Thursday, February 14, 2008

Harry Potter: Deleted Scene

This post is for Valentine's Day. Anyone who has no interest in the Harry Potter books will likewise have no interest in this post (just so you're forewarned). Did anyone else think that Severus Snape got an exceptionally raw deal in life? Here is a (fan-fiction) deleted scene to help out.

“If you don’t mind dying,” Snape said roughly, “why not let Draco do it?”

“That boy’s soul is not yet so damaged,” said Dumbledore. “I would not have it ripped apart on my account.”

“And my soul, Dumbledore? Mine?” (Deathly Hallows, p. 683).

The conversation replayed bitterly in Snape’s mind as he ran from Hogwarts. Harry Potter’s parting insult rang in his ears: Coward, he had called him, who had faced dangers Harry could only imagine as a spy in the Dark Lord’s ranks. But he had done it. He had spared Draco from becoming a murderer. And had become a murderer himself. He had killed the only man he had ever trusted. More than that, the only one he had ever respected. But Snape had one surprise yet to play, something of which Voldemort knew nothing – and neither did Dumbledore.

As he left the Hogwarts grounds, he quickly disapparated. He was due any moment at Malfoy Manor. But in this much commotion, a few moments’ delay would not be missed. He apparated on the doorstep of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. Soon, no doubt, the place would be barred to him. But for the moment, the way was safe. He made his way inside, then strode quickly through musty halls which had been little used since the death of Sirius Black. He had despised Black and his arrogant friend James Potter. But now it was exactly that friendship between his old tormentors, Black and Potter, which brought him back to Grimmauld Place.

Upstairs, he went rapidly through Sirius’ effects. He searched quickly, at first methodically, but then with growing impatience as the minutes ticked on. Finally, he found what he sought: a picture of James and Lily Potter. They were watching their year-old son Harry on a toy broom. Disgusting, he thought to himself as the arrogant James Potter was framed forever in happiness with Lily, who was as lovely as ever. Severus studied the picture in his hand, timing his move carefully. When the image of young Harry was on his father’s side of the picture, he tore the picture quickly down the middle. He let James and Harry fall to the floor and looked into Lily’s eyes. She smiled, though Severus knew the smile was for James and Harry.

“That boy’s soul is not yet so damaged,” said Dumbledore. “I would not have it ripped apart on my account.”

“And my soul, Dumbledore? Mine?”

Severus silently performed the powerful spell that would bind the torn piece of his soul, touching his wand to Lily’s picture. It was on Dumbledore’s account that his soul was ripped apart; Snape intended to put that to good use. He wondered: Is it possible for a horcrux not to be dark magic? He looked again at the picture of Lily. She smiled, and now the smile was again for him.

He pocketed the picture of Lily. He would find a safe place for it shortly. For now, he was due at Malfoy Manor. He left Grimmauld Place quickly and disapparated into the night.

A note on the timeline:

If the events recorded in “The Prince’s Tale” (Deathly Hallows) are chronological, then this timeline won’t work since that chapter records the memory of Snape’s return to Grimmauld Place (pp. 688-689) after the memory of the attack on the Seven Potters, long after the night of Dumbledore’s death. However, I think it more likely that the memory of the return to Grimmauld Place isn’t in sequence there, since anti-Snape jinxes were put on Grimmauld Place at some point after Dumbledore’s death (see p. 168 of Deathly Hallows), probably promptly after Dumbledore’s death. Also, one of the anti-Snape jinxes seems to have been put in place by Mad-Eye Moody (see p. 170), who died the night of the attack on the Seven Potters, so again it seems those jinxes were in place even before Potter’s escape from Privet Drive. This makes it more likely that Snape’s return to Grimmauld place had already occurred at that point, that the memories recorded in “The Prince’s Tale” are simply the order in which Harry saw them and not the order in which they originally occurred. In that case the timeline suggested here becomes possible.


The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Not to mention that it wasn't an evil act. It wasn't euthenasia, instead it was the fact that Dumbledore'd death was inevitable. He kept Dumbledore from being completely defiled by the death eaters, especiallyl the werewolf (I don't have the book with me right now so I can't remember his name)so I have a hard time believing that the act itself really was evil enough to split his soul in that way, as Dumbledore explained it.

I just hate the idea of taking the one thing that is human about Snape, his love for Lily - and making it evil. Snape was not so much of a coward that he would be afraid to "go on." Having him make a horcrux of her picture would take away all the beauty of his patronus and his torment between his hate for James and Harry and his love and duty toward Lily. She humanized him...she preserved him from going completely over to Voldemort. In effect she saved Snape as well as Harry.

I can understand playing with the idea, but I'm glad it was deleted. It is very inconsistent.

Weekend Fisher said...

It never occurred to me that Snape would be afraid to "go on". Here his motivation is to find a way to have part of his soul joined to Lily's. (I don't think a horcrux would be evil in itself, but only because it typically involves murder; in this case because of the unique circumstances of Dumbledore's death, I don't think Snape was doing an evil thing.)

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF