A Patronus is like the ultimate force field of magical goodness. To create one, a witch or wizard has to channel their inner joy and think about happy memories, like when they got their Hogwarts acceptance letter or the time they beat their annoying cousin at wizard chess. With this in mind, they have to shout the magic words: “EXPECTO PATRONUM.” If they do it right, BOOM! An animal-shaped guardian appears to kick some Dementor butt.
But what animals are they shaped like? Well, that’s unique to the wizard. For example, Hermione’s takes the form of an otter, while Luna Lovegood’s bounds around in the shape of a hare. Everyone’s is different … well, almost everyone’s. In rare cases, close relatives can share the same Patronus, like both Harry and James Potter summoning stags for protection.
But Severus Snape’s took the same shape as Lily Evans’, his childhood bestie. Both of their Patronuses showed up as does. Why?
What Is Snape’s Connection to Lily?
Picture this: It’s the 1970s, and a young Snape falls head-over-heels for Lily Potter – an infatuation that would last the rest of his life. We’re not talking just a little crush here. We’re talking full-on, all-consuming love. No one would be surprised if he had a “Lily forever” tattoo hidden somewhere on his body.
In fact, he became so smitten with her that his Patronus took on the exact same form as hers – a doe. Talk about commitment! It’s like he went to Patronus-formation school and said, “Hey, I want my Patronus to be the same as my beloved’s, please and thank you.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “How do we know this is true?” Well, all was revealed in a chapter (or scene, for you movie-watchers) of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. That’s right, Snape’s undying love for Lily was exposed to the world by none other than his own Patronus. Talk about a confession!
Also revealed in Deathly Hallows was that Snape’s childhood was far from happy-go-lucky. And as we know, his adulthood wasn’t much better. So it makes total sense that his Patronus would be summoned by the thought of his love, because that’s probably the only ray of sunshine he had in his life – hence it taking on the same form as hers.
Even Harry Potter, the boy who lived, understood it. He explained to Voldemort that Snape’s Patronus was a doe, just like his mom’s, because Snape loved her for pretty much his entire life – a life otherwise filled with loneliness and misery.
Why is Snape’s Patronus so special?
Turns out, the dude was a pretty special Death Eater: the only one who could summon a Patronus. Why, you ask? Because of the deep love he had for Lily, of course. How sweet!
The other Death Eaters, meanwhile, didn’t bother with Patronuses. They didn’t have to – usually, they fought on the same side as Dementors. No need to protect yourself from your allies!
Snape, though? He was no ordinary Death Eater. Plus, he was a super strong wizard. Casting a Patronus takes some serious skill. We’re talking about creating a corporeal form that takes on a distinct shape, not just some wimpy fog or vapor. You try thinking about positive things while a Dementor is sucking the soul out of you! Snape could, since he still had some good left in him, which he poured into his Patronus. And what did it take the form of? The love of his life!
Table of Contents
- What Is Snape’s Connection to Lily?
- Why is Snape’s Patronus so special?
- Did Lily Know Snape Was In Love?
- So, Why Did Snape Insult Lily Like That?
- Did Lily Reciprocate Snape’s Feelings?
- Who Loved Lily More: Snape or James?
- Why Does Harry Question Dumbledore About Snape’s Patronus?
- Did Snape Love Lily’s Son, Too?
Did Lily Know Snape Was In Love?
Oh, Lily, Lily, Lily … did you have any idea that Snape was head over heels for you? Honestly, it’s doubtful. He never had the guts to confess his true feelings. And when Lily started dating James Potter, it was too late to make a move.
But let’s back up a bit. Snape and Lily were childhood buds who drifted apart as they got older – especially because of that fateful day when Snape called Lily a “mudblood.” That’s pretty much the worst insult you could use in the wizarding world. Not a good look. When he got more and more into dark magic, their friendship couldn’t be salvaged.
So despite Snape’s lightning-fast crush on Lily, it doesn’t seem like she was fully aware of his affections. Sure, she enjoyed their friendship, but let’s be real – she was mostly drawn to him because of his knowledge of magic. I mean, who wouldn’t want a friend who can teach them how to turn a pumpkin into a carriage?
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So, Why Did Snape Insult Lily Like That?
The truth is, Snape was having a bad day. James Potter was taunting him, the other students were cheering James on, and Snape was feeling pretty helpless and weak.
That’s not the way you want your crush to see you … but of course, Lily Evans showed up and witnessed the whole scene. This made him feel so pathetic, his self-restraint snapped like a wand made of spaghetti.
In a moment of frustration, Snape called Lily a Mudblood. It was like hitting the self-destruct button on their friendship. He tried to take it back, but the damage was done.
Did Lily Reciprocate Snape’s Feelings?
Nope, not even a little bit. Lily saw Snape as nothing more than a friend, a buddy, a pal. In fact, if Snape had tried to kiss her, she probably would have Petrified him on the spot.
Things could’ve gone differently, though: J.K. Rowling has said that Lily could have fallen for him if he’d made better life choices. But let’s be real, that’s like saying Hermione could have been a Quidditch star if she wasn’t afraid of flying.
At the end of the day, Snape and Lily were just friends. While Snape was hopelessly infatuated with Lily, she just wasn’t interested in him like that. It’s a classic tale of unrequited love, but with more wands.
Who Loved Lily More: Snape or James?
That’s a tough one. Both loved her with all their hearts, but in super different ways.
James loved Lily like a Hufflepuff on a diet of pumpkin juice and sunshine: with pure, selfless generosity.
Snape, on the other hand, had a love for Lily that was more intense than a Hungarian Horntail’s breath. It was possessive, obsessive, and downright creepy, like – well – a Slytherin with a crush.
But let’s not forget that ultimately, James proved his love for Lily and their son by sacrificing himself to save their lives.
So, who loved Lily more? Well, it’s hard to say. James loved her from a healthy place, while Snape’s love was more like amortentia gone wrong. But in the end, they both loved her in their own way.
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Why Does Harry Question Dumbledore About Snape’s Patronus?
Ever been to a party and see someone mimicking your crush? You can’t help but wonder if they’re secretly in love, too.
Harry had the same thought about Snape’s Patronus, which just so happened to be a doe, the same as Lily’s. Meanwhile, James’ Patronus was a stag. So, of course, Harry had to ask Dumbledore about it. He wanted to know why Snape’s Patronus was a copycat of Lily’s, while his dad’s was totally different. As it turns out, Snape’s love for Lily was so strong that it manifested in his Patronus form. It’s like if you love someone so much, your Patronus just starts taking on their shape. It’s a bit weird, but hey, it’s the wizarding world.
In the end, Harry learned that Snape’s love for Lily was real, even if a bit obsessive. And that his Patronus was just one more symbol of that.
It’s worth pointing out that James’ Patronus was the male equivalent of Lily’s – complementing her instead of copying. Pure, selfless love.
Did Snape Love Lily’s Son, Too?
Ha! Absolutely not. The mere sight of Harry reminded Snape of his most hated rival, James, and the fact that Lily chose him instead. When Snape looked at Harry, he was reminded of his lifelong, unrequited love for a woman no longer around. It didn’t help that Harry looked so much like his dad.
Sadly, Snape was so blinded by his own bitterness that he couldn’t see the Lily-ness shining through Harry. So, he just kept on hating poor Harry until the bitter end.
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