Well, I just feel the desperate need to add my own two cents in.
After calming down and a good night’s sleep, I can honestly say that my Snape love knows no bounds and is as strong as ever.
Yes, I felt almost raw after finishing HBP. And yes, I actually cried (just a little) for Snape. And I’d like to say ‘kudos’ to JKR for having that sort of impact on me. While I have a few issues with her writing (and seriously, has she been trolling fanfics for ideas/’ships/terms? – she actually called it the DADA position), I remain in love with the world she created.
But Snape. Snape. My god, she managed to take an already interesting and morally ambiguous character and give him so many more dimensions. We see his interactions and manipulations with “Cissy” and “Bella”. How perfectly he plays them. He knows just what to say to get the information he wants (he knew the Dark Lord’s plans beforehand my ass!). He’s a master at his game.
We learn of his time in school as the HBP, and what a brilliant potions student he really was. How he created new spells, and basically rewrote the advanced potions textbook.
We see his eloquence in the classroom. How he commands a room. And how he finally, finally, can teach the subject he loves.
We learn how he argues with Dumbledore, and how Dumbledore has taken too much for granted. What, exactly, has Dumbledore taken for granted? Could it be his demand that Snape fulfill his oath? And we see, over and over again, how much Dumbledore trusts him, and how little he’s concerned with Harry’s conviction that Snape will betray him. Dumbledore is no dummy – I don’t believe that he’s gotten it wrong for all these years.
We see two powerful Occulmens staring at each other as one lies dying – you can’t tell me that there was no communication between them. We see the hatred and revulsion Snape has at carrying out his task. Hatred and revulsion at what? Dumbledore? Unlikely. Himself? His task? Much more likely.
We see how Snape keeps Harry safe from the Death Eaters, protecting him yet again. We see Snape, even after everything happens, still trying to teach Harry: “Blocked again and again and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, Potter.” Harry needs to learn wordless magic and control – Snape’s just trying to make him see that.
And when does Snape lose it? When Harry uses his own spells against him (like Harry’s father had done) and then calls him a coward. Of all the insults Harry could have used, why would that one bother Snape the most? Because, assuming that Snape really is the “good” guy I just know him to be, he has just done the most difficult thing of his life – killed his mentor, protector, and the only person who trusts him fully. And he killed him for a greater purpose – to get closer to Voldemort and work against him internally. Not the work of a coward, but the duty of someone who was willing to sacrifice everything – his friends, his job, his life – to do what must be done.
I fully believe that Dumbledore knows what’s coming. He knows of Draco’s plan (and where do you think he got that information from, hmm?) He knows he’s dying from his injury. And he knows Snape will have to leave at the end of the year – that Snape’s oath must be fulfilled. (Why else would he be allowed to teach DADA? Dumbledore knows the position is cursed. And he doesn’t actually hire a new potions master until after Snape makes his oath.) I believe that Dumbledore and Snape had Dumbledore’s death planned all along.
I completely refuse to believe that Snape is The Evil. While I feel that his final redemption will come with a heavy price, I do feel that he will redeem himself in the last book.
Oh, and on a completely unrelated note, how many of you foresee Dobby/Kreacher OTP fics? I know I do.
And I still love my Snarry, no matter what. Now the challenge really begins…