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posted by [personal profile] starpaint at 04:02pm on 16/07/2005
Warning - this is long. And babbly.

So. Snape. Again - this is going to be long. Nice short version which cuts out the boring stuff is avaliable here, in which I hijack Maggie's journal. Eeep. Much gratitude given, though!

The problem with a deserter is that you really don't know how many times he'll desert. See PoA; the imprisoned Death Eaters talked about the double-crosser double-crossing them. Same concept. And I think we can assume that Snape's been providing information to both sides. The question is whether he's loyal to one side over the other, or whether he's hedging his bets on both.

Quick note on the Unbreakable Vow - Snape did swear to help Draco and finish off the job if Draco couldn't. Part of which rather clearly included killing Dumbledore.

So... killing Dumbledore... first off, despite my convicture that he was a rather manipulative bastard (and his visit to the Dursleys did not help that), I got rather hysterical when he died. Less manipulation in this book. Edit: not really; see comments. If anything, he was worse, but at least he was open about the fact that he was doing it. He was proactive, for a change, and confided in Harry. A little. Not that much. Only a few stories and the memories; only what Harry needed to know. Older, more tired, more drained... back in action for the first time in years, and still powerful, but not used to the stress. Not used to having to be the one to act, and knowing he wouldn't be there for much longer. You can't really pretend to be infallible when all the evidence is pointing the other way.

And then he ended up completely helpless, and died that way. Meh. Depressing.

...right, Snape. A note on the Unbreakable Vow - Snape did swear to help Draco and finish off the job if Draco couldn't. Part of which rather clearly included killing Dumbledore. So there was really no way to get out of that situation. The question is the sentiment Snape did it in.

So, then. What in hell was Dumbledore begging him for? The obvious - to buy him more time, but he must have known it was inevitable. To forgive Dumbledore for putting him in the situation that led to this mess. To forgive him for, well, everything. To kill him quickly; not to make him suffer more; not to make a kid (or two) watch anything gruesome. To kill Dumbledore himself; he has blood on his hands already, shouldn't let a boy who doesn't know what he's into and could still be salvaged do the deed himself. Empty plea not to make Draco (and Harry; I'm damned if Snape didn't know he was there) watch. Plea not to turn to the other side, to remember what he'd accomplished, what Dumbledore had done for him...

And Snape's not moved by any of it. Either that, or Snape's so angry at what he has to do that he's ready to take it out on his victim. Not a pleasant man at any rate. But we knew that.

I've also seen someone mention Snape systematically taking out possible defenders of the castle - Hermione and Luna, Flitwick - which is an interesting thing to contemplate, but also, I think, a little misleading, as it really wasn't a battle anyway. The purpose was to kill Dumbledore; they succeeded; the end. And if Snape was bound by that vow, then the vow must have been exerting pressure on him...

Exactly who is Snape loyal to, anyway?

There's Draco. He likes him (I think). But it's not a very open or warm relationship, almost certainly not a friendship. And why would he take that stupid vow? To prove his loyalty (unlikely), to save Draco (doubt it; I expect Snape thought he'd have to step in when Draco died), because it's his responsibility (is it?), because he could make it easier for Draco, who's confused and needs guidance (riiiiiiiiiight), because he can hold Draco back from doing too much too quickly, and keep him on the sidelines (but then we'd need a reason for him to do that). Because he's an evil bastard on Voldemort's side, but why on earth would he be breaking Voldemort's orders if he was? Because avoiding it would have prompted a scene on Bellatrix's part, and Snape isn't as trusted as he makes himself out to be, and can't afford to be second-guessed... it'd mean his life, no matter what side he's on. And Snape is a relatively prudent man.

He was frustrated with Dumbledore -- or fed up with him, or maybe he never liked him in the first place. We have no idea of what he thinks of Voldemort; what he tells his fellow Death Eaters really doesn't count. He doesn't have a real family, though he's moderately obsessed with his bloodline. Not sure how much he values blood, either. I think it winds back to the same root as it does with Voldemort -- pride. Rotten life, so he makes a name for himself, takes pride in his skills, his mother, and his mixed blood. Mostly his abilities. The rest is more like a bitter pun.

We need a huge Snape thread. Oh, yes, we do.
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