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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

It's not that I don't have work. It's that I don't have *much*, so I don't feel motivated.

Okay.



One of the panels I was on was one on Order of the Phoenix. And I totally hogged the panel. I mean, I stepped on other people and shouted things out, and when I didn't, I whispered to the woman sitting next to me. I was really, really bad. There's no excuse.

Except. I kept getting all these *ideas*. And, just like I was a precept hog in college, I had to keep shouting these out.

And only one stuck with me. Maybe because I didn't get a chance to blurt it out.

We were talking about Snape. And this came to me. Columbine.

Think about it. Snape was a classic geek/nerd - the unattractive, greasy, possibly less-than-hygenic kid who is all about studying and D&D or Star Trek or computers or, in his case, potions and Dark Arts. And he's with the unpopular crowd if he's with one at all.

And then we get James, the prince of their year. Handsome, talented, intelligent, athletic, and he hangs around with Sirius who is even handsomer and brighter (top of the class without studying) and from an aristocratic family, to boot. And Remus may be quiet, but he's also bright and popular. And he's a prefect, too. And anyone else had better be like Peter - sycophantish. These *are* the popular crowd, at least in their own minds.

And how do they get their kicks? By teasing the unpopular kid, the nerd. Now, this goes on in every high school. It's only worse at Hogwarts because of magic.

While I don't think it's *just* because of James and Sirius - that's far too simplistic, and I can believe he was a nasty kid - in fact, we know he was. And prejudiced and full of pride in his own pure blood. Anyway, while I doubt it was the only reason, I'm sure it was a factor in his choice to follow Voldemort.

Why he decided to go over to Dumbledore, I don't know. Unless. Unless Dumbledore was fighting to keep him, gaining his trust and respect in anyway he could, during his entire school career. And Snape came back when he saw what Voldemort was - that even there, he was probably despised as a kid or lower class or something.

Comments

Snape was a classic geek/nerd

Well, yes. His description in the very first book screamed "Greasy-haired Science Geek" to me. He reminded me of one of my fellow chemistry majors (and AD&D/Trek fans) in college, actually. Except that Snape had a much more refined line in snark.

Which was why I've always been pretty sure (after the first book, anyway) that Harry was on the wrong track casting Severus as the Villain Of The Piece.

I'm sure it was a factor in his choice to follow Voldemort.

Oh, I'm certain the idea that Voldemort et al would help him "get a bit of his own back" played a major part in that decision. Also, that here would be a group where he'd finally belong, and be properly appreciated, and all those other overly-optimistic assumptions that often get miserable young outcast-geeks sucked into highly un-positive situations.

I'm not sure why he went back to Dumbledore either, but I'd bet it was partly his realization that Lucius et al were always going to be higher up the Death Eater hierarchy than he was.

I disagree. I think it was much the same reason that angry young geeks suddenly realize that they don't want to be Neo-Nazis after all (and some AYGs do join the Neo-Nazis, I've seen it happen) - rage will only carry you so far. Sooner or later you wake up and wonder what the heck it was you were thinking.

I think it was much the same reason that angry young geeks suddenly realize that they don't want to be Neo-Nazis after all

We're talking at cross purposes, I think.

You're saying "He got out because he realized he didn't want to do what they wanted him to."

I'm saying, "This is one of the reasons he realized he didn't want to do that."

Realizing that you're a tool, and that you'll always be a tool, not a person valued for yourself, is a heck of a start on opening your eyes, don't you agree?

I suspect another part of it was the realization that the so-called limits on what a Death Eater was supposed to be willing to do were, um, considerably outside his own boundaries.

Snape as we meet him is a right bastard, but he does have limits over which he won't go. Voldemort doesn't.

There were probably other things that made him wake up and realize that this group was a place he very much didn't want to be, but I'm pretty sure those two were a part of the whole.

A good observation with the Snape/Columbine comparison, and thank you--a lot--for neither treating the ridicule like it was nothing of import nor treating Severus as if he was a totally innocent victim. He is a nasty piece of work, and being a victim of bullying doesn't change that.

This doesn't mean I don't sympathize. Honestly, I felt just awful for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, too--what a waste. But I've had the argument about the Pensieve scene a lot of times now, and the two camps always seem to boil down to "The Marauders were having good fun and Snape probably deserved it" and "The Marauders are evil and Snape is really just a misunderstood hero." It seems to me that MWPP were being arrogant little berks, just like Sirius said, and that Snape was a malevolent boy. It struck me that Remus and James, at least, seem to have grown up since the incident, and Sirius... well, I think he knows he should have and is ashamed of how easily he can be tweaked back into his childhood self. But Snape takes pride in holding on to old injuries; that doesn't bode well for him. And I do wonder why Dumbledore, who otherwise trusts him, won't allow him to teach DADA.

Unlike Lucius, who was protecting his privileged life, Snape seems to be of the group at the lowest end of a racist regime--the one whose position is basically, "Well, I may not have much, but at least I'm not one of those people." In my fanfiction, I've postulated that his obviously not-terribly-nice father was violently opposed to Dark Arts (I have his father turning his mother in for practicing them), and there's an element of spitting in his father's face involved as well, but of course, there's nothing whatsoever in canon to back that up. And we may never know exactly why he goes back to Dumbledore, unless Harry really takes it in his mind to find out. It could have just been some moment, coming from out of the blue, when he realizes, I can't do this anymore.

James seems to have matured in his last two years at Hogwarts - something might have happened.

Huh. Maybe his parents were killed. I can see that. And then he married Lily and they had a baby. Certainly, those should be maturing things, although we know they often not. I don't get that feeling about James. He seemed to be a true husband and father, despite his youth.

Remus has had a lifetime of pain and loneliness - all of his close friends were dead or incarcerated for killing his friends for a third of his life. And he always was a bit more mature than the others. Not perfectly, no, but no one in that universe is perfect, praise Rowling.

Sirius, though. Sirius never had to get beyond that stage. He ran away from his problems at first - from his own family, from being the Potters' secret killer, from Azkaban and then from the rest of the wizarding world (sometimes it *is* the right choice. :)) He used to be handsome and brilliant and as aristocratic as Draco Malfoy. He's not anymore, and he wants to be fifteen again, and carefree and with is best friend.

I find it interesting that both Sirius and Snape only see James when they see Harry - and then only certain parts of James. And those are the parts that Harry doesn't have. He doesn't get into trouble for the fun of it; he doesn't flout rules just because he can; he *isn't* arrogant and insensitive. He's also *not* perfect. He has poor study habits, he's impulsive and he has a deep well of anger and violence inside of him. And all of that is going to bite him in the end.

I do wonder what will happen if and when Snape sees Lily's eyes on James' son, and realizes he's not the same person at all.