hp challenge → three antagonists → albus dumbledore →“you have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment?… you have used me… i have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. everything was supposed to keep lily potter’s son safe. now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter…”


Once we have the timeline straight between the werewolf incident and Snape’s Worst Memory, there’s one thing that jumps off the page:  the creation of Sectumsempra.

And boy, is it a nasty spell.  

Unlike the other creations littered through the Prince’s Potions book, this one is clearly labelled:  For enemies.  

Sectumsempra is akin to an invisible sword.  Wielded correctly, it’s a hex that can slice, dice and ultimately, kill.  Lupin commented years later that it was Snape’s specialty, so he clearly practiced and honed his skill.  

Sectumsempra is a huge departure from the other created spells found in the Prince’s Potions book, which are either useful (Langlock; Muffliato) or arguably jocular in intent (toe-nail growing hex; Levicorpus).  In contrast, there’s no jokey element to Sectumsempra; the intent is to cause great harm.

Langlock is the first spell that really intrigues me; it has a very deliberate outcome - and why would you want to stop someone from talking?  Well, in your early years at Hogwarts, it’s how you prevent someone from spell casting, because younger students aren’t skilled in non-verbal casting.  

So I think that points to Snape trying to defend himself when being attacked four-on-one; but it’s curious that none of his early spells are particularly nasty or vicious, and that Sectumsempra is such an elevation in horror.  

So what changes?

Enter:  the werewolf incident.  

I think this broke Snape.  

I think he’d handled the four-on-one bullying for as long as he could, and Sirius had unwittingly changed the rules of the game.  It wasn’t “just” bullying; it wasn’t just harassing and irritating and picking on him.  It wasn’t just calling him names, and flicking some hexes down the corridor.

This time, they tried to kill him.

And when we look at the timeline, we can see that they didn’t have the decency to leave him alone after that…which implies that they can’t have been severely punished for their actions, because they show little remorse.

That in turn suggests that Snape probably felt isolated.  We already know that Lily had sided with James Potter’s version of events, and if the Marauders weren’t punished harshly by the teachers, then he probably felt as if they wouldn’t defend him in the future.  

So Snape created Sectumsempra.  It’s the magical equivalent of a bullied kid taking a penknife to school to defend himself.  He created a knife, and having learnt his lesson from Levicorpus, he unleashed it nonverbally, ensuring that nobody would be able to use it against him in retaliation.


Great set of pictures from the SYPG institution in Qamishlo, part of TEV-DEM here. Statement below. Strike 4 Repeal! The HPC woman with the gun is the best, these are the people that keep us safe when we go about our work. Such amazing people!

“The revolution here in Rojava is a women’s revolution. From the front lines of the fight against ISIS, to running the cantons to trade unions that ensure all working women have their voices heard. International women’s day has special significance here, with events and demonstrations taking place all over the region. We stand with women worldwide in the struggle against patriarchy, and today we stand with the women of Ireland. We call on the Irish Government to repeal the 8th amendment and allow women rights over their own bodies! Today news reporters, trade unionists, HPC (civilian self-defence units) heard about the strike and stood in solidarity. Today women across Qamishlo support #strike4repeal”

anonymous asked:

One thing I don't get is how Lily took James word so easily against Snape's. The thing I got was that she thought he was stupidly sneaking around and James saved him from the goodness of his heart. She knows James bullies people and that he's a braggart. Why didn't she say "Sev, Potter was going on about how he saved you from something? What happened? Are you okay?" She was ready to believe the worst of him and was influenced by her house. People don't want to believe it but she had her flaws.

I’ve got to be honest, this is the thing that I find really difficult to deal with when it comes to the Potter series; I think I’ve written about it a few times before.

To be clear, this is not criticism of Lily for not continuing to be friends with Severus - it is more an investigation of ‘what was their status as friends’ during their years as friends.

I am uncertain as to how deep the friendship between Lily and Severus was.  I think it’s plausible to argue that it was very strong, and perhaps waned over the years as they drifted apart whilst at Hogwarts.  Equally, I think it’s also possible to argue that it was convenience, and Severus’ actions were a perfect excuse for Lily to finally wash her hands of him.

I think there are several other very plausible readings of their friendship - but the only one that I give zero credence to is the one we see in canon, where Lily reassures Severus that they are indeed best friends…because in that very scene, Lily proves that they’re not.

Of course, it is important to recognise and appreciate that by this point in canon, Severus was already behaving in a way that was causing Lily concern.  I think that no matter how strong their friendship had been previously, she was bothered by the people he was apparently socialising with, and given the way Severus throws the Marauders back at her as a retort, it seems that he probably felt the same about her.  It is clear that from both sides, they are being affected and led by others in their house.  By Snape’s Worst Memory, Severus has been using slurs to refer to Muggleborns and in this scene itself, we see that Lily has sided with James’ version of events.

