Answers: Close Your Mind, Harry!


Did you open your mind enough to remember the answers to yesterday’s quiz? Find out by checking your answers below. Let us know how you did in the comments!

1. As Harry leaves Grimmauld Place to return to Hogwart’s after Christmas break, Sirius gives him a special communication device. What is it?

A two-way mirror

2. What is the mode of transportation back to Hogwarts after Christmas break?

The Knight Bus

3. Who is the driver (who is later arrested by the Ministry on trumped up charges)?

Stan Shunpike

4. Dumbledore realizes through his double agent that Voldemort perceived Harry’s intrusion into his mind when he was possessing the snake. What countermeasure does Dumbledore insist Harry learn to prevent Voldemort from turning Harry into a spy against him?


5. When Harry asks Snape how they know that Voldemort detected Harry, Snape applies the need-to-know rule against Harry, and tells him what?

It is enough that we know

6. Before their special lessons, Snape takes what and puts them away in a secure location?

His memories

7. When Snape is able to see Harry’s memories that he fears, Snape warns Harry about what?

That he is giving his enemy weapons to use against him

8. During Harry’s lesson with Snape he is able to see further along the hallway of his dreams and recognizes where the hallway is located. Which is where?

The Department of Mysteries

9. What is the name of the Weasley twins’ new invention that makes your head disappear?

Headless Hats

10. Why should the Weasley twins be assigned to the CIA Science and Technology directorate?

Because they invent wonderful devices for surveillance, diversions, and much, much more! 

We’ll be investigating another spy from the Harry Potter series this Thursday… Stop back then!

Hidden References in Harry Potter and the Art of Spying Chapter Titles!

James Bond a View to Kill

What do James Bond, the Bible, and Shakespeare’s Othello have in common? They are all referenced in Harry Potter and the Art of Spying. Check out the secrets behind some of our most inventive chapter titles.

Chapter 21 Hagrid’s Unseen Lesson—Harry’s “Wet” Kiss—A Snake’s-Eye View to a Kill

A View to a Kill (1985) is the fourteenth spy film of the James Bond series, and the seventh and last to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Although the title is adapted from Ian Fleming‘s short story “From a View to a Kill“, the film is the fourth Bond film after The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker and Octopussy to have an entirely original screenplay. In A View to a Kill, Bond is pitted against Max Zorin, who plans to destroy California’s Silicon Valley.

Chapter 22 Seeing through the Eyes of the Enemy—Slithering Toward Bethlehem—A Portrait Is Worth a Thousand Words

The Second Coming is a poem composed by Irish poet W. B. Yeats in 1919, first printed in The Dial in November 1920. The poem uses Christian imagery regarding the Apocalypse and second coming allegorically to describe the atmosphere of post-war Europe.  Its last two lines are:

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? 

Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a 1968 collection of essays by Joan Didion and mainly describes her experiences in California during the 1960s. Joan Didion is an American author best known for her novels and her literary journalism. Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation. A sense of anxiety or dread permeates much of her work.

A picture is worth a thousand words” is an adage that refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly.  The expression “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” appears in a 1911 newspaper article quoting newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane discussing journalism and publicity.

Chapter 23To Be or Not to Be (a Snake)—Bravery, Risk, and the Consequences to Those Who Serve—Keeping, Revealing, and Acknowledging Family Secrets

To be or not to be…” is the opening phrase of a soliloquy in the “Nunnery Scene” of William Shakespeare‘s playHamlet.  In the speech, a despondent or feigning Prince Hamlet contemplates death and suicide. He bemoans the pains and unfairness of life but acknowledges the alternative might be still worse. The speech functions within the play to explain Hamlet’s hesitation to directly and immediately avenge his father‘s murder (discovered in Act I) on his uncle, stepfather, and new king Claudius.

