Final Rita Skeeter Exclusive: All for Lily

Snape and Lily

It is finally here! The authors of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying have reached the end of the Rita Skeeter’s long lost articles in which she interviews Severus Snape’s portrait about his life as a double agent. And it looks like he left the biggest shocker of all until the very end!

All for Lily – Snape Finally Reveals Why He Became a Double Agent

The big question on everyone’s minds for the last few weeks has been why. Why did Severus Snape become a spy to Dumbledore at the height of Voldemort’s power? Why did he die to protect Harry Potter? Why did he submit to these interviews? The truth is that Severus Snape was in love, writes Rita Skeeter, special correspondent.

“I had known, and had been, at one time, a friend of Lily Potter, then known as Lily Evans,” Snape began slowly, “we were neighbors and classmates. For a time she, unlike the others, was kind to me.”

Reports of Lily Potter’s kindness have lived on long after her death. Her husband’s bravado was also well known among those who admired it, but it was Lily who won the hearts of all she had met. “Ah always loved the way she treated my pets,” reported half-giant and former Care of Magical Creatures professor Rubeus Hagrid, “Harry’s got ‘er eyes and ‘er soft touch with ‘em.”

It seems, however, that Snape was more than an admirer of the fiery haired witch. When she fell in love with James Potter, his disappointment took over his better judgment.

“I wanted people like James Potter to realize they could not control the world with a smile and a flick of a wand forever,” said Snape bitterly, “everything came so easily to him, including her. He never knew how lucky he was.”

By throwing his lot in with Voldemort, Snape had aspirations of overturning the stranglehold that certain wizarding families had on the community as a whole. Unfortunately, his loyalty to the Dark Lord proved fatal to the one he loved.

“The Dark Lord, choosing between two possible enemies, selected Potter as the one who provided the most risk to him, and decided to hunt him down and kill him.”

The way the Prophecy is worded, either Potter or his classmate, Neville Longbottom, could have been the Chosen One. When asked whether Snape would have turned against the Dark Lord had Neville been chosen as a target, Snape shook his head.

“I would not have come to the boy’s rescue,” he said with a scowl. “I would not have come to Potter’s rescue if it had not been for Lily.”

Realizing that Lily and her husband would stand and fight for the life of their child, Snape raced to save them by alerting Dumbledore. Unfortunately, their precautions failed and the Potter parents died at Voldemort’s hand.

When asked what he did the night Lily died, Snape shook his head and turned away for a moment. He then turned to face the front of his portrait, his shoulders stiff and square and his dark hair pushed back from his face.

“I thought my world ended that night,” he said. “I wish I had died by the same curse. But the next day her son was still alive and Dumbledore asked me to help keep an eye on him. I hated that boy for who his father was but I had made a promise to Dumbledore to protect him, as much as I did loathe him.  But there was more to it than just a promise made to an old man . . .”

Tears shone in the stoic professor’s eyes. Special correspondent Rita Skeeter was speechless for a moment before she asked her final question.

“So you did it for love?”

“Yes,” he said, “I will always love his mother. That was the only thing that mattered.  It is why I did what I did for all those years.”

3rd Rita Skeeter Exclusive: Snape’s Last Act at the Battle of Hogwarts

Snape's Death

The authors of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying have been feverishly reproducing a series of articles written by Rita Skeeter that reveal Severus Snape’s first person account of his life as a double agent. In this third installment he describes his own death and his commitment to giving Harry Potter the sensitive information he needed to defeat Voldemort.

Snape’s Last Act at the Battle of Hogwarts

When Severus Snape re-entered his frame, he looked tired. Unlike the other headmaster portraits, however, he did not feign sleep but resumed his haughty pose before special correspondent Rita Skeeter. Under his command of Hogwarts as Headmaster during Voldemort’s second rise to power, Snape allowed the Dolohovs to torture students and did little to protect his young charges from kidnappings designed to persuade their parents to assist Voldemort. The man had little to offer by way of explanation for his willingness to put these students in harm’s way.

“I was undercover,” he said, “the most important thing was to stay close enough to Voldemort to ensure his demise. And I made sure that the Carrows didn’t go too far.”

However, at the Battle of Hogwarts in the spring of 1998, Snape died well before he could do anything to affect Voldemort. His death leads many members of the wizarding community to question whether reports of his heroism are not greatly exaggerated. When asked about these accusations, Snape simply shook his head.

“What so many of you do not understand is that some things are more powerful than magic,” he said coldly, “Dumbledore would have said love is one of them, but I have not been on the receiving end of much of that. I do, however, think the truth can be far more powerful than any spell.”

The cryptic answer seems, to any rational listener, like quite the excuse for Snape’s long list of prior bad acts. Special correspondent Rita Skeeter pressed the former headmaster for details.

“In the end,” said Snape, “Harry Potter did not need me or Dumbledore or any of you. He needed to know that he had to die in order to make Voldemort vulnerable to death. That tiny bit of information made all the difference and I was the only one who could give it to him.”

