Owl Post Again

chapter twenty-two of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry and Hermione just make it back to the hospital wing, where they are soon joined by Dumbledore, Fudge, and an irate Snape, bemoaning Black’s escape. The next day Lupin resigns, and Harry talks with him and with Dumbledore about all that’s happened; finally the year ends, and Harry receives a memorable letter from Sirius while on the Hogwarts Express home.
 

We Did It, by Tealin Raintree

“We did it!” said Harry breathlessly. “Sirius has gone, on Buckbeak….


 

OUT WITH IT, POTTER! by gerre

Fudge, Snape, and Dumbledore came striding into the ward. Dumbledore alone looked calm. Indeed, he looked as though he was quite enjoying himself. Fudge appeared angry. But Snape was beside himself.

(by gerre)


 

Professor Snape, by Laurence Peguy

“OUT WITH IT, POTTER!” he bellowed. “WHAT DID YOU DO?”


 

Seethin' Snape, by Heather Campbell

Snape stood there, seething, staring from Fudge, who looked thoroughly shocked at his behavior, to Dumbledore.


 

Don't Feel Guilty, by Tealin Raintree

He hesitated, then held out the Marauder’s Map too. “I am no longer your teacher, so I don’t feel guilty about giving you back this as well.”


 

by Caladan

“It made all the difference in the world, Harry. You helped uncover the truth. You saved an innocent man from a terrible fate.”

(by Caladan)


 

Hogwarts Headmaster, by Helene Sirois

“This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable, Harry. But trust me… the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew’s life.”


 

What Do You Reckon? by robin edwards

“What do’you reckon?” Ron asked the cat. “Definitely an owl?”


 

The Letter From Sirius, by Wacca

Harry read and reread the letter from Sirius all the way back into King’s Cross station…. [it] looked like a much better summer than the last.

(by Wacca)


 

about the chapter

 

I generally consider the Harry Potter movies to be a different entity entirely from the books – so much is different about them, and I often just end up getting confused when I watch or think about them too much. But there is one moment in the movies that I have often wished was in the books as well: Dumbledore’s comment when Harry and Hermione arrive back at the hospital wing. They announce, “We did it!” to which he replies, “Did what? Good night!” It captures Dumbledore’s personality so wonderfully. And to be fair, it’s not just me – Rowling has also said that this comment was “just perfect.”
 

Something You May Not Have Noticed

We’ll find out early in the next book that Percy Weasley got twelve N.E.W.T.s this spring – that is, one for every class Hogwarts offers. If his schedule was as full as Hermione’s originally was, surely he’d have needed to be using a time-turner as well. I wonder if they ever ran into each other in a random Hogwarts broom closet? Regardless, it’s interesting that he seemed to manage it so easily, whereas Hermione was so overwhelmed she couldn’t manage the schedule.

Hermione’s schedule is also interesting that, by simply dropping Muggle Studies (the class for which she pretty much knows everything already anyway), she’ll go from a schedule so insane she couldn’t keep up with it all to a completely normal, sane routine. Perhaps she learned a few things about organizing her life this year, in addition to her many studies.
 

Something Else You May Not Have Noticed

There’s an interesting moment in this chapter that flies below the radar, after Snape has accused Harry of helping Sirius escape. Dumbledore makes a comment to him – “Unless you are suggesting that Harry and Hermione are able to be in two places at once” – which has some fascinating undertones. At first I thought Dumbledore was just goading Snape, as Snape *must* know about Hermione’s TIme-Turner, right? But what’s worth remembering is that even if Snape doesn’t know about the Time-Turner, there’s someone else in the room who does: Cornelius Fudge. The Ministry approved Hermione’s use of the Time-Turner, remember? And Fudge would have no patience whatsoever for listening to a story of why Harry Potter helped Sirius Black escape.

So there’s an element of danger in Dumbledore’s comment; if Fudge were to pick up on Dumbledore’s meaning, the consequences could be pretty bad. Meaning Dumbledore almost certainly didn’t simply say it for his own amusement. Instead he likely chose his words very carefully so that they would go over Fudge’s head but send a very clear message to the much cleverer Snape: stop talking. Now. Snape knew about the Time-Turner, and this was Dumbledore’s way of letting him know that there’s more going on than he realizes, and he’d better not let the cat out of the bag with Fudge in the room. And despite his incredible rage, Snape’s rant immediately stops.

Of course, I can’t help but wonder what the next private conversation between Dumbledore and Snape was like: what Snape asked about, and what Dumbledore told him (not to mention how much screaming was involved). Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Dumbledore’s office….