Chapter 25 Young Love in Shambles—The Green Monster of Jealousy—Bribing Someone Who Bugs You—Using the Press

Green-Eyed Monster may refer to jealousy, a phrase possibly coined by Shakespeare in Othello (Act III, scene 3, line 169):

IAGO         O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey’d monster

Chapter 31 Let the Test Be with You—Theory Meets Practice—Toad-Face Meets Old Wizarding Faces—A “Stunning” Observation from the Astronomy Tower

Let the Test Be with You refers to the Star Wars mantra and farewell, “May the force be with you.” The expression “May the Force be with you” has achieved cult status and is symbolic of the Star Wars legacy. The line has been said by at least one character in each of the Star Wars movies. The famous line is actually said by General Dodonna after explaining the Death Star attack plan to the Rebel pilots. It is said again by Han Solo to Luke, right before the attack on the Death Star battle station. The line is also said by Luke Skywalker at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

More Literary References in HARRY POTTER AND THE ART OF SPYING Chapter Titles!


Last week, we revealed the hidden meaning in the five chapter titles from Harry Potter and the Art of Spying. Here are five more!

Chapter 10  Strangers in a Strange Land—An Introduction to Luna Lovegood

Stranger in a Strange Land is a 1961science fiction novel by American author Robert A. Heinlein. It tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on the planet Mars and raised by Martians. The novel explores his interaction with—and eventual transformation of—terrestrial culture.

 Check out the book that was banned in Texas for its adult themes:

Chapter 12  Professor Umbridge—Liar, Traitor, Soldier, Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 1974 spy novel by British author John le Carré, featuring George Smiley. Smiley is a taciturn, middle-aged intelligence officer who has been forced into retirement. He is recalled to hunt down a Soviet mole in the “Circus”, the highest echelon of the British Secret Intelligence Service.

 Did you see the movie in 2011?

Chapter 13  Cruel and Unusual Punishment, or, Getting to the Point about Lying

Cruel and unusual punishment is a phrase describing punishment which is considered unacceptable due to the suffering, pain, or humiliation it inflicts on the person subjected to it.  . . . These exact words were first used in the English Bill of Rights in 1689, and later were also adopted by the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution (ratified 1791) and British Leeward IslandsSlavery Amelioration Act (1798).         


Chapter 16  Harry Takes the Lead—A Not-So-Secret Meeting—We Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

“We band of brothers” comes from William Shakespeare‘s play Henry V in Act IV Scene iii 18–67, where Henry V delivers his famous  St. Crispin’s Day speech wherein he states:

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother;

 See the whole (epic) speech 

Chapter 19  Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones . . . But Your Temper May Get You Banned from Quidditch

“Sticks and stones will break my bones” is an English language children’s rhyme. It persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured:

Sticks and stones will break my bones
But words will never harm me.

Click here for more hidden references!

Literary References in Chapter Titles of HARRY POTTER AND THE ART OF SPYING

HP Magnifying Glass

A good spy always looks for hidden meaning in his or her sources. Can you spot the literary references in the Harry Potter and the Art of Spying chapter titles? We’ll start with the first five chapters that include important references.

Chapter 1   Saving Private Dudley—The Spies Among Us

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war film set during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. The film is notable for its graphic and realistic portrayal of war, and for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which depict the Omaha Beach assault of June 6, 1944. The film follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and a squad (Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Adam Goldberg and Jeremy Davies) as they search for a paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), who is the last-surviving brother of four servicemen.


Chapter 2   How to Get in Trouble Using Magic without Really Trying, Or, I Raise You One Owl and See You Another

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a musical by Frank Loesser and book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, based on Shepherd Mead‘s 1952 book of the same name. The story concerns young, ambitious J. Pierrepont Finch, who, with the help of the book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, rises from window washer to chairman of the board of the World Wide Wicket Company.


Chapter 5   Let History Be Your Guide—The History of the Order of the Phoenix

“Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide” is the debuting single for singer Marvin Gaye (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) in May 1961. It was also the first release off Gaye’s debut album, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, in which most of the material was the singer’s failed attempt at making an “adult” record compared to Motown’s younger R&B sound.


