I guess this blog proves that you can write about Harry Potter for a few months, slowly build an audience, and then the second you write about Severus Snape… BAM! The blog explodes.
The other day, Severus Snape finally made his first appearance onstage in this re-read. It wasn’t, however, his first appearance on this blog. In fact, I started the blog right after finishing my first read of the series, while I was trying to unravel my feelings about Snape and Dumbledore. But at that time, the blog had no audience.
What happened the other day, though, is that visits to the blog suddenly exploded exponentially. Yes, the comments thread exploded too, but the comments were all from a group of Snape fans that I already knew and had invited to come on by and take a look at the post. That group of fans cannot account for the hundreds of visits the blog has since received beyond its normal audience level.
In the comments thread, by the way, arithmancer made a good point about an aside I made concerning Snape being Head of Slytherin:
“Oh, and of course, Harry also knows that Snape is the head of Slytherin House.”
Yes, I do think this is a part of Harry’s reasoning [in assuming that Snape is the villain] (if we shall charitably call it so), and the thought process Rowling hopes her readers will follow. We’ve had Hagrid revealing all the bad wizards come from that House, including, specifically, Voldemort. We’ve met Draco, the unpleasant little snob, who wants that House and gets Sorted into it, and seen Harry ask not to end up in this house. By the end of this chapter, we are shown Harry making this chain of associations in a dream, from Slytherin to Draco, to Snape, to Voldemort (though he does not at the time know it himself, as he does not remember whose laughter it is he hears and what the green light signifies):
“Harry told the turban he didn’t want to be in Slytherin; it got heavier and heavier; he tried to pull it off but it tightened painfully — and there was Malfoy, laughing at him as he struggled with it — then Malfoy turned into the hook-nosed teacher, Snape, whose laugh became high and cold — there was a burst of green light and Harry woke, sweating and shaking.”
Heck, I fell for it when I first read this book (mostly because by the time Hermione “saw” Snape trying to kill Harry, I had decided I was reading *that* sort of children’s series.)
Yes, never underestimate the power of suggestion… and beyond that, the power of suggestion from dreams you don’t even remember!
The real villain in the “turban-as-sorting-hat” dream is actually underneath that turban, but in his dream, Harry morphs Draco into Snape and then Snape into Voldemort’s laugh – along with the green light of the Avada Kedavra curse that gave Harry the very same scar that burned when Snape first looked at him.
(It was actually burning, of course, because of what was underneath that turban.)
Harry’s unconscious mind is connecting Snape with Voldemort. And even though that association would have been true a little over a decade earlier (when Snape was a Death Eater), it is very far from true now.
Harry’s dream closes the chapter and leads in to the first chapter that is actually named after Snape – “The Potions Master.” And that is where we will pick up in a couple of days. But until then, here’s some silly Snape humor. LET’S DANCE!