Thanks to wynnleaf for the comment below that helped me work all this out!
 


49 Responses to “Owl Post Again”

  1. Hermione also dropped Divination along with Muggle Studies, which still as you point out isn’t that many. With regards to Percy, he doesn’t have Harry Potter as a best friend to eat up all his homework time with adventures as well, so that might make things just a tad easier to manage. :)

  2. Another part that I love about this book is when Harry finds out about the Marauders – the connection between the Map, Lupin, Black and James, the Patronus… I really missed that last conversation between Harry and Lupin in the movie.

  3. I had the same thought about Percy not having much of a life outside of homework, whereas Hermoine not only has her many adventures with Harry & Ron, but she’s always looking up additional things in the library that are completely unrelated to her classes, from Nicholas Flamel to Basilisks to legal means to help save Buckbeak, etc etc. Being friends with Harry gives here as much homework, if not more, than any of her other classes.

  4. Tallnerdygirl/Jamie: Very good point about Percy being better equipped to handle things than Hermione thanks to her, er, “extracurriculars.” On the other hand, she’s still going insane as of the end of PA (when she’s already dropped Divination), and then the next year everything’s normal even though the only extra class she’s dropped is Muggle Studies – which she already was an expert in anyway – and even though her fourth year she spends a lot more time helping Harry than she does during her third. So I still imagine she picks up a few organization skills in there somewhere.

  5. ‘Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Dumbledore’s office…’
    I sympathize.

  6. Although, perhaps Muggle Studies wasn’t – or wouldn’t be – a total breeze for Hermione. I’m quoting from memory here, but at one point she’s looking over diagrams of Muggles lifting heavy objects and such. A lot of the more complicated things Muggles pull off, like, say, elevators (and trains? Some Muggle-born might be behind the Hogwarts Express!) would need basic physics, right? And if Muggle Studies covers engineering, for example, they’d need a certain amount of math abilities. And I wonder if they cover Muggle history or literature?
    Hermione was only in Muggle schooling until she was eleven, so if Muggle Studies were to get really complex, even *she* might struggle.

    I just wonder what / how much Muggle Studies would cover by the end of seventh year.

  7. at the comment above me: I imagine that Arthur Weasley has taken Muggle studies, considering his job, but when you look at how much he knows about Muggles, I seriously doubt that engeneering would be involved in Muggle Studies.
    I think Snape quickly realizes what has happened, but that would be just as frustrating for him, because in the end, his least favorite people (aka: Harry and Sirius) get what they want.
    I always wondered with Percy: What if NEWT-classes are only once or twice a week, like in college, instead of High school? Then it would be easier to take more Newts than Owls, and you wouldn’t even need a time-traveler. Though it’s a rule that you have to have taken owls before you can start the NEWT’s, right? hmm… kind of makes my theory impossible..

  8. Hmmm, I’m also thinking Percy may have done extra subjects outside of regular class times. Like maybe he studied two subjects once a week in the evening. Same as Bill who also got 12 OWLs. But Hermione…being Hermione…would want to do ALL the classes everyday. Percy also got 12 OWLs.

  9. I do wonder why Hermione didn’t use her Time Turner to give herself more time to do homework, as well as more lesson time…

  10. “I wonder if they ever ran into each other in a random Hogwarts broom closet?”
    This line sounds like such a delicious intro into a juicy fanfic.

  11. I really like that illustration of Dumbledore, to me it really captures the magical aura, so to speak, that I always imagine surrounds him.

    I also have a correction. If I am remembering correctly, Lupin wasn’t fired, he resigned after Snape “let slip” that he was a werewolf over breakfast. I don’t see Dumbledore firing him (I assume that he is the one that makes those decisions). Am I correct on that point or is it a movie mix up on my part?

    Thanks for the awesome website!

  12. wizardinventor – You’re definitely right. Not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that! Anyway it’s fixed not, thanks for pointing it out. :)

  13. Oy, I’m tired. It’s fixed NOW.

  14. On the comment, “Unless you are suggesting that Harry and Hermione are able to be in two places at once,” I believe this was more of a “heads up” from Dumbledore to Snape. Who approved Hermione’s use of the time-turner? The Ministry. And most likely, her teachers all knew about it. They’d have to, as they’d be likely to know what classes she was taking and that the classes overlapped. Therefore Snape would have known of Hermione’s time-turner, but more importantly, so would the Ministry if anyone had thought to investigate the situation. Snape was making such a big argument, right there in front of Fudge, that Harry was involved and Fudge might have actually paid attention to that. I think Dumbledore’s comment was to get Snape’s attention and point out, with the “two places at once” reference, that in fact Hermione’s time turner was in play and that he both knew and approved of it and Snape needed to be quiet NOW before the cat was out of the bag. The telling bit to me is that Snape does stop immediately. He’s angry, but he stops talking about it right away.