Chapter 7   Harry Enters the Lion’s Den, Where the Truth (and Professor Dumbledore) Eventually Sets Him Free

The Lion’s Den refers to the story of Daniel (Radcliff?) in the lions’ den is found in the sixth chapter of the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible, and in the lesser known story of Bel and the Dragon in the Greek versions. Daniel is an official in the Persian empire under King Darius. Darius (at the instigation of his other officials) had made a decree that no one was to offer prayer to any god or man except him for a period of thirty days. Daniel continued to pray as was his habit, knowing that praying would have him killed. For this action, Darius had him arrested and thrown into a lions’ den. However, he was unharmed, and after he was released the following morning, the people who had cajoled the king into making the decree (for the sole purpose of getting at Daniel) were thrown into the lions’ den themselves.

The truth shall set you free (Veritas vos liberabitLatin) is a variant of Veritas liberabit vos (the truth shall set you free), verse 8:32 of the Gospel of John. Pilate has the philosopher’s response in verse 18:38: “Quid est veritas?” (“What is truth?”).


Chapter 8   The Ministry of Magic as the Queen of Hearts: Sentence First, Trial After—Then Off with Their Heads!

‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards’ and ‘Off with their heads both come from Alice in Wonderland by written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll.  The Queen of Hearts is a character from the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by the writer and mathematician Lewis Carroll. She is a foul-tempered monarch.  . . . Alice observes three playing cards painting white roses red. They drop to the ground face down at the approach of the Queen of Hearts, whom Alice has never met. When the Queen arrives and asks Alice who is lying on the ground (since the backs of all playing cards look alike), Alice tells her that she does not know. The Queen then becomes frustrated and commands that her head be severed, stating:

‘Off with their heads!’

Later, the Knave of Hearts is tried for stealing the Queen’s tarts,

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’

. . .  ‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’

‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’

‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

‘I won’t!’ said Alice.

‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

Alice in Wonderland Ch. 12.

Click here for more hidden meaning  in the chapter titles of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying!


Break the Code: Alphanumeric Codes!

Ministry of Magic

Let’s have another try at code breaking.  Last time we figured out the words above the Mirror of Erised (Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi).

Today we are going to discover what the number 6—2—4—4—2 means.  These are the numbers Mr. Weasley dials when they go to Harry’s trial in the Order of the Phoenix—and the number Harry later uses to get in to the Ministry of Magic with his friends to rescue Sirius.

To get into the Ministry of Magic for Harry’s trial, Mr. Weasley takes Harry to the visitor’s entrance, which is “an old red telephone box, which was missing several panes of glass.”  (OP 125)   Mr. Weasley reaches over Harry and dials in “six . . . two . . . four . . . and another four . . . and another two . . .” (125).  It works and Harry and Mr. Weasley gain entrance to the Ministry of Magic!  (126)

And later on, when Harry flies to the Ministry of Magic with his friends on the thestrals, they land at the visitor’s entrance to the Ministry of Magic (767). All six rescuers squeeze into the telephone box and enter the code Harry remembers the number (62442) and Ron, at Harry’s direction, has him dial in the number.  A friendly sounding female voice asks them to state their names and purpose, and badges arrive stating their names and the purpose of their visit, and after doing so they are allowed to enter (768).

So, what do the numbers mean?

Time for code breaking!

ANALYSIS: Why 62442? Time to use logic! Let’s first try assigning letters of the alphabet to the numbers: 1 being A, 2 being B, and so on. Do we get anything?


1 2 3 4 5

6        F

2        B

4        D

4        D

2        B


Applying 62442, we get F B D D B. Not much there.

Let’s think some more. Any ideas?

Let’s apply situational analysis. Where are they?

At the visitor’s entrance. Yes, yes. But what are they physically in?

A phone booth! Very good!

So what do you think?

Any thoughts on how to break the code?

Phone numbers, you say? But phone numbers usually have seven numbers, like 555–5555.

What’s that? Oh! You want to apply the letters that are on each number key on the phone itself! Sure, that makes sense!

Any readers out there who have texted someone by using the numeric keys?

