I had a realization today that has started to form a theory about Snape, though I’m not sure what the implication is. The theory is that Snape doesn’t and hasn’t ever wanted to work at Hogwarts.
My reasoning for this is as follows. He has wanted the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for years. The position was cursed so that no one who held the job would stay at Hogwarts more than one year by Voldemort years ago after he was twice refused the position. Snape is presumably aware of this or has figured it out and wants the position so that he can leave the school. I also theorize that Snape and Dumbledore have a contract (similar to the magical binding contract used when students submit their names to the goblet of fire for the triwizard tournament) keeping him there and he hopes this will get him out of it.
It’s the why that I’m not sure of yet. Does he want to return to Voldemort but couldn’t while he was employed there? Does he just want to get out of the whole mess? Of course I could be reading things in that aren’t there, but Rowling loves placing little clues throughout the series and this could possibly be one of them.
Feel free to rip my theory to shreds or add to it.
I think Dumbledore himself, although aware of the conventional wisdom that the job is jinxed, would probably disagree that this is the reality of the situation. Such a “jinx” being real would remove free will and autonomy from the holder of the position. Dumbledore is (was, actually)very enthusiastically in support of the notion that events move forward propelled by the choices that are made by the actors in those events.
I don’t really believe that Severus Snape would see the so-called “jinx” as being anything to which a wizard of his talent and skill would be vulnerable. For all that he talks of Harry being arrogant, he’s got more than a little arrogance of his own, and he tends to view others, although not himself, in terms of how weak they are.
Is the jinx real? And placed by Voldy? Wow, I missed that. Then again, I missed Sirius’ “death” the first time around, too. I got ten pages past it and Harry was all angsty and I was like, “Woah, WHAT?” Had to go back and read the chapter again. So I may not be the best trivia master of the Potterverse.
[Patting Clothahump’s hand] There, there. It will be all right. He left you in the knowledge that you have the inner strength to survive his loss. I know it’s hard, but you’re going to be OK. [/P C’s h]
I’ve only got one problem with your theory; if the reason Snape stays at Hogwarts is due to a binding magical contract of some sort, why did he tell Narcissa and Bellatrix it was because he thought Voldy was dead, and then in order to protect himself? That story makes him look self-serving, while “i’m under a spell and can’t do anything about it” would be a much better reason.
It was noted (in Prisoner of Azkaban, I believe) that Snape was fascinated by the dark arts from an early age. In addition, being an ex Deatheater, he has practical experience in the field. Although it seems his real talents lie in potion making, he probably feels (rightly so, IMHO) that he has a lot he could teach the students about DADA and he would be teaching a subject that holds a lot of interest for him. He probably sees it as a win-win situation.
But, as Dumbledore noted in Order of the Phoenix, the DADA job could potentially bring out the worst in Snape. Hence his hesitance to grant him the post.
Now, I am a Snape fangirl, so I tend to read him in the best possible light. But, it’s always seemed to me that Snape liked being at Hogwarts and that he respected and admired Dumbledore and to a lesser extent McGonagall. I don’t think he would leave willingly or of his own accord.
Don’t read this if you haven’t read book 6, ok? You’ve been warned…
Dumbledore is dead. Snape killed him. Those are unfortunately the facts. But, I really believe that we will find out that Snape’s hand was forced by Dumbledore himself to do it. The exact reason isn’t clear to me, yet. Maybe Dumbledore knew he was a goner and wanted the quick, painless way out while letting Snape look good to Voldy. Maybe Snape has a larger role in all this than we are aware and Dumbledore couldn’t let Snape back out on that unbreakable vow. Who knows? But, I just know it wasn’t as cold blooded as it appeared on the surface. end fanwanking
[spoiler]Snape probably was willing to not kill Dumbledore and die. Hagrid implies this, although he didn’t understand the issue at hand, when he mentions that Snape told Dumbledore “he didn’t want to do it anymore.” Dumbledore essentially orders Snape to kill him if necessary, although I believe it’s also implied that Dumblefore is dying anyway as a result of the curse on the Ring.
Note, too, the conversation at Spinner’s End. Snap never once actually says anything about the “plan.” But he extracts the knowledge from Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy.Neither even makes much sense if he really were on Voldemort’sside and in his confidences.[/spoiler]
Admitting that he entered such an agreement with Dumbledore would weaken his position in that situation. I would think that Narcissa and Bellatrix would look less favorable on him if he admitted such a thing to them, they would see it as more evidence of him consorting with the enemy.
Oh well, sure, if you want to go and get all logical and not read into everything and stuff.
(But, where’s the fun in that? )
I agree with what you say about Dumbledore in the spoiler box. I don’t know about the unbreakable vow thing though. Doesn’t that just seem to go against Dumbledore’s nature? I don’t really see him as the type to try to infringe on people’s free will. He wanted people to be good and trustworthy for their own sake - “be good and trustworthy or you will drop dead immediately” just doesn’t seem to be Dumbledore’s style.
(Anyone else getting tired of typing “Dumbledore”?)
I think an Unbreakable Vow might be considered Dark Magic, seeing as its violation ends in death. I doubt Dumbledore would be willing to require one of anybody. Plus, there’s the fact that Dumbledore likesspoiler[/spoiler]to play things close to his vest, and an Unbreakable Vow requires a Bonder, necessitating that a third party know about the Vow, at the least, even if not about the subject.
Which raises an interesting question: if, as postulated by smiling bandit, Snape didn’t know about the task Draco had been assigned,could the Unbreakable Vow have been binding? How reckless would that have been for Snape, if he’s Vowing on his life to do something, and he doesn’t even know what he’s vowing to do?