  15. wynnleaf, that’s a brilliant thought that hadn’t occurred to me. But it makes much more sense than my idea – well deduced!

  16. This particular scene is great, Snape losing it… I love when that happens. I also agree with wynnleaf’s comment…

  17. I wonder if the reason Hermione’s schedule returned to normal by dropping two classes is there are classes in Hogwarts that we don’t know about that Rowling never mentioned such as Sex Ed. or something i mean they are 13 and stuff. Also there cold be other’s like gym or muggle classes such as English or grammar or whatever that just weren’t interesting enough and didn’t get into the book. That would take up some time and then if the classes were only in 3rd year Hermione’s schedule could return to normal. It would also sort of explain why she had 3 classes at once.

  18. I agree about that line of Dumbledore’s in the movie; it was great.

    And I like robin edwards’ picture of Ron showing Pig to Crookshanks.

  19. To Lizzie: I wondered why Hermione didn’t give herself more time to do homework, also. Most people do their homework in the library, common room, etc. and she would be likely to run into herself, wouldn’t she?

  20. I just noticed on the last listen-through that Harry talks about the Dursleys attitude toward him “after what he did to Aunt Marge last summer” (general paraphrase).

    But didn’t Fudge tell him their memories had all been modified? So how would they know?

  21. This chapter is so great. It makes me cry for both happy (Sirus survivng and his letter) and sad (Lupin leaving. Harry having to go back to the Dursly’s) reasons.

    One thing I wonder is how long does Harty have to go to Pivet Drive?

  22. Anna, I always assumed that when Fudge said the muggle’s memories had been modified, that he meant the passersby that had seen Marge floating, and Marge herself. What’s the point of modifying a muggle’s memory if that muggle already knows about magic, especially if those muggles are legal guardians to a wizard?

  23. Anna, only Aunt Marge’s memory would have been modified, as she is the only muggle present that doesn’t know Harry’s a wizard.

  24. i think its likely that N.E.W.T. classes are less focused on class time and more focused on studies outside of the classroom
    in other words there are fewer class periods for each subject per week, making it easy to take 12 classes at NEWT level

  25. “Dumbledore’s comment when Harry and Hermione arrive back at the hospital wing. They announce, “We did it!” to which he replies, “Did what? Good night!” It captures Dumbledore’s personality so wonderfully. And to be fair, it’s not just me – Rowling has also said that this comment was “just perfect.””

    Well, think about it. What do you get after you have gone back in time and changed one thing that happened to another thing (remember too that they changed one thing, and that one thing changed other things, and maybe if you change one thing the other things that are changed could be bad as well as good — in this case it seems to have turned out good)? Well, after you change something that happened in the past, the old past no longer exists so now you have a new past, if that makes sense. But if you do follow me, then Harry and Hermoine actually didn’t do anything, because what they did vanished with the old past.

  26. Fudge and the Time Turner. The name is perfect. In the movie he bears a distinch resemblence to the Wizard in the old Wizard of Oz movie. Is all of this a coincidence? The Ministry of Magic allows the beast to be sentenced to death simply in order to placate a member of the magical community they are afraid of. Is Fudge really unaware of everything that goes on here, or is it that he just doesn’t want to know about it because he would be forced to think a little about things he doesn’t want to think about? I am beginning to see the muggle world and the magic world more and more as a mirror of each other. In the HP and the Half-Blood Prince (I think) JKR describes the mental processes, if they can be called that, of the Home Secretary when the Minister of Magic shows up. He doesn’t want to see magic just as the Ministry people don’t want to see evil, especially when it is powerful. For instance, the dementors. They know what they are but they use them anyway.

  27. @wizardinventor and The Other JK: it’s true that Lupin resigned, but what with the “owls arriving tomorrow from parents who will not want a werewolf teaching their children”, Dumbledore would have had to sack him anyway. Harry sees no big difference in OP when, listing the DADA teachers’ misfortunes, he says “one sacked, one dead, one’s memory removed and one locked in a trunk for nine months”.

  28. And Kayla, I had sex ed in primary school (Year 6, 10 to 11 year olds), so I doubt it.

  29. I think that maybe the decisions at the Ministry Of Magic to lend out time turners was done at a lower level then the minister himself, and probably Fudge wouldn’t have bothered himself about a 3rd year student having one, and we know that he’s not exactly the sharpest tool on the pegboard anyway so it probably never occurred to him.
    And we do know that Snape in future books, although he still hates Sirius, knows that he was innocent.

  30. I think the students would need other classes. Rowling focuses on the classes that are more interesting and exotic to us, but these kids still need to know grammar and basic math and world history (as opposed to magic history) to function as adults. In previous chapters people mentioned maybe the adults do not use magic all the time, just certain spells that they need in the day to day. They have to do things other than perform magic spells, and the school is preparing them for that life.

  31. This is just a little thing, but in the beginning of the chapter it says Hermione tucked in the time turner when they got back in the hospital wing. Wouldnt she have done this as soon as they went into the cupboard three hours earlier?
    Also, not only would Pomfrey have heard ten leave in the ten minutes after DD left, but she would have seen them since she was standing there watching them eat the chocolate.
    Also, doesnt the trio get their O.W.L. results during summer after theyve arrived home? But here, Percy and the twins get their results before the end of the term even.

  32. KW, the reality is that most wizards are abysmally ignorant about things like Muggle history and mathematics, while Muggle chemistry and physics actually contradict magic in many places. I actually think the average wizard only knows those Muggle subjects up to a Year 6 (end of primary school) level.

    You’d hope that a normal 11-year-old could write an English essay and perform a basic algebraic substitution. But if perchance Vincent Crabbe couldn’t… Well, bad luck. It’s unlikely that anyone at Hogwarts had time to teach him.

  33. maybe it wasn’t Fudge himself that approved, but another department in the ministry?

  34. @Christopher Hobe Morrison I don’t believe they changed a thing, actually. Harry and Hermione just fulfilled what had already been done by their future selves. The theory to this is called the Novikov self-consistency principle. This principle states that there can be no inconsistencies or parodoxes in time travel. A time traveler’s visit, (in this case, Harry and Hermione’s rescue mission), has already happened. It’s a part of history, so there is no option to change it. Any attempts to change the past will fail. I believe time turners and time travel in the Harry Potter universe work off of this logic.

  35. I agree with you, Grace. I think that Hogwarts hopes that children have been taught enough to get by in regards to English and Math skills by either primary schools (for those growing up in the Muggle world) or their families (for those growing up in the Wizarding world). In fact, I feel like those who grew up in the Muggle world probably have a better grasp on this, as they have to follow a strict school regimen, whereas they leave it up to their families in the Wizarding world and are more likely to come out of it worse for wear (as we see with children such as Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle). After they reach eleven, they go to Hogwarts and are taught subjects that will allow them to flourish and build careers in the Wizarding world. Cause if you think about it, the later grades for Muggles really only teach you more into those subjects for certain careers, rather than the basics that are needed (Physics and Trigonometry for construction, or Chemistry and Biology for scientists). Though they teach it to all students up through the introduction levels of college, they’re mainly for career choices. I like to think of Hogwarts as high school for the first four years, and then college from year 5 (the intro courses with a test at the end to see your aptitude) through year 7, where you’re working through your major(s). There’s also possibly specialty schools that we don’t hear about for certain careers after Hogwarts, that teach courses for those looking to educate, or Auror training schools. Obviously there’s no facts to support that, but it makes the most sense to me.

    I also feel like Fudge wouldn’t concern himself with who gets Time-Turners and what-not. There’s probably a lot about what goes on in the Ministry that he doesn’t know about/leaves up to the different departments. We’ve seen that he isn’t a very strong leader, and only a great leader would try to concern himself with every aspect of their government.

  36. Except Casey, remember that in two chapters we’ll see Fudge concerning himself with a “simple matter of underage magic.” I agree that a lot would happen that he’s not aware of in the Ministry, in general. But I’d be pretty surprised if he didn’t have orders out to everyone below him that if something involved Harry Potter, he’d better hear about it.