As he was dying, Snape asked Harry Potter to retrieve some of his memories. By placing them in Dumbledore’s Pensieve, the Boy Who Lived Twice learned what he needed to do to kill Voldemort, which apparently involved allowing Voldemort to kill him. Many believe that this was actually Snape’s attempt to assist Voldemort in killing Harry Potter, something he struggles to deny.

“He didn’t die, did he?” said Snape scornfully, “Doesn’t that kind of imply that I wasn’t sending him into a trap?”

Snape still refuses to explain why Harry had to nearly die.

“That’s none of your business,” he said.

To be continued….

New Rita Skeeter Exclusive: Snape Claims He Dedicated His Life to Protecting Harry Potter


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.

To be continued…

Quiz: The Hearing at the Ministry of Magic


Let’s try another quiz! This time, you have to be quick on your feet to produce the answers to this “interrogation”! Answers will be posted tomorrow and linked here.

  1. When Harry walks into the courtroom he immediately recognizes it from the prior use of what intelligence tool that Dumbledore uses often? OP 137
  2. The hearing was supposed to be in front of only the administrative person in charge of improper use of magic by minors, but through the use of politics two other hearing officers were added.  Name them. OP 138-39
  3. At the beginning of the trial who uses interrogation techniques on Harry to get him to admit to all the essential elements of the crime? OP 140-141
  4. Who attempts to help Harry during the trial by asking a friendly question, “You produced a fully-fledged Patronus?” OP 141
  5. At Harry’s trial we find out that the Ministry of Magic has used surveillance and has “always closely monitored” Privet drive, and yet there was one witch who lived nearby the Ministry did not know about.  Name that person. OP 143
  6. After the trial Harry notices someone talking to the Minister of Magic.  Name this secret agent of Voldemort. OP 154
  7. Being a member of a subversive organization, such as the Order of the Phoenix, has risk, just like the risk inherent in spying.  Describe what Mrs. Weasley most fears, as shown by her encounter with a boggart. OP 175-76
  8. When taking the Harry to Hogwarts Express in one of his Order of the Phoenix members escorts is missing.  Who? And why was he missing? OP 181
  9. When they get on the train, who does Harry observe reading a magazine upside-down? OP 185
  10. What is the name of the magazine? OP 185
  11. When Malfoy tells Harry that he will be “dogging” him, what does Harry the intelligence analyst conclude? OP 194

Long Lost Interview with Severus Snape Found by the Art of Spying Authors!


The authors of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying have uncovered a long-lost interview of none other than Severus Snape. Written by Rita Skeeter, who has since retired to a bungalow in Little Whinging, the articles about the interview were discovered as the authors took a tour of Hogwarts castle. No sooner had we wished we knew more about Snape’s life as a double agent than a door appeared at the end of the hall. Inside, there was a small writing desk and a stack of papers that we soon learned had the answers to all of our questions!

We have reproduced the series of articles published after the installation of Severus Snape’s portrait in the headmaster’s office at Hogwarts and will be publishing them in order over the next few weeks.

Here is the article, originally written in green ink in Rita Skeeter’s hand:

Snape Admits to Killing Dumbledore, But Says Dumbledore “Asked” Him to Do It

Just yesterday, Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived Twice, presided over the installation ceremony of Severus Snape’s portrait in the headmaster’s office at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, writes Rita Skeeter, Special Correspondent and Author of The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore. Nearly five years after the Battle at Hogwarts and Snape’s death, the ceremony was attended by just a handful of witches and wizards who seemed to be inordinately distraught over the controversial headmaster’s death.

The delay in installing the portrait and the small ceremony speaks to the wizarding community’s continued confusion over the role Snape played in Voldemort’s demise. Yet, in a rare interview, Harry Potter described the foreboding professor as “the bravest man he ever knew.”

Although it seems as though the poor boy may have simply latched onto an unlikely father figure after the deaths of Sirius Black (who went to Azkaban for thirteen years on account of a mass Muggle killing, only to be acquitted by the courts; many conspiracy theorists believe he is still guilty), Remus Lupin (a known werewolf), and Albus Dumbledore himself (who is rumored to have gone a bit senile in his later years). Yet Harry Potter is not the only person to have a strange kind of reverence for Severus Snape. “It is time everyone knew what he has done to help defeat Voldemort,” Hogwarts Headmaster Minerva McGonagall said as she led me up the winding staircase to her office. Her tightly pursed lips gave no indication as to whether she believed her own words.

In an interview with Snape’s portrait, the man himself was reluctant to admit his own part in the rise and fall of the Dark Lord. When asked why he was willing to speak with the Daily Prophet, he sneered, saying, “My reasons don’t concern you. It is enough that I deign to submit to this interview.” Quite the imperious attitude from a man that most people still blame for the death of Dumbledore and the near death of Harry Potter.

Snape’s involvement with former headmaster Albus Dumbledore and his tenure at Hogwarts began back in 1981 at the height of Voldemort’s first reign of terror. It is remarkable that Dumbledore was even willing to speak with him, let alone hire him to teach our children when he was a well-known “former” Death Eater. What makes the situation even more ludicrous is that he approached Dumbledore only after he had already sold Lily and James Potter out to Voldemort by telling the Dark Lord about the first part of a Prophesy that he had overheard.

“It was I that relayed that Prophecy to the Dark Lord, setting in motion all that was to come,” he said with a certain amount of pride. “At the time I overheard the Prophesy I was a loyal servant to the Dark Lord. I was glad to do his bidding.  Honored. I was a true follower—not due to fear or a desire for power, like the others. I was a believer, in what he believed.”

The Prophecy Snape refers to predicted Voldemort’s demise at the hands of a boy to be born in July to parents who had already defied the Dark Lord three times. This, of course, led to the deaths of Lily and James Potter on October 31, 1981, Harry Potter’s miraculous survival, and Voldemort’s temporary loss of power. When asked if he felt responsible, Snape glowered over a sharply hooked nose before turning to face the back of his portrait. “Her death changed everything,” he said.

To be continued….

For Your Eyes Only: Answers to Order of the Phoenix Quiz!


Check out the answers to Monday’s quiz!

1. When one attacks a person instead of his or ideas, it is called what fallacy?

Argument ad hominem. An example would be the Daily Prophet’s attempts to discredit Harry when he claims Voldemort is alive.

2. When Harry and his friends first enter the kitchen at headquarters a classified document has not yet been put away.  What was it?

A parchment with plans to the Ministry of Magic

3. Sirius, when discussing why a certain member of the Order is tolerated, states that crooks “hear things we don’t.”  Who is Sirius referring to?

Mundungus Fletcher

4. Members of the Order of the Phoenix proved a psychological assessment of someone as having petty jealousies, a fear of Dumbledore, and a desire to retain power.  Who are they talking about?

Cornelius Fudge.

5. Spies use manipulation and flattery to get what they want.  Who said in the Chamber of Secrets, “I’ve always been able to charm the people I needed.”

Tom Riddle

6. Name the double agent that works at the Ministry of Magic, is assigned to locate Sirius Black, and is actually a member of the Order of the Phoenix?

Kingsley Shacklebolt

7. Kreacher is a known risk but must follow Sirius’s orders to the letter.  What does Sirius say to Kreacher that allows him to partake on a secret mission?

“Go away.” Always be sure your directives to an agent are clear. 

8. Code-Breaking Time:  What number does Mr. Weasley have Harry enter into the phone box at the visitor’s entrance?  And what English word does it spell out?

6-2-4-4-2, which spells MAGIC on a phone’s keypad

9. Harry shows a spy’s discretion when he is in Mr. Weasley’s office and pretends not to know what member of the Order?

Kingsley Shacklebolt

10. Cornelius Fudge used what simple disinformation to try to ensure that Dumbledore didn’t attend Harry’s trial?

He told him the wrong time

Be sure to check out our next quiz: The Hearing at the Ministry of Magic! Also, we released a special quiz in honor of Emma Watson’s birthday. How well do you know the young star?

Reflections on One Man’s Motives, Bravery, and Sacrifice

An excerpt from Chapter 53: Severus Snape – The Ultimate Double Agent

So what is left to say about Snape?
That he was brilliant, brave, and a superb double agent.

Perhaps Harry says it best nineteen years later when discussing the possibility to his son that he may end up in Slytherin:

“Albus Severus, . . . you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”

Significantly, Harry is told by Snape at one of his Occlumency lessons that Voldemort – when he was attacking Mr. Weasley and Harry was seeing it – realized that Harry was there and that Harry was able to see the attack through the snake’s (or Voldemort’s) eyes. When Harry asks how Snape knows this, Snape merely states, “it is enough that we know.”

And just as significantly, at one point Snape actually admits that he is the inside agent, the person who is spying for Dumbledore!

But Harry fails to understand the significance of what Snape had just told him! (Just as most if not all of the readers of the fifth booked failed to understand the significance of these words as well!)

Snape’s admission occurs in Book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, during one of Harry’s Occlumency lessons:

“Perhaps,” said Snape, his dark, cold eyes narrowing slightly, “perhaps you actually enjoy having these visions and dreams, Potter. Maybe they make you feel special — important?”

“No, they don’t,” said Harry, his jaw set and his fingers clenched tightly around the handle of his wand.

“That is just as well, Potter,” said Snape coldly, “because you are neither special nor important, and it is not up to you to find out what the Dark Lord is saying to his Death Eaters.”

“No — that’s your job, isn’t it?” Harry shot at him.

He had not meant to say it; it had burst out of him in temper. For a long moment they stared at each other, Harry convinced he had gone too far. But there was a curious, almost satisfied expression on Snape’s face when he answered.

“Yes, Potter,” he said, his eyes glinting. “That is my job. Now, if you are ready, we will start again . . .”

Yes, Potter, that is my job. Wow! A clear revelation of the truth – that is instantly ignored and given no significance – until much later when we know the truth about a very good double agent named Severus Snape!

And thanks to Snape, the story ends well. Indeed: “All is well.”