If I like Snape, it means that I hate Harry or I hate Neville or I hate… (the list continues onward). If I like Snape, it means that I think everything is all about Snape all the time. If I like Snape, it means that I am an immoral, delusional loser.

I have learned that Harry was correct about Snape throughout the series and only wrong at the end, that Snape was lazy for not writing a Potions text, that Snape had it coming to him when James Potter assaulted him in Snape’s Worst Memory. Most importantly, I have learned that every objectively good thing Snape ever did was actually something evil.

I have never witnessed such a systematic skewing of a literary text or a literary character. Harry’s final judgment could not have been clearer when he named his son “Albus Severus.” Yet I have learned that Harry’s final judgment is actually either muddy, irrelevant, or just simply delusional.

I have no idea why it’s so important to spend hours and hours locked behind closed doors dreaming up previously undreamt-up reasons to hate a character, or why anyone would want to boast about being less forgiving than Harry. All I know is that the Snape discussion often feels like an assault by Dementors, attempting to steal all the joy (or suck the soul) out of the Harry Potter universe.

I have learned that my only defense against being sucked into that world of hate is to cast a Patronus and shield my mind.

At any rate, this is no time for depressing ruminations. This is Professor Snape’s birthday. So…

Happy Birthday, Professor, Sir!

Expecto Patronum!!!