Last week, the authors of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying released the first part of Rita Skeeter’s article on Severus Snape, longtime Death Eater and apparently Dumbledore’s right hand man. This week, Skeeter dives deeper into Snape’s role as a double agent.
Snape Claims He Dedicated His Life to Protecting Harry Potter
Severus Snape refused to speak with special correspondent Rita Skeeter for an entire week following her initial interview during which he proclaimed his loyalty to the Dark Lord. However, current Headmistress Minerva McGonagall invited the Daily Prophet back once more to hear more of his outlandish story. When asked about the woman who “changed everything,” Snape was tightlipped, but he soon revealed his role as a double agent in the years leading up to the second Wizarding war.
“I was a spy to Dumbledore,” he said with a sneer, “not for him. I made it my duty to keep an eye on Potter while he was at school for his own safety.”
Considering that the boy survived a face to face encounter with Voldemort before he could walk, it seems highly unlikely that the Death Eater-turned-Potions-Master could offer much in the way of additional protection, but Snape was adamant.
“That arrogant pipsqueak of a wizard couldn’t protect himself if he tried,” he said, “And he didn’t try at all. He was always taking on trolls, sneaking around to forbidden areas of the grounds, and using that invisibility cloak so that the rest of the professors had no idea what he was doing.”
Snape’s comment should remind readers of the utter lack of consistent security at Hogwarts during Harry Potter’s time there. In his very first year a troll made its way into the castle and threatened the lives of Potter and his friends. In his second year, the Chamber of Secrets was opened once more to wreak havoc on the student body. Escaped convict Sirius Black made his way into the Gryffindor Common Room the next year and Voldemort himself returned after kidnapping Cedric Diggory (may he rest in peace) and Potter during the following year’s Triwizard tournament. Dumbledore even died in Hogwarts’ tower, raising significant questions as to exactly what role Snape played in “protecting” Potter and Hogwarts.
“Of course I was not responsible for the troll or the Chamber of Secrets or Sirius Black’s return!” Snape shouted thunderously. “I certainly did not want Voldemort to return and I –“
Here, the proud professor stopped. He killed Dumbledore the year before the Battle of Hogwarts, allowing Voldemort to return to full power for the first time in 18 years. When asked why he did it, Snape gave a remarkable answer.
“Dumbledore asked me to.”
The ludicrous claim was followed by a tense silence, which was broken only when correspondent Rita Skeeter stood up to leave.
“Wait!” Snape said with a sigh, “People need to hear this. They need to know that fighting evil means making difficult choices.”
When asked once more why he killed Dumbledore, Snape expanded upon his previous answer.
“As soon as Voldemort returned, Dumbledore told me to respond to the Dark Lord’s call as if I were still a loyal Death Eater. As one of Voldemort’s more trusted followers, he told me of his plan to have a Hogwarts student, a boy from my own House, kill Dumbledore. When I reported as much to the headmaster, he made me swear that I would be the one to kill him if it came down to that. He did not want that guilt and evil staining the conscience of such a young boy. I protested, but in the end, I was forced to kill him in order to protect my cover. Besides, he was going to die soon anyway, thanks to the wound he had received to one of his hands.”
When asked if he regretted his decision, Snape sighed and began to step toward the outer frame of his portrait.
“I did not love Dumbledore like others did. I saw him for what he was, a man much like me who was trying to make up for all the damage he had done when he was young and foolish. I needed to kill him so I could continue to protect Potter and fulfill my own obligation to right my wrongs. Do I regret it? No. But his death is a part of me now just like all the other deaths are.”
Snape disappeared from the frame leaving more questions than answers.