What do you think of "The Prince's Tale" as a chapter?
I think it’s pretty startling, to be honest - from start to finish. I love the exit line, of Harry feeling as if Snape could’ve just left the room, and I love the start where, somewhat ironically, Voldemort says: “You have fought valiantly. Lord Voldemort knows how to value bravery.” …and we later learn that one of the bravest men of the series had just been cruelly felled by him for his own personal gain.
I think it’s devastating for Harry, that he finds out the truth about the talented, powerful wizard just a few hours too late - that he could’ve had Snape on his side, and just like Dumbledore, and Sirius, and Lupin, and all of the others…he’s another father figure laid to waste.
I thought it added some much needed backstory to Snape, and it explained an awful lot about his interactions with the Marauders. I knew as soon as I read Half Blood Prince that it was 90% likely that Snape was a working class kid ‘done good’, and he wasn’t just hiding out in a Muggle dunghill out of convenience.
So it was good to have that validated, and it wasn’t shied away from - he was presented as a neglected kid, and I liked that juxtaposition between the dramatic and severe Headmaster who we’d encountered a few chapters earlier, “It is I!” and the neglected impoverished kid that he’d once been.
I’ve said before that it’s not how I would’ve written it - but given the story we had in canon, it’s a chapter that I’m very very fond of.