I will preface this post with the fact that, if you are not familiar with the Harry Potter universe, this post contains spoilers. If you don’t care, then, please proceed. If you plan on reading the novels or watching the films, then stop reading now.
In my previous post, I addressed my passion for the character that is Molly Weasley and her role in Harry Potter’s life, not to mention why I chose a replica of her character’s wand from the films. You can read that post here.
The other wand that stands up to Molly’s with regard to the sheer incredible awesomeness of the character to whom it belongs is that of Professor and one-time Headmaster Severus Snape.
Snape (again, big spoiler here!) is incredibly misunderstood as far as the plot of the series goes.
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry and his friends (Ron and Hermione), first year students at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, come to the mistaken conclusion that Snape is out to kill Harry and steal the Sorcerer’s stone from the Hogwarts castle. Harry later learns that Snape is not actually the one who was attacking him on the Quidditch pitch via curses, but rather he is “muttering countercurses” at the one who actually is cursing him: Professor Quirrell.
Professor Snape bore little role in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that helped Harry all that much. He did demonstrate in the dueling club with Professor Lockhart the Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus!) and how to make the Polyjuice Potion (allowing the drinker to change form into another animal or person) in Potions class. Harry and his friends all suspected he was tired of not being posted to the Defense Against the Dark Arts faculty position. Regardless, Harry continued to think that Snape had it out for him.
Snape’s role in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban revolved around finding the escaped convict, Sirius Black (Harry’s godfather and friend to James and Lily Potter, Harry’s parents). Severus replaced Professor Lupin for a lesson when the Professor had issue with a bout of lyncathropy – he is a werewolf. Severus also defended Harry when he thought that Wormtail let Sirius into the castle.
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Professor Snape became indignant, demonstrating that he believed that Harry had intentionally charmed his own entry into the competition and that he had stolen stores from Snapes potion cabinets. Harry learned that Snape had been once a Death Eater, serving Lord Voldemort personally.
In a poignant scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Professor Snape says to Headmaster (and High Inquisitor) Delores Umbridge (when she asks if he has any veritaserum (truth potion)): I’m afraid you have used up all my stores interrogating students […] Unless you wish to poison Potter – and I assure you, I would have the greatest sympathy if you did – I cannot help you. He truly portrays a lack of affection for Potter.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Snape (whom Harry had believed to be a pure-blood wizard) kills Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. I won’t explain because it doesn’t really warrant the spoiler.
Finally, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we see Snape killed off and we see Harry learn the truth of the man who saved his life. Harry learns completely of the love that Severus had for Lily (and the enmity he had for James) and for Dumbledore that had him play the role that he was destined to play in the Second Wizarding War. He sacrifices his life, ultimately, for Harry, the one who doubts Snape’s intentions throughout the entire storyline. And it is only after he is killed do readers and moviegoers (and Harry) have any idea what he has done and why.
Yes, Severus was completely misunderstood and probably, in my opinion, played the pivotal role in the entire epic story (7 books, 8 movies). His actions were questionable by many (including myself) but his intentions were pure and very much orchestrated to achieve an end of good.
So, his wand will sit beside Molly Weasley’s in a place of honor in my office.