  37. Ah, but the Time-Turner didn’t concern Harry, did it? I mean, it’s stated and seen throughout the book that the use of a Time-Turner is a huge deal. Hermione couldn’t tell anybody about it, including Harry. Because of this, I don’t think the fact that she’s using one would be told to Fudge. It had nothing to do with Harry, no matter who his friends are, and as far as the Ministry knows, the fact that she used it was never disclosed to Harry. I think it this point, all Fudge cared about concerning Harry was his safety, and the fact that Hermione had a Time-Turner wouldn’t concern that at all. Then Fudge gets involved with a “simple matter of underage magic” because he wants to be directly involved in anything that could discredit Harry and his word. The trial wasn’t even supposed to involve him at all, but he forcibly inserted himself because by then, he’s “not in his right mind”. He never really was anyway, to tell the truth. Anyway, my point is, I don’t think the Time-Turner being given to Hermione would be seen as something he has to hear about. I doubt the people at the Ministry would even know yet who Harry runs around with. Fudge hadn’t even met Ron or Hermione, or seen Harry with them, until the end of this book. He seems quite unaware of who they even are anyway, when he does see them.

  38. Whoops, typo. I meant “at this point”*. My bad!

  39. Perhaps. I think of it more like Little Whinging – remember in Harry’s hearing, when Fudge says that any witches or wizards living in the area have always been “closely monitored, given past events?” Harry wouldn’t have to know about wizards living there for them to affect him, or for it to concern the Ministry. I think the Time-Turner is a similar situation. The Ministry doesn’t need to know that Hermione’s his friend; she’s in his class and his house. And they’re giving her an extremely powerful object, and Harry doesn’t have to know about it for Hermione to potentially be in a position to dramatically affect his life with it. In fact, I’d say the fact that he doesn’t know about it makes it *more* dangerous, not less; and also, the fact that they wouldn’t know Hermione’s his friend would make it *more* important to track (remember, they’re trying to protect Harry at this point). I would bet that the Ministry is keeping a very close eye on all the Time-Turners at Hogwarts, especially those belonging to Gryffindors, and especially the one belonging to a Gryffindor in Harry’s year.

  40. Sure, but you’ve also said that it seems like the use of a Time-Turner isn’t all that uncommon, and I agree with you on that, as we’ve already seen several students get 12 OWLs/NEWTs. So even if the Time-Turner is a powerful object, which it is, since they seem to hand them out as much as they do, maybe they thought it wouldn’t be such a security issue? I mean, you have to remember that by your logic, the department that controls the distribution of these Time-Turners, whether it be the Department of Mysteries or some other department, would do all of the work, and then inform the Minister of what’s going on. By the time he hears it, I can just see Fudge shrugging off the information being handed to him, not thinking of what it means, because it seems to happen so often. He’s not exactly the most well-thought out person, and it doesn’t seem like some student getting a Time-Turner would perk his interests at that point. We have to keep in mind of how much of a dunderhead Fudge really is. You’d think that if he was worrying so much about Harry’s safety, he would see that his new DADA professor was a werewolf. All it would take would be a background check on where he’s tried to get employed, as we know Lupin has been unable to find employment all his life, and I’m sure he tried to find work but couldn’t because of his condition. My point is, I think he overlooks quite a bit, and I think the Time-Turner is included in that. If he hadn’t overlooked it, I’d see his reaction as being “don’t give her that Time-Turner” just cause he is direct like that. The less factors the better, I can see him thinking. Less work for him in the end.

  41. Something Else You May Not Have Noticed:
    When Dumbledore is talking to Harry he says that Professor Trelawney “brings her total of real predictions up to two”, but Harry never asks what the other true prediction was. Although later we do find out what it was.

  42. We see in OP that the time turners belong in the Department of Mysteries, and as previously stated we can assume that their use is not uncommon for the reason’s Hermione is using it. Thus, it is very likely that there is an arrangment between the department of mysteries and Dumbledore/McGonnagal (as deputy head). With it being a powerful object, fudge was probably notified, but he probably got it as “Here’s a list of the students at Hogwarts we have approved for time turners this year” and thought nothing of it. While it is true that he takes a keen interest in Harry (as a poster child for the wizarding world and arguably one of the 3 most recognizable people–Fudge, Dumbledore, and Harry), if he simply saw Hermione’s name on a list like I mentioned he might not make that connection.

  43. I like Tealin Raintree’s illustrations for “Prisoner of Azkaban” a lot. They seem almost like drawings or (in the case of the colored pictures) stills from a high-quality animated adaptation.

  44. Hermione drops Divination and Mugglestudies – I think two electives are considered “normal”, three are possible (and most likely what most of the Ravenclaws do). And Hermione might know everything about Muggles, but she obviously nevertheless spend a lot of time learning how the wizards see them.
    And why should Fudge know about every time turner which happens to leave the ministry?

