anonymous asked:

I'm rereading HP books and just come upon Snape's grudge chapter. My question is why did Snape called Lupin to figure out if the old paper had dark magic or not. I mean Snape is the one who is expert at dark magic. I know meta wise it was a way to save Harry's behind and for Lupin to end up with the map for the third act but it doesn't make sense to me that Snape would call Lupin. If anything, he would go to Dumbledore.

This is a great question.

Prisoner of Azkaban is a delight, because it has many moments where you take the book on face value on first read, and then once you’ve read the whole series, you read it again, and you realise much more is going on.

At face value, Snape discovers that Harry has a suspect piece of parchment.  He requests the assistance of the DADA professor.  Harry assumes that Snape is deferring to Lupin’s greater Dark Arts knowledge, thus proving why Lupin has the position and Snape has been passed over for it yet again.

But as you state, this doesn’t make sense for several reasons.  Snape is a Dark Arts expert, and probably didn’t require a second opinion – but if he did, it’s reasonable to assume he’d defer to Dumbledore.  Snape despises Lupin, and there’s nothing to suggest that Lupin would know more about Dark Arts than Snape.

…so it simply doesn’t make logical sense that Snape would request his enemy’s assistance.  

So, if he’s not asking for a second opinion, what is he doing?

Well, Snape is quite happy to investigate the parchment, up until the point that it insults him – and then, he freezes.  As soon as the map ceases, he calls Lupin, and there are two key quotes:

“This parchment is plainly full of Dark Magic. This is supposed to be your area of expertise, Lupin. Where do you imagine Potter got such a thing?”

His jaw had gone rigid with anger. “You think a joke shop could supply him with such a thing? You don’t think it more likely that he got it directly from the manufacturers?”

It’s very clear that the insults on the map cause Snape to realise that the object once belonged to Lupin et al.  We don’t know how he knows – I would assume that Snape heard them use their nicknames (after all, we know Snape trailed after them a lot as teenagers).

At this point in the series, Snape suspects that Lupin is in cahoots with Black, who he believes to be a dangerous murderer.  He sees Lupin as a man who is trying to gain Harry’s trust in order to exploit it – and perhaps lure him to Black.  Draco’s report of Harry being in Hogsmeade is proof that someone helped him sneak out of the castle.

Additionally, we also know that Snape had raised his concerns with Dumbledore, who brushed them off - so Snape chooses to challenge Lupin directly, instead of taking it to Dumbledore as proof that Lupin isn’t on the level.

As a consequence, this whole scene wasn’t about the rights and wrongs of the map, or how dark the object was, or who should confiscate it or keep it.  Snape hasn’t requested Lupin’s assistance to have a consult about a dark magical object which has confused him; he’s simply making a point, which was Snape saying to Lupin, “I’ve caught you up to something.  I don’t trust you, and whilst Dumbledore might trust you, I don’t – and I’m watching you.”