Let’s add to our list the letters assigned to each number:

6        M N O

2        A B C

4        G H I

4        G H I

2        A B C

See anything?

6        M N O

2        A B C

4        G H I

4        G H I

2        A B C



Isn’t this great? J. K. Rowling never tells us how to break the code, but by using logic we can decode the password for the Ministry of Magic visitor’s entrance!

Code breaking, you see, is very much like magic!

Exclusive Rita Skeeter Interview with the Authors of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying!



Art of Spying Authors

RITA SKEETER:  Hello, dear readers!

I am sitting here with Lynn Boughey and Peter Earnest, authors of the new book coming out entitled Harry Potter and the Art of Spying.

So, thank you both for agreeing to this exclusive interview.

RS: When does your new book come out?

PETER:  On September 15th.

LYNN: Available at independent bookstores everywhere, and of course on line through—

PETER:  —also, Red Lodge Books and Tea is distributing advance signed copies—

LYNN:  —for those of your readers who simply can’t wait that long to get their hands on a copy!

RS:  You too must be SOOOOO proud.  But really, what qualifies the two of you to write such a book?

LYNN:  Well, Peter was with the CIA for thirty-six years and more than twenty years in the agency’s clandestine Service . . .

RS:  Which I suppose makes you a SPY?

LYNN:  Well, yes, actually . . .

PETER:  And Lynn used spy craft tools and techniques throughout Russia when he was researching his spy novel, Mission to Chara—

LYNN:  Now available on kindle!

RS:  Who do you guys think you are, the Weasley twins?  So I suppose you won a bunch of awards and things.

LYNN:  Well, Peter did receive the CIA’s Intelligence Medal of Merit for “superior performance” throughout his career . . .

RS:  Well, fine, but what have you done lately?

LYNN:  Peter has been the Executive Director of the International Spy Museum in Washington DC for the last ten years . . .

PETER:  And Lynn worked for years on Harry Potter and the Art of Spying. . .

LYNN:  I did the initial draft, and then Peter added loads of stuff from the spy world.

RS:  Well, well . . . so there’s something really interesting in your book?

PETER:  Yes, without a doubt.  Anyone who likes the Harry Potter series will love learning all about how Harry and his friends used traditional—

LYNN:  —and some not-so-traditional—

PETER:  —yes, some not-so-traditional tradecraft, as we like to call it at the agency—

RS:  So, did you kill anybody?  My readers are dying to know . . .

PETER: Well, I’m not allowed, really, to . . .

RS:  Or what?  You’d have to shoot me?

PETER:  (His exasperation showing) Well, not exactly . . .

RS: And you, “Mr. Spy Novelist,” what do you do for your, er, “day job”?

LYNN:  I am a lawyer, and taught college-level courses in—

RS:  Let me guess, “The Art of Spying”?

LYNN:  Well yes, in some of my classes, such as the ones in Terrorism, and of course political science, criminal law, international relations, all have something to do with spying to some extent—

RS: Well, all very nice.  So what does this book have to do with Harry Potter, “The Boy Who Supposedly Saved Us All”?

PETER:  Everything.  We go through the fifth book . . .

LYNN:  —The Order of the Phoenix

PETER: —yes, and describe all the trade craft, the spying techniques, that Harry and his friends use . . .

LYNN: —like organizing a subversive organization, learning self-defense, breaking codes—

PETER:  –developing their own codes and methods to communicate—

LYNN:  –using open sources, such as the Daily Prophet—

PETER:  –that type of thing.  Spy craft!

RS:  So you two think that Harry Potter was a good spy?

LYNN:  Well, not bad for someone in training—

PETER:  —but really quite good, all in all—

LYNN:  —though the best spy—

PETER:  —in our opinion—

LYNN:  —was no doubt Professor Snape—

PETER:  —a superb double agent!

RS:  Fine, fine.  So, I just have two more questions.  First, did you just focus on book 5, or do you look at the spying in the entire series?

