Severus Snape (Spoilers)

There’s an even simpler explaination:

Snape is evil and wants Voldemort to win and just has managed to trick Dumbledore all this time.

Nah.

Snape is a good guy (ok, ok, at least not an evil guy). Just you wait and see.

Maybe the vow wasn’t Dumbledore’s idea?

Dumbledore has repeatedly said, “There are worse things than death”. I have the feeling we’re going to be seeing some other ancient magic explanation, similar to the Aslan/Deeper Magic bit in the Narnia series. He has told Voldemort repeatedly that his fear of dying is misguided.

As for Snape, I’m more in the camp that he was in love with Lily.

I’m still wondering why, in the end of HBP, Harry didn’t go and talk to Dumbledoor’s portrait in McGonnagal’s office!

I’ve always been under the impression that Snape’s reason was

that Dumbledore asked Snape to kill him–not necessarily because he was dying anyway, but because if Snape did it, Draco wouldn’t be a murderer.

Dumbledore’s portrait was asleep when Harry was in the office before the funeral.

As for Snape and the original theory, I think you’re overthinking it. If Dumbledore really believed in the jinx, then the reason he wasn’t giving Snape the DADA job is because he couldn’t afford for Snape to be gone after a year. Once Snape was stuck in the unbreakable vow with Narcissa, it was apparent that he would have his hand forced in one direction or the other and be gone at the end of the year regardless, so Dumbledore gave him the job and got Slughorn to come out of retirement.

I’m also in the “Snape loved Lily” camp. I think that the reason Snape hated Harry so much is because every time he looked at him, he saw Lily’s eyes staring out of James’s face and it was a constant reminder that Lily chose his hated rival over him. It’s his regret over the fact that Voldemort targeted Lily and her family that caused him to turn from the Death Eaters and is why Dumbledore trusts him - because he knows Snape hates Voldemort for killing Lily.

You’re likely right about that. I have a tendency to do that.

Quoth Captain Amazing:

Even simpler:Snape is evil and wants Snape to win. He’s playing both sides off against each other.Quoth Antinor01:

On the one hand, we are told that nobody’s ever lasted more than a year, but on the other hand, I’m pretty sure we were told that Quirrel had been there for more than a year.

I know!
I know!
I know!
Snape with turn out to be…

From the last page of chapter 20 in The Half Blood Prince…

“Oh, he (speaking of Voldie) definitely wanted the Defense Aganst the Dark Arts job,” sand Dumbledore. “The aftermath of our little meeting proved that. You see, we have never been able to keep a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for longer than a year since I refused the post to Lord Voldemort.”
(I didn’t have the book with me when I posted before)

As I understand what happened with Quirrell, he had been the DADA teacher for a year, left for a year to travel and then came back (under Voldemorts influence) in the Sorcerers Stone.

Except, is there any evidence that Snape did love Lily? We only see one interaction between Snape and Lilly in the series, which is Snape’s memory in the Pensieve, and in it, he insults her.

Given my retentiveness of all things Harry Potter, I’m astonished that I never had an inkling of this. Could you point me to where I can find this assertion backed up by Rowling?

It’s not specifically laid out in the books and I never thought he had been there before either. A lot of fan sites and commentary takes it from what Hagrid said to Harry after they first met Quirrell.

http://www.geocities.com/professorquirrellschambers/info1.html

Hmm… From one of those links (I could have found it in the hardcopy books, too, but it’d be slower):

If he was “scared of the students” since his return, that means he must have been at Hogwarts the previous year (the quote comes before the start of Harry’s first school year), and he was presumably also at Hogwarts at some point before his leave of absence (that’s when he was studying out of books). Plus, the “scared of his own subject” seems to indicate (though admittedly not prove) that he’s teaching the same subject that he had been before. This is difficult to reconcile with the jinx on the job, confirmed by Dumbledore.

Not neccessarily. After all, Quirrel wasn’t exactly the teacher, was he?

Yes, he was. Quirell was the one in the first year; I suspect you might be thinking of a later teacher. Not much is made of him in the classroom, but I presume he faced the class when addressing them. And if he didn’t, wouldn’t that have broken the jinx?

I think he means

Voldemort took over his body, so technically Voldemort was now holding the Defense of the Dark Arts position, thus the jinx he had placed many years before doesn’t have the same effect, which is why it’s possible for Quirrell to hold that position for longer than a year

I always interpreted that passage to mean that Quirrel had previously been studying DADA, not necessarily teaching it. (Are there wizard graduate schools?)

Is there some special etiquette about Harry Potter that requires spoiler tags on information contained in a book that was published 10 years ago and made into a wildly successful film 6 years ago?

I mean, the thread title says the thread’s got spoilers in it (although it doesn’t actually, just speculation), so why the extra layer of (annoying) protection?

Not really. Dumbledore could have meant that nobody lasted more than a year consecutively. Quirrell teaches for a year, takes a year off to study vampires, and then comes back for the first book. So, Dumbledore still has to find a new Dark Arts teacher each year for that time. Nobody sticks around for more than a year.