  45. On the matter of teaching grammer and stuff: i don’t really think that they need it because there are devices for them to use at hand. Remember the quill Ron had: Spell-Checking Quill, so they don’t really need to know grammar and I bet there are other devices which would for example calculate for them. If we take a look at the Burrow it should also be clear that an architect is not really needed in a world where everything is hold together by magic.

  46. I agree with what Gerrendus said above regarding the use of Time-Turners and who uses them. Seeing as using the object is dealt with a different department, I am sure he was notified (as suggested by given a list of who is using it and for what purpose(s), etc.), saw that it has been okay’d by both parties and “filed” it. He could very well not have thought twice about one of the students (Hermione) using the device and how close she is with Harry. Besides, she really used the object in total honesty and was quite adamant about keeping it a secret — as well as not running into herself (a side note: can you imagine how stressful that would have been to use in the first place? I’m sure managing the device and not running into yourself as well as keeping it a secret and calculating it correctly was very stressful, it’s almost like having to hurry up quickly after school ends to make sure you catch the bus and not miss it, with her making sure she got to the next class session on time — I’m sure she always felt rushed, but I digress…)… She was even very surprised when Dumbledore suggested using the device, which she has managed to keep a total secret from Harry (also imagine not being able to tell your friends why you’re so stressed because of how many classes you’re taking and getting puzzled looks from your two best friends because of frequent disappearances or multiple final exams/tests during the same hour, etc.). The whole use of the Time-Turner can be dangerous and a big burden to carry and Hermione had a lot of trust given for her to use it, so seeing as it really wasn’t Fudge’s problem, he most likely didn’t think twice. Plus, he’s a push over to higher authority. He seemingly does as he’s told; he doesn’t do the telling!

  47. Dumbledore would not, in my opinion, necessarily have to sack Remus. I mean, imagine the fuss in the early days about Snape being a Death Eater yet still allowed to teach because Dumbledore vouches for him. Or Hagrid in the next book!! The same could’ve happened here, but for Remus’ inferiority complex and the stupid curse on the job making him feel like he had to leave his dream job.
    That’s why Harry says sacked, I think. Feeling forced into leaving is not resigning!
    My least favourite part of this book is that scene in this chapter.
    It’s not like the students would care… The Gryfs were certainly sorry to see him go. As I imagine the Puffs were.
    And I am not convinced that Hermione was the only one to realise Remus’ absences coincided with the full moon. Surely some Claws would have. Yet they didn’t say anything either. And it’s really only Malfoy & his cronies who “had anything bad to say about him” (direct quote). The other Slyths didn’t say anything……

  48. I love this chapter. I can just imagine how Snape would look when he found out that mass murderer Sirius Black had given Harry Potter permission to go to Hogsmead.

  49. Regarding the desire to be a fly on the wall when Snape and Dumbledore discuss what happened leading up to the story’s conclusion, I say to Snape, “Too bad if you don’t like it.” Dumbledore will tell Harry in two years that choices matter as much as prophecies. I think that applies to everybody. Snape has made some choices about how he will interact with Harry. They are influenced by how, maybe 20 years before, he chose to respond to various other characters. Yes, he was bullied to some extent, there is the historic animosity between Slytherin house and Gryffindor house. But even in the present, when Lupin and Sirius are on the same side in the fight against Voldy, the old animosity is kept alive in Snape’s mind. He chooses entirely against the evidence that Harry is just a young James. Is it also possible that at least some of the animosity between James and Snape was initiated by Snape himself? Based on a certain collection of memories, it seems that Snape was not targeted by James or Sirius in that compartment on the Hogwarts Express. Snape already knew he was likely for Slytherin. He hears disparaging remarks about that house, and praise for Gryffindor. Should the grudges of an 11-year old be carried out 20+ years later? Is that normal behavior, no matter what childish provocations are acted out in school? Really? None of that is Harry’s fault. Even if he breaks the rules, Harry’s mischief is much less frequent, and usually for reason, than Fred and George Weasley. They don’t receive quite as much notice from Snape.

    So Snape chose a long time ago that there are certain people he won’t get along with, including a particular family (Potters), and including most if not all members of a particular house (Gryffindor). Yes he’s flawed, but he is reliving his earliest years of school! For such an intelligent man of significant accomplishments, that is astounding.

    I hope Dumbledore points out at least some of that during that off-camera conversation. I suspect Dumbledore’s calm demeanor will infuriate Snape far beyond merely speaking in all capitals! Dumbledore may have to use a silent “Impervio” spell just to keep from being drenched.

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