As you say in your ask, and it’s something I’ve lamented before, I do not understand Lily’s reaction to the werewolf incident.  Importantly, it is very plausible that Severus didn’t explain to Lily the depth of how the Marauders were bullying him - it’s perhaps logical to think that she only knew that James et al were generally troublemakers, and she didn’t know that the extent of their behaviour towards Severus.  …because Lily berates Severus for not being grateful that his bully saved him from ‘whatever’s down there’ by the Whomping Willow.

Something doesn’t quite add up.  If that was my best friend, I wouldn’t have waited a few days to catch up with him to see if he was ok.  I wouldn’t berate him not being grateful at being saved; I would’ve been concerned about his health and wellbeing.  …if that was my best friend, I would’ve been asking him for his version of events, and not relying on information from people I know he - at best! - dislikes.

The fact that Lily does none of that suggests to me that they’re not best friends at all, despite her early platitudes.  She has already pitched her wagon to Gryffindor and James by taking his version of events as gospel.  In itself, that’s not a crime.  It is, perhaps, unfortunate that she does so in the same conversation where she assures Severus that she’s his best friend, because her actions speak louder than words.  Of course, what’s most pitiful of all is that Severus doesn’t seem to register any of this - he has so few frames of reference for friendship, love and appreciation that he doesn’t seem to question Lily’s reaction and see it for what it was.

Lily didn’t have to be Severus’ friend; when you’re friends with someone, it doesn’t mean a lifelong commitment to be their friend forever, and I think given the circumstances (the background of war, the rise of the Death Eater rhetoric, the animosity between Gryffindor and Slytherin), their friendship didn’t have a chance.

However, all that considered, I think that whilst it’s important to recognise that Severus’ behaviour wasn’t stellar and Lily was within her rights to call the friendship off, it’s equally important to recognise that Lily’s own behaviour was hardly wonderful - it’s just that Severus has no grounding to recognise it, and be able to call her on it.

Best friends?  Quite possibly in the past.  
At that point in time?  Most definitely not.


malec + color palettes: au!alec lightwood + hpc canva alternate colors (requested by @moonylady

A moment of appreciation

…for the absolute balls of brass that teenage Severus Snape must’ve had to stand outside Gryffindor Tower on the evening of Snape’s Worst Memory.

A few hours earlier, he was attacked - without provocation - by a group of Gryffindor lads who routinely bullied him.  Yet, he stood outside their tower and begged to speak to his friend.

In the midst of the attack, he called one of their housemates an awful, terrible slur - and yet, that evening, he stood outside their tower and begged for the opportunity to make amends..

We don’t know if James did go as far as to strip Snape naked.  But when Snape went up to Gryffindor tower, he didn’t go to retaliate.  He didn’t get a gang of Slytherins to help him wreak revenge.  He went alone to face a house that hated him, and it wasn’t James or Sirius that he looked for - he went up there to apologise to Lily.

We know from what Lily says that he’s been pestering other students to get Lily to come out and talk to him, probably making a nuisance of himself; running the risk of James, or Sirius, or Peter feeling justified in going out and attacking him, just as they did a few hours earlier.

He threatened to sleep outside, which would see him breaking curfew, risking the teachers’ ire - and he meant it.  

His actions that afternoon were less than stellar, but surely it should’ve been apparent from his actions that evening that he would grow into the bravest man Harry ever knew.  

As an adult, he sought out Dumbledore whilst he was a Death Eater, and he repeatedly lied to the greatest Legilimens the wizarding world has ever seen.  

But the signs were already there when, as a teenager, he dared walk alone to the common room of a house full of students who despised him, who were furious at him - and, most terrifying of all, which contained the boys who had utterly humiliated him that afternoon…and he refused to go away until he’d had the opportunity to try and put things right.

anonymous asked:

I just had a thought. Did Minerva ever disapprove of Severus' teaching?

I don’t think so, really - I think there are deliberate parallels to be drawn in how they approached their lessons, how they approached their own students, and how they approached each other’s students.  I do not think it’s a mistake that the two teachers are compared.

Harry is quick to note that Minerva was strict but fair - but he’s saying so from a Gryffindor perspective.  I cannot help but think that Draco would think the opposite about Minerva - and we know that he regards Severus as his favourite teacher, to the extent that he’s said as much at home.

I am certain that Severus is supposed to be Minerva’s equal, and I get the feeling from the text that they respected one another.  When Minerva is angry with Draco, she takes him to Severus; the assumption appears to be that she trusts Severus and that Draco will be rebuked appropriately.  I think if she had any fear that Severus wouldn’t behave accordingly, she’d have administered punishment as the deputy head, overriding Severus’ status of head of house.

So no.  If anything, I think Minerva’s lack of dismay throughout the series is indicative that Harry’s voice is perhaps a little biased, not that Severus was categorically in the wrong.