My opinion on the “James vs Snape” issue.
I love the HP fandom, but I just hate how in this fandom Snape gets more love than he deserves, meanwhile James Potter gets more hate than he will ever deserve. I can’t believe that it’s 2017 and people still believe Snape was a hero and James was a terrible person.
James Potter was a jerk when he was a teen and yes, he bullied Snape. But he was 15, and “a lot of people are idiots at the age of fifteen”. Tell me that you weren’t an idiot sometimes at that age, I dare you.
If he was such a bad person, then why was he totally okay with Remus being a werewolf? He loved his friends like nobody else, and it’s canon. He became an unregistered animagi so that his werewolf friend wouldn’t have to suffer through the full moon alone.
Do you realize that when James Potter used Levicorpus on Snape, he had already been planning on becoming a death eater and had been trying to out Remus as a Werewolf? This is actual canon from DH.
You have to remember that even if James was an idiot, Snape was no saint either. Remus even said that Snape “never lost an opportunity to curse James”. In fact, it’s mentioned by anyone who talks about the marauders and Snape that the animosity and hexing between them was mutual, so don’t tell me that only James hexed Snape. We don’t actually know how one-sided Snape’s bullying was. But if what Remus said it’s true, then it was mutual. Even if Snape’s worst memory is true as told, this happened after he was openly associating with pureblood supremacists, dismissing the use of dark magic as ‘a joke’.
You need to remember that James despised Dark Magic, and he couldn’t even just say the word “mudblood”. He was the complete opposite to a pureblood supremacist.
He grew up and became Head Boy. He matured, and did it enough for Lily to fall in love with him.
After school (possibly even in his final year), James grew up, and became part of the Order of the Phoenix as soon as he left Hogwarts. He realized what a douche he was to people and changed for the better. He joined the Order because there were innocent people dying for no reason, and he knew he could fight and help. He joined because he loved Lily and he wanted to make sure there was a future for them, a future where they could live happily ever after. And then he died trying to protect his family. He faced Lord Volvemort wandless, unarmed, so his wife and their baby could escape. James Potter was many things but he was not an idiot. He knew that facing Voldemort at that point would be the last thing he did, but did it anyway. He decided that Lily’s life, and Harry’s, was more important than his own.
You have to rememeber that literally everybody from Hagrid to Lord Voldemort thought James Potter was a good and brave man.
On the other hand, Snape called the girl he was ”in love with” a mudblood infront of the entire school. He directly verbally abused her with a racial slur and became involved in a movement that wanted to kill her and eradicate her kind. He chose to shatter their friendship because his ego was hurt that a girl was helping him, even though she probably was the only person who was nice to him.
His treatment of Petunia was terrible. He’s been bullying people since before he even went to Hogwarts. Since he was little, he thought muggle-borns and muggles were inferior.
He created a spell that could kill his enemies when he was at Hogwarts. And after that, he finally joined a terrorist organization that wanted to kill people like the woman he was supposed to be in love with. He probably killed and tortured people. He was a loyal Death Eater for multiple years.
Snape may have loved Lily, but his love for her was selfish, seen in the fact that he was willing to let her husband and her infant child die. Actually, I don’t think he loved her. He was obsessed with her. Or at least, he loved the idea of her that was on his mind, not the real Lily Evans. If he had really loved her, he would have tried to save her family, knowing that she would suffer if they died. But he was willing to let a baby and an innocent man die if it meant he could save Lily. If it meant he could have her.
And when Lily died to protect her child, he realized that he made the wrong decision and “changed”. He became a spy, and I know it was hard. I understand that. I acknowledge Snape’s efforts as a spy and his contributions to the war. In the end, he turned out to be a brave man who tried to rectify his mistakes. But that doesn’t really change how a terrible person he was.
He abused his students, he bullied them. He targeted Neville, knowing he already had self-esteem issues, knowing what happened to his parents. He threatened to poison his pet. He consciously targeted someone he perceived as weak, to the point where he became Neville’s worst fear at age 13. A fucking teacher was his biggest fear, not the people that tortured his parents into madness. Don’t you see how fucked up is that?!
Snape body shamed and insulted Hermione, who was an intelligent and hardworking student (just like Lily). He made her cry.
Yes, he tried to protect Harry, and saved his life more than once. But he also verbally abused him, a neglected, abused, orphan who had done nothing wrong but look like his dead father. A father that he didn’t even know, by the way. Snape mocked and insulted him at every turn. Snape did everything that he could to make Harry’s life miserable because it was his way to have his revenge against James. This is not a 15 years old boy bullying another, it’s a fucking 30 years old man abusing a kid because he couldn’t let it go his hate about a dead person.
He tried to have an innocent man killed because of what happened when they were 16. Yes, Sirius was an idiot for that, I’m not denying it, but he didn’t coerce Snape into doing anything. He just gave him information. It means that Snape, on his own, decided it would be a great idea to sneak into the Shrieking Shack just to prove that Remus was a werewolf.
He caused Remus to lose his job after spending years suffering in poverty. He deliberately made Remus’ students to write an essay on how to spot and kill a werewolf, to emotionally attack and possibly out him as a werewolf. He later did out him to the entire wizarding world, just because he was angry because Sirius didn’t die.
After seeing the abuse Dursley’s inflicted on Harry, he thought it was funny and felt no sympathy. Harry was fifteen. The same age that Snape was when he was (supposedly) “bullied”. He didn’t care about the abuse, he didn’t see himself in Harry. He thought it was funny. Fucking funny.
Usually, people at 15 are jerks and bully each other. But teachers aren’t supossed to abuse kids.
James Potter was a jackass, but he didn’t join the equivalent of a magical nazi organization when he left Hogwarts. He didn’t experiment with dark magic and he died protecting his family. He grew out of it. He was a good person in the end.
Snape only betrayed Voldemort because he was chasing after Lily. He only left the death eaters because he wanted to protect Lily, if Neville was the chosen one, he would remain in his position as a Death Eater.
So sorry if I prefer James over Snape all the way.