LYNN:  Great question!  After going through book 5—a chapter-by-chapter review of all the spy craft used in The Order of the Phoenix—we then review all the really important topics—

PETER:  —related to spying, of course—

LYNN:  —using the entire series.  We have chapters on recruiting, types of spies—

PETER:  —intelligence gathering—

LYNN:  —codes and communications—

PETER:  —the press, diplomacy—

LYNN:  —politics, and even ethics—

PETER:  —those type of things.

RS:  Last question.  So, you’ve already admitted to reviewing the entire series in your book . . .

LYNN:  That’s right.

RS:  And you guys must really be into the Potter story, right?

PETER:  Well, yes, it’s quite fascinating . . .

RS:  So you would consider yourselves both “Potterphiles”?

LYNN:  Well, I suppose so, it really is—

PETER:  —a wonderful story, all seven books.

RS:  GREAT!  Thank you.  I have the lead.  And you two, SOOOOOOO much fun.  You should maybe take your book on the road . . .

LYNN:  Actually, we are doing—

PETER:  —just that!

LYNN:  At LeakyCon 2014 in Orlando.

RS:  Lovely, lovely.  I’m sure your moms are sooooooo proud . . . .

Answers: Gathering Intel in the Order of the Phoenix

Top Secret Case File

Want to check your answers to yesterday’s quiz? Of course you do! Keep reading:

1. Why was it necessary for Harry to use a code when writing to Sirius?

Because the mail might be intercepted

2.Harry tells Sirius that someone new at Hogwarts is “nearly as nice as his mum.”  To whom is he referring?

Professor Umbridge

3. When Harry writes that “we are missing our biggest friend” to whom is he referring?


4. The Daily Prophet informs its readers that Order member Sturgis Podmore had been arrested?  What for?

Trying to get through a door at the Ministry of Magic

5. Percy’s letter to Ron telling him not to be friends with Harry includes some inside information about Dumbledore.  What is it?

That he might not remain in charge at Hogwarts

6. letter to Ron also repeats the “party line” about Harry.  What is the party line?

The Ministry of Magic thinks Harry is a bad person and a liar

7. When Harry talks to Sirius in the fire the first time, he tells them that Fudge is paranoid and thinks Dumbledore is doing what?

Setting up his own army

8. For the first part of book 5 Hagrid is in deep cover and incommunicado.  What is he doing?

Trying to secretly recruit the giants

9. In order to maintain more control over the school and create a climate of fear, what position is created for Umbridge?

The High Inquisitor

10. The Ministry issues what type of legal document to change the rules and give Umbridge more power?


How’d you do? Let us know in the comments or continue on to the next quiz! 

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.”

Back to Hogwarts: A Harry Potter Quiz

Sorting Hat

Happy Monday everyone! Here’s your weekly Harry Potter and the Art of Spying quiz. Answers will be posted tomorrow as usual. 

(OP= Order of the Phoenix)

  1. The Sorting Hat provides historic analysis, and warns the school about what?    OP 207
  2. The Sorting Hat picks up valuable information due to where it normally is located.  Where is that?  OP 209
  3. Hermione as an intelligence agent properly interprets Professor Umbridge’s speech.  What does she conclude? OP 214
  4. Even though the Daily Prophet is saying terrible things about Harry, Hermione continues to subscribe to it.  Why?  OP 225
  5. When the Weasley twins talk about their joke shop, Harry changes the subject to steer aware from “dangerous waters.”  What fact was he hiding?  OP 227-28
  6. Professor McGonagall says “You know where she comes from, you must know to whom she is reporting” about whom?  OP 248
  7. Harry’s punishment imposed by Professor Umbridge is considered by Ron and Hermione as a form of what?    OP 272-73
  8. Many people do not believe Voldemort is back because this fact is based on the credibility of only one person.  Who is that person?  OP 251
  9. When Draco makes a reference to Hagrid messing around with something that is too big for him, how do Harry and his friends analyze this statement?  OP 260
  10. When Harry decides to write Sirius a letter in open-code, what name does he use instead of Sirius?  OP 280

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…