(A Severus Snape fansite)

"Hang on..." Harry muttered to Ron. "There's an empty chair at the staff table.... Where's Snape?"
"Maybe he's ill!" said Ron hopefully.
"Maybe he's left," said Harry, 'because he missed out on the Defense Against the Dark Arts job again!"
"Or he might have been sacked!" said Ron enthusiastically. "I mean, everyone hates him --"
"Or maybe," said a very cold voice right behind them, "he's waiting to hear why you two didn't arrive on the school train."
Harry spun around. There, his black robes rippling in a cold breeze, stood Severus Snape. He was a thin man with sallow skin, a hooked nose and greasy, shoulder-length black hair, and at this moment, he was smiling in a way that told Harry he and Ron were in very deep trouble.

- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Severus Snape, the spiffiest Potions Master ever. For those transported from a Harry-Potter-less alternate dimension, Snape is a fictitious character from the Harry Potter series of books written by J.K. Rowling. He has been brought to life onscreen by the talented and beautiful Alan Rickman in the series of Harry Potter movies.

Snape is a teacher at Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards.

Date Of Birth – January 9, 1959
Appearance – Tall, sallow skin, greasy shoulder-length hair, wears black, thin, hooked nose, uneven yellowish teeth, strong black eyes
Temperament - Cold
Family – presumed diseased.
Lineage – half-blood. Tobias Snape (father, Muggle), Eileen Prince (mother, Witch)
Childhood – attended Hogwarts, was often victimized by other students, however “he was part of a gang of Slytherins who nearly all turned out to be Death Eaters” (Sirius Black’s description, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
Began attendance at Hogwarts – 1971
House – Slytherin
Career – Potions Master/Slytherin house head at Hogwarts since 1981, finally secured long saught-after post as Defense against the Dark Arts teacher in 1996. Due to recent events, he no longer holds this position.
Affiliation – Questionable. Snape has ties with both the Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix, was trusted by Dumbledore but not by others.

Snape is first described on page seven of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” as "....a professor with greasy black hair, a hooked nose, and sallow skin." Later, he is compared with the friendly half-giant grounds-keeper of Hogwarts, Rubeus Hagrid, "His eyes were black like Hagrid’s, but they had none of Hagrid’s warmth. They were cold and empty and made you think of dark tunnels". Later, in the same book, his dentistry is briefly examined: "uneven, yellow-ish teeth". His movement is oftentimes described as “bat like” and “swooping”.

His house, finally described in “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”, is suitably ominous. Somewhere in industrialized northen England, on Spinners End, is “a tiny sitting room, which had the feeling of a dark, padded cell. The walls were completely covered in books, most of them bound in old black or brown leather; a threadbare sofa, an old armchair, and a rickety table stood grouped together in a pool of dim light cast by a candle-filled lamp hung from the ceiling. The place had an air of neglect, as though it was not usually inhabited”. This is understandable as Snape spends most of his time living at Hogwarts.

But ho, you say, surely he must have been a strapping young lad? Not according to a passage from “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”: "Snape-the-teenager had a stringy, pallid look about him, like a plant kept in the dark. His hair was lank and greasy and was flopping onto the table, his hooked nose barely half an inch from the surface of the parchment as he scribbled"

He is also by no means a nice man. He is constantly critical and obviously dislikes the book’s main character, Harry Potter. Many, who do not like Harry, consider this a virtue, but looked upon from an impersonal viewpoint, Snape exercises his considerable capability to be a terribly nasty man. Due to an adolescence of constant victimization by Harry’s father, James, Snape makes no bones about making Harry’s life a misery.

Add to this the final, terrible complication – Snape was a Death Eater. Death Eaters are servants of Voldemort, a dark wizard feared by many (and whom much of the story is based around). Hogwarts’ wise principal, Dumbledore, trusts Snape, who has been said to act as a spy for the good wizards during Voldemort’s reign. There are many who think he is still loyal to Voldemort, and despite his recent years of honorable (if a little prickly) behaviour, think that he will return to evil.

A more in-depth analysis of Snape's loyalties can be found at the HP lexicon.

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